Ten seasons. Two-hundred episodes. A Supernatural milestone.
Supernatural Season 10 Episode 5 went full on meta with a self-aware hour that was as much a nod to fans as it was a recognition of the series and the Winchester brothers overall.
So, what did TV Fanatic staff writers Narsimha Chintaluri, Carla Day, Sean McKenna and The Winchester Family Business’ Alice Jester think?
Join them in this special Supernatural Round Table and sound off with your own thoughts below. (Who’s still got “Carry on Wayward Son” in their heads?)
What was your favorite scene or moment?
Alice: I should say the “Carry On Wayward Son” sing along, or better yet the end, but honestly, I’m sicker than that. I’m going with Dean learning about “Destiel”, complete with the “You’ve got to be kidding me” stare into the camera then Sam’s whole reaction to the idea. He’s amused! “Deastiel?” “Sastiel?” “Samstiel?” “CasDean?” I loved how his lighthearted pondering got Dean all riled up. Dean’s “shut your face” is a pretty bold message to the shipping part of the fandom, don’t you think? I love how they took on the topic and got me laughing hard over it. Subtext my ass!
Narsimha: I have to agree with Alice that "CasDean" really got me. I was dying of laughter by then, and, thankfully, that wasn't the only funny moment in the episode. The show has been a bit grim lately, and, in the past, Supernatural has been pure comedic gold when the story calls for it (Groundhog's Day anyone?). I also loved the "BM" stuff.
Carla: There were too many funny moments to mention so I'll go with the one specific moment that had me burst into tears. When the camera cut to Mary starting "Carry On Wayward Son," I lost it. It was heartbreakingly beautiful. It was a reminder what started their road filled with neverending loss. In all honesty, the entire episode was my favorite moment, except for Cas' song. I didn't care for that.
Sean: I agree there were so many good moments to choose from, but the one that really got me was Sam and Dean asking Maeve who that new character was on stage. And her brilliant response that it was Adam, who was still in the cage with Lucifer, was hilarious. Not only because fans bring it up, but also to see within the story Sam and Dean’s reaction. That one really made me laugh.
Was going meta a good move for the 200th episode?
Alice: Yes. There hasn’t been good meta in a long while (season six), and it seemed appropriate given the occasion. It’s not like there’s a strong myth-arc or anything going. Although wouldn’t that have been cool, an intense, flashback fueled drama of Sam curing Dean? Ah well, what we got was great too. I’m just glad they were able to pull off “Supernatural, The Musical.” It was a pretty risky thing to take on and it had disaster written all over it.
Narsimha: This supposedly horror/drama show about demons, angels, monsters, ghosts, etc, has, weirdly enough, always been great at being comedic, as well as topical and, yes, meta. The past times with the Trickster were definitely great, and it makes sense that the 200th episode (WOW) is filled with delightful fan service. Dramas, in my opinion, should never go this long, but purely based on the chemistry between the cast, the fans have rallied behind this show — and I'm grateful for it. I love Sam and Dean, and although I miss a lot about how the show used to be, I recognize that the show was only ever intended to be the first five seasons (which are fantastic). The show has its ups and downs nowadays, but this episode was a nice, lighthearted, gift to the fans.
Carla: Yes, absolutely. Supernatural is the show it is in part due to the meta episodes and other kind of out there ones. Supernatural can get away with episodes like this much more than any other show I've watched. While I don't understand the motivation behind Destiel or BM, I thought those moments were hilarious. Like it or not, that is part of the fandom and it was an opportunity for the people behind the show to basically acknowledge it and refute it in a lighthearted and funny way.
Sean: I think it worked out just right being able to blend the nod to fandom at the same time giving Sam and Dean a chance to look at their story, their lives from the outside. There was enough comedic and dramatic to really hit home, and who doesn’t love when Supernatural gives different things a try? Plus, to get Sam and Dean to react to the fandom, etc. is just plain funny.
Do you wish you saw any cameos or characters from the series besides Sam, Dean and Chuck?
Alice: No, Chuck pretty much filled my excitement quota! That was the only point of the episode where I did actually flail and scream. If I had more than that, it probably would have ruined the impact of Chuck’s surprise return. Although, I do wish we could have gotten the real Castiel in there to see the fake one. I have visions of him watching “I’ll Just Wait Here Then” and getting all emotional while Sam and Dean stare at him like he’s nuts.
Narsimha: I agree with Alice that Castiel should've been a part of this episode somehow, but besides that I think the reemergence of Chuck was all that the episode needed. I loved seeing that girl practice Bobby's "idjit" though, wish he was still around.
Carla: No. It worked the way it was for a reason. The show is about Sam and Dean. The musical highlighted the brothers and showed them what they needed to see to get past all the brother drama and be a family again. The other characters were there in spirit and that's what was important not for the actors to be there. I hope Chuck's appearance means something greater than just this episode too.
Sean: This was definitely a Sam and Dean focus, so I’m glad the episode stuck to that. Plus we sort of got references and moments to the whole story and characters within the play. Plus, to have Chuck (the Eric Kripke of the story) pop in for such a brief cameo was a perfect way to cap things off. But was that just a nice fan thing put in there or does his return presence mean something more?
For an episode centered around a musical, were you hoping Sam and Dean might sing?
Alice: Absolutely not! As Dean so accurately put it, “There’s no singing in Supernatural.” It would have ruined things for me. I’m okay with schoolgirls doing it though. It does kind of show the lengths that fandom can go in their love of this story. I’m so afraid this will start being a regular thing everywhere now. Hold me.
Narsimha: I think it would've been hilarious if Dean had to fill in for himself or something last minute and sang (really really badly - drunk Demon Dean karaoke bad).
Carla: I knew they weren't going to sing, so I never gave it much thought. I liked that they were outside of the musical and were able to reflect on their lives as they were shown on the stage. If they sang, it would have felt wrong.
Sean: I was trying to avoid any spoilers for the 200th episode because I wanted to really be surprised by what the show was going to do, but I did hear it would have a musical. So I was nervous that characters like Sam and Dean would be singing and I thought that might wind up being too much of a stretch. But I was glad it was Sam and Dean watching instead of participating. It was a unique spin for the show, but by the end, it worked out.
Any last minute thoughts on the 200th episode and going forward for Supernatural?
Alice: I love how writer Robbie Thompson took on the whole subject of the shakier “second act,” or basically anything done after “Swan Song.” It was like he was defending the writers, who have taken a lot of criticism for their “interpretation” since season six. Like Marie, they were trying to continue a story that shouldn’t have ended at “Swan Song” yet it clearly doesn’t live up to the original Carver Edlund work. Getting a “not bad” from Chuck, who we know is really Eric Kripke (aptly mentioned in the beginning), is basically saying the creator approves so they can’t be that far off. As long as there’s interest in the story, the show will go on. I’m not sure how much life the show has left, but as long as it remains to be about two brothers on the open road fighting evil, it can’t be that bad. Okay, it can be if robots, spaceships and Dean becoming a woman actually happen. Let’s never go there.
Narsimha: The title cards! I absolutely LOVED seeing all the previous titles sequences (X-files, Ghostfacers, Metatron!) at the beginning, and knew that I was in for a good episode right there. Going forward, I hope they do something drastic — there's really no jumping the shark for Supernatural. As Alice said, as long as there's interest in the characters, it will go on. So take some more risks — show us God!. Or delve into other religions as well.
I remember getting pretty pissed way back in the earlier seasons when Lucifer could just stroll in and take on Gods from my religion (although Mark Pellegrino is awesome, and seeing Lucifer blow up other Gods was actually pretty great). So maybe bring them back, instead of just this Heaven and Hell melodrama. I don't know though, I'm just spitballing here. As long as Supernatural is on TV, I'll probably be watching.
Carla: I want the Sam and Dean who got into the Impala at the end of the hour to be the brothers we see when the show returns. The musical was a cleansing of the air for them and I want that to remain. I also hope the Adam mention wasn't just a reminder that they left their brother locked up with Lucifer. I'd love to see them both get out of the cage and liven things up a bit. Crowley needs some competition. Lastly, I agree with Narsimha, the title card sequence was awesome!
Sean: The 200th episode definitely came with a lot of expectations, but it ended up delivering a rather solid and enjoyable hour when it could have completely crashed and burned. I really liked the fan nods, the Sam and Dean reactions, plus that look on the ups and downs of the Supernatural story. Plus, I’m hoping, much like Carla, that Sam and Dean riding off on the seemingly same page is going to stick and a jumping off point for what’s next. And 10 seasons in, I’m still excited for what’s next.
And get ready for Supernatural Season 10 Episode 6 via the following CW teaser:
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.