The Fangirl Business: A Supernatural Podcast

15.2: "The Winchesters" E11 - Red String Edition

December 06, 2023 Season 2 Episode 15
15.2: "The Winchesters" E11 - Red String Edition
The Fangirl Business: A Supernatural Podcast
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The Fangirl Business: A Supernatural Podcast
15.2: "The Winchesters" E11 - Red String Edition
Dec 06, 2023 Season 2 Episode 15

We'd love to hear from you! Reach out to us via this link to let us know what you're thinking!

In this episode, Chrisha and Catherine talk jackets and callbacks, Lata's relationship with Maggie, queer media texts, the implications of this being an autobiographical story (told from Dean's perspective), and the interesting messaging behind the song "You've Got a Friend", after which the episode is named.

Central to the episode is their discussion about Lata's rejection of blood family above all else, and the implications it has as a response to the messaging of Supernatural's finale, as well as its real-world importance.

The Winchesters audio clip credits: The CW
Supenatural  audio clip credits: The CW
SPN CE Jensen virtual panel November 15, 2020 audio clip credits: Its Daily Jensen on YouTube
JIBCon 11 Jojo and Drake panel February 24th, 2023 audio clip credits:  Aurélie Kitty on YouTube
Jensen Ackles tweet: "Well, hey there sailor" from Twitter.
Music clip credits: "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor and Carole King

Follow us on Twitter @TheFangirlBiz and on Bluesky

Join our Kofi Discord community at $1/month:

Support our podcast by buying our new merch:

Thanks for listening!

Show Notes Transcript

We'd love to hear from you! Reach out to us via this link to let us know what you're thinking!

In this episode, Chrisha and Catherine talk jackets and callbacks, Lata's relationship with Maggie, queer media texts, the implications of this being an autobiographical story (told from Dean's perspective), and the interesting messaging behind the song "You've Got a Friend", after which the episode is named.

Central to the episode is their discussion about Lata's rejection of blood family above all else, and the implications it has as a response to the messaging of Supernatural's finale, as well as its real-world importance.

The Winchesters audio clip credits: The CW
Supenatural  audio clip credits: The CW
SPN CE Jensen virtual panel November 15, 2020 audio clip credits: Its Daily Jensen on YouTube
JIBCon 11 Jojo and Drake panel February 24th, 2023 audio clip credits:  Aurélie Kitty on YouTube
Jensen Ackles tweet: "Well, hey there sailor" from Twitter.
Music clip credits: "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor and Carole King

Follow us on Twitter @TheFangirlBiz and on Bluesky

Join our Kofi Discord community at $1/month:

Support our podcast by buying our new merch:

Thanks for listening!

15.2: "The Winchesters" E11 - Red String Edition

Disclaimer: Welcome to The Fangirl Business: A Supernatural Podcast. The information presented in this podcast is intended to be for entertainment and educational purposes only. It should never be used in place of advice given by a mental health or medical professional or as a substitute for mental health treatment. If you are struggling with a mental health issue, please seek treatment from a mental health professional in your area.

Intro Instrumental Rock Music: “Play the Game” by VooDoo Blooze

Chrisha: Hello, and welcome to this episode of The Fangirl Business

Catherine: I'm Catherine. 

Chrisha: And I'm Chrisha and today we are here to talk about season one episode eleven of The Winchesters, “You've Got a Friend” and we are back for part two, covered in red string. It's hanging out of our hair, it's under our shoes– 

Catherine: Coming out of our noses. 

Chrisha: It's just kind of everywhere. *Catherine is already laughing in the background* Because this episode… *makes a desperate noise* Like… 

Catherine: *chuckling* Yes. Mmhmm. I have lots of things in all caps in my notes with lots and lots of profanity. 

Chrisha: Yeah, that sounds right. 

Catherine: But I think… See you always have way more than I do when it comes to things – especially Destiel-related – I caught a few but I have a feeling that you caught more than I did because you usually do. But I will say to start it off: they do mention that Samuel has a cabin in a place called Burr Oak–

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Carlos: Okay, the two of you need to get out of town and out of sight.
Mary: Uh… what about my dad's hunting cabin?
Carlos: Burr Oak is definitely off the grid.
Mary: Yeah.

Catherine: –which is a twenty minute drive from Lebanon.

Chrisha: Sure is! Looked at that on the map and was like, ‘Oh, y'all think you're funny, don't ya?’ *Catherine cackles* It’s home to like, a hundred and forty people or something, even today. Today, like 2023. So there's like three, and they must have been all hunters back in 1972.

Catherine: But they really do drop a lot of stuff in there for people to go digging. I mean, they are having a lot of fun with their audience willing to do the digging, we will find things. So thank you very much to everyone involved.

Chrisha: It's so fun. Because you know when they drop an actual name, when they make something solid like that you're like, ‘Oh, there's something’. So when I brought up the map I was not surprised, I was like ‘There it is.’ *both laugh* It's just fun. It really is a fun back and forth.

Catherine: It is. It is, and it's nice to be experiencing this kind of rapport because a lot of the stuff with Supernatural was very much feeling like a one-way street, particularly at the end. So having this kind of playfulness between the team that's writing the show and producing the show and putting the show out for us to watch and the fandom, it's just a very nice feeling. 

Chrisha: Mmhmm. It is, yeah. 

Catherine: So at the end of the last episode you were like, ‘By the way, I think those green line things were supposed to be the radio connection through the ether stuff’. And I was like– *imitates herself gasping in surprise* Because they mentioned the CB radio again twice in this episode–

Chrisha: Uh huh, they sure did. 

Catherine: –and I was like, ‘Oh, they're making a big deal about it’ and then I felt like there was– I just didn't understand, there was so much that happened. I didn't understand but yeah, the first time was when Mary said–

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Mary: Okay, if you guys find anything, just hit up the CB or call.

Catherine: –and then once when Carlos says that–

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Carlos: And the CB radio and phone are both dead. And I tried to call for Ford and Carrie, but nothing.

Chrisha: Right.

Catherine: And they did follow through! 

Chrisha: They did!

Catherine: I was just too much a stunned bunny by that point to be able to take it in. 

Chrisha: *chuckles* There's a lot happening. Yeah. So yeah, they– they showed through Betty's eyes, all of the Akrida-controlled humans–

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Betty: ¡Dios mío!

Chrisha: –beaming up to– So help me God, if it's something called the mothership I will just… *Catherine laughs as Chrisha grumbles* I will never forgive Jensen Ackles.

Catherine: *still laughing* No but… Last time I was like, it must be the hive mind, but I guess it's probably that psychic tether controlling between the Akrida and the stung person, right? I'm guessing that's what it is and how they're controlling them is through that connection through the ether, which is a lot like the unseen tether between a radio and the radio player. You don't see the two things connecting but they're there. Okay, that was probably way too in-depth.

Chrisha: No! It's– I'm just sitting here think– Because I had thought it was their connection to the queen, but I think that yours makes more sense.

Catherine: Yeah, I was thinking hive mind in the last episode. And now I'm like, wait, wait, wait, we figured out the Akrida possession. They're not literally inhabiting the body of the person they're in, they're controlling them through the stingers through some sort of a link, much like WiFi, which is also controlled by radio waves. Yep. I feel totally normal.

Chrisha: Would this be a decent time to point out that when the shadow came all of the lights popped like when Cas came [referencing Cas’ first appearance in season four, episode one of Supernatural]?

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
*no audible dialogue, just sounds of explosions and things shattering amongst screams from various characters*

Catherine: *stunned* NO… Those bleep-bleep-bleep-bleeps.

Chrisha: *laughs* Speaking of wavelengths, yeah… So, there's that. What’s interesting to consider: what was it about Cas that popped all the lights? Was it his wavelengths? 

Catherine: Right! *processing this information* Riiiiight… Oooooohhh…

Chrisha: But I mean, Cas is the one that spoke through the radio several times and that's where we started, was Cas. So having all of the radio stuff in an episode where the lights popped because of a shadow.

Catherine: *muttering* Good lord, shadow wings… I'm seeing what you're laying down now. It took me a minute.

Chrisha: *pleased* Alllllll just comes back around.

Catherine: Oh, dear Lord. One of the things that we just discovered tonight as we're recording – and it was from Sara from our Discord, and I mentioned in the last episode we would have a shout out specifically in the red string portion, thank you! – she uncovered that the costume designer for The Winchesters was the costume designer for Supernatural from 2012 to 2020. *Chrisha sighs heavily in the background* Kerry Weinrauch. Uh, that explains so much.

Chrisha: So she's the one with all these damn jackets!

Catherine: Yes! Yes. I was literally saying in the Discord, it's either the exact same stuff and Jensen Ackles stole like a lot *Chrisha cackles* or they were able to figure out the sourcing, and then Sara was like, ‘Oh, I found this on IMDb’. And I was like, ‘Ohhh, that makes more sense’. Even though the image of Jensen Ackles stealing everything from the wardrobe department is quite lovely.

Chrisha: I'm sure it was all on the up and up, but it's just much more fun to imagine him sneakily sticking things up his shirt or like into Baby's trunk, you know? It’s just really fun to imagine that [meaning Jensen] walking out with like, ‘Why does it look like you're wearing ten shirts?’. ‘I dunno. It's weird.’

Catherine: ‘I'm just really in character today.’

Chrisha: ‘I was just cold. It's Canada.’

*both start giggling* 

Catherine: ‘I'm taking the Winchester layers to new levels.’ *sighs fondly* Oh, good Lord.

Chrisha: So jackets! We have some things to talk about. 

Catherine: We do!

Chrisha: These friggin jackets.

Catherine: Wardrobe and jackets. 

*they both fall silent Chrisha huffs meaningfully and Catherine starts laughing*

Catherine: And then we both just fall silent, like–

Chrisha: It's the Purgatory coat! Like Mary is wearing the Purgatory– And it's striking because she doesn't wear just straight black like that.

Catherine: No, she does not. 

Chrisha: And so it is striking not only that she is wearing black, but then it's the jacket that Dean is wearing in the pilot of The Winchesters, and it is the same jacket that Dean wore in Purgatory in season fifteen [of Supernatural] when he spilled his heart out on his knees to Castiel. 

Catherine: Yep! 

Chrisha: *voice getting more intense* And this is the jacket that Mary wears while she goes and fights to free John. She fights for her love. *muttering* It’s fine. 

Catherine: Mmhmm! *voice quivering with excitement* This is the jacket that she wears when she says–

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Mary: Your past does not define you.

*Chrisha making strangled noises of agreement*

Catherine: –to John while he's self-flagellating.

Chrisha: I have a lot of caps– *laughs as Catherine makes incoherent noises* –around that exact thing!

Catherine: Tell me more. 

Chrisha: “Your past does not define you” [repeating Mary’s line from the excerpt].

*excerpt from season fifteen, episode nineteen of Supernatural, Inherit the Earth*
Dean: Sorry, Chuck.
Chuck: What? What?!
Dean: See that's not who I am.

*both take audible calming breaths*

Catherine: ‘This was how it always was gonna end’. No, no, no, no, no, no says The Winchesters. No, no, this is not how it was always going to end. Your past does not define you.

Chrisha: Yes. And the “that's not who I am” line from fifteen nineteen [season fifteen, episode nineteen of Supernatural], I think it's a different jacket, but it's another black jean jacket that Dean is wearing when he delivers that line. So, no, it's not absolutely madness at all. No, no, no, no, no! Okay.

Catherine: We talked about this in the last episode, but if you forgot, this is an episode where the director is someone who worked in production design, and was talking about how she tells stories through the placement of keys on a mantel instead of in a drawer kind of deal.

Chrisha: So we have Mary, who is wearing the Purgatory jacket. And then we have John, who is wearing a blood covered version of Dean's Despair [season fifteen, episode eighteen of Supernatural] jacket, that sort of hunter green. 

Catherine: Had you figured that out before I said that in the Discord tonight?

Chrisha: Nope. 

Catherine: Okay.

Chrisha: Nope. Nope, nope, nope. I was so taken out by the Purgatory jacket that I couldn't even process anything else, let alone the fact that it's got blood on it.

Catherine: Right! That was what twigged me, I was like, ‘why is this seeming very familiar with the imagery here?’ And then I was like *imitates a dramatic gasp* ‘No!’ And then I went and looked and apparently it's not the same jacket. 

Chrisha: Super close.

Catherine: But it's super close. 

Chrisha: So close.

Catherine: Down to– I mean, sometimes the difference between a jacket will be like, the buttons are shiny or they're matte. And this one, it even has the same color buttons. I think they might be a little differently placed. Jenny, shout out, thank you!

Chrisha: Funhouse mirror, mmhmm.

Catherine: I did not notice that the first time that I watched it either. And it wasn't until nearly the end of my first watch-through that I noticed the Purgatory jacket. And then this time around, I was watching it and I was like, ‘Wait’.

Chrisha: Well, so the Purgatory jacket I knew was coming because they posted some behind the scenes pictures before the episode. And so that was one of those like, fandom experiences where they posted that and the fandom was like, ‘What is she wearing? What is happening?’ And actually, the behind the scenes picture of John that they showed was him wearing that kind of mustard corduroy jacket, which is super Jack, by the way. 

Catherine: Oh, is it? 

Chrisha: I mean, Jack wears that color and he wears corduroy, so he hasn’t worn that exact jacket but all of his signature clothes, a lot of them are in that ballpark. I don't know what to do with that but…

Catherine: Neither do I. I was reading it more on my screen as sort of like an olive green rather than a mustard-y color but…

Chrisha: It looked different in the episode versus the behind the scenes just casual pictures. So yeah. I did clock that, too. So, alright, we just need to frame this real quick and then we can just go wherever it is we're gonna go, but we have Mary who is wearing the Purgatory jacket and the Dean wherever he is jacket–

Catherine: It's like the Dean confession jacket.

Chrisha: Right. We have John wearing Dean's Despair jacket–

Catherine: Which is the Cas confession jacket.

Chrisha: Mmhmm. We have the Erebus bracelet. It brings on a shadow and then makes you tell the truth.

Catherine: Oh, my God. Okay.

Chrisha: We were just comparing, in the last episode, the Akrida and how they were kind of Empty-esque in a way, that black stuff kind of coming on and taking over. And then we also have the lights poppin’ like Cas’ entrance, but then going back to Dean's narration he's talking about ‘at a certain point we all run out of road’ and ‘it's what we do at those crossroads that define us’. So like, at the beginning of the episode, I was already thinking that Dean is processing his death and trying to figure out what to do, and then this whole episode is little thing, little thing, little thing, little thing that all echo the end. That echo Cas and The Empty and, um– 

Catherine: And the beginning, as well, with the wings… Okay, so– *putting it all together* Okay, so like– *overwhelmed* Okay. *both laugh* So the Purgatory jacket is The Trap [season fifteen, episode nine of Supernatural], which is the Dean confession. And if you saw our season fifteen podcast, there's this line where I swear to God, it sounds like Dean is like, ‘I love you’. But it's not captioned that way. It's captioned as ‘I--oh--". I'm sorry, I listened to that through headphone speakers and I– Yeah, anyway, so there's that jacket and then there's the Despair jacket where Cas is confessing his love for Dean. The bracelet would symbolize talking about the truth.

Chrisha: Yeah, the shadow reminded me of The Empty coming up, like the way that the shadow went along the walls and grabbed?

Catherine: Riiiiiight.

Chrisha: The shadow literally came up the walls and then grabbed them and yanked them to another place.

Catherine: *sounds like she has her hands over her mouth* Oookaaayyy… Okay.

Chrisha: And then also it was ‘the truth shall set you free’ which is very much ‘happiness is in just saying it’ kind of thing. So…

Catherine: *processing this* Oookaaayyy… And... Okay, okay.

Chrisha: *cackles* Welcome, welcome to my brain. It's just swirling, swirling, swirling.

Catherine: *laughing a bit breathlessly* Oh, dear.

Chrisha: It came up and grabbed them and then put them in this room where Lata had to relive her worst memory.

Catherine: Right, which is what The Empty does. Relive your worst moments–

Chrisha: Your biggest regrets.

*excerpt from season fifteen, episode thirteen of Supernatural, “Destiny’s Child” plays*
Ruby: Why do they call this place The Empty? This place is full. It's full of sorrow and despair playing over and over again, of angels and demons dreaming about their regrets. Forever.

Catherine: And also what Purgatory does, the things that you regret come up more in Purgatory.

*excerpt from season fifteen, episode nine of Supernatural, “The Trap” plays*
Castiel: Well, this place will bring that out in you. Guilt.

Chrisha: That's right. And then again, with the Erebus being Purgatory-esque in terms of the Greek underworld–

Catherine: Good Lord. 

Chrisha: Mmhmm. Mmhmm, mmhmm.

Catherine: So, literally the black underworld space that's just darkness, which is The Empty. Like, literally the Empty–

Chrisha: Literally! Li-ter-a-lly.

Catherine: –is just darkness, like a plain black stage that they put together. Oh, my goodness gracious me. I haven't gotten all the way there.

Chrisha: Mmhmm. And that's just step one of what makes me bonkers about it. I’m happy to move on when you're ready.

Catherine: Just sitting here processing that. 

Chrisha: Yeah. Yeah, that's fair. 

Catherine: Okay, my stuff was not nearly as big as that. I was talking about closets and closet shots. I had like three different closet shots, basically; one was a cupboard. So what do you have? Because I feel like it's bigger than that.

Chrisha: Well, I think they're related. Because the other piece of what I have is that – I kind of referenced this in last episode, but I genuinely believe that subtextually but like, gosh, barely –  this was a queer story about Lata and Maggie. I think that there was a lot there telling us that Lata and Maggie's relationship was not platonic, that it was romantic.

Catherine: Ohhhh, okay. You know what? I was kind of like, ‘Yeah, but no…’. Okay, so tell me more. 

Chrisha: So they spent a lot of time at the beginning very much showing us that Lata knew things about Maggie that Mary did not. And I feel like the show has been leading us towards both Mary and Lata being close to Maggie, but at the beginning the focus was Mary because she was the main character I guess, but it felt significant that Lata was talking about how she knows about this bracelet and Mary was like–

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Mary: Why did Maggie never tell me about this before?

Chrisha: They made a point to show this. They made a point to show us that Lata knows Maggie well enough to know her hiding spots and to know why she had her hiding spots.

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Carlos: Okay, uh, not to doubt your genius, but the room where people have three meals a day is Maggie's secret hiding spot?
Lata: Mary and Samuel both shared Maggie's obsession with Toastettes. 'Scuse me.
Carlos: Samuel Campbell? Toastettes?
Lata: The man contained many layers. It would get quite cutthroat around here over who would get the last one. That's why Maggie kept her own private stash.
Carlos: Rat poison?
Lata: The last place you look for treats.

Catherine: And also with Carlos right? She went to Alice Cooper…

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Carlos: Look at you two idiots.
Lata: We were on our way to see Alice Cooper at the Cowtown Ballroom.
Carlos: You went and saw Alice without me?
Lata: I'm sorry. So sorry.
Carlos: Nope. Mm-mm. Retroactively never forgiving you for that.
Lata: Ok. Well…

Chrisha: And she didn't even tell him, which I feel like, again, that was something for just the two of them. We also, going to your closets, have Carlos and Maggie’s closet.

Catherine: Yes, yes.

Chrisha: So some of it upon second watch. I was like, ‘Okay.’

Catherine: It started off with her having just the picture of Donny Osmond above her bed and how she would say goodnight to him every night, so that grounded her thoroughly in kind of a cis-het background. But in this episode we see queer icon, Cher, is on the wall right next to Donny Osmond. 

Chrisha: Uh huh. And Carlos makes sure to highlight that. So we have Carlos, who was just in her closet, kissing Cher.

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Carlos: I love you.

Catherine: Right. Okay. The queer character acknowledging the queer icon in the bedroom of the person who is having two icons, male and female, in her room. Okay. My eyes have been opened.

Chrisha: So a couple other things. Maggie had a pet name for Lata, she called her ‘sweetpea’. She called her that twice.

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Maggie: Hey, sweetpea.
[later in the episode]
Lata: That’s not true.
Maggie: Come on, sweetpea.
Lata: You do not get to call me back.

Chrisha: And, you know, not saying that friends don't have pet names, but that is typically more associated with romantic relationships. 

Catherine: Yes, it is. 

Chrisha: And Lata’s cardigan that she was wearing throughout the episode was basically rainbow.

Catherine: Yeah, it was very colorful. I did notice that. Okay.

Chrisha: For me, honestly, I know it pinged for a lot of folks very quickly, you know, the ‘Ooh, I ship it!’. Like as soon as Maggie and Lata were on screen they were like, ‘Oh, hey!’. I didn't get there immediately. For me, I didn't get there until the end when Carlos was saying–

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Carlos: If you need time to tell them your story, take it, because it's your story to tell. 

Chrisha: Because I was like, ‘Oh, that's gay’. Yes. Okay. And then I was like, ‘Why is it gay? Oh, that's why it's gay.’ *both laughing* Oh, my God, Lata’s queer! 

Catherine: Last episode I was like, ‘Oh, I wasn't expecting you to go in that direction!’

Chrisha: Oh, my God, Lata’s queer, I see it now: they’re all bisexual, every last one of ’em! Except for maybe Mary? *Catherine giggling delightedly in the background* I don't know that we know that one yet, but we've had the bi moments with John, we already know Carlos, now Lata because she's getting down with Tony so we know she likes boys. And I'm like, ‘Wow. This is the bi show. It's amazing!’ 

Catherine: *still laughing* Oh my gosh! 

Chrisha: *excitedly* And then the found family! Like they bring it– I just– I was a wreck. I was a sobbing wreck. Like, I still can't believe that this happened on my television screen. 

Catherine: Oh my word.

Chrisha: Sweetpea. 

Catherine: Wow. See, it's so interesting… Because just to, like, dwell in this for a bit, I for most of my life was a very repressed bisexual. Yeah, I was one of those ‘Well, of course, everyone feels a little bit of something for the same gender as they are, like, that's just everybody. Come on’. When I even acknowledged that at all, right? So my experience of Supernatural was a very cis-het experience of Supernatural until I got to [season 10, episode 5] "Fan Fiction." And they literally spelled it out for me. *Chrisha chuckles knowingly* And then I went, ‘Ohhh, what's this about?’ And then I noticed the mixtape moment [season twelve, episode nineteen of Supernatural, “The Future”] because I was watching it in progression, right? And I was like, ‘Oh, they’re doing a thing!’. And that's meant to be a romantic thing for the people that like this thing here. It was literally like, when I say my eyes have been opened… You're seeing all of this stuff through a lens of heteronormativity where it's all right in front of you, it's just something being spoken in a different language--only it's visual. And when you start to see it, it's a very exciting experience. And for me, this is so personal because it was through my journey of uncovering Destiel that I began to acknowledge my own sexuality. What's fascinating to me is I feel like I've come a long way, right, in terms of being able to see without that heteronormative pair of glasses, but this moment right here that I've just experienced, shows me how deep that way of seeing goes and how it can still continue to blind you to things that are right there in front of you. This is still a process of learning and growing, and I think that's part of why I get this kind of deep excitement because it's not just something about a show. It's something about me that I'm learning through this process, and learning about a community that I'm a part of, but I'm still finding my way into, you know what I mean? So thank you for like, walking me through that to the point where I was like, ‘Oh, the posters! Right! There it is!’ Now I'm seeing the language that is visual that I was missing before. I was wondering why they had those two posters next to each other on the wall. *using an oblivious voice* ‘Why did they make that choice? I don't know.’ Maybe because. Yeah.

Chrisha: And one of the windows, too, in the cold room, it didn't have pink but it was blue and purple. 

Catherine: Oh, my word

Chrisha: You know… It’s like, okay. Okay.

Catherine: Now we know. Now– Remember, remember, when we started this series? How I was like, ‘I don't know what to do with this, but there's bi lighting in that title card for The Winchesters.’

*both laughing*

Chrisha: Now it’s the bisexual show, which like, I mean… Like the window, right, reminded me of the windows in the church–

Catherine: In the church! Because they're that arched shape.

Chrisha: –is that same in season fifteen as when Dean and Cas have Jack and the Occultum [episode thirteen, “Destiny’s Child”] – it's one of the times that Dean and Cas got married, it's like so many times that they did. But yeah, very similar lighting, very similar window. 

Catherine: Yes, exactly. One of the things that made those windows stand out to me is because often in church scenes, the stained glass will be pictures. And it was not, it was just giving off this light from the full moon or whatever and it was the bi lighting, but it still had the lead work, which is similar to the lattice work on the windows in this episode of television in The Winchesters. And yes, also a lot of church windows have that kind of rounded top shape.

Chrisha: Yes. I also want to echo, I didn't have a ton of literacy about subtext and certainly about queer subtext until Supernatural. Supernatural as a show and as the fandom and here podcasting with you is where I've really recognized the deeper messaging that is in the things that we watch, the things that we read, the things that we consume, which has completely revolutionized the way that I experience media. It's revolutionized the way that I experience media with my children, and having this understanding now of the subtle messaging and what that can do both positively and negatively, absolutely this fandom taught me that, hundred percent. So I just want to echo that same thing, too, that these things are real world important. They're important to me as a person, as a queer person, as a parent, as the therapist, helping people untangle like, ‘Why did I have this emotional reaction to whatever it is? Where did I– Where did I learn this thing that I wrestle with?’ So it's really helped in so many ways, but bringing it back, I guess, to the subtext of it all– Which we haven't talked about subtext much in The Winchesters because it's just text. It's just right out there, just right there. Bless. Ugh. It's so nice. *sighs happily and then laughs*

Catherine: It really is. I mean, there's a reason why we've been talking about red string instead of subtext, because when we're putting together the pieces in this series, it's all about solving the mystery. And so it's very much story related, and the things they choose to reveal at different times will fill in those puzzle pieces for the mystery, Which is very different from subtext, which is telling a story that runs parallel to the story that is a surface narrative that has just as much meaning and significance, but is coded in a certain way so that the right people see it, basically. So again, I'm with you. It's refreshing to be talking about not subtext for The Winchesters. I've really enjoyed red stringing it.

Chrisha: I ran into my first thing that I feel like is subtext this time, and I don't know if that's just because it hasn't paid off yet or because I'm frankly just too nervous to call it red string versus subtext if it's like, ‘No, they couldn't possibly!’. One of the things that was inherent in Lata’s story that I felt like was an important piece that I probably should have touched on before, was that part of what happened with her parents is that she defended Sania, who was the family's housekeeper who basically raised her, so this is someone that is very, very close, who lives with them, I would imagine, in the day to day. And her father became abusive to Sania and Lata jumped in to defend her and her mother said that–

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Lata: [...] she was ashamed of me. Said I was wrong to have defended Sania over… Family.

Chrisha: ‘Blood biological family should always come first. No matter what. Always blood family.’ And I felt like that was such a– Wow. Such a– an important, almost shocking, thing to see like, we've had ‘family don't end in blood but it don't start there either’. But this is such a powerful message condemning this idea that blood family comes first. Again, in the finale [of Supernatural], as we keep talking about, like, that was the message at the end. It said ‘It's only blood family and found family is whatever’. And so this was such a powerful message, I guess, that Lata was like, ‘Absolutely not. Like, absolutely not.’

Catherine: Yeah. it was a counter to what we heard in the finale [of Supernatural], where ‘It's always been you and me’, right? So Lata’s rejection of her parents’ messaging is powerful, deeply power– Because she was still– It sounds like she was still very young when she left home.

Chrisha: Well, and it wasn't just her rejection of their message. It was her rejection of them. ‘Okay, I'm out. I'm gone. I will not continue to be in a relationship with you’. Like, rejecting her entire family of origin essentially. 

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Lata: So I left and I never looked back. 

Chrisha: Which is such an– I mean, I cannot overstate how hard that is. Just emotionally, physically, logistically. I just, I can't even fathom what went into that for her. But she absolutely reached her line, and that was before they hurt Sania. So I felt like that was an important aspect of Lata’s story, especially in this episode that seems so much about– And we say this every episode because I think they're all about Dean processing his death, processing how it ended. There's that, and then they're sitting with ‘Okay, so if this is Dean processing his death, processing what happened there at the end, and we now have one confirmed bisexual lead, and two others heavily implied.’Like we can joke and laugh about the bisexual show, but like…

Catherine: Mmph. Yes, in a world where Roxy was able to say openly in the 1970s to relative strangers, “my girlfriend”. It would be incredible if part of this universe is that it's not a thing.

Chrisha: Right. That homophobia is not a thing.

Catherine: Yeah. I mean, who knows what we'll get because that feels scary to say. *laughs nervously* That feels really scary to say. But I mean, it feels like there is something really being built here. And so much of what we're seeing on all levels is basically clapping back to the finale [of Supernatural] and saying, ‘No, this is not what the core values of the show were’. This feels like a repudiation of that finale on so many different levels. This entire series we keep getting messaging that says, ‘Yes, found family is important. Yes, you can have a lead who's queer. Yes, we want women leads. Yes, we want leads who are not white. Yes, we want diversity in all of its forms celebrated in this series’. When all of that was knocked down one after the other in Supernatural.

Chrisha: Mmhmm. With then the undercurrent that it keeps coming back to of what is left dangling between Dean and Cas, even down to–

*excerpt from “You've Got a Friend” plays*
Maggie: And you know that sweet, loving, dear old Maggie shared everything with you, and it hurt her, knowing you never shared your own secrets in return.

Chrisha: The queer relationship in this episode was about one sharing their truth and the other not because they were too scared. 

Catherine: *with deep emotion* Yes

Chrisha: So it's just… *Catherine sighs heavily in the background*

*excerpt from season fifteen, episode eighteen of Supernatural, “Despair” plays*
Cas: Happiness isn't in the having, it's in just being. It's in just saying it.
*later in the scene*
Cas: I love you.

Chrisha: *intensely* The lights popped! The light bulbs popped! Like, come on!

Catherine: *laughing* Well, and I mean, as if we needed any more clarity when we have that shot of Carlos opening the closet and sweeping aside the coats in it. Like the fandom hadn't already memorialized in our collective consciousness that shot that Richard Speight Jr. gave us [in "Reflections"]. The jacket on the left when Carlos opens Maggie's closet is a yellowish tan, and on the other side, it's some sort of dark thing, which is exactly how things were set up in the Richard Speight shot from inside the closet looking out. And now you have the openly bi man opening the closet and having those same colors on either side, right? And then they keep opening closets and cupboards and having the same shot over and over and over again and I was like, ‘Why are they doing that in this episode?’ Well… *both laugh* It happens with the cupboard in the kitchen, but then it also happens in the clubhouse with Mary opening another closet.

Chrisha: Yeah. The other piece of this that I– Is that The Winchesters’ official account tweeted a GIF *she pronounces it like Jiff*  or GIF *she says it like Giff*. I say GIF. *she says it like Jiff* Just, everyone cope. 

Catherine: *giggling* Thank you, so do I!

Chrisha: We have Carlos going into Maggie's closet and the caption is, “Any more secrets in the closet? Stream a new episode of The Winchesters.” So like–

Catherine: *groans* They know what they're doing. These people are very literate. 

Chrisha: This show is real gay. So like… *both laugh* They know! 

Catherine: They know! They know what queer is. They know what queer looks like on screen. They know. My goodness.

Chrisha: *still laughing* So it seems like they're doing a thing? But it's really hard for me to connect the dots to Dean. That feels scary. 

Catherine: Yes. Yes, it does. 

Chrisha: But it's also like, right there in our face.

Catherine: Yes. And I should say… I think part of the reason why it feels a little bit scary – well, a lot scary. 

Chrisha: *snorts* So many reasons…

Catherine: We have two episodes left. It's pretty clear that at some point Dean is actually going to show up.

Chrisha: I cannot fathom a reality– He's become the focus. Like, it's all about him now. Which, as it should be.

Catherine: It literally finishes the episode with them looking at the photo of him, the car driving off into the sunset, like we've seen the Impala shot so many times. Well, not into the sunset, but off into the countryside and the rolling fields.

Chrisha: Onto roads that look exactly like the one that Dean was on in the pilot.

Catherine: Exactly. Those like, flat stretches that go on forever, yeah. Just with more color this time. And they're saying, ‘We've got to find him. We need to find this man.’ So I mean, the payout’s gotta be there. They've made us wait all season, there are two episodes left, what is going to happen when Dean comes on scene? Are we going to get anything? Is it just going to be all action? We don't know. And the other thing that's hanging over all of this is: usually things kind of come out around March-ish for whether things are being renewed, but it's not looking good at the CW for fiction television–

Chrisha: No, it's not.

Catherine: –scripted television at all. You were just telling me that they recently axed all of their fiction people like… Tell me more.

Chrisha: The scripted television executives, yeah. It seems like there's a couple of them and they fired them both, so…*dryly* Cool.

Catherine: So what does that mean? And meanwhile, Jensen is talking about moving the needle on stuff…

Chrisha: Yeah.

Catherine: But what does that mean…?

Chrisha: And it wasn't necessarily about The Winchesters. It was just about whatever his next announcement is. It just seems like The Winchesters would be–

Catherine: The next one? But who knows.

Chrisha: Yeah but that’s… We don't– It's Ackles. Like, who knows? He talks in riddles.

Catherine: He does. He talks riddles and he plays things very close to the vest, so you don't know until after. Like, he– The man… Listen, we're talking about queer coding, like, this man talks in code all the time. All the time, and it's like, ‘What does he mean? What is he saying? “Maybe I'll be wearing blue and green next time”.’ Like… *scoffs exasperatedly* This man…

Chrisha: *helpfully* That's from a convention answer from before the finale, by the way.

Catherine: Yes.

Chrisha: Like, the week before the finale aired.

Catherine: Yep…

Chrisha: Yep.

*excerpt from SPN CE Jensen virtual panel November 15, 2020 via Its Daily Jensen on YouTube plays*
Jensen: Your question is ‘How many flannels do you own?’ Uh… Well, personally, enough. So today, I felt black and gray. Tomorrow? I don't know, maybe green and blue. 

Chrisha: I have one other quick thing that I just want to throw out. I don't have any conclusions on it. It's just one of those things I want to stick a pin in or note, because it's been three episodes now that this has been referenced, which is Lata’s deal with rats. I can’t figure it out. So in the pilot Lata references that rats are scary. Lata wants to go out into the field and Mary's like, ‘Latika, you nearly fainted when you saw Willard.’ Willard is a 1971 horror film about a character who can control rats and goes on a rampage of revenge against those who've wronged him. So that's the pilot, and then she's like, ‘Oh, you don't think there's gonna be rats involved in this are you?’ Then in episode nine, when she's talking about the clubhouse, she says ‘The wiring is subpar from another era and I think it's being nibbled on by my mortal enemies.’ We also have "Rats," the song by The Kinks in that same episode. And then now in this episode, Maggie keeps her secrets in rat poison. So the thing that would kill all of Lata’s biggest fears.

Catherine: Right. I mean, it's an empty box. It's not actually full of rat poison, but yes.

Chrisha: It’s what she keeps things safe in so…

Catherine: Yeah, ‘cuz nobody's gonna think you would hide stuff to eat in something that even ever contained rat poison.

Chrisha: Mmhmm. So I just thought it was an interesting thru line, wondering what's up with that.

Catherine: Yeah, I have no idea. No idea. 

Chrisha: Hmm. All right. That's all my string. I think that's all I got. 

Catherine: Yeah. I have little to add in terms of music because the– *hesitates* Oh… Oh, dear. Okay. This is literally my brain processing in real time, guys. I’m… Apologies. So the song of the week is called “You've Got A Friend”. That's the title of the episode, and it's – again – named after a song. The song is most famously sung by James Taylor. But it was recorded on the same day by James Taylor and by Carole King in the same studio. Two different versions of the song. So there was a man who sang it and there was a woman who sang it. The same song, on the same day, in the same recording studio…

Chrisha: *singsongs* Funny….

Catherine: I just… To spell it out for you, we were just talking about how Maggie had a picture of Donny Osmond and Cher on her wall, as – probably, yeah – a representation of her bisexuality. And then the title of the song is all about friends. And it's sung by Carole King and James Taylor.

Chrisha: Yes. In Supernatural the big controversy is: are Dean and Cas in love or are they friends, right? It's always: are they brothers-in-ams, are they brothers, are they… *sighs in annoyance* you know, whatever. But–

Catherine: *teasingly* Brothers-in-arms! Brothers! Sam! Brothers!

Chrisha: *sighs* Oh, my God. I'm tired. I've been in this fandom too long. I'm just tired. Anyway–

*excerpt from You’ve Got A Friend (sung by James Taylor) plays*
When you're down and troubled / And you need a helpin’ hand / And nothin’, nothin’ is goin’ right / Close your eyes and think of me / And soon I will be there / To brighten up even your darkest night 

Chrisha: So it's about…

Catherine: Friendship.

Chrisha: It's about friendship, but it's also–

Catherine: Quotation mark. But I mean, it's about “friendship”, quotation marks. But you can read those lines “You need some lovin’ care” [referencing Carole King's version] very differently depending on how you're thinking about it. There are very different kinds of loving care.

Chrisha: It's true, yeah. And it does reference souls later on, too.

Catherine: Good Lord….

*excerpt from You’ve Got A Friend (sung by Carole King) plays*
Now, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend / When people can be so cold / They’ll hurt you, yes, and desert you / And take your soul if you let them / But don’t you let them

Chrisha: So…

Catherine: Oh, my goodness. 

Chrisha: I don't know. But it's all about ‘call out for your friend and they will come back’, so… *significantly* The lights are poppin’!

Catherine: I'm just gonna say this. I don't usually, when things are really bad, sit there and visualize… Close my eyes and think about my friend platonically. *cracks up*

Chrisha: That’s true.

Catherine: Do you know what I mean?!

Chrisha: That is a fair assessment. I would agree with that. Yes.

Catherine: I mean, friends are wonderful, but like… *giggles* There are also different reasons why you call out somebody's name. I'm gonna stop now.

Chrisha: *cackles* We are not changing the rating, so you're just gonna have to figure that one out.

*both laugh* 

Catherine: Ha, the decisions of editing.

Chrisha: Oh boy, I don't know what they're doing. But like, the fact that there's only two episodes left makes me absolutely, like, just… I don't even know an adjective to fit in there.

Catherine: I know. It's like excitement and terror. *laughs in traumatized fangirl* It's– I– I'm terrified that they're going to end it on a cliffhanger and it's not going to get renewed. That's my worst fear. They're gonna have a big reveal and it's gonna leave us kind of going, ‘Oh, that's almost exactly but not quite what we were thinking, we just need a little bit more’, and we're not going to get it. *sighs*

Chrisha: The only reason that I am not specifically afraid of that is because I think they were always going to do a Supernatural reboot, which is always going to be a separate project. And since we have Dean and I'm like, ninety-seven percent sure it's our Dean, post-death Dean, that I feel like they would be able to find a way to continue it and whatever that next project is. 

Catherine: That's fair. 

Chrisha: That may be me, just absolutely like refusing to acknowledge reality. That's fine, too. Reality sucks. *laughs*

Catherine: It does!

Chrisha: So I'll just stay in my happy delusional place for now. I've had enough Supernatural finale-related trauma, thank you so much. *Catherine chuckling in the background* Live in denial. 

Catherine: Oh goodness gracious me. Yes. Happily. I think maybe we can leave it on a note from one of our Twitter peeps, Mary, who shared something for people who are watching The Winchesters; she is not. This was very generous of her. It's an excerpt from Madeline Grumet’s chapter "Toward a Poor Curriculum;" it was published in 2015. So it says, “Thus, autobiography barely recaptures the past or even records it. It records the present perspective of the storyteller, and presents the past within that structure. It employs the past to reveal the present assumptions and future intentions of the storyteller, an elaborate detour that travels through once upon a time in order to reach now. Its truth is provided in its fictions.” So let's break that down a little bit. Basically, what she's saying is – and while I hesitate to call this an autobiography, because technically it is about the previous generation, their big reveal has just been that it's not his actual parents. So to me, that leads to it becoming more autobiographical than biographical, right?

Chrisha: Right. This was really his story and him processing his stuff.

Catherine: Exactly. And so what this is basically saying is that by telling the past, we're learning about the person telling the story. It's not really about the past, it's about the person who is telling us the story about the past and what they believe about it, what their intentions going forward are; the storyteller. And that the truth of the moment is arrived at by telling a story, basically. A fictional story, as much as it may claim to be grounded in reality; it's saying that everything is basically fiction. And so, you know, I sat with that for a while and it scrambled my brain. For a while I was twisting my brain in knots over that. But if we break it down into the fact that I feel like more and more this really is Dean telling us his story through other characters; through telling a story he's telling us his story. I think we're learning a lot about his intentions going forward. I think we're learning a lot about where he is right now. And I'm very excited, whether it's on The Winchesters or somewhere else, to see that story arc continue. And I think we can probably leave it there.

Chrisha: It's terrifying and exciting. Terrifying and exciting. 

Catherine: It is. It is. Well, thank you for opening my eyes.

Chrisha: Sure.

Catherine: I appreciate it. And this has been a very fun episode to record with you.

Chrisha: Yeah! And you know something fun just to add here at the end, I think? In the bisexual theme of it all, is that JIB [Jus In Bello] is going on right now, which is a convention in Rome. And Drake and Jojo had a panel together today in which they were talking about the scene where John gives Carlos the little up down. Um, the little eye, you know, the little check it out. And–

Catherine: He's appraising things.

Chrisha: –how they didn't know that that's what they were doing. It was all in the editing. *Catherine snorts in the background* And so how intentional that was that they slowed it down and they did the sexy music.

*excerpt from JIB 11, panel with Drake Rodgers and Jojo Fleites, February 24th, 2023 plays*
Drake: There’s a moment in that episode where John gives a little up-down. And I want to clear something up on that. Uh, they did not tell us–
Jojo: We all know what– what he's implying, right? What he’s referring to?
Drake: There’s a moment where Carlos comes through the garage–
Jojo: Comes to the garage.
Drake: –dressed in full Navy. *crowd catcalls appreciatively* Lookin’ like a snack. Uh, and the director came over and he's like, ‘Hey, when Jojo comes just like, give ‘em a look.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I thought this was for like, y’know, I dunno… And then they played some sexy music behind it and put it in slo-mo. And it was something totally different on the day? And Jojo and I looked at each other when we– when we were watching it and we were both just like–
Jojo: And we were both like– And we were like, ‘You did what now?’
Drake: ‘I did what?’
Jojo: ‘He looked at me like how?’
Drake: Just like–uhhhhhhh...
Jojo: It was hysterical. We both like, just died. We were sitting on the couch, just like watching, we both just looked at each other like–
Drake: You… You immediately learn the power of an edit.
Jojo: Yep. Immediately.
Drake: What– What they can do to you, um, the power they hold.
Jojo: If you make that choice, but be aware they might use that choice–
Drake: And put it in slo-mo–
Jojo: And put it in slo-mo.
Drake: With the wind blowing the hair.
Jojo: With the wind blowing and everything. Oh my gosh, it was hysterical.

Chrisha: And so like, this isn't subtext in the way that it was in Supernatural, like, they're being very open about it. 

Catherine: That's right.

Chrisha: And also shoutout to Katie for remembering that Jensen tweeted “Hello, sailor.” [**NOTE: The tweet says “Well, hey there sailor.”] *Catherine cackles in the background* So, just in case we're wondering about intentionality, and who knows what.

Catherine: Yes, thank you. *both laugh* Thank you very much. That is a wonderful place to leave it. So you can message us and stay up to date with the latest on our Twitter page, which is @TheFangirlBiz, that's B-I-Zee or B-I-Zed, depending on where you live in the world. You can also join our Kofi at the bottom tier for $1 a month and be part of our delightful Discord group, which is full of amazing people. We've been doing some shoutouts during this episode but again, I wanted to thank everybody who's there.

Chrisha: Truly, y'all are amazing.

Catherine: Yes. Seriously, it's such a rich group of people in terms of sharing ideas and different perspectives. And you never have to agree with us. I was chatting recently with somebody and I get excited when people have different perspectives and–

Chrisha: Yeah, it’s fun.

Catherine: –want to share them like, because it helps me to clarify my own thinking, but also it opens up possibilities that I might not have considered and that's fun. 

Chrisha: It is!

Catherine: That's really fun stuff. So thank you everybody in the Discord, you are wonderful. We will see you again next time and, until then, carry on, Wayward Friends. We love you! Bye! 

Chrisha: Bye!

Outro Instrumental Rock Music: “Play the Game” by VooDoo Blooze plays

Chrisha: And so also, and I'm trying to find it, and of course I can't find *bleep*. *dryly* Please hold, I will be with you in just a moment.
Catherine: *in a British accent* All right.
Chrisha: *humming under her breath* Put in the Jeopardy music.
Catherine: *starts humming the Jeopardy music*
Chrisha: *joins in*