While hunting a Djinn, a genie, Dean (Jensen Ackles) is attacked and transported to a world where his mother (guest star Samantha Smith) is alive, Sam (Jared Padalecki) is in law school and engaged to Jessica (guest star Adrianne Palicki), and Dean lives a very normal life with his girlfriend (guest star Michelle Borth).
However, after he starts seeing a strange girl (guest star Melanie Neige Scrofano) and learns all the people he has saved in the past have died, Dean must decide whether he wants to stay in this new safe life where everyone he loves is alive or if he should return to the hunt.
Raelle Tucker wrote the episode directed by creator/executive producer Eric Kripke.
Dean is cruising while Sam calls to report from their hotel that the police are cruising by but haven’t spotted them. Dean is checking on a series of disappearances and Sam has figured out that it’s a Djinn hiding out in ruins. Dean goes back to check out an abandoned place and the Djinn attacks him and then prepares to “feed” on him by touching his forehead and he passes out.
Dean wakes up in bed with a naked woman next to him. He goes out to look around and finds himself in a strange house. He calls Sam and starts talking about the Djinn, but Sam appears to have no idea what he’s talking about and dismisses it as drunk-dialing. Dean talks briefly to the woman, Carmen, who clearly knows who he is. He then discovers he’s in Lawrence, KS, and goes to their house to see… his mother Mary. He quickly confirms it’s really her and then asks if there was ever a fire in the house, but there never was. Mary reveals John died in his sleep of a stroke. He insists on staying with her at the house, takes a nap, then wakes up and everything’s still there.
Dean goes to the college to get info on the Djinns from a professor. He reveals that they have godlike power and Dean wonders why they’re evil. As he goes out to his car he spots a woman in a white dress who is watching him intently. He approaches her but after a car almost hits him, she disappears into thin air. Dean goes back to “home” to eat and Mary wonders why he isn’t working at the garage. He quickly covers and goes out to mow the lawn for the first time and drink a beer, then Sam arrives in a stylish car with his now-living girlfriend Jessica. Sam’s still going to law school and that it’s Mary’s birthday. They go out for lunch at a fancy restaurant and while Dean reacquaints himself with Carmen, Sam announces he and Jessica are engaged. Dean notices the same woman earlier but when he approaches her she vanishes.
Back at the house, Dean sloughs off Sam’s concerns about what happened in the restaurant, then suggests they go off to celebrate. Sam talks to him in private and asks what’s going on with him, and wonders why he’s calling him “Sammy” all of a sudden. He notes they haven’t talked in years and Dean’s been a jerk to him the last few years. Sam leaves but is clearly uncomfortable with the “new” Dean.
Later Dean and Carmen talk and Dean resolves to make up with everyone, and tries to explain that he’s been given a second chance. Carmen heads out to work and Dean watches TV and sees on the news that the crash he and Sam stopped actually took place. With more research he discovers all the other killings he and Sam stopped over the years actually occurred. He then spots the mysterious woman again in his bedroom, follows her in, and finds corpses hanging in the closet. The woman, now bleeding, briefly confronts him and then disappears.
Dean goes to John’s grave and wonders why he has to sacrifice his newfound happiness, Sam’s marriage, and Mary’s life, to be a hero. He doesn’t get an answer and leaves. He goes to their house and Sam catches him going after the silver in the china cabinet. Dean gives him a story about owing a bookie then apologies, says lives are at stake, and leaves with the silver. Sam insists on going with him and they take off. Dean has a jar of lamb’s blood. He needs the blood and the silver knife to kill the Djinn, and tries to explain to Sam the whole supernatural background of the world. When Sam tries to call for help, Dean tosses the cell phone out the window and tells him to sit tight. He drives to the ruins where he encountered the Djinn and they go inside. They find the Djinn’s victims strung up, just like the ones in the closet, in various states of decomposition and hooked up to IV bags. The woman Dean saw earlier is one of the victims, still barely alive. The Djinn comes in and they hide as it confronts the woman. It puts her back to sleep then feeds on her blood. Sam makes a noise and it goes to investigate but doesn’t find them. Dean figures it just makes people think it’s granted their wishes, but they’re actually in a coma. Dean begins to realize he’s in a coma as well. Sam tries to get him out and Dean realizes he’s not real either. Dean figures if he kills himself it’ll bring him out of it and Sam tries to talk him out of it. When that doesn’t work, Mary, Carmen , and Jessica appear as well and try to convince him to stop and enjoy the fantasy. Dean considers it… then stabs himself.
Dean wakes up in the ruins, strung up, with Sam trying to help him. The Djinn comes after Sam and knocks him out, and prepares to knock him out as well. Dean manages to get loose and kill the Djinn just in time. The girl is still alive and they free her.
Later at their hotel room, they confirm the girl is in good condition, and Dean talks about what he saw in his fantasy. Sam admits he’s glad they get along in real life, and Dean admits he wanted to stay and wonders if it’s all worth it. Sam tells him that it is.
“Saturday Night Special” by Lynard Skynard
“What a Wonderful World” by Joey Ramone
Dean: But it’s not real. None of it is.
Mary: It’s still better than anything you ever had.
Dean: (to John’s grave) ‘Course, I know what you’d say… well, not the you that played softball, but…
Sam: Look, whatever stupid thing you’re about to do, you’re not doing it alone and that’s that.
Dean: I don’t understand, why are you doing this?
Sam: Because you’re still my brother.
Sam: What’re you calling me a bitch for?
Dean: You’re supposed to say “jerk.”
Dean: Never mind.
Dean: You should have seen it, Sam… our lives… you were such a wussy.
Dean: Ever since Dad… all I can think about is how much this job has cost us. We’ve lost so much; we’ve sacrificed so much…
Sam: But people are alive because of you. It’s worth it, Dean. It is. It’s not fair, and y’know it hurts like hell, but it’s worth it.
Dean: You had Jess. Mom was gonna have grandkids…
Sam: Yeah, but Dean, it wasn’t real.
Dean: I know. But I wanted to stay.
Sam: What’s in the bag?
Dean: Yeah! Nothing!
Sam: Fine! (reaches for the bag and pulls something out)
Dean: You don’t want to do that!
Sam: Oh really? (sees the blood jar) What the hell is this?!
Sam: Yeah I can see that it’s blood, Dean, but what the hell is it doing in here?!
Dean: You don’t really want to know.
(Sam has just told Dean they don’t get along)
Dean: We don’t? Well, we should. You’re my brother.
Sam: “You’re my brother.”
Sam: You know, that’s what you said when you snaked my ATM card, or when you bailed on my graduation, or when you hooked up with Rachel Nayv.
Sam: Uh, my prom date. On prom night.
Dean: (under his breath) Yeah, that does kinda sound like me.
Sam: You’re having some kind of psychotic breakdown.
Dean: I wish.
Professor: Son? You been drinking?
Dean: Everybody keeps asking me that. But, uh, no.
Dean: See? Nothing to worry about.
Sam: Yeah, being fugitives is a freakin’ dance party.
Dean: What can I say, chicks dig the danger vibe.
Dean: My god, Barbara Eden was hot, wasn’t she? And way hotter than that Bewitched chick.
Sam: Are you even listening to me?
Dean: (clears throat) Yeah.
Dean: The Djinn, it attacked me.
Sam: The gin, you were drinking gin?
Dean: No, ass-hat, the Djinn, the scary creature, remember?
Sam: I thought it was supposed to be this perfect fantasy.
Dean: It wasn’t. It was just a wish. I wished for Mom to live. Mom never died, we never went hunting and you and me just never… ya know.
Sam: Yeah. Well, I’m glad we do.
Sam: (to Dean, about to stab himself with knife.) Look, this isn’t a dream, all right. I’m here with you, now, and you are about to kill yourself, Dean.
Dean: No, I’m pretty sure. Like, 90 percent sure. But I’m sure enough.
Dean: Sam, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that we don’t get along. I wish to hell I could stay to fix this. But I gotta do this. People’s lives depend on it.
Sam: Dean, what’re you talking about?
Dean: Nothing. Forget it. Hey, just tell Mom I love her. I’ll see you, Sammy.
(Dean leaves the house)
Dean: (staring down at John’s tombstone) Why? Why is it my job to save these people? Why do I have to be some kind of hero? What about us, huh? Mom’s not supposed to live her life? Sammy’s not supposed to get married? Why do we have to sacrifice everything, Dad?
Dean: (looking out the window) That lawn looks like it could use some mowing.
Mary: You want to mow the lawn?
Dean: Are you kidding me, I’d love to mow the lawn.
Mary: Knock yourself out. You’d think you’ve never mowed a lawn in your life.
1) The Winchester’s house has the numbers reversed from those seen in “Home”: they are 1481 here, but 1841 in “Home”;
2) When Dean watches the TV in the middle of the night the KJLT timestamp says it’s 9 a.m. central;
3) the newspaper headline about the one-year anniversary of the airplane crash says its December 5, 2005, but Dean is seen earlier mowing the yard;
4) the lawnmower Dean uses to mow the lawn has no blades.
5) When Dean wakes up in his mother’s house we get to see photography of their family. Young Dean in the photography does not look anything like the kid that played him in other episodes.
- Sam: I guess they’re powerful enough, but not exactly like Barbara Eden in harem pants.
Referencing the 1965-1970 CBS sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, featuring Barbara Eden in the title role as Jeannie the Genie, who ended up with astronaut Tony Nelson as her “master.”
- Dean: Well, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
(Later in the episode)
Dean: Auntie Em, there’s no place like home.
Both are references to the popular 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz. In the movie, Judy Garland, who plays Dorothy, is famous for delivering the lines “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” and “There’s no place like home.” Auntie Em is Dorothy’s aunt in the film.
References the Led Zeppelin song “What Is and What Should Never Be” off of the album Led Zeppelin II released in 1969.
INSIDE THE LEGEND