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Stream of Consciousness, Epi 9.09

Holy crap. I have to say, when you've been watching a show for 8.5 seasons and it still manages to totally catch you off-guard, that's fantastic. Even when it breaks your heart. Completely. In. Half.





Well...I guess that answers the question of whether or not "Zeke" is a good or bad guy. *meep*

I'm going to have a little trouble with my lists -- not because there weren't things to love/like, but because it's going to seem so macabre that some of the things I loved where performances centered around complete heartbreak. Overall, I thought this was a good mid-season finale. It answered some questions, posed a ton of others, shocked us, and left us hanging -- I mean, that was probably one of the better cliffhangers they've had in awhile. It has me stepping back to take a breath, wondering what just happened here and counting the days until January 14th and the return.

Before I Ramble On, I want to say one thing -- Jensen and Jared completely brought their A-games to this episode, especially the last 10 minutes. Jared's been doing a phenomenal job all season playing two characters in one; admittedly, I've been stingy with compliments to his performances through the years because the way Jensen plays Dean just sucks me in and rolls me under, in my mind overpowering my perception of Jared's Sam (IMO only). But Jared has really captured me this season and for the first time in a really long time -- like...S3 long time -- my heart really hurts for Sam because of the way that Jared has played him. Thinking ahead about what's to come in the next 14 episodes has me honestly anxious on his behalf.

I've been rubbing my heart all season concerning Dean's situation and the pain I knew was coming his way, but the way Jensen worked through the myriad of emotions that Dean experienced in this episode just took my breath away. He was really fantastic in the journey he traveled during this hour. He left me hurting -- actually pressing my hand to my chest because of how broken he was. The ramifications of everything that happened in this episode almost physically beat him down.

And now I'm ready for him to beat back. I'm ready for him to kick some angel ass and get his brother back. I'm ready for him to face the circumstances his choices wrought, and then wage a war of his own. Because the angels have been running roughshod over our boys for too many seasons. It's time to get some mojo of their own and stop losing people. Stop being near death. Stop being broken. I want to go kick some ass myself because of what has been done to my hero. *raises virtual sword in defiance and defense*

Okay, so...lists. Don't judge me. Well, okay, you can judge me -- just don't tell me the bad stuff. *small smile*

Loved:

  • The fact that I was caught off-guard twice in the same show

  • Cas, Sam, and Dean sitting at a high-top in a bar, having beers - just the image of the three of them together made me smile

  • The look on Not!Zeke's face when Metatron appeared in the alley, saying he knew who he really was

  • Dean's conflicted expression when he tells Cas they can't work together - it looked like someone was literally pulling his heart in two different directions

  • The near-electric charge in the room between Sam and Dean when Dean fessed up -- Dean's desperation bouncing off Sam's disbelief made it hard to breathe through that whole scene

  • Dean's broken, pain-filled repeat of Kevin's name, and the tears that followed...just his face in that moment...*rubs heart*

Liked:

  • Cas in a suit, playing the agent role

  • Cas praying in every prayer position possible

  • Cas being cagey enough to trick Theo

  • Finding out that not only was Sam possessed by Gadreel and not Ezekiel, but that Ezekiel had actually died - both were didn't see that coming facts for me

  • Dean throwing "cool guy according to Cas" in the middle of his mach 10 explanation about angel possession -- the way his voice bounced around the words was almost funny even though the moment was far from it

Conflicted (not so much Meh, but...I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it yet):

  • The angel wars: on one hand, it provides a palpable threat to the boys, to Cas, and to humanity, but on the other hand...we've had so much angels-as-bad-guys I am starting to miss demons. I know it's unique and all to have what most people consider to be good, kind protectors -- a being of light that would guard humanity against evil -- as the Big Bad in a storyline, but I kinda hope they play it out this season. It was much easier to cheer demonic destruction. BUT, that's just my own personal hang-up, so don't mind me. I just hope now that we've established the warring factions, we get more of our people involved when the battles go down, less angel-vs-angel action.

  • "There is no more Sam": clearly, we're going to get Sam back, but the fact that Gadreel was "playing" Sam during Dean's confession just means that Dean has to go through the whole thing again and Sam has to find a way not only to accept what his brother did (to save his life) but what he did as a vessel, which in turn is just going to put more guilt on both of them. Ugh.

Questions/Theories:

  • So, let me get this straight -- angels can steal another angel's grace, and still stay themselves? Did you guys know this was a thing? I kinda thought the 'grace' was a bit like an angel's soul, but clearly I was mistaken if Cas can take on Theo's grace and assume his angelic power, but not his...personality.

  • Okay, so Crowley said the spell was irreversible, but that's because he was reading the cuneiform version of the angel tablet. Kevin said that there were parts of the angel tablet that he couldn't read -- almost as if Metatron didn't want it to be read when he wrote it down. Metatron gave Gadreel Kevin's name as first on his Fidelity Hit List. And Gadreel took the angel tablets with him when he left. Anyone else think this totally spells out that Crowley wasn't the one who lied? I think that we're going to find out that spell is reversible, and I hope that part of getting the angels back to Heaven is going to involve Metatron's demise. I just want Sam to have a chance to kill him (in payment for the trial trickery) and Cas gets to open the Pearly Gates back up to the angels.

  • This means a new prophet will be called up, right? Aren't they like Slayers, there can be only one?

  • Gadreel was imprisoned in Heaven in what seemed to be a scapegoat situation; Metatron implied there were others who were imprisoned. You think the angels Gadreel is afraid of are one of the other imprisoned angels?

THEN was a patchwork quilt of events from Sammy's hurt to Dean telling Cas to leave to Metatron's spell to cast out the angels to Kevin being a prophet, to Buddy Boyle looking for vessels, to Zeke healing Sam. Whew. NOW starts in Caribou, Wyoming, a school bus for the Melody Ministry Glee Club barreling down the road, its passengers harmonizing perfectly to "This Little Light of Mine." They pull up to the "Round 'Em Up" biker bar and head inside. Standing shoulder to shoulder, white dresses, pink sweaters, the Glee Club faces off with a dozen or so bearded, tattooed, grisly-looking bikers.

Like this is going to end well.

Biker: You shouldn't be here.

Glee Leader: We have just as much right to be here as you do, brother.

And it's ON! Angel swords out, white flashes of lights, cries of pain, bodies flying through glass windows...and then the Glee Club emerges, blood staining their white dresses. They board their bus and resume "This Little Light of Mine" while the camera pans over the bodies of the dead biker/angels. Creep. Ee.

Elsewhere -- on the way to Caribou, apparently -- it's night and Dean and Sam are in the Impala...only Dean is talking to Zeke.

Zeke: Sam is much improved; shouldn't be much longer.

Dean: You said the same thing to me last week.

Zeke's like, I told you this would take awhile when we met. Dean, worried and exasperated by the fact that the angel is always friggin' there, tells him to go, he'd like his brother back, please. *rubs heart* Zeke's not done having his say, though. He's uncomfortable about the fact that they're going to investigate a case that involves angels -- it puts him (and therefore Sam) at risk. Dean argues that this is family business and if they didn't go check it out, Sam would know something was up. Zeke wants Dean to be discrete.

Dean: If you know where we're going that means you've been listening in. Are you hearing everything between me and Sam?

Zeke: Just a word here and there. I have better things to do with my time than eavesdrop. Like heal your brother.

And in a blue eye-flash, he's gone, Sam picking up right where he apparently left off, sending Dean mentally spinning. This lack of control as far as when Zeke can and will appear has to have been so exhausting for Dean. He would have had to be on guard 24X7 around Sam, unable to take an easy breath even for a moment.

Sam: I was gonna say it seems like it's been pretty quiet out there....

Dean (gripping the steering wheel to balance himself): It's the calm before the storm.

Sam sees a mileage sign that says 50 miles to Ft. Collins and just 12 seconds ago it was 100 miles. Like I said back in the 2nd Ramble for this season, the missing time -- regardless of the memory wipe effect -- was going to start piling up for Sam. His Swiss-Cheesed memory was going to bother him more than Dean was going to be able to find plausible reasons for. Dean sticks with the trial excuse this time, saying that Sam's just not up to warp speed, but he will be.

Dean: Would I lie?

Sam: *shifty eyes*

Thing is, about that? He's not lying. Or at least doesn't think he is. He truly believes in that moment that Sam will be back to normal if they just hang in there a little longer.

They pull up to the biker bar, suited up (the Impala for the boys is like a phone booth for Superman, apparently), and are told by one of the cops outside that one of "their guys" is already there. They head inside, eyeing the cops and CSI guys until they spot Castiel -- also suited up. Meeting up with him, Dean gives Cas a what the hell are you doing look while Sam grins, looking both amused and moderately impressed.

Cas greets them with a secretly-proud grin and tells Dean that he still has the badge Dean gave him. Dean is Not Comfortable having Cas and Sam in such close proximity, but there's not really any easy way to get one or the other out of there without raising suspicions.

Sam: You know this is an angel situation, right? You left that night because angels were on your ass....

Dean = UNCOMFORTABLE

He tries to deflect, butting in to the end of Sam's sentence saying that Cas had a new life. But Cas, giving Dean a raised-eyebrow meaningful look, says that if angels are slaughtering one another, he has to help. It's a risk they should be willing to take. Dean relents as Cas rocks back on his heels with a grin.

Cas: Hey. Cas is back in town.

Dean (w/ a playfully pained expression): Seriously. Did he just say that?

Sam grins as Cas gives them the low-down. Angels were butchered with "more violence than required." They realize it took more than one person to pull this off. Dean wonders if it's a hit squad -- Bartholomew's peeps. Sam says it could be someone else entirely.

Cas (walking away): Whoever it is, we'll find 'em.

Dean (sighing): We'll find 'em. Great.

And for random angel reasons, Zeke blue-eye-flashes forward and stares all grumpily at Dean. Looking both worried and irritated, Dean walks off, leaving Zekeified Sam standing there. No wonder his brain is all Swiss-Cheesed. Sam probably came back to find himself standing alone. *pets him*

Elsewhere, two limos pull up in some back alley facing each other. This is when we find out who the two warring factions are: Malachi, who runs the Glee Club Angels, and Bartholomew, who we knew about already. Malachi wanted a summit -- looking to unite and take back Heaven from Metatron. Bart sent some of his Secret Service Angels in his place and the spokesperson is all oh, that's cute, but no to Malachi's offer, clearing thinking she has the upper hand.

She's wrong. When she denies him, Malachi and his Glee Club peeps -- plus a few other random angels on his side -- rush Bart's angels and kill them. D'oh!

In a bar somewhere in or around Caribou, suited up Dean, Sam, and Cas are having  beer (or two) at a high-top table. Cas is giddy about being with them again and innocently asks if it's okay he's there. Sam, confused, is like why wouldn't it be. Dean has to scramble once more, asking Cas if he's ready to jump back into the fray -- it seemed like he'd actually found some peace.

Cas: You're the one who told me you don't choose what you do, it chooses you.

Yeah, Dean.

Cas says he's part of this, like it or not. Off that, Sam starts to speculate the who, what, when, why, how of the case. Cas says that Bart wants to reverse the spell to take over Heaven -- a fact he learned from the Reaper he slept with...who tortured him...and whom he believes Dean killed to save him. Sam says they need more beer, which Cas offers to get, staggering slightly as he gets off his chair (it's his first beer as a human, after all). Hee.

Dean (affectionately): One beer and he's hammered.

And just like that, Zeke pops in.

Dean: Oh, boy.

Love how he captured dread and anticipation in one glance, then wiped it free when Zeke started talking.

Zeke: What are you going to do about this?

Dean: Cas?

Zeke: He is a beacon, Dean. Pulling every angel in for miles.

Dean (irritated): Level with me, Zeke. What is it you're so afraid of?

Zeke's like, I took a big risk answering your prayers so now certain angels don't like me much. Dean's like, whatever, NO angels like Cas and he's still here, ass on the line, fighting the fight. What's your excuse, Princess?

Cas comes back with beers and a Zekeified Sam says he's going to get something out of the car and leaves. Now, if I'd been Dean, I would have been worried about Zeke bugging out while Sam is standing outside by the Impala wondering WTF was going on because that's the way Zeke has been rolling lately, but Dean was trying to figure out how to take care of his well-meaning friend who is being cut out of his life through no fault of his own.

I mean, geeze, poor Dean. I know he got himself into this mess, but my heart still breaks for him. All he wanted to do was save his brother's life and everything -- literally everything -- in his life is slowly falling to pieces and right now, he's left with nothing, his good intentions like water slipping through parted fingers. In a way, he's going through the personal journey Sam took in S4 when he thought defeating Lilith was the answer. He's just going through it on a totally different level.

ANYWAY, Zekeified Sam goes outside to the Impala and who should be waiting, hiding in the shadows but Metatron himself, looking slightly worse for the wear, I'm gonna be honest.

Meta: I know who you really are. And it isn't Ezekiel.

Guys, that possibility? Was the furthest from my mind. I totally did not see that coming. Zeke being bad? Sure! Betraying Dean and therefore Sam? Naturally. Zeke not being Zeke? I'll be a squirrel in a skirt. Ya'll probably caught on way before me, I know. But I was all *leans forward, mouth open, eyes blinking* wait, what?!

Back in the bar, Cas calls Dean on his skittish behavior when Sam mentions his leaving. Dean looks down, unable to keep up the facade with Cas, and I thought -- I thought -- he might come all the way clean. But at least he gave Cas something by way of an explanation.

Dean: Here's the deal. When Sam was doing the trials to seal up Hell, it messed him up. The 3rd one nearly killed him. Finishing it would have. He's still messed up. Bad.

Cas (processing, thinking): You said the angel Ezekiel helped heal him.

Dean (drowning in the need for truth, unable to fully surface): I gotta do anything I can to get him back. If that means we have to keep our distance from you for a little while...I don't have a choice.

Cas = confused

Dean (eyes bright with emotion): I don't feel good about it, but I don't have a choice. (voice choked) It's great to have your help, Cas. We just can't work together.

Back in the alley behind the bar, Metatron is saying he's not going to 'out' him, but wants to know why Ezekiel?

Not!Zeke: They say he is a good and honorable angel.

Meta: Ah...everything they say you are not. I see your point...Gadreel.

Gadreel: The stories about me are not true!

Metatron goes into a cleverly positioned explanation as to who Gadreel is for those of us scratching our heads. He had apparently been locked in Heaven's darkest dungeon -- and seriously, Heaven has dungeons?? -- and apparently it broke God's heart to lock him away because he was once one of God's most trusted. He chose Gadreel to protect the Garden of Eden, but somehow the serpent got in and now the earth is cursed by evil. Gadreel said letting the serpent in was not his doing, but Metatron's like, whatever, it still got in and someone had to be blamed, so that's you.

Metatron tells Gadreel he just wants to be friends. Apparently the little dude's lonely in his empty Heaven and is looking for a bff. He tells Gadreel he was the one who freed him and caused all of the angels to fall. Gadreel is just starting to gather that there are no angels in Heaven -- which surprised me that he didn't know that, since he told Dean he was injured in the fall...but maybe the reason he seemed to require more healing than other angels was because of his time in the "dungeon"...?

Anyway, Metatron shares with Gadreel that his Plan B is to rebuild Heaven, only with hand-picked angels. None like Bartholomew. And no stupid angels, clearly. Maybe some funny ones. Yeah, that'll go over real well.

Back at the bunker, Sam's on the map table looking at his laptop as Dean lopes in. Sam asks after Cas and Dean says no word yet. Sam's wondering if they should be worried, but Dean says Cas has been "all over the map" since his wings were clipped. Off of that, Sam shows Dean the obit of one of the bikers. It doesn't take them long to connect the dots and realize that the bikers, who had all been baptized together, were part of Buddy Boyle's group of angelic meat suits. And if these guys were Bart's guys, then the other group is worse.

Elsewhere, at a campfire for a youth Bible Study, Glee Club Angel Lady is talking to them and going on about allowing the angels in in the name of Malachi. Before the angels can do their thing, however, Bart's guys show up, burn out the humans, and stab and kill the Glee Club Angel Lady. This is war, ya'll.

Metatron and Gadreel are meeting under and overpass -- that looks like the same place Dean and Sam parked the Impala before Dean met with Death in Chicago in S5, incidentally -- talking about humans. Gadreel says they are chaotic and Metatron says that makes them fascinating...except for all the emotion. Wasted energy is just exhausting.

Gadreel: I know. Sam Winchester...it is a mess in here. I do not know where to start.

So...does that mean he hasn't healed Sam at all then? *unsure*

Metatron says he could free Gadreel from them, but Gadreel is clever enough to realize that what Metatron is proposing would make him God. Metatron simpers and says that he wouldn't take that name. When the time comes, they can call him "X." *raises eyebrow* What, like Professor X? Or like X-mas?

In a motel room (assuming in Caribou, still), Cas is kneeling to pray. Now, while I enjoyed Cas attempts and efforts, the fact that he prayed at all, I thought, was very short-sighted. He took a HUGE risk with that. During his prayer, he goes from kneeling by the bed, to the lotus position, to forehead to floor facing East...every different position imaginable for supplication. He prayers for assistance, for answers, for help, for guidance. After hours at it -- you can see the sun set in the window behind the bed -- he stops, worn out.

Cas: I don't know how humans do it.

He goes to turn on the TV, but nothing happens, and a voice outside his room suggest he turn it on. He opens the door and it's a pretty, blonde, female sheriff -- and also an angel named Muriel. She recognizes Cas and starts to leave, but he manages to get her to stay and talk to him.

At the bunker, Kevin and Dean are at the table, Dean on the laptop, Kevin with the tablet. Kevin says that there may not be anything on the tablet to help with the spell -- Crowley did say it was irreversible. Dean is like Crowley is a lying liar who lies. Kevin tells him that there is a part that is nearly indecipherable -- almost like Metatron wanted to keep the words hidden. Sam walks in just at that moment, all 'sup.

Dean gives him the low down on another angel killing -- the campfire -- and is able to make the connection via witness accounts of the bus that puts the Glee Angel at both scenes. Dean surmises that she killed Bart's boys at the bar and Bart's boys hit her back. Sam looks sick at the thought that those killed at the campfire were just kids. Dean looks at Kevin, telling him the clock's ticking.

Back at the motel, Muriel and Cas are talking, Cas trying to convince Muriel that she instinctively trusts him -- that neither of them wanted any part of the fanatics. Muriel wants to know how he knew he wouldn't get one of them when he prayed. Good question, Muriel!

Cas: I'm warded and my grace is gone...I was hoping I would seem just like a desperate human that the militants could care less about.

He was right in that respect, but didn't consider that the militants might track/follow the angel who came to his aid. Muriel tells him about Malachi, the fact that angels are being tortured and killed if they didn't pick a side, and that Heaven ruled under Malachi or Bart would be, well, Hell. Right as they come to that conclusion, though, the door breaks open and a member of the Angel Brute Squad bursts in. Whoops.

Somewhere in some hotel-like building with a long hallway, lots of doors, and lots of screams, Malachi is torturing Cas and Muriel - Cas chained to a wall, both his face andhe beaten and bloody. He wants to know how the spell works, but of course, Cas doesn't know. Malachi mocks him as being a dupe, and they cut his chest open with the tip of the angel sword. OUCH. Malachi wants to know if Metatron is worth his life -- or Muriel's life? Cas yells to leave her alone; she's innocent.

But, with a nod of permission from Malachi, the Brute Squad Angel kills Muriel.

Cas: Angels butchering angels. Is this what we've become?

Malachi: Just following your example. How many did you kill in Heaven? How many in the fall? A host of angels died when they fell. Azriel, Sophia, Ezekiel...wings shredded, unspeakable agony...at your hands.

Cas' look of wait, what? mirrored my uh-oh when he said Ezekiel. I knew Cas would have to escape to warn Dean, but honestly? For a moment there I thought they were actually going to kill Cas. I started feeling like someone was going to die around that time. The Walking Dead has made me wary for main character deaths. I'm glad it wasn't Cas, though. Not glad it happened, like, AT ALL, but glad it wasn't Cas.

Anyway, Brute Squad Angel -- Theo -- gets permission from Malachi to kill Cas and as soon as Malachi leaves the room, Theo starts talking to Cas about getting Metatron to call him up to Heaven. He's a team player, he'll be a soldier for Metatron. Cas is like, uh...but you're on Malachi's team. Theo's like, dude's crazy.

Cas; You're noticing this now?

Theo: No one will survive this war. I can talk to Metatron about restoring your grace.

This seems to give Cas the idea he needs to make his escape. He starts playing along, selling it expertly that he can talk with Metatron and convince him. Theo unshackles him and Cas says he needs one thing from Theo, then pushes him against a wall and cuts a slice in his neck, sucking in his grace. Which, we've already covered my confusion about how that is possible. He burns Theo out and is gone. Malachi comes down the hall and finds body after body of his angel minions, dead, ending in the torture room with a dead Theo and he is Not Happy.

At the bunker, Dean runs into Kevin in the kitchen, asking if he's seen Sam. Kevin says he's out -- and he's been doing that a lot lately. Dean has a beat to look worried before his cell rings. It's Cas, bloody and soot-stained and calling from a payphone booth.

Cas: I don't have a lot of time, so listen. The leader of the opposition is an angel named Malachi. He had me. I was tortured. (Dean's face is like GAH!) I got away.

Dean: How?!

Cas: I did what I had to. Became what they've become. A barbarian.

Notice a bit of a "did what I had to do" theme carrying through here? Dean, Cas, Gadreel...?

Dean (worried): Cas, where are you?

Cas: It's better I stay away. They're gonna want me even more now. I'm gonna be all right. I got my grace back. (Dean = WIDE green eyes). Not mine per se, but it'll do.

Dean: You're back? You got your mojo?

Cas: If we're going to war, I need to be ready. Dean, there's more. Didn't you say Sam was healed by an angel named Ezekiel?

Dean: Yeah, why?

Cas: Ezekiel is dead.

Dean (looks gut-punched): What?!

Cas: He died when the angels fell.

Dean is gutted. He rushes to Kevin, asking for a spell. He knows angels can't be expelled by other humans, but he needs one that will temporarily block the angel so that he can talk to the vessel. He gives Kevin a really plausible reason -- angels are taking vessels and humans are getting killed and it would be good if he could warn the human and have the human expel the angel -- but he also gives him and ASAP deadline.

Meanwhile, Gadreel and Metatron are meeting under the overpass again. Gadreel says he'll be Metatron's 2nd in command, and Metatron's like yay cool, but first, you gotta kill some people. Gadreel balks at that -- it's not who he is. Metatron, the evil little troll of an angel, tells him he has to decide and hands him a card with a name on it. I thought in that moment it was going to be Dean's name on the card, gotta tell ya.

Back in the bunker, Kevin and Dean have painted a sigil on the wall in the storage room -- one that Kevin got partly from the tablets and partly form a MoL book. Blood touches the sigil, spell kicks in. Kevin wants to know what's up, but Dean tells him that he has to trust him -- trust that he's told him everything he can for now.

Kevin: I always trust you. And I always end up screwed. *whimpers slightly thinking back through this*

Dean: C'mon always? (scoffs) Not always.

He heads to the kitchen and finds Sam putting beer in the fridge and asks if they can talk. Sam's like, sure, and follows Dean to the storage room where Dean activates the sigil right away. Sam spins around, surprised, but Dean barrels forward, knowing they don't have a lot of time. He's wired, tense, his eyes large, his face tight. Sam is almost dewy-eyed with confusion.

Dean: I gotta tell you some stuff fast. It's gonna piss you off. (visibly braces himself) Those trials really messed you up.

Sam (practically rolling his eyes): Yeah, I  know.

Dean: No. You don't. I mean, messed you up like almost dead. No more birthdays, dust to dust, and that messed me up, so I made a move. A tough move about you without talking it over because you were in a coma.

Sam (starting to reel from the barrage of information): When?!

Dean: You were in a hospital. They said you were gonna die.

Sam (tense): Dean. What did you do?

Dean (eyes so big and green you could about fall into them): I let an angel in.

Sam: In what?

Dean: In you.

Sam's expression = W.T.F.

Dean: He said he could heal you and he is.

Sam: He's still in me? Wait, that's impossible. I didn't invite him in.

Dean: I tricked you into saying yes. It seemed like the only way.

Sam (full-on pissed): So, again, you thought I couldn't handle something so you took over.

Dean (full-on desperate): I did what I had to do! You would never have agreed to it and you would have died.

Sam: Maybe I would have liked the choice at least!

Dean (shaking): We can do this later. You can kick my ass all you want; right now we've got bigger problems.

Sam (incredulous): Bigger?!

Dean (voice trembling): The angel lied to me. He's not who he said he was. He said his name was Ezekiel -- cool guy according to Cas -- but it's not Ezekiel.

Sam: Who is he?!

Dean: I don't know. Apparently Ezekiel is dead. Whoever this guy is could end you in a heartbeat so you have got to dump him.

Sam doesn't say anything, appearing to be processing, absorbing.

Dean: I think you're well enough now, but you've gotta expel him.

Sam storms past Dean, starting to walk out. Dean goes after him and Sam decks him -- hard -- laying him flat and knocking him unconscious. Sam continues out of the room, heading into the main room. He sees Kevin and as he approaches it's clear it's Gadreel, not Sam and at first I was confused that we didn't see the blue-flame eye flash.

Kevin asks if he's seen Dean -- he thinks he's been acting kind of 'off' lately.

Gadreel: Don't worry about Dean. Dean will be fine.

Kevin has two seconds to look confused before Gadreel lays a hand on his head. Dean comes around the corner, still whoozy from the punch, and sees what's happening but isn't able to get to them in time before Gadreel burns Kevin out -- his eyes two black, smoldering holes. I couldn't even tear up with this death. I was too shocked it had actually happened. But now...*wails*

Dean (running forward, horrified): SAM!

Gadreel (reaching out and pinning Dean painfully to the post so that he is choking for breath): There is no more Sam. But I played him convincingly, I thought.

Dean (gasping for breath, clearly in pain): How did you....

Gadreel reveals that he heard Dean and Kevin talking about the sigils and altered the sigil slightly -- alter the sigil, alter the spell. He packs up the tablets into a backpack.

Gadreel: Sorry about Kevin, but ultimately, it's for the best. I did what I had to.

He drops the yellow card on Kevin's body -- it has Kevin's name on it. He walks out, releasing Dean from the post. Dean crumples to the floor gasping, watching Gadreel walk out, then looks at Kevin. His face folds, pain and shock like we haven't seen etched there and rolling from his eyes in quiet tears. He utters Kevin's name twice, "Kevin?....Kevin?" before bowing his head, broken.

And now we wait.

I know this is not my story, and I will happily watch and react to the story I am told, but I do have some specific "I hopes" for the next part. I won't go into them now, because I'm still processing what transpired, but maybe before Jan 14th, you'll indulge me in some speculation/wish listing?

In the meantime, thank you so much for reading and for taking time to comment, those of you who feel compelled. Always love hearing what you have to say, long or short.

Slainte!
Tags: episode review, ramble, stream of consciousness, supernatural, what do you think?
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