The Official Supernatural: “Let the Good Times Roll” (13.23 – Season Finale) Live Recap Thread

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Yeah, yeah. I skipped ahead. Don’t worry; I’ll do the others. It’s just that this one is a-buzzin’ and I want to watch/live recap it all the way through.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Recap of the season so far with, of course, “Carry On, Wayward Son,” which begins with a quick voiceover by Dean (and segues into a quick request from Rowena for music). ‘Cause that’s never ominous in a season finale, or anything. The recap ends with alt-Michael and Lucifer being left in the alt-SPNverse.

Cut to Now, with Sam in the Bunker explaining to the alt-SPNverse refugees how our world sucks so much more normally than theirs. There’s a joke about Trump and alt-Bobby gets to deliver it.

Sam gets a call from Dean, who is with Castiel and Jack near a harbor. It seems to they are celebrating getting everyone (they care about) back from the alt-SPNverse by Hunting some dockside werewolves because … reasons. As you do. Just roll with it, I guess.

Castiel starts off the carnage by stabbing one werewolf who’s outside on a smoking break. The Brothers and Jack then bust into the shack, where two other werewolves are discussing the Kardashians. Jack freezes the werewolves, while Dean and Sam fill them full of silver.

Meanwhile, alt-Bobby (now dressed just like “our” Bobby) is taking a nice walk in the rain with Mary. They infodump that Ketch has taken off, while Rowena and alt-Charlie are on a road trip (as long as anything involving Charlie stays off my screen, I’m good, but I sure hope this doesn’t mean the writers are now going to ruin Rowena to make alt-Charlie Sue look fabulous). Anyhoo, alt-Bobby admits that while they can’t go back home without an archangel, he’s not sure he even wants to. It’s nice here (he says as he makes cow eyes at Mary, who looks flattered).

Sadly, this is Supernatural, so the mood is immediately shattered by their discovering Maggie (remember her? The refugee the Brothers helped through a tunnel a few episodes back?) in the path with her head smashed on a rock.

Cue title cards.

Cut to the sneak peek where the Brothers talking about retiring. Sam is surprised that Dean would want to retire. Dean says that if he knew people were safe from monsters, he’d do it, happily, then go live on a beach with Sam and Castiel, and some umbrella drinks. Yeah, that sort of conversation never ends well.

After Sam goes off to do whatever, Dean hears Jack in his room, having a nightmare. Apparently, this is one of the rare times when Jack sleeps. It turns out Jack has nightmares about people he couldn’t save in the alt-SPNverse. Dean wakes him up (Jack wakes up in a less scary mood than Dean does) and reassures him that he has those dreams, too. Jack said he promised to save those people, but wasn’t “strong enough.” Dean tells him it’s not about being strong. If Jack weren’t strong, he wouldn’t have made it back. You just have to keep going and understand you’ll make mistakes some times. But Jack’s family and that’s all that matters.

Hmm. This is getting a bit worrisome. These are the kinds of conversations main characters have right before they get written off.

Sam comes in with a phone call. It’s about Maggie, whose dead body we see next, still on the ground in the rain. Jack is upset, saying he couldn’t protect her. Everyone tries to figure out what’s going on, since all the usual suspects are back in alt-SPNverse. They interview her friend who came over with her from the alt-SPNverse. The friend is shocked to hear she’s dead, saying she expected they would be safe here. She says Maggie had snuck out the night before to see a boy at a local quickie mart she was sweet on (so, I guess a fair bit of time has passed, then). As soon as Jack hears this, he flies off to the quickie mart. Uh-oh.

At the quickie mart, the kid in question is just putting stuff away, minding his own business, when Jack comes in and slams him into one of the freezer shelves. He starts choking the kid, demanding to know why he killed Maggie. The kid has no idea what he’s talking about. Castiel shows up and tries to stop him, but Jack slams him into some shelves. Sam and Dean come in, and an exasperated Dean shoots Jack to snap him out of it. They quickly show him that the kid didn’t kill Maggie, especially when he looks devastated at finding out she’s dead.

Jack runs back out into the woods and starts hitting himself, crying and wondering why he always hurts people. Then he hears angel wings and Lucifer appears behind him. Jack asks if he’s real and Lucifer hedges about how he got there. Lucifer claims that Sam left him behind and lied when he said alt-Michael killed him. Lucifer is all sweetness and light to Jack, but Jack cuts to the chase and asks how Lucifer got through the closed rift. Lucifer dances around this, too, and tries to tell Jack he’s not really human, that they have a lot in common. Ewww. Jack, I know you’re a baby, but jeez. It’s sad when Lucifer is so obvious that he can only fool an infant.

Lucifer suggests they go to some other planet. Jack compares it to Star Wars, but isn’t so sure about leaving Sam, Dean and Castiel behind.

Back in the quickie mart, the Brothers and Castiel try to cover up what happened with the kid by calling the incident “a training exercise” and saying they’re FBI. This is working pretty well until they hear the whine of an angel. A very, very powerful angel. An archangel, in fact. They tell the kid to run (hate to break this to you, kid, but I think your job’s about to go belly up) and he does.

The whining increases and then they see the impossible. Dean tells them to run outside, just as the windows on the quickie mart blow out. Alt-Michael stalks after them, smug as ever. Dean is already pulling some holy oil out of the trunk, lighting it, and tossing out at Michael’s feet. This makes Castiel’s incipient suicide run at alt-Michael unnecessary, since it temporarily stops the archangel, and they flee in the Impala.

Mary and alt-Bobby are discussing who could have killed Maggie when Jack walks in with Lucifer. It’s not a happy reunion, to put it mildly. Lucifer calls alt-Bobby “Longmire.” Lucifer tries to shmooze everyone by healing Maggie and bringing her back from the dead (while continuing to insult Sam to Jack and in front of Mary), his eyes glowing. Jack is impressed by this, enough to leave with Lucifer. Meanwhile, Mary has sent alt-Bobby to call the Brothers. How does alt-Bobby know how to use a cell phone if he’s been living in an Apocalypse World most of his life?

The Brothers come in, but Jack and Lucifer are already gone. Dean goes to call Jody and the other Hunters (alt-Bobby is impressed that Dean has an entire network of Hunters on speed-dial), while Castiel goes to see if there’s any angel chatter, even though they’re almost all locked up in Heaven now. Castiel later reports that it’s all silent on that front, which is unnerving.

Sam talks to Maggie, who is reluctant to talk at first. Then she says she didn’t see her killer’s face, only his eyes. Cut rather obviously to Lucifer and Jack, ostensibly getting ready to leave on their cosmic voyage.

In the Bunker, things go rapidly downhill as someone “knocks” on the door with an enormous boom. Dean insists Mary and alt-Bobby take Maggie and escape through the garage (overriding Mary’s protests), then he and Sam pull out their guns, as they and Castiel turn to confront alt-Michael busting the door down (dammit, gonna have to fix that door again).

Bullets and attempted angel-blade stabbings have no effect. Alt-Michael tosses Sam and Castiel aside, and focuses on Dean, saying that Dean will be the first soul he purges in his great crusade (this seems like rather a large plothole, considering “our” Michael was well aware of who Dean would be as his chosen vessel long before Dean was born). Dean insults him back, even as alt-Michael chokes him slowly, enjoying it. In the process, alt-Michael admits he made a deal (in flashback, we see it’s with Lucifer) to come through the doorway.

On the floor, Sam desperately prays to Jack, hoping Jack can hear him. Jack is temporarily distracted by Lucifer’s star-trekkin’ BS, though a sour note creeps in when Lucifer slips up and mentions wanting to make some “improvements.” But then Jack hears Sam’s prayer and comes back, just in time to stop alt-Michael from fully choking Dean to death.

Jack slams alt-Michael into a post. Lucifer flies in after him, as Jack starts doing Very Bad Things to alt-Michael, making him bleed from his eyes and ears. But Lucifer gets outed as the villain he is by alt-Michael, who screams, “Lucifer, we had a deal!”


Even Jack can see this red flag. As everyone compares notes, Sam tells Jack that Maggie saw the “red, glowing eyes” of her killer. Yep, it was Lucifer. Jack forces Lucifer to tell the truth. Lucifer killed her because she saw him “scouting out the Bunker.” He “crushed her skull” and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Disillusioned, Jack says, “You’re not my father. You’re a monster.” Lucifer is too weak to do much besides roar impotently and whine (alt-Michael is still hurting too much to do more than let his head loll). At least, until Jack lets him get too close. Then Lucifer springs on him, cuts his throat (not fatally) with his archangel blade, and drains his considerable grace (which takes remarkably little time). I’m honestly not sure from the dialogue, but considering his track record, I’m guessing this was Lucifer’s Plan A all along.

Lucifer then heals up the wound (there’s still some grace there, but Jack looks semi-conscious, at best) and disappears with him in a flash of light. As they do, Sam and Castiel both rush forward to grab them. Castiel is tossed back, but Sam disappears with them. To where, no one knows.

Lucifer lands them in a church, where he beats up first Sam (talking about how they’re going to “break up” permanently now) and then Jack, when Jack tries to stagger to Sam’s aid. Lucifer informs Sam (as if Sam didn’t know) that Jack has killed quite a few people. Sam says it doesn’t matter. As Dean said before, Sam says that Jack is “family.”

Lucifer, always disloyal to his own kin, is unimpressed. He tells Sam that “family blows.” To prove it, he drops his archangel blade in front of them and tells them that one of them can walk out, but not without killing the other (it’s doubtful he intends either of them to survive, but first things first). Lucifer also Evil Overlord monologues about how, if one of them lives, in the seven-to-ten days it would take him to “unravel the universe,” the survivor might figure out how to stop him. Or not. Lucifer fully intends to destroy everything and recreate it in his image.

Sam picks up the archangel blade and hands it to Jack, telling Jack to kill him. Instead, Jack starts to stab himself, telling Sam “I love you. I love all of you.”

Meanwhile, Michael is informing Dean that Lucifer is “juiced up” on Jack’s grace and now powerful enough to destroy the universe. All of the universe (“And you thought I was bad?”). He’s actually all for going to kill Lucifer, but his meatsuit is incapacitated and Lucifer is now much more powerful than before.

Dean has an idea, a horrible, no-good idea that alt-Michael may (or may not, considering he was fully willing to kill Dean before) have already been angling for. What if Michael had his Ultimate Weapon, the Michael Sword? Alt-Michael admits he knows who Dean is (which is a bit puzzling, considering he was just trying to kill Dean and was fully intent on killing Dean first, implying he saw Dean as the greatest threat in this new universe) and further admits that yes, it might be possible, the two of them together, to kill Lucifer.

Castiel starts to protest, but Dean says, “Lucifer has Sam. He has Jack. Cas, I don’t have a choice!”

Ah, but it’s Dean, so Dean has conditions. And before we protest that alt-Michael doesn’t have to honor these conditions, remember Death’s ongoing grumpiness about broken deals. Deals for a major supernaturally powerful being are a big deal in the SPNverse and breaking them has major consequences. So, when Dean calls it “a one-time deal” and flat-out says he will be in charge, with alt-Michael having no say and only providing the power, somewhere, someone with more power than alt-Michael is taking notes.

Just as Jack is slowly, agonizingly stabbing himself to death, a bright light appears behind him. It is DeanMichael (Hunterwings, maybe?), his own archangel sword in hand, just landed and unfolding his wings.

I gotta say, this is a pretty damned awesome image that will surely be copied over and over again this summer. Too bad about the way-over-the-top Ten Commandments music that accompanies it.

Anyhoo, Sam calls Dean’s name and Dean responds in kind, cueing us that this is Dean and not alt-Michael in charge.

Lucifer says, “You let my brother in.”

Dean acknowledges this, saying they had a common goal – “we both want to gut your ass.”

Lucifer charges like a bull and Dean starts off well by kicking him across the room. Unfortunately, the rest of the fight goes less well for Dean, especially once they start flying at each other, though he does quite a bit better than Sam and Jack.

Dean drops his sword and Lucifer starts beating on him in mid-air. Then he decides that stabbing’s too good for Dean (Michael doesn’t even get a mention; Lucifer clearly sees his true nemesis as Dean Winchester) and starts to smite him.

Sam then decides to grab the sword and toss it to Dean in one of the cheesier (and more literal) “wind beneath my wings” moments the show’s produced. Dean grabs it and stabs Lucifer, then falls back to earth as Lucifer blasts light out every orifice, then literally crashes and burns.

Afterward, Lucifer lies amidst the charred and glowing remnants of his wings. Sam and Dean and Jack share a bring “It’s Miller Time!” moment, made temporarily sweeter by Dean correcting Sam’s “You did it!” to “We did it!”

But this is the season finale and we’ve got a few minutes of airtime left, so of course this does not end well.

Dean suddenly doubles over in pain and screams, “We had a deal!” (Remember when alt-Michael screamed that at Lucifer and how that worked out for Lucifer? Just saying.) Then, he straightens up, only what straightens up is no longer Dean.

Sam rather unnecessarily supplies who this new/old being is: “Michael.”

Alt-Michael glances around appraisingly (some really nice acting from Ackles here), then, looking straight ahead, says in a cold and taunting tone to his vessel, “Thanks for the suit.” He flies off, leaving a horrified Sam and Jack.

In the Bunker, Mary and alt-Bobby rush in to find a devastated Castiel.

Later, on a rainy street corner, we see a man walking down the street in 1920s gangster garb (as much as I didn’t care for the Ten Commandments musical cue in the previous scene, I love the hell out of the Untouchables musical cue in this one), looking around him in wonder. He looks like Dean, but … isn’t. Right before the credits roll, the camera freezes on his sinister smile and glowing blue eyes. Michael.


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55 thoughts on “The Official Supernatural: “Let the Good Times Roll” (13.23 – Season Finale) Live Recap Thread”

  1. I just thought of something: I mentioned yesterday about Nurse and “Sam’s Secret” and ‘did’ Dean know and ‘how’ Dean would respond if he did know.

    In Dark Side of the Moon Joshua tells Sam and Dean that they are promised Heaven ‘and after all you’ve done’ to Sam and I realized that GOD knew and forgave Sam (not that the law — OR DEAN — would’ve) and Dean would’ve settled on THAT and helped Sam keep the secret (like with Steven Wandell).

    This is not even related to Dean being ‘forgiving’ of all Sam’s backstory. God already forgave him. Sam is ok.

    There is an old story that just got posted recently on AO3, called Defect (by Kikkimaxx). It’s set in Season 3, weeks to go. Dean fears getting Sam killed because he is too overwhelmed by going to Hell. So he gets arrested and brought the BAU of Criminal Minds. No matter what Dean is backing Sam, offers to confess to any and everything (even killing Jess! to subjugate and terrify Sam) to get Sam clear.

    No matter WHAT Dean will always excuse Sam. God forgave him.

    1. I don’t think this is really true, either for Dean or for Chuck. For a start, Chuck told Sam in season four that Sam’s demon blood drinking was so nasty and “wrong” that Chuck never put it into the Winchester Gospels. That sounds an awful lot like judgement to me. For another, season two was a really long time ago and in “Born Under a Bad Sign,” there’s a fair bit of subtext that Dean suspected for quite some time before Meg revealed herself that Sam was possessed. So, it wasn’t that Dean forgave Sam so much as he was wary of such an extreme change in Sam’s behavior and personality, and didn’t necessarily attribute it to Sam. When Sam actually did some really ugly things in seasons four and five, Dean had plenty to say about it and none of it was nice.

      Also, there is a huge difference between forgiving someone and excusing them. Dean has been willing to forgive Sam quite a bit over the years, but he got over making excuses for Sam quite a while ago. He makes Sam carry his own moral load a lot more these days.

    2. Man I wished she’d written more! I looked to see if she had fav writers she recommended and she didn’t even do that! I really enjoy these well written crossovers mixing up the world of Criminal Minds or NCIS with Supernatural. It works. Ya know?
      Thanks for that heads up

  2. Pete and I are watching Sex & Violence. He was looking at Doctor Kara suddenly said she looked like Amelia and Amelia was ‘also’ a big drinker (we were discussing how Kara and Amelia were both probably alcoholics). I thought about it but I can’t remember if Sam ever ‘hung out’ with a blond after Jessica.

    Did Sam ‘always’ date brunettes throughout the show, slim little girls (like Ruby2 with whom he ‘did’ have a sexual relationship but NOT with blond Ruby1 or even Meg1)?

  3. The simplistic path I am talking about is what was discussed by Aristotle in Poetics as making the best tragedy and he used Oedipus as his example. Not every play necessarily goes by it. I would need to reread the plays you mentioned. Sophocles almost certainly used the Delphic Maxims as a guideline for behavior however there was latitude in applying those. Aristotle is extremely influential and still studied classics, philosophy and the history of theater.

    I tbink anyone who had watched the show would agree that a character who continues to sacrifice his life for his brother loves his family too much. Tbis is not a simplistic analysis. It is an obvious analysis. Dean’s excessive live for Sam and his unwillingness goblet him due gas driven the mytharc since season 2.

    Oedipus erred against Nothing to Excess and Know Thyself. He flew into road rage killing his father unbeknownst to himself was crowned king and thereby slept with his mother again unbeknownst to himself. The not knowing himself was not knowing his true parentage.

    Philoctetes had an infected foot injury from the battle at Troy and complained about it to excess so he was marooned.

    Women who were peripheral characters in plays were not the tragic heroes of those plays.
    Euripedes did write a play centsring on Elekra however he was not the Delphoc moralist thst Sophocles was and loved carnage. I cannot remember her flaw at the moment truth be told but she would not let go of her mother killing her daddy….

    Medea also by Euripedes… she hated her husband so much for dumping her and remarryimg a young model… she killed his wife and her own children to spite him…. sure sounds like she was out of balance with an excess of hate… but again I cannot remember exactky….

    I do not really get your point about the ladies except to say you do not see Dean as flawed. Oh well….

    Either the writers took similar classes to me or they took drama classes and got it that way or they googled Greek tragedy to refresh their knowledge or whatever like they obviously did with Gog and and Magog and ran with it. The river runs through the two seasons…

    And it is incredible to think that Sam falls twice and Cas falls once but never Dean?!!! Well news flash … He has now.

    1. I still don’t see the Greek tragedy angle. The story metaphor can be explained quite adequately in terms of the show’s usual Judeo-Christian approach.

      1. Pretty sure They will out it in the CD because they totally went there. Lucifer commenting on the wheeled cart to display the dead was the in text give away.

        The literally hit every single thing Aristotle said to do. Every single thing.

        And it totally explains why they started with The perfect werewolf hunt and Dean’s most happy day ever.

        I am absolutely convinced.

        And they completely made Dean a classic tragic hero who erred and fell.

        But whatever.

        1. Well, why wouldn’t they show some tropes? Aristotle’s been used to death by Hollywood scriptwriting coaches. That doesn’t mean the writers of *this* story, who are neck-deep in Judeo-Christian tropes, ever had any intention of writing Greek tragedy (or even understand what it is; have you *seen* “Remember the Titans”?), especially since Aristotle himself was doing little more than pigeonholing a lot of disparate characters into one category.

          They don’t talk about it in their interviews (even though they’re quite free with the Judeo-Christian allusions). And the story they were using was Judeo-Christian to the core. Sacrifice in Christianity never means you have a fatal flaw. It means you are in touch with the divine.

          Take a look at female “lead” characters in Greek tragedies sometime. How much do they *really* follow the simplistic path you’re talking about? Antigone? Classic model for Dean. Totally doomed. Not a Tragic Hero with a flaw. That’s Cleon. How do I know? Because Antigone is setting things right by doing the will of the gods. No way was that considered a tragic flaw by the Ancient Greeks, no matter how many modern English teachers with a poor grasp of Ancient Greek history try to anachronize it.

          And you know why? Because women don’t get to be Heroes in Greek tragedies (or comedies), no matter how many plays may have their names on them. Elektra is not the Hero of her play; her brother is. Iphigenia is a sacrificial victim and a plot device over which the men fight (same with Helen). The Trojan Women are also victims, basically a Trojan version of a Greek chorus given the stage for two hours. Medea is the semi-divine Antagonist. And so on.

          I get that you’re “absolutely convinced,” but I think it’s giving you tunnel vision.

          1. I am enjoying you and CC discussing her idea about Greek Tragedy, but all I am asking, Paula, is that you NEVER BRING UP Remember the Titans again. That at the dog familiar episode are my two least favorite episodes of their season. Most of the time we get good/bad/good/bad. But I think that season had bad/bad/bad/DOG FAMILIAR and was just poor middle of the season.

            I just liked nobody in that episode at all, the kid was even too much for me, bad direction imo. (Most of the times they get great acting out of the kids, I saw Lilith in Ghost Fever and BOY was that girl a terrific actress. I checked her and she has had quite a little career. (Same thing with Misty from The Benders: she played Emma in Slice Girls and she turned into quite a beauty.)

          2. They used a lot of tropes. They told his entire story as a tragic storyline over 2 seasons and completely framed him as having tragic flaws.
            They do not need to copy from a pre-existing story or character because of the show’s extensive backstory which they drew from extensively during 2 seasons. My previous article discusses this. This is how I was able to predict Dean!Michael in season 12.

            They actually have dumped the judeo Christian storyline completely except in name only in my opinion…. much like Sam’s rebooted dark arc in season’s 8-11 lost its supernatural trappings.

            1. AU Michael is not following God’s plan. He is following his own plan.

            2. Likewise Lucifer…. He is.talking about destroying the old model completely and remaking it.

            3. Dean wants to kill Lucifer as a personal vendetta for Sam, to protect Sam. This is clearly established in Exodus.

            4. Dean states in the finale that his concern is saving Sam and Jack.

            And then you have the astonishing parallels between Jack and Dean, both bred for their power and both destined to be used by evil archangels, yet one was able to avoid that fate and avoid certain tragedy and one was not. Dean’s error, his fatal choice us a tragic decision and it will cause cosmic horror to befall the SPNverse.

            Yes it happened in a church and a version of Michael killed Lucifer but that is it. Dean has not been a sacrificial lamb these last two seasons. He has been shown to be increasingly reckless since he took on the Mark of Cain really without bothering to read the owner’s manual. Pulling the gun on Kaia was not a Christ-like move. It was a big red flag. If Dean had been Jack then perhaps that would have been the wake up call to course correct. Unfortunately no one said anything to him about his behavior and Dean lacked the self reflection to realize that he had crossed a huge line in the sand.
            It is a short jump for risking one life to save your family to risking any number.
            The writing is so very clear on this.
            After the horror Dean will be dealing with the aftermath. Then redemption. Then he will change.. He won’t be pulling these moves.any more. It will be a very different show or it will be in its last stages.

            But it doesn’t matter. They will write what They will write. In my opinion they finally went there and made Dean as dirty as the rest of them. It was bound to happen. Admittedly his increasing recklessness has lead to worsening and broader consequences however because of the self harm issues I never saw Dean’s excessive love of family as being truly comparable to Sam’s hubris until the finale. For me Dean giving his body (yuk) to AU Michael is ewuivakent fo Sam using the BotD in thar both brothers did so to save the other knowing that there was the likely possibility if negative cosmic consequences.

            Dean’s stated concern in the finale is saving Sam and Jack. AU Micharl talks about Lucifer being uber powerful in his seduction which is just a ploy to get rhe Michael Sword.

            We Dean!girls were spoiled. We did not need crazy canon to enjoy Dean. Well he fell hard.
            And if Lucifer resurrects. Thst will really suck.
            It might mean more seasons of course…. but then Dean fell and achieved nothing. That would really suck.

            1. A few things. First of all, while I don’t mind people linking to their stuff, repeatedly spamming it rather than expressing an argument is not okay. If you have to repeat yourself here to get your point across, you’ll just have to repeat yourself. I spent 14 and a half hours working a fossil festival in the hot sun yesterday and I’m trying to work on my own stuff. No, I do not have time to read everyone else’s wank on some other site.

              Second, there is no evidence whatsoever that they’ve dropped the Judeo-Christian storyline, let alone for Ancient Greek Aristotelian tragedy. This show is not subtle in its references. If they’d wanted Greek tragedy, at the very least, we would have heard about it from an interview, if not within the story itself. The characters involved are still related to Judeo-Christian mythology, therefore it’s a Judeo-Christian storyline.

              Third, *everybody* saw DeanMichael coming. The problem was that the show had already visited that storyline before and cut it off very abruptly shortly before its climax. It didn’t make fans naive or stupid to be wary of another dropped plot. You might get further with this if you stopped questioning other fans’ intelligence for not overcommitting to a specific storyline. I learned a long time ago to let this show be what it’s gonna be. Doesn’t mean I liked every single thing it came up with, but at least I didn’t make it compete with a projected future show in my head that it wasn’t ever going to be.

              Fourth, there’s a perfectly logical explanation for why Dean saying yes to alt-Michael is a sacrifice storyline (and has been telegraphed as such), not a Dean-falls storyline. To make Jack truly part of the family, one of two things had to happen–Jack had to sacrifice himself or Dean had to sacrifice himself for Jack. Dean began the season determined to kill Jack and even told Jack that no one else would kill him if Dean didn’t. And no one else did. Dean did something he swore he would never do and showed up in the middle of Jack’s attempt to commit seppuku to save both Jack and Sam. The whole ridiculous thing with obsessing over alt-Charlie and seeing Sam die for a hot minute reminded us that Dean would rather die saving his loved ones than go on without them. We can argue until the cows come home about how healthy that is, but it’s still quintessential Dean Winchester.

              Of course Dean is flawed. Every single freakin’ character on the show is flawed. That is not the same as having a tragic flaw in the Greek sense. By sacrificing himself to save Sam and Jack, Dean saved them and saved the world. He set things right. One might even argue that Dean saying yes was what set them right. Will there be serious fallout? Of course. When is there not serious fallout from decisions made in the season finale? But that doesn’t mean Dean fell in the Classical sense just because, for once, he set the Natural Order right.

              1. Paula, how many years have you devoted to being the show maven? When I began following you on I read earlier and earlier threads and you were always there. I trust your judgement and am glad there is somebody with a long institutional memory here. I myself think I began watching ‘new’ in Season 8 after going thru all the episodes on TNT. So it was only about 10wks I think of watching shows to catch up.

                Hey, does anybody have an opinion on what was the ‘best’ season premier song? I am torn between AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long Season 4 and George Thoroughgood’s Who Do You Love? but the editing and splicing on those two episodes’ Previouslies was superior in my opinion.

                1. Hey, Eva. I was aware of the show in its first season, but I ignored it because I wasn’t a huge fan of the WB and it was advertised as “Two hot young brothers search for their father on the backroads of America,” which made it sound like “Bloodlines” levels of white trash awful.

                  My first episode was “No Exit” in season two and it was very nearly my last. I really liked Dean (though I couldn’t, yet, for the life of me, remember his name), found Jo annoying, and actively loathed that stupid coda. I thought, if she was going to be a regular from now on (the coda made it seem that way), I wasn’t interested. So, I went back to CSI and missed episodes like “Croatoan” on their first run.

                  But CSI was losing my interest with the irritating Miniature Killer supervillain plot, so I sampled the show again with “Houses of the Holy.” Then I was hooked. I ended up watching AHBL2 live, then started catching reruns and renting DVDs of season one from the local video store (remember those?). My first disk was the quadrifecta of “Faith,” “Asylum,” “Home” and “Scarecrow.” I loved three out of four of those and after that, I was hooked. I got into the fandom over the summer and I guess I was a fixture on IMdB (Kes Cross, AJ Spedding and I were known as the “Tricksters” on there) by early season three. That’s how far back the Cain vs. Abel thread went. I never got into the fandom on TVwoP because the thread organization on the site sucked and the site took forever to load (a problem I also had with Spoiler TV). Later, after that improved, the SPN section was too dominated by Samstan “moderators” to be much fun for more than lurking. There was also SPN.TV, but that had the same problem. Things were pretty good early on, aside from the spamming from the more rabid Wincesters, but season four caused a huge base-break and the fandom split into Sam fans and Dean fans for really the first time. It got downright ugly around the time “The Rapture” (4.20) came out. People often don’t remember that now.

                  My favorite season premiere song/recap is season five’s “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC. Sums up all the Judeo-Christian and Christ/Satan vibes of season four perfectly. Also, it’s a great song.

                  1. Thunderstruck was also very good. I prefer You Shook Me All Night Long for the editing incorporated and highlighted by various weapons firing BOOM (show shooting). Golly I know Dean spent a DECADE talking about Led Zeppelin but I always thought AC/DC was more his band.

                    I ‘liked’ TWoP very much but whenever a discussion broke out (and I don’t mean a disagreement I mean an argument that was not unpleasant, multiple people sharing their opinions and shoring them up) and one of the mods would say “Take it to ALL SEASONS” and it would just kill the comment thread.

                    I have a Sam/Dean question for you: I do not believe that Dean knows that Sam killed Nurse Cindy (and I have many times mentioned on this show that I feel bad that, say, in Dead in the Water, Sam NOR Dean contacted the murdered child’s mom to tell her what happened to him, there are so many lose threads out there and I don’t know if it ‘would’ ease peoples’ pain; Officer Kathleen from The Benders said it did not ease her pain to know her brother was dead or how he died, it was just a different pain) and I have come to the conclusion that Dean would be sickened but STILL cover for Sam like he did with Steve Wandell. And that is a straight-up murder.

                    (I don’t know if I make allowances for Dean because in the #Slenderman episode he ganked the dishwasher-murderer and HE was also human; I think ‘you’ said something about Dean and the MoC and ‘I’ said something about they pretended to be supernatural, they got the supernatural cops on their tail. Did not bother me.)

                    I think Nurse Cindy is the longest ‘secret’ between the two brothers; I also wonder if anybody will find her body and because Sam ‘did’ figure he was going to die in his attempt to kill Lilith that he might’ve not been careful about the forensics. The FBI/whatever agency would have a REAL murder on him if they ever catch him again. IS there any secret longer than Nurse Cindy? (Again, I don’t get how Kripke expected me to see Sam as a ‘hero’ ever again after listening to that poor woman beg for her life.)

                    1. I agree about TwoP. They had some good commenters on there, but they got frustrated after a while (and it got frustrating reading it) that every time a discussion got a little deeper, or had more than everyone agreeing with each other, or (God forbid) was remotely critical of Sam, especially in favor of Dean, the mod would come in with steel-toed boots and a club, and shut things down. Very irritating and it eventually killed the discussion on there. Weird thing is, many non-SPN TwoP boards weren’t like that.

                      I don’t think there’s any evidence Dean ever knew about Nurse Cindy, though it’s probable at this point that Sam might have clued in that Dean didn’t send that voicemail. Sam’s not about to tell Dean, either. I suppose it might come up, someday (maybe alt-Michael finds out?), but at the moment, it appears to be a permanent plot hole.

                      The Brothers always burn bodies if they can, to avoid posthumous possessions and such, so Nurse Cindy is probably ashes scattered somewhere. At this point, there’s probably nothing to find. There was going to be a plot involving Steve Wandell in season three, but considering how they botched the return of Walt and Roy, don’t expect much on that score from this writing crew.

                      The guys in the #Slenderman episode were serial killers, so I can’t say I have much concern or sympathy for them. Dean did everyone a favor there. Same with the Stein kid. As fresh-faced and sad as he looked, he still participated in a vivisection and the trashing of someone else’s home and fortress (then getting his sorry ass caught and shot). Yes, it was reluctant, but if he lacked the spine to stand up to his family, then he probably was never as innocent as the script rather strenuously tried to portray him. Contrast him with the Thule kid who did stand up to his family, nearly got killed by them, and was let go by the Brothers at the end. The Brothers have always practiced catch-and-release with some. They just have slightly different standards on it.

          3. And yet my analysis enabled me to predict Dean!Michael early last season as well as another Apocalypse. Either it is correct or I am psychic.

            I think you cannot admit Dean f’d up…lol.

            It is fine. We can disagree. I am okay with that. Adults and academics do this all of the time. This is what fuels the humanities.

            1. The only character that coukd possibly be in running for savior storyline is Jack and they hit the visual tropes hard with him pretty hard last season.

              I linked once.

              I thought we were having a discussion.

              1. Jack fell. You missed that? He was getting cocky and getting people killed, and then Lucifer took his power away. Jack fell. But he then he repented, so he was saved.

                Most of your discussion seems to revolve around what you said in your article. I don’t want to have to read your article on some other site to have a discussion with you here, on my site.

  4. I am watching Metamorphosis and I am just ‘ticked’ about Sam’s lying. When Dean ‘caught’ him with Ruby and the possessed guy and he just pulled the puppy eyes I wanted to punch him myself.

    I ‘think’ I have mentioned this before, but there is an excellent story on AO3 called Ghosts of Future Past which posits that ‘Dean ghosts’ from the future talking to Dean beginning in Metamorphosis how to stop Sam from ‘falling’ for Ruby’s lies. (He kills her quite early in the story so a big PLUS from ME.) Now Dean learns from Future Dean how to behave better with Sam to lead him ‘back’ to the light but I personally find it much more pleasing when Dean punches Sam in the face a couple of times. Just because of the LIES. Oh sweet Jesus, Season 4 is HARD to watch.

    I don’t know HOW Kripke thought he could make Sam such an a-hole and ‘then’ make Sam a hero just because he jumps into a hole at the end of Swan Song. I ‘know’ that Kripke wanted Dean to jump in along with Sam to save the world but I can’t believe he ever thought that was a good end to these characters.

    1. Well, it’s Kripke.

      There’s actually a lot of good stuff in season four and it has a strong mytharc (season five’s kind of a hot mess), but I do agree that it’s undercut by Kripke’s insistence on somehow making Sam the good brother no matter how “dark” he made Sam.

  5. Is there any possibility we will have a DEAN character as well as a MICHAEL!Dean character? If the show keeps Sam and Dean separated there might be fan rioting.

    1. Dean and Sam were separated a lot comparatively in season 13 and no one complainer. The paired Sam off with other characters or set him back to the bunke r or had Dean run off on bhis in whilst Dam stayed home and no one said Boo. It was foreshadowing for season 14. We will get Michael!Dean. More that 3 episodes. How much more is anyone’s guess.
      He is going to have to do a fair amount of damage because he represents Dean’s fall. Dean won’t be choosing family over the world anymore . He probably won’t be choosing family over himself anymore either because he is going to have to look hard at himself and change just like Sam did in season 11. Self reflection. Change. Atonement. Redemption.
      But first will come rthe blood and destruction born out of his fatasl error of judgement.

  6. I am wondering if Michael!Dean may find himself ‘unable’ for reasons he does not understand from doing bad stuff? It would call back imo to Sam not letting Lucifer!Sam kill Dean.

    I had an idea that Michael!Dean shows up at the LoL and says, I hate you imperfect humans. Hate you. HATE YOU. But as he says this he walks over to Jack and Michael!Dean cuts his own throat to give Jack some Archangel Grace. And then Michael!Dean walks out ‘still’ telling everybody that they are POND SCUM in his opinion. So they all know Dean is still around.

    My second idea is Michael has put Dean in a time-out ‘happy place’ (like Gadreel putting Sam in a ‘cheerleader case’ in his mind). I wonder how the show would show Dean’s ‘happy place.’

    1. I’d like to see Dean’s internal struggle, over multiple episodes, especially if the show has him also say yes to “our” Michael. It’s one of the reasons why this is such an interesting storyline, like the MoC storyline before it. Another big reason is that it gives Ackles a chance to chew some scenery more than as just one character. It would be rather depressing if they wrapped it up on only a few episodes, never to be mentioned again.

      We could see Dean’s internal mindscape. We could see Dean externalizing the struggle with Ackles going back and forth (a bit the way he did when Dean was taken over by Michael). We could see Michael struggling to control Dean and Dean struggling to surface. If Michael learns nothing from Dean, he becomes a boring character, villain or not. And if Dean prevails too easily, then it’s less likely Michael can become an important agent of restoration in Heaven. Remember that the worst threat isn’t Michael right now – it’s that Heaven is about to fall apart and rain a hundred billion ghosts down on earth. So, Michael may need to call a truce with Dean and the rest of TFW to rouse and piss off the Empty entity, and get some angels back. And that’s liable to be quite a fight.

      Also, we’ve seen plenty of vessels in the past who have been completely submerged by their possessing angels, despite it’s being canon that they can just say no at any time and kick the angel out. We need a change-up and we need some balance. We need to find out why there’s only one vessel who’s ever been called that angel’s sword. That sounds to me as though, for Michael to be fully powerful in his “chosen” vessel, he and the vessel have to work together. Otherwise, they’d be fighting each other for control all the way (which is actually a pretty good way of limiting MichaelDean’s power, at least for now).

      1. No need to kick the Empty beehive. All they need to do (as Castiel foreshadowed) is go to AUWorld and recruit the angels from over there. It would be more interesting if they did utilize the Empty but it’s Dabb and Singer so…

        I’m wondering what those two consider game changing? They thought “The Angels, they’re falling!” was going to be so big and exciting and it was basically a snooze fest. And is this game changer because of AUMichael/Dean (Mean?). If it is I hope they learned their lessons from the last few times they ripped the story out from under Jensen and actually let it ripen for more than 3 episodes. Buts it’s Dabb and Singer so….

        1. The problem for alt-Michael is that he doesn’t have the right ingredients to go back home, unless he wants to bleed himself of grace, which so far he’s shown no interest in doing.

          1. So you think Lucifer supplied the Grace that got them thru the Rift?

            Makes sense, I was unsure who did it. Is this opinion or do you know something?

            1. I seriously doubt alt-Michael gave up any. And he didn’t appear to have any other sources, since he’d just killed Gabriel.

            1. I don’t think we really know. With the seals broken, the Cage really ought to be more accessible, and as Eva noted, Hell is in chaos with no one to stop alt-Michael just walking in and doing whatever. But it’s been portrayed in the past couple of seasons that the Cage is in a very remote part of Hell and even with the cracks in it created by Amara’s emergence, impossible to break out of unless one uses a spell to put an inhabitant in that Cage-adjacent cell Rowena cooked up. Further, once in that adjacent Cage, a human still has to say yes to that inhabitant for the inhabitant to leave. Thing is, Rowena is the only one who knows the spell. Hmmm.

              Hey, maybe alt-Michael can take out alt-Charlie offscreen for us because I sure don’t want to see *her* again.

      2. I don’t see AU Michael being redeemed at all. He is evil. A different Satan who seduced Dean and Dean fell. No redemption from Dean. Dean is the one that is going to be redeemed beca Use he fell just like Sam did when he used the BotD.

        The other Michael will deal with heaven unless they go with Jack who stumbled but did not fall.

        Seriously Carverand Dabb are modeling
        The character arcs on heroic tragic fall storylines with subsequent redemption arcs. This was how I analyzed and predicted seasons 8-13 fairly well.

        Someone like Lucifer or AU Michael are irredeemable. They are not flawed heroic types.

        Rowena and Ketch… well apparently the resurrection spell changes you and both were actually capable of human love. Gabriel…. he is a fan fav… Only reason. He actual was a horrible villain but the episodes are quirky.

        I cannot really speculate about this because there is nothing to go on….

        It seems,to me that cage Michael is,raging that AU Michael was stomping around and stole his suit and he will not ve happy to learn he killed his brothers either even if he wanted Lucifer dead too. It is his job. And this universe is his job to care for so r here is a lot of territory issues. I do not see how he can be ignored any longer. And he obviously is a solid threat to AU which is why AU went directly for Dean rather than Jack. Lucifer was not a threat… he could have broken that deal too.

        I am sure we will see some struggle and Deanbwill fight. We will also see horrible thingschapoen by Dean’s hands because AU will be the big bad. I am hoping for a M-D-M sandwich. Fun. With Cage Michael and Dean ending up victorious and killing AU Michael and stupid Lucifer again.

        Then heaven.

        The AU angels are a possibility. Who knows if any are salvageable although I reckon Naomi can fix them.

          1. I just thought of something: there is nobody in Hell who can claim s/he is in charge. Cage!Michael might actually just break out/walk out. I have mentioned MY theory time and again, the Cage was constructed out of Michael’s Grace (I don’t remember where I heard this, probably from one of the Apocrypha) so he ‘could’ have walked out at any time but had to figure out HOW God had permitted him to fail at the Apocalypse. NOW we have AU!Michael in ‘his’ Michael Sword! Pissed-off Cage!Michael could turn into quite an antagonist.

          2. He destroyed an entire world of people and seduced Dean causing him to fall. He is going to be killed. He has no loyalty to family, his word or God.
            Naomi was a soldier wirh admittedly harsh methods. Some might say she was redeemed when she earned Dean and Gas about Metatron and Sam.
            She was not committing genocide on a cosmic scale and she was not Lucifer the corrupter of humanity.

            1. Naomi had her chance to be redeemed when Castiel “suggested” she owed him and the Brothers an apology. She passed up on that chance. I’m sure she’s a True Believer and all, but that doesn’t make her one of the Good Guys.

              Remember that the only difference between “our” Naomi and whatever version of her exists in the alt-SPNverse is that the Brothers Winchester were never born. That’s it.

          3. Gah. Enough with the redemptions already! Where is our unrepentant evil doers?

            My Aunt is the smartest, sweetest, kindest woman in the world. We were talking about how people who have been busted for a crime will hide their heads/faces during their perp walk. She said she would never do that. That she would own up to what she did and take responsibility. She would say “I did it. I’m glad I did it. And if I had the chance, I would do it again!”

            I can not see Dabb giving up the opportunity to “shock” (yawn) us by bringing Lucifer back.

  7. I liked the episode a lot; I’ve already watched it four times.

    I have all kinds of scenarios in my mind for next season so it accomplished what it is supposed to do: whet my appetite!

  8. Not sure who cares thzt AU did not keep his word.
    Nothing has hapoened because cas stabhed Billie and broke Dean’s,Deanl wirh death. Obviously he will be defeated eventually.
    The fact that he wanted to kill Dean first tells me that
    Dean!Cage!Michael can defeat him.

    1. And yet the “Be seein ya soon, Dean” is still hanging out there. When are we going to see the COSMIC CONSEQUENCES? Billies such a tease. And maybe a tad bit of a dominatrix what with all that leathergear… 🙂

      Will they eventually have Dean die from the effects of AUMichael squatting? CageMichael promised Dean he wouldn’t leave him a drooling mess after he was done – we never heard AUMichael never say one way or another.

      1. AU kills Dean immediately and he is in heaven. It is what I would do to the guy that stopped the Apocalypse and refused by doppelganger his suit.

        1. Angels can’t do that. Adam was an exception. He had already been dead and was explicitly resurrected to be the bait as a possible vessel. But we don’t actually know that Adam is in Heaven and not in the Cage.

          1. Angels can’t kill humans or they cannot kill their vessels.
            He can lobotomize him for sure.
            He can kill him and resurrect the suit without a soul can’t he.
            Lucifer is walking around in a Nicksuit with no Nick at the moment iisn’t he…. per LOL canon of season 12.

            1. We don’t have any real proof that angels lobotomize their vessels, just that archangels tend to be so overwhelming that their vessels’ minds snap when possessed.

              Lucifer *was* walking around in a version of Nick that Crowley reconstructed and turned into a trap for him. That version was never as powerful even as the original, let alone as powerful as Samifer.

              1. CC, I agree with Paula (I think this is what she means) is that many of us here figured out that Dean was going to say yes to Michael. But I remember that you and I agreed it was going to be Cage!Michael. I never thought of AU!Michael. And I don’t remember you mentioning AU!Michael. (I feel the show runners lied to us about it being an ‘old’ character brought back; I did not think ‘our’ Michael and AU!Michael were really all that similar.

                Many people saw ‘something’ like this coming, but you appear to be saying that even if everybody agrees with you the way you reasoned this out is right is superior to the way “I” reasoned it out. I don’t know if you think this or not, I am just feeling that way since the finale aired.

                We were both ‘right’ but we weren’t ‘right’ imo. I never read much speculation at ALL that it would be AU dude; there was much speculation that Rowena ‘owed’ them one and ‘might/should’ help Dean get to the Cage and use Our guy fight AU guy. I just don’t remember many people saying AU!Michael until the very end (and I consider him a NEW character not an OLD character, I have no idea what Our guy was like but I never thought the two Michaels were all that similar.

                But maybe I am remembering it wrong, there was SO MUCH speculation on this topic on whole bunches of websites.

                BTW thank you Paula, your ideas that the CW is dropping the order for every show’s episodes (but not Riverdale, which is a show I agree should have fewer and keep it tighter). I had not thought of that, just saw that ‘this’ show was lowered. (I remember reading a few years back that Jensen Ackles was making $175K an episode — which is the same for Jared even though he was not listed — and I don’t know what was their source, are these things just ‘listed’ on line? Because I thought only when somebody was announcing something special — like how much the cast of Big Bang Theory makes per episode, over $1M I think — that few people know that kind of stuff.

                I also like you because you explain the ‘business’ of series TV in a way I can understand.

                1. Thanks! Last I saw, J2 were up to about $225k each per episode, which was a few years ago. They’ve always said they get equal pay and they’re switched off on whose salary gets reported. It’s also been reported by industry insiders that they’re basically just getting SAG-mandated raises, so they’re dirt-cheap (seriously, after over a decade as leads on the same show, that’s dirt-cheap).

                  I did see some spec (on YouTube, of all places) that Dean might say yes to alt-Michael. The possibility was certainly there, though I can’t say I was ever in love with it. I guess it makes sense in terms of making the storyline less linear and giving it more legs, but I haven’t been overly impressed by alt-Michael so far. He’s not been so much mysterious (like “our” Michael) as a straight-up one-dimensional tyrant. Not sure where they can go with that, especially with this less-than-subtle writing crew.

        2. AND AU!Michael gives him a ‘perfect’ Heaven, in which he is with his family (Mary was with John and the boys) and they fighting the good fight and winning (hear about an attack, get there and ‘stop the monster’ before anybody gets killed. #Winning.

          And like in What Is and What Can Never Be, Dean has to ‘fight’ to get back.

          I wonder if we will have Jensen as Dean as well as Jensen as AU!Michael. Will he just be playing the ‘one’ character (I know they said ‘new’ character but does that mean he is ‘only’ AU!Michael? I know also he does not want to play ‘two’ characters interacting — like he did in The End — because Jensen said it was really difficult to do it well — and he did.) Because if we are in Dean’s Heaven they can have Sam — a specter? — as his Hunting Partner so we’ll see them together. I recognize as a fan-base people will RIOT if there are multiple episodes of Sam and Dean separated.

          1. They’ve actually been writing the Brothers with increasingly separate storylines, so they could get away with it. I have no idea where they will go with this (the possibilities to screw it up are as many as the ones to do it well), but I think it’s pretty obvious we will get “our” Dean back. The question is more how long Ackles gets to play alt-Michael or “our” Michael or what happens to alt-Michael once Dean expels him or is dispossessed of him.

  9. Jack and Dean were mirrored all season especially this episode. I noticed parallels between Castiel trying to prevent Lucifer’s,seduction of Jack in “Exodus” and Castiel trying to prevent Michael’s seduction of Dean inn”Let the Good Times Roll”.
    Jack was Bred by Lucifer for his power. Dean was bred by a version of Michael for his power. Jack learned the truth before it was too late. Dean was eyes wide open but it did not matter because he was desperate to save Sam and Jack.

  10. That image of Dean with archangel wings has already become iconic. I’ve seen endless edits of that scene on Tumblr. I really hope they let Jensen play Michael for longer than three episodes. They’d have to figure out some way to fit MOTWs in there, however, which would be the main obstacle.

    1. Yeah, that and the end scene in the peaked cap. Lots of fans want to see more of that. I hope, along with you, they don’t rush a quick resolution of this. MoC!Dean was very popular. It was inevitable, with this huge dropped plot of Dean being the Michael Sword left dangling, that they would have to revisit it eventually if the show went long enough.

      1. Several nice images of Dean!Micharl and Michael!Dean. Season 14 should be at least
        Michael doing damage for x eoisodes, then he is saved and angsty because he is a tragic hero who fell and bad stuff happened and redemption arc.
        Season 11 was more or less Sam going through this process after using the BotD. They may take longer for Dean though because he has a longer history of this although he has never crossed the proverbial line before.
        No more Dean reckless decisions after this though

        The reason for the happy days beginning with Dean’s best hunt ever was to estabkish Dean beung HAPPY. They did the finale as an actual Greek tragedy to emphasize Dean’s,tragic fall and the hero is supposed to go from happiness to tragedy over the span of 24 hours… which Dean did.
        My review for WFB covers all of the Greek tragedy tropes thst the show hit over the finale and a few they hit over the season not to mention they framed the past two seasons,as Dean’s heroic tragic fall storyline.

      2. I was gobsmacked when they had Dean of all people restating his role as the Michael Sword, complete with season 5 flashbacks. Ever since season 6, it’s been completely ignored and forgotten until now. Plot continuity involving Dean? YES PLEASE.

        1. There has been plot continuity for Dean for the last 2 seasons. They have bern dipping into the family history pretty hard mining the backstory to prime us f or the finale.

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