Supernatural‘s Regarding Dean episode is a play on the 1991 film Regarding Henry where the lead character Henry survives a shooting but ends up forgetting everything. It’s nice Supernatural’s titles often refer to song or film titles befitting the story like in Sam Interrupted points to Angelina Jolie’s Girl Interrupted which is set in an insane asylum. Here we have a nice Dean-centric episode where he slowly loses his memories after getting hexed. And when there’s a witch, there’s usually Rowena, giving Ruth Connell’s character her another time to shine. Skip this article if you don’t want this episode spoiled but please do go on or get back in retrospect.
We begin the episode with Dean in pursuit of a man who looks quite normal except for a bullet wound. Given the pre-episode flashbacks, we can say that the man is a witch (to use the general SPN term). Dean catches up, but before he can finish him off, the man makes a blood sigil on a tree trunk which zaps Dean unconscious.
Next Dean wakes up where he fell with a rabbit beside him. It’s a nice touch given that rabbits often get the bad deal when it comes to witches and hex bags. He apparently has no memory of what happened that night and asks a couple of park patrons so he could use their phones to call Sam since his phone was broken. They then meet up at a waffle house (great looking waffles by the way). The first sign that something is wrong is that Dean can’t recall how he ended up where he was and that he forgot about Kelly and the dead guy they’re supposed to examine. But it’s not definite as he remembers given that he’s reminded. But the night before is definitely lost as he’s painfully reminded of an unknown girl he got intimate with. That part was hilarious. It’s a shame as the girl must have had an awesome night as she seemed to be describing the experience with her friends.
They get to the morgue, and Dean starts showing signs of throwing up at the sight of gore, in this case, the money that was stuffed in the dead man’s gut. They both dismiss it as Dean has had too many waffles. They find the hex bag that they suspected should be at the case site in the evidence box which confirms their suspicion of witchcraft. Sam finally finds out something’s wrong when Dean forgets how to drive and even forgets his name for a while. But if Dean was hexed, the question is, why he’s still alive? The scene in their motel room gets fun when Dean can’t name the members of Bon Jovi and even forgot what a lamp is. Sam decides to get help.
We switch over to Rowena being in all places, a server room playing poker with a bunch of unknowns and cheating her way into cash. It’s surprising that Sam even has Rowena’s number to which she asks if she has her own ringtone. Let’s break a bit here, that it’s kind of refreshing that the brothers have become comfy with Crowley and Rowena even though they’re still bad guys. They still have the potential of killing people like that time Crowley blew up Rowena’s boyfriend. The showrunners can’t kill them off just yet as both characters have become loved by fans. Guess, it’s just saying that hopefully, these two become good guys too or the ultimate bad guys by the time the show actually ends.
While Sam talks to Rowena, Dean gets some ice for the vodkas he found. He gets lost for a while as he can’t find the way back to the room. Rowena advises Sam to kill the witch responsible for casting the obliviate spell on Dean. Since Dean can’t remember the night before, they decide to do a Dude Where’s My Car and retrace Dean’s steps starting with the dead guy’s office. Next, Sam’s memory of Dean’s last location was him looking for a burger joint. They go to each joint in town to jog Dean’s memory and end up where the girl who slapped Dean worked in. She helped fill them in on the stuff Dean did, and that’s where they found Dean’s witch through the security cams. It’s kind of funny but cheesy at the same time when Dean thought it was cool that he can shoot a gun. But later, Dean forgets that they hunt things that go bump in the night and that they even exist. Sam ends up reminding him like they do to everyone who finds out that the supernatural is real. They find the location of the glyph the witch used on Dean and Dean finds the witch’s corpse nearby which means that Dean’s obliviate spell didn’t die with the witch. To answer the previous question, the witch may have been too weak to cast a killing spell or too vindictive to cast something worse. Later, the witch’s kin finds his dead body but instead of leaving town, the dead guy Gideon’s sister decides to stay.
Rowena shows up but at this point, Dean’s mostly useless so Sam makes Dean watch TV. Rowena is familiar with the witches involved, and Rowena reveals that the witches use a druidic magic not familiar to her and that she requires a book that they’re keeping, the Black Grimoire. So now we have another book in the mix. So the all-powerful book of the dead is no longer enough? In the past episode, we also go to know that Lily Sunder can wield Enochian magic against angels and somewhere, there could be a book for that as well. The new knowledge about Enochian lore somehow, in my opinion, has become too convenient to find for ordinary people like Lily and the BMOL. It’s like the progression of power in Dragonball Z where Picollo can easily defeat Freeza by now. By now, all the information on the angel and demon tablets could have already been logged elsewhere while we had Kevin spend two seasons translating them. For consistency’s sake, the brothers are convenient friends with the King of Hell and after meeting God and the origin of evil, The Darkness; demons and angels are easy pickings. But hey, we love ‘em all the same.
Fortunately, we’re still reminded that Rowena is a bad guy because the brothers still keep a level of mistrust. Sam accuses Rowena of using them to get another powerful artifact. Rowena stresses the fact that Dean is already in big trouble. The spell cast on Dean will cause his mind to forget everything, including the involuntary act of breathing. The brothers have a heart-to-heart talk about Dean’s condition, and Dean, much like anyone hates the undignified way he’ll end up. It’s almost like ending up as roadkill where the brains that contain all our memories and who we are, get scattered on the pavement.
Sam is devastated at the fact and dismisses Rowena’s semblance of actually caring (but maybe she does which is kudos for the character). Sam would rather see his brother die in action rather than the impending ignoble outcome. Dean then gets dramatic as he looks in the mirror and constantly reminds himself of who he is and what he remembers. It gets more depressing as his condition progresses and he finally forgets his name. Later, Sam goes after the book and leaves Rowena to care for Dean.
Dean fidgets like a child with Rowena’s things as she prepares for a spell. She hands him a doll to play with while she tells him her life story, assuming Dean will forget anyway. We get more info on her background here to complement the one we had when she told Crowley how she hated him in Season 11. It turns out that she’s in the US because of the British Men of Letters. When in the beginning of the season, she said that she no longer wanted to get involved too much with the supernatural, it was when she met both God and The Darkness. The two highest beings in the universe are just squabbling, she realized that the power she wanted to be happy really meant nothing, thus her seeming change of heart, to turn to the good side.
Sam arrives at the house but ends up getting captured, to be used to resurrect Gideon. Next, we see Dean waking up alone in the Impala with a couple of notes left by Rowena who went to the witches home to help Sam. She confronts the sister witch Katrina and reminds her about them throwing her out. Katrina calls Rowena, Raggedy Ann. It turns out that Katrina’s family is where Rowena first sought refuge in the story she told Dean. Rowena then battles Katrina with magic. Sam meanwhile appeals to the brother Boyd not to proceed with the ritual, but despite his reservations, family ties run strong as we know in this series.
Dean disregards, Rowena’s note to stay in the car and as she anticipated, Dean opens the car’s trunk, and Dean finds more notes that leads him to the witches’ house. Katrina somehow overpowers Rowena, and before Katrina could kill her, Dean shoots Katrina dead. Sam overpowers Boyd. Boyd escapes, later to be shot by Dean, before some confusion whether to shoot Boyd or Sam. Let’s just say the simple suggestion by Sam and some blood instinct helped Dean decide.
Rowena restores Dean’s memories, but Dean plays Sam for a while. It’s kind of strange for Dean and Rowena to be so ginger with each other after the joke. But Sam still doesn’t fully trust her and demands the book back before she leaves. But who knows, she could have done something else to Dean or the Grimoire during the restoration process wherein Sam was not in the room to witness, which is kind of strange. Plus, the book could be another key to fighting Lucifer and whoever the Nephilim turns out to be as druidic magic could be the same as fairy magic which could probably hold its own against angelic power as said in the Season 6 episode Clap Your Hands if You Believe.
The brothers then go on their usual retrospective about how good it would be to actually forget about all they’ve been through and the baggage they carry all the time. Rowena told Dean the same thing. They say ignorance is bliss, but it’s not worth losing one’s memories and identity. Though that would probably depend on what someone’s actually been through. If one can forget a harrowing past to produce a better person, perhaps.
And after that, we’re treated to some pleasant country music which this author’s not familiar with while showing viewers a recap of the show with clips of Dean’s finer moments and riding Larry the Bull in the bar. What if the brothers went back to the bar so could Dean ride Larry again and those clips with him recalling the time he was hexed? Then that would mean that he’ll see Rowena in a new light, which would mean their pleasantness on the stairs when he made that joke on Sam.
This episode is both comedic and dramatic that really shows Jensen’s talent in acting. One of the main reasons Supernatural’s road has gotten so far. While it’s a monster-of-the-week episode, the witches are just more like background characters as we’re stuck looking at Sam, Dean and Rowena. Sam does get much dialogue in this time as well as show concern for his brother and mistrust on Rowena, but that’s kind of his thing. Perhaps, we could use another Sam-centric episode as well this season much like Season 3’s Bad Day at Black Rock. As I interjected throughout the recap, it’s fun having Rowena around and as having become another fan favorite, become truly another of the show’s anti-heroes like Crowley. Heck, maybe she already is. This episode was generally fun, and I’ve read and heard some comments and reviews saying it’s one of the best. But for me, it’s one of the better episodes but not quite one of the best.
Check out the preview for the next Supernatural 1212 Stuck in the Middle (With You).