For this particular Supernatural rewatch I did "Monsters at the End of This Book" and "The Rapture" for two specific reasons. They are two excellent episodes and they both deal with the concept of choices, destiny and freewill. Either if it's with the Winchesters or with Castiel, there is always the issue about choices and decisions coinciding with destiny and fate and whether it is possible, in this universe in particular. I explore further into that with these two episodes (and the last two, which will be posted tomorrow, as well) and what it means for the future of these characters, Castiel in particular given his nature. There's also MUCH discussion and pondering about the Jimmy/Castiel situation and my feelings and thoughts towards what was presented to us in canon, which I think many should ponder as well.
Supernatural Rewatch 4.18 "The Monster At The End Of This Book"
I’m still surprised at how well managed this episode turned out to be, and by that I mean mixing the funny with the serious business. Supernatural has been known for it’s hilarious comedic episodes and the normal apocalyptic-toned ones, but never had been mixed together in this format before, which I think is pretty amazing.
I am still tinkled pink by the blatant mocking of the craziness of the fanbase and, of course, Kripke and the writers themselves.
Anyone remember some of the fans actually thinking this was a negative look at the fandom and thought Kripke was making fun of us and placing us in the negative light? It still cracks me up because that reaction is totally ridiculous, but you know some people will get their panties in a twist for absolutely nothing and think it’s offensive or whatever. Oh well, their loss because this was a deliberate parody of the batshittery that happens in fandom sometimes (and those that winged out – the case, the show has rested it), and it shows that they don’t take themselves seriously – and neither should the fans.
I mean come on, FANDOM IS NOW CANON IN THE SHOW! It’s all twisty and mind-frakking fun! Hilarity ensues, laugh at yourself for once because it IS funny!
Other than that, I loved how they incorporated all of that silliness with Chuck and his writings to the seriousness that followed about him being a prophet and with Lilith and Sam and then him dreaming, getting visions about what is going to happen regarding the Apocalypse. Very nicely done, show. I loved Chuck, such an amazing and hilarious character, but also very sad because of what he sees in his prophetic visions that Zachariah warns him not tell Sam and Dean about; despite the insane crack that ensued earlier in the episode, you just feel sympathy for poor Chuck because he never asked to be chosen to become a prophet. Now that he understands his calling it must be harder for him with his dreams and whatnot.
Choices, destiny and fate; this season touches heavily on those issues, no matter if you’re human or a celestial being, the issue about choices and whether you can alter your destiny and change fate is tested and questioned. It begs the question though, did Dean really change the foretold future by altering it, or was Chuck’s vision somewhat altered by the angels? Especially now that we know that they can alter things, like Dean’s message to Sam in the finale, it wouldn’t be impossible to consider such a thing. However because of the hints and clues Castiel did in helping Dean prevent Sam from going through with what he had to do, could that have changed things or was it all inevitable anyway? Could this have been something that Heaven had foreseen, or perhaps it was because of this bending of the rules that caused the shifting of events?
Too many questions swirling in my head about that, but it does make you ponder the destiny versus fate thing and whether Heaven is actually altering the paths of certain individuals because of their own devious plans for the Apocalypse.
Castiel in this episode made it even more worthwhile, because I loved that this was an episode that had crack and he was in the middle of it – and interacted in a scene with Dean and Chuck with such crack. And did a beautifully convincing job, too. With any other actor the line – "these books will one day become the Winchester Gospel" – would have seemed silly and corny, but with Misha, his presence as this character is so serious and full of respect and poise that it is anything but when it comes out of his mouth, even if the line can be construed as ridiculous. He also had amazing lines here, too. The "you should have seen Luke" and his "I am not…kidding you" lines still have me rolling. HIS DRY SARCASM, HE IS PICKING UP FROM DEAN! :D
Castiel should be in more crack/serious episodes more often. Hell, I would LOVE to see him meet and interact with the Ghostfacers at some point. Oh God, could you imagine?
The scene with Dean praying aloud, genuinely, is still a favorite of mine. The season focuses a lot on the angel mythology and how it connects to all the mysteries surrounding the boys and this bigger picture that we’re coming towards, but it also focuses on the personal journeys and faiths of characters. Sam’s dark path and his deteriorating faith in God and Heaven, Dean coming into his own destiny and gradually coming into his faith, and Castiel undergoing much personal conflict about what is right and wrong, here we see this played out in the moment between him and Dean outside of the motel. Dean asking guidance and help to save Sam, but Castiel could not because he cannot interfere with divine prophecy or else dire consequences would happen (and it would be straightforward disobedience which he knows not to trifle with just yet).
But what’s interesting is how torn up we see Castiel over this. He wants to help Dean, he truly does, and yet he can’t. Dean doesn’t like that kind of an answers so he storms off in a huff, leaving Castiel feeling torn once again on how to proceed in helping without actually interfering. This brings on sneaky!Castiel, bending the rules and risking everything for the sake of Dean – and this is yet more proof that Castiel would do anything for Dean, regardless of what it is.
I just wish there could be more evidence that Dean would do the same thing with Castiel, but that’ll be for later.
This episode still makes my sides hurt but my heart hurt, too, just from the scenes I’ve mentioned. It really is a great episode.
Supernatural Rewatch 4.20 "The Rapture"
I simply adore this episode. I knew I would love it even before it aired because not only was it Misha-centric, but it also gave us the origins of the human vessel that Castiel has been inhabiting this entire time, the background of this man, Jimmy Novak, and how he fits into all of this. And of course, the mystery of why Castiel left in the first place and how he was going to return, and what would happen to this Jimmy Novak?
Like most, I think we all had something in our heads about who this mysterious “holy tax accountant” was before this episode. I had theorized he was a devout man who had a strong connection with the church, however witnessed something horrific and tragic regarding his family, something in connection with demons, and it had devastated him and that is why he had prayed for help from the Heavens, which is where Castiel comes into play, so there would be something deeper in why Jimmy was as connected as the Winchesters were by agreeing to be holy possessed by an angel. That was my most likely guess, which was purely speculation on my end. I, of course, was way off the mark, but the canon version is still pretty nifty nonetheless.
I appreciate and admire Misha Collins for what he did in this role, how he managed to go from Castiel to Jimmy and then Jimmy to Castiel almost instantaneously, so perfect. He created an entirely different persona for Jimmy Novak that I was absolutely impressed with how he can carry out these two different characters.
He did the same with Castiel, as there’s a vast difference with how he plays him from the beginning of the episode to when we see him once again at the very end.
Now, Jimmy Novak. I have to say as a whole, I feel horrible for poor Jimmy. Another example of inevitable destinies, he was chosen for such a divine plan as the vessel of a powerful otherworldly being and, despite having given consent for Castiel to enter his body for whatever purposes he was intended to, him saying that the past year was pretty much hell for him (i.e. comparing his absence like being strapped onto a comet) made me feel very sympathetic and bad for the poor guy. Which leaves me to wonder if Castiel knew the repercussions of this mutual agreement, since angels have been known to not really tell the entirety of the truth unless they need to in order to complete their missions. Of course, this is the Castiel before he meets Dean, the Castiel that follows orders without question (unless he secretly had been all along, and it wasn’t until he met Dean in person that allowed that humanizing to expand those doubts).
Does this make Castiel bad for not explaining the whole arrangement with Jimmy? I don’t think so, because as mentioned he was still following orders; he was a soldier, things were at stake. Of course, it makes me wonder what Castiel had told Jimmy – if he told him about the holy war, of the Seals, of the rising of the Apocalypse; if so, then perhaps Jimmy could have understood what he needed to do.
However, there are some timeline glitches present here – Castiel mentioned that after Dean broke in Hell, the angels took siege into Hell to get to him. In the flashbacks when Jimmy had been contacted by Castiel, it took a few weeks of him receiving messages, him scaring his wife thus her getting him psychiatric help and medication for thinking of talking with Heaven’s angels and before he gave his permission for Castiel to take over his body for whatever purposes he needed to do. How could this have been if Castiel had pulled Dean out from Hell, contacted him twice (and failed) and then appeared in physical form? That hadn’t really taken up a few weeks, had it? I’ve been trying to figure it out, fanwanking possibilities, but all seem to fall flat because it doesn’t make sense, timeline wise. Oh well, it’s something I guess I can forgive because it gave us a chance to see the backstory of Jimmy.
And honestly, I don’t think the writers were anticipating the expansion of Castiel passed the first few episodes, so it was a huge surprise for them and they had to make Jimmy’s story involving his family, his wife and all of that, convincing enough.
What I loved about Jimmy as a person was, despite what happened to him in the end, he was a man worthy of sacrificing himself for the sake of his family; he loved his family so much, his wife and daughter, that he didn’t want them involved in something he was destined for. It sucks, it was destiny and fate for him to be chosen, and I still wished he had died instead of being stuck on that metaphorical comet, internally suffering forever and ever as long as Castiel has his body intact. It’s horrible and devastating, because this was Jimmy’s fate no matter what happened, there was no way around it. It’s incredibly sad, and I do wish it had ended differently for him because it’s too horrible – and it makes the whole issue concerning possession on the angels side even more complicated.
But I guess that’s the difference between angels and demons in that department. Demons don’t care who they possess as long as they have a meat suit. Whether dead or alive, it doesn’t matter to them, whereas angels need consent from these chosen humans, and it wouldn’t be right if they were to enter an already dead person. Also, remember what Castiel mentioned in the extended scene in “Lazarus Rising” about the difficulty finding a vessel durable enough to contain him? That means it’s a lot harder to find those devout individuals unless there is a list in Heaven of those along the special bloodlines, though he did mistake Dean for one of those special people so, heh.
(And this makes me even more sad that Uriel died – I really wanted to know more about the poor sap that he possessed and if he also asked for permission, since I do have a hard time trying to see Uriel conversing kindly with a human, since he vehemently despises humans)
Anyway – this brings up a lot of issues, particularly for us Dean/Castiel shippers because while Ruby had her explanation, in the case of Jimmy Novak and Castiel it is rather tricky situation and a bit more morally complicated. I’ve seen fics where Castiel had sent Jimmy’s soul into Heaven, some that have Jimmy’s permission, and even some that have Jimmy theoretically participating in a threesome, sort of. These are scenarios that make the pairing work because the thought of Jimmy’s soul suffering while being pushed down and aside while Castiel still inhabits his body for Lord knows how long, it’s quite disturbing. I mean, surely we can make these things a bit easier for us to deal with – but it still doesn’t change what happened in canon and it does make it very hard.
I do still wish that Jimmy’s last request was to give Castiel permission to still use his body after his soul ascended into Heaven, because while that had been sad for his death it would have been happier knowing his family would be safe and that Castiel could still carry on with his mission. But, this is what we got.
We also have the aftermath of the Novak family, what happens to them? How will Amelia deal with her husband having to suffer while this being takes hold of his body, realizing that he had been right all along? What about Claire who had been briefly possessed by Castiel herself, how will she cope with it all?
Now I have to mentioned Castiel after he returns, and the devastation that followed after he said this:
"I learned my lesson when I was away, Dean. I serve Heaven, I don't serve Man. And I certainly don’t serve you."Hearing people calling Castiel a cold heartless bastard, a prick, an asshole for saying this makes me wonder if they actually placed what happened into context of the situation. That is not what he was going to tell Dean, which we learn much later in the finale; and if he had been dragged back to Heaven against his will there was perhaps a reason, he had bent the rules in the previous episode to help Dean, his superiors know about his growing affections and feelings for the Winchesters and are afraid he is heading towards disobedience, so they gave him a bit of Heavenly Time Out.
We don’t know what happened up there, what they did to him, what he saw. But it changed him, scared him – and it’s quite obvious when he came that he wouldn’t automatically go, "oh, by the way Dean, this is the thing I was going to warn you about before they whisked me away!" He’s being watched very closely, and had to do whatever Heaven told him to do. And you could tell he didn’t like saying it, just by the way he held his poise, the way he didn’t directly look Dean in the eye as he passed by him. That is not typical Castiel behavior, not at all.
Thus, giving us a taste that Heaven is certainly not the Paradise our scriptures seem to implicate, and that the freewill and choices of celestial beings are very limited.
I also theorize a bit that the bloody sigil on the wall where the huge angel vs. angel showdown happened was created by Castiel to by himself more time to contact Dean through his dreams and to give him the information to that location, only it was too late. Which would explain how he knew how to use the sigil in the finale when sending Zachariah away, as well. Just the way he seemed so apprehensive and quick, not to mention vague, with his words to Dean. You could tell something was wrong, and something definitely was really very wrong, and in the end we understand why. It makes me wonder exactly when Castiel found out of Heaven's true plans for Dean and how everything was going down, and when he decided to warn Dean. Also, how his superiors knew of this, unless he confronted them before all it happened.
"The Rapture" is a very emotional, but brilliant, episode. The tragic story of Jimmy and his family, the breaking up of Dean and Castiel (at least how it seems), and even more the distrust and breaking up of Sam and Dean once Dean finally witnesses Sam drinking demon blood, thus sending him to the panic room for detoxing. It kind of felt like an emotional rollarcoaster, and the next episode, "When The Levee Breaks", it continues on that path.
ONLY A FEW MORE DAYS PPLS, FEW MORE DAYS UNTIL NEW SPN OMGOMGOMG. WE'RE GETTING CLOSER!