Supernatural: Dark Side of the Moon

Dean: "Just another deadbeat dad with a bunch of excuses, right? I'm used to that."

What terrific storytelling.

Since "free will" is becoming a big theme, they couldn't have God show up and fix everything in the season finale. The writers had to eliminate God as a factor, and they just did. (Then again, maybe God is using "noninterference" as a means of pushing Dean and Sam where he wants them to go. Which, of course, would make it un-free-will.) Dean was hoping that God would eventually take care of everything, and was massively disappointed; the amulet in the trash can said it all.

That amulet wasn't just a God detector. It was also a symbol of Sam's relationship with Dean. By trashing it, Dean rejected God and Sam. Dean was deeply disappointed that Sam's favorite memories were of another family's Thanksgiving, spending two weeks alone, and dumping his family to go to Stanford. Dean's, on the other hand, were all about his mother's love and attention, and even, interestingly, about saving his mother from John. (How Oedipal of you, Dean.) Sadly, except for the gorgeous opener where they set off rockets in a field at night to the tune of "Knock knock knocking on Heaven's Door" (that gave me goosebumps), none of Dean's and Sam's best memories included each other.


I also found it creepy that people mostly experienced Heaven alone, with simulations of their loved ones. (Of course, Heaven on Supernatural would have a creep factor. Everything on Supernatural is creepy.) I don't believe in Heaven most of the time, but if my mother, sister, best friend, favorite uncle, and late cats aren't waiting for me there, then I don't want to go.

As Pamela said, though, the attic is certainly better than the basement. Seeing Ash again was awesome. (And it was no surprise that he'd figured out the mechanics of heaven; I'm sure he's already tracking down Ellen and Jo.) Pamela was, as Bobby says, a sight for sore eyes, although I got the feeling she was pimping for a massively pissed off Zachariah, whose rep has suffered because of the Winchesters. (Good.)

With their lives so full of danger and the powers of Heaven and Hell after them, it made total sense that Dean and Sam have died and returned from Heaven before. What's upsetting is that the boys can't even die to avoid their fate. It's pretty damned bad when death isn't even an option.

Bits and pieces:

— Loved the episode title. It was appropriate, since the Heaven we saw was mostly dark. Also loved the shot of Earth in the distance and the revolving Milky Way above them.

— And I loved all of the returning continuing characters. Especially Colin Ford as young Sam. It's really too bad they couldn't get Jeffrey Dean Morgan. I could sort of see him barging around in Heaven, and rescuing Mary from Zachariah. Except that that wasn't Mary. Is the real Mary in Heaven?

— Like Dean, Castiel was massively disappointed in God, too. Understandable, but rather sad.

— We learned for sure that God has intervened three times for the Winchesters: the plane, Castiel, and both of them getting into Heaven.

— In his true form, Zachariah has six wings and four faces. I thought he just had two faces.

— Joshua was an interesting new angel; he trims the hedges at the Cleveland Botanical Garden a.k.a. Emerald City, and listens to God. I thought at first he was God. Maybe we'll still get to see God, since he's on Earth and the series isn't over yet. Thank God.

— Semi-nice motel room for a change. Do you think Sam retrieved the amulet from the trash can? Of course, he did.

Quotes (and there were a lot of them):

Dean: "Go ahead, Roy. Do it. But I'm going to warn you. When I come back, I'm gonna be pissed." Roy and Walt would be smart to get out of the country.

Sam: "How are we in heaven?"
Dean: "All that clean living, I guess."
Sam: "You I get, sure. But me? Maybe you haven't noticed, but, um, I've done a few things?"
Poor Sam.

Dean: "If this is the sky mall, it sucks. Where are the triplets and the latex, you know? Come on. A guy has needs."

Castiel: "Don't go into the light."
Dean: "Okay. Thanks, Carol Ann."

Sam: "Dad always said they had the perfect marriage."
Dean: "It wasn't perfect until after she died."

Sam: "I never got the crusts cut off my PB&J. I just don't look at family the way you do."

Ash: "See, you gotta stop thinking of heaven as one place. It's more like a buttload of places all crammed together. Like Disneyland, except without all the anti-Semitism."

Ash: "You boys die more than anyone I've ever met."

Dean: "Spending eternity trapped in your own little universe while the angels run the show? That's lonely. That's not nirvana. That's the Matrix."

I love that they're doing stuff like this. I could have watched this episode for another couple of hours, if they'd only made it that long. Four out of four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts cut off,

Billie
---
Billie Doux adores Supernatural which is a good thing since apparently, it's eternal.

27 comments:

Gustavo Brunetti said...

Definitely one of the best of the series.

Not entirely related: why don't the Winchesters ever leave the country. All the supernatural stuff happens only in the USA?

Jenny said...

Answer to Gustavo; Dean is afraid of flying and that’s why they have to stay put. I guess the rest of the world has their own hunters.
I think its sad that the only support system Dean and Sam has left in fight is getting detached from them (Bobby and Cas).
I was really shocked when Castiel swore, and in the end. I don’t expect to see him for a while. This must be really hard on him to, he is the one who always had hope in his father and when that is gone, I don’t now what he will do. And Bobby having to kill his wife a second time in the last episode. I’m feeling that this apocalypse is something Sam and Dean have to figure out themselves.

R. Berger said...

I'm really loving this season's focus on free will. You're right -- I can't tell if God removing himself from the picture is an attempt at manipulation, or an attempt to allow the Winchesters free will by not intervening in the choice they've made. Then again, as Joshua more-or-less points out, God is omnipotent, so he probably knows how things will end, regardless of whether he intervenes or keeps playing skiball, or whatever.

Castiel at the end honestly creeped me out a wee bit. Lucifer said something at some point about them being alike. I didn't buy it at the time, since Cas was still (or felt he was still) fighting against the corrupt angels, and for God. Having been betrayed by God, I'm a bit concerned that we're going to see Castiel go bad at some point.

Fun mythology fact about the six wings -- two are used to fly, two are used to cover the eyes (to shield them from seeing God) and two are to cover the feet. 'Feet' is a pretty commonly accepted biblical metaphor for 'genitals'.

I was a bit confused by the John-possibly-being-in-heaven when it was mentioned in the episode. Wasn't it pretty explicitly stated by Alistair that he had ended up in hell as part of his bargain with Azazeal?

André said...

All the seriousness aside, no love for the "Dean wuvs hugs" moment? Of all the silly things they've done over the years, this has to be one of the funniest.
Then of course they go and depress the hell out of everyone...

Anonymous said...

Disturbing thought here, but...

This is really a game changer. Neither side, angels or devil, can allow Dean and Sam to die. "You can't say 'yes' if you're dead."

Maybe, horribly, we've just been given the key to averting the apocalypse. If Dean and Same die, and stay dead, apocalypse never. But that won't happen because if they are killed, they will go to heaven, and that will just end with them back on earth. Unless...

In some elements of Christianity there is the belief that there is a single sin that guarantees you a spot in hell. That sin is suicide -- the "unforgivable" sin because you aren't around to ask forgiveness afterwords.

Suicide is also absolutely dependent on the exercise of free will. Sam and Dean would have to choose to end their lives that way and go to hell to save the world.

A disturbing and depressing thought.

--Kkat

Near said...

Damn, I went and wrote out a comment and posted it, but it never showed up. What gives?

Anyway, what I tried to say was that why the heck doesn't Dean just say 'Yes'? If he does that now, Lucifer is screwed. I mean Dean is Michael's true vessel, but Nick is not Lucifer's true vessel, and is about ready for the scraphead. If Dean says yes but Sam says no, then Michael fights Lucifer and will surely thrash him (I can't imagine Nick lasting very long in a fight against the strongest angel in Heaven), thus ending the threat of the apocalypse. Michael even promised not to leave Dean a vegetable when he was done with him.

So yeah, Dean, just say yes. Preferably before Sam caves in and says yes as well.

Billie Doux said...

R. Berger,

John Winchester's location is a mystery. He came out of Hell to save the boys in "All Hell Breaks Loose," and after that, nothing. We didn't see him go back to Hell, and I don't think Alastair ever said specifically that John was still there.

Unless Kripke has specifically said where John is and I haven't read it...?

Billie Doux said...

Hey, Near:

You might not have put in the code word from the box. I had to change the comment requirements because we were getting spammed, and it was either ask people to put in the code word, or make it so every message had to be approved.

Cecile said...

Wonderful episode, so much to say, but I just can’t put all my thoughts in place now.
I’m just sad at the way the relationship between the brothers has been treated in this one, sure is not Sam’s fault but it is pretty obvious that while for Dean his best memories are being with his family, for Sam is leaving them (how sad is that). Obviously Sach uses Dean’s fear of being detached against him. That was a low punch, but not wonder he trash the amulet at the end. Oh my, I really thought that we have passed that stage in their relationship. Any how, regarding John, yeah, I did understand he’s not in hell anymore. And as always, good to see old faces.
By the way, as a non religious person, that heaven is not going to tempt me into the supernatural religion!
Love, C.

Billie Doux said...

Pranav, I'm a very no spoiler person, and many of my readers are, too. Your comments are always very welcome, but please don't put spoilers in them. Thanks.

Kkat said...

Pranav? Was there a deleted comment, because I don't see anything by Pranav.

--Kkat

Anonymous said...

Khat,

When the guy who wrote the books (I forget his name) said he'd kill himself, Zach said they'd just bring him back. When Sam told Lucifer he'd commit suicide before allowing Lucifer to take him as a vessel, he said he'd just bring Sam back. So, unfortunately, suicide is not an option.

Billie Doux said...

Khat, I deleted the comment. I should have said that in my previous comment.

Near said...

Does anyone think we'll be seeing Jesse turn up again? I mean if God is out of the picture, the next most powerful being we know of is that half-demon antichrist kid, who was said to have the power to exterminate all the angels in heaven with a mere thought. It seems like he would be their best bet if they could find him and convince him to help.

Also, my first comment didn't show up because of some kind of security scripting issue with IE8, I've just realized. IE8 is a pain in the ass.

R. Berger said...

Billie,

Eep. No, to the best of my knowledge, nothing has been said about John's location by Kripke. I caught up on about three and a half seasons of Supernatural after I started reading this site, and unfortunately, that's one of the few episodes that I have not as yet been able to watch. So... my bad. My confusion was based on my own patchy knowledge, nothing else. :) Sorry!

Koi Nahin said...

I seem to recall an episode where Mary's soul had been trapped in the house, and was consumed in some sort of fire (or something) in order to save her sons. Do you guys remember anything like that? I forget which episode it was.

Great review as always, Billie! I just finished this episode, and hope to watch the next one sometime this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Late again with my comments and my review of 5X16
Liked all the points you made. I loved this episode. I was very affected seeing Dean and Sam shot, that really got to me and yes they can't even die in peace. I was glad to see writers take God out of the equation. I've been a believer in the free will as to destiny and have hoped writers would go in that direction, looks like that is where they are headed. Loved seeing Ash and Pamala again.(BTW lucky Traci or as she said he was lucky he got to kiss me LOL
Sam needs get over it (the running away. Help your brother. IMHO the way things are going I now think it's going to be Sam who is stronger at the moment, (not with demon blood either) and will save Dean and give Dean some of what he has always wanted. His family Dean, Sam Bobby
The end was so very sad. Dean's final defeat knowing Sam was happiest when away from him. Dean trashing the amulet tore my heart out...I cried and said "Oh Dean, please don't give up hope. Sam loves you. Sam will be your savior. I like you believe Sam picked up the necklace and I loved how you said Sam will give it back to Dean again, showing Dean just how much Sam needs and loves him. They are soul mates.
(these were my original posts)

pucklady said...

By the way, Roy and Walt are the Disney brothers.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful episode and the cinematography is great. What´s curious about sad also is Dean finding out things about Sam that he doesn´t wanna know, for example, dreaming about another family´s Thankgiving dinner and how Sam never even thought of how Dean felt. Another disappointment for Dean.

ChrisB said...

I honestly feel like I've just been kicked in the gut. I could barely breathe during that last scene -- both Castiel and Dean just look beaten. And, although he may not realise it, I think Dean broke Sam's heart with that amulet toss.

This feels like the beginning of the end to me. If the boys break up again, there is only one outcome. How sad!

And, I'm with Billie. If my heaven doesn't include my family, I'm not all the keen -- one long Meadowlands show or not.

Juliette said...

I definitely agree with everyone about Heaven, but at least Pamela stated firmly it was nice (an improvement on Tessa's doom and gloom!). Wherever they were though, it looked more like Limbo than Heaven (at least it wasn't Purgatory).

I think I loved it, but won't know until I've seen what they do with it. I hate that Sam's heaven was being away from Dean. I seem to spend a lot of this show kinda wishing Dean had left Sam when he got killed the first time (which was his own stupid fault for not PICKING UP THE KNIFE!) and wondering if Dean thinks so too.

Juliette said...

OK, maybe that's a bit harsh. But Sam had better prove himself worth it, and soon!

sunbunny said...

*Leaps up to defend my Sammykins*

I don't think that his heaven dreams excluded Dean on purpose. At the bottom of it all, Sam really does want a normal life and his Thanksgiving memory was the closest he ever got to one. Compare that to Dean's I wuv hugs memory. But Sam never had the chance to develop memories pre-hunter days so he has to make do with what exists and that's someone else's Thanksgiving. As for his other two memories consider that both of them are about getting away from John and the hunter lifestyle (which includes Dean). Also it's worth noting that neither brother consciously picked their heaven memories.

*flies off*

Juliette said...

Fair point :) I guess, since like everyone else my idea of heaven generally involves being with the people I love, I found it weird that Sam's involved strangers and being alone (and Dean's fireworks memory was just so lovely!).

Also, I kinda still haven't forgiven him for not PICKING UP THE KNIFE! Hem. I will get over that eventually. Maybe.!

Marianna said...

R. Berger, "regardless of whether he intervenes or keeps playing skiball, or whatever." LOL!

Dean's heaven moments were so nice and Sam's were so depressing in comparison. I was surprised none of Sam's moments included Jessica. Maybe the actor wasn't available. Although I can sympathize with Sam's desire to get away from the life, I do think he wronged Dean. Dean was basically Sam's father, and Sam didn't seem to make any effort to keep in touch with Dean when he went to Stanford. And letting Dean think he was dead for weeks so he could have time on his own was messed up too.

One nitpicky thing: Ash said that Sam and Dean had been in heaven lots of times before. The only time I can think when Sam may have gone to heaven are when he died in the yellow-eyed demon's Hunger Games and when he was electrocuted, which was very brief. Dean has died more than Sam, but the first two times he narrowly avoided death, then the Trickster killed him many times but time was reset each time so I don't think he actually went anywhere except for the last time, which may not count since it was undone. Then the most recent time we know he went to hell.

Juliette said...

Good point Marianna. And The Trickster specifically said that Dean went to Hell when he died (at least for the 6-month stint) in Mystery Spot. Clearly they die even more offscreen than on!

endaira91 said...

First of all I agree that this episode is amazing and one of my favorite ones of Supernatural! I also may be one of the few that likes their interpretation of heaven. I like that everyone's heven is what they want to see and what makes them happier. However I do think them being by themselves throughout eternity is kind of depressing, so if I were to decide how Heaven worked I would give a better accesss between people so they can still see each other (a bit like what Ash achieved. Hopefully he is able to rig the system and do that?). It was also nice to see Pamela happy despite all the bull she went through and how angry she was at dying.

The ending of the episode was shattering. Dean and Castiel morally defeated, the relationship between Dean and Sam even more broken, and Bobby destroyed spiritually last episode. Abandon all hope ye who enter this season.

Random comment: I can't believe you didn't include the "In heaven I have six wings and five heads, one of which is a LION" in your lines. It is by far my favorite line of supernatural, mostly because I imagine that head being an entire lion rather than a lion head. It's so ridiculous, and the way Zach says it is hilarious. Zach is still the worst and this doesn't entirely redeem him, but maybe just a bit.