14.06 Optimism

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Title Optimism
Episode # Season 14, Episode 6
First aired November 15, 2018
Directed by Richard Speight, Jr.
Written by Steve Yockey
On IMDB Optimism
Monster Harper Sayles
Location(s) McCook, Nebraska
Lebanon, Kansas
Outside Memphis, Tennessee
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  • "Clocksukka" by Stefano Ruggeri
(plays during the recap of previous events)
  • "Stayin' Alive" by Bee Gees
(playing as Winston struts down the street before his death)
  • "Honky Tonk Queen" by Selecttracks
(playing as Dean and Jack enter Dick's Red Rooster Diner)
  • "I'll Go On Alone" by Marty Robbins
(playing in the diner as Harper writes Jack a "love" letter)


Jack: Dean I need to do something, you don't understand. I could have killed Michael. Here, when I was strong enough I could have. But there was so much going on, and then everything else happened and I was distracted and stupid and --

Dean: Hey. You didn't do anything wrong.

Jack: And neither did you. But that doesn't make it any easier does it? So I can't just sit in the Bunker thinking about it all day. What I could have done differently, how I can't do anything about it now. But I can do this, I can hunt. Give me a chance.
Jack: What's courting?

Dean: It's what you do before you start dating.
Jack: Oh, that's the thing you do before the sex.

Waitress: Sometimes you just have the sex.
Charlie: Sam, before all this. I was just a programmer at Richard Roman Enterprises. I lived with the love of my life and we --

Sam: Wait, you -- you did?
Charlie: Yeah. So, your Charlie she... I guess she never met Cara.
Charlie: Cara?

Charlie: Uh, she owned a bakery outside of Chicago -- cupcakes. It was like something out of a storybook. She always smelled like peaches and her smile was just... Michael and Lucifer, when they stared their war, first thing a giant EMP or something like it went off over North America, fried every bit of technology, cell phones, power plants. For the first few days we band together, figured 'hey someone will come save us', no ever did. When the food ran out, people got mean, mobs started forming trying to steal whatever they could get their hands on. A lot of people died. Cara died. People are always the same when things go wrong, they lose it. One day the water gets shut off, the next day, people are on fire. It's a fact about society. It all falls apart.
Sam: Oh, good. Our perp might just be a giant fly with low self-esteem.
Dean: Look, I promise you that Harper Sayles is not in love with you, okay. Would you calm down.
Jack: Okay, but if she is, I need to know everything about sex. Go.
Charlie: I wasn't looking for love. I found it and I lost it, and I didn't kill people and literally nest in their body parts. So...

Sam: Okay, I know. How about this. Don't leave. Hear me out. Sure some people can do bad things when they are desperate or scared but, I mean the guy we saved has a wife, children. I'm not saying all people are good people, or even most people are, but, if we help people then maybe they'll help people and all that, and that's worth it. Even with all the tears and death, it's worth it.

Charlie: Just to be clear, I am not like the fly monster. But I'll think about staying.
Harper: Jack. I'm already writing, isn't that crazy? I'm not crazy. But our love is so vivid, I can't wait to find you. You're the first man to ever get me to leave McCook. Now I'm in the world. I'm sorry I have to kill you for what you did to Vance, but then I can bring you back so we can be together again. It's gonna be perfect, see you soon. Love Harper.
Dean: Okay, all right. look, It's not about being right, okay? you're gonna make mistakes, hell I make them all the time. But, it's how you handle yourself once you've made those mistakes, and you learn from them.

Jack: And how to not beat yourself up over them.
Dean: You know Jack, you're pretty smart sometimes. All right, I'll tell you what, when Sam gets back we'll talk to him about getting you on more hunts, in the mean time we'll get you a crate of cough drops.

Jack: I'm fine. It's all a part of being human, right?

Trivia & References

The scene of Winston Mathers walking while "Stayin' Alive" plays, is an homage to the scene of John Travolta's character Tony Manero strutting down the street to the same tune in the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever.
Dean uses the aliases "Agent Berry" and "Agent Charles" for himself and Jack, a reference to rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry whom also had a son named Charles Berry, Jr.
Dean: You know, you're gonna want to be a little more helpful than that.

Waitress: Listen deep state, flashing a badge may work on people who don't have a working knowledge of the Constitution, but that ain't me. Now I gotta go earn some money.

Dean: Well, congrats Mighty Mouse, I think you found us a case.
Dean: Archie! Hey! Let's dance.


The episode was originally known as "Curious Cravings".
Maddie Phillips, who played Harper Sayles, previous played Janet Novoselic in 10.13 Halt & Catch Fire.
David Quinlan, who played Diner Man, previous played Nate Mulligan in 2.17 Heart.
Jack tells Dean since losing his powers food and drinks taste different for him. In 9.11 First Born Castiel revealed to Sam that his taste buds changed during his stint as a human, and as an angel he can taste each individual molecule of a PB & J sandwich.
Jack uses the phrase "Christo" to test if Harper Sayles is possessed. This is the first time since 1.04 Phantom Traveler that this method of demon testing has been used on the show. The lack of its use since season one has long been a bugbear of fandom.
In the euphemistically named "Dick's Red Rooster Diner," after Jack asks about sex, Dean pushes the rooster (aka cock) next to him to face in another direction.
Apocalypse World Charlie reveals to Sam, much like her counterpart, she worked as a programmer for Richard Roman Enterprises. Unlike Sam and Dean's version of Charlie, this Charlie lived with the "love of her life" Cara, who worked as a baker in Chicago, and died in the early days of the Apocalypse.
Charlie details to Sam the early days of the Apocalypse in Apocalypse World, telling Sam how when Michael and Lucifer fought, an EMP type of blast occurred over North America, frying all technology and power plants.
Dean gets pie in this episode along with Jack and gets to eat it too.
Charlie: Who wants to be a hunter? This job, just a lot of tears and death.

Sam: Funny, you said something like that to me once long ago about hunting. Uh, not you, sorry, our Charlie.

In 10.18 Book of the Damned, Charlie tells Sam:
"Brothers. You know, I haven’t been a hunter for very long, but it feels like this is the life. Mostly ends in Sophie’s choices, death, or tears. Usually, all of the above, huh? How did this become my life? I mean, I was gonna own my own start-up, marry ScarJo, invent something cool. Now I’m just….I’m just happy to be alive."
Dean remarks that Jack finally gets to hunt a zombie, something he was excited about doing in 13.06 Tombstone, before learning Dave Mather was a ghoul.
Jack: Uh, headshot?

Dean: No, no, no. Creeps like this you gotta get back in their grave, drive a silver stake through their heart to keep him there.

This method of dispatching zombies has been used in 2.04 Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things and 4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester. However, zombies raised by Death in 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid required headshots, as well as Mother Plum, who was risen by the Black Grimoire in 13.12 Various & Sundry Villains.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts