On Supernatural, We Get a Taste of Sarah Palin's America

Last night's episode of Supernatural was dark, dirty, and post-apocalyptic. The angels send Dean hurtling five years into the future to see what's in store under Lucifer's reign - and Sarah Palin becoming president isn't the worst of it. Spoilers!

Called "The End," this was definitely a standout episode, both in terms of sheer, weird creativity and emotional impact. It's the episode that finally brings brothers Dean and Sam back together - using the power of time travel. Archangel Zachariah wants to convince Dean that he's making a terrible mistake about refusing to become Michael's vessel, so he catapults Dean forward in time.


We discover that cities have been overrun by a demon plague called Croatoan (the infected are zombie-esque freaks called Croats), Sarah Palin is president, and (gasp) sports have been banned because Congress has outlawed public gatherings. As Dean tries to get his bearings in the horrible world of 2014, he discovers even more horrifying things. Bobby has been murdered, and his future self is holed up in the backwoods with ex-angel Cas, neurotic prophet Chuck, and a bunch of tough-looking Hunters whose numbers are dwindling by the day.

Sam has gone totally darkside and sucked Lucifer into his meatsack - he's "given the Big Yes," as Future Dean puts it - and the angels have all abandoned Earth. Cas is left behind to "go mortal," which means he starts dressing like a hippie, smoking a lot of pot, and spouting New Agisms about soul bonding to get groups of hot women to have orgies with him. And prophet Chuck spends all his time obsessing over how there is no toilet paper after the Apocalypse. Future Dean has gone cold and rotten. He kills without a thought, and begs Past Dean to take Michael up on his request for meatsackery. Future Dean thinks that's the only way to prevent his version of the future from taking place.

After a confrontation with Luciferized Sam, looking Evil Dapper in a pure-white suit, Dean isn't so sure there's only one way to change the future. First of all, he's not convinced that Zachariah hasn't whipped up this whole "future" just to push him to get down with the "be our vessel" thing. And second, he finally freakin realizes that what went wrong with this Sarah Palin future isn't that he refused to be Michael's meatsack. It's that he abandoned Sam.

So when Dean whooshes back to the present, he knows what he has to do. He has to call Sam and repair the broken trust between them (yay! Wincest is best!). Luckily, just as Zachariah is about to put more of the stomach cancer smackdown on him, Cas whisks Dean away to a secret rendezvous. The two of them are about to go in search of the enchanted Colt that can kill anything - even Lucifer. And now they'll be bringing Sam along too.

There's a great bit of dialogue at the end, after Dean has apologized to Sam and they're getting ready to be their strong, bonded selves again. Sam is wondering what they'll do next, and Dean replies.

Dean: We make our own future.

Sam: I guess we don't have a choice.

There is so much clever goodness packed into that exchange. This whole season is about free will in the face of predetermined destiny, and the humans' effort to have some agency over their lives despite being controlled by superbeings from Heaven and Hell. The big questions this season really are: Can we change things? Or do we have no choice? And here we get a perfect snapshot of how the answer to both questions can be yes.


I'm so glad to have the brothers back together again, so they can go kick some major Luciferian ass. And it's great to have a superpowered Cas in the mix, even if he's not popping pills and having orgies.

Next week's episode looks like it might be a toe-dip into meta territory, with a plot that involves a demon who kills fans. Hopefully nobody in the Wincest community will be harmed. I know you guys want me to stop saying Wincest in these recaps, so I'm just reveling in it now. Mwhahaahah! Tune in next week, when I will try to restrain myself.



Charlie Jane Anders

I keep thinking about the fact that Lucifer's version of the Great Rebellion involves God telling the angels to bow down before humans — and none of the angels were happy about that, it seems. And then the episode's great conflict is whether the Winchester brothers will both wind up becoming vessels for opposing angels, or will "stay human." Dean decides at the end to the way to stay human is for the Winchester brothers to stay together. I have a feeling that will turn out to be key to their victory. (Assuming they win, of course.)