Supernatural: Don't Call Me Shurley
May 5, 2016 7:23 AM - Season 11, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Amara unleashes a dark fog on a small town that causes everyone to go mad. Dean and Sam realize this is a stronger version of the original black vein virus Amara previously unleashed.

AKA, Chuck is God. Or the biggest fanfic theory of all is confirmed.
posted by 2ht (25 comments total)
On the one hand, I enjoyed the episode. Loved the God-Chuck/Metatron scenes. On the other hand, how are they going to write God back out of the story so that the Winchesters and the universe can continue being in peril for however many more seasons this show goes on for? Are they going to kill God? Or will he just go away again, leaving Sam & Dean with the certainty that God is a dick?
posted by oh yeah! at 9:25 AM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


My little fanboy heart exploded all over this episode! Like, I think I should just stop watching the show after this season if God Chuck ends up saving the world from Amara. That's it. DONE. The show was a success!

A few things:
- how empathetic was Metatron? I've always enjoyed Curtis Armstrong, but he does such a great job here of trying to suck up to God and then transitioning to "hey, you're a coward!" and then "you're a dick and you should save those disappointing humans because they're great!"
- I like how every time they go up against The Darkness or Lucifer now both the boys are like "this is it" in terms of not expecting to get out alive, but at the same time not wanting to give up on each other. Sam was a like "well shit I'm done" even before he felt the depression caused by the fog. And of course Dean was going to do something stupid again if Chuck hadn't shown up.
- I love that they came back to the pendant! Yay it's shining!
- I got a very real sense that if God does exist in real life, he would have the same opinions about his creation and his own value as Chuck explained here. Spot on.
posted by numaner at 10:29 AM on May 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

Wow! What an amazing episode! Curtis Armstrong and Rob Benedict were terrific together. Really well-written script a-d great acting. Loved all the details at the bar, like the "World's Greatest Dad" mug. Though I could have just watched them the whole episode, they managed to integrate the Sam/Dean storyline really well. I had high expectations for this episode and they were surpassed. I'm still a little giddy.
posted by cfoxhi at 10:43 AM on May 5, 2016

I'm still a little giddy.

Me too. Loved the entire thing from beginning to end. But especially the end. Rob can sing. What a wonderful last few minutes that was.
posted by aclevername at 11:20 AM on May 5, 2016

Beer-ironed shirts are going to be the new 'in' thing.
posted by FallowKing at 1:35 PM on May 5, 2016

So, God dated Becky? And she still preferred Sam to God. That's gotta hurt a little.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 4:38 PM on May 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

Prediction: God will use his power to lock both Amara and himself out of the universe, and also remove all other supernatural forces from the world, leaving it an utterly and strictly rational place.

Season 12 will see Sam and Dean roaming the country debunking fakes and fighting regular crime in Supernatural.
Seasons 13-25: Show is retooled and aliens show up.
Season 26: ???
Seasons 27-30: The supernatural dam breaks, and the Winchesters come out of retirement!
posted by Pryde at 5:01 PM on May 5, 2016 [8 favorites]

I want an episode where Amara gets the same treatment as God here. It seems like she got a bad deal in all of this.
posted by humans are superior! at 7:04 PM on May 5, 2016

I have an inkling Amara had her little introspective episode that time with Rowena, which is not satisfactory at all.

But man I can't wait for the deity to deity sibling drama. Like how Sam and Dean have their BM, I guess they'd have their DM?
posted by numaner at 7:20 PM on May 5, 2016

You know, it's been a long eleven seasons and there are moments when I forget, but MAN this is a weird little show when it wants to be.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:33 PM on May 5, 2016 [6 favorites]

This is the firat episode in a long time that I've saved for rewatching. So much great stuff - the amulet! Chuck! More lady sheriffs that don't die! I'm so glad I didn't give up on the show, this season has been the best in ages.
posted by Requiax at 8:43 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this was pretty amazing in various ways. I remember a few seasons ago when the show was just OK, the Dick Roman era, and they were going for epic stakes and shocking twists but somehow it just wasn't quite jelling. But somehow this season they've really turned it around and made Supernatural seem like can't-miss TV again. They've thrown out a lot of old tropes and gone places I never would've expected.

I thought they'd keep the Chuck/God thing vague for the run of the show. They slipped in the line about God having girlfriends, and boyfriends, and when you think about it that's a pretty amazing thing to say. I thought the Revolution gag was a little much, but that's just quibbling really.

It's probably a good sign when a show is being so bold that you're already wondering where they can go from here. But really, after this season, where can they go? Once you've defeated the Darkness itself, it's hard to imagine how you can ever raise the stakes again. (I'm wondering if next season's big bad will be Death. I just have this feeling Death's not dead, and he could be more scary than anybody. But then where do they go from there?)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:13 AM on May 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

Supernatural must be the longest-running show that I have watched from the very beginning. There have been low points where I wondered if I was trapped in a sunk-cost fallacy (the excruciatingly boring arc of Sam & the veterinarian, the insultingly slap-dash killing of Charlie) but it's so rewarding when they take advantage of this accumulation of show mythology and talent pool to pull off something as good and surprising as this episode.

I loved how legitimately scary God-Chuck was when he was displeased with Metatron. I could believe him capable of smiting entire cities and flooding the Earth. Can't wait to see what the Dean vs God conversation will look like.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:15 AM on May 7, 2016 [4 favorites]

I just got caught up, and I have to say that this might be my favorite episode of Supernatural to date. It reminds me of every annoying back-and-forth between Q and Captain Picard about the value of humanity, except doing it with two figures as broken as Chuck and Metatron gave the whole thing a pull I don't feel with less flawed characters. It also finally lent the Amara thing some weight - God not knowing what to do was wonderful.

(That said, I do wonder what they'll do next season, and I think I'd be perfectly happy with the show ending after this one.)
posted by mordax at 10:55 AM on May 8, 2016

Teen Ruki and I still have six episodes left of season 10, so we're well behind, but a friend texted me about this episode, so I secretly watched it (Teen doesn't want to be spoiled). I feel so vindicated. After Teen and I watched Fan Fiction, we had a conversation about Chuck as God. I started watching late in the game, while Teen has binge watched from the start. I'm not really sure why I had it in my head that Chuck is God, but my friend was absolutely blown away, and I think Teen will be, too. I'd watch the heck out of the Chuck and Mutation show.
posted by Ruki at 9:02 PM on May 10, 2016

I thought there was a definite implication that Chuck was God when he disappeared in that flash of light at the end of season 5, and I recall having discussions with friends who disagreed at the time.
posted by Pryde at 9:15 PM on May 10, 2016

Yeah, they definitely implied Chuck was God back then, but it was very meta - like, the writer is God, Kripke was the writer therefore Chuck is Kripke. It felt more metaphorical than that he was the biblical God, same with his cameo in the musical episode.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:13 AM on May 11, 2016

I was real low on the the idea of Chuck as God when it was introduced in season 5, but by the time we got to his cameo in the musical episode, I was 100% taking it literally, mostly because it makes me really happy to think this show exists in a 3am term paper of a universe slapped together by an actual, biblical God who now prefers to spend his time hanging out at high school musical adaptions of the shitty pulp novels he wrote in his bathrobe. It kind of explains a lot.
posted by jameaterblues at 9:18 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

It's still a little shocking to some of us Supernatural fans who have been wandering in the wilderness since season six, enduring repetitive themes, underwhelming Big Bads, way too much recycled Boy Melodrama, and an utter disregard for the show's mythology. And now, halfway through this season, it actually got good again. Last few episodes have even been quite good. It's a shame that so many review sites have given up on the show because now is when a little more analysis would be a good thing.

Curtis Armstrong and Rob Benedict should be getting some recognition for what they crafted here. It won't happen but they should.
posted by Ber at 10:51 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

And why is there no thread for last night's episode????
posted by Ber at 10:52 AM on May 12, 2016

And why is there no thread for last night's episode????

Because no one made one yet. You can make one by clicking 'new post' (should be visible up above if you're on a pc.)

I made one, it's here.
posted by FallowKing at 11:07 AM on May 12, 2016

Wow, this was just amazeballs. I kinda wished they just hadn't had Sam and Dean in it because the God stuff was so compelling and I didn't care about the fog.

Chapter titles about how you don't want God to answer your prayers anyway? Hah.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:12 AM on June 6, 2016


Sam: [to Dean] Dude, quit ironing my shirts with beer!

Metatron: This is some kind of punishment, isn't it? For my sins. A limbo where I get to spend eternity in a crappy bar with a hack writer.
Chuck: Dude.
Metatron: Sorry, Chuckles, it's not just any hack writer -- a Prophet of the Lord. Give me a break. Tell me at least the beer in here is real.

Metatron: So, what you been up to?
Chuck: Oh, I've been super busy. Yeah, I traveled.
Metatron: Mmm-hmm.
Chuck: I started a blog. Mostly just pictures of cats.
Metatron: Oh.
Chuck: They're so cute. And uh, oh, I signed up for Snapchat. And I started a new series of books. Yeah. Revolution. But, I don't think it's going anywhere.
Metatron: Revolution?
Chuck: Yeah.
Metatron: Supernatural? Maybe titles aren't your thing.
Chuck: You're not wrong.

Chuck: You know, you are a terrific editor Metatron.
Metatron: Well, I was a terrible writer; a worse god. It's good I got something going for me.
Chuck: Yeah, you know, I have to say, I didn't see the whole "evil turn" thing coming. Why did you try to be me?
Metatron: That was just a sad, pathetic, cry for attention.
Chuck: Whose attention were you trying to get?
Metatron: Yours. You are light, and beauty, creation, wrath, damnation and salvation, and I don't care if I was just the angel, nearest the door... you picked me. Your light shined on me. Me! Ach, the warmth. But, then you left me, you left all of us. It wasn't just the saps on earth who were praying to you, the angels prayed too, and so did I; everyday.
Chuck: I know.
Metatron: You wanna write the best selling autobiography of all time, you explain to me, tell me why you abandoned me, us?
Chuck: Because you disappointed me. You all disappointed me.
Metatron: No, look. I know I'm a disappointment, but you're wrong about humanity. They are your greatest creation, because they're better than you are. Sure they're weak, and they cheat and steal and destroy and disappoint, but they also give, and create and they sing and dance and love, and above all they never give up! But you do.


While talking to Metatron, Chuck say he was busy writing another book series: Revolution. Revolution was a TV show written by Eric Kripke, who was also the creator/writer of Supernatural. It ran from 2012-2014.

The fake Agent names Sam and Dean use in this episode, Greer and Ehart, are two members of the band Kansas. Kansas is the band the performs the song "Carry On Wayward Son", which often appears in the season finale episodes, and which many fans consider the show's theme song.

The deputy who calls in the fog on her radio uses the call sign 3-William-56, which is Riggs and Murtaugh's call sign in Lethal Weapon.

When Chuck finishes the book he punches himself in the arm. A nod to The Breakfast Club when Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) does the same thing after finishing everyone's essay.

The title of this episode is a play on a running gag from the 1980s comedy film Airplane, in which one character, when told something hard to accept, says "Surely you can't be serious?" to which the other responds, "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley."

When Chuck describes himself as Being, and Amara as Nothingness, he is echoing Sartre's work Being and Nothingness which is a key statement of existentialism, a philosophy which is echoed in much of Chuck's statements.

Chuck tells Metatron that the last time he saw a look like that on an editor's face, he'd just handed in Bugs. This is a reference to the season one episode of the same name, as Chuck's books are all based on actual Supernatural episodes and share their respective titles.

In this episode it is revealed that the amulet (the "Samulet") actually does work like Castiel said it would, lighting up in the presence of God (aka Chuck Shurley).

The coffee mug next to Chuck's computer says "World's Greatest Dad", a fun poke at the fact that Chuck was confirmed as God in this episode.

The long running fan theory that Chuck is actually God, is finally confirmed in this episode.

When Metatron meets Chuck in the bar at the beginning of the episode, and Chuck reveals himself to be God, the soundtrack is playing Handel's Messiah. That oratorio was written about Jesus, God's son.

The first scenes to be shot were the outdoor scenes where Chuck/God talks about nature.

The pages that Metatron is reading from are clearly blank.
posted by orange swan at 11:04 AM on January 3, 2022

Is ironing with beer actually a thing?

Metatron is actually a very good developmental editor. Don't know if I buy into him as the voice of decency and reason after the way he's acted in the past, even if it was cute to see him give the pastrami to that dog. Perhaps the idea is that being human has, well, humanized him?

The Samulet's back. Was it in Sam's pocket the whole time?
posted by orange swan at 11:05 AM on January 3, 2022

The majority of Supernatural’s title references are utterly lost on me but “Don’t Call Me Shurley” is a delightful choice. I liked this one a lot, and I think it’s one of the few where they make having less time with Sam and Dean really work. And also, if someone told me beforehand that I was going to spend most of forty minutes with Chuck and Metatron having metaphysical arguments in a bar and then someone pulls out an acoustic guitar, I would have punched us both in the face.

Dean asked Jesse and Cesar last episode what it’s like settling down with a hunter but honestly, I think it’s like having someone iron your dress shirts with beer for the rest of your lives.

It’s entirely in keeping with this show’s vibe that God's feelings towards Lucifer are at least as complicated as Lucifer's feelings towards God, but Chuck's eye-rolling disregard for every single other archangel is still funny and I hope that got livestreamed to Michael in the Cage.

The parts of Chuck that are God as a conflicted creator work well enough for me, but I get now why Death was never scared of the guy. I really do not care for the retcon that Chuck was God faking it the whole time, I think it takes some of the power out of the fourth season. But I forgot this (handwavily) addresses one of my objections to that canon, which was that Chuck was around Dean’s amulet loads of times and it never lit up, and bringing it back does neatly shortcut the issue of Chuck convincing them he's God. "You’ll never guess where this thing’s been the ENTIRE time—"

I am very sure it’s also a retcon that Sam’s been carrying around the amulet since Dean dumped it back in 5x16, but I kind of love it anyway, in part for all the stuff in the past six years it means that thing was just sitting around for. Did Sam take it out of his pocket for safekeeping before he went to Lucifer, and Dean unknowingly had it with Sam’s stuff that whole year? or did he have it on him when he died and it came back from Hell with him? Why did Soulless keep it and why did he keep it a secret? Gadreel must have known, what did he make of it and why did he never do anything with it? Did Sam ever think about showing it to Dean when he was a demon? When Dean took the prop amulet from the musical and hung it from the rear view mirror, did he think about telling him then? (What Dean said after the high school musical, that he didn’t need a souvenir to remind him what he felt about Sam, still feels 100% correct to me, and I don’t think Sam needs one either, but I also don’t think that’s why he saved it or why he never told Dean he saved it.)

It’s a quick little moment, but when the fog is pouring in and Sam tells Dean to run, and Dean just closes his eyes and takes the deepest breath he can, that. that got me.
posted by jameaterblues at 9:41 PM on February 6, 2022

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