Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S06E15 – The French Mistake

In the fifteenth episode of the sixth season of Supernatural, I don’t know how to talk about this episode. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.

Oh my god, my brain hurts.

I genuinely think this is going to be one of the most difficult episodes to talk about because… what can you say? This show, much like the whole “French Mistake” scene in Blazing Saddles, just broke the fourth wall so fiercely that I can never forget it, and now I’m always going to think about it, and how could this show possibly have gotten MORE meta than it was before?

While “The French Mistake” is more outright gimmicky and absurd than practically anything this show has ever done or probably ever will do, it’s not devoid of a story or one moment of soul-crushing sadness. What’s the reason the writers give us for this surreal journey to a parallel universe that is… well, technically, it’s our universe? Except technically not because there are actors here playing the real crew? Except… oh god, my brain is hurting again. SO MUCH.

It’s clear now that the civil war in Heaven is part of something that’s going to become massive in a later part of this season or maybe the next one. I admit it’s frustrating for Cas, Balthazar, and Raphael to all appear in the same episode, and yet I still barely know anything new about the struggle to gain control of Heaven. The show is deliberately keeping it hidden from us, so most of what I have to go on is through the subtext of the action itself. Namely, this episode highly suggests the desperate state of the angels, particularly Cas and Balthazar. When Balthazar shows up at Bobby’s house at the opening of “The French Mistake,” we’re struck by his sense of urgency. Something is coming for them all right now, and he has little time to save the Winchesters and himself.

But that’s not the only aspect of this that suggests urgency. When we later find out that Sam and Dean were nothing more than bait for Virgil and Raphael, all so that Balthazar could give the weaponry of Heaven to Castiel, I think that is another sign of how fucked up everything has gotten. Remember, Balthazar had little interest in allying with Castiel the last time Cas asked for help. So why now? What’s happening up in Heaven that would make Balthazar change his mind? I think the clue is in Raphael’s boldness. If he’s willing to wipe out all of Castiel’s allies in one massive bloodbath, perhaps Balthazar realizes that his time of playing the neutral party has come to an end. Of course, this is all speculation. I don’t actually know what’s going on, and it’s impossible to visualize what this war is like. The show hasn’t given us anything to go on.

Which is kind of intimidating. Y’all, there’s still the threat of the wall crumbling in Sam’s head, and there’s still the Mother out there doing… a thing. I don’t know what that is either. THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON THIS SEASON.

But the vast majority of “The French Mistake” focuses on the increasingly absurd experience of Dean and Sam discovering that they’ve been popped into a parallel universe where their lives are a television show. What’s so charming and entertaining about this is just how ridiculously far the writers were willing to take these characters. Well, not just that, but this episode pokes fun at the actors, the crew, the fandom, the reception of Supernatural, the props… holy shit, y’all, this episode skewers everything. But it’s nice that this never feels mean. And that’s important to me because while the show clearly has a healthy sense of humor about itself, this episode is just so loving about it.

Now, I’m sure if I was actually in the fandom as this show was airing and I didn’t have my ridiculous restrictions regarding spoilers and behind-the-scenes information, I bet I would have enjoyed “The French Mistake” more than I did. And I liked it a lot. I know there are probably tons of inside jokes littered throughout this script that the fandom understand, but I certainly didn’t feel like I was missing out on how funny and surreal this was. I knew that Misha tweeted a lot. I knew that Jared and Genevieve were very interested in the environment and animal rights. I suspect that the ongoing joke about Jared and Jensen not talking was only part of this universe.

Everything else? Oh my god, y’all. Am I ever going to recover from the scene where Dean and Sam have to act? No, I’m not. I am never going to recover. The lock and key segment is too perfect for words, y’all. This show also had Eric Kripke and Misha Collins executed, which felt like a meta commentary in a meta episode about meta, and there are so many levels to this episode, and all of them hurt my brain. I don’t know that I feel compelled to analyze all of them, and I hope my video (where I nearly cry in the opening because my mind could not handle the absurdity of this episode) speaks for itself. But I didn’t want to acknowledge how fun this episode was. There is that moment just beyond the halfway point where Dean realizes that Sam’s life as Jared would provide him with a kind of happiness and stability that Sam’s never had. That’s about the saddest thing here, especially since I believe that’s the first time that Dean has ever acknowledged just how hard Sam has had it during his life. In a way, it’s almost like Dean wishes Sam could remain in that parallel world because he’d find happiness. Even though he eventually agrees with Sam in that they have to go back to their own world, I found it touching that Dean was so concerned with Sam’s well-being.

But I’ll be honest: “The French Mistake” was a welcome respite from the endless shit that the Winchesters have faced this season. It surprisingly did not punch me in the feelings at the end, there wasn’t some horrible, depressing twist to go along with it, and it might just be the silliest episode of Supernatural. I enjoyed it a lot, and it completely made the journey to this point worth it. BECAUSE MISHA COLLINS IS THE BEST PART OF IT OH MY GOD. Like… I’ve seen some of his videos? Namely the ones with his son, which are hands down some of the funniest things on the Internet. So seeing him play his giddy self was just perfect and lovely and I’m so thankful this show let him do this.


The video for “The French Mistake” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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