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Supernatural: The Real Ghostbusters

Chuck: "The way I look at it, it's really not jumping the shark if you never come back down."

I've been to more than my fair share of sci-fi conventions. I've worn a Starfleet uniform in public, danced the night away with guys dressed like Klingons, and spent hours in autograph lines. And I know that con-goers are not treated well in the television/movie world. We're usually portrayed as immature, unattractive, detail-obsessed losers who can't function in the real world. So I went into this episode with some apprehension.

But not to worry. Yes, Dean made the requisite comment about all of us living in our parents' basements, but mostly this episode was just a fun outing, with the requisite Supernatural touch of creepy thrown in. (Like the scalping. That was considerably creepy.) I honestly don't know how it could have been better. The costumes, the panels, the LARPing, the "yellow-eyed cooler." "Got salt?" I especially liked the Hook Man with the extreme fake German accent. And Ash. I miss Ash.

Most people would have been thrown off their game by a hotel full of LARPing fans dressed just like them. Not the Winchesters. They just did the job, like they always do. I liked how they bonded with Damien and Barnes, two Supernatural fans who explained quite well why fans are fans, and who realized that digging up bones and burning them isn't as much fun as it seems from the outside. (And yes, they were another joke about the homoerotic subtext.)

Chuck and Becky are perfect for each other, and I love them to bits. Chuck's question-answering outtakes at the end were exceptionally droll, and Becky makes me laugh without even opening her mouth. (I loved how she let Sam down gently, and how Sam let her think he actually cared.)

Only one complaint. Okay, two. How could Becky, the personification of a totally obsessed fan, resist the temptation of telling the con-goers that Dean and Sam were not only real, but in attendance? And how come nearly all of the fans were guys?

Bits and pieces:

— Loved all of the black Impalas in the parking lot. They have stunt Impalas and stand-in Impalas; they probably used all of them at once.

— Becky did something I've always wanted to do. "If you don't like the books, don't read them!"

— The boys told Chuck that he can't publish any more books. That means that for all of those rabid fans, Dean will stay in Hell forever. That's sad.

— Of course, if the world doesn't end but the Winchesters kill each other, Chuck can publish then. Right now, I'm sort of picturing a spin-off centered around Castiel, Bobby, Chuck and Becky. They could call it, "The Gospel According to Chuck." I'm only half-kidding.

— This week, we went to the first ever Supernatural convention at the Pineview Hotel in Ohio. Fans were agents Lennon and McCartney, and Jagger and Richards. Unlike the ones the boys use, these are names that wouldn't go unnoticed.

— Next week will probably be about the Colt, since Becky was able to give the boys a significant clue, that Bela gave the Colt to Lilith's right hand man, Crowley. Fans really do know the stuff better than the writers do.

Quotes:

Emcee: "At 3:45 in the Magnolia Room, we have the panel, 'Frightened little boy: the secret life of Dean'. And at 4:30, there's 'The homoerotic subtext of Supernatural.' And of course, the big hunt starts at 7 p.m. sharp."

Sam: "Why are you publishing more books?"
Chuck: "For food and shelter?"

Dean: "This is about all the community theater I can take."
Sam: "Yes, this cannot get any weirder."
Damien: "Dad said, he said, I may have to kill you."
Barnes: "Kill me? What the hell does that mean?"
Damien: "I don't know."
Dean and Sam: "I need a drink."

Barnes: "We get the Sizzler gift card."
Dean: "Fine."
Damien: "We get to be Sam and Dean."
Dean: "Fine."

Dean: "You know, maybe that guy was right. Maybe we should put these things on a bungee."

Becky: "Chuck and I, we found each other. My yin to his proud yang."

Sam: "If you really want to publish more books, I guess that's okay with us."
Chuck: "Wow. Really?"
Sam: "No, not really. We have guns and we'll find you."

Chuck: "I don't think the Benders made flesh suits out of all their victims. Maybe just, like, a couple scarves."

I'm not sure what rating to give this. It was just terrific, and I'm by no means tired of this fiction within fiction thing. But I think I'm ready to get back to the arc now,

Billie
---
Billie Doux adores Supernatural which is a good thing since apparently, it's eternal.

23 comments:

  1. And we have another winner. I’ve been worried about them overdoing the meta-ness this season for fear it might become too smug and self-knowing but if they can continue to produce gems like this one I’m okay with it. My favourite bit was Chuck’s moment of heroism and Becky’s reaction to it. You’re right, Billie, they do make a great couple.

    And I agree that after all these comedy episodes it’s time to get back on track with the arc storyline.

    One thing that’s bothering me though is that the Prophet Chuck is supposed to have an archangel watching over him 24/7. So wouldn’t Zachariah and his choir have just grabbed Sam and Dean the second they showed up at the convention?

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  2. Mark wrote: One thing that’s bothering me though is that the Prophet Chuck is supposed to have an archangel watching over him 24/7. So wouldn’t Zachariah and his choir have just grabbed Sam and Dean the second they showed up at the convention?

    Good catch. I missed that. Obviously, so did the writers.

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  3. Mark wrote: One thing that’s bothering me though is that the Prophet Chuck is supposed to have an archangel watching over him 24/7. So wouldn’t Zachariah and his choir have just grabbed Sam and Dean the second they showed up at the convention?

    The way I thought it worked was that the archangel doesn't exactly watch him every minute, but rather uses some kind of angel radar to sense if Chuck is ever in danger (like having a demon show up near him) before rushing to protect him, and thus failed to notice the boys because of Cass' Enochian Sigils branded on their ribs. Afterall, wasn't it Raphiel who is protecting Chuck? (He is the one that kills Castiel) And yet when we see him he has been off galavanting around in his host blowing stuff up, so he clearly wasn't watching Chuck then. Meaning he either shirked his duty or had some kind of angel spidey sense for when Chuck is ever in danger.

    I liked this episode, and I also noticed that most of the con-goers were guys, which was surprising. One little nitpick though - here we are told that the last book Chuck published was the one where Dean goes to Hell, yet when we're first introduced to Becky doesn't she say to Chuck that she was glad he brought in the angel story arc, because the demon thing was getting boring? I can't remember exactly, but if it was something like that then it'd suggest Chuck got as far as releasing later books involving the angels after all.

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  4. Annnnnnnnd more proof of how hopelessly self-indulgent the SPN writers are with their hopelessly mediocre show. Ah, well.

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  5. Mate, if you don't like the show, don't watch it.

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  6. Mark,

    Here, here. I am more than tired of people on the Internet bitching and moaning about how bad the shows they watch are. Why are you wasting your time? Don't watch--get a frakking hobby. There's more to the universe than your tv and computer. Why not read a damn book? I could recommend hundreds.

    It's one thing to give a new show a shot to win you over (I'm thinking of my growing frustration with FlashForward), but Supernatural has been on for years. How many seasons are you willing to watch a show you don't actually like anymore (or ever)? Is your life that boring?

    Okay, rant over. I loved this ep, especially Chuck stepping up and being a tough-guy hero for once. Supernatural hasn't lost any of its momentum, and I anticipate it being one of very few series to end on a strong note. All you haters: change the channel.

    KAM

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  7. Mark and KAM said it already. Supernatural isn't the same show it was in season one; it's changed and matured into something special, and the ratings have improved every year. They take a lot of creative risks, and even the episodes that aren't four stars are damned good. Tastes vary. If it's not your cup of tea, don't watch it.

    I've been thinking about it, and I'm sure the reason they did another fiction-within-fiction show is because everyone loves Chuck and they wanted to write another episode that featured him. Fine with me, because I love Chuck, too. "The Monster at the End of this Book" is one of my favorite episodes.

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  8. Oops. One more thing. Near, I liked your explanation, and I think you're right about some of it. Except it's Raphael who is protecting Chuck, and Gabriel who is off blowing things up. I distinctly remember Dean referring to Chuck's archangel as a teenage mutant ninja angel, meaning Raphael, and we haven't met Raphael yet. (Although Castiel certainly has.)

    Didn't Becky talk with Chuck before she made that comment about the angels? Chuck might have told her about them. I'll have to check next time I watch these eps.

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  9. No, no. Gabriel is the Trickster. Raphael was the one blowing up gas stations in the Dean/Cas solo ep. I don't remember if he's also Chuck's protector, but his meat suit was the catatonic black guy in the hospital.

    I agree with KAM and Mark re: the anonymous comment from above. If you really think a show is that mediocre, why watch it *and* comment on it? I can understand those comments on a [insert show name here] just got cancelled news item or, as KAM said, on a review for a show that's new and in the "test watching" phase. But on an episode review for an established show?

    That said, I didn't think Becky used that comeback appropriately in the episode. The Hook Man seemed to just be questioning some of the creative directions for the story (like why Sam couldn't tell Ruby was using him, etc.). I didn't interpret his questions as troll-like. I think he had legitimate beefs with some of the writers choices/character depictions. All of us fans can get critical when our shows take some directions we don't like, and I think its fine to voice those concerns/objections. We aren't honor bound to love every choice, just because we love the show.

    Of course, maybe I'm not remembering Hookman's objections correctly. It was late when I watched the ep.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this episode. It didn't get as serious as the last funny one, but once again they used what was essentially a gimmick to give the boys some new insight. I loved that an obsessive fan gave them the lead they needed on the Colt. Awesome!

    Chuck's bits at the end were hilarious.

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  10. Yes, that's right. I completely forgot about Raphael. I think I had a senior moment.

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  11. good episode ...but three filler episodes back to back is a bit much for me...I want to get back to the plot please

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  12. I like this one, but not one of my favourites. But I do love the way the writers refer to fans and that whole world they have. Personally I've never been that into a show, but it’s kind of sweet the way people can be when they are so into it (although I will never understand those who like to watch just to bitch, as the one we have in your page). Billie, so you still go to conventions? So the fans know more than the writers? I’m sure they do. But the writers sure do know about fans, for instance I found out that Damien and Barnes are two posters/mods from Television without pity. Anyway, I’m ready to go back to the apocalypse! Love, Cecile.

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  13. Oh, Cecile -- that's so funny. I really don't like TwoP. I got into it for about a month, but the tone was so negative that I just couldn't stand it.

    My favorite con, the one I attended for years, was Shore Leave in Baltimore. I really miss it. I haven't been to a con since I moved to Los Angeles. Just haven't found one to suit me, and ComicCon is so huge that it scares me a bit. I keep saying every year that I'm going to go, but it just hasn't happened yet.

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  14. Argh it really bugs me when people feel the need to try and insult people for the shows they like. GET A LIFE MAN!
    Raphael was the dude that Cas and Dean went to to try and find God, I believe. He is also the angel that protects Chuck. I also wondered why the Angels just didn't decend and grab the lads when they were around Chuck. Even if Raphael is only his protector, wasn't Zach and co watching him just in case he made contact with the boys? And Gabriel is indeed the Trickster :D
    Okay episode. Like I've said before... this season has been a slight let down in the fact that we have still to see Lucifer. Where the hell (pun intended) has he been??

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  15. Hey what was that ring tone the "fake ghost girl" had on her phone? I thought it was pretty funny, because it sounded like someone singing "ring-a-ling-ling-ling, ring-a-ling!"

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  16. “Holy mother of crap! That was awesome! That describes perfectly how much I loved this episode from start to finish.
    My first con was in 1985 and I've attended the con in Toronto since 1992, so I love the salute to us fans. I loved Becky and her pearl of wisdom about the colt. Loved how Dean's eyes were opened to how important their lives are. Love Eric for his huge respect of us fans.
    I've enjoyed the light-hearted episodes & don't think there have been too many. I needed the break before we got back to destroying the world. I just know Eric is going to be tearing my heart out on a regular bases for the rest of the season.
    If anyone has seen 5X10 then you know what I'm talking about.

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  17. I liked this even more than I did the first time. Becky is definitively a hoot! Really good episode.

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  18. Another good one. Loved the scene where Damien showed Dean the value of his life. Very, very touching.

    I came to sci-fi/genre shows later than most. In fact, when a friend told me to check out 'X-Files' and/or 'Buffy', I laughed out loud. "You've got to be kidding!" OK -- when I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

    What I discovered once I got over myself was that these shows tend to attract the most loyal fan bases. As well they should because they put a lot of what else is on to shame. (See last episode's send up of CSI: Miami.) the writing tends to be much better and they have mythology arcs which, while out there (pun intended), keep us all coming back for more. I think it's fantastic that fans gather together at the cons. I reckon there are a few shows out there that wish their fans did the same.

    Since I got hooked on the genre, it's been a dream of mine to go to ComicCon just to see it in action. It always looks like people are having so much fun!!

    I, too, am confused about why people continue to watch a show that no longer works for them. Writers make choices and, no matter how hard they try, will never make all the fans happy. If you are one of the unhappy ones, find something else -- as this site alone proves, we are spoilt for choice.

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  19. Loved Jared Padalecki acting as Sam acting hurt that Becky let him go. Sam's a terrible actor around Becky, and yet he does just fine acting as an FBI agent or any other persona, but when he has to act for his real self, he is so see-through that I'm amazed Becky is the only one who doesn't see it; even Chuck sees it! LOL.

    Loved this ep.

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  20. Hi Billie! I love your site. I just wanted to throw out another Buffy connection, Chuck the Prophet (Rob Benedict) was in two episodes, "Superstar" and "New Moon Rising". Funny, I only remember him in Superstar though, I think he plays the vampire that tells Adam who Jonathan is. :)

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  21. And I just realized where I remember Ash from, Buffy the Vampire Slayer of course! He's from "I Robot, You Jane"! I love when they hire Buffy and Angel actors and actresses.

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  22. Thanks, Anonymous! I adore Buffy connections to anything. :)

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  23. I thought this was a very fun episode, Rapheal has been in the show already he was the black guy meat suit, Cass and Dean left him in a circle of fire maybe that is why he could get to chuck. My only issue is Becky at the end says that in the time on our side episode. Bela told Sam that Bela said she had sold given the colt to Lilith.
    yet I went back and watched that episode and She tells Dean that the colt buyer is half way round the world and asks dean is he speaks farsi.
    So she never said anything to Sam about who she sold the colt to yet sam reacts as though the exchange did take place.
    so either the writers made a mistake and needed to give the boys a clue about the colt or the conversation took place off screen.

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