Closure at Last

"Livin' a Lie, Just to Get By."

From deep within the frilly, chick-dorm dungeons of the CW, a message has escaped. A secret code leaked from the 14-year-old-girl-fanfiction-slaveship of a network that was meant to give closure to a small, but heart-broken group known only as true Supernatural fans.

The message came in on November 5th , hidden in an episode perfectly titled "Changing Channels". And just like before, the other bloggers seemed to have missed the message. One even going so far as to call this gem "One of the Weaker Episodes of this Season". Feel free to watch the episode here, while it lasts.

If you put on your magic 3D glasses, you will find a perfect image of what my beloved show has turned into. The image that has been haunting me ever since I read the words "They can't split up Sam and Dean!" No longer the off-the-beaten-path story of good vs evil, it transforms into a laugh-track filled sitcom about two hunks on a tandem bicycle! Aw shucks, Dean's used up all the lunch meat again, isn't Sam gonna be sore! Watch the opening if you can bare it.

They joke around, have a goofy theme song and fall down in a big, bright, green field and look up at a big, bright, blue sky. Nope. They didn't split them up alright. Are you happy little miss 14?

But what's going on? This isn't Supernatural. Supernatural isn't even TV! Not like those other shows are TV. Not like the Producers want it to be TV. Let's keep watching and see if we can decode this cry for help.

Help! I'm trapped in a fortune cookie factory!
AKA: A Tortured Writer Speaks
Enter "The Trickster". Except, he's not acting like the same old Trickster we know. He seems a little more jaded. A little more invested. A little more pissed off. And he's got a lot more to say. He is no longer just another character. He is the writer, and he has a few things he wants to get off his chest.

He's trapped the boys in TV Land. "Call It My Own Little Idiot Box!" The world of gimmicks, pointless drama and "Dr. Sexy". It's all shits and giggles here!

Sam and Dean take their turns as dreamy and steamy Medical Drama Doctors, Japanese Game Show Contestants, Herpes Medication Salesmen, and Crime Show Investigators. This is the world the audience wants, right? A monotonous mush. A story without an ending.

But the writer wants them to know this is not what he had planned. This isn't the way things were supposed to go. He'd had such big dreams for his little characters. He had laid the groundwork so meticulously, like a craftsman and a finely carved violin. He just wanted to hear it play. Just once. But there's no time for music in "Nut Cracker!" Bring out the cute Japanese girls in the devil costumes! We need more lights! They can't possibly turn this spectacle off! And where's the hot car? Does it have a name? How about Kitt? Did we get enough beefcake shots of the boys?

Wait a minute! What the hell is going on here? Didn't Sam betray Dean? Doesn't anything have consequences in this place? The writer brings this to their attention. He reminds them of past decisions, episodes that were written, promises that were made. He tries desperately to show them what it's all about:

"This isn't about a war. It's about two brothers who loved eachother, and betrayed eachother."

But Sam just looks confused. "What? Me? Betray? No... I'm the cute younger brother!" The writer can't believe his ears. He pleads with Dean. They have to end it the right way. It has to be Sam vs. Dean. That is the way it was always supposed to be. He had created it all, just for that ending. St. Michael and Lucifer can't ride a tandem bike into the sunset!

"You were born to this boys! It's your destiny! It was always you! ... Because from the moment Dad flipped on the lights around here we knew it was all gonna end with you. Always. One brother has to kill the other."

But it's no good. The writer is trapped and he's all out of tricks. The fantasy world dissolves and he's left alone, a little man standing in an empty warehouse with his characters. He has no more power here. Dean has had enough and he tells it like it is. A character can't be blamed for everything. Just who's writing who here anyway? The writer has no business acting like it's anyone's fault but his own. Who manipulates people the way writers do? Did he expect everyone to cheer when he twisted the knife in Sam's back? If a writer doesn't have the guts to stand up for his work, then he doesn't deserve to keep it. Dean doesn't belong to him anymore.

"We don't screw with people the way you do. And for the record, this isn't about some prize fight between you and your brothers! Or some destiny that can't be stopped! This is about you being too afraid to stand up to your family!"

And there they stand. The writer and his character. Face to face. It is their last goodbye. Dean starts for the door. The door that leads to that television purgatory where we just spent the last hour. Where he is set to spend eternity. He turns for one last look at the man who created him.

"Don't say I never did anything for you."

The door closes. It is the end. Not the end that was meant to be, but an end. At least now we know for certain that someone was in there trying to say something. Another victim of the Television Machine.

"Play the roles that destiny has chosen for you or you'll stay here in TV Land forever. 300 channels and nothing's on."

NOTE: If you are interested in the FULL decoded message, I will be posting it shortly. It's detailed, for those who care.


eefje said...

I think you definately have a good point! I am posting a link to this blog on Twitter tomorrow if I may, cause a lot of people over there like to read reviews/blogs and comment when it comes to SPN ;)

I personally thought that, although the Sam versus Dean worked well and was effective and was working towards an end battle with maybe them both dying to save the world last season, it didn't work as well as it could have worked when they had put more time in the dramatic consequenses of the split up for the brothers personally. We saw so little of it, that even picking a side (although it happened a lot, I don't understand that) was not possible because their motivations were IMO not worked out well enough. It all seemed to happen off screen, just like a lot of plotholes are being covered by wrapping them up quickly at the end of an episode in the current season 5. I think that maybe made the fans scream for more Sam/Dean good ol' days stuff on the one hand and on the other hand people saying that the direction they took in season 4 was awesome ;)

SPN fans are very much differentiated in their opinions and I think they try to please them all, which seems impossible. To me this explains these very funny yet at times questionable episodes like changing channels.

Thanks for this interesting blog, it really provides a lot of stuff to think about!

Bernerd said...

Sure thing, I'd love for you to put a link on your Twitter. I really want to hear what people have to say about this.

I agree with you that there was a definite split in the fan-base over the whole "brother vs brother" thing. What drives me crazy is that to me, it is the only way the story can possibly go. It's been the point of the show ever since episode one - Dean follows Dad, Sam doesn't. It's such a well crafted show that it feels like they did themselves a dis-service by allowing some wishy-washy want for the old days to cloud the point of the series. That was the reason why "Changing Channels" was so powerful to me. Here was the argument, plain and simple. Stay here in TV land, forever - forever doing the same thing over and over - or "play the roles that destiny has chosen for you" and actually make a point worth thinking about.

Thanks for the comment! I really enjoy reading what other people think about my crazy views. It sometimes feels like I'm all alone out here.

J.R. said...

Until I read this I couldn't put my finger on what was at the back of my mind about this season. Its still a good show, but I haven't been finding myself constantly enthralled like past seasons.

Its that they're doing something they've already done before. Even though Sam said that things would have to be different than from the past, more equal. Things aren't any different than what life was like for them before except now people occasionally call Sam out on starting the end of the world.

I thought the Trickster was totally on point about one of them dying, and how it was always going to end like this. Thats why I was really disappointed that what he said didn't carry that much weight with Sam and Dean.

It kills me how much things have gone back to the beginning. After a crazy season finale, Sam goes back to being docile, powerless, and tossed around by no name demons. Dean goes back to being in charge and now there are no secrets between the two of them.

I just feel that they are underusing so many great elements and characters.

Great write up, I love seeing new articles by you.