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Recap / Supernatural S 05 E 16 Dark Side Of The Moon

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 5, Episode 16

The Dark Side of the Moon

Pamela: That's for getting me killed.
Dean: Yeah, that's probably less than I deserve. If it makes you feel any better, we got Ash killed too.
Ash: I'm cool with it!
Dean: He's cool with it.

Written by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin.


Directed by Jeff Wollnough.

Air Date: April 1, 2010.

Sam and Dean are shot and killed by a pair of angry hunters and find themselves in Heaven. They are contacted by Castiel, who asks them to find Joshua in the hopes that he knows where God is. Sam and Dean must make it to the Garden in the middle of Heaven without letting Zachariah find them and return them to their earthly bodies. They travel through a series of their fondest memories. Dean becomes angry at Sam because several of Sam's happiest moments were times when he got away from his family.

After a reunion with Ash and Pamela, Sam and Dean are cornered by Zachariah. They're saved by Joshua, who tells them that God has a message: back off. God knows everything that's going on, but he doesn't think it's his problem. Joshua returns Sam and Dean to Earth. They pass the news on to Cas, who is devastated. He gives the amulet back to Dean, who throws it away as they leave the motel.


Body count

For this episode = Sam and Dean, but both return to life at the end of the episode.

For the series so far = At least 377 humans (of which 6 were witches), 61 demons, 33 ghosts, 19 zombies, 11 vampires, 9 hellhounds, 6 changelings, 5 angels, 4 gods, 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, and 1 wraith.


  • Almighty Janitor: Joshua has a lot of authority for a simple gardener. While there's open skepticism over whether he's still talking to God, no one dares call his bluff.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Even in Heaven, Dean and Sam perceive Zachariah in his vessel, the same way he appears on Earth. In an interesting variation, the terrain follows this as well: the Axis Mundi (the road through Heaven) appears as a two-lane blacktop, and the Garden of Eden as the botanical gardens in Cleveland where Dean and Sam once took a field trip as children.
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  • Badass Boast:
    Zachariah: I'm the last person in the whole of creation you want to mess with.
  • Breaking Speech
  • Brick Joke: Pamela telling Sam to watch his ass, which she quite admired on their first meeting.
  • Call to Agriculture: Possibly God, given Joshua's reference to them both being gardeners.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Sam and Dean recovering from death.
  • Continuity Nod
  • Continuity Snarl: Ash comments that he's met Sam and Dean in Heaven on multiple previous occasions. However, the only times Dean has actually died up until now were all in season 3, during which he would go to Hell, not Heaven. Subverted later, though, as it turns out that the Winchesters have died several times in the past and went to Heaven, but their memories had been erased after they were brought back.
  • Death Is Cheap: Lampshaded: "When I come back, I'm gonna be pissed." and "You guys die more than anyone I've ever met."
  • Despair Event Horizon: Poor Castiel.
    • Poor Dean, too. It doesn't quite show for an episode or two, but seeing that the majority of Sam's favorite memories are times when he was away from his family pushes Dean just enough that between that and God's uncaring knowledge, he's ready to say yes to Michael.
  • Dope Slap: Pamela's mild response to Dean getting her killed.
  • Electromagnetic Ghosts: Well, angel in this case; Castiel talks to Dean via a car radio and a television.
  • Everybody Lives: Well, both main characters die, but only temporarily, as they are resurrected by Joshua at the end of the episode. Everyone who was alive at the beginning is alive at the end of the episode, so nobody stays dead, at least.
  • Evil Is Petty: "Lucifer may be strong. But I'm petty. I'm gonna be the angel on your shoulder for the rest of eternity."
  • Feet-First Introduction: Zachariah stalking the Winchesters in his shiny shoes.
  • Fille Fatale: Sam jumps a mile when 11-year-old Stephanie gropes his thigh. In fairness, Sam was much younger when he had this memory. A favorite memory, apparently…
  • Get It Over With: Dean after Sam is shot.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: God knows what's going on, he just doesn't care that Satan is going to destroy the world.
  • Have You Seen My God?
  • Heaven: Heaven is made up of zillions of Happy Places, with the garden of Eden at the center. You're alone in your own personal heaven unless you have a soulmate (or you're Ash). Dean is dissatisfied with this rather lonely arrangement, describing it as "The Matrix".
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Bones.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Zachariah boasts of how angels used to avert their eyes when he walked the halls of Heaven. Now they're all laughing at him because he can't handle "a couple of pathetic, flannel-wearing maggots".
  • I Can Explain: Well, no, Sam. You can't really explain away starting the Apocalypse.
  • Implied Death Threat: "Sooner or later He's going to come back home. And you know how He is with that whole 'wrath' thing."
  • It's Personal: Zachariah is humiliated by his inability to do anything about the Winchesters and so is out for revenge too.
  • Lonely at the Top: Joshua speculates this is the reason why God talks to him at all.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: How Dean regards Heaven.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Unfortunately, Dean recognizes Roy and Walt anyway. This ensures his death as well as Sam's.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: John idealized Mary and his marriage after she died.
  • Nostalgia Heaven: Everyone literally gets their own slice of Heaven which will be whatever they expect/most want it to be, and filled with replays of their most treasured memories. It's very personalized, but also very singular. Once in your little bit of Heaven, you're stuck. You can't go and visit others (unless you're Ash), and only soulmates get to share.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Zachariah pisses off Sam and Dean by putting the moves on Mom.
  • Personalized Afterlife: Everyone gets their own selection of fond memories.
  • Pillow Pistol: Opens with a masked man pointing a shotgun at a sleeping Dean. At least, he appears to be asleep, casually changing position and slipping a hand beneath his pillow…
    Masked Man: Looking for this? [ejects the magazine from Dean's .45, which he's holding in his other hand]
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: Why Dean wants to talk to God.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Subverted with Castiel's quiet, understated version.
    "You son of a bitch. I believed in…"
  • Resurrection Revenge: Two other hunters kill Sam for inadvertently starting the Apocalype, then his brother Dean so he won't be gunning after them the rest of his life. He tells them point blank it won't work (because of their own vital role in the battle between heaven and hell, the Winchesters have a limitless resurrection voucher).
    Dean: Go ahead, do it. But when I get back, and I will get back, I'm gonna be pissed.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The hunters shoot Dean to prevent Dean from doing this after they kill Sam.
  • The Runaway: Sam's best memories are of him leaving or running away from his family. This, of course, upsets Dean, to whom family means everything.
    Dean: This is a good memory for you?
    Sam: [laughing] Yeah. I mean, I was on my own for two weeks. I lived on Funyuns and Mr. Pibb.
    Dean: Wow.
    Sam: What?
    Dean: Well, you don't remember, do you? You ran away on my watch. I looked everywhere for you. I thought you were dead. And when Dad came home…
  • Shout Out: The hunters who kill Sam and Dean are named Roy and Walt. Could also be a playful Take That! at Disney since Supernatural is a Warner Bros. show.
  • Somebody Else's Problem: God's attitude towards the war between Heaven and Hell.
  • Stacy's Mom: Zachariah says the Winchesters' mom is "quite the MILF".
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: "I'd walk these halls and people would AVERT THEIR EYES; I HAD RESPECT!"
  • The Television Talks Back
  • They Killed Kenny Again: The recap opening shows all the ways Sam and Dean have died, with Bobby in the background snarking about it.
    • Lampshaded by Ash who mentions that Sam and Dean have died more than anyone he's ever known.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Troubled, womanizing, anti-heroic Dean used to be a sweet four-year-old who had his PB&J with the crusts cut off and comforted his mom when she was upset. It's rather heartbreaking to watch.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Roy and Walt, who are never seen nor heard from again, despite Dean's promise.
    • Theory: Considering how Zachariah was looking for them in Heaven so that he could bring them back to life, maybe he dealt with Roy and Walt before hand…
    • 7 years later Roy and Walt help Sam, Dean, and the other American hunters take on the British Men of Letters.
  • White Shirt of Death
  • You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: Sam and Dean are trying to evade Zachariah in Heaven, which he finds quite amusing. "You can run, but you can't run."

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