Metatron’s machinations have spelled the lowest point for our heroes, Sam and Dean as Castiel’s army of angels switch sides in light of Metatron’s dark scheme. There’s a bit of unsavory residue lingering on the both Dean’s bloodthirsty attitude and Metatron’s manipulating tactics. Our good-natured team is falling apart at the seams with captain crazy holding the one knife to rule them all. Is Gadriel the latest victim of Dean’s surrealistic psychosis? Only one more episode left to deal everyone’s fate card.
After a loyal angel of Cas is found dead, Sam, Dean, and the other angels discover that the angel, Orin, and others, have been sacrificing themselves to destroy Metatron’s follwers in the name of Cas. Castiel denies involvement as Sam tracks the mole of the group, Josiah. Dean sends Sam with Cas to investigate while he interrogates an angel, Flagstaff about Orin’s allies. Flagstaff mentions Constantine and Tessa, the reaper who once helped Dean in the past. Dean tracks her down and brings her to Cas’s HQ for questioning.
Meanwhile, Sam and Cas discover an abandoned structure in Montana and search it. Inside they find a room laughingly pictured as a heaven and are fooled by one of Metatron’s notes left for Cas. They find Josiah who is badly burned but conscious enough to declare he just wants to die and go home. After he dies, Sam and Cas return to his HQ.
Tessa tells Dean that she couldn’t stand hearing the screams of all the lost souls trapped outside of heaven and agreed to be a sacrifice for Castiel. When Dean threatens her with the first blade, she impales herself and thanks him before dying. Hannah and other angels blame Dean for murder and tie him up. When Sam and Cas return, Sam argues with Dean about secretly keeping the blade close as Cas receives a video call from Metatron, explaining that he survived one of Cas’s sacrificial angel bombings and offers Cas’s angels amnesty if they switch sides. He also tells them that Cas has stolen grace.
Hannah attempts to let Cas prove himself to his angels and tells him to punish Dean, but Cas refuses and all the angels leave to join Metatron. Gadriel then confronts Metatron about his dark plan, which Metatron explains as necessary. Back at the Men of Letters HQ, Gadriel goes to the team and offers his help, but Dean decides to slash Gadriel’s chest with the first blade as Cas and Sam attempt to hold him back.
Playing into the episode’s abrupt end, I can see Gadriel’s on borrowed time unless Cas expels more of his grace to heal that wound. Coming from the first blade, I’m not sure that’s a doable option, but never underestimate Cas’s ability to give what he owns for the greater good.
This episode brought to light a constant theme for the angels, in that they inevitably have to follow something or someone to maintain their existence. Metatron exposed this to a large degree. There is a bit of consistency issues in this type of story, only in that angels, like Castiel, Gabriel, and a few others, can dislodge from the mainframe of Heaven’s ideals. They can attain free will, even if it’s quirky will. Choices remain for any characters who at least appear human. In the long run, you can have a few interesting angelic characters, but not all the angels can be interesting. It’s time to wrap this angel season up and move on to more illogical constancies.
True to form, Dean places his emotions and gut instincts into his own plan and has made himself the permanent stick in the mud. I feel bad for Sam. Even when he was forced to tell Dean that their status as brothers was a low ball moment, Dean’s treatment of his brother as of late had been rather staunchly rude and unfair. Sam’s always going to be the more sensible of the two given reason and determination. Dean was called out by an angel over his violent methods, and Dean only grinned as he does in knowing, his violence is necessary in the world they live in. I’m not proud with what Dean has become and what he’ll turn into if he falls further. Killing Metatron only serves to push Dean deeper down the hole, unless Cain or Cas or some other character can remove that mark. Since Supernatural tends to offer cliffhangers as the seasonal prize for watching, I don’t expect a truly happy ending for anyone.
What’s missing, and I’ve stated it before, is a ransack of angels and demons vying for control. What better way to fool Metatron and his colossal writing ability than to have Sam and Dean ally with Crowley and his demons to ruin Metatron in exchange for whatever demons want nowadays. There’s plenty of bait and switch opportunities here and it gives Crowley reason to be in the finale. Maybe if there wasn’t a greenlight for season 10, an angel demon war to end all wars would have been a fine setting for a real finale. Aw well, until next year.
Let’s discuss Tessa for a bit. Her death, very much mirrored the death of Meg, in that, it completely felt unnecessary and pointless. Meg, I’m certain had a bigger fan base, but there wasn’t any reason to involve Tessa in this mess. The first blade must be amazingly strong if it can ruin a reaper. Hannah should have been more angry at Dean killing someone like Flagstaff and not Tessa. The effect, seems to be that Metatron has influence and can affect more than just angels. If that’s the case, he should have dome more with that and I’m certain Tessa’s death is just a one off considering the circumstances. Still, I liked Tessa for the few episodes she guest starred in, just like I enjoyed Meg’s character. More and more major and minor characters are being removed. As long as they never take out Death himself, then we’ll be good.
Overall, “Stairway to Heaven” wasn’t played to be a mystery. We knew that Metatron was playing Cas the entire time. We didn’t even need a scene of Metatron wearing a coat like Cas to seal that connection. It was just painfully obvious. Did that make this an inefficient episode? Not quite. Angel characters in abundance are boring, plain and simple. Cas is quirky and unintentionally funny, but droves of angels lack a certain resonance that continue to shape poorly. There aren’t any notable angels left to introduce. Gadriel was clever because his role was important, even if he himself wasn’t. That’s the only reason why I think the angel plot needs to end. There are still demon stories to tell and demons are what drove the show the first three seasons before angels started appearing. At least they made an impact then.
Sam and Dean need to get their act together. Dean is falling off of the map big time, and killing Metatron won’t put him back in order. Something else needs to be done and fast or Sam is going to end up the final sacrifice and put Dean in the darkest place he’s ever been. They’ve both been to hell and back. There’s no reason to make it a roundtrip for either one.
No more words