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Yeah, as you all have figured out by now, we’re only twenty minutes in. So Samifer is going to jump in the hole, right? Hee, I knew none of you were fooled. Suddenly Sam’s strife filled face goes evil and he turns around to face one horrified Dean. ”I was just messing with you,” Samifer boasts. ”Sammy’s long gone.” Then Samifer does the reverse Enochian spell, and how many times have I said how wonderful Jared sounds with he does these languages? I know, lots. It helps that it’s more commanding since he’s now the evil overlord. 

The hole closes and Samifer grabs the rings from the wall. This is his chance to rub it in and boy does he! He examines the rings, which close up look like a poorly welded together prop (low budget, they get a pass) and then looks up at one angry Dean with that mocking pity. ”I told you, this would always happen in Detroit.” Dean looks at him like he’s trying not to lose it, so Samifer explodes him to bits. Nah, just messing. Something worse as far as Dean’s concerned. Samifer disappears with the rings, leaving him all alone with three corpses. So, now Dean loses it and final shot is him grasping his head with his tear filled eyes. Oh Dean! I go upstairs and take a long breather, for there’s so much more and these guys have already made me their weepy bitch. 
 
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We’re at an abandoned theatre in Motown and that really does look like Detroit! It looks exactly like a boarded up one not far from the nightlife in Greektown. Detroit has so many areas of blight like that and I can only imagine what those theatres were like in their glory days. Now they’re hangouts for The Devil. Could Be worse. Samifer is in a dimly lighted room with a gorgeous chandelier while everything else is rotting. Out of the many kudos I’ve been giving, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the set designers too. This is a very important set for without the cracked mirrors and proper room layout this dual scene loses its effectiveness. 

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Wow, this is also a really explosive and long scene. These things are killing the recapper! One right after another for your viewing torture, I mean, entertainment. Samifer walks among a small group of people standing there, still and solemn. He’s enjoying his new digs, but feels that the suit still doesn’t quite fit yet. That’s because Sam is clawing away inside, screaming to get out. Sorry, that comment gave me chills. Lucifer is going to try the “I’m your friend” approach to get Sam to submit. You know, I think for this entire chilling scene, I’ll just transcribe. It’s that powerful. 

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Lucifer: Sam, come on, I can feel you, scratching away in there. (Looks in cracked mirror, sees own reflection). Look, I’ll take the gag off, okay? (walks over to mirror). You got me all wrong kiddo. I’m not the bad guy here.

Sam (now in mirror, seething):   I’m going to rip you apart from the inside out. Do you understand me?

Lucifer (mocking): Such anger, young Skywalker. Who are you really angry with, me or that face in the mirror?

Sam: I’m sure this is all a big joke to you, huh?

Lucifer: Not at all, I’ve been waiting for you. For a long, long time. Come on Sam, you’ve got to admit, you can feel it, right?

Sam (reflection split by big crack in the mirror): What?

Lucifer: The exhilaration. And you know why that is, because we’re two halves made a whole. M-F-E-O. Literally. 

Sam (reflection still cracked): This feels pretty damn far from good. 

Lucifer: I’m inside your grapefruit Sam. You can’t lie to me. I see it all. How hot you always felt. How out of place in that”¦family of yours. And why shouldn’t you have? They were foster care at best. I’m your real family.

Sam: No, it’s not true.

Lucifer: It is. And I know you know it. All those times you ran away you weren’t running from them, you were running toward me. (Sam still gives defiant look in mirror. Lucifer sighs). This doesn’t have to be a bad thing you know. I let Dean live, didn’t I. I want him to live. I’ll bring your folks back too. I want you to be happy Sam.

Sam (cracked reflection again): I don’t want anything from you.

Lucifer: Really, not even a little payback? 

Sam: What’s that supposed to mean?

Lucifer: Look closely. None of these little devils look familiar to you?

Sam (looking at the people behind Lucifer): That’s Mr. Pensmith, one of my grade school teachers.

Lucifer: And that’s your friend Doug from that time in East Lansing. And Rachel, your prom date. (Sam looks horrified in mirror). Sam Winchester, this is your life. Azazel’s gang, watching you since you were a rugrat. Jerking you around like a dog on a leash. I know how you feel about them. Me too. So what do you say you and I blow off a little steam?

(Sam’s reflection is split again and he’s pissed). 

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Let me tell you all why that scene was a gorgeous leap in television filming. Much like Dean’s dinner with Death last week, this show is pushing new boundaries with these scenes. In the back and forth between the brash Lucifer and the scared yet defiant Sam, Sam’s image is often shown divided between the cracks in the mirror. Sure, that’s a metaphor for a few things, like his fractured soul and him fighting the dark side of himself and that sort of trick has been done before in movies and novels, but when you’re being controlled by Lucifer and the stakes are the apocalypse, this showdown ups the urgency and tension about twenty notches. In other words, it's done "Supernatural" style.

On top of all that, Jared is playing this chilling dual role perfectly! This is every bit as mind blowing as when Jensen did it in “Dream A Little Dream of Me,” maybe more so because if Sam fails the world ends. Everything is absolutely perfect in this scene; the set decoration, the lighting, the camera angles to maximize character angst, the eerie dialogue and of course the spot on acting. Win, win, win, win, win. I love how it’s episode 104 and they’re still blowing me away like this.

Comments  

nancyL
# 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
# 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
# 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
# Evelyn 2010-05-22 15:59
Amen! Randal, Amen!!!!! (Hey, I learned how to drive in a Dodge Dart - Loved that car.)
Bevie
# 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
# 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
# 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
# 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
# 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
# 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
# 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
# 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!

Otherwise,
:cry:: :cry:: :cry::

Awesome recap.
Julie
# 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
# 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
# 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
# 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
# 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
# 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
# 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
# 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!