The chess pieces continued to be moved around the board in “Clip Show” but this week’s effort felt sloppier than last week’s “The Great Escapist.” The three major storylines failed to coalesce and as we head into the finale I’m worried about how everything will come together. The revelation that the gates of Heaven could be sealed if an angel completed three trials should have come weeks ago. As it stands, this storyline will feel incredibly rushed if they try to wrap it up in “Sacrifice” next week. I felt the same way about Crowley’s sinister plan to kill everyone Sam and Dean have ever saved but for a different reason – I just want to catch up with more would-be victims! Season 8 has done a tremendous job of reconnecting with previous seasons so I only wish that this final callback could be stretched over several episodes rather than just two. I will say this for Crowley’s plan: it’s cold blooded. Undoing Sam and Dean’s work would wipe out the biggest chunk of their legacy. It’s such a diabolical plan that I feel confident in saying Crowley is now the ultimate Supernatural villain. Sorry Azazel, Lillith and Lucifer.
I always use three exclamation points when something is really weird.
The episode started off well enough. Sam and Dean were trying to uncover what it means to “cure a demon” and get some help courtesy of an old Men of Letters file on an exorcism gone wrong. The brothers uncover an old film reel that shows them a priest named Father Thompson who tried to wash the demonic taint off the human souls that became corrupted while in Hell. The brothers pay Father Thompson’s exorcising partner a visit and procure his notes, giving them firsthand knowledge on how they might cure a demon. Too bad they don’t have any of those lying around. Oh wait. Welcome back Abaddon. Sam and Dean dig up their Knight of Hell and literally sew her back together (minus the hands). Personally I would’ve summoned a lower level demon rather than unearthing one of the most badass, psychotic murderers Hell has ever produced, but what do I know? Even if Crowley put the kibosh on demons going near the Winchesters it would’ve been worth a shot. You could always keep Abaddon as a backup plan. Anyway, the exorcism is cut short as Crowley somehow manages to call from Hell (phone number 666, how cute) and unveils his plan to stop the brothers in their tracks. This gives Abaddon time to summon her hand to remove the bullet from her head. You know, rather than just summoning Dean’s gun to shoot him in the head. The brothers return to find Abaddon gone, something I’m sure they’ll come to regret in the finale.
Where do souls go if Heaven AND Hell are closed?
Dean spends the whole episode treating Castiel like crap because he’s apparently forgotten all the other times Castiel made terrible decisions (like becoming God). This leads to the episode’s funniest scene as Castiel shops for all of Dean’s favorite things, including beef jerky, pie and a copy of the latest “Busty Asian Beauties.” Being the clueless robot that he is, Castiel completely wrecks the convenience store and has to be talked out of threatening the virgin teller by Metatron, who only needed one good guilt trip to come out of retirement. The scribe of God reveals that Heaven is in total disarray and that different factions are rising up against each other. The only way to stop all the fighting is to slam the gates of Heaven… forever? (Not sure since that point wasn’t addressed.)
Such a task requires trials to be completed and Metatron manipulates Castiel into undertaking the trials as further penance for all the havoc he wreaked. I’m not sure about Metatron yet. On the one hand he saved Kevin but the way he used Castiel and presented this vision of the duo “saving” the other angels has me on high alert. It almost sounds like Metatron wants to be the new God once the mess in Heaven is sorted out. He is, after all, a wanted man and what better way to take the heat off yourself than to end the civil war raging among your brothers and sisters. Back to this episode: Castiel is tasked with killing a nephilim (half angel, half human) and succeeds in doing during one of the worst choreographed fight scenes in Supernatural history. Geez, that thing felt uninspired. He didn’t even rip out her heart! Why mention that if you’re not going to show it?
(Side note: I’m glad they’ve finally introduced nephilim on Supernatural. I’m writing a novel based heavily on this show that deals with the war between angels and demons and the one nephilim who’s caught in between. I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of this year. If you enjoy the show than I’m sure you’ll like it.)
If a rescued victim's head explodes, was he ever rescued in the first place?
Crowley’s plan digs into the idea of fate and destiny and how the brothers affect the lives of those they save. Every person Sam and Dean have rescued from a monster the past eight seasons is connected to them in a way that makes them a target for someone like Crowley. By saving these people the Winchesters have inadvertently put them all in harm’s way, especially since every save has been chronicled in painstaking detail in Chuck’s novels. I’m honestly surprised the demons (particularly Lucifer back in Season 5) didn’t try this tactic sooner. Crowley’s right – all Sam and Dean have are each other and their saves. Their lives are dedicated to “saving people, hunting things – the family business” and to see that unravel is agonizing for them and the audience. It’s the classic “good of one versus the greater good” argument that was so compelling in a movie like The Dark Knight. Castiel also faced that decision but we didn’t have time to get invested in the first trial, sadly.
As we head into “Sacrifice” I’m most intrigued by Sam coming unraveled and seeing the full ramifications of his decision to undertake all three trials. I’m keeping my angel theory on the table for the time being. We’ll see next week!
Line of the week
Castiel : “Metatron! Marv!”
Next week on Supernatural.
Crowley is on the hot seat.