I'm not a CW guy. I've watched a handful of episodes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but other than that, sexy teens and superheroes aren't really my thing. And TV Guide has plenty of other people on staff who cover those shows exhaustively so I can get away with not watching them (thank you, Sadie, Kaitlin, Keisha, Lindsay and Megan). But I'm still a danged professional, and when I do TV Guide's recommendations newsletter, I do my due diligence and watch what I'm writing about. So it was in this capacity that I found myself watching Supernatural's 300th episode.
Here's what I knew about Supernatural going in: First, it's been on since around the time George W. Bush said "heckuva job, Brownie." Second, its fans are obsessed with it and there are conventions about it and Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are godlike figures to a segment of the population. And lastly, Jeffrey Dean Morgan was on it, like, a million years ago and was making his long-awaited return in the 300th episode. I am most familiar with JDM as Negan on The Walking Dead, a show that is beloved in a way similar to Supernatural and which I know very well.
In the interest of #content, my editors and I decided I should do a story featuring my real-time reactions to the 300th episode of Supernatural, having no idea what was going on due to not having seen the previous 299. I am happy to report that I enjoyed it more than I expected, found it easier to follow than I expected and thought it was really funny that Jeffrey Dean Morgan was supposed to be playing a version of his character from 2003 but is obviously almost 50 years old, a fact which was not remarked upon.
Here are my timestamped thoughts. (Note: These timestamps do not include commercial breaks.)
0:25 I fail to see how anything in this '"previously on" is connected, but that's on me, not the "previously on" editor.
1:28 I want a Hand of Glory.
2:40 Whoa, I had no idea that's what Jensen Ackles sounds like. He sounds like a Lone Star and plate of brisket. He sounds like he should end every sentence with "Go Longhorns."
3:21 Oh, so this show is self-aware and has a sense of humor about itself and the cliches it's playing with. A bad guy taking too long to finish someone off, getting shot from behind, and then the shooter wisecracking "They always talk too much" is funny.
5:31 "You guys are dicks." TV-14! Network rules allow for "dick" as an insult but not as a body part. TV Guide also abides by this standard. We're a family publication if your family calls each other "dicks."
8:05 I genuinely didn't know Supernatural had so much humor in it. It kinda reminds me of the goofy parts of the original Twin Peaks.
10:13 Honestly? They're being a little too cavalier with using the ghost of John Wayne Gacy as a gag. He tortured and murdered 33 boys. If you're gonna go to the serial killer well, you have to either take them seriously or go the South Park route and make totally tasteless jokes. This doesn't go far enough in either direction.
14:24 "Don't you move." Hey, I know that voice! This is a big few days for JDM, because The Walking Dead's midseason premiere is on Sunday.
15:16 "It's 2003." JDM was watching Dubya give his "Mission Accomplished" speech when he got zapped here. He thought things were crazy THEN. Wait until he gets a load of 2019. Nobody show him Twitter.
21:35 This father-son conversation is obviously a huge cathartic moment for Sam that's lost on me.
23:15 This is why you don't mess around with time travel! Your grocery store guy doesn't remember you!
23:16 A grocery store that is only open until 4pm is not a grocery store that wants to stay in business.
24:07 Lol, Steve Jobs. This fake TED Talk is really funny. I like this show!
25:43 Hmm, Constantine and That Guy Who's In Everything seem important.
27:27 My man's doing the glowing eyes meme! He located the lamb sauce!
28:28 That One Guy doing a Force choke after saying there's been "a disturbance in the Force" earlier in the episode is really good.
30:27 I wonder if I would still think Jensen Ackles sounds like Eugene from The Walking Dead if he weren't talking to Negan.
34:17 That's nice that they finally had their family dinner! I'm happy for them.
36:44 "I'm good with who I am. I'm good with who you are. Cause our lives, they're ours. And maybe I'm just too damn old to wanna change that." Owning your life in the present and not trying to cling to the past is a good message, innit. I don't need to know the full backstory of the Winchesters to understand this episode. I have seen fathers and sons stories before and I know the architecture of this type of plot. I'm genuinely impressed that this episode is so accessible to newbies.
38:40 If I had been watching this show since 2005, I would be BAWLING right now.
41:16 I didn't understand this last scene, so if someone wants to explain it to me, tweet at me.
OK! My Supernatural virgin verdict is: That was good! I won't go back and watch the previous 299 episodes, but I understand why this show has made it to 300. It's about the chemistry between Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. They're fun to hang out with, and being a fun hang is the most important key to longevity. That's why Friends and The Office are still the most popular shows on TV. This show will go for however long the stars want. I look forward to checking in again on Episode 600.
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)