Despite the copious amounts of whining and crying about Kevin, the pointlessness of his death, and the fact that the Batcave is no longer some fun supernatural clubhouse because now it's yet another location tainted by the loss of a surrogate Winchester, "Holy Terror" was the sort of intense, balls-to-the wall mid-season finale that ruins Christmas in a good way because it needs to be January 14 NOW.
But first: KEVIN. KEVIN, MY PRESHUS ADVANCED PLACEMENT BABY. I know, I know Osric Chau wrote this really nice goodbye note to Kevin and the show and it's not like Supernatural wouldn't go there, and Kevin was supposed to bite it like two seasons ago anyway and IDK, reasons, but maybe there's hope, right? Supernatural's own canon dictates that when one prophet dies, another one takes his or her place, so if Metatron ordered Kevin's death because of his prophet status, well... another one's just gonna pop up, dude! Are we just gonna have Gadreel-the-angel-formerly-posing-as-Ezekiel smite all of them? Forever and ever? Something tells me Dean and the recharged Castiel (and Sam, if he wasn't incommunicado) would eventually notice that, and getting the Winchesters' attention isn't exactly the best way to keep the Winchesters from squashing your aspirations of world domination. Or heaven domination. Whatever.
That brings us to the Sammy Meatsuit conundrum: Essentially taking Dean Winchester's kid brother hostage is a surefire way to not only get his attention, but to end up with an angel sword in your face. ALL Y'ALL DID WAS PISS HIM OFF.
All things considered, Metatron and Gadreel have a pretty crappy plan, but for now, I guess they have the upper hand, or at least the illusion of the upper hand, and "Holy Terror" was certainly a game-changer in that it made it abundantly clear that the tone of the second half of the season will be nothing at all like that the first half. Does this also mean more Abaddon and Crowley action? I hope so!
Let's talk about Gadreel for a sec, though. At first, the big confirmation that Ezekiel wasn't Ezekiel was a smidge disappointing. We saw it coming, sure, but that wasn't the problem. That we saw it coming made the reveal a sort of relief—we were right! We were all right! It's just that the the gut-punch was lessened, in a way, by Ezekiel not being Ezekiel, but also not being anyone particularly special. Gadreel? Who the eff is Gadreel? Cue the verbal vomit to give us this newbie's background, which is actually pretty interesting and could be really interesting given that it parallels Sam's own background in a way.
In short: I'm not entirely convinced that Gadreel is "evil." I mean, he could be, and he probably is, but he also came off in "Holy Terror" as a dude who wants to atone for past sins, and who's so desperate to do "the right thing" that he's pretty easily manipulated. Remind you of anyone? Like, say, a certain Season 4 Winchester who goes by the name of Sam and totally murdered a pediatrics nurse, drank her blood, and let a freaking demon call the shots, all for what he thought was the greater good? (And also vengeance for the Dean-in-hell thing, but ALSO THE GREATER GOOD, OKAY?)
IDK. Gadreel looked kind of apprehensive about the Post-It note of death that Metatron handed off to him and didn't seem all that thrilled about being an angelic hitman, but the idea of restoring heaven to the way God intended it to be (if we're to believe Metatron, which, of course, we're NOT), not to mention the idea of becoming a "good" angel despite that time when evil somehow got into the Garden of Eden under his watch... it just seemed like the right thing to do. "I did what I had to" was uttered several times by several different characters in the midst of doing ugly things in the name of good, and if memory serves, Sam made a similar argument at some point during his demon-blood fiasco.
Good characters can make bad choices. Bad characters can have good motivations. This is the stuff good TV is made of, and while "Holy Terror" was by no means flawless, it was still pretty great.
I'm really not sure about Castiel's method of recharging the angel batteries, though.
Angels don't have souls. They have grace. With that in mind, I assumed that each angel's grace was unique and special. Metatron stealing Castiel's grace at the end of last season was so terrible and traumatizing because, supposedly, Castiel couldn't just go get some more at the angelic Kwik-E-Mart down the street... except he could. Sort of.
The idea of grace being interchangeable between angels reduces it to a sort of commodity in Supernatural's universe. I guess that doesn't make it much different than souls, which have been confirmed to be a form of currency and cannon fodder among angels and demons, but even when being used for less-than-illustrious purposes, souls are still special and unique. When Sam was soulless, Dean couldn't just shove any old soul into that bod and call his bro fixed; it had to be Sam's soul. I assumed that the only way to fix Castiel was to find Castiel's grace, but I guess not. I guess we're all supposed to buy into the idea that Castiel would never steal another angel's grace and that his action falls squarely into the category of "good characters pushed to do bad things," but seriously, if it was that easy, why didn't he just do it in the season premiere and save everyone a lot of trouble?
Still, yay for Cas being a multidimensional wavelength of celestial intent once again. SPEAKING OF WHICH. HEY. LOOKS LIKE CAS IS BACK TO BEING DEUS EX CASTIEL AND WE HAVE A (PROBABLY) DEAD PROPHET ON OUR HANDS. You can fix that, right, boo?
See you 1/14/14. Same Batcave time, same Batcave channel. XOXO
– Jared Padalecki has been really great at his insta-switches between Gadreel and Sam since the beginning of this season, but now he's just getting scary-good. THAT SCENE IN THE IMPALA OMG.
– "And no more stupid angels. Maybe some funny ones." Says Boogertron.
– Single perfect man-tear sighting!
– Gadreel's "I need to get something out of the car" felt very Patrick Bateman-y, like, "I need to return some videotapes."
– So we have Bart vs. Malachi, Metatron and Gadreel vs. Dean (and Cas?) and Abaddon vs. Crowley, and really, everyone vs. everyone. Is anyone else starting to get worried that Season Fiiiiine is starting to get a little crowded? I don't know if we're there yet, but I think it could become a problem, considering how little we've seen of Crowley and Abby so far.
– Is Kevin dead-dead or is Kevin Supernatural-dead, which is a lot like comic-book dead? Do you have a preference?
– What do you think Gadreel meant by "There is no more Sam"? Is Sam dead? Was Gadreel just being a dick? When he said he changed Dean's spell, what did he change it to? Instead of suppressing Gadreel, did Dean accidentally banish Sam?
– Do you think there will be any complications from Castiel stealing someone else's grace, or is grace truly interchangeable among angels?
AIRED ON 5/20/2014
Season 9 : Episode 23