Hell's Half Acre (hells_half_acre) wrote,
Hell's Half Acre

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Rewatch S5: Swan Song (5x22)

 Alright, after putting off watching this epic sadness all day (by working on VVV, btw, some might be happy about that), I finally buckled down and watched it.

Hang on folks, this is a long one...


Oh god, Carry On Wayward Son...I'm already going to start crying...or would, if I had a soul.

Oh god, the Impala backstory...I'm going to cry more...or would, if my heart were something more than an engine forged from the remnants of a dead star.

"Three days later another car rolled off that same line. No one gave two craps about her, but they should've, because this 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car - no - the most important object - in pretty much the whole universe."

I love how the Impala's first owner is Sal Moriarty - a nice combination of the two main characters from On the Road, by Kerouac, which was a major inspiration for Supernatural.

"...where a young marine bought her on impulse - that is, after a little advice from a friend. I guess that's where this story begins and here is where it ends."
-i love how Dean was the one that sold the Impala to his father. For people who argued that Dean's place in the mythology was usurped from him - I say, did anyone else sell the most important object in the pretty much the whole universe to their own father? Maybe it was unwittingly, but Dean did ensure that he had the vehicle for victory in his possession (pun totally non intended, but appreciated).

"You're going to let me say yes?"
"No, that's the thing - it's not on me to let you do anything. You're a grown- well, overgrown - man. If this is what you want, I'll back your play."

-I know there were some people who said "Did we have this conversation already in 5x05?" But to me, that was Dean agreeing to solve a problem that he didn't fully understand. This is Dean understanding the problem...understanding that there's a reason Sam is waiting on him to give him an okay on the plan, and it has nothing to do with Sam wanting his advice - it's Sam living in a pecking order that shouldn't exist.

"Truth is - watching out for you, it's kinda been my job. More than that, it's kinda who I am. You're not a kid anymore, Sam. I can't keep treating you like one. Maybe I gotta grow up a little too."
-More than Dean realizing the problem, this is also about Dean realizing the problem with their co-dependency...the fact that not only does it not give Sam any agency in his own life, it also makes Dean define himself solely around Sam - to the extent that Dean doesn't know who he is if Sam isn't around...which, you know, makes him do crazy things sometimes like sell his soul.

"If this is what you want...Is this what you want?"
"I let him out. I gotta put him back in."

-And it's also about Sam growing up. It's about Sam not playing the victim anymore, and taking responsibility for his actions, like an adult is supposed to do. 

Oh, by the way, the Green Cooler makes it's TRIUMPHANT RETURN in this scene - after being so carelessly left behind in that shack with a trapped Raphael, somehow, it found it's way to be reunited with the Winchesters. It's either that, or they just bought another beat-up old green cooler.

*Castiel asleep in the backseat*
"Aww, ain't he a little angel."
"Angels don't sleep."

-Way to bum everyone out Sam...Dean was being all funny and adorable.

"On the subject, there's something I need to talk to you about."
"This thing goes our way [...] You know I'm not coming back?"
"Yeah, I'm aware"
"So, you got to promise me something."
"Yeah, okay, anything"
"You gotta promise not to try to bring me back."
"What? No. I didn't sign up for that!"
"Your hell is going to make my tour look like Graceland. You want me to just sit by and do nothing?"
"Once the cage is shut, you can't go poking at it, Dean. It's too risky."

-This makes me nervous about S6. But just focusing on S5 here, I like how we find out that part of the reason Dean's so cool with this plan is because he plans to obsessively find a way to bring Sam back as soon as the plan is successful. Oh Dean...

"You can't ask me to do this"
"I'm sorry Dean, you have to."
"So then, what am I supposed to do?"

-I love how they repeat this question throughout the series.

And Sam gives him something to do - "You go live some normal apple-pie life. Promise me!" and Dean will...based solely on that promise. And Sam is smart, because when Dean died, he told Sam to keep hunting - but hunting is associated with his brother, so Sam just obsessed about getting Dean out of hell and drank himself into a stupor. Asking Dean to leave Hunting is, at least in part, trying to ensure that he's not going to be alone on the road with bottles of liquor and a stack of books he shouldn't be reading.

Bobby should not cry. There has to be a rule about that somewhere.

Sam says "yes, Sir" to Bobby...and man, that gets me...because after Sam's rocky relationship with the last father-figure that made Sam call him sir, it's really a meaningful sign of respect/love from Sam that he offers it.

Castiel is all awkward. I love the look to Dean - 'sorry I completely blew that social interaction'...oh Cas, I still love you.

More Impala backstory!

"The devil doesn't know or care what kind of car the boys drive"
-I love this...that the devil is in the details ;-)

"...you win, you jump in the pit. I win, well then I win."
-I love this, because it's such an echo of "I win, because I win"

"What do you say, Sam - a fiddle of gold against your soul says I'm better than you"
-Ok, so, I know he's the villain here, but I really like the devil when he says stuff like this.

Dean's broken "No" right before Sam says yes, just kills me. As does his complete despair when the plan doesn't work.

The scene with Sam and Lucifer talking in the mirror is such a fantastic scene - Jared is really phenomenal here.

"I can see it all Sam...how out of place you felt in that family of yours, and why shouldn't you have? They were foster care at best. I'm your real family."
-Again, this works with the theme of family as a choice...as in family doesn't have to be what you are born into, it can be who you choose, even if you do choose the family you were born into, that's still a choice.

"...Azazel's gang, watching you since you were a rugrat - jerking you around like a dog on a leash"
-Again, this supports my idea that the angrier Sam is, the easier he is to control. Lucifer is purposefully making Sam angry - because what would work better at making Sam angry than trotting out his #1 complaint about his whole life: That he's never had agency in it - that his entire life has been controlled by outside forces. It's easy to forget that he has agency now in the face of the resentment over his lack of agency in the past.

"It's starting"
"Really, you think, genius?"
"You don't have to be mean"

-Oh Cas...I love you.

"I'm sorry, Dean, this is over."
-Misha does an amazing job here of actually bringing Cas to the verge of tears, in a way that still leaves him stoic like the angel he used to be.

"You listen to me, you junkless sissy, we are not giving up! Bobby?...Bobby?"
"There was never much hope to begin with. I don't know what else to do."

-I love the complete turnaround from 5x18, when Dean was the only one without hope then, now he is the only one with some still left...and Sam was the one who gave him hope in 5x18, and Dean is only trying to return the favour.

I absolutely love the shot of Samifer sitting on that stage like it's a throne, surrounded by dead bodies. Just brilliant.

Ohh, my favorite Impala narrations - the one about what they DON'T show us on the show:

"They could go anywhere and do anything..."
-God, I wish I were them...only without the hunting and the tragic lives. But, just...the financial freedom to live out of my car...to go anywhere and do anything. It'd be brilliant.
"...and when it was clear, they'd park her in the middle of nowhere, sit on the hood and watch the stars - for hours, without saying a word. It never occurred to them that, sure, maybe they never had a roof and four walls, but they were never, in fact, homeless."
-So much love for this. Again, home is what you make of it.

There's a chunk of Chuck's book that we can see when they show his computer screen that isn't part of the narration. It says:
"...from the V8. 275 Horses, all waiting to get Dean the hell out of Detroit. The only problem-he had nowhere to go. He didn't have-never really had, for that matter, a home to go to. Worse, there was nothing and nobody left to hunt, or fight, or kill that could do a damn bit of difference.
   It wasn't entirely a new position for Dean to be in. In between jobs, Sam and Dean would sometimes take a day, sometimes a week if they were lucky...."

"Who's Mistress Magda?"
"She's ah...She's...nothing...just a close friend."
"Yeah, I'll bet, what happened to Becky?"
"We broke up. I had too much respect for her."
"You really have this whole virgin/hooker thing going on, don't you?"
"Ok, this can't be why you called."

-I love the little clues they drop here...Magda being short of Magdalene...the virgin/hooker thing that's rife in Judeo-Christian literature. Brilliant. I've written before on the topic of Chuck, so I won't repeat myself here. But I like the way Kripke left it.

"I just want you to understand - the only thing that you are going to see out there is Michael killing your brother."
"Well then, I ain't going to let him die alone."

-I can't even follow this up with words...just that, I think Dean completely schools both Cas and Bobby on what love is, right here. And I'd just like to bring Bobby's wife back from the dead so that I can say "yes, Dean has been in love before, Karen. Don't make assumptions."

The confrontation between Samifer and Michael!Adam is shot really well - in that you really don't notice the massive height different between them.

"God made everything. He made me who I am. God wanted the devil."
"So why? And why make us fight? I just can't figure out the point?"
"What's your point?"

-Isn't it Judaism where the devil isn't evil - it's just that he was made purposefully to question God's actions? Or am I confusing that with a different religion. My point here is that God created Lucifer to be....ironically...devil's advocate. Everyone needs they're actions questioned - checks and balances (I believe they are supposed to have them on federal power in the US, but might not anymore). The problem with the other angels is that they don't know how to question...except, it seems, Castiel...who, as Lucifer said, is a very strange thing. Also, that might be the answer to "why does God like Castiel so much?" Castiel can question without betraying, killing, or wanting to usurp power for himself.

"...always blame everybody but yourself. We were together. We were happy. You betrayed me, all of us, and you made our father leave."
"No one makes Dad do anything. He's doing this to us."

-I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Lucifer and Michael are S1 Sam and Dean...not even that, they are PILOT Sam and Dean...they are what Sam and Dean would be like if they were incapable of personal growth. If Dean didn't forgive Sam for leaving, if he didn't start to recognize that Sam had a point about their Dad....if Sam still didn't take responsibility for any of his actions, still believing that everything that happened was a result of things done to him rather than things done by him. Even when Sam was under other people's control, he was responsible for his actions while under that control...I mean, just think of all those soldiers in WWII that were "just following orders."

Oh Dean....never change...and yeah, in your case, it IS better to burn out than to fade away.

"Adam, if you're in there somewhere, I am so sorry."
"Adam isn't home right now"
"Well then, you're next on my list, buttercup, but right now I need five minutes with him."

-I love Dean calling Michael "buttercup"...it's once again, Dean attempting to diminish a powerful enemy in his own mind by belittling them.

"Hey Assbutt!"
-Oh Cas...I love you.

"Castiel, did you just molotov my brother with holy fire?"

Bobby's death...Dean's NOOOO...I really believe that if there were no S6, the ending would have been the same, but Cas and Bobby would have stayed dead, and Dean would have truly been left with nothing except for that promise to Sam.

"Sammy, it's okay. it's okay. I'm here. I'm here. I'm not going to leave you" *punched more* "I'm not going to leave you!"
-I think this is always what Dean needed to say to Sam...because yeah, Sam felt like the odd one out in his family growing up - what with hating hunting, while Dean loved it...but I think underneath that all was this constant fear that the people (person) he loved most in his life would reject him when they found out that he was defective - that he didn't want to be a hunter, or that he was a psychic freak, or that he had demon blood in him (to date, still the longest kept secret by Sam - Dean didn't find out until a year and a half after Sam did, and then only because someone else told him). We are all better people when we are loved...and I think Sam was afraid of losing the love that made him that better person. (Again, we come back to my thoughts on the psychic kids from the previous episode...what was it about Sam and Andy that allowed them to resist the temptation to turn evil?)

(We are all better people when we are loved is the moral of one of my favorite books: No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod. Just in case you are wondering why I often repeat it. The book really blew me away when I read it as a teenager....the actual quote is "All of us are better when we're loved", but I like my version better :P ) 

"It's okay, Dean. It's going to be okay. I got him."
-I'm also recording these lines, because they are the final words the brothers say to easy other. There are no speeches, I love yous, or goodbyes. There's reassurance from Dean that he will never leave Sam, and reassurance from Sam that his final act will be to save Dean - something he failed to do in the past, but will succeed in doing here.

"Cas, you're alive?"
"I'm better than that."
"Cas, are you God?"
"That's a nice compliment, but no. Although, I do believe he brought me back....new and Improved."

"And since it's the ending, it's all got to add up to something. I am telling you, they're a raging pain in the ass."
-Obviously Chuck's never read Canada Lit. (BURN!! Canadian Literary Jokes FTW!)

"So, what are you gong to do now?"
"Return to heaven, I suppose."
"With Michael in the cage, I'm sure it's total anarchy up there."
"So what? You're the new sheriff in town?"
"I like that, yeah, I suppose I am."

-I like the brief glimpse of a smile that tells you that maybe Castiel has got his angel mojo back, but his time on earth has still changed him.

"Where's my grand prize?...all I got is my brother in a hole!"
"You got what what you asked for, Dean. No paradise, no Hell, just more of the same. I mean it, Dean, what would you rather have - peace or freedom?"

-I love this question. It is what Dean wanted...he wanted life, not memorex...to be where the people are. He just should have specified that he'd only be happy with it if his brother were there with him for all eternity.

"Dean didn't want Cas to save him. Every part of him, every fiber he's got, wants to die or find a way to bring Sam back, but he isn't going to do either - because he made a promise."
-I like the fact that they don't skirt around the issue here. They come right out and tell us that if Cas hadn't come back, Dean would have let whatever internal injuries he had from that beating kill him. And that he still wants to die, but isn't going to just because he promised he wouldn't. It's amazing how much a promise can make a difference. I'm not saying I ever came close to killing myself ever..but there were days where I'd get pretty depressed, or I'd be in a dangerous situation, and the way I got through it was to think about an offhand promise i made to my best friend that I would never leave him. Really, we were just joking around at the time, but I really feel like I'm not allowed to die unless he goes first. I think Sam knew what he was doing when he made Dean make that promise. For good or bad - whether Dean would actually be happy in a normal apple-pie life or not, Sam was insuring that his brother wasn't going to follow him off that cliff. Sam's last acts were to save Dean's life - from Lucifer, and from Dean himself.

If you listen really closely, you can here Lisa say "shh, sweetie" as she hugs Dean. God, it breaks my heart in good ways to hear someone call Dean "sweetie" ...and it makes me stand by the idea that Lisa DOES know Dean, at least enough to know what kind of person he is - and that's why she's willing to take him in, and that's why she wants him to be a father figure for her son.

"So what's it all add up to? It's hard to say. But me, I think this was a test for Sam and Dean, and I think they did alright. Up against good, evil, angels, devils, destiny and God himself - they made their own choice, they chose family. And, well, isn't that kinda the whole point?"
-Kripke always said that his world view was a humanist world view - and we see this reflected here greatly. That how you live your life means nothing, if you don't treat those closest to you with love, respect, and acceptance. And really, family can mean so many things...because family can be the people we're related to by blood, or it can be a family of your own choosing...or it can be complete strangers, who happen to be human just like you are.

"No doubt, endings are hard, but then, nothing ever really ends, does it?"

Thanks for sticking with me through this rewatch! I will try to post my updated timeline tomorrow! And then all that's left is a quick review of the special features :)
Tags: rewatch s5, season 5

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  • Quick Reaction: 15x20 Carry On

    My final quick reaction. I've drank a lot of wine, just to make it special (also, I just wanted another glass of wine). So, I'll do my disclaimer,…

  • Quick Reaction: 15x19 Inherit the Earth

    .... so..... ... I'm not going to lie... I hated that. These are my least favourite writers, and it appears they wanted to go out with a bang -…

  • Quick Reaction: 15x18 Despair

    Yikes... how am I supposed to sum up this one based after taking bad notes and drinking multiple glasses of wine?!?11 I guess I'll just get into…