Recap / Supernatural S 05 E 04 The End

Recap of Supernatural
Season 5, Episode 4

The End

Written by Ben Edlund.

Directed by Steve Boyum.

Air Date: October 1, 2009.

After getting a phone call from Sam informing him that Sam is the vessel of Lucifer, Dean wakes in a post-Apocalyptic future where he's been sent by Zachariah to show him what will happen if he continues to refuse Michael. The Croatoan virus has turned most of the population into mindless zombies, and Dean's future self is the leader of a refugee camp, caring about nothing but killing the Devil in revenge for Sam, who is now only Lucifer's meat suit. Future-Dean takes his past self on a suicide run against Lucifer, armed with the Colt, and ends up dead. Upon returning to his present, Dean still refuses to be a vessel and instead calls Sam to rejoin him in hunting.

Body count

For this episode = Everybody Lives.

For the series so far = At least 326 humans (of which 5 were witches), 39 demons, 28 ghosts, 11 vampires, 6 changelings, 4 angels, 3 gods, 3 shapeshifters, 3 zombies, 2 ghouls, 2 werewolves, 2 dogs, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, and 1 wendigo.


  • Achilles' Heel: Discussed when Dean tells Sam that they are each other's weakness, and they are stronger when they're apart as they are always being used against each other.
  • Acting for Two/Talking to Himself: Jared Padalecki playing as both Lucifer and Sam.
    • Jensen Ackles playing as 2009 Dean and 2014 Dean.
  • Badass Boast: Subverted; Dean swears that he will find a way to kill Lucifer, but Lucifer turns it round on him; he knows Dean is The Determinator, which means he won't surrender to Michael or kill Sam, so they'll end up right where they are now.
  • Bad Future: Oh, dear Heaven, is it. Dean gets a sneak peek of five years into the future where he meets a jaded Jerkass version of himself, a strung-out and oversexed Castiel, and Lucifer wearing his brother to the prom. The Croatoan virus has ravaged the planet, the angels have thrown up their hands and left, and Sarah Palin is president.
  • Battle Discretion Shot
    • Dean finds Bobby's wheelchair shot full of bloody holes.
    • The muzzle flashes inside the building where Dean's men are being sacrificed for a distraction.
  • Bottomless Bladder: Pointedly averted when Cas forgets that his current allies are not angels and expects this trope from Dean. Dean says that he's human and tells Cas he needs four hours so that he can eat and sleep.
  • Broken Aesop: An In-Universe version. The lesson Dean takes away is not that he should let Michael possess him, but that Sam keeps him human and he needs to hook back up with his brother.
  • Broken Angel: Castiel states in so many words that he's "not an angel anymore". He's also a junkie, an alcoholic, and running a cult of the enlightenment-through-sex variety.
  • Call Back: The Croatoan virus returns.
  • Cower Power: Dean hides behind Chuck when an Action Girl goes to thump him for cheating on her.
  • Crapsack World: Not exactly a surprise. Although given the show's usual Angst level, it's more like "Crapsack Turned Up to Eleven World".
  • Dramatic Thunder: A clap of thunder punctuates pretty much every word Lucifer says.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: Dean finds a young girl crying next to her doll. When he goes to comfort her, she tries to slash him with a piece of glass, revealing she's infected.
  • Future Badass: Sorta, although present-Dean is a badass already. Maybe it's more like "future even-more-badass-through-being-a-heartless-Jerk Ass".
  • Future Loser: Having lost all of his powers when the angels skedaddled, Castiel refers to himself as all but useless and appears to spend the majority of his time either drunk, high, or indulging in orgies. Dean is extremely relieved to see the powerful and confident version of Castiel when he returns to the past.
  • Future Me Scares Me
    Dean: Oh, so we're—we're torturing again? No, that's good. Classy.
    • Inverted with Cas who says he quite likes Past Dean, 'cause he's still got his sense of humor.
  • Get It Over With: Dean arrives just in time to see Lucifer-in-Sam's body casually snap future!Dean's neck. Realizing all is lost, Dean tells Lucifer to go ahead and kill him. Lucifer quips, "Don't you think that would be a little...redundant?"
  • The Hedonist:
    • "It's the end, baby! Might as well bang some gongs before the lights go out."
    • Future Dean is still up to his Handsome Lech ways, as Dean finds out when he cops a slap meant for his future self.
  • Ho Yay: When Dean tells Sam why they can't be together, it sounds a lot like a breakup.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Lucifer gives a Motive Rant over how Earth is God's last and greatest creation—and then he made humans to fill it. Lucifer was cast out of Heaven when God told him to love humans more than Him.
    "Look at what six billion of you have done to this thing. And how many of you blame me for it."
    "You're not fooling me with this Sympathy for the Devil crap...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."
  • Inconvenient Summons: Inverted when Castiel teleports Dean away from Zachariah.
  • Jacob Marley Warning: Played with in that future!Dean actually begs Dean to say yes to being Michael's vessel in the past... then bitterly points out that Dean won't, because he didn't.
  • Knockout Punch/Smash to Black: When future!Dean punches Dean out so he can go ahead with his friend-sacrificing plan to kill Lucifer.
  • Light Is Not Good/Man in White: Lucifer-in-Sam is dressed in a smart white suit. It adds to the Uncanny Valley.
  • Neck Snap: Lucifer steps on future!Dean's neck and casually breaks it.
  • Number of the Beast: A cinema is advertising NOW SHOWING: ROUTE 666.
  • Oh Crap!
    • Dean's response when he sees CROATOAN written on the wall, and a bunch of infected humans appear.
    • Sam has a subdued one when Dean takes out a knife at the end, no doubt thinking Dean is going to kill him after all.
  • Only Electric Sheep Are Cheap: Invest in toilet paper. It's worth more than gold.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Future-Dean is willing to use all of his friends, including Cas, as bait just to make sure he gets a shot at the Devil.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Future!Cas always refers to Future!Dean as "Fearless Leader".
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Future!Cas and his allies sacrifice themselves to get Future!Dean to Lucifer, only to have Dean fail.
  • Something About a Rose: Lucifer's confrontation with Dean takes place in a rose garden.
  • Son of an Ape: Lucifer condemns humans as "hairless apes" that are "flawed...murderous".
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Drunken soldiers gun down infectees to "Do You Love Me?"
  • Shoot the Dog: Future!Dean is all about this.
  • Spot the Imposter: Dean tells Future-Dean about a very confidential moment involving wearing ladies' underwear.
  • Take That: Against Sarah Palin. It takes this Up to Eleven Crapsack World for her to be president of the USA.
  • Trust Password: Dean wore women's underwear once and enjoyed it.
  • Total Party Kill: Although we only see future!Dean die, it's assumed that Cas and the rest were slaughtered by the demons, giving that that was future!Dean's plan.
  • Uncanny Valley: Lucifer-in-Sam doesn't quite seem to know how to work his face, which is some pretty good acting on Jared Padalecki's part.
  • The Virus: The Croatoan virus has returned and is now planet-wide and devastating the remains of humanity.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Future!Dean regards the hedonistic and useless Future!Cas with barely concealed disdain, and uses him as The Bait.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Dean to stick-up-his-ass-Castiel after he teleports Dean out just in time.
    [putting a hand on his shoulder] "Don't ever change."
  • Wham Line
    Future Dean: Sam didn't die in Detroit. He said "yes".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Dean gives it to his future self for being willing to lie to his friends and send them to their deaths, just to get at Lucifer. Future!Dean just punches him out and goes ahead with it.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Lucifer gives Dean a lecture about "whatever you do, no matter what details you change, we will always end up here". Dean responds with "Screw Destiny", but it's unclear till much later how that works out.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Croatoan virus turns people into fast zombies of the "infected with rage" variety.
  • Zombie Infectee: Future Dean does a sudden Boom, Headshot on a member of his team he claims has been infected.