When I started watching Supernatural in 2005, I thought I was investing in a scary show about two brothers who chased urban legends. Fast forward nine years and you’ve got a show that’s tackled angels, demons, urban legends, the Apocalypse, meta humor, and all sorts of subtext. Tonight’s 200th episode was a fun celebration of the Winchesters and all the wonderful quirks that make their world fresh and exciting after all this time.
“Fan Fiction” was fan service in a way that’s probably never been done on a show before, let alone during a monumental anniversary episode. While not its finest meta hour (that honor forever belongs to “The French Mistake”) nor its first jab at the Supernatural fandom (Season 5’s “The Real Ghostbusters”), this episode had enough charm to make up for its lackluster story. Which is fine, since tonight’s hour was simply about enjoying “The Road So Far.”
Seeing Supernatural turned into a musical was a nightmare for the brothers and a blast for the audience. It was through this storytelling device that the writers were able to craft yet another take on the books Chuck wrote all the way back in Season 4. Without a doubt my favorite recurring theme in this episode was Sam and Dean’s flabbergasted reactions to what was happening around them. Seeing their life as fodder for books that inspired fans and spawned fan fiction is nothing new for the Winchesters. But the singing and robots and outer space in the second act? Unacceptable! It’s hilarious to see what upsets Dean after all the preposterous crap him and Sam have been through. That’s the point, though. The minute Dean Winchester becomes OK with singing in Supernatural is the day this show officially jumps the shark. Oh wait, they already jumped.
Speaking of Adam, the line about Adam still being in the cage with Lucifer, followed by Sam and Dean’s guilty, knowing looks, was one of my favorite moments in the show’s history. I lost track of how much was unloaded through the two girls who ran the show and essentially served as the writing staff’s mouthpiece, but that line just slayed me. In an episode packed with *wink, wink* moments at the camera (sometimes literally with Dean), this simple reference was the best of the bunch. I also appreciated the back-to-back jabs at the show’s ratings when Sam was talking about the books not burning up the charts and the show not being sold out. Marie laughing at Dean’s summary of major plot points since Season 5 was also hilarious. The return of the “We got work to do” was nice and so was everyone’s general distaste for meta episodes. However, that moment almost made my brain explode.
The one thing I wish this episode accomplished was tying into the larger story arc of the season like other classic meta hours. “Fan Fiction” was completely throwaway in terms of season-long significance. Of course, that would be tough when no major storylines for this season have been established. With five episodes down, it feels like things are really slow-going this season as compared to previous years. Think about Season 5 and the Apocalypse storyline or Season 3 and the demon prison break arc. You could see where things were headed right away.
We were promised the “Year of the Deanmon” in Season 10, only to have that exciting development snuffed out after three episodes. Suffering through a lifeless story about the Calliope and a kidnapping scarecrow would have been easier if it was only a one-week detour into celebratory territory. Instead, the episode’s conflict and villain felt indicative of a scarier trend: after 200 episodes, the show doesn’t have many surprises left up its sleeves. The scares are gone and any attempt at suspense falls flat. It’s sad to see Sleepy Hollow – a kindred spirit to Supernatural – employ such excellent makeup and flesh out scary villains week after week, while the CW pinches pennies in a way that causes Calliope to look like part of the high school play, not the actual show.
But I digress. I love this show and continue to marvel at what it’s accomplished across 200 episodes. The writers, producers, directors, and actors have such a respect for what Supernatural means to the fans. That’s why I’ll never lose faith in this show. As long as Sam and Dean are saving people and hunting things, I’ll be right there with them and so will millions of other fans.
What other moments from tonight’s episode made you laugh? Were you glad Chuck made an all-too-brief appearance in the closing moments? Were there characters you’d like to have seen back tonight? Leave your thoughts in the comment below and let’s celebrate this great accomplishment for an amazing show. Cheers Supernatural! Thanks for the road so far.
Lines of the week
“You ran tech, Wolverine.” – Dean
“I mean, shouldn’t it be Destiel?” – Sam
“Casdean.” – Sam
“Shut your face. Get in the car.” – Dean
“Take a bow, Sammy.” – Dean
Next week on Supernatural
A real life game of Clue? What is happening right now?