Supernatural: Fan Fiction
November 14, 2014 9:39 PM - Season 10, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Fan Fiction is the 200th episode of Supernatural. Dean wants to get back to hunting and convinces Sam to pursue a case about a missing teacher at a private all-girls school. Upon arriving at the school they find the students putting on a musical about a topic that hits a little too close to home for the Winchester boys. The musical is headed by a very determined student Director/Writer who has a very particular take on the story, despite Dean's protestations.
posted by cfoxhi (22 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Sam: "Who's that?"
Stage Manager: "Oh, that's Adam, John Winchester's other kid. He's still trapped in a cage in Hell. With Lucifer."
[Sam & Dean exchange uncomfortable looks]

I loved that. And I loved that it was an all-girls school. And I can't believe how much I loved seeing Chuck again.
posted by obloquy at 10:58 PM on November 14, 2014 [13 favorites]

Man, I love it when Supernatural gets all goofy and meta. I needed an episode like this after all the SERIOUS BUSINESS we've been given lately.

I loved the director's reaction to Dean's description of post-season 5 events.
posted by brundlefly at 2:12 AM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

This was truly a wonderful episode and I long to see the entire production.
posted by Kitteh at 6:02 AM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

After they teased the Carry On Wayward Son cover early on I spent the whole episode waiting for it. They totally delivered at the end.
posted by Pryde at 12:09 PM on November 15, 2014 [11 favorites]

Oh, and I loved the opening title!
posted by brundlefly at 1:06 PM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

Seeing all the opening titles from the different shows was really fun. What a creative bunch of people they have on that show.
posted by cfoxhi at 2:30 PM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

I've heard writers call something a "love letter to the fans" before, but, wow, this time it really was. I can't get over how amazing it was, for a show that has such persistently problematic misogyny, to spend their 200th episode paying such respect to the power of teen girl fandom. And nobody died!

Question - in the scene where Marie is showing Dean the missing teacher's office, who is that in the THEATRE IS LIFE poster on the wall? It got such prominent placement, I figure I should recognize them.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:40 PM on November 15, 2014 [10 favorites]

I thought the same thing, but could not figure out who it was. It looked like Joss Whedon, with a nose prosthetic. :) It also seemed like the members of the audience got a lot of attention as well. I wonder if they were crew or some other people connected with the show.
posted by cfoxhi at 8:44 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought it looked like Joss, or Louis CK a bit, but I couldn't figure why, and haven't seen it mentioned in any of the blogs I follow.

Sadly, the iTunes album doesn't include the Latin chanting bits of "Single Man Tear" and doesn't have Castiel's "I'll Just Wait Here Now" ballad at all, guess I'll have to rip something off of youtube if I want a 'complete' soundtrack (though I figure someone else has already done it, and the links will turn up on tumblr eventually).
posted by oh yeah! at 6:17 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this episode perhaps the best of all the meta episodes that Supernatural has delivered, granted, it's been a while since I watched the episode with the Con. What I appreciated most was the play's use to provide Sam and Dean (notably Dean) an opportunity to recall what the two had been through and what they meant to each other (minus the subtext...STEP FARTHER BACK!). You might have had a drinking game for every time the camera cut to Dean watching the events pensively or responding to something someone said about the brothers...but I don't care. I didn't even mind the somewhat bad CGI drive off at the end of the episode, if only because it seemed the writers were working to re-orient the brothers back to who they were in the first few seasons. On the road with each other's backs. It's something I've been hungering for several seasons.

I liked the direct salute to Rushmore with the director's beret, glasses and uniform. I also adored all the practical effects the girls pulled out for the production, such as walking trees and street lights past the immobile car prop to indicate it was driving down a road, or the pair of lights flashing off of Castiel as he (she) sang his/her song. It was also a nice touch that they had the captured student and teacher take a proactive role in the demise of the goddess, rather than simply cower in the corner and do nothing.

I would pay to watch the entire production, too. Even if they filmed it from a camera phone or handycam or anything, EVEN the second act, complete with the robot and tentacles. This is actually one of the first Supernatural episodes I feel like going back and watching again.

And egads, seeing a girl with a trucker hat and fake beard made me miss Bobby so dang much. Can't we haul him out of Heaven or something? Bring the Bobby back, you idjits!
posted by Atreides at 11:50 AM on November 16, 2014 [11 favorites]

Speaking of the practical effects, I loved the "demon smoke" flowing out of the girl's mouth as she was being exorcised.

And yeah... I miss Bobby a ton. His death was the cherry on the shit sundae of season 7.

posted by brundlefly at 12:18 PM on November 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

As someone who stumbled onto this show on Netflix a few years ago the fan episodes seemed totally out of left field. Which I'm fine with, I prefer my media unsullied by the real world (and the initial Chuck episode was brilliant and fit perfectly into the storyline). However, this last episode suddenly made me think the show has been 90% pandering to (some?) fans for a few years now? Entertaining as they can be, Castiel and Crowley surely should have been offed years ago. Basically nothing has happened for like 3 seasons except manly feelings, hugs and incomprehensible angel stuff*.

Also why no Jo and Ellen or Ash and Pamela in the play? That was lame.

*I am pretty sure of this despite not watching most of the past 3 seasons. I pop in now and again and nothing has ever happened.
posted by fshgrl at 1:21 AM on November 17, 2014

Actually, you look carefully at the assembled cast in a few of the scenes there is indeed Ash, Ellen, and Jo. I know this because we yelped in joy when we saw them.
posted by Kitteh at 6:49 AM on November 17, 2014 [5 favorites]

However, this last episode suddenly made me think the show has been 90% pandering to (some?) fans for a few years now? Entertaining as they can be, Castiel and Crowley surely should have been offed years ago. Basically nothing has happened for like 3 seasons except manly feelings, hugs and incomprehensible angel stuff*.

Nah, the blame for Supernatural's 'nothing is happening' problem belongs on the writers' heads, not the fans. If they were pandering to the vocal fandom, they wouldn't keep killing off every female character they introduce, they'd stop with the queerbaiting and make Destiel canon, not killed Bobby, Kevin, etc. If they felt like writing out Crowley, they'd do it, no matter how much of a fandom he has.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:48 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

I loved this episode.

And it's been a long time since I loved and episode.

It might be because all the things they referenced were from seasons 1 -5, when I felt the show was more consistent. The Kripkie era I beleive.

Great stuff.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:34 AM on November 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh thank god, finally a thread. I thought, "Man, if this episode doesn't get a thread, people have definitely abandoned the show."

After they teased the Carry On Wayward Son cover early on I spent the whole episode waiting for it. They totally delivered at the end.

I was a teen in the 70s, and if anybody had ever had the temerity, anytime before the last minutes of this episode, to suggest that I would ever CRY real copious TEARS over any version of that stupid-ass pompous KANSAS song, I would have told them to shut the fuck UP. Gotta love musical theatre!

Very gratifying episode, which sort of pointed up how pale a shadow of its former self the thing has become. Q: does the re-appearance of Chuck mean the Supverse is no longer godless, that it never was, or just that this was well and truly Fan Service Day?

You know who I miss? Ms. Tran. Her character is fantastic, that whole storyline ended wretchedly, and I hope she gets a return visit.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:19 PM on November 20, 2014 [6 favorites]

Nothing thrills me more than stage effects. The demon smoke was the best.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:43 AM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

The janky CG denouement is a super snarky, but yeah, the promised 'Carry On Wayward Son' satisfied.
posted by porpoise at 8:34 PM on November 26, 2021


Dean: [pointing to the actors portraying Dean and Castiel] What are they doing?
Marie: Ummm. Kids these days call it hugging.
Dean: Is that in the show?
Marie: Oh. No. Siobhan and Kristen are a couple in real life. Although we do explore the nature of Destiel in act two.
Dean: Sorry. What?
Marie: Oh, it's just subtext. But... then again, you know, you can't spell subtext without... S-E-X.

Sam: I don't understand.
Dean: Me neither.
Sam: I mean, shouldn't it be *Dea*stiel?
Dean: Really? That's your issue with this?
Sam: No. Of course, it's not my issue. You know... how about... Sastiel? Samstiel?
Dean: Okay. Alright. You know what? You're gonna do that thing... where you just shut the hell up. Forever.
Sam: Look. Man, no EMF, no hex bags. None of the props are even remotely hinky. Other than the Charlie Kaufman of it all, I got nothin'. You?
Dean: No, Miss Chandler's office was just a pile of empty bottles and regret. She's probably face down in a bar somewhere. Or a ditch. Alright, so what? This, this whole... this whole musical thing, everything, it's just... is it... it's all a coincidence? There is no case?
Sam: Unless you're seein' somethin' I'm not. No, Dean, there's no case here.
Dean: Okay. [walks around the car to the driver's side door]
Sam: Casdean?
Dean: Shut your face! Get in the car!

Dean: [pointing to the two girls playing Sam and Dean, leaning against the car] What are they doin'?
Marie: Oh, uh... they're rehearsing the BM scene.
Dean: The bowel movement scene?
Marie: No! The boy melodrama scene.
Dean: ...
Marie: You know, the scene where the boys get together, and they're, they're driving or leaning against Baby... drinking a beer... sharing their feelings... The two of them. Alone. But together. Bonded. United. The power of their...
Dean: Why are they standing so close together?
Marie: Uh... reasons.
Dean: You know they're *brothers*... right?
Marie: Well, duh. But... subtext.
Dean: [to the two actors in his menacing voice] Why don't you take a sub step back there, ladies?

Dean: There is no singing in Supernatural.
Maeve: Well, this is Marie's interpretation...
Dean: Aha! Well... I mean, if there was singing, you know, and that's a big if. *If* there was singing, it would be classic rock! Not this... Andrew Floyd Webber crap!
Sam: [under his breath to Dean] Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Dean: What?
Marie: Well, you know, we do sing a cover of "Carry On Wayward Son" in the second act.
Dean: Oh.
Sam: Really?
Dean & Marie: [in unison] It's a classic!

Sam: I was a theatre kid.
Dean: Barely. You did Our Town, which was cool, but then you did that crappy musical.
Sam: That -- Oklahoma? Hugh Jackman got cast off Oklahoma.
Dean: You ran tech, Wolverine.

Dean: You want to piñata this asshat?
Marie: "Asshat"? Nice. It's, uh, very Dean.

Sam: So, why this story, huh? Why Supernatural?
Calliope: Supernatural has everything. Life, death, resurrection, redemption. The stake. But above all... Family. All set to music you can really tap your toe to.

Dean: Tonight it is all about Marie's vision. This is Marie's Supernatural. So I want you to get out there, and I want you to stand as close as she wants you to, and I want you to put as much sub into that text as you possibly can. There is no other road, no other way, no day... but today.
Maeve: [whispers] Did he just quote Rent?
Marie: Not enough to get us in trouble.

Marie: As you know, Chuck stopped writing after Swan Song. I just... I couldn't leave it the way that it was. I mean, Dean not hunting anymore, living with *Lisa*, Sam somehow back from Hell but not with Dean? So, um, I wrote my own ending.
Dean: You wrote your own ending... with [holds up prop] ... spaceships?
Marie: And robots and some ninjas. And then Dean becomes a woman.
Dean: ...
Marie: It-- it's just for a few scenes.

Sam: [looking at actors] Where's Chuck?
Marie: Oh, I love him. I do. But, honestly, the whole "author inserting themselves into the narrative" thing, it's just not my favorite. I kind of hate the meta stories.
Sam & Dean: Me too.

Mrs. Chandler: I have had three weeks of this crap show, and I am done. There is too much drama in the drama department.

Marie: So... The scarecrow is still alive and we burned my prop for NOTHING?
Dean: Oh, that thing needed to burn.

Marie: [about the Samulet] You never should've thrown this away.
Dean: It never really worked. I don't need a symbol to remind me how I feel about my brother. So..
Marie: Just take it... jerk.
Dean: Bitch.

Sam: [watching play] What is that?
Dean: It's the, uh, the B.M. scene.
Sam: [confused] Bowel movement scene?
Dean: No. Just... Shh.

Dean: Alright, Shakespeare. You know that I can actually tell you what really happened with Sam and Dean. A friend of mine hooked me up with the unpublished-unpublished books. So, Sam came back from Hell, but without his soul, and Cass brought in a bunch of Leviathans from Purgatory. They lost Bobby, and then Cass and Dean got stuck in Purgatory... Sam hit a dog. Uh, they met a prophet named Kevin; they lost him too. Then Sam underwent a series of trials in an attempt to close the Gates of Hell, which nearly cost him his life. And Dean... he became a demon. A Knight of Hell actually.
Marie: Wow.
Dean: Yup.
Marie: That is some of the worst fan-fiction I have ever heard. I mean, seriously, where did your friend find this garbage? And not saying that ours is a masterpiece or anything, but jeez. I'll have to send you some links later.

Mrs. Chandler: Why couldn't they just do Godspell, like good little skanks? Instead, it's this awful, unbelievable horror story. Mm! Like that stuff really happens. Theatre is about life, you know? Truth -- truth! Where is the truth in Supernatural?

Marie: It's all real. Ghosts, angels... Demons.
Maeve: I want to believe.
Sam: [exchanges look with Dean] You should believe. You both should 'cause it is all real. And so are we. I'm Sam Winchester. That's Dean.
Marie: [the girls stare, then start laughing] Okay. Now, look. I'm willing to accept that monsters are real, but those books... are works of fiction.
Maeve: And you guys are way too old to be Sam or Dean.
Dean: ...

Dean: A teacher at an all-girls school went missing in Flint, Michigan. She was headed to her car and then disappeared. Nobody's seen her since.
Sam: Dean, there's nothing here to even remotely suggest there's a case.
Dean: There is nothing there that even remotely suggests there *isn't* a case. Boom!

Dean: We came, we saw, we kicked-...
Sam: It's not a Tulpa.
Dean: What?
Sam: It's not a Tulpa.
Dean: Say it one more time, but just a little bit more Arnold, you know, like... [does an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice] It's not a Tul-pa.

Sam: lt's not like the Supernatural books are tearing up the New York Times bestseller list, and I seriously doubt this play is even sold out.
Dean: Hope not.

Kristen: [acting as Castiel] Hey, assbutt!

Marie: Writer. Director. Actor. I'm gonna Barbra Streisand this bitch.

Maeve: Thanks for saving my friends.
Sam: Sure.
Maeve: You know, if you cut your hair a little, you'd make a pretty good Dean.

Marie: No chick-flick moments!

Marie: [last lines] Hi. Thank you so much for coming, I know the second act is a little bit wonky and the first act has some issues, but... what did you think?
Chuck Shurley: Not bad.


Director Philip Sgriccia was very careful to not let the main cast hear the musical numbers before they filmed the scenes and so the first reactions you see from Sam and Dean are real. Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles have both said that the cover of "Carry on Wayward Son" was very moving for them.

The girl playing Dean in the musical complains the reason she isn't wearing the "Samulet" is that it keeps hitting her in the lips. Jensen Ackles hated the amulet because it constantly hit him in the face.

Dean messing up Andrew Lloyd Webber's name was in fact unscripted.

When Dean and Sam are seeing the full cast of the play in their outfits, the girl who plays Castiel is wearing a tie frontwards. Dean turns it backwards, the way the real Castiel wears it.

When Dean returns from destroying the scarecrow prop in the boiler room, he utters the famous line from Ghostbusters, "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!" Bill Murray's character Peter Venkman says this after the group captures their first ghost.

The school is named St. Alphonso's Academy and there are posters for a Pancake Breakfast. These are a reference to a Frank Zappa song called "Saint Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast". The idea came from director and Executive Producer Philip Sgriccia.

In her introduction to the musical, Maria warns the audience that "It might be a full-on Gallagher show up in this piece." She is referring to the 1970's/1980's comedian Gallagher, famous for smashing fruit with his Sledge-O-Matic.

Sam tells Dean, "Other than the Charlie Kaufman of it all, I got nothin'." He is referring to the playwright Charlie Kaufman, who penned works of fiction starring real people in surreal situations as themselves such as Being John Malkovich.

The songs in the Supernatural musical are actually sung by the actors portraying those characters.

Marie mentions that Carver Edlund stopped writing after Swan Song, which was the season finale for season 5. Which was also meant to be the end of the series.

This episode is one of only two in the show's history "What Is and What Should Never Be" (ep. 2.20) where the only death is that of the monster of the week.

When Sam introduces himself as Agent Smith and Dean as Agent Smith and adds, "No relation," he is quoting the FBI agents from the Bruce Willis action film Die Hard.

The boys' confusion over the term "BM" which Marie describes as meaning "boy melodrama" and not "bowel movement," reflects real life. Robbie Thompson said on Twitter: "Fun Fact, my 1st day on #Supernatural writers kept referring to 'The B.M.' scene... I was SO confused."

Though the show has parodied fan "shipper" names before, this is the first time Destiel -- a contraction of Dean and Castiel -- is used.

End credits usually roll, on more or less alternating episodes, with either Jay Gruska's "End Credits" or Christopher Lennertz's "End Score". This is one episode where neither of those tracks was used. Instead music specifically composed for this episode was used during the end credits.

The prop car has the original number plate of the Impala KAZ2Y5 and the search lights which were originally on Baby in seasons one and two. These were removed to make camera mounting easier.

The last scene of the Pilot episode is mimicked in the beginning of this episode. Sam and Dean are in the parking lot of the motel when they decide they're going to check out a case. The camera point of view is from inside Baby's trunk, with Dean standing on the left and Sam on the right. Dean says "We got work to do," tosses a shotgun into the trunk, then closes it. In the Pilot, the last scene is the same except Dean is on the right side while Sam is on the left, and Sam tosses the shotgun into the trunk and then says, "We got work to do," before shutting it.

The opening scene with Marie is an obvious nod to Jason Schwartzman's character Max Fisher from Rushmore, from the beret to her overbearing director attitude.

There are three notable references to The X-Files in this episode. When one of the students says, "I want to believe," in regards to there being real monsters, which is a well-known line from the show. When Sam and Dean say they are FBI hunters, a student says they are like X-Files then. In the opening title card sequence, one is in the style of The X-Files.

The scene where Dean looks into the camera after talking with Marie about Destiel was unscripted; it was an improvisation from Jensen Ackles.

At around 31:09, in the musical's interpretation of events, Dean is on the phone with Castiel and says, "You can pop in tomorrow morning," hangs up on him, and Castiel responds, "I'll just...wait here then." The dialogue and sets perfectly match Dean and Cass' conversation in "The End" (ep. 5.4). During Castiel's subsequent musical number, the staging and cinematography mirror the scene in "On the Head of a Pin" (ep. 4.16) from season 4 during which Castiel stands below a circular lamp light, which creates the effect of a halo.

Marie sets aside a ticket for the publisher to see the show, which is a bad idea. An unauthorized production like this would be shut down by a publisher for violating copyright law. Luckily for Marie, someone else claims the ticket who doesn't seem too concerned about copyright law.

It is the first episode that Chuck has been in since "Swan Song" (ep. 5.22), since then he was presumed to be dead by most fans.

The hotel door Sam exits from at the beginning of the episode is room 200, so numbered in honour of the episode number.

When Calliope explains to a captive Sam about why she picked the Supernatural play to appear at, Maggie quietly steals a copy of Homer's The Odyssey from the nearest table and Calliope finish her sentence with, "It's epic."

Marie mentions doing a "one-woman Orphan Black show" the previous year. There is a bit of a joke in that. In the show Orphan Black the star, Tatiana Maslany, plays five main characters and several more minor characters. The actress has earned praise for her ability to play radically different characters against each other at the same time in the same scene.

In the beginning, the writer is writing the Supernatural pilot episode script using Windows Vista or higher (Aero cursor first showed up in Vista). Vista was released in 2007 and the pilot was aired in 2005.

When Dean is seen working on the car in the beginning. He is wearing a t-shirt and the Mark of Cain is nowhere to be seen on his arm.

In the opening scene Marie refers to Sam and Dean as "the Winchesters". In season 4 episode 18 when Sam and Dean meet Edlund, Edlund says he never used their last name in the books. However, Becky Rosen (from "The Real Ghostbusters" in season 5 and "Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!" in season 7 knew the brothers' last name and was known to post information about them on Supernatural fan websites using the screen name "beckywinchester176" (as stated by Charlie in the season 9 episode "Slumber Party". It is not inconceivable that Becky revealed Sam and Dean's last name in one of her posts.

Just before the last scene on stage, Marie gives Dean the prop jewelry "Samulet." Moments later during the final song, the actress portraying Dean is still wearing the prop "Samulet".

The intros from every season are shown, including the crazy credits created for some of the individual episodes.
posted by orange swan at 4:52 PM on November 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

The play was really very well done for a bunch of high schoolers, and the singing was excellent. That was an unqualifiably beautiful and moving version "Carry On Wayward Son".

Agreed with the above poster who described this as a love letter to the fans. It felt like a tribute to the creativity and the dedication and the enthusiasm that fans bring to their celebration of the series, and also an acknowledgment that their interpretation of the series has its own validity.

Cute moment with Dean bobbing his head in time to the first song of the show. He loves music so much he can never help getting into it.

You know Sam or Dean are stuck for a good response to a crack from the other one when they just tell each other to shut up.
posted by orange swan at 4:57 PM on November 30, 2021

I never, personally, totally got the appeal of validation or a love letter or whatnot from a TV show I enjoy, and I have a weird thing that I cannot watch characters on TV singing and so watch a lot of this with the sound off. But I do enjoy this greatly and can appreciate what they were going for, and I appreciate the prominence and kindness it gave teenage girls in particular.

Sam and Dean needing to ask who Adam is: magnificent. Something exploding into purple goo for the sheer joy of it: magnificent. People in elaborate nonsensical costumes hanging out in cast scenes is a visual joke that will never get old to me, godspeed tentacle robot. The parade of title cards, fun after watching the show for ten years and fun now. I truly hope the props team enjoyed this and that the burning Mary board found a home somewhere, fucked up thing that it is.

You know, I missed the Samulet and was sad when Dean threw it away, but when he shrugged and said he didn’t need a symbol to tell him how he felt about Sam, that felt satisfying and intuitively right to me, and was self-reflective in a particular way that we don’t usually get.

Going from "Chuck is a drunk novelist who became a prophet" to "Chuck is God" to "God spends his time hanging out at high school musical adaptations of the cult novels he wrote in bathrobe" is a weirdly poetic summary of what it's like watching the first ten seasons of this show.
posted by jameaterblues at 7:37 PM on November 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

How did the high school girls not know about the post "Swan Song" Supernatural books that Becky had posted on Amazon? (Charlie told Sam and Dean about them in "Slumber Party" (ep. 9.4).) It's not like they'd be so hard to find, especially for a fan who would be avid for more of the series.
posted by orange swan at 9:02 AM on December 3, 2021

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