Trust is such a tricky thing in the world of Supernatural. Dean and Sam don’t willingly give away their trust to strangers easily. Remember how much they distrusted the angel Castiel in the beginning of season four? To their credit, they didn’t even know angels were real at that point. When Dean hesitantly trusted who he thought was Ezekiel to heal his brother, he didn’t see any other options. Betrayed halfway through Season Nine, Dean now places his trust where he really doesn’t want it: in the hands of the King of Hell, Crowley.
Dean has to face the moral question of whether he’s willing to kill Sam to rid the world of Metatron’s errand boy Gadreel. But we know our Dean, and he can’t kill Sammy. During the agonizing torture scene in which Crowley tries to pry Gadreel’s name from his head, Dean actually has to leave the room and ask Cas to distract him. It’s a great moment to show Dean’s vulnerability, and I believe Jensen Ackles played the part of the agitated brother well.
The second option is possession, and the only one who can possess without permission is Crowley. The double possession of Sam is well done. Crowley, Sam, and Gadreel all duke it out, vying for control. For once, Crowley is actually helping someone other than himself. Sure, it was for the selfish reason of getting free of the Winchesters, but it was an interesting, if false, moment of valor.
Having Crowley fully back in an episode for more than just a biting one liner was a treat. Nobody but Crowley can be so delectably charming and sinister on this show. Every time you hear him say “Hello boys” you know something big is going to happen. It’s also great having a character who is so sure of himself that any serious threat, like Abaddon, is treated as a delightful house guest. He’s playful, even when he could be destroyed at any moment, but that could be because the King of Hell still has a hold over his followers. They don’t all blindly follow Abaddon as much as she wishes.
There was some great lighting and camera work in this episode that deserves a mention. As with most episodes of Supernatural, especially the emotionally darker ones, every scene was a play of light and dark. Most dank, dark rooms had one shallow light source in the background, or a bit of outside light filtering through blinds to portray a bit of modern noir.
Also when Dean and Cas find Gadreel, there’s an awesome moment when Cas punches his lights out. Cas is completely blurred out, Gad is struck, and the shot returns to Cas. His fist comes into sharp focus, then his determined face. Nice work by the cinematographer there.
The return from the mid-season break brought the boys back together, but far apart again, as Dean rode off in the Impala and left Sam and Cas behind. Gad returns to his previous vessel, and Metatron will deal with the consequences. Meanwhile, Crowley is out and about again, and will likely cause a lot of headaches for Abaddon. What more could we have asked for?
Den of Geek Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars