Hunters murder Sam and Dean making it possible for the brothers to not only knock on heaven's door, but to go "behind the wall" where their mission impossible becomes finding Joshua, an angel that talks to God.
I'm going to preface this by saying "Dark Side of the Moon" is a stellar episode of Supernatural. Having said that, it's also one of the most difficult episodes of Supernatural I've ever watched and blogged. On a scale of 1 to 10 the show cranked up the angst to about a hundred and fifty. "DSotM" is one of the most devastating episodes of the demon-hunting series ever and that's saying a lot. This is a good thing because the Winchesters are in the midst of an apocalypse and an apocalypse ain't pretty. It's dark, it's depressing and there are multiple opportunities to lose faith. I really wish this one had followed "My Bloody Valentine" because Dean's descent into despair would have flowed even better in my opinion.
I love that Sam's the one keeping hope alive. After Dean and Cas leave the hotel room with their faith in God and everything seemingly shattered, Sam didn't. I feel like this is consistent with Supernatural because even though he's been through the wringer the last season and a half (and really even longer), the young man that admitted to Dean he prayed in "Houses of the Holy" can't completely shake his faith.
It's enjoyable to see some of our favorite alums come back. I was never quite sure it was really Ash lying there under the rubble of The Roadhouse. Now we've got confirmation. Even in heaven the man knows how to party like its 1999. It's great knowing in heaven Pamela can see and she's still very much Pamela. She mentions Sam's ass and this time around she takes the opportunity to kiss Dean. Pamela's isn't stupid. That's a moment I loved so much. Jensen and Tracy Dinwiddie have so much chemistry together; a different chemistry than he has with any other woman in the Supernatural universe. The original Mama Winchester's back and at first she's taking care of Dean and then Zachariah twists things and uses Mary as a tool to hurt her son. Samantha Smith gets to be sweet and sinful all in the same episode which is cool. Colin Ford's return as a young Sam was much appreciated. That boy is growing up so fast. Let me reiterate once again just how perfect the casting of Colin is; he is a mini-Jared.
Everything feels right when Misha Collins is around as Castiel. Of course, at first we only heard him on the radio or saw him on the black & white TV screen. Thankfully we got to see him — trench coat and all — at the end. And I can't believe Cas cursed! I kind of don't blame him. Meanwhile, Kurt Fuller can do no wrong in my book as Zachariah.
The bulk of the episode lays in the explosive relationship between the brothers. I didn't really expect that. We've dealt with that many times but I thought the siblings were getting to a good place. I feel after "DSotM" that their relationship has now regressed and is now even more damaged.
Once the brothers cross over, Sam and Dean's "heaven" comes in the form of happy memories from the past. And Sam's always involve being away from his family. But I really think it's about getting away from his dad. Sam wanted to exert his independence from this life and that meant leaving to go to college or to run away or to take refuge with a girlfriend so he can have a real Thanksgiving. Meanwhile Dean's memories always had to do with family: he shot fireworks with a young Sam; his mom made him sandwiches with the crust cut off. I like how Sam and Dean get to have drawn out conversations about their past. They get insight into each other and get to hear things from a different perspective.
There are so many outstanding and heartbreaking moments in "DSotM:"
The first is the opening murder of the Winchesters. Sam gets blown away in front of Dean. Yes, they've both died multiple times, but it never gets any easier being witness to it. The scene is sad and intense and the look on Dean's face is upsetting. You just know right then and there he's ready to join Sam.
July 4, 1996
Teen Sam and Adult Dean are shooting fireworks on the 4th of July 1996 and Sam is so thankful for it: "Dad would never let us do anything like this. Thanks, Dean. This is great." They hug and they watch the fireworks unfold to "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." Dean's face is just so happy being with his brother and Sam is equally as joyous; add the song to the mix and I may have gotten a little emotional.
Sam's First Thanksgiving
Sam's eating dinner with a family and getting hit on by the daughter. Sam wants to know why he's in heaven; he doesn't think he should be because "he's done things." Dean defends Sam saying he thought he was doing the right thing. I think we've just seen some growth in both Winchester boys. In heaven they're being treated to some of their best memories or in rock terms: the Greatest Hits of Sam and Dean. Sam's memory happens to be from when he was 11; it's what he considers his first real Thanksgiving which in Winchester land usually means a bucket of chicken and dad passed out on the couch. Ouch.
Dean and Sam in Childhood Home
I feel so bad for Sam when he can't talk to Mary. He's on the outside looking in because he has no memories of his mom. He must have felt like that a lot while he was growing up. And then I feel bad for Dean because Sam's trying to get Dean back on the road and Dean can't leave just yet. They cover for Jeffrey Dean Morgan's non-appearance by saying Mary and John's marriage wasn't perfect. BDW even moved out for a couple days once. "It wasn't perfect until after she died." This show continues to devastate every time we learn something new about the Winchesters' past. Dean hugging his mom was heartbreaking.
The brothers are in some sort of hotel room and Sam has a dog named Bones. They're in Flagstaff and Sam's happily reminiscing about having lived on his own for two weeks existing on Mr. Pibb and Funions. Postcards from all over the country are hanging on the wall. Dean, on the other hand, lets Sammy in on how it was for him. After all, Sam ran away on his watch and he looked all over for him and had to deal with what I gather was a raging BDW. Sam never looked at it that way. These two are learning a lot about each other.
All series long I've always wondered how they were going to deal with the night Sam left for Stanford. I never thought they could do a flashback, but the way it went down in this episode was pretty painful and perfect. Dean has already seen that Sam has cherished the times he was away from his family. Sam confronting BDW about going to college and BDW telling him to never come back was heaven for Sam and was hell for Dean. It's obvious Dean never thought of things from Sam's POV and Sam has never thought about things from Dean's point of view. This is a great way for the show to deal with the Stanford fight. In a perfect world, Jeffrey Dean would be there and we'd get to see the real thing, but I like the way it went down.
Joshua and God
First of all, I love Roger Aaron Brown's portrayal of Joshua, the tender to Heaven's garden. God also talks to him which is why Cas wanted Sam and Dean to track him down. Joshua's sympathetic to the boys' task but he's also in the unenviable position of having to tell the Winchesters God's taking a pass on this apocalypse. He's on Earth doing his thing; Joshua doesn't even know specifics. He tells them he's rooting for the boys then is forced to impart God's message:
"He knows already everything you want to tell Him. He knows what the angels are doing. He knows that the apocalypse has begun. He just doesn't think that it's his problem."
Wow. Joshua goes on to say that God's finished and not even a magic amulet will be able to find him. Yeah, "Dark Side of the Moon" is now being brought to us by the word "devastation." I wonder why Joshua was so blunt with the boys? How will the boys react to this starting in the next episode? Dean at the end is just about done. He even threw away the amulet. Cas is shattered. His faith has been obliterated. Like I said before, Sam seems like the only one that is still holding onto some faith, but we'll see whether in the face of an all-powerful "deadbeat dad" just how the Winchesters and the angel react. I'm thinking Sam picked up that necklace out of the trashcan. It just might come in handy someday.
Zach had home field advantage. It's already a foregone conclusion Sam and Dean aren't going to stay dead. They will not let the hunters die before they say yes to Lucifer and Michael. Zachariah takes the perfect opportunity that many others in the Supernatural universe have done. He uses Mary to break down his self esteem even further. We've heard the story before of how nobody wants him, everybody leaves him. Poor Dean. And the way Zach flirts with Not Heavenly Mary is just so cruel.
Part of me feels like it's a shame John's not around because the character's kind of getting trashed. He's passed out on the couch on Thanksgiving. We all know what happened the night Sam revealed he's going to Stanford. I shudder to think of how BDW reacted when he found out an 11-year-old Sam ran away. The look on Dean's face means it wasn't in a sensitive manner. And now they shatter the illusion of Mary and John's marriage. I know no marriage is perfect and that there are certainly rough patches, I still often thought of the Winchester union as a sacred one. As we learn more about Sam and Dean's childhood, it just paints John in an even worse light. It makes me understand why Sam wanted to get away so bad. I wish Dean could have found it in him to leave too.
I know I get overly excited by this show but with episodes like "Dark Side of the Moon" it's easy to see why. The acting by all parties was just so good. It was an emotional hour of television and I have to commend the writers Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin. They get better and better with each episode they co-write. I can't stress enough how amazing "DSotM" really was.
Loved that shot of Dean's reflection on the hood of the Impala.
Cas tells Dean to "follow the road." Anyone reminded of Wizard of Oz here? This is especially appropriate since people have often tried to synchronize Dark Side of the Moon album with the Wizard of Oz movie creating audio and visual harmony at times.W
Walt and Roy aren't the only two hunters after Sam we find out. I'm reminded of "Born Under a Bad Sign" after "Sam" killed a hunter.
Ash mentions My Blue Heaven which is a movie with Steve Martin and Rick Moranis where Steve plays a mobster that enters the witness protection program and is forced to move to the suburbs.
Sam and Dean had to break it to Ash that Ellen and Jo were dead. Wonder what their "own private Idaho" was? Ash hasn't found John Winchester yet however.
Pamela tries to sell Dean on saying yes to Michael. I'm wondering what that is all about. Doesn't seem right. Was Pamela real? Or was she Memorex?
Episodes like this make me really wish Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Adrienne Palicki were lured back. Ash mentioned something about soul mates it would have been perfect if Sam could have seen Jessica.
I know it was Not Mary bleeding from her stomach, but did anyone else think that Dean really did see Mary on the ceiling that night when he was four?
I love how the show dealt with the idea of heaven really being one's happiest memories, somebody's "blue heaven" as Ash states. It saved the production team from trying to create something that could have come off as silly.
"Well is it just me or do you two seem a tad upset?"
"How are we in heaven?" "All that clean living I guess."
"Playing footsy with brace face in there, that's a trophy moment for you?"
"Don't go into the light." (Poltergeist)
"Hey man, no offense but we are kind of ass full of angels, OK? You find him."
"More trippy, uh, apparently you wuv hugs." "Shut up."
"That's OK Mom. Dad still loves you. I still love you too. I'll never leave you."
"You are my little angel. How about some pie?"
"Come on, guys. You can run but you can't run."
"Buenos dias, bitches! Welcome to my blue heaven."
"You boys die more than anyone I've ever met."
(head slap) "That's for getting me killed."
"If it makes you feel any better we got Ash killed too." "I'm cool with it!"
"This feels real but it's Memorex."
"You son of a bitch. I believed in."
Most Unforgettable Winchester death
In honor of the show's upcoming 100th episode, it's again time to reflect. What Winchester death made the most impact? Which one was the most unforgettable?
-"In My Time of Dying": Big Daddy Winchester flatlines
-"All Hell Breaks Loose I": Sam gets stabbed in the back
-"No Rest for the Wicked": Dean gets ripped to shreds by the hell hounds
-"Mystery Spot": Dean's many deaths
-"Wishful Thinking": Sam gets electrocuted
-"The Song Remains the Same": Anna stabs Sam in 1978
-"Dark Side of the Moon": Sam and Dean shot by hunters
For me it's a tie between Jake stabbing Sam in the back in AHBLI and the hell hounds getting Dean in "No Rest for the Wicked." Honorable Mention goes to BDW flatlining in "In My Time of Dying." Sorry, I couldn't just pick one...