Heroes aren't perfect and sometimes they're scared.
It's just another usual day for Sam as he wakes up and makes his morning coffee, only to notice the spread of candy, cake and other desserts laid out for him. Suddenly someone surprises them and then he punches them in the face - it's his childhood imaginary friend, Sully. Sam can't believe it and Dean literally can't see it. Then Sully allows Dean to see him and it's a completely different story. Sully tells them that he needs their help because his friend was murdered. Dean has no interest in taking the case of the imaginary people killings but Sully tells them that they are Xanna (I made that spelling up) which Sam confirms are creatures that protect or guide lost children; a good kind of weird. Sam and Dean agree to take the case and find Sully's friend, Sparkle, a bloody mess in his child's room. Later on, they find Sully's half mermaid friend, Nicky, dead in her child's pool. It's all a lot to handle but Sully won't let it out on his insistence on being strong for Sam. Sam remembers how lonely he was as a child, and how Sully was there for him. It was actually Sully that told Sam that he didn't have to be a hunter and could do anything that he wanted but Sam eventually chose his family and told Sully to leave. The boys decide to look into Nicky's boyfriend, Weems, to see if he had anything against Nicky that would make him want to kill her. When they get to Weems' place, they see a trail a blood that leads them into the shed where they find a wounded Weems. He survived the attack and managed to see the girl that attacked him. Dean is excited that they finally have something real to work with and goes to search for the girl while Sam stays back with Sully. They patch up Weems and then get a text from Dean telling them to meet him at an address so Sam and Sully head out, not knowing that it's a trap while Dean is unconscious and tied to a chair in the basement.
If strange and goofy decided to get together in the realm of Supernatural, Just My Imagination would be their lovechild and that's not a bad thing. Throughout the years, Supernatural has tackled several children's stories but never the childhood idea of the imaginary friend. What even better is how this was handled in a comical way rather than taking it too seriously because it would have been ridiculous if the show handled it just as they do angels, demons and every other monster. The result was an excellent pacing for the show as scenes never felt too long and kept building momentum.
Though there was a great deal of humour, the key parts of the episode were the moments between Sam and Sully. The two of them have a great deal of history and the flashbacks helped a lot here. We needed to see the moments that they shared for that relationship to feel like it was something that Sam could easily connect to. A lot of the credit here has to go to Nate Torrence as Sully. If you're familiar at all with Torrence from She's Out of My League or Get Smart, you know that he is very capable in comedy but we got to see him be supportive and caring as Sully and that's not easy when you're acting opposite a small boy and a grown man while almost dressed like a cartoon.
Sully's return to Sam's life was also a great way to further the talk about what Sam and Dean have feared as of late: the cage. From what they can see, the only way for them to stop the Darkness is for Sam to somehow get back to the cage where Lucifer remains. Going back won't be easy and coming out the same person might be impossible but Sully reminded Sam that he might be afraid but that doesn't mean he isn't a hero. He's not running away anymore and might have to face this one head on.
Just My Imagination was the episode that Supernatural needed before next week's mid-season finale. It had humour and pushed the story forward going into next week week's O Brother Where Art Though where Lucifer returns.