“Road Trip” not only saw the return of Sam to his own body, but we also got the return of Tahmoh Penikett as Gadreel’s vessel. Now that Gadreel was (oh so epically) expelled from Sam, he needed his first vessel to continue his work for Metatron. But how did Sam even know to kick out his angelic hitchhiker in the first place?
Before Dean could figure out how to get his brother back, first things first: He had to give Kevin Tran a proper send off. The prophet got a hunter’s funeral, and the whole time, Dean was beating himself and (and the Men of Letters bunker) up. He clearly blames himself for Kevin’s death, and that’s going to drive him to take some desperate measures to make things right.
After killing Kevin, Gadreel not only hijacked Sam’s body but he also stole Dean’s Impala. Not Baby! As if we could hate this angel even more.
He also kills an angel — masquerading as a rock star — who was his guard up in heaven’s prison who tortured him for centuries. He proudly tells his best friend from jail, Abner, that he killed their torturer, but clearly Abner has adjusted to humanity and isn’t happy to hear that. Too bad for Abner, since he is next on Metatron’s hit list. Although Gadreel hesitates when he sees that Abner has a family and has made a happy life for himself on Earth, he still kills him.
Back at the bunker, Castiel arrives — all suited back up with his grace (but no tie?) — after getting a frantic call from Dean. Dean finally confesses everything that happened to Cas, including tricking Sam into getting possessed by an angel and Kevin’s death. Cas tells Dean they need to get Sam to expel the angel out (they don’t know who the angel is), but the only way to bring Sam into consciousness is to mess with the angel’s “factory settings,” and the only one who knows how to do that is locked away in their dungeon: Crowley.
Crowley agrees to help get Sam back but only if they take him outside for a field trip. Since Gadreel stole Baby, they’re forced to take Cas’ pimp mobile (after gassing it up because Cas didn’t know you have to fill the tank). Watching Dean yell at Crowley and Cas in the backseat like children? Perfection. More of this, please!
After Crowley uses one of his cronies that works in a NSA listening post to track Gadreel, they knock him out and Crowley gets to work, using a unique style of brain acupuncture to bring Sam out of his “dream” that Gadreel locked him in — something to do with working a case with Dean that involved “ghouls and cheerleaders.” Unfortunately, they can’t reprogram the angel in Sam’s head, so Dean ends up making a call that’s even riskier: He lets Crowley possess Sam.
This goes against everything the Winchesters have stood for all their lives, but in a weird way, we know that we can trust Crowley. He isn’t the same guy that used to cause so much pain for the Winchesters. He’s different, though we still don’t know how. That’s why watching Cas burn off Sam’s anti-possession tattoo and watching Crowley’s smokey essence enter Sam wasn’t as scary as it could have been. But it certainly was still extremely powerful imagery.
Crowley enters Sam’s dream, and thanks to Dean telling Crowley their safe word (“Poughkeepsie”) Sam realizes what’s going on. Cue the epic fight between Gadreel, Crowley and Sam inside Sam’s head!
Sam finally takes control and expels Gadreel out, and his essence goes back into his first vessel. Crowley leaves Sam voluntarily, and then does something even more shocking: He lets everyone get away safely while he confronts Abaddon who showed up to kill them all.
Is Crowley one of the good guys now? Not only did he help save Sam, but he also saved Dean and Cas from having to deal with Abaddon and her demon cronies. At this point, Dean had already unlocked the devil’s trap handcuffs, so Crowley was able to escape without helping them if he wanted. But he stayed and allowed everyone to get away. What is his deal?
True, by staying he got to do the villain chair turn as Abaddon walked in (totally awesome) and put his hat back in the ring for the position of leader of hell. He told Abaddon’s flunkies that he’s back and to spread the word. While this should be causing us to worry, it’s actually not that bad if Crowley is on the Winchesters’ side now.
Maybe having an ally in high places in the demon world would actually be a good thing. But that’s only if Crowley truly is an ally. We still can’t be sure, but based off the promos for next week’s episode, he’s going to team up with Dean. That’s like the most unlikely of alliances coming to fruition, so clearly anything’s possible.
After Dean and Cas get Sam safely away, we finally get the confrontation between Sam and Dean that we’ve been waiting for all season. Sam tells Dean that he’s disappointed in him not only for lying to Sam (again), but by taking Sam’s choice to die away from him, he inadvertently caused the death of Kevin. Sam tried blame himself for Kevin’s death, but Dean wouldn’t let him. He blames himself, and ends up leaving Sam to find Gadreel on his own to get revenge and make things right.
Dean tells Sam that he’s poison to anyone around him, so it’s best if he goes it alone. The self-hatred in this scene was so overwhelming. Both brothers are in such a bad place that separating is probably the worst possible idea ever, but it’s too late. Dean leaves, and Cas stays with Sam.
Also, how sad was it watching Cas and Dean bond over how they were both played — Cas by Metatron and Dean by Gadreel? They’re both beating themselves up over it. Dean thinks they’re “dumba**es” but Cas thinks they’re just too trusting. Either way, at least they can both wallow together. They need each other now more than ever, so why did Dean leave him?
It’s also interesting to note that Gadreel managed to bring Metatron the angel tablets and Metatron flipped a switch up in heaven so there would be no more prophets. Looks like the line of prophets died along with Kevin.
What did you think of the midseason premiere of “Supernatural?” Do you think Crowley can be trusted? How awesome is it now that Penikett’s back to play Gadreel and Sam is just Sam again?
“Supernatural” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.