Every now and then Supernatural
likes to get meta. This is such an episode as Metatron takes over the
role of Chuck Shurley and writes his own story. Luckily for us, Mteatron
is a really great writer.
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He brings back one of the most beloved guest stars of all time and offers plenty of references about continuity errors at ret-con. It pays off because at least now Cas understands Star Wars
references. We also find out that Metatron is really just a wannabe Bond villain, taunting his enemies and encouraging them to try their best to stop him. This is the worst case of hubris since that dude glued feathers on his back.
The episode begins with Metatron typing away as Masterpiece Theatre
music plays. He looks directly at the camera and gives us a lesson in storytelling. Is it about characters? Plot? Subtext? We can decide.
And instead of the usual Supernatural
title card, it disappears and instead we see the name Metatron
on the screen. This is his episode, after all.The Angel Siren
Cas finds his way to a room full of angel corpses with a symbol on the wall that looks like the letter "V" with an eyebrow on top of it. From the lone survivor he learns that the symbol summons angels and Gadreel then gave them a chance to join Metatron's army and return to Heaven. If they refused, they were slaughtered. He contacts Sam and Dean about the news and they track Gad to one of two towns, agreeing ti split them up.The Return of Gabriel?
In Castiel's motel room, the TV turns on and Casa Erotica
starts to play. That's the cue for one of the best recurring characters in Supernatural
history: Gabriel, aka the Trickster! "But wait," you ask, "Didn't Lucifer kill him back in season 5?" Yes. Yes he did.
But Gabriel is here anyway with Cas. He explains that he faked his death and was hiding out in Heaven until the Fall. Now he's finally decided to become a leader and fight back against Metatron. He urges Cas to join him, but Cas is, as always, reluctant to become a leader after his last tenure as God went so poorly.
They drive back to the bunker but stop at a Gas 'n' Sip when a group of Metatron's angels track them down. Gabriel vows to fight them back and let Cas get away as long as he promises to step up and be a leader to fight Metatron.
That's when it all starts to make sense. Cas notices a tear in his trenchcoat is no longer there. It's a continuity error, which means none of this is real and Gabriel isn't really there. Of course it's all a trick! Before this fake reality disappears, Cas asks if Gabriel is actually alive, and he gives an enigmatic eyebrow raise before disappearing.Metatron's Story
Cas then discovers that he's been tied up by Metatron all along, and Metatron is writing the story. After a lot of clever meta-references (such as a nifty bit of retroactive continuity in which Metatron gives Cas knowledge of every book, film and TV show ever made), the truth is revealed.
Metatron actually wants Cas to lead an army of angels against him because every good story needs a hero and a villain. Of course, Metatron thinks he's the hero and wants Cas to be the villain. He used Gabriel because, as we saw back in "Changing Channels," Gabriel's gift is getting people to accept their destined roles.Torturing Gadreel
While Cas is living in Metatron's story, Sam and Dean track down Gadreel and trap him in Holy Fire. After a bit of torture Dean sends Sam off to find Cas. This allows Gad to channel his inner shrink on Dean, talking about how he's a scared little boy who didn't get enough love from his daddy. Dean almost kills him, but doesn't.The Trade
Sam finds Metatron who offers a trade: Cas for Gad. The boys agree that this is a great opportunity to trap and take down Metatron. Are they really stupid enough to think it would be that easy?
Yes they are. At the meeting Metatron shows up and begs them to enact their trap. They surround him with Holy Fire but he blows it away, wipes away their angel blades and erases the Enochian symbols keeping Gad in the trunk. He's essentially God and can't be stopped.
Metatron returns Cas and this is where he becomes a full-fledged Bond villain. He explains that he wants them to try and stop him because it will amuse him to watch their futile attempts. Metatron allegedly did his homework, but if he did he'd know that Sam and Dean ALWAYS find a way out of these impossible situations. Sam and Dean might as well have majored in the Kobayashi Maru in college.To Be Continued...
In the end, Dean is back looking for Abaddon, Cas is off to find a "stairway to Heaven" (which seems to literally exist) and Metatron continues to write his story, trying to get it just right. The characters may surprise him, but he knows the ending.
At least part of his story does come true because Cas decides to accept his role as a leader, summoning angels to join him.
Next week on Supernatural
: It's a good, old-fashioned vampire episode. With Sheriff Mills!(Image courtesy of the CW)