WARNING: This post is chock-full of spoliery spoilers that will ruin the surprise (aka: shock) of several major season nine plotlines. Proceed with caution, and hold on to your hearts.
Oh, Supernatural. You gave me Dean as a dog, you reinstated our boys with their v-cards, and you even made me squee at the sight of the Wee-chesters. And then, just when I was settled in for another feel good episode, YOU KICKED ME RIGHT IN THE FEELS! Sometimes, I wish I could quit you.
Who am I kidding? No, I don’t.
Welcome to the mid-season finale, wherein we see the adorable reinstatement of Agent Cas, the Grumpy Cat face-making return of BoogerTron, the angel Samzekiel’s big reveal and then basically get our guts ripped out through our hearts until the final, heartrending scene. I am loathe to call all of these things “favorite moments” so let’s just call them the ten most striking things about episode nine, “Holy Terror”.
1. The Creepy Choirgirls
What an opening! A bunch of angel infused choir girls, singing “This Little Light of Mine” with voices from Heaven itself, burst into a biker bar and slaughter a bunch of Hell’s…I mean, Heaven’s, I guess…angels. How creepy was that? The sight of them in their virgin pastels, splattered with blood? Shudder.
2. Sam Knows Something’s Going On
Sam’s a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them. He is catching on that something’s terribly wrong. He is missing chunks of time. He can’t remember things. Dean tries to reassure him that all is well, but Sam remains suspicious, and Samzekiel remains irritated and defiant. “Would I lie?” Dean asks. Of course you would. You’re a Winchester.
3. “Agent?” “Agent!”
In arguably one of the cutest exchanges of the season, the boys go to investigate the biker bar murders and find that Cas has saved his FBI badge from way back and is now working the case himself! Sam’s delight at Cas’ adorable impersonation, Cas’ pride at his acting ability, Dean’s exasperation with and worry for Cas in his participation in an angel investigation.
“Cas is back in town,” Castiel says, and we can’t help but grin as hugely as Sam does when he says it. And the three of them? In a bar? Having a round? Talking about hook-ups? Tickled my happy spot. (Sorry. That sounded more innocent in my head.) Go Team Free Will!
4. The Holiest of Wars
There is a crap ton of angel blood spilled in this episode. Bartholomew versus Malachi, both in an effort to lead the charge to regain Heaven from Metatron are gonna kill errbody! It is going down, and we’re the ones who are going to suffer. These are not your Sunday school angels, kids. Don’t forget that.
5. Metatron and the Big Reveal
So…hands up. Who saw this one coming? (Please note that my hands are firmly down.) Sam sees Metatron in an alley, and we find out that Samzekiel? More like Samdreel. Sam has, all this time, been occupied by a former prisoner of Heaven, renegade bad boy full of regret, and consummate liar and coward: the angel Gadreel. Ezekiel? Dead. Jared Padalecki continues to blow me away with his performance. So many personalities to convey, moment to moment. He handles it all like a master. His portrayal made me actually feel bad for Gadreel, and sorry for the reputation he earned by sullying God’s garden. Later? When he partnered with Metatron to do the unthinkable just to go home? Well. That is less pitiable. And speaking of Metatron….
6. Revenge of the Nerd
Metatron is back, and Curtis Armstrong is a fantastic enough actor that he has now entered the realm of Azazel, Lilith, and Raphael as one of Supernatural’s most hated characters. Turns out that casting all of the angels out of Heaven just made it boring for him, and humans are too much work to walk upon. Boo hoo. Doesn’t justify what you are willing to do for some company up there in the clouds. Metatron is on a mission to replace God by naming himself “X”, the new ruler of Heaven. They say you always gotta watch out for the quiet ones, and in this case it’s true: that scrawny little bookworm is chock full of manipulation. He convinces the lost and lonely Gadreel (in the shell of our beloved Moose) to commit heinous acts just to earn the right back into heaven to be Metatron’s number two. He gives Gadreel a one man hit list. Gadreel protests–it isn’t who he is–but Metatron demands he decide, and Gadreel does. The name? Well. It devastated me enough that I cannot wait to see Metatron run through with an angel blade. Hell, I wish it was real so I could do it myself.
7. Cas on his knees. And his back. And prone. And tied up.
Get your mind out of the gutter, people. Our winged boy is learning how to pray, and, frankly, he doesn’t know how we do it. The little montage is sweet, and charming, and necessary in such a heavy hour of TV. His prayers work: he summons the angel Muriel and she, with reluctance, agrees to help him learn the details of the factions in play in the war for Heaven. Unfortunately, they both end up captured by Malachi’s people and tortured for it, and Muriel sadly ends up another casualty. Cas? Does not. In fact? This happens…
8. CAS GETS HIS (well, not his, but it works in a pinch) GRACE BACK!
Sometimes we forget what a badass our favorite angel can be. We remember the goofy, weird, well-meaning but mostly misguided dork called Cas. Castiel? That’s someone different. That’s a tough mother-effer who can survive torture and watching innocent death, and can even lie to Malachi’s confused and weary lackey Theo so that he can survive long enough to cut Theo’s Theo’s throat, steal his grace and get back on the holy horse. Then? He kills them all, knowing God won’t sort them out, and escapes, calling Dean and letting him know that Ezekiel is dead. Which means someone else has taken up residence in Sam.
9. “I’d like my brother back, please.”
Gadreel says it best: “Sam Winchester? It is a mess in here. And the brother? I do not know where to start.” Even before Dean finds out the truth of who has really infected Sam, he is done with Ezekiel’s claim. He wants his brother back. Dean decides to work with Kevin to create a sigil that will cast Zeke out and return Sam to himself. Unfortunately, “Zeke”–and by that I mean, Gadreel–has been, despite his assurances to the contrary, eavesdropping. He knows Dean’s intentions toward him. Dean traps “Sam” in the storeroom, and the boys have it out. Dean confesses. Sam is upset and devastated. Or is he? Turns out Gadreel should be the patron saint of acting. Dean wasn’t talking to Sam the whole time. Gadreel leaves his faux encrypted prison after punching Dean out, heading off to break our hearts.
10. Kevin Tran. He was in Advanced Placement.
Kevin, to Dean: “I always trust you. And I always end up screwed.” God, this kills me. I cried when Ellen and Jo died. When Bobby said goodbye to his boys. When Gabriel ended up on the wrong end of Lucifer’s weapon. But I have never felt the way I felt as I watched the final moments of our dear, sweet Kevin Tran. It was a sucker punch I am still trying to recover from. It turns out? Gadreel’s service to earn an admission ticket past the pearly gates is the slaughter of innocent Kevin, whom, in his final moments, isn’t even thinking about himself–he’s just worried about Dean. “Don’t worry about Dean,” Gadreel assures him. “Dean will be fine.” And as Dean watches on horror, helpless, Gadreel blasts Kevin with holy light, burning him alive from the inside out.
Gadreel pins Dean to a post and tells him quietly, “There is no more Sam. But I played him convincingly, I thought.” He shows Dean his paint smeared hands, letting him know, “Alter a sigil, even the slightest, alter the spell.” He takes the angel tablet, apologizes for Kevin, repeating the mantra of the show, “I did what I had to.” He drops Metatron’s note on Kevin’s chest, and heads out, leaving a devastated Dean, who is now truly all alone in the world. “Kevin?” he says, haltingly, tears pooling in his eyes. “Kevin?” he repeats, hopeless, and his one perfect tear courses down his broken face.
Wow. What an episode of mass destruction. I cannot BELIEVE I have to wait six weeks to find out what happened. Some theorize that our dear, sweet prophet isn’t dead: that he had his eyes burned out like the psychic Pamela in Season Four, because Metatron wants him to not be able to read and decipher the word of God, but to kill him would just mean another prophet would take his place. I can’t believe I am wishing one of my favorite television characters ever to be horrifically blinded, but there you are. What are your thoughts? Wipe your tears and tell us in the comments.