Emily Dunbar ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
After another two-week hiatus, Supernatural fans were desperate for some news on how their favorite two walking plaid commercials were faring. Luckily, “Meta Fiction” did not disappoint; there was some necessary progression in all the various subplots for the season, providing more information than clarity.
First, Castiel (Misha Collins) has finally returned! And Cas has finally yelled at Dean (Jensen Ackles) for accepting the Mark of Cain! After seeing Dean’s inner battle in the bathroom as to whether or not he should kill Gadreel (Tahmoh Penikett), it was clear that it was time for someone with actual knowledge about the Mark to weigh in on the situation. Unfortunately, because Dean is in one of the sourest moods fans have ever seen, he’s not currently in the position to listen to anyone. He’s back to attempting to drink himself into a coma, and generally, he doesn’t even seem to be worrying all that much about Sam (Jared Padalecki). Hopefully in the coming episodes, Cas will really lay it all out and explain to Dean what the Mark is going to mean for him, as time goes on. The Winchesters (rather, the viewers) really need to know how much this gift/curse is going to affect them.
Most exciting in this episode, however, was Gabriel’s return! The archangel (portrayed by fan favorite, Richard Speight Jr.) arrived in the same way he left: a porno. As Cas (hilariously) bristled at the inappropriateness of his hotel’s choosing to air Casa Erotica ’14, the audience sat with bated breath, knowing that the only way the writers could get away with this bit would be to bring back the legend himself. It was a really smart and fun way to bring Gabe back from the dead, leaving fans with the ever-present question: When (if ever) will the Trickster be seen again?
Though it was nice to see him back to his pranking ways, Gabriel’s story arc with Cas was rushed. In a time span of five minutes, he went from being not dead to being the self-proclaimed leader of an army, ready to storm Heaven. As awesome as that would’ve been (especially since it lines up with Christian lore), less than five minutes later, Gabriel was sacrificing himself so that Cas could survive and become that leader instead. Sure, it was an awesome idea and classically Gabriel, but the audience was so wrapped up in the excitement from the archangel returning that it was difficult to transition that quickly into crisis mode. Then, seconds later, it’s revealed that the crisis was all staged. Though it wasn’t anything less than expected, it felt like the transitions were happening too quickly.
Episodes with Gabriel are built upon tricks and plot twists, so they require a lot more attention to detail from the writers and the viewers. Gabriel’s return was bogged down because it was mixed in as a subplot, and this became especially more apparent as his reasons for returning grew increasingly muddled. It would have been great if all three members of Team Free Will had been part of his return, as well, and fans can only hope that he’ll come back in another episode to engage in some banter with the Winchesters and fully explain what his role is regarding the new plan for Heaven and earth.
Infuriatingly, the brothers somehow still haven’t officially made up. However, there were some great moments when Sam looked genuinely concerned about Dean and a classic “You’re too close to this, man!” from Dean to Sam. Cas’s foreboding about Sam keeping an eye on Dean not only seems to foreshadow that something terrible is in store for the eldest Winchester, but also suggests that a brotherly heart-to-heart is coming up the pike fast. This is something really needed, and if it doesn’t happen before season nine’s finale, season ten is going to be pretty rough.
On a more exciting note, it was good to finally see what Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) has been up to. While his motives still remain unclear, his desire to become God is one that will make for great TV. This new plot arc begs the question of whether there might be a return of rumored season five God, Chuck Shurley (Rob Benedict). Chuck’s storyline was never quite wrapped up, and some jerk archangel trying to become God seems like as good a reason as any for him to return and set things right.
There is some uproar within the deepest corners of the Internet (as there always is) about how next week’s episode will be “filler.” It’s true that next week’s episode seems to be taking a break from the overarching plot and is going to be more Monster-of-the-Week, but look on the bright side: there will be more from Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes), who hasn’t been seen in quite some time!
Now’s the time, people! Grab your angel blade and your exorcism spell, your GED and your give-‘em-hell attitude! There are only five episodes left in season nine, and it’s clear that the ending is going to be a doozy. Hitch a ride in the Impala next Tuesday at 9 pm, when the CW’s Supernatural returns with, “Alex Annie Alexis Ann.”