Posted by: April on May 17, 2010
Just like you always knew it would. Yes, one of the most important props in the history of television, Supernatural's third main character, saved the world in "Swan Song." It's about time that car got its props instead of a girly dreamcatcher in the trunk and Sam sticking a knife in her upholstery two weeks ago. 'Bout time she got some respect.
And that's about all that happened last Thursday. I know 'cause I watched the episode twice. Now, I feel kind of bad for beating up on the show, especially since a) I heard this was how the show's finale was supposed to go down, sixth season renewal be damned, b) endings are indeed difficult, and c) they have a lot of live up to, finale-wise. I mean, CRASH!, Sam dies/Dean sells his soul, Dean goes to Hell, Sam unleashes Lucifer? This show never pulls its punches in a finale. The latter no doubt plays a role in why this finale was such a let down. That, and it was boring as fuck.
I love the Ackles, I love Padalecki, I love the Ackles and Padalecki together (dirty!). But let me tell you something: I would not have built a finale around 18 million conversations between the two of them, punctuated by Padalecki making faces at himself in the mirror. That's just not the way I would have gone.
The "action" picks up directly after it left off last week: Dean wanders out of the garage or lean-to or shack or whatever on Bobby's vast junkyard to tell Sam that he's going to back his play. This takes approximately five minutes, during which time we learn absolutely nothing: Dean feels an overwhelming need to protect Sam; Sam feels a sense of obligation to put Lucifer back in the cage. No one particularly likes this plan, but it's the best they've got. TITLE CARD!
When we come back, we get to see the net result of some off-screen, doubtless delicious gore and violence. Bobby directed our little trio (Winchesters + Castiel) to some (local?) demon nest, so they could devil's trap and truss up two demons to drain them dry for Sam's demon blood binge. Yup, they're dripping into what looks like a commercial sized roasting pan, and Castiel is then funneling the blood into four gallon jugs for Sam, which go into the trunk because it's easy to down four gallons of anything quickly. Bobby shows Dean a pile of papers containing demonic omens, and Dean recognizing a 20 degree temperature block in a five block radius in Detroit as the Devil's location. So off they motor.
While on this cross country jaunt, does Sam imbibe in his copious quantities of demon blood? Nope, Castiel snoozes in the backseat, reminding us that he is still more human than angel, and Sam and Dean have a little heart-to-heart about how Sam's going into the pit and Dean's got to leave him there. Dean, as you can imagine, is reluctant to agree to this plan, but Sam's insistent that Dean go to Lisa and live an apple pie life. Dean opts to ducky lip rather than continue the conversation, which is just as well, because man, is there a lot of talking in this episode.
They roll up to Detroit and find the Devil's hideout immediately.Time for goodbyes, a.k.a. more talking, but this part is pretty good. Sam hugs Bobby goodbye,who opts for a "see ya around" because Bobby is like that. Bobby also reminds him to never stop fighting once the Devil is in there. Next up, Sam tries to shake Cas's hand, but his approach, "Take care of these guys for me, would ya?", throws Cas for a loop: "You know that's not possible." Sam suggests that Cas humour him. Cas: "Oh, you want me to lie. [adopts hilariously dopey expression] Suuuuuurrrrrre!" Dean doesn't get a goodbye because he's signed through to the end, so Sam heads over to the trunk to get demon blood drunk.
Sometime later, the trunk slams closed, and Sam and Dean take off for the building across from the alley, Sam crowing, "Come and get it, you sons of bitches!" Two demons manhandle them up to meet Lucifer, and everyone blah blah blahs. Lucifer's all "little known facts about the Devil," Dean's a smartass, and Sam's anxious to get this over with, so he kills to two guard demons by simply taking a deep breath. Normally the hand goes up, and there's the big struggle but not this time. Inhale, exhale, dead. That is badass, Sammy.
Anyway, Lucifer knows all about their rings plan, but he's willing to bet that Sam won't be able to wrest control. He also makes a "Devil Went Down to Georgia" joke not two minutes after I made one to my viewing companion. What does that say about my sense of humour? Lucifer does his light show. When we come to, Nick appears to have been reduced to a pile of ash, Sam's unconscious, and Dean sets about opening the pit right there on the wall (guess they don't need to go back to Maryland). He tries to get Sam to jump in, but Sam hesitates just long enough to reveal that it's Satan pulling the strings. He closes the pit, pockets the rings, and takes off for parts unknown.
At those parts unknown, Satan lets Sammy know that a treasure trove of past acquaintances were actually Azazel's minions, so Satan thinks Sammy would enjoy slaughtering them all. Who knows? The slaughter, once again, happens off-screen. One of them is Rachel, Sam's prom date, which confused the crap out of me. How did Sam manage to escape long enough to get to a prom? There's also a lot of blah blah blah in the mirror about how Satan and Sam are MFEO because this episode wasn't bad enough. He seriously says, "M-F-E-O."
Back at the alley, Dean lets Castiel and Bobby know the score, and they are both ready to quit. Dean, however, does not quit on Sammy ever, so he gives Chuck a call (more on Chuck in a minute). Chuck knows where the final battle is going down: an old boneyard outside of Lawrence. He does not add "for the sake of literary symmetry," even though it was hilarious the first time he said it. So Dean's off for Lawrence.
Michael/Adam and Satan Sammy meet on the battlefield and have yet another long talk, all about how they don't really want to fight. Satan Sammy pushes his case too far (or perhaps Michael can't stand mixed metaphors) when he blames their ever-absent Father for everything, though, and Michael's goes from respectful to pissed. Of course, we do not get to see any badass angel battle because Dean rolls up, classic rock a-blarin'. Michael's hilariously all, "You're not the vessel any more, so scram." Dean's all, "I need to talk to my brother,* so you scram." Just when you are wondering how that's going to be accomplished, we hear Castiel call out, "Hey, ass butt!" Castiel whips a malatov cocktail into Michael, who promptly burns up and disappears. While Dean questions Cas on his choice of insults, Cas assures him that Michael will be back and pissed, but this at least bought Dean some time.
*Every time Dean said brother, singular, from this point forward, I couldn't stop myself from going, "BrotherS." I realize they never knew Adam, but he had a raw deal: eaten by a ghoul, tortured by Zechariah, and used as a angel condom. At least Sam and Dean were trained for this kind of shit.
You know who else is pissed? Satan Sammy. No one dicks with Michael but Lucifer (dirty!), so Satan Sammy snaps his fingers and makes Castiel explode. He already exploded once this season! And now he's all over poor Bobby. Satan Sammy's done playing nice with Dean and decides he's going to beat him to death, so Bobby puts a few harmless bullets in Satan Sammy. For this, Satan Sammy snaps Bobby's neck! Dean, it should be noted, is far more broken up about this than he was Castiel's explosion. Anyway, beating, beating, beating, and Dean's all, "I'm here, Sam. I'm not going to leave you." Between punches, the sun reflects off the Metllicar's chrome detailing, which hits Satan Sammy in the eye. He flicks his eye away, and it catches the little green army man still wedged in the driver's side backseat arm rest ashtray.
Yes, you see, Chuck has been narrating huge chunks of this episode, and they are entirely about the car and the boys' relationship to it. We see tons of episode and B-reel footage of the Metallicar, and the Winchesters in it from over the seasons. While lots of it is great fun to see again, a lot is made up for this episode, and some of it is hard to believe. Easy to believe retcons include driving cross country between jobs for an Ozzy concert or a Jayhawks game. Less easy to believe: Little Sammy wedged an Army man in the driver's side backseat arm rest ashtray, Little Dean shoved Lego down the heat vents, Little Sammy and Little Dean peeled back the front seat's vinyl backing to carve their initials. What's more, you see, when Dean rebuilt the car after CRASH!, he left all those things just as they were.
Let me tell you why this is bullshit: Because John Winchester, one of the worst dads in televisual history, would never have left the army man and Lego there, particularly the latter because they rattle every time the heat comes on. This is the man, who, upon seeing his sons for the first time in months/years, took some precious time out to bitch at Dean for not taking good enough care of the Metallicar. Maybe they could have glued the vinyl back down with John noticing, but come on. I mean, Metallicar saves the world! WHOO!
Anyway, Sam lets Dean know it's him, throws the rings down and opens the pit, and then Sam and Dean stare at each other for long time. I get that jumping into Lucifer's cage might take some psyching up, but seriously. They stare at each other for a long time. Long enough, in fact, that Michael returns to stop Sam from destroying his destiny, so Sam grabs Michael and pulls him into the pit, too.
Apocalypse over, bloodied Dean sits weary on the spot where his brotherS disappeared for good and contemplates the rings. Castiel appears and heals Dean, causing Dean to wonder if Cas is God. Castiel is very sweet when he replies, "That's a nice compliment. No, I do believe He brought me back, though." He mentions that he is new and improved and demonstrates by bringing Bobby back to the land of the living. I'm pretty sure this means Castiel's been upgraded to archangel.
Later, after Dean says goodbye to Bobby and takes off, Castiel appears in Dean's car to basically tell him to stop whining. Castiel's decided to go back to Heaven, as no doubt chaos reigns in Micheal's absence. Dean whines that Castiel is back to being God's bitch, but Cas says that he doesn't know what God has planned or where He is. He just thinks it's the right thing to do. Dean then whines about how everyone's a winner except him, but Castiel rightly points out that Dean got exactly what he wanted: "No Paradise, no Hell, just more of the same." So stuff it, whinger. Dean decides not to try to get Sam back or kill himself and shows up on Lisa's doorstep.
In the meantime, Chuck has gone from his usually bathrobe-clad, scruffy self to a decidedly more presentable version in a crisp white shirt. He reveals that this entire story was a test for Sam and Dean, who passed (I think), types, "THE END," polishes off his bottle of malt liquor, and zaps out of there because Chuck is God. Oh, did we not mention that before? WTF, show?! Worst retcon ever! Chuck as a scruffy little prophet of the Lord? Delightful! Chuck as God? Fuck, that's stupid. So, when Zechariah showed up to menace Chuck, he didn't know who he was dealing with? Never mind, if I start now, I could be at this all day. We've got one vignette left.
We cross fade to Dean drinking malt liquor and looking haunted at the dinner table because that's going to be a pleasant way for ol' Benny boy to grow up. As the camera pulls back to watch all of this from outside the house, the street light suddenly shorts, and we find Sam standing underneath with an inscrutable look on his face. DUN?
Alright, possibilities for next season since the writers have all summer to figure out what Sam's doing there:
- Satan Sammy once again escaped his cage (wildly unlikely).
- Sam went through an accelerated demon course (still doesn't explain how he got out and how he got his body back).
- Sam made an off-screen deal with Crowley (but how would it work?)
- Chuck brought Sam back as a reward for sacrificing himself (getting warmer).
- Sam's an angel now (sounds about right to me).
Obviously Sam will keep his revenant status secret from Dean or at least try to, and I'm not sure how Dean will get pulled back into the action next year. Lisa and Ben become regular players? He leaves them? They kick him to the curb? They die? Guess we'll see next fall, though I must confess I'm not looking forward to it as much as I used to. It's like Angel as the CEO of an evil law firm.