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In the back half of season nine, episode titles have had great significance. Some have literal meaning---as seen in “#Thinman” or “Meta Fiction.” Others have elements of metaphor like “Captives,” speaking to the emotion of grief or “The Purge,” about cutting out the bad and building upon the good. Some connect to a character---as seen with Cain in “First Born.” Episode titles can reveal much about the story to unfold. In many ways, it is a clue unto itself, cluing the viewer into what they might expect. We see this element in the title “King of the Damned.” In it, we watch the war for Hell's throne come to a head---and end with a coronation of sorts. In it, we see a victor---and yet we wonder if the cure may become worse than the disease.

First, let's look at the players in the fight for Hell's throne.

On one side, we have Crowley, the King, trying to reclaim his throne by any means necessary. Crowley's more negotiator than attack dog, and so he tries to appeal to the diplomatic senses. He is worried about “jangled nerves” and “restoring confidence” as if Hell is full of stock holders rather than demons. He knows that his system of thinking works and can grow Hell indefinitely. There's always someone willing to sell their soul for something---be it “three inches of willy” or to save a loved one. Souls will keep siphoning into his coffers---but only if he can keep control.

On the other, we have Abaddon, the Knight of Hell who would be Queen of Hell. She's violent, unpredictable, and impatient. She is vicious and would rule through brute strength and fear rather than subterfuge. She takes what she wants rather than waiting for it to come to her. She fundamentally sees demons and Hell differently than Crowley. Rather than being orderly in making deals, Abaddon sees them as agents of chaos. They are to disrupt everything and everyone around them through acts of aggression and violence. In her tenure as Queen, she would emphasize this side of things, making demonic activity on earth far more frightening---after all, she's been creating her own demons to serve her and her alone.

And yet, Abaddon's footing on the throne isn't any sounder. Despite all of Crowley's advisers turning against him---not one raises their voice in agreement with his proposal to calm the waters---the new Queen isn't entirely secure quite yet on her throne. She has loose ends she wants to resolve now rather than later. On one hand, it's a brilliant strategy to bring the fight to her and on her own terms. She's choosing the place, the time, and the players involved. She knows they're coming and so therefore can be ready for their moves.

Abaddon knows she must remove the threat of the First Blade and its new owner, Dean Winchester. She knows that if she doesn't do this now she can never truly ascend as Queen. He will be out there, hunting and waiting. If she doesn't handle him now, she knows that she will face a potential threat around every corner---that as unsettled as the support has been for Crowley that it'll be easy for them to lose confidence in her rule just as they did their former King. Abaddon can't let that happen, and so she determines that she must remove him from the chessboard now.

So, she brings her own bargaining chips to force Crowley's hand: his son Gavin.

In the past, we know that Crowley has admitted to hating his son---and we learn that the feeling is mutual. It's how we learn his true identity as Fergus MacLeod. His son, even dead, hated him enough to reveal the truth and the burial spot of his father. But as they stand here face to face for the first time in 291 years, we see Crowley's new stint with humanity soften him. He's not nearly as harsh---and even when he admits to hating his son, we can tell that he's not certain of that feeling.

His addiction to human blood has ironically opened him up to the very trick he's used so frequently on his opponents. We saw him use a similar tactic to devastating results in “Clip Show.” He knows that threatening the loved ones of his enemies will force them to do what he wants. Abaddon is wise enough to know that this trick will work on Crowley now just as well. There's a reason why the King of Hell uses this against his enemies: underneath his demonic nature this is his own weakness, too.

In “Sacrifice,” we saw Crowley start to collapse under the guilt for all his crimes---human and demonic. Now faced with his son again, we see him openly confess to what those human crimes were. He beat and neglected his own son---the very reason Gavin found him to be a monster. Crowley doesn't want to feel this crushing guilt---and now he wants his son's forgiveness. It's this reason that Abaddon hauls him from back in time to throw at her opponent. She knows that he'll be so tied up in his emotional struggle that she'll be able to push him in whatever direction she wants.

As she's been tailing his movements, she's learned about how this human blood addiction has changed him. Lola did report back to her, after all. And we see here that her calculations were more than correct. As she brutally forces Gavin to his knees and blood to pour from his eyes, we see Crowley waver in his steadfast calm and disinterest. The longer he waits, however, the more pain his son feels---and in turn he feels. As he tells her, “you've made your point,” we see her stop. In her smile, we can tell that she's managed to check mate Crowley.

It also allows her to get to the point: her reason for showing up in the first place. She informs Crowley that she knows that they've recovered the First Blade and that one of the Winchesters is in possession of the Mark of Cain. As this is the biggest threat to her rule, she now wants Crowley to contact the brothers and to persuade them to join them. She's banking on the element of surprise here, knowing that this can be a true ambush if done correctly. She gets them to show up, she can overpower and kill one or both---preferably the one with the Mark of Cain.

Her plan, however, has flaws. Abaddon sees the Winchesters as a threat, yes, but she isn't entirely afraid of them, either. When we see Cain come close to killing Abaddon in 1863, we see her flee Collette's body just in time. She was afraid of Cain---and rightly so. He was the creator of the Knights of Hell---he trained them and lead them for centuries. She regarded Cain as being above her in rank---if only slightly. In this way, we see her respect Cain.

For the Winchesters, however, she sees them as human and insignificant. If not for the Mark of Cain and the First Blade, it's possible she may have continued to focus her energies more on Crowley, taking more and more territory from the King. Now that one has the Mark and the Blade, however, she knows they are a threat---and yet she doesn't quite see them as such. Abaddon's biggest flaw---and one we will see come to fruition at the conclusion of the episode---is that she underestimates the Winchesters. It is the fatal flaw in all the enemies that the Winchesters have faced in the past---from Azazel to Lucifer to Dick Roman.

But Abaddon doesn't consider this---and so, driven to do as he's told, Crowley reaches out to the Winchesters to let them know that he's found Abaddon and that they should now retrieve the Blade from its hiding place---a human corpse. The stage is set and now the players simply have to find their marks.

But what about Sam and Dean? Besides being the very threat that Abaddon is trying to eliminate, where do they fit into this scheme? How does the title “King of the Damned” connect to them?

We begin with the Winchesters coming to Castiel's new camp. There, he welcomes them with hugs. He tells them that they've captured one of Metatron's insiders---a rather chatty one at that. This angel has revealed that Metatron's trying to rebuild Heaven with the “chosen few” and yet he won't completely tell them everything they need to know. Castiel no longer wants to commit violence on his brethren---not unless he's forced to defend himself---so he asks the Winchesters to help him. They are to torture this angel if absolutely necessary to get the answers they need. Dean readily agrees while Sam looks on in concern---this is a key moment. It is the first instance we begin to see the title reflect the building story. Someone will be coroneted by the end of the episode---just not who we might expect.

The Winchesters enter the holding cell, and there they find Ezra in chains and unwilling to talk. He tells them that they can torture him, but he's a “commando” and so it'll do no good. A thrill rushes through Dean at this, and he gleefully moves towards the angel, retorting, “You just asked me to dance.” It takes all of Sam's influence to keep Dean from slicing and dicing the angel to death before they can get answers---another crucial moment.

They learn that Metatron does indeed have a backdoor to Heaven---one that moves around frequently. He's looking for an angel army of his own making---and he needs recruits. Ezra may have learned the secrets, but he was passed over for the entire assignment. Therefore, most of what he's learned is rumor and whisperings. It gives the Winchesters enough crumbs to report back to Castiel and to start planning their own moves against Metatron---but not nearly enough to take action.

Meanwhile, as they wait to deal with this issue, Dean receives a call from Crowley. The King of Hell is now going through with Abaddon's demand. He sets the trap, taking the Winchesters off angel duty and back on demon duty. They will have to rush towards the showdown with the Knight of Hell---and leave Castiel to figure out his next move.

It is this that shows the title's influence on the episode. On the surface, “King of the Damned” seems to be about the struggle between Crowley and Abaddon. As the Winchesters arrive and Dean enters the room, we see him and the Queen struggle against one another. Dean seems to be beaten almost, pinned like a bug against the wall. And yet, he has enough strength to push back and finally deliver the killing blow---the one Abaddon wanted to prevent with her ambush. It would have worked if it hadn't been for Crowley's warning.

With Abaddon dead, Crowley can now resume his kingship. It would seem that the title refers to this---and yet that's not the case. Certainly this is an element of the title. He is, after all, King of Hell and therefore “King of the Damned,” but this clearly refers to another---one that is in ascension to a different throne entirely.

It is in the moment that Dean kills Abaddon that we see the true “King of the Damned,” emerge. We see his slow climb throughout the episode in so many ways. He is on edge even more. Dean seems more than eager to commit violence. It's as if the side we heard about from his time in Hell has now come out completely. There's pleasure in his movements as he prepares to torture Ezra. There's disappointment in his face when Sam gets him to pull back. There's impatience in him as they go to retrieve the Blade. He brushes aside Sam's worry, saying that he can pick up the Blade without issue.

When we see him sitting in Castiel's HQ, we see the truth. His coronation happens slowly before us and Sam's eyes. He is thirsting for violence and for the Blade---the Mark is humming and his flashbacks to holding the Blade are consuming and corrupting. On one hand, they seem to be agonized moments in time---ones that haunt him. On the other, they seem to be moments Dean enjoys to relive, lost in the reverie of how powerful it made him feel to hold and to use the Blade the first time.

It's easy to see that the Blade is his scepter and he is willing to claim it more each time. They haven't yet retrieved it, and yet it is calling to him with more intensity as time passes. Magnus told him that he would come to welcome these feelings---and that would certainly seem to be the case. The longer he wears the Mark, the more he'll thirst for the Blade itself.

The moment that Dean truly becomes the “King of the Damned,” however, is the moment he finally strikes the killing blow on Abaddon. He is a man, yes, but it gives him great power. As we see him finally stride forward and thrust the Blade into her chest, we see him crowned King. No, he will not take the throne of Hell from either Abaddon or Crowley. That is not how he will be King. It's not even Dean's objective---not really. His objective is to possess the Blade---to claim it as his own and we see him do just that.

We also see the title refer to the beginnings of what may yet become of the elder Winchester. Dean has acquired the Mark of Cain and has now used the First Blade on first Magnus and now on Abaddon. They might seem like ordinary kills---the light show Abaddon created aside---but this Blade and this Mark are significantly different than any other weapon the Winchesters have ever used. This isn't a simple blade or gun. This weapon craves blood almost more than its wielder.

The Blade was first used by Cain. We are uncertain as to how Cain became a demon. We know he was changed into one by Lucifer in exchange for his brother's soul in Heaven. Is it possible that by committing the first murder that this is the moment Cain became a Knight of Hell? Is it possible that instead of simply corrupting his soul, Lucifer had Cain do it himself---in that grisly first act? Is that how he managed to create Cain? And what of those who are “worthy” of receiving the Mark and using the Blade? Will they face a similar fate?

It leads us down frightening paths. It leads us to question. Now that Dean has begun his ascension as “King of the Damned,” what will his fate be? He has now successfully killed Abaddon, a Knight of Hell. Could it be possible that we will see Dean begin his own change? Will he start to be corrupted into something like her---or like Cain? Will he become a Knight of Hell himself? Just what will it take to corrupt the elder Winchester into this?

It is clear that this Mark and this Blade have changed or enhanced feelings inside Dean. Rather than restraining his violence, we see Dean wanting to unleash. There's a glee in the gruesome moment he strikes the killing blow on the stunned Abaddon. He is taking his throne by force and by blood. We are left to shudder at what else he must do to completely claim his title.

Now we're left with one question: will he?

That leaves us with Sam. Unlike Cain, Dean has his younger brother. Sam is alive. We see Dean send Sam into the basement---and see him claim later that it was to keep Abaddon from using Sam as a bargaining chip. In reality, we can tell that Dean did this to prevent himself from repeating the Cain and Abel story. He tells Sam that he would have struck anyone down---that anyone in his way would be fair game---could this even mean Sam?

The Blade craves blood. It craves death. It was created in the moment a brother struck down another brother. What if it asks of its “King” to repeat this same deadly mistake? What if its goal is to corrupt? The disease was Abaddon---she was corrupting human souls on earth and wreaking havoc. She was committing atrocities. Her disease was permeating several layers of humanity and had the potential to bring a version of Hell to earth. There's no question that she had to be stopped---but at what cost?

As we watch Dean through Sam's eyes we see his own fears grow minute by minute. He is scared that his brother will ascend to that dreadful throne---that Dean will willingly embrace this new title as “King of the Damned” and that he will lose his big brother forever. He knew that Abaddon needed to be stopped---and yet he can't help but wonder what type of Dean he'll have in the end. Will he be able to pull Dean back from the precipices?

We see Sam enter just as Dean is delivering the killing blow---and in this terrible moment we see hope possibly take root. As Dean begins to go berserk, stabbing Abaddon's now cooling corpse with relentless force, it takes Sam's gentle and frightened voice to snap him out of it. He calls out to his brother and softly says, “You can stop.” It gets him the result he so desperately wanted: Dean drops the Blade and looks up with an expression of horror at his actions.

But that doesn't mean the Blade won't give up its new chosen owner without a fight. As Sam suggests that they ought to stash the Blade for safe keeping, Dean simply retorts with one word: “No.”

In the aftermath, then, we are seeing a new power struggle emerge. It will be Sam vs. The First Blade for Dean. The First Blade has taken hold of Dean, calling to his bloodlust and violence. It craves these terrible things---and while it may not be a sentient being, we can tell that it has the ability to manipulate and shape its wielder. Born as it was, it may drive Dean to eliminate Sam. It will take Sam's courage, strength, and gentle nature to counter its darkness. The stage has been reset and we know that Sam's stakes may have never been higher.

The fact that Sam was able to break through after Dean killed Mangus gave us hope. Now that he's managed to do so again after Dean kills Abaddon with such gruesome violence shows us that there's a chance. Sam can balance what the Blade is doing to his brother---but only if he remains vigilant. Sam can't let it make him the next Abel---he can't let the First Blade complete Dean's coronation as “King of the Damned.”

Instead, he must stand against it and pull Dean back.

We're left to wonder, then, will Dean continue his ascension? Will he become a Knight of Hell himself? Will he become the “King of the Damned?” Or will Sam still be able to reach through and break its power?

It's very possible the cure is far worse than the disease ever was---and it leaves us to tremble.

Theo Devaney made his debut as Crowley's son, Gavin MacLeod. When we're first introduced to him, he's busy packing for his ill-fated trip to the American Colonies. He's stunned by Abaddon's sudden appearance, and we see him frightened by her violence---and rightly so! Devaney gives Gavin a childlike element, particularly in how he reacts to the modern wonders now surrounding him. The best example of that can be found in his exclamation, “Holy Mother of God, we're amongst the stars! Are we in Heaven? You must be angels.” Devaney puts all of that wonder in this line, making him a rather likable character. And yet, Devaney also shows us that perhaps Gavin's not as naïve as he first appears. His ability to start negotiating with Crowley shows us that he's possibly much more shrewd than we think. It gives us a chance to see his father in him, knowing that he's going to try and talk fast out of a situation and turn it towards his advantage. Devaney has great chemistry with Sheppard, too, making their appearance together delightful. There's a charm when we see the two of them in the midst of the mundane activity of reading the paper together. As Crowley handles the hell hound over the phone, we see Gavin smile and seem rather content. It's a quaint moment. When it comes time for the two to say goodbye, however, we see them have a bittersweet moment. Gavin doesn't know what to expect from this new time and he doesn't want to be separated from Crowley now. As he's left standing in the meadow, we're left to wonder just what his appearance will bring forth---and when we'll see the “Prince” of Hell again.

Tahmoh Penkiket presents a conflicted and cautious Gadreel. He shows us this well in the meeting with Castiel. The moment we saw him first question Metatron in “Meta Fiction” has now begun to bear fruit in “King of the Damned.” He is clearly starting to balk at being Metatron's second in command. Penkiket also shows us that Gadreel might have more respect for Sam Winchester than we might think---his taunting in “Meta Fiction” aside. The way he talks about Sam's view of Castiel tells us this---and it's all in how Penkiket delivers his lines. There's a layer of awe here, as if he's amazed by Sam's feelings for the rebel angel leader. We know that he's no where to being redeemed by any means, but we can see doubt really taking seed the more he speaks. His mentioning of honor and the manner in which he talks about it conveys this well. Penkiket shows us that perhaps Gadreel is becoming more and more the wild card in Metatron's scheme---especially as we see him continue to feed his doubts after Castiel warns him about this path not being what he thinks it'll be. Now we're left to wonder just when he'll reveal the moving door to Heaven---and to whom.

Alaina Huffman makes quite the entrance in “King of the Damned”---all with how she struts through the door. Her sweet tone as she tells Gavin that she's a “friend of the family,” sends chills. After Crowley asks for his members allegiance, her sarcastic call out of, “Yo,” is all we need. Huffman gives Abaddon sass, power, and presence---and yet we get so much more from her performance. There's a sense of pleasure in how she's managed to twist Crowley up in knots by using Gavin against him. Abaddon seems confident that she'll manage to win here---and so we see her lord it over Crowley in spades. It's all in Huffman's expressions and gestures. When she starts to torture Gavin---all with her power---it's in a subtle gesture or a smile. Underneath her bravado, however, Huffman shows that Abaddon's not as certain of things as she'd like everyone to believe. The way she talks about the Winchesters coming into possession of the First Blade lets us know that she's worried about what may happen to her. We see her go to bargaining with Crowley---Gavin will live if he sides with her. Huffman shows us that Abaddon's gambling---and when she finally comes face to face with Dean, we can tell that she's over played her hand. She is over-confident at this point, especially after using her power to pin the elder Winchester to the wall. We can tell that she almost wants to have fun with this---and yet the longer it drags on we can see worry and a tinge of fear in her face. Huffman shows it well with just the slightest change in expression. And as she's finally bested, we can see all the terror and agony as Dean manages to deliver the killing blow. Huffman makes Abaddon's exit one to remember for sure---even if part of us is sad to see her go.

Mark Sheppard gives a subtle performance as Crowley. There's so much nuance, emotion, and humor in his portrayal of the character in “King of the Damned.” Sheppard gives Crowley his trademark sarcastic bite, and yet we can tell there's a subtle affection underneath it all---especially with Devaney's Gavin. He conveys all of Crowley's conflicted feelings---from the guilt he feels for his treatment of Gavin while he was still alive to the joy at a second chance for his son. There's worry, too, for what will happen to his son once he's returned. Sheppard also plays well to the comedic side of Crowley, particularly when he shows Gavin the lightbulb. It's all in the gesture and facial expression---we can't help but laugh. His best comedic moment, however, comes when he takes the call from the Winchesters. His nonchalant manner followed by his sweet tone of voice as he talks to Juliet the hellhound adds great humor and surreality. As the brothers confront him at the end, however, we see Sheppard put all of Crowley's new found human emotions into one word, “Feelings!” As he says goodbye to Gavin, we can sense regret and relief that his son will manage to not only survive but possibly thrive. Now that Crowley's managed to slip the First Blade's bite, we're left to see just what he does next in the remainder of the season---and perhaps into season ten.

Misha Collins makes quite the entrance in “King of the Damned.” We hear his footsteps approaching, and we're left to wonder if it'll be Metatron that walks through that door. Instead, we see Castiel. He looks very stoic in that moment---and yet Collins gives us an emotional performance in various moments. When the Winchesters first arrive, we see him pull each brother in for a hug. It shows just how far Castiel has come after his brush with humanity. Collins really hits home when we see him pull Sam aside to ask honestly about Gadreel. There's a sensitivity in the way he goes about the questioning. Collins adds a layer of gentleness to this scene, allowing for us to understand that Castiel isn't doing this to punish or harm Sam. He truly would like to know---and not just to assess Gadreel. Collins conveys that Castiel truly has come to care for the younger Winchester and wants to make certain that he is well. As Collins meets with Gadreel, we see the two finally come face to face truly---and in Penkiket's version. The two have great chemistry as they discuss the situation. Collins takes what Sam has told him about the angel and gently uses it to push Gadreel not to do what he wants but to rather rethink what he's doing and who he's aligned himself with. We're left to wonder if it'll be enough to bring Gadreel to him---and just what else Castiel will do as the reluctant “commander.”

Jensen Ackles played a wound tight and fierce Dean Winchester. We could tell that he was ready to unleash some of the pent up anger, energy, and violence that has been bubbling up since he received the Mark. Ackles conveyed this well in how tense his body language was, how he paced and gestured, and by vocal cues that exposed Dean's building fury. Underneath that, we can see that Dean's perhaps enjoying this a little too much---that there's pleasure to be had in this new found bloodlust. Ackles shows us that in the scene where the Winchesters question Ezra. As soon as the chatty angel says he won't spill even under torture, we see Dean leap at the chance. Ackles puts all of Dean's pleasure in following through in the way he delivers the line, “You just asked me to dance.” He also captures all of Dean's growing fear when we see him fall into the flashback and the feelings it digs up surrounding holding and using the First Blade. Ackles doesn't have to say a word here and yet we can tell that Dean is equally feeling some form of euphoria and terror. It's all in his facial expression and his tense body. Ackles makes it almost seem that Dean's forgotten to breathe for a moment here, adding to the jarring nature of the flashback. Ackles also has some fun with humor in this episode---captured best in his playing off of Padalecki's Sam as they question and goad Ezra. We can sense that Ackles is having fun with this scene, adding to that humor. His best comedic moment, however, is when he's on the phone with Crowley, trying to get Juliet the Hellhound called off. The relief he expresses in the slump and sigh makes a subtle comedic moment before they return to the corpse to retrieve the Blade. Ackles, however, makes Dean Winchester a terrifying figure when we see him in the face off between Dean and Abaddon. Even when he's pinned against the wall by the Knight of Hell's telekinetic power, we can tell that he's a far more frightening opponent. Once he reclaims the Blade after dropping it, we see the full effects of the Mark and Blade on Dean. Ackles shows how it's clearly changed him in the killing blow delivered on Abaddon. There's a savagery in the action, as if Dean's no longer Dean. As violent as the elder Winchester has been in the past, this moment seems much more gruesome and deadly. We've seen Dean take pleasure in killing others before---but this seems to give him pleasure the longer it goes on. It seems all the rage he'd been keeping in check bursts forth in a frenzy as he stabs Abaddon's corpse repeatedly as if chasing the high. Even after he's been called out of the haze by Padalecki's Sam, we see Ackles give Dean an even fiercer edge. He is curt in their conversation, conveying that Dean wants to keep the high this moment has given him as long as he can. After Sam suggests getting rid of the Blade, Ackles puts all of Dean's new emotion in the simple word, “No.” Now that he's managed to use the Blade to kill Abaddon---and had it further change him, we're left to worry and wonder for the remaining two episodes just what will become of Dean.

Jared Padalecki conveys all of Sam's worry for Dean all throughout this episode. We see it from the moment they arrive at Castiel's compound to the final moment in the car. Padalecki shows it in subtle, expression, tone of voice, and gesture. When the Winchesters enter the room to “torture” Ezra, we see him have to verbally pull Dean back from simply killing the chatty angel outright. It's not just the dialog, however. Padalecki adds in the hand gesture, signaling to Dean to join him on the other side of the room and the head tilt as an unconscious form of Sam's concern. As he has to convince Dean not to physically torture Ezra, we see his eyes glance between Dean and the angel and an expression of realization settle over his features. Although the scene has its comedy, we can tell underneath that this is Sam's method of redirecting his brother while getting the intelligence they need. Sam's the one directing a lot of the questioning, goading Ezra to keep talking and revealing secrets all the while keeping his brother from getting frustrated. Padalecki shows that it's a delicate dance in how he carries himself and how he glances from one and then to the other. As we watch Dean flashback to getting the Mark and holding the Blade for the first time, we hear a phone ring and as we come back to the scene at hand, we see Sam clap his hands and tell Dean that his phone's ringing. On the surface, the gesture seems like one of annoyance, but when we look at the expression Sam wears, we can tell that it's all concern. Padalecki puts all of Sam's worry into his eyes and his voice, telling us so much with a brief moment. We also see Padalecki connect with Collins as Sam and Castiel discuss Gadreel's possession. In the beginning of the conversation, we can tell that Sam's uncomfortable, but the longer the conversation goes on, we can tell that this is the first time he's even thought about what happened and how it felt. Padalecki makes it feel like the start of closure for Sam---yet the way he closes the conversation shows us that there's still a long way yet for the younger Winchester in grappling with what happened. Padalecki also shows us all of Sam's disgust with Crowley beautifully when they go to retrieve the Blade. He adds a layer of comedy to the moment. Padalecki shows all of Sam's fear best, however, when we see him come in time to see Dean kill Abaddon. As he shouts his name and tries to get his brother's attention, Padalecki puts a gentle but fearful expression on his face, showing us that Sam's trying to coax his brother off the dangerous precipice. The way he says, “You can stop” says it all. The most powerful scene, though, is in the car. Padalecki adds omph to Sam's worry and fear when he sits up and turns to face Dean. With only two episodes left, it'll be an emotional ride for Sam as he fights to save his brother from what the Blade's doing.

Best Lines of the Week:

Crowley: You betrayed me! No one in the history of torture has been tortured with torture like the torture you'll be tortured with!

Crowley: Feelings!

Sam: Oh, come on Crowley. Really? You have to hide the Blade in a corpse? Not-not with the corpse, but in the corpse?

Now that Abaddon has been dealt with, it looks like the Winchesters will turn their attention towards Metatron---but how will the Mark of Cain change Dean?


# Lilah_Kane 2014-05-11 07:39
Thank the heaven's of your review!

What you actually wrote is almost the same I saw this episode. I loved Crowley and his son. (How on earth Supernatural finds this awesome actors every time is beyond me.) How Castiel is and how he and Sam are interacting. I hope we get more of that too. Abaddon will be missed. She was great and belongs to the category of Meg and other women. Really strong performance all out. And I think you are right. I think she really did underestimate Dean. It doesn't say completely she wasn't smart. Pride was her enemy.

And only thing keeping still Dean in line is Sam and it is barely. If he wasn't there concerned and taking care of his big brother I don't even want to think where Dean would be or what he would have done already. And let me say that I actually wanted to kill Dean Winchester myself for NOT listening what they great burden and sacrifice will be. I mean Dean, you Idjit! And with all the speculation... It is not a positive outcome people think about where this will end... Not even close so we can only wait.

Tahmoh as Gadreel has given the angel strong performances and it makes me more and more want to keep him somehow. I don't want it to be as simple that his punishment is they kill him or he dies. Because all I can say it would be so lame and cliche and I would really miss that great actor/character . Also I can add that Padalecki acting out as Sam/Gadreel half way the start of the season was also strong and he too was perfect. The duo actually made a perfect "couple" to act the angel in my opinion.

The last scene in the car... Poor Sam. You better watch out.

And have I said how awesome this line of Crowley was? Try to say it fast ten times. :D

Crowley: You betrayed me! No one in the history of torture has been tortured with torture like the torture you'll be tortured with!

- Lilah

PS. Your review hit the spot again. I am so glad you write them.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-11 11:50
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you enjoyed my take on this episode. It took me some time to hammer out my thinky section, but the more I thought about things, the more it became clear. There's just so much that happened in the episode, so I had to find a focal point to ground it in. It centered all on Dean and his ascension of "King of the Damned."

I agree with you on Gavin. I'm not sure exactly where they're going with this and how he'll affect things, but I loved Theo's performance. He made the guy charming, funny, sweet, and conniving all at once. If/When we see him again I wonder just how he's adjusted to this time. He's one to keep an eye out for sure. I'm more sad to see Huffman than Abaddon go. She was so kick ass as both Josie (Mother's Little Helper) and as Abaddon. I don't know that they'll manage to bring her back to the show in some way, but I will miss her!

I have faith in Sam, but I do think it'll be a frightening path to save Dean from what's happening with this Blade/Mark. I wish Dean would have listened to Cain before getting it, too. WHAT is this burden? Obviously it doesn't stop Dean from achieving the goal of killing Abaddon, but there's consequences to possessing it that have nothing to do with that. Now, I think, we're starting to see those make their terrible appearances. It makes me nervous for the conclusion of season nine and the potential start for season ten.

I absolutely agree with you on Tahmoh's performance. I know Gadreel was cruel and did terrible things to Sam and to Kevin and has now done more terrible things as Metatron's second, but I just can't totally hate him. I think there's such great complexity in his character and I'd like to see him somehow survive this Heaven war, too. I don't think he'll ever be able to fully redeem himself for what he's done, but I'd like to see him do more than simply die for his crimes---either in a moment of saving someone or simple execution. I think they cast him perfectly---esp ecially considering how Jared played the character. They seem to be very similiar in their styles and I think it just makes the character transition beautifully.

As for Sam in that car, I was so scared for him, too. He's twisted up in knots right now and it's all about worrying over Dean.

Thanks again.
# nappi815 2014-05-11 08:08
thanks for your review farawayeyes...I look forward to reading them first thing sunday mornings. :) I too took the title to mean that it was actually dean who either will or has become king of the damned. I think too think he earned that title the moment he killed abbadon. I don't know if dean will actually become a demon, but I fear that his need to kill will not only stop with supernatural beings. I fear anyone that dean deems worth the kill, will be killed, human and monster alike. sam has a lot on his plate right now, but I 'm not worried, because I have the utmost faith in sam and his ability to save his brother. as a matter of fact, i'm positive that sam will be dean's only hope and i'd say dean's chances are pretty good. ;)
it does seem that sam has two battles on his hand. he has to battle the blade and he has to battle dean's inner demons as well, as I think that the blade plays on them. i'm anxious to see how sam does save dean..through words? through gesture? through both? will it have to be self sacrifice on sam's part? that's been done before so i'm kind of hoping that's not the case again. I have this little scenario in my head that I would love to see come to fruition on screen. I think sam has the one object that can trump the blade. it's a powerful object that contains in it the one thing that triumphs over hate. it's the one object that can reach into dean's heart because that object contains in it every single ounce of love that sam has for his brother. It symbolizes sam's utmost trust in dean and highest regard. It's the only object that dean for so long has literally held close to his heart, only giving it up to a moment of weakness and loss of faith in God, his friends, his family and most of all in himself. I would love for sam to be able to reach dean, to triumph over the power of that blade and save dean's soul by giving dean the very same gift of love and trust and faith and esteem that sam had given to dean when they were children one Christmas so many years ago...the amulet.
anyway, that's how i'd love to see it go down....:) whatever they decide to do, I have no doubt that sam will save dean. so no worries ;)

i do think that gad will be the spanner in metatron's work. i have a feeling that living inside sam Winchester has had more impact on gad than he realizes. i think gad will find a way to redeem himself, at least to cas and heaven.

still wonder what gad's influence on sam holds as well. i think sam may know more or even might be able to do more than he possibly realizes due to that angel grace i think he still might have inside of him. he definitely knows more than i think he realizes.

i think Crowley's son may play into the future. can't help but wonder if he'll mess up the whole time continuum thing by being alive. hell, if they ever try a second shot at a spinoff, maybe they could use the prince of hell...

sorry to see abaddon go, but kind of knew her time was coming. very interested to see what's next for Crowley...

pretty excited for the next two eps....
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-11 12:01
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you enjoyed m y take on this one.

I think Sam will manage to save his brother. I really do. I'm not sure how he'll do it, but I do think he will. As for bringing back the amulet, I think that could be one way, but I'm not sure that's exactly how he'll do it. I think there's so many ways and connections he can reach Dean with, and I think it's very crucial that he's been able to break through Dean's rage haze with just his words. Sam's managed to do it twice. There's just something about him being there that makes some difference. It makes me wonder if Cain would have been able to resist and "retire" sooner if Abel hadn't been dead.

As for Gadreel and Sam, I agree. They're both affected greatly by each other and I don't think either has truly sat down to think about what it means. I think that Gadreel respects Sam in many ways, and I think as Sam confessed that Gadreel had no ill intent towards him, he's realizing that there's more to the angel than he previously thought. I am curious if we'll see them come face to face again and just what they'll say/do.

I do think Gavin's going to shake things up, yes. How, I'm not sure. I think it's going to be fascinating to see just how they show his ripple effects.

I figured Abaddon was gone, but I thought we'd see it in the finale. Clearly they're setting the stage for a different and possibly more emotional roller coaster ride with Dean and the Blade. I'm sad to see her go, but I knew it had to happen at some point.

Minute I finished my rough draft on this, I was jazzed for the last two eps. This season is finishing super strong for me, and I can't wait to see just how it wraps and sets things for season ten.

Thanks again.
# Grace232 2014-05-11 10:37
Thanks for this wonderful review. This was such an incredible, layered episode and it was so nice to read such an articulate explanation of all those layers, from Dean's descent to Sam's perception to Castiel's strategy to Crowley's dimensions. I got frustrated reading some reviews of this episode (not on this site) where the reviewers seemed to miss so much of the meaning and layers of story and therefore thought it was a boring episode up until Dean's kill. You never miss a thing, and, unlike me, you are able to express all the analysis clearly and beautifully in your writing. Thanks again.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-11 12:04
Thanks for the comment.

It took me a couple days to actually untangle this one and pick my focal point. So much went into it, so much happened, and so much was being said. I'm glad you think I captured those layers well. I think this episode had a great balance of comedy (Juliet the Hell Hound) and drama (Dean killing Abaddon and Sam reaching him afterwards). I really found it to be a fun episode to think about. And it really made me so pumped for the closure of season nine. I'm glad you thought I caught so much of what was going on so well. Now onto the next episode. Is it Tuesday yet?

Thanks again.
# cheryl42 2014-05-11 13:05
Ah... Sunday morning, coffee and a wonderful review from FarAwayEyes. Thank you for this indepth review. I actually have to make notes if I want to respond there is so much information to digest.
So Dean is going to be Abaddon on testosterone. That is going to be one formidable foe for Sam to unravel.
As you said Abaddon and all the monsters underestimate the Winchesters. Their greatest weapon is one that the bad guys can never understand. The capacity for human love is a concept that monsters can't seem to comprehend. However I feel that is going to make Crowley's taste of humanity into a more formidable foe.
I was surprised that Cas asked Dean to torture the red shirt angel. It didn't go so well the last time he asked. Do you think the angel was a plant by Metatron? I did like the moving portal idea. Maybe Kevin can help with that?
When Sam was drinking DB his focus was on demons and Lilith. His only questionable kill was the nurse and it ate him up to do it. Dean's story seems to be heading to the destruction of mankind. The Blade is a weapon of Lucifer intended to destroy God's creation without remorse.
Dean is definitely turning into a magnified Purgatory Dean.
Do you think that killing Cain will release Dean or condemn him for eternity (or until Sam can save him)?
So much story to cover in the next 80 minutes. I see a cliffhanger that is going to set up the fans for 5 months(?) of pure torture.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-11 13:38
Thanks for the comment.,

I'm glad you enjoyed my take on this one. I think it's possible that Dean may end up like Abaddon/Cain. The question is will he go that far or will Sam be able to stop him? It's going to be a wild ride going forward and I can't wait to see just how they deal with it or leave us hanging for months to come. We were given so many possibilities between the lines that I think it's easy to go in several directions.

I think you're onto something about Crowley, however. I think his smidge of humanity and all the time that he's had now to think about what kind of person he exactly was has made him look hard at himself. I think the fact that he now has someone to care about besides himself is going to make him a bit more dangerous than anyone thinks. It's always been the advantage for the Winchesters.

Perhaps Kevin may have information for them, perhaps not. I like that the door to Heaven isn't some fixed destination. If they can find one place that it's at, they can get in and wreak havoc.

I do agree with you that this weapon is designed by Lucifer to eliminate mankind. He has always hated God's new toy and so this was his device to destroy them. Dean was the angel vessel, so this is a terrifying twist to the story in many ways. I just think Sam being alive as opposed to Abel being dead is the key to stopping him.

I'm not sure when Dean will kill Cain or what that will mean for Dean. It's scary to think about!

I can't wait, either, for the next two episodes.

Thanks again.
# amyh 2014-05-11 13:13
One of the things I loved most about Sam and Dean interagating Ezra is how much it reminded me of the guys playing the Ghostfacers (Hellhounds) in Hellhouse back in season 1 to get what they wanted.

I think GAvin needs to be watched. I mean the FIRST reaction (after the bewilderment of learning Crolwys deal) at learning his father is the King OF Hell is "oooo possibilitie4s. " Me thinks Gavin didn't fall far from the tree. But it stands to question.... if Crowly (Or Fergus, really) was such a monster...then how does a bit of humanity change him when he didn't have much (if any) humanity when he was a human? As to Abaddon and time travel...dont know how she made it to GAvin...but she was chanting and holding onto GAvin for the return trip. Blood to Blood...which is why they went to Crowly.

I've been hearing how Dean will probably kill Sam at seasons finale. I hate that idea...but wasn't that always Kripke's plan? For Dean to kill a darkside or possessed Sam to save earth from least until Kim Manners pointed out that the relationship between Sam and Dean was the show. Dean always thought saving Sam was his job...anything else was failure. With the MOC.....that wouldn't be considered a failure....but removing an obsticle to keeping the Blade.

Which makes me wonder if Dean does kill Sam and he gets brought backby Cas or GAd or somehow or is lurking in the veil working to save Dean as a does the brotherhood recover from that? Sam would forgive...thats who he is...but it doesn't do much for trust issues. Or their bond.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-11 14:13
Thanks for the comment.

I did enjoy the interrogation scene for many reasons. I liked that we saw Sam pull Dean back and then think fast to keep the conversation going rather than scrambling to keep Dean from going torture master. It showed Sam's smarts and it did remind me of their treatment of Ed and Harry, too.

Oh, I think Gavin is far more like his father than we think. I got the impression that he was able to manipulate and wheedle just like his dad. Look at how he whined and got Crowley to "teach" him how to read just like that. I think he's not as nice or as sweet as he seems on the surface. Much like Crowley, Gavin's going to manipulate things on his charm and conniving. I'll be curious to see how that plays out in the end.

As for the Dean killing Sam plot, I don't think that's going to happen, either. I think it's possible that we may see it come very close to that---and it may be our cliffhanger of "Did Dean or didn't he" but in reality I think there's something waiting in the wings we might not yet even see coming. I think Cain chose to give Dean the Mark because he knew Dean could perhaps do what he himself couldn't: NOT kill his brother. He was very particular in questioning Dean about why he does what he does and how he feels about his brother. It's that, I think, that tipped him to giving Dean the Mark. He wants Dean to fix the error he made all those years ago---do what he just couldn't.

Sam's just as in this as Dean is. He's not entirely helpless nor is he going to stand idly by. I think we've yet to see just what Sam will do to fight against the Blade's power. I don't know what he'll end up doing, but I have faith that he'll be able to be stronger than it and this will be good for their brotherhood in the long run. I look forward to seeing how that will work in these two episodes and into season ten.

Thanks again.
# cheryl42 2014-05-11 13:22
Killing Sam seems too obvious. They always seem to come up with a cliffhanger that we really don't see coming. I think Dean will become the ruler of Hell and Sam is going to be left (again) on his own to try and figure it out. I think this time Sam will see what happens to Dean and will be able to save him in S10.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-11 14:17
Thanks for the comment.

I think that you're right on many counts. It would be the obvious track for Dean to nearly kill or to kill Sam in this finale---and I do think there will be a cliffhanger we don't see coming. It interesting that you see Dean taking the throne of Hell. I don't know that is what they'll ultimately do. I think it'd be an intriguing track. In all reality, I don't know what plans they have for the season ender or for season ten. I do think it's going to be a wild ride and it's going to get a bit darker. I look forward to seeing how that comes together and what shock they have in store.

Thanks again.
# E 2014-05-12 08:00
Basically, I don't want either Sam or Dean to die at the end of this season. I don't want one left behind while the other is off somewhere… hell, heaven, purgatory, the veil or whatever. We've done that, and I don't really like the idea of portions of next season taking place in a supernatural location. One of my main issues with the show lately is how much it's turned towards magic, and spells lately. In the early days things felt more grounded in reality (monsters notwithstanding ) that now so I'd like to see both Sam and Dean deal with their problems here, using their natural born abilities like their smarts, fighting skills and basic old human emotions to deal with things; no spells, incantations, cloaked locations or magic…….well, I'll make an exception for a certain amulet if it manages to make a reappearance. :)
# nappi815 2014-05-11 16:26
i don't get the feeling that dean is going to be ruler of hell. i just read the synopsis for the finale and in all honesty it doesn't mention hell or Crowley at all. it does say that sam , dean and cas face shocking consequences when trying to take out metatron. so what if the consequence for dean doesn't have anything to do with hell at all? the synopsis specifically used the words metatron making his move against up until metafiction it seemed that metatron was only interested in the angel war and his reign as the new God. now, according to the synopsis, metatron has nefarious plans for humanity....wha t if dean ends up metatron's weapon, not hell's at all? metatron seemingly seems to be in control of the story...what if metatron does in fact know that dean has the moc. could metatron be that clever to have led dean to the mark? if metatron knew gad was in sam the entire time, but he waited long enough so that enough time would pass that dean's lies would be compounded....a nd one of the reasons for having gad kill kevin, was to ensure a deeper rift between the boys...sam not only upset with the lying, but a death of his friend by his own it possible that metatron wrote out the scenario that led dean to the moc because in metatron's story, dean is his weapon against humanity?
# cheryl42 2014-05-11 17:19
That would kind of come from out of left field wouldn't it? It sounds plausible but there wouldn't be much lead up to it. They would have to cram a whole lot of explanation dialogue into a very short amount of time. But I can't say it wouldn't be possible. Jensen did say when he saw the finale script he was surprised that they "went there". Which could mean a thousand different possible agonizing cliffhangers.
# Bevie 2014-05-11 15:02
Oh, thank you for this review. It is the best one I've read so far, as many reviewers seem jaded and angry about imaginary slights.

This is exactly how I saw this episode! Bless you for it as I was getting a little depressed.

Really worried for Dean, and only 2 episodes left. May Sammy's love prevail! And let Dean know of it, as right now, he has no reason to resist
the call of the Blade.

The acting on this show is amazing!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-11 15:11
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you liked my take on this one. I really found myself enjoying this one. I had to think about it a bit more, and when I have to do that I almost always find that I enjoyed the episode more.

I think they're setting us up perhaps for seeing how Sam will save Dean or begin saving Dean by the end of this season. I could be wrong, but I'm taking the hints/crumbs they've given and running with it. I think that it'll be a key thing in this story and I"m completely enjoying that aspect.

I'm no actor and I know I discuss the acting each week, but I try to capture what I thought they conveyed well and I'm glad you enjoy that. There was so much great acting on this one and throughout the whole season, yes.

Thanks again.
# LEAH 2014-05-11 16:00
Hello Far Away Eyes. Awesome review as usual. I was surprised they popped Abaddon so soon. I thought that was going to happen in the finale. Seems like they have some other nasties up their sleeves. I don't think they have enough time left to come up with any likely happy ending to the season. It is going to be bad. I did like E's scenario (on another thread) on how to resolve this in a satisfying way, I just cannot see it happening in the time we have left. I have no idea how they are going to torture us in the finale, I just know they will! :) I am, as always, blown away by the incredible acting by all the main characters and guest stars. I guess we just fasten our seatbelts and go along for the ride.

These are some of my predictions and wild speculations: (don't worry I am never right!)
1) Gadreel will sacrifice himself in some way as an atonement.
2) Dean will go completely dark and do something heinous. Thus totally giving in to the power of the blade and becoming who he has always feared he is anyway, nothing more than a ruthless killer. Being Sam's brother and protector is something he has convinced himself is no longer wanted by Sam. In spite of the evidence to the contrary.
3) As much as myself and others are worried about it, Dean will not kill Sam but Sam will be unable to reach him. Not yet.
4) Dean could conceivably end up in hell, being dark and all. There is no leader at the moment. Crowley seems to have a vote of no confidence.
5) Sam could end up in heaven via the portal. Leaving Crowley and Cas on earth to figure it all out. No one is where they are supposed to be!! It doesn't make a lot of sense but I like it.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-11 16:33
Thanks for the comment .

I'm glad you liked my take on this one.

I, too, was surprised that Abaddon was killed this early, too. I figured she'd be handled in the finale myself.

I really look forward to taking the ride on these last two episodes. I don't know how they'll resolve---or even if they will in the finale. I just know I'm enjoying all the performances and the layers that are in the story.

I think some of your theories might be right. It's so hard to predict completely what direction they'll take. I hope that Gadreel somehow finds a way to be saved---even if he's not necessarily seen as a true ally by any means. I think he's an interesting character. I do think that Dean's always feared becoming this type of being, and seeing him influenced by the Mark/Blade is just tragic and powerful all around. I do, think, that it's possible that Crowley's no longer in charged after this no confidence vote. Abaddon may be gone, but who says he HAS to be King again. Ohhh I kinda like the idea that Sam ends up in Heaven via the portal (not via some tragic ending) but we shall see.

Can't believe we're only two eps away from Summer Hellatus.

Thanks again.
# cheryl42 2014-05-11 17:23
I like that too! It would be something we have never seen before.
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2014-05-11 20:45
Hi Faraway Eyes,

Lovely review as always. Real life has been incredibly complicated so I haven't had a chance to comment on anything in ages, but I have an idea busting to get out!! So, thanks for indulging me, and letting me get it on paper (online?) while I can.

Here's my take on the end of the season. I think it's possible Dean will threaten Sam, but I can't imagine him killing him. For one brother to kill the other, that's a huge violation of the contract between audience and show. The show is supposed to be about the relationship between two very flawed but very heroic brothers. True, they've each almost killed the other, but in the end it's their love that saved the world. To have one commit fratricide now, would just be WRONG. Plus the Dean Hate would eardrum destroying. And really if he killed Sam, which has always been his biggest fear (Save Sam or Kill him), how do you ever redeem and rehabilitate that character? There would be absolutely no reason for Sam to ever trust Dean or feel save around him again. How could they ever rebuild or forgive from that? Notice, how I'm also assuming that even if Dean did kill Sam, Sam would come back to life??

So, here's my couple of other ideas...

1. Remember way back at the beginning of the season when the boys allowed Crowley to see the Angel Tablet? (or somehow he saw the Angel Tablet.. details escape me). Apparently he can also speak Enochian. What if Crowley say something on that tablet about the Mark of Cain and the First Blade being crucial to gaining control of Heaven, or locking the gates to Heaven? I know Metatron achieved much the same thing, but still.. Remember, it's all about the souls!!! And at this point all those souls that should happily be residing in Heaven are stuck in the veil. Remember, it's about the souls (at least according to Death). So, if Crowley is again the King of Hell and could figure out how to be the King of Heaven, think how powerful he would be!

I'm wondering if Crowley manipulated Dean into getting the Mark because it must be Dean. He's been called the Righteous Man. Maybe Cain's comment about him being worthy was a positive comment, and Crowley just merrily let Dean assume he was "worthy to be a killer". Also, I keep thinking back to Abaddon's comment to Dean about him being a perfect vessel.

Is the scene being set for Dean to become Michael? We certainly have never seen that. And if Jensen says the finale is "Wow. They went there", Dean being Michael is a place we've never been before! It also kind of ties to the whole demon-killing thing (although not the killing machine thing.) Remember way back to Houses of the Holy, and the priest describing the Archangel Michael as a slayer of demons?

Of course, I'm not sure how that leaves us at a cliffhanger point, or launches Season 10, or reconciles Dean's bloodlust, but it would be different.

2. We're ending the season in May 2014. Remember The End, was set in 2014 and Dean was very cold, ruthless, calculating. Are we seeing some twist on that? (Not very original I know. But still, he's getting closer and closer to that version of Dean)

3. Gavin McLeod sticking around is going to cause problems. Maybe the brothers aren't born because a Campbell or a Winchester got on the boat to the colonies instead? And maybe that traps them in some kind of limbo?

4. I know that many are unhappy with Jeremy Carver's storytelling at this point. But when he took over the show he said he had a 3-year vision. We're only 2/3 of the way into it so I think he's still dropping some breadcrumbs for us. And I still believe that involves fixing the brothers relationship and that can't happen is one of the brothers is dead, or killed the other.

Sorry I'm rambly and a little disjointed, but thanks for listening!

Pragmatic Dreamer
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-11 21:13
Thanks for the lovely and long comment.

I don't know that they'll actually go far enough for Dean to kill Sam OR even come close. I do think that it is possible that the Blade would demand or push its wielder towards that, though. However, what I think has been the lynch pin for this to be thrown off track is that Sam's been able to break through the haze to Dean a few times now. I think that's absolutely key. He did it after Dean killed Magnus. He did it when Dean was in the middle of a flashback and got him to answer the phone. He got through to Dean after the big kill of Abaddon. The fact that Sam's voice has broken through more than a few times indicates to me that it is SAM that will be key to stopping Dean from doing as the Blade/Mark might demand.

I think it's interesting that you think Crowley might be King of Heaven in the scheme, too. The fact that he can speak Enochian is a key thing, but I think he must first reestablish himself on his throne. We do know, though, that he wanted the Angel Tablet for a reason. To own and control both Hell and Heaven would be a coup for him. If this is part of his end game it's possible we might see something around that.

As for Dean becoming Michael, that never occurred to me. When we look at the Cain/Abel story that has been set in place this season it really echoes a lot of the Michael/Lucifer story. Sam and Dean were to enact that brotherly showdown and yet they threw it completely off course. I do think that's why we'll see them rectify what Cain and Abel couldn't. For me, that' a great story possibility. Will we see that track? I don't know.

I do think that there's elements of "The End" Dean in this version of Dean. Even if it's never explicitly mentioned, I think there's some undercurrents that feed into the story we're watching now. That's kinda neat.

I have no idea where they're going with Gavin, but I got the sense that he was a set up for next season and less to effect what happens in the next two eps.

As for Carver's direction, I have been rather pleased with it. I know others aren't as much, but I think the puzzle is unfolding little by little. I always find it very difficult to judge the whole story until I've seen it reach completion, and so far we haven't seen it do that. With this show, I've always chosen to take the ride as it is and figure out what it says to me and what it might mean. Some episodes connect with me more than others, but for the most part I am pleased with the over all story. I am eager to see where it will lead and how he will manage to do it.

Thanks again.
# E 2014-05-12 08:18
Is the scene being set for Dean to become Michael? We certainly have never seen that. And if Jensen says the finale is "Wow. They went there", Dean being Michael is a place we've never been before! It also kind of ties to the whole demon-killing thing (although not the killing machine thing.) Remember way back to Houses of the Holy, and the priest describing the Archangel Michael as a slayer of demons?
I don't think that this will happens simply because of the logistics problems associated with it. How do you get Michael out of the cage and not release Lucifer at the same time? I suppose that someone could concoct a "spell" that allows only one of them to get out, but this show has been finagling a lot of these types of improbable and highly convenient plot devices lately (rogue reapers) and I'd rather see the boys work for their supper if you know what I mean. And if Lucifer gets out along with Michael, then we are back to season 5, and I really don't want an Apocalypse re-do. When the PTB said something new, I really hope they really mean something that's actually new, and not a newish take on something old.

Jensen's comment of "Wow, they went there" seems more about something Dean does, something awful and shocking, which is why I am worried for Sam and Cas and just about everyone who comes within 100 feet of Dean while he's got that blade in his hand.
# SueB 2014-05-11 22:29
I've been saying all week that Dean is the King of the Damned. The key word here is "Damned". He's not in hell yet, he's going there.

Which leads me to motivation: Dean has already stated "I'll burn for that" regarding Kevin's death. So Dean thinks he's going to Hell. And he KNOWS what that means. Now he thinks (wrongly) that not only has Sam abandoned him as a brother, Sam NEVER loved him as much as Dean loved Sam. Truth is, I think Sam feels differently about Dean than Dean feels about Sam. It's a different kind of love. Dean has the love of a parent, Sam has the love of a brother but the guilt of a child. I think it's very hard for Sam to understand why Dean acts like he does (regarding protecting Sam's life) and Dean doesn't even understand fully that he is motivated by his parental sense of responsibility. It's the unconditional love of a parent and it's very complicated but Sam's feels towards Dean are not the same. Dean's interpreted this (and things Sam and Gadreel have said) to mean Sam doesn't love Dean. Which is, of course, not true. But it doesn't matter because Dean THINKS it's true. So: 1) He's going to Hell, and 2) Sammy doesn't love him like he thought he did. Further, Cas has been absent working the Heaven angle (for the express purpose of keeping him from saving Dean, of course). So at this point Dean has nothing to live for. No purpose other than to be a killing machine.

The request by Cas to perform his dirty work (which Dean points out while still want to do it), further emphasizes in Dean's mind that his JOB in life is to KILL. He's got nothing tying him to humanity anymore.

So, if you were convinced you were going to Hell -- wouldn't you set yourself up to be in charge rather than be someone else's chew toy? Dean, of course, simultaneously believes he DESERVES to be tortured and yet part of him knows that with the power of the First Blade, he can at least dictate the terms of his time in Hell. It's VERY dark and very sad.

So... thank you for your in-depth review. I, unfortunately, think Dean WILL kill Sam in the finale. Not intentionally --- he'll be in a bloodlust haze and shove the Blade in Sam before realizing it IS Sam is my bet. I'm counting on Dean's eyes turning black and then the screen fades to black.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-11 22:50
Thanks for the comment.

I think there's some valid points here. I think that Dean is indeed on a very dark path ala Sam's in s4 when he killed Lillith. That being said, I don't know that it will indeed go as far as Dean actually killing Sam. He's managed to break through to Dean so many times now and I think they've set up foreshadow that Sam is capable of pulling Dean back. I don't know that we'll end the season on that note, but it's possible. I do think you're right that Dean sees himself as going to Hell for various reasons and therefore much as we saw in S3 he was willing to pretty much throw everything away---what did it matter, he wasn't going to live much longer---and now we're seeing him pull away again because he feels he's not worthy and because the Blade is an isolating factor.

I do think that Sam absolutely LOVES Dean and loves him as much as Dean loves Sam, but yes, I do think they're different in how they love one another. Dean has seen himself as Sam's parent for so very long now even if he doesn't realize it and so he does what has to in order to protect Sam even if it means making his brother angry. Sam, on the other hand, wants to be seen as an equal and on the same level field with his brother. I think if Sam can manage to pull Dean back either in the finale OR into s10 that it's possible Sam may achieve that along with saving his brother.

I think the finale, as most season finales have been in the past, will end on a shocker and an emotional rollercoaster. How that's exactly achieved yet, I don't know.

Thanks again!
# suebsg9 2014-05-11 23:36
What would be the point in killing Sam that makes no sense because as Cain pointed out Dean keeps saving Sam but they were estranged from each other and you never give up on family. As Jensen pointed out yes Dean is still hurt by what Sam said about the brothers thing but I still don't see if they kill Sam they would need to bring him back to finally save Dean its the one thing on Sam's list of things to do he has never done. Unless Dean is able to save himself and figure out that hey this is a toxic relationship as its been pointed out to me and maybe change is good. But I am curious about what Jensen met and enjoyed the review as always. I think this weeks eps will be a turning point to how far down the rabbits hole that Dean is and both Sam and Cas need to see it. Also I wonder does the bunker come with a panic room? Will Sam and Cas use Dean as a weapon to open up heaven because he is the wild card besides Gadreel to go against metatron. Just some thinky thoughts.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-12 00:04
Thanks for the comment.

Will Dean kill Sam? I don't know, but I don't think that will be the end game necessarily. I think the Blade might want him to do that, though. I think you're right about Sam saving Dean---somethin g he couldn't do in s3 when Dean was sent to Hell. To me, this seems like Sam's chance to possibly rectify that. Cain chose Dean for a reason and asked him about family and his bond with Sam. I think that conversation is key to WHY Cain chose Dean. He knew that there's more going on than Abaddon. Retired or not, Cain paid attention and so I think he knows more than he told Dean here---and not just about the Mark. I think he knows that Dean will be able to do what he couldn't---or that Sam will do what Abel couldn't and therefore save Dean from becoming what Cain became. That's just my take. How or if that will happen in these last two episodes is yet to be seen. I don't speculate too much and I don't read teasers/spoiler s/etc so I don't have hints. I do think that we'll see the brothers have to stand together on this---even if it means Sam trying to break through to Dean in some way when the Blade/Mark might be trying to force him into something else.

As for Dean being part of the Heaven plan, I don't know if his situation will factor into that. It's possible, but I'm not entirely sure that's how they'll work it into the Heaven War. I think there's so many avenues they can take with it and I look forward to seeing how they go about that.

Thanks again.
# nappi815 2014-05-12 07:41
i don't think either brother will be killing the other....but what if dean gets to a point where the only thing sam can think to do to stop him is go to the one person sam at the moment detests the most? I think what would be cool, and unexpected, is for sam to go to gad and as a repayment for what he'd done, ask him to possess his brother in order to keep dean at bay until sam can find a way to save his brother from destroying himself and killing innocents. I know the question is why would sam trust in gad to do that...but with two eps left, and sam knowing more than he thinks he knows and gad teetering on where his actual loyalties lie, I can see where this could happen. now that would be a walk in ea. other's shoes, and yet it isn't an act that I feel would prevent the boys from understanding and learning from all of this and changing and accepting that these extremes have got to stop on ea. of their parts. I do think however it would give ea. an understanding as to ea. brother's pov and that is a good thing. just another thinky thought.....

fun to speculate....:D
# E 2014-05-12 08:33
nappi, wouldn't that justify Dean's original act of having Sam possessed and negate Sam's argument against it completely? I'm not sure I'd like that turn of events at all. Sam was already shown to be completely in the wrong about so many, many things: wrong about Benny, wrong about the demon blood, wrong about killing Lilith, wrong to not look for Dean and now he'd be WRONG once again. Possession is fine if it gets the job done or if you are desperate enough, regardless of what the person being possessed thinks or wants, regardless of what the possessed person ends up doing while possessed it's all OK; the end justifies the means after all. I'd hate to see Sam compromise himself so entirely, even for the sake of saving his brother.
# nappi815 2014-05-12 09:07
E, not only that but. But as I remembered as I got in the car, u need permission. So scratch that thought:D I think we r all overthinking all of this based on the networks use of the word shocking.the irony of dean going dark could be where they actually go that they never have.its always been Sam that was feared to go ironic that it's dean. If that's the case, it could be that Sam might need cas next season, at least til dean is saved by Sam. Hope the fans don't get their panties in a twist when and if Sam and cas bond more in their efforts to save dean.
# suebsg9 2014-05-12 10:42
This is what I find amusing panites in a twist if Cas and Sam become close? You have to remember that Cas saved Sam in S6 to get Dean oughta Lisa and Ben's house. Why where the boys called to Cas's compound because as Cas said Dean had tortured and he wanted him to do that to Ezra. So whenever Cas does something it has to do with Dean. Yes Sam showed Cas how to hug but you have to remember Cas and Dean share a profound Bond which has been there since Dean was saved by Cas from hell. Cas rebelled against heaven because of what Dean said. Him and Sam are just starting to become friendly granted they have been friends but I think alot of saving Sam has to do with Dean. I am glad that Cas is back because he probobly knows alot about the mark and Sam will need that information to save his brother and if he gets help from Cas well alright then I am on board with that.
# cheryl42 2014-05-12 11:43
Cas threatened to kill Anna if she came near Sam because "Sam is my friend". While it is true that Cas and Dean are closer I have no doubt that Cas would also die for Sam if he had to and Sam for Cas. It has always been Sam that repairs the rift between Dean and Cas. Other than when Cas didn't get all of Sam out of hell he always comes when Sam calls him. It is called Team Free Will for a reason. Sam and Cas have been friends since the end of S4 when Cas realized what a mistake he made by letting Sam out of the Panic Room. Cas sacrificed his sanity to save Sam. I don't know how much more the show can do to show that Sam and Castiel are also friends who would do anything in their power to help the other. So yes those two teaming up is a very natural progression of the story line.
# LEAH 2014-05-13 10:55
I agree Cheryl, and with the people who want to see any bonding of Cas and Sam. I personally think Cas cares very much for Sam now. I don't think there is much he wouldn't do for either of them.
# nappi815 2014-05-12 16:56
i have to disagree with you. cas did not save sam to get dean out of lisa's house. as a matter of fact, cas was going to go to dean originally and decided it against it. sam had just sacrificed himself for the world. cas told dean he came back better than before. he brought bobby back and cas isn't even close to bobby at all. he did it because he could. he saved sam because he believed he could. sam was already considered a friend by cas. soulless sam even made a comment, oh so you like dean better....and cas replied that they did share a certain bond, but in no way did cas indicate that he wasn't or doesn't care for sam. while it may be true that in the beginning, cas was more dean's friend and friendly with sam because he was in fact dean's brother, over the course of time, sam earned cas' friendship through his own merit. cas took part in sam's manipulation to kill Lilith. cas also knew, spending time with sam, that sam is a good person who had good intentions. cas and his fellow angels as well as ruby and the demons knew this about sam and used that against him. yet after sam had accidentally let out Lucifer, he took responsibility for his actions and spent all of season 5 trying to correct his mistake. cas was witness to this and had grown to respect sam. when sam willingly jumped in the pit to sacrifice himself for the world, I believe cas had admired what sam had done given his part in the coming of the apocalypse as well as others. but it was sam who made the sacrifice and with that I believe came a deep admiration and respect from cas. cas did after all have faith that sam could actually do it when he found out the plan. in s6 cas was vehement against dean putting sam's soul back in and while i contest that part of the reason for that was because he was responsible for sam's soul being in that condition in the first place, (as sam was trapped in hell longer than he would've been since cas didn't own up to screwing up the rescue,) and he didn't want to see first hand sam's condition once his soul was returned as he would feel the burden of guilt for sam being in such a condition, i honestly feel that cas genuinely didn't want sam to suffer because he genuinely likes and cares about him. cas wouldn't have felt responsible for sam if he didn't care about him to begin with, which is why he couldn't see sam suffer any longer from the hellucinations that sam was experiencing because cas broke his wall. it's why cas took away sam's "crazy". cas and sam have grown closer over the years. i take it from the above reply that this bothers you. so you actually kind of make my point of what i fear if show does go the way of turning dean dark. it would only make sense that if that were to be the case, sam would do everything and anything to save his brother. it would also make sense that he would get help from anyone and everyone he possibly could. sam going to cas seems the most logical conclusion. if it turns out that dean is off somewhere being evil, it would only make sense that sam would enlist cas's help and that being the case they would work together. spending time working toward the same goal for someone they both care so much about, they are bound to connect and become closer. i don't understand why that very notion causes such anger as it appears to have done in you, based on your hostile response. dean has repeatedly told cas they were family. they....him, sam and family don't end with blood and family doesn't exclude anyone.

who's to say that show will go this route anyway. nobody knows for sure what the finale will bring. but even if what i say does happen, i don't see how sam and cas becoming closer friends and sharing scenes would take away that" profound" bond dean has with cas anyway.
# E 2014-05-13 08:32
I'd LOVE to see Cas and Sam bond, for any reason.
# amyh 2014-05-13 10:35
Me too. There is an equality and understanding between them that isn't there with Dean. ANd we see Sam open up to Castiel in ways he never does and probably can't with Dean...which i think is a result of the equality of Sam and Cas' potential friendship without the hang ups of the parental/child thing Sam and Dean has.
# amyh 2014-05-12 10:05 forget Demons dont need permission. With Crowley getting in touch with his human side...what if Sam asks Crowly to possess Dean? A demon with humanity possessing a human turning demonic. And then Crowly forces Dean to remember his humanity?

Course....Crowl y - in Dean - with access to the MArk of Cain. Dean inside, aware ....think of the possibilities.. ....
# cheryl42 2014-05-12 11:45
Gasp! :o
# Sylvie 2014-05-13 09:13
Yet another great essay Far Away Eyes. What a great episode that was, and yes, I agree that Dean is indeed the king of the damned. It's getting more and more difficult for Sam to pull Dean back from that violence that's taking him over the abyss. Cain said to Dean that the mark could only be worn by someone worthy of it, and chillingly enough, Dean seems indeed worthy of wearing and yielding it. :( It brings us way back to his tearful confession to Sam about torturing souls in Hell and actually enjoying it. He hated himself for it for a very long time and never forgave himself. It also brings to mind the way Alaistair always taunted Dean with the progress he was making in Hell, now I'm thinking that he was probably right. Sam is right to be worried about his brother. It will take everything he has to pull him back, and I don't know that love and the power of family will be enough this time.

I loved Crowley in this episode (well I love him in every episode he's in :D) his humanity sure is getting in the way, he actually did some father-son bonding with Gavin. Feelings indeed. Leaving Gavin in the 21st century is a mistake though, and I hope we get to see it addressed somewhere down the road. Anytime you mess with the space time continuum, you are in for trouble, should have listened to Doc Brown on that one. ;) RIP Abaddon we will miss your badassness but you made the same mistake so many others before you made by underestimating the Winchesters. Tsk, tsk. Crowley said it best in season six (sorry, not good with episode titles) when he told Castiel: Am I the only one who doesn't underestimate those flannel wearing sons of bitches? (or something to that effect!, also not good with direct quotes!).

Can't believe there are only two episodes left!
# Puck 2014-05-13 16:24
Far Away Eyes--You know what? You're awesome!

Love your thinky sections--it reminds me there's more to this show than meets the eye, or what mindlessness people think action and/or fantasy shows are about--and it keeps me hooked.

Sam realizes he's in for a hard fight. I get the sneaking suspicion that the only way to reach Dean anymore is he's gonna have to quote back to Dean something his big brother said to him about when he was strung out on demon blood. It's a gamble, and he'll have to go softly or the whole thing will backfire and add fuel to Dean's fire. Luckily, it's Sam talking, and that's all the more likely for him to do so.