Monday, May 9, 2011

Supernatural - 6.20 - The Man Who Would Be King - Recap

Previously, we went back to season 5 to get caught up. Sam saved the world by being Satan (still sounds weird), Cas went to heaven to lead a civil war (yep, weird too), Raphael leads the other side, burning holy oil is an angel's devil's trap, Sam was soulless, AlphaVamp cried Purgatory, Crowley wanted it, everyone from Death to Fate talked souls, Eve turned into Mary to say Crowley was alive (yippee!!!) before dying herself, and Crowley confirmed that Cas and he are working together. Nice to see you Crowley. Fweh..that's a lot of back story for one 42 minute show.

Cas opens in a park/forest talking He goes through evolution and the Old Testament - that's quite a combo. However, "the most remarkable event" didn't take place - the Apocalypse. True, but it would've been nice if something happened last season. (Sorry still grousing over the LamePocalypse.) He extols Dean and Sam and says the Apocalypse was averted by "two boys, an old drunk, and a fallen angel." Don't forget a non-existent budget. Oh and the Bobby reference - bwah! Cas declares they "ripped up the ending and the rules and destiny, leaving nothing but freedom and choice, which is all well and good except…" Cas questions if he did the right thing. I celebrate the montage added to the monologue. Go Ben Edlund. Cas says he's getting ahead of himself but I'm still puzzled who he is talking to. God? Us? Person stage left? Who knows? "Let me tell you my story. Let me tell you everything." Then Cas looks directly at the fans so he must be talking to God because that fourth wall already shattered this year. Speaking of shattering, so does the title card glass.

In the Impala, Dean drives alone and it's odd without Sam beside him. Cas zaps in and Dean's clearly unhappy about the no warning drop-in. Angels need doorbells or to send GPS arrival times like airport monitors. In a shout out to all wondering why it's more business than friendship between Cas and Dean this year, Cas asks how Dean's doing. Dean lies and asks about Cas. The whole conversation is awkward. Cas checks in and Dean asks about his Crowley "Satan Jr." hunt. Cas lies, saying that Crowley "tricked" him, which may be true, but not in this conversation's context. Dean says it doesn't matter (yeah right) but what does is "finding him, ripping his head off, and shoving it up his a**" OK, so there's a plan. I hope it fails because I love Crowley. He makes me laugh and cringe. Cas pumps Dean for info but they've got nothing and Sam's on a djinn hunt in Omaha. Dean says he's headed there and I say what? They don't go on random monster hunts alone. I can count on one hand how many times that happened on air. It makes no sense at all. How did he get there? Who went with him? Why would they split up? Someone's getting played here and it's either Cas or the Continuity Fairy. Cas regrets he can't go, Dean placates him, and the whole thing is so fake I wonder that even Cas doesn't get the undertones. Dean turns serious: "But Cas, you'll call right? If you get into real trouble." It's an offer to come clean, but Cas just stares, gives a slight head nod, and zaps away. This whole episode would have gone smoother if Cas had confessed right here. Dean's clearly worried about Cas and it's evident that although he denied it to Bobby and Sam, he's suspicious too.

Cas zaps over to Crowley's Lair of Monster Torture and Evesection. Immediately my head and heart split. My head says it's going to be icky but my heart says, "Who cares? IT'S CROWLEY!!!" They're both right. Crowley has Eve's body cracked open for autopsy. He must be a fan of CSI, although I bet no one on CSI ever had a corpse that laid eggs well after it's death. Eve is a huge caviar factory. Gross! I barely have time to puzzle over Eve when we skip straight to the torture porn part of the episode. It's a theme this season. Crowley inserts a spike in Eve's brain which causes the chained monster nearby to seizure and writhe in pain. It's not pleasant and makes me wonder if other monsters feel the same thing. After all, she communicated to them no matter where they were. It's a shining example of why my Crowley love makes me uncomfortable. For the record, Cas stands by and watches the screaming. Cas asks the value of this experiment and Crowley responds, "Apart from the obvious erotic value, you got me." Cas gets back on topic. "You said Eve could open the door to Purgatory." Sucks that she's dead then. Crowley agrees. "Single best chance to get over the rainbow and the Winchesters killed her." Cas says it was "unavoidable" but Crowley puts the blame squarely on him. He thinks Cas suffers from a conflict of interest and it's making Crowley cranky. Knowing the Winchesters are after you is bound to do that to a demon, even the King of Hell. "The stench of that Impala's all over your overcoat angel. I thought we agreed. No more nights out with the boys." Ha! Cas says he needed to learn what the Winchesters knew. Crowley: "About what? About me maybe? Because I happen to have it on good authority that your two little pets are currently trying to hunt me down." I love when Crowley gets all red-faced from yelling. It makes me realize how much I want him to be the Big Bad next season.

Voiceover Cas calls himself the Winchester guardian. Not sure how I feel about the inequality of that. "After all, they taught me how to stand up, what to stand for, and what generally happens to you when you do." We flash to Cas Molotov cocktailing Michael and getting blasted to bits by Lucifer in Sam for his trouble. Bwah! He learned doing what's right commonly leads to sucky consequences. Thanks Winchesters! Of course Cas reassembled. "And then the most extraordinary thing happened. I was put back and we had won. We stopped Armageddon, but at a terrible cost." According to Cas, he then raised Sam from hell. It was nearly impossible, which makes me question why Raphael doesn't get Lucifer and Michael out himself. If a less-juiced Cas could do it, surely an archangel could. Plus how did he pull Sam out without letting Lucifer and Michael out too? They are vastly more powerful than Sam. Alas, we get no details and it goes in the "it's so because the writers say so" pile. Ugh! Cas knows the Apocalypse victory made him overconfident and arrogant, but the big question is did he know Sam was soulless from the start. Again, no answer. We see RoboSam flashes so perhaps Cas followed him around in the beginning too. He watches Sam leave without contacting Dean and realizes he should have seen the warning. Which warning was that?

We flip back to Crowley's Experimental Lab, where he begs Cas to kill the Winchesters. Cas refuses so he threatens to do it himself and hide the bodies where Cas can't resurrect them. Crowley, dear, you don't have to worry about Cas for that. It's Supernatural writers who resurrect people all the time. For all appearances, Cas drives this alliance. He's makes proclamations and has superior power but Crowley's so devious, you know there's manipulation is going on. Still, it looks like Cas could end this at anytime, which will make things harder to excuse later. Cas says not to worry and Mark Sheppard steals the scene again. "Don't worry about…? What? Like Lucifer didn't worry or Michael or Lilith or Alastair or Azazael didn't worry. Am I the only game piece on the board who doesn’t underestimate those denim-wrapped nightmares?" AWESOME! Pure awesome! And probably why he's the only piece still on the board. Everyone underestimates the Winchesters and they all die. Glad someone's paying attention. Cas is less impressed than me. "Just find Purgatory. If you don’t, we'll both die again and again until the end of time." He starts to leave but that line can't be a throwaway. What will kill them? Would it be Lucifer's revenge? Torturing both over and over again in some Prometheus scene of never-ending pain? Cas leaves promising the brothers won't find Crowley. "Let 'em get to me. I'll tear their friggin' hearts out." Um, I thought you weren't going to underestimate them.

Meanwhile back at the Singer ranch, it's torture porn round #2. Bobby: "I gotta tell you Red for a filthy, lower than snake's spit, hell spawn, you seemed to turn yourself into a damn fine hunter. I don't know whether to kill you or kiss you." Red: "Oh please, kill me." Ha! I like Red, so he's not long for the world. He took out a vampire nest and Sam compliments him before Bobby turns it into a Crowley conversation. Red: "Read the papers Redneck. The King is dead." Bobby laughs; I decide demons get the best parts. Well, until Bobby throws Holy water on him and breaks out Ruby's knife. Bobby: "Crowley's alive, his nets are still out, except now he's using you schmucks to hunt his monsters." Crowley got screwed when all the Campbells died. Sam seems fine with torturing and I think RoboSam might have rubbed off a bit. We won't know because Dean pops in and head nods Sam and Bobby over. Bobby slams Ruby's knife into Red's leg before joining the conversation. Again with the torture this season.

Dean recaps Cas' visit and says he kept mum about the Crowley search. I'm stunned Dean and Sam really did split up if Dean was 2 hours away when Cas dropped in. What's up with that? Dean's ticked: "You know he's our friend and we are lying to him through our teeth." Dean defends Cas while Sam and Bobby tout their evidence. Dean: "He's the Balki Bartokomus of heaven. He could make a mistake." Bwah! Perfect Strangers reference! "You think Cas is in with Crowley. Crowley?" Bobby and Sam aren't sure but they're not taking chances. Cas stands not 50 feet away eavesdropping, which originally threw me. I don't remember Invisible Cas before. Sam protests: "Look Dean, he's our friend too okay and I'd die for him, I would but…Look I'm praying we're wrong here." Bobby adds: "But if we ain't, if there's a snowball of a snowball's chance here that means we're dealing with a Superman who's gone dark side. Which means we've gotta be cautious, we've gotta be smart, and maybe stock up on some Kryptonite." Dean drops his head then looks at Sam. "This makes you Lois Lane." Ah a little funny in a desolate situation. Bobby: "We've gotta find Crowley now before that damn fool cracks open Purgatory." Cas voices over while Dean looks conflicted and Bobby tortures Red. "And the worst part was Dean trying so hard to be loyal with every instinct telling him otherwise." That's a very apt; you can see it on Dean's face. As Dean rejoins the torture chamber, Red says he gets his orders from the Dispatcher, Ellsworth which is the name of Jim Beaver's Deadwood character. Ha!

Cas heads to Ellsworth's place and into one of my favorite scenes. He's the demon counterpart to Bobby with similar home, trucker hat, beard and flannel. He communicates through multiple bowls of blood (nice consistency again) to sends underlings on different missions. His place is covered in old books and his walls with maps and info. Makes me wonder who's on that Missing poster. In a great homage to Weekend at Bobby's, he also pretends to be FBI to cover for a demon. Instead of calling demons "idjits", he calls them "freaking Yetis." I like that better. Cas storms in to take out the Winchester clan's only lead in order to save them from getting killed by Crowley. Wow! Even Crowley has more faith in their abilities. Cas kills the "yetis" and when Ellsworth tries to go all black smoke, Cas chokes the smoke back into him and lights him out. It's cool looking, and Cas is conflicted about whether he killed Ellsworth for the Winchesters or himself. I'm conflicted about why Supernatural writers create such great characters only to kill them off right away. Ellsworth had a lot of promise. He officially tops my Potential Characters Killed Off Far Too Early list. (huge sigh as mournful music drones into a commercial break)

When we return, Dean breaks down a door and my heart thuds at the promise of getting action this episode. But no, it's Ellsworth's place and he's already dead. In fact, the housekeeper redecorated. The brothers theorize demons are running from them now, but I say they missed out on all the demon research Ellsworth collected. Darn Cas' superior cleaning. They scope the place while Cas watches. And narrates. Some more. Again. This recap will be 12 pages. We flash back to Sam watching Dean outside Lisa's window again when Cas' motives were pure. Instead of becoming visible to Sam and asking why he's leaving, Cas joins an autistic man's favorite Tuesday version of heaven. I wonder if they serve Pig 'n a Poke. Rachel and some unnamed angels greet Cas. Rachel's shocked he's alive after Lucifer smote him and Cas declares the Apocalypse over. Rachel: "It was God wasn't it." Cas: "No. It was the Winchesters." Ha! Not sure why I find that funny but I do. Rachel tries to elevate Cas with her hero worship, to make him their leader. Cas refuses saying they don't need a leader when they have freedom. That throws Rachel and me for a loop. Rachel wants to know what God wants. I want to know what utopian society Cas spied on to think that even a free society doesn't need leaders and rules. Cas and Rachel banter about freedom before Cass decides "freedom is a length of rope. God wants you to hang yourself with it." Really? They blame God for this too.

Cas grouses about heaven which I find amusing because Crowley did the same thing after being crowned King of Hell. "Explaining freedom to angels is a bit like teaching poetry to fish." But Raphael's the biggest problem. Got to say, he has a great set-up in heaven what with a tastefully decorated mansion and body guards. He's like heaven's mobster. Not sure why he'd risk it for the Apocalypse Part 2. Maybe he has money riding on the outcome of the game. He's pompous, coldly polite, and matter-of-fact in expecting complete obedience. In other words, typical angel douche. He's borrowing Ken Lay's house and I sigh at more political jokes. Typically we avoid them on Supernatural. Raphael calls for a huge angel meeting the next day where Cas will pledge allegiance to him in front of everyone and they'll rejoice by letting Michael and Lucifer out of time-out. Sounds like a party, but Cas isn't celebrating. Raphael creeps me out and not in a good Crowley way. He firmly believes the Apocalypse is God's plan because he, Raphael, wants it. Way to make it all about you. He may out-creep Grandpa Creepy but he is smart. He says angels were made to obey and will line up after a leader, any leader. Cas: "Then I won't let you." It's bold, stirring and powerful…right until Raphael kicks his teeth in by just opening his hand. "I'm not ashamed to say my big brother knocked me into next week." So much for the love. Raphael demands Cas kneel before him or he will kill Cas and everyone with him.

Back in the present at Ellsworth's Former House of Demon Fun, Bobby calls the cleanliness "kind of OCD for your average demon." Apparently angels make the bed but demons leave crumbs on it. Sam asks what's next and Dean says call Cas. Sam and Bobby protest but he cuts them off. "No, you talked; I listened. This is Cas guys. I mean there was no one and we were stuck , and I mean really stuck. He broke ranks. He has gone to the mat cut and bleeding for us so many freaking times. This is Cas. Don't we owe him the benefit of the doubt at least?" This is one of the things I love about Dean most. He's tremendously loyal to those he trusts and it's obvious that although he has his doubts, he's still on Cas' side. Sam stares at Dean for a moment before praying to Cas. This is one of the things I love about Sam most. He's willing to follow Dean even through his doubts if it's truly important to Dean. He knows his brother's needs well and is willing to take risks to support him. I am so glad the brother relationship is restored.

Sam does the awkward prayer thing Dean usually does complete with opening one eye. Then Dean tries. However, despite standing right there, Cas doesn't remove the special invisibility cloak his dad gave him. Why? He's can't face them yet. Sam sympathetically looks at Dean who excuses that Cas is busy in heaven. Sam says they're also busy to jumpstart a crestfallen Dean. Aw, even my heart goes a bit turvy. It's back to square one - torture more demons. I'm so not looking forw…Yikes! Out of nowhere, a demon attacks Dean. Sam shouts but it's too late for me; I'm already having a heart attack. (I jump every single time.) Action (yes action my friend) ensues as 3 demons arrive. Tables break, windows bust, and one demon tells Dean that Crowley says "hi" before punching him. For reasons unknown to mankind, Cas thinks it's a perfect time to break up the action to narrate. WHY?!?! Crowley sent his best hunter demons so Cas intervenes with a montage of what we JUST saw and his glowing hands. Cas debates saving them at the risk of ticking off Crowley or…forget it. He does the light hand and all 3 demons are disposed in 10 freaking seconds..yep that's tonight's action. Cas: "For a brief (10 second) moment, I was me again." And that dear Cas is the main issue. I'm not shocked Cas is working with Crowley. I knew something was up since Crowley's first "death" and I'm not even concerned about what he did to seal the deal. However, Cas is the Winchester security blankie and the writer's get-out-of-a-corner-free card. Whenever they can’t come up with a creative way to solve a current problem, Cas zaps in and neatly saves the day…in 10 seconds. He's too powerful to keep on the show. In fact, once the civil war is finished, they might as well put him on speed dial. Bobby can do the research, Cas can take out the bad guys and Dean and Sam can sit in a corner playing rock-paper-scissors. It'll be a fascinating scenario no one wants to watch. Either Cas needs to lose his angel powers as punishment for working with Crowley or he needs to die. I'm sorry, but angels have outlived their usefulness on this show. And that includes Cas.

We rejoin the non-action to find a grateful Dean and sheepish Sam and Bobby. Cas: "I firmly believe Crowley is alive." That stunning revelation took as long as smiting the demons did. Dean smiles: "Yeah, you think Kojak?" He puts Bobby and Sam on the spot and undertones that they apologize for their lack of faith. Yep, Dean's headed for a heartbreak. And I mean that in the most purely platonic, non-Winger, friend/family betrays you kind of way. Bobby apologizes and Sam admits hunting Crowley behind his back. Bobby: "We thought you were working with him." Cas: "You thought what?" Nice non-response Cas. Dean: "I know. It's crazy right?" This time Bobby interrupts so Cas avoids a direct answer. They spout about the bones and Cas goes all self-righteous on them. "You know, you could have just asked me." In those 30 second visits when you weren't using them as bait? Actually he has a point; they could have asked. I just don’t think the outcome would change. Cas would merely lie to their face instead of going behind their backs. Dean also apologizes and asks for forgiveness. (Spotty memory check - has Dean ever asked for forgiveness before?) Cas is magnanimous, "It's forgotten," but he mentally wonders about how they trust in him. Right before he screws it all up. "It is a little absurd though…Supermen going to the dark side. I'm still just Castiel." Dean gets the implication first. As his face shudders, he gives a fake smile and says, "I guess we can put away the kryptonite right?" The temperature in the room plunges. Cas: "Exactly." He voiceovers, "Of course I didn’t realize it at the time but it was all over right then, just like that." The camera pans on Dean and we see his face crumble and then grow hard. He's been betrayed and he knows it - AGAIN. Great acting all around in this scene.

Dean isn’t the only furious one. Castiel kicks in the door of Crowley's Freak Show. "You sent demons after them." Crowley: "You kill my hunters, why can't I kill yours?" Cas claims they are his friends and he really believes it, but Cas made them targets in French Mistake by willing using them as bait. I'm not sure Cas understands friendship. Crowley agrees. He says Cas is losing it but Cas says he's fine - guess he learned that one from the Winchesters too. Crowley: "Yeah, you're the very picture of mental health." Ha! He smirks over Cas' identity crisis between the righteous angel the Winchesters believe him to be and the corrupt soul he currently is. "Well, I've got news for you kitten, a whore is a whore is a whore." Wow! No punches pulled here. Or in Cas shoving Crowley, busting the concrete wall. Cas: "I'm only going to say this once. If you touch a hair on their heads, I will tear it all down." What Cas? What are you demolishing? "I am still an angel and I will bury you." So if angel trumps demon how will you unbury yourself when everyone finds out? Scary Cas is awesome and I so wish he was the Big Bad this season. He flaps away while Crowley yells, "This is not how synergy works!" BWAH!!! Someone's been reading self-help business books.

Back in autistic guy's heaven, Raphael stands over Cas. We left off here 15 minutes ago. Again, Raphael's bigger, meaner, and more powerful. Cas needs help. He spies on Dean raking leaves in Lisa's yard but doesn't disturb Dean's fun fall chores when Crowley shows up. Here's where I'm supposed to feel all angsty and sorry for Cas, but Dean's RIGHT THERE! Sure, he couldn't do anything to help but would it hurt to brainstorm a little before going to the King of Hell? Don't get me wrong, I know Raphael had to be stopped and I get the appeal of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. I don’t even fault Cas for going with Crowley's idea. But Cas beat up Dean for choosing Michael AFTER they tried everything they could think of. Cas heads straight to a demon without exploring any other options. I know people will scream about Winchester clan hypocrisy, but Cas indulges in some of his own. (Side note - I find all this angel spying very creepy. As in Lucky the Man-Dog level of creepiness.)

Crowley interrupts his musing by calling him "the angel of Thursday." Forgive my ignorance but I never knew Castiel is the name of an angel who helps those born on Thursdays, if you believe that sort of thing, which I don't. And I was born on Thursday. This character was also born on a Supernatural Thursday so props to the research department for that one. However as Crowley duly notices, "Just not your day is it?" Nope, it's Friday now - adios angels. Cas asks what Crowley wants. "I want to help you help me help ourselves." Well that clears it right up. He wants a business deal but Cas scoffs since angels don’t have souls to make deals with crossroad demons. I didn't know angels had no souls but it explains why they have more in common with RoboSam than Biblical angels. Crowley gives speech #148 on souls without anyone clearly explaining how it all works. "I'm talking about Raphael's head on a pike. I'm talking about happy endings for all of us with all possible entendres intended." Cas: "I have no interest in talking to you." Crowley: "Why not? I'm very interesting." No truer words ever spoken. He asks for 5 minutes, and promises no obligations. We all know how that usually ends. Cas glances at Dean bagging leaves and agrees, while we hear him monologue about being smarter and stronger than Crowley. Thank you pride for the fall. Cas calls himself a fool while I wonder how soon after season 5 this was because Dean is looking like hunter Dean not domestic Dean.

In a clever treat, Crowley proves he's imminently suited to rule hell. When most people think of hell, it's pain and endless torment, like the season 4 version. Instead, Crowley turns hell into one unending DMV line. Now serving #6,611,527,124. While at the same time, they have to listen to carnival music. BWAH! That really is hell, especially since when you get to the front, he makes you go to the back of the line again. Brilliant, evil, limey torturing King. He says most hell bound people are masochists anyway but "no one likes waiting in line." So true! He cites his efficiency while Cas rolls his eyes and says he has 4 minutes. For Cas, the only two options he has are "submit or die." Crowley: "Submit or die. What are you, French? How about resist?" (chortles) Cas admits he's not strong enough but Crowley says he's not on his own. He has angels ready to build him an altar. "God's favorite? Buddy boy, you've got what they call sex appeal." Cas thanks him; I think Crowley really means buzz here, but far be it for me to deny Misha's sex appeal. "Angels need leaders so be one. Gather your army and kick the candy out of each and every angel that shows up for Raphael." Cas: "Are you proposing I start a civil war in heaven?...You're asking me to be the next Lucifer." Crowley: "Please, Lucifer was a petulant child with daddy issues." COULD NOT agree more and thus my main problem with season 5. Cas is far more suitable for rebellion than Lucifer according to Crowley because "You love God. God loves you. He brought you back. Did it occur to you that maybe he did this so you could be the new sheriff upstairs?" I guess Crowley saw Frontierland too. Cas says it's ridiculous but his face says hmmmm.

He argues he'd need a lot of power. "More than either of us have ever seen, yeah. But what if I said I knew how to go nuclear." To sum up, Crowley wants Cas to help find Purgatory where they would both take souls and thus their power. "An untapped oil well of every fanged, clawed soul." Great, season 6 is now a treatise on high oil prices and imperialism. Perhaps the government should look for Purgatory too. Cass wonders how they will find Purgatory since it's hidden better than Atlantis and Crowley suggests "two eerily suited Teen Beat models with time on their hands." Teen Beat? Really? Dean and Sam are too old for the Justin Bieber crowd. Cas protests too but not for the same reason. He proclaims Dean retired so Crowley mentions "a certain big bold patriarch I can take off the bench." HA!!! I am so saying "I told you so!" I knew Grandpa Creepy didn’t get pulled from heaven no matter what he said. That had demon deal written all over it! Anyway, Grandpa (and RoboSam) find monsters to lead them to Purgatory. So simple I wonder why no one else tried it. Then I realize they probably did and the plan failed.

Crowley's price is half the souls. "My position isn’t all that stable, ducky. Those souls would help just like they'd help you. Besides, wouldn't you rather have me in charge down here - the devil you know." Crowley or Lucifer - not a hard choice. Cas has one last objection. There's not enough time to find Purgatory before Raphael takes over, but Crowley of course has that covered too. He'll float Cas 50 hell souls as a loan. "It's either this or the Apocalypse all over again. Everything you've worked for, everything that Sam and Dean have worked for. Gone. You could save us Castiel." Masterful twist there. "God chose you to save us. And I think deep down, you know that." No wonder he's in charge. Cas tells us that Crowley pricked his pride in case we didn't understand his awesome speech. Cas caves; he rejoins Raphael with a bunch of white business men angels and blasts him with his new shiny hand light saber. Before the stunned other angels can react he sternly demands, "There will be no Apocalypse and let it be known, you're either with Raphael or you're with me." I guess you can call this the angels' firing on Fort Sumter.

As Cas leaves Raphael/ Ken Lay's war room, we head back to Ellsworth's pad. His place is getting more time than he did. What a shame. Dean and Sam nod to each other and Dean prays. Things are different here because it's not even funny. Cas comes right away and Sam explains away their position by saying they had to bury the bodies. Dean says he stayed for the whiskey. I foresee a liver transplant in Dean's future. Sam draws Cas into the room by telling him to look at their new plan. He asks what the plan is and Bobby says, "It's you," before lighting up a handy holy oil ring. Things go orangey in the flames as we pan all 3 Winchester clan faces. Dean stands up to talk about Superman and kryptonite. Cas gets his mistake while Bobby and Sam question him about his Peeping Tom ways and bones and Ellsworth. Cas says he'll explain if they let him out but Dean cuts to the chase. "You gotta look at me man. You gotta level with me and tell me what's going on. Look me in the eye and tell me you're not working with Crowley." I get the feeling that if Cas could do this, Dean would bank the fire and let him out. Cas can't.

Dean whispers, "SOB" as his face falls; Sam registers the hurt and looks down too. "You're in it with him. You and Crowley have been going after Purgatory together. You have huh. This whole time." Cas says it was to protect them and Sam rightly asks, "How? By opening a hole into Monsterland?" Bobby throws in, "He's right Cas. One drop got through and it was Eve and you want to break down the entire dam." For Sam and Bobby, it's Purgatory but for Dean it's about betrayal by one of the few people he let close enough to hurt him. He clenches his jaw as Cas justifies his actions by saying he can stop Raphael with the souls. "Please you have to trust me." I'm visibly stunned at Cas saying this with a straight face but not near as much as Sam. "Trust you? How in the hell are we supposed to trust you now?" Cas claims he's their friend (hmm) and pontificates by saying, "I'm the one who raised you from perdition." Second verse same as the first. Well except this elicits head lifts from Dean and Bobby but no surprise from the audience. Sam's angry and despite what some say, he has every right to be. He spent 1.5 years soulless and what he did as RoboSam still eats him up. Throw in a leaky Great Wall to boot. I'm not saying Cas should have left him there, but after learning Sam's condition, he should have contained him until he had a solution. Sam asks, "Wait. Did you bring me back soulless on purpose?" Here's the billion dollar question folks and if the answer is yes, Dean will kill him. Cas: "How could you think that?" Writers, that is not an answer. That's evading the question and it's going to drive me nuts. However, whether Cas knew Sam's soul was in the pit or not and I'm not sure he did at first, he sure as Hades knew it when Sam was playing GI Monster Hunter. RoboSam neatly fit both Crowley and Cas' scheme and it's no coincidence Cas was completely against Sam being re-souled. When the Winchesters register that, there will be hell to pay. (Side note - Cas' tie is backwards again. What's up with that?)

Cas backtracks to the Raphael will kill us all argument and I want to reach in and smack him. Cas: "I had no choice." Dean, who's been mostly silent so far, calls him on it. "No, you had a choice. You just made the wrong one." Before people jump on the hypocrisy train, and yes, it's parked in Ellsworth's living room, they've all said this to each other before. Dean looks disappointed but hasn't given up on Cas. Cas huffs it's too complicated for them to understand and even I'm insulted with that one. Dean: "No actually it's not and you know that. Why else would you keep this whole thing a secret huh, unless you knew that it was wrong? When c** like this comes around, we deal with it like we always have. What we don’t do is we don't go out and make another deal with the devil." OK, now we can say it. All aboard. Hypocrisy train, party of 3. Because no one in that room hasn't made some type of devil's deal. Mary, John, Dean, Sam, Bobby, and now Cas. They've all done it. None of them learned from the others, and in all honesty, there's a high possibility that if push came to shove they'd do it again. Some people say sacrifice is the Winchester way. I say never learning a damn thing from past mistakes is up there too. It sucks out loud.

Cas rightly says Dean makes it too simple. After all, it was pretty simple to Sam when Dean traded his soul for Sam's life. It was pretty simple to Dean when Sam chose Ruby over him. Simple's in the eye of the beholder and when you are waist-high in a problem you can't always see the whole picture. However, Cas is not anymore innocent than the others were when they screwed up royally. He didn't even look for other options and knew full well who Crowley is. More importantly, he completely screws the pooch next. "That sounds so simple when you say it like that. Where were you when I needed to hear it?" HELLO! You did NOT just say that. Cas learned blame shifting from humans too and it doesn’t look any better on him. Where was Dean? He was raking leaves 25 feet away while you played with Daddy's invisibility cloak. This is not Dean's fault; it lies squarely on your shoulders, Cas. Dean didn't know your troubles for over a year by which time you had Crowley's monster torture plan well underway. Heck you even pulled RoboSam in it. You played least in sight the following year, hiding from the Winchesters and your guilty conscience. Even in this episode Dean gave you a way to start the conversation and you didn't. Nope, this is your mess and the Winchesters will have to clean it up. My sympathy for your plight has waned. Dean's voice hardens too. "I was there. Where were you?" Cas flashes back to the leaf raking scene. He knows exactly where they both were.

Dean's eyes fill with tears and I'm surprised at the vulnerability he's showing. Usually this is where he hardens up and gets hateful. "You should have come to us for help Cas." Cas: "Maybe. It's too late now. I can't turn back now. I can't." Dean counters that it's not too late; it's never too late. (Except it is for me because it's approaching 2 am and I've suddenly got 3 Days Grace singing in my head. Great song.) Dean: "Damn it Cas we can fix this." He's still wants to help but Cas vows it's not broken. Are you kidding? That's delusional if he can't see how badly screwed up it is. He won't even listen to his options. Even Dean admitted that selling his soul was wrong; he just didn’t care. Dean's about to argue but he's cut off by the demon swarm that surrounds them. Cas tells them to run and they do, but Dean hesitates to look back at Cas. I would have bet he was going to release Cas but he doesn't and I'm shocked. I'm also shocked that running works because there were quite a few demons on the radar. What would keep them from each taking a Winchester and leaving Cas to deal with the others? I guess the Winchesters are still off limits.

Crowley struts through the door. No kicking it down for the King of Hell. "My, my, playing with fire again." HA! Great delivery! He snaps his fingers and douses the flames. Cas, the ingrate, threatens him about the Winchesters. Crowley: "Please, heard you the first time." If only it were enough, this recap wouldn’t be so freaking long. "I promise nary a hair on their artfully tousled heads." Bwah - more snark, less internal monologue. "Besides, I think they proved my point for me. It's always your friends, isn’t it, in the end. We try to change. We try to improve ourselves. It's always our friends that gotta claw into our sides and hold then us back. You know what I see here? The new God and the new devil working together." OK, so Crowley's just as delusional as Cas. But at least his speech makes me laugh instead of banging my head into a wall. Cas is grumpy and can't abide snark now. "You stop talking and get out of my sight." What blaming Crowley for this mess now? Whatever. I love how Crowley swallows hard at his intensity. Cas really would have made a beautiful bad guy this season if only the writers and fans would let him. Crowley knows when to step off. "Well, glad I came. You're welcome by the way." He walks off but just can't stop that last jab. "You know the difference between you and me?" Yep, Crowley I do. You, I like. "I know what I am. What are you Castiel? What exactly are you willing to do?" Cas doesn't answer and I probably shouldn’t either or else be hunted down with pitchforks by minions. Instead Cas slowly closes his eyes and drops his head.

Back at Bobby's House of Angelic Hieroglyphics, Dean sleeps on the couch. Well, until Cas zaps in. Guess you spelled Welcome instead of Get Out in Enochian, Bobby. Not exactly sure what they thought Cas would do that they had to bar him from the house - talk them to death? It's not like he will lead a troop of angels to smite them in their sleep. I guess Bobby wanted to cover all the bases. Dean: "It's too bad we got to angel-proof in the first place, isn't it?" It does seem to be more a symbol of broken trust than home protection. Dean asks why Cas is here and before he goes into the 93rd round of I have my reasons, Dean cuts him off. Thank you Dean: "Oh, believe me I get it. Blah, blah Raphael right?" Cas: "I'm doing this for you Dean! I'm doing this because of you." Cas may have talked himself into believing that but I don't buy it any more than Dean. "Because of me, yeah. You've got to be kidding me." "You're the one who taught me that freedom and free will…" Dean cuts him off again by calling him a child. "Just because you can do what you want doesn't mean that you get to do whatever you want." I can see Dean saying this to Ben because I've said it to a gazillion middle schoolers myself. Cas claims he knows what he's doing and I hope that's not true because what he's doing is ending his biggest alliance and only friendships. Dean realizes that Cas is too far gone and logic isn't working so he uses the only thing he has left - their friendship. "I'm saying don't just cause. I'm asking you not to. That's it…Look next to Sam, you and Bobby are the closest things I have to family. That you are like a brother to me. So if I'm asking you not to do something, you've gotta trust me man." It's a pretty good appeal or at least a hold off to see if we can find another way gesture. However, Cas trashes it all. "Or what?" Dean's stunned. "Or I'll have to do what I have to do to stop you." Cas fatally underestimates the Winchesters in a way all the other angels and demons got ganked. "You can't Dean. You're just a man. I'm an angel." Dean: "I don't know. I've taken some pretty big fish." They are both sorry and Cas zaps away.

We end back with Cas on the same snowy bench he started on. He calls the situation a tragedy and questions human perspective. At least now we know he's talking to God. He asks for a sign. "Am I doing the right thing? Am I on the right path?" He gives God an ultimatum. Give me a sign or I'll do what I must do. Except we don't know what he thinks he needs to do. We pan into his tearful face as he slowly lowers his head and the credits take us to the end. Incredible acting in this scene and in all of them, but I've never been so happy to see end credits in my life. This is one very long recap.

This is a strange episode for me because I started off liking it. It wouldn't be in my top 5 but it wasn't in my bottom 10 either. I thought it was good for Supernatural, great for TV as a whole. However, the more I watch it the less it grips me and usually I feel the opposite about Supernatural episodes. I thought the acting was top-notch, even better than usual. Misha Collins did a phenomenal job and Mark Sheppard stole every scene he was in like usual. I thought Jensen's facial expressions as he went from hopeful to betrayed to resigned captured every moment perfectly, while Jared did an excellent job at showing the struggle between his reason and supporting his brother. Jim Beaver is always fabulous and made me scared of Bobby the torturer. I also loved how we got answers to long burning questions. No, we don't know everything including how souls power anything, but we know a whole lot more than we did and I'm interested to see how the Crowley-Castiel partnership fares. I'm guessing it sinks faster than the Titanic and Balthy isn't going to unsink this one. I'm also intrigued by how many of Castiel's followers feel the same way Rachel did, because this secret's not going to hold forever. Raphael has to be ganked this season, but who will do it if Castiel's followers abandon him or try to kill him too. There are a lot of intriguing questions left for the last 2 episodes and I find myself more excited about them than ever.

This biggest problem I have with this episode, and probably why I like it less each time I see it, is the constant talking. I can't remember another episode that had this much monologue and dialogue and internal exposition. It had drama and internal strife, but so do a lot of business budget meetings and I don't want to watch them. The key to good TV is show not tell but there was very little action in this episode. The constant stopping to narrate or even worse recap what we just saw stopped the episode flow and made it boring for me, especially the second and third times I watched it. This was the third to last episode, and while we did get lots of movement on the mytharc there wasn't much actual movement. To me, it would have been a better choice earlier in the season because the only thing I really came away feeling strongly about is that the angel storyline must die. I don't want to hear a whisper of the heavenly host in all of season 7. To me, they are played out, too powerful, and just plain boring. This episode only strengthened that opinion.

Screencaps by Supernatural Fans Online
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