|Original airdate :||13 May, 2010|
|Directed by :||Steve Boyum|
|Written by :||Eric Kripke|
|Preceded by :||Two Minutes to Midnight|
|Followed by :||Exile on Main St.|
Swan Song is the twenty-second episode and season finale of Season 5 of Supernatural. It was also the final episode before Eric Kripke's departure from showrunner, and was intended to be the Supernatural series finale before the show was renewed for Season 6.
In the prologue for the manuscript of his final Supernatural book (entitled Swan Song), Chuck is writing about the Impala's history; from its origins coming off the same car manufacturing line as the 100 millionth GM vehicle, to how it was first owned by Sal Moriarty (a man with multiple health problems but very religious), then came to Lawrence, Kansas to be bought by a young John Winchester. At Bobby's scrapyard, Sam and Dean share a beer at the Impala, and Dean declares that despite his intense reluctance, he is in on Sam's plan to take Lucifer in and then send himself with Lucifer into Hell. Dean sadly explains that he's backing Sam in it because while looking after Sam has defined Dean practically all his life, he must now accept that Sam is not a kid anymore, and he will back Sam up if this is really what he wants; Sam feels that as he is the one who let Lucifer out, he has a duty and penance to lock Lucifer away again.
Later, Sam, Dean and Castiel bleed two captured demons for gallons of demon blood to help Sam sustain possession by Lucifer, and load the blood up in the Impala. Dean and Bobby then discuss several natural disasters suspected to be Apocalypse omens in hopes that one of them will lead them to Lucifer. One of them is a concentrated temperature drop in Detroit, and Dean - remembering Lucifer's prediction that Sam would always say yes to him in Detroit - realises that Detroit is where they'll find the Devil. The team subsequently hit the road the following night to reach Detroit, and it is an uncomfortable drive for Sam and Dean in the Impala, with Dean being especially uncomfortable since Detroit is where Lucifer always said he'd take his true vessel. Sam asks Dean to promise that if his plan succeeds, then Dean doesn't try to bring Sam back; Dean is very reluctant because of how terrible the cage will be for Sam compared to Dean's Hell, but Sam demands that Dean follow through with leaving Sam in the cage, and that Dean seek Lisa out and go live a normal, hunting-free life with her and Ben.
After the team arrive in Detroit and locate the demon-guarded building that is no doubt where Lucifer is, they set about beginning Sam's plan to stop Lucifer and sacrifice himself. Sam says farewell with Bobby and Castiel (in a tearful moment with Bobby and an awkward one with Cass), then asks Dean to look away while Sam starts intoxicating his special child powers on the demon blood gallons. After Sam has imbibed all the demon blood, Dean and an aggressively adrenalized Sam march up to the building and allow the demon guards to capture them. The demons bring the brothers in and take them to a waiting Lucifer.
Chuck is then seen to be continuing his narration of the Impala, explaining its value to Dean and symbolism to the brothers; according to Chuck, it has a miniature army figure jammed in the ashtray and Lego blocks down the vents from when Sam and Dean were children. Back at Detroit, Lucifer wants to know why the brothers are here, and Sam reveals he is ready to say yes and uses his demon blood-fuelled powers to destroy Lucifer's demons. Sam tries to cover up to Lucifer that they've given in to their destiny in the Apocalypse, but Lucifer reveals that he is in fact aware of the Four Horsemen's rings and how the brothers intend to use them to reimprison Lucifer in his cage. However, Lucifer is still calm and confident, and makes a wager with Sam - he and Sam will have a mind match inside Sam for control; if Sam wins, he can send them into the cage, but if Lucifer wins, he will begin the apocalyptic battle. Sam decides it doesn't change anything and that they have no other option, and so he says "Yes" to Lucifer; allowing Lucifer to leave his current vessel and enter Sam as his true vessel in a burst of angelic light. While Sam/Lucifer is briefly unconscious, Dean gets out the horsemen's rings and uses them to open the portal into Lucifer's cage. Sam then awakens, and though it appears that he is just about retaining control, it is then revealed that Lucifer has won control and taken full possession of Sam as his true vessel. Lucifer then closes the cage, takes the rings and teleports away; leaving Dean alone and distraught as it seems that his brother is gone and Lucifer has won.
Lucifer subsequently heads to a hidden base in an abandoned theatre, revelling in his new, true vessel. Lucifer allows Sam's suppressed mind to speak up to him, and Sam and Lucifer subsequently communicate through a nearby mirror. Sam is angry and vows to beat Lucifer, but Lucifer is unconvinced; Lucifer also tries to sympathise with Sam on how alike they are (both felt they didn't belong to their respective families), and believes that Sam was always running to Lucifer whenever Sam ran away from Dean and John. Sam tries to deny it, but is getting noticeably less and less convinced by himself. Lucifer tries to bring Sam over to his ways by offering Sam some revenge; Lucifer then reveals the demons behind him, whom Sam recognise as several dates and teachers from throughout his life, revealing just how greatly Azazel's demons have manipulated and influenced Sam's life. Lucifer then plays on Sam's rage and anger over having his life and choices controlled, and Lucifer offers that the two of them use Sam's body to vent against the demons as revenge for manipulating Sam's life; Sam doesn't reject it.
Elsewhere, as TV news reports flood in from all over the Earth of countless earthquakes and disasters rocking the entire world (no doubt as the final phase of the Apocalypse begins now that Michael and Lucifer both have their required vessels for the battle), Dean is desperately hopeful that there must still be something they can do to stop the end. However, Castiel is without any remaining hope that the team can still stop Michael and Lucifer from battling and ending the world, and Bobby is likewise unable to give Dean any hope or support. Back in the theatre, in the aftermath of the slaughter of the demons from Sam's past, a bloody Lucifer asks a shocked Sam, "So, are we having fun yet?" and Sam can only shamefully look away in the mirror.
Back at Chuck's monologue of the Impala, he is explaining how Sam and Dean use it to drive anywhere and wherever they wanted, and how important it is in this respect to the brothers' story. Dean then calls Chuck from Detroit - resulting in an awkward moment when Chuck mistakes the caller for an apparent hooker he's hired after breaking up with Becky. Chuck has apparently already seen Sam saying yes to Lucifer, and Dean asks Chuck for the location of the Chosen Fields where Michael and Lucifer will battle. Chuck confirms he's managed to see it despite the angels' efforts to keep it quiet, and gives the location as Stull Cemetery outside Lawrence. However, this is all Chuck can give Dean, as he doesn't know another way of derailing the Apocalypse and he hasn't yet seen whether or not the battle is still avertible. As Dean packs up to reach Stull Cemetery, planning to talk to Sam and get him to take control back from Lucifer, Bobby and Castiel are still hopeless and unconvinced they can stop the battle and the end of the world, but Dean declares to the two that either way he won't let Sam die alone.
The next day, Lucifer is waiting in Stull Cemetery, when Michael (possessing Adam) arrives. As the two archangel brothers ready themselves to fight, they have a bittersweet reunion and sadly reminisce on how they have come to this. Lucifer then suggests that as the Creator, God is to blame for Lucifer taking the path he has and becoming the Devil, and he tries to convince Michael that they should just walk away from God's plans as brothers. Michael refuses to rebel and become like Lucifer, and blames Lucifer for the loss of their father and happiness as family, while Lucifer still insists that this is all God's doing. The two brothers then sadly declare one of them has to end the other once and for all, and Michael and Lucifer slowly circle and tense, ready to begin their battle and end the world. However, just then, Dean interrupts the battle before it can begin, driving into Stull Cemetery in the Impala and cutting in on Michael and Lucifer.
Dean wants to talk to Sam, whose mind is trapped by Lucifer. Michael is angered by Dean's insubordinate persistence, but before he can get rid of Dean, Castiel arrives with Bobby and molotovs Michael with holy fire; temporarily sending Michael away so he can't stop Dean helping Sam overpower Lucifer. Enraged at Cass for striking against Michael, Lucifer coldly obliterates Castiel. Lucifer then turns on Dean, having by this point lost his patience with him. Bobby intervenes, prompting Lucifer to telekinetically kill Bobby. Lucifer then begins physically hitting and attacking Dean as the latter tries to get through to Sam, Lucifer vowing to make Sam feel every blow. Dean doesn't resist as Lucifer brutally beats the former to a pulp, refusing to leave Sam. Lucifer is then about to land the killing blow, when he catches sight of Sam's old army figure in the Impala's ashtray, stopping him. The sight of the army figure triggers Sam's happy memories of him and Dean and the good and bad times the brothers had and went through together; Sam's memories overwhelm Lucifer, and Sam takes over control of his body and the Devil and traps Lucifer inside himself. As a severely beaten and weak Dean watches, Sam takes the Four Horsemen's rings out and uses them to open the portal into Lucifer's cage. Michael then reappears and wants Sam to step back so Michael can fight Lucifer and fulfil his destiny. However, Sam ignores Michael and, as Dean watches on, Sam throws himself into the portal and down into Lucifer's cage at the bottom of Hell; dragging Michael in with him when the latter tries to stop Sam. The portal then closes behind Sam, Michael and Lucifer - leaving them to remain locked away in the cage, the end of the world successfully derailed - as Dean lies weak and beaten and breaks down over the loss of his brother.
In the aftermath of Sam's sacrifice and the end of the Apocalypse, as Dean mourns for his brother, Castiel reappears alive beside him. Cass has apparently been resurrected by God yet again, this time upgraded so his angelic powers are restored and he can now function with them independently of Heaven. Cass then proceeds to heal Dean's injuries from Lucifer and to resurrect Bobby. At Chuck's home, now that he's on the end of his last Supernatural book, Chuck contemplates on what endings are and how no story can truly end with all loose ends tied up. As Dean drives off to his new, normal life with Lisa, he and Castiel talk and Cass plans to return to Heaven to take over now that the archangels' reign is over with Michael's imprisonment in the cage. Dean is angry over losing Sam and doesn't believe like Cass does that God helped them. However, Castiel shows Dean that he got what he asked for - no eternal Paradise like the angels wanted, no Hell on Earth like the demons wanted; just more of the same. Castiel then asks which he would choose between peace and freedom, then teleports away.
Dean leaves and parts ways with Bobby, and while Bobby continues hunting, Dean leaves hunting behind to fulfil his last promise to Sam - that he wouldn't bring Sam back, and would live a normal, happy life free of hunting. Dean goes to Lisa, asking to take her out on a beer, and Lisa embraces and comforts Dean as the latter weeps. Chuck then ends his Supernatural finale manuscript, and concludes that what it all adds up to was that this was all a test for Sam and Dean in all their fights against destiny and good and evil alike; they ultimately chose family and each-other over fate and destiny. With the Winchesters' story complete and having come full circle, Chuck concludes that as hard as endings are, nothing ever truly ends. Chuck then vanishes into thin air. At the Braeden house, Lisa makes dinner at the table among herself, Dean and Ben; and Dean settles into the dinner with Ben and Lisa, and with it, a normal life free of hunting, monsters and his brother. Outside, Sam is mysteriously seen out in the street, watching as Dean settles into his new normal life with the Braedens.
- Jared Padalacki as Sam Winchester/Lucifer
- Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester
- Misha Collins as Castiel
- Jim Beaver as Bobby Singer
- Jake Abel as Adam Milligan/Michael
- Rob Benedict as Chuck Shurley
- Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer
- Cindy Sampson as Lisa Braeden
- Anthony Harrison as Sal Moriarty
- Nathan Smith as Young Sam Winchester
- Nicolai Guistra as Young Dean Winchester
- Chuck Shurley
- Sal Moriarty
- Sam Winchester
- Dean Winchester
- Bobby Singer
- Azazel's gang
- Adam Milligan
- Lisa Braeden
- Ben Braeden
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Detroit, Michigan
- Lucifer's cage
- Lawrence, Kansas
- Swan Song was originally intended to be the series finale of Supernatural, true to Eric Kripke's original intention for the show to run for five seasons (hence the episode's title), but Supernatural was afterwards renewed for a sixth season due to high ratings.
- Stull Cemetery, the Chosen Fields where Michael and Lucifer were destined to battle each-other and end the world, is a real life location which is said by urban myths and folklore to be a gateway to Hell from which the Devil or another demon emerges at night. These legends about Stull Cemetery have also been said to be part of Eric Kripke's original inspiration for Supernatural.
- ↑ Supernatural: The Complete Fifth Season DVD episode guide