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Supernatural Season Finale Review: Angels & Demons

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After eight years and 172 episodes, Supernatural still knows exactly how to deliver a fantastic finale.

"Sacrifice" provided a gripping hour filled with laughs, heart, emotion, twists and a game-changing final moment that was as shocking as it was visually cool.

Even if there were problems throughout the season, aspects that might have felt at times contrived and episodes that weren't so stellar, all my gripes were blown right out the window while watching this episode. It felt like everyone - actors, writer, director, effects, and everything in between - brought their A-game to not only prove the series still has plenty of gas left in the Impala's tank, but the show still has so much more to give.

Stopping the Demon King

I know the promo had revealed that Crowley was the third trial, but it didn't detract from my elation when Dean clasped the handcuffs on the king of Hell while giving his smug demeanor the nice punch it deserved.

I had no idea what was going to happen once Sam actually completed the trial, if he could. That said, Mark Sheppard gave a brilliant performance as the slowly cured Crowley. He went from the malevolent demon willing to kill anyone in his way, to finally calling Sam by his real name and expressing a pleading humanized version of himself with HBO references while just wanting to be loved.

Sheppard really makes his character one you love to hate. Who else would have a Sir-Mix-A-Lot ringtone we can smile at one moment and then be pissed as he's about to kill Sheriff Jodi Mills rocking her new haircut? (She survived, right?)

It really looked like Sam would finally cure Crowley, but good old Abbadon returned for a possible regime change. Is that even possible? I half expected her to kill Crowley in his emotional and damaged state, but Sam was able to get rid of her. For now. Might she come back next season?

At the same time, Castiel was dealing with the Heaven trials. And while Metatron was quickly whisked away, Dean was able to fill in for the hilarious discovery of who cupid's bow was really for. Dean's face was priceless watching the two guys flirt with each other.

Yet the episode took no time to flip everything on its head when Naomi pleaded with Castiel about the truth and Metatron's deception. Turns out the trials weren't everything we thought them to be. Metraton wasn't closing the gates of Heaven and Sam curing Crowley would mean Sam's death.

It was wonderfully frustrating not knowing who to trust or what direction the show was going to take.

Although, it didn't take long to see Metatron's switch had flipped on his ultimate revenge journey. Not only did he kill Naomi (glad she was able to sort of repent at the end, but she won't be missed) but he turned Castiel human!

The whole transformation from reclusive scribe to conniving and powerful angel worked so much better because of actor Curtis Armstrong. He brought a real believability from helper and possible (villain? new enemy?) opponent for season nine.

How could you do that Metatron?

But Supernatural wouldn't be anything without those brotherly heart to hearts and this one was wracked with feeling: Sam admitted his ultimate sin was letting Dean down. Multiple times.

Jarred Padalecki's moment of Sam trying to prove to his brother he could be trusted and complete the task was heartfelt, and I actually believed in what he was saying. The tears, the pain and the glowing arms combined to make the heightened moment real right as the stakes of everything felt like they were about to burst.

Which made Dean's response - "Don't you dare think that there is anything, past or present, that I would put in front of you" - that much more powerful.

Both Jensen Ackles and Padalecki are still clearly invested in these characters and it was great to see that bond remain strong between the actors and the characters they've brought to life. This show works well with the Winchesters working together.

On top of that, Sam listened to Dean. He didn't complete the final task which could (could it?) have killed him. Even with the pain or whatever was still damaging Sam, Dean was able to carry him out of the church, brothers in arms. It was great to see them really on the same page, there for each other.

I was also glad that neither of them were killed, not because they really can be, but it's been done before.

Instead Supernatural had my jaw drop as Sam, Dean and the human Castiel staring up at the sky as angels came raining down like blazing shooting stars. Seeing those wings on fire was such a sight.

What does that even mean now? Are all angels banished from heaven? Can they ever be angels again? Is Metatron the only one in heaven now? What's going to happen to Crowley? Why do we have to wait so long for the show to return?

I've still got to pick my jaw up off the floor with those closing moments, after having been engrossed in the entire hour. Not only was it a wild ride that made nothing what it seemed and things less easy to predict, but like any great finale should be, it has me excited for when the show picks up again next fall. This is definitely an episode worth watching again and one fans will be talking about. The bar has certainly been set high.

Bravo, Supernatural. Way to close Supernatural season 8 with blazing, riveting and emotional-filled glory.

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (301 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Great Great performance by Mark Sheppard!

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I LOVED the season finale. I can't understand the people who say they didn't. The episode got me so excited to see Season 9. Everyone (including the boys) did a great job. How powerful it was for Sam and Dean to have that conversation in the church. Sam about disappointing Dean time after time. And Dean telling him no matter what he has done in the past or future, he wouldn't throw it at him... just being brothers (family) was all that mattered. Excellent episode.

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So disappointed with this finale I just want to cry. It was very predictable and really dumb. I can't understand why they chose this storyline it really bugs me a lot. From the start with terrible Amelia to the killing off of Meg and Benny this season has gone in all of the wrong directions. Now falling angels who cares.

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I wasn't in love with the finale either. I do agree that Mark Sheppard did a superb job with this acting as did Padalecki. But they were that close to closing the gates and all of that hard work down the drain. I feel like they took the easy way out of ending it. Now we have angels falling from heaven. I'd be more interested in this if they closed the gates to Hell although I'd surely miss Crowley.
I think the one thing to finally pick up the storyline a bit would be to finally bring God into the show. It'd be a pity if he never makes an appearance.

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Mark Sheppard you beauty!!! What a wonderful performance. Jenson,Jared and Misha brought it as per usual and surprisingly Metatron was much menacing villain than Naiome ever was. Awesome finally. Right up there with HIMYM and TBBT finales. Superb stuff. 5 stars.

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I agree with jrwt that it was not a good finale. It had its moments: the acting was great, the scenes between Sam en Dean were beautiful as always and the angels falling out of the sky was amazing. But how did Dean not see it coming that Sam was going to die? He actually looked surprised when Naomi said it. I thought it was pretty clear with Sam vomoting blood and everything. So, whole season about 'closing the gates to hell' and then they just didn't: very anticlimatic. And poor Cas keeps making bad decisions.

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Sorry but I'm going to vent. This was the worst finale of the worst season of SPN and I am a longtime fan. After the few good episodes (and I can count them on one hand) I feel like I've been watching a totally different show than the last seven seasons. I don't understand the writers, don't they like these characters, haven't they been paying attention to what works and what doesn't. We love Dean, Sam and Cas we lean on their every word but they are only as good as the story that surrounds them and this was a piss poor storyline. I love Crowley as a villian when was present, I even though Abadon was a great addition. But again the story fails them, who wants to see Crowley reduced to a whiny girl, I sure don't. I like Sam but I didn't like him this season. They really screwed up his character. Dean was window dressing after purgatory and Benny and Cas well he was just confused. Naomi started out great but there's that storyline again getting in the way. I wish Benny had stayed around longer and I don't have any thing good to say about Kevin and Metatron. I don't care about the other angels anymore since they can't seem to find anything meaningful for them to do. I miss Bobby. Well the show will certainly end next season, the boys are tired, they act like their too old to fight (no good fist fights this season either), Dean's getting no sex so he might as well go away. Moving again to tuesday night and bad writing will certainly seal the deal. Too bad, well there are always better reruns. A really, really disappoint superfan.

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I really liked this finale. The twists in the plot worked, the dynamic between our boys is still SO good...so believable, and the rain of angels on fire was a bit of a jaw-dropper. Where they go next year is anyone's guess, though I supposed the obvious story would be to wrest control of heaven from Metatron, if he is indeed in control, and restore the angels back to their lofty place; I'll trust that the writers take advantage of getting another season and do us proud.

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I'm with you Tyler - stupid, but seems an echo of another season...can't remember which. Yet now, no angels, hell's still on full throttle and only the Winchesters to save the day? This show is worn out. I saw the bartender love joke a mile away. This show has gone from a witty, tongue-in-cheek cult favorite to something written by too-cool Gen-X-tian evangelicals appealing to the millennial crowd. Awkward.

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Stupid of sam to let dean talk him out of closing the gates of hell. I mean its not like he couldn't come back to life or anything.... Plus even if he couldn't its closing the gates of hell for Christs sake. Otherwise good episode and i can't wait for next season.