Fan favorite Supernatural writer Robbie Thompson indicated he’ll be leaving the show after season 11, so I look fondly back at the most significant Thompson-written episodes.
Thompson started writing for Supernatural in season 7, debuting with well-received “Slash Fiction” that portrayed leviathans taking the Winchesters’ forms. Since then, he created Felicia Day’s Charlie character, wrote the 200th episode (including the song lyrics) and was quite active with fans on Twitter. Among the 18 episodes he penned was the most recent episode, “Don’t Call Me Shurley,” that introduced God.
On Friday, however, Thompson tweeted:
— Robbie Thompson (@rthompson1138) May 6, 2016
Thompson has been working on other projects besides Supernatural, including penning the Marvel comic Silk. Sadly, Thompson appears to be moving on from Supernatural. In his honor, I look at what I consider the most significant (as opposed to favorite, which might be impossible to narrow down) episodes that Thompson wrote. They are listed in chronological order:
‘The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo’
In season 7, Thompson introduced us to Charlie Bradbury, played by Felicia Day. Charlie is a geeky, lesbian IT girl working for Dick Roman. The Winchesters bring Charlie in on the truth behind Dick Roman (he’s the leviathan leader) and recruit her help. After this episode, we see Charlie several more times; we learn her backstory and she becomes something of a hunter in her own right. Dean calls her the little sister he never wanted.
Though Charlie was killed, Thompson lobbied hard to keep her alive. Charlie is a fan favorite character, and her introduction will definitely go down as one of Thompson’s greatest additions to Supernatural.
Side note: Day also tweeted her thanks for Charlie after Thompson’s announcement.
— Felicia Day (@feliciaday) May 6, 2016
In season 9, Thompson introduced another significant character: Cain, played by Tim Omundson. The Father of Murder, Cain carried the Mark of Cain that he would transfer to Dean so he could wield the First Blade in order to kill Abaddon. We also learned a new version of the story of Cain and Abel — one that clearly reflected the Winchester brothers. Lucifer was speaking to Abel in the guise of God, so Cain made a deal with the devil: Abel’s soul in Heaven for Cain’s soul in Hell. Lucifer agreed, so long as Cain killed his brother. Cain did and became both the Father of Murder and the first Knight of Hell.
Though Cain only appeared in two episodes, his presence — and his Mark — hung heavily over seasons 9 and 10. And the character quickly became a fan favorite, again marking a significant introduction on Thompson’s part.
The 200th episode, airing in season 10, saw the Winchesters working a case at an all-girls’ school whose drama department was putting on an adaptation of the Supernatural books by Carver Edlund (aka Chuck Shurley, who we will come back to soon).
The episode is filled with nods to the fandom and songs — in reference to the fact that fans have been clamoring for a musical episode for years. The episode is one big celebration of the show and its fans, and the fact that Thompson was the one to write it tells us a lot about how significant he’d become to the series.
Season 11’s “Baby” took place entirely from the point of view of the Impala. It was a love letter to the most important object in the universe, as it both told the story of a case the brothers worked and what Sam and Dean do during their off time — from the brothers washing the Impala to sleeping in her. Fans have long wanted to spend more time with the characters between hunts, and “Baby” gave an intimate glimpse into the lives of the Winchesters.
‘Don’t Call Me Shurley’
Thompson’s apparent final episode on Supernatural, “Don’t Call Me Shurley” not only confirmed a long-held fandom theory that Chuck Shurley is God but also crossed an item off many fans’ series bucket list by bringing back the Samulet that Dean threw away in season 5. With the introduction of God, “Don’t Call Me Shurley” is a turning point for the series; we won’t know for a time just how things will change, but things cannot remain the same after the introduction of the series’ most infamous absent father. Looking at the episode in hindsight, it feels like Thompson’s final love letter to the series and to the fans.
To me, Thompson’s legacy on Supernatural will be one of love and respect for both the Winchester brothers and of the fans who love them.
Thank you for everything, Mr. Thompson.