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.

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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