Episode 822 “Clip Show” and 823 “Sacrifice”
So then everything happened, but most things didn’t get resolved. Shows like that make me crazy, and is why I never watched Lost.
I’m combining the last two episodes here because “Clip Show” is such a utilitarian episode that takes us to the end of the season that it’s something of a prologue for the finale, which is where the cool, but extremely open-ended, stuff happens.
Sam’s getting sicker, and they find out that the third trial is to “cure a demon.” They find some old footage (literally, in the form of 16mm film) in the Men of Letters lair that shows what that means exactly—converting a demon into an ordinary human. It’s not just your garden-variety exorcism that ejects the demon’s spirit, it changes the demon into a non-demon. Naturally, they need a demon to practice on, and they happen to have easy access to one.
In a series of stupid moves, the Winchesters get the pieces of Abaddon, sew them back together in the center of a demon trap seal, and then LEAVE HER ALONE while they both go out to the car to get something and talk. So what do you think happens?
But don’t worry, she’ll be back later.
Meanwhile, Castiel is approached by Metatron, who convinces Cas that heaven is so screwed up at this point that the gates of heaven should be closed to give the angels a time-out, just as the Winchesters are trying to close the gates of hell. And, naturally, Castiel is the angel to do the related trials, which starts him on a parallel path to Sam’s.
Speaking of Sam, here’s where things get really interesting and cool and really well done. Dean and Sam capture Crowley and have him secured in an old church. The cure involves injecting the demon in question with the blood of someone pure, as they saw priests doing in the old films, so Sam goes into the confessional and confesses to hopefully make himself even more pure. When he injects the first of seven doses of his blood into Crowley… nothing happens. The King of Hell shrugs it off.
Sam, however, realizes that something is changing in him. As before, his arms start to glow and the pain races through his body, so even though Crowley isn’t impressed, Sam keeps the doses going at the prescribed intervals.
After the fifth, Abaddon shows up and attacks them both, disgusted that Crowley is King of Hell, a title she wants to claim for herself. Crowley distracts her long enough for Sam to recover and set her vessel on fire, forcing the demon within to flee. Sam goes right back to preparing for the next treatment, at which point Crowley starts to lose it.
“I just did you a solid, Moose!” he shouts. “I deserve respect, Sam! I deserve…” he yells, faltering. “I deserve love too…!”
Crowley, your humanity is showing. And it’s beautifully written and acted. Round of applause for Mark Shepperd for this scene. But it gets even better, because Crowley has shocked himself with his own words. He realizes what’s happening to him now, and the tide begins to turn.
With every dose, Sam is curing him, and because of this, Sam is purifying himself more and more, which makes each dose more and more effective.
“Where would I even begin?” Crowley asks Sam. “Where could I even start to be forgiven for all I’ve done?”
Sam approaches with the needle, and Crowley tips his head for him, welcoming it.
Wow. I think this was the best scene yet of the entire season. It wasn’t dark or cartoonish or violent. It actually touched on the possibility of redemption for the King of Hell.
Just… yeah. Wow. More of that, please. Character and humanity, something missing from most shows today.
Back in heaven, Naomi’s captured Metatron, who reads her the riot act, pointing out that they could have had paradise, but the archangels weren’t satisfied with that and tried to take over instead.
Dean runs into the church to stop Sam from enacting the final step, which will cure Crowley, but also kill Sam in the process. The ritual interrupted, Sam (who by now does look like he’s on death’s door) collapses and is hustled from the church by his brother.
Metatron has not only escaped the clutches of Naomi, he captures Castiel, steals his angelic essence, then proceeds to eject all the angels from heaven.
“What’s happening?” gasps Sam, as they huddle next to the car.
“Angels,” is Dean’s reply as he witnesses dozens of them falling to earth.
And… that’s basically it.
I know, right? I needed resolution with Sam and Crowley. A lot. Crowley is still tied up in the church, one step away from being a really likeable guy, and Sam is on death’s door and so sick that not even an angel can cure him. Obviously he won’t die, at least permanently, so we know both of those things are on the slate for next season, as well as a de-angeled Castiel and every angel in existence now wandering around Earth. And think about this: If closing the gates of heaven casts out the angels (assuming that’s what Metatron did), would closing the gates of hell have thrown all the demons out too, so that they would be wandering the Earth? That could have been a huge mistake.
Now, with the third trial uncompleted, Crowley mostly human, a non-angelic Castiel wandering around in the woods, fallen angels all over the place, and Sam even closer to death than he was, we get to wait until next season to find out what this all means.
Sheesh. Throw us a bone, guys. Unsatisfying finale is unsatisfying.