"The Song Remains the Same"
Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel

That title. What does it mean to Sam and Dean Winchester? That no matter how many times they go to the past, they can't change it? That whether or not they believe about free will, they don't really have any? As a viewer who spent much of last night's episode in tears, I don't have any answers, but I feel like flying them to another planet where no one can ever hurt them again!

Could it possibly be that Anna was told by upper management angels to kill Sam? I thought they wanted this great battle between Lucifer and Michael? What the hell DO they want? I don't know, and apparently they don't either, but I wanted to kiss Castiel senseless when he told Anna that he would stop her from harming Sam because Sam is his friend. I don't know when that happened but damn, it made me feel good. Cas didn't want to shake Sam's hand when they first met, now he's defending him with his life. He isn't just Dean's guardian angel, he's Sammy's too! Awesome. Anna is a traitorous bitch and can go screw herself. I'm really sorry Dean had sex with her in the Impala; she isn't worthy of Dean OR the Impala. Let's clean those seats thoroughly! Ick!

Cas nearly kills himself to get the brothers to 1978, where John learns of his wife's former life as a hunter and Mary learns the horrific fate that is to befall her"”and that these two handsome young men in her home are her sons from the future. The scene in the car where John threatens to turn it around when everyone is speaking at once is both hilarious and sad, something that should haven happened circa 1989, but didn't because Mary was already dead and the boys on their way to becoming warriors. It was so cool watching Mary fight Anna, her hunter moves still slick and fresh. I wondered how she was tossed around like that and didn't miscarry, but I guess Dean was really latched on tight. 

I can only imagine Mary's sorrow at finding out she was to become a victim of the YED after all. She thought her life was going to become and stay normal, but it wasn't to be all because she interfered. Yet what mother, under those circumstances, wouldn't? 

There were three scenes in this episode I especially loved:

1. John insists on helping ward off the angel. He wants to paint that sigil, damn it, in the right size, right place, and if it has to be done in blood, he cuts into his palm then and there. It reminded me of when he cut his palm to summon the demon in "In My Time of Dying" to summon the demon and make the deal to save Dean. John won't be played for a fool! He stepped right up to the plate.

2. Sam tells John that his father raised him and Dean as hunters. John's reaction, calling Sam's father an irresponsible bastard, got an immediate defensive action from Sam, and started me crying hard. Hearing Sam tell his young, unknowing father that he understands, forgives and loves him was one of the most wonderful, terrible, difficult, beautiful and difficult scenes I've ever seen on SUPERNATURAL - next to Sam dying in Dean's arms. Padalecki and Cohen, both with tears in their eyes, nailed the scene brilliantly, too.

3. Dean tells Mary he and Sam are her sons, that she will die on November 2, 1983 at the hands of the Yellow Eyed Demon, and that an angel wants to kill her to prevent the births of her children. Both Sam and Dean urge her to leave John right after all this is over, but it's too late"”Mary is already pregnant with Dean. At first, Mary refuses to believe Dean's claim that she's his mother, but he reminds her that she used to give him tomato rice soup when he was sick, just as her mother used to, and instead of a lullaby, sing him her favorite Beatles song, "Hey, Jude." This convinces Mary he's telling the truth, and it sure brought tears to my eyes, still wet from Sam's exchange with John.

Uriel and Anna show up (she tells him these people they're killing are going to kill him in the future, an out and out lie), and the big battle rages. Anna stabs and kills Sam and is about to finish off Mary when John walks in from where he had been flung outside, now Archangel MICHAEL'S meat suit!

Talk about a huge, unexpected stunner! I am SO glad I stayed spoiler free!

Michael kills Anna, burning her up and turning her to ash (cool special effect). He makes Uriel disappear, to where, I have no idea and couldn't care less. Good riddance to both. I thought Anna a good guy, she obviously was an enemy.

Michael assures Dean he'll fix Sam, but first he must regale him with a long, long speech about how, there is no randomness, no chance, just a plan playing itself out perfectly. "Free will's an illusion, Dean, and that's why you're going to say yes."

Michael promises to return John back as good as new - and both Dean's parents will have their minds wiped of everything they learned from Dean, too. So, yes, Mary will walk into that nursery and die, just as she did before. Hearing this, Dean is in despair. "You can't fight City Hall," says a smiling Michael.

Dean and Sam return to 2010. Cas comes back, too, in pretty bad shape, barely conscious. The brothers pour stiff drinks and glumly contemplate the future. Everyone is predicting both of them are going to say yes. Dean toasts to, "Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one drop-out with six bucks to his name, and Mr. Comatose over there. Awesome." Their father said yes to Michael, right? Yes, but Anna was about to kill Mom. "What if YOU could save Mom?" asks Sam.

Back in 1978, the Winchester nursery has a 25 cent addition - a ceramic angel purchased for her active, kicking baby. Mary likes it, so John loves it. Mary talks to her baby, assuring him, "Angels are watching over you." 

Which begs the question, which ones? Castiel? Uriel? Anna? Michael? Zachariah? Lucifer?

This episode was amazing. It had me engaged and on the edge of my recliner from beginning to end. I was horrified at Anna's plans A and B, wondering when she had turned evil, and why. She had once made love to Dean; how could she kill his brother? 

I was overwhelmed by how willing Sam and Dean were to urge Mary to leave John before they were ever conceived, and took it as a thumbs-up from SOME higher power that she was already pregnant. Their lives aren't much, I guess, but to be willing to not be born? THAT'S sacrifice! I loved them for it, but really didn't want them to go there, and was glad when Mary told them it was too late.

Mr. Cohen did a wonderful job with both a more assured John and Archangel Michael. He was actually a little scary as the latter. Once again, Dean had to suffer listening to things he didn't want to hear from his father's meat suit. Remember when the YED did the same thing to him? Was this really any better? So he has to endure being an angel's meat suit, fighting and killing his brother. That's his destiny, and there is no way out of it. Period. God said so. But where is God, so Dean can check with him? Is this really what the archangels' father wants? Sounds kinda dicey. 

You could see the misery and sense of doom on Dean's face when Michael said he was going to scrub his parents' minds clean of both Dean and Michael, killing Dean's hope to prevent Mary from dying in Sam's nursery in 1983. 

The song remains the same, and Dean can't change the lyrics no matter what he does. Is that going to be true for him and Sam as well? Are they cursed to play out Michael and Lucifer's song whether they want to or not?