Another Tuesday, another episode of Supernatural. Honestly, we here at Lady Geek Girl and Friends have made our frustration with the show pretty clear, so we’re just going to review this episode and the finale and focus on shows like Teen Wolf and Sleepy Hollow instead. We’ve been pretty down on Supernatural, but it doesn’t seem like the show will ever get any better. If it does, we’ll be back. Until then, let’s look at how Dean reacted after the events of last episode.
Spoilers after the jump!
So back in December, Gadreel had totally taken over Sam’s body, killed Kevin, and swept off in the Impala to work for Metatron. This episode, fittingly, opens on Dean giving Kevin a hunter’s funeral before he calls Cas and fills him in on everything. Cas, having stolen another angel’s grace, is back to his fully trenchcoated angel outfit, sans the tie. He and Dean go to Crowley and demand to know Crowley’s method for breaking through an angel’s mind, in hopes of getting to Sam and informing Sam about the possession so that Sam can cast Gadreel out. Crowley says he won’t teach them. He will, however, do it himself.
The three of them head to one of Crowley’s informants, who, in an apropos hat-tip to current events, is an NSA analyst. She tracks down the Impala in a town in Pennsylvania. (Although why an angel needs a car is a question that goes unanswered.) Metatron’s sent Gadreel there to kill a man named Alexander Sarver—a man who Gadreel soon recognizes as his old friend, Abner. Abner has a family on Earth, and he tells Gadreel that he’s happy. If Gadreel, too, is happy, Abner tells him that he should grab his happiness with both hands and never let go.
However, by the time Dean, Cas, and Crowley arrive, Gadreel has killed Abner and is calmly washing the blood off his hands. Cas manages to subdue him, and, in an abandoned warehouse somewhere (as usual), Crowley gets to work. Gadreel defiantly tells them that they will never be able to break him. Cas offers to possess Sam, but as an angel, he can’t enter a vessel without the vessel’s permission. Crowley, being a demon, is eager to volunteer his services. He says he’ll possess Sam and in return, Dean will free him. Dean’s unhappy about it, but agrees. Cas burns off Sam’s anti-possession tattoo and in Crowley goes.
Together, Sam and Crowley manage to get rid of Gadreel, who then flies back into his old vessel, Tahmoh Penikett from Battlestar Galactica. Cas and Dean help Sam out of the warehouse as Crowley sits down to await the arrival of Abaddon. He tells her that taking over Hell isn’t a battle, it’s a campaign, and he wants every demon to “vote Crowley!” I can’t want to see what the Supernatural fanartists are going to make out of that. Sam, Cas, and Dean, meanwhile, stop on a rainy bridge to have their usual seasonal break-up conversation. Sam accuses Dean of lying to him, again, and both attempt to take the crown of “guiltiest Winchester ever” over Kevin’s death. Finally, Dean gets in the Impala and leaves, and neither Sam nor Cas stop him.
So the Winchesters are broken up again, who would’ve thought? Unfortunately it’s the same old, same old. At its heart Supernatural is about two brothers, so we can’t even be emotionally conflicted about this break-up because 1) it’s happened in pretty much every season and 2) they’re going to get back together, because they always do. So round and round the Winchesters go. This time, though, Cas surprisingly stayed with Sam—whether that’s because he’s committed himself to healing Sam or because he’s fed up with Dean remains to be seen. Cas and Sam don’t normally get a lot of scenes together, so this new dynamic is at least a small step forwards.
As for the Winchester guilt over Kevin, well… if Lady Geek Girl hadn’t made it clear enough already, I don’t think Kevin had to die. It would have been much more interesting if Gadreel had simply taken Kevin prisoner: he would have had Heaven’s information at his fingertips, and it would have raised the stakes considerably, as well as kept Gadreel’s character in a grey area. Gadreel doesn’t know jack about Metatron—why wouldn’t he want more information? He’s shown time and again that he doesn’t want to kill innocents—why wouldn’t he put his money where his doubt is and simply not kill Kevin? But no, this is Supernatural, where everyone who isn’t a white guy must die. (And ladies must be called bitches and then killed while not passing Bechdel. Just because it wasn’t in my recap doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.)
I do like Gadreel, though. I think he’s been set up to be very interesting. He’s an angel who’s hated by all the other angels, just because he made one little mistake. He’s not even like Lucifer, who was able to sway some angels to his cause—no, Gadreel’s just a fuck-up, plain and simple. No wonder he wants to be a better person. No wonder it’s so easy for Metatron to manipulate him. And yet I’m not sure where they want to take his character; if he truly liked his friend Abner, romantically or otherwise, why did he kill him? Why didn’t we get any of his thought process behind killing Abner? Did killing his old bestie really make him happy? It seemed like it was easier for him to kill Abner than it was to kill Kevin, and if that’s true, then Gadreel isn’t the half-sympathetic character the writers have been painting him as. Still, he’s the most interesting new character we’ve seen in a long while. And his old vessel is a person of color, so if they acknowledge that in canon, it’ll put an end to season 9’s all-angels-pick-white-people-as-vessels schtick.
Next week Crowley and Dean team up to take down Abaddon! I’m actually pretty curious about how that dynamic will go. Hope you guys enjoy it!
*Edited 1/21/14 to reflect that actor Tahmoh Penikett is a person of color.