I hope you don’t mind the longer recap here, but I’ve taken time to include several quotes that should be considered when speculating. They’re so crucial and I think will have a huge impact on this season.
It all starts with what we love best, the two brothers riding in the Impala. Sam is aware that angels have fallen and they’re in for a big fight. Dean points out to Sam that they have a bigger problem. Something happened back at the church. He tells Sam, “You’re dying Sam.”
Now we’re at the hospital, and Dean gets the bad news from the doctor. Sam’s organs are fried, his brain was oxygen starved, and his coma is just a mere way of putting off the inevitable. Dean gets it. “There’s no recovering. There’s no bounce back, there’s nothing.” He certain doesn’t take the comment that it’s in God’s hands very well. “God has nothing to do with this equation at all.”
A devastated Dean puts out the bat signal so to speak, praying to Castiel first. When he gets no answer, he lets every angel know where he is and that he needs help (how did they end up in Randolph, NY?). That invites both good and bad. At first it’s bad, because the angel that gets to him first wants Dean to tell him where Castiel is or he’s dead. Ezekiel arrives next to help Dean, but he’s clearly weakened by the fall. He struggles in fighting the other angel, so Dean kills that angel and Ezekiel passes out.
While Dean is struggling on his end with angels, Sam is struggling within his head to accept what’s happening to him. Dean is telling him to fight, but he has no plan to get Sam out of this. So Sam starts asking the right questions, figuring out that Dean represents the part of him that wants to fight. “But if you don’t have any idea how I’m supposed to fight, am I supposed to be fighting at all?”
That’s when Bobby arrives to tell Sam he has a point. He chastises Dean for all their “bass-ackwards crazy ways to beat death” like selling his soul. Sam gets frustrated, so Bobby zaps Sam away from Dean and that gives them time to chat. Bobby decides a walk will do them good, thus giving Sam time to process all this. Sam tells Bobby he wants to fight, but it feels like, “like you’ve got nothing to swing at, like you’re punching at shadows?” Bobby says finishing the sentence. He tells Sam how much good he’s done in his life. Heck, he even saved the world! He’s leaving the world a better place.
Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Dean protects Sam and Ezekiel with angel warding symbols when angels arrive and fights off the angels while Ezekiel tries to help Sam. Sam and Bobby in the meantime arrive at a cabin. “Everything’s inside you need to help you on your way. Sam’s glazed puppy dog eyes over struggling with the decision shows just how worn down he is and he doesn’t have much fight left. “I’ll be waiting for you with a couple of cold ones,” Bobby promises, but then Dean shows up and stabs Bobby, sending him away.
Sam is livid, and this becomes the very crucial scene where Sam decides to let go. Dean says Bobby had to go. “No, you have to go,” Sam answers. “When are you going to realize it’s over. There’s nothing left to fight for.” Dean won’t accept this so Sam asks again for the plan. Dean answers by punching Sam.
Dean: My plan is to fight. My plan is to try. My plan is to give a damn. Are you telling me there’s nothing to fight for, there’s nothing to hope for?
Sam: No I’m telling you there is. You might not like it, you might not accept it, but it’s in there, it’s in that house.
Dean: You know what’s in that house! Now I can’t help you if you’re not willing to fight for yourself.
Sam: I know, it’s okay. It’s what I want.
He gives Dean a pat on the face in goodbye and Dean disappears. Sam goes inside to the cabin where Death is waiting for him.
At the hospital, Dean gets beaten up real good, but eventually fights off the angels. He goes back to Ezekiel, but Sam has already started to crash. Ezekiel’s too weak, and Sam’s damage is too great. He has no good options, so Dean wants to know the bad ones. Ezekiel can fix Sam on the inside by possessing him. Dean doesn’t like that idea at all and he knows Sam won’t either. “There’s no way in Hell he’d agree to be possessed by anything. He’d rather die.” Ezekiel accepts this and offers to leave them alone so Dean can say goodbye.
Dean panics and needs to know how bad things are before he considers it. Ezekiel shows Dean how close Sam is to moving on by letting him see Sam’s conversation with Death in the cabin. Sam tells Death he’s ready to go with him, but Death has to promise that this is it for him. “That this time, it will be final. That if I’m dead, I stay dead. Nobody can reverse it, nobody can deal it away, and nobody has to get hurt because of me.” Death promises.
So, in easily one of the most shocking scenes EVER in Supernatural, Dean arrives in the cabin to convince Sam to stay. He tells the one thing Sam has been waiting to hear, he can fix this. “I made you a promise in that church, you and me, come whatever. You got to let me in man, you’ve got to let me help. There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you.” “What do I do?” Sam asks. Dean asks if that’s a yes and Sam responds, “Yes.” Dean touches Sam except it’s not Dean! It’s Ezekiel! Lights flash and suddenly Sam becomes possessed by Ezekiel.
At the hospital Sam’s bed is now occupied by the guy who was Ezekiel’s vessel, who has no clue what just happened. Dean and Ezekiel!Sam are walking in the courtyard, and Ezekiel (yes, Jared gets to play another role) tells Dean that things aren’t looking good. There is much work to be done. There’s also no reason for Sam to know he’s in there at all. Dean thinks Sam will understand if he tells him, but Ezekiel thinks if Dean tells him he’s possessed, he could eject Ezekiel and die. So Dean tells Ezekiel to wipe Sam’s memory! It’ll be their secret for now. He’s hoping he’ll get to tell Sam when the time is right.
The final scene is the two brothers in the Impala. Sam wakes up wondering what happened. Dean tells him he’s been asleep for a day in the Impala, ever since they left the church. Sam accepts this and tells Dean, “We have work to do.” Final close up on a guilt ridden Dean.
In between this gut wrenching story was Castiel’s story. It doesn’t take long for him to figure out he’s human. He almost gets hit by a car and gets his hand scraped up. Pain. The driver, despite Castiel’s crazy talk about losing his wings and not being able to fly, gives Castiel a lift into town and some money. Cas runs into a young woman who’s been newly possessed by a fallen angel named Hael. She pretends to be scared, and triggers Castiel’s need to help her. Castiel calls Dean, finds out what’s happening with Sam, and he wants to go and help. He tells Dean his grace was taken, and Dean tells him to stay away. Angels are after him. That’s when the other angel knocks Castiel out and kidnaps him.
Hael wants Castiel’s vessel, because hers is already falling apart. It can’t handle her. She’s clearly angry that Castiel got them into this mess. Castiel causes a car accident that greatly damages her vessel, and that’s when she goes off on him, telling him that he can’t help the angels. He did this and he will be hunted. Castiel gets mad and stabs her to death with the angel killing sword. He ends his day at a laundromat with bloody clothes and after stripping down to his underwear (about time, huh?), decides that his change would be better spent on food and drink than his clean suit. He steals some clothes and leaves the suit and trenchcoat behind, all while chugging down some water.
Oh my Chuck. Did anyone see that coming? Who right now is so utterly devastated for Sam? I am so crushed! He made his decision to move on, to finally have that peace after all the horrible, nightmarish things he’s been through, to finally move on after all those times of cheating death, and Dean snaps it away from him. Sam looked so tired and worn, unable to fight anymore, but he was also scared over the idea this was it. He was just waiting for Dean to show up and fix things and when he didn’t, Sam decided to move on.
Considering Sam was willing to listen to Dean in the cabin and followed his play without too much hesitation, chances are he wasn’t totally ready to move on. But Dean’s deception took that decision away from Sam. Or did it? Was Sam’s “Yes” really his way of saying that he was putting Dean in control, even under false pretenses? Did Dean play on Sam’s trust of him? I just can’t get past Dean telling Death “It’s not his time,” and Death answering “That’s for Sam to decide.” Did Sam truly decide, especially when this happened after he had already chosen to move on?
There is no way this won’t backfire for Dean, right? Those memories will have to come back to Sam somehow, or there will be some sort of ramification. After all, I do watch this show! I speculate Ezekiel will weaken, the healing won’t go so well, or maybe Ezekiel can’t handle Sam or vice versa. Sam was meant for Lucifer, just like Castiel was meant for Jimmy. Angels just can’t possess whoever they want, can they? As we saw with Hael, you just can’t take any vessel.
How do you think Sam will react when he finds out? Would Sam have done the same thing if the situation was reversed, or would he have let Dean die? Dean was almost willing to let Sam go until he saw the conversation between Sam and Death. That really scared him. Will Sam take into account that his brother panicked and try to see it from his side?
What about Dean’s decision to have Sam’s memory wiped and keeping everything a secret for now? Did he do the right thing? I was especially bothered by the final scene when he gave Sam credit for being capable of anything and proving him right. Did he have to go that far? Sam doesn't need encouragement right now. He needs the truth! Or does he?
This was also the case of Dean Winchester messing with the natural order again. He’s still calling that fighting rather than considering the ramifications of his choices. Did you watch Death after Dean arrived? It’s almost like Death knew that Dean would come along and muck things up again. He let him do it too! Do you think he’s teaching Dean another lesson here? This does open up yet another reference to Dean’s God complex. It ties into his earlier quote to the doctor, who says it's in God's hands. “God has nothing to do with this equation at all.”
Sam’s reaction over finding out he was in a coma was interesting too. The whole idea of stopping the trials was so that he wouldn’t die. Do you think that when (or possibly if) he finds out that he would have died either way that he’ll really get mad about the lost opportunity to complete the trials and close the Gates of Hell forever?
What about Castiel’s story? Were you find yourself caring about his story because you were too engaged in Sam and Dean’s drama? Do you find it endearing that he wants to help the angels? Did you like that there were angels like Ezekiel still out there that wanted to continue their work on Earth and believed in Castiel? Or did you just get into the laundry scene? That was pretty fun!
Did you like the opening song? I thought it was really weak, but I’m not a huge fan of George Thorogood and the Destroyers. I don’t even like “Bad to the Bone,” let alone “Who Do You Love?” But the new title sequence. Burning wings?? Awesome!!!
Okay, time to speculate. Given the events that happened in this episode, the environment is ripe for some character bashing. You may want to rip into Dean for his controversial choice to save Sam by calling him names, or you may want to rip into Sam for wanting to move on without Dean by calling him names. Don’t. NO character bashing. Trying to share your thoughts in a constructive way. Also, be respectful to other commenters and their opinions. There is no right or wrong.