“I did what I had to do.” It’s such a simple line that can be interpreted as sacrifice or absolving one of guilt in the vein of “I was only following orders.”  The line is at the heart of this year’s mid-season finale of ‘Supernatural’.

Sam, Dean and Kevin…for the last time.

Bad things are going down in the world and Caribou, Wyoming, is the first on-screen proof of it. The lovely ladies of Melody Ministries Glee Club do a road show at a bad ass biker bar. But these are not just bikers and glee clubbers; they are two opposing factions of the heavenly host and the lovely ladies show that pink and flowery can be just as hardcore as Harleys and leather. On the road back to Ft Collins, Dean is getting a bit antsy with Zeke, openly wondering how long it’s going to take for him to fully patch Sam up and jump ship. Zeke is defensive, wanting the brothers to steer as far away from angel cases as possible. He hastily throws Sam back in control but the younger Winchester starts asking questions about his missing chunks of time. Dean brushes it off, pointing Sam on the spot with a “Would I lie?” Based on past history and Sam’s look, he’s not too sure about that.  They arrive at the bar and Agent Cas is already there, performing his own investigative duties. Both brothers try to redirect his focus but Cas remarks that “If angels are slaughtering one another, I have to do everything I can to help.”

On a quiet industrial road, Bartholomew’s cast meets with the Glee Club leader and the head of the new contingent in Malachi. The short talk that ends with Bart’s advocates being slain, highlights the angelic power struggle happening behind the scenes or, as Malachi aptly puts it ”and so it begins.” A bit on the less serious side of things, a somewhat intoxicated Cas celebrates being back together with the boys. He shares with them Metatron’s plan as shared with him by April, the red headed Reaper. When Cas leaves the table, Zeke once again takes the reigns and wants Cas gone. Zeke’s a bit too vehement about having Cas gone and steps away when the conversation doesn’t go his way. He excuses himself, only running into Metatron. The sole inhabitant of Heaven is amused at Zeke’s ploy. But it’s not Zeke and Metatron calls him out; “I know who you really are, and it isn’t Ezekial,” he reminds the shocked angel.

Dean is still in the bar and wants so much to be truthful to Cas but only skims over the truth behind Sam’s current predicament and not being able to work with Cas. Dean tells Cas, “I don’t have a choice.” Outside Metatron asks the imposter why he choose Ezekial. “They say he is a good, and honorable angel.” No, this is Gadreel, an angel once locked in heaven’s darkest dungeon. “You were God’s most trusted.” His task was to protect The Garden, to keep evil from it and Man untainted by its vile shadow.  Metatron takes credit for freeing Gadreel before sharing with the former Guardian of Eden on rebuilding Heaven with a “hand-picked few. He plays on Gadreel’s desire to clear his name and it looks to be working. At the bunker, Sam’s research into the biker gang brings forth the fact that they were a part of ‘Boyle’s Boys’, born again bikers, followers of Bartholomew. Speaking of the Winklevoss clone, his men overtake the camp, killing the Glee Club leader and burning out the potential human hosts.

Metatron and Gadreel meet again with them lamenting on the “wasted energy” of humans. They return to the subject of the New Heaven and Metatron ‘reluctantly’ admits that he will need to rule over this new Heaven.

Metatron and Gadreel…one of several meetings between the two

Gadreel remarks that will make him the new God but Metatron redirects this notion. “When the time comes, we’ll call me Ex,” he tells Gadreel before promising the angel that they will “have paradise again.” At the bunker, Kevin’s still searching for anything to help them in breaking Metatron’s spell while Dean shares the Utah campfire details with Sam. Things are getting out of hand and the clock is ticking as they lean on Kevin to find an answer. Speaking of answers, Castiel calls out to the angel network in hopes of someone hearing his prayer. Muriel answers his call though when she realizes that it’s Cas, she nearly scarpers away. He pleads with her to give him information. She drops the dime on the Civil War going on between Malachi (“the anarchist” according to Cas) and Bartholomew. Each side is drafting from the stock of neutral angels, torturing them until they swear allegiance. They want to crush Metatron and overthrow Heaven. Malachi’s men find Muriel and the golden goose in Castiel. Malachi wants Cas to give up the goods on Metatron but he can’t help the mad angel. To gather compliance, he threatens Muriel. “Virtue is its own punishment,” he murmurs before giving Theo the queue to skewer the helpless Muriel.

Castiel is more than disgusted with Malachi’s methods but the militant angel reminds Cas that he’s responsible for the deaths of so many more, including those that died in the fall. Azrael, Sophia, Ezekiel were some of the names. He leaves Cas with Theo to torture the information out of him but when they are alone, Theo turns the tables, begging Cas to speak to Metatron on his behalf. He knows Malachi is crazy and nothing will be left once war breaks out. Cas sees his opportunity and lulls Theo into happy compliance before using the angel sword to slash Theo’s throat and claim his grace. Malachi returns to find his coterie of guards sliced and diced. Cas phones Dean and gives him the Cliff Notes version of the most recent events, including the fact that Ezekial’s not the one driving the Sam train. Dean goes to Kevin to find a masking spell so he can chat with Sam without Gadreel listening in. It’s even more dire now once the disgraced angel pledges to Metatron and the soon-to-be new God promises “Heaven will be restored, as will your reputation.” But Metatron is not satisfied with words, he wants to test Gadreel’s fidelity, giving him a name to eliminate…his own angelic hit man.

Kevin talks to Dean about the spell though he’s not so sure if it’ll actually work. On top of that, he knows Dean isn’t being 100% honest with him and when asked to trust the elder Winchester remarks “I always trust you, and always end up being screwed.” When Sam arrives, he leads him to the pantry and initiates the spell. Sam’s more than pissed that Dean once again “thought I couldn’t handle something so you took over.”  Dean has nothing to truly say and is victim to a healthy right cross by Sam when he storms out.

But it’s not Sam.

Gadreel was in the driver’s seat the entire time, smudging the sigil just enough to nullify its effect. Dean wakes from the KO seconds too late as Gadreel murders Kevin, the first name on Metatron’s hit list, before his eyes. Gadreel leaves Dean there and he stares heartbroken at Kevin’s lifeless body; another fallen comrade-in-arms for Dean to bury.

Dean alone—Gadreel in full control of Sam—Cas out on the road—Kevin the prophet dead. Where do we go from here?

“I Did What I Had To…”

  • Theo, Castiel, Dean, and Gadreel. All four have done something tied to the events of the episode that were not necessarily good but, in their eyes, what they had to do for survival and/or continuation of the good fight. It begs the question of when that’s an acceptable answer for one’s actions and when it’s a cop out. One thing is certain, as Theo was shown, no matter the motivation behind your actions, there is always a price to pay. Sometimes that price is more than you’re ready to pay.
  • Though he’s on the run for a bit, Castiel’s back in the fight after stealing Theo’s grace. He may not be juiced up to his previous Super Saiyan levels, but he has enough muscle now to make a difference and not get splatted like a bug on a windshield.
  • Once again ‘Supernatural’ does a marvelous job expanding the series lore. Gadreel, an angel going incognito with a name possibly more infamous that Castiel’s. Though he reiterated several times that it wasn’t his fault evil spread through the Garden of Eden, one has to wonder if he’s just got a serious case of the denials. And, more to the point, will he be around for long or will he be cast aside once Dean finds out how to expel him from Sam’s body?