This review may contain spoilers.
After some of the weaker episodes of this sixth season, I have commented that it appears that the writers of this series are clearly running out of ideas. Recycling old monsters and familiar storylines is commonplace for many long running series, and it would be foolish to think that "Supernatural" could avoid the same fate.
While some storyline regurgitation is to be expected, nothing could have prepared me for what happened in this episode. Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padelecki) get teleported to an alternate universe in which they are actors, using their actual names, playing in a series called "Supernatural." Sure, there is a very flimsy story here about them fighting the angels and being teleported to serve as a distraction, but in the end, the episode really is pretty pointless. It was just a way for the cast and crew to engage in a little self-indulgence.
This episode may be the point that viewers can point to as the beginning of the end: the point where the series officially "jumped the shark." For those who are unfamiliar with this phrase, it refers to the classic television series "Happy Days." At the beginning of its fifth season, the iconic character Fonzie (Henry Winkler) jumped on water skis over a shark. Though the series followed this episode with several more seasons, the quality of the program was never the same again.
Despite the criticism, the episode had its share of laughs and was entertaining in its own right. It was penned by Ben Edlund, who is, by far, my favorite "Supernatural" writer. This was not, however, his most memorable work. Still, a marginal episode of "Supernatural" is better than most programs on broadcast television, even if it leaves a shark in its rearview mirror.
Points Of Interest
1. Jared Padelecki is indeed married to Geneveive Cortese, who portrayed the demoness Ruby.
2. The scene in the gunshop appeared to be a subtle tribute to the classic 1984 film "The Terminator."
3. Misha Collins apparently does have a Twitter account, but his tweets did not follow the show.
4. The title of the episode is an apparent parody of "The French Connection."
The notion that Jared and Jensen refuse to speak with each other is quite funny. So many of these stars are ego maniacs and depicting them as having a real life rifts is quite humorous, even if it isn't true. It's even funnier if it is true.
It was nice to see what the creator of the series actually looked like. His death scene was hilarious, but not nearly as funny as Misha Collins, who plays Castiel, being addicted to Twitter and crying like a little girl.
What Didn't Work
The entire concept fell a little flat. Alternate realities are fine in small doses. Jumping into our reality is just plain silly. Perhaps I was supposed to be amused by Sera Gamble complaining about Eric Kripke, but I just wasn't. It felt like I was on the outside of a few too many inside jokes.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“Supernatural” stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. “The French Mistake” was written by Ben Edlund and directed by Charles Beeson.
“Supernatural” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on The CW.
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