“Don’t Call Me Shurley” is an epic episode because it has everything. Robbie Thompson pulls out all the stops for fandom by including requests and answering questions that have been out there for years.Rob Singer’s direction is perfection. Rob Benedict and Curtis Amstrong hold center stage for most of the episode. Top it all off with brilliant musical choices and a song performed by R.B. and add a Sam and Dean never leave you moment. What else? Oh there is more. And it glows. Brilliant.
If you haven’t seen it yet, do not read on. Watch. Then read. Then watch again.
The title is a play on the character Chuck Shurley and the comedy movie “Airplane.” So the big reveal as to who Chuck really is came as no surprise. So should you expect humor? Finally fans get to see Dean ironing Sam’s shirt with beer to dampen it. Sam’s reaction is priceless. Off to check out a possible case. What ensues is Amara’s black vein disease and the toll it takes on the townspeople. Not funny. Clear that we are in the last episodes of the season and it is time to be serious. Much better opening of the boys than the banter about frustration and no clues.
This episode is not heavy with Sam and Dean, but what is there, works so well. Sam saves a child-so genuine Jared. Dean’s not leaving a sick Sam- so Jensen. However, most of the episode is a sparring contest between Metatron and Chuck. Human Metatron is in a dumpster searching for food and in an act of sacrifice, offers the food to a hungry dog. He is rewarded with a face to face with Chuck. God needs an editor for his autobiography. Although Chuck thinks he redeems Metatron, it is Metatron who redeems Chuck and gets him back in the God-game. Then the Meta begins with God’s reference to creating Supernatural, his failure at the follow up Revolution series, his dislike of the “Bugs” episode, his admission of how many times he has put Castiel back together and his fondness for the Winchesters. (Kripke and Metatron have always said writers are god). Thompson is a god.
Chuck first resigns and wants Amara to have her moment, but Metatron takes a chance and calls him a coward. Bob Benedict’s performance turns cute, nebbish Chuck into the wrathful, yet engaged God that has been absent for so long. There is great meta-fiction about the creation of angels, man, nature.Corrections to the lore are made: Lucifer is not a favorite angel nor is he the villain according to this gospel. Lucifer was not lying to the angels. Metatron was the angel closest to the door and nothing special when he was selected to be the scribe, and why the amulet did not glow in season 4/5? It goes on. So Meta.
Curtis Amstrong’s Metatron performs superbly. There is an explanation for his motivation, he confesses and shows contrition: Absentee father-notice me. The writing is so sharp that as a fan I started to cheer for the once villainous Metatron. Is he forgiven for killing Dean? Chuck says the world would have gone on spinning if Dean had remained a demon. If it’s okay with God, then fandom needs to take a breath. Be angry at God-everyone seems to be. Thompson even manages to get the Keep Fighting slogan into the script. There is meta about not seeing the real self-the character played vs. the actor(Hello,J2).
The art department scouts out and creates beautiful sets. God’s greatest creation is Nature that corrects itself-hello socially conscious comment. The out door scenery is breath taking, while using the mundane sets of small town America to tell an epic story. God’s refuge in a bar that is the center of creation is a terrific choice.The lighting catches the characters at just the right moment to show assets and emotions seamlessly. Robert Singer’s direction shows the strength and vulnerability of our heroes and villains. The choice of music underscores the choice God has to make- Brian Wilson’s or Keith Richard’s type autobiography. Then Chuck sings a folk song,”Fare thee Well” as we see a dying Sam who says Dean will leave him for Amara. Dean says” never” but it does not look good. Suddenly a glow from Sam’s jacket. The amulet.
Insert your own scream here………
Deus ex machina- God swoops in to resolve the current fog of war. Restoration of the infected takes place. Amazed Sam and Dean holding the glowing amulet, see Chuck. “We should talk” closes out the episode.
It works.It is “Supernatural”. It is what fandom wanted.
I purposefully leave out many of the greatest lines of dialogue and scenes so you would watch and feel it first hand . The episode is a tour de force in all areas. And it is not the finale!!! How can the last 3 episodes rise to this level of perfection? This episode moves onto the favorite list. Time to re-watch. Enjoy!