I don’t even know how to start with last night’s episode. It was the shows’s 200th and nothing short of a paean to fans. Not just generic “fans” but female fans, queer, fic-writing fans like you and me. It was glorious.
We opened with a quick nod to Eric Kripke’s creation of the show and then we see a stage. There is a girl on a couch when suddenly a ghost literally drops from the rafters. Not a real ghost, a sheet on a string. The victim’s screams are interrupted by…Sam and Dean! Except this Sam and Dean are teenage girls in some good wigs. And there’s a director yelling cut and because “Dean” isn’t wearing the Samulet (you know, the symbol of the Winchester’s brotherly bond that Dean threw away FIVE seasons ago?).
The director, Marie is a bit of a tyrant about things it seems, much to the dismay of the drama club’s supervising teacher. She threatens to pull the plug n the play and storms out, ranting drunkenly about how there’s nothing real in “Supernatural.” Cue a very real vine monster things sucking said teacher into the bushes.
And title card (all of them, from every season. It’s awesome).
The next scene is another cue the writers and producers know what makes this show tick: It’s Dean, and his very nice arms, working on Baby and listening to classic rock. All is right with the world. Or it’s close enough. Dean is getting antsy not hunting, which worries Sam, but Dean’s caught the case of the disappearing teacher so the boys hit the road to investigate. After all, hunting is the only normal Dean has. The from-the-trunk shot of Dean declaring “We’ve got work to do” is a nod to the pilot of the show and was the first, but by far not the last time I personally started getting verklempt.
Dean and Sam find their way to an all-girls high school, where Dean ribs Sam about his time as a theater kid (again the reference to Sam doing “Our Town” comes from season one!) only to walk into the auditorium and down the rabbit hole the second they hear the word “Idjits.”
That’s right, tiny, girl!Bobby is practicing her signature phrase. Down the aisle mini-Castiel is yelling “Hey! Assbutt!” and onstage “Dean” begins singing the Winchester’s life story. It’s hysterical alone, but add in Sam and Dean’s expressions of pure horror and it’s perfect. Luckily for the boys, Marie cuts to give notes, then spots the boys. She rushes up, her assistant/stage-manager Maeve in-tow, assuming the men are from the publishers. Flustered, they introduce themselves as agents “Smith and…Smith. No relation.” Can’t use rock aliases in a room full of fans. Sam, staying mostly sane tries to talk about the case, but Dean is having none of it. “There is no singing in Supernatural!” he bursts out. And if there was, he adds, it would be classic rock, not Andrew “Floyd” Webber crap.
The girls are not impressed, nor do they care about what Dean says their show should be, since it’s Marie’s interpretation. And the do cover “Carry On Wayward Son” in act 2. Sam’s taken aback and Dean and marie remind him “It’s a classic.”
The boys break off to investigate as much as they can (Sam screws with the light board mostly), though Dean needs Jello shots and a shower. Poor Dean gets an eye full of “Sam and Dean” standing a bit to close for comfort as they rehearse a “BM moment” leaning against a cardboard Impala. Yes, Marie knows they’re brothers, duh, but subtext. Dean still has his musical counterpart take a “sub step back” from ‘Sam.’
As Dean and Marie look through the drama teacher’s office, he learns that this “Fanfiction” (Marie calls it a transformative work, thank you very much) goes even beyond what Carver Edlund wrote, because Marie couldn’t leave it there. Her story involves space, robots, ninjas and Dean becoming a woman at one point. Dean tries to tell her what “really happened” after Sam went to hell, in a hilarious summation of season six through nine. Marie thinks that sounds like the worst fan fic she’s ever heard.
Dean of course has no time to be offended as he catches a glimpse of “Dean and Cas” canoodling off stage. Turns out that part’s not in the show, the actresses are a couple in real life, but they does explore the nature of Destiel in act two. Cut to Dean freaking out more to Sam…who is really just thrown by the pronunciation. “Shouldn’t it be Dee-stiel? What about Samstiel…” Dean tells his bro to shut up forever. Especially since there doesn’t seem to be a case here.
This means the next scene is of the actress playing Sam quitting because the show it’s following cannon and getting taken away by a creepy scarecrow, all while Marie watches. They boys are back the next days, consoling Mrie who is realizing that everything in the books is real. Though believe these two old guys are Sam and Dean is too much of a stretch. Maybe a Rufus Bobby combo? Novertheless; Maeve and Marie helt the hunters investigate. Could it be a tulpa? Nope, it’s Calliope, muse of epic poetry who is taking people to protect Marie’s vision…so she can eat Marie when the curtain closes. The only way to trap her is for the show to go on. Marie in understandable freaked out, but a Dean Winchester pep-talk about how her story matters and what he thinks of it is immaterial gets her ready. Marie agrees, because her sweet, selfless…Sam Winchester wouldn’t give up. She’s gonna play Sam herself and “Barbara Streisand this bitch.”
What happens from here on out is almost impossible to describe. After a pep talk where Dean quotes RENT (oh Dean) but not enough to get anyone in trouble, we are treated to Supernatural: The Musical and it is glorious. Though, it lacks Chuck, the author, because Marie, and the boys, just don’t like the meta stories. The show is awesome, as they boys sing of “The Road So Far.” Except for that part where Sam gets sucked away by the scarecrow monster manifested by Calliope. But the show must go on, Dean pushes. At this point, tiny, queer Castiel is singing a lovely ballad about Dean: “I’ll just wait here then, I’ll wait for you…” and I was laughing so hard I teared up.
Calliope, it turns out would rather eat Sam, the inspiration, than sit through act two again. Luckily, Maggie (the Sam that left) and the drama teacher are with Sam in the school basement where he’s been transported and help Calliope explains she’s here because Supernatural has everything, but above all, it’s about family. Nice sentiment, but she still needs to die. Sam fights and kills Calliope, as Marie-as-Sam, with some help from Dean, kills the scarecrow, all while we listen to a sound about Dean’s fragile heart called “A Single Man Tear.” It ends with the scarecrow exploding in purple good over the audience…and a standing ovation.
Well, it’s time, as Marie notes, for Sam and Dean to bail before anyone asks questions. Stage managers Maeve notes to Sam he’d make a pretty good Dean if he cut his hair. Meanwhile Marie, realizing at this point that this IS Dean, gets encouragement to keep writing, who cares if it’s not the same story as deans. She hands Dean a prop Samulet, telling him he never should have thrown it away. Dean replies he never needed a symbol to know how he felt about his brother, but Marie tells him to just take it, and we get a great “Jerk/Bitch” exchange.
Now it’s time for the BM – one on stage and one off. Musical Sam and Dean agree that this is where they are at their best, on the road, them against the world. Sam agrees: “What she said.” Cue Mary Winchester’s beautiful soprano singing to the boys “Carry on, my wayward son…” before she is joined by John, then Bobby, then the boys and…Cas? No? Who is that? Oh, right, it’s Adam, the other Winchester brother still stuck in hell. As the stage is filled with music, and we the audience are filled with feels, Sam and Dean look on, listening as they are told to lay there weary heads to rest, and cry no more.
You would think this perfect moment was enough, but no. Cut to Sam and Dean, in the Impala, and Dean wordlessly hanging his replacement Samulet on the rearview mirror and the boys head down the road.
And then…The show is over and someone claimed the ticket Marie left for the publisher! Marie rushes to ask the person, who we don’t see at first, how they liked it. We pan around to reveal…Chuck! Who smiles and tells her “Not Bad.”
At that point I was personally a sobbing mess and I know I wasn’t alone.
Lesbian CasDean, guys! And “you can spell subtext without S-E-X” and Dean flipping around Musical!Cas’ tie. Pretty much everything.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go download “I’ll Just Wait Here Then.”
See you next week!