Sam and Dean found out their demon-hunting lives were detailed in a series of books called Supernatural. And what followed was an hour that took the time to pay homage to a little thing called "fandom" and furthered along the show's mythology.
I don't know about you guys but the last couple of episodes have made my head hurt. Maybe not in the way this season of Lost has with its time-traveling ways, but it hurts nevertheless. And when I say hurts, I totally mean it in a good way. In "It's a Terrible Life," Dean and Sam were stripped of their memories all in order for Dean to remember his true purpose in life and to focus on the coming war. It gave us Dean driving a Toyota Prius and Sam working in a cubicle. Crazy, right? Well, in "The Monster at the End of this Book," we were introduced to an author who wrote about Sam and Dean and what they've been through. We're talking everything they've been through. He got everything right. From their mom being killed by a demon to Dean going to hell. It turned out this guy (pen name: Carver Edlund) was a prophet. His specialty was writing the Winchester gospel. Wow, first demons, then angels and now prophets. Who knew we'd get so deep in all things biblical before this season started? I always knew this show had the potential to go there. They went there times a thousand.
There was some serious stuff going on, but much of the episode was freakin' hilarious. It was crazy how loud I was laughing while watching this thing by myself in my apartment. This show has always liked to poke fun of itself, of Hollywood, network execs, of basically everything, and the Supernatural fandom was not spared in any way. Some of the more LOL moments were:
The Sam Girls/Dean Girls and slash fiction references. I was totally shocked when they mentioned all three of these terms that are common knowledge for anyone that's part of the Supernatural fandom. I couldn't believe this show went there (especially with the slash fiction).
Finding the small group of fans of the book on the internet Dean noticed they "sure do complain a lot." I was on the floor after this one.
The girl that published the Supernatural books had us fans down to the passionate way she talked about the characters, don't you think? She was so emotionally invested in the book and in Sam and Dean that she talked about them as if they were real (she even called them "my boys."). I have been known to do that every once in a while. Favorite line: "I mean, the best parts are when they cry." She dropped references to episodes like they were nothing. I believe she mentioned two of them: "Heart" and "Home." I swear at times I felt like I was reading my own column. How many times do I refer back to an old episode?
I loved the way the books were depicted as obscure. How many times do we say this about the show that we love? How many times do we wonder how we can support the show and get the ratings to go up? How many times do we question why the CW doesn't promote the show enough? I loved the way the books were noted for being an "underappreciated series," having more of an "underground cult following" and for never getting the attention it deserved. Chuck Shurley even apologized for "Bugs" and "Red Sky at Morning," two of the least favorite Supernaturals in fandom. That was awesome.
This whole episode made me realize Eric Kripke and his crew really have read a lot of message boards, forums and fan fiction communities. Is it wrong that it kind of scares me to think that they have read it all? If we hadn't had confirmation before, the dialogue in this one pretty much sealed it. This must have been a cathartic effort as well. The writers could pore anything and everything they wanted into this episode and they did. Although I do think the fans may have needed to receive some sort of writing or consulting credit for this one (I kid, I kid).
This season, a complaint from some fans is they haven't heard what Sam has been thinking and feeling. Well, Sam had a revealing conversation with Chuck. He got to say things like:
"It scares the hell out of me."
"I wish to god I could stop."
"What choice have I got?"
The guy is in such serious denial it's not even funny. Chuck even spelled it out for him:
"Sucking blood? You've got to know that's wrong."
Chuck also said he didn't even include Sam's sucking demon blood in the books because he didn't want to make him seem unsympathetic. Sam had no idea what he was talking about. I'm glad this show didn't take the same route. Showing Sam on his downward spiral into addiction makes a very three-dimensional Sam for me, even though I don't like it when Sam talks about Dean being different since he got back from hell. Sure, Dean is, but the way Sam makes it seem is that Dean's not going to be strong enough for anything. And that's just not true. He's telling himself all this to make it OK to suck down demon blood. I loved how Chuck tried to make him understand. People have given Sam wake up calls and he's just not taking it. Dean even admitted he thought Sam could go dark side because of the way he's been acting. And he also thought Sam in his state of mind could have given in to Lilith's seductive ways. Was Dean right to feel this way? I understand where he's coming from, although deep down I feel like he knows Sam will never go a hundred percent dark side.
Dean and Sam were on two different wavelengths once again. Dean seemed to want to take cover and plan their next move, while Sam wanted to just confront Lilith for good. The two have been butting heads all season long. I'm not sure what I feel about Dean wanting to just leave town and regroup. It doesn't seem like him, but I think he's trying to be smart here rather than scared. Sam looked like he was thinking he was invincible. And you know what? It has seemed like he's invincible at times. But for how much longer is that going to on? And the guy does seem like he's even more hooked on the power the demon blood has been giving him.
What did you guys think about Zachariah being an archangel? Just when Castiel did something truly angelic like helping Dean, another angel did something bad. This time Zachariah came on and threatened Chuck. Apparently Chuck saw something in one of his visions and Zachariah didn't want it getting back to Sam and Dean. After all, "people shouldn't know too much about their destiny." In my perfect world, Sam and Dean's destiny is to save the world together and no one goes dark side. I don't mind Sam sliding dangerously close, however. The way Zachariah acted at the end, well, let's just say it makes it hard to like the angels (except Castiel). What were Zachariah and Chuck hiding?
What I Loved Most:
The graphic opening of the show that incorporated elements of the graphic novels. I loved seeing "Route 666," "Scarecrow" and others titles of episodes in book form.
When Sam and Dean flashed their tattoos again.
When Sam and Dean were trying not to argue and they kept saying things like: "it frustrates me when..."
Rob Benedict was great as Chuck Shurley. He's been on a boatload of TV series and movies. I remember him most from Felicity. I hope we see the prophet again.
Keegan Connor Tracy played the fangirl/publisher. She also played Karen Giles in Season 2's "The Usual Suspects." She rocked it in "The Monster at the End of this Book."
I think we've all wondered when and where Sam and Dean do their laundry. It took four seasons but we finally got a scene in a Laundromat.
Castiel giving Dean a helping hand. Dean was so desperate he prayed. Cas saw this as a sign of faith. At first it seemed like he wasn't going to be able to help Dean save Sam. But Dean's guardian angel came through. That was an awesome moment.
Dean couldn't bring himself to leave Sam. He really looked like he wanted to walk out that door. But there's no way he's ever going to willingly leave his little brother no matter what's going on with him.
No recap. It just started on Sam and Dean walking into the comic book store.
I'm still trying to figure out if the writer's real name "Chuck Shirley" means anything.
LARPing — I guess this means Live Action Role Playing. I have heard of this. I've never done this so I don't have any idea what this is about.
The comic book guy is trying to come up with the names of the demon hunters in the book. One of the names he says is Sal. I know that Eric Kripke got the names for Sam and Dean from Jack Kerouac's
On the Road. One of the main characters in the book is named Sal. He just made a slight change.
The Supernatural books were in the bargain bin at the comic book store. Hilarious.
Was Sam supposed to be the one that looked like Fabio on the book cover? I mean, the guy had a long, flowing mane just like Sam.
Carver Edlund refers to Supernatural writer Jeremy Carver and writer/co-executive producer Ben Edlund.
Dean's favorite songs: Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On" and "Traveling Riverside Blues." We may not get to hear actual Zeppelin tunes on this show but at least Dean can refer to them.
Sam's LSAT score was 174. Now somebody please correct me if I'm wrong but the highest someone can get on their LSAT is a 180. So Sammy's brains are for real. Although it also could just be that he tests well.
Fans also often complain that Dean never gets to show his book smarts. Who knew he's heard of and/or read Kurt Vonnegut novels? Dean surprises Sam every once in a while.
Dean ordered a veggie tofu burger, Sam ordered a Cobb Salad. At least we're getting to know a little of what Sam likes to eat. Can't think that that's his equivalent of Dean liking pie.
The poor Impala, getting beat up again.
Lilith doesn't live through the war. Good to know...
Sam was kind of scary in the car at the end. He's getting worse, not better.
If there's a Winchester gospel then Sam and Dean do something extraordinary. Hopefully this all means they did their job. Let's just hope it doesn't involve anything like the two of them becoming martyrs for the cause (like Lilith's deal to Sam in the hotel room).
"I'm full frontal in here, dude."
"Well screw you, sympatico, we lived it."
"Everybody wants to read that romance crap. You know, Dr. Sexy, MD." (Dr. Sexy = McDreamy????)
"If only real men were so open and in touch with their feelings."
"Well, I don't want any smart-ass articles making fun of my boys."
"I can't see your face but those are definitely your brooding and pensive shoulders."
"Well, if you like burgers, Oprah's girlfriend says we have the best bacon cheeseburger in the country."
"Behave yourself. No homework. Watch some porn."
"Writing yourself into the story is one thing but a prophet? That's like M. Night-level douchiness."
"Him, really?" "You should have seen Luke." (Go, Castiel!)
"I am the prophet, Chuck!"
What did you guys think?