Next: Supernatural S 03 E 12 Jus In Bello
Written by Jeremy Carver and Emily McLaughlin.
Directed by Kim Manners.
Air Date: February 14, 2008.
One Tuesday, Dean suddenly dies before his year is up in Broward County, Florida. Again, and again, and again. Sam is the only one who is aware of the time loop, but no matter what he does, he can't save his brother from dying.
Body countFor this episode = Dean dies at least 102 times, but only in the Trickster's reality.
For the series so far = At least 236 humans (of which 3 were witches), 17 ghosts, 9 demons, 10 vampires, 6 changelings, 3 gods, 2 shapeshifters, 2 werewolves, 1 djinn, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shtriga, 1 wendigo, and 1 zombie.
- And I Must Scream: The Trickster, when confronted, explains that while killing off Dean over and over again is fun, it's meant to target Sam first and foremost and not his brother. Specifically, being stuck in an infinite loop, forced to watch his brother die without being able to stop it.
- Bittersweet Ending: Dean survives without any memory of his many deaths, but Sam is changed by the experience and it shows.
- Black Comedy: While the first two, and the last, of Dean's deaths are genuinely sad and traumatic the various deaths in between are pretty hilarious especially once the Death Montage starts.
- Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Sam.
- Continuity Nod: To draw more parallels between Sam and John. After Dean dies on Wednesday, Sam outfits the trunk of the Impala with the same weapons case John had in "Dead Man's Blood" (S01, E20).
- Cruel to Be Kind: The lesson the Trickster is trying to impart to Sam is that his obsession with trying to save Dean is going to get him killed and that, like it or not, Dean is going to die, whether by the Trickster or by his deal, and Sam will have to learn to live without his brother.
- Death Montage: Of Dean's deaths, naturally.
- Despair Event Horizon: Being forced to watch his big brother die over and over again was bad enough, but Sam snaps when the loop ends, Dean dies, and stays dead. For six months.
- Everybody Lives: One of the very rare instances in the show.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: And that really does mean everything.
- Fate Worse than Death: The Trickster admits that while killing Dean over and over again is a lot of fun, he has a much worse fate in mind for Sam. He'll submit Sam to seeing Dean die every day, unable to ever save him. Forever.
- The Food Poisoning Incident: "Do these tacos taste funny to you?" "Heeeeaat of the moment!"
- Foreshadowing: There are a few hints that the Monster of the Week is the same one as in "Tall Tales". For instance, Dean describes Daniel Hackard's disappearance in the Mystery Spot as "almost poetic" (he made a living debunking places like the Mystery Spot), which is the same way he described the punishments the Trickster inflicted in "Tall Tales". Also, when Sam tells Dean he's trapped in a time loop, Dean says that it's crazy even for them, which is the same thing he said about the alien abduction in "Tall Tales".
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Sam gets trapped in one. Even gets a Shout-Out. A lot.
- High-Voltage Death: One of the ways Dean dies is getting electrocuted by a faulty plug when he puts an electric razor in it.
- Hope Spot: After confronting the Trickster at stake point he transports Sam and Dean to Wednesday seemingly breaking Dean's death loop. Then Dean is shot in a stickup gone wrong and Sam isn't sent back to his time loop. Sam then spends the next six months without Dean.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Dean's first death, and his last one.
- Irony: Daniel Hackard disappears into a mystery spot, the very thing he debunks.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Sam narrowly averts this. He stabs Bobby on the small suspicion that he might secretly be the Trickster. Sam turns out to be right, but for the few seconds Bobby is dead, we see that Sam was just acting on a hunch.
- Killed Off for Real: Dean is killed hundreds of times in the episode but always returns when the loop resets. After the Winchesters discover that the Trickster is behind it and they find themselves in a new day, Dean is abruptly killed in a carjacking gone wrong and doesn't return despite Sam's protests. Ultimately subverted months later when the Trickster resets the timeline mostly out of boredom...or so he says.
- Kill It with Fire: Apparently Sam tried to stop the time loop by burning the Mystery Spot down, but it didn't work.
- Look Both Ways: The second time Dean is killed, a guy accidentally runs him over with his speeding car. Third time, he gets hit by a desk. From above.
- Mood Dissonance
- Mood Whiplash: And how. The first two times Dean dies it's genuinely gut wrenching especially for poor Sam. Then Dean gets a pretty hilarious Death Montage showcasing all of Dean's less then dignified deaths. Then the episode goes right back to tragic when Dean gets shot after the skip to Wednesday and he stays dead for six months and the toll it takes on Sam once he's forced to live without his brother.
- Necro Non Sequitur: Some of the ways Dean dies get rather silly and improbable.
- No Dead Body Poops: One of the ways Dean dies is being hit by a car. Apparently, he peed himself before he died.Dean: Did it look cool like in the movies?
Sam: You peed yourself.
Dean: [defensively] Of course I peed myself. Man gets hit by a car, you think he has full control over his bladder? Come on!
- Noodle Incident: Alongside some of the deaths, there was one scene when Sam was trying to convince Dean what was going on. As Sam is repeating the random nonsense Dean is saying before he says it, we get to hear, "Sam Winchester wears makeup. Sam Winchester cries his way through sex. Sam Winchester keeps a ruler by the bed and every morning when he wakes up...okay! Enough!" We never do hear what Sam does.
- How exactly did Sam find out that the waitress is a terrible shot with a bow and that one of the customers wears a bunny suit at night?
- We never learn how Dean dies after Sam discovers the Out-of-Character Alert below. Sam just notes that the guy at the diner is having strawberry syrup instead of maple, then Sam wakes up to "Heat of the Moment" again.
- Perhaps he doesn't die. If we see nothing, that might mean that the Trickster just reset the day immediately, without Dean dying as usual.
- Not So Invincible After All: Dean Winchester, a guy who routinely kills monsters, demons, ghosts, and even gods, dies in a number of rather unimpressive ways, such as choking to death on a sausage and dying from slipping in the shower.
- Out-of-Character Alert: The first clue Sam has that the man eating breakfast at the diner is more than he appears is when he sees him eating a different syrup on his pancakes for the first time in over 100 Tuesdays.
- Piano Drop: One of the ways Dean dies.
- Reality Warper: The Trickster.
- Seen It All: After at least 102 Tuesdays, Sam's seen almost everything to know about the diner and the surrounding area. This becomes a plot point.
- Shout-Out: To The X-Files, Groundhog Day, and "Dingoes ate my baby."
- Squashed Flat: How Dean dies in one of the scenarios, courtesy of a hutch dropped by a pair of handymen.
- The Stoic: Sam becomes this after Dean dies.
- Suspiciously Apropos Music: On the second Wednesday, Sam wakes up to Huey Lewis and the News' "Back in Time".
- They Killed Kenny Again: Taken Up to Eleven.
- Time Loop Fatigue: Sam suffers this after the loop forces him to watch his brother die over and over again in increasingly strange ways. What's worse is that Sam is never able to stop his brother's death.
- Time Skip: Half a year forward after the first Wednesday.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In his previous appearance, The Trickster punishes the high and mighty in a way that can be cruel but in this episode, his torture of Sam is exceptionally vicious from a psychological perspective.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Trickster intends to teach Sam that his codependent relationship with Dean is not good for him, especially considering that Dean's going to die soon.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After Sam notices the Out-of-Character Alert, we just cut to the next Tuesday.
- What the Hell, Hero?: "Bobby" attempts to give one to Sam after he starts Jumping Off the Slippery Slope after Dean dies.
- X-Ray Sparks: When Dean dies from plugging an electric razor into a faulty outlet.