Threads 11.05: “Could the Darkness be God’s equal, i.e. the Mother of the Universe?”
In tracking and discussing episodic clues all season, we were SO CLOSE to the big reveal! “Our Little World” didn’t include just one huge revelation, though, there were several! One after another. Answers, myth arc conclusions, surprises. The hits just kept coming. Let’s look at them all, one at a time.
Darth Vader: You cannot hide forever, Luke.
Luke: I will not fight you.
Darth Vader: Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for… sister. So, you have a twin sister! Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the Dark Side… then perhaps she will…
– Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
Did anyone else hear Darth Vadar’s voice echoing “You have a ………..sister” as Metatron revealed the biggest of all secrets to Castiel?? When Jared and Jensen first auditioned for Supernatural, Jensen originally wanted the part of Sam. Eric Kripke convinced Jensen otherwise, saying that while he had originally auditioned for the Luke Skywalker role (i.e. Sam) instead they now wanted him to try out the Hans Solo part (i.e. Dean). With Star Wars mythology having such a prominent presence in the creation of Supernatural, it was probably inevitable that someone had to have a sister! I just never thought about it being God! Is it a coincidence that Darth learned of it in Episode 6 of the epic movie, and we learned of Big Sis in Episode 6 of season 11?
The Darkness is God’s… Sister! That has to be one of the biggest additions to canon for the entire Supernatural series!
I’ve spent a considerable amount of time tracking the references to family this season. Births, more than one “Baby”, bad seeds, moms, bad moms (including Rowena), dads, grandmothers, uncles, nannies, parents, babysitters, growing up, growing old…the list has been endless. Wednesday has also been tracking the pervasive feminine imagery in her visual reviews of the episodes: Seeds, flowers, pinks, ancient civilization feminine symbolism, framing the word “she” in shots, statues of the Blessed Mary Mother of God and so many other underlying themes of the feminine. Clearly the idea of a strong female presence in this year’s plotline was foreshadowed. Did I ever imagine a sibling for God? To be perfectly honest, no. Since before the season began, I have been on record that God would have some strong, close personal relationship to the Darkness. I theorized she was the dark side of His soul, or the dark side of the universe’s soul (referencing last season’s exploration of the “Good” Side and “Dark” Side of everyone) so a huge mythological leap seemed inevitable given the scale and build up surrounding the Darkness. Does this particular direction make sense, though?
I have to admit that there is definitely a “Jump the Shark” aspect to God having a sister. Please enlighten me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know of any mythology, lore, legends or stories in any culture that have previously hinted at this idea – not for THIS God. The Judeo/Christian God, on whose traditions Supernatural is based, does not have a sister. The Show has explored the story of Cain and Abel; the archangels of Michael, Raphael and Gabriel; Lucifer’s betrayal and banishment; Heaven and Hell; prophets, the apocalypse and a dozen other stories that all have their basis in Judaism and Christianity.
Has Supernatural stretched catechism? Absolutely. Cain had altruistic motivations and was manipulated by Lucifer. The Mark of Cain is not only a curse, it is a key. Has it strayed into the sacrilegious? Probably. Angels are mindless bureaucratic “dicks” to be feared, God is a “deadbeat” dad. Has it fabricated new tenets to meet its needs? Of course. Angel and Demon Tablets, and the Horsemen’s rings as the key to the “cage” to name just two. That’s why it is fantasy entertainment. So if we’ve already bought into the apocalypse having been averted by one man’s sacrifice, are we ready to buy into God having a sister? IF it is explained further, logically, thoughtfully, with enough backstory to make it plausible in the realm of the imagination, then yes, I think we can all buy into it. As Balthazar said, “In for a penny, in for a pound.” It MUST be treated seriously, though. If done wrong, it could turn into another Leviathan disaster, taking a great idea and making it comical, if not insulting, in an instant. As it stands now, I’m uncomfortable with the concept. It’s a huge risk, and brings God himself into play. He has been the one elusive, all powerful entity that has remained on a different plane from the Winchesters. I like it that way. It keeps the story believable … and comfortably away from really serious religious taboos. Still, it is exciting. Where are they going to go this?
Is this solution consistent within the show’s mythology? Death said that the Darkness predated God. Well, I suppose the Darkness could be an older sister. There could even be a story that the Goddess came to this universe before God visited this corner of existence. They’ve started a whole new myth arc here. We are at “stone one” of a whole new path so canon consistency isn’t a big problem!
We’ve also speculated that the Darkness and Amara seem to be two separate entities. Metatron said that God betrayed “The Darkness…his sister”, so that’s decisive. When asked about Amara’s location, Dean answered “God’s freaking sister”, so Amara is also identified as God’s sister. Are we back to them being one person? In 11.05 “Thin Lizzie”, Amara was repeatedly referred to as a goddess, yet in 11.03 “The Bad Seed”, the Darkness in the mirror and Young Amara had a conversation that we haven’t yet addressed:
Grown Darkness: You look confused. Troubled.
Young Amara: God did all of this after he locked me away. I didn’t know it was so much.
Grown Darkness: All for his own ego. And no matter what he made, that doesn’t excuse what he did to us.
Young Amara: I know.
Grown Darkness: Amara… You must stay fixed on our purpose. Even we cannot undo what’s already done. But as you grow and become stronger, your true destiny will become clear to you. I am what you are becoming. And we are mightier than God.
God locked away Amara but clearly it was the Darkness that emerged from the ground. Is Amara the Darkness? Can Amara look into her own future? Can she have conversations with her elder self through visions? That would be consistent with the theme of Sam and Dean both having visions.
There are clearly references to two individuals here, though: What God did to us; our purpose; I Am what you are becoming…How can Amara be the Darkness yet be a separate entity from the Darkness?
Given the deeply religious themes of season 11, I think we should introduce a theory that I’ve been considering but hesitant to raise – the concept of the Divine Trinity. In Catholicism for example, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit are three parts of one entity. God sent his son to the Earth to be born of a human mother. The baby Jesus grew up on Earth, gradually coming into a deeper understanding of his destiny. He lived and died as a human. While on earth, the son referred and prayed to the Father as a separate person yet they are considered one. If the Darkness is God’s sister, then might her story parallel that of God the Father? She would also be able to split herself into multiple entities. The “mother” sends the “daughter” to be born of human parents, grow up on Earth, gaining in wisdom and understanding of her true destiny. That would mean that while they are separate now, the Darkness and Amara are one deity. This theory would parallel the heavenly beings of Castiel and Metatron coming to Earth and becoming human for a time. It would also explain the separate references to Amara as “she” and the Darkness as “it” (11.05), plus the unmistakable focus on the death of unfit mothers (see Threads 11.05). The mom theme should not be ignored solely because the Darkness has been identified as a sister. Who, then, is the mother that is clearly being foreshadowed? Maybe the Darkness is both a sister and a mother?
In last week’s Threads article, I highlighted that Dean has made some confusing, derogatory comments about working with family. SPNLit offered a very insightful theory:
I think Amara is about the destruction of Family. She had Jenna kill her grandmother. The parents of the baby she became where both killed/died. Young Amara had an interest in poor Lizzie who killed her parents and then Sydney the babysitter kills the inn keeper’s mother and the boy’s parents because she thought they did not treat him well. Like Amara, she said she could do a better job caring for him. Amara thinks God did a bad job and she as Mother Goddess will be an improvement.
Is Earth and all of humanity about to get caught in another family feud? Dean challenged Gabriel to stand up to his family, and Lucifer and Michael’s big showdown was a prize match between two brothers. Is Supernatural taking it up a notch? Rather than a fight between siblings and children over Daddy’s will, are we about to witness the older generation’s epic fight – between God and his sister (and his sister’s family) over who can rule ‘our little world’?
The overt references to family continued in this episode.
Metatron: Daddy’s gotta eat.
Demon Assassin: “Daddy put his foot down”
(could this be Crowley’s bitch face?)
Crowley playing the father figure, grounded Amara and read about parenting teens. His conversations with Amara were that of a father and his teenaged daughter:
Amara: I’m a growing girl
Crowley: Your strong, but you need to remember, I’m stronger.
Crowley also said later “What can I say, Fatherhood changes a man”
Even Castiel’s episode of Jenny Jones was about parenting.
TV announcer: “We did a DNA test”,
then Cas reiterated “She’s just about to announce the paternity results.
TV: “You’re the father!”..
Then again, Jenny on TV: “He is not ready to be a father”
Who’s not ready to be a father? Which man was changed by fatherhood? Crowley’s long confession about his first attempt at fatherhood may hold a clue:
You have tremendous power, and soon you’ll have even more. But I have something you lack… Wisdom, experience. I helped put Lucifer back in his cage. I rose through the ranks of Hell, defeated all comers, to claim the throne. And, a few minor setbacks aside, I’m still here. I don’t know how to impart what I’ve learned to you, how to teach you. And at the rate that you’re growing, I’ll probably never get the chance to figure it out.
Who helped put Lucifer back in his cage? God put Lucifer in the cage the first time, but Crowley, Castiel, Sam…and Dean helped put Lucifer in his cage the second time. Dean also “rose through the ranks of Hell” and can accurately claim “a few minor setbacks aside, I’m still here”.
Is Crowley’s fathering speech foreshadowing that Dean is Amara’s real father? Did Dean and the Darkness “bond” in that swirling cloud? Is that the part of the vision Dean has blotted out of his mind? These fragments seem to point in this direction. Both young and old Darkness/Amara have constantly been trying to seduce Dean. The closing song said,
♪ you’ll be a woman soon ♪ ♪ please ♪ ♪ come take my hand ♪ ♪ girl ♪ ♪ you’ll be a woman soon ♪ ♪ soon ♪ ♪ you’ll need a man ♪
Last week, Amara took away Sydney’s pain by taking her hand. In “Our Little World”, Amara clearly touched Dean. Is she taking away all his pain too?
Amara: Tell me what is happening here. You save me. I save you. You were the first thing I saw when I was freed, and it had been so long. Maybe that’s it — my first experience of his creation. You can’t help but represent that for me — the sweet triumph and the even sweeter folly of what he’s wrought. There’s no fighting it.
As strong as the implications might be that Dean and the older Darkness may have “touched” and Dean and Amara (young Darkness) have “a thing”, there are two pieces of conflicting evidence. When the demon entered the cell to kill Goldie, he said,
Demon: The boss’ daughter’s been making a mess in town and it’s my job to clean it up.
The boss’ daughter? I really don’t want to even speculate that Amara is the daughter of God… and The Darkness. Incest? I am NOT writing about that in regards to God. All these references to mothers and fathers are irrefutable, though, so I’m also at a loss to explain Amara first sentence in this episode:
“I don’t have parents”
…unless we’re back to her being one with the Darkness.
The Family Business
A last thought on the demon’s significant, introductory line. Do you remember my speculation that getting back to basics of the family business meant that the boys have to “clean up the messes” they leave undone? I wondered if defeating the Darkness the second time was cleaning up God’s “mess”, then in 11.02 Sam’s prayed that he wasn’t asking God to clean up his mess? Intriguing that the demon specifically used that phrase again in this episode.
Sam is also very serious about “all the people”. He tried to save the lives of four different demons! Is this foreshadowing that he will advocate banishing the Darkness to the Empty rather than killing it in the end?
My head hurts. Let’s look at a few simpler Threads for a moment!
It’s back in the hands of the good guys. Well that was easy. A plot line that ended before it started. Weird actually. We’ll wait to see where that goes.
Sam’s Visions/The Cage
What an outstanding first look at the cage!
Is there any chance now that it isn’t Lucifer giving Sam visions? Lucifer has always had a connection to Sam. Lucifer was “never able to fool” Sam (11.05). Again, it’s almost too obvious. Maybe it’s God giving Sam the clues? The evidence is starting to outweight my skepticism.
Sam’s visions are so awesome! This is so good!
Soullessness and Psychos
Dean: Only a soulless psycho would kill the family cat.
“Thin Lizzie” continually referenced “psychos” and now here it is again. This episode didn’t offer any new information on soullessness but it did reiterate what we already knew.
Metatron: You are scarred deep. Paralyzed by trauma, by fear.
Castiel: It’s not fear.
Metatron: Who do you have to thank for how angry you are, how lost? You’re welcome.
Castiel: You were right Metatron. I am sick of having my strings pulled which is why I won’t let you manipulate me into letting you off easy.
It was great to get a few moments of insight into Castiel’s condition. He couldn’t leave the bunker because of painful memories.
It seemed that it was fear that held him back, yet he told Metatron it wasn’t fear. If not fear, what then? He is a fearsome fighter though!
Metatron: The truth — ha — it’d make the Bible thumper” heads explode.
Metatron and Castiel told the truth; Dean and Sam are still avoiding it. They’re not lying exactly. Amara did “overpower” Dean. Maybe she used her feminine charms and her “happiness mojo” to incapacitate him before she pinned him against a wall and threw him across the room but he was overpowered, technically. Still, Sam and Dean are not admitting to themselves or each other what is happening.
– Something else Metatron said seemed significant: “I’m not that guy anymore. I can’t save you.” I don’t know why but I think that’s important.
– I was thrilled that Sam and Dean stayed in the same town where they last saw Amara. Continuity and common sense! Yeah!
– Jerry Wanek confirmed that it was the “Changing Channels” wallpaper in Sam and Dean’s hotel room! Did you notice the Captial D room divider?
– Castiel: “I can” (in the alley)! Castiel makes the best entrances in the series!
– The mystery of Crowley’s Hell on Earth solved! Thank you Robert Berens!
I have loved all six episodes this season. They have been absolutely stellar. Season 11 has been filled with amazing writing. Peeking ahead at spoiler episode titles, the continuity and the intense, rapid fire mythology development is going to continue. Bring it on!
What did you think of this episode, and what are your theories on Amara, Dean, Sam and the Darkness?
Star Wars quote courtesy of: http://www.moviefanatic.com/quotes/you-cannot-hide-forever-luke-i-will-not-fight-you-give-yourself/
Transcript quotes courtesy of: http://transcripts.foreverdreaming.org
Screencaps courtesy of http://supernaturalfansonline.com/