Friday, May 10, 2013

Supernatural, Season 8, Episode 22: Clip Show


Tommy Collins – survivor of the Wendigo attack way, way back in Season 1, Episode 2, - has been encouraged to take a holiday in a cabin in the Colorado wilderness by his girlfriend. And he hears growling – never a good thing in Supernatural world.  He’s prepared for Wendigo attack! He grabs his blow torch and is ready to burn it – when he started bleeding from the ears, from the eyes and his head explodes. Well, that’s just unsporting.

At the Wincester Cave there’s a lot of walking wounded going on. Sam is feeling all kinds of fugly because of his trials and Castiel is healing slowly from his blessed bullet wound. And Dean is still really angry with Castiel. The angel tries to apologise for “everything” and Dean itemises that “everything” – it’s a long list which ends with the fact he didn’t trust Dean. Dean isn’t accepting that apology. Even Sam wants Dean to go easy on Castiel – though Dean points out he wouldn’t tolerate what Castiel did from anyone else, so why him. Sam’s only answer is “because it’s Cas!”

This is an acceptable reason.
Dean and Sam go looking for more research to help them with the next trail – curing a demon – and find a hidden room with a devil’s trap on the floor and chains covered in the same kind of symbols. It’s a room to imprison a demon. Well ain’t that convenient! Dean is inappropriately pleased that their cave has a dungeon.

Anyway the special research turns out to be a film reel – movie night! Yes they get popcorn, of course they get popcorn. It shows the 1950s with the Men of Letters trying out a new exorcism (and try to get insurance for THAT job – exorcism tester on Supernatural!). And the person filming it is the woman who was possessed by Abaddon. They see a possessed woman chained up in the same chains as they have in their dungeon

Hey, remember when the Winchesters used to exorcise innocent possession victims rather than just stabbing them unto death? I think it was back in season 5.

The exorcism doesn’t seem to go as planned – it also involves a priest feeding the demon his blood – resulting in a missing demon and a dead possessed demon with her chest exploded messily. They also changed the words of the exorcism – including the Latin word for “cleanse”. The older priest is now long dead but the younger one is still alive – and since it’s new and freaky (and it came to their attention through convoluted narrative necessity) it’s worth checking out.

Road trip – but first Dean tells Castiel he can’t come. Not because of his injury – Sam’s worse off – but because Dean doesn’t trust him and is still angry with him. Awww, poor Cas.

How can you be mad with that face?
Speaking to the now elderly priest he tells them that Father Thompson was convinced they could cleanse demons – who are, after all, just the twisted souls of humans and he knows that Father Thompson continued his research even after the other priest left, unable to stomach it. Dean also has a big “Sam can do it!” moment telling us he’s fully behind Sam completing the trials and is sure he can do it. Even if he is falling apart.

Meanwhile Castiel is shopping – and it looks like he’s putting together a care package for Dean judging by the items: Dean’s preferred pornography, junk food and… tissues. Oh dear. He causes a small amount of chaos for the poor shop assistant and then threatens him with violence when he says they have no pie. He is saved by the intervention of Metatron.

Metatron wants a friend! An angel he can talk to who is something of a free thinker (though he hasn’t learned how hard Cas is to socialise with yet). He also has done some investigating in Heaven –it’s a mess. No Archangels means open war and Naomi is just one power among many in a multisided civil war. Castiel has a guilt moment over all the death and chaos he caused in the past in Heaven. But Metatron wants to solve it and they can ride in as the hero (Castiel is doubtful) all they have to do is get the great big family of angels together in a room to discuss their differences (Castiel is very doubtful) and to do that they have to shut down Heaven (Castiel is confused – but Metatron leaves to find crepes).

Back at the Wincester Cave, Dean is still upset with Cas and they go through the rest of Father Thomas’s research they got from the younger priest. They watch the video of his last test when he injected his purified (by confession) blood into a possessed human, repeatedly, over 8 hours, eventually causing the black demon eyes to turn human again. With that he douses the man with holy water, gives him his blood and repeats his altered exorcism. The demon is apparently cleansed and remorseful.

The only way to know is to test it – and they have bits of Abbadon buried around the place.

No, no, no, no WHY would you do this? Why would you test an unsure exorcism on one of the most devastatingly powerful demons you’ve ever faced? Whyyy?

Back to the angels – Castiel catches up with Metatron who laments that his host isn’t as sexy as Castiel’s when the waitress flirts with him. It seems Metatron is suggesting the trials to close HEAVEN – every realm seems to have one as an emergency cut off switch in case the denizens get too problematic. If nothing else, separating heaven from earth will stop the fighting spilling over. He knows how to shut the gates – he remembers what he wrote – but he doesn’t have the power to do the trials. Castiel does – and it’s his duty to fix what he broke.

And he agrees – but the first trial is to cut out the heart of their waitress. Sounds extreme! But she’s a Nephilim, the only Nephilim on Earth – the offspring of a human and an angel (very forbidden and abominable). Cas protests that she’s innocent and it wasn’t her choice to be Nephilim; she’s innocent. Metatron agrees – but the trials are hard. Cas has to choose, her life or his family (the angels).

Back with the Winchesters, they put Abaddon back together again, Frankenstein style. But leave off her hands, forcing her to change her threat from ripping out their eyes to stumping them to death. And she still has that pesky demon-trap bullet in her head. She knows what they’re up to – since she was the one who killed Father Thomas and destroyed the Men of Letters because of them, but she’s confident it’ll never work.

Demon taunting interrupted by a call from Crowley (actually has the phone number “666” yes yes he does) and Abaddon is shocked to learn Crowley’s the new king. He sends them the information about Tommy Collins – who they remember from the Wendigo – being killed.

But while taking their private phone call they leave no guard on Abaddon. Even without her hands being connected she can still move them and one crawls, Addams-family-like, to her head and removes the bullet. When they return to her, she’s free.

What a shame they didn’t have a dungeon prepared to hold demons with demon traps and warded chains to put her in. Oh, wait….

They get another text from Crowley, an address to another case they solved, redeemed witches in season 7 episode 5. They know it’s a trap – but if it’s a trap demons will be present and they need a new one after letting Abaddon go. Arriving they find Jenny Kline, one of the people they saved from the feuding witches, dead in her oven. Cooked REALLY WELL DONE. Crowley calls them – he’s killing everyone they ever saved. And how does he know who they saved? He has Chuck’s books.

He will continue killing people, 1 every 12 hours, until they deliver the demon tablet to him. To demonstrate his power he gives them another address – and only 57 minutes to get to it before another victim dies. They hurry to Sarah Blake, a woman they saved from an angry ghost back in season 1, episode 19.

Cas and Metatron follow the waitress as she leaves late at night. They’re not subtle and she tells them she can see their halos and says she tries to be a good person when Metatron calls her an abomination. Castiel tries to talk to her, to apologise – but she hits him. And throws him against a wall. Surprise! Nephilim are super-duper-strong, easily smacking them both around with glowy white eyes – until Castiel stabs her in the back of her neck with his Angel Sword.

At Sarah’s, Dean and Sam prepare a full defence with all the shinies. We have some characterisation as she mentions her family (oh she’s definitely dead now) and a little pathos from Sam since she was an old crush (it was 8 years ago man, let it go). 5 seconds before the deadline, Crowley calls to give them a countdown and when he reaches 1, Sarah starts choking. It’s a spell – rapid rush to find the hex bag. Crowley’s not sending any demons anywhere near them – after all, trial 1 was kill a hellhound, trial 2 was rescue a demon from the pit. He’s keeping all things hell related far away from the brothers. He’s a clever clever king of hell that Crowley.

She slowly chokes while they fruitlessly search for the hex bag and Crowley has an epicly evil speech on how he’s undermining the very thing that justifies the Hunter’s life to the Winchesters. They don’t find the Hex bag in time and she dies.

Back at the Winchester cave, Dean is ready to think up a plan and go on fighting – but Sam thinks they should give up and surrender. Uh-huh, because giving Crowley the key to controlling you is such a good idea.

Crowley is a truly awesome evil enemy. It is known. Hitting out at the innocent victims, the people they rescued, the very reason they endure a not particularly fun life in the first place, is epic evil. Even if they can think of all the unmet people they save by killing monsters, there’s still something dramatically symbolic about the victims they personally protected being murdered

I think there was some clumsiness here that stopped them completing the trial – but I’ve seen worse.

Castiel’s storyline looks very intriguing – opens up a lot more questions about why Naomi really wants the Tablet (to protect it or win the war?) and, for that matter, how trustworthy is the Metatron?