Page 1 of 6I already knew this would be a great episode the second it started. A scene that intense is the teaser? So, dig in, for this recap could get hairy. First, let’s get the credits out of the way. The writers are Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin, who really hit a major stride here. It’s good to see them produce something so good. The director is Jeff Woolnough, who’s done plenty of other shows (most recently Bones) but is a newcomer to Supernatural. He too brought something to the table we haven’t seen before.
First, I’m really amused by the “Then” sequence because it brings light to the fact that the boys have died plenty of times. We even got to see a few of the more graphic ones. I love it. We already know from the episode description they die again, but I adore how the show decides to be playful with it. It’s about time. They also tease about the amulet too. It’s about time with that too! We’ve missed it.
Okay, “Now” - The camera pans along an impressive collection of empty and crushed beer cans, plus an empty liquor bottle, all littering this retro motel room. Dean is passed out on the bed in clothes and man what I would give to see that bender. As the shot pulls away from Dean there’s a shotgun barrel pointed at him. He wakes up and reaches under the pillow, but doesn’t find what he’s looking for. A masked man has his precious gun and asks him if he’s “looking for this” as he drops out the cartridge. Dean looks over at Sam, who’s already uncomfortably awake and has his own gunman pointing a weapon at him. ”Morning,” Dean says to him. Not a good way to start the day.
Dean’s gunman warns “hands where I can see them.” Dean looks at the guy and knows who it is. ”Is that you Roy?” He doesn’t answer and Dean knows he’s right. He turns to the other guy “Which makes you Walt.” Roy and Walt? As in Disney? How great it is to have such fun with references when coming up with gun toting yahoos. Roy and Walt look at each other and Walt lifts off his mask, saying it doesn’t matter. So Dean sticks with the flippant attitude. ”Is it just me or do you two seem a tad upset?”
Walt reveals his beef to Sam. ”You think you can just flip the switch on the apocalypse, just walk away Sam?” Sam’s heart sinks. ”Who told you that?” Um, let me see - I think it was those hunters in Oklahoma that got you to admit you started the apocalypse before you kicked the snot out of them. Yeah, probably those guys. Walt lets Sam know that they aren’t the only hunters after him and cocks his rifle. Sam jumps and he’s really worried now. Ditto for Dean. ”See you in the next life,” Walt says. Sam starts pleading, telling him he can explain. He even uses the puppy dog “Please.” Sadly, Walt kicks puppies. The camera does the round robin of faces and ends back at Sam’s, just a split second before Walt blows him away violently with two shots.
SAMMY!!!! Oh my God, you bastard, you killed Sammy! Kudos the Jared for jerking back like that as those two shots hit him. Man does that get a viewer’s heart pumping!
Dean jumps up and is warned by Roy to stay back. Ooooh, now Dean is pissed. That is a dude you don’t want to get angry. Or let me borrow a comment from Randal. Dean has his “I will burn a hole through your fucking soul stare” (yes he even trademarked it) as he gazes at his dead brother flopped on the other bed. Walt orders Roy to kill Dean but Roy has an issue with that. Killing Sam was right but Dean? Of course Dean isn’t tuning into any of this conversation because he’s still fuming over the corpse of his baby brother. Walt’s pitch is that Dean has made them and they just “snuffed” his brother. Do you want to live knowing Dean Winchester is after you? That’s a brilliant pitch. Even I would shoot Dean in that situation.
Dean comes to his senses and turns to Roy with that cold, hard stare. He challenges Roy to do it. ”But I’m going to warn you. WHEN I come back, I’m gonna be pissed.” I think Roy pissed in his pants after that comment. He totally believes Dean and can’t shoot, so Dean eggs him on harder. ”Come on, let’s get this show on the road!” Roy and Dean have the dramatic stare down, his finger is on the trigger but he can’t do it. Walt though, being the Sammy killing dick he is, won’t buy it and fires. In what I call “the best use of the title sequence EVER” the gun goes off and in perfect timing the blood hits the water. Awesome!!! I have a feeling this is going to be a great one.
“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” the vastly superior Bob Dylan version (no, it’s not by Guns N’ Roses) is playing on the radio of the Impala. Dean is in the driver’s seat sleeping and startles himself awake, likely because the good version of the song is playing. He gets out really confused about where he is. It’s dark and the Impala is just sitting in the middle of a blacktop road. The trunk slams and Dean looks behind him, shocked to find Sam. Except it isn’t Jared Padalecki Sam, it’s Colin Ford Sam! He’s holding a box of fireworks. ”Sammy?” He asks. Young Sam is all excited. ”Come on, let’s go.” Dean is confused. ”Weird dream.” You don’t dream about Sam as a boy Dean? Oh, that’s right. It’s usually hookers and fishing.
Sam puts down the box and grabs a couple of firecrackers. ”Got your lighter?” Dean pulls one out of his pocket and smiles, for he hasn’t seen that one in years. He lights the firecrackers and he and Sam watch them explode into the sky. Dean’s face lights up in the most adorable happiness, a look that we so rarely get to see. Then he remembers this. It’s 4th of July 1996. That would make Sam thirteen and him seventeen. Sam’s face is all smiles too. ”Dad would never let us do anything like this. Thanks Dean, this is great.” He then gives Dean a huge hug! Oh wow, to think they were like that once. Why am I getting all misty only five minutes into the program?
Dean isn’t sure what to make of the hug, but he eventually smiles. That feeling seems so lost on him. Sam lets go and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” comes back on again from the beginning. Sam lights all the rest and he and Dean watch them all explode into the night sky, HUGE smiles as both marvel at the spectacle. There’s no description I could possibly provide to say how great this scene is. With the music, the acting, the way the scene is shot with the red lights of the fireworks hitting their faces at the right moment, it’s incredible. They watch, Dean sees Sam’s joy, and then Sam moves closer into the action. He jumps around in slow motion as the sparks come down all around him. I don’t know how I’m getting through this scene to describe it. Wiping tears right now, I tell ya.
Dean and Sam exchange more smiles, Dean watches the fireworks explode in the air and suddenly the quick flash of adult Sam and him back at the motel getting blown away comes to mind. He comes out of it disconcerted in the field all alone, calling for Sam. Dean goes back to the Impala and he’s definitely disoriented. There’s a nice shot of his blurred reflection in the hood of the Impala, there to symbolize his fuzzy state of mind. Dean hears static on the radio and then a voice. It’s Cas! Dean calls out his name and Cas verifies on the radio it’s him. Dean gets in the Impala to have the conversation.