15.04 Atomic Monsters

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SPN-1504.jpg
Title Atomic Monsters
Episode # Season 15, Episode 4
First aired November 7, 2019
Directed by Jensen Ackles
Written by Davy Perez
On IMDB Atomic Monsters
Outline Sam and Dean hunt a monster that's targeting cheerleaders. Meanwhile, Chuck turns to an old friend for comfort.
Monster Vampire
God
Timeline
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Beaverdale, Iowa
Wisconsin
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Synopsis

Characters

Definitions

Music

(plays over the montage of Billy Whitman accepting his death)

Quotes

Dean: The past few days, you've barely come outta your room. Look, man, I get it, okay? With Jack and Rowena Rowena knew what she was getting herself into. She knew what needed to be done.
Dean: Well, local police are freaked. Never seen anything like this. They got no idea how to deal.

Sam: Of course not. That's our job. We keep them from dealing with the truth, with what's out there, and we carry the weight. It's great. Meanwhile, they get to go back to living in their white picket fence bubbles.
Dean: You know, ever since you were a kid, you wanted to live in a town like this. Lame, normal

Sam: Yeah, we don't get normal. And these towns, everything's the end of the world. You're late for work, your kid doesn't get into the right school whatever. They don't. They have no idea what's out there.
Becky: So, after some pretty intensive counseling, I realized I wasn't in love with the real Sam Winchester.

Chuck: Your own... "Supernatural"?
Becky: Where the guys didn't have to hunt monsters all the time. They just sit around and do laundry and talk, you know? I mean, that's what people like the most, anyway.
Chuck: Well, I mean, people like monsters.

Becky: Meh.
Becky: Well, sorry, that's not me anymore, Chuck. I am married to an amazing man, I have two great kids, and I like myself, Chuck. For the first time in a long time, I like myself. So I don't need you.
Chuck: I know. You don't need me. No one does. I'm happy for you Becky, that you like yourself. Because I kind of hate me right now.
Becky: You're a writer, a writer who's not writing. And when a writer's not writing, they feel sad, and they get lost. And the writer asks themselves, "Why do I feel this way? Why am I so sad and lost?" And what does all this navel-gazing and hair-pulling amount to in the end? Procrastination, distraction. Just one of a million ways the writer avoids doing the one thing that is all but guaranteed to make the writer feel better.
Henry: This is not Billy's fault. He was the victim. What were we supposed to do?

Dean: You were gonna let me just cut off your head.

Henry: You don't have children, do you? Because if you did, you would know that to see your child in pain rips your heart out. And you'd know that you'd do anything. You'd die for them.
Chuck: This is just an ending. Yeah. I don't know how I'm gonna get there, but I know where I'm goin'.

Becky: B-But it's so dark.
Chuck: But great, right? I can see it now "Supernatural: The End". And the cover is just a gravestone that says "Winchester". The fans are gonna love it. Well?
Becky: It's awful! Horrible. It's hopeless. You can't do this to the fans. What you did to Dean? What you did to Sam?

Chuck: There, see? It's making you feel something. That's good, right?
Chuck: Oh, yeah. I'm God.

Becky: What are you. No. You bring them back. You bring them back! Please you can't do this.

Chuck: Oh, Becky. I can do anything. I'm a writer.
Dean: Look, man I get it. I get it. We've lost, way, way too much. And it's hard not to feel like just cashing out. I felt like that, after Chuck back at the crypt. But you know what brought me back? You did. Saying that what we do still matters. I mean that's why I dragged us out here, that's why I wanted to work a case. To save lives. You know? Because it is, it's a crap job. We do the ugly things so the people can live happy.

Sam: Yeah. Yeah, lucky them.

Dean: Yeah, lucky them. But it doesn't change a thing. You know what I mean? We still do the job. But we don't do it for us. We do it for Jack, or Mom. For Rowena. We owe it to anybody that has ever given a damn about us to keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what. Hey, man like you said, now that Chuck's gone, we're finally on our own. We're finally free to move on, you know?
Sam: I don't know. I-I don't know if I can move on. You know, I-I-I-I can't forget any of them. Dean, I still think about Jessica. I-I can't just let that go.

Dean: No, man, that's not what I'm talking about.
Sam: I know, I know, I know. I'm sorry. I know. But... But what I'm saying is that I don't feel free. What we've done, what we've lost, right now, that is what I'm feeling, and and sometimes it's Sometimes it's like I-I-I can't even breathe. But maybe tomorrow. You know, maybe I'll I'll feel better in the morning.
Dean: And what if you don't?

Sam: I don't know.

Trivia & References

"Atomic Monsters" may be in reference to the concept of the nuclear family, and how the Whitmans each have done monstrous things to protect their family.
The opening gunfight in the Men of Letters Bunker was meant to evoke the action scenes in the John Wick films.
Sam: Yeah. But every time I ask for it, you say, and I'm quoting, "I don't want any of that hippie, Sarah McLachlan grass-eater crap in the Meat Man's kitchen". Which, by the way, for what it's worth, you got to stop calling yourself "The Meat Man". It It doesn't mean what you think it means.

Dean: Yeah, it does.

Sarah McLachlan is a Canadian singer-songwriter, however she no longer claims to be a full vegetarian or vegan.
A "Meat Man" is a "man with a big ass dick" or literally a man made out of meat. It is uncertain which definition Dean is aware of.
Sam uses the alias "Agent Plant," referring to Robert Plant, lead singer of Led Zeppelin.
Chuck: What are these?

Becky: My maquettes.
Chuck: You make them?
Becky: I run the most successful Etsy site for unofficial "Supernatural" merchandise in the country. Probably the world.

A maquette is a scale model of a sculpture, building, or, in TV and movies, a set.
Etsy is an e-commerce website that specializes in handmade items.
Becky: So, you want me to fluff you?
In the adult entertainment industry, a fluffer is someone whose job it is to get the male participant erect before a scene starts.
Becky: This was supposed to be my catch-up day. I have billing to do, orders to fill, three AU Fic deadlines breathing down my neck.
A "AU" in fanfiction take a number of forms. They include stories that have one or two major points of divergence from canon, for example a world where John was killed by a demon, and Mary raised Sam and Dean as hunters. The other main group of stories takes characters from canon and places them in totally different lives - for example a story set around Sam, Dean, and Cas as college students, or pirates, or burlesque performers on a space freighter.
Dean: So, you, what chopped up the body? Made it look like some wannabe Bundy?
Ted Bundy was a notorious serial killer who targeted and murdered young women.

Minutiae

"Atomic Monsters" marks Jensen's sixth and final directing credit for Supernatural. Because Jensen was directing, the episode was the first filmed for the season to allow Jensen the time to prep before filming started. This meant he still had the beard he'd grown over the summer, which is seen in the opening fight sequence.
Alison Araya, who plays Vice Principal Bailey, previously played Jolene in 6.11 Appointment in Samarra.
Burkely Duffield, who plays Billy Whitman, previously played Ray McAnn in 7.18 Party On, Garth.
Ty Olsson's appearance as Benny at the start of the episode was not originally scripted, and was suggested at the behest of Jensen.
Per Variety: In it, Ackles directed himself in hand-to-hand combat and stunts, as well as a couple of key emotional moments, including bringing back “a character who’s one of my favorite characters of all time,” Ackles says. “It wasn’t even on the page. I said, ‘Can we make this character this person?’ And they were like, ‘If you can get this person — I believe they’re working right now.’ I made the call. He was literally working one day, had the next day off, so he flew in, did one scene, flew out and was working on his other project the next day.”
The song "Sounds of Someday" used in the episode was from the album Vol. 1 by Jensen and friend Steve Carlson's band Radio Company. The album was released the day after the episode aired. Jensen spoke about how the track was included:
“To be honest our editor inquired about it. He said, ‘I know you did some music over the break, do you think we could take anything and plug it in?’ I wasn’t angling for that, I wasn’t pushing that, and in fact we didn’t even tell Bob or Andrew or anybody. We just floated it in there and waited to see if anybody said, ‘I don’t really care for that song, I don’t know who that is,'” Ackles says. “And nobody said that.”

In addition to “Sounds of Someday” Ackles says he had a few other music cues in his director’s cut, including a big one at the end.

“Two of the three got taken out; mine was the last one standing,” he says of his new single. “That was a small victory. That was a nice vote of confidence, especially from a show that prides itself on music so much.”
Sam's nightmare is of a world where he embraced the demon blood and went full Dark Side. It's revealed that he had killed Bobby and Jody and is the leader of a demon army, as Azazel intended for him in 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One. When he kills Dean with his psychic powers, his eyes go black as they did when he killed Lilith in 4.22 Lucifer Rising. In addition, this nightmare appears to be an extended version of the vision Sam had when Castiel tried to heal his wound from the Equalizer in 15.01 Back and to the Future.
The date on the security camera footage of Tori Taylor's abduction is 11/6/2019, one day before the episode originally aired. This means that most of the episode occurred on the same day that it originally aired.
Detail of Becky's Supernatural merchandise

Becky's Sam and Dean dolls are Funko Pop! figures, the same type Crowley received for Christmas in Rowena's nightmare in 11.10 The Devil in the Details.

The Supernatural merchandise in Becky's house was a combination of commercial Supernatural merchandise, items made by fans, and some made by the show. The plaid quilt and other sewn items were made by Stef aka @arachnobite who also made Jensen's Red Hood and Batman costumes. A carved Supernatural themed chess set in the living room was gifted to Jared at the EyeCon in September 2008 by by Sandra Echeverri (@Sanpao19). There are two Crowley and Castiel Christmas Tree Toppers made by Jennifer Anderson.


Becky: And, sure, I got a little obsessed, and it took me to a dark place. What I did to Sam... So, after some pretty intensive counseling, I realized I wasn't in love with the real Sam Winchester. I loved his character. So instead of reading your stories, I kept writing my own.
Becky is referencing the plot of 7.08 Season Seven, Time for a Wedding! in which she drugged Sam with a love potion and married him in Las Vegas.
Becky: If I had to give one note... The jeopardy, Chuck, it's feeling a little thin? Low stakes? It's fun to hear the boys' voices, but a story is only as good as its villain, and these villains are just not feeling very dangerous? Not to mention, there's no classic rock. No one even mentions Cas. The climax is a little stale. Boys tied up again while we get the villains' monologue, which, frankly, isn't one of your best. A little originality wouldn't hurt.

Chuck: You want jeopardy? You want danger? Move! I'll give you danger.

Becky's notes about Chuck's new manuscript can be seen as a meta commentary on the episode itself. Many of her notes such as there being no classic rock and neither Sam nor Dean mentioning Castiel and a cornered Sam and Dean listening to the "villain's" monologue happen in the episode. Her claims of low stakes cause Chuck to write a new dark ending, which is mirrored in the episode when he disintegrates Becky and her husband.

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