Supernatural Rewatch ‘The Kids Are All Right’ – Or Are They?

Season 3 continues in our Supernatural Rewatch with the second episode of the season, which introduces the character of Lisa Braeden and her son Ben. She’s part of Dean’s last-year-to-live tour of living it up that he’s insisting Sam support him going on, no matter how painful Sam might find the constant reminder of his brother’s upcoming death, but she turns out to be alot more than that. Lisa is a polarizing character, but I think many fans appreciate how the character is written and admire Cindy Sampson’s portrayal of her. I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy at a Supernatural convention in 2022 and she is absolutely lovely and seems to have a genuine appreciation for the Supernatural fandom.

I’m one of the people who liked her character from the jump, and at the same time did not think that Dean and her could really work – or Dean and anyone for that matter. Especially not in Season 3 with his trip to hell breathing down his neck! But Lisa is a nuanced character and a believable mom thanks to Sera Gamble’s writing and Cindy’s acting – which means the couple of things that didn’t make sense in this episode really bothered me.

Which brings me to…

Full disclosure: This episode is not one of my favorites. I know a lot of people like it, and it has moments that I also enjoy, but it also has things that don’t quite work for me. Also? Damn Kripke and Gamble, it is SCARY. And disturbing. And bloody and creepy and all those other things that Kripke and company love. I had to close my eyes a few times during this rewatch, ngl.

Written by Sera Gamble, who I love, and directed by the venerable Phil Sgriccia, there’s a lot that’s very well done in this episode, but changelings? Ewwwww. I guess that’s a testament to the fact that they came through just as creepy as they were supposed to!


Sam’s death, Dean’s deal, his tearful explanation to Bobby, the terms of the deal, the mysterious woman and her demon-killing knife. And…


In Cicero, Indiana, a truck pulls up, a dad dropping off his daughter from visitation. The child runs to the mom and hugs her, tearful, saying there are monsters at her dad’s house and begging not to have to go back. The mom is confused, saying she usually loves to go to her father’s. Later, we see the dad working in his garage, carving a wooden rocking horse for presumably his daughter. Poor guy, that whole begging not to go back must have been tough.

But his life is about to get much tougher – and shorter.

Suddenly as the guy goes to leave, the table saw starts up all on its own.  The man turns back and goes over to investigate, leaning in and getting his face up close and personal.

All of us watching: NOOOOO!!!

He turns it off, walks away and turns out the light. It starts again. He goes BACK to it OMG.

All of us watching: NOOOOO why would you do that??? Run!!!

As he approaches, he stumbles and it snags his shirt and pulls him onto the saw – the blade slices right through him, blood splattering everywhere. Have I mentioned that in early seasons Supernatural truly was a horror show?? How did they get away with such a graphic bloody scene? Again, worthy of The Boys.

And then it was time for Sam and Dean! Yay!

Sam’s in a diner, chatting with Bobby on the phone about a demon dispelling ritual he found, and sounding more than a little desperate trying to find a way to save his brother. Dean walks by the window and waves a newspaper at Sam, as Sam hurriedly hangs up.

Dean: Who was that?

Sam: Uh, I was just ordering pizza.

Dean: Dude, you do realize you’re in a restaurant?

Sam (shrugs): Yeah, I just, I felt like pizza, you know?

Dean: Okay, Weirdy McWeirderton. So anyway, I think I’ve got something.

Who could resist that FACE though? Sam and those puppy dog eyes and those shaggy bangs and that SMILE?

Let’s pause for a second and just appreciate Sam and Dean circa 2007, with their beautiful baby faces and the way they still smile and joke around so much, even with Dean’s deal hanging over their heads. Let’s also appreciate that this was 2007 and they got their cases from the newspaper. One of the things I love the most about Supernatural is that it always seems timeless. Even when I was watching it in real time, it always had a sense of being in the past anyway, with its past-their-heydey motels and little Americana towns. So Sam and Dean reading a newspaper? Fits right in, even now.

When Sam is skeptical about it being a case, Dean admits there’s another reason he wants to go to Cicero – Lisa Braeden.

Sam: You want to drive all the way to Cicero just to hook up with some random chick?

Dean tries the puppy dog eyes, saying she was a yoga teacher, it was the bendiest weekend of his life.

Dean: Come on, have a heart, huh? It’s my dying wish.

I cringe every time Dean tries to guilt trip Sam about the decision he made that poor Sam already feels terribly guilty about. Argh!

Sam: How many dying wishes are you gonna get?

Dean admits as many as he can squeeze out of poor Sam.

Dean: C’mon, smile Sam! God knows I’m gonna be smiling after 24 hours with Gumby girl.

Sam tries, for Dean’s sake, though he’s clearly not enjoying this cross country romp with the goal of getting his brother laid as much as possible, and who can blame him?

Dean, I know you’re dying and traumatized and freaking out, but wow, that’s callous to both your brother and Lisa, who might appreciate being remembered for something other than being Gumby Girl.

He’s still clowning for Sam, though, trying to cheer him up even in the midst of guilt tripping him. Even when Dean’s not thinking of Sam, Dean is thinking of Sam.

Dean: Hmm..does that make me Pokey?

He stops outside of a motel to drop Sam off, pulling away before Sam has even gotten his duffel out, still trying to tease him into smiling and putting on an act that he’s thinking only about sex so Sam won’t know he’s actually petrified – and probably to keep himself distracted from that too.

Dean: Don’t wait up for me, Sammy!

Dean finds Lisa’s house in a new housing development in the suburbs (where many scary things happen in Supernatural..)  He checks a note for her address, then rings the doorbell.

Lisa at first looks at him like he’s a stranger, then recognizes him and smiles.

She seems happy to see him but also confused about why he’s shown up out of the blue after 8 years (I mean, yeah?) and unfortunately it’s in the middle of a party – for her son, Ben. That news takes Dean by surprise, since he was imagining a repeat of that bendy weekend many years ago, but he tries to accommodate.

We see Ben, and I know plenty of fans love this episode, but the Ben reveal is SO heavy handed, I can’t help feeling like a whole slew of anvils just landed on my head. He opens an AC/DC cd with an “AC/DC rules!”

Lisa smiles at him indulgently, but honestly none of it makes any sense. Unless Lisa is a huge AC/DC fan (which, okay, maybe she is) – but otherwise, gestures and musical taste aren’t usually understood to be genetic – or that specific.

He eats his sandwich with true Dean Winchester level gusto.

Again Lisa smiles indulgently, but honestly? This kid is eight! She’s a good mom and I’m fairly certain she’s taught him some manners and wouldn’t just be like oh well haha what can ya do, am I right?

The birthday cake has a car theme.

Okay, show, we get it for godsakes!

As Dean watches Ben, Lisa’s friends are eyeing Dean.

Woman 1 to woman 2: You don’t know about Dean? THE Dean. Best night of my life Dean? They had this crazy, semi-illegal…

Seriously, what the hell could have been semi-illegal about it? Hmmm.

This scene would make so much more sense if Dean was dressed the way Jensen Ackles dresses now, instead of in kinda baggy jeans and a longer jacket that don’t show off his assets very well. Alas. Dean realizes he’s being ogled as the women stare at his (admittedly very fine even in baggy jeans) ass.

He immediately looks uncomfortable and makes a quick (and amusingly awkward) getaway to go talk to Ben. (Ackles is great at physical comedy and gets a chance to show it off in this episode).

The women look like the internal monologue of every fan when their fave leaves the stage after never long enough…

What, leaving so soon??

Dean joins Ben and the two stand side by side and ogle a mother and her eight year old daughter walk by as they eat cake.

Yes, the eight year old is ogling.

Ben: It’s so freakin’ sweet, and this moon bounce, it’s epic… It’s like hot chick city out there.

Dean honestly looks a little freaked out at this point by Ben being an over the top caricature of him (okay, that’s my take, but come on, Show! He’s supposed to be eight years old!)

Not to go all psychoanalytic, but according to Freud Ben’s in the latency stage, which basically means libido is latent – not blatant! In other words, eight year olds don’t ogle. Or care about “hot chicks”.

Dean, confronted with too many anvils, does a quick calculation in his head and suddenly realizes that there’s a chance Ben could be his son.

Dean awkwardly makes his way into the house, freaked out and nearly tripping down the stairs.

Inside, Lisa is talking to the mom from the scary opener, who’s worried about her daughter. She insists there’s something very wrong with her.

Mom: I’m not sure Katie is… Katie.

All of us: Oh Katie is not Katie, that’s for sure…

Lisa tries to reassure her, and also reassures Dean that no, Ben is not his son. Clearly we’re supposed to think he is (so clear that it burns as Ben ‘chats up’ another eight year old) but Jensen has said that he never played it that way or believed that Ben was Dean’s, so this whole episode just seems odd in retrospect.

Lisa tells Dean there’s been a lot of bad luck in their neighborhood lately. So there is a case there after all!

Back at the motel, Sam’s been researching. I’m struck that this is how Sam and Dean looked as I had just fallen hard for this show and these characters, Sam always wearing that little jelly bracelet, bangs in his face.

Ruby sits down across from him at the diner and helps herself to some of his fries.

(This screencap amuses me because some of my favorite things that I have from the Supernatural set are that sugar container and the matching salt and pepper shakers that are in this diner scene and many many others – they are now our everyday condiment containers!)

Sam asks about her demon killing knife.

Ruby: Sure comes in handy when I have to swoop in and save a damsel in distress…

Katie Cassidy is sassy and just a little bit scary as the first incarnation of Ruby, and all of that comes through in this scene. She claims she’s interested in him, and Sam asks why.

Ruby: Because you’re tall. I love a tall man.

Sam looks impatient, and Ruby finally goes on.

Ruby: And then there’s the whole antichrist thing… sole survivor. I’m a good hunter. Yellow Eyes had some big plans for you, Sam.

Sam insists that he’s not having visions anymore since the YED died, but Ruby insists he’s still a pretty big deal after all that business “with your mom”.  Apparently the brothers don’t know what happened to all their mom’s friends – oh, and also there’s a job in this town. (The whole what happened to Mary’s pals thing that never really turned into anything significant plays different now that we know Mary was a hunter…hmmm…)

She writes her number on his hand, and Sam is left wondering about who she really is (as are we…)

Dean calls to say the same thing Ruby did – there is a job in this town, weird things happening to other people too.

To make sure we know just how weird – and how terrifying – those things are, we see Katie’s poor mom wake up to find Katie staring at her in the most creepy kid way imaginable, insisting “play with me, mommy.” She catches a glimpse of the kid in the mirror, scaly inhuman arms and legs, but when she looks again, Katie looks normal.

The mom rubs the back of her neck and then locks herself in the bathroom, finding a red mark there. Suddenly creepy kid starts pounding on the door demanding to be let in, only stopping when the red haired realtor knocks on the door to check on them. The frazzled mom slams the door on her practically, as the creepy kid demands ice cream. Ahhhh!

Sam checks out another of the weird deaths, in his very attractive insurance agent suit, and finds another creepy kid staring out the window at him. Why are creepy kids SO terrifying??

He also notices a red substance on the window sill near where the dad fell – and a disturbing red mark on the back of the mom’s neck.

Dean, meanwhile, sees Ben sitting alone on a bench at the park, looking forlorn. Apparently a bully stole his Gameboy and won’t give it back. Dean offers to go get it, but Ben says no.

Ben: Only bitches send a grownup!

Dean: You’re not wrong.

(I feel like Lisa was a pretty good mom, so I don’t know how Ben turned out to be how he is in this case, but once again, those sort of things are not GENETIC, Show!)

Dean calls the bully a kid that needs to lay off the burgers and then gives Ben some advice – sending him back out there.

When Ryan doesn’t give him back the game, he kicks him in the nuts and takes it.

Dean gives him the thumbs up, trying to cover up his laughter.

And then Lisa arrives and is understandably pissed as hell.

Lisa: Who asked you to teach him anything? What are you even still doing here? We had one weekend together a million years ago – you don’t know me. And you have no business with my son.

I like Lisa. She’s protective of her son – and she’s right.

Ben runs back and hugs Dean anyway, while Lisa scowls at him. Sorry, but I don’t blame her.

Cut to poor Katie’s mom, who in true horror show fashion, straps her daughter into the back seat of the car, glancing at her in the rear view to see her truly monstrous face, and then, sobbing, drives the car right into a lake with Katie in it.

Tears running down her face, she gets out and inexplicably the girl does not, just sits there looking back at her as it goes under. Bubbles come up in the dark lake.

Anyone who reads my reviews knows I’m not a fan of actually showing the monster. In this case, it mostly works because we only get the briefest of glimpses of them, in reflections, just a flash – so while this screencap looks like we see way too much, it doesn’t actually feel that way in the show.


But when the mom gets home to her dark house, there’s the sound of water dripping – from the chair that creepy kid is sitting on, soaking wet!

Katie: I’m ready for that ice cream now.


Later we see Katie’s true form feeding on her passed out mom. Ewwww.

Luckily, after doing some research, Sam Winchester figures out they’re dealing with changelings and how to kill them. And we get to hear his trademark “According to the lore…”

Fire is apparently the only way to kill them. I love when we get little glimpses of the brothers’ everyday life, this time as nomadic hunters living in motel rooms, making their own flame throwers to take out the monsters who are threatening the safety of suburbia.

Dean: Great. We’ll just bust in, drag the kids out, and torch them on the front lawn. That’ll play great with the neighbors.

Me: I love a good outsider pov!

Dean realizes, alarmed, that any kid in the neighborhood’s vulnerable – including Lisa and Ben.

Sam and Dean are so little brother and big brother right there, aren’t they?

Dean drives to Lisa’s house, afraid Ben will be the next target.

He tries to convince her to leave town with Ben for a long weekend (on Siegried Houdini’s credit card), using all his charm that’s worked in the past.

But Lisa she tells him to leave – and this time Ben does too.

Dean knows something’s wrong, and finds that same red substance on the windowsill.

Luckily Dean realizes where the red substance came from, which is also where the changeling ‘mom’ is holding all the actual kids – a new house under construction.

Sam and Dean drive over to check the place out.

The boys investigate, only flashlights to light up the dark. There are creaks and scuffles and little noises and the boys keep getting startled, spinning around to shine a beam of flashlight.

It’s all very suspenseful, with a side order of creepy – a Supernatural specialty.

Suddenly the red haired realtor lady appears.

Realtor lady: What do you think you’re doing?

Sam sees her true form reflected in a pane of glass but pretends he doesn’t know what she is, giving him time to grab a flame thrower – but she runs off before he can roast her.

After the tales we’ve heard about the show’s use of real fire, I have newfound empathy for Jared there, who looks like he’s really feeling the heat.

Meanwhile, Dean finds a cage, a kid in it. Ben!

Dean also finds the real realtor lady along with the kids, letting them out of the cages they’re in. Ben helps the other kids escape (just like Dean would, yes, Show, I get it.)

Back at Lisa’s, Ben is the creepy kid now, sneaking up on Lisa and trying to get her to play with him. She sees his reflection in the glass coffee table and demands to know where her actual son is.

When she tries to run, she’s confronted by three other creepy kids on the front lawn – she’s trapped with the changeling.

Meanwhile, Katie’s mom is once again locked in the bathroom, losing it as Katie pounds on the door.

Sam and Dean fight the monster mom, her mostly winning as she tosses them across the room, but they keep coming back like Winchesters always do. Also yes this is a gratuitous tummy cap.

Finally Sam manages to burn her up with Dean’s homemade flame thrower in true Winchester teamwork.

All the other changeling kids disappear as the mom does (which is pretty handy dandy).

Sam and Dean bring Ben back to his mom.

Dean: I’ll explain everything if you want me to, but trust me, you probably don’t. The important thing is, Ben’s safe.

It’s an interesting scene, Sam very much a part of it as Dean keeps looking back, needing Sam’s validation or maybe reassurance.

Lisa thanks Dean, gives him a hug.

Sam says he’s gonna give them some time, and Dean follows Lisa into the house.

With Ben in headphones so he can’t hear, Dean tells her the truth.

Dean: This is my job.

Lisa: I so didn’t want to know that.

Lisa insists she’s sure Ben isn’t Dean’s, that she did a blood test.

There was guy, some bar back in a biker joint. Her type, she laughs – leather jacket, couple of scars, no mailing address.

Fandom: Wait, was his name John?? That would be… awkward.

She asks Dean if he’s a little disappointed, and he shrugs.

Dean: Yeah I dunno. It’s not my life, never will be, but some stuff happened to me recently. … anyway, a guy in my situation, you start to think, you know. I’m gonna be gone one day and what am I leaving behind besides a car?

Ackles lets Dean’s vulnerability show loud and clear here, director Sgriccia and DP Serge Ladouceur using those trademark breathtaking close ups to do it.

Lisa: Ben may not be your kid, but he wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for you. That’s a lot if you ask me.

Dean says he would have been proud to be his dad, Ben’s a great kid. Lisa kisses him, says if he wants to stick around a while, he’s welcome.

Dean: I can’t. I got a lot of work to do. And it’s not my life.

He’s right; I think he always knew that. Even when he ended up coming back to Lisa and Ben after he lost Sam.

Back at the motel, Sam is tracking down their mom’s friends, all of them apparently dead. Including a cardiac surgeon who died of a heart attack.

Sam: Uhh, wouldn’t he have known about that?

A quick moment of appreciation for the awesome set dec in this episode, thanks to Jerry Wanek.

The kitschy in room fake flower box, the velvety bedspreads, weird mirrored panels and red flocked wallpaper – it all contributes to Supernatural’s timeless feel and I love it so much!

Sam confronts Ruby, telling her what he found out (and she clearly already knew) –  they’re all dead.

Sam: Our doctor, our uncle…wiped off the map.

He confronts Ruby again at the motel, frustrated that she keeps insisting she can help him, but he knows she’s not being honest and he still has no idea who she is.

Damn, Sam Winchester is fine when he’s pissed off.

Sam gets right in her face, yelling for her to just tell him who she really is.

Ruby: Fine.

She lets him see her eyes – they’re black.

But she insists she’s here to help Sam.

Sam: Is this some kind of joke? You’re a demon!

Ruby: Don’t be such a racist.

She insists she wants to help him figure it all out, what happened to their mom, how they’re trying to cover up what the YED did to their family.

And that there’s something in it for him.

Sam sneers at her, furious.

Sam: What can you possibly…

Ruby: I can help you save your brother.

The look on Sam’s face tells us all that she’s just made an argument compelling enough to get Sam hooked, just like that.

That’s my Show! It’s not just Dean who will do anything to save his brother, as fifteen seasons shows us. I remember at the time sitting there in shock – what a dark and twisted web Supernatural wove in this season!

Stay tuned for more of our Supernatural rewatch…

Pretty pretty caps by raloria/spndeangirl

— Lynn

You can read all about why Supernatural was so

special to both its cast and its fans in the chapters

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7 thoughts on “Supernatural Rewatch ‘The Kids Are All Right’ – Or Are They?

  • I agree that the way Ben acted in the episode was definitely over the top as far as the resemblance to Dean, and yet I loved it. I just took it for what it was, a big joke, and laughed so much! Jensen knows how to play Dean perfectly and his relationship with Ben was sweet imo, even giving him advice to stand up to the bullies.

    • I’m sure it was intended to be over the top, but it still bothered me to portray an eight year old all about the ‘hot chicks’. Maybe the child actor was just too good lol!

  • I love that subtle hint that I know I never considered, was that mysterious sperm donor named John?

    • Fandom had been having conversations about that possibility so I couldn’t resist putting it in there lol

  • I love this episode, despite the creepiness of the changelings. Katy’s actress does a fantastic job.

    The only thing that really bothers me is the talk of the ‘blood test’. A blood test cannot tell if someone is the father, only if they aren’t ! So where did Lisa get Dean’s blood to test? I like Lisa. I think she’s not only good for Dean, but she’s a woman who can handle him. She’s firm, yet loving. Understanding, but not a pushover. In the real world, I would’ve like to think they would work out.
    Oh, the whole drowning Katy in the car is disturbing when you realize it’s based on the Susan Smith case, where she DID drown her two babies that way.

    • That bothered me too, that blood test comment made no sense. It makes me think that originally they did want to throw some doubt in there about whether Ben was actually Dean’s, and then later decided that no, he wasn’t. I like Lisa too, and she’s a good mother (which is why some of this episode annoyed me). I thought about that real life case too, when doing this rewatch. SO disturbing – something the Show is very good at! Sometimes people forget just how dark this Show really was.

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