Writers: Ben Edlund
Director: Steve Boyum
First aired: Thursday October 1, 2009.

Sam (Jared Padalecki) tells Dean (Jensen Ackles) he wants to rejoin Dean in the battle of the Apocalypse, but Dean tells Sam that they are better off apart. Later, Dean awakens five years in the future in an abandoned city and is attacked by humans who have been infected with a demonic virus that turns humans into Zombies. Zachariah (guest star Kurt Fuller) appears to Dean and explains that this is the world that exists as a result of Dean saying no to helping the angels fight Lucifer. Dean meets up with Future Dean, who tells him that the virus is the Devil’s endgame for destroying mankind. Misha Collins also stars.

Steve Boyum directed the episode written by Ben Edlund.




Dean refuses Sam’s efforts to help him battle the Devil, and then wakes up to find himself five years in the future, in a wasteland where Lucifer has begun his endgame by unleashing a virus that transforms humans into zombies.

Full Recap

Kansas City

Dean arrives in town and avoid a man handling out religious tracts. Once he checks in, he contacts Castiel who believes that the demons haven’t yet melted down the Colt. The angel believes that if Dean still plans to carry out his plan to kill Lucifer, he’ll need the Colt. Castiel is ready to move but Dean insists on getting a few hours of sleep before they proceed.

Later, Sam calls Dean to inform him that he’s Lucifer’s chosen vessel. Dean isn’t particularly impressed and wonders what Sam wants to do about it. Sam wants back in so he can redemption and plans to prove it to his brother. Dean tells him that it doesn’t matter and they should stay away from each other for good. If they try to work together, the demons will use their family bonds against them. Dean hangs up goes back to bed.

The next morning, Dean wakes up to find himself lying on a ruined bed in a collapsing hotel. He looks outside and sees that the streets are filled with devastation. Dean goes out onto the deserted street and searches around. He finally hears a noise and finds a little girl crouching in the street. Dean approaches her and she grabs a piece of broken glass and stabs him. Dean knocks her out and sees the word “Croatoan” written on the wall. A dozen zombies walk around the corner and chase Dean through the streets. He come to a fence and the creatures closed in. However, a squad of soldiers show up and gun down the zombies.

That night, Dean gets through a fence and finds a sign identifying the area as a Croatoan Virus hot zone. The date is August 1, 2014. He steals a car and tries to get anything on the radio or cell phone. Zachariah appears in the car and reads the newspaper, revealing that what’s left of Congress has declared martial law. The angel managed to find Dean using human informants among the fringe Christian groups. Zachariah tells Dean that he’s giving him three days to see what the consequences of his actions are if he continues to say “no” to Michael. Zachariah disappears and Dean goes to visit Bobby. He finds his friend’s overturned wheelchair covered in blood and bullet holes. Dean checks Bobby’s journal and finds a photo of him at Camp Chitaqua with other hunters.

Dean goes to the camp and finds a hunter compound. He sneaks in and finds what’s left of the Impala, and someone knocks him out: his future self.

Dean wakes up a prisoner and Future Dean has already confirmed that he has everything that Future Dean has. Dean explains that Zachariah sent him from 2009 but doesn’t know where the angel is now. Future Dean wants evidence Dean is who he says and Dean describes a Rhonda Hurley who made them try on her pink panties. Future Dean is convinced and explains that two years ago there was an outbreak of the Croatoan virus and Sam was destroyed in a major showdown when Future Dean wasn’t there. Future Dean leaves Dean chained up so he doesn’t upset the camp full of traumatized survivors.

Dean eventually picks loose a splinter and uses it as a lockpick to free himself. He goes out and Chuck Shurley, mistaking him for Future Dean, comes over to review their supply lists. Dean tries to bluff it out but Chuck starts to catch on. However, a woman, Risa attacks Dean and wonders if he was sleeping with another woman the previous night. She storms off and Dean asks where Castiel is. Chuck directs him to a cabin where Castiel has gathered a group of women and is teaching them that the key to shared perception is an orgy. Dean comes in and Castiel realizes that he’s from the past. Dean wants Castiel to send him back but Castiel explains that life happened to him and he’s now perpetually stoned.

Future Dean brings a convoy of jeeps into the camp and the men share a beer. Future Dean then shoots one of them down as Dean tries to stop him. Future Dean tells his men that something is going on and he’ll tell them when they need to know something. He then shoves Dean back into the cabin and explains that the man he shot, Yager, was invaded during a Crote attack. Future Dean insists that it’s a common occurrence in 2014 and Dean is in no position to make decisions. Dean apologizes and Future Dean pours drinks and explains they were on a mission find the Colt. The demons have been moving it around for five years but Future Dean finally got it. Tonight he plans to kill Lucifer with it.

Future Dean shows the Colt to Risa and Castiel and explains that they caught one of Lucifer’s entourage and confirmed he wasn’t lying. Dean is surprised that Future Dean is torturing again. Future Dean ignores him and shows them the hot zone where Lucifer has his headquarters. Castiel agrees but wonders why Future Dean is taking Dean. Future Dean refuses to hear any argument and orders them to be ready by midnight. Once they’re gone, Dean wants to know what’s really going on and Future Dean explains he wants Dean to see Sam. Sam said “yes” to Lucifer. Future Dean tells Dean to say “yes” to Michael. Dean warns that the battle will torture half the planet but Future Dean insists he’d agree in a heartbeat, but the angels gave up and it’s too late for him. He admits that he was wrong and begs Dean to agree. However, he realizes that his past self won’t because it’s just not either one of them.

As they leave, Chuck offers Dean some advice to hoard toilet paper. As they drive, Dean sees Castiel taking amphetamines to counteract the absinthe. Castiel admits he became mortal after the other angels left the planet. He figures he has nothing to lose by burying himself in decadence before the lights go out for good.

Come morning, the team arrives in town and proceeds on foot toward Lucifer’s headquarters at a sanitarium. Future Dean insists that the demons will never see him coming. Dean talks to him in private and wants to know why Future Dean is lying. When Dean threatens to take his concerns to the others, Future Dean explains that there are no Crotes and Lucifer has set a trap. Future Dean plans to have the others go through the front while he and Dean go through the back. When Dean objects, Future Dean says that his weakness was what created the Apocalypse. When Dean tries to stop him, Future Dean knocks him out.

Dean wakes up to the sound of gunfire within the sanitarium. He runs inside and finds a white-suited Lucifer in Sam’s body snapping Future Dean’s neck. Dean invites Lucifer to destroy him but Lucifer doesn’t see the point. He apologizes for the surprise and admits he had to use Sam’s body. Lucifer assures Dean that he has nothing to fear: he has no intention of destroying the planet. He explains that he rebelled against God when God asked him to bow down before the humans and love him more than God, and Lucifer refused because they were murderous apes. Dean insists he knows what Lucifer is and says he’s the same brand of monster he’s been killing his entire life. When Dean defies him, Lucifer admits that he likes him and they’ll meet again. Dean vows to kill him but Lucifer says he knows that Dean will always refuse Michael and refuse to kill Sam. Lucifer assures him that inevitably they’ll end up there and he wins. Dean insists he’s wrong but Lucifer simply smiles and says they’ll meet in five years.

Zachariah returns Dean to his hotel room in the present. The angel insists it’s no trick and Dean must surrender himself to Lucifer before he gets to Sam and billions die. Dean considers the matter and then tells him no. When Zachariah insists on teaching him a lesson, Dean disappears thanks to Castiel. Dean tells Castiel not to ever change. Dean then takes out his phone and calls Sam, and arranges a meeting. He takes out the demon-killing knife and gives it to Sam, and says he’ll need it now that they’re teaming back up again. Dean apologizes for being wrong and admits they may be each other’s weakness. However, they’re all they have and they keep each other human. Sam thanks him and promises not to let him down. Now they have no choice but to make their own future.

Review by Gaelic

5.04 – The End – Gaelicspirit review

Stream of Consciousness, episode review 5.04

 *Is bouncing*

Can I just say? I’ve never been happier to lose a bet in my life.

*Tips pint to Amy Blair*

Last week I had a bit of an epiphany. I realized that by taking these rambles as seriously as I had been, I was leeching the enjoyment of the actual show from myself. I worried about how people would react to this phrase or that scene, about what people might say to the personal aspects of the review… it was, in a word, silly.

So, this week, I watched with enjoyment of a story well-told and expertly paced, with anticipation for the next move, and with complete appreciation for the unbygodbelievablly good-looking actors we get to watch every. Single. Week.

Good Lord.

With that? Let’s ramble on…


Croatoan is back! The Colt is back! As a side note? Microsoft Word doesn’t recognize “Croatoan.” Wants to change it to “Croatian.” I find that hilarious for no good reason.


I remember watching an interview with Kripke once upon a time where he stated that the show was, at its base, about family. And family can turn you inside out and backwards faster than you can blink. They are your last line of defense, your first enemy, your only friend. Family knows all your buttons and just the right order to push them. Family can curse you, save you, betray you, protect you, and if you’re really lucky, love you completely without the necessity of complete understanding.

Ironically, this show—this show about the impossible or the unbelievable or the please don’t be real—has taught me a big lesson about family. A lesson I, mistakenly, thought I already knew. Sometimes it feels good to be wrong.

I love—love—the journey we’ve taken in just four episodes. We spent a year watching our heroes be slowly torn asunder, and so far they’ve hit bottom, parted ways, and reunited and it’s been a freakin’ rush to watch.

*takes deep breath* I’m so bouncy right now it’s ridiculous.

So, Dean pulls up to a hotel, Impala rumbling nicely, and there’s a street preacher trying to prep souls for the Rapture. When he catches Dean’s attention, he eyes him a bit too long and I instantly think “demon.”

Do you think it’s bad that everyone in the show that gives me a hinky vibe I’m all “DEMON! DEMON!” What have they done to me?

Anyway, Dean is in the motel—conveniently with a kitchenette—talking to Cas on a cell phone. These Enochian sigils sure make for some interesting angel/human conversations. Dean says that talking to an angel on a cell phone is, “Like watching a Hells Angel ride a moped.”

“Not funny – says I’m almost out of minutes.” Cas is panicking. It shouldn’t be funny, but it totally is. Anyway, Cas says that if Dean is hell-bent (no pun intended) on killing Lucifer, that he needs to find the Colt. It’s the way to go. *nods* Okay, sure. It is, after all, The Gun That Can Kill Anything.

Which… makes me wonder… who the hell was Samuel Colt anyway? If he made a gun that can kill LUCIFER?? Holy. Crap. Did he pull a Daniel Webster or something? Only with God? That’s… interesting.

Dean thinks demons have melted gun by now. But Cas says no. And then? Did ya’ll hear my squee? Dean was in KANSAS CITY!! *laughs* Can’t believe I’m going to say this, but he should probably stop coming back to Kansas altogether since the last two times he’s been plucked from the here and now and transported forwards and backwards in time.

Cas is like, “I’ll be right there.” And Dean has to remind him that he’s human and he just drove 16 hours and needs to do stuff… like eat and sleep. And because I’m a geek, I hear “driving 16 hours” and Turn the Page pops into my head. “You don’t feel much like riding… you just wish the day were through.”

Dean tells Cas to give him at least four hours. Cas says he will just… wait here then. And there he stands. Right there. *giggle* Sorry, but poor Cas being Cas totally had me laughing.

Dean’s cell buzzes. “Dammit, Cas, I need to sleep.”

But it isn’t Cas. It’s Sam. And Dean’s sleepy vocalization of his brother’s name had me all mushy. I instantly wondered if this was the first time he’d heard from Sam since the picnic table. And how much time had passed. Days? Weeks? Dean gets a beer, sounding very matter of fact about the information that Sam is to be Lucifer’s vessel. “Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in.”

Sam’s all, “That’s it?”

Dean’s numb to the earth-shattering revelations. Which, y’know, after a few of these, you’d really have to start simply accepting. I’ve learned that human beings can get used to almost anything.

Sam says he wants back in. He’s sick of being a puppet. As a side note, he’s driving. He’s not at the bar, and for that I’m grateful. I didn’t want him to stay put after Lucifer found him in his dreams. Dreams are close enough. Get movin’, Sammy.

Dean’s like, we’re back to revenge? His face is carefully blank, unwilling to allow even the smallest trace of reaction slip under his words as he speaks. Sam says no, it’s not revenge. It’s redemption. Sam wants to prove it to Dean.

Dean looks pained. He closes his eyes and the small laugh lines around the edges deepen as he pulls his brows together. His lips tremble and he presses them together quickly just before he forces his next words out. “It doesn’t matter, whatever we do. We should just pick a hemisphere and stay away from each other.”

Dean says that they’re not stronger when they’re together, they’re weaker. Whatever they have – love, family – they are always going to use it against them. I wanted to grab him, shake him, remind him of how desperately he’d wanted his family to stay together, how he’d said virtually the opposite words to his father four years ago.

And then it hit me. He’d said virtually the opposite words to his father. And John died. For Dean. And Sam died. And Dean sold his soul for Sam. And he went to Hell. And keeping his family together—the one thing he’d always wanted—was the one thing that brought his world—the world—crashing down around is ears.

I know you all will have so much more to say and with a lot more coherence, but at this hour with the episode still ringing in my ears, all I can think is that Dean is running scared from the one thing he always thought he wanted. And if that’s not the devil at work, I don’t know what is.

With his voice trembling, Dean says they’re better off apart. That they have a better chance of dodging the bullets if they just go their own ways.

Looking as if he’s about to cry, Sam pleads, “Dean don’t do this.”

Dean says goodbye and hangs up.

Next thing you know, the old alarm clock is cracked, broken, and Dean, dressed in that blue denim shirt that I love—2nd only to the gray T-shirt from Hookman—is waking. Only… he’s been sleeping on bedsprings. In a destroyed, burned-out motel room. He gets up, looking around, completely confused, and peers out through the window at Kansas City circa 28 Days Later.

He walks out of the ruined hotel—weaponless—and starts to wander the streets. It’s silent. Everything is burned, broken, destroyed. There is graffiti on the walls, cars overturned, and no people. None.

I’m waiting for a car alarm to scare me to death.

He hears breaking glass and see’s a little girl crouching in the middle of the street. His voice gets soft and friendly as he’s trying to get her to talk to him. She flips out, showing him her vacant-yet-insane-Zombie eyes and slashes at him with a piece of glass. He cries out and flinches as if she’s cut his side. After he knocks her out, he looks at his side again.

Dear CW. Please unclench and allow realistic blood to grace our heroes—especially after battle. Thank you.

I’m sure it’s the fanfic writer in me, or perhaps the sickness that got me into writing fanfiction in the first place, but is it too much to ask for some blood in the water? He’s cut with glass and then we never see or hear anything of the wound again. He’s cracked over the head and his pretty face is unmarked. In the premiere, the Vin Diesel Demon beat the ever-lovin’ crap outta him and we saw nary a bruise or bloody lip.

Seriously! Okay. That’s all. I’m done. Promise.

Just as he turns from his (apparently Buffy-like, fast-healing) wound, he sees “CROATOAN” spray-painted on a wall and utters a “Oh, crap” right along with me. I am loving how each little thread of the story we’ve been seeing for all this time is starting to reveal its significance. And… maybe I have an answer to something that has been bugging the crap out of me.

That “it had to be you, Sam, it always had to be you” line that I’m starting to hate? Perhaps its origins weren’t as far back as we thought. Perhaps it came from Season 2. Thinking aloud here for a moment. Sam was just one of a crop of Special Kids who were all tested in one way or another. But Sam was exposed to the Croatoan virus and was unaffected. Maybe that’s why it had to be him.

Then again… why wasn’t he affected? Why was he a SUPER-Special Kid? Okay, so, yeah, it probably does go back further. And I can’t think on it too much tonight. Talk amongst yourselves and get back to me.

Back in Bizarro Kansas City, a group of Croatoan-zombies come around the corner and Dean high-tails it through burned-out KC (which isn’t such a leap of imagination for some parts of KC) and is trapped by a chain-linked fence. He looks really good running. I love what they decided to do with the color. 2009Dean in the denim blue really stands out from the grayed-out future people. His skin looks thicker, darker, more alive. He just beats life while everyone else looks like they are just waiting to die.

Anyway, some Army dudes come around the corner and start shooting up Zombies to the tune of “Do you Love Me.” Baby never saw this kind of Dirty Dancing. Dean sneaks away under the cover of gunfire and runs into the night, slipping through another fence and seeing a sign marking it a “hot zone” as of August 1, 2014.

I was instantly reminded of Dark Angel’s “Terminal City” boundary markers. Wonder if Jensen was as well. Thanks to agentspookey I saw some of the Vancouver panels and heard that they filmed this episode on the Watchmen set. Now that’s cool.

Dean manages to find a car that still has four wheels and an engine and heads…away. Zach shows up in passenger seat and scares him to death. He’s casually reading the paper. This angel’s arrogance should be enough to banish him from the pearly gates. I mean, seriously. When Cas sent Dean to the past, he was almost apologetic about it, sorry for the pain that Dean would have to witness—knowing that he wouldn’t be able to change anything.

But Zach? He’s all, oh, you’re so gonna learn your lesson. I am the great and powerful Zach! *Gaelic growls* He irritates me. Greatly.

So… Palin is president. Must be the apocalypse. It’s crazy how sly the writers are about inserting their political slants into the different aspects of the show. And, Irish, I’m sorry, but I didn’t see who wrote this one. If I had to guess—based on dialog—I’d say Jeremy Carver was their Republican and whoever wrote this? Democrat all the way.

Anyway, there are no more sports, no more right to assembly because of the Croatoan virus. “Bible freaks” are now working for angels. To sum up, Zach says Dean has to have 3 days in the future to convince him to say yes to Michael. “This is what happens to the world if you continue to say no.”

And he’s off like a prom dress. Hey, prom dresses seemed to be a theme.

Dean heads to Bobby’s… but, there’s no Bobby—just a tipped-over wheelchair with bloody bullet holes. A few months ago, I wrote a zine story called “Blue Collar Man.” It was about Bobby, told mostly from his perspective. It was written before the end of Season 4 and included some speculations I have/had about Bobby’s fate. With the talk of Sam’s redemption and finding that empty wheelchair… I couldn’t help but be reminded. Also? The condition of the house looked like Bobby’s death hadn’t been long before. So, he’s still in a wheelchair five years later, huh? *is sad*

Dean heads to a super-secret fireplace stash place for John’s journal. At least I’m assuming it was John’s journal. It could have been Bobby’s, but I’m pretty sure it was John’s. Feel free to correct me. In it, toward the end, Dean finds pic of guys with guns (including Cas) at Camp Chitakwa. I think the insinuation that they’ve continued John’s journal is fabulous. It’s apparently a practice so ingrained Dean knew that Bobby would have kept it up. Nice touch.

Dean heads to the camp, see’s the Impala—or what’s left of her—through the fence. Can I just be very shallow for a moment and say that hearing him say the word baby turns me to jelly? “Baby, no!” “What have they done to you, baby?” Before he can get an answer, he’s knocked out by… himself. Ouch.

And futureDean? Looks BAD. ASS. He holds his mouth with pursed lips like Michael Biehn’s Kyle Reese. Very life has lost all meaning other than fighting, surviving, and the mission. It’s disturbing and attractive at the same time.

2009Dean wakes up cuffed and suddenly it’s Dean V Dean and OMG I pretty much went into ovary overdrive. 2014Dean eliminates all the supernatural stuff and reveals that, “You had every hidden lock pick box cutter, and switchblade that I carry…” 2009Dean tells him it’s ‘cause of Zach, which gets 2014Dea,n’s attention. He wants to know where Zach is, but of course ourDean doesn’t exactly know.

To prove he’s him, ourDean tells futureDean about Rhonda Hurley when they were 19. She made him try on her pink satiny panties and… he kinda liked it. Touche! The smirk they shared? Good God, people. Jensen had to be exhausted after filming this episode. He knocked both performances out of the park.

I mean, we thought ourDean was jaded? Rough around the edges? Broken and twisted? So much darker and lost since Season 1? Dude, he didn’t have anything on his future self. FutureDean was hollow. He used people as pawns in a deadly chess game, detached himself from humanity. His eyes were colder, his face tighter, his jaw harder.

The performance was down to the voices. It was like watching Christian Bale play both Bruce Wayne and Batman—unmasked—at the same time in the same room. FutureDean’s voice was almost an octave deeper, gravely, like it had been damaged. His sentences were clipped, his words rough. He barked rather than actually spoke. The five years, the fighting, the destruction, the loss… it had changed him until the only thing that was really recognizable as Dean were his obvious good looks, his affect on women, and his ease with weapons.

Looking at ourDean, I almost saw innocence return. I saw him still believe—in the possibility of something. He held on to his cocky wit, his raised eyebrow sarcasm, his thank you Captain Obvious observations. He was… refreshing.

It was a phenomenal, applause-worthy, get-me-bouncy performance.

Where was I? Oh, right. Dean V Dean. 2009Dean asks about Sam and futureDean tells him that there was a big showdown in Detroit and Sam didn’t make it. OurDean is shocked that he wasn’t there when it happened… that he never went to go look for Sam… that they haven’t talked in about 5 years. The fact that futureDean is so passive about this loss, about this rendering of souls visibly guts ourDean.

And this is when I started bouncing. Because, after all, it’s about family. And I knew that hanging on for the ride was going to pay off in spades.

FutureDean has to run an errand and leaves ourDean cuffed.

“You don’t trust yourself?” HA! Oh, my, what a field day Freud would have with Dean(s).

Dean calls himself a dick. Heh. Then digs a nail from the floor to pick the cuffs. Ouch. Guess futureDean took all of his paperclips, too. As he exits the room where he was held, he runs into Chuck (nice to see him around). Apparently Chuck isn’t a prophet anymore or he would have probably seen this coming. Or not… if Zach’s just messing with time. But, I suppose, if the angels have left, there’s nothing “helping” Chuck to “see” anymore.

Dean is “jumped” by Reesa and hides behind Chuck because, apparently, he (or, rather futurehe) spent the night in Jane’s cabin last night. As Reesa storms off, disgruntled about their apparently lost “connection,” Dean grumbles that he’s getting busted for stuff he hasn’t even done yet, then goes to find Cas.

Who… is talking a group of laydeez through an orgy. I know it’s completely irreverent, but I have to laugh. Stoned, scruffy, why-don’t-we-get-drunk-and-screw Cas is adorably hilarious. And exactly what I was worried about with the whole “angel in a whorehouse” issue from last episode.

I wasn’t being prudish with my worry. I wasn’t attempting to sit in judgment of a “sin.” I was simply worried about the loss of power an angel would experience the more human he became. And having one more human on their side, really, isn’t going to make much of a difference in the long run. But! Having an angel on their side will! So, Cas needs to not fall. That’s all I was trying to say.

‘Cause fallen, human, mojo-less Cas is generally stoned and takes months to heal. Not good.

While ourDean is with a very giggly Cas, futureDean returns from mission and ends up killing one of his men (who was apparently infected) right in front of ourDean and a couple of his own men. OurDean is shocked by futurehis actions, while the other people are looking at the younger version of their “fearless leader” with pure WTF expressions.

Sounding very much like himself for a moment, futureDean says, “Dammit,” then, “Me and him? Pretty messed up situation. When you need to know something you will know it.”

Hello, John Winchester.

And we have ourselves an angry face off back inside of a cabin-type place. OurDean can’t believe futureDean’s actions and tries to call him on it, feeling, no doubt, that he was watching himself do things he’d never in a million years imagine himself doing. Not even after 40 years of torture and torturing in Hell. Not even after all he’d lost. OurDean would never have killed a man in cold blood (as he saw it).

“Pluggin’ some Croat is commonplace. Trading words with my clone might’ve freaked ‘em out a little.”

FutureDean pours them a drink and shows him the Colt. He’d apparently been tracking it for five years—the demons kept moving it around. Okay, let’s assume that’s true, that the demons have it and are moving it around so that hunters can’t find it. That would insinuate that it does have some significance—or perhaps that it can’t be destroyed. Because why in the world would they keep The Gun That Can Kill Anything (if you’re close enough) around?? I’ll be watching for that explanation in the show (or elsewhere).

FutureDean says he’s going to use the Colt to kill the devil tonight. And I love how he bites his lip right after he takes a sip of whiskey. Good Freakin’ God.

Future Dean calls a meeting with ourDean, Cas, and Reesa and is called out on his womanly dalliances. Whoops. Turns out, also? FutureDean tortured a demon to get the intel on where Lucifer is. OurDean sarcastically mutters, “Classic” and Cas giggles, earning a stony glare from futureDean.

“What? I like past you.”

Lucifer is holed up in the middle of a hot zone. Cas thinks it’s reckless. Or insouciant. Either way, unwise. FutureDean is like, too damn bad, this is going down tonight. Everyone goes out to get “loaded and on the road by midnight.” OurDean demands to know what’s really going on—why he’s going (‘cause if he gets killed, it’s lights out for futureDean) and future Dean lays it down for him.

Sam didn’t die in Detroit. He said Yes. To Lucifer. OurDean looks utterly destroyed by this information.

FutureDean wants his past self to see it. To really see how bad it can get. That a ruined planet and millions dead or infected isn’t really, truly bad. It’s seeing the epitome of all evil wearing your brother. It’s seeing Sam’s face and not Sam’s eyes. It’s knowing you failed in your one job.

FutureDean BEGS ourDean to go back to his time and say yes to Michael. That he’s tried but the angels all left and aren’t listening anymore. Says if he could do it all over again he would. He looks desperate. Sounds desperate. And ourDean is affected by it. He swallows rapidly, tights his lips, says there has to be another way. His eyes hold a shell-shocked expression at the knowledge that while Sam may not have actually been killed, he’s still dead and worse, he gave in. And Dean wasn’t there to stop it. FutureDean says all of this would never be if Dean would only say yes.

But he knows Dean won’t because that’s not what they do.

“I was wrong.” FutureDean’s voice is infused with regret and sorrow and the desperation of someone who realizes that nothing they do or say is going to make a damn bit of difference.

*Gaelic dies from doubleDean angst overload*

As they’re all heading out, Chuck gives 2009Dean a piece of advice—HOARD toilet paper. BWAH!!!! OMG, I hope they never get rid of Chuck. I love that nervous little guy.

In a car (or maybe a truck?) Cas and ourDean have a heart to heart about his being human and Cas says he used to belong to a much better club and is now powerless… Why not bury himself in women and decadence…

“That’s just how I roll.” Hmmm… So, I think the purpose of this little conversation was twofold: to show us how very, very, very much we want Cas to stay an angel, and to give Dean one more inkling that he could do so much more good with an angel inside of him than he could as just a lowly, little human. Like the first, hate the second, but both are useful in their own right.

As the group is walking down the street in the hotzone, I am struck once again by the utter bad assness of futureDean. Yowza. OurDean follows the group (still weaponless?? WTH, at least give him a pistol!) looking full of color and wary. As they crouch undercover before infiltrating the building, ourDean calls the other Dean over for a quick chat.

He wants to know why he’s lying—that he knows his lying tells, he sees them in the mirror every day… ooo, ouch—and he finds out that futureDean is ready to sacrifice his friends and Cas to a meatgrinder so that they can go through the back and get the jump on LuciferSam. He knows it’s a trap. But he doesn’t care. The “greater good” has taken over all meaning and futureDean has lost his compass on what does and should truly matter. OurDean says he’s not going to let him do it and futureDean clocks him, knocking him cold. Damn. Shoulda seen that one coming.

OurDean wakes in time to see firefight through windows of the brick building and goes around back to see futureDean on the ground, a white foot at his neck, and CRACK. FutureDean is dead.

Camera pans up, and it’s Sam’s face. He turns. “Oh, hello Dean.”

LuciferSam is dressed like Boss Hogg. Seriously. Minus the ginormous white hat. He’s all in white and the shoes? The shoes are dreadful. But, I digress. It is the devil after all. Can’t expect him to have taste. Only… I seem to remember an episode of Smallville—back when I watched it… y’know, before they killed off Jason Teague in such a ridiculous manner and then went to Bizarro World—where Lex Lucifer saw himself as ruler of the world, standing on a bloody field of skulls, dressed all in white. I bet his shoes were dreadful, too.

Dean’s is a study in horror, terror, disgust, regret, and sorrow as he stares at the thing inhabiting his brother’s body. He opens his arms, telling Lucifer to just kill him.

LuciferSam is all, “Why would I want to kill you?” He gets all soft voice and reaches out to lay a gentle hand on Dean’s shoulder (which Dean flinches away) then tells Dean it had to be your brother.

STOP SAYING THAT. Make them stop saying that without a viable reason. If it had to be Sam because of the Croatoan virus, I can accept that. But if it’s more than that, they’d better tell us before it’s all said and done or I’m going to be very put out.

LuciferSam starts to talk about why he was banished—that he loved God over everything and then God had to go and make us hairless apes and commanded the angels to love us and Lucy just couldn’t do that. Serious Daddy issues here. The first time he told it? To Nick? I actual did have some sympathy for the devil. This time, I just felt sick. To hear the contempt in his voice—the utter disregard Lucifer has for humans—and then to be asked if the punishment fit the crime? Hell yeah!

Thing is, it’s not any different for us. I was taught that God cannot abide sin. He simply cannot be around it, period, because he is perfect. Hell, therefore, is simply eternal separation from God. From all things good. If we sin without forgiveness, we go to Hell. And sinning includes breaking a commandment. Lucifer was commanded to love humans. To protect us. To guard us. And he broke it.

So, quit crying about it and accept your punishment or ask forgiveness. All this “I am so misunderstood” crap is just digging a deeper hole into the depths of Hell.

Dean listens to his brother’s voice speaking the words of a snake, his chin trembling, his eyes pooling with tears. He has three-day scruff framing his jaw (NICE touch, that) and his whole body is taut. Having to watch Sam’s face, hear Sam’s voice—not even black, red, or yellow eyes to help the situation. LuciferSam actually looks like Sam. Like Sam did when he fought Dean in Levee. Like Sam did just before he stepped through the door, leaving Dean gasping and bleeding on the floor. And it had to break Dean’s heart.

LuciferSam wraps up his “please understand me” story with a, “Look what 6 million of you have done to this thing and how many of you blame me for it.”

And Dean doesn’t buy it. “Stop with the sympathy for the devil crap.” YAYZ!!! *Gaelic bounces on the couch* Dean’s struggle with faith, with believing in something, with what was right and what was wrong… his walk in the gray after living in a world of black and white… it culminated in the moment he called the devil’s bluff.

His voice shaking with disgust, rage, and tears, he spit out that, “You’re the same thing only bigger – the same brand of cockroach I’ve been squashing my whole life. The only difference between them and you is the size of your ego.”

His eyes are luminous in the flash of lightening.

LuciferSam says he, “gets what the other angels see in him.”

Dean bellows that he’d,”better kill me now or I swear I will find a way to kill you.” His voice is shaking. His body is shaking. And a tear falls.

GUUUHHH. My heart is hammering just reliving this mentally to write my ramble. I needed to be psyched up by the show, and this episode—this moment—took me into overdrive. This moment was so freakin’ pivotal and Dean owned it. He faced the Devil Himself—housed in his baby brother’s body—and told him he was going to kill him.

Hey—he was right when he told the same thing to Azaezel. I’m just sayin’. This isn’t our world. It’s a world where vampires live, werewolves feed, spirits haunt, creatures we only read about it books are hunted and killed. It’s a world where souls can be bartered and pulled free of Hell. It’s a world where angels walk among us and demons can die. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s a world where a human being can find a way to kill the devil.

LuciferSam twists Sam’s lips into a sad smirk saying, “I know you won’t say yes to Michael, and I know you won’t stop, and I know you won’t kill Sam, so you will always end up here. I win.”

Dean tries to stop his jaw from shaking as his tears fall, hate for this thing laced through his words.

“You’re wrong.”

In a dizzying flash, the Devil leaves, Zach shows up, and Dean is zapped back to now. Dean is leaning weakly against the kitchenette sink back in good ol’ Kansas City and Zach is very much in his personal space, his ego filling the room as he confidently glots that “you saw what happens, so now you HAVE TO say yes.”

Dean steps around him, walking away, facing the camera. He looks like someone is digging a white-hot knife into his gut, but he says, “Nah.”

Zach is seriously about to come unglued. “After all of this you haven’t learned your lesson?”

Dean’s like, “oh I have, just not the one you wanted to teach.” GLEE!!! I wanted for Sam to walk through the door right then. I wanted Dean to punch Zach in the nose. I was literally clapping.

Zach gets rather worked up about he’s going to have to teach the lesson again. “I got you now, boy!” And then… Dean poofs away. And Zach is left with a, “Son of a…” *giggle*

Cas to the rescue! “We had an appointment.” I love love LOVE dead-panned Cas.

“Don’t ever change.” I think Dean wanted to hug him. Hell, I wanted to hug him. Dean pulls out his cell.

“What are you doing?”

“Something I should have done in the first place.” YAYZ!!!

Dean is leaning against the (now intact, thank goodness) Impala on a dirt road behind a trail trestle, waiting—and I swear it’s the same road where they last saw John before it all went to hell. When they gave him the Colt and watched him drive away—and Sam pulls up in an ugly ass yellow Caddy thing.

Sam gets out of the car and they do some nice camera work here, showing the reunion from both sides. Dean walks up to his brother—his brother… Sammy. Not some creature wearing Sam’s skin. Not Sam Under The Influence. But Sammy. He pulls out Ruby’s knife… or maybe we should call it The Knife That Can Kill Anything (if you can get close enough). Sam kinda inadvertently flinches back.

Dean hands it to him. “If you’re serious and you want back in, hang on to this, I’m sure you’re rusty.”

Sam takes it, watching his brother. Waiting.

Dean closes his eyes briefly, then opens them and looks (up) at Sam. “I’m sorry. I’m… whatever I need to be, but I was wrong. The point is, maybe we are each other’s Achilles heel—maybe they’ll find a way to use us against each other, I don’t know. I just know we’re all we’ve got. We keep each other human.”

Echoes of his own words to his father. Echoes of Sam’s words to Dean. Echoes of realization that you can’t run from your family—you can escape them for awhile, you can forget about them for a bit, you can even feel good for a time, but you always come back. Somehow, in some condition, you always come back.

With his heart seemingly in his throat, Sam says “thank you—really, thank you. I won’t let you down.”

“Oh, I know it – you are the 2nd best hunter on the planet.” *LAUGH!*

Now… they make their own future. What was that line from Terminator II? “There is no future but what we make for ourselves.” The difference between this angelic time machine adventure and the last is that everything Dean saw could be changed and nothing he saw was inevitable. The Devil was wrong. And is wrong. And has always been wrong.

The brothers are back where they’re supposed to be. Trust still has to be rebuilt, doubt may fester and resurface, fear may permeate every move, but they are together.

The hug will come later.

Oh, c’mon. You know you wanted one as badly as I did.

Thanks for reading.

Guest Stars


Misha Collins
as Castiel | gallery

Rob Benedict
as Chuck Shurley | gallery

Kurt Fuller
as Zachariah | gallery

Lexa Doig
as Lisa | gallery

Michael Jonsson
as Yeager | gallery







Official Episode Stills:

Full Episode Stills Gallery

Episode Screen Caps:

Full Episode Screen Caps Gallery



Dean: You know, it’s kind of funny, talking to a messenger of God on a cell phone. It’s, you know, like watching a Hell’s Angel ride a moped.
Castiel: This isn’t funny. Dean. The voice says I’m almost out of minutes.

Dean: I guess I’m a little numb to the earth-shattering revelations at this point.

Dean: We’re not stronger when we’re together, Sam. I think we’re weaker. Because whatever we have between us — love, family, whatever it is – they are always gonna use it against us. And you know that.

Future Dean: Okay. If you’re me… then tell me something only I would know.
Dean: Rhonda Hurley. We were, uh… 19. She made us try on her panties. They were pink. And satiny. And you know what? We kind of liked it.
Future Dean: Touché.

Dean: Oh, come on, you don’t trust yourself?
Future Dean: No. Absolutely not.
Dean: Dick.

Chuck: Some free advice? You ever get back there, you hoard toilet paper. You understand me? Hoard it. Hoard it, like it’s made of gold.

Dean: What, are you stoned?
Castiel: Uh…generally, yeah.

Future Dean: Sam didn’t die in Detroit. He said “yes.”
Dean: “Yes”? Wait. You mean..
Future Dean: That’s right. The big “yes.” To the Devil. Lucifer’s wearing him to the prom.

Lucifer/Sam: You don’t have to be afraid of me, Dean. What do you think I’m going to do.
Dean: I don’t know. Maybe deep-fry the planet?
Lucifer/Sam: Why? Why would I want to destroy this stunning thing… beautiful in a trillion different ways. The last perfect handiwork of God? You ever hear the story of how I fell from grace.
Dean: Oh, good god, you’re not gonna tell me a bedtime story, are you? My stomach’s almost out of bile.
Lucifer/Sam: You know why God cast me down? Because I loved him. More than anything. And then God created… you. The little… hairless apes. And then He asked all of us to bow down before you, to love you more than Him. And I said, “Father… I can’t.” I said, “These human beings are flawed, murderous.” And for that… God had Michael cast me into Hell. Now, tell me… does the punishment fit the crime? Especially when I was right? Look at what six billion of you have done to this thing, and how many of you blame me for it?

Dean: I know what you are.
Lucifer/Sam: What am I?
Dean: You’re the same thing, only bigger. The same brand of cockroach I’ve been squashing my whole life–an ugly, evil, belly-to-the-ground, supernatural piece of crap. The only difference between them and you is the size of your ego.
Lucifer/Sam: I like you, Dean.

Sam: Thank you. Really. Thank you. I won’t let you down.
Dean: Oh, I know it. I mean, you are the second-best hunter on the planet.



Injoke: As Dean looks out the window across the Apocalypse landscape, a movie marquee shows “Route 666” is now playing. A reference to the first season episode of the same name.


Dean: So we’re just going to walk in, we’ll be the Dynamic Duo again?
Referencing the common nickname for Batman and the various Robins. Batman and the original Robin, Dick Grayson, were created by Bob Kane in 1939 and 1940, respectively. The DC Comic Book heroes have been seen in many TV shows and movies since.

Dean: Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in, huh, Sammy?
Referencing the 1990 movie The Godfather: Part III, spoken by Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) when he tries to leave his past with the Mafia behind but is inevitably pulled back in.

Dean: I thought I smelled your stink on this Back to the Future/ crap.
Referencing the Back to the Future movies (1985) starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, a teenager who travels through time using his mentor Doc Brown’s (Christopher Lloyd) time-traveling device, mounted in a DeLorean.

Zachariah: Onward, Christian Soldiers.
Referencing the 19th century English hymn composed by Sabrine Baring-Gould and Arthur Sullivan. It refers to Christians as the soldiers of Christ.

Future Dean: The last thing they need to see is a version of The Parent Trap.
Referencing the Disney 1961 movie starring Hayley Mills as identical twins who are raised separately by their divorced parents with no knowledge of each other’s existence. When they meet each other at summer camp, they soon scheme to bring their parents back together. Mills starred in three sequel and a remake was produced in 1998.

Dean: Oh, well, if it isn’t the Ghost of Christmas “Screw You.”
Referencing Charles Dickens 1843 novel A Christmas Carol, which tells the tale of a miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who despises Christmas. His partner Jacob Marley sends him the spirits of Christmases Past, Present, and Future to teach Scrooge the error of his ways. The novel has been rendered into dozens of movies, TV movies, plays, musicals, and very special Christmas episodes of various TV shows.


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