While investigating a haunting, a comic shop proprietor assumes Sam and Dean are in a role playing game. He shows them a series of books called Supernatural by Carver Edlund.
The boys are shocked to find that the books document their life over the past four years. They discover an online fandom - with both Sam Girls and Dean Girls and Slash fans - and track down the woman responsible for publishing the books. She is wary of them until they reveal their extensive 'knowledge' of the characters, and that they even have tattoos like the characters in the books. The publisher reveals the books were written under a pseudonym by Chuck Shurley. Chuck Shurley is astonished to be confronted by his "creations." He reveals the stories comes to him in visions. His latest vision has revealed that Lilith will visit Sam, and that they will have a night of "fiery demonic passion".
While Sam seems keen to confront Lilith, Dean thinks they should avoid her by doing the opposite of everything Chuck has foreseen. While hiding out in a motel room surrounded by hex bags to hide him from Lilith, Sam asks Chuck if he knows about him drinking demon blood. Chuck says he does, and he confronts Sam about why he is doing it.
Meanwhile Dean is trying to avoid doing what Chuck foretold, but the events keep coming to pass whatever he does. Dean accuses Chuck of withholding information and attacks him, but is stopped by Castiel who reveals Chuck is a prophet of God, and that his books will one day be known as the Winchester Gospels.
Dean returns to the motel to find Sam has burned the hex bags so that Lilith will find him. Frustrated, Dean threatens to leave, but changes his mind and just storms out into the parking lot. Desperate, Dean starts to pray and Castiel appears. Castiel gives Dean information on how to stop Lilith, revealing that Chuck is protected by an archangel who will intervene if Chuck is threatened. By putting Chuck in the same room with Lilith, the archangel appears and Lilith flees.
Following the confrontation with Lilith, Zachariah appears to Chuck after he has another vision. While it is not revealed what Chuck saw, he wants to warn Sam and Dean, but Zachariah tells him not to. Chuck threatens to kill himself, but Zachariah says they will only bring him back to life. In despair, Chuck asks what he should do. Zachariah replies, "Do what you always do. Write".
- "Leave All This Behind" by Sonny Ellis (Black Toast Music)
- (plays while Sam and Dean discuss Lilith in the diner)
You're asking questions like the building's haunted. Like those guys from the books. What are they called? Uh... Supernatural. Two guys, use fake IDs with rock aliases, hunt down ghosts, demons, vampires. What are their names? Uh... Steve and Dirk? Uh, Sal and Dane?
Sam: Sam and Dean?
Clerk: That's it!
Dean: You're saying this is a book?
Books. It was a series. Didn't sell a lot of copies, though. Kind of had more of an underground cult following. Let's see. Um... Ah. Yeah. That's the first one, I think.
Dean: Everything is in here. I mean everything. From the racist truck to – to me having sex. I'm full-frontal in here, dude. How come we haven't heard of them before?
Sam: They're pretty obscure. I mean, almost zero circulation. Uh, started in '05. The publisher put out a couple dozen before going bankrupt. And, uh, the last one – No Rest for the Wicked – ends with you going to hell.
There are 'Sam girls' and 'Dean girls' and – what's a 'slash fan'?
Sam: As in... Sam-slash-Dean. Together.
Dean: Like, together together?
Dean: They do know we're brothers, right?
Sam: Doesn't seem to matter.
Oh, come on. That... That's just sick. We got to find this Carver Edlund.
Sera: Oh, my god! That was one of my favorite ones, because Dean was so... strong... and sad and brave. And Sam... I mean, the best parts are when they'd cry. You know, like in – In "Heart," when Sam had to kill Madison, the first woman since Jessica he really loved. And in "Home," when Dean had to call John and ask him for help. Gosh... if only real men were so open and in touch with their feelings.
Well, there's only one explanation. Obviously I'm a god.
Sam: You're not a god.
How else do you explain it? I write things and then they come to life. Yeah, no, I'm definitely a god. A cruel, cruel, capricious god. The things I put you through – The physical beatings alone.
Chuck: I am so sorry. I mean, horror is one thing, but to be forced to live bad writing... if I would have known it was real, I would have done another pass.
'Sam tossed his gigantic darks into the machine. He was starting to have doubts about Chuck, about whether he was telling the whole truth.'
Sam: Stop it.
Dean: 'Stop it, Sam said.' Guess what you do next. 'Sam turned his back on Dean, his face brooding and pensive.' I mean, I don't know how he's doing it, but this guy is doing it. I can't see your face, but those are definitely your 'brooding and pensive' shoulders. You just thought I was a dick.
The guy's good.
This is the guy who decides our fate?
Castiel: He isn't deciding anything. He's a mouthpiece – a conduit for the inspired word.
Dean: The word? The word of god? What, like the new new testament?
One day, these books – they'll be known as the Winchester gospel.
This isn't a story anymore. It's real! And you're in it! Now I need you to get off your ass and fight. [inspirational music plays
] Come on Chuck.
Chuck: [music stops] No friggin' way.
Dean: Okay, well then, how 'bout this -- I've got a gun in my pocket, and if you don't come with me, I'll blow your brains out.
Chuck: I thought you said I was protected by an archangel?
Well, interesting exercise. Let's see who the quicker draw is.
The point is, she's scared. I could see it. Lilith is running.
Dean: Running from what?
Sam: Don't know. But she was telling the truth about one thing.
Dean: What's that?
She's not gonna survive the apocalypse. I'll make sure of that.
Chuck: What am I supposed to do?
Zachariah: What you always do. Write.
Trivia & References
The boys use the aliases of "Agents DeYoung and Shaw." Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw are members of the rock band Styx.
When the comic book shop owner suggests "Sal and Dane" as one of the possible names for the brotherly duo, this could refer to Sal Paradise
, the narrator of the novel On the Road
by Jack Kerouac.
Eric Kripke paid homage to On the Road
by naming Sam and Dean after its two main characters Sal and Dean, though Kripke decided he didn't like the name Sal
for one of the leads and changed it to Sam.
The cover of the Supernatural
book features a character strikingly similar to Fabio
, who became famous as a model on the cover of romance novels.
Although Simpatico says the demon storylines are trite, cliched and overall craptastic...
- Simpatico is the name of a poster on the Television Without Pity message boards.
There's Sam Girls and Dean Girls and... What's a slash fan?
Sam: As in Sam slash Dean, together.
Dean: Like together, together? They do know we are brothers right?
Sam: Doesn't seem to matter.
Dean: Well that's just sick!
- Sam Girls and Dean Girls are fans dedicated to one or other of the brothers.
fanfiction is stories written by fans depicting characters in a same-sex romantic and/or sexual relationship. In the Supernatural fandom, Sam/Dean is known as Wincest
The idea of Supernatural
being a fictional construct is an example of breaking the fourth wall.
Many of the references here, (e.g. the boys crying a lot, the books having a small readership, and the references to the fan base) are of course referring to the TV series.
What's Carver Edlund's real name?
Publisher: Oh no. Um. No. Sorry, I can't.
Sam: We just want to talk to him. Y'know, get the "Supernatural" story in his own words.
Publisher: He's very private. Just like Salinger.
- Salinger is a reference to author J.D. Salinger. Salinger, who died in 2010, was famous for being a hermit was fairly anti-social.
The list of book titles matches the list of episode titles: "Supernatural", "Wendigo", "Phantom Traveler", "Bloody Mary", "Skin", "Hookman", "Bugs", "Home", "Asylum", "Scarecrow", "Faith", "Route 666", "Nightmare", "The Benders", "Shadow", "Salvation", "Bloodlust", "Croatoan", "Heart", "Sin City", "Fresh Blood", "Mystery Spot", "Jus in Bello" and "No Rest for the Wicked."
Carver Edlund, the pen name used by Chuck Shurley, is an amalgam of the names of Supernatural
writers Jeremy Carver
and Ben Edlund
. At one point he asks Sam and Dean if "Phil put them up to it," possibly referring to co-executive producer and director Philip Sgriccia
Is this some kind of Misery thing? Ah, it is, isn't it? It's a Misery thing!
- In the Stephen King novel Misery, writer Paul Sheldon is held captive, tortured and forced to write for his 'number one fan' Annie Wilkes.
In Chuck Shurley's house there are framed copies of the covers of the real Supernatural
comics Origins #3
It's very Vonnegut.
Dean: Slaughterhouse Five-Vonnegut or Cat's Cradle-Vonnegut?
Chuck: It's Kilgore Trout-Vonnegut. I wrote myself into it. I wrote myself, in my house, confronted by my characters.
- Kurt Vonnegut was an American writer. In his book Breakfast of Champions, he wrote himself into the book, as well as a recurring character called Kilgore Trout (a science fiction writer based on the real writer Theodore Sturgeon), who confronts the author character.
- When an author writes her/himself into a story, it is known as self-insertion. A particular form of this in fanfiction is the Mary Sue.
It was too preposterous. Not to mention arrogant. I mean, writing yourself into the story is one thing, but as a prophet? That's like M. Night-level douchiness.
- A reference to writer M. Night Shyamalan who has appeared in small cameos in his movies. In the film Lady in the Water Shyamalan cast himself as a writer whose work would "change the world" - an instance of what many critics saw as a Mary Sue.
Well, if you like burgers, Oprah's girlfriend said we have the best bacon cheeseburgers in the country.
- A reference to Gayle King when she did her America's Best Burger episode on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
— a writer's assistant on the show — came up with the idea for the episode. Kripke talked about the process of developing the episode at Comic Con 2009
At Comic Con 2009
Kripke said "he has a "tempestuous, loving, conflicting" relationship with the online Supernatural fan community, and that the meta episode "The Monster at the End of This Book" gave him a chance to lovingly make fun of them (Source
The title sequence for the episode featured a montage of images from covers of the Supernatural books featured in the episode and ended with a title card "Supernatural by Carver Edlund."
The comic shop clerk's name is Dan Dabb, after Daniel Loflin
and Andrew Dabb
). Dabb suggested including "LARPing," according to Eric Kripke
. (Knight, Nicholas. Supernatural: The Official Companion Season 4. Titan Books, 2010: 99).
The comic book store was called Golden Comics.
The now-bankrupt publisher of the Supernatural books was "Flying Wiccan Press: Publishers of Quality Science Fiction and Graphic Novels."
's LSAT score was 174.
Everything is in here, from the racist truck to me having sex. I'm full frontal in here, dude.
- The book Dean is reading relates the events of 1.13 Route 666.
confirms his two favorite songs are "Ramble On" and "Traveling Riverside Blues", both tunes performed by Led Zeppelin
. (The latter was originally made famous by Robert Johnson
Sam and Dean reveal their anti-possession tattoos to the publisher to demonstrate they are real fans, and she reveals her own. In an interview with Firefox News
in March 2008 Sera Gamble
said "I'll be convinced we're truly a cult hit when a fan gets the same tattoo." Many fans already had!
foreshadows his divinity/real identity
), which is further hinted at in 5.22 Swan Song
Chuck: Well, there's only one explanation. Obviously I'm a god.
Sam: You're not a god.
How else do you explain it? I write things and then they come to life. Yeah, no, I'm definitely a god. A cruel, cruel, capricious god. The things I put you through -- The physical beatings alone.
Lilith is possessing a dental hygienist from Bloomington, Indiana.
The diner was called Kripke's Hollow, possibly a reference to Stars Hollow, the fictional town in Gilmore Girls,
which featured one of Jared's first big roles. The Kripke refers to series creator Eric Kripke
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts