Supernatural ended season 8 with some pretty massive changes. Neither the Gates of Hell nor the Gates of Heaven were actually closed, but I’ll be damned if the final image of the season didn’t leave me in awe. It was beautiful, tragic and sets up a very interesting ninth season. Let’s just say I know what song should play over the opening montage of season 9, and it’s Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.”

But we begin the season finale with “The Road So Far” and “Carry On, My Wayward Son,” which makes me happy every time I listen to. The finale is titled “Sacrifice,” but that’s only because using the title of the most recent Bond film, “Skyfall,” would’ve been too obvious.

Don’t Kill Sheriff Mills

The episode opens with the return of Sheriff Mills. And she’s in a dress! Yes, Crowley has tricked her into going on a blind date with him because it’s been 12 hours and she’s next on his list of Winchester Friends to Kill list. The clock runs out and she starts to cough up blood, but thankfully Dean calls up Crowley (whose ringtone is “Baby Got Back”) to accept his deal and surrender. Whew, Sheriff Mills lives!

Sam’s Third Trial

Sam and Dean get the Demon Tablet and meet up with Crowley to make the trade. But instead Dean slaps a pair of demonic handcuffs on Crowley because Sam is going to cure HIM as the Third Trial.

Sam starts off by purifying his blood with a little confession (Dean has a hilariously long laundry list of the bad things Sam has done, from Ruby to being soulless). With Crowley tied up on consecrated ground, it’s time to inject him with Sam’s blood once every hour for eight hours to cure the demon.

Castiel’s Second Trial

Elsewhere Cas and Metatron prepare for the Second Trial to close the Gates of Heaven, which involves retrieving Cupid’s bow. Their mission hits a bump when Naomi tracks them down, shows up and kidnaps Metatron. She tortures him in Heaven for information while Cas runs to Dean begging for help.

Dean is more concerned with closing the Gates of Hell than Heaven, but Sam encourages him to go help Cas. So the boys split up and each take a different Gate to close.

Closing the Gates of Hell with Sam and Crowley

Sam goes to work injecting Crowley, but the King of Hell pulls a Mike Tyson and bites him. But there’s a good reason: Crowley spits the blood into his palm to access the Demon Phone Network (apparently you can do it without a fancy bowl).

Abaddon gets the call and shows up, but not to help because she’s not too happy about Crowley being the King of Hell. She wants a “regime change,” but Sam burns her body and forces the demon to flee.

That’s when things get weird. Crowley thinks he and Sam fought Abaddon together and now they’re friends. He then compares himself to Lena Dunham’s character on HBO’s Girls (which may be funnier than all the Felicia Day scenes combined) and says that he deserves to be be loved!

Um, that’s sounding awfully HUMAN, and Crowley is freaked out that his cure seems to be working. He ultimately starts to accept it and even asks Sam how can he begin to atone for the many, many sins he’s committed.

NOT Closing the Gates of Heaven with Dean and Castiel

Dean and Cas go back to the Men of Letters HQ to force Kevin to quickly translate the Angel Tablet. They get back to the Second Trial, retrieving a Cupid’s bow, by following a burly bartender who is destined to find love. A sexy beer delivery girl shows up and Dean thinks this is it, but then she leaves and the bartender has a moment with the equally grizzly male barfly. Once again, gay love saves the day.

Cas gets the bow from the Cupid (who was the sexy beer delivery girl), but that’s when Naomi shows up. She explains that she looked into Metatron’s head and he lied, these trials aren’t designed to close the Gates of Heaven, they’re designed to kick all angels out of Heaven so they’re forced to live on Earth. She also explains that Sam’s trials will kill him, the ultimate sacrifice.

Cas doesn’t believe her and, while Dean goes to stop Sam, Cas heads to Heaven to find Metatron. But when he gets there, Naomi is dead and it turns out she wasn’t lying and Metatron is the bad guy.

Falling Angels

Metatron completes his spell by slicing open Castiel’s neck and stealing his Grace. You know what that means: Cas is no longer an angel. He’s just a regular human and gets sent back to Earth.

Sam and Dean share one final bro-ment for the season where Sam explains that he confessed to feeling like he always lets his brother down and he’s not good enough. Dean assures him that it’s not the case and he loves him more than anything in the world. Sam takes this to heart and decides not to proceed with the trials. So, um, I guess Crowley is just mostly cured.

Sam starts to feel pains shooting through his body and Dean takes him outside, but that’s when Sam’s problems take a backseat to what’s happening in the sky.

The sky is falling. Literally. Thousands of meteor-like things are crashing onto the Earth. The Men of Letters HQ miraculously turns itself on and tracks everything on a big map. What is it?

It’s angels. Falling angels. Metatron succeeded and ALL of the angels have been, as Bruno Mars would say, locked out of Heaven.

That’s one heck of a way to end the season, Supernatural. It looks like the angels, which have been sort of a background plot for the past few seasons, will finally come front and center in season 9.

(Image courtesy of the CW)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.