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'Supernatural' nostalgia recap: The Winchester Brothers see a shrink

Season 1 | Episode 10 | “Asylum” | Aired Nov 22, 2005

“The Story So Far” Rating: Lots of Winchester angst. If you like that, you’ll like this.

Ah, the wayward days of Supernatural when you knew right from go that they were planning to scare the bejiminy out of you. Not only is the episode called “Asylum,” but we open on a couple of cops checking out a creepy, rundown insane asylum AT NIGHT. The veteran cop, Officer Gunderson (Tom Pickett) tells the rookie, Officer Kelly (Peter Benson) all about the local legend.

People who go in there and stay the night go crazy because of the spirits.

Of course, they go in because NOTHING EVER HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE. They even split up!

Well, maybe one one thing happens. Something possesses Officer Kelly, and he goes home and shoots his wife then himself. Like ya do.

Sam and Dean hear about the case via anonymous text message. Dean thinks it’s their dad, because the asylum is mentioned in his journal. Sam is having a really hard time dealing with the fact that they have no idea where their dad is and why he isn’t talking to them, save for ninja text messages.

It boils down to Dean excusing dad no matter what and Sam questioning dad no matter what—aka the Winchester Brothers’ never-ending battle. WBDTM* No. 1.

The tension remains when they get to Rockford, Illinois, and realize they need to go to Roosevelt Asylum. But you knew that, right?

A quick inspection sends them into the south wing, because the journal and news accounts say that’s where people died after the asylum was closed. It’s also the same wing Officer Kelly was investigating before he went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.


south wing

While they wander the halls, Dean is teasing Sam about his psychic abilities, but Sam isn’t in the mood for teasing. He wants to know why Dean’s not more worried about their dad. Dean’s just there to do the job dad sent them on. Dutiful brother, more sensitive brother. WBDTM No. 2.

They find a placard for the chief of staff, Dr. Sanford Ellicott, which leads them to a Dr. James Ellicott (James Purcell). Sam drops by for a chat, trying to work in questions about the asylum, and he figures out that Sanford was James’ father. But James is no slouch in the psych department, and the next thing he knows, Sam is being asked how he feels about his brother.

dr. sammy

However, Sam does get the skinny while he is getting his head shrunk. In 1964, the south wing housed the most dangerous patients. They rioted, and both staff and patients were killed. Bodies went missing. Including Sanford Ellicott’s.

Violent deaths + bodies not put to rest = angry spirits. The Winchesters are going back to the nuthouse!

Oh, great. Young Gavin (Nicholas D’Agosto) has decided that taking his girlfriend Katherine (Brooke Nevin) on a date at Roosevelt is a swell idea.

date night

Let’s just say that it doesn’t go as planned. He ends up having a really creepy encounter and kisses something he thinks is his girlfriend, but isn’t.

Hey, the Winchesters are here. All kinds of spirits are showing up on the EMF and camcorder. It’s Spirits R Us up in here. But something’s strange. They’re not attacking the boys. They’re more like … freaked out themselves.

Speaking of freaked out, the boys just found Kat. But, um, where’s Gavin? Oh, okay, there’s Gavin. Sam just found him passed out on the floor. He seems … normal when he wakes up.

OhOhOhOh … did I mention that the boys split up? They did. THEY BROKE THE FIRST RULE OF SCARY MOVIES. Oh, and Dean, who’s supposed to understand how this crap works, just sort of shakes his flashlight when it goes out instead of realizing that means GHOSTS.

Something just grabbed Kat.

kat grab

Not to fret. It just wants to tell her something. It whispers the number 137 in her ear.

Well, maybe fret a little, because Dean tells Sam to take Kat and Gavin out of there, while he goes off to check out room 137 by himself. ALONE.


It gets better. Sam, Gavin, and Kat discover that all the doors are locked. Something wants to keep them inside the asylum.

Back in Room 137, which seems to be Dr. Sanford Ellicott’s office, Dean finds a satchel behind a hidden wall panel. There’s a journal in that satchel.  From the looks of it, Ellicott was the biggest psycho in the asylum.

Somehow, though, Dean calls Sam and says he needs help in the basement. Which just happens to be the same place our rookie cop from the first scene went before he lost all his marbles. So, Sam leaves Kat with the shotgun and off he goes to the basement. (I just … I can’t anymore with this.)

No Dean, but Sam does find Dr. Sanford Ellicott (Norman Armour). Looks like Sam’s getting treated by two Dr. Ellicotts in one day!

ellicott says hi

After his head is almost blown off by a very nervous Kat, Dean (who didn’t call Sam) is off to the basement.

Y’know, I just realized that I expect these brothers to know better than all of this. But this is the first season. Still, rules. Y’know?

Dean finds Sam, who’s totally possessed and acting like Soulless Sam, but Dean hasn’t seen his brother in either of those states (yet). So he has no idea that Sam’s not Sam when he tells his brother that Ellicott was crazy and experimented on his patients.

Which is why Dean is totally surprised when he ends up with a chest full of rock salt thanks to his brother, who’s got all sorts of anger management issues.

sammy's got a gun

Luckily, Sam’s not himself, so Dean gets the drop on him with a stellar punch to the face before going in search of Ellicott’s body. Once he finds it, there’s the inevitable battle with the ghost—but soon enough, the ghost is toast.

We almost get another WBDTM. Sam wants to say that he didn’t mean any of the mean stuff he said. Dean’s not up for talking, period. I swear, these two. They need to work out their issues.

Maybe their dad can help. After all, he just called.


Until next week, stay out of trouble just like the Winchesters. Oh. Wait.

* Winchester Brothers Deep Thoughts Moment.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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