The Song Remains The Same is the 13th episode of Season 5. It aired on February 4th, 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!
The angels send Anna (guest star Julie McNiven) back in time to kill John (guest star Matthew Cohen) and Mary (guest star Amy Gumenick) Winchester before they can conceive Sam knowing that if Sam was never born then Lucifer won't be able to use him as his vessel. Castiel sends Sam and Dean back to 1978 so they can stop Anna, and the two brothers are reunited with their parents. Mary recognizes Dean as a hunter since he visited her in the past once before but tries to keep the truth from John.
PlotDean is having a dream wherein he is receiving VIP treatment from two exotically-clad girls who are dancing to Warrant's "Cherry Pie". Suddenly, Anna appears and the dancers vanish. There is a moment of awkward silence before Dean sheepishly explains that he was just, umm, working on a case. Anna is mildly amused and says she couldn't find him other than in a dream; Dean informs her that's because Castiel "did this thing" (etched enochian warding into his ribcage). She balks at the mention of Castiel's name, and tells Dean that Castiel betrayed her to her superiors, which resulted in her ending up in prison. Dean is genuinely concerned about her and tells her he was unaware. She tells him he shouldn't be so shocked that Castiel didn't tell him; he was just following orders like the "good little soldier" he's always been. Nevertheless, she has escaped, so "they" are now looking for her. She needs him to hurry and meet her at 225 Industrial. Before she tells him more, he wakes up.
Anna arrives at the meeting place and finds Dean is not there. She is uneasy and calls out asking who's there; the lights spark and Castiel appears. Anna expresses disappointment that the Winchesters didn't trust her enough to show up themselves, but Castiel makes it clear that it is he that doesn't trust her, not them. He knows that if she's out of prison, it's not because she escaped, but because she's been tasked with doing Heaven's dirty work. She denies this, and claims she's only there to help. He doesn't believe her, knowing from experience the costs of "Heaven's persuasion." That statement causes Anna to tell him not to underestimate her after their time together and calls him out for handing her over to "them" in the first place. Castiel acknowledges that was a mistake, but knows there is something she is not telling him. He also knows she is armed with a knife that would do her no good in a fight against the angels supposedly after her. She finally abandons her pretense of only wanting to help and declares that the only way to stop Lucifer is to short circuit his master plan by killing Sam Winchester, his true vessel. When Castiel points out that Lucifer would simply bring him back to life, she says she plans to scatter Sam's cells across the universe to make that impossible. Castiel tells her they'll have to find another way, because Sam is his friend. While Anna pauses to acknowledge Castiel's change of sensibilities and allegiance, she still insists that if they intend to stop Lucifer, this is the only way to do it. She points out that reliance on the Colt and the search for God are clearly not working. Castiel informs her that even though he's been through much with Anna, he will kill her if she comes near Sam. She flutters away.
Castiel goes to the Winchesters in their motel room and informs them of Anna's true intention. Dean can't believe Anna's "gone all Glenn Close" on them and Sam wonders if she's correct in believing that killing him is the only way to stop Lucifer. Castiel assures them it isn't the only way, but knows Anna won't give up until Sam is dead. He therefore decides they'll have to kill her first, and prepares a tracking spell to find her. He finds that since she knows he won't let her near Sam, she's time travelled back to 1978 to kill John and Mary Winchester before Sam can be conceived. Upon learning this, Sam and Dean immediately demand that Castiel transport them back to stop her. Castiel reminds them that time travel is very difficult even with the powers of heaven at his disposal, and he's currently cut off from that resource. Transporting all three of them will weaken him considerably. They insist that if there is a chance to save their parents and set everything right, they have to try. They pack their weapons and go.
When the three of them arrive back in 1978 Lawrence, KS, Castiel has not travelled well and is barely conscious and coughing up blood. The boys tuck him into a hotel room and hope that Anna is suffering similarly. They find their parents' address in the phone book and Mary answers the door, not happy to see Dean again. She tells them she is not involved in hunting anymore and that John knows nothing about that part of her life. John then comes to the door, interrupting her effort to get them to leave. Dean greets him claiming they're Mary's cousins, as speechless Sam awkwardly stares at his beautiful young parents. John is excited to meet members of Mary's family and invites them in, much to Mary's dismay.They sit down for an uncomfortable conversation in which Dean and Sam claim to be plumbers and/or scrap metal dealers and Mary continually hints for them to leave. John is keen to have them stay for dinner, however, because he hasn't met anyone from Mary's side of the family. When John leaves the room to answer the phone, Mary tells them to go away and leave her alone, reminding Dean that the last time he showed up, a demon killed her mom and dad. They tell her why she and John are in imminent danger, but she scoffs at the idea that angels even exist, much less that they would have any reason to harm her or John. Dean promises to explain everything, but for now they need to leave and head somewhere safe. Mary comes to trust what they're saying, but says she doesn't know how she can explain things to John, which alerts them to the fact that he has left the house. The phone call he answered was actually from Anna, who'd mimicked the voice of John's employer, Mr. Woodson, to lure John to the garage where he works. He left them a note by the phone saying he'd return in five minutes. After arriving at the garage and finding his boss dead, John is attacked by Anna. The brothers and Mary arrive and Anna and Mary clash, but Sam is eventually able to drive Anna away from the building by drawing a banishing sigil.
On their way to a fortified Campbell family shelter, Mary, Dean and Sam deal with John's angry reaction to learning about the family business the hard way. When they arrive, John demands to be treated as an able body and gets Dean to tell him how to prepare a sigil. Sam approaches him while he's making it and offers an apology for everything. John expresses disbelief that their dad let his children anywhere near hunting, calling him an irresponsible bastard for not protecting them from it. Sam says he felt much the same way for a time and even hated him, but now knows that his dad was thrust into the life as a result of the love of his life being killed, and died trying to do the best that he could for his children. Sam confesses that his dad died before he could tell him that he finally understood him and loved him.
Meanwhile, Dean has a conversation with Mary in which he reveals that he and Sam are her sons. She doesn't believe him until he shares things about her that he couldn't know otherwise. She is devastated to learn that she raised her kids as hunters. Dean has to inform her that she actually never had the chance to do that because she's killed by a demon exactly six months after Sam was born. He then tells her not to go into the nursery on that date, but just to take Sam and run. Sam enters the conversation declaring that won't be good enough because the demon will find her wherever in the world she goes. He says the only way to survive is to leave John in order to prevent her sons from being born. Mary tearfully reveals that she can't leave John, because she is already pregnant.
Just then, John suddenly enters and informs them that the sigil he drew is now a mere smudge. They soon realize that all of the holy oil they had has also disappeared. In the time since Anna was zapped from the garage, she has summoned Uriel, acting as his superior, and planted the false story that the people now inside the Campbell shelter will kill him in the future, unless he helps her kill them now. Stating that he's "always happy to do some smiting," Uriel agrees.
Suddenly, the house trembles, all of the windows shatter from deafening angel sounds, and Anna and Uriel enter the house and fight the Winchesters. Anna manages to kill Sam by impaling him with a piece of pipe. Just as Anna is about to kill Mary, the archangel Michael, having possessed John's body, enters the room and smites her. He sends a contrite Uriel away with a snap and renders Mary unconscious after he assures her that John is alright.Michael turns to Dean stating they need to have a long overdue talk, Dean realizes who he is and demands that he fix Sam, Michael states he will but they need to talk. Dean wants to know what he did with John, Michael tells him that when offered the opportunity to save his wife, John said 'yes'. Dean was under the impression that he was Michael's one and only vessel, but Michael reveals that though Dean is his true vessel, he's not the only one. His family's bloodline stretches all the way back to Cain and Abel and his and Sam's destinies as the true vessels of Michael and Lucifer have been set since ancient times. Dean defiantly tells him that he should take his beef with his brother to another planet and leave this one alone. Michael protests that Dean has him all wrong—he doesn't want to kill Lucifer any more than Dean would want to kill Sam. Nevertheless, this showdown is what God has commanded, and he's resolved to carry it out because he is a good son. Dean puts it to him that in his experience, blindly following your father's orders is "a dead-end street." He also declares that it's his belief that he has the right to choose what he does with his own "unimportant life." Michael says that belief is false—free will is an illusion. It's actually a plan that is playing out perfectly, which is how he knows Dean will eventually say 'yes'.
Michael promises to transport Sam back to present time unharmed, and to wipe clean John's and Mary's memory of the whole ordeal. Dean protests, realizing that means Mary will still walk into Sam's nursery on the fated night. Michael confirms that this is true, and tells Dean he'll see him soon. He sends Dean back to the present.
Sam and Dean are back in their motel room when a battered Castiel touches back down and is promptly helped by them and collapses on the bed. Dean pours two drinks for himself and Sam and half-heartedly proposes a toast to "Team Free Will: One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name, and Mr. Comatose." They sip their drinks and discuss how annoying it is to repeatedly be told that they will both say 'yes'.
Back in 1978, a heavily pregnant Mary sets an angel figurine above the soon-to-be-born Dean's crib. John asks where she got the idea, and Mary says it just came to her. After John leaves, Mary feels "quite a kick there", and muses if this means Dean is "a troublemaker already." She tells the boy "angels are watching over you."
- Matt Cohen as John Winchester and Michael
- Amy Gumenick as Mary Winchester
- Julie McNiven as Anna Milton
Featured Supernatural Beings
- Angels (Anna Milton, Uriel, Castiel)
- Archangels (Michael; Lucifer mentioned only)
- Demons (mentioned only)
- Knight of Hell (Cain, mentioned only)
- Primordial Entity (God, referenced only)
- Uriel was last seen in On The Head Of A Pin.
- Ironically, he is enlisted by the same angel who killed his future self.
- Anna Milton was last seen in When the Levee Breaks.
- This is the first episode to feature the Archangel Michael.
- The failed attempt to kill Lucifer with the Colt is referenced in this episode.
- Previously in the season four episode "Heaven and Hell," the Winchesters worked to save Anna from being killed by Uriel and Castiel. Ironically, in this episode she knowingly and deliberately takes actions that will result in the two not existing.
- Michael states the odds that John and Mary would fall in love and have Dean and Sam are more based on fate than chance. The following episode would reveal that the union of Mary and John was so important that a cupid intervened to make sure the boys were born.
- We will not see what the world would look like with Sam and Dean not existing until the Season 12 finale All Along the Watchtower, although John died long before in the alternate universe.
- Antagonists: Anna Milton and Uriel.
- Referencing the song, album and movie, The Song Remains the Same by Led Zeppelin.
- Although she is the antagonist of this episode, Anna isn't technically "the bad guy". Despicable though her methods were, everything she did, she did in a desperate attempt to derail the Apocalypse.
- The CW's official summary has a slight error, where actor Matt Cohen is cited with his full name.
- Dean gives himself, Sam and Castiel the name Team Free Will.
- This stems from Michael's belief that free will is an illusion.
- Dean meets Michael for the first time.
- Mary did not believe in angels in this episode until seeing Anna, she would lose this memory after Michael erases her memory.
- She regained this knowledge in Keep Calm and Carry On.
- This is the first episode (excluding the intro to Pilot) to feature Sam, Dean, John and Mary all together (all previously appeared—albeit separately in Home and In The Beginning) and would be the last until Lebanon over nine years later (with the latter being the only one to include Samantha Smith and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in their respective roles).
- "Cherry Pie" by Warrant
- "Life's Been Good" by Joe Walsh
- "The Creeper" by Molly Hatchet
- "Chevy Van" by Sammy Jones
- Dean: Awesome. Six degrees of Heaven Bacon. [(Referencing 'Six degrees of Kevin Bacon')]
- Dean: So, what? You're like a DeLorean without enough plutonium?
- Castiel: I do not understand that reference.
- Dean: Really? Anna?
- Castiel: It's true.
- Dean: So she's gone all Glenn Close, huh? That's awesome.
- Castiel: Who's Glenn Close?
- Dean: No one. Just this psycho bitch who likes to boil rabbits.
- Sam: So, the... the plan to kill me—would it actually stop Satan?
- Dean: No, Sam, come on.
- Sam: Cass, what do you think? Does Anna have a point?
- Castiel: No. She's a... "Glenn Close."
- Dean: What exactly are we gonna march up there and tell 'em?
- Sam: Uh, the truth.
- Dean: What, that their sons are back from the future to save them from an angel gone Terminator? Come on, those movies haven't even come out yet.
- Anna: I need you to kill some humans.
- Uriel: Always happy to do some smiting.
- Michael: And you think you know better than my father? The one unimportant little man. What makes you think you get to choose?
- Dean: Because I got to believe that I can choose what I do with my... unimportant little life.
- Michael: You're wrong. You know how I know? Think of a million random acts of chance that let John and Mary be born, to meet, to fall in love, to have the two of you. Think of the million random choices that you make—and yet how each and every one of them brings you closer to your destiny. Do you know why that is? Because it's not random. It's not chance. It's a plan that is playing itself out perfectly. Free will's an illusion, Dean. That's why you're going to say yes.
- Dean:Well... this is it.
- Sam: This is what?
- Dean: Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one dropout with six bucks to his name, and Mr. Comatose over there. It's awesome.
- Sam: It's not funny.
- Dean:I'm not laughing.
Behind the Scenes
- German: Die Engel wachen über dich (The angels are watching over you)
- Hungarian: Lejárt lemez (Lierally: "Expired disk". In this case it means ~obsolete song)