Wow, what a finale! I've got to say the ending was pretty much what I'd been steeling myself for but that in no way diminished the impact of it.
Against a backdrop of the Angel War, it was nice to see Metatron get his comeuppance and even better that it was Castiel that handed it to him with a fantastically sneaky trick. He's obviously been hanging around those Winchesters far too long!
But where said Winchesters were concerned the show piled on the angst thick and fast. Where do the boys go from here? I think the ending was a natural progression of what the mark has been doing to Dean over recent weeks, and although it's been painful watching the sweet soul that we know Dean Winchester is turning darker and more murderous with every episode, it sets up a fascinating dilemma for season 10.
It's been great watching Dean get a strong storyline of his own, and Jensen has gone to town on it like a starving dog with a bone - every week he's brought heart and soul to Dean's diminishing humanity, and there were times in this episode where he looked positively demented!
It was wonderful closure to see Sam's cold-hearted declaration mid-season that he would let Dean go if Dean died, go clean out of the window when the chips were down. When he left Dean's body to head straight down to the dungeon with the intention of practically throwing his soul at Crowley, I went from sobbing with devastation to sobbing with joy that deep down underneath all the snarking and bickering that has, at times, been quite wearing, the brotherly love that we all crave still burns.
All in all, I'm overwhelmed and thrilled by this finale. Whilst I hate the thought of Dean being a demon, I'm excited by the prospect of Jensen portraying it, and can't wait to see how they pick it up in October.
On a more shallow note, there was one scene in this episode that mesmerised me utterly. It was a combination of brilliant acting and clever direction/filming, and that was the showdown in the old factory between Dean and Metatron. With the subtle golden light reflecting on his face, Dean looked almost otherworldly; sinister but ethereal, like something greater than human. I don't think I've ever seen him look more stunning.
Sorry guys, but I've just got to spam that scene ...