Supernatural season 9, episode 22, “Stairway to Heaven,” aired tonight. Read our recap and discuss the episode with fellow fans.
Setting the scene
The episode opens with an angel suicide bomber taking out an ice cream shop with another angel and six humans inside in Castiel’s name.
Cut to the bunker, where Dean wakes Sam up and throws some shoes at him. He’d talked to Cas and wants to check out the ice cream shop. Dean tries to pack the First Blade but Sam, worried about what the Blade is doing to Dean, talks him down from bringing it. Or so he thinks.
At the ice cream shop, the Winchesters meet Cas. The human bodies had their eyes burned out, indicating angel attack.
Meanwhile, Gadreel confronts Metatron about Cas’ growing flock. Metatron, though, reveals that he knows Gadreel met with Cas. Gadreel says he still serves Metatron, who has a meeting scheduled with Tyrus, the leader of the largest individual angel faction left.
In the name of Castiel
Cas leads the Winchesters into angel HQ, where Hannah reveals there is an angel, Josiah, missing from their ranks. They suspect he’s the mole. Since angels must travel like humans now, Sam tracks him to a gas station in Colorado.
Meanwhile, a video has turned up from the ice cream shop attack — the bomber had a sigil carved into his chest to concentrate his power and stabbed himself, atomizing the other angel, who was one of Metatron’s. And he did it in Castiel’s name. While Cas is sickened, Dean suspects he actually ordered the attack.
In the end, Cas and Sam head off to track Josiah while Dean stays behind to interrogate the bomber’s friends. On the drive, Cas and Sam worry over how the Mark of Cain is affecting Dean, and Sam assures Cas he doesn’t believe he was behind the attack.
Because seven ate nine
Metatron, Gadreel in tow, meets Tyrus at a bowling alley. Tyrus, though, isn’t particularly interested in going back to Heaven — it’s boring and Earth is fun. Metatron’s threats fall flat since killing Tyrus would send his people to Cas’ side.
Sam and Cas track Josiah to Montana. They find his car outside a building that has no visible way in. Cas eventually finds an Enochian riddle: “Why is six afraid of seven?” When Sam gives the correct answer, the door opens and Cas makes a Lord of the Rings reference.
Meanwhile, Dean interviews an angel about the bomber. She calls Dean out on being a killer, and Dean snaps and puts an angel blade to her throat. She names two of the bomber’s friends: Constantine and Dean’s old buddy Tessa the Reaper.
Dean tracks Tessa down, sees her bearing part of the mark the first bomber had, and stops her from launching her own attack. However, Constantine attacks the bowling alley as Metatron is leaving.
Dean brings Tessa into angel HQ, showing the other angels that she was planning an attack. Dean is ready to torture her for information, but Hannah and the other angels won’t let him; Cas is the only one allowed to punish her. After a tense standoff, Dean hands over his angel blade.
After avoiding a booby trap, Sam and Cas find what Cas believes is the doorway to Heaven. When they step inside, though, they find a lounge with tacky decorations and a note indicating it was a setup. Also in the lounge is a charred Josiah. He refuses Cas’ help and dies.
In the interrogation room, Tessa says she’s working for Cas. She’s doing what she’s doing because can’t take the screaming — the screaming of the lost souls who can’t get into Heaven with it boarded up. They are confused and in pain, and she can’t do her job.
She also reveals that there are many more like her. When she refuses to give up any names, Dean pulls out the First Blade. Tessa, before Dean can act, stabs herself on the Blade and thanks Dean. The other angels arrive to see her dead with Dean over her.
When Cas and Sam return, Dean is tied up. Sam frees Dean but calls him out on breaking their deal. Their argument, however, is interrupted by a call from Metatron. He’s still alive despite Cas’ bomber. He says Gadreel is injured and Tyrus dead, though his followers have flocked to Metatron.
Metatron then offers amnesty; any angel who joins him may return to Heaven and follow Metatron as the new God. He then mentions Cas’ stolen grace and says Cas only cares for himself and the Winchesters. After Metatron hangs up, Hannah demands proof that Cas is still on their side; she wants Cas to punish Dean for killing Tessa. Of course, he can’t do it and the angels leave.
Many head to Metatron’s side. However, Gadreel is upset Metatron didn’t tell him that their elite force was for suicide bombers; he recruited those angels. Metatron reveals that he purposefully built Cas up to make himself look like the underdog before revealing Cas’ fatal flaw: his love for humanity.
Sam, Dean, and Cas head back to the bunker. Sam confronts Dean, who declares that they’re not partners; he’s calling the shots until he kills Metatron whether Sam likes it or not. Dean then tells Cas that he believes he wasn’t behind the bombers and that the three of them will take on Metatron.
Sam then shouts an alarm — Gadreel has appeared in the bunker. He wants to accept Cas’ offer. He knows everything, including that the bombers were Metatron’s. Dean approaches him, shakes his hand, then pulls out the First Blade and slices Gadreel across the chest.
The episode closes as Sam and Cas hold a raging Dean back.