WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Season 15, Episode 5 of Supernatural, "Proverbs 17:3."
The fifth episode of Supernatural's fifteenth, and final, season is one full of big reveals, including the double whammy of what Sam's dark visions are all about, as well as what kind of insidious ending Chuck has planned for the boys. Much to the horror of Sam and Dean, the two things also appear to be connected.
The season has so far seen the youngest Winchester brother plagued by horrific and violent visions every time he nods off to sleep. Though fleeting to begin with, the last couple of episodes have elaborated on them further, teasing a return to his days knocking back demon blood to power-up his psychic powers, before using them to murder Dean.
The last episode even suggested that Sam would become a big enough threat to warrant an entire Black Ops-style crew, led by Dean doing his best Jack Ryan impression, battling their way through a demon-infested bunker where Sam was holed up. Fresh from murdering some of the Winchester's closest allies, Sam hardly batted an eyelid before snapping his older brother's neck with the nod of his head. Given that all we'd seen so far from these visions was Sam pulling a Dark Pheonix, it seemed assured that what we were about to get was a regression back to his bloodthirsty, telekinetic period.
The latest episode, "Proverbs, 17:3," kind of throws all of this out of the window.
In the first of two of these fresh dark visions, we're shown Dean, in the bunker, creeping up behind Sam, who is dressed in white -- a formal look that fans should instantly clock as Sam's Satan suit, i.e. Sam in his Lucifer-possessed form. "Please forgive me," Dean murmurs, firing a bullet right into a smiling Sam's head. A moment passes, and then a slumped Sam rises with glowing red eyes, the exit wound closing up in his forehead. "The Colt, did you really think that would work? Poor, faithful Dean, we both knew it had to end this way." Fire starts to lick at Dean's feet and he cries out as he's consumed by flame, at which point Sam abruptly wakes up in the front seat of the Impala.
Just as it appears we may be in for a greatest hits parade of Sam's darkest transformations, the second vision of the episode flips the script. It begins right in the middle of a brawl on the balcony of the bunker between the brothers, with Dean pushing Sam off the edge in a dramatic, slow-motion drop. At ground level, Dean rolls up his sleeve to reveal the Mark of Cain, an insignia that creates a demonically powerful rage in its bearer after its murderous namesake; one that Dean received in Season 9. He continues to beat Sam before pulling out the First Blade -- the donkey's jaw that Cain used to kill his brother with -- and, just as his eyes turn black, he fatally stabs Sam with it.
This is when the real purpose of these visions starts to come into tighter focus: reminding us that Sam and Dean are the descendants of Cain and Abel and, by this association, lending a potential brother-on-brother murder the kind of cyclical, poetic destiny that any writer would find hard to resist.
This, as it turns out, includes the writer formerly known as Carver Edlund, also known as Chuck, which is confirmed by this week's returning villain, Lilith, when she tips Dean off to the man who resurrected her's not-so-unique creative ideas. "God... he's not exactly Shakespeare. He's more of a low-rent Dean Koontz." Judging by the B-plot of the episode, which saw Sam and Dean witness a murder-suicide between two morally divided werewolf brothers, she seems to be about right. Had everything gone according to Chuck's plan -- with Lilith escaping quietly with the Equalizer disguised as an innocent werewolf attack victim -- it surely only would have been a matter of time before Sam made the connection between his repeating fantasy and the painfully obvious foreshadowing of the werewolf brothers' fate.
Sam does indeed make this connection later on, finally relaying the truth about his bad dreams to Dean. Initially, he'd chalked them up to PTSD, but now, knowing that Chuck's preferred ending for the Winchester's story is one killing the other, he speculates that they actually glimpse into God's working drafts of this ending. This telepathic link had to have been created when he shot Chuck with the Equalizer, inflicting the same injury on them both. The fact that the two wounds are linked isn't new information for us, but the fact that Sam's visions are connected to it is.
The most chilling part of all this for the Winchesters is that, even if they had put all the pieces together themselves without Lilith's help, it wouldn't have mattered. Nor does it matter that Lilith got rumbled and spelled it all out for them. Knowing that God is not only still a factor in their lives but actively plotting to end them in this malicious way drains away any relief they'd once had about finally being free from his control. With the Equalizer -- the supposedly unstoppable weapon crafted by God's own hands -- a melted pile of black goo thanks to Lilith, there's nothing they can do about this new information. "How the hell are we supposed to fight God?" Dean dejectedly asks Sam when they're back in the bunker. The question hangs in the air, unanswered, as the closing credits roll.
Airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, the final season of Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins and Alexander Calvert.