Supernatural 6.03 "The Third Man"
The Winchesters encounter a case where strange and mysterious, not to mention disturbing, deaths of people were being found. The common thing connecting them is that they were all cops. Most of these grueling deaths happen to be similar to the Plagues of Egypt, and Dean decides to call Castiel for help since it is linked to being biblical. Castiel arrives and tells them he needs their help instead, saying that these events are in connection to weapons being stolen from Heaven, and another factor being that there's a civil war going on in Heaven between the angels who want to start up the Apocalypse again. We discover that Raphael is the leader of these angels who want this to happen. They find one of the stolen weapons, the staff that belonged to Moses, which has been broken into pieces and handed out in exchange for human souls. Castiel locals where this angel is in order to stop him, it turns out he's an old friend named Balthazar, who turned away from Heaven in order to have freedom and is just "having a little fun" and gives a speech about why he is the way he is now and what he's doing. Unfortunately, Raphael comes with some of his followers in attempts to kill Castiel, however Balthazar comes to Castiel's rescue and destroys Raphael's vessel. The boys and Castiel demand for Balthazar to unleash the souls of those he claimed, and Castiel then lets Balthazar go without another word, much to Dean and Sam's surprise.
In the end, Sam continues his unjust self-righteous behavior in responding to Dean's statement about him being different and not like himself, saying and practically implying that he was stronger than Dean with his time downstairs. There's definitely something off with Sam, and Dean is fully aware of this as the rest of us are.
This episode proves itself superior than the previous two episodes. It was written by Ben Edlund, so it's a given that this would be awesome regardless.
Castiel: New and Improved, and His Mission This Season
Castiel returning is probably the biggest highlight of this season so far, really. In a completely biased opinion, it's probably the only exciting part of what's been going on this season.
Anyway, there are some very fascinating points in this episode due to Castiel's return. Obviously his status in trying to regain order in a chaotic Heaven, along with what has been happening up there since we last saw him after the war had ended. Perhaps the biggest is him trying to settle this civil war happening between his brothers, and how he (and others apparently) are trying to cease it from going farther than it already has, and the confrontations he'll be having like he did with Raphael in this episode. But most of all, I think would I love the most about what Castiel did this episode was show how much he's evolved since we last saw him. A compilation of both his S4 and S5 selves of being all business but still conflicted with his emotions.
Castiel: There is no other way.This moment really says all there is to say about where Castiel's state of mind is right now. Notice the importance of his last words, because of what he's doing in Heaven requires so much attention and his energy, and the pressures of keeping the chaos under control, it's putting all this responsibility on his shoulders and he has to make certain sacrifices for the greater good, no matter how terrible they may seem. It's not that he doesn't care, it's just he can't. There's an obvious inner conflict he's struggling with here, as I read a small snippet from an interview a while back that Castiel will be torn between his obligation to Heaven and wanting to help the boys. He still cares for them and wants to help, but here in this episode he came because of what they're dealing with is in connection to what he's dealing with, so he really doesn't have time to balance both things at once and has to make certain choices and I'm loving that aspect of his character. Always have, actually.
Dean: You're gonna torture a kid!
Castiel: I can't care about that, Dean. I don't have the luxury.
Also, notice the fact that Castiel is incredibly expressive in this episode, what with the air quoting and snarking and how he uses his eyes to communicate without saying much at all. There needn't any kind of exposition of his character or anything like that, a simple look could explain so much about what was happening with his character throughout. Even without having all the details you could understand precisely where Castiel was coming from based on his actions and reactions and his main objective from this episode alone.
I also loved that he was the one being in charge this episode instead of being a sidekick to the Winchesters. Not that I didn't enjoy Castiel hanging around before, but they set something up for him last season that was eventually forgotten (ex. his mission to find God was never really shown, the dealio with the amulet that was also forgotten, his journey of becoming almost!human in a sense, just a few examples), and this seems like a solid storyline for him to be involved with. Regaining order in Heaven, dealing with troublesome angels who just want destruction and chaos, having to deal with all these heavy duty responsibilities that no other angel would step up to the plate otherwise. I feel like this will be the worthwhile story of the season if done correctly.
Dean and Castiel: "Dean and I do share a more profound bond..."
The significance of this statement is very appealing to me, because it's obvious that Dean and Castiel do share a special kind of bond and it didn't really need to be said, but at the same time it kind of did. That recognition that Dean and Castiel are still friends and will still share this special and important bond even with everything that's going on in both their lives right now. There is no denying there is a special connection between them, with or without the slash-goggles on it's pretty evident of their friendship that's been forming ever since the fourth season.
To make it known was definitely part of the fan-servicing in the episode, but it's important to really acknowledge that there is that particular bond between Dean and Castiel. It's something I think many were worried wouldn't be mentioned or shown again, because it's a very significant part of what made them turn to each other at different points of their character developments. A unique kind of bond they share because of how they relate to one another, how Dean showed Castiel the ways of being human, of understanding humanity in general, and without Castiel, Dean wouldn't have shifted and changed (not like the mess that was the premiere, but in other ways of faith and understanding, even if it's a gradual thing for him to process). To say there's no connection or chemistry between them now with everything they've gone through together would be the biggest denial anyone who watches to the show would ever make.
Never mind the fact that Castiel has a deep affection for Dean that is absolutely evident with everything he's done and sacrificed for him, and I loved that. But I also loved that Castiel makes it clear that despite that profound bond he has his own agenda to worry about and won't always come when Dean calls for his help. It doesn't lessen their connection, but he makes it clear where his priorities lie.
At any rate, there should be more Dean/Castiel scenes in the future of this season because this is far too important and significant to their relationship to be forgotten after this episode.
The Civil War in Heaven
This is the second best thing to be revealed of what's happening this season. An angel civil war having broken loose within Heaven that's already in a chaotic state as it is. Without any particular chain of command, God still is absent from this cause, this prompts questions from the angels about what's happening and obviously many will be persuaded to believe and follow one thing or the other depending on how they are swayed into thinking.
Originally I had thought this would have happened back in the fourth season when we discovered that Uriel had formed a conversion of angels to join his side of wanting the Apocalypse to happen and joining with Lucifer in the war. Now it seems that particular idea has been brought back but post-war, in hopes in creating another apocalypse to serve their own needs of freedom and chaos. The entire prospect about an angel civil war has always fascinated me because they're otherworldly beings with an entirely different kind of culture from mankind; they were designed for specific purposes and without those purposes there would be no order at all, just utter random chaos. A civil war breaking out would be catastrophic to the natural order of things. Now, the show often times gives us the theme about freedom of will, of making choices for oneself, but how far can that extend to and to what cost? With no superior leader in Heaven anything is bound to happen and sides will definitely clash.
And think about it, Castiel is the only angel we've seen so far that still has faith in God and His Plan and had always had his heart and intentions in the right place, even when he was questioning his orders and even God Himself at a particular time. All the other angels don't even have a smidgen of faith left, or believe that God has abandoned them for good meaning they can do whatever they want. Which of course, is not true, given the state of what is happening recently there's definitely a balance needed in the universe otherwise shit will totally hit the fan in a more catastrophic manner. At least, that is what I believe would happen, and is actually happening right now with what's been going this season in general, but more of my thoughts on that later.
Rambling again, but I am seriously in love with the concept of an angel civil war. It's intriguing and I want more of it to be featured this season, please.
Balthazar: The New Angel In Town
New angel to us, old friend for Castiel.
I think I'm more relieved to have more new angels introduced to us because we need to have some other ones instead of just Castiel and the basic soldier angels, and seeing Castiel having a friend from Heaven is something I've wanted to see. He doesn't seem to have many close connections with his family at all which is kind of sad. But Balthazar's introduction was definitely interesting.
I think what's interesting about him is how he twisted Castiel's rebellion into something so degrading, like Castiel was proving a point about having freedom to do whatever he wished, like he just decided to go "fuck you Heaven!" and bolt when we all know that's not the correct reason at all. They have very different circumstances and reasons for doing what they did; Castiel rebelled because he wanted to save the world, to do the right thing. He understood the consequences of his actions and knew of what he was doing, whereas Balthazar here just wants to have some fun with having freedom of Heaven's orders and rules and the anarchy that is up there, of no Father in Heaven to tell them what to do. There's definitely going to be clashing between the two, since it appears based on their conversation alone that they know each other pretty well and there's a sense of familiarity between them as brothers. But yeah, with Balthazar gone completely AWOL and having selfish reasons for it there's gonna be some angel family angsting and more fighting going on.
I do want to know his particular role this season, what kind of involvement he'll have. What other things has he stolen from Heaven? Is he going to try and convert Castiel to his side of things? Will Castiel listen or continue on with his mission? Will Balthazar surrender and help alongside his fellow brother? I AM DYING TO KNOW PEOPLE.
Either way, he looks rather interesting of a character. I am definitely intrigued by him.
The Bargaining of Souls: The Significance of Angels Claiming Human Souls
Another thing that was revealed in this episode was the claiming of souls and bargaining with them. There seems to be another reversal parallel here where instead of making deals with demons, humans can make deals with angels in exchanging their souls for something.
There had been numerous arguments and debates a while back in that had Dean believed in angels and Heaven before any of the chain of events of his brother first having been dead, could he have bargained with the angels instead of demons at the crossroads? Now it seems like it is deemed possible, although Castiel says it's never been heard of in this kind of manner. But an angel claiming a human soul will leave a particular brand or mark on them. Which of course, speaking as an angel who gripped Dean tight and raised him from perdition, he did leave a pretty interesting mark on his shoulder, and the line about their "profound bond" would mean more than we could ever imagine, just some food for thought on that.
Needless to say, I think this is a very important subject to remember for later because there was an implication when Balthazar pointedly looked at Sam when he mentioned about the soul situation. Could this be in connection with what happened to Sam, or what is wrong with him? Or about the Campbells in general? Other things happening that they're encountering? There's definitely something more to this, and I'm interesting in learning more about it.
Memorable Moments of the Episode:
++ CASTIEL IS BACK BITCHES!
++ I felt like the first part at the beginning of the episode was unnecessary. I'm just not interested in seeing shirtless!Jared or shirtless!Jensen at all. It does nothing for me, and it amounts nothing to the show. I would prefer them clothed than half naked, thank you very much. Ugh Lisa, gtfo off my screen immediately because you are irrelevant. And that random hooker, other than wondering why in the world is Sam paying for sex, that entire scene was awkward and painful to watch. Bad acting all around. But those are the only things I disliked about the episode, really. Everything else was absolutely golden.
++ Gore, gore, gore everywhere! Where there's Ben Edlund, you're guaranteed some interesting gorefests. lol
++ Dean racing Sam in the Impala. It's a nice little throwback to their brotherly bantering days. <3
++ "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to Castiel to get his feathery ass down here." <--- that was not only adorable but only Dean would end up cursing within a prayer, and suddenly Castiel does come for him
++ CASTIEL ARRIVES IMMEDIATELY AFTER DEAN PRAYS FOR HIM, AND DEAN LOOKS AT HIM IN SUCH AN AWED AND HEARTS IN HIS EYES. LIKE HE'S LOOKING AT A LONG-LOST LOVE OR SOMETHING AND CAN'T BELIEVE HE'S STANDING RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF HIM. YOU ALL KNOW IT'S TRUE.
++ Sam mimicking Castiel's deep guttural Batman voice, lol.
++ "Dean and I do share a more PROFOUND BOND. I wasn't going to mention it...."
CUE THE OUTBREAK OF DEAN/CAS FANGIRLS SQUEALING LIKE MANIACS OVER THIS. CANON, OUR OTP HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED AND MADE. SORRY SAM BUT YEAH, CASTIEL LIKES DEAN MORE. HELL HE'S IN LOVE WITH HIM FOR GOODNESS SAKES. Also, notice Sam's taken aback look after Castiel mentions this, lol! It's hilarious!
++ "What part of 'I don't know' escapes your understanding?" BITCHY CASTIEL IS MY FAVORITE. ♥
++ CASTIEL OVERUSING AIR QUOTES IS TOO ADORABLE FOR WORDS! I CAN'T EVEN.
++ Moses' staff. The staff of Moses. Next up, the search for the Holy Grail! XD Seriously though, very interesting part of the mythology, though I wonder what else will be added into the list of these so-called weapons and what other items are hidden in Heaven.
++ Castiel randomly zapping Sam and Dean placing with him will never get old, and of course the new use of his amped powers for portability is awesome. The special effects was....interesting, the zooming out in a weird kind of fashion. Reminds me of the random zoom-ins from that one episode last season. lol But yeah, nice seeing Castiel with all these awesome angel abilities again, even though I'll miss him communicating with his cellphone (mini-break for a prayer circle for the the cellphone, RIP ;_;)
++ The whole thing about reaching into a person and touching their soul like that? Is interesting, but kinda creepy (and there's undertones with that scene that I'm sure many were thinking about while watching, Castiel is totally a creeper...)
++ "I can't care about that, Dean! I don't have the luxury." Perhaps the most heartbreaking line ever uttered in this episode. Poor Cas. :(
++ EPIC FIGHT WITH THE ANGEL SWORDS, FUCK YEAH! I can't tell you how I've missed those epic angel swords, anything involving the angel mytharc I've missed really. Seeing more fighting and angry!Castiel is worth everything to me. AND FALLING OUT THE WINDOW AND BREAKING SAM'S DOUCHEBAGGY CAR! MORE AWESOMENESS! \O/
++ SEE! THEY ARE BICKERING LIKE THEY ARE ALREADY MARRIED, AND I LOVE IT! CHEMISTRY IS THROUGH THE ROOF, THEIR POSITION OF FACING EACH OTHER AND EYEFUCKING IS STILL EPIC LIKE ALWAYS, AND SAM IS LOOKING ON IN THE BACKGROUND LIKE THE IGNORED CHILD, LOL!
++ "I need Myrrh." LOL SO RANDOM CAS, ILU.
++ Castiel's random zapping back and forth at random times is kind of worth it, really. XD
++ ANGEL CIVIL WAR = CYLON CIVIL WAR, AMIRITE? ;D
++ Awwww, Castiel is ashamed of his brothers. :( There's definitely some paralleling here between himself and Dean, because with what this episode suggests and from the passed there's a certain level of distrust between them and there being more of that barrier now because of whatever is Sam's deal is.
++ All I could think is that Balthazar has some pretty sweet digs. lol, and Dean making a pop culture reference and Castiel having that expression of, "I don't understand" but saying nothing. D'awww, it's okay Cas. *pets him*
++ lol @ random frog. Appropriate though, considering the plague dealio and all.
++ Balthazar seems to be a combination of future!Castiel and Gabriel, from his outfit and his jokes/comments to his liking of random disco music and lights and snapping of his fingers to disappear. Very interesting though to see him, a brand new angel into the mix.
++ "Why won't any of you listen?" ;__;
This scene is also another heartbreaking scene of his, just the way he looks after killing yet another one of his brothers. He just wants his family to stop fighting already, to stop misunderstanding things and to know there are other alternate ways of handling this. So much emotion on his face, look at him! Just oh Cas, my heart breaks for you right here. ;__;
++ I think what I loved about this episode most of all is there were tons of things they gave us, from BAMF!Castiel to whumped!Castiel, to him being bitchy and all business-like yet innocence with his lack of human communication and social skills, the kink!plays and Dean/Cas moments and angel mythology extending into a civil war in Heaven. It's everything I wanted out from a Castiel-centric episode and to have it all in the episode with Castiel making his first appearance of the season is just frakking amazing. And of course with Raphael making his second appearance on the show filled me with glee, even though he beat Castiel into the ground (and down those stairs, I winced because damn that has got to hurt being beaten by an archangel).
++ "I believe the hairless ape has the floor." LOL IDK WHY BUT THAT MADE ME LAUGH! Castiel defends his beloved human. Also "hairless apes", it kind of makes me miss Uriel with his "mud monkey" comments.
++ PRETTY MUCH ALL CASTIEL SCENES WERE FRAKKING AMAZING, AS ALWAYS. <3 <3 <3 <3 ILU CAS NEVER LEAVE US FOR THAT LONG AGAIN, M'KAY?
++ Sam is being an arrogant asshole, but at least Dean knows that Sam is being an arrogant asshole and suspects something is definitely wrong and off with him.
Overall: Amazing, top-notch episode. Definitely wayyy better than the first two of the season, that's for sure. There was better pacing and integrating of the angel mythology, the writing was amazing and the dialogue was perfect especially when all the characters were interacting with each other. This felt like Supernatural, unlike the previous episodes where it was just random shit making me feel like these weren't the characters. No, this episode, written by the brilliant Ben Edlund, felt like the show again. With characterizations and the direction, the mythology and storyline for Castiel, everything. I knew immediately that Castiel would make things all better again, and this really proved it. Of course I don't think I could have trusted this kind of an episode in the hands of anyone besides Edlund since he gets the characters and the story. The new addition of the mythology is awesome, because I prefer the mytharcs to the melodrama any day. But that's just my opinion, and really this episode was far more superior to anything else that's been shown of this season.
A+ of an episode, will watch again and again and again....
Ben Edlund is my hero, seriously. He saved us from headdesking another episode to smiling and being excited for the show once again. ♥ ILU BEN EDLUND, PLZ WRITE ALL THE REST OF THE EPISODES AND TAKE OVER AS SHOWRUNNER, KTHX.