SPN 9.06: Heaven Can’t Wait review
At the end of Heaven Can’t Wait (9.06), my watching partner, whom some of you know as Scruffy, turned to me and said, “Wow, the show has really lost its focus and momentum.” He couldn’t be more right. Last night’s episode is a perfect example of why – Sam and Dean were bit players in what used to be their story. Instead, Heaven Can’t Wait was about Castiel and Crowley.
The episode started with Sam, Dean, and Kevin at the bunker trying to find a way to reverse Metatron’s spell, but Kevin got stuck on a dead language. Dean got a call from Castiel that there might be a case, which was the perfect excuse for him to bail on research. As a result, we got yet another episode with little Sam and Dean interaction. What little we do see is in phone calls where Dean assures Sam that he can handle the hunt without him. Way to make Sam feel like you have confidence in him, Dean. On the one hand, Dean tells Sam that he believes Sam is capable of anything, but just like last season, his actions indicate otherwise. The fact that Sam appears to get knocked in every fight must be undermining his confidence as well.
So, instead of the Winchesters being a team, we get Dean playing a supporting role to Castiel, and Sam playing a supporting role to Crowley. Oh yeah, Kevin was there too, but this was more Castiel and Crowley’s narrative. Castiel is working at a convenience store and learning about human dignity … and humiliation when he finds out that the date he thought his boss was asking him out was actually a babysitting gig. Who didn’t see that coming a mile away?
Anyway, Castiel called Dean to investigate a hunt in which humans are being vaporized into pink mist, presumably blood, bone, fat, which makes me wonder where the intestinal contents ended up. Nevertheless, we learn that the killer is a specialized angel that puts beings out of their misery when they can’t be healed. Not understanding humans, the angel jumps the gun and vaporizes people who are depressed – even angsty high school girls. Of course, this angel ends up going after Cas who he is angry with for giving up on his angelic nature. It seems that Castiel just can’t win. When Cas asks how the angel found him, it says it’s because Castiel’s pain is so great. Thanks for that bit of explication. Now we know just how much pain he’s in.
Sam and Kevin get Crowley to translate some of Metatron’s footnotes in exchange for letting him make a phone call to Abaddon, which requires blood. He insists on Kevin’s blood. The intelligence of this plan is questionable, and I’m still not sure why Crowley wanted to talk to her. Perhaps he just wanted to confirm her opposition to his rule or learn her strategy. He does find out that she’s calling in his deals early and taking souls before their contracts are up. After ending the phone call, Crowley tells Sam and Kevin that the footnotes indicate that the spell can’t be reversed and the angels can’t be returned to Heaven. For whatever reason, Sam accepts that answer and relays it to Dean who returns Cas to his convenience store job and doesn’t tell him what Crowley said.
At the end of the episode, Sam sees that Crowley got a hold of syringe of Kevin’s blood and is injecting himself with it. The question is why? Will it make him human? And if so, why would he want that? Why Kevin’s blood instead of Sam’s? We know that if Sam had finished the trials, it would have killed him? Is Crowley protecting Sam by using Kevin’s blood? Will it harm Kevin? We’ve seen that drinking demon blood made Sam powerful and confident. Does Crowley just enjoy the feeling of human blood running through is veins? Is it a drug?
A handful of fans have long lobbied for an ensemble cast. I hope they’re happy. For a show that was built on the chemistry between the main characters, it certainly isn’t being utilized much anymore. I realize there are “RL” reasons for that. Jared and Jensen are both married and fathers now, and they want to have more time off with their families. That’s fine. It’s their show, and they set their priorities, but I do hope that no one involved is fooling themselves into believing that expanding the storylines of secondary characters makes up for lack of the Winchester chemistry that made the show a success.
I suppose that this episode did move the narrative along, but there was no sense of urgency in it. There was never any real sense of danger or impending doom to it. The threat isn’t focused. It’s coming from everywhere – Abaddon, yes, but then thousands of random angels. Bartholomew and his lot have disappeared for now. I guess, they’re regrouping or something. I don’t know, and that’s the problem. This narrative has become so big and unwieldy.
I suppose that if I were a big fan of human Cas, it would have been more interesting, but Cas has been so many different characters since the beginning of S6, and I’m not personally interested in watching Cas suffer through adolescence like that annoying high school student whose meatsuit painted a school bus pink.
Heaven Can’t Wait wasn’t the train wreck that Dog Dean Afternoon was, but for me at least, it was boring. Instead of being a bullet train to Tokyo, as it was in the early seasons, Supernatural has become a wide, muddy, meandering river.