If the season had been about five episodes long, this would have been a pretty decent finale. But they spent all that time obsessing over finding the Demon Tablet, translating it, keeping it out of Crowley's grubby paws, and then sending Sam into molecular breakdown in order to complete the Hell Gate Trials... For what, exactly? At the last minute, it's a new character with a new motivation that ends up being the focus of the episode. But I get ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning.
Crowley pisses off the Winchesters one last time by nearly killing Sheriff Jody, so they agree to meet with him to make a deal. Crowley proves remarkably unsuspicious and gets himself demon-napped by his favorite brotherly duo. They abscond with him to the Abandoned Building of the Week – this time a church – where Sam begins the ritual of curing him. Dean wants nothing more than to be by baby bro's side, but Castiel comes to him in need of help. While Castiel was in the midst of procuring Cupid's bow for the second Angel Trial, Naomi nabbed Metatron and brought him back up to Heaven for a torturous little chat.
Having gotten over last week's butthurt, Dean helps Castiel out, but things soon go hinky. A strangely and suddenly nice Naomi dashes down to Earth to tell them that she's been poking around in Metatron's mind and has found some crazy messed-up crap. It turns out that Metatron isn't trying to shut Heaven's doors, but rather to cast out the angels, like God did to Lucifer. Why? The archangels spurned him and now he wants revenge. Say what? Naomi also tells Dean that completing the final Hell Gate Trial will kill Sam, which, duh. Haven't we all been assuming that? Well, apparently Dean was more optimistic. Silly Dean.
Anyway, Sam's business with Crowley is going relatively well, barring an all-too-brief and unsuccessful interruption by Abaddon. Crowley seems well on his way to being cured when Dean returns just in time to talk Sam down from the sacrificial ledge. There's much crying and brotherly angst and hand-wringing over the old issues of Ruby and soullessness and Dean having vampire friends. They're just never, ever going to get past these things, no matter how many times it seems like they've been resolved or at least put away.
Meanwhile, Castiel returns to Heaven to find Naomi dead, dead, dead. Metatron slits Castiel's throat and vacuums out all his Grace, which he then uses as the final ingredient in his spell to kick out all the angels. He's nice enough to then heal Castiel, who wakes up as a human being back on Earth, just in time to see dozens – perhaps hundreds – of angels plummeting from Heaven like winged meteors. Will the Winchesters now have a buttload of new Lucifer-level problems to deal with? Stay tuned for the full recap.
So here we are at the yearly Kansas montage. The first time I watched this sequence, I thought some of the clips were kind of an odd choice. After all, it's not like Charlie posing in her Lara Croft/Snake Plissken outfit is going to have anything to do with the finale. Then, after actually watching the finale, I realized how little the season itself had to do with the finale! They could have had whole episodes of that baby sloth that hands out flowers, or random shots of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and they wouldn't have ended up being any less relevant than some of the actual "mytharc" episodes we got. But where was I?
Ah, yes: rocking out to "Carry On My Wayward Son." The montage starts with a premise: "I'm about to close the Gates of Hell forever." It's a lie! A dirty rotten lie! "Lay your weary head to rest," says the song over a series of decapitations (har!), and then Dean hugs a bunch of people in time with the beat. (If nothing else, the eighth season will be remembered as the Hugfest of Dean Winchester.) Kevin Tran narrates the trials that Sam has been undertaking for what will turn out to be no reason whatsoever. Then we got to meet Metatron, Scribe of God and sweater-wearing hermit. He talked Castiel into closing the Gates of Heaven in last week's episode because Naomi and the rest of the angels were running amok. Then there's a shot of that scowly golem; remember him? Didn't it seem like the Thule Society was going to figure into things this season? Anyway: Crowley realized that just taunting the brothers wasn't working, so he decided to start killing all the people they've ever saved. The only way to stop him, he said, was to quit the trials and hand over the Demon Tablet. Dean was all raring to keep fighting, but Sam was starting to have doubts. So a baby sloth handed him a flower.
NOW! Sheriff Jody Mills (eee!) has gotten herself all dolled up and plunked herself into a booth table at some nameless restaurant and/or bar. It seems fairly upscale compared to the bars in which people usually find themselves on this show, and she appears to be a regular here. The waitress hands her a yummy cocktail, saying, "On the house, Sheriff." Sheriff Jody is a bit perplexed, as she didn't order the drink. At this moment, Crowley slides himself into the booth opposite Sheriff Jody, while the waitress mouths her a good luck wish before dashing off. Sheriff Jody lays her eyes on this fellow who's dressed like a dinner club magician and asks, "Roderick?" Crowley gives her an appreciative look. "Words cannot begin to describe the injustice that picture does to you." She blushes and smiles and takes a sip of her drink. Their date continues from there, and goes on for quite some time until they're the last patrons there. "Look at you," Jody says. "The fancy career, the suit... I'm pretty much what I am -- a small-town girl." Don't be self-deprecating on a first date! Even if it's a fake one set up by the King of Hell. "We do share something, you and I," Crowley says. What would that be? "Loss." Sheriff Jody's smile vanishes. She remembers a time when her hair was longer. And also when her zombie son killed and cannibalized her husband. "How did you know?" she asks, coming back to the present. Crowley lays his hand on top of hers and answers, "I've lost someone, too." Tears well up in Sheriff Jody's eyes. "It's not a date 'til I've cried," she chastises herself. "So now you've cried," he says. She touches his hand. Meanwhile, a piece of delicious-looking cake sits only half-eaten between them.