The apocalypse storyline returns to the forefront with a vengeance in "The Song Remains the Same" as Anna has escaped her heavenly prison with a new plan to stop the apocalypse from happening in the first place. Her method? A Terminator-style plot to kill John and Mary Winchester before Sam can be born. And the pop culture references are just getting started.
Like season four's "In the Beginning" when Dean was sent to 1973 and met his parents before they were married, the plot of this episode hinges on connecting with young John and Mary. Unlike the previous episode, what happens in "The Song Remains the Same" does not change the way we view the past as much as it points toward the future.
I was one of the people who understood why it was necessary to the story to leave Sam behind on the last trip to the past, but it is great to see Sam go along for the ride this time. As cute as it is to see him react to the 1970s fashion (moustaches!), more importantly it is moving to watch him meet younger versions of his parents. Jared Padalecki's face conveys all the wonder Sam feels at seeing his mom and dad as "normal" people.
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