CHUUUUUUUCCKKKKKK!!!!!  WE MISSED YOU!!!!!  I’m so freaking happy to see you!  It's been way too long buddy.  

Gee, did that ending give you a stir or what?  Back when I interviewed Jeremy Carver at Comic Con, he said that someone was coming back and he wouldn’t say who it was.  I know exactly what voices that set off in my head.  “Chuck??  Please??  Can it please be Chuck??  I really want Chuck back.”  After all, who else could you bring back about the 200th episode, especially when the play was based on the Carver Edlund books?  All I can say is, thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. Carver!   I can die happy now.  

How can I possibly give a critical review of an episode like this?  It’s there for fun, it’s there to honor the fans, it’s there to remind that in ten years a lot of has happened on the road so far on both sides of that fourth wall.  But what’s cool is it reminded us too this show can be clever and fun.  Chuck as we know is Eric Kripke, so it’s safe to assume that in this case, Marie is Robbie Thompson.  It’s no accident that Kripke’s name was at the beginning of the credits.  It’s so fitting at this milestone that the creator (in the form of Chuck) looks back at the “rough second act” (aka seasons 6 - 10) with Marie and says, “Not bad.”   

03

“Fan Fiction” was a meta episode, which is always a risk for this show even though prior meta episodes have been wildly successful.  Once you’re in season ten though, the accusation becomes that meta is being taken too far and it just doesn’t work anymore.  I mean, how often can you show how crazy the fans are and Sam and Dean’s reaction to it?  Meta hasn’t been tackled very successfully in recent seasons (I’m talking to you “Season 7: Time For A Wedding”).  I can honestly say this time though Robbie Thompson got it right.  For what it set out to do, “Fan Fiction” is ideal.

200 episodes, ten seasons of Supernatural, and it all means something different to us.  By season ten, my fan girl squee isn’t what it used to be.  I don’t flip out the way I used to over an episode, I don’t get all weepy over sentimental brotherly moments (although I’m still touched), and I don’t jump online instantly to share rapid fire messages of full blown fannish love (heck, I rarely get to even watch the episode at air time, opting for DVR later).  That’s doesn’t mean I don’t look forward to “Supernatural” every week though.  I’m just different now than I was back in season three when I first found the show, as Sam and Dean, not to mention Jensen and Jared, are too.  We all have our own way of seeing things and that way is constantly changing.  That affects how we choose to enjoy stories, or not enjoy stories.    

Taking on in healthy doses Meta is therapy for fans.  It’s the chance for the fan voices to be heard and acknowledged in some way.  Whatever you want to call it, nuggets, Easter eggs, tidbits, they were all there - so many that I can’t tackle them all in one review (although this episode is prime for one of my full length recaps during the next Hellatus).  It hit the important stuff though, to fans anyway.  

It’s about time they addressed the amulet (they even called it the Samulet!).  Dean didn’t try to make any excuses for throwing it away, just that he didn’t need a symbol to show how he felt about his brother.  But I think it was forgotten somewhere down the road that while the amulet may not have meant that much to Dean, it’s always meant a lot to the fans.  In my version of the story (which will always be in my head), after Dean hangs the fake amulet up on the rear view mirror, Sam pulls out the real one out of the glove box and hangs it up there as well.  I still believe that Sam fished it out of the trash.  But that was one of the main points of “Fan Fiction.  “You have your version, I have mine.”  

19

You do have to laugh at the fan who only has five seasons worth of canon hearing the overview of what’s happened since then.  “That is some of the worst fan fiction that I have ever heard.  I mean seriously, where did your friend find this garbage?”  That had me rolling!  Yes, that’s Robbie Thompson poking fun at themselves skillfully, but it also touches on a very common complaint.  The show isn’t what it used to be.  The story telling isn’t as rich or bold, the overall construction and fluidity of seasons is clunky, the lack of respect to continuity is offensive and the out of character moments are laughable.  Sometimes the cry is we need “Chuck” a la Kripke, back to tell the story.  Otherwise we get robots and tentacles and space.  The unwatchable second act. 

“Fan Fiction” skillfully tackled all that.  In Marie’s version, they didn’t forget about Adam.  They didn’t forget that no matter what, “Supernatural” is about two brothers alone on the open road.  Sure, Marie also loves Wincest and Destiel subtext, but that’s reflecting the desire of a lot of fans.  As long as it’s hinted and not canon, why not be acceptable? I’m pretty sure Dean Winchester got his message across as to why it might not be, but that’s been the debate for the ages.

Can I pause to say how HOWLINGLY funny this episode was in tackling the whole subject of Destiel?  I LOVED Dean’s freaked out glance downward after hearing the word and then staring at the camera with a, “You can’t be serious” glance of scolding.  That had a lot of Jensen in it (he said on last night’s live tweet it was improvised).  Way to break that fourth wall again!  But then, it’s followed up with Sam pondering the whole “Destiel” ship?  Like shouldn’t it be Deanstiel?  Or what about Samstiel?  CasDean?  While Sam was humorously open to the possibilities, Dean crankily shut him down.  Oh yes, those two in just that few seconds by the Impala summed up years of fan online debate.  I do wonder if Dean’s closing line in that scene was meant to put an end to it all.  “Shut your face.”  It does send a message! 

http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/images/video/S10/DeaninFanFiction.mp4




“Fan Fiction” also went for the heartstrings.  After all, Robbie does know us well.  As many times as we’ve heard “Carry On Wayward Son” to the thundering montage of season ending clips, this tender, slowed down version with all the key players is the most poignant (and perfect) the song has ever been.  It truly does show that while family is the main theme, it doesn’t end with blood.  It included Bobby, Adam, Castiel, John and Mary as well as Sam and Dean, all the long forgotten ones that have still made their undeniable impact on this story.  Sam and Dean are the ones that must carry on, and the brothers needed this echo from the past to be reminded of  their true mission.  Saving people, hunting things, the family business.  It’s time to get back on the road.   

As much as I’d like to critique the “musical” portion of the show, I have to admit, I’m not a huge musical theater fan.  I’m the last person that should be judging the quality of songs.  While I think the songs had a huge “Glee” like quality to them (I’m not a fan of “Glee”), I do admit that singing about that “single perfect man tear” during a fight with a scarecrow added a fitting absurdity to the whole situation.  I do love absurdity.  I didn’t need to hear that opening song twice though.  It just hit me in the “cringe” category the wrong way, and the first time was way funnier because we got to see Sam and Dean’s initial, very disturbed reactions.  

If “Fan Fiction” raises any questions, intentionally or not, it’s did Robbie Thompson take this opportunity to defend himself and fellow writers for creative choices in these later seasons?  Was Chuck’s declaration meant to show that Kripke thought they were doing okay?  Was it a true homage to the fans (I refuse to use the overdone cliche “love letter”) or was it basically a message that this is their version of the story and if we don’t like it, stick to your own?  I think that the fans still came out favorably in this one, because they were all about being true to the story, despite their philosophical differences.  It’s captivated their passion and imaginations, and isn’t that what a good story is supposed to do?   

22

As for what “Supernatural” means to us, Calliope said it all.  I can’t put it any better.  “Supernatural has everything.  Life, death, resurrection, redemption, but above all, family.  All set to music you can really tap your toe to.  It isn’t some meandering piece of genre dreck.  It’s…epic.  Now that’s my bag.”    

This show has long passed the thrills, boldness, and excitement of the days before “Swan Song,”  but that’s okay.  It exists because plain and simple for us fans, it’s comfort food.  We can’t imagine life without the Winchesters.  The desires are clear, the brothers need to get back to basics.  They’ve been through too much crap for so long.  That’s a plan I could live with.  Carry on wayward sons.  

Random Notes

The “200” on the motel room door was a perfect shoutout to the 100th episode, when they had 100 on the door.

Sam:  Hugh Jackman got cast off Oklahoma. 
Dean:  You ran tech, Wolverine. 

I LOVED Sam hiding the FBI badges when he saw the girls doing it.  I also loved them using the aliases of “Smith” from “Slash Fiction,” which is after Chuck’s last book.  That masks the rock star aliases that would have gotten them in trouble.  Great play on continuity.  

“I’m going to need 50 jello shots and a hose to get all this stink off me.”   Bwah, weren’t Dean’s lines (and expressions) of exasperation perfect?  

Marie:  Not canonically, no, but this is transformative fiction. 
Dean :  You mean Fan Fiction.  

I didn’t like Sam telling them so early that they were the real Sam and Dean.  It made them look kind of silly.  I did love however that the girls were more willing to believe the “FBI Hunters” story, like “The X-Files” than Sam and Dean were real.   

Someday it will be a Tulpa again!  It’s been tossed around enough times since season 1.  It happened in “House” when after years of flirting with the diagnosis of Lupus, someone actually got Lupus.   

“First of all, this play’s not dumb.”  “I thought you didn’t believe in this interpretation.”  “Yeah, I don’t…like at all.”  Oh Dean, I loved you trying to be supportive despite your objections.  

Marie’s a Sam girl!  I laughed hard at the wigs they tried for his hair.  “I used this for my one woman Orphan Black show last year.” 

“Did he just quote Rent?”  “Not enough to get us in trouble.”  Hee, another brilliantly used inside joke about budget.  

They kicked it off the play with “Ghostfacers”!  Again, an awesome bitchface from Sam.  They just can’t get rid of those guys.  

There was even their own version of the outrageous motel room!  Pretty darn good I think. Love the wallpaper.  

Fake Sam and real Sam slayed the beasts at the same time.  And kudos to that one guy that put on his poncho.  He was the only one that saw what was coming!  Okay, I don’t think anyone would have guessed exploding purple goo.  Living out a childhood fantasy there Robbie?

Calliope was after Chuck?  It had to be him, since she found the play’s new interpretation rather nauseating.  Can we find out???  PLEASE?  More of that story?  Any reason to bring Chuck back would be amazing.  I know, that can’t happen until Kripke comes back.  PLEASE????


Well, that’s a 200th episode.  Now we can proceed with a murder mystery.  Wait, a what?  Aren’t all these episodes murder mysteries?   

Comments  

Freebird
# Freebird 2014-11-12 17:08
Thanks for your review, Alice. I loved this episode, too. It had me laughing out loud, bringing tears to my eyes and a wow-surprise-mo ment (Chuck!). That's my Supernatural :)
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-11-12 17:29
Really love the Homage :D

now, so, Chuck is dead and God is using his body. right right. Kevin was activated so Chuck is really gone. right right:o
so god did not go away, he is just HIDING. tehehe
Do I have this correct people.....
LOVE THE SPN FAMILY :)
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-11-12 17:31
Nice review, Alice. Never thought I'd say this about a Supernatural episode but this one was charming. I did laugh out loud a few times. Unless your name is Ben Edlund, it's tough to pull off an episode like this but I think Robbie Thompson did a really good job. The girls they cast for this did a great job, and that was a nice rendition of Carry On My Wayward Son.

At first, I wasn't thrilled that Chuck came back; always thought that should be saved for the series finale. But, after reading your review, I agree; it was entirely fitting.
Daisymae
# Daisymae 2014-11-12 17:31
I saw Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma and he was great LOL. I have questions.
Did Marie believe they were the real brothers in the end?
Kripke said that Chuck was not God so has cannon changed?
Will Dean leave the amulet in the car?

I loved the whole episode and I'm still singing John and Mary........ Also it was appropriate the episode took place in a girl's school since there is criticism there are too few women in the show.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-11-12 17:36
I do believe Marie, knew that was thee DEAN.
fake samulet is on the rear view mirror at the end.
[I find it hard to believe that SAM did not get the real samulet out and keep.]
Justme
# Justme 2014-11-12 18:25
Did anyone else notice that just after Calliope said "Supernatural is . . . epic", the girl whacks her with a copy of . . . The Odyssey?
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-11-13 08:44
:) I noticed that, too.... Homer's got nothing on Carver Edlund.
SueB
# SueB 2014-11-12 19:13
As a binge viewer, I've only watched S9 & 10 live. Subsequently this is event TV for me. I hooked my daughter.and her boyfriend on the show and we had a live viewing party last night and I stayed up to read all the tweets. So I guess I'm still in the honeymoon phase of my relationship with the show. So yes, I did a lot of fan Girl squeeing Last night.
I thought the brothers were spot on. Sam the theater nerd and Dean somewhat petulant about canon. I liked that he came around to seeing value in Marie's effort and I thought he did a good job of showing he respected the whole thing. Not many teenage girls can say Deqn Winchester learned something from them. That came out naughty. Not intentiona.
And I love Sam asking about Sastiel and teasing Dean a bit. I also loved 'What she said,'. Sam's open affection with Dean made me all warm and fuzzy.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2014-11-12 19:36
I was already crying when they started singing "Wayward Son" and started crying harder when I saw Chuck. Oh, and poncho guy was perfect. So hysterical.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-11-12 20:44
Comfort food, a warm blanket, a cozy fire, the two most endearing men on television....a ll wrapped up in love, pain, danger and a healthy dose of humor. That is why I watch this show every week. This episode was all of that. Supernatural isn't like any other show I've ever watched. Whether it's lost it's luster or punch is for more analytical minds then mine. All I know is that I thought about this episode all day. The girls were all great, Sam teasing Dean about Deastiel (my favorite), playing with the controls, killing the monster along with "other Sam", Dean making Baby beautiful covered in grease, the samulet, being tossed around by the monster, taking a bow.... all of the little details that will take a number of viewings to take in, made me a very happy fangirl. So far I will have to say 5 episodes in and I have enjoyed every one of them. Yep happy fangirl.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-11-12 21:10
I loved the episode. Loved your review. Loved the way they sang "Carry on My Wayward Son." It was all perfect and a real treat for the 200th episode and the fans.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-11-12 22:03
CROWLEY, ELLEN, JO, ASHE AND JODY were represented. On my 8th rewatch. pausing this time. ;)
maybe DEATH too.
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-11-13 08:39
I have to say, Alice, that your review mirrored my feelings on the episode completely. Although...I missed the thing about the first act (Kripke's five years) being better than the second act (Gamble and Carver). You were right on there.

Yes, I found the Destiel stuff absolutely hilarious, and I hope that puts an end to the endless goings-on about that. If you want to live in that world, fine; but it is not canon and never will be.

The one thing brought out in this episode that hasn't been mentioned is that Thompson has made it canon that DDean/MoC Dean is/was a Knight of Hell, and I have to wonder what that means going forward in the season. Was it one of Thompson's infamous throw-away lines, or does it actually mean something. Since that little point is now canon, it should mean that Dean is still immortal.

Personally, it is my head canon that Edlund took a lot of swipes at the current writers in his Metatron exposition, and I have always felt he left because of the issues in the writing room these days. We will never know, of course; but here, I felt Thompson was defending the writers -- especially with the "I have my version and you have yours" line.

My one issue with the episode is that Thompson always makes up original characters and then sells them to the audience using (usually) Dean, rather than through their characterizatio n. Here, the teenagers were TV tropes; ugly to each other, ugly to adults, and having a much inflated sense of themselves. Through Sam and Dean's acceptance, the audience is supposed to accept them as really great characters. He especially does this with Charlie, but I found the same thing here. By using the Winchesters (and again, usually Dean), they always come off as either not as smart as the support character, as incompetent hunters, or having to learn a lesson from a puerile character. For instance, in this episode, the supposed best hunter on the planet was again saved by a 13 or 14 year old girl and both Sam and Dean re-evaluated their lives and what they do (I guess). I seem to remember Garth, Charlie, the Ghostfacers, and Kate teaching them the same thing, so I hope the lesson is now learned and we get back to two hunters actually hunting and saving lives.

Congratulations to the cast and crew, and to all us fans for making it to the 200th. Quite an achievement, and I give sole credit to the J2s for carrying the load to get there. Now, it would make me very happy to have a little action, some horror, some drama, some mayhem, and some nail-biting tension in an episode here and there again.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2014-11-13 08:57
Well said, Ginger. I agree that they seem to be taught the same lesson over and over again, and somehow they never learn. Let's hope this time, they do.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-11-13 19:27
Quote:
The one thing brought out in this episode that hasn't been mentioned is that Thompson has made it canon that DDean/MoC Dean is/was a Knight of Hell, and I have to wonder what that means going forward in the season. Was it one of Thompson's infamous throw-away lines, or does it actually mean something. Since that little point is now canon, it should mean that Dean is still immortal.
Robbie Thompson wrote 9.11 First Born. Cain had said, “So, I killed him [Abel]. Became a soldier of Hell -- a knight.” Thus, I think viewers can be confident that Dean concluding his recap of past events with “And Dean... well, Dean became a demon. A knight of hell, actually,” was done intentionally.
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-11-13 21:53
I would hope that it is remembered and that it meant something, but I have been fooled many times before by these writers. If it isn't addressed, and by that I mean the powers the MoC grants and the immortality issue, then that would leave a very large hole in the overall story. So far this season, there has been not even a hint at the powers the MoC grants, and that worries me.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-13 19:59
Good points Ginger. Congrats to J2 for awesome work and bringing us along for the ride. Great achievement for whole cast and crew; well deserved celebration. Very awesome nod to the fandom/ audience in this episode. It would thrill me too to get back to the edge of your seat, intriguing drama/ with Sam and Dean back in the driving seat of the family business...... Which brings me to the point you made: Dean's version of the story ends with ... well, Dean became a demon. A knight of hell, actually." This just reminds us that the boys are not yet driving off into the sunset. There is some serious work to be done.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-13 19:46
I love this show! Over the top awesome. What a way to connect the audience. Enjoyed every minute! Loved the improv straight look at the camera..... Thanks Jensen.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-13 20:39
I think the fact that the whole play production was female was a nod that although the real characters are predominantly men this is a show about being human. perhaps it was also a a little poke at the fact that women do not last long on the show for one reason or other.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-13 20:50
I have to say that I also loved the opening scene it was classic. Echoing Sam: Welcome back our beloved Dean. I agree with Jensen's tweet: "Classic song, classic car and classic dean covered in grease and drinking warm coffee. I love it." Me Too- Thank you!
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-11-13 21:55
Well, I don't do the live tweets, but I sure was swooning ;) I surely did think "Sundown" was the perfect song for that scene.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-14 15:38
Swoon is a good word Ginger.... I am sure we were in good company. I agree loved the song. You can read the tweets on the CW website after the fact. The ones from the cast and crew are interesting because they reveal many things: An actor's sense of humor, what they think of a scene or something that happened on set.
Gwen
# Gwen 2014-11-14 09:24
I have to admit I was not looking forward to this episode at all, all I'd read about it and the trailers just made me cringe. How wrong I was though. I absolutely LOVED it. So many sweet and funny moments. I loved the 'We've got work to do', loved the mention of Our Town again (Shadow is one of my favourite episodes) and Sam being a theatre nerd, loved Dean's 'shut your face. Get in the car' and the look on Sam's face as he quickly got in the car :D, loved the Samulet, adored Sam's 'what she said' and the way Dean shut his eyes after hearing Sam say that...so much I loved about it all.

I've watched Supernatural since The Pilot and the only time I have cried over an episode has been Swan Song. The very second 'Mary' started singing 'Carry On My Wayward Son' in this episode I started crying. I have no idea where it came from but suddenly I was a wreck. The look on Sam and Dean's faces as they listened. Even more tears. I sobbed my way through Dean hanging the Samulet on the mirror and the look between the boys that followed (oh boys) and then when Chuck turned up I cried some more - and I'm someone who doesn't even like the meta/Supernatur al books storyline. This whole episode, the 200 episode stuff, the huge part Sam and Dean and this show has had in my life all these years since The Pilot, well ...it has all made me an emotional mess. :D

The episode, Jared, Jensen, the girls...it was all fabulous.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-11-14 16:55
Thanks for the review Alice. I agree that it went for the heart strings and it made me happy as well as sad.

The little moments of the samulet and the 'jerk' 'bitch' exchange while having Sam torment Dean over Destiel well it made me remember what I miss. The little light bits of the brothers before the past two seasons. So far we've had Dean calling a demon and a kid in a wig 'bitch' in reply to them calling him jerk but can't do it with Sam as when was the last time him and Sam have that type of light exchange? That and being given a keepsake to symbolise the love he has for his brother even though he knows logically he doesn't need one.

Is Robbie telling us that Sam has a hell of a lot more work to do fixing the bond between him and his brother in the midst of the episode? Because even though Dean logically knows his brother loves him there is something missing between him and Sam.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-16 20:01
Alice, I think the title of your article is appropriate. "My version of the story". As you have aptly pointed out: "One of the main points of “Fan Fiction is 'You have your version, I have mine'”.
My version of this story is that this show is NOT long passed the thrills, boldness, and excitement of the days before “Swan Song,”. Many of "US", with new members being added yearly, still have been and continue to be thrilled, touched, emotionally connected, and yes excited! Yes, it is okay that you think so but not all of "Us Fans" think the show is plainly and simply comfort food. Yes, using your food analogy, there is some of grandma's reliable apple pie, (Dean's happy) but this show has handed us some new dishes to try, I would say it is an international food buffet! I'm not going to highlight all the intense, awesome, emotional, moments of season 6- 10 but I know most of "US Fans" can name many. You commented in your round table discussion, that "you are 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." Not bad... as in it does not suck.....? Well nobody knows how much life the show has left but really, SPN is not on life support. This show has been carrying on in a pretty healthy manner and Season 10 has just blown up the screen and gave new life to the EPIC story of Sam and Dean as individuals and their continued path as brothers. My version: As long as it remains to be about two brothers on the open road fighting evil, it can be AWESOME! I agree that we may all be "different" since we discovered the show, whether back in season one, three, seven or nine. Your "different" is that you are no longer an excitable fan girl and the show is a nice plate of mashed potatoes or whatever your comfort food is.... and that is your version, your journey and as we know from fan fiction, that is okay. But if your inference in this statement " I’m just different now than I was back in season three when I first found the show, AS Sam and Dean, not to mention Jensen and Jared, are too", is that these two beloved characters and these two excellent actors who put their heart and soul into their work share your comfort food, no longer thrilled, kind of feeling different, I would have to disagree. The ROAD SO FAR for SD and J2 as depicted on screen and in interviews has been quite the trip. Was "FAN FICTION" a true homage to the fans you query (you refuse to use the overdone cliche “love letter”) or was it basically a message that this is their version of the story and if we don’t like it, stick to your own? My answer is that YES it was a true homage and not only a love letter but a mutual love fest. I am not a television historian and I have not had the enjoyment of interviewing any one associated with SPN, but I will bet in the history of television no show has acknowledged their fans by creating an entire meta episode for them and about them in such an over the top awesome manner. In this episode the fans were not only acknowledged but sincerely appreciated by THEM.... everyone: the producers, the writers the actors and even the characters. The script showed that "THEY" are telling us that they actually KNOW their fans, the- collective/ diverse US. This script showed that THEY know what we fans say, think, do, find important, scrutinize, fantasize, and want from SPN and how passionate and appreciative many of us are about their story/ and work. In the history of television, have real fans ever been written into a script to such a degree? In the history of television have two main characters ever been written in a script to watch a play(written by an invested fan) about their life (our show) and be emotionally moved and inspired to keep doing what they do best and what many of us fans love? I do not think so.... So in my humble opinion, if pointedly asked, Sam and Dean and Jensen and Jared would say that the SPN ROAD SO FAR has been ...... yes something different,
quite the trip because we, they, us, all really have been in this epically together. l
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-16 20:56
Spnlit, and with all due respect to Alice and where she is currently in her feelings for the show, that is a great post!
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-17 12:56
I guess I am an excitable fan girl:D.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-17 13:39
Alice, just wanted to add that I do respect your current perspective. You also have my gratitude and respect for all the hard work of establishing and maintaining this successful, informative, open forum/ website.
Alice
# Alice 2014-11-18 12:10
No offense taken at all by your post spnlit. I've been around enough to know how very passionate fans can be, and you are right to defend your show the way you see it. I find that inspiring really that fans like yourself can have such passion this deep into the series. As I said in the review, we all have different interpretations and perceptions, and that's what makes this fandom diverse and often exciting (sometimes TOO exciting, but not in your case). I'm actually glad you read the article with serious consideration, and even mentioned the TV Fanatic post too. Thanks for taking the time to read both. I'm quite honored. Also thanks for spending your time here, because we do try to make it as welcoming as possible, no matter what your opinions are!
E
# E 2014-11-18 18:46
I've been mulling over what I wanted to say about this episode for a week now. I DID love it, all the shout outs were clever, witty and very complimentary of the fans. I loved that all the "Sam's" got to kill the MotW. I love that the brothers connected (somewhat) and saw the worth in Marie's play even though they didn't always agree with her interpretation.

That being said there were a few things that made me…. I don't know …. sad maybe? The whole situation with the amulet is just is such huge disappointment to me. So, given what we've learned here, Dean threw that amulet away and then never gave it another thought, and doesn't think that much of it now either. He seems to have forgotten all about it. I know that he said "I don't need a symbol to tell me how I feel about my brother" (something that Sam did't get to to hear BTW) but the fact remains that it IS a symbol weather he likes it or not. The writers attempts to diminish it's importance was a disappointment and rankled; it's not going to work, to me the amulet is more important than ever now. And I find it really hard to believe that Dean, who's really sentimental at heart (his car, his leather coat, Cas's trench) would not be sentimental about something so incredibly meaningful as a gift given to him by his brother at such a vulnerable time in Sam's life. It was a symbol of Dean officially replacing John as Sam's stone number one. Dean can belittle that connection now (through the writers) but the amulet's significance will never be diminished as far as I am concerned. It also bothers me greatly that in the entire episode that not one character even mentioned what that amulet meant to Sam; he's been completely forgotten in all this. No characters mentioned it, no reviewers have mentioned it and neither have any of the fans. I find this incredibly sad. Why is it called the Samulet if he's been left out of the entire scenario? Where is he in all this? Another thing that bothered me was that, once again, we have other characters speaking for Sam instead of Sam speaking for himself. Dean got many chances to let us know how he feels through his conversations with Marie, (but not Sam BTW) but all of Sam's "insight" came through Marie/Sam during the course of the play, most of which Sam missed because he was busy getting kidnapped (again.). Sorry to be a downer, everyone was so incredibly happy about this episode and I didn't want to "harsh anyone's squee." :D
leah
# leah 2014-11-18 22:23
I was wondering when you were going to weigh in E! I am glad you liked it in general. :) All I really want to say is that the last few moments in the car made it for me as far as the amulet is concerned. There were no words spoken but the expression on Sam's face when Dean dug it out and hung it on the mirror and Dean's return look said a lot that didn't need to be verbalized. IDK, I guess I was just glad (and surprised) it was even incorporated into the episode. The whole amulet situation hasn't been handled well. I honestly think it was "canned" because Jensen hated wearing it. No harshing of squee here!
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-11-19 14:32
Hi E. I think your sentiments about the importance of the amulet were reflected in this landmark episode. The episode demonstrated the amulet in some ways has become more important and symbolic to the fandom than it is to the characters. As you know, in Fan Fiction Marie (the writer/fan) verbalizes the fandom's sentiments and gets Dean to see that point of view and accept the symbol amulet back. I see your point of view. Who amongst us, old enough to be a parent, did not suffer heartbreak of the episode of young Sam and Dean's Christmas together alone in some crappy hotel when Sam learned that monsters are real and as you put it Sam realized that Dean was his stone number one. (I think that was one of saddest moments in the show... coupled with their real-time last Christmas before Dean went to hell-, seriously depressing.) That is why Dean always wore the amulet and was reluctant to allow Castiel to borrow it. Try to think of why Dean threw it away. It was because of the massive disappointment/ blow that God was not going to directly intervene, stop the apocalypse, not take away the burden on Sam and Dean of being destined to be the vessels for Michael the archangel and Lucifer. Dean was pretty crushed at that point. They where on the other side, in the actual Garden and got the directive to back off..... God is not stopping this. Dean articulated his point of view- when he was pulled from hell. If God is there why does he let us all suffer. His struggle is reflective of the age old universal struggle with that question. Which is why we get into free will- making choices between good and evil. In addition, to that traumatic realization, Dean saw that all of Sam's "happy moments" in life that were being replayed in heaven entailed Sam separating himself from the family. (Dean's moments were of pure joy with Sam/ fireworks and his love for mom). We (fans/ viewers) understand Sam. Sam loves his brother and just needed to find his own path .... away from the monsters, his dad's crusade of revenge, hunting, the life. Dean saw it, as Dean does, Sam's rejection of him. Imagine spending your life caring for and loving a family member only to see that their highlights of there life did not involve you. That shook poor Dean to the core. So he tossed the amulet.... The good part is that Dean stated he did not need a symbol to know his brother's love. The other good part is he took back the symbolic amulet anyway... (writer's/ character's acceptance that the amulet is important to fans) and maybe it also means that Dean understands his brother a little bit better.... that his brother really DOES love him- Dean, and as it all comes down to it they are together facing the world.... It was important that SAM was the one who said..... "what she said". Because Dean is the one who is insecure about his brother's love and he heard it straight from Sam: Me and you Dean together against the world. Again that is the emotional footing (Sam becoming Dean's stone number one) that Dean needs in order to survive the MOC. I think a part of Dean becoming a Demon in the first place is because HE believed Sam abandoned him. (Not that it is true in the story but it was Dean's perspective) So Sam is needed for the healing. Hope this helps.