Season 4 Episode 17

It's a Terrible Life

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 26, 2009 on The CW

Episode Fan Reviews (38)

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  • Interesting up until the end.

    Pleased with the story, unsatisfied by the resolution. -shrug-
  • A normal life for the Winchester brothers - how does that sound? Fow a while, that seems to be just okay with Sam Wesson and Dean Smith.

    One of those amusing episodes. Not among the best that Supernatural can - and has - offered, but still good enough to provide a few laughs.

    Dean and Sam are suddenly working in a normal 9-to-5 job, no recollection of their true selves (this is a little confusing at first).

    Sam has dreams, though, and it seems that when people start to die in the office, and Dean sees a ghost, that some things are coming back.

    The conclusion is bearable, tying very well the final discussion of the previous episode where Dean decided he isn't strong enough to try and save the world.

    In and on itself, the episode was probably just as confusing as it was supposed to be.
  • Another alternate reality with a twist

    This was one of those episodes that didn’t really faze me till the last scene. Don’t get me wrong, it was very entertaining watching the bros take on another ‘alternate life’ ep, but for some reason it just didn’t hold my interest very well until the very end, when things made sense. Still, like I said, it was an enjoyable episode nonetheless.

    The entire premise here was set into motion by our newest angel, Zachariah, who happens to be somewhat of a replacement for Uriel but is also Castiel’s superior. And after what happened with Uriel in the last ep, I’m really hoping Zach here will be one of the good ones. According to dialog, he seems like the real deal. But this is “Supernatural�, so you never know. Anyway, Zachariah has put into Dean’s head an alternate life for him which ultimately turns out to be a test of sorts to make Dean realize his true destiny in life. Of course, Sam is an unwitting participant in this as well but I was unclear on just how much of Sam’s involvement was incidental. Whether he was put there by Zachariah also or just happened to be in Dean’s “memory� is actually irrelevant, but still important. After all, Zachariah never brought up Sam to Dean in the end, so I’m guessing Sam’s presence in Dean’s alternate reality was a technicality. I don’t really buy that, but for now, to me, that’s the only thing that makes sense. And it DOES make sense since Sam is a major driving force in Dean’s decisions - both in the alternate version and in their true lives.

    To explain further, the ep basically focused more on Dean. We start out in the alternate life and watch Dean’s very successful corporate American businessman self start his day and continue watching it progress as a normal, everyday man’s life in a business world. Then we get Sam, a computer techie who happens to work in the same building as Dean and who seems to be part of the “lower chain�, so to speak. But in this odd universe the 2 are not even brothers; they are total strangers, even with different last names. Things quickly start to get very weird after they soon meet and have a few very awkward, weird exchanges. They soon realize they believe in ghosts and begin working together to dispel the one haunting their workplace. Now, some of the stuff throughout all of this was, I am so sorry to say, kinda bizarre and felt so out of place. The ghost story itself was okay, and even those gruesome deaths (the guy’s head in a microwave!) brought out the ugh factors like they’re supposed to on this show. But the stuff with the bros just felt

    Then again, I could be reading it the wrong way. I mentioned above that Sam was a driving force in Dean’s decisions, and I stand by my belief in that. After all, it was Sam who started to mention that maybe they were not meant for all this corporate America stuff. That maybe something else was in their destinies. And he was right. On the other hand, this was Zachariah’s doing, so perhaps all that was indeed intentional on his part. What would be the point of completely obliterating their minds of everything they’ve done and gone through if he didn’t think there was a chance they’d figure it out? True, a lot of stuff they DID have to “re-learn� on their own, but because it seemed to come naturally to them was the eye opener.

    Nonetheless, this was still Dean’s ep, his experience. The angels have targeted him for a reason, which became clear last ep that Dean must stop the apocalypse. And what I got from his conversation with Zachariah at the end was that they need Dean focused and all his energy set on being a good hunter so he can play the valuable asset he is in stopping the apocalypse. After all, Dean’s attitude about the job has been waning and slipping for a while now. Always complaining about the perils and injustices of it, always spouting off how tired he was.... This may be well and true, but Zachariah was right: Dean needs to quit whining. He’s been turning into a version of Sam that has long been gone by now. Sam, for what it’s worth given his own indiscretions on the hunt, has at least grown some real passion for the job. This was sorta indirectly shown during the alternate reality, especially during the scene where he tries to encourage Dean to quit the corporate spot and “hit the road� to go ghost hunting. Meaning, Sam was the one trying to entice Dean to the positive aspects of the job: saving lives, etc. In the end, though, once all was revealed, I believe Dean finally gets it. He is on the way to be who he truly is.

    Bits and Pieces:
    - So the Ghostfacers boys - Ed and Harry - are still running their gig. Though it oddly makes sense because this is what helped the alternates Sam and Dean learn how to deal with ghosts, I just really could care less.
    - Still, some funny moments in the alternate reality. One example: Sam still hates being called “Sammy�.
    - I loved the references to Bobby, Ellen, Jo, and Madison. But this shows how the boys think of these people, even in this alternate reality, as close family and friends. Odd, though, why Madison was Sam’s chosen instead of Jessica. Not complaining, but just struck me as odd.

    I’m gonna rate this a 9. It was very good, but it just had its weak spots for me. Next ep looks as if Sam and Dean get to read about their own lives in the comics. THAT should be a hoot.
  • Dean and Sam become normal as they work in an office.

    I liked that at the end of the episode, both boys chose to stay and do hunting opposed to working in a building for the rest of their lives. Although I really thought Dean would stay because he was so much higher up than Sam was.

    So the whole thing was a test for DEAN? Then why was Sam thrown into it? And was Sam told that it was just a test or what?

    Sometimes I don't know why the angels waste time by doing silly tests. Normally they get so heated over the boys wasting time and in turn seals get broken.

    Great job cast and crew. Can't wait for more!
  • The acting is superb, the storyline is awesome, but the music sucks. The producers need to choose their accompanying music for better impact. Look at Smallville, what does it have that Supernatural doesn't....excellent music to carry the mood.

    I really enjoyed this episode, as I do all of them. However, I believe Supernatural could surpass Smallville in ratings if they played better music throughout the episodes. Example for the episode - On the Head of a Pin - to Enigma's song Why, Its a Terrible Life - Enigma's song - Prism of Life, Heaven & Hell - Enigma's song Invisible Love. The show is pretty awesome but to make it truly awesome one needs the music to go with the superb acting to give that goosebump effect. Enigma's song Distorted Love could be perfect for Sam and Ruby.
  • Way too many suicides for me to watch.

    I ended up having to watch something else due to the fact there were more than one suicide(s). I just couldn't watch it. I can't stand the fact the people were offing themselves just for tiny mistakes. To me this episode is sending the wrong message to viewers. I know some people how have attempted to kill themselves just because they felt like they were worthless or had failed in one way or another. Both survived, one because they're dog wouldn't let them sleep, the other because she had my siblings and myself to care for. I am glad that they didn't succeed in killing themselves because they are a part of my family.
  • Alternate reality... somehow

    Inexplicably, Sam and Dean Winchester become Dean Smith and Sam Wesson, who work on a company. Dean is the director of sales and Sam is just in Tech Support. But then, their co-workers start commiting suicide, which make the strangers investigate what's going on and discover that a ghost is behind this.

    At first I thought this wasnt going to be a good episode. Sam and Dean werent hunters, they hadnt met... IDK, it didnt really feel right, But Damn! It was amazing! I lliked how they did it. They even made Dean Smith's dad be named Bob, his mother named Ellen and his sister named Jo. Also, Sam Wesson's girlfriend was called Madison. Brilliant!
    Zachariah turned out to be the one that put them in the reality. It was his first appearence. Really good episode.
  • Supernatural's done a retcon episode like this before in season two's 'What Is and What Never Should Be' but that certainly doesn't negate the impact of this one.

    Supernatural's done a retcon episode like this before in season two's 'What Is and What Never Should Be' but that certainly doesn't negate the impact of this one. Sera Gamble's script is very well written, veering from satisfying character witticisms and self-referential humour (the sight of Dean in his three piece suit is one to cherish) to introspective realisations that further advance Sam and Dean's respective character arcs while also reminding us all, for the first time in quite a while, as to why the brothers work so gosh damn well together. Let's face it, we could all do with having that one explained to us again after so many weeks of coarse words and butting heads. And while it is obvious from the get go that the brothers are not going to remain working at Sandover Bridge & Iron Company for the rest of the season, that's hardly the point. Sensibly, Gamble has this 'alternate life' actually be real: this is not a dream or a separate reality but the removal of memories. This validates the narrative, making it seem less superfluous, and brings the whole thing to a logical and satisfying conclusion. Granted, the supernatural element of the plot is hardly original, but then, it doesn't have to be. 'It's A Terrible Life' is less about saving the employees of Sandover and more about saving Dean... and in that, it succeeds admirably. Oh and some of those 'suicides' are deliciously gory. Yum.
  • Pretty much a fanfiction idea, "What would happen if Sam and Dean weren't brothers or hunters?"

    I'm not a huge fan of alternate universe episodes, but I defiantly liked this one a lot better than their first attempt. I felt like it had a lot more meaning. I like how they incorporated the whole theme of fate. That being hunters was what they were meant to do. The beginning was a tad flat, but it did have it's quirky moments (like the difference in Dean's music). Although I must say, I am disappointed with the end. I felt like it was left unfinished, leaving me with one more unanswered question. Is Dean really ready? I guess he was, considering the next episode had no reference to the previous one and they were back to their old lives. I think that could have been made more concise. Overall I was thoroughly impressed with its depth despite it feeling like a filler.
  • Dean and Sam have their memories temporarily erased as they find themselves working for a corporate company.

    The title of this episode was pretty fun a spoof of it's a Wonderful life perhaps with a couple of alterations?

    Anyways, the guys experience what it would be like not to be hunters. Maybe this was a test to see hwo the two would actually fit a different lifestyle than the one they've both been used to. Whatever the reason the results were entertaining and actually funny. This was probably one of the more light hearted episodes of the season even though there were a couple of gory moments. Dean was funny as the yuppie sales director and Sam was ok as the tech guy. No Castiel this time. Zach was was a riot and maybe a better alternative to Castiel. Zach seemed to almost enjoy, maybe root for Dean in a way that Castiel would never do with the whole "fornicating with women" line. Funny to see how Dean would react to all the ghostly encounters and occurences. I think it was a way of kinding giving each guy a taste of what normal life would be like yet still reaffiring why they are drawn to be hunters. I also like the Zach angel hope I get to see him return.
  • A charming way to prove to Dean that he can fulfill his destiny.

    This episode must be one of the most terrifying ever to air – Dean in suspenders, hating classic rock, eating salad (!) and drinking health drinks! Begone foul fiend!! Seriously though… It is truly astonishing to see Dean effortlessly blending into a world that should be completely alien while his former-geek brother works in a cubicle (**snicker** He barely even fits!). Though Sam being an IT tech does make a lot of sense.

    Sam keeps staring at Dean in the elevator, leading to our familiar joke – even with amnesia, Dean still calls Sam gay The scene where he starts telling Dean is hilarious, way to overshare Sam! Tell a complete stranger that you're dreaming of ghosts and that he's in the dreams too! Either it's Sam's psychic side which allows him to dream bits of their lives or it's deliberate to make Sam aware of the haunting which will lead him to Dean. Sam's awesome side kick, Dean with the wrench, the ghost hunting - all deeply ingrained skills that not even amnesia can get rid of. "We do what I do best, Sammy – research." Sorry, is this the Twilight Zone?

    I am not a fan of the Ghostfacers but Sam and Dean learning to hunt ghosts from their 'instructional' videos, while they repeatedly insult the brothers Winchester, is brilliant. Very effective use, especially with them teaching things that the Ghostfacers themselves learned from S&D. The ghost hunt is fun, with the usually professional boys acting like amateurs. Then there's the idiot guard – hasn't this guy watched Resident Evil?! You wouldn't get me near the doors! "Take the stairs." Great scene where they take on Sandover.

    Two strangers who share something that is so special but afterwards, once the adrenaline wears off, reality comes crashing down. Sam tries to convince Dean to hit the road with him and Dean even gives examples of their real lives, credit card scams and skeevy motels. "You don't want to go fighting ghosts without any health insurance!" Talk about role reversal – Dean being scarily practical and level headed, and Sam wanting to throw their lives into chaos to chase a dream. "We were friends… more like brothers." The whole scene is so touching, even reminds me of the old Sam. Dean and Sam reel off details of their lives – very clever, the most believable lie is the one with the most truth: all real people but in the wrong roles… with the notable exception of Mary and John, probably considered too dangerous to include, given the avalanche of intense emotion that is associated with them. Loved Sam's "This isn't you, I KNOW you…" straight out of 'Fresh Blood'.

    When things get bad, Dean always starts wanting a normal life and for a while, he resists but finally realizes this life just isn't him… which is exactly the whole point of the exercise.

    I loved the closing scene between Zach and Dean, Zach takes exactly the right approach with Dean, reasonable without being aggressive. No matter where Dean is, what he's doing, how much he remembers = he's a Hunter! It's not how he was raised or that he was dragged out of Hell, it's because that's what he was born to be. It's who he is. If this experience doesn't prove that to Dean, then he's beyond hope. Dean's too distracted and because of his poor self esteem, thinks it's all too big. It's not. If Dean stops feeling sorry for himself and stops worrying about the detail (like Sam, the kid's a lost cause, stop fretting about it!) and focuses on the bigger picture, it's obvious he can do it. He's GOOD at this! If demons didn't think Dean's a threat, they wouldn't keep trying to kill him! Damn, boy, ANGELS laid siege to Hell for you! Doesn't that tell you something?! On a side note, what did Zach mean by 'all of it', as if there's something else in Dean's destiny they're just not telling him?

    Last thoughts:
    - Proof angels have a sense of humor: Dean 'Smith' and Sam 'Wesson', very funny!
    - I absolutely love Dean's hair!! He had it gelled like that for the season 2 photoshoot with the Impala.
    - Love Sam with his friend Ian, great guest star, the actor does a great job of making a small role a memorable one.
    - Sam going postal on the keyboard was brilliant! Who works at a desk and doesn't imagine that?!
    - My greatest concern? In the 3 weeks the boys worked here, where's the Impala?!

    What at first seems like a stand-alone turns into an important character episode. A charming, surprisingly touching episode which is full of great moments, gives us a chance to see the boys in different roles and a very novel way to show Dean that he really is capable of his destiny. Unusual but effective. Loved it.
  • Sam and Dean find themselves as regular guys with regular jobs. Somehow they know that something is off and they were meant to lead different lives.

    I wasn't sure if I was going to like this ep. I was wrong. Funny and revealing.

    The episode starts off with Dean headed off to his job as a corporate executive. He's a straight shooter and no-nonsense. Sam is working at the same company in technical support. Sam and Dean meet up in the elevator. Sam seems to recognize Dean, but they actually don't know each other. Out of the blue, Sam's co-workers are committing suicide after they feel they have failed the company in some way. Dean calls Sam into his office and asks why Sam asked him if he believed in ghosts when they were in the elevator. Sam asks if Dean saw a ghost and Dean says maybe. Sam and Dean investigate the mysterious "room 1444". that's where the now dead co-workers were called to before they committed suicide. They end up helping another worker and fight off the ghost. Dean got rid of the ghost by hitting it with an iron wrench, he had no idea how he knew to do that. Sam wonders if they had done this kind of thing before and just don't remember. At Dean's place they research ghosts and come across the Ghostfacers' website. There they pick up some pointers, the Ghostfacers give credit to the Wincheters while mocking them at the same time. Great laughs. They find out the ghost is the founder of the company and make a plan to get rid of him.

    Sam and Dean finally find what's left of the remains and burn them. They worked so well together, Sam tries to convince Dean that's what they are meant to do. He confesses that he's been having dreams about he and Dean fighting off ghosts and demons together. Dean thinks he's crazy and tells Sam to get lost. The next day, Sam smashes the phone in his cubicle and quits. Dean's boss comes in and gives Dean a huge bonus and tells him he has a bright future with the company. Dean tells him that he is giving his notice, he has something he needs to do. The boss gets up and touches Dean on the forehead. Dean snaps out of it and realizes that he's staring another angel in the face. It's Zachariah, Castiels's boss and this was a lesson to Dean about how he can't change who he is destined to be. Dean was born a hunter and his destiny is to stop the Apocalypse. Good episode. The Ghostfacers were hilarious. They kept calling the Winchesters "douchebags" and every other version of the term they could think of. And Dean and Sam's last names, Smith and Wesson, classic. And Dean telling Zachariah "angel or not, I will stab you in your face", priceless. Looks like we're gonna have good old Dean back.
  • Not quite as good as most of the episodes this season, but still worth a look

    It'a A Terrible Life is an episode that takes a breather from the darkness we got last week, only to lead to a conclusion that I anticipated before I even watched it. THat's why I only give it an 8.5 out of 10.

    In this story Dean and Sam are not brothers and not hunters. Instead, they work in the same building. Dean works in the Penthouse (which I found funny) and Sam works downstairs as an operator (just as funny). THe way they finally meet up in the elevator was also hysterical.

    The rest of the episode deals with a ghost who is targeting freeloading workers and killing them if they don't do their jobs right. Sam suspects that he should be doing something about the ghost because he's having nightmares that involve him and Dean tackling all kinds of supernatural beings. Dean of course does not believe in any of this stuff when Sam tries talking with him about it, but soon sees something in a bathroom involving one of those freeloading workers that makes him start believing. I really don't have to go on because everybody certainly knows what happens next.

    THe episode was funny, and the rapport between Sam and Dean was as flawless as ever, but the conclusion, when it comes, I saw coming from miles away. After last week's episode, I expected it would involve an angel who was testing Dean, and it was. In fact the angel was Castiel's superior. He wanted to show Dean that being a hunter was where he really belonged. I know I spoiled it, but if nobody expected this to happen after last week, I would be surprised.

    Still, it wasn't a bad episode at all. It was nice to see some more humor added to the mix after all the darkness of last week. Next week's episode is looking sort of Heroes(ish) involving a comic book. Kripke hasn't dissapointed this season, so hopefully it will be a good one even though it's copied from that other sci-fi show on Monday night.
  • this was cool...

    We are given the chance to see what Sam and Dean would be like in a somwwhat normal life. I know they did an episode similar to this in season 2 but in this ep Sam and Dean have never met before and Dean is some bigshot manager and Sam is a tech guy. I must say it was hilarious seeing Dean in suspenders and a comb-over. I didn't expect to see the Ghostfacers! guys again but they were hilarious in those little web clips. I think they need to come back and do some hunting later on. Basically the Angels were trying to motivate Dean into doing this whole saving the earth thing, as at the end of the last episode he said he couldn't do it. I think Dean will evetually get to it, I mean he killed Azazel, Lucifer can't be that much of a challenge.....Can he?
  • What would normal life be like for the guys?

    Ugh, I have to admit I really didn't care too much for this epi. Not my favourite, but not the worst of the bunch either... Just average I guess.
    I understand the need for a filler-epi like this after last weeks epi. Dean had to be convinced that he can do this, that he shouldn't fight his destiny. This was one way to do it, I guess. Just not the most interesting way to go about it IMO. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad. I liked some of the one-liners, and seeing Dean all business-man-like, detoxing and eating salads in his office was good. The ghost was scary, and the suicides were horrific and bloody. I did enjoy the visit from the GhostFacers again. They are hilarious as always.
    Anyway, I really, really hope they move the story forward a lot faster next week, this season is slowly running out of epi's...!
  • Come on... Stop reading this and just watch the show!

    Another great one. The writers must of had a field day playing with the characters I can`t believe how well Dean worked as a corporate drone. I was amazed... The ideea is the boys have completely different, I mean normal, lives working for a big firm. They have no recollection of the life they shared, but as usual weird is starting to happen all around them. Their colleagues start offing themselves in the groosomest ways. I usually have a strong stomach but this time I screamed at the TV `No,don`t do that. Don`t stick your head in the microwave oven`. So, to conclude, this ep was a nice change of pace, a little different from what we`re used to but keeping the SN feel. LOved it. It also put an end to a couple of questions that appeared in the last few eps, like why the brothers do what they do and if Dean wants or can continue the fight against demons... Come on... Stop reading this and just watch it!
  • Outstanding


    And before I say more - may I begin by pointing out how ***hot*** Dean is in suspenders. Amen.

    Looks like the writers deceive then flatter in this gem of an episode. Not only do you have another hilarious alternate reality for the boys, but it also answers a really annoying existential question for Dean whilst partially resolving the Angel problem (sans Cas admittedly).

    The alternate lifestyle and role reversal of the boys is fantastic. Every scene with Dean in it was owned by him.

    Zachariah is a genuinely welcome addition to the crew, and all of his lines were rock solid.

    Dean thoroughly deserved the comprehensive Angelic b!tch slap to pick him back up and point him in the right direction. His life is not hell - it really is kind of cool to be doing everything he gets to do. Nobody said it was gonna be easy, but hey - it will be one hell of a ride.

    And I am strapped in and screaming: "Bring. It. On!!!"
  • Not your typical sci-fi

    All sci-fis have at least one episode where the main character(s) is living an alternate life, and the live up to that point was all made up. And I mean ALL sci-fis have had it. Stargate, Star Trek. You name it.

    But I like how this one was done. The angels were testing Sam and Dean. Mostly Dean. To see if, deep down, he really did want to give up the hunter life. Sam of course realized earlier on that the life the angels made up for him, wasn't right.

    The angels were right that hunting was in the Winchester's blood. No matter how much they might want it, I don't think they would ever be satisfied with a normal life.

    This was a good comedic episode where their original traits and personalities tried to sneak through the angels mojo. :)
  • Great writing, acting, etc.

    I really like this filler episode. It stands out much more than the other ones. It is lighter. Jensen and Jared showed us their flexibility in acting. Jensen/Dean is a corporate man. He looked great in a suit. He was eating and drinking healthy foods Jared/Sam was a tech support. It matched his skill set. They reconnected in another realm. It proved that they cannot runaway from their destinies. They are hunters. Supernatural is getting better and better. The deaths were a little gory and bloody. The ending scene was great. It played into the seasonal arc. This show can incorporate humor into seriousness. Not many shows out there can do this.
  • Dean and Sam find themselves in a different kind of hell.

    I love the way that this show does the whole alternate reality thing. Right off the bat you see a suit...with suspenders. As if that isn't a shocking enough visual, Sam is in a cubical in IT hell answering the same question over and over again. It was fun to see Dean as a corporate shmuck eating salads and discussing the benefits of a master cleanse and climbing the corporate ladder. You know that it's another alternate reality episode but I found myself wondering who was behind it and what was the point. Then he and Sam meet, not knowing who they were to each other and encountering some paranormal weirdness. I giggled quite a bit when they got back to "Dean's Place" and he declares that he was going to do what he does best-research. And of course, the site that they relied on for information ends up being the ghostfacers site. It was hilarious watching Dean and Sam watching those two morons give a tutorial on ghost hunting and referencing the WInchesters. Near the end, when they were fighting off the ghost, they did seem a bit awkward at first, but then quickly got into the rhythm of things. It was interesting to see that Sam was the one who realized that they weren't living the lives that they were supposed to, and that something was off about their lives. (Dean Smith's dad's name was Bob, his mother's name was Ellen, and his sister's name was Jo...sound familiar?) In the end, even with the temptation of wealth and success and despite his initial hesitance Dean was willing to walk away from the corporate world and back into the world of shadows. The AU was conducted by a higher up in the chain of Angels in order to make Dean realize exactly who he was, to get him to snap out of his self doubt and make him see that he can do what he was destined to do - in fact, he was the only one who could. I liked this episode and thought that it was important in that it gets Dean back on track and moves the story forward without being completely about the apocalypse.
  • A very different feel from the last episode, and not my favorite, but not bad either. Warning, spoilers ahead.

    I have to say, I almost didn't know what I was watching when this first came on, and it was so weird to see Dean and Sam not knowing each other and living regular lives. This has to be one of the most interesting episodes so far, starting with no explanation of how we got to where we are and not only that, but having Sam and Dean being regular people instead of hunters. People were dropping like flies and it was interesting to see that even though Sam and Dean didn't seem to know anything about hunting anymore, they still had some of their hunting skills. This episode even gives a nod to the ghost facers, but in a strange way as Sam and Dean think of them as professional and go to their site for help, which would never be the case if they remembered who they were. In the end, I felt this episode was missing something, it was nice to see something as different as this, but it almost felt like a different show. Not my favourite episode, as nothing really happened, but at least now Dean might snap out of his depression a bit.
  • Sam as tech support; dean as marketing exec.... yup something a little out of whack there!

    this was a good episode. not sure why some people disliked it. I think it was interesting at the end, to find out who was behind all the alternate reality stuff. That made me think that putting Sam in a low prestige role versus Dean in a higher up role was a way to help bolster Dean's confidence in the face of Sam's growing power and strength.... Dean is really losing the position of big brotherly superiority and it's got to be hard on him after all those years of taking care of and watching out for and Sam and being alpha dog. I think this was a great episode - i only don't like alternate reality when it is done poorly. this was done really well!
  • A normal episode!

    Hi folks, so is not the best eps by supernatural, but I have great time watching supernatural today

    First: In the beging it's really crazy hahahaha dean a buinessman, come on! and he hates rock! drive sofistcate car, that's not my dean!. Sam still a nerd ahahaahaha, but he's the only one that realize something wrong.

    Second: The deaths really creapy!it's the best part of the eps!

    third: my hilarios nerds go back, ed and harry really hilarius, and teathing the guys a hunting supenatural things ahahhaha. So hilarius they talk about the "winchesters", I'm really curious to konw the winchester in the altenative reality.

    Four : I like the zacary's angels, he's better than uriel, and bring back dean for real job, and makes dean realize he has a important job

    So guys, see you later

    kiss cau!
  • Corporate hell meets the Winchesters

    After everything that happened in the previous episode, it's no surprise that the writers wanted to step back a moment. It's odd to think that Sera Gamble wrote this episode, while Ben Edlund wrote the previous angst-fest. Tonally speaking, one would have expected the opposite, given the material. Edlund is usually the go-to writer for darkly comedic episodes, but Gamble did a capable job.

    Anyone stuck in the corporate world, even under the current economic crisis, understands the soul-crushing culture that dominates. It's so antithetical to everything about the Brothers Winchester that it almost seems to be an incorrect test of Dean's true nature. I don't think you need to be a hunter by instinct to feel like the mind-numbing power politics of corporate hell are something to escape!

    That said, a more subtle shift in their lives might have been harder to render effectively. The amusement that comes with Sam and Dean in the white collar world is necessary to give the episode enough scope. The further the brothers begin from their normal lives, the longer the journey back. Structurally, it definitely makes sense, and there are some cute moments.

    The entire episode hinges on the very end, because while it's amusing to see Sam and Dean out of their element and living alternate lives, there had to be a reason for it. I like how they tied this into the end of the previous episode and gave Dean a reason to keep fighting. It's definitely better than watching him deny his nature for several episodes, and better than having Castiel or Sam talk him into it. In essence, Dean makes the choice to return to his old life, and though some persuasion is involved, he makes that choice for himself.

    In practical terms, Sam has to be inserted into this alternate life along with Dean, because otherwise, Sam would immediately try to do everything possible to intervene. But it also seems as if Zachariah knew that Sam would be a catalyst for Dean's realization that he should be a hunter. It feels like Sam's role was also important for some reason, but despite his overwhelming sense of destiny, that doesn't quite gel.

    It could have something to do with the impression that he's already on his destined path, and Dean is the one that needs to get his head back in the game. Zachariah's explanation to Dean seems to indicate that all those hints about Dean dealing with Sam will, in fact, come to fruition before all is said and done.

    If there is one flaw to the episode, it's the pacing. The story takes its time, and some scenes feel like they take forever to unfold. It's a lot slower than the previous episode, for instance. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I found myself wanting them to get on with it more than once. The end helped to mitigate much of that annoyance, but on the whole, the pace took a little away from the impact of the episode.
  • Corporate Dean.

    I loved the opening sequence to this episode, I thought it was really well done and Dean was looking good in that ridiculous suit (red suspenders and all). And then Sam with the same computer problem again and again was classic.
    I'm not always the biggest fan of alternative reality shows in science fiction, but I thought that this was done really well especially in terms of having it as a one episode transitional episode. The ending showed off the "moral" of the story and the appearance of another angel was welcome.
    This episode reminded me a lot of some of the episodes of Angel at Wolfram and heart and especially with the talk of destiny and fate at the end. It also had good moments of scary moments and humorous things, so it was a really good episode.
  • i'm glad they didn't keep the whining for too long

    for some reason i keep noticing the similarities of this story arc with buffy's final seasons,and just like buffy, dean comes back from the dead, but he's not very eager to do his job anymore, depressed and broken.

    but with buffy it took so long for her to come back to normal and all that whining was boring,but here, as soon as dean hits the rock bottom they've got him right up, without wasting too much time on it. (the angel acutally said "whining" :)) nice episode, more info about sam and why was it him having the dreams could've been explained but then again this was about dean, not sam at all. (although angels using this opportunity to show sam something would make it much more of a satisfying episode)

    in general, it was ok, filler, fun to watch. "burn the remains of the ghost" thing feels very dull to me, they've did it many many times but i guess this was a special event :)
  • Supernormal

    It's a Terrible Life-Dean and Sam now lead ordinary lives. Dean works in the corporate world at the Sandover Bridge & Iron Company along with Sam who works as a Tech Support. Both have no idea who the other is until their colleagues start killing themselves.

    Like Smallville, Supernatural went for more of a lighthearted episode after a run of very dark ones. My main problem with "It's a Terrible Life" is that at times it feels like a filler episode until the end reveals that the episode did have some kind of siginificance to the season's arc. But I'll get to that later. It's nice to have a lighter episode after some of the darkest material of the series and there was some terrific irony in Dean and Sam's alternate lives. Dean being an executive d*%@#! how Sam later puts it as well as Sam being one of those phone operators was pretty funny. Both Jensen and Jared were convincing in their new roles as they worked off each other in a different way yet still maintained that great chemistry they have when they play brothers.

    The ghost storyline with some dead executive haunting the company because of the terrible economic crisis was a standard storyline with nothing special about it. But the funny moments and gruesome death scenes made up for the weak storyline. My favorite part of the episode definately has to be when Dean and Sam learn how to defeat ghosts from the Ghostfacers website. "Ghostfacers" was one of my favorite episodes from last season with it's ingenius mocking of the reality series "Ghost Hunters". Those "Ghostfacers" guys are always hilarious and I loved how the kept bashing Dean and Sam throughout their appearence with Dean and Sam being completely oblivious to the fact that they're talking about them. There are also some inventive death scenes like the one where one of the employees kills himself by jamming his head into a microwave. Then there was that scene with the security guard getting ripped apart by the elevator and blood splurting on Sam. Just the whole dark comedy of that scene was priceless. Then there was Sam breaking the phone and delivering "I quit." But what I loved most was how even though Dean and Sam didn't really know each other, there was still a connection between them and that brotherly instinct was still there. I liked the scene of Sam trying to convince Dean to quit his job to become a hunter like him and it made me feel bad for Sam when Dean declined. Jensen and Jared both were great as usual.

    But again, I had a problem with the way the story was resolved. So another angel was behind this whole alternate reality scenario as a way of showing that Dean's hunter instinct is in his blood and that he should stop whining about being chosen to stop the apocalypse? While I'm glad Dean is more confident about stop the apocalypse, it seemed like such a contrived ending. Couldn't the writers have planned a different scenario for Dean to be taught this lesson? I feel "It's a Terrible Life' was a better episode than when it became a mixture of both a standalone and arc episode at the end. The ending feels a bit tacked on and out of place because I think this revelation for Dean would have had a better impact in a full on arc episode. Or having Castiel be the one whoe was behind it instead of some random angel would have made the ending much better. But hey! That's just me! "It's a Terrible Life" is still a very entertaining episode that plays out quite well despite how I feel about the ending.
  • Just the grittyness from season 1 & 2 we all miss. No plot line, no crap, just a pure hunt.

    Just the grittyness from season 1 & 2 we all miss. No plot line, no crap, just a pure hunt. Season 4 has been a let down, even tho its been better than season 3 which dragged out.. and they're signed up for a fifth season.... wait and see i spose.. bring back the good old supernatural, when i would have got that tat on my left peck to ward of evil, now, i might watch the season. RIP director (who-ever) no offence, but the main director just past and i think even he was ashamed of this final installment
  • Sam and Dean are workers in an office and they don't know one another? What is going on? Watch and see....

    I didn't think I was going to like this one but I did. It was a straightforward salt n burn (albeit the burn was a pair of gloves). The boys are in an alternate reality and Sam is a tech guy (loved the unplug and plug it back in line!) and Dean is Director, Sales and Marketing and there is a ghost in the building ganking employees that don't step up to the mark. We find out at the end that this was a test by Castiel's superior to see if Dean could find his way back to what he was supposed to be - a hunter - and in the end it works. Sam remembers bits from their other life through dreams (visions?) and in them Dean is there. So the two normal guys end up fighting a ghost - just the way it is supposed to be, brothers in arms. Sam feels it, so maybe that's a good sign, maybe he hasn't stepped as far from Dean as the last few weeks have looked?

    Loved the death scenes - death by microwave, pencil (!) and lift!! (Gotta love the lift scene!!)

    I loved all the little things in this episode.

    Their suprise at being able to fight the ghost, and the shock that the salt worked and the iron worked. How nice to see smiles when the got rid of the ghost. The Ghostfacers website and Dean and Sam taking tips from them - tips that they got from the 'doucebag' Winchesters!

    Dean SMITH and Sam WESTON - Smith and Weston?? Just can't get away from guns for names guys eh? Dean Smith's family - Bob, Ellen and sister Jo?? Sam's fiancee made me laugh so hard there was tears in my eyes - Madison and the number he called was an animal shelter - who says angels don't have a sense of humour??

    I am jealous of Sam - who hasn't wanted to take a poker to the phone on their desk - just once?? Although I have had the pleasure of standing up and just quitting! Best feeling in the world.

    I loved when the angel reveals itself, touches Dean and the world changes from the colours of normal life into the greyed out world in which the Winchesters live.

    Dean's face at the 'you get to save the world, drive a classic car and fornicate with woman' - loved the little eyebrow!

    Finally, best line and a ray of hope that Dean Winchester is on his way back - 'angel or not I will stab you in the face' - welcome back Dean!

    Now get your brother and go kick Lillith's butt. Destiny's calling
  • Sam and Dean get back to basics

    Normally, I'd be very verbal about another angel break from the show but after the super-intense last episode, a little break from the drama was needed. And it's not much a break, as you'll soon find it. But what we've got is a clever, quirky, and fun episode where Sam and Dean get back to basics. Sam and Dean show up, working at the same company, Sam a cubicle worker and Dean a CEO. Both of their memories are wiped and they don't remember each other. That's enough to get to you to start scratching, huh? Sam's best friend is a goofy slacker and Dean's best friend is his boss, who is very eager to see Dean climb the corporate ladder. Sam's life is too repetitive and he soon is bored. Not all his memories are gone, as he dreams about the adventures he and Dean shared. However, the dreams puzzle him and make no sense to his normal self and when he tries to explain it to Slacker, Slacker laughs in his face. Soon, something weird appears to be going on in the company, as an overzealous company man commits suicide after failing to retrieve a lost file. Sam bumps into Dean and he feels the connection between them. He asks Dean if he feels something is up. Dean is confused Sam is even talking to him. He shrugs it off but deep down, he senses something is wrong. Sam's slacker friend is the next victim; after he gets a mysterious message to see the boss, he comes back trimmed and coiffed, totally businesslike. When Dean corrects him on an error, he too commits suicide in a bathroom. Dean observes this (poor guy, even with his memory wiped, he can't escape death) and tries to save the poor fellow, even with some creepy squirts of soap and a pencil, and sees the spirit of a digusting old man appear and vanish. A ghost again? I will complain about Season Four's excess of ghosts but since this was a pretty good episode, I'll let it go. Two suicides in a few days? Sam and Dean wake up and realize something not normal is going on. They figure out that these men have been going to a room 14-44 (=13 so you know:]). They go in, Sam karate-kicking the door, to his and Dean's confusion, and save another man from being creamed by the ghost, Dean slamming a wrentch into the ghost like old times. Dean and Sam are majorly confused as to why they can do these things but they like it and they want to take the ghost. In a hilarious move, in order to find answers they forgot, they look up old videos of their "friends" the Ghostfacers. Nice and kind of weird to see them again. Clever and funny moments as the Ghostfacers reinform Sam and Dean on the uses of rock salt, guns, and iron on ghosts, and brings up the lessons learned from the "douchebag" Winchesters. Hilarious that Sam and Dean didn't realize they were talking about them. Dean and Sam pick up on old tricks and do some research on the ghost (yea!) and they discover that it's the spirit of a dead man whose whole life was dedicated to the job, and only returned from the dead to whip incompetent businessmen into shape in times of great economic crisis. Sigh. Got to love recession mentions. Not even on Supernatural does it go unnoticed. Hey, it rivers turning red and the economy in the toilet. Same old Apocalypse, same old. :}. Another 'lesson' from Ghostfacers over burning any remains and Sam and Dean charge back into room 14-44. A cop finds Sam and drags him downstairs in an elevator. Spirit sends the elevator into computes and the cop has the "bright" idea to use the hacket. How many horror movies have shown that this doesn't work? As expected, Cop dies after uttering a terrificly ironic statement, and Sam is coated with blood. Ugh. Sam limps upstairs and Dean's deduced that the spirit remains are the gloves. They use the stair at Sam's behest:] and the ghost as usual puts up a good fight. Sam and Dean though as always get the better and the spirit is destroyed. Sam and Dean marvel at their success, their "first" mission that for some time didn't have a long or personal bodycount. Sam basks in the glory and asks Dean if they want to do this. There are more ghosts in the world, they should hunt them. Sam is sick of normal life, he wants his "old" life back. Funny. Dean refuses, clinging to his fake normal life. Sam admits the bond he feels with Dean, he feels they're friends, no brothers (awww!) but Dean still refuses. He walks away from Sam. The next morning, Sam gets fed up and destroys his phone. To the shocked onlookers, he informs them he quits, as if having a public hissy fit wasn't obvious. Dean's boss walks in and offer Dean a promotion. He could have the wealth, the luxery, the power, all of it. Dean considers it but turns it down. He believes Sam and he knows he's not happy with his life. He tells his boss he's quitting because this isn't a life. The boss smiles. That's what he wanted to hear. Boss is actually Zacharias, a high angel. So even with no angel-demon bloodshed, it's nice to see an angel in a normal Supernatural episode. He restores Dean's old memory. Dean is bewildered, reasonably, and shocked that he spent three weeks being a CEO. Zacharias pulled the strings and wiped Dean's memory, plucking him into the company where he knew a ghost resided. Why? Think of it as an Its a Wonderful Life moment. Zacharias was sick and tired of hearing about Dean b@tching about not being strong enough, being a monster, being a complete wreck, yada, yada, yada, so he decided to show Dean a life he could have had. More importantly, he wanted to show Dean that hunting is in Dean's blood. He's meant to do it, always drawn to it, freely going into it with fists held high. Zacharias reminds Dean that he's the only one that can save the world, so he better grow a pair and shape up. He then offers Dean the proverbial choice: does Dean want to save the world or go back to a boring, thankless existence as a corporate. Dean doesn't respond but more than safe guess says that he'll be back hunting. The only question I have on this is what happened with Sam? I'll assume he regained his memory but just why did Zacharias pluck him with Dean? I feel I know why Zacharias didn't address Sam's issue and it has to deal with the intense fear that Sam will destroy them all. It was nice change-of-pace nostalgic episode that had Sam and Dean going back to basics for a short time. There were many funny moments in this episode, especially with Sam and Dean shocked over their kick-butt skills and a quip over how Dean and Sam earn their money hunting, especially in this dreadful economy. For economic reasons, hunting is not conducive. One of the best moments was when Dean said his fiance was Jo (nice to know Supernatural still remembers her and there was a time where that was possible) and Sam saying he broke up with his girlfriend Madison a few weeks before and when he tried to call her, all he got was the number for an animal shelter. Hee-hee. And after all the heavy doom-and-gloom of Season Four as a whole, it was nice to have a mostly lighthearted episode for a change. It is assured though that Sam and Dean's quest to save the world from Armageddon will get extremely intense so be warned.
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