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Recap / Supernatural S 12 E 11 Regarding Dean

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 12, Episode 11:

Regarding Dean

Dean is hexed with a powerful spell that is rapidly erasing his memory. Sam enlists Rowena's help to track down a powerful family of witches to find a way to reverse the magic before it proves fatal.

Body Count:

For this episode: At least 3 humans (all witches)

For the series so far: At least 1319 humans (of which 22 were witches), 1130 angels (2 of which were archangels), 188 demons, 72 vampires, 59 ghosts, 36 Jefferson Starships, 22 gods, 19 zombies, 17 werewolves, 10 hellhounds, 8 Bisaan, 7 shapeshifters, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 djinn, 6 reapers, 4 dogs, 4 ghouls, 4 Leviathan, 3 Khan Worms, 3 Thule, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 rugarus, 2 vetalas, 2 zannas, 1 banshee, 1 cat, 1 crocotta, Death, 1 deer, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 familiar, 1 lamia, The Mother of All, 1 nachzehrer, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 pishtaco, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 qarin, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shojo, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 soul eater, 1 Titan, 1 wendigo, the Whore of Babylon, 1 wicked witch, and 1 wraith

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Tropes

  • Amnesia Danger:
    • At the end of the episode, Sam and the male Lochland both barrel down the stairs. Normally, Dean would have no trouble knowing who to shoot and kill, but without his memory, he initially points the gun at his brother instead of the bad guy.
    • Rowena says Dean's amnesia will worsen up to a point where he might even forget how to breathe.
  • Balancing Death's Books: At the episode's climax, the surviving Lochlands plan to revive their brother by swapping Sam's soul for their brother's.
  • Big "NO!": A written one. The notes Sam left for the amnesiac Dean include one taped on the grenade launcher that simply says "NO".
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Rowena's encountered the Lochlands before, but they thought so little of her at the time that the one she fights during the episode's climax doesn't remember her at first. However, we know from her earlier explanation to Dean, that this meeting was a really hurtful event that Rowena never forgot.
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  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: When Rowena first shows up in the episode, she's using her magic to cheat at cards.
  • Easy Amnesia: Dean's amnesia is both induced and resolved by a magic spell all over the course of one episode.
  • Enemy Mine: Rowena helps restore Dean's memories and fight the Lochlands, both to settle a score with them and get ahold of the Lochland's grimoire.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Averted. Dean tries to lip read only to remember that he never knew how to lip read.
  • Forgot the Call: Several times Dean forgets what he and Sam do for a living and about the true existence of monsters. Sam has to re-explain everything to him so what they're seeing or dealing with makes sense.
  • Ignored Confession: Subverted. Dean didn't ignore the confession. He simply doesn't understand why he would need the information when he initially hears it and then later forgets that he ever heard it (or did he?)
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  • Impairment Shot: We are shown Dean's blurred POV every time the memory loss worsens.
  • In Medias Res: The episode begins with Dean chasing a suspect that we later find out is related to a case he and Sam had been working. The viewer then follows as Sam and Dean retrace Dean's steps to until they find the suspect dead in the episode's starting location, bringing the episode full circle.
  • Ken Doll Anatomy: Subverted. Invoked when Rowena is trying to figure out how Dean has been hexed.
    Rowena: Could be a memory spell? Did his hair fall out? His body too?
    Sam: What?
    Rowena: From the neck down, is he smooth like a Ken doll?
    Sam: I don't know. And I'm not checking either.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Sam and Dean watch security cam footage of Dean fighting a witch, being blasted by the witch's power, and then shooting at the witch. Sam asks Dean if it feels familiar. Dean says no and remarks that it's like watching himself on Netflix. Because the series has been airing so long (12 seasons at the time of the episode airing) many fans found the series through Netflix because they were too young to watch or didn't know about the show when it originally premiered in 2005.
  • Loss of Identity: Dean starts to forget everything that makes him who he is: his family and friends, what he does for a living, how to drive his beloved car, his own name.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: When Dean initially wakes up in the park, he is very disheveled and his phone is broken. The first person he approaches gives him money and tells him not to waste it on booze. He wisely tells the next person that he's not a bum, he just needs to use their phone.
  • Montage Out: The episode ends with clips showing us what Dean was up to during the time that's missing from his memory.
  • Note to Self: Subverted. When Dean begins to forget the names of common objects, Sam puts bright yellow stickies with the object name on them. Later, when the memory loss progresses, Rowena leaves a note explaining what has happened, why he's alone, and a sticky note ordering him to stay in the car. When he ignores the note and gets out to access the trunk, he finds stickies telling him which weapons to use and which weapons to avoid.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Although the happy go lucky nature Dean exhibits after his initial memory loss is very funny, as the memory loss continues, it becomes clear that Dean is in serious trouble.
    • Dean, who is highly protective of his car, Baby, forgets how to drive and jumps the curb, smashing the front end of the car into newspaper dispensers.
    • Dean, who has historically been characterized by his love of classic rock, can't remember the names of the members of Bon Jovi.
  • Shout-Out:
    Dean: If a witch got a clear shot at me, I would be dead. I wouldn't be freakin'... uh, Dory.
    Sam: Dory?
    Dean: I'm not going to apologize for loving that fish. Not you, not to anyone.
    • Dean refers to the memory spell as "some kind of Memento crap."
  • Single Tear: Dean, when he tries to make himself remember his own name by repeating it over and over, until he can't.
  • Straying Baby: Obviously Dean is an adult, but his memory loss makes him more prone to wandering off to do whatever task has caught his attention, forgetting the constant danger the brothers are in. Sam has to make a conscious effort to keep an eye on his brother. At one point Dean wanders off to get ice while Sam is on the phone, and gets lost on the way back, forcing Sam to come find him.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Really, Catriona? Ignoring the witch-killing bullets? What did she think was going to happen?
  • Talking with Signs: Dean holds up the sticky reading "Witch Killing Bullets" when Catriona scoffs at him aiming a gun at her.
  • Troll: After Rowena restores Dean's memory, he briefly pretends it didn't work, in order to mess with Sam.
  • Two out of Three Ain't Bad: Dean is trying to prove his memory is fine. He identifies his gun and his coat correctly, but can not think of the name for lamp, instead calling it a "light stick".
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Dean wakes up with no idea where he is and how he got there. Sam knows Dean said he was going for burgers but that's clearly not what happened. The brothers spend a good chunk of the episode trying to figure out what happened to Dean and why he can't remember any of it.
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