Supernatural 9.21 Review: “King of the Damned”

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Supernatural was very good tonight. It set a lot of plots into motion (as well as wrapping up an important one; more on that later), and hit pretty much every note needed to make the episode successful. Of course, after last week’s dumpster fire of an episode they could’ve aired The Following and I would’ve been jumping for joy.

Well, maybe not.

The episode started off with the longest ‘previously on’ segment I have ever seen. It lasted so long, and it didn’t need to be. Like, does an audience such as Supernatural’s really need to be reminded of Hell Hounds? Was that ten second reminder really necessary? Anyways. It had a lot of stuff packed in it and I thought it was a little much. One of my few complaints about the episode, actually, and it wasn’t even the episodes fault. So, that’s a plus.

I’m rambling.

Once the episode actually started, things got interesting. Abaddon travels through time to grab a young Scottish man who is packing for a trip to the New World. Abaddon captures him, and brings him back to the present. This young man is Gavin, Crowley’s long-dead son, and a character we bumped into three seasons ago. It’s kind of a stupid decision at first glance by Abaddon; Crowley has shown no love for the kid, so why bring him back?

Because Crowley has human in him again; if there is anything left of the human blood addiction, then Abaddon surmises (correctly) that he will choose to save his son and do what Abaddon wants. After watching Gavin be tortured for a bit, he backs down, agreeing to help trap the Winchesters and then getting back to killing each other. It isn’t going to be that simple, of course. Abaddon isn’t just gonna let Crowley walk away to gear up for a fight.

Side note: I’m still not a 100% convinced that Crowley is actually Fergus Macleod. It’s a total gut feeling, but I think Crowley is posing as him to hide who he really is. I’m probably wrong. Anyways.

As this is going on, an angel named Ezra is in a bar. He is a weasley, squirmy looking fella, and he lives up to that look. He brags about being in Metatron’s inner circle to impress his angel colleagues, and that braggery gets him snatched up. Not by his colleagues looking to shut him up, or Metatron’s goons looking to knock him down a peg; no, it’s Castiel’s angel faction, trying to pump him for information. Cas remembers than Sam and Dean have a, uh, “history”, with interrogation, and calls them in. Dean is more than ready to do some torturin’, which concerns Sam and Cas, as it should.

However, no torture is had. Dean nearly kills the dude right off the bat, but Sam stops him. Sam starts to mock the guy for not having any real information, and after a really interesting back-and-forth, Sam and Dean manage to drag a few things out of the guy. It turns out he really doesn’t know much; he was interviewed for a secret squad under Metatron’s control, but didn’t make the final cut. He also tells them that the portal to Heaven moves around, only being placed where the boss wants it. It’s not much of anything, really, but it worked a lot better than Dean’s more physical methods. It was a little tv-ish; it’s like on Law and Order when they break a suspect by tricking him into confessing. It’s a cheap trick, but the way the character was set up, I can buy about 45% of it. Close enough.

But then Ezra is dead, and the episode jumps into overdrive. Cas pulls Sam aside and asks him about his encounters with Gadreel, how he felt when he was possessed, and did he feel like a threat? It turns out, no, Sam never felt threatened or in danger. if anything, Sam felt that Gadreel felt that he was misunderstood. It’s a weird conversation for Cas and Sam to have; why does it matter how Sam felt?

It matters because Cas is meeting with Gadreel. He wants Gadreel to switch sides, to redeem himself by helping Cas. He tries to tell Gadreel that it will be worse under Metatron (true), and it sorta gets through. Gadreel is on the fence, but then assassins attack, and only Cas and Gadreel make it out alive.

Cas and Gadreel meet up again, and Gadreel tries to convince him that it wasn’t him who set up those assassins. Cas believes him; he thinks it was Metatron. He convinces Gadreel that Metatron has no honor (Gadreel’s fixation), and has him act as a spy in Metatron’s camp. A really good, smart move by Cas to convince Gadreel to join his team; made it look easy. A little too easy, even. Me thinks that Cas has Ezra killed, and then had those assassins sent after Cas and Gadreel to bolster his argument. Either that, or the writing was more than a little lazy. But I truly think that Cas set all of this up, and that it’s going to come out in the end, and Gadreel is going to flip at the wrong moment. Moral of the story: DONT LIE JUST TELL THE TRUTH JEEZ.

Back to the Winchesters. Crowley, now under Abaddon’s thumb, sets a trap for our lovely protags. He tells them where the angel blade is, and they go retrieve it. It’s inside of a corpse, which is hella gross, but Sam reaches inside the dude and just jerks it out of what looks like his lower intestines. It’s covered in blood and black goo; use your imagination. It’s gross, is what I’m saying.

HELL HOUND TIME. Loud growls and a very large presence chase the WInchesters into a crypt. Dean calls Crowley and tells him to call off his dog, which he does. It’s kind of a weird feint; why does he need to do this? I know he says the dog was supposed to be picked up, but still. This smells like an attempt to get the Winchesters to trust him, which doesn’t make sense. Later on, he warns the Winchesters with the code word “Poughkeepsie”, so wouldn’t he want them to be suspicious by the time they get to him? I don’t know. It’s just weird that the hell hound would be there as an accident instead of Crowley using it as a trust exercise.

Whatever. They have the blade, they’re alive, and they head to Ohio to kill Abaddon. As they’re travelling, Dean calls Crowley (just dial 666!), and that’s when Crowley uses the code word. But Dean doesn’t tell Sam, and when they get to the hotel he tricks Sam into going into the basement. Dean then travels to the penthouse, alone.

Crowley is bleeding on the sofa, powerless from a bullet with a devil’s trap carved into the head. Abaddon throws Dean against the wall and starts to grind him up. But it doesn’t work. The blade and the Mark give Dean a strange power, and he breaks free of Abaddon’s assault. But it doesn’t last long; he’s thrown back against the wall and the blade slips out of his hand. Dean goes full-Revan and snatches the blade off the ground, walks up to Abaddon, and straight up merks her ass. It was incredible. She fills with light and fire and explodes, and it’s over. Abaddon is gone for good. Josie’s body drops to the floor.

But it’s not over for Dean. He begins to beat and stab the corpse, spraying blood all over the place. Sam, who has finally gotten to the penthouse, stops him, but it’s too late; even Dean realizes he went too far. Even Crowley looks mortified. But it is over. Abaddon is really gone; no takebacks.

Crowley has to take his son back to his time now; no messing with time or else. But those human feelings are still there, and he bonded with his son over the course of the episode. Instead of taking him back in time to die in a boat crash like he was supposed to, he lets him free in the real world. Sam and Dean don’t approve, but what are they gonna do?

Then it comes to the classic Winchester car ride. Sam knows that Dean didn’t tell him about “Poughkeepsie”, so Dean explains why: The blade made him powerful, powerful enough to kill Abaddon. It instilled that notion to his core; Dean knew, not felt, that he would kill Abaddon. His logic is sound; if he had told Sam, Sam would’ve charged in there with him, and it would’ve complicated things. Have to side with Dean. But then Sam suggests they take the blade out of the equation so that Dean isn’t affected by it anymore. Dean, cold as ice, says no. Cut to black. Roll credits.

Dean likes the power. He isn’t going to give that up, especially with the Mark amplifying that aggression in him. I wonder; will this make it to Season Ten, or will it be resolved in the next two weeks? We shall see, dear readers.

See you next week.

[Photo via The CW]

Hunter Bishop is an aspiring television writer and novelist who spends too much time on the internet. Come visit him on Twitter @Hunter_Bishop!
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