Tonight marks the finale of Supernatural‘s usually great, sometimes only good fifth season. Though it’s been more inconsistent than the flat-out greatness that was season four, the series has handled the apocalypse pretty well on a CW budget and episode order.
To celebrate and prime us all for what should be a wonderful finale, I thought I’d discuss the high points of the season thus far.
Lucifer visits Sam and informs him that HE is the true vessel (“Free to Be You and Me”): Lucifer hasn’t been involved in the story enough this season, but his first appearance to Sam is still his watermark moment. This conversation lays out the best kind of Lucifer, one that claims not to manipulate, but only tell the truth until the person breaks down and does exactly what he wants. Mark Pellegrino and Jared Padalecki nail the calm and overwhelming concern, respectively.
Dean gets transported to the near future where Sam is Lucifer’s vessel, the Croatoan virus has wiped out the population and Castiel is a powerless sex guru/hippie (“The End”): Though I’m full of the angel-powered trips to the past and future, I can’t help but to note the excellent use of it in “The End,” which allowed us to see all those things mentioned above and gave us an indication of what the hell the Winchesters were up against.
Sam and Dean are trapped in various television genres by the Trickster, who is then outed as archangel Gabriel (“Changing Channels”): This season didn’t dive as headfirst into the comedy, intertextuality and self awareness that season four did, but “Changing Channels” combined all those things into one hell of an episode. The episode’s special theme song should be enough to make you believe me. And then to top it all off with a nice reveal about the Trickster, man, that’s just good storytelling.
Archangel Joshua informs Sam and Dean that God does not want to help them in the battle against Lucifer (“Dark Side of the Moon”): The Winchester’s trip through heaven was heartfelt without being cheesy or boring, but it’s this episode’s final moment that left a lasting impact on the series’ mythology. Fans all suspected that Sam and Dean would eventually be bailed out by God somehow, but instead, he’s just another deadbeat father that doesn’t want anything to do with them. Though that kind of dialogue was on-the-nose, the reveal took the air out of the room and put the season’s endgame up in the air.
Dean and Death’s showdown (“Two Minutes To Midnight”): It might have been just last week, but the intense conversation between Dean and Death was the most thrilling moment of the season and there was absolutely no action or violence taking place. Of all the inverted interpretations of angelic and demonic characters, Supernatural‘s portrayal of Death might just be the very best one of them all.
Notable others: Dean killing Zachariah in “Point of No Return,” the pagan gods’ appearance in “Hammer of the Gods”