I can’t believe a 4th year is done. We’ve been left with wicked semi-vs-Impala wrecks, half-wild “we’ve got work to do” grins, wretched screams from Hell, and now…
…we have white light, a GINORMOUS unknown, and brother’s hands fisted in each other’s shirts. TOGETHER, man. Holy crap, what a friggin’ RIDE this season has been. I’m exhausted. I think my first words when the credits came up at the end were, “He’s gonna leave it like THAT?!”
But, after I took a moment, I realized it was the best possible way to end this epic season and give us something to hold onto for the summer hiatus as tightly as the boy’s hands gripped each other: Hope. In the face of chaos.
God, I love this show. LOVE IT.
One thing is for sure… the SPN writing team sure as hell wasn’t making this up as they went along. Holy crap again! I applaud them for the sheer entertainment powerhouse this season has been. Here you go, folks. The last ramble for Season 4. I hope I make it worthwhile.
First? Nothing better than previously’s set to Kansas’ “Wayward Son.” If anything is the Winchester Theme, it’s that. I was literally surrounded by pillows for this and when that came on, I tossed one into the air with a soft “whoopee!” I had to go get it back, though, because it was my gripping pillow. *grin*
In a response to a comment from last week’s ramble, I shared an experience from my past. One I’d had with one of my sisters that was my last straw, my turning point. It was the moment where I turned off inside, saying fine… if that’s the way you want it, fine. I’m tired of picking up after you, covering for you, always, always taking care of you. I stopped talking to that sister for a year until I just got tired of being mad and realized I missed her.
I was asked to revisit that thought after I’d seen the finale as at the time I hadn’t had seen any previews or spoilers. Now I know why. Everyone needs a Bobby in their lives. Someone to give it to you straight even when you’re so bruised up inside and out you can barely breathe. You still need that grab you by the shirtfront and shake you until your dizzy approach once in awhile. But I’ll get there in a minute.
We start in Maryland, 1972, in a convent. A priest is possessed by Azaezel. Which honestly surprised me for a moment. I think I’m mixing my lore because I was like, “how can a demon enter a church? Isn’t that holy ground?” But, I forgot about Meg killing Pastor Jim in his church, and then YED had to go and point out that his “Daddy” had been an angel once. So, okay, I stood corrected.
Apparently, that convent was the place where the door to Lucifer’s cage was kept. I’ll need to poke around over the hiatus a bit and find out why Maryland… seemed a weird place for the cage door, but, I’ll go with it. Azaezel kills the nuns after scaring the crap out of them and we’re all left to wonder what the hell… no pun intended.
Back in the now, Sam and Ruby are in Ruby’s orange car at some abandoned house getting ready to confront Ruby’s connection to Lilith. I have to say that there were some great effects in this epi. The first time we see Sam he’s blurry and slowly comes into focus as if from the viewpoint of someone climbing back to consciousness. Same with Dean. Also, Ruby’s orange car stood out like a beacon against the wet, drab, gray surroundings. Just a nice contrast all around.
Ruby’s smugness at “winning” Sam is starting to show through. She’s getting impatient with him—trying to be caring and failing miserably. She wants to know if Sam’s head is in the game, says that she’s not good at hand-holding (uh, yah think??) but that what Dean said was wrong. Sam, though, is looking brooding and pensive. At least his shoulders are. Kidding! I kid.
But he is troubled. His brow is furrowed, his lips are tight and there is something sliding behind his eyes that doesn’t look like the same confidence that drove him to practically strangle his own brother to death. He says that Dean was right to say what he did. All of it. Ruby tries with the “when this is all over, you’ll patch things up” attempt, but Sam is pretty sure there isn’t going to be an “afterwards” for him. He gives her a small, sad smile that tugs at my big-sister heartstrings and says he knows what he has to do, and it’s okay, but he doesn’t think he’s going to make it out of this.
Back at Bobby’s, Dean is staring out of the window, his expression simply shattered. His eyes look worse than when he lost John. Because then, there was nothing there. A deadness that was startling in its contrast to Dean’s normal expression. Now, it was almost as if there was too much feeling. As if he didn’t know where to put it all. And I had to remind myself to take a breath. Bobby is calling his name repeatedly in the background, but it takes a few sharp “Dean!”’s for him to rouse and turn around.
Bobby wants Dean to go after Sam. Dean is done. He’s just done, y’know? He’s done everything for this kid. Everything in his life has been for the sake of Sam. Even his choice of women, if you get right down to it. Easy, pretty, fast, loose. Nothing that would tie him down or draw him away from his one job: Sam. Cassie was really the only one and that didn’t happen until Sam was at Stanford. He sold his soul for Sam’s life. He went to Hell and back because of Sam.
Sure, Sam never asked for it, but that kind of logic doesn’t enter your head when you’re busy lamenting your life’s choices and wondering how you could have been so blind, so stupid, so naïve. Where you went so wrong that the choices your brother (or loved one) is making are THESE choices.
So, he’s done. Bobby’s like, “He’s your brother and he’s drowning.” Dean argues that he tried to help him, and look what happened. Bobby’s like, try again. Man, I hurt during this scene. I totally saw Bobby’s point but I wanted to push him away, give Dean a chance to nurse those wounds… inside-out wounds. But… they didn’t have time for sorrow or pity.
Dean’s angry and hurt: Sam never wanted part of this family. Déjà vu all over again. “I am sick and tired of chasing him.”
Then he crosses the line (for Bobby at least) wondering if Sam were really ever his brother. Bobby lets him HAVE it and it was probably the best verbal beating I have ever heard. “You stupid SOB. I’m so sorry your feelings are hurt, Princess. Are you under the impression that family is supposed to make you feel good? They’re supposed to make you miserable, that’s why they’re family.” Oh. My. GOD. How true is that?? I mean, seriously, no one else—NO ONE ELSE can push buttons like family. They know which buttons to push and the exact right order to push them in. They know how to get you blind mad in an instant.
And they know how to calm you down, too. How to make you see the light. They know when to push you away and when to hold you close.
“You sound like your Dad… your Dad was a coward. He’d rather push Sam away then reach out to him. You are a better man than your Daddy ever was. So you do both of us a favor, don’t be him.”
How much do I love that man? Saying that about Dean was just… it was retribution for so many “Dean is weak” comments this season. Dean is a better man. On so many different levels. For so many different reasons. It was exactly what Dean needed to hear. It’s what he needed to hear so long ago when he was confronting “himself” in DALDOM and yelling about John being a selfish bastard… it was true, however, what did that mean Dean thought about himself? He’d fashioned his entire persona after John—down to the music and coat. When the film is pulled back and John is exposed as the flawed human being he always was to the boy that saw him as an infallible hero, what does that mean for how Dean sees himself?
Bobby knew. He apparently always knew. And he also knew right when to lay it on Dean. With just enough force to shake some sense into him and get him back on track.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get to say anything back to Bobby—and come to think of it, that’s the last time we see Bobby!—because next thing you know, he’s in Heaven’s Greenroom complete with angelic pictorials, El Sol beer, and a tray full of burgers apparently from a seaside shack in Delaware they visited when Dean was 11.
In retrospect, it’s almost funny how worried I (and many others, it seems) were afraid that Bobby wouldn’t make it through this season. I mean, it was a really good tease, but I’m glad he’s still on his feet. I know that’s no guarantee he’ll make it to the END end, but at least he’s still here for now. These boys need all the family they can get.
Meanwhile, Sam and Ruby are at the hospital grabbing Nurse Betty (back away from that baby, you bitch). Sam has his groove on, that’s for sure.
Back in the Greenroom, Zach is there. When he first came on the scene in “It’s a Terrible Life” I thought I might like him. I thought his crass approach to Dean’s pain might be what Dean needed in that moment to snap him out of his fog. I have since changed my mind. My dislike for Zach has increased tenfold in through the course if this episode. He is a smug, need-to-know, bastard and I found myself automatically snarling each time he was onscreen. However, he does offer Dean Ginger from Season 2 of Gilligan’s Island (was there more than one Ginger?) and Dean’s reply made me smile.
“Tempting. Weird… but…” His lips do that quirk thing where you can tell his automatic response was actually something else and sense grabbed hold of his tongue before glands could reply.
“Bail on the holodeck, okay? I want to know what the game plan is.”
“We want you focused, relaxed.” Oh, stuff it, Zach.
“I’m about to be pissed and leaving, so start talking, Chuckles.” Heh.
So, Zach says that all the seals are fallen except one. Dean is sarcastic and that bastard Zach says “you think that’s appropriate, considered you started all this?” *Gaelic growls* Dean is STILL asking what his job is and they won’t tell him. “Have faith.” Dean’s like, in you? Give me one good reason.
“Because you swore your obedience, so obey.” *GROWL* Did I mention how much I do not like this guy? Not only for how he’s treating Dean—someone he apparently needs for his big ol’master plan, but because of the way Cas is cowering in the background. You just don’t treat people you need like they’re nothing, like they’re children, like they’re slaves. You do and they’ll turn on you.
Back at the… um, abandoned house? Not sure where they are, actually, but Sam tortures Nurse Betty to get the location of where Lilith is going with Ruby looking on smugly. I don’t like her either. A really lot, as my little girl says.
Dean calls Sam from Heaven—seriously, amazing reception there. His message breaks me up. I had tears simply because his voice is a mixture of need, anger, hurt, authority, and sorrow.
“It’s m-me. Look, I’ll just get right to it. I’m still pissed, and I owe you a serious beat down, but… I shouldn’t have said what I said. I’m not Dad. We’re brothers, we’re family. And, uh, no matter how bad it gets, that doesn’t change. Sammy, I’m sorry.”
That says it all, man. All the hurtful words, all the lying, all the questionable choices, all the deliberate deception… eventually it all comes down to the fact that you’re family. And I think something I’m finally starting to realize with my own dysfunctional lot is that it actually says more about the person I am, then the people they are, when I turn my back on them, or when I help them out of the same messes over and over and over and then one more time. That’s not an easy realization to swallow.
There’s more torturing of the nurse to get info and then, because Ruby doesn’t let Sam kill it, and tells it that they’re basically bringing it along as a picnic basket, the demon hides inside the nurse’s mind leaving Sam looking at an innocent woman. Horrified and sickened. Thank God. Ruby’s all “swell” and I think I said out loud, “oh, stuff it,” to my TV.
Back in 1972, the psycho demon priest who is actually Azaezel is talking to Lucifer through the body of a nun and Lucifer tells him that Lilith is the one to free him and that YED has to find a special child. Okay, let’s process this for a moment. Seven years before Dean was born, Azaezel is handed his mission. He has to find a special child that will ultimately be the ONLY ONE that can kill the first demon—Lilith. So, he starts on this path of bargaining and soul exchange that eventually leads him to Mary Winchester, who makes a deal for her lover and future husband’s life in exchange for her father’s. She wasn’t just “in his way”… this was apparently destined, right? So, Sam gets the demon blood in him as a baby, and YED keeps up with his Special Kids army… all the while, John Winchester is hunting him down, looking for revenge.
Did John know? I mean, there was that exchange in the basement of the hospital where John says he knew about Sam. Had known for some time. Plus, he tells Dean that at some point he was going to have to save Sam or kill him. Did he know that Sam would be the one to have the mojo powerful enough, or the will weak enough, depending on how you choose to look at it, to kill the first demon?
So, Azaezel took John, but he wasn’t the correct “righteous man.” Dean was better than his dad on many different levels. Lilith killed Dean—which was probably how it had to be with this whole destiny thing—and he was broken in Hell, breaking the first seal along with him and setting Lucifer’s grand plan in motion that no one apparently knew except… Ruby? Well… and the Angels.
*claps* That is one tangled mess, there, writers. And we are caught in it, solid.
Anyway, back at the abandoned house place, Sam shoves nurse into trunk and the poor woman is FREAKED… she’s babbling about her real life, her husband, just everything she can to get away. Sam’s jaw can’t get much tighter without breaking teeth. Ruby is all “she’s playing you, get over it” because she’s so focused on her OWN end game.
Back in the Greenroom, Dean asks Cas for a favor – wants to see Sam. Cas won’t let him, basically traps him in the room with no doors. Dean does this turn thing where he rolls his head sideways first and then his shoulders and body follow. It’s sexy as hell and seems to be a direct result of the raised collar of his leather coat. I think it’s a trait that Jensen gave Dean, and not one that is Jensen’s because I was looking for the same movement in old Dark Angel epis and didn’t see it.
I mean that trademark look where he’s looking down, keeps his chin down, but raises his eyes to regard someone through his lashes? Yeah, I think that’s Jensen, because Alec and even Jason Teague did that. But the way Dean turns, just the way he rotates his body, that seems unique. Why does that matter, you ask? It doesn’t. I just like nuances. *grin*
In the Rubymobile, Sam won’t listen to Dean’s message and Ruby is telling him to listen to it already, but Sam says mind her own business (tiny yay!). Ruby is totally full of attitude telling Sam that his actions will save the world. Sam is starting to think that maybe Dean was right about everything (bigger YAY!). Getting worried, Ruby’s like, “you’re gonna see this through, right, Sam?” *Gaelic raises eyebrow of suspicion at Ruby*
I’d never really liked her, but it was this moment that I actually started to REALLY wonder about her. All along I’ve wondered what was in it for her… what she expected to get out of this whole thing. My “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” radar was in the red…
Meanwhile, Dean is trying to bust out of the Heaven room and the walls heal themselves. Zach shows up, but won’t let him out: “too dangerous out there, demons on the prowl.”
Dean’s like, “I’ve been getting my ass kicked all year, now you’re sweating my safety?” Good point. He demands to see Sam and to know why he can’t and how he’s going to “ice” Lilith. And then, Zach comes clean – sitting in front of an infinity mirror – that Lilith is going to break the final seal and bring on the apocalypse because the angels want to win and have paradise on earth… Um, what?
It took me a minute to wrap my mind around this. They WANTED this to happen. The angels. WTF? Have they all lost their minds? Are they all getting Lucifer Syndrome? I had to remind myself this had nothing to do with my personal faith and was all about the story, but still… when you lean so heavily on lore and “history” with things like angels and demons, you gotta wonder what role God plays in all of this. You want us to believe that He doesn’t know what His angels are up to? Really? He was the one to create humans in his image and held them above angels.
So, if the angels are comfortable “breaking eggs to make some omelets” I gotta think God would have an objection or two. Dean has the wind taken from his sails when he hears this. He’s gutted, sickened, angered and wants to bash in Zach’s skull. Zach says that action would be ill advised. I wanted him to do it anyway. The smug bastard.
“What about Sam? He’ll stop Lilith…” Dean brings up. Zach says that Sam… has a part to play… “He may need a little nudging in the right direction, but I’ll make sure he plays it.” *feels cold* Seriously, this is soooo not good. I felt rather hopeless in this moment. Like they had no one that was truly GOOD on their side. That even the angels were using them, pitting them against each other for the sake of their own agenda, that the only one on earth that truly cared about them as brothers, as people, was a tired, older hunter sitting in the middle of a car graveyard.
Well… and us.
“Forget about Sam, you have larger concerns – we weren’t lying about your destiny… you are chosen to stop it.” Zach looks at pic of Archangel Michael stopping Lucifer – and Dean is supposed to stop Lucifer and his rewards will be peace, happiness, “2 virgins and 70 sluts.” My good friend Sojourner and I talked about this possibility way back during HOTH… that Dean was to hold the role of Michael. I haven’t quite settled my mind about that yet – and I probably won’t until it plays out further in next season.
Dean wants to know where God is and Zach says that God has left the building. Exactly how is THAT possible? I can’t help but think that if they’re going to mess with Lucifer next season, we might be seeing some God action as well. You can’t have darkness without light.
Lilith and Co show up at the convent. And I kinda thought the dental hygienist from Indiana that Lilith “wore” last time was left on the motel room floor back near Chuck’s place… but, I guess I was wrong.
Dean is trying to reach Sam via cell again. Cas shows up and says he won’t be able to reach him. This scene between these two is fantastic. They both step up to the line and come out swinging. Even Cas’ emotionless eyes held this unfathomable need to do SOMETHING. Dean, man, he just made me tremble. His desire to get OUT of there made me claustrophobic and his despair at the angels’ plan, the role his brother held, and the need to SAVE SAM was literally rolling from him in waves.
Cas says he’s “sorry” that it ended like this. Dean punches Cas and literally the angel’s head goes to the side with a metallic ring. Dean turns around holding his hand, an OMFG I think I just broke my hand look on his face. It was honestly funny. *laugh* Terry always says that it hurts to punch someone on the face/head. I guess an angel is hurt times ten.
While Cas is busy calmly explaining that all this has been foretold, Dean is pulling out the best quality a human has in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds: passion. “Destiny, God’s plan… it’s all a bunch of lies… it’s just a way for your bosses to keep me and you in line… you know what’s real? People. Families. And you’re gonna watch them all burn?” *LOVE him*
“What is so worth saving? I see nothing but pain here. I see inside you and I see your guilt, your anger, confusion… in paradise all is forgiven. You’ll be at peace, even with Sam.” Okay, so, Cas can get worked up, too, and he does honestly care about Dean… but then our hero shines in the next moment. Literally SHINES.
Dean ducks his head to catch Cas’ eyes and tells him to shove his peace up his lilly-white ass, “‘cause I’ll take the pain, the guilt, I’ll even take Sam as-is. It’s a lot better than being some Stepford bitch in paradise. There is a right and there is a wrong here and you know it.”
He continues, “You were gonna help me once, weren’t you? You were going to warn me about all this before they dragged you back to Bible camp… Help me now. PLEASE.”
Cas says, “What would you have me do?”
“Get me to Sam and we can stop this before it’s too late.”
“I do that, and we’ll all be hunted. We’ll all be killed.” (did I just see a foreshadowing of Cas’ plotline in Season 5?)
“If there is anything worth dying for… this is it.” And Dean knows from dying for things, people.
He calls Cas a spineless, soulless son of a bitch… says they’re done, and his voice cracks. The man is tired.
Back with Sam and Ruby, Sam is hesitating, not sure if he can drink the nurse/demon’s blood. He listens to Dean’s message and either Ruby or Zach changes the message to be all, “Dad said I would have to save you or kill you and since you’re a monster, that decision is made for me.” *Gaelic sees red*
Seriously?! That just… PISSED ME OFF. I don’t care which of them did it, it was… underhanded, dirty, rotten… and unfortunately the catalyst that pushes Sam to do Ruby’s bidding. Bye, Nurse Betty.
Back in the Greenroom, Dean finally gives in and starts to bite on a burger when Cas shows up, grabs him, shoves him against a wall, hand over mouth and pulls out a knife. They meet eyes, slight nod, and Cas removes his hand. Cas cuts his arm and for one moment I thought Dean was going to have to drink angel blood. I actually gasped when Dean looked down at the cut. Then, thank goodness, Cas starts painting some kind of symbol on the wall in his blood. Zach shows up and Cas uses the symbol to kick his power up a notch and send Zach away, and then reveals what I (and I’m sure many others) have been worried about this whole time…
LILITH IS THE FINAL SEAL. That’s just friggin’ GREAT. In that moment I knew Ruby knew this. She’d been playing Sam all this time. She never had any intention to save anyone or anything. But I was also worked up about how much the angels had let the Winchester brothers be used and manipulated. They were supposed to guard them, watch OVER them… not just watch what happened to them. At least they really, truly have Cas. *pets him*
Annnnddd we’re back to the Prophet Chuck who is apparently ordering a night of debauchery since it’s the end of the world and all… did he say something sounded moist?? I will have to re-watch. Because… nasty. *laugh* Cas and Dean show up with an arch angel hot on their heels. Chuck is wigging out.
“You’re not supposed to be there, you’re not in this story!”
Cas looks grim. Or, y’know, like he always does. And says, “Yeah, well, we’re making it up as we go along…” Could there BE a better Star Wars/Indiana Jones shout out?? How awesome was that line?! *Gaelic grins*
They figure out the convent and Cas sends Dean to Sam’s location and holds off the arch angel… Chuck puts an awkward, comforting hand on Cas’ shoulder as the bright light gets brighter. I’m a tad bit worried about the end result of that show-down… but again, I guess we’ll have to wait until Season 5. *squee*
Sam and Ruby show up at the convent. Sam slams Lilith back against the altar thingy. Dean shows up, runs for the door, and Ruby stops him with an evil grin. Once again, the effects tip the scales of awesome. An echoing sound of a heartbeat—Sam’s I assume—fills all space. They cut in close to Sam’s face, then far, then close again in time with the heartbeat. It builds tension like nothing before. I was literally sitting ON my coffee table, holding my pillow. I couldn’t get closer to my TV without climbing inside.
Sam says he has been waiting to kill Lilith for a very long time. He starts to kill her, but hears his brother’s voice and stops. He’s confused, turns away, says Dean’s name. Dean is pounding, kicking, punching, banging on the door, screaming Sam’s name. Ruby is laying into Sam, Lilith is laughing at him, and Sam turns away from the door, goes full-bore, black eyes, the whole nine, and… He kills Lilith and then…
Her blood creates the portal thingy for Lucifer. Duh Duh DUhhhhh. Ruby is totally juiced up. She says he opened the door and now “he’s free at last.” As we all knew she would, Ruby shows her true colors – let’s Sam in on the secret that the first demon would be the last seal. Sam is totally rocked by this turn of events. He’s completely disillusioned and is staring around him, open mouthed, his eyes wide and shocked, stumbling and stuttering over his words. And who can blame him, really. That was a big-ass rug to just get yanked out from under his feet.
Ruby is all “I’m AWESOME” – that no one knew… not even Alistair even knew… she was the best of those sons of bitches. Sam tries to work the demon force on her, but he blew his wad taking out Lilith. Ruby is all gentle and stroking him while Sam finally realizes that Ruby poisoned him with blood and words and manipulation and that Dean was right all along.
Sorry, I just have to do this. IT’S ABOUT TIME! There. I feel better. Thanks.
Ruby tells him everything Azeazel did and Lilith did just to get Sam there and he was the only one who could bring Lucifer back. I mean, think about that. Sam knows that Azaezel killed Mary’s parents. He knows that he poisoned him as a baby. He knows that he killed his mother, took his father. He knows that Lilith killed his brother. He knows that his brother was tortured. He knows how many people he (Sam) has killed in the process of exorcising demons with his mojo… that is a LOT to take in, to process, to deal with. All of this done just so that he, the last Special Kid standing, could be the one to kill the first demon and release Lucifer.
While Ruby’s busy telling Sammy that he did good and the Prince of Freakin’ Darkness is going to be “so grateful,” Dean busts in. Ruby jumps up with a smug smile on her face. “You’re too late.”
Dean doesn’t even slow down, now that he’s finally broken through the door. “I don’t care.”
Sam grabs Ruby from behind and holds her while Dean kills her with the Knife That Can Kill Anything If You Can Get Close Enough. Did you catch that?? They do it TOGETHER. I pumped my fists in the air with a loud “YES!!!” That could not have BEEN more awesome.
Earlier, my friend Sojourner asked me if they could be fixed. If they would ever be brothers again. I said yes without hesitation. There is a lot of power in forgiveness—of others and of self. And that one act, the one thing Dean had asked for all this time, was a giant step in the direction of salvation for these two.
Sam is broken, panting, looks at Dean, “I’m sorry.” Dean is shaking, shocky, looks back at Sam but doesn’t get a chance to say anything. The door in the floor created by Lilith’s blood starts to open and the brothers instinctively reach for each other. It’s one of those moments when your heart melts and your skin heats up and you grin despite the seriousness of the situation. Without looking, Dean reaches out, fumbling for Sam’s jacket and Sam instantly reaches back so that they’re gripping each other, hands curled into fists, shoulders close as if drawing strength from each other.
Dean’s like, “Sammy let’s go” and Sam, looking at the light in fear and awe, holding onto his brother, whispers, “He’s coming.”
And with that… we wait. We wait for the inevitable tags and speculations. We wait for the coping mechanism that is fanfic. We wait for September and the release of the DVD’s for Season 4. We wait to see if God really has left the building, how Dean is going to fight—and defeat—Lucifer, how Sam is going to recover from his blood addiction when cold turkey nearly killed him, how Cas and Chuck survived the arch angel, how Dean and Sam got out of that convent…
There are at least 22 episodes of the greatest show ever created awaiting us this fall, and I’m so, so glad that I can enter into this summer with that light of hope, that image of them reaching for each other, that amazing feeling of having not only watched, but experienced a story well told.
I hope you’ll all be there with me when the premiere rolls around. Until then, I’ll be writing.
Thanks so much for hanging with me through these rambles. Your comments and thoughts have been remarkable pieces of my week and I will miss them over the summer months.
My best to each of you.
- Where Am I?:living room couch
- How Do I Feel?: satisfied
- Feeding the Muse:Dante's Prayer, by Méav Ní Mhaolchatha