Supernatural: Sacrifice

"Where do I start to even look for forgiveness?"

This season finale seemed to be going along in a specific direction. And then it suddenly turned off the road and crashed into a tree, metaphorically speaking. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.

But did anyone else think that we got a ton of "Sam and the trials" redemption set-up that didn't pay off? Did Dean actually cure Sam by hugging him? Not that Sam dying was where I thought they should go because been there, done that, but I was also thinking that yes, Dean may have spent time with a vampire this season, but we ended up in such a familiar place: Dean with an angel, and Sam with a demon.

What happened to Crowley? Was he really changing in response to Sam's blood, or did that smirk at the end mean that it never worked and all of that deep emoting about forgiveness and Band of Brothers was acting? I certainly wouldn't mind seeing more of the softer side of Crowley, if it was genuine. Mark Sheppard did such a nice job with it. And Jared Padalecki did some good work, too. Usually Jensen Ackles gets the tougher acting scenes, but not this season. I thought the strongest bit was Sam saying that the biggest sin he confessed was constantly letting his brother down.

So Metatron turned out to have his own agenda. Is he a villain now, or was he just doing what he thought God would want? Naomi was killed, Abaddon got smoked, and Castiel became human. That made me happy because I've been waiting for freaking ever for them to make Castiel human. Metatron went to some special effort with Castiel, carefully removing and storing his "grace", much like what happened to Anna several seasons back. I think Metatron likes Castiel.

Loved that tiny, gorgeous, desolate paint-flaky church on the marsh. The angels falling to earth was something to see, too, and what cool set-up for next season. Angels are scary, fascinating beings (on this show, anyway) and I'm wondering if next season will have a lot of confused, homeless and wingless ersatz humans running around causing havoc. Could be fun.

Although this wasn't their strongest season finale, I think season eight was more successful than six and seven. A return to the angels and demons was a smart move, and bringing back Castiel was a no-brainer -- as long as they do right by him next fall. I loved Purgatory, and the Men of Letters bunker is one of my favorite things, ever.

And Kevin the prophet actually lived through the season! I thought for sure that we'd lose him. He's in the secret bunker now. If I were Kevin, I'd never leave.

Bits and pieces:

-- The title of this episode was "Sacrifice." The title of the Arrow season finale was also "Sacrifice." Doesn't the CW notice these things? I also thought the Cupid bow and the bow and arrow commercial in the bar were a little salute to Supernatural's new sister show.

-- I thought this season's "Road So Far" was one of their best, in spite of all of the beheadings. Or maybe because of them.

-- Jody did make it, didn't she? I was really upset about the possibility of losing her.

-- The crucifix in the church was broken; all that remained was the hands and feet. Great touch.

-- Kevin buried the demon tablet section under a devil billboard.

-- Crowley sang Bowie's "Changes". One of my favorite songs.

-- Loved the demonic handcuffs. And Dean and Crowley handcuffed together was like the punchline of a particularly good joke.

-- This week: a bar in Houston, Texas; the Winchesters met Crowley in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (that was Bobby's junkyard, wasn't it?); wherever the church was, and wherever Castiel landed.

-- I watched this episode twice. Crowley rolling out the contract made me laugh out loud, both times.

Quotes:

Jody: "It's not a date until I've cried."

Castiel: "What was he like?"
Metatron: "Who, God? Pretty much like you'd expect. Larger than life, gruff, a bit of a sexist. But fair. Eminently fair."
Gee. A sexist God doesn't sound fair to me.

Barkeep: "Help you gents?"
Castiel: "Yes. Would you say that you're looking for a 'partner in crime' or someone who's into nurse role play and light domination?"
Barkeep: (long pause) "Brother, it's ten a.m. on a Tuesday."
Metatron: "We'll have two drafts, please."
Barkeep: "Coming up."
Metatron: (to Castiel) "You're not the most subtle tool in the shed, are you?"
Loved the barkeep's face during this little exchange.

Sam: "For the first time in a long time, it feels like we're going to win."
And no.

Dean: "Hey, how about what you did to Penny Markle in the sixth grade? Why don't you lead with that?"
Sam: "That was you."
Dean: "Carry on."

Metatron: "'Of the blessings set before you, make your choice and be content.' (Naomi doesn't respond.) Not a big reader, are we?"
Samuel Johnson. Not that I knew that. I looked it up.

Castiel: "Do you really think it's wise to be drinking on the job?"
Dean: "What show have you been watching?"

Dean: "Okay, this is like the first five minutes of every porno I've ever seen."

I don't know how to rate this finale. It's definitely at least three out of four draft beers, but I'm not sure if it's a home run. Opinions? Comments?

Billie
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Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.

23 comments:

sunbunny said...

Great finale! I loved that they set everything up to be totally predictable and then just threw that set up away. I'm glad Sam didn't die again. Been there, done that. Also very happy the Cas thing didn't pan out as expected. I'm sick of him doing the wrong things for the right reasons and having to apologize emotionally to the bros, etc. etc.

I hope Crowley's like...half fixed and will be a reluctant ally next season. Mark Sheppard is better as snarky frenemy than out and out villain. I mean, he's Mark Sheppard, he's fantastic in any case, but even so.

VERY glad Cas is human. I was worried when I heard he was going to be a regular next season. I adore Castiel (who doesn't?) but having an angel around lowers the stakes of everything. It doesn't matter what happens, Cas can almost always fix it. This is a great way of keeping him around without making things too easy.

Loved the last shots of angels falling. I'm hoping they're the big bad next season.

I may have cried when we went to Sioux Falls and saw Bobby's junkyard all abandoned and overgrown. I miss Bobby. :(

Jody MADE IT! Totally shocked. I got really angry when it looked like she was going to die.

Billie Doux said...

That's it exactly, Sunbunny. Nearly every fan of the show loves Castiel, but the writers don't know what to do with him because he's just too powerful. They've tried just about everything, but I'm not sure anything else worked. This might.

sunbunny said...

There's only so many times they can pull 'Oh the building is angel-proofed!' thing.

Anonymous said...



Amazing finale! My mouth was hanging open from Jody Mills' date with Crowley (she thought he was hot!) to the end, as Sam, Dean and Castiel watched angels dropping from the sky and Kevin freaked as everything in the Batcave went haywire. I laughed, cried and hung onto the edge of my seat; it was everything I had hoped for and more. I knew Metatron was not to be trusted and was leading Cas down the wrong path. If he's as Anna Milton was, he won't have any memory of having been an angel, and will be a simple human. Perhaps he'll revert back to being Jimmy again? I'm terrified for Sam. God wanted him sacrificed in this endeavor! Why did he react so violently to the falling of the angels? Who can heal him now? What will happen to Crowley now? Is he demon or human? Or de-man? LOL! That bro-hug had me weeping! Then poor Sam thought he was okay, but he wasn't! He couldn't breathe! Perhaps he will recover when the last angel falls? Is it October yet???? Love, Robin


Suzanne said...

I liked it very much. This whole season has been great. I was almost at the point of giving up after last season and the leviathans, but now I am totally hooked again.

As for Metatron, I didn't see that coming at all. I hope he is on the show a lot next year since he is a great character. I, too, hope we see more of the softer Crowley. I enjoy him more like he was in the beginning instead of as the big bad.

Cas as human will be good, too. I am not sure he will totally forget being an Angel because Anna actually did have flashes of memory about it. That is why they had her in a mental hospital. Hopefully Cass won't be put in one since he will have the boys to look out for him.

Lastly, great acting by both Jensen and Jared. The Sam character has been a lot better this season, more like seasons of old. Now I hope they emerge as true equals and all of the angst in their relationship disappears. It gets old sometimes.

Camarilla said...

I want Dean to finish curing Crowley (he can, can't he? That way the gate won't be closed and Sam won't die). Then they can make the awesomest human team ever - Sam, Dean, Cas and Crowley!

Ahem. I know. But a girl can dream, can she?

I suspected Metatron since the last episode. I knew there was something fishy with those angel trials cropping up so conveniently. But making Cas human, what a great plot device! I wonder if he'll remember, or if he'll be like Anna when she fell. If he forgets the guys, it will be a nice setup for some great drama.

I held my breath during the church scenes. Dean has always been my favorite, but Sam has come really close second this season - plus, Jared is getting hotter and hotter every year :) Those church scenes showed how great an actor he is. He even made me cry at the end (his first - my tears had always been reserved for Dean, so to speak).

Anyways, the wait for October will be hard. It feels like we got a hundred different cliffhangers. How much can a fangirl take? *sigh*

migmit said...

Gosh, what a waste! All this trials thing — and then nothing? I'm hugely disappointed.

As for Crowley — he is still a demon, no doubt. The speech he gave Sam was a ton of bullshit. All he wanted was love? Gimme a break. But — he is still in chains, so, we'll see where they go with him.

Anonymous said...

Im glad that the show I loved is back. Thinking back to the crappy monster seasons I can think of the reason why it sucked so bad for me. The shows reluctance or maybe laziness to actually show monsters!...Especially after starting to watch once upon a time that actually is not afraid to go there (dragons, goblins, etc) How much more of "oh this guy is a ________s, but he looks like a regular guy with contact lens" can a guy take? Yeah the budget is less I assume. But buffy was way back in the 90s and they tried their damnest to give us monsters so no excuse. that last scene of course had me fist pumping like it was a rock concert

Braindead Blogger said...

I agree with Migmit. All of this hype about the trials and then the whole thing just sort of fizzles out right before reaching the climax they've been building up to all season long? All of this build-up about how Sam was going to go through with the trials without any regard to the consequences for himself and then he just draws back at the last moment? Sure, they couldn't really kill off Sam, but there were other roads the writers could have gone down.

Weak finale, very weak finale.

Braindead Blogger said...

In keeping with your baseball analogy, I would say: No home run. Runner reached base on an error.

Austin said...

I think what really made the episode, other than another excellent heartfelt talk between Sam and Dean, was the beautiful shot of the angels falling to Earth. Must have saved up some money for that!

Jess Lynde said...

Well, I'm intrigued by the Fallen Angels twist, and the final visuals were pretty impressive. But ... I'm not sure how I feel about where they went with the "let's close the gates to hell" arc.

First, it still seems kind of silly to me that a demon at the level of Crowley would be as easy to "cure" as some minor demon possessing an average Joe. It should take more for an evil that malevolent. And if he's cured, does he go back to being the asshole he was in life, or is he all cured and turned into a good person? It's not like his soul got sent to hell in the first place because he was a good guy, right?

Second, it rang really false to me that Dean all of a sudden realized that Sam might die and got bent about it. That's what he's been coming to grips with all along, right? Letting go? Isn't that the point he reached in the Charlie episode? Both boys knew that Sam was probably going to die to make this happen, but they accepted it. So why did Dean seem so surprised by this revelation from Naomi? And why the last minute change of heart? They could have at least played it like a change of heart, and not some big surprise.

Third, so Sam just decides to stop and that's it? He's all better now? I guess that one is still an open question for next season, but the "let's just hug it out and all's better now" resolution in the church really rubbed me the wrong way. Not a satisfying resting point for that season-long arc. But I guess we'll see where it goes.

Overall, a better season than the last several, but I feel like I need to see more of where this is going before I can really judge this finale.

P.S. I hope that Cas remembers who he is, but just doesn't have powers any more. I don't want to go through the amnesia bit again.

Anonymous said...

Let me add my vote to the "you might die?. STOP!", "ok, I'll stop" BS. If they don't go through with the third trial in the first five minutes of next season, I'm dropping this for good. I'm tired, and they've already made me hate Dean.

The angels falling, though?. Nice.

Still, a complete disappointment given how they ended it. It seemed like another repeat of the "hey, we got another season, change the last 5 minutes". I even got echoes of Homeland.

Austin said...

Jesse,
You did see Sam collapse right? I don't think he's all better. Let's wait until the season premiere to really judge the last 5 minutes. Who knows, maybe the closing the gates of hell plot is still a big point next year.

Braindead Blogger said...

Hmmm, a more fitting title for this episode might have been "Exorcismus Interruptus" ;-)

Jess Lynde said...

Yes, I saw Sam collapse, and I agree his status was left as an open question. But even with it unresolved, there was something about the "hugging it out" moment that bothered me. It felt too simple. Maybe it was Dean thinking (or acting like) that's all it would take. My gut reaction in the moment was "Are you kidding me?! 'Just stop' and everything will be okay?! You can't seriously think that, Dean." And then they distracted me with all the cool falling angels.

Hopefully, there's more to it than that, but I'm still somewhat irked that this is where things are resting for now. It's a strange blend of anticipation and irritation.

sunbunny said...

The trials to close hell could've gone two ways: Sam closes hell, sacrificing himself in the process (been there done that) or we totally abort almost the entire season of build up. Neither make for a fabulous end. I agree, Jess, the end of the episode would have driven me insane if it weren't for the Metatron twist.

It did bug me as well that Dean 'suddenly realized' Sam had to die. Isn't that what we've obviously been leading up to? But it is totally in character Dean to sacrifice ANYTHING for his baby bro.

Still, angels fell from the sky. Cas is human. And Crowley isn't dead and gone (yay!). So all in all I give it a win.

Katherine said...

This episode made me squirmy. I couldn’t watch it through without pausing and walking away because I didn’t like where it was going.

I was glad they resolved the taking of innocent life was bad, but I didn’t appreciate the “never mind” on the trails.

I watched twice and still can’t believe how much stuff you guys pick up that I miss.

I’d give it two out four tablets.

Brain-Dead Blogger said...

There was a third way. Sam finishes the trials, thereby closing the gates of hell and recovers his health, after all is done. However, it then turns out that closing the gates of hell has some nasty and unexpected consequences (e.g., destroying the balance of good and evil in God's creation...or something like that), which makes our heroes realize that they should have left those damned gates alone. Next season's arc could then have consisted of Sam and Dean trying to restore the balance they had destroyed.

sunbunny said...

well, sure, if you want to be all fresh and creative about it, Brain-Dead Blogger. Gawd. :)

Katerina said...

Did they ever address the wife that Cas as "Emmanuel" left behind in season 7? For all we know, she could have been pregnant and had a little nephilim baby by now. :)

I'm not sure how I feel about the finale. I knew Metatron was up to something, but did not expect the angels to be expelled from heaven. That was a lovely shot, and their fall could set up some interesting storylines. It would be cool if somehow Dean and Sam could contact Ash for help from heaven's side to foil Metatron's plan.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what to think about Crowley's partial cure, assuming he wasn't faking. For a second, I thought Sam was going to go through with finishing it as Dean was hugging him because his hand was so close to Crowley, if I'm remembering correctly, and he so wanted to be "purified". Right now, it just seems an abrupt end to an arc with hardly any payoff, but we'll see what happens next season. Good, bad, or confused, I'll be happy to see Mark Sheppard back!

ChrisB said...

The Kansas open! I always love the season flashbacks and this year was no exception.

One of my favorite parts of this show is watching Dean react to things. The reaction almost inevitably makes me laugh out loud. This time, it was when he realized that the two men were where Cupid’s arrow was going to go. All kudos to Jensen Ackles who knocked it out of the park this time. Hilarious.

Speaking of acting, the scene with the two boys at the end had me in tears. One thing the last two shows has done is show us how many people have come into and gone out of these boys’ lives. Here we are, eight years later, and they still have each other and, basically, only each other. To listen to Dean’s voice crack as he took in what Sam was saying broke my heart.

I agree with the rest of you that parts of this were unsatisfying, yet I am willing to wait until next season to see where they take it. Cas as human will be fun; angels running around will be fun. I’m reserving judgment on Dean and Sam, the trials and Sam’s redemption.

As always, a great year of reviews, Billie. Thanks so much for doing them.

Juliette said...

Finally! Though I'm disappointed Cas had mortality forced upon him. I'd sort of assumed he would save Sam by taking on some of the trial mojo to close the gates of hell (I hadn't thought this through much, fill in technobabble here!) and we would end up with closed gates, Sam alive and Cas not only mortal but having done something to make Dean like him again (I hate it when Dean is mad at Cas. Worst of all is when he's mad at Cas and Sam at the same time!). It would fit with them being family as well.

Hmm, I clearly gave this too much thought. This is the problem with finales - if it's not what you would have gone for yourself it feels off! Though I think this show does have a bit of a problem with concluding things - I know they always want a cliffhanger, but even if Swan Song had been the end and Sam hadn't come back, leaving Sam in Hell would have felt unfinished to me (poor Adam).