Supernatural: Meet the New Boss
September 17, 2021 5:24 AM - Season 7, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Castiel believes he is the new God and becomes obsessed with power, and Sam, Dean, and Bobby try to find a way to stop him before he wreaks too much havoc.


Dean: What about God part deux?
Bobby: I got all kinds of feelers out. So far, diddly.
Dean: And what exactly are you looking for?
Bobby: Exactly. What? Miracles, mass visions, trench coat on a tortilla?

Sam: What new boss?
Crowley: Castiel, you giraffe.
Bobby: Is your boss?
Crowley: He's everybody's boss! What do you think he's going to do when he finds out we've been conspiring? You do... want to conspire, don't you?
Bobby: No, we want you to just stand there and look pretty.

News Broadcast: [Dean is listening for reports on Castiel's actions] Believed to be targeted hits high up in the white supremacy organizations, the FBI now believes the Klu Klux Klan has been forced to disband.
Dean: Huh. Can't argue with that one.

News Broadcast: Freak lightning strikes on the heels of the fire that burned down the Center for Vibrational Enlightenment earlier today. Said a spokesman, "This tragedy represents the largest loss in new-age motivational speaker history."
Sam: Motivational speakers?
Dean: Yeah. I'm not sure new Cass gets irony any better than old Cass.

Dean: I don't want to hurt you.
Dr. Weiss: Really. I'm the one with the firearm, son.
Dean: I get that.
[Cut to a shot of Dr. and Mrs. Weiss, gagged and bound]

Dean: Leviathans?
Death: I personally found them entertaining, but he was concerned they'd chomp the entire petri dish, so he locked them away.

Death: Try to bind me again... you'll die before you start. Nice pickle chips, by the way.


The sticky note Crowley leaves on the spell says, "Bye forever you fools Kisses C."

The title "Meet The New Boss" comes from the song lyrics for "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who.

To distract a security guard, Dean asks him, "Excuse me, you got any Grey Poupon?" This is a reference to an absurd 1980s commercial for the mustard brand Grey Poupon. The commercial has been parodied in many films and TV shows.

The picketing church Castiel enters and in which he makes the Reverend choke on his own tongue is based on the Westboro Baptist church, the members of which are notorious for their picketing at funerals and intolerance of homosexuality.

The binding spell used on Death (written in red ink) reads, "Te nunc invoco Mortem. Te in mea potestate defixi. Nunc et in aeternum," which translates to, "Now I summon you, Death. To my power I bind you. Now and for eternity."

Right before the scene with Dean and Bobby in front of the fixed and primed Baby there is an exterior shot of the repair shop. The wrecked version of Baby, used earlier in the episode, is under a tarp. You can tell by the shape of the roof dent, hood hinges, and air filter.

Death's comment to Castiel is reminiscent of Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Lloyd Bentsen's famous quote during the 1988 vice presidential debate. Dan Quayle had been comparing himself to JFK in his stump speeches and did it again in during the debate, and Senator Bentsen responded, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

Bobby indicates that fulgurites are very rare, and are created by lightning hitting sand and making it crystallize. While this description of a fulgurite's creation is accurate, they are not necessarily rare, as one can make "homemade" versions, using a lightning rod or rebar on a stormy night. Bobby also indicates that they need a large one. The length of the fulgurite used in the summoning spell was about 12 inches or so, but in reality, fulgurites have been known to measure 13 to 16 feet long.
posted by orange swan (11 comments total)
Castiel on the rampage was actually rather satisfying to watch. Healing lepers and the blind, taking out motivational speakers, the KKK, the Westboro Baptist Church, and a fanatically religious Republican senator... I mean, just let him do his work.

Dean picked up a bag of pickle chips in advance to pacify Death. And it more or less worked.

Misha Collins had a vein popping out on his forehead during the last minute struggle with the Leviathan, and then he suddenly becomes relaxed, and the episode closes with a chilling sardonic laugh from him that plays out during the first of the credits. Not a bad bit of acting.

The Leviathan plot direction makes me laugh because it makes me think of a conversation I had with a friend on Facebook. He struggles with depression and I keep an eye on his FB page and check in with him via IM whenever I see anything alarming. During one such chat I asked him if he'd ever considered getting a pet, because they can be a help with depression, and he told me he had been thinking of getting a cat for awhile. He wanted a black one he could name Behemoth. I checked the Toronto Humane Society website and found they had two black cats available at the time, one a tuxedo cat, and the other an all black cat, but the all black cat was only available for adoption with its mother. I flipped him the links. He said he was open to getting two cats. I asked him what name would go with Behemoth, and he said he'd have to think about it. I googled and discovered that in Jewish mythology there are three Chaos Monsters: the land monster Behemoth, the sea monster Leviathan, and the sky monster Ziz. I suggested he pick one of those other two names and then refer to his cats collectively as the Chaos Monsters. He responded with one of those laughing crying emojis and said he might have to get three cats. I did a little more googling and discovered that Behemoth lived in a desert east of Eden, and suggested that Eden might be a nice name for a second cat too. He said he also liked that idea and the name Eden, but that he liked the Chaos Monster concept so much he was probably going to have to go with that. He hasn't gotten a cat as of yet, but I'm probably always going to think of that exchange now whenever I hear the words leviathan or behemoth.
posted by orange swan at 5:44 AM on September 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

I would have thought Dean would have pulled the headliner before trying to reshape the roof. And rather than taping the aerial, he should have just removed it. The grill probably should have been pulled as well (if he wanted to paint the whole car). The mirrors would have definitely come off.

Okay, body shop critique aside, it was very satisfying to watch Castiel in action. That's the kind of religion in action that I can appreciate.
posted by sardonyx at 6:31 AM on September 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

The Leviathans - they're going to be the gooey black things, right?

Kadry wrote the Kissi about a year before this season, and the Leviathan are essentially Kissi.

Cas going around smiting the wicked - in person - seems... inefficient.
posted by porpoise at 7:17 AM on September 17, 2021

Inefficient, sure, but I'm sure it was so satisfying and fulfilling to Castiel. After hanging around on earth and seeing how things are going, now that he's got the power in his hands, I can imagine it would be very tempting to use it and to see, up close, the results of his actions. Yes, now that he's God he's all-seeing and all-knowing, but overseeing something from a distance probably doesn't give the same visceral feelings, especially as this way he's able to watch the reactions of the people he is smiting (or saving).
posted by sardonyx at 7:28 AM on September 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

We've gotten into the era of the show where I felt like they were losing their way a bit. It never got bad and was always watchable, but it was like you could sense the strain in the scripts. The Leviathan were so clearly a placeholder apocalyptic threat that even the show would start goofing on them, a few seasons later. Was this around the time when Sam and Dean started keeping all these huge secrets from each other for absolutely no reason, and there was the whole, "I will still hunt with you, but you're no longer family to me!" thing? It was like the show went through a midlife crisis and got a little flabby and desperate for a while.

Kadry wrote the Kissi about a year before this season, and the Leviathan are essentially Kissi.

I didn't know what you meant here, so I did a quick Googling and it seems to be a reference to the Sandman Slim books by Richard Kadrey. I'll admit that the Kissi creatures do sound rather similar to the Leviathan, but I question Kadrey's choice to create a race of evil creatures with the same name as the fourth largest ethnic group in Guinea. Also, "Kissi" isn't exactly a scary-sounding word. It makes me think of Miss Piggy going, "Kissy-kissy!"
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:24 PM on September 17, 2021

Usrula H - transliteration and colonialism is a hell of a thing. Also, who's titling wikipedia entries?

I'm not defending Kadry for not being aware of the Kissi ethnicity, but I very highly doubt that Kadry meant to make that connection.

The Kissi people are also called Assi, Bakoa, Den, Gihi, Gisi, Gissi, Gizi, Kisi, Kisia, Kisie, Kisiye, Kizi, or Kalen

As for bringing it up, I've posted at least once a coincidence of SPN having too-close similarities with elements in extant published 'Sandman Slim' elements (well in advance of the air date) to be entirely coincidental.

With a subtext that the adaptation doesn't substantially improve upon the earlier instance; both draw from similar primary/ (human mythology) primordial sources but the pattern is suspicious.
posted by porpoise at 8:50 PM on September 17, 2021

Yeah cannot say this is the start of my favorite few seasons of the show, though it gets worse before it gets better.

I guess this goes to the theory of Everything Sucks In The Supernatural Universe but the whole thing where New God is better because yeah, he does spend kind a lot of his time killing people, but only the ones I don’t like, is true enough to the story but pretty fuckn bleak. I get what they were going for, I get why prominent American Christian hypocrites and the KKK were a logical and satisfying focus of the story and not, for example, the billions of people who never worshipped Castiel’s father and have no interest in ever worshipping him either.

But I would’ve been interested in Castiel (who in fairness is TRIPPING BALLS on Purgatory Juice and at least somewhat not in his right mind) doing something more interesting with all that power than wandering around killing people he saw as an affront. (Healing people with leprosy is more like it but if you’re God, maybe just tell us the cure for leprosy?) The whole thing was slightly goofy at the time--looking at you, lady being extremely horny on national news for Sexy Raincoat Murderer—and sadder now. Anyway I hope Amelia and Claire Novak were oblivious on a tropical cruise somewhere while Jimmy’s body was on an international murder spree.
posted by jameaterblues at 4:10 AM on September 18, 2021

Yeah, one of the missed opporunities with this storyline is checking in with the Novaks around this time (I understand Claire eventually comes back, though I never watched that far). You'd think they might have an opinion about this whole ordeal.

(There was . . . some fanfic touching on this. IIRC, but not much)
posted by dinty_moore at 7:45 AM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

In hindsight, I have regerts about making a flippant remark that Kissi sounds like something Miss Piggy would say. I just wasn't thinking, and I definitely didn't mean to disrespect the Kissi people. (And in fairness to Hadrey, I think it's pretty unlikely that he'd heard of the Kissi people when he gave his creatures that name. Knowingly naming your otherworldly Big Bads after an existing group of people in West Africa would just be weird and crappy.)

Now that we know Castiel had a crush on Dean (something I still can't quite believe the show made canon, just because I never got that vibe between them at all) the whole thing about God-Castiel taking out rabid homophobes might read as a bit of foreshadowing. One of the many things I like about this show was how it was always so unabashedly leftist. Like, they didn't have to put in all the stuff about Dick Cheney being beholden to demons or whatever, and they did it knowing it would probably piss off some of the fans, but they did it anyhow. They weren't strident about it but you always knew which side they were on.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:21 PM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yes, I've said before that this show isn't political, and I wouldn't want it to be, because it would be silly of a show like this to try to be, but they did occasionally fire one over the battlements at the (then) current political situation, and whenever they did they always hit the right targets. This show may not be great about their representation of women, racial issues, non-Christian religions, etc., but at least you know it wasn't produced by a bunch of Bush or Trump supporters.
posted by orange swan at 8:39 PM on September 18, 2021

Yeah, it’s sometimes mildly a surprise in context of everything else, I personally don’t know I’d go as far as leftist overall though it’s an interesting question, but the writers go out of their way enough over the years to make it pretty clear they had a side and yeah, it was nice to know. They could have just made up generic Bad People for fun smiting, and Fred Phelps is pretty fringe, but at the time Michelle Bachmann was at least a sitting member of Congress.
posted by jameaterblues at 1:00 AM on September 19, 2021

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