Supernatural's Snarky Love Letter To Fans Becomes A Defense Of The Show

Last night, Supernatural aired its 200th (!) episode, and instead of going big, the show went meta. We visited a girls' school where a group of (mostly) fans are putting on a Supernatural musical, featuring robots and aliens. But all of the "Destiel" jokes morph into a defense of Supernatural as great storytelling.

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Spoilers ahead...

The main point of Supernatural's "Fan Fiction" is to poke fun at fan tropes, including "Wincest" and the Dean/Castiel slash fiction. As you can see in the clip above, Dean finally has to embrace the fact that you can't spell "subtext" without "sex," in order to defeat the monster of the week.

The musical numbers are actually pretty catchy, including the "Road So Far" song that we hear a couple times, and the a capella "Carry On My Wayward Son" is neat. The premise of the episode is that Marie, the control freak who created the Supernatural musical at her school, is so fixated on the show and so passionate in her love for it, that she raises the goddess Calliope, who starts kidnapping anyone who gets in the way of the show and plots to eat Marie's heart.

What's sorta interesting about this is that Marie's stage play is based on just the first five seasons of Supernatural, because those are the only parts of the story novelized by the prophet Chuck, aka Carver Edlund. (And when Dean gives Marie a thumbnail synopsis of the meandering storylines of seasons 6 through 10 thus far, she dismisses it as the worst fanfic she's ever heard.) It's like the show is sort of tacitly admitting that it had a cohesive storyline back when Sam and Dean were playing opposite roles in the apocalypse.

But more than that, the "Fan Fiction" storyline is Supernatural explaining its own longevity and why it inspires so much love. Using these teen-girl dramatists as a mouthpiece, the show explores the notion that it's the love between Sam and Dean, and the way they always stick together and come through for each other, that really matter in the end. (And it's sort of sad, when Sam and Dean are having one of their awkward, grown-up conversations about how it's probably healthier for them to be on the road rather than cooped up trying to recover from their recent ordeals — and then they see the kids nearby acting out their beloved "B.M.," a full on heart-on-the-sleeve talk straight from the earlier seasons.)

Oh, and there's a wonderfully awkward reminder of Adam, the half-brother they left caged up in Hell and then completely forgot about.

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The first person to be snatched by the episode's evil scarecrow, the alcoholic drama teacher, is fed up with all this Supernatural crap. Drama, she says, should be about truth, about reality, not weird make-believe monster stories with cheesy relationship tropes. But when we meet Calliope, the muse of epic poetry, she delivers a speech about why Supernatural really is great: because it includes death and resurrection and heroism and all the things that make a good story. It's hard not to feel as though Supernatural's writers are defending themselves against some imaginary critics, a little bit.

DISCUSSION

Thanks to the previews, I was dreading, just dreading this episode. (I hate it when shows do musical episodes. They are never, ever good.) But I loved it to bits. This show was all about the writers telling the fans that there is Show Canon and Fanfic Canon. And they are just fine. Though the two will never meet. Because that's not Dean breaking the fourth wall in this gif when it comes to Destiel. That's purely Ackles.

(Though there are still people on tumblr who took away from this episode that Destiel is canon. No, again, it's not. Neither is Wincest or Samstiel. Or any of that.) But like Dean said, "You keep on doing what you are doing." Because the writers do like the fans. They do like the passion they put in their fan projects. It's clear to this when the Winchester Brothers are standing in the wings in awe over this little fan play about their lives. They see how the girls are in love with them and what they have gone through. How much it means to them. It's flattering. It's touching. Their version of "Carry on My Wayward Son" brought a tear not only to the brothers' eyes but to mine as well. (Loved how in the end Dean was calling Marie "Sammy" and couldn't help but see her as an extension of his family.)

Personally, I love that the writers are standing their ground and not giving in to fan demands. Because when you give in to fan demands, you get season six of Buffy. Ugh. Yes, I hated "Once more with Feeling" and the Spike and Buffy pair up. Sometimes the best thing for a show is to say, "No," to its fans because the writers don't want to derail the show.

Bonus points for the Rushmore vibe of Marie as well as the mentions Adam, Samulet and Chuck showing up. (It's always great to see Chuck. As soon as Marie went up the stairs to see the publisher, I went, "No. It can't be. It couldn't be." And then there was Chuck.)

(On a side note: Another clue to Dean still being a Demon. While retelling his and his brother's lives, he went, "And then Dean became a Demon." No, "And then Dean became a Demon and was cured." You would think that would be an important plot point if it were true.)