11x20 confirms something I've suspected since 1x04--9/11 and the "War on Terror" didn't happen in SPN's universe. In 11x04 Sam was allowed to take more than 3.2oz. of holy water onto that plane. And in 11x20, that sheriff guy didn't immediately assume the fog was some kind of eco-bio-terror act. XD THE FOG WAS GORGEOUS, THOUGH. It's like the fog that rolls off the San Francisco hills and over the Bay, or the fog that crawls through San Diego. Or the fog over Sequim Bay. Fog against glaciers in Alaska. Montana. Fog, even, in the mountains in Japan. Fog as universal obliterant. As Darkness. <3
But anyway, something that I thought was weird and interesting and cool about this episode was Metatron's criticism of the Chuck Chapter of God's autobiography--the chapter filled with all the mundane fluff, the stuff that makes God seem grounded, human, and likable.
There are two ways this kind of material tends to play out. The first is with respect to detail (which Metatron also professes an interest in, as a consumer of stories)--detail grounds, humanizes, creates likability, even in the face of epic mytharc phenomena. This is Lucifer apparently hand-digging Death out of his grave. This is Sam and Dean bowling with beer bottles. Sam memorizing serial killer stats. That okie-dokie guy saying okie-dokie.
But there's also "likable fluff," in the sense of those moments where a story gives its readers exactly what they want. A likable guest star, returned! A cherished object, returned! X is poisoned and Y is dramatic about it! As usual! (Not that I don't also mostly enjoy those things, in their turn. But not in this context, in the forms these tropes have taken here.)
What's interesting to me is that this commentary exists in an episode so filled with this kind of content (from a writer who is more giving in his provision of it than others, no less).
What would continue to be interesting to me is to see where this thread takes us, if not in S11 then in S12. Because SPN is definitely known for doing the opposite--pushing the bounds of continuing to deliver, en masse, what its audience in large part professes not to want (Sam being soulless for eons, Sam being possessed by Gadreel for eons, Dean under the influence of the Mark of Cain for like four and a half eons). And it's also known for killing off beloved characters without compunction. And generally speaking acting on narrative arcs and sticking the painful landing without backing down (until much later).
So I wonder, I guess, if this moment, with Chuck and the singing and the amulet and all that jazz, is less like, here is everything you dreamed!! Congratulations.
And more like, here's a taste of what you wanted. You'll probably be over the moon. Some of you will be bored to tears.
Also, we're about to fuck you up.
Just, you know, FYI.
I, for one, hope so. <3
Addendum: I apologize to anyone this post offended. In my attempt to temper how much I dislike this episode (so as to avoid offending people) I ended up offending people, and I'm really sorry! :(
I didn't mean to suggest that everyone who enjoyed this episode is wrong to do so, or that their tastes are uncritical, or aren't as good, valid, or refined as mine. Or even that criticality or refinement are synonymous with good or valid! Because I don't actually think they are, necessarily.
Reading through my post, I can see how it could come across like that. Again, my apologies! I never meant to upset anyone, or insult.
My distaste for the episode stands, but I think rather than attempt to rephase the reasons why, I will simply look forward to the next one.
I love you all. <333
Maybe my next post should probably be about how much I unironically love Dance Academy. Hmm... :3