'Supernatural' season 11 episodes 19 and 20: 'The Chitters' & 'Don't Call Me Shurley'
11.19: "The Chitters"
This week’s episode opens in 1689 as two brothers go out into the woods to fish. While the younger brother, Jesse (Valin Shinyei, “Martha Speaks”), gossips about the boy who gave him his first kiss, the older brother, Matty (Connor Stanhope, “Smallville”), warns him to be careful because their town isn’t that tolerable and promises that they will run away soon. Jesse asks to see his brother’s rare buffalo nickel, which will be sold to pay for their trip, and then goes to pee. While he’s gone, Matty is attacked and dragged away.
“The Chitters” begins much the same way that the last few have: Sam (Jared Padalecki, “Gilmore Girls”) and Dean (Jensen Ackles, “Smallville”) have been burning the midnight oil and are still making no headway on how to save Cas (Misha Collins, “24”) or stop the Darkness (Emily Swallow, “The Mentalist”). Sam suggests a hunt. He has found a police report about a woman named Libby (Lauren Overholt, “The Killing”) who went missing while she and her friend were smoking weed in the forest. The brothers suit up and investigate. The local police sheriff, Tyson (Kandyse McClure, “Hemlock Grove”), explains that Libby and her friend were visiting the town, but locals have gone missing as well. This isn’t the first time that people have gone missing either, the same thing happens every 27 years. However, Libby’s friend Cori (Jaylee Hamidi, “Delete”) swears this isn’t just a simple missing person’s case. She says she saw Libby get taken by a pale and “junkless” monster. She also swears she found Libby, but it wasn’t Libby. It was a monster with green glowing eyes wearing Libby’s face. Also, there was a strange clicking sound coming out of Libby’s body.
Sam and Dean can’t find any lore on a green-eye, junkless and clicking monster. The sheriff, Cochran (Andy Maton, “Stargate: Atlantis”), who worked on the missing persons case 27 years ago didn’t leave any useful notes and he jumped town years ago. In fact, there is only one person left in town to talk to who was involved with the case, Etta Fraser (April Telek, “Rogue”). She explains that her ex-husband was seen having sex with two different women before all three disappeared. She thinks that he must have run off with them, but despite that she is leaving town and protecting herself with white sage. She explains that her grandmother told her that her husband got “the Chitters.” Her grandma says that once a generation people go crazy, start having orgies, and disappear. “The Chitters” is the term she used to describe the buzzing, rattling sound that comes from the woods.
Meanwhile, two teens run into what they think are a man and woman having sex on a bench, only to discover that they are actually green-eyed monsters. They attack and only the girl is able to escape. She is able to identify the monsters as town locals. Sam decides to go check out the alley where the monsters were sighted and Dena heads into the woods. Once there he finds Libby and is attacked. Luckily, he is saved by another hunter, Cesar (Hugo Ateo, “Intelligence”), and his partner, Jesse (Lee Rumohr, “Covert Affairs”).
The two pairs of hunters sit down together. Jesse and Cesar have heard of the Winchesters but they mostly hunt in Mexico so they aren’t surprised that they have never seen each other. Jesse explains that the monster they are hunting is a Bisan, a cicada spirit. Every 27 years they come up from underground, possess humans, mate and the cycle starts again. Jesse explains that Bisan are the reason he started hunting and he has been waiting to get revenge against the Bisan in this town since they took his brother 27 years ago. However, Jesse’s grudge against the town which failed to believe him about the monsters that took his brother is hindering their hunt and Cesar points this out, explaining to Dean that they fight like an old married couple because they are one. Prompting Dean to ask what it’s like settling down with a hunter and inspiring the hashtag #HunterHusbands.
The two groups of hunters separate. Sam and Jesse go talk to the former Sheriff Cochran, and Dean and Cesar go to search for the Bisan’s “Burrow,” as sort of nest. They’re short on time because, by the next day, the Bisan will go underground and Jesse will have to wait 27 more years before he can get revenge. Cesar and Dean commiserate over the hunters who have lost someone they love and about the way that getting revenge doesn’t really fix a person. But they both agree that you have to help the person get that revenge anyway. Dean and Cesar stumble upon the Bisan’s burrow and this time it is Dean who saves Cesar.
Jesse and Sam get Cochran to admit that he ran because he saw the monsters and his daughter was one of the victims. He believed the monsters to be completely dead and thought it’s better to let the townspeople believe that their loved ones had just moved on to a better life. He pointed Sam and Jesse towards an old mine. They meet Dean and Cesar there. All the victims are dead and incubators for eggs, and Jesse finds the body of his brother Matty. They give Matty a hunter’s funeral and torch the rest of the mine, killing the eggs.
Sam and Dean agree to ask Jesse and Cesar for help in taking down Amara. However, when Cesar says Jesse promised to give up hunting and settle down after the Bisan were killed and Matty found, Dean can’t bring himself to drag them into their crap even when Jesse offers. So few Hunters ever make it out the other side. It really makes us wonder if Sam and Dean, and Cas, will ever reach the finish line, or if their finish line is a coffin.
11.20: "Don't Call Me Shurley"
After eight seasons of fan theories and a brief tease in season 10, Supernatural has finally confirmed Chuck Shurley (Rob Benedict, “Masters of Sex”) is, in fact, God. And, they have done it with what’s officially my favorite titled episode.
“Don’t Call Me Shurley” opens to the pathetic sight of Metatron (Curtis Armstrong, “American Dad!”) dumpster diving for a pastrami sandwich. But, upon finding it he gives it to a begging dog instead. (Metatron does have a heart). At what must be the lowest moment of his life, he proclaims to the heavens “I give up!” and finds himself transported to a bar where the song “Good Vibrations” is playing. He looks around and discovers Chuck sitting in a booth, writing and waiting for him (the “World’s Greatest Dad” mug is a nice touch).
Metatron immediately starts bashing Chuck’s writing, no holds barred. Chuck says his commentary is fair but it doesn’t justify him burning one of his books during one of his villain monologues. Metatron is suddenly very confused as to how Chuck would know this (I’m not sure why the explanation “I’m a prophet” wouldn’t work here, to be honest). Chuck comes to the realization that Metatron can’t see his Godliness and gives him sunglasses, and boom god in all his heavenly choir and blinding light glory.
Metatron starts kneeling and begging forgiveness but Chuck tells him all the prostrating and pleading unworthiness has always made him uncomfortable and to just continue to call him Chuck. Because, for the last few years he has only been Chuck. He has been traveling, running a cat blog, dating both women and men and writing a new series called Revolution, which he doesn’t think is really going anywhere. This is a call out of the original creator and head writer of Supernatural Eric Kripke, who left the show to head up his next show of the same title which was not as successful. Ouch, sick burn.
Meanwhile, at the bunker, Dean (Jensen Ackles, “Smallville”) is ironing dress shirts with beer, much to the chagrin of Sam (Jared Padalecki, “Gilmore Girls”). Sam has news about reports of a guy who may have had his soul stolen by Amara (Emily Swallow, “The Mentalist”).
Metatron asks Chuck why he decided to become Chuck in the first place. He says that he likes “front row seats,” he wanted to watch, and acting is fun! He even turned off the “Samulet” so that it wouldn’t glow. He pulls it out to turn it on and teases as to where it has been since Dean threw it away. (Stop teasing the fandom Chuck!) But Metatron isn’t interested in the past, he wants to know what’s going on now. He admits to being a piece of garbage and asks if Chuck is here to kill him. However, Chuck would rather talk about creation than destruction. He says that music is humanity’s greatest creation and he’s working on what he hopes will be his greatest creation, his autobiography. He needs his favorite editor to help him out.
At the police station Sam and Dean talk to the Sheriff (Tim Keller, “NCIS”) and Deputy Jan Harris (Sonja Bennett, “Mistresses”) about the man in question. It sounds like an extreme and sudden case of depression, or he had his soul eaten. When looking at the autopsy Sam notices a dark veining pattern on the victim’s arms that looks exactly like the Darkness infection he contracted in the beginning of the season. He inquiries about the existence of a dense fog around town and tells Deputy Jan to look out for it. So when she gets home to her husband, Art (Jacob Richter, “Lost Girl”), and see a heavy fog rolling in she calls it in, right before she gets infected.
After reading God’s autobiography, Metatron thinks that the writing is missing details and, as a result, isn’t very good. For example, Chuck doesn’t even mention Amara, his sister, and refuses to talk about her. Metatron thinks he needs to find a balance. He spends so much time writing about his time as Chuck. Metatron says that no one cares that Chuck learned to play guitar. They only want to read God’s story, not the story of Chuck. He barely even writes about the Archangels, like Lucifer. Metatron says every great hero needs a great villain, to which Chuck protests that Lucifer wasn’t a villain, but he wasn’t his favorite either. This is fascinating because, while Lucifer in seasons four and five did work counter to the goals of the show’s protagonists, within the universe of the show he was never as much of a villain as some and he was never “evil.” Additionally, it raises the question: If he wasn’t his favorite, then who was?
Metatron urges him to tell a more deep and soul baring story. He calls him out for hiding behind his Chuck mask and for all the mistakes he’s made. I actually kind of enjoyed Metatron chewing out Chuck, and usually I can’t stand it when Metatron talks. It seems like Chuck doesn’t want to be God anymore because he doesn’t want to have to deal with the reality of all the things for which he has to answer.
The next day, Sam and Dean hear Deputy Jan has shot her husband in the face. They track down her car and she is violent; she is shot down. Just then, a dense fog starts rolling into town. They get the police to tell everyone to get inside and seal up their windows, doors and vents.
Metatron asks why God created life and he says he was lonely. His sister was too different. “I am being. She is nothingless,” he says. He says that he was stupid and naïve because every time he built something, his sister destroyed it. So, he locked her up. He says that Nature was the best thing he created. He says Nature is good whereas Human Nature is toxic, and he wants to enjoy nature before Amara destroys it. Metatron getting more and more frustrated trying to convince God to do something about Amara.
Metatron wants God to take some reasonability for what’s happening on Earth and in Heaven. Chuck says he took responsibility by leaving; he says that he needed to take off training wheels. He is upset with Sam for letting out Amara. He says that Sam’s selfish choice of saving Dean is emblematic of the selfishness of humanity. When Metatron accuses Chuck of hiding, calls him a coward, Chuck’s angry response is that he isn’t a coward. He’s just “done.” This is something I can identify with.
Sam and Dean manage to save as many people as they can, including an adorable toddler who takes a liking to Sam, and they duct tape all the vents and windows shut. Unfortunately some of the tape on the vent comes loose and Sam is infected (again, Chuck Damn it). This time the infection acts faster and Sam is left suffocating in the fog while the infected townspeople attack the building like zombies.
Meanwhile, Megatron admits that he knows he’s a disappointment to Chuck. But he refuses to let Chuck believe that humanity was a failure because the truth is humanity was his greatest creation. He says that humanity are better than God because they never give up.
When Dean thinks he can’t save Sam, he tries to die alongside him, deeply breathing in the fog, but it appears that he’s immune. And when it appears that he can’t even die with his brother, Dean swallows his pride and, in what may be the first time since the apocalypse, prays to God, not to Cas or to another angel. We can be sure that it’s God he’s talking to because he calls him a “Dick.”
God, or Chuck as he prefers, has just finished up the last few pages of his book and picks up the guitar to start playing. I have always wanted a musical number in the show (that wasn’t in a musical, despite how amazing the 200th episode was) and we finally get one with Chuck (aka. the fabulous Rob Benedict, singer and guitarist in band Louden Swain).
He plays the song “Fare Thee Well” as we see Sam’s pocket light up, glowing with a white light. Dean pulls out the glowing Samulet from the pocket. Hmm, how’d that get there? The Fog disappears and Sam is cured. In fact, the entire town is cured. Even Jan and Art are alive again. What we have here folks is a genuine A-grade heavenly miracle. Sam and Dean go outside and Chuck is waiting for them, overdue for a talk.