Steven Moffat, Joss Whedon, and Eric Kripke are like the big three Greek Gods.
Moffat is Zeus, God of the Gods, because Doctor Who AND Sherlock.
Kripke is Poseidon, God of the Seas, because he can make them out of our tears.
Whedon is Hades, God of the Underworld, because most of his characters are there.
The God of the Abrahamic religions as a lonely bisexual, who created the world so he could have a few boyfriends and girlfriends along the way. Nice one, Robbie.
Metatron’s dog Toto (yes, another Wizard of Oz riff). And God, like the Wiz, is about to be a big disappointment (to his scribe)…
God loves the blues.
Well, he chooses “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys as his opening musical number first. And indeed, Brian Wilson once said that, “music is God’s voice.”
But then he moves onto “Don’t Answer the Door” by BB King, which croons the narrative of a jealous and controlling man, “I don’t want a soul, baby, hangin’ around my house when I’m not home.” The House of God, absent a soul.. hmmn.
And he closes with an African American folk song from the start of the twentieth century, “Fare Thee Well” (Dink’s Song) one century playing out another (one era of television playing out another).
Meta-textually, Kripke (= Chuck) = God, who is of course the author of Revolution (which Chuck mentions as his work, in episode), cancelled after two seasons.
God’s favourite episodes are Home (1x09) written by Kripke and All Hell Break’s Loose (a two-parter, 2x21 and 2x22, written by Sera Gamble, part one, and Eric Kripke, part two).
All Hell Breaks Loose, part two, is the episode in which Dean sells his soul in order to bring Sam back from the dead, presaging Dean’s forty years of torture in the Pit. You monster, Chuck Shurley! At least you sent, your favourite angel, Castiel, to raise him from perdition eventually.
Tall Tales (2x15) burned by Metatron in Metafiction (9x18) gets a mention. As this ep introduced Gabriel in his guise as The Trickster, I call a last return from that archangel, coming up.
Chuck is familiar with The Bitter End and The Gaslight? Both Greenwich Village music venues of the 1960s. Oh I see you Chuck, you bohemian bisexual you - spent time with the Beat poets and had a hand in Stonewall, eh?
“Lucifer is not a villain”
Life by Keith Richards or Wouldn’t it Be Nice, by Brian Wilson. God reads rock autobiographies (of course, they’re ghost written).
“Gimme Shelter” by the Stones plays in the background as Chuck promises the unabridged version of his own autobiography (see how he opens his narrative re-write with the Beach Boys and ends it with the Stones, just as he makes his choice for the Stones autobiography over the Beach Boys one - lovely bookending!).
Oh and the lyrics to “Gimme Shelter” promises that war is “just a shot away” (ok the God / Amara show down) but also that love is “just a kiss away”. Robbie you are such a Destiel shipper.
“You were just the closest angel to the door when I walked in the room” - ha ha this is a perfect line for God’s Own Western - the entrance to the saloon…
I am still waiting for my Charlie Bradbury mention, however….
Robbie Thompson - you played God beautifully. Take a bow.
Specifically, the notion of God in season five came out of the initial conversations we had for this season about giving Castiel his own quest and making it feel like it was an important part of the core mythology. I was a big fan of the comic book Preacher, as were a couple of other writers in the room, and it’s always been tonally one of the influences for Supernatural, and the core story of Preacher is this guy who is on a quest to find God and basically make Him answer for His sins. We always liked the idea, so we said, ‘Since it’s the Apocalypse, why not have one of our characters, Cass, look for God?’ Since God is Castiel’s father, and in season one Sam and Dean were on a search for their father, it makes sense that in season five it all comes full circle with another one of our characters searching for their father. So we said, 'Okay, let’s make God a character. Let’s go for it.’ I think we were kind of smitten with the recklessness of it, and we had this attitude of 'Let’s be as bold and risky as we can, and if we fall flat on our face, then so be it.’ Which we probably did once or twice, but no one can accuse us of playing it safe…
Eric Kripke in Supernatural: The Official Companion Season 5 by Nicholas Knight. Titan Books, 2011: 10.
Uff. What an episode. So much to love. So much to talk about. Sorry, but this is going to be long (cookies if you read it until the end).
Dean/Sam/The fog of doom
In this episode it feels like Sam & Dean’s part is just a small interlude, that doesn’t contribute a lot to the story. And that’s all right, because ultimately this episode is about Chuck/God. The more interesting parts are the one concerning Amara, who tie in perfectly to Chuck’s story.
We start with Dean ironing their shirts, which I think is Robbie Thompson attempt for a “Winchesters just do regular stuff”-episode. I still hope we can get this one day, I would love to see this. Either way, I think it was a nice callback to 4x18, the episode that introduced Chuck, where we saw the Winchesters visiting a laundromat. In over 200 episodes these are the only two times I think we see the Winchesters doing their laundry, so I think Robbie wanted us to make this connection.
Off we go to Hope Springs (there are others who already wrote about the meaning of this city’s name, so I won’t get to that again). The fog worked a bit different this time than in 11x01 and 11x02. For one thing it didn’t start infecting the whole town but just random individual people at first. Enough to might gain the Winchester’s interest? And it also worked different. It didn’t turn the people in rabids but more into higly depressed versions of themselves.
“It was like every negative thought he had ever had came spilling out.”
The sheriff said the suicide of the first victim didn’t make sense: he expressed feeling unloved even though we know he had a wife who loved him dearly. But this is exactly how depression feels like. It doesn’t matter if you have people loving and supporting you, as long as your mind keeps telling you you are not worthy their love (this also works as a great parallel to Cas’s current situation, why he said yes despite people (Dean) loving him).
This fits perfectly with what Chuck said about his sister: that she is nothing (as in nothingness). Both Chuck and Amara mention a mirror and finally telling the truth, but it is clear they both mean their individual truth. For Amara it is this:
“She says it’s a mirror.
She’s showing us all the truth.
The light was just a lie.”
One of these dark truths is also what Sam later says, while being infected by the fog: That Dean will choose Amara over him, over everything. Now Sam says seconds later that he didn’t mean it, that it was the fog working on him, but it is still worth discussing. It illustrates Sam’s greatest fear - that Dean will leave him - but could also on the other hand work as some sort of foreshadowing. There is a real possibility Dean might choose Amara, but not because he wants to but because he think it is the only way to defeat her, maybe while sacrificing himself and turning their bond against her.
Dean’s special role has been illustrated once more. He was the only one who wasn’t infected and Amara’s message was that while everyone will be gone this doesn’t include Dean. Whatever Amara’s plan for the world is, and if it is its ultimate destruction, it won’t include Dean.
Also the return of the Samulet. I actually wanted to know where it was the whole time. Did Chuck pick it up right after 5x16? Was it with Sam the whole time? Also, there are a million theories while it never worked in God’s presence before but I guess nobody thought that God just turned it off.
I’m really curious to see how the confrontation between Chuck and the Winchesters will work out. They haven’t been God’s greatest fans in the past, just saying.
I never thought I would write this but I really liked Metatron in this episode. He gave up his sandwich for a dog, this made me almost forget all the dumb shit he has done in the past.
It was good the episode revealved Chuck is God within the first minutes and not as a last-minute surprise, even though it was funny to see Metatron’s reaction to “Carver Edlund”. But come on, we know since 5x22 that Chuck is God. There have been a lot of theories about this subject since then, whether he is really God, or if he was aware he is God or if he is just a mouthpiece for God. I personally always thought he made himself forget he was God, until the end of 5x22. But know we know he knew the whole time, which doesn’t make him a very favourable character. We do explore a bit we he never intervined, as much as getting some sort of answer how God’s justice system works (fun fact: not at all). The thing is Supernatural could have portrayed God as a hero, a knight in shining armour, who comes to rescue them all. But they didn’t. They created a much more complex, complicated version of him. They made him - ironically - very human. And tell us yet again that the real heroes are the humans, the ones even Metatron admits are better than the angels & God.
They of course go a bit meta as well: Chuck mentions several of his books/episodes and tells Metatron his other series is called “Revolution”, which of course is the show Eric Kripke wrote after Supernatural. So Eric Kripke is God, then?
Chuck and Metatron’s conversation mostly centers around the question who God is now, about identity, his past and his responsibility. Chuck tells Metatron from the get go to call him “Chuck” not God. He created himself a persona, a human of all things, and one that wasn’t particalur successful or powerful. No, it seemed to me that Chuck as a human wanted to try out new things, wanted to experience what it means to be a human. (This is also where the fact that God is canonically bisexual (!!!!) fits in - I think he was curious about the whole dating thing. But from a meta point of view, if they can make God bisexual - which will upset certain people - they can also confirm Dean as bisexual, don’t ya think?)
But I think Metatron is right in the way that he suspects that Chuck is hiding - from Amara, but also from himself. He might say he is disappointed from his creations, but I think the truth is that he is disappointed from himself as well, and/or ashamed for leaving everyone behind. He says he didn’t wanted to be a helicopter parent - and this in a way answer the old theodicy question. The question is the one about God’s justice or why he does let evil happen. Even though Chuck doesn’t mention free will, I think this is the answer why he gave up his responsibility. If you give humanity the ability to have a free will, to make choices (something angels still have difficulty to express) this also means they can make bad choices. And yeah, God can’t be hold responsible for everything (just as a parent isn’t responsible for everything their child does), but with saying nature will fix itself, he takes the easiest route. And Amara? He might didn’t release her, but he locked her away in the first place, so this one is on him as well.
Speaking of Amara. While editing Chuck’s autobiography Metatrons critizes him for not sticking to the truth, but instead telling a fairytale. This episode yet again destroys the idea of an objective truth - there isn’t just one story but many versions of one and the same story. Chuck says it is his story, not hers. Just the way it has been since creation, because yet again Chuck erases his sister from his story. So everything Chuck says about her might be taken with the fair warning that he is not the most objective viewer.
Chuck says he is being, whereas she is nothing. Chuck is the light, whereas Amara is the darkness. Does this mean then if Chuck is creation, Amara is destruction? So far it seemed like she wanted to change the world not destroy it. Chuck also mentions that she did destroys worlds before, so earth might not be the first creation of God then.
Both Amara and Chuck mention a mirror and teling the truth. But it is Metatron who tells Chuck to “hold up a mirror and show us who you are”. And it also Metatron who defines God as this:
“You are light… and beauty.
Damnation and salvation.”
Chuck would rather write about his new persona, Chuck Shurley, whereas Metatron confronts him with some ugly truths and tells him to quit the act and return as God (and clean up his mess). Metatron will never be my favourite, but he at least had balls to tell God what he really thinks (and for once we agree with him). Also Metatron knows how much he screwed up in the past, so there is this.
Another intersting aspect was Lucifer. Chuck tells us two things: 1) he wasn’t his favourite but 2) he isn’t a villian either. I think there is definitely more to the story. We know now that God changed his own history in erasing/rewriting certain bits. So did God not only betray Amara but Lucifer as well? There are three episodes left, so I think it is entirely possible we will see a confrontation between God & Lucifer (and of course God & Amara).
This brings us to the end. There have been many hints that God is aware/afraid he might die. I think the only one powerfull enough to do so is Amara (though maybe with Dean’s help? After all he kills gods). I think Metatron was right in his suspicion that Chuck started writing his memoirs the moment Amara returned. He is indeed on a deadline. But before this episode and his encounter with Metatron he thought he might die because Amara will kill him and there is nothing he can do about. Now though? We don’t know what he wrote exactly that made Metatron so emotional, but I think he might considers to sacrifice himself in order to defeat Amara & save his creation. One big act after all these years of hiding.
The choice of “Dink’s song” in the end was therefore quite fitting (and oh so beautiful). It is of course a farewell song. But one that is in its original version sung by a woman:
The song tells the story of a woman deserted by her lover when she needs him the most (x).
This sounds a lot like Amara, if you ask me. Either way, I think there is a great chance God will die at the end of the season.
“One of these days
It won’t be long
You’ll call my name
And I’ll be gone “
With God gone, with possibly defeating Amara & Lucifer, with bringing the grand story to an end I wonder where season 12 will be going (if of course this is how the season ends).
P.S. Petition to rename Metatron from “God’s scribe” to “the angel closest to the door” XD
It really bugs me when people take ‘Kripke thought Season 5 would end the show’ as 'Kripke plotted out everything S1-S5 by the Pilot….
When by his own admission he went into the show with no real intent focusing on much beyond MoW horror stuff, not character or mythology, and the rest developed from there.
To give another example, if I remember correctly, he never had intended to introduce angels until the Writers’ Strike cut S3 short & Dean HAD to go to Hell.
I just feel like it gives him way too much credit & ignores the way that stories evolve, & is a part of the 'Kripke is God’ type mythologizing of his vision, when, to quote the show itself, often it was more about 'well-drawn characters that surprise you’, and letting the arcs shift as needed, 'making it up as we go’.
The show has often embraced new elements and shifted directions when it suits the story, to say that is impossible or unprecedented is not really the case.