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Recap / Supernatural S 05 E 13 The Song Remains The Same

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 5, Episode 13

The Song Remains The Same

Michael: The one unimportant little man. What makes you think you get to choose?
Dean: Because I got to believe that I can choose what I do with my... unimportant little life.
Michael: You're wrong. You know how I know? Think of a million random acts of chance that let John and Mary be born, to meet, to fall in love, to have the two of you. Think of the million random choices that you make—and yet how each and every one of them brings you closer to your destiny. Do you know why that is? Because it's not random. It's not chance. It's a plan that is playing itself out perfectly. Free will's an illusion, Dean. That's why you're going to say yes.

Written by Sera Gamble and Nancy Weiner.

Directed by Steve Boyum.

Air Date: February 4, 2010.

The ex-fallen angel Anna has escaped from her prison in Heaven and is planning on killing Sam in order to prevent the Apocalypse. She calls Sam and Dean and asks them to meet her, but instead of the brothers encounters Castiel, who doesn't believe she actually escaped, thinks she was instead was let go, and suspects there is something she is not telling them. Anna seems very evasive and disappears without revealing her plans beyond "killing Sam". Later, Castiel meets up with the Winchesters and tells them that Anna has traveled back in time to stop Mary and John Winchester from conceiving Sam. The three also travel to the past, which weakens Castiel considerably. When knocking at their parents' door, Mary recognizes Dean from his earlier visit and tells them to leave immediately, suspecting something bad is bound to happen. John, however, is thrilled to meet "relatives" from Mary's side of the family and invites them in. Anna poses as John's employer and calls him at home, telling him to come to the garage he works at. After arriving there, he is attacked by Anna. The brothers and Mary come to rescue him, and Sam is able to drive Anna out of the building by using a magical sigil. They flee to a shelter, where Dean has a talk with Mary, in which he reveals that he and Sam are her sons and that she has to leave John in order to prevent her sons from being born. Suddenly, Anna and an earlier Uriel rush into the house, attacking the Winchesters, and Anna kills Sam. Just as Anna is about to kill Mary, the Archangel Michael, having possessed John's body, enters the room and burns Anna to death. He reveals that Cain and Abel are the brothers' ancestors and that their destiny as Michael and Lucifer's True Vessels has been set since those ancient times. He then revives Sam, erases Mary and John's memory, and sends the brothers back to their time.

Should not be confused with the Led Zeppelin song (even if the episode is named after it). Should not be confused with the Revolution episode "The Song Remains The Same". Should not be confused with the trope The Song Remains the Same. Should not be confused with the Rockumentary The Song Remains the Same.

Body count

For this episode = 1 human and 1 angel (Sam also dies, but only temporarily).

For the series so far = At least 356 humans (of which 6 were witches), 55 demons, 33 ghosts, 11 vampires, 9 hellhounds, 6 changelings, 5 angels, 4 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, 1 wendigo, and 1 wraith.


  • Action Girl: Despite being done with hunting, Mary clearly hasn't lost a step since "In The Beginning" (S04, E03).
  • Apologetic Attacker: Although it doesn't stop her, Anna regrets having to turn on her friends and kill good people for The Needs of the Many. In her second confrontation with Mary, Anna apologizes to the shell-shocked woman for what she's about to do.
  • Archangel Michael: Powerful enough to kill even angels with a touch.
  • Back for the Dead: Anna was captured and put in Heaven's jail in "When the Levee Breaks" (S04, E21), over half a season ago. She finally gets out in this episode—only to be killed by Michael.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • John, Mary, and Uriel technically aren't dead yet in 1978, but they are in the present timeline. The one who calls Uriel in to help her is the one who killed him, no less!
    • Also, Sam is killed by Anna, but is brought back by Michael.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Anna certainly isn't as nice as she was before she got ass-reamed in Heaven. Though one could argue that she wasn't evil, just trying to do what she thought was right.
  • Big Bad: Anna Milton and Uriel team up to kill John and Mary to prevent Sam and Dean from being born.
  • Big Damn Heroes
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: In Dean's dream—he starts watching a dark-haired devil girl, who is joined by a blonde angel stripper, then redheaded Anna appears to put a damper on things.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Castiel (due to the effects of time travel), Anna (due to time travel and later, having a crowbar jammed in her chest), and Sam (due to getting stabbed in the stomach).
  • Body Snatcher: Michael possesses John.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • The Trope Namers are name-dropped in the episode as Sam and Dean's ancestors, from whom they inherited their potential as Lucifer and Michael's vessels, respectively.
    • Also, Michael himself shows up and announces that, despite how much he still loves Lucifer, he plans on killing him anyway because he believes that that's what God wants and because Lucifer is evil.
  • Compound-Interest Time Travel Gambit: Dean jokingly suggests he and Sam stick around and buy some Microsoft stock. Sam notes that they might have to if Cas doesn't recover.
  • Contemplating Your Hands: After he zaps himself back from the past, a disoriented Castiel holds up his right hand and stares at it, presumably reassuring himself that he in fact made it in one piece.
  • Continuity Nod
  • Crowbar Combatant: Unfortunately, it doesn't work that well on angels.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Michael shows up to save the Winchesters from Anna. Being a near-omnipotent archangel, he turns the lower angel into a piece of charcoal with a mere touch.
  • Deader than Dead: Anna plans on scattering Sam's cells across the universe after she kills him so that nobody will be able to find enough of Sam to resurrect.
    • Ironically, Anna becomes this when Michael incinerates her along with her vessel.
  • Death is Cheap: Castiel's argument against killing Sam to stop Lucifer from using him as a vessel is that Sam will just be resurrected anyway. See Anna's counter-argument above. Castiel's point gets proven when Michael kills Anna and resurrects Sam before she has the opportunity to do what she said she would.
  • Death Glare: Since she doesn't want hunters around her house, Mary throws Sam and Dean a nasty one whenever John isn't looking. That ends when they tell her why they're there (to save her and John from an angel).
  • Designated Girl Fight: An awesome, brutal one between Mary and Anna. Male characters fight Anna, too, but it's her fight with Mary that gets the most screen-time and attention.
  • Dramatic Irony: Loads of this, up to and including the final line.
  • Dream Walker: When Anna can't find Sam and Dean in real life due to the sigils Cas carved in them, she has to jump into Dean's dreams to talk to him. She's amused by what she finds there.
  • Erotic Dream: At the beginning of the episode, Dean is enjoying one about two strippers (one dressed as a devil and one as an angel) dancing for him, before Anna arrives and makes the strippers vanish.
    Anna: This is...what you dream about.
    Dean: [muttering] This is awkward.
  • Evil is Petty: Uriel is apparently really pissed off that Sam and Dean (supposedly) kill him in the future, because he takes great pleasure in killing off the Winchesters, even forcing Dean to watch Anna kill Dean's darling little Sammy.
  • Evil Redhead: Anna becomes one in this episode.
  • Eye Scream: John's dead boss at the garage, suggesting that he either somehow saw Anna's true form or she killed him on purpose.
  • Eyes Never Lie
  • Flash Step: Anna uses this to good effect during the garage fight.
  • Forgiveness: Sam finally gets to tell his dad that he forgives him for what he did to him and Dean, and that he loves him. John just doesn't know it, 'cause he doesn't know that he's Sam's dad.
  • Forced to Watch: Uriel keeps Dean pinned helplessly in place and cruelly makes him watch as Anna attacks the other Winchesters and kills Sam.
  • Friendship Moment: Cas refuses to let Anna kill Sam because he's his friend.
  • Hero Killer: Anna temporarily succeeds in her mission.
  • Hot as Hell:
    Dean: I take it all back. I love the Devil.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Sam and Dean after the episode's events.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: Dean's Erotic Dream.
  • Implacable Woman: Anna, especially when attacking the Winchesters at the garage.
  • In the Blood: Any member of Dean's bloodline can be Michael's vessel...including John.
  • Ironic Echo: Dean remembers Mary telling him "angels are watching over you" every night when she put him to bed. That line gets viewed in a much different, much darker light when she repeats it at the end of this episode.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Sam refers to Anna as an "it" at one point.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Sam and Dean are willing to not be born to avoid the Apocalypse, but Mary is already pregnant and Michael just doesn't care what they want.
  • Kid from the Future: Sam and Dean for Mary.
  • Kill It with Fire: Michael burns Anna alive from the inside out with white-blue flames, leaving her as a smoldering skeleton that collapses into dust within seconds. All this, just by putting his hand on her shoulder.
  • Killed Off for Real: Anna is killed by Michael.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Michael erases John and Mary's memories of their Kids from the Future, including Dean's warning to Mary of what will happen to her. This is done to ensure that the characters involved die without interference.
  • Light Is Not Good: Angels in general, sans Cas. At first Michael seems like he might possibly another exception, but then he starts spouting off how You Can't Fight Fate. His status as just another dick is cemented when he wipes John and Mary's memories so that Mary will still get killed in the nursery.
  • Look Both Ways: Sam and Dean time-travel into the middle of a street and nearly get run over.
  • Love-Interest Traitor: Anna plans on murdering the little brother of her one-night-stand, Dean. When Dean finds out, he compares her to Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Anna's like some demented Energizer Bunny—she takes a crowbar to the heart and keeps on tickin'. All that happens is that she closes her eyes, reopens them, and gives Mary a look as she pulls the crowbar out, her mouth now dripping blood. Played with in that since she's an angel, the injury really isn't that major for her.
    • Played straight with Cas when he takes them back in time, severely weakening him.
      Dean: Are you all right?
      Castiel: I'm fine. I'm much better than I expected. (spits blood and passes out)
  • Mirror Character: Michael draws strong parallels to himself and his relationship with Lucifer to Dean and his relationship to Sam.
  • The Needs of the Many: Anna's justification for why they have to kill Sam is that it will stop the Apocalypse, saving the lives of six billion other people.
  • No Time to Explain: When there is time to explain, Mary insists on one. It turns out to be Too Much Information.
  • Oblivious Mockery: Sam's father deriding the kind of man who'd raise his sons to be hunters.
  • Oh, Crap!: Anna when she sees Michael, and Uriel when he realizes that Michael doesn't approve of what Anna told him to do.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: Anna just pulls the crowbar out of her chest and seems barely—if at all—affected by it. Justified since she is an angel.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Castiel doesn't understand Dean's Fatal Attraction reference to how Anna has "gone Glenn Close". When Dean makes a DeLorean reference to them traveling back in time, Castiel curtly informs him he doesn't know what that means either. When they're back in The '70s, where Anna plans to kill Sam and Dean's parents to prevent them from being born, Dean points out that they can't use The Terminator to explain things to Mom and Dad because that movie hasn't come out yet.
  • Porn Stache: Lampshaded by an amazed Sam.
  • Pregnant Badass: Mary, so much. It's not immediately apparent, though, because she isn't that far along.
  • Retired Badass: John and Mary both count; one's fought in Vietnam as a Marine, the other was a hunter. They're married and settled down now, true, but you still don't want to screw with them (or, more specifically, their significant other).
  • Ripped from the Phone Book: Sam tears John and Mary's address out of the phone book while waiting for Dean outside the hotel.
  • Ship Sinking: Anna/Dean gets thoroughly sunk, with Dean being perfectly willing to kill her to protect Sam.
  • Shoot the Dog: Anna goes after Sam, and later his parents, in attempt to stop the Apocalypse. She even apologizes for having to kill them.
  • Shout-Out: "The six degrees of Heaven bacon".
  • Smiting Evil Feels Good: Not that it need be evil for Uriel to feel good smiting it. Case-in-point:
    Anna: I need you to kill some humans.
    Uriel: Always happy to do some smiting.
  • Stable Time Loop: One possible explanation for the events of the episode.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Anna and Castiel after time-traveling.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: John and Mary are played by the same actors from "In The Beginning" (S04, E03), who played the characters as teenagers. Uriel as portrayed by Matt Ward may also be an example, though it's unclear whether he is possessing the same vessel but younger or a relative of his future vessel.
  • Violently Protective Wife: Mary is not happy with Anna luring John away and trying to kill him. She expresses her displeasure to Anna. With an angel sword.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Michael explains his unquestioning loyalty to God's plan as his being a good son.
  • Would Hit a Girl: None of the characters show any reluctance to kill Anna, regardless of her gender.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Castiel's time-traveling drains him, so he takes no part in events. Similarly, Anna is too weakened from time-travel to defeat all four Winchesters on her own, so she calls in this time's Uriel, who is still alive.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Because Michael says so, that's why.
  • You Remind Me of X: Played with. When John insists on helping set up the angel wards, Dean says he reminds him of his father. Makes perfect sense, since John is his father.