Why The 200th Episode Of Supernatural Was Really A Love Letter To The Fans
Most shows are lucky to get renewed for a second season, but Supernatural is currently in the midst of Season 11…and a year ago today, Supernatural reached a huge milestone in the TV world.
On November 11, 2014, the 200th episode of the hit Space show aired, and it was definitely one for the books. The episode—“Fan Fiction”—showed what happened when the main duo (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) sees a musical…all about themselves.
But first, let’s talk about the SPN fandom.
Every fan’s story is different, so here’s the breakdown of mine. In December, 2012, my friend made me sit on her couch and watch the pilot of a show I knew had been on the air for years, but had never seen. I really dug it, so I went home and binge-watched a bunch more episodes. I hardly saw my family during that whole month, I was so addicted. Fast-forward to September 2014, I attended the Dallas Supernatural Convention, which was all kinds of “awesome” (said in Dean’s voice).
When the show’s 200th episode aired, I was honestly blown away by it. My favorite episode is still “After School Special,” because Dean’s wearing short shorts (duh), but “Fan Fiction” is definitely in my top five, but not simply because it was a fun episode.
It was obvious the cast and crew made this particular episode as a thank you/love letter to the fans of the show, those who have watched since September 13, 2005, and those, like me, who jumped on the bandwagon later in the game. The episode was crafted in such a way that made it feel like fans created the episode, and it was a great feeling.
It’s not a state secret people write fan fiction shipping together every character under the sun, with the ultimate favorite being “Destiel.” For whatever reason, that topic is seen as taboo by some fans, despite its integral part in the fandom. Thankfully, the writers didn’t shy away from the suggestion Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) and Castiel (Misha Collins) should totally hook up.
— Jensen Ackles (@JensenAckles) November 12, 2014
To me, “Fan Fiction” made it clear there are a myriad of different ~interpretations~ of the show and its characters, and that it’s perfectly A-OK. It felt like fans were given approval, even encouragement, to continue creating alternate “SPN” universes. Dean even tells Marie (Katie Sarife), “You keep writing, Shakespeare…I have my version and you have yours.” Fans keep this show alive and the producers realize that that’s not something to take lightly.
The episode also incorporated past characters, such as Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean’s parents, Azazel the Yellow-Eyed Demon and even Adam Winchester, who many of the fans (myself included) completely forgot was still stuck in the Cage with Lucifer. All this reminded me of the first time I watched “SPN,” almost three years ago, and instantly made me nostalgic. I wish there was a way to go back and rewatch episodes without already knowing what was going to happen, to relive the journey for the first time again.
Moreover, the episode proved it could laugh at itself and that it doesn’t take itself so seriously all the time. This was especially obvious when the “BM” scene was announced. (No, not the “bowel movement” scene, the “boy melodrama” scene.) Common tropes like that make “SPN” the magical show that it is, but it can also make it easier to parody. I love that the writers brought attention to that aspect, and were able to get in front of it in a creative manner. Jeez, the writers on this show are a-freaking-mazing.
So, from the bottom of this fan’s heart, thank you for creating an episode that was 100% for the fans, acknowledging just how powerful and dedicated the #SPNFamily is and accepting all the weird eccentricities that come with it. Happy One-Year “Fan Fiction” Anniversary! Or, as my co-worker put it, “’Supernatural’ Faniversary.”