Supernatural 4.16 "On the Head of a Pin"
Angels are mysteriously being murdered, alongside the fact that the side of Heaven is losing the war with their dwindling numbers, Castiel and Uriel have a task for Dean Winchester. Having captured Alastair from the previous episode he simply is too powerful and too strong to get any information out of him, so they go to Dean, because of his acquired torture skills learned in Hell to figure out who is killing the angels. Dean is reluctant, outright refuses and even pleads, but ultimately has to either way. So he goes into the chamber where Alastair is being bound and uses slow unique torture techniques and methods. But Alastair does not talk, and in fact when he does he only gets underneath Dean's skin and attempts, and succeeds, to break him once again with a startling revelation that shatters his entire world.
Meanwhile, Castiel is struggling with his inner conflictions to his orders. He gets the sense that something has gone wrong and, mixed with his closeness and affections towards humans, particularly Dean, and newly developed emotions stirring, he is considering disobedience because he doesn't agree with what's been happening. But he's caught between a rock and a hard place when he's at a crossroads on where he wants to turn towards; he doesn't favor Anna because she's still fallen and at large despite having taken back her grace, and Uriel's startling revelation about the murders sets him going between their faith and what he personally believes is right.
In the end, Castiel and Dean find themselves utterly alone in where they stand, the sides they've chosen, and whether they'll be able to endure this journey without much stability on either of their sides.
Dean Winchester's Special Destiny: Being the Harbinger of Death, the Harold of the Apocalypse
Having made obvious parallel between Supernatural and Battlestar Galactica, this time though this is literally true instead of either a omen or metaphor for the ending of days. Dean Winchester literally broke the first Seal that set the Apocalypse in motion, without realizing he'd done so.
But revealing the truth doesn't make anything easier for him.
Demons lie, they twist and manipulate the truth. This has been a known fact since the beginning of the series. But on occasion they will tell the straightforward truth, and in this case it's about Dean and the first Seal. Castiel confirmed this as fact in the very end, after everything that went down Alastair had been absolutely truthful to Dean. I have to admit hearing about this possibility through the SPACE promo I was pretty damn excited, and even after this episode I still feel the same. It makes things not seem so black and white, uncertain about the future for everyone, and moreso about what Dean's possible mission is going to be.
He started the war, he must finish it. Stop it at all costs. But the question remains: how will he do this? Dean's only one man, an emotionally damaged one at that, how could he possibly stop this entire war by himself? It's impossible. Even while Dean is more of a lonewolf with his hunting skills, nobody can handle something this huge and carry it on their shoulders. This is why I feel that Castiel is essential in Dean's life, now more than ever. Aside from his decision of disobeying and questioning orders and even Heaven itself, Castiel has more connection towards Dean than with anyone else at this moment. He's having empathy towards Dean's pain, he understands more than anyone else would, and it seems that judging from the events of this episode that Castiel will be sticking around, and the fact that he genuinely likes him and doesn't want to see him doing these kinds of things, questionable things, he's mostly likely the one to help him overcome everything that's been happening to him.
Alastair said something interesting in this episode, that Dean left a part of himself in Hell and that this torturing method was probably his way of redeeming or relieving himself. But that isn't the case, not entirely. Dean does need redemption, absolution, but torturing Alastair isn't the way to go about it. He needs to forgive himself; nothing, not torturing or beating someone or something up, is going to make everything that's inside his head go away. Even after everything, being tormented and doing the torturing in Hell, learning of this new revelation about how he started the whole Apocalypse, he needs to cease with the self-hatred, self-loathing, and start to understand that he did what he had to do, and in order to restore order he needs to fight this battle. And in order for him to get his head back into that game is by forgiving himself, otherwise the chances of survival for all sides is slim to nothing.
I want to believe that Sam will also be there for his brother, like all those other times, but this is an inner battle that Dean must confront himself. Also, despite killing Alastair I still would heed the warning that Pamela made; despite his good intentions it'll spiral downwards before he has a chance to stop himself, and knowing what Sam's doing and has been doing I doubt he can help his brother in this fight, even with his enhanced powers.
So what it comes down to is Dean accepting and forgiving himself. It'll be hard, because Dean has such low self-esteem and thinks himself unworthy of anything good, but to win this war he has to start manning up to the situation and understand what's done is done, there is no turning back the clock and redoing things. He can only repair the damage, but he cannot do that without repairing himself. And I'm glad there's Castiel there, besides my obvious shipper heart swelling with any scene with them, he's practically the only one that truly understands what he's going through. This war is bigger than any of them could ever imagine, and they're both stuck in the middle of wanting to do something but having conflictions on what to do next.
How will this all go down, and what will the outcome be? I kind of have hopeful wishing that other angels that understand Castiel's doubt will help him and Dean along the way, perhaps have more introductions to other infamous angels like Gabriel or Raphael, and the splitting of the sides in the angelical hierarchy. Also, other hunters helping with the prevention of the Apocalypse, led primarily by Dean and Castiel. But that is my personal wishes, because that? Would be epic.
The Angelical Disorder: Disobedience and Castiel's Journey Through Questioning and Doubt
This is perhaps the biggest greatest thing to have ever happened this season, by far. I predicted something like this would happen, wished and prayed for it really, because it just seems natural that Heaven would end up having something not right or unsteady, and that Castiel would be caught in the middle, having to choose between his rightful place amongst the garrisons and what he instinctively believes is the right thing to do.
This was truly a Castiel episode, through and through. I loved seeing further development of his character, from the beginning to the end we saw just how conflicted he really is, trying to hold onto his beliefs and whatever thin string is left of having himself believe that Heaven is a righteous place and God is truly the one in charge of these orders and everything has a purpose. Through this episode we see his entire world shattering all around him as he's given a certain enlightenment of what's happening, piecing the puzzle together bit by bit. Even though he may still not quite understand everything, he doesn't claim to either, another thing I love about him, he's finally caughten onto that not everything is alright. Those he thought he could trust, or at least had a companionship with, betrayed him, and there's an alternative plan being taken place.
Uriel offering up disobedience through his twisted sense of morality, turning his back on his brothers and sisters and committing genocide with use of Lucifer's sword, with his disbelief in the faith and God, however wanting Castiel to join him....you could see how broken Castiel was about this. How he felt utterly betrayed yet angered about Uriel turning his back on what they stood for, how they were "agents of fate" and Uriel had the audasity to even consider wanting to free Lucifer. You could see how this news shattered Castiel; that whole scene with Uriel revealing his true intentions, Castiel's face? My Gods, it was like everything around him was falling down yet falling into place all at once; he's no longer in the dark and yet, he still is. He had as much knowledge about what's happening in Heaven as he does on Earth, about the Seals, etc.
What makes this reveal of Uriel fascinating is that this goes very much into the biblical mythology. I kinda called Uriel either falling or disobeying in some manner at some point down the line, and having this theory be right just makes me giddy. Sad, because I'll miss Uriel and his smiting badass motherfucker self. But it makes the mythology expand further and I really am enjoying that aspect.
Castiel's journey to self-enlightenment and understanding of emotions and feelings on a pure humanistic level is perhaps something I am very excited about. I mean, this is Castiel, an angel of the Lord. Who we were first introduced in the season premiere and seemed kind of off-center, interesting but slightly deadpan and cold and non-reacting to many things. But since then, little by little every episode, there's a certain about of subtle changes to his cahracter. Castiel is becoming humanized by the influences of being around humanity too much, getting too personally involved and attached to his assignment, a.k.a. Dean Winchester. Even in this episode his liking and affection and care for Dean is so apparent, that it's impossible to miss those little moments. There some questioning on his part why his surperiors feel like he's becoming too much of a liability, on the danger of falling, if he expresses emotion, at least compassion towards his mission at hand. If anything, Castiel questioning even his superiors would be considered the pathway to falling. This makes things more interesting with where the show is going in terms of whether Heaven is actually going to be having a certain civil war based off what Uriel was saying, but I'll get into that in a moment.
So many possibilities and directions they could go with this particular arc, and honestly? I am fully prepared for it. I like this exploration of angels, and with Castiel I am just absolutely looking forward to where this could be heading.
The One True
Supernatural has done a great job with presenting the aspect and power of faith and belief. I know some weren't thrilled with this being added into the show's mythology, but in retrospect it makes perfect sense that the concept of God and Heaven would be featured, especially because it's such a contrast to the darkness and of demons and, obviously, Hell itself. This season has not only the presence of heavenly creatures and the lingering belief in God, but also the disbelief in God amongst the angels. Uriel and Anna being the two known angels, as I'm sure there are more out there unknown to us. Angels turning against other angels, a disharmony in Heaven, all of this and more that have been revealed which makes the tension and the mytharc even more fascinating.
The lingering question the show poses is whether this is a God, or if Heaven is being overrun by those in the upper hierarchy order, or those four angels that have claimed to have seen the face of God, wanting to take control over the orders of things. I have a feeling that there's a coup taking part in Heaven and the others are unaware of this fact, or everything been orchestrated that they were designed to be unaware of this fact. I have no doubts about God existing, though I do enjoy the gray areas featured amongst all sides of this equation.
It appears that Castiel is the only angel, so far we've seen, that still holds strong in his faith in his Father. "I still serve the Lord," he tells Uriel. And I believe him. Which makes his disobedience a slightly different case, and even though it may seem like he's beginning on the path to falling.
There's been some noise about Castiel's "true orders" from Heaven as Sera Gamble revealed in an interview a while back. I still hold onto this belief that these true orders are what determines his character development further on down the line. My truest belief and theory regarding this is that God is actually testing Castiel's strength in faith. Or, rather, testing all of the angels and their faith, to see whether they follow His word and the righteous path or stray like Lucifer. Also, I still maintain my original theory that Castiel also has been placed onto this mission, having gripped Dean from Hell and been by his side all this time, because he was meant to understand humanity on a level that the angels haven't known. To know of emotions, what it means to be and feel human without actually falling, in a way.
Anna craved humanity and lost her faith in her work; Uriel detested humanity and anything to do with these orders to protect them, and wanted more out of his job than looking to humans. Castiel seems to be the one that holds compassion and understanding along with doing sufficiently in his work for the Lord, and even with his doubts I think this is what he was fated to do by God's plan for him. I know that in the religious sense, doubting makes one's faith stronger; that to go on blind faith is living in ignorance, whereas questioning makes you broader and stronger in your beliefs. That is what I think is in store for Castiel, and with the rest of this season and when he'll return as a main character in S5, obviously there's going to be more exploration and explanations about his role, and I'm also looking forward to that as well.
Now there's the issue concerning the Sixty-Six Seals and the angels losing this war. Being the beginning stages before the Apocalypse, obviously there will be casualties. But the heartbreaking thing in this episode is that Castiel believes that they, the angels, are being punished for not succeeding in their missions. Which, makes me wanna pet poor Castiel, but gets me to thinking more what I've been thinking about this whole season and unleashing the hellhounds on Earth, so to speak.
In the Book of Revelation, the Seventh Seal is opened by the angels and thereby unleashing the end of the world. I have no idea whether the show is going to be going in this direction, but they've been respectful and keeping tabs with the biblical versions of angels so far that I wouldn't be surprised if they added this into the mytharc of the season. Angels being the ones to release Lucifer, which judging from Uriel's statement about wanting that to happen I think it's in the beginning stages where it actually might come true.
I don't claim to be an expert on biblical scriptures and verses and whatnot, I merely look things up as I go along and I know the jist of things. But this? If it happens, I will squeal with delight. It's so frakking epic that I can't think of anything else to end this season with a cliffhanger of something like that.
Whatever's happening with Heaven and the angels, it sounds like it's definitely going to be quite a ride. But I still believe that yes, God does exist in the SPNverse, as this is merely a testing of everyone's faith. Things have a purpose, there are reasonings behind it all, and if this is God's command then so be it. I know, Dean would say "screw it" and dismiss the entire thing, but if there is something Larger Than Life orchestrating everyone's fates, including the angels, then I am willing to take that into account. To have Heaven be the Goody-Goodies and save everyone's asses would be boring, so this is just a phenomenal way of exploring the darker side of Heaven and in these desperate times of preventing the End of Times from approaching, there will be complications and civil wars within Heaven's rankings.
See how much the angels are so much like the Cylons? Srsly now.
Memorable Moments in the Episode:
++ BEGINNING SCENE WTIH CASTIEL! Great way to open up an episode, having Castiel being the first thing we see. ♥ Oh, and him stopping the car alarms with his ~*~magical angel powahs~*~? LOVELOVELOVE. But depression because he lost a fellow sister angel, awww. I actually said "CAS GET OUTTA THERE!" when the cop cars were coming, but then I remembered that oh yeah, he's an angel. He can disappear in a blink of an eye. Ahaha. Anyway, I loved how the entire scene was outside, with a lot of destroyed cars and such, and then the shadow imprints from the angel wings. ANGEL WINGS BB! I love how we see these wings but not really seeing them at the same time, y'know? Shadows but not in their true form. Loved the whole effect.
++ Also, was it raining in that scene and Castiel just wasn't getting rained on or what? I saw a screencap (hi-res, f'sure) and his forehead is slightly damp, but not drenched like those cops were. Heh. IT'S HIS ANGELIC POWAH! OR WINGS PROTECTING HIM! I LOVE IT!
++ Sam and Dean in the Impala. Ahh, good times. Except not. Sam is driving, omg. And from Pamela's funeral no less. :((((
++ Dean going off on Uriel! He was so enraged there, letting his anger out. Well, Sam did say get angry, what better way to let it out than onto Uriel? But when he was all verbally attacking Castiel with the remembrance of Pamela and how he burned her eyes out? Yeah. Castiel looked kinda mournful if a little startled there.
++ CASTIEL HAS FEELINGS AND HE IS COVERING THEM UP! SEE WHAT HE IS DOING THERE, CLENCHING HIS JAW?!?! YEAH. HE IS NOT HEARTLESS. HE HAS EMOTIONS Y'ALL! TAKE THAT!
++ LOL SAM JUST BEING IRRITATED WHEN THEY "FLEW" AWAY FROM THE MOTEL ROOM. HE WANTED TO JOIN THE PARTY!
++ Castiel revealing about him feeling emotions, telling Dean that being around him is making him feel, not wanting Dean to go into that chamber room with Alastair and would do anything to have him not to? TRULUV! These Dean/Castiel scenes are like EPIC SHIT RIGHT HERE! And Castiel is being genuine with his words, I mean just look at him in those scenes!
++ Hehe, Dean made a sarcastic joke about them being "flabby" and Castiel not getting it. LOL I LOVE IT.
++ Castiel does NOT want Dean doing this. HIS FACE WHEN HE OVERHEARS THE ENTIRE INTERROGATION SCENE! HE JUST...GAH! MISHA COLLINS WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!?! HE'S ALL SLOUCHY AND DEPRESSED AND JUST, OMG.
++ Torture scenes. Man, those are absolutely morbid torture methods. But sooo reminds me of Starbuck interrogating Leoben back in BSG S1. Or am I making random parallels again? Forgive me. XDDD But yeah, holy water in a syringe? Knife with holy water and salt? Pouring salt down Alastair's throat? OMG Dean, you are one morbid sonofabitch. I know you said you enjoyed torturing souls back int he pit but, dude, this is more about revenge than anything else.
++ Remind me folks, what about the dude Alastair is possessing? Isn't that also kind of a form of torture even if there's a demon inside or something? Twisted morality reasonings are twisted, yo.
++ I'm so not caring about Sam or Ruby this episode. I dunno what to make of Sam this season, tbh. I mean, I don't hate him or anything, but I'm not as invested with his storyline. And Ruby, I'm still not hooked onto anything with her. That whole bloodsucking scene? Yeah, wtfrak is going on there? I want to know her true motives for Sam. Hell, she and Anna should get together on how they are annoying manipulative bitches. :/
++ Speaking of which, ANNA SHOULD JUST DIE RIGHT FUCKING NOW. Okay, I'll admit I appreciated how she appeared to be a catalyst for Castiel making up his own mind and decide to go against orders, or at least go against Uriel (which I'm sure should be canceled out, because Uriel was disobeying as well, so I'm not sure whether Castiel is making that decision of not knowing what to about these orders or about Uriel). But really, that's all I could take. I feel like the show is MAKING me want to like her, but I just don't. Sorry show, you fail at making me sympathize for her. I feel as though she has a hidden agenda, esp. with that ending line of her going "there's still me" as though she's hot shit or something. Like bitch plz, whatev. (SIDENOTE: Six could totes kick her ass from here to another galaxy, f'reals). I don't think she and Castiel have much chemisty, though the background of her being his former mentor and now he's on his own was a nice touch, I'll give the writers that much. But otherwise? Get her off my screen now, kthxdie bitch.
(YES I HAVE NO SHAME IN DISLIKING HER AND IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT? TOUGH SHIT. FROM NOW ON I WILL NO LONGER WASTE MY ENERGY ON THIS CHARACTER. SHE IS NOT WORTH IT. END OF LINE.)
++ ONTO MOAR CASTIEL SQUEE! \O/ \O/ \O/ \O/
++ Okay, Dean. Oh Dean. I weep for you, srsly. WHY DOES THIS SHOW INTEND ON HURTING HIM MORE THAN HE ALREADY IS?! CAN WE START HEALING HIM NOW?!
++ Alastair tortured John fucking Winchester! I guess that answers whatever happened to John in the Pit; and I liked the continuity and matching up the previous seasons to this one with its mythology. I'm sure Kripke had an idea but once getting this angel stuff started, it just rolled with it perfectly. And 100 years of torture?! Without breaking?! O.M.G. I dunno what to say. Poor Dean, he really places himself in the blame, especially for being the one to unknowingly have opened the first Seal to the Apocalypse. :(((((
++ CASTIEL VS. ALASTAIR SHOWDOWN! HELLZ YEAH!
++ CASTIEL IS GLOWING PPLS! GLOWING CASTIEL! HIS GRACE IS AGLOW! BEAT THAT SHIT RPATTZ!
++ SAM KILLED ALASTAIR. Castiel looked all confused and displeased, but more confused than ever.
++ Hee, Sam demanding that Castiel work a "miracle" on Dean so he can heal faster or something. Oh Sammy, I know you're hurt and you think Castiel's to blame, but seriously, LOOKIT CASTIEL'S FACE!!! He's so torn and confused and conflicted, his entire world is crumbling around him and he's trying to make sense of everything. Oh, and how much am I loving the shadows of the blinds on their faces? They have something of a continuity with that, it's happened for several episodes now with that lighting effect. And it works beautifully, might I add.
++ PLAYGROUND PARK SCENE! IN THE SNOW! CASTIEL LOOKING PURDY! Sad and conflicted and hurt, but pretty. ♥
++ Castiel playing detective with the Devil's Trap. The one he created. It's COLUMBO!CASTIEL! XDDDD
++ MOAR WITH THE ANGELIC POWERS! I COULD SQUEE ABOUT THIS ALL DAY! :DDDD
++ Um, everything Castiel in that whole scene with Uriel. He figured it out, at least parts of that puzzle, and still he seemed so broken and distraught and just, omgomg MISHA YOU ROCK IN THESE SCENES MKAY! And URIEL AND CASTIEL SHOWDOWN! TWO SHOWDOWNS IN ONE EPISODE! SPN IS JUST TOO GOOD FOR US. (though I wish Castiel would've killed Uriel himself, he seems to like jumping into the fighting, but never finishing the job; we gotta hand him a weapon of sorts -- I would love to see Castiel handling a gun....)
++ Castiel. On his knees. "I still serve the Lord." OMGLOVESPASMING.
++ RIP Uriel. I'll miss your snarky badass motherfucking angelic self. F'reals. If there's anything you can take out from Uriel, was that despite everything he was a badass motherfucker who did his job efficiently and took no-nonsense and was all business kinda hardcore angel. He got the shit done, and I liked that about him. RIP.
++ HOSPITAL SCENE. CASTIEL STAYING WITH DEAN, NOT DISAPPEARING AWAY. OMG MY SHIPPER HEART S'PLODES WITH JOY. ♥ ♥
++ "I guess I'm not the man neither our fathers expected." OMG DEAAAANNNN!!! ;_____;
++ Angels = Cylons. The parallels are just blatantly there, omg. I mean, angels getting murdered = lost resurrection. Angel civil war = Cylon civil war. Angel genocide (Uriel against his brothers and sisters) = Cylon genocide (Ones/Fours/Fives against the Twos/Sixes/Eights). OMG PARALLELING MY FANDOMS LIKE WHOA! I LOVE IT.
++ LAST THING!: Misha has such expressive eyes. I swear, I love those huge blue puppy eyes of his. ♥
Overall: As you could tell from my ABSOLUTELY MAD CAPSLOCKING SKILLS, this episode is probably my favoritest of this season so far. Just too much epic shit went down, and so many Castiel scenes that I felt so overjoyed, overwhelmed and treated lovely by the SPN folks. Srsly. When they said Castiel would appear they did not disappoint, and I am seriously in love with everything they are doing with his character. Of course this episode was also depressing and draining with the emotions. I mean, the torture stuff and bloodsucking aside, the revelations for both Dean and Castiel were heartbreaking. They both were letdown and torn up inside out, not knowing what to do or where to go. It'll be interesting to see where they go from here, and how they'll cope after all that's happened. I just, I can't even articulate more how FRAKKING AMAZING this entire episode was. It was all about Dean and Castiel, Castiel and Dean. CASTIEL BB, CASTIEL! Loves it all.
I just realized that I'm finishing this up before the epic two-part BSG finale tonight. I've just gotten over my shakiness from last night, and now we have more epic shit heading our way? I don't know whether this is a blessing or a curse. And apparently, because BSG is two hours long it'll overlap on my Dollhouse watching. SONSOFBITCHES!