In “Bad Boys,” we traveled back into Winchester history to a two-month period where a 16 year old Dean found himself living in a home for troubled boys run by a man named Sonny after being caught stealing bread and peanut butter from a local market. He had to steal food because he had lost the food money John left them in a card game. Sam got sent to live with Bobby and John left Dean at the boys home as punishment.
During this time, Dean got a taste of the normal life. Him and his father kept this all a secret from Sam for whatever reason, so this is all news to him. Dean joined the wrestling team, got good grades and even found himself a lady named Robin. When we meet her in present day, she pretends not to know Dean. She gave him his first kiss, but also was set to be his first school dance date. That plan didn’t quite pan out. It all becomes clear of what exactly got in the way of that.
All this history was revealed in flashbacks that we are shown throughout the episode.Dean and Sam work a case that involves an angry ghost who is killing people, maiming children, you know, standard day for the Winchesters. This is all happening at Sonny’s boys home which is still up and running after all of these years, although, with a few less residents.
In present day, Dean also befriends a kid named Timmy. Timmy is the weaker, dweebier, easy to pick on, kid. Dean spent his whole life watching over Sam, and this episode emphasizes that in a way. I think this kind of points to a reason why Dean tends to have a soft spot for children and taking them under his wing while he is around them.We find out that Timmy’s dead mother is the one who has been behind the killing. She died in a car crash, but not before saving Timmy. She saw them as threats to her son, and couldn’t really tell the difference between things that he could do by himself and what he needed to be protected from.
Taking a step back, the boys kind of thought that it was a different person’s ghost, went through the standard salt and burn the bones routine, but that was too easy. When another killing happens they have to come back to investigate, and that’s when we find out that it is Timmy’s mother. Sam finds some drawings Timmy had done and pieced it together, and Tommy confirmed it with his recollection of what had happened. He was actually only in this home fro troubled boys because he kept getting bounced around in foster homes until Sonny took him in.
The boys protect Robin, who is at the house giving guitar lessons(as her mother did years before and she has carried on doing since she died). At first they believe that the ghost is attached to an action figure that Timmy has and burn it right away. But, she is still there, so they conclude that she is actually anchored to Timmy himself. Now we find ourselves looking at this sweet little boy and wondering what they are going to do. After getting thrown around a little, the boys, namely Dean convinces Timmy to stand up to his mother and tell her to go. She actually listens fairly easily, and goes from ghoulish yuck face back to what she looked like in life, and moves on. Speaking of which, I think this show got a bigger special effects team or a bigger budget or something, they are really using special effects more often. I found the relationship between Timmy and Dean to be kind of heart warming. He teaches Timmy to be a strong person, and to stand up for himself. He basically gives him every little lesson that probably would have helped him growing up.
The last scene of the episode eviscerated me, and then fed my organs back through my mouth. In it, Dean is ready for his first real school dance with April; tie and all. Sonny comes in and announces that his Dad is here to take him away, even after Sonny explained what the night meant to him. Dean is obviously upset. Sonny offerrd to stick his neck out for Dean and convince his father to let him stay, but then Dean looked out the window and saw little Sam in the backseat of the Impala playing with his airplane innocently. The visual painted a smile on Dean’s face, which was another heart melting moment. The utter devotion Dean has always had to keep his brother safe, and seeing how it dictates so much action he takes in his life, it just hits home very deeply. With a few silent tears he told Sonny that he was going to leave. I think Sonny knew why Dean had left, even without Dean saying anything. I’d like to think that after all the dodging Dean did about explaining his story, Sam had an idea of why he left too. Especially with this line in the Impala as they are about to pull away:
Sam: Dean, thank you — for always being there. For always having my back. I know it hasn’t always been easy.
Dean: [Pause] I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
I just want to take a second to appreciate Sonny. This man treated Dean better than his own father did in 2 months than I think John Winchester did in most of Dean’s life. John was so lost in revenge for what had happened to the boys’ mother, he forgot that his kids were well….kids. He never let them be normal. Sonny, to me, is like another father of Dean’s(lets not forget about Bobby, of course). He taught Dean things, and I think that some of what Dean passed on to Timmy this episode and maybe even Sam at some point in their lives are lessons Sonny himself might have taught Dean. I would say that I’d like to see Sonny on more, but that would mean that the writers would eventually kill him.
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