Supernatural 4.07 "It's The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester"
It's All Hallows Eve, a night where costumes and candy have all become a commercialized tradition in American society, however to the Winchesters there are scarier legends and myths to be concerned about than being bombarded with millions of trick-or-treaters on their motel doorstep. Such as preventing the Apocalypse from ever being unleashed onto the world.
Learning that a series of hexed individuals are part of a sacrificing ritual to summon a demon, known as Samhain, Sam and Dean try to locate this century-old witch and stop whatever she's doing. But in the process, they are greeted by Castiel and a newcomer angel, Uriel, and learn that this isn't just a regular hunt. That this witch is using this summoning ritual to raise Samhain which is one of the Sixty-Six Seals. Naturally, ways of solving the matter at hand are clashed; Castiel announces that he and Uriel were to destroy the entire town to prevent the seal from opening, Dean refuses to let that happen. Sam finds himself doubting his faith as he witnesses the angels of God weren't what he expected them to be, while Uriel and Castiel have differing opinions about the Winchesters and their mission by God in general. Hey, nobody said the fight to stop the Apocalypse was going to be easy.
While they do stop Samhain and vanquish him back to Hell, as Sam inevitably used his psychic abilities to do so, they failed the mission as the seal had been broken. Where do we go from here? How is Sam going to see things differently based on his firsthand experiences with the angels? Is Uriel going to stay true or betray his orders? Dean and Castiel, will they be on the same page now and come to depend on the other to win this war? How will things turn out in the end, and what does Dean really remember from Hell?
So many anticipations and questions, too long before next Thursday rolls around.
The Winchesters and the Issue of Faith
Perhaps something I've been intrigued lately is the presence of faith and belief in something bigger than yourself, and having hope and believing that there is goodness out there. There were people who were wary of the introduction of the heavy religious overtones this season has to offer, but really how can you deny the amazing turns and directions they are heading so far? And with the Winchesters, you know there's great stuff to be explored between the two brothers, who were of opposite ends of the faith spectrum and now it seems their roles have reversed.
I have to say that, from my own observations, I've never believed that Dean didn't have faith. After the way he was raised and all he's seen throughout his life he might not have believed wholeheartedly like Sam has, but I do think deep down there was an ounce of him that wanted to believe in a higher power. Wanted that kind of hope in something greater than himself, something of Good to outweigh the Bad and Horrible in the world. He just never had any proof. Well, this season he has, and we've seen him gradually coming to terms with not only that concept but with himself. He's still the same sarcastic smartmouthed Dean Winchester, but he's changed. He's been "reborn", so to speak. Being saved by Castiel from Hell and given this mission from God, the fact that God wants him to live and be saved, means something more and we're seeing a very different side to Dean. It may take him a little while to be fully into it, but from him clinging to the Bible in the previous episode to here where Castiel is confronting him regarding the seals, there's a certain level of maturity that Dean has reached.
This is why I kind of see the comparisons with Dean's returning from Hell and the soldiers returning back from war; they're still the same but they came back different, changed, have different perspectives from what they experienced. Obviously Dean's always been at a dangerous life-threatening, scary war but this is a different experience that has fundamentally changed him. Not only from being saved, but also from what he remembers, which may allow him to shift his viewpoint from his former life four months ago.
With Sam Winchester, however, is completely the opposite.
Sam's been the one who has always had hope, had a belief system in God and prayed and saw the goodness in people. He was the one during hunts to pause and think "wait, are we sure this is right?" Since the beginning he's wanted to do good, he believed in something more than himself while Dean didn't, and in this episode we see him being crushed by what he witnessed between the two angels. He didn't match up by what he expected angels of God to represent, so he feels disappointed and letdown by those expectations he's had for years. I don't think he's going to stop believing in God, but it's definitely going to taint his faith and will probably (at least I'm hoping) shape his perspective into what he's destined to become.
Although I'm kind of baffled that he, of all people, would be shocked by the angels smiting things into oblivion in time of war. He's educated and has done his research, he should know the kinds of things angels do and sometimes it is NOT being merciful or kind. You'd think he would know more about that, or at least read certain sections from Revelation of the Bible to get the full picture of the angels part in this bigger picture. They aren't fluffy mercy-giving beings; they will smite anything and anyone that interferes or threatens that bigger picture. But perhaps someone with Sam's amount of faith, or now dwindling faith, he didn't want to believe that those who were supposed to protect humans would be so harmful; that this is what God wanted, etc. Perhaps his hopes and expectations for this higher power and almighty goodness was too high.
But I agree with Dean, he shouldn't give up that hope just because of this. They are at war, there are tough calls and decisions to be made and time is limited. But I still think this is setting up for Sam's ultimate downfall. Uriel's comment to him was cruel and harsh, yes, but it needed to be said because even if what Sam thinks he's doing the right thing, sooner or later that line will become more blurred than it already is and he'll cross it without realizing what's happening. Also Dean's words to him about not losing that faith I think is his way of saying his faith and belief in God is the one thing holding him down to humanity; that without it he wouldn't be Sam anymore, and will continue to slide down that slippery slope.
Two brothers, fighting the same war, different perspectives and reversing their roles. Sam is slowly starting to shift his belief and becoming more reckless while Dean is gaining that faith he didn't have before and is becoming more cautious. This is what I believe to be what could create the inevitable brother versus brother battle.
Castiel and Uriel: Two Angels with Different Perspectives
Interesting how two angels of God would have differing opinions and views about this war, and I'm glad that Kripke and Co. are taking biblical mythology seriously even if tweaking it a bit to fit into the lore of the show.
I find Uriel intriguing because based on mythology Uriel is an archangel, he's not meant to be a pleasant little fluffy being with a golden halo and such. Much like Castiel, he's there on a business mission from God and will carry out that task by whatever means necessary. Though unlike Castiel, he doesn't seem to hold the same compassion and consideration for human beings and treats them like they are beneath him. Which is a dangerous road to be treading since that is how Lucifer fell from God's grace. It should be interesting where they plan on taking his character, because while an angel he has a badass streak and being an archangel that is ready and willing to take on any given mission fullout without thinking or second-guessing anything, to see not only the Winchesters but also Castiel butt heads with him is going to be a sight to witness if they take it that far. And I'm sure they will, considering the directions this show has with seeing the gray areas with these characters. Not everything is black and white; some demons can be helpful, angels aren't that angelic or merciful, etc.
This has me wondering how we're going to see more of Uriel and at what lengths they'll go to show how unaffected he is by his smiting. Even Castiel seemed a bit unnerved by his tendency to go off on humans the way he did. Again, that dangerous and close-to-blasphemy road is not that far off. Another thing I would like to see is having Uriel turn bad, to become a fallen angel during this war, and having him and Castiel battle against each other (similar to how Dean and Sam might go in that direction). Can't wait to see where it all goes with his character, and I thought the actor did a fantastic job in giving that stage presence of intimidating and pompous "holier-than-thou" attitude.
Moving on to Castiel. Oh, Castiel, my Castiel. Where shall I begin?
I absolutely adore him. Like, utterly and completely. I am loving the direction they are giving him, how three-dimensional they are making him to be, showing that angels aren't just followers with the same hive-mind, blindly following orders without question. That whole ending scene in the park where Castiel confides in Dean, telling him that he does have doubts, that his uncertain about what is right or wrong and has no idea what is planned for the coming days of the future in this war or how it'll pan out. I loved that he trusts Dean with this information and that they are both in this comfortable place with each other's presence now. Like in the motel room, they were were speaking to each other not only with words but with their eyes as well; the way they're speaking yet not speaking at once, and that they were addressing each other the entire time throughout that entire scene. It's so evident at how well they communicate, it's just nearly so overwhelmingly intense, and that ending scene with them and how at ease they were with each other just, dude. You have to give it up to Misha and Jensen for creating such outstanding chemistry between these two characters.
It doesn't matter how many times I say this, but Castiel is so much love. His relationship with Dean, how when Uriel insults the Winchesters he defends them and how there's more layers to his character than we thought. I really like the humanizing of Castiel bit by bit, which makes for great exploration for his character and his relationship with his fellow brothers in this war versus his connection with Dean. I do get the sense that Castiel is attached to him in that sense of protecting him, his mission from God of course but, the more he spends time with Dean the more he starts to understand how humans think and behave and adds more to his questioning and doubts.
This also has me wondering about angels having doubts or questioning themselves and the missions they're put on. There's that fine line between thinking about things and crossing that boundary line of disobeying them, therefore becoming a fallen angel. So it makes me very anxious to see how far they're going with Castiel and Uriel, how different yet the same they are, and the similarities between Castiel and Dean as well. Obviously angels having doubts could mean trouble particularly with this coming war and all, but it adds more to the mystery and intrigue about the war between Heaven and Hell and the Apocalypse. Once again not everything is black and white, so anything is possible.
Also I'd like to add what Castiel said about their "true orders", given what he mentioned to Dean at the end of the episode I believe their true orders were to listen to Dean Winchester. Listen to his way of going back strategic and battlefield planning. It didn't go as hoped, obviously, but if this was their mission to see how Dean does it also means that God really does see Dean as some sort of savior. I also liked that Castiel believes in Dean, believes he has potential and actually really cares about his well-being. Totally the opposite of Uriel in that sense.
Uh, yeah. I could go on and on about Castiel because he is just amazingly awesome and badass and so adorable and gorgeous and hot and, yeah. This episode was pretty much had a lot of Castiel screentime that I was overall very pleased with how much we got to see him interact with other characters and how those relationships differ from the one he has with Dean. Also, the more screentime Castiel has the better I say, and with more episodes with him to come I can't wait for what's going to happen and what might be revealed.
The Sixty-Six Seals and Dean's Big Damn Dark Secret
Coming back to the mytharc of the season, the summoning of Samhain was one of the Sixty-Six Seals and the one step closer to unleashing Lucifer and Hell on Earth. Castiel mentioned that more seals have been broken, and this leaves me wondering how many there were since the Rising of the Witnesses, how many are left currently and in total how many were won or lost? I also would like to know the numbers of the Armies of Heaven and if we're going to see more of them or at least have them acknowledged further into the season?
Also, regarding Dean's dark secret, I don't want to be jumping the gun here but is this secret going to be that he remembers Hell in little bits in pieces or it's a certain memory he remembers about Hell? Because I know I speculate it about being this huge dark secret that he's been carrying around with him for a while, but I don't want to be overanalyzing anything or getting my hopes up for that if it's going to be a small and obvious thing like, say, something he saw during his time in Hell. Perhaps he met Lucifer? IDEK at this point, but whatever it is I'm hoping it'll be a good dark secret and one that'll be like not completely shocking but unexpected at the same time.
Squeeful and Memorably Moments of the Episode:
++ CASTIEL. Anything involving this hotass angel is guaranteed a quality episode, IMO. Loved all of his scenes, loved how he interacted with more than one character, how much development and indepth we're getting with his character and while we aren't getting the full picture the pieces are coming together nicely with his connection with Dean and his mission. Misha portrays him brilliantly, from his posture to the awkwardness and adorableness to how intimidating he can be just by a simple look or the clenching of his jaw when confronting the Winchesters and Uriel in the motel by explaining their objective there in the town. The acting, the dialogue, the way scenes were filmed and THAT ENDING SCENE!!!! I am just so in love with Castiel right now I think I might combust with happiness. I was squeeing so hard the other night. CASTIEL ILU BB! ♥ ♥ ♥
++ Many props for the genius episode title, btw. I know some are like "omg not another long title"
++ Kripke knows how to do disgusting and cringe-worthy opening scenes, doesn't he? Yet another example of presenting a longtime fear of mine -- razor blades or other sharp objects in my food. Ugh, thanks Kripke for getting me even MORE freaked out.
++ Hee, Dean and his candy. SO MUCH LOVE.
++ The blonde girl, Tracy, totally reminded me of Elisabeth Harnois. It was the hair.
++ Dean really dislikes witches. I really like this continuity of his character being peeved by them, and his reaction to baby carpal bone was perfect. "Witches are really skevvy." Heh.
++ Kripke and Co. have really been doing their homework this season. Samhain and everything, also adding it to the show's lore which I think is so awesome. Makes me really anticipate what they're going to be doing for Lucifer, if they are going to show Lucifer (IMO, I think they should leave Lucifer and God kind of anonymous so we can still have that knowledge of yes, they exist we just don't have to see them in order to believe they do, or something; I do want a fullout war between the two sides, though).
++ "Mud Monkeys" I couldn't help but LOL at Uriel for that, even though he obviously doesn't think highly of humans at all. Makes me think of the term "Mudblood" in HP.
++ Why does Castiel look so pretty in the park, prettier than usual that is? From his posture standing up to sitting down and how he places his chin on his hands. LUFF! And the way he says, "You know our true orders. Are you prepared to disobey?" Gave me chills. Srsly.
++ "so vanilla that he makes vanilla seem spicy" LOL, O DEAN NEVA CHANGE BB.
++ SAM IS SUCH A FANBOY. The way he was all "OMG...I mean, I didn't mean it like to offend just, OMGOMGOMGOMGANGELS!!!11" and the lifting his hand for a handshake with Castiel, it was so awkward that it was adorable. And Dean was all "WTF BRO?" and Castiel was kind of hesitant, not really knowing what to do, but had this "okay, boy with the demon blood, nice to meet you too" and the handcupping thing. HEE! :D It made so saddened by his diappointment later, though.
++ They really love recycling the boys' shirts, amirite? Sam has been reusing that same shirt that Mohinder wore in "Parasite" for several episodes now. Fo'reals.
++ "ASTRONAUT!!!!111" LOL!
++ We should really do a drinking game of how many times characters say "son of a bitch" this season, amirite?
++ ZOMBIES! GHOSTS! BLOOD-ORGIES! IT'S GOTTA BE HALLOWEEN BBS! YAY! \o/
++ Sam using his psychic powers. I knew he would eventually in a tough call kind of situation, though it makes me wonder how much of it was for self-defense and the other was for his devastation over his expectations from the angels and his faith. But seeing the way he was doing it, how much power he was putting out complete with him clutching his head from the headaches and HIS EYES BLACKENING and the nosebleed. Just, WOW. SCARY SHIT. And Dean's expression, he looked so terrified and devastated, and Sammy's guilty look afterwards. I do wonder though, about Sam's abilities, we know he's powerful but how much is he letting loose and how much is he holding back? I have a feeling that when he becomes fully powerful is when he loses himself completely.
++ Am I the only one that gets shivers whenever Castiel speaks or when he just looks intensely at someone? 'Cause damn.
++ The angels' orders were to follow Dean's orders. Huh, interesting. I'm getting parallels between this and Terminator; also how Dean could become a Christlike figure in the SPN-verse just like John Connor is, the savior of mankind. There could be meta about this later, 'cause I do has theories y'all.
++ THE ENDING SCENE = LOVE. I am seriously so in love with this little scene. Just the fact that Castiel and Dean sitting in the park together, totally comfortable with each other's company and that there's this bond between the two, how Castiel is telling Dean all this information that he wouldn't tell anyone else and that Dean is listening to him and there's a connection they understand the other. That Castiel has faith in Dean, believes he has potential and is good, and that he even questions God while Dean is finding his path towards that faith. It's just so beautiful and perfect and absolutely my favorite scene in the entire episode and my favorite interaction between the two EVER. SO MUCH LOVE! *is ded* ♥
++ I do have to mention one thing that Castiel said, "I don't envy the weight that's on your shoulders, Dean. I truly don't." Is what I was anticipating to hear since in an interview Misha said he really adored that little line. And I adored it, as well. It says so much about his character in context to everything else that happened in the episode.
Overall: I really liked this episode a lot. I couldn't help but smile whenever Castiel came on the screen (like, naturally) and was entertained by the rest. The MOTW plot was good, though I was more captivated by the Castiel/Dean/Uriel/Sam stuff which, I'm guessing, was the entire point. We got some good monster stuff while having the mytharc of the Seals and having the new angel being introduced while having adorable Misha once again. Also bringing more into the mix with the subject of faith and Dean remembering Hell, which we will find out soon enough, along with the growing and strengthening of Dean and Castiel's mutual relationship of understanding and confiding in each other. I really am loving their connection and chemistry,
Preview for the next episode, how come I couldn't get the Wonderfalls image out of my head with that one? Just saying. Now that would be a stellar crossover for the lulz. XD
I needs to get me moar Castiel icons. Fo'reals. Gorgeous man is gorgeous.