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Recap / Supernatural S 09 E 22 Stairway To Heaven

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 9, Episode 22

Stairway to Heaven
Castiel This attack... I knew he wanted a war, but this...This is abhorrent, even for him.
Written by Andrew Dabb.

Directed by Guy Bee.

Air Date: May 13, 2014.

Castiel tries to lead his army to fight Metatron and some angels committing suicide in his name. Dean, on the other hand, seems to be embracing his growing desire for violence courtesy of the Mark of Cain and the First Blade.

Body Count:

For this episode: 11 humans, 5 angels, and 1 reaper.

For the series so far = At least 1107 angels, 1040 humans (of which 8 were witches), 167 demons, 58 vampires, 49 ghosts, 36 Jefferson Starships, 21 gods, 19 zombies, 10 hellhounds, 9 werewolves, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 6 shapeshifters, 5 djinn, 5 reapers, 4 dogs, 4 ghouls, 4 Leviathan, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 rugarus, 2 Thule, 2 vetalas, 1 cat, 1 crocotta, 1 deer, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 familiar, 1 Khan worm, 1 lamia, the Mother of All, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 pishtaco, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shojo, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 Titan, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, 1 wicked witch, and 1 wraith.



  • Ax-Crazy: Dean. The ending scene especially, where he growls with rage.
  • Back for the Dead: Tessa the Reaper.
  • Beat: "He's in love...with humanity."
  • Bound and Gagged: Dean.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Tessa and the other brainwashed angels.
  • Classical Mythology: Metatron uses the sphinx enigma to seal Heaven's door.
  • Driven to Suicide: Tessa, from hearing the screams of those stuck in the Veil.
  • Genre Blind: Gadreel lowering his guard around the Winchesters. Castiel might accept him, but he possessed Sam and Dean is currently Ax-Crazy towards anyone he even remotely sees as a threat.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Gadreel grows increasingly weary of Metatron's self-centered and manipulative methods and joins the Winchesters and Castiel.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity/Villain with Good Publicity: Metatron switched strategies after figuring out Castiel was too good at recruiting and leading an army. The suicide bombers attacking him and his followers turn out to be angels he himself had brainwashed; the attacks not only drive neutral factions to Metatron's side, but undermine Castiel's standing among his own followers.
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  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mark of Cain or no, Dean looks horrified when Tessa impales herself upon the First Blade.
  • Opt Out: Castiel's followers, en masse.
  • Overly Long Name: "My angelic name is eighteen syllables long. Let's stick with Flagstaff."
  • Pet the Dog: Esther, one of Metatron's angels, does want the human she'd been a bit haughtily talk gin to in the ice cream parlor to leave when one of Castiel's angels comes in.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Castiel, as a result of his involuntary Archive Binge in "Meta Fiction" (S09, E18).
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Flagstaff gives a good one to Dean, but Dean is so pissed and strong he flips a table on her and nearly knifes her.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Gadreel seems genuinely reformed, but Dean, juiced up on the Mark of Cain, is having none of it. He pretends to shake his hand—and then slashes him across the chest with the First Blade before being held back by Sam and Castiel, all the while growling.
  • Retcon: It was already hinted in "Taxi Driver" and "I'm No Angel" but this episode makes the reapers a subset of angels official.
  • Series Continuity Error: Dean tells Tessa he's never been suicidal. Those five seasons where he just wouldn't stop being a Death Seeker beg to differ.
    • Well, he's Not Himself at the moment, so his memory might be a little biased.
  • The Sleepless: Dean.
  • Spoiler Opening: The Previously On… clip spoils Tessa's return.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Metatron finds Castiel cute...
  • Suicide Attack: The modus operandi of the "elite squad".
  • Suicide by Cop: Tessa.
  • Titled After the Song: After a song by Led Zeppelin.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Dean is regarded as this by Castiel's followers. Considering how the episode (and season) ends, they wouldn't be too wrong.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Dean under the influence of the Mark of Cain.
    • Tessa, who seems to think her suffering is worse than the countless innocent people the suicide bombers kill.
  • Undying Loyalty: Castiel can't bring himself to "punish" Dean for Tessa's death. He loses his army as a result.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sam lets Dean have one over lying about leaving the First Blade in the bunker; Dean protests that Tessa's death had been an accident, but by the end of the episode he's too far gone to care.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Castiel sees the light at the end of the hallway and gushes over how finding the route to Heaven could tip the war, or even help him avert one. What he actually finds is a mock-up prom and a crispy angel cursing him with his dying breath.

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