Warning: Spoilers follow for the most recent episode of Supernatural, “Don’t Call Me Shurley.”
God has been M.I.A. in Supernatural for years. If he used Facebook, his last update probably would have said something about being fed up with humanity and needing a break: “It’s not you, it’s… no, wait, it’s all of you.” The absence of God left heaven in an unprecedented state of crisis. Left to govern themselves, angels jockeyed for position and made a general mess of things–I’m looking at you, Metatron. But now, God’s back just in time to deal with the Darkness, and his face is one we know. Yes, the longtime fan theory is true: Chuck Shurley (Rob Benedict) is indeed God.
How long has the reveal of Chuck as God been in the works? Benedict’s been in the loop for a few months. “I’ve known that it’s really happening since the beginning of January, but you never really know because the writers can go a different way. I didn’t believe it until Robbie Thompson, the writer, called me in January and said, ‘Rob, this is happening.’ I was obviously just so thrilled to be going back, and it seemed like the perfect time because it’s been all about the Darkness this season and God’s been mentioned so many times, and it’s a great time just to go back and kind of reveal who Chuck really is,” he said.
As Benedict mentioned, season 11 has been all about God’s sister, the Darkness. Amara has proven to be a formidable enemy. Lucifer failed at taking her down. As far as we know, God is the only force strong enough to stop her. The timing of God’s return couldn’t be more perfect. They had to wait for a situation like this to bring Chuck back. Benedict said he couldn’t exactly “walk in there and be like. ‘I’m God, what’s up?'”
Chuck did reveal his true identity to the Winchesters in almost that exact fashion in last week’s episode. Sam and Dean have been friends with Chuck for years, so it’s hard to imagine them not taking the secret as a betrayal. “We had some talking to do. Chuck had some explaining to do about where he’s been and what that’s been about. I think this next episode really clarifies that. My thought, personally, is that he’s always been there, and there have been things that have been frustrating for him, and now we know, as my character said last week, it’s like I’m just tired and done and frustrated. I think the idea that his sister is caught wreaking this havoc and wanting to destroy his world makes him almost resigned to it. There is a plan–there’s always a plan, he’s God,” Benedict said. He added the presence of his sister in the world is the “one thing that’s gonna really bring me back. Now it’s personal.”
The confirmation of Chuck as God came about because of a conversation with Metatron, played by Curtis Armstrong. Benedict and Armstrong shared a series of powerhouse scenes touching on the big questions about God’s absence. Benedict said working with Armstrong was awesome. “It was really special. First of all, you don’t normally get to see scenes like that on television shows. And Curtis is an amazing actor; it felt like we were doing a one-act play on set. Acting in it felt bold and very intense. It was just awesome. I had met him a couple of times at a convention, and I had never worked with him before but I had a feeling just knowing him and knowing his body of work that this was going to be a cool thing, and sure enough he really gets me. We knew each other’s rhythms and had a really good time with it and so it was a really special experience,” Benedict said.
He mentioned conventions, and finally, Benedict will get to share with fans at his next convention appearance that Chuck is indeed God. He said he received questions about the possible connection all the time, and he’s excited to be part of at least one definitive answer in the series. He liked the surprise angle of it, too. The reveal wasn’t really teased in promos on The CW. Benedict said, “The episode was called ‘Don’t Call Me Shurley’ so they said Chuck was back for this episode but really didn’t want to say anything beyond that. I certainly had strict instructions not to say anything about in what capacity I was back. It’s good; it makes it fun for the fans. I was following people on Twitter to follow people’s reactions as the episode aired, and it was really fun to see. It’s always really gratifying that people get it in the way that you want them to get it. They’re there for the ride. Fans of this show are really amazing. They get it, you know?”
Images: The CW