Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ding, Dong, The Witch(es) is/are Dead

Lucifer Rising. We couldn't get a more ominous title for a season finale. So it was no surprise that I sat down to watch tonight's Supernatural finale with no little amount of concern about what was going to happen to the Winchester boys and between them.

The recap started with clips set to a song that I will forever equate to Supernatural now -- "Carry On, My Wayward Son" by Kansas. If you listen to the lyrics, it makes you wonder if there really will "be peace when you are done" for the boys.

We launch into the episode with a flashback to 1972, at St. Mary's Convent in Ilchester, Maryland. A demon (who turns out to be our old pal the Yellow-Eyed Demon, aka Azazel) possesses a priest, who then proceeds to tell the stunned nuns in the sanctuary that his daddy (i.e. Lucifer) was an angel and that the door to his cage is at the convent. (You know where we're going to end up at the end of the episode.) After his revelation, he proceeds to kill them. We don't see the carnage, but we can imagine it as we hear the screams through the closed doors. And we know that this horrific act is setting in motion the events that eventually sweep up the Winchester brothers.

Next up we see Sam and Ruby. Sam is lamenting what is probably the final break with Dean. He says he can feel the changes inside of him, that there's no going back. And that Dean is better off without him.

While Sam and Ruby go do their thing, we see an emotionally wrung-out Dean still at Bobby's house, refusing to call or go after Sam. He's tired of trying to save his brother when all he does is fail. Bobby, in a fit of anger, shoves a bunch of files off a table and turns on Dean and delivers the following: "You stupid, stupid son of a bitch. Well, boo hoo, I'm so sorry your feelings are hurt, Princess. Are you under the impression that family is supposed to make you feel good? Make you an apple pie maybe? They're supposed to make you miserable. That's why they're family!" Go, Bobby! We've seen emo Sam and even some emo Dean, but something we don't have to suffer is emo Bobby. :)

But wait! Bobby isn't finished. He tells Dean that he sounds like his daddy, that John was a coward because he pushed Sam away instead of reaching out to him. Challenging Dean to change his mind about Sam, he says, "You're a better man than your daddy ever was." Dean turns around and finds he's not in Kansas -- oops, sorry -- not in Bobby's house anymore. Instead, he's in a lavishly furnished room with a large table in the middle and large paintings on the walls. Castiel appears and says, "It's almost time" in that criptic way that tries Dean's patience.

Back to the Sam and Ruby show -- we see Lilith's "chef" stealing a baby from a hospital, but the fearsome twosome stop her and says they want to know where Lilith is.

The next thing to show up in Dean's fancy prison is a huge plate of cheeseburgers and a bunch of chilled bottles of beer. Seriously, I don't think angels are going to give someone beer. Just my humble opinion. And then Zachariah shows up along with Cas. Dean says, "Well, how about this, the sweet life of Zach and Cas" in a shoutout to tween favorite The Suite Life of Zack and Cody on the Disney Channel, which I'm pretty sure Dean would never watch. Perhaps stretching a little on the pop culture references here. Perhaps that's why Zachariah looks so confused. And in more pop culture references, Zachariah tries to tempt Dean with Ginger from the second season of Gilligan's Island. "We'll even throw in Mary Ann for free." I have to say that other than Castiel, I really don't like how the angels are being portrayed as dicks who tempt people with vices like fast food, beer and "sluts". It sounds like something the demons would do! Angels can be portrayed as fierce warriors, as beings to be feared, without making them complete asses.

Anyway, Dean refuses Zachariah's offers by saying, "Bail on the holodeck, okay?" in a reference to Star Trek. (Hmm, wonder if that has anything to do with Star Trek being in theaters now. BTW, it's awesome! Wonder if Kripke and J.J. Abrams are friends.) When he says, "Start talking, Chuckles," I had to...well, chuckle. :) Zachariah says all the seals have fallen except one, and Lilith is the only one who can break the final seal.

On that note, we're back with Sam and Ruby. Sam is torturing the demon nurse to get the info he wants. While this is going on, Dean rethinks his earlier stance and calls Sam. While he's still angry, he does offer an apology on Sam's voice mail. The demon figures she'll save herself from being bled dry by Sam by handing consciousness back over to her host, a very scared nurse.

We flash back to 1972 again. Azazel in the priest host is talking to Lucifer, who is speaking through the body of dead nun at the front of the sanctuary. Lucifer tells Azazel that he has to go find a very special child, which we all know is Sam.

Meanwhile, back in the present, Sam is continuing down his dark road by stuffing the screaming nurse in the trunk of the car he and Ruby are using. You can see the horror at what he's doing on his face, but he is still trying to hold on to the belief that he's doing what's right for the greater good.

Dean asks Castiel to take him to see Sam, but Cas refuses. When Dean trie to leave, Cas makes all the doors out of the room disappear. Dean, never one to sit on the sidelines when there's a fight to be had, is frustrated to the nth degree.

Back on the road with Demon Girl and Special Boy (aka Ruby and Sam), the nurse's screams from the trunk are getting to Sam. He's beginning to doubt his conviction, wondering if Dean was right about everything. Predictably, Ruby gives him a pep talk to keep him going down the path she says is the right one.

When Zachariah tells Dean that he won't stop Lilith, Dean realizes that Zach doesn't want to stop the apocolypse. Zach says he never did. He likens what's coming to an Ali-Foreman fight, and says his side will win and it'll be peace on earth. Dean looks around the room at all the apocolyptic paintings of demons killing humans and realizes what's in store for humanity. Zach is unconcerned about the people caught in the middle and says, "This isn't the first planetary enema we've delivered." You know, I really don't like this guy. He's right up there with Uriel. Then Zachariah tells Dean that he still has a role to play, that he won't stop Lilith or the breaking of the final seal or the breaking of the seals. Instead, he'll stop Lucifer.

"You're our own little Russel Crowe, complete with surly attitude," Zachariah says. Again, too much of a pop culture stretch. He promises Dean will be rewarded beyond imagination after it's over to which Dean says, "Tell me something. Where's the God in all this?" Zachariah replies, "God? God has left the building." Huh? What exactly does that mean?

Lilith arrives at convent. Dean tries to punch Cas with no effect other than hurting his own hand. Dean tells Cas to "take your peace and shove it up your lily-white ass." (You know, I'm guessing the Vatican would like this show about as much as it does Angels & Demons.) Dean says he'd rather suffer than "be some Stepford bitch in paradise." He challenges Cas, telling him he knows there's a right and a wrong here. Cas says that if he does what Dean wants, they'll all be hunted down and killed. Dean replies, "If there's anything worth dying for, this is it."

The next scene is a heartbreaker. Sam sees that he has a message from Dean and plays it. Even the music has us expecting him to hear the apology Dean sent earlier. Instead, it's either an earlier message or something planted by Ruby or the angels -- Dean calling Sam a bloodsucking freak, a vampire, and that he's done trying to save him. There's no going back. It's enough to push Sam far enough that he okays Ruby's knifing of the nurse so he can drink the demon's blood. Behind Sam's back, Ruby's satisfied smile had me wanting to pitch something at the TV and making me regret ever having believed she might have been telling the truth and truly on the side of good. Bitch!

Cas returns to where Dean is stuck and has obviously made his decision to disobey his superiors again and help Dean escape. He has to get rid of Zachariah temporarily and tells Dean that they have to keep Sam from killing Lilith because she actually IS the last seal (shades of Harry Potter being a horcrux, anyone?). Next we see the cough*Phophet*cough Chuck on the phone ordering some hookers. Nice (eye roll). He turns around and is shocked to see Cas and Dean in his house, says, "This isn't supposed to happen." Cas says they're making it up as they go. The words are barely out of his mouth before the archangel shows up with the sharing shaking and intense white light again. Cas tells Dean to go and he'll hold him off as long as he can. Okay, I really, really don't want Cas to have died in this effort. I want his earlier statement about being hunted to show up in fact next season. I want to see him teamed up with the boys, and perhaps even goofy, horny Chuck.

Sam and Ruby confront Lilith, and despite a pause when he hears Dean calling his name, Sam does the deed and kills Lilith. At that moment, Ruby's true intent comes out as she reveals that Sam has opened the doorway to let out Lucifer. Hello, saw that coming with the episode title. Sam is hor-ri-fied. He's been played by Ruby, just like Dean said. He tries to kill Ruby only to find out that he's all out of power; he used it all killing Lilith. But Ruby isn't Lilith, and Sam isn't the only person who can kill her. Sam holds her while Dean shoves a knife into her and dispatches her. Go, Dean!

Even though I know what's coming, this moment made me happy. We ended the season with the brothers not facing off in a cataclysmic death match but once again on the same side, standing side by side as they watch the doorway open that will allow Lucifer to rise.

"Dean, he's coming," Sam says to end a most excellent season.

So, I'm left with these questions:

1. Why was Sam the only one who could kill Lilith and open the doorway? Is he Lucifer's son?

2. How in the world are Sam and Dean going to fight Lucifer, especially when they've probably ticked off the other side?

3. Is there any word on who will play Lucifer next season? Who could pull that off?

4. Did Cas survive?

5. Will we still see distance between Sam and Dean, or will the magnitude of what they are facing firmly plant them on the same side?

6. With Lucifer on the loose, will we have any opportunities for the fun monster-of-the-week episodes?

7. Just how much hell on earth are we going to see?