The episode went from good to teeth-grindingly, I-don’t-want-to-blink intense when Sam and Dean, armed with angel blades, anti-demon bombs and spray paint mounted their not-so-stealthy rescue mission. With Cas sidelined by the angel-repelling sigils, the brothers worked as a well-oiled machine, relying on muscle-memory and decades of training to take down demon after demon, even as they groused at each other while doing it. Unintentional or not, I laughed at Sam tediously and carefully clearing a hallway before whipping out his can of spray paint, shaking it as loudly as possible to deactivate the anti-angel graffiti.
Inside the dungeon of torture, Crowley was literally turning the screws on poor Samandriel, who had literally done nothing but writhe and roar in misery and chant forebodingly in Enochian. After this episode, I hope his doppelganger Tyler Johnston was plied with gallons of hot tea and Vancouver’s best ice cream.
It became a nail-biting, gruesome race as Sam and Dean tried to break down the reinforced door—with poor Castiel reliving his own torture at the hands of Naomi—and with Crowley literally putting the screws to the angel to delve deeper into his “factory settings” for hardwired secrets.
Seconds before the Winchesters triumphantly interrupted the world’s worst party, Crowley discovered what he'd been praying to Lucifer for. The scribe of the all God’s tablets had written a recipe to destroy demons, and never one to play favorites, had also written one to lock the door on heaven forever. And I don’t even have time to ponder that proverbial bomb because “Supernatural” has decided to launch a Shock and Awe attack for its first episode of 2013, and clobber us with Castiel’s jaw-dropping memories of Naomi torturing him. She had also done a little digging in Castiel’s cabeza and could control him despite his protestations.
As Samandriel, finally freed, but guiltily confessing that Heaven was controlling angels, Castiel became a puppet himself, spewing Naomi’s lies and doing her bidding. He killed Samandriel, claimed it was self-defense, and returned him to Heaven. It was all so bizarre, especially as blood oozed from Castiel’s eye, that Sam and Dean were just as gobsmacked as we were. Something tells me Season 8 has nothing good in store for Castiel.