Four days have passed and I feel I can finally (hopefully) talk about Season 9's finale. At first I was going to do my usual recap along with my review, but I think that's more than I can handle at this late date. I've been mulling over my feelings of this episode for days and I just want to get them sorted out and put down somewhere.
Let's start out by going over some of the great lines from the ep.
Thanks to SuperWiki for all the quotes. ;)
NEIL: Why do you want to look pathetic? You've just reunited all the angels under the banner of heaven. I mean, that's like...
METATRON: Winning a People's Choice Award? Not quite the real deal, now, is it?
LOL! Gotta love it when the show pokes fun at itself. ;)
DEAN: What the hell's happening to me, you son of a bitch?
CROWLEY: Liquor before beer, bad taco? How should I know?
DEAN: I can't turn it off! Ever since I killed Abaddon, it's -- it's like this whole...other thing. I get this high and I-I-I need to kill. I mean, I really, really need to kill. And if I don't --
CROWLEY: you yak your guts out. It's the mark.
CROWLEY: It wants you to kill. The more you kill, the better you feel. The less you kill, the less better you feel.
DEAN: How much less better?
CROWLEY: One would imagine
the least-best better.
SAM: Oh, right. Excuse me. Sorry, guys. Uh, sorry I'm a little less than eager to hear that our best chance is -- is arming the warhead and hoping it hits the mark. This is not a bomb we're talking about. This is my brother.
Awwww. Sammy, you DO care! :)
CROWLEY: So this is what you and moose do, eh? Crisscross the country, searching for evil, order your nitrates, partake of the local attraction.
CROWLEY: You never get tired of the rat race? Never get the urge to just...bugger off and howl at the moon? Never ask yourself, "is this it? Is this all there is?"
Dean actually has complained about their lifestyle a couple of times over the years: back S2's "Simon Said" and in S4's "Yellow Fever".
DEAN: "Game of Thrones" is complicated. Shower sex -- that's complicated. Hell ain't complicated. Your problem ain't hell. It's you.
I'll admit, when he mentioned shower sex my mind went to a very interesting and...happy place. Then I noticed he was still talking and I snapped right back to the show. :P
CASTIEL: The door to heaven is in a playground?
GADREEL: Guarded by two of Metatron's most loyal. I recruited them myself. So, you said you had a plan... How we might convince them to let us pass.
CASTIEL: [pulling out handcuffs] Wookiee.
GADREEL: Brother, I have no idea what that means.
CASTIEL: It's a reference to a very popular film that -- never mind.
It's cute how Cas suddenly knows how to use pop culture references. He's no longer the angel who "doesn't get that reference". *g*
Sam: I guess one of us doesn't need a demon to help follow a clue trail. You're looking for miracle lady right? Yeah, she's gone. I had a nice chat with her though.
Dean: Sam whatever type of intervention you think this is, trust me it ain't. I'm not going to explain myself to you.
Sam: Yeah, I sorta got that. I just thought you might like to know while you two have been playing, uh Odd Couple. Your real friends, like Cas, like the angel you stabbed - Gadreel. They're out there right now risking their asses to help you win this fight.
Dean: The hell you talking about?
Sam: A fight I might add you made that much more complicated when you decided to stab the one angel who could actually get us to Metatron!
Dean: You mean the angel that took you for a joy ride? The angel that slaughtered Kevin, that angel?
Sam: Who you let in the front door in the first place. You tricked me Dean, and now I'm the who wakes up in the middle of the night with my hands killing Kevin, not you. So please when you say you don't want to explain anything to me, don't! I get it. And I also get that Metatron has to go. And I know you're our best shot to do that.
Dean: I'm gonna take my shot, for better or worse.
Sam: I know.
Dean: No matter the consequences
Sam: I know. But if this is it, were gonna do it together.
You know, after all this time...get over it, Sam! Sheesh. I speak from experience here when I say that sometimes you have to forgive loved ones who've hurt or wronged you. Yes, Dean tricked you to save your life. You said "yes" though, so that must have been your feeling anyway. Let. It. Go.
And of course, Dean is on total suicide mission here. Which is funny when you look back to the previous episode and he told Tessa that he'd never considered suicide. Oh, no Dean? What about when you decided to give up and be possessed by Michael? What about all the times like this one where you've decided the mission is more important than your life?
Crowley: Guess I've been Winchester'd. I'd wish you boys good luck, if I thought it would help.
Gadreel: I sat in this hall for thousands of years thinking of nothing but redemption, of reclaiming my good name. I thought of nobody, no cause other than my own.
Castiel: You've been redeemed my friend.
Gadreel: The only thing that matters in the end is the mission: protecting those who would not and cannot protect themselves. The humans. None of us is bigger than that, we will not let our fears, our self absorption prevent us from seeing it through. Not anymore.
Castiel: No, no of course not.
Gadreel: Move to the other side of your cell Castiel, and keep your head down. When they say my name, perhaps I won't just be the one who let the Serpent in, perhaps I will be known as one of the many that gave Heaven a second chance. Run sister.
Dammit, Gadreel. I finally liked you again and then you go and sacrifice yourself like this. *sniffles* You were honorable, to the end. I'm glad you redeemed yourself.
Dean: I'm blaming you for Kevin. I'm blaming you for taking Cas' grace. Hell I'm blaming you for the Cubs not winning the world series in the last hundred freakin' years. What ever it is I'm blaming you.
I'm glad Dean finally assigns the blame for Kevin's death on the right person. Gadreel did the killing, but it was Metatron who gave the order.
METATRON: Ah. So Gadreel bites the dust. And the Angel tablet -- arguably the most powerful instrument in the history of the universe -- is in pieces, and for what again? Oh, that's right -- to save Dean Winchester. That was your goal, right? I mean, you draped yourself in the flag of heaven, but ultimately, it was all about saving one human, right? Well, guess what. He's dead, too.
The look on Cas's face when he hears Dean is dead. OMG :(
DEAN: [weakly] Sammy, you got to get out of here before he comes back.
SAM: Shh. Shh. Shh. Shh. Shut up. Shut up. Just save your energy, all right? Oh, man. We'll stop the bleeding. We'll -- we'll get you a doctor or -- or I'll find a spell. You're gonna be okay.
DEAN: Listen to me. It's better this way.
DEAN: The Mark. It's making me into something I don't want to be.
SAM: Don't worry about the Mark. We'll figure out the Mark later. Just hold on, okay? Get you some help.
Oh, Dean! *cries* I love how Sam right away is trying to find anyway to save his brother. And then Dean finally admitting the Mark was turning him into something else. He knows this is going to end badly. *wibbles*
Dean: What happened to you being okay with this?
Sam: I lied.
Dean: Ain't that a bitch.
There's been much discussion about this exchange (let's not even go into the new info. about Sam's line that was brought up at JIBCon this weekend). The feeling from Sam from several episodes ago was that he wouldn't save Dean, would let him die. As Jared has stated, his take was that Sam said those things because he was angry at Dean and said them to hurt him, but he didn't mean any of it. The "I lied" line from Sam certainly backs that up. In this respect, I believe we did get some resolution to all the animosity between the brothers for most of the season. Certainly, by the end of the episode, Sam has changed his tune and is willing to do anything to bring Dean back, even summon Crowley.
Dean: I’m proud of us.
Oh...that little smile he gives to Sam before he says this and the hand on the neck/face. Just break my heart into a million pieces, why don't you show.
Crowley: Your brother, bless his soul is summoning me as I speak. Make a deal. Bring you back. It's exactly what I was talking about wasn't it? It's all become so... expected. You have to believe me, when I suggested you take on the Mark of Cain I didn't know this was going to happen. Not really. I mean I might not have told you the entire truth. But I never lied, I never lied Dean. That's important. It's fundamental. But, there is one story about Cain that I might have forgotten to tell you. Apparently he too was willing to accept death rather than becoming the killer the Mark wanted him to be. So he took his own life with the Blade. He died. Except as rumor has it, the Mark never quite let go. You can understand why I never spoke of this. Why set hearts aflutter with mere speculation? It wasn't until you summoned me, no it wasn't truly 'til you left the cheeseburger uneaten... and I began to let myself believe, maybe miracles do come true. Listen to me Dean Winchester, what you're feeling right now is not death, it's life. A new kind of life. Open your eyes Dean, see what I see, feel what I feel. Let's go take a howl at that moon.
I totally buy that Crowley didn't lie to Dean. One thing you can count on with him, he doesn't lie or go back on his deals. He's always been an honorable demon in that respect. Now he does admit to not telling Dean everything about Cain and Mark, but I do believe even Crowley didn't think that Dean would die. On the other side of the coin...by turning Dean into a demon one could speculate that Crowely had his eyes on this prize all the time. Has he created his own Knight of Hell? Season 10 will tell.
Some more thoughts:
Episode as a whole - I liked it. I'll admit at first I thought it was a bit choppy. Too much jumping around from place to place. This was especially a little jarring near the end when Dean was dying. I wish we'd spent more time with the brothers than Metatron monologuing to Castiel. Although I did love that cut between the Angel tablet breaking and Dean falling over against the wall after Metatron stabbed him. I also loved the lighting on Dean when he was confronting Metatron. That yellow color on Jensen's face made him seem especially scary and not-so-human. There was some great cinematography in the ep, too. Like that wonderful shot of Dean & Crowley driving up to Sam in the trailer park where the camera operator was in the car. Loved it!!! Oh! And the VFX for heaven's prison suddenly appearing up out of the ground was so wickedly cool!
The acting, of course, was top notch. The boys were totally on top of their game and Curtis Armstrong continued to make Metatron the most hated of all SPN's baddies.
Some have complained that there were too many callbacks and parallels to older episodes in this ep. I, for one, enjoyed those revisits. It's something I've always enjoyed about SPN. I loved how Dean's death scene mirrored Sam's from AHBL. It was a beautiful tribute to the other significant death by one of the brothers.
Metatron - Damn. I so wanted him to die! Gah!!!! Why, Cas, why??? I know he wants to do the honorable thing and end the angel-on-angel killing, but I would think in this case he could make an exception. I fully expected the angels to rush into that room and all stab him with their angel swords, Cas included. But instead he's in heaven's prison. *sigh* And you can bet he won't stay there. He'll figure some way out. I also wonder how Sam's going to feel about the angel still being alive after watching him kill his brother?
Castiel - Despite him saying he doesn't want to lead the angels, who else are they going to look to now? I think Cas would make a good leader. He's learned from his mistakes of the past and best of all, he doesn't want the mantel of responsibility (always a good thing for a leader to have). But what about his failing stolen grace? Maybe he can interrogate Metatron and get his own grace back? That was his goal at the beginning of the season. He thought the spell could be undone and the angels could get back to heaven. What will happen to all the angels now? Can they return to heaven? Get their wings back? For that matter, what happens to the dead trapped in the veil? So many unanswered questions. Hopefully they'll get back to them in Season 10.
Gadreel - It's been quite a roller coaster ride with me and this angel. I loved him, then I hated him, now I love him again. *sigh* No matter his bad choices, he did think he was doing the right thing and I can't fault him for that. I'm sad he won't be around to help rebuild heaven (or whatever is going to happen to it). I'm glad he finally saw the light about Metatron and helped Cas defeat him. You did a good job, noble angel.
Sam & Dean - I've already talked a bit about Sam's change of heart in this ep. Overall, I felt that while there were hints of resolution between the boys that a lot of it went unsaid. On the other hand, maybe I'm reading too much into it and being far to analytical. I think in the end, they did patch things up, but they did it without talking about it. Sam now knows some of how Dean felt at the beginning of the season, of how he had to make a decision to save Sam's life. The shoe is now on the other foot. Without even thinking, it seems like Sam is willing to do anything, even summon and possibly make a deal with Crowley to bring Dean back. I loved how he rushed to Dean's side, not even looking at Metatron and reassuring Dean that he would try anything to save him.
Oh, my dear Dean! He's had such a rough time this season. Dealing with all of Sam's hostility and harsh words, being betrayed by Gadreel, losing Kevin, dealing with the Mark, and now this. He's a demon. He's become the thing he's hunted all his life, a monster, something other than a human. I have no idea how he's going to deal with this next season. Will he embrace it, still being pulled under by the Mark and Crowley's control? Or will he want to fight it and return to his human self? Or just want to die? I'm eager to see what happens and what Jensen will do with this new direction in Dean's life.
To wrap this all up...
It was a good season finale. Did it measure up to those of past seasons? Um...IMO it wasn't as great as Season 8's finale. I think my biggest issue this season is that so many of the arcs were left unresolved. The boys? Ok, I think we're done there for the most part. I just wish that we hadn't had to suffer through all that awkwardness and conflict between them practically the entire season. Was that really necessary? I truly hope the boys find a way to be on the same page in Season 10. I'm done with them being at odds with one another.
Moving on...Metatron is still alive! Which irks me for the obvious reasons, but also because Dean died for nothing! All he wanted to do was kill Metatron and he failed. The goal was to stop that megalomaniac and fix heaven and that's still hanging up in the air. What did the boys accomplish? They did kill Abaddon, but that's really it. I'm thinking that once the writers and producers found out they were going to get another season, they decided then to stretch out a lot of these arcs into Season 10. I just hope they do deal with them and not leave them unresolved and forgotten. I also hope that Dean will be a demon for a few episodes before they find some way to restore his human form. A whole season of demon Dean would be too much. I just want a taste, to see how Dean reacts, to see what Jensen does with it, then it's time to get back our Dean. Snarky, heroic, will do anything for others but not himself Dean. There is the demon cure, but one has to wonder if that will even work when Dean has the Mark. Hmmmm. I'm confident Sam and the writers will find a way. ;)
* I literally gasped out loud when Metatron stabbed Dean. My heart dropped right then. No, no, nooooo....everything's going horribly wrong! Meep. Meanwhile...the ultimate hurt!Dean! *loves* Oh, I'm such a conflicted fangirl. :P
* When Dean with his face all bloody looked over at Sam, I swear he was saying "Sammy" just with his eyes. Dammit, Jensen. Where is your Emmy?
* At the end when Sam held Dean's body in his arms and cried? Well, that totally broke me. I cried, too and it's a rare TV show or movie that makes me tear up.
* For the record: I love the prospect of Demon Dean. Great turn of events and great drama. Bravo to show for finally going there and breaking their long-standing rule of keeping Dean human. As long as we get human Dean back. That's important. I want my boys back out there on the road, getting along and fighting evil! And kudos for most of fandom for guessing this was going to happen (including me *g*).
Bring on Season 10! :D