Every week of hiatus, I hosted a live tweet of Supernatural’s season 10 episodes (i.e. #WFBRewatch). With the insight afforded by knowing the outcome of the Mark of Cain plotline, I watched each show specifically looking for stories and dialogue that foreshadowed what was to come at the end of the season. How far back did the writers know that “The Darkness” was going to be the main myth arc of Season 11? Were there clues throughout season 10 that the Mark of Cain was a key, and what it would unlock? Were there hints as to the exact nature of the Darkness, or how it might be defeated? What I found surprised me!

[This article is completely spoiler free. All of the theories proposed are speculation, based on episodes that have aired. The comments are likely to contain several spoilers, however, so be warned. Everything is welcome there!]

The MoC as a Key

As early as episode six, “Ask Jeeves”, the Mark of Cain’s function as a supernatural key was foretold.

Knowledgeable Outsider: “This is interesting…It’s a key.
Sam to Dean: A key to what?”


The premise of “Ask Jeeves” was that at the end of a battle in which Bobby defeated a supernatural evil (shapeshifters), a woman begged Bobby to spare the life of her child, the spawn of that evil. Being moved with compassion, Bobby locked away the supernatural threat and entrusted the key to a caretaker who would forever guard the imprisoned evil.  When both Bobby and the key’s owner died, they were no longer able to fulfill the responsibility of guarding the prisoner, so the key, disguised as a family heirloom, was passed to Sam and Dean. They knew nothing of the original fight or its resulting truce to confine rather than destroy an evil, yet once they had the mysterious key, it became their responsibility to “clean up the mess” that resulted from their surrogate father not eliminating the evil in the first place. They were thrust into finishing the job he started.

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The parallel to the MoC key is haunting. God the Father engaged in a battle with a supernatural evil many eons ago. Rather than destroying the evil, for reasons yet to be revealed he locked it up and gave someone he trusted (Lucifer) the key and the responsibility to guard the evil. Lucifer passed that responsibility to Cain. After also gaining the title of Father (of Murder), Cain passed his family’s “heirloom” to Dean. Once Cain died, he too was unable to fulfill his responsibility as gatekeeper, so Dean inherited something that was secretly a key that held back an evil. Even though he had no knowledge of the original battle or the prisoner of war it confined, a father had given Dean the responsibility to finish a job he started and now Sam and Dean were faced with destroying an ancient evil.

We were told why Bobby didn’t wipe out the supernatural creature he battled. If the analogy is completed, why didn’t God destroy the evil when he had the chance? It is the offspring of something or someone? Like Bobby, was he moved by compassion to banish rather than kill?

“There’s No Place Like Home” (10.11) was also about a key that ended a war which was consuming a world.

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Charlie explained how the war in Oz was won:

“He said for us to win, I had to unleash my true darkness, which he meant literally. He used the inner key of Oz. It opens a door to your soul and lets the darkness out”.  
Since we now know that the MoC was a key, that statement perfectly foreshadowed season 10’s finale and season 11's myth arc! The key to Oz freed an amoral evil that had been imprisoned by good (the good in each person). The key had been inherited by Sam and Dean as Men of Letters, yet they knew nothing of its origins or its power. Ultimately, they were able to use the key to restore good’s power over evil, so again they were victorious in a case started by a key.

The Oz story gives an additional clue to season 11's Darkness. In trying to understand her fate, Charlie learned from Clive that the original key was now useless in this world:

Clive: The six keys of Oz were forged from Oz steel. They can only be repaired in that magical realm.
Good Charlie: So there's no going back? I can't put my darkness away?
If the parallel continues, then the original key, Dean’s Mark of Cain, is not the answer to recapturing the Darkness. Another key, also forged by Biblical power, must be 'summoned' and used. If you remember, they've done that before. If we go back to the first Biblical evil the boys unleashed (seasons 1-5), they defeated and reincarcerated Lucifer by reassembling an ancient Biblical key to his cell (the horsemen’s rings).

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The key to lock away evil was nothing like the key that freed the evil (which was the breaking of the seals), which lends credibility to the theory that a new key must be found to rebind the Darkness.   

So the MoC as a key was clearly foreshadowed in season 10, if not long before that. I’d have to go back to reread the season 10 Threads articles to be sure, but does anyone remember us picking up on the repeated use of the key theme?

The Darkness

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Charlie’s explanation opens up other possibilities as well. Her repeated use of the term “the darkness” was a blatant parallel to season 10’s end game. She told us that darkness resides within the souls of all beings. Is that the true nature of the Darkness? Where did IT come from? Could it possibly be the “evil" that had once resided within God? Once split from Him, it was pure evil and he was pure Goodness? Death said,
“Before there was light, before there was God and the archangels there wasn't nothing, there was the Darkness”
That clearly says that the Darkness predates God. So was the Darkness an immense power that was buried in the “soul” of the universe, and if yes, was it too powerful for even God and the archangels to destroy? That would be consistent with our concept of pure evil. It must exist in balance to goodness. Evil cannot be destroyed. It can only be defeated, contained and controlled. In the finale, the brothers discussed their mission to fight evil,
Dean: "Why? Because we track evil and kill it? The Family Business?  
My 10.23 Threads article discussed this extensively, so should we define Darkness to be the essence of evil?

Dark Charlie, acting as the voice of darkness, said, “You know what I learned about being dark? It sets you free.” During the season, we thought Dark vs. Good Charlie was a lesson about the struggle between MoC and Good Dean (which it was) but we didn’t know about the Darkness yet. Maybe there is another layer of meaning? Will unleashing the Darkness, i.e. pure evil, corrupt the soul of everyone it touches, unleashing their inner evil? Is that how it overpowers the good in the world?

s10e23 596 Billowing Darkness

In 10.07, “Girls, Girls, Girls”, Dean tells Cole, “Once you touch that darkness... It never goes away”. The idea that the darkness touches a person then stays with them forever has to be more than a clever play on words.  It again implies that the darkness corrupts the goodness, or slowly destroys the goodness, in a person’s soul, much the same as the MoC did to Dean.

Charlie’s darkness was defeated, or more precisely, weakened then confined and guarded, by reuniting with good. Does that lesson hold the answer to the Darkness, just on a larger scale? Do the brothers have to find a way to weaken, then recast the original spell that confined the Darkness, or does the ‘Jeeves’ solution mean they have to destroy the darkness? My guess is closer to the former. That would be consistent with their solution to stopping but not destroying Lucifer and the apocalypse, and would respect the supposed enormity of the threat they face. What do you think?

Ironically, on Charlie’s return visit later in the season, she may have again provided another clue as to how to defeat the Darkness. In “Book of the Damned” 10.18, Charlie recounted the history of the Book, saying, 

“The Book of the Damned is a spell book for creating or undoing any kind of damnation there is…About 700 years ago, a nun locked herself away after having visions of darkness… There’s a spell inside that thing for everything. Talking some black mass, dark magic, end-of-times nastiness.”

That description clearly implies that the nun saw the Darkness that battled with God, and was moved to being the scribe of ancient spells to undue such horrors. If the nun saw the Darkness and the spell that unlocked something that only God, Death and the archangels knew about, maybe she had visions about the entire battle not just the post-war imprisonment. Since the Book of the Damned was meant to help those who have been damned (and surely human kind was damned when the Darkness was unleashed), maybe she also saw the spell to contain the Darkness and deliver humanity out of damnation. That means the Book may hold a new key, perhaps in the form of a spell, to ending the Darkness.

“The Werther Project” (10.19) introduced another possibility for defeating the Darkness.  Susie's 'ghost' haunted Sam, saying “You Let It Out!” The Werther spell was a human-scale version of the Darkness. Both were a colored, evil, deadly, smoke released by the use of a spell.

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The Werther spell was defused, defeated and destroyed by sacrificing the blood of the ones who created it (MoL).  I wonder if the spell that unleashed the Darkness can be reversed by sacrificing the blood of the one who cast the spell, specifically, Rowena?

Susie also berated Sam for making her the first casualty of his “misguided mission”:

“Making deals with witches, opening Pandora’s Box down there? You’re the reckless one. You’ll do anything to keep clinging to that doomed brother of yours. How many more will die, Sammy?”
 Pandora’s Box could be a perfect analogy for the Darkness. Once it was unleashed, evil spread across the world.

According to the myth, Pandora opened a jar, in modern accounts sometimes mistranslated as "Pandora's box", releasing all the evils of humanity—although the particular evils, aside from plagues and diseases, are not specified in detail by Hesiod—leaving only Hope inside once she had closed it again.[1]
The evil unleashed by Pandora was never defeated. Instead the battle continues everyday with the strength of hope.  Could that give us a clue to dealing with the evil that our Pandoras, i.e. Sam, Cas, Crowley and Rowena, unleashed on the world? Is it with us permanently, forcing humanity to continue the fight of Good vs. Evil? Although Pandoras’ lore might apply, I don’t accept permanency as the lesson. If that were the case, the plot line wouldn't have a point and our boys wouldn't be heroes. For now, it seems that this concept was introduced as a literary reference to the historical precedent and as foreshadowing of the season 10 finale, but not as a possible solution to be pursued in season 11. Do you agree?

Dean made an interesting observation about their victory over the Werther spell, though.
“Something the universe has been trying to tell us. We’re stronger together than apart.”
The universe would be the celestial entity that operates on the same plane of knowledge as the Darkness. Is the universe telling them that they can defeat the Darkness, the evil they unleashed, if they work together?

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It was their unity that defeated Lucifer. Supposedly Sam and Dean work together all through season 11.  Since this episode was so heavy with foreshadowing of the Darkness, it is reasonable to accept that it laid the path for what is to come.

In both Charlie’s and Jeeves’ cases, someone else explained what the brothers were facing, and the history and use of the keys. So who besides Death (who is supposedly now unavailable) can help the brothers decipher this case?

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Metatron and the Demon Tablet

In “Inside Man” (10.17), Metatron said of the Mark, “It’s OLD magic, God Level Magic”. Even though I don’t like reducing God to a mere magician or his powers to being magic, Metatron was right about the Mark. He knew it was very old (frequently referred to as pre-biblical by Death and in the writers/actors’ commentaries about season 11) and that it was created by God. Metatron seemed to be telling the truth that he didn’t know the details about the Mark, so he may not know the details on how to contain or defeat the Darkness. Then again, he may still have some useful, basic knowledge.

s10e18 378

In “The Hunter Games” (10.10), Castiel mentions the Demon Tablet when talking about the MoC (that Metatron scribed and now has in his possession),
“This reaches back to the time of creation. It may pre-date the lore. If we had the Demon Tablet, maybe.”
So did God put anything about the Mark or the Darkness in the Demon Tablet? I’m not convinced Castiel's mention of the Demon Tablet and Metatron's tease ‘the river ends at the source’ were all bluffs or writing mistakes.  I still wonder if they are foreshadowing for S11. Everything else that Metatron said in this episode about the MoC’s effect on Dean was true, signifying that Metatron knew at least something about the Mark. What could be the plotline connected to the tablet then? At this point, Castiel’s mention of it is our only clue. I’m guessing Metatron is not the pivotal player in this though. I think his possession of the Demon Tablet will be a side plot. What are your theories?

Rowena and Witches

Even if Metatron's role in the Darkness story is unclear, Rowena will definitely be right in the center of it. In retelling his story from Oz, Clive said,
“A coven of witches grabbed me. They used the inner key on me, unleashed my ID. He was awful. He killed all the witches…”.
That is (now) an obvious parallel and foreshadowing of a witch using a key to unleash an evil. It is especially interesting that the evil turned on the witches and killed them.  Are we being told that Rowena, and all witches, need to fear the Darkness? It is possible that Rowena feels she can control or is at least immune to the Darkness since she was its liberator, and now has immense power because she controls the Book.


Oz's experience that once unleashed the 'evil' killed all witches seems to contradict that, however. At least going into season 11, season 10 seems to predict that Rowena is also in danger. If true, this may motivate her to once again work with the Winchesters to cast the binding spell from the Book.

In “Girls, Girls, Girls” (10.07), Sam’s research uncovered:

“…in the 18th century, there were accounts of demons killed by witchcraft. Apparently they were vanquished by a spell called ‘defigere et depurgare’ which is Latin for 'to bind and purge'….from what I can tell, that spell hasn't been used in over 300 years. And it was only ever known by one person, the witch who created it…Rowena.”
This is also very intriguing background on Rowena. She knows how to create a spell “to bind and to purge”, exactly what is needed to free the world from Darkness. This strengthens the argument that she will be somehow convinced (maybe by the aforementioned threat) to help defeat the Darkness.

A last note on Rowena. In “Executioner’s Song” (10.14), she said about herself and Crowley, “Of course I was manipulating you! I am your mother, after all. Manipulation's who we are.” An interesting, if not disturbing, character analysis for the MacLeod’s!


In “Soul Survivor” (10.03), when Crowley saved Cas’ life and gave him more borrowed angel grace, Cas in a way became indebted to Crowley. Then in the season’s climax, Castiel owed Crowley for finding the rare ingredients needed for the spell.


Crowley also has something to hold over Sam. In 10.22 “The Prisoner”, Crowley let Sam live saying, “From here on, I want you to know that the only reason you’re alive is because I allowed it” implying ‘you owe me one’. Crowley is always playing the angles, assessing the odds and building up his chits. Since he is, in fact, a master manipulator, how might he cash in on these debts in season 11?


s10e18 441

The ‘Beast' spell was a favorite spell of Rowena’s, first used on the 'girls' in episode 7 then later on the college boys in episode 17 (“Inside Man”). In hindsight, it is fairly obvious that she would turn to it at the end of season 10 to incapacitate Castiel. Did you see that coming? Humans can’t overcome the spell so obviously Castiel has to find an original solution that pertains specifically to angels. Ironically, he had just told Rowena that he was "a lot like a human".

Just Wondering…

The Stynes said the Book of the Damned couldn’t be destroyed. Do you think the Holy Oil Dean splashed on it would have worked, had Sam actually thrown the book into the fire?

In “The Prisoner” (10.22), Sam said he was never going to forgive himelf for “getting Charlie killed” (which I don’t buy into by the way). Then when Cas asked Sam “What Happened?”, Sam replied “Me”.  That says a lot about how much Sam is going to blame himself in season 11 for releasing the Darkness.

“About A Boy” 10.12 was all about second chances (e.g. Tina, young Dean). Were there any other references to 2nd chances in other episodes? It seems to me that would be a good theme for S11 with Dean restored to himself.

“Girls, Girls, Girls”, “Ask Jeeves” and “There’s No Place Like Home” were steeped in foreshadowing. Additionally, in “The Things We Left Behind” 10.09, Dean told Cas,

“Knife me. Smite me. Throw me into the freakin’ sun, whatever. And don’t let Sam get in the way, because he’ll try. I can’t go down that road again, man. I can’t be that thing again.” 
Dean was predicting that he would ask a more powerful being to kill him and that Sam would need to be ‘dealt with’ to keep him from interfering. This directly foreshadowed the finale! These were superficially the simple monster of the week stories, yet they win the award for predicting the most about what was going to happen by the end of the season. Maybe we should pay closer attention to the non-myth arc stories. Remind me of that when the next silly episode airs in season 11!

So there are the season 11 threads woven into season 10. I didn’t cover all the episodes, and I’m sure I’ve missed things, so please chime in with your ideas. I’ve also thrown out a lot of theories here, so I’m anxious to hear your thoughts. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait too long for answers now, but until all is revealed, let’s keep unraveling those threads!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandora
Dialog confirmed at www.supernaturalwiki.com
New screenshots courtesy of www.kissthemgoodbye.net


# MTgin 2015-09-30 11:09
I already love this amazing show...then I read the insightful things on this site (and other fan comments as well) and I am even MORE blown away by the depth of this under-appreciat ed "teen girl" show! Yeah, I'm besotted, so, OF COURSE, I will eat up every little thing. BUT, the bigger themes about being human, being family, fighting and accepting aspects of ourselves...and weaving it throughout with humor and empathy....all are universal and add to enhanced understanding of ourselves and others. Thank you SPN writers, cast, crew, and show runners. Thank YOU Nightsky, and your colleagues, for astute observations and compassion for the stories we love so well! BRING ON the Darkeness...let 's take the plunge together, for that is when we are the strongest!
# nightsky 2015-09-30 13:12
You have described so well why we are all blown away with this show! Thank you for your compliments. I'm so glad that our writing staff adds to the enjoyment of our beloved show!
# njspnfan 2015-09-30 11:19
Much food for thought, Nightsky. I was going to post this as a discussion thread but it's appropriate for here - do you think the First Blade will play any role in defeating/fight ing back/locking up the Darkness? The First Blade was shaped like the Mark of Cain, and the MoC would react (glow) when in contact with the First Blade.
# nightsky 2015-09-30 13:10
It is so ironic that you brought that up! In my draft of the article, when talking about Metatron's knowledge of the Mark, I included that he said they needed the First Blade. The sentence was: "I’m not convinced Castiel's mention of the Demon Tablet and Metatron's tease ‘the river ends at the source’ or him telling the brothers they needed the First Blade were all bluffs or writing mistakes." I took that phrase out because I couldn't come up with a theory related to it (I actually DO have a theory about that darn river). You have provided a workable, reasonable idea about the Blade, though. I'm in! What does everybody else think?
# sugarhi15 2015-09-30 14:20
awesome and most insightful read.....you've given so much food for thought, I don't think i'll eat for a week. :p:D

I read your article, I've been thinking...Ever since we learned that Sam and Dean were meant to be born, I've always believed that this order came from God himself. The angels have prophesized that Sam and Dean were meant to start the Apocalypse. I think perhaps even the Demons prophesized the same....but yet it's always been an assumption and not the truth. If it were the truth, then I don't think Sam and Dean would've stopped the Apocalypse from happening. Sam and Dean were told by Joshua how much God had helped them. We also learned that Sam and Dean passed the test....a test I always believed God's children failed. Basically, I've always believed, that in the world of Supernatural, God created Sam and Dean to inevitably conquer the Darkness....bec ause I think God knew that once Lucifer betrayed him and gave the mark to Cain, the Darkness would eventually be released..it was just a matter of time.

I think when Carver took over he took the show in a more personal direction, yet he never really strayed from the heart of what show was about . It's understandable that Sam and Dean, who I believe to be the chosen ones, by God to ultimately conquer this evil, would have to be tested in every way possible. ...and they pretty much have been, and every time they've been tested, they've ultimately won...I think the MOC was an important test for both brothers. If one really examines the story of the boys, it's pretty clear that love has never really been the problem...the love between these boys is their greatest strength. These boys do have their weaknesses as well, and it's this weakness that needed to be overcome...the problem with ea. of the boys has been their own view of themselves. Both boys have self esteem issues which is the primary reason for the misunderstandin gs and misconceptions that ea. thought the other had regarding the other. The biggest problem the boys had...the greatest obstacle was the lack of perspective...a nd that was due to the fact that ea. of the boys see themselves as a disappointment to the other. :(:(The MOC storyline was the greatest test for both brothers.....an d it started in s8, when Carver took over.

I've written so many posts in the last three years regarding where I felt the story was headed, and was so happy when Dean validated every post in the Werther Project. The main point I had constantly harped on was the downfall of Dean Winchester and his ultimate rise. ;) Both Sam and Dean broke in S8. Dean became the very thing he feared himself to be, the worst he could be and not because he killed in Purgatory, but because he liked it in Purgatory. He took it out on Sam in the beginning of s8. Think about how much Dean must have hated what he'd become. Here is a man from the beginning of show hated monsters. Hell he'd just killed Amy right and given her this whole speech on how monsters can never change. Then not so much later, here Dean is....BFF with a vampire. Dean breaking every rule he ever held dear, that he'd ever made. All the times he'd scolded Sam and here he was in his hypocritical glory. So it stands to reason why Dean built up Benny to be the exception his own rule. To keep trying to convince Sam, and moreso himself that Benny was different, which he wasn't. Dean, in his attempt to deny what he'd committed a truly cruel act on Sam which drove Sam to give Dean an ultimatum....Sa m could no longer compete with Benny..so Benny was the deal breaker...I really believe Dean realized for the first time how far he'd gone and it scared him...which totally makes sense why the second half of the season Dean tried to make it up to Sam, and why it was so important to him that he do the trials....Dean needed redemption....f or what he felt he became in Purgatory. Dean's downfall continues in S9...his inability to explain to his brother why he did what he did....to admit that there is a part of him that fears what he'd become if Sam was gone...after all , Sam was gone when he was in purgatory and look what happened.... Dean, rather than face up to his inner fears instead punishes himself more than Sam ever could've or would've...by taking the MOC.
Then we have s10......Dean a demon....he'd finally become the very monster he feared to be....and once Sam brought him back to human status, we see that Dean doesn't want to become that "thing" again. Dean finally takes a stand against his inner demons...finall y starts to face them and dares to put up a fight....but it wasn't easy....and near the end, it seemed like Dean was going to lose against his inner monster....but Dean has the one thing that always kept him from falling....he has his brother, he has Sam. Sam has always been Dean's light. Sam told him he would show dean the light at the end of the tunnel, but what Sam failed to realize was that he is the light at the end of the tunnel. When all seemed lost, when it looked like Dean finally lost his inner battle, his love for his brother for his family proved stronger....dea n beat the darkness even with the mark still on his arm....the Winchesters are stronger together....the ir love is the force of good...the light that will beat the darkness....

I think s11 will be the brothers united completely....I think both of them have beaten their inner demons...I think both, having walked in ea. other's shoes will now have the one thing that their relationship lacked...perspe ctive...no more misperception, no more feeling like a disappointment. ....they are united now. This is very important. this was the chink in the armor that could be used against them....this self hatred that they shared....but I think they've just finally excepted that they'll always fight for ea. other and that's just the way it is so they have to deal with that.....

now that the issues are behind them, not that they won't feel guilt or responsibility for the darkness and their losses,.....but they stand united in a way that's stronger now.....their light is brighter...and it's their light that will eventually defeat the darkness....the y've passed all the tests thrown their way....now I think God feels that they're ready for their ultimate fight.

at least that's the way I look at it;) so can't wait for this season to see how it plays out
# MTgin 2015-09-30 14:35
Some great thoughts there, sugarhi15. Not sure if you PLANNED it, but your continual reference to the "light" the Winchesters bring is perfect for the upcoming season. More food for thought....and more reason to admit to myself that my love of this story, and the boys, is NOT misguided. There are bigger influences here....thought and ideas that truly do speak to the deepest part of all of us, if we can only accept the venue it which it is presented. Thanks for sharing.
# YellowEyedSam 2015-09-30 14:56
That was an interesting and though provoking article. I applaud your research, you've done a fine job. I for one am quite curious to know how the darkness works once it infects someone as you said. Does it corrupt the goodness or destroy? Either way I'm looking forward to how this is answered :)
# nightsky 2015-09-30 15:44
I loved the SneekPeak clip (on our spoiler page)! It made me SOOOOO excited for next week! Luckily, I had written this before I watched it so I wasn't influenced by what I saw, but supposedly we find out very quickly how the Darkness affects people and maybe even what it is.
# nightsky 2015-09-30 15:51
In reply to Sugarhi15:

I've always believed, that in the world of Supernatural, God created Sam and Dean to inevitably conquer the Darkness....because I think God knew that once Lucifer betrayed him and gave the mark to Cain, the Darkness would eventually be released..it was just a matter of time.
That's a fascinating idea, and it is consistent with my "finish the job He started" line of thought.

Sam told him he would show dean the light at the end of the tunnel, but what Sam failed to realize was that he is the light at the end of the tunnel. When all seemed lost, when it looked like Dean finally lost his inner battle, his love for his brother for his family proved stronger....dean beat the darkness even with the mark still on his arm....
An absolutely wonderful expression of this show.

That was a FABULOUS post!! So insightful. I loved it. Thanks.
# Lilmac48 2015-09-30 16:08
I always enjoy reading your summaries Nightsky. You are so through and find the smallest detail to keep it intriguing. When Death was talking about the darkness I remembered Charlie's comment about the darkness within. Unfortunately I didn't catch some of the other you wrote about. I do think the The Book of the Dammed and the Demon Tablet are going to be used in combination to retrap the Darkness. The only wildcard I think in this mixture will be Metatron. Even though Rowena says she is a born manipulator, Metraton is the grand master manipulator. It's gong to be interesting to see how the story lines bring both of these individuals into play. Very likely against each other. Thanks for the recap.
# nightsky 2015-10-01 08:16
Thank you! I really appreciate the compliments.
You have a great point about Metatron being THE master manipulator. I wonder if Rowena's comment was meant as a juxtaposition to the MacLeods. It would be VERY interesting to have a Crowley vs. Metatron storyline. The Sting comes to mind!
# scraptyler 2015-09-30 16:28
"God the Father engaged in a battle with a supernatural evil many eons ago. Rather than destroying the evil, for reasons yet to be revealed he locked it up and gave someone he trusted (Lucifer) the key and the responsibility to guard the evil. Lucifer passed that responsibility to Cain." I feel this comes full circle to free will and trying to find balance. With out evil, there would be no good. And without good, there is no evil. So with God locking up this darkness evil, maybe God knew evil cannot be destroyed. In Dark Dynasty (I thnk it's that episode), Rowena talks more about the nun. The nun knew the world needed balance. For even curse, there had to be a cure. You cannot have one without the other (good vs. evil) I think Rowena's presentation of the nun's backstory also sets up Season 11. Sam and Dean need to work together to fine a way to undo the damange they both caused. Their skills and personalities compliment each other (a balance) and when ever a third person get involved (Angels, Demons, Ruby, Cas, Crowley, Charlie) that balance is tipped to one side or the other. I think the boys will be more open with each other but they still need to deal with their own insecurities -- no matter how old they get, Dean will always worry and want to protect Sam and Sam will always feel like he can't fill Dean's shoe. I also see Cas and Crowley maybe working together. Cas has has tried to find his personal balance and so has Crowley. Both have walked that fence and have fallen to either side. Crowley is such a chess player and always thinking. Cas is all heart. Maybe they need each other to regain their own personal balance. I see Rowena and Metatron as the two who will be working against the tide, causing the disruption in the universe. Metatron hasn't had much time to experience the goodness of things human and Rowena experiences with humans have been horrible. So they could be the link for the spell that will lock the darkness away once again to create the much needed balance in the world. Anyway, I hope the darkness is a two-year arc and gets a proper solution. The whole serious is based on faith, hope and love. When as long as one of those three elements are present, the individual episodes work. There have been a couple where that theme left the building. The best of the years years have benn with all three have been present.
# nightsky 2015-10-01 08:44
In Dark Dynasty (I thnk it's that episode), Rowena talks more about the nun.
That was one of the episodes I had to skip (Hiatus schedule)! Was there more in it about the Book and the nun?? I didn't remember they were in there. That could be important!
Interesting theory about Rowena/Crowley/Metatron being the key to the new spell. Somehow those plot lines should merge, I agree.

faith, hope and love. When as long as one of those three elements are present, the individual episodes work.
So very, very true.
# cheryl42 2015-09-30 16:37
Rats! I wish I had read this before I rewatched S10. It would have made it sooo much more fun. Really great read! And great research putting all of that together. I can't wait to see how your theories play out in S11 (can you believe it 11!!)
# nightsky 2015-10-01 08:36
I would love to have you join me in #WFBRewatch (Twitter and Facebook) during hiatus! We could rewatch together!

Everyone, for S11, save the whole season on DVR! Then we can rewatch next hiatus before the S11 DVDs are released! (Sorry to the countries that only get it via on-line streaming. I don't think you can save the eps, can you?)
# Pam 2015-09-30 21:40
A lot of good thinking went into this analysis. I enjoyed reading about your thoughts and predictions. Let's see what happens
# nightsky 2015-10-01 08:19
Thank you. I'm really excited for S11. Working together again in the Family Business!
# Jen 2015-10-01 01:41
WOW WOW and one more for luck WOW Thanks Nightsky you helped put S10 into perspective and I also wish I read this before my 3rd re-watch of S10. You wrote a excellent article then Sugerhi wrote a excellent article with her answer and Scraptyler also. I can really see the importance of balance showing through the show and the importance of Love, Trust and forgiveness / also good v evil.
Sam & Dean right from Ep1 S1 were two brothers brought together by tragic circumstanses. They needed to let go of their own demons before they could be truly together and balanced. This with outside influences - maybe deliberetly, as a test, has taken many seasons to reach. But now the Boys have come full circle and their inner demons have been dealt with and they will be at their best to defeat the Darkness, We do need a little bad to make us good I am so looking forward to S11 it can't come soon enough Thank you again for your article.
PS. I like the observation by Scraptyler that Crowely's evilness balances Castiels goodness and WELL Rowenna and Metatron - who isn't an angel but human with powers of witchery are just plain bad = they could be one Big problem this season
# nightsky 2015-10-01 08:32
You are welcome! Can you join the #WFBRewatch (Twitter and Facebook) during Hiatus (time zone-wise)? The initial material of this article came from observations I made during the rewatch each week. I had a running theory which I built on each episode. Then I just had to come up with theories for what I was seeing. I didn't realize how it could all fit together until I actually starting writing.
# Jen 2015-10-01 18:54
I have them all on DVD or on my computer I'm a bit naughty and download from itorrentz otherwise we have to wait a week in Aust. So I can see the eps. 24 hrs after you. if I didn't I would have no finger nails left It actually works out the same time I think Wednesday 9.30 in your home around 1.00pm on Thursday in my home LOL
# Jen 2015-10-01 02:33
Hi guys I was just going through some episodes of Supernatural and way back in S1 Ep16 Shadow. When Sam & Dean first meet Meg the Demon - she was controling Daevas / Like hellhounds, Daevas are beings used by demons as invisible killers. While they are invisible, Daevas appear as humanoid shadows. Meg summons the daevas using a black altar. Caleb tells Dean Winchester that the Zoroastrian symbol, shaped like a Z, is a sigil for a Daeva and is ancient magic, possibly ranging from two thousand years before Jesus Christ./ Zoroastrian symbol, representing a Demon of Darkness, Sam & Dean were able to repell them back then with flare guns Only repell not kill So now we are back to Rowenna and maybe Metatron again
Are we all even more intrigued now MMMMMMMMMMMMM Interesting
# nightsky 2015-10-01 08:25
In researching this article, I too came across the Daevas and was intrigued that they were called "demon of darkness". For sure they weren't positioned as foreshadowing of "The Darkness" way back in S1, but it IS a great opportunity for the writers to pull out old lore and bridge the two seasons. Daevas were really great monsters in a superb ep. Fans would be so impressed! JC did say he was going back to the roots of the series... Now I'm more excited!
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-10-01 21:00
Nightsky, what a fascinating article. As usual, your take on the S10 episodes makes me rethink somewhat the low opinion I have of most of the season. Darn you! :) I especially was intrigued by this part:

So was the Darkness an immense power that was buried in the “soul” of the universe, and if yes, was it too powerful for even God and the archangels to destroy? That would be consistent with our concept of pure evil. It must exist in balance to goodness. Evil cannot be destroyed. It can only be defeated, contained and controlled.
It makes sense that evil can't be permanently destroyed but rather only contained and controlled. And I loved sugarhi's suggestion that God created Sam and Dean to conquer the Darkness. If the Darkness is a force that is in eternal conflict with goodness and light, only those who have demonstrated the greatest capacity to resist evil should be able to conquer the D. The archangels were the beings who initially helped God beat back the D and lock it up. But since that time they proved to be a disappointment to God. Lucifer betrayed God and sought to destroy mankind; Michael, who professed to be obeying God, was willing to destroy half of mankind to defeat Lucifer. Gabriel and Raphael also were cast in a pretty poor light on SPN. In short, the archangels no longer seem worthy of the task of once again defeating the D. In stark contrast stand the Winchesters. No human is more intimately acquainted with evil than the brothers are. They have been constantly surrounded by it, tempted by it and even invaded by it since they were children, and still they have retained their humanity. Unlike the archangels, the brothers have remained constant in their love for each other. However much their relationship has been tested and frayed, they have always withstood the forces that threatened to destroy their bond. I love how sugarhi expressed it:

their love is the force of good...the light that will beat the darkness....
They are everything that the archangels were not. While they will need to muster whatever help they can from assorted angels , demons and witches, the Winchesters are the only ones truly capable of defeating the D. At least I hope so!
# nightsky 2015-10-04 16:13
Samanddean10, I really like your thoughts about Sam and Dean taking over the job of the archangels. The thought that came to me was that humanity is supposed to evolve. A common SciFi theme is that every race (in our case, humanity) continues to grow, mature, evolve. The people get wiser, stronger, know themselves more, promote more good, etc. Maybe Sam and Dean are humans' evolutionary jump in that progression?? Are they the ones that help root out all evil from our midst and put humanity on a path to greater things? Maybe they are supposed to take over for the archangels on behalf of humanity. The angels protected God's "children". Maybe Sam and Dean are pushing humanity out of helplessness into at least adolescence as a species. Think about it. As children grow and become more capable themselves, they begin to reject their parents' help. As adolescents, they see the parents as stupid and useless (Dean especially has expressed this opinion of God and angels). The new being that is emerging from the child is more capable, stronger and rebellious...just as S&D are committed to their own Free Will rejecting the "parent's" plan for his children. Maybe S&D really ARE finishing what the Father started....God started it all and gave life, just like a father does for his children. Maybe S&D are helping the human race "grow up" and become an independent, capable, mature species. Ok, I'm rambling. Do you see what I'm saying, though?

And I love "the D". Thank goodness someone came up with a shortcut. I was already tired of typing "The Darkness"!
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-10-04 20:16
Nightsky, I love your idea that Sam and Dean represent human's evolutionary jump. And it really is borne out in the show. God was disappointed in his angels, especially the archangels. They were creatures of duty, not love. While the archangels all professed their love for one another, they were at the same time plotting against and slaughtering each other! Disappointed in his angels, God created man. Clearly he thought he had gotten it right this time, else why would he have told the angels to bow down before man? Yet God wanted to test his new creatures, and the Winchesters were his test subjects. Chuck did say that they had been tested and had done "alright" by choosing family over destiny. So this new Free Will thing that God had come up with was a big improvement over the angels and their cold, rigid sense of duty. Though tested at every turn, the brothers' love triumphed over everything else. But maybe, as you suggest, that was not the end of the test and of the brothers' evolution. The next test was represented by the Cain and Abel parallel. I always thought the parallel was Cain/Dean and Sam/Abel because Dean took on the MOC and was seemingly destined to kill Sam. The Dean/Cain parallel was also referenced earlier in the show when Sam was wrestling with the demon blood and Dean was supposedly destined to kill him in battle. Yet while Dean sometimes faltered in his faith in Sam, he never considered killing him. In fact, he instantly rejected Anna's claim that it was necessary. But maybe the parallel was also Cain/Sam and Dean/Abel. Cain learned that Abel was being tempted by Lucifer and he therefore struck his deal with Lucifer to trade his soul for Abel's on the further condition that he himself kill Abel. While presumably he made this deal to protect Abel, he never tried any other measure to safeguard him. He never tried to talk to or reason with Abel because he simply did not have faith in him. He gave up on him, and committed the first murder in the name of love! Compare that to the Winchesters. During the entire time that Dean struggled with the MOC, Sam never faltered in his faith that Dean would triumph. As Dean acknowledged, Sam would never have agreed to kill Dean, even if it had been possible. Sam's love for and faith in Dean stood in sharp contrast to Cain's actions regarding Abel. And Sam's love was the thing that got through to Dean. Even the MOC could not completely overcome Dean's love for Sam. So perhaps this latest test WAS just another step in the Winchesters' evolution. I love your idea about that. And God has always taken a special interest in the brothers, so it really makes sense. It's kind of like sugarhi's idea about how the brothers' love is the force that will defeat the D. Well, now I've gone on and rambled for too long, but I've been mulling over your comment for hours so I needed to put my thoughts into words.:)
# Vince 2015-10-01 23:19
My own headcanon for the Darkness/Lucife r/demons goes since Lucifer was being affected by the Darkness, that's why tortured/corrup ted souls take on the form of black smoke.
# nightsky 2015-10-04 16:14
I would love if the writers do something with that! It makes perfect sense!
# njspnfan 2015-10-02 12:00
So the MoC as a key was clearly foreshadowed in season 10, if not long before that. I’d have to go back to reread the season 10 Threads articles to be sure, but does anyone remember us picking up on the repeated use of the key theme?
I went back and did a cursory review of your Season 10 Threads articles for "Key", along with the word darkness.

10.01 Black No reference
10.02 Reichenbach No reference
10.05 Fan Fiction No reference
10.07 Girls, Girls, Girls
Key was referenced as to whether Castiel's grace was key to unlocking heaven. You also made reference to darkness but that was in reference to the story of the week and what was happening with Cole.

10.08 Hibbing 911 No reference
10.09 The Things We Left Behind No reference
10.10 The Hunter Games
You mentioned in your article "It seems that the Mark consumes the energy of the death, so the bigger the prey, the bigger the step into darkness for Dean. That’s worth noting."

10.11 There's No Place Like Home
You referenced some dialog "Charlie: “He said for us to win I had to unleash my true darkness, which he meant literally. He used the inner key of Oz. It opens the door to your soul and lets the darkness out. We’re still connected physically. If you hurt her, you hurt me, but bottom line, she’s bad and I’m good….and being good is really annoying.”

You commented after that "Each phrase in that key line of exposition is important. It begins by explaining that the inner key “unleashed” Charlie’s dark side."

Sugarhi15 mentions "I think the key to dean's control over the moc is forgiveness."

10.12 About A Boy
spnlit references the "darkness of Demonhood"
you wrote "Is the key to Dean’s total redemption then, i.e. getting rid of the Mark, an apology to Sam and a request for forgiveness? I think that would certainly help and might neutralize the Mark’s power, and, like Cain, allow Dean to live a prolonged period of time, as long as Dean stayed away from the temptations of violence."

you also wrote "So, what do you think of Sam’s eternal hope and Dean’s eternal protection combining to defeat the Mark? Do you think forgiveness is the key, or will it come down to the final battle between brothers? Was that the moral of this fable for you?"

AlyCat22 and I made reference to a key, but in the context of one of the artifacts that Dean was cataloging in S8 (the same episode that the key to Oz turned up, I think it was The Spear of Destiny).

10.13 Halt and Catch Fire
Spnlit mentions "Dean then mentions hope as being false. Dean has been so scarred and saturated by the eternal darkness he see that he has always struggles with hope and faith."

10.15 The Things They Carried
One brief summary item in your article - "10.10 Metatron confirmed that the power of the victim is part of the equation. The bigger the prey, the bigger the step into darkness for Dean."

10.16 Paint It Black
Your write "This episode, which told the story of how Isabella turned to darkness"

10.17 Inside Man No reference
But... there was a mention by yours truly "What is the consensus on whether or not Death can kill someone with the Mark of Cain? Just wondering if Dean is going to end up calling on him, maybe bribe him with some fried pickle chips?"

10.18 Book of the Damned No reference
10.19 The Werther Project
You wrote "Looking deeper, though, this episode also offered a few answers and one strong beacon of hope that may shine a light through their inevitable path of darkness."

10.20 Angel Heart No reference
10.22 The Prisoner
you wrote "Rowena was in shackles. She was a prisoner in the truest sense of the word, yet she didn’t act imprisoned. She felt neither helpless nor caged, making demands of her captor and finally receiving the key needed to unlock her coveted treasure trove of magic. She was afraid at the end of the episode, but not from any danger she perceived from her captors."
# AlyCat22 2015-10-02 13:48
To this I must add - THE SPEAR OF DESTINY!!! I will continue to "carry my torch" as it were for God's Special Toothpick until Sam and Dean finally, finally have a "come to Jesus" moment and if not use it, at least research it! It's probably the single most important artifact, Holy or otherwise, (that coincidently you would think the Vatican would be very interested in learning it's current location) residing in the bunker! Maybe I should (or we, right NJ?) start nagging the writers non stop. Hey, Bob, Jenny, Robbie, New writer lady, remember the Spear!!! Jeremy, I know we can count on you! Hey Nep Duo, Robert Singer, there's a ringer you can use to dig yourself out of this Darkness mess. At least it's not Borax. HA!
# nightsky 2015-10-04 16:23
I really have to wonder if the writing team would go there. Would they use such a sacred religious artifact in their story? The Sunday school girl in me cringes a bit.
# nightsky 2015-10-04 16:21
THIS IS AMAZING! Thanks NJSPNFAN! I didn't have the time or the patience to do that!
Interesting that even if we didn't consciously understand "The darkness is coming" or that the MoC was a key, the writers' stories kept putting those words and images in our minds each week. I think that's exceptional writing - to move a viewer/consumer to both conscious and unconscious levels of understanding.
# DiscreteLoner 2015-10-02 23:47
You are very thoughtful. The article really pointed me a very interesting plot. I've never noticed it before.
# nightsky 2015-10-04 16:24
Thank you!! That's why I'm here!