Dark Side Of The Moon is the 16th episode of Season 5. It aired on April 1st, 2010.
|There was something about being there... It felt pure.|
This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.
DO NOT CHANGE!
Ambushed by angry hunters, Sam and Dean are shot and killed and sent to Heaven. Castiel warns Dean that Zachariah (guest star Kurt Fuller) is looking for them in Heaven so they need to lay low while searching for an angel named Joshua (guest star Roger Aaron Brown) who can help them since he talks directly to God. While searching for Joshua, the brothers run into some old friends and family members.
In their motel room, Sam and Dean awaken to find themselves at the gunpoints of two ski-masked men. Dean recognizes them as the hunters Roy and Walt, both of whom are out for Sam's blood for starting the Apocalypse. Before Sam can explain himself, Walt shoots him. Roy is hesitant to shoot Dean, believing that it was right to kill Sam but Dean is innocent. Walt points out that he's made them and they've just killed his brother, therefore they do not want Dean Winchester alive to hunt them down. Dean fearlessly tells them to shoot him, but warns them, "When I come back, I'ma be pissed." Roy hesitates, so Walt shoots him dead.
Dean awakens again, this time alone in the Impala, confused and disoriented. He gets out and young Sammy runs up bearing a boxful of fireworks. He's headed toward a field and tells him to come on. Dean thinks he's having a weird dream and follows along. When Sam excitedly tells him to fire 'em up, Dean finds a long-lost lighter in his pocket and sets them off. With the first flourish, Dean remembers that it's Fourth of July, 1996. Sammy is thrilled and gives Dean a hug, thanking him for the fireworks in spite of what their dad would allow.
The pleasant experience suddenly ends when Dean has a flashback of him and Sam being shot. When he returns to his car, Castiel manages to contact him over the radio. At first he is annoyed that Cass is poking around in his dreams, but Castiel informs him that he and his brother were killed (offhandedly offering his condolences) and are now in Heaven. He tells Dean to follow the Axis Mundi to locate Sam.
Sam is having Thanksgiving dinner with the family of his schoolmate, Stephanie, who's letting her fingers do the walking on Sam's lap under the table. When Dean appears, Sam thinks he's crashing his dream. Dean informs him they are in fact dead, and Sam finds it hard to believe they've ended up in Heaven considering some of the things they've done, speaking for himself particularly. They come to the conclusion that Heaven is the perpetual reliving of pleasant experiences and memories from life.
Dean starts to give Sam a hard time for regarding "playing footsie with brace-face" as a banner moment, but Sam points that he was 11 years old and it was his first real Thanksgiving. Dean contends they had Thanksgiving every year, but Sam says all they had was "a bucket of extra-crispy" and their dad passed out on the couch. A sudden rumbling accompanied by a searchlight takes the brothers by surprise and they hide. Once it is gone, Dean quickly explains how Castiel contacted him before and manages to find him again, this time over a television set.
Castiel tells them the rumbling light is Zachariah and to avoid him at all costs. He intends to send them back to Earth, because they can't say 'yes' to Michael and Lucifer if they're dead. Although Sam and Dean do not see that as a bad thing, Castiel (who still can't return to Heaven) explains that since they are behind The Wall, they have the perfect opportunity to find out where God can be found. He tells them about the angel Joshua and how rumors say that God often contacts and speaks with him. He sends the boys on a mission to find Joshua in The Garden and learn whatever they can about God's whereabouts.
Castiel's instructions are for them to follow the Axis Mundi, which for them specifically manifests as "2-lane asphalt." When they walk out of the house, they find there's only forest where the road was before. They go back inside and when Dean inspects a closet for a lead, he recognizes a toy car and racetrack from his childhood.
When he places the car on the track, they suddenly find themselves in a child's bedroom. After Dean realizes it's his own room at home in Lawrence, their mother peeks in and asks Dean if he's hungry. They are both too stunned to speak.
As Sam watches offside, Mary serves Dean lunch, taking care to cut the crusts off his PB&J for him. Sam calls out to her, but she doesn't hear him; Dean says it must be because it's not his memory.
Sam suggests they get back on the road, but Dean asks that he let him have just a minute. When Mary answers a phone call from John and argues with him, Dean remembers it to be the time his dad moved out for a few days because his parents were fighting. Sam recalls John always saying he and Mary had the perfect marriage; Dean says it wasn't "perfect" until after she died.
When Mary hangs up distraught, Dean goes to comfort her, telling her that John still loves her and so does he, and that he will never leave her. She smiles and tells him he's her little angel and turns to get him some pie. He then rejoins Sam, who comments sadly that he never realized how long Dean's been cleaning up their dad's messes. Dean tries to brush off his observation and returns to the task at hand.
As they search for ways back to the road, Sam recognizes a postcard from Route 66 in a drawer and they find themselves standing in a trailer. A golden retriever runs in and greets Sam, he's thrilled to see him and tells Dean that Bones was his dog. Dean is confused until he realizes they're in Flagstaff, and then can't believe it's one of Sam's good memories. Sam explains that he was on his own for two weeks, living off Funyuns and Mr. Pibb. Dean remembers it as when Sam ran away on his watch and that he looked everywhere for him, and thought he was dead. He shudders when recalling what happened when John returned. Sam recognizes Dean's distress and apologetically says that he never thought of it that way. Dean wants to forget it and keep moving.
They step out into the night and onto the road. When they look back, the trailer is gone and they are outside a house that Dean doesn't at first recognize, but Sam obviously does and urges that they press forward. Despite his effort, Dean realizes they are in Sam's memory of the night he "ditched [Dean and John] for Stanford". He comes undone and tells Sam that night was one of the worst nights of his life. Sam tries to explain that the reason he held it as a good memory was because he finally got out from under their father's tyrannical heel.
Their dad wasn't the only one he got away from, Dean mutters. Sam says he's sorry, but he can't control how his memories play out. Dean tries to process the fact that all of Sam's treasured memories are centered around being away from his family. Sam uses the fact that their mom never cut the crusts off his PB&J as an example of why he just doesn't think of family the same way Dean does. Dean underscores that he is his family—he thought they were a team and it was supposed to be the two of them against the world. Sam says of course it is, but Dean seems to be no longer sure.
Their argument is cut short when the searchlight suddenly beams down directly on them. They make a run for the woods near the house as Zachariah strolls leisurely after them. As they take cover behind a log, Zachariah turns night to day tells them that they can't run or hide from angels in Heaven.
Besides, he just wants to send them back to Earth, that's all. That is, he adds, after he inflicts some quality torture that will leave them begging to say "yes". Just when it seems Zachariah has them, a man in a luchador mask appears and tells them to follow him. He runs to a small shed in the woods, scrawls some Enochian symbols on the door and leads them inside.
The inside of the shed is revealed to be The Roadhouse, complete with its familiar smell, the heaven of none other than Ash. Over some beers, Ash explains Heaven to Sam and Dean. Firstly, he says they have to stop thinking of Heaven as one place, because it's actually more like 100 billion places (so the angels won't be able to find them for a while). They are currently in "Ashland," but he rescued them from "Winchesterland," and those are only two among the billions of "everybody-else-lands," all crammed together.
He likens it to Disneyland, "without all the Anti-Semitism," and at the center of it all is the Magic Kingdom: The Garden. Everyone gets their own slice of paradise, except for special cases, who can share. When Dean asks what "special" means, Ash replies "Oh, y'know, like, soul-mates." He looks at Sam and Dean ponderously for a moment, just long enough for them to recall their last argument as they avoid eye contact with each other. He then goes on explaining that normally, each person is bound to their respective Heaven. But, being a master genius, he's found a way to visit other Heavens, including those of the author of the Kama Sutra ("That boy's heaven? Sweaty... confusin'."), Albert Einstein (he mixes a mean White Russian), Johnny Cash, and André the Giant. When Sam asks how he found them, he reveals his very own "holy-rollin' police scanner," a tricked-out laptop repurposed to receive angel radio. Since he's become fluent in Enochian, he heard the Winchesters had arrived and of course had to come and find them - again. The boys are surprised to learn they've been there before, so Ash concludes the angels must have "windexed their brains" each time they were revived. He also confirms that the two of them have died more than anyone else he knows. This leads them to ask if he's found Ellen or Jo. The news of their deaths leaves him shaken, but the boys assure him that they went out fighting.
After telling them he's been on the lookout for their parents but hasn't found them yet, he says he did find someone else who wants to see them: Pamela Barnes.
Dean and Pamela migrate to a table for two while Sam sits at the bar with Ash, observing as he devises a direct route to The Garden. When Pam gives Dean a half-powered smack upside the head for getting her killed, Dean says he probably deserves worse and mentions that they got Ash killed, too, if that makes her feel any better. Ash hears him and chimes in that he's cool with it. Pamela says she's cool as well; she did go to a better place, just like he told her she would as she was dying. Dean confesses he was lying, but she maintains he was right—for her, it's like one long, amazing show at the Meadowlands.
She asks him to seriously consider if saying "yes" to Michael would be as bad as it seems, because while, yes, lots of people would die in the crossfire, the majority of them would come to Heaven. Dean says he'd have a problem spending eternity in a private, "Memorex" universe, knowing the angels are running the real show. To him, that's lonely and seems more like being caught in 'The Matrix' than achieving nirvana. Pam points out that it's better than ending up in "the basement."
Another awesome thing Ace has discovered in heaven is a practical application for string theory, which he's uses to come up with a short-cut to The Garden. He draws an Enochian formula on the exit door that will work as an "all-access pass to the Magic Kingdom" for the Winchesters, but warns them Zachariah will have every road to The Garden under close watch. After Pamela gives Sam a hug and lays a pre-planned farewell kiss on Dean, they prepare to leave. Ace says he has a feeling he'll be seeing them again soon; Dean tells him to keep a 6-pack on ice for them.
As they walk through the doorway they are confused to find they are back in their childhood home, at nighttime. Mary appears and asks Dean if he was awakened by a nightmare. Dean apologetically tells her he loves her, but that she's not real and he really has to go now. When he turns to leave, her demeanor turns dark and she starts to taunt him, saying he was a burden that she never loved. When he turns back to look at her, her eyes turn yellow and the atmosphere of the room becomes harsh.
She goes on to describe disturbing details about her death, silver lining of which was she was finally away from him. She tells Dean to ask himself why everyone leaves him: his mom, his dad, and even Sam. While she laughs at his distress, Zachariah appears. When the boys realize the whole episode was his doing, they move to strike but are seized from behind by his henchmen. In a vulgar display, he kisses "Mary's" neck and makes lewd, sexual innuendos about their time together while he watches the boys writhe.
He finally ends the illusion, but tells them he's just getting started on them. He starts punching Dean while his henchmen restrain him, unloading his frustration over the humiliation he's experiencing because he "can't close a deal on a couple of pathetic, flannel-wearing maggots." He informs them bitterly that whether they say 'yes' or not, it's become personal and he is a fouler enemy to have than Lucifer—because while Lucifer is strong, he is petty.
As Zachariah's planned torture of them is about to begin in full, an angel appears behind them and says he needs to speak with the Winchesters. Zachariah tries to pull rank, but the angel informs him that the orders came from "the Boss." When Zachariah accuses him of lying, the angel says he can fire him if he wants to, but reminds him that when he eventually comes back home, Zachariah will find himself subject to "that whole wrath thing." Zachariah and his cohorts disappear.
Dean and Sam are transported to The Garden with the angel, whom they correctly deduce to be Joshua. The Garden strikes them as "nice... ish", as gardens go, but they are not too impressed. Joshua informs them that everyone sees what they want to; some see God's throne room or Eden, for example, but they happen to see it as Cleveland Botanical Gardens, where they once visited on a field trip. They tell Joshua they were told he talks to God and they need to speak with him urgently. Joshua tells them God is actually on Earth at the moment, but exactly where and doing what? Joshua doesn't know.
He also tells them it's more accurate to say that God talks to him, but not face-to-face. They are curious why he's the only being that God seems to be communicating with; Joshua believes it's because he can sympathize with him, gardener to gardener, and thinks he's actually quite lonely. Dean in particular is not sympathetic, and voices his irritation. When Sam asks if he can get a message to God for them, Joshua says he actually has a message for them: "Back off."
Joshua says God knows the Apocalypse has begun, He knows what the angels are doing... and he doesn't feel it's his problem—He's finished. When the brothers express their disbelief and disgust with his inaction, Joshua angrily reminds them that it was God who put them on the plane when Lucifer rose, God who brought back Castiel, God who gave them Salvation in Heaven despite their crimes, and that it was the most he'd done for anyone in a very long time. He says they can't kill Lucifer and to give up trying to find God, because magic amulet or not, He won't be found. The boys can't believe what they're hearing, and say God could stop all of it. Joshua supposes he could, but he won't, and the answer to 'why not?' is as unknowable as to the question of why he allows evil into the world in the first place.
Joshua knows Dean is gutted by this revelation and sincerely apologizes. Dean is furious, and bitterly replies that he's used to deadbeat-dad excuses, and will muddle through. But Joshua exposes Dean's fear that he doesn't think he can this time, because he is losing faith in himself, and in Sam, and God was his last hope.
Sam voices suspicion that Joshua could be misleading them, as they have been victims of angels with agendas before. Joshua is offended and says he's rooting for Team Free Will and wishes he could do more for them, but he just trims the hedges. The boys are at a loss as to what to do now.
Joshua says that they have to go home, but this time won't be like the others, because God wants them to remember it. With that, he sends them back to Earth with a wash of white light. They revive in their murder scene gasping for air, their memories intact.
Castiel has arrived in the motel room and is devastated by God's message. He curses his Father, but looks up as if he's still looking for sign from him. He finally pulls Dean's necklace out of his pocket and tosses it to him, declaring the amulet worthless.
Ignoring Sam's plea for him to wait, he vanishes. Frustrated but resigned, Sam tells his brother the two of them will find another way to stop the Apocalypse. Dean silently walks past him, drops the amulet in the trash can and walks out the door.
- Roger Aaron Brown as Joshua
- Traci Dinwiddie as Pamela Barnes
- Colin Ford as Young Sam Winchester
- Kurt Fuller as Zachariah
- Chad Lindberg as Ash
- Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester and Azazel
- Kerry van der Griend as Roy
- Nels Lennarson as Walt
- Lane Edwards as Stephanie's father
- Laura Ward as Stephanie
Featured Supernatural Beings
- Angels (Castiel, Joshua, Zachariah)
- Archangel (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Primordial Entity (God, mentioned only)
- Prince of Hell (Azazel, illusion of Mary Winchester)
- Psychic (Pamela Barnes)
- Zachariah's continuing descent into madness becomes more apparent in this episode.
- It is solidly confirmed that it was God who put Sam and Dean on the plane, detoxed Sam of demon blood, and resurrected Castiel.
- It is revealed that God was on Earth but his activities are unknown.
- It is later revealed that Chuck Shurley is in fact God.
- God's refusal to help the brothers or get involved directly foreshadows his disappointment in his creations.
- Pamela Barnes was last seen in Death Takes A Holiday.
- During Unfinished Business, it was confirmed Mary made it to Heaven before her resurrection.
- In Absence, it was confirmed that John made it to Heaven.
- Both Pamela Barnes and Ash, as well as Mary Winchester (as a memory), make an appearance in this episode, in Heaven.
- Ash tells the brothers that Heaven is comprised of roughly 100 billion individual Heavens. Considering that the number of humans that lived and died since 50,000 BC is estimated to be ≈106.5 billion, that puts roughly 5% of the total human population in Hell. This means that, in the Supernatural Universe, religion is not a deciding factor for afterlife destinations. Or since Ash said "But Like 100,000 Heavens" it's also possible that he was using the number to represent not roughly 100,000 but an impossibly large number of Heavens, and not exactly 100,000.
- The episode title is a reference to the Pink Floyd album of the same name.
- It is revealed that Sam and Dean have died multiple times than they are aware of and each time they were resurrected their memories were erased by the angels.
- This marks the first time in the series that the characters celebrated Independence Day.
- When Dean wakes up in heaven inside his memory of Fourth of July 1996, the Impala he wakes up in has the Ohio license plate CNK 80Q3. That plate was introduced in Season 2's All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 1 after Sam and Dean escape from prison, so in a 1996 memory the car should have had the original Kansas license plate KAZ 2Y5.
- "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan
- "Brain Damage" by Pink Floyd
- Sam: That... was the road?
- Dean: I guess. Pretty trippy, right.
- Sam: Yeah. More trippy... Um, apparently, you "Wuv Hugs."
- Dean: Shut up.
- Zachariah: Wow. Running from angels... On foot... In heaven. With out-of-the-box thinking like that, I'm surprised you guys haven't stopped the apocalypse already.
- Zachariah: Guys, come on. You can run. But you can't run.
- Joshua: God saved you already! He put you on that plane, he brought back Castiel, he granted you salvation in Heaven and even after everything you've done too!
- Castiel: Don't go into the light. Dean: Okay. Thanks, Carol Ann. What was it?
- In the movie Poltergeist, Carol-Anne is pulled through a television into another realm by a poltergeist. When trying to get her out, the psychic Tangina warns her "not to go into the light."
- Ash: Hell, I've been all over. Johnny Cash. André the Giant. Einstein. Sam, that man can mix a White Russian. Hell, the other day? I found Mallanāga Vātsyāyana. Sam: Who? Ash: He wrote the Kama Sutra. Huh, that boy's heaven? Ah, sweaty.
- Johnny Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, died in 2003. Andre the Giant was a French professional wrestler and actor, died in 1993. Albert Einsten was a German theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, died in 1955. Vātsyāyana is the name of an ancient Indian philosopher, known for writing the Kama Sutra; however, Ash confuses him for a different individual, Mallanāga Vātsyāyana
- Stephanie's father: So, Sam, I hear you're new to McKinley. Sam: Um, yes, sir, two weeks.
- McKinley may be a nod to Fox's Glee, a high school drama/musical set in the fictional high school, William McKinley High School.
- Pamela Barnes: Attic's still better than the basement. Dean: Yeah, but... You know this place -- It feels real, but it's Memorex. Real is down there.
- Memorax is a computer tape producer and other media goods. This may be a reference to tapes holding information likes the memories contained within one's Heaven.
- German: Sonnenfinsternis (Solar Eclipse)
- Hungarian: A hold sötét oldala (The Dark Side of the Moon)