HUG. DEAN HUGGED CASTIEL. FINALLY PROPERLY HUGGED HIM.
So I guess it's safe to say that Dean actually did hug Castiel before Benny after all.
While I have yet to see the episode, thanks to Tumblr I've been filled in on what happened during this moment, and I don't think anything could have been more perfect.
I see this as quite a progression of Dean's character, because I think he's really starting to understand precisely just how much Castiel risks in protecting him. He ran to keep the monsters away from Dean, to give him a fighting chance at surviving. During present day he talks with another angel who says that there are still angels who believe that Castiel had his heart in the right place, and that perhaps he had too much heart. And then we have the moment, the moment, when Dean hugs Castiel in Purgatory after finding him again. Like, truly properly hugs him. This is huge especially when you think about Dean from before, who has always been hesitant regarding his feelings and always had his guard up, only allowing a little bit before shutting down. Now here, we see Dean smiling big in that he's so happy and relieved that his friend is okay. HE ACTUALLY PRAYED FOR CASTIEL, FFS. He prayed every single night down there in Purgatory. And once realizing what Castiel did (again, all for him) he made sure that Cas understood that no matter what, they were leaving Purgatory together. That they were going home, together.
This kind of development is something I've been waiting for from Dean, for a long, long time. While we still have some ways to go, seeing as how this is only the second episode of the season and Dean has a truckload of issues to deal with, we've gotten a lot of development from what has been shown so far than the previous seasons combined, tbh.
I can only hope that such development continues for the duration of the season. If so, then this certainly is Season GR8 (as the kids are saying these days.)
Bless you, Jeremy Carver. Bless and praise you for giving us this.
I have a feeling that I may start watching this season sooner than I anticipated, if this kind of quality keeps up.