Season Five was nuts. It was a patchwork of meta, fury, dorkiness, vengeance, addiction, parodies and tragedy. And that shouldn’t work, but it does. (And you better appreciate this. I cried just getting the Swan Song screencaps. That shit is potent.)
1. Swan Song
The epic love story of Sam and Dean is encapsulated here. The mirror-scenes with Lucifer and Sam are riveting- Jared is great- and the flashbacks come like a punch to the gut on first watch. So unexpected. (If you’re interested, I wrote about parallels between this, Brother’s Keeper and Sacrifice.) The scene where Dean rolls up in the Impala, blasting out Def Leppard, and steps out to grin at two archangels, is what I count as his finest moment. And the silent shot of Dean, face bloody, kneeling is just pure despair. Bobby, Castiel, Sam. All dead.
Then there’s the sheer terror on Sam’s face as he stares into the Pit. Such a contrast to the his cold, assessing stare at the end of the episode, when he’s inexplicably standing in front of Lisa’s house.
Already we know that something is very wrong.
2. Free To Be You And Me
Such a lovely, underrated litte episode, a pitch-perfect balance between humour and heartbreak. It begins poignantly, with the tender vulnerability of the scene between Sam and Jess, which I wrote about here. From there it launches straight into an excellent music cue to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man. Sam chopping vegetables while Dean chops vamp heads. All in a day’s work.
Then we have the many sides of Castiel, which begin to emerge here. Only Cas would sass an archangel out of town and then be petrified by a hooker.
3. Changing Channels
4. Dark Side Of The Moon
An excellent episode, but the amount of Sam-negativity I’ve come across pertaining to it is insane (‘Sam doesn’t love Dean as much as Dean loves Sam! Dean’s best memories were all of Sam and none of Sam’s were of Dean!’). Please. It’s not like characters should have lives outside of each other, right? It’s not like he came from a controlling, vaguely cult-like family (hi, John) that any kid would have been glad to escape, huh? And of course, it’s not as if the angels were probably manipulating the shit out of their Heavens anyway, is it?
Fandom response aside, I’m totally on board with the platonic soulmate theory. The scene between Dean and Mary, with Sam looking longingly from the sidelines… the actual opening, and the tremble in Dean’s voice when Sam was shot… Kurt Fuller playing Heaven’s second-greatest douche of all time… and the Samulet. I was reeling after that. Dean, Dean, Dean… low blow.
5. The End
Scary good. Two Deans! (Deangirls, your carriage awaits). Ackles is superb- there’s a hardness to 2014!Dean’s gaze that sets him apart, and he’s clearly been numb for a long time, probably since Sam said yes. And speaking of which, JP is also excellent. (He said he loved this episode, as he only had to work for one day.) I can’t help but link the Lucifer scene to The Born-Again Identity, the only other time, except for the beginning of Houses Of The Holy, that we see a Winchester dressed fully in white.
‘You will always end up here.’ I wrote about the truth of this line here, in a comparison of this episode and Season Nine.
My Bloody Valentine, to which I nearly gave spot five. Then I decided to just give it the Wrencollins Certificate Of General Disturbingness instead. For being erotic. And gross. And erotic.
Sam, Interrupted. The first scene is hysterical. I rewind it about six times on every rewatch.
Ten Minutes To Midnight, in which we first met Death. I love the lightning flickering over his and Dean’s faces. (And that pizza actually looked really nice.) Also, let me point out that it was set up in this episode that Death could only be killed by his own scythe.
The Devil You Know. Because… Crowley. Kissing a homophobic seventy-year-old banker. Gold. Oh, and the Winchesters ganging up on Brady at the end like the ickle psychopaths they are.
Hammer Of The Gods. I debated including this one in the HMs, because I have issues with the presentation of the gods as weaker than Lucifer. But I do really like the scene between Gabriel and Lucifer, which I discussed here. (Wow. I’ve clearly written a lot of meta about Season Five.)
The Song Remains The Same- wrote about Anna’s betrayal here– because everything about it just kills me. And it used Cherry Pie! Reichenbach mirrors! Hurrah!
Point Of No Return, which I really love. It’s a turnaround, and totally believable. I also got a weird satisfaction out of Cas beating some sense into Dean, probably because his attitude was starting to grate. No doubt that lead to an influx of pornographic wall-involving Destiel fic.
And finally, Abandon All Hope. Dean’s walking up to the devil and shooting him in the head. Ellen sobbing into Jo’s hair with her finger on the switch. Dear God. So upsetting.
Now, you know the drill. Who fancies a spot of conversation? Oh, and I’m posting a VS meta on Soulless Sam later on my own site, so keep an eye out.
Read my Vivisecting Supernatural essays at https://cobwebqueen.wordpress.com/.