Supernatural: Dark Side of the Moon
August 19, 2021 4:57 AM - Season 5, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean are shot and killed by hunters Walt and Roy, and find themselves among strangely familiar settings in heaven. Castiel contacts Dean and asks him to seek out the angel Joshua; meanwhile, Zachariah is pursuing them in order to force Dean to be Michael's vessel.


Pamela: [slaps Dean on the side of his head] That's for getting me killed.
Dean: Yeah, that's probably less than I deserve. If it makes you feel any better, we got Ash killed too.
Ash: [Clicks fingers and makes the horns gesture] I'm cool with it!
Dean: He's cool with it.

Dean: Cass, hey, so er, so I found Sam but something just happened. There was this weird beam of light.
Castiel: Don't go into the light!
Dean: OK, thanks... Carol Anne.

Dean: [to Roy, who is about to shoot him] Go ahead Roy; do it. But I'm gonna warn ya, when I come back, I'm gonna be pissed.

Dean: A bit trippy, right?
Sam: Yeah. [notices Dean's teddy bear T-shirt] More trippy, um, apparently you "wuv hugs".
Dean: Shut up.

Ash: This ain't the first time you been here. I mean, you boys die more than anyone I have ever met.
Dean: Really?
Ash: Ahh, yeah, you don't remember. God! Angels... must have Windexed your brains.

Dean: Your heaven is somebody else's Thanksgiving, okay? It's bailing on your family. I mean, what do you want me to say?
Sam: Man, I never got the crusts cut off my PB&J... I just don't look at family the way you do.
Dean: Yeah, but *I'm* your family. We're supposed to be a team; it's supposed to be you and me against the world, right?
Sam: Dean, it is.
Dean: ... Is it?

Sam: You all right?
Dean: Define all right.

Castiel: You have to find an angel. His name is Joshua.
Dean: Hey, man, no offense, but we are kinda ass-full of angels all right?


Zachariah says that in heaven he has four faces, one of which was a lion. This would make him a cherub. In the Christian Angelic Hierarchy it is the cherubim's job to guard the way to the Garden of Eden as well as God's throne, which is exactly what Zachariah is doing when he stops Sam and Dean from entering the garden.

This episode has multiple Disney references. Ash continues to compare heaven to Disney World and the Magic Kingdom. The two hunters who kill Sam and Dean are named Walt and Roy (Walt Disney's brother's name was Roy).

When Castiel tells Sam and Dean, "Don't go towards the light," and Dean replies, "OK thanks Carol Anne," it's a homage to Poltergeist. Castiel speaks to them through a television set; in the movie little Carol Ann talks to some sort of entity whom only she can hear/understand through the family TV set.

While discussing various historical figures, Ash mentions Mallanaga Vatsyayana, the Indian mythical sage of the Asuras (demigods) to whom erotic sciences and, in particular, the Kama Sutra, are attributed. Ash's pronunciation is extremely misleading, but he does get the name right.

Heaven's garden, which for Dean and Sam is "the Cleveland Botanical Gardens", was filmed at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. This domed greenhouse and aviary is a favourite filming location in Vancouver.

This episode was titled after one of Pink Floyd's albums, Dark Side of the Moon.

Ash tells Sam and Dean, "Most people can't leave their own private Idaho." He is referring to the River Phoenix cult classic, My Own Private Idaho, and the 1980 hit song on which its title is based, "Your Own Private Idaho", by the B-52's.

This episode confirms that in "Sympathy for the Devil" (ep. 5:1), it was indeed God who put the brothers on the aircraft as Lucifer escaped, as well as resurrecting Castiel in the same episode.
posted by orange swan (4 comments total)
Samantha Smith must have been so glad when the time arrived that she could finally change out of that damn nightgown for the last time.

I liked the nuance of Dean's memory showing that John and Mary had some problems with their marriage that were bad enough that he'd actually moved out for a little while, and also of Sam's "good" memories of enjoying Thanksgiving with his little girlfriend's family and of having run away for a few weeks. The writers keep filling in details about the Winchesters' family life like that as the show goes on and, while the new info fits with what we knew, it always makes the total picture richer and more complex. Now that's good writing.

Zachariah continues to be awful in his inimitable way.

I liked getting to see Ash and Pamela again. This is Ash's last appearance in the series (Pamela appears once more in a 2019 episode), but he went out with style. Leave it to Ash to figure out how to hack heaven, intercept angel radio, and meet Johnny Cash, André the Giant, Einstein, and the writer of the Kama Sutra. It's interesting that he couldn't find John or Mary Winchester. Where on earth (or, er, off it) are they supposed to be?

Sam: This house, it’s one of my memories.
Dean: When I woke up, I woke up in one of my memories. The Fourth of July we burned down that field?
Sam: Maybe that’s what heaven is: a place where you relive your greatest hits.
Dean: Wait, so… playing footsie with brace-face in there? Then that’s a trophy moment for you?
Sam: Dean, I was eleven years old. This was my first real Thanksgiving.
Dean: What are you talking about? We had Thanksgiving every year.
Sam: We had a bucket of extra-crispy and Dad passed out on the couch.

And Ash says that in heaven, most people are in their own little space, except for a few special cases who are soulmates. Sam and Dean didn't wind up together (though they were able to find each other) which is another sign for Dean that Sam doesn't feel the same way about him as he does about Sam. I wish he understood that it is because he did such a good job of taking care of Sam and making him feel cared for that Sam came to have such a need for autonomy. His need for love/security had been met, and because of that he felt able to leave the nest and stretch his wings, to escape his father's control and the fucked-upness of the hunting life. Dean, meanwhile, never got that kind of love and security and still needs it from Sam. The thing is, Sam does love him and is spending 24/7 with him, but that's still not enough. Dean is thrown off by any indication that Sam values other things more than their relationship. It's heartbreaking when he throws away the Samulet.

Always nice to see Colin Ford's Young Sam. The casting director really lucked out when they found him. It might have been the case that he'd have outgrown his resemblance to Jared Padalecki, but he never did, and he's also a good actor who can nail adult Sam's affect.

This episode brings the death count for the Winchesters to 113 (111 times in the Groundhog Day episode, hell hounds, shot by hunters) times for Dean, and twice (stabbed in the back, shot by hunters) for Sam.

And Roy and Walt had better watch out.
posted by orange swan at 5:41 AM on August 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

This episode wanders in some real weird directions but the cold open and the fireworks are great every time.

It's interesting that he couldn't find John or Mary Winchester. Where on earth (or, er, off it) are they supposed to be?

Of the many MANY mysteries Supernatural threw out there and then never backed up, I carried a torch for this one till the end of the show.

This episode brings the death count for the Winchesters to 113 (111 times in the Groundhog Day episode, hell hounds, shot by hunters) times for Dean, and twice (stabbed in the back, shot by hunters) for Sam.

Unclear but possibly could also count Sam getting lightning-bolted by Hope Casey in 4x08 and stabbed by Anna in 5x13. But how weird it must be from both ends to either know you've met your reaper and gone to Heaven and had this whole experience multiple times that you aren't allowed to remember, or to have to explain that fact over and over to a very confused Winchester brother.
posted by jameaterblues at 5:39 PM on August 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

It was nice to give Ash a decent send-off. He was an interesting character that deserved a bit more screen time.

I'm kicking myself that I didn't catch the Roy and Walt reference.
posted by sardonyx at 7:09 PM on August 19, 2021

This is one that I remember more from the great imagery subsequently used in fanvids than the actual plot, but that imagery is so good.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:51 AM on August 21, 2021

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