The Monster at the End of This Book is the 18th episode of Season 4. It aired on April 2nd, 2009.
|There was something about being there... It felt pure.|
This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.
DO NOT CHANGE!
Sam and Dean are shocked to discover a series of comic books titled "Supernatural" that accurately detail their lives as demon hunters. They track down the writer, Carver Edlund (guest star Rob Benedict), who explains he has visions of the brothers that he then turns into comic books. Chuck reveals that Lilith (guest star Katherine Boecher) is coming and she has a plan for Sam.
A bearded man is sleeping on his couch. Suddenly, he begins to dream about strange things. He sees a motel room sign, a girl, the Impala, and Sam and Dean. 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 (much to their disgust).
They track down the book series publisher and she laments that the Supernatural series hasn't sold well, complaining that what people want now is stuff like "Dr. Sexy, MD". 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 the pseudonym "Carver Edlund" by Chuck Shurley.
Chuck is writing his next book as he hears knocking on his door and goes to answer where he meets the brothers. When they introduce themselves as Sam and Dean, Chuck immediately shuts the door on them, thinking they were just fans who needed a "life". The Winchesters then barged in and demand to learn how Chuck knows about their lives, eventually convincing him who they were when they tell him their last names, something he had never told anyone.
Chuck is astonished to be confronted by his 'creations', as 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 aren't prepared to combat her yet and 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, which 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 is about to attack him, but is stopped by Castiel who appears and reveals Chuck is a Prophet of God, who is protected by an archangel and that his books will one day be known as the Winchester Gospels. Dean asks how they can stop the Sam-Lilith makeout part, but Castiel says that what a prophet has written will come to pass no matter what.
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 while praising Dean for his new start of praying. Dean pleads with Castiel to help him stop Lilith, but the angel says he cannot interfere because it's divine prophecy. Upset, Dean disparages Castiel and his god, and says that the day will come when he needs his help and Dean won't answer. As Dean moves to leave, Castiel stops him and gives Dean information on how to stop Lilith, revealing that a Prophet is protected by an archangel, "the most fearsome wrath of Heaven", who will intervene if said Prophet is threatened. Dean realizes by putting Chuck in the same room with Lilith, the archangel would appear and destroy the threat. He thanks Castiel for the help and the angel wishes him luck.
Dean heads to Chuck's house where he tells him that he needs to go to the hotel where Lilith is, because he's protected by an archangel and the archangel will kill Lilith. Chuck refuses, saying that this wasn't in his story, and Dean tells him that if he doesn't go Dean will shoot him. Chuck smugly says Dean can't because an Archangel is protecting him. Dean says they'll just have to see who's the quicker draw. Needless to say, Chuck agrees.
Back at the motel, Sam is found by Lilith, who appears in the form of a blonde woman. She asks where Ruby's dagger is, and Sam tells her it's on the nightstand. Lilith goes over to get it, but stops when she gets to the rug. She lifts it up to reveal a devils trap, which she breaks by burning away part of it with a touch.
She tells him that she'll stop breaking the 66 Seals, along with the entire apocalypse, if Sam and Dean die. Lilith taunts him, saying he's selfish for not trading two lives for over six billion. "Going once, going twice..." Lilith says. Sam seemingly cracks and agrees. Lilith says it'll take a lot more than a kiss to seal a deal like this, but not to worry about the woman's body (who she was possessing) because the woman apparently wanted it badly as well.
Lilith sits on the bed and Sam follows, getting on top of her. She leans down, and Sam suddenly reaches over to the nightstand and grabs Ruby's dagger, trying to stab her with it. He fails and Lilith flips them over, holding the dagger over Sam.
Just as she's about to stab him, Dean and Chuck bust in. Chuck runs in first, and Dean follows. "I am the prophet, Chuck!" Chuck says. Lilith backs off Sam, with the dagger still in her hand. "You have got to be joking," Lilith replies. The motel starts to shake as Lilith walks closer to Chuck. "Oh, it's no joke. Chuck here's got an archangel on his shoulder." Dean says. The motel continues to shake and a bright white light appears. The ceiling starts crumbling, and Dean tells her she's about ten seconds from becoming a piece of charcoal. Lilith weighs her option as pieces of ceiling continue falling, quickly deciding it's not worth it. She expels from the woman's body.
The woman passes out after Lilith leaves her body and the light fades, too. Later, Sam and Dean talk about the event. Sam never even considered the deal, convinced she would only find a way out of it. Dean is unnerved at this, knowing demons never break deals, indicating he himself would've taken it to stop the Apocalypse. Sam darkly promises he will kill Lilith while Dean is left privately fearing Sam would choose revenge over self-sacrifice.
Following the confrontation with Lilith, Zachariah appears to Chuck after he has another vision. While it is not revealed what Chuck saw, he is panicked and wants to warn Sam and Dean, but Zachariah tells him not to and that if he tries, he will be stopped. 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."
- Misha Collins as Castiel
- Kurt Fuller as Zachariah
- Rob Benedict as Chuck Shurley
- Katherine Boecher as Lilith
- Keegan Connor Tracy as Sera Siege
Featured Supernatural Beings
- Angels (Castiel and Zachariah)
- Archangels (Raphael's presence; others collectively mentioned)
- Primordial Entity (God, masquerading as Chuck)
- Werewolves (mentioned only)
- Wendigo (mentioned only)
- White-Eyed Demon (Lilith)
- Woman in White (Constance Welch, mentioned only)
- Deity (Vanir, mentioned only)
- Vengeful Spirit (Cyrus Dorian, mentioned only)
- It is revealed that Chuck is a prophet who is transcribing the adventures of Sam and Dean; Castiel says that these books will become known in the future as "The Winchester Gospels." Chuck is the first prophet to be introduced in the show, and the information in his books will be important plot points in "The Real Ghostbusters" and "Clip Show". However, this was later revealed to be false, as Chuck was merely masquerading as a Prophet, and was actually God.
- Sam and Chuck discuss Sam's demon blood-drinking, which had been revealed to the audience in "On The Head Of A Pin" as the source of his growing powers. Sam says that he cannot stop drinking demon blood, indicating that he has already become addicted to it. "The Rapture" sees him struggling with withdrawal symptoms and "When The Levee Breaks" has him placed in involuntary detox by Dean and Bobby. He is forced to detox again (this time voluntarily) in "My Bloody Valentine" after relapsing due to Famine's powers.
- Lilith reveals that she is destined to die before The Apocalypse starts and that this is why she wants to make a deal with Sam to stop breaking the 66 Seals. "Lucifer Rising" reveals that Lilith's death is in fact the last seal needed to break for Lucifer to be freed, thus explaining Lilith's actions in this episode.
- In the ending, Chuck foresees something catastrophic which he goes to warn Sam and Dean about, only to be stopped by Zachariah. Zachariah's insistence on keeping this vital information from the Winchesters is the first hint that he (and by extent the Host of Heaven) is manipulating the Winchesters.
- Lilith makes her first real appearance in the season, having previously appeared as a hallucination to Dean in "Yellow Fever". Her last appearance in person was "No Rest For The Wicked".
- Castiel appears again, having last appeared in "On The Head Of A Pin". Zachariah also appears, after having been first introduced in the previous episode.
- It is likely that the archangel who begins manifesting to defend Chuck by killing Lilith is Raphael, as this is the archangel who appears to Castiel and Chuck and kills Castiel in "Lucifer Rising".
- Given his descriptions of "the racist ghost truck" and having sex, the book that Dean is reading is based on "Route 666".
- The publisher mentions Dr. Sexy, MD in passing as a reason why Supernatural was discontinued. Dr. Sexy, MD appears in "Changing Channels" and "Hello, Cruel World". Funnily enough, "Changing Channels" reveals it to be one of Dean's guilty pleasures.
- Chuck references the events of "Bugs" and "Red Sky at Morning".
- Although Castiel is forbidden from interfering with divine prophecy, he tips Dean off to save Sam from Lilith using Chuck, showing that Castiel is beginning to bend the rules to help Dean. Castiel's burgeoning rebelliousness will be punished in "The Rapture", and he will finally rebel against the Host completely in "Lucifer Rising" due to Dean's influence.
- Dean references "On The Head Of A Pin", revealing that Castiel has told him about Sam using his powers to kill Alastair.
- In this episode, Chuck says to Sam: Obviously I'm a God... 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... I killed your father. I burned your mother alive. And then you had to go through the whole horrific deal again with Jessica... All for the sake of literary symmetry. I toyed with your lives, your emotions, for... Entertainment. Although the Winchester brothers don't believe him, it turns out to be cruel true in the finale of season 14.
- The title of this episode references the Sesame Street book There's A Monster At The End Of This Book. In the book, Grover tries to stop the reader from reaching the end of the book and encountering the monster. On the last page he discovers that the monster is him. Both the episode and book break the fourth wall in this regard.
- Chuck Shurley's pen name is Carver Edlund. This is a tribute to Supernatural writers Jeremy Carver and Ben Edlund.
- The woman who plays Karen Giles (Keegan Connor Tracy) in the episode The Usual Suspects is the same person who plays the publisher Sera Saige in this episode.
- The diner in which Dean and Sam eat and discuss in the middle of the episode is called Kripke's Hollow Diner. The creator of Supernatural is Eric Kripke.
- During the scene at the comic shop, there is a poster of a "Clockwork Girl" behind the clerk.
- One of the posters at Chuck's house is from the cover of the 3rd issue of the Supernatural Origins comic books - which chronicle the story of John Winchesters early days on the road with Sam and Dean and as a hunter.
- Another poster on Chuck's wall (by the staircase) is of Grifter from the comic book series by Jim Lee - WildC.A.T.s.
- When Chuck realizes that Sam and Dean are real he says "Obviously I'm a god" which is denied by Sam, however later in the series it's revealed that Chuck's true identity is God.
- Chuck predicts that Sam will have sex with Lilith in the Red Motel while Dean drives the Impala around town with the back window smashed out. In an attempt to prevent the predictions from happening, they stay at the Toreador Motel. Dean tells Sam to stay at the motel while he parks the car. As Dean walks away from his parked and locked car, two guys try to break into the vehicle. They break the back window and Dean drives back to the motel with a tarp in the empty frame. Dean finds, upon returning to the motel, that several letters on the neon sign at the motel have blown, and it now reads the Red Motel. Dean runs inside to find Lilith and Sam. This is reminiscent of Bad Day at Black Rock and Mystery Spot (humor episodes from Season 3).
- This is the first of a handful of episodes where nobody dies.
- The title of this episode can be seen as an easter-egg for being the first physical appearance of God (despite being disguised as Chuck Shurley) and his role as the show's final Big Bad.
- "Leave All This Behind" by Sonny Ellis
- Publisher: Dean was so....strong, and sad, and brave.
- Dean: And what's a slash fan?
- Sam: As in Sam-slash-Dean. Together.
- Dean: Like 'together' together?
- Sam: Yeah.
- Dean: (pause) They do know we're brothers, right?
- Sam: Doesn't seem to matter.
- Dean: Aw, come on, that- that's just sick!
- Chuck: Did you really have to live through the bugs?
- Dean: Yeah.
- Chuck: What about the ghost ship?
- Dean: Yes, that too.
- 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.
- Dean: I'm sitting in a laundromat reading about myself sitting in a laundromat reading about myself, my head hurts.
- Chuck: I'm a god. A cruel, cruel, capricious god. The things I put you through. The physical beatings alone.
- Dean: I can't see your face but those are definitely your brooding and pensive shoulders.
- Dean: And behave yourself, no homework... go watch some porn.
- Comic Book Shop Guy: 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?
- Comic Book Shop Guy: That's it!
- German: Das Monster am Ende des Buches (The Monster at the End of the Book)
- Italian: Il mostro alla fine del libro (The Monster at the End of the Book)
- Hungarian: A Próféta (The Prophet)
IGN Review- View