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Supernatural: Dark Side of the Moon

So Sam and Dean die yet again. And Dean's reaction is just priceless. Barely angry - he knows they'll be resurrected, more resigned and irritated at the killers. Will he get revenge? Or will it Dean's promise be a victim of the short time left in the season (only 6 eps left)?

The hook

This was a nice set up from the beginning. Metallicar is there, naturally. And Dean's favorite memory is of Sam having fun with him, telling him he's the best big brother ever.

It's no secret that Dean idolizes his dad, but this scene hinted at something larger - that Dean really wants to be the dad Sam never had.

The hook here, that Heaven is a place where you relive your fondest memories, isn't a very original interpretation of paradise, but gets a Dean-esque twist later in the episode. More on that in a moment.

So Dean tracks Sam down. And Sam is reliving his fondest memory - a real Thanksgiving dinner with another family. Sam tries to explain, but Dean won't hear it.

I liked that the Winchester's path to the center of Heaven was a two-lane blacktop road. It's something personal to them, in that most of their adult lives has been spent driving down those types of roads to the next hunt, and without realizing it, searching for peace. And that road for each of them took a different form.

One of Dean's memories involves hearing John and Mary fight. Sam says that he thought John and Mary had a perfect marriage.

"It wasn't perfect until after Mom died," Dean replies. Nice additional characterization for John, showing him driven by guilt as much as for revenge.

Dean remembers it vividly, and does exactly what he did that day. He goes to Mary to comfort her, telling her that dad still loves her, and that he, Dean, will never leave her.

Sam comments that Dean has been cleaning up John's messes even before Mary died. Take note of that. I think that's going to be a strong theme in the finale.


It doesn't take long for Dean to realize that Sam's happiest memories involve being on his own, getting away from family. Sam tries to explain that he never had a mother he remembers. Dean did, and a large portion of Dean's happiest memories involve Mary (though not the first one, which Sam didn't witness, but Dean told him about).

Dean is livid, because nearly all of Sam's happiest memories were absolute hells for Dean. But mostly because Sam admits family was a low priority for him.

Dean does take the time to contact Cas, who tells him to find Joshua in the garden, the literal center of Heaven.


Then Zachariah finds them. And he is going to make them pay. Fortunately, Ash(!) arrives, and takes them to his own personal heaven - the replica Roadhouse. They talk for a bit, and Ash explains how there isn't just one heaven. Each person creates their own heaven, in their own image. But Dean notes that it seems a lonely kind of heaven. For one thing, it's not real. For another, there's no one to share it with.

And there we have it. Dean's daddy problems brought to light. It's not just idolization, it's abandonment issues. Dean wants not just family, but to feel needed, loved, and wanted. File this away for later, this may be the leverage Michael needs to persuade Dean to agree to be his vessel.

And it also highlights his conflict with Sam. It's a total opposition in viewpoints. Sam is not just okay without a family, he thrives on it.

Pamela, the randy psychic arrives. She forgives Dean, and tells him she's happy that she died. But Dean doesn't, can't, believe her. To him, the heaven he's witnessing is no better than the Djinn's illusion, or the Trickster's television plots. Only life is real. That clue slips right out of his mind as soon as he utters it, but I think it will get discovered again soon.

Good-bye to old friends

Sam and Dean say their so-longs, and head off to the garden. But something goes wrong, and they are trapped in the house with Mary.

Except Mary isn't very nice. She tells Dean lots of awful things. She died an agonizing death, and that she didn't really love Dean, she felt like he was a burden. Dean is crushed emotionally.

Then Zachariah shows up - he seems to have been manipulating Mary, if that even was Mary. He tells the Winchesters that he's going to torture them for a while, exacting a little revenge for the way they've shown him up, then put them back on Earth.

But a funny thing happens. Joshua shows up, and orders Zachariah out. Zachariah refuses, until Joshua mentions that it's a direct order from God.

God's plan

Joshua takes them to the garden. It reminds the Winchesters of the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, where they went on a field trip. That's because they see it in ways they can relate to, just like the rest of heaven.

Joshua tells them that basically everything is going according to plan. And he also tells them to "Back off." God is tired of being asked for help, He is otherwise occupied. He thinks he has given them enough help, resurrecting them already multiple times, and putting them on the plane that saved them from Lucifer's rising.

Then Joshua tells them that they should quit their futile quest. They can't kill the Devil, and even with Dean's amulet, they won't find God. The Winchesters are stunned. At first they think Joshua is lying, but he asks them, do they really think he would lie about this? Putting words in God's mouth?

With that, he sends them back to their bloody bodies on Earth.


So Dean calls Cas to tell him the news. He, too, is stunned, and believes that Joshua may be lying. But the Winchesters tell him that, no, they believe Joshua.

All hope is now gone. Why go on? Cas is listless, depressed. Dean is angry. Sam is dismayed. Then Cas, signaling the ultimate in defeat, returns Dean's amulet, telling him it's worthless.

Dean looks at it, then walks out the door behind Cas, but not before pausing, and simply letting the amulet drop into the wastebasket, as Sam watches, sick at the sight.

Dean, forgiving and fighting and believing in Sam even through death, has finally severed the bond with his brother that no one, or nothing, else could sever.


So how will this all play out now?

Well, it's easy to see that this could be the one thing that could push Sam to accept Lucifer's offer. Sam has no one now, nothing holding him back. But the real reason he may accept now is to save Dean. If he can exact a promise from Lucifer that Dean will remain untouched as long as Dean doesn't accept becoming Michael's vessel, he could agree.

Dean, on the other hand, has a lot of different dynamics going on. And I think this is how it's going to play out with Dean. I don't think Dean will accept becoming Michael's vessel, but not to save Sam.

He, finally, I think, realizes that he can't be the one to save Sam. Sam, just like he always wanted, is on his own.

But Dean will get his deeply buried wish. He'll get to be the father figure. He'll refuse, leaving Sam, and the world, to its fate. At some point, all parents have to let their children live their own lives.

But also, Dean is done trying to clean up after absent fathers. He will tell them
to work out their own differences, and offer himself up to Lucifer to utterly destroy, making it impossible for Michael to ever confront Lucifer, and battle him, leaving Lucifer to win by default.

How that choice plays out I haven't figured out yet. But I'm not done thinking about it yet. And who knows, maybe I'm as right about all this as I was about Sam being the horseman Death.

See ya next week.

Posted by Miller on April 2, 2010 9:59 PM
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