We have another guest submission, this time from joelsteinlover. It is her first recap and she is taking on “Dark Side of The Moon.” Now, I’m sure many of you ask, why do I sometimes post so many reviews and recaps on one episode? Because, especially with this episode, no one usually views a scene the same way. My recaps certainly have my bias in them, and that’s true of everyone else. It’s usually interesting to see the way different people view things and I definitely saw some unique interpretations here. I also love to encourage new writers to do this, for its fun, but not very easy. So, enjoy the recap!
I re-watched this episode with MBV in mind, rather than DMDWP, because that’s how it was intended. I know there won’t be a dramatic post-detox confrontation because they’re thrown right into the action. Dean wakes up and attempts to reach for his gun, except some crazy guy in a ski mask already has it. He sits up, alarmed, and Sam gives him a “yeah, about that…” look.
Dean recognizes their voices. Roy and Walt. They’re slightly bitter and now they know Sam set off the apocalypse. T-R-O-U-B-L-E. They tell him this, and it becomes evident that Jared is going to look especially pretty in this episode when a close-up of his guilt-ridden face happens.
They shoot him. Dean looks shocked and momentarily devastated before he remembers that neither he nor Sam ever die for good, so it doesn’t really matter. Then he’s just pissed.
Roy and Walt are arguing over whether or not to shoot Dean. “You want to spend the rest of your life knowing Dean Winchester’s on your ass? ‘Cause I don’t.” This tribute to Dean’s talent as a hunter made me smile (better to be a concern than not), as did the thought of how long the “rest of their lives” would be if he was. Not very. They probably wouldn’t even make it out of the room.
“Go ahead, Roy do it. But I’m gonna warn you, when I come back, I’m gonna be pissed.” They shoot him too, not quite understanding what he means by that. They shoot him right into the title thing. I’ve always thought of the title sequence to mean “blood is thicker than water” and that, in fact, becomes quite relevant in this episode.
Cue the now-passé waking up in the Impala on a deserted road. Dean gets out of it and Lil Sam shows up. “Sammy?” asks a befuddled Dean. Can I saw here how perfect Colin is as Lil Sam? Cue brotherly moment, complete with fireworks.
Fwoomph, he’s gone, and Cas is talking through the Impala’s speaker. You’re not dreaming, stupid. “I’m dead!” “Condolences.” So where the hell is he? Heaven! Follow the road, he’ll find Sam! Always one to listen to Cas, Dean does so.
He happens upon a quaint little house where an awkwardly large Sam is hunkering at a family dinner table with a strange little girl with braces grabbing his leg. Dean pokes fun at him. “Wow…just wow.”
Dean fills him in. Sam is disbelieving. “Heaven? How are we in Heaven?” “All that clean livin’ I guess.” Sam shakes his head and starts using his arms to make his point. “You, I get, sure. But me?” Dean gives him an uncomprehending look. “Maybe you didn’t notice, but I’ve, um, I’ve done a few things.” “You thought you were doing the right thing.” Jeez, Dean, took you long enough. Sam is defiant. “Last I heard, it wasn’t the road to Heaven that was paved with good intentions.” True that.
After a snarky comment concerning triplets and latex from Dean, they realize that they’re reliving their greatest hits. Dean is bemused… “So playing footsie with braceface over there, that’s a trophy moment for you?” Sam tells him it was first “real” Thanksgiving, which leaves Dean disgruntled, but not for long because…
Weird shaking, spotlight, they’re alarmed. Dean starts talking to a radio. Sam asks what the hell is he doing…what does it look like? Like he’s lost his mind. Cas shows up on the television and tells them not to go into the light. Thanks,Carol Anne. It’s Zachariah! He wants to restore them to their bodies. Problem solved? Not quite. Cas wants them to go find the angel Joshua, who talks to God. Why? “Don’t you think maybe, just maybe, we should find out what the hell he’s been saying?” Dean raises his eyebrows. “Jeez, touchy.”
Sam and Dean have words about Dean’s change of heart, and Dean cites prayer as the last act of a desperate man. I guess he’d know.
They go road-hunting (after there not being a street where there used to be) in closets and Dean finds a little toy racecar thing that he had as a kid. They’re suddenly in Dean’s old room. Trippy, right? Yeah, but Dean’s shirt is two tons trippier. “Apparently, you ‘wuv hugs.’” Their mom shows up and asks Dean if he’s hungry. Dramatic music ensues.
Cue commercial and cut to the kitchen. Milk is being poured and crusts are being cut. Sam tries to talk to his mom but it’s futile. “Guess it’s not your memory, Sam, sorry.” Sam, just a tad jealous, wants to go find the road but Dean wants a minute. “Dean.” “Sam! Please, one minute.”
The phone rings, Mary goes to answer it. “No, John, we’re not having this conversation again. Think about what? You have two boys at home!” This is a pretty generic argument deflector, I don’t know what they were talking about. Dean doesn’t either, he just knows they were fighting.
“I remember this. Mom and Dad were fighting and then he moved out for a couple days.” “Dad always said they had the perfect marriage.” “It wasn’t perfect until after she died.”
Mary ends the conversation and hangs up. “What happens next?” Dean knows. He gets up and goes and hugs her. “It’s okay, Mom. Dad still loves you. I love you too. I’ll never leave you.” The sweetest thing ever, I can see little four-year-old Dean doing it. “You are my little angel. How about some pie?”
Dean walks back over to the table and Sam is shaking his head. Dean asks what. “I just never realized how long you’ve been cleaning up Dad’s messes.” Dean shakes it off and they go road-hunting again.
A Route 66 thing takes them to an old yucky apartment/house thing. Sam recognizes it…and the dog that comes bounding up to him. I’m wondering at this point how de-ja-vuey it must have gotten.
Dean is confused…but then he realizes what this is. Flagstaff, where Sam ran off for two weeks on Dean’s watch. “This is a good memory for you?” “Yeah, I was on my own for two weeks, I lived off of Funyuns and Mr. Pip.” Dean is pissed, he goes into good-memory-ruiner mode by reminding Sam that it was on his watch, he went crazy looking for him, and their dad was superpissed when he got back. Sam never thought of it like that. Dean storms out in a huff, Sam his dog to stay and follows reluctantly…into another memory.
Sam recognizes it instantly and winces. “What memory is this?” asks Dean. “No idea,” lies Sam, hoping Dean won’t recognize it. He tries to get Dean to leave, but it’s too late. “Wait a minute…this? This is the night you ditched us for Stanford, isn’t it? This is your idea of Heaven?” Dean is disgusted. “Wow. This is like one of the worst nights of my life.”
“Your idea of Heaven is somebody else’s Thanksgiving. It’s bailing on your family. I mean, what do you want me to say?”
So I, personally, usually sympathize with Dean. I usually agree with him. But even I will admit that he is being SO ASSHOLEY right then. I get that he’s getting hit left and right with Sam drama and angel drama and his own drama, but still.
Sam is both apologetic and defensive. “I never got the crusts cut off my PB&J. I just don’t look at family the way you do.” “But I’m your family. It’s supposed to be you and me against the world.
Spotlight interrupts their argument and they book it into the forest. They hide behind a thing, and we see Zack walking toward them. Douche. “Wow, running from angels. On foot. In Heaven. With out of the box thinking like that, I’m surprised you boys haven’t stopped the apocalypse already.” As douchey as he is, Zack is such an awesome character.
They run (why the hell did they do that?) and Zack follows them, but they’re rescued by a funny masked man. Who else would it be but our favorite dead genius, Ash.
He takes them to his own blue Heaven, the Roadhouse. (The Supernatural peeps said they were enthusiastic about tearing that down because they hated it so much because it made no sense…must have been fun rebuilding it. Unless they saved the inside set.)
They’re temporarily safe from angels because there’s a bajillion (or so) Heavens, one for each person. “Like Disneyland…but without all the anti-Semitism.” They never share…except for soulmates. Ash can bounce around them because he’s cool like that. He rigged up a thing so he can hear the angels chattering in Enochian, that’s how he found them. Again. Because they’ve been there before, but the angels Windexed their brains.
Questions are fired. Has he found anyone else, like Ellen and Jo? Ellen and Jo are dead? I think the writers made him unaware of this because they couldn’t get Samantha and Alona back for this episode, and it wouldn’t make sense for him to be aware and have found them but not to go visit. What about their parents? No luck. But there is someone who wants to talk to them. Pamela.
“It’s awesome to finally have an application—a practical application—for string theory.” Sam and Ash are over there being educated persons while Dean and Pam chat. She slaps him for getting her killed, but Ash is cool with it. She’s explaining how happy she is in Heaven to a dubious Dean and trying to push “yes” onto him. Excuse me? Many people have called her out of character for this episode and I’m in total agreement.
Ash’s shortcut to the Magic Kingdom doesn’t work out so well and their mom shows up again, but not a memory. This time she’s bitching at Dean for being a burden via a very well-written monologue, and it’s really cruel. Like, really really.
“How about I tell you about my nightmare? The night I burned. I never loved you. You were my burden. I was shackled to you. Look what it got me. The worst was the smell. The pain, well, what can you say about your skin bubbling off? But the smell, was so…you know for a second I thought I left a pot roast burning in the oven? But it was my meat. And then, finally, I was dead. The one silver lining was at least I was away from you. Everybody leaves you, Dean, have you noticed? Mommy, daddy…even Sam. Ever ask yourself why? Maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”
Then Zack shows up. Douche. He did this, and he’s just getting started. He kisses Mary’s neck and the Winchesters weren’t the only ones gagging. I have to admit, though, the fact that he has six wings and four faces (one of which is a lion) in Heaven is kind of cool.
But Zack is pissed. They’re being difficult, and it’s hurting his rep. He doesn’t have any respect anymore. So he plans on torturing them, whether they say yes or not. Because he’s petty.
But Joshua interrupts and somehow pulls authority out of his frail gardener’s butt, successfully getting them out of that bad situation. But then he tells them the bad news. God knows. He knows all of it. He just doesn’t care, and he wants the brothers to back off. He’s intervened more than he usually does (and the question of who put them on the plane is answered) and he doesn’t care anymore. This upsets Dean to the max, his last hope has just been pummeled into the fertilized soil by a particularly brutal spade. The fact that he’s losing faith is verbalized and Dean is pretty much crushed. So Joshua sends them home again…except this time they’re going remember.
The camera pans over their dead bodies and they wake up breathless and confused and not really all right. Dean calls Cas.
Cas, as expected, is totally crushed. Misha’s expression is pretty perfect. Jeez, seeing an angel lose faith is the most tragic thing ever. Especially to the bluesy background music.
Cas tosses Dean back his necklace and vanishes despite Sam’s protests. But Sam isn’t hopeless, they’re going to stop it, him and Dean, together. He doesn’t have a plan per se, but they’ll find a way.
That isn’t enough for Dean. He walks to the trashcan and Sam catches his breath as he drops the amulet in the trash. Damn.
This isn’t brother versus brother. People think it is, but I’m pretty convinced it really isn’t. Neither is pissed at the other. Dean’s just given up. There’s this line from Ender’s Shadow that has stuck with me ever since the first time I read it post-Supernatural and it’s approximately this: “The thing with brothers is, they take turns being the keeper. At some point, one gets to sit down and be the brother who is kept.” He’s been the keeper forever, but the amulet thing was Dean sitting down. Sam’s the keeper now.