'Supernatural' Recap: Welcome To Poughkeepsie
January 15th, 2014 1:03pm EST
Congrats, you survived the holidays, the Polar Vortex, the television hiatuses, and the seventeen "I don't have anything prepared!!" speeches at "The Golden Globes." Your reward is this week's stunning episode of "Supernatural." "Road Trip" was the intensely poetic and extremely timely conclusion to the first half of the season in which Sam finally learns he's been touched by an angel; Dean deals with the consequences of his impulsive and desperate decision to save his brother; and Kevin Tran is still dead.
Admittedly, I wasn't happy with the reveal that Sam was once again possessed by a sinister angel, and that anger has festered during the break. I am violated on Sam's behalf. But the matter at hand is to rescue Sam from the monster in his own body. "Sam is strong," Castiel tells Dean. "If he knew an angel was possessing him, he could cast the angel out." The only way to do that is to track down Sam and beseech Crowley strip the angel to his factory settings. Crowley demands an outing in return, so the three of them head to a NSA Listening Post disguised as a trendy corporate firm.
The industrious king of hell planted a quirky demon in its ranks and uses her to fill him on what's happened while he's been held captive and to find the Impala in Somerset, Pennsylvania. Everyone piles in Castiel's pimped out ride to make chase. Please note that Dean did not let anyone ride shotgun. While Redbull will give you wings, another angel's grace does not. Meanwhile, Gadreel is still working through Metatron's hit list. After gleefully murdering an angel wearing Bieber-esque pop singer with hair so douchey, it makes my teeth hurt, he must kill a familyman, who is really Gadreel's best friend and cellmate from angelic prison. The two talk, and while Gadreel is emboldened with righteous rage, there is a large part of him that just wants to be redeemed, and doesn't want to hurt anyone. As much as I don't trust Gadreel, he's not a bad
Abner, the angel possessing an abusive husband, speaks of righting the wrongs. He boasts that to obtain happiness "there is always a price, but it's worth paying." To a half-crazy angel, that sounds like permission to finish the deed, so he can be second-in-command of Metatron’s elitist heaven.
Luckily, Dean and Castiel ambush him, and drag him to the nearest torture-ready warehouse.
It's stomach-turning to watch Crowley tear into Sam's brain. Jared Padalecki has turned in phenomenal performances this season, especially when considering the complexities of the characters he’s played, but I almost wish he wasn't so convincing during these scenes. Dean stands it for longer than I could. He walks away and asks Castiel how he's feeling. This was the most heartbreaking scene of the episode for yours truly. Not only because of the half-sobbed, "I want to talk about anything that's not a demon sticking needles into my brother's brain”; but also because of the fact that Dean just needs someone to big brother. Castiel looks off-kilter. The trenchcoat he's wearing is the perfect metaphor for his grace. It's ill-fitting and too dark. It's not his, and it shows.
Fortunately for this blogger, who is half-under the table because Sam's animalistic screams are far more horrifying than anything I’ve ever seen this season, the torture isn't working. The trio quickly poke holes in Plan B (Castiel possessing Sam) and move right on to Plan C. "Demons can take what they want," Crowley brags. Of course, Crowley wants his freedom in return for saving Sam. Dean instantly agrees.
Gadreel and Crowley gear up for the ultimate cage match between good and evil. "Eat me," Crowley snarks before red smoke coils out of his mouth and into Sam's. Sam has more celestial beings inside of him than heaven itself.
Crowley commits to the task of freeing Sam from his own mind. He drops the code word, ineffectually shoots Sam in the chest, and chews on the scenery: "Cast that punk ass holy roller out!" This scene was written and executed with such passion on Crowley’s part, it harkened back to the humanity he displayed back at the church last season. Sadly, none of it works. What does work? Is Tahmoh Penikett's Gadreel appearing to jeer and lambast Sam for being weak. They fight, and it's pretty epic. Sam finally clobbers Gadreel in the face with something heavy and metal and pins him with his size 31s. "Get the hell out!" he commands.
After 10 episodes, dozens of lies and one dead prophet, Sammy is finally back.
But so is Abbadon! Crowley offers to confront her while Sam, Dean and Castiel escape. If you are waiting for a smackdown between Crowley and Abbadon, you may be disappointed. The two simply size each other up and insult each other like exes. Crowley decides that their battle for leader of hell is "a campaign. The demons have a choice: take orders from the world's angriest ginger or join my team, where everyone gets a say, a virgin and all the entrails they can eat. Vote Crowley." His instant vanish is the best mic drop I've ever seen. Does he have your vote?
Of course, it's time for another angst-filled break-up in the rain. Inexplicably, Sam is somehow on his feet and maintains the energy to glare at Dean, and broken ask about Kevin. Dean is guilty, but self-righteously so. He yammers on about how he's "poison" and he wants to track Gadreel down and kill him, but without Sam. Sam merely shrugs and tells him to go. He knows that's not Dean's problem, but Dean needs to figure out what that issue is. Obviously, the fallout from this nuclear bomb will play out over the rest of the season. Sam has been known to couch his anger, instead of exploding. I hope he eventually expresses it, loudly and with his fists. Please don't mistake my anger as hatred. I will always heart Dean, but he made a catastrophic mistake and he will have to learn to live with the fallout like Sam and Castiel have.
“Road Trip” was an excellent journey to rescue Sam from the clutches of a deceitful angel, and easily the best episode of the season. It also worked to establish to further the trajectory of the season for our big bads and the Winchesters.
What did you think of this episode? Why does Metatron need the angel tablet when there are no more prophets to read them? Will Castiel ever get his true back? How will Sam ever forgive Dean? Hit up the comment section below!
Next week, tune in for a buddy comedy “Supernatural” style! Watch the promo below!
Photo Credits: The CW Network LLC