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Recap: Supernatural S 05 E 07 The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester

Recap of Supernatural
Season 5, Episode 7

The Curious Case of Dean Winchester

Written by Sera Gamble; story by Sera Gamble and Jenny Klein.

Directed by Robert Singer.

Air Date: October 28, 2009.

Mysterious deaths caused by inexplicable aging lead Sam, Dean, and Bobby to a warlock named Patrick, who gambles for high stakes. He challenges people to a poker game in which they don't play for money, but for life years represented by magical poker chips. Bobby sees this game as an opportunity to escape his wheelchair and accepts Patrick's challenge. Losing the game, he begins to age rapidly. Dean wants to save Bobby and challenges the warlock to win back Bobby's lost years to prevent him from dying. He bets 50 years, of which he uses 25 to reverse Bobby's aging process. However, Dean can't keep up with the warlock's poker skills and loses, which causes him to age. Together, the Winchester brothers and Bobby try to find a way to save Dean. They get unexpected help from Patrick's accomplice, who thinks that living forever is not natural and causes too much pain. She gives them a spell, one which can reverse the effects of Patrick's magic. Sam challenges the warlock to a poker game while Bobby and Dean perform the ritual. One ingredient of the spell is a trace of Patrick's DNA, so they use a toothpick supposedly used by him. The spell turns out to be ineffective since the toothpick was not really used by Patrick. When frantically searching for another object with the warlock's DNA on it, Dean suffers a heart attack, but Sam wins the game just in time to save Dean.

Body count

For this episode = 2 humans (of which 1 was a witch).

For the series so far = At least 323 humans (of which 6 were witches), at least 83 demons, 28 ghosts, 11 vampires, 6 changelings, 4 gods, 3 shapeshifters, 3 zombies, 4 angels, 2 ghouls, 2 werewolves, 1 cat, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 dog, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, and 1 wendigo.

Tropes

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game
  • Affably Evil: Patrick is a perfectly nice and friendly guy despite being a warlock. He also seems to genuinely regret pushing Sam's buttons during their game, prompting Sam to go all-in immediately on Dean's behalf, simply because, as he stated twice, he actually likes Sam. It culminates in the simple, completely unironic exchange:
    Sam: Cash these in for Dean, please.
    Patrick: With pleasure.
  • Anti-Villain: Patrick is more than willing to let someone turn back decades and return to their prime if they're good enough to beat him. He doesn't cheat, nor does he abide by it. If you get into a game with him and lose, it's simply because he's a better poker player than you. Of course, he's had centuries of practice...
  • Berserk Button: Do not try and cheat when playing cards with Patrick. You will regret it.
  • Breather Episode
  • Four Is Death: Inverted. The room where the brothers find the magically-restored Cliff Whitlow is labeled room 44, and Sam ultimately wins Dean's youth back with a four of a kind — all fours.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Patrick hates cheating. He also has no problem letting people win if...well, if they win. He doesn't cheat, after all. He's just had so much experience playing poker and reading people that he rarely loses.
  • Pet the Dog: Patrick plays cards with Hesh, an old man, and even though Patrick got two kings and would have won that round, he folds, and lets Hesh win 13 years.
    Patrick: Hesh here is gonna live to see his granddaughter's bat mitzvah. Isn't that right, Hesh?
  • Rapid Aging
  • Similarly Named Works: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Lia no longer does.