Saturday, 7 May 2016

Supernatural 'Don't Call Me Shurley' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.

The big reveal at the start of this week's episode might not have been the most surprising one in the history of Supernatural, but it's definitely one of the most enjoyable as it finally gives some answers and addresses one of the biggest fan theories the show has had.

Chuck Shurley is God.

After having appeared several times before in the past, and hints that there might be something more than he first appeared, this is the first episode where the notion that Chuck is God is finally confirmed and the first time we have knowingly seen God on screen and it's brilliant.

He has so many of the qualities that we've come to love about Chuck, his slightly awkward manner, his enthusiasm and charming smile, but suddenly there's a darkness mixed in there too now that he's not hiding who he really is.  Some people might not like this new side to the character, but it's important to remember that God in the Bible is one of the most vicious and vengeful beings in existence.

There are some genuinely unnerving moments between him and Metatron where you believe that God might actually be willing to do something quite nasty to his former scribe, especially the moment when Metatron calls him a coward.

The scenes between the two of them are definitely the best part of the episode and they go a long way to both fleshing out God whilst still maintaining a lot of mystery about the kind of person he is or his motivations, as well as giving Metatron the chance to redeem himself a little for some of the things he's done in the past.

He admits that his past actions were a mistake, that he was wrong to try and take over heaven and was a terrible god, but he also brings believable reasons for his actions.  Now that he's face to face with his father again you can begin to understand that he was lashing out, that he was trying to get his father to notice him and come home.

These scenes humanise Metatron in a way we've never seen him before, and when you factor in that by the end of the episode he has convinces God to finally take notice of the world, to see that humanity is worthy of his notice and his love and gets him to actually get involved.  This is big, God has ignored humans and angels for countless years, he didn't step in to stop the apocalypse, the Leviathans or Eve, he has ignored prayers from Sam, Dean and Castiel, he has never once appeared to have cared about the Earth once but it's Metatron who talks him around.

In a lot of ways I guess it makes sense that a character that has spent thousands of years reading the length and breadth of the works of mankind is the one who can see the beauty in humanity in such a way that he can make God see that too.  Whether this means that Metatron will get to be an angel again, or that he might be considered more of a good guy than a villain is yet to be seen, but he's already played a massive part in the fight against Amara by getting God involved.

Sam and Dean are definitely the back-up story for this episode, with their scenes not being anywhere near as important or as interesting as those between Metatron and Chuck.  When the two of them think they have found a lead that could help them track down Amara and Lucifer they head to a small mountain town where Amara has unleashed her infectious fog once again.

Things in the town very quickly escalate from one or two infected people to most of the town turned into rampaging maniacs as the fog descends from the mountains and swallows up everything.

As Sam and Dean take shelter inside the local police station with a group of civilians and try to stop the fog from getting inside the story starts to take on a very 'Jus in Bello' vibe to it, and I was half expecting the two of them to have to try and fight their way through a horde of people whilst trying to save those left.

That doesn't happen, though, as Sam ends up getting infected by the fog when it seeps into the building.  Realising that he can't be infected because Amara has given him some level of protection Dean promises to stay with Sam, even though a horde of infected are breaking their way in and Sam will soon turn on Dean and try to kill him.  It's then that we realise that this is the end for the two of them.  There's no way out, there's nothing that they can do to win in this situation.

Thankfully for the two of them Metatron has been able to get God to change his mind about helping.  Yes, it's a deus ex machina, literally, but God shows up in time to make the fog disappear, cure those infected and return the people already killed back to life.  It's not the first time we've seen God save our heroes, and as he says during the episode he's had to put Castiel back together more times than he can count, but it does feel like a little bit of a let down here.

The episode ends with Sam and Dean coming face to face with Chuck and realising that he's God, and the looks on their faces sells the moment brilliantly.  I can only begin to imagine the kind of conversation that's going to come in the next episode, on the one hand the two of them are going to be seriously pissed that he never told them he was God, on the other they're going to be trying to avoid pissing off someone so powerful, especially when they need his help against Amara.

However the events of the rest of this season plays out, and the future going into season twelve, this is an episode that changes Supernatural in a huge way and things will never be the same.


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