Sam and Dean are worried about Bobby, as he struggles with his grief over Rufus' death. Sam finds a series of unusual deaths among related people in Pennsylvania, but Bobby isn't interested and tells them to leave him alone. As they pack up Dean's Mustang, they're worried about Bobby, but take comfort in knowing Ellen will be home soon.
Ellen gets home to Bobby - she's been hunting with Jo for a week. She commiserates with Bobby over Rufus' death and fusses about his drinking. Bobby grudglingly accepts her care and Ellen teases that it's why he married her.
Sam and Dean check out the scene of one of the deaths and find no clues other than a thread of pure gold on the ground. As Sam checks out genealogy records, Dean visits another of the relatives who's still living - Shawn Russo - but all they learn is that the victims' ancestors arrived in America in 1912.
Travel agent Anne Witting is busy at work selling holidays to Cuba when time freezes, and a blonde woman appears and places Amy's car keys under the photocopier. When time starts again, Anne looks for her keys, and when she goes to retrieve them her scarf is caught in the copier and strangles her. After Anne dies, the blonde woman reappears with a book in her arms. She opens it on a list of names, and a thread of gold falls from the bookmark. She then crosses Anne Witting's name out and leaves.
After the brothers investigate the scene, Dean calls Ellen, who reports that there have been 75 similar deaths nationwide. They all appear to be freak accidents and gold threads have been found at the scenes. Jo and her crew is looking into a cluster of deaths in California, and the only common factor they've found between the victims is that their forebears all arrived in 1912 on the Titanic, a passenger steamship that none of them have heard of. After further investigation, Sam finds that on its maiden journey across the Atlantic, the Titanic nearly hit an iceberg. Disaster was averted, however, by the first mate - the suspiciously named I.P. Freely. He finds a photo of the crew, and I.P. Freely is revealed to be the angel Balthazar.
The brothers summon Balthazar, who claims that he went back to time to stop the Titanic from sinking because he hated the movie "Titanic" and the song "My Heart Will Go On." When Sam asks how he could change history, Balthazar states that there are no more rules. Aside from all the passengers he saved whose descendants would never have been born, he acknowledges some other changes - Sam and Dean don't drive an Impala, and Ellen and Jo are alive. When Sam and Dean point out that something is killing the descendents of the Titanic passengers, about 50,000 people, Balthazar states he doesn't care and disappears.
The boys call Bobby, who has worked out that the Fates are responsible. Apparently, they're trying to counter the changes Balthazar's actions bought about. Bobby suggests they convince Balthazar to resink the Titanic, but when Dean reveals that Ellen and Jo would die, Bobby tells them to do everything they can to not let that happen.
The next day Sam and Dean try to speak to Shawn Russo, but he gets hit by a bus and killed. Sam notices a woman watching from a nearby building, and, thinking that she could be Fate, they pursue her. They're standing in a dark kitchen when she stops time and opens all the gas valves in the room. When time restarts, Dean's flashlight dies, and he takes out his lighter. When it sparks, the gas ignites . . .
But Castiel appears at the last second and transports the boys to safety. He tells them that Fate is angry at them because, in averting the Apocalypse, they rendered her obsolete. Then, by "dangling themselves in front of her," Dean and Sam made her even more angry, and Castiel says that she likely won't stop until they're dead. They will need to kill her using a weapon Balthzar has, and Sam suggests that they use themselves as bait.
As Ellen tells Bobby, Jo has tracked another 30 deaths on the west coast. Ellen suggests they need the angels to sink the boat, so Bobby reveals that she and Jo's lives are at stake, as well.
Back in Chester, Sam and Dean try and go about their business - anxious at the possibility of death at every turn. Finally, a piece of machinery falls from a building, but Castiel stops time before it crushes them.
The blonde woman appears and confronts Castiel. She is Atropos - one of the three Fates - and she is angry that fate no longer has a role and that everything is in chaos since the Apocalypse was averted. She also charges that Castiel ordered Balthazar to avert the Titanic disaster so that there would be 50,000 souls in existence that otherwise wouldn't be, and intimates this is part of his war effort.
Castiel doesn't admit anything, but she says she will kill Sam and Dean if Castiel doesn't sink the ship. Changing the future is one thing, but changing the past in the last straw. Castiel in turn threatens to kill her, and she reminds him that she has two very powerful sisters who will go after Sam and Dean if she dies. Just as Balthazar is about to kill her, Castiel stops him and agrees to sink the Titanic again.
Sam and Dean wake up in the Impala back at Bobby's place, with Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" playing on the radio. They both think they have had the same dream, but Cas appears and reveals that what happened was real. He wants them to remember so they know who Fate is, and so that they know Castiel is fighting for freedom from destiny. Then, when Dean asks, he tells him that Balthazar really did change history because he didn't like the movie "Titanic," revealing nothing about his possible war plans.
Inside, Bobby lies asleep on the couch. Sam and Dean look at him sadly, knowing what he's lost. Dean covers him with a blanket and they let him sleep.
- "One Way or Another" by Blondie
- (plays over the "Sam and Dean can die at any second" montage)
- "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
- (plays when the boys wake up, and the world is back to normal)
Dean: I mean, accidents don't just happen accidentally . . . you know what I mean.
I'll just cut to the chase here: your life is in danger.
Shawn Russo: What? What is that, a threat? Are you threatening me?
No, no, no. No, I'm not threatening you. I'm just simply saying that if you don't watch your back, you're gonna die.
Why did you un-sink the ship?
Balthazar: Oh, because I hated the movie.
Dean: What movie?
Wait, so you saved a cruise liner because . . .
Balthazar: . . . because that godawful Celine Dion song made me want to smite myself!
Sam: Who's Celine Dion?
Oh, she's a destitute lounge singer somewhere in Quebec, and let's keep it that way please.
Balthazar: Sorry, you have me confused with the other angel. You know, the one in the dirty trench coat who's in love with you. I don't care.
Dean: You mean . . . ?
Bobby: I mean Fate, like The Fates. Or one of them at least.
Sam: You mean, like, Greek mythology? Like, the Sisters?
(to Sam) Nerd.
What'd she look like?
Sam: Kinda like a librarian.
Dean: Your kind of librarian, or my kind of librarian?
Well, she was wearing clothes, if that's what you mean.
Balthazar has a weapon that will work against her.
Dean: Of course he does. Yeah, boy, that guy has just got it covered, doesn't he? You need new friends, Cas.
I'm trying to save the ones I have, Dean.
Well, if it was meant to be, then I guess whatever happens, happens.
Bobby: But that's just my point. Nothing's meant to be. Whether we're together is at the whim of some dick angel.
Ellen: Oh, Bobby, relax.
Bobby: I can't. We need you. Especially me.
Because maybe you've heard - Fate strikes when you least expect it.
Castiel: Balthazar, stop.
Ah . . . awkward.
Castiel: You're the ones who taught me that you can make your own destiny. You don't have to be ruled by fate. You can choose freedom. And I still believe that that's something worth fighting for.
Did Balthazar really unravel the sweater over a chick flick?
Castiel: Yes, absolutely. That's what he did.
Wow, well, might be time to take away his cable privileges. Besides, Titanic didn't suck that
bad. Winslet's rack?
Trivia & References
The episode title “My Heart Will Go On" refers to the Celine Dion song of the same name which was the theme song for the 1997 movie Titanic
. Jensen once did an ad for Titanic
-related merchandise. The Titanic was also referenced visually in 1.19 Provenance
when a newspaper is held up showing an article they are looking for in relation to the MOTW. The lead story on the same page is the sinking of the Titanic. The Movie Titanic is also referenced in 4.10 Heaven and Hell
when Dean and Anna have sex in the Impala
. The image of Anna
's hand streaking down the foggy car window is reminiscent of the iconic scene from Titanic when Jack and Rose are having sex.
Things that are different in the timeline where the Titanic never sank:
- Obviously the movie the Titanic was never made!
- Dean drives a Mustang which has the original plates the Impala had - KAZ 2Y5 - until 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be. A 65 Mustang was Kripke's original casting choice for the role of Dean's car: "When I was originally writing the show I wanted to give the guys an American muscle car. My first choice was a '65 Mustang. My neighbor said it has to be a '67 Impala, because you can put a body in the trunk. He says, 'You want a car that, when people stop next to it at the lights, they lock their doors.' " Source.
- The Impala line of cars was not produced.
- Ellen and Jo are alive.
- Ellen and Bobby are married and Singer Salvage Yard is called B & E Scrap Yard. Bobby's house appears neater than usual.
- In 2.17 Heart we learned that Sam knew Dean always played 'scissors' when they did Rock, Paper, Scissors, so Sam always won. Here Sam loses, although Dean still throws scissors.
- In the travel agency we see Cuba is a resort island destination - "America's favourite holiday destination" - and Detroit was voted "America's top city."
- Celine Dion is a "destitute lounge singer somewhere in Quebec."
- Cas transports Sam and Dean to "White Russia." this is an old term for Belarus and may be a hint that the Russian revolution of 1917 that lead to the formation of the Soviet Union, didn't occur.
When he went back in time to stop the Titanic sinking, Balthazar went by the joke name I.P. Freely, and was the first officer. The actual first officer of the Titanic was William McMaster Murdoch
, and he was in command when the boat struck the iceberg.
The first of Atropos
' victims is nearly killed by falling on a pair of gardening shears. This could be a reference to Atropos' 'abhorred shears' which she used to cut the metaphorical threads of life in mythology.
who played Atropos (Fate) also appeared in Gilmore Girls, including two episodes with Jared, "The Incredible Sinking Lorelais" and "Last Week Fights, This Week Tights".
Other Titanic references:
- The episode was aired on the 99th anniversary of the date the Titanic sank.
- The travel agency is called E. J. Smith, who was the captain of the Titanic.
- Sam and Dean stay at the White Star Motel - the White Star Line was the name of the company that owned the Titanic.
- Sam uses a Wikipedia-like site called "Marconi Pages" named after Guglielmo Marconi the inventor of radio. The radio operators on the Titanic were employed by his company and were vital in relief efforts. Britain's postmaster-general later said "Those who have been saved, have been saved through one man, Mr. Marconi...and his marvelous invention." Source.
- From the Supernatural: The Official Companion Season 6: everyone is drinking Astor Cola, named after businessman John Astor who died on the ship.
- While Sam was researching about the Titanic, the picture "Officers of the RMS Titanic", with Balthazar as First Mate I.P. Freely, is actually the picture of the captain and officers of RMS Carpathia which is the passenger steamship famous for rescuing the survivors of Titanic. Source.
What, no severed horse head?
The Russos are from Calabria, an area in Southern Italy which has a mafia-like organization known as Ndrangheta
. In the 1972 movie about the mafia in New York, The Godfather
, a severed horse's head is placed in the bed of a movie producer as a threat. (Although the family in the Godfather is from Sicily, not Calabria. This quote is an example of stereotyping
all Italians as being involved with the mob.)
If these people are the Waltons, then why the hell are they dying?
was the name of the eponymous family in a book movie and most famously a 70's TV series. The family is so wholesome and nice they make the Brady Bunch look like the Mansons.
You totally butterfly effected history
Dean: Dude, dude, rule number one, no Kutcher references.
The Butterfly Effect
is a concept from chaos theory, where a small change in one part of a non-linear system can cause a large change in another part of the system. it was dubbed the butterfly effect from the title of the 1972 paper by Edward Lorenz "Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?" Ashton Kutcher starred in a 2004 movie of the same name
about a man who could travel to his own past.
Well riddle me this . . .
"Riddle me this" is the catchphrase of the DC Comics supervillain The Riddler
, an enemy of Batman
Besides, Titanic didn't suck that
bad. Winslet's rack?
A reference to the iconic scene from Titanic, when Jack sketches a nude portrait Rose, played by Kate Winslet
In the previous episodes involving time travel - 4.03 In the Beginning
and 5.13 The Song Remains the Same
- the travel was a part of a contiguous series of events. That is, the going back in time was something that had always happened, and did not change events. In this episode, Balthazar says that there are "No rules" anymore, hence his ability to alter events by taking action in the past.
This episode may also be a reference to the 2000 horror film Final Destination. In both cases, the plot involves people who managed to avoid their fated death and now are dying in other ways. Some of the death scenes in the episode are strikingly similar to those of the film. For example, the scene in which the lawyer Shawn Russo is killed by a speeding bus is very similar to the scene in which Terry, from Final Destination, dies.
The opening was very reminiscent of the opening of the Simpsons episode 'Mobile Homer'
where Homer gets caught under the garage door (he's drinking beer in the garage - chases a spider, gets his head covered by spiders, then sprays bug spray in his face/eyes, trips on a skateboard and falls with his leg bent at an unnatural angle under the garage door. While trying to kill a spider by throwing a magazine at it, he accidentally hits the garage door control which triggers the door to come down on his throat several times.)
I.P. Freely is also one of Bart's favorite names for prank calling
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts