Season 4 Episode 18

The Monster at the End of This Book

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 02, 2009 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
1,045 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sam and Dean come across a series of novels called Supernatural depicting their lives as demon hunters in detail. The brothers meet the author of the novels, Chuck, who explains he has visions of Sam and Dean in action then puts their adventures in his novels.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Is Chuck really God in hiding?

    With God missing and all, I have to ask could he be God in hiding? He knows what will happen before it does and wouldn't it be perfect form for God to hang out in until ready to show himself
  • This has to be one of the best TV episodes ever of any TV series!

    This episode is outstanding! It is beyond a 10! It has to be the best (OK, at least one of the best) episodes in TV history. Yeah, I know, what?! You got to be kidding, but it really is well thought out, funny, drama, well rounded, etc. While watching it I thought it can't get better, but it did get better.

    If you're into Supernatural (and I wasn't till 2011), this is one episode you really should watch.moreless
  • The prophet Chuck has spoken… or written… you know what I mean!

    What starts out as a hilarious outsider's view of Sam and Dean's lives turns into a celestial life-and-death game with Lilith.

    Genius! A series of books based on Sam and Dean's lives with names based on the actual episode names! The episode then uses real life for the detail – including Sam and Dean fan girls! Loved the publisher's enthusiasm, mirrors every fan's passion for the series. She even mentions every fangirl's favorite parts – when they cry. When she calls them 'my boys', I went into hysterics! My girlfriends and I *always* refer to them as 'The Boys' which is why so much of the intro is hilarious, it's so real! To convince her, they use details from their own lives. Right down to their matching tattoos.

    Then the boys have to go through the whole thing with Chuck. Convincing him is just brilliant. Then Chuck thinks he must be a god, who actually caused all of the things that happened to them. "I killed your father!" Loved them reading about themselves as they do things, "I can't see your face but those are definitely your 'brooding and pensive' shoulders." The boys try to leave town but can't so try to use Chuck's writing to change the future, especially the coming confrontation with Lilith. 'Opposite Day' doesn't work since everything they do actually leads to the events described.

    Sam gets a slap in the face when he finds out Chuck knows about the demon blood but deliberately didn't use it because it would make Sam look 'unsympathetic'. It does give Sam a chance to talk to someone about it. This little conversation lets us into Sam's head – he justifies drinking the blood by saying it's to stop the apocalypse. Chuck rightly points out that according to the angels, that's Dean's job. Again Sam says Dean's 'not Dean', the same garbage he spouted in 'Sex & Violence'. It's all excuses. Sam makes it sound like he's just helping Dean because Dean's always looked out for him and Chuck rightly calls him on it – this isn't about helping Dean! It's about something else, maybe Sam's trying to convince himself he's still important to the fight given that Dean is the angels' Chosen One, the one who is prophesized to stop the apocalypse, and they treat Sam like he's toxic. However, Sam's comment about 'wishing he could stop' is worrying too. Has he gotten too used to the power, doesn't know how to go back to fighting without it or is it something else? Let's face it, Sam's had a lot of secrets since Dean got back from Hell. Chuck provides a worrying vision of the future – that somehow it 'all rests on' Sam's shoulders. Given the way Sam's been going recently, one can only think that has to be Sam turning evil.

    Aching and irritated, Dean goes to confront Chuck and the moment he gets physical, who appears but our favorite angel… who drops the bombshell: Chuck's a prophet! Who is writing 'The Winchester Gospel', how cool is that?! Dean does raise a worrying question: how'd Chuck get chosen? Cas doesn't know, just that it came from high up the 'Celestial chain of command'. Given the events of 'Pin', that gap in Cas' knowledge worries me.

    Sam wants the confrontation with Lilith and his heart probably stopped when Dean announced he knows all about Sam – Cas told him about Sam killing Alistair but somehow Cas doesn't know about the demon blood. It's the first time that Dean openly admits he believes Sam's going to go darkside. It's a way overdue confrontation and Sam still refuses to tell Dean the truth.

    Dean actually prays for help and Cas immediately appears. He was lurking, just waiting to step in! Cas says it's a sign of faith – no, it's really not. Dean knows now that angels and the whole shebang are real, that's fact not faith, so him praying is just asking for angelic assistance which is not that strange since he has an angel assigned to him. Cas is such a sweetie, he can't break the rules but he sure can bend them, telling Dean the loophole – an archangel is assigned as Chuck's protector, he gets threatened, the angel shows up. Cas is beyond adorable, love him to pieces! As if we needed any further proof that Cas has a soft spot for Dean…

    Sam is unable to touch Lilith yet he was able to actually kill Alistair. How is that possible? Lilith isn't as strong as Alistair, why can't Sam take her? Lilith offers to stand down if Sam and Dean die. Sam is actually completely irrelevant, it's Dean who has to die. She is a deal-making demon so her word literally is her bond, but just because she stops breaking seals doesn't mean that someone else wouldn't pick up the sword, there are plenty of candidates on both sides of the fence. As promising as it appears at first blush, it would be a completely meaningless gesture and we'd lose Dean in the bargain who is meant to stop the apocalypse anyway. Sam actually looked like he'd go through with it, without even consulting Dean. He didn't even think about it! Is he grandstanding? Trying to steal Dean's thunder? Prove he can stop the apocalypse without Dean's help? Lilith plays to Sam's considerable arrogance and ego, and he appears to fall for her manipulations. He acts like he's being some sort of martyr. I really don't like where Sam's head is at right now. Explains why Chuck had no more visions after the one of Sam and Lilith on the bed - if Sam went through with it, Sam and Dean would have been dead. Sam claims he never intended to go through with it, that it was just a trap but that is the lamest plan I've ever seen and Sam is not that stupid he would think it would work, which is why I don't completely believe him.

    Let's assume that what happened before Dean and Chuck showed up continued to it's logical conclusion: Sam would have been killed by Lilith. That would have left Dean alone and the prophecy says he alone will stop the apocalypse – is that why? Does Sam's survival change the prophecy? Did Cas know and decide to help anyway? He did say the 'Winchester Gospel', he never said it was the 'Winchester Brothers Gospel'. How's that for disturbing?!

    Zachariah pays a visit to Chuck and the reason is obvious: it would be so easy to just call S&D every time Chuck had a dream and they would have an incredible advantage in the coming battle, but as we saw here, it is incredibly limiting too. No illusion of free will, no choices, just playing out scenarios already seen. If S&D knew what was coming, they would try to change or avoid it, when it's all going to happen anyway. However, Zach is pretty threatening about it, making you wonder what's going to happen that he/they don't want Sam and Dean knowing about? Is Zach even on our side?

    Last thoughts:

    - 'Carver Edlund', a combination of two of the writer/producers of Supernatural.

    - The poster on the wall of the comic with teenage Dean surrounded by bikers – that's one of the covers of the 'Origins' comics!

    - Best line: "I am the prophet Chuck!"

    Very surprising episode, never thought it would take this direction but very cool that it did. Didn't think it was one of the apocalypse storylines but it certainly adds plenty of food for thought and forebodings for the build-up to the finale.moreless
  • This episode was a stroke of genius!

    Before I saw it I thought it would be one of those throw-away episodes, a kind of filler (even though I hate to say that - Supernatural's rarely had a bad episode) but by the end it was completely turned onto its head and became integral to the plot. I love how they combined humour with the plot development. I'm loving how the writers are continually developing the plot with every episode this season, sometimes in big ways others smaller, but always interesting. I loved all the in-jokes; the slash comment, the book titles being the names of episodes, the comments about 'Bugs', just all of it. Sam is really starting bug me now. His insistence that Dean's weak and that he's the one who's really going to stop the apocolypse is getting old. I hope that he's going to be proven wrong eventually. That's a character complaint, not a writing one. I'm a Deal-girl ;)

    Overall it was just great, and continues what is turning out to be an amazing season. Can't wait for the next episode.moreless
  • Sam and Dean discover that their lives as demon hunters are accurately detailed in a series of "Supernatural" books.

    I thought that this episode was kinda fanservice!(An episode or what-ever that's main purpose is pleasing/bowing to current rabid fans).

    It's not that I didn't enjoy it, cause I totally did, I'm a rabid fan, but I wouldn't call it a good episode. I mean the gospel of the Winchesters? Puhlease! And that guys was a prophet? I'm sorry, but this episode was really pointless if you think about it. These last few episodes and the one to come next week remind me of fanfiction stories that I have read in the past! Like I fanservice, and after fanservice usually comes suckage. It never fails. I just hope they aren't running out of story ideas.moreless
Katherine Boecher

Katherine Boecher


Guest Star

Keegan Connor Tracy

Keegan Connor Tracy

Sera Siege

Guest Star

Michael P. Northey

Michael P. Northey

Comic Book Store Owner

Guest Star

Robert Patrick Benedict

Robert Patrick Benedict

Chuck Shurley

Recurring Role

Misha Collins

Misha Collins


Recurring Role

Kurt Fuller

Kurt Fuller


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Despite his intimate knowledge of the Winchesters, and the fact that in several of his visions their faces are shown, Chuck doesn't recognize Sam and Dean on sight when they arrive at his doorstep.

    • Chuck asks if they had to live through the ghost ship. However, "Red Sky at Morning" wasn't one of the 24 published books. No explanation is given for why Chuck didn't publish that book (or any of the other 35 missing titles from the list of books seen), even though Dean says they cover "everything."

    • Trivia: When Sam and Dean force their way into the Chuck's house, you can see a couple of action figures that closely resemble Green Lantern, a DC Comics superhero, near the ceiling.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Dean: (reading a Supernatural book) This is freakin' insane. How does this guy know all this stuff?
      Sam: You got me.
      Dean: Everything is in here. I mean everything, from the racist truck to me having sex. I'm full frontal in here, dude.

    • Sam: Well, we're hoping that our article can... shine a light on an underappreciated series.
      Sera: Yeah! Yeah, because, you know, if we got a little bit of good press, then maybe we could start publishing again!
      Dean: No, no, no, no. God no. I mean, why, why would you want to do that? You know, it's uh...such a complete series. What with Dean going to Hell and all.
      Sera: Oh my God, that was one of my favorite ones because Dean was so... strong and sad and brave. And Sam... oh, I mean the best parts are when they cry, you know, like in... like in "Heart." When Sam had to kill Madison, the first woman since Jessica he really loved. And in "Home," when Dean had to call John and ask him for help. If only real men were so open and in touch with their feelings.
      Dean: Real men?
      Sera: Oh... I mean, no offense. How often do you cry like that, hmm?
      Dean: Well, right now I'm crying on the inside.
      Sera: Is that supposed to be funny?
      Dean: Lady, this whole thing is funny.

    • Dean: There's Sam girls and Dean girls. And what's a slash fan?
      Sam: As in... Sam slash Dean. Together.
      Dean: Like... together together?
      Sam: Yeah.
      Dean: They do know we're brothers, right?
      Sam: It doesn't seem to matter.
      Dean: Ah, come on. That's... that's just sick.

    • Chuck: Look, uh, I appreciate your enthusiasm. Really, I do. It's always nice to hear from a fan. But for your own good I strongly suggest you get a life.

    • Dean: I'm sitting in a laundromat reading about myself sitting in a laundromat reading about myself. My head hurts.

    • Dean: (reading) "Sam turned his back on Dean. His face brooding and pensive." I mean, I don't know how this guy is doing it but this guy is doing it. I can't see your face but those are definitely your pensive and brooding shoulders. (Sam pauses) You just thought I was a dick.
      Sam: This guy's good.

    • Dean: It frustrates me when you say such reckless things.
      Sam: Well, it frustrates me when you'd rather hide than fight.

    • Dean: Behave yourself, would you? No homework. Watch some porn.

    • Chuck: I am the prophet Chuck!
      Lilith: You've got to be joking.

    • Zachariah: Where are you going?
      Chuck: To go kill myself.
      Zachariah: Don't be melodramatic, Chuck. We'd only bring you back to life.

  • NOTES (4)

    • International Airdates:
      UK: May 17, 2009 on ITV2
      Denmark: May 31, 2009 on TV3
      Australia: July 6, 2009 on Channel TEN
      Norway: July 23, 2009 on FEM
      Portugal: August 24, 2009 on AXN
      Sweden: October 11, 2009 on Kanal 5
      Spain: December 28, 2009 on AXN
      Germany: January 25, 2010 on Sky Cinema Hits
      Poland: June 11, 2010 on TVN7
      New Zealand: June 16, 2010 on TV2
      Czech Republic: September 10, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: April 4, 2013 on Markiza

    • The list of published Supernatural titles has several real-life anomalies. The pilot episode is renamed simply "Supernatural." "Dead in the Water" is missing. After "Shadows" there are many episodes missing. Only three episodes from season 2 and five episodes from season 3 are listed.

    • The usual post-teaser sequence is replaced with shots from the book covers of the Supernatural series.

    • Injoke: "Carver Edlund" is a composite of two crew members: executive story editor Jeremy Carver and co-executive producer Ben Edlund. "Sera Siege" is a composite of supervising producer Sera Gamble and executive story editor Julie Siege (who also co-wrote the episode). Chuck's hometown of "Kripke's Hollow" references series creator Eric Kripke.


    • Dean: Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut, or Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut?

      Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) was an American author. Slaughterhouse Five (1969) is a novel about a fictional soldier, Billy Pilgrim, who begins to experience time non-linearly. He is captured by the Germans during World War II and witnesses the horrific firebombing of Dresden, which Vonnegut experienced in real life. Cat's Cradle (1963) is a satirical novel about religion, politics, and the arms race, set primarily in a fictional Caribbean island nation.

    • Castiel: You should have seen Luke
      Referencing one of the four Evangelists.

    • Publisher: He's very private, like Salinger.
      Referencing J.D. Salinger, the author of the 1951 novel Catcher in the Rye. Salinger was a very reclusive and private person.

    • Chuck: Is this some kind of Misery thing?
      Referencing the 1987 novel by Stephen King. In it an obsessed fan, Annie Wilkes, captures Paul Sheldon, author of the Misery Gothic romance novels. She alternately praises and tortures him into writing a new novel featuring her beloved character. she insists she's Sheldon's "Number One Fan." The novel was made into a movie in 1990.

    • Chuck: That's like M. Night-level douchiness.
      Referencing M. Night Shyamalan, famous writer and director of such movies as The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), The Village (2004), and Lady in the Water (2006), known for both his twist endings and a tendency to write himself into his own movies as a character.

    • Agents DeYoung and Shaw
      Referencing Dennis DeYoung, founding member and vocalist and Tommy Shaw, guitarist for the rock band Styx. Styx was the first band to have four consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA.

    • Title:
      References The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover by Jon Stone. In it Grover tries to warn the reader not to read further because there is a monster at the end.