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Supernatural - 6.22 - The Man Who Knew Too Much - Recap by Selina

This is it, the season finale. On Sunday I posted my recap for 6x21 'Let it Bleed,' and today I'm covering the second half of Friday's finale event, 'The Man Who Knew Too Much.' It's one of those awkward title situations where you have two episodes close together with practically the same name, as we just a week ago had 'The Man Who Would Be King'... like in Buffy when they had 'Enemies' and 'Earshot' right after each other, and 'Smashed' and 'Wrecked'... those last two always confused me cause it's like, the same thing!

See? This is why I divided the recaps. I ramble. This is of course about TMWKTM, which is a mouthful. I'm also pretty sure the title refers to Sam - see, all the king's horses, and all the king's men... Sam is broken, and a large chunk of this episode will explore his journey to put himself together again. And then there's the Cas thing... this should be good.

These recaps are also posted on Out of the Box, where I post all my other TV musings and speculations. Check it out! You know you'll be bored during the looong hiatus anyway. ;)

Carry On My Wayward Son dance party!!!!

Yaaaaaaaaayyyy I was expecting a long and too revealing 'Previously On' montage, so I was really excited when I heard the first few words of our beloved Kansas song, the trademark Supernatural music that brings us back to the very beginning, and makes us nostalgic for the journey so far... every single time it's used! Remember back in the season 2 finale when it was used? Ahhhh that was my favourite one. Or maybe s3 was. After this I'mma go back and watch me some classic SPN. I love it now, but I have to say I love the old episodes a lot more! It makes me wanna go on a road trip - only a less gory one.

I feel like on the scale of epicness, this one ranks way up there. Last year - was it even used last year? - as much as I enjoyed the episode, I didn't feel as emotional as I do about this one. I think it's because I'm so terrified for Castiel, and Sam's soul, and whatever else the show hasn't done perfectly this year it sure has built the tension up so much that you KNOW something terrible is going to happen. As I said yesterday, Dean's pretty much at his lowest point, having lost almost everyone, so of course something huge is going to hit him even HARDER. Eek.

Speaking of Dean... this visual recap really brought to light how front-and-central he's been this year, and how the Sam storylines act as a vehicle to explore Dean's character more. Contrast it to season 3, where half the storylines were about how Sam reacted to and felt about the fact that Dean was gonna die. This year it's all about how Dean feels. whichever brother the episode technically revolves around.

Who's the Man? Sam's the man! But is he the man... or the capital M-A-N?

The episode opens with the preview clip that was released earlier in the week - confusing as hell. Sam is running from a police car and escapes into a bar, where he convinces the bartender not to give him away. She asks him his name - and he says he doesn't know. He doesn't remember anything. Whaaaat, wuz going on! At least he remembers the English language... lolz, selective memory loss storylines.

Yesterday I speculated that maybe H.P. Lovecraft was The Man Who Knew Too Much... but now maybe I'm thinking it's Sam. Something clearly has gone awry with his soul, but maybe the memory loss is caused by something he knows? Why am I speculating, everyone who reads this already knows the answer. But that's the fun of doing these recaps on my first viewing.

Sidenote: I hope next year the Supernatural title card will be purple. We've had white and red and icy blue and yellow, right? I think it's time for purple.

Hey look, it's... Madison?

We open up back to Sam in the bar, and I'm kind of glad because I like this actress. Her name is Erica Cerra, but she reminds me of Emmanuelle Vaugier, who played Sam's werewolf girlfriend Madison back in 'Heart'. Did the resemblance strike anyone else? It can't be an accident, surely.

Sam says the last thing he remembers is waking up on a park bench. Cause... that's not at all suspicious. The girl (IMDb tells me that her name is Robin but I don't remember her saying this at any point?) tells him to go to the doctor but Sam says no: "I don't have time. I just feel like I have to be somewhere, there's something I gotta stop."

An H.P. Lovecraft book on the shelf catches his eye - it's "Catcher of the Dark". Evert time I try to write this title my hands write "Catcher in the Rye" before I notice what I'm doing lol. It gives Sam a flash of memory, and he remembers the motel The Nite Owl. "Maybe you're a hooker," the bartender suggests, and I laugh, cause it's funny.

Sam tries to leave but the girl decides to go with him! Okay, I like her and all, but really? I guess the writers realised that after dumping Lisa, the show really needed some estrogen. But, really writers, I think Supernatural fans would all agree that naaah, it doesn't. Unless it's Jo and Ellen, because we are used to them and therefore aren't threatened by their femininity (or whatever else it is that has made all other female characters on this show so hated).

Still, the likeness to Madison is more and more pronounced by the minute this lady is on screen, and I have to wonder if the show really has just emptied Canada of hot young actresses or if there's a point to the striking resemblance (considering she's the first female character Sam's interacted with for any length of time since Ruby).

So she goes with him... I think maybe she hopes he's a hooker, eh?

Nite Owl! Baby, Nite Owl! Just a little old place where, we can get to-ge-the-e-errrr! Nite Owl baabyyyy....

Aside from trying to score points with the 5% of the fanbase who's male by having a hot chick on screen, I think the writers obviously brought in Madison 2.0 so that Sam would have someone for theory sparring. If he was alone, he'd have to mumble to himself a lot, and that's always awkward on screen.

And HA! In the hallway scene, the camera is tilted, and all I can think about is Gossip Girl, where in one episode every single scene with Chuck Bass was tilted. It was clearly to show how he was on the edge, but it was so OTT obvious it just looked ridiculous. That episode forever ruined camera-tilting for me. And I can't believe I just admitted to watching Gossip Girl. :/

Sam opens the door with Robin's credit card and seriously, I know he's a hot piece of ass, but this woman is either evil or really really stupid. There is no way that Sam would not be a mastermind criminal to know all this stuff! She doesn't know there's such a thing as a professional monster hunter! Woman, please.

In the room they find the typical hunter mindmaps, and a bunch of fake IDs. But I guess as a bartender she can't be a stranger to those right? Heehee.

Sam sees a picture of Ellie, our friendly neighbourhood Purgatory monster, and has another flash: Bobby, Dean and Sam are headed to meet Ellie but they find her cellphone - and Ellie, saying she escaped from Cas and Crowley, who had been torturing her. She's revealed how to themto open Purgatory: they need virgin blood and the blood of a Purgatory native, and they're going to open the gate tomorrow. Hey, remember when it was the gates of Hell we were fighting to keep closed, guys? What's with all the gates all the time?

Awww and then Ellie dies. Sadness. And, again, female character death! Women have no luck on this show and they never have. It's very bold of the show, and I actually don't mind it. While I've liked a lot of the recurring female characters - particularly Ellen and Jo, Ruby 1.0, Bela and Anna - I've never minded that they don't stick around, because one of the things that makes SPN so unique is its distinct lack of your typical TV relationship plot lines like pregnancies, engagements, marriages, breakups, hookups, cheating....... I mean, SPN has this, but only as a sidenote. It's not the single most important thing in the world. And I guess if SPN avoids the stereotypes simply by eliminating the female element, then go for it.

Cas appears. "I'm sorry this had to happen. Crowley got carried away." Bobby is obviously upset, "Yeah I'm sure it was Crowley!" But Castiel is done caring what Dean and the others think. He HAS tried to make them understand, and I stand by what I've been saying, that the brothers should consider the fact that Cas is trying to save the world before judging him so harshly... I mean, Cas is asking them to let him stop Rafael, and they say no! Yes, opening Purgy is a bad thing and ultimately I'm sure it's gonna come back to bite Cas in his celestial ass, but the thought is good. And it's like choosing between fire and flame here, because either way, the world's gonna end, and I see no other suggestions on how to stop the Rafe.

But oh well. They have hurt feelings. Boys are so fragile.

And okay, this is when Castiel goes too far. Cas, I'll give you some free couples' counseling, seeing as you are officially the co-winner of the SpoilerTV romance contest: If you want any chance of salvaging your relationship with Dean, put him and his buddies in one of them neat angel prisons like Zachariah did last year. DO NOT take away Sam's soul/memories/consciousness EVER. As Bobby would say: idgit.

I am Sam. Sam I am. Green eggs and ham.

Lucky that Cas didn't do a very good job of whatever it was though, because Sam is already remembering stuff again like, less than a day later!

He tells Madison 2.0 that he still doesn't remember much, only spots. He remembers that he was with two guys, and best line of the episode alert........!!!

"One was like, a male model type, and the other was an older guy."

HAHAHAHA I love it! I love it in so many ways! Sam is going to criiiiinge when he remembers himself saying that! You know... if the world doesn't end or some shizzle like that.

Sam remembers Bobby's name, and an address in South Dakota.

But Lindsay Lohan still did it better.

Sam decides to take "the car", and immediately remembers which is his - but IT'S NOT HIS, it's the freaking Impala! Haha I love how Sam assumes it's his. He's always had mad car envy. Poor younger brother didn't get anything while the older brother got everything - the car, the male model good looks... I mean, jeez. Take the car, Sam, get yours!

Suddenly, while Robin is saying goodbye, Sam has like a super awesome sixth sense moment and just as a gun is fired, Sam knocks the girl down and the bullet hits the window of the Impala instead. And... who's shooting? It's Sam.

Wait, IT'S SAM!

Holy sheize, I'm so confused right now! Best. plot twist. EVER.

And suddenly... Sam is lying on a cot in an angel-proof room, with Dean sitting by his side, calling out to him. It was all a dream, really? Okay, NOW I believe that this actress was chosen for a reason! If she's a product of his subconscious it makes all the sense in the world to make her a Madison lookalike! Too bad they couldn't get the actual actress, that would have been amazing.

"I don't wanna fall to pieces... I just wanna sit and stare at youuuu"

Dean and Bobby have a pow-wow about Sam. I feel like this is a recurring motif in the show: Dean and Sam standing over a vertical Sam (whether he's dead, restrained, unconscious etc.) and discussing how to help him.

Bobby explains that Castiel took away the wall, and "all hell's spilling loose" into Sam's head. Maybe that explains the dream world, he's made it to protect himself and he's made a wall himself where he's forgotten everything to keep from remembering the Hell parts. But that's falling apart - he's running first from the cops, then from himself, his only aide some girl we don't know, maybe an image of a past love he conjured up for comfort.

And while a finale is generally all slam-dunk-the-funk action oriented, I like that a big chunk of this finale is internalized, happening inside a character's head. And more importantly, it's giving Sam the spotlight and putting his emotions in the center, at least for those moments. It's been a LONG time since that's happened, so I'm happy.

"This is exactly what Cas wants," Bobby warns the enraged Dean, trying to convince him to stay focused on the Purgatory storyline. "For you to fall to pieces." And Cas truly has taken the one thing he knows will get to Dean. Damn that's low.

But all the King's Horses...

We go back into the dreamscape, where Sam is teetering on the edge of consciousness (hearing the song playing on the radio, smelling the whiskey that Bobby and Dean are drinking), driving along in his Impala (in his DREAMS! Literally) with Madison 2.0 at his side.

Suddenly, Dean shines a light into Sam's eye and he is blinded in his dream, and when he opens his eyes again it's daylight. 2.0 is still there, and she didn't notice the change of time. He hears a noise in the trees and tells the girl to get in the car. He gets a shotgun and heads off into the forest, where... Sam himself is lurking. He doesn't shoot him though. "My god," Samternate (okay, no, that doesn't work with this name) says, "Am I really that gawky?" I don't know what gawky means, but I'm guessing something like "gaping and confused-looking"? :P

Why are evil versions of characters always more good looking? Their faces are smoother and their eyes are narrower, and they're just so cool. Evil!Sam is cool. He explains that Sam is unconscious. "Your BFF Cas brought the Hell Wall tumbling down, and you, pathetic infant that you are, shattered into pieces."

Oh, oh! This is like in that episode of Buffy where Xander was split in two, kind of. Except here, one piece of Sam is the soul the other is the soulless. This one's defined, he's sure of himself - unlike the soul-Sam, who is "Jello." He is handicapped, broken - and now I see what's going on. Evil!Sam wants to silence that piece of himself forever, the conscientious part, so that he can be free. This is super interesting.

"Now look at you - same misty-eyed milk sop you always were." So, if I'm understanding it correctly, this is what we're being told: there are two sides of Sam. There's the soul, which has all the compassion, the empathy, the guilt, the loyalty and the love - and then there is the part of Sam that represents what he'd be without all these things. But what's interesting is that he wouldn't just be a passive, uncaring vegetable. No, this guy cares, alright; he's twisted and mean-spirited and seems to take pleasure in the pain of others. This is not just the absence of one thing, it's the addition of something far more sinister. I wonder what part of Sam this is? Because I always interpreted Sam's "dark side" as being caused by the YED blood: it was a possession, an addiction, more than it was any actual part of Sam himself. But I guess now we're to understand that Sam truly DOES have a vindictive, evil side inside of him, independent of any influence he's been under? I always refused to believe this, wanting Sam to be 100% good, but I guess he isn't. And his soulful self being reduced to "jello" has allowed his vindictive, repressed side to escape into the "main part of his mind", if you will, which is this world with the forest and the cops and the girl who looks like Madison. Right. Is that what everyone else got?

Evil!Sam tries to shoot Sam, to destroy the soul once and for all - but Sam runs. And he can't be completely broken, because he suddenly finds himself holding a gun. The soul hasn't given up the fight completely!

Sam escapes to a creek, and tricks evil!Sam! Guess having a soul doesn't look so stupid now, does it? He shoots soulless Sam... but. "You think I'm bad? Wait till you meet the other one." Uuuuhhhh-oooohhhhh. And here I thought the second half of the episode would see Sam back in the real world fighting the gate opening with Dean and Bobby!

So evil!Sam dies. What is the significance of this? I suppose it's too optimistic to say that this represents Sam getting rid of his demons and embracing his good side, because... look where he is. But what does it mean, then?

And all the King's Men...

Looking like a Dementor being hit by a Patronus, Sam is blasted by a force from evil!Sam, and in the room where he lies, he begins to convulse. But he's still unconscious, and he returns to the road, where the girl is waiting by the car. "I remember who I am," he tells her. "Everything I did this past year. And I remember you."

You know, the longer it took for us to learn anything about her, the more convinced I became that she would have more significance than to just be Miss Random, as much as I liked the Madison thing. Sam was hunting a demon, and this girl got caught in the crossfire. Sam, soulless, didn't care, and shot her to get to the demon. And now she's literally come back to haunt him.

"Didn't I tell you to turn back? That you wouldn't like what you found?"
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
"Not as sorry as you're gonna be."

And the girl evaporates... nice visual effect. It's worth noting, seeing how few we've had this season.

In the land of the living, Balthazar has decided to stop by! Yay. He had second thoughts about whether to help them, but he's decided to stand by them. He doesn't want to be involved though. "I'm betraying a friend here. A very powerful friend, we all are." Let's consider this quote, because with it, the writers are acknowledging that trust and betrayal goes both ways. By point-blank refusing to listen to Cas, Dean and co. are as much in the wrong as anyone. Castiel isn't the enemy, but they are making him the enemy, and so that's what he's becoming.

You either Flee... or you Glee. I mean, Die.

Meanwhile, Castiel is moping. Life's no fun when Crowley's your only friend, is it?

Cas makes a surprising move: "I'm renegotiating our terms. You get nothing." And while making a deal with the devil is never a good idea, I don't think breaking one is too smart either. As much as Cas feels he needs the power, honour is kind of what separated him from Crowley in the first place, right? This breakaway is really symbolic and significant for the character.

"Have you forgotten that you're the bottom in this relationship?" Oh I hope they don't kill off Crowley. Where else will we get our innuendos and male kissing from?

Allowing Crowley to flee, though, not a smart move. I realise that Castiel is trying to hold on to some honour, but he just made a VERY powerful enemy. And now he officially has no friends.

The worst version of Sam turns out to be the one who hasn't showered in a while.

In a random change of scene, Sam is sneaking around in a super creepy room with lots of candles, where someone is sitting and it's SO scary I wish I wasn't watching this in the dark.

Sam has found the other Sam. The one that's worse. He's sitting in the dark, and he's not threatening - yet he's the ultimate threat. He's the one who remembers Hell.

Bobby and Dean are preparing to leave. What they plan to do against an angel and the king of Hell I'm not sure, but these guys get like an A+ with a gazillion gold stars for effort.

Dean says goodbye to Sam. "Get your lazy ass out of bed and come meet us. Sammy, please." I guess this is the first time Dean will be facing the end of the world without Sam by his side, and that thought is as unbearable to us as it is to Dean.

In the dream land, broken!Sam explains that before Sam can return to his body, he has to go through him first. Absorb the broken part, let it consume him. Become what the broken Sam has become.

Jared Padalecki really is great. The broken Sam is as complete and fully realised as the evil Sam; his hopelessness and devastation is heartbreaking. And the "normal" Sam, the one we know from before Hell, protected by the wall (inside the wall?), is so, well, normal in comparison to these extremes. The writing is great too. Makes me wonder why they've waited till the finale to give us such a great character-exploration for Sam, since they clearly haven't forgotten how to do it. I realise it's to keep the suspense alive, but THIS is what I've been waiting for for what feels like forever. A Sam-centric, where we go under his skin and learn his motivations, his hopes and fears - it's like we have been on way too many dates with Dean at this point, and think his little brother's pretty cool too and just want to sit down to dinner and get to know him a little better. Finally it happens! And thank god, cause we were starving, too.

"You don't wanna know what happened in the cage," broken!Sam warns. But... I wanna know. I know I'll regret it if they tell us cause it'll be horrible, but I'm so ridiculously curious, they better tell us! "Don't do this. I know you. You're not strong enough."

Clearly broken!Sam doesn't know him that well. Didn't he pay attention when we learned that Sam is stubborn? Really, I wonder if these are truly parts of himself, or if they are more like tests. "You are not strong enough" sounds like a challenge, more than a caution. Clearly, Sam agrees. You can tell by the way he sets his jaw. And hopefully, Sam not being strong enough will be a major theme next year. Because he has been the weak one compared to Dean, the one who is manipulated and possessed and made to go down dark and evil paths - it's time Sam proves that he's as strong and full of love as Dean is, and CAN overcome this. No one believes he can, but I do! I believe in you, Sam! This is his chance to prove himself.

"Why is this so important to you?"
"You know me. You know why. I'm not leaving my brother alone out there."

This is the Sam we know and love. This is the Sam who will do anything to protect his brother, just as we've seen Dean do so many times for Sam. It feels like I'm watching season 2 right now, I am so happy.

And Sam kills the broken Sam, absorbs the light... cut scene. Nooooo.

If Balthazar is Judas, does that make Castiel Jesus?

Balthazar answers Castiel's summons. "Apparently we have a Judas in our midst," Cas tells him. Aw man Cas, why you gotta be referencing those Lady Gaga songs yo? Oh, wait... never mind.

"First Sam and Dean and now this. I'm doing my best. In impossible circumstances. My friends they abandon me, plot against me. It's difficult to understand."

And then - Castiel kills Balthazar. He KILLS Balthazar, just cause I said he was my favourite angel! No, right, it was because Balthazar told Dean where he was. STILL, it's not a very good reason, is it?!

Sigh. Poor Castiel. On one hand, I am very upset with the turn of his character - it's a classic good-guy-turns-villain setup, we've seen it before - but at the same time I feel bad for him, because I don't understand the logic behind abandoning him and turning against him in the first place. I think at this point, it's just storytelling, and a bit of a shady writing call to move the plot forward, but it just didn't sit right with me, and I'm thinking that's part of the reason why I'm finding it hard to dislike Cas. Though I ABSOLUTELY abhor this, the killing of Balthazar! I LOVED Balthazar. I am very upset that he died.

Outside, Dean and Bobby have arrived. If Bobby dies, okay, THEN I might feel differently about Castiel. But that's not gonna happen... right? At this point I wouldn't be surprised by anything. But anyone who says "We'll ninja our way in" is gonna rank very high on my please-don't-kill-them list of characters.

They hear drums... I think maybe they awoke something in the mines of Moria.

But no, it's the SMOKE MONSTER!!!!

Great, so it's the Man In Black who knew too much?

Seriously, it's the Smoke Monster. LOL. I would find this even more awesome if he didn't just wreck the freaking Impala though!!!! Main character death much?? Still, Dean fixed it in season 2, so have hope!

So okay, it might not be the MiB we know from Lost - in this show he moonlights as the Horseman of War - but it IS a Man in Black, is it not? Crowley has returned for revenge. Cas tries to blast him, but it doesn't work! Because Crowley's made a new allegiance: with... Rafaella.

It looks like Rafael and Crowley have Castiel beat. "If anyone's gonna be the new God, it's me," Rafael says, and I really wonder what happened to the old G-man, seeing as the blasphemous angel isn't being smited for that?

Castiel tosses the blood to Crowley and disapparates, and Crowley and Rafael open the door... while Dean and Bobby are lying trapped in the broken Impala, oh no! Luckily they are alive. They sneak in on the ritual, and try to kill Rafael, but he/she catches the knife, and Crowley disposes of them easily.

It's What's Behind Secret Door Number Three!

But here's our last-minute variable: Sam has arrived to save the day! Hooray! Not that he's much use - the flashes of Hell are coming hard and strong, but he stumbles forward, determined to help his brother.

Meanwhile, Crowley has finished the ritual - and nothing happens. Because Cas exchanged the blood vials, sneaky! He looks very smug about it, too. Dean watches as Castiel reveals his hat trick: He already did the ritual, and holds the power of Purgatory.

He lights up the sky, the life, the night, etc., and when the light fades, we're left with a totally badass, juiced up super angel. Too bad Dean had to go and be stubborn, because Cas could have been an even better ally now!

Cas lets Crowley go: "The demon I have plans for. You on the other hand..." And he explodes Rafael, meat suit and all. The angel knife, which has been focused on throughout the sequence, clatters to the floor. Castiel turns to Dean and Bobby. "So you see, I saved you. You doubted me, fought against me. When I was right all along." Dean tries to talk him down, calm him, because clearly, one wrong move means instant death with his former BFF.

Castiel opened the door... inside himself?

I like to think that Dean is equal parts worried for Castiel and for the planet, which Cas now has the power to nuke. "Let's just defuse you. Cas, it's scrambling your brain." But Castiel, with his super creepy smile, insists that the souls "belong" with him. "Rafael had many followers, and I must... punish them all severely." Oh dear, maybe taking souls from a super evil place wasn't the best strategy. They are influencing him, making him evil too.

"Listen to me. I know that there's a lot of bad water under the bridge. But we were family once. I'd have died for you. I almost did a few times. So if that means anything to you... please. I've lost Lisa. I've lost Ben. And now I've lost Sam. Don't make me lose you, too."

I think, as beautiful as the sentiment is, Dean is laying it on a liiiittle thick. Don't get me wrong: I love the Dean/Cas friendship. But really, the whole idea of them as "family" really only started like, an episode ago. Castiel was always willing to help, and yes they bonded, but he was always so odd, like a weird friend who amused them but always came through in a pinch. Their friendly neighbourhood angel man. But family? I'm not complaining. I guess I just prefer when the show makes the family parallels a little less obvious, like the way it integrated Bobby and made him the boys' new father slowly and steadily, before we knew what was happening.

For a minute, it looks like Dean's words are getting to Castiel. He makes a good point: Castiel destroyed Rafael, and thus the threat of the apocalypse. He doesn't need the power anymore. But it's too late now. Castiel has been corrupted by the souls, and he's not himself anymore. He is like Sam in season 4 - the power, the rush is too great to overcome, and Dean can't reach him anymore.

"You're just saying that because I won. Because you're afraid." (And maybe I wasn't far off when saying that Dean was laying it on a little thick, to try to appeal to Cas.)

Someone picks up the angel sword. OH NO.

"You're not my family, Dean," Cas tells him. "I have no family."

And behind him... Sam appears and stabs Cas! Noooooo Sam whyyyyy! But it's okay, cause Cas doesn't die. He might be turning evil, but hey, we all stuck by Sam when the same thing happened to him, let's not turn our backs on Castiel now.

Castiel explains why he didn't die... and sets up the season finale cliffhanger:

"The angel blade won't work. Because I'm not an angel anymore. I'm your new God. A better one. So you will bow down and profess your love unto me, your Lord. Or I shall destroy you."


Rating: 5/5

Holy moly. What an episode. AMAZING. What did you think? I hope you were all as blown away as I am right now, because that was incredible! It might not have been 'All Hell Breaks Loose,' but what is? If nothing else, this episode deserves top rating for the Sam focus. I've always liked the show best when it was EQUAL, and so the imbalance has really been bothering me. I've missed Sam, and seeing him so in focus brought me back to the good old days. And they're called good old days for a reason. But, there were really two parts to this episode, so I'll briefly comment on each in turn:

A) Sam's journey through his different stages, putting himself back together in a very literal, visual way. That was amazingly well done. For a show that does character so well, I have long maintained (as you'll know if you follow my recaps) that it's been neglecting Sam. This episode made up for a lot of that. Not only did we get a largely Sam-driven storyline, but we were actually inside the character's head, and while we weren't told what happened to Sam in Hell specifically, we've seen what it did to him. We can only hope that next year we'll continue to see the repercussions of his memories, seeing as the whole point of the wall was because Sam wouldn't be able to cope with them. Is he strong enough to survive, though no one (including angels and Death himself) seems to believe that he is? Well, I believe it. And I can't wait to see this new, unified, stronger Sam next year. Dean's going to need him. And seeing as ultimately, Sam's breakthrough didn't come to anything - he was too late to the party, and him killing Castiel meant nothing - surely it will mean something important for his character next year. Everything happens for a reason.

B) Castiel is "the new God." This isn't going to end well. I hope I'm not spoiling anyone by saying that it has been officially confirmed that Misha Collins won't be a series regular next season, but honestly, this doesn't worry me. This year he was a regular, yet only appeared in about half the episodes, and I'm sure next year we'll see something similar. We'll HAVE to see him, considering what happened, but going back to two cast members seems like a good decision both budget-wise and because really, the show has always been and always will be about Sam and Dean. Anyone else WILL play second fiddle, as great and loveable as they are. Castiel's descent was beautifully written, one of the best character arcs I've seen, with him honestly, naively trying to do the right thing, being consumed by loneliness and feelings of betrayal, and finally being infested with millions of evil souls that have now made him arrogant, vindictive and power-hungry. Making a prediction for next year, I believe we'll see Castiel either be struck down by the real God (I have this crazy idea that the brothers go searching for God, to bring down Cas) or somehow be brought to his wits and managing to destroy himself without hurting Earth, kind of like Peter and Nathan back when Heroes was still a good show. Either way, Cas is gonna die. It's a shame, because I love him, but at the same time, I can't help but like this unexpected character twist, because we'll see new sides of Misha Collins and his character that we never have before. You can only play monotone for so long.

Well, guys, it's been a blast. I hope you've enjoyed reading these recaps as much as I've enjoyed writing them, and that you liked the finale. This summer I'm going to go back and do a marathon of the early seasons - maybe even season 5, which I feel the urge to rewatch for the first time ever. This Cas twist really spiced things up, and it feels like a whole new game. See you in September, for a season which I can honestly say I am really, really looking forward to! Have a good hiatus, everyone.