This episode, oh my Chuck, people, this episode is brilliant. I have had a really hard time writing this review because this was just one of those episodes that make you really emotional.
But I’ll try to control myself, so let’s press forward to talk about the return of Mrs. Tran, Kevin, and of course, Castiel.
This episode does a lot in a really short amount of time, so let’s move quickly.
There were so many characters featured this episode or at least mentioned and that just makes me so happy. If anyone remembers my reviews from last season one of my major criticisms was that there was no supporting cast.
…Because the writers kept killing them all.
But now we have Benny, Garth has emerged as a major character, Mrs. Tran and Kevin, Castiel and maybe Alfie… maybe. This looks like our supporting cast for this season, unless Amelia ends up playing a bigger role like I hope, or if maybe new and old characters appear throughout this season. Whatever happens, Dean and Sam are finally getting a support group, which they so desperately need. The added characters help move the plot along. Each adds something to the cast and some much need diversity (…kinda).
Kevin continues to grow and develop into an awesome and interesting character. The writers did a good job balancing out Kevin growing braver and more determined, while still showing that he is facing something that is way beyond him. The same thing was done for Mrs. Tran who continues to show herself as an utter badass. She kicks a demon’s ass, locks him in her truck, and takes him to Sam and Dean so that they can torture him into giving her Kevin’s location. Yes, Mrs. Tran is still a bad ass, but the writers are again quick to show that this world is new to Mrs. Tran. Her hiring a witch (who I actually thought was kind of amusing) on Craigslist is hilarious, and shows how much she doesn’t understand yet about Sam and Dean’s world.
But while we get Mrs. Tran as this season’s awesome female character, it is also in this episode that we are introduced to Naomi. Naomi is an angel who seems to be at least kind of running heaven right now, who breaks Cas out of Purgatory to spy on the Winchesters. If my spoilers serve me correctly, she is an archangel and, obviously, very powerful. Now I don’t want to get down on Naomi too quickly. She is a new female character, which is something I have been wanting, and she could be a really complex and interesting character. I want to reserve judgment but… it looks like she is going to be evil. Another evil female character! Really! Ever since Anna I have wanted another good female character that is supernatural. When I first heard rumors about a new female angel I was super excited, but she’s mind-raping Cas and making him spy on the Winchesters, ergo she is probably at least as evil as Zachariah. All of the female characters of Supernatural that are good guys don’t have powers, the ones that do often are evil (Meg, Lilith, Ruby), or they become evil (Anna), or are depowered (Pamela), and almost all of them are killed off! It’s just frustrating that I can’t have a powerful female character without there being some sort of catch.
That being said, we know nothing about her yet and she did save Cas. So despite my reservations I will attempt to stay optimistic about Naomi.
I also wanted to point out that if Cas never remembers Naomi that their conversations will probably be awesome. The below quote sums it up pretty nicely:
so wait will Naomi have to introduce herself everytime how funny would that be
“WHO ARE YOU.”
“Castiel, we’ve been over-“
“WHERE AM I.”
“We’ve wiped your-“
Actually the idea that Naomi can even wipe Cas’s memory either says something about how powerful she or how Cas is less angelic than he once was, but let’s hold off on that for a moment.
First I want to talk about Chuck. Yes, Chuck, our former prophet of the Lord who is now suspected of being God. I recently wrote about how problematic it is that Chuck is God as far as theology goes.
Though Castiel, Dean, and Sam don’t know it we, the viewer know Chuck simply disappeared. This led many people to believe Chuck was God, which would explain why Kevin got tapped as a prophet, because Chuck wasn’t a real prophet to begin with. This seems to be enforced throughout the episode with Crowley making a joke about God being a bad writer, since Chuck was mentioned earlier this immediately causing the view to think about Chuck’s poor writing in the “Supernatural” books. Now Chuck getting a mention could be an easy way to cover a plot hole of other potential prophets not yet being real prophets as long as Kevin’s alive, or it could be a hint to Chuck showing up again in the season. Since season seven an angel by the name of Metatron keeps getting mentioned and he was mentioned again this episode. A new theory has emerged that Chuck is actually the Metatron.
This would make a lot of sense. Biblically speaking, the Metatron is God’s scribe who used to be a human named Enoch, but became an angel. This would fit the very human, but obviously not quite human Chuck nicely. Furthermore, when Kevin reads Metatron’s personal note he describes it as a farewell letter. Metatron either left or abandoned his post, much like Gabriel. So this rumor has a lot of potential. Chuck could easily be the Metatron, but for now it’s only a rumor and my personal headcanon.
The Purgatory flashbacks seem to be mostly over now (maybe), which means I have some criticism, but only a small criticism, I was really hoping to see some old characters in Purgatory. I didn’t want to see Gordon in Purgatory, but I thought he might show up, and I was really hoping to see Madison and Amy in Purgatory being badasses. It would have been a nice touch which would have connected old seasons to the new one, but it wasn’t necessary so again, a very minor criticism.
So now let’s talk about our main characters, Dean, Sam, and Cas. Sam didn’t have as much to do this episode, but I have to say I adored the scene where Sam comforts Dean after Dean thinks he saw Cas. Especially after last week’s episode seeing a tender moment between the brothers was perfect, and reminds you that despite how often Sam and Dean fight they still really do love and care about each other.
Cas has returned! But he isn’t up to full strength yet and whether that is something that will come back slowly to him or it is something Naomi did to him is still up in the air. There is also the possibility that Cas is slowly becoming human, but I’m not really sure there is much evidence for that yet.
What I really want to talk about though is Dean’s and Cas’s guilt.
There are so many parallels here between season four and this episode. In season four, Castiel is amazed, horrified, and confused to find that Dean didn’t think he deserved to be saved from Hell. This same experience is reflected in Dean when he realizes that Cas chose to stay in Purgatory for penance, but the difference is Dean understands Cas’s guilt because it’s something he struggles with himself, but Dean doesn’t want that for Cas and seems distraught that Cas feels that way. I think in the next couple of episodes we are going to really see a turn around from the Dean that was so angry with Cas in season seven to one that is going to try and be much more supportive of Cas. Dean tends to think of himself as worthless and I am convinced that he doesn’t want anyone to turn out like him, let alone Cas. Especially since Dean is probably still haunted by the hopeless version of Cas in the 2014 alternate universe.
On the other side Dean’s feelings of being worthless clearly upset Castiel. When Dean confronts Cas about what happened in Purgatory, before Mrs. Tran shows up, Cas seems very upset that Dean blames himself for what happened. Even before Cas really knew Dean in season four, Cas didn’t seem to like the idea of Dean thinking poorly of himself, and he seems really upset that Dean continues to feel this way. Cas hopes to help Dean overcome his guilt by revealing the truth to him, probably not realizing that Dean is just going to worry about him more now.
It was nice to see Cas or anyone finally tell Dean that he doesn’t have to save everyone and that Castiel acted based on his own will. By saying this Cas also brings in our theme of free will and responsibility, but unlike the last couple of episodes that emphasized responsibility over free will, Castiel actually does just the opposite by telling Dean he had no responsibility to save him, because Castiel didn’t want to be saved. It was his free choice that Dean not save him. This adds some new depth to our theme and is clearly challenging Dean’s perceptions by the end of the episode. I can’t wait to see were the writers take things next.
Some other random notes:
– Why does Crowley have a pinwheel? Just because he’s awesome? I don’t know but I love it!
– Did anyone notice that nobody saved Alfie?!
You know who else was never saved…
See you next week, idjits!