So, no rewatch while I type this up this week, as I'm back to watching it at my friend's place while drinking copious amounts of wine and then walking home and trying to remember everything.
ETA: Oh man, I had this typed up nearly an hour ago, and then my internet went out... hopefully it stays around long enough for me to post...
Let's get started...
CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON! - that's basically your warning to prepare to have your heart ripped out.
The teaser death is Jody, who is on a date with Crowley, but doesn't realize that it's Crowley because she's never met him before, nor does she know what to look for in a demon. And Crowley's turned on the charm, and man... I feel so bad for Jody. Though, on the other hand, I'm absolutely thrilled that we get to see her again, and also, that they bring up the fact that her husband and son kicked it. At first when Crowley brought up loss, I was worried that she'd talk about Bobby - and that would have annoyed me, because as much as Jody and Bobby had a flirty thing going on, it would have completely negated her tragic origin story. So, yeah...
Jody goes to the bathroom to psyche herself up (as we all do at times... my most memorable was the time I went to the bathroom and said sternly, "You should not do this!... You're going to do this.") And she finds a hex-bag in her purse - has Jody not been taught how to recognize hex-bags? I feel like this is where the Winchesters fall down with the people who fall in between the "real" world and the hunting world. They let them in enough to destroy their innocence, but not enough to actually protect themselves.
As Crowley activates the spell, the Winchesters call him and tell him they're going to take his deal. We don't actually get to see if Jody lives or not. Personally, I'm saying she does, just because I love her too much to believe otherwise - not to mention it destroys my Sam+Jody brotp.
Kevin digs up the demon tablet, which he had buried underneath a billboard with the devil on it. "I was delirious" - I still think that Dean has himself to blame with giving Kevin tubs full of pills and expecting him just to come out of that perfectly fine. But he makes up for some of his past mistakes by giving Kevin the key to the secret bunker (I really hope they have more than one key) and telling him to hang out there and be safe.
I knew that they weren't actually going to take the deal with the way that everyone was skirting around saying what exactly they were doing - not to mention that if they were taking the deal, there would be a heck of a lot more angsty build-up to the decision. Anyway, the deal is that they swap tablets, Sam gives up the trials, and Crowley stops killing people.
They meet Crowley at Bobby's junk yard.. which over the past 3 years has become overgrown. I guess that means that the city hasn't reclaimed it? It hasn't been auctioned off at some estate sale or anything.
Crowley has the contract, and Dean and Sam stage a fight for authenticity - I love it when they do that. And then Dean insists on reading it all over before they sign... and while he does so, he gets progressively closer to Crowley...almost homo-erotically close. And then, brilliantly, he slaps a pair of cuffs from their
Which, we knew from the promo, but I still think it's brilliant. Crowley was so careful to keep anything hell-related away from the Winchesters, and yet he didn't remember that HE was hell related.
Meanwhile, Cas is still with Metatron. They're doing the second task, which is for Cas to get a cupid's bow. "No killing" - ugh, it breaks my heart that Cas is just so very tired of killing. They go to a bar where the bartender is supposed to be hit with cupid's arrow in the next 24 hours. Something about the way they framed the shot with the hitchhiker and the bartender made me think it was going to be a homosexual love-interest - or maybe that's just where my mind automatically leaps to, because I'm in fandom and basically read at least one slash fic every single day.
Anyway, Cas and Metatron go inside to stake out the place. Cas tries to be proactive and set the bartender up himself.. to hilarious results, as Cas asks him if he's into "Nurse dom/sub roleplay", but I absolutely love that the guy's answer is just "it's 10am." Not like, "that's gross" but "this isn't the time."
Of course, that's when Naomi and crew show up... oh yeah, I forgot the part where one of her operatives informed her that they had found Cas and he was with Metatron... now I'm thinking that maybe it was the hitchhiker? In any case, she shows up and takes Metatron, who tells Cas not to fight them and let's himself be taken.
Back to Sam and Dean, and they drive Crowley to an abandoned church. They set Crowley up with chains on the inside, and then go back out to the car to get supplies...where Sam realizes that he has to confess and doesn't know where to start, so Dean starts listing all of Sam's mistakes, like the supportive brother that he is. Oh Dean. I was laughing at this right along with you, because I didn't realize how much you were adding to a problem either...
But I love when Dean mentions what Sam did to some girl in their youth and Sam is like "that was YOU!" I know it's a sign of their not-so-good codependency but I love the fact that Dean literally can't tell the difference between his own memories and Sam's.
Sam goes to confession... here, my recovering-catholic friend pointed out that confession doesn't work unless you have a priest to talk to, but then after the show was over, we realized that Sam and Dean aren't catholic (canon) and that protestants can talk directly to God. So, Sam just did his confession in a confession booth for ritual sake, I guess. Also, if the boys can bless water, that means that they're kind of priests in their own right anyway.
While Sam is confessing, Cas shows up to get Dean's help. Dean doesn't want to go, because he's in the middle of something... and he makes the mistake of saying that Sam needs a chaperon, while Sam is within hearing distance, and you can tell as soon as Dean knows Sam overheard him, that he didn't actually mean it - he was just trying to get Cas to understand that he wanted to be there to look after his brother because he loves him with the fire of a thousands suns... but of course, actually saying that would be too touchy-feely, so instead Dean has to go with the "ugh, I HAVE to look after my little brother because he's a dorkus" line. But Sam insists that he's got it all under control and that Dean should go with Cas...
So, Dean does... and I think I'm forgetting a bit, because I think Dean does wonder to Cas about why it is that Metatron suddenly wants to fix heaven, when he didn't care at all about it last week. Which is our first straight-forward hint that Metatron is not what he seems.
Dean and Cas find Kevin in the MOL Bunker and present him with the angel tablet. Kevin is reluctant to help them, because Dean told him he was free - or implied it anyway - but Cas falls back on physical intimidation to get Kevin to do what he's told. It DOES kind of annoy me that Kevin read the Leviathan tablet in a couple of hours, but apparently the other tablets require months of work... I mean, I understand why they need to do it from a storytelling POV, but still, it's an unexplained inconsistency, and therefore annoying.
Anyway, Dean and Cas go off to the bar, and have beers and wait for cupid to show up... and they talk about what closing heaven actually means for Cas. How it means that Cas might die, and that "this is it" - and it's kind of a stunning moment, as they sit shoulder to shoudler... and Cas takes a drink from his beer...not at all homo-erotically. Haha, okay, I'll stop.
But it's interesting to note, I think, that even with Dean's anger at Cas last week, and even though Cas didn't consult him with this Metatron plan, Dean still goes out to help him, he still sits with him and tries to make sure that Cas knows the consequences of what he's doing...
And then a delivery woman comes in and Dean realizes he's watching something that looks like the beginning of a lot of pornos that he's seen, and they realize that this is the moment...only for Dean to be shocked when it's not the delivery woman that's the love interest, it's the very male regular barstool warmer. Perfect.
They go confront the Cupid. Cas goes immediately to his weapon, but Dean slows him down and says that they talk first and get stabby later. And it kind of breaks my heart that Cas only knows how to immediately go for force, even though he's obviously tired of killing. Anyway, lucky for them the cupid has realized the turmoil in heaven even without having seen it first hand - because that kind of disorganization trickles down to the lowest levels... and she's willing to help.
I'm not sure if that meant that Cas had to cut off her hand or the skin or something...but um... yeah...is she still a cupid? Is she a handless person now? I hope she's okay.
Let's go back to Sam and Crowley. Sam is doing the ritual, and Crowley is talking at him. And man, both Mark Sheppard and Sam knocked it out of the park this episode. The trails effects on Sam are increasing, as everytime Sam goes to inject Crowley, his arms glow in a seemingly painful way. Sam keeps at it though, all through Crowley's taunts.
At one point, Crowley bites him - and man, I love Sam's reaction of horrified disappointment. "Biting!?!" like Crowley is some six year-old who should know better.
The bite was strategic though and Crowley used it to suck enough of Sam's blood out of him to make a general announcement to demon-kind to come rescue him, while Sam is out at the car, getting the first aid kit.
It works, but not the way Crowley intended, since it's a very pissed off Abaddon who shows up. I loved this whole scene. I loved it from the way Crowley legitimately thought that Abaddon was there to save him, to Abaddon making it clear that she was very much NOT there to save him, but rather to take her place as the rightful power in Hell. Poor Sam gets thrown into a wall and then out of a window while all this happens, of course - as though his health wasn't bad enough.
But he comes back in swinging and manages to dose Abaddon in an accelerate (holy oil?) and light her one fire - causing her to abandon her vessel. I'm kind of sad to see that vessel go, that actress was amazing.
Sam sets back up to finish curing Crowley, and Crowley starts to flip out...with this very convoluted monologue, which I'm told are a collection of quotes from shows that I don't watch - but it ends with Crowley declaring that he just wants to be loved, and Sam's response....
Seriously, Jared needs an Oscar nomination for the delivery of that line ALONE. We actually went back and watched it 3 times because it was so perfect. The perfect tone, the perfect pitch, just PERFECTLY delivered. It was the awesomest thing ever.
Uh... let's jump to Naomi (I realize I'm doing all these scenes out of order, please forgive me)...Naomi has Metatron in the chair. We hear about how she was tasked with "debriefing" him after God left, but that he fled before she could... and then she starts to work.
We then come back after she's been inside his noggin, and Metatron suddenly starts talking about revenge... and this is where your gut really starts to sink, because some of us (me) were suspicious before... and Metatron's word choice is still pretty ambiguous, rather than proving that he really is who Cas believes he is... so, yeah, suspicions only increase...
When Naomi arrives to try to tell Cas and Dean after they've successfully got the cupid's bow...well, the problem is that we've seen Naomi lie straight to Dean's face before, so can we really trust her when she says that Metatron lied? That he's trying to make all the angels fall from Heaven in revenge? Are Naomi's tears real or for show?
And I loved how Kevin was on the phone for all of this... it was really neat to see the conversation from a third-invisible-party perspective. We also get the feeling that Naomi IS telling the truth, just given that Kevin says he hasn't found anything about Nephilim or cupid's bows on the tablet yet...
Dean believes her. Cas doesn't. And who can blame him really, since Naomi has been messing with Cas' head on and off for millennia. Of course he's not going to trust her... and I think she must realize this. But, the big news that she drops is that if Sam completes the trials, he dies - because that's the final sacrifice.
Dean flips out and makes Cas take him back to Sam. Cas though, tells Dean that he doesn't believe Naomi and he's going to help Metatron, and he takes off as soon as he drops Dean off. Dean doesn't have time to argue, because he's got a brother to save...
And he really does need saving, as Sam is about to perform the last exorcism.
Cas goes to Heaven to find Metatron, only to discover Naomi slain - and Metatron straps Cas down and tells him the truth - it's not the trials, it's a spell - for revenge. To cast all the angels out of heaven, because they had ruined their paradise, because they had ruined METATRON'S paradise. The final ingredient for the spell is Castiel's grace...and then Metatron sends him to earth, tells him to live a mortal life and when he dies and comes to heaven, to tell him the story. Because Metatron doesn't care about heaven, or his brethren he cares only about getting more stories.
Dean barges into the room and tells Sam to stop, because he's going to die if he completes the trials, and Sam responds the only way I expected him to - "So?"
Then Jared and Jensen prove that they have PhDs in Ripping People's Hearts Out.
Sam and Dean have a conversation long overdue, as Sam confesses that his confession was to ask forgiveness for all the times he's let Dean down. He tells Dean that Dean's better off without him, that Sam keeps messing up and driving Dean into the arms of angels or vampires, because apparently Supernatural creatures are more trustworthy than his own brother. Sam's heart is broken.
Dean is floored, because he just assumed Sam knew that he was the absolute centre of Dean's entire universe - that he was loved more than any other thing in God's creation... and yeah... they use different words, but this is basically what they are saying. Dean would rather have Sam than shut the gates of Hell. He'd rather have Sam than save the world.
Sam doesn't know how to stop the trials though - he's run down, his arms are glowing. Dean pulls him into a hug and tries to get him just to let go, to not want to do them anymore, to choose Dean.... and Sam does, but it might not be enough. He collapses, and Dean starts hauling him out to the car, and he calls for Cas - even using his full name - but Cas doesn't come...
And that's when the boards light up in the MOL Bunker, just as Kevin was about to flee.... that's when the stars start falling and Dean knows that Naomi was telling the truth, that the angels are falling to earth.
So what does this mean for next season? We got angels trapped on earth? Are they mortal? Are they angels? Are they something in between? How about Cas? His grace has been cut out, but he hasn't been reborn like Amelia, he's still in his vessel. Is he mortal? I'm assuming he is...and yet, if Cas is mortal, that doesn't mean that the other angels are mortal, as they DIDN'T have their grace removed.
Is Sam okay? Is this something he can actually recover from?
Crowley is 95% cured, does this mean he's been neutralized? Abaddon is still out there... are we looking at a regime change due to a less-demony Crowley and Abaddon out for his blood and the role of Queen of Hell?
SO MANY QUESTIONS! SO MANY MONTHS TO WAIT!!
My friends and I were discussing the episode afterwards, and we had an interesting idea... because my friend's husband and I both were thinking along the lines of "the needs of the many..." and thinking that if we had been Sam, we probably would have sacrificed ourselves despite Dean's protests... and then I thought that Sam's soul would certainly go to heaven, and then I was thinking about what S9 would have been like if Sam HAD died. And we thought it would have been cool if one of the story lines was Sam finding all the people he knows in Heaven - Bobby, Rufus, Ash, Ellen, Jo... - and trying to take down Metatron from the inside. We thought that would be super cool. Even though I know that a lot of fans don't like it when Sam and Dean are separated, so they'll never do it.
As usual, tell me what I missed (I'm guessing a lot) and let me know what you want to discuss further in comments!!!
I'm expecting an explosion of feelings at the Asylum convention this weekend.