(As I mentioned in my post announcing this rewatch project, there will be spoilers!)
Season 3, Episode 16: No Rest For The Wicked
Well, here we are. The season finale. I will do some overall thoughts for season 3 as a whole at the end of this post, but I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed seeing this season again. And heading into this episode, as ‘The Road So Far’ (and Kansas’ ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’) reminds us, Dean seems to be pretty out of options as far as trying to find a way out of his deal that will send his soul to hell in exchange for Sam’s life…
The episode opens on Dean running through the woods, like something’s chasing him. He stops, stares at something, and turns to run the other way. He’s being chased by a hellhound! Oh no!
Phew, it was just a dream. Dean wakes up, and we see he’s been researching hell hounds. He tells Sam he hasn’t found anything good but Sam says Bobby has! Apparently Bobby has figured out a way to find Lilith. That’s good news! Dean remarks that there are 30 hours to go before his deal is up. He jokes about making a run for it to Tijuana.
Sam tries to comfort Dean, telling him that they’re cutting it close but they’ll figure it out, whatever it takes. Sam tells Dean he won’t let him go to Hell. As he swears to Sam that everything’s going to be okay, Dean sees Sam’s face get all weird and distorted (like we saw in the season 2 episode Crossroad Blues: when someone’s time is almost up, they start seeing things like that).
Hi Bobby! He tells Sam and Dean that having Lilith’s name is key. With the right name and the right ritual, they can suss anyone out. Sam asks if that includes the town Lilith is in. Bobby says they’ll know the street she’s on when he’s done with the ritual.
Oh I just love Bobby!
The ritual is quick! According to Bobby, Lilith is in New Harmony, Indiana. While Sam is raring to go, Dean says to hold up. They’re going off Bela’s intel? And even if they could get to Lilith, they have no way to kill her. AND let’s not forget that Lilith wants Sam dead.
Sam asks are they supposed to do then. Dean says that just because he is going to die doesn’t mean they have to too. He insists that they go in smart, or they don’t go in at all.
Sam says that he has a way to confirm it’s Lilith, and to kill her. Sam wants to summon Ruby but Dean is against it. Ruby has lied to them time and time again but Sam says that Ruby has that demon-killing knife.
Bobby tries to tell Dean that Sam is right, but Dean says no – they won’t make the same mistakes again. No dealing with demons. If they want to save him, they have to find another way.
We see Sam drawing some sort of symbol, doing some kind of ritual. He summoned Ruby! Sam asks her if she knew about Dean’s deal – that Lilith holds the contract. Ruby says she knew. Sam wants to know why she didn’t tell him, and Ruby says they would have charged after Lilith before they were ready and Lilith would have killed them.
Sam says they’re ready now, and he wants her (demon-killing) knife. Ruby says that if Sam is ready, now is the time. Lilith is taking some time for some R&R and the hex bags Ruby gave them a while back will make it so Lilith doesn’t sense them coming.
Ruby won’t give Sam the knife, and she tells him she can save Dean. Sam calls her on that lie. But Ruby insists that there is a way, that Sam can save Dean. She says he has talent. Sam says his psychic abilities went away after the yellow-eyed demon, but Ruby says his powers are dormant. And that’s why Lilith wants Sam gone – she’s afraid of his power. Ruby says she waited until now to tell him because he wouldn’t have gone for it before. But as Sam puts it, now he’s desperate enough.
Dean walks in, calling Ruby their slutty Yoda. Dean says he knew Ruby would show up, because he knew Sam wouldn’t listen. Dean says he won’t let Ruby teach Sam anything. He wants her knife but Ruby says they’d be stupid not to use Sam’s abilities. Dean doesn’t trust Ruby at all – shocker – but Ruby says she wants Lilith dead. Ruby and Dean argue, and Dean punches her! And then Ruby kicks both of their butts.
Dean smiles – he swiped her knife during the fight, and now Ruby’s stuck in a devil’s trap. Dean says again, he knew Ruby would come.
Sam and Dean leave, with Ruby yelling at Dean that he deserves hell for leaving her there.
We see Sam and Dean getting ready to fight. Sam asks what if Ruby’s right and Sam can take out Lilith. Dean is sceptical. But Sam reminds him that they have one shot at this, and if there’s a sure-fire way, maybe they should talk about it.
Dean reiterates that they are not going to trade one of their lives or souls for the other. No more dealing with demons. But Sam asks what Dean is afraid of – Sam says he can handle it. And he’ll take the risk because Dean is his brother, and Dean would do the same for him. “And look how that turned out,” Dean says. Dean tells Sam that they’re each other’s weak spot.
Their enemies know it – what they’ll do for each other and how far they’ll go. It’s time to stop being martyrs. Dean says they should take the knife and go after Lilith their way, like their dad taught them. And if they go down, they go down swinging.
Sam reluctantly agrees.
Then we see what Lilith is up to in New Harmony, Indiana.
Two old men chat at their mailboxes, one of them saying his granddaughter is home sick. As they shake hands and walk away, the grandfather with the sick granddaughter passes a note to the other man and goes inside. The note says “Help us”.
The man locks the door as he enters the house and passes the dead body of a woman – presumably his wife – lying in the hall.
As he enters the kitchen, a man and a woman are in there, making a cake. The grandfather asks, “Where is she?”
“Upstairs,” the woman replies. They all seem quite nervous. They argue about what to do, with grandfather saying there’s something inside ‘her’.
The ‘her’ comes down – a little girl, with her dress covered in blood. “Freckles was mean to me,” she says. She asks her dad to push her on the swing, and Dad suggests she change so the neighbours don’t see all the blood. He then asks hesitantly if she could let them go.
Her demeanour changes. “Don’t you want to be here? Don’t you love me?”
Her mom insists they all love her, but she threatens her dad to not be mean to her. Dad apologizes, and she says “That’s okay silly, now let’s go and play”. Creepy!
We see Sam and Dean ready to hit the road, but Bobby stops them. Dean says they got the knife, and Bobby is mad they they’re ditching him. Dean says it isn’t his fight, but Bobby says it is. “Family don’t end with blood”.
Bobby asks Dean about his hallucinations – that’s what happens when hell hounds are after you.
Bobby says he will follow their car. Yeah Bobby!
They’re on the road. Sam tells Dean that if this doesn’t go the way they want – but Dean cuts him off. He says that they will not have a misty goodbye speech. And if it’s his last day on Earth, he doesn’t want it to be socially awkward. He turns on the radio and Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” is on. Dean sings along and encourages Sam to sing along. Sam is reluctant but he joins in. They share a smile. For just a second, they could forget what’s ahead of them.
A cop car on the side of the road sees the Impala and pulls them over. Dean says he has a busted tail light. Dean rolls down his window as the cop approaches, handing over his license and registration (Sammy Hagar haha).
Dean suddenly attacks the cop, and stabs him with Ruby’s knife! It turns out the cop was a demon! Bobby is now right there, running out of his car to them. Sam asks Dean how he knew the cop was a demon. Dean says that he just knew. He could see its real face, under its vessel. Yikes.
The boys move the cop car off the road. Dean says he’s been seeing all kinds of things lately, not just demons. Bobby says that with just over 5 hours to go, Dean is piercing the veil and can see things like that.
Bobby says they have to make sure that Lilith and her demons don’t know the boys are in town.
Meanwhile, we see Lilith and ‘her’ family eating a birthday cake. As she blows out the candles, Dad says “Cake again”.
Then Lilith asks why Grandpa tried to get help from the neighbour. It turns out that she knows about the ‘help us’ note from before! Grandpa says he’s sorry and it was a mistake. Mom and Dad swear they didn’t know about it. Grandpa looks nervous. Lilith says Grandpa doesn’t love her and is a mean old man. He begs for help from Mom and Dad, but Lilith says she doesn’t like Grandpa anymore and with a flick of her hand, breaks his neck!
Mom slices a piece of birthday cake with a shaky hand.
Through the window, Sam sees Lilith, telling them he can see her true face under the vessel (the little girl). Sam wants to barge in but Dean says to wait. They need to be careful.
Dean points out the other demons in the neighbourhood (mailman, the old man that Grandpa tried to get help from earlier). Sam says this isn’t just about saving Dean – it’s about saving everybody. Bobby says she’s gotta be stopped.
Inside Lilith and Mom are laying in bed, with Lilith telling Mom to read a story again.
The mailman, who is a demon, sees Dean and gives chase. But Sam stabs him with Ruby’s knife! That’s one demon down. Meanwhile, Bobby is making some holy water.
We see that the boys and the knife have taken out another demon. As Dean approaches the house, Ruby grabs him and demands her knife back. Dean asks how she got out but she won’t tell him.
Haha Dean says she’s one ugly broad, now that he can see her true face. She demands her knife from Sam, who says she’ll get it when this is over.
“It’s already over,” Ruby says. She gave them a chance and they shot her down. Now it’s too late and Dean is dead, but Ruby won’t let Sam die too. Sam refuses.
Dean notices that the neighbourhood demons have all found them. They run to ‘Lilith’s’ house while the demons chase them. And right as the demons hit the lawn, Bobby turns on the sprinklers – full of holy water. Good trick!
The boys and Ruby enter the house, with Ruby saying Lilith probably knows they’re here. As they slowly make their way through the house, Dad jumps out. Dean says they’re here to help.
Dad tells them the little girl is upstairs in her bedroom. Dean tells him to get in the basement and get behind a salt line. He won’t go without his wife, but Dean knocks him out and takes him to safety.
Ruby and Sam creep upstairs, Sam armed with the demon-killing knife. They split up, and Sam enters the little girl’s room. She’s sleeping on the bed with Mom beside her. Sam creeps over, with the knife at the ready, and pulls back the bed curtain. Mom is awake and quietly tells him to do it. Sam raises the knife and the little girl screams, but Dean grabs his arm and says Lilith is not in the little girl anymore. Phew! Close call!
Bobby is hiding out across the road, looking at his watch. He sees a line of demons waiting outside the house.
Sam, Dean, and Ruby tell Mom and the little girl to get downstairs and stay there. Ruby and Sam walk through the house, looking for Lilith. Sam asks her what he has to do to save Dean. Dean shows up and doesn’t like this conversation. Ruby tells Sam they needed time – he can’t just flip a switch.
Dean says Sam has to let him go. Dean says he’s sorry, he knows this is all his fault, but they can’t save him.
Sam asks what he’s supposed to do. “Keep fighting,” Dean says. He tells him to take care of the car, remember what their dad taught them, and remember what he (Dean) taught Sam. Oh man this is giving me emotions!
The clock strikes midnight. Dean’s time is up.
With tears in their eyes, Sam and Dean look at each other and Dean smiles.
“I’m sorry Dean,” Ruby says. “I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy.”
Dean hears the hell hounds. He turns and, even though Sam can’t see it, Dean sees a hell hound in the doorway. Ruby can see it too I think. Dean tries to run, with Ruby and Sam running with him. They barricade the door and windows with goofer dust. Ruby tells Sam to give her the knife so maybe she can fight off the hell hound. Sam looks like he’s considering it, but Dean tells him to wait.
“Do you want to die?” Ruby asks.
Dean says it isn’t Ruby in there! She throws Sam up against the wall and throws Dean around.
Dean asks how long Lilith has been in Ruby. “Not long.” Sam asks where Ruby is, and Lilith says she sent her far, far away.
Dean says the demons all look alike to him.
Lilith approaches Sam, saying she’s wanted to meet him for a long time. Ick she kisses him.
Sam says to Lilith that she has him – so let Dean go. Lilith says if he wants to bargain, he has to have something she wants, and she doesn’t.
Dean taunts her – is this the plan? Drag him to hell, kill Sam, and become Queen Bitch?
Ruby goes over to the door and opens it for the hell hound, who claws at Dean, dragging him to the floor, and we see him getting torn apart screaming in pain while Sam is helpless and can only watch. Oh man.
Ruby gets ready to blast Sam with some demon-y magic, but it doesn’t work! For some reason, her power didn’t work on Sam. They realize this at the same time, and Sam picks up Ruby’s knife. As he’s about to stab her with it, Lilith smokes out, leaving Ruby’s vessel crumpled on the floor beside Dean’s dead body. What an image!
Sam, crying, goes over to Dean and holds him. This makes me so sad!!
Then we see Dean, in hell, calling Sam’s name.
What an episode!! The first time I watched it, I was so sure that they would find a way to save Dean at the last minute, and when they didn’t, I couldn’t believe it. It was such a shock to me, but I totally love that they showed that the boys couldn’t find a way out and couldn’t save Dean. It was so sad and powerful and I was so impressed with the story and the acting, especially Jensen Ackles.
I love that Bobby came with them in their showdown against Lilith, and that Ruby tried to help (although she is a demon, so you can’t really trust her, can you). I really liked the addition of Ruby to the cast this season, because we know the boys shouldn’t trust her, but it’s hard to tell what her real motives for helping them are – and her help has paid off at times.
And of course, what does it mean that Lilith’s powers didn’t work on Sam? That was interesting, since, as Sam said, whatever psychic abilities he had disappeared (or so we thought) after Azazel was killed last season.
Man I am an emotional wreck after that last scene. I need to move on to season four right away!
Overall Season Three Thoughts:
On one hand, I wish this had been a full season (it was shortened due to the writer’s strike), but on the other hand, I think having only 16 episodes helped push the main season’s story forward.
I really liked seeing Gordon and Bobby again this season, and of the new characters introduced, I liked Ruby and Rufus. I did not care for Bela, but as I have already mentioned on the blog, I think she had potential, but the show didn’t do a good job with her character.
And this season’s arc is one of my favourites, especially knowing that whatever the boys try, they can’t save Dean in the end. Dean made a deal, and crossroad demons always come to collect – especially for someone as valuable as him.
I loved seeing Sam try to save Dean, since so much of seasons one and two were about Dean trying to save Sam. It’s so clear by now that they would do anything for each other, and as Dean points out in this finale, the demons know that too and will use that against the boys.
So going forward, the major questions are:
-what will happen to Dean now that he’s in Hell?
-what does it mean for Sam that he seemed to be immune to Lilith’s powers?
-what will happen to Lilith? She smoked out at the end of this episode, so she is still out there (as is Ruby, we assume).
-how will Sam cope without Dean?
I am really looking forward to season four, because it introduces one of my favourite characters, and it really changes the game in terms of the show’s universe. As much as I love season three, it kind of feels like the end of an era, pre (SEASON FOUR SPOILERS) angels.
Watching these first three seasons feels like looking back at an adult’s baby pictures! Aww, what a cute little show this was. You know? And now, the world is so big and the storylines are so epic. But this season, the story was just about saving one person – Dean.
And they didn’t save him. I’m sure they exist, but I’m having a hard time right now thinking of another show that would set up its main characters – its heroes – with such an important mission (and make it the focus of the entire season), and have them fail (another show I love, Angel, comes to mind but that’s it). There’s something about it that I really like (even if it breaks my heart every time I see this episode!).
Here are my favourite season three episodes:
-No Rest for the Wicked