Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigate a small town where the wishing well really works. A teddy bear comes to life, someone wins the lottery and the town geek gets a hot girlfriend. The brothers realize that while everyone is happy now, the end result will be disastrous.
Robert Singer directed the episode written by Ben Edlund.
The Winchesters investigate a town wishing well that really grants wishes… at a terrible cost.
A girl, Candace Armstrong, is taking a shower, unaware of a teenage boy appearing in the room behind her. As she turns, he disappears. As she dries her hair, his handprint appears on the steamed mirror. His footprints appear on the wet tiles as he approaches her. The girl thinks she hears something but doesn’t spot anyone. She tosses a towel toward a rack and it lands on the head of the invisible teen. She screams as the boy apologizes.
The guys are at a restaurant and Sam wonders why Uriel told him that Dean remembers Hell when he claims he didn’t. Sam wonders why an angel would lie but Dean insists that he did. Sam isn’t satisfied but drops the matter. Supernatural sightings have been sparse but Sam has a report of a ghost haunting a women’s health facility shower and shoving a woman down some stairs. Dean insists on going to investigate.
The brothers arrive in town and Sam meets with Candace at a Chinese restaurant. He claims to be a writer chronicling the supernatural and asks her about the ghost. As they talk, Sam notices a guy fervently kissing a girl and vice versa. Candace explains that she accidentally fell down the stairs and wasn’t pushed, and the ghost helped her up while saying not to tell his mom. He meets Dean, who has checked out the women’s health facility and Candace’s house without finding any EMF traces. Sam doesn’t think anything is going on but notices a hunter talking to the sheriff, insisting he was attacked by Bigfoot. The brothers claim to be FBI agents and has the hunter tell them what happened. They go to investigate the site and find very large footprints. The brothers follow the footprints to a nearby grocery store where the creature stole booze and porn. They also find a tuft of hair and they wonder if the entire thing is a joke. They notice a girl riding by on a bicycle and she drops a porno magazine. They follow and see her drop off a box of alcohol and porn with a note saying “Sorry.” They follow her home and find her alone. they ask her if she’s seen Bigfoot and she wonders if the creature is in trouble. The girl, Audrey Elmer, says that he’s her teddy bear and thinks he’s sick. They claim to be teddy bear doctors and Audrey takes them upstairs to her bedroom. She opens the door and reveals a giant teddy bear that yells at her to close the door.
Audrey explains that all she ever wanted was a teddy bear but now he’s ill in the head, smells, and complains a lot. She says that she wished for it at the wishing well. Dean goes in to find the teddy bear watching the news and wondering why he’s there. He’s depressed over the fact there’s nothing else in his life except Audrey’s tea parties. The guys aren’t sure what to do and ask Audrey where her parents are. She says they wished to be in Bali so they’re probably in Bali. They explain the teddy bear is sick and she should stay with a friend of the family, and ask where the wishing well is.
The guys go back to the Chinese restaurant as a boy makes a wish. Dean makes a wish but doesn’t tell Sam. Seconds later someone arrives with a footlong sandwich for Dean. They sit down and notice the same man from earlier still kissing heavily with the girl, and figure he’s a wish recipient. The brothers wonder what to do and the waiter comes over to insist they can’t eat there. The brothers identify themselves as health inspectors and shut down the place due to a rat infestation. They check out the wishing well but can’t find anything unusual about it. Dean wonders if Sam wants to make a wish, but Sam doesn’t trust it. Sam isn’t interested in wishing to go back to his old life but he admits wanting to wish for Lilith’s head on a plate. Dean notices an old coin in the well but it’s fastened down. They try to pry it up with a crowbar and hammer but don’t have any luck. Sam takes a rubbing of the coin and has Dean check it out while he pursues a hunch.
At the women’s health facility, the invisible teenager is back but Sam arrives and grabs him. The woman runs out and the boy admits he wished for invisibility. Sam tells him to put on some pants and stay visible.
Dean sees the boy from the restaurant chasing after some other boys. He sees Dean staring and snaps at him, then runs off. Dean’s stomach starts to rumble and he gets to the hotel where he starts vomiting. Sam arrives and Dean explains that the wishes turn bad. He’s discovered the coin is a cursed Babylonian relic with the serpent Tiamat inscribed upon it. Tiamat is the God of Chaos and its priests made the coin to spread chaos, granting wishes and turning them bad. The only way to stop it is to find the first wisher: they’re the only one who can pull the coin out.
At Audrey’s house, Teddy shoots himself in the head only to discover that he can’t die.
Dean is dreaming of Hell when Sam wakes him up. He takes a drink and Sam says he’s realized something is going on and Dean does remember his time in Hell. Sam can’t come up with anything to determine who the first wisher was, but Dean spot an engagement announcement article about the couple in the restaurant, Wesley Mondale and Hope Lynn Casey.
At Wesley’s house, an overly attentive Hope fixes him a snack and says she loves him more than anything. He wants her to start doing things to make her happy and she starts crying that she’s making him angry. The Winchesters arrive pretending to be florists for the wedding. They notice he has a coin collection left to him by his grandfather, but Wes denies making a wish. Hope returns with her wedding plans and the Winchesters realize what wish Wes made. They get him to explain that his grandfather brought the coin back from Africa and said what it did, but said no one should ever wish on it. They’re unaware that Hope is listening in the next room. When Wes refuses to go, Dean draws a gun and forces him to go to the restaurant. As they’re driving, they roll over the invisible teenager. Wes is satisfied with what he has and notes that the Winchesters have it easy. They say their lives have never been easy, but Wes is happy with Hope as she is and wants to know where all the chaos is.
As they pull into town, the young boy Todd uses his newly acquired super-strength to terrorize the other boys. Dean tries to distract Todd while Sam gets Wes to the restaurant. Dean tries to get through to Todd but the boy slams him aside. At the restaurant, Wes still wonders why they can’t all get what they want, but Sam says that’s life. He’s interrupted when a storm cloud appears and fries him with a bolt of lightning. Wes steps over him and goes into the restaurant where he finds Hope. She’s made a wish and explains that she didn’t want Sam to force Wes to wish away their love.
Dean goes after Todd again but the boy is invulnerable. Meanwhile, Wes tries to get through to the love-obsessed Hope. He kisses her and says he’ll make everything okay, then reaches into the well and takes the coin out. Sam comes back to life and Todd releases Dean. Dean pretends to be scared of Todd and warns the bullies away from Todd, then goes to find Sam. In the restaurant, Hope doesn’t remember Wes and leaves. Wes gives the coin to Sam and walks away… alone.
The town of Concrete recovers in the aftermath of the wishing gone awry. Audrey’s parents have returned and her teddy bear is back to normal (except for a wound to the head). Sam melts the coin down and the brothers depart. As they go, Dean admits that Sam was right and he apologizes for lying to him. He remembers everything that happened to him but refuses to tell Sam about it. Sam says that Dean needs help but Dean says that there’s nothing he can do.
Review by Gaelic
4.08 - Whishful Thinking - Gaelicspirit review
Lump. In. Throat. And…. I laughed a heckuva lot. Hmmmm….
I wrote this once and just as I was about to post it, the site ate my review. Plus? It kept saying that the message contained content that might be inappropriate, so… I put asterisks everywhere.
I’m going to try to do this again, but as you know, I write these without notes, and I know that now that it’s the 2nd time, I’m gonna forget stuff. So, I’m sorry.
There are times when the absurdity of the job of hunting the supernatural just takes over. It can’t all be trauma and tragedy, angst and death, good and evil. Sometimes the ridiculous rears its head. And you know what I love? The way the boys handle every situation with realism. And true emotion.
Even if that emotion is an honest WTH moment.
We’ve had some funny episodes this season, but what I’ve noticed is that through the humor, the writers have been slowly unraveling a tightly spooled ball of yarn. We laugh, and then we’re pulled up short by a subtle reveal, or quick eye-shift.
I think the writers are doing a fantastic job parceling out the full story, and that if we’re patient, we’re going to get more information then we bargained for. And I can’t wait.
When I started my first review, my heart was literally pounding as a result of the end scene with Dean’s confession and the
Lethal Weapon-esque, Clapton-like guitar playing the sound of sad regret in the background.
That speech laid the groundwork for some breath-stealing emotion that I believe is in store for us down the road. And it was enough to leave me a little trembly.
‘Course, I’m easily influenced, so, take that as you will.
I will say that this episode, like so many others, had me thinking about my life, about what I appreciate and why. And it took me on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster-ride from humor to sorrow, from that gut-tingle that I refuse to examine why I like to a lump in my throat big enough to choke a horse.
The thing I noticed about the very beginning was that Candice Armstrong showered with her diamond earrings in. I don’t know why that struck me, but it did. *shrugs* And I never thought “ghost”… I thought “invisible boy.” You probably did, too, huh?
Okay, seriously? How many of us can see buttons on suspenders in a restaurant and not think “flair?” *pets “Office Space”* This episode had me flashing to several different movies. Hope you’ll stick with me.
Sam referring to Dean’s time in H*ll as “down under” had me smirking. I bet the Aussie fans loved that. I liked that there wasn’t a big lag time with Sam pushing Dean for answers as only Sam can do. Watching Dean down several shots as he denied any memories of Hell, trying to call his bluff, but getting thwarted by Mr. Flair.
I remember Kripke saying that Dean would be a bit like a soldier returning traumatized from war with PTSD. I can imagine that those watching who have lived through that in one way or another could be troubled by his denial, his turning to alcohol, his nightmares, but I have to confess. As a story? For this character? I dig it. It appeals to me. I haven’t had to live through the reality of that, so I’m approaching it from a different angle, but that gut tingle I spoke of earlier? It turned on full force in this epi because of Dean’s situation.
I’ll get to that in a minute. Hopefully.
I did like Dean checking out the chick in the restaurant. Traumatized or not, he’s our Dean. And I love that his attention is quite literally chin-grabbed by what he considers beauty. Atta boy. His reaction to Sam’s “haunted showers” reveal for their next hunt was classic. “We gotta save these people.”
So, at least we have more of an explanation as to the ‘why’ of this hunt. Dean ain’t talking, the angels flew away for the time being, and they’ve got nothing else to do…
Sam’s interview with Candice Armstrong cracked me up. Especially his reveal that the working title of his book was Supernatural. HA! Nice one, Show.
So, no EMF, no ghost, and we have a disappointed Dean (no saving naked ladies) and a little boy being chased by bullies. I winced a bit at Dean’s “run, Forrest, run!” I knew that was going to come back to haunt him. Silly boy.
I think the funniest part of this epi, for me, was the whole section about hunting Bigfoot. Also? They were really in synch for this hunt. I enjoyed that. They may be off-balance with their purposes, they may not know where they’ve been or where they’re going, they may have questions, but bottom line? They’re brothers. Partners. Friends. They can read each other. They know each other. And it showed in this epi in classic ways like unison-speak, badge flashes, cover-stories, exchanges of expression, body language.
I remembered a lot more specific instances in the other review, but I know you know what I mean.
Sam’s “that… is a BIG foot” comment had me on the floor, as did Dean saying that Bigfoot was a “girl-drink”-drunk when he saw the Amaretto and Irish Creme. Heh. Dean’s “I got nothin’” as they sat adorably baffled, side-by-side on the bench outside of the liquor store was great. They both do confused-yet-muddling-through rather well. Dean even pulled out a “deep woods Dachovny” quip. Hee.
They were again rather endearing when they talked with little Audrey and claimed they were “Teddy Bear Doctors” to figure out what kind of Harry and the Henderson’s deal they had going on.
Dean’s mention of a giant burning Teddy bear had me thinking of Ghostbusters and the Stay-Puft Marshmellow man. Hee.
So, to sum up the hunt, we have wishes coming true. Literally. One wish? A miracle. All wishes? Chaos. Not the order of life. And I can actually understand that.
I mean, it’s hard not to be able to get what you think you want, but I kinda think the point of life is to want what you have. To learn why you have it, or to change your situation. But not through wishing. Through choice. Because if you had everything handed to you, you would end up caring about nothing. Dean’s comment later in the show that they have to fight tooth and nail to keep what they have is perfect.
Because they value what they have — the relationships, the connections, the meager possessions. It means something to them. There are not closets full of outdated or wrong-sized clothes, or toys that haven’t been played with in years. Okay, I’m veering. Sorry. Back to the boys.
When they find the well, I wondered for a moment who would test it out. I should have known better. Then, I worried what Dean had wished for. Again, I should have known better. Dean + Food = Love.
The fountain is drained, and the coins are exposed, and I found myself thinking of The Goonies when the kids are at the bottom of the Moss Garden wishing well and Mouth cries, “This one right here. This was my dream, my wish. And it didn’t come true. So, I’m taking it back. I’m taking ‘em all back.”
*sniff* You’re laughing at me, aren’t you?
And we reach one of the roller-coaster slopes of emotion for me in the show. Dean asking Sam what he’d wish for. Still wanting Sam to want “normal.” Wanting to hear that Sam would go back to before all this started, back to Stanford, back to a life of a (presumably married) lawyer. Something that to Dean’s way of thinking is still pure.
But when he said “What does Sammy wish for?” he was slapped once more with the reality that Sammy–that Sammy–is gone. Too much has happened. There’s no going back. There’s just this and what happens after this.
And Sam’s wish was for Lilith’s head on a plate. Bloody. Dean expertly covered a wince with a more macho-nod, but you could still see him mourning the loss of innocence. In both of them.
War is Hell.
The humor slid back into place, though, when they found the coin and Sam teased Dean with a “lift with your legs.” *shakes head* Brothers. Sam showed his quick-witted, skillfully honed lying skills with his 44/16 health code inspector speak. Nicely done.
When Dean took the rubbing of the coin, I was reminded of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark when the creepy Nazi burned only one side of the headpiece from the staff of Ra into his palm, which led to the bad guys digging in the wrong place. I worried that they might be led astray, but that was quickly forgotten.
What with the puking and all. Terry, I know you were grinning, you evil thing. Dean’s pathetic, “the wishes turn very bad” had me muttering, an aww, poor guy. Oh! And I almost forgot! We got another instance of Sam running off to take care of a potential threat by himself. ‘Course it turned out to be an uber-pale, skinny, adolescent, invisible Peeping Tom… but still!
Um, Teddy committing suicide with a life is meaningless note on a chalkboard? Disturbing, man. Very disturbing. Only, he didn’t really commit suicide. Which, kinda makes it worse…
You’ll have to forgive me a fangirl moment. The gut-twist was on full-force with Dean’s nightmare. I can’t explain it. Dean sleeping with Sam awake and studying or whatever he was doing was just… storyline perfect. It’s one of the first times we’ve seen Sam see Dean’s hidden pain. Usually, Sam uses Dean’s frequent naps to sneak out, or he’s asleep himself.
But this time, while Dean is seeing flashes of blood and pain on the backs of his eyelids, and hearing the echos of terrified screams in his ears, Sam is seeing his brother twitch and wince, hearing his brother whimper and moan.
Sam’s bellow of Dean’s name had me jerking. And once again, Dean uses the brace of a hit of whiskey to pull him into the now. I had previously wondered about his frequent sleeping this season, but now, thinking of him as a soldier literally returning from Hell, I think not only would he be physically tired, but… the strain of keeping up the show, keeping up the mask, keeping everything so tightly wound would wear him out to the point that he’d risk the nightmares — hoping the alcohol would lessen their impact — just to escape for a short time.
Breaks my heart.
Dean, of course, deflects Sam’s continuous probing with a “careful what you wish for” and a “stow the couple’s therapy, I wanna work.”
And we come to Wes — who, incidentally, is played by Sam Raimi’s (director of Spiderman) brother. Which makes a line Dean says later on rather funny, now that I think about it.
Wes wished for the object of his affection to love him more than anything, but in making his wish come true, he erased the person he loved and replaced it with an echo of what he thought he wanted. And a lonely man became even lonelier as a result.
All Wes really wanted was to be seen. To be valued for who he was. To be known by someone who cared. I think, ultimately, that’s all any of us want.
The amorous kiss Hope gave Wes when she was heading off to get her flower samples led to a rather funny brother moment with Dean and Sam’s heads tilted close together to fully take in the effect of the kiss. *grin*
I can see the LJ avi’s now…
Oh — totally random — I can’t believe they hit the invisible boy on the way to town to get Wes to pull the coin from the fountain. *shakes head*
Dean going to take care of Todd while Sam took Wes to the wishing well was fitting. Dean and kids. They just work. Except, I suppose, when the kid has super-human strength. Dean’s “With great power comes great responsibility” homage to Spiderman was cut short by a dynamic uppercut that sent him head over rear into a pile of garbage. OUCH!
And DUDES! Sam gets hit by lightening. GAH! And… did he get knocked out of his shoes? I have to rewatch…
But. Wes saves the day. No matter how much it hurts. No matter that he’s crying out all our hidden frustrations with his “why can’t we get what we want?” *sigh* Unfortunately, I agree. This isn’t one of those times in my life where I can say “if life weren’t challenging, it wouldn’t be worth it.”
There are times when you just want something to work out. Even if you know it’s not going to. So, I hear you, Wes. And yet, he did the right thing by pulling the coin from the fountain, stopping Mighty Todd from crushing Dean’s windpipe, reviving Sam, and returning Hope to a Wes-free memory.
And Dean? Bless him. He still saves the kid from the bullies. He’s just flat-out fantastic.
I think it’s pretty safe to assume that regardless of individual thoughts on this episode or that episode, the MotW, the writing, etc., we can all agree that the actors that embody these characters do so in such a way that they often times leave us trembling in amazement.
There are times when I feel like I need to look away in order to take a breath, and yet, I can’t peel my eyes from the screen. I might miss a lip tremble, a tightening of a jaw muscle, a rush of emotion to the eyes.
The final scene, I felt, was fantastic. As I said at the beginning of this web of thought, it laid some fantastic groundwork, shedding light on some of Dean’s flinches and anger — like his rage when he found out about Sam using his powers with Ruby. Packing to leave seemed so unlike Dean, even if it was just for show. But if taken in the context of “I remember Hell. I remember terror. I remember things I would rather die 10 times over than to share with you so that I can spare you the same nightmares. And I’m back. And I’m here. And you’re slipping away. You’re using powers that a demon gave you. And I’m so afraid you’re heading there. Where I was. And I don’t know what to do about it.” Well, then, maybe that rage was justified.
I sat there with my heart in my throat, my hand at the base of my neck, my feet tucked under me and my heart just broke for both boys.
Dean remembers Hell. And he doesn’t want to share with Sam — he wants to keep at least that bit of protection in his power since Sam’s stepped outside his wall and is handling things pretty well on his own now. But… I have a feeling that slip of protection isn’t going to last long. Either through Sam’s tenaciousness, or the angel’s influence, or something beyond anyone’s control, Dean is going to share what happened. And it’s going to break him far beyond nightmares and alcohol.
And poor Sam. If Dean’s one ‘job’ has always been to protect Sam, then Sam’s has been to ‘fix’ his brother. To understand him, heal him somehow. And Dean can’t let him.
Sam is forced to stand on the edge of understanding and peer into the mist. How incredibly frustrating. To know that Dean has been in pain since he returned and to not be able to do a thing about it.
“The things I saw… there’s no forgetting… there’s no making it better… you wouldn’t understand and I could never make you understand… so, I’m sorry.”
It’s like the gutting end of Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things. Dean’s unexpected, raw honesty left Sam speechless. And who can blame the guy? There’s no prelude with Dean. There’s no, let’s sit down and talk about a few things. It’s just a, oh, hey, by the way? You were right. I shouldn’t have lied to you. I remember.
I think in a way, we’ve all been where both boys are now, somehow or another. We’ve all felt a pain of some sort so keenly that we believe there is no way anyone could possibly understand. Even those closest to us. Especially those. And on some level, we want to hold onto that pain because it’s the only thing we can control, and we’re afraid that without that, we might feel nothing and that’s a scary thought.
And we’ve all watched a loved one in pain and wanted to be the one to have that magic word, that one solution that solves everything, that fixes them, that takes away their pain. We want them to look at us with relief and gratitude and we want to feel good about what we did.
Man, these boys. I think Dean’s confession is truly just the beginning. I think the next couple of weeks are going to be stunning, and I can’t wait. The only thing I’m really worried about now?
How long will the winter hiatus be??
as Wesley Mondale
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as Bully 02
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as Bully 03
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as Candace Armstrong
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No Episode Stills
No music in this episode.
Sam: (to Audrey)I’m really sorry to have to break this to you, but your bear is sick. Yeah, he’s, he’s got…
Dean: Lollipop disease.
Sam: Lollipop disease.
Dean: It’s not uncommon for a bear his size, but see it’s, it’s contagious.
Sam: Yeah. So is there someone, maybe a grown up you can stay with while we treat him?
Teddy Bear: Look at this. You believe this crap?
Dean: Not really.
Teddy Bear: It is a terrible world. Why am I here?
Audrey: For tea parties!
Teddy Bear: Tea parties? Is that all there is? (starts crying)
Waiter: You have got to try our Ice Cream Extreme. It’s extreme.
Sam: Uh, no extremities, please.
Dean: I got to tell you, I’m pretty disappointed.
Sam: You wanted to save naked women.
Dean: Darn right I wanted to save some naked women.
Dean: Or it’s a Bigfoot. You know, and he’s some kind of alcoholo-porno addict. Kind of like a deep-woods Duchovny.
Wes: Aren’t you the guys from the Health Department?
Sam: Yeah. And florists on the side.
Dean: Plus FBI. And on Thursdays, we’re teddy bear doctors.
Dean: Doesn’t matter who we are. What matters is what we know.
Dean: The things that I saw. There aren’t words. There is no forgetting. there’s no making it better. Because it is right here… forever. You wouldn’t understand. and I could never make you understand. So I am sorry.
Sam: Are we… should we… are we going to kill this teddy bear?
Dean: How? Do we shoot it, burn it?
Sam: I don’t know. Both?
Dean: How do we even know that’s gonna work? I mean I don’t want some giant, flaming, pissed-off teddy on our hands.
Sam: Yeah. Besides, I get the feeling that the bear isn’t really the, you know, core problem here.
Sam: Up in Concrete, Washington, eyewitness reports of a ghost that’s been haunting the showers of a women’s health facility. The victim claims that the ghost threw her down a flight of stairs. (Dean chokes on his beer) I can see you’re very interested.
Dean: Women, showers. We got to save these people.
Dean: So what, Bigfoot breaks into a liquor store jonesing for some hooch? Amaretto and Irish Cream. He’s a girl-drink drunk.
Dean: Or it’s a Bigfoot. You know, and he’s some kind of a…alcoholo-porno addict. Kinda like a deep-woods Duchovny.
Referencing actor David Duchovny, who plays a sex addict in the Showtime series Californication. A year after the show began its run, Duchovny admitted to having a sex addiction of his own.
Todd: Kneel before Todd!
Referencing the Kryptonian villain General Zod from DC Comics who battles Superman. He first appeared in Adventure Comics #283 (April 1961) and was created by Robert Bernstein and George Papp. Originally he was banished to the Phantom Zone by Superman’s father. The line of dialogue above comes from Superman II (1980), when Zod (Terence Stamp) and his two cohorts escape from the Phantom Zone and force Superman to kneel before them.
Dean: You see, with great power comes great…
Referencing the line commonly attributed to the comic book character Spider-Man, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and omitting the word “responsibility.” The line, as first used in Amazing Fantasy #15, is actually “With great power there must also come great responsibility.”
Dean: Run, Forrest, run!
Referencing the 1994 movie, based on the novel by Winston Green. The movie stars Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, a not particularly intelligent man who finds himself unwittingly at the center of many historic moments of the 50s, 60s, and 70s while seeking to be together with his childhood friend Jenny.
Dean: What’s this, like a Harry and the Hendersons deal?
Referencing the 1987 movie starring John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon, and Don Ameche. The Henderson family hit an animal which turns out to be Bigfoot. They take the creature into their home and have to deal with the authorities and the hunter out to capture “Harry.”
INSIDE THE LEGEND