Supernatural fans often use the mantra “In Kripke We Trust” to reassure them that creator and Supernatural mastermind Eric Kripke knows what he’s doing. Indeed, Paris Hilton wasn’t terrible when she guest starred, so at least we were right to have faith then. But with the next three episodes, I find myself growing doubtful.
Following the homicidal Castiel visiting a brothel, a homicidal Abraham Lincoln, Paris Hilton and the Tooth Fairy, the next three episodes will feature Dean turning into an old man, the Winchesters living in TV parodies and the boys taking a trip to a Supernatural fan convention. But isn’t Supernatural supposed to be a drama, and isn’t this season about the Apocalypse?
To many fans, it seems like the wheels are coming off the bus and the Supernatural writers are now more obsessed with clever inside jokes about slash fiction than they are with telling a story about Lucifer bringing about the end of the world.
There’s no denying that Supernatural is more comedic than it’s ever been. Season 1 only had one mildly light-hearted episode, “Hello House” with the first appearance of the Ghostfacers. Season 2 saw the arrival of the Trickster in the largely comedic “Tale Tales” and the start of self-referential comedy with “Hollywood Babylon,” but other than that, it was all about Azazel and the psychic kids.
Then the show started becoming more adventures with “Bad Day at Black Rock,” “Mystery Spot” and “Ghostfacers” in season 3, but it was season 4 that really got the weird comedy ball rolling. Episodes like “Monster Movie,” “Wishful Thinking,” “Criss Angel is a Douchebag” and “It’s a Terrible Life” are almost all comedy.
But season 5 has been truly outside the box. While the season started focusing on Lucifer and Castiel’s search for God, it quickly devolved into filler episodes, stand-alone mysteries that are heavily based on comedy. Even the last episode featuring the Anti-Christ didn’t seem to have a whole lot to do with Lucifer, especially since the kid just vanished at the end.
There’s no denying that Supernatural is a different kind of show in terms of tone, but is that necessarily a bad thing? On the one hand, I do wish there was more Lucifer and I want to see the Apocalypse storyline take center stage instead of being tossed onto the backburner for Paris Hilton and Grey’s Anatomy.
But on the other hand, part of me loves the creative inspiration of the Supernatural writers. If you’re able to view these episodes not as part of the overall series and the season and the mythology, they are exceptional pieces of individual fiction. By itself, the Paris Hilton episode was a funny yet serious commentary on modern-day obsession with celebrity.
However, as a part of Supernatural as a series and this season’s primary story arc in particular, it was a huge waste of time and a distraction.
In the end, I always come back to the phrase “In Kripke We Trust.” Surely he’s aware of the fact that Supernatural is more of a comedy and that these light, funny filler episodes aren’t what the fans want all the time. And based on the fact that he’s setting an episode at a fan convention, I trust Kripke and the other writers read enough message boards to get the underlying wave of displeasure surrounding these types of episodes.
All of this leads me to believe that, somehow, Eric Kripke knows exactly what he’s doing and I’m just too stupid to see it. I don’t get how Paris Hilton or TV parodies are related to Lucifer and the Apocalypse, and I don’t understand why the writers would want to waste any time if this truly is the final season for Kripke’s original story.
But: “In Kripke We Trust.” Those four words keep swirling back to the front of my brain, and those four words are what give me the faith to believe that, once this season is over, it will all make sense.