"We now return to Supernatural." Back to the sunny, very warm and inviting Sun and Sands. We get a repeat of Dean's cheesy "Son of a Bitch" tagline, just in case you forgot where they left off. Sam escorts the bikini clad bombshell out and Dean watches lustfully. Actually, that's no sitcom acting. He actually does that! Dean waves goodbye to the girl, and Sam closes the door shaking his head. "How long do we to have to keep doing this?" Dean says behind his fake smile. "I don't know. Maybe forever? We might die in here," Sam nervously answers with his own false grin. "How is that funny!" Dean shouts at the laugh track and audience. "Vultures." He's fraying at the edges.
Suddenly Castiel comes in to the oohs and ahhs of the laugh track. Luckily none of that phases him and says he doesn't have much time. "Something is not right. This thing is way more powerful than it should be." "The Trickster?" Dean asks. "If it is a Trickster." Just as Sam asks for clarification, Castiel goes flying against the wall.
Speak of the Devil, in pops the Trickster! He does the celebrated "hi-yo" entrance that happens so much in those lousy shows. He turns toward the angel struggling on the ground. "Hi Castiel," he says cheerfully. Castiel can't answer back since he has duct tape over his mouth now. You know, as bad as The Trickster has it in for Sam, Castiel is getting it about ten times worse. There's an untold story there that I hope we find out eventually. He zaps Castiel away.
Dean asks where he sent Castiel in an overprotective manner. It's so nice how Dean has that type of concern for Cas, just like he would for Sam or Bobby. I know many people have been getting down on Castiel this season, but I for one still love the bond between Dean and him. I'd like to see a stronger one formed between Sam and Cas. Anyway, The Trickster answers, "Relax, he'll live. Maybe." Dean gets really angry. He's done with the monkey dance. "Playing our roles, that's your game?" The Trickster tells him that's only half of the game.
Sam asks "What's the other half?" Ooh, time for a delicious plot twist! "Play your roles out there." They still don't get it and the Trickster is never one to be afraid to spell things out. "Sam starring as Lucifer, Dean starring as Michael, your celebrity deathmatch. Play your roles." Sam is confused. "You want us to say yes to those sons of bitches?" You know, that saying in plural form always sounds off to me, yet this show is using it more and more. Ah well, it serves its purpose. "Hells yeah. Let's light this candle!"
Sam is still having issues with the idea. "We do that the world will end." The Trickster is unsympathetic. "Yeah, whose fault is that? Who popped Lucifer out of the box? Look it started. You started it. It can't be stopped. So let's get it over with." Oh, so that's why the Trickster has it out for Sam. He's blaming him for starting the apocalypse. I think. Okay, I'm only guessing.
Sam is guilt ridden, Dean is angry. "Heaven or Hell, which side you on?" The Trickster claims he's not on either side. Dean doesn't buy it. "You're grabbing ankle for Michael or Lucifer. Which one is it?" "You listen to me you arrogant dick. I don't work for either of those SOBs, believe me." Dean prods further, for he hasn't gotten what he wants. "No, you're somebody's bitch." Suddenly the Trickster loses his temper and slams Dean against the wall. "Don't you ever, ever presume to know what I am."
Dean and the Trickster have this long, mean, ominous stare down. The Trickster holds onto to Dean by the throat with one hand and turns around to Sam to issue ultimatums with the other. "Now you listen very closely. Here's what's gonna happen. You're gonna suck it up, accept your responsibilities and play the roles that destiny has chosen for you." "And if we don't," Sam says with defiance since Dean can't say much in that stranglehold. "Then you'll stay here in TV Land, forever." Glare from Sam, glare from a struggling Dean, back to the smug Trickster. "300 channels and nothing's on." I wish these guys would end up on Mythbusters. I would love to see them high five each other over blowing stuff up.
What happens next works too. The Trickster snaps his fingers, and they're at a crime scene. Dean and Sam turn around and they're both wearing blue suits with blue shirts, no tie and sunglasses! They're Horatio Caine clones. God, I hate that show. Don't get me wrong, I love the original CSI in Las Vegas. The rest, I don't need to tell you why I hate them. Dean does just a perfect job for me.
"Oh come on," Dean says, definitely not happy. Sam isn't looking too pleased either. A guy comes up to them asking what they think. Dean gives a very agitated, "go screw yourself," line. The original line is a bit more colorful than that, but I've already gone overboard with the four letter words in this recap and will refrain. Sam is a little more polite, asking for a minute. Ah, good cop bad cop. Like that's never been done before! Sam tells Dean he's gotta calm down.
"Calm down? I'm wearing sunglasses at night. You know how does that? No talent douche bags. I hate this game. I hate that we're in a procedural cop show, you want to know why? Because I hate procedural cop shows. 300 on television and they're all the freaking same. It's ooh, plane crashed here. Oh shut up!" This is why being a TV writer is my dream job. I want to be able to get away with venting like that at my job!
Sam notices that the one guy that came to talk with them is eating a lollipop. That could be their guy. Sam tells him to follow his lead. They walk, no, they cooly stride over, putting the sunglasses on their faces, and they're ready for some investigating! This is so funny because Sam is actually getting into the role. Maybe because he knows he's a dead ringer for David Caruso. It's certainly evidence that he does watch procedural cop shows.
While the boys "make their entrance" a remade version of the CSI: Miami theme song, "Won't Get Fooled Again" plays. It should be noted that when I got to see this on the critics preview, the ACTUAL Who version of the song played. I guess they couldn't get the rights in time for airing. Bummer, but it's still a great entrance. Dean's voice goes into a Caruso husk and he asks what do they got. Victim has ligature marks on his neck and a roll of quarters down his throat.
Dean crouches down to take a look. Sam removes his sunglasses, does his Horatio sneer and says in perfect rough voice "Well I say, jackpot!" before putting his glasses back on with the smooth moves and striding a few steps away. Hee! We've been seeing that for weeks in previews and it's still hysterical every time. You know Jared was practicing that in a mirror the second he read the script. Either that or he actually watches CSI Miami. That thought scares me though.
There's a stab wound to the lower abdomen. Dean picks up a nearby stick and plays with the wound with it. Dean gets up and does his slick putting on of sunglasses. "Well I say, no guts no glory." Hee! They're both really hamming it up. Again, and I say this a lot, how many takes did they have to do to get through this? Sam's turn. "Get that guy a"¦(puts glasses back on)"¦tums." Dude with the lollipop laughs, but I groan. Dean's turn. This time he turns his head in a glam pose and leaves the glasses on. "Gutterball." Ooh, now these are just getting plain bad. What's sad is Caruso has actually said crap like this before.
Sam is providing the distraction while Dean circles around. Then he jumps in front and stakes the guy right through the heart. Then the screen shows the inside computer graphic of the stake piercing the heart! I'm on the floor in a fit of laughter again. That was cool a couple of times when CSI did this in the first season, but everytime since then they've become a parody of themselves. So, why not it become an actual parody? This is where the attention to detail in these spoofs has made this episode brilliant. The gags aren't over the top, striking in perfect timing. That why this script works so well.
Dude falls to the ground, gurgles and dies but stays there. Not the Trickster. Suddenly a nearby cops laughs, and morphs into The Trickster. He ridicules them for getting the wrong guy and then bam! Sam stakes him through the heart from behind. The Trickster collapses, Sam looks really hot being in killing mode in that suit and glasses, and suddenly everything morphs to normal. They're in the warehouse, the Trickster is dead on the floor. Notice how all the bright pretty colors of TV Land are gone and its back to hues of grey. Seriously, they killed him? There's still a lot of time left. Here comes the twist!
This is where I'm going to take a few paragraphs to give deep honor to the set designers. That's all because of the next shot. They show the outside of the real motel they're in, the Day-Z. It's hardly the Sun and Sand. Inside the trim is dull white and chipped, while in the sitcom it was all bright white. The floors were a brilliant red in the sitcom, here the floors resemble a worn gray. The wallpaper is faded in the Day-Z, while the sitcom has the bright colors. The detail that went into these sets is incredible, especially since they had to do so many, but to take the same room and give it such a stark contrast is a truly interesting feat. Fantasy vs. reality. It's these little things that we barely notice that makes this show so exceptional.
Dean's worried about what that "SOB" did to Cas. You should be! However, there's a bigger problem right now. Sam is nowhere to be found either. Dean looks around and thinks asking an empty room "Where are you?" will get him an answer. Nope. He leaves and calls Sam on his phone. He just gets a message. So he leaves one? Sam is missing and you're leaving a message? After all that's happened he's just not going to take off.
Of course, maybe the message was a device for Sam to hear Dean talking as he climbed into the Impala. "Dean?" "Sam?" He turns around and we get a great back seat shot from within the Impala. I love those kinds of visuals. They're few and far between. A freaked out Dean looks all around. "Where are you?" "I don't know." Then the reveal! It's the KITT computer from Knight Rider! "Oh crap."
Oh my God, Sam is the car? I strained my back falling on the floor this time.
"I don't think we killed the Trickster." Really? No time for that though, because just like the other shows, there has to be an intro. This is the best one yet. Yes, better than the sitcom. Why? Because I watched Knight Rider avidly as a kid. I LOVED the KITT Firebird Trans Am. I loved the opening with the "duh, duh, duh, duh, duh"¦", the car whoosing down the road with all the glory shots and the Hoff with the 80's hair driving with his steely glare. The show, I don't remember much but it had the best intro ever. It's such a shame the screen caps don't do this one justice, but here goes.
Now that the intro is over, it's time for the Knight Rider premise. Solve the mystery while driving. See, you get a recap of the whole series right here! Dean guesses the stake didn't work. Why is that KITT? "I don't know, maybe because it's not a Trickster?" Ah, KITT, I mean Sam, is always so smart. He of course drew his conclusion off of what Castiel said earlier. Then Dean recalls the way the Trickster looked at Cas like he knew him. Sam remembers how pissed he got when Dean brought up Michael and Lucifer. It all hits Dean. "Son of a bitch." At least it's his real saying this time. Dean knows what they're dealing with.
More Knight Rider music and this time it's a really cool shot of the Impala coming toward the camera with the red light running along the front then an undercarriage view before coming out and showing the rear angle. Awesome! Prettiness abounds in all sorts of ways in this episode. Eat your heart out KITT. You've been outclassed by the Metallicar!
The Impala is parked in a rest area and Dean is searching through the trunk. "Dean?" Dean asks what. "That uh, feels really uncomfortable." Hee, the little details they put into everything. That one's good. Dean rolls his eyes and slams the trunk. "Ow." Oh come on Dean, haven't you ever wondered what happens if the Impala could talk and tell you things. No, I didn't think so.
Sam asks if he's sure this is going to work. No, but he has no other ideas. In Supernaturalland, that means it's going to work. The "only idea" always does. Dean walks in front of the Impala giving us one more amazing piece of eye candy and shouts to the sky, "Alright you son of a bitch. Uncle!" Nothing happens. "We'll do it!" Dean shouts. "Should I honk?" Sam says. Man, they just won't quit with the funny! Sam makes the perfect KITT by the way. He's every bit as snarky as William Daniels was in the original version.
Enter Trickster. "Wow! Sam, get a load of the rims on you." "Eat me," Sam dryly replies. That's so much better than "Go to Hell!" The Trickster asks if they're ready to go quietly. Dean won't do anything until "Sam has opposable thumbs." "What's the difference? Satan's going to ride his ass one way or another." Harsh! He really has it out for Sam. I still think there's more to it than what's being revealed here.
Dean stares down the Trickster and he reluctantly snaps his fingers. Sam gets out of the Impala and is not happy! Disturbed is a better description. The Trickster asks if they're happy. Sam slams the door in a slight huff and then walks over looking bothered while Dean gets to business. "Why didn't the stake kill you?" "I am the Trickster," he says. "Or maybe you're not," Dean replies. Sam not missing a beat lights the lighter, drops it and the flaming angel trap ignites in a flash.
The Trickster looks at the circle still keeping up his game. Dean gives up the theory. "Maybe you've always been an angel." The Trickster laughs. "A what?" He thinks Dean is nuts. "I tell you what. You just jump out of the holy fire and we'll call it our mistake." The camera goes on Sam and what a face! He's really angry about this. I wonder if this hatred toward angels is going to lead to his downfall with Lucifer. Maybe I'm just reading too much into a chilling glare.
The Trickster laughs and then his face gets serious. The scene changes to back at the warehouse and he ain't leaving that circle. He claps. "Well played boys." He is an angel? Whoa. "Where do you get holy oil?" I'm presuming that Castiel stocked them up by the gallons for that's one healthy burn going there. Dean, being in full character, goes for the clever answer. "You might say we pulled it out of Sam's ass." Sam gives Dean a bitch face. *snigger* I love Sam as the car jokes.
"Where'd I screw up?" The Trickster asks. "You didn't," Sam says. "Nobody gets the jump on Cas like you did." Yeah, except Alastair, and Zachariah, and Raphael, and"¦ Oh let's face it. Cas has become the universe's bitch. Dean gives the main clue. "Mostly it's the way you talked about Armageddon. Call it personal experience, nobody gets that angry unless they're talking about their own family." "So which one are you? Grumpy, sneezy, or douchy?" There's Sam talking like Dean again! He does want to be just like his big brother. Oh, but the answer is so good! "Gabriel, okay? They call me Gabriel." Seriously? He's Gabriel? As in THE Gabriel? Sam clarifies just in case there are those that don't know about Gabriel. "The archangel Gabriel?" That's the one!
Dean asks the burning question. How does an archangel become a Trickster? "My own private witness protection. I skipped out of heaven, had a face transplant, carved out my own little corner the world until you two screwed it all up." Man, that sounds a little Scooby-Doo ish to me. Dean goes on. "What did Daddy say when you ran off and joined the Pagans?" "Daddy doesn't say anything about anything." Granted this isn't a big reveal knowing what we know from other angels, but it sounds like God has washed his hands of Heaven as well as Earth. Interesting way of showing things. In Paradise Lost (in which this arc is heavily based on) it was free will of man that separated God from Earth. I wonder what caused it to happen in Heaven too? Maybe it was Michael and Lucifer turning on one another?
Sam wants to know why he ditched. Dean answers the question, just so he can get the Trickster/Gabriel mad. "Do you blame him? His brothers are heavyweight douchenozzles." "Shut your cake hole. You don't know anything about my family. I love my father, my brothers, love them. But watching them turn on each other, tear at each others throats, I couldn't bear it, okay? So I left. And now it's happening all over again." Oh no, it's the awkward middle child syndrome. I'm shocked Carver didn't break into a "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha," line. Oh yeah, Kripke already stole that last season.
"Then help us stop it," Sam asks. "It can't be stopped." Dean can't believe he wants to see the end of the world. "I want it to be over. I have to sit back and watch my own brothers kill each other thanks to you two. Heaven, Hell, I don't care who wins. I just want it to be over." Hmm, avoiding conflict. Definite middle child.
Sam, the eternal optimist, takes the next line. "It doesn't have to be like that. There's got to be some way to pull the plug." Back to pessimist Trickster/Gabriel. "Oh, you do not know my family. What you guys call the apocalypse, I used call Sunday dinner. That's why there's no stopping this, because this isn't about a war. It's about two brothers that loved each other and betrayed each other. You think you'd be able to relate." Ouch! He's right though. However, Sam for whatever reason isn't getting it. Seriously Sam? Crap, there's that word again.
The Trickster/Gabriel is amazed that the obvious point is lost on them. "You sorry sons of bitches. Why do you think you two are the vessels? Think about it, Michael, the big brother, loyal to an absent father. And Lucifer, the little brother, rebellious of daddy's plan. You were born to this boys, it's your destiny. It was always you! As it is in Heaven, so it must be on earth. One brother has to kill the other."
"What the Hell are you saying?" Dean asks. Now I'm confused, because I understood that speech completely. I think Sam did too, because while Dean looks angry, Sam looks beside himself. The Trickster/Gabriel clarifies further for Dean, just because we need more showboating. "Why do you think I've always taken such an interest in you? Because from the moment Dad flipped on the lights around here, we knew it was all going to end with you. Always."
Sam looks like he's gonna cry. Dean looks at Sam, musters up some resolve and give the Trickster/Gabriel his trademark glare of defiance. "No, that's not going to happen." Trickster/Gabriel apparently doesn't take no for an answer. "I'm sorry, but it is. Guys, I wish this were a TV show. Easy answers, ending wrapped up in a bow, but this is real. And it's going to end bloody for all of us. That's just how it's gonna be." Wow. That's actually making me a bit weepy. How sad! So, we get a nice commercial break to chew on that for a while. I'm stunned! I know many didn't like this Trickster as Gabriel reveal, but after "Mystery Spot" it makes so much sense. That's for another article though.
Back to the action and Trickster/Gabriel asks now what. "Stare at each other for the rest of eternity?" You're in the dude in the flaming circle, I wouldn't push buttons. Dean tells him he's going to bring Castiel back from wherever he stashed him. Trickster/Gabriel isn't taking Dean's order seriously. "Yeah, or we're going to dunk you in holy oil and deep fry ourselves an archangel." You see, they do have gallons of it! Trickster/Gabriel obvious has figured out by now when Dean is serious and snaps his fingers. Castiel is there!
Cas is pissed! Dean asks if he's okay. "I'm fine." You realize that the acronym for fine is "fucked up, insecure, neurotic and emotional." So yes, Cas is FINE. He looks at his tormentor and says "Hello Gabriel." Oh, so you figured it out! "Hey bro. How's the search for daddy going. Let me guess. Awful." Siblings always love to rub in failure. Ooh, that makes Cas angrier! Trickster/Gabriel shrugs it off.
Dean is in full control now, becoming the leader he's meant to be. I've never been prouder! They're leaving. Trickster/Gabriel asks if they're going to leave him there forever. Oh goodie, goodie, time for the best line ever! "No, we're not because we don't screw with people the way you do. And for the record, this isn't about some prized fight between your brothers or some destiny that can't be stopped. It's about you being too afraid to stand up to your family!" Who hoo Dean! You tell him.
Judging by the look on Trickster/Gabriel's face, something is sinking in with him over what Dean said. Will it last? Who knows? Dean turns around, smashes the glass and pulls the fire alarm. The sprinklers start putting out the fire. "Don't say I never did anything for you!" Dean shouts. They leave and Castiel stays around for one last long stare. Remember that! That has to mean something. Trickster/Gabriel watches the fire go out.
Outside, our three heroes are pretty shell shocked. Sam looks outright defeated. Castiel is background wallpaper. Dean asks Sam "All that stuff in there, you think he was telling the truth?" "He believes it," Sam says. Yeah, you kind of do too, don't you Sam? "So what do we do?" Dean asks. "I don't know," says Sam.
You see, this is where I wish there was enough time in the episode for Dean and Sam to turn to Castiel for an answer. So, why don't I write that bit? Dean and Sam both turn to Castiel and with their eyes ask "What should we do?" Castiel looks back and says with those hopeless angel eyes, "We're screwed."
"I tell you one thing, right now I wish I was back on a TV show." Sam gives him a sad look. "Yeah, me too." They climb into the Impala. Wow! We'll just file that one under the "Classic" category. Thanks for enduring the longest recap to date!