Remember when you were young and had an imaginary friend? When our kid’s imagination took off and we had tea and crumpets? Well, it was just our imagination, running away with us…
But what if it wasn’t? And, more to the point, what if, one day, we returned home to find our imaginary friend butchered like a stuck pig? Well, Sam and Dean discover that the wonderful world of imaginary friends—also known as Xana—are under attack by an unknown entity and it’s up to them and Sully to find the killer.Sam comes face-to-face with his old imaginary friend, Sully.
Who’s Sully, you say? He’s Sam’s old imaginary friend and comes calling to Sam about the Xana murders. Of course, Dean’s initially skeptical of it all because, well, he can’t see Sully until the Xana shows himself. Dean’s about to lose his marbles with the ridiculousness of it all but, after Sam explains the situation and does a bit of research on Xana in Romanian lore, he reluctantly agrees to help.
Their first stop is the grisly murder scene of Sparkle, the “manticorn”. With Sully’s touch, Sam and Dean are able to see Sparkle’s remains. After speaking with the traumatized child Maddie’s mother, the trio pays a visit to Nicky the mermaid. Sadly, Nicky’s fate mimics Sparkle’s. After burying the butchered mermaid, they pay a visit to Weems, Nicky’s boyfriend. The air-guitar specialist (in every sense of the word) is also victim to the mysterious attacker but he survives her blade and gives a description to the hunters—her VW bug. Dean goes out on the town in search of the suspect while Sam hangs out with the injured Weems and Sully.Sam, Dean and Sully find the butchered remains of Nicky.
All throughout the episode, there are several flashbacks of a young Sam and Sully. They were true pals with Sully being there when Sam’s dad and Dean were on hunts. Weems mentions how Sam broke Sully’s heart and we get to see this when, after originally planning to run away with his imaginary friend, Sam gets the call he wanted: join his family on a hunt. Sully tries talking to Sam about hunting but the nascent hunter-in-training’s words cut deep. “I don’t even need you anymore, Sully” Sam tells the Xana. When Sully returns, Sam apologizes for the callous dismissal so long ago and then he confides in the Xana. He tells him about the Darkness, his visions and how God may be trying to help. “I don’t think I can do what he’s asking,” Sam admits. Sully’s only question is if Sam has thought about running away and the hunter admits that, no, not for a long time.Sam has a much needed heart-to-heart with Sully, telling the Xana things he can’t share with Dean.
Soon after their heart-to-heart, Sam gets a text from Dean on where to meet him but they find out that Dean’s been trussed up by Reese, a woman very familiar with Sully. Turns out she and her twin Audrey were Sully’s first kids after the Xana’s ‘breakup’ with Sam. In tragic fashion, Audrey was killed after chasing Sully into the street. Reese was devastated, not only losing her sister but her best friend as well. She studied in Romania, discovering the truth about Xana and killing Sully’s friends to draw him out. She wants to take her revenge and, though Sully offers himself up, if it’ll make her feel better, it’s Dean’s words on revenge and true monsters that reach her. She lets go of her anger and allows the grief to the surface, embracing Sully with tears of pain, regret, and loss.
The case in hand, it’s time for Sam and Dean to be on their way. Sam and Sully say goodbye with the hunter telling the Xana that “heroes aren’t perfect.” Sully adds to that that “Sometimes, they’re scared. But that just means the thing that their facing is super important. And nobody else is gonna go for it because nobody else has got the balls.”
Finishing up their goodbyes with Sully promising to look in on Reese, Sam once again broaches the subject of the Cage. Dean’s not having it, promising Sam they’ll find another way. “What is the other way?” Sam asks and Dean can only answer it with uncomfortable silence.
- There were some dynamite lines throughout the episode and fantastic chemistry between the trio. Dean’s discomfort after Mrs. Berman gets “Sparkle on her face,” was terrific. “You know, the family that showers together…”
- Another glimpse—albeit a brief one—into Sam’s lonely adolescent world.
- Sam, in a moment of clarify and honesty, freely admits to Sully the fears he has about traveling down the frightening path of getting back into the Cage, even if his instincts are telling him that’s what he needs to do to combat the Darkness.
- For those not familiar, the episode title “Just My Imagination” is a perfect fit, especially if one knows anything about the Temptations hit of the same name. Look it up, it’s one of those Motown classics.
- Let’s be honest, this was a Supernatural rekindling the silliness of past episodes of Cupids, faeries, and plush masks carrying homicidal tendencies. Still, it works better than the past iterations (thanks to the great chemistry between Sam, Dean, and Sully). And while there isn’t much progress made on the Darkness front, it sure as hell looks like Sam has made his decision on confronting his visions about the Cage.
This episode was a Pop culture palooza and, per usual, Dean’s got most of ‘em.
- Dean on Weems’ air guitar solo: “Well, he’s no Clapton.”
- Dean on him and Sam’s counsellor attire: “Good. The Bert & Ernie pretext. Awesome.”
- A serious Dean talking to Reese about the Xana being monsters: “These are Sesame Street Mother Theresa monsters.”
- Dean talking to a distracted Sam as they tend to the dead Nicky: “Am I burying Ariel here by myself or what?”
Of course, those weren’t the only lines. Sully’s vile reaction to Mrs. Berman sitting in Sparkle blood was terrific. “She’s got Sparkle on her face!”