Supernatural: Point of No Return
August 21, 2021 4:20 AM - Season 5, Episode 18 - Subscribe

Zachariah has a new plan to overcome Lucifer but the strategy has unforeseen and destructive consequences.


Dean: Cass, not for nothing, but the last person who looked at me like that... I got laid.

Street Preacher: [drops to knees, shouting] Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name...
Castiel: [appears] You pray too loud.

Zachariah: That's all they care about upstairs, ain't it? Results, results, results. They don't know. They're not down on the ground, in the mud, nose to nose with all you pig-filthy humans, am I right?
Stuart Holmes: Absolute- filthy what?

Dean: Where the hell are we?
Castiel: Van Nuys, California.
Dean: Where is the beautiful room?
Castiel: In there.
Dean: Beautiful room is in an abandoned muffler factory in Van Nuys, California?
Castiel: Where did you think it was?
Dean: I don't know. Jupiter? A blade of grass? Not Van Nuys.

Dean: [after getting beat up by Cass] Word to the wise. Don't piss off the nerd angels.

Adam: But it is the devil. So we gotta stop him.
Sam: Yeah. But there is another way.
Adam: Great. What is it?
Dean: Well, we're working on the power of love.

Dean: [about the angels choosing Adam as Michael's vessel] Why would they do this?
Castiel: Maybe they're desperate. Maybe they wrongly assumed Dean would be brave enough to withstand them.
Dean: You know what? Blow me, Cass.


Dean's letter reads:

"Sam and Bobby -- Given what's about to happen, I'll be surprised if this package ever finds you. But if it does, I want you both to know that what I'm doing isn't about giving up. John taught us better than that. This is about time. We've run out of it. Left the Impala in Cicero. Where I'm going, we don't need roads. I know you'll look after her for me. Bobby -- you've taken more for the team than anyone could ever ask. That makes you an honorary Winchester in my book. Sam. You told me once that you pray every day. Not sure if that's still true. Probably isn't, but if it is, give it one last try for me. And Sammy -- one Winchester lost to this fight is enough. When it's over..."

This episode contradicts Uriel's statement "the only thing that can kill an angel is another angel", as Dean kills Zachariah with an angel blade. It has also been implied that the Colt can kill angels, and several other weapons and entities are revealed to do so as the series progresses.

Adam, satirizing the idea of any future contact with Sam and Dean, mentions hopping in the Truckster and popping on down to Wally World. In National Lampoon's Vacatio, a family's journey to the amusement park Wally World becomes a cringeworthy series of hideous disasters.
posted by orange swan (9 comments total)
This is the first time we see the real Adam (the previous version of him being a ghoul's facsimile of Adam). He's like his father in terms of his affect -- sarcastic and cynical. And he's like Sam and Dean in terms of his bitterness towards his father. But I don't know how Adam could have been brought back considering his body was burned by Sam and Dean after his death.

Castiel really didn't like Dean turning that whole sigil trick that he taught him on him. I love his bravery and ingenuity. Despite being out of "angel juice", he took on five angels without flinching, and won.

Bye, Zachariah!
posted by orange swan at 4:26 AM on August 21, 2021

I don't think I understood that the end of the last episode was Dean deciding to say yes to Michael, and I'm still not sure why it happened at that moment, and if it's because he decided he needs to protect the world when Sam inevitably says yes, or because saying yes first and fighting Nick will make their chances better, or both, or what. He's in a real bad place, but I don't think he'd say that Sam effectively killed Jessica and Mary and isn't a good enough person to resist Lucifer unless he at least means it in the moment.

Maybe it's the heat of the moment but it's a bummer to hear Sam say it was wrong for him to leave for college, especially a couple episodes after finding out that's one of the memories he'd relive in Heaven.

I think Bobby at least partly means it about the gun in his desk but like hell will the man be out dramatic-ed by Dean Winchester in his own living room.

Zachariah's whole thing at the playground about how Sam and Dean too wound up in each other to protect Adam is calculated and self-interested, but hard to say they ever really prove him wrong. "Hey, if it's any consolation you happen to be the illegitimate half-brother of the guy we do care about" like how could Adam not hate literally everyone, just literally all of these people. 
posted by jameaterblues at 7:58 AM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Zachariah is up there with Alistair in terms of characters it's just satisfying to see die.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:00 AM on August 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

That "honorary Winchester" line really makes me angry. Family doesn't mean squat to Dean and Sam. Family is only family as long as their following orders and listening to what the boys say and don't pose any kind of threat or offer any other point of view. Family also doesn't count if it's an inconvenience or asks the boys to do something hard or distasteful or unpleasant. (This is the perspective I've come to in watching episodes subsequent to this one, and I've just gone through a couple that have really put a spotlight on the lack of regard they have for "family.")

I really feel like I want to comment more about this whole run of episodes in the back half of this season, but (despite some tough leaps in story logic) I was really enjoying them and kind of binge watched them. Now, they've all kind of blended together in my head, so I can't remember if any comments I might have wanted to make go with any specific episode.
posted by sardonyx at 12:49 PM on August 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

Apparently that line makes me angry enough to introduce terrible mistakes into my typing. Of course it's "as long as they're following orders...." (And given the way my day has gone, I'll just assume this is full of typos as well.)
posted by sardonyx at 5:54 PM on August 21, 2021

how Adam could have been brought back

I think that the idea of burning the body/ personal effect is to prevent bringing the spirit back. Adam fully died and was brought back "clean" using a different level of angelic power than the supernatural/ demonic/ ritual power we're more familiar with.

But yeah, SPN is super loosey goosey about this stuff. I'm also terribly unimpressed with Trump-gold-leaf "heaven."

honorary Winchester

Like, wtf. That's arrogant AF to be insulting especially after throwing a "You ain't my father, and you ain't in my shoes." What happened to "you're like a second father to me."?

I get it, Dean is supposed to be hurting, but the look on Bobby's face says it all.

Agreed, Kurt Fuller did a great job making Zachariah eminently backpfeifengesicht.
posted by porpoise at 6:08 PM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

I don't remember if Kurt Fuller had made into "Hey, it's that guy again" level of recognition for me before this, but, the double whammy of his hilarious & adorkable run as Coroner Woody Strode on Psych and as utter villain Zachariah on Supernatural both starting in 2009 definitely bumped him up to, "Hey, it's Kurt Fuller!" status.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:33 AM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

Family doesn't mean squat to Dean and Sam.

I think the whole family thing is Dean's issue, not Sam's. I don't recall ever hearing Sam go on about how he considered unrelated people to be family, or how people aren't family if they let him down -- that's something Dean does.

Dean was raised by a controlling, neglectful, uncommunicative father who demanded absolute obedience without question, and who placed far too much responsibility on him far too young, and it's left him with some very dysfunctional ideas as to what family means as well as problems with authority. He's also never had a chance to make lasting friendships, so he doesn't have much understanding of how friendship works either. For him, other than saving lives, family is all he has in life, and it's everything to him emotionally. He labels people as family when really they're friends and colleagues. He thinks family means people working closely and in full accord with him, and being absolutely reliable, but that's an unrealistic and unhealthy expectation, and when (inevitably) that expectation isn't met, it threatens his emotional wellspring. He often then lashes out and talks as though he's rejecting the person completely, but he doesn't really mean that -- he's just acting out. His parents, Sam, and Bobby, who was a foster father to him and Sam, are his family, and he won't ever truly reject them. His few friendships, such as what he has with Castiel, generally prove durable too.

Sam, meanwhile, was better cared for as a child than Dean was (thanks to Dean), and had more of a chance to be a kid, which made him more emotionally secure than Dean, and he has a different, healthier approach to handling problems (i.e., open communication, questioning things, standing up for himself and insisting on his right to autonomy, as compared to Dean's repression/stoicism and buying into his father's worldview). He doesn't have the same need for family-like bonds or absolute loyalty and is therefore able to form relationships with people in freer, healthier way, without placing any weighty expectations or labels on them.

I think it's an oversimplification to say that family doesn't mean squat to Dean and Sam. Sam values family in a reasonably normal, healthy way, and to Dean it means too much.

There is the whole Adam thing, but I'd better not get into that right now as it would be spoilery.;)
posted by orange swan at 3:46 PM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

There's the Adam thing, and some stuff with some Campbells, but what eventually triggered the comment was some Bobby-related stuff (where both the boys just shirked off a major responsibility that made me just want to scream at both of them) and an episode featuring some strong Greek women (in season seven) that really wrote finis to the concept of family having an actual and lasting meaning. Also, I was pretty annoyed by the (eventual) situation with Ben and his mom, but that was much more Dean than Sam. There was also a run where I thought both of the boys (but Dean in particular) were pretty harsh in their treatment of Castiel--treatment that I wouldn't think family or a dear friend deserved. But as you say, that's all spoiler material.

But you're right in the fact that Dean shielded Sam from the worst of their childhood, and Sam benefited because of that treatment.
posted by sardonyx at 4:54 PM on August 22, 2021

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