Episode 09×10 AKA The Episode When Crowley Proves He’s Awesome
Hello, Hunters! It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time to talk about the Winchesters. We’ve been on Hellatus for the past few weeks, and honestly? I was worried that this episode wouldn’t live up to snuff. So I went in blind. That’s right. I avoided all promos, photos, clips…everything. And you know what? I loved it. The episode made me laugh, made me swoon, and as only SPN can do, made me cry great big giant tears full of Winchester feels.
“Holy Terror“, the midseason finale, left us with angst, and “Road Trip” picks up right where episode 9 left off: with the angstiest of angst, brought to us by none other than the King of Angst, Dean Winchester. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had plenty of time to think about how Kevin Tran’s death would affect the older Winchester, and I’m sad to say I was right: Dean trashes the bunker. Luckily, recently re-mojoed Castiel shows up, and then there were some #profoundbond feels (and yes, that hashtag did trend worldwide last night). Can I just say that my little fangirl heart did the happy cha-cha-cha to see her favorite hunter and angel reunited?
Meanwhile, Gadreel is in Sam’s body meeting up with some old friends. This season has more mastermind villains than I can shake a stick at, but I think that Metatron is crowned King of the Evil Ones, mostly because he ordered Kevin Tran’s death (can I say how much I miss Osric Chau?). Anyway, Gadreel is sent by Metatron to kill Thaddeus, who is inhabiting a Justin Bieber-wannabe. Oh, sometimes I love how real life meets up with fandom.
So Metatron hates pop music, and is a royal douchebag, but all this pales in the return of TAHMOH PENIKETT to the SPN family. Oh yes, I fangirled hard when I saw Gadreel’s former vessel tending bar for Metatron. Just ask the Collectiva Diva.
The poor giant baby’s in trouble again, isn’t he?” -Crowley
Back in the bunker, after what I assume was a giant snuggly comfort-fest between Cas and Dean, the angel comes up with a plan: if they can gain access to Sam’s mind, they can convince him give Gadreel an eviction notice. The best part of the plan? They need Crowley to do it, because the King of Hell is a specialist in angelic lobotomies.
I was a little surprised that Crowley agreed to help, but the guy sees an opportunity to get out of the bunker and he takes it. After a short side trip to see one of Crowley’s minions (AKA she who inspired my new nickname for Castiel: “Captain Sexypants”), they manage to track Gadreel via the Impala to a house in Pennsylvania. (Sidenote: Dear writers, this was a missed opportunity to have Dean, Cas, and Crowley sassing each other while they drove for hundreds of miles in Castiel’s Pimp-mobile…somebody write that fanfiction please).
The house in Pennsylvania belongs to a former angel named Abner, also known as Gadreel’s former bestie. Who he then kills. Dean & co infiltrate the house, and in one moment of super-mega-sexy-badassery, Castiel K.O.s Gadreel with a well-timed sucker punch. I swooned.
They chain up Gadreel-as-Sam and let Crowley work on him. Crowley pokes and prods Sam’s brain until they discover the true identity of the angelic intruder, at which point Castiel loses his shit because hey, this is the angel that fucked up the universe and caused the apocalypse and whatnot. The boys then realize that there’s no way to get to Sam’s mind while Gadreel is in there, until Crowley says that he can possess Sam and tell him to kick the feathery bastard out, which he willingly do in exchange for his freedom. At this point, I was very, very nervous. Why would Crowley be so willing to help? Hello, this is the King of Hell! Trustworthy is not in the job description.
Oddly enough, Crowley keeps his word more frequently than the Winchesters do.
Sam serves up the eviction notice and Team Free Will is back in business. Sort of. Not really. Sam is still really broken inside but fixable, according to Castiel. Gadreel repossesses that one sexy ass of a bartender played by Tahmoh Penikett, and Metatron doesn’t look to happy about it. Shoulda taken out the Winchesters when you had the chance, buddy. Now it’s personal.
And, in true SPN fashion, more shit goes down in one hour than on any other show. Abaddon, Queen of Bad Assness, and Crowley finally have their showdown. Oh man, I’ve been waiting for this one all season.
The episode then ends with Dean apologising to Sam, and then driving away by himself in the Impala. There’s more to it than that, but I’ll get there in a bit.
What This Episode Reveals About the Winchesters
We didn’t get much Sam in this episode, but what we did get was powerful. When we first see Sam trapped in the dreamscape that Gadreel has set up for him, he is 100% about the family business. Yet once Crowley shows up, it doesn’t take him long to figure out that not everything is what it seems, and he gets with the program quickly and tosses Gadreel out on his metaphysical butt. The next time we really see Sam, he’s telling Dean he’s pissed and that he was ready to die during the trials. Now, we’d pretty much assumed that from the season premiere, but to hear Sam say it aloud to Dean? I think he was a lot more ready to cross over to the other side than we all thought, and that hurts my feels a helluva lot.
This episode was Dean-centric, and it seems I predicted correctly: Dean Winchester has bought a one-way ticket on a self-inflicted Guilt Trip. Guilt for what he did to Sam, guilt for kicking Cas out of the bunker (the Collectiva Diva and I are still pissed about that one), and ultimately, guilt for Kevin’s death. Add that to the slew of previous guilt, and you have a recipe for the-world-carried-on-Dean’s-shoulders. We all knew that Dean was going to shoulder a lot of blame, but I didn’t expect him to leave his baby brother, the man he has killed for and gone to hell for, so he can drive off to the Land of Self-Loathing. Dean is feeling more guilt than even I would expect, but this brings me to a more interesting point in last night’s episode: Dean’s relationship with Castiel.
“Road Trip” showed us a Castiel who is not blindly following and cleaning up after the Winchesters, but rather a Cas who is fighting side-by-side with his friends. Dean and Cas both apologize to each other in a thoroughly adorable moment–“What do you say we’re both dumbasses?” says Castiel. The Profound Bond (and you can infer its romantic or platonic qualities yourself) is strong, and this is absolutely shown in the final scene of the episode: Castiel stays with Sam when Dean does not. To me, this is a friendship so strong that Cas knew that Dean would want him to protect Sam without Dean even saying so. Also, because Cas is an adopted Winchester and knows Moose shouldn’t be left unattended. He might lose a shoe.
The Big Picture
Well, Metatron is a bigger dickwad than anyone foresaw. He’s playing Gadreel like a fiddle. He’s shut down the Prophet-maker (does this mean that Kevin will return???) and his plan to take over heaven is a lot more all-encompassing than I would have guessed. He’s already locked up the Pearly Gates, so why is he so interested in finishing off the fallen angels? I smell a liar. Believe you me, he’s going to cause nothing but pain and suffering for Winchester and Co.
The overarching theme of the season is “I did what I had to do.” I’ve heard the phrase at least a half dozen times, and the goal of the writers seems to be to get every character into an impossible situation that they have to claw their way out of. What this means, Dean, baby, is you gotta stop trusting people who are not named Sam or Castiel.
In other news, I’m still waiting for that cage match between Crowley and Abaddon.
Until next week, Hunter friends, when we will see Dean Winchester team up with the King of Hell. I bet the script will be nothing but sass and sarcastic pop culture references.