This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural Season 11 Episode 8
Every now and then we’re treated to a Supernatural episode that is so off the wall as to be in the next room completely. Right before our mid-season finale, in which we’ll no doubt get a heaping load of serious stuff to contemplate over until the New Year, “Just My Imagination” reminded us that Supernatural is still allowed a detour into the funny, wacky shenanigans that are part of the reason we still love the show after eleven freaking seasons. This time, Sam and Dean get to investigate the savage murders of …imaginary friends.
The episode kicked off with Sam rising painfully early in the morning, entering the kitchen and going about his daily routine until something catches his eye: a table completely covered in rainbow-bright candies and sweets. It’s a funny reveal because the audience is let in on the joke first, the camera settling right above the dessert spread as Sam walks back and forth around it, until he slides back into frame wondering why the table looks like Willy Wonka paid a visit. Sam reunites with his childhood imaginary friend Sully and Dean, hearing this, utters the line, “I’m going to get my gun.”
The first murder scene the Winchesters and Sully investigate is that of the man … unicorn … man-icorn Sparkle. Since the boys can see imaginary friends now, they cringe in disgust as the mother of a distraught child unknowingly smears sparkly blood all over her face. The scene is played out in length for laughs, and makes one wonder … who are the Sunshine Cleaners for imaginary friend murder scenes? Or are people going to be tramping through sparkly death juices forever? Holy crap that kid is gonna be messed up.
The bittersweet side to this episode included the scenes of young Sam with Sully, amusing themselves with games while Daddy and Dean were off hunting. It’s here that we learn that Sully planted the idea of Sam leaving the hunting world and going to school to have his own life. When Sam is finally allowed to go hunting with his family he gives up his imaginary friend, leaving Sully and his rainbow suspenders in the dust. Ever think you were a little harsh there, Sammy?
Nate Torrence did a lovely job balancing the Olaf-the-Snowman level of silliness in most of the episode with the soul crushing burden of a person who made a fatal mistake with one of his charges. It was surprising how dark this episode could go when it started out so lighthearted, but it seemed appropriate.
Fun Facts: The episode is directed by fan favorite Richard Speight Jr. (aka Gabriel/Trickster) so one can only imagine how much fun was had on set. I watched the episode with my fellow Supernatural fanatic friend — highly recommended, by the way, makes the viewing experience priceless. She saw Jim Michaels (executive producer extraordinaire) post an alternate take on the ending scene in the episode that’s worth a gander and a laugh.
This was an enjoyable, bittersweet episode on the road to the mid-season finale. So, as my friend summed it up: Just My Imagination, you’re a good weird.