Last Call! Supernatural Lines Up for The Last Mid Season Finale

 

Last week’s Supernatural was the first written by Jeremy Adams, who I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with at Comic Con last summer. He’s a great guy and a big fan of the show and the genre, and his enthusiasm for what he was writing came through in the episode – and was largely what I liked about it. The episode was split between more serious moments and pure fun, and it was the fun parts that will be most memorable about it for me.

Jeremy’s excitement about being on the Supernatural set was also infectious, and he was kind enough to give us all sorts of behind the scenes goodies too. Here’s Jeremy being appreciated by the cast…

From Jeremy’s twitter

We also got some lovely behind the scenes content from guest star Shoshannah Stern, who was back as Eileen. It’s no secret that I think Shoshannah is awesome, and she understands fandom and our love of this show.

We got the cast practicing signing videos, and this priceless between scenes rest time photo with Jared and Misha. Awww.

Even Jensen got into the act, sharing some photos of him and guest star (and long time real life pal) Christian Kane relaxing between scenes and practicing some stunt fighting too. Still got it, boys!

Let me talk about the fun stuff first, because that’s what I enjoyed the most. The episode wasn’t actually a meta episode, but I don’t know that I’ve ever watched an episode thinking more about what was happening in “real life” and less about the characters and the story. To the extent that I couldn’t see Dean singing with Lee as much as Jensen singing with his old friend Christian Kane.

Usually that wouldn’t make me happy, because it’s the characters and the story that I love with all my heart. But it’s the last season, the last chance that this cast has to do some of the things they’ve wanted to for a long time, and it was infectiously joyful to see Jensen so happy to be able to finally have Kane on his show – both of them were clearly having the time of their lives. I’ve had the privilege of seeing Jensen sing live, and some of those little mannerisms of seeming indecision were definitely his, and it made me smile.

I was oddly nostalgic myself about Jensen and Christian singing together on Supernatural, because one of the first times I saw Jensen sing (not in person, I wasn’t that lucky, but god bless the fans who filmed it) was at a Kane concert for Christian’s birthday. It was so rare and so special to see Jensen sing back then – and I must have watched that little clip… well, probably a lot. So seeing them perform together on the actual show was a reminder of how long they’ve known each other and how long I’ve been watching this show!

It’s rare we get to see Dean Winchester that happy, which was another reason it kept looking like Jensen to me instead of Dean – at first. I mean, look at that FACE!

Toss in a few little meta commentaries about lip synching Eye of the Tiger and that whole first scene in Swayze’s Bar was all about reality instead of fiction. (If that was all the episode was, I would’ve been sorely disappointed, though).

The other part of the episode that worked for me was Dean’s journey from apathy and feeling mostly hopeless to rediscovering his “always keep fighting” determination. The classic hero’s journey, with Dean coming out on the other side of his trauma and hopelessness, realizing who he is and what he wants and resolving to go after that. Lee is a mirror for Dean, at one point even saying “I am you – I just woke up and saw that the world was broken.”

That’s what Dean was on his way to becoming, to giving up just like that. But faced with who he would be if he did give up, Dean finds his motivation to keep going. Yeah, the world is seriously effed up, and it would be tempting to give up like Lee did and just look out for yourself. But that’s not Dean Winchester.

Dean: Then you fix it! You fight for it!

And that’s exactly what he’s now determined to do – or at least I’m hoping that’s where he is now and that he’ll stay there. I liked the way the character of Lee, a gifted hunter and fierce fighter who had gone dark side, provided the spark for Dean to make a decision about how he wanted to end up – a hunter, now and always. That’s my Show.

After all, as he says, someone’s gotta kill the bad guys.

Sam and Eileen had some cute moments, especially their post-Margaritas breakfast extravaganza and Sam’s embarrassed admission when Dean asks if they’re hung over.

Eileen clearly really cares for Sam, and hey, who can blame her for wanting to “do something fun”? That would definitely be fun. I’m still scratching my head that a romance for Sam in the middle of the last season is where we’re going but at least Eileen isn’t dead and Shoshannah is still gracing my tv screen!

And Castiel got to be the badass version of Cas that I like best – in fact, he was downright scary in this episode. I never knew Misha Collins could look quite that pissed off at the world, but damn, he really did. Cas seems to have come back from his clear-his-head time alone with a renewed determination to do what needs to be done in order to defeat Chuck (and Lilith now that he knows she’s back on the playing field).

Some of the rest of the episode didn’t work quite as well for me. Let’s recap. Drunk girls, one disappears – but the car too? Drunk girl thinks they were Raptured because it happened so fast, but really, how did Lee pull that off so silently and quickly? Was Sally THAT drunk and puking THAT long?

Dean is clearly desperate for a distraction, which isn’t unusual for Dean when he doesn’t feel like he’s able to do much or to go after who he really wants to go after (Chuck and Lilith). I do think it’s odd that he wants to go alone, when Sam and Eileen are ready and willing to back him up. He says it’s so they can have time to fool around if they want, but that seemed odd with so much going on right now. Anyway, he teases Sam about putting a sock on the door, which – what door? The front door? Sam’s bedroom? Does Dean regularly barge in there?

I don’t know, but Sam acquiesces to Dean leaving alone oddly easily, later saying uncertainly to Eileen that “his leaving, that’s a good sign, right?” In what universe is that a good sign? Dean leaving to “take a drive” is never a good thing.  How can Sam think he’s okay when he just turned down a heaping plate of real bacon??  I’m not sure, but I guess we’re meant to think of it as a good sign since Dean left his room at least.

Dean’s idea of taking a drive is going all the way to Texas to work a case. Without telling Sam that he’s going all the way to Texas to work a case. It’s an odd time for Dean to lie to Sam, when he has a god wound in his shoulder and Lilith is on the loose. Not the best of ideas and you’d think Dean would know better by now. But they split up anyway, even though everyone should know that because they’re split up something bad is going to – oh boy, yep. Something very bad happens. To both of them.

Dean first checks in with the local sheriff. Put Sheriff Dillon on the good side of the episode, because I very much enjoyed his few minutes. In fact, I kinda wanna know more about his “whole month in Hollywood in which he could’ve been the next Denzel”. And I have to agree with his parting shot to Dean.

Sheriff: Hollywood ain’t that far. You could give show biz a shot for yourself. You’ve got the look.

Ain’t that the truth.

It was another little sorta-meta moment, but the Sheriff made it work.

Swayze’s Bar was a Jerry Wanek masterpiece, complete with Family Business Beer shout outs and lots of neon. Baby looks pretty as hell pulling into the parking lot.

One of my biggest WTF moments happened in this scene, though, when the manager lady told Dean he had to hand over his phone (“This is Texas, sweetheart, you can keep your gun”.)

I find it hard to believe that Dean would hand over his phone for hours on end when Sam has a wound that ties him to Chuck and Lilith is back on the board.  I also was jarred by all the yay for guns stuff. I mean, this is Supernatural and they all use weapons, but the real life Texas commentary was a little too real in the midst of what’s happening all too often in the real world. Anyway, Dean recognizes his old buddy Lee, and Lee calls Dean “my boy” and they catch up over LOTS of alcohol. We get some interesting back story about Dean hunting with Lee while Sam was away at college, and how much John Winchester liked him, and that all sounds like a whole bunch of fics I’ve read so I enjoyed it. They drink to John, and Lee tells Dean he wanted out of the life and he doesn’t regret it – that he’s “living the dream”.

It’s an instant mirror for Dean, whose idea of living the dream was pretty similar when he was trapped in his fantasy world by Michael – running a bar alongside a comely bar manager. It’s what Dean has wished for, so it’s compelling for him, and here he is confronted with the evidence that maybe he could indeed have it. It makes the eventual realization of the price Lee willingly paid to get that dream, and how much arrogance and selfishness it took for him to decide he “deserved it,” all the more hard hitting for Dean when it all goes down. I thought that was very well done, so kudos, Jeremy.

Meanwhile, Sam and Eileen are researching, and then Eileen suggests a break and having some fun, with an adorable eyebrow cock from Shoshannah, and Sam reaches over…

And holds her hand, and…

Castiel bursts in! I had to laugh when that happened.

Cas to Eileen: I thought you were dead.

Eileen (wryly): Yeah. I got better.

Again, I laughed out loud. If you haven’t watched Shoshannah in This Close, you need to. She is just as gifted at comedy as she is at drama.

Cas explains that the Equalizer fired a piece of Sam’s soul – so there may be some of Sam inside Chuck.

Eileen: (making a face) Ewww.

Me: lol

Cas decides to probe Sam’s wound.

Sam: Probe it?

Me: lol

Eileen: Is this dangerous?

Cas: Probably.

Sam pulls his shirt aside, which is a very attractive thing to behold indeed, and Cas starts “probing” him, and Sam is fine until… he’s not. In fact, he gets catapulted off the bed and smashes against the wall, and Jared’s stunt double earned his salary that day for sure.

Cas calls Dean, frantic, but (inexplicably) Dean is still not even checking his messages let alone insisting he get his phone back. WHAT?

Cas, desperate, calls someone else. I actually shouted “Sergei? REALLY??”  I mean, did anyone think that was a good idea?

Cas is taking no shit though.

Cas: If you don’t help me, I’ll find you and burn you alive.

Sergei (Dimitri Vantis): My, how your negotiation skills have improved.

Back at the bar, Dean and Lee get drunker and reminisce about the time they had a – fivesome? – with triplets, with Lee making sure to note that “we split ‘em up fair and square” and if you do the math on that you get some very interesting pictures of what went down that night. Fanfic, anyone? Also Dean has a real thing about sleeping with twins and triplets.

It doesn’t take long before most of us realize that Lee isn’t the “good old boy” he claims to be. He claims not to recognize the missing girl in the photo, and the bar manager instantly calls him on it, saying “that’s Angela, she’s in here all the time.”

Everyone (except Dean Winchester): Shit.

For some reason, Dean doesn’t get that same vibe. Maybe he’s too drunk? Or too lulled by his past with Lee to be suspicious?

Lee tries to talk Dean into getting out of hunting, saying he deserves a break…or two.

Dean: Who’s gonna kill the bad guys?

Lee then distracts him with an invitation to come sing the song that John used to play them before a hunt to psych them up, calling Dean onstage with a “Come on, boy, you can’t just sit around lip synching Eye of the Tiger”.  Another meta-ish moment, and then we get Jensen and Christian and a whole song.

A standing ovation!

What made it an even nicer moment was that the band that’s backing them up is made up of actual crew members, who also got a chance to be onscreen and immortalized on this show they’ve worked on for so many years. This crew is special, and the relationship between cast and crew is special, and I love that they got to shine like this. Members of the crew band “The Impalas” include Perry Battista, Tracy Dunlop, Chris Glyn Jones, Dave Weber and Cam Beck.

The Impalas record with Jensen and Christian

Lee and Dean team up to toss out some drunken bullies too, cementing the “still got it” teamwork vibe, so that it’s all the more heartbreaking when Lee breaks ranks completely.  There’s another totally suspicious moment when Lee tries to talk Dean out of looking for the missing car at the scrapyard and Dean once again misses the clear suspiciousness. He insists on going, and we get a beautiful scene of Dean walking up the aisle, looking smaller and smaller as he goes. Maybe a way to anticipate how lost he’s about to be, when Lee turns on him.

He finds the dead girl in the trunk, and there’s a click – a gun at his head.

Boom, Lee knocks him out and hooks him up to the bloodletting contraption to feed the monster.

Meanwhile, Sergei arrives at the bunker.

I was gobsmacked that Castiel brought Sergei TO THE BUNKER to heal Sam. Why didn’t they move him somewhere else? Sergei, of all people, could make use of a billion dangerous and precious things that the Men of Letters have there, and they bring him right in the front door? Not even blindfolded?

Sergei tells Cas and Eileen that Sam is dying (very prettily). That his god wound stretches down to his very soul and also out into the world, connected to…someone.

Of course this isn’t much of a reveal, because we the audience already know that.

Sergei also says that Castiel’s probing is killing Sam. So Dean is tied up being bled to death in a basement and Sam is dying from a wound probe. Yet next week, the Winchesters are apparently going to split up yet again!

Anyway, Sergei doublecrosses them (shocking absolutely no one – and trying to bargain for the key to Death’s library that he knows is in the bunker). Instead of helping Sam, Sergei hastens his demise. As he does, Sam’s connection to Chuck allows him to see and hear Chuck, and so he knows that Chuck isn’t at full strength and also that he cannot see Sam and Dean anymore. Helpful, but again, not a revelation to all of us.

Interestingly, Sam clearly sees the part of the story Chuck typed out that became that iconic ending to Swan Song – the one that I loathe seeing in a different light now because it’s one of my favorite moments in the entire series.

What does it mean that he saw that so clearly? I shudder to think.

Eileen throws herself at Sergei and chokes him when he refuses to help Sam, which was pretty badass.

Castiel also has a pretty vicious threat – if Sergei doesn’t help Sam, Cas will tell AU Bobby to kill his niece.

Cas: Fix Sam. NOW.

I have to say, I was shocked by this. Kill an innocent girl who has nothing to do with this? Would Cas really have done this? He sure as hell seemed like he would, but it was kinda horrifying. Maybe just a very good bluff? At any rate, Cas (and Misha) pulled it off.

Look at that glare!

Sam wakes up with a gasp.

Dean wakes up with a gasp.

Nice symmetry.

Lee explains that to a bound Dean that he became demoralized and cynical after realizing that so much evil existed, that they would never win – so he might as well have a little fun. He feeds the Marid fresh blood and it gives him money and good health in return. Livin’ the dream.

Lee: Aren’t we owed a little happiness? No one cares, Dean.

Dean: Well I do.

Lee starts the blood drip, patting Dean on the shoulder as he leaves. (Ackles’ expression on Dean’s face as he does that is priceless. It’s the little things).

You would think Lee would have done a better job trussing Dean up – he knows what a hunter can do – because it takes Dean about 0.3 seconds to break free. It takes the monster about 0.3 seconds to break free too, so Lee also didn’t do a bang up job with that monster cage either. There’s noises from the basement, and upstairs Lee cocks his gun.

The door opens – and the Marid’s severed head rolls out. Followed by Dean Winchester, big damn hero. That was a really well directed moment, so kudos to Amyn Kaderali.

There’s a nicely choreographed gun fight followed by a nicely choreographed fist fight (which Jensen and Christian did some of –  Jeremy Adams was nice enough to share some behind the scenes video of their practice sessions on set). Dean Winchester has been an epic badass in Season 15, I will say that! (Thanks Rob Hayter!)

When they’re both out of ammo, Lee suggests that Dean just walk away.

Dean: I can’t do that. I kill monsters.

Lee hits him with a pool cue (which unfortunately for Jensen didn’t break in real life when they were filming that) then tries to stab him with it, and Dean grabs it and stabs Lee instead. They freeze there, the cue embedded in Lee the only thing keeping him still alive. It’s an intimate moment, full of pain of all kinds, and Christian and Jensen killed it, showing us ALL the emotion.

Lee: Why do you care so much, Dean?

Dean: Because someone has to.

Lee: Well then, I’m glad it was you.

Dean is resigned; he pulls out the cue and Lee collapses, dead.

Dean looks down, clearly sad, throws the pool cue down in disgust. Ackles makes it hurt.

In the last scene, they all come together again for two minutes at the bunker. Dean finds Cas there and they have an entirely awkward conversation because both are still angry. And they both suck at talking about it. The distance between them is clear from the blocking.

Dean: Hey. Sam, is he?

Cas: He’s fine.

Dean: Good. That’s good.

Cas: Yeah. (walks away)

Dean: (silently) Okay then.

Sam shares what he now knows, that we’ve known for a while.

Sam: I was in Chuck’s head. He’s weak. I think we can beat him. I think we can beat God.

It would have had more impact if that was a revelation to the audience too, but it gives them a good set up for going into the mid season finale.

This was a pretty brutal episode, with Dean killing his old friend (also killing a human) and Castiel threatening to kill an innocent young girl. By the end, though, they’re all in a better position to be both determined and hopeful as we head into the mid season finale. The very last mid season finale….

I so want to be blown away by it, but I’m keeping my expectations tempered. There’s a lot happening this season because it’s the last, and cast and crew and producers and writers all have things they want to have happen before the show ends. Some of those will (hopefully) be the things I love about the Show and some won’t. There’s no way to please everyone, and I’m just one of those ‘everyones’, so I’m trying to take the moments that bring me joy and cherish them, and shrug off the things that don’t.

I’m also dealing with a painful back injury, so even crossing my fingers hurts right now. Fingers still crossed though, this is important…

Caps by @kayb625

— Lynn

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34 thoughts on “Last Call! Supernatural Lines Up for The Last Mid Season Finale

  • Not thrilled with that his last season but I’m a fan so I endure. Love my boys and this show. I’m still dreading the ending but we’ve got time to get there. And there will always be 15 seasons of great episodes to rewatch. This week I rewatched Lebanon and Goodbye Stranger.

  • I usually get right home after work and watch my show. Last week, I didn’t care enough to head back home right away. Not sure if it’s the disappointing episodes or me but I finally watched it later that night.

    It was an ok episode but I guess it just wasn’t what I wanted (?) Not sure I make sense but I was still disappointed after it ended.

    Good review as usual but agree to disagree on this one.

  • I don’t… understand why people get so upset when Sam and Dean are seperated. Maybe its because I haven’t been in the fandom for that long, but Cas literally isn’t in a portion of episodes each season. We had up until ep… 5? Where they were all together. That included 2 monster of the week – esq episodes, where its primarily Sam and Dean together the whole time. Its not possible for them to be together for each episode. Dean could never have had the moments he had with Lee if Sam was there, and Sam would have never had those moments with Eileen if Dean was there. Idk. I just think that their characters get fleshed out more with others. I think its fine to want them together, but i feel like everyone… just… hates.. when they arent.

    • A lot of us watch the show for Sam and Dean. We enjoy their chemistry. We love their story. For many years the show revolved around them. Cass was never supposed to be in every episode of a season. That’s just the way it’s been since his character was introduced.

      For me, Supernatural is a show about two brothers saving people, hunting things. Two brothers willing to sell their souls and make sacrifices for each other. I don’t need Sam and Dean to be in every scene together but I’d like for them to work together more times than not or at least have the episodes feel like they’re about them. During the Dabb era Jared and Jensen have felt like guest stars in their own show, serving other people’s storylines. For me, that’s disappointing.

      I’m disappointed because Dabb and company talk about Jared and Jensen’s great chemistry, how the brothers story is the show, etc but then what we see on screen doesn’t reflect it. It’s the final season so Sam and Dean fans, as well as Jared and Jensen fans, want to see what made the show so special in the first place.

      I really don’t want to hate or complain about every episode. Trust me, I want to love this last season, but so far it’s not happening. Maybe I’ll be happier with the second half of the season.

      • Dawn definitely speaks for me. I am here for Sam and Dean. Dabb is plainly NOT here for Sam and Dean, and I will never understand why he wasn’t fired halfway through last season when the writing really started tanking and it was clear he had no plot for the boys. He must have some amazing blackmail pics of someone high up the food chain at the CW.

  • Is it just me, or does it seem like someone should maybe…I dunno, check with the writers and make sure someone told them that this is the LAST SEASON and they might want to try a little harder than they have the under Dabb’s tenure to have their bits and pieces of the season make sense and actually contribute meaningfully to the series? Even if the episode doesn’t have much to do with the overall season arc (and it’s already painfully obvious that Dabb is having a hard time having to focus on just one thing – Chuck being the big bad – and having to make that last for 20 episodes instead of dropping it for the next shiny thing three episodes after introducing a concept), the people writing for this show should be striving for more than just “meh.” This was very “meh.” I didn’t rush to watch it, and I won’t rush to watch tonight’s episode either, and that genuinely hurts me. Especially when I made the mistake of rewatching the 200th episode over the weekend and cried all the way through because it really wasn’t that long ago when there were people on the writing staff who very clearly CARED and understood THE POINT of the show, and – dare I say it – LIKED, perhaps even LOVED the show they were writing for and I just can’t understand how we’ve gone from “A Single Man Tear” to *this.*

  • I totally agree with you Mer. i feel so bad for jared and Jensen. we all know that they loved the show and their characters and wanted to go out on a high note. and this is what they get for making great tv for 14 years? man, Dabb should be spit roasted in hell.

    • Dabb should be run out of the industry. Anyone who hires him after what he did to this show should be immediately fired for not being able to recognize a bad writer when they see one.

      • I’ve said this many times since he took over. he’s an untalented hack. and HE is the reason that jared and Jensen had to call it quits.

      • Anyone who claims the blame for this show ending falls anywhere OTHER than squarely on Dabb’s shoulders in blind. I can only imagine how much it has to hurt Jared and Jensen to have the show they built with literal blood, sweat, and tears written right out from under them.

  • This was the very first time on a FIRST watch (and I am a long time watcher since season 2) that I considered fast forwarding. Basically I was bored. I really am not in to the Sam and Eileen relationship, I don’t know what people saw that was special in the character of Eileen to be honest. I am one who likes the brothers to be working together, it doesn’t have to be all the time but this season it seems they are hardly on screen together at all. I saw the tweet that said it was not necessarily the writer’s fault but was due to scheduling i.e. I guess Jensen and Jared wanting more time off, which if this is the case makes me rather disappointed in the two of them for this the last season. I enjoyed most of the scenes with Dean and Chris Kane but even those I felt were just a bit too indulgent some of the time. I guess I just wanted a really strong last season and not a parade of past characters shoved into second rate stories for the sake of it. Sorry feeling Grinch like.

    • See though, you CANNOT blame the actors because the writers can’t come up with *good* reasons to split them up. That’s literally the writer’s *job.* Last season for instance, they could have had Dean possessed for the whole first half of the season and had Sam chasing him across alternate dimensions without endangering the 300th episode. Instead they claimed “People don’t like it when we split the boys up” and brought Dean back so he and Sam could then *not be together.* I don’t mind when they’re split up if there’s a good reason for it. We haven’t been getting a good reason for ANYTHING on this show since right around the middle of season 13. Wayward Sisters screwed everything up. It is plain as day that Dabb thought he’d be getting his own show and hadn’t put any thought into the future of SPN after season 13 and this is the result – an absolute creative wasteland in the writing department. Blaming the bad writing on the actors’ schedules is a cop out.

      • I agree with you, Mer. There is a good way to handle writing the boys when they are separated due to the actor’s scheduling. “The End” from Season 5 is a perfect example. The boys were split up for almost the entire thing but the episode was still ABOUT THE BROTHERS. And Jared got a nice meaty scene as Lucifer at the end to put an exclamation point on that episode.

        I usually agree with Lynn’s reviews but this episode just didn’t do it for me. I’m HATING the FORCED Sam and Eileen pairing. WHY??? It’s the last season and we’re going to do a romance. My biggest fear is that somehow she’s going to be Sam’s endgame (like a reverse Swan Song with Dean making the sacrifice and Sam getting the apple pie life). There was never a romantic spark between them in the past seasons. They were friends. Men and women can just be friends.

        This show has never been about romance or love interests. Amelia and Lisa were temporary. They were filler for both boys until the other brother came back into their life. I don’t think this Sam and Eileen thing would bother me so much but it’s the last season. Each episode feels precious, but sadly the writers are wasting time with a revolving door of guest stars.

        I won’t get into this week’s episode and the preview for January 16th. I’ll save that for the next review.

        I’ve been trying to stay positive but sadly I hit the breaking point. 😦

      • The Sam and Eileen pairing is making me heartsick. I honestly don’t know if I can make it through the season if that doesn’t end quickly, because the show is ending, Jensen was not okay with the finale (and I trust that man’s instincts), and if they do some kind of reverse Swan Song, or managed to work in Jensen’s “I want the story to end with Dean giving someone they keys to Baby and riding off alone” because Sam’s with A WOMAN and not the brother who has given everything for him, that’s it. There’s no next season to fix it. The brother’s bond will forever be shattered, and quite frankly, Dabb has been trying to unwind them from each other since he took over so I wouldn’t put it past him. He has no clue what this show is about and he’s plainly the reason the Js said “We can’t do this anymore.”

      • Oh Mer, I’m sad you’re sad. If I may I’d like to offer you a thought I had the other day?
        All the way through I’ve had but one wish for the end, the Brothers together. However someone mentioned in a review something I was periphaly aware of but hadn’t given much mind too and it got me thinking. So , if you’re still interested, bare with whilst I try to explain.

        Dean has forever lived under the shadow of John’s primary directive “look out for your little brother boy” in all but name Dean pretty much became Sam’s Father and Mother. He also acted as pretty much the adult in the family from the time he was small, seeing to Sam, seeing to John when he was in drink. Everything Dean was or could have been was put on hold to the point Dean simply see’s his purpose as existing for Sam. Repeatedly he says as much on several occasions seeing only value in himself as a brother, that he feels worthless without Sam to the point he sold his soul and died more times than I want to go into.

        Dean’s role has been always as a parent, not an independent person, he even has to act in a parental way to Castiel at times. If you look back the times when Dean has been at his best have been places like purgatory or when he was a demon. Not that those are great places to be, but in that place and detached from his soul Dean became his own man only responsible for himself. Without the yolk of responsibility for others we see a vastly different guy who has great potential. What if Dean (assuming he makes it to the end) were to finally leave home and let Sam be looked after by Eileen or whoever. Rebuild the life he should have had as a brother not a parent. He’s a remarkable resilient man whose life has been levelled more than once, yet every time he successfully clawed his way back.

        That’s not to say Dean should cut himself off from Sam, but I have started to come around to the idea that Dean’s life could be much better if he was to stop serving as parent or Carer and put his needs to the forefront more than he has his duty and that in turn, those around him would be more respectful and more appricative of him and help him more. I’ve let that little seed take root and have started to nurture it, maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve found it comforting to think something better can be around the corner for him, that more than parenting lies beyond this part of Dean’s life.

        For Sam I think Dean moving out, but not on , will be good for him, since forever he’s wanted to prove himself. If Dean wasn’t always there to help him out , if he were to fully stand on his own two feet without his brother too close by, that he would utilize the life lessons Dean has given him and they would get a better more equal bond( I think of this a a parallel with my sister, we got on each other nerves together when kids, but we have a better stronger bond because we value each other for the positives and the niggles don’t matter any more because we’re not in each others pockets)
        Dean is still in the prime of his life , there must be things he wanted that he could still do , he could semi retire and let Sam carry the load a while. The Hunter in Dean would never quiet down of course, that siren will call him to the end, but there are different ways of fighting the good fight if he wasn’t so consumed with having to watch Sam’s back, if Sam had a life partner Dean trusted, he’d learn to relax a bit, because as any good parent would wish, Dean wants Sam to settle. Dean could nurture and instruct younger hunters, be an armourer, run a bar, heck do them all. He could have one new life,or five, my point is if Dean allowed himself to let someone else share the care for his beloved brother, he could choose what he does for the first time in his life, Dean would actually be free.

      • Honestly Marion, I would be fine with the ending you’re suggesting. There have been many times over the course of the series that I have wanted Dean to cut his losses and find his own life, particularly when the narrative has forced the two of them together when Sam has done some *terrible* things (like when Sam strangled him in season 4 and Bobby told Dean to suck up being physically assaulted and nearly killed, or when Sam killed Emma and then basically told Dean he didn’t have a right to be upset about it after chastising Dean for getting borderline sexually assaulted by the Amazon – I will never forgive Bucklemming for that). Were it Dean’s *choice* to leave Sam, truly, because it’s what he genuinely wanted and not because he felt like he was getting in the way of Sam’s life, I would be okay with it. I would prefer they be together, but I really could live with it.

        The problem is we’re in the Dabb era, and Dabb does not like Dean. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like Jensen either. There’s no other excuse for flying him and Mark Pellegrino at the end of season 13, or for giving him *literally* no character to play as Michael so that he ended up looking like an amateur. And when Jensen specifically asked what Dabb was thinking, Dabb told him to figure it out on his own. You *never* say that to an actor who is explicitly asking for input, unless you just want them to flail around and look like a fool. I’m seeing all kinds of comments about how Jake Abel did a better job as Michael than Jensen did, and yeah, I can understand that, because Jake got an actual *character* to play, not just a rough sketch. I’ve said many times that I don’t think Dabb has ever liked or understood Dean Winchester, all the way back to Yellow Fever when Dean caught the ghost sickness because he was “a dick.” In “After School Special” young Dean again looked like a total dick in his relationship with the girl, while young Sam got to be the hero who beats up bullies (and we won’t even go into the terrible casting of Dean in that episode). “Jump the Shark” Dean’s completely understandable reaction to finding out they had a brother that John took to baseball games and who he never wanted in the life would have looked like complete pettiness and overbearing douchebaggery were it not for Jensen’s nuanced performance. Dean was *again* dickish in “I Believe the Children Are Our Future” while Sam got to be the one who understood anti-Christ Jesse, even though Dean was established in the third episode of the series as the brother who is good with kids. There are fans who are *still* pissed that Dean threw away the Samulet after “Dark Side of the Moon” as if Dean had no right to be absolutely crushed that he wasn’t in a single one of Sam’s Heaven memories (whether they were manipulated or not). “The Girl Next Door” is pretty explicit in casting Dean as the villain for killing a monster that had been murdering people but promised not to do it again because Sam spent all of a hot minute with her back when he was a teenager. In “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magic Menagerie,” we find out Dean used to ditch Sam all the time, and it’s not cast in terms of Dean being a kid who should *not* have had to watch another kid for his entire freakin’ life, he’s cast as a jackass older brother. I could go on, but you get the idea.

        And that was all when he had a writing partner to temper his pretty vehement and obvious dislike for Dean. As soon as he got the writer’s chair, he destroyed the character of Mary, who was brought back specifically to give Dean something he needed. And sure, we could go into how Amara just saw a picture and made a guess, but she’s a *goddess.* You can’t tell me she would screw up something so huge as bringing Mary back just so Mary could demolish the few happy memories Dean had of being a child and having an intact family by being a coldhearted harpy who would have rather stayed in an alternate universe than return to her sons. And when he has his little heart-to-heart with Mary in season 12, he doesn’t even get to say to her, “You ruined my life.” It’s “You ruined Sam’s life.” Which she did, she really did, but where was Dean of season 3, recognizing that John had no right to steal his childhood? Why wasn’t there any admonishing of her after she spent a year ignoring them to hunt of how she utterly failed to protect them when she knew better? Where is Dean being allowed to be angry about everything he’s lost that doesn’t come as a quick outburst designed to make him look unstable and – again – like he’s an emotionally stunted douchebag?

        Then we get the whole, “See how mean Dean is to this little nougat loving wubby that Sam wants to adopt?” of season 13, where no one is *ever* allowed to mention DEAN’S ACTUAL DAUGHTER WHO WAS BORN OUT OF THE SAME SITUATION AND WHO SAM SHOT IN THE BACK WITHOUT THINKING TWICE, the “therapist” openly chastising Dean for daring to be upset about getting dragged to a grief counselor by his brother and forced to talk about the actual loss of their mother just because Sam doesn’t think Dean’s dealing with it the “right” way, Dean terrorizes Kara in The Bad Place which was so out of character it gave me whiplash, they don’t even acknowledge any more that Dean actually went to Hell and has dealt with serious losses, it didn’t even *occur* to anyone but Jensen to bring Benny back for a cameo (only the second point in this entire season that I’ve been deeply moved), and we won’t go into Lebanon and how he just rolled over for John when we’d *just* found out John used to send Dean away when he got out of line or the last few episodes of least season where the writing was specifically used to turn the casual viewer against Dean in favor of Jack, even though Jack had *killed Dean’s mother*.

        There are just so many things to point to in the Dabb era and say, “He hates Dean,” that if the boys are split up at the end of the series, there is no *way* it will be because it’s what Dean wants, as opposed to something he’s rolling over and taking, because that’s how they were in the early seasons when Sam was frankly a petulant and demanding brat. That was acceptable when he was in his 20s. It’s not acceptable when he’s in his 30s, and Dabb hasn’t done Sam any favors either when it comes to him growing up, aside from the whole “he’s leading the AU hunters because reasons, but don’t criticize him so he can learn from his mistakes because he’s made of glass.” Sam’s character has seriously devolved since season 11, when he and Dean were most equal, and Sam had *really* gone through a major growing arc because of Dean being influenced by Amara, but since then he hasn’t really had much to do besides get knocked out or kidnapped. That’s still better than being cast as the villain so the audience will actively dislike him, but not by much. He’s no longer the smartest guy in the room because other characters need to be propped up, he barely seems competent half the time they’re fighting monsters, and in many ways he’s become a scold when it comes to Dean’s idiosyncrasies and coping mechanisms. He even managed to scold him all the way through an episode when they were caught in a *cartoon* because got forbid Dean be able to enjoy interacting with something that brought him comfort as a child without Sam lecturing him for hitting on Daphne. They’re already setting it up as Dean stepping gracefully aside without giving him *anything to hold onto* once Sam’s gone. There’s nothing. He’s given up everything for Sam – his childhood, his soul, Benny, his actual flesh and blood child, a woman and a boy who may not have been everything he ever wanted but accepted him as he was – and Dabb is still setting this up as Sam walking away from him *again* rather than giving Dean the chance to walk away on his own. It’s like watching a dog get kicked and just keep going back to their owner, seeing the owner really start to love and care for the dog and realize how much he loves the dog, then at the last minute the owner gets a girlfriend who’s allergic to dogs so the poor dog gets driven out to the middle of nowhere and dumped on the side of the road right before the credits roll. Will the dog find a better home with someone who really loves it and treats it well and lets it sleep on the bed? Yes, that’s entirely possible, but THE CREDITS HAVE ROLLED so we can only hope that’s the way it plays out, rather than the equally likely ending of the dog getting his by a car or dying of rabies because there’s no one around to take it to the vet to get vaccinated.

        And Dabb have given me absolutely no reason to hope this story will end well for Dean, not after how he handled the Michael arc, which could have been amazing if he didn’t plainly dislike one of the two main characters.

      • oh Mer. you are absolutely right. while I keep saying how much I hate Dabb and what a hack he is, you have gone above and beyond in thoughtfully pointing out why. so thank you for that.

      • It is crystal clear to me as Supernatural grinds slowly and painfully to a close because of who’s driving the car, that there was a reason Jensen seemed so apprehensive and said he hoped we like what’s coming when Dabb took over. He knew exactly how Dabb feels about his character, which is apathetic at best and hostile at worst.

      • I’ve known that Sam was Dabbs favourite and has been for a while, that of itself didn’t have to be bad, they could have still written good interesting storylines that make coherent sense. I have thought over the years there were many inexplicable times Dean came back for no obvious reason, so I expect you will be proved very right in what you say. Being Dean is on occasion pretty awful, like he’s the butt of some really bad joke, as you say the writers or writing partners do play such a pivotal role in perceptions. There has been an overarching tendency to dumb down the Brothers ( in particular Dean) since Sarah Gamble left, in favour of certain storylines or certain characters. Even change their personalities on some occasions.
        I don’t honestly know exactly what it’s all going to add up to , I have a sickly feeling I’m going to not like what I see. It’s ironic I’ve recently been discussing seasons 8 and 9 and how sad and depressing they made me feel, this season may top them in my least favourites list for pretty much every reason you’ve set out when all I ( yourself and all the lovely people who come to this site) want is to enjoy one last ride with our boys united . I’m hoping my dream scenario I gave you will play out, but I think I dream too much! Maybe I’ll just make absolutely no effort to purchase Season 15 , like it didn’t happen.
        I do also take comfort y’ all care so much about what happens. We’re all in it together and not at odds so that makes me happy.

      • It absolutely didn’t have to be bad for Dabb to heavily favor Sam if he had any talent as a writer. Season three is one of my absolute favorite seasons, because there was *so much character growth* on Sam’s part. Dean only having a year on his contract made Sam vastly more interesting, because it forced him to stop being a self centered little boy, like he was in seasons 1 and 2 with the whole Azazel/special children arcs, which overall weren’t nearly as solid as the filler episodes where they were saving people and hunting things. Then season 3 premiered and Sam had an active purpose outside of “woe-is-me”-ing and he really came into his own. The low level panic Jared had to play through that whole season was just fantastic, and watching him grow more and more desperate really moved Sam from being a boy into being a man. Then he got stunted for a long time, and they made the mistake of having Amelia be a real person instead of a hallucination (god that would have been so much more interesting) and it wasn’t until the end of season 9 when Sam had to worry about Dean again that he really grew up. Season 11 Sam was truly a gift, because he was an adult who saw his brother for who he actually is and not how Sam always perceived him to be, and their relationship was solid and reciprocal, which contributed greatly to the beautiful renaissance that season had: Baby, Plush, Just My Imagination, Into the Mystic, the string of Beyond the Mat, Safe House, and Red Meat, it was fantastic. Then Dabb came along, and now Dean walks around in hot dog pajamas and eats cereal straight from the box to signal, “Hey, I’m depressed” instead of the carefully crafted way Jensen use to reach for a bottle when Dean couldn’t handle life from seasons 5-7 that was so subtle but so very clear. And it’s not like there’s a point in showing Dean’s depressed, because in the Dabb era, who cares, right? Dean’s just the guy who doesn’t look 26 anymore and can’t sing, until he suddenly can, but who cares about 14 years of canon? We have NEW canon now, and in NEW canon Dean sings like a rock star without noticing that suddenly he can sing like a rock star, and “Hey, isn’t that weird, I’ve been tone deaf my whole life and suddenly I can sing? Maybe there’s something funky going on here.” Only of course both Dean and Sam are morons now, so there’s no way a guy who survived a year in Purgatory would pick up on something obviously being off about his buddy’s bar where he can miraculously carry a tune, we’ll just let the audience presume the reason he can carry a tune is because he’s in his buddy’s magic bar!

        And the fact that this episode set up Dean going back to visit an old hunting buddy from when Sam was in college just makes me feel even more certain that Dean will fall on his sword and get out of the way of Sam’s “normal” life (because how could he ever have an apple pie life with his loser brother hanging around his neck?), but we don’t need to worry about what happens to ONE OF THE TWO MAIN CHARACTERS because remember how he had that ONE friend he made when Sam was at Stanford and who…oh, right, he had to kill? Whatever, Dean’s good at landing on his feet, it doesn’t matter that literally everyone in his family has abandoned him at various points, typically by straight up walking away and then dying (John and Sam), or coming back from the dead, straight up walking away, and then dying again (Mary), and we’ll just ignore that *just last season* the archangel possessing Dean threw out his fear that Sam was going to leave him again, and we’ll set it up so Sam leaves him again for yet another girl, and Dean can just settle for being the cool uncle at some unspecified point in the future, it’s not like he might have ever wanted to be a father to the daughter his brother killed. Sloppy seconds has been good enough for Dean Winchester since he was four and a half, and his fans shouldn’t have ever expected him to be treated well or fairly in the *final season.* The people who work for Supernatural are a “family” after all, and if we’ve learned nothing in the last 14 years it’s that Dean’s family leaves him. It’s really the viewers fault for ever thinking Dean deserves a better ending than the one they seem to be setting up, where *someone* puts him first for once in his whole miserable life.

        I really can’t help but think that Dabb just doesn’t like Jensen for some reason. What he’s done and continues doing to Dean seems very personal, especially with how protective Jensen is of the character. No actor should be humiliated the way he was at having to go out and sell the “great Michael story line” after he must have already known it was only going to last a handful of episodes, and the main arc for season 14 was going to be about Jack. It makes me wonder if at some point Dabb floated the idea of revealing that Dean’s been bisexual all along to score some “woke” points with the kids on Twitter and Jensen said (as he has ALWAYS said) “Dean is straight” and this is the result. Either that or Dabb is just a jealous little toad.

      • Jensen will survive, there’s no amount of dumbing down or stupid story arcs that hide his talent. I think Dabb got his answer to if he’d be a show runner again when they turned down Waywards.

      • Jensen will definitely survive, it’s just wrong for the writing to do this to him. To both of them. Jared’s been floundering as Sam off and on since Dabb took over, because even though Dabb favors Sam, there has been no consistency to the character. Neither of them deserve this.

      • You’re not wrong, the guys have carried the weight of the CW flagship for a long time and when they started they were so young. They deserved to be nurtured and taken care of . I certainly believe Kripe did that (and still supports them from a suitable distance) Sarah Gamble also treated the show and the guys well to the best if her ability IMHO. Since those days things have waxed and waned whilst show runners built careers off their hard work. Fifteen seasons on life has changed enormously for Jensen and Jared and they need to take care of themselves, which I believe is the reason for calling it a day and , much as I’ll miss them, the characters and the world they built I’d like them to be taken care of with the respect they deserve.

      • There were a couple of things I forgot to add. I hated that we didn’t see Dean react to Cass’s message about Sam getting hurt or Dean making sure that Sam was okay. We were robbed of a potentially great brothers’ scene.

        Also, Cass almost killed Sam. I’m really sick of him screwing things up. And then he goes to someone sketchy like Demitri for help? Seriously?

      • They shouldn’t have brought Cas back after season 13. I understand why they gave Misha the option of staying, but they have no story for him and they haven’t kept track of what powers he does and doesn’t have, so now the only thing he can reliably do is screw things up and make really poor decisions. But since Dabb gets all his ideas from Twitter and Tumblr he couldn’t risk upsetting the tiny portion of the fan base who shriek to the heavens on those platforms, so Cas is still here, doing dumb things and endangering the boys.

      • What they should have done with Misha after season 13 was have him portray Jimmy Novak from the AU. It could’ve been a way to reboot the character and give Misha something interesting to work with.

      • That actually could have been really interesting. It’s a shame Dabb is incapable of thinking past the angels/demons/God storyline that really should have ended with Season 11. With big “g” God gone, they could have had any number of pagan gods and pre-Christian deities pop up to try to take over the world. These are the kinds of things that go unrealized when you’re got someone in the driver’s seat who has no creativity whatsoever. All the potential and lost opportunities make me cry.

  • This was definitely not my favorite episode at all. It was nice that Jensen sang and I find Dimitri entertaining, but that is it. What I have noticed through, is that while the season is running live, the episodes on their own, sometimes are not good. But later on when the season is complete and you go back and watch them, the episodes seem to somehow get better. Some are great up front, but sometimes it takes the whole season for the episode to really find its place. I am not sure this episode will be one of those. I have already seen the following episode to this one, and I will say, much is redeemed. In the end, it is hard to see god as the petulant child. IRL I do not believe in god, but I really did like Chuck. I also do not like the whole “writer’s lie” thing they keep repeating. Writer’s tell stories, hacks lie.

  • First and most importantly Lynn thank you for putting this together when you’re in pain and I hope you’re on the mend soon.

    I’ve been uncomfortable and sad about much of this season but I’m in the camp that could take this episode for what it was on face value. I always love a visit to those unknown years and to see Dean smile and have fun. That of itself was worth the price of entry. For Dean not so much, I’ve started to develop a theory that Chuck is so rediculously possessive of his playthings he’s now resorted to having the boys kill them ( oh hang on he’s done that before, remember Benny?)
    Eileen and Sam mmm, I liked Sam got a win, I like Eileen came back due to her rotten end before, but seriously, to have her just cooking breakfast? I was reminded by a friend that I should give her a break, first few days back could be rough after Hell, but I’m worrying everything she was will be diminished.
    The chemistry and cameraderie between Christian and Jensen was real and you could feel it which had so much more impact when later Dean discovered the truth. Deep down he must have known but kept on pushing it down, because he needed this, he needed to remember who he was, for things to be ok. Sadly what he got was a slap in the face and another dead friend. Not the best way to rediscover who you are I’d say.
    However I digress ( because it’s what I do) I thank the Impalas for their performance, way to go guys.
    I’d also like to thank Jeremy for remembering that this show has history and back story and is supposed to make you feel something. Yes I know people have issue with the choice of song not representing John, but I found it a sweet tie in to Dean’s childhood that he didn’t get much of. The Dukes of Hazard ran from two days after Dean was born until 1985, so I picture the Winchesters sat around the TV watching Dean watching it, getting his first taste of good v bad (and maybe his taste for bending rules?) And the theme tune sticking in John’s head and he liked it because Dean did. A far fetched fantasy maybe, but the idea of son teaching father in the days when he was around more struck me as possible and felt like once John could have cared a lot more than Dean remembered. It’s also viable Dean could have mastered the words back then and could hold the tune through repetion.
    There were a things that didn’t work for all, but it worked me and I properly enjoyed it and immersed myself in what it felt like, I loved Sam was happy, I hated Dean taking off alone , I hated Eileen felt like an extra, loved it some more when Dean was happy and indulging himself in accepting praise , hate/ loved that Dean killed his friends but his friend absolved him of the guilt. That beats day time Ghosts in my book.

  • What tossed me out of the episode was that Dean could suddenly sing, and sing well. I mean, the joke through the whole series has been that Dean loves to sing, but he’s terrible at it. (Remember Demon Dean at the karaoke bar?) This was Jensen singing–perfectly, handsomely–but not Dean. 😦

  • The thing that irked me about this episode is that for the entire series, Dean has been horrifically tone deaf. The man looks great, but he can NOT sing. Demon Dean sang at a karoake bar probably badly enough to make people’s ears bleed. So when he hopped up on stage and started belted out his Good Old Boy song so well…It shattered the fourth wall for me. Clearly, that was Jensen singing, not Dean. I even yelled at the television. “Dean can’t sing!”

    So that scene felt like more of an interruption than anything, until we got back to our regularly scheduled Show. Of course, I didn’t complain too much, because–well–Jensen. Still…I felt betrayed. If only Dean had yowled a bit instead of perfectly (handsomely) harmonizing, it would have been better.

    Did anyone else feel like this?

    • It definitely bothered me. I’ve seen lots of people provide head canons that Dean could sing because it was his buddy’s magic bar, so the magic let him sing because his buddy knew that would make him happy, and I’m fine with that idea, I just wish the writers had acknowledged it. All it would have taken was one line somewhere in the discussion about the Marid:

      Dean: So that thing is why I could sing?
      Lee: I figured it’d make you happy.

      BAM. DONE. FIVE SECONDS. FIXED. Canon compliant, happy fans, the Internet doesn’t explode with people who’ve been watching this show for fifteen years and know Dean can’t carry a tune with a lunchbox and help. It’s incredibly frustrating that the writers don’t care enough about the story or continuity to make *simple* fixes like this that neither compromise the story nor add undue length to the episode.

      • I agree with the Dean can’t sing being jarring in this episode but I feel that way about most of this season-so far.
        I was hoping for more brother time together (not less) more story line, and some kind of cohesiveness and it’s been disappointing to say the least.
        So far, I’ve seen past characters being brought in more for fan service than actual story line (except Jake maybe). Fingers crossed for the second half of the (final) season to improve.

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