After urging him to "get some rest" and telling him she loves him, Mary disappears up the stairs, leaving Dean alone, the better for him to examine more closely the photographs surrounding him, and that's a very, very, very bad move, indeed, because oh, my God, I have never seen such crappy Photoshopping in my entire life. In every single one of these damn things, it looks like they've pasted production photos of Samantha Smith and Jeffrey Dean Morgan onto actual pictures of The Padalecki and The Ackles from the boys' individual childhoods, and nothing -- color intensity, apparent light sources, even the heads' proper sizing in proportion to each other in the same goddamned photograph -- matches up. ANYWHERE. I'm tempted to call it Sign Number Four That Things Are Not Quite Right With El Deano, but please. It's just shitty, nonexistent-budget production design. Oy. And this episode was going so well. Sort of.
ANY-way, Dean promptly falls asleep on the couch, and when he wakes in the morning to find himself staring directly at A HIDEOUSLY PHOTOSHOPPED "FAMILY" "CHRISTMAS" PICTURE FROM HIS SUPPOSED CHILDHOOD, he screams upright on the sofa and attempts to call Sam immediately. The call falls into voice mail, unfortunately, so El Deano's forced to perform a little research on his own. Yep, the next scene finds the LYING LIAR WHO LIES in fine form in a nearby anthropology professor's office, assuring the guy, "I love your lectures! You...you make learning fun!" Heh. Soon enough, the professor's running through the relevant mythology attached to genies throughout the centuries, but Dean cuts to the chase: Can these creatures actually grant wishes, even if those wishes remain unvoiced? The professor glances at El Deano like the latter's been smoking crack, but he allows that, because of their "godlike" powers, the djinn can pretty much do whatever to whomever, whenever they want. When Dean starts puzzling out the possible motivations behind such wish-granting behavior, however, the professor drops the polite act and demands, "Son, you been drinking?" "Everybody keeps asking me that," Dean manages to grin after an uncomfortable pause, "but, uh. No!"
Thunder subtly rumbles outside as the camera hops from Dean's bright expression to the Impala's trunk. Having left the research behind, Dean opens the trunk in the rain to find nothing more than a couple of old Maxim and Playboy magazines, along with a few discarded food containers and a wadded-up t-shirt that looks like it's been living in there for the last four years. "Who'd-a thought, baby?" he chuckles -- partly to himself, but really mostly to the car. "We're civilians!" Dean's happiness is short-lived, however, for across the street, standing in front of the university's station on Lawrence's delightfully efficient light-rail line, is a solemn and sullen Woman In White. Well, not one of the Women In White from the series premiere, but a woman dressed in white nevertheless, and as women dressed in white are always bad news, we have officially reached the actual Sign Number Four That Things Are Not Quite Right With El Deano. She stares at him, her breathing slow and deliberate, utterly oblivious to the professors and students passing by around her. Dean, unnerved, starts across the street to confront her. Of course, he nearly gets run down midway by a screeching red Volvo, and when he's refocused his attention from the car to the girl, she's vanished. DUN!