The Morning After

I loved it! Absolutely loved it! That’s what a Supernatural finale should be – thrilling, gratifying, well-written, superbly acted, fantastic cinematography with scenes that take your breath away, plot closures that make sense and a tantalizing cliffhanger. I’m mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted – which is what this show is supposed to do to us! “Let the Good Times Roll” was an ending worthy of taking its place among the best finales of the series. Did I mention I loved it?

Free Will and Devil’s Bargains

Where to begin? So many plot-shattering things happened!

Dean is finally Michael’s sword!

Dean: How do we stop him?
Michael: You don't. After consuming the Nephilim's grace, Lucifer's juiced up. He's super-charged. He'll kill the boy, your brother. Hell, he could end the whole universe if he put his mind to it. And you thought I was bad.
Dean: No. No, you beat him. I saw you.
Michael: When he was weaker, and I was stronger. Believe me, I'd love to rip my brother apart. But now in this banged up meatsuit - not happening. This is the end, of everything.
Dean: No. What if what if you had your sword?
Castiel: Dean, no.
Dean: I am your sword.
Earlier this week, we published an essay by PS Griffin (The Road so Far: Much Ado about Dean), in which she traced all the events from the beginning of the series that led to Dean’s choice to become Michael’s vessel. It was inevitable. Sam averted their world’s apocalypse by becoming Lucifer eight years ago, but the apocalyptic battle was only delayed, not deterred.  Fate had to merge the events of two universes to get alternate universe Michael (who had already killed his Lucifer) and the “real” world’s Lucifer (who had already beat down his Michael) together for the showdown of who gets to shape the world in their image. Dean had to become Michael.
 
13.23 wings by SPNuncensored 1tumblr p8wk2wmXKI1x2ypb5o2 400
Sam and Dean may have thought they derailed the archangels' final confrontation but Dean couldn’t escape his fate any more than Sam could escape his eight years ago.
 
Michael: Oh, I know what you are.
Dean: If we work together, can we beat Lucifer?
Castiel: Dean!
Dean: Can we?!
Michael: We'd have a chance.
Castiel: Dean, you can't.
Dean: Lucifer has Sam. He has Jack. Cas, I don't have a choice
I would really have liked Dean’s decision to have taken a bit longer. I would have liked for Castiel to have emphatically reminded Dean why he adamantly refused to be an angel’s meatsuit – to give up his free will - no matter what coercion, torture or desperation was thrust upon him the first time around. It would have been a more poignant moment and added more gravitas to the decision, plus it would have given Castiel more to do than utter one word objections here and there and get batted away like a pesky fly during fights. Still, it was clear why Dean did it, but why did Dean give in now? What changed? Yes, he would do anything to save Sam but Uriel was killing Sam in Heaven’s waiting room all those years ago when Dean was on the brink of giving in. He didn’t use his leverage to save Sam then, so why did he give in now?
 
Dean: If we do this, it's a onetime deal. I'm in charge. You're the engine, but I'm behind the wheel.
Dean made a devil’s bargain. In fact, I believe Dean and Michael’s deal was the climax of the “Devil’s Bargain” thread. Dean thought he could retain his free will even after Michael controlled his body but as with all the other deals, things didn't work out as planned.  The word "deal" was used ten times in the dialog! As Castiel probably knew (but didn't have the chance to say), Michael didn't honor their bargain. Castiel was "fraught" (Misha's description) when he was left alone, not knowing if Sam and Jack were dead, thinking that they had lost Dean forever. 
 
SPN 2064
 
What is Michael’s end game, though? He wasn't spewing manifestos about fate and prophecies, but he did claim his right to biblical cleansing:
 
And now, this world is mine. I can save it, purge it of sin. ­I'm not perfect. Yes, I made mistakes. But second time's the charm. And you Dean Winchester, will be the first life that I take in this world, first soul I save. Some would consider that an honor.
Michael won this round. He got everything he wanted. He invaded Sam and Dean's world, killed Lucifer and with Jack out of the way, is now the most powerful supernatural being with seemingly no one to stop him. Michael also got the perfectl vessel, designed specifically for him. His words foreshadowed Dean’s fate, and althought the first part of his prediction came to pass - he took Dean’s life away from him - he has not yet “saved” Dean’s soul. Dean has to be kicking and screaming inside, just as Sam fought to regain control from Lucifer.  Will we get to see more of that internal battle? When Michael was overpowering Dean's will, Dean yelled:
 
We had a deal!
Is Dean's resistance why Michael didn’t kill Sam (and Jack) once he had defeated Lucifer? Surely, Michael wouldn’t have been so merciful. The horror Sam felt when he realized what had happened...
 
1323 michael by faramaiofnerdwoodforest
 
and the look on Sam’s face, his expression of “no, please, no”, after he had lost Dean once again, was excrutiating.
 
SPN 2043
 
Sam had to find and save Dean when he was a demon. Sam had to find a cure and save Dean from the Mark of Cain after his soul was healed of its demon’s blackness. Now Sam has to find and save Dean from Michael.  My heart is breaking for him! His moment of complete joy and relief that Lucifer was finally, totally, completely dead was unfairly brief. It should have been something he could have savored for a lifetime.
 
13.23 Sam Relieved by faramaiofnerdwoodforest
 
At least give the guy one peaceful night’s sleep?!  Give him time to savor a world without Satan. 

 

The End Game

SPN 1976

That's worth repeating. Lucifer is dead!!

Again, I would have liked the battle between Michael and Lucifer to have been longer. An apocalypse battle that lasts 90 seconds? I think their skirmish when they first met in the AU world was longer! I'll save my commentary on the battle of winged creatures for later, but there's no arguing that the outcome was brilliant. What an extraordinary climax for the greatest of all evils. Fire, not light, shooting from his face! Glowing embers sparking on his wings. Well done! Superb work by the VFX team! At least those nightmares that plagued Sam and Rowena are over. How very gratifying to see all of Team Free Will's work, worry, torture and anguish finally pay off. Castiel said that Lucifer never stopped being their responsibility. All of them together, Dean, Sam and Castiel, played a part in unleashing Lucifer on the world, so it is fitting that they freed the world of him forever. Castiel pushed Sam into going after Lucifer, and Dean and Sam together delivered the final blow.
 
A world without Satan. Consider it.  
 

Dean: Hey, you remember when you asked if we could stop it? All the evil in the world? If we could really change things? Well, maybe with Jack, we can.

Sam: Maybe you're right. But then what will we do?

Dean: This. A whole lot of this. But on a beach somewhere, you know? Can you imagine? You, me, Cass, toes in the sand, couple of them little umbrella drinks. Matching Hawaiian shirts, obviously. Some hula girls.

Sam: You talking about retiring? You?

Dean: If I knew the world was safe? Hell, yeah. And you know why? 'Cause we freaking earned it, man.

Sam: I'll drink to that.

“There’ll be peace when you are done.”
 
First of all, they're talking about retirement again! Sam and Dean may not have discussed it before, but the Supernatural writers have been inserting hints about Jared and Jensen retiring, about the end of the show, into the dialog of the past several episoes. Let's hope they are just doing some long - very long - term planning! This is getting unsettling! 
 
Within the context of the show's story, though, if you’ve followed my theories you know that I totally and completely believe that “peace” doesn’t mean death. In the end, when the boys have rid the world of all supernatural evil, they’ll have peace because they will have won. Finally, Dean also had a vision for a much happier future than his and Sam’s “ends bloody” fate. 
 
Three out of four archangels are now dead. Lucifer and all his lieutenants, i.e. the Knights and Princes of Hell, are all dead. King Crowley is dead. Hell has no leader and the demons lack the motive or vision to be very dangerous on their own. The boys and Rowena have the demon tablet and I'm betting she finds a way to forever close the gates of Hell. After all, as one of his last deals before he died, her son offered to close Hell's gates. I'm betting those words will mean something some time down the road. 
 
Heaven is also without a leader. The last archangel, Michael, will have to be defeated to get Dean back so that will wipe out all of the candidates for Heaven's throne. Heaven is running out of angels and power, and the gateway to earth is closed. It may not seem like it at the moment (since Michael is now in power and threatening to end the world), but Team Free Will is winning the fight between good and evil.
 
SN1323b 0544b
 
If you think about it, their whole journey has always been about which vision of the world will prevail. What will things look like at the end of the road?  When Lucifer finally revealed the truth about who he was, he also revealed his vision of “the end”: 
 

Oh, buddy. We could've been something, you and me. We could've remade the universe. It would've been great. We could've been better gods than Dad. And I really wanted that, pal. I wanted that. But now if I can't have it with you, I I don't need ya. I just need your power.

A few moments later, when Lucifer tried to turn Sam and Jack against each other in the merciless move to prove his superiority over the power of love and family, he again reiterated his motive to remake the world in his image: 
 

Lucifer; So one of you is gonna walk out that door, and the other one will be laying dead on the ground. You choose.

Sam: No.

Lucifer: Or you could do that, and I can murder you both and end all life in the universe. Remake it in my image, better than Dad ever could. I'm thinkin' mm fire-breathing dragons, sassy talking robots. I might give humans another chance if they know their place and worship me, 'cause I've earned it. But hey, it'll probably take a few days to unravel the universe, Maybe, uh, 7, 10 days tops. So maybe, just maybe, one of you could stop me. Maybe. Well, let's see. Clock's ticking, guys.

Michael also reiterated his hatred of humans and his vision to “save” the world from them. Like Lucifer, Michael wants to be worshipped as the one true god and rule over all beings, so really, he and his brother have/had the same vision of “the end”. They’d have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t have been for those pesky (TFW) kids ! Fortunately, Jack stopped Lucifer from killing Dean (and eventually Sam) in the bunker, and Sam stopped Lucifer from killing Dean (and eventually he and Jack) in the chapel:

Lucifer: Good try, Dean. ­I'll give you that, buddy. I'm not just powerful now. I am power. And I don't need a blade to end you, pal.

Sam: Dean!

A moment of perfect coordination between Sam and Dean ended Lucifer's plans. Score one for the good guys! They are one step closer to making their vision a reality!

Was Lucifer’s death the climax of “The End Game” thread? If the references stop, then yes it was. However, I believe that they’ll resume sometime in season 14. Then we’ll know that the “end” thread refers to everyone’s conflicting visions for the end of the battle between good and evil, the end of the battle between the supernatural and mortals, and by extension the end of the Winchester brothers’ story. For now, the battle is about who has the power to win.

Power

Was it always about the power for Lucifer? Was he ever truly interested in being a father? He seemed sincere about starting over as a good dad when talking with Anael, and his tears after Gabriel berated him seemed genuine. His scream of frustration when Jack finally saw him as a "monster" also betrayed very deep emotion.

13.23 lucifer scream by faramaiofnerdwoodforest

By the way, it was tremendously cool that Jack was so powerful, Lucifer's scream didn't even phase him! So yes, I believe there was a small part of Lucifer that wanted everything he saw others have. When Sam asked him what he wanted, Lucifer said, “I want what you have. A relationship with my son. ” Gabriel was right, though. Lucifer just couldn’t get past his true nature to put others before himself. Lucifer hated that Sam and Jack were like father and son, so he did his best to break them both.

SN1323b 0490b

When Jack held that blade and started to draw his own blood, I think I stopped breathing. Don’t kill Jack. Don’t kill Jack. DON’T KILL JACK! Was he just a one season character? Was he going to be another Kevin – give Sam and Dean a younger brother just to kill him off for the gut-wrenching grief it would inflict on them and us? But Jack is alive! He’s part of the family now and they actually let him live! Alexander Calvert is an amazing young actor and I’m thrilled he’ll continue into season 14. He has outstanding chemistry with Jared, Jensen and Misha, and adds the youth the show needs to keep it fresh and appealing to teen viewers. Besides, Team Free Will needs a teenager around to keep them all in line!

The cliffhanger question for season 14 is whether a Nephilim can regenerate his powers. Is Jack human now? Lucifer absorbed all of Jack’s grace. Jack’s own words foreshadowed his fate:

Lucifer: So what?! I killed the girl! Big deal! She's a human! She doesn't matter!

Jack: So am I!

Lucifer: Yeah? And that's your problem. You're too much like your mother.

Jack’s grace was that of an archangel. He was more powerful than Michael or Lucifer because Jack’s grace was supercharged by his soul. Uncle Gabriel was able to replenish his grace when it was taken from him, but wasn’t there always a grace reserve left in him for that to work? Was it Anael or Asmodeus that commented they didn’t want to run the tap dry because that would render the source useless? I need some canon confirmation here, but I’m pretty sure stealing every last drop means there isn’t a seed left to grow; there aren’t any cells left to split and multiply; or whatever biological reproductive process applies to angels. That would explain why Castiel never regained power when Metatron stole all his grace. If that’s the case, did Lucifer steal all Jack’s grace? That would make the most sense because Lucifer would want to be as powerful as possible. It would also prevent Jack from regenerating and becoming a powerful threat in the future. However, it looked like Jack’s neck was still emitting a white glow when Lucifer healed the cut. Sam told Jack:

You can get your power back. 

That implies there is still a little left in Jack.  It would also explain why Lucifer took Jack with him when he flew away, and why he healed Jack’s wound in the first place. Was Lucifer thinking that he’d keep Jack as a wellspring, as Asmodeus did to Gabriel?? That would make sense IF Lucifer didn’t risk Jack dying in the Sophie’s choice scenario he imposed on Jack and Sam. If Sam had killed Jack, the well would be dry. Maybe since Lucifer was contemplating remaking the universe in 7 days he thought he didn’t need more power?

It is only the morning after the finale aired! There are a lot of possibilities to consider!

Either Jack is permanently human or it will take him a very long time to power up (as it did for Gabriel), so will the show explore Jack being a human, as it did with Castiel several years ago? At the recent UK convention, Misha said he wished that storyline would have lasted longer. Is this another chance for the writers to pursue a very powerful being becoming powerless? Maybe a chance for Sam to talk about losing his powers and going back to being a mere mortal?

Doesn’t Jack have to get his powers back, though? How else will Michael be defeated? Does Sam have Lucifer’s archangel blade? Did anyone see where that went after Lucifer was killed? Michael had it when he fell. Did he take it with him?

There’s so much more to talk about! We haven’t yet covered half the threads that were woven into the phenomenal finale! But let’s stop here. Stay tuned to Part 2 of Threads when we’ll look at:

Truth
Time
Talking (and not Talking)
Imposters & Disguises
Sleeping & Nightmares
New Rules (i.e. new canon)
Bobby’s here to stay!! Mary’s not dead! And #Singchester (the budding romance of Bobby and Mary!)
Plus anything else I find on Light & Dark, Fear, Manners, Animals (flying monkeys?) and Water!

So hold your comments on those subjects until part 2. I want to hear your reactions to Dean, Sam, Cas, Jack, Lucifer and Michael first, and let’s see if we can figure out answers to all the questions they raised for us! There’s more than enough to discuss on these threads and we want to savor every emotional moment! Go!

P.S. Maybe my favorite shot of the finale? 

13.23 Nightsky by faramaiofnerdwoodforest

for obvious reasons.

- Nightsky

 

Thank you to Wednesday for gif technical assistance, and to SPNuncensored and faramaiofnerdwoodforest for the gifs. 

Transcript Quotes courtesy of https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk