It takes a special kind of show to genuinely shock its audience after nine seasons. Supernatural proved it was that kind of show with its midseason finale “Holy Terror” and a death that I doubt anyone saw coming. I had a hunch as to whose name was on Metatron’s card but I thought Dean would come to the rescue like he always does. It just wasn’t meant to be this time. Dean arrived too late and Kevin paid the price as Gadreel turned out his lights and burned out his eyes, an unsettling visual and an appropriate metaphor for a prophet. I was lamenting the lack of Kevin thus far this season in my notes while watching the episode so I foolishly assumed he was safe. I figured they were saving his role this season for the second half of episodes. Yet Kevin went to join his mother in a much less crowded Heaven. Gone too soon, I say. RIP Kevin Tran. We hardly knew thee. You have to wonder now if we’ll be introduced to the new prophet this season. With further translation still needed on the angel tablet, I say yes.
I didn’t realize how much I’d missed the main storylines of Season 9 until we jumped back into them with this episode. It felt like little had happened plot-wise this season outside of Sam’s angel storyline. We knew the angels were choosing sides, that Abaddon was toiling away to undo Crowley’s work, and that the former King of Hell was growing old down in the Men of Letters dungeon. It took nine episodes but the main storyline of this season – the fallen angels and Metatron’s plans for Heaven – feels fully underway now. The action in “Holy Terror” never stopped once it got started two minutes in with a bar brawl between bikers and glee club members… um, I mean Bartholomew and Malachi’s angels. Sure, the glee club with the “Jesus Saves” bus was a little heavy handed but it was worth it just to see that visual of the angels walking away from the bar drenched in blood. The actors playing Malachi and Bartholomew are pretty unspectacular so it’s good the angel civil war storyline is shaping up to be stellar. Metatron’s absence was rectified tonight as he reappeared and laid out his plan for a new Heaven that included Gadreel at his side. I feel confident that the writers are positioning Metatron as this season’s big bad and that’s definitely the best move. He’s every bit the slimy skin-saving bureaucrat that Crowley is and now he has Sam under his control thanks to Gadreel.
While it seemed Ezekiel might be headed for a showdown with Heaven’s new boss, this episode set the stage for a Castiel-Metatron clash that will decide the future of Heaven. If it happens, that fight will be made possible by the fact that Castiel restored his grace tonight. Well, not his grace technically. A quick throat slash was all it took to take Theo’s grace away from him. (RIP Theo. You were too sweet and dumb to live.) This begs the question of why Castiel didn’t restore his grace earlier this season if it was so easy. He’s already fought angels this season and this episode made it clear that he felt obligated to help his brethren avoid an all-out war. I’ll let that plot hole slide because damn it feels good to have Castiel powered up and ready to fight. Although I’m glad the writers have given Misha Collins the chance to try out different hats with a character he understands so well, warrior Castiel has always been the best iteration of our favorite angel. With Kevin out of the picture (still stings to say that) and Charlie in Oz, Dean will need all the help he can get to save his brother from Gadreel.
That was the other big shocker from this episode: Ezekiel is actually Gadreel, the angel God chose to protect the Garden of Eden from evil. We all know how that ended up. As a result of his failure, Gadreel was imprisoned in Heaven’s darkest dungeon for thousands of years. Metatron’s spell freed him from his imprisonment and he assumed Ezekiel’s identity, not knowing the angel died during the fall. This twist was great. Dean’s right: angels really are dicks. Outside of Castiel, has there ever been an angel whose agenda didn’t include murdering humans? I can’t recall a single one. They’re nearly as bad as demons; it’s only their civility that keeps angels from being worse than their savage, bloodthirsty counterparts. It’s easy now to see how angels became the first demons after their fall from grace. While I might not care about the troops being slaughtered on either side of Heaven’s civil war, I care deeply about how this seismic shift affects Sam, Dean, and Castiel. I’m also holding out hope that God will finally make an appearance on Supernatural and sort this whole mess out. If the show is worried about casting the supreme being in the universe, I’m sure Morgan Freeman would be willing to step in for an episode or two. He’s a close second after all.
What about you? Did you enjoy the twists from tonight’s episode? Are you excited about the season’s big storylines returning to the forefront? Sound off in the comments below and I’ll see you back here on January 14 as Supernatural returns from hiatus. Pour a little Canadian ale out for Kevin tonight. Dean’s tears prove just how much he’ll be missed on this show.
Line of the week
“Cas is back in town.” – Cas
“Seriously, did he just say that?” – Dean
Next time on Supernatural
Crowley holds the key to expelling Gadreel. Hello boys…