Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Writing on the Wall - A Study of God's Role in Supernatural Season 11 - Part 1

- by Anna

When Season 11 came to its conclusion it became clear to me what its true meaning was all about, what Show has always been about really, and that's family.  Sam and Dean Winchester, created by Heaven, at God's command, who would come to represent what Chuck/God wanted for himself. It is through Sam and Dean Winchester that God finally achieves his goal. From the moment Chuck appeared in Don't Call Me Shurley, I started to believe I understood what He was really doing, how he had carefully orchestrated the situation so that it came to the conclusion he so desperately desired. As I watched the final four episodes, it occurred to me what Chuck/God had been trying to achieve, what he wanted to achieve all along. He wanted his family. Personally, I think the writing on the wall has been there long before the beginning of Season 11. I can honestly go back to the Pilot, when it all began, but that would be more of a novel than an article! I thought it would be fun and a nice time killer during hiatus to go through the episodes of this season where I found evidence to present to you all examples that would go toward proving my theory, that Sam and Dean were in fact Chuck's/God's weapon for not only saving the world, but for saving Chuck's/God's family. I hope that as we go through the eps that you might be able to see, as I do, that the writing has been on the wall all along and it's at the conclusion of the finale that one might see the big picture.

As this is a bit of a length study - it will be presented in 2 parts!  So I will now take you on the first part of a journey through Season 11 and what were the moments for me, that provided evidence of the big picture, of not only what Alpha & Omega was all about, but what Show has always been all about since the day it began going on 12 years ago.

OUT OF THE DARKNESS, INTO THE FIRE:  The Dean/Amara connection.  Dean feared this connection and the control he lacked because of it. Dean believed it to be part of the curse for taking the Mark in the first place. The way I see it, Dean was always meant to take the Mark.  It's why Cain deemed him worthy of it. Dean was meant for the Mark as it would be Dean who God wanted to connect with Amara. The connection wasn't a curse for Dean, it would be what would save the world, and more importantly for Chuck/God, what would save his family.  Sam gets the boys on the right track again. Sam begins to remember what their job is and reminds Dean that it's not about just saving themselves, it's about saving everyone.

FORM AND VOID: Sam gets infected and prays for Dean.  He takes responsibility for releasing the Darkness and asks for help so he can fix it.  A few moments later, Billie arrives and behind a threat, actually provides Sam with a way to save himself and others from the infection.  He later has visions that he believes are from God.  While we learn later that the vision was not from God, I do believe God did in fact answer Sam's prayer by sending Billie. As we come to learn in later eps, Billie helps the boys on a few more occasions.

BABY:  Sam has another vision, but this time it's not of the cage or hell, this vision is a warning. This vision, unlike his previous ones, is verbal and comes from his father.  His father praises him and apologises for the life they've lived, claiming he never wanted this for them. Sam then admits to Not!John that he knows it's not real.  He isn't his father. (Yet in this vision, a father figure does appear to Sam to warn him and it could be said that God is "our" father and it stands to reason, though God wanted Sam and Dean to do for him what he couldn't do alone, he feels bad that they've suffered in order for that to happen). Still, in this vision, Sam is warned that the Darkness is coming and that only the boys can stop it.  He's also told that God helps those who help themselves. Sam confesses to Dean and tells him about the vision and where he believes it's possibly coming from. Given that God is totally keen on Dean's attitude towards him, it seems to me like he'd be totally aware of the response that Dean would give Sam. In the end, both Chuck/God and Dean pretty much told Sam the same thing,  that only they could stop the Darkness. The way I saw it, Sam got the same advice from the most important and influential individuals in his life.

PLUSH:  Sam continues to have visions and believes he has to go to the cage and meet with Lucifer. (So one might ask, if God sent the vision in Baby, then why didn't he warn Sam of the other visions that would lead him to the cage?  It's my belief that God didn't want to stop that from happening. God wanted his family back and that includes his children. While the vision in Baby doesn't stop Sam from believing he had to go to the cage, it did warn Sam that only he and Dean can stop the Darkness and only them. I do feel however, especially given the last few eps, that God did want Lucifer out of the cage.  I think it's why God allowed Luci's visions to get to Sam and why he didn't warn Sam in the first place. I will get into that more later. 

JUST  MY IMAGINATION:  Sully gives Sam the encouragement he needs to face his greatest fear, he tells Sam that he's a hero. He reminds Sam that he saved the world, giving Sam the confidence he needs to come face to face with Lucifer again, because Sam is capable of saving the world once again. 

O'BROTHER WHERE ART THOUGH?:  The boys devise a plan and get Crowley and Rowena's help to meet up with Lucifer.  It may have not seemed like it at the time, but listening to God/Chuck speak of the chosen, I believe that Crowley and Rowena were part of the chosen, assisting the boys in their own way, even if that way was totally self centred and resulted in Rowena's betrayal.   It all happened the way it was supposed to.

THE DEVIL IN THE DETAILS:  Sam is trapped with Lucifer and learns that is was Luci that sent the visions.(I believe all but one).  Lucifer's intentions are clear here; he wants to take Sam's faith.  He wants to break him down and get him to believe that God doesn't care about him or anyone else. He's trying to break Sam so that he'll say "yes".  Lucifer also shows Sam when he was at his weakest, when he broke, trying to convince him that he no longer has what it takes to save the world as he once did when he defeated Luci the first time. Lucifer tries to crush Sam's spirit, but instead does the opposite.  Sam doesn't say "yes" to Lucifer.   He instead tells Lucifer that he has faith in his friends and his his brother.  ( I believe that this is what Chuck/God wanted all along.  He wanted Sam to understand and see for himself his own strength in himself and in his faith in both Him and in Dean).  I have  no doubt that Billie was working at Chuck's/God's behest when she helped both Dean and Cas get to the cage.  Cas saying yes is also what I believe God had wanted all along as well.  (More about that later).

INTO THE MYSTIC:  Dean is told by Mildred to look into his heart, that it belongs to another.  Mildred assumed that this other was a woman, but she was wrong.  Dean's heart, for lack of sounding corny, has in fact always belonged to his brother. This is important foreshadowing, for it's what enabled Dean to get through to the Darkness. Sam's time with Lucifer is haunting him and he is engulfed with guilt/remorse for failing his brother when he didn't look for him.  Sam believed his brother and Cas were dead. As we had seen throughout Season 7, Sam was on the brink of a mental breakdown for most of the season, while hallucinations of Lucifer plagued him on a daily basis.  Dean promised Sam that he was his touchstone in Hello Cruel World.  Sam's strength and thus his ability to make it through each day came from that knowledge.  I believe it was in The Slice Girls, that Sam pleaded with Dean..."just don't die".  Sam actually started to lose his battle against Lucifer, unable to sleep, getting hit by a car which resulted with him in the hospital, where he began not only his mental decline but his physical one. Sam was dying. Dean with the help of Cas saved Sam physically, but they didn't take away the trauma and the fear and Sam's need for his brother. Bobby was dead. As a matter of fact, he died twice. Then Sam witnessed the unthinkable. He watched his brother explode in a sea of black goo. Dean was gone.  His touchstone was gone. He had just lost Bobby again. Cas was gone too. Sam had no one.  He lost his entire world in that moment and there was no one there to save him from the abyss he'd fallen into.  There was no one there to talk him into believing anything other than that his brother was dead. Sam was beholden to a promise that he made to his brother as well. Sam believed his brother died and promised Dean that they wouldn't try to bring each other back. So with that, Sam stopped.  He stopped everything.  He stopped hunting.  He stopped caring.  He admittedly drove around for months, aimlessly, until that dog ended up in front of Baby and he hit it.  (I have no doubt that divine intervention had a hand in putting that dog in Sam's path)  Sam hitting that dog saved his life. It led to him meeting Amelia, and though I never cared for her, she did save Sam.  She gave him something to focus on, something to care about, someone he can save.  While time spent with her wasn't his reality,  he had time to heal, to become strong enough to recognise that and with that had the strength to leave her and head back to the cabin. Sam had told Dean he found something when he was with her, and I've always believed that something was purpose and the strength to keep going. That didn't take away the fact that he felt a disappointment and a failure to his brother, especially given Dean's reaction when he found out that Sam never looked.  Lucifer was right when he told Sam that his failure to save Dean was what drove him to release the Darkness.  Sam failed to save Dean from hell which had driven him to revenge upon Lilith.  Unfortunately that revenge lead to the rise of Lucifer, which Sam made right by putting him back in the cage. Now Sam feels guilt because he failed to save Dean from purgatory.  His mistake wasn't in believing Dean died.  His mistake wasn't in keeping a promise, given that canon shows on many occasions Sam adhering to Dean's wishes.  As a matter of fact, the one time Sam didn't, the one time he followed his own judgment and did what he felt he had to do, Lucifer rose. Sam's blind faith in his brother has always made sense. (Kind of like Dean's blind faith in his father, when the one time he didn't follow Dad's orders it almost got Sammy killed). Sam's guilt comes from the fact that he stopped.  He quit.  He had given up.  He didn't have the fight. When he believed his brother was dead, he died too.  Sam feels guilty for losing his faith.  He lost faith that his brother was alive.  He lost faith in himself.  He ran.  Sam needed Dean's forgiveness for that.  He needed to forgive himself for that as well. 

DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME:  This episode carried the theme of family

LOVE HURTS:  This episode focused on Dean's fear of his bond with Amara, it seemingly being a curse.  The irony here is that Dean's bond with Amara is actually the weapon to be used against her.

THE VESSEL:  Dean was a witness not only to God's power but to the sacrifice Delphine and the crew members made for the greater good, so that evil couldn't get it's hand on it. So with the help of God's power, that evil was destroyed.  Dean witnessed not only the existence of God and his power, but the willingness of sacrifice for the good of the world.  This will come into play later when he offers himself up to sacrifice himself to stop Amara and follows a different path when he does.

BEYOND THE MAT:  This episode pretty much just accentuates the Never Give Up, Keep on Grinding theme.

SAFE HOUSE:  This episode illustrated that Sam is Dean's safe house. His worst fear was not his bond with Amara, but his loss of his brother.

RED MEAT:  I still hold true that with Show, everything happens for a reason, even something as horrendous as Sam getting shot and then "killed".  I believe this episode just reinforced the codependent theme that is vital and runs through the entirety of this series.  It also demonstrates Sam's strength and perseverance as well as proving to Dean that Sam is always there for him, that he isn't going anywhere.

THE CHITTERS:  Jesse and Cesar just reinforced and in a way mirrored Sam and Dean's own relationship.

DON'T CALL ME SHURLEY:  This is the episode which Chuck personally involved himself in the orchestration of his plan to reunite his family.

ALL IN THE FAMILY:  Chuck setting up the chessboard. He keeps himself out of the fight by lying and telling the boys he's warded by Amara. He tries to keep Lucifer out of it by giving the boys a speech about not trusting him and adding that fake disdain of thanks for springing him in the first place. (I say fake because I totally believe that God wanted Luci out);  Chuck tells Dean it's his fight, Dean still thinks it should be God's fight.

WE HAPPY FEW:  Chuck/ God spends the entire ep just going through the motions of a plan that was always meant to fail.  He did however succeed in his secondary plan regarding Lucifer. ( I will get into that next).  Each and every one of his chosen joined together, which is a success story on it's own.  Dean had to face that he purposely failed at killing Amara the first time. He didn't really want to and while that may seem like a failure on his part, it's actually what God wanted Dean to understand all along...for it's when Dean finally comes to understand, it's this bond that is his greatest weapon against her.   God just stood by while a weakened Amara apparently gets the best of him.  He took a dive on that one.  God had admitted to Dean that it wasn't him that was to stop Amara, it was Sam and Dean, it's why he's saved them , they are his firewall. They were always God's plan.

ALPHA & OMEGA:  God's plan is a success.

So that's my journey through season 11, looking at what I see as God's plan. In part 2 I will look at the redemption angle and how that plays into my theory!

Thanks for reading.



  1. Some really good thinky stuff in here. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for reading. After Alpha & Omega had ended it had become so clear to me. I had been reading other posts where there had been disappointment in the finale because it wasn't as exciting as some have become accustomed to. I actually felt it didn't just conclude a season though, this was the conclusion to a story that started 11 years ago. With all the changes behind the scenes, Dabb & Singer taking over, it just felt like show was destined to head in a slightly different direction....I appreciated the gentleness of how this part of the journey ended and look forward to Sam and Dean's journey from here on, especially given that God/Chuck told Dean that the world would be fine as he was leaving it in their hands. I kind of wonder what that means for them in the future, as hunters & Men of Letters. Perhaps Sam and Dean will lead the MOL and train new hunters, who will fight for the world when the boys are done. I can go with that kind of a conclusion when the boys decide to hang up their supernatural boots. :D

  3. As always Anna, your thinky thoughts are fantastic!! I always thought that Dean's journey with the Mark was God's own little test for him. To make sure in the end,Dean was worthy, Dean was the one to connect with Amara, and also to bring Amara back into the family!! Dean and Sam finally coming together, reconnecting as a team is what made Season 11 a joy to watch!! As Jensen said recently at Pittcon I think "I hate it when they fight"!! I also agree the finale felt like a changing of the guard, if you will, a great ending and a new beginning! I'm excited to see where we go from here!!
    Roll on Season 12, can't wait!!

  4. OMG. This was an incredible read!! Wish I lived near you. I could talk to you for hours about this stuff. LOL. Thank you for your thoughts.