Swan Song Recap by Alice Jester
[Originally Published May 22, 2010]
I'm going to warn you all right now, this is a 100 percent lovefest. I think many people were unfairly critical of the episode and I'm determined to spell out in exhaustive detail why every single scene is sheer calcuated brilliance. Oh, but in doing that, you’re also in store for one crazy ass long recap. Seriously, it’s a novel. So make sure you’re stocked up on both coffee and Kleenexes. It’s time to kick off this intense emotional rollercoaster.
First off is the grand tradition we know and love of our season finales. I've even been guilty thus far of failing to mention this in light of the rest of the episode being so good, but you know a finale is good when the most understated part of the ep is the traditional "Carry On Wayward Son" montage. What can I say about this montage? It's great as usual and sums up season five pretty nicely. My favorite bit oddly enough is that great shot of Dean leaning against the Impala in "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid” although I’ll admit my emotions leapt when I saw Sam and Dean’s reaction to Ellen and Jo blowing up in the hardware store. That gets me every time too.
Now for the finale (gulp!). This intro wasn't all what I expected. It starts documentary style, showing old footage of a Chevy being built on the assembly line in Janesville, Wisconsin in 1967. I think one of my Ford cars was built in that town too. I'm instantly emotional, for this is pure gold for a car buff born and raised in Detroit. Chuck is doing the narration and I adore his sentimental style with his storytelling all through this episode as well as the narrator's charming score.
He brings up April 21, 1967, when the 100th million GM vehicle rolled off the assembly line in Janesville. It was a blue two door Caprice. I never understood the difference between a Caprice and an Impala. Thanks to wikipedia, I found out. They're the same car body wise but the Caprice had more luxury features. So that proves the Impala wasn't a glory car. Anyway, there was a big ceremony and speeches. "Even the Lt. Governor showed up." Too funny! Our Lt. Governor is too busy running for Senate now, which makes these Mickey Mouse ceremonies perfect for him. He'll show up at the opening of an auto parts store right now.
Back to the story. We see Chuck in his bathrobe at the computer typing away. He goes on. Three days after that another car rolled off that line, but "nobody gave “two craps about her. But they should of." I do! I care! “Because this 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car - no the most important object of pretty much the whole universe.” I love how these early Impala segments were shot in a way where it looks like old 35 mm film footage. Have I ever mentioned how much I love all the little details that go into this show? Oh, constantly?
The so called old footage shows the first owner of the Impala proudly getting into his new car at the dealer showroom. The Impala cost $3999, which was MSRP for an Impala at the time. His name was Sal Moriarity and he was “An alcoholic, two ex-wives and three blocked arteries." His primary purpose with the Impala was to drive around on weekends giving bibles to the poor, to get them ready for judgment day. You see, by the time the Winchesters got her she already had experience with the apocalypse. She was ideal for the job. I love how hanging from the rear view mirror is a tacky angel figurine that has “Sal”on it. Angels were watching over him. Ha! “Sam and Dean don’t know any of this, but if they did, I bet they’d smile.”
After Sal died, which would be sometime in 1973 if we follow "In The Beginning," the Impala ended up at Rainbow Motors in Lawrence. Actually, if you freeze Chuck’s monitor here, it does say “After Sal died, not unexpectedly, of a heart attack in ‘73” She was bought by a young marine, aka John Winchester, on an impulse buy. She cost now $2200. That turns out to be the best two grand ever spent. Chuck of course brings up how John was sold on the car after a little advice from a friend, aka Dean. Yep, another shout-out to "In The Beginning." Chuck goes on in his typing, “I guess that’s where this story begins.” Then he stops typing and says, "And here’s where it ends.” Aww, I’m already moved. How much more episode is left?
Next thing we see Sam resting on the hood of the old girl drinking a beer. That right there reinforces why this must be a ‘67 Impala. All that hard Detroit steel is needed to hold that giant. A modern day Impala would crumple like paper. A rather unhappy Dean comes over and grabs a beer from the cooler sitting next to the Impala and doesn't say a word, even when Sam says “Hey.” Sam knows something is up. I'm going to point out here that Jared and Jensen in every scene from this point forward far exceed anything they've done before. The chemistry is so intuitive anymore, but they still somehow know how to amp up an intense situation and sell it better than they ever have before.
Sam wants to know what’s going on. Dean reluctantly gets to the point. He's in. Sam needs more. “The whole up with Satan thing. I’m on board.” This has Sam’s interest and he sits up, ready to listen to what Dean has to say. “You’re gonna let me say yes,” Sam asks. “No, that’s the thing. It’s not on me to let you do anything. You’re a grown, overgrown man. If this is what you want I’ll back your plan.” Sam admits that’s the last thing he thought he’d hear Dean say. Careful Sam, that just might being one of the last things. Dean is approving your plan for self-sacrifice. I don’t see this being a precious moment you'll share with the grandkids.
It should also be noted that the director of this episode, Steve Boyum, much like Eric Kripke in last season’s finale, is pulling out all the old Kim Manners tricks. In this scene he maintains that familiar close up on the faces, cutting off the frame at the forehead. Naturally, which is why Kim Manners always did that trick to begin with, it brings out more of the emotion in their faces. Yep, Kripke and company are trying to kill us before the title card even shows.
Dean admits that it goes against every fiber he’s got. “Truth is, watching out for you, it’s kind of been my job you know. More than that, it’s kind of who I am. You’re not a kid anymore Sam and I can’t keep treating you like one.” It’s right about here that the sad piano score kicks in and my heart just starts to sink. “Maybe I gotta grow up too.” Then there’s that long pause where we see Sam’s face and his silence speaks volumes. He’s truly touched by all this. Dean goes on. “I don’t know if we got a snowballs chance, but I do know if anybody can do it, it’s you.”
Sam nods and says in a soft voice, “Thank you.” Yep, Dean’s getting to him. Dean just comes out and asks, is this what he wants? Sam, showing how much he’s really grown up in the last five years, says the most mature thing we’ve seen from him to date. “I let him out, I gotta put him back in.” Oh Sammy, no. That means a doomed eternity for you. “Okay, that’s it then,” Dean says. So yes, tears begin to flow before the title sequence. Especially with that wide shot with the tender score of the boys having their talk on the Impala. They seem so alone, so isolated in that sea of cars, yet all three are going to face this together. Yep, Kripke is going for the jugular.
Just think about it, how far have these boys come since their first series encounter at Sam’s apartment in Stanford? Everything since then has led up to this one defining moment. Now I’m getting all sentimental. The title card accentuates the blatantly obvious in this episode, and this entire story for the last five years. Blood is thicker than water.
Next is the spooky sounds, bloody bodies hanging downward, a trough of blood, Sam is stoically cleaning off the demon knife, and Cas is getting together the blood into plastic jugs. Wow, this is creepy. I know Sam has to justify the means, but this is just so graphic, even for him. Dean is a bystander and he looks really bothered. They come outside, Castiel and Sam carrying four jugs of demon blood to put into the Impala trunk. Dean stops to wipe blood off his cheek and he’s got a bad feeling about this.
Dean decides to check in on Bobby, who’s nearby checking out omens in the back of his van. I’m glad he kept the van, it’s so much cooler than the beat up Chevelle because it looks more bad ass. It can hold more weapons too. Although, the van is a Dodge, so I’m shocked it’s still running (ducks flying objects from Dodge lovers. Both of them.) “I still can’t get used to you at eye level,” Dean jokes to Bobby. Bobby just gives him a wry smile. Bobby wants to know if he was right. “As always Yoda, two stunt demons inside, just like you said.” You’re going to notice many Star Wars type references and themes in this episode. I’ll point them out as I catch them, but I’m thinking Yoda is pretty obvious.
Bobby wants to know if they “got it.” Yep, all the “go juice Sammy can drink.” That mere idea leaves a pit in my stomach, as I’m sure it does Deans. Yeah, because me and a fictional character can so relate like that. “You okay?” Bobby asks Dean. ”Not really,” and he moves on. At least he’s being honest. Bobby doesn’t think he has much, cyclone in Florida, temperature drops in Detroit, wildfires in LA - wait a second, Detroit? Uh oh. Temperature has dropped twenty degrees but only in a five block radius in downtown. ”That’s the one,” Dean says. “Devil’s in Detroit.” Bobby wants to know if he’s sure. I’m shocked, did Dean not share his Detroit story with Bobby? Oh, he’s sure. Both Bobby and Dean look over at Sam, who’s pretty jittery right now. He should be!
Okay, time for another scene that’s going to toy with my emotions. That’s because Kripke is an evil bastard. I swear I need a code word for those strife filled moments that cause me terrible grief. This is probably Kripke getting back at me for all those “Bazingas”I threw at him earlier in the season. Touché, wise one, touché. The Impala drives down the dark road with the van following behind. My guess it that’s the road to Detroit. Castiel is sleeping in the back of the Impala. What, he didn’t want to ride shotgun with Bobby? Dean looks back at Cas. “Aw, isn’t he a little angel?” As cute as it is, Sam points out the disturbingly obvious part of that nap. ”Angels don’t sleep.” I guess the point is, Cas is human now.
This is the prime moment for Sam and Dean to start talking. “Sam, I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Dean says. Sam acknowledges he’d be nuts to have a good feeling about this. That’s not Dean’s point. Detroit. Satan always said this would happen in Detroit. “Maybe this is him rolling out the red carpet. Maybe he knows something we don’t.” Sam isn’t stupid about this. “I’m sure he knows a buttload we don’t, but you gotta hope he doesn’t know about the rings.” Sorry Sam, but I imagine that’s going to be impossible to keep from him. If Gabriel knew about it, Lucifer should. Especially since you and Dean just turned up where horseman were and took their rings.
Sam sees this as an opportunity to get in some pressing unfinished business, aka, the dying wish. I grab a Kleenex. “It this thing goes our way, and I Triple Lindy into that box, you know I’m not coming back.” This is where my heart drops into my stomach and I fall apart. Then I laugh a little to stop myself from crying, because the Triple Lindy was an actual dive done by stunt double Rodney Dangerfield in Back To School. It was a triple cannonball in the air. Such a wonderfully absurd moment. But then I get sad again, for we've known the tragic outcome of Sam's plan, but to hear Sam say it, it's killing me.
What kills me more, Dean is aware, so Sam wants him to promise something. ”You’ve got to promise not to try and bring me back.” Okay, now Dean is upset. That is not what he agreed to. “Your Hell is going to make my tour look like Graceland. You want me to just sit by and do nothing?” Man, that so does not make me feel better. In fact, I'm getting weepy. Sammy, no!!!
“Once the cage is shut, you can’t go poking at it Dean. It’s too risky.” Dean breaks into the nos. “As if I’m going to let you rot in there.” Sam says that’s exactly what he’s going to do. He doesn’t have a choice. “You can’t ask me to do that,” Dean says with raised voice. Which shocks me they haven’t woken up Cas by now. “I’m sorry Dean, you have to,” Sam says. Wow, the no win scenario. This is going to suck. Dean wants to know then what he’s supposed to do. “You go find Lisa. You pray to God she’s dumb enough to take you in, you have barbecues and go to football games. You go live some normal apple pie life Dean. Promise me.” Dean doesn’t take this seriously until he sees the look on Sam’s face. Then he turns back and he’s very troubled. We don’t get an answer, but we know he said yes. The question is, will he keep his promise? We know how Sam is with dying wishes.
Bobby sees demons through binoculars in an old rundown building that looks like some seedier areas of Detroit. It’s pretty dead on except for the Chinese restaurant. There aren’t many of those in town. Greek or Polish would have been more accurate. The caption says “Detroit, Michigan” just in case we don’t know the obvious. Or for those people in other countries that don’t know Detroit is in Michigan and need a geography lesson. For the record, Michigan is a beautiful state. There’s only one blight in that whole state and it’s... Detroit.
Bobby comes in and announces there are demons, at least two dozen of them. Dean was right, something’s up. Dean is NOT happy about being right. Luci is there. Dean briskly walks over to the back of the Impala, leaving Sam to give Bobby the puppy dog eyes of goodbye. The time has come. They stare at each other for a few seconds, and then a distraught Bobby walks over and they both share teary glances. ”See you around kid,” Bobby says and Sam repeats with determination “see you around.” That’s hunter code for “in another life if we’re lucky.”
Dean watches this from the back of the Impala pretty much destroyed on the inside. Even Cas has that angel look of pity that he’s so good at. Bobby gives Sam a huge hug. “When he gets in, you fight him tooth and nail, you understand. Keep swinging. Don’t give an inch.” “Yes sir,” Sam replies, and Bobby walks away to pull himself together. Sam takes in a troubled sigh as does Dean. It’s not making either of them feel better. Sam runs his hand over his face to try and stop himself from busting into tears and turns to Castiel. He holds out his hand. “Take care of these guys, alright?” Castiel looks at him with frustration. “You know I can’t do that.” Oh, poor angel. Not taking this human thing well at all.
Sam sadly smiles and says with shaken voice, “Just humor me.” “You want me to lie?” Castiel asks and before Sam can answer Castiel gives him a fake bravado. “Sure, it’ll be fine.” Sam realizes this is not what he needs to be hearing. ”Just stop talking.” Castiel does and they share an awkward glance before Castiel looks over at one very bothered Dean standing by the open trunk of the Impala. Sam goes over there next with the entire weight of the world on his shoulders, which actually isn’t far from the truth. He stares at the gallons of demon blood and has one simple request for Dean. THIS KILLS ME. “You mind not watching this?” Sam humbly asks. It’s so obvious that what Sam is about to do is going to be very hard on him, but it’s something he can’t do in front of his brother. Dean, still in a foul mood about the whole thing, nods and leaves Sam alone.
The scene does a quick fade in and out, indicating a short time has passed. Dean is sill not happy. Sam slams the trunk door and has somehow managed to stay clean through chugging four gallons of demon blood. He’s got that wild look in his eye and manic disposition. Oh yeah, he’s juiced and ready to go. Sam leads to charge into the street of Chinese restaurants (so no Detroit) and yells “Alright. We’re here you sons of bitches. Come and get it.” Two demons naturally come out and Dean asks if their father is home. So, that earns them the invite upstairs where our favorite rotting evil archangel is there waiting. He’s far more cordial than his goons. “Hey guys, so nice of you to drop in.”It is nice that for an evil overload, he did learn his manners.
Before we go back to Lucifer’s lair, Chuck continues his sweet story about the Impala. The Impala has a few things other cars have and “a few things they don’t.” Cue Sam and Dean with their arsenal in the trunk. Hey, that’s no worse that the bibles she had to haul. ”But none of that stuff’s important. This is the stuff that’s important.” He talks about the time Sam as a young boy stuffed an army man in the ash tray and it’s still stuck there today. Or the legos young Dean that shoved into the vents that to this day rattle when the heat comes on. ”These are the things that make the car theirs.” What’s not spoken but shown is underneath the carpet these boys carved their initials. What they also didn’t show was John smacking the living crap out of them for doing this.
So, because we’re already emotionally spent, why not show to footage from “Devil’s Trap” of the Impala getting smashed with Winchesters in it? Gotta pour salt in those wounds. ”Even when Dean rebuilt her from the ground up, he made sure all these little things stayed. Cause it’s the blemishes that make her beautiful.” Aww, what a sweet story! You are a softie, aren’t you Kripke? So that brings us back to Satan somehow. Moment over. ”The Devil doesn’t know or care what kind of car the boys drive.”
Satan frosts up the window with his breath and draws a pitchfork. I’m not sure why he needs it, but hey, even Satan likes to draw in frosted windows. He reveals the fact that people assume he burns hot, but it’s the opposite. Yeah, that’s good to know for”¦I have no clue. ”Well I’ll alert the media,” Dean says. There’s a good answer! It should be noted that Sam is looking pretty manic right now. Definitely hopped up on demon blood. Jared really had to shift gears a lot in this episode and man did he blow us away! Just about every scene we see a totally different side of Sam and it’s so wonderful. The problem is Jared makes it look seamless by now so I think a lot of people overlooked it when watching at first.
Lucifer lets Dean’s comments pass and is curious as to why they are there. ”I mean stomping through my front door is a tad suicidal, don’t you think?” Manic Sammy lets him know they aren’t there to fight him. He wants to say yes. Lucifer is actually surprised? Really? Didn’t he always say this would happen in Detroit? I absolutely love this next part!!! I’m sure anyone reading reviews of mine knows that I love it when Sam uses his demon powers to kick some serious demon butt. He’s only used them once this season and that was so amazing! This is brief but it shows how very powerful he is by now. It's awesome. He closes his eyes and the two stunt demons go zap in no time. The only time I remember seeing that is when Lucifer did that to those demons in “Abandon All Hope.” So, WOW! It freaks Dean out.
Lucifer realizes he’s full of Ovaltine, which is funny considering that’s that Azazel called demon blood too. ”You heard me, Yes!” Wow, Sam is really on edge. Lucifer realizes he’s serious. Sam uses the story that judgment day is a runaway train and they just want to get off. Careful Sam, Luci is smarter than that. Sam gives him proposal, let Lucifer have his free ride but when it’s over he lives, Dean lives, he brings his parents back. No, Luci knows the plan. ”Can you please drop the telenovela?” Hee, good reference. Lucifer knows about the rings. Sam tries to play dumb, but that’s rarely worked before and so doesn’t with Satan. ”The horseman’s rings, the magic keys to my cage, ring a bell? Come on Sam I’ve never lied to you, you could at least pay me the same respect.”
We see Dean’s crushed face, for their grand plan has gone south. Sam doesn’t back down though. Lucifer says he’s not mad, probably because he knows it has a snowball’s chance. He is intrigued by the possibilities though. ”A wrestling match inside your noggin, I like the idea.” Sam has that whole ready to burst from rage look about him. Lucifer goes on in great evil villain style, and I must say here that Mark Pellegrino has done an amazing job this season at the ole holy overlord. Thanks for all he's contributed, but his time is done here. ”Just you and me, one round, no tricks. You win, you jump in the hole, I win, well (evil smile) then I win.” Ha! Just like Samifer in “The End.”
Sam is starting to fray around the edges a bit, Dean looks totally scared. ”What do you say Sam?” Lucifer says closing out his pitch. ”A fiddle of gold against your soul says I’m better than you.” The Devil Went Down To Georgia? Hey, it works. Sam is upset, Dean wants to abandon ship right now but sees Sam is thinking about it. ”So he knows, it doesn’t change anything.” ”Sam,” Dean pleads. ”We don’t have a choice,” Sam replies and Dean is really scared now. ”No,” he begs. Sam pauses and Dean looks at Lucifer freaking out while Lucifer gives them a smug stare. ”Yes,” Sam says. AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
Lucifer does his thing and the bright light of angelic body swapping happens. Dean closes his eyes, which perplexes me since he had no trouble with Zachariah. Not nitpicking other episodes though. Castiel and Bobby see the bright light and hear the angel screeching from outside the window and what a great shot. They give each other an “oh shit!” kind of look. That’s a proper reaction.
The light goes down and the only man standing is a stunned Dean while Sam and now empty Nick vessel are unconscious on the floor. Dean comes to his senses, pulls the rings out of his pocket, throws them on the wall and does his awesome Enochian chanting with his hand out. So, the mystery of the preview picture has been explained, as is why Sam is unconscious on the floor. The wall opens in a swirling vortex, just in time for Samifer (what I’ll refer to them in the scenes from now on) to come to. So far Sam is still in control and yells in an Oscar worthy performance that he can feel him inside. Yes, the Oscar worthy performance thing is our clue. Dean is buying it though and yells for him to go now. Samifer’s lovely long hair is flopping everywhere in the wind as he fights himself tooth and nail over to the entrance.
Yeah, as you all have figured out by now, we’re only twenty minutes in. So Samifer is going to jump in the hole, right? Hee, I knew none of you were fooled. Suddenly Sam’s strife filled face goes evil and he turns around to face one horrified Dean. ”I was just messing with you,” Samifer boasts. ”Sammy’s long gone.” Then Samifer does the reverse Enochian spell, and how many times have I said how wonderful Jared sounds with he does these languages? I know, lots. It helps that it’s more commanding since he’s now the evil overlord.
The hole closes and Samifer grabs the rings from the wall. This is his chance to rub it in and boy does he! He examines the rings, which close up look like a poorly welded together prop (low budget, they get a pass) and then looks up at one angry Dean with that mocking pity. ”I told you, this would always happen in Detroit.” Dean looks at him like he’s trying not to lose it, so Samifer explodes him to bits. Nah, just messing. Something worse as far as Dean’s concerned. Samifer disappears with the rings, leaving him all alone with three corpses. So, now Dean loses it and final shot is him grasping his head with his tear filled eyes. Oh Dean! I go upstairs and take a long breather, for there’s so much more and these guys have already made me their weepy bitch.
We’re at an abandoned theatre in Motown and that really does look like Detroit! It looks exactly like a boarded up one not far from the nightlife in Greektown. Detroit has so many areas of blight like that and I can only imagine what those theatres were like in their glory days. Now they’re hangouts for The Devil. Could Be worse. Samifer is in a dimly lighted room with a gorgeous chandelier while everything else is rotting. Out of the many kudos I’ve been giving, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the set designers too. This is a very important set for without the cracked mirrors and proper room layout this dual scene loses its effectiveness.
Wow, this is also a really explosive and long scene. These things are killing the recapper! One right after another for your viewing torture, I mean, entertainment. Samifer walks among a small group of people standing there, still and solemn. He’s enjoying his new digs, but feels that the suit still doesn’t quite fit yet. That’s because Sam is clawing away inside, screaming to get out. Sorry, that comment gave me chills. Lucifer is going to try the “I’m your friend” approach to get Sam to submit. You know, I think for this entire chilling scene, I’ll just transcribe. It’s that powerful.
Lucifer: Sam, come on, I can feel you, scratching away in there. (Looks in cracked mirror, sees own reflection). Look, I’ll take the gag off, okay? (walks over to mirror). You got me all wrong kiddo. I’m not the bad guy here.
Sam (now in mirror, seething): I’m going to rip you apart from the inside out. Do you understand me?
Lucifer (mocking): Such anger, young Skywalker. Who are you really angry with, me or that face in the mirror?
Sam: I’m sure this is all a big joke to you, huh?
Lucifer: Not at all, I’ve been waiting for you. For a long, long time. Come on Sam, you’ve got to admit, you can feel it, right?
Sam (reflection split by big crack in the mirror): What?
Lucifer: The exhilaration. And you know why that is, because we’re two halves made a whole. M-F-E-O. Literally.
Sam (reflection still cracked): This feels pretty damn far from good.
Lucifer: I’m inside your grapefruit Sam. You can’t lie to me. I see it all. How hot you always felt. How out of place in that”¦family of yours. And why shouldn’t you have? They were foster care at best. I’m your real family.
Sam: No, it’s not true.
Lucifer: It is. And I know you know it. All those times you ran away you weren’t running from them, you were running toward me. (Sam still gives defiant look in mirror. Lucifer sighs). This doesn’t have to be a bad thing you know. I let Dean live, didn’t I. I want him to live. I’ll bring your folks back too. I want you to be happy Sam.
Sam (cracked reflection again): I don’t want anything from you.
Lucifer: Really, not even a little payback?
Sam: What’s that supposed to mean?
Lucifer: Look closely. None of these little devils look familiar to you?
Sam (looking at the people behind Lucifer): That’s Mr. Pensmith, one of my grade school teachers.
Lucifer: And that’s your friend Doug from that time in East Lansing. And Rachel, your prom date. (Sam looks horrified in mirror). Sam Winchester, this is your life. Azazel’s gang, watching you since you were a rugrat. Jerking you around like a dog on a leash. I know how you feel about them. Me too. So what do you say you and I blow off a little steam?
(Sam’s reflection is split again and he’s pissed).
Let me tell you all why that scene was a gorgeous leap in television filming. Much like Dean’s dinner with Death last week, this show is pushing new boundaries with these scenes. In the back and forth between the brash Lucifer and the scared yet defiant Sam, Sam’s image is often shown divided between the cracks in the mirror. Sure, that’s a metaphor for a few things, like his fractured soul and him fighting the dark side of himself and that sort of trick has been done before in movies and novels, but when you’re being controlled by Lucifer and the stakes are the apocalypse, this showdown ups the urgency and tension about twenty notches. In other words, it's done "Supernatural" style.
On top of all that, Jared is playing this chilling dual role perfectly! This is every bit as mind blowing as when Jensen did it in “Dream A Little Dream of Me,” maybe more so because if Sam fails the world ends. Everything is absolutely perfect in this scene; the set decoration, the lighting, the camera angles to maximize character angst, the eerie dialogue and of course the spot on acting. Win, win, win, win, win. I love how it’s episode 104 and they’re still blowing me away like this.
Anyway, now for the aftermath. Dean, Bobby, and Castiel are watching TVs outside an electronics store showing the massive destruction going on around the globe. Earthquakes and other things in the most unlikely of places. You know what else in unlikely? An electronics store like that in Detroit. The riots in 1967 pretty much prevented that type of window display. Too easy to smash. But that’s not the point.
“It’s starting,” Castiel gloomily declares. ”You think genius?” Dean says. Castiel tells him he doesn’t have to be mean. That’s about the most human thing he’s ever said. Dean does need to lighten up a little. Dean asks Cas what they do now. ”I suggest we imbibe copious quantities of alcohol, just wait for the inevitable blast wave.” Gotta love the socially awkward angel. Dean calls Cas a name I didn’t quite catch or understand and wants to know how they stop it. ”We don’t,” Castiel answers. ”Lucifer will meet Michael on the chosen field and the battle of Armageddon begins.” Dean wants to know where the chosen field is but Cas doesn’t know. He’s too busy giving up anyway. Dean is desperate now. ”Well there’s gotta be something we can do.” Castiel gives the “I’m sorry Dean this is over,” and Dean gives back the “junkless sissy” insult. Aww, don’t call Cas junkless. You did try to get him laid, remember?
Dean refuses to give up but then he sees Bobby, who’s teary and speechless. ”There was never much hope to begin with. I don’t know what else to do.” I like Cas’ drinking plan better. Dean looks at both Bobby and Castiel and is upset to find this might truly be the end.
Next is Samifer sitting with bloody hands and five gored demon corpses around him. Honestly, Rachael did deserve that after what she did to Sam at the prom. Lucifer feels satisfied, but Sam in the mirror is very disturbed. Yes, Sam, you gave into the dark side. I hope they had cookies. ”So, are we having fun yet?” Lucifer says. Oh Sammy, you’re in a big fix, aren’t you?
There’s a welcome break in the intense action to get some more story from Chuck. There’s a picturesque shot of the Impala driving down the road with that old time look again. He tells how in between jobs Sam and Dean would get a day sometimes a week if they were lucky. They'd spend the time lining their pockets and we see both brothers hustling pool from “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Sam’s hair was so short then! “Sam used to insist on honest work but now he hustles pool, just like his brother.” That was fun to watch when we finally saw that. “They could go anywhere and do anything. They drove 1,000 miles for an Ozzy show. Two days for a Jayhawks game. And when it was clear, they’d park her in the middle of nowhere sit on the hood and watch the stars, for hours. Without saying a word.”
Wow, those two look so peaceful. To think, all the horrors they face in their lives and yet they’re enamored by something so beautiful and simple. What a great story. Why don’t we get to see moments like this in the episodes. It’s a must for season six guys! How about an episode where we just see Sam and Dean on a day off. Nothing happens, but I don’t care. If you have scenes like this, I’m happy. Next is a clip from “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” when they were sleeping in the Impala after taking the dream root. ”It never occurred to them that sure maybe they never really had a roof and four walls, but they were never in fact, homeless.”
Chuck pauses his typing and goes, “That’s a good line.” Ha!! He’s not the only one that does that. And here I thought I was a freak. I laugh at a lot of my own stuff too. Chuck answers the phone and says “Mistress Magda.” Some took that to be a biblical reference, but I took it to be funny. No, it’s Dean on the other side. Chuck acts surprised, for he didn’t know Dean would call. Dean wants to have a little fun with Chuck and presses him on the Mistress Magda thing. Chuck stammers something about her being a close friend but Dean isn’t buying it. Then he asks about what happened to Becky. “It didn’t work out, I had too much respect for her.” “Well you really have the whole virgin hooker thing going, don’t you?” “This can’t be why you called,” Chuck says. At least Dean worked in some small talk before getting to the tragic point.
“Sam said yes,” Dean says. Chuck knows. He saw it and is working on the pages. Dean asks if he saw where the title fight goes down. Chuck admits the angels are keeping it hush hush, but he saw it anyway. “Perks of being a prophet.” Or a God, but we’ll get to that later. The showdown is tomorrow at high noon, a place called Stull cemetery. Dean knows exactly where that is. It’s outside of Lawrence. He wonders why Lawrence. Chuck’s theory is it all has to end where it started. Very clever Kripke, very clever. Dean wants to know if he knows of another way to stop this. “Besides the rings, no.” He doesn’t know what’s going to happen next either. Dean hangs up, for that’s enough to give him an idea.
Castiel and Bobby approach Dean in the alley there in Detroit while Dean gets the car ready. Bobby wants to know if he’s going someplace. Dean’s non answer is an answer. ”You’re gonna do something stupid,” Bobby says. “You’ve got that look.” Honest Bobby, have you ever known Dean to take things lying down? “I’m gonna go talk to Sam,” Dean says. That’s code for “I’m going on my suicide mission.” Bobby chastises him for now giving up while Cas makes the blunt observation that if he couldn’t get through to him there he won’t be able to on the battle field. Strange how that statement ends up being true. Cas didn’t say anything about the Impala though!
“Well if we’ve already lost than I’ve got nothing to lose, right?” Castiel and Bobby both are very concerned and Cas gives even more harsh truth. “I just want you to understand, the only thing you’re gonna see out there is Michael killing your brother.” Get the Kleenexes ready, for Dean’s answer is the stuff made of gold in this series. “Well then, I ain’t gonna let him die alone.”The three shared worried glances and Dean gets in the Impala. Yes, my entire insides are twisted in knots right now.
We’re at the gates of the Stull cemetery. The wind is blowing, a giant Hawk flies over and Samifer is there watching. I also applaud Kripke and Co. this time for finding an actual outdoor location to do this scene instead of the awful stage set from “All Hell Breaks Loose Part II.” As Samifer looks around the sound of wings flapping happen behind him. It’s Adam/Michael! Um, Adamichael? Yeah, it’s all I got. The two brothers, who haven’t seen each other in thousands of years, just stare at each other awkwardly. Go figure, dysfunctional angel family reunions.
Samifer breaks the silence. “It’s good to see you Michael.” Adamichael responds you too and it’s been too long, but obviously they’re just being polite. “Can you believe it’s finally here?” Samifer asks. I know I can’t. I only waited one season, or five if you think about it, but these guys have waited thousands of years. Adamichael says no and moves in closer. These two really just need to bitchslap each other, get it out of their systems. Wrestling match on the bed? So Adamichael wants to know if he’s ready. Samifer is clearly reluctant and saddened by this. Wow, I’m actually feeling a bit sorry for him. “As I’ll ever be.”
One thing is clear about these two together, Jared is the stronger actor and is selling the whole tortured soul of Lucifer here very well. “Part of me wishes we didn’t have to do this,” Samifer says. Adamichael gives a half hearted “Me too.” So that opens the door for Samifer to get right to the point. “Then why are we?” “Oh you know why,” Adamichael answers. He claims he has no choice after what Lucifer did. “What I did? What if it’s not my fault.” Adamichael wants to know what that’s supposed to mean. “Think about it. Dad made everything which means he made me who I am. God wanted The Devil.” Adamichael doesn’t see the point. ”So why and why make us fight? I just can’t figure out the point.” Adamichael still can’t see the point. “We’re going to kill each other and for what, one of Dad’s tests. We don’t even know the answer. We’re brothers. Let’s just walk off the chess board.”
Admichael considers this for a few seconds and claims he can’t do that. So he gets the Samifer puppy dog eyes! Aww, it works even when possessed by an evil overlord. “I’m a good son and I have my orders,” Adamichael says, and wow, what a stupid angel. This is what happens when freewill is taken out of the equation, brothers kill one another. Humans are looking pretty superior, aren't we? Samifer tells him he doesn’t have to follow them and Adamichael is appalled that he suggest he rebel. “I’m not like you.” Samifer says please and man am I really feeling sorry for him now. All he wanted was the love of his big brother, yet also knew he had a path to follow. Okay, I don’t like how that path involves wiping out all of humanity, but I’ll pass on that for now since that’s not the issue here.
Adamichael tears into Samifer. “You haven’t changed a bit little brother. Always blaming everybody but yourself. We were together, we were happy, but you betrayed me, all of us, and you made our Father leave.” “Nobody makes Dad do anything,” Samifer angrily replies. ”He is doing this to us.” He has a point there. They stare each other down, and then this next statement goes a bit overboard, because it’s obviously meant to be the tie in to Sam and Dean’s situation from last season. “You’re a monster Lucifer,” Adamichael says. Yep, just like with Sam, that’s the trigger for Lucifer. ”I have to kill you,” Michael says. ”If that’s the way it’s gotta be, then I’d like to see you try.” Yep, angry eyes just like Sam too. The only thing missing here is it’s not Dean on the other side.
Speaking of Dean, as Samifer and Adamichael begin to circle and give each other that cold hard stare of death, the roar of the Impala interrupts them. Dean throws in a tape in the cassette player labeled “Kick It In The Ass” and yet another great shout-out to Kim Manners is born. On comes “Rock of Ages” by Def Leppard and sorry, but I actually hate that song. I look past that though, for Dean has got some brass balls here. He drives the Impala through the graveyard right to them, interrupting the Battle of Armageddon. Dean gets out of the car and Adamichael and Samifer look pissed. ”Howdi boys,” Dean says. “Sorry, am I interrupting something?” Too good. Only Dean Winchester would do this.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, time for the best scene in all of “Supernatural.” Or one of the best scenes. Opinions are subjective. Dean goes to Samifer and says they need to talk. Samifer, in full condescending mode, says “Dean, even for you, this is a whole new mountain of stupid.””I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to Sam.” Samifer is quite amused by that. Adamichael is just angry. “You’re no longer the vessel Dean. You got no right to be here.” Right, because when humans are facing their own extinction, they have to play by the rules. Dean appeals to Adam too, telling him he’s so sorry. “Adam isn’t home right now,” Adamichael says being a real dick. You know, Lucifer is actually more fun. “Well then you’re next on my list buttercup, right now I need five minutes with him.” I'll never tire of Dean and his pet names.
Adamichael goes into the “little maggot” rant that all angels except Lucifer seem to love, telling Dean he’s no longer a part of this story. Then there’s another interruption, and it’s the best ever. Castiel shouts “Hey, assbutt!” OMG, best line ever. I’m sure it’s funnier because of the huge melodrama in this episode but socially awkward angel is funny. He throws a flaming bottle at Adamichael and he goes away screaming in a ball of flames, that angel screeching noise going with him. Everyone watches him go and then Dean says “Assbutt?” Castiel isn’t going to explain, for Michael will be back and he’ll be upset, but Dean has his five minutes.
However - Samifer is still there and he’s REALLY pissed. He gives Cas that cold hard stare and asks “Did you just Molotov my brother with holy fire?”Castiel tries to deny in fear but hey, I think it’s obvious he did. Samifer knows he did. “No one dicks with Michael but me.” You see, he does care! With one snap of his vengeful fingers Cas explodes. Jimmy vessel entrails end up on Bobby. So that’s what it looked like in the season opener. Dean and Bobby are pretty rattled.
Dean, even though he knows Samifer is fuming, decides to poke the bear. “Sammy, can you hear me?” Samifer turns to him with anger. “You know, I tried to be nice for Sammy’s sake, but you are such a pain in my ass.” He grabs Dean by the jacket and throws him into the Impala’s windshield, cracking it. Noooo!!! Not the car!! So Bobby, using even stupider logic than Castiel, pulls out his old colt and fires two rounds into Samifer. Good thing Sam is possessed by an archangel, otherwise he’d be dead when his vessel is left behind. This only makes Samifer madder, and Dean and Bobby with one exchange share an “Are you crazy/That’s all I could think of” glance. It ends up being a last glance (for now) because Samifer with a swipe of his hand breaks Bobby’s neck. Welcome to the dead pool for the first time Bobby. It’s about time you took a dip.
Now that the distractions are out of the way, Samifer can finish off Dean now. This is just brutal and we’ve seen some pretty brutal things on this show. Samifer clocks him hard and blood starts pouring out of Dean’s mouth. Dean isn’t giving up though. ”Sammy, are you in there?” Samifer has a smart answer. ”Oh, he’s in here all right (punch) and he’s gonna feel the snap of your bones (throws Dean on the ground). Every single one.” Samifer then picks Dean up and pushes him against the Impala door. ”We’re gonna take our time,” and then he gives Dean ten brutal punches in a row. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
Despite the vicious beating, Dean still won’t give up trying to get to Sam. “Sam, it’s okay, it’s okay, I’m here, I’m here. I’m not going to leave you.” Samifer pounds on him some more. Dean, who’s bloody and bashed in face right now makes elephant man look attractive, tries again. “I’m not gonna leave you.” Samifer goes back for the final blow and this is so gorgeous!!!
For a succinct and reflective look at the episode, here’s Sablegreen’s take on Swan Song
[Originally Published May 14, 2010]
Time Marches On...
With a glass of Bailey’s in one hand and tissues in the other, I sat down to watch the climax of Supernatural’s Wal-Mart apocalypse, the ending of the myth arc, and was engrossed from the first moment. With the music and lyrics of SPN’s theme song (after all who cannot hear ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’ and NOT think of SPN) ringing in our ears, we see so many memories from the brothers past stream forward, hitting you with the devastation that they have gone through all their lives, and realizing this is where it ends, good or bad – it’s over.
We get to see Chuck once again as narrator and author of his last novel of the Winchester gospel. And from the beginning, this Chuck seemed different from past episodes. He seemed more confident and assured of himself, but not to the point where I thought he might be God. That was a surprise! Really like Chuck’s character, but without an apocalypse you don’t need a prophet.
The history of the impala was awesome, and so nice to get an in depth view of the third main character of the series. It was nice to see how it fit in so well with the Winchesters and maybe that it was sort of built just for them. Oops, don’t want to go down destiny’s path again, but if a car can have a soul (and in the Winchester world anything is possible), than I’d like to think it is a soul that’s entwined with the boys for all eternity. The boys will always go through time together, and I’d like to think the car would be with them always- its really so much a part of them. Yep, its home, and home will always bring back memories. That’s what home and family is all about. The sight of Sam’s family in front of him (Dean and the impala) snapped him back and gave him the strength to do what needed to be done. He has changed so much, and so has Dean. Dean has spent his entire life needing family around him, and to letting Sam go required all the strength he had.
Yes, I loved the flashbacks about the brotherly moments in the story. So much of that had been missed this season. The fun they had as kids, the silly spoon, and the pranks they played on one another. The sacrifices they made...so much has passed between them, good and bad.
The last few seconds will stay with me for a long time. Dean, now willing to go on without his brother because of the promise he made, and Sam alive and realizing just how much he has lost. Sam was never one for thinking the boys being together was necessary for them to be brothers. And he was right. That was Dean's family. This Sam looked very different however...like now he wishes things were the way they used to be. After all Sam has been through, what he needs most now is his big brother. Dean and Sam’s concept of family have reversed. Dean is willing to move on and give a long term relationship a chance, and Sam is wishing he had his brother back with him sitting on the hood of the impala looking at the stars.
What will Sam do? That is the question we are left to ponder for the next few months.
For me, even though self-sacrifice is a trait the Winchesters thrive on, in all fairness to Dean, Sam should let him know he's alive and then move on, if that is the consensus. It's really not fair to let Dean grieve for him, or fair for Sam to shoulder his pain alone, and not be a part of his brother’s life. I think Sam now understands more about Dean and what it was like for him as the older brother. Maybe he feels he owes in to Dean to let him lead a normal life without him. NOT!!!! One is never better without family!
If Sam knows Dean at all; he has to realize hunting is not something Dean can give up. And each of them hunting alone is dangerous; they need each other to cover their backs. And there is no reason, they can have both, and it would be a wonderful evolution for both boys. Be nice if Sam found a girl in Lisa’s town and they both had families to come home too after a long hard hunting job. I say they get side-by-side houses with a shared driveway so the impala stays with them both.
After, all there are no more demons or angels hunting them, no more worry about the world ending or the Croatian virus. No reason they can’t have girlfriends and their job too. No one is going to toast their loved ones on the ceiling. And hunting is what makes both boys happy. It’s in their blood and they can never be alive without it. And as they are soul mates, they are going to find each other no matter what.
Bobby and Cass are around. Bobby is back walking and hunting, thanks to Crowley, who also has what he, wanted - his freedom. And Bobby’s soul, well he died, so all bets are off. Beside, Crowley said he would give it back in the end, and he did seem to have a liking for Bobby, so I’m guessing, he never returns to collect. And Death, well I hope he takes a nice long trip around the galaxy, like for millennia, and he can take his brothers with him!
Cass is back in heaven getting things under control. Maybe he is now God’s right hand man. After all, God brought him back twice. And Cass has changed a lot. He understands more about living, and the feelings Anna had tried to tell him about oh so long ago. I think heaven will be in store for some huge changes with Cass. Maybe that’s what God wanted to see Cass grow with a more human side. Good lord, we don’t need more Michaels up there! And Lucifer, he did seem to have somewhat of a heart. Maybe that was the legacy Gabe left him. His attempt at trying to talk to Michael made me feel very sorry for him. However he is evil and can’t roam free, but at least now he has company in the pit. Maybe that was the part of God’s plan all along. They are trapped together now until they work things out. Then hopefully, God with make amends with both of them.
What test was God giving the boys? Or was it even a test? That is another question for next season. Given Chuck’s (err God’s) smile, at the end, I’d say if it was a test, the boys pasted with flying colors!
Also was that really Sam? Flickering lights has always signalled the coming of a demon. That’s a haunting question -Cass did say Dean would never have peace. Ouch! But the myth arc is over, so hopefully Sam’s road back didn’t include any hitchhikers!
Will the character be able to go back to a season one format? This chapter of the Winchester story is closed, and a new one opens. Time marches on, change is inevitable, and heroes will deal with it. Sam and Dean are brothers, soul mates bound together for all eternity. They only have one job, hunting and really they are at their best doing it together. So yes, they will be happy again just hunting wendigos, and I’ll be happy just watching. So for the apocalypse, Chuck has the best ending of anyone could give...Poof!!!!!
Robin’s Rambles on Swan Song
[Originally Published May 14, 2010]
Our THEN recap begins with "Carry On, My Wayward Son," what I consider to be the anthem of the Winchester family, and I begin to cry at the very first note. I cry even harder when they show us the explosion that led to the death of Ellen and the last time we saw Jo, Sam and Dean are told by the Trickster (aka Gabriel) and Zachariah that they are the vessels for Michael and Lucifer. We are reminded that Adam has become Michael's vessel instead of Dean, see Death give Dean his ring and tell him that Sam must go into the fiery pit, and hear Bobby ask him what scares him more, losing or losing his brother.
Chuck's narration, as he's writing one of his Winchester gospel books, talks of April 1st, 1967, when the one hundred millionth GM vehicle rolled off the line at a plant in Janesville, a blue two-door Caprice. There were speeches, a big ceremony, and the Lt. Governor even showed up. Three days later, another car rolled off that same line. No one gave two craps about her, but they should have, because this 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car. . .no, object in pretty much the whole universe. (The car sold for $3,999.00 new.) She was first owned by Sal Moriarty, an alcoholic with two ex-wives and three blocked arteries. On weekends he'd drive around, giving bibles to the poor, "gettin' folks ripe for Judgment Day," he said. (There's an angel hanging from the rear-view mirror with the name Sal on it on a white piece of paper. Sam and Dean don't know any of this, but if they did, I bet they'd smile. After Sal died, she ended up at Rainbow Motors Used Car Lot, in Lawrence, where a young Marine (we see young John) bought her on impulse. That is, after a little advice from a friend (we see Dean during his 1973 visit.) I guess that's where this story begins. And here's where it ends.
Bobby's - Sam lies sprawled on the hood of the Impala, drinking a beer. Dean comes over and helps himself to a beer from the cooler. Noting Dean's demeanor, Sam asks what's going on. "I'm in," says Dean, "the whole up with Satan thing--I'm on-board." "You're gonna let me say yes," says Sam, disbelieving. "No, that's the thing," says Dean, "it's not ON ME to let you do anything--you're a grown--overgrown--man, if this is what you want, I'll back your play." "That's the last thing I thought you'd ever say," Sam confesses. "Might be," says Dean, "I'm not gonna lie to you, though, it goes against every fiber I got--the truth is, watching out for you, it's kinda been my job, you know, but more than that, it's kinda who I am--you're not a kid anymore, Sam, and I can't keep treatin' you like one--maybe I got to grow up a little, too--I dunno if we got a snowball's chance, but I do know if anybody can do it, it's you. "Thank you," says Sam. "If this is what you want. . ." says Dean, finally looking directly at his brother, "is this REALLY what you want?" Sam shrugs. "I let him out," he says, "I gotta put him back in." "OK, that's it, then," says Sam, and takes a drink of his beer. Sam drinks, too, and we get a long shot of the brothers, Dean standing against the Impala, Sam sitting on the hood. (Wibble!)
A very quick scene of demons hanging upside-down, being bled dry and Sam wiping off the DKK (demon killing knife), along with Castiel capping off gallons of blood displays how methodically they're collecting the blood Sam will need to drink before he faces Lucifer. Sam deposits the grisly containers in the back of the Impala; Dean, following behind Cas, wipes stray blood drops off his face, looking disgusted. Bobby stands outside, causing Dean to remark that he still can't get used to seeing him at eye level. Bobby makes a face at him and asks if he was right. As always, Yoda, says Dean, two stunt demons inside, just as Bobby said, and they got all the go juice Sammy can drink. Bobby asks if he's OK. Not really, replies Dean, "What've you got?" When Bobby shows him a newspaper headlining a 20-degree temperature drop in a five-block radius in Detroit, Dean says that's the one--"The devil's in Detroit." Although Bobby declares it "A little light in the loafers as far as foreboding goes," Dean gazes at Sam and says he's sure.
On the drive, Dean observes Cas sleeping in the back seat and calls him "A little angel." "Angels don't sleep," says Sam, reminding him their passenger is human now. Dean tells Sam he has a bad feeling about this, and Sam says he'd be nuts to have a good one. He always said he'd jump your bones in Detroit, says Dean, here we are, maybe he's rolling out the red carpet--maybe he knows something we don't. I'm sure he knows a butt-load we don't, agrees Sam--we just have to hope he doesn't know about the rings. "This thing goes our way," says Sam, "and I triple Lindy into that box, you know I'm not coming back--so you gotta promise me something--you gotta promise not to try to bring me back." "WHAT?" demands Dean--"No, I didn't sign up for that! Your hell is gonna make my tour look like Graceland! You want me to sit by and do nothing?" "Once the cage is shut, you can't go poking at it, Dean, too risky!" They argue back and forth, Dean refusing to let Sam rot in there, but Sam insists he has to. "So what am I supposed to do?" demands Dean. "You go find Lisa," says Sam, you pray to God she's dumb enough to take you in and you have barbecues, and go to footballs games, you go live some normal, apple-pie life, Dean--PROMISE ME!" Dean looks at him, despairing.
Detroit, Michigan - Bobby looks through binoculars up at the second story window of a building, spotting a minion of Satan. He walks down an alley and reports to Dean and Bobby, "Demons--at least two dozen of 'em--you were right, somethin's up." "More than somethin'," agrees Dean, "he's here, I know it." He walks away, past Sam, without another word. Bobby walks over to Sam, softly says, "See you around, kid." "See you around," says Sam. Cut to Dean, forehead furrowed; he gazes down, miserable. Cas' face matches Dean's. Bobby and Dean hug, hard. "He gets in," says Bobby harshly, "you fight him tooth and nail, you understand? Keep swinging'--don't give an inch." "Yes sir," promises Sam, just as he would have John. (Wibble!) Bobby turns away and Sam wipes the tears from his face. Sam goes to Castiel and holds out his hand. "Take care of these guys, OK?" he asks. "That's not possible," says Cas. "Then humor me," says Sam, realizing Cas took him literally. "Oh, I'm supposed to lie," realizes Cas, and makes a hysterically semi-human face and says "Sure, it'll be fine" with a ridiculous quirk of his mouth. "Just stop," pleads Sam, and Cas is awkwardly silent. Sam goes over to Dean and surveys the four gallons of demon blood in the open Impala trunk. "You mind not watchin' this?" he asks his brother. Dean walks away without a word. Sam picks up the first of the blood-filled containers. Later, after he's downed them all, he slams the trunk closed and rapidly walks past Dean, breathing hard. "OK, let's go," he says. Dean follows, walking by Bobby and Cas, with little enthusiasm. Sam stands before the building where Lucifer is waiting, arms raised, and shouts, "ALL RIGHT! WE'RE HERE, YOU SONS OF BITCHES! COME AND GET IT!" Two demons instantly exit a door. Dean stands beside Sam. "Hey, guys," he says, "is your father home?" The brothers are dragged violently into a shabby room where Lucifer stands, staring out a window. "Hey, guys," he greets them softly, "so nice of you to drop in." Sam stares at him, breathing heavily, hatred in his gaze. Dean looks terrified.
Chuck, narrating, tells us the Impala has all the things other cars have, and a few they don't (we see all the hunters' stuff hidden inside the trunk--guns, etc.), but none of that stuff's important. THIS is the stuff that's important. We see Sam and Dean as children, and Chuck says, "The army man that Sam crammed in the ashtray, it's still struck there. The Legos that Dean stuck into the vents (Uncle Erv's Green Valley Motel)--to this day, heat comes on, you can still hear them rattle. These are the things that make the car theirs, really theirs. (The boys scratch their initials, under the floor mats.) We see the car being t-boned by the semi. Chuck explains, even when Dean rebuilt it from the ground up (Dean under the car at Bobby's from season 2), he made sure all these little things stayed, 'cause it's the blemishes that make it beautiful. The devil doesn't know or care what car the boys drive.
Lucifer blows icy cold on the window and draws a pitchfork in it. He apologizes to the brothers for the chill--"Most people think I burn hot, it's actually quite the opposite." "I'll alert the media," says Dean. Lucifer, his face covered in what looks like cancerous tumors, turns to face them. Stomping through his front door is a tad suicidal, he says. "We're not here to fight you," huffs Sam, sounding ready for a battle. Why are you here? wonders Lucifer. "I wanna say yes," says Sam. Excuse me? says Lucifer. Sam causes the two demons in the room to fall and die. Chock full of Ovaltine, are we? asks Lucifer. "You heard me," says Sam, "YES!" You're serious, realizes Lucifer. "Look, Judgment Day is a runaway train," says Sam after glancing at Dean, "we get it now, we just want off!--deal of the century--I give you a free ride, but when it's all over, I live, he lives you bring our parents back. . ." Please drop the telenovela, says Lucifer, I know you have the rings, Sam. The latter plays dumb--"I don't know what you're talking about." The Horsemen's rings, the magic keys to my cage--ring a bell? asks Lucifer--come on, Sam, I've never lied to you, at least pay me the same respect! Dean looks at him in uncertainty and fear, Sam in anger. It's OK, I'm not mad, Lucifer assures them; to Sam he says, a wrestling match inside your noggin, I like the idea, just you and me, one round, no tricks, you win, you jump in the hole, I win, then I win--what do you say, Sam--a fiddle of gold against your soul says I'm better than you. Sam glares at him. "So he knows," he mutters to Dean, "doesn't change anything." "Sam," protests Dean, but Sam says, "Yes!" Lucifer closes his eyes, the room fills with terrible light that even Castiel and Bobby can see outside through the windows. Unholy sound fills the room. Dean closes his eyes. When he opens them, Sam lies unconscious on the floor. Dean quickly removes the four connected rings from his pocket and tosses them at the wall, where they stick as if glued. He holds out his arm and recites Latin. A huge hole appears in the wall, then a windy, whirling vortex that threatens to suck the entire room into it. Sam has awakened, and Dean goes to him. "I feel him!" cries Sam, and Dean helps him up and releases him, presumably hoping to send him into the vortex and back into his cage--miraculously leaving Sam safely behind. However, Lucifer turns back to Dean, says, "I was just messing with you," and adds, "Sam's long gone." He recites some Latin of his own, closing the vortex, then takes the rings and says, "I told you, this would always happen in Detroit." Left alone with the bodies of the demons, Dean clutches his head, tears of despair in his eyes.
Samifer, testing out the strength, enjoys the feel of his new body. He enters a room, passing through a circle of people we don't know, and faces a mirror, where he decides to take the gag off Sam, who he feels scratching away inside him. You got me all wrong, kiddo, says Lucifer to Sam's reflection, I'm not the bad guy here. I'm gonna rip you apart from the inside out, do you understand me? vows Sam. Such anger, young Skywalker, says Lucifer sadly, who are you really angry with--me?--or that face in the mirror? "I'm sure this is all a big joke to you," accuses Sam. Not at all, says Lucifer, I've been waiting for you for a long, long time. Come on, Sam, you have to admit, you can feel it, right, the exhilaration, and you know why that is?--because we're too halves made whole, MFEO, literally. "This feels pretty damn far from good," protests Sam. I'm inside your grapefruit, Sam, says Lucifer, you can't lie to me, I see it all, how odd you always felt, how out of place in that family of yours--and why shouldn't you have?--they were foster care, at best, I'm your real family. "No, it's not true," protests Sam. It IS true, insists Lucifer, and I know you know it, all those times you ran away, you weren't running FROM them, you were running TOWARDS me. Sam looks sick. This doesn't have to be a bad thing, you know, adds Lucifer, I let Dean live, didn't I?--I WANT him to live--I'll bring your folks back, too, I want YOU to be happy, Sam. "I don't WANT anything from you!" snarls Sam. Really? asks Lucifer, not even a little payback? "What's that supposed to mean?" demands Sam. Look closely, says Lucifer, none of these little devils look familiar to you? "That's Mr. Pinsky, one of my grade school teachers," realizes Sam. And that's your friend Doug from that time, in East Lansing, says Lucifer, and Rachel, your prom date, Sam Winchester, says Lucifer, spreading out his arms, this is your life, Azazel's gang, watching you since you were a rugrat, jerking you around, like a dog on a leash--I know how you feel about them--me, too--so what do you say you and I blow off a little steam? Sam's lip curls up in a cruel snarl.
On TV sets in the window of Motown Electronics, a highly agitated Dean watches as tornadoes, floods and similar disasters happen all over the world. It's starting, says Cas. When Dean makes a remark about his genius, Cas calls him mean, and suggests they go drink copious amounts of alcohol and wait for the inevitable blast wave. Dean sarcastically thanks him for that, but wants to know how they STOP it? We don't, replies Cas--Michael and Lucifer will meet on the chosen field, and the battle for Armageddon will begin. To Dean's annoyance, Cas has no idea where the chosen field is, either. "There's gotta be somethin' we can do!" insists Dean. Cas says he's sorry, but this is over. Dean calls him a junkless sissy and says, "We are NOT giving up!" Bobby, stunned, says, "There was never much hope to begin with. I don't know what else to do." Dean gazes at Cas; impassive face again.
Samifer, fists covered with blood, sits on a step in the room and surveys the dead bodies of his enemies. Lucifer gazes at Sam in the mirror and asks, So? Are we having fun yet? Sam doesn't reply.
Chuck, narrating, as the Impala speeds down a sunny roadway. In-between jobs, Sam and Dean would sometimes get a day, a week if they were lucky. They'd pass the time lining their pockets (the guys playing pool). Sam used to insist on honest work, but now he hustles pool, like his brother. They could go anywhere and do anything. They drove a thousand miles for an Ozzy show, two days for a Jayhawks game, and when it was clear, they'd park in the middle of no where, sit on the hood and watch the stars, for hours, without saying a word. (Over the brothers asleep in the Impala.) It never occurred to them that, sure, maybe they never had a roof and four walls, but they were never, in fact, homeless. ("That's a good line," says Chuck to himself, and I agree.) His phone rings, it's a desperate Dean, not Mistress Magda, as he thought. Turns out he's not with Becky anymore, he had too much respect for her. "You got a real virgin-hooker thing goin' on, doncha?" asks Dean. Chuck doesn't wish to discuss that. Sam said yes, which Chuck already knew. Although the angels are keeping the location of the title fight hush-hush, Prophet Chuck knows--high noon, Stull Cemetery, in Kansas, right near Lawrence. Why Lawrence? wonders Dean. It all has to end where it started, guesses Chuck. Besides the rings, Chuck knows of no way to short-circuit this, and he apologizes to Dean, wishing he did, but he honestly doesn't know yet. Dean thanks him and hangs up. Seeing Dean heading purposefully to the Impala, Bobby, accompanied by Cas, asks, "You goin' someplace?" When Dean doesn't answer, Bobby says, "You're gonna do somethin' stupid, ya got that look." "I'm gonna go talk to Sam," says Dean. "You just don't give up," says Bobby, shaking his head. "It's SAM!!!" says Dean through clenched teeth. "You couldn't reach him here, you certainly aren't going to be able to on the battlefield," says Cas. "Well, if we've already lost, then I guess I got nothin' to lose, right?" says Dean. "I just want you to understand," says Cas, "the only thing you're going to see out there is Michael killing your brother." "Well, then I can't let him die alone," says Dean, giving the men one last look and climbing into the Impala.
Stull Cemetery - Windy, creepy, foggy, a no trespassing sign hangs by one nail from the open gate. A huge, cawing bird of prey flies over Samifer's head, and he watches it go. Hearing a sound, he turns to see he's been joined by Mikeadam. It's good to see you, says Samifer. You, too, replies his brother, it's been too long. They both can't believe it's finally here. "Are you ready?" asks Mikeadam. As I'll ever be, says Samifer--part of me wishes we didn't have to do this. "Yeah, me too," says Mikeadam. Then why are we? asks Samifer. "Oh, you know why," says his brother, "I have no choice, after what YOU did." What I did? asks Samifer--what if it's not my fault? "What is that supposed to mean?" asks Mikeadam. Think about it, says Samifer, Dad made everything, which means he made me who I am--God WANTED the devil--so why?--and why make us fight?--I just can't figure out the point. "What's your point?" asks Mikeadam. We're going to kill each other, says Samifer, and for what--one of Dad's tests--we don't even know the answer--we're brothers--let's just walk off the chessboard. Mikeadam considers this, and says, "I'm sorry, I can't do that--I'm a good son, and I have my orders." You don't have to follow them, says Samifer. "What, you think I'm gonna rebel, NOW?" asks Mikeadam, I'm not like you!" Please, Michael, begs Samifer. "You haven't changed a bit, little brother," accuses Mikeadam, "always blaming everybody but yourself--we were together, we were happy, but you betrayed me, all of us, and you made our father leave." No one makes Him do anything, says Samifer, He is doing this TO us! "You're a monster, Lucifer," says Mikeadam, "I have to kill you." Sadly, Samifer says, if that's the way it's gotta be--then I'd like to see you try. The brothers begin to circle around each other purposefully, anger in their eyes. The silence in the graveyard explodes with first the sound of the Impala's noisy muffler, then Dean pushing in a cassette tape and driving into the graveyard blaring Def Leppard's Rock of Ages. The two angels, wearing both of Dean's brothers to this prom, stare stonily at him. Dean leans out of the car. "Hi, boys," he says, "sorry, am I interrupting something?"
Dean faces Samifer. "We have to talk," he insists. Dean, says Samifer softly, even for you, this is a whole new mountain of stupid. I'm not talkin' to you, I'm talkin' to Sam," says Dean. Mikeadam tells Dean he's no longer the vessel and has no right to be here. Dean says, "Adam, if you're in there somewhere, I am so sor--" "Adam isn't home right now," says Michael coldly. "Then you're next on my list, buttercup," says Dean, "but right now, I need five minutes with him." He turns to Samifer. "You little maggot," says Michael, advancing on him, "you are no longer a part of this story!" "Hey, assbutt! calls Castiel, and hurls something at Michael that sounds like glass crashing and sets him aflame. Michael screams and appears to burn to a crisp, then disappears. Samifer has shielded his eyes and Dean has ducked his head. "Assbutt???" repeats Dean. "He'll be back--and upset!" promises Cas, "but you got your five minutes." Samifer advances on Castiel. Did you just molotov my brother with holy fire? he demands. Cas backs away, protesting. Dean's face displays that he knows this is very, very bad. No one dicks with Michael but me, says Samifer. He snaps his fingers and Cas explodes into bloody pieces. The spray catches Bobby's face, who looks at the carnage, breathing heavily. Dean gazes at Samifer. "Sammy, can you hear me?" he says. Ya know, begins Samifer, I tried to be nice, for Sammy's sake--he grasps the lapels of Dean's leather jacket--but you are such a pain in my ass. He shoves Dean against the Impala with enough force to shatter the windshield. Bobby shoots Samifer, once in the shoulder, and when he turns around, once in the chest, in the heart. Samifer looks at Dean, then up at Bobby, who is gazing at Dean with an "I couldn't think of anything else to do" expression. Samifer twists his fingers, breaking Bobby's neck, killing him.
"NOOOOOOOOOO!" cries Dean, YES, says Samifer, dragging Dean off the Impala by his legs, punching him so hard, he's bleeding from the mouth. "Sammy, are you in there?" Dean asks, turning to face Samifer again. Oh, he's in here all right, says Samifer, giving Dean another bone-breaking punch across the face, and he's gonna feel the snap of your bones--ever single one. He punches Dean over and over against the Impala, declaring, we're gonna take our time, until Dean's face is a bloody, broken mess. "Sammy," says Dean, "it's OK, I'm here, I'm here, I'm not gonna leave you." After two more vicious punches, Dean reiterates, "I'm not gonna leave you." Then, Samifer draws back his fist for another brutal blow, but something happens: sunlight catches his eye, his pupil contracts, and inside the Impala, he sees the soldier he stuffed into the ashtray years ago. That sets off an explosion of other memories of him and Dean, playing in the car as kids, with Legos, scratching their initials into the car, under the floor mats; Sam showing Dean his outdated music collection when they first went on the road and Dean told him, "Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole"; Dean shoving a plastic spoon in Sam's mouth when he's asleep; the two of them after they ran from the bank, Henriksen was after them, and they declared themselves so screwed; singing in the car the night Dean's deal came due; driving after Sam saw Dean humping the Doublemint twins; scene after scene of the two of them, always TOGETHER, finally culminating in Dean hugging Sam desperately after selling his soul to bring him back to life at the end of season 2. Samifer's clenched fist relaxes, opens, and Sam takes over his body, gasping. Dean, one eye closed from his injuries looks blearily up at his brother. "It's OK, Dean," says Sam, "it's gonna be OK--I've got him." Sam reaches into his jeans pocket, pulls out the rings, and tosses them down onto the dried cemetery grass. He recites the same Latin Dean did earlier. The grass collapses into a hole, and it sounds like someone is screaming. A wind picks up, threatening to push Sam in. Sam looks at Dean, nodding--he's going to do it, toss himself into the vortex! Then Michael appears. "It's not going to end this way," he says, "I have to fight my brother, Sam, here and now, it's my destiny!" Sam looks at Dean one more time, closes his eyes, and makes ready to take the fall. Michael runs at him, grabbing onto his jacket, but Sam pulls him down into the pit with him, and both men disappear into the vortex. Dean closes his eyes as bright light emanates from the hole. It closes up, grass once more, the four rings sitting on top as if nothing had happened. Dean leans his head back, sad, bereft. Lucifer is back where he belongs, but at what cost? His beloved brother is lost to him forever.
Dean kneels on the ground where Sam disappeared. Castiel appears behind him. "You're alive?" asks Dean. Better than that, says Cas, touching his forehead. All of Dean's injuries disappear. "Cas, are you God?" asks Dean reverently. "That's a nice compliment, but no," says Cas, "although I do believe He brought me back--new and improved." Cas kneels over Bobby's dead body and brings him back to life. Dean is grateful for that, but he stares down unhappily at the four rings in his hand.
Chuck: Endings are hard. (We see the manuscript of "Swan Song.") Any chapped-ass monkey with a keyboard can type out a beginning, but endings are impossible. (Chuck drinks more booze from a glass.) You try to tie up every loose end, you never can; the fans are always gonna bitch, there's always gonna be holes, and since it's the ending, it's also supposed to add up to something; I'm telling you, they're a raging pain in the ass!
Two cars ride down the highway. In the Impala, Dean asks Castiel, "What are YOU gonna do now?" "Return to heaven, I suppose," replies Castiel, "with Michael in the cage, I'm sure it's turmoil and anarchy up there." "So what--you're the new sheriff in town?" asks Dean sarcastically. "I like that, yeah, I suppose I am," says Cas. "God gives you a brand-new, shiny set of wings," grouses Dean, "and suddenly, you're his bitch again." "I don't know WHAT God wants," admits Cas, "I don't know if He'll even return, it seems like the right thing to do." "If you do see Him, tell him I'm comin' for Him next," says Dean angrily--"He brought you back, but what about Sam?--what about ME?--where's my grand prize?--all I got is my brother IN A HOLE!" "You got what you asked for, Dean," points out Cas, "no Paradise, no hell, just more of the same--I mean it, Dean, what would you rather have--peace or freedom?" Dean turns to him, but Cas is gone. "Boy, you really suck at goodbyes," says Dean. (FREEDOM or PEACE? WTF???)
Bobby and Dean hug goodbye, and Chuck says that this is the last they will see of each other for a very long time. For the record, this time next week, Bobby will be hunting a ruguru outside of Dayton, but not Dean, who didn't want Cas to save him. Every part of him, every fiber he's got wants to die or find a way to bring Sam back, but he isn't going to do either--because he made a promise.
Dean knocks at Lisa's door. "Hey, Lisa," he says with a small grin. "Thank God," she says, "are you all right?" "Yeah," he says, sounding near tears, "if it's not too late, I'd like to take you up on that beer." Smiling, big time, she says, "It's never too late, and they hug. I thought I heard her whisper something about waiting. The camera pulls back, and they're still hugging.
Chuck: So what does it all add up to? It's hard to say. But me, I'd say this was a test, for Sam and Dean--and I think they did all right--up against good (saving people) evil (YED, Meg), angels (Zachariah), devils, destiny and God himself. They made their own choice. Sam and Dean close the hood of the Impala at the end of season 2, when Dean says, "We have work to do." They chose family (Sam and Dean hug when Dean returns from hell.) And, well, isn't that kind of the whole point? (Sam and Dean sit on the hood of the Impala, staring up at the stars together.)
THE END writes Chuck, finishing off his drink. No doubt, he says, endings are hard. But then again, nothing ever really ends, does it? Chuck smiles, then disappears like a supernatural creature would. He is a prophet, and I hope this isn't the last we see of him.
Lisa's house - Dean sits at the table with Ben, Lisa comes over. "You OK?" she asks. "I'm good," he answers, but he's got a big drink of booze in his hand, which he gulps down.
Outside, a street light flickers and goes out. Standing under it is Sam, who is staring in at Dean, Lisa and Ben. He's not smiling. It's begun to thunder.
(You know, I was thinking that if we weren't getting a sixth season, this episode would have just ended with the scene of Dean sitting at the table with Lisa and Ben, drinking, a man who will never really be happy again without his brother. There wouldn't have been that last Sam scene, because Sam would have been gone for good, a sacrifice to make the world safe again for the rest of us. We knew someone would have to die to save the world, and apparently, Sam would have been the brother who died. God, that makes me sad.)
Yes, I cried buckets throughout this episode. Everywhere. Don't make fun of me or I will probably figure out where you live and come hurt you. Don't make fun of my woman-pain!
Speculation: Is Sam Lucifer, a demon, an angel or is it just a coincidence that the light went out over his head and thunder rolled as soon as we saw him. Why did he look so malevolent? Why did Mr. Kripke make me cry?
Do you think we'll be seeing Cas again? Perhaps he can drop down from heaven once in a while to check on how Dean is doing? I have no inside info on Misha's contract, but it would be nice to see him once in a while. Bobby, too.
I wonder if Dean is going to tell Lisa everything that happened so she understands his drinking and sorrow. I really don't feel he's going to be happy living an apple pie life, not if Sam isn't living one, too.
John Winchester NEEDED to be in this episode! Seriously. I'm sure it wasn't possible with JDM's schedule, but I missed him terribly. It felt wrong to finish the story without big John.
I KNEW Sam had the strength to overcome Lucifer, I just knew it! I was SO proud of him, weren't you? I saw the pride in Dean's eyes, too, even underneath all the blood.
God, it was AWFUL when Lucifer exploded Cas and broke Bobby's neck! I'm glad God brought Cas back and then Cas brought Bobby back. Dean was right, though, where's his grand prize? Sam appears to have come back the way animals and people do when you bury them in the Pet Sematary, though, so Dean had better be careful come season 6.
It was a wonderful last episode, even if we didn't get an I LOVE YOU between the brothers or another hug. I loved the scene of them looking up at the stars for hours without saying a word. It made me cry, of course, but it spoke volumes of their connection, their position as soul mates, dare I say? Thank God for a sixth season, because if they ended it with Dean in Lisa's house, Sam gone, I wouldn't have been able to take it. It would have killed me to see Sam stuck to Lucifer, separated from Dean forever.
Check out more reviews and discussion threads on Swan Song, including Elle’s Thoughts on 5x22 and elle2’s Love Letter to Kripke, in our Archives Featuring Swan Song and be sure to browse through our photo archives for more memorable moments too!