SUPERNATURAL: Changing Channels - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SUPERNATURAL: Changing Channels

November 6, 2009 by  

I’m really starting to run out of ways to say that SUPERNATURAL is awesome. Thursday’s episode was not only another fantastic hour but I agree with many others who called it the best episode of the season so far (in a season made of win). I would probably go so far as to rank it in the top five episodes ever. We got stellar comedy as well as some pretty significant movement on the mythology front too. In her post about the episode, Kath compared it to Buffy’s “Once More, With Feeling” in terms of tone which I thought was so apt. It really did have that outrageous comedic aspect combined with very dark, heavy mythology progression. I think Joss would approve. To mark the occasion, this review/recap is long, so get comfy before you continue.

We begin with an announcement that “Supernatural has been taped before a live studio audience”. And then, Supernatural the Sitcom comes on, complete with lame jokes, silly plots and cheery set decoration. But the best….the best was by far the opening credit sequence. It was pitch-perfect, from the font of the credits and the original song, to the shots of the Winchester brothers living their zany, hilarious, hunter lifestyle. Best shot ever? I say it’s a tie between the two-person bike, and Sam freaking out at the site of a person with a sheet thrown over them hiding in a closet. The whole sequence is the very definition of the phrase “instant classic”. Please take a moment to bask in the genius:

We flash back to two days earlier, in normal world (well, normal SUPERNATURAL world), which started innocently enough with a man decapitated either by a bear or The Incredible Hulk in his own bedroom. Wait…what? The Incredible Hulk, you say? Why, this sounds suspiciously like the Trickster, our old friend from Mystery Spot (Dean dies over and over and over again) and Tall Tales (alien abduction and probing, anyone?). Not to mention that Sam uncovers a stash of candy wrappers in the room, and the Trickster is a known sweet tooth.

After trying to locate the Trickster so that Sam can talk to him about maybe joining them in the Big Battle, Sam and Dean find themselves at Seattle Mercy Hospital, smack in the middle of Dean’s guilty pleasure show, “Dr. Sexy, M.D.”. So to preface this, I have never in my life seen an episode of Grey’s Anatomy – not one. Despite that fact, I was rolling at the parody of the medical drama/SPN timeslot competition. I mean, the doctor’s actual name was Dr. Sexy for god’s sake! Whereas as far as I understand it, McDreamy, McSteamy, and any other weirdo nicknames are used by fans only. They don’t actually say those names on the show, right?

I also loved the female doctor who kept slapping Sam and telling him he was a “brilliant coward”. Oh, and the best part was the ghost sitting on the gurney representing Denny who I’m familiar with because, hello, even us non-viewers were aware of the infamous Ghost Sex Controversy of last season. The ghost of course, was played (on Grey’s) by none other than Jeffery Dean Morgan, aka Poppa Winchester.

The boys find the Trickster posing as Dr. Sexy (because Dean realized the doctor wasn’t wearing his trademark cowboy boots, ha!) and are told that in order to survive the TV ordeal, they have to learn to “play their roles”. But they aren’t given any instruction beyond that, so what the heck are they supposed to do? Soon, Dean gets shot by a man whose wife is in need of a face transplant that Dean refuses to perform. Sam must now play the role of the brilliant coward surgeon and remove the bullet from Dean’s back.

Once he’s done, we’re transported again, to the set of a Japanese game show called “Nutcracker”. If you ever find yourself strapped into a wide stance with a giant spring-loaded arm aiming right at your…bathing suit area…things are probably not going to end well. Even worse? The game you have to play to win is entirely in Japanese, which you don’t speak. Sam learned this the hard way when he was asked a question (What is the name of the demon that you chose over your brother?) and he had no idea what to do. Time ran out, and nuts were cracked. In slow motion…on replay. Ouch.

Cas appeared out of nowhere, and apparently he had been searching for the brothers for days. The Trickster didn’t appreciate having the “pretty boy angel” around though, and he was soon dismissed. Dean fared better when he was asked a question (and whoa, the question was “Would your mother and father still be alive if Sam had never been born?”). Sam reminded him that he just has to “play his role” and suddenly he was able to answer the question in Japanese (his answer was equally whoa: yes). Mind you, he didn’t seem to know what he said so the question and answer didn’t weigh on their minds, although I’m sure we’ll be coming back to this at some point. Luckily, he seemed to get the answer right, thus ending the game show portion of the evening, and saving himself from a cracking.

Then…my absolute favourite moment aside from the opening credits. Yes, I am talking about the commercial for Herpexia. Oh, I cannot express the joy at seeing Sam Winchester look into the camera and unwillingly utter the phrase “I have genital herpes”. And seriously…that was one realistic-looking medicine commercial, right down to Dean’s quickly-read-through list of horrifying side effects. SPN writers, I love you all. So, so much. For your viewing pleasure:

When we return, we’re back to where we started, in the sitcom version of the show. Cas once again manages to pop in and begin to warn the boys that perhaps the Trickster is more than meets the eye, but he’s again taken out almost as quickly as he appears. The Trickster makes an appearance to tell the boys that the roles they have to play in t.v. land are only half of the game. The other half is taking on the roles demanded of them in the real world, as vessels for Michael and Lucifer. Wait. When did the Trickster take such a keen interest in the Apocalypse? The brothers, of course, tell him it’s never going to happen.

From there, we’re transported to another timeslot competitor (although technically not, because they were clearly mocking CSI: Miami, which does not air on Thursdays..I don’t think). Sam and Dean making model faces at a crime scene, sporting sunglasses at night and throwing around terrible puns about the dead body lying at their feet = WIN. “Well I say….jackpot”. SUCH a good Caruso impression (David Caruso would be the no-talent douchebag they were referring to, ha!). I know my Caruso, because my roommates and I used to practically make a sport out of watching and mocking that show. The Who sound-alike music was a nice touch too. By now, the boys have a plan to off the Trickster with the only thing that can kill him, a wooden stake, which they waste no time in doing.

Just when they think they’ve won and are back to their real lives, we find out it didn’t work. How do we know this? Maybe because Sam trapped in the Impala…a la K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider!!!!! Once again, the music was essential, and amazing. It brought back a lot of memories seeing the equalizer flash whenever Sam spoke. My brother used to watch that show all the time, and it left a clear impression on me. How old do I feel that I remember a time when The Hoff was cool? Yikes. The boys are pissed, despite the hilarity, and so they pull over and pretend to give in to the vessel idea to get Trickster to show his face. Once he does, they light fire to a ring of holy oil he’s standing in, having figured out he must be an angel. We’re back in the real world again, and it turns out the Trickster has really been an angel in disguise this whole time – Gabriel the Archangel, specifically. Well, Gabriel in the Angel Protection Program, after getting a face transplant and going into hiding.

It turns out that he couldn’t stand the ongoing war between his brothers Lucifer and Michael, and so he split to live a life away from the family drama. But now that Sam and Dean have opened the whole thing up again, he wants it over fast, hence his desire to have the brothers act as vessels and settle things once and for all. Obviously the boys are having none of it, and so he breaks it down for them.

Michael was the older brother with undying loyalty to a father who abandoned them. Lucifer was the younger brother who didn’t want to go along with their father’s plans. Hello, parallels. He said that ever since his father (God) “turned on the lights” on earth, the plan has been etched in stone that Dean and Sam would fulfill the roles of vessels for their angelic counterparts. Once again, whoa. And now they have to fight to the death in order to settle things for good.

They are still set on finding another way out (good! I so don’t want to see a Winchester Death Match), and they get Cas back and leave. Ever the good guy, Dean turns on the sprinklers before they leave so that Gabriel will be able to get out.

So, I’m starting to formulate an idea of what I want to see happen, but this show throws us for so many loops I have no idea if it’ll ever come to fruition. I want to see the brothers, hunters from around the world, and a few not-totally-evil supernatural characters (i.e. Patrick, maybe Gabriel, and more) as a third team in the ultimate battle. And I want John Winchester involved. I don’t know what I see happening; this is all I’ve got so far. But the idea makes me happy.

Next week, the show is going to meta like it’s never meta’d before, when Sam and Dean travel to a Supernatural Fan Convention with Prophet Chuck. Best part? The return of Becky the Fangirl!!! I’m really excited for this – can’t wait to see what they do. Here is the promo:

Okay, I have rambled way too much and thrown around “whoa” like I’m Keanu Reeves – now it’s your turn to discuss. What did you think of the tv parodies? Which was your favourite? How about the revelations about Sam and Dean – were you surprised? What do you want to see happen down the road? I’m looking forward to a good discussion on this one guys – can’t wait to hear from you!


9 Responses to “SUPERNATURAL: Changing Channels”

  1. Patty on November 6th, 2009 1:38 pm

    This was a gut buster! I stayed away from most of the spoilers so I would be in it and totally enjoy the reveals and I loved it!

    I laughed and groaned and loved the whole TV theme. And that the Trickster is Gabriel? Brills! These writers really are great.

    I don t think I can even pick a favorite moment this week because there are just too many! I think both Jensen and Jared did a great job and I can’t wait to see the deleted scenes and (hopefully!) a commentary on this episode when the DVD’s come out.

  2. Nicole on November 6th, 2009 7:26 pm

    Hey Patty – I have to co-sign your appeal for a commentary on this episode. One of my (very limited) complaints about SPN is that there are really not very many commentaries on their DVDs, especially actor commentaries. Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear Eric Kripke and the other writers/directors/producers thoughts, but I love hearing how it was to shoot episodes from the actor’s perspective and if I’m not mistaken, we’ve had a total of 2 J & J commentaries in 4 seasons of the show. This would be a FANTASTIC episode for them to commentate on, so let’s hope that it happens. And yeah, the deleted scenes are sure to be hilarious.

  3. Wallace on November 7th, 2009 2:23 am

    I was reading your excellent review when I had a ” what the” moment with the Genital Herpes commercial….seems it was so realistic that I fast forwarded right past it! Thanks for including it! Sam saying ow! when Dean closed the trunk of the Impala was priceless!

  4. Ana Maria on November 7th, 2009 10:03 am

    …Thank you, thank you, thank you! for posting the videos, for the Supernatural love…

  5. Kimber on November 7th, 2009 2:14 pm

    Whoa, this episode was like … WHOA! And seriously. Seriously? Seriously! I loved it. I also stayed away from spoilers, so I knew nothing other than what the promo had told me. It was hilarious! I was grinning like an idiot throughout the whole thing … bad puns at other TV series’ and all. I was a Grey’s viewer for a few seasons (am not anymore), but I totally got all of the Grey’s-expense jokes, and they were awesome! Dr. Sexy. Too funny. Loved that it was his REAL name, too! Like, on the loudspeaker and whatnot. To clarify … no, in Grey’s, McSteamy and McDreamy weren’t their real names, but other people did refer to them as that on screen.

    Sigh. This was probably one of my most favourite SPN episodes ever! Well, at least in the last season and a bit I’ve been a watcher. Loved the opening credits, and the Herpexia commercial? WIN! Thanks so much for re-posting those here, so I could giggle at them again and again. Next week’s offering looks pretty hilarious too … The Fangirl returns! And the “wannabe Sam and Dean”? Too funny!

  6. OldDarth on November 8th, 2009 8:49 am

    I LMAO during the this one. The trunk scene when Sam was in KITT mode was gold. Loved it. Also great to see this episode neatly tie what appeared to be a stand alone episode in with the Armageddon one so deftly. Kudos.

    Dr Sexy MD! LOL I hate procedurals! LOL again – especially with the sunglasses at night posing. Hilarious.

  7. Tanya on November 9th, 2009 12:54 am

    Can’t wait to see the gag reel on this episode….

  8. Nicole on November 9th, 2009 10:13 am

    So glad you all loved it as much as I did (though, I didn’t doubt for a second that anyone would!). Looks like the laughs continue this week, although I’m sure we’ll get a dose of seriuosness as well. I am so loving the tone of the show this year. This season will probably have the most anticipated gag reel of all of them – they must have just tons of shots of everyone cracking up given the crazy stuff they’ve been doing.

  9. Shawn on May 4th, 2012 11:32 pm

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