5.11 Sam, Interrupted

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Title Sam, Interrupted
Episode # Season 5, Episode 11
First aired January 21, 2010
Directed by James L. Conway
Written by Andrew Dabb
Daniel Loflin
On IMDB Sam, Interrupted
Outline When a former hunter asks for help, Sam and Dean admit themselves to a psychiatric hospital.
Monster Wraith
Location(s) Ketchum, Oklahoma (Glenwood Springs Psychiatric Hospital)
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The scene opens at Glenwood Springs Psychiatric Hospital, Ketchum, Oklahoma. Dr. Fuller asks a patient why she's not taking her meds. She explains that the pills make her sleepy, and if she sleeps "it'll come." saying that a monster killed her roommate Annie.

Dr. Fuller contends that she must be having a hard time dealing with Annie's loss, but the woman, Susan, insists the monster is no vision. That night something breaks into her room, terrifying her. Susan pounds on the door, and the patient across the hall sees her and watches, helplessly, as she's dragged back into the darkness of her room, yelping. When the orderlies inspect her room the next day, they find her on the ground, dead in a pool of her own blood, her wrists slit.

Sam and Dean are soon sitting across the table from Dr. Fuller with Dean attempting to admit Sam using a fake reference from a Dr. Babar.

Dr. Fuller is suspicious, and asks Sam how he's been feeling. Sam tells their story straight, talking about Ruby, Lilith, hunting demons, and all about Castiel. Dean adds that he just wants his brother to get better so he can go back to hunting demons with him. The boys are instantly admitted.

Nurse Forman, gives them both very thorough medical exams. Dean and Sam reconvene in the day room - There's a hunter there, Martin Creaser, who helped their dad out in the past.

Martin's very happy to see them, and sits them down and tells them about the monster. He adds that in the old days, he could take care of this thing easily but now... He fills them in: five deaths, all deemed suicides by the hospital.

The doctor joins them and congratulates the boys, who he knows as Alex and Eddie, for making friends, and invites them to join everyone else for a group session. Sam and Dean get up to join Martin in the group, but the doctor tells Dean to hang back -- he'll be in an afternoon group.

In group therapy, a patient -- the man who was across the hall when Susan was killed -- wants to talk about "the monster hunting us." He insists it's real and gets the other patients riled up, but the doctor shuts him down, insisting that there is no monster and that he needs to behave. The man clams up nervously, and as Sam watches all of this with interest, Martin shoots him a knowing look.

Meanwhile, Dean is approached by Dr. Cartwright. She sits down to ask him some questions, and he starts things off with a Hannibal Lecter impersonation. Dr. Cartwright is not entertained. They agree to answer each other's questions, quid pro quo.

Later on, as Sam and Dean catch up in a hall, an attractive patient, Wendy, greets Dean with a deep kiss before walking away.

Night falls and the boys break out of their rooms to find the patient who allegedly saw the monster. By the time they get to the guy, he appears to have hung himself.

The Winchesters sneak into the morgue to investigate the body. Sam palpates the neck and discovers a hole that goes all the way up to the man's brain. Sam removes the top of the skull and takes a look at the brain -- which is blackened and seems to have been sucked dry. Just as Sam discovers this, Dean (who had been keeping watch) enters the morgue, and informs him that someone is coming. Sam replaces Ted's brain, the top of his skull and puts the body back in the cell just as the person comes in. It turns out to be Nurse Forman. Upon being asked why he and Sam are in the morgue, Dean pulls down his trousers and shouts "PUDDING!", pretending to be crazy to avoid giving an answer. It works, and he mouths to Sam as he is led out "crazy works".

Later, Dean fills Martin in on what they found and Martin suddenly realizes what they're up against: a wraith. It's an ugly beast that feeds on brains, which makes a locked-down mental hospital the perfect hunting ground -- who's going to believe any of the patients when they say they've seen a monster? The only thing that can kill it is silver. The bad news is that it can pose as a regular person, which means it could be anyone in the hospital. However, it does show its true reflection in a mirror.

So, Dean decides to hang out by one of the security mirrors and check out the reflections of everyone who walks by. Dr. Cartwright appears and asks Dean what he's doing and, of course, he tells her he's hunting a wraith. As Dr. Fuller walks by Dean glances at his reflection in the mirror. His reflection is not that of a human - it appears that he's the wraith.

Dean and Sam grab silver-plated letter openers, and give one to Martin, assuring him it should work. They lay out the plan, explaining that Dr. Wraith is on duty that night, and they'll have to slip past the orderlies and security to get to him. The same patient from before walks by and kisses Sam.

They find Dr. Fuller and Sam attacks him, knocking off two orderlies. He almost makes the killing strike before Martin pulls him off, pointing out the silver hasn't reacted with his skin - it is not the wraith.

Dean finds Sam heavily sedated in his room. He grabs Dean and tells him that the doctor isn't a wraith and implies that Dean was seeing things. Maybe Dean has finally cracked and really is crazy. Dean assures him that he's going to find the thing. Sam tells him that it's OK, because he's still his brother and he loves him.

In the day room, Dr. Cartwright starts accusing Dean of not being able to save anyone. A horrified Dean begins to yell at Dr. Cartwright, demanding to know who she is, until the nearby orderly informs Dean that there's nobody there. The doctor taunts Dean, saying that nobody can see her because she's in Dean's head and he really is going crazy. Dean, reeling, stumbles down the hall and notices that everyone's reflection is monstrous. Terrified that he truly is losing his mind, he cowers in a corner.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fuller is letting Sam off with a warning. Sam returns to the day room, where Dean is sitting, crouched in the corner, terrified. Sam does not notice Dean, because he starts swinging punches as he thinks the other patients are attacking him and accusing him of being monstrous. In truth, they are hallucinations. Real, genuine orderlies attempt to subdue Sam, and after he punches them a few times, they succeed, and take him to a padded room, where he is strapped to a bed.

Dean finds his way to Martin, telling him that he thinks the wraith poisoned him and Sam by venom, or saliva, and is sending them crazy. He deduces it must be the patient, Wendy, who kissed them, but when they get to her room they find Nurse Forman is the wraith and is sucking Wendy's brains.

Nurse Forman attacks them and escapes, telling the orderlies Dean and Martin have attacked Wendy. Martin holds off the orderlies while Dean goes after Nurse Forman, who leaps on Dean and throws Martin to the side, punching Dean relentlessly.

Nurse Forman heads to Sam's room next, where he's fully restrained. He sees her in a reflection and realizes that it's been her all along. She raves about how the hospital is like an all-you-can-eat buffet. With just a touch, she amplifies the patients mental illnesses so they get soaked in dopamine and adrenaline and "all sorts of chemicals that make them more delicious".

Dean breaks into the room and attacks her, killing her eventually as he plunges the letter opener into her chest. He releases Sam and they escape from the hospital as the alarm is raised.

Dean asks if he's OK, and Sam says no, that the wraith was right. That most of the time he can hide it, but he's angry at everything, all the time, and he doesn't know why. Dean tells him he needs to bury it, to forget about it, and move on, because that's how they keep going, that's how they don't end up like Martin. "Are you with me? Come on, man... are you with me?" Dean asks. Sam says, "I'm with you." He gets into the car with Dean, and they drive off into the night.






Sam: Well, yeah, I mean... I killed this demon, Lilith, and I accidentally freed Lucifer from hell. So now, he's topside, and we're trying to stop him.

Dr. Fuller: Who is?
Sam: Me. A-and him. And this one angel.
Dr. Fuller: Oh, you mean, like a... like an angel on your shoulder.

Sam: No. His name's Castiel. He wears a trench coat.
Dean: My brother's not evil. He was just... high... yeah? So, could you fix him up so we can get back to traveling around the country and hunting monsters?
Dean: You're my shrink? Heh. Lucky me.
Dr. Cartwright: And you're my... paranoid schizophrenic with narcissistic personality disorder and religious psychosis. Lucky me.
Dr. Cartwright: How many drinks do you have a week?
Dean: Well, I gotta sleep sometime. So, uh, what's seven days times--somewhere in the mid fifties. You ever feel any, uh, cold spots or get a chill walking through the hospital?
Sam: You okay?
Dean: I just got 'thraped.' So, no, I am not okay. Tell me you found something.
Nurse Forman: What are you boys doin' in here?
Dean: [pulls pants down] Pudding!
Dean: It's the end of the world, okay? I mean, it's a damn Biblical Apocalypse, and if I don't stop it and save everyone, then no one will, and we all die.

Dr. Cartwright: That's horrible.
Dean: Yeah, tell me about it.
Dr. Cartwright: I mean, Apocalypse or no Apocalypse... monsters or no monsters, that's a crushing weight to have on your shoulders. To feel like six billion lives depend on you...God...how do you get up in the morning?

Dean: That's a good question.
Dean: They give you something?

Sam: Oh, yeah. They gave me... everything. It... It's spectacu...lacular. [laughs]

Dean: You always were a happy drunk.
Dean: I don't understand it. I mean, I saw it in the mirror. It wasn't human.

Sam: Or you're seeing things. Maybe-- m-maybe-- maybe you're going crazy.
Dean: I'm not crazy.
Sam: Well, come on. I mean, you've been at least... half crazy for a long time. Since you got back from Hell -- or since before that, even. And we're in a -- we're in a mental hospital. [laughs] Ma-maybe -- maybe you finally cracked. You know, maybe -- maybe now you are really for-real crazy.
Dean: I made a mistake. That's all. I'll find the thing.
Sam: Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. I know. It's okay. Hey. Hey, look at me. It's okay... 'Cause you're my brother. And I still love ya.
Dean: Mm.

Sam: [tugging Dean's nose] Boop. [chuckles]
Sam: You still crazy?
Dean: Not any more than usual. We gotta get out of here.
Sam: She was right.

Dean: No, she wasn't. She's dead, okay? Let's hit the road. I need a drink, or twelve.
Sam: Most of the time, I can hide it, but...I am angry. I'm mad at everything. I used to be mad at you and Dad, then Lilith, now it's Lucifer, and I make excuses. I blame Ruby or the demon blood, but it's not their fault. It's not them. It's me. It's inside me. I'm mad... all the time... and I don't know why.
Dean: Stop. Stop it. So what if you are? What are you gonna do? You gonna take a leave of absence? You gonna say yes to Lucifer? What?
Sam: No, of course not. I--
Dean: Exactly. And that's exactly what you're gonna do. You're gonna take all that crap and you're gonna bury it. You're gonna forget about it, because that's how we keep going! That's how we don't end up like Martin! Are you with me?
Dean: Come on, man. Are you with me?
Sam: I'm with you.

Dean: Good. Let's get the hell out of here.

Trivia & References

The episode title, "Sam, Interrupted" is a reference to the book Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen about her experiences in a psychiatric hospital. It was later made into a movie starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie. Misha Collins also appeared in the film.
Sam and Dean's aliases Alex and Eddie refer to the guitarist and drummer from the band Van Halen, who are brothers.
Dr. Fuller: You were referred to me by a Dr. Babar in Chicago.

Dean: That's right.
Dr. Fuller: Isn't there a children's book about an elephant named Babar?
Dean: I don't know. I don't have any elephant books.

This exchange is taken from the Chevy Chase movie Fletch. Watch the scene here.
Babar is the main character in an eponymous series of books - about elephants.
Dean: Alright, look, Nurse Ratched, let's get one thing straight. I've seen Cuckoo's Nest, so don't try any of that soul-crushing, authoritarian crap on me, hmm?

Nurse Forman: Okie-dokie.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a movie starring Jack Nicholson as a prisoner who gets himself transferred to a psych institute ruled over by the sadistic Nurse Ratched.
In 2.12 Nightshifter, Dean says he likes a security guard because he says “Okie-dokie.”
Dean: How was your Silkwood shower?
In the movie Silkwood, Karen Silkwood undergoes a radiation decontamination shower that involves high water pressure and harsh scrubbing.
Dean: King me!
In a game of checkers, when a player moves a piece to the last row on their opponent's side of the board, they get to elevate the rank of their piece by stacking another piece on top of it.
Dean: Yes. I actually got some questions for you.

Dr. Cartwright: What a coincidence. I've got some for you, too.
Dean: Well, then... Quid pro quo, Clarice.
Dr. Cartwright: Ok, Hannibal, I'll go first...

This is a famous quote by serial killer Hannibal Lecter to FBI agent Clarice Starling in the movie Silence of the Lambs.
Sam: Hey, you ok?

Dean: I just got thraped. So, no, I am not ok.

To be "thraped" means to have therapy forced upon you.
Dean: Are those original Gacy's?
Serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who occasionally performed as Pogo the Clown, took up oil painting in prison, with clowns often being the subject.
Sam: So whatever this thing is... it- it slurpees your brain -- sucks you dry.
Sold at 7-Eleven convenience stores, Slurpees are a brand of frozen beverage sipped through a straw.
Martin: It could be any Peter, Paul and Mary in the joint.
Peter, Paul and Mary were a famous folk singing trio.
Dean: What's up, Doc?
Bugs Bunny's famous catch phrase.
Dr. Cartwright: You think you have to save all of them?

Dean: Yep. Whole wide world of sports.

Wide World of Sports was a TV show that aired on ABC for more than three decades.
Martin: No. I'm not. I'm useless. Why do you think I checked myself into the Hotel California? I'd give anything to help you boys, I would. But, I-I can't. I'm sorry. I can't.
A reference to the Eagles’ song Hotel California, where you can “check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
Dean: I mean, the things that me and Sam have done, the stuff that we've seen, we're gonna end up going guano eventually. Probably end up like a couple of drooling nut bags. No offense.
Guano is another term for bat shit.
Whilst mentally imbalanced under the Wraith's influence, Dean walks slow and steps sideways to avoid the cracks in the tiles on the floor. This could be a reference to what Jack Nicholson's Obsessive Compulsive character does in the 1997 movie As Good as It Gets.
Dean: Well, looks like Tom Cruise was right. Shrinks suck.
Tom Cruise has, in line with Scientology beliefs, publicly condemned psychiatry.


This episode was filmed between 27 October and 5th November 2009.
With this being the first episode after a mid-season break of 2 months, Supernatural fans got #theboysareback to 4th place on trending topic on Twitter before the episode aired. Check the Twitter entry for graphs and details on the success of #pudding.
Timeline Discrepancy: In Susan Fletcher's psychiatric evaluation notes, it states she was admitted on "09/10/09" (10th September, 2009). She was admitted and died there before Sam and Dean got there. It's assumed she had been there for a while by the way Dr. Fuller talks to her. Fast forward to when we see Sam's psychiatric evaluation notes. It states he was also admitted on "09/10/09". This admission date is not only impossible given that Susan would've still been alive when Sam was admitted and their whole premise for being there was to investigate her death, but also improbable because of the timeline of season 5 so far given that 5.07 The Curious Case of Dean Winchester took place in November 2009.
Goof: When Dr. Fuller interviews Sam and Dean, he is supposedly reading a report by the referring Doctor Babar from Chicago. He is actually reading his own patient history report of the scene that is about to happen.
Lara Gilchrist, who played the wraith Nurse Forman, previously played Holly Parker in 1.11 Scarecrow.
Factual Error: Patients in psychiatric hospitals would not be allowed the have the robe belts that multiple patients have in this episode nor shoes with laces.
Dean says he sleeps 3-4 hours every couple of nights, and has “somewhere in the mid 50s” drinks per week. He confirms he has never had a romantic relationship lasting longer than two months.
Holly Hougham, who plays Wendy, previously played Frannie in 2.12 Nightshifter.
At Jus In Bello Italy 2010, Jared and Jensen revealed that "Pudding!" was initially Sam's line in the network draft of the script, but they thought it fit better with Dean's character.

At Salute to Supernatural San Francisco 2011, Jensen explained that "Pudding" had become a catch phrase on set for whenever anything strange happened.
Sam's room at Glenwood Springs Psychiatric Hospital is room 344.
Hallucination!Dr. Cartwright: Did you really think that you, Dean Winchester, with a G.E.D. and a 'give-'em-hell' attitude were gonna beat the devil?
This is a call-back to what Dean himself said in 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil.

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