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Supernatural 5.22: Swan Song

I've been reading peoples' reactions on LJ and as expected they're a mix of loved-it and meh. I've been concentrating more on the loved-it reviews because I'm trying to extract something to help me overcome the unhappy residue I was left with last night. I didn't dislike everything about it; I really liked that the Impala finally got her chance to shine. And that she didn't get totalled - from Chuck's intro I was afraid that she was going to be destroyed by the end of the episode. The interactions between Bobby and Sam ("Yes Sir") and Castiel and Sam were of the awesome. Thank goodness for Castiel's ability to bring the comic relief in the midst of the darkness. Dean and Sam interacting on a level playing field, like grownups, was a long time coming and wonderful to see.

I would have liked to see an extra minute or so of Dean and Sam time. Maybe a hug before sending Sam off to his almost certain doom. And the amulet... where was the amulet? Kripke couldn't have thrown us a bone and shown Sam giving it back to Dean?

But the ending. While I am beyond happy that Bobby and Castiel are not dead it seems a cheat that no deaths had any actual consequences. And I am very happy that Dean won't be alone (although it hurts that he's planning to isolate himself from Bobby) since we know he doesn't cope well with that, and that he'll have a source of comfort, I'm still unsure about the Lisa storyline. I'm still of the belief that she's an ideal rather than an actual person (one bendy weekend 9 years ago, after all) so I don't see that as a solid basis for building a family. Not if she's smart. (And she's just been sitting there waiting for him?) But unless Dean's going to spend season 6 hunting while being in a relationship I don't think we'll have Lisa to cope with for long.

But it's the Sam situation that distresses me the most. Because as it turns out we learned that Sam has been headed towards this all his life, from the time he was born from a union formed by a Cupid at the order of heaven. Then apparently Lucifer was directing his life, as he had demons surrounding him (a teacher, his prom date) and Azazel was doing the same (Brady at Stanford). (Which is a question – was Azazel working for Lucifer? Or were they working on conflicting paths?) So the various forces of Hell were directing Sam’s life even before Ruby showed up and began manipulating him.

And when it wasn’t Hell/Azazel/Lucifer/Ruby manipulating Sam to behave in a certain way, John and/or Dean was constantly repeating the Winchester manifesto and insisting that he had to stay with the family, he had to hunt supernatural beasties, regardless of whatever else he might want to do with his life.

No wonder Sam spent his entire life being angry and trying to escape. He was being shoved into that box marked “Destiny” his entire life, even before Zachariah showed up to explain it all.

And the climax to his his story arc? He submits to his destiny. He says yes to Lucifer and jumps into Hell. So yes, I know he did it to save mankind. I’m not arguing that part of it. I know it makes him a Big Damn Hero. But I hate that it also means that after a lifetime of struggling against everyone and everything that tried to force him to do something he ended up doing that anyway. And that it’s supposed to be some sort of triumph.