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Supernatural – Endings are hard

After a season of anticipation, the big showdown is finally upon us. As Sam and Dean put their plan into action, Lucifer is set to meet Michael on the chosen field.

- Season 5, Episode 22 - "Swan Song"

After five years, it all comes down to this. And really, the big finale was nothing like I imagined. With so much build-up and hype revolving around the showdown between Michael and Lucifer, I was expecting some kind of epic battle. Thinking that when they finally did meet on the chosen field there would be lightning bolts and the earth opening up. Not so much, right? And I’m OK with it.

While this wasn’t what I expected, it did a lot of things right. First, the idea to frame the whole thing with Chuck writing his last book was a good one. It makes sense, given that he is the prophet, to have him involved. And I especially liked that Dean once again called on him to get a leg up. If I have one complaint about Chuck’s role here, it’s the business with the car. It was clever, walking through the history, but at the end of the day, the car wasn’t the most important thing. It was, as it has always been, the bond between Dean and Sam.

While the car, as Chuck alluded to, may have represented their home, the people inside the home are always more important. Sam’s awakening, and the flashbacks that followed, could have just as easily been triggered by looking to Dean, who was once again there to protect Sam, even at his own peril. And, I would argue, that would have been better. But those are awfully small potatoes in what was a very big story. A story that twisted its way through a series of fascinating conversations.

Starting with Sam and Dean, and them finally getting on the same page with the plan. It felt like it was finally the end of the up and down journey the two have been on. It’s been a huge struggle where, at times, we didn’t know which way things were headed. It also answered what was my biggest question about the plan: what happens after Sam goes in the box? The answer — “You know I’m not coming back.” — was a heavy reminder of the stakes.

Then we had Lucifer and Sam. The beginning was great, as Lucifer let on that he knew about the rings, even dropping in a Charlie Daniels lyric. His willingness to just accept Sam’s plan was unexpected, but worked very well. I really liked the way they showed both versions of Sam, conversing. And it was a nice callback to the days of dark Sam as Lucifer tried to entice him with how this doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and offer him his chance at revenge against Azazel’s minions. All of that demon blood at least hinted that Sam could be swayed, but I think we all knew different.

Michael and Lucifer were interesting as well. Although we didn’t get the huge battle some might have expected thanks to Dean and the boys, their roles in the initial conversation were quite telling about who both of them are. Lucifer, as ever, trying to work an angle. “God wanted the devil.” “Let’s just walk off the chess board.” And Michael, always the good son. “I have my orders.”

Of course, in the midst of all of that, we have Castiel with the line of the night, “Hey, Assbutt!” It was such an oddly timed comedic interjection, but I loved it, because it was a very Supernatural moment. It also lead us right into the big showdown, which didn’t end up as Lucifer vs. Michael. Rather, it was Sam and Dean against Lucifer. And as Castiel reminded us last week, the Winchesters have a habit of exceeding expectations.

That brings us to the big ending. Or, as I see it, endings. As we made our way to the end of season five, I was wondering, what if this was the end of the series? Will the sixth season change what we see? It did, but I think we still got that end-of-the-series ending. As Chuck talked about how endings are hard, and then vanished, it could have stopped right there. The story was complete. You could even make the case that Chuck makes a very nice stand-in for Kripke in that moment. Talking about how ending the show is hard, and then fading away as it’s handed off to season six. And because of season six, we got the little teaser of Sam standing on the street looking in on Dean. Which leaves us all with some questions to ponder over the summer.

First, is that Sam, Lucifer, or both? How did he get out of the trap? Is he making sure that Dean is finally at peace? Or planning some sort of revenge? The look didn’t really tip his hand one way or the other. There’s not a lot to go on. But it’s just enough to have me already looking forward to the show’s return next fall. Taking both of those endings into consideration, the finale was a success.

Photo Credit: CW

28 Responses to “Supernatural – Endings are hard”

May 13, 2010 at 11:43 PM

This was definitely written in a way that could have made it a series ender, with the exception of Sam/Lucifer peering in at Dean at the end. It definitely begs the question of who that was: Sam or Lucifer? Or someone else?

As soon as the episode started out, Deb and I both assumed that the “death of a beloved character” was going to be the Impala. Right away I assumed Sam was going to drive it into Hell.

As for Chuck, what are we to make of him going *poof* like that? If he was an angel, wouldn’t his exit have been different (sound of flapping wings, no smoke)? Is he, perhaps, God? Or is it just that his work is over, so he was taken away?

May 13, 2010 at 11:48 PM

I never even considered the idea that Chuck was God. That would be a heck of a twist. Thinking about it, I lean against it because I want to think that Castiel would have somehow known. But, if he is God, it does stand to reason that he could have thwarted that rather easily. I took the disappearance as a signal that his work was done, and a nod to Kripke stepping aside.

May 14, 2010 at 12:37 AM

I think that Chuck was supposed to be God. Here’s a few things that support it.

1.Anna said that only four angels ever saw God’s face, so Castiel wouldn’t have been able to recognize him if he was Chuck (not to mention he needed the necklace to find him too).

2. I remember Chuck said something in a previous episode (I think it was the first one he was in) about an author writing himself into his own story being pretentious (or something similar). This could signify him as God

3. Dean said that Chuck had a virgin-hooker thing going on when they were talking on the phone. Maybe a Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene reference?

3.5. Chuck answered that phone call saying Mistress Magda, followed by saying she’s nothing, just a close friend. Another Mary Magdalene reference?

Just my two cents

May 14, 2010 at 12:57 AM

That’s some solid theory Dan, but you’ve reminded me of another point that now swings me back against Chuck as God. If you’ll recall, Dean’s amulet is supposed to burn hot in the presence of God. How many times did we see Dean with Chuck, without taking notice of that? Given the nature of what they do, it would seem that they would have noticed, and put two and two together when they learned what it meant.

Of course, this one also carries the caveat of it being God, who could arguably disable the amulet at will. I hope we’ll get an answer one way or the other next season.

May 15, 2010 at 12:36 AM

Brett about what you said:
“If you’ll recall, Dean’s amulet is supposed to burn hot in the presence of God. How many times did we see Dean with Chuck, without taking notice of that? Given the nature of what they do, it would seem that they would have noticed, and put two and two together when they learned what it meant.”
But if we were to agree that Chuck is God then we might as well believe that as God he can manipulate these type of details, can’t he? He’s almighty.
I totally buy Chuck as God … and all those things that Dan mentioned about magda and Virgin Mary totally make sense now. I loved this end I can’t wait for next season to start!

May 14, 2010 at 12:52 AM

I also thought the ending meant that Chuck was God. However, Brett brings up a good point about Chuck being a representation of Kripke. Therefore I’m led to believe that, in fact, Kripke is God. This is actually rather obvious in retrospect.

May 14, 2010 at 12:59 AM

‘Kripke is God’ would have been a solid choice for post title. :D

May 14, 2010 at 1:07 AM

hey i just finished the episode and i thought it was great but how did chuck dissapear at the end me and my sis bothed looked at each other and said God?

May 14, 2010 at 2:13 AM

Wow… i honestly don’t know how i feel about these finale. All the way through i was thinking… is these suppose to end these way or not??? either way it was a solid episode, and i’m really grad that we have another season to go, or else i would be very depressed right now!!! :)

The chuck thing was great, i really think that more than God, was a nice way to represent the idea of Kripke stepping down. Can’t wait to see where they will go from here, and at the moment i have absolutly no idea what to make about Sam in the end… crearly it can’t be Lucifer, because we would have to deal with the apocalypse all over again (been there, done that…) so i will have to think a little longer about my theory :)

GO SUPERNATURAL!!!

May 14, 2010 at 2:38 AM

Like you, was not what I expected, but still LOVED IT. I really really love the relationship between these brothers, and everything was timed really well with the episode. It gave us what we knew would happen [unless the show was going to change into a post-apocolyptic supernatural] but it did it in such a way that it was still unexpected and satisfying. I am sooo glad Cas was not killed–and with any luck, will still be around a LOT next season. Bobby, not so much. I don’t dislike him, but I don’t exactly adore his screen time either. Glad he didn’t die only because Dean has enough to deal with. Jensen Ackles was AMAZING and Jared Padelecki rose to a very difficult occaision–playing Lucifer and himself, very tricky.

May 14, 2010 at 2:42 AM

Was a GREAT episode–which is saying a lot, considering how epic it was to be and how much had been leading into it. Kripke wrote an amazing piece and I can easily see how this would have been a series finale. In fact, what I would like to see now is the boys somehow get back to their roots–the love, the cowboys blowing in and out of towns to do good, and it ending with them just continuing to do what they do.

May 14, 2010 at 3:06 AM

Did I miss something? Is Kripke not coming back for the 6th season?

May 14, 2010 at 9:41 AM

so does anyone know how chuck dissapeared at the end or was that just a hint of him not going to be on the show again

May 14, 2010 at 11:04 AM

I like this as a season finale; but I would not have liked this episode as a series finale. I’m sure they put Sam in at the end, after they found out there was going to be a sixth season. But even with out Sam being there, it would have left too many unanswered questions for me and I would have been really upset. I’m glad there is going to be another season. I don’t think Chuck was God, just his time ending and representation of Kripke. I’ve read a couple of different articles stating Kripke will still be involved as an executive producer, but will be working on a new tv series.

May 14, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Rather than Chuck being God, I see him disappearing simply being a sign that the story of Dean and Sam is over. He was the prophet telling their story. So, if their story is over, no need for him to remain and tell it.

While watching, the idea of him being God didn’t cross my mind, but I guess it is definitely possible. But, I think I would rather he was just zapped “up” for another job or purpose.

May 14, 2010 at 12:04 PM

This was just an amazingly good episode, even if it depressed the crap out of me. It felt so much like a series finale!
I disagree about the car. You’re right that it is the bond between the brothers that is all important, and it’s what gave Sam the upper hand in taking control of his body, but I thought it was really beautiful the way they did it. Had it been him looking into Dean’s horribly mangled face instead of the little toy soldier catching his eye I don’t think it’d have worked quite as well.
It’s really pathetic how much I love this show. The thought of it ending for good actually makes me upset. Quite the opposite of Lost, where I just want to get it over with already!
Oh and Chuck is so definitely God, I would bet money on it.

May 14, 2010 at 12:47 PM

I loved the whole way they told the story through Chuck and the car. They never cease to amaze with what they’ll try out, and it always is successful. Now, what I’m wondering is who is the beloved character that died? That’s the wording of the spoiler The CW sent to us — Bobby’s fine, Castiel’s fine, the Impala’s fine — do they really mean Adam? Or could they mean Sam?

May 14, 2010 at 1:02 PM

I suppose they could also mean Chuck, given the disappearance. I’d certainly count him as more beloved than Adam. Mostly though, I just chalked that promo blurb up to network shenanigans meant to trick us into thinking that Bobby was really dead.

May 14, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Not at all what I expected.

Sam remembering all the scenes of their lives as brothers while fighting off Lucifer brought a tear to my eye.

When Chuck poofed it totally made me think of God. For some reason, not just God, but the movie Oh, God. Did he poof in that way? That was my very first thought after he poofed – God.

Sam at the end. I wondered Sam or Lucifer or both, leaning more toward evil intentions as the light popped off over his head (didn’t that happen in the Exorcist?). CJ reminded me that it could just mean supernatural forces of any kind. But, as we know, even spending just a week in hell can change you. A week in hell is eons on the planet. If Sam was in hell, who the hell knows what he’s thinking about his brother living the happily ever after he was supposed to live with Jessica?

Season six should be interesting; of course looking forward to it already!

May 14, 2010 at 3:03 PM

To Brett Love…take a look and this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqwVeaZxZ6o

Joshua says that no amulet cant find god if he does not want to be found.Maybe Chuck vanishing scene has to meanings.That Chuck is God,and that Kripke is finished with SPN!

May 14, 2010 at 3:11 PM

An amazing episode all around for what would have been the series finally. Does anyone else think that the original plan was to have both Sam and Dean end up in the cage and end the series like that before they got the series renewal notice? Upon getting renewed they had to rework the finale and brought back the throwaway character of Adam as a way to do it?

I agree with all of Dan’s points in regards to Chuck being God and at first glance I would agree but the more you think about the more I come to the conclusion that Chuck was actually Jesus.

1. He is suppose to come back at the end of times.
2. He has the beard
3. The constant use of temptations
4. The wearing of white that he had
5. Being a prophet
6. Of course all of Dan’s points.

And lets’ not forget Castiel saying that God/Jesus did help in some way, giving the location of the final showdown.

May 15, 2010 at 5:07 AM

After rewatching, I definitely leaned more towards Jesus as well. But if we’re going full-on Christian here, God and Jesus are one in the same – throw in the Holy Ghost and you have the Trinity which is one of the most basic principles of Christian faith.
The other thing that really stuck out to me the second time around is all of his words about endings being hard — as if he was the one having to create the ending. Because were he simply a prophet he wouldn’t have to come up with anything, just write it down as he saw it, no?

May 15, 2010 at 3:22 AM

I hope for a next season with the brothers back together fighting and hunting things like the writers said it would be.
I hope they bring the boys back together and not give us episodes where they’ll be Sam alone and Dean with Lisa.

But then again the writers promised they’ll bring them back together this season and they did’t deliver.
So I don’t know if you call this bitching, but these are my two cents.

May 18, 2010 at 11:47 AM

I really loved the ending don’t get me wrong, telling the story about the car was inspired. But does anyone else feel like we are still building up to something?

Definatly agree about the chuck vanishing thing as a nod to Kripke. Very nice by the way.

But so much left to explain in series 6:
Deans amulet – and Deans threat to get God next?
Sam under that lamp – evil?
Deans deal with death – The exact agreement was that he would do ‘everything’ in his power to put Lucifer in the box. Watching it I’m not sure what ‘everything’ might mean to Death?

Plus the big build up feel with Deans character – So sure he was gonna say yes to micheal at the last minute and see a massive bust up! Damn it!

May 22, 2010 at 3:44 PM

I have just heard that the season 6 picks up a few years after the end of season 5. Really don’t know how to take that, they had better be bloody careful. I was not impressed with how they left it.
You can see how they have changed characters so they can extend the show. It is obviouse it was suppose to be Sam and Dean in the hole. Episode 1 of season 6 better be amazing!

July 4, 2010 at 10:21 PM

I cannot believe that I missed most of the last few episodes. I have been hooked on SPN ever since it first began and never missed an episode, but the ones that were the most important (last few of Season 5) I didn’t see fully. I only saw like the last 30 mins of each. =( I have the gist of what is going on but I am totally lost on the whole “Chuck is God” theory. Help? Not to mention, there is no way for me to watch them on YouTube and I am not buying the $60 DVD set just to see those few episodes. And, I really don’t want to wait all summer for the repeats. I don’t want to be lost! Someone please explain the God theory!

July 15, 2010 at 11:21 PM

All I can say about the finale is wow. Genius.

About Chuck, I found this quote from episode 4.18 I think:
“I’m a god. A cruel, cruel, capricious god. The things I put you through. The physical beatings alone!”

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