WARNING: This review contains spoilers
‘Just My Imagination’ is the perfect example of how a pretty interesting and original idea can become really dull due to a bad execution. To some extent, if this episode hadn’t focused so much on Sam’s childhood and his relationship with Sully, I would consider placing it in my “Top 10 weakest episodes of Supernatural“. The only thing that made this episode worth-watching was the fact that we got a Sam-centric episode and we got to see more from Sam’s childhood, which is especially relevant now that he’s considering sacrificing himself (again) by going back to the Cage.
This episode had two main flaws: 1) it introduced way too many imaginary friends. Sully, Sparkles, and perhaps one more should have been more than enough. So many characters made the killings feel repetitive and, therefore, boring. 2) imaginary friends should have been much more influenced and controlled by the kids they “belong” to, instead of having so much free will and lives of their own. Aside from making more sense, it would have brought some interesting dinamics between the two parties.
Some of those problems were fixed by the resolution of the story. A vengeful human twin sister turning out to be the killer was pretty interesting and I’m glad that they didn’t add another supernatural creature as the responsible for the killings. I guess it only shows that, sometimes, too much imagination in a kid can be a bit dangerous and that, perhaps, if kids didn’t have to turn to imaginary friends due to being lonely, they would be much safer and happier. As per the imaginary friends themselves, I felt like Sully (Nate Torrence) worked much better in the emotional scenes and as a supportive figure for Sam than he did in some forced comedic situations. Sure, he’s not an iconic character that will be remember forever in the fandom, but he was still enjoyable to have around as third wheel.
The best part thing about this episode was getting to see more from Sam and his childhood (and it was nice to see the return of Dylan Everett as well!). We are often reminded of what a dreadful childhood these brothers have had and we know that neither had it better than the other. While Dean was being forced to be a copy of his father, Sam was left behind on his own. It is only logical that he would come up with an imaginary friend. They also used the occasion to remind us that Sam wanted to run away from the hunting life, go to school and make friends. However, he says that he no longer feels that way. Whether that’s because he’s grown fond of this life or because he has given up all his hope entirely is up for debate.
The classic talk at the end in the car, although necessary to link things to next week’s season finale, didn’t bring anything new to the table. We already know what’s up: Sam keeps suggesting that he should go back to the Cage, Dean says no way and that they’ll find another solution (one that will probably cause another mess).