SUPERNATURAL: The Monster at the End of This Book - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SUPERNATURAL: The Monster at the End of This Book

April 3, 2009 by  

Warning: This is long – there was too much to talk about plus a ton of quotable lines that I had to re-hash. Apologies all around.

I hope not many new viewers chose to watch SPN for the first time last night. Not because the episode was a disappointment (hardly), but because it was a giant love letter to the SPN fandom, and most of the comedy would have gone straight over their heads. Yet again, the writers have taken a completely radical concept and managed to pull it off with aplomb, and still move the story forward. What fan wasn’t giggling with recognition at the inside jokes and references (the show was so full of these moments that I’m sure I missed a few – you’ll have to remind me in the comments).

I was taking notes while watching, and noticed that almost everything I was jotting down were direct quotes – this was one highly quotable hour of television. So as a result, I have compiled a list of my favourites at the end of the review (others are scattered throughout) – please feel free to add some of your own. First though, let’s discuss the story, shall we?

The boys stumble across a book series called “Superatural”, the books sharing their titles with past episodes of the show (I got a little misty with nostalgia when I saw “Wendigo”, “Scarecrow” and “Route 666” – it feels like it’s been forever). Their story as hunters is all there, but nothing has been published since the end of No Rest for the Wicked (otherwise known as the season finale of season three). They’re obviously completely freaked out that there is a series of books chronicling everything they’ve done since they started hunting. At least it’s not very popular – according to the comic book store guy, it had a limited printing but a devoted cult following (hee hee). Not only that, but Dean apparently looks like Fabio – the cover of the books depicts his character with huge pecs, ripped abs and long flowing blond hair. Ew. Thank god that’s not the case in “real life” (well, aside from the abs).

Oh, how I loved the scene where the brothers spent some time looking into the series and its fans, visiting message boards and other sites. The first big guffaw moment for me came as Sam and Dean were discussing the fans (acknowledging Sam girls vs, Dean girls!) and Sam alerted Dean to the meaning of slash. As in Sam-slash-Dean. Together. The look of horror on Dean’s face was priceless – while I don’t really read fanfiction, I am aware of the concept of Winchester slash and I’ve often wondered how the cast/crew react to it – I love that they acknowledged it; and I know that there were probably a million SPN fanfic writers who were giddy with delight.

They obviously need to find the writer of the books, Carver Edlund (conveniently the last names of two SPN writers) but he’s a recluse à la J.D. Salinger (lot’s of literary references tonight – were you guys as surprised as me when Dean seemed so familiar with the works of Kurt Vonnegut? Good on ya, Dean!). They meet with a woman who works at the publishing house, but she’s reluctant to give them any info, until they convince her that they are the biggest SPN fans in the world by passing her test. Again…this killed me – how often do people challenge other fans to “prove” their devotion by rattling off random facts? I was a little bummed to learn that fictional Sam scored higher than real me on the LSAT, but on the other hand the dig at their timeslot competition, Grey’s Anatomy, was very fun (hope Jeffrey Dean Morgan doesn’t have to get in the middle of that battle). Turns out that this woman is a bit of a superfan herself; she’s got a tattoo, she cries just talking about Sam and Dean crying…she’s pretty into it. When she sees the guys’ tattoos, she finally gives in and tells them where to find Chuck Shurley, the real name of the author.

Felicity fans – how excited were you to see Richard (aka Rob Benedict) again? He was so great as Chuck (an extremely popular character name as of late – just an observation) – frankly I would love it if they could find a way to bring him back on occasion (given the storyline, I think it would be pretty plausible). He was terrified to see the two men he’d been writing about come storming into his life, just as he had predicted moments earlier in his manuscript. I think my absolute favourite thing about the initial meeting was his apology for putting them through the bugs (from “Bugs”) and Ghost Ship (from “Red Sky at Morning”)– not because they were traumatic, but because the writing was so bad. The writers are clearly up on which storylines the fans thought were kinda lame – be careful what you post on the message boards, kids – the virtual walls have ears!

Once they establish that Chuck has been having visions of the Winchesters lives for reasons unknown to him and then writing them down, they find out that Chuck’s next vision sees Sam doing the deed with Lillith (who else was worried for a moment, seeing as Lillith has been portrayed as a little girl every time she’s been on so far? No worries though – she’s now a comely dental hygenist). In order to stop the unholy union from happening, Dean decides that the two have to do everything opposite to what Chuck has written for the whole day. Despite their best efforts to avoid everything in Chuck’s writing (like using therapy-speak to avoid a fight Chuck predicted – see quotes below), they can’t stop destiny.

Sam and Chuck (sans Dean) discuss the fact that the whole “drinking demon blood” thing was left out of Chuck’s unpublished work, but only because he felt it made Sam look unsympathetic (you can bet that has been a debate in the writer’s room at some point). Sam said he was doing it to protect Dean, who hasn’t been the same since his return from Hell, but Chuck thinks maybe he likes the strength and control that comes with it. Later, Dean confronts Chuck, demanding that the put a stop to whatever he’s doing. Castiel (!) appears to deliver some mind-bending news: Chuck is a prophet of the lord and the works he is writing will one day be known as the Winchester Gospel. What the frak?!? I know there will be people who claim that this goes to far; I, however, thought it was brilliant. Plus, it gave Castiel a prime opportunity to execute an actual joke – when Dean doubted that such a loser could be a prophet, Castiel said “You should have seen Luke”. I love funny Castiel.

Later Dean finds himself actually praying to God for help to get Sammy out of whatever is about to happen. Castiel appears again, and Dean wants Cas to interfere and get Sam out of trouble, but Cas can’t do it. But…he explains exactly why he can’t. Because prophets are supremely valued, if they are threatened, by say a demon, the most fearsome wrath of Heaven would rain down on that demon. Dean clarifies that if he gets Chuck in the same room as Lillith, a big scary archangel will come and destroy Lillith. Props to Cas for sympathizing with Dean and helping a brother out – just when you think it’s impossible to like him more, he raises the bar. However, can someone explain why Cas would be forbidden to help with that? Isn’t that in line with his overall cause?

Sam waits in the motel room for Lillith who offers to put a stop to the whole shebang (shebang being slang for Apocalypse, obviously) if Sam and Dean sacrifice their lives for the greater good. It seems that Lillith has become privy to some information – if they go to battle, she will not survive it, hence her motivation to end it early. You see, she just wants to stop with the Seals already and go back to the good ol’ days of all baby blood, all the time. Sam accepts, and just when you think he’s hit rock bottom, she tells him that they have to get their groove on to seal the deal. Just when it looks like Sam is going to add another demonic notch to his scoreboard, he pulls the knife on her. Dean and Chuck burst in, things begin rumbling, and then Dean tells Lillith that she’s got seconds to leave before the archangel smokes her ass. So, of course, she vacates the pretty meat suit and gets out. I need this explained to me to: WHY would Dean warn her? Don’t we all want her dead and gone? If he could have messed with her head for 30 more seconds, she’d be toast. If someone understands the motivation for that, please tell me.

We end with Chuck having another vision and it really doesn’t look good. He immediately wants to warn Sam and Dean, but the new angel from last week, Zachariah, is there and instructs Chuck that under no circumstances can he tell them. He says it’s not good for someone to know too much about their own destiny. This looks bad, people – I mean, Chuck was about to kill himself for Kripke’s sake… What did he see?! I don’t know about you, but I am more excited than ever to see what’s in store.

And now…favourite quotes/moments (that weren’t already mentioned):

  • “Is this a Misery thing? Oh my god, it’s a Misery thing”
  • “Yeah, I’m definitely a god”
  • The entire Laundromat scene with Dean’s reading, Sam’s brooding and pensive face and thinking Dean was a dick.
  • “Oprah’s girlfriend said we have the best bacon cheeseburgers in the country”
  • “It frustrates me when you say such reckless things”
  • “Behave yourself, would ya? No homework. Watch some porn”
  • “M. Night-level douchiness” (FCC, we clearly need more bad words allowed on tv – let the writer’s expand their insults beyond dick and douche!)
  • “I am the prophet, Chuck”

Thinking back to the early days, something occurred to me. How often do you see a show stay on the air for four years, evolve as much as this show has in terms of mythology, and yet manage to stay so true to the original vision? Things are way more epic now than I ever would have predicted four years ago, but yet, it fits. Everything has been completely unexpected, but at the same time feels like a natural progression. I’m just in awe of the writers this season – they’ve always been talented, but I’m blown away at the intricate web of a story that they’ve created. It doesn’t feel forced to me at all.

SPOILER ALERT! Two weeks off, then “Jump the Shark”, where the boys meet up with their…younger brother?? This was a spoiler I wrote about a while back and while at the time I couldn’t imagine how the writers could possibly make that work, the last two episodes have taught me to have faith. SPN writers win at life – I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride they’re taking us on.

Nicole is neither a Sam girl nor a Dean girl, because taking sides isn’t fair. But if she had to pick, cool cars and music will alway


14 Responses to “SUPERNATURAL: The Monster at the End of This Book”

  1. John on April 3rd, 2009 4:45 pm

    I liked the whole episode, with a few quibbles. The cracks about the show’s fans were fun, but maybe too direct a reference to the real world.

    We never did learn why Sam and Dean were in the comic book store in the first place and their questions never made any sense for their FBI cover.

    Why does Dean drive the car away to park it? They already had a parking place at the motel.

    “However, can someone explain why Cas would be forbidden to help with that? Isn’t that in line with his overall cause?”

    If Cas stopped what was written from happening he would thwart the will of God, since the Prophet Chuck was writing down God’s dictation.

    And there was an out. What was written did happen, but why it was happening (Sam was planning of killing Lilith in bed) was not told. And the story ends before the big intervention.

    As to why not have the unnamed archangel did not smite Lilith: If it were as easy as that to end the threat and the archangels are supposed to get involved there wouldn’t be a story. My guess is only we humans (or Dean personally) are allowed to directly end the threat.

    As to why Dean didn’t delay Lilith (since he neither knows nor cares about whose job is whose), I have a few guesses. One guess is that the angels screwed with Dean so he wouldn’t think of that. Or maybe he was so worried for Sam that he was more interested in having Lilith away from Sam, than risking her killing Sam before the archangel arrived. Also, if Lilith switched her actions from threatening the prophet to killing Sam, the archangel might not show to stop that- it wouldn’t be its job and the angels don’t seem to be Sam fans.

  2. spacyz on April 3rd, 2009 5:01 pm

    As a fan who has seen every episode, this one was great. I love the episodes that include more humor. The Misery reference was terrific, and the entire laundromat scene had me laughing out loud. I also loved the scene at the publisher’s office when Dean says something similar to “Trust me, I am crying on the inside.” I definitely need to watch this one again to catch all of the references.

    It still amazes me how much I enjoy this show and how the writers keep surprising me.

  3. Billiam on April 3rd, 2009 5:02 pm

    I don’t watch the show, but I do have to comment, just because the episode title is so awesome: how many shows do you know that would make reference to a Sesame Street Little Golden Book?

  4. Tanya on April 3rd, 2009 8:13 pm

    Amazing Episode! I only wish more people would listen to me when I say it’s the best show on TV.

    The moment that made me LOL the most was when the publisher was saying that all the best moments are when they cry! As an avid Dean-girl, who loves (and equally hates because it breaks my heart) when Dean cries – that part killed me!!

    And my theory on why Dean let Lillith go – is that he didn’t know what type of wrath the archangel would bring – both he and Sam could potentially be killed as well.

    I can’t believe we have to wait 2 weeks for the next ep…and I love that they are calling an ep about a “lost brother” Jump the Shark. Genius.

  5. Tessa on April 3rd, 2009 9:08 pm

    Such. A. Good. Episode. Seriously, just amazing. I was laughing so hard, my roommates definitely thought I was crazy (because as non-watchers, they really didn’t see what was so funny). I am a little concerned about the new Winchester brother, but I am trying to have faith.

  6. Kristi on April 4th, 2009 3:47 am

    awesome episode. Hilarious. Oh god, Dean’s face at the discovery of wincest. Best thing ever.

    I think why Dean delayed the coming of the archangel was because he was worried about him and Sam. Remember that angel’s real forms can kill people. The archangel had no human body to jump into so it would just show up in all of its…angeliness… and probably fry them all >.>

  7. Ally on April 4th, 2009 3:49 am

    “Although for fans, they sure do complain a lot.”

    My favorite LOL-moment/quote was, “I knew it! You guys are LARPing, aren’t you?!” Mostly due to my own encounters with LARPing vampires at UIUC on my way to night exams for a Stats class. Creepy. The “slash” moment was a close second and followed by the dry Castiel humor.

    As someone already said, Castiel couldn’t interfere in the way Dean wanted because it would be blasphemous for an angel to alter fate (i.e. what had already been written by the Prophet of the Lord.) However, it was okay for Castiel explain Chuck’s archangel as a hint for Dean to take Chuck to Sam and Lilith because that outcome had yet to be written — which is likely why they beat us over the head with the fact that Chuck hadn’t seen the fate of Sam/Lilith. But Castiel couldn’t directly help or interfere here either. He would be overstepping his bounds as a lower choir angel who’s presence is superseded by Chuck’s archangel and there’s a chance he’d be erring on blasphemy, depending on the outcome of the interference (e.g. putting the Prophet in mortal danger, hindering possible Apocalypse-averting events by breaking up the Sam/Lilith action.) I’m sure Zachariah would be there to put a swift holy foot up Castiel’s holy ass if that happened.

    While I accept John’s above possible reasons for Dean’s warning to Lilith, I believe it’s more simple. I think Dean feared that an archangel’s smiting would kill everyone in the room besides the Prophet or at the very least, kill or gravely injure everyone demonically inclined in the room which would include Sam. This idea is stemming from the fact that both Sam and Dean had to duck for cover from Anna’s unbiased white light essence going kaboom and she’s clearly no where near an archangel level of “absolute” (according to Castiel) awesome power.

    Additionally, it’s my best guess that Dean and Sam were investigating a possible haunting in the building when they first entered the comic book shop, given the questions they were asking.

    As for Dean driving elsewhere to park the Impala… I have nothing. Perhaps it was to put distance between him and Sam or to not drive the car around all day (like it was written) and park it several blocks away from the motel, leave the laptop in the trunk, and walk back to motel to keep both of their temptations at bay but instead, ran straight into his flowery-bandaged fate. The likely standard, boring answer would be “he drove the Impala because fate dictated it.”

    P.S. DeYoung + Shaw = STYX band members = WIN.

  8. Patty on April 4th, 2009 11:46 am

    Great episode! I can’t believe what the writers have been able to do this season. The story has continued to move so well. How can this season be almost over already?

    So many great lines. The laundry mat scene was the best!

    Must watch again.

  9. Sam on April 4th, 2009 3:57 pm

    Great episode . . .

    My assumptions were the say as John’s:

    1) Dean warned Lilith because he didn’t know what a “smiting” entailed. There was the possibility that only Chuck, and possibly he, would survive. A chance Dean wasn’t willing to take.

    2) Dean moved the car as an added obstacle to him driving it all day.

    Loved the laundromat scene, particularly Deans’ face after Sam say “guy’s good” after Dean reads that Sam thought he was a dick. Jensen’s facial expression at the end of that scene made him look all of 15.


  10. Nicole on April 5th, 2009 1:09 am

    I love how many SPN fans are joining the discussion! You guys made some good points, so now I don’t have to think Dean necessarily did something boneheaded. I think that this episode will go down as one of the greats of the series – so unique and so skillfully executed. I am really so thrilled to be covering this show in it’s most ambitious season so far, and I’m so glad to have you guys to discuss/obsess over this show with!

    For those interested (i.e. all of you), there’s a great article about the show in this week’s Entertainment Weekly, including interviews with Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Eric Kripke. It delves into what the future holds in store for the series, in terms of how long we can expect it to continue. For those holding out hope that we’ve got a long stretch of road ahead, be warned; you may be disappointed. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be on EW’s website, so I can’t link to it. But the issue is dated April 3rd, and features Jennifer Hudson on the cover. There’s also a small sidenote where critic Ken Tucker lists the 5 episodes that any SPN newbie needs in order to catch themselves up (a hard thing…to narrow it down to just 5). This one is available on EW’s site (,,20269578,00.html); check it out and let us know – do you agree with his choices? What would you pick as the best eps to bring you up to speed?

  11. Nayant on April 6th, 2009 10:34 am

    Nicole. Great Review. Thanks for taking the time and to put it up! I agree with most of the quotes, but think you overlooked my favs
    ” these are real fake I. D.’s ”
    ” I’m full frontal in here Dude! ”
    ” a cruel, cruel capricious god… all for the sake of literary symmetry! ”
    ” slaughter house 5 or cat’s cradle Vonegut? ”
    ” What? This guy a prophet! Com’ on, he’s practically a penthouse forum writer!”
    ” Look, uh, I appreciate your enthusiasm. Really. I do, it’s, uh always nice to hear from the fans. But for your own good, I strongly suggest you get a life!”

    That last quote that had me falling out of my chair. All in all, another fantastic installment in a season of above par episodes. As a rabid fan, who:
    > has seen every episode several times
    > really disliked Red Sky at Morning -(bugs was just plain “meh”)
    > reads the fan fiction (very guilty here)
    > can’t commit to being a Sam or Dean Girl,
    > is definitely on the Impala Train
    > is NOT a fan of the Slash stuff (say NO to Wincest!)
    I can tell you, I loved this ep! Not only for the shout out to us fans, but the season story arc progressed, woohoo. And what great story! Like other commentators have said, Lilith is a Demon, so we really can’t trust anything she says. Sam and Dean dead would work to her advantage! After all, 2 eps ago, we learned Dean was the only one who could end this Apocalypse, so having his head on a stick, pretty much guarantees his inability to complete that task.

    Another well done element of this ep, was the growth in the Religious Mythos. Wow, I can’t belief SPN is taking us there. We have a bona fide Arch-Angels and PROPHETs and PREordained destinies. Oh yeah, we are now cooking with highly flammable gas! Here’s hoping the flash fire doesn’t take us out in one fell swoop.

    I also appreciate how the lack of screen time to Sammy this season was handled, cuz the truth is, when I saw Sam SUCKING BLOOD, I shot out of my chair, screaming at the television (ala superbowl touchdown).Yes! It is difficult to be sympathetic with that! Although, this Sam is nothing new, we saw him before in season three’s re-imagined groundhog’s day. Methinks, Dean-O needs to put the Vonegut down and pick up Carver Edlund’s Mystery Spot. Not only for it’s fantastic writing, but to get some better insight into Sammy – this Sam that would do anything, ANYTHING, including kill Bobby, for his brother’s well being.

    I say thank you and bravo to you SPN Writers! And to all the actors, who animate the characters with such emotional depth and humor, that suspending my disbelief every Thursday at 9 is as easy as breathing.

    I dunno if I can wait the 3 weeks for Jump the Shark, the withdrawal symptoms have already set in 🙁

    On a side bar, in the drug store cover for SPN, I am pretty sure the “Fabio” depicts Sammy, after all he is the brother with the floppy long locks and rock hard abs *(think back to season one’s Hell House which had Sam coming out of the bathroom with a low slung towel)*. This mean’s our Dean-O is depicted with the buzz cut, wife beaters, and fantastic guns (pun intended- sorry!), heaving a sack of rock salt – nothing wrong with that IMHO 😀

  12. Nicole on April 6th, 2009 3:17 pm

    Thanks for the input, Nayant!! I love the quotes you mentioned (I knew I would forget some good ones) – I especially recall laughing really hard at “these are real fake i.d.’s”.

    I also am glad that the writers kept us, as viewers, in the dark about Sam all this time. The reveal had such a big impact as a result. I know my reaction was something along the lines of “WHAT…..THE……HELL?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

    Anyway, like I said in my review, I’m so happy to be covering this show, this season. And to have you guys to bounce ideas off of/dissect scenes and generally discuss the show with is great. April 23rd… far away….grrrr. 🙂

  13. J.R. on April 8th, 2009 1:00 am

    I flipped out watching this episode. I got up and restarted the episode twice from so much excitement and joy that I was missing great stuff. This was such a huge thing for fans that I loved it, and like you said, the progress made in this episode was insane. I love Chuck, and how he was the best of both worlds. He was a fan with the inside track, naming all the great stuff.

    His comment about keeping the blood sucking out of the book because it made Sam lose out on sympathy reminded me of how me of the incredible amount of disappointment I felt when I first saw Sam sucking on Ruby like that. Him saying that it seemed like the whole thing was coming down to Sam also resonated with me. It was as if Kripke whispered in my ear. “I like where your head’s at. But wait…there’s more.”

    I can already feel that this year’s season finale will not be easy for me. The way this show just keeps growing and resetting the bar has made it legendary storytelling.

    The Winchester Gospel.

  14. duggie on October 9th, 2009 10:56 pm

    i think the one that looked like fabio was supposed to be sam. the other guy with the short hair looked just like dean. nevermind that jensen ackles looks like the type of guy a publisher would just love to put on the cover of a million smutty drugstore romances. part of his charm.