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Recap / Supernatural S 04 E 08 Wishful Thinking

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 4, Episode 8:

Wishful Thinking

Wesley: Aren't you the guys from the Health Department?
Sam: Yeah. And florists on the side.
Dean: Plus FBI. And on Thursdays, we're teddy bear doctors.

Written by Ben Edlund.

Directed by Robert Singer.

Air Date: November 6, 2008.

Sam and Dean investigate Concrete, Washington, where the wishing well really works. A teddy bear comes to life, a boy who is always bullied gets Super-Strength, someone wins the lottery, and the town geek gets a hot girlfriend. The brothers realize that while everyone is happy now, the end result will be disastrous. They find that the cause of the wishes is a magic coin that causes a fountain to become a real wishing well and that the only way to reverse the wishes is for the person who put the coin there to remove it.

Body count

For this episode = Everybody Lives.

For the series so far = At least 276 humans (of which 5 were witches), 15 demons, 25 ghosts, 10 vampires, 6 changelings, 3 gods, 3 shapeshifters, 2 werewolves, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shtriga, 1 wendigo, 3 zombies, 1 rugaru, and 1 dog.


  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Every hunter worth their salt knows Bigfoot is a hoax.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Todd uses his super strength to push over the SUV that his bullies have sought refuge in. Even with super strength, he's still just a little kid who weighs maybe 70 pounds. The SUV weighs 5000+ pounds, easy. In reality, without being properly braced he would have just pushed himself away from the vehicle. Even with support, his arms would have just punched through the sides of the SUV, since the panels can't take that kind of pressure.
  • Ate His Gun/Driven to Suicide: Poor teddy.
  • Badass Boast
    Dean: If you don't stop it, something bad's gonna happen.
    Sam: Something bad...[draws his pistol] us.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: This is their standard MO, but Sam and Dean really lay it on thick when pretending to be from the health department.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The point of the episode. Dean even quotes the maxim to Wes when they're trying to convince him to end the curse.
  • Big Eater: Given the chance to wish for anything, Dean picks a foot-long Italian sub with jalapeño.
  • Big "WHY?!": The Teddy Bear that Audrey brought to life tries to kill himself by blasting his head off with a shotgun and discovers that it won't kill him. Cue "WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHY?!"
  • Blatant Lies:
    • According to Sam and Dean, they are teddy bear doctors, and Audrey's teddy bear has, uh, Lollipop Disease.
    • On a more serious note, Dean is obviously having a nightmare and when Sam wakes him up, his first act is to down a slug of liquor straight from the bottle. Despite this, he acts as if nothing is wrong and says he is "tan, rested, and ready." Sam calls him out on his obvious front.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Sam is unexpectedly killed by a bolt of lightning from the sky - turns out Hope wished for his death to keep Wes from ending their "love."
  • Breather Episode
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Dean starts quoting the trope to Todd, but he's interrupted by being Punched Across the Room.
  • Cute Bruiser: Todd.
  • Disney Death: Sam
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Wes basically brainwashes Hope Lynn into loving him, but it's treated more as "how the hell did she end up with this guy?" than rape.
  • Drowning My Sorrows/The Alcoholic: The teddy bear.
    • Sam notes that Dean has been hitting the bottle more than usual too.
  • Embarrassingly Painful Sunburn: Audrey's parents come back from vacation in Bali horribly sunburned.
  • Everybody Lives: One of the very few episodes where nobody dies.
  • The Food Poisoning Incident: The catch to using the wishing coin is that all the wishes eventually have unforeseen consequences. Dean's wish for an Italian sub results in him having really bad food poisoning complete with puking his guts out.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Wes' wish forces Hope Lynn to do this.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Subverted with the teddy bear's attempted suicide. He puts the gun in his mouth, the camera pans to the wall behind him, and then...there's a cloud of stuffing, because he's a teddy bear, after all.
  • Grotesque Cute: The hard-drinking suicidal animated teddy bear.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate/Who Wants to Live Forever?: After the teddy bear tries to commit suicide, he discovers that being made of stuffing and felt means this isn't an option.
  • Jackass Genie: The wishing well functions as this, granting wishes that are precisely what everyone wants, but that eventually turn sour.
  • Karma Houdini: While admittedly Todd was just a bullied kid who probably didn't know better, he still attacks and terrifies the other children, punches and then outright tries to kill Dean (although he might have stopped of his own volition if the curse hadn't broken), and receives no punishment or retribution for his actions. Instead, Dean takes his attempted murder in stride and even helps Todd out with the bullies.
  • Kneel Before Todd!
  • Large Ham: Todd and the teddy bear.
    Teddy bear: WHHHHHHHYYYYYYY????!!!
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The "book" Sam claims he's "working" on? Its "working title" is Supernatural.
  • Living Toys: Due to Audrey's wish.
  • Mood Dissonance
    Teddy bear: It is a terrible world! Why am I here?
    Audrey: For tea parties!
  • Neck Lift: Todd to Dean, only Todd is a lot shorter so he just chokes him.
  • Never Win the Lottery: The lottery winner turns out to have a fake ticket after the wishing well is deactivated.
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver: With Sam dead and Dean some distance away being trounced by a super-powered eight year-old, it falls to Wes to realize the true consequences of his selfish wish and choose to remove the coin from the fountain. Though the brothers threatened him about reversing the wishes and did their best to talk him into it, Wes makes the decision on his own after seeing what Hope has become under the wish's influence.
  • Parental Neglect: Audrey's parents wish themselves to Bali, leaving their daughter behind.
  • Power Perversion Potential: The invisible kid in the women's shower.
  • Running Gag: The magazine Audrey drops is Busty Asian Beauties.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Deconstructed. Wes uses a magic coin he inherited to create a wishing well, so he can make Hope Lynn (whom he's been in love with since high school, but who is oblivious to him) love him over anything else. At first, he's happy with the new situation, but eventually gets disheartened from the fact that she literally has no personality or needs of her own other than pleasing and loving him, even killing others for him to maintain their "love".
  • Seen It All: Subverted. Sam and Dean clearly think they're this, but the giant living teddy bear shocks even them.
  • Shout-Out
  • Shower Scene: The episode opens with a woman in the shower being spied on by what appears to be a ghost, but later turns out to be merely an invisible horny teenager.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!/Talk to the Fist: The first time Dean tries to talk Todd out of crushing the bullies, the kid sends him flying.
  • Smoldering Shoes: After Sam gets struck by lightning.
  • So Much for Stealth: The invisible boy is revealed when the showering woman tosses a towel and it lands on his head.
  • Sticky Fingers: Dean helps himself to a flask in the liquor store.
  • Stunned Silence: Sam and Dean's reaction to seeing a giant talking teddy bear drinking booze.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Poor Teddy.
  • Visible Invisibility: The footsteps of the invisible kid are visible on the floor.
  • Wishing Well: And it works a little too well.
  • Wrong Bathroom Incident: The boys go to a town to investigate the apparent haunting of the women's locker room of a gym (to Dean's delight). In fact, the town is afflicted by a working wishing well, and people are being none too careful about what they wish for. The locker room "haunting" is actually a high school kid who wished he could turn invisible so he could spy on women in the shower.
    Sam: So Let Me Get This Straight.... You walked up to a wishing well, dropped a dime, and wished to turn invisible so you could spy on women in the shower?