The show's 200th episode finds Sam and Dean watching a musical about their lives, all while fighting a goddess.
There are many things that Supernatural does well, one of which being the very idea of using meta episodes to take a trip down memory lane and even make fun of itself occasionally. And no episode was more focused on “The Road So Far” than the show’s 200th. Taking a break from the drama of the Mark of Cain and Cas’ fading grace, the hour was all about the fans, and more specifically, the fan fiction that has come after 10 years of saving people and hunting things.
To sum up the hour in one word, I’d have to go with Dean’s favorite: awesome. It was such a great salute to the fans. I laughed, I cried, I gasped, and then I laughed some more. There isn’t another show on television that has this much fun with its stories, and that is why I’m happy to be a Supernatural fan.
We kick things off on what appears to be a high school stage, where a young woman encounters a ghost before the Winchesters barge in to save the day. (And by Winchesters, I mean teenage girls with wigs and drawn-on facial hair.) Only, the play’s director, Marie, feels that the actors aren’t giving it their all—in other words, considering this scene takes place before the events of Carver Edlund’s unpublished book, Dark Side of the Moon, where is Dean’s amulet? After a fight ensues, the drama teacher decides there’s too much drama in drama, and instead decides to cancel the play and spend the rest of her night with her flask. Sorry, Mrs. Chandler, but some creepy tree-like monster outside is not going to let you do that. Hey, you were the one wondering where the truth was in Supernatural.
After a trip back through all of the Supernatural title cards, we find Dean where he belongs: covered in grease fixing up his baby. The only thing strange about this picture is the coffee in his hand as opposed to a beer. Also, who else got way too excited about seeing baby’s trunk again? That sounded weird and dirty, but you guys know what I meant. I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve really gotten a look in there. Whatever, I digress.
When Sam walks outside, Dean miraculously does not make fun of his baby bro’s V-neck before telling him he’s found a potential case. Sam isn’t so sure, but Dean assures him that although he might not be fully back to normal, hunting is the only normal he knows, so with that, the boys are back on the road.
The case, of course, brings them to the all-girls production of Supernatural The Musical. Once Dean makes fun of Sam for having been a theater kid, the brothers head inside, where the girl playing Bobby is practicing her delivery of “idgits” and Cas is rehearsing her/his greatest line of all time: “Hey assbutt.” And cue act one! Suddenly, she-Dean is singing about Yellow Eyes burning his mother and cursing his brother, and it’s amazing.
Before the guys have time to recover from the shock of watching their life play out in front of them—with women in all the roles and really horrifically perfect props—they’re approached by Marie, the director and writer, and May, her stage manager. Taken aback by what’s happening all around them, Sam and Dean introduce themselves as Special Agent Smith and … Special Agent Smith. No relation, obviously. Sam quickly tries to recover and ask about Mrs. Chandler’s disappearance, but Dean is more focused on how wrong a musical Supernatural is. Clearly, they need more classic rock and less Andrew “Floyd” Webber. But don’t worry, they do sing “Carry On My Wayward Son,” which helps them in Dean’s eyes… though he still feels the need to throw up.
From there, the brothers split up to look for EMF and cursed objects. Dean heads off with director Marie, where he gets a glimpse at she-Sam and she-Dean rehearsing the BM scene. No, not “bowel movement”—though that was my first thought, too—but rather, the “boy melodrama” scene! You know, the scene where the brothers share their feelings while driving and or leaning against baby, a.k.a. my favorite part of this series. Only, in Marie’s version there’s a little more subtext in the BM scene. *wink*
[Insert special shout-out to the “Harvelle’s” sign in the background.]
Once in Mrs. Chandler’s liquor-infested office, Dean learns the truth about Act Two of the play: It involves robots. And space. And ninjas. Oh, and Dean (temporarily) becomes a woman. And we thought Leviathans were bad, amirite? Well, they were, and even Marie thinks so when Dean tells her what really happened after Chuck stopped writing post-“Swan Song.” See, Sam lost his soul; Cas freed the Leviathans from purgatory; they lost Bobby; Cas and Dean got stuck in purgatory; Sam hit a dog; they met a prophet named Kevin; they lost Kevin; Sam underwent trials to close the gates of Hell, which almost killed him; Dean became a demon (but really a Knight of Hell). Marie’s response: “Wow, that is some of the worst fan fiction I have ever read!” Have I mentioned how much I love this show? Because it’s a lot.
Oh, and if you thought Sam and Dean subtext was all we were going to get, you were so, so wrong. Yes, the play does explore the nature of “Destiel” in Act Two. After all, “you can’t spell subtext without sex.” Best part? That Sam sort of wishes it were “Samstiel”?
Back to the plot: Sam and Dean decide there isn’t a case at the school, so they head out. But they don’t get far before Maggie, who plays Sam, decides to quit and report Marie’s dictatorship to the principal, a thought that’s quickly followed by a scarecrow/tree thing kidnapping her. Just like that, the brothers are back, and they finally tell the girls the truth: They are Sam and Dean Winchester, a thought that the girls brush off immediately. At their age, they’re more like a Rufus-Bobby combo. (Don’t mind me, I’ll just be hysterically laughing on the floor. Also, are these girls blind? Because yum.)
NEXT: A surprise appearance by …
After Marie and May have decided that monsters are real but the Supernatural books are fiction, they agree to believe that the guys are hunters and nothing more. And from there, they start helping to solve the mystery. At first, Sam’s thinking it’s a Tulpa, otherwise known as a monster created by intense focused energy on an idea, much like the one the brothers faced in “Hell House.” But when burning the scarecrow prop in the boiler room doesn’t do anything (other than give Dean great joy), they realize that it’s less of a Tulpa and more of Calliope, the goddess of epic poetry. After all, she’s the one associated with the starflower, which has been found at both crime scenes. Apparently Calliope manifests creatures from stories she’s tuned into and uses those manifestations to protect the author until his or her vision is realized. And once it is realized, she eats the author. NBD.
With this new realization, Dean suddenly becomes fan boy number one of Marie’s play. Well, not really, but he needs her to believe in her vision. After all, as she puts it, “If Sam and Dean were real, they wouldn’t back down from a fight,” to which she tacks on, “especially my sweet, brave, selfless Sam.” (It’s evident that she never met soulless Sam. No offense to Sam. He’s as sweet as he is tall.)
Moments later, Marie has put on her Sam wig—which she borrowed from last year’s one-woman Orphan Black show—and she’s ready to “Barbra Streisand this bitch.” After Marie rounds up the cast, full of Cas, Crowley, Sam, Dean, John, Mary, Ash, Jo, Ellen, Bobby, Jody, a robot, and some demons dressed in all black, Sam asks where Chuck is, but here’s the thing: Marie isn’t really into the whole “author inserting themselves into the narrative thing.” Much like Sam and Dean, she hates the meta stories. Bravo, guys. Bravo.
After one last pep talk that includes a Rent reference, of all things, from Dean—and a classic “Ghostfacers” cheer—the show must go on, and even Dean can’t deny that the music has rhythm. During the play, he and Sam are positioned back stage, ready and waiting for the scarecrow to appear. Well, Dean is ready and waiting. Sam gets a little caught up in the moment and finds himself snatched by the scarecrow and moments later, face to face with Calliope (and even she is not a fan of Act Two). But let’s be honest: That’s not what’s important. What’s important is the amazing singing happening on stage. Shall we rank the songs we’ve heard so far (using titles I made up)?
1. “A Single Man Tear” This is possibly my favorite thing this show has ever done. Calling Dean out on his single man tear and how he “shows emotion without a trace”? I mean, come on! This is too good. Best line: “A single man tear; that’s all we fear.” #truth
2. “I’ll Just Wait Here Then” Welcome to the most perfect Castiel song in the world. Best line: “I raised you from perdition to be God’s ammunition.”
3. The opening number The best moment from this one has to be when they happily sing this line about John: “He took away our own free will.”
But in the middle of singing about man tears–or one man tear, rather—the scarecrow appears, and an on-stage fight ensues. At the same time, Sam is attempting to finish off Calliope in the basement, but not until after she tells us all what’s so great about Supernatural: This show has everything—life, death, resurrection, redemption, but above all, family. As she puts it, “It’s epic.” Yeah, Calliope, we know. There’s a reason we’re still watching it.
With that, Sam stakes Calliope just as Marie takes a stake to the scarecrow, screaming “no chick-flick moments” as she does. And when the exploding scarecrow leaves the entire first few rows of the crowd soaked in purple goop, they can’t help but offer the team a standing ovation. Heck, even Dean takes a tiny (adorable) bow.
And that’s that. Calliope is dead, and Sam and Dean are ready to hit the road before anyone starts asking questions. May’s last words to Sam: “If you cut your hair a little, you’d make a pretty good Dean.” Dean’s last words to Marie: “Bitch.” Wait, let’s back up. After Dean tells Marie—and therefore fans everywhere—to keep writing because “I have my version and you have yours,” she gives him the Samulet. Even though he claims to no longer need a symbol to remind him of his love for his brother, she tells him to just accept it… jerk. And when his immediate reaction is to say “Bitch” to she-Sam, the horror on his face is priceless.
On their way out, the brothers stop to have a BM moment. She-Sam, finishing real Sam’s own sentiments, tells Dean that being cooped up isn’t helping them. They belong on the road. “The two of us against the world,” as the play so perfectly puts it. And cue the final cast number: “Carry On My Wayward Son,” which brings tears to the eyes of Sam, Dean, and your recapper.
Once they’re back on the road, Dean hangs his Samulet on baby’s rearview mirror to the tune of “A Single Man Tear,” which I officially want as my ringtone. Also, I can’t forget to mention the addition of Adam at the end of the play. You know, Sam and Dean’s brother who’s still trapped in the cage in Hell with Lucifer. The greatness never ends.
And in the episode’s final moments, someone ended up claiming the publisher’s ticket at the play. AND IT WAS CHUCK. I figured a Chuck appearance could happen, but it still made me all kinds of emotional.
God’s His thoughts on the play? “Not bad.”
Not bad at all.
P.S. Be sure to check back to EW.com tomorrow morning to see where the 200th hour fit in our ranking of every Supernatural episode.
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