We’ve all been there, Castiel. Fallen from Heaven without our grace, lost in a strange world full of creatures we barely understand, grappling with our own humanity, when through the darkness comes a ray of sunshine: Nora, our manager at the Gas N Sip. She asks us out and we gleefully accept, only to show up at her house and realize we’ve been duped into babysitting duty. Happens to the best of us. Welcome to being human buddy. Lesson #1: never trust a gas manager who’s that gorgeous.
After two weeks of filler episodes, Supernatural got back to business with its juicy fallen angel storyline with an installment that featured Castiel working at a gas station. While that’s not a direction I envisioned Castiel’s human arc going this season, there was a lot to like about “Heaven Can’t Wait.” There were also some frustrating elements, which we’ll get to in a bit. Let’s start with the best part of this week’s episode: Castiel is back! Or should I say: Steve is back! While I don’t think any of us are excited about Castiel’s adventures at the Gas N Sip, just having Misha Collins back in our lives is a treat. Misha is so locked in with this character that it’s just a joy having him onscreen, even when his character is fumbling his way through the darkness of humanity.
This week Dean and Castiel were tracking down a Rit Zien named Ephraim, whose job in Heaven included smiting mortally wounded angels in a way that was painless. Ephraim continued to seek out suffering on Earth, which landed him on Castiel’s radar. I enjoyed the expansion of angel classifications this week but Ephraim’s character was one-dimensional and forgettable. In typical Supernatural fashion, he was killed in the climactic showdown and we missed out on a chance to learn more about his character. Just once I’d like to see the writers try a different approach with these radical angels. If Castiel is such a legend, why can’t he talk them off the ledge and take them under his wing? (pun intended) I’ve grown tired of all the climactic fight scenes on this show ending the same way: villain rambles to intended victim, throws Sam or Dean across the room and forgets they’re there, and ends up with an angel blade through the chest. This show used to have some epic fight scenes – remember Sam and Dean fighting in the hotel in Season 4? – and now every showdown feels like the one we’ve gotten the past four weeks. The show needs a greater variety to keep these climactic scenes from feeling so predictable.
Getting back to Castiel, two scenes stood out for me this week. The first was when he sang The Greatest American Hero theme song to baby Tonya. This was a nice showcase for what makes Castiel such a great character. Even when he’s in a scary situation, he always works to make things better for other people. It’s his greatest strength and his great weakness, and we saw it again in the other standout scene from the episode’s end, when Castiel stared longingly out the window after seeing the TV report about the angels falling. Concern over his fallen brethren and confusion over what to do next were written into every line of his face. I got my hopes up when Dean mentioned Castiel’s abandoned desire to be a hunter this week. By the end of the episode I realized that Castiel’s destiny this season is to become the great angel leader that he always tried and failed to be in previous seasons. The great irony there, of course, is that he isn’t an angel anymore, which will push extremists like Bartholomew to eliminate him once and for all. This is the storyline I’m most excited for this season. It can’t start soon enough.
Back at the bunker, Sam and Kevin were busy doing nerd stuff… I mean, trying to decipher the angel tablet using research. After hitting a dead end, the duo turned to Crowley and learned that there was no way to reverse Metatron’s spell. Crowley could be lying but I don’t think he is in this instance. Sam and Dean are at a loss over what to do; I’m more interested in seeing what Ezekiel is planning to do. My guess, as I’ve been saying all along, is that Zeke will drag Sam along to Heaven for a showdown with Metatron. Now the desired result of this confrontation becomes clear: Zeke will try to force Metatron to bring the angels back to Heaven. Dean won’t be happy that Sam is caught in the crosshairs. Delicious drama ensues.
In exchange for deciphering the tablet, Crowley got to phone Abaddon and learned that she was voiding his contracts and collecting souls before their time. The bureaucrat (as Abaddon called him) assured the bloodthirsty warrior that her way of running Hell would backfire. Their confrontation is coming and I hope it lives up to the hype. Oh, and that dose of blood Sam saw Crowley giving himself? Sam was an idiot to sit by and let it happen. By making himself more human, wouldn’t it then be possible for Crowley to escape his imprisonment? I assume the rune drawn onto the floor of his cell only works for true demons, not half and half beings like Crowley will try to become. I could be totally wrong. Just seems like there’s more to that little reveal than Crowley wanting to rant about Hannah from Girls again.
Castiel finding his way, Crowley and Abaddon feuding over Hell, and Ezekiel scheming inside Sam’s body are some juicy storylines that give Season 9 a ton of potential. Let’s see if Supernatural can deliver on that potential.
Line of the week
Phone ringing “There is a God.” – Dean
Next week on Supernatural
Damien and Bathsheba from The Conjuring should make for a fun filler episode!