Was this a Supernatural episode to remember?
Dean may have lost his mind on Supernatural Season 12 Episode 11, but there was plenty to take in. From the comedic to the dramatic, this was an episode that really captured that memory loss for the character.
But what about those witches? Were they fantastic villains?
Join TV Fanatic staff writers Sean McKenna and Christine Laskodi and The Winchester Family Business’ Alice and Nightsky as they talk about “Regarding Dean.”
So turn on your light sticks and join in the latest Supernatural Round Table!
What was your favorite scene or quote?
Alice: No contest. I’m going with the ending montage with Dean on the mechanical bull and his other fun antics in the episode to the tune of Bobby Goldsboro’s “Broomstick Cowboy.”
The whole scene was out in left field, didn’t really fit with the episode, but I loved it anyway. It was a gift to the fans, and for the first time in a while, I turned off an episode with a smile on my face.
Jensen Ackles had to have had a blast filming that bull scene. I had a blast watching it.
Christine: I have to agree with Alice. I LOVED that montage.
I also really loved the moment of Dean looking into the mirror, reminding himself over and over again who he is. There was something about Jensen's performance there that made me think to myself, "HOW has this guy not been nominated for an Emmy for this show?!"
His range of emotion in this episode was unreal. Such talent.
Nightsky: Unlike Alice and Christine, I did not like the ending montage. It was utterly baffled by it. I couldn’t figure out what a music video was doing at the end of such a stellar episode.
Instead, my favorite scene was the post-it note in the trunk: “No!!” That was perfect on many levels.
Rowena knew Dean would not be able to wait in the car, knew he’d go looking in the trunk, and KNEW he’d be attracted to the BIG gun. I laughed out loud at not only how predictable he is, but at the disappointed look on his face because he really DID want that gun.
I also appreciated the message to not go overboard with one’s response to a problem. Measured, effective, considered responses distinguish the American hunters from the British Men of Letters.
Sean: I really didn’t get the placement of the montage at the end either. It just felt like a weird add on. Fun for the mechanical bull stuff, but it just felt out of place.
I’ve got to go with that mirror scene. It allowed Jensen to do more than just be comedic, and it hit at the darkside to losing his mind. Well done.
What did you think of Dean losing his mind?
Alice: I thought it was interesting. I loved all the little tricks they used to help him like the post-it notes that are commonly used for Alzheimer’s patients.
I’m also pleased that they were able to go for the comedic angle as well as the heartbreaking scenes.
I’m especially happy that we got to see how Dean’s condition emotionally affected Sam. His anguish broke my heart more than seeing Dean that way.
Overall, it was the right material for doing something we haven’t seen before.
Christine: It was a really good plot; it felt like a palette cleanser, you know?
We've seen so much odd stuff this season, and to bring the story back to the brothers, in a scenario that actually feels REAL -- the idea of memory loss being the thing that finally takes one of them out. That was exactly what I, as a viewer, needed to get re-centered on the season.
Jared and Jensen were both amazing in this episode.
And for Rowena to be the surprise hero? That was just fun.
Nightsky: It was a beautifully complex story. I am impressed that Meredith Glynn, a new writer, not only proposed and tackled such a sensitive subject, but pulled it off brilliantly.
The episode was a masterful balance between humor and sadness. It allowed the fragility of Sam, Dean and Rowena to be revealed alongside their rough, mistrusting, hunting exteriors.
This was quintessential Supernatural. It gave me hope that this writing team might find their footing and deliver more outstanding episodes.
Sean: I really liked the concept. It played well for comedic effect, but the story also delved into the dramatic side of it as well.
Were you glad to see Rowena help Sam and Dean?
Alice: Sure. Rowena is such a puzzle to me. She’s always so inconsistently written, so it wasn’t until this episode that I finally got some of her motivation.
She is learning that perhaps spending all those years in search for power wasn’t doing her any good. Maybe it’s not so bad trying to be one of the good guys.
Of course she only hinted that was the case with Dean, who I think will remember that somehow, maybe in an unconscious way.
Look for Dean to take more sympathy on her in the future. Or, the writers could just forget all that and he treats her like dirt like Sam does. Anything goes!
Christine: Yes! I was glad to see Rowena get a little vulnerable, and also to see what she could do in a story that wasn't tied to Crowley.
Her little bond that she formed with Dean was sweet, and we got the chance to learn so much about what drives her.
I'm hoping that Dean remembers some of their talk and that it comes back into play later.
Nightsky: Yes. The situation allowed Rowena’s character to be developed more fully. She has been an annoying, whiny, superficial caricature for far too long.
I welcome a powerful woman who adds a supernatural skill set to the brothers’ team but isn’t a pushover for their charms.
Sean: I get why she was there, and it was good to see she was helping instead of hindering.
That said, I’m just usually put off by her character and her cartoony ways. But maybe that’s just me.
What did you think of the witch family?
Alice: They were awful, especially the blonde witch Catriona. She was painful to watch with her over-the-top and really bad acting.
For such ancient threats to the witch community, and ones that could over power Rowena to boot, they were taken out pretty easily.
How were we ever expected to take these mustache twirlers seriously?
Christine: Yeah, they were over the top and ridiculous. I think they were supposed to be disposable. The hour really belonged to Sam, Dean, and Rowena.
Nightsky: I’m with Alice and Christine on this one. I wasn’t impressed at all.
Rowena characterized them a “three rotten little peas in a pod.” As adults I would characterize them as “three spoiled, entitled brats who grew up in money and always got their way.”
I’m not sure the acting was poor. Yes, they were stupid and annoying, but I think they may have been written to be obviously bad to add sympathy to Rowena’s story.
Sean: For a story about memory loss, they were totally forgettable. I can’t even remember their names.
Too bad we didn’t get better villains to match the story involving Dean and his mind.
What might Rowena call on Sam and Dean for now that they “owe her one”?
Alice: Who knows? I think she’ll get herself into a little jam and will need some big strong hunters to bail her out.
Then again, she’s got Crowley to blow up people for her, so I’m at a loss as to what Sam and Dean can do that he can’t.
I’m sure she’ll find a way though, and it’ll get the boys in trouble.
Christine: I don't know, but I hope it's something good and not something that will backtrack this growth for her.
I've been so wishy-washy about how I feel toward Rowena, and this episode made me swing clearly on the "pro" side, so I'd really hate to see her go back to being an annoyance.
Nightsky: When writing my Threads review of this episode, I recognized that there has been a consistent theme of the brothers racking up a debt.
Billie told Dean he’d “owe her one” if she busted him into Asa Fox’s house; the British Men of Letters said they helped break the brothers out of jail so it would be known that they aided the Winchesters.
There are other examples, too. I don’t think it’s an issue of Sam and Dean owing Rowena as much as they will owe everyone.
I think all these markers are a reiteration of there being consequences (cosmic in their case) for actions. The universe runs on balanced equations.
Sean: I’m sure it’ll be something that seems like nothing but winds up causing way more damage to the brothers than they will initially realize.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.