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'Supernatural' 9x22 preview and photos: Tessa's return and Castiel's army

Lindsey McKeon returns as Tessa in next week's "Supernatural" season 9 episode 22, "Stairway to Heaven." On Tuesday, May 6, the CW released a new sneak preview and promotional photos teasing what to expect from not just the reaper's return but also Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) and more.

Promotional photos for 'Supernatural' 9x22 "Stairway To Heaven"
Promotional photos for 'Supernatural' 9x22 "Stairway To Heaven"
Cate Cameron/The CW, used with permission
Supernatural -- "Stairway To Heaven" -- Pictured (L-R): Misha Collins as Castiel and Jared Padalecki as Sam
Cate Cameron/The CW, used with permission

In the latest episode, Dean (Jensen Ackles) used the Blade to kill Abaddon (Alaina Huffman) in spectacular fashion, but once she was dead, he didn't stop, and once again, Sam (Jared Padalecki) had to try to reach him. Then, when that was done, Sam suggested they store the Blade somewhere distant until they know for sure they're going to kill off Crowley (Mark Sheppard), but Dean simply said, "No."

Meanwhile, Castiel (Misha Collins) met with Gadreel (Tahmoh Penikett), but after an angel Castiel's angels had captured was killed and Castiel was attacked during that meeting, it became clear there was a traitor in their ranks. Castiel then proposed that Gadreel be just that for him.

In this next "Supernatural" episode, Castiel calls Sam and Dean for help after a massive attack on the angels. As they leave, Sam notices Dean's eagerness to bring the First Blade with him, and he's worried about the cost to his brother whenever he uses it. Meanwhile, Castiel is shocked when he learns that the angel that caused the attack was one of his followers and did it in his name. Dean finds out that there is a conspiracy amongst Castiel's angel followers – and right at the heart of it is a familiar face: Tessa, the reaper.

The "Stairway to Heaven" promo shows that Metatron's going to be regretting asking Castiel to lead an army because angels are choosing Castiel over him. However, he also has angels acting cult-like and killing themselves for him. Tessa tells Dean that Castiel came to her, but what's her role in this?

Meanwhile, it looks like we're going to see much more of how the Blade is affecting Dean now that he used it to kill Abaddon. "Fun's just getting started," he says. Uh-oh.

Plus, don't forget to check out the slideshow to see the promotional photos the CW has released from this episode. They offer a look at Dean meeting with Tessa, Sam and Castiel working together (have they found that moving portal to heaven?), Metatron and Gadreel at a bowling alley (?) and more.

"Supernatural" season 9 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW. What do you think of the episode 22 "Stairway to Heaven" photos?