Interesting how this season’s most uplifting tale so far comes from a story about the destruction of the world. Yep, must be Supernatural. Must be Ben Edlund.
The lesson of the episode is one often used in stories showing the plight of humanity; there are always consequences for actions. Seeing those consequences by traveling into the future has been done many times before, but as this show has proven time and time again, it’s very skilled at taking a well-used idea and twisting it into something new and shocking. And brilliant.
Yes, the fourth episode of the season ties together the previous three with a major attention getter. So many building plot threads are addressed here, and while there are no “stunning” revelations since the events were well foreshadowed, seeing them play out still didn’t lack its kick-a-loyal-fan-in-the-gut drama. Are we surprised that Zachariah uses a doomsday scenario to convince Dean to carry on with his prophecy to defeat Lucifer as Michael’s vessel? Of course not. Did Dean’s predicament rock? Hell yes. Are we surprised that an amazing-looking Sam in the white suit is really Lucifer? Nope. Did we love it? Does a bear…you get the point.
A lot of themes are thrown into Thursday night's episode, thus leaving a meta junkie like me plenty of fodder. Consequences of actions, need for redemption, free will vs. destiny, the power of humanity, and what happens when a damaged sense of family begins repair. It's all good, even if it means Sarah Palin must destroy Houston to get there.
"The End" isn't a perfect episode, but man, does it have its merits. Jensen Ackles has to take on what actors consider to be an impossible task: spending a good part of the episode trading lines with himself. Sure he did this once already in "Dream A Little Dream of Me," but there are far more constantly-changing scenes and dynamics in this episode. Despite the difficult conditions, Jensen pulls off the scenes brilliantly. However, an audience can usually tell the difference between clever editing and two actors actually interacting. Jensen excels from feeding off other actors' energy and turning it into something incredible, so his strongest scenes still come from his exchanges with Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins.
Heck, even Dean talking with Sam on the phone took my breath away. As someone who gravitates toward Sam (no duh you say?), I’m stunned to see him call up his brother early in the morning and tell him about his encounter with Lucifer. It’s rather inspirational to see Sam’s habit of hiding things from Dean leaving him. Dean’s reaction though is understandable. He’s tired, very tired: physically, mentally, and emotionally. He even takes Sam's news that he's Lucifer's vessel with indifference. “I guess I’m a little numb to the earth-shattering revelations at this point."