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The Sam Theory That Would Change Everything On Supernatural

Season 5 of "Supernatural," which is among the series' best, culminates in a conflict between the archangel Michael and the devil Lucifer in the works since the show's very first season. Mirroring the roles of these Biblical characters in Christian lore, the extremely powerful Lucifer aims to spearhead an apocalypse while Michael wants to stop him at all costs. Complicating matters is the fact that the spiritual forces of Michael and Lucifer both desire human hosts, targeting protagonists Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) respectively.

Throughout Season 5, the angel Zachariah — portrayed by Kurt Fuller, before he left in hopes of landing less villainous roles — pushes Dean to consent to Michael possessing his body in hopes of stopping Lucifer before he can manifest on Earth. Dean, however, is unwilling, and Zachariah employs various underhanded tactics in hopes of getting Dean to say "yes" to Michael, thereby welcoming his possession.

While "Supernatural" fans are well familiar Zachariah's various coercive attempts to influence Dean, one user online theorized — and even partially confirmed — that Zachariah's sinister actions include one particular behind-the-scenes manipulation that significantly recolors a particular Season 5 episode.

Zachariah may have manipulated Sam's version of heaven

User FictionalCharacters2 started a thread on the official subreddit for "Supernatural" fans exploring the idea that, in "Supernatural" Season 5, Episode 16, after Sam and Dean die and end up in the afterlife, Zachariah manipulates Sam's conception of heaven to ultimately push Dean toward saying "yes" to Michael. In short, Sam's heaven consists largely of memories that are absent both Dean and their father entirely, which leads to conflict with Dean and later influences his desire to consent to Michael's possession. The thread also includes a screenshot of a Tumblr user claiming that they ran this theory by Jared Padalecki, who seemingly confirmed that Zachariah did indeed manipulate Sam's heaven with the intent of upsetting Dean.

In an interview with the German website myFanbase, Kurt Fuller described Zachariah as someone who "seemed extremely ambitious and would do anything to get ahead." Manipulating Sam's heaven, then, is entirely in line with this characterization. In fact, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fuller described Zachariah as something of a favorite villain among fans due to his particular brand of evil.

On one hand, should this theory be true, the overall scope of Zachariah's villainy deepens. More important, however, is the fact that Sam's idealized heaven was never actually absent memories of his brother, but only appeared to be due to Zachariah's characteristic maliciousness.