The beginning is fun, very Masterpiece Theatre. Metatron typing away his story and he decides to talk to the audience:
“What makes a story work? Is it the plot, the characters, the text? The subtext? And who gives a story meaning? Is it the writer? Or you? Tonight, I thought I would tell you a little story and let you decide.”
OMG The Dean shower scene!!!! Over way too fast, but it was so darned pretty! Thank you Robbie Thompson! :D And hey, we didn't even see that bit from the promo. Are there deleted bits of the shower scene???
Anyhoo, Sam's found no sign of Abaddon anywhere. Nice that he asks how Dean is with the whole Mark thing. Typical Dean, he just shrugs it off. He's fine (not).
Cas, meanwhile is at some abandoned factory-type building where we hear a high-pitched tone. There's bloody hand marks on the door…never a good sign. Inside are a bunch of dead angels, along with a glowing sigil on the wall we've never seen before. The glowing stops and tone does as well. Cas takes a pic of it with his cell phone. He then encounters a survivor, Hannah. The angels heard the tone and found other angels had as well, then Gadreel showed up and said they had to join Metatron or be killed. Hannah's ready to follow Castiel, but he tells her he's no leader.
Cas phones the boys to give them the news about Gadreel working with Metatron. He sends them the pic of the sigil. So cool that Cas has his own hunter's wall going on in the motel room. He misses his wings though.
Gadreel visits a shop to get the ingredients for the sigil he's been using. Totally dig the shopkeeper dude. He's so trippy. :)
And then we get the best surprise SPN's ever given us….Casa Erotica comes on the TV in Cas's motel room. It's GABRIEL!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!! :D
Cas: "Where have you been?
Gabriel: "Ooooh, you know…hither with a side of yon. I was hiding, captain side eyes in the safest place in the universe - heaven. But then you and the other two stooges had to go and ruin Christmas, now didn't you?
Gabriel: Oh, cry me a river. Look, I dropped. I hid. I finally watched Downton Abbey. But then, your BFF, Metatron, sent his minions out looking for me. Apparently, he thinks since I'm an archangel that I have extra juice.
Cas: And that you're a threat.
Gabriel: Yeah, but I got hurt in the Fall too. Used most of my juice to get back into porn. That came out wrong. So did that. The point is, I've been on the run.”
He then explains that Metatron started blowing the Horn Of Gabriel and he came out of hiding. Gabe's ready to take down Metatron.
The boys find the herbal shop…and the dead shopkeeper with his eyes burned out. Poor dude.
Gabriel leaving Dean a voicemail: “Hey, what’s up shorties? Remember me, the guy who died for your sins. No, not the cat with the beard and the sandals. The hot one.”
I do love this scene with Gabe and Cas in the car. Good times. :)
Cas: “I’m just a soldier."
Gabriel: “Bitch, please. You’ve been God more often than dad has."
Gabe's tired of running, he's ready to fight and Cas is all for Gabe being the leader of their new angel army. They stop at a Gas & Sip for some gas, but Metatron's minions have found them. Cas is ready to fight, but Gabe says he can hold them off long enough for Cas to escape and be the new leader. Then Cas notices his coat isn't torn, which happened earlier in the day. This isn't real. o.O Gabe knows the gig is up.
Gabriel: "What gave it all away?"
Cas: "My coat was torn earlier today."
Gabriel: “Ah, crap! I really hate continuity errors.”
LOL! As a former Script Supervisor, having continuity errors actually brought up on the show just made me squee to high heaven. :D
Now here's where things get tricky (heh). There's a lot of questions in fandom about whether this was really Gabriel or not. I say, not. It was all a manipulation by Metatron to get Cas to lead an army of angels against him. 'Cause he wants that apparently. [We also see that it was in fact, a tied up Cas who Metatron was speaking to in the teaser. So he was probably captured in the motel room.] Gabe was all against Metatron until the continuity error gave him away, then he said Metatron was trying to help Cas. Wha??? So, yeah…Gabe is not alive. :(
Meanwhile, the boys trap Gadreel. Love Sam's angry "Remember me?". :)
Gadreel: “I have been you, Sam Winchester. Your insides reek of shame and weakness.”
And then Sam goes all "Liam Neeson" as Dean puts it. Hee! Loved seeing Dean stop Sam and manhandle him away. [Yes, I used the word "manhandle"…you all have ruined me….you know who you are!]
Metatron to Cas: “You have been around since scaly things crawled out of the muck. Would it have killed you to pick up a book? Watch a movie?”
He then gives Cas every book, TV show, and movie he's consumed over millennia. That was painful. The angel siren was all a set up…let one angel survive to tell the tale. Metatron wants Cas to be the villain in this story, with him as the hero. What a megalomanic!
Dean tells Sam to go find Cas, who hasn't been answering any calls and is in the same place he was when he did phone them. Something's up. So Sam leaves and Dean takes over Gadreel's interrogation. Dean wants revenge, for Sam and for Kevin.
Metatron: “I like you. Truly. Among all God’s little wind-up toys, you are the only one with any spunk. I left you human because I was hoping you'd live happily ever after. But you screwed that up, too. ”
He tells Cas if he leads the angels against him he'll save a nice warm place for Cas up in heaven. Castiel, again refuses. Then Metatron brings out the big guns…points out that the grace Cas stole is burning out. But he'll give Cas an endless supply of power if he agrees.
Love Dean torturing Gadreel. Shades of "On The Head Of A Pin" anyone?
Gadreel: "All your talk, all your bluster - you think you are invincible. The two of you against the world, right?"
Dean: "Damn straight."
Gadreel: "You really think Sam would do anything for you?"
Dean: "Oh, I know he would."
Gadreel: “I’ve been in your brother’s body, Dean. He would not trade his life for yours."
Dean: "Well thanks for the rerun, pal. Sam's already told me all that crap. Hell, he's told me worse."
Gadreel: "He told you that he’s always felt that way. That he thinks that you are just a scared little boy who’s afraid to be on his own because daddy never loved him enough? And he is right, isn’t he? Right to think that you are a coward. A sad, clingy, needy, pathetic bottom-feeder who cannot even take care of himself. Who would rather drag everyone through the mud than be alone. Who would let everyone around him die!”
And in that moment, just as he's about to drive the angel sword into Gadreel's chest, Dean gets it. The angel wants to die.
Sam arrives at the motel. Of course, Cas was in room #7. *g* Nice inter-cutting here between Sam searching the room and Dean having a moment in the men's room, along with the parallels with the phones. Then Metatron turns up in the room. He tells Sam he wants an even trade: Gadreel for Cas. Dean is feeling the effect of the Mark again…love that dark look in the mirror before he picks up the angel sword and walks out.
And then Sam returns to find Dean slumped against the wall and Gadreel in a bloody heap on the floor next to him. Love Sam's concern and shouted "Dean!". *happy dances* Gadreel wouldn't talk.
Dean: "He wanted to die, and I was gonna kill him. I was. But then I stopped 'cause I know we need him to talk."
Sam tells Dean about the trade and says now they'll know where Metatron will be. Time to trap the annoying angel.
Metatron is late, but then he makes a big show of knowing the boys were gonna trap him. So he insist they go through with it. Good golly, what a ham. He then blows away the holy fire, throws the boys up against the Impala, breaks Gadreel out of the trunk by erasing the sigil trapping him there, and finally has his minions produce Castiel.
Dean: "Why are you doing this?
Metatron: "Because I can. Because you and your little brother and your fine feathered friend and all those secrets you've got locked away in your bunker can't stop me. But I am going to enjoy watching you try. It's gonna be a hell of a show."
Speaking of continuity errors…how the hell is it suddenly night when we come back from the commercial break? It was daylight just a second ago when Metatron left. *sigh*
Anyhoo, the three amigos ponder what to do now. Sam's wondering how they're going to stop Metatron now that he's basically God. Dean wants to find a stairway to heaven and sneak up on the angel to take him out. Then Sam turns it into a Star Wars reference and Cas gets it! Hee!
Dean then asks if Cas is alright and the angel turns it back on him, noting that "There's something different about you." Uh, oh. Sure enough, Cas finds the Mark and he's not happy. Anyone else get a flashback to Bobby scolding Dean back in AHBL Pt 2 in the junkyard scene? "Damn it, Dean." He even said it like Bobby did. Dean's all "I've got a knight to kill", so the discussion is over. As Sam goes to get in the car, Cas tells him to keep an eye on Dean. Sam looks a little shaken here, like….damn….if Cas is worried it must be bad.
Metatron: "Is the door secure?"
Gadreel: "Yes, the way home is safe."
Ok, so maybe there IS a secret way onto the Death Star! If the boys can just find it. Ooooh!
Gadreel: How did your play turn out?
Metatron: It didn't quite turn out as I planned, but that is why we rewrite. That was God's problem, you know. He published the first draft. You gotta... keep at it 'til you get all your ducks in a row.
Turns out the boys capturing Gadreel was a surprise. So there's a way to perhaps change Metatron's story.
Metatron: “What writer doesn’t love a good twist? My job is to set up interesting characters and see where they lead me. The byproduct of having well-drawn characters is they may surprise you. But I know something they don't know - the ending. How I get there doesn't matter as long as everybody plays their part.”
OMG What a great song choice! So foreboding. "The sun ain't gonna shine anymore…" All beautifully edited together with Cas deciding to call the angels to him and become their leader and the boys driving along with Sam giving worried looks over at Dean.
A great, well written episode after a long hiatus. Bravo to Robbie Thompson on such a complex script. And extra kudos to the production for keeping Gabriel's return a secret. I guess a few knew, but boy, I didn't read about it anywhere and you all know how much I love spoilers!
Let's highlight this sucker! :D
Metatron: He.Must.Die! Sure, he's writing the scripts, but the boys clearly surprised him by capturing Gadreel, so they have an edge already. He thinks he can control everyone, but I hope he'll find that his "characters" aren't as easy to predict as he thinks they are.
Gadreel: Guess he learned that taunting the Winchesters was a bad idea. But his desire to die is interesting. If he's so loyal to Metatron why the suicidal tendencies? Maybe Dean pegged it right....maybe he just doesn't wanna be locked in chains alone again.
Castiel: Oh, Cas...what are you doing? Guess he really IS worried about that stolen grace causing him to lose his mojo. Because he resisted the temptation to lead the angels for so long and now he just does it like that. I hope this ends well, but right now, based on Cas's past track record, I can't see it.
Sam & Dean: Kinda wish Dean had let Sam take a little frustration out on Gadreel. That would've been nice to see. On the other hand, the boys are working well again. There wasn't any awkwardness this episode, which was a relief. And there was only worry and concern over Dean coming from Sam. I think he will be keeping a close eye on his brother now that Cas has put in his two cents about the Mark. So much love for how Jensen continues to play how the Mark effects him. It's subtle, just with a look in the eyes and a hand to the arm, but it works so well. I look forward to seeing how it progresses.
Gabriel: Dude. We missed you. Sad you were just a fake projection and not really alive. Believe me, we sent those cards and flowers even if the boys didn't. Love you always...SPN Fandom. ♥
Excellent episode, excellent acting. Let's bring on next week! :)