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Meta: Who is Chuck?

 
I figured I would weigh in on the Chuck debate...

The way I see it, there are 3 options for how we can answer the question: 
"Who was Chuck Shurley?"
1. God
2. Jesus
3. A Prophet

Let's take a closer look:

1. God

In our final moment with Chuck, he was in a crisp white shirt, his glasses no longer needed, and he had a satisfied smile on his face. He told us that the Winchesters had been tested, and that they had passed. Then he disappeared in a golden light.

The logical conclusion - and the one that everyone on set apparently operated from - was that Chuck is God.

Interestingly enough, Chuck actually said when he was first introduced in S4 that he must be a God - a cruel and capricious God. Dean quickly informed him that he was NOT God.  Still, Chuck apologized for the physical beatings, and the bad writing. 

In an interview, Rob Benedict actually said that Chuck probably viewed Sam and Dean as sons...because he felt that he had a hand in creating them, and that he cared for them. Now, that's the actor talking, not the character - but what I found interesting was that this was from an interview just before Rob saw the finale script. Did he know something already? Or was this coincidence?

The other issue is Dean's amulet. Castiel informs us in S5, that Dean's amulet is also secretly "God-EMF" and that it will grow hot in God's presence. Problem: Dean was wearing the amulet when he first met Chuck, and nothing ever happened. Now, one could argue that God is God, and if God doesn't want to be found, then "magic amulet or not", you aren't going to find Him. The other argument is that Cas was fed bad information from the other angels to send him on a wild goose chase so that he wasn't flanking the boys and helping them too much. 

2. Jesus

Chuck gets a call and answers the phone expecting a "Mistress Magda" - to which Dean responds that Chuck really has a "virgin/hooker thing" going on. Mistress Magda, of course, is a reference to Mary Magdalene who was a prostitute and also good friend of Jesus. So much so, that there's been speculation that Jesus and Mary Magdalene could have been a little more than friends - by a select few, at least.

Now, in Christianity, Jesus = God. Jesus is God the Son, or God Incarnate, or if he is his own person, he is of equal deity status as God. So, if you are a Christian, me saying that Chuck is Jesus is just the same as me saying that Chuck is God. Well - you might point out that if Jesus were on earth, it'd be the Second Coming, which would signify the Apocalypse - but, umm...that kind of fits too.

Supernatural doesn't really follow along with any one religion though - and this is where Chuck being Jesus actually opens up the field for all sorts of different interpretations of what that means.

For instance, in Judaism, Jesus was just some dude. He was not even a prophet. Worse yet, he may have been a false prophet - deliberately leading good Jewish men and women astray. So, maybe Chuck was just some dude, like we thought he was all the time! And maybe he was leading us astray with his tales of good looking boys who live outside the law.

In Islam, however, Jesus is recognized as a prophet. Paving the way for Mohammad - who was awesome and way better than Jesus. (So awesome, that trying to draw a picture of him is an exercise in futility, because that much awesome cannot be reproduced in the art of man, and you shouldn't even try, because you will never do it justice). In this case, Chuck = Jesus, is Chuck = Prophet. Actually, in Islam, Jesus is even more special than your regular run-of-the-mill prophet, because he's going to come down at the end of times and fight off the Anti-Christ. Woot! Chuck vs. Jesse! That'd be an extremely bizarre fight.

The interesting thing about Islam though, is that they believe that Jesus ascended bodily to heaven, WHILE HE WAS STILL ALIVE. He did not die. He was not resurrected. He just went to heaven when his job was complete. Sound like someone we know?

In other religions...Sikh, Buddhism, Baha'i...Jesus is considered an enlighten man. 

Like I said, Supernatural never follows ONE religion above others. In the Supernatural universe, all religions, beliefs, myths, and lore exist simultaneously with each other. You can have a room full of gods with opposing world-views and it doesn't matter. So, if Chuck is Jesus, which interpretation of Jesus is he? Probably a little bit of each - not quite God, not quite your run-of-the-mill Prophet either.

3. Prophet

Maybe you liked Chuck as just the prophet: He was certainly convincing with his nervous behaviour, the headaches and the dreams, the way he allowed Zachariah to push him around, the way he was always slightly scared of Sam and Dean, the way he got a crush on Becky....Was God/Jesus really that good of an actor? 

Maybe what we saw at the end was just a prophet ascending to heaven when his job was complete (as prophets are wont to do). Maybe, like everything, Chuck saw it coming. He knew his time was coming to an end, that Heaven did not need him to write the story anymore - that he was going to get his reward. Certainly, one would not want to show up at the gates of heaven in one's bathroom and boxers? So, he puts on a crisp white shirt before he types those final lines. And he smiles, because...well, I don't know about you, but when I finally finish a writing project, I'm pretty damn happy  - whether or not the story had a happy or sad ending.

Let me know what you think...

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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
jillsjourney
May. 23rd, 2010 07:05 am (UTC)
This whole debate reminds me of an animated LJ icon I had seen floating around a while ago. (End of season 4? Not sure when.) It goes "kripke is god. *crossed out* whedon is god. kripke is baby jesus. trust in baby jesus, mmmkay?" It's pretty clear that Kripke sees himself as Chuck and vice versa. So maybe he's seen that icon. :)
hells_half_acre
May. 23rd, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
Haha, yeah, definitely.
claudiapriscus
May. 23rd, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
My biggest criticism of Chuck=God isn't even in-story based, it's just that it was...unnecessary. they had such a lovely bit of meta with him as a prophet:

He's the author stand-in, but not as the author. That's interesting. As a prophet, he gets the literal Word of God beamed into his head...which in this case, was Supernatural. Which made Kripke/the writers God of the the Supernatural 'verse. It was a really cool way to warp (rather than just breaking) the 4th wall in such a way that it sucked the real world into the story.

And that was just really, really damn cool. Unusual and clever and relatively novel. Making him God kicks the writers back out of the story. They made God a character, and thus distanced themselves from it again.

Edited at 2010-05-23 07:45 am (UTC)
hells_half_acre
May. 23rd, 2010 07:48 am (UTC)
So, then you'd be a good candidate for believing the 3rd option.

That's the nice thing about stories...you can ignore what the author may have intended, and interpret them the way you WANT to interpret them.

I think there's a word for it...the belief that once a piece of fiction is written and published, the author no longer has a say in how it is received or interpreted.

I mean, it doesn't take away the downer that Chuck's job is done...so it's not like interpretation can get rid of the fact that he's not going to be in S6.
claudiapriscus
May. 23rd, 2010 07:51 am (UTC)
It's too late for me. I'm pretty sure that "Chuck = God" is what they meant. And yeah, I'm bummed about the lack of Chuck, but on the other hand, I really really really appreciated the cleverness of 4.18 and now I won't be able to forget that they undid a bit of it.
hells_half_acre
May. 23rd, 2010 07:55 am (UTC)
Well, I'm sad on your behalf then!
claudiapriscus
May. 23rd, 2010 08:01 am (UTC)
It's more like, "Hey, writers! I thought you were cleverer than you actually are. Bummer." Rather than you know, "WOE!"
hells_half_acre
May. 23rd, 2010 08:03 am (UTC)
Haha, fair enough...then I'm disillusioned with the writer's cleverness on your behalf ;)
mymuseandi
May. 23rd, 2010 10:00 am (UTC)
I'm on the opinion that Chuck is the prophet, and the last scene, is of God in Chuck image. I always thought that if Chuck is God beforehand, then it doesn't really explain the whole dreaming thing.

The Jesus thing, hmm. I think the writer tried a bit too hard to actually leave some red herring and stuff, what with the Mistress Magda thing, and i thought they should just keep it short and sweet. :)
hells_half_acre
May. 23rd, 2010 10:03 am (UTC)
I'm on the opinion that Chuck is the prophet, and the last scene, is of God in Chuck image.

Ooo, that's an interesting way to think about it.
kairia
May. 23rd, 2010 10:59 am (UTC)
In Islam, however, Jesus is recognized as a prophet. Paving the way for Mohammad - who was awesome and way better than Jesus. (So awesome, that trying to draw a picture of him is an exercise in futility, because that much awesome cannot be reproduced in the art of man, and you shouldn't even try, because you will never do it justice). In this case, Chuck = Jesus, is Chuck = Prophet. Actually, in Islam, Jesus is even more special than your regular run-of-the-mill prophet, because he's going to come down at the end of times and fight off the Anti-Christ.

Actually, in Islam, you can't draw pictures of any of the Prophets not just Muhammad (pbuh) ^_^
The SPN depiction of the Anti-Christ was interesting but for me, it didn't conform to the stories I've heard about the Anti-Christ (for e.g the Anti-Christ or Dajjal, is going to be blind in one eye)

I'm inclined towards the 3rd option...
hells_half_acre
May. 23rd, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, well, then there's so many more people for annoying folks to draw for no other reason than to be annoying. *rolls eyes*

Yeah, I think SPN's depiction of the Anti-Christ was more in keeping with modern movie depictions, rather than anything to do with the actual Anti-Christ as depicted in religion.

I'm thinking of movies like Damian and books written by...who was it...Gaiman? Anyway, there seems to be a popular trend of having little evil anti-Christ kids.
borgmama1of5
May. 23rd, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
My first take immediately seeing the episode was Chuck ascending as a prophet.

My second thought was that the Chuck in the last scene was God but that Chuck had NOT been God before then. I have no idea why that would happen that way, but hey, God works in mysterious ways, right?

My third thought is that Kripke made it completely ambiguous because he loves fandom and wanted to leave them with something to go crazy trying to figure out. :)
trystan830
May. 23rd, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC)
*interrupting*

My third thought is that Kripke made it completely ambiguous because he loves fandom and wanted to leave them with something to go crazy trying to figure out. :)
yes!!!
hells_half_acre
May. 23rd, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
Awesome. I like the idea of Chuck ascending as a prophet too. And I hadn't actually thought of God only manifesting as Chuck for the very last scene - that's really interesting!

I think Kripke was pretty smart to leave it ambiguous. It wouldn't be nearly as fun if it were all spelled out :)
trystan830
May. 23rd, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
J's all for Chuck being a prophet. you put forth some good arguments for all of 'em, and #3 sways me the most too. and yes, i'm happy when i'm done writing something too.

edit - i'm liking the last line of borgmama1of5's comment. hee!

Edited at 2010-05-23 07:05 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
May. 23rd, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
Yes, it seems most people like #3. I think because Chuck was such a lovable character and we don't really want him to have been FAKING that personality.

I'm also liking the last ling of borgmama1of5's comment!
trystan830
May. 24th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
exactly.

and that would be SO Eric!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )