5.22 Swan Song

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Title Swan Song
Episode # Season 5, Episode 22
First aired May 13, 2010
Directed by Steve Boyum
Written by story by Eric "Giz" Gerwitz and teleplay by Eric Kripke
On IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1626753/
Outline Sam and Dean decide to try and trap Lucifer.
Location(s) Detroit, Michigan; Lawrence, Kansas
[[{{{prevep}}}|« Previous Episode]] | [[{{{nextep}}}|Next Episode »]]


Chuck is writing about the history of the Impala, for a manuscript entitled "Swan Song". He writes that it is the most important object in the history of the universe.

Over a beer in the junkyard at Bobby's, Dean tells Sam that he will support his plan to let himself become Lucifer's vessel, in order to trap him in Lucifer's Cage. They prepare by killing so demon's and harvesting the Demon Blood, which Castiel has said Sam will need to drink to contain Lucifer.

Omens lead Sam, Dean, Bobby and Castiel to Detroit, where Lucifer had always predicted Sam would say yes. As they drive, Castiel sleep - he is no longer an angel. Sam asks Dean that if the plan works, Dean is not to try and save him, but must try and live a normal life. They arrive in Detroit, and after saying goodbye to Castiel and Bobby, Sam drinks the demon blood, and he and Dean go to confront Lucifer.

Lucifer reveals he knows that they have the Horsemen's Rings, and plan to trap him. Sam goes ahead with saying "yes" anyway. As Lucifer takes over Sam's body, Dean uses the rings and with an incantation opens Lucifer's Cage. Lucifer, however, is in full control of Sam, and closes the cage, taking the rings and disappearing.

Later, Dean, Castiel and Bobby watch the news, as disasters occur across the world - the Apocalypse is beginning. Both Castiel and Bobby seem without hope. Dean calls Chuck who tells dean the confrontation between Michael and Lucifer will take place at Stull Cemetery near Lawrence in Kansas, where the boys first lived. Dean prepares to head there, telling the others that he won't let Sam die alone.

In Stull Cemetery, Lucifer faces Michael who appears using Adam as a vessel. Lucifer tries to dissuade Michael from the fight, blaming their conflict on God, and suggesting they walk away. Michael counters that he must carry out God's orders, and that it's his destiny to kill Lucifer, who is evil. Just then Dean arrives in the Impala, Def Leppard's Rock of Ages blaring.

Dean tries to talk to Sam, inside Lucifer, but Michael tells him it's not his fight anymore. Castiel arrives tossing burning Holy Oil on Michael causing him to vanish temporarily. Lucifer turns and disintegrates Castiel, and then as Bobby shoots him, he snaps his neck.

Lucifer starts to beat Dean, taunting him, saying he will kill him slowly and make Sam feel it. Dean doesn't resist, just telling Sam he won't leave him. As he goes to land another blow, he glances at the Impala, and suddenly all Sam's memories of life with Dean rush at him, allowing Sam to take control over Lucifer. He tosses the Horsemen's Rings to the ground, recites the incantation to open Lucifer's Cage. He and Dean look at each other one last time, but as Sam goes to throw himself in, Michael reappears. he tries to stop him, but Sam drags him into the cage too, and it shuts.

As Dean grieves, broken and bloody, Castiel reappears and heals him. His angelic powers are restored, and he also resurrects Bobby.

Castiel tells Dean he will return to heaven, where he expects without Michael there will be chaos. Dean leaves Bobby, who Chuck tells us in voiceover, he won't see for a long time. He says that while Dean wants to rescue Sam, or die, he promised Sam he wouldn't, and that Dean will try and keep that promise.

Chuck, now dressed all in white, says that endings are hard, and never perfect, and that nothing really ends anyway. He types "The End" and vanishes. Chuck - it seems - is God.

Dean arrives at Lisa Braeden's house, distraught, but trying to hold it together. She comforts him as he cries.

Sometime later, Dean is having dinner with Lisa and Ben. Lisa asks is Dean's okay - taking a sip of a large scotch - says quietly that he is. Outside the house, a street light goes out. Underneath it, watching the house, stands Sam...





Chuck: Three days later another car rolled off that same line. No one gave two craps about her, but they should’ve. Because this 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car... no, the most important object in pretty much the whole universe.
Dean: Watching out for you is my job. More than that, it's who I am.
Dean: So then what am I supposed to do?
Sam: You go find Lisa. You pray to God she’s dumb enough to take you in. You have barbecues, and go to football games. You go live some normal apple pie life Dean. Promise me!
Sam: Take care of these guys, okay?

Castiel: It’s not possible.
Sam: Humor me

Castiel: Oh I’m supposed to lie, Umm sure.. . we’ll be fine.
Lucifer: Sorry if it’s a bit chilly. Most people think I burn hot. It’s actually quite the opposite.
Lucifer: A wrestling match inside your noggin. I like the idea. Just you and me, one round, no tricks. You win, you jump in the hole. I win... well, then I win. What do you say, Sam? A fiddle of gold against your soul says I'm better than you.
Lucifer: I've been waiting for you for a long time. C'mon Sam, you have to admit...you can feel it. Right?

Sam: What?

Lucifer: The exhilaration. And you know why that is? Becasue we are two halves made whole. MFEO. Literally.
Castiel: It's starting.

Dean: You think, genius?
Castiel: You don't have to be mean.
Dean: So what do we do now?

Castiel: I suggest we imbibe copious quantities of alcohol, wait for the inevitable blast wave.
Castiel: I want you to understand, the only thing you are going to see out there is Michael killing your brother.
Dean: Then I ain't going to let him die alone.
Dean: Hey boys... Sorry, am I interrupting something?
Lucifer: Dean, even for you this is a whole new mountain of stupid.

Dean: I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to Sam.
Michael: You're no longer the vessel, Dean. You got no right to be here.
Dean: Adam, if you're in there somewhere, I am so sorry.
Michael: Adam isn't home right now.

Dean: Well then, you're next on my list buttercup, but right now I need five minutes with him.
Castiel: Hey assbutt!
Lucifer: Castiel, did you just Molotov my brother with Holy Fire?

Castiel: Uh...no.

Lucifer: No one dicks with Michael but me. [snaps fingers, Castiel explodes]
Dean: Sammy? Sammy? It's okay, I'm here. I'm not going to leave you.
Dean: Cas, are you God?
Castiel: That's a nice compliment, but no.
Dean: What are you going to do next?

Castiel: Return to heaven I suppose. With Michael in the cage, I'm sure it's total anarchy up there.
Dean: So what - you're the new Sheriff in town?

Castiel: I like that. Yeah. I suppose I am.
Castiel You got what you asked for Dean. No Paradise. No Hell. Just more of the same. I mean it Dean. What would you rather have? Peace - or freedom?

Trivia & References

The episode opened with the Carry On Wayward Son. The song was first used over a clip montage at the beginning of 1.21 Salvation, it has subsequently been used at the beginning of the finale episodes 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two, 3.16 No Rest For The Wicked, 4.22 Lucifer Rising.
The episode's title is Swan Song. The phrase "Swan Song" in modern jargon refers to a final work or performance, or the final part of a story. It was also the name of the record label founded by Led Zeppelin.
Chuck says the Impala rolled of the assembly line in Janesville WI on April 24, 1967. April 24 is Eric Kripke’s birthday.
The name of the Impala's first owner, Sal Moriarty, is a reference to Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, the main characters in the novel On the Road.
In this episode Dean refers to Bobby as Yoda, and Lucifer calls Sam “young Skywalker”. Eric Kripke originally pitched the show as “Star Wars in truck Stop America”. The story writer on this episode Eric "Giz" Gerwitz is a game developer behind the two most success Star Wars video games. Writer and producer Julie Siege also worked on the animated series “Clone Wars”.
Lucifer has referred twice to Sam saying “yes” in Detroit – in 5.04 The End and 5.10 Abandon All Hope
In The End, Future Dean tells Dean that Sam gave "the big yes" to Lucifer in Detroit. In 5.10 Abandon All Hope, Lucifer predicts this future to Sam, telling him "I don't know Sam, I think it will. I think it'll happen soon, within six months. And I think it'll happen in Detroit." The episode first aired on November 19, 2009. If you look at a calendar for 2010, six months from this date is the third week of May (the week of May 17th). 5.22 Swan Song aired on May 13, one week shy of Lucifer's six-month projection.
Sam as Lucifer and Michael inside Adam fall into Lucifer's Cage
Lucifer: The exhilaration. And you know why that is? Because we are two halves made whole. MFEO. Literally.
MFEO= Made For Each Other.
Stull Cemetery is a real cemetery near Lawrence, Kansas, where Sam and Dean were born. It has a lot of lore associated with it, including that it may be a gate to Hell.
This was Eric Kripke's last episode as showrunner. He will continue to have input to the show in a consultant's role, and Sera Gamble will take over as show runner. Read more about Season Six here.
Lucifer quotes the lyrics to the Charlie Daniel's song "Devil Went Down to Georgia" when he tells Sam, "I'll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul 'cause I think I'm better than you."
Sam: If this thing goes our way, and I Triple Lindy into that box, you know I'm not coming back.
The Triple Lindy was a ridiculous high dive done by Rodney Dangerfield in the movie Back to School. Watch the clip to see how ridiculous.
Dean: I got a bad feeling about this.
This line is said many times, by several characters, in the Star Wars movies.
Dean: Your hell is gonna make my tour look like Graceland.
Graceland was Elvis Presley's estate in Memphis, Tennessee and is now a museum.
Dean: What do we do now?

Castiel: I suggest we imbibe copious amounts of alcohol. Just wait for the inevitable blast wave.
Dean: Yes, well, thank you, Bukowski.

Charles Bukowski was famous for writing novels and stories featuring alcoholic protagonists.
Lucifer: Castiel, did you just Molotov my brother with holy fire?
A Molotov cocktail is an incendiary weapon in which a flammable liquid is placed in a glass bottle and sealed with a cloth or rag. The cloth is set on fire, and when it is thrown and the bottle breaks, the liquid inside spreads and catches fire. Castiel made his Molotov cocktail using Holy Oil.
Chuck foreshadows his divinity/real identity in 4.18 The Monster At The End Of This Book, the first episode in which he appears:

Chuck: Well, there's only one explanation. Obviously I'm a god.
Sam: You're not a god.

Chuck: How else do you explain it? I write things and then they come to life. Yeah, no, I'm definitely a god. A cruel, cruel, capricious god. The things I put you through -- The physical beatings alone.
When Lucifer is showing Sam all the people in his life who were really agents of Azazel watching over him, he refers to Sam's prom date Rachel. In the Wish Verse in 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be, Dean is said to have slept with Sam's prom date Rachel Nave on prom night.
Dean: Wow, you really got a whole virgin-hooker thing going on, don't ya?

Dean accuses Chuck of having a "thing" for virgins and prostitutes (hookers), possibly a hint towards Chuck's true identity as God. Specifically, a reference to the Virgin Mary, who supposedly gave birth to God's son, Jesus.

When Dean calls Chuck, Chuck answers the phone "Mistress Magda," and we briefly see a newspaper/magazine ad for a blonde bombshell in a bikini named "Miss Magda" on Chuck's desk before he puts his glass on it. Jesus, whom many believe was the physical incarnation of God, was said to have loved a repentant prostitute, a woman named Mary Magdalene, more than his other disciples. There are many who believe Jesus actually married Mary Magdalene, though this idea, as well as Mary's status as a prostitute, are both matters widely disputed by historians the world over.
Lucifer: Sorry if it's a bit chilly. Most people think I burn hot, it's actually quite the opposite.
In the fourteenth century, Italian poet Dante Alighieri wrote the epic poem Divine Comedy, which chronicles the poet's fictional tour of the various levels of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. In the first part, Inferno (sometimes known as "Dante's Inferno"), Dante descends into the center of Hell, which is in the middle of the 9th Circle, the eternal punishment for betrayal, the most heinous of sins. There, Dante finds Satan trapped in a lake of ice with many other betrayers for all eternity. This is in stark contrast to the popular view of Hell as the "lake of fire".
Lucifer uses his finger to draw a pitchfork in the frozen window.
Lucifer: Chock full of Ovaltine, are we?
Ovaltine is a powder flavoring mixed with milk, but in this context, Lucifer is referring to the Demon Blood Sam drank before coming up. In 4.03 In The Beginning, Azazel says "Demon blood is better than Ovaltine, vitamins, minerals. It makes you big and strong."
Lucifer: OK, can we please drop the telenovela?
Telenovelas are (usually) Latin American TV soap operas.
In this episode, we may have finally seen what happened when Raphael killed Castiel in 4.22 Lucifer Rising. It wasn't shown on screen, but Chuck described it in 5.01 Sympathy For The Devil:

Dean: Where's Cas?
Chuck: He's dead. Or gone.The archangel smote the crap out of him. I'm sorry.
Dean: You're sure? I mean, maybe he just vanished into the light or something.

Chuck: Oh, no. He, like, exploded. Like a water balloon of chunky soup.


Filming finished on 29th March, 2010. Source
The possible omens Bobby shows Dean:
  • Cyclone in Tampa
  • Temperature drops in Detroit (20 degrees in a five-block radius in downtown Motown)
  • Wildfires in Los Angeles
The disasters reported on the news:
  • A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Portland
  • A magnitude 8.1 earthquake in Boston
  • More in Hong Kong, Berlin and Iran

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts