Supernatural Recap

Supernatural: Did Dean's Memory Loss Make for the Season's Best Episode?

No stranger to mixing humor and pathos, Supernatural turns in one of its strongest episodes this season as Dean both comically and heartbreakingly deals with memory loss.

Thursday’s episode all begins when the hunter is hexed by a witch during a case and wakes up the next morning in the woods, with no recollection of how he got there. After bumming a phone from a jogger who thinks he’s homeless, Dean connects with Sam and arranges to meet up for waffles. Both Winchesters assume that Dean just had a helluva epic night of drinking – “Maybe pump the breaks. You’re not 20 anymore,” Sam suggests – but it becomes obvious that something more serious is going on when Dean doesn’t even recognize his own name. For the record: He also can’t name all the members of his beloved Bon Jovi.

Sam places Post-it notes everywhere to remind Dean of what things are called and then reaches out to Rowena for help. She instructs him to kill the witch that hexed his brother, but that’s easier said than done when Dean can’t even recall what he did the previous night. They attempt to retrace his steps, leading them to a burger joint where Dean was “epic” on Larry the mechanical bull, according to the waitress he boinked and now can’t remember. Soon, he doesn’t even know that monsters are real or that he and Sam kill them (“Best job ever!” he exclaims when informed). It won’t be long before he forgets how to speak and swallow, as well — and then he’ll be dead, Rowena tells Sam.

“I’ve seen my brother die. Watching him become not him, this might actually be worse,” Sam confesses.

The situation takes its toll on Dean, too. What is first amusing and freeing — he forgets the bad with the good, after all — becomes harrowing as the hunter repeats his name to himself in the bathroom mirror, until it just slips away, leaving him horrified and teary-eyed.

Meanwhile, Sam and Rowena track down the witch family, which has some history with the redhead. After being run out by the British Men of Letters, a lowly Rowena sought refuge with the clan, but they kicked her out for not being up to snuff. When they kidnap Sam, she gets a chance at payback while facing off against the daughter. But the other witch proves too powerful, pinning Rowena to the wall. Luckily, Dean is able to follow the Post-it notes to the witch-killing bullets and comes to Rowena’s rescue. She, in return, fixes his memory problem.

“We owe you one. A small one,” Sam says, collecting the witches’ black grimoire from Rowena. (Sorry, no parting gifts allowed.)

Supernatural RecapAs delighted as Sam is to have his brother fully back, he reveals that he was a little jealous at first. He thought Dean looked happy having the weight of what they’ve done off his mind. But if it means forgetting each other and what they do, then it’s not real happiness, Dean replies.

Plus, he couldn’t remember the fun of riding Larry the mechanical bull, as witnessed in the episode-ending flashback montage, and that’s just wrong. No one, especially the not the viewers, should be deprived of that joy.

Supernatural fans, what did you think of “Regarding Dean”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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24 Comments
  1. vito says:

    Definitely one of the best supernatural episode ever jensen is a unique talened actor

  2. Laurel Lane says:

    I agree; fantastic episode! And why hasn’t Jensen ever been nominated for an Emmy? This guy can do it all emotionally….

    • Ray says:

      Pulled out his old Days Of Our Lives training with those bathroom tears. I’ve been a fan of his for almost 2 decades from DOOL to Dark Angel to Smallville and then on to Supernatural. He gets love in a lot of fan voted awards, I agree he deserves some Emmy love.

  3. Saba says:

    Hands down the best episode of the season . Perfect balance between comedy , drama , lore and broments .also interesting interaction between Dean and Rowena. Very refreshing .Nicely written and directed .Jensen Ackles as usual gives one of his best performance.I especially loved the mirror scene and montage at the end .Perfect music selection ! It’s a 10/10 episode !!

  4. Carla Krae says:

    Fantastic

  5. Ninamags says:

    It was a great episode.

    That montage at the end was sweet.

    Jensen does a phenomenal job with what he’s given. That mechanical bull ride was epic.

  6. dakota says:

    I think the montage at the end was supposed to show that Dean remembered everything that happened. That was the bittersweet moment to cap off the episode.
    I liked it but I could have used a whole lot less backstory on the witch’s and more impact of Dean’s memory loss on Sam.
    Another good effort from one of the new writers.

    • Jean Louise says:

      No, I don’t think so. It showed him on the mechanical bull, which happened BEFORE he got hexed.
      Anyway, a good episode. WIth plenty of Dean-emo and Sam being heavily impacted by having to deal with it.

  7. liz says:

    Loved it. Jensen took a pretty good, well written episode, and made it absolutely brilliant. Wow. Those writers must feel like they hit the jackpot with Jensen, because that guy can take just about anything they throw at him, and turn it into gold. And that scene with Dean in front of the mirror about did me in. First time the show made me cry in years.

  8. ninergrl6 says:

    Loved it. Jensen knocked it out of the park.

  9. Terry says:

    Jared was phenomenal in the episode. The look on his face when he thinks that Dean didn’t memory back slayed me.

  10. LD says:

    So, initial reaction is that Jensen’s utterly SUPERB acting saved what was otherwise a fairly weak script. There were some great character moments, but with all the build-up I felt like something was missing. It didn’t have the crushing emotional impact I was expecting, which was down to weird pacing and the script issues. I didn’t dislike the ep, but it didn’t wow me like the last two.

    • Art says:

      agreed. Great acting, flimsy script.

    • geegee says:

      Seems to me they tried to split our ’emotional’ attention between Rowena’s story with the witches family and the boys – they should have learned by now that that never works as well as full focus on the boys.

      The Rowena backstory was way too forced, and backtracked way too fast, didn’t leave much time to connect to her past with the witch family, and the emotional impact it had on her. It ended up feeling more of the same regarding Rowena – she was spurned and humiliated and rejected, blah, we already know that part.

      The whole backstory was completely unnecessary, because Rowena is the best when she has ulterior motives, and wanting the grimoire was it. Some kind of revenge was not even needed, especially when she sucked at it, basically, and had to be saved by the dazed&confused Dean. It was just forced and not contributing anything new to her character.

      I loved the premise of the episode, and I think the opposition of memory and baggage vs happiness and relief is a potent characterization tool for both Sam and Dean. There was just not enough of it, or it wasnt deep enough, it lacked energy.

      And I would have loved it if the comedy of the first half and drama of the second half of the episode clashed more radically, and informed each other in a more impactful way.

      Both Ackles and Padalecki were amazing.

      Solid episode, wouldnt call it best of so far though.

  11. Art says:

    Great acting, flimsy script. A solid ep, but definitely not the best of the season! Especially not after the masterful writing of last week’s episode.

  12. Gift says:

    absolutely awesome I loved this episode nd I can’t get enough of it. Dean was brilliant in his acting nd so was Sam. Sam was really frustrated. Not bad at all. 😍

  13. Errol says:

    Great episode. The final was very moving and bitter sweet with the song summarazing their deprived childhood.

  14. Carrie says:

    Excellent episode. The ending was so awesome, yet so heartbreaking. For the record, Bon Jovi is not beloved by Dean. Sam is more of a Bon Jovi fan, and Dean mocked him for it.

  15. Dawn says:

    My favorite episode of the season. Both Jensen and Jared knocked it out of the park.

  16. Priya says:

    Jensen Ackles’ mindblowing acting made this good episode a great one! The mirror scene was just amazing; it gave me goosebumps!

  17. Tanya Barnes says:

    Omg loved loved loved it,I FELT so sad for Dean,And Sam,I laughed ,I wanted Sam to hurry up and we’re was Castiel

  18. Jensen was AMAZING. So AMAZING. My fav of the season is the Lily Sunder ep… so far. but this 2nd. Jensen deserves awards.

  19. Jane says:

    I think he DID remember those moments on the bull, along with her heartfelt realization that power isn’t everything.

    Dean being so childlike when enencumbered was both funny and heartbreaking. Supernatural, brining the FEELS since 2005.

  20. Best episode of season 12! Jensen was amazing, he owned the episode. Jared was great in the role of the worried and supportive little brother taking control, and Ruth Connell is just delightful.