Supernatural S09E22 Review: "Stairway to Heaven"

With Abaddon finally dispatched last week, all that remains is for Castiel and his band of merry angels to track down Metatron and his portable stairway to heaven. With a little help from the brothers of course. Unfortunately, Dean is more a crazy loose cannon with a knife that kills anything right now than any kind of ally, and Castiel's refusal to stop protecting him may cost him everything.

I really loved almost everything that happened this week, with the exception of the "reapers are angels" nonsense that I'll get to in a minute. The highlight of the episode is almost certainly Metatron's jealousy over Castiel's popularity. Metatron is basically someone who was bullied in high school and then later became a rich and powerful jerk. Now no matter what awful things he does to other people, he still has this internal narrative of himself as a victim and underdog. His position in this episode is literally "Sure I killed a bunch of angels and booted the rest from their home, but I'm the good guy. Why don't they love me?"

The irony is that when he was describing the writer's trick that he was implementing to undo Cas, he was really narrating his own downfall. If he had been satisfied with having all of the powers of heaven, if he had simply retreated with his chosen few, he probably would've gotten away with it. Because he was so preoccupied with winning the popularity that he was denied his whole life, he got greedy and pushed too far. Gadreel couldn't live with knowing that he was complicit in brainwashing the suicide bomber angels, and his willingness to give Team Free Will information on Metatron will surely be his undoing. Provided of course, Dean doesn't manage to kill him first.

The one issue I have with what went down this week was the Tessa of it all. While in other places Reapers are described as Angels of Death, in the history of Supernatural they have always been treated as a thing apart. We knew about Reapers before angels were even thought to have exist. They work for Death, who as it has been established, may even be older than God in this universe, and certainly not created by Him. This retcon certainly clarifies a lot of other weird choices that the writers have made concerning Reapers this season, but I definitely don't like it any better.

This week is a really solid set up for what is sure to be a crazy finale. As crazy as it would be, I'm starting to wonder if all of this isn't leading to Dean as next season's big bad. That would definitely be a fresh new direction and, if handled well, very interesting. However, I'm not really sure how that would play with the fanbase. A lot of people have followed this show for nine years for the simple reason that they love the brothers and all of their interactions. This season of extreme discord has already stretched some to the breaking point, and if they were to be pitted against each other permanently, I'm not sure how much of the original show would be left standing.

Some Thoughts:

  • Metatron trying on a trench coat, as if it would give him the key to all of Castiel's powers and appeal, was one of the funniest moments of the season. It certainly was a great reminder that while he's playing God now, he's just a glorified secretary gone mad with power.
  • Only Misha Collins could deliver the "Seven is a prime number and can be intimidating" line with a straight face. Thank God that he's been confirmed as a season regular for season 10
  • I'm glad that Sam and Cas are getting more scenes together. It means more fodder for the season 9 blooper reel, given that Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins are actual children who can't keep it straight together.
  • Someone needs to lock Dean up and let him cool off. He's worse than Sam tripping out on demon blood.
  • Given that they're bringing Reapers into this fight like they belong there, I hope they at least take the excuse to have Death back. He's one of the absolute best Supernatural characters to date.
  • While we're at it, Cain would be an awfully helpful person right now, if only to talk us through exactly what's happening with Dean.
  • I'm thinking that Castiel will be giving up his Grace permanently by the end of the season, and next year we will have Human!Cas in all of his glory returned to us.
  • I really hope that someone throws Cas a bone at the end of all this and gives him a somewhat happy ending. Poor guy really can't catch a break, in spite of all his good intentions.
  • I find it incredibly sweet that even after Dean completely throws him under the bus, refuses to trust him and goes crazy with blood lust, Castiel still refuses to turn on him. In a room full of characters saying that they "just do what they have to do" Castiel is the one who is finally standing up and saying enough.
  • In better news, the Supernatural Bloodlines spinoff has been cancelled! Thank God good taste prevails. Let's mark it up as a crazy fever dream and never speak of it again.

Quote of the Night:
Sam: "You hold a roll call?"
Cas: "They like to hear me say their names."
Dean: "I've known a few women like that.