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Supernatural S09E18: "Meta Fiction"


That was... interesting? 

"Meta Fiction" started out so well, too: an elaborate fan fiction parody written by Castiel's number-one fan, featuring all the essentials—including an extended Dean-in-the-shower scene and Castiel making awkward smalltalk mid-case to highlight their profound bond. A (maybe) long-dead (mostly) beloved character inexplicably returned to life, and everyone's personality felt just slightly off, from Rambo Gabriel to Oddly Self-aware Dean. It worked because it was too ridiculous to believe and at no point following Metatron's hijacking of the story did I actually consider that everything that was happening was canon... until it was. 

That's when it got weird, because the thing about real-life fanon and head-canon is that yes, sometimes inferring details works wonders to fill a hole in the official narrative, and sometimes it doesn't. You can generally tell, when you wander into fandom's weird and wonderful waters, who has a grasp on the characters as they are and who is writing pure wish fulfillment. With that in mind, I couldn't help but wonder if "Meta Fiction" was, on some level, cut from the same cloth as the infamous "Season Seven, Time for a Wedding," where the usual, good-natured ribbing of the more intense corners of Supernatural's fandom got a little too heated, a little too contemptuous. There were times in "Meta Fiction" that seemed to say, "See? See how awful it is when amateurs get control of the universe? Leave the world-building to the professionals, kids," and that's kind of shitty. 

Boogertron was clearly the author of what the internet would eagerly label "badfic." He claimed to want to set up "interesting characters and see where they lead," but he clearly had an agenda, as illustrated by his rewrite attempts, and let me just say that it wasn't necessarily the rewriting that betrayed Metatron's true intentions. Any half-decent scribe, working in a fandom or an original universe, is going to rewrite until he or she successfully takes the story where it needs to go. Metatron's problem was that when his story clearly wouldn't, and couldn't, go where he wanted it to go, he forced it. It's not that Castiel would never willingly lead a band of loyal rebel angels, but Castiel right now has repeatedly turned down offers and gone out of his way to not be in charge of anyone but himself. 


Metatron also made the mistake of underestimating the intelligence of his audience. When Castiel didn't understand a literary reference, Metatron literally info-dumped his entire reading history into Cas's brain so that it would never happen again—rather than, for example, choosing a more commonly known reference that his audience might've better appreciated. It's really quite indicative of what a lazy "god" Boogertron is. 

He's also the newest addition to Supernatural's "tragic" characters list. You can't say that Metatron isn't enthusiastic, or that he didn't start out with, well, not so much noble intentions, but thoughtful ones. Castiel has pushed for his fellow angels to get out of the clouds and experience a little bit of life with the mud monkeys for years. He just wasn't a dick about it (except for that time with the Leviathan, but he also wasn't entirely in his right mind at the time, so he's not excused, exactly, because only Dean ever gets to be excused for crappy behavior, but we get it). 


Speaking of Dean's crappy behavior, he was surprisingly restrained this week, Mark of Cain and all. We also got our first indication that Dean does understand just how messed-up the whole Gadreel-possessing-Sam situation was, which I think a lot of us already figured, but remember: headcanon =/= canon. Dean and Sam captured Gadreel and hoped to torture some information out of him about the magical angel homing beacon leading de-winged denizens of Earth to their slaughter. When Sam left to find Castiel/avoid a mental breakdown as a result of Gadreel's too-close-to-home taunting, Dean was left to slice-and-dice duty and discovered that just because Gadreel had been inside Sam for weeks and not him didn't mean that Gadreel couldn't find some nasty-but-true zingers to throw out there. 

In fact, I think being in Sam's head the whole time made the nastygrams to Dean evem more personal. I can picture Sam seeing Dean as some lost little boy, hurting everyone around him because he's too scared to function on his own. Without Gadreel's twisted slant on the sentiment, it's not really a criticism at all, and I don't think that Sam himself would see it that way. Both Winchesters have issues with self-worth: Sam's stem from the demon blood and his death peen and feelings of being "less than" due to his connection to Lucifer. Dean's stem from his childhood conditioning to be the "good soldier" at all costs, for his entire life. The man is well into his thirties—older than that if we count his time in hell and various other alternate universes—and that rigid selflessness is crumbling. The last time it failed, Dean saw himself become a feared torturer in hell, so understandably, he's got issues when it comes to addressing his own needs in a non-destructive way. Dean feels like a failure whenever he caves, but he's at a breaking point in his life—he needs someone to save him for once, and Gadreel's comment that Sam wouldn't save Dean, taken out of context as I'm sure it was, still hit close to home. 


Buuuut at least Dean didn't kill him. Gadreel is too interesting of a character to simply be run through with the ol' angel sword while he's tied to a chair. In "Meta Fiction," we got more confirmation that Gadreel's biggest fear is imprisonment, not death, and that he didn't let Lucifer into the Garden of Eden with malicious intent, he did it to set humanity free. Now, whether this belief was born out of Gadreel's own feelings or planted and nurtured by Lucy himself remains unseen, and hopefully it will remain unseen because it's the ambiguity of Supernatural's more flawed characters—including the Winchesters themselves, at times—that make the series so interesting. Like so many amateur writers,  Boogertron and "Meta Fiction" just tells and tells and tells. I'm going to go ahead and chalk it up to being a clever way to invoke Metatron's habitual assumption that his readers were too dumb to "get" his story, but it was still irritating to be beaten over the head with so many in-depth character analyses from the characters themselves. It's just not how they act. 

(Maybe-real-but-probably-not Gabriel's winky-smile was perfect, though.)


I'll admit it: As soon as the credits rolled for "Meta Fiction," I hated it. I didn't hate it with the venom reserved for "Season Seven, Time for a Wedding," or "Taxi Driver," but I hated it. I still don't love it. I understand what the writers were trying to do and in some places, they excelled (everything before Boogertron tied Cas up). But in some places they faltered (SO. MUCH. UNCHARACTERISTIC SELF-AWARENESS.). In general, the latest "meta episode" in Supernatural's long history of meta episodes was an advancement of the trope. A messy, brain-melting advancement.



CASE NOTES

– So holy fire gives s'mores a "delightful minty aftertaste." Want.

– Gadreel is totally going to turn on Metatron. Did you see how pleased he looked when Metatron admitted that the Winchesters' kidnapping of Gadreel wasn't part of his plan? It means Boogertron isn't as all-powerful as he claims to be, and remember, kids, Gadreel has never really been on board with all the killing that Metatron makes him do. 

– Cas's stolen grace is "burning him out." Thoughts? 

– I screamed when Casa Erotica came on. What are your Gabriel theories? I still kind of think he's dead, honestly. 


What'd you think of "Meta Fiction"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/25/2016

Season 11 : Episode 23

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The writers of Supernatural have created a character that is not well drawn. Metatron has too much power. Any solution the Winchester's arrive at will seem contrived. Their only reasonable solution is to do what they have been avoiding, based on the mythology they have created, use either the biblical power of God the creator or Jesus to change things, and that too, could become quite contrived.
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I probably shouldn’t toss gasoline on a smoldering fire, but what the heck…

Now that we know about Metatron’s uber-angel powers, I think it’s even more clear there’s no way Dean could have saved Kevin. As Castiel said, Metatron wanted the prophet dead for strategic reasons. Since the guy can create reality and erase angel warding, there would have been no way to hide or protect Kevin from him. Sam/Gadreel was a convenient weapon, but it's pretty clear to me that Kevin would be a dead man even without him.
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Oh Cas you did it again. It was nice to see Gabriel back I miss him, but I'm holding out hope that he's not dead considering his non answer to Cas's question. I'm really glad dean did t kill Gadriel I like his character and believe that if given the right push would turn against metatron and side with dean, so far his character has been complex and hasn't shown a clear motive or reasoning for his siding with metatron. Dean in the shower was just a lovely treat but would have been sooooooo much better if we saw him at least half naked, a girl can dream.
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I am confused with the way the season is going I much prefer Sam and Dean going after the Demon route then this. I just think that Metatron angle is far too clever for its own good and comes across as I will confuse the audience so much by the time I finish u gone to sleep!

I do agree with some of the comments below as the writers I pretty much making it up as they go along. I see how this pans out but the series really needs to end as is will end like 24 and Lost rehashing the same scenarios and thats a shame
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Gabriel: "Bitch please, you've been God more than Dad has."
You know what God problem was?
He published the 1st draft of his play.
He didn't do a rewrite.
Another creative episode!
Metatron has become way too powerful! Everything's playing out according to his words. He makes the story unpredictable to me now.
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so, that metatron has become so powefull leads to a simple question:
who can stop him?
at this point there are only two beeings with that kind of juice.
Death and God himself.
so this makes me wonder if we will finally see god at the end of season 10.
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God question... i meant good question.

I was wondering if the writers would be so bold to touch those beings.
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Gabriel's non-answer (except for twitching his eyebrows) when Castiel asked him if he was dead, maybe Metatron brought him back? God brought Castiel back after Lucifer killed him. As powerful as Metatron seems to be now, I can see him powerful enough to bring Gabriel back.
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why would he?
tossing another vigorous player in the game is kind of self destructing stupid, even for meta...
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I was so stoked when Gabriel/Loki showed up that I ignored what I already knew about this episode and Metatron being behind it. I still think Gabriel is dead. But I love that actor.
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also as a BIG P.S. More Cas! Hurray! Love me some, really any Castiel. I feel he's wedded to the story now and when he's not involved it's effectively a plot-hole at this point.
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I just straight up didn't get this episode. Probably because I was only half paying attention, but also maybe because it didn't make much sense. And I'm not sure I want to watch it again to find out.
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I gotta love the look on Sam's face at the end of this episode when he's in the car with Dean. Hey, Sammy, this is what it feels like when someone you really love is in trouble and needs your help. Only, you don't know exactly how to help or what you may have to do to save them. How far are you prepared to go, Sam? Kinda scary, huh? Take a big whiff, bro -- this is long overdue. Sam, you're still my guy, but I've been waiting all season for this look on your face.

No, I am NOT a Sam hater. But it's about time Sam knows what this feels like.


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So Dean beat up Gadreel with his bare hands.
He beat up an ANGEL with his bare hands.
Last time he punched an angel(Castiel), he hurt his hand...

Is Dean even human anymore?
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That's a really interesting point, especially when you consider tonights episodes. When I think of Cain and the warning he gave I can't help but be reminded that this Mark is a lot more complicated and sinister than we've seen.
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Is Dean even human anymore?

Geez I hope so. Maybe the MOC makes him insensitive to pain (as well as most of his other emotions). This is getting scary.
Good catch about the hand thing -- I'd forgotten that.

Now that I'm thinking about it, Sam punched Gadreel too and he didn't seem to hurt his hand. Was this sloppy writing again? Curious.
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I heard two interesting theories about this:
1. If Gadreel never healed completely from the fall, maybe he's still not at full power, so hitting him doesn't have the effect it normally would.

2. When Sam hit Gadreel, he was inside an angel trap -- something we've never seen before, so we have no real idea how they work or what the limits are. However, if a demon trapped in a demon trap is vulnerable and doesn't have his full powers, maybe the same thing happens to an angel. That could explain the lack of hand-breakage if you punch one. Of course, Dean eventually dragged Gadreel out of the trap and continued beating him with his bare hands, so I'm not sure that second theory holds...unless, as you suggested, maybe Dean isn't 100% Dean/human anymore.
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Considering how worried Cas looked when he saw the mark something is defiantly changing in dean and it's something very dark, darker than I've seen in a long time.
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Hey, there's a Supernatural marathon on TNT all day today for anyone who can watch! It starts at 9:00 am ET!
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Ok Ok, I get that Metapuke is GOD. Enough already. He's freaking annoying, GOD notwithstanding. Honestly, I don't think the writers had the vaguest idea what they were doing with this episode. It apparently came into being before there was time enough to stop the train wreck. Now I'm bored. I don't care anymore. About anyone, except maybe Crowley who's entertaining no matter what the hell he says or does.

Frankly, I miss the old days of Bobby Singer, of that freaky scarecrow in the field, and the legions of hunters hanging out at roadside honky-tonks in the dead of night. All these falling angels and battles for Heaven and Hell crap [while, by the way, everyone else on earth is just going on about their business down at the bank], is just mental masturbation.

And does anyone else have a problem with Sam and Dean's endless melodrama? I do not want the two leads bickering over who would be willing to save who, and under what conditions, or who's more emotionally torn, or physically compromised, or anything else. I want the brothers back fighting as they once did - with common purpose, mutual love and respect, no exceptions. Read: Focus the narrative.

On a final note, Dean's raspy, deep-chested vocal affectation is wearing on me. Sorry, it's distracting, a bit two-dimensional after a while. Sam's isn't much better in a very different way. Give these guys something to really sink their heads into and you'll get a more interesting performance. I guess I could go on, but I've probably already pissed off the entire fan base, myself included.



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Ok Ok, I get that Metapuke is GOD. Enough already. He's freaking annoying, GOD notwithstanding. Honestly, I don't think the writers had the vaguest idea what they were doing with this episode… Now I'm bored. I don't care anymore.

I don’t think Metadork is god. He’s using Chuck’s magic typewriter to alter reality and he’s using the angel tablet to increase his power – that’s how he can blow out holy fire. He’s probably using other heavenly weapons to do other tricks, but all that doesn’t make him god. I hate him as much as you do and I can’t wait to see that smug SOB get offed. He's also VERY unpopular with the fans, which is the kiss of death on this show. He won't last the season.

I DO miss the old days when the brothers were getting along well and fighting the good fight together. I wish they’d just make up and get it over with. We all know it’s coming, so let’s just do it already! Maybe the writers realized these characters have been stripped of everything else so the only thing left to take away from them was each other? The fans won’t tolerate much more of this, so I’m sure they will be back together for the finale and in season 10!

I remember reading that the Mark of Cain is blunting Dean’s emotional responses to things, so that’s why he seems so flat in recent episodes. I agree with you that this has been hard to watch. It has been difficult for the actor, too, apparently. So hang in there and keep venting your rage! I think that’s the only way we will all get through this season.
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Still not sure how I feel about this one. I don't think the writers fully succeeded at whatever they wanted to achieve in the first place, but they didn't fail miserably either. It wasn't exactly a full-fledged meta episode, rather it's tried to become part this and part that. One thing is certain: Metatron might've been a good scribe, but he isn't an impressive writer.

Personally I'm willing to forgive a lot merely due to the unexpected cameo by Richard Speight Jr (a.k.a. Gabriel/Trickster). I missed his wackiness, and I think that sequence alone elevated the entire episode. May he rest in peace too.

I thought that the show was trying a little too hard to show off just how smug, arrogant, powerful, and generally full of himself Metatron has become. I get that he sees himself as a God, feels invincible, wants to orchestrate the events, etc. And yet I still find it hard to buy into it and take him seriously. Especially compared to Abaddon or even Crowley from the previous season.

Other than that it looked pretty standard: Cas avoiding responsibility, Sam and Dean being helpless for the umpteenth time against a more powerful being (and then surviving only because such being benevolently allowed them to or - shockingly - underestimated them), someone getting captured just to be consequently released, and so on.
I kept hoping that this season's second half could become at least as promising as the latter half of Season 8, but so far I'm just not seeing it. Merely a few things that are fine about it.
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Metatron does seem to have a lot of the power Chuck had. Remember Castiel changing clothes at the end from raincoat to suit and back to raincoat? And his opening the door to greet his followers? He did those things only after Metatron wrote about him doing those things. And his followers were there waiting for Castiel only because Metatron wrote about them being there. I watched it again last night and thought,,,is Metatron God? Sounds crazy, but who besides God would have the power to kick every Angel out of Heaven?
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I used to think maye he was god, too, but now I don't. Theoreically, anyone who can read the angel tablet and/or work the spell Metatron worked would have the power to kick the angels out of heaven. The Winchesters almost closed hell, and they're not gods. I suspect it might be Chuck's "magic" typewriter that is giving Metadork the power to create reality. Just like he's using the angel tablet to power up, he's using other tools to increase his control and power.
I don't think he's god, just an arrogant tyrant who needs to get ganked.
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First of all I loved the show. I loved that each was trying to do their best to make things better. I loved the Gabriel-Cas scenes. It was great. I loved that Dean made Sam go find Cas because he was worried about Cas and Sam almost lost it so he didnt want him there. I loved that Sam looked worried about Dean at the beginning, the part with Cas and the end. I loved Dean how he reacted to Gadreel and he stopped himself from killing Gadreel. I loved the little look Gadreel made with Metatron. I loved the scenes with Metatron and Cas even tho I hate Metatron but hes the bad guy so that is supposed to happen. Theres not much of this episode I didnt like. I am worried about Cas doing what he didnt want to do because of the idea Metatron put in his head so I hope he doesnt unnecessarily get the other angels killed. I also am worried about Dean and how that is going to play out. I hope Cas doesnt get killed, He is my favorite besides Dean. I just love his struggling of always trying to do the right thing but not accomplishing ( like alot of us) I loved loved the show. I love Robbie who did the writing and Thomas Wright who did the directing. I just love this show more then any other and I will not Criticize cause I like to bring the good up not the bad cause I dont know how I would do if I was writing or directing and there is not much of this show I dont like. It is a great great show
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Cas...tell Sam what he should be watching for....really my biggest reaction.

I must confess I had a hard time following all the Trickster/Gabriel who was who whether one was posing as the other of it all back when they did it that I really didn't think anything of his return. Nor did I really remember Cas ever being fond of like any of the arch angels (especially since there always a bit of that not followed up hints given by Naomi that before they started screwing with his head, Cas might have been an arch angel himself). And honestly, if Cas was legitimately looking for someone to lead an angel force against Metatron wouldn't he be seriously thinking about opening a certain cage....I mean I know Lucifer is currently hiding out with the Tomorrrow People but he might be able to grab Michael and we could get three moody Winchester brothers back).
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Adam can stay in the Cage forever. Never like the Adam character.
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It would be kind of hysterical if Gadreel sets the occupants of the Cage free later and Adam becomes the Big Bad of Season 10 after being tortured into becoming some kind of super-demon by two very board and very angry archangels who have nobody else to mess with for entertainment now that Sam got saved... Then Team Free Will would be all like, "dang, IF ONLY we'd bothered to save Adam!" ;)
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WOW! I loved the episode and I dont want any of what you said to happen especially Adam to come out
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i was falling asleep watching this ep....if that tells you anything about my opinion.
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Oh and Cas's grace thing. Does anyone think the writers have the balls to kill off Castiel in The finale? Probably not. But what else can this character go through? You could say the same thing about the Winchesters, but theyre both still human and in their early to mid 30s, plenty of adventures left. But with Cas, who knows Although it's strange to think of The series without him
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It does seem a little odd that Cas could withstand swallowing all of Purgatory, but the stolen grace of ONE angel is going to burn him out? Really? o.O

I sincerely hope they don't kill him since he's an extremely popular character and the show is already DROWNING in characters we've loved and lost at this point. Castiel is the last great beloved character apart from the brothers themselves, so if they kill him in the finale, the writers will finally be fresh out of easy ways to make their audience cry. Unfortunately I think there ARE signs that they're building up to another death for Cas:
1. He seems to have "learned his lessons." Often a character's story is over when he or she finally changes to overcome the longstanding character flaws they began their story with. (Think of Gabriel, finally deciding to face Lucifer instead of run, which was the choice he made every other time.) Cas was a confused, overly-literal-minded order-follower in a perpetual state of fish-out-of-water culture-shock when we met him in season 4. Now most of his prior issues have been resolved-- the latest being that Metatron even helped by giving him the knowledge of stories and cultural references.
2. Metatron has also warned that if he kills Castiel and there won't be any resurrections this time.
3. Do Castiel's interactions with other characters seem more endearing to you this season (lots of hugs, smiles, etc.?) Yeah, that's some kind of deliberate setup-- because losing cute cuddly Cas later is just going to hurt so much worse this time around than it did those times when we lost gruff, cranky not-humanity's-friend Cas.

The one thing that gives me hope is that Castiel seems to actually be on a heroic story arc here. Frequently in stories a hero will experience a death, major defeat or moment where it appears all hope is lost-- just before he magically resurrects and in so doing, defeats his enemy. Think of Harry Potter, Jesus, etc. So Castiel may yet make it to season 10, but my best guess at this point would be that there will be at least one moment coming up pretty soon where it looks like he's a total goner before we finally find out what the resolution of his arc is.
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The biggest issue I had with this episode was that it made the MetaTron character even more confusing. His powers, his motives, his plan. All the more confusing now.

That given, I still thought this episode was pretty decent. I enjoyed the dialougue and The Gabriel reappearance. I think hes still dead too, Though, but I prefer the ambiguous answer for some reason, probably because the character is so awesome. The boys were fine this episode, although one big dumb winchester sighting: dean went into the bathroom and dropped his angel sword in The sink. Really?
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Cas said "you are already dead" Gabriel is indeed dead. It was an illusion by metatron.

And as for this episode? Yet another snoozefest where nothing really happens except everyone have secrets stuff that's killing them (the mark of cain, Cas's grace etc) and we're just wasting time until the finale where everyone team with everyone to defeat everyone in a final battle that will leave something open for next season.

It amazes me how much this show recycles the same stuff for 9 years. Time to move on people. Get some new ideas.
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Wow no keep it the way it is. This season has been one of my favorites. KEEP IT THE WAY IT IS. I like seeing the characters struggle with each of their unusual situations. You can make all the people happy all the time and some are never happy
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What is unusal about this situation? This show is doing the exact same thing for 9 years.

Dean is dealing with the mark in the same way that Sam dealt with the blood lust or the way he dealt with effect of the tests and everything else they are recycling over and over again.

It might have been nice once or twice but it's been 9 years.
They need to come up with something even slightly original.
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The last time Dean and Sam needed help dealing with a false "god" (Leviathan-Cas) Death helped them out. We've heard rumors that Tessa the Reaper will be making an appearance, so maybe we'll see Death, too. That would be cool!
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For once it was nice not to see the the brother fight about who did what to another...
Liked actually the whoe Meta telling a story thing...actually he was telling to Cas, which i didn't figure out in the beginning, so that was a nice twist..
So that is the big plan. Meta promises that the angels will return to heaven and Cas has to gather all rebellions so Meta can kill the ones who don't believe...
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I screamed when Casa Erotica came on.
MEEE TOOOO!!!

What are your Gabriel theories? I still kind of think he's dead, honestly.
me too :(
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So Metatron is all-powerful now, right? He could even write God and Death out of existence if he wants to?
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So Metatron is all-powerful now, right? He could even write God and Death out of existence if he wants to?

I'm not convinced that Metatron is omnipotent. If so, why would he need to arrange a prisoner exchange to get Gadreel back? He should have been able to just write the outcome he wanted and get Gadreel back himself. For that matter, why didn’t he stop the WIinchesters from trapping Gadreel in the first place? And why is he worried about the heaven door being secure if he can simply write that it is and make it so? He'd also be able to just write the rebellious angels out of existence -- so he wouldn't need an elaborate Gabriel-hallucination to trick Castiel into helping him.

I think Metatron is arrogant and insane, and he’s using the angel tablet to increase his power, but I don’t think he’s in control of everything.
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I always assumed the trickster was fo' real dead and I still do. Altho I guess if Metatron really was trying to be or was becoming "the new God" then he cld prb bring Gabriel back to life if he wanted... I was FREAKING OUT when Casa Erotica came on, until I started thinking about Metatron's intro and then I was a lil bummed.. After just a few mins with Gabriel, I think it was pretty obvious is wasn't him..I'm kinda surprised Cas didn't figure it out sooner..
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Well, sorry to disagree with the OP, but...
I found this episode to be SO GREAT! :D And not just because it poked some meta-fun at Supernatural fans, as a good meta episode should do. Gabriel's return and his scenes with Castiel were priceless-- I had to keep pausing my internet (I was watching on the cwtv.com website) because I was laughing so much that I kept missing the next line. And even though it was a foregone conclusion from a meta perspective that Gabriel wasn't back "for realz," I still felt that patented Supernatural-style "kick in the feelz" at the look on Fictional!Gabriel's face when the jig was finally up and he faded into thin air.

The conflict between Dean and Gadreel I also found to be interesting. Gadreel's extreme loathing for imprisonment reminded me of the Cage, and made me wonder if perhaps he will one day find himself there, or feel motivated, out of empathy, to break his archangel brothers Lucifer and Michael out.

This episode left me feeling like Metatron's days are numbered. His brain-dump of reading material into Castiel's head was an obvious bad-guy mistake, as it will almost certainly provide Cas with some critical advantage he needs in order to defeat Metatron at a later point. Also, as it's been established that Metatron can make things happen by using Chuck's typewriter, I think Metatron may have made an additional critical error in the last scene where he's writing something like, "and God saw that it was good." By "God," Metatron is clearly referring to *himself* (as the user of Chuck's magic typewriter). But I wonder if perhaps in using the word, "God," if Metatron is inadvertently evoking the original holder of the title? If Christian God (the "absent father" who's never made his presence definitively known, though some theorize Chuck may have been his avatar rather than a prophet) makes an appearance to intercede in Team Free Will's story, Metatron's going to have a LOT of explaining to do... And that could make for an amazing finale. ;)
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I so agree with you. I really like you. Gadreel was in prison since the beginning when he let the snake in That is why he hates being held or imprisoned but thank you for your assessment
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Gabriel will remain dead until the writers want him to be alive, an illusionist faking his own death requires no elaborate explanation.
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For me, it kinda does, as it was good ol' Lucy that killed him. He probably would've made sure he did.
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Bring back Balthazar!
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Gee, having the writer ignore the natural character development established and forcing an ending that suits himself? Insert your "How I Met Your Mother Series Finale joke" here.

It was great seeing Gabriel again, but oh god do I hope he's not really still alive. Hammer of the Gods was only one of five PERFECT episodes of the series and a great way to send off a beloved character. To actaully bring the character after an amazing sendoff would be extremely detrimental to the character because it made the sendoff pointless. That is also why I don't want Michael and Lucifer to physically return. Season 5 was near perfect and to bring them back would just be rehashing the Apocalypse.. which was rehashed a second time with the Leviathan storyline. (Jared Padelecki had stated that the Leviathans would be launching their plan all over the world and eat everyone, therefore making the plan a type of Apocalypse.)

Gadreel sure is a complex character. I believe he truly is the wildcard for the Angel storyline. He follows Metatron's orders because he wants to be perceived as a hero who granted the angels access to Heaven after Castiel cast them out. However, since his boss has ulterior motives, Gadreel is sure to become disillusioned and turn on Metatron, most likely dying in the process.

Ok, so things are picking up steam. Now... we get two filler episodes and the finale of the Hell War story arc? Oh, god, please don't kill Abby off before you kill Metatron. I know Metatron is technically the Big Bad of the season, but Abaddon is INTERESTING! Metatron is basically writing a story which will give himself a happy ending while screwing everyone else, but Abaddon is a lot more proactive than this guy. She's a little mustache-twirly, but not everyone can be as sassy a Big Bad as Crowley was in season 8.
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Still laughing about "This ain't Diagon Alley " comment. Just imagine a random person going to your shop and ordering griffin feathers or phoenix tears that would be pretty awesome!!!
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The best part of all this is getting to see gabriel alive for half an episode while fangirling about it , till I realized that he is dead and having him alive would totally ruin both his story and ending. Also, I wonder where do they get the endless supply of angels from??
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I would like Gabriel to be alive but I'm pretty sure he's dead, I'm pretty sure when they wrote his death they intended him to die and stay dead, if they brought him back it would kind of be bullshit.
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I have a companion book on the 5th season of Supernatural, and the writers of "Hammer of the Gods" said that Gabriel was, for all intents and purposes, dead. Lucifer knew every single one of Gabriel's tricks, so if he just killed a "shadow clone" like Dean did in "Tall Tales" he wouldn't have been so choked up about it. My guess Luci would've just been pissed that Gabriel getting the better of him. Plus the porno message was the perfect way to send off the character, so bringing him back physically would be detrimental to the character, just like bringing back the physical characters of Michael and Lucifer. Having them come back as hallucinations to screw with the characters is a nice way to bring them back, like Child-Lilith, Azazel, Meg 1.0, and Lucifer.
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I don't believe Lucifer was just a hallucination in season 7. In one ep (I think Repo Man) "hallucination" Lucifer was talking to himself with no one else around. Since hallucinations don't exist, they can't talk to themselves.
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I'm pretty sure Lucifer was a hallucination in season 7. Castiel said that if Luci were out of the cage, the angels would know/feel it, so he never left the cage. All the season 6 and 7 Lucifer appearances were to mess with Sam. If he was talking to himself, I suspect that's just the SPN writers taking poetic license again, or doing it just to mess with us.
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At first, I thought TPTB were trying to send out too many messages. However, after nine years, lets hope that someone is trying to grow up and own up to the life he's lived. Yeah, I'm talking about Dean. He has always thought that what he did was the right thing to do, no matter what the consequences. He said himself, he doesn't always think things through. But what if that's what he's trying to do now? Because he wants Sam to be his brother again? Because he now knows that it IS high time he started thinking? Or because what he and Sam and Cas are trying to accomplish is the biggest fix ever? Hell has always been a revolving door. But Heaven is a totally different colored unicorn, in my opinion. After seeing the effect that a closed Heaven had on Kevin, maybe Dean is reaching the point of realization that it's time he made sure things were done right this time, because there's so much to fix already. I also believe that doors are being opened and left open for future Season 10 episodes. Even with Cas' help, Sam and Dean know more about Hell and Purgatory than they do Heaven. And no lessons were learned in Dark Side of the Moon, because they were helping Cas find God. For sanity's sake, I hope Dean gets the lesson this time. There's one in there somewhere after 'losing' his brother status with Sam. I wasn't as pleased with this episode, however, as I usually am. Something that I couldn't see left me with too many questions and I'm planning a re-watch to see if I missed something or if it just wasn't there to start with. One thing that bothered me was that it seemed so easy for the boys to find Gadreel. Unless I missed something there; hopefully, I'll catch in the rewind. I was expecting something that wasn't delivered. And I'm licking my lips trying to catch the taste I missed when I swallowed. I didn't hate Meta-fiction. I was just waiting for it.... And it didn't show up....
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I honestly liked the episode. I don't get all this hate from the reviewer. She says the episode was twisted with self awareness, we all are self aware from time to time, I think her late-logic was what was twisted.
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I agree
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Ep #21 Abaddon gets hers?
Ep #22 Metatron gets his?
Ep #23 No idea.

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Next week is a vampire story with Sheriff Mills, then the spinoff episode. The home stretch of the season is:

#21 - "King of the Damned" (not Queen of the Damned)

#22 - "Stairway to Heaven"
#23 - "Do You Believe in Miracles"

Hard to believe Season Fine is almost over. :-(
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When Gabriel asks Castiel to hear Metatron out, he said he couldn't specify how, as he only skimmed through his parts of script. From Supernaturalwikia: (about Gabriel)

Seasons 2,3,5,9
Species - Archangel
Status - ALIVE.

They also say his status is unknown, so thats a bit confusing. But they don't list him as dead.
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Even for folks who didn't particularly like this episode, you gotta like the fact that Dean got to open a big ole can of whoopass on Gadreel! Not killing him was the smart thing to do and it also means the Mark isn't completely controlling Dean yet. Looking forward to seeing what comes next!
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I tend to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person...but...I didn't get this at all
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I'm going to watch it again. Sometimes you pick up things on a second watching that you missed the first time and things make more sense.
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Jumped out of my seat when Casa Erotica came on. It was great seeing The Trickster/Gabriel again! And is he really dead? Loved the eyebrow twitch he gave when Castiel asked him. It is possible he tricked Lucifer into thinking he killed him. As for Boogertrons seemingly extra powers like erasing the protection symbols from Baby's trunk and blowing out Holy Fire, are they real powers or just a figment of his typewriter?
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I liked most of the episode until the exchange - Metatrons was just OTT, especially his reaction to the angel fire.
He would have been more intimidating if he was subtler, instead he came off as cartoony.
Still, its better than the Leviathans
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I've noticed that subtlety is an attribute relatively few of the angels in Supernatural seem to grasp. Maybe it's not a big part of angel culture. ;)
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True. Until recently they had no free will and just did as they're told and if you look at the Old Testement they're pretty much the opposite of subtlety.
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I think that MIGHT be the point of the character. He's a storyteller and into drama and all that so he spouts termanology and acts overly dramatic.
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I know, but it does kind of diminish his presence
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It's about how you would expect a character like his to act though. Anyway if he didn't he wouldn't be much diffrent than any other bad guys on the show. :)
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Very good episode. Metatron really is a piece of work. Interesting to see him taking up the story again and bending it to the way HE thinks it should go. After being left vacant by Chuck back at the end of season 5, its interesting to see someone else take the reigns - I wonder where it will ultimately lead. If anyone had doubts about Chuck being God before I think this kind of pushed the theory more towards it being true. Kind of sick of Metatron and his ultimate power trip but hopefully it is all leading somewhere. There is so much going on this season - Mark of Cain, Abaddon and Crowley's fight for control of Hell, Angels fighting to get back into Heaven (and picking sides Team Metatron or Team Castiel). I honestly have no idea where we are heading as we get to the end of the season.

Great to see Gabriel again, even if he was only a figment of the story (or was he?). I would love for him to come back. Castiel is now a reluctant leader, and Metatron said that he will end up being the villain because his side will win. What exactly does that mean - Cas is fighting a losing battle? What's the point of fighting at all? I did like (and found it funny) when Metatron gave Castiel knowledge of all books, television, and movies so that he would have a better understanding when references were made to them (even if he still understand the meaning completely - like when he was talking to Dean and Sam later in the episode).

Gadreel appears to be losing any faith or trust that he might have had in Metatron. I wonder where he will end up at season's end because he seemed ready to relinquish when Dean was torturing him. He wanted to make up for his mistakes in the past and now he is just as far down the wrong path as he was before. As the season winds to an end I am interested to see where we are going. So many balls in the air right now who knows where any of them are going to end up falling.
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LadyJay03 Why would Metatron give Castiel so much knowledge’s????????? I believed Metatron made a big mistake, by allowing Cas to having all that’s knowledge (meaning every books Metatron every read, might be the key to help Castiel to defend Metatron. Because any other reason serve no other purpose. And Why couldn’t Metatron rescues Gadree if he had all that power ??????????????????

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I agree that him giving that knowledge to Cas may come back and bite him in the ass later. As for Gadreel Metatron never really cared about him anyway, everything he does is to serve his own purpose/desires.
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Cas is fighting a losing battle? What's the point of fighting at all?

You are kind of describing every fight the Winchesters take on. And despite the odds - they win or at least foil the baddie's ultimate goal. So - what you just said IS actually a summery for this whole show.
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Yeah I get it. Its just so daunting to see time and time again. One small victory and then a shitload of crap falls on top of them. But thats the show and I love it anyway.
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I think you hit it on the head. That is why we love it. It is always the impossible fight - but they do it just the same. Dean Sam and Cas just do not learn. It is why we love them and root for them. And they get enough "wins" to make us believe.
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You are kind of describing every fight the Winchesters take on. And despite the odds - they win or at least foil the baddie's ultimate goal. So - what you just said IS actually a summery for this whole show.

Well said, edshrinker!
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Yeah and it wouldn't be any fun if the odds weren't stacked against them and the fight wasn't bloody and hard. Not sure that came out right. :)
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I think that Metatron here really thinks he has everyone figured out. He is really arrogant because he has all of this knowledge and power. He thinks that he knows Sam and Dean, Cas etc. better than they know themselves and thus feels that he can manipulate them into doing what he wants. He ultimately believes that he is the most powerful being and that he could, if he wanted to, wipe them all out right now-but because of his obsession with stories he is playing with them, trying to make it interesting for himself. His problem is that he really doesn't get the free will thing that God gave humans. That will come back and bite him in the ass just like it did the devil and Michael.

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Minor point, but I saw wing scorch marks on the floors and walls when these angels got killed, but earlier this season when the glee club angels slaughtered the biker angels there were no scorch marks on the ground. We also saw Sam/Gadreel's wings in silhouette, but they were shredded. So I guess some angels still have their wings, others lost them in the fall, and others (like Gadreel) are in-between? So some might still be able to teleport (like Gabriel -- if he's real??) and others can't...
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This one was solid. Gabriel returning was crazy odd because we still don't know if hes still kicking or if that was just a figment
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There are only 2 things I really liked about it

A) We got a glimpse at Loki / Gabriel.
Is he real? Is he a figment? The eyebrow-raise leads to believe he's still around.

B) They moved the story forward... a little.
The writers are biting off more than they can chew... they have too many big plots going on simultaneously and yet they still do the standard monster-of-the-week (like next week).
So at least here we moved one of the plot-lines forward an inch. And an inch is better than nothing.
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I don't get why so many people seem to think they have to resolve everything THIS season or even will. Isn't it much more likely that one plot will get dealt with this season (at least partially) and the other next season? They know they have at least one more season so it's good to have groundwork in place rather than dealing with everything all at once and having nothing to do next year and having to come up with something new. Of course it's also possible that they MIGHT be able to do both with one act and next season will be dealing with the fallout of their actions.

Trust me I've seen full run series that focus on one plot throughout the whole season and it gets old fast. Need the stand alones to keep from getting tired of the main story.
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I don't get why so many people seem to think they have to resolve everything THIS season or even will. Isn't it much more likely that one plot will get dealt with this season (at least partially) and the other next season?

I agree. It has already been leaked that there will be a cliffhanger to end this season, so you're probably right that at least one of the main story lines will get carried over.
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Boogertron! HAHAHAHA! Love it!!! Haven't watched it yet though... gonna do so during lunch..... but that's hilarious!
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This was actually an rather excellent episode, i'm glad to see Gabrielle back, i think it was made pretty clear he was using his previous showcased powers of deception to make that fantasy world him and cas were partaking in and was it was not just an extension of Metatrons ever growing powers.

I'm hoping now he is back, he is playing double agent and he is playing Metatron as i would hate to think he has gone back to being a coward again and doing megatons bidding simply because he is scared.
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First of all, anyone who thinks this episode was lacking in ambition and creativity should go back and re-watch the half-brain episodes of seasons 1, 2 and 3. You know- when the Winchesters were driving around killing zombies and pulling pranks on one another? The real depth of the story has always been about the metaphysical/philosophical implications of the big questions- "Why are we here?" "Who is in charge?" "How will this end?" If you're sick of the bigger picture, I hear Being Human is about to be canceled- go check that out. Supernatural has been around for 10 seasons for a reason, and if you can't recognize it, find a new fandom!
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The real depth of the story has always been about the metaphysical/philosophical implications of the big questions- "Why are we here?" "Who is in charge?" "How will this end?"

I agree with you, and I don't think the writers have to (or, frankly, would be able to) answer these big questions in a single episode. I think as fans of the show, we should give the writers a chance to tell the story they're trying to tell. I'm personally excited about where things seem to be going and more enthusiastic about the rest of season 9 than I expected to be.
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Oh, I don't dispute it had ambition and creativity. But to what end? The idea of a near-omnipotent being writing out the actions of the characters is not only something that has been around in TV and fiction in general, but it's been around before on Supernatural with Chuck.

Either the episode didn't answer those philosophical questions, or it raised them and immediately dismisses them. "Who is in charge?" Metatron - he writes the outline and directs the characters, but they have some minor free will along the way.
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Surely the ultimate outcome will be that free will trumps Metatron's control.
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Well, free will already trumped Metatron's control: Sam and Dean weren't intended to capture Gadreel.

But sure, the fact that Sam and Dean win is pretty much a given, and free will has always been the tool they use to win.
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@libra113: I'd have to rewatch it, but I was under the impression that he had written the broad strokes, but they went beyond that. Which was why he was doing the rewrite.
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I don't know if it was or not. I kinda got the impression that Metatron knew that was going to happen too.
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I totally agree with you about the meglomania of the writer/god complex- I am a huge Stephen King fan, and much, if not all of his work within the Dark Tower series surrounds this idea. As a writer myself, it always gives me a bit of an ego boost to see the mechanic utilized on TV. However, to say this episode wasn't overall the best of the season at the very least is probably pretty short-sighted. Mother's Little Helper was well written and directed for sure, but in terms of at least acknowledging the "bigger picture," Meta Fiction was, for me at least, the penulitimate episode of season 9.
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That's not what penultimate means. Otherwise, I agree with everything else you said!
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It seemed like it was the penultimate episode. As noted elsewhere, it looks like we have two non-related episodes, and then two more episodes, and then the finale.

But if they were just going for a Winchesters vs. Metatron season finale, this could be the penultimate episode. But they still have to wrap up the fate of the angels, and the outcome of the Crowley vs. Abaddon struggle.
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This episode was fuckin great!! The writers have to try to up the anti from lucifer and the apocalypse...and having an an angel with true god like powers (metatron), coupled with a knight of hell (abaddon) and the sardonic king (crowley) competing for the crown makes for great fun and an interesting dual story (heaven & hell)... Seasons 1-5 will always be my favs, but the homestretch of this season is lookin' pretty good..
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So... we're watching... 'Game of Thrones: Supernatural Edition'?
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Pretty much! All that's missing is the Purple Wedding! (But please, no Becky!)
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I actually liked the episode:
It was nice to see the angel storyline moving forward and to see Castiel head down the path we all knew was before him.

The boys finally caught up with Gadreel and got a little payback. I’m glad Dean didn’t kill him, because now when he inevitably turns against Metatron (and kills him or sets him up for Castiel and the boys) the boys will be able to use him like he used both of them. THEN Dean can kill him good and bloody!

Castiel and the Winchesters together – always worth watching!

Castiel is showing true concern for Dean (which has been in limited supply from Sam), and we FINALLY meet someone who seems to know something about the MOC. After Castiel's warning, Sam will be watching Dean and ready to intervene when things go inevitably sideways and he needs to save Dean’s life.

Dean seems to have come to terms with some of what Sam said, and is able to tease apart truth from hate-speech. That's moving forward...

Gabriel is always fun to watch. I don’t think he faked is death, but if god can resurrect Castiel, then it’s possible Gabriel could really be alive. (By the way, I read that Rachel Miner is coming back as Meg – wonder how the SPN writers will spin that storyline)...

I hear the frustration from a lot of folks, and parts of the episode left me scratching my head, too, but I know the writers are headed somewhere and I’m willing to give them some latitude. Plus, this show is still fun to watch so I say "bring it"!
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