Reviewbr> "Team Free Will. One ex-blood junkie, one drop out with six bucks to his name, and Mr. Comatose over there. It's awesome." - Dean Winchester
Remember Anna, the chick Angel Castiel betrayed, well she has escaped her prison in Heaven and is back on Earth with a plan to kill Sam and hence avert Armageddon. While on the face of things a simple approach it is thwarted by Dean and Castiel, but Anna isn't done, she journeys back in time to try and kill the parental units Mary and John. Naturally this isn't going to happen without intervention by team Winchester and the Bros are soon doing the Back to the Future thing, which puts Castiel out of the game due to the toll of time travel.
Dean and Sam contact Mary, who isn't best pleased to see them, and is shocked to discover Angels actually exist. The Boys figure if Mary leaves John that will make the apocalypse null and void, but apparently you can't change your fate, sort of fixed point in time or something. If battling Anna isn't bad enough, she calls an old Winchester adversary into the game, but fortunately the Winchester team receive help from a completely unexpected direction.
Keeping up our recent trend of fitting Supernatural episodes into common slots, this episode fulfils the time travel requirement that pops up every second season or so. Not quite sure why this is the case, once maybe as a detour from monster of the week episodes, but it is something of a recurrent approach by the Producers. Guess, besides keeping with the season plot arc, that The Song Remains the Same is underlying the fact the Winchesters can't avoid their individual destines. So that would be another avenue unavailable to the Bros as they continue their fight against Lucifer and the pending global destruction. Well no one ever said it would be easy battling the ultimate demonic entity, and for sure there are forces in Heaven that don't exactly have the Winchesters best interests in mind.
Seems there is no avoiding the final countdown, the Bros are running out of options
Just a little sidenote folks, and sorry to put this one on the table, but haven't we been spending quite some time through the last few episodes exploring the Bros mentally losing it in what increasingly seems to be a one sided battle with an unstoppable Satanic Overlord. Where is Dean's angst at having to save everyone and Sam's anger management issues, seems those aspects gets turn off or on as the plot demands some watering or dare I say it stretching out an episode. It really isn't working in the season's favour to have aspects being dialled in and out in a really uneven fashion. Wish they would simply cut the chick moments or spend three or so episodes resolving personal issues, rather than inserting them at seemingly random times.
One thing they did get right with the episode was the period setting; we're talking authentic 1970s moustaches and clothes that were beyond tragic. Dean of course immediately notices the fleets of Oldsmobiles, an automotive brand that ceased production in 2004, which I thought was a nice touch and a sign that no matter how long toothed Supernatural becomes they are going to keep an eye on detail. I was also pretty happy with Amy Gumenick (Mary Winchester) and Matt Cohen (John Winchester) who brought across the period and its concerns well. Gumenick in particular was fine as she meet someone she didn't want to see again, following her father's death in a previous episode and Dean disappearing into the ether.
Cut the next couple of paragraphs if you want to avoid some spoilers folks.
We get to meet rebellious angel Anna Milton again, following Castiel's betrayal of her to the forces of heaven. Seems heaven has fractured into groups with very different ideas on how the apocalypse should play out, Anna joining one fraction who view short circuiting the Michael versus Lucifer showdown as the way to sidestep the ultimate battle. Hence Anna going Terminator and deciding to take out either Mary or John after she fails to take Sam off the table. Ultimately I think that is the last we are going to see of Anna, who pretty much becomes a tragic figure in the Supernatural universe. Anyone else noticing minor recurrent characters have the life expectancy of a Walking Dead character? I'm going to miss Anna to be honest, but fingers crossed what I think happened didn't happen. Is that Sunday matinee hail Mary pulling the irons out of the fire thoughts?
One of the more ironic moments of the episode occurs when John expresses his disapproval of allowing children to be brought up in the Hunter lifestyle to Sam. John had apparently remained ignorant of Mary's background and the fact that she can ninja with the best of the Winchester clan. This of course comes crashing to ground during Remains the Same as he comes face to face with the supernatural in the form of Angels. Okay so John might have stepped into an Angelic bitch fight, but guess Mary has some explaining to do in regards the family business. Of course this will have to wait until she gets over the whole Dean and Sam being her future sons, and the fate that awaits her one evening. Guess someone is going to need a couple of stiff drinks after the end credits roll. But hey at least the plot is advancing on the home front right.
Finally a decent soundtrack for a Supernatural episode, hang onto your linen kids this could get messy. Warrant, hey big hair posser rock, get their classic Cherry Pie some airtime, Molly Hatchet match hairspray for hairspray with The Creeper, some dude named Sammy John's lays down Chevy Van, and rounding out Joe Walsh delivers his biggest hit Life's Been Good. Now that's some finger licking good mullet rock right there, get ready to pump the fists folks.
Sorry Kids this one isn't stand alone; you need to be well tuned to the Supernatural universe. There's a bunch of stuff going down that is important to this season's plot flows and a number of characters reprised from previous seasons. If you have been riding shotgun, and you'll need to have been watching passed episodes to get the reference, then you'll have no problems with this episode's ebb and flows, otherwise I fear you may find yourself a tad lost in the nuances. Excellent episode for mine, giving it top recommendation to readers, jive on down to the beat. And yes I got the the title reference to the legendary Led Zeppelin and also the way The Song Remains the Same sums up the underlying theme, for better or worse the Winchesters cannot change their fates, no matter what they attempt to achieve change. Pretty solid idea for an episode and a good kick off into the second half of the season, lock and load kids.