5.9 The Real Ghostbusters
So, what do you do when you’re nearly halfway through a season and your apocalyptic storyline needs padding out? Well, you could always add an interesting dimension to proceedings. Maybe attempt to delve deeper into the connection between a demon fighting blood junkie called Sam Winchester and Lucifer? Maybe you could even give the longstanding, committed fans of the show an extra something to sink their teeth into? No? Well, tell you what. Maybe you should just make fun of them instead.
The ninth episode of the season, The Real Ghostbusters saw Sam and Dean coaxed into attending a Supernatural fan convention. Yup, the prophet Chuck (otherwise known as the Supernatural books author, Carver Edlund) and super fan-girl Becky were back, and this time, they’d brought friends. Taking place in a hotel were events, which included a ‘LARPing’ ghost hunt (that’s live action role play for anyone square enough not to know), and a talk on ‘the homoerotic subtext of Supernatural‘ (which I think sounds riveting).
For all its humour and obvious parody, one has to wonder just how far the joke can go. Alluding to its own fan base has always been something which has set Supernatural apart from many other shows and has added originality and a greater level of audience participation. But there were times when the episode seemed to go from affectionate jostling to all out poking and jibbing. In a way, it was also laughing at itself as well, though. The convention seemed half empty, with shoddy planning and laughable Q and A’s, but the fans themselves just seemed desperate.
Sure, as a fan myself, maybe it’s me who just couldn’t take the joke and maybe others would have enjoyed this parody?
The Real Ghostbusters was a strange one. Essentially, it was one for the fans, an homage to conventions and fan-girl obsessions which may have not sat too well with the casual viewer. For a standalone it still required the viewer to have already taken an active involvement in the world of Supernatural and to be already clued up on the inner fan basen which existed inside a fan-based show.
As a character, Becky certainly has her moments of comedic entertainment. But again, it’s hard to predict how loyal SPN fan-girls will appreciate the show portraying them as obsessive, man-hungry losers.
After muddling through the negatives, there were still some great elements to the ninth episode. It was nice to see the reappearance of the soft-heartened, emotionally burdened Prophet Chuck played by Rob Benedict (House, Felicity, CSI) whose awkward ramblings throughout the convention scenes were funny and charming.
Along with a host of impressive guest stars, Benedict’s ability as an actor gives Supernatural some real credentials and staying power and, along with Richard Speight Jr, is someone who, in my opinion, will hopefully continue to make appearances in the future.
There was also the added inclusion of a cliff-hanger finale, where, low and behold, Becky of all people provides Sam with some inside knowledge about The Colt.
As magical, demon killing guns go, The Colt has got to be one of the coolest pieces of metal in the world of sci-fi. Sure, lightsabres might look impressive, but they can’t kill demons, now can they? Suck on that one, Skywalker.
Becky explains that the mysterious disappearance of The Colt is all down to Season three’s scheming Brit bad-girl Bella, who has given the gun to a demon called Crowley.
So, it looks like the Winchesters might have some ammo for the devil after all. Let’s cross our fingers, folks and, maybe, we can finally get into this whole apocalypse thing in the end, yeah?
Read our review of episode 8 here. Catch the show on Living in the UK.