9.22 Stairway to Heaven

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Title Stairway to Heaven
Episode # Season 9, Episode 22
First aired May 13, 2014
Directed by Guy Norman Bee
Written by Andrew Dabb
On IMDB Stairway to Heaven
Outline When Dean learns that the reaper Tessa is involved with the angels that are suicide bombing in the name of Castiel, he seeks her out for answers. Meanwhile, Castiel and Sam get a beat on the location of Metatron's secret entrance into Heaven.
Monster Metatron
Timeline June 12th – June 15th, 2014
Location(s) Dixon, Missouri
Lebanon, Kansas
Wellington, Colorado
Pray, Montana
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In an ice-cream shop in Dixon, Missouri, a child is scorned for eating a huge sundae when she proclaims that she is an angel. Then, another angel, Oren, walks in and the shop explodes.

Sam is sleeping in his room when Dean wakes him up with loud music on his cell phone. Sam jumps up, gun in hand, and questions Dean. Dean claims to not be tired and says they have work to do. As Dean packs up weapons in the library, Sam joins him. Dean tells Sam that he talked to Castiel who says something is happening in Missouri. The Winchesters decide to go help and, when Dean picks up the First Blade, a concerned Sam insists that they leave it behind. After some argument, Dean agrees. They arrive at the ice-cream shop where they meet up with Cas. He fills them in on what he has found so far: six dead humans and one dead angel.

Metatron is in his library, trying on a trench coat, when Gadreel enters. Gadreel says Metatron is losing and Cas' followers are growing. Metatron questions Gadreel's loyalty, but Gadreel insists that he serves Metatron and Heaven. Then, Metatron decides he needs to end the Castiel love fest. He has a plan.

Sam and Dean meet Hannah, Cas' right-hand angel, who tells Cas that Josiah, another angel, is missing and that they believe him to be the mole. Since angels no longer have wings, there should be a trail, and the boys go into research mode. Sam quickly tracks down Josiah's location on a computer. Meanwhile, another angel has found a video of the ice-cream shop incident which shows Oren exposing the Enochian symbol carved into his chest, proclaiming he was doing this in Castiel's name, and knifing himself with an angel blade which causes the explosion.

After watching the video, Dean demands answers from Castiel, in front of Cas' army. Sam insists they move somewhere private where Sam requests that they work the case. Dean wants Cas to stay out of it, but Cas wants to help. They decide that Dean will follow up on the suicide bomber, and Sam and Castiel will find Josiah.

Metatron meets Tyrus, a leader of an independent angel faction, at a bowling alley to try to convince him to join his cause. Tyrus refuses. Then, Constantine shows up and kills Tyrus in a suicide bombing in Castiel's name. While Sam and Cas trail Josiah, Dean questions Oren's friends. During his questioning of an angel, Dean discovers that Tessa is one of Oren's friends. Dean hunts her down so that he can question her.

Meanwhile, as they track Josiah, Sam and Cas discuss Dean and their concerns for him, as well as the Angel War. They follow Josiah to Pray, Montana, where they find an abandoned warehouse. In order to enter and pass through the warehouse, they must solve some riddles and circumvent some booby traps, which leads them to a door. Cas believes this to be the door to Heaven. However, it turns out to be a hoax set up by Metatron.

Dean continues to challenge Tessa about her choice to become a suicide bomber, which she insists was Castiel's idea. When pushed as to why, Tessa admits that she can't stand the screaming of the lost souls that can't get into Heaven, so death didn't seem so bad. Tessa tells Dean that there are more suicide bombers out there, but she refuses to give any names. When Dean pulls out the First Blade as a threat, Tessa thrusts herself into the Blade, killing herself.

Sam and Castiel return to Cas' headquarters to find the angels have subdued Dean with duct tape. Sam calls Dean on bringing the First Blade, and they argue. They are interrupted by a phone call from Metatron. In front of all of Castiel's followers, Metatron accuses Castiel of sending a suicide bomber after him, tells of Castiel stealing another angel's grace, and then offers amnesty to all angels if they join him. The angels turn on Castiel and ask him to show loyalty to them by punishing Dean for breaking the rules and killing Tessa. Castiel refuses, and all of the angels leave.

Metatron is gloating over his manipulation of the angels and his win over Castiel when Gadreel confronts him about the “elite” unit that Metatron brainwashed into being suicide bombers. Metatron continues to gloat and to justify his actions, but Gadreel's doubt of Metatron is obvious.

Sam, Dean and Cas return to the Men of Letters Bunker, where Sam again confronts Dean about bringing the First Blade. Dean claims that they are not a team, that this is a dictatorship until he can kill Metatron. Sam walks away, and Dean and Cas move into the library where they discuss the events that just happened and their chances of winning against Metatron. As Sam returns to the group, Gadreel walks in and says he doesn't want to fight — he wants to join them. He knows that they don't trust him, but he volunteers to help them by providing all the information he has about Metatron's plans. Dean, in what appears to be an offer of friendship, holds out his hand. As Gadreel reaches to accept it, Dean pulls out the First Blade and attacks Gadreel with it. Sam and Castiel restrain Dean.




  • "Spicy Latino" by Stéphane Huguenin, Yves Sanna & Christian Padovan (Kosinus)
(playing in Colonel Scoop's Ice Cream Parlor and Deli)
  • "El Pampero" by Joe Satory (Sonoton)
(playing in the Gas-N-Sip when Sam and Cas question the clerk)
  • "Cheek to Cheek" by Fred Astaire with Oscar Peterson and the JATP All Stars
(plays when Castiel and Sam enter the door to "Heaven"; also sung by Alastair in 4.16 On the Head of a Pin, and Cupid in 5.14 My Bloody Valentine)


Dean: Nice reflexes. Better hair.
Metatron: I mean, sure, he's cute. And Castiel has this simple… charm. He's like a mentally deficient puppy. But I'm lovable. And funny… I made God laugh -- twice!
Sam: You hold roll call?

Castiel: They like to hear me say their names.

Dean: I know a couple of women like that.
Castiel: They've put their faith in me.
Sam: And maybe that's the problem. I mean, people have been doing messed up crap in the name of faith -- in the name of God -- since forever.
Tyrus: Just smell that.

Gadreel: Old shoes and alcoholism?

Tyrus: Authenticity.
Flagstaff: You believe every problem can be solved with a gun. You play the hero, but underneath the hype, you're a killer with oceans of blood on his hands. I hate men like you.
Dean: Honey, there ain't no other men like me.
Sam: I checked all the windows and doors, no luck. You find anything?
Castiel: I think so, it's Enochian. I believe it's some kind of riddle. 'Why is six afraid of seven?' Now I assume it's because seven is a prime number, and prime numbers can be intimidating.
Hannah: I know what Tessa was planning, it's horrible, but there is only one person that can punish her.
Dean: Let me guess; yay big, trench coat, sensible shoes.
Josiah: I would rather die than owe my life to you, Castiel. You play at being noble. You play at being one of us. But I look into your eyes and I don't see an angel staring back at me.
Tessa: I guess I just can't take the screaming.

Dean: Who's screaming?

Tessa: All of them. The lost souls. The ones that can't get into Heaven now that it's been boarded up. I hear them. They are so confused. They're in so much pain. All I want to do is help them. It's what I do. It's my job. But I can't. So I suffered... until death, nothingness. Suddenly, it didn't seem so bad. It seemed quiet.
Dean: No. No, see…

[Dean pulls the First Blade out from under his jacket.]
Dean: The fun's just getting started.
Tessa: Dean, what have you done?
Dean: What I had to.
Tessa: Welcome to the club… [Tessa impales herself with the blade before Dean could realize.]

Tessa: Thank you.
Metatron: Castiel. Bet you're not happy to see me.

Dean: Is anyone ever?

Metatron: Dean, always with the B-grade '80s-action-movie wit.
Metatron: I did what I had to do. I have always done what I had to do, for God and for the angels.
Dean: Until I jam that blade through that douchebag's heart, we are not a team. This is a dictatorship. Now, you don't have to like it, but that's how it's going to be.
Gadreel: I'm not here to fight. I thought about what you said. You're right. Metatron, he's… Something needs to be done!

Sam: And we should trust you why?

Gadreel: Because I can give him to you. I know where Metatron is. I know everything… I know the bombers. They were his agents, not yours… You don't trust me, fine. I understand. I've… made mistakes. But haven't you? Haven't we all? At least, give me a chance!

Trivia & References

"Stairway to Heaven" is the most widely-known of Led Zeppelin's songs.
Sam: I'm glad, honestly. I'm not saying we bury the the thing, I'm saying we just save it for when we really need it. Crowley, Metatron -- the big boss fights. You don't have to have it with you all the time, right? Just leave it. Please.
"The big boss fights" is a term used in video gaming referring to the climactic battle between the player and a large, typically hard to beat enemy.
Castiel gives Sam and Dean's FBI aliases as "Agents Spears and Aguilera" referring to pop stars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Castiel explains that "I've noticed your aliases are usually the names of popular musicians." Which is, of course, correct, although Sam and Dean always choose names of classic rock musicians!
Metatron: I told you we had our shot with operation Lee Harvey, and we took it.
Lee Harvey is a reference to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
Gadreel: You had me followed.

Metatron: Yeah, and you met with the enemy... In secret. What is that old line about sins and stones?

A reference to the line in John 8:7, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Dean: I mean, the Manson girls aren't gonna give us a straight answer with Charlie in the room, so just hang back.
Charles "Charlie" Manson was a cult leader and mass murderer, whose followers were referred to as the Manson family.
Sam: You got a weird thing going on back there. Those other angels, the way they stare at you. It's like you're part rockstar, part L. Ron.
L. Ron Hubbard was the founder of the Church of Scientology.
Tyrus: You'd still be you -- a nerd trying to be one of the popular kids.
Curtis Armstrong who plays Metatron became popular in his role as Booger in the 1984 comedy Revenge of the Nerds. Tyrus was also wearing a shirt with the name Fred on it in reference to Fred "The Ogre" Palowakski from the same movie.
Dean: Oren. Friends?

Flagstaff: Constantine... And Tessa.

John Constantine is the protagonist of the Hellblazer comics, whose outfit was the inspiration for Castiel's costume.
The auditorium Tessa plans on suicide bombing was holding a production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Tessa: So, you're here. Why? You just love musical theater?

Dean: Only if it's Fiddler.

A reference to the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
Castiel: It's wordplay. And the answer is the key, like the doors of Durin in Lord of the Rings.
A reference to the scene in The Fellowship of the Ring, where the Fellowship must answer a riddle to gain entrance to the great Dwarven city of Khazad-dûm.
In the building where the portal is located, "Only the penitent man shall pass" is carved on the wall. In the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, there are a series of traps. The first one is called "The Breath of God." The quote associated with the trap says, "Only the penitent man will pass." As a person approached, they would feel air move through the chamber's thick cobwebs. They would then have to kneel in order to avoid being decapitated by three huge circular blades, just as Castiel did in the episode.
Castiel: He reeks of holy oil.

Sam: Yeah, looks like he got Home Alone'd.

In the 1990 movie Home Alone (and its sequels), Macauley Culkin plays 8-year-old Kevin who lays a series of traps for would-be burglars. In 1998, Culkin was briefly married to recurring Supernatural actor Rachel Miner.
Dean: Let's talk about us. I mean we got history, yeah?

Tessa: Sure. I still remember our meet-cute. You were dying. Dean: Good times.

A meet-cute is a television trope where a future couple meets for the first time in an entertaining fashion.
Dean: Sure. Yeah, you're Mother Teresa with neck beard.
Mother Teresa was a nun and missionary best known for her work with the impoverished in India.
Metatron: You want to stay with Castiel, fine, but he's playing you, because at the end of the day, the only thing he cares about is himself and the Hardy boys there.
The Hardy Boys refers to brothers who are amateur detectives in the boys' own adventure children's books. It was a term used to refer to Sam and Dean in the Television Without Pity recaps of Supernatural, and has been used as a nickname for them by Crowley.
Metatron: Well, that's an old writer's trick -- flipping the script. You start by building up a seemingly unbeatable enemy, like the death star, or a rival angel with a bigger army. That way, I look like the underdog. But then, oh, no! The competition gets greedy. He starts pushing things too much. With the help of my combustible double agents. And then, after a rousing speech, his true weakness is revealed. He's in love with humanity. And now… I'm inevitable.
The Death Star is the weaponized space station in Star Wars. He also alludes to when Emperor Palpatine starts torturing a defiant Luke to death with force lightning until Darth Vader stops him by picking him up and dropping Palpatine down the reactor shaft to his death at the cost of crippling his suit's life support systems, and the redeemed Jedi convinces Luke to remove his mask at the entrance of an Imperial Shuttle and tell his son he was right about him before he passes away in his arms, just as the Rebel Alliance achieves victory over the Galactic Empire when Lando Calrissian destroys the second Death Star's reactor.
Castiel: You really believe we three will be enough?

Dean: We always have been.

We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me) is a ballad from 1939 by Nelson Cogane, Sammy Mysels and Dick Robertson, which became a hit in 1940. Many famous musicians and bands sung their versions of the song in 1940, namely The Ink Spots, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra.


The ice-cream shop that the angel Oren bombs at the beginning is called Colonel Scoop's Ice-Cream Parlor & Deli.
Metatron is first seen trying on a trench coat similar to Castiel's trench coat.
Gadreel: You're the one who asked him to lead an army.

Metatron: Well, I didn't think he'd be good at it.

Metatron seems to be unfamiliar with (or underestimates) how Castiel led his followers to victory against the archangel Raphael throughout Season 6 during the first angelic civil war, utilizing Angelic Weapons stolen by Balthazar to kill or capture most of Raphael's loyalists and scare off the archangel while leading a squadron of 20 angels, including Bartholomew, who recollected the event in 9.14 Captives, and deceive Crowley, Bobby, the Winchesters, and his entire army to get the souls of Purgatory and use them to kill Raphael and his entire army singlehandedly, and temporarily make himself the new God, just as Metatron is doing with the angel tablet.
The bowling alley where Metatron meets with Tyrus is called Town 'n Country Bowl.
The fake "stairway to Heaven" is located in Pray, Montana. Metatron later said to Gadreel that the warehouse was where the gate used to be stationed before they moved it.
Sam and Castiel think they have found a door to Heaven. When they enter they find a room decorated with kitsch party decorations and a sign from Metatron saying "Welcome to your own personal heaven, Castiel. Good luck finding the real one."

At Jus In Bello Italy 2014, Jared reported that originally the writers had indicated that it was supposed to be "a bunch of pictures of Dean. ...I think the writers thought it was funny." He added "But we were like, ‘it is funny, but we don’t want to give [the audience] the wrong idea that that’s what’s going on....but the idea was that Metatron was messing with Castiel. So we didn’t want to make the episode seem like it was hinting towards something. Because that would have ruined the show to make it about something it wasn’t about. So they just changed it to like a really kitschy, goofy, kind of thing."

In the script, the original scene description is:

A room papered with PICTURES OF DEAN. Some real. Some with his face pasted on shirtless bodies. Cass and Sam freeze--the Hell--as Fred Astaire croons Cheek to Cheek ("Heaven, I'm in Heaven...").
Deleted scene: The deleted scene from this episode included on the Season 9 DVD and Blu-ray is a scene where Sam confronts Dean about giving him orders. Read the transcript here.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts