This review contains spoilers.
10.5 Fan Fiction
It’s always a monumental event for a show to make it to its 100th episode, but Supernatural has managed to surpass that and hit its 200th. Using the show’s internal metafiction, the Supernatural books and the Winchester fandom that exists within Sam and Dean’s world, Fan Fiction crafts an affectionate tale. It seems only fitting that the 200th episode acts as a tribute not only to the longevity of the show, but to the fans who have helped keep the show on the air this long.
Fan Fiction finds Sam and Dean investigating a case of a missing drama teacher, only to discover that a Supernatural musical is going on at the same school. Writer-Director Marie (a hilarious Katie Sarife) has based her new vision on the Supernatural books of Carver Edlund, the pen-name of the missing Chuck (more on him later), as well as adding her own twists. Of course, this being Supernatural, her fan fervour brings something forth that threatens anyone involved in the show.
The episode is an absolute delight to anyone who has followed the show this long, packed full of references right from the use of every title screen Supernatural has had through to the ‘jerk’/’bitch’ exchange or Dean’s cry-face with ‘a single man tear’. Even the show’s link to The X-Files is acknowledged during its runtime. It’s an episode that almost begs to be watched again because I’m sure there were bits that I missed whilst laughing at Dean looking crestfallen or Sam’s quizzical expressions.
As with any metafictional episode, Robbie Thompson’s script took a couple of affectionate digs at the Supernatural fandom whilst also celebrating their fervour and creativity when it comes to said fan fiction. He also uses the opportunity of having superfan Marie at the heart of the story to nod to specific things that have risen out of the fandom like Destiel and the ever-troubling Wincest. Seeing the boys’ reactions to these was worth the rest of the episode alone. It even managed to combine the comedy with a final moment of pathos for the brothers, listening to a great version of Carry On My Wayward Son, the show’s de facto theme song, before they drove off into the sunset.
Though it wore its silliness on its sleeve, a clever commentary on Supernatural’s success was woven into the narrative with villain Calliope. The idea of having your stories come to life is very literally realised in a television show and the wealth of fan fiction on the internet (both in-show and in the real world) is a testament to the power that stories have over people. Calliope even offers an opinion on why Supernatural has lasted as long as this in her final speech to Sam: ‘Supernatural has everything’. Never more was this the case than in Fan Fiction.
For all intents and purposes, it felt like Fan Fiction was a celebratory standalone episode, not really advancing anything more than the brothers’ healing relationship. And then that final scene happened. The question of what happened to Chuck has been hanging over the show since Swan Song when he disappeared in a flash of light. Now, Castiel once said that Chuck must be dead for Kevin to be called as a prophet, as only one can exist at any one time. With Kevin gone, that could leave a space for Chuck to return if he is indeed only a prophet.
However, the theory that Chuck is God still persists. We know that God is still missing and absent from everything that has gone on with the angels so the debate will rage on. Does this mean we finally get to find out who Chuck is? Is Chuck God? Are the writers just teasing us? There are so many questions! Whatever the result, it was a wonderful curveball to get right at the end of the episode. I may or may not have yelled at my screen.
As Supernatural’s 200th episode, there was a fair amount of expectation for Fan Fiction and it more than lived up to it. The songs alone guarantee it will rank highly on episode lists in future for their callbacks to key character moments. What is clear is that all involved in the show still have a huge amount of love for it and its characters, from the cast to the crew to the fans themselves and Fan Fiction was a fitting tribute to that.
Read Becky’s review of the previous episode, Paper Moon, here.
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