‘Supernatural’ Stumbles Back Onto Season 9′s Righteous Path

Published 11 months ago by , Updated November 19th, 2013 at 10:57 am,

supernatural season 9 episode 6 castiel 570x294 Supernatural Stumbles Back Onto Season 9s Righteous Path

This is a Review of Supernatural season 9 episode 6. There will be SPOILERS.

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The past two weeks of Supernatural have been a bit of a break, essentially, with the seasonal story-arcs being replaced by two terrific stand-alone adventures of the (truly) fantastical. Now that it’s time to return to the path at hand, however, since the series appears to be slipping a bit as it attempts to bring its character together for a succinct tale.

This week’s episode, “Heaven Can’t Wait”, written by series newcomer Robert Berens (Ringer), is more a maintenance episode than not, unfortunately, with much time required to catch up with all the characters and the current paths they are on. At the heart of this episode, there’s an impressive amount of earnest character development occurring with Castiel and Crowley, less Sam and Dean, which introduces some truly beautiful elements into the world of angelic emotions. The biggest problem, it seems, with the tale at hand is, surprisingly, location – location, location!

The heart of Supernatural still lies within the relationship of Sam and Dean, and it’s been through their ever-willing attempts at defeating evil that the series has reached season 9 – which is why it’s so surprising to see the Winchesters divided, yet again, for no other purpose than visually linking the various storylines of its many character together in the same world. At this point though, Castiel can stand alone – and perhaps would have been better off if he had.

supernatural season 9 episode 6 crowley 570x294 Supernatural Stumbles Back Onto Season 9s Righteous Path

When word first broke that Misha Collins’ Castiel was going to be given a larger role in season 9, audiences were excited to see which direction the producers would take with the character, now that fans no longer have to worry about him being unceremoniously Bobby’d out. The fall from Heaven and loss of Grace has, surprisingly, elevated the beloved character much more than anyone could have imaged; through his unfortunate attempts at becoming human, the monotone-being is able to represent the many challenges and failures of humanity, which Heaven’s warriors were only able to witness from afar. And then… in comes the Winchesters.

As an omnipotent being, Castel’s fierce power and unwavering curiosity pairs wonderfully with the hands-on approach that Sam and Dean are required to take in order to solve the problem at hand. Now, however, Castiel is a human who is attempting to find himself through all this mess, of which he’s doing a fantastic job at, so the Winchesters’ inclusion isn’t actually required, in any way.

The case of the week is just that, and the focus on the mysterious murders, as well as everything else, is proof that, in this episode, audiences need much more than a shift of the tale at hand to get everyone back on the same page. As Dean (momentarily) enters Castiel’s life, everything involving everyone’s favorite angel becomes less prominent and pure, and all of Castiel’s successes are lessened as he’s just the awe-shucks angel without wings.

supernatural season 9 episode 6 sam 570x294 Supernatural Stumbles Back Onto Season 9s Righteous Path

Dean’s presences is not required, at least not for anything contained within this episode, so as the elder-Winchester is making the journey to help out a friend, Sam is left with a trio of proverbial hell which includes himself, Kevin and Crowley. Put Sam and Dean together and the two will still likely struggle to sell Kevin and Crowley’s waning attributions; when separated, however, Sam just doesn’t stand a chance at making such polarizing characters work.

All in all, there’s no love lost in this week’s episode of Supernatural as what was shown is required in order to keep the series moving forward – especially after taking a couple weeks off, so to speak. Will the characters fit better together as the season continues? Certainly. Will there be any more episodes which many might not consider “the best”? Likely. Still, after making it through all the many obstacles that television shows have to face each year, the core characters, as well as their relationships, are still being dutifully serviced – and as any Supernatural will tell you, that’s the hardest part.

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Supernatural returns next Tuesday with “Bad Boys” @9pm on CW. You can check out a preview of next week’s episode below:

 

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  1. Best part of the ep would prob have to be when Crowley was trying to make that phone call to Abbadon that was pretty good. Cas is awesome as usual

    • It was funny, true, but it was also a great example for what is wrong with Supernatural for the last few seasons. For a throwaway joke like that they completely ruined the whole mysticism of that blood communication. It used to be an awesome and very sinister way of demons to communicate with dark magic. And now they have operators and connection problems? After my short laugh I realized what just happened and rolled my eyes…

      Unfortunately, between Charlie episodes and stuff like that, Supernatural turns more and more into a parody of itself. It used to be show that took itself seriously, despite all the (fitting) humor. That isn’t the case anymore… now it straight up makes fun of itself, which clashes big time with all the drama they still try to convey.

  2. I actually thought this ep was a welcome return to form
    as the last two eps were lame(the oz one) and just plain stupid(the talking dog one).

    This ep brought a cool angel villain, a catch up on cas’ human life and a look a crowleys future involvement with the winchesters.

    But seriously
    F*ck that dog episode.
    god…

    • I agree, that dog episode was not good. Supernatural is a good show, but sometimes it seems like the writers try to hard when it comes to humor. The subtle humor works well, but the episodes that seem to be engulfed by it fall flat.

      • Wouldve been better had dean relegated the what the animals were thinking instead of actually giving them voices and dialogue.

  3. I think this season thus far has been solid. I’m enjoying the mixture between humor and seriousness in the episodes. While I definately feel like ive seen some of this stuff before in some form on this show (like Dean hiding a secret from Sam) when a show gets to its 9th season you are bound to see some concepts and ideas recycled.

    I’m just glad that the show recovered from the dismal 6th season and the not-so-good 7th season.

    I think that next year should be it for Supernatural…its time

  4. Will there be episodes like Changing Channels and The French Mistake again? Loved the humour there. And I hope so.

    • If they get Ben Edlund back from Revolution.

  5. More Kevin please! Anyway, I like the last 2 episodes. I like this ep, I like this season a lot. Like season 8, it’s very subtle and it moves the characters and the story along with the small character/human moments very much like how Buffy/Angel(except for season 5) was back when Whedon actually wrote characters as human/with dimension before he went all apeshit on hero/fiction trope.

    Anyway, me and my friends bumped into Jeremy Carver at our lcs and he was so nice. Also, the guy bought like all of the American Vampire(personal favorite comic) trades so…Benny’s coming back?

  6. The previous two eps (“Slumber Party” and “Dog Dean Afternoon”) were forgettable yawnfests. I hope we continue to have more episodes like “Heaven Can’t Wait,” episodes exploring the continued development of Cas, Cas’s evolving friendship (now that he’s human) with Dean, the growing mystery of Ezekiel (he has an agenda; I’m certain), the fallout for Dean over his lies, etc. “Heaven Can’t Wait” is one of the best episodes of the season, so far. Its author, Robert Berens, is an excellent writer and has a great understanding of the characters and their relationships; a greater understanding than some of the writers who have been with the show for years. I look forward to more episodes by this awesomely talented writer!

  7. This episode wasn’t that bad but the last two episodes were hilarious. I hope to see more episodes with good sense of homours. I really enjoyed Dog Dean Afternoon. Jensen Ackles was awesome as Dog Dean.

  8. Rather than stumble, “Heaven Can’t Wait” suavely and confidently strode onto the righteous path. “Heaven Can’t Wait” may be the best episode so far this season, marginally beating the season premiere in my opinion.

    I personally did not fully enjoy the previous episodes as many seem to and agree with comments above regarding “Slumber Party” and “Dog Dean Afternoon”. They lacked punch and were lacklustre for MOTW episodes. I don’t think having two wacky episodes in a row was such a good idea. Good things come in small amounts, not excess. The saving points were the genuinely fun moments and references to the Ezekiel issue.

    “Heaven Can’t Wait” was indeed a necessary maintenance episode, one I am grateful for and enjoyed thoroughly. It was very well written and executed. There was near-zero expository dialogue, clear evidence of research (per Kevin’s dropping the terms ‘cuneiform’ and ‘elamite’), believable character development for Cas and Crowley and the extension to the angel lore did not feel trite. Ephraim was very well written. It was great to finally see another angel who doesn’t fall into the one dimensional mould that has littered season 6,7,8. The pacing was great, making it a satisfying watch. And I cannot recall a single moment of WTF? and disconnection where something feels over-exaggerated or unbelievable. The writer clearly understands the characters and fleshed them out in a convincing manner.

    I didn’t really want to go into the whole debate regarding Dean and Sam being separated, because I don’t think it was even an issue this episode. I never understood the gripe many have when the Winchesters are momentarily separated, physically and literarily. (I don’t recall it being an issue when Dean time-travelled in certain episodes). Supernatural has over the years fallen into a rut and plot creativity has been limited to constraints created by viewers expectations. I don’t believe Supernatural will lose its identity with episodes where Sam and Dean individually carry out their tasks or do their own things. I thoroughly enjoy watching the individual interactions the brothers have with Crowley, Kevin, Castiel and Abaddon this season because they inadvertently develop Sam’s and Dean’s characters and advance the plot in interesting ways.

    It was fantastic watching Crowley stew in his powerlessness, in particular his reaction during the exchange with Abaddon. The fact that he has principles is rather fascinating. Its not news, but his revealing it explicitly was awesome. I am also very curious to know why Crowley injected himself with Kevin’s blood. Is it a Sam-esque addiction, or is it perhaps something more sinister?

    The Castiel scenes were the obvious highlight this episode. His story was funny, sad, heartwarming, heartbreaking but overall very endearing. He brings something special to the show and I am keen to see the direction his character takes. The big reveal this episode (if it remains that the angels are forever earthbound) was also an interesting development.

    It’s still only the first half of the season so I am okay with the slow pace and standalone MOTWs. But I do hope that we have more meaty and well constructed episodes before the second half of the season begins. If this episode is anything to go by, this season will be the best in years.

  9. I have to pitch in and just say that I personally enjoyed “Slumber Party” and “Dog Dean Afternoon” way more than this weeks episode. It was interresting to see Crowley and Castiels character development but other than that it was rather dull.

    The way I see it there are 3 different kinds of episodes, the first being the classic Supernatural filler episode. Starts with a scene where some random character eventually gets killed by some random creature. Sam&Dean figure out what it is, comes close to getting killed and then kills the creature in the end.

    There are story episodes that just revolve purely around the storyline.

    There are also special episodes such as those involving the trickster, changing channels or that comic-episode etc. Dog Dean Afternoon was somehow special and Slumber Party surely was special. Imo special/story>filler always so that’s pretty much why I can’t agree with most of you!

  10. I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is MORE CROWLEY!

    Seriously, no more Doctor Doolittle. No more OZ. Supernatural writers should no longer be writing after they read their kids a bedtime story. Just give me some BA demons and I’ll be happy. Any of these writers remember Lilith? I know she’s dead…I’m waiting for a demon of that magnitude to return to the show. Abaddon is close, but she’s not nearly as creepy as Lilith was.

  11. I was hoping the show would have some stellar episodes out of the box, as writers had more time to work (knowing they had renewal mid-season, but it seems their energies are given to a possible spin-off (the ruin of last year, with the forgettable spin-off stories, such as the Teen Wolves, the baby Hunters, the witchcop and his pooch, (another abysmal dog episode)

    But it seems that the writers are still not paying much attention to continuity, making episodes around a single concept and fluffing the details (women who are inexplicably attracted to hobo Cas, sleeping with him or having him babysit and the drop of a hat (which is making the show less believable than dealing with demons and angels)

    Just because the show has the most loyal (shades of Ruby) audience, doesn’t mean you should ride on those coattails, I don’t think it has to do with separating Sam and Dean, or having Cas take a good part of the storyline, as he (and Kevin) have become beloved characters. We just want good stories.

    I guess in a perfect world, I’d have Ben Edlund as show runner, and the writers who devote their time to ideas from other shows go onto the spinoff.

    • Oh yeah… don’t even get me started about the babysitting twist. How would a mother fail to communicate that? That was some lazy writing.

  12. Whatever! Just keep feeding me supernatural! Love that s***!

  13. The author called the last couple of episodes, “terrific stand-alone adventures,” spare us please. When Supernatural is doing the comedy routine again and again so soon in the season, you know they are lost. Right now all I am waiting for is when Castiel gets his powers back. It is only a matter of how long. Otherwise it seems like a bad gag having an angel running a convenience store. As I stated before, once Bobby officially died, this series took a nose dive and it hasn’t recovered.