Supernatural 4.21 "When The Levee Breaks"
Dean and Bobby lock Sam up inside of Bobby's panic room, hoping he'll be detoxed from the demon blood addiction. Dean has the notion that once clean his brother will be back to his old self again, however Bobby has different ideas and is thinking that by detoxing Sam they are slowly killing him and that with the end being nigh and they're down to the last few Seals that perhaps Sam can be helpful by taking out demons. Meanwhile, Sam's detoxing is making him have hallucinations, his subconscious battling between what is rational and what isn't and he's losing control. Though in the midst of the detoxing he's let loose, setup by the angels, as he escapes underneath the radar to get his fix from Ruby, as Dean finds him they duke it out from what they believe is right or wrong.
Meanwhile Dean calls for Castiel in need of assistance with the issue concerning Sam, which makes him agree to join the side of Heaven and the angels. Literally becoming Heaven's lapdog in a sense, in hoping he would try to stop the Apocalypse and keep his brother from doing something he'll regret. It turns out that Castiel still feels wrong about what he's doing, but has to follow orders as he intentionally lets Sam loose from the panic room and sells out Anna to the other angels.
The end is definitely nigh, and with the finale coming up who knows what'll happen with this season's ending cliffhanger.
Sam Winchester: Turning Darkside or Blinded by Misguided Notions?
It's no secret that I've been less than impressed with Sam this season, though I think we're supposed to be. There is nothing righteous behind his decisions, there is nothing you can rationalize or justify with his mindset. However this episode gave us a chance to see into his psyche, his inner battle between what is right and wrong and his final decision based upon that.
Sam's been teasing with the darkside for a while now, thinking he's trying to do the right thing by taking on all the responsibility. But his mindset is completely wrong, because there is no possible way that he can stop Lilith and the entire Apocalypse by himself, particularly through drinking demon blood. We see through his hallucinations that he believes he's poisoned and is trying hard to cancel out his demonic bloodline through Azazel by trying to do the right thing. However his entire notion for vengeance and justice is so altered because that's all he's been after, killing Lilith. Surely this comes from initially knee-jerk reactions and feelings that have been built up over the years, the quest for normalcy, yet always feeling like the outsider, like the freak. Once realizing he has something evil inside of his blood he feels the need to accept that by making it a positive thing, which again a great notion. But how he's going about is just not right. Particularly when he called Dean weak and righteous, when in actuality he's the one that's self-righteous and weak. He's just fooling himself, and Ruby's no help either, which I believe she has her own agenda and doesn't really care about the brothers and their relationship.
This also leads to the Sam versus Dean conflict as seen in this episode. They are now on opposing ends of the spectrum, and not just with the comparison of Dark against Light with Sam going with Ruby and Dean going with Castiel, but with their opinions and viewpoints about how to stop this war and where they are with one another on that personal level. Sam claims that Dean doesn't "know" him, never did. In the context of currently no, Dean doesn't know Sam. Not this Sam. But he knew Sammy, which is why he's trying desperately to get through to him, wanting him to return to how he used to be.
But the thing is, neither of them are who they used to be. They have to accept these differences and try to work it out together, which is what makes watching them duke it out without being underneath the influence of any paranormal spell very painful. Because they're brothers, they're all they have left in regards to family.
Though this is where they needed to go...it's been a long time coming actually, and they need to be apart in order to see things from another perspective before returning to each other, stronger then ever before. If they intend to fight the Apocalypse, it's not going to be one brother against this huge force. It's a combination of their strengths, working side-by-side with their newfound changed selves and that bond is what will defeat the evil that threatens their world.
Now question remains if Sam is actually going to go down this dark path to destruction or if he'll see the errors of his ways and stop himself before he does? And how will he be redeemed if he finds out everything he's believed with good intentions will fail? Or if this is going to be a setup for something bigger?
Heavenly Intervention: Divine Will or Righteous Absolutism?
Ever since this season started I've been fascinated with the introduction of angels and Heaven entering into the Supernatural mythology, at least being focused primarily as all the pieces of the puzzle over the last three seasons comes together. I really appreciate Kripke and the writers for researching and taking the religious aspect respectfully, something some shows should really learn from. Moreover, I truly love how they've entered the moral ambiguity concerning Heaven and how their absolutism can be just as dangerous as other evils that have affected the world. Especially with the moral conflicts one particular favorite angel of ours is dealing with.
Our fears regarding Castiel after returning from being recruited back up to Heaven for him going off mission was that he came back cold and unsympathetic, after viewing this episode it seems like that fear has been debunked, thankfully. He's still the same Castiel, except he has to be that good little soldier from being reprimanded, which means doing things he doesn't want to do. Following orders he doesn't see as just. Because he is an angel of the Lord he has to do what's expected of him, or else. And that "or else" is what's gotten him incredibly scared. We can see when talking with Dean that he wants to tell Dean, that he wants to makes things alright between them again, but he's frightened of possibly getting hit with lightning bolts if he goes against his orders again, since I'm sure Zachariah and the others are keeping a close eye on him. Also the reason why Castiel seemed to be slumped when Anna approached, because I'm sure they know he's been in contact with her before and they commanded if it happened again he would turn her over. And that's what he did, despite not wanting to and hating himself for it. The same with allowing Sam to be released from the panic room.
From the reactions of other people some are either confused or pissed about what's been happening with Castiel, and understandably I was all "bzuh Cas?" since y'know, this isn't what Castiel should be doing. He should be making amends with Dean and helping him out secretly with his little nudgenudgewinkwink sayings and such. However from that first scene with Dean and then him at the docks right before the angels took away Anna, it's pretty damn clear that he's on a tight leash and has no other choice. Plus you don't wanna fuck with Heaven's angels, we already know they are badass motherfuckers and they will not hesitate to kill you on site.
Also yes, angels are just as ruthless and deadly as demons are, only in the name of God. I keep referring them as absolutists, which is precisely what they are. Just because this is Heaven shouldn't mean we should be siding with them because they hold themselves on the high and mighty pedastal of righteousness, which in turn is incredibly dangerous to have. Some people in fandom have a hard time grasping this entire concept, even though it's been explained away many times. God favors humans over the angels, this keeps popping up and since the angels have a certain kind of reputation for being servants of their Lord Almighty, who's to say that they wouldn't be manipulating God's true orders to fit to their own egos of self-righteousness? Zachariah knew what Chuck saw, and Chuck was horrified, knowing whatever fate has in store for the Winchesters wasn't good and had the need to warn them -- but Zachariah told him not to. He wants to watch it play out. This isn't unnatural for the angels, the Agents of Fate, to do this.
Heaven tests us, tests our faith and our loyalty to God Almighty. Through many scriptures and biblical stories about prophets and those chosen for a divine purpose they are always tested, pushed to the limits where they have to proof themselves worthy of serving Heaven and the Lord. This is what's happening concerning Castiel, he has to prove to Heaven that he's worthy of being part of their garrison. And also, this is what just happened with Dean in this episode. Him siding and giving into the deal and oath to joining the side of Heaven, God and the angels.
However...that is not necessarily a good thing.
Dean literally sold himself to the angels, to become what Castiel is to them. God's soldier, their soldier and puppet, a hammer to do whatever they want, whenever they want. Surely we want the Good Guys to win this war, for Lucifer to not be let out and for Sam to return to normal and all that, but the the question remains whether this is a good deal to be making and whether it's as different as it was when Dean sold himself over to Hell? Maybe there is, maybe there isn't. Both sides have different agendas and will do anything to achieve those goals, and with Heaven's authorization gone astray and not exactly quite right, who knows what'll happen.
The issue stands to how Heaven is being operated and whether this is truly the Will of God or if Heaven has been, for a lack of a better term, hacked and God is merely just on standby elsewhere. Even though I still maintain everyone is being tested for their faith and loyalty to Him, where all this is headed it's not goint to end pretty. It's definitely going to be an epic battle, either Heaven against Hell on Earth or the angels against other angels, an angel civil war at that. Just like in the Book of Revelation.
Memorable Moments of the Episode:
++ The opening scene with Sam and Dean, Sam inside the panic room and Dean just confronting him. Oh man, it hurt and it was awesome. Because Dean said everything I felt about Sam lately. About him continuing to lie over and over again, about drinking demon blood doesn't make him stronger, only weaker and pathetic. How he's acting like he can take care of himself and yet is so dependent on that blood that he has lost all sense of himself. Yeah, and it hurt. So bad. Yet so good, too. Plus Dean's face at the end of that, hearing Sam calling out to him to let him out. D:
++ Gotta give Jensen more props to his acting, man. I mean just, holy fucking shit. WHY HASN'T HE WON AN EMMY OR SOMETHING ALREADY?!?! JESUS CHRIST.
++ Same with Misha Collins. Just, dude. The way he portrayed Castiel in this episode, going back and forth with following orders and his expressions which said plain as day that he hated everything he was commanded to do. How he was looking at Dean, how he said "I'm sorry" and just, omg. I love Misha so frakking much it's insane.
++ Just gotta say, Misha looks amazing when standing underneath those lights in that first scene with Dean. Gorgeous. Then again, he's always gorgeous, so no news there. *____*
++ Sam hallucinating was the freakiest yet amazing thing ever. From Alastair to young!Sammy (with YED eyes!) and even Mary, which is his own representation of her because she wouldn't approve of anything Sam's been doing. And she certainly wouldn't call Dean weak, that's Sam bleeding into that hallucination. Of course there's Dean verbally tearing him down in that one hallucination, because he knows what his brother feels about what he's been doing and calling him a monster, which is precisely what he's becoming. A monster, and even as Dean admitted to this in the end he knows that his brother can be redeemed. But Sam doesn't want to hear it. Oh Sammy, where have you gone?
++ Sam being thrown around from the detox trip? Very cool, if again freaky.
++ Oh Bobby. His heart's in the right place concerning Sam, and honestly I would be torn too if it was someone I loved and I didn't know what the affects would be. I also love that he loves both Dean and Sam equally and doesn't want anything horrible to happen to them. But I do side with Dean on this one, at least to an extent. Because Sam needs to learn his lesson. He needs to cleanse himself, and detoxing is painful but necessary.
++ Mentionings of Rufus and yet we don't see him? Remember back when there was a rumor when Rufus was going to make an appearance again this season, and that hasn't come to pass yet? I'm guessing because of the development they're doing for Castiel and the angels. Heh.
++ DING DONG THE ANGELBITCH IS GONE. It is kinda sad because of Castiel's reaction when she went out with the bright burning grace (which I'm assuming is her death that we cannot see) knowing that he couldn't have done anything unless he wanted to go back to Heaven again, but heh. I didn't really care for her so it was necessary for her to be gone because really...what other purpose does she serve other than stating the obvious? Do give her credit for being the catalyst for Castiel making his own deicions back in 4.16, but that'a about it. Oh well, adios Anna-Sue.
++ That fight. Dudes, that fight was....ouch. Yeah. Painful to watch, because they were not influence by anything other than themselves and their emotions. Long time coming, but still it hurts.
++ "If you walk out that door, don't you ever come back" :((((((
++ Dean on the floor, bleeding and beaten up as Sam left him there? OMG. ;_; They need to patch these brothers up soon. But this also gives a chance for Dean and Castiel to try and work things out together, because this is precisely what I predicted would happen. Dean and Sam would split, and even as Castiel is torn and conflicted they will both need each other. Hopefully. I'm praying that this happens anyway.
++ I do have to say that Dean giving himself over the Heaven/God/the angels definitely gives off more paralleling since this is precisely what Gaius Baltar did in BSG. Giving himself over the God, because he was chosen and became an intrument of God. Dean did the same thing, although the two are entirely different. Just another thing that popped into my head when Dean was repeating the oath to Castiel. Still, it's all about the Dean/Kara paralleling (special destinies y'all, srsly).
Overall: BRING ON THE PAIN SHOW! Like I mentioned, this is going to be on the level of BSG emotional pain, and I fully expect to be shattered in the finale which will probably have an epic yet heartbreaking cliffhanger. Brother versus brother, Heaven versus Hell, even angels against angels if they make it that far with this finale (or else we'll be waiting until next season for that to happen). I'm psyched for the ending of this season, because overall it's been pretty damn epic and I want to see this all the way to the end.
We'll be buying boxes if Kleenex and mentally preparing ourselves for the finale next Thursday, amirite y'all?