Elle2 was also so inspired by "Changing Channels" that she too sent a review!  Granted she still can't commit to doing a review each episode right now, but this one was too good to pass up.  As usual, she has some wonderful thoughts.  Enjoy!

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Changing Channels…by Elle2
 
I love Supernatural! There, that's out there *as if no one knew already.
 
I love it when it's icky, sticky, scary, spooky, funny, dark, deep and yes, even when it's just so-so, it's still better than anything out there. Nope, I'm not a fan, I'm a big fan. I don't go to conventions, don't run a web site, don't write to the show , well, okay, at the end of Season 3 I wrote Mr. Kripke and begged him *tearfully I'll add unashamedly* to not destroy the brothers, not destroy the core of the show and to quickly bring it all to the good again. I'm so glad he didn't listen to me *of course, that assumes he even read my letter*
 
Supernatural is unafraid to kill off main characters, Mary, John, Sam, Dean (Sam and Dean have been killed so many times that I've lost count…already both have died this season..or nearly and last season as well, not to mention when they actually did die) They're not afraid to inflict physical infirmities, burn down intended long-term sets (Roadhouse) when they realized it limited their show, not afraid to dispense with stories that distract , psychic kids, FBI wanted list, hunters hunting Sam and even try characters that just plain don't work…Bela, but even in the offing of the sets, the storylines and the characters they fit them into the larger scheme of things so that, when one examines the whole, the picture takes shape in fine detail.
 
Who thought the Trickster was the Angel Gabriel? I sure didn't. I'll posit that, when the Trickster was introduced back in the fabulously hilarious Tall Tales, he wasn't anything other than a pagan demi-god to join the pantheon of past and future baddies that our boys battle. I'm sure Kripke and Co. had a glimmer of an idea when in Mystery Spot they left that tantalizing thread of "That's for me to know." But I'll suggest with confidence they hadn't fully fleshed out the idea at that time and likely didn't until they sat down this past May and planned the major arcs and themes for Season 5. I bow to their brilliance and their obvious "wall of loose threads' that someone combs through continuously to tie up those pesky ends.
 
They've taken a well-loved and much begged for past foe and woven him tightly within this season's frame such that it is obvious and anticipated and fully expected that he will be seen and heard from again. Gabriel, a/ka/ The Trickster is now outed for who and what he is but he is not on either side, that makes him a card that can be played for either side or no side at all, yes, a wild card. If I had any money, I'd lay it on the table that he'll be back later this season to continue his arc. No doubt he'll join Anna's unresolved storyline and Zach's continuing one as well as Castiel…I know some can't stand how many angels are populating the scenery but since all have their own storylines that weave in and out with the Winchesters they truly are no different than the demons that have populated the show since day one, Azazel, Meg, the Cross Roads demon, Ruby, Lilith and others.
 
Also, like the various and sundry other entities we've met, vampires, werewolves, wendigos, shapeshifters, ghosts and the plethora of others, it is uncertain when they will appear, what their motivations are and what side, if any, they are operating on. One thing is for certain, they're out there and they're not going away any time soon. I for one say hooray.
 
Changing Channels:
 
I've only watched it once so suffice it to say I haven't got a fully formed opinion but I do know this…any show that can have me laughing so hard from the beginning and throughout that I actually have difficulty breathing *as well as a continuing fear that I'll pee myself* is fabulous. As I was driving to assignments today I reflected on various scenes and still found myself cracking a huge grin and a laugh from deep within my belly kept erupting, "No, I'm certain it was a laugh and not acid reflux.  I'm over forty by not that far!"
 
Jeremy Carver delivers again. To be sure, I'm planning a looksee at his episodes during the upcoming *gulp* hellatus; it just must be done.
 
Jeremy again manages to deliver a solid brother story albeit one that is in the backdrop and not the fore as has been his way in the past, notably A Very Supernatural Christmas and Mystery Spot. As an aside, I watched Mystery Spot just prior to Changing Channels and it was a great segue - I now plan a three-episode mini-marathon with Tall Tales, Mystery Spot and Changing Channels…*wonder when I'll find the time*.
 
The relationship between the brothers was evident in all the little things, their ease at teasing each other, especially as Dean teases Sam to "play the part' in the commercial and his demand that the Trickster return Sam to his proper form in the Knight Rider spoof. Sam's quick thinking and role-playing during Dr. Sexy, M.D. not only saves Dean's life but morphs them out of that role into a game destined to be quite painful to him, and by sympathy pains, Dean but he also was quick to help Dean realize he had to play the role if he wanted to avoid a similar fate.
 
The boys were teasing, laughing and working in concert to get out of the jam they were in all the while having to deal with much larger issues, fate, destiny, predetermination and all that, the apocalypse as a battle may not have been seen or heard but the apocalypse as a matter of fact was very much present. It's interesting that this season the "other side' is determined to spell out to Sam and Dean specifically the roles they are to play, Sam as Lucifer, Dean as Michael, brother at brother, a death match. Hmm, since when did the enemies of our boys become some willing to state exactly what they needed to do? Oh, yeah, that's right, whenever "they' needed the Winchesters to do something for them…as in, just because the opposition tells you you have to willingly allow Lucifer and Michael possess you doesn't mean that you necessarily do. Look beyond. Our boys are doing that, keep it up.
 
I think it is someone at Buddy TV who stated that Supernatural never does anything by coincidence (or accident) and I agree. Sam's question was name the demon he betrayed his brother with. Sam couldn't do it.  Now I don't believe there is really a deeper meaning there such as Sam still doesn't see what he did with Ruby to be a betrayal of Dean. I firmly believe Sam recognizes the wrongness of his choices, the fact that he out and out told Dean the reason he went off with Ruby was to get away from Dean (and his stifling big brother, "I know what's best' ways) is evidence to me that Sam understands what he did. His verbalization of his motivation is akin to a confession and once out in the open it helped the brothers clear the air and get down to the business of forging a new relationship as equals.
 
Here's where it gets really interesting, and proof again that wrap this show in whatever color, style, genre you want, it has meaning and purpose behind even the most outlandish of events. Dean's question is compelling, complex, scary, something I never would have thought of and full of possible future angst if anyone ever tries to wield it as a weapon , although I firmly believe that Dean has had those thoughts and determined that Sam is his brother and the past is the past and cannot be changed. But, that question is out there and can be used quite effectively to knock both brothers for a loop in the future, even if only for a moment. Would Dean's mom and dad still be alive if Sam had never been born? Interesting that without any understanding of Japanese , oh, where is Bobby when he's needed this time? , Dean manages to answer correctly, at least according to the twisted logic of the Trickster , erh, I mean Gabriel. Oh, the best lies have a core of truth in them - maybe Sam's birth did doom John and Mary , but wait, Mary said yes to Azazel, not Sam. It was Mary that should have remembered the ten years thingy and planned a second child better - oh, heck, the blame game is no fun, the angst game, however, is so much fun.
 
Kripke having his fun and eating it too!
 
Kripke finally had a chance, through the mouths of his characters, to make fun of all those shows out there pulling down double digit ratings (as in millions) and slapping in the face all that pathetic acting (or what passes as acting) that seems to get noticed by the uppity ups. I'll go there as far as David Caruso, having lowered myself to watch many an episode of CSI Miami (and each time walked away and wondered why, oh why did I waste an hour of my life on that) I have to wonder who thinks this guy can act? He's good at posing and turning sideways and taking his sunglasses off and putting them back on, other than that he's got nothing. Please, someone tell me he's never been considered for an award …please!
 
All those doctor shows.  I'll admit, ER back in the early days was excellent, well acted, well directed, quick…but man oh man enough already. Over the years there's been Chicago Hope, ER, Grey's Anatomy and a myriad of others that I've never watched simply because I don't care. This season there's Mercy and Three Rivers and I think there's even a show called Trauma, although I seem to remember such a show back in the late "80's - don't really know though as I never watched it.
 
Sure, I know there are some that say hey, 10 million, 15 million, 20 million people watching every week can't be all wrong…I say, yes they can. The argument that everyone is doing it thus it must be good or right doesn't work for me, but then again I like to think for myself and not follow the crowd. That's perhaps one of the biggest reasons why I like Supernatural and by proxy Eric Kripke, he bucks the trends, he follows his own ideas and not the crowd. It may not make Supernatural the highest rated show ever but if I were Eric, I'd be proud that I could look myself in the mirror each day and say that I stuck to my plan, my ground rules, my central focus, my principles. I made something that's different, that's well-written, acted, directed and I did it all with little money and little support…fortunately as well, for all that the CW doesn't pour much into promoting it, in the long run they don't mess with it too much either. 
 
Jo was never allowed to become anything other than a passing character, Bela disappeared in a way that moved the storyline ahead as well as in a way that tied up the cryptic comments from her and the questions as to her motivations, Ruby was always clearly to me a baddie but she was used to superbly move the story (even though her casting was more than slightly questionable in Season 4). The Roadhouse was burned down, even though the studio obviously liked a "home base', no long-term female relations are allowed, other than the love of mom , and no one messes with Mom! Sure the music has suffered in a way that has never satisfactorily been fixed but that's economics, not interference. Blood and gore gets used to keep the horror aspect intact, sex is limited to characterization , *I still have that article planned that I hinted at back in The Road So Far; Season 4* , and thank heavens that teddy bear's stuffing was allowed to poof across the screen despite some suit's objection to it being too disturbing.
 
CSI Miami, eat your heart out, you're one of three. Grey's Anatomy, shine your Emmy's and glory in your double digit ratings, you follow in a long line of medical dramas that are indistinguishable from the past and what will surely come in the future. Supernatural stands alone, stands out and stands proud.
 
Thanks for reading.
 
Elle2