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I can’t believe it’s already time for the season 7 titles! This season went by way too quickly for me. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this series, I plan to go through each episode title and explain the pop culture references in each. Some I already knew and some are a surprise to me. As always, please let me know if I missed anything. I’ve been known to overlooks some references in the past. So here’s the first half of season 7. Enjoy!

7.1 “Meet the New Boss”



I think we all remember this episode well. It’s when our good friend Castiel assumes his self-proclaimed title as the new God.

This was a tricky title to figure out. But here’s my best guess: “meet the new boss” is a line in the song "Won’t Get Fooled Again" by The Who. The title of the song seems to fit this episode pretty well though. As do some of the lyrics.

We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
And I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again

7.2 “Hello, Cruel World”



This is the episode where the leviathan take to the water systems possessing people who drink it. It is also the episode with Sam’s first big Lucifer-induced meltdown and the now famous “stone number one” scene. (A season seven favorite of mine). Because of Sam’s nearly suicidal actions, I’m inclined to think this title was taken from the book Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws. Seems to fit, doesn’t it? Especially since Sam has always seen himself as a freak. I did not know about this book until doing the research for this article, but I imagine that those who did were nervous about the suicide foreshadowing!

7.3 “The Girl Next Door”



It’s safe to say we’re all familiar with this episode. After all, it was the root of much of the drama among fans this season. If you don’t remember, this is the episode in which we meet an old friend of Sam’s, Amy, who is actually a kitsune, a monster who removes the pituitary gland in the brain as nourishment. It is revealed in the episode that Amy actually killed her mother to save Sam. And then a few other things happen that I don’t want to get into...

Googling this title gave me hits for two very different movies. I think I can safely rule out the one about a teenager who falls in love with the porn star who moves in next door. Any objections? But the other movie could work. The movie is actually based on a Jack Ketchum novel of the same name. It’s a very disturbing story about a a young boy, David, who befriends Megan, a new girl in town that he later finds is a victim of terrible abuse from her mother figure. The story is told as a flashback of David’s childhood and ends with him killing Megan’s mother and Megan dying herself as a result of the abuse. It’s a little bit of a stretch, but I can see some connections. What do you all think?

7.4 “Defending Your Life”



In this episode, we meet the Egyptian god Osiris who puts Dean on trial after sensing his guilt. Dean is the poster child for guilty consciences.

This episode seems to be taken from the 1991 fantasy-comedy of the same name. The film is about a man who is forced to  justify his lifelong fears and insecurities after he dies.

7.5 “Shut Up, Dr. Phil”



This was the episode about the two scorned lovers that happened to both be witches. The title of this episode seems to be taken from a scene toward the end of the episode where Sam and Dean’s are forced to channel their inner Dr. Phil to save their own lives and to save a town from further distruction. Their marriage-counselor moment was also a nice parallel look at Sam and Dean’s relationship at that point in the season.

Comments  

Abster
# Abster 2012-05-31 00:22
"Slash Fiction" is actually largely a tribute to the Quentin Tarantino movie "Pulp Fiction". Whole scenes and dialog were transposed from the film into the SPN world. The movie is pretty violent and disturbing in parts, but it's generally considered to be a modern classic. If you don't want to watch it, Google "Supernatural slash fiction "pulp fiction" comparison. You should easily find some detailed comparisons between the two.

As for "Death's Door", don't overlook the obvious analogy of death being a door you walk through. In this case, Bobby chose not to walk through.

Finally, "Season Seven, Time For a Wedding" is a very meta commentary on what often happens to shows that are still around after so many seasons. The plots and jokes and problems have all been played out, so the writers grasp at straws trying to shake things up. Often, they add a new child to the mix (ie, Cousin Oliver joining The Brady Bunch or the niece Archie Bunker never knew he had coming to live with him or the addition of Denise's step-daughter Olivia on the Cosby Show after Rudy had grown up enough to move past being the precocious, cute and sassy little kid). SPN even nodded at this phenomenon in the episode Jump The Shark when Sam and Dean meet the little brother they never knew about at a diner called Cousin Oliver's!!!!

Often, before a child is added, the writers will write in a wedding. Sometimes it's because they cannot continue the will they/won't they tension any longer and sometimes it's a way to bring in a new character or simply change the dynamics between existing characters. Once again, SPN found a way to comment on a trite TV trope in a way that fit remarkably well into the already well-establishe d world of Sam and Dean!
sofia
# sofia 2012-05-31 07:55
I can't believe I didn't think about Pulp Fiction. Granted I've never seen the movie it still seems like a fairly obvious play on words. I'll have to look up the comparisons between episodes. Thanks!
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-05-31 10:42
I'm pretty sure Hello Cruel World is a twist on Goodbye Cruel World which is a cliched quote in everything from Bugs Bunny to Sitcoms when writing suicide notes. It's also a Pink Floyd song. But the quote came first. And I'm pretty sure they were quoting something else but for the life of me I can't think what. It's driving me crazy so if someone smarter than me knows please enlightened me. Google failed me. Stupid google.
sofia
# sofia 2012-05-31 10:47
I know "goodbye cruel world" is a common phrase but I have no idea where it originated from! I was thinking the wicked witch of the west said it but that was actually "what a world, what a world".
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-05-31 14:44
Just a little bit of true crime trivia for you. The Girl Next Door, the book by Jack Ketchum is in fact based on a true story. A 16-year-old girl by the name of Sylvia Likens along with her younger sister were left with some woman neighbour by their parents. They were traveling with a carnival & needed the money & didn't want to be encumbered with their daughters. They trusted this woman because she had children of her own, but for some reason, she took an instant dislike to Sylvia. She tortured her both physically and psychologically , even her children & their friends joined in. When the police finally found out about the abuse, Sylvia had already succombed to her injuries. Just goes to show you that truth is stranger than fiction.

By the way, thanks for these, I always enjoy it when you do this.
janiebee64
# janiebee64 2012-05-31 20:29
Thanks Abster for your explanation of "Season 7, Time For A Wedding." That's the first time I've heard it explained that way, and makes it make so much more since. Nice explanation and very believeable.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2012-06-03 07:46
NO I DID NOT KNOW THAT IS WHAT SLASH FICTION MEANT !!! I AM 49 & NEVER KNEW. THANKS ALOT :-)

I TOO, THOUGHT IT WAS A PLAY ON "PULP FICTION" I DO KNOW WHAT WINCEST & DESTIEL MEAN SO IT EQUALS OUT I GUESS.

BILLY IDOL WAS KNOW FOR HIS SONG, "WHITE WEDDING" SO I FIGURED IT WAS A TWIST ON THAT AS WELL.

CANT A TITLE JUST BE A TITLE, OR DOES IT ALWAYS HAVE AN UNDERLYING MEANING? JUST A QUESTION.

I LEARN SO MUCH ON THIS SITE. THANK U ALL. THE STORY ABOUT THE ABUSED CHILD IS HORRIFYING, BUT NEWS IS NEWS.
sofia
# sofia 2012-06-04 07:58
I think a title can just be a title sometimes. If you looks back at season one a lot of the titles were really just explanations of the monster of the week. But as the series has gone on I do think that the titles have a little more significance. Remember I have no idea if some of these explanations are actually intended or not. This is just pure speculation.