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Stream of Consciousness, Epi 9.10

They're back! And even more complicated than before!




Okay, so clearly no musings or speculations came from Camp Gaelic over the hiatus. I spent our 'down time' concentrating on work, family, and, as some of you know, my latest fic. But I think that's a good thing because I liked going into this episode without really any per-conceived notions or hopes. I just watched for the story they presented to us and reacted to the way it unfolded. I think I like that, too. This may be a nine-year obsession, but...this way I don't get too crazy about it.

So, I'm really pretty sure that this is the first separation of the brothers that I was instantly okay with. I mean, all other times, it's been Sam leaving Dean or them being parted by no fault of their own (The Cage, Purgatory)...but this time, it's Dean walking away and I honestly think it's the first healthy thing he's done in a long time. His attitude wasn't healthy, but the fact that he walked away...I'm actually okay with it. Cas, knowing that Dean's concern was still and would always be with his brother, stayed with Sam to give him his periodic healing treatments or whatever until he's all better, so Dean knew Sam wasn't alone and would be okay. Therefore, while his reasons were tragic and hurt my heart to hear, his actual leaving made me take a relieved breath.

I'm prepared to duck the rotten fruit you throw my way; this is probably the most unpopular of the unpopular opinions, liking the boys being separated. But we all know it won't last more than a couple episodes. And, seriously, let Sam go after Dean this time. Let him...I don't know, realize that he needs his brother as much as his brother needs him, or find out Dean's in trouble and come to Dean's rescue for once.

Let Sam be Sam for awhile, healing up and thinking about all the happened to him because his brother loves him and didn't want him to die. Let him contemplate what he wants from life now, knowing he'd been ready to die. Let him think about how they've lived, co-dependent and inside each other's pockets. Let him think about how that's colored his brother's decisions and find a way to forgive Dean for the choice he took away. Let him work through being pissed to find compassion. Because Dean needs some compassion right now, ya'll. And let Sam find some peace within himself for the pain his 'vessel' caused outside of his control (once again).

As for Dean, let him be alone for a bit, no one judging him, no one needing him, no one demanding things of him. Let him figure out a little of life on his own terms, what hunting means to Dean Winchester -- not because Sam's life is on the line, or because he has to find Sam or save Sam or keep Sam safe or keep Sam happy so he doesn't leave or any of the other 40-odd reasons he's kept at this life that's been slowly killing him from the inside out. Sam, Sam, Sam. Dean needs a moment to remember who Dean is. And he needs to give himself space to forgive himself or, lacking that, accept himself so that he doesn't burn up before life is done with him. He needs to find his light again and be able to stand next to Sam instead of trying to always move in front of him. Figuratively speaking. And he needs to allow someone close again and not be afraid of being the cause of their death or downfall. That's going to take a little time.

So, yeah. I'm okay with them being separated for a little while. Because...let's face it. They'll be fighting side-by-side again soon enough. Like Chicago said, everybody needs a little time away from each other.

Okay, I'm going off of that little soapbox rant to my lists, assuming ya'll haven't tuned me out completely at this point.

Loved:

  • Bob Seger. Full stop. What a fitting ode to Kevin's hunter's funeral: "Famous Final Scene."

  • Dean's facial expressions. Every last one of them. Jensen did a phenomenal job with this epi -- especially the first few minutes. His eyes looked puffy, like he'd been crying and his face was tragedy personified. He was able to look both exhausted and shell-shocked at once, then later moved from pissed to scared to utterly lost with as much time as it takes to exhale.

  • Crowley. I know there are some of you who don't like him, but I really enjoy Mark Sheppard and Crowley's wry humor and quick way of connecting the dots in the plot was a welcome contrast to the other baddies. Including the angels. I mean, sure he's playing his own game of chess and trying to use the boys as his pawns once more, but he entertains me.

  • Dean barely keeping it together while Crowley tried to decode Gadreel and asking Cas to talk about himself so that he could keep the tears at bay. He just...*rubs heart* Sam's body might have been the one being hurt, but Dean was being tortured.

  • Dean stroking the Impala when they found her again. Sure, he was checking to see how warm the engine was, but he also petted her. You saw it, too.

  • "You were stupid for the right reasons." I love that Cas was a real friend to Dean and didn't try the 'tough love' approach that so many others in his life seem(ed) to think an effective method for getting him to act.

  • Poughkeepsie. That is all.

  • "Cast that punk-ass holy-roller out!"

  • The way Dean shakes just a little bit when he says he's going to burn for Kevin's death. And the way he flinches when Sam says he's not going to stop him from leaving.

Liked:

  • Cas' pimp-mobile. Complete with low-rider shocks and rap music. That must've been hell on Dean to drive. *laugh*

  • Having Crowley ask the same question I did: why did Cas need a car if he had his mojo back? And then finding out that stealing grace from another angel comes with a price after all: Cas' wings are broken. Interesting.

  • "The three amigos ride again." "He's not my amigo."

  • "You killed my friend and took my brother and you think I'm gonna let that stand?" "I allowed you to live." "Mistake." Atta boy.

  • Dean channeling John McClain with his, "Welcome to the party, pal."

  • Cas' anger when he finds out who is possessing Sam; the way he shifted from disbelief to full-on rage for everything that had happened because of this one angel.

  • Crowley calling Abbadon the "world's angriest ginger."

Meh:

  • The end of the prophets. That was pretty bloody convenient to have Metatron "flip a switch" so that the calling of another prophet with Kevin's death is no longer an issue. I mean, sure, it may make it difficult to translate the tablets, but Kevin had done a lot of work already. The whole premise that they're called up like Slayers being just done is a little...meh.

  • Jared as Gadreel. He was pretty awesome shifting from Sam to Zeke/Gadreel for the first half of the season, but we had Sam to compare to his Gadreel. Just all Gadreel all the time felt like he was back to robot mode. I actually felt my shoulders relax when we bopped into his head and it was Sam trying to figure out why ghouls were eating dead cheerleaders (which...let's have an epi with that MotW). No more Sam-as-anything other than regular Sam, please.

  • So...lemme get this straight. Cas worked at a mini-mart with gas pumps out front and still said with complete innocence that his Caddy "inexplicably" stopped? Seriously?

  • Helo-the-Vessel said 'yes' to Gadreel wicked fast. Almost like he'd been waiting for the angel to return.

Questions:

  • Assuming we care about the angel part of the story -- which, honestly, beyond Cas and me wanting Dean to get his confrontation with Gadreel, I'm not quite sure I do at the moment...though that could change -- what the heck is Metatron's game with putting hits out on all these random targets? Kevin, okay, I get because of the tablets. Thaddeas, sure, he's allowing Gadreel his revenge. But his friend Abner? Why send Gadreel after him? Unless he's trying to completely demoralize the angel. He's already as alone as anyone can get -- the scion of Heaven. The last time Metatron instigated seemingly random things it was all part of a spell to empty Heaven.

  • Anyone else wondering if the whole "jonesing for human blood" thing Crowley apparently had going on is going to come into play in the future?

  • Did they find a way to kill a Knight of Hell before? I have this weird memory that Kevin found something, but I'm not sure. Did I just make that up? Other than chop her up and bury her parts 100s of miles apart, I mean.

  • Raise your hand if you think the fact that others can identify Sam as the last person with the human vessels of the angels Gadreel killed is going to come back to bite him in the ass at some point? Yeah, me too.

THEN was basically Zeke can fix Sam, only just kidding it isn't Zeke it's Gadreel and Metatron solemnly swearing he's up to no good while Abbadon wants to rule the world and Cas getting his grace back but not before Kevin gets killed. So, you know, the first half of the season. NOW is probably one of the saddest funeral scenes since John died.

Dean, alone, standing in front of a burning funeral pyre, his face destroyed, his eyes tragic, while Bob Seger plays the Famous Last Scene. A bit later, the song still playing, he's back in the bunker and looking both exhausted and shell-shocked. He picks up Kevin's phone -- laying next to an unfinished sandwich and a notebook filled with symbols from the tablet. On his phone is a pic of him and his mom. That is the last straw; Dean rages, throwing the cell phone, clearing the table of the notebooks and crashing the lamp to the floor before picking up one of those heavy, wooden chairs and pulling a Bobby Knight.

He stops, out of breath, and looks around at the empty bunker, rage melting to fear and then dissolving into an utterly lost expression that made me want to reach through the screen and wrap my arms around him.

Next thing we see is backstage at some rockstar concert with some leather-clad, blond-haired, sunglasses male diva. Is there a word that means male diva? Anyway, his name is "Corey" and next to 'jerk' in the dictionary is a picture of him. He and his manager head to his dressing room discussing his set -- apparently he has an affinity for songs starting with the word 'baby' -- and when they get into the room they see Sam--or, well, Gadreel--sitting there and Corey sends his manager away with a, "Bitch, did I stutter?" Okay then!

Turns out Corey is actually an angel named Thaddeas and he recognized Gadreel -- which he should. Apparently he'd been a guard when Gad was in Heavenly Lock-up and had tortured him as well as killed a couple of Gad's friends. Thaddeas arrogantly thinks he still has the upper hand, but Gadreel had found his angel sword already and kills him. Which is probably not going to be a good thing for Sam...eventually.

Back at the bunker, Dean is packing pretty much every weapon he's ever owned into a duffel. Cas is there, wearing a suit and a new trench coat prompting Dean to say that Cas looks like he's back in the game. Dean had called him and Cas is clearly happy at first, but then notices the disarray of the bunker and asks what's wrong. So, Dean confesses. Listening, Cas looks sad and sympathetic. He's one of the few people who could understand making bad choices for the right reasons.

And Cas' stint as a human has changed him a bit. This is one of the few times I can remember him being fully focused on Dean -- helping him and being a friend to him. He's always been somewhat distracted if not all-the-way consumed by his own agenda, of which Dean had to play a part. He either acted like Dean owed him for saving him from Hell (which he did) or it was Dean's duty to do whatever it was Cas needed him to do because it had something to do with Heaven or the fate of the world, or Cas was trying to make amends...it was rarely if ever all about Dean...until now. It was refreshing.

Cas tells Dean he's sorry and Dean's like, "Sorry don't pay the bills. Sure as hell ain't gonna bring Kevin back." He turns away, his face pulled tight into a mask of pain and anger and says, "Gonna find this sonuvabitch."

Cas wants to know who the angel is and Dean just says it's a dead man walking. Cas reminds him that if he kills an angel, it's vessel dies, too.

Dean turns around and kinda props himself up on the backs of one of the chairs, his arms locked and looking like the only thing keeping him from collapsing. He knows that killing the angel kills the vessel, but if he can't get Sam and the angel burns out what's left of his brother, he's lost him anyway.

Dean (voice so full of self-loathing and regret it was painful): I was so damn stupid.

Cas: You were stupid for the right reasons.

Dean: Like that matters.

Something of this exchange reminded me of one of the earlier episodes when the boys encountered Abbadon in that abandoned town, back when we thought the angel possessing Sam was Zeke. Not!Zeke told Dean that he was a good man and made the right choice. And he'd also chosen 'Ezekiel' as his cover persona because Zeke was known as a good angel. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, exactly, except that I feel like there should be something significant about the fact that Dean has been told by two different angels that he's a good man when he's doubted himself...and Gadreel started this journey because he wanted to be a good man...before Metatron got his meat-hooks into him.

*ponders a bit*

Anyway, Castiel stands up and moves around to stand next to Dean telling him, "Sometimes, that's all that matters." He looks concerned by the fact that Dean appears ready to collapse if his arms were to give way.

Cas: Listen to me. If he knew an angel was possessing him, he could fight. He could cast the angel out.

But as far as Dean knows, Sam's in the dark. Cas reminds him of Alfie -- and about how Alfie said the demons had been able to access his 'coding'...they might be able to bypass the angel and talk directly to Sam. Enter Crowley.

Dean wants to trade a hit of human blood for a lesson in hacking an angel. But Crowley, see, he's a master negotiator. No way he's giving up that kind of intel for a little jolt of human blood. He says he wants Kevin to give him a massage and Cas tells him that Kevin is dead. Crowley pauses a moment then says he's sorry to hear that and for once, I actually believed him. He says that he'd warned Kevin -- told him to run away from Dean.

Crowley: How many times am I going to have to say this? People in your vicinity don't have much in the way of a life span.

Cas shoots a worried glance at Dean, as if concerned about how hearing something that would hit him. Dean has the mask on, though. Crowley eventually tells them that the hacking of an angel's brain is more of a show than tell sort of thing and will do it in exchange for a field trip, chains on. Dean says no, but then when Crowley points out that they don't have a Plan B, Dean stops. Cas is all, are you kidding me? Crowley says they should get Sam in for a tie breaker, and the look on Dean's face, the cracks that show up in his mask, tells Crowley everything he needs to know.

Crowley: The poor giant baby's in trouble again, isn't he?

So, Dean makes a deal -- the non-kissing, non-soul exchange kind -- and says they can go as soon as he gets a ride. Which means that *gasp!* Gadreel took the Impala! I don't know why that realization horrified me so much, but it did. Nobody puts Baby...in the hands of a rogue angel. Cas says that he has a vehicle but that it "inexplicably" stopped a few miles away. Annnnd we've already covered my arched eyebrow at that statement.

The three of them walk the few miles to Cas pimp-mobile, a jacket over Crowley's cuffs. A random woman is watching while petting her little terrier, Milly. Crowley wants to know why Cas even has a car.

Cas: When you betray us, I'll be the one to carve out your heart.

Crowley: Oh, Cas. Such a flirt.

Dean makes them both ride in the back, and they're like a couple of five year olds, I swear. Dean barks out a harsh hey! and they quiet down as they head off, shock-bouncing down the road.

Elsewhere, Metatron is in a bar where the bartender is none other than Gadreel's old vessel and while I was all Yay! Helo! I was also trying to remember where they were when Gadreel left Helo and jumped into Sam. All I know is, that bartender dude must have been one confused vessel. Gadreel comes in and Metatron wants a progress report. He's happy to see the tablets and Gadreel tells him that killing Thaddeas was easy, but killing Kevin was less easy. Metatron wants to know about Dean and Gad's like, "You didn't give me his name!"

Apparently, that loses him some points for ingenuity. Metatron's all we're writing our own story telling him that means he has to kill his darlings. He insinuates that Gad's done worse and Gad gives him a very pissed -- which, coincidentally was also a very Sam-like -- look. Metatron gives him a new name: Alexander Saveur (I think) and Gad wants to know how many lives he has to take.

Metatron: It's not your place to ask questions; your place is to obey.

That made me squirm on Gadreel's behalf and I don't even like the guy.

Metatron: Prove you're loyal, or go back to being Heaven's longest running joke.

Next we see that the woman who watched Cas, Crowley, and Dean leave in the pimp-mobile is actually a demon and has turned Milly's water bowl into a blood phone -- no prizes guessing what happened to poor Milly -- and is letting Abbadon know that Crowley is on the move. Meanwhile, Cas, Crowley, and Dean are in a place called Waldorff Financial, which Crowley says is a front for an NSA listening...post? Or something. Basically, spying. And he has a demon of his planted there. He says she can track anything, even poor little lost Samantha.

I didn't catch his gal's name, but when he goes back to her office she gives him the low-down about Cas having been human until he siphoned his mojo from another angel -- and apparently thinks 'feathered' Cas is HOTT. But, that's how we find out that Cas' wings are broken. And I kinda forget that demons and angels see each other's true form until this episode. I think that would be a cool episode if they had the FX budget for it -- give one of the boys (Dean, preferably) temporary angel or demon vision so they see what they really look like...and let us see through them.

Anyway, the NSA gal says that Abbadon isn't really in charge...most of demon kind is waiting to see who is going to take the belt in the prize fight. Plus also she's playing both sides - which Crowley respects, but later, when she tells Abbadon where Crowley et al are, the gal finds out that Abbadon doesn't so much appreciate the same things Crowley does. Poor dead spy girl.

But, before she's stabbed to death by a Knight of Hell, she tracks the Impala and tells Crowley that it's in Somerset, PA. Crowley goes back out to get Dean and Cas, saying, "The three amigos ride again!" I think he was letting the fact that he was out of that room go to his head a bit.

Meanwhile, Gadreel finds that Alexander guy and realizes that it's actually a friend of his from Heavenly Lock-up, named Abner. And Abs got himself a family now - introducing Gadreel to his little girl as his best friend. His wife and daughter leave for a movie and Gadreel comes inside to 'catch up' and they have this whole meaningful conversation about how The Fall gave them a 2nd chance and the key to happiness is finding the one thing you want and not letting it go, regardless of the prices and blah blah blah...Gadreel still kills him. That's pretty much when I wrote him off. Up to that point, he might have been redeemable to me because, like I said, he started out wanting to be a good guy.

But he killed his friend for no other reason than Metatron told him to prove his loyalty. He killed his friend for the possibility of being part of getting the angels back in Heaven...but what's it going to matter? How is that going to redeem him from his great sin of letting the serpant into the garden if he killed angels to make it happen? It's just like what Cas did with the Leviathan. It's almost like what Dean did allowing Gadreel in. I mean, someone, somewhere on this show needs to learn that the end doesn't always justify the means.

I'd rather it be one of our boys and not a bad guy, though.

Anyway, Cas, Crowley and Dean find the Impala and Cas and Dean leave Crowley in the pimp-mobile and go up to the house. Dean heads inside, finds the dead guy, and goes back to the kitchen where Gadreel is cleaning blood from his hands.

Gad: You shouldn't have come.

Dean: You killed my friend and took my brother and you think I'm just going to let that stand?

Gad: I allowed you to live.

Dean (pulling out an angel sword): Mistake.

Before he can attack, though, Gadreel uses his Angel Force and throws Dean back against a bookshelf, knocking him out. I need angels (and demons) to quit throwing Dean around so much. Let the guy fight, for Pete's sake! Gadreel starts to advance on Dean, but Cas is suddenly behind him and sucker-punches the hell out of him, knocking him cold. Heh.

Using whatever app they have that helps them find abandoned basements pr warehouses in any town anywhere in America, Cas and Dean take Crowley -- in heavier chains, now -- and Gadreel to a basement somewhere and have Gadreel all chained up - even his head is fixed in place. As Gad comes around, Dean walks by him all, "Welcome to the party, pal."

He should be in a dirty wife-beater, face all bloody, holding a pistol when he says that. I'm just saying.

Cas tells him that most of Sam's internal burns have healed and he should be able to fix the rest, but he's never seen the angel in Sam before. Dean demands Gadreel get out and Crowley says if he doesn't, they'll have a play date. Crowley is totally playing along with this, almost like it matters that Sam is saved -- which, thinking about how his mind works, it probably does because he probably needs one or both of the boys to inadvertently run an angle on his #VoteCrowley campaign and if it's Dean, he won't get anywhere if Sam's gone and he knows it.

Gadreel says he can rip Sam's body up even though he's chained and Dean ineffectively threatens to kill him if he does, which is really kind of stupid if you think about it because Gad's all, go ahead, stab your brother through the heart, which of course Dean can't/won't do. Gadreel takes momentary pity on him and tells him that Sam's trapped in a dream where he thinks they're on a hunt involving ghouls and cheerleaders.

Dean: Why are you doing this? We fought together. I trusted you. I thought you were one of the good guys.

Gadreel: I am doing what I have to do.

Dean: So am I.

So, Crowley starts to poke pins in Sam's head to block out Gadreel with like, medieval acupuncture techniques and there's a lot of yelling and after a bit Dean has to walk away because he can't handle watching a demon stick needles in his brother's brain. Which I was glad, because I didn't want to watch it either. Cas goes after him to check on him, clearly worried and Dean can't stand still, not quite pacing, but almost. His eyes are red from holding back emotion and he looks spent. He asks Cas if he's okay and pleads with the angel to just humor him to help him get his mind off of the noises he can hear Sam making, even though it isn't Sam feeling it.

Cas tells Dean that what he did to get his powers back wasn't easy, but he didn't have a choice. With a there's a lot of that going around tone, Dean apologizes for kicking Cas out of the bunker and not telling him about Sam. Cas understands -- Dean did it because he thought Sam's life was at risk.

Dean: I got played.

Cas: I thought I was saving Heaven. I got played, too.

Dean (weak smile): You saying we're both a couple of dumb-asses?

Cas (smiling back): I prefer the word 'trusting.' Less dumb, less ass.

Crowley calls them back because Gad's finally passed out and he can use the needles to get him to reveal his name. When Cas hears that it's Gadreel he goes a little berserk, spouting that he was the reason for the corruption of man, the reason God left, the reason for the Apocalypse. He grabs Sam's unconscious body and shakes it a bit, bellowing, "You ruined the universe, you damn son of a bitch!"

Not every day someone ruins the universe. That's pretty heavy...and I'm kinda thinking not something you come back from...especially by killing people.

Dean gets Cas to chill and Gad wakes up saying they are never going to get Sam - he's got all the time in the world to sit there. So, Dean desperately looks to Cas for Plan B...but Cas can't possess a vessel who isn't willing. However, Crowley can. He can takeover anyone he damn well wants to. Dean says no at first, but then realizes that this could be the only way to get the angel out and have any chance of saving Sam. He knows if he agrees to it, the leash comes off and Crowley's once more free...but he doesn't feel like he has a choice. He has to fix this...fix what he did to Sam.

So, he has Cas off burn Sam's tattoo and tells Crowley to say "Poughkeepsie" when he sees Sam -- it's their "drop everything and run" code word. He threatens with hollow words that Crowley better not mess with Sam and then...red smoke launches from Crowley's mouth into Sam's. Sam's pretty much Grande Central Station for a little while there. And Dean took another huge risk that Crowley wasn't going to just stay in Sam and use that as his play against Dean and the brothers Winchester.

While Dean and Cas are left to wait around, again, Sam's inside his dream looking through a book trying to figure out why the ghouls are only eating dead cheerleaders. Crowley shows up and Sam at first totally freaks out, calling for Dean, but then Crowley says 'Poughkeepsie' and Sam's all...how do you know that word?

Crowley tells him what's happening and says that he's seen everything the angel's seen and tells Sam to remember -- which he does and it bows him over a bit. He asks in a small, broken voice if he killed Kevin and Crowley shocks the hell out of me by sounding actually sincere as he says, "No. You didn't. He did." Then he bellows, "You need to take control and CAST THAT PUNK-ASS HOLY ROLLER OUT!"

Of course, that's when Gadreel -- wearing his Helo-suit -- shows up behind Crowley. Gad tells Crowley, "I'm going to be a hero. You, demon, will always be a coward."

Gadreel starts beating on Crowley and Sam jumps in, pulling Gadreel off Crowley, but gets tossed back, hard, for his efforts. Gadreel turns his focus on Sam and Crowley (from the ground) yells that Sam has to cast him out. Gadreel has Sam down and is choking him saying that he's the only thing holding him together and if he leaves, Sam might die. Sam overpowers him and steps on his neck -- ala Lucifer in AU!2014 -- saying, "I said, get the hell out!"

Atta boy, Sammy.

In the real world, white light streams from Sam's mouth and elsewhere at the bar where Metatron is swiftly turning into a martini-drinking barfly, the glasses start to break and the earth trembles and the white light shines in the windows and Bartender Helo whispers, "Yes," and bam, Gadreel's got his old vessel back.

Back in the basement, Crowley leaves Sam and returns to his body and Cas and Dean immediately go to Sam and pull out the pins and unchain him.

Crowley: I'm fine, thanks for asking.

Of course, because nothing is simple, right about then is when Abbadon and two of her demon goons show up. Crowley tells the boys and Cas to leave out the back door. Dean's like, you're not one of the good guys, and Crowley tells him that he's the goodest guy they've got.

Dean: This don't make us square. I see you again--

Crowley: I'm dead, I know. I love you, too.

So, they leave and Abbadon comes in, sees Crowley, and tells her demons to sic him, but they're like, yeah...um, about that.... Crowley is all blah, blah, blah, I'm back and tells Abbadon this isn't a fight, it's a campaign. Giving the demons incentive to stick with him, or go with the world's angriest ginger, he says, "Vote for Crowley," and blinks out of there.

Elsewhere that night, standing on what looks like either a bridge or a pier, the rain falling around them like a manifestation of their moods, the boys face each other. Cas heals Sam's outward injuries and says it'll take a few more stages to heal him all the way. He moves away a bit, giving them some privacy to talk.

Dean tells Sam to let him have it and Sam does, like we knew he would. He's pissed that Dean lied to him, that he tricked him into being possessed by a psychotic angel when he'd been ready to die. He can't hear that Dean couldn't let him die. He's too angry that Dean took the choice from him and forced this situation on him. And then, looking a shattered and sick, Sam mentions Kevin.

Dean (face tense, eyes holding a broken look): That's not on you. Kevin's blood's on my hands and that ain't never getting clean. I'll burn for that. I will.

Sam kinda nods, almost agreeing with him, and I can kinda forgive him for that because he's processing a helluva lot in this moment -- not only what happened to him and what Dean did to save him, but the fallout and the deaths and the fact that once again something else had control of his body and hurt someone he loved and he couldn't do anything about it. But seeing that nod had to break off a huge chunk of Dean's heart.

Dean: But I'll find Gadreel and I will end that sonuvabitch. And I'll do it alone.

Sam: What's that supposed to mean?

Dean (and, oh his face in this moment *rubs heart*): C'mon, man, can't you see? I'm poison. People get close to me, they get killed. Or worse. I tell myself that I help more people than I hurt and I'm doing it all for the right reasons and I believe that...but I can't -- I won't -- drag anyone through the muck with me. Not anymore.

This is where he needed someone to tell him that he was wrong, that he was worth it. This is where someone needed to tell him they wanted him to stay. But Sam was too banged up -- in his head and his heart -- from everything that had happened to be that person for Dean. And I don't think Dean would have accepted it from anyone else.

Sam was the only one who could keep him there and Sam tells him to go. Tells him he's not going to stop him. Dean flinched when he heard those words. Flinched and looked away, toward Cas and you could see that he didn't realize he'd been waiting for Sam to stop him.

Dean starts to walk away and Sam speaks up again, saying, "Don't go thinking that's a problem, 'cause it's not."

Dean: What's that supposed to mean?

Sam: Just go.

I'm with Dean...I have no idea what Sam meant by that. Was he tracking on that look Dean gave Cas? Thinking that having Cas around was going to be a problem for Sam? Was he thinking about the fact he wasn't fully healed? Something else entirely? I have no idea. But go, Dean did. He climbed into the Impala and drove away as Cas turned to stand near Sam, watching Dean drive away, knowing his friend needed to leave, but also knowing, I think, that he'd left Cas with his brother for a reason.

Cas gets Dean like Sam can't right now. There's a different insight there because Cas has been where Dean is on some level and has come back from it, has learned how to accept and forgive himself to an extent. He knows how much Dean loves Sam and how he'd do anything for him, but he also knows that Dean never thinks about himself and that is, in some ways, detrimental to both of them. Sam knows how much Dean loves him -- Not!Zeke said as much and he knew everything that Sam knew. But he's hurt and angry so it's going to take some time to wade through those feelings to find understanding.

I'm just glad Sam didn't walk away -- again -- all angry and filled with righteous indignation. They're still apart, but I think this makes sense. And it's going to take a lot more than just Sam saying, "C'mon, man, that's not true," for Dean to believe that he's not poison, that people who get close to him get hurt or killed just because of him.

I'm interested to see where they take us from here.

Thanks for reading, as always.

Slainte!

Tags: episode review, fandom, ramble, stream of consciousness, supernatural, what do you think?
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