Supernatural

Season 4 Episode 13

After School Special

6
Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Jan 29, 2009 on The CW
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (32)

8.6
out of 10
Average
757 votes
  • When they were young.

    9.5
    I found my self surprised at the age difference that Dean and Sam actually had. I had always known that Dean was older but with them portrayed as younger children you could definitely see the brother dynamics better. Also, what was younger dean wearing?!? It bothered me so much.... Young Dean should have better clothes then that.
  • The Winchesters go old school. Literally.

    10
    It was inevitable. FINALLY! An episode that we've always yearned to explore - a look into what school life was like for the brothers Winchester. And it was a very clever one, at that. While it obviously made use of this exploration through flashbacks, I was very impressed with the use of one of today's most controversial topics - bullying and the consequences involved - by the SN team by putting a supernatural-style edge on it. Not to mention where else is one gonna find the world's most deadliest swirly on television or film? This ep was brilliant.

    As I've always said, any episode with flashbacks on this show are always a treat. We actually learn quite a bit more of Dean and Sam's childhoods through this ep, particularly regarding their schooling. Now, dialog and circumstances presented here indicated that the bros have been shuffled to many different schools in their lives, hence Dean's callous attitude toward it. He knew that no matter what they thought of their new school, they would be gone within a matter of weeks or months anyway. There's no way of knowing just how many schools they've been enrolled in throughout their youth, but this one particular high school was different. Possibly because it seems to be the only one they've had a supernatural history with. Okay, granted, nothing supernatural happened while they were actually attending the school, it is the circumstances that happened then which brings them to the present day, where they go back to rid a nasty from their old alma mater. However, the ep focused mainly on Sam and his experience at this one high school. Sam was different from Dean in that, despite also knowing that he and Dean would be pulled out as soon as John had finished whatever job he had come to do and move on, he actually seemed to care about getting an education, no matter what the situation. At least to some extent, anyway. And where Dean seems only to care about what girl he's trying to bed, Sam at least makes a friend or two with some care. The scenes with his teacher - both in his youth and his adult stages - highlighted the fact that Sam has always cared about being normal and were very important keys in how he viewed his life then as compared to now. Sammy, you've come a long way, baby.

    More interestinglyhere, though, was the story of the ghost. And like I said before about the bully plot incorporated into the ep, it was pretty darned clever. Sam had made a friend in this Barry kid, who was picked on mercilessly by this other student named Dirk (aka "Dirk the Jerk", as coined by Sam). But there were 2 major instances of bullying during this episode. And in both cases, the bullies got doses of their own medicine, becoming victims themselves. However, it was only Dirk's spirit that rose up seeking revenge, hence the scary goings on at the school where the bros are investigating. At first it would seem standard that Barry - who had committed suicide as a result of the traumatic abuse he suffered at the hands of Dirk - would come back for revenge. Plot twist! When it is learned that Dirk had suffered some humiliation and some rather horrible personal events happening in his own life after Sam had left the school years earlier, it became a question of how does one feel sympathy for a bully? And after all, Sam is sorta responsible for part of the humiliation factor, appointing Dirk the nickname "Dirk the Jerk", which quickly won over the students of the school but ultimately yielded disaster and death into the present day, hence the "slutty" girl snarking on the fat girl then said fat girl gets even by killing "slutty" girl at the beginning (although we know fat girl was possessed, by Dirk's spirit obviously). I guess what I'm trying to say here is that they never treated this as a black-and-white standard bully sitch, but rather by turning it into something more emotionally powerful by displaying that bullies are victims too, as well as vice versa. Humans all around, one world. Still, Sam had to finish the job, he felt obligated to the one friend he had made while there, but at the same time showing a minute amount of sympathy toward Dirk in the process. And to me this stuff is always so much better when it's complicated.

    Of course, throughout the investigation, we are shown that Sam had opportunities to grow within normal aspects of his life. He made a friend in Barry who seemed to kinda worship Sam, earned a bunch of respect from his peers after that rather enjoyable fight scene where he kicked Dirk's butt, and showed that he could be something else besides a hunter. One thing I thought about when he wrote that werewolf story and gave it to the teacher was the fact that it seemed to be a sort of outlet for him - a way to express who he really is and what his family is about without drawing any disturbing attention to himself, especially from the teacher who proceeded to give him a excellent grade on the paper despite it being the wrong assignment. This gave Sam an incredible boost of self-esteem, which given his familial circumstances was more than fair. It was a gift. Sam's only social circle in his youth were his father and brother and the wild lifestyle they lived. Being shuffled around town to town, state to state and school to school, he was a veritable hermit, so to speak. So no wonder he liked this one high school better than the others. If only for a brief while, it gave him a sense of belonging and purpose other than that of hunting. Something he could certainly use now in his current state of life....

    As for Young Dean, pretty straightforward. Little has certainly changed for him. But then, he HAS been in the hunter limelight a lot longer than Sam, known and done things a lot more than Sam, and has obviously had little to no friends, his social circle (besides John and Sam, of course) consisting of little more than trying to score a one-night stand here or there. And speaking of, I found it oddly interesting that Dean "doesn't do parents". In the past, he's shown instances where he's shared Sam's passion for wanting a normal life. Maybe not as strong, but it's definitely been there. I mean, despite his reckless 'tude, bad boy image, and devil-may-care demeanor, Dean is the type of guy that ANY girl would want to take home to Mom, and on some basic level he knows that and appreciates it. Then again, it makes sense because he knows the repercussions of getting too involved with his potential conquests as once he leaves a school he'll never return, let alone see them again, and meeting the folks usually reads "getting serious" to a lot of young people, so better to spare the girl's feelings now than to hurt later. Aside from that, on the education front, Dean showed little regard for learning. All he knew was hunting and by the earliest of ages - of course, under John's influence - he "knew" his life would be all about the ghost hunt. I know Sam took front stage to the story here, but I really wish we had gotten more of Young Dean. Still, what we got was very good, as it also showed how protective he has been over Sam all these years, and even respected him to handle a sitch on his own, even back then. He's just one heck of a big brother.

    Bits and Pieces:
    - Well, we now get proof here that Dean's affinity for Magic Fingers bed vibrating machines stems from his youth.
    - Dean's coaching outfit - especially the shorts - was just.....awesome. And, yeah, way hot.
    - While it would've been great to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan, it was nice just knowing his presence was there in the Impala during the flashbacks. And in an ep like this, in a way it made it better.
    - The actors who played Young Sam and Dean: Whoa! They found a dead ringer for Dean in Brock Kelly, but looks only. He was a good looking kid, but his mannerisms didn't match the Dean of today, at least for me they didn't. Colin Ford, on the other hand, simply nailed Young Sam. Especially that wicked fight scene!

    I'm giving this ep a perfect 10 for clever writing, great story plots, and excellent acting from all involved. Next ep looks as if the bros get kinky with some spirits. Bet that'll be fun.....
  • A great insight into the brother's relationship from childhood to adolescence. The episode also adds a dimension of behavioral analysis: Childhood experiences at home have a definite and direct effect on their behavior in high school.

    8.5
    While the plot wasn't altogether gripping, I found this episode pretty good for two reasons.
    Firstly the witty dialogue. This is pretty common for the show, but the writing of the script in this episode is something else. Really humorous, and coupled with Dean's delivery, it really can crack you up.

    The second was the depiction of the strong relationship between a child's influences, surroundings and parents growing up, and the way they act in school. The way you're treated in one of these places reflects the way you behave in the other. More often that not, it's not as simple as you would think. A little consideration and understanding of a person's circumstances, can really free you from your judgment of that person.
  • Regrettably, my enjoyment of 'After School Special' was coloured somewhat by the discovery of the passing of Kim Manners.

    9.0
    Regrettably, my enjoyment of 'After School Special' was coloured somewhat by the discovery of the passing of Kim Manners, one of Supernatural's executive producers and a highly prolific director, who manned many of the show's greatest episodes, including this season's superlative opener, 'Lazarus Rising'. Manners was fighting lung cancer but continued to work on the show, demonstrating that his heart was always concerned with doing the best that he could for others. His skill as a director knew no bounds as his work always managed to be the most innovative, prolific and, above all, downright scary. He knew exactly which buttons to press and which avenues to take when creating that tough little critter called fear. Manners worked on The X Files for the duration of its nine years and was continually called upon by creator Chris Carter to helm those episodes that needed a more deft touch, that desired to get you right behind the sofa. It's because of this that Eric Kripke called the guy up immediately upon the birth of his televisual baby and demanded that he work on the show. Naturally, Kim obliged. At 59, it's a damn shame that the guy's career was cut short when it should have had so many more years and many more Supernatural home runs in it but at least he leaves us with a legacy that is completely untarnished and contains only proof that the bloke was one of the best in the business. Your television screens will most definitely miss him.

    Oh yeah and there's that pesky episode to talk about. It's a much quieter instalment than we've come to expect from this most chilling of shows, particularly in light of this season's concentration on TEH EPIC, but it's arguably a welcome change of pace. Sure, we get a delightfully gruesome sequence of supernatural set pieces to cream over: the bashing of the cheerleader's brains and toilet-drowning by the, ahem, fat kid is rather brutal and what about that gloriously macabre hand blending scene, eh? However, these are brief and perhaps the only major signposts in the mystery element of the plot. It doesn't take long, in the aftermath of these moments, to establish the culprit and for Sam and Dean to, ahem, dust him. The real meat of the story is the essay on bullying and, more significantly, emotional trauma. The script pleasingly refuses to take sides on the issue, demonstrating both the horrors of high school taunting and the reasons behind it. The episode is substantially enriched with the inclusion of the scene with the bully's father, which positively aches with regret, loss and sorrow. It's a delicate balance but it is struck perfectly and gives the viewer the opportunity to experience the ambivalence that clearly must be running rampant in Sam's head. Of course, the hour is also very much about our central protagonists and their internalised fears and darkest emotions: it is good to see Dean, albeit a young Dean, faced with the reality of his behaviour and also Sam presented with someone who offers him the alternative road that he needs in order to escape what he sees as an oppressive force in his life.

    Above all, 'After School Special' teaches us the value of understanding, emphasising that no matter how horrible the actions, how apparently irreconcilable the behaviour, there is always a worm lurking in the soul of the perpetrator; there are always issues of their own that they are trying to deal with. And similarly, it stresses the horror of high school for so many, how we are often blind to the plights of others both within its doors and without. That it manages to do so without once seeming mawkish or clichéd is a solid testament to the quality of the production. Definitely something a little special.
  • One of my favourites!!

    9.5
    Supernatural i think has been lacking something for a while. I think they just fixed that! This episode would have to be one of my favourites. It is so because you see a little more about them as kids. I think that is important when they have been doing this their whole lives. One of my favourites bits is at the end, when Dean, the popular handsome cool guy at school realises he isn't the best thing, and when Sam, the shy small kinda dorky kid finds out that he is better than he thinks he is. Dean goes in confident and popular, but comes out the loser, and Sam goes in as the loser and comes out popular. I've always liked Sam over Dean and i liked how he told the teacher about how much he had done to help his confidence and it's good to know how Sam did decide to go to college and branch out from the "family business". But i also liked how Dean was there for his younger brother. Now branching away from that. Dean in shorts and long socks...lol. I laughed so hard when i saw him like that. And dodgeball, i'm not American, and i've always wondered, is dodgeball just about all you lot do during PE? And are the balls always red? Anyway, a very high quality episode, keep it up!!
  • Supernatural High

    8.0
    After School Special-Sam and Dean investigate a haunting at one of the high schools they attended as teenagers. I love episodes that feature flashbacks of Dean and Sam's past. It's always cool learning about how this brothers grew up and how they got to this point in their lives. While the storyline of a high school haunting is pretty standard for Supernatural, it's seeing a young Dean and Sam struggling as typical high school student that really makes "After School Speical" really stand strong. Not to mention, the yound actors chosen to portray Sam and Dean's younger selves look like the actors who play them, especially Brock Kelly who looks so freakishly like Jensen Ackles he could pass for his younger brother.

    Brock Kelly and Colin Ford (who has played a Sam before!) gave good performances, especially their scenes together where they channel the brotherly chemistry of Jensen and Jared. Both their storylines in the flashbacks were well written and give some insight on why these boys turned into the young men they became. Sam's bully storyline was great and I loved the scene where he finally stood up to the school bully, Dirk. It's good to see that Sam had a moment of confidence when he was younger and always had that toughness inside of him. I also loved the scene with him and his teacher Mr. Wyatt. Actually Mr. Wyatt scenes with a young and present day Sam were quite sad. The flashback showing how hunting life style beginning to haunt Sam and the present day scene where Mr. Wyatt asks Sam if he's happy. The episode immediately ends after that sad note as we know Sam isn't happy and makes you wonder if there was a time he ever was. Then there's young Dean, was player in high school and made out with girls in the janitor's closet. It's such a Dean thing to do and I loved how that storyline ends with one of the girls questioning Dean's selfish personality, pretty much calling him a loser. For once, we see Dean look pathetic which was great contrast to how Sam became popular.

    Dirk turning out to be the ghost and trying to get revenge on Sam wasn't much of a twist, but the way Dirk killed his victims were classic inventive Supernatural deaths! Like the nerd putting the jock's hand in the blander (OUCH!) and the big girl drowing the girl in the toilet (that sucks!) Also, you can't help but laugh when Dean is playing the gym teacher and talks about the legal cheerleaders, lol. "After School Special" is a nice episode that shows how Dean and Sam have evolved from where they have been to who they are now.
  • We learn more about the brothers early years.

    8.0
    Sam and Dean investigate a haunting at one of the high schools they attended as teenagers. This episode sounds good from the description but for some reason it lacked in what Supernatural is best at, it's funny parts and action scenes. There was a lot of talking and we did learn more about Sam and Dean's teenage life, Dean younger self was well casted it looked just like him. The episode had one very funny and good scene and that was where Dean was teaching dodgeball, loved he part where he through the ball at the kd. all in all a decent episode.
  • Emotional, witty - everything Supernatural is about!

    9.5
    First off I dot to hand it to the Supernatural producers for casting the actor who plays young Dean. He looks so much like Jensen Ackles as if they they were brothers. I mean seriously everything about him screams Jensen! The actor who plays young Sam looks like him but not as uncanny as young Dean. Anyway, both sets of Winchester brothers acted brilliantly. I liked the plot, I liked the setting, I like the similarities between young and old versions of Dean and Sam. The lothario and the smart kid parallels were interesting to see and what was funny was Sam being called a midget. And look how tall he turns out to be! One of my favourites from this season. I think this may be my favourite season actually. This show grows every season. I really dont want it to end at the end of next year...
  • Great job by everybody

    9.5
    I like the history on the Winchesters. Gives viewers some insight on their past and how they became who they are in the present. I wonder if Jensen Ackles requests his scenes to be so silly and funny. That scene with him as a gym coach and wearing the headband cracked me up. The actors portraying the young boys did a top notch job. Nice sequence between the past and present. Its cool to see how Dean would have turned out as a hunter and Sam wanting to do something different. Its an interesting parallel to the present that Sam should go back to this school hunting a ghost from his past.
  • Full of energy and uncanny performances and a fab menacing ghost to keep the brothers on their toes.

    10
    Some fascinating flashbacks of the Winchester Boys teen years at a school they attended for a month and the third school in one year. Poor guys being shifted from place to place and with all hell the faced as kids its amazing that these 2 turned out so perfect. Seeing teenage Dean pull up to the school, wearing John's leather jacket! The voice sounds so much like Jensen's and the hair is *exactly* like Dean's!Praise must be given to the casting directors for finding the one OMG! The hair, eyes and voice perfect, the build perfect, the attitude – this kid looks so much like Jensen it is frightening! But i liked it i felt i was watching Jenson at times. What an entrance

    The teacher talking about Sam's essay, asking him if he wants to go into 'the family business' made us understand Sam's dilemma and the faith the teacher showed in Sam that made him feel that he had a choice and not everything is written in stone. Sam thanking his former tutor was a touching moment.

    Sam attacked by the spirit sure handled it very well and Dean's reaction afterwards was identical to the teenage Dean when young Sam got punched. At the end, Sam gets the kudos and Dean gets called names, all the guts and none of the glory. Ironic to the core LOL.

    Young Sam kicks the bully Dirk's butt and shows that by this age, Sam at a young age was as wise and mature as he was as a kid. Visiting Dirk's dad showed alot of insight into the bullies life as life isn't all black and white.

    Episode was beyond words and the young actors cast as Dean and Sam had an uncanny resemblence in looks as well as the way they acted.
  • One of the most revealing episodes I've seen.

    10
    Its about time that they had a show were we get to see how it was like for sam and dean growing up with a dad thats a monster hunter and what they problem they have to go through, especially in high school where problem get bigger, and when your on tv stop happens even more. I was not surprise when dean went undercover as a gym teacher for this job, I bet you if he hadn't been a hunter he would have been throwing dodge balls for a living as a gym teacher :). The coolest thing in the flashbacks had to be sam when he was younger beating up that one kid with all his hunter training.
  • Sam and Dean go back to one of the high schools that they attended as kids.

    10
    Sam and Dean go undercover to investigate a haunting at one of the high schools that they attended when they were young. and during the case, we learn a little about what the brothers were like during high school. They discover that the ghost haunting the school is that of a kid who Sam humiliated while they were there, and now he is getting his revenge on the popular kids at the school.

    I had always wondered what the Winchester brothers were like in high school, and this ep did not disappoint.I liked the casting for the young Winchesters- young Sam and Dean looked like older Sam and Dean so much it was scary. I also liked Sam's relationship with Mr. Wyatt, and can't help but wonder if it was that conversation that made Sam decide to leave the family buisness and go to college. I found it kind of interesting that when they first arrive at the school, Dean seems like the popular kid and Sam seems like the unpopular kid, but by the time they leave, it is vice versa. Overall, an excellent ep, in the tradition of "Something Wicked" and "A Very Supernatural Christmas." Cannot wait until next week.

    P.S. Funniest scene? Dean as a P.E. teacher.
    "The whistle makes me their god." One of the best lines ever.
  • Many of Supernatural's best qualities were strongly present in this one

    9.5
    I liked what this did to show us more about Sam's past, and how he really feels about the situation that he is in. That also gives it some continuity with last week. The scene of the show where grown up Sam visits his former elementary school teacher was very poignant. His life is the epitome of having all your choices made for you by circumstance and other people. When you watch this you really understand why he tried to go on his own with going to university, and how difficult it has been for him to be the odd one out with his dad and dean right into the hunting while he is just wishing he could do something else. The actor playing young sam was perfect. The true, non-judgemental compassion grown up Sam feels for the high school bully he locked horns with as a kid also reminds us what a good heart Sam has - and how awful it would (will????) be for it to get taken over by absolute evil.
  • I am always happy to see my favourite show, and this time was a bit of a treat as we get an interesting high school reunion of sorts.

    10
    I am always happy to see my favourite show, and this time was a bit of a treat as we get an interesting high school reunion of sorts. Warning, spoilers contained below.

    In this episode Sam and Dean head back to one of their old high schools to try and solve some cases of strange behaviours from some of the picked on students. What's cool about this episode is there are some nice flashbacks to when Sam and Dean where going to the school, which was nice to see. The even cooler part of this episode was the flashbacks showing Sam befriending a boy named Barry, who we later find out might be the ghost possessing picked on kids and retaliating on the bullies bugging them. Right away I was loving this episode, it was just so refreshing, they way they told the story, and had flashbacks to explain a bit of how things were back then as well as give us information on the current job at hand. The story seemed to end so quickly, which made me a bit disappointed because of how good the episode had been so far, but just when I was starting to doubt, the story picked up again, and things were definitely not over. In the end we find out that Barry was not the ghost haunting all the kids, instead it was a boy who picked on Sam named Dirk. This was a great episode, and even though it didn't continue the current story ark, it was amazing. I loved this episode, and I can't wait to see what will happen next in the next episodes to come.
  • Some great insights into the Boys' high school years.

    10
    Some fascinating flashbacks of the Winchester Boys teen years at a school they attended for a month and the third school in one year. This gives us an idea how their school years worked, I always wondered. Living out of motels while John went hunting – when John finished, they'd move on.

    Too cute!! Seeing teenage Dean pull up to the school, wearing John's leather jacket! The voice sounds so much like Jensen's and the hair is *exactly* like Dean's! I was a little concerned who they would cast as teenage Dean – OMG! The hair, eyes and voice perfect, the build perfect, the attitude – this kid looks so much like Jensen it is frightening! Not pretty like Jensen really was at that age, but the cool good looks he has now at 30 distilled into a teenager. Wow!

    Nice outfit Dean! You can tell from the beginning, Dean's going to be one of those sadistic coaches children fear. I mean really – Dodgeball?!

    The teacher talking about Sam's essay, asking him if he wants to go into 'the family business' – all leading up to when Sam took off after high school. Was Mr Wyatt the one who originally put the idea in Sam's head to 'live his own life'? I liked that Sam went back and thanked him, that was sweet.

    Sam getting attacked by the spirit in the little girl, getting stabbed like that?! Sam handled it very well and Dean's reaction afterwards was identical to the teenage Dean when young Sam got punched. At the end, Sam gets the kudos and Dean gets called names, all the guts and none of the glory.

    Young Sam kicks the bully Dirk's butt and shows that by this age, Sam was already trained. Visiting Dirk's dad shows that the bully had reasons and that Sam did more damage than just physical. It's all a matter of perspective. Dean's subtlety in asking about Dirk's remains left a lot to be desired. Things got crazy on the bus, Dirk could have just kept jumping bodies on the bus if Dean hadn't found the hair.

    Another piece of Winchester history – Dean didn't have the Impala yet, John drives off in it and then returns to pick them up.

    Always love episodes about the boys history and some of the holes in their lives are filled in. Wonderful casting, an interesting haunting, I liked it.
  • What were they thinking??!!

    8.0
    I had such high expectations for this episode, it's all anyone's been talking about since the show came back after the break, but I have to admit, after watching it, I was disappointed. The storyline wasn't bad, and the episode as a whole was quite interesting, but I just didn't like how teen Dean was portrayed. This was a 'Sam episode', and it felt like the writers went out of their way to make Dean seem superficial and unimportant. And he seemed really out of character; I don't think I could imagine Dean ever calling a teacher 'sugar' or 'sweetheart'.
    On a positive note, I liked Dirk's character, you couldn't help but sympathise with him, and he had more interesting backstory than a lot of characters of late.
    And it didn't help to see Sam taken down a peg either =)
    All in all, not my favourite episode, but not one of the worst either.
  • A trip down memory lane...

    9.0
    This for me, has been a most anticipated episode. Learning that we'd see what school was like for the brothers, is a very interesting concept and one that I really enjoyed. Whoever does the casting should be given a medal for casting the young Sam and Dean. They were perfectly casted and had all the mannerisms and qualities that the adult versions do. Seeing Dean throw the dodgeball at that kid was hilarious, that's got to be one of the best scenes in the whole series. The refrence to Dead Poets Society was also very cool, being that it is one of my favorite movies. I thought it would have been neat to include Amanda, the one who Dean was with in High School. It wouold have been great to have her in the future part of the episode, and see what Dean really does. I've got to admit I liked the closing scene with Sam and his teacher, very touching and a nice addition.
  • AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL

    10
    It was cool episode....I liked Dean's suit as a teacher :D he looked ridiculous :D,right?In the end it wasn't dream episode but I liked it,there was many Flashbacks and I liked it too,now we know something about their past about their school period,God Dean was debauched even then :D.....I liked Sam's bravety,when he kicked that it wasn't good thing if you ask me yes he deserved it but ))...it was more like man when he stand and did nothing....Dean is as...le he thinks only about Sex and Kicking :D.....i wonder what happened with Sam's little frined....oh right and I liked Crazy kids :D it was fun
  • Probably the cutest episode of Supernatural ever!

    10
    Cute is generally not a word used to describe Supernatural, but it fits this episode to a T. Sam and Dean go to a high school they once attended for a case. Sam poses as a janitor, Dean as a gym teacher (that picture is so perfect=) and if that wasn't good enough, half of this episode was portrayed through flashbacks.
    The kid they got to play teenaged Dean was perfect. Not only did he look like a younger Jensen Ackles, but he oozed Dean-ness, from making out with a hot blonde in a supply closet to looking out for his little brother. Younger Sam was so cute, who wouldn't want to be his big brother? Another thing I liked about the flashbacks was before, flashbacks were always when the boys were at the oldest ten. It was cute to watch how Sam made a friend and sort of fit in while Dean stuck out and couldn't wait to leave. Sam knew both of the victims personally (Dean says in surprise, "Did you know everybody at this school?") and even gets to talk to a teacher he looked up to. It was a great episode packed with the action, the wittiness, and those oh-so-adorable flashbacks.
  • This was better than the past two episodes.

    7.0
    I liked the title of this episode. I remember when they used to have afterschool specials. I loved those. Getting back to the episode, I thought it was so appropriate that Sam's teacher had "The Outsiders" written on the chalkboard. The title of that book not only fit The Winchesters but the high school experience in general. If you weren't one of the jocks or popular kids, you did feel like an outsider. This episode gave us insight into Sam and Dean's high school years. The actor which played the younger Dean wasn't a great fit for the role but I was glad that they again used Colin Ford for the younger Sam. When I first heard they were doing an episode like this, I pictured Dean being the popular one and Sam being the one who didn't quite fit in but it end up being the exact opposite. I liked the transitions to Sam's flashbacks but Dean's flashbacks didn't transition as well maybe because for the most part it was a Sam centric episode. All in all, this was a good episode and I look forward to the next.
  • The hell of high school

    8.0
    Another week, another solid episode of "Supernatural". This one is particularly notable for giving us a glimpse into the complicated and depressing childhood years for the Brothers Winchester. It's consistent with what we've seen before, without a doubt, and the casting was excellent. The plot more or less built on some of Sam's psychological issues from the previous episode, but generally speaking, this felt a bit more self-contained.

    We already know that Dean projects a veneer of detached "coolness" to shield himself from the pain and isolation that the Hunting lifestyle demands. He's certainly not the only one; the Hunting culture seems to bask in that kind of denial. (In fact, one could theorize that the seeming obsession of Hunters with classic rock and blue collar style is less personal preference and more subcultural tradition.) All this episode tells us is that his defenses were built very early in life, something that's hardly a new idea.

    Sammy's intelligence shines through, as one would expect, but so does the desire to lead a normal life. That is the key that this episode wants to turn: the resonance between how Sam felt then and how he feels now. Sam started out at Lincoln with a desire to fly under the radar. By the time he left, he saw what life could be like as a normal kid. Unfortunately, he also comes to understand the cost of that moment, in terms of unintended consequences.

    Could Sam be blamed for Dirk's death? It's a difficult question to ponder. Sam didn't start the fight; he just ended it. But he was also an interloper, stepping into a situation he didn't fully understand. He made a judgment call, and it turned out to be wrong. But how often does that play out, every day, in every high school? That's part of why we never quite escape the memories and insecurities of those years. Decisions and actions that can have a profound effect on a person's future are casually made and dismissed.

    Sam gets to look back on a case where he thought taking action was going to make things better. When all was said and done, people were dead. He found a moment of happiness and hope, even several years of it, but did he get what he was looking for in the end? For that matter, is the pursuit of his own happiness worth the cost?

    Sam wants to end the Hunting before it kills him (again), and there's a part of him that still holds out hope that the war will end and he can get back to that life he thought he would lead. That is a temptation that has driven him into Ruby's arms and a choice that could destroy his soul and half the world with it. In essence, Sam is at a crossroads, with the choice between what is right and what is easy.

    Finally, a few words in memory of Kim Manners. As a director, he was responsible for some of the finest television I've seen, particularly on "X-Files" and "Supernatural". I didn't know him personally, but his contribution to the art will always be remembered.
  • one word: amazaing!

    10
    Finally, supernatural is back!

    Dude i's awesome! epsd!

    1- I love flash-backs to the boys! so cute the young sam, so sad too because he wasn't to continue the famliy buiness! and the young dean that's great surprise for me , because it's great resposability to play jensen ackles, don't get me wrong, but I have dout if the young actor play dean well, but in my opinion he's pass in the test, really like dean!

    2- The story is amazing, in the end fantatic, dean obvius make me laugth all the time ahahaahaha

    3- The end give me a very question: if sam to go come back to the time he makes different? I dont' think so because everything in this life it's destiny!
  • Sam and Dean revist their old school.

    10
    This was another great flashback episode. I loved the opening and now I think I have to have a season 1 & 2 marathon this weekend! I will say first off how happy I was for a little Foreigner! I almost forgot what it's like to get a little rock & roll! I miss it! I love the flashback episodes. It's so great get a glimpse of life as the boys were growing up. It really makes you feel for them. Even though they are capable of taking care of themselves, physically, emotionally you can see how scared they are. What a hard life to live. I know John did what he had to do and what he thought was best but it doesn't make it any less painful to watch. I enjoyed that we got a little salt and burn this episode. It brings the feeling of old episodes back. I also ended up feeling really bad for Dirk. I know he was a bully but you never know what kind of life someone lives. It doesn't make being a bully okay but just makes me a little more sympathetic. Brock Kelly did a good job as young Dean. I was funny to hear he liked the magic fingers, even back then. Colin Ford did such a wonderful job as young Sam. He is a very talented actor and did a spot on performance. I loved Dean as Coach Roth. And Dean said he didn't do shorts! Overall it was a good episode. It didn't really move the story forward but as long as you got some backwards progression, I don't mind. That being said I miss Cass and am ready for some heavy myth arc episodes.
  • Sam and Dean investigate a haunting at their old highschool.

    10
    Jensen Ackles was HOT as a Gym Teacher! I would go to school everyday if he was my teacher ;)

    Not only was Jensen Ackles hot as Dean, but younger Dean was hot too! And the actor who played younger Dean had all the turmoil and anger and sadness down too.

    I'm glad Sam kicked that bully's ass, but I hate that the bully killed himself because of the nickname Sam gave him because that kind of turned the "Bully" card around on Sam when all he was trying to do was help out his friend Gary.

    I loved the bus scene after they kill Dirk and Dean laughs and goes "He's riding you like a cowgirl". Or something along those lines. I laughed so hard throughout this whole episode.

    Great job on the episode and the acting! It was absolutely fantastic!

    I found out Kim Manners passed away. R.I.P. Kim. You'll be greatly missed.
  • This was such a special episode. It was amazing. I wanted to give it more than a 10.

    10
    You get to know Dean and Sam during their high school years. It served as a good lesson to why bullies act as they do. Aside for the ghost story, I really like Sam/Jared in this episode. He takes a beating, because he realized that he added to the ghost's miseries. Sam may turn bad. The last line in the episode was are you happy Sam? He didn't say much, but you can tell how great an actor Jared was from the look in his face. I cannot say how much I really love the writing and acting in this episode.
  • Sam and Dean go back to a High School that they attended as it appears that something is attaching itself to the geek students and killing the bullies.

    9.0
    Firstly can I say how freaked I was that the episode that followed the untimely and extremely sad news of the passing of Kim Manners was the one that Dean mentions a show that the man was a director on. (21 Jump Street, Dean mentions it in the school bus.) I know that it was scripted and shot months ago but it was a little nod to the great man none the less...even as an unintentionable one. Creeped me, made me smile and then made me sad all at the same time.

    Anyway, I liked this one. Colin Ford nailed young Sam, right down to a T, which is why I think that I struggled more with Brock Kelly than I really should have. He was good as young Dean,he was,just not as good as Colin at Sam but it took me awhile to figure what was most off and then it hit me...it was the voice, Sam sounded like Sam but Dean didn't sound anything like I'd have imagined him to and it was a little distracting. Not a lot, just a little.

    Sam's old high school friend killed himself and the boys figure that this is who is killing the bullies but it turns out it was the school bully that Sam put down that was haunting the school bus. Turns out you should find out why people act the way that they do before you judge them, Sam judged Dirk, Amanda judged Dean, both without really knowing or caring what drove the person to act the way they did. Dirk was a bully but at home he cared for his mother who was ill. Dean appeared not to care about Amanda but in truth she was getting too close (Dean and parents!) and he as usual shut down (or in this case took someone else into the janitor's closet).

    Favourite bit in this was so subtle that if you blinked you missed it. Sam had the ghost, who was possessing a bus driver, pinned against the bus telling him neither of them were evil,that he had seen real evil, that they had been scared and miserable in high school doing what they did to get by and survive, loved how the camera cut to Dean here...are you listening big brother? Comparing High School to Hell, I can relate to that. Then we had Dean groping the bus driver and Sam with a guy lying on him mere minutes later! Scary, sad and then funny...vintage SPN.

    What I liked more about this one, we had big brother Dean back and little brother Sam, in the past and in the here and now. Dean threating to 'kill the ghost and rip out its lungs' made me smile in a way that I haven't for a while.

    High School it seems wasn't really kind to either of the Winchesters, so now we now that they had some kind of normal in their lives, 'cos is it really kind to anyone...even the popular ones??
  • Moving episode about High School and the torture that lurks there.

    7.0
    Okay, just finished the episode. I've gotta say it was pretty good. Not like jaw-dropping omfg-ness, but it was good. I have to give props where they're due. Colin Ford and Brock Kelly (but mostly Colin) did AMAZING jobs. I applaud their acting ability. Brock was a little too..I don't know. I warmed up to Colin more. Anyways. I loved the look in Sam's eyes when he said he'd take that kids place. Deep-seated rage, anyone? There was also some decent gore here. Loved the hand in the processor. Nice! I loved the beginning and ending where Dean was Mr. Cool and Sam was the freak but at the end they had switched sides. The twist about Dirk being bullied after Sam left sucked. I mean it didn't suck but it sucked for Dirk. However, I don't think that excuses his behavior. I came from a low class family and was picked on but never became a bully. And many people I know are the same. So..oh, and of course, THE SHORTS!!!!! Haha! And the sweat suit! Yes!!! Last thing is the ending. Sam's not happy. I wouldn't be either in his shoes. But I wonder if there's anything specific he's not happy about. Hmm...

    OH! And next weeks looks pretty good. Though while watching the promo I had Gossip Girl promo flashbacks (minus the creepiness of that alien looking Siren). But hey, there is brotherly whumpage involved so I'm game! However, I am so ready for the myth-arc to come back. I get that they were trying to slow things down, but couldn't they have like switched it around a little bit so that we got like two myth-arc heavy episodes and two lighter ones? I'm going through some serious Cas withdraws!
  • Now this was an awesome episode!

    10
    I wasn't impressed with Brock Kelly's acting. He may SORT OF look like Dean, but he just didn't have that Dean vibe. But I LOVED little Sam's performance. He was my favourite character this episode. Loved the encounter with the bully, how he was at first reluctant to fight, then, with a little reassurance from Dean, Sam took down the bully with no effort at all. Of course then I almost cried when we found out that it was Sam who gave Dirk the nickname Dirk the Jerk, and it stuck with him until he died. That is so sad. There was so much about this episode that I loved, and I don't really know how to put into words!
  • Sam and Dean flashback episode

    9.5
    Everyone understands that to many, high school is a literal hell. So it is only natural Sam and Dean return to it for this episode. Sam and Dean investigate possessions occuring at a high school they used to go to in their earlier days, where the nasty cheerleader types, arrogant jocks, and nervous geeks still reside. Sam believes the possessions are demonic and Sam and Dean's recent encounters would point to that logical conclusion. Very soon, they realize that they're dealing with an extraordinary ghost, one that possesses people to move around its haunt spot. Creepy. Like ghosts weren't hard enough. This episode delves into the past to reveal who Sam and Dean were in high school. And they were pretty much the same as now, just more immature. Dean was still Dean, still the sweet older brother for Sam but still chasing women back and forth and still very hilariously sarcastic. Sam at 14, I believe he was 14, was shy, quiet, a little more withdrawn and sullen than now, yanking around the status quo John had set in place for his sons. Sam wanted to be normal, to have the normal life, and he didn't want to move again. In the present Sam has to confront some literal ghosts when Dean and him suspect Sam's old friend of the hauntings, a friend who was traumatized by the school bully and merclessly taunted because of his "geek" status. Turns out it wasn't Sam's friend who's the ghost, it was the bully that tormented his friend, a bully Sam finally had the courage to stand up to and show off some nice fighting skills. Go Sam. Unfortunately, Sam didn't realize the damage he inflicted on the bully when Sam helped start tormenting the kid. Sam never wondered why the bully was the bully and it turns out he was suffering through emotional and personal problems of his own, problems he took out on innocent victims, but problems that with Sam's involvement, were made worse. Poor Sam already has enough problems in his life, how much more trauma can the poor guy take? Same for Dean, because in the future, I'm told he will face another deadly secret that will traumatize him even further than from his last secret. Those poor brothers. Sam and Dean realize that the ghost is being tied down by a lock of body hair kept on a bus and it's time to burn the hair. Sam and Dean confront the bully and Sam apologizes for his accidental cruel treatment and tries to reason with the spirit when the spirit tries to harm more victims, reasoning that after high school, things can better. The ghost won't hear it, the poor guy's already dead and he feels that why stop now? Sam gets a massive beat-down while Dean smokes the hair away. One less literal and metaphorical ghost to deal with. In the past, Dean is dumped by his high school girlfriend who tells him that there's more to him than he lets on but he won't let anyone but family close. Still true but in Dean's case, he has gotten better. Sam and Dean leave right after Sam stands up to the bully, letting go of another past. At the end, Sam remeets his old teacher that encouraged to pursue a normal life outside the family "business". The teacher is happy he helped but asks Sam an important question: are you happy? Sam has accepted the hunter lifestyle but happy? I'm not thinking very much, especially in regards to what happened in last week's Chris Angel. . .Sam doesn't have an answer. I know I've stated that there needs to be less ghosts in Supernatural but when they're in episodes like these, I don't care. It's a nice, change-of-pace episode, revealing the "normal" time in Sam and Dean's life, where they worried about the normal things in life, and cornering familiar topics on high school cruelty. I have a few minor "disappointments" though: Even though the timing was great for it, Jeffrey Dean Morgan wasn't anywhere in the episode. He's only shown up twice, one just as a voice, after he died. I do want to see him again in some shape or form. And I still want to see the angel/demon war play out. What can I say though, it was a really good episode and something long-overdue. Next episode has Sam and Dean being caught in a siren's spell. Hope to see some more angels soon.
  • Sam and Dean revisit an old High school, and a few old ghosts too.

    10
    EVERYTHING I'd hoped... AND MORE! Oh man... this ep was Excellent! It was perfectly done... the inherent angst of High School, I can't believe that Krip didn't jimmy this around somehow to toss all the wankers on their ears! But I'm glad he didn't. LOVED how the bully was the bullied and the turnaround from that... (reminds me of an episode of Danny Phantom) and of course the chick getting Teen Dean's number... Yikes and OUCH! Both kids were spectacular! Course Wee Sam is just too darned cute for words and the boy who plays him is just incredible, he's gonna have a helluva career if he wants it. LOL "Eeesch... he's doing the full cowgirl on you!" from Dean... sheesh dude! THe balance was incredible from the couple really laugh out loud moments (Man those gym uniforms! SHEESH!) to the above mentioned... The 'oh maaan!' look of pure guilt on Sam's face when the father was talking about Dirk... man so so very painful. and YIKES with the stabbing! OUCH! at least the chick didn't stab through the "seal"... but it was more than a little chilling to hear her call Sam by name.

    This was a perfect return to 'creepy' chills and I LOVED that we saw the same ectoplasm that we did in No Exit! Everything from Sam's expectation that he'd get flunked for not doing the assignment the way it was outlined to Dean's "Sweetheart" and "Sugar" to the teacher were absolutely IN character, even Sam going back to thank the guy for taking an interest in him... Nice shoutout to all those teachers out there who do their best in spite of all the challenges they face. It was kinda very sad, as I'm sure it was meant to be, when Sam couldn't honestly answer the question at the end. Sigh... poor Sammy... gotta be thinkin... "What's to be happy about? Lucifer's about to walk the earth, I got demon blood in me and it's entirely possible I might slide down that slippery slope into evil... but... no I'm really not that happy. Thanks for asking." PERFECTLY done Kast and Krew... and as always special love to the boys. (And even a little for the Wee's... how tall is that Young Dean kid WOW... excellently cast and played guys! Thank You!) Now NEXT week, muwahahahahahah! I can't wait. Looks like there could be some succubi on the loose! A little, "From Dusk Till Dawn" style influence perhaps? Oooh tell me someone gorgeous has a yakuzza tattoo alongside their neck... (I do mean a gorgeous MALE by the way...) mmm drooling now... ahem, sorry. Thank you all for such a really really outstanding job this week!
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