He will never be the same. I doubt that Dean will be okay. Even if he tries to live a normal life with Lisa and sweet little Benâ€¦
But this is not where it ends.
Sam returns. He remains standing outside, looking on, his face a bleak mask. This will leave us confused for the rest of the hiatus â€“ who is he? Did he return as Sam, human and alive, rewarded with redemption for his great sacrifice? Or is he a demon? A ghost? At this point I will not go into speculations. Finding out how Sam came back and who he is might be a part of the following season.
And I am so happy that weâ€™re going to have another one. Parting with this show after such a devastating, intense and nerve-wrecking finale seems inconceivable.
Kripke delivered the best possible episode, summing up the essence of the show, as we have loved it from the beginning: itâ€™s all about family. And love. As cheesy as it may sound, thatâ€™s at its core.
I am so not immune to what this show does to me. I keep expecting to build up some immunity to its emotional hooks and meat grinders, but I havenâ€™t achieved that, yet. I have never felt this drained by a tv show, and yet I love it and would not change it for the world. But after watching this finale, I needed some time to find my heart again. It felt as if it had gone down the pit with Samâ€¦
All of a sudden there was an empty sensation. Like my body wasnâ€™t mine anymore. And then the pain set it. As if some huge steel cramp twisted my soul with delicious malice. Why does this show do this to me â€“ or to any of us?
It didnâ€™t take me long to find an answer â€“ itâ€™s all about family, of course. When I finished watching this episode, I looked around and spotted the pics of my family members and passed on loved ones. They are assembled in a little corner of my living room, a collection of memoranda of people who are no longer available to me, and suddenly so many pictures came to meâ€¦ not unlike the flashback Sam was experiencing in the end. And then the tears came.
Itâ€™s often like that, isnâ€™t it? A scene, a moment, a word reminds us of something in our lives â€“ and in this particular show those sequences are so marvellously played out by a pair of gifted young actors and their co-stars that we canâ€™t stay ignorant. They hit our hearts with almost nuclear energy and evoke personal moments that meant a lot to us.
Well, I can only speak for me, of course. For a moment I thought I would not survive this episode. Countless moments I bargained with God or Death for someone I lost (well, I thought I did, there was no voice on the other end of the line) came to mind and it felt like â€¦ there are not really words to say how it felt. Perhaps like Sam might have felt falling into that fathomless pit. Or like Dean felt watching his brother go.
But â€˜family donâ€™t end with bloodâ€™ and forcefully I reminded myself of the dear friends that are my family now. And it got easier, tolerable.
A part of me, the one that still sometimes feel that pain, wishes not to have watched this episode. Another part, the professional one, comes up telling me: you need to distance yourself from this fictional story. Itâ€™s hard, though.
Good stories are supposed to move us, to be an echo of personal experiences that will draw us in.
I might not be watching this episode for a while, to not get sucked into this meat grinder that has fun playing with my soul right now. Or I might. I have not idea, as of yet. I love it, though. For me, itâ€™s one of the best, if not the best episode of the entire show. I am in awe. As much as I could ever be.
I could imagine, some of you experienced similar emotions while watching Swan Song. It can be painful, you bet it can, but then again â€“ these are your emotions. They canâ€™t harm you. Not anymore. Whatever it was that made you sad in the past and was woken by this amazing story â€“ you already survived it. So, if you feel you need to tear up and cry bucketsâ€¦ being knee-deep in Kleenex would be an understatement in my caseâ€¦ do so. Itâ€™s not a crime to be emotional, compassionate and capable of allowing a fictional story to move you so deeply you can hardly believe it possible.
Death is not really the end, I believe. Even though some are not here anymore, we carry them in our hearts. Dean will have to live with that for now, as Sam had to after he lost his brother to hell. We, as viewers, will accompany them, feel and fret with them. And go on loving this marvellous show.
Allow me to end, as I began, with Dylan Thomas immortal words that somehow felt right here:
â€˜Though they go mad, they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea, they shall rise again,
And I love that poem! I have it hanging up on my mirror. Those are the perfect lines from it for this show, though I also feel like 6-9 in the second stanza also apply: 'Faith in their hands shall snap in two, and the unicorn evils run them through, split all ends up they shan't crack, and death shall have no dominion.' After all Sam and Dean have been up against, they still perservered, that's what I get out of those lines at least.
I was so glad to read this because, believe it or not, a lot of people thought this episode was just average. I usually don't stray from the haven that is TWFB because I dislike people who don't "take it seriously" (if you know what I mean) like those here, but I did, only accidentally, and discovered that people are writing flippant, quick synopses and downplaying the emotional significance of the episode and (gasp) calling it "underwhelming" because there was no fight scene. I'm like "uhh what episode were you watching?!" But you painted a picture of the episode that was so beautiful that I daresay I forgot those people. A fight scene. Pfft.
Eurk, I swear, I'm going to be searching through thesauruses (thesauri?) all summer trying to find an adjective to describe his face in that last scene. But I, too, am gratful that there was that last scene. Season six is such a blessing.
I thought the most pretty thing in the entire episode was Bobby being alive. Wait, no, it was Sam saying goodbye to Bobby. No, wait, it was Dean fufilling his promise to Sam. Wait, no, it was Dean telling Sam that he wasn't going to leave. I manage to avoid crying at TV shows, there have only been a few times that's happened, and it was that moment when Dean was being the best big brother, pretty much ever, that did it for me in this episode. Or maybe it was when Dean hugged Lisa. Eh, it's not even worth trying to choose.
So anyway, I loved your review. Your emotional connection to the show really shines when you're writing about it.
I have read some comments elsewhere too, with fans bitching about this episode, and I could hardly believe it, either. I'm happy that you were 'able to forget' those comments reading this.
This show touches each one of us who dare to look behind the action, the gore or the pretty faces, I'd say. we have different stories that are woken by it, and it takes a show of high quality to achieve that - to bind so many various people to a story so simple, yet so complex.
don't worry, choosing is not necessary. We're entirely entitled to love one moment today, the other moment tomorrow and love all the moments at once...
thank you. I appreciate your comment so much. Jas
My family and many friends have all gone now, and seeing Dean bereft of his family and friends kneeling on the ground beside his baby brought back those devastating emotions that prevail at those times.
Those that complain they missed a great battle between the archangels just don't get what this show has been about since the pilot. It's about family and love and everything else is mere trappings in order to tell the story. And what a story has been told by the master in five seasons and 104 episodes. Kripke, you are a genius and this finale was everything I could have hoped for (with the exception of the doubts surrounding the image of Sam at the end). But then you have to leave us something to debate about through the hellatus, don't you?
So happy to see that Jim Beaver has told us that Bobby will certainly be back next season. Thank God for that!
It's good to know there are many people like you Jas, who do understand the point of this TV Show and appreciate the subtle and wonderful ways it is presented to us. I've only seen one negative comment about it on this very site, and am certainly staying away from those other shallow places where you only find bitching no matter what is presented to them.
We are so blessed to have had these two awesome young actors portraying these amazing and endearing characters.
And the love between Dean and Sam seems to have extended itself unto Jensen and Jared, and made their performances almost unbelievably realistic. I love that they are such good friends themselves.
The pain that is still there (stuffed back into some corner of the soul to be able to go on with our lives) often gets woken by stories that somehow echo the loss of loved ones.
This show does that in an incredible manner...
You know, I firmly believe that the pain we still feel at times (and thankfully not all the time, how else would we be doing what we do every day?) is nothing else but an echo of the love we've felt for the people we've lost.
It's nothing else but love. Only love's bright colour has changed to a more sombre one. I believe as long as it does hurt, even after years, we still love. And that is a gift I would not change for the world - except perhaps for not having to experience losing someone.
But life's that way. We can hardly choose. What we can choose is how to honour their memory. Not only in e.g. keeping promises as Dean does, but also in going on with our lives. Isn't that what our loved ones would wish for us?
I also didn't miss a great battle. Well, we had more than one battle here, if we're talking fights, but they did not take place in huge action sequences but in the souls of the protagonists - Dean letting Sam go, Sam fighting Lucifer, Bobby trying to get on against his own fear. If those aren't battles of the worst kind, I'm nothing but a stupid gal.
So happy that Jim Beaver will be on next season, too!
I agree wholeheartedly that this show is blessed with some amazing acting. It's not for granted on today's television.
Thank you so much for your comment, Bevie. I'll try to go to sleep now, did not succeed earlier, so good night and blessed be, Jas
That was beautiful.
You were so right , about everything , Thank you Ju
I'm so grateful that the road will go on; but, for me, "Swan Song" will remain the most beatuiful--dare I say haunting--concl usion to the Winchester story.
I'm deeply moved by your sharing of your emotions. Thank you.
Julie, I know how you feel. You don't have to say much more. Love.
Dawn, I'm happy and honoured to have found some words that soothed your loss a tiny bit. My description in that earlier comment is the kind of thought that usually helps me through. I'm glad someone else can use it.
Kayo, I'm profoundly sorry to hear of your great loss! The pain is still fresh, those few months are not much in the realm of grief.
Trust me, though, it will get better with time. That's the one clichÃ© that actually holds some truth - that time does heal, at least to some extent.
And whatever pain will remain, it won't be able to harm you, as you will find ways to cope, I'm sure.
And I'm certain that this show will add to getting better, too, with more stories acted out by these amazing talented actors.
Narcissus, thank you for that link! it is indeed a wonderful piece of fan art work...
Thank you all for your personal comments. Always my best, Jas
I've believed all along that Sam couldn't kill Dean any more than Dean could kill Sam, and what ever crap they went through in their lives, they survived it because they had each other.
One of the initial aspect of the show that attracted me was the road trip, the car, the driving. Why? I'm an airforce brat.Now some of you won't know what I mean, but there are others that are saying, yeah, that's it exactly. The constant transfers, the road trips to the new place where you knew nobody and only had each other, having everything you really needed in the car, because the rest was in storage for months. That was my life growing up. No wonder I connected to the Winchesters.
So Sam couldn't kill Dean, no matter how much Lucifer wanted to, and to me it was an "of course" moment that all those memories were stored in the car.
I think Dean knew that Sam's shot of taking control was to remember who he was. Dean had seen Bobby take control during demon possession, but it wasn't a one in a million fluke, he'd seen his father do it with Yellow eyes back in Season 1 (so did Sam, I think that's where he got the idea). That why Dean had to keep trying, despite how stupid everyone seemed to think it was.
Two other things I thought were neat that nobody's mentioned yet: how hard the demons had to work at corralling Sam, all those demons watching him and prodding him, I guess evil didn't come as naturally to Sam as they wanted him to believe And the other thing: Michael had as much contempt for humanity as Lucifer, I guess that's why he ended up in the pit, too. Only Cas and Gabriel learned to love people.
As for the end,I don't think Dean will be able to stay with Lisa long. He's a hunter, he can't pretend to be blind. Even if Sam tries to leave him alone, one day Dean will see a job he can't ignore and he'll do it. And that will be the end of the apple pie life that Dean never fit into, even in his dreams.
I agree with you - evil didn't come naturally to Sam. He might have been fed with demon blood as a baby and later as an 'overgrown' man, but at his core he is good. A decent human being. Perhaps more than human, but good, merciful, compassionate.
I doubt, that Dean will stay with Lisa, too. We've seen in that last shot that he's not even there. Physically perhaps, but his thought keep wandering away. I can't wait to find out how things will turn out to be in the new season.
I don't know what to say more, for you have said it all.
Thank you so much for sharing!
I don't know what to say more, for you have said it all.
Svaka ti ?ast!
Thank you so much for sharing!
OK. I was alright reading your article until I got to the part where you wrote about Dean saying that he was not going to let Sam die alone, and I just started getting choked up again. And then as I read what the episode meant to you personally and to some of the other commenters I was tearing up - thatâ€™s a first for me while reading an article on this site. You are amazingly honest and I love the way you use language. Thank you so much for sharing.
For me I have to say that family is a difficult entity, experience, evolutionâ€¦I think that is one of the reasons I love Supernatural so much. It makes me look at myself and my own relationships. I identify so much with Sam when it comes to family â€“ his relationship with John is so familiar. But then again so much of what Dean says and feels are thoughts in my own head. And I cannot imagine the level of guilt he is going through sitting at that dining table at the end of Season 5â€¦
I donâ€™t think Chuck was always God though â€“ am dying to find out the significance of him suddenly cleaning up and wearing the white shirt at the end. I am interested too in the Chuck disappearance â€“ the manner in which he disappeared was certainly not angelic â€“ more Trickster-like. God is the ultimate Trickster?
So the brothers Winchester are apart â€“ I wonder if that last supper we witnessed of Deanâ€™s was the same day he arrived at Lisaâ€™s or was it some time after. But as the man says â€˜death shall have no dominionâ€™â€¦S am is back â€“ but will he reveal himself immediately or watch for a while longer? How has he changed? Will Dean stay with Lisa or keep ramblinâ€™ on. And if so what will he do? What will be his motivation to get up in the morningâ€¦and if he stays will he ever fully be 100% there until he has Sammy fully back? We have to hang on to the almost reunion over these summer months.
I am so glad that Kripke got up one day and decided to write the Winchester Gospels. I am also glad that I discovered them and was converted ? The Supernatural experience is layer upon layer and each episode and each month brings something more - phenomenal mythology with both big and small M, movie-quality production week in and week out including a soundtrack that has enhanced every episode, two brothers who captivate our imaginations so much that we get angry with them as if they were real, two actors who are such genuine, funny, charming, attractive and genuinely all round good human beings (and lovely to look at), supporting characters that we love or love to hate, supporting cast that we love, and a fandom that while partially bats**t crazy and occasionally disturbing also hosts islands of sanity like this site and brings people together across the world at conventions and on websites, to share their lives, their thoughts and their love for this freakinâ€™ phenomenal show!
I know I am going to be complaining about the length of the hiatus soon. But right now it almost seems fitting to acknowledge Samâ€™s sacrifice to save the world and Deanâ€™s sacrifice to support that and then go on livingâ€¦but it is also feels right to take some time to acknowledge Eric Kripkeâ€™s swan song, his departure and the five years he has given us. The finale started us off on that journey of reflection and these summer days and nights at TWFB will I am sure make for fascinating reading and discussion. Thank you Jas for starting us off with such empathy and eloquence.
Since the brothers have been at such opposites ends most of the season, I had been hoping to see some brotherly love this episode and the show definitely delivered; from the talk on the Impala, to the flashbacks, the talk on the way to Detroit, Dean's unwavering faith in Sam and desperation of not wanting his Sammy to die alone, to the final "I will not leave yous" and "It will be okays". (I still tear up thinking about these scenes.) Truly heartbreaking. (I just wish we could have had a current hug goodbye or something between Dean and Sam before Sam allowed Lucifer in.) Oh well, beggars can't be choosers. I did love the ending with Dean fulfilling Sam's wish and seeking out Lisa. I like Dean with Lisa (and secretly hold out that Ben really is his son). But, I also believe that the hunter in him will eventually win out, but would like to see him try and have a little bit of slice of the "apple pie life" with barbeques and baseball games. Doesn't he deserve at least a little peace after all he has been through?
Alas, I've read some negative reviews from fans on other posts and also don't understand it. (I even saw one person that said they will stop watching because of this episode.) Like you and others have said, IMHO those individuals just don't really "get" this show. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect that, but I am sorry that they are missing out on something so beautiful and pure.
This show genuinely tugs at our heart strings and affects us all in different, yet very personal ways. For me this season has been somewhat cathartic, watching Dean go through his downward cycle of depression and watching him struggle through that (as I remember my own experiences in that same struggle). I guess that is why I am such a Dean!girl because I can relate to him in so many ways.
Thank you again, Jas, for your insights and for everyone else's thoughts and feelings. It is nice to connect with people - even if it is only through the internet - and talk about something that we all love.
Here's hoping Season 6 will bring us more of the same (and then some!!!!!)
Magichappening, I can relate to your words regarding family. I think it is one of the most difficult relationships, as they are the people who have known us all our lives and there's no way of fooling them, as they know us often inside and out.
I've been also thinking about what will happen to Dean now after this ordeal, in fact I just sent an article to Alice yesterday, because I couldn't stop thinking about it.
Kripke gave us something great here, I agree wholeheartedly. I will always be grateful for this. Apart from this show that is so full of amazing facets, it brought us together here, to discuss the various aspects in a respectful and creative manner - and for me this show has been inspiring on so many levels. And - while getting into writing about it, it also improved my English, which I just love!
Thank you so much for you compliment to my writing. I'm deeply moved. It's great to hear that, who am I trying to fool? I can't be entirely cool about it.
Evelyn, I do agree with all my heart - the relationship of the brothers is the core of this show. Many of us find aspects of our own family relationships there, and though all that drama is fascinating to watch, and within these characters' world authentic and 'realistic', I also love it when I see them trusting each other again.
Both have grown beyond their own expectations. And, of course, the cemetery scene broke my heart... with pain for the brothers but also with joy that in the end there is love. Devastating as it can be.
It might be cheesy to some people, but it has never been to me. I'm a big advocate for love. Not only that between a man and a woman, but that we feel every day or give every day with our friends, when smiling to the salesperson at the grocery store, the postman... I think that's what keeps us going as human beings - respect and love in whatever way. And this show portrays it wonderfully, don't you think?
Thank you, Evelyn, for acknowledging my writing, too. I'm happy I could contribute to the connection here you point out so beautifully.
Take good care, Jas
Action is all well and good, says Randal as he looks upon his International Brotherhood of Testosterone membership card, but there was, as you so eloquently, gently *and* strongly put it, no way for this to finish any other way than with pure, unadulterated emotion, with love.
That's what the show's about, no? This was the jewel on a crown of them over five seasons. And if all this love stuff is cheesy, then send me to France on an empty stomach.
Once again beautifully written.
This episode for me was flawless. And yes it was all about Family.
That bond, that undying love, that no matter how angry or disappointed you may get, you can never really stop caring.
I donâ€™t know how anyone watching this show, could not fall in love with these characters, not care what happens to them, not want to root for them, not defend them. The Supernatural world may not be real, but what these characters represent is very real. They feel as we do, they laugh, joke, tease, cry, get angry, get scared and they love as we do.
And itâ€™s because of this we were able to relate to one or all of the characters that have shown up on our screen each week. Although they are heroâ€™s in our eyes, they are also human, they are flawed, they make mistakes, loose faith and trust, but they also forgive and redeem themselves as we do.
Thanks again Jas!
Randal, dear IBT member, what can I say? The purity, indeed, of what was going on in the souls of the characters was the most important thing. There was not better way for Kripke to close this chapter. I don't think a story could get more intimate within the realm of Supernatural than this one.
Karen, dear bard, I couldn't agree more - it's so real what the characters represent, universal themes, all. It's their humanity, indeed, that glues us to the screen every week. We know such stories, too, not with paranormal creatures but with monsters of our own that we compose of fear, hate, mistrust, longing, anger, etc. etc. We all have a chance at redemption, I hope. And watching the characters search for it could also serve as an inspiration when our lives get tough. To learn to believe in our own, flawed, strength...
Youâ€™re so right, thereâ€™s something about Supernatural. Iâ€™ve wondered why this story gets under my skin the way it does . . . Those feelings of connection, love, loneliness, loss are common to all of us. â€œGood stories are supposed to move us, be an echo of the personal experiences that draw us in.â€ And thank you for sharing the Dylan Thomas poem; it was perfect.
I'm charmed, ElenaM, thank you - this episode was indeed a remarkable one and I tried to do it justice, I hope I achieved that.
Evelyn, you are totally there with Karen and myself - we will simply continue to love this show as we have done before. It will continue to touch us.
Thank you, Jas
And so was your couch tribute. Lovely, just lovely.
I for one loved that the focus was on family and friendship and love and not all about the big fight, because at the end of the day, like you said, that's really what this show is about and what keeps us coming back each week.
Great job, and take a deep breath because you get to retire the couch for a while! At least until we all get antsy for the next season to begin!
So, SO, glad to have found you! I'm the only fan of the show I know, and the refrain 'just a tv show' keeps me guilty of the time I spend watching. No more!!!! Usually avoid these sort of sites and message boards for the not so nice comments often posted. But it seems different here.
Your writing is amazing and insightful. I'm a psych minor and working on my major in Social Work with a desire toward counseling. So your comments and insights make me feel as If Iâ€™ve entered my dream lecture hall. Yea!
I've now read quite a few of your posts and what I've found is complete enjoyment in making Sam and Dean a sort of case study. From a standpoint other than that of a fan, what a relief to see examples whose names and faces I know. Connecting the dots becomes easier without the need to worry about protecting the clientâ€™s privacy. That might sound horrid, but it's nice to read an open discussion on damaged psyches that I know don't exist. (Other than my own Kripked one.)
That said, it is also a relief to read the love you pour into the boys. It somehow helps validate my own rather absurd care I have for those two. It is just a tv show. But in Swan Song I found myself really affected. Truly. I grieved for Sam, past turning off the show.
Looking forward to more of your writing and checking out some of the other talents on this site.
Ohâ€¦one last silly note. Iâ€™ve never been a Sam or Dean girl. My love was equally distributed. But after the finale I think I rather fell in love with Sam. As Iâ€™ve read that youâ€™re a Sam girl, thought Iâ€™d share.
Thank you so much, dearest Flamey, I'm happy that I managed to touch a chord with you. The personal facets have always been the reasons I loved the show, despite the sometimes great action or horror. The development of the characters is what glues us to the screen, indeed, their pains, their joys, their 'being real people' within a fictional story.
Love & hugs, Jas
Youâ€™re right about the manner of the posts here. I have looked at other sites in the past, too, and didnâ€™t like the sometimes incredibly rude way of commenting, but here itâ€™s different. For the most part, itâ€™s nothing but fun-loving, relaxed, a bit insane, but always respectful and intelligent discussion of the show and its characters. I love that â€“ and I owe a big thank you to every one who raises his voice here and to Alice who made it all possible.
This is indeed a safe haven to talk and go crazy about our favourite show.
I feel honoured to have invited you to a â€˜lecture hallâ€™â€¦ What I always loved about the show is its psychological reality and continuity and the perfect acting of it. They react like people under that circumstances would react, given their specific nature, and I love that, because it makes the story credible â€“ you rarely find that on other shows in this marvellous way.
Iâ€™d like to invite you â€“ dear colleague â€“ to read some of the other articles Iâ€™ve written about the guysâ€™ psyches, you might find those enjoyable.
Iâ€™m past the feeling-insane- for-caring-that -much-about-a-t v-show. You donâ€™t need that, either. As long as weâ€™re clear that it is indeed a tv show and donâ€™t confuse it with reality, weâ€™re safe.
Good stories are supposed to affect us.
Why else read a book or watch a movie? I think to be able and open to allow yourself to be affected and moved can enhance our lives. It brings more facets and colour to it. Itâ€™s not much of a difference here than looking at a magnificent painting. My life is richer for having seen the Mona Lisa once or van Goghâ€™s Starry Night. It is also richer for having watched this show â€“ itâ€™s fun, it broadens our horizon in some way and it moves us. And I've met so many sweet, kind and bright people here on this site and in real life (e.g. at the Con in L.A., or Alice in D.C.) who make my life richer and more colourful with constructive criticism, a comment like yours or the occasional advice. Or just the plain silly humour we share sometimes. It's another facet of my life, but one I don't want to live without anymore. It adds beautifully to the other aspects in my life I need. Just love it...
No need to feel guilty at all.
About that â€˜silly noteâ€™, hehehe, donâ€™t worry. Even though I consider myself a SamGirl, Iâ€™ve never disliked Dean. He would be the brother Iâ€™d like to have, Sam, well, thereâ€™s a different matter.
Thank you, please come back! All my best, Jas