So the Trickster .... really wasn't a Trickster? Huh...
Will come back to that later.
The ep opens like a sitcom with Jensen saying "Supernatural is filmed before a live studio audience." Cheesy sitcom, I might add. Kind of reminded me of Three's Company (why, yes, I am showing my age... *g*). Dean with a huge sandwich and saying he's gonna need a bigger mouth, when Sam enters. The boys' lines and nuances are so incredibly cheesy. Dean's "research" shows itself in the form of a scantily clad girl. Sam works the bitchface and goes, "Dean...." Dean looks at the camera with a "sonofabitch!" line. Then the "opening credits" begin and they kind of remind me of Laverne & Shirley (again, I am showing my age... heh).
Then suddenly we cut to a scene from "Dr. Sexy, M.D." And guess who Dr. Sexy is - Steve Bacic!! Aka Camulus and.... oh heck I can't remember at the moment who else, but he was in Stargate SG-1! *geeks out* And then we pan out to see Dean glued to the screen watching it. Sam can't believe Dean's a fan and asks when he hit menopause. Heh.
Still in the real world, the boys investigate what appears to be a bear attack. Mrs. Randolph says to the boys that she thinks her husband was killed by The Incredible Hulk. Dean the fanboi asks if it's Bana or Norton. She says the movies were awful, it was the tv version. Aka Lou Ferrigno.
Sam finds candy car wrappers at the scene of the crime and thinks they may be dealing with the Trickster. Dean says "I've wanted to gank him ever since Mystery Spot." Hee. Sam wants to talk to him, though. Thinks they might be able to get him to come over to their side and ally with them in this war. Dean objects because of how the Trickster kept killing him back in Mystery Spot. But he begrudgingly goes along with it when Sam says if it doesn't work then they'll kill him. (Shallow note, but did anyone notice Sam's wearing that checkered shirt he wore in Dead Man's Blood and The Usual Suspects? Love it)
They get a call over the police scanner and run over to an abandoned building, but when they get inside, they end up actually in Dr. Sexy M.D. Dean is geeking out (saying that Dr. Sexy is sexy because of his cowboy boots, for one thing) and Sam looks at him saying "yeah, you're NOT a fan." Dean says it's a guilty pleasure. Heh. And then a nurse slaps Sam in the face twice.
The in-joke regarding JDM's character in Grey's was cute. :)
They learn that Dr. Sexy is the Trickster who has trapped them inside tv shows as a "game" that they have to play. Everyone thinks that Dean and Sam are doctors, and a guy wants them to help his wife. Dean tells him off, and the guy retaliates by shooting him. Sam has to perform the operation. Nice cap there, Sam. Heh.
Then we end up in a Japanese game show called Nutcrackers. Cas very briefly appears but is whisked away before he can take Sam and Dean with him. That bit was kinda....... well let's just say poor Sam. *g* Not only about ... that part...heh, but also as far as the questions were concerned. Asking him to name the demon who he chose over his own brother, and then asking Dean if his parents would be alive if his brother hadn't been born. OUCH. But it does sort of fit in with something we learn later, which I'll get to. Don't want to get ahead of myself here.
Bwahahaha, the boys doing an ad for genital herpes medication. Poor chagrined Sam, and Dean reminding him he wanted to go along with it.
After the commercial we go back to the sitcom. Cas appears but gets beaten up and then finally taken away by the Trickster. The boys want out of this but he insists they have to say yes to their "roles" ... meaning Lucifer and Michael. They started this and now they have to play out their roles. Okay, so what does this guy know about all that and what interest does he have in seeing play out (and why he presumably doesn't want to take sides)? But we'll get to that, too.
Next we cut to a CSI show. Sam and Dean in their sunglasses at night.... *fans self* I just love how Sam goes all David Caruso when he does the "jackpot" line. Dean is funny in the way he rants about how he hates this kind of show... about what kind of guys wear sunglasses at night and stuff. They see a cop sucking on a lollipop and think it's the Trickster so they go over with stakes. Dean stabs him, but turns out he's got the wrong guy. Trickster appears behind them, and then Sam stabs him.
Then they end up in the abandoned building that they were entering before all this. Seems like it's over until Sam is gone, but we hear his voice in the Impala. Because now Sam IS the Impala, much like Kitt on Knight Rider (yeah, still showing my..... nevermind). Dean drives off with the Knight Rider theme in the background and Sam talking to him. Cute when Dean opens the trunk and roots through it, and Sam tells him it makes him feel uncomfortable. And the little "ow!" when Dean slams the trunk shut. Hee.
Dean summons the Trickster but they learn that he isn't actually a Trickster as they encircle him in holy fire. He's an angel. The angel Gabriel (like Sam's "are you Grumpy, Sneezy or Douchy?" line). At first I was a bit surprised, but it actually makes sense the way he seemed so interested in talking about the apocalypse and Sam and Dean assuming their "roles"... if he was just an ordinary Trickster, I can't see him so invested in it. Unless he thought he was giving the boys their "just desserts" for their roles in bringing on the Apocalypse. But I can't see him as a Trickster doing anything of that magnitude. So it does make sense here.
And going back to poor Sam in the Japanese game show with the "anti-Sam" questions and the Trickster emphasizing his role in this whole thing ..... As much as it hurt, it makes sense now that we know the guy is an angel. All the angels have been this way to Sam as they've been working to drive he and Dean apart last season. So he's just being another "douche" and it fits with his character.
He tells them his story, about how he loved his father and all, and that he left because he couldn't watch his brothers tear each other apart. He just wants this whole thing (apocalypse) over. Sam tells him it doesn't have to be that way. Gabriel says that it's about two brothers that loved each other and betrayed each other - and maybe they can relate? Wow. So he said *two brothers* and betrayed *each other.* Not just "Sam betraying Dean".
He basically says that the boys ARE Lucifer and Michael. Michael was the big brother who was loyal to Daddy; Lucifer the little brother who is rebellious to Daddy's plan. He says it's their destiny, and one brother has to kill the other. Noooooooo. :( Dean echoes me and says it's not going to happen, but Gabriel shoots back that it is. The boys look a bit overwhelmed. Aw.
But then Dean says that this isn't about a prize fight or destiny, it's about Gabriel being too afraid to stand up to his family (hmm, I wonder if there was anything else behind that?). Gabriel asks if they're just going to leave him there, and Dean says that he isn't like him. He activates the sprinklers to put out the fire. So they just let him go then?
Outside Dean asks Sam if all that stuff Gabriel said is true. Sam says "I think HE believes it is." Dean asks him "what do we do?" Sam says he doesn't know. Dean wishes they were in a TV show, and Sam agrees. Oh, boys. There's so much resting on your shoulders. :(
So, parting thoughts.... Well, Kripke said this would be a "fun apocalypse" and there was a lot of silly and in-joke stuff in this one, but a more serious theme in the background besides the revelation of The Trickster as Gabriel. The whole mantra that this is the boys' destiny, how the story of Michael and Lucifer relates to them, and of course the fact that they both betrayed each other.
I'm really getting worried. I hope the boys won't lose their will in this fight; that they won't give in to becoming vessels and fighting against each other, leading to one having to kill the other. I guess that seems to be the most likely scenario, though. *sigh* Not going to try and think about it. But after hearing Dean say that they keep each other human and that they'd make their own future in The End, and then seeing the two of them at the end of this ep..... Well I guess we'll just have to see how it plays out. I'm not going to preoccupy myself agonizing over it though, it'll just make me crazy.
One final thing. And I say this as a Sam girl. Yeah, there was some harshness directed toward Sam, esp. in the Japanese game show part, but it was totally in character for who the Trickster ended up being. This was his playground and being the asshat angel that he is, he would be harsh toward Sam. Not saying I liked it, but I understood it. Just trying to be objective. :)