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.

Tropes

  • 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.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Future!Dean to his past self. "I'm begging you...say 'Yes'."
  • Badass Boast: Subverted; Dean swears that he will find a way to kill Lucifer, but Lucifer turns it round on him — he knows Dean 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.
    • After waking from being knocked unconscious by Future!Dean, Dean sees muzzle flashes inside the Abandoned Hospital where Cas and the others are being sacrificed for a distraction. He rushes to help, only to find his future self already pinned under Lucifer's foot.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Zachariah is about to give Dean another nasty lesson when Castiel zaps Dean to his location.
  • Boring, but Practical: Christian fundamentalist street preachers have been recruited in the search for Sam and Dean.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase / Curse Cut Short: Zachariah starts to say, "Son of a—" when Dean disappears from under his nose.
  • 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.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Castielís powers faded when all the angels left Earth. Feeling useless without them, Castiel has retreated into sex and drugs.
  • Call-Back: The Croatoan virus returns.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Dean brushes past a street preacher outside his hotel. Turns out the angels have recruited them as spies.
    • The knowledge that Sam "said yes" in Detroit becomes a useful clue later in the season.
  • Cower Power: Dean hides behind Chuck when an Action Girl goes to thump him for cheating on her.
  • Cracking Up: Future!Castiel does a somewhat sensual body stretch, to loosen up for the impending orgy.
  • Crapsack World: Not exactly a surprise. Although given the show's usual Angst level, it's more like "Crapsack Turned Up to Eleven World".
  • Cry Laughing: Future!Castiel has this reaction when Dean asks him to use his angel powers to return him to 2009.
  • Despair Speech: Future!Castiel's "I'm hapless, hopeless" speech to Dean.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Or so Lucifer would have us believe, when he claims he was cast into Hell for refusing to accept that Humans Are Superior. He left out the bit about creating demons just to spite his father's work.
  • Dramatic Thunder: A clap of thunder punctuates pretty much every word Lucifer says.
  • Exact Words: After agreeing to give Dean his four hours sleep, Castiel says, "I'll wait here then." When he rescues Dean four hours later, we see he's standing in the exact same position by the side of the road.
  • 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.
  • Forced to Watch: Future!Dean insists that Past!Dean accompany him on the raid to kill Sam!Lucifer, so he will be motivated to say "Yes" to Michael.
  • 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.
  • 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 The Casanova, as Dean finds out when he barely misses a punch-and-Groin Attack meant for his future self.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: Dean pulls a nail out of the floor and uses it to pick the lock of his handcuffs.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Even with a Badass Normal like Dean as an example, Future!Castiel can't accept the loss of his power, and tries drowning his emptiness in sex and drugs.
    Dean: So you're human now? Welcome to the club.
    Future!Cas: Thank you. But I used to be a member of a much better club.
  • 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.
  • It's a Long Story: Dean (not) filling in Sam on the episode's events.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: The hot zone should be swarming with 'Croats', which means Trap Is the Only Option.
  • 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.
  • Little "No": After seeing the Bad Future, Dean's response to Zachariah once more asking him to become Michael's vessel is an overly casual "Nah."
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Inverted when Dean gives a What the Hell, Hero? for betraying his friends, and Cas.
  • Mythology Gag: Route 666 was a fictional movie in the episode Hollywood Babylon, itself a Mythology Gag to the episode of that name.
  • Neck Snap: Lucifer steps on future!Dean's neck and casually breaks it.
  • Newspaper Dating: Dean reads the date on a government warning sign. Later Zachariah turns up to read the newspaper to him, just fill Dean in on what a Crapsack World he's caused.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted; Chuck informs Dean they're almost out of toilet paper.
  • Number of the Beast: A cinema is advertising NOW SHOWING: ROUTE 666.
  • Obligatory Joke
    Future!Dean: Why shouldn't I gank you right now?
    Dean: Because...you'd only be hurting yourself?
    Future!Dean: Very funny.
  • 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.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: The humorless Future!Dean and his past self. Future!Cas however quite likes him.
  • Rebel Relaxation: Future!Cas has his feet up on the table during Future!Dean's Mission Briefing.
  • Relative Button: An Invoked Trope by Zachariah, arguing that if Dean becomes Michael's vessel now, they can strike at Lucifer before he has the chance to take over Sam.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Future!Dean is willing to use all of his friends, even 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.
  • Serious Business: Cas on the cellphone.
    Castiel: This isn't funny, Dean! The voice says I'm almost out of minutes!
  • Shout-Out
    • Dean quotes from The Godfather Part III regarding Sam's 10-Minute Retirement. "Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in."
    • When Zachariah first appears, Dean says, "I thought I smelled your stink on this Back to the Future crap." And on seeing Zachariah back in 2009. "Oh, well, if it isn't the Ghost of Christmas Screw You."
    • " I got a camp full of twitchy trauma survivors out there with an apocalypse hanging over their head. The last thing they need to see is a version of The Parent Trap!"
  • Single Tear: Dean faced with Sam!Lucifer.
  • Seen It All: Dean's response to Sam informing him that he's Lucifer's intended vessel. Actually seeing it in the future however is a different matter.
  • 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.
  • The Stoner
    Dean: Cas, are you high?
    Future Cas: Usually.
  • Stopped Clock: The change from present to future is marked by a smashed clock in Dean's hotel room.
  • Take That!: Against Sarah Palin. It takes this Up to Eleven Crapsack World for her to be president of the USA.
  • The Tell: Dean realizes that Future!Dean is lying to his soldiers, because he's using the same expressions he rehearsed in the mirror to become a Consummate Liar.
  • Tempting Fate: Zachariah says he's never letting Dean go, just before Castiel helps Dean escape.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Sam now wants them to hook up again, determined to avoid the fate Lucifer has for him.
  • That Poor Car: Dean is shocked at the sight of the Impala lying neglected at the camp.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: When Dean realizes that his future self intends to sacrifice his friends as The Bait, he says, "Man, there is something broken in you."
  • 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.
  • Urban Ruins: Dean has a vision of the world upon Satan's rise to power that includes cities turned to ruin.
  • Villains Never Lie: Dean accuses Zachariah of trying to deceive him with a phony Bad Future. Zachariah assures Dean this isn't the case, but whether that's true is a matter of fan debate.
  • The Virus: The Croatoan virus has returned and is now planet-wide and devastating the remains of humanity.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Or else-when; Dean goes to sleep in his hotel room and wakes up in the same room, only now it's now a burnt and looted wreck.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Future!Dean regards the powerless and hedonistic Future!Cas with barely concealed disdain, while Future!Cas responds with sardonic criticism.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Dean's response to stick-up-his-ass-Castiel after he teleports Dean out Just in Time is to put a hand on his shoulder and say, "Don't ever change."
  • We Will Meet Again, Dean. Soon.
  • 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 knocks him out and goes ahead with it.
  • Woman Scorned: Dean barely dodges a punch in the face and a knee in the groin from Rachael.
  • 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.
  • You Got Spunk: Lucifer is impressed with Dean's defiance. "I can see what the other angels see in you."
  • 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. As Dean couldn't see anything wrong with the man, he naturally starts to wonder if the strain is getting to his future self.
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