A Dean Winchester who can’t remember who he is?
Sounds like a perfect setup for some great Supernatural comedy.
Supernatural Season 12 Episode 11 certainly took advantage of the scenario delivering multiple humorous scenes hinging on Dean's memory, and it even took a moment to look at the real darkside to forgetting everything.
From seeing his "first" dead guy to getting slapped by a girl he didn't recognize to calling a lamp a lightstick, the situation was a funny one.
But it was watching his progression get worse that reminded me of when he was afraid of everything on Supernatural Season 4 Episode 6. There was plenty of humor there as well.
Who doesn't remember him running from that cute Yorkie?
Additionally, Dean learning that the supernatural is real and that he hunts them or seeing the numerous notes to help Dean out, especially the reveal of the "Stay" note, were funny moments.
Jensen Ackles clearly has great comedic chops, and it's fun getting to see him play on that. And having someone like Jared Padalecki to play off of as the straight man trying to make everything right really makes the comedy the highlight of the hour.
That said, the scene where Dean was staring into the mirror, trying to remember who he is took a nice dramatic, if not brief, turn.
Sure, the threat of death from forgetting how to do anything would be scary, but this is Supernatural, and the likelihood of Sam and Dean dying (and not coming back) isn't really an option.
But it was that notion of losing essentially your identity, your history, everything that makes up "you" that was captured in Ackles performance.
Using the mirror to allow him to look into the camera was a great call to make it feel much more personal.
And the crazy thing, is that people do lose their memories in real life without any witches causing spells.
Many of us probably know someone who has Alzheimer's or dementia. Just imagine what it would be like to slowly forget your life, to forget your friends, to forget you.
Look, was it nice to drop our baggage? Yeah, maybe. Hell, probably. But it wasn't just the crap that got lost. I mean, it was everything. It was us, it was what we do, you know? All of it. So, that's what being happy looks like? I think I'll pass.
It definitely made Dean's comments at the end about getting all that back stand out. Sure, for the moment it was probably nice not to have all the baggage and the weight of the world on his shoulders.
But to lose who he was? To not remember the heroes that he and his brother are? To not remember the journey that's made them who they are?
A major missed opportunity of the episode had to be when Dean couldn't decide who to shoot. The one witch just stood there rather than playing into Dean's memory loss and telling him to shoot Sam the "witch."
It could've played on Dean's confusion before perhaps hearing something that Sam said that might have triggered him into remembering and getting the shot right. Or he could have mentioned that he simply guessed followed by Sam looking concerned that Dean's 50/50 call nearly got him killed.
It could have played on some humor and/or the connection he has with his brother.
That said, the witches were just uninteresting, and I'm not sure there have been a lot of witch-centered episodes that I've enjoyed.
By the time the episode got to the big showdown, I didn't really feel the stakes involved. And I really didn't care about the witches either.
As for Rowena, I guess it made sense that she would have a part to play, since she's a witch, but I still can't help but find her character just too cartoony for me.
And she wound up getting nearly beat? I thought she was supposed to be a super witch?
Though, I was surprised by the ending. I figured the brothers would have their chat, drive off, credits. Instead, there was a music montage recapping Dean's antics of the hour.
Which, while there was something entertaining about getting to see him have pure joy while riding that mechanical bull, was it necessary to montage everything we had just seen?
It didn't hurt the episode by any means, but it did seem like an interesting choice to close things out.
Either way, this was an episode that positively used the concept of Dean losing his memory both for comedic and dramatic effect. It's just too bad the witches of hour were the real forgettable part.
What did you think of Dean losing his memory? Were you glad to see Rowena help out? Sound off below, and be sure to watch Supernatural online at TV Fanatic!
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.