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S05.E08: Changing Channels

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When Sam and Dean get trapped in a series of TV shows, they suspect the work of the Trickster.

 

Whereas I think The End may be the best episode of S5, I think Changing Channels is actually my favorite episode. I just love it when the show messes with form and makes fun of itself at the same time.

 

I love the Trickster and thought the Gabriel revel was an interesting twist. So much silly fun going on in this episode, I can't even recount all the things I love about it.

 

"Should I honk" never fails to elicit a roaring howl out of me. ;)

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Jared really makes the episode. From his interaction with the nurse in love with him to his spot-on Horatio Caine impression he just sells it.

Herpexia!

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I agree DittyDotDot: I just love this episode. It's so much fun. And I smile just thinking about "Should I honk?"

 

I also agree with mertensia. I think this is one of Jared's best episodes. He manages to be funny while at the same time entirely selling his frustration at the situation while at the same time trying to solve the puzzle.

 

Not only did I like the Gabriel twist, I thought Richard sold it as well with some of my favorite Trickster bits here and his entirely believable "reasoning" during the Gabriel reveal. I entirely believed his frustration at the situation and his desire for it to just be over already after so many years of the conflict just waiting to happen.  I loved both his "Hellooo: Trickster" delivery and his taunt of Castiel with "How's the hunt for Daddy going? Let me guess: awful." Those expressions he makes afterwards always amuse me.

 

I also loved Sam and Dean's difference in philosophies at the beginning of the episode which slowly evolved into Dean's smooth transition into going with Sam's idea to try to get the "Trickster" to see their side and help them. Dean's psychoanalyzing of Gabriel was spot on and his letting Gabriel go as a sign of faith was smart and foresighted. So this was one episode that nicely blended the comedic with the mythology where the mythology wasn't just given a small mention, but where the mythology part of the episode had some important developments.

 

It's tough for me to choose a favorite episode of season 5 since I like so many of them, but if I had to choose one, "Changing Channels" would be it.

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Love this episode and it never ceases to be funny.  How much fun must they have had making it?  And the "full house"-like theme song at the beginning, with them playing football and riding a two seater bike, etc, the bright colors, Dr Sexy... all perfect!
 

I would totally start watching procedural cop shows (which I also hate) if Jared and Jensen were the main actors, lol.  

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I always feel like I'm th eodd bird out because I don't really love this episode other than the Dr. Sexy part.  I really didn't like the reveal of the Trickster being Gabriel. It's not a terrible episode and it's funny but it just is not one that find as good as most people.

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Probably my favorite episode of the series too.  Like others have said, this is easily Jared's best episode.  Too often I find that Jensen is turning in a brilliant performance while Sam broods and sneers and broods and quivers his lip and broods and clenches his teeth and broods.  But in this episode, Jared kills it.  From Dr. Sexy M.D. (Is he McDreamy here?) to what's likely Alan from Two and Half Men to the best Horatio Caine impression ever.  The way he cocks his head back while marching to the crime scene is just brilliant.  And Dean's catch phrase ... "son of a bitch!"  God, I love it!

 

What make it such an overall standout, though, is that it's not just hilarious fun.  There's serious mythology here, a big revelation about the key players, exposition explaining just why Dean and Sam are the vessels, and a real sense of impending doom by the end.  It's a wonderfully crafted episode, right down to the ridiculous Japansese game show where our heroes are getting jacked in the junk, and yet the questions are about Sam betraying Dean and Dean wishing Sam was never born.  Dude ...

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I enjoyed this one. Loved the "meta" jokes and didn't expect the Trickster was really an archangel. I take it they encountered him in a previous season? I wondered why these two were the vessels of Michael and Lucifer and the obvious solution.

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I really liked this one.  The tv spoofs were hilarious, especially the sitcom opening credits where they just nailed it.  This show is at its best when it gets clever.  But then when you thought this was just a silly diversion episode, it gets serious and you learn who the Trickster really is and why he is so interested in Sam and Dean.  So it moves the main plot forward very importantly too.  Great all around.

Edited by Dobian
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When your conference call is cancelled at the last minute, so you turn on the TV and this episode has just begun.  It's gonna be a good day ...

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This was definitely a fun episode.  I loved the twist on the motel room, bright, sunny and "daisy" compared to the dark and dingy motels they usually stay in.  I bet that's a running bit with the set designers, how cheap and sleazy can they make these motel rooms.

The various TV show bits they did were great.  One can never tire of making fun of Horatio Caine (and the actor).  And the Gabriel/Trixter twist was unexpected and cool.  I sortof wish we knew what Sam and Dean did "the first time" so we know whether they are making some actual changes that may in fact change the outcome. amd whether talking to Gabriel was one of the changes.

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I love the hotel room set, especially now that I realize it's a cleaner sitcom version of the room they were really staying in. The sitcom opening is beautiful. I'm deeply amused that Sam gets STDs two episodes in a row. This season does a good job of making the funny episodes into serious ones. I'd completely forgotten that the Incredible Hulk was involved in this one. "I've wanted to gank that mother since Mystery Spot." I like that he says the name of the episode. My niece made me watch episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" over the weekend, so I think I appreciate the parody more. Dean completely fanboying over "Dr. Sexy" complete with fluttery musical cue is greatly amusing. I like Richard Speight. "Lady. What the hell?" Sam's issue with the sexy doctor who keeps slapping him is greatly amusing. I like Castiel saying they've been missing for days after Gabriel told them they had to survive 24 hours in TVLand. Clearly he's lying to them about their time line. Or there never was a case to investigate in the first place. Knight Rider parody is funny. 

The Gabriel twist is a good one, but seriously makes me wonder what he was trying to pull back in Mystery Spot if Sam and Dean fighting for the Apocalypse was his end game. I say this knowing full well Kripke didn't want angels before season four, but still. Gabriel is definitely the nicest archangel. I love Gabriel pointing out the similarities to between Michael/Lucifer and Dean/Sam. Gabriel sounds sincere when he says "I'm sorry." I love Dean telling off Gabriel, but, um, water spreads a grease fire. 

I kind of wish we could have gotten a Dark Angel, Smallville or Gilmore Girls parody in there somewhere. 

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I really like this episode.  Might be one of my all-time favorites.  The sitcom opening credits are great  - I'll bet they had a lot of fun filming those bits.  Just when I thought the Dr. Sexy spoof was the best, they got to the Knight Rider one.  "Dean, that feels uncomfortable" when Dean is digging around in the trunk.  Lol.  And I like the "should I honk?" line too.  Once again (thanks TripleD for making me notice this) the angel stands perfectly in the middle of the ring of holy oil they've poured out.  And apparently doesn't notice it on the dry dirt ground until after it's lit.  

On 7/3/2017 at 11:28 PM, bettername2come said:

but, um, water spreads a grease fire. 

My thought exactly - this time and the first time I watched it.  Unless it was holy water?

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31 minutes ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

Once again (thanks TripleD for making me notice this) the angel stands perfectly in the middle of the ring of holy oil they've poured out.

Ain't I a stinker? ;)

32 minutes ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

My thought exactly - this time and the first time I watched it.  Unless it was holy water?

It's funny, I'd never really thought about this before, but you're right, of course. Or, maybe, since it was one of their typical crappy warehouses, it wasn't just water in those pipes?

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On 03/07/2017 at 11:28 PM, bettername2come said:

I'm deeply amused that Sam gets STDs two episodes in a row. This season does a good job of making the funny episodes into serious ones. 

wait, that's what "the clap" meant? why is it called that?

-----

okay, my family was LAUGHING the whole time from the very beginning. we were cringing so hard looking at that "theme song" and absolutely lost it when we saw them riding the bike. dear pete.

dean being a soap fan is NOT surprising at all, that is absolutely dean through and through. he likes getting dramatic and complex with feelings.

when the nurse said "I love you" and sam just stared. LOL.

mother thought it was just way too funny for sam to do that commercial because she felt the show knew of all people dean would have been the best choice. the camera shot straight to the woman's crotch was just TOO MUCH AND SO TRUE in TV. like um we get it folks.

dean's face when he thought he was going to get ball slammed, HAHA

sam hamming up his horatio performance, the neck angle and the swinging shoulders. he and dean making the helper laugh was just so funny.

"Where did you even get the holy oil?"

"Let's just say I pulled it out of Sam's ass."

why is it that every time i think SPN has lost their mind on what it can pull off, it proves me wrong? 

i don't understand what michael was saying about "two brothers who loved each other, betrayed each other" um like who. there's sam but dean didn't betray anyone. speaking of i thought that dean wouldn't have trusted sam so soon on his idea about the trickster since it was almost mirrored to his argument for ruby, but i'm leading off.

as for the fire getting out, i didn't think the water took the fire out, but rather the ground was made damp and lessened the power the oil was on.

i liked the beginning song of the elevator scene with dr sexy and piccolo so i searched it up, so many comments about SPN, lol!

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On ‎5‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 9:30 AM, Hanahope said:

The various TV show bits they did were great.  One can never tire of making fun of Horatio Caine (and the actor).  And the Gabriel/Trixter twist was unexpected and cool.  I sortof wish we knew what Sam and Dean did "the first time" so we know whether they are making some actual changes that may in fact change the outcome. amd whether talking to Gabriel was one of the changes.

Well, we know that they were apart the whole time.  I don't know that this particular talk with Gabriel would affect much, but maybe that's just me. Great epi, though.

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On 7/3/2017 at 10:28 PM, bettername2come said:

I kind of wish we could have gotten a Dark Angel, Smallville or Gilmore Girls parody in there somewhere. 

I didn't realize until this moment that I need Dean and Sam holding coffees and talking fast about why they are talking fast. 

Y'all, this episode was amazing. Ah-may-ziiiiing. I already love the trickster episodes. This one was hilarious. The question about whether the hulk had reason to be mad at the dead guy cracked me up. All of the parodies were hilarious but the freaking Knightrider reveal almost killed me. Also the hotel room as set. It's funny because I noticed it looked like one of their rooms, but high key, so I was looking for it when they showed the room. Also, Castiel getting jettisoned every time he showed up. 

I did not see the Gabriel thing coming. It has been bothering me why the Trickster basically tried to prepare Sam for Dean's death. I am still not sure I totally get it, but there was some relationship implied there and I even wondered how he knew what was happening. Was there some sort of supernatural news station. Well, duh, Companion, they already told you there was. Except angels. Presumably he was getting the broadcast just like Anna. I think this was the first twist that completely shocked me (with the caveat that some of it has been spoiled by comments, etc.). So you combine a twist that totally got me with a really fun concept and this episode absolutely nails it. 

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