Supernatural has always included a lot of pop culture references. Indeed, this tendency was present from the first episode – when Dean picks Mulder and Sculley as their aliases. The show has also made clear that it wasn’t going to shy away from paying homage to its literary and on screen lineage with the brothers investigating everything from classic horror tropes – werewolves, vampires, ghouls – to characters and creatures from mythology – Loki, Kali, Osiris – and religious texts – Angels, Demons, Horsemen of the Apocalyse, Golems – to giant teddy bears, game show hosts, artifacts and everything in the middle.
Beyond this though, Supernatural does meta better than almost anything else. (A meta reference, also called a meta-fiction technique or meta-fictive device, in a TV show occurs [when] the show, or a character, demonstrates they are aware of their own fictional nature.)
There are a number of hilarious meta episodes (they tend towards the funny with an OMMMMPH poignant emotional moment when you least expect it) across the series run. We’ve just now watched Fan Fiction, the episode that celebrates 200 episodes of the show.
* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
Supernatural has everything. Life, death, resurrection, redemption. But, above all, family. All set to music you can tap your toe to. It isn’t some meandering piece of genre dreck. It’s epic! And that… Well, that is my bag of tea.
The 100th episode occurred in season 5; episode 18 – The Point of No Return. This milestone was marked by … Dean staying in a hotel room numbered 100…and that was about it.
To be fair, there was this whole epic timeless war between good and evil going on at the time, as well as brother pitted against brother in a battle that transcended generations. God himself was believed to be playing a part…albeit in a disguised cameo. Having already introduced the Ghostfacers in the first season and used Chuck Shurley and the Supernatural tie-in books to decimate the fourth wall…Kripke may well have felt that he’d done enough! Perhaps more importantly, The Kripke Era had a set story to tell and a fixed time frame to tell it in. The episode was better spent focusing on the arc.
The 200th episode on the other hand was as weird and wonderful as a dedicated fan of the series could have hoped for (though not QUITE as wacky as the Stargate SG1 one). And without anything as obvious as a coherent thread or over riding arc tying the whole season together (sigh); it felt like a welcome respite from a plodding and reduced world rather than interrupting a narrative flow.
Sam: Where’s Chuck?
Marie: Oh, I-I-I love him. I do. But, honestly, the whole author inserting himself into the narrative thing? It’s just not my favorite. I kind of hate the meta stories.
Sam and Dean: (Simultaneously) Me, too.
SYNOPSIS for S10 EP05 – FAN FICTION
The Road So Far…
When Sam (Jared Padalecki) andDean (Jensen Ackles) investigate the disappearance of a teacher, they are stunned to see the school is putting on a musical based on their lives. Familiar faces abound in this milestone episode.
When I first heard that this was a musical episode, I was a little wary. I mean, if it turned out like Scrubs or Once More With Feeling then- yippee! If it was more in the Fringe or House line (really didn’t think those musical eps worked AT ALL); then perhaps it would be better not to bother.
It felt as though the Supernatural writers deliberately sought to avoid the obvious when penning this. There are no rock ballads from Dean (or even karaoke or miming); no covers of a well known rock and roll or metal classic from back in the day; no cheesy arm clenching. Instead, we find a tale crafted to not only highlight the best aspects of the series so far but also to pay tribute to the ongoing support from the fanbase. Certainly, the loving attention to detail portrayed by Marie, Maggie, Maeve and the other school girls is a far friendlier reflection of the avid viewer than the OTT Becky.
During the episode, we have a bunch of angelic faced school girls telling the brothers story (as depicted by Chuck Shurley and further re-interpreted by Marie). Every song casually and brutally ripping the band aid off (‘that’s Adam, John Winchester’s other son…’; Castiel ‘I’ll just wait here’). The cast here were just terrific and their voices so sweet, so perfect…so counter to expectations – check out the songs below if you don’t believe me!
Even the monster of the week is on point. A deity that brings stories to life; one that recognizes the hold that fiction has over us – no coincidence on a show celebrating 200 hours of story telling. Heck, at the end of the hour, no one has even died (bar the monster of the week) – a very rare occurrence on this show where – certainly in recent years – secondary characters have been dropping like flies.
And then out of nowhere – HOPE appears. The last time we saw Chuck – the show was at its best. Aside from Rob Benedict playing the character as a delight, it was a lovely reminder that (once upon a season) there is a bigger picture and questions yet unanswered. Here’s hoping he can work a miracle for season 11!
200 NODS (from imdb and the like)
- Sam stays at a Route 200 Motel; room numbered…200.
- This is the first time that Carry On My Wayward Sons is used outside of a season finale since season 01 (where the song is played in the penultimate episode).
- Dean and Marie both note that it is a classic.
- It is also the first time that Sam and Dean are seen listening to the song.
- Still on COMWS – neither of the primary actors were given any information about the songs used in the play. Their filmed reactions were genuine.
- The schoolgirl actor playing Castiel is seen wearing her tie front facing. Dean turns it round to reflect Castiel’s actual preference.
- Dean says ‘We got work to do’ as he tosses a gun into the impala. This line is a repeated one within the series and has also been used by Sam and Bobby. It’s utterance usually occurs after a significant character death.
- First time the shipper phrase Destiel is used on the show (though Megstiel and Wincest was reference a few seasons earlier).
- Jensen Ackles is known not to be a fan of the ship Destiel. When it is mentioned during the episode he purposefully breaks the 4th wall by staring directly at the cameras in good natured exasperation.
- Later the characters discuss how it’s okay that there are many different interpretations of the show; perhaps responding to grumblings in the fandom.
- The BM scene reflected a point of confusion that actually happened (for the record BM = boy melodrama…not bowel movement)
- Similarly the line about the ‘Samulet’ hitting Siobhan in the face reflects the real life irritation of Jensen Ackles – resulting in the necklace being written off the show.
Songs from the Supernatural Show
The Road so Far – Alyssa Lynch (Siobhan – Dean)
A Single Man Tear – Alyssa Lynch and Katie Sarife (Marie – Sam)
Carry On My Wayward Son – Alyssa Lynch, Katie Sarife, Nina Winkler (Kristen – as Adam), Vivien Elizabeth Armour (Katie – as Bobby), Kelli Ogmundson (Alice – as John) and Rachel Warkentin (Tammy – as Mary )
I’ll just wait here then – Nina Winkler (Kristen – Castiel) (not on spotify)
Dean’s summary of Supernatural from season 6 onwards
Dean: Alright Shakespeare you know what; I can actually tell you what really happened with Sam and Dean. A friend of mine hooked me up with the unpublished-unpublished books. So Sam came back from Hell, but without his soul, and Cas brought in a bunch of Leviathans from Purgatory. They lost Bobby, and then Cas and Dean got stuck in Purgatory, Sam hit a dog. Uh, they met a prophet named Kevin, they lost him too. Then Sam underwent a series of trials, in an attempt to close the Gates of Hell, which nearly cost him his life. And Dean, he became a demon, a Knight of Hell actually.
Marie: That is some of the worst fanfiction I have ever heard. I mean seriously where did your friend find this garbage? And not saying that ours is a masterpiece or anything, but jeez. I’ll have to send you some fic links later.
This ties in with the Supernatural Wikia continuity
- Sam having come back from Hell without his soul (Season 6).
- Castiel releasing Leviathans into the world (Season 7).
- The introduction of another Prophet, Kevin Tran, and later losing him (Season 7 and later 9).
- The death of Bobby Singer (Season 7).
- Sam hitting a dog (Season 8).
- Dean and Castiel getting trapped in Purgatory (Season 7).
- Sam and Dean trying to close the gates of Hell, nearly killing Sam in the process (Season 8).
- Dean Winchester becoming a Knight of Hell (Season 9).