Gaelicspirit (gaelicspirit) wrote,

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Stream of Consciousness, Episode 8.23 (Season 8 finale)

Sincere apologies, folks. I had this completed last night after the episode, but LiveJournal had “cluster” issues (insert sarcastic joke here) and I haven’t been able to post until now. Hope you enjoy!

Another season over, another hellatus begun. And once more I’m exhausted. This show, you guys. This show.

No matter what I’ve thought of a season as whole, the minute Kansas kicks in that sweet harmony, beckoning the wayward son to carry on, I get chills. Every time I am bombarded by the images in The Road So Far of the season as a whole, I find myself marveling at how much ground the story covered in just one year.

Sometimes I’m swept up with emotion (Season 2, 3, 5) and other times, I just remember moments (Season 4, 6, 7). With Season 1 I still didn’t know the level this would affect my life – and I honestly can’t remember if they did a “Road So Far” to Carry On with that one. I’ll have to revisit my DVDs. Oh, darn.

This season was a little of both emotion and moments. I really did feel like we traveled a road with them, from Purgatory to the Gates of Hell. I really did feel weary! Not of the show, but of the trials (not the tablet trials, just the journey overall) these boys have endured.

I actually felt the 180 degree story turn in the Road recap – when the boys decided to return to hunting. To me, it felt as if we actually got two shows in one this season – the Normal Life/Purgatory PTSD episodes and the Trials/Tablets episodes. Except for the fact that certain events or characters from the 1st group impacted the 2nd group – like Benny and Kevin – the difference was palpable.

And I would call the writers on that were it not for the fact that it actually made a poetic sort of sense. It made sense because it followed the choices and the path of two very human brothers. The season began with Dean and Sam all tangled and confused, each caught up in their own misery, each working to cope with their own pain. They were angry and hurt and each was able to find a way to justify turning that anger on the other.

But then came The Choice – the choice to stay or to go. And from the moment they chose each other they also had to choose to forgive, to let go, to release the anger and the pain and the resentment – regardless if it was justifiable. So everything that had happened pre-choice had to stop happening. Everything was different after that.

However, we couldn’t just leave it at that – this is Supernatural.  Despite what Dean says, the family business is about far more than saving people, hunting things. It always has been. It’s about angels and demons, Heaven and Hell, love and sacrifice. From the moment angels were introduced into the picture in Season 4, we had to know they were never going to go away. They are the balance to the story of the Winchester Destiny.

So the Trials/Tablets portion of the season became bigger and more complicated and wove a lot of players and agendas into the mix – but at the heart of it all, it was still about the boys and the choice they made to be together, to be in this together. For each other. And that was never more clear than in the speech Dean gave Sam in the abandoned church – but before I go there, let’s talk about the heavy hitters.


I really should learn to trust my gut more. I third-guess my second guesses. But I knew Metatron was in this for himself, and that just diving into the angel tablet trials was too easy. The funny thing is, though…I kinda don’t blame him for what he did. Now, using Castiel, that was not cool. But outside of that, I can almost sympathize with him.

The Arch Angels have always been unsavory – from Uriel ordering Dean to torture Allistair regardless of what it would do to him (not to mention calling humans ‘mud monkeys’…nice), to Zachariah’s nefarious manipulation, to the ease with which Raphael was willing to harm humans, to Gabriel’s trickery and selfishness, and don’t even get me started on Michael and Lucifer.

There’s not been a single angel outside of Castiel that has remembered their mission: to protect what God created. Long before we learned of their existence in this ‘verse, they were warring and maneuvering and vying for control. They were greedy and selfish and viewed humanity with contempt. It’s no surprise, then, that their efforts to influence the power of Heaven drove Metatron away. He looked at what God left them and saw paradise, a reward, something they could all enjoy – most likely because he had the benefit of hearing all about it from the Big Guy Himself.

The Arch Angels looked at what God left them and immediately wanted to control it, to rule it. In Metatron’s eyes, they broke Heaven long before Castiel turned into Zod and decimated the angel numbers. So, when Castiel and the Winchesters turned over his rock and exposed Metatron to the world and showed him that nothing had improved over the millennia – and in fact, had gotten worse – he saw his opening. Clean house, start again.

When I was a kid, I loved the ‘choose your own adventure’ books. I’d go back and re-read until I’d played out every possible scenario. I always wanted to write a fanfic like that – allowing you, the reader, to pick your path, writing many branches depending on what choice you wanted a given character to make.

I do that with the show sometimes, too. For instance, I can’t help but wonder what might have happened if, instead of blindly trusting Metatron, Castiel had run this whole “angel trial” thing past Dean. Would Dean have trusted Metatron as Castiel had, since he was, after all, the scribe of God? Or would he double-check the tablets with Kevin before any of this started?

Starting the angel trials w/out the tablet seemed to make sense when they had the scribe, but if Castiel had talked to Dean about it, he might have learned that there was an incantation of some kind that Sam had to read. It was clear to me that Sam was completing the actual trials since he got them from the tablet, but it always felt hinky that Metatron just told Cas what he had to do. Having it be a spell instead of the trials made sense – especially since nothing really happened to affect Cas physically as Sam was affected.

Though, I will say that jumping in to start the trials w/out being able to read the end of the tablet and (possibly) find out what would come of the one to completed them – the one who could not fear death, remember – was a bit reckless. Oh! I just had a though…maybe the ‘fix’ for Sam is on the end of the demon tablet that Kevin never really got to translate….

Of course, at the time Castiel started the trials, they didn’t have the angel tablet. And, when Castiel told Dean what he was doing, Dean didn’t really so much as flinch. He respected Cas’ choice, even knowing that his friend would be locking Heaven’s door behind him and potentially walking into a firing squad. He either fully trusted that Castiel knew what he was doing and that Metatron was a good guy, or he was so distracted by the efforts he and Sam were going through to shut the gates of Hell that what Cas was doing wasn’t really sinking in. Either way, he rolled with it.

As much as I disliked Naomi, there at the end, when she realized her terrible mistake and told Castiel she would honestly listen if he walked back into Heaven, I felt a bit sorry for her. Pride, arrogance, ruthless righteousness – they all make for a pretty hard fall. Metatron hid from her “debriefing” because of her torturous methods and control-freak tendencies. She didn’t have a right to the information he had in his head, and he clearly felt no qualms punishing her for forcibly taking it.

I think that when Metatron took Castiel’s grace and sent him back to Earth as a human – rather than making him fall like the rest of the angels – he felt he was actually giving Castiel a reward. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I think Metatron’s totally lost it and has now put himself in God’s place, ruling Heaven, but I think he thought he was giving Castiel the gift of a life. Especially since he said that when Castiel died, his soul would return to Heaven – presumably a Heaven “cleaned” Metatron-style, with all those nasty, controlling angels out of there and only the worthy souls claiming residence.

And he really has spent a lot of time with his books – that line he handed Naomi? “Of all the blessings set before you, make your choice and be content.” It’s from a book called “Rasselas; Prince of Abissinia: A Tale.” I had to look it up. It’s a history of Samuel Johnson, an English writer and lexicographer. The book's original working title was "The Choice of Life." I thought that was interesting.

I’m not really sure what it’s going to mean next season that all of the angels fell – but the effect of that burning-wing meteor shower was pretty impressive. And I’m going to reserve judgment on Castiel as a human. It begs all kinds of questions for me – for example, what happened to Castiel’s vessel-dude, Jimmy? Is he just gone, a human Castiel the only soul taking up residence in that body? Is that what happened with Anna when she fell? The ‘other’ Anna just disappeared?

I like Castiel as an angel – he was complicated and compelling and, at times, utterly frustrating. But because he was an angel, he often times got a free pass for the things he did to the brothers – most especially Dean. He wasn’t human, he didn’t really get it, so he was often times let off the hook. I think Cas as a human could be really interesting. And maybe – just maybe – living as a human he might finally pick up on some social nuances that have thus far escaped him.

I am looking forward to Dean finding out that Cas is human and seeing how that’s going to hit him. I’m looking forward to seeing how that will change the dynamic of their friendship and of Cas’ connection to the boys. Assuming Sam survives, of course.

Just kidding; he’ll survive. Wouldn’t be much of a show without one of the brothers.

Not having angels in the mix anymore, though…that is definitely intriguing. I mean, it’s not as if they won’t ever come back into the storyline – as long as there are demons, I believe there will be angels. And Metatron is still out there. Or, well, up there. And he has Cas’ grace all bottled up. And who knows…if there was a spell to cast the angels out of Heaven, who’s to say there isn’t a giant bell somewhere that the boys could ring and get all the angels their wings.

I’m just spit-balling here. *wink*

But until any of that happens, we’ll go into S9 without angels able to track movements and pop in to decimate diners or pull puppet strings. We also won’t have them able to heal by touch or transport through time, so…I’m intrigued.

I think my favorite angel-centric moment of the whole episode was Dean and Cas at the bar in Houston, waiting for Cupid to show up. Two guys, doing what they do, apparently not thinking outside of the box. Dean’s dead-panned reply of, “What show you been watching?” to Cas’, “You think it’s wise to be drinking on the job?” question had me on the floor. That and Dean’s rapid-fire blink-blink-blink when he realized that Cupid was matching Dwight the bartender up with his the bow-hunting-loving barfly rather than the cute delivery girl. *laugh*

Though, as fun and funny as that scene was, it felt a bit off-balance to see Dean sitting at a bar, drinking (free) beer when he knew Sam was back at that church curing Crowley. I would have expected him to be more pacing-the-floor anxious to get these angel trials over with. But, then again, maybe that was just a way to illustrate that he had faith in Sam’s ability to cross that finish line, as he put it.


So…as many of you guys thought, they didn’t close the Gates of Hell (yet). I was honestly never really sure if they’d truly go there. I knew if they did it would leave them in dire straits. But they didn’t not shut them out of a dawning realization that they’d be leaving the world worse or anything like that – it simply came down to the fact that the sacrifice was too great.

But they got very close. Very, very close. And if they aren’t reading that incantation thingy after they do it, they now know a lot of ways to make the lives of demon kind pretty dang miserable – up to and including curing them (which, again…when that’s done, what happens to the vessel ??).

Demons as a whole didn’t really play much of a role in the Trials/Tablets portion of the season – it was primarily just Crowley and Abbadon. And as much as I grew to hate Crowley for his evilness over the last few episodes, I absolutely loved Mark Sheppard’s performance in the finale. The moment Sam (and the rest of us) realized that the purified blood was taking effect was electrifying.

The way Crowley tried to work on Sam as a comrade in arms – calling on everything from the Tet Offensive to Band of Brothers – and finally dissolving into the confession of, “I deserve to be loved! I just want to be loved!” took my breath away a bit.

It’s quite a shocking experience to feel ones heart beat again, so to speak.

Crowley biting Sam’s arm to get enough blood for a mini blood phone was kind of hilarious. Sam’s incensed, “Biting?! Seriously?!” sounded more like he was addressing a naughty two-year-old, not the King of Hell who was responsible for the death of three people they’d saved. And while we’re on that subject – Jodi. Mills.

First, I totally knew they were going to put her in peril – primarily because I like her so much. Her scene with Crowley (aka Roderick) was fantastic. Yes, I adore this actress, but this character is one of the most fleshed-out and layered that they’ve had in awhile – and as a bonus, she’s human. I liked how she flashed back to the loss of her husband and son. And her, “It’s not a date ‘til I’ve cried,” line was just a perfect display of the very real person she is, as was the way she was talking to herself in the bathroom mirror in the restaurant. How many of us have done that when on a date? *raises hand*

But serious flag on the play (to continue Dean’s sports metaphors) on not showing us if she was okay after Dean was asked to say “I surrender” when he called Crowley to tell him they’ll take the deal. Seriously?! Tell me that didn’t drive you guys crazy, not knowing for sure.

Aside – Crowley’s ringtone being Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”? *cackles*

Anyway. Crowley asking Sam what he said in the confession booth…thingy (what is that called? Confessional?)…because he doesn’t know where to start asking for forgiveness…, yeah, he got me with that one. He looked so vulnerable, so…human in that moment.

I am actually glad that they didn’t kill him, to be honest with you. I think if done right, his could be a really interesting character – and he’s already shared so much history with them that it would be nice for that to actually get to play out a bit.

I knew Abbadon would be the one listening in on the other end of the blood phone. She was too big of a loose thread to not come into play in the finale. And the fact that she was so pissed that she came through a closet-sized time portal to find that he had been crowned King of Hell (and since it was only like about 50 years she skipped, so it was apparently a pretty recent and/or quick coup) has me really intrigued as to how that all went down. Who is Crowley really? Who was it he was talking about to Jodi when he said he lost someone? Or was he just yanking her chain? It sounded like he said a name (Ann, maybe?) when he was declaring he deserved to be loved.

And isn’t it interesting how that is what exploded from him when his humanity returned – a need to be loved. Maybe this whole thing is really about Crowley needing a hug. (Just kidding.) But after his mocking speech to Dean back at Bobby’s junkyard about defeating them because of their humanity and how they always put emotion ahead of good old fashion common sense, I thought his buried-down-so-deep-he’d-forgotten-about-it need to be loved was very telling of who he’d once been when he was human.

With Sam burning Abbadon’s chopped up meat suit (which, nicely played, that) and her smoking out, we know we still have that heavy hitter out there for next season. And Crowley is alive, but he’s been partly humanized – assuming he escapes or they let him out (which…at this point, anything’s possible), I wonder how much that humanization (what? it’s a word…kinda) will affect him moving forward.

The Boys.

With as much time as they spent physically parted this episode, I honestly never felt them more together since…well…man. Before Purgatory. From the clever plan (that Crowley should have totally seen through if he hadn’t been so busy patting himself on the back and calling them Moose and Squirrel) to trap Crowley as the 3rd trial, to the emotion in their voices during the very last scene, I felt I was seeing our boys in this episode.

I liked that they used the chains they found in the Batcave’s dungeon. I was beginning to wonder why we’d bothered discovering that secret room. And it was really good to see them get the drop on Crowley. I had hoped that would be the case, but I still cheered when Sam said, “You’re the third trial, Crowley.”

The thing I still don’t really understand (but I’m going to overlook for the sake of enjoying the story) is how Sam’s blood could be the purified blood that cured the demon. If he could purify it by simply going to confession, then was it really still tainted? Was all that talk about the trials purifying Sam just fevered ramblings? Does he actually still have demon blood in him? Or are there like…different levels of purification? This level is good for demon curing, but to really get all the ‘unholy’ out of you, you gotta go to this level.

I actually loved that Dean left Sam – it’s clear that he trusts Sam completely with this. The only reason he wanted to stay – to “chaperone” as he said – was because of his worry about Sam’s condition. There’s no ‘off’ switch when you’re a caregiver. Even when your ‘charge’ starts to feel better, you watch every moment, hover behind every step, look up at every cough or heavy sigh. You are always alert and watchful. That hyper-vigilance can last years after the person is better, too. I know this from personal experience.

So, his instinct to stay and watch over Sam had nothing to do with not trusting Sam to get it done and everything to do with how much he cared about Sam’s well-being. But…Sam’s also an adult and Dean had to trust that when Sam said, “I got this,” he really did have it. And it’s not like Cas gave them much time to confer in committee about needing Dean’s help. With Metatron in Naomi’s grip, Castiel was in a full-on panic.

I did find it interesting that Dean shoot first, ask questions later Winchester stayed Castiel’s hand with a, “talk first, stab later,” word of caution. He’s grown quite a bit this year – especially when we’re reminded of how he thought Purgatory was ‘pure’ and he felt somehow more comfortable there, knew where he stood, what he had to do, where the lines were drawn. I just love how completely complex and intricate the character of Dean is for me.

Someone on a different site where the rambles are posted asked me to comment on if I felt the writers sideline Dean and said they were struck by how ‘not Dean’ Jensen was when they met him at a con. Since this is a final Ramble of the season, if you don’t mind, I’m going to paste part of my reply here:

“I think the writers love these characters -- I just think that the writers are fans, too, and have their preference for which character is their favorite and/or which trait or aspect of that character is the one they want to write about. Like, with Dean -- is it Dean's heart and sympathy and OPT that they want to showcase, or is it his big brother protectiveness, or his bad-ass hunter savvy, or his lascivious, one-night-stand tendencies? Depending on the writer, we seem to see a different side of the character caught in the spotlight.

I think that Jensen is really the one who created the Dean I love. I think he took hold of the words on the page and turned them into someone real, living, with layers the writers didn't even think about in the beginning. And, personally, I think that he took Dean further than anyone had actually planned when they first laid out the course of the show.

I think that Jensen loves the character of Dean. I think the fact that he's so different from Dean illustrates that beautifully. He's not being himself, he's paying homage to a character who deserves his all. Who has earned his all. And he does so regardless of what personality aspect a particular writer is shining a light on.

We've seen Dean go from devil-may-care grin to dead-eyed stare in a flash, a breath, a heartbeat because the situation warranted it. Jensen knows Dean inside and out, knows what makes him tick, knows what will build him up and break him down, and it comes across in his performance -- no matter if that performance is kicking ass and taking names, weeping at a bedside, or bringing soup on a tray to his ailing brother.

I do think that there's a tendency to focus the overall arch of the storyline(s) toward Sam. I think that's always been the case, though. In my opinion, when Kripke envisioned his story, Sam was his primary character, his Luke Skywalker. Dean was Han Solo and while Han had his own storyline and fanbase, the story was primarily about Luke - what affects Luke, and how Luke affects others. My personal opinion is that this pattern was the same with the origins of these brothers -- the shift came when Jensen's performance as Dean just took off and audiences gravitated toward him.

The bottom line, for me, is that I think the writers enjoy and respect both characters, and that while there are stories I'd really like to see, and some I'm disappointed weren't completed, this isn't my story, so if I want to enjoy the show and the characters, then I need to focus on the story being told, not the story I want to be told.”

No matter where the broader story takes us (or doesn’t take us, as the case might be), it’s because of the nuances of the Dean Winchester character that I’ll keep returning.

When Naomi catches Cas and Dean and tells them that Metatron tricked them (finally, for the first time, telling them the truth) and revealed that the trials would kill Sam the complete panic on Dean’s face had my heart stuttering. His demand for Cas to take Dean back to Sam now put my stuttering heart in my throat.

I am a little disappointed that this is the direction of the storyline for Sam – I mean, they did put it out there that the trials were changing him, but I really felt like they had the opportunity to truly change him, be that purifying him, turning him into an angel, any number of things. Just flat-out killing him just seems so…ordinary. And maybe there was more meant to that – maybe “Sam will die” would mean he would have become something else, but it would have sacrificed the life he had there on Earth with his brother. I don’t know.

I’m going to have to let that one go because I felt we got a bit of a build up with all that we watched Sam go through and the open-endedness of the cliffhanger wasn’t a tense “OMG WHAT DOES THAT MEAN” as much as it was a confused “wait, really?” – for me, at least.

The two “brother” speeches that gripped me this season bookended the trials. The first, of course, right before and right after the Hellhound was killed. They both had me rubbing my heart, Dean with his fatalistic view of his own future and Sam with his hope and wanting to show Dean the light. I really wanted Sam’s experiences with the trials to do what he set out to do – show Dean that light. But what it did was simply wear Sam down.

I know what it’s like to live with a chronic disease. I don’t personally live with a disease, but it affects me all the same as I watch someone I love hang on to the roller coaster, through good days knowing the bad days are coming, through the bad days knowing the good days are too few and far between. I know how it changes you, changes your outlook, changes your thinking, changes your resilience.

The effects of the trial were much the same for Sam, and by the end, that light he was looking for was so dim he seemed to forget it was there at all. His not really caring if the trials killed him struck me – because it was exactly to avoid this outcome that he took on the trials. Dean didn’t care if the trials killed him going in to the whole mess, but Sam did. Sam started it out wanting to live and wanting to show Dean that he was more than just a weapon.

The sickness from the trials screwed with Sam’s perception to the point that his confession was spent talking about how much he’d let Dean down (no doubt prompted a bit by Dean’s helpful “suggestions” of Ruby, Lilith, Lucifer, Soullessness, not looking for Dean) and then, like so many of us do when we start on a roll downhill, he just started snowballing his fear and uncertainty by adding that he’s afraid of what will happen when Dean decides he can’t trust him again – would Dean turn to another angel? Another vampire?

It stung a bit, I’ll admit, listening to that. I think because there was a bit of true fear and hurt mixed in with the emotional overload. But then again, Sam’s been carrying around guilt for not having looked for Dean for so long…it’s festered. And he’s carried around resentment of Dean going to others over him (ignoring the fact that he wasn’t always there for Dean to go to) for awhile as well. Those kinds of things very easily bubble up when our defenses are down and we’re overwrought.

But Dean’s speech was where I became grounded again – because Dean is and always has been steadfast, loyal. He’s always known his purpose was Sam. Even when he’s been hurt by Sam, disappointed by him, felt betrayed by him – he’s never deviated from his course. And it’s that commitment that, ultimately, saved Sam. Had the tables been turned, had Dean had the weak moment and been willing to die to save others, I honestly don’t know if the outcome would have been the same.

I had to recapture Dean’s speech here.

Dean: “I know I’ve said some junk that has set you back on your heels, but, Sammy, c’mon. I killed Benny to save you. I’m willing to let this bastard and all the sonsabitches that killed mom walk because of you. Don’t you dare think that there is anything – past or present – that I would put in front of you. It has never been like that. Ever. I need you to see that. I’m begging you.”

*rubs heart into little pieces*

He’s been the most constant character on our show, in my opinion. He’s grown, mellowed, accepted that there are other ways to approach things. But he’s never wavered from his role to look after Sam. And as much as I would love for some of the storylines started for him to be finished in some satisfying, all-about-Dean way, I do love that he is this person to whom doing the right thing is saving his brother, rather than the world.

It’s what I was saying back in the ramble for 8.19 – Dean’s sacrifices are for Sam; Sam’s are for the world (and yes, granted, Dean’s included in that, but it’s not just for his brother). And to be honest, it’s a little amazing to me that Sam sometimes can’t see that, even with all the sickness getting in his way, causing him to doubt. In S9, I need him to know that. I need him to not make Dean tell him over and over. Just gonna put that there.

I loved how Dean was able to balance Sam, ground him so that he was able to let go and get the glowy-arm thing to stop. I loved how Dean just wrapped him up, held on tight, braced him as he talked him down from the power-surge. I loved Dean’s, “I gotcha, little brother. You’re gonna be just fine.”

I didn’t love, however, the gasp of pain from Sam and the fact that we have no idea what’s really wrong with him on a sub-atomic level or how to fix him and pretty much anyone would could potentially do so was part of an angelic meteor shower all around them. *worry*

The verdict.

It’s about the brothers. It’s always been about the brothers. The tablets, the prophets, the demons, angels, gates, friends…it all comes back to Dean and Sam. Which is both exactly what I love to see and also somewhat troubling for what that says about what these boys are willing to do (or not do) for each other.

Still, if they are standing side by side, looking in the same direction, there’s nothing that I won’t believe when it comes to this show. And if next season is the last season, or if we have 10 more, I’ll watch because of these brothers. I’ll speculate, I’ll ponder, I’ll hope, I’ll be disappointed, I’ll be excited, I’ll escape, I’ll enjoy.

And I’ll carry on….

Things I Loved:

  • The Road So Far (thank you, Kripke, for giving our boys a theme song)

  • This line: “It’s not a date ‘til I’ve cried.”

  • Crowley’s ring tone

  • Dean’s eyes, the set of his jaw, the flinch of his mouth, when Crowley demanded he say I surrender

  • Seeing Bobby’s junkyard and his old car again, despite the fact that it was all grown up with weeds

  • This line: “Really? It’s 10am on a Tuesday.”

  • This line: “No dancing in the end zone until we’ve finished.”

  • This exchange:

    • Dean: “How about what you did to Penny Markle in the 6th grade?”

    • Sam: “That was you.”

    • Dean: <pause, brief nod> “Carry on.”

  • This exchange:

    • Cas: “You think it’s wise to be drinking on the job?”

    • Dean: “What show you been watching?”

  • Dean’s flummoxed expression when he realizes who Dwight was really meant to fall in love with

  • This line: “I deserve to be loved! I just want to be loved!”

  • Also, this line: “…where do I start to even look for forgiveness?”

  • Dean’s face as he’s trying to ease Sam back from the edge of finishing the trials – he’s like a thunderstorm captured in blown glass

  • Plus, this line: “Don’t you dare think that there is anything – past or present – that I would put in front of you.”

  • THE HUG. Seriously, Dean grabbing Sam close, crooning to him to let it go, Sam gripping back as if he would literally fall if he didn’t have hold of his brother…. *rubs heart*

  • The gorgeous FX of the angels falling

Things I Liked:

  • Dean giving Kevin the key to the Batcave, telling him, “It’s a secret lair. No keggers.”

  • Cas asking Metatron what God was like

  • Crowley’s, “Hello, boys,” line

  • This line: “You’re the third trial, Crowley.”

  • Cas showing up out of nowhere and making Dean jump

  • This line: “This is your king. Send. Help.”

  • This line: “This is it. ET goes home.”

  • Crowley singing ‘Changes’

Things that were meh:

  • Sam’s blood being used as the purified blood. They really didn’t explain all that to my liking. If Sam could purify his blood just by going to confession, then what was all that about the trials purifying him? And if the trials really were purifying him, then how did his blood start to humanize Crowley?

  • I didn’t get why Sam’s arms started glowing while he was pulling his blood out to give Crowley the injections. In the previous two trials, they didn’t glow until he’d read that incantation thing. Maybe we were meant to infer that it was just because it was the final trial? I don’t know, but it didn’t make sense to me that it kept happening over the course of the 8 hours.

  • Not knowing if Jodi Mills lived or died. I want to assume she lived since they agreed to a deal, but I also think Crowley was just evil enough to delay that much too long.

Things to question over the hiatus:

  • Castiel the human – does that mean no more Jimmy? Was he dropped anywhere near the boys? How will this play out in their friendship/connection? How much of a part of next season’s story will be about getting his grace back?

  • Fallen angels – are they all now human? Or are they dead? And will they end up being friend or foe? Will we see any angels next season? Will it be part of what the boys will have to handle, returning the angels to Heaven?

  • Gates – neither one is closed, Heaven’s just empty of Angels. We still have the two tablets and a prophet – will the gates be part of the next arch or is that played out? Is there more on the tablets that we will see and need Kevin for?

  • MoL Bunker – what was with all those lights and machines getting auto-triggered when the angels fell? What else will we discover about that location? And will they ever use that big-assed telescope??

  • Crowley – all demon or part human? Asset or liability? And will his dubious past and methods for stepping in as king come up as part of the story?

  • Sam – what exactly is wrong with him? Not sick on a level Castiel could have healed him, not exactly changed but also didn’t finish the trial, so not healed either. How long will he be sick next season? How much will that play into the storyline? And will his being sick mean that Dean will have more weight to carry?

  • Dean – what will his role be in all of this? Will he have more to do with Sam being sick? Will he have to help Castiel navigate his humanity while searching for his grace? Will he be the barrier between his brother and friend and the enemies that are destined to come at them? Will the light of the SPN writers shine a bit brighter on him in S9? Like…Purgatory bright?? *crosses fingers*

  • Other Monsters – I know I, for one, would like to see some of the other monsters (like the Alpha Vamp, for example) to come into play again. Will Benny get out of Purgatory? Will we see Amelia again (yes, yes, okay not technically a monster, but…)?

There are a lot of possibilities and a ton of potential for the next season. I am looking forward to contemplating during the hellatus…while meanwhile writing some fic to fill in the ‘down time.’ I haven’t heard of a return date yet, though. Guessing Septemberish? I did see that when it comes back, it'll be on Tuesdays. So, back where it started 8 years ago. Interesting....

Replies to all Ramble comments (including past comments I haven’t gotten to yet) are forthcoming -- assuming LJ continues to behave. I love seeing what you guys think, and I will definitely be letting you each know.

I plan right now to return with the Rambles including a recap. The readers have seemed to decreased over the course of the year, though, so we’ll have to see if ya’ll really still want to read these as next season plays out. In the meantime, have a great hellatus, read lots of good stories, and come by and see me.

Thanks, as always, for reading!

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