As the fifth season of Supernatural comes to a close, the finale does not disappoint.
At the end of last week's episode Sam decided he would let Lucifer possess his body in order to trap him in his cage. In this episode, we see the consequences of dancing with the devil.
When the Winchesters track Lucifer down in Detroit Sam finally agrees to be his vessel. Just when it looks as though they might be able to get the devil back into his prison, Lucifer has big plans that include mass destruction, laying a beating on Dean (how cliché) and killing some of Supernatural's most cherished characters. The result is the best episode of the season with a great story that ends season five on a high note.
After a string of bad episodes, Supernatural has come back stronger than ever with "Swan Song". Rather than rely on the great performances of guest stars this week's episode had in incredible story with real emotion. Whereas several episodes had have drawn their emotion from Sam and Dean bickering or apologizing to one another this episode made it feel like they truly were all each another had; both Sam and Dean matured out of the old/younger brother dynamic and into a family. The character Chuck, played by Rob Benedict, returned to once again be the prophet/writer of the Supernatural stories. While his role is mostly relegated to narration, this brings cohesion to the episode's story and the series as a whole. It also reminds the audience of the journey Sam and Dean have had while we were along for the ride.
Even though this was a fantastic episode there were a few drawbacks. The first being that the previous episodes had been relying on guest stars and one was noticeably absent: Mark Sheppard. For the past two episodes Mark Sheppard brought a wry sense of humour and clever wit as Crowley, the demon who still holds Bobby's soul as future leverage. Considering he helped the Winchesters a great deal recently, it's strange he was not in this episode whatsoever when he had been so invested in Sam and Dean's success. The other flaw in the show was that so much happened in the course of one hour which easily could have spanned another two or three more. There were multiple dramatic moments throughout the hour, namely the deaths of Castiel and Bobby which so happened so quickly the effect was significantly muted as a result. It was clear their deaths were meant to shock the audience at how suddenly they occurred, but killing characters shouldn't be done for their shock value alone because it only diminishes the act and in turn the characters themselves. While Supernatural is known for killing its characters and resurrecting them several times over, each time someone dies I take it less seriously. In the show Six Feet Under, the character Nate died half way through season five rather than at the end which gave other characters time to feel the gravity of death so close to themselves. While I was glad the deaths took place in Supernatural, had they spread the finale out, it would have had more dramatic significance. Also, the set up to the final battle between Lucifer and Michael was quite underwhelming. It would have been great had there been a small army of demons behind Lucifer and angels behind Michael but since they both came for a one on one, it seemed like an after school fight at the tetherball court. With it being the season finale and the fate of the world at stake it should have felt like it rather than implied. Lastly, Mark Pellegrino is gone and he will be greatly missed as one best guest stars in the entire series.
While season five had a strong premise, it was one of Supernatural's weaker seasons. Although it did have its moments with awesome guest stars and the occasional strong episode and fantastic finale, the amount of substandard episodes far outweigh the good. Season five has felt like a twenty two chapter build up to season six only to tie up a number of plot threads prematurely. If more time had been spent on the core story of this season rather than a lot of off shoot episodes it could have been that much better but I look forward to season six with both hope and intrigue to see just how the story of Sam and Dean Winchester ends.
Ramya Velmurugiah says...
love your reviews. can't wait to reconvene next season :)