Welcome to Hell, population: The Supernatural Fandom.
This was the best finale in such a loooooooong time. While I really liked the Season Gr8 finale last year, this was on a totally different level. Last year had some really nice character moments between Sam and Dean, but the story-telling didn’t quite add up. But this one did. This one definitely, definitely. did.
Let’s not delay.
The episode opens only a short time after Dean stabbed Gadreel. He’s still a raving lunatic, and Sam and Castiel have to lock him up in the Crowley Chamber for his (and everyone else’s) own safety. Dean is vacillating between lucid and crazed, and it’s hard to tell which side of him is the Real!Dean at this point. Sam and Cas find Gadreel, who had fled the bunker after being gutted by Dean. When Sam and Cas find him, he puts up his hands and begs for his life, telling them that he wont bother them anymore. It was a really incredible line because he sounded like an abused little kid, and it really sold the idea of his redemption for me. After Cas heals him up, (at the cost of a little of his Grace), they head back to the bunker, only to find that Dean has jumped ship with the First Blade.
Dean summoned Crowley, who assisted him in escaping, and in then searching for clues on Metatron’s plan. Metatron, it seems, wants to be the New Jesus (which is actually a brilliant political strategy, once you think about it) and to bring humanity under his fold. Metatron leaves Heaven (not before telling all the angels through a new radio device), closes Heaven, and goes to appeal to the unwashed masses.
But Dean better hurry, because he’s coughing up blood. The First Blade is like a drug; the more he uses it, the better he feels, and and vice versa. It’s killing him, slowly (softly), unless he becomes a killer himself. Dean, who has control over himself at the moment, is clearly affected, but accepting. Dean is ready to die to kill Metatron.
Crowley is still showing human traits. He defends a waitress when Dean doesn’t order enough food, he complains about the “complicated” nature of Hell, and just generally acts like a bro. He’s still a “raging douche”, as Dean says, which isn’t much of a change and one Dean is impressed with in the slightest. But there is something to Crowley’s transformation, and I don’t think it’s minor or done occurring. I wonder if the effects are permanent, and I wonder if Crowley is going to continue turning human (albeit much slower now). Him being human (or at least human with demon strength) will be part of the next season.
Dean and Crowley follow the breadcrumbs of Metatron’s (Marv on Earth; Douche!Marv. lol) first miracle, and lo and behold, Sam is there. He looks more than a little piqued, but brushes off all past history. Metatron has to go, and Dean has the best shot at doing that. Sam understands Dean’s pain and frustration; after all, he’s the one with nightmares of murdering Kevin. Sam is onboard. “If this is it,” Sam says, “we’ll do it together.”
And with that, the Winchesters are reunited. They have a cause, and more importantly an understanding, and they are off. Crowley poofs away, and Sam and Dean are going after Metatron.
Meanwhile, Castiel and Gadreel are trying to get inside of Heaven. They need to destroy the Angel Tablet, or else Dean’s First Blade is just a really disgusting paperweight. Metatron, infused with the power of the Angel Tablet, is as powerful as God. He is able to do basically whatever he wants, and Dean can’t do anything about it. So, Cas and Gad can’t fail.
Cas and Gad go to the Gate of Heaven, and pull a “Wookie” to get inside of Heaven: basically, Cas wears handcuffs and Gadreel tricks the Guards of Heaven into letting them in. Not a terribly complicated plan, but it works… for about two seconds until Cas’s old second-in-command Hannah snatches them up and puts them in Heaven’s Jail. Gadreel is intimately familiar with this place, and the despair shows.
At this point, my dread was at an all-time high. I knew something was going to go down, but I had no clear picture what. Metatron seemed hella chill about basically everything; not scared of Dean or Cas or Gad or Sam or Crowley or anyone else. Metatron went into a homeless encampment, trying to recruit followers by performing miracles, but came across another Angel. This angel accused him of being a power hungry little twerp (which he is, to his core), and tries to kill him. Metatron gets ready to defend himself, but the crowd steps to his aid, attacking and eventually killing the other Angel. It’s a really brutal, really gross scene; religious violence is the hardest to weed out, and Metatron was as giddy as a schoolgirl watching these people murder in his name. Not for the first time, it became clear to me that he lost his mind spending those millions of years by himself.
And to think I thought Metatron was a good guy! I was so fascinated by him. He was the last original high-ranking Angel left! He was the Scribe of God, for Christ’s sake! I mean, is the any upper-management Angel that wasn’t corrupt? Gabriel fled like a coward, Raphael was a sociopath, Lucifer is Lucifer, and Michael was big-brother-jock who wanted to appease Daddy so much he’d burn the world down. No wonder the Angels are so willing to follow Castiel; at least his plans don’t involve constant threat of murder!
Not on purpose, anyway.
Sam and Dean track down Metatron to the homeless encampment, and they share a really tender moment. Sam and Dean come together, as brothers, and make peace, realizing that they are both really likely to die. Dean then knocks Sam out, and goes after Metatron alone. Some habits die hard.
Metatron know’s Dean is coming, and his followers let Dean through accordingly. Dean is practically shaking with carnal lust to get after Metatron, and when he finally gets face-to-face with him, he is trying not attack him right then and there. Dean’s face is bathed in a eerie orange light, and the humanity that Sam brought out in him melts away.
Metatron actually makes a compelling argument for why he and Dean shouldn’t fight: he’s a better God than God. God never gave two damns about any of the people on Earth; couldn’t even bother to come to Earth and tell them that he loved them. As Metatron says:
“Do you know how much pancake makeup and soft lighting it took to make God work a rope-line? He hated it!”
Metatron rails against God for letting his people die; God didn’t even know their names, or their lives, or their fears. Metatron did, and does, and just desperately wants to help them. Of course, he wants to be famous and beloved, too, but the two things go hand in hand for Metatron. But Dean doesn’t care; he blames Metatron for Sam, for Kevin, for every bad thing that has ever happened in his life. He’s going to gut this snively douchebag, and he’s going to relish every second.
Except, Metatron has no intention of dying, and with Cas and Gadreel seemingly out of the picture, Dean is screwed. After Dean gets the first punch, (which Metatron basically laughs off), he kicks Dean’s ass all over the court. He throws him up against walls, kicks him, punches him, taunts him. Metatron is in total control.
Back in Heaven, Castiel is pleading with Hannah to let them loose. But she doesn’t believe them; she wants to go home and she wants to stop killing Angels. Gadreel, despondent, sacrifices himself to redeem him for his past crimes and frees Castiel from his prison. Hannah, swayed by Gadreel’s ultimate plea, takes Castiel to Metatron’s chambers. After some searching, Cas realizes that Angel Tablet is in Metatron’s typewriter. He picks it up, raises it high, and drops it on the floor, smashing it and turning Metatron into a normal Angel.
But, it’s already over. As they break the tablet Metatron slides an Angel Blade right into Dean’s chest. Sam arrives too late to stop him, and Metatron feels the Angel Tablet break and fleas. Dean is dead, and dying, and not going to get better, and Sam carries him out only for Dean to stop him and tell him that he’s proud. “Proud of us.” Dean says. He gives a small smile. He slumps into Sam’s arms. Dean is gone and Sam is sobbing into his bloody jacket and there is nothing to save him. Dean is well and truly gone, but is free from the horrible fate the Mark had in store for him.
In Heaven, Metatron traps Cas and berates him for failing to save Dean. He taunts Cas, telling him Dean is dead and that he gave up his army for nothing. Cas is despondent, heart-broken, but full of enough rage to let Metatron spill the beans about the weak little Angels that will follow him no matter what. But they won’t know; they heard him through Angel Radio, and with his powers as an all-time low they snatch his ass up and put him in prison. It’s over, for now.
Just wait. It gets better.
On Earth, Sam summons Crowley to make a deal and bring Dean back. But it’s not to be; Crowley is already in the bunker. He apologizes to Dean, telling him that he didn’t know what would happen to Dean with the Mark, and that he is sorry that he is dead.
But, is he dead, really?
Crowley remembers a story about a man named Cain who, like Dean, didn’t want to become the killer that he was destined to be. So, he stabbed himself with the First Blade, ready to die and be free. But it didn’t quite turn out that way. Cain, as it turns out, was ready to go, but the Mark was not. It brought him back to life, as a Demon, and away he went.
So Crowley walks over the corpse of Dean Winchester, and puts the First Blade in his hand, and lays it on Dean’s chest. He smiles a bit, and tells Dean to, “open his eyes”. And he does.
Two black craters, as dark as night, stare back at him.
See you next season.
[Photo via The CW]