The Supernatural season finale left us with one shocker of an ending image before that long summer break. The episode mixed classic (and bland) themes from the past but gave us a few fresh scenes to break it up.
It wouldn’t be a season finale for Supernatural without “Carry On Wayward Son” playing through the intro, glossing over the big events from the entire season to lead to the opener. We come back right where the last episode left off. Dean is practically foaming at the mouth after attacking Gadreel and must be restrained to keep from killing the turncoat angel.
Dean has a serious problem. Ever since he shanked Abaddon with the Blade, he can’t shake its hold on him. As a result, he’s pretty much homicidal all the time, and is suddenly coughing up blood when denied the chance to murder.
Dean calls on Crowley, and they share a lightly amusing moment at a diner. Crowley appears like he needs a buddy to talk to, mentioning he kicked the human blood habit. Dean and Crowley almost look like friends in this scene. Yeah, there’s still that distance between them, but Crowley would never have shared anything personal with a Winchester before.
They discover that Metatron now walks the streets as “Marv,” a homeless messiah performing miracles. What he accomplishes is inciting a crowd to kill one of the good angels who calls him out as a fraud. Despite the uber-creepiness of his influence on these new followers, Metatron doesn’t get very far with his quest to become God.
Even though it was a dark episode, there were some delightfully light moments mixed in. The doorway to Heaven alone was amusing. I’ll never look at a playground the same again. In the beginning, we also had the minor character playing tech-assistant to Metatron, The Notebook loving, more-reverb guy. Socially awkward angels are the best.
The lighting of the building where Dean faces down Metatron deserves mention. Shallow, flat lighting hits Dean’s face and emphasizes his change in personality. The building is steamy inside and glowing red, reminiscent of hellfire.
There were a few things I wanted resolved by this episode that weren’t. Why is Castiel suddenly a pop-culture nerd? For cheap jokes? Will Crowley’s human blood addiction have any bearing on his character next season? And just for this episode in general: Why did Gadreel ‘splode himself if the angel Hannah was clearly unlocking his cell door? Was his character that disposable that he couldn’t just threaten to kill himself, wait for Hannah the Angel to open the door, and carry on saving the day?
The main disappointment I faced was with Dean’s climactic death scene. The notion of death in Supernatural has been diluted over the years. The Season 1 and 2 finales were shocking, but now we’ve seen the Winchesters die on practically a regular basis, and it hardly has an effect anymore. Nobody will think Supernatural will continue with only one brother. We even have the familiar, sad Winchester music theme for when Sam cradles Dean’s dead body.
What they finally did different though was enough to make me sit through the rest of the commercial break in a daze. Crowley enters Dean’s room, talking to his lifeless body like an old friend, and he reveals that what Dean is feeling is not death. And that’s when Dean’s eyes snap open, demon-black.