Since we are going to be on hiatus until January we are back with more Hiatus Hunting. This week we will go back in time to see Sam and Dean go back in time in "The Song Remains The Same".
"The Song Remains The Same" is one of the big mytharc episodes. It is also one of the best episodes of the series. We get our second look at young John and Mary. Alice wrote two reviews of the episode and Robin wrote about it as well. So here we have "The Song Remains the Same."
"The Song Remains the Same"
Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
That title. What does it mean to Sam and Dean Winchester? That no matter how many times they go to the past, they can't change it? That whether or not they believe about free will, they don't really have any? As a viewer who spent much of last night's episode in tears, I don't have any answers, but I feel like flying them to another planet where no one can ever hurt them again!
Could it possibly be that Anna was told by upper management angels to kill Sam? I thought they wanted this great battle between Lucifer and Michael? What the hell DO they want? I don't know, and apparently they don't either, but I wanted to kiss Castiel senseless when he told Anna that he would stop her from harming Sam because Sam is his friend. I don't know when that happened but damn, it made me feel good. Cas didn't want to shake Sam's hand when they first met, now he's defending him with his life. He isn't just Dean's guardian angel, he's Sammy's too! Awesome. Anna is a traitorous bitch and can go screw herself. I'm really sorry Dean had sex with her in the Impala; she isn't worthy of Dean OR the Impala. Let's clean those seats thoroughly! Ick!
Cas nearly kills himself to get the brothers to 1978, where John learns of his wife's former life as a hunter and Mary learns the horrific fate that is to befall her and that these two handsome young men in her home are her sons from the future. The scene in the car where John threatens to turn it around when everyone is speaking at once is both hilarious and sad, something that should haven happened circa 1989, but didn't because Mary was already dead and the boys on their way to becoming warriors. It was so cool watching Mary fight Anna, her hunter moves still slick and fresh. I wondered how she was tossed around like that and didn't miscarry, but I guess Dean was really latched on tight.
I can only imagine Mary's sorrow at finding out she was to become a victim of the YED after all. She thought her life was going to become and stay normal, but it wasn't to be all because she interfered. Yet what mother, under those circumstances, wouldn't?
There were three scenes in this episode I especially loved:
1. John insists on helping ward off the angel. He wants to paint that sigil, damn it, in the right size, right place, and if it has to be done in blood, he cuts into his palm then and there. It reminded me of when he cut his palm to summon the demon in "In My Time of Dying" to summon the demon and make the deal to save Dean. John won't be played for a fool! He stepped right up to the plate.
2. Sam tells John that his father raised him and Dean as hunters. John's reaction, calling Sam's father an irresponsible bastard, got an immediate defensive action from Sam, and started me crying hard. Hearing Sam tell his young, unknowing father that he understands, forgives and loves him was one of the most wonderful, terrible, difficult, beautiful and difficult scenes I've ever seen on SUPERNATURAL - next to Sam dying in Dean's arms. Padalecki and Cohen, both with tears in their eyes, nailed the scene brilliantly, too.
3. Dean tells Mary he and Sam are her sons, that she will die on November 2, 1983 at the hands of the Yellow Eyed Demon, and that an angel wants to kill her to prevent the births of her children. Both Sam and Dean urge her to leave John right after all this is over, but it's too late"”Mary is already pregnant with Dean. At first, Mary refuses to believe Dean's claim that she's his mother, but he reminds her that she used to give him tomato rice soup when he was sick, just as her mother used to, and instead of a lullaby, sing him her favorite Beatles song, "Hey, Jude." This convinces Mary he's telling the truth, and it sure brought tears to my eyes, still wet from Sam's exchange with John.
Uriel and Anna show up (she tells him these people they're killing are going to kill him in the future, an out and out lie), and the big battle rages. Anna stabs and kills Sam and is about to finish off Mary when John walks in from where he had been flung outside, now Archangel MICHAEL'S meat suit!
Talk about a huge, unexpected stunner! I am SO glad I stayed spoiler free!
Michael kills Anna, burning her up and turning her to ash (cool special effect). He makes Uriel disappear, to where, I have no idea and couldn't care less. Good riddance to both. I thought Anna a good guy, she obviously was an enemy.
Michael assures Dean he'll fix Sam, but first he must regale him with a long, long speech about how, there is no randomness, no chance, just a plan playing itself out perfectly. "Free will's an illusion, Dean, and that's why you're going to say yes."
Michael promises to return John back as good as new - and both Dean's parents will have their minds wiped of everything they learned from Dean, too. So, yes, Mary will walk into that nursery and die, just as she did before. Hearing this, Dean is in despair. "You can't fight City Hall," says a smiling Michael.
Dean and Sam return to 2010. Cas comes back, too, in pretty bad shape, barely conscious. The brothers pour stiff drinks and glumly contemplate the future. Everyone is predicting both of them are going to say yes. Dean toasts to, "Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one drop-out with six bucks to his name, and Mr. Comatose over there. Awesome." Their father said yes to Michael, right? Yes, but Anna was about to kill Mom. "What if YOU could save Mom?" asks Sam.
Back in 1978, the Winchester nursery has a 25 cent addition - a ceramic angel purchased for her active, kicking baby. Mary likes it, so John loves it. Mary talks to her baby, assuring him, "Angels are watching over you."
Which begs the question, which ones? Castiel? Uriel? Anna? Michael? Zachariah? Lucifer?
This episode was amazing. It had me engaged and on the edge of my recliner from beginning to end. I was horrified at Anna's plans A and B, wondering when she had turned evil, and why. She had once made love to Dean; how could she kill his brother?
I was overwhelmed by how willing Sam and Dean were to urge Mary to leave John before they were ever conceived, and took it as a thumbs-up from SOME higher power that she was already pregnant. Their lives aren't much, I guess, but to be willing to not be born? THAT'S sacrifice! I loved them for it, but really didn't want them to go there, and was glad when Mary told them it was too late.
Mr. Cohen did a wonderful job with both a more assured John and Archangel Michael. He was actually a little scary as the latter. Once again, Dean had to suffer listening to things he didn't want to hear from his father's meat suit. Remember when the YED did the same thing to him? Was this really any better? So he has to endure being an angel's meat suit, fighting and killing his brother. That's his destiny, and there is no way out of it. Period. God said so. But where is God, so Dean can check with him? Is this really what the archangels' father wants? Sounds kinda dicey.
You could see the misery and sense of doom on Dean's face when Michael said he was going to scrub his parents' minds clean of both Dean and Michael, killing Dean's hope to prevent Mary from dying in Sam's nursery in 1983.
The song remains the same, and Dean can't change the lyrics no matter what he does. Is that going to be true for him and Sam as well? Are they cursed to play out Michael and Lucifer's song whether they want to or not?
Alice's Review - "The Song Remains The Same" originally published February 9, 2010 by Alice Jester
This is just a repost of the review I submitted to blogcritics this week in case you didn't see it. Something to tide you all over until I get the full recap up. Happy reading!
Excuse me, do you know where the recruitment office is for Team Freewill? There's a few million of us ready to jump on board.
Wow, just another amazing epic classic from a show that routinely delivers amazing epic classics. This time, Sera Gamble and Nancy Weiner present a flawless script that pushes this show's already amazing actors and their director, Steve Boyum, to the limit. Like we had any doubt they wouldn't deliver.
Much like the Winchester's lives, this episode depicted a nasty situation that banded the family together in a fight that spun out of their control and ended in disaster. Anna, the wayward angel from last season, arrives in Dean's raunchy (and hilarious) dream. Of course it turns out her intent is to kill Sam and spread all parts of him over the globe so Lucifer would never find him. Her plan backfires when instead of Dean and Sam coming to meet her, Castiel shows. With his angel killing sword. Even though her plan makes sense to Castiel, he won't agree to it because Sam is his friend. I'm touched! It's so nice to see a bond like that being formed with Sam and Castiel now. "Come near Sam Winchester and I'll be forced to kill you." He's even on board with the "there must be another way" train of thought now.
What's really interesting is Sam sees validity in Anna's plan too. He asks Castiel if she's right, if she kills him will that stop Lucifer. Castiel presumably (granted we're expression reading here) lies and tells him Dean's offhand reference to Glenn Close. Castiel's fierce protectiveness of the brothers gets better each time we see it. Here, it's the strongest yet.
Anna goes to plan B, which is to kill John and Mary Winchester before Dean and Sam are even born. The choice of timeline, 1978, is interesting. I thought the motivation was to kill Sam, not negate both Dean and Sam. The timeline choice if anything makes the later conversation with Mary, Dean and Sam more interesting. This time Sam gets to go along with Dean's latest time travel adventure and what felt wrong about "In The Beginning" and "The End" finally seems right. Sam belongs there with his brother. Since it is Sam's first time, this is the perfect setup for one of the multiple emotional zingers in this episode. Sam gets to meet his past parents, especially Mary, the mother he never knew. He stands in the background, flabbergasted and teary, while Dean does the talking. His reaction is simple, understated, emotional and just plain heart tugging.
It's a shame that Castiel couldn't join in on all the fun, but this is a family reunion after all and he'd end up being a party crasher. I like how being removed from Heaven is taking its toll and how much harder things are getting for him. Plus, Misha Collins plays angel in a coma really well. Left alone to fight Anna, the brothers bring what few tricks they have up their sleeves. Sam finally gets his turn at the angel banishing sigil and it's awesome. However, the real awesome part of the fight scene in the garage is Mary channeling her inner hunter and kicking some serious ass. You go girl!
What I adore about the writing in this show is how they manage to work in those fun, priceless little moments that don't add much to plot but so add to our delight. There's no better example than the entire Winchester family in the Impala, John driving, Mary in the front seat and Sam and Dean in the back. Needless to say, John is very upset to now learn that monsters are real and the three passengers in his car fight them. He's especially bent when Mary admits she's been doing this all her life. Dean and Sam try to defend, but John sushes them all. "Not another word or so help me I'll turn this car around." The irony of this "awkward family road trip" is not lost on Sam and Dean.
Luckily Mary has an isolated safe house that's been in the family for years, which is the perfect setup to get some emotional baggage out of the way while hunkering down for the big fight. It starts with John and Dean. John is ready to jump in and do whatever it takes to protect Mary, even though he's still quite upset about the whole monsters thing. He volunteers to draw the angel banishing sigils in his own blood, a fighting spirit reminiscent of the hunter John Winchester we know and love. Dean even smiles and tells John he reminds him of his Dad.
Then, in what is the biggest Kleenex moment of the episode, Sam finally gets to have an honest talk with his Dad. Sure it's John of the past, but it's the one chance he has to unload all that regret that's been burdening him since John died. Young John doesn't understand how anyone could raise their kids in that sort of life. "The number it must have done on your head. "Um yeah, understatement. Sam defends his Dad, mentioning he died trying to protect him. He used to hate him, but now he understands he was doing the best he could. "You see, my mom, she was amazing, beautiful and she was the love of his life. And she got killed, and I think he would have gone crazy if he didn't do something. Truth is, my dad died before I got to tell him that I understand why he did what he did, and I forgive him, for what it did to us I do. And I just I love him." John's deeply affect by this, as if he knows Sam is really talking about him. What a gorgeous scene. Both Jared Padalecki and Matthew Cohen are just stunning.
The next Kleenex moment starts with just Dean and Mary. She demands to know the truth and Dean is finally pushed into admitting he's her son. He and Sam came from 2010, brought there by a much friendlier angel. One who's still unconscious in a seedy motel room somewhere BTW. He gets her and all of us crying by bringing up how she used to feed him tomato rice soup when he was sick and sing him "Hey Jude." Mary is mortified, wondering how she ended up raising her boys as hunters. Dean explains how she's killed by the yellow-eyed demon and John becomes a hunter, thus raising them in that life. He warns her about November 2, 1983 again, telling her to take Sam and run. Sam comes in though and points out the flaw in the plan. The yellow-eyed demon will find her and him. There's another way. Mary must leave John. That way, the brothers will never be born, a plan both Sam and Dean have no problem with. Mary won't do this though, insisting there must be another way. Hmm, so that's where Dean gets it from. Mary has another good reason, she's pregnant. Given that Dean was born on January 24, 1979, she should be.
John interrupts the emotional discussion, for the sigils aren't bloody anymore and the oil has dried up. In comes Uriel, recruited earlier by Anna, and the trouble making angel herself. A fight ensues and yeah, it goes badly. Uriel kicks the crap out of Dean, John gets flung outside, and Sam's left to defend Mary. Anna in very graphic fashion follows through with her vow to kill Sam. I know Winchester deaths are kind of cliche anymore, but Sam's death this time is shocking and disturbing. Impaled by a lead pipe, he struggles for a few seconds in full view of a frantic Dean before sliding down, his corpse left to waste on the ground in a growing pool of his own blood. Yikes!
Anna goes for Mary next and divine intervention strikes again. But this is better than just another angel visit. It's THE angel, the archangel Michael. Wearing a freshly minted John Winchester suit he smites Anna into ashes and zaps Uriel away. He assures Mary John is fine just before giving her the angel fingers of sleep. That leaves him and Dean alone to talk, but Dean is more concerned about his dead brother on the floor. Michael wants to talk first and I absolutely love how Matthew Cohen here is able to switch gears so well going from John to the arrogant, superior, yet very charismatic Michael. He and Jensen Ackles blow us away in this scene.
Sure, Michael reiterates what Zachariah, Lucifer, and Gabriel have said before, but his message is so much more powerful. He doesn't want to kill Lucifer, a brother he practically raised (another parallel to Sam and Dean) but he has to. Lucifer betrayed him and their father. It's called being a good son. He points out all the random acts that happened for John and Mary to meet, fall in love, have Dean and Sam, and so forth. It's all part of a plan that's playing out perfectly. That's why Dean will say yes. What's really significant about this conversation though isn't the pre-destiny talk, but the reveal that it's John's bloodline, going all the way back to Cain and Abel, that makes Dean the perfect vessel for him, but not the only one. John said yes to him because he promised to save Mary.
Dean, still defiant, believes that he gets to choose what to do with his "unimportant little life." They end at an impasse but Michael gets the final word, very confident that Dean will say yes. He even promises to not leave him the "drooling mess" his brothers do their vessels when he's done "wearing" him. Ditto for John, plus he's going to do one better. He's going to scrub their minds, make sure they don't remember Dean, Sam, or any of this. That way Mary gets the happy life she wants. Sure, she still walks into that nursery, but that was always supposed to happen one way or another. With one zap he sends dead Sam back to the future breathing and then does so with Dean before promising to see him again soon. The crushed look on Dean's face before he goes tells it all. He's powerless again to save his family.
Back at the motel in 2010 and might I comment, the peach and multi-colored polka dot walls are fabulous! They mark the triumphant return of the over-the-top motel room. Castiel appears and they grab him just before he passes out again. While Sam and Dean share a drink, Dean makes a joke of the dire situation. "Team Freewill. One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name, and Mr. Comatose over there." The harsh reality sets in that with the right motivation, like saving their mother, they'll say yes to Lucifer and Michael. If that wasn't unsettling enough, the pitch perfect ending goes back to Mary and John, in Dean's nursery with a very pregnant Mary. The very happy couple marvel over a cheap artifact Mary found at a garage sale, a small figurine of an angel. She can't put her finger on why she likes it and assures her kicking baby, "Angels are watching over you." Crud, I'd run out of Kleenexes by that time.
So, with that, we're left with so many questions. For one, the bloodline is Sam's too. So that's the answer to Ruby's statement in last season's finale, "It always had to be you."That's scary. Does that mean Nick is related to the Winchesters? I also wonder what it would take for Dean to say "yes." Dean seemed truly affected by Michael's words, as if he saw his point. He refuses to believe though that he has no control over the future. In "The End," Dean saw what could happen if he didn't say yes, but concluded that particular future happened because Sam did. How much longer before what the angels tell him goes beyond "annoying” Will they be able to get through to him, considering all that he knows about the past and future? Since it involves killing Sam, I can't imagine they would be able to use Sam as the reason. What happens if Sam says yes first? Also, what about poor Castiel? How much longer before he ends up becoming a mere mortal? He's getting weaker all the time.
My overall grade, an A+. Say what you want about Michael showing up and mentioning the same thing that's been said over and over again, but I just found his take more fascinating. Up next week, The Edlund ruins Valentine's Day.
Recap - "The Song Remains The Same" originally published February 15, 2010 by Alice Jester
This is an incredible, emotional, epic episode, and there's plenty to cover. That's because it's a Sera Gamble script, with help this time from Nancy Weiner. Let's get started!
You know what shocks me about this opening? That it took five freaking seasons for them to work in Warrant's "Cherry Pie." That type of raunchy mindless rock has been Dean's thing since the pilot. Given that's the Gold standard of really bad hair band music, I'm just surprised this was the first occasion. Oh, but it's a good one. Major kudos to director Steve Boyum for the close up of Dean that gives us the full effect of his sheer delight but at the same time gives us hints that this likely isn't real. I think the choice of lens has something to do with that, but I'm not camera operator either.
So, Dean has that shit eating grin on his face, with the chorus of said rauchfest blaring and he makes it clear. "I take it all back, I love the devil." So there's a hot brunette dressed in skimpy red outfit with horns and red boots moving to the beat giving him a lap dance. I know that Halloween costume. It's called "Lucy-fer." She gets all in his face, he closes his eyes in total hotness and bam, there's an angel there now. A hot blond all dressed in white with wings and a halo. Dean can't believe his luck. "That's what I call peace on earth." The two girls get real close and start to bump and grind and Dean! You should be ashamed of yourself. Nah, considering you're holed up in motel rooms 24/7 with your brother who only lets loose once in a while with demons, I forgive you.
The music comes to the abrupt "Swing it!" ending, the girls part and Anna is there. Oh, talk about sweet dreams coming crashing down. We get a full view of this elaborately decorated whore house, and couple that with this week's motel room and the set designers were obviously given full latitude this ep. It's so well done! It also must be a dream because it looks so nice. I'm sure the real whore houses Dean goes too are seedier. Dean tries the "working on a case" cover but Anna smiles, knowing better. "This is what you dream about." Dean lowers his head and lets out an "awkward." I guess considering he had sex with her, it probably is.
Dean asks why she's gate crashing his head. Why doesn't she swing by the motel? Uh Dean, she can't find you, remember? Dean tries to explain Cas did this thing, but Anna isn't too happy to hear about Cas. If there is one tragedy in this episode, it's that my dreams of a hot steamy Anna/Cas sex romp were ruined. Ah well, there's always fanfic. Anna tells Dean she's been in prison upstairs (all the torture twice the self righteousness) and Castiel is the one that turned her in. Dean tells her he didn't know and asks if she's okay. Nope. Pretty much scared for life. Thanks for asking. She busted out and doesn't have much time. She gives him an address to meet her and hurry. Dean then wakes up in the motel room, another pleasant dream crashed by an angel. I hate it when they do that to me.
Anna is at a creepy warehouse and no one is there. As she walks in the wind blows, then lights start bursting. Why didn't they burst when she walked in? Oh yeah, because Castiel loves to make a grand entrance. Castiel appears behind her and no, she's not happy to see him. "Well, if I didn't know any better, I'd say the Winchesters don't trust me." Castiel admits they do, but he doesn't. He wouldn't let them come. And they listened? Shocker! That's trust right there. Castiel has good reason. If she's out of prison, that's because they let her out. She's there to do their dirty work. He knows because he's been there done that. Anna bitterly points out that he gave her to them. He admits that was a mistake. Aww, look at our Cas growing up.
She insists she escaped but Castiel doesn't buy it. No one escapes. Anna can't believe that after all these centuries he's underestimating her now. No, I think he's exactly estimating things here. He's so smart! He cuts to the chase. What does she want? She wants to help. He can't see why considering she's concealing a knife. She pulls it out (along with the swish sound effect) and asks why she can't defend herself. With a little knife? That can't kill an angel. Not like the one Castiel is holding. You know, the big pointy thing that Anna offed Uriel with. That's a handy weapon for Cas to have. I wonder where he got it? The angel weapons store on Euclid and 5th? Castiel knows she's not telling him something. Fine. Sam Winchester has to die. Who is she? Gordon Walker reincarnated?
Time for the explosive title sequence. If there was ever an episode that tested "blood is thicker than water" it's this one.
Before I continue, screencaps for this episode are from none other than Amazon Video on Demand HD. That's because my local affiliate aired the entire episode with "Winter Storm Warning" in the upper left hand corner. You know who spends a lot of time in shots in the upper left hand corner? None other than Sasquatch himself, Sam Winchester. I had no idea until this episode. Also, the title on both Amazon and iTunes is "Back To The Future Part II." Didn't they get the memo that the title changed?
Okay, back to Cas and Anna. Anna points out they have no choice. He's Lucifer's vessel. Castiel says he's not the only one. Anna happens to rub it in that Nick is imploding and Sam is the only vessel that matters. No Sam, no dastardly plan from Lucifer. You know, I'm thinking Lucifer will find another way. He's a very smart evil genius. "No fight with Michael, no Croatoan virus, the horsemen go back to their day jobs." Exactly what is that? Can you imagine War being your local insurance agent? Death is the cashier at the car wash? It's eerie to think what evil lurks behind those normal people.
Castiel says what we're all shouting at the TV, Satan will just bring Sam back to life. Anna has thought of that and will scatter his cells across the universe. Hello bitch, you want to do that to our Sammy? Oh, that's it, you're toast. Castiel considers for a second for what she's saying, and judging by his lost expression, he sees validity in her plan. Then that sense of loyalty kicks in. "We'll find another way." Wow, the Winchesters aren't just rubbing off anymore. They're practically brainwashing him. I love it.
Anna gets mean because she's a bitch. "How's that going? How's the Colt working out? Or the search for God? Is anything working?" This is the only option. Cas sticks with his no answer, because Sam is his friend. Oh man! Now I'm getting weepy. He fell for Dean and that got me misty, but now he's going to great lengths for Sam too? What a pal. She notices he's changed. Castiel, in a sweet voice of regret, says maybe it's too late, but he has. Don't worry Cas, you have millions of fangirls in your corner at least. "Anna, we've been through much together, but if you come near Sam Winchester I'll kill you." She flies away in a flash and now we can kick start plan B.
I love this visual, and you know someone's been dying to do it for a while. A young couple with strangely long hair, thus making me think at first it was two girls, are kissing in an awesome late 70's retro Firebird. How do I know it's a Firebird? Why the logo on wings on the hood of course. Those were very popular cars in Detroit at the time. Anna flashes in and falls in the center of the hood, the wings on each side of her. How clever! Her nose is bleeding and there's a giant poster of Grease on the wall, signifying that she's done some sort of time travel. What's super sad is I remember 1978, including seeing Grease a few times in the theater. Heck, I even bought the album. I'm getting the willies. They didn't go as far to show Andy Gibb's mug though, so I'll get through this okay. They assist Anna and it's clear she's not okay.
Back to the motel room and I'll comment here how delightfully tacky this one is this week. We haven't seen anything this flamboyant all season. It's so good to see some over the top design back. The walls are either solid peach or with multi-colored wallpaper with large dots in colors of green, brown, peach, and all that. The bedspreads are peach. So awesome to see Winchesters in the middle of that. Castiel is drawing some symbols on the table and he has the urn, the voodoo supplies and the whole nine yards.
Dean is shocked over Anna's plan to kill Sam. "So she's gone all Glenn Close? That's awesome." Castiel naturally doesn't get the reference. Dean mentions something about her being a psycho that boils rabbits. That's a Fatal Attraction reference is case no one knows what he's talking about. I know that movie ruined rabbits for me. Sam, sitting on the bed in the background and looking mighty somber, is analyzing the validity of the plan. "If Anna kills me will it stop Satan?" Dean objects, but Sam wants Castiel's opinion. Castiel SO lies. "No. She's Glenn Close."
Dean wonders why they're looking for the chick that wants to "gank" Sam. "Why poke the bear?" Castiel says in a diplomatic way basically the bitch won't stop trying. They have to kill her first. Castiel does his chant and the igniting crap in an urn thing. The flame goes poof and Cas stumbles backward. Sam and Dean just watch, not at all concerned that Cas is about to do a face plant. Cas recovers though and says that he found her. "Where?" Dean asks. Not where, but when. 1978. Sam now gets up and decides to join the crowd. "I wasn't even born then." We know Sam. Dean wasn't either. Castiel says he won't be, for she's there for kill his parents.
Now Dean takes HUGE interest, saying that Cas has to take them there. Cas doesn't like the idea, for he's delivering them to Anna. Dean doesn't care. "They're our parents Cas, we're going." Cas explains the other wrinkle in the plan. Time travel was difficult enough when he had the powers of Heaven behind him. Sam mentions he's cut off, just in case we didn't know he fell in last season's finale. Dean jokes that he needs to get more plutonium for the DeLorean and Cas is again irritated with a reference he doesn't understand. Cas really needs to sit back and watch a lot of movies. Or read some pop culture reference books. He's an angel, he should just be able to touch the book and learn through osmosis.
Anyway, now that Cas is removed from Heaven and has to take two passengers, it'll weaken him. I think Cas is sugar coating it here. It will not only weaken him, but could likely dump Sam and Dean forever in 1978. That risk could have been mentioned. Wouldn't that be funny if they were stranded in 1978 permanently and had to get a house together? It's the odd, odd, couple plus one. Can you see them going to Sears and picking out curtains? Okay, I'll stop now. Dean doesn't seem to care for it's their chance to not only save them from Anna but to set things right. I'm thinking "In The Beginning" is still stinging a bit much. Next thing Cas is packing supplies, you know, the standard fighting and trapping angels fare. Considering Sam is the giant, he gets to carry the loaded bag. Cas asks if they're ready. Sam's answer is accurate, not really. However, the answer isn't relevant. Cas goes to do the magic touch. "Bend your knees," Dean instructs Sam. Oh boy, Sammy finally gets to time travel! He's grown up now.
Sam and Dean flash into the middle of the street, almost being taken out by one of those boxy sedan tanks that were popular at the time. Looks like a Chevy to me. Then it's a wood grain Pinto wagon. Where'd they find that? Someone must have remembered my time warped Pinto rant from "In The Beginning" for they got the cars right this time. Sam asks if they made it. Dean surmises they did since Pintos are no longer in production. I suppose Sam wouldn't know what a Pinto was. They find Castiel slumping against a wood grain Country Squire and someone from a classic Ford club was obviously providing cars for this scene. They grab onto him and Sam asks if he's okay. It's so interesting that Sam is being the overprotective one in this scene. Those two really have bonded, haven't they? Cas says that it went better than he thought and he faints, blood dripping from his mouth. Yeah, I'm not sure I could have handled worst case scenario either.
Sam is tearing a page out of the phone book (I hated it when bastards did that!) and Dean comes out of the motel they conveniently happened to land in front of. Sam is still marveling over this time in history in which he was obviously never alive, looking at the freaks walk by. "I mean the mustaches alone!" For me Sam, it's the plaid jackets, large loud ties and crappy haircuts. And the mustaches. Dean says he booked Cas in the honeymoon suite for a week and told the manager do not disturb no matter what. He jokes how the manager asked him if he wanted to buy some dope. "Dope. We ought to stick around here, buy some stock in Microsoft." Sam points out they might have to if Cas doesn't wake up. I'm still picturing the three of them in that house. Sam asks if he's alright. "What do I look like, Dr. Angel Medicine Woman? He'll wake up. He's tough for a little nerdy dude with wings."
Sam correctly figures out that if Cas didn't land well, Anna didn't either. That buys them some time. Considering the head start she got Sam, probably not. With the John and Mary Winchester address in their hands they go to the house and it's completely dark. They arrived in daylight, right? I know Lawrence, Kansas isn't a one horse town, but it's hardly Chicago, right? It takes less than a couple of hours to get from one end of town to the other, right? Of course they pull up in a sweet looking blue Chevelle. At least Sam gets to time travel in style! I think one of those wood grain station wagons would have been way funnier.
Sam is anxious to get in there, but Dean takes the wind out of Sam's sail, pointing out that they don't know what to say to Mary. Sam says the truth. Dean cleverly brings up the absurdity of the truth with both Back To The Future and Terminator references in the same sentence and that those movies haven't even come out yet. Sometimes Dean, clever references aren't needed. Mary's a hunter, she might believe it. References are for dorks like us that like quoting them while bored at work and not in a situation when a rogue angel is trying to kill us. Dean also remembers that the last time Mary saw him her father was killed by a demon so she won't be thrilled to see him. Now that's a good point. So Sam has to let Dean do all the talking.
John and Mary and are in the kitchen, getting ready for dinner and acting all cutesy. Yeah, wait until Dean and Sam come along! Cutesy changes to exhaustively plonking down food on the table with a scowl and an "I had a rough day with these brats" swagger. Mary answers the door and yeah, she's so not happy to see Dean. While Dean mentions that their visit is important and Mary tells him she doesn't do that anymore, Sam is standing in the background totally flabbergasted. I don't even remember Dean and Mary talking, for Sam's reaction is just too adorable.
Mary stares at Sam uncomfortably and goes back to being bitchy at Dean. Then John arrives and Sam goes from stunned to speechless and teary. Dean announces they're Mary's cousins and introduces himself to John. John thinks he looks familiar and Dean says the same. It must the after effects of that memory wipe John obviously got from being dead in "In The Beginning." Sam then shakes John's hand and can't utter a single syllable. So Dean says he's Sam. John loves the coincidence since Sam was Mary's father's name. Yeah, we already figured out that irony in ITB. Sam won't let go of John's hand. "You okay pal, you look a little spooked." Oh yeah, another understatement. Sam gets his wits about him and lets John's hand go. There's definitely upset in his voice when he gives the "long trip" excuse. Oh Sammy, how adorkable.
They're invited in by John for a beer much to Mary's chagrin. After all, John doesn't know many of Mary's family. Oh, that's because they're all dead. Next they're in the living room and Sam can't stop staring. So much so it's creeping Mary out. John asks if anything is wrong and Sam is being amazingly expressive here. Given the shock of seeing his mother outside of being a ghost, I forgive it. I actually love it. He tells her she's so beautiful. Dean tries to cover Sam's strange behavior, pointing out he meant that in a "non weird, wholesome family kind of way." Sam snaps out of it and agrees, and they cover by saying they haven't seen her in a while and she's a dead ringer for their mother. How are they related? Distant cousins. Mary's father though was like a grandfather to them. I always love the "tell the truth because no one will believe it" bit.
John frowns, calling Samuel's death by heart attack tragic. Oh yeah, his memory was totally wiped. John wants to know why they're in town. Business. So what business? They both give different answers. I know Sam says scrap metal, which is funny considering Eric Kripke's dad does that. Dean, I can't make it out. Mary tries again to send Sam and Dean on their way but John wants them to stay. He wants to get to know more about Mary's family. Be careful what you wish for John! Then he gets the phone.
John is on the phone and it sounds like it's his boss, but considering he's dead on the floor I'd say not. No, it's Anna in voice disguise. Those crafty angels. She is threatening to fire him and he begs for his job, so she tells him to be at the garage in ten minutes. Back to Sam, Dean and Mary. Mary is ordering them to leave. Last time she saw Dean a demon killed her parents. She doesn't care what he wants. So Sam, playing the trustworthy person card blurts out she and John are in danger. Dean says something's coming for her and she asks if it's a demon. Dean tries to lie, but Sam is way more truthful. It's an angel. She's floored, because they aren't real. Yeah, let Dean tell you how he found out the hard way.
Dean points out that angels are way more powerful and bigger dicks. Was that a popular term at that point in the 70's? I know it came from Richard Nixon but ah well, I'm not in the mood to look it up. They want to take her somewhere safe right now, but Mary is worried about what to tell John. That's when Dean realizes that John isn't on the phone anymore. They go in the other room and there's a note from John on the wall. Back in 15. Yeah, I bet not.
John arrives at the garage and what do you know, his boss is dead on the floor. His eyes are burned out. Yikes, that's a crappy way to go. Then Anna appears and tosses him into shelves full of auto supplies. You bitch! What did he ever do to you? John scampers off and everything gets pretty woozy for Anna, which allows John to whack her pretty good with a tire iron. Awesome! There's that fighting John we know and love. Of course Anna is up in a flash and she tosses him over a car this time. It's a 1970 Impala! Yeah, in 1969 they ruined the look. Dean comes in from behind with that cool looking spiky knife that Cas gave them. After exchanging an awkward greeting, Anna stops him and tosses him through the wall. He lands outside and is out.
Mary picks up the knife next and goes all bad ass! She fights, swipes, swings and actually nicks Anna. You go girl! Then Anna does the angel disappearing act. Bitch. That's not fighting fair. Mary looks all around in ready fighting position but Anna sneaks up from behind, tossing her through the windshield of a nearby car. I can't make out the car too good, but it looks like a garden variety Ford LTD from the times. Hard to say though since all we see is Mary climbing over the top of it. Mary grabs a crowbar and "thwack!", it goes right through Anna. Of course she bleeds out a little bit, pulls it out, and brags how it's not easy that easy kill an angel.
"No, but you can distract them." It's Sam! His hand is all bloody and he's standing in front of a fresh angel banishing sigil on the wall. Awesome! Sam finally gets to do this. He smacks it with his hand, and Anna disappears in white light. What's REALLY cool is the awesome classic 1970 mustang that her view is no longer blocking. Ford waited until 1974 to ruin their Mustangs. Of course even though he was hiding behind the Impala, John saw the whole thing. He looks at Mary and all of a sudden, she's not such a sweetheart anymore. Mary is mortified.
I think this is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. I like these little, quirky, precious gem moments that add nothing to the plot but exist just to make us smile. The Impala thunders down the road. John is driving, Mary is in the front seat, and Sam and Dean are in the back. Awesome! It's a Winchester Family road trip! John is NOT happy. He's harping on the fact that monsters are real. Mary keeps telling him yes. I know, it takes a while for things to sink in with men sometimes. "And you fight them?" John asks Mary. "All of you?" He looks to the back seat. Sam says yeah. So naturally, he wants to know how long. "My entire life?" Mary sheepishly says. Mary tries to get him to understand and Sam and Dean join in, so John pulls Dad rank. "Shut up all of you! Not another word or so help me I'll turn this car around!" How many takes did this take? I'm sure they were all busting laughing over this. They all shut up, afraid to piss off Dad. Dean looks at Sam bothered. "Wow, awkward family road trip." Sam scoffs. "No kidding."
They pull up to a house out in the country. It's been in Mary's family for years. Devil's trap under the rug, pure iron fixtures, salt and holy water in the pantry. Well that's all good, but Sam points out that will only piss an Angel off. None of that works. Dean opens up their bag of goodies. He shares the angel banishing sigil drawing, claiming it will allow them to "beam her off the starship." Now there's a reference she should understand. Sam picks up a jar of holy oil and volunteers to show Mary what to do with it, leaving John and Dean alone. John is still upset. He asks about the sigil. Dean tries to explain what it does but John doesn't care. He wants to know where it goes. Dean tries to object, but John goes off. "You all might have treated me like a fool, but I am not useless. I can draw a whatever it is, a sigil." Dean tells him to help Sam since it has to be drawn in human blood. John picks up a knife and slices a nice open wound on the palm of his hand. Ouch, wouldn't using a forearm be better? You use your hand for things, like being a mechanic, right? Dean's impressed, enjoying that fighting spirit. "All of a sudden you really remind me of my Dad." That's for sure! I really like John in this one. He was such a wuss in ITB.
Okay, get out the Kleenexes! Time for the Sera Gamble induced tear jerking scene of the week! It involves Sam so you know she'll make it extra good. John is drawing the sigil in his blood on the wall and Sam walks in. He lets John know he's doing a great job. John is still in a snippy mood, wondering if Sam is checking up on him. Sam pulls out the puppy dog eyes and tells him he's sorry about all this. John wants to know how long he's known about this "hunting stuff." Sam smiles, for he probably sees the irony of the fact that the man who taught him how to hunt is right in front of him. "Pretty much forever." Or as we know from canon, since he was eight.
He lets John know his dad raised him in this. John is shocked. "Who the hell does that to a kid?" Sam points out Mary's parents did but John doesn't care. "What sort of an irresponsible bastard lets a child anywhere near - you know, you could have been killed." Let's see John, Sam has been killed around three times now and somehow he's still breathing. Sam of course says he came kind of close. Way to sugarcoat it there Sam! "The number it must have done on your head." Now that's dead on accurate! It's so interesting since John goes onto to do exactly what he finds so appalling. Kind of makes you see the parallel that under the right circumstances Sam and Dean will end up saying yes even though it's a crazy idea now.
"You father was supposed to protect you." This is where Sam gets a little offended. "He was trying. He died trying." This opens the door for the big Sam speech. "I used to be mad at him, I mean, I used to hate the guy but now, I get it. He was just doing the best he could. And he was trying to keep it together in this impossible situation. See, my mom, she was amazing, beautiful and she was the love of his life. And she got killed, and I think he would have gone crazy if he didn't do something. Truth is, my dad died before I got to tell him that - I understand. Why he did what he did, and I forgive him, for what it did to us I do. And I just - I love him."
What a gorgeous scene! The entire time Sam speaks John listens empathically, just crushed but at the same time completely understanding the story. There's this strange feeling we get that he intuitively appreciates Sam's words, as if it was the future John listening. It's emotionally powerful and I think Sam really comes away from this dumping some of that huge regret when it comes to his Dad. Sure, maybe it's also him coming to terms with some of that inner anger, but for him get that opportunity to tell his Dad these words, how can we not cry? The score, Jared and Matthew Cohen's amazing acting, and those glassy puppy dog eyes help too.
Red headed bitch is in a field, and down comes Uriel in a much younger meatsuit. Hotter too. He knows it's Anna of the future, but she claims she's still his superior in the future. Liar! She wants to give Uriel the opportunity to kill the people that kill him in the future. You're looking at her Uriel! Don't listen to her! No, he likes smiting and goes along with the order. Silly angels following orders.
Okay, Kleenex alert number two! Mary is putting down the holy oil and Dean comes in. She calls out Dean on his promise to explain things when they have a minute. They have a minute. The question, "Why does an angel want me dead?" Dean won't give a straight answer, instead saying "because they're dicks." Mary is not impressed, noting that she didn't even know they existed and now one wants her dead. Yeah, life works like that. Dean again tries to brush off, claiming it's complicated. Mary is all ears anyway. Dean just wants her to trust him even though she's given him no reason to do so and she threatens to leave. "I'm you son," he blurts out. Yeah, she's not leaving now.
Dean repeats what he said, apologizing for not having any other way to say it. He's from 2010, sent there by a much friendlier angel. Yeah, the dude that's still back at the motel in a coma! Mary won't believe that story either, so Dean goes for the emotional jugular. "Our names are Dean and Sam Winchester. We're named after your parents. When I would get sick, you would make me tomato rice soup, because that's what your mom made you. And instead of a lullaby, you would sing 'Hey Jude.' That's your favorite Beatles song." Mine is "The Long and Winding Road" and that's what I used to sing my kids. They don't remember though, so kudos to Dean for clinging onto that memory.
Mary totally melts, for she realizes that's exactly what she pictured herself doing with her kids. She knows Dean is on the level, and this REALLY upsets her. "I raised my kids to be hunters." Oh no, the one thing she didn't want. Dean insists she didn't, but that's because she's dead. Oh man, that's even worse! She wants to know how. The yellow-eyed demon killed her and John became a hunter for revenge. He raised them in that life. Now Dean is going to try to set things right. "Listen to me. A demon comes into Sam's nursery exact six months after he's born on November 2nd, 1983. Remember that date. Whatever you do, do not go in there. You wake up that morning you take Sam and you run."
"It's not good enough Dean." Sam enters the conversation, seeing what Dean's trying to do. "Wherever she goes the demon's going to find her, find me." Dean asks for a better suggestion. Sam sadly has one, she can leave Dad. Sam instructs her when this is all over to leave John, walk away and never look back. "So we're never born," Dean says. He actually agrees with the idea. Mary says she can't. Dean doesn't like the idea of her dying and they're okay with never being born. "Well I'm not," Mary says. Sam decides to really be a downer, because he's great at that. "You think you can have that normal life that you want so bad, but you can't, I'm sorry." Hmm, projecting a bit much Sam? Is it really better to live a long life sad and alone or a shorter one living the life you dreamed of? I'll ponder that later. "It's all going to go rotten. You are going to die. And your children will be cursed." Ah, there's Sammy and his ray of sunshine.
"There has to be a way," Mary says. So that's where Dean gets it from! Dean says there isn't and tells her to leave John. She can't. Dean tries the there are so many more lives at stake here, like probably a few billion, but Mary again says she can't. "It's too late. I'm pregnant," she said. So, considering we know that Dean was born January 24, 1979, how many of us did the math early on? Especially when Grease came out in June of 1978. You would have thunk that Dean and Sam would have done that math.
Okay, sharing time over. John enters and he's freaked. The sigils are gone. He drew one on the back of the door, turned around and it was a smudge. Dean looks, it is. Mary notices the holy oil is dried up too. Uh, oh. The angels have figured out their tricks. The lights flicker, the screeching noise happens, the windows shatter, which we know to be a clear cut angel arrival signs. The door busts open and the handsome looking Uriel walks in. Dean asks who he is and he tells him. "Oh come on," Dean says, thinking he was done with this dick. Sam tried to get Mary and John out the other way but oops, Anna is there. Bitch. They see angels on both sides of them and Dean says "well here goes nothing." Sam shrugs in agreement and they attack.
Dean tries to punch Uriel and Sam tries to stab him, but Anna stops Sam. Uriel flings Dean, Anna flings Sam. Uriel goes over to Dean to start kicking the living crap out of him while Anna gets John and Mary. John goes for the knife but Anna is faster, lifting him up by the chin slowly before knocking him clear outside of the house with a palm hand strike. He lands outside and is unconscious. She goes for Mary next but Sam gets up, throwing himself in front of her. He sees the knife on the floor and as he goes for it Anna pulls a lead pipe out of the wall. She's faster and with a resounding squish impales Sam with the pipe right in his gut. Oh my God! You killed Sammy! You bitch!
Sam has to die in dramatic fashion first, for this is a Sera Gamble script. He falls back against the wall, reeling in agony and Dean watches from afar while Uriel is choking him. Blooding is gushing from Sam's mouth and he can't even get out his brother's full name. Back to John outside and a golden light appears. Hmm, I smell angel. Back to Sam who slips away, slides down the wall and drops to the floor in total drama. Dean cries out for Sam right when the camera focuses on blood dripping onto the floor from Sam's mouth. Yep, dead. No doubt this time. Even the color is gone from his face.
Now that the psycho bitch angel has succeeded in her goal to kill Sam Winchester, she's going for Mary next. Just because she wants to kill Sam twice. She says she's really sorry and then her name is called. By John? No, the look is different, more menacing. This is someone powerful wearing a John suit. Anna turns white. "Michael." It's Michael? Holy crap! The Michael? He finally found a way to come to earth. He steps forward, puts his hand on Anna and burns her like toast. Serves you right bitch for killing Sammy! She flakes away after a fiery, brutal death.
Uriel lets go of Dean, realizing he's in deep shit now. He tells Michael he didn't know, which is actually truthful. He needs to die later. So Michael zaps him away with a snap of his finger. The same snap that Gabriel uses. Must be an archangel thing. Then he turns to Mary. She's very upset, wondering what he did with John. Michael assures her John is fine. That's not good enough for her so he casually shushes her before doing that touchy thing that sends people into an angel induced sleep. Dean comes out of the kitchen in some obvious pain, but he's definitely doing better than Sam right now. The camera also constantly reminds of this by showing shots of Sam on the floor lying in growing pools of his blood.
Michael smiles, pleased that he has Dean all to himself. "Well, I say this conversation is long overdue." "Fix him," Dean says, pointing to his brother's corpse. Aww, how sweet. He's finally in the presence of the archangel that's been dogging him for months and Sam is his only concern. Michael says they talk first and then he fixes his "darling little Sammy." Hee, Sera Gamble reads the boards. We get shot #1 of Sam dead on the floor. Considering Michael is holding all the power, they do it his way. Dean wants to know what Michael did to his Dad. Easy, Michael told him he could save his wife, so he said yes. Dean throws it in his face that he must not be Michael's one and only vessel. Only, no, but he is the true vessel. It's a bloodline, stretching back to Cain and Abel. It's in his blood, his father's blood, his family's blood. So it's in Sam's blood too! That sucks.
"Awesome. Six degrees of Heaven Bacon." Ha! I like that. Dean, who obviously isn't thinking clearly, wonders what Michael wants with him. Uh duh, vessel, apocalypse, remember? Michaels points out the answer is obvious and Dean still claims he won't say yes. Michael isn't phased. "I just want you to understand what you and I have to do." "Oh, I get it," Dean replies. "You've got beef with your brother. Well get some therapy pal, don't take it out on my planet." Yeah Dean, like he's going to listen. Michael says he's wrong, because all these freaking angels seem to say that. Lucifer defied their father and he betrayed him, but he doesn't want this anymore than Dean would want to kill Sam.
Michael goes over to Sam's body, talking about how he practically raised him. Shot #2 of dead Sam, this time a full body shot and a much bigger pool of blood. "I took care of him in a way most people couldn't understand and I still love him, but I'm going to kill him because it is right. And I have to." Dean asks if that's because God said so. Yep. "From the beginning he knew this was how it was going to end." Dean isn't sold, asking if he's just going to do what God says. Yep, he's a good son. "Trust me pal, takes it from someone who knows, that is a dead end street." Psst, Dean, don't piss off the archangel. "And you think you know better than my Father? One unimportant little man? What makes you think you get to choose?" Wow, Michael doesn't like humans either. Castiel is kind of the black sheep of the family, isn't he? "Because I gotta believe that I can choose what I can do with my unimportant little life." You're treading water here Dean.
Michael has a more convincing answer. "You're wrong. You know how I know? Think of a million random acts of chance that let John and Mary be born, to meet, to fall in love, to have the two of you. Think of the million random choices you make yet how each and every one of them brings you closer to your destiny. Do you know why that is? Because it's not random. It's not chance. It's a plan that is playing itself out perfectly. Free will's an illusion Dean. That's why you're going to say yes." Wow, he's convinced me. I can see why Michael is the top dog. He's basically saying everything other angels have said but he's far more convincing and commanding. This angel has charisma.
Dean is speechless, having no good argument for this either. I think what's happening here is Dean is finally seeing it from Michael and Heaven's point of view. He's not necessarily convinced, but he sees it. Michael tells him to buck up, it could be worse. "Unlike my brothers, I won't leave you a drooling mess when I'm done wearing you." Dean wants to know about John. Michael promises he'll be fine, and he'll do one better. He's going to scrub John and Mary's minds. They won't remember any of this mess or Dean at all. Cool, the reset button! Where do I get one of those? Mary gets the life she always wanted. "She's going to walk right into that nursery," Dean says all worried. "Obviously," Michael replies. "And you always knew that was going to play out one way or another. You can't fight City Hall," Michael says before crouching down in front of Sam. We get shot #3 and the blood draining out is now massive. He touches Sam and he disappears, the lead pipe falling to the floor. Michael assures Dean that Sam is back home, safe and sound. A defeated and very somber Dean says nothing as Michael promises to see him soon. The fingers come to his forehead and Dean reluctantly accepts.
Back at the very flamboyant motel room and Dean is getting whiskey out of a bottle while a now perfectly breathing Sam is unwrapping the glasses. Sam looks in the mirror and suddenly a very woozy Castiel is there. Sam rushes over to help Cas and then Dean gets the other side. Castiel isn't looking too good. Dean comments that he made it. "I did. I'm very surprised." Cas then collapses, so Sam and Dean drag him over to the bed. It's definitely time for that drink now.
How cool, the brothers are drinking whiskey together! That's awesome after the events of last episode. "This is it," Dean says. "Team freewill. One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name and Mr. Comatose over there. It's awesome." Sam says that isn't funny. "I'm not laughing," Dean replies. Oh, how I wish he'd answered the other two times Sera Gamble had Sam say that. "It's a little funny." Sam comments that they all think they're going to say yes. Dean says it's getting annoying. Just getting? Sam wonders if they're right, but Dean says they're not. "I mean why would we, either of us? I've been weak before." Dean doesn't want to hear it. Sam mentions that John said yes to Michael. Dean thinks that's different, Anna was about to kill Mom. "And if you could save Mom, what would you say?" Sam's got you there Dean.
Final scene is Mary and John a few months into the future, like January 1979. How do I know? Mary looks like she's ready to pop and she and John are standing in a nursery. They're blissfully happy and looking at something. John wants to know where she got it. At a garage sale, for 25 cents. John's glad to hear that. John asks if she doesn't think it's a little cheesy. No, she thinks it's sweet. We then see it, a small figurine of an angel. "I can't even put my finger on why I like it, I just like it." Then John loves it. He kisses her and leaves. Suddenly Mary feels a huge kick from the baby Dean inside her. She calls him a troublemaker already. "It's okay baby, it's okay. Angels are watching over you."
Man, I'm not supposed to be busting out into tears on the final line! Damn you Sera Gamble! Oh, and thanks for the amazing episode.
I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as our reviewers and I did. Do you remember how you felt when you first saw this? Did you enjoy seeing Mary and John when they were young marrieds? Share your memories with us and impressions with us.