I really bloody liked that. Like. Really. It was epic and even though it was all demons and angels (which I normally find rather ho hum) it felt like we progressed more than we've done in ages (I'd say since the season the hiatus finale).
The "then" segment went on FOREVER so I figured we'd be in for a major myth arc episode (and after last week I was happy for that!). I have accepted that this is a season of angel and demons and if I'm going to continue to enjoy it I have to embrace that as much as I can.
And I actually did embrace it (perhaps the glass of wine before I watched helped *g*).
Put it this way. I go into each episode with absolute dread that they're going to do something to either Sam or Dean that's totally out of character and it will make me cry. Mostly, that they'll make Sam do or say something that will have fans (once again) asking him to eat a bullet (yes, my heart is still trying to heal over that one). So I think my "relief" when that doesn't happen makes me enjoy an episode even more. On top of that, if they actually have Sam being smart (and caring and thoughtful) then of course I am even happier (and we even had some Sam POV! *g*).
We also had loads of brotherly moments. I am a totally cheap audience member because give me some bro touching, some in-the-car-at-the-end-of-the-episode chat, some actual honesty between them and I am SOLD!
Sam being super smart and sassy and talking
that angel into spilling the beans and then Dean playing along and them both being AWESOME together was worth the price of the admission alone. They worked as a team and I was SO SO SO SO relieved that we didn't have to sit through torture. It was a clever move because that scene was set up for us to see just how dark Dean was becoming, but it didn't happen that way. Clever!Particulars Dean
This episode made me even more curious about the direction Dean is heading in. We got more insight into the effect of the blade and I really like the way it connects to what Dean was saying about his time in Purgatory. There's a calm (a purity, something "good") about how it makes him feel. It's not just dark for the sake of dark. It give him a lot of power and I can't help but see the parallel between blood drinking!Sam and MoC!Dean. Sam felt powerful and in control when he was addicted to demon blood. Dean feels calm - possibly even at peace - with the MoC. Things that both of them have sought. I now feel like I understand Dean addiction to it.
As corny as it was when the blade magicked itself to Dean, I like the idea of how it's drawn to him. And he to it. They are as one. This is powerful stuff.
And no, I wasn't sold with all the face pulling (and fairly weak special effects) in the climatic scene, and having Dean suspended on that wall just looked plain silly. I WISH they had the thought to have mirrored the way he was pinned to the wall in Devil's Trap when YED!John was taunting him. He was vulnerable and powerfulness in that scene. Here it was completely opposite and it would have been POETRY if they had set that scene in a similar way. Instead, I am going to imagine that it happened that way because that would have been incredible.
I loved that Dean was still mindful of Sam (picking up Sam's "play" in the interrogation room) and he even preempted Sam being pissed about him lying to him (again). But you know, I could understand Dean's thinking. It made some sense. If Sam had
ended up in Abaddon's grip then Dean wouldn't be able to act as he did (and he probably didn't want Sam seeing it either). I know that it means Dean doesn't trust that Sam can look after himself (or felt that he could even plan it with Sam), but Dean KNEW what he was going to do. MoC!Dean is single minded and a man on a mission.
His "no" the end was chilling and awesome and foreboding (and kinda hot) . I think I might officially be excited about where this is going (am I wrong for wanting a really (really!) dark Dean that digs into his deepest desires?). And Jensen looked gorgeous. Ok, so I know that's a given, but even more gorgeous. If that's possible.Sam
I continue to be completely baffled by what they've trying to do with Sam - both this season and the last, but at least we saw a competent and clever Sam who still holds deep feelings about his possession. I CANNOT TELL you how happy I am that Cas questioned him about it. If only to see that look on Sam's face and the admission that he doesn't want to talk about it. We learned more about what it was like for Sam (that he knew someone else was there and he didn't feel threatened) than we did in the first half of the season. Jared did a great job in that scene I thought.
I loved how protective he was of Dean (getting the blade out of the body and keeping hold of it) and how he spoke up about it changing Dean. Not just when he's got the blade, but how it's changing him
. Sam would know of course.
I can't even think about all the other stuff that's going on for him. He mentioned more about the possession, but we only got a hint about how he felt about Dean lying to him again. I did like the "I can't believe you've lied to me again" look when he found out about Dean hiding the truth, but Sam is so damn awesome he just let it ride. He was unhappy about it but he knows so much is going on for Dean. This episode demonstrated how Sam doesn't dwell on his own issues. I
might be hurt that Dean doesn't understand the depths of what he did when he tricked Sam into the possession, but it looks like Sam's absorbing it and seeing the bigger picture at the moment. Cas
Man, this character. Ok, so we're back to kickass, leader Cas and I do like this version of him. I mostly liked negotiating, diplomatic Cas. He's more like a politician now - talking the talk and getting his "heavies" to get information. Interesting that he didn't feel he could do the "torturing" to get the info out of smarmy angel!dude - but he could ask his friends to do it for him. I suppose Sam and Dean do have a reputation (which is way I LOVE that they used smarts over brawn to get the info). I'm not sure how I feel that he used them like that, but maybe in politics you use all the resources you can.
I enjoyed Cas and Gadreel's scenes.
How hilarious was Cas's entrance?! What was that? We were supposed to laugh yes? Or did we have to think that Cas was actually a major threat? Oh man, Misha's face when he came in...
I liked that he's on a hug-greeting basis with the boys (and I smiled at his lingered hold on Sam. It feels like after everything he and Sam have been through, there really is forgiveness and caring. The fact that Sam trusting Cas was mentioned was a nice touch. I've been wanting to see this connection for a while so it was nice to see it in this episode). All the other stuff
I think there's something wrong with me. Just like Kevin's death, I was spectacularly unmoved by Abaddon's. And I don't know why!! I should probably have been pissed because I really loved that character. She brought a great presence and sas to the screen. I think maybe because death just doesn't mean anything any more. If they want her back they'll find a way to bring her back. They might not, but when characters die I see past the emotion I should be feeling and just see it as part of the plot (maybe I should have been happy that the demon threat was gone - but there was not even any satisfaction in that. Just - well, a pretty cheesy death scene. I wonder why they didn't give us a close up of that. We'd been on a journey with that character, so I'd loved to have seen a little more out of that).
Crowley is more interesting to me now, but wow - why is he still around? Seriously?! Why don't they just kill him? He was right there!! I don't get the "when the time comes to kill Crowley we'll use the blade". Maybe Sam didn't want Dean using the blade again. Their relationship to Crowley continues to baffle me. But, whatever. I'm past thinking too hard about that. I seriously hope the climax of S9 isn't them killing Crowley. I can't imagine it will be because he's just not really a threat at the moment.
His son has been brought back as a new player yes? There's absolutely no reason for him to have be appear if they didn't have plans to use him again (unless it really was to get him to buckle to Abaddon. I don't know - seems weird if it's just for that. But maybe).
Gadreel looks to be on a redemption arc. Curious to see where that goes. Not something I have feelings about either way. Cas has made a connection with him but I can't imagine Dean or Sam feeling the same level of trust (and I hope Cas doesn't get burned for that trust - to repetitive).
I won't deny that there were some clunky moments and the directorial choices were a little odd, but I thought there was enough going on to keep my interest. There were also some classic lines - I actually laughed out loud a number of times (and "666" as Crowley's name will always amuse me). And selling your soul for a bigger willy? Ha. So where are we now?
Abaddon is gone (and why was she even brought back? Her first death was more powerful and satisfying. Her reappearance didn't do much at all for this season's storyline - I think? Maybe just having her on screen because - yay.).
Dean is heading somewhere where they ain't no lights on.
Sam is holding it together and looks ready to provide a torch for Dean.
Cas is preparing his minions.
Gadreel is all thinky about whose side he's going to be on (set to double cross Metatron me thinks).
Crowley is funny and has feels.
Metatron is in the wind (probably writing the finale)
Crowley's son is wandering around wondering what the fuck and probably acting like Ichabod (and what problems might have been created by him remaining in the "future"?).
There are portals!! These writers (Taxi Driver peeps) like portals! A portal to Hell via purgatory and now a portal to Heaven. Insta!portal will solve all those
loose ends! (Though there was some great canon consistency as well).
This made me feel more positive going into the next 2 episodes. Sam and Dean are at least talking and even though they aren't "supposed" to be on the same page, they kind of seem to be (I don't even know). The Mark looks like it might do something interesting and I think we're in for a twist we might not have worked out just yet. Or maybe we have. I think one will end up killing the other and there will be great angst abound at the end. But death isn't final so it will be purely about the angst.
But I'm getting used to that now.