After finding an injured Castiel in the middle of the road, Sam and Dean return to the Men of Letters Sanctum. Now that Sam has discovered that the final trial requires him to cure a demon, the boys comb the archives to find information. They come across an old black & white film from the 1950s that seems to show a priest performing an exorcism on man returning him to human without killing him. They reattach the head of the demon Abaddon back to her body to attempt the rite on her but before the can, Crowley calls with a chilling warning. He had begun killing the people the Winchesters have saved over the years and will continue unless they surrender the demon tablet and cease trying to complete the trials.
While the boys are distracted talking to Crowley, Abaddon makes her escape. Sam and Dean race to protect Sarah Blake (seen way back in Season One) before Crowley can make her is next victim. Castiel and Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) meet—over crepes no less—to discuss the current state of affairs in Heaven. Metatron proposes the dramatic tactic of closing the gates of Heaven so the war going on there does not spill over to Earth. Doing so will entail Castiel having to undertake three trials, just as Sam is doing, the first of which is killing a Nephilim, a child conceived of both angel and human.
Crowley has also has such a snarky, wry sense of humor about him that you can tend to forget he is the King of Hell and one evil bastard. He reminds of this as he begins to hunt down and kill all those people that the Winchesters have saved over the years; a particularly vicious strategy considering what the brothers have gone through to save them. Crowley is inserting a knife into the Winchesters where it hurts them most.
Metatron’s plan throws an interesting wrench into this season. Coming a week before the season finale could they really close the gates to BOTH Heaven and Hell? This sets up a host of possibilities and we know how Supernatural loves to end on a cliffhanger. Once again this week Curtis Armstrong shined as the eccentric but powerful Metatron. Rarely has Crowley had someone smack him down the way Metatron did last week.
Equally interesting was Abaddon’s reaction to hearing Crowley’s name. Having traveled from the past back in episode 12 of this season, she is apparently unaware that Crowley has ascended the throne of Hell and she did not look pleased at all. This sets up another power player for the finale. While this season has seen its highs and lows, this is setting up for one the series’ most unpredictable finales.