Season 9 Episode 22

Stairway to Heaven

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM May 13, 2014 on The CW

Episode Recap

At an ice cream shop in Dixon, Missouri, a woman is ordering ice cream and her son asks for a sundae that a girl nearby is eating. When the mother goes over to the girl, she irritably tells her to go away and says that she doesn't have parents because she's an angel. A man comes in and draws his blade, and the angel tells the woman to run. The man advances on her and a few seconds later there's a burst of white light.

At the bunker, Sam is trying to sleep when Dean wakes him up early in the morning. When Sam wonders what's going on, Dean says that they've got a case and he isn't tired. As they pack, Dean explains that Castiel called about something weird in Missouri, but the angel wouldn't talk about it over the phone. Sam wonders if taking the First Blade is a good idea, and reminds Dean that he decided on his own to keep it. He warns that all magic comes with a price and they don't know what the price is, and begs Dean to leave it behind and save it for the big boss fights. After a moment, Dean agrees.

The brothers arrive in Dixon posing as FBI agents, and the sheriff informs them that their partner said they'd be by. They go inside and find Castiel there. He explains that six humans and one angel died there, and the angel was one of his soldiers. Castiel figures that Metatron is responsible.

Metatron is at his study trying on a new coat when Gadreel comes in and warns that Castiel's angels outnumber them. When he questions his leader, Metatron admits that he had Gadreel followed because he was meeting with Castiel, and Gadreel insists that Castiel lied to him and he didn't listen. The angel swears his allegiance to Metatron and to Heaven, and Metatron admits that he doesn't understand why his people are choosing Castiel over him. Gadreel points out that Metatron told Castiel to form an army, and reminds his leader that he's meeting with Tyrus, who controls the largest independent faction. Metatron promises to make a good impression and assures Gadreel that he has a plan... involving his new coat. Gadreel isn't convinced.

Castiel takes the brothers back to his HQ and introduces them to Hannah, his second in command. She reports that Josiah wasn't at roll call and hasn't been seen since Ezra was murdered. Hannah figures that he's the mole, but Sam and Dean aren't so sure. They check his vessel's name, Sean Flynn, and discover that someone used his credit card at a gas station in Colorado. One of the angels, Benjamin, checks a memory chip on a smartphone and finds footage of the man coming into the ice cream shop and bearing his chest. He has an Enochian rune on his chest, stabs himself, and says that he's doing it for Castiel. Castiel insists that he wouldn't ask an angel to sacrifice himself, and Hannah confirms that the angel in the little girl's body was Esther, one of Metatron's soldiers. Dean warns that Castiel has gathered a cult and that the last time the angel got that kind of power, he lied to him and Sam.

Sam gets them into Castiel's office and tells Dean to drop the baggage. Castiel explains that the angel is Oren, who works in a local hospital performing minor miracles. He says that the rune let him focus his power and release it, blasting Esther into atoms. Dean tells Castiel to stay put while he and Sam go to the hospital and see if anyone knew about Oren. Castiel refuses to stay put and says that he'll track Josiah to Colorado, and Dean says that Sam will go with him to help.

As Sam and Castiel drive to Colorado, Sam tells him that Dean killed Abaddon. The angel points out that Dean is angry more of the time and actually believed he ordered Oren to kill himself. Sam assures him that he doesn't believe him, but warns his friend that the other angels look up to him. When Castiel says that they put their faith in him, Sam says that has never worked out well.

Metatron meets Tyrus at a bowling alley and watches him play. They get down to business and Tyrus says that his people don't want to go to Heaven because it's boring. He's also heard that Metatron is losing, and doesn't like him because he's a nerd trying to be popular. Metatron tells Gadreel to kill Tyrus, but the angel points out that if he dies then his people will go to Castiel. However, he offers Metatron the chance to beat him at bowling in return for consideration.

Sam and Castiel talk to a clerk at the gas station, who says that Josiah asked for directions to Pray, Montana.

Dean starts questioning angels, starting with a female angel named Flagstaff. She claims that she doesn't know why Oren would have sacrificed himself, and says that she helps people while Dean solves his problems with a gun. Dean slams her to the floor and holds a knife to his throat, and demands the names of Oren's friends. One of them is Tessa, and Dean recognizes the name as the Reaper he's encountered before.

Sam and Castiel drive to Pray and spot Josiah's car next to an old factory. Castiel warns that the place is radiating power like Heaven but they can't get the door open.

Dean tracks down Tessa going into a theater and calls to her by name. He says that she was supposed to be at the hospital but left with an ambulance, and he demands answers. Tessa says that she has a date and Dean grabs her, and realizes that she has a rune carved on her chest. He handcuffs himself to her and asks where the other angel, Oren's friend Constantine, is.

Tyrus beats Metatron and the angel starts walking out of the bowling alley. Constantine walks up, bares his chest, and kills himself in a burst of energy.

Sam checks the factory and can't find any way in. Castiel gestures and causes Enochian writing to appear. He explains that it's a riddle, and Sam works out the answer. The doors open and they start to go in, and Dean calls and says that he has Tessa prisoner. He takes her to Castiel's HQ as Flagstaff complains to Hannah and Benjamin about Dean. Flagstaff is shocked to see Tessa and Dean reveals that she has the Enochian rune. Dean hauls her to a cell and tells Hannah that he cut the rune to break the spell. The angels realize that Dean plans to torture Tessa for information and Hannah says that she won't allow it. She insists that Castiel is the only one who can punish Tessa, and he's the only one holding them all together. Other angels gather as Hannah tells Dean that if she lets him kill Tessa then the other angels could do the same. Hannah lets Dean go in if he gives her the blade, and Benjamin says that they're not asking. After a moment, Dean hands over the blade and goes in.

Sam and Castiel check the factory and Sam finds another riddle on the wall. He realizes that it's from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and calls a warning to Castiel. Castiel kneels just in time to avoid cutting blades and they continue on.

Hannah and Dean question Tessa, who insists that she's working for Castiel. The Reaper says that some sacrifices have to be made and the humans that die don't matter. Dean says that she's wrong, but Tessa says that Castiel came to her and said that she was chosen and the others were too weak. Hannah tries to grab her but Dean ushers her out and tells her that Tessa thinks she's telling the truth.

Castiel finds a glowing door up ahead and insists that it leads to Heaven and it's calling to him. He walks to it, sure that they can take the fight to Metatron, and goes in. There's a room filled with balloons and recorded music. A note on the table welcomes Castiel to his own personal Heaven. Josiah is on the floor, burned in holy oil, and Sam realizes that there's a booby trap up above. Josiah is still alive and tells Castiel that Metatron told him to go there so he could go home. When Castiel offers to heal him, Josiah says that he would rather die than owe his life to him. The dying angel says that he looks in Castiel's eyes and doesn't see an angel looking back at him.

Dean goes alone back into Tessa's cell and asks her why she's really doing it. She finally tells him that she can't take the screaming of all the lost souls that can't get to Heaven now that it's been sealed away. Tessa wants to help them but she can't, and she suffered until death seemed like a release. Dean wonders why she doesn't just kill herself, and Tessa explains that she was too weak. Then Castiel gave her a reason to die. Dean doesn't believe it, but Tessa asks if the Castiel he knows would raise an army of angels without telling him. She tells dean that there are more suicide angels like her but refuses to give him their names. Dean takes out the First Blade and says that he's done what he had to. Tessa welcomes him to the club and then thrusts herself on the Blade. As she dies, Tessa thanks Dean. Hannah and the others come in and assume that Dean killed Tessa.

When Sam and Castiel return, they discover that the angels have imprisoned Dean. Dean explains what happened and Sam is angry that Dean brought the Blade. He wonders if Dean wanted Tessa to die. As they argue, Hannah comes in and tells Castiel that he has a call from Metatron. Castiel takes the video call and Metatron tells him that Constantine failed. However, Gadreel is wounded and Tyrus is dead. Tyrus' followers have come over to Metatron because they believe Castiel is responsible. When Castiel insists that he didn't send Constantine, Metatron tells him to stop lying and says that he engineered the Fall because he had to, and he's always done what was necessary for God and the angels. When Sam points out that he's had Gadreel kill angels, Metatron claims that he's changed since his near-death and offers amnesty. Hannah wonders why they should follow him, and Metatron asks if she and the other like free will. He warns them that Castiel isn't what they think, and asks if Castiel has told them about his stolen grace and how it's fading away. When no one responds, Metatron says that Castiel only cares about himself and the Winchester.

When Metatron signs off, the angels ask Castiel if he was telling the truth. Castiel admits that the stolen grace part was true, but the rest was the lies. Hannah asks him to prove it by punishing Dean. Dean starts to walk off but the angels grab him and restrain Sam when he tries to interfere. Hannah tells Castiel not to lose their trust over one man and gives him a blade. Castiel takes it and hesitates, and then says that he can't. Hannah says good bye and walks out, and the other angels follow.

Metatron returns to his study and receives a call confirming that Castiel's soldiers are switching sides. Gadreel is waiting and says that he should have been told that Tessa and Constantine were working for him all along. Metatron says it was none of Gadreel's business, and that he planned the entire thing to make himself look like the underdog. Then he revealed Castiel's weakness--his love of humanity--and now he's inevitable. Gadreel wonders about Josiah and Metatron says that he wishes that Castiel had walked into his trap. Satisfied, Metatron boasts that he's ahead of everyone and he always wins.

Sam, Dean, and Castiel return to the bunker and Sam asks if his brother if they're going to talk about it. Dean says that he has no regrets and tells Sam that from now until he kills Metatron, he's calling the shots because he's the only one who can kill their enemy. Sam walks off and Dean asks Castiel how long he has. Castiel figures that he's got enough time to kill Metatron, and asks if Dean thinks he recruited the bombers. Dean points out that he gave up his army for one man, and is sure that Castiel didn't plan the bombings. Touched, Castiel wonders if Dean thinks the three of them will be enough, and Dean says that they always have been.

Gadreel comes in and Sam and Dean prepare to attack him. The angel says that they were right about Metatron, and something needs to be done. Sam wonders why they should trust him, and Gadreel says that he knows where Metatron is. He confirms that the bombers worked for Metatron and admits that he's made mistakes. However, he points out that they all have and asks for a chance. The trio consider and then Dean steps forward and offers his hand. When Gadreel takes it, Dean stabs him across the chest with the First Blade before Sam and Castiel can stop him.

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