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“Dark Side of the Moon”
--Robin’s Rambles by Robin Vogel

"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" usually makes me cry, and in conjunction with the brothers, ALWAYS! The memory of the brothers playing with fireworks, having a great time together (and doing something John would have killed them for) also made me teary, especially with that song playing. A beautiful memory I wished Sam had shared, too. He got braces-girl grabbing his thigh (lucky actress who got to do that)! I HATED seeing the boys shot, it hurt my chest to watch such violence against them, and I never want to see them killed, no matter how many times it happens! Were those the two guys who helped force demon blood down Sam’s throat, by the way?

Glad to see Dean's looking for triplets and latex, he got his sexy mojo back, apparently. Take THAT, Famine! Once again, Dean gets to see their mother, but poor Sam, left out, can only watch. Notice how upset Dean gets when Sam says his Thanksgiving with Stephanie's parents--at age 11--was his first REAL one. That hurts Dean, because he feels just being together with his brother and father should have been enough for Sam, even with buckets of chicken and a father who passed out every year. It’s a throwback to the crappy Christmases, too, which Dean prefers to remember more fondly than Sam.

Was John involved with another woman? Something about the argument between John and Mary made me wonder. Why would she mention the two young kids? So depressing, Dean, four or younger, comforting his mother with his father gone. For the first time, Sam realized his parents did NOT have the perfect marriage, and there were bumps along the way. Mary was put on a pedestal after death. 

I wonder what age Sam was when he ran away in Arizona, enjoying himself for two weeks, eating junk food, having a dog, while poor Dean went nuts trying to find him? Didn't Sam realize what he was doing to his brother, that Dean was beside himself worried? Was Sam that self-centered, or had Dean brought him up so well, he just wanted some me-time and felt he had the right to just go take it? Was that the same sense of self that allowed Sam to go off to college, breaking Dean's heart? 

It' fascinates me how many of Sam's happy moments were Dean's very worst. I never got the crusts cut off my PB&J, says Sam, I don't look at family the way you do. It seems as if Dean's four years with his mother made all the difference, didn't they? Dean had four years of a normal life, Sam really had none, only those snatches that Dean was able to provide him on the road. Ironically, it's that upbringing that probably enabled Sam to have the strength to pull away from John and Dean, to go away to college and try to leave the hunting life behind. I do NOT fault Sam for this, not one bit. Dean should not be laying a guilt trip on his brother for going to college or "leaving your family." That's the NORMAL thing to do! Ah, but the Winchesters are NOT normal, especially Sam, which is why Jessica died, and why he was pulled back in. Yet even now, after all they have been through, Dean still faults Sam for going to Stanford. Truth be told, Dean is the broken one who couldn’t let go.  

I enjoyed the visit back to the Roadhouse with Ash, and he was as much fun as ever. Now we know for sure he died, right? Hm, I went to Disneyland and never felt any anti-Semitism--and I'm Jewish! I'll have to return there, identify myself and see what happens. 

I really didn't get the bit about soul-mates and sharing--was that a veiled reference to Sam and Dean somehow? Can anyone explain it to me? Hey, if heaven is as Ash describes, I sure hope I can be one of the travelers. I don't want to be stuck in just one place! The brothers were actually surprised to learn how many times they had died--and how many times they were unaware of it. The angels "Windexed" their brains? It's as good a term as any, I guess!

What confused me is that Ash immediately found Sam and Dean, but didn't know Jo and Ellen were dead? Why not? You would think he would home in on them instantly, given how close they were? I wonder what governs such things, because that struck me as odd. And why hadn't Ash touched base with Mary or John? We know Mary is up there, so why no communication? Is it because Zach is keeping her tied up somewhere? Did John make it to heaven? I always thought so, once he escaped hell. Strange.

It was GREAT to see Pam again, whole and seemingly happy. She loves heaven, it's one long concert, so terrific she really does seem to be trying to sell Dean a time share, urging him to become Michael's meat suit. I couldn't help but feel she was Zack's puppet, and it really bugged me. It also seemed out of character for Pam not to be calling Sam Grumpy.

Finally, why does Pam kiss Dean? How many times does she mention how much she likes Sam's ass, and kids him for staring at her rack? If she was going to give one of the brothers juicy smooches like that, I was sure she would have popped them on Sam. Nope, this Pam was acting OOC, at least for me. The final scene here was terrifying; Mary's eyes turning yellow, her nightgown bloody, as she tells Dean she never loved him and begins relating the night she burned. Her voice gave me the chills! I felt awful for both Dean and Sam as their mother turned into a monster.

No surprise that Zack, the bastard, is behind Mary's cruel behavior. When he's nuzzling her, insinuating that the two of them are sharing a sexual relationship, I suspect the Winchester brothers and I threw up in our mouths. I'm sure Zack can force Mary to do whatever he wants, but I'd bet the REAL Mary wouldn't have anything to do with him if she knew what he was doing to her beloved sons. Gross! Poor Zack, a bully and braggart, used to be a big fish in heaven; now, thanks to the Winchesters, he don't get no respect anymore! AWWWW! GOOD! He reminds me of Henriksen when he used to bitch about how the Winchesters used to outwit him. Hey, the guys are GOOD! I hope that, whatever else happens, Zack ends up getting a punishment like Anna's. It would be nice. I mean, seriously, all the things he could do to Dean, and he settles on ordinary fisticuffs? What a sad little angel you've turned into, Zachariah! HA HA! 

Joshua was SO COOL, interrupting like a mousy little secretary, but he had THE WORD OF GOD, and Zack had to go away or risk mad wrath, which even Zack dare not attempt. So he had to slink away with his wings between his legs. Again, I say, HA HA! Unfortunately, Joshua's news in The Garden is not good as far as Sam and Dean are concerned--God, though down on earth, will not help out in this fight. He helped them a lot, including allowing Sam into heaven in spite of everything he did””and he was the one responsible for putting them on the plane and resurrecting Castiel!

Dean, completely blindsided, takes this as another deadbeat dad move--but he will muddle through. Why does Joshua feel the need to point out that Dean is losing faith in himself, in Sam? That God was his last hope, and now that's dashed?

I wonder, though--Joshua is an angel who trims the hedges and is rooting for the boys. Could that have some significance for them? TRIMMING hedges, ROOTING? This time won't be like the last, adds Joshua, THIS TIME, GOD WANTS YOU TO REMEMBER. That means a great deal, too. Which was the last time, and what were they made to forget? This is all very important, folks!

I began to cry as soon as I saw Cas' downcast face. Once he looked skyward and said, "Son of a bitch!", I was done for, and the tears began to just explode from my eyes as snot spewed from my nose. (I don’t do one little tear like Dean, I cry like Sam, messy and snotty.) My husband ran from the computer room to make sure I had tissues. I did. He knew I was watching SPN, so he left fast. I cried harder as Cas handed over the amulet to Dean, who let it dangle from his fingers.

Sam assured Dean they would find a way out of this, together, and Dean's silent response was to drop the amulet that his little brother had given him on that depressing Christmas all those years ago into the garbage can. I was trying not to cry too hard in case there was dialogue, but there wasn't; Dean left the hotel, and Sam stood there, miserable, looking like he was about to cry, too.

I thought it was awful when Dean prayed for help, but this is so much worse! After Bobby's terrible experience last week, and now this? I'm hoping that, having been allowed into heaven, Sam will come up with something hopeful for all of them. Someone has to, damn it!

After I’d watched DARK SIDE OF THE MOON once, I felt kind of meh about it, I must admit. The second watching produced a completely different attitude””I loved this episode! I was really surprised, because I usually have a great first reaction to a SUPERNATURAL ep and love it even more after a second viewing. This is a rarity.

Perhaps I was distracted? I will say that I didn’t cry on my first watching, either. Maybe I was too stunned? Finding out that God was leaving the apocalypse to the angels and whoever was on earth was pretty jarring. ”Why does He allow evil in the first place?” is a question I ask all the time in real life. In my perfect world, we’d have no police, judges, lawyers, courtrooms, jails - you get the idea. Joshua’s question is a biggie with me. 

So, my friends, this episode made me feel just awful for the Winchesters and Cas, yet it was uplifting to see Sam get his well-deserved salvation by being sent to heaven. 

What did you think? Did it make you feel like you were knockin’ on heaven’s door?


# AndreaW 2010-04-02 22:54
I hear comments everywhere about how selfish Sam is for wanting a normal life and it's starting to bother me. I don't get it and I never did why is it so selfish of a person to choose his or her own path and leave behind a dominating and neglecting father and a miserable chidlhood, not to mention a kind of life this person never wanted. It doesn't necessarily mean that said person doesn't love family. But Ok, if we want to talk about selfishness, that's a two-way street. I could always call Dean selfish for not wanting his brother to fly with his own wings because he, Dean, needs to have family around. If he loves his brother so much, and I never doubted that he does, his brother's happiness should matter to him. I've got a beloved little brother myself and I know what I'm talking about. And if I'm not mistaken, Dean himself recognized that back in Scarecrow.

Besides, Sam doesn't command his memories. He would never have wanted to hurt Dean on purpose. By the way, Mo Ryan, from Chicago Tribune, who always writes sensible reviews, thinks that Dean should have at least tried to be in Sam's shoes.
# Stephanie 2010-04-03 11:44
What I like about this show is that it shows the complex relationship of the brothers. You can't blame Sam for needing or wanting to go to college and live his life in a way that would bring happiness. I don't think Dean blames him for that. I think what bothers him was how that Sam left. Yeah, John told Sam to never come back, but as far as we know Dean never said that to Sam. I think it hurts him that his brother could so completely cut him out of his life. I think that Dean always rationalized that Sam hated the lifestyle of hunting and not having a normal life, but wanted Dean in his life. However, the memories that they are both shown of Sam's life doesn't support his theory anymore. It broke my heart when Dean threw the amulet away. But again, I don't think that it just meant he was throwing his brother away, I think that it was both he was hurt and he wanted to hurt Sam, but also I think he was showing Sam that he was ready to let him go and let Sam have the life that Dean thinks he wants without Dean around.
# Bevie 2010-04-03 13:54
I don't think Dean blames Sam for wanting to go to college. I believe he was badly hurt when Sam cut him out of his life. In the pilot it was implied that Sam never answered Dean's calls, and that was why Dean came to collect him in person.

If you raise someone from a baby to adulthood and that person then refuses to accept any kind of communication from you, would you not be dreadfully hurt?

I sincerely hope that those memories were manipulated by Zachariah to deliberately drive a huge wedge between the brothers, and I hope that Sam does have some wonderful memories of him and his brother together. I refuse to believe that Sam has no good memories of being with Dean.

Seems like right now Dean is at rock bottom and has had everything he believed and loved torn away from him. I hope for Sam to step up and become the big brother for a change and keep Dean from self destructing. Sam seems to be the only one of the three to still have some hope of defeating the angel dicks and he has his job cut out for him to also have to prop up the only decent angel they have met so far. I haven't yet decided if I trust Joshua.

My heart broke when Dean trashed his beloved amulet. I am sure Sammy will retrieve it and take care of it until he can return it. Sam discovered a few things he never thought of about his brother before. Maybe he can be in Dean's shoes for a while?

I fell in love with this show because of the relationship between the brothers and I long for the day when some semblance of that relationship will return. All right now seems to be hurt and devastation, no hope or comfort in sight from God or man!

I will keep rooting for TEAM FREE WILL, which will be held together now by little brother Sam. At least I hope so. Would never stop watching now even though it is tearing my heart out nearly every episode. Have mercy Mr. Kripke!

One good thing (besides Ash, love him) from this episode is the fact that both Dean and Sam have been to heaven a few times before when they died, and don't remember it. I always wondered where Sammy went when he was killed by Jake. Now God wants them to remember. I hope that is a good thing. If Joshua was telling the truth, I think that God wants the mess to be solved by the Team Free Will without any more intervening. Which would mean that a solution is viable if only it can be discerned.
# AndreaW 2010-04-03 17:27
Sam always loved his brother. Did you notice the way little Sammy looked at Dean? He worshipped his big brother. His running away from "home" had to do with John and his wish to have a normal life. Why didn't he return Dean's calls? We don't know. Maybe he thought that Dean would take John's side and try to get him back. He was so desperate to escape that he would give no chances for this to happen.

By the way - little Sam and big Dean - what a BEAUTIFUL scene. It's already secured in my list of favorite brother scenes, even without Jared, which in my case is to say a lot.

I found it interesting that Dean's memories of Sam were of little Sam rather than adult Sam. I think that deep down, Dean's ideal Sam is still the boy he raised and who needed his protection and care. It's up to Sam to show big brother that he's grateful for everything Dean has done for him, but he's a grown man now and the fact that he needs his independence doesn't mean that he loves Dean less.
# Jessy 2010-04-03 17:48
Oh, the speculation (and arguments) are flying at!

As a "parent," Dean raised Sam to be independent. The problem is, as brothers, friends, hunters, and as a team, it strikes Dean as base betrayal that Sam would want to get away from him. He just simply cannnot understand that Sam can love him but want his own life at the same time. And while he's very upset by what he saw, I hope once the initial hurt subsides he can think more about what he saw, and realize it wasn't a bad thing for Sam to want independence.

Sam, on the other hand, clearly rarely thinks about their childhood at all, because he's still surprised by what Dean dealt with, and by Dean's reactions to his own memories. In AVSC and SW, looking back on things he was able to see how things were from Dean's perspective, and in some cases how he came to a wrong conclusion at the time. But with his Flagstaff memory, he seems to have never thought back and thought, "Wow, I must have worried Dean sick with that stunt." I think Sam really walked a mile in Dean's shoes this episode and understands certain things much better than he did before. It's just a shame Dean's too hurt and upset right now, because now that Sam "gets it" he can work on fixing it!
Robin Vogel
# Robin Vogel 2010-04-03 19:02
Jessy, what you said here fits in perfectly with what I believe. First, I have to say I believe Zachariah manipulated the brothers' memories so Dean would leave heaven devastated. We all KNOW that Sam has thousands of lovely memories of Dean, but Zack, that SOB, wouldn't allow any of them to happen.

Dean DID teach Sam to be independent! However, if that independence means being away from his family, that's not acceptable! It's outright betrayal! Once Dean came to get him at Stanford, after Jessica was out of the picture, Sam fell right back into the old hunting rhythms. He got to know his brother again, as an adult this time, but he maintained that he was going to leave once they killed the YED. Of course, that never happened. Sam has said that what happened with Ruby did so because he was trying to get away from Dean. Is there truth in that? Can anyone deny how very much these two love each other? Soulmates, indeed!

Perhaps what these two have to realize about their relationship is, "This isn't all about ME." They DO need to walk around in each other's moccasins and understand what it was like being the other.

Love, Robin
# joelsteinlover 2010-04-03 21:18
Hee, so I just got back from a crazy week in Disney World where my friends and I (because my entire marching band went) had some Jew vs. Catholic moments (all in good fun) and I was watching this on my DVR earlier and heard that line and went and got my phone and texted one of them about it and we giggled so hard.

You're like me, whenever Zack comes on the screen I call him a douche, for the benefit of myself and the brothers.

The fireworks moment was the best evuh. And I screamed in frustration when Dean dropped the amulet in the trash. Gooosh. I totally don't think of it as brother vs. brother though, he isn't pissed at Sam. He just doesn't believe in him anymore. He can get that back.
# Maria 2010-04-04 07:30
After magichappening told us how NB Joshua translates into English as Jesus and comes from the Hebrew which means Yahweh or salvation, I am obsessed with the idea Joshua is God. Not just because of this translation, though, I think the writing team would know we would realize as much (or that magichappening would, lol!). But I think it fits perfectly. He is the quiet, "mousy secretary"-type , as someone else said here, a slow river, watching carefully, a gardener - a romantic profession befitting God. Remember how Sam!Satan mentioned how God had created the world beautifully, how he touched that red rose? In a sense, God is taking care of his creations, the human beings included, his flowers in a sense, he is a gardener.

And I don't believe he has deserted them - he is simply testing them. In the form of Joshua he tells Dean God will not act, because he knows he has reached rock bottom and plans to test his newly found faith. There was something sinister about the way he told Zachariah "and you know how he is with that wrath thing" in such a slow and eerie manner, combined with the zoom on his face ... It makes sense he is watching everything closely, pretending to be the modest, quiet being, until at the final moment he strikes.
Carolyn Latosinski
# Carolyn Latosinski 2012-09-30 22:12
Ok, I know I have come late to the party....only started watching the show this August..2012. But I think it is very telling that after Dean comforts his Mom she asks if he would like some pie. Perhaps this is why Dean has an affinity for pie? Because it somehow reminds him of his Mother's love.
I only wish I had started watching this show earlier.