‘Supernatural’ Season 8 finale review: This sure isn’t the stairway to Heaven…

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in SUPERNATURAL (Image Credit: Diyah Pera / The CW Network)

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in SUPERNATURAL (Image Credit: Diyah Pera / The CW Network)

If you’ve watched Supernaturalover the years, you know that nothing is safe. And tonight, showrunner Jeremy Carver and his twisted band of writers proved just that with a striking and surprising season finale that left viewers asking “What happens next?”

“Sacrifice” gave us a look into two very different battles: one for Heaven and the other for Hell. And each side had very different players on the board. For Sam, it was all about completing his trials, and in order to do that he had to cure Crowley of his inner-demon.

Naturally, nothing goes according to plan. When it was revealed by Naomi (the most wishy-washy character I’ve ever had the pleasure of being confused about) that Sam would die upon completing the last task because Metatron turned out to be a lying jerk in a frumpy sweater, it seems like it was all for nothing. And Sam is only saved through the most touching broment since the Season 5 finale, “Swan Song.” (Man, can Jensen Ackles deliver a speech.)

Meanwhile, we’ve got poor Castiel who has once again been led astray through his guilt-fueled desire to do the right thing, believing that he is trying to save Heaven. We discover, however, that it’s all part of Metatron’s tantrum to seek revenge on his bullies by casting the angels out of Heaven. And when Cas discovers just what the Scribe of God is up to, he has his grace stripped away from him and he’s told to live his life as a human would. Like that’s going to happen, Metatron. He hangs out with the Winchesters.

Cue the view from Earth as thousands of angels begin to rocket towards Earth, wings disintegrating during their plummets. It was a beautifully horrifying sight (kudos to Supernatural‘s VFX team for their awesome work) and could be described in no other way than Dean’s quiet words “The angels…they’re falling.”

Mark Sheppard delivered an awesome performance as a humanized Crowley, making even the viewers who truly detest the demon feel empathy for him as he asks Sam how to begin asking for forgiveness. And really, who can really hate a man who confesses to a serious love of the HBO hit Girls? Sheppard provided the subtle shift in Crowley to make his transformation, however temporarily, believable.

But the real star of the finale was Jared Padalecki. He has been known to go to some pretty far places over the lifespan of Supernatural, including a demon blood detox, losing a soul and playing Lucifer, but none have gone as far as these trials. Padalecki really sold how sick and weak the journey was making his character, both during and after. But it was what he brought to Sam during the moment of confrontation with Dean, revealing that we he had confessed while purifying his blood for the final trial was that he was tired of letting Dean down, that really proved how talented the young man is as an actor. If you didn’t want to wrap Sam (and Padalecki) up in a blanket and smoother him with bear hugs and hot chocolate, you have no heart.

In a way, you could almost wish that one of the brothers had died or been sent to some otherworldly dimension. If they had, stability and familiarity would have reigned over all. After all, had Sam completed his task of bring Crowley’s humanity back and died in the process, we all know he would have been back in the first episode of Season 9. You can’t keep the wonderful talents (and face!) of Padalecki off the screen for long, after all.

But instead, fans were left with a hurricane of uncertainty. Our heroes are completely out of their element, poor Kevin Tran is stuck in the hobbit hole all by his lonesome, and no one knows what these angels will do once they reach Earth. We’ll all just have to wait until Season 9 premieres on the CW this fall to find out what Carver has in store for our boys. But until then, fanfiction up, Supernaturalfans! It’s going to be a bumpy summer.

What did you think of the Season 8 finale? Was it everything you were expecting? And what do you think Season 9 will bring? Let us know in the comments below!

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