I'm a massive Jensen Ackles fan. He's a brilliant actor and a total sweetheart, and I'm completely addicted to his work.
Other than that, I'm Aussie, I hit 31 this year, and I love pink (the colour, not the singer).
Yup, that's pretty much me.
Metatron was performing a spell in 9x18, “Metafiction”.
He was making sure, as he discusses with Gadreel at the end of the episode, that Heaven stayed securely closed.
And how did he perform that spell?
He ensured that Dean and Castiel did not reunite, but stayed on their separate paths - Cas as a leader of fallen angels, Dean on his further descent into the darkness invoked by the Mark of Cain.
Metatron’s spell was performed with Griffin feathers and fairy bones.
Griffins, according to their origins in Greek mythology, have the body of a lion and the wings and head of an eagle. This recalls the description of Seraphim we have from Isiah in the Bible - six winged beings with the faces of a man, an ox, an eagle and a lion.
We know Cas is a Seraph, and he calls attention to his feathered form in the episode, when he tells Dean he misses his wings.
So, Cas links to the Griffin feathers in Metatron’s metafictional spell.
Dean is already linked to bone through his connection to the First Blade (made from the jaw-bone of an ass - or “old donkey teeth” as Crowley calls it).
But why fairy bone?
Well, Dean has been abducted by fairies before of course (6x09 “Clap Your Hands if You Believe”) but there is also the ”inappropriate” subtext (so-called by Cas in “Metafiction”) which has linked Dean in particular to queerness since the show’s inception (“fairy” as a [derogatory and partially re-claimed] slang for “queer”).
Metatron’s original Heaven-emptying spell involved objects concerned with angel-human love (heart of a Nephilim, a Cupid’s bow, grace of a loving angel - namely Castiel). Here we see him consolidate that spell by keeping that same loving angel (Cas) and the person of his affections (Dean) firmly apart.
As the episode ends we watch Dean and Cas part company unhappily whilst a satisfied Metatron plays the Walker Brothers’ “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine”, a song all about losing love:"The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine AnymoreLoneliness, is the cloak you wearA deep shade of blue, is always thereThe sun ain’t gonna shine anymoreThe moon ain’t gonna rise in the skyThe tears are always cloudin your eyesWhen you’re without love, baby”………….
Metatron’s spell of “un-love”, woven of feather and bone, is complete.
I love when the smart fans get all thinky and researchy on the finer details of an episode. Reading this stuff after makes it even better. Thanks!
Robbie, thank you for the amazing “Meta Fiction” episode! It’s definitely ranked as one of my favorite episodes of SPN and I can’t stop watching it now.
I loved how you found a possible - and believable way - to bring The Trickster/Gabriel back (and god, how was good to see Richard Speight Jr back to my favorite show) and his interaction with Cas brought me to tears, because in my opinion, perhaps Cas had all the excuses to run away from his feathered brothers and yet he risks himself constantly to make up for what he has done in the past while he could actually turn his back and say to himself that he has tried enough (this is one of the reasons why I love Cas so much).
Thank you for having Metatron as an amazing villain (hey Curtis Armstrong, sometimes I try to hate Metatron but I can’t. He is so megalomaniac that I want to see his fantasies go wrong so he could be taught a lesson!) but as also a representation of writers - jabs about the continuity, about what makes a story A story and for the acknowledgement that the subtext IS part of the story as well (I won’t start rambling about it, I swear!).
Having Sam confronting Gadreel and Gadreel’s deathwish (and yay, I was right about some things involving Gadreel) were also the highest points of the episode to me: I think that Gadreel actually hates what he has done to everyone, but he isn’t the villain here, he clearly wants to make up for the things he has done in the past (in Heaven and now). Tahmoh Penikett is amazing, bless him!
Also Robbie, thank you for not excluding my opinions about Dean and Cas, for not making me question myself if I am wrong about what I see when it comes to them. Interpretation is a very particular thing and yet it can’t be said that “different interpretations are wrong” because people read what is presented to them, they read in between the lines, they take subtext in context and at the end, our interpretation is valid. That being said, thank you. <3
This. All of THIS.
Supernatural’s Metatron has been painted, thus far, as a self-important and manipulative douche.
We first get to meet him in Ben Edlund’s last episode for Supernatural 8x21 “The Great Escapist”.
Metatron describes God in that episode as “a bit of a sexist” - a self-aware joke about the perspective which a slice of the SPN fandom has of The Powers That Be on SPN (with good reason - re the regular past despatch of female antagonists to the tune of ”bitch” and “whore” in the scripts).
Metatron is therefore, as a creation, a writer’s dig at TPTB; a self-reflexive, self-aware joke.
9x18 “Metafiction” (Robbie T’s version of Edlund’s creation) runs with this, hard.
Metatron, arguably, spends the episode using an absurd and fantastical spell (feather of Griffin plus bone of fairy - see here http://drsilverfish.tumblr.com/post/82933467509/metatrons-metafictional-spell-the-ingredients) to keep Dean and Cas apart (thus sealing the secret “back door” to Heaven).
This of course becomes, in an episode which comments directly on the codes and conventions of storytelling, in-story (which is what meta-fiction sets out to do) a meta-commentary on Season 9 itself; namely on the (equally absurd) lengths to which TPTB has gone to keep Dean and Cas apart, all season.
There has always been dissent in SPN’s Heaven; so too, the character of Metatron suggests, in the writers’ room…
Robbie Thompson continues to be my absolute favourite of all the supernatural writers/producers ever. He is a fucking superhero and makes this show so incredibly amazing. Never have I been disappointed by his work on this show.
Robbie Thompson, I LOVE YOU.