Supernatural Review 9.22 - "Stairway to Heaven"
Posted by Joseph Lee on 05.15.2014
Castiel's followers go boom and Metatron reminds us that he's a nerd.
The Road So Far: Abaddon brought Crowley's son into the future to attempt to hold him as ransom against Crowley. It works, but only halfway. He manages to bring the Winchesters to Abaddon but lets Dean know it's a trap. Dean kills Abaddon with the first blade (brutally) and Crowley sneaks his son away so he can't go back in time to die. The Winchesters also discover there is a secret door to Heaven that is being moved around so no one can find it.
Season 9, Episode 22: Stairway to Heaven
Directed By: Guy Bee
Written By: Andrew Dabb
Next week is the season finale, so we need to set it up in a big way this week. I think "Stairway to Heaven" does that, as now we're focused entirely on the angel side of the story and Dean dealing with the Mark of Cain. We also get the return of the Reaper known as Tessa.
The episode begins with an angel blowing himself up in the name of Castiel. Castiel denies that he had anything to do with it, but Dean is skeptical because of the last time Castiel had power. The Winchesters and Cas team up to solve the case before Castiel's followers start a full on angel war with Metatron with humanity caught in the middle. Meanwhile, Metatron is attempting to convince an independent group of angels to come to his side so he can win the war.
If you don't like the angel war story going on in this season (and I've seen people who don't), you may not enjoy this episode as that's all we're doing. I personally have no problem with it except for the fact that there can't be very many angels left going into the finale, and I suspect even more of them will die as a result of the finale. It's good to see that Castiel didn't Metatron up on his offer but still ended up leading angels against him. I was worried we'd get another Castiel turn.
The angel politics is played really well and while you can see the conclusion coming a mile away (particularly as to why Castiel's followers are detonating themselves), there are enough twists leading there that it's entertaining. The end result really stacks the deck against our heroes leading into the finale. It wouldn't be Supernatural if the Winchesters didn't have insurmountable odds going into a battle with the big bad.
The secondary story here is that Dean is addicted to using the Mark of Cain and the First Blade, especially after dispatching Abaddon. Sam is nervous about it, because Dean's bloodlust could result in someone innocent getting killed (and I suspect that's where it's going). Dean doesn't listen because he's under the influence. This results in a very tense few moments at the end that will make for an interesting turn of events when we pick up the story next week.
Now that we're finally at the end, I think we're going to see Sam, Dean and Castiel sneak into Heaven. I'm not sure they'll all make it out alive. We've ended a season with a main character death before but I think this time it'll be final. My prediction is that Castiel sacrifices himself to save Heaven and Earth, which ends up being the exact purpose that God kept resurrecting him for. That's the reason Castiel kept coming back after all, he kept getting resurrected by a higher power. This time he'll die and it'll be for good, taking Metatron out with him. We'll then get some sort of set up for next season: Death returns? Lucifer somehow returns? I don't know.
It's rumored that season ten will be the last season and I really think it should be. As I said last week, the show is back to being a quality series but there's not many other places they can go. We'll know more when The CW releases their fall schedule, but I suspect next season is the end and they are going to start building for it next week.
The 411: "Stairway to Heaven" was mostly a set-up for next week's finale, but enough happened that it felt like a solid watch. Wherever the season goes from here, it's been a fun ride. Here's hoping Supernatural fans get something big next week to tide us over until season ten.