My love for Supernatural’s brand of story telling is no secret so I could not pass up this opportunity to talk about their latest venture into the Christian mythos.
The episode opens with a montage of Sam and Dean’s various death scenes from the last four seasons, prefaced by the fantastically dry humour of Bobby Singer “Come on, how many times have you two died anyway?” And from that moment, we know, they are going to die at least one more time!
Two Hunters break into the Winchester’s motel room, intending to kill the man who started the apocalypse, Sam Winchester. Promptly one of the hunters blows Sam’s chest inside out with a shotgun. Then they turn their attention onto Dean. “Kill him.” The first hunter demands. “Killing Sam was right, but Dean???” The second hunter replies. “He made us and we just snuffed his brother, ya idiot. You wanna spend the rest of your life knowing that Dean Winchester is on your ass?” And so Dean is promptly shot too… roll on the title card.
When Dean awakes he is in the Impala and Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” is playing over the radio. Shortly after Castiel comes over the radio and warns Dean that he is in Heaven and to stay out of the “light” as that is Zachariah searching for him to send him back to earth. Castiel informs Dean that he is to travel down the “The Road” until he finds Sam and then the two of them are to seek out an Angel named Joshua, the only Angel known to still talk to God.
Together Sam and Dean revisit Sam’s happiest memories. Dean first find’s Sam at someone else’s thanksgiving. “What? So playing footsie with brace-face in there is a trophy moment for you?” Dean mocks as he fails yet to understand Sam’s version of heaven, wondering where the Triplets and Latex might be… “Dean, I was eleven years old, this was my first real thanksgiving.” Sam ripostes. “What are you talking about, we had thanksgiving every year.” Dean retorts, his rose-tinted view of the past blinding him to Sam’s pain.
Sam and Dean, after a quick consult with Castiel, now in the Tv, head off down the road, which this time is a Scalextric track and find themselves back in their childhood home where Dean gets to spend some quality time with mom. “What?” Dean snaps as Sam stares at him teary-eyed “I just never realised how long you’ve been cleaning up dad’s messes.”
After finding a Route 66 postcard Sam and Dean are transported into another of Sam’s happy memories. A shack Sam used as a hideout when he ran away from his Dad and Dean for two weeks. Dean is less than enthusiastic to learn that, what had been a terrible period in his life (thinking he’d lost Sam) had been an awesome time for his little brother. “You ran away on my watch. I looked everywhere for you. I thought you were dead. And when dad came home…” Dean stops himself. “Dean, I’m sorry, I never thought about it like that.” Sam confesses, not really seeing the damage his happiness has done to Dean. “Forget about it, lets roll”
And so the two of them are off again, the next destination is their old house, the night Sam left for college. Dean has had enough. “This is the night you ditched us for Stanford, this is your idea of Heaven? Wow, this is like one of the worst nights of my life. Seriously… this is a happy memory for you?” Sam fights his instincts. “I don’t know, I was on my own, I finally got away from dad.”
“Yeah!” Dean retorts “He wasn’t the only one you got away from.” Sam tries to apologies but Dean wafts him away. “Come on. Your idea of Heaven is somebody else’s Thanksgiving, it’s bailing on your family, what do you want me to say?” Sam tries to defend himself. “I just don’t look at family the way you do.” “I’m you’re family… We’re supposed to be a team, it’s supposed to be me and you against the world!”
“It is.” Sam replies solemnly. “Is it?” Dean asks. Then Zachariah’s light appears and Sam and Dean run for it, disappearing into the woods where a man in a mexican wrestling mask appears and drags them into a little wooden hut. That man is non-other than Ash!
Yes this week sees the return of the deceased super genius, who’s little slice of heaven turns out to be the Roadhouse. Ash goes on to explain Heaven to us. Everybody, it seems, get their own personalised Heaven and that’s where they stay for eternity, Ash is different in that he found a way to travel between the Heavens.
“When I heard that you were up, of course, I had to come and find you… again!” Ash smiles. “Again?!?” “It ain’t the first time you’ve been here. You boys die more than anyone I’ve ever met…You don't remember” Ash sneers realising the truth.
“What about our folks?” Sam asks. Again Ash has no news. However Pamela (the dead, blind, psychic) is in heaven and overjoyed to see the Winchester boys again.
Ash sets the boys back on the Road to the Garden, promising to “see them again soon” and instantly Sam and Dean find themselves back at their old house again. This time however mummy is not happy to see them. It seems the spirit of Mary Winchester is Zachariah’s bitch. Whether or not this is really Sam and Dean’s mum is never made truly clear, I would like to hope it’s an Angel trick but it is truly horrifying to watch Dean being tortured and disowned by the woman he loves more than anyone.
Zachariah (who just referred to Mary as a MILF!) is about to torture Sam and Dean into saying yes when Joshua appears and informs the Archangel that God demands Joshua be allowed to speak to the boys.
Joshua leads Sam and Dean into the Garden where they get to ask the questions we’ve all been asking. “Where is he?” “On earth.” Joshua replies. “Doing what? “I don’t know.” “Do you know where on earth?” Sam asks. “No, sorry.” replies Joshua. “Can you get him a message for us?” Sam asks. “Actually he has a message for you.” Joshua explains. “Back off. 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 it’s his problem.”
If ever there was a line that “proved” the words “God made us in his image” it’s that… no?
“God saved you already. He put you on that plane, he brought back Castiel, he granted you salvation in Heaven and after everything you’ve done, too! It’s more than he’s intervened in a long time. He’s finished. I’m sorry…”
“Forget it.” Dean snarls. “He’s just another dead beat dad with a bunch of excuses, right? I’m used to that. So what now?”
“You go home again.” Joshua says. “But I’m afraid this time wont be like the last. This time God wants you to remember.” And with that Sam and Dean are returned to their bodies.
The episode closes with Castiel trying to convince the boys and himself that God will still help. “Maybe Joshua was lying.” He tries. “I don’t think he was.” Sam replies. Cas looks defeatedly down before raising his eyes to the sky. “You son of a bitch! I believed in…”
He stops, he turns to Dean and pulls the necklace from his pocket. “I don’t need this anymore.” He says, tossing the charm to Dean. “It’s worthless.” And it would seem that Dean agrees, as he and Sam set out on the road again, Dean drops the necklace in the trash and walks away without even looking back.
Laughs, high emotions, major disappoints, theological debate, dead guest stars, this episode had it all. God has forsaken the Winchester Boys… but we haven’t. Tune in tonight for more Supernatural, only on CW.
This has been My Two Cents…