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And now we come to the end of the original Kripke 5 year arc... so, naturally, my choice for S5 scene is well, the end of the original Kripke 5 year arc.

Swan Song: Chuck's final narration:

I'd even shave off the last 30 seconds when Sam is revealed.

Why did I chose this scene?

Well, first off, I guess this is cheating a little bit, since this isn't a scene, it's a narrated montage. But, whatever, I make the rules.

Mainly, I'm choosing this scene because it end Supernatural as such a perfect tragedy - as it was always set up to be (originally - these days, it could go either way on an ending). It's not a COMPLETE tragedy, but a perfect one - in that technically, it's a victory, but it's a victory at a high cost. Sam and Dean saved the world, and it costs Sam his life. Sam, who strived his whole life to break free from Hunting, who always believed and hoped that it was possible to do so, ends up sacrificing that dream (and himself) to save the world. Dean, meanwhile, who never had any hope that he would have a "home", could have a family beyond Sam, could escape the "life" ends up living Sam's dream... and actually having ALL of that (which he did secretly longed for), but the cost is the life of his brother - which makes the victory hollow, because if there was one thing Dean always put above his own dreams, it was Sam and Sam's dreams. So, the fact that Dean gets to live Sam's dream and Sam doesn't - I mean, OUCH.

It's a great ending, in my books, because it's hard to pull off the tragic victory - and I really think Kripke nailed it here.

And with or without the last 30 seconds, I love this ending because it left the door open for SO MUCH GREAT FIC. This was back in the days when I read fic (though it was a minefield of trying to avoid both Wincest and Destiel, neither of which I shipped) and I just remember so much great speculative fics about whether Dean stays with Lisa, or does go rescue Sam, how Sam escaped the cage, what his condition is, how much time had passed, etc. Sometimes, unanswered questions are the best thing a series can leave you with. 

I mean, off topic but related, I think a lot of people were disappointed with the Solo movie because they liked their imaginary versions of Han and Chewy's past better, they liked the excitement of speculating about it, rather than knowing for sure, or having an "official version" (I mean, same goes for all movies outside the original Star Wars trilogy really... *cough*except the prequels which were just objectively trash all around, so of course people hate them*cough*-what a long weird cough)

ANYWAY, it was a great wrap to the series, in my opinion:  On theme, foreshadowed well, and leaving that door open just enough that imaginations could run wild.

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/560354.html.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Jul. 4th, 2018 01:19 am (UTC)
The most fiction I wrote was during this hiatus--there were so many possibilities: Dean's tragedy was so raw--achieving a family at the cost of Sam--how many ways he would suffer over that, and Sam being in the Cage, and how horrific that could be...

I will say, though, that I've never forgiven Kripke for betraying the promise of the unofficial SPN theme song--"Carry on my wayward son, there'll be peace when you are done" because no, Dean will never get the peace he deserved, because even when he dies, he won't be reunited with Sam.

Also, this makes me think of the moment in the season 6 opener when Dean wakes up from being attacked by what he thinks was Azazel, sees Sam, and says 'Am I dead? Is this heaven?' To me that has always been the most revealing thing Dean has ever said.
hells_half_acre
Jul. 4th, 2018 01:24 am (UTC)
Well, there technically WAS peace, but it was a tragic peace - because, as you say, Dean didn't have Sam, and there was little chance of him being reunited with him (the actual him) even in death.

BUT, I like the fact that the door was open enough that you could speculate around that too. And, like I said, it was always set up as a tragedy, so I wasn't surprised that the promise of the unofficial theme song was a little bit of a white lie.

And agreed about that line in S6.
kailita
Jul. 4th, 2018 03:59 pm (UTC)
This is such a good observation. The only person I’ve ever known who didn’t like this episode didn’t really understand that it was supposed to end as a tragedy. Rewatching it, I’m not really sure how you can miss it - that music is a clear cue. And ultimately - even though I was IMPRESSED by the near-perfection of this ending - that is why I have no regrets about the non-Kripke seasons existing and pushing on into the future. Because I don’t think I could ever be fully satisfied with an ending where they’re so irrevocably separated. Dean would never be at rest, with his family or his afterlife. Sam would, um, OBVIOUSLY never be at rest. Only Kripke could cook up an ending where everyone gets what they want and end up eternally miserable.
hells_half_acre
Jul. 4th, 2018 06:22 pm (UTC)
Haha, yes, exactly.

Also, probably one of the reasons why I've seen meta about how absolutely Jewish Supernatural is - or like, a weird mix of humanism and Judaism...at least in the Kripke years.
kailita
Jul. 4th, 2018 07:37 pm (UTC)
Because of the inescapable sense of loss? The destruction of the temple, the exile, etc?
hells_half_acre
Jul. 4th, 2018 07:41 pm (UTC)
Sure, stuff like that. Been a while since I read those metas - but they're out there, and they made sense when I read them.
supernutjapan
Jul. 4th, 2018 05:15 am (UTC)
Well said. Beautiful ep and beautiful scene. *weeps*
hells_half_acre
Jul. 4th, 2018 06:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks! *hands you a tissue*
madebyme_x
Jul. 4th, 2018 10:13 am (UTC)
It was such a perfect tragedy in every sense! The heartbreak, the questions, the possibilities, the what ifs and whys. Nailed it!
hells_half_acre
Jul. 4th, 2018 06:20 pm (UTC)
Indeed!
kailita
Jul. 4th, 2018 03:46 pm (UTC)
BRB, crying for a thousand years.
hells_half_acre
Jul. 4th, 2018 06:19 pm (UTC)
All my selections have been so sad! :P
ramblin_rosie
Jul. 6th, 2018 11:01 pm (UTC)
On the tragedy line of thought: I think Dean could have accepted the cost of Sam's death, crushing as it would have been to him, had he been sure that Sam was in Heaven. Knowing that Sam's reward for saving the world was to spend eternity as Satan's chew toy? Something that fundamentally unjust, coupled with the fact that it's SAM? No, Dean could never just let that stand. Much as I still dislike the RoboSam storyline, I appreciate the fact that Sera lampshaded Dean's inability to do nothing in this situation, even though he'd seemingly moved on with Lisa and Ben--and I wonder whether, if the show hadn't been renewed for S6, Kripke would have given us a movie in which Dean did get Sam out of the Cage (and exploring the costs thereof).

But yes, "Swan Song" was a fitting end to the Kripke years, and Chuck's narration was brilliant.
hells_half_acre
Jul. 7th, 2018 02:00 am (UTC)
So, I apparently once dreamt up a S6 line where Dean told RoboSam that he actually did spend months researching - trying to save him. But everyone talks about how Dean didn't like that line never happened, so I'm thinking that it must have been a weird parallel universe that I slipped into. Because in my head, working to save Sam was something that Dean quietly worked on in the background of also fulfilling his promise not to save Sam.

But yeah, I think if there was no S6, Kripke may have ended a LITTLE differently - it'd be cool to ask him at some point if that's correct or not.
ramblin_rosie
Jul. 8th, 2018 12:22 am (UTC)
Well, either you, I, and SuperWiki are all crazy, or the rest of fandom is...

Dean: Good for who? I showed up on their doorstep half out of my head with grief. God knows why they even let me in. I drank too much. I had nightmares. I looked everywhere. I collected hundreds of books, trying to find anything to bust you out.


Sam: You promised you'd leave it alone.


Dean: Of course I didn't leave it alone! Sue me!

(Source: Exile on Main Street)
hells_half_acre
Jul. 8th, 2018 03:07 am (UTC)
Oh man! Thank you! Everyone always acts like Dean just stopped, but he DIDN'T! I DIDN'T DREAM THAT LINE!

So, to me, that totally accounts for Dean's "never give up" personality - he DIDN'T. He just did BOTH... he was like "I promised Sam that I'd settle down with Lisa and not look for him... well, I can keep PART of that promise."
ramblin_rosie
Jul. 8th, 2018 03:53 am (UTC)
Exactly. That also accounts for his attitude toward Sam's failure to look for him in the S7/8 Year That Wasn't: he had tried to save Sam from the Cage and expected Sam to have done the same for him, verbal agreements notwithstanding.

You're very welcome! :D
hells_half_acre
Jul. 8th, 2018 03:58 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm still mad at the writers for writing Sam like that, because that's out of character for Sam too - I have to use a headcanon that Sam suffered a little nervous breakdown, given that he had such a rough mental-time of it right before Dean's death. Otherwise, it just doesn't make sense to me.

But yeah, it definitely accounts for why Dean was so upset with Sam when he found out that Sam didn't seem to even try.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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