I now have this headcanon that future!Cas conducts slipshod church services on Sundays at Chitaqua from the roof of the rusty old Impala, and his sermons include snippets of 80’s family sitcom dialogue and lyrics from Billy Joel songs.
“We didn’t start the fire, children. It was always burning, since the world’s been turning. Believe me, I was there. I know.”
Sometimes he stands tall, arms flung wide like some old tv preacher, feet planted on the rusted roof of his old car. Sometimes he sits, cross-legged and hunched on the hood, and complains about the cold metal on his ass before he begins. It starts the same way, though.
Every Sunday morning, or at least on the Sundays when he feels like it or it’s not raining or not too cold or he’s not still out from the night before, when the sun starts pushing through the clouds and the night shift is just getting off, he’ll make his way to the old Impala along with Bill or Rachel or one of the kids and he’ll tell them, “ring the bells.”
And whichever kid is lucky enough to be chosen this time stabs away at the worn out car horn, and they don’t know the old songs so they make them up as they go. Sometimes, Dean’s on a shift and walking the perimeter when the horn blares out, faded and off and tinny and the part of him still living in the past that he hasn’t managed to bury yet thinks, dad would kill me if he heard her like that. On the other days when the racket pulls him from sleep he thinks that this’ll be the day he rips that car to shreds, this is the last straw, but he never does.
And at the noise people will gather, loose and easy in the early dawn, and Dean thinks it must be the spectacle of the thing that draws them out of warm beds or away from duty, the sight of a man who was an angel preaching in the lyrics of Billy Joel on an old car at the end of the world. Sometimes it’s snippets of lines, mixed up and scrunched together until Dean can’t tell what song they came from, until he thinks he never really like Billy Joel anyways. Once Cas just recites the entirety of “No Man’s Land” and calls it a day.
“We didn’t start the fire, children. It was always burning, since the world’s been turning. Believe me, I was there. I know.” Dean hears him on a circuit of the outer fences and shakes his head, wondering when the hell he had time to memorize this shit between Falling and everything going to hell in a handbasket.
Dean hears him one morning talking about the Impala, patting her hood as he goes, but when he rounds the corner and comes into view Cas catches his eye and grins. “I’ll tell you, he never traveled heavy, yes, he always rode alone, and he put many older guns to shame, and he never had a sweetheart, and he never had a home, but the angels and the demons knew his name. I was there, I know,” he says, and he grins, and laughs a little, and Dean turns away and grits his teeth.
The morning after their final plans had been made he hears the horns blaring, and despite himself he goes, stands in the shadows of the nearest building and watches them gather. Cas sits, for a long time quiet, on the hood of his old car, searching the faces in front of him. Dean can see them getting uneasy, shifting from foot to foot, but they wait for their ragged shepherd to speak.
Cas catches Dean’s eye where he leans in the shadow, and Dean turns to leave, doesn’t want to or can’t hear this, but the words follow him, mocking and sad and condemning. “Where’s the orchestra? After all, this is my big night on the town, my introduction to the theater crowd. I assumed the show would have a song, so I was wrong. At least I understand all the innuendo and the irony, and I appreciate the roles the actors played, the point the author made, and after the closing lines, and after the curtain falls on empty chairs, where’s my orchestra?”
OH MY FUCKING GOD Dean WAS wearing the 2014!Dean coat when Cas beat him up in the alley (that is, when Dean had sneaked off to go say yes to Michael). I thought I’d imagined it!
We first see this coat in The End (5x04), when Future!Dean is wearing it. Dean himself doesn’t pick it up until later in S5. It may, in fact, belong to Bobby, as Dean finds it in Bobby’s basement after he escapes from the panic room. It’s a green utility coat with a military feel to it. It has two very large breast pockets, and hidden side pockets.
Brand Information: Alpha Industries M-65 (unmodified).
In The End (5x04), Future!Dean wears it for the entire episode.
In Point of No Return (5x18), Dean finds it in Bobby’s basement after he escapes from the panic room. He wears it until Castiel beats him up and brings him back to Bobby’s. Sam (I’m assuming), removes it at some point while transporting the unconscious Dean from Bobby’s bed in the living room to the cot in the panic room, because he wakes up without it on.
Holy crap so much delicious and important and crazy-cool canon everywhere it’s like Flutie-Christmas.
Pt. 2: And that means the end verse could still happen since Dean didn’t slay Lucifer. Sorry for the two asks! Character limits suck.
Brilliant, of course. I wish I’d thought of it first.
Like many fans, I struggle with “Swan Song”. In a purely logical sense, I know it’s the only way that episode could have gone down — after all, the first five seasons were Sam’s Hero’s Journey; so it needed to be him who made the final choice; it needed to be his agency and his sacrifice in order to close the narrative loop. Sam was the initial focus, the grounding point for the story. He needed to be the one to end it.
And yet, by the second season Supernatural had already evolved into something more than just a simple Hero’s Journey, and the narrative focus shifted in a large part to Dean, who I think is the more flawed and thus more compelling character of the two. And when Dean started the Apocalypse, well, it’s just as you said — narrative consistency demands that the man who starts it, ends it.
End!verse, IMO, is the only way this show can end satisfyingly — and not because it’s heartwrenching and whatever, but because that’s the universe in which Dean has the final agency and control; he’s the one with the power to end the apocalypse he started, for better or worse. It’s the only way to close the open narrative loop.
Thematically it fits too: This is and always has been a story about the conflict between destiny and free will, and IMO, the most appropriate way to explore that would be to have Lucifer’s prophecy come true, and see what Team Free Will does as a result.
Edlund and Carver and Michaels and whoever else can deny it all they want, but End!verse is definitely what we are hurtling towards. Anything else would be an utter waste of one of the best set-ups in television since Babylon 5.
Why “The End” is what Supernatural is hurtling towards – and why Season 7 may just be the most important one yet.
I know I’m not the first fan to speculate that the Supernatural’s eventual endgame is the bleak, dystopian future presented in the Season 5 episode, “The End”. But with just two years remaining until we actually hit 2014, the year the End!verse takes place, I still haven’t seen very many analyses go through and pick apart the canon to determine how far we are along the road to End!verse.
So, in true Flutie form, I accidentally all the meta. (Sorry if it’s a little rambly and poorly-edited; i’m sick and feeling a little woozy from cold medicine still.) Anyway, here’s what I’ve got so far.
Useful Link: Supernatural Wiki Transcript for “The End”
BEWARE: BELOW THE CUT BE SPOILERS. YARR.