2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be
|Title||What Is and What Should Never Be|
|Episode #||Season 2, Episode 20|
|First aired||May 3, 2007|
|Directed by||Eric Kripke|
|Written by||Raelle Tucker|
|On IMDB||What Is and What Should Never Be|
|Outline||After Dean is attacked by a djinn, he wakes up in a world where he is no longer a hunter.|
|Location(s)|| Joliet, Illinois|
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In an abandoned warehouse, Dean is attacked by a djinn he is hunting. He wakes up next to a beautiful girl, and wanders around an unfamiliar apartment. He calls Sam, who is studying his law books, only to find Sam thinks he is drunk. Dean discovers he is in Lawrence, Kansas and drives to his childhood home to find his mother alive. The past has changed – there was no demon attack and no fire. John died the previous year of a stroke, in his sleep.
The next day Dean revels in suburban life, spending time with his mother and mowing the lawn. Sam and Jessica arrive – they have flown in from California for Mary’s birthday. That night at dinner in a restaurant, Sam and Jessica announce their engagement, During the celebrations Dean is distracted when he sees a young woman whom he had glimpsed on the street earlier.
At home, Dean is keen to go out and spend time with his girlfriend, Carmen, and Sam and Jessica. Sam confronts Dean over his behavior - he and Dean are not close, and he doesn’t understand Dean’s friendly demeanor. Back at his apartment, Dean starts enjoying his life with Carmen. However, later that night he sees a news broadcast that leads him to discover that all the people he remembers saving are now dead. The ghostly woman appears to him again, and Dean sees images of dead people in his closet. Distraught, Dean visits John’s grave and anguishes over why it is his job to sacrifice things in order to save people. He comes to an unspoken resolution/realization and walks off.
Dean is caught by Sam as he breaks into Mary’s house to steal a silver knife; Dean pretends that he needs it to pay a gambling debt. Sam insists on accompanying Dean, and they drive to Illinois, to the abandoned warehouse. There they find the girl Dean has been seeing; she is being held captive by the djinn, and she appears to be hallucinating. Dean has flashes of images and he starts to suspect that he too is being held by the djinn and everything he has experienced is an illusion. Dean decides that if he is in a dream and he kills himself he will wake up. Sam tries to dissuade him, and then Mary, Carmen, and Jess appear, imploring him to stay and be happy.
In the real world, Dean wakes up as Sam is rescuing him. The djinn attacks, but Dean kills it. They find the girl Dean kept seeing, weak but still alive. Back in their motel, Dean is still in pain from the life he glimpsed. Sam tries to convince him that all the people they have saved make their sacrifice worthwhile.
- Alternate Universe
- Dean's Amulet
- Lawrence, Kansas
- Photo Album
- Table of Death
- "What a Wonderful World" by Joey Ramone
- (plays as Dean mows the lawn)
- "Saturday Night Special" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- (plays as Dean drives back to Illinois)
- "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Christopher Lennertz (originally written by Arvo Pärt)
- (plays when Dean is being tempted to stay in the wish-verse)
Dean: Well, the uh, the djinn. It attacked me.
Sam: The gin? You're... drinking gin?
Dean: No, asshat. The djinn. The... scary creature. Remember? It put its hand on me and then I woke up... next to some hot chick...
Sam: Who? Carmen?
Sam: Dean, you're drunk. You're drunk-dialing me.
Dean: Carmen? Right. ... Let me ask you a question. When I was a kid, what did you always tell me when you put me to bed?
Mary: Dean, I don't understand -
Dean: Just answer the question.
Mary: I told you angels were watching over you.
Mary: You want to mow the lawn?
Dean: You kidding me? I'd love to mow the law.
Dean: What do you mean?
Sam: I mean this whole warm, fuzzy, ecstasy-trip thing.
Dean: I'm just happy for you, Sammy.
Carmen: I told you. I've got the night shifts on Thursday.
Dean: I don't understand. Why you doing this?
Sam: Because you're still my brother.
Sam: W–What are you calling me a bitch for?
Dean: You're supposed to say 'jerk'.
Dean: You're not real. None of it is.
Mary: It doesn't matter. It's still better than anything you had.
Mary: It's everything you want. We're a family again. Let’s go home.
Dean: I'll die. The djinn'll... drain the life out of me in a couple of days.
Sam: So we didn't get along then, huh?
Sam: Yeah... I thought it was supposed to, to be this perfect fantasy.
Dean: It wasn't. It was just a wish. I wished for Mom to live. That Mom never died, we never went hunting and you and me just never uh... you know.
Sam: Yeah. Well, I'm glad we do. And I'm glad you dug yourself out, Dean. Most people wouldn't've had the strength, would have just stayed.
Dean: Yeah... Lucky me. I gotta tell you though, man. You know, you had Jess. Mom was gonna have grandkids...
Sam: Yeah, but... Dean... it wasn't real.
Dean: I know. But I wanted to stay. I wanted to stay so bad. I mean, ever since Dad... all I c– all I can think about is how much this job's cost us... We've lost so much. We've... sacrificed so much.
Trivia & References
Dean: My God. Barbara Eden was hot, wasn't she? Way hotter than that Bewitched chick.
- Barbara Eden played a genie, or djinn, in the '60s TV series I Dream of Jeannie. Elizabeth Montgomery starred as Samantha, a witch with a twitchy nose in the TV series Bewitched.
Dean: Well, we're not in Kansas anymore.
Dean: Aunty Em? There's no place like home.
- Both famous lines from The Wizard of Oz.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts
- 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be (transcript)
- Casting sides for Carmen (Page One only)
- Transcript of Eric Kripke's commentary by stir_of_echoes
- SPN Heavy Meta Season Two Meta Index
- 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be: There’s No Place Like Home by bardicvoice (May 2007); archive link
- Bond, Silvia. 2009. "What Is And What Should Never Be" Season 2, Episode 20. January 6; Pink Raygun, archive link, spn-heavymeta
- Blue Velvety Smoothness: Visual references in WIAWSNB by missyjack (May 2007); archive link, spnematography
- Kripke and His Camera: Pastels, Flowers, and Symbolism in WIAWSNB by bowtrunckle (May 2007); archive link, spnematography