After an introductory season that had promise, but failed to deliver on some points, the crisis with the fallen angels and Dean’s deal with Ezekiel finally came to a head, in a very explosive mid-season finale.
In this episode, the opening teaser ended with a bloody battle between some wholesome pink-clad Glee Club members and rough bikers in a bar. Or at least that’s how it looked from the outside. It’s angel against angel. After falling from Heaven and with no guidance from the man who’s supposed to be upstairs, the angels have split into factions, some siding with Bartholomew and others with Malachi. Not only are the angels causing a lot of hell with each other, they’ve also been merciless in obtaining their human vessels, which leads to the occasional Scanners style head explosion.
A major twist: Metatron (which still sounds like something from Transformers to me) reveals he knows that Ezekiel is not the one possessing Sam. He’s actually an angel named Gadreel, who’d been imprisoned long ago for slipping up on his duties in the Garden. It’s really kind of sweet and innocent how Zeke — sorry, Gadreel — explains why he took on another angel’s identity. Zeke was a good angel, something Gad wished he was. Jared Padalecki previously played the angel as stiff and unapproachable, but here a sympathetic character emerges. Metatron promises him what he really wants — respect, basically, but only if he kills one of Metatron’s enemies.
Meanwhile, Cass is kidnapped by Malachi. Cass narrowly misses his own untimely demise when his torturer turns out to be a turncoat. This angel wants only to latch on to whichever leader seems stronger, and he has it in his head that Cass and Metatron are best buds. Castiel turns uncharacteristically violent and slashes the angel’s throat to steal his grace. Angel Cass is back. I’ll be honest, although I did a little victorious fist pump when Castiel was reinstated; I kind of miss his new side as a human character. He learned so much about the humanity. Hopefully this knowledge will carry over to his work as an angel.
Finally, Dean gets Sam aside, works some sigil, and explains the situation. We’ve been waiting for Sam to find out about Gadreel for some time now. But, surprise! It’s not Sam that Dean is talking to. Gadreel explains how simple these sigils are to alter, and we can only assume when Dean thought he was expelling the angel, he actually expelled Sam. Then in a heart-wrenching final scene, Gadreel grabs Kevin and burns him up from the inside. Kevin Tran had been put through the ringer, his life uprooted, his girlfriend and mother killed. This was the final straw. Kevin’s death came as a surprise. Season nine had set him up as the new Bobby, cementing him as a permanent character.
“Holy Terror” proved to be the fantastic episode fans were waiting for, full of the twists, high stakes, and body count that make up the best of television. Now if only January 14th would get here sooner…
Den of Geek Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars