Friday, 6 December 2013

Review - Supernatural Mid-Season Finale: 9.09 "Holy Terror"

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I woke up the morning after "Holy Terror" with images in my mind of Kevin Tran's smouldering empty eyesockets, Sam’s feet going up the stairs and Dean in a crumpled mess on the bunker floor crying one perfect tear and saying “Kevin….Kevin.” Those images have been bouncing around in my brain ever since this episode finished…

Is it January yet? Please let it be January.

Well, we knew it was going to be bad and bad it was. Like really bad. Like really, really bad!

Before I get into this, I need to say something... I liked this midseason finale a hell of a lot. I thought it was well written, emotionally powerful and for the most part, pretty well paced. It delivered on the promise of what our expectations of what a Supernatural mid-season finale should be and usually is…bloody painful! But…you knew there was a but didn't you... But...I don’t give a flying fudge about the angel war. Like not even remotely. I just don’t care. Lock them in some arena somewhere, pop the roof on and let the S.O.B.s all kill each other in a blinding white flash, because I just…don’t…care. A couple of times on the first watch through, I found myself going, shut-up whoever you are, move along and get out of the way of the characters I care about! I know some people are digging the angel war thing, but I’ve been slowly but surely falling out of love with the whole notion of random-angels-coming-down-and-doing-stuff-to-humanity-to-forward-their-irritating-agenda thing. This episode sealed their fate in my eyes. They are irredeemable. Give me demons any day; they seem to have more honour (and way more personality). I'm hoping as we move further into the back end of the season, the story becomes more about how we get the winged dicks home, rather than the warring factions.

I’m talking about the random angels here, not the angels we already have a relationship with, because they’re a bit different and everything outside of the random angel stuff was a blast...TO THE HEART!

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Metatron, I’m interested in. Interested in seeing him get his come-uppance! Curtis Armstrong is playing him so well, because he’s despicable and I’m really hating on him! He gives me the weebies. Metatron’s an artful manipulator with a God complex – or maybe it’s a little angel complex – because standing next to Sam, he’s teeny! I bet he has vessel envy! Anyway, he’s a nasty piece of work and I can’t believe both Castiel and Gadreel fell for his crap, hook, line and sinker. I know he said he doesn’t want the dumb angels…but geesh; he’s certainly getting the gullible ones!

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I’m a little confused about his plan. I’m assuming now he has Heaven as his very own playground, he wants to take it to the next level and become the ruler of his Heaven…as a God named X. X? X!? What, has he been watching too many spy movies? These angels and their God complex. Their daddy needs to get home, pronto and put them all in their place! Metatron's going to go down in a big way and I’ll be cheering when he does, but I have to say, he was fun to watch in this episode because he was so sleazy in the way he coerced Gadreel, who must be a little dim quite frankly…or I guess, desperate.

Right so, Gadreel (not to be mistaken with Gadriel who is a totally different guy). Well, I gasped. I guess I always assumed it was Ezekiel inside Sam and though I definitely doubted his intent, I never doubted it was him. So when Metatron called Zeke out as this other angel, (he must have been spying or something right, to know that Gadreel was hiding out as Zeke) I literally gasped!

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Gadreel…the parallel angel!

I see him as a parallel for Castiel, so desperate to right what he did wrong and restore his reputation that he’s fallen into Metatron’s trap. Just as Castiel did. Cass wanted to return Heaven to its former heavenly state, wanted to redeem himself for all the damage he caused when he was stuffed full of Leviathan and wanted to rebuild his good reputation. He wanted to make all his wrongs right and he thought Metatron was the answer. Gadreel seems to be under the same misconception.

But I also see Gadreel as a parallel for Sam, which I think is way more interesting.

Gadreel let Satan into the Garden, though he indicated that he didn’t mean for that to happen, it wasn’t his doing, I’d really love to know more about that. Sam let Satan out of the cage and back into God’s garden, which of course, he had no idea would be the outcome of his actions.

It’s so interesting to me that the angel that would answer Dean’s prayer and take possesion of Sam is an angel so closely tied to Lucifer, when Sam was Lucifer’s vessel. I wonder if this is in anyway going to be significant or was it just a nice tie in for the show when choosing an angel for this storyline. Did Gadreel know who Sam Winchester was and what Sam Winchester had been? Or because he was locked up for thousands of years, did he just answer Dean’s prayer thinking this was a great opportunity for him to steal a vessel and hide out.

Gadreel’s story is also a lot like Lucifer’s. Gadreel was God’s most trusted. Lucifer was God’s favourite. Gadreel betrayed God by letting evil into the garden to corrupt God’s new children. Lucifer betrayed God by not kneeling before and loving God’s new children. Gadreel was locked up for his sins. Lucifer was cast out and locked up for his sins. Gadreel and Lucifer both ended up in Sam… Gah!

Interestingly too, according to various texts I’ve been reading since this angel was revealed to us, it is written that it was either Gadreel or Azazel who introduced warfare to mankind. Azazel. Another familiar name!

It probably all means nothing…but I think it's a very nice tie in to the mythology surrounding Sam Winchester.

Maybe Gadreel’s desire for redemption, like Cass trying to fix Heaven, or Sam sacrificing himself to the pit to stop the Apocalypse, will play out somehow. Maybe, though we're all not loving the guy now for obvious reasons, he will play out differently. Like nearly everyone on this show, he’s living under the shadow of guilt and of the ramifications of past actions; will his redemption somehow play into the remainder of the season? Or is he just another dick with wings.

I have to say, now that it’s been revealed who the angel inside Sam really is, I like it a lot. Though of course I so don’t like it…if you know what I mean! Oh you fill me full of conflict!

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My assumption is that Gadreel has not been healing Sam at all, just hiding out. Or, was Sam possilby not in as bad a way as the angel formerly known as Ezekiel said. Was what Gadreel showed Dean the truth? Was that really what was going on in Sam's mind when Dean saw Sam talking to Death, or was that a manipulation in order to get Dean over the line with Gadreel's plan? Maybe Sam is okay now, or at least, not mostly dead, or maybe he’s not…which is a thought I don’t like to entertain in the slightest! I have a feeling there’s every chance Gadreel could have healed Sam with the placement of his hand right from the get go, but went with this charade to ensure his own safety and continued anonymity. Which totally blows!

Gadreel must have heard everything that was said between Sam and Dean, that’s why he was able to say to Metatron, how screwed up both the brothers are. He must have been listening in the whole time. That’s how he heard Kevin and Dean talking, because he was listening in THE WHOLE TIME! Freakin’ creeper. We probably should have twigged that Gadreel had become Sam when Sam didn’t blink at Dean’s reference to Sam having been a long time getting beer. It was Gadreel from the moment he overheard the conversation about the sigil. I had a sneaking suspicion when Dean was spilling the beans that it wasn’t Sam he was talking to. It seemed like Sam, but it made more dramatic sense that it wouldn’t be Sam. Gadreel's obviously been tapping into Sam's thoughts and feelings too, because he said pretty much exactly what I was expecting real Sam to say. It’s just so damn horrible the whole thing that I’m struggling to get my head around it. I really dislike the angels. Like with a burning heat of a thousand fiery suns.

My take on Gadreel saying, “There is no more Sam” is not that Sam no longer exists, or is dead or has been destroyed by Gadreel, it’s that Gadreel has ‘permanently’ taken possession of Sam. So as long as Gadreel is in Sam, Sam is not there…but not literally, if you know what I mean. Gadreel can keep Sam suppressed so that essentially, there is no more Sam…until Gadreel is evicted from Sam’s body.

What will happen when Dean does get Gadreel out of his brother...which I’m hoping happens in episode 9.10, because I can’t stand the thought of Sam being trapped and suppressed in there any longer! I was thinking about how Jimmy Novak said that he remembered some of being possessed by Castiel – and I just went back and read the transcript of that part of “The Rapture” and was surprised by the word ‘possessed’ because I couldn’t remember that word being used in relation to angels prior to this season. Will Sam remember anything? Or will Sam remember nothing. And if he remembers nothing…will Dean actually tell him the truth?

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And then they killed Kevin (yeah I couldn't help but say “you bastards” either!)

As much as many of us had discussed the fact that we thought Kevin was a goner, it sure as hell didn’t make it any less shocking. He’s a kid, you know? I mean, just a kid and he got his eyes burnt out and it was horrific. I’m so damn sad about it because I’d grown to like Kevin (don’t even start me on Osric). He’d become part of the Winchester’s rag-tag family and he’d really come into his own. He’d done nothing but try to live up to the role force upon him and look, look how it all turned out! A-wah!

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I kept thinking back to “What’s Up Tiger Mommy” when Crowley said to Kevin, “I know we're not mates, Kevin, but one word of advice – run. Run far and run fast. 'Cause the Winchesters – well, they have a habit of using people up and watching them die bloody.” Ack!

Of course, the writing was well and truly on the wall when Kevin said he always gets screwed for trusting Dean. Gosh. The fallout from this is going to be gut wrenching.

Had Dean told him the truth, would Kevin had his guard up and been able to protect himself? Maybe not given the power an angel has…but you know as sure as hell that’s what Dean’s going to be thinking and it's going to be one of the things gnawing on his bones.

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I think something broke in Dean when he watched as Gadreel in the guise of his brother, killed Kevin. When he fell to the floor and started to say Kevin’s name, “Kevin…Kevin…” I literally thought, oh crap, he’s finally cracked.

Everything that has happened, everything that he's done is going to crash down upon him. He’s been running on a razor’s edge ever since, in a fit of fear and panic and through the veil of grief, he made the choice to have an angel possess his brother. We know why he did it. The thought of living without Sam is something Dean can't even entertain. I’m sure he probably knows how wrong it is to live like that, but he can’t stop himself and now, look how it’s all unfolded. He’s lost his brother; he’s lost Kevin…my heart breaks for him. His decision was flawed but he did it from a place of love and we all knew it was going to bite him on the ass, but I don't want him to going down this path of self hatred again. It's just going to be too painful to watch.

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I found myself driving to work this morning wondering how the brothers are going to get through this one. We all know, that according to Jensen, Dean goes to a very dark place after this. I wonder what that’s going to entail. He’s going to be wracked with guilt about Sam and about Kevin. About being foolish and desperate enough to allow an angel into Sam in the first place and then about Sam being utilised as the instrument that caused Kevin’s death, someone Dean had vowed to protect. How is Sam going to come to terms with all this? If we were concerned about how he was going to react to his brother’s decision regarding the angel, how is he going to react when he finds out Kevin is dead and how he died? I'm fascinated by this story and how it's unfolding but I'm deeply traumitised by the fact that we're all having to go through this! I know the brothers will find their way back from it…because, well, that’s the show after all, but the fallout from this scenario terrifies me. Totally terrifies me.

This is Dean's worst nightmare. He didn't want to lose his brother, but his own actions have caused exactly that to happen.

I see Dean as quite capable of completely falling to pieces after this one. Maybe this time that will happened. He’s teetered on the precipice of collapse many a time; maybe this will be the final nail in that coffin. Without Sam there to keep Dean balanced, will he finally crash and burn?

Gosh this show's a cracker, isn’t it?

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The theme of this episode and of the season so far seems to be, I did what I had to do (actually, that could be the theme of the whole damn show).

Dean did what he had to do. He did what he had to do save his brother’s life. He did what he had to do when he ejected Castiel from the bunker. He did what he had to do when he lied to everyone to ensure that his secret was not discovered before Sam was healed.

Gadreel did what he had to do. He did what he had to do to prove his loyalty to Metatron so that he could have the opportunity to return to Heaven and redeem himself.

Castiel did what he had to do. He did what he had to do when he took another angel’s Grace. (Yay by the way, good on ya Cass!) He did what he had to do to protect himself. He did what he had to do to position himself for the coming war.

Everyone is doing what they thought they had to do for the greater good or the good of those they love and we're all going to have to live with the ramifications of their choices! Gah!

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So now Metatron has the tablets, which I assume does have something about reversing the angel spell - that illegiable bit - which is why he must have wanted Kevin dead and the tablets back in his grubby little hands. Does that mean that Crowley knows there’s a spell too? That, as we all suspected (including Dean), he was lying when he said the angels couldn’t go home. What is his motive? Control? Power?

Castiel has his Grace back just when Dean needs him and his knowledge and powers the most. Hopefully that means no more torture for Cass! I wonder what Cass will think when he finds out what Dean did…

The only person who can read the tablets is gone *sob*

Dean is lying on the floor of the bunker an emotional wreck... *sobbbbb*

And just as I feared the most, the angel possessing Sam has kidnapped Sam! *screams running from the room*

And we’re all sitting here ringing our hands for the next SIX WEEKS. Damn you, Show. Damn you!

This is a fantastic set up. I’m really excited about it all. Excited and scared out of my tiny little mind...with a side order of sick feeling. I simply can’t wait for the next episode. I’m desperate to know what happens. I was picturing in my head Dean all on his own, giving Kevin a Hunter’s burial – he deserves one. My head scene is killing me...

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I wonder if we’ll pick up where we left off? With Dean alone in the bunker a crumpled mess (alone apart from Crowley of course). I assume the first thing Dean's going to do is pray for Cass to come - or you know, just ring him. Because he needs someone. Someone to confide in so that he can try and figure out how to get Sam back. Thank goodness the CW released a promo! I don’t think I could have stood it if we just went into to this HELLATUS (and it so is hellish this time) with nothing to give us any idea of what’s coming next. Though we really don’t know what’s coming next or how long all this badness is going to take to make rightish. That promo was full of awesome and a whole lot of worrisome stuff!

But all I want is Sammy back... Can I have that for Christmas please? I've been good *shifty eyes*

I have a lot of faith in the Winchester brothers and I have a lot of faith in their love. People always kind of laugh at me for that…it’s okay, I know you do…but I really do have faith in them. For me, they are the heart of this show. Their hearts are the heart of this show. It’s why I keep coming back, to watch them continue to fight for each other and continue to love under the most trying circumstances. I never give up on them because they never give up on each other. As much as I wonder how they will ever be okay again after something like this, I know that they will, because I see that as one of their great strengths, their ability to move forward together come what may. There is function in their dysfunction and that function is love. I don’t see that as a bad thing. Sure, they could probably turn it down a notch or ten! But hey, their world is extreme…I don’t expect them to live or love like average people.

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So I sit here for the next six weeks, full of dread but also full of hope that eventually, things will be okay again, because these guys always fill me with hope. I can’t help it… They kind of own me, you know?



  1. Wonderful review. I was going to comment over at WFB but and I'm sorry because I know it's half yours, but I don't care for that website. It's just a lot of little things.

    I said prior to this episode it was probably going to make me happy for awhile then turn around and tear my heart out. Boy did it! Kevin.... :( Sam.... :( Dean.... :( Cas.... :(

    I wish I could say more than that but that's about all I can manage. Well done Supernatural. I've seen some complaints but you know, I just don't care. I'm so done letting other people have an impact on how I watch the show. Your reviews are the only ones I'm going to be reading from here on out.

    1. Thanks Melissa for reading and commenting! It sure was a tough episode! Now we count the days down until this stupid hellatus is over!

  2. This is actually my first ever hellatus. I was under a rock apparently in 2005 up until like June of this year. I don't know how anyone who has watched since the beginning has survived. I'm re-watching because I feel lost without an SPN episode, lol.

    1. Ack! You'll suffer! ;) I've been watching from the very beginning. It's tough! But worth it!!