Wow. What a way to send us into the Mid-Season/Winter Hiatus!
Intense? Thy name is Supernatural.
Recognized that opening scene as being at the Back 40/Boundary Bay location right away. And by conferring with some of my fellow Location Hunters, I believe we've established that the bar where the angel massacre goes down was shot in the same place as the Harvelle's Roadhouse. Yes, Jared Tweeted that it was at the crossroads location, but it doesn't match at all. Actors don't know everything, folks.
Anyway, we've got two factions of angels going to war: Bartholomew's and Malachi's. They're killing one another off, or their potential vessels and the boys get wind of it.
The car scene is interesting as we jump right into a conversation between Zeke!Sam and Dean...arguing over whether the boys should be investigating angel killings. Zeke's his usual, evasive I-can't-risk-being-around-angels self and Dean's saying they have to go or Sam will wonder why. Btw, love how Jared goes from Zeke to mid-sentence Sam here. Awesome stuff. Oh, Dean begins to wonder if Zeke's listening in all the time and of course the angel says he isn't. LIAR! Oh! Almost forgot that Sam realizes that he's missing time and questions Dean about it but of course Dean's all "It's the trials, man. You're not right." and it gets left at that. But at least Sam DID acknowledge that something weird is happening.
The boys show up at the bar and find Cas (looking very dapper in a nice suit) acting as an FBI agent. So cute how he banters with Sam (who is amused) and deals with Dean (who isn't).
Castiel: Cas is back in town!
Dean: Seriously did you just... did he just say that?
Btw, at the end of this scene Cas walks off and Zeke flashes in and Dean just rolls his eyes and takes off like he doesn't even want to deal with the angel anymore. Struck me as an odd way to end the scene. I mean, why have Zeke pop in at all there? Just a thought.
The angel powers-that-be have a meeting, but Bart can't be bothered to show up, which pisses off Malachi and he kills off Bart's 2nd in command and her helpers.
More cute Cas as he and the boys are having beers at another watering hole. They still don't know who they're dealing with...and then Cas gets to waxing poetic about April the reaper...
Castiel: "Bartholomew wants to reverse Metatron's spell, presumably to re-take heaven, once his following is large enough. That’s according to April."
Dean: “The reaper you banged."
Cas: “Yeah. And you stabbed."
Dean: “She was hot."
Cas: “So hot. And very nice. Up to the point she started torturing me."
Dean: “Yeah, well, not every hook-up’s perfect."
Oh, crap. Then Zeke is back and complaining about being around Cas. Dean finally asks what Zeke is so afraid of. The angel says he chose sides when he chose to heal Sam, but Dean counters that Cas is hated by all the angels and here he is fighting the good fight anyway. Then Cas comes back to the table with the beer and Zeke excuses himself outside...
Where he runs into Metatron. Dun, dun, DUUUUUUUUN!!!!!
Who happens to spill the beans that he knows who Sam really is and it's not Ezekiel. Wha?????
Meanwhile, Cas is wondering what's going on with Sam. Dean dances around the truth yet again and explains that Sam is still messed up from the trials and while he doesn't like it, they can't work with Cas right now.
Dean: "It's great to have your help, Cas...but we just can't work together."
Yeah, 'cause that's all clear as mud. *sigh*
Back with Metatron and Zeke...btw, am I the only one who was distracted by the word "figworm" on the door behind Metatron? :P
We find out it's Gadreel possessing Sam...once "God's most trusted" who was in charge of protecting the garden. But he failed when a serpent entered and let evil take up residence on earth.
Metatron expelled all the angels from heaven, even the imprisoned ones like Gadreel. But an empty heaven isn't as nice as the Scribe of God expected.
Metatron: “At first I thought I would love it. But it’s a big place. My solitude is getting tedious. Plan B: Rebuild Heaven as the place God envisioned it, only with a hand-picked few. No more anemic functionaries like Bartholomew. And no more stupid angels. Maybe some funny ones.”
You'd think that an angel that spent so much time on earth in a motel room all alone for who knows how many decades wouldn't be bothered by an empty heaven. Guess he missed all his books. Metatron is so creepy and manipulative...like a sleazy car salesman.
We jump from that scene to one where the boys are back at the MOL bunker and wondering about Kevin and then finding the murdered biker gang were all baptized together and followers of Buddy Boyle. So I'm wondering how Gadreel got back to the bar so Sam wouldn't wonder what happened again. But whatever...
Church lady angel who's with Malachi gets killed along with a bible group gathered around a campfire.
And we're back with Metatron & Gadreel having a chat about how complicated and emotional humans are.
Gadreel: “Sam Winchester? It is a mess in here. And the brother? I do not know where to start.”
Metatron: "I can free you from them. All of them."
Gadreel: “You intend to be the ruler of this new Heaven, am I correct?"
Metatron: “It is a burden I feel I must accept."
Gadreel: “Then Metatron, does that not make you God?"
Metatron: “Semantics. I don’t know that I’d take on that name, necessarily. When the time comes we'll call me...'X'."
X, how original. LOL Metatron is one slick bastard. He's already got Gadreel reeled in.
Then we have another cute scene (why are so many things revolving around Cas in this ep cute?) with Cas praying for some help from the angels. Quite a risk he's taking here. Look what Dean ended up with! Love how they show him praying in all different ways and poses.
Castiel: "I don't know how humans do it."
LOL It is difficult with all that kneeling and prostrating.
He gets an answer...Muriel, who at first doesn't want to talk to him.
Back at the bunker Dean and Kevin are working and Kevin's lamenting that the angel tablet is getting hard to read - like Metatron purposely made the spell about kicking out the angels difficult to see. Sam shows up (and I hope he was just out for a run or a walk when Gadreel diverted him to meet w/Metatron) and Dean shows him the news about the bible group killings and that the church lady was there along with being at the biker bar. Sam's saddened that they were just a bunch of kids and Dean tells Kevin to get back to work.
From Muriel, Cas finds out that the other faction of angels is headed by Malachi and that like Bart's group he wants to overthrow Metatron and rule heaven. Then they're both captured by Malachi. Uh oh....
They're tortured and again Cas has to try to explain that he didn't know what Metatron was doing.
Malachi: “A dupe. The great Castiel, valued and trusted Castiel, top-of-the-Christmas-tree Castiel, no more than a dupe.”
He ends up killing Muriel in front of Cas...well, he has his lackey, Theo, do it. Malachi reveals that many of angels died during the fall and he names some of them, including...Ezekiel. Gah!!!! Then he leaves and tells Theo to get to work and that he doesn't care if anything's left. "Don't ask for mercy...there is none." What an awesome, chilling line. But it turns out, Theo doesn't want to kill Cas...he wants to join him and Metatron. Smart and sneaky Cas catches on and clearly having learned something from the boys, convinces Theo to unshackle him so he can contact Metatron! He then slits Theo's throat and takes his grace and kills the angel. Whoah!
Now I'm wondering how this works because back in Season 4 Anna needed her own grace back. Now Cas can take any angel's grace? Or maybe it's just a temporary substitute? Maybe it will work (since it gave him powers again and healed him) but it won't last? So many questions...
Cas escapes and then calls Dean from a pay phone and spills the beans about pretty much everything. Malachi as the other faction, he was tortured, took another angel's grace, and oh...and that Ezekiel died during the fall. Instantly, Dean's at Kevin's side wanting a spell to talk to an angel's vessel without the host knowing it.
Gadreel meets with Metatron again (seriously, why doesn't Dean worry about Sam disappearing from the bunker a bit more) and agrees to be his second in command. But the rogue angel wants something....proof of fidelity. He has to kill some people to prove his loyalty to Metatron. He's handed a yellow card with a name...
I find it interesting that Gadreel balks a bit over killing. That it's not who he is. He doesn't much remorse once he does it later on though.
Dean and Kevin have done a sigil in the storeroom that Dean will activate with his blood. Kevin's still wondering what this is really about and I was begging Dean to break and finally tell someone! But he doesn't...just says Kevin will have to trust him on this.
Kevin: “I always trust you. And I always end up screwed.”
Oh, Kevin baby. *cries*
Sam's back from a beer run and Dean says they need to talk. They enter the storeroom (one we haven't seen before, btw) Dean does the sigil and starts talking fast. He tells Sam about him almost dying, about letting an angel possess him, the whole thing. Sam's pissed, as we would expect. Dean: "I did what I had to do." Which is the line of this ep. It's said 3 times. Dean also says that he found out it's not Ezekiel possessing Sam and that he's got to expel the angel fast. Sam walks out of the room in a huff and punches Dean. Ouch.
Sure enough, it's Gadreel who finds Kevin in the library. Poor Kevin doesn't have a clue of what's about to happen...
Kevin: "Hey, Sam. Do you notice anything a little bit off about Dean, lately? Between you and me, I’m a little bit worried about him.”
OMG That Kevin's last thoughts were about Dean, about how worried he was.... I just can't.
And Gadreel kills him right there and then as a horrified Dean enters the room. The angel throws Dean into a wall.
Gadreel: "There is no more Sam. But I played him convincingly, I thought."
Turns out he heard Dean and Kevin talking about sigiling the storeroom and he altered it, thereby altering the spell. So Sam doesn't know the truth at all!!!!! It was Gadreel acting like Sam the whole time inside the storeroom! GAH!!!!!! So the sh*t's still going to hit the fan, but later on! He apologizes about Kevin..."I did what I had to." And then he leaves the bunker, taking the tablets with him. Dean is left in a heap on the floor, staring at Kevin's body and crying that one perfect tear. *hugs Dean* :(
Gah!!!!!! So there we are until January.
RIP Kevin Tran. You were a good kid and a great prophet and you always tried your best.
I can only think his death is going to further tear Dean apart. All that guilt piling up on him. Not sure if he had even told Kevin in those last moments if it would have saved his life or not. Probably not. It's be awesome if Cas was able to bring Kevin back, but I really don't think that's in the cards. Nice to have angelic Cas back though. I'm thinking he's going to be needed in saving Sam. Yes, Sam is still alive. Don't buy what the angel said. There's no show without both brothers. No doubt Sam's in bad shape - that whole safety pins and duck tape line from the previous episode. I suspect the reason Sam was so tired was because Gadreel wasn't healing Sam at all. He probably only did enough to keep him barely functioning.
As for Dean, well...he's now getting hit hard by the error of his ways and what he thought would save his brother. Well intentioned for sure, but now it's all falling apart and in the worst possible way. I know he won't give up on Sam though. That'll never happen and from what the promo shows, he doesn't. The difference is that now he'll have help. I'm still hearing about how some fans are upset about a lack of Dean purpose in the season, but I'm sorry...I still don't see that. Maybe I'm the one who's wrong, but I'm happy with the season so far and I'm happy with what Dean's been going through. It's challenging, it's deeply personal, and it's emotional. Do you have the right to decide a loved one's fate? Is it right to be selfish like that? What consequences are you willing to live with? Who do you trust? How do you deal with the guilt of your choices? It's a lot to deal with and honestly, it's a wonder Dean hasn't hit the bottle again like he did in Season 7. All the lies and deception and constantly being on his toes over what he's told to who...it's crazy! He hasn't been all that smooth about it, but he's tried his best and always with Sam's best interest at heart.
I hope that when Dean gets another chance to tell Sam the truth that it doesn't result in another parting of the ways for the brothers. It never works out and it's old. I know Sam will be upset, but there's bette ways to deal other than walking away. And I hope that he'll see it from Dean's viewpoint, that he had no other choice...yes, a selfish one, but it was the only one he had. And yes, I'm okay with Dean being so dependent on Sam. What's wrong with that? Aren't we all dependent on someone in our lives, or have been at some point. It happens. We don't live in a vacuum. We depend on others psychologically and emotionally. To me, it's the emotion that ties Dean to Sam so tightly. Sam's the only family (true family) he has left. He's the one he's cared fore nearly his whole life. It's hard to simply let that go, even if you know you should. I hope we won't have to wait too long into the show's return for the truth to be revealed to Sam at last. Whatever the outcome is, I want it dealt with and the brothers recovering from the fall out.
Overall, I've enjoyed every episode so far in Season 9. Outside of a few minor breaks from canon and other complaints (that I can sometimes choose to overlook) I have no issues. For me the tale is about Sam & Dean and it still is. That's all I can ask for and I'm on this ride until the end.