‘Supernatural’ Season Finale Review: “Do You Believe in Miracles?”
‘Supernatural’ season 9 summons its 23rd and final episode of the year in season finale “Do You Believe in Miracles,” as a rage-driven Dean makes his final assault on Metatron, while Castiel and Gadreel attempt to sway the other angels to the nature of Metatron's deception.
Previous ‘Supernatural’ installment “Stairway to Heaven” saw a rash of angelic bombings leading Dean to lose his grip in the investigation, while Sam and Castiel discovered the truth of Metatron's (Curtis Armstrong's) plans. So, what does the 23rd season 9 episode bring? What shocking twist are the Winchesters left with this time?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Supernatural’ season 9 episode 23, finale installment “Do You Believe in Miracles”!
Sam and Castiel manage to restrain Dean in one of the Men of Letters cells, though he bristles that they’re locking up their only shot at killing Metatron. Outside, Sam finds that Gadreel has wandered off, leaving a trail of blood, while inside the cell Dean coughs up his own blood. Elsewhere, Metatron has his follower rig up a microphone that transmits to any and all angels, wherein Metatron claims that he’ll be going on a short trip before he can reopen the gates of heaven.
Sam and Castiel find Gadreel roadside by the base, wherein Gadreel reluctantly accepts Castiel’s healing and reveals that Metatron intends to go after humanity next. Meanwhile, Dean manages to summon Crowley, learning that the Mark of Cain will cause him deterioration and death if he doesn’t’ satisfy the urge to kill. Dean declines the possibility of getting rid of it, wanting only to kill Metatron, for which Crowley agrees to free him and recover the blade.
Castiel, Sam and Gardeel learn of Dean’s escape with Crowley, though Gadreel admits that Dean and the blade represent their best shot at killing Metatron, if only they can properly aim Dean’s rage. Gadreel explains that Metatron has tapped into the angel tablet, bringing him closer to unlocking godlike powers, for which Castiel suggests they break into his office in Heaven and sever the connection. Elsewhere, a woman in the street is hit by a car and presumed dead by a crowd, before Metatron steps out.
Dean and Crowley set up shop in a restaurant, before Crowley’s men bring a viral video of Metatron returning the woman to life, whispering something in her ear, and identifying himself as “Marv” The pair travel to the woman’s residence to find Sam already waiting, as Sam reveals the woman has left, and that he has come to accept Dean’s plan to kill Metatron before Crowley departs. Elsewhere, Gadreel and Castiel pull the old Wookiee trick to sneak Castiel into heaven, posing him as Gadreel’s prisoner to the two angels guarding the portal at a playground. Upon arrival however, Hannah and the others quickly lock Castiel and Gadreel up in adjoining cells, having predicted the ruse.
“Marv” arrives to a homeless camp and rids one of the men of diabetes, though another vagrant soon reveals himself as an angel, and attempts to explain the nature of Metatron’s deception. The revived woman and the homeless man champion Marv, leading the others to attack and ultimately kill the angel. A short while later, Dean knocks Sam out en route to the homeless camp, while up in heaven Castiel and Gadreel attempt to explain to Hannah that Metatron had set them up with the bombings. Gadreel grows agitated by Hannah’s disbelief, asserting all that matters is angels returning to their mission of protecting humanity. Gadreel carves the detonation symbol into his chest and warns the two, sacrificing himself to convince Hannah of their innocence.
Dean finds Metatron alone in a factory near the camp, as Metatron insists he’s just giving people something to believe in, having walked among them for years and come to understand them in a way God never bothered with. Dean disregards the rhetoric and goes to attack, though given Castiel’s hangup in heaven, Metatron easily overpowers Dean. Meanwhile, Castiel arrives at Metatron’s office and finds the angel tablet inside his typewriter, but destroys it only seconds after Metatron stabs Dean with an angel blade, something Sam arrives just in time to see.
Stripped of his powers, Metatron returns to his office to explain to Castiel that he was too late to save Dean, and the angels will still flock to him, so long as they’re allowed into heaven. Metatron admits that he’d been playing the other angels, until Castiel points out that his loudspeaker was on, and the other angels enter to restrain Metatron. Back on Earth, Sam attempts to lead Dean out of the factory, but Dean succumbs to his wounds and dies.
Castiel has Metatron locked up rather than kill him, though Cas continually insists that he can’t be the angels’ leader, particularly given his imminently fading grace. Meanwhile, Sam returns Dean’s body to the base and downs a few drinks, preparing to summon Crowley to clean up the death he’d caused. Unbeknownst to Sam, Crowley is already upstairs with Dean’s body, explaining that while he hadn’t known Dean’s death would be an outcome of the mark, he had left out the story of how Cain had killed himself before letting the mark take him over. Crowley places the First Blade in Dean’s hand, relaying how he'd heard that the mark ultimately wouldn’t let Cain go, and urging Dean to feel the new life within himself.
At last, Dean’s eyes open to reveal a jet black appearance, that of a demon’s eyes.
And lo, another season of ‘Supernatural’ has come to an end. No spinoffs to look forward to (at least for the moment), no word if the next season will prove the last for Sam and Dean Winchester, and no major climactic world event in the vain of last year’s “Sacrifice.” No, this year’s closer opted for a much smaller story, an elementary continuation of the events built up in the last few episodes, almost as if to say the second half of a 2+ hour tale, albeit with one humdinger of a final twist.
The ninth season has felt a bit more abstract, whether by ‘Supernatural’'s advancing age, or the somewhat vague nature of Metatron’s plans, in that it still remains unclear exactly what the villain had attempted to accomplish. We know he’d won the angels back to his side, and planned to act as the new God with seemingly benevolent interest, but how his “Marv” persona or a few miracles performed around the country fed into his ultimate endgame remain somewhat murky, at least by the show’s usual cogency. Don’t get us wrong, Curtis Armstrong has an exceptional presence, and ably portrays the character’s villainous side in battle with Dean, but by and large the character seemed to work best as a cypher for Castiel to sort out his own issues with humanity and the ever-divided angel community.
And for as much as it seems the show’s central bromance has shifted to Dean and Crowley, “Do You Believe in Miracles” at least notably returned to the central question dividing Sam and Dean all year, namely the ability to let one another go. Even at their closest this year, Sam continually insisted Dean’s desperate gambit to save Sam was borne of his own selfish nature, while he himself would let Dean go if the opportunity necessitated. Now, even as Sam reluctantly allows Dean to act as the metaphorical loose cannon, he finds himself unable to say goodbye to Dean, attempting to invoke whatever deal Crowley might offer in exchange. The brothers have been killed and raised so many times by now, we’re hard-pressed to imagine that either Crowley or another of the angels (presuming Castiel was too weak) would take much issue with returning Dean to life absent any major cost, but as far as the shift in Sam, the point comes across.
Naturally, we have a few unanswered questions going into the tenth season, specifically what Cas will do in the face of his fading grace, and while “Miracles” wasn’t the most climactic of showdowns or finales, Dean’s apparent demonization is definitely a strong pull to keep us coming back for what *may* prove the final season. We seem to remember that purifying demons actually proved a relatively simple task last season, but surely some unforeseen conflict will arise to keep Dean-mon in play, likely absent any permanently inked corneas, because let’s face it, a wizard did it.
AND ANOTHER THING…
- We imagine we’ll be seeing Hannah a bit more next season, but if Tahmoh Penikett had to go, they at least gave Gadreel a memorable exit.
- That People’s Choice award dig. Ouch.
- So...what of Kevin, and the souls stuck in the Veil?
- Castiel knows pop culture now. We get it.
- So…the homeless folk were made aware that Dean would be coming for Metatron, but…weren’t tasked with doing anything about it?
Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of scary ‘Supernatural’ action? What did you think about tonight's finale, "Do You Believe in Miracles?"? Give us your take in the comments, stay tuned for the latest word on the finale from cast and crew, and join us again this fall for more all-new recaps of ‘Supernatural’ season 10 on The CW!