This season finale had a lot to live up to. Last season we got the beautifully written, acted and directed Swan Song; Eric Kripke’s “love letter to the fans”. It was a poignant look at the tragic lives of the Winchester brothers; their sacrifices, their losses and most importantly, their love for one another. That is a tough act to follow. So consider this my disclaimer. Swan Song is one of my favorite hours of television, ever. And try as I may, I can’t help but compare every season finale to it from here on out. Don’t worry, I’m not going to rip The Man Who Knew Too Much to shreds, in fact I enjoyed it. It wasn’t perfect, but few episodes are. 
We opened the episode with Sam running from the cops. Being the spoiler-phobe I am, I avoided anything that might ruin any season-end surprises for me so I really had no idea what was happening. It would seem that with angels and demons on their trail, the cops would be the least of the Winchester’s worries. But we soon came to find that Sam didn’t have any recollection of who he was. Of course the wall would crumble now when we need it most! This was the moment I realized just how separate these two season finale episodes were meant to be. Let it Bleed left off with Dean’s painful decision to let Lisa and Ben go and all of a sudden Sam is running from the cops with no memory of who he is. 

Of course, I was immediately suspicious of the bartender. If Supernatural has taught me one thing, it’s to be careful who you trust. A lesson we’ve all learned well as of late. It didn’t help that she was a little too eager to help Sam; offering him a ride to a neighboring town. Sure he’s handsome (understatement), but have some common sense, lady. He’s huge and he’s being chased by the police. My initial thought was that she was a demon or an angel and I hoped that Sam remembered enough to catch on quickly. 
If I have one complaint about this sequence of events, it would be that it felt a little long. I understand that Sam needed to put the pieces together and remember who he was before he could even begin to put himself together again. And maybe it’s unrealistic to wish that figuring all that out would have taken less time. I don’t know, but there was a lot to cover in the episode and I wished we could have spent more time on some of the other parts. 
Is it strange to say I liked seeing Soulless Sam one more time? Jared did such a great job playing him this season and it was fun to see the two side by side. Once I realized what Sam needed to do to put himself together again, I had another question. Assuming Sam can only be truly complete with all three pieces, what is he without his soulless side and memories of Hell? In other words, has he been incomplete since the wall went up or are his memories and soulless side still a part of him regardless? Any thoughts? 

Once Sam defeated Soulless Sam my doubts about the bartender were confirmed. Sure she wasn’t a demon or an angel, but she wasn’t what she seemed. She was merely a memory of Sam’s Soulless year acting as a warning for him to turn back. But being the Sam he is, he can’t do that. 
Poor Dean left agonizing over the loss of Sam, yet again. Castiel had taken the wall down for reasons I don’t fully understand. Was it just to distract Dean from the hunt? If so, it worked for a while. But even after all the bad blood I still thought Castiel cared about Sam and he surely knows that taking the wall down could kill him. Did he anticipate becoming the new God and restoring Sam at that time? Either way, it was a cruel move. 
“I will save Sam, but only if you stand down”. 

Castiel should know better by now. Dean won’t stand down, especially now that he’s endangered Sam. 
Once Castiel and Crowley obtained Elle’s blood, they had everything they needed to open Purgatory. So naturally this was the moment that a betrayal was bound to happen. A fact I’m positive Crowley and Castiel were both conscious of.  Of course, I envisioned the betrayal going the other way. I assumed that Crowley would be the one to betray Castiel, leaving him friendless and on the bad side of Heaven and Hell. But Cas beat him to the punch with his plan to renegotiate the terms of their agreement. “You get nothing”. Cocky as it was, I was proud of Castiel in that moment. Giving any souls to Crowley could have been detrimental.

“I’m neither stupid nor wicked” 
I’m not sure Sam, Dean and Bobby would agree with that statement at this point, but I naively hoped, as I always do, that this was the moment Cas would come back to us. But when he killed Balthazar for leaking information to Dean and Bobby I knew that my naïve hopes were just that. I felt bad for Balthazar. As far as moral compasses go, his wasn’t exactly pointing due north, but he saw wrong being done and he took steps to make it right, even if it meant betraying a friend. 
Sam arrives at Bobby’s house to find the final piece of his puzzle; the Sam who remembers Hell. This is the Sam I was most scared to meet. By now we know what to expect of Soulless Sam. We spent the whole first half of the season with him, but until now we don’t know much about this other Sam. Truth be told he was much more miserable than I expected. He wasn’t menacing or wicked like I thought he might be. Instead he was deeply scarred (physically and emotionally) by the memories of Hell and even tried to look out for Sam; offering him the chance to escape the memories. He explained that Sam could just stay inside his mind forever, even offering the chance to go and find Jess. But Sam wouldn’t do it. “I’m not leaving my brother alone out there.” And that was enough for Hell Sam to hand the knife over and allow himself to be killed. 

As expected, Crowley wasn’t planning to go down without a fight. He just needed a little insurance which he found in the form of Raphael. Something it seems Castiel half-expected. I should have seen the blood switch coming, but I didn’t. It was a pretty slick move on Castiel’s part; a surefire way to ensure that his spell would go uninterrupted. 
So Cas was right, his plan worked. He defeated Raphael and stopped the Apocalypse again, but at what cost? He is a ticking time bomb and a shell of the Cas we once knew. It was hard to watch Dean put himself out there again only to get shot down. 
“You’re not my family, Dean. I have no family.” 
And when Sam stabs Castiel and nothing happens I realized that we were dealing with a whole new animal. 

“I’m not an angel anymore. I’m your new god, a better one.”
Something tells my Cas will pay for those words in the near future. I’m possible the only fan who still thinks the real God/Chuck?  is out there and he won’t be pleased with Castiel’s transformation. 
So we have some questions going into season seven. To me they don’t feel as substantial as the question we usually end the season with. But to be fair, the season finales up until this point have ended with deaths or near-death experiences. So this is new territory for the show. In fact, this whole season seems like a bit of twist. By that I mean there wasn’t an identified big bad, but rather a string of unfortunate circumstances that snowballed across the season.  It’s nice to see Supernatural shake things up a bit, even if it’s not perfect. There are definitely still enough questions to keep me coming back next season. As if they could keep me away. So here are the main questions we have going into season seven. Let’s speculate. We have nothing else to do for the next four months!
How far will Castiel go to make the boys bow down to him? They won’t do it and he can’t kill them. So where does that leave us?
What will a world where Castiel is god (or thinks he’s god) look like?
What is going to happen to Sam? He was strong enough to regain consciousness but I think his “eggs are still a little scrambled” to steal a line from Dean. Will he suffer seizures or headaches a la second season? Will the memories haunt him and turn him into a different Sam than the one we know and love? 
Cas said he has plans for Crowley. I wonder what these plans are? I’m sure he’ll kill him, but I wouldn’t be shocked if there was a little torture or servitude that went along with it.
There were, of course, some great one liners that I wanted to mention
     - I loved Sam describing Dean and Bobby as a “male model type and an older guy”

     - Bobby: “We’ll ninja our way in.”
       Dean: “Till they hear your knee squeak.”

     - I liked the Jurassic Park nod. I loved that movie growing up!

     - Crowley: “Sweaty hands, mate.”

     - Sam: “I guess I’ll take my car.” Yeah…in your dreams, Sam. 
     - Soulless Sam: “My god, am I really that gawky?”

     - Balthazar: “How’s sleeping beauty? You didn’t steal any kisses, I trust?”


Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-01 23:38
I think it's a shame that both Let It Bleed and The Man Who Knew Too Much didn't get their own separate nights. I understand that Smallville deserved its two hour send off, but I think these two episodes deserved to be watched and digested separately.

I absolutely enjoyed the mystery of Sam running from the law without realizing who he was. To me, it encapsulated the flavor of season 6. This season went out of its way to turn you upside down, turn you side ways, spin you round, and twist you in knots, so the notion that they would set Sam in a similar scenario just fits.

And I loved seeing ensouled Sam encounter his Soulless self. That confrontation was worth the price of admission alone. Jared certainly honed his craft in more ways than one this season.

I expected a broken Hell!Sam. I didn't expect him to just hand over the knife per se, but I'm not entirely surprised by it. He's the portion of Sam's soul that has been flayed and tortured beyond belief by two angry Arch Angels. As Balthazar so eloquently put it, he's the portion of Sam's soul that got hate banged. It's no wonder that he would prefer to sit in the dark. I do think he was testing Sam before he handed over the knife. He wanted to see if Sam would take the easy way out, stay here and never absorb what I know or go help your brother. I also think he gave Sam the strength to take those memories.

As for your questions, I think Sam will have to handle this---with Dean's help of course. I don't know if he'll be like season 1-2 Sam, experiencing visions and the seizures that come with him--save this time it'd be about what's happened instead of what might. I do think he'll have some nightmares and he most certainly will have flashes the way we saw as he stumbled into the warehouse.

I don't know that I want to know what powertrip!Cas has in mind for the world---or the brothers. He's not going to be a kind and loving God, depending how long he actually gets to hold that title. I wonder if he'll unleash havoc upon the world the way Lucifer did, with different weapons and tactics. Will we see him try to destroy the human race or create a Rapture like scenario that ends bloody? As for Crowley, I think you're right. I don't see him killing him. I see him seeking revenge upon the King of Hell for considering to think that he was ever the one calling the shots. I wouldn't be surprised if he somehow makes Crowley into his bitch in some form.

I just know I look forward to the ride. I've never ever put expectations on the show and thus far it hasn't let me down.
# sofia 2011-06-02 08:10
It's not fun to think what kind of God Cas could turn out to be. He certainly wasn't himself in that final scene so it seems he's capable of anything at this point.
# AFan 2011-06-02 15:41
Your comment about Sam's quest summing up the season finally made me wonder and perhaps this has already been said, but I've wondered all season what this season's intro with the shattering glass meant. After awhile I thought it was about reality being shattered after the Apocalypse being averted then I thought it had to do with Purgatory, but now I wonder if it referenced Sam (aka Humpty) needing to be put back together again. Another thought that occurred to me, what if Cas was joking at the end about the kneel before me. Misha plays Cas's humor so dry that without more context I can't tell. I'm not saying Cas didn't cross a line and there won't be payment due, but wouldn't the first thing Cas do is try to convince them he's good? After all he didn't snap his fingers and make Sam a pile of goo after Sam ran him through with a sword. What Sam did only had one intention and that was to kill him. If his first act is forgiveness for yet another betrayal I think his descent hasn't ended yet. I just hope they don't retread a bunch of addiction ground that they already did thru Sam.
# sofia 2011-06-02 16:08
I really like that idea of shattering glass representing Sam having to put himself together again. In the same way it could represent Dean's shattered hopes of living any kind of normal life and the shattered relationship Castiel now has with the boys. There are definitely a lot of ways of looking at that symbolism.

I don't think Cas was kidding, unfortunately. He definitely wasn't himself. He was a little too happy to rub his success in the boys faces. He was awfully cocky about the way his planned worked and he seems to want payback in the form of worship. Now, deep down he may have let Sam go because he can still feel that emotional connection, and I hope that's true but it's really hard to tell at this point. He is high on power and I think it's got his eggs scrambled. (Man, I love that line)
# FMJemena 2011-06-02 04:21
DEATH said in "Two Minutes to Midnight (5.21)" that he will reap GOD someday. Foreshadowing of what may happen to Castiel/God?
# sofia 2011-06-02 07:59
Very interesting! I had forgotten all about that! That would be a very interesting foreshadowing. As much as I hate to admit it, I don't see how Castiel can survive Season 7. And Death definitely had his hands in the mixing pot this season. It will be interesting to see what happens.
# Sylvie 2011-06-02 08:09
I enjoyed this episode very much as a season ender, it opens up so maybe possibilities for next season. I certainly hope God/Chuck is still around, because if he is, I don't think he'll be too happy about Cas taking his place, He did punish Lucifer for less after all.

Jared was exceptional this whole season, just the way he could go from being so cold as soulless Sam, than becoming the Sammy we know and love, I mean just kudos to him. To both guys actually, they are so good at what they do.

Now on to Hellatus!
# nancyL 2011-06-02 19:59
Sofia, I agree, the bartender (Robin) was a little too helpful. Some guy just barges into your place, (be it a store, a bar, house, whatever) you are going to drive him all around the town? Hell no, she had the bat in her hand and let Sam's puppy eyes change her mind. :D

I loved the battle of the Soulless One vs Sammy. To answer your question, I do not think that Sam has been incomplete since 'Like a Virgin', all the memories (Soulless and Hell) were there, he just didn't have direct access to them. In 'Unforgiven', he remembered the hunt with Gramps and some of Hell. He remembered in 'Frontierland' about Gramps' library, which I hope is now all Bobby's :D .

Castiel is not a fool, he knows what Dean's prime directive is:
You want a sure fire way to piss off Dean Wincester, hurt his brother Sam.
In 'Dark side of the Moon', Walt tells Roy, after shooting Sam, '...we just snuffed his brother, you idiot. You want to spend the rest of your life knowing Dean Winchester’s on your ass, ‘cause I don’t. Shoot ‘im.'
Just a sidenote, will we ever find out if Dean took care of these two idiots? :lol:

Crowley betraying Castiel, I think was too obvious. Hello Demon. :lol:

Even Hell!Sam loves Dean. :-)

Sofia, I agree that the one true god in the Supernatural universe is and always will be Chuck.
I smell a Chuck vs Castiel battle to the death.

One last thing, HEY SERA, STOP BEATING UP ON THE IMPALA. Show some love. ;-)
# AndreaW 2011-06-02 20:41
Hmmm, I love an angry Dean when someone dares to hurt Sammy. Protective Dean is always so sexy. I was disappointed we didn't get to see what followed right after Castiel touched Sam's front. I wish we had seen Dean's immediate reaction. :sigh: I'm still hoping that he teaches Castiel one or two things about how he wants his brother to be treated. Then, by all means, go after Roy and the other guy (whatever his name is)! :-)
# sofia 2011-06-03 08:04
I think you're probably right about Sam having been complete but without direct access to his memories. I just wonder how he'll be different now that he has access to way more than he wants to?

I was so bummed when I saw the poor Impala! That car has been through A LOT! (Much like the boys)

Thanks, as always for your great comments Nancy!