Season 5 of Supernatural went out with a whimper, not a bang. But what a whimper! I know most people were expecting something on a more epic scale, but this Apocalypse wrapped up the way it began, way back when: focused on Sam and Dean and their '67 Impala. It was a love letter from creator Eric Kripke to his show as he steps down from being the showrunner, handing the reins over to Sera Gamble. Other than the last 10 seconds, it easily could have functioned as the show's series finale. We can only hope that the real series finale next spring packs as much of an emotional punch as this one.
There weren't really any big surprises in this episode, at least not to anyone who's been a regular watcher. Sam and Dean go with the plan of Sam saying yes to Lucifer and then Sam (eventually) takes his body back and throws himself (and Michael!Adam) into the trap he let Lucifer out of. Dean did what he could to help Sam succeed and then he did what Sam made him promise he'd do: he went back to Lisa and presumably lived the normal life for a little while. Cas and Bobby were killed by Lucifer!Sam, but Cas was resurrected with increased powers, presumably by God, and he then brought back Bobby, good as new.
None of these were surprises, but there was such a sense of satisfaction in things playing out the way that they did. It was right that Sam sacrifice himself to trap Lucifer, since his bad choices led to Lucifer's release in the first place, though I think this episode might have demonstrated that he'd not been given much choice due the enormous influence Azazel and the demons had on his life. After 5 years, Dean Winchester finally learned to stop sacrificing himself for everyone around him. Yes, it was partly because Sam made him promise, but the Dean of yore would have thrown himself into that pit right alongside Sam and Adam, just to have a chance to get Sam out. Instead, the mature Dean knew that Sam was doing what he must and that Dean had to try to move on with his life.
We didn't get to meet God directly in this episode, but I think its safe to say He was around. Partway through the episode, I theorized via Twitter that God was the Impala, and while I don't know if that's true, I think its safe to say that God used the Impala to remind Sam of who he was and gave him to opportunity to take control back from Lucifer long enough to spring the trap.
The whole episode was really about the car, from the scenes depicting the brothers living in it, stuffing Legos and army men in the crannies, to Dean using it to roll into the middle of the Lucifer and Michael showdown. I loved the little bits about the car that Chuck narrated, setting up the bit where Sam regained control of his body.
Bonus points to Show for Def Leppard's "Rock of Ages" being the song Dean chose to play when he rolled into the graveyard. One of the first lines: Better to burn out than fade away. Such a perfect choice for Dean Winchester. As always the show opened with "Carry On, Wayward Son" by Kansas, and I'll never be able to separate the song from the show in my mind.
While it was slightly anti-climactic that the final confrontation between Lucifer and Michael took place via Sam and Adam instead of Sam and Dean, I think Dean had to be himself in order for Sam to have any chance of taking his body back. My heart just broke (and tears flowed) when Lucifer is beating Dean to a pulp and Dean is telling Sam that he's there for him and he's not going to leave him. It was quite possibly the most heartbreaking scene the show's ever had. With very little hope left, Dean just wanted to be there for his brother.
This episode also left plenty of open questions:
- Will we ever actually meet God? Some people think Chuck was God after his disappearing act, but after some discussion, I think he was a prophet like we'd been told, he just ascended after his job of writing the Winchester Gospel was done.
- What is Sam, now that we know he's somehow made it back? I've read many people who still think that Lucifer is possessing him, but that would mean the Apocalypse would still be going on around Dean, and I doubt that he's just chilling at Lisa's if that's the case. I don't think he's fully human normal Sam after we saw the light post go out when he got near it, but I'm not sure what's happened to him. Also, I'm guessing if Sam got out of the trap, its possible that my dear Baby Winchester is out there somewhere as well. I hope so.
- Where was Crowley and does he still have Bobby's soul? I'm hoping we'll tackle this one next season, cause I love Crowley and think he makes a great reoccurring character.