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Sam is standing next to coma Dean, asking if he's there.  Sorry Sam, he's got some reaper issues currently.  Sam is quietly devastated.  "Couldn't find anything in the book.  I don't know how to help you, but I'll keep trying, alright?  As long as you keep fighting.  I mean come on, you can't leave me alone with Dad, we'll kill each other, you know that?  Dean you've got to hold on.  You can't go in, not now.  We were just starting to be brothers again.  Can you hear me?"  Oh Sammy.  This really gets me, especially after seeing season six when Dean doesn't mean a damned thing to Sam.  You just don't know what you've got "˜til it's gone.  Yes, I'm quoting a damned Cinderella song.  I'm that lame. 

Dean in the meantime is still in denial phase with Tessa.  He begs that she makes an exception, cuts him a break.  "Stage 3 Bargaining," she says.  Dean's serious though, his family is in danger.  They're in a war and need him.  She tells him the fight's over, for him anyway.  "Dean, you're not the first soldier I've plucked from the field.  They all feel the same.  They can't leave, victory hangs in the balance.  They're wrong, the battle goes on without them."  Dean appeals for Sam, he could die without him.  Nah, he dies with you.  Many times.  Tessa says maybe he will, maybe he won't.   Put him down for a "he will."  Either way, there's nothing he can do about it.  Ain't that the truth!  Someone, that ends up not being an issue. 

What she's saying is sinking in, except she loses me on the honorable death thing.  He was smashed in an Impala.  Hardly a warrior's death but okay.  "I think I'll pass on the 72 virgins thanks.  I'm not that into prude chicks anyway."  Oh, that's a good one!  Lord knows I've shared that quote in articles a few times.  Tessa calls him funny and cute, but Dean doesn't fall for it.  "There's no such thing as an honorable death.  My corpse is going to rot in the ground.  My family is gonna die."  I guess Dean's not a glass half full kind of guy.  

Dean spells it out.  No.  He's not going with her.  Tessa let's him know what happens with that choice and she don't sugarcoat.  "I can't make you come with me, but you're not getting back in your body.  And that's just facts.  So yes, you can stay.  You'll stay here for years, disembodied, scared, and over the decades it'll probably drive you mad.  Maybe you'll even get violent.  Dean, how do you think angry spirits are born?  You can't let go and you can't move on and you're about to become one.  The same thing you hunt."  Now that strikes a chord!
Back to the boiler room.  Yellow Eyes (yeah, I can't call him Azazel until season four) isn't sure what John is up to.  How does he know this isn't a trick?  The common answer is usually "you don't" but John says it's no trick.  Right, he's so believable.  John Winchester is the biggest lying liar who lies there ever was!  The deal is John gives him the colt and the bullet, Yellow Eyes brings Dean back.  Way to go John, give Yellow Eyes something legit to taunt you about.  "Why John, you're a sentimentalist.  If only your boys knew how much their daddy loved them."  You know John HE'S FREAKING RIGHT!  

John calls it a good trade.  Yellow Eyes pulls the "He killed some people very special to me" line, but then can't hold onto that for long.  No, Dean is no threat.  This is why demons and angels keep losing to these guys.  They grossly underestimate.  Must be an arrogant pride thing.  Yellow eyes wants to taunt more and brings up Sam, which judging by the look on John's face proves to be a sore subject.  "You know the truth, right?" Asks Yellow Eyes.  "About Sammy and the other children?"  John gives him the steely glare.  "Yeah, I've known for a while."  You bastard!  Tell your children!  Tell me!  Oh right, we figure it out 21 episodes later.  Yellow Eyes rubs it in that Sam doesn't and accuses John of playing dumb.  
John decides to angrily go back to the point at hand.  Dean.  Can he bring Dean back, yes or no?  No, but he knows someone who can.  Who is that?  Interesting.  I'm assuming it's the Crossroads Demon.  John figures its a deal.  Before he gives him the gun, he wants to make sure Dean's okay.  Smart move, but what's to stop him from killing Dean and John after he gets the gun?  Never mind, for Yellow Eyes isn't happy.  He's looking for John to sweeten the pot.  Hmm, what could that be?  Right, like we don't know by now and are hanging on the edges of our seat.  This is where recaps in hindsight suck.  
This is really interesting.  Sam and Dean are slowly coming to accept Dean's fate.  Dean is just about ready to give into Tessa the Reaper and Sam is clinging onto one last ounce of hope, but knows he can't do anything more.  John is the one who decides to take drastic measures.  I guess that makes sense considering the life he led after Mary was killed.  This is the king of someone who couldn't let go.  Why didn't the reapers give John the "big lesson" on messing with the natural order?  Oh, because he's in fairy dust land.  

Tessa and Dean are sitting down side by side and the look on Dean's face says it all.  She's getting through.  Dean wants to know where he's going.  "Sorry, I can't give away the big punchline."  We already know from one of his other deaths (yeah, I still can't get over that) Heaven is the destination.  Time for fireworks!  Dean still looks very scared though.  Slow deaths really do suck.  Luckily most of his have been very quick.  She tells him it's the moment of truth, no changing his mind later.  Dean is about to say yes, thus preserving the natural order and preventing the horrific tragedies that are about to follow him and Sam for the next five years, but something ruins that.  The lights start flickering.  

Dean wonders why she's doing that, but Tessa is just as shocked as he is.  Thick black smoke pours from the vent and Tessa starts screaming at it.  "You can't do this, get away!"  The black smoke, being demonic and all, doesn't listen and pushes itself into her mouth.  Suddenly, her eyes are yellow!  "Today's your lucky day kid."  She smacks Dean on the forehead.  Suddenly coma Dean is wide awake and gasping, thus freaking the living hell out of Sam.  Luckily it is Sam, for he's always the loudest in calling for help.   Man can that guy yell.  Dean lives!  



# Bevie 2011-01-31 16:39
What an utterly fantastic review Alice!! I especially loved your utter concern regarding the car !! You have your priorities straight indeed. You made me cry from laughing! Long live the Impala!

Kim Manners directing was phenomenal and heart rending indeed. He really knew how to pull off those emotional moments and could convey the brothers feelings with no dialogue like no other. Wish he was still with us.

This episode was very special indeed. (the no layered look was much appreciated by these eyes in the shallow end of the pool). Sam's love for his big brother really came through and contrasts so much with RoboSam's soulless
attitude which hurts like hell to see.
# Yirabah 2011-01-31 18:17
Alice I always love to read your reviews especially the retro ones. You are right that some things just have a different perspective if you look at it with the knowledge of now 6 and a half seasons.

I extremly enjoy how you describe your feelings while watching it and all those snarky comments. Keep bringing those retro recaps on.
# fanotheboyz 2011-01-31 18:24
Great recap, Alice! This is one of my fave episodes, too. Love the camera work. Love how all three say so much with expressions, even when there are no lines. Come to think of it, these two could pull off an entire episode, I think, with no dialogue at all, but this one did stand out. Makes me want to go watch it again... now.
# dmakdavis 2011-01-31 20:24
My goodness - I really thought I was over crying through this episode but just your review made me bawl like a baby.

I mean, who could get past the wrecked and battered, broken body of the shows main hero?

Hopefully we'll get a retro-review showing how that hot guy got all sweaty putting my heroic baby back together again!

Oh yeah, the rest of that show was pretty heart wrenching too .. I mean someone died right? Not just my car huh?

-RIP Kim Manners -

Thanks for the review though I'm already on Prozac due to the @$@! postponement till NEXT Friday :evil:
# nancyL 2011-01-31 20:54
Once again Alice, you come thru with a great recap of a great episode.

'Not the Impala'. :lol: :lol:
'Kripke wouldn't kill the car, would he?' :lol: Well, since we now know that he has killed Sam and Dean numerous times, then the 'death' of the Impala shouldn't be too much of a stretch. And like her boys, she returns badder than ever. :D

Sam was 'mad about the car', silly me, I thought he was protecting his brother and his father. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the truth. :D

The good old days when Sam and Dean LOVED EACH OTHER. Please Sera and Co, now that Sam has his soul back, can we get some brotherly love?
please please please with sugar on top.

Whatever happened to Sam's abilities?? All he had later on were demon exorcisms with his magic hand and nose bleeds. :lol:

I loved the scene where John and Sam are talking. John lies to Sam about not knowing about the YED plans for Sam and the other 'special children', and Ghost!Dean calls 'bulls**t'.

Then there is the scene where Bobby is talking about the Impala, but Sam is thinking about Dean. Poor Impala, poor Dean, poor Sammy.

Is it just me or was Bobby reacting more as a father to Sam then John? John's priority was more geared towards the YED then it was towards Dean. Okay, he did get Dean's health back, but then he just puts this great amount of stress on Dean with his 'order' to kill Sam. So he does a 'good' thing (so to speak) by trading his life for his son, but then he does a really f**ked up thing, by putting this weight on his son's (very broad) shoulders.

'Sam Winchester open arms of annoyance' :lol: Also seen when he (and us) finally learn what John whispered in Dean's ear. How about calling them the 'Sam Winchester open arms of being pissed off'?

Even as a ghost, Dean has to mediate between his brother and father.

Another one of my favorite scenes, is when Dean saves himself from the reaper while Sam watches. Even though he is near death, Dean still tries to reassure his baby brother that he is not going anyway. Then Sam is like 'Dean is that you'. Sera this is what I am talking about: BROTHERLY LOVE.

Of course, seeing how calm Tessa is with her 'being a spirit', we can tell that she is acting for Dean's benefit. She is trying to get his defenses down, but he realizes that she is too calm. Smart!Ghost!Dea n. :D :D

Alice, I loved the Ouija board scene. :D :D BROTHERLY LOVE.

Just a thought: Whatever happened to John's journal??

When Young!John cuts his palm in 'Song remains the Same', I think it was a callback to John cutting his palm in this episode.

All the foreshadowing that is in this one episode:
Sam telling his father to go to Hell. We come to find out that all the Winchester men will go to Hell.
The doctor telling Dean that he has an angel watching over him. Hello Castiel. Also, what Mary told her oldest son.
What we thought was the first deal with YED, was really the second. Mary f**ked up the natural order by making a deal to bring John back to life. Funny, that the character that didn't live past the pilot (she didn't even make it to the first commercial break), is the reason that we are all here.
If Mary hadn't made that first deal, think of the possiblities. Would she had continued hunting? Maybe joining up with Bobby and/or Rufus? Then again what about the fight between Lucifer and Michael, would that had occured without Sam and Dean Winchester?
You have to love the 'what ifs'.

Anyway, Alice great recap. I loved it so much that now I am going to get my season 2 DVD and relive this wonderful episode. Thank you. :D
# Alice 2011-02-02 20:40
So, I take it you like this episode then? I love it, but for some reason it never makes my top ten. Not that it isn't good, it's just this show is a riches of good! Okay, here's a slight spoiler just for you (and anyone else who bothers to read these comments). John's journal makes an appearance in the next episode, 6.12. A key appearance.
# maggie 2011-01-31 21:27
Great recap!

"Sam pulls out from the backseat his season one Dell laptop with the awesome symbol". Yes, the symbol that is in the background of the an awesome site "the winchester family business" :D

"You know the truth, right? About Sammy and the other children?” John “Yeah, I’ve known for a while.” You bastard! Tell your children! Tell me! Oh right, we figure it out 21 episodes later.".... hehe one of the longest time we have had to wait for an answer is in episode: Home, when Mary said to Sam: "Sorry", and we didn't know why she said that until season 4, 4.03 "In the beginning" .

wow awesome episode and awesome recap
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2011-01-31 21:27
Awesome review Alice! Oh, the woes (tears, angst and non-verbal communication)o f the Winchesters! Oh,the imperilled Impala! Oh, the single layers!!!

This is one of my all-time faves. There is just so much there. It really is a brilliant combination of writing, acting and directing.

I find that I can't help but compare this episode to Appointment in Samarra. They are so tied together (at least in my mind).

There is the continuing chemistry of Dean and Tessa. And really, if she was human, they'd make a great pair! They're very similar. They're both dedicated to their jobs, in part because they believe they are doing work that, although unpleasant at times (okay, many times)needs to be done. They're both feisty, smart and strong, but also full of compassion and empathy. And I think Tessa really likes Dean, for all he keeps messing up the natural order. That's why she alternates between being so gentle with him, and so frustrated by him. He's The One That Gets/Got Away. That's a phrase we often use to describe the romantic loves we should have kept in our lives.

Both episodes also have as part of the storyline, the idea of trying to repair something that is battered and broken. In AIS the battered and broken things are Sam, Sam's soul and Robo!Sam. In IMTOD, it's Dean and Dean's body. Interesting, in both cases the goal is to reunite soul to body. In IMTOD, without his soul, Dean will die. In AIS, restoring Sam's soul could kill him.

Also, both episodes look at the issue of love and sacrifice. In AIS, Dean is willing to wear Death's ring for a day in order to get Sam's soul back. He's not sure what the cost will be to him personally, but he's willing to pay it, whatever it is. In IMTOD, John sacrifices his soul to save Dean, although I don't think that's what he originally had in mind, when he summoned the Yellow-Eyed Demon.

I have also always thought it intriguing that the writers chose to make Dean's line "You haven't called a soul for help". Dean could have said "you haven't called anyone" but it doesn't carry the same weight. He meant something very definite when he talked about calling a soul for help. Perhaps foreshadowing the power of souls?

In fact IMTOD really highlights the soul and how it defines us, and acts our moral compass. It's Dean's soul that is walking around while his body lies in a coma. And Dean's soul is very much HIM. He still wants to protect his family; still acts as a mediator between his Dad and Sam; still continues to hunt and fight in every way he can; and is still heartbreakingly funny and snarky, tragic and vulnerable.

There's also something niggling in my mind about the parallels between Tessa reminding Dean several times in IMTOD that he's living on borrowed time, while in AIS she's teaching him what happens when you screw around with the natural order.

But I don't think it's really Dean's fault that he threw such a wrench in the works. In both Faith, and IMTOD he was saved by the agency of others. In Faith, it was Sam, Roy LeGrange and the spell binding the Reaper. In IMTOD, it was John's deal with the Yellow-Eyed Demon. I think it's significant (although I'm not sure why yet) that in both cases, Dean was willing to die naturally, but that option was taken away from him.

So, I'm musing, as I'm wont to do, could there be another Dean Winchester soul sacrifice coming this season? We know souls are powerful. We know the natural order is out of whack. We know Death has told Dean to take living, and dying more seriously. We know Sam's soul served to stave off the Apocalypse. Perhaps Dean's soul will be necessary to re-set the natural order, and to wipe out his debt of borrowed time.

Probably not, but fun to ponder.
# nancyL 2011-01-31 22:06
I'm back from rewatching this wonderful episode, and I have a crazy thought:

Did the YED and John seal the deal with a kiss?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
# Jasminka 2011-02-01 00:30
awwwwh, Alice, this is one of my all time favourites! I know every scene by now, every word the characters say... I don't know how often I've watched this. And it still manages to make me reach for tissues. Bloody episode!

I couldn't possibly say which scene is my favourite here, but I'll go with John's good-bye speech to Dean... *chokes*.

"watching" it again through your eyes was a huge pleasure. Thanks for this retro-recap!

Love Jas

P.S.: It's a joy to see the comment section back in its pretty. Great job, lady of the site! :D
# Karen 2011-02-01 09:15
Hi Alice
I just love this episode, it’s in with my top 10 favourites.
I remember watching this when it first aired and being literally glued to the TV. I felt so fortunate that this had landed on one of my nights off so I didn’t have to resort to recording it on my then ‘Tape Eating VCR’ player.
# Julie 2011-02-01 09:54
Ahhh Alice,
I have waited for this since a Sunday night ages and ages ago when you made a rare visit to CBOX to talk about an idea you had for writing some retro-recaps and which episodes to chose.
This is a very special for me as it was my first one. I had not seen any Tv for at least a couple of years and had just started to watch again, I bought the Season 2 Part One in a second hand shop, all I knew about the show was a distant memory of a glimpse of a trailer featuring Echo and the Bunnymens` `The Killing Moon`, and remembered thinking , `that looks interesting`, boy was I right!!
By the end of this episode I was totally and utterly hooked and have never looked back or waivered in my passion for the show.
It is one I return to again and again and it`s interesting to try and remember how different that first viewing felt. The biggest difference, I would guess, is that I had no idea just what that truck was hitting, and I do not mean our much loved boys here. Who would ever have thought you can care so much about a car! I do remember finding the episode very moving even having no investment in the story or knowledge of the characters. That also changed, and how, and now it tears me up knowing all the wheels that were set in motion here, and the implications of that whispered sentence in Deans` ear.
I am there with Dmakdavis in that I got all misty just reading your recap, how many TV shows could do that to you ?
Thank you Ju
# Junkerin 2011-02-01 09:55
In German Free TV aired the Epi after one and a half year break (almost two). But I was stucked from the beginning. The road so far helped to remember. It was soooo sad to watch Sam and Dean losing John. And it keept me wondering what John told Dean!
Great Review
# BagginsDVM 2011-02-01 23:11
Such a great episode! Ugh, but that 1st summer Hellatus was horrible, worrying not only about all 3 Winchester men but also the Impala. Honestly, I really was worried most about the car!
The emotional impact of this one was so powerful too. I was in tears just reading your review & remembering all those scenes, especially knowing all that has come since then.
# Mstngsali1 2011-02-01 23:36
Alice, I am new here and have watched this episode recently (try yesterday). "Watching" it through your eyes made it all the more entertaining.

When I first watched this episode, I too went absolutely bezerk when the Impala got smashed. It rbought tears to my eyes thinking about how that could be my baby someday. :sad: I hope I'm not in her when it happens. That sounds dirty... Eeek.

This episode doesn't make my all time faves list either and it's the same reason as yours but I am rethinking that stance after reading your recap.

I also realize how much I miss the Sam and Dean relationship and am happy to hear that it is more than likely coming back.

On a personal note, thank you for providing a place for fangirls to come and hang out with each other. It means a lot.