|Sam just shot Sam who's warning Sam about Sam...wait, what?|
Recap: Sam is trapped in a dream in which he initially doesn't remember anything--until he finds another dream version of himself (the soul-less version) trying to kill him and realizes that he has to "kill" the other parts of him within the dream (also including the one who remembers hell) and thereby sort of re-absorb them, if he wants his soul to be whole. Hence the photo above. In other words, Sam has been mentally shattered into 3 fragments and he has to stick his mind back together by killing the other two fragments of himself. While Sam's internal fight for his soul goes on, Dean and Bobby try to stop Cas and Crowley from opening purgatory. Cas kills Balthazar (0_0) for telling Dean where he is, and also tries to ditch Crowley, but Crowley gets Raphael as an ally instead. With Raphael's help, Crowley tries to open purgatory, but Cas switches blood jars on them (they need virgin blood for the ritual, so he gives them dog blood instead) and manages to open purgatory himself. He proceeds to blast Raphael into bloody bits, resists Dean's efforts to convince him to give up the purgatory-power, ignores Sam's effort to stab him, and proclaims himself as the new god. He rejects Sam and Dean as his family and demands that they bow down to him. Seriously. Aagh. I hate to see him so...well, evil.
Thoughts: I'm not a regular SPN-watcher, and I still find the incorporation of angels/purgatory/god odd, but this ep was amazing. Heart-wrenching and shocking at times, but awesome. Love the structure of the ep (starting out within the dream), love the filmography, love the dream world vs. real world and Dean vs. other-Deans. Some really emotional material and some great acting, especially from Jared Padalecki, who was brilliant in those multiple-Dean scenes. Also of course love the amazingly talented Mark Sheppard as Crowley. Misha Collins was very effectively and very eerily cold/calculating, while Jensen Ackles acted as the perfect foil with his painfully emotional appeals. I do wish a little that there was more Dean/Sam interaction in this ep, but everything else made up for it. Even for a person who doesn't watch SPN regularly, the finale was heartbreaking and compelling. 8.5/10 Watch it!!