Season 5 Episode 7

The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Oct 29, 2009 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
728 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Bobby risks his life by betting 25 years of his life on a poker game run by a witch. Dean tries to save Bobby but ends up drastically aging.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • not a poker fan, but I'm a fan of this episode!

    It's very sad seeing Bobby so depressed and after all the times he helped the boys out of trouble, it was their time to help him see that he is still very important for them and thankfully Dean did a great job convincing him. His speech was beautiful.

    I liked the poker game between Patrick and Sam, it was so thrilling! Seeing Dean as an old man --> fantastic & funny :)

    It was one of the best episodes of Supernatural!moreless
  • The other side of Supernatural.

    This episode was so funny!

    Sure, there were no monsters and no blood and guts painting the walls, but it was still awesome.

    The premise: Texas hold 'em where each chip counts for one year in your life. Interested? Bobby sure as hell is, and after something goes terribly wrong, Dean has to jump in for rescue - which is followed by one of the most hilarious episodes in the history of Supernatural ever.

    Dean, clearly, has some issues with his newfound state of aging. Bobby and him get very good chemistry going between them, and they are such cranky old men.

    Meanwhile Sam has to find a way to save his brother, and to outwit the witch in his own game.

    Besides offering a lot of memorable laughs and beautiful issues and dialogue between characters, this episode also looked good. The witch(es) were modern and very pleasing to the eye in manner and speech. Devious yet delightful and not all black and white.

    While I haven't seen the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I thought this idea blended very well to the setting of Supernatural because it brought out some of the best quirks in its characters.moreless
  • Curious by name and even curiouser by nature, this exercise in moralistic pontification really is one of the most bizarre episodes that Supernatural has ever thrown at us.

    Curious by name and even curiouser by nature, this exercise in moralistic pontification really is one of the most bizarre episodes that Supernatural has ever thrown at us. Gamble's script is less a linear, traditional 'case', the teleological quest towards a resolution, and more the audio-visual equivalent of a prolonged stroke of the chin or, indeed, an intellectual debate. The substance of the hour is essentially the question of immortality... or rather, the perpetual hunger for youth. Such a topic is hardly original, sure, but the script comes at it in a fairly interesting way by introducing a poker shark who plays for your years, or to hand some back to you if you happen to beat him. In a suitably murky move for the character, but one that seems completely believable, Bobby tries his hand at the game and loses, causing Dean to give it a go and lose even more spectacularly, which subsequently forces Sam to play the sweet-talking Irish guy.

    Ultimately though, the minutiae don't seem to matter too much, since it's the places that these events take the characters that provides the meat of the episode. With Bobby, we are able to see just how broken he is as a result of his new-found incapacitation, as he believes it renders him 'useless.' Jim Beaver is all too often underused in the show, appearing to lend a helping hgand to Sam and Dean and maybe throw in the odd surrogate father figure remark here and there. We sort of take him for granted, but here, thanks to some top notch writing, we are reminded that he is just as flawed a human being as either of the brothers, able to be a victim of his own emotional pride. Dean, meanwhile, is forced to see how the other half lives when he is aged, which leads to some nice moments of understanding with Bobby, and also some appreciation of the benefits of his usual state. And perhaps most importantly, the plot provides Sam with his own personal brand of redemption as he is finally able to save his brother meaningfully, without any outside influence or risk to his own well-being. While his success in the game is never in question, the realisation of the moment doesn't feel like a let down because it's the character beat that's most important; it is immensly satisfying to see the younger Winchester finally get the upper hand.

    There are a few problems with the episode, however, and they largely centre on its narratalogical deviation. While the fresh approach is certainly commendable, it is also somewhat lethargic at points. Occasionally, the plot seems to grind to an almighty halt, and what fills the gap is not necessarily engaging. There's a little too much finger-pointing and bellyaching at the perils of being old as Dean is seen moaning at his lack of breath, bad back and any number of other things, every time he turns a corner. It's rather excessive and the joke begins to lose its comedy after only a handful of occurrences. The poker plot is also rather mundane for those who aren't fans of it or even aware of its rules; some of the more dramatic moments in play lose their edge when you haven't a clue about what's going on. Generally though, this is considerably enjoyable episode with a great deal to say, that works by virtue of its own wonderful weirdness.moreless
  • A good episode, but just a bit off. Warning, spoilers contained below.

    A good idea for an episode, but the actor playing old Dean just didn't feel at all like Dean. He didn't just look off, he also didn't play off the other characters at all, I really missed Dean. It makes you appreciate how well Bobby Dean and Sam act together. They play off each other so amazingly. And hearing Dean's jokes from this guy just felt wrong, I tried to be open minded and imagine it being Dean, but it just wasn't working. I really liked this episode overall, I just thought that "old" Dean was not as good as he could have been.moreless
  • Thought it would turn out to be more important than it did, but still enjoyable.

    We pretty much say Bobby's depression coming but the fact that he's suicidal is tragic. It's also making him reckless – if he hadn't played Patrick, Dean wouldn't have almost died. He nearly had to watch his almost-son die and Sam nearly lost his brother… again. Dean's got every right to pull the good old guilt trip on Bobby, he screwed up. Sam got incredibly lucky – yes, he did bluff Patrick but it didn't change the fact that he had four of a kind – that's plain luck.

    Really liked Patrick, he's adorable and the love story was beautiful. It was a nice touch.

    A good episode, not as significant as I thought it would be but still enjoyable.moreless
Pascale Hutton

Pascale Hutton


Guest Star

Christopher Russell (II)

Christopher Russell (II)

Cliff Whitlow

Guest Star

Chad Everett

Chad Everett

Older Dean

Guest Star

Jim Beaver

Jim Beaver

Bobby Singer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Dean: And by the way, how you doing?
      Bobby: Doing?
      Dean: Yeah. You know, just... in general.
      Bobby: Oh, you mean my legs. I'm just weeping in my Haagen-Dazs. Idjit.

    • Dean: Bobby? What the hell are you doing here?
      Bobby: Planting daisies. What's it look like? Came in on the case.
      Dean: And you beat me here?
      Bobby: Well, brains trumps legs, apparently.

    • Old Dean: Bobby's an idiot, that's what happened.
      Bobby: Hey, nobody asked you to play.
      Old Dean: Right. I should have just let you die.
      Bobby: And for damn sure, nobody asked you to lose.
      Sam: It's like Grumpy Old Men.
      Old Dean and Bobby: Shut up, Sam!

    • Old Dean: You saw a chance to turn the hands of the clock back and get out of that damn chair. Pretty tempting. I can imagine.
      Bobby: No, you can't.
      Old Dean: You got me. I never been paralyzed. But I tell you something--I've been to Hell, and there's an archangel there wanting me to drop the soap. Look at me! My junk's rustier than yours!

    • Old Dean: (to Sam) Dude, I believe that he-witch gave you the clap.

    • Dean: You're family. I don't know if you've noticed, but me and Sam, we don't have much left. I can't do this without you. I can't. So don't you dare think about checking out. I don't want to hear that again.
      Bobby: Okay.
      Dean: Okay. Good.
      Bobby: Thanks. Now, we done feeling our feelings? 'Cause I'd like to get out of this room before we both start growing lady parts

  • NOTES (1)

    • International Airdates:
      UK: March 17, 2010 on LIVING/LIVING HD
      Australia: March 29, 2010 on Channel TEN
      Portugal: May 17, 2010 on AXN
      Spain: October 4, 2010 on AXN
      Germany: January 24, 2011 on Sky Cinema Hits
      Czech Republic: August 19, 2011 on Prima COOL
      Finland: April 17, 2012 on Sub


    • Sam: It's like Grumpy Old Men.
      Referencing the comedy Grumpy Old Men (1993) and its sequel Grumpier Old Men (1995) in which Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon play two elderly neighbors who argue constantly and never stop insulting each other.

    • Old Dean: Benjamin Button me back into burger shape.
      Along with the title, referencing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which tells the tale of Benjamin Button, who is born with the appearance of a 70-year-old and ages backwards. The story was later adapted into a movie in 2008.

    • Old Dean: The old chick in Titanic I know.
      Referencing the 1997 movie Titanic and the elderly Gloria Stuart, who plays main character Rose DeWitt Bukater in the modern-day portions of the film.

    • Sam: I was going to say "Emperor Palpatine."
      Referencing the evil emperor of the Galactic Empire in the Star Wars movies, portrayed primarily by Ian McDiarmid. A secret Dark Lord of the Sith, Palpatine maneuvers himself into power and convinces the Senate to grant him broad emergency powers, which he uses to overthrow the Jedi and become emperor. Initially an elderly man, his appearance degenerates further after a battle with Mace Windu.

    • Sam: It's like Mission: Pathetic.
      Referencing the long-running CBS series Mission: Impossible, which featured a team of experts who engaged in espionage missions for the U.S Government. Safecracking was one of the skills they were frequently called upon to use. The show spawned a sequel and as of the time this episode premiered, three movies.

    • Dean: Let's go, Ironsides.
      Referencing the 1967-75 series Ironsides, which featured Raymond Burr as a San Francisco Chief of Detectives, crippled by a bullet and confined to a wheelchair, but continuing to work as a consultant for the police force.