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Episode Highlight #6: Changing Channels

“Hey there Sam, what’s happening?”
“Oh nothing, just the end of the world!”
[laugh track]

Summary: Sam and Dean decide to ask the Trickster for help in stopping the Apocalypse (seeing as how he’s the most powerful being they know who hasn’t picked a side). But since this is the Trickster, a simple polite discussion is out of the question. Instead, he traps the Winchesters in TV Land, where they’re forced to act out parodies of sitcoms, soap operas and commercials for herpes medication until they learn his latest “lesson.”

Why I love it: Oh, where to begin? This is one of those episodes that makes me wonder how much of Supernatural‘s writing happens at 3 a.m. with the aid of semi-legal substances. Everything about it is so completely absurd and beautiful. The cheesy sitcom opening (and that theme song, oh my GOSH). Dr. Sexy, M.D. “NUTCRACKAAAAH!” The CSI parody. “I’ve…got…genital herpes.” Sam as the Impala. All of it really has to be seen to be believed. I have no words to describe the awesomeness.

The Trickster, showing off his most glorious creation.

But you know what I love most about “Changing Channels”? It’s not filler. It’s an important episode that is 100 percent relevant to the plot arc of Season 5. It contains all sorts of fascinating revelations about the Trickster’s true identity, the root cause of the angels’ war, and why the Winchesters were chosen to be Michael and Lucifer’s vessels. And it accomplishes all this while spoofing Grey’s Anatomy and testing Sam and Dean’s skill with terrible puns. Brilliant.

“Well I say…No guts, no glory.”

And even though this is definitely among the funniest Supernatural episodes ever, it still manages to sneak in some tear-jerking moments and ominous foreshadowing. The game show host’s questions, for example. Sheesh, it’s a good thing Sam and Dean don’t know Japanese. And I have to say, as horrendously inaccurate as the theology is from a biblical perspective, I do like the idea of the Winchesters’ brotherly conflicts mirroring the struggle in Heaven. It makes the whole end-of-the-world plot more personal, and I think it’s one of the best written bits of mythology on the show.

So yeah, this episode is one of the reasons I refuse to believe Gabriel is dead. I need him to come back and create more delightful mayhem like this.



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