Supernatural hit the amazing milestone of Episode 200, and we, the fans, were treated with an insider’s wink to the fandom as a whole.  There was mention of the fandom undercurrents, as well as a nod to the genre of fan fiction itself, and it was an episode inside an episode as Sam and Dean came meta face to meta face with themselves, as seen through the eyes of the fandom.  There were nods to many of the complaints and/or outbursts throughout the fandom as well:  fake Sam storming off, Dean having to contend with the fandom’s insistence on subtext and Destiel, Dean forming a connection to the characters whilst Sam was kidnapped and somewhat helpless, the amulet being gone -- the brothers even spoke in unison stating that they don’t like the meta episodes either.  And let’s not forget the best inside joke of all, the idea of Calliope coming to eat the author at the end; it is kind of a metaphor to how the fandom does tend to “eat its own.”  We can be a cruel bunch.

An episode like this is hard to pull off, especially with so many expectations, but Robbie Thompson outdid himself here, and it succeeds at almost every level – the non-scary scarecrow scene was kinda lame, but other than that, it worked.  Calliope summed it up best:  Supernatural has everything, life, death, resurrection, redemption -- but above all, family.

This episode serves as a bridge, a bridge from curing Dean as a demon to the brothers getting back on the road again; it also serves as a bridge from all of the discord and disconnect that has occurred in their relationship.   At the end, the brothers reconnect with each other all because of a fan’s interpretation of their story.  We get some oft-neglected Sam Winchester insight through Single Man Tear – as well as a nod to Dean’s perfect tear, something that the crew actually dubs as a single man tear.  The opening number serves to drive home the point that Sam at first resists, but at the end of the episode acquiesces to:  the only normal either of them know is hunting.  Those songs, along with the iconic Carry On Wayward Son, hit home.

SPN 1844
SPN 1855

This episode was loaded with references that reflected back on past characters, episodes, scenes, monsters and storylines.  The opening scene with the brothers bookended the entire series, with Sam exiting Room 200 and Dean repeating the lines from The Pilot:  We’ve got work to do.  Supernatural, for all it has changed, is still very much the show that debuted in 2005, two brothers:  saving people, hunting things-- the family business.

While the focus was on Seasons 1 - 5, there were elements that supported Seasons 6 – 10.  I love that Sam and Dean’s aliases were Agents Smith and Smith – no relation, which is the exact verbiage from "Slash Fiction" in Season 7.  The summation by Dean gave a rundown of many of the highlights of the recent seasons, or Act II, but none of these seasons reflect the heart of the show:  family.  Soulless Sam and trials and purgatory and leviathans, none of these things related back to the origins of the show, although the Men of Letters storyline opens a new chapter in the family origins.  The purple explosion at the end reminded me of the splatter from Dick Roman in the Season 7 finale.  Also, when Marie’s assistant was playing various sounds for Sam in the control room, I swear that woman screaming was from "Hollywood Babylon" – the good scream:  “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”

This was a celebration of the show and a nod to the fandom, but it was also an opportunity to remind the fandom, gently albeit firmly that they, the creative forces, have the canon.  The rest of us can add what we will; aliens, tentacles, robots and the like, and we’ll simply agree to disagree.

Little things that caught my eye:

I think Ms. Chandler represents Dawn Ostroff.

A poster in the room Marie had a meltdown in was for Alice in Wonderland – Season 9’s Slumber Party.

“Well, I guess we can go back to staring at motel room walls.”

“You know what, Dean, you were right, staying cooped up isn’t helping us.”

“We need to be back on the road, Dean, doing what we do best…saving people, hunting things, the family business.”  “The two of us against the world.”  -- (Sam) “What she said.”

The audience was filled with men and women of all ages, a reflection of the fandom.

CHUCK…his wizened and soulful look.  So glad to see you again!  I wish we’d see more, but I think it was just this one guest spot.

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Single man tear as Dean hangs the Samulet up on the rear view mirror.

Bitch/Jerk – that’s twice this season.  I’m hoping there’s a time they actually say it to each other, but at least this time it wasn’t a jab to the fandom, and Dean did say it to “Sam.”

Final Thoughts:

I know some have said this season is aimless, but Jeremy Carver stated that this season would be much more about the characters and that the overall mythology, or season-long arc, will sneak up on us.  For me, this season is a win in ways that none of the seasons have been because here the brothers are talking, caring about each other, not lying to each other, there isn’t any contrived drama of demon blood addictions and angel possession and we are finally focusing in on why they do what they do and don’t simply ditch it all.  There was quite a few questions being asked in Season 6 and 7 as to why were Sam and Dean still hunting, we didn’t even understand why they were even staying together on the road.  This season has been a resounding return to the family part of the family business.  I love it!

Until next time, thanks for reading, Elle2

Comments  

cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-11-15 22:16
Thank you for your review. I really loved this episode. I am on viewing #5 and I still haven't caught everything that everyone else has picked up. I loved your version of the teacher being Dawn Ostroff that was hilarious. So was the scarecrow/godde ss us the fans? We needed to stop her before she killed the show? I thought the scarecrow prop scene was very funny. It kind of brought up Sam's fear of clowns. The girls were fantastic, the Cas actress looked so clueless and sweet, "Dean" singing John and Mary or the Road so Far had a little bit of a cocky attitude, Marie with the Sam wig...it was all just so clever. Robbie Thompson really pulled it off. I had serious doubts but ended up thrilled with the episode. It is definitely a favorite.
I can't get Single Man Tear out of my head. ;)
elle2
# elle2 2014-11-16 12:02
Hey, Cheryl142, I have a hard time getting those songs out of my head as well. Alice related them to Glee, a show I've never watched thus I can't compare, but it definitely had a high school musicalish quality to it. They're sweet, and they do tell the story, giving insights, capturing season-long storylines in one song, pretty darn clever. The stripped down version of Carry On Wayward Son was brilliance. It means so much to the fans, and is such a signature for the show, it was amazing to use it to give Sam and Dean a moment to reflect on just what their parents and 'adopted' dad Bobby thinks of them. I wonder if they thought that those they love are at rest and that one day they'll be at rest with them...lovely, and tears were flowing.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-11-16 12:58
GUNS BLAZING ending kills me.
KILLS ME.
They really want to make sure that they don't have to come back with Cameo's nor TV Movies.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-16 14:31
Me too Nolanola, me too! As for movies, we all know how easy it is on SPN to come back from the dead.;) I can just see someone (?) coming to heaven and saying your work is not yet done and hauling them out for one last mission.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-11-15 23:12
Thanks for your thoughts. Good catch on the drama teacher possibly representing do. Thought rt did an amazing job....he did an ep worthy of being no. 200. Rt said he watched s1-5 and his homage to the cast, crew and fans was perfection. They all should be so proud. I'm with you Elle. I don't think this season is aimless at all. What's ironic is that there has been so much comparison to the kripke years, which pretty much focused on the boys and the family business, those yearning for those days and now s10 is getting back to its origins , back to focusing on the boys and there are those who complain that the show is aimless....even though jc told us exactly how the season would play out......goes to show you, no matter what the writers do, there will always be someone out there who's going to find fault.....

Kudos to the writers for acknowledging the fandom yet still telling the story the way they want to.....its a damn good story too...epic
elle2
# elle2 2014-11-16 11:58
Hi, nappi815, I think this is why I am enjoying this season so far; it's back to the simpler origins of the show, even with the addition of Cas and Crowley. As the play summed it up at the end, on the road, together, Sam and Dean against the world. Yeah, that's the show I fell in love with, and I think it's fantastic that after all the show has been through with heaven and hell and closing heaven and angel conspiracies and demon conspiracies, it can still go back to its roots and find great depth in the beginnings and restart from there. Like you said, there will always be those who complain, but, hey, I complained about the last few seasons, so I completely understand. :-)
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-11-16 12:22
I do not think the show is aimless and this episode was fine for what it was. I am sure they thought the answer to everything was to try and recapture some of the earlier season feeling while maintaining their story . It just does not negate anything for me and the brothers relationship is far from the one we had starting out which I adored but I simply do not feel that way anymore , which is why this episode as fine as it was is the only one I have watched this season.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-11-16 10:21
who is dawn ostroff........ .
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-11-16 10:31
She's the former head of the CW network and, from what I've read, didn't like the show at all.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-11-16 10:36
did she have a DRINKING PROBLEM as well.....:):D
love this fandom. ;)
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-11-16 11:16
Notice all 3 Sam's disabled the MUSE.
Cannon SAM, knocked her out with the book.
Real Sam, stabbed her and,
Female SAM, stabbed her. Facing HER OWN Fear. :)
elle2
# elle2 2014-11-16 11:55
Hey, NOLANOLA, that's a great catch on how each Sam got in on the kill, thus keeping Dean from killing yet again. RT said there was this pocket of episodes in which they could do things unrelated, mostly, to the MoC, and they've done a nice job of keeping Dean from killing, thus not activating the Mark and moving into that aspect of Dean's adventures, as it were. No Chick Flick Moment!! -- and in for the kill. You're right, she did face her fears...an homage to ELAC as Sam killed the clown there too.
Karen
# Karen 2014-11-16 12:35
Hi Elle2
Thank you for your article. I too loved this episode. I am so happy and proud that Supernatural made it to its 200th Episode. I remember back in 2009 not knowing if there was going to be a Season 4. I actually wrote a letter to the Network in support of the show. This was my very first letter to any Network. But that's what you do for family. When they need your support, you're there for them.
This episode made me very nostalgic. I remembered how I was when I first started watching Supernatural, how obsessed I was, I couldn't get enough of it. I thought about it day and night, wanted to know everything about the characters, their lives, what was happening to them and the same for the actors themselves. It was like how one is when they first fall in love. When all you can think about is that person, every minute of the day. Your heart would skip a beat when you see them or hear their voice. However over the course of time that initial obsession faded. It's not that I loved it any less, it just that it became such a part of my life, with that constant presence and comfort of knowing its always there. God help me when the show does finally end. I guess I'll have to accept it like I did when my daughter grew up and moved out to branch out on her own. Although I was excited and proud of her independence it was not without a heavy heart. Anyways I've rambled on enough. Thank you again for the article.
One last thought on this episode..
In the words of Bailiff Selma Hacker of Night Court
'I laughed I cried, it became a part of me.'
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-16 13:21
Hi Karen, very nice post. Well said! That's exactly how I felt and feel about the show. I've embraced this show, flaws and all, like those amazing Winchester brothers. It will be a sad day when I have to say goodbye.:(
elle2
# elle2 2014-11-16 17:51
Hi, Karen, first off, love the Night Court reference! That was such a great show.

Like you, the obsession part of the show has mostly disappeared, but I do still adore it -- even as parts of it have become unrecognizable for a long while. Now, with Season 10, it seems like a return to things that I adored: the brothers. Sure, we're only five eps in, there's plenty of time for me to go, oh, no! Not again! But for now, I'm very happy.

:-)
Manstrad
# Manstrad 2014-11-16 17:58
Five stars for your review! As I was watching and enjoying every second of the episode, the words Perfect Storm were coming to my mind. Not the disaster! The writing, the acting, the actors, the fans and the history, 10 years worth of memories... all collided in one episode, how brilliant is that!!! And you are right, it looks like it is going to be the fixing of the relationship between the brothers, I see a parallel between the MOC and what going to hell in season 3 meant for their relationship.:D
amyh
# amyh 2014-11-16 18:52
The Drama teacher as Dawn Ostroff. hehehee. Thats too funny yet it works nicely. I'm still not sure if I loved the episode and yet i no longer dislike it. I'm blaming my initial dislike of the last few eppies on real life being turbulant - moving to a new state, unemplyment and general discombulation. Good thing is I'm now amongst family for the first time in years. I think I'm gonna kist keep mmy favorite part in mind (The kids singing "Wayward son" and Sam and deans expressions) and simply listen to the rest of my extended family(fandom) as the boys move toward a better place ...for themselves and each other and keep in my heart i will be following them to that better place.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-16 19:04
That's nice Amyh!:) Glad you are among family and settling in. Best of luck.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-11-17 11:17
Test
Dion7
# Dion7 2014-11-18 21:14
It seems like I'm the only person here who disliked the episode. I cringed through pretty much the whole episode, especially the songs. This is one of those episodes I'm never ever going to watch again.
I edited my original post a bit, since it was a bit extreme. I just don't like the meta episodes. It's like when you're watching a great movie in a cinema and you've completely forgotten your surroundings, and then suddenly the break starts. It snaps you out the movie. The meta episodes do the same thing for me, just when I'm into this world, the meta episodes remind me that it's just a tv show. In my mind, these episodes don't fit in the Supernatural universe, just like aliens would be out of place in a Harry Potter book. And the songs were just painful to watch for me, can you imagine if someone did this to your life? I would be horrified.