Supernatural S9 Ep21 – King of the Damned

supernatural s9 ep21--Dean and Sam staring at prisoner offscreen

There are only a few episodes left to this season of Supernatural, and that means it’s time to cram as much story into three episodes as possible. Almost all the main plot threads of this season were touched upon here, for better or worse.

supernatural s9 ep21--Castiel leaning against desk in front of Dean and SamFirst, we’ve got the angels. Castiel has built up his following in a rip off of his season six storyline, though hopefully it will have a different ending. The angel story is really starting to drag as if the writers don’t have a single new idea for the entire species. Metatron has added an interesting element, but everything is being handled in the same old way, with only slight differences. Cas has followers again, but one of them may be against him, judging by the death of one of his prisoners and a well-timed attack on him and his lieutenant.

I’m bored by all this because it’s a repeat of various plots they’ve done before, but we did find out two bits of info that may be useful. One, there’s a secret portal to Heaven that moves around but can let angels back in—the portal, of course, is under Metatron’s control—and two, Gadreel is clearly not a hundred percent on board the Metatron train. Gadreel is being built up as an important player and whichever way he decides to go, good or evil, will most likely determine how things end. He’s a character who wants to be redeemed for his past mistakes, and the guilt he feels over what happened in the Garden will probably influence his final choice when he picks a side.

supernatural s9 ep21--Crowley telling Gavin to back off

No hugging.

Next, there are the demons. Abaddon went back in time and brought Crowley’s son, Gavin, into the future to use as leverage against him. Because Crowley is still getting the human blood and feelings out of his system, he’s susceptible to this sort of thing. I can understand Abaddon’s intentions, but Crowley hated his son even in life, as revealed in season six when Bobby tried to use Gavin’s ghost as leverage against Crowley. Why should it work this time just because Crowley’s hopped up on human blood? Continuity is sadly not always Supernatural’s strong suit, at least not in recent years, but Gavin’s appearance here felt random. Also, Crowley saves Gavin from his watery fate back in the 1700s by keeping him here in the modern world, which better come back as an important plotline later or I will be severely disappointed. Sam and Dean’s warning about how any change to the timeline could cause a ripple effect felt like foreshadowing, but this could also be just one of those things that gets forgotten about, like that Anti-Christ kid.

Anyway, Abaddon’s plan to use Gavin to get to Crowley worked, and Crowley helped her set up a trap for Sam and Dean. Except that Crowley is nothing if not underhanded and resourceful, so he tried to stay on Dean’s good side—the one far away from the Mark of Cain—by letting Dean know it was a trap via secret codeword. Dean, however, didn’t want to back down from the fight. Crowley had given him the whereabouts of the First Blade and had made it clear that Abaddon would be waiting for him, so Dean went ahead into the trap. At least he tried to get Sam out of the way, because with Sam there Abaddon could have wriggled her way out by using him as leverage just as she’d done to Crowley with Gavin.

supernatural s9 ep21--Abaddon

The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.

Dean faced down Abaddon and, after a brief struggle that didn’t seem especially difficult compared to other demons we’ve seen, Dean stabbed her, repeatedly, with the First Blade. He got downright brutal, which was the Blade’s fault I’m assuming, but it’s also pretty par for the course for how the writers treat their female characters—Crowley, another big bad but a male one, gets to live and save his son, while Abaddon gets butchered. This, paired with the death of Cas’s female lieutenant, really is not helping. But that issue aside, Abaddon’s death here feels too soon and too underwhelming. This has been built up as something huge since her return last season, since the first time she appeared and we learned the term Knight of Hell. She was supposed to be the baddest bad out of Bad Town, but she was like any other demon in the end, and her death has come disconcertingly early. Sure, the Blade gave Dean power and allowed him to fight her stranglehold, but she went down way too easy. I’m guessing this means that the angels will be taking center stage in the finale, but Abaddon, even if she’s not supposed to be the main villain of the season, could have had a better showdown before her inevitable defeat.

As for Crowley, Dean and Sam’s threat to go after him once Abaddon was out of the way does not seem likely to come to pass. He’s helped them out too much, and Dean at least doesn’t seem to see him as a worthy opponent. Will Crowley stay a not-as-bad guy, or will he return to his usual state of sassy malevolence? Abaddon had taken his followers from him, but with her out of the picture he’s still in charge of Hell. And he might have a prince willing to help him, if his son doesn’t mind a bit of damnation.

supernatural s9 ep21--Dean looking shocked and covered in bloodFinally, we come to Dean and the First Blade. Dean’s story arc for most seasons is more passive compared to Sam’s. Sam is always the chosen one, the one who has to do something to stop and/or cause an apocalypse of some kind. Dean usually fills more of a support role, like stopping Sam from killing himself through the power of hugging it out. But this season the writers clearly wanted to shake things up by giving Dean the big role with the Mark of Cain and the First Blade. The Mark is affecting him and it’s getting worse. Sam, who should still be in the “we’re partners, not brothers” mode that he was in before (seeing as how that relationship issue still hasn’t been fully resolved), is worried about his big brother despite himself. Sam can see what the Mark is doing to Dean, and Dean is choosing to ignore it. Now that he’s defeated Abaddon, he doesn’t need the Blade anymore—unless he makes good on his threat to kill his drinking buddy and long time nemesis Crowley—but Dean has shown no signs of wanting to give up the Blade or find a way of getting rid of the Mark. Things are being set up for Dean going too far with his murder feels, perhaps attacking someone that he shouldn’t. This season has been shaky on the follow through with its story arcs, so I don’t know what to expect from this one right now. It’s like the writers really wanted to bring Purgatory-style Dean back into the mix, but it doesn’t have quite the same appeal (or the same sexy gray filter). I genuinely don’t know what to expect from this storyline, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.

Next week, Castiel has a literal cult following—much like Misha Collins himself. Metatron isn’t happy about it.