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SPN: The monster at the end of this book

That was the two best hours of television I can remember seeing in a long, long time. But I'm going to talk first about SPN, because I have to let out all of my squee before I can think rationally about Smallville, for which I want to at least try to engage my analytical brain. (That will be a separate post).

So, SPN spoilers ahoy:

Significance of the title?
Ok, I cannot be the first person to have the thought that the MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK* is actually Grover, despite the fact that Grover is the one trying to prevent everything from happening. (And yet it is a happy rather than unhappy surprise for him). So, optimistic analysis (overlooking the fact that optimism is not a feature of this show): the "monster"? Not Lilith but instead the badass archangel whose job it was to protect the prophet. And you know what that means: DEAN IS ACTUALLY AN ARCHANGEL. (I would predict Michael, mainly because I find musesfool convincing on that score). Come on, it seems obvious: no archangel showed up when Dean was threatening Chuck, but put him in a room with Lilith, and boom, the walls started to shake. That was Dean doing it unconsciously, right? Because he's the (heavenly) monster?

On the other hand, maybe what's actually being foreshadowed is a reversal: we're being set up to think Sam is the monster at the end of the book, but he's the one stepping forward to embrace his destiny, while Dean (Grover) is frantically trying to prevent it. So it would be kind of cool (plotwise, anyway) if Dean rather than Sam turned out to be the real monster at the end of the book, and the angelic agenda is not so angelic.

*Everyone knows "The monster at the end of this book" is a children's book starring Grover from Sesame Street, right? In which he spends the whole book trying to keep the reader from turning pages because there's a monster at the end, only it turns out the monster is Grover himself? I've read this a million times to sibs, nieces and nephews, and kids I've babysat for, but maybe it isn't common knowledge?

Ok, that's enough with the deep thoughts. Now on to the things that make me very glad my next door neighbors were out of town, because I was squealing and shouting so loud they might have called the cops

1. OMG OMG OMG Canonical reference to slash and wincest!!! I couldn't believe they went there! (And I loved Sam and Dean's reactions, too)

2. The COVERS for the books, OMG. So fricking hilarious, with the shirtlessness. And "I'm full frontal in here."

3. All the fandom stuff in general: "You're LARPing, aren't you?" And the fangirl with the tattoo grilling them about the details of their lives, and talking about how sensitive Sam and Dean are, and how much they cry. And them having to pretend to be fanboys of themselves, hee hee!

4. Chuck as the most hilarious parody of Kripke ever! (Did he actually write this ep? Who wrote it? I didn't notice) I especially liked his apology for making them go through "Bugs" and "Ghost Ship"--that torturing them is bad enough, but to make them suffer through bad writing is too much. ROFL. Seriously, *tears* of laughter at that point. I also loved his epiphany that he was God. And the writing! Soulful looks! Throes of demonic passion! The comely dental hygienist from Bloomington Indiana! I think I'm probably going to end up watching this episode whenever I'm depressed, just for Dean reading out loud to Sam in the laundromat talking about Sam's brooding and pensive shoulders.

5. Dean was, let's face it, goddamn cute in his attempt to outwit his destiny: Tofu burger! "It frustrates me when you say such reckless things"--oh Dean, you actually know how to use "I statements" when you are attempting to avoid fighting--did you get that from Oprah? Telling Sam to be good and watch porn rather than doing research, hee! And not being able to escape either the sparkly bandaids or the tarp on the back windshield.

6. SAM! Yay for us finally getting some insight into what's going on in Sam's head! And for Chuck getting to have the conversation a lot of people would like to have with Sam, yet getting really smart responses from him. SO interesting that he feels he's the one who's going to have to save Dean; maybe prediction number two on the monster-at-the-end-of-this-book theory isn't so wrong. And I loved his absolute conviction that he needed to fight Lilith, and that he wouldn't back down for Dean, because that is Sam: he does what he thinks is right even if it does harm his relationships.

7. DEAN! I was cheering, I swear, when he gave Castiel that ultimatum, because of *course* that is his reaction. He went to hell for Sam; he's not going to choose angelic destiny over Sam.

8. CASTIEL! You sneaky, sneaky bastard. I think I kind of love the way you won't break the rules--but you'll tell Dean all about why you can't break the rules precisely in the way that allows Dean to get exactly what he needs. (Also? LOVED your comment about Luke. Hee!)

Ok, a couple more thinky thoughts now that the squee is mostly out of my system

1. The whole existence of Chuck--in fact, the basic plot of this episode--was very heavy on predestination, wasn't it? I'm glad Dean fought and fought against it, because I will be quite upset, in the long run, if it turns out destiny is inescapable. That's why, in a way, I liked Zachariah showing up at the end and threatening to resurrect Chuck if he tried to kill himself. It suggests that prophets are, actually, agents of destiny rather than simply passive tools for transmitting prophecies. Which to me smacks of angelic manipulation, and makes this whole storyline more palatable, because maybe it can all be upended.

2. Speaking of prophecy: does Lilith have her own prophet? What has her running scared? I'm very curious about that.

In conclusion, writing yourself as a prophet? That's an M. Night Level of Douchiness. And also, one of these days? These books will be known as the Winchester gospel.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2009 06:00 am (UTC)
I also LOVED this episode. For all the reasons you said. LOVE!!!!1
Apr. 3rd, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
It was just SO MUCH FUN!!
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 3rd, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Amen!
Except that I was wondering if maybe we didn't get to see the monster at the end of the book. Only Chuck did.

Oh, yes, that's definitely a possibility, and a somewhat scary one.

I had another thought, too: Zachariah might be the monster at the end of the book!
Apr. 3rd, 2009 07:29 am (UTC)
I hadn't thought about Dean being the archangel, although I have read a fic where he is the soul of Michael in a human body. Interesting...
Apr. 3rd, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think I've read that too, and I like that concept.
Apr. 3rd, 2009 07:34 am (UTC)
Hm, these past few episodes have been heavy on the predestination. I was about to say that you can’t change what happens to you but you still have a choice about how you want to act. But then last week, we got NPR-listening Dean still making the same decisions. But I still like to think that even in the alt universe, we can still see what motivates them, why they choose to do what they choose to do.

I should log off and sleep and see if something makes more sense to me tomorrow.

Lastly, I have jaw-dropping speculation about Dean in Season 5 — if you want. (I can’t remember if lycanthrophile and I spoke about it with you at your last visit.) Personally, I’ll wait and see if it comes true.
Apr. 3rd, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
If it's just speculation, then fire away!
Apr. 4th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)
Something about so and so related to the show that he got a scoop that S5 would be about Dean adjusting to finding out he’s an angel. I don’t know how much I believe that however, I wouldn’t mind the show going there. Especially if angels are bad-ass. Cause then you’d have bad-ass Sam and (vs. or slash, take your pick) bad-ass Dean.
Apr. 3rd, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
I honestly cannot remember the last time I laughed this hard. Things:

OMG. The existence of Wincest is now canon. (Seriously, I would love to see reactions to this from people who aren't in/don't know about fandom. What did they think?)

MOCKING THE CRYING. Oh, show. I love you.

"To be forced to live bad writing." HILARIOUS.

Oh, boys. Spilling their guts to other people but not talking to each other.

And yet it's still predictable - I had "He's a prophet" the moment before Castiel said it.

The Winchester Gospel. OMG. Show. I can barely breathe I'm laughing so hard.

Dean's idea of prayer. I love you, Dean.

Mmmphg! Castiel giving Dean answers. Oh, love love love!

"I am the prophet Chuck." Oh, hilariousness.

Awww, back to the old-school brotherly conversations in the car ending.
Apr. 3rd, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I'm going to have to rewatch this episode a LOT because I just loved every minute of it. (And am kind of O.O at all the people complaining that this show mocked fans, because RLY? That one fangirl was downright restrained compared to most fictional depictions of fangirls I've seen. And just because I like reading Wincest doesn't mean I think canon!Dean's reaction to it would have been any different than it was. Hell, if I suddenly found out there was a whole subculture dedicated to writing incest about me and my sister, I would probably flip the fuck out).

Funniest hour of TV EVER.
Apr. 3rd, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think I'll have to watch it again too, which will make it the first SPN ep I've rewatched in quite a while.

It is kind of a funny because it's true thing, but at the same time, I didn't feel like it was mocking at our expense. I mean, I didn't ever feel like they were making fun of us, more that they were laughing with us and that most of the mockery was directed toward their own writing team. (And on that subject: also hilarious that Chuck's alias is Carver Edlund - Jeremy Carver and Ben Edlund are two of SPN's writers.) Plus, they got the fangirls SO RIGHT. (perv said in one of the threads on one of strippedpink's posts, "THE MORAL OF THIS WHOLE EPISODE IS THAT KRIPKE WRITES WINCEST SLASH FIC AND YOU HAD BETTER NOT SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT SUPERNATURAL OR HE WILL MOCK YOUR ASS ON SYNDICATED TELEVISION.") Seeing Sam and Dean see fandom from the outside was kind of like reading "Common Knowledge" and watching Jared see fangirls from the outside - the portrayal was loving and clearly coming from a place of the writers understanding us even if the boys don't.

Back in the early days of RPS debates, Melle used to say, even as she was heavily involved in it, that in some ways it didn't matter because to the outside world, we're all just freaks.
Apr. 4th, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
Oh, I agree. I honestly think there was a lot more self-mockery than mockery of fangirls going on in the ep (I mean, Chuck decides he's god? And apologizes for putting them through bad writing? And says writing yourself as a prophet is an M Night Shamalan level of wrongness {word changed because I know you hate that used as an insult)? Really, it was a very gentle teasing of fangirls, it seemed to me.

And I also agree with you about the distinction: I didn't read Dean's disgust at Wincest as the *writer's* disgust (because they put so many jokes about Sam and Dean getting mistaken as a couple to truly care about that) as much as the *character's* disgust.

in some ways it didn't matter because to the outside world, we're all just freaks.
That is so very, very true. (And honestly, if you look at non-fannish porn sites, incest is actually a more common kink than, say, writing porn about fictional TV characters).

Did you read chash's hilarious coda to the ep, btw? http://with-a-kay.livejournal.com/33585.html
Apr. 4th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
I think the M. Night bit is also a shout-out to Unbreakable, which I haven't seen, but which has some kind of comic book theme.

I always laugh about incest being more common in non-fannish porn, whereas it used to be one of the biggest fannish taboos. (I was thinking the other day that the taboos used to be RPS, underage, bdsm, incest, and death; and death is the only one that's still taboo in most/all fandoms.)

I did read that. HILARIOUS.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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