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Roundtable Discussion on Supernatural 11×20 “Don’t Call Me Shurley”

This week’s Supernatural roundtable is focused on one of the most emotional episodes we’ve seen in a long time. Written by Robbie Thompson, episode 11×20, Don’t Call Me Shurley, featured fan favorites Rob Benedict and Curtis Armstrong. Participating in this week’s roundtable are Jackie Bojarski,  Kelly Silva, Debbi Bach and Michele Villery. As always, we want your feedback, so leave us your comments below.

Here’re this week’s topics:

 

Chuck/God:

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Jackie: I’ll start this by saying: IT’S ABOUT TIME! I can’t speak for everyone but I’ve been waiting for the arrival of God since the season began, but this episode proved that the wait was worth it. Rob Benedict was delightful as the reluctant deity, expertly making him someone who could be relatable. In addition, I was glad the show finally confirmed that Chuck is God; it’s been a popular fan theory for awhile so I’m glad the show stated outright that he was.

Kelly: First I want to say I’m so happy that it’s now canon that Chuck is God.  I thought that Rob Benedict did an outstanding job in this episode.  When Rob Benedict and Curtis Armstrong were on the screen together they were captivating to watch.  During their conversation, it’s revealed that Chuck and Amara have a pattern together.  Chuck creates and Amara destroys. It continued on until he locked her away.  Now she is out again and the pattern starts back up.  Chuck has been absent because he is disillusioned with his creation. He’s willing to quit and let Amara wipe the slate clean.  It wasn’t until Metatron asked Chuck “tell me why you abandon me. Us.”  Chuck responds with “Because you disappointed me, you all disappointed me.” Metatron goes on to tell Chuck he is wrong about humanity.  “They are your greatest creation because they are better than you.” Metatron also says about humanity, “Above all, they never give up, but you do.”  It’s that moment where I believe Chuck has a change of heart and decides to fight against Amara, breaking the pattern.

Michele: Not that I’m surprised by this, but it’s good to FINALLY have it out there that Chuck is God!  The way this was revealed was great. I also loved that Rob Benedict made him a flawed deity.  His disappointment and anger at what he created made him a bit of a villain in this episode.  But I’m just glad it’s out there and it’s now canon.  Rob was marvelous!

Debbi: I love the show decided to go in this direction.  It would have been so easy for Carver and the producers to leave this ambiguous, because…God!  That said, playing devil’s advocate, has Chuck been God all along or did he decide that Chuck was the best vessel to use to handle the current situation?  I really like that there can still be questions asked because there should never be a concrete answer for who/what is God.

I think Rob Benedict did a remarkable job with the script he was given.  I could honestly believe that this was a tired, distant and apathetic father-figure, a god that has given up on his own experiment; someone ready to throw in the towel and call it a day.  Amara escaping her prison seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Chuck.

Rob gave Chuck just the right amount of passion and apathy.  This was a brilliant script.  Robbie Thompson deserves as much praise for this episode as the cast and crew do.  The dialog between Chuck and Metatron was deep with humorous touches that helped to convey the gravity of the situation.

 

Metatron:

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Jackie: I never thought I’d say this but I liked Metatron in this episode. He wasn’t nearly as obnoxious as he usually is, and I found myself sympathesizing with him more than I ever thought I would. More so, I was glad that he was tough and truthful with God. In my opinion, God has a lot to answer for in the world of “Supernatural,” and Metatron did an excellent job of motivating him to stop acting like a self-centered ass. I just have one question: What was with the dog???

Kelly: My opinion on Metatron changed with this episode.  He always came across to me as a weasel but in this episode, he was strong, inspiring, and provoking.  It took a lot of courage to stand up to Chuck and call him a coward.  When Chuck said he was done watching “my experiments’…failures” Metatron said “you mean your failures…Chuck.”  I realized in that moment that god considered Metatron a friend.  A friend is going to tell you the truth even if you don’t want to hear it.  Metatron spelled it all out for Chuck.  Kudos to Curtis’s performance.

Michele:  I loved Metatron in this episode. I can’t even believe I’m saying it.  But Curtis Armstrong brought his A game.  Metratron was the voice of reason in this episode.  He stood up to his mentor and friend and even told him he was a coward.  Friends tell each other their flaws, it’s what they do.  If Metatron didn’t point out what was good about Creation, Chuck would have left everyone to die this week.  Curtis was amazing.  And that little dog Gidget was adorable.

Debbi: Curtis Armstrong understands this character and I believe he has given thought to Metatron’s journey from conceited angel to homeless, broken human being.  In fact, without this fall from grace, I don’t believe that Metatron could have convinced Chuck to put his big boy pants on and save his creation.  The most telling in terms of how human Metatron has become was giving the sandwich he’d scavenged to the hungry dog (Gidget).  That one act summed up every argument Metatron uses to convince God that humanity is worth the effort.

Absolutely beautiful story-telling and anyone feeling like they need to stop fighting should watch or re-watch this episode and listen to Metatron explain to God just how worthy humanity is of his admiration and salvation.

 

Sam and Dean:

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Jackie: This episode was chock full of brother feels, and I couldn’t be any happier. While Sam contracting the virus again caused me anxiety, it paved the way from some truly emotional scenes between the brothers. If Sam confessing that he thinks Dean will choose Amara over him (and Dean adamantly denying it) wasn’t enough, Dean declaring that he won’t leave Sam EVER did the trick. I do wonder if this is foreshadowing to a future encounter where Dean will have to choose between them, though…

Kelly: This episode had some great bro-moments. Dean telling the cop “No I’m not leaving my brother.” When Sam was infected, showing that Dean is always going to take care of Sam.  Sam broke my heart when he said to Dean “We’re not gonna make it, we were never gonna make it, you’re gonna chose Amara over me, over everything.” Even after all this time and everything the Winchesters have been through Sam’s insecurity at that moment was so palpable. However, Dean replies to Sam “No I’m not leaving you… ever.” That sums up the brother’s relationship to me.

Michele:  There were some great brother moments this week.  Jared and Jensen were fantastic.  I cried when Dean told Sam he was not leaving him after Sam thought Dean would choose Amara over him. Hopefully, Sam realizes now, there is nothing that his brother wouldn’t do for him. Dean was even inhaling the fog to make sure that Sam wouldn’t leave this world alone.  Their relationship is as strong as ever.

Debbi: Codependent forever, these two will never quite be able to leave the other to his fate.  I love that their relationship is back on even ground and the scene with domesticated Dean ironing with beer were both hilarious and heart-warming.  This is as close as we’re probably going to get to the cocky hunter we met in season 1 and I was so happy to see them this way again.

Of course, these same goofballs can be all badass hunter as soon as it’s needed and they definitely act as the partners they’ve been since childhood as they work to save at least a few of the residents as the fog rolls in.  Seeing Sam affected by the disease had to be particularly hard for Dean since it hasn’t been that long since he thought he’d lost his brother for good and it is telling that he leaves his task of taping the doors to comfort Sam when the pain becomes overwhelming.  Ackles, with his amazing non-verbal acting talent, perfectly conveys Dean’s anger and despair when he realizes he is not affected by the deadly fog.  Such a beautiful scene between Ackles and Padalecki, heart-breaking.

 

The Samulet:

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Jackie: The return of the Samulet was the best part of the episode, and seeing it first in Sam’s pocket and then in Dean’s hand was truly emotional. I have to wonder as to why it made a reappearance, however; will it be the key to defeating Amara? And was the Samulet really with Sam the whole time? So many questions! Nevertheless, I’m glad it’s back.

Kelly: The big moment was when Dean finds the amulet in Sam’s pocket. No matter how the amulet got in Sam’s pocket, Dean would have thought Sam had it all along. Therefore, Dean has to know how deeply Sam cares for him. In my opinion, I think that Sam kept the amulet and he carries it with him. I will say that Sam didn’t look surprised to see that Dean pulled it out of his pocket.

Michele: I squeed when I saw the Samulet.   I had to watch it again because I think Sam had it all of this time.  He didn’t seem surprised when Dean found it.  I do want to know what its purpose is and if it’s a clue somehow to stopping Amara.  It was emotional seeing it again. Dean literally thought it was gone after he threw it out in Season Five’s episode, Dark Side of the Moon.  I’m glad it’s back and I hope it stays back.

Debbi: I’m no different from the rest of our fandom, my heart leaped and I cheered when I saw the Samulet, first in Chuck’s hand and then in Sam’s pocket.  Chuck tells Metatron that ‘you’d never believe where this has been the entire time’ and while maybe Metatron wouldn’t believe it, I think everyone else watching would definitely believe that Sam has had it all this time.

I do, I think Sam retrieved the amulet from the trash in that hotel room and has kept it in his memory box this entire time.  It meant so much to him when he gave it to his brother in A Very Supernatural Christmas and I don’t think time diminished that feeling at all.  Did Sam know he’d need to use it again?  Doubtful, but then Sam does have some enhanced senses due to the demon blood so, who knows.  I think that when Sam was praying to god at the beginning of the season he remembered it (or saw it when he was looking through his box) and decided that carrying it couldn’t hurt since it was supposed to be a link to the God he thought was talking to him through his dreams.

The Winchesters following the glowing charm out of the sheriff’s office to the street is another very powerful visual.  I love that God, once he decided to fight for his creation, not only banished the fog, but brought its victims back to life.  This works both as a show of strength and a giant f-you to Amara.  I can’t wait for the rest of this story to unfold.

 

Creation:

Jackie: The revelation that God had created several worlds was very interesting and makes me wonder if God has other “experiments” besides Earth in existence in “Supernatural”. That would certainly be an interesting way to expand the series! Other than that, we really didn’t learn more about Creation that we didn’t know before.

Kelly: I felt sorry for Chuck because Amara destroyed everything he created. He finally locked her away and was able to create his masterpiece. Now she is back.  I thought it was insightful of God to give nature the credit for the beauty she created and for knowing when to quit.

Michele:  I understand Chuck’s disappointment.  It seems that anytime he creates a new world, Amara destroys it.  To see his greatest triumph being destroyed has to hurt him, he feels like he failed, again.  I understand him walking away.  But I’m glad Metatron suggested he fight because giving in would be what Amara would want him to do.

Debbi: I think I may have covered this under the other topics, but long story short.  God grew tired of his creation, came down to earth to experience his creation first hand, becomes discouraged when the Winchesters unknowingly release Amara and ultimately decides he doesn’t have it in him to fight her again.  Metatron and his view of creation and humanity is able to change God’s mind.

 

Predictions:

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Jackie: My hope is that Sam and Dean will use the Samulet together to defeat Amara, but I have a suspicion that it will come down to Dean vs. Amara. I also think God is going to attempt an assault on her and fail. Hopefully, however, he can shed some light on the bond between him and Amara.

Kelly: Chuck singing “Fare thee Well” at the end seemed ominous to me.  My daughter pointed out to me the look on Metatron’s face when he finished reading the last of God’s autobiography.  Looks like Chuck is going to go up against Amara and it’s not going to end well.

Michele:  The words in Chuck’s song “Fare thee Well” made me sad.  While Chuck was singing, Metatron’s eyes told me that something really bad is going to happen when Chuck and the others face Amara.  I have a feeling Chuck is going to fail.

Debbi: I’ve always believed that Amara will be defeated and put back in her cell.  Now that God’s on board I think this will become a certainty.  However, I think it will take Lucifer, Crowley, Metatron, the Winchester, Rowena and God to make this happen.  Amara will not go down easily.

I also think that the Samulet will prove to be the ultimate ‘Hand of God’ and will be the weapon they need to put the final seal on Amara’s doom.

 

Overall Score:

Jackie: A solid A

Kelly: I give this episode an A.  Performances between Curtis Armstrong and Rob Benedict were outstanding and Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles were spot on.  This episode had me on an emotional rollercoaster.  I loved it.  Thank you to Robbie Thompson for writing another great episode and for putting the Samulet in Sam’s pocket.

Michele: Solid A. Great performances from everyone and Robbie’s writing was amazing!

Debbi: A+ I haven’t had enough time to decide where this episode ranks in my all-time list of favorites, but it will be in my top 10, if not my top 5.  The writing, direction, acting and effects were all superior and I loved every minute of the episode from the first minute to Chuck’s last words.  Standing ovation for everyone.

One Comment

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  1. Uncool to comment on an article I contributed to…maybe, oh well.
    Two things, the dog… I saw a theory on my twitter feed postulating that the dog is actually god. Dog spelled backwards and all. I think it is an interesting theory but am not sure the writers and network would go that route.

    The song. It is sad and failure can certainly be read into its words. That said, I think God has (in terms of canon) been underestimating human beings and the Winchesters in particular, for so long that he can’t see past his past failures. So, God may falter, but human tenacity will once again rise to the occasion.

    My prediction for the finale has been, and remains that Amara is defeated with Lucifer’s help and that next season the Winchesters will be tasked with tracking Luci down (again) and putting him down.

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