'Supernatural' Finale Recap: Fall From Grace
May 16th, 2013 9:10am EDT
If I had to describe one word to Jeremy Carver's season of "Supernatural," it would be ambitious. If I had to do the same with the season finale, it would be spectacular. From writing to acting to dazzling special effects, "Sacrifice” was as grand and cinematic as the summer blockbusters.
Grab your Xanax, and let's dive in, shall we?
Crowley is still making good on his diabolical promise to slaughter every person the Winchesters ever saved, and after offing Sarah Black, a favorite of Sammy’s and fans alike, Crowley has the spitfire Sheriff Rhodes in his sights. Although in this scene, she's flaunting an unfortunate haircut (wig?) but a pretty hot dress as she meets a blind date for dinner. Of course, it's Crowley gettin' his flirt on just long enough to slip a hexbag into her purse and cop a feel or two. In the ladies' room, Jodi is in full rom-com mode, convincing herself that she deserves such an accomplished charmer like the King Of Hell…and then she begins to hork up a gallon of blood.
As our beloved and neglected Jodi (who was barely mentioned after last season's appearance in season 7’s "Time After Time) writhes on the floor, Dean calls to grouchily surrender, provided that Crowley forfeits the angel rock. His rationale: "On the grounds that you’re a douchebag and no douchebag should have that much power." Preach, Dean.
Last week, Sam was rightfully shaken by Sarah’s death and listening to Crowley sermonize about his unstoppable evil. At the end of the episode, it seemed if our darling Sammy was unwilling to sacrifice the lives of the hundreds of people they'd saved for the chance to possibly save many more. Sam and Dean bicker heatedly as they meet Crowley in Bobby's old and overgrown scrap yard for the exchange. It's a gut-wrenching reminder of just how long Bobby's been gone.
Traditionally, a face-off between archenemies never goes always goes horribly wrong. Fortunately for Team Freewill, Crowley is on the receiving end of a beautiful double-cross. Dean slaps Crowley in a pair of "dee-monic handcuffs.” “No flicking, no teleporting, no smoking out and no smokin' out. NO DEAL. That means you're pretty much our bitch." There are 31 flavors of Winchesters, and Badass is the most delicious...and gratifying. "You're the third trial, Crowley," Sam announces. That’s right, the Winchesters are going to cure him.
They haul Crowley to an abandoned church that sits alone in the majestic wilds of South Dakota. Curing a demon is apparently pretty easy, thanks to Father Thompson's notes and tapes. They must inject Crowley every hour for eight hours with Sam's blood, purified by confession, before conducting the final exorcism to scrub his humanity. Dean awkwardly jokes to relieve the tension, rattling off Sammy's greatest hits as suggestions for his confession: "Ruby...killing Lillith, letting Lucifer out, losing your soul, not looking for me when I was in Purgatory..." It's meant to be a joke. Dean has always cut tension with sharp-edged humor. Something tells me that this one cut a little too deep though.
Castiel wings down to announce that he needs Dean's help. He explains that he's teamed up with Metatron or the "full-on crazy, cat-lady hoarder, angel of yesterday," according to Dean, and they're trying to close the gates of Heaven in order to save it. As much as I love Castiel, I hate how easily manipulated he is. He trusts Metatron because he knew and served his father. Dean refuses to leave because bad things happen when the Winchesters split up and..."If anyone needs a chaperone while doing the heavy-lifting, it's Sam." Sam tells him to go in fewer words than normal. If I wasn't worried about hm, I am now, especially when Crowley starts biting Sam like a rabid dog, and using his blood to make collect calls to hell.
Back at the Batcave, Castiel forces our prophet, who was retired for two hours, to translate the angel tablet. Seeing as it took months for Kevin to work through the first one, I definitely believe he can finish it in the next twenty-seven minutes. In in the interim, Castiel and Dean head back to the bar to witness a love connection and hopefully retrieve cupid's bow. Hilariously, the gruff bartender falls, not for the hot delivery girl, but the equally gruff bar patron. Following Dean's advice to "talk first, stab later," Cupid's Bow, which is a small tattoo on the palm of her hand, is retrieve without violence.
Back at the church, Sam's more than halfway done with the injections and Crowley's still as nasty as ever. Our poor Sammy, however, looks like the one who’s being tortured. He's sweaty and woozy and his arms intermittently glow with the painful power of the trials. Of course, it's then that Abbadon enters the church like a boss, flings our Moose around like a ragdoll before careening him through a stained glass window, where he’s knocked unconscious.
If Crowley thought that this chick was a demon-peasant elated to serve her king, he's more wrong than Kim Kardashian's maternity wear. Abbadon wants "a regime change" and is willing to beat Crowley to a pulp to get it. Lucky for Crowley and unfortunately for Abbadon's impeccably styled meatsuit, Sam lights her up with holy fire and she's forced to smoke out. Will she be back as the Big Bad in Season 9? She better be. Once thing “Supernatural” needs is more female characters, and this show wasn’t gentle with the few they have.
Eerily, Crowley's changed by his assault. He is shaken, twitchy and his accent melts away as does the peacock-ish bravado. In a matter of minutes, the king of hell has become pensive and...repentant. "Earlier when you confessing, what did you say? I only ask because given my history it raises the question where do I start to even look for forgiveness?" Mark Sheppard is a regular scene-stealer as the clever, badass demon, and it's easier to do so with kick-ass one-liners and being a character that always has the upperheand and secret weapon. It's a far greater feat to do so as a man who's created centuries of mayhem and murder, and is slowly feeling the remorse.
Sam's answer is simple and breathtaking. "How about we start with this?" He lifts the syringe and Crowley bares his neck willingly. Considering the entire awful saga started with Sammy's blood that was once tainted, but is now pure, it's a perfectly poignant moment for both characters.
On the angel front, everything is descending into chaos. Naomi has dug deep into Metatron's brain and has fled Heaven to corner Castiel and Dean and plead her case. Metatron wants revenge on Heaven for being cast out. The shady crackhead angel wants to exile the angels to earth. When Castiel doesn't bite, she appeals to Dean. "Our mission is to protect what God created. I don't know when we forgot that. If Sam completes those trials, he is going to die. I saw it in Metatron's head....the ultimate sacrifice," she explains with tears in her eyes.
Naomi has manipulated and tortured herself into a corner, and Castiel doesn't believe her. Dean, however, cannot take that chance. He orders Castiel to teleport back to the church, and flies inside to stop Sam who is lit up like a glowworm anf poised to finish the spell with the final exorcism. “You finish this trial, you're dead, Sam."
Sam is crazed and so determined to finish that he merely shrugs, “So?” Oh, listen to that, it’s the sound of “Supernatural” obliterating my soul for the millionth time this season.
Throughout all this, Castiel is in Heaven to save Marv. Metatron had killed Naomi with her own weapon of choice, and he uses his angel blade to steal Castiel’s essence and grace. The tasks Castiel had completed, killing the nephilum and retrieving Cupid’s bow, weren’t tasks from the angel tablet, they were a spell used to expel angels from Heaven. “And now something wonderful is going to happen. I want you to live this new life to the fullest, find a wife, make babies, and when you die and your soul comes back to Heaven, find me and tell me your story." Heaven’s English teacher, like most, is a raving lunatic.
Meanwhile, Sam is basically arguing for his own demise. “Look how close we are. Other people will die if we don’t finish this!” Dean always thinks fast and simplifies when his little brother’s life is on the line. “Think about what we know, pulling souls from hell, curing demons, ganking a hellhound. We have enough knowledge on our side to turn the tide here. I can’t do it without you.”
Jared Padalecki absolutely slays in the emotional crescendo of the season, tearing into a moment that’s been coming since “Lazarus Rising”—the birth of Dean and Castiel’s “profound” and now widely shipped bond. “You can’t barely do it with me. You think I screw up everything I try. You think I need a chaperone, remember. You want to know what I confessed in there, what my greatest sin was: how many times I let you down. I can’t do that again. What happens when you decide I can’t be trusted again. Who are you going to turn to next time instead of me another angel, another vampire?” Jensen Ackles is known of his One Perfect Tear, but Jared Padalecki is an impressively real crier and drips all over the scene. I always complain because we are rarely given an insight to Sam’s inner monologue, but know I know why…when he finally speaks, I want to flung myself off a building to escape his pain.
The chemistry between these Padalecki and Ackles is the magic that his kept his show going to eight years, before the fancy CGI and trench-coated angels. Jensen easily rises to meet his co-star’s performance with desperation covered by big brother composure. “I've know I've said some junk that's set your back on your heels but Sammy, come on, I killed Benny to save you. I’m willing to let this bastard and all those sons of bitches that killed mom walk because of you. Don’t you dare think that there’s anything past or present that I would ever put in front of you. I need you to see that. I’m begging you.” With one final look at an almost cured Crowley, Sam wonders how he can stop. “Let it go, brother,” Dean says with a fond smile and another warm hug. It works for about a millisecond and then Sam’s sinking to his knees, crying out.
It’s a beautiful sentiment that Dean would put Sam, his brother, above The Greater Good. Although it does feel a little disheartening that the door to hell will remain open after an entire season of trying to close it. Dean drags an ailing Sam out of the church but he only collapses by the Impala’s fender. With a howl of wind (and the antiquated machines sparking up at the Batcave), the sky begins to shake and golden orbs begin to fall from the sky. It’s oddly beautiful until a brilliant special-effects shot shows that it’s an angel plummeting. Its wings are burning and they eventually detach and disappear, leaving the angel to splash down unheeded. A now mortal Castiel watches as his already broken home is forever destroyed. “What’s happenin’?” Sam gasps. Dean turns skyward, baffled. “Angels…they’re falling.”
Will Sam ever the same after abandoning the trials? Is Crowley forever changed since he was 98% cured? Is Castiel actually mortal? Is Sheriff Rhodes still alive? All these will be answered in four agonizingly long months from now.
This season has been one of the best in years and the same can be said for the finale that was as suspenseful as it was jam-packed with feels and broments. From “Lazarus Rising” to “Ghostfacers,” this episode was an exquisite A+. What did you think of the finale? Share your comments below!
Thank you so much for entertaining my fantactical thoughts on this crazy show. See you in the fall!
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