'Supernatural' Season 9, episode 21 recap: Crowley's daddy issues and Dean's anger issues in 'King of the Damned'

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supernatural-king-of-the-damned-recap.jpg After last week's adventure in Chicago, it was nice to return to the big issues at hand this season on "Supernatural." The spinoff was interesting, and it's definitely worth a return trip this fall, but this close to the Season 9 finale, it was frustrating having to pause on the angel war, and the First Blade issues, and Abaddon vs. Crowley. "King of the Damned" on Tuesday (May 6) thankfully got back on track on all three of those stories, and made up for lost time in a big way.

Abaddon's dead! Ding dong, the Knight of Hell that was too ambitious for her own good finally bit the dust, and her sendoff was every bit as epic as you'd expect for someone who's become such a huge big bad this season. But how did she meet her extremely violent end? Let's go back to the beginning, shall we?

Abaddon tried to secure her future by going back in time to gain some leverage over Crowley. She calls Crowley's bluff that he's clean of any humanity, and plucks his son Gavin from the past and tortures him the future right in front of the absent dad. Will Crowley break to save his son and join up with Abaddon to take out both the Winchesters and the First Blade? While that would be disastrous, you can't deny that it's fun to see the complicated father/son duo meet after all these years, and to once again be reminded of the real reason that Crowley sold his soul. Remember how he sold it for an extra three inches ... ahem, down there? Hilarious.

While Crowley is forced to confront his daddy issues head-on, Castiel makes some strides in his heavenly war. He captures one of the angels in Metatron's inner circle, and asks Dean to torture him to find out Metatron's secrets and plans. Dean happily accepts the task and Sam looks worried. But they don't even need to hash out why Dean so readily accepted the controversial task, since it turns out, they didn't even need to torture the angel at all -- just by acting like the angel was a nobody and probing his ego, they got him to talk and spill about some secret angel squad and a portable portal to heaven that Metatron controls. But after they leave the angel alone, he's killed. Who did it? Clearly, Cas has a traitor in his army.

That prompts the "commander" angel to set up a secret meeting with Gadreel to offer him a spot in Castiel's army, working as a spy within Metatron's ranks. Gadreel of course doesn't see why he should switch sides, but Castiel warns him that his faith in Metatron will be his downfall. And then the two are attacked by more angels, reinforcing the fact that Castiel has a mole in his midst. He tells Gadreel he wants to fight fire with fire, but Gadreel doesn't make up his mind. If he does choose to join Cas, how will Sam and Dean take the news that Cas is working with the person responsible for Kevin's death and hijacking Sam's body? Not well. Not well at all.

Back at Hell HQ, Crowley and Gavin have a long-overdue father-son chat about what Crowley's been up to with his life, starting from the bottom as a lowly demon to becoming the king. He convinces Gavin that as the "prince" of hell, their lives can have perks, and Gavin agrees. In turn, Crowley agrees to help Abaddon. He calls up Dean, tells him where to find the First Blade, and says they'll take down Abaddon together. But since Abaddon is sitting right next to Crowley, is he actually turning on Sam and Dean? Or is this some big plot of Crowley's to get Dean and the Blade close enough to kill Abaddon?

Dean and Sam go get the blade -- from inside a corpse, because of course -- and Crowley has to call off a hell hound, but all seems to be going according to plan. Crowley tells them where to find Abaddon, but then tells Dean the code word: Poughkeepsie. Dean doesn't say anything to Sam about Crowley telling him the code word, and also-in-the-dark Abaddon shoots Crowley with a devil's trap bullet just to be safe.

Dean tells Sam to go check the basement while he goes straight to where Crowley is, and Abaddon ambushes him. But the Mark and Blade combined prove to be more powerful than Abaddon. After an intense stand-off between Dean and Abaddon, he gets the upper hand and kills her. But that wasn't enough for Dean, and he stabs her over and over again, violently, terrifyingly not in control of himself. Sam finally makes his way upstairs, and pulls Dean back again.

After Crowley digs the bullet out of his shoulder, he disobeys Sam and Dean and sets his son free in modern times, even though that could cause a ripple effect, changing the past. It's so strange, seeing Crowley actually act like a father, telling his son his ship went down in the past and this is his chance at a better life. And he tells him he can't smoke either, which is just something a father would totally tell his son in real life. Anyone else think we haven't seen the last of Gavin?

In less heartwarming news, Dean keeping Crowley's code word warning a secret from Sam pushes them even further apart. Sam is angry because he thinks Dean wanted to protect him like always, even though he doesn't need protecting. But Dean explains that he knew Sam would come charging in there with him -- like they always do -- and Dean knew he needed to kill Abaddon solo. Something, either the Blade or the Mark or both, told him that he had to do it alone. And while Dean is okay with that, Sam can tell that the Blade is doing something else to Dean other than giving him powerful fighting skills. He thinks it's doing something bad, and they should lock it up somewhere distant and safe, but Dean just says, "No."

Obviously in this case, Sam is right, and something else is going on with Dean. He can't see it, but everyone else can. Odds are, this isn't going to end well for either Winchester. 

"Supernatural" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The CW