Season 5 Episode 8

Changing Channels

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 05, 2009 on The CW

Episode Fan Reviews (37)

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  • too funny

    you know you've watched too many tv shows when you understand the references of the tv shows sam and dean appears in, hahaha!
  • One of my favorite episodes ever...

    I like the funny episodes because this show can get very dark. The comic relief episodes are necessary and this is probably my second favorite behind French Mistake.
  • Need the name of the song!!!

    what is the name of the song on the comedy show Intro??
  • only 3 words..

    Best episode ever!
  • IMO this episode is close to perfection and here is why...

    This reminded me of why I love this show they throw in these stories which are just fun. It brought memories of the good old days were there was just simple hunting. They make fun of all these different shows like CSI: Miami with the one liners and the glasses it was hilarious to watch. I love that they brought the trickster back because I love him and his in another one which I won't mention but he is great. And him turning out to be the Archangel Gabriel ,who saw that coming? I didn't.

    It is a perfect combo of the Angel story-arc and the episodes pasted.
  • Pure fun, but also some pretty great reveals about one of the best adversaries the Winchester's have had up until this point.

    I knew about this episode long before it aired, and the premise alone was enough to get me excited. Just about every TV show that Supernatural lampooned and made fun of in this episode are shows that I also don't enjoy. Supernatural did an incredible job of parodying other shows that air in the same time-slot, as well as foreign television shows, hilarious, yet awkward commercials and cheesy 80's theme shows. Besides the heavy mythological reveals near the end, this is the kind of episode you could show to any person who's never watched this show in order to get them watching.

    The Grey's Anatomy/CSI: Miami parodies were by far the most entertaining, as we got to see numerous jokes cracked at the expense of Grey's Anatomy and all other corny, melodramatic hospital shows, and with the CSI: Miami parody, we got hear some pretty ridiculous Horatio-type quotes from Sam and Dean. The episode mostly revolved around The Trickster sending Sam and Dean through a number of different television shows in order to teach them a lesson, so we got to see him appearing every now and then throughout the episode, which added to the humor of the episode.

    However, as the episode progressed, it turned out to be less about a Trickster screwing around with the brothers and more about the war between angels and demons. We learn a pretty important detail about the Trickster that completely changes our views on him and makes the war between these two sides that much more interesting. Castiel also makes his usual small appearance in the episode, showing up to inform us that the Trickster is not who he says he is.

    By the end of the episode, we're left once again where we started, with the brothers travelling across the US like they did in Season 1, solving supernatural crimes on a case-by-case basis. However, after seeing the end of the episode, I have a feeling it's not the last we'll see of the Trickster.. and I have no problem with that whatsoever.
  • I loved this episode!!!

    Easily my favourite episode of the season thus far. I always enjoyed the Trickster's appearances before so I was very much lookiing forward to this episode. And this was was easily the best.

    Trapped in a huge list of crappy tv shows that you would find on TV while flicking through the channels... a don't think I've ever seen another show do it. I guess it's psycology that I found myself laughing in the comedy one... it wasn't even funny and yet it was hillarious. Kudos to Jenson and Jared; they made it what it was. But of course... the best bit of the episode is the last 10 minutes... the big reveal that all along the Trickster was an Angel and not just any Angel but Gabriel. Was wondering when he was going to show up. I didn't see this twist coming at all. Maybe you guys did and I'm just a little bit dumb... but I found the twist very satisfying. More reveal about the end of the world as well; I've said before the parralells between Sam, Dean, Micheal and Lucifer and very strong and this proves it. Brother vs brother... it does indeed seem like its all been aiming towards this. (Plot hole I've just realized... if Sam was so important then why didn't the Angels bring him back when he died, thus saving Dean from making the deal?)

    I loved every bit of this episode... I don't even feel the need to compain that still we see no Lucifer (I know when we do it's going to be awesome). Very, very good.
  • Sam and Dean find themselves in an alternate TV reality with spoofs galore and the return of an old nemesis.

    That's it...there is no doubt left in my mind. The powers that be at Supernatural have officially lost their minds.

    With a mean glare, shaking my head in utter disbelief, I stared at the screen as it was revealed that a beloved, multi-dimensional, fabulously played, Pagan god, was really.... get this..... an archangel all along.

    Yup..that's right. We are supposed to believe that since his very first introduction, (Tall Tales was it?) the craftily played Trickster (Richard Speight whom I met and just loved!!) is really, Gabriel.

    Now, isn't Gabriel the archangel supposedly protecting Chuck? (I may be wrong in my recollection...I'm not into the whole angel thing). But, if it is indeed good ol' Gabe protecting Chuck, when does he have time to cause so much mischief and mayhem in the human world?

    That aside..... WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    It was one thing for Kripke to bring back the ever so enigmatic Croatoan as an evil zombie-inducing plague of the future...but to try to tie in a pre-existing character who was solidified in the Pagan order of things as a Christian symbol all along is just beyond the realm of understanding. To hell with all this apocalypse stuff. This may actually be what gets me to stop watching the show.

    As it is, the last episode was ALMOST bearable, and there were some entertaining tid-bits...but I'm ready to be rid of Bobby. Either get him out of the wheelchair (which doesn't seem to be serving any purpose other than being a receptacle of self-pity), or get over being a "broken" man...I'm tired of it.... Just gratuitous wallowing. Don't we already have enough of that with Dean and Sam???
  • It's not every day you see Supernatural turn into some kind of cheesy sitcom, and I have to say, I really liked this one. Warning, spoilers contained below

    Now I have had some issues with trickster episodes before, but this one was just brilliant. The most interesting part of this all was that the trickster, was not actually a trickster all along, he was an arc angel. Woops, guess I didn't see that coming, but can you blame me, how could you have. Even more heavy, was what the trickster said, I always knew that it was strange that the two brothers would have to face off, but I never put it together with angels and demons being like brothers. The connection was truly mind blowing, and really amazed me. It seems like this show being all planed out before it even airs really pays off in the end, because you can piece it all together like this instead of make up the big stories along the way. I don't know how many shows do it like this, but not many shows are still this good this far into their life. Amazing episode!!
  • One of my favorite episodes by far! Absolutely hilarious, but also gives us some more backround information on the Trickster and the coming apocalpse. *spoilers*

    I have to admit, I could NOT stop laughing throughout almost the entire episode! This really is one of the funniest I've ever seen. The entire episode is one big parody, imitating old sitcoms, hospital shows, awkward commercials, CSI, ect. The Winchesters are stuck in Tv land, thanks to their old foe the Trickster. While this episode is mostly light and more for kicks, it does have important information. We discover where the trickster stands in this whole "war", and that he wants the boys to "play their roles". The trickster is actually the angel Gabriel. He ran away from heaven because of his family's arguing. Despite everyone telling them just to give in, Sam and Dean aren't ready to give in yet. Awesome episode, totally worth it.
  • Eh.

    This episode was pretty weak. I mean really jumping around in TV shows!?! and having an Angel do it? give me a break. It reminded me of this corny horror flick from the 90's So bad that I can't even remember the name of it. But anyways, I'm so glad this is the final season because this season took a turn for the corny. On the plus side I'm pretty sure they know it. I think it was the next episode (which was better than this one I think) that someone said: "Its not jumping the shark if ya never come back down."
  • This was a really great episode.

    It mixed the Monster of the Week (Trickster) and the arc well. The reveal at the end was amazing and throws a new light on previous episodes. The way that they managed the comedy and the drama as always was finely pitched but worked well. The 'rip's' of the other shows was nothing short of jaw dropping. As a watcher of all of the other shows but an 'avid' fan of Supernatural I thought that they hit every single one on the button. My only down comment for the episode was that although it moved the brother relationship another step. I'm not sure if this was this was a positive movement or not. Dean as always is firmly of the opinion that they should fight, Sam seemed for a second to think that there was nothing they could do to fight their 'destiny'. I'm a fan for the brother relationship and to see this chasm makes my heart ache.
  • Effectively a living, breathing, self-reflexively mindboggling advertisement for intertextuality, 'Changing Channels' is the sort of television that hundreds of thousands of poor, toiling screenwriters have wet dreams about penning.

    Effectively a living, breathing, self-reflexively mindboggling advertisement for intertextuality, 'Changing Channels' is the sort of television that hundreds of thousands of poor, toiling screenwriters have wet dreams about penning. Jeremy Carver's script practically bounces off the page with reckless abandon, full of knowing winks, outrageously fourth-wall-shattering concepts and some of the most down right cheeky comedic moments this side of an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. In fact, the story is so self-aware that you half expect Sam and Dean to clamber out of your television set and start playing Happy Days in your front room. Except they don't. Obviously.

    What they do do, however, is have the absolute time of their lives with a plot that couldn't be more outlandish if it tried. Padalecki and Ackles are in their comedic element in the episode's lighter first half, mastering the arts of underplaying and the all important comedic timing. The glances that they shoot the Grey's Anatomy, sorry, Dr. Sexy M.D. (how ridiculously awesome is that title?) doctors when they start emoting are absolutely priceless; and then, of course, there's the Banzai ripoff, where their utter cluelessness is a scream, the CSI imitation with obligatory croaky voices and sunglasses in the dark and, my personal favourite, the genital herpes advert which... well, the idea speaks for itself really.

    Wonderfully, though, Carver's script doesn't stop there. It isn't satisfied with being a distinctly astute and bloody hilarious parody of the most mundane of contemporary American television, oh no. It goes and turns all serious and, get this, relevant on us in the final act. Like the superb 'I Believe the Children are our Future' before it, the 360 degree genre swerve emboldens the episode, providing additional layers and giving the viewer a much welcome surprise. The revelation that the Trickster is an angel could've been an almighty mis-step but thankfully, it's treated with the necessary sincerity and seriousness to make it work. It's quite impressive how easily Richard Speight Jr. makes the transformation from cheeky upstart to sinister deity and it's credit to Carver's ability as a writer that his dialogue never seems forced or hokey. You immediately buy into it - well, frankly, it does make sense - and it provides the arc plot with some refreshing new dimensions. Plus, that ring of fire in the abandoned warehouse just looks freaking cool, man. Absolutely awesome. Again.
  • Well played

    Nostalgia ringed in me finding out that the trister will return, because the last episode he was in was one of my favourite episodes of tv.

    The trister episodes cover a lot of things. It brings an enjoyable sense of comedy; "im gonna need a bigger mouth" "NUTCRACKER" and 'dr sexy md' and it also has its drama and intensity, 'how are we gonna get out'
    and why is the tricker soo powerful?

    And through all these good qualities its still ties on the premise of this season, are you gonna accept your destiny and where is god? giving us a sound resolution whilst keeping us hanging for the next episode

    For those reasons, this episode was flawless and i thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • powerful

    The Apocalypse is set to get darker and even funnier after this one. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Not only is this episode complete with sidesplitting laughter, it takes a disturbing, dark, and sinister turn regarding revelations on the Trickster, Sam and Dean's destinies, and the nature of free will once again. Sam and Dean investigate a case in Ohio involving a man that cops claim was killed by a bear but his wife says she saws the Hulk kill him. Not Edward Norton-Hulk or Eric Bana-Hulk, Lou Ferrigno-Hulk, FYI. That's enough to get Sam and Dean suspicious. Sam finding candy wrappers near the scene confirms that it's their old friend the Trickster. Dean wants to ice him once and for all, especially for what he did to Dean back at Mystery Spot, but Sam has another idea. He thinks if the Trickster can be persuaded to their cause, he can be a powerful ally in Armageddon. Dean considers it but the Trickster comes to them in the form of a radio broadcast paging a location to an empty warehouse. Dean and Sam sharpen their stakes and barge into. . .Sexy M.D. or Grey's Anatomy parody. Dean has to confess to Sam that he's a guilty fan, especially when he realizes Sexy's wearing the wrong shoes. The Trickster reveals himself, gloating over his latest romp. Sam tries to explain that they want him for their side but Trickster cheerfully refuses. Sam pleads and Trickster laments a little, enough to grant Sam and Dean audience if they survive his game. Before Dean can ask the rules, Trickster fades. Dean's chances of living the game get smaller when he pisses off a patient, saying it's just a tv show, ending up with Dean getting shot. Sam is forced to perform an impromptu surgery using whiskey, floss, and scissors. To Sam's credit, he does it pretty well. Dean-Sam can't relax when they're poofed to a Japanese game show, called *cough* Nutcracker. The host reads Sam-Dean's trivia in Japanese. First, he asks Sam who he betrayed against Dean. Sam can't answer and, refer to title. Sam goes down and Dean gets reasonably creeped. Before Dean's turn, Castiel appears, claiming Sam-Dean have been missing for days but before he can get them out, he greys away. Host breaks character and says Trickster doesn't want pretty-boy angels saving Sam-Dean. :}. It's Dean's turn and Sam convinces him to play the part the Trickster wants them to. It was only after Sam played his role in Sexy that the Trickster let them go. Dean answers Yes on a whim, resulting in the win. The question he was asked: would Mary and John be alive if Sam wasn't born? Ouch. Next stop? A gential herpes commercial where Sam has to admit he has gential herpes. Snicker. Next stop? A 70s-style sitcom with Sam discovering Dean in a comprimising situation with a woman, the usual, plus canned laughter. Castiel storms in bloodied, bruised, and spooked, claiming he doesn't have a lot of time. When Dean asks what's going on, Castiel warns that the Trickster is a lot more powerful than a Trickster should be. However, Trickster storms in and subdues Castiel, Castiel flashing a look of recognition, Trickster poofing him away. Dean demands answers and asks if they're on the right track with the role-playing. Trickster reveals the second part of the game: Sam-Dean need to take up their roles in real life i.e. saying yes to Lucifer and Michael. This shocks both Sam-Dean. Why would a Trickster care about Heaven-Hell? Aren't demigods above those things? Trickster claims since it's already started, just finish it, digging in Sam and Dean's actions that started the mess, but something's up. Dean goads which side Trickster's on because Trickster's got to be championing one side. This pisses a usually chipper Trickster off and he slams Dean to the wall, seething that he won't side with either Lucifer or Michael. He demands Dean-Sam accept the vessel-roles or stay trapped in TVland forever. He then poofs Dean-Sam to a CSI-like cop show:}. Sam and Dean play along and do wonderful David Carusoes while they look for the Trickster. Both notice a lollipop-sucking policeman and that guy laughing at their jokes. Dean ices the policeman. Turns out it was the wrong guy and Trickster shows himself to gloat but Sam-Dean prove smarter by Sam staking the Trickster. That should do it, right? Wrong. Dean thinks it's over but gets an awakening when he sees Sam's turned into KITT from Knight Rider:}. Sam reasons they're not dealing with a Trickster and Dean realizes who they are dealing with. He stops and comes up with a plan that he has "surrendered". Trickster shows, relishing the moment. Dean won't do anything unless Trickster turns Sam back to normal. Trickster quips that Lucifer is going to ride Sam anyway but acquieses, Sam back in his body. Dean asks why a stake didn't work when it should have. Trickster remarks it was just another illusion but Dean's not buying it. He draws his lighter and creates a angel-bind on Trickster, snapping Sam-Dean-Trickster back into the warehouse. Dean says Trickster showed his hand with Castiel and his talk about Michael/Lucifer, noticing you only get that pissed when you're talking about family. Finally, the Trickster's origins are revealed. He's not a demigod or a Trickster. He's the angel Gabriel. Whoa and, whoa! Whoa. Gabriel explains that when the war of heaven started, he refused to side with either of his brothers, choosing to leave instead, slipping into the guise of a demigod and carving his own "unique" place in the world. He still refuses to fight either brother, he just wants the war to end, no more fighting, just end it already and like Raphael, says God didn't decide any of this. Sam refuses to listen, insisting there has to be a way to end the war. Gabriel says no, they can't because this is a family war, brother vs. brother, gloating that Sam-Dean can relate. He reveals how far the angel-demon plan spanned and just why Sam and Dean are Lucifer and Michael's vessels. Because Dean is like Michael, the older, more strong-willed brother desperately trying to live up to Daddy's ideals and Sam is like Lucifer, the younger, rebellious brother who refuses to accept Daddy's goals. It was always Sam-Dean's destinies to be their vessels, ALWAYS. Armageddon will end with Sam and Dean destroying each other. Dean snaps that just because the Trickster says it, doesn't mean it will happen, because Sam and him decide their own fates, not angels or demons. Gabriel sadly tells Dean it will be as he says. Dean ignores him, demanding Castiel back. Gabriel acquieses, Castiel reappearing, Gabriel calling him "bro" and digging in Castiel's failure to find God. Castiel, Sam, and Dean turn to leave, Gabriel asking if they're just going to leave him there. As much as Dean wants to, he sets off the fire extinguishers to let Gabriel go. At least Sam-Dean don't mess with people like Gabriel does and tells Gabriel it all comes down that Gabriel's a coward, refusing to choose a side. Castiel flashes Gabriel a pained look between brothers and leaves with Sam-Dean. Dean asks if what Gabriel said was true. Sam remarks that Gabriel believes it to be true. Dean knows the battle's coming and wishes he could go back into TVland, where everything was more simple. I knew I was going to like this episode but even I didn't expect to get as blown away as I did. Just, remarkable. Beautiful. Epic. Wonderful. I'm awestruck. Marvelous. The laughs alone were outstanding and I almost literally cracked a rib at all the good stuff. The 'Grey's Atatomy' spoof: the riffs on the actual show, naming it Sexy M.D., Sam getting slapped by the nurse calling him an intelligent-coward, Sam performing surgery, the awesome, winking nod to Jeffrey Dean Morgan aka "Denny's" role as a ghost, and Sam wondering the plausibility of a ghost or even a ghost having sex with a doctor on a medical show. If that won't make Morgan come back, I don't know what will. Please, please, please can he come back? PLEEEEEEEASE? 'Nutcracker'-funny for the physical comedy and the digging asides of Sam and Dean. Commercial-Sam saying he has gential herpes (what's with these supernatural creatures giving him STDs?). 'CSI'-the Sam and Dean as Caruso and Dean venting that all cop-procedure shows are the same. I feel him. Knight-Rider-Sam as Kitt (poor Sam in this episode, horrible.) But what made the episode impacting, awestrucking was the Trickster and his connection to the angels/demons. I expected him and Castiel to meet but I had no idea they were "related", least of all Trickster turning out to be Gabriel of all things. It makes his previous involvement with the brothers more poinent and it twists Trickster/Gabriel's motivations around. He's an angel taking on a trickster's role on teaching arrogant human beings a lesson. But more than that, it was heartbreaking to see Gabriel lament his pain over seeing his brothers destroy each other and you understand why he wouldn't side against either of them. Regarding Gabriel's relationship to humans, he seems to be the most "human" out of all the angels we've met so far. Castiel's still learning how to be human and even Anna had a quiet arrogance to her. Whiteraven commented that Gabriel actually cares for humans and I somewhat agree with that. At least, he shows a consideration, an acknowledgement, a certain respect towards humans, even Sam and Dean, where the other angels haven't. The ange/Lucifer connection is made heartbreaking and tragic when you realize that this is "family" fighting one another, two brothers pitted against each other, Castiel and Gabriel are fighting their brothers and sisters, no matter what they do. Free will is twisted up on its head once again as Sam and Dean learn that their destinies are as complicated and as tragic as a Greek tragedy. They were chosen to represent the angel/'angel' they were most like, which means poor Sam has an implication he's like Lucifer. But now we know why Sam was chosen over all the psychic children and regarding the other children, it was just to test Sam's capabilities, prove his worth, set into motion his destiny as well as Dean's. It also makes the angel-demon armageddon connection even more complicated, as fate always is. The one thing that sets Sam-Dean apart from the likes of Oedipus is that they know their destinties and they have the power to choose their own regardless. They will go swinging, hands high, no matter what. Powerful stuff. My curiousity to God's wherabouts has peaked higher. Trickster/Gabriel is sure to be back. I hope Dean got to him. I hope he does a pick. I hope he actually chooses Sam-Dean's side and help them bring down Lucifer and the angels. But with all things Trickster, he could either way. I can't wait to see how that turns out. And Armageddon is set to get even more dark, with two of our favorites rumored to die. Stay tuned for even more shocks, surprises, and drama.
  • The Trickster's mysteries are revealed.

    Have to admit I was dreading this episode when I heard about it but it turns out to be one of the most important of the canon arc.

    OMG, I hate sitcoms! Especially with laugh tracks! I thought I would cringe through the first 'episode' but it was very well done.

    The Japanese game show host referred to Cas as a 'pretty boy angel'! Well, *we* do like him!

    CSI – Jared is so good as Caruso! The sunglasses, the swagger, the attitude. But it's Jensen that nails the 'taking off the sunglasses' bit.

    The Impala as KITT, that was adorable! Laughed at the 'pulled it out of Sam's ass' remark – nice continuity, Dean kept the remainder of the oil Cas used to trap Raphael.

    Who can blame Gabriel for being so angry with Dean and Sam? They both started the apocalypse, meaning that his brothers are killing each other all over again, of course he's bitter. The entire scene is riveting and so packed full of revelations. It also answers a question I had – Ruby and Lucifer both said "It had to be you, Sam, it always had to be you." but that didn't make sense with the psychic children bit… unless it wasn't about finding a leader, the showdown was about bringing Sam specifically to his destiny. Which means it was all part of the plan – including Dean resurrecting Sam, since the plan doesn't work if Sam is dead and Dean *had* to go to Hell. We always wondered why the Trickster took such an interest in Sam before Dean went to Hell – now we know.

    One thing that's really interesting is that the Trickster first showed up in season 2 – a year and a half before Dean went to Hell. He said he went into hiding, taking over the identity of the Trickster. That means there was trouble brewing in Heaven long before we knew anything about it. Makes sense – Chuck's been writing the Gospel for years… but it also means that the angels knew about what was coming, or at least the superiors did. Footsoldiers like Castiel were kept in the dark but the higher-ups, namely the archangels and senior management knew all about it, right down to the Winchesters' destinies. His "We knew it was all gonna end with you… always." comment is quite terrifying from Dean and Sam's perspectives – how do you fight destinies which were planned thousands of years before you were even born? This is the first time it's been laid out so plainly – just how big this whole thing is. The only fly in the ointment is: free will. Michael and Lucifer cannot force them to say yes. The future of Heaven, Hell and Earth all lies on the shoulders of these two boys and the decisions that they will make.

    I loved the way Gabriel talks about his family (and of course, the parallels with John/Dean/Sam). The writers started doing that with Raphael but really loved this. Like calling Castiel 'bro'. Dean had an excellent point about standing up to his family – after all, Gabriel's little brother is doing just that, Gabriel needs to pick a side. Most of all I loved that last look Gabriel and Castiel exchanged! Out of all of Castiel's brothers (and sister) we've met, Gabriel's a vast improvement on the rest – if he stops running, he'll be a powerful ally. He's being a creep to Dean and Sam because he *cares*, not because he thinks humans are beneath him, like every other angel we've met. And I do include Anna on that list.

    It's always a joy to see the Trickster but have to say, he is so awesome as Gabriel. Really loved the way they laid it out and the entire conversation in the warehouse was incredible.
  • Thr brothers find themselves in TV land.

    Dean and Sam find themselves trapped in a sitcom, a medical drama, and a forensic cop show. It all starts off with Dr. Sexy MD, Deans figures out that Dr. Sexy is the Trickster because he isn't wearing the cowboy boots that make Dr. Sexy sexy. Sam is soon taking a bullet out of Dean's but hole by using a pen knife, dental floss, a sewing needle, and a fifth of whiskey. Well improvised, looks like only way out is to play the game.

    Sam and Dean are then find themselves strapped by their feet to a platform and a strategically placed stick topped with a ball looms nearby. Playing the nutcracker in Japanese, Sam is not as lucky on this occasion as Dean bites the dust by answering correctly in Japanese. Sam is then doing and herpes commercial, the brothers swiftly moved onto a Sitcom. Cas drops by and tells them that the "Trickster" isn't the only doing this, Cas gets banished and we move onto CSI, the boys are wearing shades solving a crime in the car, how cool is that? Sam ends up staking the real "Trickster", and they're out of it. But not for long, Dean finds himself in the Impala and Sam playing the role of KITT, the talking car of Knight Rider. Dean's had enough of it and calls him out, After Sam is restored to normal form, the brothers get down to business. They trap the "Trickster" in a ring of fire. He can't escape, so the "Trickster" is really an angel! Dean gives the defining clue. He's the archangel Gabriel! He's been living in exile on earth all this time. Gabriel's upset because now that the brothers have started the apocalypse, he has to watch one brother kill another. Gabriel makes similarities out of the brother, Sam being Lucifer and Dean being Michael and the only way out is one Winchester brother must kill the other. Holy ****
  • I Am Gabriel

    Changing Channels-Dean and Sam find themselves mystically trapped in a series of real-life "TV shows" and there appears to be no escape. They believe their old enemy the Trickster is responsible, but discover someone or something else is involved. If I had a list of episodes to show a friend and get him or her to watch Supernatural, "Changing Channels" would be one of them no doubt. I have said many times that Supernatural is probably the most underrated series on TV and I would put it among my two favorite/best sci-fi series of all time (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel). Once again the writers craft an episode that is both unbelievably hilarious and profoundly thought-provoking. This episode starts like any other episode of Supernatural with Dean and Sam on a case, but soon the brothers find themselves on primetime, literally!

    "Changing Channels" parodies everything from cheesy sitcoms to medical dramas ("Grey's Anatomy") to crime dramas ("CSI: Miami"). Each and every segment Dean and Sam are trapped has some of the best witty dialogue and humorous hijinks the series has ever done and seriously, this series has a lot of them. The studio audience was priceless and Sam's impression of Horaino Caine from CSI: Miami is the funniest thing I've seen in while. Both the writers as well as Jared and Jensen looked like they were having so much fun getting to make fun of essential their competition on Thursday nights. Not to mention giving a shout to Jeffrey Dean Morgan who was on Grey's Anatomy was beyond hilarious! But while "Changing Channels" is comedy gold, I loved how once again the writers pull a 180 in this episode final moments. I have to say the third act and final act of this episode are some of the best moments of the series. Dean and Sam defeat the Trickster once again, but it turns out he doesn't die and in one of the most unforeseen turn of events of the series, Sam and Dean are one step ahead of the Trickster and reveal that he's not only an archangel but THE archangel, Gabriel! I have to say I was in awe after this twist, especially considering he was an archangel the whole time since he first encountered Sam and Dean. I know some fans were probably shocked and found this twist far-fetched, but I thought it was brilliant! Once again, Eric Kripke shows how good it is when a show creator pre-plans a whole series before it airs. An episode like this brings previous stories full circle and gives the current story arc even more depth. Not to mention, I loved Gabriel's speech to Dean and Sam about why they are chosen as Michael and Lucifer's vessels. Michael was the older brother who obeyed God's word (Dean) and Lucifer was the rebellious younger son who disobeyed his father (Sam). The fact that Dean and Sam's destinies were set in stone since the fall of Lucifer only shows just how much more important the brothers are to the supernatural world! It's genius! Of course, Sam and Dean think Gabriel is full of it by once again rejecting the ideas of being vessels for the "big showdown". But it's inevitable and makes me even more excited to see how this series will end! Don't let the title fool you, this is one episode you should change the channels while watching. It's one of the finest episodes of Supernatural once again effortless combining comedy, drama, mythology and sci-fi in this perfectly executed effort!
  • Another one out of the park! (minor spoiler)

    It's because of episodes like this one that I love Supernatural. A top-notch mix of comedy, drama, & the supernatural.

    As soon as I heard the "Supernatural is filmed before a live studio audience", I knew I was about to have one of the most enjoyable hours of TV ever. Then, there were opening credits complete w/cheesy lyrics & music & my assumption was confirmed. The opening credits alone are worth watching this episode!

    Jared & Jensen continue to amaze me. You can tell that they enjoy working together & this episode was no different. You could see the mischievous glint in Jensen's eye during the episode & Jared was awesome doing the whole CSI parody.

    What I didn't expect was who the Trickster really was & has been all along. Actually, it was quite a brilliant move on the part of Eric Kripke & showed why Supernatural continues to be one of the best shows on TV: nothing is ever certain & just when you think you know it all, Kripke changes it on you!!

    I know that we're headed to a brother-vs-brother showdown, but I am excited to see how we get there & how it will play out. I'm sure it's going to be one hell of a ride!!
  • Dean and Sam finding themselves being transported from one TV show to another. They suspect that their enemy, the Trickster, is at work here.

    Excellent acting by Richard Speight Jr. as the Trickster. Excellent episode, excellent laughs, excellent writing.

    This episode was largely built on comedy but there were a couple of tense serious moments in it including the ending that meshed well to make this an entertaining episode till the end.

    There should be more parodies on television. We had Mad TV, SNL, Monty Python but largely it's something that's not nearly as done as much today. This Supernatural episode "Changing Channels" was a nice shot at a lot of crap on TV nowadays from the viewpoint of Sam and Dean.

    They hit the ball out of the park here. I dug every scene enjoyed the end. Whether it was the parody of "Grey's Anatomy", or the overrated "CSI Miami", or the 80s classic show "Knight Rider" there was something to enjoy it for everyone.

    So Dean and Sam eventually figure out that their enemy, the Trickster, is behind their un-enjoyable warping through TV shows and commercials. However, they can't defeat the Trickster until Castiel drops a few clues to the duo to better deal with the character.

    I did not see the true identity of the Trickster at all. It's not something you would expect from the person whose doing it.

    I also liked that the writers left a lot of questions open here. Once we find out who the Trickster is, he tells Dean and Sam what their "destiny" is. He also tells them that end of the Apocalypse will involve them killing one another.

    The ending was great. Nothing was put into simple package, but we did see Dean and Sam coming together as brother and display their strong will to not give in to one side or the other. Whether this will continue is another story, but it was well done how they made their stand in the end.

    They've posed the question of Dean and Sam killing one another, and we seen them both beat the hell out of each other, but the guys always seem to arrive at a point where they seem to see the bigger picture.

    However, the stakes are higher here. I am interested to see how this Apocalypse storyline ends. Another top notch episode here.
  • Hilarious!!!

    The funniest episode I have ever remember from this show. But I have a feeling that this season is the last because the plots are too far away. I mean, we are talking about God, Lucifer, apocalypse, angels turning to each other. Compare to other seasons of Supernatural, we are just talking about ghost, spirits, demons, stuff like that. There will be no more plots for next season if we are on the extremes of supernatural things. Except if they will introduce outerspace things like aliens, etc... But I'm sure they will think of something because this is an awesome show to end. This show must have 20 seasons minimum before cancellation
  • Great episode, one of the best so far and absolutely enjoyable!

    I have to agree with most of the reviewers, this must be the funniest Supernatural epi so far. I need a couple of pages just to mention all the hilarious parts of it. Grey's Anatomy, well, let's just say Dean isn't the only one who derives a guilty pleasure from it, but after this episode I'll never be able to watch it again without laughing! It was so funny listening to the nurses announce "Dr.Sexy requested in the OR" or something of the sort... And the "Sexy, but neurotic doctor" fallen in love with a ghost... Priceless. Dean is Mark, and Sam is Derek. How else could it be, really. And then Sam trying out Horatio Cane's neck maneuvers, wow, he totally nailed it! My respect to David Caruso, who is a great actor and is doing a pretty cool job in CSI Miami, but the posture is kind of trademark by now. It was utterly funny to watch Sam trying to imitate it. Also, the catchy phrases at the beginning of each CSI episode, just before the title sequence. Couldn't get where the sitcom scenes were coming from but that was very funny as well. Especially the title song, and the scene with Sam and Dean riding a double bike (*hint hint*). Then the Japanese gameshow, the herpes commercial, Knight Rider (Dean trying to fix the car and Sam going "Dude, this feels really uncomfortable"), everything was cooler than cool!

    Apart from the funny part there's a connection to the Apocalypse arc which I believe will prove to play a significant part in the final outcome. The Trickster is actually Gabriel, who has defected from Heaven and is sick of watching Lucifer and Michael wage their eternal war. God seems to be absent in all this, Cas hasn't had any luck in his efforts to communicate with him, and the absence is confirmed by Gabriel. Dean affirms the brothers' defiant, independent stance in the whole issue by his speech to Gabriel in the end of the episode. Instead of being observers to the war at hand, they intend to stand up to the hordes of angels and demons who have forgotten what they are fighting for. History doesn't have to repeat itself, as long as someone tries to do something about it. It seems that Gabriel was seriously considering abandoning his neutral stance and helping the brothers. We'll see in the future if he comes onboard. Great episode, one of the best so far and absolutely enjoyable!
  • Supernatural laughs in the face of the apocalypse.

    "Changing Channels" prove that the show will never take itself too seriously even in the midst of destruction and chaos. Here are the ten things I liked about this great episode:

    1. The Supernatural theme song. Who didn't love seeing Sam and Dean riding a double bicycle?

    2. The interrogation scene in which a woman confesses that she saw her husband get killed by the Incredible Hulk. Dean asks, "Bana or Norton?" to which the lady responds, "Oh no, those movies were terrible. The TV Hulk."

    3. Dean being a fan with the Grey's Anatomy-esque show "Dr. Sexy M.D" and the boys later being put in the show by their old buddy the Trickster. They had it down pat with the silly chick music, cheesy over-the-top dialogue ("You're a brilliant coward."), and the overacting of Dr. Ellen Piccolo, who lovingly gazes and mouths 'I love you' to Sam as he operates on Dean. They even give a little wink-wink to Jeffrey Dean Morgan by pointing out a ghost in the hospital who still has sex with a doctor. 4. The boys being stuck in the Japanese game show, 'The Nutcracker', which is exactly what it sounds. Sam didn't figure that out quick enough as he gets smacked right in the balls after answering a question wrong. Luckily, Dean answers his question correctly and in Japanese to boot.

    5. Possibly my favorite part: the genital herpes commercial, which I thought was an actual commercial break. How can you not laugh as Sam haltingly recites, "I am doing all I can, to slightly lessen the spread of... of genital herpes."?

    6. The CSI: Miami parody. Sam and Dean repeatedly remove and put on their sunglasses while spouting out cheesy one-liners like as "No guts, no glory."

    7. The Knight Rider parody with Sam as KITT. 'Nuff said.

    8. The big reveal that the Trickster is the archangel Gabriel. After trapping him in holy fire, Gabriel reveals that he left heaven because he couldn't handle the conflicts between the angels and the demons. He's not rooting for anybody, he says, he just wants the battle between Michael and Lucifer to happen. Like Raphael, he informs the boys that God is gone (which I highly doubt). Richard Speight Jr. makes another memorable appearance as the Trickster, whom I always hold a special spot for after all his antics in the gem of an episode 'Mystery Spot.'

    9. The brothers being destined to be vessels to Michael and Lucifer. Gabriel delivers the best line of the episode, "As it is in Heaven, so it must be on Earth. One brother has to kill the other."

    10. Dean's farewell line to Gabriel: "Don't say I never did anything for you." This just shows that Gabriel will be coming back in an epic way later in the season.
  • Great parody episode of the television medium and a welcome return of Richard Speight Jr. to the show.

    I loved this episode, it was a great parody of television shows past and present. In addition, Richaard Speight Jr. is always a pleasure to see when he returns to the show as the trickster or should I say as Gabriel. I hope to see Gabriel more and more as the show progresses, and see how the brothers' dynamic with the addition of Gabriel as an ally, while Gabriel still maintains to his Loki-like self. With the show becoming darker and more grim, it will be great to see the trickster provide moral complexity from a different view point, the angels. Castiel provides some information but he is left in the dark while Gabriel can provide answers. Also, the complexity of Gabriel position and his nature tagging along with the Winchesters would ensue moments of needed comedy whether pranking on the Winchester or douchebags who kind of have it coming.
  • 'Changing Channels'

    'Changing Channels' was an extremely funny episode, but I really wonder why they put that ridiculous subplot in it.. Really, Supernatural is supposed to be more adventurous/horror like/dramatic. I was left with the impression that they ran out of inspiration and had to fill something (anything) in. Same impression with 'Curious Case of Dean Winchester', and the one before that. The creators said this season was going to be the best, but so far I'm really deceived. Which is why it is even difficult to summarize it, the plots are empty. Dear creators: bring in the action! Hope next week's episode is finally going to contain something
  • The boys are investigating a bear killing. However, the wife, who witnessed the killing, says it was The Hulk. Doubtful that a green Lou Ferrigno did it and finding candy wrappers at the scene Sam comes to the conclusion that it is The Trickster.

    I love this show. The writing is top notch and the actors are awesome. I cannot wait to see how this season's story line is played out.

    Changing Channels brings the boys up against The Trickster which always leaves the veiwer guessing but this particular episode even more so. The episode also takes more than a few cracks at different show styles as well acting styles, and actors (CSI Miami's David Caruso who plays the character Horatio can either be flattered or not, but the boys nailed the well-known and really annoying gesters that character uses! My absolute fav. part of the episode actually!) Props to the folks making the sets as well.
  • this episode was one of the best that the show have ever made!

    it was just funny! not may people can make fun of shows and get away with it. not without looking cheesy and trying to just be tards lol. I thought that it was so funny? the gential herpes thing was was just funny! not may people can make fun of shows and get away with it. not without looking cheesy and trying to just be tards lol. I thought that it was so funny? the gential herpes thing was priceless. supernatural is totally my favorite show i wont miss it for the word!supernatural is totally my favorite show i wont miss it for the word!
  • one word: awesome!

    guys it been while that I laugth ! In my opinion yellow fever was the most funny eps producers, but yesterday, dude! it's the best eps funny!

    Fisrt: I love the introduce the eps, like siticom!, the music, kkkkkkk the guys in bike so hilarius. the jokes by triket it's the most part on the eps I love it.

    second: The references by series it is awesome! Don't get me wrong I'm super fan by grey's anatomy, and I love it like eric trate our contestant. really good.

    Third: guys I don't kon about you bu it's great surprise to konw the triskter is gabriel's angels, Holy crapy! all the time that he nobody konws that why explanin the boys never kill him. the finale it's really great. I hope gabriel help the boys.

    kiss cau!
  • Not just the channels are changed

    I get the distinct feeling that the writers for "Supernatural" are trying to bring some of the lighter moments into the season early because the latter half of the season is going to be the darkest stretch yet. Even episodes like this, clearly based on an idea with pure comic potential, comes to a close with a heavy dose of dread. Considering that it's the apocalypse, that's probably not a huge shock.

    Comedy is subjective, but I thought it was great to see the writers spoof their own most difficult timeslot competition. "CSI" has some truly awful writing and acting across the board, and "Grey's Anatomy" is overwrought soap opera. I loved the sitcom opening credits and the "Knight Rider" spoof, and that commercial fooled me the first time through.

    Not everything worked as well as it could have. I thought the Japanese game show segment had the right idea, but the real thing has a much more frenetic energy to it. I think the director played it too straight. And I was also a bit annoyed with the fact that Sam was getting the short end of the stick too often. Sure, the previous Trickster episode was rough on Dean, but it seemed a little one-sided.

    I will give the writers credit for not beating the audience over the head with some of the context. When Sam brought up the idea of allying with the Trickster against the rebellious angels and demons, I was sure that Dean would rip into Sam with a laundry list of past transgressions. After all, after all that Sam did in the fourth season, making that suggestion is a questionable move. But Dean didn't need to say anything; his expression more than said it all.

    The heart of the episode, however, comes with the final act. I'm not sure about the revelation that the Trickster has always been Gabriel. While it does explain his ability to keep coming back for more and the similarity in powers, it does seem like unnecessary retroactive continuity. Despite that, it was a great opportunity for the writers to dispense some story exposition with a twist.

    At this point, we must assume that the rebellious angels are unreliable in terms of information. They have their own perspective on matters, and that perspective is often skewed by their own assumptions and bitterness. Angel dialogue is as much about reading between the lines as anything else.

    So I accept the idea that the Brothers Winchester were chosen because of their relationship to their father. It ties the whole second half of the series thus far to the first half, which is a brilliant move. Clearly the writers designed the whole God/angels/Lucifer dynamic around the earlier John/Dean/Sam dynamic, and that makes sense out of a lot of what has happened since the beginning of the fourth season. (And perhaps this will prove to those still insisting this is intentional Christian-hating blasphemy that they have been barking up the wrong tree.)

    In fact, Gabriel's explanation provides two strong clues that there is, in fact, a God waiting to be uncovered before the end. First, Gabriel says that Sam and Dean were always destined to play the roles of Michael and Lucifer, because the angels knew from the moment that God's plan for humanity was set in motion that this was going to be the trigger for the end of the world.

    While Christian lore is certainly different in the "Supernatural" mythos, this plays on the traditional notion that all things have evolved along a path that God determined was necessary for humanity. All the good and bad things are the product of events set in motion at the dawn of time. The subtext of that worldview is actually quite clear: God knew that this moment would come. In other words, if he's absent from the perspective of the angels, it's because that was part of the plan. And logically speaking, if the angels were always meant to stray and "go rogue" as part of the plan, they would not be privy to any outcome of the grand design that countered their anticipated result. The angels wouldn't see another possible end to the apocalypse, because they were never meant to see the big picture. (Hence, why their perspective is unreliable.)

    That means that God could still be out there, waiting for the Brothers Winchester and Castiel to find him, so that the real conclusion to the plan can unfold. This is supported by the "as above, so below" parallel. Sam and Dean both had their Daddy issues, and John was absent for a good long while, but John never really gave up on his sons. So it stands to reason that God is waiting for the right moment, and that he has his own ideas of the destiny for the Brothers Winchester.

    To take the parallel further (and perhaps to reveal how long the hints of the parallel were right there to be found), John regretted bringing Sam and Dean into the hunting world. When he had another son, Adam, he chose to take a different path and give Adam other choices. In other words, Sam and Dean were given a path to follow and a life mission to obey, whereas Adam was given free will to make his own choices, good or bad. The writers clearly intended the parallel between the angels (Dean), Lucifer (Sam), and humanity (Adam).

    It's also worth noting that everything prior to this episode was simply the introductory phase of the season arc. This episode shifts the story into the complication phase, and that is typically when a lot of assumptions are proven wrong. At the same time, this is clearly the climax phase of the five-year plan, so even minor situations hold a powerful weight.
  • This was by far the funniest episode ever on Supernatural. The Japanese gameshow was brilliant. And the seventies style corny intro was hilarious. their CSI Miami spoof I mean my god. I was rolling on the floor laughing my arse off.

    This was by far the funniest episode ever on Supernatural. The Japanese gameshow was brilliant. And the seventies style corny intro was hilarious. Dean being into the crappy doctor show excellent and their CSI Miami spoof I mean my god. I was rolling on the floor laughing my arse off. It was good to see the Trickster again and learn more about him. I think this season (which is possibly the final season) has been the best so far but that said you need the previous seasons to get to this point where the action drama and jokes all work so well. The storytelling is just great.
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