Supernatural on CW

2006, TV Show

Supernatural Episode: "The French Mistake"

Season 6, Episode 15
Episode Synopsis: Sam and Dean are transported to an alternate universe, where they are actors on a TV show called "Supernatural" and are named Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, and they must avoid an angelic hit man who is pursuing them.
Original Air Date: Feb 25, 2011
Guest Cast Carlos Sanz: Hitman Sebastian Roche: Balthazar Misha Collins: Castiel Lanette Ware: Raphael Genevieve Cortese: Ruby
Full Episode
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Season 6, Episode 15
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Length: 42:08
Aired: 2/25/2011
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Supernatural Episode Recap: "The French Mistake" Season 6, Episode 15

Sam and Dean were thrust into a not-so-brave new world that turned out to be an alternate reality in which they're mistaken for actors Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.

"The French Mistake" was an episode I really had to watch more than once. This highly anticipated super-meta event was hilarious; it shattered the fourth wall; it set up story; but most of all, it showcased some of the great talent this show has to offer. I liked the heightened versions of Jensen, Jared and Misha (well, I assume they were heightened versions). But I also think the real-life actors did a great job with this wild alternate universe that only writer-executive producer Ben Edlund could have created. Seriously, how does he come up with this stuff? I'm still wondering what inspired him to write a giant, talking, suicidal teddy bear into Season 4's "Wishful Thinking."  

For a longtime fan like me, this episode was especially entertaining.Let me preface things by saying this is the only show where I can not only name the actors in the cast; but the creator, the writers, some of the producers, directors and the director of photography. If you tell me the name of the episode, there's a good bet I can tell you the season (and the writer). These are the kinds of fans that are into this show. And I felt like we were rewarded for being such loyal Supernatural viewers.

The action kicked off when Balthazar (a returning Sebastian Roché) showed up at Bobby's, telling the tale of the archangel Raphael shoring up his masses and wanting to go all Michael Corleone on their a--es.Using ingredients from Bobby's unique hunter-friendly pantry, Balthy sent Sam and Dean crashing through a window and into a whole other reality. They physically shattered the fourth wall. For their trouble, strange people on a set were sitting around watching them and applauding their window-shattering feat. Then someone yelled, "Cut!" And Sam and Dean's excellent adventure began. There's way too much goodness to talk about, but let's see if I can do this episode some justice. I hold these truths to be self-evident regarding "The French Mistake":

  • It was absolutely hilarious. I was practically on the floor laughing.
  • This show can get me to buy almost anything -- and when it's Ben Edlund writing -- there's no "almost" about it. I totally bought into this alternate reality, and the fact in this version Jared and Jensen weren't close; they don't even talk. We know that's not really the truth.
  • The rampant narcissism displayed by the actors and behind-the-scenes crew in this world was ridiculously awesome.
  • The way the crew constantly had to compromise and figure out short cuts to work around production issues was probably very realistic.
  • The addition of Sebastian Roché to the Supernatural universe was genius casting. I hope we continue to see more of him.
  • "Real-life" Misha as an insecure, incessant tweeter with awesomely bad fashion sense was funny. But the way he quickly devolved into the "attractive crying man" when faced with danger was even funnier. Sorry, Misha.
  • Seeing Jared's home with his alpaca and tanning beds and super-sized pictures of himself and his wife Genevieve Cortese Padalecki — well, that just showed me how these guys all have great senses of humor. Jared's house really isn't that massive in real life, right?
  • Once Supernatural is over, Jensen Ackles needs to get into comedy. Seriously.
  • This show is freakin' ballsy. It killed off Eric Kripke, Misha and most of the crew including executive/director Bob Singer and assistant director Kevin Parks. I believe it had to have been co-producer/director of photography Serge Ladouceur who escaped certain death. Was that some sort of Zen/Matrix-like move that enabled him to evade Virgil, Raphael's hitman?

Favorite Moments

  • Sam's interview: The field producer, Trish Evian, was perfect. That line where she says, "Oh, and if you could include the question in your answer" was perfect. Actors must get sick of having to hear that. They're probably trained to include the question in their answers by now. I wonder if the producer was based on any one person?
  • Misha's celebrity tweets to his "Mishamigos" were simply brilliant. He shared everything with his fans. He called Jared and Jensen "J Squared." In real life, Supernatural fans have a special relationship with Misha on Twitter. The guy has more than 125,000 followers.
  • Favorite Misha tweet in "The French Mistake": "IMHO, J and J had a late one last night. ROTFLMAO."
  • I loved the scenes at Jared's massively big house. There were some nice, over-the-top touches that made the set so spectacular. The Warholian-like portraits of Jared and Genevieve - they were individual, not together - were great. But when Sam was researching at the computer, all we saw was the huge picture of Cowboy Jared looming over him. Hilarious.
  • Jensen's trailer came complete with aquarium, a model helicopter and a giant HD TV with the actor's dailies playing (probably) on a loop. Sam Googled Jensen Ackles and came up with all of these images I think we fans have seen a million times over. But the greatest find was the YouTube clip of Jensen when he starred on the NBC daytime soap Days of Our Lives. It was a scene between his character, Eric Brady, and one of Eric's love interests, Nicole, played by Arianne Zuker. Jensen looked like such a fetus -- he was so young and adorable. Fun Fact! A couple years ago, in the magazine Soap Opera Digest, actors were asked, "Who's the best kisser in daytime?" Arianne said Jensen.
  • I don't think I laughed harder than when Sam and Dean were forced to run through a scene with Misha and the crew watching. And this was all on Jensen. The way he played Dean as Jensen would (or he thought Jensen would) -- I just about died. He was all blue-steeled up with this deep affected voice -- and then when it was time to walk up to his mark and say his line, he was beyond stiff and had to look at the script. It was a brilliant moment actually.
  • Misha's clothes were just so amazing to behold -- there was a suit with wide lapels and then there was that sweater he was wearing when he was killed. I don't want to call it a Cosby sweater, but it was close. And he wears a T-shirt underneath a trench coat, shirt and tie. Who knew?
  • We got to hear showrunner Sera Gamble's voice and see their bodyguard Clif drive them to and from work. Although I wonder why the bodyguard/driver wasn't played by the actual Clif Kosterman? I know, none of the behind-the-scenes crew members played themselves, but Clif once guest-starred in Season 2's "Folsom Prison Blues." He could have fit into this alternate reality world.
  • Like I said earlier, all the little narcissistic moments were just funny. Jared and Genevieve were charity-minded in an extreme way, championing causes focusing on otters and alpacas. They had an alpaca as a pet. It is one of the "greenest animals," Genevieve reminds us. After Misha died, Kripke showed up (great casting by the way) and was more interested in talking to Bob Singer about his new pilot (OctoCobra) than Misha's death. At least Misha's demise made the front page of Variety. Oh, Eric...

Favorite Ben Edlund Lines

There are too many good ones to mention. Just a few:

-"So we'd have to blow off the scene where they sit on the Impala and talk about their feelings." "Fine. You answer the hate mail."

-"Oh, crap. I'm a painted whore."

-"What kind of a douchebag names a character after himself?"
-"Misha? Jensen? What's up with the names around here?"
-"You guys -- you really punk'd me. I'm totally tweeting this one!

-"J. Ackles." "That's fake me. This must be fake mine."       

-"Look at these male modeling sons of b----es. Nice blue steel, Sam."       

-"Dude, we're not even in America."       

-"Wow, I must be the star of this thing." "Yeah, right."       

-"You married Fake Ruby!"       

-"Well it looks like you did all right." "Yeah. Yeah. I should find out her name."
-"The scary man killed the attractive crying man and then he started to pray."

More Serious Moments

"The French Mistake" wasn't all fun and games. At one point, Dean wondered if they would get stuck in this reality. He and Sam had figured out there was no supernatural in this world, meaning no hell. He thought Sam wouldn't mind getting stuck here. He has a good life. He had a wife, money, a job. I'm thankful Sam said he wouldn't want to stick around here because they're not brothers and unlike in this strange place, they actually talk. Alt-reality Jared and Jensen don't talk, which was a running joke all episode.

There was a purpose to sending Sam and Dean into this other dimension. Basically, the Winchesters were decoys, distractions, diversions for the real mission: to find all the heavenly weapons Balthazar stole and give them to Cas. Although it wasn't his plan, Cas was in on it. So he pretty much agreed to use the brothers, which really wasn't cool. We finally met the new Raphael. And I'm on board with this woman taking over as the archangel's meat suit, although I still miss the original Raphael, Demore Barnes.

The jury's out on this angel civil war business. This story should be taking us to the end of the season; I'm hoping the action ramps up soon. While I'm not sure about where this is all going and whether or not I'll like it once it gets there, I am loving all of the players so far. We'll get more Cas, which is always key, plus there's Balthazar and now the new Raphael, (Lanette Ware).

But for now, I'm just thankful the show decided to go all meta on us in a big, big way. I think they pulled it off.

Random Thoughts

-Don't the show's shattered-glass opening titles go perfectly with the theme of shattering the fourth wall? TPTB didn't have to tailor them to fit this episode. Cool.
-Did the guy who played co-executive producer Jim Michaels look familiar to you? He should have. He played Deacon in Season 2's "Folsom Prison Blues."
-Sam and Dean were acting so OOC (out of character) that the crew thought they were either on drugs, dealing in black-market organs or having a psychotic break. Or it was all a ploy to get more money.
-Kripke's pilot, OctoCobra, sounds like a cheese-tastic Saturday night flick on Syfy. You know like the recent MegaPython vs. Gatoroid or Misha's own Stonehenge Apocalypse.
-That was Brian Doyle Murray playing Bob Singer. Yes, he's Bill Murray's brother.
-Loved Dean's reaction to his Impala being just another prop. Seeing the multiple versions of his baby was hilarious. When he and Sam tried to drive off in the Metallicar, the PA quickly caught up with them because the car seemed like it was moving in slo-mo. Did the PA call Jensen "Mr. Eckles?" Love how they butchered both Jared and Jensen's names.

I'm going to leave you guys with Dean's conversation with executive producer/director Bobby Singer. Too bad Jim Beaver wasn't in this episode. That would have been even more fun.

"You heard my brother. That's right, I said brother. 'Cause you know what, Bob? We're not actors. We're hunters. We're the Winchesters. Always have been. And always will be. And where we're from, people don't know who we are. But you know what? We matter to that world. In fact, we've even saved the son of a b---- once or twice. And yeah, maybe here there are some... some fans who give a crap about this nonsense..." "I wouldn't call it nonsense." "But, Bob Singer, if that even is your name, tell me this, what does it all mean?"

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Sam and Dean were thrust into a not-so-brave new world that turned out to be an alternate reality in which they're mistaken for actors Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.

"The French Mistake" was an episode I really had to watch more than once. This highly anticipated super-meta event was hilarious; it shattered the fourth wall; it set up story; but most of all, it showcased some of the great talent this show has to offer. I liked the heightened versions of Jensen, Jared and Misha (well, I assume they were heightened versions). But I also think the real-life actors did a great job with this wild alternate universe that only writer-executive producer Ben Edlund could have created. Seriously, how does he come up with this stuff? I'm still wondering what inspired him to write a giant, talking, suicidal teddy bear into Season 4's "Wishful Thinking."  

For a longtime fan like me, this episode was especially entertaining.Let me preface things by saying this is the only show where I can not only name the actors in the cast; but the creator, the writers, some of the producers, directors and the director of photography. If you tell me the name of the episode, there's a good bet I can tell you the season (and the writer). These are the kinds of fans that are into this show. And I felt like we were rewarded for being such loyal Supernatural viewers.

The action kicked off when ... read more

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Premiered: September 21, 2006, on CW
Rating: TV-14
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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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