11.08 Just My Imagination

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Title Just My Imagination
Episode # Season 11, Episode 8
First aired December 2, 2015
Directed by Richard Speight, Jr.
Written by Jenny Klein
On IMDB Just My Imagination
Outline Sam's old imaginary friend, Sully, comes back into his life looking for his help after learning other imaginary friends are being mysteriously killed.
Monster Human
Timeline 1992 (flashback)
Location(s) Menomonie, Wisconsin
Lebanon, Kansas
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Maddie, a young girl, is setting up a tea party for her stuffed animals while her parents watch from the doorway. She asks her imaginary friend how many lumps of sugar they want. Her mother tells her that she and her father are ready to go to dinner whenever Maddie is. The father takes his wife aside and insists that they need to leave before they miss their reservation; she reminds him that they’re trying a new parenting style that emphasizes allowing the child to participate in their own time frame. Maddie says okay, and then tells her imaginary friend that they can party all night while her parents eat Cheerios for dinner. Maddie’s friend is revealed to be a large, glittery unicorn man named Sparkle. He tells Maddie to go to dinner and that he’ll clean up. She runs off to dinner with her parents.

Sparkle cleans up the tea party and then reads while he waits for Maddie to return. He jumps out of his chair when the bedroom door opens, yelling in joy for his friend. However, the unknown person entering the room is not Maddie, and Sparkle’s face clouds with confusion. He questions the person, and rather than answering, he is stabbed in the chest with a large dagger.

When Maddie comes home, she races to her room to greet Sparkle. Upon entering the room, Maddie starts to scream.

In the Bunker, Sam’s alarm goes off and he gets up to make coffee, revealing a dark person-shaped shadow who’s been watching him sleep. He stumbles around the kitchen filling the coffee pot, walking back and forth past a table piled with sugary snacks several times before he notices it. While Sam’s looking at the table, a man jumps out from behind him proclaiming himself to be Sam’s old best friend, Sully. Sam punches him.

Dean walks in and sees Sam fighting and talking to no one, and then he wonders where all the junk food came from. When Sully reveals himself to Dean, Sam explains that he thinks this is his imaginary friend from when he was little. Dean decides to go get his gun, but Sully explains that he’s a Zanna, that someone has been murdering his friends, and that he’s looking for their help, since they’re hunters. A brief argument ensues, where Dean insists that he, Sully, is not people, and that they don’t help monsters. Dean and Sam adjourn to the library (Sully is not invited), to discuss their issue.

They argue about whether Sully actually exists, while Sam looks up Zanna in the Men of Letters card catalog. They find that Zanna are real, and Sam convinces Dean to go and check out the case.

The Impala pulls up inside Maddie’s house, and Sully warns Sam and Dean what a bloodbath it is inside. He explains that he’s in management now, but came to see his friend Sparkle. They decide to go to the door and act as child psychologists sent due to Maddie’s call to the police. They argue going up the walk, and Sam remembers his time with Sully as a kid.

Young Sam is in a hotel room by himself and the phone is ringing. Sully encourages him to pick it up, saying everything is going to be fine. Sam answers and it’s Dean on the other end, telling him that he asked Dad if Sam could come hunting, but he’d said no, so Sam has to stay in the hotel room until Dean calls him in a couple days.

Back at Maddie’s house, Maddie’s mother opens the door and lets Sam and Dean in to talk with Maddie. Maddie tells them that that she doesn’t want to go back to her room because of all the blood. The brothers ask if they can see the bedroom.

They meet Sully up in the bedroom, which looks completely fine. When Sully appears, he gives them visual access to the Zanna. Maddie’s room looks like a horror show, and they deduce that Sparkle was stabbed with some kind of blade. Sully insists that another Zanna could never have killed Sparkle. Maddie’s mother comes back in and starts straightening up, smearing blood that she can’t see all over herself. The boys recommend moving Maddie into a new bedroom.

In another house, a little girl is playing with her imaginary mermaid friend in her pool. The little girl, Zoe, leaves to go to gymnastics, and an unknown person comes out of the bushes and stabs the mermaid repeatedly, killing her in the pool.

Sam and Dean show up with Sully, and he says that Nicky didn’t check in last night. When they get to the backyard, they find Nicky dead in the pool. When asked about who could want to hurt Nicky, Sully reveals that Nicky’s boyfriend might have been too clingy. Before they leave, Sully tells Sam and Dean that they need to bury Nicky before they go so the scene doesn’t traumatize Zoe. Sully goes to get some shovels, and Dean’s comment about how Sully really cares for Sam sends Sam back into another memory of Sully when they were little.

Sully and Sam are laying with their heads hanging off the beds playing a game about whether they’d ever thought about things. Sam asks a little ways into the game whether Sully’s ever thought about running away. Sully turns it around and asks if Sam’s ever thought about it. When he nods, Sully asks if he wants to go to school, and that ultimately the decision is his own. They decide to run away together.

Back in Zoe’s backyard, Sam and Dean finish burying Nicky the Mermaid.

That night, a boy, Fletcher, and his imaginary friend, Weems, are hanging out laundry, because he had an accident while he slept. Once Fletcher goes back into the house, Weems is assaulted in the backyard by someone stabbing him through the sheets he’s just hung up. He falls on the ground, holding his side, and calls out to Sully.

When Sam, Dean, and Sully arrive on the scene, they follow Weems' blood trail to the shed. He’s curled up inside, but is still alive. They tell Weems that Sparkle and Nicky are dead, and ask if there is someone who would want all of them dead. Weems tells them that he saw the girl who stabbed him, and that she took off in a Blue VW bug. Dean says he can go and find the girl based on that, but then pauses to ask Weems why kids are so into him. He says it’s because he plays air guitar, and then proceeds to literally PLAY air guitar. Dean leaves, and Sully goes in the house to get some bandages. Weems figures out that Sam is “Sully’s Sam,” and he tells Sam that Sully was really broken up when Sam left him, sending Sam down yet another memory lane.

Sully comes into the bedroom, packed for them to leave, and Sam is just hanging up the phone. He says he doesn’t have to run away now; John just called and wants Sam to come meet them for the hunt. Sully questions whether Sam is making the right decision, whether he’s doing what he actually wants. They fight, and Sam says he wishes that he could “unmake” Sully up. Sully leaves.

Back in the garage, Sully is finished bandaging up Weems, and he leaves to go check on Fletcher. Sam apologizes for pushing Sully away when he was a kid. They talk about how Sully thought Sam was one of his biggest failures, since he went off to hunt, but that Sully was wrong, and he’s been keeping track of Sam. Sully knows that he saved the world, and that he did really good. Sam opens up to Sully about how he let the Darkness out and how he’s worried about the visions he’s having. Sully asks Sam if he still thinks about running away. Sam says he doesn’t anymore, and that he hasn’t in awhile. Sam gets a text message from Dean saying he’s found the girl, with an address.

Meanwhile Dean is regaining consciousness and finding himself tied to a pole. A woman’s voice speaks to him. He remembers finding the VW out on a farm on the country and then getting knocked out. She says they have a mutual friend, Sully. She's the one who sent the text to Sam, as a trap.

Sam and Sully walk in and find Dean threatened by a woman named Reese. She’s trying to get revenge on Sully because he killed her sister. She wants Sully in exchange for Dean. Her twin sister died in an accident playing a chase game with Sully. She outlines how she’s studied folklore and found out about Zanna, and has been trying to kill them so other children aren’t hurt by them anymore.

Sully offers himself to Reese, if she thinks it'll help her. This is what he does, he tells Sam: whatever the kid needs. Dean talks her down while he breaks the ropes, telling her that this isn’t going to make her feel better, and that Zanna are not real monsters. Reese is not able to kill Sully.

Reese drives away, and Sam and Sully talk about heroes and fear. Dean admits that Sully's weird, but he’s good weird, and Sully leaves.

In the car, Sam and Dean talk about going to Lucifer’s cage. Sam insists that going to the cage is what might need to happen, and Dean says they’ll find another way. He has no answer when Sam asks what the other way is.






Sully: Someone killed my friend.

Dean: You mean your imaginary imaginary friend?

Sully: First off, 'imaginary friend' is more of a descriptive term, how you just said it, that was a little... offensive, just to be honest. Secondly we're zanna. Me and the victim, we're zanna... We help kids. We're the good guys.
Dean: So Sparkle is a unicorn and also a man?

Linda: Yeah.

Dean: So, a manicorn.
Sully: If I show you all we can see, you can't tell a soul.
Dean: Yeah, 'cause chicks dig the whole 'imaginary friend' thing.
Dean: Oh, oh yeah. That kid is gonna need all the shrinks.

Sam: Wait a second, so his blood is glittery?

Sully: Even when he's dead, Sparkle can't stop shining.
Dean: And a hot shower does wonders.

Sam: Real deep scrub and purify.
Linda: For Maddie?
Dean: The whole family, just get the whole family in there. You know the family that showers together...

Sully: Pull up! Pull up!
Sully: Sam, I want you to listen to me. You can be whatever you want to be. You're not Dean, you're not your dad, you're Sam. And Sam is awesome.
Dean: I gotta ask. Hey, acid wash, what's so special about you?
Weems: Mermaids dig me?
Young Sam: I'm a Winchester. I hunt monsters. Why would I want anything else?
Sully: You know I'm not gonna lie to you. When you went off to hunt, I considered that one of my biggest failures. Just seemed so clear to me that you wanted something else. But, I was wrong. It all worked out, didn't it?

Sam: I don't know about that.

Sully: Come on, you're a hero. Sam, you saved the world. I keep track of my kids, and you did really good, Sam.
Sam: Ever think maybe you're a hero to me? Sully, one thing I've learned, heroes aren't perfect.
Sully: Sometimes they're scared, but that just means the thing they're facing, it's super important, and nobody else is gonna go for it because nobody else has got the balls.

Trivia & References

"Just My Imagination" is a reference to the Rolling Stones song of the same name, a favorite song of writer Jenny Klein's.
Linda: The RIE manual says be patient.
RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) is an organization which promotes a respectful approach to parenting.
The book Sparkle is seen reading before he gets killed is The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real). The book tells the story of a toy rabbit who wishes to become real through the love of his owner.
Dean: Are you having a stroke? Do you smell toast?
One of the signs that a person is having a stroke is that they suddenly begin to smell burnt toast.
Dean: You mean Mork from Ork here is your dumbass imaginary friend Sully?
Mork from Ork, was the titular character played by Robin Williams in the '70s sitcom Mork & Mindy. Sully's appearance (rainbow suspenders) was a nod to Mork's outfit in the series.
Sam and Dean pose as Drs. Strummer and MacGowan, referencing Joe Strummer and Shane MacGowan who were both in the band The Pogues.
Dean: Okay, say Bozo is legit, right. Which, you know, hello crazy town.
Bozo was the first celebrity TV clown. The word Bozo has also become slang for an idiot.
Dean: No, something is dead. Fairy godmother getting capped, that ain't our beat.
In European folklore a fairy godmother is a supernatural being who takes special interest in and cares for a human.
Dean: Good. The Bert and Ernie pretext, awesome.
Bert and Ernie are two Muppet characters from Sesame Street known for their close friendship and poor fashion sense.
Dean: And what did you need 'Drop Dead Fred' for in the first place?
Drop Dead Fred is a 1991 dark comedy about a woman whose childhood imaginary friend suddenly reappears in her life.
Dean: You Gazoos can talk to each other?
The Great Gazoo was a tiny, green alien that only Fred and Barney were able to see and interact with on The Flintstones.
Dean: Well, Totoro really cares for you, huh?
Totoro is the eponymous forest spirit character who befriends and has adventures with two young girls in the 1988 anime film My Neighbor Totoro.
Dean: Hey slacker! Am I burying Ariel here by myself or what?
Ariel is the main character from Walt Disney's The Little Mermaid.
Dean: Well, he's no Clapton.
Eric Clapton is singer/guitarist known for his stints in such bands as Cream, The Yardbirds and Blind Faith.
Dean: Reese. Trust me, revenge ain't gonna to make you feel better. Listen, I have seen more than my share of monsters. I mean real monsters -- bad. These guys, these are Sesame Street Mother Teresas, but when I wasn't there for my little brother, Sully was. Now look, I'm not saying he didn't make a mistake, but you know there is not a monstrous bone in his body.
Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun whose name has become synonymous with doing good works.


This is one of only six episodes to date where the monsters are human, the others being 1.15 The Benders, 2.07 The Usual Suspects, 4.11 Family Remains, 9.15 thinman, and 13.11 Breakdown.
Anja Savcic, who played Reese, previously played Paris Hilton Fan #2 in 5.05 Fallen Idols.
Carrie Genzel, who played Linda Berman, previously played Lynda Bloome in 1.08 Bugs.
Sam found out about the world of hunting from Dean when he was eight, as seen in 3.08 A Very Supernatural Christmas. In this episode he is nine years of age.
Young Sam mentions to Sully that he thought he could fly until he broke his arm. Sam and Dean reminisced about this incident in 9.15 #thinman.
The LEGO and plastic Army Men that Sam and Dean later put into the Impala can be seen in the flashback in young Sam's motel room.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts