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Recap / Supernatural S 11 E 20 Dont Call Me Shurley

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 11, Episode 20:

Don't Call Me Shurley

Amara unleashes a dark fog on a small town, causing everyone to go mad. Dean and Sam realize this is a stronger version of the original black vein virus Amara previously unleashed. They team up with the sheriff to protect the town but their old remedy no longer works. Meanwhile, Chuck returns with an interesting proposal.

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Writer: Robbie Thompson

Director: Robert Singer

Body Count

For this episode: Everybody Lives (for once)

For the series so far = At least 1268 humans (of which 15 were witches), 1125 angels, 186 demons, 71 vampires, 52 ghosts, 36 Jefferson Starships, 22 gods, 19 zombies, 17 werewolves, 10 hellhounds, 8 Bisaan, 7 shapeshifters, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 djinn, 5 reapers, 4 dogs, 4 ghouls, 4 Leviathan, 3 Khan Worms, 3 Thule, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 rugarus, 2 vetalas, 2 zannas, 1 banshee, 1 cat, 1 crocotta, Death, 1 deer, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 familiar, 1 lamia, The Mother of All, 1 nachzehrer, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 pishtaco, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 qarin, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shojo, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 soul eater, 1 Titan, 1 wendigo, The Whore of Babylon, 1 wicked witch, and 1 wraith.

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Tropes

  • A Day in the Limelight: The main focus of the episode is of Metatron and Chuck. Dean and Sam dealing with the fog is practically shoved into the background.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Deconstructed. God decided to be hands off in his parenting because 'no one likes a helicopter parent'...which resulted in the remaining two Archangels becoming Knight Templar type villains because they simply didn't know what else to do, Metatron's entire plan to try and get his attention, the civil war between Cas and Raphael that resulted in the release of the Leviathans, and a lot of other grief and damage. God realizes this in the end and decides to get involved again.
  • Audience Surrogate: Metatron plays this role for the episode, asking Chuck many of the questions the audience have been burning to have answered since season 5.
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  • Back from the Dead: Chuck's arrival in Hope Springs not only cures the infected, it also raises Deputy Harris and her husband from the dead. Justified as...well, he's LITERALLY God.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Chuck descending on Hope Springs to save the day via Divine Intervention.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Chuck has never ever been called a coward since the beginning of time. He nearly flips when Metatron dares to.
    • He also doesn't take kindly to his memoir being called stupid.
    • Also, don't mention his sister.
  • Bi the Way: Chuck claims to have boyfriends as well as girlfriends in his time away from the throne.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Chuck is this for Metatron, who thinks he's been "method acting" as Chuck (who is an ineffectual self-doubter at the best of times) for too long and should start being "God" again. It takes calling Chuck a coward to bring out the awesomely powerful and righteous God which Metatron remembers and loves.
    • Metatron is also thrown that after so long believing God chose him for be his scribe for some special reason, it turns out Metatron was simply the closest angel around at the time.
    • Given how he talks, it seems the Winchesters selfishly freeing Amara was what caused Chuck to completely lose his faith in humanity and them. Metatron manages to restore it.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Metatron still reveres Chuck for choosing him to be his scribe at the very beginning, but Chuck retorts that he was picked because he was the closest angel to the door at the time.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Of all people, Metatron speaks on behalf of the angels and humanity and calls Chuck out for his assholery.
    Metatron: It wasn't just the saps on Earth who were praying to you. The Angels prayed too. And so did I! Every day!
    Chuck: I know.
    Metatron: You want to write the best-selling autobiography of all time? You explain to me, tell me why you abandoned me! Us!
    Chuck: Because you disappointed me. You all disappointed me.
    Metatron: Look, I know I'm a disappointment, but you're wrong about humanity! They are your greatest creations because they're better than you are! Sure, they're weak and they cheat and steal and destroy and disappoint! But they also give and create, and they sing and dance and love! And above all they never give up... but you do.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Possibly the most long-running one ever, spanning 6 entire seasons, but the gun finally fired in the form of Dean's amulet.
  • Death Glare: The merest mention of Amara to Chuck earns Metatron a glare of ice-cold fury.
  • Deus ex Machina: A quite literal one when Chuck stops Amara from infecting an entire town with the black vein virus and saves everyone, even those who were killed, including Dean and Sam.
  • Egocentrically Religious: Metatron likes to brag that he and God were "besties". The problem is that he's bragging to Chuck who wouldn't really call them that.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Chuck treats the question of Amara and the fate of creation like this throughout most of the episode while Metatron tries to pry out his thoughts on the matter, until he outright accuses Chuck of being cowardly and hiding from her. It turns out Chuck really is scared, but not of Amara. He's afraid to face the fact that creation is a mess because he didn't do as good a job as God as he thinks he did and that he has a duty of care to protect it because it's worth saving.
  • Everybody Lives: For once, there are no deaths in an episode. In fact, those who do die are resurrected thanks to the literal Deus ex Machina.
  • Fog of Doom: Amara's fog that rolls into the small town the Winchesters are investigating. It turns normal humans into soulless murderbots who kill until they drop dead from the infection.
  • God Is Flawed:
    • Chuck admits he was naive and stupid for creating whole worlds to inspire Amara into being better, because she always destroyed them every time he tried.
    • By the conclusion of the episode, Metatron helps Chuck to face the fact that he's hiding and not taking ownership of his failures and that humanity might be a flawed creation of his, but they're worth fighting to save.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: Chuck honestly no longer gives a shit about his creation. He started it all to make something bigger and better than Amara and himself in order to inspire her to change into a better person, but she refused. Now he's so sick of it not living up to his original dream that he's happy to let it all come to nothingness again.
  • HA HA HA— No: Chuck's reaction to Metatron hopefully asking if, with him helping edit "God: An Autobiography," he'll get to be an angel again. In light of all Metatron had done by then, he admits that's probably a good call.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In large part, Metatron is the hero of this episode, which is also the first to treat him sympathetically since he revealed his true nature and killed Naomi in S8. His turn is foreshadowed by his sharing food with the stray dog.
  • History Repeats: Let's see, a snarky and pop-culture-savvy angel didn't like the way Heaven was doing things and ran away and who's a former villain giving a speech to an extraordinary force in an effort to convince them to stop the end of the world because there's value in humanity despite their flaws and that they're actually sometimes better than the so-called higher beings because they try. Where have we seen that before?
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Metatron scavenging rubbish skips for food.
  • Honest Advisor: In addition to being God's secretary, Metatron also acted as his editor and was unafraid to provide God with constructive criticism. Even after everything that happened, Chuck still appreciates Metatron's willingness to tell him the truth and takes Metatron's criticism and advice to heart. When Metatron calls him a coward, Chuck is hurt and angry because he realizes that Metatron is right.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Chuck has come to see this about humanity, so he refuses to save humanity.
    Chuck: Nature: Divine. Human nature: Toxic.
    Metatron: They do like blowing stuff up.
    Chuck: Yeah. And the worst part? They do it in my name. And then they come crying to me asking me to forgive, to fix things! Never taking any responsibility!
    Metatron: What about your responsibility?
  • Humans Are Special: What Metatron finally sees about humans in spite of themselves, and he reminds Chuck.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: The reason Chuck created the angels and the Universe. He says Amara was terrible company because she is "nothingness" while he is "being" and thus they fundamentally didn't get along.
  • The Immune: The fog does not infect Dean, presumably because Amara is protecting him.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: Played for Laughs. Chuck Himself admits that aside from music, nacho cheese is the greatest invention of humanity, as even He couldn't come up with something that delicious.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: A stiffer drink than beer in Metatron's case, once he comes to terms with God's return and the fact that God wants to be called Chuck from now on and is writing his memoirs.
  • Ironic Hell: Metatron's first thought on finding he's been transported to a bar with only the hack writer of Supernatural for company.
  • It Was a Gift: The amulet that alerts the characters to God's presence was originally a Christmas gift intended for John Winchester. When Papa Winchester didn't show, Sam gave it to Dean saying that he deserved because he was the one who really took care of Sam. For years, it was one of Dean's prized possessions and he wore it every day.
  • Jerkass Gods: Chuck really shows why he's always been seen as a wrathful asshole God. In fact, he has already written off creation as a total failure and has become completely indifferent to its destruction by Amara.
    Metatron: If Amara wipes the slate, the slate's destroyed! Everything is destroyed. All your great work, lost forever.
    Chuck: We should take a stroll then, enjoy it all one last time before it's all gone.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • We're so used to Metatron just being a jerk face that it's genuinely surprising to see him heartbroken over Chuck's abandonment and actually championing Cas, the Winchesters, and humanity.
    • Chuck shows a very dark and nasty side to himself in this episode, in keeping with being the classic wrathful God of the bible. But he's not a total dick as Metatron says, and unlike Amara, he can be reasoned with and inspired enough to care about humanity again.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Chuck does this by rounding off the titles of a couple of the episodes of the Supernatural series as examples of his written works, as well as referencing Revolution as a new series that's "not going anywhere."
  • Like Father, Like Son: Gabriel spent much of season 5 pretending to be a Trickster rather than revealing his archangel status. Turns out he had the same idea as dear old dad who has spent most of the series pretending to be a prophet of... himself.
  • Manly Tears: While trying to break Chuck out of his apathy and convince him to save creation, Metatron busts out the Winchester-patented Single Man Tear. It was a thing of beauty from the character you'd least expect.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Watch the picture in the bar above the computer Chuck is writing at. It keeps changing to an appropriate sing/songwriter, finally ending on Bob Dylan.
  • Memento Macguffin: The Samulet, which has long represented little brother Sam's love for big brother Dean, made it's triumphant return just in time to alert the Winchesters to God's return to Earth.
  • Mundane Solution: Metatron asks Chuck why Dean's amulet never glowed in his presence the way it should have. Chuck says he just turned it off. At the end of the episode, he switches it back on so Dean can see it as an announcement that God himself is finally coming down off his high horse and getting involved.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Happens whenever Chuck's mood changes to from light-hearted to deeply serious. The background song just disappears without even the punctuation of a Record Needle Scratch as if Chuck was daydreaming the music into existence and suddenly stopped.
  • My Greatest Failure: Chuck tells Metatron that he's happy to let Amara do what she likes with creation because he's sick of seeing his "experiments" fail to live up to and achieve what he created and intended them for. Metatron retorts that it's really Chuck who has failed.
  • Nature Lover: Chuck says raw nature is divine, and the closest he got to creating something better than himself or Amara. It's the human nature which came out of it that he's lost all affection or even sympathy for.
  • Never My Fault: How Chuck sees the situation with the Universe since he created it:
    • He thinks he took responsibility by walking out on the angels and humanity because "nobody likes a helicopter parent".
    • He also thinks his initial sealing away of Amara was him taking responsibility for her and that her recent release isn't his problem because humanity made it happen, not him.
      Chuck: The world would still be spinning with demon-Dean in it. Sam couldn't have that though, could he? And so how is Amara being out, on me?
      Metatron: It's not, but you've helped the Winchesters before!
      Chuck: Helped them? I've saved them! I've rebuilt Castiel more times than I can remember! Look where that got me!
    • Turns out this is the case with Amara as well: for all her attempts to make God out as the bad guy, he tried creating worlds to prove to her they could make something better than just the two of them and they didn't have to be alone...only for her to just destroy every single one of them. Her theory God was afraid of her making a more perfect creation than him is completely wrong, as God wanted her to become better and start creating things instead of being mindless destruction.
  • Pet the Dog: Metatron has been a villain for nearly three seasons, so this episode needed an immediate way to soften the audience towards him. Nothing makes the audience go "awww!" faster than having a previously villainous character choose to feed a cute puppy over feeding himself.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: At the end when the black mist has turned everyone feral and Dean is left cradling Sam with no hope left, he shouts up at the heavens for God to make it all stop. It works.
  • Precious Puppy: This episode didn't really need a puppy, but every reaction of the puppy was heart meltingly awesome.
  • Reasoning with God: Metatron finally tries to do this on behalf of the universe to get Chuck to take a stand against Amara.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: Although it initially gets his ass thrown across the room, it appears that Metatron reminding Chuck that Humans Are Special and calling him out on just giving up on the Earth actually manages to not only renew Chuck's belief in mankind, but in himself.
  • Seen It All: After being called out by Metatron, Chuck flips on a row of TVs to show the latest calamities on Earth caused by Amara. Chuck says they all look like reruns to him.
  • Shout-Out: Sam and Dean used the aliases of Agents Greer and Ehart. Greer and Ehart are members of the band Kansas, which performs the song "Carry On My Wayward Son."
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Chuck is really uncomfortable about anyone kneeling before him and calling him God.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: While he denies Parental Favoritism, Chuck refuses to think of Lucifer as ever having been a villain.
  • Take That!: A subtle jab at the failed Spin-Off Bloodlines and Metatron called Season 2's "All Hell Breaks Loose" melodramatic. There was even a subtle take that at the series itself as Metatron mentioned how Supernatural is unrecognizable to the general audience.
  • Time Abyss: Chuck, who is older than than literally everything, including time, and speaks quite casually about the days when it was just him and his sister in vast nothingness.
  • Tranquil Fury: Chuck's reaction every time Metatron implies or outright accuses him of having done a bad job or having made mistakes. It becomes a full-blown Berserk Button when Metatron calls him a coward.
  • Undying Loyalty: Dean is fully prepared to die along side of the infected Sam, going so far as to suck in a big lungful of the infectious fog, only to discover that the fog has no effect on him.
  • Wham Line: A case where the significance comes from who is saying it:
    Chuck/God: (to Sam and Dean) We should probably talk.
  • What If God Was One of Us?: Chuck has been hanging out on Earth for years. The Winchesters and Castiel have been searching and waiting for God for half a decade not knowing that they've known him as a close friend for years.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Played with. As Metatron has been Brought Down to Normal, Chuck gives him some sunglasses (possibly enchanted) before showing His divine light. Even if Metatron can't see Him right (and he isn't shown to the viewers), he knows exactly who this is immediately.
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