Supernatural: Lebanon
February 8, 2019 1:12 AM - Season 14, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean look to occult lore for a solution to their latest problem, but instead of a resolution, they find much more than either of them had anticipated.


- This is the 300th episode of Supernatural.
- Jared and Jensen are the only actors to appear in all 300 episodes, however Jensen only appears as Dean in 299 episodes.
- This is the first time in the series that the entire Winchester Family are seen together.
- John Winchester's age at the time of s2e01 In My Time of Dying would have been 52 years old. With Jeffrey Dean Morgan's return to Supernatural in "Lebanon", he is now the same age as John Winchester was in his last appearance. However, as John was pulled from 2003, Morgan is playing John 3 years younger than he actually is.
- Kurt Fuller returns to reprise his role as Zachariah, the last episode he was in, s5e18 Point of No Return, was the 100th episode.
- Zachariah dies similarly in this episode as he did the last time, taunting a Winchester brother to their face and got within striking distance of an angel blade.
- The 2003 Impala is distinguished by the KAZ 2Y5 licence plate, and the side spotlights, which were removed from the Impala in s3e10 Dream a Little Dream of Me by director Steve Boyum and never replaced.
- In the alternate timeline, Castiel is wearing his original trench coat which his current self discarded in s9e01 I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here.
- It's shown that the Winchesters go by Sam and Dean Campbell in Lebanon and are well known in the town. Campbell is their mother's maiden name.
- The monkey on the counter in the pawn shop is the same monkey that used to be on the bar in Harvelle's Roadhouse, and was last seen in Rocky's Bar in Dean's subconscious.
- One of the occult items the owner of the pawn shop pointed out is a Hand of Glory. The Winchesters previously hunted for a Hand of Glory with Bela Talbot in s3e6 Red Sky at Morning to get rid of the Sailor's Ghost.
- The concept of the Baozhu pearl is reminiscent of the Shikon no Tama ("Jewel of the Four Souls") from InuYasha. A powerful marble sized jewel that grants the user immense power, including granting their wishes.
posted by numaner (17 comments total)
This was just pure fan service and I loved every second of it. Except for JDM looking way older than John is supposed to look. But the funny thing is in 2006, when John died, I thought JDM was too young to look 52.

I wonder if the kids come back. They were pretty fun. Also, I applauded the budding lesbian relationship the two girls had going. Lebanon sure is an interesting city, aside from the fact that it's "muddy" to angel senses.
posted by numaner at 1:20 AM on February 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

I, seriously, have not been this excited about an episode in a long time. I've watched every one (in real time even!) but this one just got me all hyped up and excited - and delived on why I've been a constant fan of the series from the start. It had all the feels! All the fun,and such a wonderful emotional payoff.

I agree that the kids were an awesome side note. And kind of brought back that kind of fan want that somewhere, somehow, Sam and Dean end up being teachers to the next generation of hunters; taking from the kids whose lives are affected by the Supernatural (not unlike Wayward sisters Claire and Alex.)

Rousing applause for all who brought this ep to life. Actors, writers, crew, network. Well done!
posted by allandsome at 5:46 AM on February 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

I don't think I have too much to say about this one, other than that it was really good. I managed to avoid the casting spoilers and I'm really glad for that because it was a genuine shock when Papa Winchester showed up. It was also interesting to get a reminder of just how cold Castiel was way back when, and to get another visit from Zachariah, one of the show's jolliest assholes.

I don't know how many times I've seen the clip from the pilot where Dean talks about how Dad went on a "hunting trip" and went missing, but this time Dean's voice struck me as much higher than it is now. Both of the stars actually look remarkably youthful for their ages, but it's always a shock to see those early clips and be reminded of just how young they looked when the show was new.

I'm pretty sure the kids will be back, as will the postal worker lady. They're fun, and establishing the town as a place grounds the show a little. It makes sense that the bros have been putting down some roots, now that they've lived in the bunker for a while. Besides, those kids will DEFINITELY be getting into trouble now that they know about monsters. Was the boy the brother of the dark-haired girl? When she told him he wasn't supposed to be at their little party it seemed like a big sister thing, although maybe she was just being mean to the uncool kid.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:55 PM on February 8, 2019 [5 favorites]

It WAS kind of weird they made John Wayne Gacy, a real-life serial killer, into a spook show baddie. That's arguably disrespectful to his victims and their families. But he just kind of jumped around for a minute and never got a chance to actually hurt anyone here, so I'm inclined to give the show a pass.

Also, did anybody catch the All Saints Day poster on the movie house? This show's props department sure has fun.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:41 PM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

I liked this one. Heartwarming. I had successfully avoided all spoilers but I wasn't surprised when John Winchester showed up. It was annoying that Jack was still gone with no explanation, but that was my only big complaint.
posted by Redstart at 12:10 PM on February 11, 2019

The John Wayne Gacy thing was the only part I didn't like! It felt very anticlimactic.

I wish I had been able to avoid the casting spoiler, but every time I looked at Google News for the last two months, there were "OMG JOHN WINCHESTER" articles being thrown at me, so...
posted by sarcasticah at 4:25 PM on February 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

The John Wayne Gacy thing was off in a way that felt almost like an in-joke, or an attempt to shovel in a bunch of callbacks (clowns! burning ghosts! serial killers!) and rely on some audience goodwill/fanservice to hold it together. But I tell you what, I was hype af from the very first scene for whatever was going to come out of that creepy bear, and if it they have to make another 300 episodes I better find out.

Okay but I did like this very much, and genuinely felt for the characters in a way I've missed a bit in later years.

I was thinking, the pearl actually would have solved their Michael problem pretty nicely if they let it--presumably they could just wait for the other timeline to take over, and the Michael in Dean's head would just pop back into his own universe (and also Lucifer and OG Michael would still be alive and yes, there are some kinks to this plan, but Michael would be out of Dean's head.) I think it's totally believable and consistent that that wasn't even on the table for the Winchesters, for all the reasons they eventually undid it, but I dig that it could have granted both the wish Dean had and the wish he thought he had.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:25 PM on February 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

We ended up watching the very first episode the other night, for the first time in probably 10 years or so, and it was interesting to see it so soon after this one. First, John and Mary look SO YOUNG and the boys both look about 12 although Dean still has baby crow's feet. Sam is a beanpole with major WB hair and Dean somehow seems shorter than he is now. Did Jensen Ackles have a growth spurt when he was 30? Kelly from The Orville is Sam's girlfriend! She has the exact same voice but she has a soft little face and she spends a good portion of the episode in a sexy nurse costume, so that's a thing. (There's also a moment when Dean openly creeps on Kelly from The Orville, a reminder of just how lecherous baby Dean could be.)

It was striking how Mary was barely a character then. She was just a sweet mom who worries about her kids for a second and is then killed on the ceiling. I'm kind of surprised Samantha Smith got the gig when they brought her back, because they could have easily replaced her and it wouldn't create this weird question of how she's aged when she was dead. Of course I'm glad they DID go with Smith, because she's very good in the role. But the Mary in the pilot is just kind of a placeholder character, the loving mom who dies, and she almost doesn't seem like the same feisty lady we know now.

A lot of pilots feel like rough sketches for the shows they become, all the characters are really over the top and the actors don't have the roles down, but this one feels very much like the show we know. The pilot looks a bit more cinematic (more X-Files-ish, really) and there seems to be more of an effort to ground things, like we hear about the credit card scams and other details to establish that this is all taking place in a world very much like ours. That's stuff they don't do as much now, and I miss it. Ackles and Padalecki totally have their chemistry from the beginning, although here the brothers are so young that they keep roughhousing, giving each other these brotherly Three Stooges slaps on the back of the head. (When they try to pass as feds, a cop even mutters that they seem awful young for the job!) They're kids, but you can draw a straight line from these kids to the men they've become.

In the pilot there's a moment where Sam is incredulous that Dean is hunting on his own and Dean says, "Dude. I'm 26." He's a young 26. We've come all the way from that to Dean grumbling about how he's just too old for this shit. There are downsides to a show lasting so long, like an occasional loss of focus or repeated tropes. But when I've tried to explain this show to people who don't know it, I've sometimes asked them to imagine what it'd be like if one of their favorite shows just didn't go away. Like, what if Buffy the Vampire Slayer never got cancelled and now we were watching the adventures of a 40-year-old Buffy every week? Wouldn't that be weird, but also kind of great? Well, Supernatural fans don't have to imagine it!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:52 PM on February 14, 2019 [6 favorites]

Oh, the bear!! I am SO disappointed that we never found out what dreadful thing would happen if the bear's string was pulled.
posted by sarcasticah at 6:39 PM on February 14, 2019

i haven't watched The Orville, and i'm not going to, but she will forever be Jessica Moore to me. that name is ingrained in my psyche as she's basically the catalyst of Sam's journey in all this. and then there's also the time Lucifer appeared to him as her in his dream to mess with him.
posted by numaner at 5:49 PM on February 21, 2019

Numaner, if you like 80s-90s Trek I'd strongly suggest giving The Orville a shot. It was sold as a parody but it's not that. The pilot is kind of iffy but after that it basically settles down into a pretty good, old school Trek show with a more casual crew and an occasional (not obnoxious) Seth McFarlane joke. I was expecting a trainwreck and I've been very pleasantly surprised. I've said before that if Enterprise had been more like this, it very well might have saved the Trek franchise.

(Of course, it's possible you just don't like Trek and I've just spent a paragraph wasting my time and yours.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:54 AM on February 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

I like Trek, it's Mcfarlane that rubs me the wrong way
posted by numaner at 2:11 PM on February 25, 2019

I'd gotten pretty tired of McFarlane too, but this show is really something different. Seriously, it's a Trek show (in everything but name) with occasional jokes. Early on the jokes feel kind of forced in, like somebody was giving old Trek scripts to the Family Guy writers to "punch up," but eventually it finds a nice groove. If you could get through season one of TNG you can get through this.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:18 PM on February 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I know I’m talking to an empty room here, but still, I’m just so pleased that they got that family dinner. If I can mix my shows (and I can, because no one is here to stop me), just this once, no one died. I really appreciated that the party kid just got spooked and not killed, because this really needed to be an episode where no one died (and double props for having it be a Black kid who very conspicuously Lived). Everything about this warmed my heart, and that I happened to watch adorable budding lesbian relationship during Pride month doubly so. Seriously, Max stole Baby to impress her crush. How badass is that? Wicked badass!
posted by Ruki at 2:15 PM on June 11, 2019

Late to the party, but no-one mentioned Zachariah calling Cas "Constantine?"
posted by mikelieman at 4:39 PM on February 6, 2021


Terry: [approaching Sam with a large sword] Now, this – it’s called "Chrysaor". Supposed to be able to cut through anything. Sliced up your pal real good with just one swing, but you – oh, you’re a big boy. You might take some work. [raise his arms for a sword swing]
Dean: [shoots Terry through the chest from behind; Terry collapses to the floor] They always talk too much.

Dean: All right. Any of this scream "clown" to you?
Sam: John Wayne Gacy's cigar box. I mean...
Dean: We should burn that now.
Sam: Oh, yeah.
Dean: A serial killer clown. I mean, this is, like, the best/worst thing that's ever happened to you, you know, 'cause you love serial killers, but you hate clowns.
Sam: Yeah, I get it, Dean.

Sam: Listen, Dean, there is a wanted poster for you hanging in the post office.
Dean: Oh, yeah, no, I googled me, as well. Um, lotta beheadings.
Sam: I was right -- messing with time changed things.
Dean: Well, I mean, I'm still hunting, but you're Internet famous. So, what -- is there two of us running around here?
Sam: No, I don't think so. I think it's a temporal paradox. We pulled Dad here from 2003, right? So time is self-correcting. Our timeline is changing to this new one.
Dean: So, what do you mean?
Sam: It means, I think, that, if we don't fix this, then we become those other versions of ourselves. Like, for real.
Dean: Okay, well, I'm cool, but you're -- eugh.
Sam: That's not the point. The point is, if all this is different, then what else changed?

Zachariah: Earth – where you’re always stepping in something. Come on, Constantine.
Castiel: I don’t understand that reference.
Zachariah: You wouldn’t.

Zachariah: See, I need to know who's been messing with time.
Caitlin: Excuse me?
Zachariah: Yeah, we sensed a -- well, let's call it a disturbance in the Force. And in Heaven, well, we're not super fond of those.
Caitlin: In Heaven?
Zachariah: Yeah, yeah. In Heaven. This town -- it's always been a little... muddy for us. Some sort of... interference.
Zachariah: [to Max, Stacy and Eliot sitting at the table] Hi.
Zachariah: So, I'm going to ask one more time -- who's been playing Back to the Future? And you're going to tell me, or he -- what's the phrase I'm looking for? He murders you all.

Sam: Listen, Jack and Cass are out with Jules and her crew, but when they get back, they can give us a hand cataloguing of all this.
Dean: Oh, cataloguing, fun.
Sam: Something like this -- maybe it's what we need, you know, to take your mind off things.
Dean: Things? What things? Oh, you mean that thing that's riding shotgun up in my head? That thing?

John: So, you saved the world?
Dean: More than once.
John: Then it's all true. God, the Devil, you boys smack in the middle. Now you live in a secret bunker with an angel and Lucifer's kid.
Dean: Yeah.
Sam: Yeah.
John: And you've done this whole time-travel thing before?
Dean: A few times. Actually, uh, our grandfather, your dad -- he's the one who helped us find this place. I think he'd be real happy to know you're finally here.
John: Right. Man of Letters.
Sam: Yeah. We're legacies... because of you.
John: So, you've, um -- you've been busy.
Sam: A little bit.
John: I don't... I just... I just wish that I had been there to see it.
Dean: Dad, none of this would have happened without you.
John: It's good. It's fine. I went out takin' out Yellow Eyes. I mean, that was the point, right? I mean, get the thing that killed Mom.
Sam: Yeah, yeah, uh, Dad. About Mom...
Mary: [enters the bunker] Sam? Dean?
John: [teary-eyed] Mary?

John: A "temporal paradox"?
Dean: That's what Sam's calling it. Egghead. Basically, uh, if you don't go back, Sam never gets back into the life, um, and Mom, she, uh...
John: What?
Dean: Well, without everything that we did -- with God, The Darkness -- she never comes back. Sam thinks that she'll just fade away.
John: Okay. I mean, me versus your mom? That's not even a choice.


This is the series' 300th episode.

When the boys walk into the liquor store at the beginning of the episode, behind them on the wall is a lit sign that says "FB Beer Company". Jensen Ackles launched the Family Business Beer Company brewery in 2017.

Zachariah refers to Castiel as Constantine. The character of Castiel was modeled after the character John Constantine from DC Comics, complete with trenchcoat, tie, and white Oxford shirt. Constantine briefly had a TV show on NBC, Constantine, in 2014. After the show was cancelled, the character of Constantine was incorporated into the TV show DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which was broadcast on the CW network, the same network as Supernatural.

Zachariah said, "Speak, Ubu, speak." That is a reference to the tag line of producer Gary David Goldberg company Ubu Productions.

At the pawn shop, in the back room, there was a hockey mask belonging to Jason of Friday the 13th fame. Jared Padalecki starred in the 2009 Jason-centred reboot of the horror film Friday the 13th.

One of the items in the pawn shop inventory book is Unicorn Urine.

Dove's Blood is used when creating talismans, sigils, pacts, or petition papers dealing with issues of power, protection, courage, and spirituality.

The "Hand of Glory" is usually the left hand of an executed man coated in fat of said same person, so that it can be lit like a candle. When lit, it seems to stop those in "front" of the hand "in their tracks".

The monkey statue sitting on the counter in the pawn shop is the same monkey statue seen in "Nihilism" (ep. 14.10) within Rocky's Bar, Dean's dream bar. This monkey statue was first seen in season 2 within Ellen Harvelle's Roadhouse, making its first appearance in "Everybody Loves a Clown" (ep 2.2).

John Wayne Gacy was a serial killer, out of the Chicago area, who preyed upon children, and dressed as a clown in order to ingratiate himself into the community.

The Lebanon Theater has a poster for "All Saints Day", the fictitious movie from "Mint Condition" (ep. 14.4). The marque advertises a fictitious film called Hell Hazers, which is also mentioned in "Mint Condition". The Hell Hazers series is first mentioned in "Hollywood Babylon" (ep. 2.18).

The episode title refers to Lebanon, Kansas, where the bunker is located.

When John is sent back to 2003 at the end of the episode, he wakes up in the Impala. The car is shown to have its original "KAZ 2Y5" license plate, as well as dual spotlights located on either side of the windshield, which were on the car for the first two seasons of the show.

When Sam Winchester becomes internet famous in the alternate timeline, after John Winchester's 2003 disappearance, his appearance and speech pattern is based on that of  Apple executive Steve Jobs.
posted by orange swan at 12:20 PM on March 29, 2022

That post office employee was definitely a Dean girl who . I thought it was rather nice to see that Sam and Dean have put down a few roots in their community. They can't use their real surname, and they can't tell anyone where they live or what they do, but they can at least have a nodding acquaintance with some of the townspeople.

That dust in the cigar box morphing into a clown hand was a pretty decent special effect, as was the make up on the killer clown.

Dean's wanted poster features the picture taken in the prison episode and shows him giving his best Blue Steel, heh.

Dean and Sam's facial injuries didn't correct themselves? And Mary was still present, and they all had their memories, but Castiel and Zachariah didn't? Such contrivances are convenient for the narrative, but they don't have a lot of internal logic. I suppose one could make the argument that Dean was getting his heart's desire to have his family back together, and that meant Sam and Mary needed to be included in the experience.

If this John was really was from 2003, I don't know when all the personal growth that led him to apologize to both the boys would have happened. What did make sense was the way Sam and Dean no longer needed their father to apologize to them, though they did appreciate his wanting to. They're middle-aged men who have seen a lot of shit and who have a good understanding of what their father went through, and they've grown past their issues with their father and made their peace with his memory.

It WAS kind of weird they made John Wayne Gacy, a real-life serial killer, into a spook show baddie. That's arguably disrespectful to his victims and their families.

On a related note, I cringed when Dean asked for "the skull of Sarah Good". Sarah Good was an innocent women who was brutally executed for an imaginary crime during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. I hated to see her name invoked here with the implication that she actually was a witch.
posted by orange swan at 12:42 PM on March 29, 2022

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