Changing Channels

One of my favourite episodes of Supernatural has to be “Changing Channels,” the eighth episode from season five. Of all its nine seasons, the fifth is my favourite. Its overarching plot deals with Sam and Dean Winchester being chosen as the human vessels for angels Michael and Lucifer (yes, remember the Devil used to be a rebellious angel cast out of Heaven for defying God’s orders?). 

Unfortunately, their refusal to be used as vessels causes trouble with the angels, who are gearing up for the ultimate battle with the demons from Hell. The only solution, according to the angels, is for Michael to destroy Lucifer in a combat that would kick-start the Apocalypse and kill everyone on Earth. 

 The cover of  Supernatural 's fifth season.

The cover of Supernatural's fifth season.

In “Changing Channels," the Winchesters fall victim to the antics of the Trickster, a demi-god known for creating mischief and mayhem. The Trickster was last seen in season three when he killed Dean over and over on a Tuesday to teach Sam the lesson that the brothers are each other’s weaknesses. This time, the Trickster sticks the Winchester brothers in TV Land.

This is my favourite episode because of its comedic value, as well as the lesson the Trickster tries to teach, and its contribution to the overarching plot. The brothers are first dropped into a soap opera called Dr. Sexy, M.D., then they play on a Japanese game show called Nutcracker, followed by an appearance in a commercial for Herpexia, a medication to reduce the chances of passing on genital herpes. The boys figure out that the Trickster wants them to play their roles on TV, but ask: “For how long?”

The boys are stuck until their angel friend Castiel tries to break them out of TV Land, saying they’ve been missing for days. This angers the Trickster and he beats Castiel. The boys wonder why the Trickster looks at Castiel like he knows him. Instead, the Trickster tells them that they need to play their roles as the vessels for Michael and Lucifer and end the feud between Heaven and Hell. The boys still refuse, saying it will destroy the Earth.

The episode offers insight on what family will do to save their family. It also challenges the concepts of destiny and free will. Do we defy the choices made for us, and make up our own future? And even if we think we are making our own choices, does that still change the outcome of our destiny?  


Alexa Batitis

is a 20-year-old student. In her spare time she likes to watch a lot of TV. Her favourite shows are Doctor Who, Supernatural, and Game of Thrones. She has been a part of fandoms since she was 14. She has also written a lot of shameless fanfiction, and you can get over it.

Twitter / Facebook / Supernatural IMDB