Supernatural’ season 8 scares up its twenty-third and final episode of the season in “Sacrifice,” as Sam and Dean seek to cure Crowley as the final trial to close the gates of Hell, while Castiel discovers that Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) may have an endgame all his own.

Previous ‘Supernatural’ episode “Clip Show” saw Sam and Dean investigating exorcisms in preparation for the third trial, as Crowley dug through Winchester history and Castiel considered a deadly proposal from Metatron, so what does the final season 8 episode bring?  Do the Winchesters finally succeed in ridding the world of Crowley and his fellow demons?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Supernatural’ season 8 finale, “Sacrifice!”

Crowley poses as a glammed-up Sheriff Jody Mills’ date, bonding about their respective losses over drinks, before Jody excuses herself to the bathroom. Crowley lays out a hex that causes Jody to start choking blood, to which Sam and Dean finally call and agree to deliver the tablet in surrender. A short while later, Sam and Dean greet Kevin Tran digging up the tablet, and offer him the key to the Men of Letters base.

Still hanging with Metatron, Castiel wonders about God’s demeanor as they observe a barkeep soon to be hit by a cupid’s arrow as part of their next trial to close the gates of Heaven. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean meet with Crowley in Bobby’s old yard. Dean protests the absurdly large contract Sam is to sign in aborting the trials, but then he snaps a pair of the Men of Letters’ demonic handcuffs on Crowley. Dean presses his little-known advantage over Crowley as the brothers reveal Crowley himself is the third trial.

Castiel and Metatron are still drinking at the bar when Naomi’s angels appear and take Metatron hostage. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean set up a Devil’s Trap inside an abandoned church to start the ritual, and Sam reluctantly begins the confession needed to purify his blood. As Sam prays, Castiel appears to Dean and reveals that Naomi has captured Metatron and he needs Dean's help

Up in Heaven, Naomi questions why Metatron so readily allied with Castiel, turning her mysterious drill on the angel, while back on Earth Dean reluctantly agrees to follow Castiel in banishing the angels, and leave Sam behind to continue the trial on his own. His blood purified, Sam begins to inject Crowley with the first dose, Sam’s arms glowing in the process.

Dean and Castiel explain to an incredulous Kevin Tran that he needs to decipher the angel tablet, while Sam injects Crowley with a second dose. Crowley bites open Sam’s arm in the process, using the blood and time alone to place a call to any demon who’ll listen that the King of Hell needs help.

Back in the bar, Castiel and Dean watch as a mysterious woman delivers a shipment of beer to the bartender, seemingly catching his eye. The woman leaves, as both the bartender and a male patron suddenly bond over their mutual appreciation of an infomercial bow, surprising Dean. Realizing the woman to be the cupid, Castiel and Dean confront the woman outside and demand her bow.

Meanwhile at the church, the ground begins to shake and split the Devil’s Trap when Abaddon enters, and she throws Sam out of the building and demands Crowley step down as the King of Hell. Surprised to find her not on his side, Crowley attempts to bargain with Abaddon before Sam reappears and douses the demon with lighter fluid, setting her ablaze. Abaddon vacates her burning vessel, and flees out the broken window. Elsewhere, Dean and Castiel’s cupid reluctantly hands over her bow, hoping Castiel can finally fix all the discord in heaven, while Metatron resists Naomi’s torture.

With Sam’s blood taking effect, Crowley begins to ramble about he and Sam having bonded over the experience, likening them to Hanna and Marnie of HBO’s ‘Girls,’ and pleading that he deserves to be loved. After another injection, Crowley begs Sam to help him begin to confess his sins, offering up his neck for the next round. Meanwhile, Kevin informs Dean and Castiel that none of Metatron’s trials appear on the actual tablet, as Naomi herself appears to the pair. Naomi reveals that Metatron's trials are meant to banish all angels to Earth, and so she offers her help to Dean, pointing out that Sam will die if he completes the trials.

Castiel teleports Dean to the church to stop Sam before returning to heaven to find Naomi with the drill through her head, and Metatron free of his restraints. Dean stops Sam just before he completes the trial, though Sam insists on finishing regardless of the cost of his own life. Sam protests that Dean views him as a screwup, and would sooner align with angels or vampires than his own brother, but Dean points out how much he’s willing to sacrifice for his brother’s life. Sam finally agrees, uncertain how to expel the white-hot energy within him, while Dean urges him to simply let it go.

Upstairs, Metatron restrains Castiel and non-fatally slices opens his throat to remove his angelic essence, the last trial of his own plan. Metatron urges Castiel to live his life on Earth, marry, die, and later return to Heaven to tell his story, and then Castiel awakens on Earth. Sam doubles over in pain and rushes outside, as Kevin Tran sees all the equipment in the Men of Letters base whir on and light up across the board.

Finally, streaks of light begin raining from all directions of the sky, as angels fall to earth and lose their wings in the descent.

Well, not that 'Arrow's similarly-named finale should have any bearing on 'Supernatural's season 8 closer, but we can't help feeling a bit let down by the resolution to Sam and Dean's latest adventure. The emotional beats work though, especially for Mark Sheppard as he explores a new dimension to Crowley that we hope to see more of next season.

That said, tonight's finale left a bit too much on the table, with Crowley's condition in the church uncertain, Sam's illness unabated, the angels plummeting to Earth, and an unknown future in place. We're left with a similar sentiment from a few weeks ago, in that Felicia Day's otherwise-enjoyable episode "Pac-Man Fever" would have been a better fit at the start of season 9, as it would allow for a more concrete resolution to season 8.

Season 8 is a significant improvement over last year to be certain, particularly with a return to more established mythology, but some cliffhangers come too far out of left field to have any real impact here.

Did you get your fill of spooky ‘Supernatural’ action?  What did you think about tonight's finale “Sacrifice?” Join us again next season for all-new recap of ‘Supernatural’ season 9 on The CW!

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