TV Recap: 'Supernatural' Episode 823 - 'Sacrifice'



supernaturalSupernatural Episode 823
Written By: Jeremy Carver
Directed By: Phil Sgriccia
Original Airdate: 15 May 2013

In This Episode...

Dean calls Crowley - they are ready to make a deal. The Winchesters will hand over the demon tablet and Crowley will stop killing people they saved. Dean also wants the angel tablet back. The brothers meet Crowley to sign the contract but before they do, Dean snaps demon handcuffs on Crowley. “You’re our bitch.” The boys take Crowley to an abandoned seaside church, chained up and demon-trapped and all that. Castiel shows up to take Dean to help seal up heaven while Sam begins his hourly blood dosing with Crowley. 

Castiel has run into some problems with his and Metatron’s plan to shut heaven. Namely that one of Naomi’s spies has ID’d Metatron as the scribe, and absconded with him back to heaven where she began torturing him to probe information out of his brain. Castiel wants Dean’s help in completing the second angel trial: getting cupid’s bow. When they finally find a cupid, she admits that she has been scared to go home for some time and is happy to help the efforts to repair heaven. She hands over her bow (a tattoo that must be carved off her palm) willingly. Naomi visits, begging Castiel to reconsider. Her probing of Metatron complete, she has learned that Metatron has been lying to him the whole time. He is looking for vengeance for being cast out of heaven, and wants to expel angels the same way he was. Naomi’s goal has always been to help the Winchesters close the gates of hell, even though Sam will die upon completion - God always planned it that way, the ultimate sacrifice. Castiel insists Naomi is lying, but Dean is shaken and demands to be taken back to his brother. Frankly, I am surprised at how naive Dean is - I thought it was fairly obvious that Sam wouldn’t survive this.

Back at the church, Sam is in bad shape. During one of his doses, Crowley takes a big bite out of Sam’s arm, just to be a jerk. While Sam tends to his wound, Crowley spits the Winchester blood into his palm and (for lack of a better word) prays to his disciples for help. Help arrives in the form of Abbadon, but she isn’t too keen on freeing Crowley. “Why do you get to be the king of hell?” So she starts beating him up. Sam surprises her with a dousing of lighter fluid and an entire book of lit matches. She burns up and her black smoke monster flies out the window. Crowley is genuinely grateful to Sam, a clear sign that the cure is working. He is surprised when Sam re-seals the demon trap and continues on with “curing him.” Just before Sam can administer the final dose of blood, Dean bursts in, begging his brother to stop. Even after Dean explains that Sam will die, Sam wants to continue. He sees his death being worth it if it means sealing up hell, but Dean talks him out of it and tells him to let go. The glowing in Sam’s arm subsides and whatever “power” the trials put in him fades. The boys head outside, where Sam doubles over in agony, unable to breathe. A meteor shower fills the sky. But those aren’t meteors...

Castiel has returned to heaven to “fix his home.” Upon arriving, he discovers that Naomi was right all along. Metatron killed her, and is waiting for Castiel. The two weren’t completing trials; they were collecting elements Metatron needed for a spell. The final ingredient is Cas’s “essence,” a glowy blue substance that he bleeds from Cas’s neck. Castiel is now human. Metatron sends him to earth. Cas wakes up in the middle of nowhere and has to walk. The meteor shower? Nope, those are fallen angels, about to storm the earth.

Dig It or Bury It?

This is how you do a season finale. I felt like much of the season was a little bit unfocused - too many threads. But this episode really tied them all together, did so in a clear and interesting way, with lots of humor. It was basically everything you want in an episode of Supernatural. There were no surprises here, but that is okay. Metatron was obviously lying to Castiel. Sam was clearly going to die when he finished the trials.  I have a hard time with the idea that Cas is now human, but I think that Crowley is going to join with the Winchesters to keep the fallen angels at bay and of course, protect his station as the king of hell. 

Sibling Rivalry

In trying to convince Dean to let him finish the trials, Sam admits that in his blood-purifying confession, he confessed to how many times he let Dean down. That is what he feels worst about, and he doesn’t want to feel that anymore. Dean insists that there is nothing he wouldn’t put ahead of Sam: not the monsters that killed their mother, not Benny, not anyone. He is actually begging Sam to abort the trial - and he listens.