Television: Supernatural Season 5 Begins With Sympathy for the Devil, But What Was Season 4 Really All About?

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The last we saw of Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) in the finale of season 4, Lucifer Rising, they were standing frozen in their tracks by the horrific knowledge that Lucifer had been set free. The dark lord of hell was rising out of his prison before their very eyes and both Winchester brothers bearing the burden of the terrible knowledge that they had played an unwitting part in setting him free.

In the Supernatural season 5 opener, Sympathy for the Devil (directed by Robert Singer and written by  series creator, Eric Kripke) the hit series picks up where the finale left off. Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) watch as the Devil (guest star Mark Pellegrino, “Lost”) emerges from Hell.  The brothers and Bobby (Jim Beaver) deal with the aftermath of Lucifer rising and the stunning news from Chuck the Prophet (guest star Rob Benedict) that Castiel (new series regular Misha Collins) was blown to bits by the archangels.  Sounds like pretty hard hitting action for the brothers Winchester to be heading into as the apocalypse is set in motion by the rise of Lucifer.


Everyone involved with Supernatural, from series creator Eric Kripke, writer/executive producer Sera Gamble to actors Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have been talking about the involvement that the Winchester brothers had during season 4 in the breaking of the seals and the freeing of Lucifer. Sam dealt with his growing addiction to the demon blood he was led bye the treacherous Ruby to believe would strengthen his powers to defeat Lillith while Dean dealt with the guilt of torturing souls in hell and being the one to break the first seal and the heavy burden of being “chosen” by the angels to be the one to stop Lucifer. It wasn’t until the finale episode that the audience and the Winchesters found out that not only had the demons been tricking them into freeing Lucifer, but some of the very angels of heaven had been doing so as well. Or did we only find out then?

Having been looking over season 4 of Supernatural in preparation for the arrival of season 5 I began to notice what looked like clues the writers had left we the viewers along the way. First off I took a closer look at the pivotal time travel episode, In the Beginning.  You see this episode has bothered me every since it aired because there seem to be no real reason for it. It made no sense to me whatsoever why anyone was sent back in time as a means to discover that their mother, Mary was a hunter.

Then it hit me that what if this is not what the episode was about and what if it had nothing whatsoever to do with anything that Ruby had been telling Sam or about Sam’s research into his mother or the story direction they had been going in with Sam in season 3. It took me while to suddenly realize that maybe the writers had dropped that story direction altogether. Looking back at Lucifer Rising, Zachariah tells Dean that ‘God has left the building’ and that he and the angels want Lucifer to rise and have been working things in that direction all along.
I began to wonder if maybe Dean wasn’t sent back in time to discover that Mary was a hunter but instead was sent back in time to lure Azazeal to Mary to create the situation that would turn Sam into what they needed him to be.

And it had to only be Dean sent back because Azazeal would have immediately known that Sam was tainted by Demon blood and would have tipped Azazeal off to the angels plot to assist in the freeing of Lucifer.  My concern in this is that in trying so hard to hide their end game plan, the writers confused the fans by not giving them enough information to realize that In The Beginning had nothing to do with Sam or his research about Mary and had everything to do with creating who Sam was going to become by having Dean set in motion the events that would lead Azazeal to Mary. It wasn’t about Azezael’s ultimate plan or about Mary or even about Sam. It was about setting up the ultimate end game of the Angel’s plan to free Lucifer.

In season the season 4 episode I Know What You Did Last Summer, we find out that, like in the season 3 episode Mystery Spot, Sam was driven to try and free his brother Dean from hell. It was a task he ultimately failed at and it was the Angel Castiel (Misha Collins) who pulled Dean from hell. But was this all part of a deal for a ‘trade off’ since again in Lucifer Rising we find out that some of the Angels have set it in motion that Sam will free their ‘brother fallen into hell’. Sam succeeds in doing the one thing for their brother he couldn’t do for his own. It took me awhile to notice that Sam and the Angels were on a parallel path with the same goal in mind. Getting their brother out of hell! Many fans/viewers have speculated that Dean is a ‘fallen angel’ but I’m wondering if it’s not Sam who is the fallen angel who ultimately did ‘free his brother’ from hell..only not the brother he imagined he would.


I guess you could say I still have a lot of unanswered questions about what was really going on in season 4 of Supernatural and if my theory holds any validity or not. So like other viewers and fans,I eagerly turn my attention to the premiere episode of Supernatural season 5, Sympathy for the Devil, which airs Thursday, September 10th at 9PM EST right after the premiere of it’s new lead in series The Vampire Diaries.

Check out a few sneak peek looks at the upcoming Supernatural season 5 premiere then tune into the CW Network to catch the new episode!

2 thoughts on “Television: Supernatural Season 5 Begins With Sympathy for the Devil, But What Was Season 4 Really All About?”

  1. Lol. I realized the thing about In the Beginning some time ago. Kripke and company are notorious for putting in seeds that don't grow till later or the meaning is not immediately apparent. Mary's "I'm Sorry" to Sam from Home wasn't evident till 3 years later. While yes, somethings have been dropped or changed, it is these little seeds that I saw when I first rewatched season 1 ages ago that have me so in love with this show. First few eps of season 2 made me into a fanatic. I've never had an obsession before in my life! lol. Love this show!

  2. Oh here's another one for you. In "Yellow Fever" a lot of viewers were angry it was implied Dean caught the fever because he was a douche bag. In actuality, the answer is something else entirely, but we don't understand it till Dean's revelation a few episodes later after we discover he's tortured people in Hell. If you go back and listen to dream Lilith in Yellow Fever, she gives the clue. Telling Dean he remembers everything and the cause is in his heart – that the fact he caused defenseless people pain was the reason he caught the fever. 😛 (Sorry for the double post!)

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