5.16 Dark Side of the Moon

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Promo pic for 5-16 Dark Side Of The Moon.jpg
Title Dark Side of the Moon
Episode # Season 5, Episode 16
First aired April 1, 2010
Directed by Jeff Wollnough
Written by Andrew Dabb
Daniel Loflin
On IMDB Dark Side of the Moon
Outline Sam and Dean are killed and find themselves in Heaven.
Monster Angels
Timeline Sam says it is “a few months” since the events of 5.10 Abandon All Hope...
Location(s) Heaven
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Contents

Synopsis

After noticing his gun is missing from under his pillow, Dean wakes to find two men pointing guns at him and Sam. He recognizes them as hunters - Walt and Roy. Walt says they are there to kill Sam for starting the Apocalypse, and as Sam protests, Walt shoots and kills him. He tells Roy to shoot Dean, and when he hesitates, Walt kills Dean too.

Dean finds himself sitting in the Impala, and when he leaves the Impala a thirteen-year-old version of Sam appears with a box of fireworks. They go to a nearby field and set them, off - Sam obviously delighted. Dean remembers this as the fourth of July. Suddenly memories of the shooting flash into Dean's mind, and he finds himself alone again.

Castiel starts speaking to Dean through the car radio, confirming that he is dead, and in Heaven, and that if he follows the road he will find Sam. What Dean and Sam are living through are happy past memories. Dean follows the road, and finds Sam having Thanksgiving dinner with one of his teen crushes' family. Sam confirms that this a happy memory for him - what was to him his first "proper" Thanksgiving. Suddenly a searchlight sweeps through the house, and the boys hide. Castiel communicates through the TV, telling them Zachariah is looking for them to send them back to Earth and not to go into the light. Castiel explains that this is their chance to find God, and that they should find someone called Joshua who communicates with him. He tells them to follow the 'axis mundi' - the road through Heaven to the garden.

Dean finds a toy race car track in the family's cupboard, which takes them to the next place - a memory of Dean's from when he was 4 of breakfast with his mother, and him comforting her after she argues with John. The next memory experience through a postcard is Six Flags, which Sam and his dog, Bones, called home when he ran away from Dean and John once. Dean reveals that to him, it was a terrible experience. They exit there, and find themselves on a road - the place where Sam left his family to go to Stanford. Dean points out, distraught, that Sam's memories are all about leaving him - and then Zachariah appears, pursuing them through a wood.

A masked and caped figure appears, and beckons the boys to follow. They go through a door in the middle of the woods and find themselves in a bar - the Roadhouse - and the masked man is Ash. He explains that each person has their own version of Heaven, except for soul mates, who can share, although Ash has worked out a way to move between these places. Ash says he has seen Dean and Sam on the other occasions they have been in heaven, although they have no memory of it. He goes and brings back Pamela who tells Dean that she is enjoying Heaven, and that maybe he should reconsider his resistance to being Michael's vessel. Ash shows them a shortcut to the garden and the boys leave.

They find themselves again in their family home, and Mary appears again. However this time she taunts Dean, saying he was a burden, and that it's his fault everyone leaves him. Zachariah appears, and tells the boys that he will torment them until they give in. Joshua appears and tells Zachariah that he needs to speak with Sam & Dean and Zachariah must release the boys or risk God's wrath.

Joshua tells Sam and Dean that God is well aware of their predicament, and that it was God who saved them when Lucifer rose, and resurrected Castiel, and has now given them salvation. Joshua says that God is on Earth, but that no amulet will help to find him. God, he says, doesn't want to intervene anymore in the Apocalypse.

Joshua returns Sam and Dean to Earth, with their memories of what they have learned intact. Castiel is devastated with the news of God's apathy, and returns the Amulet to Dean saying "It's worthless" before leaving. As Sam tries to offer hope to Dean that they can still defeat Lucifer, Dean leaves the motel room - dropping the amulet in the wastebasket as he leaves.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan
(plays after Dean is shot, then a few minutes later during his memory of shooting fireworks with Sam; also played in 2.13 Houses of the Holy)
  • "What a Way to Go" by Jesse Turnbow
(plays in the Roadhouse when Sam and Dean meet up with Ash; also played in 1.03 Dead in the Water)

Quotes

Walt: Shoot him.
Dean: Go ahead Roy, do it. But I'm gonna warn you, when I come back, I'm going to be pissed.
Sam: Heaven?

Dean: Yeah.
Sam: OK, how are we in heaven?
Dean: Lot of clean living, I guess.
Sam: No, no... You, I get. But me, maybe you haven't noticed but I've done a few things.
Dean: You thought you were doing the right thing.
Sam: Last I checked, it wasn't the road to heaven that was paved with good intentions.

Dean: Yeah, well if this is the Skymall, then it sucks. Where's the triplets and the latex, you know? Come on, a guy has needs.
Dean: Trippy, right?

Sam: Yeah. [looks at Dean's t-shirt] More trippy. Um... apparently, you wuv hugz. [laughs]

Dean: Shut up.
Sam: I just never realized how long you've been cleaning up Dad's messes.
Dean: So everyone gets their own slice of Heaven?

Ash: Pretty much. A few people share. Special cases. Whatnot.
Dean: What do you mean special?

Ash: Oh, you know, like soul mates.
Ash: You boys die more than anyone I have ever met.
Zachariah: In Heaven I have six wings and four faces, one of which is a lion.
Zachariah: Say yes, don't say yes, I'm still going to take it out on your asses. It's personal now, boys. And the last person in the history of creation you want as your enemy is me. And I'll tell you why. Lucifer may be strong. But I'm petty.
Joshua: Excuse me, sir?

Zachariah: I'm in a meeting.
Joshua: I'm sorry, I need to speak to those two.
Zachariah: Excuse me?
Joshua: It's a bad time, I know. But I'm afraid I have to insist.
Zachariah: You don't get to insist jack squat.
Joshua: No, you're right. But the boss does. His orders.
Zachariah: You're lying.

Joshua: Wouldn't lie about this. Look, fire me if you want. Sooner or later, He's going to come back home, and you know how He is with that whole wrath thing.

Trivia & References

The title of the episode refers to the 1973 Pink Floyd concept album The Dark Side of the Moon. The episode was originally called “Your Whole Life Flashes Before Your Eyes” (Source).
In 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me, when Dean and Sam are about to drink the African Dream Root, Dean says: Well, shall we dim the lights and sync up Wizard of Oz and Dark Side of the Moon?
This is a reference to the process of watching the film The Wizard of Oz and the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon together, often under the influence of drugs, when they are said to appear to correspond to each other when played in sync. There has been much debate, whether this is true or not, and whether it was intentional on the part of Pink Floyd. The process of watching the film with the Pink Floyd album on is called Dark Side of the Rainbow, in reference to the famous song from the movie "Over the Rainbow" and the rainbow on the album cover.
The hunters who kill Sam and Dean are called Roy and Walt - possibly a reference to the Disney brothers.
Memories visited:
  • Dean remembers setting off fireworks with Sam on 4th of July 1996. He would’ve been 17 and Sam 13. Dean says “they burned the field down.”
  • Sam’s memory of Thanksgiving with a school friend’s, a girl called Stephanie, family occurs when he is 11.
  • Dean remembers comforting his mother after a fight she has with John, that led to John moving out for a few days. Sam has been born, and so Dean is four.
  • Sam ran away in Flagstaff and spent two weeks on his own, and befriended a dog he called Bones.
  • The final memory for Sam is of the night Sam left for Stanford. (2001)
This was Colin Ford's fourth episode as young Sam.
Castiel refers to the road Dean and Sam must follow through Heaven as the axis mundi. The axis mundi is a concept appearing in all cultures that there is some place that is the center of creation and describes a point of connection between the earthly plane and the spiritual one.
Castiel: Don’t go into the light.

Dean: Okay, thanks Carol-Anne.

In the movie Poltergeist, Carol-Anne is pulled through a television into another realm by a poltergeist. When trying to get her out the psychic warns her “not to go into the light.”
Ash: Welcome to my blue Heaven!
My Blue Heaven is the title of two films. One was released in 1950, starring Betty Grable and the other in 1990, starring Steve Martin and Rick Moranis.
Ash: See you gotta stop thinking about Heaven as one place – it's more like a buttload of places, all crammed together. Like Disneyland except without all the anti-Semitism.
Ash explains that everyone has their own “Heaven,” and at the centre of all of them is “the Garden.” Most people can’t leave their own “Heaven”, although Ash has worked out a way to do so. Other people Ash has met in Heaven are Johnny Cash, Andre the Giant, Einstein, Pamela Barnes and Mallanāga Vātsyāyana who wrote the Kama Sutra.
Walt Disney, and many working at the Disney Studios during the '30s and '40s were purported to be anti-Semitic.
Ash: It's awesome. I finally have an application, a practical application, for string theory.
Ash has rigged a PC to monitor angels as they speak Enochian, by using string theory. String theory is related to quantum physics, and may in fact be the key to the theory for everything. You need to be really really smart to understand it.
In this episode, Ash confirms that previously when Sam and Dean were brought back from Heaven, their memory of the experience was removed. At the end of the episode Joshua says this time they will remember everything.
Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin who wrote this episode, are also the writers of the third Supernatural comic series Beginning's End, which documents the time in the Winchesters' life up to Sam leaving for Stanford.
This is the first episode to be directed by Jeff Wollnough, who has worked on many series including Dark Angel, Battlestar Galactica, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
The concept of soul mates or soul bonding is a very popular one throughout fanfiction in many fandoms, indicating the essential and OTP nature of a relationship. In Supernatural fandom, it is usually found in Wincest fic, although it can occur in a non-sexual form in Gen fic. It also features in Dean/Castiel stories.
Sam: Last I checked, it wasn't the road to Heaven that was paved with good intentions.
This is a reference to the popular quote "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Minutiae

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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