Tonight on “Supernatural,” it’s a trip through the TV looking-glass.
“‘Supernatural’ is filmed before a live studio audience.”
We’re in a sitcom, as Dean ogles a Dagwood sandwich (“I’m going to need a bigger mouth.”), and Sam quips about the end of the world — and the sandwich.
Cheesy opening song, “Two hunting bros…” Just a couple of crazy dudes, hunting evil, riding a tandem bike and motor scooters, tossing a ball and downing brewskis.
Zap! Wellington, Ohio, two days earlier. Two hot medicos in an elevator go at it, but it’s just Dean’s favorite TV show. Apparently he’s “channel surfing.” But there is a case, and the boys go into FBI mode to investigate a “bear attack,” if bears kill you in you own bedroom.
Apparently the victim’s wife is “confused,” as she says it was either a bear or the Lou Ferrigno version of “The Incredible Hulk.”
Dean eventually concludes it’s the work of the Trickster, but Sam thinks talking to him might be better than killing him outright.
“A bloody, violent monster, and you want to be Facebook friends with him?” says Dean.
There’s a police call, and we’re at an old warehouse, but there are no cop cars and no crime-scene tape. The boys charge in, and suddenly they seem to be in Dean’s favorite medical melodrama, white coats and all.
“Gray’s Dismemberment,” anyone?
Dean recognizes the “sexy, earnest” Dr. Ellen Piccolo, and realizes he’s gone through the TV screen into “Dr. Sexy, M.D.”
Sam’s theory? “The Trickster trapped us in TV land,” which Dean points out is not a real place. Score one for Dean, who’s nonetheless excited to meet Dr. Sexy — but the M.D.’s lack of cowboy footwear gives him away.
It’s the Trickster, who challenges the boys to spend the next 24 hours in his “idiot box.” They get to leave, if they learn how to play their parts in TV land.
This includes Sam suddenly knowing how to do surgery, and Dean suddenly being able to speak Japanese (but before he can figure this out, Sam winds up on the business end of some bad news on a Japanese game show called “Nutcracker.”).
Castiel shows up, but he doesn’t seem to have a part to play, except being cranky.
And Sam’s in a soft-focus genital herpes commercial. Ick.
Back in sitcom-land, the Trickster shows up and zaps Castiel far, far away. Dean is now so over tripping through the TV tulips, but the Trickster says that’s only half the fame. His goal is to get the boys to play their roles out in the real world, with Dean as Michael and Sam as Lucifer. Deathmatch!
He says the boys started the Big Fight, now they have to finish it by allowing themselves to be possessed. The Trickster claims he’s Switzerland, but Dean says, “You’re somebody’s bitch.” That doesn’t go over well.
If the boys don’t go along, says the Trickster, then it’s an eternity in TV — which is now something like the bastard child of “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” with dark suits and sunglasses — in the dark.
Turns out Dean hates procedural cop shows (which might be related to “CSI” being “Supernatural’s” timeslot competition). The boys do passable Caruso imitations, but at the first opportunity, Sam runs the Trickster through with a big wooden stake.
But, no, it’s “Knight Rider,” with Sam voicing the Chevy Impala KITT, red grille lights and all. Cool.
Sam speculates that the stake didn’t work because the Trickster isn’t the Trickster, but who is he? Dean has an idea, but must first drive through autumn leaves to the accompaniment of pulsing background music. Then, at a rest stop, he cries “Uncle!” into the British Columbian wilderness.
The Trickster appears, and Dean demands he get Sam out of the car. The Trickster complies, but the boys trap him in a ring of holy fire, which works because he’s actually the Angel Gabriel, hiding in a sort of witness protection. Gabriel just wants the Apocalypse to be over, and he doesn’t care who wins — his angelic brethren, the demons or the Man Upstairs.
“What you guys call the Apocalypse,” he says, “I used to call Sunday dinner.” It’s all about brothers who betray each other, like Cain and Abel or Sam and Dean — or Michael and Lucifer, who must possess our boys.
“As it is in Heaven,” so it must be on Earth” intones Gabe. One must brother must kill the other, and so it has been since the beginning of time.
Dean just wants Castiel back, or Gabe gets to be a deep-fried angel Twinkie. Poof, he’s back, and he’s righteously pissed at Gabe. Dean needles Gabe for being a weenie hiding on the sidelines, then he turns on the sprinklers.
The boys and Cass (with one last withering look) are outta here. Back to the drizzle, back to the Impala.
“Right about now,” says Dean, “I wish I was back in a TV show.”
“Me, too,” says Sam.
We’re all outta here. Next week, same channel, same time, same Apocalypse.
What do you think? Will the boys give in and become angelic meat puppets, or will they pull an Apocalyptic rabbit out of a hat? Most important — will they get sexy wings?