Thursday, May 8, 2014

Supernatural, Season 9, Episode 21: King of the Damned

We are starting out of their usual stomping grounds – Leith, Scotland, 1723. Crowley’s old home – when he was human. Abaddon drops in on a man planning to run away to the colonies (he may be Crowley, we can’t tell because the Crowley we see now is, of course, just the body he’s possessing – which also means Abaddon is time travelling since that’s not her true form either) and casts some kind of spell.

Intro established, it’s to the present, 3 people enjoying a drink at a bar and a fourth being That Guy who absolutely no-one wants there, insists on talking about work and bragging and not taking the hint that no-one wants him there. Let’s hope something eats him. Until he mentions being close to the Metatron. They’re all angels and he’s giving them the spiel about why Metatron is worth following. Loose lips sink ships – or in this case get you kidnapped by Castiel’s team.

Sam and Dean arrive to find Cas has a fully working base, staff, the whole set up. Anyway, Castiel wants peace between angels, no more violence… for which he’s preparing for a war. Also he has an angel to question and he’s called the Winchesters to do it. Castiel isn’t doing this no-violence thing very well.

Of course Dean is up for some torture and he’s been trained by one of the best. Throw in the Mark of Cain and the main worry is him killing Ezra accidentally. Sam has a different plan, telling Dean just how low level and pathetic Ezra is so there’s no need to torture him, Metatron probably doesn’t even know Ezra exists – Ezra, a guy who felt the need to brag how important he is, of course opens his big mouth without Dean having to get creative. They learn Metatron has a portal to heaven that is undetected because it moves. Metatron is putting together an elite squad to do something – but Ezra really doesn’t know what

Sam and Dean leave the angel but when one of Castiel’s minions check on him, he’s been killed. Dean suspects there may be a mole in Castiel’s organisation. Castiel also takes the chance to ask Sam about Gadreel possession – with an apparent slant towards “are we sure Gadreel is evil”. Sam thinks, regardless of what he felt from Gadreel, he killed Kevin. So the answer points strongly to “yes, evil!”

Still, Castiel meets with Gadreel and tries to reason with him. Though during their argument they’re ambushed and have to kill a few angels. Gadreel insists he didn’t plan it and he believes in honour (killing Kevin was honourable) but Castiel makes the point that this just proves Metatron is not the good guy. He wants Gadreel to be his mole.

Crowley’s holding his own board meeting with black-suited demons – who are not on his side it turns out. Crowley has well and truly dropped the ball and his minions have betrayed him to Abaddon (he does threaten them with a whole lot of torture though). Abaddon is rather worried about the Mark of Cain and the First Blade since it can actually kill her – but she does point out if they do actually kill her, they’re not going to stop and the Winchesters will kill Crowley next. She wants them to work together to take down the Winchesters.

Crowley says no, since he wouldn’t be helping them get the blade in the first place – which is when Abaddon reveals her leverage, the Scottish guy from the past, Gavin, Crowley’s son. Crowley is bemused – he’s already made it clear long ago that he doesn’t actually care about his son. Buuuut he’s been taking all that human blood – which has given him human feelings. She tests this by torturing Gavin, then torturing him some more, keep on torturing…. And Crowley breaks.

There follows an absolutely hilarious moment where the not-very-bright Gavin is introduced to the 21st century and decides Abaddon and Crowley are angels. I third their “wow.”

There follows some child/parent bonding – well, more revealing of Crowley’s demonic nature and what an evil parent he was. But he’s willing to be bought once he sees what perks come from being son of the King of Hell... and we see more sentiment from Crowley when he doesn’t tell his son the ship he was planning to board would sink.

Dean continues to have First Blade/Mark of Cain issues – when Crowley gets in touch. He’s springing his trap (but for who?) and tells him he has found Abaddon, now Dean just has to get the First Blade and wait for instructions. They go to the graveyward where Crowley has hidden the blade in a corpse (yes, in) when they hear growling. A hellhound! They run and hide in a crypt while Dean calls Crowley… who calms the Hound down on speakerphone. Well it’s a well trained hellhound.

Dean gets the blade and they call Crowley again – who tells them where to go next – but also tells them to leave somewhere where they aren’t – and he knows they aren’t there. Definite code. Whether suspicious or not, Abaddon doesn’t want it to be her, the Winchesters the blade and Crowley so she shoots Crowley. With a Devil’s trap carved in the bullet.

Dean doesn’t pass this warning on to Sam – instead he lies to split them up. Dean goes in alone, Crowley gives up some banter and a demon tries to jump Dean. With the Mark of Cain. And the First Blade. Unlucky demon.

Abaddon pins Dean against the wall with telekinesis and makes her list of all the people she will kill because she’s so powerful. And Dean, Mark glowing, slowly unpins himself from the wall. After he moves towards her she manages to push him back again and make him drop the knife and her smile returns. Until he summons the First Blade to his hand again, breaking her Telekinesis. He strides towards her and stabs her.

Y’know, this would have been much easier for her if Abaddon had kept the gun. Or could snap a neck with her telekinesis.

Abaddon is dead. But even after her dramatic glowy death, Dean keeps stabbing the corpse until Sam stops him and takes the blade

They don’t kill Crowley (why? Ok he’s awesome and that would make me sad, but they should kill him), though they do make him dig out his own bullet. Sam also realises that Crowley warned Dean and Dean lied.

Anyway, Sam and Dean tell Crowley that Gavin has to go back because changing history is Bad. Crowley at least begs for the chance to say goodbye to his son (and does make the point that there isn’t really a magic rule the Winchesters haven’t broken). Of course he takes the chance to leave with his son. Once free from the Winchesters he makes his goodbyes to Gavin – forever. Unless he catches him smoking, then he’ll smack him stupid. Nor is he into the fatherly hug.

Time for Winchester drama – Dean didn’t tell Sam about the warning because of PROTECTION. But Dean did it because, frankly, Sam would have been a bargaining chip in Abaddon’s hands. Sam puts aside drama because he’s worried about what the blade is doing to Dean – especially since Dean refuses to be parted from it.

Abaddon’s death… I found anti-climactic. I know it was supposed to show the power of the blade. So show that – show dozens of demons launching themselves at Dean and being slaughters. Show them shooting him and the Mark regenerating wounds; show Dean not even slowing down as he’s covered head to toe in blood and gore. Show him carve his way through a legion to reach Abaddon who then throws all kinds of awesome, incredible power at Dean only to find it does nothing in the face of the Mark of Cain and the First Blade. It would also show Dean’s uncontrollable blood lust and give us chance to see Sam’s horror over what his brother had become.

That would have been epic. And you had free time in the odd Crowley side quest to pick up the Blade.

But this? She tries telekinesis but sadly dropped her gun? It’s so lacking! This could have been so much better. It should have been so much better. Supernatural, this should have been epic with “Carry on My Wayward Son” playing at max volume. I am disappointed.

I am intrigued by Crowley’s father/son relationship. Because Crowley. No, really, that’s my reason.

But I’m not on board with Gadreel redemption – give Kevin’s pointless death that much.