|"Supernatural is filmed before a live studio audience." So begins this episode's very unorthodox format. At the beginning, we see Sam and Dean starring in a cheesy sitcom, complete with canned laughter, wacky opening credits and the following theme song:
Town to town, two-lane roads
The family biz, two hunting bros
Living the lie just to get by
As long as we're moving forward
There's nothing we can't do
Together we'll face the day
You and I won't run away
When the demons come out to play
Together we'll face the day
After the sitcom intro is over, we see Dean watching a "Grey's Anatomy" parody on television. Sam tells him it's time to go and the boys head out on an investigation. We seem to be in the normal world now and the sitcom format is over. The boys are both wearing sharp suits and investigating a suspicious death. Apparently, a local man was killed and a bear is being blamed. The boys know better. When they talk to the dead man's wife, she says it was The Incredible Hulk -- of the television variety, not from those awful movies.
Sam checks out the house and the damage seems consistent with Hulk carnage. Dean investigates the man who died and apparently, the guy had a history of violence, including spousal abuse and bar brawls. He was a real hothead and was killed by TV's biggest hothead. Sam calls this "just desserts" and figures out that they are dealing with The Trickster.
Dean is ready to gank The Trickster, but Sam wants to talk to him and see if they can use him to help out with whole Apocalypse thing (yeah, remember that?). The boys listen to a police scanner, waiting for The Trickster to show his face again. They follow the trail to a crime scene that has no police cars in sight. When they step into a building to investigate, they are suddenly inside the "Grey's Anatomy" parody, known here at "Doctor Sexy, MD." Both Winchesters are dressed as doctors, but it doesn't take long before Dean calls The Trickster out.
Sam asks The Trickster if he could help them out and he says that he might help if they can survive the next 24 hours in TV land. Doesn't sound so hard, until a guy shoots Dean in the back and Sam has to operate! The operation is somehow a success and the boys are then transported to a vicious Japanese game show called "Nutcracker." And yes, it's exactly how it sounds. Contestants who get a question wrong are punched in the groin.
Cas shows up and tries to pull the guys out of TV land, but he quickly disappears. The game show host says, "Mister Trickster does not like pretty boy angels." For fear of being socked in the groin, Dean just goes along with the game and can suddenly speak Japanese. They figured out that if they just get into their various roles, they can survive.
We then go to a commercial break, where herpes medication is being advertised. It looks real for a second, but this is still the show. Sam has to say, "I've got genital herpes!" Then, a real commercial break comes and we are soon back in the cheesy Supernatural sitcom. Cas comes in again and tells the boys that "this thing is much more powerful than it should be," but The Trickster zaps him back out again.
The Trickster tells the boys that they need to play their roles outside of TV land, as in becoming the vessels they are meant to become. Dean needs to be Michael and Sam needs to be Lucifer or else they will be stuck in TV land forever. With a snap of the finger, the boys are now CSI-type detectives at a murder scene. The boys play along until they figure out which person is The Trickster and stake him through the heart. Suddenly, they are out of TV land and just standing in a warehouse.
Dean walks out and gets into his car, then can't find Sam. Turns out they aren't out of TV land and Sam is the voice of Dean's car, Knight Rider-style. They didn't kill The Trickster after all because they aren't dealing with a Trickster. Dean yells out that they will play their roles and want out of the game.
Out comes The Trickster, who they quickly trap in a ring of holy fire. They figure that he is really an angel and has been all along. They are right. In fact, The Trickster has always been the archangel Gabriel. He tells the boys that they are destined to become the vessels that bring on the Apocalypse. Dean, like Michael, is the big brother who follows his father's word. Sam, like Lucifer, is the rebellious younger brother who goes against his father's plan.
This bums the guys out, naturally. In the end, they get Cas back and climb into the Impala. Dean says he wishes he were back in a TV show and Sam agrees.