Supernatural Watch: Season 9, Episode 22 - Stairway to Heaven

Hello, awesome hour of Supernatural. We’re happy to have you back!

After rebounding last week with an episode that saw Abaddon dispatched, the board was less cluttered heading into these final two episodes. The angel storyline took center stage and the drama involving Castiel, Metatron and a shifting Gadreel didn’t disappoint. There was some juicy stuff going on in this hour, but let’s start at the end: Dean has lost his mind. We knew the Mark of Cain was turning him into a bloodthirsty psychopath but the final seconds (and the episode as a whole) showed us just how far down the rabbit hole Dean has gone with the First Blade. Everything Dean did in this episode reflected his obsession with the blade. From tricking Sam and smuggling the blade in Castiel’s HQ, to knifing Gadreel right as he offered to help our trio of heroes, Dean was cold-blooded. Nothing reinforced that better than when the eldest Winchester borrowed Rick’s line from The Walking Dean: democracy is dead inside the Men of Letters bunker. Sam is living in a Dean Dictatorship until the job gets done.

We needed this episode to sell us on the fallout from the First Blade in next week’s finale. Up until now we’ve had glimpses of how deranged Dean has become. Seeing everything in “Stairway to Heaven” will now help us accept what comes next for Sam and Dean. Judging by how their relationship has deteriorated this season, I’m (sadly) confident that the finale will dole out damage from which Sam and Dean will never recover. I’ve mentioned in other recaps this season I believe the Winchesters are headed down a path that will destroy the brotherly bond we saw early in the series. Think back to that standout episode from the second season “What Is and What Should Never Be.” Sam and Dean had a distant and somewhat adversarial relationship in the alternate universe where Mary was still alive and the boys had never been exposed to hunting. Brace yourselves, people. I believe that’s where the show will end things for Sam and Dean. Not enemies, but certainly not friends.

Shifting back to the angel storyline, the writers have done an excellent job setting up Metatron as this season’s villain. The dude is such a blowhard. This week he took things to a new extreme with suicide bombers who, at first glance, appeared to Castiel’s more fanatical followers. Were they taking orders from our favorite trenchcoat-wearing angel to blow up Metatron’s followers? I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was actually Metatron who ordered the angels to blow themselves up. At first I didn’t understand his play when he asked Castiel to build up an army. This reveal illuminated his plans. By building Castiel up and then tearing him down in front of his followers, Metatron gained followers who came to his side willingly, not by force or intimidation. Castiel’s army was a long con by Metatron and the gamble payed off big time. Or did it?

Gadreel was once again the collateral damage in Metatron’s plot. If he survives Dean’s attack, he could be the Jenga piece that causes the whole tower to collapse. I understand why Dean tried to kill Gadreel. Kevin needs to be avenged. At the same time, Dean might have just killed his team’s chances of beating Metatron without major losses. Castiel’s “Will three be enough?” question seems like foreshadowing now. Our trio of heroes had the wildcard they needed to bring down Heaven’s new ruler, and Dean might have just ruined it. Will three be enough? I hope the answer is “no.” This storyline has gotten really juicy and I’d hate to see it go away prematurely. If Crowley – a villain who definitely should be dead by now – can last multiple seasons, can’t we keep Metatron around? Maybe Gadreel, too? This show needs villains and I mentioned last week that Gadreel is a nice counterpoint to Castiel.

Don’t wrap things up next week, Supernatural writers! Let this thing play out for a little while longer.

Lines of the week

“He’s like a mentally deficient puppy.” - Metatron

“They like to hear me say their names.” – Castiel

“I know a couple women like that.” – Dean

Next week on Supernatural

Will Gadreel survive long enough to give up Metatron’s location?