Friday, May 14, 2010

Swan Song

The culmination of five years opens in an unexpected place. Chuck is starting a new story. Turn outs GM celebrated the 100 millionth vehicle rolling off the line on April 21, 1967. The blue two-door Caprice was celebrated with a lot of fanfare, but three days later the Chevy Impala left the line and became the “most important object in pretty much the whole universe.” It was first owned by Sal Moriarty, an alcoholic who gave away bibles to the poor so they could “get right for judgment day.” Then it ended up at Rainbow Motors where a young marine bought the car after getting some friendly encouragement from his future son. I’m not entirely sure where Chuck is going with this, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to like it….

“If anybody can do it, it’s you.” Dean to Sam

Things move fast from here. The boys are drinking a beer in Bobby’s junkyard and Dean tells Sam he’s down with the whole devil plan. He asks his overgrown brother if he’s sure he wants to jump in the cage and Sam said he let Lucifer out, so he has to put him back in. From there they gank two demons and drain them of blood so Sammy can have all the “go juice” he wants. Bobby shows Dean some possible apocalyptic headlines and Dean decides the devil’s in Detroit. He always said he’d jump Sam there. On the drive there, with a very human Cass snoring in the back seat, Sam makes Dean promise he won’t try to get him from Hell, it could create more problems. Instead he wants Dean to promise he’ll return to Lisa and lead a normal apple pie life.

“See you around, Kid.” Bobby to Sam

They arrive in Detroit and dozens of demons are milling around. It’s time! Bobby tells Sam to fight tooth and nail. Not to give an inch. They hug and Sam is barely holding it together. Then he tells Cass to take care of everyone, but in Cass’s brutally honest fashion, he says he can’t. Sam implies he should’ve lied and Cass tries hilariously to carry it off, but it’s so not working. Sam opens the trunk and asks Dean not to watch as he downs the blood. The absolute helplessness and horror Dean feels about this situation is written all over his face. Sam loudly announces their arrival and the brothers are dragged before a peeling, putrid Lucifer.

“It’s the blemishes that make her beautiful.” Chuck

Chuck continues his narrative about the Impala. He explains how the car is similar to others, but points out the important parts that make it different—the army man Sam crammed in the ashtray and is still stuck there, the Legos that clink around in the heating vents, the place where they carved their initials with knives. Fortunately for them, the devil doesn’t know or care what kind of car the boys drive.

“Chock full of Ovaltine, are we?” Lucifer to Sam

Sam obliterates Lucifer’s henchman without a blink of effort and then explains he wants to say yes. Lucifer can ride him as long as Sam and Dean live and Lucifer brings back their parents. Now comes the really, really bad part. Lucifer knows about their ace in the hole. He knows about the rings. Panic leeches into Dean’s eyes, but Sam tries to deny their plan.

“A fiddle of gold against your soul, says I’m better than you.” Lucifer to Sam

The devil insists he’s not mad. He’ll go one round in Sam’s noggin. If Sam can overpower him he can jump in the hole. If he wins, well, he wins. Dean is terrified, but Sam says they have no choice. He accepts the challenge. Bright light burns. Both of them collapse. Dean activates the rings. A gate to Hell opens. Sam gets up and Dean tries to get him to jump in. Then you see the exact instant when the devil wins and Sam is gone. Lucifer closes the portal and disappears. The utter devastation on Dean’s face is heartbreaking.

“Such anger, young Skywalker.” Lucifer to Sam.

The devil beams into a room with a circle of people. He snaps and crackles in his new body, says he can feel Sam scratching away. Facing a mirror he allows Sam to have his say. Sam vows to destroy him from the inside out, but the devil tells him to quit fighting the inevitable. They are two halves of a whole. He’s his true family. Sam always felt out of place. When he ran away he wasn’t running from John and Dean, but rather toward Lucifer. Then the devil shows Sam the people in the room – his old grade school teacher, a childhood friend, his prom date—they were all plants in his life, Azaziel’s gang jerking him around like a dog on a chain. He then says he knows how much Sam hates that and they should blow off some steam. He kills them all with Sam's hands.

“I suggest we imbibe copious quantities of alcohol and just wait for the inevitable blast wave.” Cass

Earthquakes are hitting the entire world. Dean asks Cass and Bobby what they should do next, but they’ve both given up.

Chuck is writing an affectionate scene about the boys lives on the road. The freedom and beauty they found in an otherwise unconventional life. Their home was with each other. Then the phone rings. “Mistress Magda.” Uh, nope. It’s Dean and he gives him a hard time for the whole virgin/hooker thing he’s got going on. Then he asks if he knows when the big fight is going down. Tomorrow. High noon. Stull Cemetery outside of Lawrence. It all has to end where it started.

“You’re going to do something stupid. You got that look.” Bobby to Dean

Bobby and Cass try to talk Dean out of going after Sam. He says he’s got nothing to lose. Cass assures him the only thing he’ll see is Michael killing his brother. Dean says then he won’t let him die alone. Sniff sniff.

“We’re brothers. Let’s just walk off the chessboard?" Lucifer to Michael

The brothers greet each other on the battle field. Lucifer tries to talk Michael out of fighting to the death. He blames their father for everything, but Michael refuses. Then there’s double talk that could’ve just as easily been between Sam and Dean about John. Just as they’re ready to rumble we hear the sexy purr of the Metallicar and see an even sexier “do or die” look on Dean’s face as he shoves a cassette in. Gunter glieben glauchen globen. Def Leppard says it’s better to burn out than fade away.

“Dean, even for you this is a whole new mountain of stupid.” Lucifer

Dean isn’t exactly warmly greeted. He wants five minutes to talk to Sam and he attempts to apologize to Adam, but Michael is pissed by the interruption. Then in the funniest line ever Cass shows up and yells, “Hey, assbutt,” before throwing a holy fire molotov cocktail that burns up Michael. Uh oh! Lucifer is crazy mad. He freakin’ snaps his fingers and blows Cass into bloody chunks that spatter Bobby. Nooooo! Dean tries to reach Sam and Lucifer turns on him. He throws Dean into the Impala’s window and Bobby starts shooting at the devil. He gives Dean a “guess this is it” look just as Lucifer snaps his fingers and snaps Bobby’s neck. Nooooo!!!!! Then Lucifer beats the ever lovin’ bloody hell out of Dean’s gorgeous face. We’re talking a swollen, pulpy, lumpy mess and still Dean assures his little brother, whose got to be in there somewhere, that he’s here and won’t leave him. Sob. Just as Lucifer draws his fist back for the death blow, sunlight glints off the Impala, Sammy sees the army man in the ashtray, memories of their life and love flash through him at lightning speed and— Hallelujah—Sam gains control of the devil.

“It’s okay, Dean. It’s going to be okay. I’ve got him.” Sam

He throws the horsemen’s rings to the ground and opens the gate. Fear and horror wash over Sam’s face and then he shores up his courage to take the plunge. Michael shows up and says it can’t end this way. He has to fight his brother. In a beautiful moment of release Sam gives himself up to the fall. Michael tries to yank him from the edge, but Sam pulls him in with him. The ground closes up. A new and improved Cass shows up to heal Dean and raise Bobby from dead.

“Any chap-assed monkey with a keyboard can poop out a beginning.” Chuck

Chuck ruminates about the difficulty of endings. It’s impossible to tie up every loose end, please every fan, make it all add up to something.

Cass intends to return to Heaven and become the new sheriff in town. Dean swears he’s going after God next. He wants to know where his grand prize is, his brother. Cass said he got what he asked for…no paradise, no hell, just more of the same. What would he rather have, peace or freedom?

According to Chuck, Dean and Bobby say goodbye and won’t see each other for a long time. Bobby goes back to hunting, but Dean didn’t want Cass to save him. He wants to die or find a way to bring Sam back, but he decides to keep his promise. He shows up on Lisa’s doorstop asking for that long ago offer of a beer. She says it’s never too late and then holds him while he cries.

“No doubt, endings are hard. Then again, nothing ever really ends. Does it?” Chuck (or God?)

Chuck disappears after writing THE END and we see Dean eating dinner with Lisa and her son. The streetlight outside burns out and--surprise--Sam is watching. That's all folks....

Last night’s finale left me stunned. I’m just so glad Bobby and Cass lived and that wasn’t THE END. Had that been the series ender I would've been crushed. I love how the Impala became a character in the episode and saved the boys, saved the world. The acting by everyone in this episode was beyond amazing. (I want to see awards!) I’m still picking up bits and pieces of my heart today. Now I’m just dying to know what’s next. What did you think? And any predictions for next season?


Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Tre. Men. Dous. Best series finale EVAR because it's not ending! LOL

Very nice writeup, Terri! I love how you picked out all the great lines!

Maureen Child said...

I just KNEW they were going to kill Bobby! Probably looked like an idiot shouting at the television. My dh just shook his head. Then of course I cheered when Bobby and Cas came back!

Loved the scene in the cemetery--with all the double meanings in the brothers' conversation.

GREAT that Chuck was God. And nobody got it. Not even Cas.

It was a FABULOUS episode! Had everything and did a lot toward tying up loose ends...though Dean's amulet is still MIA..see, Chuck/God was right. Fans will still complain!

Was totally floored with Sam there at the end. And since we know demons put out lights, Lucifer's still inside. So what does that mean??


Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Lucifer's not a demon, but that's okay, because angels put out lights, too, and I don't think it's at all clear who's in Sam: Lucifer, Michael, or Sam himself.

Good point about the amulet! It has to come back at some point. Sam would never have left it!

Maureen Child said...

good point on the demon front, Natalie!!

I hate not knowing!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, Sam possibly being Michael is an interesting possibility I hadn't even thought of! As soon as Chuck typed the End and flickered out, my husband said, "So...the prophet Chuck is God?"

Now, I feel like what we saw was the originally planned five year series ender--with an additional few minutes tacked on. (You guys feel that way?) It was a hell of an episode with AMAZING performances. But are we to understand that Kripke planned to end the series with Sam dead? I wonder what that means for when they really do end it. I'd like them both alive! (BTW, it will be hard to top this ep for an eventual series ender.)

Oh, and I also expected Bobby to die so I totally bought that part and also shouted at the TV.

Trish Milburn said...

You should see Tanya and me sitting across from each other, each reading today's blog and pausing to discuss certain points.

I was just dying when Cass and Bobby were killed, but then I noticed there were ten minutes left and felt a bit of hope. I honestly can't imagine the show without those two now.

I feel like Tanya did that this felt like a series ender that was tweaked when it was renewed for another season.

Maureen Child said...

Tanya, hadn't thought of that, but Chuck typing The End was probably how they meant to end the series--Dean with Lisa and Sam in Hell.

Boy, I really hope when the series ends BOTH boys get a happy ending!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I think it's inevitable that people will feel the ending was "tweaked," because Kripke said he didn't expect to go past this season. But would it feel that way if we hadn't heard that beforehand? I wouldn't.

Plus, I don't consider Kripke reliable. :) He said previously that he always planned to only do *4* seasons, and that he never intended to do angels, or bring God into it, and that they were going to change Rubies frequently (which fit the argument that they let Katie Cassidy go for $ reasons), that she was going to body-hop, and then they didn't do that.

We can second-guess his intentions all we want, but I'm not going to believe he was always going to end with Sam in Satan's cage and Dean with Lisa unless I hear it from his mouth, and even then I'm not sure I'll buy it 100%. I always felt he was more likely to do the Butch-and-Sundance ending Jensen and Jared said they wanted (though I always WANTED the happy ending and will still be mad if they don't get it).

Someone else who also felt it was tweaked said it was "obvious" that Dean was going to go in with Sam and they changed it to Adam at the last minute. That fits a little better, actually. But it seems there's an implication that supposed tweaking makes it a worse episode, and I just don't feel that way. I love all the decisions they made an all the execution, and I don't care what was planned or changed! :)

Ooh, here's a point to speculate about. Castiel says he's going to go back to heaven. So do you think we'll have no Misha Collins next year? I've been seriously avoiding spoilers so if there have been any rumors lately, I haven't heard them.

MJFredrick said...

I didn't catch the date--April 21, 1967 was my first birthday :)

I loved Cass in this episode. My dh said the same, that Chuck was God. I was stunned when Cass and Bobby died, relieved they came back. I thought Jared did an amazing job. I was heartbroken for Dean who was left completely alone. I cheered when they figured out the showdown was in Stull. (I did NOT buy that Dean wouldn't know about the legend surrounding the place. Yeesh.)

I liked that Dean got a HEA, but I'm dying to know what's on the writers' minds for next year. I need to watch it about a dozen more times, I think.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

It didn't seem to me like he didn't know the legend, just that he didn't get why the big showdown would be there in particular.

MJFredrick said...

He seemed genuinely puzzles. The legend is that Lucifer's son is buried there, and I would have liked a bit more there. This could have definitely been a two-parter.

Maureen Child said...

Legend?? How did I miss a legend?? When was that? Lucifer's son?

I'm going to be watching this episode over and over again...

Trish Milburn said...

MJ, that's so appropriate about the car and your birthday because of your love for the Impala.

I didn't know that stuff about the Stull Cemetery. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

I've loved reading all your comments. I didn't know about the Stull Cemetery legend either.

My prediction is that when God returned to Heaven he zapped Sam outta Hell. He might be new and improved too (the lights), but he sees that Dean can have a normal life now so he goes back to the family biz (or maybe celestial biz) on his own. Then I think one day he'll go back and yank Dean from his ordinary life the way he was from college. :)

MJFredrick said...

The legend wasn't mentioned in the show, it's just a legend around Stull. Supposedly when Pope John Paul II was in the US, he wouldn't allow his plane to fly over the place. The church there has no roof and yet no rain falls inside, and it's said Lucifer visits his son there occasionally.

I like Terry's theory. I wonder if they're going to have years pass before the brothers are reunited.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Terri, that gets my vote!

I wondered the same thing, MJ.

Unknown said...

I loved the double meaning in the cemetery too!
That really was an amazing season finale - you can feel that it could've been a series finale if it hadn't been renewed.
I vote for Terri's ideas for the new season! Let Dean enjoy a "normal" life for a while, but not too long.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Dean can do normal. People in high adrenaline jobs tend to crave that kind of high and don't do well away from it. Like the guy from the Hurt Locker.