It says a lot about this season of Supernatural that even after its best episode (and this one was a doozy), I still can’t help but complain. With the reveal of the angel civil war the stakes have been raised, but what about the demons? It seems like there’s a lot of eldritch doings in this world, yet the heavenly and hellish hosts seem content to just take turns wreaking havoc. I had to get that complaint out of the way, or it would have festered inside this recap like the secretly evil angel Gadriel has been festering inside Sam Winchester. Now that I’ve vented, we can talk about this bombshell of an installment.
A lot went down, and it happened really fast. I’m not convinced they couldn’t have spread it out over multiple episodes and spared us Dean as a dog and the ghost on the farm, but it made for a damn good episode. Maybe it was worth it. The episode opens with a classic glee club versus biker gang confrontation. Of course, they are all angels, but with this show it hardly seems like a surprise.
As Sam and Dean follow up on the slaughterfest they are reunited with Castiel, but he is once again sent away at Dean’s behest in order to protect Sam (Ezekiel) from the gathering forces. Thing is – it’s not Ezekiel at all! That dude died in the fall! Instead, it’s Gadriel, the former protector of Eden, who was locked away in Heaven’s darkest corner (I’m imagining one of those white collar prisons with a swimming pool and tennis courts) for allowing evil to infiltrate The Garden.
We learn all about Gadriel and his checkered past when Metatron finally shows up this season to explain all that and complain about how lonely Heaven is. He’s really sad up there all by himself, and he needs a buddy. Why not the formerly ashamed angel (especially because Metatron actually was the one guarding Eden in the bible, while Gadriel prior to this was an obscure Marvel character and an angel who I’ve only seen mentioned in a book called “The Legends Of The Jews)?
You see, Metatron wants heaven back as it was, but only with his homies. It’s the old ‘can you imagine high school if it was just us there and none of those other jerks?’ It’s the kind of thing that jerks say. Gadriel acquiesces to Metatron’s wish only after being informed that Metatron will not go by God but instead be referred to as X. Metatron sucks.
Meanwhile, on Earth the angels are going straight up Marvel Civil War on each other. We’ve got two factions. The regimented systematic angels headed by Bartholomew and the reverend Buddy Boyle – who know trucks with bikers apparently and the renegade bad boys (and choir girls) lead by “Malachi The Anarchist.” I gotta say, Malachi seems much more interesting that Bartholomew, even if he is prone to torture.
Torture whom you ask? Great question. After the best scene in the episode, Castiel trying out a variety of prayer positions, Muriel (the angel named after the old woman from Courage The Cowardly Dog) shows up to guide him. Despite her desire to leave she sticks around and lets Castiel know about this inter-angel bloodshed. As soon as she’s done Malachi’s goons (fresh off a sneak attack on Bart’s Boys) kidnap the both of them. After Muriel is murdered and Castiel gets a nice dose of torture, the crazy looking warrior angel named Theo (really?) allows him to go free so he can ask Metatron to spirit Theo up to Heaven. Joke’s on you Theo. Castiel cuts his throat and steals his grace. All of a sudden, we’ve got our angel back.
The episode culminates with Gadriel accepting Metatron’s order that he become the muscle in this operation. He’s tasked with taking down anyone who might interfere. Dean and The Prophet Kevin have a scheme to eject the intruder from Sam’s body (Castiel alerted them to the non-Ezekielness of the heavenly body somewhere between murdering a bunch of angels and fleeing in a blood-soaked shirt). Unfortunately, G-unit (which I should have been calling him the whole time) is a step ahead. The corrupt angel roasts The Prophet Kevin – this series of recaps is worth it now that I got to write that – and informs Dean that there is no more Sam. The best episode of Supernatural I’ve seen in ages, and the midseason finale, ends with Dean’s tear streaked face as he realizes the magnitude of his errors.