Supernatural Reaction: Sam, Interrupted

"PUDDING!" First of all, Supernatural works because it is dark, disturbing, action-packed and intense -- but more importantly, it can be funny as hell. This week, the boys checked themselves into the loony bin, where for the first time they simply talked to everyone honestly and sincerely about what it is they do. It really does sound crazy when you just lay it out there like that.

I loved that Dr. Fuller called them on their referring Dr. Babar (the children's book elephant), but didn't seem at all surprised by their own names. I don't think they were mentioned on-screen, but if you looked at the papers the doctor was holding, they were going by the names Eddie and Alex Van Halen. I guess that goes to show you what Dr. Fuller was more into.

The episode did a great job with misdirection. When Dean saw Dr. Fuller as the wraith in the mirror, I bought that. When Sam theorized it was the crazy girl who'd kissed them both, I bought that. When it was revealed it was the hot nurse, I bought that, too. Well, that last one I bought mainly because of the giant spike sticking out of her wrist.

Surprisingly, we got some deep psychological and emotional crap out of the boys. Dean carries the full weight of responsibility for everything on his shoulders, and its a crushing burden. Particularly when everything includes an upcoming apocalypse and the fate of the entire global population. It's only a shame he learned that the nice doctor he was talking to was but a figment of his "going crazy" imagination.

As for Sam, he's pissed off something fierce. He can blame Lilith, demon's blood, Ruby, Satan and even John Winchester if he must, but the bottom line is that he's dealing with some serious anger issues and he has no idea why. These are some pretty heavy issues the boys are dealing with, which made it even harder to hear Dean tell Sam to just bury it down deep because they had shit to do.

It's horrible advice in general, but under the circumstances maybe it isn't. They do have some serious shit to take care of, and maybe getting in touch with their feelings now will only distract them from the task at hand. Perhaps their emotional damage will be something creator Eric Kripke tackles in the sixth season after he wraps up this first five-year arc this season.

After a very long hiatus, it was kind of nice to ease us back into the world of Supernatural with a stand-alone story liket his. It's more appealing to potential new viewers when an episode isn't as heavy with the mythology. Castiel wasn't even in it, though he was mentioned to Dr. Fuller as part of their entrance interview.

I do have one problem with the wraith. Their hunter buddy who is in the mental hospital for real said he was too afraid to ever really take one on, but it didn't seem that Dean had too much trouble dispatching her. Hell, he was able to break her wrist-sucky thing with very little effort, and then just stabbed her with silver. Maybe it's a whole different story if you don't have silver, but for all the build-up, I was expecting her to be downright nasty.

Still, it's great to have the boys back, kicking ass, making me laugh, and burying all their real feelings deep, deep down. Next week, Sam gets replaced, so that should be fun. I'm glad to see Supernatural able to keep having fun with itself, despite how dark and miserable things are geetting. Horror and humor are such natural allies.