14.10 Nihilism

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SPN-1410.jpg
Title Nihilism
Episode # Season 14, Episode 10
First aired January 17, 2019
Directed by Amanda Tapping
Written by Steve Yockey
On IMDB Nihilism
Outline Sam and Castiel travel into Dean's mind to help him regain control while they have Michael captured. Meanwhile, Jack and the hunters from Apocalypse World contend with Michael's monster army descending on the Bunker.
Monster Michael
Michael's Monsters
Timeline December 25, 2018
Location(s) Rocky's Bar
Kansas City, Missouri
Lebanon, Kansas
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Synopsis

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Searchin' for a Rainbow" by The Marshall Tucker Band
(playing in Rocky's Bar)

Quotes

Michael: Now, this... just feels right. Hope is an amazing thing, isn't it? You had no chance of winning this. None. But you had hope -- hope that I wouldn't see you coming, but I saw everything. And now I have my perfect vessel. I've just destroyed the one weapon that could really hurt me. Thanks for bringing that, by the way.
Sam: Where's Jessica?
Violet: Well, my name's Violet. It's my shift. We have shifts now, because you mess up so, so many things.
Michael: Yes, uh, put a chair against the door. That'll help. Nothing's changed. Either my monsters get here or I break these chains. But tonight... everybody dies. And, Sam? The last thing you'll see is this pretty smile... as I rip you apart.
Jack: Sam and Dean -- they're gonna beat you.

Michael: Oh, please. Sam's in so far over his head, he's drowning. And Dean? Well, I've got Dean under control.
Jack: No. Dean -- he's strong.
Michael: He's a gnat. I'm a god. Who would you bet on?
Jack: You don't know anything about Dean.

Michael: I'm in his head... literally. I know everything. Like, I know how sad he was when you died... on the outside. On the inside, well, it's not that he was happy -- he just didn't care. 'Cause you're not Sam. You're not Cas. You're a new burden that he was handed. You're a weak, helpless thing. You think that they care about you, love you? You're a job, a job none of them wanted. And you --
Michael: Tell me. Why do you love this world enough to risk your own life?

Castiel: Tell me. Why do you hate this world enough to burn it to the ground?
Michael: Because I can. Because... me and my brother -- my Lucifer -- when we fought in my world, we thought that God would come back, give us answers -- why He'd gone, what we'd done -- but, instead, do you know what happened? Nothing. No God. Nothing. And now... now that I'm in here -- now I know why. God -- Chuck -- is a writer, and like all writers, He churns out draft after draft. My world? This world? Nothing but failed drafts. And when He realizes that they're flawed, He moves on and tries again.
Castiel: No, that's not how... Why would He do that?
Michael: Because He doesn't care! About you, me -- anything. Now, at first, I thought I'd do it better. Show Him. Be more God than God. But now... I just want to burn every one of His little worlds until I catch up to the old man.
Castiel: And then what?

Michael: Even God can die.
Jack: Well, if it doesn't, maybe there's something I can do. The magic that's keeping me alive, what if I can do more?

Sam: And burn off your soul?
Jack: Not all of it.

Sam: Jack. Dean wouldn't want to be saved, not that way.
Sam: Dean thrives on trauma. I mean, he's had to his whole life, right? It keeps him alert, keeps him ready, but if I wanted to distract Dean, I-I... I'd give him something he's never had before.

Castiel: Contentment.

Sam: Exactly. So maybe, instead of looking through his bad memories, maybe let's, uh... maybe let's look through his good memories.
Michael: Well, this is fun.

Dean: Get out of my head.
Michael: You don't mean that, Dean, not really. You may lie to them, but, deep down, I know you. I am you. You only tolerate the angel because you think you owe him, because he 'gripped you tight and raised you from Perdition.' Or whatever. But since then, what has he done? Only made mistakes, one after the other. And, Sam -- oh, Sam... You know, Dean was his happiest when you quit hunting, leaving him with your dad, just the two of them. See, deep down, he knows that you will always abandon him, again and again.
Dean: Shut up!

Michael: You don't need them. You don't even like them. They're not your family -- they're your responsibilities. They're a weight around your neck. And deep down, you wanted -- you were desperate to get away from them. And that is why you said yes.
Michael: You fellas didn't think this out, did you? Even if you could force me out, what do you think I'd leave behind, hm? You'd be nothing but blood and bone.
Dean: Then we don't kick him out. We keep him in. It'll hold. My mind, my rules. I got him. I'm the Cage.
Dean: You broke the rules.

Billie: I took a calculated risk. I warned you about the dangers of jumping from world to world. But you ignored me, didn't you?

Dean: Rescuing Mom and Jack, helping out those other folks -- I'd say it was worth it.

Trivia & References

"Nihilism" is the belief that nothing in life matters, and everything is meaningless. It is also a reference to Michael's state of mind, since he believes that God has come to consider the Winchesters' world and Apocalypse World "failed drafts" and they are thus meaningless.
Dean's dream bar in his subconscious, "Rocky's Bar" contains many Easter eggs.
  • The name of the bar and the moose's head hanging on the wall are a reference to Crowley's nickname for Dean and Sam, which was Squirrel and Moose -- a reference to Rocky the squirrel and Bullwinkle the moose from the cartoon The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends. In fact, "Moose" became so popular with Crowley that it spread to Jared, other cast members, and the fans. (See all its uses in canon here.)
  • There is also a stuffed squirrel wearing an aviator's cap and goggles as Rocky does in the cartoon behind the bar, holding a bottle of Margiekugel -- a beer created for the show that features regularly and is named for Production Designer Jerry Wanek's mother.
  • "Daphne Loves Fred" can be seen carved inside a heart on the bar in Rocky's. This is a reference to Daphne Blake and Fred Jones from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! who appeared in 13.16 Scoobynatural. Dean has a crush on Daphne and was frustrated by her affection for Fred.
  • The wooden monkey behind the bar originally lived on the corner of the bar at Harvelle's Roadhouse. In 2.02 Everybody Loves a Clown when the boys first visit the Roadhouse, Ash is passed out drunk on the pool table, referenced here with the vampire pretending to be passed out at the bar.
  • There is an Impala tribute behind the bar including two photos of the Impala and the KAZ 2Y5 license plate.
  • There is a "Texan Star" neon sign. Jensen grew up, and still lives, in Texas.
  • The bar also features other things Dean loves, including a cassette deck and a pool table.
  • There is a neon "Tom's Tequila" sign - a reference to director Thomas J. Wright.
  • In the bar office, there is a Busty Asian Beauties calendar and an autographed photo of Canadian actress Kathleen Roberston.
Dean: Got this great IPA from Austin -- Cosmic Cowboy. You're gonna love it.
Cosmic Cowboy IPA, along with the other beers on tap -- Ghost White IPA and Fox Rye Lager -- are beers from Jensen's Family Business Beer Company located in Austin, Texas. The beer coasters also feature the Family Business Beer Co. logo. There is a Family Business Beer Company neon sign on the wall opposite the bar.
Billie: And just look at you now. Do you remember visiting my reading room? The shelves and shelves of notebooks describing the ways you might die?

Dean: Yeah. Upbeat classics.
Billie: Well, it's the funniest thing, but they've all been rewritten. They all end the same way now -- with the archangel Michael escaping your mind and using you as his vessel to burn down this world.
Dean: All of them?
Billie: All of them. Except one.

Billie revealing to Dean how his deaths have all been rewritten as the same thing -- Michael escaping and destroying the world -- except for one, is similar to Avengers: Infinity War, where Doctor Strange looks into fourteen million, six hundred and five possible outcomes against Thanos, all of which result in their defeat, except for one.

Minutiae

Sam uses a holy fire molotov cocktail on Michael to distract him long enough for Cas to restrain him with the modified angel cuffs. Castiel previously used the same molotov cocktail method on Michael in 5.22 Swan Song. However, Michael was banished for a few minutes before being imprisoned in the cage with Lucifer, Adam, and Sam, reasserting Lucifer's claim that the Apocalypse World version of Michael is more powerful than his Prime Earth counterpart from 13.07 War of the Worlds.
According to Michael, in Apocalypse World, they had "locked Death away and enslaved the reapers." He also reveals his belief that while there may be multiple universes, there is only one God.
Sam: Okay, listen. Back when Gadreel possessed me, he -- he created, uh, I don't know, like a -- like a fake world inside my head. But Crowley was able to force his way in, he showed me how to take control, and I drove the angel out.
This refers to the events of 9.10 Road Trip. And much like Sam's dream world created by Gadreel, Sam is also working a ghoul case in Dean's mind, though we are unaware if it also involved cheerleaders.
Castiel: What is that?

Sam: It's the, uh, messed up British Men of Letters thing they used to get inside people's heads. I figure if I can get in, maybe I can wake Dean up, get him to fight, you know, to force Michael out.

The device Sam refers to is the same one Lady Antonia Bevell used to brainwash Mary Winchester and then to get Dean into her head in 12.22 Who We Are to save Mary.
Dean’s memories as identified by Jensensitive

Dean's Trauma:

(0:18) Dean screaming
(0:18-0:28) 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two – Dean's monologue to Sam’s dead body.

Dean: You know, when we were little, you couldn’t have been more than five, you started asking questions.

(0:20) 3.04 Sin City – Dean is trapped with the demon Casey, and Sam comes to save him, unknowingly accompanied by another demon, father Gil. Father Gil attacks Sam and Bobby.

Dean: Sammy, down here! The basement caved in!

(0:23) 13.23 Let the Good Times Roll – Micheal reneges on his agreement to let Dean be in the driver’s seat.

Dean: We had a deal!

(0:24) 3.04 Sin City – see 0:20

Sam: Hold on, okay? We’re coming.

(0:25) (3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me – confronted by his fears of Hell and all of his insecurities.

Demon!Dean Vision: You can’t escape me, Dean! You’re gonna die! And this, this is what you’re gonna become!

(0:27- 0:39) 7.10 Death's Door arguing with Sam about Chuck Norris vs Bruce Lee on movie night in one of Bobby’s best memories.

Dean: I don’t even know you right now! It’s not even a contest.
Sam: It depends on the criteria.
Dean: Survival is the only criteria, all right? And when the crap hits the fan, it’s not about who has skill. It’s about who’s the bigger badass.

(0:30) 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked – Dean in Hell.

Dean: Somebody help me! Sam!

(0:34) 12.23 All Along the Watchtower – Cas getting stabbed by Lucifer.

Dean: No!

(0:36) 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me – see 0:25

Demon!Dean Vision: Your own father didn’t care whether you lived or died.

(0:38) Dean screaming
(0:43) 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two – see 0:18

Dean: I remember I begged you, quit askin’ Sammy, man, you don’t wanna know.

(0:46-0:57) 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me – see 0:25 I think almost this whole scene is in there in the background.

Demon!Dean Vision: What are the things that you want? What are the things that you dream? I mean, your car? That’s Dad’s. Your favorite leather jacket? Dad’s. Your music? Dad’s. Do you even have an original thought?

(0:59) 5.22 Swan Song – Lucifer!Sam beating up Dean.

Dean: I’m not gonna leave you.

(01:02) 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me – see 0:25

Demon!Dean Vision: “Watch out for Sammy. Look out for your little brother, boy!”

(unidentifiable)
(01:15) 2.05 Simon Said – They’re looking through Andy’s van.

Sam: Hegel, Kant, Wittgenstein? That’s some pretty heavy reading, Dean.

(01:17) 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me – see 0:25

Demon!Dean Vision: All he ever did was boss you around.

(01:20) 1.02 Wendigo – Dean explains to Sam that he thinks John wants them to hunt together because he left them his journal.

Dean: Y'know, saving people, hunting things, the family business.

Good Memories:

(02:00) 2.19 Folsom Prison Blues – Dean meets Henriksen for the first time after being arrested.

Dean: I think I’m adorable.

(02:02) 14.04 Mint Condition – Sam tells Dean his puke story.

Dean: Okay seriously, why? Why do you hate Halloween? What is it, was it the time I, I ate all your Halloween candy?

(02:03) 4.14 Sex and Violence - Dean is excited to work a case that involves strippers.

Sam: You seem pretty cheery.
Dean: Strippers, Sammy. Strippers. We’re on an actual case involving strippers. Finally.

(02:09) 6.18 Frontierland – Western episode.

Dean: I’ll stay here, hook up with the posse. ‘Cause you know me – I’m a posse magnet.

(02:13) 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One – the last thing he says to Sam before Sam is taken to the ghost town and is eventually killed.

Dean: Hey, see if they got any pie!
Dean experiences flashbacks of Pamela Barnes' eyes being burned out by Castiel from 4.01 Lazarus Rising and Pamela being killed by a demon from 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday. He also has flashbacks of Michael's actions from 14.01 Stranger in a Strange Land and 14.02 Gods and Monsters.
Sam: Poughkeepsie!

Dean: What'd you say?

In 9.10 Road Trip, when Crowley was trying to help free Sam from Gadreel, Dean told Crowley that "Poughkeepsie" is Sam and Dean's distress signal, meaning to drop everything and run. Crowley used it again to warn Dean about Abaddon's trap in 9.21 King of the Damned
Dean telling Sam "I got him" after trapping Michael in his mind mirrors what Sam said when he was able to wrestle control from Lucifer in 5.22 Swan Song.
Billie reminds Dean of his visit to Death's Reading Room and their conversation in 13.05 Advanced Thanatology as well as that she would see him again soon from 13.19 Funeralia.
By the end of the episode, Garth is still locked in the trunk of the Impala in Kansas City, Missouri.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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