Warning!!!!  If you haven't seen the latest episode of "Supernatural" and the preview for next episode (January 28th!), do not read this!  There is going to be plot-based speculation and discussion! You've been officially warned!
 
Well, that was all kinds of awesome!  Death, please drop by the show anytime you like because when you come around, it's pure gold for the viewers.  So, unfortunately, we now all have until January 28th (sob!) to speculate about where the show is headed next.  But let's start off with the biggest development of the evening, and that was...
Welcome back, Sam's soul
 
Sam got his soul back!  As much as I have enjoyed this whole soulless Sam experiment, and I have enjoyed it very much, I'm pleased that Sam got his soul back.  I'm looking forward to seeing Sam and Dean move forward as a team again, both of them with souls, and hopefully working on rebuilding their relationship.  Of course, I'm sure there will be bumps and much man-angst along the way, but this is a positive step, and I'm pleased it happened.  Not so pleased that we have to wait until the end of January to find out the repercussions of this re-souling, but it was still welcome nonetheless.  Speaking of repercussions...
 
Just Another Brick
 
This wall idea is very intriguing.  Sam's going to have an itchy mental barrier keeping his memories of Hell away from him.  But I don't think it's going to stay whole the entire season.  I think what's going to happen is small cracks are going to form, maybe even a bit of crumbling, and Sam is going to start remembering some things.  I give him four episodes before something happens to jar loose some memories, and then things will start getting heavy again.  Maybe Death will have to come back and do some wall repairs.  Honestly, though, I hope the wall works because Sam was down there for over a year, with two badass angels kicking his soul, and I wonder how long it takes to start twisting a soul into a demon.  Does it accelerate if the people torturing it are more powerful?  Because what if Sam's soul is now part demon and the wall is the only thing blocking him from that?
 
The Natural Order (is stupid)
 
Death's lesson to Dean here was that even though he and his brother have escaped him on numerous occasions, those actions have consequences.  And even if you outpace him for a while you can't outrun Death forever.  Sooner or later, your time is gonna come, and that's just how it is.  Death absolutely knew that Dean wouldn't last a day, but that wasn't really the point.  He wanted Dean to see things from the other side, and I think Dean really did learn something from the experience.  And maybe, just maybe, it will make him think twice about cheating Death again.  Think finding out that his non-deaths have caused such a mess will give him even more guilt about whose lives were ruined because he didn't die?  I'm leaning toward yes on that.
 
But the really interesting thing about that part, to me, was the whole "where does Death get his list from" idea.  Who does decide when it's a person's time to die?  Natural order of things seems so arbitrary.  Which is probably part of the point, really, isn't it?  Still, it was an extremely interesting point, one to ponder a while.  There's probably not a very good answer to that question, is there?
 
Extra Crispy Wings
 
Man, one person you probably don't want to owe one is Balthazar.  It's going to be nothing but trouble when that debt comes due.  I hope we see more of him in the second half of the season, though, because he's very deliciously slimy, isn't he?  Like a snake in the grass, that one.  I'm hoping we get to see more of Cass' battle with Raphael, and Balthazar can certainly play a role in that.  Plus, he isn't exactly fond of the Winchesters, mostly because they bruised his ego, and that is one large ego.
 
FINALLY!!!!!!
 
It was about darn time someone mentioned Adam, wasn't it?  That was really starting to become a sticking point for me.  Of course Dean was going to choose Sam over Adam, but at least there was recognition that Adam was down there, too.  Now I just hope that either Michael has shielded him or he's gone somehow or Lucifer and Michael realized he was just a pawn and have more or less left him alone because I don't want him left behind down there.  I don't.  I didn't want Sam left behind, and I don't want Adam left behind.
 
Could Death BE Any More Cryptic?
 
When he called Dean an intrepid detective, I couldn't help but think, "Death, don't feed Dean's Batman complex!"  But what the heck is he talking about with the digging and the souls and the importance and Dean will know when the time is right?  I really don't know, but I'm guessing it has something to do with Purgatory and the war in Heaven.  Vague, I know.  What do you guys think?  Perhaps my brain has shut down for the evening, but I'm kind of stumped on this.  It's looking like a setup for the second half of the season for sure, though.
 
The Preview for 6.12
 
"Save yourself for the next new episodes?"  I see what you did there, CW.
 
Okay, that's it for me, I think.  Is everyone happy Sam got his soul back?  Isn't 7 weeks just way too long to find out what's going to happen?  More importantly, what awesome contraption will Bobby build in his house next? Also, I just want to say here that I've enjoyed our speculations about the first half of the season very much, so thanks for posting some great theories and for letting me have a place to indulge in my own speculating.  I'm looking forward to resuming these conversations in the second half of the season!

Comments  

magichappening
# magichappening 2010-12-11 02:10
So nice to have this page to vent and exclaim after each episode. Thanks so much for providing a speculation refuge Ardeospina :-)

Love both of the actors who play Tessa and Death and think they have great chemistry with Jensen so really enjoyed those scenes. Love that those characters came back and Dean got to 'see behind the curtain'(Side note: Death has never looked so good *wink*) Liked the whole Flatliners beginning and the twist of Death granting Dean his wish anyway was cool.

Thought the whole Bobby vs. Sam storyline was really well done as well - although not sure why Bobby felt the need to open the basement door. But Jared really made me feel sympathetic towards Sam when he was arguing his case.

I love that they decided that Dean did in fact need an education on the natural order of things (stupid or not) and all in all (sorry) think it is a clever twist to use the wall in Sam's mind - so much potential for the levee to break. I agree that there will be cracks sooner than later.

I too was relieved that someone finally mentioned Adam and it must have killed Dean to leave him there - Sophie's Choice? Not sure. As Dean said to Bobby incredulously a few weeks ago 'More important than Sam?' I think if they can book Jake Abel there is the potential of Adam coming back as a demon though - if someone wants to yank him out of the box too.

Ooooh good point about the Alpha Vamp's mother comment. I had completely forgotten about that. So as well as that for the second half of the season we have:
- Dean in Death's debt and with the instruction to follow the souls
- Death gets his list from somewhere (although how was Death working prior to this episode if Dean had his ring buried in Bobby's backyard?)
- Sam in Balthazar's debt - am not entirely sold on the Balthazar storyline/actor to be honest
- Samuel lurking around, but with no Crowley what happens to his Mary deal? (tis disturbing - as someone mentioned last week - that it is his daughter that he is willing to do that for than his..) And Dean has threatened to kill him.
-Purgatory and the Alphas - again with Crowley gone, now what?
- Cas losing the war on Heaven to Raphael (after he somehow got out of his ring of holy fire) who has reason to have a grudge against Dean
- Adam in the box
- No knowledge of who is running Hell
- Dean with regrets about Lisa and Ben
- Sam with an imperfect wall in his mind but back (in black - sorry again). Hooray!

That should be enough to be going on with :-) Think the Alpha/Purgatory story will be important, with Sam's resouling fallout and Dean's settling back into his own skin entwined. But SEVEN WEEKS til the next episode? The natural order of TV scheduling is stupid.

P.S. On the trapdoor note: Do you think Bobby is secretly Gromit in disguise?
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2010-12-11 02:38
Quick question about the wall. With Death mentioned 75%, did he mean it had a 75% chance of working or it will keep out 75% of the memories from hell?
magichappening
# magichappening 2010-12-11 03:09
I took it to mean 75% of it working.
magichappening
# magichappening 2010-12-11 03:10
Sorry Tim I meant 75% chance of it working. Need to sleep :-)
kateblack
# kateblack 2010-12-11 03:20
Re Death telling Dean how powerful the soul is and to keep digging - does this have something to do with Balthazar buying up souls?
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2010-12-11 07:54
Loved this ep and love Ben Edlund.

This ep had me once more on the edge of my seat and I sure enough was nervously playing with a pen when Bobby walked down the stairs. And when Sam lifted that knife I was wondering is he going to kill Bobby now or is he just going to draw some blood? I was so thankfull that Dean showed up just in time. How is he doing that to move that silently that nobody hears him?

I am too glad that someone thought of mentioning Adam again. After all he is a Winchester.

The one question that came up for me immediatly was:

How would Sam be able to scratch on a wall that is put up in his soul? Surly can't go ahead and scratch on it with his finger nails.
Jeannine
# Jeannine 2010-12-11 10:06
I am so loving this season. Once again, some answers with a heap of questions. But at the same time it feels like its starting to get some cohesion.

So much to think about over hellatus. Do the writers know us or what? So here are some of my thoughts from this episode:

- About time someone brought up Adam. Poor guy. If there is anyone I feel for more in this whole mess, it's poor Adam.

- Death dropped some huge hints that were cryptic enough that there is really no way to know what they mean. There is something BIG going on, enough to interest Death. It has to do with souls and the natural order of things when it comes to life and death. Sera has a plan and I am more than pleased.

-I am so glad that Sam got his soul back. If for nothing else, that I am tired of trying NOT to interpret emotion from Jared's very expressive face. Have those tissues ready in January folks, I'm predicting a great deal of angst.

-Bobby rocks! Out poker-facing the emotionless man, now that is talent. "I was born at night, boy. But it wasn't last night." I seriously think that man upgrades his traps every time the Winchesters break it. Guaranteed no one is getting out of the vent in the panic room ever again.

-I think Dean was going to kill Sam before Death stepped in and I am so glad it never got that far.

-And Sam not scratch that itch? Really? This is the man who pokes at things until they pop every single time. I'm sure he'll try not to but it's going to happen. Yirabah, I think it will be like a blank spot in Sam's head. He'll feel and know it is there. I agree with Ard that we're going to start seeing cracks at some point and once those cracks start, like a dam it could very well lead to that wall breaking. What will we get when it does?

Gah, is it January 28th yet? I want to see where I "intrepid detectives" take us next. :D
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2010-12-11 12:26
First and formost, Hoooray!!! Sammysoul is back! Happy dance! Though I'm sure there will be angst and all kinds of heartache attached. But I was firmly in Dean's boat. I didn't care bout nothing more than getting it back. Screw the consequences.

And I've a theory bout the whole soul power thing. (Blast it.) It may make sense but I'd like to air it so someone else can put in their two cents on why it can or can't work.

In S5, Cass was cut off from heavens power. Michael went in the cage, Cass was alive again and had access to heavens power. This tells me that somehow, Michael was able to cut off access to this but was not the source. What with God being gone from heaven and all the angels still with power, it tells me that it doesn't come from him either. So heaven's power must come from something else.

Lucifer had a heck of a lot of power, and he was interested in getting souls. I'd thought before that he wanted them strictly to fulfill his vengence and for a demon making mill. But he had his own realm, so to speak, full of human souls.

What if souls create this power. Incredible power, since souls last and last and last...like the energizer bunny. The more souls, the more power. And whoever is in charge of a realm made of souls, has ownership to that power.

Make your own realm, perhaps what Balty is trying to do, and make your own never ending well of soulpower.

Could explain why Crowley was such a punk-ass king. He was only a soul himself, and couldn't access the hellwell of soulpower. He could try to dominate, but not control.

Could be what gave the pagan gods power. But as fewer believed and dedicated themselves and their souls, the weaker the gods became. But get souls, and become a god in your own right.

And the kind of power the souls generate could depend on the house they are kept in. Heaven wasn't too bad, and angels can heal. Hell, on the other hand, is full of tormented soul and I've gotten the idea that healing doesn't come as easily to hell spawn.

No wonder Cass and Raph are fighting so hard over heaven. Heaven is a first class ticket to the deepest soulhouse in existance!

Done rambling.
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-12-11 13:07
doing the Happy Dance. :D :D :D :D :D

To all those people who 'liked' the Soulless One, just let me say this: HE WAS GOING TO KILL BOBBY IN COLD BLOOD. HIS BLOOD WAS SO COLD IT WAS F@@KING FROZEN. :-x :-x :-x Loved how Dean was there to save the day.

I love Death the character, he is bad-ass without lifting a finger. He has a hard job and that is why he enjoys the simple things of 'life', like pizza, beer, and hanging out with Dean Winchester. :-) Twice he has 'helped' Dean. He needed a vacation and Dean was desperate to get his Sammy back. Even though, while Death was putting the soul back in Sam, and Sam was screaming in pain, I really thought that Dean wouldn't be able to take it and would tell Death to stop just to end Sam's screaming. But I guess, that Dean could take a little screaming if it meant that Sam would be returned to new (or almost new).

We all know that in SUPERNATURAL, there is no 'happy ending'. They kill the YED, but Dean has a year left to live. Mary is bought back to life, but Sam despises Dean, Lilth and Ruby are defeated but Lucifer arises, Sam gets his soul back but it is protected by a wall that is itchy (and I agree that it will not last the rest of the season).

Dean having to choose between Sam and Adam? DAH :!: :!:
Dean having to choose between Sam and anybody is always going to be Sam. Gramps thought that Dean would pick Mary over Sam, didn't work. All Gramps got was the skunk eye from Dean and a future ass kicking. If Dean would give up his own soul for Sam, then that should tell you something. No matter what is going on in the relationship between Dean and his brother, Sam is always number one.

'Intrepid detective', isn't that from 'Batman Begins'?

Dean Winchester in 'Dead like Me', the first thought that came to mind, when Dean had to 'touch' the soon to be dead. I loved that show. I loved how Dean let the robber suffer a little for his crime. Justice, Dean Winchester style.

Bobby, what can you say, he has a lot of weekends free to do 'improvements' to his house. He also knew that the Soulless One was up to no good. Love Bobby. :D

Loved this episode and this is a good way to spend the long wait until January 28th.

doing the Happy Dance :D :D :D
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-12-11 13:09
Loved this episode. Multilayered, funny, sad, hopeful, self-destructiv e, terrifying, loving, rotten... I am off to writing. My mind has been working from the moment the last scene ended on that horrific scream coming from Sam's lips...

HIs soul is back?! Oh, my, that boy is gonna need some serious couch time with the resident shrink...

My god, open mouth galore! Best, Jas
Kayo
# Kayo 2010-12-11 21:07
Loved this episode! Just have one little question that has been bugging me. Who was the letter addressed to that Dean handed to Dr. Roberts? I thought it said Benjamin Braedon or something like that, but I don't know who that is. Thanks!
Mardem Jr.
# Mardem Jr. 2010-12-11 21:11
I have a theory (okay, it's a mix of things I've seen out there):

In order to justify the brothers' involvement with the story to be told, they have to make it personal. So I think Dean is to blame for the monsters acting different. In the year sans Sam, he said he looked into things trying to free his brother. Perhaps he stumbled upon something and he caused, unwittingly of course, the disarray of actions in the monsters realm. And Death reminds Dean of cleaning up messes, so I guess he was telling Dean he would have to clean up the mess he made.

Regarding Sam, of course he will scratch at the wall! I even think, if we have a 7th season, that we'll have the levee breaking as our cliffhanger. Now that would be a major hellatus! I also agree with Yvonne's theory.

Now one thing that troubles me about this episode is that they implied that Death is the one that kills people, then reapers take them to the other side. In Faith, we saw a reaper killing people. I don't know how to make sense of that. Help?
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-12-11 23:55
I just have a second here, so I'm only going to chime in to answer Kayo, but I'll come back tomorrow to follow up!

Kayo, Benjamin Braeden is Lisa's son, Ben, the woman and boy Dean was living with at the beginning of the season and for the year in between seasons 5 and 6.
Paintgirl770
# Paintgirl770 2010-12-12 11:53
Anybody else feeling a itch in their scalp? Reminds me of when my kids got lice, now I can't hear the word without itching. Thanks for that, show.
Kayo
# Kayo 2010-12-12 22:12
Oh, of course, the last name threw me. Thanks, Ardeospina!
Suze
# Suze 2010-12-13 06:54
I'm all happy ... There is a plan! ( Sounds of hat being eaten ... ) I think there's something in the Souls Are Power theory, which means Ol' Balthazar will definitely bear watching, I have a bad feeling about him ... Never trust a posh englishman. ;-)

Death so totally rocks ( dude ... ) and I'm hugely impressed with Bobby's House Of Nasty Surprises. I bet staying over at his place is a real education ...

Actually a bit sorry to see the end of RoboSam. I know everyone hated him but I was starting to enjoy his general allround Badassery ... Maybe New Improved Guilt-Fest Sam could sort of revert once in a while ... Give us a break from the inevitable angst-storm to come.
ChristopherH
# ChristopherH 2010-12-14 15:29
I love the whole natural order vs free will meta-narrative. It flows logically from the Apocalypse is destiny theme of the last few seasons. And maybe we're all thinking a bit too hard about who really is in charge and what the end game is. Maybe this is all just a meditation on what the natural order of things looks like when you disrupt the natural order of things. This episode was certainly a microcosm of that bigger picture, wasn't it? Sam and Dean prevented the Apocalypse, and now there are a whole bunch of demons and angels running riot with their respective free wills.

One thing I'm sure of: Chuck/God is still out there. He may be largely absent in the Supernatural universe, but He's always watching. That's a fact.