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2006, TV Show

Supernatural Episode: "Sam, Interrupted"

Season 5, Episode 11
Episode Synopsis: Sam and Dean get themselves admitted to a mental hospital in order to investigate if a monster is attacking patients. But their incarceration pushes them to the breaking point.
Original Air Date: Jan 21, 2010
Guest Cast Michelle Harrison Malcolm Stewart Jon Gries Juan Riedinger
Full Episode
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Season 5, Episode 11
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Length: 41:09
Aired: 1/21/2010
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Supernatural Episode Recap: "Sam, Interrupted" Season 5, Episode 11

Sam and Dean intentionally check in to a psychiatric hospital to hunt down the monster-of-the-week. While "pretending" to be nine kinds of crazy, the brothers have to face down some truths about their lives, as well as their mindset.

Welcome to the second half of Supernatural's fifth season. It's been a long two months, hasn't it? But new episodes are finally here. I'm proud to say I'm writing the recap for the 2010 People's Choice Award winner for Favorite Sci Fi/Fantasy TV series. So happy we Supernatural fans were able to band together and let the world know how much we love the show. I mean, we've always been talented at spreading the good word about Supernatural, I'm just happy we were finally able to do so on such a big stage. Congrats go out to Eric Kripke and everyone who has anything to do with creating such a wonderfully addictive program. OK, enough of the gushing about Supernatural as a whole, on to the first episode of 2010: "Sam, Interrupted."

There's no Angelina Jolie or Winona Ryder in this mental institution. Martin, an old friend of BDW's, enlists Sam and Dean's help to investigate some mysterious monster. The first hilarious portion of the episode is how the brothers get themselves checked into the psych hospital. They tell the truth about their lives. It's funny to hear Sam reveal how he caused the apocalypse. And Dean just wants the doctor to fix his brother so they can go back to traveling around the country and hunting monsters. They say everything with such a straight face. So classic.

Besides Martin and the main doctor guy (Dr. Fuller) that realizes Alex (Sam) and Eddie (Dean) aren't playing with a full deck, there are two other players we're introduced to: Nurse Erma and Dr. Erica Cartwright. I'm wondering how many people figured out Nurse Erma was the wraith. It took me quite a while and I enjoy that fact. We find out the wraith that can look human, is susceptible to silver and likes to suck the brains out of doped up crazy people. Talk about creepy. Actually the entire hour was high on the creep-ometer. I did finally guess it was the nurse but only after I guessed Doctor Erica. I love the twist that the sexy lady doctor was a figment of Dean's imagination. Both he and Sam were infected from the very beginning, right from the initial physical that included the "Silkwood shower."

From Season 1, one of the fun parts of watching this show has been dissecting the psychology of the brothers. We have analyzed the Winchesters over and over and over again throughout the seasons, because Sam and Dean's often messed up relationship has been fascinating as has finding out the psychological demons that have plagued each brother. In "Sam, Interrupted" group and individual therapy take front and center.

Sam's anger issues have always been prevalent, but they especially took on a whole new life last season after losing Dean to hell. Sam and Dean are trying to get to Ted the monster-seeing patient and he screams at Dean to "back off!" Sam's attack of the doctor (he thinks he's the wraith) brings out his rage in a big, big way and he ends up taking it all out on those guys who want to stop him. Dr. Fuller's confrontation with Sam is a little painful to watch because Sam, at first, is trying to get the doctor to see he had an epiphany about monsters. When the shrink says that's the least of Sam's problems and brings up his anger he can't do anything but agree. By the end of the episode, he's acknowledging it. It means he's growing and trying to get past the lies and the arrogance he held close to him while under the influence of the demon blood. Good stuff.

As usual, Dean lives in the land of avoidance and denial. But this sympathetic lady doctor doesn't let him shut his issues out. How's Dean diagnosed? He's labeled a paranoid schizophrenic with narcissistic personality disorder and religious psychosis. Wow. But I really fell for Dr. Erica's sympathy act. She asks him all the right questions. She asks how much he drinks (lots), how much he sleeps (very little) and recognizes the enormous amount of pressure he puts himself under. Dean's hero complex is — dare I say it — even bigger than Sam's hero complex. Dean really feels he needs to save the entire world and probably with no fatalities. Anything else is a failure. That's too much pressure for one person to bear. And yes, I admit to not realizing that this head shrink was just a hallucination, all thanks to Nurse Erma. Part of me wishes it could have been somebody real showing Dean some empathy. I did find it interesting the evil Nurse Ratchet said this:

"I don't make crazy. I just crank up what's already there."

So add the wraith to the equation and Sam and Dean are in a whole world of trouble. They're seeing things, acting paranoid and angry and out of control and what do you know? I'm loving all of it. We don't see the boys like this all that often. They get their issues thrown in their faces, it's like a mirror is held up to their lives (mirrors are a big part of this episode) and they get to figure out that shoving them down and forgetting they even exist really works for them in the end. It will prevent them from ending up like Martin who checked himself into the hospital after realizing he's not invincible. Although, I don't think the former hunter knows that both Sam and Dean have come back from the dead so it's understandable why they tend to think that they're invincible. Martin also doesn't know that Sam and Dean are earmarked as vessels for Lucifer and Michael which is another reason why it's understandable Sam and Dean might think they're invincible. Just saying...

The end of the episode didn't just have one brother opening up in an emotional monologue. The brothers each got to talk, which is good. I really liked this moment even though it's a little bit twisted since Dean's telling Sam to bury and forget his anger issues. Don't know if that's a great message to convey to your brother, but it's very Dean. Besides, who knows if Sam's going to be able to follow Dean's lead. This is probably the first episode this season where I really think Sam and Dean's (and subsequently Jensen and Jared's) chemistry as brothers is back on the right track. It's been a long journey where the brothers were often like strangers. But I think it's a good start to the second half of the season.  

Random Thoughts

This had a sort of Sixth Sense meets Buffy's "Normal Again" vibe to it. "Normal Again" is one of my favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes where she kept flipping back and forth between "realities."

Sam reveals how he's been worried about Dean the last few weeks. Dean brings up Ellen's and Jo's deaths. It's nice to hear them refer to the late hunters, but it would have been nice to see how Dean was acting during those weeks. Sam too.

Every time Dad and Dean are mentioned in the same sentence it breaks my heart. Dr. Erica asks about his dad before it cuts to something else. Also, crazy Dean in Martin's room says something like: "Maybe it's the ghost of my dad." Breaks my heart, I tell you. Also, there's this exchange between the two hunters: "I can't!" "You have no choice, son!" Is it just me or did Martin sound very BDW-like?

Sam was the one that suggested this little extracurricular caper. It always used to be Dean; Sam has always wanted to focus on his revenge plans or finding dad. Not this time around.

Jon Gries guest stars as Martin. I love this guy. He was Lazlo in Real Genius! He was Broots on NBC's The Pretender. And he's Benjamin Linus' father on Lost. He's been around for a long time so it's cool that he made his way to Supernatural.

Sam's and Dean's aliases are Alex and Eddie as in Van Halen. Love it.

The actress who played the patient giving out the drive by kisses had a tough, tough job. She got to make out with both Jensen and Jared. Wow.

Sam cut open Ted's brain. I remember a time when he'd be squeamish if he had to do something like that. Sam has come a long, long way. It feels like he's a lot more confident with his skills even without the extra juice that was the demon blood.

Poor Sam gets restrained once again, much like in last season's "When the Levee Breaks."

I love the way Dean killed Nurse Ratchet. He broke her tentacle in half then offed her using silver. That was a good death. And yes, consider me nine kinds of crazy for saying that.

Anybody going to see Legion? I'm not sure yet. It has Dennis Quaid and Sam's late girlfriend Jessica (Friday Night Light's Adrianne Palicki) so I probably will. However, if people really want to see angels, archangels and the apocalypse all they need to do is watch Supernatural. Hello.

The actor who plays Dr. Fuller is Malcolm Stewart. His credits include Christmas Cottage a straight-to-DVD movie starring none other than Jared Padalecki. He also did three episodes of Dark Angel, a short-lived series that starred none other than Jensen Ackles.

Nurse Erma said "okeydokey." Reminds me of the nice security guard in "Nightshifter."

Pudding. Enough said.

Favorite Lines

"You were referred to me by Dr. Babbar in Chicago. Isn't there a children's book about an elephant named Babbar?"
"I don't know. I don't have any elephant books."

"My brother's not evil. He was just high. So could you fix him up so we can get back to traveling around the country and hunting monsters?"
"Erma, cancel my lunch."

"How was your Silkwood shower?"
"OK. Yeah, good. Yeah...good um...good water pressure. Did the nurse?"
"She was very thorough."
"Yeah yeah good. Good...yeah."

"Dude, you cannot hit that."
"Uh, I'm so torn."

"Pudding!"

"I want him now. Larger."
"You've had worse."

What did you guys think?

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Sam and Dean intentionally check in to a psychiatric hospital to hunt down the monster-of-the-week. While "pretending" to be nine kinds of crazy, the brothers have to face down some truths about their lives, as well as their mindset.

Welcome to the second half of Supernatural's fifth season. It's been a long two months, hasn't it? But new episodes are finally here. I'm proud to say I'm writing the recap for the 2010 People's Choice Award winner for Favorite Sci Fi/Fantasy TV series. So happy we Supernatural fans were able to band together and let the world know how much we love the show. I mean, we've always been talented at spreading the good word about Supernatural, I'm just happy we were finally able to do so on such a big stage. Congrats go out to Eric Kripke and everyone who has anything to do with creating such a wonderfully addictive program. OK, enough of the gushing about Supernatural as a whole, on to the first episode of 2010: "Sam, Interrupted."

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Premiered: September 21, 2006, on CW
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (10,109 ratings)
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Premise: Two brothers hunt demons, ghosts and other supernatural entities as they investigate crimes caused by paranormal forces.

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