Supernatural's Season 4 finale featured Sam and Dean on separate paths. Sam took off with Ruby on a mission to kill Lilith while Dean hung out with the angels. Could the apocalypse possibly be averted?
Much like "When the Levee Breaks," I'm going to have to think about this episode for a long time. The cliffhanger didn't have the same impact as "Devil's Trap" or "No Rest for the Wicked." But it was more like Season 2's "All Hell Breaks Loose Part II" in that it set up what I imagine Season 5 is going to be all about. It also managed to provide some hope that Sam and Dean will be able to reunite and put aside all the baggage that's come between them this whole year.
Praise be to Kansas, the show once again relied on "Carry On, Wayward Son" to kick things off. The recap gave us a look back at the entire Season 4 from Dean rising from the dead to the introduction of Castiel to a brotherly bond being snapped in two. I love that this show has a tradition and it stuck to it in the finale. It felt like an old friend came to visit in the form of a classic rock recap. This has been missing almost the entire season. It felt good even though the end of the whole thing featured the door slamming on Dean when he told Sam if he walked out to never come back. I don't know about you, but I'm still depressed over that scene from "When the Levee Breaks."
St. Mary's Convent in Ilchester, Maryland 1972
I'm not sure if I got everything right with these flashbacks. Azazel possessed a priest who was giving a sermon to eight nuns. He told them about how his father was in jail and he was put there by their father (God). Does Azazel literally mean Lucifer is his father, or just in the sense that nuns call God their father? Anyway, he brutally sacrificed the nuns at the "nun factory" and found out Lilith was needed to break the seals even though she was "trapped deep in the pit." It turned out the Yellow Eyed Demon (YED) will also need to find a special child in order to help bust Lucifer out.
After the demon asked what child, the scene conveniently cut to Sam. I wanted to scream here because I wanted more. If Sam was always meant to break the final seal, what were all the other visits to children all about? I'm guessing that was what "All Hell Breaks Loose Part I" was about. The psychic kids played a demonic game of Survivor. They had to outwit, outlast and outplay in order to prevail. Sam was the million-dollar winner or as YED put it "The American Idol." Well, actually Jake was the original winner because he killed Sam when Sam couldn't finish him off.
Thanks to Dean and the deal he made, Sam was alive and Azazel got the "best" man for the job. He was definitely Azazel's favorite. But was Sam his favorite because it was his destiny to cause Lucifer to rise? Or could it really have been anyone? I'm sorry I have all these questions, but I'm still trying to process everything. We've been hearing about all these prophecies this season. It seems to me like it's always been about Sam being the one to break the final seal. That it couldn't have been just anyone. It could never have been Jake. Maybe it was Jake's destiny to release all those demons from the gate. My head hurts just thinking about all this.
Sam and Ruby
Ruby was still playing the supportive friend at the beginning. Sam confided in her. He told her he realized he was changing inside. It seemed to me like he was resigned to what he was going to do. Sam needed to stop Lilith. And it also seemed like he didn't care what happened to him in the process. In fact he felt Dean was better off being as far away from him as possible.
Sam and Ruby also tracked down Lilith's demon helper; the one that eats babies. After they captured her, Ruby gave Sam a song-and-dance about how he needed more juice then she's got, so they had to take her with them to the convent where those nuns were sacrificed in 1972.
While Sam confronted Lilith and used his special powers to keep her at bay, Ruby spotted Dean in rescue Sam-mode. The look on her face when she magically slammed the door to prevent Dean from doing his job was a thing of beauty. It really was. I felt vindicated for not trusting Ruby. It's what I wanted to happen. Ruby was one of Lucifer's sheep and she did everything she could to get Sam to break the seal. And she did a fine job. She acted like she was being Sam's buddy (and sometime lover) and she pretty much made Sam look stupid. I'm sorry to say that, but she did. She executed everything perfectly.
I hate that Sam had to learn such an awful lesson. I don't even know if I want to know what Sam's going to be like at the beginning of next season. I don't think it's going to be pretty. We thought Dean was feeling guilt from what he had to do in hell and then finding out his part in setting off the apocalypse. Just imagine how broken Sam's going to be when the show returns in the fall. His thirst for revenge, his addiction to Ruby's demon blood and his pride all prevented Sam from seeing Ruby for who she really was: a true blue demon (or is that red?). I never wanted there to be a demon with the heart of gold and I'm beyond glad we didn't get one in the end.
Dean and Bobby
First of all, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Bobby's still kicking and the big rumor that Bobby was possibly going to die never unfolded. I wonder where these rumors start. And I love that Jim Beaver played into all of that in all his interviews. But I digress.
Having said all that, I wasn't on board with all of Bobby's conversation with Dean. I think he was just trying to save the brothers' relationship but seriously, I just wish Dean could be allowed to feel what he was feeling. He's a smart guy. Eventually he was going to come around and realize he needed his brother in his life. While I didn't like hearing Dean say he wondered if Sam was ever his brother, I did kind of enjoy him saying he was sick and tired of chasing him. I'm sorry, but I did. For the most part, he's always chasing Sam.
Dean and Zachariah
Seriously the angels in this Supernatural universe are just as bad as the demons. I get that there is much corruption in this world, but it's still a bit premature to enact a planetary enema on the earthly masses. In the middle of Dean's conversation with Bobby, the angels magically transported him to this fancy room where there was lots of beer on ice and cheeseburgers to keep Dean happy for a long time. Although, Eric, where was the pie?
Zachariah showed up with a very surly-looking Castiel. Cas again has that look like I'm playing the good soldier for now. Dean is pretty much trapped in this room where there's no chance of escape. Once he was alone he called Sam and gave him another cell phone apology kind of like he did in "Scarecrow." Only this time, he had to leave a voice mail message. I wondered how in the world Dean was getting reception since who knows where the hell he was. We found out later, the angels (I'm guessing it was the angels) allowed the phone call and changed the message of peace and love to one of vitriol and hate and featured Dean calling Sam a monster again.
Those angels have truly gone Old Testament. They just want to sit back and let the apocalypse happen. And when the time is right, they'll let Dean out to fulfill his prophecy to stop it. And we finally found out "it" meant Lucifer. It was Zachariah's plan that Dean would save the day. The angels would win and get their paradise on earth. Humans would have been destroyed and rendered extinct thanks to the demons destroying the earth and everyone on it during the apocalypse.
Zachariah said God left the building. What in the world did that mean? Have the angels staged a coup? Did they stop waiting for God to reveal Himself to more than four angels and take things in their own hands? What? So many questions, so many months to think about all of them. Boo to the summer hiatus.
Dean and Castiel
Dean made it his mission to try and get to Sam. He worked and worked on Castiel. How great was it when Castiel jumped back to Dean's side and got them out of there? Cas was finally able to be the badass we knew he was. It was cool seeing Dean and Castiel working together. Cas made a huge leap of faith. He listened to what Dean said and then finally made up his own mind. So good!!!!
Can I just talk about what happened before the screen went white at the end of the hour? Sam finally realized he was wrong. Dean finally got through the door that Ruby demonically shut when she spied Sam's big bro trying to stop him from offing Lilith. After, Sam got rid of Lilith the final seal was broken. And then Dean went after Ruby. But that's not what was awesome. What was awesome was that even though Dean got the kill, Sam held his demon-blood supplier while Dean got to use the big bad demon-killing knife of doom to get rid of Ruby. That was satisfying. Finding out Ruby had her own agenda this whole time was satisfying. I had almost given up hope. Seeing the Winchesters work together against Ruby was satisfying. In fact, it was the best part of the whole episode. Well, that and right after when Sam and Dean grabbed each other's shirts in preparation for getting the hell out of the convent.
I did have a couple issues. First, Dean was trapped in a room for a good portion of the episode. You could tell Dean felt cooped up, like he just needed to be free. And if he didn't get free he was going to go medieval on someone's ass. I had to keep myself from going medieval, because I don't like a pent up Dean. I like a Dean that's charging into action, and yes, we eventually got that. But then he was slowed down by a massive door, still out of the action. And second of all, just look at the title of this episode, the outcome was already preordained: Lucifer would rise. And if you've read any Supernatural-related interview over the past year, we already knew they'd eventually be exploring the apocalypse. So, much of "Lucifer Rising" was a bit predictable. Even Lilith told us her death was inevitable back in "The Monster at the End of This Book." But Eric Kripke, who wrote and directed the episode, saved it for me because I was able to revel in the moments where Dean and Sam started working together once again. And also the moment Ruby was revealed to be as evil and manipulative as we thought she was the entire season.
The Winchesters were at ground zero of all the bad stuff once again. Will their lives ever get easier? Let's recap:
Season 1 Pilot: We learned in 1983 a demon with yellow eyes killed Mary Winchester after she tried to protect her baby son, Sam. In the present, the yellow-eyed demon came back and this time took the life of Sam's girlfriend Jessica. She died the same gruesome way his mom did.
Season 2 Episode 22 "All Hell Breaks Loose Part II": Before Sam killed Jake and Dean killed Azazel, a whole slew of demons were let out of the pit. The Winchesters were there. And hunters were not happy to learn that Sam and Dean weren't able to stop the escape of so many big bad demons.
Season 4 Episode 3 "In the Beginning": Thanks to Castiel, Dean took a trip back in time and witnessed his mom making a deal with Azazel after he killed John. John was saved, but Azazel was going to pay a visit in the future to the Winchesters.
Season 4 Episode 16 "On the Head of a Pin": We found out Dean making the choice to get off the rack to torture souls broke the first seal. Dean could hardly live with himself.
Season 4 Episode 22 "Lucifer Rising": Supernaturall\ fans guessed as much, but it was Sam that broke the final seal. And he did it when he killed Lilith despite Dean trying to stop it. And Lucifer started rising.
Dean broke the first seal, Sam broke the last. I hope the brothers aren't going to have a guilt-off next season. You know, like have a debate over which act of the brothers' inflicted the most evil upon this world. (Just kidding.)
I'm gonna speculate Castiel's gonna fall next season. At this point, who wants to be hanging out with the angels? They want the apocalypse to happen. Boo.
It was an Eric Kripke script so there were plenty of pop culture references. We got Star Trek (holodeck); Star Wars (Death Star); Russell Crowe, A-Rod, Madonna, and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, a Disney Channel series (!). Please tell me how Dean even knows that show exists. Inquiring minds want to know.
There just wasn't enough Chuck the Prophet. Dean and Castiel popped in to see if he could help them in their quest to find Sam. This was the second time he told Dean his showing up at his house wasn't written in his story.
I love that Eric Kripke directed his second episode, but I also was sad at the fact that Kim Manners wasn't able to direct the finale. The finales were usually his gig.
Even though Sam heard "Dean's" awful voice mail message, he was able to finally realize that everything he thought he was fighting for and everything he had believed in for the last few months wasn't real. He apologized to Dean which was very cool. I do want more next season though. I want Sam and Dean to have a long conversation about what happened to them this season. They don't have to get all chick flick about it, but I do want to see a little more than what we got (from both boys).
All right, Season 4 is officially over. Even though it wasn't perfect, I still thoroughly enjoyed everything we got. Eric Kripke and the entire Supernatural crew continued to take the show to another level and were rewarded for it with better ratings and an early renewal. Let me know what you guys thought of "Lucifer Rising," this bookend to the Season 4 premiere "Lazarus Rising." I just think these 22 episodes were stellar.
Summer hiatus is here. You guys can continue to use this blog all summer long should you wish. I don't know if next season will be the last season of the show. Regardless, I will be back blogging in the fall, hope you will too. Here's something I want us all to think about over the summer. If we all do, maybe it will actually manifest itself and come to fruition: should Season 5 be the end of the road for the show, please let Jeffrey Dean Morgan find some time in his schedule to come back. Also, more classic rock recaps and a true Sam and Dean reunion as brothers fighting against evil. I hope you guys enjoyed blogging this season as much as I did. Now once again, let me know what you guys thought. Was this a satisfying season finale? What do you think will happen next season? Let the analysis and speculation begin.