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Next is the spooky sounds, bloody bodies hanging downward, a trough of blood, Sam is stoically cleaning off the demon knife, and Cas is getting together the blood into plastic jugs. Wow, this is creepy. I know Sam has to justify the means, but this is just so graphic, even for him. Dean is a bystander and he looks really bothered. They come outside, Castiel and Sam carrying four jugs of demon blood to put into the Impala trunk. Dean stops to wipe blood off his cheek and he’s got a bad feeling about this.

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Dean decides to check in on Bobby, who’s nearby checking out omens in the back of his van. I’m glad he kept the van, it’s so much cooler than the beat up Chevelle because it looks more bad ass. It can hold more weapons too. Although, the van is a Dodge, so I’m shocked it’s still running (ducks flying objects from Dodge lovers. Both of them.)   “I still can’t get used to you at eye level,” Dean jokes to Bobby. Bobby just gives him a wry smile.  Bobby wants to know if he was right. “As always Yoda, two stunt demons inside, just like you said.” You’re going to notice many Star Wars type references and themes in this episode. I’ll point them out as I catch them, but I’m thinking Yoda is pretty obvious.

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Bobby wants to know if they “got it.” Yep, all the “go juice Sammy can drink.” That mere idea leaves a pit in my stomach, as I’m sure it does Deans. Yeah, because me and a fictional character can so relate like that. “You okay?” Bobby asks Dean. ”Not really,” and he moves on. At least he’s being honest. Bobby doesn’t think he has much, cyclone in Florida, temperature drops in Detroit, wildfires in LA - wait a second, Detroit? Uh oh. Temperature has dropped twenty degrees but only in a five block radius in downtown. ”That’s the one,” Dean says. “Devil’s in Detroit.” Bobby wants to know if he’s sure.   I’m shocked, did Dean not share his Detroit story with Bobby? Oh, he’s sure. Both Bobby and Dean look over at Sam, who’s pretty jittery right now. He should be!

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Okay, time for another scene that’s going to toy with my emotions. That’s because Kripke is an evil bastard. I swear I need a code word for those strife filled moments that cause me terrible grief. This is probably Kripke getting back at me for all those “Bazingas”I threw at him earlier in the season. Touché, wise one, touché. The Impala drives down the dark road with the van following behind. My guess it that’s the road to Detroit. Castiel is sleeping in the back of the Impala. What, he didn’t want to ride shotgun with Bobby? Dean looks back at Cas. “Aw, isn’t he a little angel?” As cute as it is, Sam points out the disturbingly obvious part of that nap. ”Angels don’t sleep.” I guess the point is, Cas is human now. 

This is the prime moment for Sam and Dean to start talking. “Sam, I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Dean says. Sam acknowledges he’d be nuts to have a good feeling about this. That’s not Dean’s point. Detroit. Satan always said this would happen in Detroit. “Maybe this is him rolling out the red carpet. Maybe he knows something we don’t.” Sam isn’t stupid about this. “I’m sure he knows a buttload we don’t, but you gotta hope he doesn’t know about the rings.” Sorry Sam, but I imagine that’s going to be impossible to keep from him. If Gabriel knew about it, Lucifer should. Especially since you and Dean just turned up where horseman were and took their rings.

Sam sees this as an opportunity to get in some pressing unfinished business, aka, the dying wish. I grab a Kleenex. “It this thing goes our way, and I Triple Lindy into that box, you know I’m not coming back.” This is where my heart drops into my stomach and I fall apart. Then I laugh a little to stop myself from crying, because the Triple Lindy was an actual dive done by stunt double Rodney Dangerfield in Back To School.  It was a triple cannonball in the air. Such a wonderfully absurd moment. But then I get sad again, for we've known the tragic outcome of Sam's plan, but to hear Sam say it, it's killing me.

What kills me more, Dean is aware, so Sam wants him to promise something. ”You’ve got to promise not to try and bring me back.” Okay, now Dean is upset. That is not what he agreed to. “Your Hell is going to make my tour look like Graceland. You want me to just sit by and do nothing?” Man, that so does not make me feel better. In fact, I'm getting weepy. Sammy, no!!!

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“Once the cage is shut, you can’t go poking at it Dean. It’s too risky.” Dean breaks into the nos. “As if I’m going to let you rot in there.” Sam says that’s exactly what he’s going to do. He doesn’t have a choice. “You can’t ask me to do that,” Dean says with raised voice. Which shocks me they haven’t woken up Cas by now. “I’m sorry Dean, you have to,” Sam says. Wow, the no win scenario. This is going to suck. Dean wants to know then what he’s supposed to do. “You go find Lisa. You pray to God she’s dumb enough to take you in, you have barbecues and go to football games. You go live some normal apple pie life Dean. Promise me.” Dean doesn’t take this seriously until he sees the look on Sam’s face. Then he turns back and he’s very troubled. We don’t get an answer, but we know he said yes. The question is, will he keep his promise? We know how Sam is with dying wishes.

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Bobby sees demons through binoculars in an old rundown building that looks like some seedier areas of Detroit. It’s pretty dead on except for the Chinese restaurant. There aren’t many of those in town. Greek or Polish would have been more accurate. The caption says “Detroit, Michigan” just in case we don’t know the obvious. Or for those people in other countries that don’t know Detroit is in Michigan and need a geography lesson. For the record, Michigan is a beautiful state. There’s only one blight in that whole state and it’s... Detroit. 

Bobby comes in and announces there are demons, at least two dozen of them. Dean was right, something’s up. Dean is NOT happy about being right. Luci is there. Dean briskly walks over to the back of the Impala, leaving Sam to give Bobby the puppy dog eyes of goodbye. The time has come. They stare at each other for a few seconds, and then a distraught Bobby walks over and they both share teary glances. ”See you around kid,” Bobby says and Sam repeats with determination “see you around.” That’s hunter code for “in another life if we’re lucky.”

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Dean watches this from the back of the Impala pretty much destroyed on the inside. Even Cas has that angel look of pity that he’s so good at. Bobby gives Sam a huge hug. “When he gets in, you fight him tooth and nail, you understand. Keep swinging. Don’t give an inch.” “Yes sir,” Sam replies, and Bobby walks away to pull himself together. Sam takes in a troubled sigh as does Dean. It’s not making either of them feel better. Sam runs his hand over his face to try and stop himself from busting into tears and turns to Castiel. He holds out his hand. “Take care of these guys, alright?” Castiel looks at him with frustration. “You know I can’t do that.” Oh, poor angel. Not taking this human thing well at all.

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Sam sadly smiles and says with shaken voice, “Just humor me.” “You want me to lie?” Castiel asks and before Sam can answer Castiel gives him a fake bravado. “Sure, it’ll be fine.” Sam realizes this is not what he needs to be hearing. ”Just stop talking.” Castiel does and they share an awkward glance before Castiel looks over at one very bothered Dean standing by the open trunk of the Impala. Sam goes over there next with the entire weight of the world on his shoulders, which actually isn’t far from the truth. He stares at the gallons of demon blood and has one simple request for Dean.  THIS KILLS ME. “You mind not watching this?” Sam humbly asks. It’s so obvious that what Sam is about to do is going to be very hard on him, but it’s something he can’t do in front of his brother. Dean, still in a foul mood about the whole thing, nods and leaves Sam alone.

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# nancyL 2010-05-22 14:42
Hi Alice

Love your recaps. Loved the story of the Impala. Really loved the entrance of the Impala and Dean at the cemetary. Loved Castiel. This was a good way of ending the first five seasons and a good way of starting (maybe) the next five seasons. Poor Dean. Poor us, is it September yet????????
# Randal 2010-05-22 15:49
Not a fan of the Dodge Dart, huh.

"Good answer, I'm going to be watching you."
"Nice teacher. Really seems to care. About what, I have no idea."

Instead of Adamichael, how about Madam? Muah.

Only Cas could have pulled off the "assbutt" line for precisely that reason.

I don't even really have any constructive comments to add (yeah yeah, I know, nothing new) but reading your recap only confirms the fact that Swan Song is the motherfucker of all season finales. If you weren't moved after that forty minutes, you're either a dead, deceased corpse or a no-talent douchebag Caruso minion.
# Evelyn 2010-05-22 15:57
Loved the recap Alice, thanks. There are so many wonderful moments in this episode I can barely begin to name my favorites - oh heck, the whole dang episode is my favorite. Thanks for once again spelling out the wonderful and genius of this episode and of everyone involved in it. Words can hardly express the greatness of everyone involved.

The performances in this episode especially rocked - which are so evident in the pictures you included. Jensen and Jared were perfection and they have so embodied these characters that you really do feel like Dean and Sam are real people. The inflections they use, the subtle body language to the way they show us their feelings with a look on their faces. Pure awesomeness. This was definitely a great way to end this particular mytharc and as nancyL put it "a good way of starting the next five seasons". If only in my dreams. Can hardly wait to see what genius the writers have in store for us next. September, here we come!!!!! (Not soon enough though)
# Evelyn 2010-05-22 15:59
Amen! Randal, Amen!!!!! (Hey, I learned how to drive in a Dodge Dart - Loved that car.)
# Bevie 2010-05-22 18:37
Awwww, Alice, you made me bawl all over again! :cry::

It took me a long time to read your recap as I couldn't see clearly through the layer of tears.

I love love your recaps when you love an episode and don't mind a bit if you write a novel about it. This one did rip my heart out and stomp all over it and is still giving me fits.

I was so happy Dean was not a mere meat suit for Michael and he was the big hero I know he is and completely human. Dean and the Impala gave Sam his chance and so the Apocalypse was ended. Yay! But how devastating for Dean watching his brother dive down the pit and I have no doubt if he could have moved at all he would have gone down with him. How much more can the poor man take? Kripke, how you torture my poor beloved boys!

I get so emotionally involved with these two and only have this outlet to express my feelings as one of my friends calls me obsessed and another one, if I even hint that I am in distress over the Winchesters only keeps saying "It's ONLY a TV show already!" So, opening up to either of them is a nono.

And Randal, I used to own a Dodge Dart and there is nothing wrong with them as long as it never rains and you can ignore the humongous rust holes that eventually appear. Just never take your foot off the accelerator if there is even a hint of rain and use your left one on the brakes when stopping at a stop light. Not inconvenient at all! :-?
# Galina 2010-05-22 18:54
As I am one of those disappointed with the episode I thought I might post to give my reasons for it and see if I need to get new glasses or a hearing aid. Of course it’s just my opinion, so please don’t let me spoil your pleasure.

I loved the documentary style intro with the Impala and her „experience with the apocalypse“.

The boys’ conversation at the Impala’s side however sounded like your standard made-for-TV therapy session. Sam and Dean’s expressions and tone were realistic, the words – a complete cliché.

Sam’s taking responsibility wasn’t anything new, he expressed as much in episode 1 of this season. Besides, I would expect at least as much maturity from a twenty seven year old. On the other hand, the wish to sacrifice yourself to right a mistake you were expertly manipulated into making smacks more of teenage melodrama than of maturity. Doesn’t matter that it was mostly others’ fault – you’ll show them all by taking ALL the blame!! You’ll die in a blaze of glory so nobody would even DARE blame you for ANYTHING, even if your plan fails!!! In my eyes it simplifies Sam’s character horrendously. I’ve been having this problem ever since the “Say Yes to Lucifer”- plan was introduced.

I was very glad both boys were disturbed by the slaughter of the innocent hosts of those two “stunt demons”. It was an appropriately chilling prelude to their suicidal plan.

Sam and Dean on the way to Detroit – now that was a mature conversation. It hit all the right notes with me.

The good-byes were very effective. I liked the contrast between Bobby and Castiel. Bobby’s false bravado and gruffness let Sam keep his game face more or less on, Castiel’s tragic attempts at the same technique elicit a small tortured smile from Sam that lets us realise that he’s barely keeping it together. Great moment.

The whole sequence with Lucifer was a pleasure to watch. The way he played Dean was delightfully evil. However, for me, it all went downhill from there.

Lucifer playing “I’m your friend” to a mirrored Sam had excellent atmosphere and acting and… was a cliché for the most part. Lucifer tries to tempt Sam with revenge on demons who acted on Lucifer’s orders in the first place? A fact that somehow flew over Sam’s head? Not buying Sam’s stupidity here at all.

Men looking at the stars for hours… Through telescopes – sure, just because it’s so peaceful and pretty – not buying it, sorry. I know Dean could spend his time much better watching “Dr. Sexy MD”.

Samifer and Adamichael – just NO. For me it was one of the worst scenes on TV ever, period. No chemistry, poor acting, at least on one side, and nonsensical dialogue. Haven’t we heard the “God made evil, so it’s His fault it exists.”- argument a thousand times already? On top of that, those two are archangels who’ve been exercising free will since the beginning and failed to realise it was so for thousands of years? And instead spend their time squabbling like kindergarteners ? Compare this scene with Death’s scene from last episode – how are they even in the same show?

The first time I watched this scene threw me clean out of the story so I couldn’t enjoy the rest. On the second viewing I ff-ed past it so the final confrontation hit me but good. The wind whistling over the montage was inspired. I’m not much into “the power of love” – concepts but that one worked well. Maybe it’s the way the boys can communicate the world without words.

Dean’s devastation was the best scene for me hands down. He and the always faithful Impala mourning their colossal loss amidst a bright sunny day was a truly haunting image. Interestingly enough, the death and resurrection of Cas and Bobby didn’t change that feeling of finality and loss at all. It stayed with me to the bittersweet end and I loved it.

What I didn’t care for were the endless flashbacks and Chuck’s narration – it was too melodramatic for me to take seriously and manipulative enough to irritate me. So the overall feeling is of a very uneven episode that had some strong and some weak ideas, some excellent and some poor execution, and superb acting that honoured the script much more than the script honoured the actors.

Thank you for your detail-obsessed recap and for reading, if you’ve gotten this far!
# Yvonne 2010-05-22 19:50
Thanks for the recap!!! Like watching the show again but a little lighter, which is good since I can't watch it again for fear of my sanity.

One note, am I the only one who heard this? In the goodbye scene with Cas, didn't Sam say "Just, stop. He's looking." Meaning Dean. Thought it was sadly hilarious and I hope I heard right.
# AndreaW 2010-05-22 20:37
Thanks for reliving with us this wonderful episode!

In such an emotion-filled episode is hard to pick a favorite scene. But the dialogue in the car in their way to Detroit, with Sam's calm acceptance of his fate and Dean having to make such a promise kills me everytime. :cry:: :cry:: :cry::
# RylinnB 2010-05-22 23:57
Love your review. But one question: did you notice there was 5 rings? I think I missed something along the way, where did the fifth ring come from? Was it Dean's ring ring that disappeared after Changing Channels??

Can anyone clarify for me?? Thanks in advance : }
# Karen 2010-05-23 02:19
Hi Alice
Fantastic recap! I’m going to miss them for the next few months.

Everything you commented on is basically what I loved about this episode.
The history of the Impala and the flash backing of the boys.
The moments between Sam and Dean.
Sam’s goodbye to Bobby and Castiels.
The use of mirror for the conversation between Sam and Lucifer.
And the whole confrontation between Samifer and Dean.
I know some fans were very disappointed that there was no big battle between Lucifer/Sam and Michael/Dean. But for me I was happy they didn’t do that.
After all wasn’t the whole basis of Team Free Will, NOT to fight?
To NOT give in and become Luci and Mikey’s vessels for that very reason?

Galina I don’t think you need glasses or a hearing aid. If this episode didn’t work for you then that’s your opinion. After all it would be a pretty boring world if we didn’t have different views or opinions.
# Suze 2010-05-23 04:16
Hey, Galina, it's not just you, mate ... I thought bits of this one were pretty clunky too. Chuck's voice-over broke up the mood and really got on my nerves and I hated the Whoops-Oooer-He re-Comes-The-Bi g-Twist stuck-on ending.

Mind you, Lucifer's Devil went down to Georgia moment was absolutely perfect! That song is one of my all time top guilty pleasures ... :D

PS. Alice ... Detroit, Michigan? Us cheese eating surrender monkey Euro-types completely feel your pain, kiddo. London, England ... Paris, France, as opposed to some home-grown version that doesn't have red buses and Eiffel Towers all over the place ... :lol:
# ElenaM 2010-05-23 10:31
Dean called Cas “Bukowski”, referencing the writer. For any geeks like me who care. His stuff’s pretty gritty and depressing; Kripke talked about him in the commentary for WIAWSNB as well [geek]. Speaking of which—so Rachel hooked up with Dean at the prom in this reality AND the alternate reality??? Wow, that sucks.

Bevie and Evelyn, would you be the two Dodge fans? ;-)

Thanks for all the Detroit detail, loved it!

I didn’t even pay attention to the label on the tape!!! Thanks! Re: Rock of Ages—Despite immersion in our new local classic rock station, 95.3—which pretty much has the Supernatural soundtrack as its playlist--that was actually the first time I heard the song (what? I grew up listening to the Goo Goo Dolls). Don’t know about the opening words (huh?), but the thought the few lyrics we heard fit: “I got something to say/it’s better to burn out/than fade away…”

Really loved the editing in this episode, whoever put together those flashback montages, amazing…

Remember that scene from 4x18 where Chuck says “Obviously I’m a god”? Pretty funny to begin with, but it’s so much more hilarious now!

:cry:: :cry:: :cry::

Awesome recap.
# Julie 2010-05-23 12:31
Alice ,
Thanks so much for the recap , I have loved them all but this one was special.
You should not offer us apologies for writing `a lovefest` this episode deserved, and demanded it .
From the monemt I heard the first bars of Kansas I found myself with tears in my eyes ,and I continued to be moved by every following scene , like you my heart broke when Sam asked Dean to not watch him as he drank the blood.
The scene in the cemetary was both beautiful and brutal, I know many people were disappointed that they did not get `the big fight ` they wanted but I was so pleased that Dean never said `Yes` and that in the end everything came down to what the core of this show has always been about , family and love .
I find it hard to believe that some people did not like this wonderful episode and cannot believe anyone was unmoved by it .
I just hope that Kripke and his magnificent team know how much we all appriciate their work
# Supernarttu 2010-05-23 12:47
Hi Alice.

Good stuff. Big things. ;-)

I loved this eppie to death and I love your recap as much :-) Reading this brought back so many lovely moments and looks and glances and lines that I still feel a smile tugging in the corner of my mouth.

So many fave moments; Dean at Lisas doorstep (*chinwibble*), "the Impala moment" and the way Lucifer loses control during that montage of love and brotherhood (Ah, be still my heart!), their talk in the car on the way to Detroit, "I ain't gonna let him die alone", to Marks Lucifer freaking me out to Jareds little mirror conversation keeping me glued to the screen and taking it all in with fear and fascination. And Chucks narration moving the story along, with the little tidbits of their childhood. *happysigh*

Wow. What a fantastic Rollercoaster Ride -finale. Awesome. Amazing. Tear Your Heart Out. Love, just love.

Thank you Alice for all the wonderfull recaps, and come on season 6!
# Jasminka 2010-05-23 16:06
Alice, I can hardly believe what you did with this recap - you drew me back into this episode and the whole emotional mess... Being a true masochist ;-) I can't help but love you for it.

I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Jared's acting here - we have rarely seen so many facets of Sam, I was in awe from moment one till the very end... What a marvellous young actor he has become.

My psyche still has trouble dealing with the episode, as you well know. I still trust the creative team to come back with a wonderful, fantastic, haunting and emotionally draining sixth season. What else to expect from a show that plays my soul like a fiddle?

thank you so much for this. I absolutely loved it, Jas
# Evelyn 2010-05-23 17:48
Elena-I learned how to drive in a Dodge Dart - loved the car, it had a lot of power and was fun to drive. But truthfully, I am a Ford girl through and through. Give me a 67 Ford Mustang Coupe and I will be a happy camper. (You know, like the one War had in GGY) Love that car. (second choice, of course, if the 67 Impala.)

Thanks again Alice for the recap. This episode kicked-a***. Loved it from beginning to end. :D
# trina 2010-05-23 20:13
I read this in a snackbar at a campground (the only place with wi-fi). I am pretty sure everyone in the room assumed I just got horrible news.

Regarding the episode, I loved it. I don't think it was perfect. I hate slow-motion (it is never an actor's friend) and Michael was not very imposing. But none of that really matters. From a character standpoint it was beautiful, tragic, and in many ways pitch perfect.
# Sablegreen 2010-05-24 11:13
Great recap Alice, I just loved the story of the impala and the big part it played.

I'm glad you got the screen cap of the boys under the stars. I totally agree! We need to see much more of the happy stress-free boys between jobs, and I'd LOVE to see them on a day off! I hope more of this is done in season 6.

It's sad that Kripke left us with such sadness again for the summer, Sam back but not happy about it at all, and Dean grieving for Sam, and not being able to help him.

Hope they don't have too much time pass before the boys reunite.
# Bethany 2010-05-24 14:22
comment for the site in link above … ok this must be a generational thing because I’d never heard rock of ages before and the first bit is sampled on the offspring song ‘pretty fly for a white guy’ so when the song started up I was really confused thinking “really weird song choice” then was really embarrassed when the actual song came on and I cracked up when I realised my error (not the impression Kripke was going for I guess). I didn’t like that song either I would have much preferred say ‘back in black’ or ‘carry on my wayward son’ or would that have been far too cheesy?

Did I like the episode, yes. Did I think it was the best they’ve ever done, no. Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it though. Like some other commenters I thought it was a bit clunky the first time I watched it and that Chuck’s narration broke up the tension and the fluidity of some scenes but on re-watching I thought it worked better than I originally thought. I loved the flash back moment where Lucifer sees the army man in the ashtray and gets a glimpse of all of Sam’s memories, like the firework scene in DSOTM it was just beautifully done and captured something that wouldn’t have been conveyed half so poignantly in words, so much work must have gone into that moment but it was worth it, just lovely … I rewound and played it over and over again. I also loved the moments from their lives just that little glimpse of bored wee Sam and Dean in the car growing up, them sat on the hood just enjoying the moment. It was just lovely that for all the show is, the finale seemed to be about the little moments that make up the boy’s relationship, how sometimes the most important moments in a relationship, that define that relationship, aren’t the grand gestures or the big speeches but in the every day moments that make up a relationship. I just loved that about this episode.

Bizarrely enough the one part of the episode I didn’t like was when Sam was about thrown himself into the hole and Michael came back. I didn’t know why he needed to be there, I think the shot would have been mush better with Sam stretching out his arms and falling backwards. I also liked the idea of Michael foiled and having to face the fact that destiny fate and everything he’s been spouting had been proved incorrect by two rather stubborn brothers. It just spoilt the moment for me as I felt it took something away from Sam in that moment when everything should have been focused on him. But that’s a personal niggle.

Wow this was long, longer than I thought it was going to be but all in all I loved it and I loved the fact that Kripke told his story his way and ended it how he wanted and Bobby and the Impala (I always knew she was special) made it out ok so I’m happy.
# Ardeospina 2010-06-01 12:08
Late to the party, but I'm so behind with the recent articles! Great recap, as usual, Alice. I also really loved the episode, so it was great to be able to hear how much you loved it, too. Now you have a much-deserved break from recapping!