Okay, today was NOT my day. Like...at all. And then? To top it off, DISH froze up on me. I missed the first 5 mins and the last 5 mins. So...after you read this, if you can fill in the blanks, that would be made of awesome.
Let's start with the lists, shall we? Because I like lists. In general, really, but here most of all.
- Dean in a bathrobe (I only saw it for a few seconds but they were rather awesome seconds)
- Castiel's many profound realizations about being human, such as:
"People with the least to give are the most generous."
"More to humanity than survival. You look for purpose."
- "I just read pie. The rest is just blah, blah, blah."
- The boys being boys and talking about all the ways they could find Cas...right before they go super-stealth-bad-ass and trap themselves a rogue reaper
- Dean's broken voice when he realizes that Cas is dead *rubs heart*
- Sam getting the Clarence-Meg connection (and, seriously, someone make Dean watch It's A Wonderful Life...he of all people needs to)
- The boys' reaction to finding out that Cas had sex with April (it was so very...boy)
- "Did you have protection?" "I had my angel blade." (Oh, so that's what the kids are calling it these days....)
- "Use your intergalactic, hyperspace eyeballs to find someone else."
- "I never see you do half the nerdy stuff that you do; doesn't mean you don't do nerdy stuff."
- Bartholomew and the soldier angels. Unimpressed. Evil Angel may be a good Breaking Benjamin song, but it's starting to get tired as a storyline.
- Sam-Zeke: I totally got Zeke coming out to save Sam in that diner; Sam was unconscious and about to be killed. But. Where does Sam 'go' when he's conscious and Zeke comes out? And how does Dean explain the missing time? I'm okay with it at April's apartment; Sam could buy that he'd been knocked on the head again. But in the car? And then later in the bunker? How is that working?
- Was Crowley in the bunker basement that whole time they were traveling all around looking for Cas?
- Where was Kevin? Did I miss that part?
- Did you guys know that Reapers could heal? I didn't know that Reapers could heal.
Okay, I missed the THEN and the first part of NOW. First thing I saw was the boys sitting at the table, Dean in a robe (adorbs!) and Sam leaning back in his chair saying, "Cas is human; it's going to take him longer to travel."
Dean: "I'm getting whiplash."
Dean says that the angels are organizing -- which Sam questions how he knows this and Dean says it just makes sense. So...I'm guessing that Dean talked to Zeke before breakfast? Maybe?
ANYWAY, elsewhere, in random places like behind a pharmacy counter or sitting on a park bench people are watching podcasts of Rev Buddy Boyle's Going for Glory Hour where the Reverend implores his listeners to "let angels in and fill yourselves up with their grace." Essentially, he's priming ready-made vessels.
There's a new leader of the angels: Bartholomew. He was Naomi's protege, apparently, and he's using Buddy (plying him with lies that God is pleased and false promises of rewards in Heaven) to get vessels lined up, and has his angel-soldiers all ready to find Cas. One sweet-looking young girl comes into Buddy's office saying she wants to be a vessel. Bartholomew's all, yeah, okay, calls down an angel to fill her up and the moment it does, she shakes, starts bleeding from the eyes, and then explodes.
Bartholomew just calmly sits and waits for the blast, then tells Rev Buddy, "Not all who are willing are designed to contain Heaven's grace. Have to expect a casualty now and then."
So, if there was any question as to if Naomi's "heir" would be as bad as her, it was erased with that scene. We have evil on both sides.
Back in the MoL bunker, Dean is mapping out in concentric circles from Longmont, CO, the places where Cas could have gone over the time since he talked to his friend. Sam's researching weird happenings at any of the cities on the map -- like an angel kill in Longmont, or two priests tortured to death in Emery Park, Iowa. They realize that the angels are looking for info.
Meanwhile, Castiel is having dinner from a can shared with him by a quiet homeless man. He's under a bridge somewhere in what looks like a homeless camp -- there are several people there, with fires burning in trash cans and tired, dirty faces peering out from the shadows. Thanking the man for the food, Cas says that he's found that the, "people with the least to give are the most generous." That made me rub my heart right there. I've found that to be so true in life, and I'm forever grateful for it.
Talking to the homeless man, Cas says that everything is very strange to him -- food, sleep, passing gas. Not only that, it's occurred to him that one day he's going to die. The homeless man is looking at him like, dude, existential crisis much? Cas hands him back the can and says he's going to try to fall asleep.
Cas: "Quite a process, isn't it?"
Walking away from the group, Cas curls up in an abandoned bus to get some sleep, but wakes when he senses something. He gets up, heading carefully to the doors, but turns suddenly to see a man (angel) standing behind him, wearing what looks like a lab or trench coat. I think it was the pharmacist from the Rev Buddy montage -- and the boys mention something about that later, but it wasn't 100% clear. The angel cuts Castiel on the arm and Cas flinches in pain, his arm bleeding. The angel stares in shock, surprised to learn that Cas is human, and his surprise is his downfall.
Cas takes advantage and uses his sword to kill the angel.
Following up on their leads, the boys head to Emery Park; Dean interviews another homeless man who is working at a church -- presumably the church where the two priests were killed. The man recognizes Dean's description of Cas -- saying that it sounded like Clarence. Aww, Meg. Is it bad that I immediately missed that wily demon?
Dean heads back to the car -- where Sam is apparently stealing wifi from somewhere because he's on his laptop -- and tells Sam that Cas is getting cagier, using a fake name. Sam kinda laughs and says that's what Meg used to call him. I am surprised, honestly, that Dean didn't remember that.
Sam: "'Course he doesn't get that it's the name of a pretty famous angel."
Dean: blank face
Sam: "It's a Wonderful Life."
Dean: blanker face
Sam: "Dude, seriously?"
Sam found another angel kill in Lafayette, IN, (the pharmacist) and holy mileage, Batman, are they heading all over the place. From Lebanon, KS, to Iowa, and now Indiana...though if Cas was in Longmont, CO and heading to the bunker...he kinda overshot it by about 500 miles if he ended up in Lafayette. Just saying. *laugh*
Elsewhere -- in the Chinatown of some city -- Cas is wandering, looking longingly at a hotdog vendor, but uses the last of his money to get a tattoo instead of food, warding himself from the angels. Smart!
Meanwhile, Bartholomew is talking to his soldier angels all, get vessels, find Castiel, and DO NOT FAIL ME. He's quite displeased when he finds out that not only did Cas kill their "Dayton Operative" but he also warded himself against them. Ha-ha. Who's the big-bad angel now?
Post-tattoo, Cas is once more wandering, hungry, looking with equal desire at a vendor grilling brats and a woman with rather large breasts walking past him. He makes his way into a church and sits in a pew, looking at all the religious images and statues, fixating on the angels. A woman is in the front pew and he hears the tail-end of her prayer to heal her sick husband. As she's walking out, he stops her, asking after her prayer.
He says he never realized how fragile humans were before now. I found that probably one of the more profound things he said. I can think of two different times he beat Dean bloody, once purposefully beating him unconscious, and he didn't think about the damage it did to Dean because he could always heal him. The chances he let the boys take -- the chances he asked them to take -- didn't feel like risks to him because he knew that he could heal them. And their deaths -- Sam's not being able to be healed by the trials or sacrificing himself at Stull -- didn't really hit Cas hard because he had never experienced death or loss. He found Dean in Hell, he could have seen either of them in Heaven had they died by conventional means.
He's been eternal for so long, plowing through human existence for millenia, that he didn't truly understand human limitations. It wasn't until he felt pain and hunger and exhaustion and need that he truly understood what it was like for his friends to simply make it through a day, let alone survive what they had doing their job, fighting the battles they've fought.
The woman tells Cas that we pray "because we get dealt such a bad hand, we need something stronger than yourself."
Cas: "What if you were to find out that no one is listening? God left. Heaven's out of business. What would you do?"
Woman: "It's not possible. Because I have my faith. Your truth is your truth, not mine. Your lack of faith doesn't cancel what I believe; it doesn't work that way."
While in the SPN universe this made me sad for her because of the truth of the story they're telling, in life, in my reality, this was actually one of the more encouraging exchanges of the episode. Because I believe that woman is right. We each have our own truths -- and someone else not believing mine doesn't make mine any less true for me.
The woman tells Castiel that someone is listening -- and while for her (and in life) those words were meant to be encouraging, knowing what we know about the fallen angels and Bartholomew, that's kind of exactly what I was afraid of. I didn't want Cas to pray in that moment -- someone actually might hear him! Luckily, he didn't. So, whew.
We're back with Bart and he's talking to a rogue reaper, saying he knows several of his kind freelance for a price. He wants the reaper to find Castiel, and gives him one word to start: Winchester.
Now, witness 30 seconds in my brain: Wait, if a reaper can find the boys, how come the angels can't--oh, wait, right because of the markings on their bones, but, hey, if their bones are marked then how come Zeke could possess Sa--oh, wait because it's anti-detection, not anti-possession...otherwise Lucifer couldn't have possessed Sam either. Okay, I'm good. Where was I?
The boys. That's where I was. Watching them expertly bluff their way into a police station in Lafayette, IN, looking through the dead Pharmacists stuff. They find his phone or iPod or whatever and discover the podcasts of Rev Buddy, coming to the same conclusion I did about ready-made vessels. Sam searches Buddy Boyle on the police computer and finds out that he has a pretty global fan-base. Yipe!
They head out and we see the Rogue Reaper sitting in the police station. Duh-duh-duhhhh.
Somewhere else (because who knows where he is by this time), Cas is in an alley going through trash cans for food. This is the part of Cas' journey that kinda broke my heart. Until this point I'd just been watching, waiting to see what happened. But here something shifted for me; I felt so sad for Cas and thought about how what he was going through wasn't all that different from what so many others in our world go through -- y'know...aside from the whole former-angel, newly-human aspect. When he says, "It's a shame that so much is wasted when there's so many hungry," I wanted to cry a little bit.
My sister had posted just this afternoon on Facebook how she always feels so bad seeing people on the street corners holding signs, asking for food or money, because she never knows if she should give them money or not -- she doesn't know what they'll use it for. I knew what she meant; I've given money, I've given food, but I never know if either are right and never feel like it's enough...but at the same time, I couldn't possibly give them what they really need -- which is a way to earn more.
A woman heading into the building Cas is behind catches him. And that actress looked really familiar, too, I just couldn't place her. I want to say she was in The O.C. Not that I ever watched The O.C....*shifty eyes*
ANYWAY, she gives him her PB&J, saying she's had hard times herself. Man, I wanted to like her, too. Even though...after a bit it felt a tad too...Harlequin for my tastes.
Sam and Dean have tracked Cas to the homeless camp under the bridge and are asking the man who gave Cas food if they saw where he went next. Guy knew him as Clarence as well, and said that he saw Cas flag a truck headed North by the markings. As the boys are talking to the man, we see the Rogue Reaper lurking.
Back at the alley of PB&J, it's raining and Cas is huddled miserably in the doorway. The woman -- April Kelly -- comes out of the building as if she's ended her shift and stops when she notices Cas. So...she takes him home so he can get dry. Now, I know Cas is innocent, but it's not as if he's wearing a "former angel, won't hurt you" sign.
And I know he's hot, but please. There was a homeless guy in my hometown who looked like Michael Biehn (like Kyle Reese, Michael Biehn, not today Michael Biehn) and we gave him our change but wouldn't take him home with us. I mean, c'mon. 'Course, knowing what we know now, it all makes sense, but at the time time I was like, what. ever.
April: "I usually don't bring home strange men."
Cas: "Am I strange?"
April: "You look like you've been to Hell and back."
Cas: "A few times."
He tells her his name is Castiel -- one name. Like God. Or Cher. *laugh*
In Some Town, USA, the boys are coming out of a store with a bag of food and Sam is good-naturedly giving Dean a hard time about his eating habits.
Sam: "Look at these chemicals -- do you even read the labels?"
Dean: "No. I read pie. The rest is just blah blah blah."
They are walking across the street, talking about the many different ways they could continue to look for Cas, passing the Rogue Reaper as he's faking a pay phone call. The Rogue Reaper then follows them across the street and just when I was about to call flag on the play and say something to the TV that no way were my boys THIS oblivious to the fact that they were being followed, they turn down an alley and flat-out disappear.
The Reaper comes around the corner and it's as if they vanished. Nicely done boys.
The camera focuses on the Reaper's face long enough I could think, 5, 4, 3, 2, and BAM! The boys burst out of the shadows, slam him up against a fence and demand answers.
Back at April's apartment, she's noticed Cas' wounded shoulder and helps him take off his shirt and cleans up his arm...then goes for the "you're so tense" angle to disarm him. Rubbing his shoulder she listens as he says he trusted the wrong person, that he was vain, that he thought he could fix everything but all he can do is keep running. And being alone is new to him.
April: "You're not alone tonight."
Me: *rolls eyes*
She kisses him and...Castiel gets some.
Back in Some Town, USA, the boys have apparently used their Abandon Building Locator Devise and have the Reaper strung up, cutting him shallowly with the angel sword while they question him. They find out his name is Maurice (and am I the only one who thinks of Steve Miller's "The Joker" when they hear that name?) and that he was hired by Bartholomew, who is running the show.
Maurice: "You can kill me; won't matter. If I can't find Cas, there are others that will."
Dean's basically like, okay then, bye, and stabs him with the angel sword.
Post-coital conversation with a former angel is...well, as Cas said, "There aren't words." Apparently he knew what he was doing, though. April wanted to know if he could find the person he shouldn't have trusted and help him get out of this mess -- no one so sweet should have to deal with all of this.
Cas: "I'm no angel."
Brother, you can say that again.
She wants to know what's next and he's all, "More of this, I hope." He hoped right. So, while we see shots of the Impala driving all over Hell's Half Acre looking for Cas, Cas has finally found a place to rest...only, it's not for long. Because the next morning, he gets up, sees April cutting fruit, and tries to figure out how to tell her thanks for washing my clothes, but you didn't happen to see a big sword in my jacket pocket did you? Turns out...he doesn't have to ask. She's found it...and pulls it on him.
April is another Reaper for Hire. Poor Cas.
The boys finally stop driving -- it's morning and Dean's beyond fried. He says it's time for Plan B. Sam's like, yeah, okay...so, what's Plan B?
Dean leans in: "I'm letting you know."
Sam, baffled: "Letting me know what?"
Dean: "I'm letting you know."
And just like that, we've got Angel Eyes and it's Zeke. Seriously - HOW did Dean explain that one afterwards?? Unless Zeke just erases the lost time from Sam's brain? I just want it to stay making sense is all. If the Show is going to use Dual Personality Sam to Dean's advantage, I'm all for it as long as it stays logical.
Zeke tells Dean he can't be making public appearances and he can't find Cas because he's warded.
Dean: "Use your intergalactic, hyperspace eyeballs to find someone else!"
He tells Zeke that there might be a Reaper following Cas. He's right. Back at the apartment, April is using the angel sword to cut Cas -- which does plenty of damage because it's wicked sharp, even if there isn't any cosmic pain and blue light. She said she had to gain his trust; she's looking for information. But Cas doesn't know anything about Metatron -- he tells her the angel lied to him. She keeps cutting and suddenly we see the boys speeding along the road, presumably getting closer to Cas.
Cas tells April the only thing he knew about the spell Metatron used was that his grace was the final ingredient and he would advise against killing him because he may be the key to countering the spell (which...is probably true and it's going to turn out to be a sacrifice of the human life he'll have come to love in order to "fix" what he did to Heaven...I predict).
Then things happen very fast: the boys burst in, April stabs Cas with the angel sword, then throws Dean one way and Sam another, both crashing against walls. She heads toward Sam, who's closest to her, and hits him while Dean gets up and grabs the angel sword out of Cas and uses it to stab and kill April.
Dean goes immediately to Cas -- tapping his face, trying to get him to respond. He calls his name once, demanding, and then once more, his voice breaking across the word, sounding so lost I just....*rubs heart* He looks and sounds devastated as he whispers, "No...." and then turns to Sam and says, "Sam...he's gone," like he needs to be told he's wrong. Tears are swimming in his eyes, but don't fall. *rubs heart again*
Sam walks over to Cas -- and I swear it was Sam when he approached. I think even Dean thought it was Sam...until he reached out toward Cas and it's clearly Zeke and he touched Cas' wounds and his hand got all glowy. Dean's watching, realization that it's Zeke and not Sam quickly replaced by the need for Zeke to be strong enough to heal Cas. His lips silently move in a "c'mon, c'mon, c'mon" mantra that breaks my hear into tiny pieces...and Cas is healed.
Clearly, though, healing Cas weakened Zeke considerably because Sam collapses against the wall, gasping for breath. Dean looks at Sam, then back as Cas and Cas comes around, calling weakly for Dean.
Dean's like, "Yeah, I'm here, you're okay," and he looks back over at Sam, checking to make sure Sam is Sam again as Sam blinks owlishly back at him, confusion painted across his face.
Dean looks back at Cas and his voice gets hard and he demands, "Never do that again!"
Cas: "I'm confused...I know she stabbed me, but...I don't appear to be dead."
Ladies and gentlemen, a tap dance....
Dean (to Sam): "You got dinged and uh....I made a deal with her." (to Cas) "Said she wouldn't get kabobed if she brought you back. She brought you back."
Cas: "You lied."
Dean (weak shrug, too relieved that everyone is okay to worry too much about this lie): "I did. I do that."
Sam just stares at his brother, his expression baffled.
Later, back at the MoL Bunker, Dean is eating a burrito and Sam's holding some big book and they're heading into the Map Table Room.
Sam: "You never answered my question: how did you know where to find Cas?"
Dean: "Told you: I went through Maurice's pockets, found an address, and took a shot."
Sam: "I never saw you go through Maurice's pockets...."
Dean: "I never see half the nerdy stuff that you do; doesn't mean you don't do nerdy stuff."
Cas comes out looking clean and rested and just...happy.
Cas: "I am enjoying this place. Plenty of food, good water pressure. There really is a lot to being human."
Dean: "Ain't all just burritos and strippers, my friend."
Sam grins tolerantly at that, but his grin widens when Cas says -- for like the first time ever -- that he understands.
Cas: "There's more to humanity than survival. You look for purpose."
He then reveals the more...hedonistic side of humanity by saying that he had sex with April. The hilarious part is the boys immediately stand up, subliminally eager for details.
Dean: "Did you have protection?"
Cas: "I had my angel blade."
Cas starts to wander away, saying, "I see how difficult life can be and how well you two have led it. You'll be great teachers."
He leaves in search of more burritos and the boys watch him go, chuckling, Dean still stuck on the fact that Cas had sex, not realizing that he's not talking to his brother anymore -- Zeke Angel Eyed himself forward. He tells Dean that Cas can't stay in the bunker because he'll bring the angels down on them. Dean protests that Cas warded himself against the angels....and then my satellite crapped out on me again.
SO! I don't know what ominous warning Zeke left with Dean. Or does he actually make Dean tell Cas to go? After all that searching, all that desperation, does Dean have to kick Cas out? What a choice! I mean, how can he go against Zeke if Zeke is inside his brother but also, to make Cas leave, I just...I'm guessing either Zeke said he'd have to leave or the other angels could "remove" him from Sam so it would kinda be a Sophie's Choice for Dean.
Guh. Poor Dean. He has been in a no-win scenario since Sam took on the trials. He's just...he's lost and he's searching for the right path that doesn't get anyone he loves killed. And it doesn't look like the Show is going to make that easy on him. So if Zeke said Cas has to go...I gotta think that Dean told Cas to go. *rubs heart*
Someone take pity on me and tell me what happened at the very end.
And I still gotta wonder how Dean explains the lost time to Sam when he's not unconscious and Zeke takes over. That might drive me a bit crazy -- and I can't imagine Sam's not going to wonder after awhile if it keeps happening and Dean keeps getting information that helps them or saves them. *ponders this*
Summing up, we had Cas back with the brothers, safe and sound but deflowered -- not sure if he stayed there, but at least they reconnected. We have another angel baddie in Bartholomew and the angry angels are organizing to hunt down Cas -- which will ultimately mean danger to the brothers because Dean isn't going to let Cas just get taken or killed if he can do anything about it. We also know that the angels can find and pay Delta Force Reapers to find the boys and Cas...which isn't good if they choose to go that route again.
Add to that Crowley in the basement (I'm assuming) and Abbadon out there recruiting demons so she can take over Hell...and these boys have their hands full even without a (probably now weakened all over again) good-guy fallen angel hiding out inside Sam.
Dean was right: gonna be a busy year.
Thanks for reading! Slainte!
One more quick note: for those of you who will be at Chicon this weekend, I'll be there for part of the time as well. My dear friend lovinjackson is visiting the States from Australia and is spending her last week in Lawrence with me. I am heading up to Chicago on Saturday, will be at the Con on Sunday (thanks to the generosity of friends) and heading back on Monday. If you're there, I hope we are able to meet up to at least say hi!