Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 21 - "All in the Family"
As the season 11 finale looms, Supernatural seems to be subtextually analyzing its relationship with its fans.
SupernaturalAirtime: Wednesdays, 8pm
Cast: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard
Subtitle: Season 11, Episode 21 - "All in the Family"
Air date: 2016-05-11
"We're not asking you to believe that this is true, just act like you do. People do it all the time."
-- Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) to Donatello Redfield (Keith Szarabajka)
That quote pretty much sums up this week's episode of Supernatural, as the show's fans have been separated into two distinct groups since last week's possibly series-changing reveal that Chuck (Rob Benedict) is God. Some fans loved the twist, believing that casting the most supreme being in the universe as a relatable human dork is clever and in keeping with Supernatural's overall aesthetic. Others think that God should be more God-like, played by someone with a more serious, commanding presence.
One could make the argument that the pro-Chuck fans are represented by Sam (Jared Padalecki) and the anti-Chuck fans by Dean in "All In The Family". The episode opens with Sam and Dean, fresh on the heels on the news, attempting to process this revelation and ask Chuck/God some badly needed questions. Sam, accused of being too eager by his brother, is understandably nervous, excited, and impressed.
Dean, on the other hand, acts indifferent and accusatory in his questioning, with his anger at God for not showing up earlier turning into tears. Sam's surprised to hear that Chuck/God (who's staying at their bunker) takes showers and naps, while Dean's not above telling Him to stop singing late at night and to put some pants on later on that day. Pretty much the only thing the brothers agree upon in the episode in happiness at seeing fan-favorite character Kevin (Osric Chau) at peace and beamed into Heaven after living on earth as a ghost since season nine.
The parallels don't stop there, however, as we later meet Donatello Redfield, an atheist chemistry professor turned prophet of God after surviving Amara's (Emily Swallow) latest batch of dark cloud virus. Donatello states multiple times that he doesn't believe in any of things he's recently seen, because they defy logic and common sense. (A common fan complaint during this season in particular.) When Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) tells the Winchesters God's plan to sacrifice Himself to the Darkness in order to save the universe, Sam huffs, "Do you really expect us to buy this?" as if he was debating the ridiculousness of such a plot point.
One could even make the argument that during Amara's overly long conversation with Dean, in which she questions why her and Dean just can't be together if they both have feelings for each other, that she's just echoing the romantic sentiments of all "shippers". (Although, for some reason, I haven't heard of a single fan yet that wants to see those two together.)
Still, the episode wasn't all exposition, as two major plot points were advanced. Metatron actually sacrificed himself (and is now presumably dead) by trying to destroy Amara. He was a part of Chuck, Donatello, and the Winchesters' rescue of Castiel/Lucifer (Misha Collins), who was nearly tortured to death by the Darkness. Chuck even healed Castiel's body, leaving us to wonder whether or not He actually exorcised Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) out as well.
The Amara drama continues next week on Supernatural, as Rowena (Ruth Connell) and Crowley (Mark Sheppard) team up with God and the Winchesters to stop Amara. That's bound to end well.