Recap / Supernatural S 05 E 21 Two Minutes To Midnight

Recap of Supernatural
Season 5, Episode 21

Two Minutes to Midnight
Dean has a discussion with Death.

Dean: So, please tell us you have actual good news.
Bobby: Chicago is about to be wiped off the map. Storm of the millennium. Sets off a daisy chain of natural disasters. Three million people are gonna die.
Castiel: I don't understand your definition of good news.
Bobby: Death. He's gonna be there.

Written by Sera Gamble.

Directed by Phil Sgriccia.

Air Date: May 6, 2010.

Dean gets a call from Castiel, who has finally lost enough of his angel mojo that he can't teleport from the hospital he's in. Sam and Dean go after Pestilence and, with Cas's help, manage to take his ring. Crowley shows up; turns out Bobby took him up on the offer and traded his soul for Death's location. While Sam, Bobby, and Cas stop the shipment of the vaccines full of Croatoan, Dean and Crowley go to Chicago to take on Death. They find him in a pizza parlor. Dean quickly realizes that there's no way he could ever kill this guy. Lucky that Death has no intention of fighting. Tired of being Lucifer's prisoner, he gives Dean his ring on one condition: that he allow Sam to go forward with his plan to say yes to Lucifer and step into the Cage.

Body count

For this episode = 16 humans and 3 demons.

For the series so far = At least 407 humans (of which 6 were witches), 65 demons, 33 ghosts, 19 zombies, 13 gods, 11 vampires, 10 angels, 9 hellhounds, 6 changelings, 3 shapeshifters, 2 ghouls, 2 werewolves, 2 dogs, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, and 1 wraith.


  • Affably Evil: Death kills a guy for bumping into him and kills an entire restaurant of people so he can eat his pizza in peace, but he's fairly polite to Dean after making it clear that he won't stand for being insulted. He even ends up offering to give Dean his ring.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: "What exactly are you afraid of? Losing? Or losing your brother?"
  • Avenging the Villain: Pestilence is determined to kill Sam and Dean because they dispatched his two brothers, War and Famine.
  • Badass Boast: Death gives one to Dean, in which he claims that he will reap God at the end of time. Dean is fairly taken aback by this.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit/Badass Longcoat: Death is wearing a black suit and longcoat.
  • Blood from the Mouth
  • Brainless Beauty: Crowley's opinion of the brothers: "You two are lucky you have your looks".
  • Brought Down to Badass: Even though Castiel has become more or less human, he still kicks some serious ass.
  • Cool Car: Death drives a 1959 Cadillac El Dorado with plates reading "BUH*BYE" As a Genius Bonus, a white 1959 Cadillac El Dorado is known as the Death Car. That's right: Death drives a Death Car.
  • Cosmic Entity: Death. He makes it clear that there are countless other planets and galaxies that he could concern himself with. The main reason he agrees to help Dean is because, in this incarnation(a Horseman), he's partially under Lucifer's control and considers that an insult.
  • Covered in Gunge
  • Deal with the Devil: Bobby concludes one with Crowley so he can provide intel on Death's location.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Death reveals that Lucifer managed to trap him into his servitude. Death, who is very annoyed that he's been leashed by a petulant child with daddy issues (...yes, that is how Death perceives the Devil), proves that it's not a good idea to piss off an eternal and infinite force of nature by actually helping Sam and Dean imprison Lucifer again.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Dean has his discussion with Death over some pizza. It's very good pizza.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Death tells Dean matter-of-factly that, at the end of time, he will reap God. Even Dean is taken aback by this.
  • Enemies with Death: Dean hunts down Death so he can kill him and take his ring. When he finally meets the Grim Reaper, it turns out that things don't work that way in the Supernatural universe.
  • Enemy Mine: As in previous episodes, Sam and Dean are teaming up with the thoroughly-evil Crowley only because Lucifer is a far bigger threat.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Death gets one as he enters Chicago. He parks his Horseman car, a white Cadillac, and goes on foot. When a rude guy bumps into him, Death makes a small gesture with his hand and the guy drops dead.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Pestilence is hinted to have some affection for the demon accompanying him when he hugs her. He also cares a great deal about his brothers, the other Horsemen.
    Demon Nurse: They have a track record with Horsemen.
    Pestilence: You mean my brothers. What they did to my brothers. No. The only reasonable thing to do here is to...take it out of their healthy young asses.
    Demon Nurse: We're under strict orders not to kill the vessels.
    Pestilence: Oh, if Satan wants them so bad, he can GLUE THEM BACK TOGETHER!
  • Exact Time to Failure: Pestilence counts down the seconds to when one of his victims dies.
  • Fingore: Castiel takes a knife to Pestilence's fingers.
  • The Fog of Ages: Death can't remember if he is as old as or older than God. God, apparently, doesn't know either.
  • The Grim Reaper: Reapers have long been established in the show, but this is the first time that we are introduced to their leader, Death himself.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Team Free Will confront the last two horsemen, Pestilence and Death.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Death. It's implied that he's something far more terrifying, but at least he presents himself in human form. Though this may only be so he can have pizza.
  • Humanity Ensues: After his previous altercation with other angels in "Point of No Return" (S05, E18), Castiel turns up in a hospital and finds that he has become pretty much human. He shows that there's just enough angel left inside him to resist Pestilence's powers.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Death considers Earth to be an incredibly young planet that barely registers on the cosmic radar.
  • Leitmotif: Death is given a techno version of the bluegrass song "Oh Death", performed here by Jen Titus, which is used in his introductory scene.
  • Misery Poker: When Cas complains about how useless he is now that he's human, Bobby reminds him that he's not the one who can't walk.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Did you kiss him?" He did.
  • Mundane Solution: "How did you get here?" "I took the bus."
  • No Ontological Inertia: When Pestilence loses his ring, all of Sam and Dean's diseases vanish instantly.
  • Oh Crap!: Dean has this reaction when he drops Death's scythe. It continues nonstop throughout the entire conversation.
  • Once More with Clarity: "You just gonna sit there?"
  • Pet the Dog: Crowley reveals that he added an additional clause to Bobby's contract: regaining the use of his legs.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: Dean tries to kill Death, unaware that he could've gotten what he wanted without killing him, as they both had a common interest in stopping the "bratty child" (Lucifer). Dean assumes that Death would be angry at this, but it turns out the problem with a human fighting Death is that the human just doesn't matter.
    Dean: Is this the part where you kill me?
    Death: [after staring at him incredulously] You have an inflated sense of your importance. To a thing like me, a thing like you...well. Think how you'd feel if a bacterium sat at your table and started to get snarky.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Death. Even though Dean tried to kill him, Death willingly gives Dean his ring and gives him advice on how to stop Lucifer.
  • The Reveal: Crowley took a selfie of him kissing Bobby. Cue looks of amazement from Dean & Sam.
    Bobby: Why'd you have to show 'em that?!
  • Running Gag: Sam gets syphilis in this episode. This is the third time Sam has gotten an STD this season. The others were "The Curious Case of Dean Winchester" (E07) (gonorrhea) and "Changing Channels" (E08) (genital herpes).
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Crowley does it a lot in this episode.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Pestilence.
    Pestilence: If Satan wants them so bad he can GLUE THEM BACK TOGETHER!
  • Tested on Humans: Pestilence uses an old lady in a nursing home as a living (well, not for long) petri dish.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Type 4. After Bobby makes a deal for Death's location, Crowley returns Bobby's ability to walk as an added bonus.
  • Time Abyss: Death has existed since at least the dawn of time.
    Death: This is one little planet, in one tiny solar system, in a galaxy that's barely out of its diapers. I'm old, Dean. Very old. So I invite you to contemplate how insignificant I find you.
    Dean: I gotta ask, how old are you?
    Death: As old as God. Maybe older. Neither of us can remember anymore. Life, Death, chicken, egg.
  • Walking Wasteland:
    • Pestilence becomes this when he turns on his ring's powers. This immediately causes everyone in the vicinity to develop painful and horrific diseases. Sam and Dean are both incapacitated when they get too close to him.
    • Death goes to get some food at a diner. When Dean enters he finds that everyone in the room died in Death's presence.
  • Weapon Stomp
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit or Heroic Second Wind: Castiel defeating Pestilence.
  • You Are Too Late
  • Zombie Apocalypse: This is revealed to be Pestilence's plan, using the cover of a swine flu vaccine to spread the Croatoan virus everywhere.