Dark Side of the Moon
5x16 AxisMundi
Production information
Season : 5
Episode : 16
Original airdate : 25 March, 2010
Directed by : Jeff Wollnough
Written by : Andrew Dabb
Daniel Loflin
Preceded by : Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
Followed by : 99 Problems

Dark Side of the Moon is the sixteenth episode of Season 5 of Supernatural.


"Blam. Blam. Blam. Three shots, and angry hunters send Sam and Dean to the undiscovered country. In Heaven, the brothers revisit old memories, old friends and one old enemy - then hit the road for a face-to-face with God."[1]

Full synopsisEdit

Dean wakes up in a motel bed one morning to find himself and Sam held at gunpoint by two hunters, Roy and Walt, who are after Sam to kill him for tripping the Apocalypse. Walt shoots Sam dead as the latter tries to reason with him, then shoots Dean as well rather than have a hunter like Dean Winchester after them. After being shot, Dean wakes up in the Impala by a field at night, and finds himself helping a thirteen-year-old Sam light fireworks in a field as an Independence Day celebration. Dean realises that he's reliving a memory of his from 4 July, 1996. Then, Dean's memory of Walt and Roy killing him and Sam shoot back into his mind, and the young Sam and the fireworks vanish.

When Dean gets back in the Impala, Cass's voice talks to him over the car radio. Cass explains to Dean that the latter is indeed dead and is in Heaven (which, for each soul there, is actually an astral paradise where they relive their happiest memories), and Cass is using a spell to communicate with Dean from on Earth. Cass tells Dean that the Axis Mundi, a pathway through Heaven, will lead Dean to Sam if he follows it, and calculates that for Dean the Axis Mundi manifests in the form of a road, before the connection cuts. Following Cass's instructions, Dean drives down the road the Impala is on, which takes him through Heaven into another memory: this one being Sam's memory of his Thanksgiving dinner with a school friend's family when he was eleven. After Dean snaps Sam out of the memory and explains to him what's going on and where they really are, a giant supernatural searchlight briefly sweeps through the memory, and the boys hide until it has passed. Castiel reestablishes communication through the TV, telling the brothers that the searchlight is actually Zachariah, who is searching for Sam and Dean in Heaven with the intention of resurrecting them so that they'll be alive to serve as Michael and Lucifer's vessels. Though Dean says that that means they can just let Zach find them and send them back to Earth, an irritated Cass retorts that the Winchesters have a rare opportunity here to find out what's going on while they are in Heaven: there is an angel called Joshua, in charge of tending to Heaven's Garden, who it is rumoured speaks to God himself, so if the boys can find Joshua in Heaven, then through him, they can finally get their cry for help across to God.

Sam and Dean set about finding the Axis Mundi to move on towards the Garden. The road outside the house in Sam's memory has vanished, but Dean finds the Axis Mundi in the form of a toy racecar track under the stairs, which takes him and Sam into one of Dean's memories. To the brothers' shock, it is a memory from when Dean was 4, when their mother was still alive and making Dean breakfast, while John had moved out for a few days over an argument with Mary. Sam is surprised at the dysfunction of John and Mary's marriage in the memory because of how John had always described their marriage as perfect, to which Dean sadly explains, "It wasn't perfect until after she died." Sam and Dean move on to the next memory through a Route 66 postcard; it is Sam's memory of when he'd run away to Flagstaff, where he'd spent two weeks free from John living on pizza. Dean is angry that this is a happy memory for Sam, as while Sam had been carefree during this time, Dean had been worried sick and faced serious disappointment from John due to Sam disappearing under his watch. Dean storms outside to move on to the next memory, with a guilty Sam following.

Sam and Dean find themselves on a lonely road at night outside an old shack, and Dean recognises this memory as the night Sam left him and John for Stanford. Dean is appalled that this night is among Sam's happy memories; and Dean is further upset by how all of Sam's happiest memories from his life seem to be times when he ditched and got away from his family, in stark contrast to his and Sam's confident resolve that it was them against the world. Before Sam and Dean can argue further, Zachariah's searchlight returns and spots them. Sam and Dean flee into the woods, as Zachariah manifests in human form and comes after them. Zach calls out to and taunts the fleeing and hiding boys, declaring that while he's here to send the back to life on Earth, he intends to torment and torture and break them first. As Sam and Dean unsuccessfully try to escape Zachariah, who is closing in on them, they're suddenly met by a masked figure, who leads them away through a wooden door to safety from Zach. When the three come out on the other side of the door, they're in the Roadhouse. The figure them unmasks himself, and is revealed to be Ash, who then identifies the Roadhouse setting around him as his own personal Heaven.

Over beers, Sam, Dean and Ash talk about Heaven and what Ash has been up to since his death. Ash explains that Heaven isn't just one astral place of happy memories; it consists of approximately 100 billion closed-off individual personal Heavens, one for each saved soul (although certain people such as "soul mates" can share a personal Heaven with each-other). Normally, the souls in Heaven can't exit their own personal paradises, but Ash has discovered a method of crossing between Heavens, and has been using it to visit various famous deceased figures. Ash reveals that he has also, using string theory, developed a system for monitoring communication between the angels in Heaven, which is how Ash found out that Sam and Dean were Upstairs and in trouble. According to Ash, this isn't the first time that the Winchesters were in Heaven while they were dead, and it happened to them the previous times they'd died, but the angels wiped their memories of it each time when they came back. While Ash has been unable to find Ellen, Jo, Mary or John in Heaven thus far, he is able to bring one of the Winchesters' dead friends in to see them: Pamela. While Ash is busy deciphering a "shortcut" through Heaven to the Garden, Dean and Pamela talk about how Pam is doing in Heaven. Dean feels that the happiness and good memories in Heaven aren't real no matter how realistic it is for them, and that Earth and what happens there to the living is what matters; but Pamela disagrees, as she is relishing her afterlife in Heaven, and feels that the "better place" which they used to think was a lie is indeed real and is up here in Heaven. Pamela brings up Dean's situation with his destiny as Michael's vessel; she suggests that Dean might not have to be resisting it as hard as he is, because while Michael's battle with Lucifer will kill millions of people, those that do die will come up to Heaven, which Pamela thinks isn't so bad. Ash then finishes calculating the way to the Garden, and he and Pamela bid the Winchesters goodbye, before Ash sends Sam and Dean through a door off towards the Garden.

But when Sam and Dean come out on the other side of the door, instead of entering the Garden, they find themselves in a nightmarishly-dark version of their old house, having been intercepted and diverted by Zachariah. An apparition of Mary appears, but unlike the other memory apparitions of people in Heaven (who only repeat their memorised actions and don't respond to anytthing that doesn't fit with the memory), this apparition directly speaks to Dean. Mary goes into very vivid detail about how it felt to be burned aive by Azazel, and she declares that she never loved Dean and was always burdened by the need to take care of him, and suggests that that is why Dean's family always tend to leave him like Sam has in the past. Zachariah then appears, along with two angel goons who seize Sam and Dean, and proceeds to disgust and taunt Sam and Dean by vulgarly fondling Mary and making lewd innuendos about what he's been doing with the Mary apparition. After sending the Mary illusion away, Zachariah unloads onto Sam and Dean how far downhill his reputation in Heaven has gone because of them; over the last few months, Zach's repeated failures to get Sam and Dean to say yes have caused him to go from Heaven's respected and successful "employee of the month" to the butt of his fellow angels' contempt and humiliation; so now, Zachariah is about to make Sam and Dean suffer eternally in revenge, with cruelty that Lucifer's strength would pale in comparison to.

But before the torture can begin in full, a low-ranking angel gardener, confirmed to be Joshua, arrives to intervene. Zachariah says Joshua has no right to say anything to intervene and throws threats at the lower-ranking angel, but Joshua reveals that he has an order from "the Boss" himself to speak with the brothers. Intimidated by the thought of provoking God's wrath, and finding himself terrified by Joshua's prediction that God will be coming back soon, Zachariah and his goons vanish, leaving Sam and Dean with Joshua. Joshua immediately transports himself, Sam and Dean to the Garden, which Sam and Dean perceive as the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. Joshua confirms that he has contact with God, and he reveals that God already knows everything Sam and Dean want to tell him (about Lucifer, the Apocalypse, and the archangels' machinations) and has given his reply: "Back off." Sam and Dean are disgusted and in disbelief that God doesn't consider this his problem and is just going to let events unfold when he could put a stop to all of this. Joshua confirms that God is indeed the one who put Sam and Dean on the plane when Lucifer was freed, and who brought Castiel back after Raphael killed him, and that God is the reason the Winchesters (particularly Sam) have still been given salvation in Heaven after everything they've done; but what God did then was the most intervention there has been from him in a long time, and they won't be receiving any more lending aid from him. Joshua apologises for God's inaction and admits that he's personally rooting for Sam and Dean, and points out to Dean that since God was their last, running-out hope, they now truly have no thoughts on how they can stop the end. Joshua proceeds to send Sam and Dean back to life on Earth, but says that this time, God wants them to keep their memories of Heaven.

Upon coming back to life, Sam and Dean call Cass over by phone to tell him the news they got in Heaven. Devastated and disheartened by God's apathetic response after all the faith Cass had put into getting him to stop Lucifer, Cass curses his Father, then returns Dean's amulet, declaring it "worthless," and turns and teleports away in hopelessness and misery. Sam desperately swears that they will find another way to stop the Apocalypse, but after what they found out about God and about each-other in Heaven, Dean is just as hopeless about the situation as Cass. Dean proceeds to dump his treasured amulet in the motel room's wastebin, then walks out to the Impala without another word to Sam.









  1. Supernatural: The Complete Fifth Season DVD episode guide
Supernatural Season 5
Sympathy for the DevilGood God, Y'All!Free to Be You and MeThe EndFallen IdolsI Believe the Children Are Our FutureThe Curious Case of Dean WinchesterChanging ChannelsThe Real GhostbustersAbandon All Hope...Sam, InterruptedSwap MeatThe Song Remains the SameMy Bloody ValentineDead Men Don't Wear PlaidDark Side of the Moon99 ProblemsPoint of No ReturnHammer of the GodsThe Devil You KnowTwo Minutes to MidnightSwan Song

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