Be careful what you wish for! It’s dark comedy done Supernatural style and with anything using this genre, the side-splitting laughter usually comes with a dark and cynical sentiment by the end of the piece. Dark enough to even make a teddy bear want to blow his brains out.
Despite the sinister territory, the execution of “Wishful Thinking” is perfect. It’s a slower-paced yet very entertaining episode that felt familiar, probably because it’s written by the wacky yet brilliant veteran writer Ben Edlund. Robert Singer is the director, adding to the comfortable flow and feel of the Winchester’s latest mind-boggling adventure.
This week’s locale is picture postcard perfect and the breathtaking scenery managed to greatly enhance the bizarre-ness episode. I was told this is the same place where Men In Trees was filmed (the fictional town of Elmo). One Google search later and the name of the actual town, Squamish, British Columbia, emerged. Here it’s Concrete, Washington. No matter what the name, Squamish is going on my places to visit list.
Clearly the tortured soul of the week title goes to Dean, whose recollections of Hell are coming back to haunt him. He can no longer hide his misery from Sam, although Sam was tipped off by the angel Uriel last week and reminded Dean of that a few times. Dean is coming apart at the seams and his only refuge comes from a surreal encounter with a giant stuffed animal, serious issues with a sandwich gone bad, and taking on Superman.
By the end of the episode, the lesson learned turns quite depressing. Call it the Tao of Winchester if you wish, but the notion that “People are people because they’re miserable bastards because they never get what they really want,” and when “People get what they want, they get crazy,” made me want to join that suicidal teddy bear in his cloud of misery. The ending was far from happy and all those involved were still as broken as when the mystery began.
How Many Times Can You Kill A Winchester?
For all you trivia buffs, this episode has a strange link to classics “In My Time of Dying,” “All Hell Breaks Loose Parts 1 and 2,” “Mystery Spot,” and “No Rest For The Wicked.” How? A Winchester dies. Sam dies, again, this time after being struck down by the sudden appearance of a cloud and a lightening strike. Didn’t I tell Kripke that this show is done killing Winchesters? The special effects for that scene are awesome, equally comparable with Dean being cut down by a car and a desk in “Mystery Spot.” Given the trimming of the VFX budget this year, we’ve learned to appreciate bits like that more.
Thanks to the ever-popular paranormal reset button, Sam is brought back by a loveable loser who sees the error of his ways. I enjoy seeing a villain of the week who’s just an ordinary guy that unwittingly creates a situation because his life sucks. Ted Raimi, who’s been in just about everything by looking at his IMDb page, brought some wonderful depth to this week’s foe. It’s a nice change of pace from the constant exorcising of demons and blowing away culprits in bloody ways.
So if you had a wish, what would you wish for? Considering Dean has already gotten his answer in “What Is And What Should Never Be,” the footlong Italian sub with jalapeno seemed like the wiser choice. We see a horny teen exploit his power of invisibility by staking out a ladies locker room, a nerdy loser score the affections of the most gorgeous woman in town, a local man win the lottery, a bullied kid gain superhuman strength, and a set of parents choosing a tropical locale over their child’s welfare. The absolute wish kicker though comes from a little girl, uncovered when Sam and Dean are forced to unravel a mystery of “Bigfoot,” who drinks Amaretto and Irish Cream and, like Dean, has a thing for busty Asian beauties. Yep, her teddy bear has come to life.
Sam and Dean get to the truth posing as “Teddy Bear Doctors” and their reactions over seeing a talking, life-sized, and loaded with despair stuffed toy are priceless. Once again Jensen and Jared both prove how gifted they are with comedy, for their befuddled reactions take something absurd on paper and turn it into full-blown audience hysterics. I’d react the same way if I saw a giant teddy bear shouting, “Close the freaking door!”