Posts Tagged ‘Winchester’

Scoobynatural

June 11, 2018

(So I am just going for it here so this is your SPOILER WARNING for all 13 seasons of Supernatural but especially the newest one. These are my thoughts on one of the most recent episodes.)

So, recently the lucky 13th season of Supernatural was released on Netflix (#NotSponsored) and I have been greedily eating it up over the past week. Seriously, I am almost done all 24 already because even after 13 years, the show is still really good. In fact, I might even like it better the last few seasons. Everybody involved knows exactly what the show is and everybody seems to still be having fun. They also have a deep well of lore to drink from and they are constantly inventing new things to play with. Quickly for those who might not know and skipped my spoiler warning from above, I will sum up what Supernatural is. Supernatural is a show about two brothers who travel the USA, fighting and killing monsters and often have a huge crisis to try and prevent. They have saved the world several times over, often by beating mythical creatures such as demons, angels, leviathans, Death, and God’s sister. Along the way, they were joined by a fallen angel and a whole bunch of other allies. Sam and Dean Winchester (and Castiel their angel friend) have become iconic figures over time.

Over most of the seasons, the show would occasionally drop very meta episodes often thanks to the character The Trickster (aka the Archangel Gabriel). This past season’s meta episode is one where the Winchesters and Castiel are zapped into an episode of Scooby Doo. The specific episode they enter is “A Night of Fright Is No Delight” which is one I really do remember seeing. I love that they used an actual episode of Scooby Doo Where Are You? so that fans of the original show could have an extra good time. The normal plot of the episode is that Mystery Inc. is summoned to a mansion for a will reading. Scooby saved the life of a man and they stayed friends over the years. The will is read and everybody in attendance (which includes some unsavory relatives) is told that if they stay the night in the haunted mansion, they get a million dollars but if anybody leaves their share goes to whoever remains. As the episode progresses, relatives start disappearing until the gang solves the mystery. Of course, all of that changes when the Winchesters arrive on the scene.

The first thing I loved about this episode is that they picked an episode where the lawyer ends up being the villain. In the original episode, he and his partner dress up as the Green Ghosts. Also, the lawyer is named Cosgood Creeps (and his partner is Mr. Crawls). Tell us how you really feel about lawyers Warner Brothers. Obviously, if the lawyer can scare all of the heirs out of the house before dawn, he can keep the inheritance for himself. This carries on the Scooby Doo tradition of the villains committing bafflingly complicated white collar crimes. The plan here involves holograms, secret tunnels, dummies filled with corn syrup, and running around in costumes. I am a child of two lawyers and I recently became a paralegal myself so I always take notice when lawyers are cast as heroes or villains. Here, Cosgood Creeps, Esq. commits plenty of ethics violations along with various crimes chief of among them are probably assault and terroristic threats.

Most stories where “non-fictional” characters interact with fictional characters, the show deconstructs the original fiction. So, the episode has a lot of fun tearing apart Scooby Doo in a very loving way. The gang (later named Mystery Inc.) are five iconic characters who have become strongly rooted in popular culture for decades. The show has a lot of fun with these characters. First, as characters are murdered for real, the gang remains unflappable and chipper as they work toward solving the mystery. In the original show, there is no such thing as real monsters but even so, there are costumed psychos chasing them around and yet none of them dissolve into a gibbering, insane mess. Here, I feel like their fictional natures work hard against reality seeping in so they become parodies of caricatures. However, one joke is showing yet another elaborate trap constructed by Fred which at first looks like it is over the top as a form of parody. The only thing is, that is the actual trap from the episode which highlights how weird and dumb the traps always were.

There are some other interesting moments that play with Scooby canon. In this episode, the gang encounters their first actual supernatural event which completely unravels them. This will not happen again until Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island because The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo and Scooby Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf do not seem to be canon. The gang also gets injured for the first time which astonishes them. I was very interested in one short conversation between Velma and Daphne because it insinuated they had talked about boys together previously. This was never really shown on the original show as romantic subplots were not the focus. Scooby and Shaggy are shown as cowardly as usual, but interestingly Shaggy falls out of a window and breaks his arm. He mentions leaping from great heights previously and surviving unscathed. This is interesting because I realized the dangerous things that Shaggy and Scooby have done while running away from monsters. They are often seen as chickens but fear motivates them to do some incredible things. When it is revealed that ghosts are real, the gang are all shocked except for Shaggy who finally gets his “I told you so” moment.

The episode is set into motion by Dean’s love of television. This had been alluded to several times throughout the series. He was previously their guide when they were zapped into multiple other television shows. Sam and Dean both had messed up childhoods due to always being on the road with their monster hunter father so Dean often escaped into television. His brother Sam mostly retreated into books instead. The most important part of that for me is that Sam is usually the loremaster and this is one of the rare moments that Dean knows exactly what is going on. What is also interesting is that Castiel is very confused when he shows up later in the episode. In Season 9, the normally out of touch angel is blessed with great pop culture knowledge but he still does not remember Scooby Doo. A lot has happened to Castiel in the time since that episode so he may have lost some of that knowledge or he does not always connect with it the same way we might. Dean seems to have the same memory for characters and episodes that I do. I often remember plots and characters very well which is another reason why I do not rewatch a lot of things. Dean also claims that he idolized Scooby because the gang solved mysteries the same way the Winchesters do which I thought was actually kind of touching.

I also wanted to mention Dean’s crush on Daphne. In the episode, Dean constantly hits on Daphne while Sam is eventually hit on by Velma. This kind of references the pop culture question where guys are often asked which of the two they were attracted to. Dean is shameless when pursuing Daphne until he finally gets the hint that she is legitimately attracted to Fred. Sam is constantly rolling his eyes and reminding Dean both that Daphne is taken and a cartoon character. However, I can really only blame Dean for one of those things. I cannot count on only two hands the number of people who I have talked to who had a crush on a cartoon character when they were younger. It is a safe crush because you can revel in it without being able to go through with it. It is perfectly normal. The other barrier is that she likes Fred but Dean is convinced that she is “settling” because he hates Fred. My theory is that he hates Fred because he reminds him of the popular jock kids that may have picked on Dean when he was in school. Also, Fred is the stable, well-adjusted guy who often gets the girl. Once Dean realizes that Daphne is not just a mindless fictional character and actually has desires and a mind of her own he backs off.

The episode ended up being a lot of fun and way better than the one-note joke that I thought it might be. It played with tropes from both series while being funny, touching, and a great adventure. The animation was very good as it blended animation from the old Scooby Doo with something closer to the various newer Scooby Doo series. The animation style changed throughout the episode as things got more and more “real”. While many might have seen it as a silly one-off diversion, the episode really made me think a little deeper about both series. But I am a pop culture geek so that makes sense.


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