We loved this episode. We don’t often get to say that about Supernatural. Lately we’ve enjoyed it a lot more than we used to. This season has gone a long way toward blowing out the cobwebs and cutting away some of the dead weight that’s been holding it back (if you’re a regular reader you’ll know we mean the heaven and hell thing that was too much at the forefront of Supernatural in Seasons 5, 6, and 7). But, this season, the writers have finally figured out how to get the balance back and how to return to a more watchable and enjoyable format without abandoning the (at times great) religion-based arcs.
This episode also rectified many of the issues we had with last week’s effort. It brought back Cas, with a bang. His storyline was really compelling. Tough to watch in places – Naomi and the band of angels (great name for a band) wrought destruction in an effort to stop Cas in his tracks, then Crowley took him and tortured him – it was nevertheless something that felt like it was advancing the story significantly. Cas returning to Dean and Sam at the end of the episode, with a screech of brakes and some very impressive driving by Dean, also changes the direction that the show is likely to take in its final few episodes.
The Sam arc continues, with the big man a quivering wreck. We almost worried about him this week. Even though we’re still certain of his impending transformation (we’re not giving up on that theory just yet, and his comments about ‘feeling cleansed’ support it), he’s looked better. We don’t think he’ll die, but we think things are certainly set to get rough. This week saw the boys track down Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) to a dingy casino hotel in New England. There, they talk him out of hiding and shame him into taking part in their fight to close the gates of hell. Along the way, Sam gets more and more sick. We learn from Metatron that he’s now resonating with the word of God. Whatever that means. Suffice it to say that his completion of the final trial will decide a lot about his future.
Kevin also popped up again and, oddly, offered much of the comedic efforts in the episode. An (initially) unknowing prisoner of Crowley, he also does the most to move the story along. He manages to get the second half of the tablet back. Returned into the bosom of love and warmth that is the Winchesters, he’s sure to be of great use to them as the season wraps up. The fact that Crowley has the angel tablet shouldn’t matter as he has no way to read it. Nonetheless, at least part of the final two episodes should revolve around getting it back for Cas.
So, as things stand heading toward the finale (next week’s show is the final break before shit gets real, and it seems lighthearted and confusing), Sam is still weak but is pleased to be working toward something, Kevin has Metatron to protect him, they have one more trial to complete (curing a demon), and Crowley has the angel tablet. We suspect that the demon the boys cure will be Crowley himself (or would love that to be the case, at least). We also suspect that the angel tablet will be of great help when Sam converts. Our theory from last week was wildly speculative, but could still hold true. Just two more episodes to go, and everything will be revealed. Keep tuning in! – K
“I don’t think, on their best day, Sam and Dean would go into town and get me a barbeque dinner. Not when there are leftover burritos in the fridge.”
“So my demons were too polite?”
“Well I’ll be a son of a whore.” – Kevin, Crowley
PS Special mention for Crowley as a director. It was perfection.