DAMMIT. If there was only one thing upon which the Supernatural fandom had ever agreed, it was was that Metatron was a super douche with no redeeming qualities. It was what bound us as a fandom. Whether you shipped or not, whether you preferred MOTW or mytharc episodes, we could all agree that Metatron was The Worst. While I still hate him overall, Curtis Armstrong made me feel for him and brought a (dare I say) humanity to the fallen Scribe of God.
Last week’s episode, “Don’t Call Me Shurley”, marked both the return of Rob Benedict as Chuck (YAY!!) and the final episode written by Robbie Thompson, who wrote some of the best episodes of the past five years, in my opinion. Thank you so much, Robbie. You will be missed, and I can’t wait to see what you do next. I’m frankly still in denial. Robbie is one of my favorite writers, and this episode really shines a light on why.
We open with Metatron digging in a dumpster, searching for food. He finds a pastrami sandwich, only to then give the meat to an adorable dog who is also hungry. This struck me, honestly, because it’s the first unselfish act I remember seeing from Metatron. Before we can even blink, he’s out of the dumpster and appears in an empty bar, which he recognizes as one of God’s creations. The only other person in the bar is Chuck Shurley AKA Carver Edlund, a “hack writer” and Metatron’s punishment from God. Metatron may not be good at much, but he’s damn fine as sticking his foot in his mouth and Chuck reveals the worst kept secret on the show. CHUCK IS GOD!!! The fan theories were right! It wasn’t unexpected, but when Metatron put on those shades and Chuck revealed His true form, I got so excited. I clapped, I yelped. It was a Moment.
God has been busy. He got on Snapchat (go look for it. I’m sure one has been set up by now, if not several.), He has a cat blog, He’s traveled, He wrote a new series called “Revolution” which didn’t go anywhere (lol Eric Kripke) and now He’s writing His memoir, which is why He needs Metatron’s help editing.
You may be wondering where the Hell Dean and Sam are at this point, but frankly, in this episode, it doesn’t really matter. They are the B-plot. And that’s okay. They’re heading to a small town where a happy, normal guy suddenly and out of the blue killed his wife and then himself. I am not going to spend much time on this story, because overall it’s a pretty basic plot. Mysterious death, Supernatural cause, time to fight. This time it’s a strange fog like earlier this season that is infecting people in the town, causing them to kill loved ones and giving them the nasty black veins we saw before. I love that it’s a fog, rather than the personification of The Darkness infecting people again. Nothing against Emily Swallow, but I feel like this is more threatening. No one can escape, not even Sam, as he’s also infected.
Now, back to Chuck. God has been hiding in plain sight this whole time. He likes a front row seat and, hey! Acting is fun! He also has an answer for why Dean’s amulet (the Samulet) wasn’t glowing when the Winchesters and Cas (“your fave” Metatron sneers at Chuck) were near him. He turned it off. It may be a bit of a retcon, but that was my theory for why it never glowed around Chuck. Either way, Metatron is worried that the reason he was brought before God was to be destroyed for his transgressions in seasons eight, nine, and ten. Chuck tells him “no”, that he needs help getting his autobiography ready, because he has a deadline. I love these early scenes in the episode that blend a lot of really light hearted pieces (Man’s greatest creation was music and nacho cheese, Metatron will never be an angel again, Chuck literally has a fucking “World’s Greatest Dad” mug) with some of the more poignant plot points of the series. After having it confirmed that Chuck is God, it’s hard not to look back on some of the scenes from previous seasons with a different eye. Dean’s comments to Chuck about Hell, or when Cas said he’d “hold them all off” to give Dean a chance to stop Lucifer from rising, the concern about Sam’s consumption of demon blood, were all scenes with Chuck. Moments in which God saw first hand the grace and devastation in His creations. But I digress. This episode gave me a lot of feelings and I rewatched all of Chuck’s episodes immediately.
While we have this moment to reflect, Dean and Sam are still working the case.
Metatron is reading God’s work, and Chuck very eagerly anticipates his feedback. Metatron, after being told the bar is a “safe space” tells Chuck that there aren’t enough details, and that THOSE are what makes a great story. God is omitting His sister from His memoirs, and Metatron thinks that’s what people want to read about. Chuck’s reply “This isn’t her story. It’s mine.” and you can’t really argue with God. Well, you can if you’re Metatron, who thinks too much of the book is dedicated to “Chuck.” God disagrees. He loves Chuck, He did a lot of good as Chuck. This is also where it’s confirmed that God is bisexual (“Had some girlfriends, had a few boyfriends”) and truly gives zero shits about sexual orientation. That’s all well and good, according to Metatron, but God is not your average person. He’s God. And He’s not writing about anything new, or even about the Archangels, or what it was like to be the one to have invented souls. He’s doesn’t so much as mention Lucifer, his “fave.” Chuck surprises Metatron by telling him that Lucifer is not His favorite, but neither is he a villain.. This is when the conversation goes from silly to real. We see Chuck’s love and heartache over Lucifer’s fall and His subsequent actions in one sentence, and kudos to Rob Benedict for his performance in this whole episode. Rob is a grounded, likable person and he adds a sympathetic humanity to a character that has a lot to answer for. Metatron’s point, however, is that Chuck isn’t being real, and He has to decide what He wants to write. The honest story of God? Or more fluff? Hold up a mirror and show the world the true face of God, or why bother?
Chuck decides that he wants to tell his true story and begins to crank out chapters like “Why I Never Answer Prayers (And you should be glad I don’t)” which makes Metatron curious as to the answer. Why did God even create life, if He was going to let it flounder on its own, without His help or intervention? Chuck replies “I was lonely.” Even with His sister, He was lonely, because He is Being and she is Nothingness. Amara basically kept kicking over God’s blocks. Every time God created a new world, His sister destroyed it, until He and the Archangels locked her away and He got on with “unfettered creation.” Chuck considers nature to be His greatest creation. Nature is beautiful, while humans are toxic, and while He’s not wrong, He is very bitter and has a pretty narrow view of humanity. Metatron points out that when God “hit reset”, He built an arc, but if Amara does it, it’s the end of all. Chuck doesn’t seem to give a damn, though, and thinks they should take a stroll and enjoy it before it’s all destroyed.
Speaking of all being lost, Dean and Sam get a message from Amara: “The light was a lie. It will all be over soon, but not for Dean.”As the fog rolls in, the boys herd everyone they can into the police station. Things are not looking up for the boys, or the town.
Back to Chuck and Metatron, who are both starting to get pretty pissed off. Chuck, because humans destroy in His name, and then turn around begging for His help; and Metatron because God has given up and is refusing to help. But, hey, as far as Chuck is concerned, His job is done. He’s saved the Winchesters countless times, He’s rebuilt Castiel over and over and over again, and yet their inability to let things be caused The Darkness to be released.
Dean as a demon wouldn’t have destroyed the world, and Chuck’s just not up for saving it again. Chuck transports himself and Metatron back to the bar, where Metatron confronts Him, accusing Him of hiding. Metatron was a terrible God, he admits, but at least he wasn’t a coward. This gets him thrown across the room, and I felt for him when Chuck says there wasn’t anything special about Metatron, that he was picked as the Scribe just because was the angel closest to the door. He wasn’t “chosen.” And God is done watching his experiments fail.
Back on Earth, things are looking more hopeless, and the fog creeps into the vents. Sam is infected, and Dean tries to save the others while refusing to leave his brother. This surprises exactly zero viewers. The fog pours in, and it’s clear that there is no help coming. Sam is dying. Here we have a bit of “Red Meat” deja vu, as Dean seems to willingly breathe in the fog, presumably to join his little brother in The Void. He may also just be testing the message Amara sent him. The fog doesn’t seem to affect Dean, however, and he screams helplessly at the heavens for God to stop it.
od is back to writing, meanwhile, and curious about what made Metatron try to be Him. Metatron confesses that it was a pathetic, desperate plea for God’s attention. That just because Metatron wasn’t special to God before, the fact that God picked him even if he was just closest to the door, that made Metatron special. And that made it hurt all the more when God abandoned him and the rest of creation. And here we find out why God disappeared on humanity: Because He was disappointed. Sorry Chuck, as a parent you don’t get to just drop out when your kids disappoint you. They’re going to. That is how family works. And above all else, this show is about family. Metatron is taking none of this though, and tells Chuck that humanity is beautiful. Yes, we screw up, we disappoint, we’re weak, but we also love and dance and create and humanity never gives up. We are a resilient bunch, unlike God.
God returns to his writing while the fog rolls into the police station, and Metatron has a drink, so despondent is he. When He’s done, Chuck asks Metatron to read the end, while He strums the guitar. “I didn’t really learn,” He confesses “I just gave myself the ability.” And for some reason that line just broke my damn heart. He had all this time. He did so much, and yet He didn’t really “learn” anything.
Then we get a treat as Rob Benedict sings Fare Thee Well, and the Samulet glows in Sam’s pocket, the fog lifts, and this time, no one dies. Everyone in the town is saved. But the words to the song, and the look on Metatron’s face, suggest that God doesn’t think He will be around much longer. Will He sacrifice Himself to save humanity, like a father would? Or is He simply saying goodbye because Amara will destroy everything?
Dean and Sam’s faces upon seeing that Chuck is God is beautiful as they witness a miracle, and Chuck tells them they should probably have a chat.
Pies: 5 Dean and Sam who? WELCOME BACK CHUCK!
BAMF: I never thought I would say this, and it hurts to… but Metatron knocked it out of the park. I’m sure he’ll go back to his self-serving, dickish behavior again, but he was heartbreaking and eloquent and fierce this week. Kudos to Curtis Armstrong.