So what happens when a Knight of Hell gets a time travel spell and needs some leverage on the current King of Hell? She opens up a doorway to 1723 Leith, Scotland and time-naps the opposition’s only son. Where things go from there, well, I guess you’ll just have to see.

Castiel and the Winchesters chat

We all know the outcast co-worker that wants to appear more important than he/she really is; well, that’s Ezra for you. He crashes a good old party with fellow angels and goes on and on about his importance to Metatron and the new order of things. They are obviously pissed at the self-proclaimed new god for booting them all out and when he leaves the bar, Ezra realizes he’s being followed and gets angel-napped and taken to Castiel. The Winchesters arrive at Commander Castiel’s base of operations with their friend asking for their own brand of interrogation, to see if Ezra will loosen up his tongue. He’s tired of the violence and wants to put an end to it, hopefully with their help and getting out in front of Metatron’s followers. Sam and Dean start in on the outcast and it’s obvious from the start that he’s a few tungsten filaments away from a full-wattage light bulb. Sam uses some creative reverse psychology to find out that there’s a back door to Heaven. More specifically, it’s a portal that moves from place to place, making it nearly impossible to locate. They take it back to Cas and, not long after they lock him back up, Erza’s deader than dinosaurs.

In Cleveland, Ohio, Crowley’s doing his best “Vote for Me!” pitch to his fellow demons. Unfortunately, they aren’t buying what he’s selling, more afraid of Abaddon and her brutal methods of getting her way. She proposes a limited team-up to the pissed off King; namely, take out the Winchesters and the First Blade together and, once that’s done they’ll deal with each other. He’s not feeling the offer until she trots Gavin out and starts up with the torture until “all of those human feelings” still alive and well inside Crowley forces his hand. It takes some work but Crowley finally manages to convince his son that he’s the real deal, offering Gavin the abbreviated version of how he became the King of Hell. As if a chip off the old block, Gavin realizes he’s, well, a prince of sorts and that, as King, Crowley should be able to keep his soul out of hell no matter the sin. After such a rousing chat (which includes bestowing Gavin with the ability to read) Crowley’s ready to make the deal with Abaddon.

Castiel tries to convince Gadreel that Metatron’s not to be trusted

After getting a better idea of the type of angel that Gadreel is via a conversation with Sam, Castiel decides to meet with Heaven’s black sheep. They both are angels of honor and Cas understands Gadreel’s need to redeem himself. He tries to make Gadreel understand that he’s placed his “faith in the wrong master” but it’s cut short when two angels come out of nowhere and ambush them. Gadreel escapes though one of Castiel’s followers is not as lucky. The two angels continue their palaver elsewhere, with Castiel dropping the real bomb—he wants Gadreel to be a double agent. Though Eden’s former guardian is loyal, he’s also starting to see that Metatron does not hold the same honor that he and Castiel do.

It looks like the Mark is continuing to take its toll on Dean as he zones out briefly, thinking about that first time using it when Crowley calls about the First Blade’s location. The brothers arrive at the graveyard and are nearly torn apart by Juliette, a hellhound “collecting” in the area. Crowley settles the dog down and they retrieve the Blade. Another phone call to Crowley—one where he warns Dean that things aren’t hearts and candy in Cleveland—and they are on their way. Not to be outdone, Abaddon puts a devil’s trap etched bullet into the King’s shoulder, rendering him powerless and better the odds for her if Crowley decided to realign with the Winchesters.

The boys arrive at the Humboldt Hotel and, with Crowley’s warning in mind, Dean sends Sam down to case the basement while he goes penthouse. He spots the injured Crowley and kills an ambushing demon seconds before Abaddon gets the upper hand, plastering him to the wall. Like all baddies, she gloats about her impending victory but is surprised when Dean goes supernatural soldier, casting aside her powers before delivering the coup de grace. But he’s not done, driven by the blood lust, he continues stabbing into her now dead meat suit until Sam screams for him.

With Abaddon dead and gone, the Winchesters decide not to kill Crowley. He mentions the warning, the one Dean kept to himself but the latter turns the conversation to Gavin and the need to return the young man back to his own time. Sam brings up how the lore makes no exceptions in this type of things. Crowley’s incensed, telling them the truth in that “No one bends the rules like you two bend the rules”. But he’s not defeated yet, using his silver tongue to get in a final goodbye, one where he and Gavin disappear, though he does admit to his allies the day his human feelings are gone would be a happy, happy day. He spends his final moments sending Gavin off into a world the young man knows nothing about but at least he’s alive and, as a father, that’s all that Crowley truly cares about in that moment.

On the ride out, Dean explains why he decided to keep Crowley’s warning of an impending trap from Sam. He knew that, no matter her tricks or power, he was going to kill her. “I knew,” he reiterates, “and I had to go it alone, Sammy.” Though not crazy about it, I think Sam understands but, at the same time, he realizes the Blade has done something to Dean, changed him in a way that Sam realizes but really cannot explain. He suggests they put the Blade somewhere, hide it away from him but Dean replies with a heartfelt “No.”

Brothers, Fathers, and Sons

  • Sacrifice: it’s a word heard often but no better described than by watching Sam and Dean in action. Though the brothers may not be able to sacrifice one another for the greater good, they will but themselves in harm’s way to save the ones they love. It’s their greatest strength which doubles as their greatest weakness. Dean recognizes this and it’s the reason he gets Sam out of the way so he’s able to confront Abaddon. At first Sam thinks Dean only wants to protect him but when his older brother tells him just how sure of killing Abaddon the First Blade made him, the younger Winchester understands. He may not like it but he can appreciate it.
  • It was more than a bit surprising to see Crowley get the chance to interact with someone on an emotional level other than his Moose and Squirrel. Gavin’s inclusion in the episode also highlighted the fact that Crowley’s yet to return to his former self; a true demon that cares for nothing but himself. It also brings up the question on whether he’s being truthful when he tells Sam and Dean just how much he can’t wait for the residual human emotions to be purged from his being. With the season finale closing in, we probably won’t get to see how things play out for Crowley’s human condition but methinks it’s a strong bet we’ll see more of this when ‘Supernatural’hits the double digit season mark next year.