Plot: Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) find themselves mystically trapped in a series of real-life "TV shows" and there appears to be no escape. They believe their old enemy the Trickster (Richard Speight Jr) is responsible, but discover someone or something else is involved.
Right, I'm writing as I'm watching. I am always missing things out in reviews so here goes:
After the opening "then + now" sequence, we plunge straight in with "Supernatural is filmed in front of a live studio audience" and from then on I didn't know whether I was laughing out of cringeness or ingeniousness because we have a sitcom! When Sam and Dean came on my first thought was "Joey and Chandler from Friends". Even while writing I am chuckling myself to a coughing fit. As soon as the opening comes on, blatantly cheesy and postmodern, I am finally won over to the side of ingeniousness!!
2 days earlier, they are doing their normal thing with the scary supernatural shit, solving the death of a man that police assumed was a bear attack, but the wife claims it was the... Incredible Hulk??? No, not Bana or Norton, but Ferrigno!! Haha!! Oh this is one of my favourite episodes already!! Well, they have pretty much figured out who already: its our old friend the Trickster. Oh, is that it?
And then they go to find him only to walk into...
Grey's Anatomy! Well, on SN it's called "Dr Sexy MD" lol! Now I have only seen about 2 episodes of that show but you can just see straight away all the spoofing elements: sex, getting shot, getting dramatically slapped, the music and the over-use of the word "seriously" comes to mind. And a nice small in joke about a ghost that only appears to one doctor. Of course in Grey's, Denny, the ghost of a patient is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Papa Winchester himself!!
Then it's a Japanese game show, equally hilarious and ingenious. Asking question about their lives... in Japanese and if you get it wrong/pass... well I won't go into that. Cos I want any male readers to "feel" it! lol!! My cheekbones are beginning to feel very tight at this point... a fake commercial... "I have genital herpes"... nuff said!!
Back to the sitcom. But it takes a turn; something bigger and more powerful than the trickster is orchestrating these events. And the Trickster wants them to fill their destinies: Sam as Lucifer vs Dean as Michael. So in the end, one will have to kill the other. ooooooo.....
CSI!!! lol. Both donning the sunglasses and the music itself is very The Who/Miami-esque adding a whole new layer of awesomeness to it! Padalecki does Horatio Caine better than bloody Horatio Caine!! And Ackles did a great job as well, both with the famous cheesy one-liner and the sunglasses. And just when you think it has ended, it's Knight Rider. With Sam as... KITT/Impala. Jesus christ this is just getting better and better! Now I never watched this particular show, but I know enough to know that it is fucking awesome!!
The situation becomes even more compelling when it is discovered who the Trickster really is and what his agenda is for Dean and Sam. The revelation goes so far as to make "Mystery Spot" stronger in that we now can understand the Trickster's motivation better there as well. I would be surprised if the newly revealed role of the Trickster is what was intended all along, but as usual, Supernatural manages to make their own backstory work for them in new and intriguing ways.
While the discovery of who and what the Trickster is might have implications on the season's overall storyline, what is equally thought provoking is the discussion about why Dean and Sam find themselves in the position of being the vessels for Michael and Lucifer. The two angels are described as brothers; Michael is the elder, loyal to an absent father, and Lucifer is the younger, rebellious brother. Sounds familiar, although the Winchesters continue to reject the idea that they are destined to follow in those footsteps.
This episode is an absolute treat. Not just for any Supernatural fan, but any TV fan in general, just for the injokes.