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For a succinct and reflective look at the episode, here’s Sablegreen’s take on Swan Song

[Originally Published May 14, 2010]

Time Marches On...

With a glass of Bailey’s in one hand and tissues in the other, I sat down to watch the climax of Supernatural’s Wal-Mart apocalypse, the ending of the myth arc, and was engrossed from the first moment. With the music and lyrics of SPN’s theme song (after all who cannot hear ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’ and NOT think of SPN) ringing in our ears, we see so many memories from the brothers past stream forward, hitting you with the devastation that they have gone through all their lives, and realizing this is where it ends, good or bad – it’s over.

We get to see Chuck once again as narrator and author of his last novel of the Winchester gospelAnd from the beginning, this Chuck seemed different from past episodes. He seemed more confident and assured of himself, but not to the point where I thought he might be God.  That was a surprise! Really like Chuck’s character, but without an apocalypse you don’t need a prophet.

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The history of the impala was awesome, and so nice to get an in depth view of the third main character of the series.   It was nice to see how it fit in so well with the Winchesters and maybe that it was sort of built just for them. Oops, don’t want to go down destiny’s path again, but if a car can have a soul (and in the Winchester world anything is possible), than I’d like to think it is a soul that’s entwined with the boys for all eternity.  The boys will always go through time together, and I’d like to think the car would be with them always- its really so much a part of them. Yep, its home, and home will always bring back memories.  That’s what home and family is all about. The sight of Sam’s family in front of him (Dean and the impala) snapped him back and gave him the strength to do what needed to be done. He has changed so much, and so has Dean. Dean has spent his entire life needing family around him, and to letting Sam go required all the strength he had. 

Yes, I loved the flashbacks about the brotherly moments in the story. So much of that had been missed this season. The fun they had as kids, the silly spoon, and the pranks they played on one another. The sacrifices they made...so much has passed between them, good and bad. 

The last few seconds will stay with me for a long time. Dean, now willing to go on without his brother because of the promise he made, and Sam alive and realizing just how much he has lost. Sam was never one for thinking the boys being together was necessary for them to be brothers. And he was right. That was Dean's family. This Sam looked very different however...like now he wishes things were the way they used to be.   After all Sam has been through, what he needs most now is his big brother. Dean and Sam’s concept of family have reversed. Dean is willing to move on and give a long term relationship a chance, and Sam is wishing he had his brother back with him sitting on the hood of the impala looking at the stars. 

What will Sam do? That is the question we are left to ponder for the next few months.

For me, even though self-sacrifice is a trait the Winchesters thrive on, in all fairness to Dean, Sam should let him know he's alive and then move on, if that is the consensus. It's really not fair to let Dean grieve for him, or fair for Sam to shoulder his pain alone, and not be a part of his brother’s life. I think Sam now understands more about Dean and what it was like for him as the older brother. Maybe he feels he owes in to Dean to let him lead a normal life without him. NOT!!!!   One is never better without family!

If Sam knows Dean at all; he has to realize hunting is not something Dean can give up. And each of them hunting alone is dangerous; they need each other to cover their backs. And there is no reason, they can have both, and it would be a wonderful evolution for both boys. Be nice if Sam found a girl in Lisa’s town and they both had families to come home too after a long hard hunting job.   I say they get side-by-side houses with a shared driveway so the impala stays with them both. 

After, all there are no more demons or angels hunting them, no more worry about the world ending or the Croatian virus. No reason they can’t have girlfriends and their job too. No one is going to toast their loved ones on the ceiling. And hunting is what makes both boys happy. It’s in their blood and they can never be alive without it.  And as they are soul mates, they are going to find each other no matter what. 

Bobby and Cass are around. Bobby is back walking and hunting, thanks to Crowley, who also has what he, wanted - his freedom. And Bobby’s soul, well he died, so all bets are off. Beside, Crowley said he would give it back in the end, and he did seem to have a liking for Bobby, so I’m guessing, he never returns to collect. And Death, well I hope he takes a nice long trip around the galaxy, like for millennia, and he can take his brothers with him! 

Cass is back in heaven getting things under control. Maybe he is now God’s right hand man. After all, God brought him back twice. And Cass has changed a lot. He understands more about living, and the feelings Anna had tried to tell him about oh so long ago. I think heaven will be in store for some huge changes with Cass. Maybe that’s what God wanted to see Cass grow with a more human side. Good lord, we don’t need more Michaels up there! And Lucifer, he did seem to have somewhat of a heart. Maybe that was the legacy Gabe left him. His attempt at trying to talk to Michael made me feel very sorry for him. However he is evil and can’t roam free, but at least now he has company in the pit. Maybe that was the part of God’s plan all along. They are trapped together now until they work things out. Then hopefully, God with make amends with both of them.

What test was God giving the boys? Or was it even a test? That is another question for next season. Given Chuck’s (err God’s) smile, at the end, I’d say if it was a test, the boys pasted with flying colors! 
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Also was that really Sam? Flickering lights has always signalled the coming of a demon. That’s a haunting question -Cass did say Dean would never have peace. Ouch! But the myth arc is over, so hopefully Sam’s road back didn’t include any hitchhikers!

Will the character be able to go back to a season one format?   This chapter of the Winchester story is closed, and a new one opens. Time marches on, change is inevitable, and heroes will deal with it. Sam and Dean are brothers, soul mates bound together for all eternity. They only have one job, hunting and really they are at their best doing it together.  So yes, they will be happy again just hunting wendigos, and I’ll be happy just watching. So for the apocalypse, Chuck has the best ending of anyone could give...Poof!!!!!

Comments  

Bevie
# Bevie 2015-01-16 10:25
FYI - The recap is missing from page 2. Will be back when it reappears! Page 1 was great, a relief from the moaning and groaning of the other comments at the "news".
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-01-17 13:02
A truly epic episode; it doesn't get any better than this. And Bevie is right, I think Page 2 is broken.

I started watching live in early S8 and went back to watch the entire series from the beginning. Afterwards, when dipping my toes in to some of the fandom sites (particularly TWFB) during S8 winter hiatus, went back to read a lot of the old reviews and couldn't believe the reaction was as mixed as it was, and people were giving Eric Kripke grief about this episode. In retrospect, I couldn't imagine it ending any other way.
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2015-01-23 04:15
Well, damn, if just reading this hasn’t made me want to bawl. It’s amazing how nearly five years down the line, an episode can still pull at the heartstrings so effectively, and that’s without even having watched it!
A lovely trip down memory lane, and a nice tribute to one of the best episodes they ever made. Thank you.
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