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Supernatural

Supernatural Review: War of the Angels

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Angel on angel warfare, the return of Metatron and his idea for a new kingdom of Heaven, and the heartbreaking consequences of Dean tricking Sam into letting an angel possess him made this one of the most compelling Supernatural Season 9 episodes yet.

With God missing from Heaven, the angels haven’t really been able to work together, ultimately having one try and rise up to take command or control in his absence. There was Raphael and the war in Heaven in Supernatural Season 6, Castiel tried to dabble his hand as the new God in Supernatural Season 7, and then Metatron kicked all the angels out of Heaven leaving only himself in Supernautral Season 8 Episode 23.

And now, semantics aside, Metatron wants to be the new God and pick a select few, including some funny angels, to rebuild Heaven. So, you’d think that all the angels would band together to figure a way to stop him.

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Instead, the angels are killing each other off at a rather rapid pace. Two major factions are led by Bartholomew and Malachi (c’mon, who’d want to follow the guy with a name straight from Children of the Corn?) in their quest to take back Heaven.

While a lot of corpses were left in the wake of the angel slaughter, the visual effects for such scenes as the biker bar battle, the taking out of Bartholomew’s members at the back-alley meet, or the elimination of willing church group members who were letting Malachi followers in was pretty impressive. Not to mention the fact that the civil war on Earth is an intense struggle between vying powers that leaves no room for any other supernatural being to get in the way.

I wonder what Abaddon is up to…

It’s pretty surprising that it took the angels this long to find Castiel, but his torture at the hands of Justin Long with a goatee and Zod’s sidekick villain from Superman II revealed that not all the angels survived the fall, including Ezekiel.

I know I had trouble trusting Ezekiel, really Gadriel, since Supernatural Season 9 Episode 1, but this was not the twist I was expecting.

We finally had backstory on Gadriel that allowed his reasoning to push Castiel away make much more sense. It wasn’t just concern for angels showing up, but the fact that he was pretending to be Ezekiel, and he was an imprisoned angel in Heaven. A fate he suffered for letting the serpent into the Garden of Eden and ultimately letting evil upon Adam and Eve.

That’s a pretty heavy burden to carry, so for Metatron to manipulate an angel ashamed and guilty of his past faults, simply trying to be a good angel again was not going to end well for Sam and Dean. Being a human is tough in the battle of the supernatural.

I’m glad that Castiel was able to help (although, taking that one angel’s grace sounds like it’s going to have its own consequences down the line) and reveal to Dean he’d been duped.

Which made it fantastic that Dean decided to tell Sam the truth and he reacted how I thought he would, unfortunately Gadriel knew that Dean was up to something the whole time and messed with the sigil spell. Dean cannot catch a break.

The whole episode was a snowballing of chaos on Earth ending with the death of Kevin Tran. I was shocked when Gadriel grabbed him, even though I worried when Kevin mentioned getting screwed all the time by Dean’s plans.

And really that’s the heartbreaking thing, Dean was just trying to do right by his brother (and I guess you could argue, Gadriel is simply trying to right his own wrongs) but it ended badly. What a powerful scene of Dean calling out for Kevin as Sam/Gadriel left to end the hour in a way that had me stunned as the credits rolled.

Supernatural Season 9 Episode 9 was a gripping turn for the story that felt like a nonstop ride of epic proportions. So much happened from the angels fighting, that sneaky Metatron coming back to set his new plan in motion (I can’t wait to see Dean and Sam stop him), Castiel’s got grace, and the reveal of Gadriel before killing off a major character.

When Supernatural does it right, it nails it right on the head and reminds viewers that this show can be funny, dramatic, heartbreaking, action-packed and full of exciting moments. This was a great way to leave Supernatural Season 9 before it returns in January, and I’m looking forward to what the next step of the saga will be.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (90 Votes)

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

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Two words: Great Episode!

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I thought this episode did a good job in giving the audience an idea of just how big of picture the show is playing with this year. I liked that. I'm not one invested in Kevin's death. Death has come to mean nothing in this show, and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Kevin show up repeatedly again. His death does raise the question of who/when the next prophet will be activated though. I can't see them bringing in a new prophet again. Gad being someone else didn't surprise me, either, but before this episode aired, I thought Gad would be Malachi. Speaking of, I was very disappointed in the portrayal of Malachi. Just another dick angel, and now that Gad has been made a dumb bad guy, I call for demons, demons, and more demons. I like them better. Unless Gad turns out to be an aide to the brothers, I would just as soon he die in the next episode (and I liked him before he turned stupid and was manipulated by Metatron). I, too, think Cas did a big no, no in murdering a potential ally and stealing his grace. Why didn't he use Theo to trick Malachi, get Malachi in the room, and kill him. I'm thinking Malachi's grace would be stronger than Theo's and, as it is, Malachi is left to create more chaos. I liked the episode, and it raised my interest in the second half of the season. I hope the second half focuses on the issues brought up and not five meaningless one-off's in a row.

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It's actually Gadreel. Gadriel is a completely different angel. Gadreel was the one who failed to keep the serpent from the Garden of Eden.

Fifty

Great twist ending.... Only bad thing for me is Crowley wasn't part of the story. Glad to see Cas got his mojo back. Hope he gets his trench coat back too. Can't wait for next episode.

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There were a lot of good things about this ep. Ramping up the angel war, most of the Castiel scenes, the performances from Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Osric Chau. I really loved seeing Sam and Dean and Cas reunited and working a case--unfortunately we get that for 30 seconds before that's over with. I've found the connivings of not-really-Zeke to be intriguing as he's played Dean, cajoled, coerced, and subtly or not so subtly threatened and manipulated. It seems like SPN really is taking a cold hard look at the consequences of the Winchesters continued overly dysfunctional, overly codependent relationship, and now the fallout begins. Unfortunately, there's too much repetition and other problems here. Dean isn't playing anything new (and the promo for ep 10 doesn't give me much hope either). It's Dean hand-wringing and worrying over saving Sam, yet again--it seems SPN can't really come up with a major plot arc for him that doesn't involve saving a passive Sam over and over. It's Sam being not-Sam yet again, the show failing to allow actual Sam to speak and show his pov in service of the plot, yet again, it's Sam with a supernatural ailment/something wrong inside of him yet again. Kevin was a fantastic character who added a lot to the show and the Winchesters' all-too-small extended family. Osric Chau did a great job bringing Kevin to life and letting us see him grow. Rather than feeling shocked or devastated by his death, I'm annoyed at SPN yet again wasting an engaging character. It treats supportings as disposable plot fodder far too often, undermining its own message about family. We lose a beloved character--for what, a tired retread? All of that threw me out of the story. This far along in the show I'm baffled as to why SPN continues to avoid any real team building, robs even its leads of active plot roles, and keeps whittling down its cast when the richness of the characters around Sam and Dean are such an asset to the show and the story.

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I know everyone is mourning the loss of Kevin, but something tells me that Cas or Crowley will bring him back to life.

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a lot of filler episodes leading up to the half season mark, while the writers had more lead-in, getting an early renewal last season, it hasn't shown in quality. Stories have been hashed from old episodes and the same themes show up, to the point in each of Castiel's appearances so far (four) it's get hurt by an angel (or rapey Reaper) and get stabbed. The angel war has been less than enthralling due to the fact there are no angels (other than Cas) to root for, all the good ones (Gabe, Balthy, Samandriel, Inais, etc) are dead. And there was another good angel killed her, Muriel. Honestly, the audience doesn't care so much, we just want Cas to get his own grace back. Castiel's story arc of becoming human has come and gone to little effect, he didn't learn much that he didn't know in his last, and more compelling descent, and he doesn't seem to mind leaving behind the Gas n Sip or strange hookups with the dubious inexplicable female characters (including exporn stars) who throw themselves at the Winchesters and their Angel ally. now they've taken a great supporting character who is beloved in the fandom and killed him (unless he's like Pamela and can survive blinded) for little more than shock value, it's not something I can forgive unless show shakes off it's sloppiness and gets back to taut exciting storytelling, they have all the elements, great concept, great characters, great actors. so extra kudos to Jensen, Jared, Misha, Osric for making this a must watch despite the writing.

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Have just had a horrible thought. Say the well-talked about 'death of a star male character' is - CROWLEY? I'd just be distraught!

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Poor Kevin. I had a feeling something bad was going to happen to him. If there is some loophole to bring him back, that would be great. But who knows. This is going to kill Dean. He already carries so much guilt about so many things. This is not good.

John-kidby

Damn. What a great (and terrible) episode. It really seems like Supernatural's getting its mojo back this season - I haven't enjoyed the show this much in years.

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