Setting aside my overwhelming emotional reaction to the brilliant acting, storytelling and production that resulted in “Road Trip” for just a few minutes, let’s put our heads together and analyze how the episode contributed to the myth arc and plot threads of season nine!

What We Got Right…and Wrong

Gadreel really did heal Sam.  Castiel confirmed that the majority of Sam’s internal injuries were healed.  Sam is alive because Gadreel possessed and helped him (maybe Dean will be comforted by that fact eventually).

Gadreel will be a key player in the fight for Heaven. With Tahmoh’s return and Metatron’s continuing need for Gadreel, it seems clear that Gadreel will be a pivotal character for the rest of this storyline. The question is, which side will he choose?

Gadreel’s did have a “mission”, and it has always been his first priority. We now know Gadreel’s objective has always been to restore his own reputation. The indisputable proof came when Crowley “introduced” Gadreel to Sam as “the original chump”. Gadreel was indignant and replied, “Was a chump. Now, I’m going to be the one that leads my kind back to heaven. I’m going to be a hero.” Presumably Gadreel aligned himself with Dean because the Winchesters had previously proven their ability to defeat the cosmic forces of the Heaven and Hell. If they succeeded this time, he would have been on the “winning team”.  Maybe Gadreel also then healed Sam because the Winchesters at full strength would more likely succeed in restoring Heaven and making him a hero (plus it might have appealed to Gadreel’s desire to be “one of the good guys”). If you agree with this conclusion, we should eliminate two prior theories:
  • Gadreel was a coward who wanted a place to hide out the war;
  • Gadreel was an important, powerful angel plotting a way to defeat Metatron. We were right in that his post in Heaven did make him important and “one of God’s favorites”, but he was not in a position of power when he fell. We were also right that he wants to restore Heaven. He doesn’t care, though, if that means defeating Metatron (the Team Free Will approach) or aligning with Metatron, as long as he is restored to a position of respect in Heaven.
Metatron  Sam 9.10 0494

Is Gadreel a “good guy” or a “bad guy”?
Gadreel desperately wants redemption and that noble goal might save him in the end, but he is tragically gullible. Abner revealed that Gadreel was “always there to put me back together” after Abner had been meaninglessly and mercilessly tortured. Abner also introduced Gadreel as his “best friend”. Both of these imply that down deep, Gadreel has a good heart, and that he instinctively wants to help others. He was incensed when Metatron gave him another name on “the list”, asking “How any more lives do I have to take?”. This is consistent with his statement that slaying people is “not who I am” (9.09). He clearly felt bad about killing Kevin, saying that was “less easy”. He desperately wants to be good, he just doesn’t seem to have any moral compass to tell him what “good” is! Is there a clinical term for someone who can kill an innocent kid and his own best friend because someone told him it was necessary for the greater good? Gadreel’s inability to know who to trust has defined his whole existence. He implied that he was tricked into letting Satan into the Garden of Eden and he is again being tricked to do another megalomaniac’s dirty work.

I believe this episode provided evidence that eliminated our two opposing theories:
  • Gadreel is a noble, cunning strategistWhen Gadreel told Dean that killing Kevin was “ultimately for the best” (9.09), it was unclear if Gadreel cared more about saving his fellow angels or his own reputation. It is clear now though that he was not enacting his own grand plan to reestablish God’s paradise. Gadreel is not the master of his own fate; he drifts with the wind and looks for any port in a storm. He is easily swayed and used by others.
  • Gadreel is a cunning Con Man – Gadreel continually used the excuse that he couldn’t leave because he was healing Sam, which led some to believe Gadreel was “conning” Dean. While conveniently self-serving, Gadreel really was healing Sam. If he was a con man, he would now be executing a new plan, with Metatron as the dupe instead of Dean. This presumes that Gadreel has a master plan to restore his position of power and he is using Metatron, not visa-versa. I don’t buy it. Asking Abner for advice, then killing him based on Abner’s words of peace, happiness and forgiveness does not support a genius mentality. Gadreel was also insulted when Metatron asked him if he had killed Dean, saying that Metatron never gave him instructions to do so. I don’t think Gadreel is a deep thinker. 
As further evidence, fast forward to the time when Gadreel finds out that Metatron lied to him and that he had again been duped into helping someone achieve their own secret ambition. Now imagine Cas telling Gadreel the exact same comforting words he offered to Dean:

Gadreel: “God, I was so damn stupid”

Castiel: “You were stupid for the right reasons.”

Gadreel: “Yeah, like that matters.

Castiel: “It does. Sometimes that’s all that matters.”

And again…

Gadreel: “Yeah, I got played.

Castiel: “I thought I was saving Heaven. I got played, too”

Gadreel: “So you’re sayin’ we’re both a couple of dumbasses?”

Castiel: “I prefer the word “trusting.” Less dumb. Less ass.”

The theme of a good intentioned person trusting someone then being disappointed when that person betrays them has played itself out many times this season, first with Castiel, then Dean and now Gadreel (We certainly know that Metatron is lying to Gadreel). Obviously, it had previously been a big issue for Sam as well (Castiel’s trust of Metratron caused the apocalypse of Heaven; Sam’s trust in Ruby brought about the apocalypse of Earth). I believe we are watching the same tragedy from different points of view (in other words, history is repeating itself). Are Cas, Dean and Sam different from Gadreel because they were motivated by altruistic intentions that bettered others but not themselves, whereas Gadreel’s motivation is purely self-serving? Is Cas foretelling that the selfless act is what defines a hero, and that is the only thing that will ultimately save Gadreel? Both Sam and Gadreel have stated their driving need for redemption from their prior catastrophic mistakes. Sam, though, is willing to sacrifice himself and is adamant that no one else be hurt in the process (his speech to Death). Gadreel on the other hand, has taken lives to regain his own redemption. Is the overriding theme of season nine this lesson in the theology of the soul, or more simply put, what differentiates a hero from an immoral man?

New Evidence for Existing Threads

Dean Blood 9.10 0271

Why did Crowley want Kevin’s blood instead of Sam’s?   Crowley offered an explanation for this question, we just chose to ignore him because we presumed he was lying. He said he wanted a different “flavor” blood. In “Road Trip” Dean offered him his own blood saying “Human blood, fresh from the tap. Word is you’re jonesing for it.” Crowley turned him down with, “Please, I’ll pass.” If Crowley wanted variation, or if he was desperate for a hit after developing a need for human blood, wouldn’t he have said “I’ll take it but that’s not enough”, then added to his deal with Dean? Instead he turned it down cold. So I’m speculating that Dean was wrong in assuming Crowley wanted human blood. It seems we were on the right track presuming the allure was prophet’s blood. It was certainly no accident that he injected Kevin’s blood into himself.

Is The Angel Banishing Spell Reversible - In “Road Trip”, Metatron told Gadreel that Kevin had to be killed because he was “a threat”.  He then “flipped a switch” so that no other prophets would be awakened. These actions imply that the spell clearly is reversible, and the instructions were in that “indecipherable” part of the table that Kevin found in the last episode (“This part is nearly indecipherable, almost like when Metatron wrote it down he wanted to keep the words hidden even from prophets” (9.09)). Metatron also wanted Gadreel to kill the prophet and to steal the tablets as his first priority. Metatron doesn’t want any prophet translating the tablet. 
  • Crowley said the Angel Banishing spell is irreversible (9.06) but no one believes him. If Metatron’s actions now support the theory that the spell is reversible, then Crowley read the tablet and knows how to reverse the spell!
  • Cas suggested that his grace might be the key to reversing the banishing spell. He didn’t get his own grace back, so the theory is still a possibility. Until Cecily brought him up to speed, Crowley also didn’t know that Cas had been human and had to steal another angel’s grace. Crowley now has a more complete picture that might fit into his prior knowledge gained from reading the tablet.
“I did what I had to do.” Gadreel said this again in “Road Trip”! (Dean: I thought you were one of the good guys” Gadreel: I am doing what I have to do”). How will this ultimately affect the outcome of the season?

List 9.10 0509

Here is the FIRST name on your to-do list.” – Obviously we were right that there would be a LONG list of executions. It is curious which names are on that list, though. Gadreel’s guard, then his best friend and fellow prisoner. Also curious that Metatron chose to sit and wait for Gadreel in Tahmoh’s bar. Is Metatron emotionally toying with Gadreel or was there some reason to eliminate the people who knew Gadreel in prison?

Letting Go – After 9.07, we decided that Dean’s “Let Go” speech to Timmy was important. I think this might end up being a major arc of the season! At the end of “Road Trip”, Sam said “But don’t go, thinking that’s the problem ‘cause it’s not.” This line sparked major speculation as to what exactly is “the problem”. Supposedly, Dean thinks the problem is that he is a poison that kills everyone around him. Maybe Sam believes the problem is that Dean just can’t let go…of Sam, of pain, of guilt, of self-loathing. “You gotta let [the one you love] go. You’ll be OK.” Clearly Dean is not able to let go yet. He doesn’t believe he will be OK without Sam. “The Problem” though, might also just be that Dean doesn’t believe in himself. If he did, he would believe he could survive, he could win, without Sam. The second half of the speech was “Sometimes you got to do what’s best for you even if it’s gonna hurt the ones you love”.  Does this mean that Dean should be free to do what’s best for himself even if Sam gets hurt in the process; or that Sam should be free to do what’s best for himself, even if it hurts Dean?  My head aches figuring this one out!

New Threads

Will someone else turn out to be who they aren't supposed to be? Njspnfan offered a theory in the comments on 2013-12-11:  

“Without his grace, Castiel (as human) isn't really who he is supposed to be. With another angel's grace, he still isn't who he's supposed to be. Sam is possessed by an angel who claimed to be Ezekiel. Sam isn't really who he's supposed to be. Ezekiel was not who he claimed to be; he is actually an angel named Gadreel. When Dean tried to tell Sam [that he] was not who he is supposed to be, [Dean] was [talking to] Gadreel posing as Sam.  Wonder if any of this has any meaning going in to the second half of the season; maybe someone else turns out to be who they aren't supposed to be?”

I found this very intriguing, and worth tracking.

Crowley  Tahmoh 9.10 1352

“You’ve seen everything that he’s seen!” Crowley explained to Sam that he can remember everything about the time he was possessed by Gadreel. This seems like it could be strategically important in the future!

Curiosities in “Road Trip”

I don’t immediately think these are threads, but I found them rather interesting and I wanted to share them with you. Some just might be clues. Please feel free to comment on these too!

  • Abaddon: “War is what I do, it is my job”. This was repeated in the “Then” introduction from a prior episode, but I thought it was interesting in light of the Crowley/Abaddon “campaign”.  When addressing the demons, Crowley also said Abaddon was “immortal…at the moment”.
  • Kevin’s sandwich was still on the table! In my Kevin tribute, I wondered if that Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich was Kevin’s last meal. It turns out it was (sad face). In the previews Cas is musing over missing a PB&J. What is it with the sandwich??
  • Abaddon posted a demon “just a few miles” from the bunker. Luck? She doesn’t know the location of the bunker. Did someone follow Cas? Also, since Crowley walked to the car from the bunker, did Dean allow him see its location? Crowley obviously now knows the “neighborhood” at least.
  • Crowley asked Cas why he needed “the wheels”. Cas didn’t answer. Then Cecily said, “Cas has his mojo back, minus the broken wings”. I’m still trying to figure out if that meant Theo’s wings were broken, or Cas’ wings were broken when cast out by Metatron. (I can’t help think of my senior high school English teacher who warned us about double negatives!)
  • I thought you needed human blood for the demon “phone calls”. Poor Muffins.
  • Why would Crowley ask Cecily if the handcuffs could come off? As the King of Hell, wouldn’t he know more than your average demon?
  • Just before Gadreel repossessed Tahmoh, Tahmoh said one word, “yes”. Consent problem addressed.
  • Metatron said, “Welcome Home Sweethearts” (plural) when looking at the tablets. I want to go back to 9.09 and confirm that Sam stuffed two tablets into the bag- the demon tablet and the angel tablet.
  • Gadreel locked Sam away in a dream so Sam wouldn’t have to see/experience what Gadreel was doing (also so Sam couldn’t eject Gadreel). I don’t know why but that seemed merciful to me.

So much new information in this episode! What do you think??

Screencaps courtesy of www.homeofthenutty.com



Comments  

DeanColt45
# DeanColt45 2014-01-20 20:38
I love all the threads and ideas on what might be going on. Feels like this season is based on redemption for everyone, well except maybe Abaddon.

Speaking of the Knight of Hell, she does know where the bunker is. Go back to As Time Goes By, 8.12. Sam is talking to the only guy to survive her attack at the MOL meeting, the old lady beside him is Abaddon in disguise and she sees him writing down the coordinates for the bunker. Still can't get in. Place is impenetrable by any other means than the key. Wonder if there'll be a siege somewhere along the line.
DeanColt45
# DeanColt45 2014-01-20 20:38
I love all the threads and ideas on what might be going on. Feels like this season is based on redemption for everyone, well except maybe Abaddon.

Speaking of the Knight of Hell, she does know where the bunker is. Go back to As Time Goes By, 8.12. Sam is talking to the only guy to survive her attack at the MOL meeting, the old lady beside him is Abaddon in disguise and she sees him writing down the coordinates for the bunker. Still can't get in. Place is impenetrable by any other means than the key. Wonder if there'll be a siege somewhere along the line.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-20 21:37
Thanks! One mystery solved. OK, team, let's get to work on the others!
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-20 21:37
Thanks! One mystery solved. OK, team, let's get to work on the others!
EireneS
# EireneS 2014-01-20 22:07
I'm certain that demon blood is not needed to make a phone call. I refer back to Meg slicing a drivers neck for his blood to call the Yellow Eyed Demon and the demon lady using dog blood to call Abaddon, etc.
EireneS
# EireneS 2014-01-20 22:07
I'm certain that demon blood is not needed to make a phone call. I refer back to Meg slicing a drivers neck for his blood to call the Yellow Eyed Demon and the demon lady using dog blood to call Abaddon, etc.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-01-20 22:24
Thanks so much for this!

I love your threads here.

I think Gadreel isn't very bright, or he has been in prison now for so terribly long (since the dawn of time/man) that at this point his angel brain has to be fried on some level. Under that lens, I can understand why he would be driven to want to make himself a hero and a prominent figure of Heaven. This is his second chance to be important and to be a big part of Heaven's make up---ie Metatron's second in command.

I think it's intriguing that you bring up his reasoning for possessing Sam and throwing his lot in with the Winchesters. I have no doubt that while they were averting the Apocalypse, Thaddeus probably told him all about what was happening---per haps that's where he got the names and knew to answer Dean's prayer. Or, perhaps while in prison Gadreel could still hear Angel Radio and knew what was going on and had to watch what his mistake wrought. It would make sense why he'd posses Sam when given the the chance---and explain why he was reluctant to leave. Sam is a durable vessel. Remember that Hale was insistent that Castiel say yes to her because he was a stronger vessel than the one she was currently possessing.

As for Sam and Dean, I think that both brothers clearly need to sit down as individuals and work through their own issues before they can merge again and become brothers as they're meant to be. If they don't work through their own issues, they can't work on them together. I'm hopeful we'll see this at some stage in some way.

I don't think Crowley's necessarily lied about the Tablet and the spell. Given what he did to save Sam in this episode---even if it did give him his freedom, something he wanted badly---I think he's grown to care a lot more for the Winchesters---p articularly Sam---than he did prior to his near-cure. That being said, I do think that it's possible that Crowley might be able to decipher just what Kevin couldn't---in that dead language he translated the Tablet into. It's possible that the small part that Kevin was complaining about is in that form, too. Crowley CAN read that.

All in all, I'm so excited for the back half of this season. Season Nine has made me think, feel, and root for this show. Thanks for sharing your wonderful threads.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-01-20 22:24
Thanks so much for this!

I love your threads here.

I think Gadreel isn't very bright, or he has been in prison now for so terribly long (since the dawn of time/man) that at this point his angel brain has to be fried on some level. Under that lens, I can understand why he would be driven to want to make himself a hero and a prominent figure of Heaven. This is his second chance to be important and to be a big part of Heaven's make up---ie Metatron's second in command.

I think it's intriguing that you bring up his reasoning for possessing Sam and throwing his lot in with the Winchesters. I have no doubt that while they were averting the Apocalypse, Thaddeus probably told him all about what was happening---per haps that's where he got the names and knew to answer Dean's prayer. Or, perhaps while in prison Gadreel could still hear Angel Radio and knew what was going on and had to watch what his mistake wrought. It would make sense why he'd posses Sam when given the the chance---and explain why he was reluctant to leave. Sam is a durable vessel. Remember that Hale was insistent that Castiel say yes to her because he was a stronger vessel than the one she was currently possessing.

As for Sam and Dean, I think that both brothers clearly need to sit down as individuals and work through their own issues before they can merge again and become brothers as they're meant to be. If they don't work through their own issues, they can't work on them together. I'm hopeful we'll see this at some stage in some way.

I don't think Crowley's necessarily lied about the Tablet and the spell. Given what he did to save Sam in this episode---even if it did give him his freedom, something he wanted badly---I think he's grown to care a lot more for the Winchesters---p articularly Sam---than he did prior to his near-cure. That being said, I do think that it's possible that Crowley might be able to decipher just what Kevin couldn't---in that dead language he translated the Tablet into. It's possible that the small part that Kevin was complaining about is in that form, too. Crowley CAN read that.

All in all, I'm so excited for the back half of this season. Season Nine has made me think, feel, and root for this show. Thanks for sharing your wonderful threads.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-20 22:36
Quoting EireneS:
I'm certain that demon blood is not needed to make a phone call. I refer back to Meg slicing a drivers neck for his blood to call the Yellow Eyed Demon and the demon lady using dog blood to call Abaddon, etc.

I'm sorry that I wasn't clear. Demons have used human blood many times to make their "phone calls" but I don't remember anyone ever using animal blood for a phone call. A dog was used in a spell once, but a phone call? In this ep, they implied a dog's blood was used to call Abaddon. Has that ever been done before or is this new canon?
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-20 22:36
Quote:
I'm certain that demon blood is not needed to make a phone call. I refer back to Meg slicing a drivers neck for his blood to call the Yellow Eyed Demon and the demon lady using dog blood to call Abaddon, etc.
I'm sorry that I wasn't clear. Demons have used human blood many times to make their "phone calls" but I don't remember anyone ever using animal blood for a phone call. A dog was used in a spell once, but a phone call? In this ep, they implied a dog's blood was used to call Abaddon. Has that ever been done before or is this new canon?
Puck
# Puck 2014-01-21 00:30
Letting Go – After 9.07, we decided that Dean’s “Let Go” speech to Timmy was important. I think this might end up being a major arc of the season! At the end of “Road Trip”, Sam said “But don’t go, thinking that’s the problem ‘cause it’s not.” This line sparked major speculation as to what exactly is “the problem”. Supposedly, Dean thinks the problem is that he is a poison that kills everyone around him. Maybe Sam believes the problem is that Dean just can’t let go…of Sam, of pain, of guilt, of self-loathing. “You gotta let [the one you love] go. You’ll be OK.” Clearly Dean is not able to let go yet. He doesn’t believe he will be OK without Sam. “The Problem” though, might also just be that Dean doesn’t believe in himself. If he did, he would believe he could survive, he could win, without Sam. The second half of the speech was “Sometimes you got to do what’s best for you even if it’s gonna hurt the ones you love”. Does this mean that Dean should be free to do what’s best for himself even if Sam gets hurt in the process; or that Sam should be free to do what’s best for himself, even if it hurts Dean? My head aches figuring this one out!

This half of the season has been fascinating to watch play out. Remember the promo posters blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2013/09/supernatural-season-9-posters-put-sam-dean-castiel-and-crowley-in-cages.html? We get blood-shedding righteous man Dean in the piercing blue light, but he's crouched over that vibrant red. Humor me. I'm a graphic designer. My mind immediately went to "someone's going to hold Dean's feet to the fire..." then "...over Sam's condition I bet." Thanks for the tip promo team because Gadriel sure did!

Misha turned his back to the fire. Jared did too, but he's leaning towards it. Then there's Mark. Obviously his looks like he's standing in a hellish bonfire. Go figure. There's a blue cast to the corner of the shot. Crowley's been helpful this season, almost alarmingly helpful. What's his motive? Sure he helped Bobby before, but that was ultimately fueled by self-preservati on. In comes Abbadon and Crowley knows once again he needs a demon-hunter alliance now that he can't just use Meg. How far this goes I guess we'll find out in a few hours.

Back to Misha and Jared: Cas has re-embraced grace. Could the evil within be from having stolen it from another? Is Jared's more-red-than-n ot pic a reflection of Sam's previous struggle between good and evil? Or is Sam struggling with: b) Dean, for not respecting his decision to die, etc.; c) Gadriel, for possession of his body and what has been done while he wasn't in control.; d) himself over his own self-worth; e) all of the above?

Sam, and even more so Crowley, play their cards close to the vest and I bet the roller-coaster ride to the season finale will be ridden on what these two do. That's not to rule Cas or Dean out. There's still a war in Heaven, plus Dean, and Jensen, has some major soul-searching to do.
Puck
# Puck 2014-01-21 00:30
Letting Go – After 9.07, we decided that Dean’s “Let Go” speech to Timmy was important. I think this might end up being a major arc of the season! At the end of “Road Trip”, Sam said “But don’t go, thinking that’s the problem ‘cause it’s not.” This line sparked major speculation as to what exactly is “the problem”. Supposedly, Dean thinks the problem is that he is a poison that kills everyone around him. Maybe Sam believes the problem is that Dean just can’t let go…of Sam, of pain, of guilt, of self-loathing. “You gotta let [the one you love] go. You’ll be OK.” Clearly Dean is not able to let go yet. He doesn’t believe he will be OK without Sam. “The Problem” though, might also just be that Dean doesn’t believe in himself. If he did, he would believe he could survive, he could win, without Sam. The second half of the speech was “Sometimes you got to do what’s best for you even if it’s gonna hurt the ones you love”. Does this mean that Dean should be free to do what’s best for himself even if Sam gets hurt in the process; or that Sam should be free to do what’s best for himself, even if it hurts Dean? My head aches figuring this one out!

This half of the season has been fascinating to watch play out. Remember the promo posters blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2013/09/supernatural-season-9-posters-put-sam-dean-castiel-and-crowley-in-cages.html? We get blood-shedding righteous man Dean in the piercing blue light, but he's crouched over that vibrant red. Humor me. I'm a graphic designer. My mind immediately went to "someone's going to hold Dean's feet to the fire..." then "...over Sam's condition I bet." Thanks for the tip promo team because Gadriel sure did!

Misha turned his back to the fire. Jared did too, but he's leaning towards it. Then there's Mark. Obviously his looks like he's standing in a hellish bonfire. Go figure. There's a blue cast to the corner of the shot. Crowley's been helpful this season, almost alarmingly helpful. What's his motive? Sure he helped Bobby before, but that was ultimately fueled by self-preservati on. In comes Abbadon and Crowley knows once again he needs a demon-hunter alliance now that he can't just use Meg. How far this goes I guess we'll find out in a few hours.

Back to Misha and Jared: Cas has re-embraced grace. Could the evil within be from having stolen it from another? Is Jared's more-red-than-n ot pic a reflection of Sam's previous struggle between good and evil? Or is Sam struggling with: b) Dean, for not respecting his decision to die, etc.; c) Gadriel, for possession of his body and what has been done while he wasn't in control.; d) himself over his own self-worth; e) all of the above?

Sam, and even more so Crowley, play their cards close to the vest and I bet the roller-coaster ride to the season finale will be ridden on what these two do. That's not to rule Cas or Dean out. There's still a war in Heaven, plus Dean, and Jensen, has some major soul-searching to do.
debbab
# debbab 2014-01-21 08:51
A demon was summoned with dog blood before when a psycho turned serial killer, who had been possessed wants the demon back. So we don't know if Muffins was used to make a call or to summon Abaddon. Notice the use of dogs in this series many times.
debbab
# debbab 2014-01-21 08:51
A demon was summoned with dog blood before when a psycho turned serial killer, who had been possessed wants the demon back. So we don't know if Muffins was used to make a call or to summon Abaddon. Notice the use of dogs in this series many times.
Cat
# Cat 2014-01-21 09:58
Thank you for your threads, nightsky. About Gadreel, I would like to add that while he doesn't seem like a deep thinker, he might be a more independent thinker than he lets on. To me, not killing Dean was deliberate on Gadreel's part. Considering that Gadreel killed three demons simply by revealing his true form, he could easily have killed Dean in the bunker and at Abner's house. At Abner's house, Gadreel had been explicitly told that Metatron wanted Dean dead, but he still let him live. I also suspect that Gadreel killed Abner’s vessel, but not Abner himself. I could be wrong, but I think Gadreel might be less duped by Metatron than he seems.

I also think that Gadreel insisting that he is doing what he has to do becomes very interesting in light of Castiel’s reaction to discovering his identity. That was Castiel – now imagine what a stab-happy member of the warring factions might have done in that situation… Knowing Gadreel’s identity, his vessel(s) and his whereabouts gives Metatron serious leverage. If he ever felt like getting rid of Gadreel, Metatron would just have to out him to other angels. Gadreel probably wouldn’t even last a day. While it has never been mentioned, someone who had been as anxious to hide as Gadreel would be aware that he might not be as free to walk away (with his knowledge of Metatron’s plans and hitlist, no less) as Metatron suggests.

To me, the most interesting aspect of Metatron’s hitlist is that he gave Gadreel the name of Alexander Sarver. I think it was a test – Metatron wanted to see if Gadreel would take the chance to kill Abner’s vessel and spare Abner himself, or if he would kill them both. Metatron’s not-so-subtle hints suggest that he wanted Gadreel to prove his loyalty by killing Abner without being explicitly told to do so. He could be doing that to toy with Gadreel, but he could also be trying to control the information about him. Thaddeus and Abner seemed to be the only angels, expect Gadreel himself and possibly Metatron, to know more about Gadreel than his name and reputation. If there’s no one left who really knows Gadreel, Metatron can tell whatever story he wants about him. Gadreel could hardly contradict him – even if he tried, no one would listen.

Letting go definitely seems to be important this season. I thought that Dean’s speech meant that he should let Sam go and that Sam should be free to do what was best for himself even if it hurts Dean. After what happened at the end of “Road Trip”, I wonder if it doesn’t go both ways.
Cat
# Cat 2014-01-21 09:58
Thank you for your threads, nightsky. About Gadreel, I would like to add that while he doesn't seem like a deep thinker, he might be a more independent thinker than he lets on. To me, not killing Dean was deliberate on Gadreel's part. Considering that Gadreel killed three demons simply by revealing his true form, he could easily have killed Dean in the bunker and at Abner's house. At Abner's house, Gadreel had been explicitly told that Metatron wanted Dean dead, but he still let him live. I also suspect that Gadreel killed Abner’s vessel, but not Abner himself. I could be wrong, but I think Gadreel might be less duped by Metatron than he seems.

I also think that Gadreel insisting that he is doing what he has to do becomes very interesting in light of Castiel’s reaction to discovering his identity. That was Castiel – now imagine what a stab-happy member of the warring factions might have done in that situation… Knowing Gadreel’s identity, his vessel(s) and his whereabouts gives Metatron serious leverage. If he ever felt like getting rid of Gadreel, Metatron would just have to out him to other angels. Gadreel probably wouldn’t even last a day. While it has never been mentioned, someone who had been as anxious to hide as Gadreel would be aware that he might not be as free to walk away (with his knowledge of Metatron’s plans and hitlist, no less) as Metatron suggests.

To me, the most interesting aspect of Metatron’s hitlist is that he gave Gadreel the name of Alexander Sarver. I think it was a test – Metatron wanted to see if Gadreel would take the chance to kill Abner’s vessel and spare Abner himself, or if he would kill them both. Metatron’s not-so-subtle hints suggest that he wanted Gadreel to prove his loyalty by killing Abner without being explicitly told to do so. He could be doing that to toy with Gadreel, but he could also be trying to control the information about him. Thaddeus and Abner seemed to be the only angels, expect Gadreel himself and possibly Metatron, to know more about Gadreel than his name and reputation. If there’s no one left who really knows Gadreel, Metatron can tell whatever story he wants about him. Gadreel could hardly contradict him – even if he tried, no one would listen.

Letting go definitely seems to be important this season. I thought that Dean’s speech meant that he should let Sam go and that Sam should be free to do what was best for himself even if it hurts Dean. After what happened at the end of “Road Trip”, I wonder if it doesn’t go both ways.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-01-21 13:09
Nightsky - I like your theory about why Gadreel didn't leave Sam when he had another willing vessel. That had been bothering me and your reasoning makes sense.

Like the character himself, I am conflicted about Gadreel. He's a little bit sympathetic but easily manipulated and, when bound in the chair, we saw his true colors. But, he did keep his promise and started healing Sam. On the other hand, he's been tortured since the dawn of time and it is understandable why he'd be so damaged. We saw what torture did to both Dean and Sam while they were in Hell and Lucifer's cage, respectively. But, then again, he went against one of God's prime directives of protecting prophets by killing Kevin. In a recent WFB article comments thread, someone brought up the possibility that Gadreel didn't kill Abner, just his vessel. When Dean found the body, the throat had been slit, which seemed kind of odd because it looks like it would be easier to stab with an angel blade than to slit a throat. In the past, slitting the throat of a vessel's throat can be a way to release, capture, or steal its grace - Metatron did this to Castiel, and Castiel did this to Theo to steal his grace. So, I'm holding out a sliver hope that there is a redemptive arc for Gadreel.

Crowley and human blood; not entirely sold on him wanting Kevin's blood had any meaning; Crowley is the smartest player on the board; he always seems to be a few steps ahead of everyone else. He knew Dean was desperate to come to him for help, expecially when it comes to Sam being in trouble, and was playing this to the fullest advantage.

Abaddon - didn't Larry (the old MOL guy) say that Abaddon was a hired gun? If so, is there someone else we haven't been introduced to yet? Even if she knows the location of the MOL bunker, she had other priorities now, and that is taking over Hell.

Angel Banishing spell reversible? Agreed, otherwise Metatron would not have been so eager to get his hands on the angel tablet, kill Kevin, and turn off the prophet switch. Gadreel did take two tablets - the angel and demon tablet.

Interesting point about Sam remembering everything about the time he was possessed - this has to come in to play down the road, hopefully to Sam and Dean's advantage in going up against Metatron and Gadreel. Did Crowley have any time to glean any information while he was possessing Sam? I don't think so but, it is Crowley after all.

Castiel does seem a little different now; that was emphasized by his look after punching Gadreel/Sam, and then when he found out that Gadreel was the one possessing Sam. Not sure if this is his time as a human affecting him, or a side effect of stealing another angel's grace.

"I did what I had to do". To that end, We have 3 protagonists, Dean, Castiel, and Gadreel, all having in effect said this, and all have taken morally questionable or reprehensible actions this season. There has to be a big price to pay for all of them.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-01-21 13:09
Nightsky - I like your theory about why Gadreel didn't leave Sam when he had another willing vessel. That had been bothering me and your reasoning makes sense.

Like the character himself, I am conflicted about Gadreel. He's a little bit sympathetic but easily manipulated and, when bound in the chair, we saw his true colors. But, he did keep his promise and started healing Sam. On the other hand, he's been tortured since the dawn of time and it is understandable why he'd be so damaged. We saw what torture did to both Dean and Sam while they were in Hell and Lucifer's cage, respectively. But, then again, he went against one of God's prime directives of protecting prophets by killing Kevin. In a recent WFB article comments thread, someone brought up the possibility that Gadreel didn't kill Abner, just his vessel. When Dean found the body, the throat had been slit, which seemed kind of odd because it looks like it would be easier to stab with an angel blade than to slit a throat. In the past, slitting the throat of a vessel's throat can be a way to release, capture, or steal its grace - Metatron did this to Castiel, and Castiel did this to Theo to steal his grace. So, I'm holding out a sliver hope that there is a redemptive arc for Gadreel.

Crowley and human blood; not entirely sold on him wanting Kevin's blood had any meaning; Crowley is the smartest player on the board; he always seems to be a few steps ahead of everyone else. He knew Dean was desperate to come to him for help, expecially when it comes to Sam being in trouble, and was playing this to the fullest advantage.

Abaddon - didn't Larry (the old MOL guy) say that Abaddon was a hired gun? If so, is there someone else we haven't been introduced to yet? Even if she knows the location of the MOL bunker, she had other priorities now, and that is taking over Hell.

Angel Banishing spell reversible? Agreed, otherwise Metatron would not have been so eager to get his hands on the angel tablet, kill Kevin, and turn off the prophet switch. Gadreel did take two tablets - the angel and demon tablet.

Interesting point about Sam remembering everything about the time he was possessed - this has to come in to play down the road, hopefully to Sam and Dean's advantage in going up against Metatron and Gadreel. Did Crowley have any time to glean any information while he was possessing Sam? I don't think so but, it is Crowley after all.

Castiel does seem a little different now; that was emphasized by his look after punching Gadreel/Sam, and then when he found out that Gadreel was the one possessing Sam. Not sure if this is his time as a human affecting him, or a side effect of stealing another angel's grace.

"I did what I had to do". To that end, We have 3 protagonists, Dean, Castiel, and Gadreel, all having in effect said this, and all have taken morally questionable or reprehensible actions this season. There has to be a big price to pay for all of them.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-21 15:03
#6 Puck! Wow!! I'm blown away. Thanks so much for reminding us of those promo pics. I did not get the significance of the coloring at all. That means so much now that we understand the arc for the season!
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-21 15:03
#6 Puck! Wow!! I'm blown away. Thanks so much for reminding us of those promo pics. I did not get the significance of the coloring at all. That means so much now that we understand the arc for the season!
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-21 15:09
Quoting debbab:
A demon was summoned with dog blood before when a psycho turned serial killer, who had been possessed wants the demon back. So we don't know if Muffins was used to make a call or to summon Abaddon. Notice the use of dogs in this series many times.

That was the exact episode I was thinking about. It was 7.15 Repo Man. I am making a distinction between the blood needed for a spell to summon a demon and the human blood always used for "phone calls". I can't remember a time when dog's blood was used for the phone in the goblet thing.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-21 15:09
Quote:
A demon was summoned with dog blood before when a psycho turned serial killer, who had been possessed wants the demon back. So we don't know if Muffins was used to make a call or to summon Abaddon. Notice the use of dogs in this series many times.
That was the exact episode I was thinking about. It was 7.15 Repo Man. I am making a distinction between the blood needed for a spell to summon a demon and the human blood always used for "phone calls". I can't remember a time when dog's blood was used for the phone in the goblet thing.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-21 15:21
#8 Cat I love your post! As you all have probably figured out by now, I have been rooting for Gadreel this whole season. I really want him to be smart enough to be playing Metatron. I keep hoping that he is "under cover", waiting for Metatron to reveal how to restore Heaven, then, wham! Gadreel is the hero he wants to be! I lost hope, though, when he killed Abner. It never occurred to me that maybe he let the angel escape!

Quoting Cat:
If there’s no one left who really knows Gadreel, Metatron can tell whatever story he wants about him. Gadreel could hardly contradict him – even if he tried, no one would listen.

I am really suspicious of Metatron's hit list. You offer a great theory about his intentions! I think this might become more important as the season progresses!
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-21 15:21
#8 Cat I love your post! As you all have probably figured out by now, I have been rooting for Gadreel this whole season. I really want him to be smart enough to be playing Metatron. I keep hoping that he is "under cover", waiting for Metatron to reveal how to restore Heaven, then, wham! Gadreel is the hero he wants to be! I lost hope, though, when he killed Abner. It never occurred to me that maybe he let the angel escape!

Quote:
If there’s no one left who really knows Gadreel, Metatron can tell whatever story he wants about him. Gadreel could hardly contradict him – even if he tried, no one would listen.
I am really suspicious of Metatron's hit list. You offer a great theory about his intentions! I think this might become more important as the season progresses!
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-21 15:33
Quoting njspnfan:

Crowley and human blood; not entirely sold on him wanting Kevin's blood had any meaning

I hadn't thought about it until now, but Crowley also wanted Kevin to do the massage. Is he doing all this to play mind games with Kevin? I, Crowley, still have enough power over you to make you give up blood for my amusement and give me a rub for my comfort? To what end? That would offer an explanation for both requests, though.

Quoting njspnfan:
Abaddon - didn't Larry (the old MOL guy) say that Abaddon was a hired gun? If so, is there someone else we haven't been introduced to yet?
Interesting. That episode might need a rewatch!



Quoting njspnfan:

"I did what I had to do". To that end, We have 3 protagonists, Dean, Castiel, and Gadreel, all having in effect said this, and all have taken morally questionable or reprehensible actions this season. There has to be a big price to pay for all of them.

Ouch. Does anyone else find they get nervous whenever we know we are in for another arc-heavy, emotional episode....like tonight?
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-21 15:33
Quote:

Crowley and human blood; not entirely sold on him wanting Kevin's blood had any meaning
I hadn't thought about it until now, but Crowley also wanted Kevin to do the massage. Is he doing all this to play mind games with Kevin? I, Crowley, still have enough power over you to make you give up blood for my amusement and give me a rub for my comfort? To what end? That would offer an explanation for both requests, though.

Quote:
Abaddon - didn't Larry (the old MOL guy) say that Abaddon was a hired gun? If so, is there someone else we haven't been introduced to yet?
Interesting. That episode might need a rewatch!



Quote:

"I did what I had to do". To that end, We have 3 protagonists, Dean, Castiel, and Gadreel, all having in effect said this, and all have taken morally questionable or reprehensible actions this season. There has to be a big price to pay for all of them.
Ouch. Does anyone else find they get nervous whenever we know we are in for another arc-heavy, emotional episode....like tonight?
tw1nsm0m
# tw1nsm0m 2014-01-21 19:22
This is a fantastic, thought provoking article! I have so many feelings, emotions, questions and thoughts whirling around in my noggin but sadly, just minutes to post as I'm about to scurry out the door. So, following are just a few of my musings which I confess will most likely come across as scattered and disjointed. I don't have time to edit. :D

I wonder if Crowley's obsession of Kevin is due to him being "new". The Winchesters are old hat for Crowley. He knows what makes them tick. Kevin, in addition to being a prophet, was shiny and new (it's still so hard to refer to him in the past tense for me!).

I wonder if taking in blood gives off a "taste" of the human it came from. Are there subtle hints of the who Kevin was and this added to Kevin being the new toy for Crowley to bat around?

Gadreel - I truly think this is one of our lovely gray characters (versus black or white). Yes, he was healing Sam but that wasn't necessarily for Sam's sake. Had Sam succumbed to his injuries, Gadreel would have had to find a new home.

However, he healed Cas and Charlie. Was that more emotional blackmail for Dean? Or, did he care?

I'm thinking right now that he's a mixed bag but his primary goal is returning to the fold of the "cool kids" at all costs. That doesn't make him 100% evil but a bad guy nonetheless.

Finally, Sam's proclamation that the problem wasn't that Dean is poison - To copy a few blurbs I wrote on twitter (I'm late now), I think the main problem is the lack of communication. There's deep seeded feelings & misconceptions and insecurity. Words won't solve all the issues nor fix bad decisions but it's a start. Until then, these feelings fester & miscommunicatio n grows. In that way, each is poisonous to themselves & each other. That said, this is not the "poison" that Dean's guilty, masochistic brain jumps to & latches on for more self-flagellati on. In fact, I think Dean's self incrimination and belief that he's tainted and will ruin and devastate anyone around him his more of a cop out. It feels real to him but rather than stop and explore deeper and look at what needs to be talked about, it can sometimes be easier to shut down into a spiral of self hate.

I do have hope. The brothers have a foundation of love. There's been some horrible decisions made but I believe 100% they were made out of desperation and love. I think I would have done the same in that situation however mistaken I would be. Trust, while it will take time, can be repaired. But nothing will happen until the two decide they've hit rock bottom and being to LISTEN to each other.

Okay, rambling done. I have so much more I'd love to say but now I'm beyond late! :D Please excuse any misspellings and poor grammar as again, I don't have time to edit and proof and delete. HA!

See ya on the flip side!
tw1nsm0m
# tw1nsm0m 2014-01-21 19:22
This is a fantastic, thought provoking article! I have so many feelings, emotions, questions and thoughts whirling around in my noggin but sadly, just minutes to post as I'm about to scurry out the door. So, following are just a few of my musings which I confess will most likely come across as scattered and disjointed. I don't have time to edit. :D

I wonder if Crowley's obsession of Kevin is due to him being "new". The Winchesters are old hat for Crowley. He knows what makes them tick. Kevin, in addition to being a prophet, was shiny and new (it's still so hard to refer to him in the past tense for me!).

I wonder if taking in blood gives off a "taste" of the human it came from. Are there subtle hints of the who Kevin was and this added to Kevin being the new toy for Crowley to bat around?

Gadreel - I truly think this is one of our lovely gray characters (versus black or white). Yes, he was healing Sam but that wasn't necessarily for Sam's sake. Had Sam succumbed to his injuries, Gadreel would have had to find a new home.

However, he healed Cas and Charlie. Was that more emotional blackmail for Dean? Or, did he care?

I'm thinking right now that he's a mixed bag but his primary goal is returning to the fold of the "cool kids" at all costs. That doesn't make him 100% evil but a bad guy nonetheless.

Finally, Sam's proclamation that the problem wasn't that Dean is poison - To copy a few blurbs I wrote on twitter (I'm late now), I think the main problem is the lack of communication. There's deep seeded feelings & misconceptions and insecurity. Words won't solve all the issues nor fix bad decisions but it's a start. Until then, these feelings fester & miscommunicatio n grows. In that way, each is poisonous to themselves & each other. That said, this is not the "poison" that Dean's guilty, masochistic brain jumps to & latches on for more self-flagellati on. In fact, I think Dean's self incrimination and belief that he's tainted and will ruin and devastate anyone around him his more of a cop out. It feels real to him but rather than stop and explore deeper and look at what needs to be talked about, it can sometimes be easier to shut down into a spiral of self hate.

I do have hope. The brothers have a foundation of love. There's been some horrible decisions made but I believe 100% they were made out of desperation and love. I think I would have done the same in that situation however mistaken I would be. Trust, while it will take time, can be repaired. But nothing will happen until the two decide they've hit rock bottom and being to LISTEN to each other.

Okay, rambling done. I have so much more I'd love to say but now I'm beyond late! :D Please excuse any misspellings and poor grammar as again, I don't have time to edit and proof and delete. HA!

See ya on the flip side!
lacysos
# lacysos 2014-01-22 14:21
Hi All. I'm new to the show. Watched all 8 seasons in September and loving it ever since. Great to read about everyone's reaction. And here are my main thoughts about Road Trip and the season so far.

Gadreel - I don't believe he's a bad angel There have been too many clues to the contrary. For example, when Abner said, "Look at me, I'm happy." Gadreel's response was, "And your vessel? Is he happy?" Then we learned he locked Sam in a dream and he was, after all, healing Sam.

Sam & Dean - They never seemed more distant than in that last scene. I think this separation could be good for both brothers, but I think this is Dean's lesson to learn.

When Sam said, "I was ready to die." Dean's response was, "But I wouldn't let you cause that's not in me." He basically said at that moment, 'I don't care what you want.' Both John & Dean have been so concerned with protecting Sam, they never seem to consider what Sam wanted. This is why Sam's 3 greatest hit scenes in heaven did not include John or Dean.

Dean is so angry with the angel for betraying his trust & lying to him, yet he can't see that he betrayed Sam's trust & lied to Sam. Dean knew that Sam would rather die than be possessed. He said it. Dean needs to learn to "let go" and let Sam be Sam. And Sam needs to take Crowley's advice in the dream and "take control" of his own life.

BTW Gadreel did deliver both tablets to Metatron.
lacysos
# lacysos 2014-01-22 14:21
Hi All. I'm new to the show. Watched all 8 seasons in September and loving it ever since. Great to read about everyone's reaction. And here are my main thoughts about Road Trip and the season so far.

Gadreel - I don't believe he's a bad angel There have been too many clues to the contrary. For example, when Abner said, "Look at me, I'm happy." Gadreel's response was, "And your vessel? Is he happy?" Then we learned he locked Sam in a dream and he was, after all, healing Sam.

Sam & Dean - They never seemed more distant than in that last scene. I think this separation could be good for both brothers, but I think this is Dean's lesson to learn.

When Sam said, "I was ready to die." Dean's response was, "But I wouldn't let you cause that's not in me." He basically said at that moment, 'I don't care what you want.' Both John & Dean have been so concerned with protecting Sam, they never seem to consider what Sam wanted. This is why Sam's 3 greatest hit scenes in heaven did not include John or Dean.

Dean is so angry with the angel for betraying his trust & lying to him, yet he can't see that he betrayed Sam's trust & lied to Sam. Dean knew that Sam would rather die than be possessed. He said it. Dean needs to learn to "let go" and let Sam be Sam. And Sam needs to take Crowley's advice in the dream and "take control" of his own life.

BTW Gadreel did deliver both tablets to Metatron.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-22 14:29
Quoting njspnfan:

Abaddon - didn't Larry (the old MOL guy) say that Abaddon was a hired gun? If so, is there someone else we haven't been introduced to yet? Even if she knows the location of the MOL bunker, she had other priorities now, and that is taking over Hell.

I've been thinking about this. I think he meant that Abaddon was just doing Lucifer's dirty work...that she wasn't the mastermind. In light of 9.11, though (spoiler if you haven't seen that yet)...that could have been a reference to Cain as well.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-22 14:29
Quote:

Abaddon - didn't Larry (the old MOL guy) say that Abaddon was a hired gun? If so, is there someone else we haven't been introduced to yet? Even if she knows the location of the MOL bunker, she had other priorities now, and that is taking over Hell.
I've been thinking about this. I think he meant that Abaddon was just doing Lucifer's dirty work...that she wasn't the mastermind. In light of 9.11, though (spoiler if you haven't seen that yet)...that could have been a reference to Cain as well.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-22 14:42
Lacysos: Welcome to the SPN Family! I'm so glad you joined our discussion. The more the merrier! Every comment give others something to think about!
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-01-22 14:42
Lacysos: Welcome to the SPN Family! I'm so glad you joined our discussion. The more the merrier! Every comment give others something to think about!