Normally a Supernatural episode is: baddie is introduced, the Winchester Boys investigate, and the baddie is disposed of after an undetermined amount of bodies are piled up. Jokes are cracked, and the potential of an even worse threat looms. We’ve got some of that in the second episode of the ninth season, but one can’t help but feel season nine has begun its own thing. The pace is different in this episode—a lot happens but feels more brooding, like a large pot slowly coming to a boil.
The Knight of Hell, Abaddon, has resurfaced, and she quickly rounds up a slew of demons and…scolds them. She’s a whole different baddie than Crowley—she doesn’t believe in making deals to entrap souls, and she proves she’s a bigger baddie by snuffing out a demon with a choke-hold. Abaddon may also be a smarter villain for our hunters to face. Although she’s not been on Earth for a very long time, she quickly gets with the times, donning a Kevlar vest for protection. She even updates her arsenal by upgrading her demon minions. They possess Marines, and prove that demons can be stronger and more formidable. They aren’t just creepy and murderous…now they’re REALLY good snipers, too!
Another great addition to the episode is the hunter Tracy Bell. She looks like a model, but fights like a hunter. Hunting is such a male dominated occupation in the Supernatural-verse. Let’s be happy the lady hunters are being represented, which hasn’t really happened since the untimely demise of Jo and Ellen. Well, there was Krissy in Season 8….does she count?
We also have some fine character development on the part of Kevin Tran. He’s had to go through a lot ever since becoming the prophet. When he confronts a bound Crowley, the King of Hell tempts him. There’s a moment, painfully stretched over a commercial break, where you really think Kevin is going to let Crowley free. Kevin stayed strong. This moment – plus the macho way in which Kevin took Bobby’s usual job of getting Sam and Dean out of trouble– is where he shows how much he’s changed. Kevin is no longer an innocent kid plucked from reality. He’s part of this world, whether he wants it or not.
Then there’s that epic scene when Sam is hopelessly trapped with three demons, about to be killed for real this time, when his eyes light up with a fiery, heavenly white glow. It is Ezekiel, rearing his wrathful head. Sam’s body straightens, and the trademark Supernatural angel wings appear as a shadow on the wall behind him. The wings are ugly and degrading, a nice touch to remind the viewers how the angels are no longer perfect.
When Jared Padalecki plays Ezekiel, there’s an obvious change in his posture and voice. He becomes stiffer in motion, more noble and less prone to any unneeded facial expression. Padalecki is doing a great job expressing a completely different character than Sam Winchester.
We end the episode with several threats looming over the Winchester’s heads, such as Abaddon’s return, and Ezekiel (now Zeke) bailing Sammy out which will no doubt eventually lead to his discovery of the angel. Plus, Crowley wants to make a “fair trade” with the boys in exchange for the information he could give him (and what is Crowley’s definition of “fair,” anyway?).
Looks like next episode is Cass-central, so we’ll see the angel adjusting to humanity. This should be fun…