This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 20
Don’t read on if you haven’t seen the episode. I swear to Chuck I am not kidding you – this is a rather big spoiler.
It was in season 4 when the entire premise of Supernatural took a major shift away from monsters and demons to delve into the truly spiritual. At the time, the appearance of Castiel, an actual angel, was crazy to imagine. To that point, we’d seen maybe one heavenly intervention, but the prospect of a good force out there helping on the sidelines was mystical and hard to fathom. Later, Cas basically became part of the group, and the storylines of angels, demons, prophets and ancient prophecies became ordinary in a show that once tackled Bloody Mary.
The Winchester boys were definitely the B-story in this episode, taking a back seat to the more important conversation between Metatron and Chuck. I didn’t mind – I was more engaged in the insanity that was the big G actually there, in the flesh, talking to Metatron about all the burning questions we all have. Metatron served as our proxy in this sense. When we switched over to the Winchesters on their Amara-themed case, it was short and sweet, but amped up in tension as the story progressed. There was a really good balance here between the side-by-side plots.
I want to bring up the concept of retconning on the subject of Chuck’s true identity. I wonder when the writers/showrunners decided that Chuck was actually the big guy upstairs. I’d like to think this has been in the works for quite some time, so that when I go back and watch those Chuck-centric episodes, I’ll see hints that there’s more to Mr. Shurley than meets the eye. That might not be the case, but that’s okay. The way this was handled, it still made sense that Chuck was God in disguise. The fact that he can turn off Dean’s God-seeking amulet at will seems logical.
I was really impressed with Metatron’s character growth to lead up to this episode. He was such a jerk for so long that he became unsympathetic. Now, after having fallen so low, he has put things in perspective. The old Metatron would not have cared to give his dumpster-dive lunch to a stray dog. Metatron also pleads the case for humanity’s need for God to intervene, with a passion that I didn’t even know he had. Metatron had become such a cynic, I didn’t think he was capable of turning this around.
The episode was loaded with hilarious one liners and quips from many characters, but Chuck stole the show in the first half. He even claimed he was writing a new series, titled “Revolution,” but didn’t think it was going anywhere. Funny nod to the show by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke that was canceled in 2014. Everything from his blog about cats (they’re so cute!) to his World’s Greatest Dad mug made this character a joy – until he started getting more dark.
You see, as Metatron asked him questions that always inevitably led to the plight with Amara, Chuck would get moody and emotionally shut him out. We glimpse the being that felt it was okay to abandon humanity. It really showed a multi-faceted character. Chuck Shurley/Carver Edlund/God had the joys, passions and fears that made him real.
That ending moment, when Sam is in peril and the entire town has been taken over by The Fog, is resolved in a deus ex machina way (the literary device, not the awesome video game). The Fog clears, Sam is cured, and all those who had been affected or killed rise, looking very confused. Sam and Dean follow the glowing amulet to the middle of the street, where a sheepish Chuck said, “We should probably talk.”
I never thought Supernatural would dare bring God to the show, but now I’m glad they have.