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'Supernatural' season 9 finale recap: A dark miracle

Supernatural -- "Do You Believe in Miracles" -- Pictured: Jensen Ackles as Dean
Supernatural -- "Do You Believe in Miracles" -- Pictured: Jensen Ackles as Dean
Jack Rowand/The CW, used with permission

The Tuesday, May 20 season 9 finale of "Supernatural," "Do You Believe in Miracles?" sees Sam, Dean and Castiel take the fight to Metatron, "whatever the consequences." Plus, the consequences of the mark and the First Blade reveal themselves in the final moments of the episode. It's going to be a long summer.

Here's what we've come to expect of a "Supernatural" season finale: "The Road So Far" set to "Carry On Wayward Son" and a shocking ending. "Do You Believe in Miracles?" has both. The last few episodes alone have taken Dean down a darker and darker path, and it all culminates in the events of the finale, as Crowley explains that he needs to kill to feel better, or he's facing, well, death. The main question going into the episode concerned exactly how dark it would get, and the last few seconds answered that question: VERY. Honestly, it would've been shocking if the season hadn't ended with Dean's eyes demon black – how else could that end? – but that doesn't mean it doesn't set up what's sure to be a very intriguing start to season 10.

At the beginning of the season, Dean made a choice to save his brother the only way he knew how at the moment: by tricking him into saying yes to angel possession. We all know how that turned out, and after learning the truth, Sam told Dean, "I wouldn't," when Dean argued that he'd do the same for him. Well, once he sees his brother go down and then die in the finale, he's willing to find a spell, anything, turn to Crowley to make a deal, to save him, back to what is "expected," as the King of Hell notes, of the Winchesters, like Dean has commented on in the past, when Sam didn't look for him when he was in purgatory. Unfortunately, as we see, it may be too little too late.

Meanwhile, it's also nice to see that Castiel's little (obviously more than little) grace problem isn't just being shoved aside and forgotten until a more convenient time or fixed with a snap of the fingers. Sure, it kind of took a backseat after he originally took the other angel's grace and wasn't brought up until recently, but what's he going to do now, especially since what he did is common knowledge among the angels?

Also, we can't help but think (or at least hope) that Crowley's "Hell's fine. Hell's like a Swiss watch. Don't worry about Hell Hell's complicated" can't just be a throwaway line, but rather something the finale is setting up to be explored next season, especially with Dean's black eyes. No matter what Crowley says to Dean in that final scene, he has to have something planned involving him, right?

Now, let's get to the full recap of the "SPN" season 9 finale:

What's happening to Dean? The episode picks up right where the last one left off, with Sam and Castiel holding Dean back from Gadreel. They throw him in the dungeon because, while he's the only guy who can actually kill Metatron, he's too much of a wild card. They don't know what's happening to him, so he's staying there. Wanting answers, Dean summons the only one he knows with them: Crowley.

"I can't turn it off," Dean tells him. "I get this high, and I need to kill." Crowley explains that it's the mark, and the more he kills, the better he feels. Cain didn't die because he's a demon; Dean's body isn't strong enough to contain the power. When Dean asks about getting rid of it, Crowley counters with the all-important, "You want to get rid of it?" Dean wants to kill Metatron, and with that, the two of them grab the First Blade and go. Further proving that something's wrong with him, Dean's not hungry when the two briefly set up shop in a diner, and he leaves the burger behind, caring more about following up on a lead about Metatron.

Trapped in a familiar place Metatron, who has been busy writing a story full of love, heartbreak and love (not like "The Notebook") wants more than the equivalent of winning a People's Choice Award. He wants the real deal. (Ouch!) He hogs angel radio to welcome the angels back and say that while Heaven's door will be temporarily closed while he's on a short trip, all will be explained when he returns. He's off to tell the rest of the story.

That trip of Metatron's is just what the opposition needs. After Sam and Castiel find Gadreel (and Castiel heals him, despite the other angel protesting it will weaken him), Gadreel tells them that Metatron wants humanity, and while that's when they find that Dean has taken off with Crowley, the First Blade is their best chance. Gadreel explains that Metatron is unstoppable because he's tapped into the angel tablet, but if they can destroy it and break the connection, he'll just be a regular angel. With Metatron gone, Gadreel's plan is to take Castiel in as his prisoner and scope out his office, but once inside Metatron's office, it turns into Heaven's jail, a place Gadreel knows all too well. Their ruse didn't work, and the two angels are locked in cells.

Brothers reunited A video of Metatron healing a woman hit by a car and whispering something in her ear goes viral and reunites Sam and Dean and puts Crowley back on the bench, "Winchestered." Sam argues that Dean made it more complicated when he stabbed the one angel who could give them Metatron, and yes, Dean tricked him and Gadreel did all those horrible things, but Sam's the one who wakes up and sees his hands killing Kevin. He gets that Metatron has to go and Dean's their best shot, "for better or worse," "no matter the consequences." "But if this is it, we're going to do it together," Sam tells him – and he knows what Metatron whispered: his next stop.

Metatron poses as one of the homeless, but a woman recognizes him, and when an angel tries to speak up about who Metatron really is, the humans come to his defense, calling him a miracle worker, a messiah. All Metatron has to do is stand back and watch (and kick over an angel blade) while the humans kill the angel. When Sam and Dean find Metatron, Dean's hand is visibly shaking as he reaches for the Blade. "About the last couple of months…" he begins after Sam hands him the Blade. "I know," Sam says. Dean then knocks him out. "Sorry, little brother. It's not your fight." When he arrives at the camp, he's directed to Metatron.

Meanwhile, Castiel and Gadreel try to convince Hannah to see things their way, and when words don't work, Gadreel takes action. "I sat in this hole for thousands of years, thinking of nothing but redemption, of reclaiming my good name. I thought of nobody, no cause other than my own," he says, and Castiel tries to tell him he's been redeemed. "The only thing that matters in the end is the mission, protecting those who would not and can not protect themselves, the humans," he continues. "We will not let our fears, our self-absorption prevent us from seeing it through, not anymore." With that, he tells Castiel to move back. He's been busy, drawing sigils on himself. "Perhaps I will be known as one of the many who gave Heaven a second chance." He stabs himself, and the explosion kills him and frees Castiel.

Metatron gives this whole speech about cynicism and why he's better than God, but Dean doesn't care. "Whatever it is, I'm blaming you," he tells him, and that list includes Kevin, taking Castiel's grace and even the Cubs not winning the World Series. "Nasty piece of work, isn't she?" Metatron comments about the First Blade. But if he wins and Metatron dies, what's left? Dean and a herd of angels? Dean only hears the part about Metatron dying, and Metatron knows he's stalling to give Castiel and Gadreel time upstairs, only, they've been caught and are stuck in their own version of "Locked Up Abroad: Heaven." With that, the fight begins.

Rewrites Castiel eventually finds the tablet in Metatron's typewriter, but in the meantime, Metatron has been beating up Dean, who loses hold of the Blade. By the time he gets it back in his hand, it's too late. Metatron stabs Dean in the chest, and Sam arrives just in time to see it. Castiel smashes the tablet, but Metatron returns to his office before Sam can get him and Castiel ends up cuffed to his chair. Castiel argues that the angels will learn that he's been playing with him, no matter what kind of clean up job he does, and while Metatron doesn't think so, he's wrong, because he's been broadcasting and the angels all know. With that, Metatron is thrown into a cell, and Hannah remarks that Castiel is doing what a leader would do, letting him live. But all Castiel wants is to be an angel. The only problem is he'll die if he doesn't replenish his grace.

Meanwhile, Sam refuses to leave his brother and insists he'll be okay. They'll find a doctor, a spell, anything. "It's better this way," Dean says. "The mark, it's making me into something I don't want to be." So what happened to Sam being okay with this? "I lied," he tells his brother, but it's too late. And Dean's last words as he dies? "I'm proud of us." All that Sam can do is hug his brother and cry.

Dean's dead?! Or...? Sam puts Dean in his room in the bunker before going to drink alone in the dark. He then goes down to the dungeon and sees Dean's summoning spell for Crowley. "You got him into this mess, you will get him out or so help me God," he says, ready to do what the brothers have done in the past and make a deal.

However, Crowley's already there, already in Dean's room. "It's all become so expected," he comments as he sits down and waits. "You have to believe me, when I suggested you take on the Mark of Cain, I didn’t know this was going to happen, not really. I mean, I might not have told you the entire truth, but I never lied. I never lied, Dean. That's important. That's fundamental. But there is one story about Cain that I might have forgotten to tell you." It turns out that Cain too chose death over killing, only after he killed himself with the blade, the mark never let go. Crowley didn't even really believe until Dean didn't eat the cheeseburger. "Maybe miracles do come true," he comments as he puts the Blade in Dean's hand and rests it on his chest. "Listen to me, Dean Winchester. What you're feeling right now, it's not death. It's life, a new kind of life. Open your eyes, Dean. See what I see. Feel what I feel. Let's go take a howl at that moon." And as the finale ends, Dean's open – and they're demon black.

"Supernatural" returns for its 10th season on the CW in the fall. What did you thin of the season 9 finale "Do You Believe in Miracles"?