Supernatural 5.16 – The Bros Knock on Heaven’s Door and Apparently No One’s Home

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We get thrown deep back into the Apocalypse this week. I honestly thought we were going to meet God, but I guess the face to face can be saved for the finale. Or even the penultimate episode.

So this week Sam and Dean die. For real and apparently they’ve died many many times before (probably more than we’ve seen).

The bros arrive in heaven and with the help of an old friend, they learn heaven is different for everyone. Sam and Dean are taken to the Greatest Hits of their lives, the moments they felt the happiest.

Dean goes back to 4th of July, 1996 with Sam setting off fireworks. Sam goes back to Thanksgiving with some other family and a girl that squeezes his thigh.

Being able to talk to Castiel through radio and TV, he tells them to follow “the road” to “the garden” where they’ll find an angel named Joshua who is known to speak to the big guy himself, God. But they’ve got to be careful because Zachariah is hunting them down.

The next stop on “the road” for Dean is a moment back with Mommy Mary making him a sandwich and a phone call from Papa Winchester after he had left. Turns out the happy marriage wasn’t so happy after all.

They walk out the door and end up in Flagstaff, Sam’s next stop. He was on his own for two weeks. But Dean doesn’t remember this as a happy memory. He was worried sick about him back then.

They walk out the door again and end up on a country road. A stop for Sam again… the night he left home to go to Stanford. Dean realizes most of Sam’s happy heaven involved times Sam was alone or left them. He gets upset, but Sam says he “never had the crusts cut off” for him so he sees family a little differently.

Zachariah finds them, but a masked superhero leads them into a familiar place, the Roadhouse. And the old friend; Ash. He shows them his dead people heaven finder, how Papa Winchester has been hard to find, and explains how heaven works. He is sad but also proud to hear about Ellen and Jo going down fighting.

Ash brings out another old friend, psychic Pamela Barnes. She and Dean have a deep conversation about dying not being so bad. Everyone gets their own slice of paradise, they’re happy.

Ash finds them a shortcut to the garden, but instead they end up back home where Mary has some harsh words for Dean. But really it’s Zachariah who thinks he’s got them where he wants them and get ready to rough them up before sending them back to Earth.

A man suddenly appears though and tells them that God wants to speak to the bros. Zachariah retreats and the man takes the bros to the garden.

The man, Joshua, tells them God is on Earth and that God talks to him, maybe because he can sympathize. And that God gets lonely.

Joshua relays God’s message for Sam and Dean… “Back off.”
God knows everything… but he doesn’t think it’s His problem. God’s done a lot, more than he’s intervened in a long time. He could stop this all, but He won’t.

Joshua wishes he could tell them something different, he’s rooting for them, but he just “trims the hedges.” All they can do is go home. They’re on their own, but this time, they’ll remember their heavenly visit.

They wake up in their own pools of blood.

They pack up. Castiel calls God a “son of a bitch,” returns Dean’s necklace and flies off.

Sam tells Dean they’ll find another way to stop all this, stop the devil, both of them together, they’ll do it. But a speechless Dean appears not to have faith. He drops the necklace into the garbage and walks out the door.

So without God, what now?

Episode Thoughts
Definitely an interesting episode. They could fill several episodes with the bros strolling through their heavens. In fact, that could be season 6. Fighting off monsters in heaven. The first television procedural set in heaven.

But the episode this week focused on a few points. First, Sam’s disconnect with his family. He’s definitely not had the normal family life. He ran away from Dean that one time, but he’s also been left alone while Papa and Dean were out hunting right? And Sam never got to know his mother like he said, he never got the crusts cut off his sandwiches. While Dean got a couple of years, Sam got none. And after years to going motel to motel, his time at Stanford, with Jessica, and away from the hunting was the closet to normal he’s ever got. He was away from all the evil fighting and it was before the weight of the world got thrown onto his and Dean’s shoulders. Can’t blame him right?

We saw before the 10 month hiatus, Dean finally turning to God for help. I think it was Dean who mentions to Sam this week how praying to God is the last option, the last resort. And now with that easy button gone, what’s left? Just when Dean finally starts to maybe have hope in God, God has to send a No, Thank you letter back.

We were bound to get to heaven sometime. It was very interesting and mostly the way I pictured Supernatural depicting heaven. There’s a lot to explored there, but for the purpose it served this week, it felt like a regular stop on the long journey to the final battle.

An overall good episode. Another episode that went by pretty quick. It was almost all business this week too. We rarely get those kinds of episodes anymore. I definitely appreciate and am thankful for the bits of humor we get often from the show, but after five years, this journey the Winchester bros have been on, I think I’d prefer them to stick to the task at hand and avoid any more detours until the finale.

I’m sticking to the final battle still happening at the end of this season and the post-Apocalypse for season 6, but we’ll just to have and see. Kripke may have some big tricks up his sleeves for his last episodes at the helm.

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