The episode starts with the Angel turned scam artist Balthazar showing up, hastily explaining that the Angel Raphael is winning the civil war in Heaven and has put a hit out on the Angel Castiel and everyone else who opposed him, including Balthazar, Sam, and Dean. In order to protect his stash of stolen weapons from Heaven, Balthazar gives Sam and Dean a key and casts a spell. They are thrown through a window … only to land on a stunt pad.
Turns out that they’re in the real world, where they are the actors Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, stars of the television series Supernatural.
This isn’t a terribly original premise. Among other things, I recall a similar gimmick being played in Hercules and/or Xena (it’s all a blur). Even on Supernatural, this angle has been explored before.
In the season 4 episode “The Monster at the End of This Book” (a title inspired by one of my favorite children’s books), Sam and Dean discovered that a series of trashy horror novels were based on their exploits, written by novelist turned prophet of the Lord (who was exploiting visions of their lives).
Last season, they even ended up drawn into a Supernatural fan convention.
To get a flavor of how subtle some jokes in Supernatural can be: When sucked through the window, they fly at the window and there’s a freeze-frame as they collide with it, followed by an immediate cut to commercial break. Earlier in the episode, the producers and crew had discussed how to deal with a technical error that lost footage of them actually crashing through the window. One of the crew suggested a freeze frame, which was identified by the director as “passable,” with a hint of distaste in his voice. When they later pull off that exact gimmick … now, that’s good TV.
- Episode 6.14 – “Mannequin 3: The Reckoning”
- Episode 6.13 – “Unforgiven”
- Episode 6.12 – “Like a Virgin”
- Episode 6.11 – “Appointment in Samarra”
- Episode 6.10 – “Caged Heat”
- Episode 6.9 – “Clap Your Hands If You Believe”
- Episode 6.8 – “All Dogs Go to Heaven”
- Episode 6.7 – “Family Matters”
- Episode 6.6 – “You Can’t Handle the Truth”
- Episode 6.5 – “Live Free or Twi-hard”
- Episode 6.4 – “Weekend at Bobby’s”
- Episode 6.3 – “The Third Man”
- Episode 6.2 – “Two and a Half Men”
- Episode 6.1 – “Exile on Main Street”
- Supernatural Seasons 4 & 5
- Supernatural Seasons 2 & 3
- Supernatural Season 1
- Smart Pop Books – Supernatural: Reload