I could write a book about this episode. That’s pretty funny, considering books play a significant part of the story. Heh, so do stories. 😀
What confused me? 1) Initially I didn’t catch that Kevin Tran was on a set; 2) I thought Metatron was some sort of monsterish being (turns out that’s Megatron); 3) Kevin angel-glowing as Crowley choked him. (Yes, it was quickly explained, but I was still confused.) What I was not confused about: Naomi is an even bigger bitch than anything I could have imagined.
Three separate (but related) stories in three separate locations: have we ever had that before? Two maybe, but three?
The Winchesters receive an email video of Kevin, saying he’s dead. It’s like that email they got from Frank in season… 6? Turns out Kevin isn’t really dead. He’s been captured by Crowley (in an episode whose review is still sitting in my drafts folder), and his memory wiped clean to think he’s still on Garth’s “houseboat” (that’s more boat than house). But once again, Kevin proves he’s much more resourceful than expected. The best scene in this scenario: Kevin blasts fake!Dean and fake!Sam with fake!holy water.
Naomi finally catches Castiel by murdering numerous innocent Biggerson’s patrons and employees. We’ve known all season she’s not a very nice angel, but this was over the top. I’m sure it was meant to show her power and determination, but it made me kind of sick to my stomach. In the end, Crowley scares her away before Castiel can tell her where the angel tablet is. Not that he would have.
Crowley, on the other hand, figures out that Castiel has hidden the tablet inside his torso. So Crowley performs a little ad hoc surgery to pull it out. I’m highly enjoying Castiel this season. Even when tortured, he’s strong and resourceful, while still maintaining a level of humanity no other angel seems to have. Hanging around Dean must have done him some good. 🙂
Pouring through the data Kevin has automatically forwarded, Sam recognizes a symbol Kevin called the “signature of Metatron” as a mark used by the Two Rivers tribe of American Indians.* Thus, the Winchesters travel to… Colorado?… in search of an answer to what the third trial may be. Dean learns the lore of the Great Spirit’s messenger bestowing many blessings on the Two Rivers tribe in return for “offerings,” which turn out to be stories. Sam sees crates and boxes of books being delivered to a room in their hotel-of-the-week. Then he passes out from a fever of 107.
Once cooled down, Sam and Dean check out the mysterious room. It’s crammed with more books than Bobby ever had. Metatron turns out to be a slightly pudgy, cardigan-wearing low-level angel. He explains what may be the secret to Naomi and her desperate search for the angel tablet. When God disappeared, the archangels decided to take over the universe. To do so, they needed the word of God, and therefore Metatron (since they apparently can’t read the tablets). He’s been hiding from them ever since.
I sort of understand Metatron’s caution, and certainly thank him for not letting the archangels rule (since they’ve turned out be not the most benevolent of beings), but the Winchesters are furious. They’re especially upset that he’s left Kevin to flap in the wind. Fortunately, they shame him into saving Kevin, who’s ready to die rather than tell Crowley what he knows. The bonus? Metatron badly burns Crowley, a welcome sight after Crowley’s had so much success this season.
The final trial, it’s revealed, is to “cure a demon,” although no one’s really sure what that means. In the end, the Winchesters apparently leave Kevin with Metatron and head back to their lair. They find Castiel lying in the middle of the road, bloody and battered from his ordeals with Naomi and Crowley.
And so we head into the season’s last two episodes. Will they really be able to close the gates of hell? Wouldn’t it be a bit premature, given there’s to be a 9th season? What is it going cost both Sam and Dean? Metatron asks Dean, “What is it going to take to do this? And what will the world be like after it’s done?” Gosh, I may have answered my own question (as to what season 9 will be). What remains is what the toll will be.
I realize I’ve left a lot out, like Sam’s head “resonating with the word of God,” his belief that the trials are cleansing him of his demon blood, and his memory of the “farty donkey” Dean rode to the base the Grand Canyon.
Ok, it turns out I can’t let it go unsaid:
- So, Sam believes the trials are cleansing him of the demon blood. He was talking about the Yellow-Eyed Demon blood from his infant days, yes? If I were Sam, I’d be much more concerned about all the demon blood I drank—of my own volition—during season 4. I’m just sayin’.
- Personally, I do not care that Sam relating the farty donkey story contradicted what Dean said way back in season 2, about visiting the Grand Canyon before he died. Because a) sweating the details can ruin one’s enjoyment of the larger story; b) since Dean doesn’t remember any of Sam’s stories, maybe Sam is hallucinating (I doubt it, but it’s possible); and c) the farty donkey story was hilarious.
- I don’t really have anything special to say about the mega-tinnitus.
- However! I loved Castiel’s history lesson on humans’ relationship with coffee. Apparently goats like caffine, too.
Lastly, a public Service Announcement: I made a few American Indian cyber-friends during my Benjamin Bratt days, and asked what they prefer to be called. It’s American Indian, not Native American since anyone born in the USA is a native American. Besides, the Smithsonian calls their museum the “National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI).” The more you know…