It was a nice touch to see Tommy (Graham Wardle) from “Wendigo” back, and the VFX team’s work on his exploding head was outstanding. It was also great to see one of my favorite Canadian actors, Donnelly Rhodes, back. However, it was a little jarring to see him play a different character than the one in played in “Wendigo” (the only surviving victim) when the episode is being recalled in this episode by Tommy.
I did love Dean’s glee at having his own dungeon. The Men of Letters Bunker also demonstrates how it can be a source for the show going forward as the brothers can find lore, like the new exorcism, that has been lost since the Men of Letters died out.
Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) shows up to enlist Cas’ help in locking the angels in Heaven to force them to have a “family” meeting and settle their differences. Metatron is still focused on storytelling and analogies. He wants to ride in and save the day. He compares Heaven to a dysfunctional family – a recurring theme in the series, of course. Metatron also tells Cas that Naomi is not in charge in Heaven, but just the head of one of a number of factions all fighting for dominance, which Metatron if afraid will spill out onto Earth. He couldn’t actually find a better way to appeal to Cas than through a threat to humanity. Metatron appeals to all of Cas’ weaknesses in enlisting him to do the trials. Now that Metatron is taking an active role, I wonder whether we will see Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) again. I thought they might have given some indication of where he was. Armstrong is a terrific addition to the cast and plays extremely well against Collins. Armstrong nails both the comedic timing and the earnest, otherworldly-ness of an angel.
It’s also difficult to determine if Metatron is really acting for the overall good or if he has a hidden agenda. The first trial is to kill a Nephillim, and Cas is appalled and doesn't want to kill her as the girl hasn’t chosen to be a Nephillim. Metatron is implacable in insisting that he must cut her heart out. Both Cas and Metatron get thrown around and beaten up pretty good. In Cas’ defense he is still hurt from what Crowley did to him, which begs a question – why is Cas taking so long to heal? In the end the Nephillim tries to kill Metatron and isn’t the pure soul she appeared to be at first. Interestingly, Cas doesn’t seem to have suffered any ill effects from having completed his trial.
I loved Abbadon’s reaction to learning that Crowley (Mark Sheppard) – the salesman! – was now King of Hell. Hopefully, she will be more interested in dealing justice to Crowley than coming after Dean and Sam – which speaking of... why didn’t she come after them? They were right outside of where she was being held, so why not just kill them?
Sarah Blake is able to give a nice perspective to how Sam’s character has changed over the course of the seasons. She sees how much he’s changed since they saved her in the season one episode “Provenance.” Because Sam had a relationship with her, however brief, he feels her death most keenly. I really thought that having found the hex bag so quickly after she died, they might have burned it and at least tried CPR on her.
Highlights of the episode would have to be Mark Sheppard’s performance, the return of Abaddon, and the new team of Metatron and Cas. This won’t go down as one of my favorite penultimate episodes of a season. However, next week’s episode is written by Jeremy Carver, and I’m excited to see where he’s going to take us and how he’s going to tie up the season. What are you most excited for coming up in the finale? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.