We have been tracking the threads of season 9 for the past 23 episodes. The finale’s dramatic conclusion resolved many of clues we followed, proving or disproving our theories and speculations. It also opened up a whole host of new questions, though, providing a cliffhanger ending that pulls us kicking and screaming into season 10. So where were we right…and where were we wrong? Which mysteries remain?


Answers…and Questions

The Mark of Cain
“…with the mark comes a great burden, some would say a great cost”
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The final seconds of the season 9 finale answered one question unequivocally: the cost of bearing the Mark of Cain is your soul. The Mark taps into the raw energy of the soul to make the bearer powerful and strong, but with each kill the soul is further corrupted until the bearer loses all sense of humanity and turns into a demon. After months of speculation and mounting evidence, that fate seemed inevitable. Still, we get to take credit for predicting Dean’s path. The speed with which the Mark assumed control over its victim and the degree to which the bearer was helpless to stop the exploitation was shocking, though.

On the other hand, it seems our second theory that the Mark would make its bearer immortal was only partially accurate. If Cain’s history was any indication of the Mark’s power, nothing less than “the new god” would have been strong enough to defeat and kill the Mark’s owner.  Metatron was able to kill Dean even though Dean bore the Mark of Cain, so the Mark did not extend its owner’s life per se. Instead, just as with Cain, the Mark used death to convert the soul and resurrect the body into a demonic state. Yet Cain made Dean promise to kill him, so it seems death is possible if delivered by the Blade from another Mark. So, like the legend of the Highlander, the bearers can be killed but are essentially, or almost, immortal.

Given that living as a demon means you are also separated from all you loved in life, our suspicion that isolation comes hand in hand with bearing the Mark seems to also be partially true. Both immortality and isolation are undesirable side-effects of being a demon rather than unique consequences by themselves, thus the root of the Mark’s suffering appears to be becoming a slave to its bloodlust. It requires that its bearer continuously kill. If obeyed, its owner loses all sense of self and sanity, hearing only the siren call to kill. If resisted, it slowly kills the body so that in death it assumes complete control and turns the bearer into a demon.

I find that I am still a little uncertain that we, even now, know the whole story, though. I may be overanalyzing Cain’s cryptic omen, but why would Cain say that only some would consider there to be a great cost to having the Mark? Wouldn’t every human being think that corrupting your soul to the point of becoming a demon is a great cost?! Granted, there are some malevolent humans who would relish becoming an immortal entity of evil, so I guess I can rationalize that not all killers would object to the price of the Mark of Cain.

What about the burden reference, then? A burden is defined as “a difficult or worrying responsibility or duty”. What did Cain consider his duty?  Was it restraining himself while he was human against a growing addiction to killing? I don’t think so. Since the Mark’s bloodlust escalates with use, it seems inescapable that the bearer will turn into a demon rather quickly, certainly much faster than the decades of torture in Hell that the process usually requires. The “burden” of restraint then would only be a fleeting problem. Maybe the burden is trying not to kill for all of eternity once you are a demon if you were once a moral individual, as both Cain and Dean were. Given their stated values, though, it seems both they and the Mark would enjoy ridding the world of the plague of demonic influence, so that wouldn’t be considered a burden. Is the burden knowing you can kill demons, but not allowing yourself that guilty pleasure, since it would erase all other aspects of your existence?  Colette didn’t want that for Cain, and certainly Sam and Castiel wouldn’t want that for Dean, so that is possible. I don’t think we will know exactly what Cain thought was his burden until he reappears, presumably in season 10 when he is ready to die and calls Dean to keep his promise. What do you think? Do you think the consequences we’ve seen have fulfilled Cain’s prophecy or do think there is still more to the story?

By the way, I have wondered why Cain waited to call Dean. If Cain wanted to die so badly, why delay his demise? Was he waiting for Dean to kill the last Knight of Hell? Probably, since that would complete Cain’s own aborted mission. I am also guessing, though, that Cain had to wait for Dean to become a demon. Probably a human, even one bearing the Mark, couldn’t have killed Cain. How long do you think we will have to wait before we see Cain again? If I was Dean, I would immediately try to find the original owner of the Mark to learn as much as possible about my fate. A little late, Dean, but you might ask Cain to explain the Mark more completely.

I think we have to give ourselves credit for mostly correct theories about the Mark of Cain.

Addiction

I believe the addiction arc fulfilled its purpose and ended with that last scene of season 9. We watched Dean, Crowley, Metatron and Gadreel struggle against their additions, all with different outcomes. Dean’s inability to ever forgive and accept himself perpetuated his self-image as “a killer”. This led to him accepting the Mark, becoming addicted to killing via the Blade, and enduring the ultimate consequence - becoming one of the creatures he hated the most. Crowley’s involuntary addiction to human blood did the exact opposite. It made him less demonic, i.e. less ruthless and more sentimental. Crowley now has to balance being a demon with a conscience. I believe we will see a great deal more of the effects of Crowley’s semi-demonic existence as it is likely at the heart of him wanting a drinking buddy and a cohort with whom he can howl at the moon. Metatron’s addiction to pursuing and wielding the power of God landed him in an eternal jail, alone and without his beloved stories. Gadreel actually achieved the goal of his addiction to redeem his name, but the pursuit cost him his life. There will still be a lot of fallout from everyone’s addictions, but I think next season will focus on recovery. Dean must recover his humanity and Crowley will either become completely human or completely demonic again. Do you agree?

Brother’s Relationship

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I don’t even know where to begin. The brothers have the most complicated relationship of all time. There were literally a hundred comments on the frustrations I expressed in my episode review to Sam’s “I lied” and “I know”. When did you lie, Sam? In the trailer park when you said you knew Dean needed to follow through to the end, no matter the consequences, or in the bunker when you told Dean you wouldn’t save him in similar circumstances? Then, you know what, Sam?! You know Dean loves you and never meant to hurt you? You know he will keep doing things to protect and save you no matter your wishes…or you know that he regrets what he did to you and is sorry? You know he learned a lesson and will give you back autonomy over your life, or you know he can never, ever stop being the big brother? Did you expect him to let you face Metatron together in a fight to the death, or weren’t you surprised that he sucker punched you, effectively still making your decisions for you? Then what did you decide Sam? Why did you call Crowley?

Dean. Oh Dean. Your decision to knock out your brother saved him but doomed you. You’re okay with that since you told him to leave you and escape before Metatron returned but when did you decide that you’re proud of what you and your brother had done and had become? Couldn’t you have said that to him before your dying breath? Now Sam is once again in a position to have to save you, only this time he can’t leave you to die in peace because you aren’t at peace. He has to act. At least Sam doesn’t have to compromise his oath because the circumstances certainly are not the same as when you decided to save his life. He could have chosen to go with Death, gotten a cold beer in Heaven (well, the veil, but that’s another story) and not hurt anyone ever again. You, on the other hand, are dangerous and have to be saved, stopped or killed. What a mess…and an outstanding set-up for season 10. Could these boys PLEASE get their act together!?

 “I did what I had to do”

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“Damn it Crowley. You got him into this mess. You will get him out, or so help me God.”
I do not think Sam was going to make a deal with his soul, regardless of what Crowley assumed. Sam does not typically cover the same ground twice. I believe he was going to somehow try to force Crowley to find a solution to Dean’s problem. I think Sam’s complete sentence would have been “or so help me God, I will kill you this time.” He sounded threatening, not resigned. I think he is perfectly willing to do whatever he has to do to save Dean.  For that reason, I think it is quite possible that this theme will extend into the beginning of season 10.  The exact phrase was layered into so much dialogue this season that it would be overkill to keep repeating it next year, but I project that we will hear it at least a few more times before it is put to rest, especially from Sam.   

Redemption

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We get full credit for believing that Gadreel would be redeemed. Castiel even specifically acknowledged Gadreel’s redemption. I was so very sorry to lose Gadreel, though. I really wanted him to continue to work with Castiel to restore Heaven. At least he had a fitting and honorable end. I am fascinated with his conversion and martyrdom speech:
Gadreel:  “I sat in this hole for thousands of years, thinking of nothing but redemption, of reclaiming my good name. I thought of nobody, no cause, other than my own.”

Castiel:  “You've been redeemed, my friend.”

Gadreel: “The only thing that matters in the end is the mission -- protecting those who would not and cannot protect themselves --the humans. None of us is bigger than that. And we will not let our fears, our self-absorption prevent us from seeing it through. Not anymore…When they say my name, perhaps I won't just be the one who let the serpent in. Perhaps I will be known as one of the many who gave heaven a second chance.”

I get chills hearing that speech. Gadreel eloquently summarized in a few words what Castiel had been trying to say for so long. In the end, one of the very first angels to be disgraced at the beginning of time was the only angel who understood the path that Castiel saw so clearly. God’s mission for the angels was worthy of their lives. It was their one, true calling. Gadreel, you’ve been redeemed, my friend.

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Ironically, Gadreel's death was also instrumental in redeeming Castiel. Gadreel’s sacrifice convinced Hannah that Castiel had been telling the truth about his own intentions and about Metatron’s deception. The angels believe in Castiel again (having heard Metatron’s confessions).
Hannah: “You're doing the right thing -- letting him live. It's what a leader would do.”

Castiel: “I'm no leader, Hannah. I never was. I just want to be an angel.”
While the revealed truth redeemed Castiel in the eyes of his followers, it was really humility that allowed Castiel to accept redemption. After so many attempts to save Heaven and Earth from Lucifer, Raphael, Metatron and a host of angels who saw themselves as the new god (including Castiel himself), Castiel found his true self by again believing in his mission. I am curious as to whether he will be allowed to be “just” an angel, or if he will be compelled to lead others to their rightful path. After all, there is still the problem of the veil to be addressed. The most likely scenario is now that Cas seeks simplicity, he will instead share the brothers’ fate of being a reluctant hero.

Even though Gadreel and Castiel found their redemption this season, I think the redemption arc will have to continue. Instead of following the quests for the angels’ redemptions, though, I believe (hope, pray) we will finally see Sam and Dean both offer and accept redemption for themselves. I think we are also moving towards Crowley finding redemption for his eons of havoc. These thoughts fills me with hope, so I choose to predict that the redemption theme will continue.

Reversals

My episode review mentioned some masterful reversals in the finale:

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- Sam and Castiel locking Dean in the dungeon mirrored Dean and Bobby locking Sam in the panic room in “When the Levee Breaks”. Blood addiction, whether ingested or spilled, seems to lead to incarceration by your friends and relatives.  

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- Dean faced the object of his obsession (Metatron) alone, just as Sam faced the object of his obsession (Lilith) alone.

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- The staging, dialog and events surrounding Dean’s death were direct echoes of Sam’s death in “All Hell Breaks Loose-Part 1” (a Winchester yelling “Noooo!” from far away; sprinting to the dying brother to only be able to witness the last few seconds of life; lying about how easily the wound would be healed then holding the doomed brother while he dies in your arms).

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- Sam standing over the lifeless body of his brother, wondering what he is supposed to do, just as Dean stood over Sam’s lifeless body and wondered what he was supposed to do, in “All Hell Breaks Loose-Part 2”

Other viewers pointed out that season 9 began with Dean trying to keep Sam from dying and ended with Sam trying to keep Dean from dying. Also, Dean began the season by calling angels and Sam ended the season by calling a demon.

All season we have been tracking reversals: demons becoming human while humans became demons; the angelic vessel turning demonic while the demonic vessel housed an angel; the lowly becoming god (Metatron) while the previously self-proclaimed god (Castiel) became lowly. The parallels have been so prominent that it seems likely the conclusion to all these arcs would also follow prior seasons' resolutions. If that happens in season 10, we will have come full circle. Everyone will have lived through the mistakes and choices faced by others. This might be what finally allows the brother’s relationship to grow and mature, what finally allows Cas to save Heaven and the angelic hosts, and what finally gives Crowley love. While I can’t predict exact events, it seems we should continue the reversal thread as well.

Heaven:

1.        “You’ve [Sam] seen everything that he’s [Gadreel] seen”- This did not end up being important in either defeating Metatron or in the angels regaining access to Heaven, so from that standpoint it doesn’t seem to have been an ominous or foreshadowing comment. I can’t completely disregard it as a loose thread, though, because it is a major addition to canon. Crowley clearly explained more about how possessions work. That is a circumstance that the writers can capitalize on sometime in the future. I’ll give us half credit on this one!

2.       What did Crowley learn from the angel tablet? – This is still an open point that I intend to carry forward into season 10. Crowley read something on that tablet. I believe it is important.

3.       Is the Angel Banishing Spell Reversible? /Is Castiel’s stolen grace the key to reversing the angel banishing spell? Although we haven’t talked about it previously, Metatron actually created two separate problems with his “angel banishing spell”. He cast the angels out of Heaven but he also closed Heaven’s gates.  Castiel now controls the backdoor to Heaven. Presumably angels will be allowed to reenter Heaven this way. Regardless, the issue remains as to how to reopen the gates of Heaven. So far no one has tried reversing the spell, probably because they didn’t have access to the angel tablet, so we still don’t know if Castiel’s grace is needed. The finale also did not mention anything about the millions of souls stuck in the veil being accepted into Heaven. Maybe Kevin repairs the tablet? Maybe Crowley knows the counter spell (from reading the tablet)? Somehow Heaven has to get repaired so it is still possible that Cas’ grace is required. We definitively learned that Cas will die if his own grace isn’t restored, and according to his own estimate he doesn’t have much time left, so the plot line seems to be leading to how Castiel finds his grace to heal himself versus healing Heaven’s rift.  While this may indicate that Castiel’s grace is not the key to Heaven’s door, we really don’t yet know how Heaven's problems will be resolved.

So several of Heaven’s storylines must continue into season 10. The angel tablet was destroyed; Kevin is stuck in the veil (with all the other confused souls); and Castiel is in charge of Heaven but is dying (while Metatron is still alive).

MetatroninPrison

One solution might be to “convince” Metatron to retrieve the vial containing Cas’ grace. If the grace was entirely expended for the angel banishing spell, though, then Kevin in the veil seems like an obvious kismet – Kevin repairs the tablet which holds the keys to reopening Heaven’s gates and restoring an angel’s grace. Cas is healed and Kevin and all the lost souls receive their heavenly reward. It is unlikely that the writers would resurrect Kevin, as in bring him back to Earth alive, though. There were comments that Kevin was a loose end that kept popping in and out of plots. Where was Kevin? Why weren’t the brothers helping Kevin? The writers needed to kill Kevin to solve a recurring awkwardness in the storyline. I think at best we will get a welcome, but short, revival of Kevin’s character before he is shuffled off to Heaven permanently.

MetatronatTypewriter

Of the many unresolved questions about Heaven, I was also left wondering about the story Metatron had been writing. He said it was “a marvelous story full of love and heartbreak and love”. That struck me as odd because I haven’t seen a lot of “love” in his story yet. He said he was the hero and that Castiel was the villain, which makes sense for the chapters related to Metatron returning all the angels to Heaven. That interpretation doesn’t seem to be about “love and love”, though. Metatron also said he “knew” the end of his story. Have we reached the end that Metatron “knew”? Surely he didn’t see himself in prison as a result of a coup. He said he was “going on a short trip…, but rest assured, all will be explained [upon my return] and it will be glorious”.  He changed into his “pathetic” clothes “to tell the rest of the story”. We know his trip was to Earth to reveal himself to mankind, expecting all humans to accept him as the new god. I assume he envisioned returning to Heaven in triumph, taking his place on Heaven’s throne as god, with humans worshipping or at least obeying him, maybe becoming martyrs in his name. He would rule Heaven and Earth with absolute and complete autonomy and power, with the host of angels in Heaven and the entire race of people on Earth united in the “Love” of him alone as god. Was this the “glorious” end to the story he was writing? A regime change in Heaven?  Was his ending foiled when his boasts were broadcast by Castiel, or are we just witnessing one of his plot subversions? Just as I don’t think the writers would resurrect Kevin, I don’t think they would extend Metatron’s role much longer. Most of us were happy to see him defeated. Still, I just don’t feel settled that this was the ending he “knew”, and I sense him being alive is an important clue we shouldn’t dismiss. What do you think?

Letting Go / Grief

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In the opening scene of “Do You Believe in Miracles”, when Dean was desperately trying to attack Gadreel, Sam used the exact words of this theme as he tried to get the First Blade away from Dean:
“Let it go! Let it go! Let it go.”

Then Crowley’s long overdue story about Cain’s struggles revealed that the Mark also wasn’t ever going to “let go”:
“You have to believe me. When I suggested you take on the Mark of Cain, I didn't know this was going to happen. Not really. I mean, I might not have told you the entire truth. But I never lied. I never lied, Dean. That's important. It's fundamental. But...there is one story about Cain that I might have... forgotten to tell you. Apparently, he, too, was willing to accept death, rather than becoming the killer the Mark wanted him to be. So he took his own life with the Blade. He died. Except, as rumor has it, the Mark never quite let go.”

Lastly, Sam struggled with his decision as to whether or not to let go of Dean in death. At the time Sam made his decision, he didn’t know Dean would become a demon, so it was a pure dilemma of facing overwhelming grief and letting Dean rest, or holding onto him, finding a way to resurrect and restore Dean’s body and soul.  Clearly, Sam chose to not repeat his choice of letting go of Dean in seasons 7/8 when Sam didn’t know where Dean was nor how to save him. This time Sam is committed to not letting go.

The theme of letting go and grief permeated the entire season. Characters and storylines kept advising the brothers that letting go was the smart thing to do. Not surprisingly, they didn’t listen to anyone’s advice. It seems both brothers have made their choices, so I believe the theme has served its purpose. I don’t see it continuing as blatantly into next season.

Will someone else turn out to be who they aren't supposed to be?

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The season ended with the ultimate switch – the ultimate hunter became the ultimate demon. Yet I am stuck on the hunch that Crowley is not who we think he is. Until we know something for sure, this is a theme we need to watch.

New Themes (Storylines?)

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Crowley: “I never lied. I never lied, Dean. That’s important. It’s fundamental.”

Why was this so important? Sure, Crowley knows how much lying got between the brothers, and he wants to start a new relationship with Dean, but fundamental?? Is it fundamental because trust is the basis of any relationship? My instincts tell me this phrase is as key as Cain’s warning, or Sam’s cryptic reference to “the problem” with his brother. I think this is the beginning of a new thread.

There were also three new possible threads introduced in previous episodes:

Who is Kevin’s real father?

Female Hunters

Gavin’s Impact on Time

Curiosities

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-          The angel suicides in “Stairway to Heaven” were clues to the finale, but they were foreshadowing Gadreel’s end, not Dean’s. I had theorized that Dean’s comment to Tessa about never having been low enough to take his own life might have been an omen about Dean’s death.  Instead, Dean was telling us he was strong enough to not kill himself. His remark may still be relevant later in his demonic journey, though, since Crowley revealed that Cain tried to kill himself. We will have to wait and see.

-          Metatron and Gadreel did not know about the MoC and the First Blade. I appreciated knowing that detail for certain.

-          A random thought: the show seems to be slowly giving Team Free Will the knowledge they need to eliminate everything Supernatural from the world. Metatron “turned off” the prophet engine so there may never be another prophet of God on Earth.  The brothers know how to close the gates of Hell, effectively protecting Earth from future demonic influence (although would that trap evil souls in the veil?). They know how to cure people who are already possessed by demons, so theoretically they could either kill or cure every last demon on Earth.  A reformed Crowley has limitless knowledge of monstrous creatures and how to tame, cure or eliminate them, plus hunters can already cure new vampires, and there is a growing faction of peaceful werewolves (Garth, “Bitten” Kate).  What if, one by one, the Winchesters are eliminating all Supernatural forces from their world? The end of the series could be that they have accomplished what no other hunters could have hoped to accomplish – complete and total victory.  Humans no longer having to contend with monsters. I abhor talking about the end of the series (because it will be eons from now) but this seems like a very realistic possibility to me given the slow progression in this direction. It’s like the longest thread imaginable. What do you think?

Let me know if I have triggered any new thoughts about the finale or season 10’s possibilities! Do you agree or disagree with my speculations??

Till Next Season…

-Nightsky

Screen Caps courtesy of www.homeofthenutty.com.



Comments  

cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-06-13 12:29
I don't know about having the Mark means killing demons. The Mark was given to Cain by Lucifer. Lucifer's goal seemed to be to wipe out mankind. There were times it looked like Dean would have killed Sam if he got in the way. So I have a feeling Dean is going to be a threat to humans more than demons.
What would SPN be if the brothers had a functional relationship? They are always going to be on different pages. Dean act first don't think about it later, Sam think first and regret it later.
Sam "I lied" could have been the trailer park convo or the Purge either way Sam wanted Dean to know he was never going to be ok with Dean dying. My interpretation of "what happened to you being ok with me dying"="do you still love me" and "I lied"="of course I do". Winchester speak is always going to be frustrating. And yes these guys always wait until it is just about too late to express that to each other.
I got the feeling that Sam was going to beat Crowley to death if he didn't help Dean. I think Crowley got that wrong. Sam didn't look like he was going to make a deal.
Maybe the theme for next season will be redemption. Gadreel got redemption in the end (it was probably the best arc of the season) and Castiel (through Gadreel's sacrifice) finally seemed to make at least Hannah understand that the mission is protecting God's creation.
Crowley...what is he really? I hope we finally get to know Crowley's back story. More Mark Shepard please.
Crowley read something on that piece of paper with the ancient text Kevin found. He said the spell was irreversible... hmm Crowley lied. Kevin will have a part to play in restoring souls to heaven they just have to get the pieces of the tablet to him. Then smash it again!
So many possibilities for S10 I can't even imagine where this is going.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-06-13 16:08
Cheryl42, Thanks for your insights. I especially liked:
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My interpretation of "what happened to you being ok with me dying"="do you still love me" and "I lied"="of course I do".
Your version is so much better than theirs!
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I got the feeling that Sam was going to beat Crowley to death if he didn't help Dean. I think Crowley got that wrong. Sam didn't look like he was going to make a deal.
I am glad it wasn't just me that thought that about Sam!
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-06-13 12:59
Nightsky - wow, lots to process... a couple of thoughts

Mark of Cain

Souls are warped/twisted in to demons after a long time in hell. That didn't happen to Dean here so is this a case of the Mark of Cain twisting Dean's soul in to a demon, or more that the Mark of Cain wouldn't "let go" and Dean is now possessed by the Mark of Cain? I think the answer to this question will affect how this plays out in S10, and ultimately Dean's redemption arc. Cain was able to control his bloodlust for 150 years (since Colette died). On the other hand, we had Abaddon collecting souls in jars and turning them in to demons this season so maybe the canon/lore on becoming a demon is being altered? Many commenters this season speculated about the brothers having to walk a mile in each other's shoes to gain some perspective and understanding of each other. Sam has experienced possessions at the hands of Meg, Lucifer, and Zeke/Gadreel. Dean has never experienced this; there have been brief incidents, such as in Southern Comfort (spectre), Sex and Violence (siren), but never a true, full on possession by a demon or angel.

As far as Cain calling on Dean to kill him, I agree with your conjecture that Dean would not have been able to kill Cain, even with the blade, until he became a demon. I also wonder if Abel plays a part in this story in Season 10? Maybe saving/forgivin g Cain to parallel the story of Sam trying to save Dean?

Addiction

I loved how Crowley's brush with humanity was the result of the purified blood of Sam Winchester, THE vessel for Lucifer. Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

"The Brothers Winchester"

Just not sure where they're going with this; is Dean going to learn to respect Sam's autonomy or are they just going to have to accept each other for who they are, warts and all? At the beginning of Season 8, Jeremy Carver spoke a lot about a maturing of the brother's relationship; guess we'll have to wait until Season 10 to see this unfold.

"I did what I had to do"

I agree that Sam wasn't going to make a deal with Crowley, but rather force him to "fix it". If he was going to make a deal, this would be contrary to everything Sam has said and done in the past couple of seasons.

Heaven.

You're right, Crowley found something out from the angel tablet cuneiform he translated for Sam and Kevin, and is not sharing with the rest of the class.

Angel Banishing Spell - are all the souls still stuck in the veil, is Metatron's spell still in effect? I guess we'll find out in Season 10. You're right, it looks like the angel/gates of heaven and Castiel's diminishing grace arc will continue on in to Season 10. Since Metatron knows were Castiel's grace is, and how to undo the spell, he'll play a role in Season 10 as well.

Curiosities

Interest thought on having the knowledge to close heaven and hell. Another thinky thought I had is - maybe God's plan all along was to "humanize" heaven and hell. In S8, many questioned the wisdom of closing the gates of hell, or heaven for that matter. In hell's case, even if you get rid of all of the demons, some other form of evil will fill the void. So, instead of closing them up, why not change them from the inside, with the leaders of heaven and hell having both been humanized? Clearly, Castiel has been affected by his time as human and interactions with Sam and Dean and he is the defacto leader of heaven. Likewise with Crowley nearly being cured and his terminal case of the "feels".
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-06-13 16:21
Njspnfan:
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Nightsky - wow, lots to process... a couple of thoughts
I thought so too! When I was writing the article, I just kept typing and typing...Suddenly I looked down and saw that this was one of the biggest Threads articles of the season. I hadn't realized that the finale hit on just about every single theme we had been tracking!

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Souls are warped/twisted in to demons after a long time in hell. That didn't happen to Dean here so is this a case of the Mark of Cain twisting Dean's soul in to a demon, or more that the Mark of Cain wouldn't "let go" and Dean is now possessed by the Mark of Cain?
My opinion is that the Mark warped Dean's soul to make him into a demon. I don't see him as possessed. I see him as transformed.

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I loved how Crowley's brush with humanity was the result of the purified blood of Sam Winchester, THE vessel for Lucifer. Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.
I never thought of it that way! That's actually pretty cool.

Heaven: I hadn't thought of it before, but I would think that Castiel's grace would have been used up in the spell. Ingredients don't usually survive the process. That's why they have to keep getting fresh ingredients to redo spells. I think the whole reason the writers kept Metatron alive was because he knows where the grace is, or whether or not there was any left. If it's gone, the angel table/Kevin have to be the answer to reviving Castiel.

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So, instead of closing them up, why not change them from the inside, with the leaders of heaven and hell having both been humanized?
I like this idea too! Same result but more eloquent without bad side effects. The Winchesters reform Heaven and Hell rather than close them!
Cat
# Cat 2014-06-13 14:46
Hello Nightsky, thank you for tracking these threads with us through season nine. I hope season 10 gives new answers as well as many new interesting threads to follow.
Like you, I still wonder about the “burden” Cain mentioned. Cain had pledged his soul to Lucifer, so becoming a demon was already part of his deal. Why mention it as a special “burden” associated with the Mark? Maybe the “burden” is the fact that once you take on the Mark, it stays with you. It gives you powers which you can’t use if you don’t want to lose yourself.
I also wondered about the fact that the bearer of the Mark isn’t “born” like other demons. From what we have been told, warping a human soul into a demon is a process which involves centuries of torture. With the Mark, the bearer becomes a demon almost instantly after his death. Even if the Mark has already warped the bearer’s soul before death, the transformation is still extremely quick, which means that when becoming a demon, the bearer of the Mark has very fresh memories of his life as a human being. That would set him apart from not only humanity and the people he loves, but other demons as well. Isolation does seem to be a part of what comes with taking on the Mark.
I think Cain waited to call Dean because he didn’t want to die: he simply wanted to make sure that he could die when the time came and he wanted to. Maybe he hasn’t called because that time hasn’t come just yet. Of course, he could also have been waiting for Dean to kill Abaddon and become a demon himself. I think we will find out more next season. Like you, I believe Dean’s next step should be to find Cain.
I agree with you about the addiction arc: it has served its purpose, and the next step will hopefully be recovery.
The brother’s relationship is really complicated, which makes it interesting to watch. I think Sam lied both in the trailer park and in the bunker. In the bunker, he said what the really meant, but in a way that he knew would be misinterpreted, which is a form of lying. I also think Sam knows that Dean never meant to hurt him, but can’t help being a big brother and trying to protect him. He might not have expected Dean to sucker punch him and keep him away from the fight with Metatron, but I don’t think he was that surprised about it either.
I think Dean said “I’m proud of us” because those were the words Dean wanted to hear and John Winchester might have thought, but never said (Azazel possessing John doesn’t count). While dying, Dean realized he was about to make the same mistake as his father and decided to do something about it. And they do have things to be proud of: defeating Azazel, averting the Apocalypse, stopping Castiel’s rampage and sending the Leviathans back to Purgatory, just to name a few things.
I agree with you about Sam calling Crowley: he was definitely not about to make a deal, and he is ready to do anything to save Dean.
The issues of the souls stuck in the veil, Castiel’s grace and Kevin’s fate remain unresolved, and will hopefully be dealt with next season. I hope the writers will use the opportunity to bring back Kevin one last time and give him a proper send-off.
I wondered about Metatron declaring himself the hero in his story. As cultured as he is, wouldn’t he notice that he fit the common tropes associated with villains? Either he really is that self-centered and delusional, or he deliberately constructed a certain persona in order to set in motion a chain of events that would give Heaven a fresh start. Either way, I don't think Metatron will play a prominent role in the next season. He might, however, make a return appearance.
About Sam’s decision not to let Dean go, I agree with the fact that Sam doesn’t tread the same ground twice. Dean spent his last moments worrying about the effect the Mark was having on him and accepted death to avoid it. Sam knew what had caused Dean to accept his death and he knew what to do about it. I don’t think the theme of grief and letting go will be continued next season.
I took Crowley’s insistence on the fact that he didn’t lie as him wanting to establish trust. He may claim to have quit taking human blood and want to leave humanity behind, but his experience in the church did leave a lasting impression. It seems that Crowley realized that he is lonely and wanted to make Dean his friend. Crowley tested Dean and kept making comments that were meant seriously but were brushed off by Dean. I think that Cain’s story was on his mind when he told Dean about the Blade. Dean becoming a demon does give Crowley an advantage over the Winchesters, but that could also be had by Dean dying and remaining dead. In Dean’s room, Crowley talked about hope and miracles: he really wanted Dean to live as a demon and learn to trust him. He has his work cut out for him: Dean has trust issues, and a lie by omission remains a lie.
Cat
# Cat 2014-06-13 16:25
I forgot to mention that Gadreel's final speech gave me the chills too. It did reflect Castiel's ideas about on their mission, and I think it might insipre him to reconsider his stance on being a leader.
I thought that the fact that Sam had seen everything Gadreel had seen and vice-versa did have a part in the events leading to Metatron's defeat. Gadreel did approach Castiel by saying that he had seen him through the eyes of Sam Winchester, who trusted him. In my opinion, the fact that Sam had seen trough Gadreel's eyes lead to Sam's acceptance of Gadreel as an ally. He might have seen similarities between Gadreel's choices and choices he had made in the past, such as following Ruby, killing the possessed nurse and killing Lilith. In any case, he must have understood Gadreel's motives and his need for redemption.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-06-13 16:37
Cat, I had forgotten about Sam's empathy for Gadreel, expressed in the prior episode. I think you are right. The dialog didn't specifically mention it so I didn't connect Sam's acceptance of Gadreel with Crowley's comment.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-06-13 16:34
Cat,
Quote:
Dean becoming a demon does give Crowley an advantage over the Winchesters,
It gives Crowley emotional leverage, and certainly he knows a great deal more about being a demon that Dean, so he has an intellectual advantage. What I hadn't considered before, though, was that Cain was more powerful than Crowley! Remember when Cain silenced Crowley? It may be possible that Crowley won't be able to control Dean - that Dean is actually the more powerful of the two.
Cat
# Cat 2014-06-13 17:37
Yes, Crowley wouldn't be able to control Dean, which is why I believe he'll be smart enough no to try. But you are right : Dean being a demon gives Crowley emotional leverage and an intellectual advantage which I'm sure he will put to good use. I can't wait to see how Dean and Crowley's relationship develops.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-06-13 18:56
I just hope we find out who/what Crowley really is.

he got it on with Naomi in Mesopotamia, but since when do angels and demons get it on? why is it that Crowley is red? how did he manage to become the king of hell? did I forget, why did Crowley really want purgatory, was he just after the souls? what was he going to do with hell's souls and purgatory souls anyway? am I supposed to believe that Crowley just wants love? why did he really bank on dean becoming a demon, just so he can have a friend? really? what is Crowley really looking for having dean a demon?

meg said crowely was always the problem...what is he truly after and why is it that every single bad guy that ever went up against the Winchesters underestimated them, including Lucifer himself, but Crowley ...no...is he a mensa demon?

I just really hope they explain what Crowley really is and what he's truly after
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-06-14 06:44
Nappi, I think they have left Crowley mystery for a reason. I mean he was introduced first as a crossroads demon. I saw somewhere a question that have we ever seen the color of Crowley's demon eyes. As I am atm on seasons re-watch I can say we actually have. In 8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy? He possessed Mama Tran and he had red eyes. (If he didn't fake them). I think the curious thing is the red demon smoke and Crowley always knows more than he lets on. That is for sure.

Can't wait to see more Dean + Crowley, Sam + Castiel AND specially Dean + Sam! All four are great characters but the brothers really need a break. :D

Quote:
- A random thought: the show seems to be slowly giving Team Free Will the knowledge they need to eliminate everything Supernatural from the world. Metatron “turned off” the prophet engine so there may never be another prophet of God on Earth. The brothers know how to close the gates of Hell, effectively protecting Earth from future demonic influence (although would that trap evil souls in the veil?). They know how to cure people who are already possessed by demons, so theoretically they could either kill or cure every last demon on Earth. A reformed Crowley has limitless knowledge of monstrous creatures and how to tame, cure or eliminate them, plus hunters can already cure new vampires, and there is a growing faction of peaceful werewolves (Garth, “Bitten” Kate). What if, one by one, the Winchesters are eliminating all Supernatural forces from their world? The end of the series could be that they have accomplished what no other hunters could have hoped to accomplish – complete and total victory. Humans no longer having to contend with monsters. I abhor talking about the end of the series (because it will be eons from now) but this seems like a very realistic possibility to me given the slow progression in this direction. It’s like the longest thread imaginable. What do you think?


This actually made my head spin. Only to say that it is... Well, after my head wasn't all over the place an awesome idea. I mean there is none like the Winchesters and their allies. They have walked a long way so if someone can do this. They can.

We have also talked a lot about Demon!Dean. The question how he will be as demon has gotten many possibilities. The writers need to be very careful where they head forward and I at least don't even dare or can't imagine what is the "best" way. In other series (Angel) The character Angel had two personas Angel and Angelus. Angelus wanted to torture everyone that Angel loved and who loved Angel. Angelus was a nasty piece of work. And even if Angelus was really bad he still had some of Angel's character and he also pretend to be "Angel" few times.

I don't know where they go tho with Demon!Dean. But that was closest of my take it could be.

- Lilah
debbab
# debbab 2014-06-15 11:47
I do not think Sam would have made a deal to save Dean.He is putting it on Crowley and knows enough about Crowley to capture him and torture but the story won't go it that direction. The Sam summoning Crowley is to let us know that Sam has changed from the end of season 7. He would not go off and just drive.
Never really answered if Sam was purified by the trials as his blood has been ingested by Crowley and this tends to make me think that Crowley's affection for Dean has grown with his references to family. Yes, Dean promised to kill Cain so let's wait on that return. Does Demon Dean still believe in free will?
Crowely and Dean are off howling at the moon for a while- wasn't that Crowley's hope all along? He wants a buddy. And is Crowley really who we think he is? That fundamental not lying line scratches at me. Can't find my way home a new anthem for Dean, Crowley and others who might find their home in other characters?
E
# E 2014-06-15 14:22
I wonder if Crowley's affection for Dean can be traced back specifically to Sam's blood…. that his affection for Dean is coming directly from Sam's blood because Sam's love for Dean goes that deep. That could be a very interesting development if the writers choose to go in that direction (although I highly doubt they will). It would be nice to know that Sam's 'purified' blood managed to serve SOME purpose and that the entirely of season 8 and everything Sam went through with the trials wasn't a complete waste of time.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-06-15 15:45
That is a good question E! It would be very interesting indeed.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-06-15 16:46
i'm not so sure. as I just rewatched s7, I can't help but wonder if Crowley is as brilliant and manipulative as i lean towards him being, or perhaps bobby has rubbed off on me and i'm just paranoid.
i don't think anything sam went through during s8 or s9 has been a waste of time. since i believe carver is telling the story of sam and dean's inner monsters which they have to face, i think sam's blood being purified is quite significant. sam's entire outlook of himself has been that he's a freak. he's tainted and unpure. he' s been driven his whole life to do good, because he has always strove to fight the evil that flows within. the trials were putting sam through the ringer, but when he confessed to dean that they were purifying him, there was joy in his voice. he would finally be rid of the evil that flowed through his veins and made him think himself as a freak. if the trials did anything, at least it did that for sam and i say he deserves at least that much. but then again, who knows if sam's purified blood won't be brought up again in the future.
as far as Crowley goes...it seems to me as i watched s7 that meg may be right when she said that Crowley is always the problem. Crowley had his sights set on purgatory, did he just give up on that? there was a reason for it wasn't there? i just find it quite interesting that Crowley had his demons lay off the Winchesters so that they can take care of dick roman for him. i also find it interesting that Crowley knew all along what would happen to whichever Winchester killed dick roman. i believe that Crowley knew all along that dean wasn't dead and he in fact knew where he was. i find it interesting that the one Winchester who went to purgatory is the same Winchester that Crowley led to cain in the first place. the paranoid in me can't help but wonder if Crowley had wanted another way to gain access to purgatory and since dean is the one who ended up there, Crowley used that to his advantage. it's not like dean would've volunteered to Crowley any info on purgatory, but if Crowley thinks that demon dean would be his best bud.....isn't it possible that Crowley can get that info on purgatory and learn how to gain access to it, which is what he originally wanted in s6?
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-06-17 10:01
You're saying that Crowley has been grooming Dean for at least 2 years. That is an interesting thought to consider. Crowley couldn't have known that Dean would be the one to use the Leviathan weapon, but then again, maybe Crowley didn't care which brother used it, as long as one of them ended up in Purgatory. Crowley withheld info about that weapon, just as he withheld info on the Mark. A smart gambler, or negotiator (Crowley is both), never shows all his cards. Crowley may be holding back info then seeing if , when or how he can use it to his advantage. I can strongly believe that scenario easier than the long con. "I never lied" is consistent with him wanting to be loved AS he takes advantage of circumstances. Using events to survive is desperation from a brilliant strategists. A long con is manipulation by an unfeeling demon. So we have to wait to see which one Crowley is.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-06-15 19:44
I don't know it seems like Crowley already had a reaper on his payroll that could get him into purgatory. So I don't think he would need Dean for that. I think Crowley has bigger things on his mind. Humanity has always been the goal of the demons. Maybe Crowley wants it all Heaven, Hell and dominion over life on earth.
The things we know about Crowley is his mother (or father) was a witch, he was a crossroads demon, he may or may not have been in Mesapotamia, somehow he became king of hell, he has red smoke and Gavin didn't recognized him. Add it all up and we've got....no clue. But I hope we get to find out next season.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-06-15 19:55
i'm going to assume that was post s6, because if Crowley had access to a reaper, who had access to purgatory...the n what the heck was s6 about:D
I don't know. in taxi driver it was one of Crowley's demon spies that let him know that the reaper had met with the boys. even if Crowley had a rogue reaper on his payroll, it doesn't necessarily mean that Crowley had intel on what the reapers know. Crowley wanted to know what sam was doing with the reaper and he told him that sam wanted to go to hell. there was no indication at all that Crowley knows that hell has a secret portal to get into purgatory. I don't think he knows. seemed that he souls played a very important role. Crowley wanted all the souls, both hell and purgatory's . he'd have wanted them for a reason. now since nothing is really new in regards to Crowley, i'm running on the assumption that Crowley doesn't have purgatory's souls like he wanted in s6....which leads me to conclude that Crowley has no idea that there's a portal from hell to purgatory.
Again, it's just me tying the threads of the seasons together but like you, it's just my mere speculation ...I've no clue as to where they'll go with this,, but i'm anxious to find out... what I feel pretty sure about is that he's up to something and I don't think it's about being best buds with a Winchester...;)

so you think next season's opener will play van halen's running with the devil?:p:D
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-06-15 20:52
Your right in S6 (195 episodes!!!) he was looking for purgatory. The souls did play a part in this season when Sam found that souls were being removed from people. They brought that up for a reason I'm guessing. And it was mentioned that a person, MOL in training evidently, could tap into the power of his soul. Since Crowley has no soul he wants as many nuclear reactors as he can get his hands on. I really need to know more about Crowley.
Running with the Devil...do you think they can afford it?
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-06-16 07:49
On a side note. I would really love more music in the episodes like that. It feels little lacking on season 9. :)

- Lilah
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-06-17 10:13
YEAH, I'm guessing the music budget got cut in favor of the VFX budget. I love the effects we have seen the past 2 years, but I REALLY miss the rock music. Carver said the boys had to "grow up" so they listen to less hard rock. I think it was extremely significant that the first time they kicked back in the MOL bunker, 50s nostalgia music played signaling a shift from the rock-music-on-t he-road life.