A bit of nostalgic fun returns as Supernatural plays with a few nonsensical red herrings complete with a welcomed cameo and a taste of finale’s to come.
Metatron seemingly invites the audience to partake in a story he’s writing detailing events with Sam, Dean, and Castiel. After Cas discovers dead angels surrounding a symbol, he and the Winchesters track Gadriel to Ogden. Sam and Dean trap Gadriel while Castiel is reunited with Gabriel who admits he faked his own death and hid away until the fall. He wants to resume his leadership role and convinces Cas to join him. They reach a gas station and are confronted by Metatron’s angels. Gabriel attempts to suade Cas in leading the renegade angels but Cas realizes through a continuity error that Gabriel isn’t real and that his trip was a set up. He then wakes tied up in a room with Metatron who informs him that Cas will play the villain in his story that he’s writing.
Sam leaves Dean alone with Gadriel to search for Cas and encounters Metatron who agrees to a trade, Cas for Gadriel. Meanwhile, Dean suffers more from Cain’s scar and nearly kills Gadriel but stops himself as Sam arrives to explain the trade. At Cas’s hotel, they attempt to trap Metatron who feigns capture and reveals he can’t be trapped. He still follows through with the trade and looks forward to seeing what Sam, Dean, and Cas will do. Cas discovers the mark of Cain on Dean and grows worried. Gadriel momentarily questions Metatron’s plan and Cas creates the symbol he saw earlier which calls many of the renegade angels to him as he succumbs to his role as their leader.
I’ll admit, I fell for Gabriel’s return up until he and Cas began driving. Something didn’t add up with the way Gabriel left his voicemail to the Winchesters. That felt a little too strange for a happenstance reunion of the trickster archangel. Luckily, it turned out to be a ruse. I did however appreciate Gabriel’s eyebrow nod with Castiel’s questions with whether Gabriel truly survived or not. Realistically, I’m hoping no. As much as I’d enjoy more trickster goodness and savvy puns, Gabriel needed to die by Lucifer’s hands and stay dead. That would be a 4 1/2 year let down otherwise and I’m certain some fans wouldn’t like the retcon regardless if it brought him back or not.
I’m also hoping I understood the reference correctly with Metatron burning one of Chuck’s books. I know for eons there’s still the theory that Chuck “could” be God, even though I’m fairly certain that’s been unofficially debunked. Metatron still referenced God being a “first draft” kind of character. There’s dramatic irony in there but the main thing I take away from this is that Metatron burns a story that happened and prepares to write his own. Even if Chuck was more than he seems, Metatron wants to own the story and write it to his advantage. Does this mean the angel tablet indeed has given him super dominion over the plot of the show? It’s interesting to think about. Metatron prefers to think of stories as what drives us, humans and supernatural alike. He understands rewrites and uses several writing terms to explain parts of the plot to Cas. He also infused Cas with all his movie and book knowledge, which I hope comes in handy in future episodes with Cas’s awkward reactions to pop culture of the past and present.
The mark of Cain was left a bit in the dust in this episode. Keeping it attached on Dean’s radar is fine, but removing the moment when Dean chooses to not kill Gadriel…again, but the wrong move. It would have made more sense if the whole scene centered around Dean feeling like he needed to kill Gadriel because of the mark and not after the fact. For beat purposes I get the pacing of the episode as Sam needed a chance to drive back and find Dean in his bloodied position, but leaving that scene out felt rushed and unnecessary. I hold no love for Gadriel and even though it seems Gadriel may be on some cusp with questioning Metatron’s plan, it still doesn’t matter. He crossed the brothers and won’t be trusted ever again. Even Cas’s discovery of the mark was barely handled with nothing more than a vague warning to Sam to “keep an eye on him” If Cas knows the destructive capability of the mark and got upset when he found out, he should be doing a lot more than just giving idle warnings. Maybe he doesn’t know truly what will happen to Dean but it felt very shoehorned in for this episode.
Still no demon/angel crossover plot yet. I’m beginning to feel like Supernatural is divided between two shows. The Winchesters are surrounded by many enemies but the real fight between Angel and Demon has yet to begin. I’m just hoping it still does at this point. I don’t want to see separate resolutions without some kind of epic battle between the two. Maybe it’s a season ten thing, I’m not sure. That sure feels like it would be dragging a bit. Abaddon and Metatron need to have a few serious scenes together, I’m sure they’d steal the entire episode if they did.
Overall, I enjoyed the direction “Meta Fiction” went. It wasn’t too over the top with pop-culture puns, or dense full of self title references. One can never tell where Metatron’s “meta” schtick starts and stops, but throwing in Gabriel for a few moments was a positive and proved to show that the show hasn’t forgotten one of the better angels of the series. Only one episode remains before “Bloodlines” begins. Who will appear? Who will steal the show? How connected will Sam and Dean be in the beginning, if at all? Lot’s of questions coming our way. Stay tuned for the next installments.
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