Difference between revisions of "4.17 It's a Terrible Life"

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The security guard's death by elevator recalls a similar fatality at the beginning of the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_Evil_(film) first Resident Evil film].
The security guard's death by elevator recalls a similar fatality at the beginning of the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_Evil_(film) first Resident Evil film].
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'''Dean:''' Like Shirley MacLaine before?<br>
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_MacLaine Shirley MacLaine] is an actress who is well-known for her beliefs in new age spirituality and reincarnation.
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Revision as of 22:53, 1 July 2010

Title It's A Terrible Life
Episode # Season 4, Episode 17
First aired March 26, 2009
Directed by James L. Conway
Written by Sera Gamble
On IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1222603/
Outline Dean Smith and Sam Wesson work for Sandover Bridge and Iron Company where their co-workers start killing themselves.
Monster Angels, Ghosts
Timeline Three weeks after Dean gets out of the hospital.
Location(s) Ohio
[[{{{prevep}}}|« Previous Episode]] | [[{{{nextep}}}|Next Episode »]]





The Kinks - A Well-Respected Man plays over the opening Dean montage
Brian Tichy - Hollow. The rock music that (briefly) plays on Dean's radio and interrupts "A Well-Respected Man"


Sam: I just can't shake this feeling like I... like I don't belong here. You know what I mean? Like I should do something more than sit in a cubicle.
Dean: I think most people who work in a cubicle feel that same way.
Dean: How would we live? Come on, you got to be kidding me. How would we get by—with stolen credit cards, huh? Eating diner food drenched in saturated fats? Sharing a crap motel room every night?

Sam: Those are details.

Dean: Details are everything! You don't want to go fighting ghosts without any health insurance.
Zachariah: All I'm saying is, it's how you look at it. Most folks live and die without moving anything more than the dirt it takes to bury them. You get to change things. Save people. Maybe even the world. All the while you drive a classic car and fornicate with women. This isn't a curse, it's a gift! So for God's sake, Dean, quit whining about it! Look around. There are plenty of fates worse than yours. So are you with me? You wanna go steam yourself another latte? Or are you ready to stand up — and be who you really are?

Trivia & References

The title is a play on the title of the Jimmy Stewart movie It's A Wonderful Life, in which George Bailey is about to commit suicide on Christmas Eve, when a guardian angel comes and shows him in flashback how important he is to the people in his life and the town he lives in.
Dean Smith & Sam Wesson: The boys' surnames are a reference to Smith & Wesson, the largest handgun manufacturer in the United States. Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson had two companies, the first of which was financed in part by Oliver Winchester and was eventually reorganized into the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.
The episode derives tremendous humor from portraying Dean Smith as a polar opposite to Dean Winchester - Dean Smith rather listens to the news than to rock music, drives a Prius hybrid instead of a Chevy, eats salad for lunch and has no beer in his home because he's detoxing.
Sam: Okay. Well did you try turning it off and then on?
This line is a standard first response in IT support, and was used in the British series the IT Crowd.
The Master Cleanse is a real detox consisting of drinking lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup.
Ian: (to Sam) How much D&D did you play when you were a kid?
D & D stands for Dungeons and Dragons, one of the most famous pen & paper role playing games.
Ian: I mean, thank God we got Harry Potter here to save us from the Apocalypse.
Harry Potter is the boy wizard in the eponymous series of books by J.K. Rowling.
The Ghostfacers' instructional video can be viewed at their website.
The security guard's death by elevator recalls a similar fatality at the beginning of the first Resident Evil film.
Dean: Like Shirley MacLaine before?
Shirley MacLaine is an actress who is well-known for her beliefs in new age spirituality and reincarnation.
The episode is the third episode in Supernatural that portrays the boys in an alternative universe (see also AU) setting). In 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be Dean falls under a Djinn's spell and finds himself in a world where his mother hasn't died and his family doesn't know of monsters and how to hunt them. In the episode 3.11 Mystery Spot Sam relives a Groundhog Day-like universe in which Dean dies every day under strange and inevitable circumstances.
Sam attacks his phone with a fireplace poker, mirroring Dean's attack on the Impala in 2.02 Everybody Loves a Clown.
Dean Smith claims his father is "Bob" (Bobby), his mother's name is Ellen and he has a sister called Jo. Sam, on the other hand, talks about his fiancee Madison and gets suspicious when her telephone number ironically directs him to an animal hospital.
Visual: The color filter that usually darkens the picture and makes every Supernatural episode a bit grainier and bleak looking isn't used for most of the episode, but it comes back just when Zachariah touches Dean's forehead and reawakens his memory.
Visual: Dean's outfit, complete with white collar, blue shirt and patterned suspenders, evokes clothing worn by uber-boss Bill Lumbergh, one of many references to the 1999 cult comedy Office Space. It is also reminicent of Gordon Gekko the quintessential "Greed is Good" 80s business man in the 1987 movie "Wall Street".


Dean Smith drives a Prius with Ohio plates OTO29C.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts