Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
In Supernatural's mid-season finale, Sam and Dean can no longer avoid the war between the angels but it's Castiel who learns of heaven's latest deception.
After a massacre in Caribou, Wyoming the boys know the angels are behind it but Ezekiel is afraid that his disguise will be blown if he gets to close. Dean insists that they continue on since Sam would get suspicious if they ignored something so big. When the two of them get to the scene, Castiel is already there investigating. Since learning of the war between the factions of angels on earth he knows that he must do everything in his power to stop it. Later on when the three of them get together for a few drinks, Ezekiel is uneasy being around Castiel and goes outside where he encounters Metatron. Dean tells Castiel that it's good to see him but that they can't work together for Sam's sake. While outside, Metatron speaks to Ezekiel and knows that he is not the angel he pretends to be and is actually Gadriel; the angel that meant to protect God's garden from evil. Metatron isn't interested in revealing Gadriel's identity but wants him and a select few angels to reshape heaven while he assumes the mantle of god. In a cry for help, Castiel prays to whatever deity will listen until an angel comes to his door. The two of them discuss the situation with the angels when Malakai's forces barge in and take the two of them hostage. Malakai wants information that leads to Metatron and heaven but Castiel has none to give; leading to the death of the angel that helped Castiel. After Malakai leaves, Castiel uses an opportunity to get free and steal the grace of another angel. After considering his options, Gadriel has decided to join Metatron but first he has to prove himself. Metatron has a list of people that need to be "neutralized" before the gates of heaven open once more. Dean Winchester's days of lying are at an end.
Though it may seem like this was an exciting episode, Holy Terror was definitely one of the worst episodes of season nine yet. We didn't know that Ezekiel was actually Gadriel, it was obvious that he couldn't be trusted after the first episode. Gadriel's motivations were too selfish and Dean's lies weren't ever going to turn out for the best. The entire angel plot line that has been present in some way or another this season has also been incredibly weak. One week we are told that the angels are having a hard time adjusting, the next week see Bartholomew for two minutes and the next week see that there are factions that are intent on wiping each other out. That is a lot of story to cover but instead we got episodes with talking dogs, a cartoonish take on The Wizard of Oz and a few trips down memory lane. My point being that we haven't spent enough time with the angels getting to know them and care about what they are doing and why one faction is better or worse than the other. All of them come across as one dimensional characters and, at best, cliché villains.
Speaking of having little reason to care, Kevin Tran's death is hardly the big shock that it was made out to be. It's interesting that Supernatural killed off the prophet the Winchesters fought to hard for but Kevin was hardly around this season and his brief appearances did little to increase his standing in the show. His sudden death was meant to stun us and think that anything can happen. Osric Chau fit the part well of Kevin but the show hadn't done anything interesting with the character in quite some time and he was given a lame death. A truly shocking death would have been Crowley dying.
The one high point in the episode was definitely Misha Collins. Even with everything around him being terribly boring he still manages to put out a great performance. His pain during the scene in the bar with Dean, the humour as he prayed to whatever God would listen and his action to regain a grace was all great. Though this has nothing to do with Collins's fine performance, why did Castiel wait so long to get his grace back? If all he had to do was cut an angel's throat and inhale he could have done that countless times already. That plot point was just lazy writing to give him a larger part in the upcoming angel war.
Lastly, while Jared Padalecki was quite good at switching between Sam and Gadriel, his efforts to give us a more developed angel fell short over time. Padalecki's portrayal of Gadriel quickly became the stiff guy with an airy voice and more furrowing. Several angels on the show don't express the same difficulty emoting but Padalecki made the character too similar to Castiel (when he was first introduced) but without any change. A lot of this has to do with the poor writing of the character as Padalecki didn't have anywhere else to go given the material.
Given how unsuccessful Holy Terror turned out to be, I'm actually less excited than I was before to see how the rest of the season turns out. I'm confident that Supernatural will probably have a fantastic season finale but they have a lot of work to do. Supernatural needs to bring the angel war to the Winchester's doorstep and force them to get involved rather than stay on the sidelines. However Dean manages to save his brother and take it to Metatron and the others, it has get better than what we just watched.
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