Emily Dunbar ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
Supernatural fans have been living in the eye of a tornado, this season, as only Supernatural fans can.
We’ve been given characters we’re not sure if we can trust, and had beloved characters tragically ripped from us. We’ve seen triumph and complete destruction; loyalty bleeding through the cracks betrayal left behind. To put it simply: the first half of season nine hurt…a lot.
It began with Sam Winchester ( Jared Padalecki ), broken from the trials, lying in a hospital bed. His dependable older brother Dean ( Jensen Ackles ) is looking for a way to save him, finding solace only in prayer (which is a miracle in itself, as Dean has rarely found a good word to say near an angel).
When his prayers are finally answered, he’s desperate and willing to do just about anything. A tough-guy type of angel shows up and offers his help. His name is Ezekiel, and despite a terms-and-conditions-sized list of qualms, Dean decides to trust the mysterious angel with the task of healing Sam.
This “healing” must be done from the inside, however, and Dean has to trick Sam’s subconscious into allowing Ezekiel to possess his body to save him. It’s a risky task, but the Winchesters come out only slightly scathed.
At the same time, the once-angel Castiel (Misha Collins), the only angel the Winchesters could ever tolerate for a long period of time, is struggling to adjust to his new life as a human. The archangel Metatron ( Curtis Armstrong ) stole his Grace and locked all the angels out of Heaven, putting Castiel at the top of every holy being’s hit list. He’s forced to lay low, finding kindness and purpose, under an alias, in a few strange places. He begins learning what it means to be human, trying his hand at friendship, sex, and even working full-time. When he is finally reunited with the Winchesters, Ezekiel urges Dean to get rid of him, as he attracted all kinds of unwanted holy attention.
Meanwhile, at the Men of Letters bunker, Dean tries to keep his wheeling and dealing with the angel inside Sam from his younger brother. Our favorite prophet, Kevin Tran (Osric Chau), notices something is up with the brothers, but allows them to duke it out while he attempts to decipher the angel tablet that Metatron used to expel his brethren from Heaven.
The ex-king of the Crossroads, Crowley ( Mark Sheppard ), finds himself locked in a dungeon in the depths of the bunker, after having made the misstep of meeting the Winchesters in person to discuss some terms. Abaddon, the new sheriff in town, is policing Hell with an iron fist and the promise of a revolution. Her utter disrespect for Crowley rubs him the wrong way, making him an easy target for the Winchesters’ ploy to get him to help decipher the tablet, (not even mentioning his new, not-so-secret status as human-blood junkie).
Cas finds his way back to his friends again, hoping to finally reunite Team Free Will and help the Winchesters track down some answers. He finds helping as a human more difficult than he’d expected, and he turns toward prayer to seek advice from his brothers and sisters. While a kind angel hears his prayer and is willing to help, she is followed by a member of one of the rival angel groups involved in the power-struggle over their new earthly home. Ultimately, she and Cas are kidnapped by this hit-man angel and are locked away somewhere sinister. The guard watching over Cas proves sympathetic, though careless, and in a moment where he is most distracted, Cas steals the guard’s Grace, regaining his status as an angel and killing the guard in the process.
Metatron shows up and secretly meets with Ezekiel. He reveals that the angel inhabiting Sam is not, in fact, who he says he is. He calls him Gadreel and asks him to prove his loyalty. He gives him a card with the name of someone he must kill to become trustworthy in the archangel’s eyes.
Dean, who had been at the brink of telling Sam the truth many times before being interrupted and threatened by “Ezekiel,” lures Sam into a room in the bunker to try to temporarily dislodge the angel from Sam’s body. In this state, he could tell his brother the truth about what he had done, and the news Castiel gave him: Ezekiel is dead. While they didn’t know which angel was possessing Sam, they knew whoever it was had blood on the brain. The temporary angel-displacement seemed to work until Sam knocked Dean out. When Dean comes to and rushes to find Sam, he sees his brother hovering over Kevin, looking dastardly at best. Sam smites Kevin, and Dean realizes it had been the angel he confessed his deception to. “Ezekiel” informs Dean, “There is no more Sam.”
The official trailer for the rest of the season proves that the Winchesters, as usual, aren’t going to catch a break. Though, as Supernatural has proved over and over again, you can’t go through hardship alone. Gadreel may think, “Being human is about settling debts,” but the Winchesters know that being human is all about helping and protecting your friends. We’re going to see the return of some of our favorite characters, and find our boys seeking friendship in some of the most unlikely places.
The second half of Supernatural season 9 is gearing up to be a wild one. I hope you’ve got your angel blade; we’re going to need protection.