Continuing our countdown of our favorite episodes, today I’m focusing on “The Real Ghostbusters” from season 5. Now, season 5 had one of the biggest (and darkest) plot arcs of the show, but I’m choosing to follow the Collectiva Diva’s post from yesterday with another metanarrative exploration of Supernatural.
I’ve written about this before, but one of my favorite things about this show is that it never takes itself too seriously. Even in the midst of a potential apocalypse and a goddamned showdown between Michael and Lucifer, the writers will toss in a gem like “The Real Ghostbusters” to remind us that, hey, sometimes funny shit happens to the Winchesters too.
Dozens of Winchester cosplayers don’t hurt either.
S05xE09 AKA the Time the Writers Acknowledged the Fandom by Writing this Episode
Dean’s Best Line:
“No, I’m not a fan, okay. Not fans. In fact, I think the Dean and Sam story sucks. It is not fun, it’s not entertaining. It is a river of crap that would send most people howling to the nuthouse! So you listen to me. Their pain is not for your amusement. I mean, you think they enjoy being treated like-like circus freaks?”
Sam’s Best Line:
Sam: Oh, and Chuck, if you want keep writing Supernatural books, its ok with us.
Chuck: Wow. Really?
Sam: No, not really. We have guns and we’ll find you.
If you don’t watch SPN, this is going to sound a little insane, but bear with me. The writers of the television show we watch, wrote the characters of the show visiting a convention about a series of books–also called Supernatural–at which the attendees of said convention fangirl and cosplay over the same fictional characters that we, the real audience, do. So we’re watching a fictional representation of people like ourselves encountering the “real” objects of our fanaticism, and it’s being detailed in parody by the real writers for our amusement.
Somewhere in the first five minutes of the episode, Kripke and Singer take the Colt and shoot the fourth wall.
It’s the writers’ way of acknowledging the fandom, and I love them more for it.
What this Episode Reveals about the Winchesters:
Season 5 is a hotbed of angst and Winchester Family Drama. For much of the season I don’t like Sam, but this episode brings back some of the bromance that we all love. Sam seems to take the sight of dozens of Winchester LARPers in stride, there’s an absolutely adorable scene at the end of the episode where he gently lets the ever-hopeful Becky down. On the other hand, Dean, well, Dean is the same old grumpy man we know and love. He does not take the hero worship so well, and gives a bit of a bitter diatribe to two of the more serious Winchester wannabes.
Even though Dean is usually the one who is less likely to discuss the “chick flick moments”, in this episode, he has the more revealing dialogue. Dean’s self-loathing is no secret, but we also see that he doesn’t really view himself as worthy of hero worship. To him, his life sucks, but it’s what he was dealt. The fact that these LARPers are privy to the most private and intense conversations between the Winchesters irks him to no end, especially when they seem to miss the true meaning of the conversation (is this the writers’ way of taking a jab at our constant analysis of the plot?). This episode, for all its humor, lets us have a glimpse at just how much the Winchester boys don’t like their lives sometimes.
The Big Picture:
This isn’t the most meta of the SPN episodes (*coughcough*The French Mistake*coughcough*), but it does give a much-needed comic relief to a very dark season. It also tells us that Kripke and Singer pay attention to what we say about their work. The convention is a nod to the fandom, and I love the show more for it. 🙂
More importantly, however, this episode gives the boys a chance to see what their story is really about–and it’s much, much more than a monster-of-the-week shtick. That may be how it began, but that sure as hell isn’t going to be how it ends. And maybe, just maybe, it’s an acknowledgement that we the audience get to decide what the show is really all about.
My Favorite Scene:
Apparently, the writers hate trolls too.