The Song Remains the Same
Production information
Season : 5
Episode : 13
Original airdate : 4 February, 2010
Directed by : Steve Boyum
Written by : Nancy Weiner
Sera Gamble
Preceded by : Swap Meat
Followed by : My Bloody Valentine

The Song Remains the Same is the thirteenth episode of Season 5 of Supernatural.


"To stop the Apocalypse, the angels must stop Sam. So Anna travels back to 1978 to kill Sam's parents before he is conceived. Sam, Dean and Castiel follow her into the past, where the brothers battle angels side by side with the young John and Mary."[1]

Full synopsisEdit

Dean is contacted by Anna in a dream, where she tells him that she's been imprisoned and tortured in Heaven after Castiel turned her in, (When the Levee Breaks) but has briefly escaped. Anna can't find Dean and Sam because of the angel-warding Cass branded their ribs with, so she asks Dean to quickly come and meet her. However, Cass shows up at the warehouse where Anna's waiting instead, since he had Sam and Dean stay away from Anna out of distrust towards her. Cass's suspicions are confirmed when Anna admits that while she wasn't reconditioned and released by Heaven, she in fact intends to kill Sam. Anna explains that since Sam is vital as Lucifer's true vessel, killing him and then scattering his cells to a point where he could never be resurrected would short-circuit the entire Apocalypse. Though Cass admits that the team's search for a better way of stopping Lucifer keeps failing, he still refuses to let Anna go through with her plan since Sam is his friend, and warns Anna to stay away from Sam.

Though Anna seemingly backs off at Cass's warning, after returning to Sam and Dean, Cass knows that Anna won't stop and will likely keep trying to kill Sam again, so he sets about tracking her with the intention of killing her before she can strike. But to Cass's surprise, his tracking spell reveals that Anna has time travelled back to Lawrence, Kansas, 1978; Cass realizes that Anna must calculate that if she can't kill Sam in the present, then she'll stop him and Dean from ever being born by killing John and Mary in the past. Though Cass wants to go back after Anna alone, Dean demands that Cass bring him and Sam along as well, since it's their parents and since Dean hopes they might actually be able to change things in the past and set things right. Cass reluctantly agrees; but before transporting the brothers, he warns them that time travel was difficult enough even when he had access to Heaven, (In the Beginning) so now that he's fallen, bending time will weaken him severely.

Sam, Dean and Cass arrive in a street in 1978 Lawrence, with Cass cripplingly weak, hemorrhaging and unconscious from the time travel, but alive. The Winchesters manage to get Cass checked into a local motel until he can recover, then set about tracking their parents' home in 1978 down before Anna does, although they're hopeful that they'll have a head-start against Anna since the time travel should have weakened her as well. Sam quickly tracks John and Mary Winchester down to 485 Robin Tree, and Sam and Dean pop in to visit Mary. Dean is able to pass himself and Sam (who is quickly shell-shocked to meet his mother for the first time and to see his dead father again) off to John as Mary's cousins, but Mary is furious to see the same man who was present when her parents died turn up on her doorstep. Once Mary is alone with Sam and Dean while John is in the kitchen (on the phone with a garage owner he's seeking work from), she immediately demands that Dean and Sam get out and leave her alone since she isn't hunting anymore, but Sam and Dean warn her about how she's in danger and what from, without revealing too much or who they really are. Though Mary is surprised and skeptical that angels exist and would want her dead, when she sees that Dean is being serious, they set about getting John and finding somewhere to hide. But when they go to get John, they find he's left for a last-minute interview with his employer - who, unbeknownst to him, was actually Anna, having killed John's employer and using his voice over the phone, luring John into a trap.

At the garage, John finds the owner's corpse, before Anna suddenly attacks him; throwing him around the room with super-strength and easily recovering from John bludgeoning her in self-defence, but being deterred by the time travel's weakening effect. Sam, Dean and Mary arrive to fight Anna off, and Anna is distracted with fighting and going after Mary long enough for Sam to draw an angel-banishing sigil and get rid of her. The Winchesters flee in the Impala for an old Campbell cabin, which is a very awkward ride for the family as John is shocked and furious to learn that monsters are real and Mary was raised with hunting them. Once they reach the cabin, Sam and Dean teach John and Mary in how to use banishing sigils and holy oil against angels, and the brothers have their reminiscent moments with their father - Dean is reminded of the hunter his dad will be by how quickly John is adapting and taking all this in; and Sam talks with John about how and why his father raised him in hunting, and says that he now understands why his father had to do it and forgives him, subtly and indirectly making peace with John. Meanwhile, as the Winchesters prepare the cabin against Anna's attack, Anna summons Uriel in 1978 for assistance, and gets him to help her in killing the Winchesters without question by telling him that they'll kill him in the future.

Back in the cabin, Mary demands that Dean tell her why Anna wants her dead, as he said he would when they had time. Dean at first unsuccessfully tries to brush it off and get Mary to keep trusting him, but when Mary is about to leave, Dean comes out with the truth about how he and Sam are Mary's future sons. Mary is shocked and overwhelmed at this and doesn't want to believe it, but is forced to see that it's true when Dean recounts how she would sing him Hey, Jude as a lullaby and would make him tomato rice soup in his childhood. Dean tells Mary about her death by Azazel, and instructs her to avoid her death by staying out of Sam's nursery that fateful night on 2 November, 1983, but Sam comes in and recognizes that that won't be enough to stop Azazel killing her and finding him. Sam suggests that Mary will have to go as far as leaving John so that Sam and Dean will never be born, and thus Lucifer and Michael's vessels will never exist and the Apocalypse will never be able to happen. Dean agrees with Sam's plan, but Mary tells them she can't leave John; not won't but can't, as it's too late - she's already pregnant with Dean.

Moments later, Anna and Uriel arrive, erasing the Winchesters' banishing sigils and removing the holy oil, and launch their attack. Dean takes on Uriel, who quickly beats him and has him pinned, while Anna attacks the boys' parents. Anna swats John out through a window into the fields outside, leaving him injured and down for the count, and defeats Sam by stabbing him with a pipe from the wall, then turns her attention to killing Mary. But just before Anna can succeed, Michael arrives and possesses John (getting the latter to say yes to him by telling him that he can save his wife if he lets him in). Michael destroys and disintegrates Anna with a touch, while Uriel immediately stops upon realizing who the Winchesters are to Heaven. Michael then sends Uriel away and knocks Mary out, so that he can have a chat with Dean before he fixes Sam.

When Dean brings up how it is that Michael has possessed John, Michael explains that while Dean is his true vessel, anyone with his father's blood (which apparently stretches back to Cain and Abel) is capable of serving as a vessel for him. Dean knows that this conversation is about his destiny as Michael's true vessel, and he tells Michael that he still won't say yes and that he knows (from his own experience with John) that Michael's motive behind his crusade against Lucifer to prove to God that he's a good son is "a dead-end street." Michael disagrees, and tells Dean that ever since God began everything, this is and would always be how it would all end. Michael also shows how much more alike he and Dean are than Dean would want to admit; Michael bittersweetly recounts how he himself raised and took care of Lucifer just as Dean protected and took care of Sam, and Michael declares that he still loves Lucifer but will nevertheless kill him when the time is come. Dean declares he thinks he doesn't have to do what God says because he believes he can decide what he does with his life, but Michael believes otherwise - Michael points out how random and chaotic free will and existence would be, and questions how it is that all of Dean's own free choices just keep bringing him closer to his destiny if free will is real at all. Michael declares free will is an illusion and Dean will say yes eventually, then Michael says he'll wipe John and Mary's memories of him, Sam, Dean and Anna so that history will play out as normal. Dean is upset since it'll mean Mary will walk to her death in Sam's nursery, but Michael counters that that was always going to happen no matter what Dean changed. Michael then heals Sam and sends him and Dean back to their time, sympathetically saying that he and Dean will see each-other again soon.

After Sam and Dean are sent back to 2010, a half-comatose Cass makes the jump back to their time before collapsing from the effort of time-travelling twice. In response to Michael's claim that their destinies are inevitable, Dean sets up Team Free Will, consisting of himself, Sam and Castiel, with the intention of stopping the Apocalypse and proving Michael wrong. Sam is grim about their chances of derailing their destinies, noting how all their foes are confident they'll say yes, and pointing out how Michael got John to say yes and asking Dean what he would have said if it could have saved their mother. Dean doesn't answer. Back in 1978, a few months after Sam and Dean left and Michael scrubbed their memories, John and a heavily-pregnant Mary are pondering about a decoration Mary got at a garage sale for their unborn child's crib - it's an angel figurine. After John leaves, Mary soothes the unborn Dean in her belly, assuring him, "angels are watching over you."









  • This episode contains several references to the Terminator films due to the scenario within it, as noted by Dean, being similar to that of The Terminator. One of the most notable is the shot which shows Anna has killed John's boss, and is using his voice to pose to John over the phone as him and to find John.


  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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