Supernatural isn’t afraid to get silly. From glowing fairies beating up Dean to suicidal teddy bears, this show has seen its fair share of weirdness. In “Just My Imagination,” that’s the whole point as we learn that kids’ imaginary friends are real, including unicorn men, mermaids and guys with mullets.
More importantly, this episode is all about Sam learning to deal with his fears thanks to his own imaginary friend, Sully. And while it’s technically Sully who needs Sam’s help this time, Sully is also able to help Sam make an important decision about the Cage.
Dead Imaginary Friends
Sam gets a visit from his childhood imaginary friend Sully, a Josh Gad-type guy with rainbow suspenders. At first Sam is confused, but Dean can see Sully too, meaning that Sully is real.
It turns out he’s a Xana, a mythical creature that helps kids. He needs help because his Xana buddies are being killed. First there’s a half-man, half-unicorn named Sparkle, then there’s a mermaid, both stabbed to death. All of this ridiculousness gives Dean plenty of opportunities to make puns and generally mock the stupidity of imaginary friends.
Sam, Dean and Sully meet up with the mermaid’s boyfriend, a mulleted dude who plays air guitar named Weems. He was also stabbed, but survived and saw the attacker. The culprit is tracked down and it turns out to be a woman who used to be another kid who had Sully as an imaginary friend. She had a twin sister who died because she was playing with Sully and ran into the street, getting hit by a car.
The woman wanted revenge and is able to see Xanas thanks to a spell from a witch. In a bit of a twist, the Winchesters and Sully solve this case by talking. Sully apologizes and the woman learns to accept her grief and forgive him. Huh, this might be the first episode in Supernatural history in which no humans were killed. The only deaths were a man-icorn and a mermaid.
Flashbacks with a Young Sam
Flashbacks reveal why an adorable Young Sam needed an imaginary friend. Teen Dean and Papa Winchester were out hunting all the time, leaving Sammy home alone. Sam dreamed of running away and Sully assured him that he didn’t have to follow in the footsteps of his brother and father if he didn’t want to.
Sam and Sully were about to run away together, but then Sam got a call from his dad asking him to come hunting with the family. Sam jumped at the opportunity, but Sully tried to convince the little kid that he didn’t have to be a Hunter. But Young Sam only wanted to be with his family so he abandoned Sully instead, even though we’ve seen time and time again that Sully was kind of right.
Will Sam Go to the Cage?
In the present, Sam has a heart-to-heart with Sully about his visions from God telling him to go back to the Cage. Sully once again tells him that he can always run away, but Sam says that he hasn’t wanted to do that in a long, long time. After 11 seasons, Sam finally seems to have learned to accept that he’s a Hunter. Not only is this who he is, but this is who he wants to be.
The lesson Sam learns from this adventure is that you can’t run away from something because it’s scary, you may have to face it because it’s super important. Sam once again mentions going back to the Cage to Dean, who shoots him down. Dean thinks they’ll find another way, but Sam asks what that is. Dean doesn’t have an answer, so it looks like Sam is going back to the Cage.
Next week on Supernatural: It’s the winter finale and Sam is going back to the Cage. The trailer included a fairly big spoiler: Mark Pellegrino is back as Lucifer!
(Image courtesy of the CW)