Season 5 Episode 4

The End

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Oct 01, 2009 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
1,284 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Dean refuses Sam's efforts to help him battle the Devil, and then wakes up to find himself five years in the future, in a wasteland where Lucifer has begun his endgame by unleashing a virus that transforms humans into zombies.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • love it!

    Surprised. very interesting twist!
  • It seems to be hard for the Supernatural writing staff to do any wrong these days. Even when they're operating outside of their comfort zones, they still knock classic after classic out of the park.moreless

    It seems to be hard for the Supernatural writing staff to do any wrong these days. Even when they're operating outside of their comfort zones, they still knock classic after classic out of the park. Ben Edlund is known for his comedic streak ('Monster Movie', 'Hollywood Undead' et al are all his) but here he tries something fairly straight and it works an absolute treat. Okay, so he also wrote last season's 'On the Head of a Pin', which is probably the show's greatest and most horrifying episode ever, so perhaps 'The End''s success isn't such a big surprise. The concept is actually something of a bog-standard one: hero gets a glimpse of the future as a lesson from his benefactor (A Christmas Carol, anyone?) but Edlund makes it seem so much more original than that. The inclusion of future Dean is an inspired decision and Jensen does a fantastic job of illustrating the subtle differences between the characters. Misha Collins is ace as a humanised Castiel too, never making his transformation into new age hippy seem too absurd. It's also somewhat pleasing to see the Croatoan virus rear its ugly head again, as it seemed doomed to the scrapheap as a throwaway season two stand alone. Thankfully, its inclusion doesn't feel at all gimmicky and its effects are superbly depicted: the scene with the little girl is absolutely terrifying, while Dean's execution of his compatriot is completely shocking in its brutality.

    And then, of course, we have Sam as Lucifer. Well, if Jared is this good now, I can't wait to see what he has in store for us in the future. Like Pellegrino, Padalecki plays it completely straight, without any bombast and it's so much eerier for it. It's the little things that make this scene so superb: Jensen's tears, Sam standing over Dean's dead body, the white suit... it's all thoroughly unnerving. Naturally, it's good to see the brothers reunited at hour's end and also for Dean to make the less expected decision by still rejecting Michael, but really, the best thing about this episode is the meat of its central narrative. This season just keeps getting better and better and continues to prove why Supernatural is the greatest thing on TV right now. The apocalypse never felt so darn good.moreless
  • Fantastic, trully!

    It was the best episode so far in Supernatual. I couldnt believe in Sam dressed up like the devil, and Dean dead on the floor. Now we know that Sam has a chance of being saved from the final call, and it all depends on his old brother. I was sick of seeing Dean so tuff to his brother, after all it was not only his fault, the angels has too helped this new Armagedom. I'm dying to see all the season, it is getting so creepy and so interesting! Hope we have more seasons and good episodes like this one.moreless
  • 5 Years Into The Future

    This episode starts out with Sam calling Dean to tell him that he is Lucifers chosen vessel and that he wants back in with Dean to help fight the devil. Dean disagrees and goes to slepp only to wake up 5 years later in the future.

    We find out that if Dean says no to becoming Michaels vessel this is what will happen. The town is full of zombies and the streets are destroyed. He goes searching and ends up being knocked unconscious by future Dean. Future Dean says that two years ago there was an outbreak of a virus and that Sam died in a showdown. Dean escapes and finds Castiel who we learn has become mortal since the other angels left the earth.

    Dean later finds out that Sam hasnt dies but instead said yes to becoming Lucifers vessel. Future Dean tells Dean that he must say yes to michael in order to save Sam and everyone else but Dean refuses and refuses to kill Sam. Dean, future Dean, and other members of the town go to fight Lucifer and his men and it ends with Lucifer in Sams body snapping Future Deans neck. Lucifer tells Dean that he knows he wont kill him and they'll always end up here so he'll see him in 5 years.

    Zachariah returns Dean to his time and dean still refuses to become Michaels Vvessel. He then calls Sam and tells him that he's changed his mind and they should start team back up again.

    In this episode it was great to see Dean taken to the future to find out what happens and then try to change it. There was lots of funny moments in this episode and seeing a hippy and mortal Castiel was hilarious.

    Great episode. 10.moreless
  • Dean sees the future but how entertaining is it?

    Similarly to season 4's superb In the Beginning Dean is sent through time to have his eyes opened to the truth. However in In the Beginning we thought there was a chance Dean could change history and it wasn't until the end that it was revealed to have been used to prove to him that Sam was dangerous. Here however it is said right at the top of the episode that Dean has been sent forward simply to witness how things will play out. Obviously being the future even if he could affect anything it wouldn't matter to the present. This unfortunately meant there was a slight lack of engagement in the episode. It was almost like we were watching Dean watch an episode of Supernatural where he wasn't truly involved in the main plot. That combined with the fact the time travel thing was unoriginal did weaken this episode for me.

    Of course there was still loads to love here. While the time travelling felt like something that really should've been a one off on the show, getting to see the apocalyptic future was very cool. As presumably Dean and Sam will save the day, getting to see what could happen was very cool. It also looked awesome and it really felt like the end of the world. For a TV budget they managed to make everything look great and therefore feel very real. The Croatoan virus may have been a good idea as a plot point for how the world went to Hell, but I had a couple of issues with it. As it was ages ago the episode that had it in I can't remember what the initial cause of the outbreak was. Similarly it wasn't explained how it was passed from person to person. Maybe we were meant to have remembered from the earlier episode (if it was even explained there) but knowing the rules of this future world would've helped a bit.

    Supernatural has always been about the characters (like all great shows) and one of the most interesting things here was getting to see what our guys could be like in half a decade. Castiel was the best one as he'd changed the most. Obviously depressed at having become human he'd taken to drugs and lots of sex. That we weren't told that he'd lost his powers until a fair way into the episode worked well as at first it meant we could try to figure out why he'd changed. Then there was Chuck who was pretty much the same, except maybe a bit more confident. But of course he's always great to see so just that he was there was awesome! Then there was future Dean who I was a little bit disappointed with. Considering Dean is quite brooding and awesome anyway the difference between the two of them didn't appear to be that much. It was still fantastic getting two Jensen Ackles for the price of one, and he was at his usual acting best, but I felt they could've done more with the future character.

    Then there was Sam, here taken over by Lucifer. Not knowing how or why Sam said yes to him was a bit annoying here. You can't imagine any situation where Sam would've given in so it didn't help the immersion that you had to figure out for yourself what could've happened. Also Sam was nowhere near as good at playing Lucifer as Mark Pellegrino is. He still wasn't bad and the image of Sam as the ultimate evil was quite chilling. I guess considering Pellegrino has only had one scene as Lucifer so far it was maybe too early to have someone else take a shot at it. Having not seen much of him at all it made it difficult for someone else to have their take on the devil.

    My final complaint is the timeline. Future Dean said things didn't really start kicking off until two years earlier (three years in the future). While this future will now be significantly changed I still have a slight worry that the Apocalypse storyline could be dragged out for too long. This also leads into another issue of whether was even real or made up by Zachariah. Not knowing this leaves questions like why did Sam let Lucifer in and why did the Angels leave up in the air without the knowledge they're something that'll be expanded upon.

    So the point of the episode was Zach trying to get Dean to say yes to Michael, so the fact Dean turned it on its head and instead used it as the reason to team back up with Sam was nicely done. I still wish they'd stayed apart for a bit longer so that when they rejoined all of their issues could've been resolved, as here it feels a bit like Dean is just keeping an eye on Sam. Still despite a few issues with the main concept of the episode it was a thoroughly entertaining hour of television. Some great laughs and dialogue, as you'd expect from this show, and some very cool moments, as you'd also expect, like Cass' perfectly timed rescue at the end, meant it was still a good episode.moreless
Todd Scott

Todd Scott


Guest Star

John Paul McGlynn

John Paul McGlynn

Jehovah's Witness

Guest Star

Devyn Dalton

Devyn Dalton

Little Girl

Guest Star

Kurt Fuller

Kurt Fuller


Recurring Role

Robert Patrick Benedict

Robert Patrick Benedict

Chuck Shurley

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Dean: You know, it's kind of funny, talking to a messenger of God on a cell phone. It's, you know, like watching a Hell's Angel ride a moped.
      Castiel: This isn't funny. Dean. The voice says I'm almost out of minutes.

    • Future Dean: Okay. If you're me... then tell me something only I would know.
      Dean: Rhonda Hurley. We were, uh... 19. She made us try on her panties. They were pink. And satiny. And you know what? We kind of liked it.
      Future Dean: Touché.

    • Dean: Oh, come on, you don't trust yourself?
      Future Dean: No. Absolutely not.
      Dean: Dick.

    • Future Dean: Sam didn't die in Detroit. He said "yes."
      Dean: "Yes"? Wait. You mean..
      Future Dean: That's right. The big "yes." To the Devil. Lucifer's wearing him to the prom.

    • Lucifer/Sam: You don't have to be afraid of me, Dean. What do you think I'm going to do?
      Dean: I don't know. Maybe deep-fry the planet?
      Lucifer/Sam: Why? Why would I want to destroy this stunning thing... beautiful in a trillion different ways. The last perfect handiwork of God? You ever hear the story of how I fell from grace?
      Dean: Oh, good god, you're not gonna tell me a bedtime story, are you? My stomach's almost out of bile.
      Lucifer/Sam: You know why God cast me down? Because I loved him. More than anything. And then God created... you. The little... hairless apes. And then He asked all of us to bow down before you, to love you more than Him. And I said, "Father... I can't." I said, "These human beings are flawed, murderous." And for that... God had Michael cast me into Hell. Now, tell me... does the punishment fit the crime? Especially when I was right? Look at what six billion of you have done to this thing, and how many of you blame me for it?

    • Dean: I know what you are.
      Lucifer/Sam: What am I?
      Dean: You're the same thing, only bigger. The same brand of cockroach I've been squashing my whole life--an ugly, evil, belly-to-the-ground, supernatural piece of crap. The only difference between them and you is the size of your ego.
      Lucifer/Sam: I like you, Dean.

    • Sam: Thank you. Really. Thank you. I won't let you down.
      Dean: Oh, I know it. I mean, you are the second-best hunter on the planet.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Dean: So we're just going to walk in, we'll be the Dynamic Duo again?
      Referencing the common nickname for Batman and the various Robins. Batman and the original Robin, Dick Grayson, were created by Bob Kane in 1939 and 1940, respectively. The DC Comic Book heroes have been seen in many TV shows and movies since.

    • Dean: Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in, huh, Sammy?
      Referencing the 1990 movie The Godfather: Part III, spoken by Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) when he tries to leave his past with the Mafia behind but is inevitably pulled back in.

    • Dean: I thought I smelled your stink on this Back to the Future crap.
      Referencing the Back to the Future movies (1985) starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, a teenager who travels through time using his mentor Doc Brown's (Christopher Lloyd) time-traveling device, mounted in a DeLorean.

    • Zachariah: Onward, Christian Soldiers.
      Referencing the 19th century English hymn composed by Sabrine Baring-Gould and Arthur Sullivan. It refers to Christians as the soldiers of Christ.

    • Future Dean: The last thing they need to see is a version of The Parent Trap.
      Referencing the Disney 1961 movie starring Hayley Mills as identical twins who are raised separately by their divorced parents with no knowledge of each other's existence. When they meet each other at summer camp, they soon scheme to bring their parents back together. Mills starred in three sequel and a remake was produced in 1998.

    • Dean: Oh, well, if it isn't the Ghost of Christmas "Screw You."
      Referencing Charles Dickens 1843 novel A Christmas Carol, which tells the tale of a miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who despises Christmas. His partner Jacob Marley sends him the spirits of Christmases Past, Present, and Future to teach Scrooge the error of his ways. The novel has been rendered into dozens of movies, TV movies, plays, musicals, and very special Christmas episodes of various TV shows.