After all of that build throughout the season, Supernatural’s finale came very close to being anticlimactic. The story itself was, in actual fact. It was superbly written, tense and funny in all the right places, but the story itself left something to be desired. After a whole year building toward slamming the gates of Hell, a season finale that brings us so close and then stops isn’t cruel or suspenseful – it’s just pointless. Without some superb moments from Crowley and Dean, some unfortunate choices from Cas, and a few final moments surprises, this episode would have been a complete wash.
It started off fairly promisingly, with a Winchester bait and switch that led to Crowley in handcuffs, the angel tablet in the Winchesters’ possession and them well on the road to completing the trials. Cas was still chilling with Metatron, and the next trial for him was to get a cupid’s bow. And then it all went sideways. Metatron’s actually a little evil and more than a little vengeful. His Heaven-closing trials weren’t trials at all, but the ingredients in a spell to cast all the angels down to earth. When Naomi tried to tell Cas that, he didn’t believe her. He went to confront Metatron but instead found Naomi dead, and inadvertently provided Metatron with the last ingredient he needed. The fact that Naomi was right about that makes it likely that she was also right about the fact that completing the trials will kill Sam. The snag? He doesn’t care. And we have to say, we agree with him. He has Crowley broken and beaten, they are on the verge of closing the gates of Hell forever… why would he stop? Yes, he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice and give his life, but think of all the people he would save!
It may be a moot point now, however. As Metatron completed his spell and cast the angels out of Heaven, something happened to Sam. He had been on the verge of giving it all up and letting it go, for Dean, when something shifted inside of him. He may be dying, regardless of his newly found desire to keep living. This somewhat reinforces our theory of him becoming an angel. When angels started falling from Heaven and, presumably, losing some of their essence along the way, Sam seemed to lose something, too. And yet that’s not the only problem. The last ingredient Metatron needed was Cas’s essence. His grace. The one angel that would have saved Sam given the opportunity is the one angel who can’t anymore. As the season closes, we’re left wondering if Sam will survive to see the next one. But we’re still not wondering too hard. As we’ve said before, this show is about the Winchester brothers, not the sole surviving Winchester (though part of us would like to see the Dean show).
So what can we expect from next season? Well, we’re hoping for a resolution to the Crowley storyline. The writers are clearly teeing up a fight between Crowley and Abadon for control of Hell, but will Crowley be fighting as his usual self or as this half-demon-half-man that Sam has created? Part of us is hoping that it will be the latter, as it would certainly give Crowley’s character more nuance. Perhaps at this level of the change he will become a helper of the Winchesters. Cas’s demonic counterpart. That could be an interesting twist. Leaving aside any predictions we could make based on this episode, we have to give plaudits to Mark Sheppard for his incredible performance during the finale. His transformation from demon king spitting vitriol to scared almost-human praying for absolution was perfectly orchestrated and a joy to watch. The first inkling of change was surprising and dramatic, and backed up with subtle shifts in persona, mannerisms and even accent. It was as much an acting tour de force as has ever been seen on Supernatural.
Finally, we’re a little intrigued to see what will be made of the fallen angel angle next season, but we’re a little apprehensive, too. Supernatural has historically fared badly (in our opinion) when it came to the Heaven and Hell aspect it adopted. We’re anticipating a showdown between Metatron and Cas. Maybe Cas will finally get his redemption. This arc could either go really well, or completely suck. We’re leaning toward the latter, but we’ve been surprised before. We can only hope that we’ll be surprised again. – K
“I’d like to ask you a favor, Sam. Earlier when you were confessing back there, what did you say? I only ask because, given my history, it raises the question where do I start to even look for forgiveness? I mean…”
“How about we start with this?”
– Crowley, Sam