But, before I start, just a quickie PSA. I had someone message me this week to let me know she was removing me from her friend’s list due to these rambles. It made me sad as she was someone I’d had on my flist for some time and I liked hearing from her. She was kind, and I respect her decision, but before anyone else decides to do the same, let me just say that these rambles are simply one fan’s opinion.
I have always been pretty up-front that while I love the relationship between the brothers and enjoy Sam’s journey, my heart lies with Dean. He is my ‘hero’ and muse. But that in no way implies that I hate Sam or feel that Sam is bad and wrong.
I very much enjoy the comments left to each review – regardless of if you agree with me in part, in whole, or at all. All I ask is that we all play nice, and truly I believe everyone has. It’s a pleasure to interact with each of you and I apologize to those who may not have spoken up, as my former flistie did, to say that the ramble and/or comments have upset you in any way.
So, with that, and with hopes that those of you who enjoy these streams of consciousness reviews continue to come back, I say let’s Ramble On.
I’m writing this from the plane, which is interesting because it’s one of those smaller, United Express jets and there’s approximately one breath of space between me and my sleeping seatmate. Typing on a tray table with your elbows in makes for some occasional finger cramping. Right now, I’m jealous of Metatron’s cozy writer’s den with the Masterpiece Theater mood music, crackling fire, large oak (or, y’know, walnut, whatever – some sort of dark tree) desk.
Though, I don’t envy the typewriter. How pretentious was that, I ask you? To be so confident of each word, each sentence that he didn’t even use a laptop or have even one bottle of White Out next to him? Pfft.
Before we knew that Metatron was going to be on the list of Big Bads, I remember rambling that I liked his view of writing and storytelling. I liked his turn of phrase and philosophy when it came to stories. It resonated with me then…and it does now. Despite the fact that it has my radar squelching loudly; if I were a dog, the hair on my back would be standing on end.
The idea of someone manipulating and/or in some way capturing the boys' journey isn't new. In season 5, we discovered that Chuck had been chronicling the Winchester’s lives. But with that situation, it was a story, essentially, delivered to him as a prophet. He wrote what had happened. Not what would happen. He didn’t create the reality as it appears Metatron is capable of doing – at least that’s how it seemed to me, based on his creation of the end scene with Castiel and his “flock.”
It’s scary, honestly. How much power does Metatron have to manipulate this reality? How much has he orchestrated already? Clearly there is more to Metatron than meets the eye.
(Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
The really intriguing thing, though, is that – as is their apparent destiny – the Winchesters were able to surprise him. He’s clearly not an omnipotent God-like entity or else he would have foreseen Dean and Sam grabbing Gadreel. I like that he can’t predict what they’re going to do; it makes for a bit of a balance with his whole “masterpiece” approach. The concept of creating compelling characters and then seeing where they lead you as a writer resonates with me – as does the writer knowing the ending of the story, just not exactly how they are going to get there (harkening back to that ‘compelling characters’ thing).
His concepts ring true. But the idea that he “knows the end” of the story is what troubles me. It was obvious before he pointed it out to Castiel that Metatron sees himself as the hero of this story. And in the majority of stories, the hero’s journey ends in victory. The question is, though, what sort of victory would Metatron be looking for?
Himself ‘crowned’ King of Heaven and ruler of the angels? Defeat of the Winchesters? The end of Earth as we know it (aka the 2nd Apocalypse)? Or…would he prefer his story to be chronicled in some annals of history, martyring him to the cause that could have saved Heaven – had the masses only listened? Would he want to follow the path of some of the tragic heroes in the stories he loves so much? He loves a good 'twist' -- but would he love it if the twist completely reversed the roles in his own story?
Honestly, I don’t know at this point and that’s what bothers me.
The thing that helps is that the Winchesters are unpredictable. They caught him by surprise. Knowing our boys, they’ll keep doing that, too. And my hope is that though Cas took up the mantle of leadership and called the angels to him, much to Metatron’s storytelling delight, he too will surprise the angelic scribe and compel the rebellious, disenfranchised angels to defeat whatever plan Metatron has in place.
Because I can only think that plan to be nefarious on some level. There is no way letting Metatron win turns out well for any of our heroes. And Castiel is due for a win. He’s tried so hard for so long to do right. Each time he’s attempted to make a positive difference, he’s veered down the wrong path and only ended up making things worse for him, for the boys, and/or for the world.
If he’s going to lead the angels, it must end in a victory for him. Or nothing. It must.
Storytelling-wise, it would just be dull to recycle the “Cas tried to do the right thing and ended up screwing over the world” approach. And character-wise, Cas has come too far and learned too much about life and humanity and good vs evil to end up in the same situation again. Says me.
Then again, Metatron did say that the 1st rule of writer’s club was to steal from the best. So…who knows. At this point, really, it’s an anything is possible storyline – which I like. It makes me nervous…but I like it.
As I do the way they’re evolving the brother’s individual characters and relationship. Going back in my mind to Sam’s angry declaration several episodes ago that he wanted to keep things “just business” and that Dean thinking he was ‘poison’ wasn’t the real problem with them, coupled with his reveal that he wouldn’t make the same choice Dean did when he allowed Gadreel to possess Sam as the only way to save his life…I think he still means that.
But I think it’s evident he’s softening. Honestly, how could he not? Just as there are no atheists in foxholes (as the saying goes), when you’re forced to fight side-by-side with someone, alternately preventing their death and being saved by them simply while doing your job, it’s difficult to maintain a “just business” relationship with that person. Especially when that person is your brother. And you carry a crap-load of history wherever you go, whatever you claim about your current connection.
Sam’s concern about Dean’s level of “okay” was clear in just about every glance he tossed his brother’s way, not to mention the almost protective nature of his stance when around Dean. I said last episode that he’s not seeing what’s happening with Dean – or not wanting to see it – but after this episode, I think I change my mind. He sees that something is happening, he’s just not sure what it is. Or what to do about it, yet.
IMO, Sam’s never been one to readily admit he might’ve been wrong. And (again, IMO) admitting you’re wrong is not the same thing as apologizing. I don’t think the question here is that Sam needs to apologize about what he said. I think he, as he told Dean, was just being honest. His honesty doesn’t have to be the same honesty as Dean’s. Sam honestly would not take Dean’s choice to live or die away from him. Dean honestly would do the exact same thing he did before if it meant saving Sam’s life. IMO (one more time) that doesn’t make either of them wrong. It…just is.
But I think Sam might be realizing that he was wrong to say they can’t be brothers and need to keep it “just business.” His attitude during this episode was one of a brother. Not a hunting partner.
And if he were able to retract that, or say he changed his mind, or maybe that he has a different opinion now – basically, if he were to give Dean a signal that he wants to be brothers again – Dean might feel safe enough to talk through the turmoil that is so clearly eating him up inside. I don’t think it matters that Sam wouldn’t do for Dean what Dean did for Sam. They’re not the same person. Saving someone doesn’t have to be done in the same manner.
What Dean needs to hear is that he isn’t alone. I don’t mean in the physical sense, either. For him, it’s not about having a hunting partner by his side. He can be by himself, has been by himself, will be by himself. It’s in the emotional sense. It’s in knowing that he has someone on his side. In his corner. That he has a brother.
If he knew that – if Sam were to say that – then there would be a chance for Dean to survive the Mark. Because he’s starting to slip, that much was clear in the episode. It’s been a slow, almost sneaky unraveling all along, but it’s starting to ratchet up and while he’s been able to maintain his control so far, I think it’s only just.
When Metatron told Cas that his stolen grace was going to burn out and would burn him up, I couldn’t help but think of how that very same thing could be said of Dean. The burden of the Mark is burning him up and he can feel it chewing away at his self. What I loved about Dean in this episode, though, is how quietly explosive that slow burn was.
Jensen’s performance often leaves me in awe at how he can convey so much while saying so little. This episode had me wanting to climb inside of it and wrap it around me. I would love to see the script – see what sort of direction he was given in three particular scenes. See how much is him so fully embodying Dean and how much is the writer/director “Metatron” effect.
The first one was the (oh, so brief) moment in the shower. That was interesting on a couple of levels, I thought. The symbolism of cleansing – being unable to wash away the feel of the Mark, the disorder inside of him – was compelling. But on another level, often times a shower is where the world catches up with you.
I mean, how many times has an idea for a work project or a story popped into your head in the shower? Or that forgotten item on your to-do list? Or the one item you meant to pick up at the grocery store? Or the perfect come-back to an argument you had yesterday? The water cancels the noise of the world and you’re left with only your thoughts. Dean’s thoughts are SCREAMING at him. And it’s all he can do to not slip sideways.
The second was when he was in the bathroom at that abandoned warehouse/factory/thing in Utah. Staring at himself in the mirror, seeing something dark…and yet powerful. It harkened back to the flashback scene in Season 4 after he’d returned from Hell and remembered the nightmare of blood and screams and his own breaking as he stared at himself in the mirror.
In this moment, however, he didn’t remember anything (that we saw, I mean). He just stared with tragic, destroyed eyes set in a stone face, trying to reconcile the words Gadreel had flung at him, while attempting to goad him into killing, with the truth that he wants so badly to believe in his heart. When he looked down at the Mark and back up at himself, you could see the screw it expression slip like quicksilver across his face.
That damn angel had tricked him, betrayed him, killed his friend, and ruined the one relationship that Dean counted on as ‘stone number one.’ And Dean was more than powerful enough to end him. That angel was going to talk or die, that’s all there was to it.
Dean looked scary dangerous as he stalked out of that room, and he hadn’t said a word.
The third one was when Sam returned to find Gadreel on the floor, beaten to a bloody pulp, and Dean sagging against the wall near him, his knuckles bloody and bruised. The way Dean spoke, the look on his face, it almost seemed like he’d been the one beaten instead of the one doing the beating. He sounded shell-shocked, exhausted, almost groggy. His voice was ragged, his words dazed, and he didn’t quite seem to be able to track his vision toward Sam at first.
The way he said that Gadreel wanted to die and that he was going to kill him, but stopped because he knew they needed the angel to talk showed in just a few simple words how much effort that control had taken. The person who is Dean didn’t let the person the Mark was creating inside of him take over. He pulled the killer back, shoved it into a corner, but it took so much out of him that he was physically weak. Of course they didn’t show it, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if Sam had to literally haul him up off the ground to get him to his feet.
In fact…I kinda want to write a missing scene with that moment. *considers*
We have five more episodes, and while not all of them will focus on the primary storyline, they’ve set things up nicely for our a truly compelling journey to the finale for our heroes: Cas as the reluctant leader, hopefully thwarting Metatron’s plan; Sam as the reluctant brother finding his way back to trust, acceptance and forgiveness; Dean as the reluctant killer trying to harness a power inside of him bigger than any he’s faced, fighting to keep the focus on defeating the bad outside before it destroys the good inside.
I can’t wait to see what they bring us next. We’re flying over mountains (CA to KS) now, so I’ll get to the lists, but if the air stays this bumpy, I may make the recap portion of the ramble pretty brief. *blergh*
- The shower scene. For all the deep, meaningful things I chronicled above, but also for the wonderful eye-candy that is Dean. And his lashes.*needs .gif pronto* I may be heading to tumblr soon….
- Sam’s angry, “Let’s just find Gadreel and beat some answers out of him.”
- Angel!Cas acting human (taking and sending a pic of the angel beacon, casually tossing his keys on the motel table, driving, the different inflections in his voice). I think this is my favorite version of Cas.
- “What’s honorable about a miniature bar in a motel room?” “Everything.”
- Gabriel. Even though he wasn’t really real. And is also probably still really dead, though we all hope not. #amIright
- “I used most of my juice to get back into porn. That came out wrong.”
- Dean and Sam trapping Gadreel in holy fire; that was teamwork at its finest.
- Sam’s snarl just before he belts Gadreel followed very closely by Dean backing him off and shepherding him away. *toe curl*
- “You want to sneak onto the Death Star? Take out the Emperor?”
- The boy’s dual looks of surprise when Castiel recognized the Death Star reference, and was down for going after the Emperor.
- “Dammit, Dean.”
- “Hey, Sam. You keep an eye on him.” *much love for that one*
- Metatron’s musing about who gives the story meaning – the writer, or the reader (watcher/fan)? I actually would put this up under love were it not for the fact that it was posed by Metatron and that just feels wrong. The question made me think long after the episode ended – we as a fandom are proof that the answer is subjective. The meaning the writer of anything intended is not always the same meaning the reader (watcher/fan) takes away from it.
- Gadreel’s black hoodie/leather jacket combo. I dug it, man. All he needed was to trade the Ford wagon in for a motorcycle and I might’ve been rooting for the bad guy.
- “What if I fail again?” Oh, Cas. Bless your angel/human/stolen-grace-angel heart.
- “I hate continuity errors.”
- “You have been around since scaly things crawled out of the muck! Would it have killed you to pick up a book? Watch a movie?” Gotta say I agree with the little guy there.
- Cas getting a massive download of books/TV shows/movies. Also kinda jealous about that, tbh.
- So…there actually is a door to Heaven. If they don’t play Bob Dylan at some point, I’ll be bummed. However, one of the final episodes really should be named ‘Stairway to Heaven’ to keep with Kripke’s (and Dean’s) Zeppelin love. I’m just sayin’.
- The writers insisting on spelling Castiel’s nickname as “Cass.” Just…no. There is only one s in his name, what is the point of adding the other one? It looks like a female version of the name and totally makes me think of Mama Cass from The Mamas and the Papas. I don’t care if that spelling is technically canon. I refuse to spell it that way. *crosses arms and lifts chin with a huff*
- Okay, I know I was watching on my Kindle on a plane, so I could have missed it, but did they drop that thread about the kid who had helped them in Utah before? Dean mentions a case in Ogden, Sam says it was a witch thing, Dean tries to remember the kid’s name…but then nothing came of it? Or did it and I missed it?
- Was anyone else waiting for Gadreel to kill Metatron there at the end? I was honestly surprised when he simply turned and walked away. The look on his face as he listened to Metatron prattle on about well-written characters and knowing the end had me almost convinced he wasn’t buying what the little guy was selling and was ready to cut the line and head straight to the front. After all, he’d come really close to being trapped in chains once more, which had to be terrifying after having spent centuries in Heaven’s jail. I would almost be happy if Gadreel took out Metatron. Something in me still kinda wants him to find redemption.
The beginning was an interesting fake-out with Metatron’s “Masterpiece Theater” music and his musing about what gives a story meaning. When he says that he’s going to, “tell a story and let you decide,” it appears that he’s actually stomping on that 4th wall and speaking to us. The Heavenly “Metatron” replacement of the opening title card further emphasized the fact that this was not going to be your typical episode.
Thankfully (IMO), we find out later that he was actually speaking to Cas. But before that moment, our friend Cas has to go through a bit of a journey. He discovers a warehouse/factory of some kind (clearly, the United States is littered with such buildings), following a beacon of some kind – tearing the lining of his trench coat as he enters – and finds a dozen dead angels, only one – Hannah – having survived the attack. Castiel heals her and finds out that Gadreel caused this destruction.
He informs the brothers – managing to manipulate his Smart Phone enough to take a picture of the Angel Beacon that he sends it to the boys while they’re talking. While Sam’s doing some google-fu, Cas muses about the honor bar, prompting Dean to speak up for the first time.
I liked the soft smile that crossed Cas’ face when he heard his friend’s voice. Profound bond or no, these two have been through fire together and for each other, Purgatory being only part of it. Both brothers are clearly important to Cas – as proved by the way Cas worked to build Sam back up post de-angeling him – but Dean’s friendship is the kind that keeps Cas human. In a manner of speaking. Dean is his person. We’ve all got one. Or…most of us do. Those who don’t have a much harder go at life.
Dean asks Cas how he’s doing and Cas says he misses his wings.
Cas: Life on the road smells.
Dean = understanding smile.
Sam discovers the symbol had been reported at a bunch of homicides in Utah, near where Cas is. They can see that Gadreel is moving north and identify the next two big cities. They tell Cas to head to Auburn and they’ll go to Ogden and meet in the middle. Prior to this, though, is when Dean had his moment of self-reflection/self-loathing in the shower and emerged rubbing at the Mark, which prompted Sam to ask him if he was okay.
Shrugging off Sam’s concern with a hearty, “Let’s get to work!” Dean shoved his issues down, as he always does. This mission to head to Ogden was the perfect distraction from anything he might’ve seen inside himself that morning.
Back with Castiel, though, before he’s able to leave the room to head to Auburn, the lights flicker, the TV comes on, and Casa Erotica is playing, which Cas, predictably, deems “inappropriate.” However, in moments, our favorite mustachioed angel shows up on the show, then blinks into the room and says he needs Cas’ help.
Admittedly, I’m ashamed I didn’t see through the return of Gabriel sooner. He was just really,really Gabriel with the wit and the sarcasm and it was all a bit overwhelming, for Cas and for me. Gabe convinces Cas to take him with – only instead of heading to Auburn, they head to the bunker. He makes a convincing argument for where he’s been – hiding in Heaven until Metatron upset the fruit basket and it was raining winged men. He also knew about the “Crowley vs Abbadouche” fiasco and the angels rebelling against Metatron.
And his statement that he was tired of running from everything and wanted to take a stand and lead the angels against Metatron was both brave and clearly heartwarming for Cas to hear. He also revealed that the beacon being used to call the angels was his (Gabriel’s) horn. Huh.
It honestly wasn’t until he oh-so-casually stated, “We’re low on gas, aren’t we?” while looking out the passenger window that my Spidey-sense tingled. It was a clear set-up, that Gas-n-Go. When Metatron’s Minion’s showed, up, Gabe valiantly said he had enough Archangel juice to hold them off while Cas got away and took his place as leader.
Castiel’s, “What if I fail again?” kind of broke my heart. It made me want to give him a giant hug, too.
Gabe would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for a meddling tear in Cas’ trench coat. Cas realized quickly that Gabe wasn’t real – though, Gabe’s enigmatic eyebrow waggle left me wondering if he was, in fact, really dead – and that he wasn’t in the Gas-n-Go or the motel room.
Cas: Was any of this real?
Gabe: None of it was real…but all of it was true.
Gabe tells Cas that Metatron is actually trying to help him and Cas, sounding much more human than angel, asks, “Really. How?”
Gabe: Errr…Sorry. I didn’t read the whole script. Just skimmed for my parts.
A piece of me wonders if that’s a Richard Speight, Jr., inside joke…. *smirk*
That’s when we see that Metatron had him bound and gagged and the whole “what gives story meaning” soliloquy was to Castiel, not to us.
Meanwhile, Gadreel was busy – in Ogden, as it turns out. The boys ‘won’ that coin toss. He was searching for the really random ingredients for the spell required to make Gabriel’s Horn work – Griffin feathers and Faerie bones. He saw ‘hunters signs’ on the door of an herb shop-like place and asked for the ingredients, answering the hippie sales clerks question of, “What the heck are you hunting, man?” with a clipped, “Family.”
When the boys arrive, the head to the shop and find the poor hippie dude hanging on the back of the storeroom door, his eyes burned out, ala Kevin. QUESTION – was that the guy they were referring to before? The one who had helped them with the witch?
The brothers know Gadreel is close, and because they are the best at what they do, are able to set up a holy fire trap. Gadreel is getting into his car, sees Sam moving stealthily down an alley, ducks into the shadows and waits. Sam “calls” Cas to ask for help (so fake – haha!) and Gadreel moves forward to attack, only just before he does, Dean calls out from above, “Hey, douchebag.”
Gad looks up, and Dean calmly drops his lighter, igniting a circle of holy fire, trapping Gadreel. Sam approaches looking ominously angry and growls, “Remember me?”
They take him to one of those plentiful abandoned warehouse/factory locations and chain him up. Sam is across from him, staring laser-beam daggers into the angel’s skull, while Dean stands to the side, arms crossed, silent and seething.
Gad is saying he won’t talk and Sam can’t make him. Sam’s like, “Oh, yeah?”
Gad: I’ve been inside you, Sam Winchester. Your insides reek of shame and weakness.
Sam = RRRAAWWWRRR!
He hauls off and belts the guy but hard. Dean is instantly in action, saying his name repeatedly to get his attention, and easing him back, hands to chest, then moving him away from Gadreel to a safer spot. He tells Sam that Gad isn’t going to break that fast.
Sam wants to “hack him like Crowley hacked me.” Dean has no desire to contact Crowley at this point – which was encouraging – and says they need Cas.
However, Cas isn’t answering Dean’s calls or texts and his GPS shows he hasn’t left the town he was when he called them – so he never got to Auburn. Dean tells Sam to go find him; he’s too close to this. Sam’s like, uh, hello pot, this is kettle. You’re black.
Dean: We’re here 10 minutes and you’re going Liam Neeson on his ass. I got this.
Sam agrees and leaves; Dean heads back in to Gadreel who’s all, oh, so you’re the good cop, huh?
Dean: I don’t care if you talk. You’re gonna pay for what you did to [Sam]. And for Kevin.
His voice sounded so freakin’ scary right there. Dangerous, man. I would not want to be on the receiving end of that voice.
Meanwhile, the reason Cas hadn’t been answering his calls, clearly, was that he’d been kidnapped by Metatron for the purpose of convincing him that he had to lead the angel rabble against Metatron. After giving Cas a massive book/TV show/movie download, he was able to more easily share his theory that every hero needs a villain. Only in this story – according to Metatron the author – Castiel was the villain. If he led the angels against Metatron, the angels would of course all die, but Cas would be saved and have a nice warm seat in Heaven.
Cas is basically like, get bent.
So, Metatron tries to sweeten the pot by telling him that the stolen grace inside of him is burning out and would burn him up. Metatron has the good stuff and could hook him up with an unlimited supply – he could get his wings back, even. Alllll he had to do was knowingly lead the lost, scattered angels that had been dumped from their home against Metatron The Hero so that they could all be slaughtered.
Cas, heroically, still says no.
But then Metatron finds out that the Winchesters have Gadreel. And things shift.
While Sam is away, though, Dean tortures Gadreel with the angel sword to get information…and Gadreel verbally works over Dean, claiming that while he was inside Sam he learned that Sam wouldn’t trade his life for Dean’s.
Dean: Sam’s already told me all of that. Hell, he’s told me worse.
And yet, despite that, when Gadreel mocked that it was the two of them against the world, Dean instantly replied, “Damn straight.”
Gadreel yelled that Sam had always felt that way – it wasn’t just since the whole angel-possession thing. He tells Dean that Sam sees him as a scared little boy who’s afraid to be on his own because Daddy never loved him enough.
Dean is struggling. He keeps his face as impassive as possible, but his eyes…flinch.
Gadreel: He’s right, isn’t he? To think you are a coward. A sad, clingy, needy—
Dean = BAM! He punches the angel just as hard as Sam had…maybe harder.
Dean: Keep it up!
Gadreel: —pathetic, bottom-feeder who cannot take care of himself. Who could rather drag everyone through the mud than be alone. Who would let everyone around him die!
Dean – spun up tight by those words – launches forward with the angel sword, ready to stab it through, but at the last second, pulls himself up short, breathing hard.
Gadreel: DO IT! KILL ME!
Dean (drawing back): You’d like that, wouldn’t you? That’s what that whole speech was about? You’re not afraid to die…you’re afraid to be left in these chains. You can stay here and rot, you son of a bitch.
Dean walks away and Gadreel looks…small. I can imagine being chained and left behind does terrify him after centuries in Heaven jail, but I also wonder what Dean was thinking as he walked away. Not that Gadreel goaded him into almost killing him, but if there were any kernel of truth to what he said. If those had been Sam’s observations, musings that the angel had just twisted to hurt…but were still somewhat true.
The next scenes were artfully done as they cut between Sam and Dean, ratcheting up the tension and Dean’s increase turmoil. Sam arrives at Cas’ motel and heads inside, gun drawn. Dean goes to the bathroom at the abandoned warehouse/factory – and as an aside, I thought it was a little funny that the sinks and mirrors were visibly dirt-and-grim covered…and yet the water still worked, and the power was still on. Sam sees Cas’ cell on the floor of the room. Dean has a staring contest with a lonely, sad, resigned, weary looking reflection.
Dean splashes water on his face, trying to pull himself together. Sam faces down Metatron (I liked Sam's brief start when he turns to see Metatron behind him). Dean looks at the Mark. Metatron offers an even trade. Dean is slipping, visibly losing his grip on anything but the killer inside. Sam calls him just as he grabs the angel sword and storms out of the bathroom, leaving his phone behind.
This next scene is actually one of my favorites in the episode – yes, even over the shower scene.
Sam returns to the warehouse and rushes inside, sees Gadreel’s empty chair on its side, shouts out for Dean and sees his brother across the room, sitting on the floor, slouched against the wall, one leg bent under the other, staring blankly at his hands. Gadreel is out for the count near him, his face a bloody mess.
Sam rushes over and crouches down, doing that, “Dean, hey….” thing he does when he’s worried/scared about/for his brother.
Dean’s hands are a mess and he looks dazed.
Sam: You okay?
Dean (sounding groggy): Yeah…you gotta stop asking me that.
Sam: I’ve been calling you –
Dean (not tracking): He won’t talk!
Sam: I figured.
Dean (looking up at Sam finally, with a plea in his eyes so loud he could have been shouting HELP ME through a megaphone): He wanted to die…and I was gonna kill him. I was. But…then I stopped. Because I knew we need him to talk.
Sam looks Worried. He gets Dean to look at him again when his brother’s eyes wander away.
Sam: Dean, listen. Metatron has Cas. He’s offering a trade.
Dean (dazed again): We can’t trust Metatron.
Sam: I know that. Obviously. But this is the 1st time we’re gonna know for sure where he is. Let’s take Gadreel, meet up, and trap him.
Now, I think the old Sam might’ve seen the state Dean is in and maybe pulled back a little. Tried to get him to rest, get some help, something like that. But this Sam – despite his worry and confusion over Dean – is still focused on the job. What has to get done. How it has to get done. That’s where the “just business” part of him is still kicking in, despite his evident worry.
We see a shot of the Impala on the road and it daylight again. The boys wait for Metatron…who is late, but when he does show, he says he was just waiting for them to set their trap.
Metatrion: Am I hitting my mark?
Dean lights the holy fire ring and Metatron fake seizes for a minute, then laughs and asks if anyone brought S’mores. He blows out the fire, and when the boys pull their angel swords, he slams them back against the car. Heading to the trunk, he opens it, erases the angel warding, and hauls Gadreel out. A car pulls up and two minions drag Cas out for the trade. Dean asks him why he’s doing this and he’s basically like, because I can.
Metatron: Because you can’t stop me, but I’m going to enjoy watching you try.
Later that night, at the motel, Sam, Cas, and Dean are trying to figure out what the hell. Cas says that Metatron is playing God and Sam, recounting the whole blowing out holy fire like it was a birthday candle incident, thinks he’s doing a pretty damn good job.
Dean: What if there is a stairway to Heaven? Let’s find it and get the drop of the guy.
Sam (eyebrow raised): You want to sneak onto the Death Star? Take out the Emperor?
I don’t know…it’s not a bad plan. It worked for Luke, right? Of course, he did almost die and his evil-turned-good father had to save him, but still!
Cas: I’m not sure what a fictional battle station in space has to do with this but if taking out the Emperor means taking out Metatron, I’m on board.
The Boys = Buzzzah….
Dean: Did you just…understand the Death Star reference?
Cas: Yeah. But not what it has to do with Heaven.
Sam (glancing at Dean): Half-way, I guess.
Dean (to Cas): You sure you’re all right?
Cas: Yes. Are you? There’s something…different about you.
Dean (small smile, pats Cas on the shoulder): I’m fine.
Cas grabs his arm before he can pull it back, shoves up his sleeve and sees the Mark.
Cas (angry/scared combo): What have you done?
Dean: It’s a means to an end.
Cas: Dammit, Dean.
Sam looks nervous.
Dean (uncomfortable and needing out of that space, heads to the driver’s side): You find Heaven, you drop a dime. In the meantime, I got a Knight to kill.
Sam (to Cas): Be safe out there.
Cas: You, too. Hey, Sam? You keep an eye on him.
Sam nods and gets into the car. He had been anyway, but if even Cas is worried about Dean, he's definitely going to be watching out for his brother.
We have a bit of a montage at that point with Metatron writing and talking to Gadreel – after being reassured that “the door” is secure and “the way home is safe.” He confesses to Gad that his “play” didn’t turn out like he planned (thanks to the Winchesters) but that every writer likes a good twist. Which is one of the reasons I can’t figure out what would satisfy him more – the twist that the ‘villain’ (Cas/the boys) is actually the hero, or the triumph of the intended hero (Metatron).
He talks about compelling characters, waiting to see where they lead him, knowing the ending, though not seeing the way there. Gadreel just listens with an enigmatic look on his face, then turns and walks away. Metatron puts on a record and while the Walker Bros’ “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine” plays, we see Cas tearing down the hunting clues he’d posted in his motel room and painting Gabriel’s Horn on the wall, the boys in the Impala – Sam stealing worried looks at Dean, while Dean stares stoically ahead, jaw tight – Metatron gleefully writing about Castiel’s “flock” joining him.
He ends the page with, “God watched over them, smiling at his good works. TO BE CONTINUED….”
That’s all for today, folks! They’re going to tell us to put up our tray tables here in a sec, so I’ll end here.
Again, sorry this was late! Thanks for your patience. I should be on time with the next five – and it looks to be quite a ride to the end of this season!
Hope to hear from you.