Supernatural 9.10 – Road Trip

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It’s been awhile, huh?

Last we left everyone, Gadreel had auditioned for the role of “Sam Winchester” and nailed it, burn out Kevin’s light and bailed on Dean. We’ve suffered for months, but for Dean it’s only been about an hour.

Bob Seger serenades us as Dean gives Kevin a proper and respectful hunter’s funeral. It’s all set up for a beautiful montage, but instead of Dean sifting through tomes while wearing glasses we get him trashing the room in a fitful burst of anger and despair.

Let’s give him a minute to regroup and check in on Gadreel.

He’s backstage at what sounds like a One Direction concert, but turns out to unfortunately be a Justin Bieber cult gathering. The poorly-coiffed and dressed singer is a vessel for Thaddeus, Gadreel’s previous guardian in Heaven’s Alcatraz. Thaddeus tries to explain that his excessive warden tactics weren’t anything personal, until Gadreel brings up Abner. Thaddeus acknowledges the closeness between Gadreel and Abner, but almost dispassionately tells Gadreel that he enjoyed torturing Abner. Makes sense that Gadreel and Abner would be foxhole buddies, what with them both being military men and all.

Gadreel doesn’t have time for truces, forgiveness or fights, he just kabobs Thaddeus with his own angel blade and the world is one spoiled celebrity less.

Meanwhile, Castiel arrives at the bunker to find it trashed. Dean finally spills everything to someone and accepts the possibility that in order to fix this he may have to kill Gadreel while he’s in Sam. Castiel reminds him that doing so will flash fry Sam the Vessel, Dean says he knows that, that’s the one thing he’s not a moron about. He also admits that he was stupid. Castiel tells him he was stupid for the right reasons.

Wrong.

He was stupid for selfish reasons. I mean, I’m all for his initial selfishness of just wanting Sam to live, but call a selfish spade a spade.

Moving on.

The only way they can think of to boot Gadreel out so that Dean doesn’t have to gank his brother’s body is to somehow get Sam cognizant enough to kick Gadreel’s ass out of Sam’s brainpan. Castiel tells Dean that he before he killed Samandriel, the kid told him that Crowley had tortured him back to reset. Okay, in all fairness, Castiel left out the part where he committed angelicide. Conveniently, they have just the agony affliction artist for the job.

Crowley is still shackled and grumpy. Dean offers him a hit straight from the vein for his help, but the King of Hell has other demands. Like a bit of pat-n-press from Kevin, but Castiel simply tells him that Kevin is dead. Crowley seems actually put off by this, yet also smug, because he can’t say he didn’t warn Kevin. Hang out with the Winchesters and your expiration date rivals milk. Crowley’s next request is a field trip, basically all Crowley seems to want is that his meatsuit doesn’t atrophy. Without another option, Dean agrees. The only problem is it seems Gadreel stole the Impala and they’re hoofing it unless Dean gets a set of wheels.

If only he lived in a bunker with an underground garage spilling over with gorgeous, mint condition classic cars. No worries, Castiel has a car, but he abandoned it when it randomly stopped chugging along. Grumpy, Grumpier and His Royal Smugness take a stroll to the car and, like Dean suspected, it’s only out of gas. Dean fills up Castiel’s g-ride and the regulators mount up; Dean in the front, Crowley and Castiel cozied up in the back. They hook a left on 21 and Lewis and bounce on their way. What they don’t notice is the woman eyeing them up from the curb. Turns out she works for Abaddon and she’s got a tale to tell.

Crowley has Dean take them to the most corporate of buildings, but according to him the business is a front for the NSA to creepily clock your every move, and not only that but he has his very own demonic wiretap, Cecily, working inside said building. Cecily is fully aware of Crowley’s predicament, I mean, he waltzed in with Dean Winchester and Castiel in tow. Seems Cecily is another demon that sees the sex appeal in our fine-feathered friend. Soon enough, Castiel calendars will adorn every dungeon in Hell.

Crowley has Cecily track down the whereabouts of the Impala and also chats her up about Castiel’s time as a living breather and Abaddon’s hostile takeover. Cecily is willing to help, but is honest about not picking a side until the battle is won. Cecily’s tracks down Dean’s penis metaphor and they’re off once again.

Metatron sits in a bar enjoying the ambiance and a drink, because that’s what coldhearted asshats do. What’s interesting is who’s serving at the bar, it’s Gadreel’s pre-prime real estate vessel. Gadreel walks in, dumps a bag with the tablet on the bar and announces that his targets were officially targeted and while killing Thaddeus was birthday cake with extra frosting, killing Kevin went down like a serving of gruel. Metatron wants to know about Dean, though. Well, duh, Gadreel tells him, no one said, “hey, do me a solid and kill Dean Winchester”, so he’s still alive. Great employee that Gadreel, but definitely not management material. Metatron gives Gadreel another name, Alexander Sarver, and sends him off with a pat on the butt.

Alexander Sarver is primping his perennials when Gadreel approaches him, only when he turns around Gadreel realizes that Alexander Sarver is the vessel housing his BFF Abner. And wow, is he not-so-lil-Abner. Abner asks Gadreel to come back after his family goes to the movies so they can catch up. When he returns, the two giant cherubs dish what’s what. Abner is a computer CS agent with a family he loves and a past he’s learned from and moved beyond, Gadreel killed Thaddeus. So, y’know, same old, same old. Gadreel is super proud of himself for avenging them, but Abner is a little disappointed. He feels like the fall is their chance at a clean slate; he was a lazy brat of an angel, but now he’s angel that took an abusive jackass of a vessel and turned him into a loving, and loved, family man. He’s not a smart man, but he knows what love is. He tells Gadreel that’s what matters, finding what you care about and clinging to it, no matter the price.

So Gadreel slits his best friend’s throat. For his cause.

And that’s how Dean and Castiel find them, bloody body on the floor, bloody hands getting washed clean in the sink. Dean draws his angel blade, ready to end it, but Gadreel is, well, an angel, and easily flings Dean into a bookcase. Thankfully, that distracts him long enough for Castiel to sneak up and sucker punch him.

Remember Cecily? Hope you didn’t get attached to her. See Abaddon paid her a visit and, like Crowley, got the scoop before it hit the papers. Unlike Crowley, Abaddon doesn’t stand for fence sitting cowards and dims Cecily’s bulb all the way down.

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Back at the lab, Gadreel is bound to Crowley’s reboot chair. Castiel is confused because he doesn’t recognize who he is and Gadreel is refusing to abide by social customs and introduce himself. Dean is feeling played and betrayed, he’s done; either this angel bails or this angel gets bladed. Gadreel doesn’t seem to care either way. On the plus side, it seems Gadreel has actually been healing Sam and if they can get Gadreel out of him then Castiel can fix the rest. On the other plus side, Gadreel has Sam working a faux-case involving ghouls and cheerleaders. Man, if only, huh, Dean?

Dean gives the go-ahead and Crowley starts playing Pop the Bonnet with Gadreel/Sam’s cranium. Clearly it’s painful and even though it’s not really Sam, Dean can’t handle the sight and sound so he walks off. Castiel follows him and distracts him by telling him that doing what you have to do isn’t always easy, but it is always necessary. Dean apologizes for his behavior, however it’s unnecessary; Castiel gets it. Sam comes first. The world can burn as long as Sam is surrounded by water. Crowley interrupts them to tune in Tokyo and finally they get his name.

And Castiel is pissed.

Everything, literally everything that’s gone wrong in Castiel’s long and storied existence, down to Castiel’s daddy issues, is because Gadreel screwed up a BC-ton years ago. Dean pretty much has to pull Castiel away before he pointlessly wrings Sam’s neck.

Crowley keeps trying to tweak the tuning fork, but Gadreel comes back to the surface and mocks his attempts. Plan C is up on the table, Dean demands that Castiel possess Sam and tell him what’s going on. Great idea, except for the fact that angel’s require consent. Know who doesn’t? Demons. And Crowley is more than willing to do it as long as Dean is willing to deal: Crowley fixes Dean’s mess, Dean lets Crowley walk. Castiel doesn’t like this plan, Dean doesn’t care and once again orders Castiel around like a puppy. Castiel obliges and burns off Sam’s anti-possession tattoo so Crowley can invade Sam’s space. Dean tells Crowley to say “Poughkeepsie” when he finds Sam; apparently it’s a real Funky Town.

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Let’s take a quick census. Sam has now had his agency taken away by Meg, a siren, Lucifer, Gadreel, the Wicked Witch of the West, and now Crowley. Three of those were two at a timers. Did I miss any? Talk about needing a Silkwood shower with a Brillo pad loofah.

Inside Sam’s head, Sam is pouring over his research trying to make a connection between ghouls and pom-pom when Crowley wanders in. He quickly spits out the Winchester safeword and explains everything, just in time for Gadreel to show up. Gadreel proceeds to kick Crowley’s ass and in a new twist, Sam saves Crowley from Gadreel. Gadreel tries to get Sam to give up control, tells him that without him pulling the strings the puppet is dead. Sam doesn’t care, whether it’s agency or a death wish he very literally gives Gadreel the boot. Gadreel flees to the safety of his original vessel.

Back in the land of the conscious, Dean and Castiel unshackle Sam and pull the pins out of his cushion, just in time for Abaddon to show up. Crowley does them one more favor, he sends them out the back and stays behind to chat up the prettiest redhead in Hell. Crowley puts his name on the ballot, he tells the demons that he understands: without a captain they drifted out to sea and then along comes Mary and they climbed on to her ship, but he’s back and if they make him student council president he promises the cafeteria will serve their favorite flavor of infant and they’ll each get an afore mentioned Castiel calendar.

Outside, Castiel heals Sam’s botched acupuncture and gives the brothers some space. Dean is ready for Sam to lay into him, but what’s Sam gonna say? That he’s shocked Dean lied to him? Today is Tuesday, too, ya feel? In an interesting twist, instead of Sam running away it’s Dean that decides to leave. Everything he touches turns to dust and he can’t do it anymore. Sam lets him go, but makes sure to tell him that what he thinks is the problem isn’t really the issue, but he can go and find himself.

Dean gets in his car and leaves Sam and Castiel in the rain.

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  • Percysowner

    I’m not sure about the angry Civil War soldier, wasn’t that Dean being influenced by the coin? Or am I forgetting a different episode? And the siren was venom, so not exactly possession, although I won’t fight on that one. You did forget the Doctor in Asylum who ramped up Sam’s anger at Dean. In any case, Sam does get possessed a LOT. I don’t know how he can tell who he is at this point.

    • Yup. My friend who edits sometimes for me caught that, so edited that earlier. I was typing with exhaustion. I also edited to be clearer about the siren, well all really, that it’s Sam’s agency being revoked not so much “possession”.

      I did forget the Asylum Doctor! I knew I was missing someone. Dang it.

  • Trishy

    Thank God for delayed trains, gave me time to read and comment. I am now officially a Samgirl. There, I’ve said it. It’s been coming for the last two seasons but this ep was the clincher. I love Dean and have since the first ep but he needs to bloody well deal with his martyr issues and fear of being alone wackadoo. I was also disappointed that after the writers probably got a HUGE amount of tweets about not going down the same old path of splitting the boys up they thought it appropriate to split the boys up with a 2% shake up in how it actually happens. My hopes they would rise to the challenge went unanswered : ( That said, I’m a HUGE fan of the Dean/Crowley dynamic we are about to experience. Very excited. I’m also wondering what Adam will have to say about Gadreel and what really happened way back at the start of humanity. Interesting times ahead indeed. Thanks you, as always, for your humorous and insightful look at the brothers and their various hangers on from other dimensions.

    • I get WHY the writers did it, and I’m excited for Dean/Crowley and Sam/Castiel scenes, but the “break up to make up” is getting tired. I did like that it was Dean leaving, and I HOPE that it means he’s going to do some serious soul searching and come back more stable/secure.

      Thank you for reading! <3

  • Kat

    I just feel like this show is only ever rehashing old tropes. Something’s wrong with Sam, yadda yadda. Dean feels guilty for something he screwed up, yadda yadda.

    I just wish for once (in NINE seasons) something could be wrong with Dean, with Sam trying to help him/rally around him/do something morally problematic trying to save him (at least then he’d have agency).

    Sam is only ever the hapless victim, never at fault, and Dean has *issues*. Yeah, show, I get it.

    • The problem, in my opinion, isn’t that there’s never anything “wrong” with Dean, there has been a lot wrong with him, the problem is it’s never dealt with fully. It’s just glazed over.

      What I also want is for just ONE PERSON to not blame only Sam for Lucifer rising. It was Dean, Sam, and Castiel, they all screwed up so why does only Sam get shit for it, y’know. He’s either the kid that started the apocalypse or the damsel in distress. New song, please.

      • Eibhlin

        What I also want is for just ONE PERSON to not blame only Sam for Lucifer rising. It was Dean, Sam, and Castiel, they all screwed up so why does only Sam get shit for it, y’know. He’s either the kid that started the apocalypse or the damsel in distress. New song, please.

        Oh what I wouldn’t give for that! That would instantly become my new favorite episode of all time….

        Along with him getting to save Dean for once…

        I love your reviews, you see Dean more clearly than anyone else most of the time and call out his behavior, the way the show is trying to do at the moment … I hope … though they are trying so hard to mitigate the backlash (that he absolutely wouldn’t get because it is Dean and anything he does can be explained away by the fans) that Sam is going to somehow end up being the bad-guy in all this.

        • They all had a hand in the Apocalypse, why is Sam the only one that gets all the blame, all the glares? This is the thing that make my forehead vein bulge.

          Thank you! I love Dean as much as I love Sam, but I won’t hesitate to say it when one or both has their head are up their ass. Right now? Dean’s is firmly wedged.