Now: A plastic pink elephant with an uplifted trunk and a necklace proclaiming it "Lucky" stands in a colorful yet quiet casino. The room seems empty, except for two figures sitting in chairs facing each other. Sam and Eileen zip-tied to the chairs' arms. "Hi," says Chuck simply. "I'm sorry," Eileen says to Sam. "Not your fault," he reassures her. "What are you doing?" Eileen demands of Chuck. He reveals that he's been helping, giving a little nudge here, a spell there. He allowed them to find the spell in Rowena's apartment when Eileen was still a ghost. Of course, it wasn't all on God; Sam did some of it on his own. "I knew you would because you're such a good guy," Chuck tells him. Chuck had been frustrated that he couldn't see Sam and Dean anymore; he'd been cut off. He needed eyes and ears. "Eyes anyway," he amends with a side glance at Eileen. "Screw you," she spits out. "You're weak!" Sam declares. "Well . . ." Chuck isn't quite willing to concede that, but he certainly is annoyed by their connection through the "God-gun" bullet wound which causes him to be stuck in this world. He pulls out a scalpel, stating, "All good things must come to an end."
SUPERNATURAL: "The Trap"
Dean and Castiel are in the bunker preparing to enter Purgatory. Cas is filling up bullets with Borax while Dean tries to reach Sam on the phone, growing frustrated - his cover for when he's worried - when Sam doesn't answer.
In the casino, Chuck realizes that Sam is holding on to something, While he ruminates, Eileen wiggles around in her chair, trying to reach her phone. She manages to turn it on, hoping to reach Dean so he will realize they've been trapped, but Chuck senses what's happened. He crosses to Eileen, removes the phone from her pocket, and hears Dean's anxious voice asking for Sam. Lifting the phone, he calmly says, "Hi, Dean." "Chuck! You DICK!" grates out Dean. "Bye, Dean," responds Chuck, tossing the phone across the room. Holding up the scalpel again, he approaches Sam.
Dean has been able to track Sam's cell signal to Milford, Nebraska, and is ready to head off to rescue him, but Cas harshly states, "Stop being so stupid." Despite Dean's desperate reminder that God could be torturing Sam, Cas insists that they have nothing with which to fight God. They have to hold to the plan and go to Purgatory and follow Michael's instructions. "That's the way we'll save Sam. That's the way we'll save the world."
Chuck has pulled Sam's shirt over his shoulder, exposing part of his tattoo and the bullet wound above it, but he hesitates, hovering, holding the blade but not making contact. Sam's eyes light up with realization. "You just like to watch!" he says with a little mocking laugh. "Pathetic!" adds Eileen. Chuck steps back, acknowledging that, yes, he does like to watch. That's why he's going to let Eileen do it instead. She suddenly jerks upright from the chair, her hand held stiffly in front of her. He places the scalpel in her hand. With nothing but the force of his mind, he impels her forward. Trembling and teary, Eileen is forced toward Sam and thrusts the scalpel into his shoulder.
The woods are not lovely, but they are dark and deep as Cas and Dean step through the rift into Purgatory. This bleak forest seems an unlikely place for a flower, but, if they should come across it, they would certainly notice it right away for its incongruity. Dean sets a timer on his phone and remarks that Benny is here. Knowing him, he's probably the king of this place by now. Dean thinks they should separate to save time, but Cas, fiercely logical, insists that they stay together. Apart, there's too great a risk of being killed or getting lost.
Sam yells in pain as Eileen continues to helplessly drive the scalpel into the bullet wound in his shoulder. Her face is twisted in grief, and his eyes seeks hers earnestly. "It's OK!" he tells her. Across from them, Chuck sits in Eileen's abandoned chair, strumming chords on a guitar. Whatever he's trying to do - break the bond between them, force Sam to capitulate - it's not working. "I'm gonna die in this chair," Sam tells him. He's just going to keep bleeding out. Chuck doesn't know anything else to do. That makes Chuck mad. Crossing to Sam, he heals the bleeding incisions and sends Eileen off. "How are you still like this?" he questions. "Defiant?" "It's not my first time," Sam responds, but Chuck thinks that there's something more underlying Sam's attitude. Then it hits him. Sam still has HOPE. "You still think Dean and Cas will fly in and rescue you. You think you're the hero of this story. You still think you can win."
Back in Purgatory, someone seems to be watching from the underbrush as Dean and Castiel make their way through the dark woods. They see a dead monster on the ground. Dean thinks they're going in circles. They've seen this body before. Cas insists that they're not; he has an excellent sense of direction; it's a different corpse. Dean takes a closer look. A figure steps out cautiously, approaching Dean, then his head is throw back revealing the huge mouth and sharp teeth of a leviathan, but before he can do anything, Cas sharply extends his hand and hurls him through the air. "You're right. It IS a different corpse," Dean admits with one last look at the body in the grass. They both step over to the living monster; they'd known he'd been following them and had been waiting for him to show himself. Now they have a question for him, though Dean feels silly for asking: they need a flower. "You think I'm a florist?" snarls the leviathan, but then explains that they call it a blossom. It grows out of the soil when a leviathan dies. Dean is ready to off this monster right now, but the leviathan quickly adds that they have to wait for the body to rot. He describes the flower and tells them that he'll lead them to it. When Dean asks about Benny, the leviathan says that everyone had heard of him - the vampire that had gotten out but then came back. However, he's long dead. The other vampires didn't trust him and tore him apart.
Chuck tells Sam that his hope is misplaced. "I'm not saying you can't win. you could -- but you don't want to. Not if you knew what would happen. I'll show you."
It's April 2020, Eileen and Sam are in the bunker talking about cases. Dean sits nearby in an armchair, asleep over his laptop. Cas enters with beer, and Dean wakes up and suggests a movie night. Just then, they're interrupted by a call. It's Jody. She's sitting, bloody and dazed, in her cop car. Haltingly, she reveals that the nest was bigger than they thought. Claire is dead. "No!" exclaims the Sam of today. "We're just beginning," Chuck tells him. "This is the rest, the other side of victory." He holds up a stop watch. "Don't you want to see the future?"
Dean and Castiel walk along a river. "Sorry about Benny," says Cas. "I owed him my life," Dean says. "He sacrificed himself to get Sam back." Cas says that it was his fault. Dean says he knows that Cas is sorry. They start to discuss, a little heatedly, their disagreement, culminating in Cas leaving the bunker. "I wanted to be stopped," Cas says.
It's January 2021. Sam and Dean, a little battered and bloody, are driving through the night. "We did everything we could," Dean tries to reassure Sam, but his brother is crushed. They didn't save anyone. The victims bled out. The monsters are winning. From the back seat, our Sam listens in distress.
True to his word, the leviathan leads them to a barren meadow where several of the red blossoms have grown. But when Cas approaches one, he suddenly realizes he can't move. The monsters have created an angel trap, a large sigil on the ground holding him in place. The one-time captive exults that Mother Eve is not happy with Cas. A leviathan attacks Dean, but he knocks him to the ground before being knocked out himself.
Dean regains consciousness, rolls over, looks around. "No!" Castiel is gone. He's alone in Purgatory.
Sam is loading his gun in the bunker. "We just got back," Dean protests. Sam wants to fight, wants to get back at the vampires that have destroyed so many, but Dean says it doesn't matter. It's time to stand down. "What's happened to you?" asks Sam. Dean responds with the horrible truth of the reality they're living: the Mark had made Cas go crazy so he's imprisoned in the Mal'ak Box. Nearly everyone they know is dead. They're not hunting; they're not saving people. They're just playing Whack-a-Mole, never getting ahead. Bobby and Jody are still left, but they seem to have a death wish. And actually, "after Eileen," says Dean, "so do you." "No!" Sam says desperately. "What about Butch and Sundance? What about going out swinging?" "We lost, brother," Dean responds despondently. "We lost. I'm done." "No," repeats Sam. "Dean!' But Dean has left the room and retreated down a bunker hallway.
Sam has been watching this whole scene: "This is a lie!" he declares. "Enjoying the show?" Chuck asks. "I'm just the messenger, showing you what will happen." "The Dean I know would never give up!" says Sam. "He does. He will," Chuck says plainly. "This is the truth. This is what comes next."
Dean walks alone through the endless forest of Purgatory. "Cas!" he yells. Checking his phone, he sees that they only have a half hour left. His eyes are panicked. Reaching a tentative hand out toward a tree, he stops yelling and begins to pray. "Wherever you are, it's not too late. I shoulda stopped you. You're my best friend, and I let you go. that was easier than saying I was wrong." As his prayer continues, he sinks down on one knee. "I don't know why I get so angry. It's always been there. I can't stop it, no matter how much I want to." Tears are running down his face as he pours out his heart, not even knowing if Cas can hear him. " Of course, I forgive you. I'm sorry it took me til now to say it. Cas, I'm so sorry. I hope you can hear me." Breathing deep, he says, "OK," then gets up and moves on.
It's November 3, 2021 in the bunker. Dean sits silently and drinks. Sam enters the room with his weapons duffle. He plans to raid the nest, with or without Dean. Is Dean coming? It almost looks as if he'll keep sitting and drinking, but he gets up, telling Sam, "I don't have a choice, do I?"
"They're back," observes Chuck. He and Sam, like Scrooge and his ghostly visitors, are watching as Dean and Sam come back into the bunker, moving silently up the metal stairs. A door bangs shut. "Bad idea," observes Chuck of the scene. "Should have trusted your gut."
Sam twists the watch again, but it stops at a certain date and won't move on. "It's stuck," he says. "That's as far as it goes," Chuck tells him. "End of the line." It's December 2022.
In Purgatory, Dean checks the time again. He continues to press on determinedly. Suddenly, he sees Cas sitting under a tree. The angel rises to greet him, and they hug. There's a bloody wound on Cas's forehead but he's escaped from the Leviathan and has the blossom they need, although he admits it's a little smushed. "You did it, Cas!" praises Dean, then adds, "I need to say something." "I heard your prayer," Cas tells him.
December 9, 2022. Sam and Dean have retreated to a room and are barricading the door. "We're outnumbered," Sam says. "What else is new?" Dean replies. "Butch and Sundance?" Sam asks. "Go out swinging!' Dean confirms. Elsewhere in the building, two men go up stairs, guns held at the ready. On another stairway are Jody and AUBobby, similarly armed. Back in the room, the Winchesters stand firmly next to each other, awaiting the attack. Then their mouths open and fangs descend. They're vampires. The figures outside in the hallway are hunters, hunting them. As the assailants burst through the door, Sam and Dean attack with brutal efficiency and lightening speed, taking down the first two within moments. Jody entering the room, pulls a gun and shoots Sam several times in the chest. He staggers but stays upright. From the side, Dean hurls himself at Jody, bearing her to the floor and sinking his fangs into her neck. Sam, affected by the bullets, sinks to his knees, and AUBobby swings a machete to swiftly decapitate him. "So whatcha think?" asks Chuck.
Having shown Sam the end to which his choices lead, Chuck is now acting sympathetic. "Sorry, kid. Crappy ending. You and your brother deserve better." "Yeah, right," says Sam. "You and your brother matter to me deeply. You still do. I want better for you both." "Where's Eileen?" asks Sam. Chuck tells him he's put her away safely, powered down in a broom closet. Sam doesn't want to capitulate. I've seen your plans, he tells God. "You like that ending better?" asks Chuck.
Back in the bunker, Dean and Castiel are mixing the ingredients to prepare the spell to trap God. Cas is about to slice his palm when Dean asks, "You sure?" "You've already taken the Mark. You can't again," Cas says. He cuts his hand, dripping blood into the bowl. Smoke rises, and a black ball forms, the repository of the spell that could take down God.
Back in the casino, Sam still doesn't want to concede. "No! No! It'll be better if we win . . . WHEN we win. I will make it better." "You can't, Sam," Chuck tells him. "You've been playing fast and loose with the laws of nature and magic. So heroic. So Promethean. But there's so much you don't know, that you can't know because you're only humans, but I'm God." When contemplating this future, he tells Sam to look beyond the end of the Winchesters. "The monsters," Sam realizes. "The monsters," Chuck agrees.
The Impala speeds through the night toward Nebraska.
Chuck is still trying to convince Sam. "Without me, the laws of nature take over. Monsters prevail. Everyone dies. Can you live with that?" Sam's conflict is seen in his troubled eyes.
Dean and Cas enter the silent casino. Seeing Sam, Dean immediately runs over and begins to cut him loose from the chair. "Watch out!" Sam exclaims. Eileen, still under Chuck's control, comes at him with a scalpel. "I don't want to hurt you!" Dean tries to warn her off, but then Cas barrels into her, wrestling her down. "Hi, Dean," says Chuck casually, appearing. Dean swings and hits him on the jaw. "You know I had to," he says. Chuck punches back and Dean falls to the ground. Cas rolls the ball toward Sam. "Smash it now!" Dean yells. "Well, Sam?" asks Chuck. Everyone waits on Sam's decision. He hesitates. Dean wants him to break it, but Sam still wavers. He sinks to his knees. The ball rolls out of his hands. "I can't," he says. "What'd you do to him?" Dean yells at Chuck. Chuck is stretching with growing strength as his wound seems to be healing. Sam also reaches for his shoulder. "Sammy lost hope, and now I'm free!" Chuck declares. He adds that they should take it easy on him. It took a lot to beat it out of him. "No!" exclaims Dean as Chuck crushes the ball into dust, the ball that was supposed to trap Chuck and give them a chance against him. "What now?" says Dean. "You're not gonna dust us. You want your big finish." "Those visions that Sam was getting?" informs Chuck. "They weren't possible futures. They were memories. Memories of other worlds, other Sams and Deans. "They did and you will too." "No!" declares Dean. "Not this Sam and not this Dean. Go back and play with your other toys. we'll never give you the ending you want." He towers over God, who continues to placidly look at him. "We'll see," says Chuck and disappears.
Back in the bunker, Eileen zips a duffle bag closed. She's leaving, although Sam wishes she would stay. He tenderly holds her face and kisses her, once then twice. She caresses his cheek too, but then walks away, up the stairway, and out the door.
Dean and Cas are in the kitchen at the table when Sam enters. "Did she leave?" asks Dean. "Yeah," says Sam. "Sorry," says Dean. It's quiet and still. Sam knows he failed to complete the plan they'd chosen. he talks to them very slowly, as if still deeply affected by what he'd seen. "I believed him. I still do," he says, explaining why he didn't. "That's good enough for me," responds Dean firmly, taking a ddrink. "So what now?" asks Sam, lifting his chin. Chuck's gone, but he'll be back. They can't kill him. They can't trap him. "We'l. find another way," Dean tells him.
Jack is in the empty, standing calmly surrounded the nothing but blackness. Suddenly, Billie appears behind him. "It's time," she says.
We had a few weeks to ruminate about the possible ways our show could end. Tonight takes us one step closer. Here are a few questions to get some discussion started:
- Dean and Castiel have been at odds for a while. Was their reconciliation what you wanted to see?
- We've seen DemonDean and Evil Sam, but the future Chuck showed them tonight has Sam and Dean simply turned into monsters. What do you think of that kind of ending to their story?
- Was Sam's kiss to Eileen a goodbye or a promise of a future?
- Chuck's plan was to make Sam give up hope. However, is Sam still hopeless at the end of the episode? If not, why not?
- Seasons ago, Metatron mocked Castiel for thinking he was the hero, saying that Castiel was the villain while Metatron himself was the hero. Who does God want to be the hero of the story - the Winchesters or himself?
- What is Billie's end game and why?