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The brothers called Bobby with the information about Balthazar having unsunk the Titanic, and he responded the information made sense because he thought he'd figured out what they were up against: one of the Fates out of Greek mythology, the three sisters who determined when and how people would die, spinning out their fate on a piece of pure gold. He guessed Fate was trying to clean up Balthazar's mess. He suggested the easiest way to resolve the problem would be to have the angel simply re-sink the boat, but Dean instantly refused. When Dean continued to refuse even after Bobby said there was a big difference between dying horribly and never being born, Bobby pressed for the truth about why they wouldn't consider it, and Dean eventually admitted that sinking the Titanic would cause a whole bunch of dominoes to fall – including ones that would kill Ellen and Jo. After a long moment of silence, Bobby ordered them not to let the ship be sunk, and they promised. Dean noted privately that given Bobby's current state, he didn't want to think about how badly off Bobby would be if he didn't have Ellen.

Trying to figure out how to save all the Titanic descendants when they didn't even know who they were, Dean observed that at least they knew one of them: the lawyer Dean had interviewed. Following the man, they stopped him on the street, only to see him nearly run down by a distracted van driver who'd spilled hot coffee on himself. Accusing Dean of nearly getting him killed, the man walked off shouting they were lucky he didn't sue them – and got hit and killed by a bus ironically carrying one of his advertisements. Sam glimpsed a blonde woman watching the accident from a closed restaurant construction site across the street, who made eye contact and then retreated back into the building. Thinking she might be Fate, Dean advocated talking to her, noting they had nothing to do with the boat and suggesting their “talking” could include using a gun. Against his better judgment, Sam went along. As the brothers began searching through the building, both they and time suddenly stopped, and the woman moved through the place turning on the gas on all the restaurant stoves and grills. When time resumed, Dean's flashlight failed and he pulled out his lighter – and as they opened a door and the lighter ignited the gas fumes, Castiel instantly transported them to safety in the woods of White Russia.
When Dean asked if he knew what Balthazar had done, Castiel said he could be impetuous. He also said Fate harbored rage against them because they'd rendered her obsolete by averting the apocalypse, and said she wouldn't stop until she'd killed them. He advocated killing her as the only way for them to survive, and said Balthazar had a weapon that would work on her if the brothers could draw her out into the open by taking chances and courting death.

Back at Bobby's, Ellen got a call from Jo about thirty more dead on the West Coast, and rhetorically asked what the boys were going to do. She observed the cleanest fix would simply be to sink the boat, saying that now they were all dying bloody, which wasn't the same as never being born. When Bobby protested that she was talking about people who were loved and would be missed, she asked what was up with him, and forced him to admit what he knew: that she and Jo would die if the boat sank when it should. Thinking it over, Ellen ruminated that if it was meant to be, then what happened would happen, but Bobby protested that nothing was meant to be. Bobby admitted needing her, and she gently said she knew.
Walking openly through the town the next day, the brothers waited to meet their fate, encountering one potentially deadly situation after another – a man shouting and running toward them, who was just heading for someone beyond them; a skateboarder and a guy on a BMX bike, both of whom nearly collided with them; a man walking two aggressive big dogs; walking deliberately between two men juggling knives, hatchets, and then fire batons; encountering a man with a malfunctioning staple gun – and emerging unscathed.. As they wondered when the hammer would fall, it finally did, as an air conditioning unit being lifted onto a roof above them fell toward the sidewalk – and time abruptly stopped as Castiel confronted Atropos.

She complained that he and the Winchesters had destroyed her work. She said God had given her a job, that they all had a script and she'd been really good at what she did, up until the big prize fight when they'd thrown out the book. Castiel maintained freedom was preferable, but she objected that what they had was chaos and noted that no one in Heaven would even talk to her when she went in search of what to do. She said she needed to know what would happen next, that it was what she did, but Castiel said her services were no longer required. She noted she hadn't complained or said anything until he had gone too far by not just changing the future, but by changing the past. He claimed the Titanic had been Balthazar's action, but she countered that Balthazar had been under Castiel's orders, that Castiel had sent him back to save the ship in order to have more new souls available to power his war machine. She said he couldn't just mint money, that it was wrong and dangerous and she wouldn't let him do it. He said she wouldn't have a choice, so she offered him one, saying if he didn't go back and sink the boat, she would kill his two favorite pets: the Winchesters. He threatened her, asking if she really wanted to test him, and she reminded him she had two bigger sisters, saying if he killed her, Sam and Dean would become target number one for simple vengeance, and since he had a war to fight, he couldn't watch over them every minute of every day. Castiel ordered Balthazar to stop even as the other angel was approaching from behind to kill her, and realizing Castiel was capitulating, Balthazar shrugged and said they should go sink the Titanic. Time resumed and the air conditioner smashed to the pavement – but Sam, Dean, the angels, and Atropos were all gone.
Dean and Sam woke up in the Impala at Bobby's salvage yard to Celine Dion on the radio singing My Heart Will Go On. Clambering out of the car muttering about crazy dreams, they realized they'd both had the same one – and Castiel appeared to say it wasn't a dream at all. He said he'd insisted Balthazar go back in time to correct what he had done because it was the only way to be sure the Winchesters would be safe. Disconcerted, Sam said he'd killed fifty thousand people for them, but Castiel, after an uncomfortable moment, said he hadn't: he said they'd never been born, and asked if they wouldn't say that was far different from being killed. Dean asked about Ellen and Jo, and Castiel quietly said he was sorry. Still trying to come to grips, Dean asked why he and Sam remembered it all, if the angels had changed everything back and essentially erased that entire alternate timeline, and Castiel said he wanted them to remember, that he wanted them to know who cruel and capricious Fate really was. He said they were the ones who had taught him you could make your own destiny, that you didn't have to be ruled by Fate and could choose freedom, and he still believed that was worth fighting for and he wanted them to understand that. Dean asked if Balthazar had really altered the past over a chick flick, and Castiel, avoiding his eyes as he lied, agreed that's what happened, and then disappeared.

Entering the house, the brothers found Bobby finally asleep on the couch with an open book on his lap. Pitying his loneliness and pain, the brothers agreed not to tell him about how much better his situation had been in the alternate timeline. Dean gently removed the book, covered him with a blanket, and turned out the light.


# Merannoeu 2011-04-22 20:12
Great review Mary as always. I just have one comment. Unless I missed it in your review, there was an incident in season 5 where Castiel knows he is lying to Dean and can't hold eye contact. It had something to do with Castiel telling Dean that he would be with Sammy. I think it was in When the Levee breaks.
Anyway, I recall we did get a glimpse of Castiel being less than truthful before.
Mary, I really appreciate your effort in doing this--I always enjoy reading your work.
# Deborah 2011-04-23 14:44
Thanks, Mary, for another interesting and insightful revuew. I loved this episode, for the closeness of the brothers, for the relationship of Bobby and Ellen, for the humor, and for the heartbreak - unknown by Bobby but known by Sam and Dean. I loved the last scene - Dean taking the book from Bobby and covering him with the blanket while Sam watched with a look of such love and sadness. I so love these boys.

However, like Merannoeu, I think that, while Castiel may not have outright lied to Dean before, he has certainly been deceitful before. I wonder if Dean will ever find out that Castiel was the one who let Sam out of the panic room and set into motion the killing of Lilith and subsequent rising of Lucifer. I realize he was most likely following orders and that it happened before he got all the "free will" lessons from Sam and Dean, but he still did something that he has kept hidden from Dean that in my mind was not alleviated by the fact that he eventually helped Dean get to Sam, but too late to stop the opening of the final seal.

Thanks again for another wonderful review. I look forward to reading your review of Frontierland!
# BagginsDVM 2011-04-23 20:18
I do so love to read your interpretation of each episode, Mary!

I really like your thoughts on the angels' confusion without God present to give them the guidance & orders they were so used to receiving. Castiel does seem to be floundering with his newfound authority; he certainly wants to do the right thing, but hasn't chosen the best of a cabinet of advisors if he is listening to Balthazar now, & perhaps other less trustworthy individuals. I wonder where Joshua has gotten off to in his garden. I wonder if he has heard any more from God? Cas needs to know that God is still out there & still cares, if our angel is to get his focus back. He's learned the value of true friendship in his relationship with the Winchesters, but he's risking a lot of damage to that if he continues lying to them. Will Dean extend his "blank slate" forgiveness to Cas once the truth comes out?

It's fascinating & heartbreaking to think of how things could have been different in averting the apocalypse if the boys truly had had the family support they experienced in this alternate timeline. I love your view of how Bobby & Ellen ended up together. What an awesome couple they made!