Supernatural's season 11 finale was titled "Alpha and Omega", loosely translated as the beginning and the end, or the first and the last. There are many possible applications of that title for the seaon's mythological arc, starting with God and his sister as the beginning of creation and the possible end of creation. One could also interpret it to refer to the beginning of their new understanding and time together as a reunited family, ending their alientation and Amara's hatred. What if the title had another, underlying, meaning, though?

As this year's hiatus begins, The CW has begun rerunning the season. Last week, they ran the first episode "Out of the Darkness Into the Fire" so I had a chance to watch how Amara's story began to intertwine with the Winchesters, Crowley, Castiel and the humans of God's creation. During my rewatch, I was amazed that the first and the last episodes of the season were strongly tied together not just in themes but visually as well. Some of the scenes were nearly identical, while others clearly foreshadowed things to come. Similar to the well known tactic of sound bridging, in which "the sound from one scene is carried into the adjoining scene (For example: A boy sits in a park, watching his dog play in the autumn leaves, and the sound heard is that of a doorbell ringing. The front door is visible in the next scene"), the visual cinematography bridges presented in 11.01 irrefutably bridged the beginning and the ending of the season. 


Blooming...and Dying Flowers


Opening in "Out of the Darkness Into the Fire"

The opening scenes of season 11 were of Sam in the Impala, awaking from the concussive blast of the Darkness being released. Immediately after those scenes, however, season 11 bloomed into several close-ups of wild flowers growing the fields where Sam searched for Dean. The flowers were always in the foreground of the scenes, framing Sam and Dean. 

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Bridge to "Alpha and Omega"

Again, in the foreground, some of the same colors were used in the beautiful garden where Amara and God's feud ended. This time the flowers were tamed, organized, pruned and within the control of a human caretaker, much the same as Amara's dark rage was controlled and tamed by the beauty of the earth and the time and attention of a few people.

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Even at the cemetery, flowers were featured in the foreground of shots and later beside graves (shown below).

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Opening in "Out of the Darkness Into the Fire"

Once Sam and Dean found their way back to town and reached the hospital, pictures of wall flowers replaced the fresh flowers growing in the fields. These flowers were largely colorless, gray imitations of the real flowers' beauty. These images were often shown above images of death. Watch for the many flower and seeding pictures throughout the hospital, as this first one shown here.

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Bridge to "Alpha and Omega":

White blossoms and falling white petals portrayed the death of the flowers, and the world, reminding us of the fading flowers blowing in the wind in the hospital's pictures.

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                            normal Alpha and omega 456a Alpha and omega 491


(could someone find/make a gif of the blossoms falling as Dean is talking, please!)

If we expand the seaon's ending to include the last few episodes, which together formed the climax of the myth arc, "Out of the Darkness into the Fire" provided the first half of several other continuity bridges as well.

Saving a Baby Girl

Opening in "Out of the Darkness Into the Fire"

At both the beginning and the end of the season, Sam and Dean took on the mission of saving a baby girl. In the season opener, Dean became obsessed with the mission. At the time, we didn't know that his dedication to saving the baby was intensified because it was Amara. The local sherriff worked with the brothers to save the baby at the hospital.

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SPN 1527Dean saves the baby girl Amara, with the help of the local sherriff

Bridge to "Don't Call Me Shurley"
            11.20 440 Sam and BabyIt is Sam this time who saves the baby girl...

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with the help of the local sherriff

Fighting the Darkness Infection


In both cases, the brothers and the sherriff then became trapped inside a building, protecting themselves and the baby girl from a mob infected with the Darkness. The brothers each looked out the window at the approaching mob...
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11.01 "Out of the Darkness into the Fire"                                                               11.20 "Don't Call Me Shurley"


The infected mob stormed the building where Sam, Dean, the sherriff & the Baby are hiding...
                           SPN 1096    normal Don t call me shurley 508
11.01 "Out of the Darkness into the Fire"                                              11.20 "Don't Call Me Shurley"


Dean and Sam protected the baby and Sherriff (and other innocents) from the infected mob:
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                                         11.01 "Out of the Darkness Into the Fire"                                                                    11.20 "Don't Call Me Shurley"


...but Sam was infected in the process of saving everyone else.
normal spn1101 2463    normal Don t call me shurley 520
                                         11.01 "Out of the Darkness Into the Fire"                                                                    11.20 "Don't Call Me Shurley"

Crowley's Escape Route

There were several contiunity bridges for the supporting cast and secondary plots as well. Crowley reverted to his red, demon gaseous form to avoid Castiel's attack in the season's opener. He took this shape again to attack Amara in the season's climax.
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11.01 "Out of the Darkness Into the Fire"                                               11.22 "We Happy Few"

Losing Free Will and Acting Like an Animal


Opening in "Out of the Darkness Into the Fire"

Rowena's spell forced Castiel to act like an animal as we began the season.
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Bridge to "The Vessel"

In an unfortunate turn of events for Crowley, Lucifer forced him to also act like an animal.
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Then in "Alpha and Omega", Crowley commented about their unsuccessful attack on Amara,
Crowley: Well... that was a complete and utter dog's breakfast, wasn't it?
Cas: I didn't know dogs had breakfast.

To some extent, becoming "an animal" is what happened to the husband in "Red Meat" who was turned into a werewolf and all the victims in "Chitters". I'm intrigued by this "dog" theme now. I wonder how many other places it appeared throughout the season.

Peanuts

As a visual bridge of minor details, the surburban group seemed to need peanuts at their "gathering" in the season's opener. Maybe peanuts are Crowley's preferred snack? Crowly again ate peanuts at the final gathering of the season.

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11.01 "Out of the Darkness into the Fire"                                                               11.20 "Alpha and Omega"


Visual continuity bridges are different from plot threads, which you all know we track throughout the season. "Threads" are themes which are repeated in every aspect of a the season's numberous plots and dialog. In contrast, the bridges shown here are scenes or scenarios that are almost exactly repeated to reinforce the subject of the episode.

As Supernatural reruns air each week, it might be fun to watch for more visual continuity bridges.  Will they continue to link together episodes as obviously as they linked the beginning and the ending of the season's myth arc? Had you seen these bridges before reading this article?  I challenge you to watch 11.01 again looking for more bridges! What have I missed?

Sound Bridge Background from http://www.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_sound_bridge_in_film
Screencaps Courtesy of http://supernaturalfansonline.com/
and
http://homeofthenutty.com/supernatural/
Gif credit given in Wednesday's review of "Alpha and Omega"