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December 19, 2014

Supernatural: No Rest For The Wicked (season finale)

by Brett Love, posted May 16th 2008 9:02AM

Katie Cassidy and Jared Padalecki - Supernatural
(S03E16) Well, it's that time of the year again. Damned season finales everywhere you look. On the one hand, it's good, because a season finale usually means that you are going to get the good. On the other hand, it also means that we are now going to have to tuck our favorite characters away for the summer and occupy our time with something else, like books, or old beat up trucks. The goods were definitely in play for the Supernatural finale. For the last year we've all been wondering what would happen when time ran out on Dean's deal, and we finally found out.

Gallery: Supernatural

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We'll get to the deal in a moment, but let's start with the new power that was rising, Lilith. To be honest, now that things have played out, I'm left a little disappointed in Lilith. I really enjoyed a lot of the story surrounding her. That new power rising line for instance, as well as her off screen dealing with Bela. She also served as the catalyst for some great Ruby bits. At the end of the day though, I have to hold up Lilith and compare her to Azazel. Lilith doesn't come out of that one looking so good.

I think the problem with Lilith boils down to two main things. First, the finale was episode 16 of the season. Along the way, we missed out on 6 episodes that could have gone a long way to building up Lilith's character. Probably more damaging though was the body shifting. We've known about demons jumping from body to body for a long time, but each jump takes away a little bit from the character. Especially if the demon in question keeps jumping into cute little girls. I was actually impressed with Sierra McCormick as young Lilith, but let's be honest here, when it comes to menacing and scary, she's no Fredric Lehne.

All that being said, the good bit about Lilith and her eagerness for a new skin is that it set up the big scene where she took over Ruby's body, and opened the door for season four where she'll no doubt return with an entirely different look. It was well constructed, with Dean's impending doom giving him the ability to see demon's true forms. That bit also leaves a question hanging out there though. Early in the episode, Dean looks at Sam and sees all manner of crazy. I'm still questioning that. Was that Dean having one of the hallucinations Bobby spoke about? Or was that Dean seeing a little bit of the demon goodness that is in Sam giving him his special abilities.

And speaking of the special abilities, we finally get a look at what Ruby has been after this entire time right at the end. Something has changed in Sam, or he has found something new within himself, and Lilith doesn't have any power over him. That will be an intriguing nugget going forward I'm sure. However, the better part of that story, for now, came much earlier in the episode.

As Sam and Dean started to argue over how to proceed, with just 30 hours remaining, I didn't immediately understand what Dean was getting at. Like Sam, when Dean said they weren't going to make the same mistakes all over again, I was wondering what does that mean. His reluctance to involve Ruby seemed like more of the same from Dean. He just really doesn't like her. It all became clear soon enough as he explained that he didn't want Sam to make the same mistake that he made, and that John did. And it all crystallized in that climactic final scene as Sam screams at Lilith that he'll do whatever she wants. In that desperate moment I'm sure that he, like his father and brother before him, would have gladly exchanged his soul for Dean's. And that was something that Dean couldn't let happen.
Jensen Ackles - Supernatural
Which brings us to Dean's fate. Really didn't see that one coming. At all. I've been fully convinced all season that in the last minute a rabbit was coming out of the hat and Dean was going to be saved. I always thought it was going to be tough to pull off, because as we've heard so many times, you just don't break those deals. But I had every confidence that the writer's would be able to craft a workable story. I never really even considered that Dean just wouldn't get out of the deal and would be sent to hell. Even when they told us episodes back, and again in the opening, "There's no way of saving me from the pit, is there?" I still didn't buy it. Hats off to the writers for doing it. It was totally unexpected and has me curious as can be to see what happens next.

It was much more of a cliffhanger than I was expecting. So many things left up in the air. Dean has to be coming back from hell, right? So how does that work? And what of Ruby? Does the far away place that Lilith sent her come into play with getting Dean back out? And, assuming that the demon Ruby will be back, will it be in a new body? I hope not, because Katie Cassidy has grown on me and I would like to see her return.

And of course, what does this all mean for Sam? He's going to have to go out on his own, for a while anyway. How is this new found power going to play into it? If he lacked the focus to harness his power before, the loss of Dean should dial him in like a laser. I half expect to hear him utter a Riveresque, "I can kill demons with my brain."

I stop short of calling this an excellent finale. The payoff for the deal was fantastic. What it means for the beginning of season four was great. And there were a number of really good scenes between Sam, Dean, and Bobby. It's hampered just a bit though by Lilith not really working out as well as she could have. And by the lead up to the big showdown. There was nothing really wrong with munchkin Lilith terrorizing the family, and that would have served as the basis for a great regular episode, but for the finale, it seems like we needed something a little more epic. Still, looking at the big picture, season three goes down as a tremendous success. See you in season four.

We've now seen all of season three. Time for a report card.
A - One of the best shows on TV.830 (75.6%)
B - The show is still solid in all respects.237 (21.6%)
C - I'm still watching, but it's average now.24 (2.2%)
D - It's not going well, they've lost me.4 (0.4%)
F - It really should have been cancelled.3 (0.3%)

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13 Comments

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Peter

Great episode but, very disappointing that the season was cut so short!!!

May 23 2008 at 2:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Killash

The "Bon Jovi Rocks.. on occasion" bit had me in stitches.

Both boys singing SO HORRIBLY in the car, top of lungs, fighting away the grimness... while Dean's face just reflected all the terror he was feeling... Wow!

It was one of the greatest scenes in the whole series.
-Killash

May 17 2008 at 4:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

plus!!! is a same that the budget didn't allow them to show us some heelbounds!!! :) (or some demon faces!!!)

May 16 2008 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

Actually i LOVED these episode!!!. The thing that happened to me with the strike and all the other shows, is that when they came back were sooo much better that they were in the first place, and with my favorite show ever... didn´t make the same impact to me (and the pre strike episodes, for me were true gold...). But these episode finally step up, and did exactly what i was so afraid... they kill dean!!! and they give him such a gory death!!!... it really socked me. Even in some level one coud espect that he woud die (and the spoilers were going to that direction) is completly diferent see it with my own eyes...
The thing that makes me more sad, is the fact that even if dean does return (obliously he will... even when kripke was jocking in interviews that jensen was out and that Chad Michael Murray was going to replaice him in the 4th season) now we know for sure that he will never have a happy ending, and will continued to be the eternal martir in the plot, sure, he can go to heaven, but will never LIVE a normal life, never had a chilhood... and now these!!!.... is just so sad destiny for such a great character, but hell, maybe that is what makes dean so great after all.

May 16 2008 at 10:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marjorie

My problem with this ending is that, despite its gutsiness, we still know Dean will remain with us. With as small a regular cast as this show has, Dean obviously needs to stay in the forefront. And I think it would fragment the show too much to keep Dean and Sam in completely discrete plotlines for too long. Therefore, it took something away from the finale for me to know that he'd be back with Little Bro soon enough.

May 16 2008 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christina

Great episode! I'm so excited the writers didn't just miraculously free Dean from his deal (in fact, I hope we get to spend some quality time with Dean in Hell).

One thing that bothers me though - if Lilith is so freaking terrified of Sam, why did she make the deal to resurrect him in the first place? I don't get it.

May 16 2008 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Christina's comment
nattyff

good, point, but maybe is because the demon that made the deal wasn't lilith, it was another minion that after the deal was made, pass it along to lilih... or even she didn't even lightly pass it to her (just took it more or less... :)

May 16 2008 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Preach

I loved the final scene with Dean in hell, chains in his body... very Hellraiser-esque... Now if we only could've had the sound of the Leviathan (Hellraiser 2)... now that'd been sweet!

May 16 2008 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam

I agree that Dean was probably just having the standard hallucinations when he looked at Sam. He admitted to Bobby that he'd been having them for a while, and I doubt there were demons everywhere he went.

I really liked Bobby in last night's episode, especially the "Do you think family ends with blood?" line.

Here's a random thought I had during the scenes of the boys loading their guns: Since Ruby made the Colt work again, could she do that with any gun, or was there something special about the Colt itself? Could the Winchesters amass an entire demon-slaying arsenal? Of course, it may be a moot point depending on where Lilith sent Ruby.

Looking forward to next season and seeing how they get out of the current mess. Think they'll make Dean like Ruby? A demon who remembers what it's like to be human and hates other demons? Kind of a dark solution to his predicament, but I think it could work.

May 16 2008 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Adam's comment
nattyff

don't think is the case, or else, why would be ruby so mad in just in bello when they confessed that they lost the colt??, would be very cool though... and army of slayers...wait... that sound strangly familiar... :)

May 16 2008 at 9:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lyn

I don't think that Dean was glimpsing anything in Sam when he saw Sam all crazy-eyed and head-tossing. I remember that also happened in the Robert Johnson ep when the man who traded his soul for his dying wife's looked at her. I think its just a hallucination...though I like your way better.

May 16 2008 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MXS

Pretty cool finale. I was on the edge of my seat hoping that they would take-out Lilith before Dean's time was up. The visual effects were pretty good. When he getting mauled by the hellhound it made me cringe.

Is Dean really in hell or in a coma? When the camera went through his eyes, the web he was in made me think it was neurons instead of chains. The hook through his shoulder made me think otherwise, but there wasn't any searing flesh or hordes of demons waiting for him that Ruby had predicted. Maybe he's in purgatory?

May 16 2008 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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