Last week’s episode of Supernatural left us with a “to be continued” that forced me to throw things at my TV. “I Know What You Did Last Summer” came to an end with Castiel and Uriel arriving to kill Anna, who can overhear their conversations and possibly intercept the text messages they swap on their heavenly BlackBerries. Before that shocking conclusion, we learned that Sam and Ruby got down and dirty while Dean was in Hell, and we also met a frightening new demon named Alastair. Dean recognized the beast from his stint down under, but the nature of their relationship was left unclear.
Tonight’s episode of Supernatural, which happens to be the last of 2008, offers some answers about Dean’s time in Hell. It also wraps up with a powerful emotional gut punch that will leave fans floored.
Supernatural begins with Sam and Dean asking the angels why they need to kill Anna. They’re as cryptic as usual, but they do mention that the girl is an even scarier threat than skanky ol’ Ruby. Ass kicking ensues when the boys refuse to hand over the girl, but they’re saved when Anna uses some mental mojo to send the angels far, far away. She’s left with a bloody hand, but other than that she’s fine.
While Dean and Ruby take Anna to Bobby’s panic room, Sam digs up some information on the girl’s past. When she was about two years old, she was so terrified of her father that she had to be sent to therapy to get over her fear. The boys call sassy psychic Pamela Barnes, hoping she can get into the girl’s head and dig up some more info. We last saw Pamela getting her eyes burned out in “Lazarus Rising,” but being blind definitely hasn’t lessened her libido. She still wants to be in the middle of a Winchester sandwich. She hypnotizes Anna and tries to talk to her about her father, but the girl has a screaming fit that ends with exploding light bulbs. When Anna wakes up, she thanks Pamela for helping her remember who she really is. Guess what? She’s an angel!
Anna reveals that she used to be in charge of Castiel and Uriel, until one day she decided to disobey her orders from above to become human. She ripped out her grace, which is the special energy that makes an angel, and fell to earth. The demons want her so they can torture her for heavenly information, and the angels want to kill her so she can never talk. In order for Anna to become an angel again, she’ll need to find her grace, which would have fallen to earth like a meteor on the day she became human. Sam knows of some nearby meteor crashes, but Ruby thinks that hanging around Anna is a bad idea. She tells Sam (Jared Padalecki) that he needs to do something to beef up his mental mojo, but he’s reluctant to do anything too dangerous.
After driving Pamela home, Dean asks Anna why she’d ever want to become human. She admits that she loves all the crazy human emotions, as well as things like chocolate cake and sex. She’ll get no arguments from me. While Dean ponders the awesomeness of chocolate cake, Anna reveals some interesting facts about the angels. Only four of them have ever laid eyes upon God, meaning that He may not even exist. The angels are meant to have faith that He does, and are killed if they ever lose that faith. Much like Dean, Anna has spent her life following orders from a father she never sees and barely understands. It looks like the kids have something in common.
Sam believes that the grace meteor may have crashed in Kentucky, where a giant oak tree sprung up overnight back in 1985. Grace is a good thing, so it causes creation instead of destruction. The unlikely foursome hop in the Impala and find the tree, but it looks like someone has already taken the grace for themselves.
The angels send a repeating message to Anna, saying, “Dean Winchester gives us Anna by midnight or we hurl him back to damnation.” Sam immediately wants to know if there’s a weapon that can kill an angel, while Dean wants to find Bobby, who is out of the country on vacation. Don’t tell Dean, but he’s actually off filming a show called Harper’s Island, coming to CBS in 2009. While the boys figure out what to do, Dean shares a moment alone with Anna outside. Thanks to those chatty angels, she knows exactly what happened to him in Hell, which is something he still doesn’t want to talk about. Anna tells him that he needs to forgive himself for what he’s done, and even gives him a kiss on the lips to comfort him. This not-so-innocent kiss leads to hot sex in the back seat of the Impala, which gives Supernatural fans a nice look at a shirtless Jensen Ackles. That’ll help tide everyone over until January, right?
Ruby heads outside and burns the hex bag that’s been protecting the gang from demons. Alastair arrives a moment later, sounding like he’s doing an impression of Marlon Brando in The Godfather. Ruby wants to make him an offer he can’t refuse. She’ll hand over the angel if she and the Winchesters can walk away from all this Heaven vs. Hell business. Alastair calls her a “devious, cowardly little slut,” then has a couple of his minions grab her so he can make a counter offer.
Uriel pops into Dean’s dream to have a little chat. Dean lies to the angel and tells him that Anna has her grace back, causing Uriel to reveal that he actually has the glowing liquid in a vial around his neck. Uriel warns Dean that this is his last chance to hand the girl over, but of course the threat of going back to Hell doesn’t faze him. “I don’t break easy,” Dean says. Uriel thinks he will under the right circumstances, and you can bet those circumstances involve Sammy.
Alastair ties Ruby down and tortures her by slicing her with her own knife over and over again. He wants to know where the angel is, but she knows that if she talks he’ll just kill her. She offers to take him to her instead. The next morning, Castiel (Misha Collins) and Uriel arrive to take Anna. When Sam asks how they found their hiding spot, Anna figures out that Dean gave her up when Uriel threatened to kill Sam. Yes, Dean chose his brother over a girl he had sex with, which is something many of us wouldn’t do. Anna agrees to go with them, but Alastair and Ruby show up to spoil the going away party.
It’s time for an epic battle between angels and demons! Well, it’s not really epic since there’s only two angels and a few demons, but it’s still pretty cool. While Uriel kicks some demon ass, Anna grabs the vial and smashes it on the floor, unleashing her grace. She’s filled with a blinding white light that everyone aside from Alastair shields their eyes from. The evil Brando-esque demon is obliterated into nothingness, and once the light disappears Anna is gone as well. She’s back to living her humdrum life in Heaven, so no more Impala sex or chocolate cake for her.
After all the angels are gone, Sam and Dean share a drink in front of the Impala. Before Alastair was wiped out, he mentioned that Dean once showed a lot of promise. Sammy wants to know what the demon was talking about, and Dean is finally willing to open up. He admits that his time in Hell may have seemed like four months, but it actually lasted about 40 years in Hell-time. He was sliced, carved and tortured in all sorts of horrible ways, every single day for years. Whenever his body would fall to pieces, they’d make him whole again just so they could start all over. At the end of every day, Alastair would offer to end the pain if Dean would pick up the weapons and become the torturer. Dean resisted the offer for 30 years, but there eventually came a time when he couldn’t take it anymore. He agreed to Alastair’s offer, and he ripped up souls with wild abandon for the next 10 years. Now Dean has to live with the guilt of what he’s done every single day.
Sam tries to comfort his brother by telling him he held out longer than any normal man could, but Dean doesn’t want to hear it. “I wish I couldn’t feel anything, Sammy,” he says with tears running down his face. “I wish I couldn’t feel a damn thing.”
Did I mention how Jensen Ackles knocked that final scene out of the freakin’ park? On that emotional note, Supernatural signs off until January 15 of next year. The wait for new episodes may be hellish, but at least the series ended 2008 with a bang.