Supernatural, Season 9, Episode 10: “Road Trip”
Written by Andrew Dabb
Directed by Robert Singer
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm (ET) on The CW
The return of Metatron in the last episode before Supernatural’s hiatus shook up the status quo in a major way, as the reveal of which Angel was truly possessing Sam was swiftly followed by Gadreel taking control and killing Kevin. Despite Castiel regaining Grace, and angelic powers with it, this dealt a major blow to the Winchesters, setting them back in a way they are unlikely to recover from. This week’s episode focuses on Dean’s attempts to get his brother back and reconcile himself with the loss of another valuable ally and friend, in a strong episode that advances the fight for control of Hell.
Crowley’s freedom from the Winchesters throws the battle for Hell into high gear. As this episode shows, the demons’ allegiance to Abaddon isn’t as strong as she would like, and Crowley’s re-appearance on the scene will only serve to further shake that. With Crowley now caught up with what happened during his captivity, his enticement of the demons in the warehouse is just the beginning, and it will be fascinating to see what his next steps are. Neither Crowley nor Abaddon have had to fight for power, having taken it when the position ended up vacant, so both demons are inexperienced in what comes next, making the outcome unpredictable. This is aided by the fact that some demons are playing both sides, proving that there are a lot of undecided demons, enough to sway the battle for Hell decisively in favour of either Crowley or Abaddon. Watching their differing styles clash is promising; while Crowley’s promises may sound enticing, demons are aware that he keeps his word, and is less likely to punish those who were playing both sides. Abaddon, however, does rule very effectively with fear, and is more focused in her goal to make Hell a terrifying entity again, which may entice demons on its own. Thus, how the fight between the two shapes up has a lot of potential.
Metatron’s play to take control of Heaven also continues to be intriguing. While previous angels, such as Naomi, Raphael, and Castiel also attempted to take over the power vacuum that existed, Metatron’s calculating ruthlessness at eliminating angels through Gadreel and not getting his hands dirty is indicative of a much more sociopathic attempt at gaining control. While Castiel also racked up a body count in his rise to power, his ultimate objective was not to rule Heaven, but to prevent the apocalypse from getting restarted and restore order. Metatron shows no such intentions, which makes him much more dangerous than any previous angel, as his true motivations are still not clear. The fact that he’s killing Angels, even ones who seem comfortable in their Earthly lives like Abner, despite already being the only Angel in Heaven, indicates he has a bigger purpose than he’s letting on to Gadreel. In addition, his insistence on getting the tablets back, and preventing the appointment of prophets, also indicates that Crowley’s reading of Heaven being permanently sealed to be incorrect, and Metatron’s attempt to keep that information to himself is very telling. It will be interesting to see how Gadreel reacts to Metatron as more of his plan becomes visible, as well as how Castiel and the Winchesters deal with the knowledge that Metatron is back.
Overall, this is a strong return back for the show. Watching Crowley working with the Winchesters and Castiel is an unexpected treat, and his willingness to be helpful and trustworthy, and keep Abaddon distracted while the Winchesters escape, may hint at the human blood injections working at instilling some humanity in him. If that is the case, his fight against Abaddon may be more promising, as he might not be able to muster up the level of ruthlessness required to challenge her successfully. The individual guilt of Sam and Dean over the death of Kevin, as well as the other murders Gadreel committed, also has the potential to be fascinating in how it influences their actions going forward, particularly if they end up encountering Mrs. Tran once again. Tahmoh Penikett’s return to the show is a welcome one, and hopefully not as brief as his last turn. With Metatron now back and killing Angels, it will be very interesting to see if warring Angels such as Bartholomew and Malachi unite to fight a common threat, and how Castiel fits into the equation if they do. The potential of Sam and Castiel working together is also a rich one, and how they play off each other in Dean’s absence, as well as how the Abaddon-Crowley war shapes up now that the latter is back in the game, are worth keeping an eye on as the season continues.
– Deepayan Sengupta