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Supernatural Review and Preview: “King of the Damned” & “Stairway to Heaven” [VIDEO] 

Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

Only two episodes are left in this ninth season of Supernatural. Before we get into all things “Stairway to Heaven” (how did it take nine seasons to title an episode after this iconic Zeppelin tune?), some thoughts on “King of the Damned.”


1. That previously recap was hella long. I guess the show had a lot to cover. But running almost two minutes is crazy talk.

2. Cas’ entrance in this episode was deliciously dramatic. And the fact that there are angels calling him “Commander” is hilarious. I just don’t think of Cas as commander. Although he can be extremely badass. The whole angel war room vibe was cool.

3. There were hugs between Cas and Dean as well as Cas and Sam. Yay!

4. Cas asks the boys to get information out of the doofus angel that bragged about being tight with Metatron.

Dean: “So, you’re done with the rough stuff and you want us to be your goons.”
Cas: “Well, you’ve had success with these situations before. If you don’t want to do it, I understand.”
Dean: “Who says I don’t want to do it?”

This brief little exchange stood out to me because:

  • A. Was Cas referring to Dean’s time in hell as well as what went down in “On the Head of a Pin?” Because if he was, wow. Love it when the show makes subtle references to the past.
  • B. The season that “On the Head of a Pin” aired (season four), Dean was reluctant about tapping into his torture skills. Very reluctant. Here, you can tell the Mark of Cain is ingrained. He jumps at the chance.
  • C. Back then, Demon Blood Sam was worried about Dean. Worried that Dean was too weak and he couldn’t get the job done. In this “KOTD” scene, he’s still worried. From the look he gives his older brother, he’s worried Dean  is relishing the thought of hurting the angel too much.
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

5. I never thought this episode would start with a flashback to Scotland in 1473 or feature scenes between Crowley and his slightly dimwitted son. It is clear that pre-Demon Crowley was a bad dad. But thanks to imbibing human blood, the (outgoing?) King of Hell still has some of that pesky lingering humanity in tact. Oh and how hard was it to watch all of Crowley’s associates abandon him for Abaddon? As much as I love me the wannabe Queen of Hell, we’ve known Crowley for ages. I didn’t like seeing those advisors turn on him.

6. Human Crowley sold his soul for an “extra three inches of willy.” HILARIOUS.

7. Seriously, I don’t know how Mark Sheppard pulls off dialogue like this: “You betrayed me? No one in the history of torture’s been tortured with torture like the torture you’ll be tortured with.” But he does. We are so lucky on this show to have actors who can really bring the sarcastic dialogue to life. They take it to the next level.

8. Sam and Dean vs. Idiot Angel. Instead of going with Dean’s bad cop ways, they went with Sam’s good cop ways. Well, I wouldn’t say good cop. They got the braggart to braggedy brag brag brag about his Metatron connection. He gave up the info quickly.  Such a fun scene. I kind of love when Dean and Sam occasionally work the “hot jocks looking down on the douche-y nerd” angle. I’m terrible, I know.

9. Shut the front door. We got to hear a little about the Sam/Gadreel era.

Cas: “I wanted to ask you about Gadreel. The time he possessed you.”
Sam: “It’s not really something I like to…”
Cas: “Sam, please.”
Sam: “He didn’t possess me, completely. More like we, um, shared housing. I was still me.”
Cas: “Did you ever sense a presence?”
Sam: “I don’t really know what I felt. I mean, maybe that I wasn’t completely alone.”
Cas: “Did you ever feel threatened?”
Sam: “No. More that he wasn’t at rest…like he had unfinished business. Now that we know more about him, I’d say he felt misunderstood.”
Cas: “But not…not a danger. Not hostile.”
Sam: “No. I was wrong, obviously. He killed Kevin.”

We finally got some Sam POV. Yay! I think this scene was interesting. Cas was basically trying to get intel on Gadreel because he wanted to suss out whether there was some good in this “misunderstood” angel.

10. Love Crowley giving his son the power to read. But the NFL talk (Buccaneers vs. Saints) was just weird since we’re well into the NFL’s off season.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

11. Cas and Gadreel scenes = stellar. Now this Angel Civil War business isn’t my favorite storyline but there’s one thing that you can’t deny. The actors involved are awesome from Misha to Curtis Armstrong to Tahmoh Penikett. So glad Penikett is a Supernatural guest star.

12. The Mark of Cain continues to take hold on Dean. The flashback to Magnus and him holding the First Blade was great. Although, it made me sad to see Kavan Smith’s Magnus get beheaded. I thought he was a great villain and would have loved to see him again. Sure, he can probably be in any Men of Letters-type flashback but I would have loved to have seen him face Dean and Sam again.

13. The Winchester brothers had to get the First Blade out of the grossest place. Felt bad for the boys. Felt even worse when they got chased by the hellhound.

14. Crowley called Dean, “Squirrel.” Yay!

15. Oh Dean. Crowley warned Dean using “Poughkeepsie.” And he didn’t let Sam in on it. Instead, he sent Sam off on a wild goose chase, searching for demons in the basement and, of course, there weren’t any. Meanwhile, he went and faced Abaddon. The Queen of Hell had Dean on the ropes. At one point he lost the blade but was able to summon its power to help him out. In fact, the Mark of Cain glowed through Dean’s 85 layers of clothes. That is impressive.

16. How cool was that jedi mind trick Dean used to grab hold of the The First Blade? Then he was able to kill Abaddon with it. This is why I wish we didn’t have the planted spinoff and the standalone the last two weeks. I would have liked to have seen more scenes with the Winchesters vs. Abaddon. Especially Dean and Abaddon. Earlier this season in an episode called “Devil May Care,” we really got a load of the chemistry that exists between Jensen and Alaina Huffman. I wish the show had been able to capitalize on that more. I wish the mythology could have been pushed in more than the final three episodes of the season.

17. Dean offed Abaddon spectacularly and then couldn’t stop beating on her. Sam had to utilize the special Dean frequency only his voice can reach to get through to his brother. With this Mark of Cain business, Dean has finally become that blunt little instrument that Demon Dean referred to in season three’s “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” Sam got through to him again. Sam’s scared for him.

18. “I’ll cheer the day when the last trace of humanity leaves me. FEELINGS.” Mr. Sheppard, I am not worthy.

19. How is Crowley changing the past (not letting his son go back to meet his doom) going to affect things in the present? Will it? Or is Crowley right? Is Gavin a misfit kid who impacts no one?

20. This is the first episode in a while where I really thought the dialogue was killer. The sarcasm was oh so sweet. Kudos to Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming — and I usually don’t say that about these two.

21. Another Winchester brother conversation in the Impala scene:

Dean: “I didn’t tell you about the warning because I knew exactly what you would do. You would make sure you were right alongside me going into that room.”
Sam: “You mean like we always do because we’re actually partners in this and we watch each other’s backs?”
Dean: “I don’t expect you to understand.”
Sam: “Try me.”
Dean: “First time I touched that Blade…I knew…I knew that I wouldn’t be stopped. I knew I would take down Abaddon and anything else if I had to. It wasn’t a hero thing, you know, it wasn’t…it was just calm. I knew. And I had to go it alone, Sammy.”
Sam: “Oh, of course. So it was just another time where you had to protect me.”
Dean: “You could have gotten nabbed by Abaddon and she could have bargained her way out. We couldn’t afford to screw this up.”
Sam: “Look…I’m glad it worked out, okay? I am. And I’m glad the Blade gives you strength or calm or whatever. But, Dean, I got to say…I’m starting to think the Blade is doing something else, too.”
Dean: “Yeah, like what?”
Sam: “I don’t know, like, something to you. Look, I’m thinking, until we know for sure that we’re gonna kill off Crowley, why don’t we store the Blade somewhere distant? Lock it up somewhere safe, okay?”
Dean: “No.”

Damn. Dean shut that conversation down but good. Wow. He’s definitely under the spell of the Mark and the Blade. Sam has to know the signs. He went through something like this during his demon blood junkie days. He knows it’s not easy to just turn away from something that can make you more powerful than ever before. They face these supernatural creatures who are stronger than them in so many ways. The demon blood or the Mark of Cain puts them on a more even level with them. Once you get the taste of it, it has to be difficult to turn away from it. Especially knowing the kind of fight that still lies ahead. But, man, Dean. Listen to Sammy. He knows what he’s talking about. He’s been there. I like this conversation. The show is letting Sam get things off his chest more. It’s nice that he’s witnessing something happening to his brother and he wants to stop him from going down the same road he chose to go down. So excited to see where things head in the final two episodes of the season. Speaking of which…


Stairway to Heaven
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

So last week, the Demon Civil War ended when Dean disposed of Abaddon. This week, the Angel Civil War takes front and center, hopefully with a healthy side serving of Mark of Cain.

Synopsis for Stairway to Heaven: TESSA THE REAPER RETURNS — After a massive attack on the angels, Castiel (Misha Collins) calls Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) for help.  As they leave, Dean’s eagerness to bring the First Blade doesn’t go unnoticed by Sam who is worried about the cost to his brother whenever he uses the Blade.  Meanwhile, Castiel is shocked when he learns the angel that caused the attack was one of his followers and did it in his name. Dean discovers there is a conspiracy amongst Castiel’s angel followers and at the heart of it is Tessa, the Reaper.  Guy Bee directed the episode written by Andrew Dabb.


Stairway to Heaven
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
  • I don’t know why, but I am surprised we’re going to get more Tessa. I’m really happy about it, however. Although I’m not quite sure whether Tessa will be a help or a hindrance for the boys this time around. How does she get entangled with Cas’ followers? Strange. This is Lindsey McKeon’s fourth Supernatural. I usually love her episodes (“In My Time of Dying,” “Death Takes a Holiday,” “Appointment in Samarra”). I hope I will love this one. Andrew Dabb had a bit of a miss with “Bloodlines” so I’m hoping he’ll knock this one out of the park.
  • If you look at the clip below, Sam urges Dean to keep the First Blade at home in the bunker. Doesn’t think they’ll need it. This made me think of the season one finale, “Devil’s Trap.” Remember the Colt? Sam told Dean to leave it in the car while they go try and save Big Daddy Winchester. At the time, there were only a finite number of bullets. Dean made it seem like he left it when in actuality, he brought it with him. And he was able to save Sam with it. Wonder if that’s going to happen again here? Looking forward to seeing what happens next with this storyline.
Stairway to Heaven
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
  • There seems like there’s going to be more quality Sam and Cas time. I hope the two talk more about what’s been going on with Sam as far as being possessed (or whatever that was) and what’s going on with Dean and the Mark of Cain.
  • And has Gadreel decided to spy for Cas? I hope so. The guy has done some bad things. But he always thinks it’s for a good reason. He does live by some sort of honor code. He has to see that he’s chosen the wrong side…right?

Supernatural “Stairway to Heaven” airs Tuesday night at 9/8c on the CW.




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