I’ve got to hand it to Crowley, he knows how to hit the Winchesters right where it hurts. More importantly, Crowley may have found the one thing that could possibly stop the boys from pursuing the all-important quest of closing the gates of hell.
So what’s this magic button? That was the subject of this week’s episode…
In typical Supernatural fashion, the first minutes of the episode were dedicated to setting up this week’s case, but this time around, the victim wasn’t some faceless guest star. We’d seen this guy before. Specifically, he was Tommy Collins, a character last seen almost eight years ago in the second episode of the series, when Dean and Sam saved him from a Wendigo. This week, he wasn’t so lucky. I’ll explain why in a bit.
Back at the Batcave, Dean and still-healing Cas were butting heads over, well, everything, stemming from the fact that the last time they saw each other, Castiel beat up Dean and stole the angel tablet. Dean obviously was not mad enough to deny Castiel shelter and assistance, but he was mad enough to hold a grudge. In fact, he held this grudge tighter than his whiskey glass. But who can blame him?
Meanwhile, Sam was still looking like he’d just shared a kiss with the Outbreak monkey, but despite his discomfort, he was determined to get going on the third trial. (ICYMI: For the last trial, he must “cure” a demon.) They got off to a great start thanks to some old film footage they found in the depths of their Batcave. In this film, which by the way was pretty effing creepy, they witnessed an experimental form of exorcism in which priests attempted to cleanse a demon rather than perform a traditional exorcism. A trip to see one of the priests in the footage confirmed that they had once tried to “save” possessed demon souls and “restore their humanity.” The priest had never seen it successfully done, though. Still, the boys took it as a push in the right direction.
Another push came once the boys got their hands on even more footage that showed a successful demon curing. (Again, I can not emphasize enough how genuinely scared I was by this old footage. I can’t be alone on this…) So armed with a winning method, the boys put Abaddon back together with the intention of performing the ritual, but she got away. Normally, I’d chide the boys for carelessly leaving their demon alone, but they only did so because Crowley called. That, I agree, deserves undivided attention.
Speaking of which, Crowley called because he had a message: he was prepared to shut down the boys’ quest for good. How? Well, if there’s one thing that has kept the Winchesters going over the years, it’s their overwhelming sense of duty. They save people. They’ve saved the world. And even when they’ve tried to quit, they are eventually driven back to The Life because they can’t walk away from the chance to do good things. It’s not their style. So Crowley decided to use all of that against them, telling the boys that every 12 hours, he was going to kill a person they’ve saved. Until they surrendered. Tommy’s death, it turns out, was just a taste of the mayhem to come.
While the boys scrambled to find and protect the next person on Crowley’s list — Sarah Blake, who met the boys in season 1′s “Provenance” — Cas took a meeting with Metatron, who quickly moved up on my list of People We Should Probably Never Trust. Metatron explained to Cas that Team Angel was in major distress and needed to quarantine themselves for a family meeting, and the best way to do that was to close heaven. Yes, Metatron wants to use the angel tablet. He even set Castiel up to complete the first trial of the angel tablet, which called for Cas to rip out the heart of a nephilim, the offspring of a human and an angel.
At first, I was pretty sure Castiel wasn’t going to do it. He expressed much grief over the fact that Metatron was asking him to kill an innocent girl. But when the pair confronted her, she was prepared to fight for her life. I’m fairly sure that he would have continued to be conflicted if she hadn’t gotten violent, but he ended up killing her.
The nameless nephilim wasn’t the only death of the hour. Poor Sarah, now married and mother of a one-year-old, also bit the dust, despite the fact that the boys prepared for what they thought was every attack possible. The problem was that they had prepared for demon action, but Crowley, knowing the boys wanted to get their hands on a demon, decided to opt for a witchcraft attack. RIP Sarah.
To be honest, anyone who read the description for the finale, which was released several weeks ago, knew where this episode was headed. But, nonetheless, I enjoyed the few surprises this episode contained. One such surprise was Sam’s reaction to Crowley backing them into a corner. Being fueled by revenge usually makes Sam and Dean eager to kick some butt, but at the end of this week’s episode, Sam admitted to feeling defeated. “I’m saying maybe this isn’t one we can win,” he told Dean.
What do you think, readers? Will Sam and Dean find a way out of this? I’m with Dean — they’ll “kick it in the ass.” (Awww.) The question is, what price will they have to pay this time?
Other spare comments: 1) Castiel’s shopping trip was by far one of the most amusing things I’ve ever seen. 2) Sarah’s speech to Sam was really well done. It was nice context to everything he’s been through as a character without being unrealistically informed. 3) The “666″ on the caller ID was a nice touch. Edit: 4) And the popcorn was adorable! (Thanks for the reminder, Rob.)
“I’ve had that hangover.” — Dean to Sam
Cas: I like this bunker. It’s orderly.
Sam: Give us a few months. Dean wants to get a Ping-Pong table.
Sam: So we have a dungeon.
“Movie night?” — Sam
“Demon on a leash. Cool.” — Dean
“Yeah, because that was the most freaky thing — the vocabulary.” — Dean
“Anything else on the film? Director’s commentary? A sequel, maybe?” — Dean
“You don’t understand. I need pie.” — Castiel
“In public, it’s Marv.” — Metatron. (Note: Who would CHOOSE Marv?)
Waitress: Cool coat.
Cas: Actually, it’s quite warm.
“We figured kitty didn’t need her claws.” — Dean
“I do miss the old haircut, though.” — Sarah
“Metatron!… Marv!” — Castiel
“Son of a witch, actually.” — Crowley