Who’s next up in our quest for a S9 arc?
Let me back up a minute. I have NO complaint about any of the actors involved with any of these characters. Mitch Pileggi, Alaina Huffman, Curtis Armstrong, Amanda Tapping… these (and probably more I’m forgetting) are all great actors with legitimate talent. If anything that’s what makes the disappointing results of their characters even more depressing. We could be seeing characters every bit as memorable as Ash or Gordon or Agent Henriksen or many more secondary characters from the classics of the series. But we don’t.
Let’s take Metatron a moment. I was never fooled for a moment that he might become an ally of the team. It’s just a tradition of the show that if your name isn’t “Bobby” or “Castiel” that you will eventually turn against the boys unless you die first (Garth is like a gray area). The bigger twist would have been Metatron being an actual friend.
Now I know what one of you might be saying: “Nate, you’re on a blog. You write stuff and talk too much about meta stuff that only you care about. You’re just mad because Metatron is you!” To which, you are only half-right. Yes, Metatron is a better looking version of me, but I’m not mad that I’m a villain, I’m mad I’m a poorly written villain.
Just like before with Abaddon, ask yourself, “why?” No, let’s back up. “How?” How is Metatron a villain? Kicking angels out of heaven? The folks responsible for this? (and more) The show at this point had spent 4-5 years establishing angels as far more antagonistic than ally. (And if you bring up the veil, I’ll refer back to earlier.) If Sam and Dean went and kicked them out of Heaven, would they be villains or would it be heroic? Because he killed Kevin by order? Ok. But why did he do that? What did killing Kevin accomplish for Metatron? Note that S9 ends with Castiel defeating Metatron by breaking the angel tablet. Need I remind you that Kevin proved his ability to “heal” broken tablets just the previous season (episode 8.23) meaning that had Metatron kidnapped Kevin instead of kill him, the prophet could have put that broken tablet back together. So really killing Kevin helped out the heroes more than it did the supposed villain, so how is he villainous?
The most clearly villainous act Metatron does is kill other angels. Well his first kill is Naomi, who had previously been a villain, returning us to our previous problem, but later on we see him having angels who aren’t villainous be killed off. But why did he do that? He claims wanting to take over Heaven and be the new God. I could, maybe understand kicking out other angels to accomplish this (otherwise you’d maybe get Heavenly Game of Thrones) but why then bother with trying to drag them back to Heaven when they don’t want to? Because they could become foes? But then Metatron tries and gets Castiel to be his opponent so Metatron can tell a story. So he’s so worried about opposition, that he’ll assassinate other angels so that he can later brainwash (or whatever he was doing) another angel into being his opposition.
Do you see it yet? S9 keeps wanting us to believe Metatron is some big bad villain of the season, but nobody puts in more work and takes real steps into defeating Metatron, than Metatron! And not in a clever, “the folly of hubris” manner.
If it had been up to me one of two ways to do it…
First, let’s assume they want to have him be a villain-villain. So I would have most of the first half of the season focus on Abaddon, with a mid-season reveal that part of why she’s so bad and “winning” is that Metatron is semi-aiding her in order to create the villain of his story that he can defeat (the Satan to his God). Reveal that her soul-theft is the result of him giving her secrets (or hacking reality) so she can be as bad as possible. Let Dean get the Mark not just to stop Abaddon, but ensure that her defeat is as far from Metatron’s help and design as possible (yes, the season plot would come down to kill-stealing). Then you can have Metatron so angry/frustrated that he and Dean have the final showdown, Castiel fixes Heaven, etc etc.
Second (and my preference) I would have Metatron be a tragic anti-villain. I would have him be something like a fanboy who wants to do good and be the hero but has become so laser-focused on the “story” and task that he fails to realize how he’s affecting real people. I would have S8’s finale and much of S9 all be the result of him doing what he legitimately thought was the best thing to do – even if it often made things worse. And since Dean got to kill Abaddon, I would have the finale be Sam “defeating” Metatron, not in a fight, but in a simple conversation and connecting to the guy to get him to see what he’s really doing.
At best we can at least say that Metatron’s efforts don’t run immediately afoul of canon. Using tablets as cheat-code guides to reality is even something that does make decent story sense. Curtis Armstrong does breathe great life into an otherwise empty character such that I could imagine Metatron doing lots of things outside villainy. But as for the first part of the villain test? He’s a complete failure. I can’t tell you what his plan was, much less what would have happened had he succeeded.
So while Metatron may have the best claim to an arc in S9. He still wasn’t it.