I am a hardcore fan of “Supernatural .” I’ve watched all seasons numerous times and heaven help you if I find out you’ve never seen this show because I will seriously hound you until you become as addicted as I am. So when I say that season Gr8 of “Supernatural” (as it has been dubbed) hasn’t always lived up to the hype know that it is hard for me to say. However the episodes from “LARP and the Real Girl” (who doesn’t love Felicia Day?) to the finale episode “Sacrifice” went a long way to redeem the season. These episodes got the brothers back on track to what they needed to be doing which is of course supporting each other with an insane amount of trust and devotion while risking everything to save people’s lives.
Last week’s episode “Clip Show” ended with Crowley (Mark Sheppard) threatening to undo all the good that Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) had ever accomplished unless they gave up the Trials to close the gates of Hell. The viewer was left to wonder how they will get out of this quandary. The Trials are killing Sam, but if the gates of Hell can be closed then Crowley can’t hurt anyone. However, who will they lose before they can complete the third trial.
This looked to be a way out for the boys. There is no way that they would be able to close the gates of Hell. If they did there would be very few bad guys left and people need Hell. There was also a ton of foreshadowing in “The Great Escapist” a few weeks ago if you knew what to look for. I talk about that more here.
“Sacrifice” doesn’t feel rushed at the beginning of the episode, but a lot definitely happens in the first half of the show. The boys save Sherriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes), who we haven’t seen much since Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) died, from Crowley by coming to an agreement to end the trials and give up the demon tablet. They have a meeting with Crowley at Bobby’s place and Dean manages to pack so much emotion into his face in those few moments looking around at the shells of cars that all the pain the boys felt over losing their father figure come rushing back. The boys look defeated. Trapped. They have to give up to save everyone. Right?
Well Crowley should have realized by now that nobody puts Dean in a corner.
The boys always do their best when all seems hopeless and they prove it again by tricking Crowley int a pair of Devil’s Trap cuffs. I love that Crowley thought that he could intimidate Dean by punching him and the look on Crowley’s face when Dean punched him back was great. This is what I have loved about the second half of the season. The boys are working together.
Sam and Dean seem to have taken all the precautions this time around. Crowley’s chained up in an abandoned church with devil traps everywhere and it looks like they will actually pull it off. The third trial: curing a demon. They are going to win and will bring Crowley to his knees. So of course enter Castiel (Misha Collins) stage left.
I’m actually really excited that Cas actually came to Dean for help. He’s been working with Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) in the subplot since “Clip Show” which has seemed off from the get-go. He just seems like a creeper. You know that one teacher or professor that you had that you never went to during office hours no matter how confused you were in class. That’s Metatron. Just off. Even though Castiel should have run Metatron’s plan past Dean after all the horrible decisions he’s made in the past (Purgatory, Leviathan, Naomi) at least they were able to stop everything on Sam’s end before he died. Poor Castiel is so confused though and just wants to fix his mistakes so of course keeps making a bigger mess.
Dean, of course, goes off to help Castiel with Metatron’s plan leaving Sam to take care of Crowley alone. Sam who is having trouble walking and looks like death. In charge of the King of Hell. Yeah that sounds like a good idea.
While Dean and Cas are trying to figure out what they need to do Naomi (Amanda Tapping) tries to redeem herself by giving Dean and Cas a heads up that Metatron is lying and that Sam will die if he completes the trials (which really?? Of course Sam is going to die). Not that it saved her (although I don’t know that a spike to the brain would kill an angel so she might show up again next season).
It did allow Dean to stop Sam before he cured Crowley which would have ended in Sam’s death. My only grief here is that obviously Sam was going to die. I can’t believe that Dean just gave his “we got this ” speech now!
Now about that speech. It was what I have been waiting for all season. Dean finally told Sam how much he depends on him and how much he loves his little brother. Sam has always just wanted to be good enough to make Dean proud and Dean usually only expresses those feelings when Sam is dead (making it kind of hard for Sam to know about them). The feels in the last few minutes were overwhelming. I was crying and my heart hurt with love for the boys.
The episode ended with Crowley chained up begging for forgiveness, Sam collapsed and in really bad shape and all the angels cast down to earth stripped of their graces.
“Sacrifice” was about so many other sacrifices than the ones I expected. This whole season has really been about sacrifice. Sam sacrificed his dream of redeeming himself through the trials. I really felt his pain in giving up this dream and his confusion when Dean told him to stop before he died. He sacrificed his life with Amelia (Liane Balaban) that he had been able to carve out while Dean was in Purgatory.
Dean sacrificed control over the trials. He sacrificed his friendship with Benny (Ty Olsson) who I personally wanted to see more of. He sacrificed any normalcy years ago. Castiel sacrificed his grace. Well really it was stolen, but he lost it while trying to correct all his mistakes. Kevin (Osric Chau), who by the way is one of my favorite character ever, sacrificed his amazing, if albeit pressure filled, life. He lost his mother, his friends, his girlfriend and all chances of his Ivy League education.
“Sacrifice” was great and had all the things a season finale needs: love, pain, humor and a cliffhanger. There are so many things that were left unanswered that will hopefully be covered next season. Can Dean finish the exorcism on Crowley there by curing him, but not finishing the trial? Why didn’t Sam look for Dean while he was in Purgatory? Season 9 can’t get here soon enough. What are your thoughts or predictions?