Rewinding ‘Supernatural’: “Swan Song”

As other season finales of “Supernatural” have begun in the past, tonight’s episode of “Supernatural” opened to the sound of Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son” during a montage of previous events. That unusually led to Chuck the prophet narrating the history of the Winchesters’ car, a 1967 Impala. An alcoholic Bible-thumper named Sal owned it until a young John Winchester bought it from a used car dealer. This led us to the present day, where Dean told Sam that he approves of his plan to catch Lucifer by accepting him. Saying, “You’re not a kid anymore, Sam, and I can’t keep treating you like one”, this was just the beginning of the fine acting that was to be seen on behalf of the show’s cast.

Later on, as Sam, Castiel, and Dean load gallons of demon blood into the Impala’s trunk, Bobby searches the newspaper headlines to guess where Lucifer is. However, it is Dean who notices the abnormally low temperatures in Detroit and remembers Lucifer hinting, “It would all go down in Detroit”. During the car ride, Sam makes Dean promise not to bring him back from Satan’s cage and to go off and live a “normal, apple pie life” without him.

When Bobby spots several demons on guard inside a building, Sam gets a chance to say goodbye to Bobby and Castiel. While Bobby offers him fighting advice, Castiel doesn’t hide his doubt. Sam quickly, and off-camera, drinks the demon blood and starts shouting for the devil. This makes the demon goons drag him and the rest of the gang inside to see Lucifer.

Lovingly referred to by fans of the show as “the metallicar”, the Winchester’s Impala featured a lot in tonight’s episode as every commercial break led to more being revealed about its past. This time, Chuck wrote about how Sam and Dean grew up with the car. To this day, Dean’s legos rattle around inside of its vents, and one of Sam’s plastic army men is stuck inside of the ashtray. But this flashback doesn’t last long, as Lucifer surprises the Winchesters by blowing cold air. Though Sam says that he wants to say yes, and kills the surrounding demons with his mind powers, Lucifer isn’t impressed. Apparently, he knows about their plan, but quoting “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”, he takes over Sam’s body anyways.

Dean throws the horsemen’s rings like a ninja star, where they stick to the wall and create a sucking vortex. Sam struggles towards the hole, saying, “I feel him”, but quickly turns to Dean. “I was just messing with you. Sam’s long gone”, says Lucifer with a smirk as he disappears. Then the vortex disappears, leaving a confused and teary-eyed Dean behind.

Although it is not a very original idea, Sam and Lucifer converse with each other through the reflection of a mirror. Whereas we previously seen the devil portrayed on this show as a sinister, excuses-making sort, he is more comical now. Mentally torturing Sam like a James Bond villain, he refers to him as “young Skywalker” at some point. Finally, he reveals that everyone from his grade school teacher to his prom date were demons sent to watch over him, and he offers up their lives to Sam.

As Sam is surrounded by slaughtered demons, Dean is surrounded by chaos and failure. Castiel and Bobby think that they’ve failed and there’s nothing else that can be done, but Dean refuses to give up.

As Chuck uses Microsoft Word to type about the fun times that the Winchester brothers had together, Dean calls him on the phone, seeking information. All he knows is that the “final battle” will be at noon in a cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas.

Michael, wearing Adam’s body, and Lucifer, wearing Sam’s body, engage in a civil disagreement. While Michael is committed to following orders and fighting his brother, Lucifer just wants to end all of the fuss, or so he says. Suddenly, we hear the revving of an engine. It’s Dean, blasting “What Do You Want?” from the Impala’s speakers. He pulls up to them and says, “Sorry, am I interrupting something?”

Michael is offended by Dean’s presence, but Castiel arrives and teleports him with “holy fire”. This outrages Lucifer, who makes Castiel explode and snaps Bobby’s neck in anger. In the most thrilling moments of the finale, Lucifer viciously beats Dean to a bloody, swelled pulp. However, he’s beating him on top of the Impala’s hood, and he quickly sees his own reflection. That is, Sam quickly sees his own reflection. Remembering a flashback of moments from the entire series, Sam overpowers the devil and says, “It’s gonna be okay, Dean. I’ve got him”. Sam chants and throws the horsemen’s rings onto the ground, which makes a gaping hole in the dirt. Just then, Michael appears and tries to stop his brother from going into the pit. In the struggle, they both fall in as the hole explodes, leaving Dean completely alone.

Though this would be a good time to end the episode, there is more to be seen. Dean sees Castiel, who isn’t just alive again, he’s an angel again. Castiel uses his “new and improved” powers to bring Bobby back to life. But all is not well. Castiel plans on going back to Heaven, because he believes that God brought him back to life. Dean is more concerned about Sam, but Castiel adds, “What would you rather have, peace or freedom?”.

As if this wasn’t enough, we hear Chuck complain about being a writer, perhaps as an allegory for how the show’s writers feel. After telling us that Sam and Bobby aren’t going to see each other for a long while, because Bobby remains a hunter as Dean settles down with Lisa, Chuck mysteriously vanishes. However the biggest shock is still ahead, as we see something mysterious outside of Lisa’s home. It’s Sam, or is it Lucifer?

It’s kind of unfair to judge the season finale of a show without seeing the episode that follows it. However, tonight’s episode was compelling, well done, and entertaining. Originally, the series was supposed to have ended with this season, and parts of this episode felt a lot like a series finale. Whether the seemingly last-minute idea to continue from here is a good idea or not, remains to be seen.