I loved “Fan Fiction”. As a fan deeply invested in this series, passionate about the story, the characters, the canon, and well just about everything related to Supernatural, I loved every line of the episode. I loved the acknowledgement of Supernatural’s history. I loved that it started with reliving the beginning of this journey through Kripke’s typing and ended with God or Kripke or the prophet Chuck (or all three) approving of the story.  I loved that it was filled with insider information that only dedicated fans would remember or understand. I loved the tear-jerker moments that had me crying by the end of the show. I loved…everything about it.

I have to allow that the episode may not have been that strong to a non-fan, though. Casual watchers of the series or people who tuned in because they were hooked by the massive public relations push that surrounded the 200th episode may have seen a show about a rather weak high school play that portrayed a contrived plot about ghosts and demons destroying a family. These simply curious audience members probably saw a shallow story about a not-so-scary muse they were supposed to fear, victims whose only danger was being locked up in a high school basement, and rather inconsistent acting that sometimes took me out of the story. I’m afraid that if these people judge the series on this one episode, they may never return. That’s okay. The episode wasn’t written for them. It was written for the Supernatural family. The episode those unfortunate, confused, uninitiated audience members saw was not the episode I saw.

Pilot 0005

I saw an opening shot that acknowledged that it all started with Eric Kripke. I got choked up imagining the emotions Eric Kripke must have felt when he first conceived of a show called Supernatural. He clawed and scratched and begged and promoted until the pilot was picked up. The early years were so uncertain that he must be bursting with pride that his idea not only survived but reached a television milestone. I loved that the current writing team tipped their hat to Eric.

Then the “Samulet” was the first thing mentioned by the play’s director, which for me elevated it from a trinket in a trash can to a recognized icon within the fandom.  Marie explained to Siobhan that is was “a symbol of the Winchesters’ brotherly love”. When SiobhanDean explained that she didn’t like wearing the Samulet because it kept hitting her in the mouth, this episode bypassed all norms for episodic television and began the journey "through the looking glass". Fandom insiders would know that Jensen had a problem with the amulet chipping his teeth during action sequences. The writers were stepping out of their ivory tower and acknowledging things the fandom knew. That was amazing, or even shocking. On the opening night of the play, Marie explained the amulet’s symbolism to Dean, a description that seemed to surprise and confuse Dean. At the end of the play, when Marie understood and accepted that she was talking to the real Dean, she told him what every fan would want to say to Dean given the chance – “you never should have thrown this away. Just take it.” (just before she got the coveted Jerk/Bitch exchange). That did it - I was getting pulled into the maelstrom of emotion clearly intended to drown the fans in sentimentality.

I loved the fact that it was an all girl’s school putting on the play. I suspect this was a recognition of the largely female demographic of the fandom. It also side-stepped the very real issue of casting young men into the idolized characters of Sam and Dean. If the writers thought about it long and hard, though, it may also have been a nod to the criticism the show has historically endured about not casting enough females into the scripts. Robbie has created some memorable female characters on Supernatural (Charlie and Dorothy to name two), so he could have been doing his part to rebalance the scales just a little bit more. In any case, I went to an all-girls high school (no judgments please!) that put on truly superb musicals (really. First class productions) so I was completely taken in by the premise of this plot.

title card 0109

Then the montage of title cards visually assaulted us with a celebration of all of the seasons that have made up the ten years of Supernatural. It was brilliant to include a visual recap of so much history, while hitting us hard with the artistic symbol that has always uniquely expressed the themes of the brothers’ struggles. The title card of each season is a closely guarded secret; its revelation anticipated nearly as much as the premiere itself. The title card for year 7 was missing. Do you think that was an artistic convenience (it was a boring white) or a subtle recognition of season 7’s status among fans?

Not letting up for a second, we were next given pure Dean, working on his Baby. What really did me in, though, was the pronouncement of “We’ve got work to do”.

trunk 0204

That shot from the trunk has been a pivotal moment for both boys, and for the series. It was the symbolic commitment of Sam to leave normalcy and rejoin Dean in hunting down Jessica and his mother’s killer in the pilot; then it was Dean’s renewed promise to keep hunting at the end of 2.22 “All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two”. In short, this celebration of the show’s 200th episode was stringing together every iconic, symbolic, pivotal component that has made Supernatural special.

Typical of Supernatural’s best writing, comedy was then inserted to give fans a chance to catch their breath. Cue the shocked looks on Sam and Dean’s faces when they first saw scenes from their life reenacted on stage!

Shock2 0270  Shock1 0263  

Priceless! Sam stashing his and Dean’s FBI badges, and quickly renaming them “Special Agent Smith…and Special Agent Smith. No relation.” Hilarious (at the time I couldn’t remember where this was used before, but we later connected it to the movie Die Hard)! Marie's use of the term “grown up juice” reminded me of the little girl’s confession (“I drank a grown up drink”) when she saw the shojo spirit that you could only see when you were drunk (“Party On Garth”). Then there was Sam’s quick witted “Jody Mills is great”, acknowledging the fans’ love of Jody. Lastly, there was Dean’s disapproval of Sam’s growing admiration of the production, immediately changing Sam’s reaction and opinion to accommodate his brother. So much packed into one dialog!

It wasn’t long, though, before the emotional punches resumed. The “family” thematic music played as Dean watched a “brotherly melodramatic moment”. That music always elicits a deeply rooted love for the brothers and the show. It may have only been six notes, but it was included out of respect for its treasured place in fans’ hearts and in the history of the show.

Again, comedy was inserted as Sam played with the tech board. That HAD to be a nod to Jared not being able to sit still on set, always having to find something to do to entertain himself when he’s bored. I’m not sure Jared even knew at the time they were making fun of him.

Then we were treated to pure Jensen with Dean’s look at the camera to express his reaction to Destiel.

JensenLook 0652

Robbie said that was not in the script! To follow-through on the inside joke, Sam says “Of course it’s not my issue” because it’s not Sam’s issue, it’s Dean’s…

SamTeasing2 0669

...and Sam is the annoying little brother who has to rub it in!

“You guys are way too old to be Sam or Dean”. Again, poking fun at Jared and Jensen! The “boys” are now 10 years older than they were when they starred in the pilot. Neither look the same and they certainly don’t act the same. They have often said they are getting too old for the action scenes, the travel, the long hours and the rookie actors who don’t know their marks. This was, I think, more making fun of Jared and Jensen than Sam and Dean!

Now the nods to the show’s rich history were coming at us rapid fire:

-          Marie is a SAM GIRL!! Take that Dean! Perfect!         

-          The stage’s motel room had wild geometric wallpaper and a matching room divider.

MotelRoom 1426

This was a wonderful acknowledgement of Jerry Wanek’s iconic motel rooms that were so much a part of the earlier years of the show (before the bunker gave the boys a home).

-          “You know, if you cut your hair a little, you’d make a pretty good Dean”. Isn’t that what Sam has wanted to hear his whole life; that he’s as good as his big brother?

….and nods to fandom:

“I can’t even.”

….and comedic interludes:

The man in the first row puts on his poncho! I laugh out loud every time I see it! Then the audience members freeze, plastered in purple goo, especially this guy:

PurpleGoo 1673
I’m sorry. He didn’t even have a credited speaking part but he practically stole the show! Absolutely hilarious!!

-       “Take a bow, Sammy”. Priceless. Then Dean half bows. So perfectly Dean. That boy is such a closet thespian.

The show was alternating between historical references, emotional tugs at heartstrings and comedic relief so fast it was hard to keep up! Every single line, glance and prop combined into a beautiful kaleidoscope of Supernatural’s ten years. It is simply impossible to mention all the wonderful icons and references that were included because they permeated the scenes and the dialog.

“Fan Fiction” did have serious meta moments as well, though.

Maggie: “If it’s not canon, then it shouldn’t be in the show.”
Marie: “Come back inside. We can make this work.”

Was this a plea to fans to be open to compromise and the writers’ creative license?  Were the show runners asking “Come back to us. We’ll make it work.”? Dean later said,

“You are all here because you love Supernatural. So I want you to get out there and I want you to stand as close as she wants you to, and I want you to put as much sub into that text as you possibly can.”

This part of the message was clearly for the fans. Love the show however you want to love the show. Express your vision and believe in your interpretation with everything you’ve got.  He later told Marie,

Dean: “This has been educational – seeing the story from your perspective. You keep writing, Shakespeare.”
Marie: “Even if it doesn’t match how you see it?”
Dean: “I have my version and you have yours.”

To me, this was the first serious message of the show. The writers and the show runners acknowledged fan fiction. They acknowledged its transformative nature and its importance to enjoying, understanding and being passionate about the show. They also, though, acknowledged that they can’t and won’t follow or adhere to fan’s visions, but that is okay. It’s how it should be.

The second message from the writers that was delivered through this episode was that they hear and understand what we miss and discuss about the show.

Samulet 1743

The Samulet, Adam being forgotten in Hell, Chuck (possibly representing all our beloved lost characters) were all included. I have to admit that I was honestly surprised at their awareness of fans’ concerns. I now understand that them not addressing dropped, forgotten or ended paths doesn’t mean they are oblivious to them. It just means that is not where they want or need to story to go. I found that oddly validating and reassuring.

The third serious message of the show was about the boys’ mission, and the direction of the series’ future.  “There is no other road, no other way, no day but today. Now you get out there and you kick it in the ass.” Was Dean talking to the fans still, or was this one of those parallel messages for the brothers? Sam seemed to be taking it to heart. There is no other road for the boys. There is no other way. Get out there and kick it in the ass, Sam and Dean.

SD3 1778

“Fan Fiction” also included one or two tiny threads of the season’s arcs going forward. I may be reading too much into this, but I think this episode realistically portrayed the characteristics of a Dean who still bears the MoC.

Sam: “Hey. How long you been up?”
Dean: “Long enough to find us a case.”

Dean was evasive about being awake before Sam. We all know from the first time around this block that the Mark of Cain keeps Dean from sleeping. His insomnia started out inconspicuously enough, with small references to him not sleeping well, being up before Sam, not wanting to go to bed right away, etc. I propose that the same thing is happening again, and again, he just doesn’t want to admit this to Sam, or himself.

I may have also cringed that Sam got captured…again. For such a big boy, he sure does get overpowered a lot! Notably, Sam killed the monster of the week, though, with Marie killing the on-stage manifestation (underpinning the strong, female role). Dean hasn’t yet killed anything or anyone since his soul was restored. Something is brewing here; it isn’t mere coincidence. His first kill will begin to change him again, increasing the pressure to find a cure for the MoC. My prediction is that ticking time bomb will be the dramatic piece of season 10. Will the theme become “Sam, don’t let me turn back into what I was. I just won’t become that again.”

I also detected a repeated theme of “You were right.” In the dialog quoted below, both brothers acknowledge the other’s point of view (albeit one acknowledgment is from the surrogate Dean). I seem to remember this strategic phrase being used in the past few episodes as well. This season is supposedly about the brothers coming to a new understanding of each other, so this recognition of the other brother’s wisdom seems appropriate.

While the serious messages were undeniably present in “Fan Fiction”, clearly at its core was an homage to what has made the show a success, including the fans. The writers showed us, the fans, that they understand what we love about this show. The brother’s music, the brotherly bonding scenes, the title cards, the classic rock music. Even the fact that the episode was a musical was an acknowledgement of something the fans have wanted for a long time. Dean said, “There is no singing in Supernatural” yet its success is deeply rooted in music. Robbie, Jay and Christopher honored that legacy by turning it a bit sideways. They captured and immortalized the Supernatural story with the song “The Road So Far”.

CasSong 1468

“I’ll Just Wait Here Then” honored Castiel’s character by singling out a moment from “The End” that so perfectly depicted the angel’s naive and awkward acceptance of humanity’s frailties. “A Single Man Tear” paid tribute to the brothers’ love for each other and Sam’s admiration of Dean. It even snuck in the Latin exorcism, another iconic piece of the show’s canon. The second half of “Fan Fiction” delivered one emotional punch after another.

Dean: Well I guess we can go back to staring at motel room walls.

Sam: You know what, Dean? You were right. Staying cooped up isn’t helping us…

MarieSam: We need to be back on the road Dean, doing what we do best. Saving people, hunting things. You know. The family business.

SiobhanDean: You’re right, Sammy. Out on the road. Just the two of us.

MarieSam: The two of us against the world.

Sam: What she said.

IntheCar 1881

The emotional climax of the show was a heart-stopping, “Carry On Wayward Son”.

CarryOnSong 1837

Tears were flowing down my face listening to that touching version of the show’s theme song (even after several rewatches). Dean’s reaction....

Deans Look1 1847  DeansLook 2 1858 

Sam’s reaction.

Sams Look 1855

Both Jared and Jensen tweeted that they cried listening to this symbolic bond between fans and show. To deliver the knock out punch, Dean hung the replicate Samulet from the rear view mirror. Listen to the solo piano background music for this, though. It was conspicuously close to the most recognizable measures of the song “For Good” from Wicked (which had been previously referenced in the episode).

“Because I knew you…
“Because I knew you...
I have been changed for good.”

Supernatural has everything. Life, death, resurrection, redemption, but above all, family. All set to music you can really tap your toe to. It isn’t some meandering piece of genre drek. It’s epic.

...or as Chuck’s dimples and smiling face said, “Not bad.”

Chuck 1925

Yeah, full out tears rolling down my face. That’s the emotional impact I get from this show. “Fan Fiction” was written for the fans, and this fan loved it.


***
Screencaps courtesy of www.homeofthenutty.com.

Factural references confirmed with www.supernaturalwiki.com.

Comments  

Trucklady
# Trucklady 2014-11-14 17:57
WOW I still get choked up when I watch it. You addressed everything just the way that I saw it as I watched. The writers (Robbie) are just so amazing to have found a way to address a lot of the things that have come up in blogs and cons from the fans. What a way to pay tribute to us at the same time we pay tribute to them by watching and just loving the heck out of them. I want to just hug everyone of them and for those that don't get it and didn't like it and don't understand how anyone found anything to cry about during that episode, well they just don't get it probably because they have not been there from the beginning or just haven't gone back to catch up to know what it all means. And you know what, I don't care. Because those of us that do get it and have been there and are still there through it all, that's what matters. Kudos to everyone involved in this show and I hope we make it to 300 episodes. I'd say 400 but don't want to push my luck.;) Now I have to go watch it again. Great review Nightsky, I love your stuff.:)
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-14 21:53
Thanks so much. I appreciate that you read my articles!
Annie
# Annie 2014-11-14 18:01
Excellent! You hit all the exact points! It was a gorgeous show and such a beautiful ho!age to us fans...perfectl y done. There was just one, teemy thing that bothered me and that was the girls are we of the name Winchester in the beginning. We all know Chuck never put the last names in the books so how would the girls have known? Unless I'm forgetting something significant, which is possible (old, can't remember crap these days, lol) . Other than that, the whole show was perfection in my eyes!
Annie
# Annie 2014-11-14 18:05
Ugh...sorry about the typos. Supposed to say *beautiful HOMAGE* to the fans and the girls *use of* the name Winchester. I will proofread next time. :)
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-11-14 18:13
Good point, Annie. Chuck made mention of that in 4.18 That Monster at the End of the Book that he had left their last name out of the books. Even in 5.22 Swan Song, Chuck only made reference to them as Sam and Dean. So how did they know their last name? Did something change? Maybe when Becky published the remaining books it became known?
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-14 22:00
I didn't catch that so I can't help with an answer. Does anyone have a good explanation?
Kate
# Kate 2014-11-15 15:05
Hey, good point made there. Up to that point, Chuck had never written their last name. (also note that he hadn't written about Sam drinking Demon blood either)
If you think about it though, in the episode, Sam and Dean had the script for everything that was happening in that episode, including what Sam was thinking about Dean (in the laundry mat) so if that figures, the whole dialogue between Chuck and Sam and Dean would have also have been written, both in the episode and in Chuck's manuscript. How else would Chuck come to believe that these were his characters? That was the thing that made Chuck believe. So it would have been in the published books.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-11-14 18:18
One thing that was mentioned in this episode was that Dean was a Knight of Hell; had that ever been confirmed before, or was it just implied by the fact that Cain was a Knight of Hell? It was kind of strange that Dean took some level of pride in that when he told Marie.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-14 21:58
I was not surprised by the Knight of Hell reference. That made sense since Cain definitively called himself a Knight of Hell. I also, though, noticed that Dean seemed to take some pride in clarifying that he wasn't just a demon; he was a Knight of Hell. I didn't know if anyone else would think the same thing or if I was being paranoid, so I appreciate you bringing up that point. Curious, isn't it?
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-16 20:29
I noticed the note of pride also. It reminded me of how Sam felt power/pride when he was drinking demon blood and the result. I think it is a bit of foreshadowing of the manifestation of evil that lies ahead or rather within.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-11-14 20:29
This fan loved it too. I think you covered everything quite perfectly. Thank you for your review it was lovely.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-14 22:01
I'm glad you liked the review. It was hard to know what to leave out since every line and almost every screen cap meant something to us!
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-11-15 16:27
Ditto kiddo:D
novi
# novi 2014-11-14 23:19
Just wanted to share one great summary I read somewhere, "In the end, three Sams are saving a day", meaning RealSam, Marie- Samgirl playing Sam, and that other girl who hit Kalliope over the head and gave Sam a chance to finish the job.
Dean wasn't kidnapped but was no much help either. In this episode and in the previous one he looks somewhat weaker, don't you think? Without the Blade (?)
All in all, I want to believe that if there were newcomers watching SPN for the first time, they could feel the warmth, the excitement and the greatness of the Show (even if they didn't understand the half of if). When I watched French Mistake for the first time, and I started SPN from season 7, I was absolutely confused, but deeply impressed at the same time, and wanted to learn more.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-15 10:18
I think Dean looks lost, or maybe uncertain or not confident are better descriptions. I'm very happy they are playing it that way, too. He should have his confidence shaken when most of his bravado came from being practically invincible as one of the most powerful demons. Do you think it is because that infusion of energy came from the blade and he is feeling the absence of that power now? Interesting theory. That is very realistic and believable. I could see any superpower character feeling less effective and powerful without their web shooter or magic lasso or hammer of Thor. I'm hoping the brothers admit and explore what is happening to Dean. THAT would prove to me that they have grown and matured (and would make for great broments!)

I really appreciated your different view of how outsiders might assess this episode. It was much more positive than my assumption. Let's hope it's true!
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-16 21:05
I agree, Dean does look lost. I think he has a lot to deal with in the aftermath. He no longer is power surged by the blade. In addition, I think other reasons come into play. Dean knows he lost his way by becoming a demon. He is shaken because he has to make sense of and come to terms with all that he has done (did he choose to be a demon?) and caused; to himself, Sam ( who had to carry his corpse, search for and save him) and even others. I could also imagine Dean remembers his reaction to Sam on Demon blood and how he lost faith in his brother for awhile. Dean admits (in Deanspeak) that he is embarrassed by "all of it". Could be that he is feeling much worse than that... He is struggling, and knows the only way back to himself is doing what he knows .... work, with Sam. Dean may also be living in fear of the re-emergence of the ugly effects of the MOC, perhaps even experiencing the first signs... not sleeping? Then what? More decisions for him and Sam.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-11-15 06:29
Thanks for a wonderful review. You definitely hit all the high spots. I loved the episode and was amazed by everything they managed to put into this one episode. It was a great shout out to all the fans, I think.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-11-15 07:05
Nice review!

And you caught the same things that I got from the episode that might be threads. I guess I have gotten -little- jumpy if Dean doesn't sleep... And again he didn't kill. I think the uneasy feeling in my gut is growing and the anvil will fall on us. (At least I fear so) Also the slight smile from Sam to Carry on and Dean looking down. I took it Sam having hope and Dean. Well, he is not sure or he still thinks it will end badly.

This episode had so much everything and even original monster! I thought she looked good btw and she had epic lines.

Carry on people. :)

- Lilah
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-15 10:26
"I'm not trying to start something"....b ut I actually thought the actress that played Calliope was not believable. I found her to be one of the few weak links in this episode and was disappointed because her scenes seemed to make the plot more parody than serious. I felt that way about the teacher and one of the young girls too (but I don't usually criticize actors). They all took me out of the moment. Did anyone else feel the same way?
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-11-15 12:19
She was a little underwhelming but, then again, hasn't that always been a problem with a lot of these "gods/goddesses "? (Osiris, Plutus, Harmonia, Zeus, most of the cast of Hammer of the Gods). One slightly amusing moment - after Calliope called Supernatural "epic", the tall blond girl hit Calliope with a copy of "The Odyssey".
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-11-15 12:36
See this is why this episode needs like 20 viewings. I could never catch all that went on in just 5 or 10.:)
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-11-15 12:58
I agree. I think they were more props then part of the story because they needed a reason for Sam and Dean to be there and interact with the girls in the play. I 'm guessing they didn't want to waste precious time on filling out those characters. Also as njspnfan points out, gods/goddess always come across badly in Supernatural, as parodies.
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2014-11-15 13:36
AM I THE ONLY PERSON IN THE U. S. A. THAT DIDN'T HAVE SCHOOL PLAYS IN THEIR HIGH SCHOOL? YOU WENT TO AN ALL GIRLS SCHOOL, AND HAD THEM. I WENT TO A REGULAR PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL; BUT WE DIDN'T HAVE DRAMA CLUB, OR PLAYS OF ANY KIND. I NEVER HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT. ALWAYS LOOKED LIKE FUN. ACTING LOOKS FUN. THIS EPISODE WAS SO MUCH FUN. WHEN SHE SAID THE AMULET WAS HITTING HER IN THE MOUTH, I DIED LAUGHING. IT WAS ALL SO GREAT. DEANS, "WHY ARE THEY STANDING SO CLOSE?" PRICELESS. WHEN SAM MENTIONED SAMSTIEL, I WAS IN THE FLOOR BY THAT TIME.
TO BE HONEST, I WAS APPREHENSIVE ABOUT THIS EPISODE GOING INTO IT. I DIDN'T WANT A MUSICAL LIKE MOST OF THE FANS DID. I HATED THEM IN THE OTHER SHOWS THAT HAVE DONE THEM. THIS IS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE SHOW, OF MY LIFETIME. I ALWAYS SAY IT IS THE BEST SHOW IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION; AND I SINCERELY MEAN THAT (AT LEAST IT IS TO ME). I WAS REALLY WORRIED; BUT I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. THE WRITERS MAY TRIP HERE AND THERE; BUT THEY DON'T FALL DOWN. THEY DIDN'T DISAPPOINT. CALLIOPE WAS RIGHT-IT WAS EPIC!!!
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-15 14:02
PENNY JAIME
Permalink


AM I THE ONLY PERSON IN THE U. S. A. THAT DIDN'T HAVE SCHOOL PLAYS IN THEIR HIGH SCHOOL?

Heh, you just might be!:)
Kate
# Kate 2014-11-15 15:19
Also I wanted to say THANK YOU!!! for point out this VERY IMPORTANT detail.

"Dean hasn’t yet killed anything or anyone since his soul was restored. Something is brewing here; it isn’t mere coincidence. His first kill will begin to change him again, increasing the pressure to find a cure for the MoC. My prediction is that ticking time bomb will be the dramatic piece of season 10.”

I noticed this in Paper Moon when Sam STABBED both wolves with his LEFT HAND. HA!
Of course, it could just be a matter of stabbing (like with the first blade). I don't recall killing with a gun as being effective for sating the Mark.
Also, wanted to note that Dean also acknowledged (in his way) that he's not ready at the end of last episode, but that he just wanted to" start doing the right thing".
And He's mentioned the Mark and (in a round about way) his fear of it, both in Paper Moon and at the beginning of Fan Fiction.
Yeah. The Mark is going to be a real issue as this season.
So thanks for pointing this out!!
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-15 17:15
I just finally saw the 200th due to a cable/power outage problem in our area. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this episode. You echo most of my feelings. Some of my favorite moments were "Mary" singing Wayward Son, having 'mom' sing it was very powerful and beautiful, "Sam" singing about his brother, and also everything to do with the amulet! The surprise appearance at the end was wonderful, I was happy to see him again and also to see RB looking so great after his health scare last year. I hope we will see more of him, this is where he belongs.:) After being skeptical about a high school musical as the foundation for this milestone episode I am very pleasantly surprised! Thanks for this review Nightsky and a belated Happy Birthday!
nicknicknicknick
# nicknicknicknick 2014-11-16 12:04
I noticed that the opening titles for seasons 4 and 8 weren't featured either... at least we got the 'wedding' title for Season 7! :D
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-17 21:19
I was in a hurry whey I studied the screncaps on WWW.homeofthenutty.com. They may or may not have captured all the title cards shown live. Have you slowed down the replay enough to track for sure which seasons are represented? This is Superwiki's determination:

"The title card consists of a light bulb sign for the play, followed by a montage of all the title cards ever used (with the exception of the title cards for 4.18 The Monster at the End of This Book, 5.08 Changing Channels, the standard season 7 title card and clown title card from 7.14 Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie) ending on the season 10 card."

If they are not correct, please contact them (tweet or on their website) and let's get ths corrected!

I LOVE that my Threads readers may have found 3 corrections/add itions to Superwiki!! Great job sleuths!!
Karen
# Karen 2014-11-16 12:34
Hi Nightsky
I too loved this episode.
I loved all the shout-outs to the characters, the catch phrases and to the previous seasons that were referenced. I believed you mentioned the majority of them.
I also liked when Dean and Marie said that Carry on My Wayward Son was a 'Classic" at the same time. It reminded me of when Sam and Dean would shut the Impala's doors or bring out their badges at the same time.
I liked the shout out to Hollywood Babylon when Sam and Maeve were in the Sound Room and Sam starts telling her of his experience as being a sound tech and she cuts him off because someone calls her through her head set, just like Dean did when he was the PA.
The flower reference reminded me of Sex and Violence as it was the plant that Dr. Carla had that made Dean suspicious of her.
I laughed when Dean was bopping to the music, it reminded of me of both Simon Said and Flash Fiction when Dean sang Can't Help This Feeling by REO Speedwagon and lip synced All Out Of Love by Air Supply.
Having Sam being pinned to the wall by Calliope reminded me of all those times that Sam and or Dean would get pinned like that by the Monster of the Week.
I loved the music, the girls were so talented. I'm still having "Carry on my wayward son" and " John and Mary, husband and wife, bringing home a brand new life, his name is Sammy. I'm big brother Dean..." running through my head. I confess to tearing up with Carry on my Wayward Son, it was so beautifully done.
I liked that only the brothers were in this episode. It brought homage to how it was from the start.
Two brothers on the road, saving people, hunting things, the family business.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-17 21:13
If your flower reference to "Sex and Violence" is in fact true, I think you caught something that I haven't read elsewhere yet! I just checked on Superwiki and they do not have it in their Trivia or references sections! I think you should tweet them or othewise contact them and get it added to the official page about that episode!
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-17 21:49
The flower in fan Fiction is a star flower and the flower in Sex and Violence was a hyacinth.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-11-17 22:10
you are right it was a hyacinth. I thought the flower was a nice tie in with the eppy sex and violence....ano ther nice tie in regarding this eppy is that it was the one and only physical appearance of the late, great and sorely missed kim manners.....I thought the ref to this eppy in addition to the "kick it in the ass" was a touching tribute to kim. as with most spn characters, though he wasn't a character per se, he may be gone but he is most definitely not forgotten. :)
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-17 23:05
I agree I think they were thinking of Kim Manners.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-18 09:48
Thanks for checking on the flower reference (I just haven't had time recently).

Karen, It may not have been the exact same flower, but I stll take your point that it was a flower (if not THE flower) that supplied a critical clue in SAV. Thanks for all your other points as well!
amyh
# amyh 2014-11-16 19:25
I think Dean not having any kills in the last few eps has to be significant for the MOC. I really do think it still. has Dean in its clutches. I mean a few episodes back Dean declared being a demon "embaressing/" Embaressing. He wasn't ashamed or afraid of what he did or became. he found it embaressing. Which always felt and sounded weird. It made the whole Dean being a demon underwhelming if he was simply embaressed by being a demon. But maybe that is the MOC talking....whis pering to Dean; encouraging him to take up a knife and kill...to feed the Mark.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-16 21:34
Nightsky, thank you for sharing your insights and keen perceptions. I LOVED this episode! I do agree "FAN FICTION" was a true homage if not a responsive love letter to the the fans. I am not a television historian and I have not had the enjoyment of meeting nor interviewing any one associated with SPN, but I will bet in the history of television no show has acknowledged their fans by creating an entire meta episode for them and about them in such an over the top awesome manner. In this episode the fans were not only acknowledged but sincerely appreciated by THEM.... everyone: the producers, writers, actors and even the characters. The script showed that "THEY" are telling us that they actually KNOW their fans, the- collective/ diverse US. This script showed that THEY know what we fans say, think, do, find important, scrutinize, fantasize, and want from SPN and how passionate and appreciative many of us are about their story/ and work. In the history of television, have the thoughts and feeling of fans ever been written into a script to such a degree? In the history of television have two main characters ever been written in a script to watch a play(written by an invested fan) about their life (our show) and be emotionally moved and inspired (like us) to keep doing what they do best (and what many fans love) ? I do not think so. The SPN ROAD SO FAR has been quite the awesome trip because we, they, us, all really have been in this epically together.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-17 12:12
Hi Nightsky. I have no idea why the fictional school in this episode was named St Alphonsus Academy.... (there is one in east LA) but the Catholic church/ religion has been written into this series to an extent. I thought you may enjoy this bit of background and perhaps see the parallels even if not intentional.

St Alphonsus was born into nobility near Naples Italy in 1696. He had a successful law career before becoming/ being ordained a priest in 1726. In 1732 he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Jesus), with the object of laboring for the salvation of the most abandoned souls. Amid untold difficulties and innumerable trials, St. Alphonsus succeeded in establishing his Congregation, which became his glory and crown, but also his cross. He was a prolific writer and popular authorr, publishing nine editions of his Moral Theology in his lifetime, in addition to other devotional and ascetic works and letters. Few saints have labored as much, either by word or by writing, as St. Alphonsus. The utility of his works will never cease. He is one of the most widely read Catholic authors and the patron saint of confessors.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-11-17 12:41
Most assuredly this is intentional.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-17 21:07
I really like the parallel implications you found about St. Alphonsus being a writer and a confessor, but especially that he was dedicated to the salvation of abandoned souls! Certainly both Sam and Dean's souls have been through the wringer! Thank you so much for sharing that research with us!
Superwiki posted a more mundane explanation:
"The school was named St. Alphonso's Academy and there were posters for a Pancake Breakfast. These were a reference to a Frank Zappa song called "Saint Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast." The idea came from director and Executive Producer Phil Sgricca."
I encourage you to submit your research to Jules so it can be posted on superwiki. I think it is a fascinating parallel worth being recorded.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-17 21:38
Not sure how to submit to Jules.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-18 09:43
"You can contact Jules, the Supernatural Wiki Administrator, on admin@supernaturalwiki.com with any queries or suggestions for the site." - per Superwiki site.