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Recap: Supernatural S 04 E 16 On The Head Of A Pin

Recap of Supernatural
Season 4, Episode 16

On The Head Of A Pin

Written by Ben Edlund.

Directed by Mike Rohl.

Air Date: March 19 2009.

Someone found Lucifer's sword and is using it to kill angels. Castiel and Uriel have captured Alastair and ask Dean to use the torturing skills he learned in Hell to extract information from him so they can stop the murders. Sam is concerned Dean can't handle the job but Dean agrees to do it.

Alastair reveals to Dean that because he broke down in Hell and starting torturing, that that was the first seal, and he paved the way for the apocalypse. Castiel feels doubts as he listens to the screams from outside, and Anna—the angel-radio girl who got her Grace back—tries to convince him to disobey orders.

Sam enlists Ruby to help track down Dean. He drinks some of her blood too, because he needs the strength.

Alastair breaks free from the devil's trap and starts laying into Dean. Cas comes to his rescue, but Alastair starts sending him back to Heaven. Sam arrives and kills Alastair once and for all. Dean is hospitalized after his beating.

Uriel confronts Castiel, saying he is the one who has been killing angels, but only the ones who said no. He wants Cas to help him bring Lucifer back and start the apocalypse. Anna kills him before he can kill Cas.

Body count

For this episode = 1 humans, 1 demon, and 2 angels.

For the series so far = At least 290 humans (of which 5 were witches), at least 63 demons, 27 ghosts, 10 vampires, 6 changelings, 3 gods, 3 shapeshifters, 3 zombies, 2 angels, 2 werewolves, 1 cat, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 dog, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, and 1 wendigo.

Tropes


  • Action Girl: Anna is shaping up to be one.
  • Big Damn Heroes: "Maybe. Maybe not. But there's still me."
  • Break the Cutie
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: A rare example where the hero's the torturer.
  • Dies Wide Open: Alastair.
  • Do Not Pass Go: Alistair mentions this while snarking at Dean.
  • Exalted Torturer/Torture Technician: Alastair turned Dean into one downstairs. It's playing with both tropes, because Dean is the hero (which usually means Exalted Torturer), but what he does to Alastair is acknowledged to be really bad, and the reasons for him doing it turn out to be moot (since the demons aren't responsible for the murders) and cruel manipulation (since the orders aren't coming from who they're supposed to be coming from). Either way, Dean's general impassivity while torturing is one more sign that he's really not okay.
    Alastair: Now, it's your professionalism that I respect.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Alistair, which is kind of awesome (if creepy as hell) because he's being tortured at the time.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Anna stabs Uriel through the neck.
  • Killed Off for Real: Uriel and Alastair.
  • Made of Iron: Uriel goes through a brick wall, gets up, and irritably brushes bits of masonry off himself.
  • Manly Tears
  • The Mole: Turns out? Uriel is working for Lucifer. Although the character was a Jerkass supreme, we had assumed that he was a WELL-INTENTIONED Jerkass supreme.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Dean is responsible for breaking the first seal, which paved the way for all the other seals to be broken.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Alistair beats Dean into needing to be hospitalized.
  • Not Me This Time: When tortured by Sam, Alastair insists that none of the demons are killing the angels, and that they don't know who's doing it. He's telling the truth.
    Alastair: Lilith wouldn't kill seven angels! oh, she'd kill a hundred...a thousand...
  • Oh, Crap: He doesn't say it, but Dean's expression shouts it when he realizes that Alastair has escaped the devil's trap
  • Punched Across the Room: When the combatants are super-strong, this happens.
  • Tearjerker
  • Took a Level in Badass: Since becoming an angel again, now Anna can really kick some ass.
  • We Can Help the Bad Guy Together: Uriel has been trying to persuade other angels into serving Lucifer, as he does. He killed the seven murdered angels because they refused.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: So, whatever became of the Lucifer-loyalist angels after Uriel died? One would think that would have become a big issue in Season 5, but it's never even mentioned again.

Supernatural S 04 E 15 Death Takes A HolidayRecap/SupernaturalSupernatural S 04 E 17 Its A Terrible Life

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