Last modified on 7 July 2014, at 09:36

6.15 The French Mistake


French mistake promo.jpg
Title The French Mistake
Episode # Season 6, Episode 15
First aired February 25, 2011
Directed by Charles Beeson
Written by Ben Edlund
On IMDB The French Mistake
Outline Sam and Dean find themselves on the set of the TV Show Supernatural, with an angelic hitman after them.
Monster Raphael
Virgil
Timeline
Location(s) Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Synopsis

Dean and Sam are doing research at Bobby's House when Balthazar appears. He says that Raphael is aiming to kill all of Castiel's allies and affiliates so he gives them a key and sends them to an alternate reality to keep them out of harm's way. Supposedly, the key opens a door where he has stored the stolen angelic weapons of Heaven, which will help Castiel to retain control in Heaven.

When they appear in the alternate reality, Sam and Dean find themselves on the set of "Supernatural"- a show that appears to be about their lives and where everyone mistakes them for the actors Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. They try to contact Castiel, but instead encounter Misha Collins, who plays Castiel on the TV Show. Taking refuge in Jensen's luxurious trailer, they do some research about Jensen and Jared, and Dean is horrified to learn that Jensen was on Days of Our Lives. Dean suggests they try doing the same spell Balthazar did in order to get them back to their own reality.

Discouraged that there are no 'real' saints' bones or other items they need on the set of Bobby's house, Sam and Dean have the actors' driver, Clif Kosterman, take them to Jared's place, which turns out to be a large ostentatious mansion with a tanning bed in the living room and an alpaca in the backyard. Sam and Dean are shocked when Ruby - or rather the actress who plays her - appears and kisses Sam, who she believes to be her husband, Jared. After Genevieve Padalecki heads out to a charity function for the International Otter Adoption Fund, Sam and Dean go online and purchase some saints' bones for rush delivery using Jared's credit cards (they max out at least one). Dean then spends the night on Jared's couch, while Sam alternates between surfing the internet for signs of the supernatural activity and sleeping with Genevieve.

The next morning, Clif drives them to the airport to pick up the rush delivery before taking them back to the set. They have to try and act in a scene which ends badly after many takes, but in between takes, they try and do the spell. When nothing happens, they come to the conclusion that in this reality there is no real supernatural, no magic.

Back on set, the angel hitman Virgil appears and tries to vanquish Dean with his angel powers. He, too, is devoid of powers in this reality, so Sam and Dean are able to take him in a fight and start pummeling him on the set of the Dragon's hideout from 6.12 Like a Virgin. The rest of the crew intervenes, however, and during the resulting scuffle Virgil pickpockets the key Balthazar gave Sam before running away.

The crew of the show is now suspicious because "Jared" and "Jensen" are behaving out of character. Normally they don't speak to each other, they came in with a mysterious package (the saint's bones) which the crew believes are either drugs or black market organs, and now they've beaten up what everyone thinks is an extra. Director Bob Singer calls showrunner Sera Gamble and suggests that they get Eric Kripke to come to Vancouver and talk to them. Sera reluctantly agrees, although Kripke is sequestered in a cabin writing the script for "Octocobra." Meanwhile, Virgil takes Misha hostage and kills him so he can use his blood to contact Raphael.

Bob confronts Sam and Dean, and they drop the pretense of being Jared and Jensen and tell him that they quit. Dean says that at least in their world they make a difference. They then go back to Jared's house and learn from Genevieve that Misha is dead, so they go to the scene. A witness states that the killer was speaking to "Raphael," and they learn from the relayed conversation that Virgil is trying to get back to their reality. While they wait for him on the set, Dean suggests to Sam that maybe if they get stuck in this reality, Sam's life would be better. But Sam disagrees because back in their world they do matter, and he doesn't like that in this world they aren't even brothers.

Virgil returns on set just as Kripke arrives to speak to them, and the angel goes on a killing spree, killing Eric Kripke, Bob Singer, Kevin Parks, and Lou Bollo before Sam and Dean manage to knock him out and get the key. Just as Sam has the key in hand, Raphael activates the nearby gate between the worlds, and they land back in their own reality.

Raphael -- now in a female vessel -- demands the key, but Balthazar arrives and reveals that the key and Sam and Dean's journey was all a ruse to distract Raphael. She threatens them, but Castiel arrives and reveals that he now has all the Angelic Weapons. He threatens to kill Raphael, and she leaves. Castiel then returns Sam and Dean to Bobby's house, promising to reveal more of what is happening in Heaven soon.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Ancient Celtic Lands" by Biddy Blyth & Mike John Trim
(plays in Jensen Ackles' trailer)

Quotes

Dean: I said hey.
Balthazar: You did, twice. Good for you.
Dean: Wait, Raphael is after you?
Balthazar: Raphael is after us all.
Sam: Should we be killing anybody?

Dean: I don't think so.
Sam: Running?

Dean: Where?
Kevin: Well, we can clean up, reset the window; takes about 95 minutes, basically. So we'd have to blow off the scene where they sit on the Impala and talk about their feelings.
Bob: Ha! Right! You answer the hate mail.
Dean: Oh, crap. I'm a painted whore.
Dean: Why would anybody want to watch our lives?
Sam: Well, according to the interviewer, not very many people do.
Sam: I'm just saying we landed in some dimension where you're Jensen Ackles, and I'm something called a Jared Padalecki.
Dean: Also, what? Now you're Polish? Is any of this making any sense to you?
Dean: I want to go home. I feel like this whole place is bad touching me.
Dean: Dear Castiel, who art maybe running his ass away from heaven, we pray you have your ears on. So... breaker, breaker...
Dean: Misha? Jensen? What's up with the names around here?
Kevin Parks: Misha's celebrity tweet says it's a black market organ thing. I'm betting drugs.
Sam: If there's a key, then there has to be a lock. And when we find the lock we can get the weapons. And then we can have the weapons. And the lock, we'll also have the lock, I imagine, because we opened it and of course the initial key that opened-

Dean: (in a very deep voice) We need to get all three of that crap.
Sam: What?
Dean: That's how he does it.

Sam: Oh.
Sera Gamble: Maybe it would help if I... I'll fly up and talk to them.

Jim Michaels: You know, I'm not sure Jared and Jensen... know who she is, strictly speaking. She's, you know, new. No offense.
Sera Gamble: Right.

Bob Singer: Yeah, I think what we might need at this stage is for Kripke to come up himself. He created the show—they'll listen to him.
Sam: Dean, our friends are back there.

Dean: Yeah, but here you got a pretty good life. I mean, back home, the hits been coming since you were 6 months old. You gotta admit, being a bazillionaire married to Ruby? The whole package? There's no contest.
Sam: No, you know, you were right. We just don't mean the same thing here. I mean, we're not even brothers here, man.

Dean: Alright, then. Let's get our crazy show back home.
Dean: Raphael? Nice meat suit. (to Sam) Dude looks like a lady.
Dean: Yeah. Real, moldy, termite-eaten home-sweet-home. Chock full of crap that want to skin ya. Oh, and, uh, we're broke again.
Sam: Yeah, but hey: at least we're talking.

Trivia & References

The episode title "The French Mistake" refers to a famous sequence in Mel Brook’s movie Blazing Saddles. At the end of the movie, the action from the movie which is set in the Old West, crashes through a wall (literally breaking the fourth wall) onto the set of a musical on the Warner Bros. lot. The song being performed in the musical is called "The French Mistake." The term "French Mistake" purportedly refers to a straight guy having a gay sexual encounter he later regrets (Source).
In the episode real members of the cast and crew of Supernatural are featured – some played by actors while others play themselves or Bizarro world versions of themselves.

"The almost fictional cast and crew of Supernatural"

Dean: We are officially out of "hunter's helper."
A play on the phrase "mother's little helper," which originated with the 1966 Rolling Stones song of the same name. It referred to drugs such as Valium that women used to help them cope with life.
Balthazar makes reference to the 1972 movie The Godfather, where the Godfather sends assassins to kill the other Dons. This is then played out in the alternate universe when Virgil shoots the crew on the TV set.
In his spell to send Sam and Dean into the alternate universe, Balthazar uses Dead Sea brine, lamb's blood and the bones of a lesser saint, which he uses to draw a sigil.
Kevin Parks: Well, we can clean up, reset the window; takes about 95 minutes, basically. So we'd have to blow off the scene where they sit on the Impala and talk about their feelings.

Bob Singer: Ha! Right! You answer the hate mail.

When references are made to events in real life like this it is referred to as lampshade hanging. Other examples are Sam mentioning that not many people watch the show, and of course Misha's tweeting.
Dean: Like bizarro Earth? But instead of bizarro Superman, we get this clown factory?
Bizarro World is a planet from the DC comics universe, where everything is the opposite of how things are on Earth, and it is inhabited by "bizarro" versions of characters including Superman.
When Misha first meets Sam and Dean, thinking they are Jared and Jensen, he recites lines from his script, in the character of Castiel. The lines he recites describe the plot of the meta episode.
Misha: You really punk'd me!
Punk'd is an American hidden camera/practical joke television series that first aired on MTV in 2003 and was produced and hosted by Ashton Kutcher. Being "punk'd" referred to being the victim of such a prank.
Dean: I just want to dig my finger in my brain and scratch until we're back in Kansas.

Dean: That's it, Toto.

Dean makes two references to The Wizard of Oz, a 1900 novel by L. Frank Baum that has been adapted into several different works, the most famous being the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland. In it, a young woman named Dorothy is swept up in a tornado and transplanted in an alternate dimension.
Dean: Look at these male modeling sons of bitches - nice Blue Steel, Sam!
Dean is holding up a copy of the Supernatural: Official Magazine - Issue #11 from August 2009. Blue Steel is a signature modeling pose of Derek Zoolander, first referenced by Dean in 2.19 Folsom Prison Blues, and demonstrated by Jared and Jensen on every gag reel, and at numerous conventions.
Sumag11-217x300.jpg

Sam finds a clip of Jensen when he played Eric Brady in Days of Our Lives. The clip used in this episode starts at 6:33 in this clip.
Bob Singer: Well, at least they're talking to each other.
A running gag during the episode is the fact that in this universe, Jared and Jensen are not on speaking terms. In real life, they are good friends as evidenced by the fact that they were groomsman at each other's weddings in 2010.
The real Clif Kosterman appears in a cameo as the crew member who is putting mud on the Impala.
The studio in the episode is called "KM Motion Picture Studios." At the Salute to Supernatural San Francisco 2011 in January 2011, Clif Kosterman reported that the Supernatural Studios in Burnaby Vancouver had officially been named in honour of late director and producer Kim Manners (Source).
Dean: Dude, we're not even in America.
Supernatural is filmed in Vancouver, Canada. (Except for the Pilot which was filmed in Los Angeles.)
Dean: Nice modest digs, Jay-Z.
Jay-Z is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America.
Sam: (pointing to coffin shaped device) What am I? Dracula?

Dean: (opening it to reveal a tanning bed) George Hamilton Dracula!

Actor George Hamilton is renowned for having a very deep, and obviously fake, tan. Jared has been known to appear rather tan on occasion, most famously at the 2008 Scream Awards.
A tanned Jared with Jeffrey Dean Morgan at the Scream Awards

Jared and Genevieve married in real life on February 27, 2010, in Sun Valley, Idaho. The photo on the mantle (next to the alpaca) is an actual wedding photo taken by Kirsten Schultz and featured in an article in Sun Valley magazine.
Mashing up fact and fiction: Jared is an animal lover who has two dogs Harley and Sadie. He has given support to the animal rights group PETA, and A Dog's Life rescue. Jared and Genevieve support the charity 5GYRES which combats ocean pollution, and money raised from auctions at Salute to Supernatural San Francisco 2011 went to it.
It is not known whether they have adopted any otters or own an alpaca.
Sam: You know, the 9.2 in Rome? I mean, the 8.5 outside Boston? The whole East-West tsunami chain?

Genevieve: Yes, I remember all of those... from last season. On your show.

There is a slight discrepancy between this and the reports heard in 5.22 Swan Song, which stated that there was a 7.6 earthquake in Portland, an 8.1 in Boston, and more in Hong Kong, Berlin, and Tehran.
Bob Singer: Your enthusiasm is refreshing. Dean Cain was like that on "Lois"- now there's a real actor.
The real Bob Singer was a producer on the '90s TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman which starred Dean Cain as Clark Kent / Superman. Other Supernatural crew who worked on the series include Phil Sgriccia, Jim Michaels, Brad Buckner, Eugenie Ross-Leming and composer Jay Gruska.
The blue sweater Misha is wearing is also one he wore in his Rhino Puzzle missive here.
Misha also wore the shirt with the word NAMASTE - which is an Indian greeting. The symbol on the shirt is a Maha Yantra.
In Bob Singer's office, a magazine called TV Weekly featuring Jared and Jensen on the cover is on display - a reference to the fan voted Supernatural TV Guide Cover.
The two guys rehearsing a fight scene beside the Impala on the green screen stage, who then broke up the fight between Dean, Sam, and Virgil, were Jared and Jensen's real stunt doubles, Mike Carpenter and Todd Scott.
The scene where Virgil obtains weapons in a gun store by incapacitating the owner before shooting a customer is a send-up to a similar scene in The Terminator, where the T-800 played by Arnold Schwarzenegger does the same thing, but kills the owner instead. Watch it here.
Dean: No hell below us, above us only sky.
Dean is quoting the John Lennon song "Imagine."
Misha Collins spent a lot of time on Twitter in the episode, and at one point he tweets "Ola mishamigos! J2 got me good. Really starting to feel like one of the guys." Just to really mess with our mind, the real Misha actually sent that tweet as the line aired in the US east coast run of the episode (Source). Misha Collins and Misha also both tweeted "IMHO j&j had a late one last night. Rotflmfao!" (Source). After both these tweets, Misha then relates, "My phone was stolen and apparently cast into a parallel universe devoid of magic. I've retrieved it. I promise it won't happen again" (Source). All three tweets were retweeted by over 100 people in a matter of hours and then vanished from Misha's twitter feed. A few hours later, they were reposted, but the direct links to the original tweets still work.
The words: #Misha, #metamadness and #kripke all made it into the top ten Trending Topics as the episode went to air.
At Rising Con Spain 2010, Misha Collins expressed the desire for Castiel to have a long crying scene in season 6 (Source). It's possible that this was the impetuous for Misha's long crying scene with Virgil.
Sera Gamble: Eric's supposed to be off in a cabin somewhere writing his next pilot.

Bob Singer: He sold Octocobra? Mother of God they'll buy anything

A shoutout to the Syfy Channel TV movies that feature monster mash-ups like Sharktopus and Dinocroc.
Bob Singer: I'd like to think that over these years we've grown closer, that you don't think of me as "director Bob" or executive producer "Bob Singer," but as Uncle Bob.

Sam: You're kidding? So the character in the show - Bobby Singer...
Dean: What kind of a douchebag names a character after himself?
Sam: Oh that's not right!

The character of Bobby was named after producer Bob Singer, although the culprit was Kripke. You can see Bob Singer talk about it here.
Eric: It got us the front page of Variety, though. Did you see that?
Variety' is an American weekly entertainment-trade magazine.
Dean: Dude looks like a lady.
A reference to the Aerosmith song of the same name.
Balthazar: Now that you have your sword, try not to die by it.
This is a reference to the Bible verse Matthew 26:52, which describes a disciple (identified in the Gospel of John as Peter) drawing a sword to defend against the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and then being rebuked by Jesus, who tells him to sheath the weapon. The verse reads: Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
When Sam and Dean arrive back in Bobby's house in their universe, we see that the window and much of the wall behind them has been obliterated. Like in Blazing Saddles, which this episode gets its name from, they have literally broken the fourth wall. At the end, Sam checks that the "wall" is solid again - perhaps a reassurance to viewers, as well.

Minutiae

The other major meta episodes in the series have been: See Meta Episodes for a discussion of metafiction in Supernatural, and a list of meta references.
Other episodes set in alternate universes are:
The episode inspired a fan song called Meta Madness by stopitsgingertime.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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