OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG…
*I need wine*
I’ve been doing my best to not be spoiled for these last three episodes—previews and titles only. But the title for this epi alone had me spinning. See, in Sunday school I learned about the Baptist’s view of the Rapture. I was told how believers should be excited for the second coming of Christ. I was told that when He returned, believers would simply be taken to Heaven without having to experience death.
Thing is, I wasn’t all that excited about that. All I could picture was the mayhem and fear: drivers suddenly disappearing from cars, pilots from planes, you get the idea. The chaos left behind for those not taken up… it terrified me. Even if I was one of the ‘chosen’ there would be people left behind to continue to fight the battle and what they would be left with… *shudders*
Then, I thought of a poem by W.B. Yeats called “The Second Coming.” In that poem there is the following line: The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. I’ve found myself thinking about that often throughout my life and it practically echoed in my head and around me as I watched this episode. Knowing that this episode was called The Rapture left me with a butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling. I trust Kripke… trust him to totally turn my world sideways.
First? May I rant? Does anyone else fine the CW’s commercial COMPLETELY ANNOYING?! Good GOD! It’s almost worth waiting until AFTER the show just so I can skip through the 475 previews for GossipFreakinGirl… *takes breath* Sorry. I worked right up until viewing and then right after viewing, too, so I’m a little revved up.
While Kripke’s “Rapture” didn’t fall in line with my Sunday school “Rapture,” we still saw someone taken up. Someone good, who had been chosen, who didn’t ‘deserve’ to have anything ‘bad’ happen to him. But, y’know, I think ‘deserve’ and ‘fair’ fall into the same category in life: Useless Words That People Use To Justify Actions. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. It’s just life, right?
I have to say that I’ve never really given Misha Collins much thought. Castiel was a character that simply added to the ambience of the show and complemented Dean’s journey this season. But as a performer, Misha impressed the hell out of me in this episode. We actually got to see him be two different characters. Nicely done, that.
The opening scene after the “Then” was one of the prettiest, most peaceful things we’ve seen all season. I mean, I even found my tired muscles relaxing as we panned up Dean’s legs, past the tackle box, to his hands loosely holding the fishing pole. He looks as caught off guard as I was, and then takes a breath and sinks into the moment. It was gorgeous.
Then Dean starts as he catch’s Castiel’s figure off to the side of the pier out of the corner of his eyes. It’s then that he knows he’s dreaming, though I'd actually had a smidgen of hope that he got a second of real peace. Cas says they have to talk some place more private. Dean’s all “we’re in my head.”
“Someone could be listening.”
Um… freaky, man. My dreams? Are totally wacked out. Again, ask Terry. I don’t want anyone “listening” to that. Seriously.
Cas gives Dean a paper and tells him to meet him there. Now. Dean jerks awake with the sound of a car horn. We see the twin lights of the brother’s flashlights as they explore the location Cas gave Dean. It is completely destroyed—Sam even comments that it looks like a bomb went off. There’s a symbol on the wall that Dean recognized from when Anna used it. Dean’s like, “there was a fight here.”
I couldn’t help myself. Despite the seriousness of the moment, I went straight to Princess Bride and Prince Humperdink’s, “There was… a great battle…” recount of the swordfight between the Dread Pirate Roberts and Inigo. *ahem* Sorry.
Sam says with awe that it was an angel fight, and that’s when Dean sees Cas. Or so he thinks. Turns out it isn’t Cas—it’s Jimmy. They take Jimmy back to… the motel? I’m guessing? And the way he devours a cheeseburger and fries totally puts Dean to shame.
“You’re going to give me angina.” BWAH! That guy kills me. Slowly. With each blink of his eyes… *sighs*
And—totally random, but did it look like Sam was wearing eyemake-up in this scene? Just me? Okay then.
It was here that I really marveled at the difference in Misha’s voice, eyes, face, mannerisms as Jimmy. He was almost literally a different person. And honestly? I kinda liked him better as Cas. I mean as Jimmy’s story played out over the course of the episode, I felt for the guy, and I thought a lot about his plight, but as a character… I really dig Cas. Maybe it’s the Batman-like voice. *shrug*
“Having an angel inside of you is like being chained to a comet.” I’m going to have to remember that one…
He says that he remembers he’s Jimmy Novak from Pontiac, IL. And this is where my brain starts tickling—like that scratch inside your ear that drives you crazy but you just can’t reach. Dean died in New Harmony, IN. He was buried in Pontiac, IL. Where Jimmy Novak is from. I looked them up on Mapquest. They are 4 hours apart. So, for some reason that I haven’t been able to figure out, Sam (or Sam and Bobby, perhaps) drove Dean’s mangled body 245 miles to bury him in a wooden box in the middle of the woods.
Right where an angel had selected a vessel. Because, presumably, the whole selection, faith-testing, wife-thinks-I’m-batshit-crazy period of time happened prior to Dean’s resurrection because it said “One Year Ago” and Dean hasn’t yet been back for a year. Right?
I’ll have to chew on that for a bit.
We get a good sense of the man Jimmy Novak was. Good husband, good father, God-fearing man. Prayed before meals, fell asleep in front of the TV (watching a reality “I encountered an angel” type of religious program). Just your average guy.
Until the TV goes wonky ala Poltergeist and he falls to his knees, holding his ears from pain and has a seizure when he first hears the angel’s voice. Flash back to now and the brothers are arguing about what to do with Jimmy.
And, like with Adam, I could see both sides of the argument. Neither brother stood out as Really Right. Dean wanted to let Jimmy go back to his family. Of course he did. Because the job used to be about helping people, returning them to their family. Saving people before hunting things. That’s how Dean is BUILT, man. Vengeance and righteous anger was only justified when his family was in danger. Other than that, he just wants to stay off the grid and do the right thing.
Sam, however, thinks that Jimmy is their only lead – that perhaps the man doesn’t know what he knows.
Dean asks, incensed, “You want to go Guantanamo on the guy?”
Sam, with this adorable little flip of his head to get that long hair out of his eyes, points out that if they have questions for Jimmy, you can bet the demons will, too. This argument sways Dean. But… Jimmy doesn’t agree. He’s done. He just wants to go home to his wife and daughter. Dean can sympathize. You can see it on his face. He hurts that he has to agree with Sam when his brother points out that Jimmy will just put his family in danger.
Sam steps in front of the door—using his size to stop Jimmy. And now Jimmy is a “prisoner.” However, while Dean sleeps, Sam sneaks out to get a demon blood fix by the pop machine and Jimmy runs away. Whoops.
Random observation… I have no idea if it means anything, but Sam and Jimmy snuck out at 4:34am and they were staying in room 9. Why I noticed those numbers I have no idea. You would think I watch a lot of LOST or something, which I don’t.
ANYWAY. It’s now light out (so, they wasted a bit of time for some reason) and Dean is casually brushing his teeth while Sam is frantically packing and trying to get his brother to move it already. Dean chuckles, giving Sam a hard time about letting Jimmy get away. He’s actually glad that Jimmy is free, it seems. I mean, he doesn’t want bad things to happen to Jimmy, but I think that he doesn’t really take seriously the threat to Jimmy’s life at first.
Dean wants so badly for his life to be back to his version of normal—back to what he knows and can somewhat control—that he’s happy if someone else gets to turn his back on the epic Angels vs Demons war and go home.
Sam, though, has left any yearning for normal behind. I mean, he crossed that line so long ago the line is a dot to him. It’s all about the war for him now. He seems to have stopped seeing people as people. They are pawns, chess pieces, meat to him. He sees the liability and the assets where Dean sees the humanity.
I can’t help but think that is more a by-product of his power addiction than a true change in Sam, himself. Addiction does scary things to you. I’ve not experienced it first hand, but I’ve watched loved ones spiral downward from it and have been helpless to stop their fall. I’ve watched them change from a sister to a stranger. I’ve watched the person I knew die in their eyes and be replaced by a need. To me, the only thing more heartbreaking, is watching someone you love actually die.
We get another Jimmy Flashback to when his faith is being tested by Castiel. Hand in a boiling pot of water tested, to be exact. Yipe! Poor Amelia. I mean, even the most God-fearing believer is still human and would have a hard time accepting that their husband/wife/sister/brother/father/mothe
The brothers (I’m trying hard not to call them “the boys”) are driving toward Pontiac, silent, each wrapped in their own cocoon of thought when Anna suddenly appears in the backseat, startling Dean so badly he swerves the car.
After an indignant “You ever think about calling ahead?!” he looks back at her.
“You look terrific.”
Oh. Yum. Seriously? I know the writers will never give the boys real peace, or a home with a wife, or even an honest-to-God (no pun intended) relationship, but I would love Dean to have some more lovin’. He’s just so damn sexy when he looks at women. Even angel women.
Anna notices something different about Sam—and Sam, the geek, actually says that he cut his hair… what. ever.—but she can’t put her finger on it. She gives them hell for losing Jimmy and says that Cas got his angelic hide painfully yanked back up to Heaven and was probably getting a thrashing good and proper. She also worries that Jimmy is already dead.
And that’s what flips the switch in Dean. I mean, he was going there anyway, but his heart wasn’t in it. It wasn’t enough that his suddenly all-go-no-quit brother thought that Jimmy was safer with them; he had to hear it from a higher power. Which made me sad. Because it used to be enough that Sam said so.
Back to Flashback Jimmy and we see Amelia has had enough and says that if Jimmy doesn’t get help, she’s taking Claire and leaving. And who could blame her, really? Jimmy heads outside and he can hear Cas, accepting the offer/request to play the part of the vessel. There’s a blinding white light, and then Claire steps out onto the porch calling for her Dad.
Misha turns and he’s once more Castiel. Stance, face, eyes… voice. “I’m not your father.” Man, talking about screwing a kid up for life.
Now!Jimmy is talking to Amelia, repentant, saying he was crazy, but he’s better now and nothing is more important to him than she and Claire. He wants to come home. But Amelia needs to start small. They decide to have dinner and Jimmy gets to hug his daughter and he just breathes her in. I knew that feeling. Sometimes when I’ve been away from Mo Chuisle just for a day or two, I can’t get enough of feeling her in my arms. Smelling her hair. It had been a year for him.
Meanwhile, Sam is somewhere—gas station? Another motel? I couldn’t tell and haven’t watched it again yet—and he’s leaving Ruby another voicemail pretty much freaking out he’s jonesing for a demon blood fix so bad.
Back at the Novak’s house, a family friend—Robert? Roger?—comes to the door because he thought he saw Jimmy “wander in.” What, was he watching out the front window ala Gladys Cravitz? It’s all, “how ya been, man! Been a long time” until Amelia leaves to get them beer and the neighbor’s eyes go demon black. Jimmy starts to beat the hell out of him and Amelia freaks out and tries to stop him (of course, sigh).
Somehow, Jimmy manages to get everyone into what looks like a pantry and tries to keep Amelia and Claire in there with a line of salt, but Amelia truly thinks he’s full-on Jack Torrance crazy. There is a scramble and next thing you know, Demon A has Claire by the throat and Demon B jumps Jimmy, showing her eyes to Amelia who FINALLY realizes that Jimmy WASN’T crazy and they are all in Very Big Trouble.
Which, is right when Dean steps in, slicing Demon A’s throat and freeing Claire while Sam tries to use the Force on Demon B, barking to Dean to get the family out of there. Sam tries, but he’s weak, and he wavers, and Demon B smirks with a, “Can’t get it up, can you, Sam?”
Dean’s all, “Yeah, but I can.” And Demon B runs away in a black cloud before Dean can kill it. Sam’s woozy and Dean grabs his arm and gets him out of there, his face tight and his wheels turning. Somewhere else—parking garage it looks like—Sam is harsh about Jimmy having to leave his family. Forever.
Jimmy's a vessel—even if he doesn’t know anything, the demons will want to see what makes him tick. Dean lets Sam do most of the talking, his face set. Sam’s almost vibrating with intensity about Jimmy doing what he says. Dean just looks… grim. And hurt. Not physically hurt, but… how much more of this do we have to take hurt.
Sam says that there is no getting out and no going home.
“Don’t sugar coat it for him, Sam.”
“I’m just telling him the truth, Dean. Someone has to.”
So much anger. Fueled by need. A need he hasn’t stopped long enough to think about the price he pays.
I think back to Route 666 and Dean confessing that he told Cassie The Secret and the discussion about no attachments, no real friends that weren’t hunters… nothing that could anchor them in the world, really. Which, while dealing with Jimmy’s sacrifice, had to be playing havoc in Dean’s subconscious as he tried to find a place to put the knowledge of Adam.
Because John had attachments: Kate and Adam. He let himself get close to them, and let himself find solace in them and thought he was keeping them safe by keeping them “away” from the truth… and they both died. Horribly.
It just makes me so sad for their future. And, yes, I know they’re not real. But for one hour a week, they are to me.
Dean watches Jimmy say goodbye to his wife and daughter and the look that crosses his face is like a kick to the gut. Sam hotwires a car for them and then… they leave. I was like WTF… you’re leaving?! You’re not going to watch the girls drive away, make sure they get away safely? WHAT. ARE. YOU. THINKING?!
And, sure enough, the second they’re out of sight, DemonAmelia reveals herself and smacks poor Claire across the face. That kid is going to be screwed up for life, man.
Jimmy is asleep in the backseat and Dean and Sam talk softly about Sam’s mojo. Dean is worried. Worried about Sam—because he almost fainted—and worried about what they need to do in a fight. He’s not trying to pick a fight, but he’s scared.
“You used to be strong enough to kill Alistair and now you can’t kill stunt demon #3?”
Before they can get too far down that road, DemonAmelia calls Sam’s phone and Jimmy’s all “Oh my God.”
So, they head to the meet sight and Jimmy asks for a minute alone. Sam’s all “you know this is a trap” and Dean tosses back a cocky “that’s why I have a plan.”
And… I’m still trying to figure out if his plan actually failed, or if he knew that Cas was going to come back… because he looked pretty confident in that moment. But then again… he’s Dean.
Jimmy has a bit of a meltdown yelling to Cas that he PROMISED Jimmy’s family would be protected. I know we were supposed to really feel for Jimmy in that moment… but I really didn’t. I can’t explain why. Maybe because it’s a totally typical human reaction to stamp our feet and shake our fists and demand to know WHY a bad thing happened to us. Because it’s not FAIR… But by this time, I’d already given up on fair.
Jimmy enters the warehouse and begs DemonAmelia to free his family. Claire is tied up across the room, head down. DemonAmelia tells him he should have come alone.
“Like I didn’t think you’d bring Heckle and Jekyll.”
The guys are hauled in by some random demons. They look rather roughed up, which makes me think maybe Dean’s plan did go sideways… but at the same time, they both look like they’re waiting for something. Sam’s all, you got us, let them go.
“Oh, Sam. It’s easy to act chivalrous when your Wonder Girl powers aren’t working.”
DemonAmelia decrees that everyone dies and points a gun at Sam. Dean looks panicky for one heartbeat, and then DemonAmelia turns, unexpectedly, and shoots Jimmy. Dean’s face pales and he literally looks like all of the air was sucked from his lungs.
DemonAmelia tells random demon #1 to kill the girl and then… Claire. Kicks. Ass. Or, rather, Cas inside Claire. She angel-fries the demon coming to kill her and Sam and Dean take advantage of the distraction to take on their respective demon captors. Dean is getting the crap beat out of him and CasClaire goes to him first, angel-frying the demon that has Dean on the ground.
We look over at Sam, though, and his struggle with the female demon, and I actually said out loud, “Oh, Sammy, no.” My husband was playing some soccer game on his computer and he looked over at my sympathetically. Unable to control his lust (we’re back to Sam, now), he dives on the demon’s bloody neck and drinks deeply, coming up with a bloody mouth like some kind of vampire.
Dean is staring at him with a mixture of horror, betrayal, fear, sadness, disgust, and sorrow. They all swim across his face as he locks eyes with his baby brother. It's similar to the expression he had when he saw Sam take on Samhain in the masoleum. Just a holyshitwhatamIgonnadonow expression. Sam raises his hand—seemingly directed at Dean—and Dean flinches away, scared and confused. It actually took me a minute to realize that Sam was aiming for DemonAmelia behind Dean. He takes out that demon, leaving Amelia intact, and Dean helps Amelia up, dividing his shocked attention between Sam and Amelia.
Meanwhile, Jimmy is dying. CasClaire kneels next to him, and it’s in this moment that I truly felt for Jimmy. Misha did painful dying very well. I felt my gut clench for him—and that’s usually reserved for Dean. CasClaire is going to let Jimmy die and go to Heaven, to his eternal reward, his peace. But Jimmy begs that Cas take him instead of his daughter. Cas explains that it’s forever. He’ll never die, he’ll never age.
Dean, Amelia, and Sam (his chin still stained with blood) are watching, and you can see that they’re each absorbing different things from the moment. Jimmy begs again that Cas take him and leave Claire to her childhood.
“As you wish.”
And then Jimmy is gone. His soul taking a backseat to the greater good. His sacrifice complete. Cas is back, voice and all, and Claire, poor kid, is a mess. Amelia goes to her daughter and Cas walks between the brothers, looking back at Jimmy’s family once with a soft look of sorrow on his face.
Dean stops him, asking what he'd wanted to tell him. But the moment is gone, apparently. Whatever the Cas of before had wanted to say didn't matter to the Cas of now.
“I learned my lesson while I was away, Dean. I serve Heaven, I don’t serve man. And I certainly don’t serve you.”
Dean’s face was a mix of WTF and Come Again?
I’m not sure I get that yet. I mean, I get that Cas was apparently schooled when he got yanked up to Heaven. I get that he was probably lectured about what he’d done helping Dean save Sam from Lilith by using the prophet. I get that he was probably reprimanded about getting too close to Dean, about caring too much about how this Mission was affecting Dean the person.
But CASTIEL was the one who said that they had to do what Dean said. What’s changed? Is he just pissed because he got in trouble? I hope we find out, because I’m worried that a layer has just been exposed in the overall Dean arc that we won’t get to the bottom of until next season. And I hate waiting.
Back in the Impala, Sam wants Dean to react to what he saw. Pull the car over. Yell, take a swing. Something Dean-like. Dean… he’s not mad. He’s disappointed, but mostly? He’s tired.
The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
Dean has always tried to do the Right Thing. But he’s tired. Of sacrifice—not just his own, but his brother's. He’s tired of losing. He’s tired of being a chess piece in a game that has always been too big for him. For any human. He’s tired of secrets and lies and trying to wait it out and trying not to care when he cares too much. His conviction is wavering and his faith is thin and he's gonna need both to survive.
Sam is revved up and vibrating with the need to stop Lilith, to make a difference in this war, to be the one that saves the world from Armageddon so that his destiny will be worth something. So that the demon blood dropped in his mouth when he was too young to know about it can be used for good and not evil. So that Dean doesn’t have to be the one to fight the good fight alone. So that he can have just one more rush of power, just one more hit. His intensity is palpable and scary.
Dean’s calm inside the car is sad and suspicious. Bobby calls and we see him walk out of his panic room, away from a cot with a neatly folded blanket at the foot, telling the boys they better haul ass to his place. Once there, he takes them down into the basement, tells Sam to head into the panic room, he wants to show them something. Sam’s all, “what’s this big demon problem?”
Dean and Bobby stand in the doorway, looking at him with determination and sadness in their eyes. It's totally obvious in that moment that Bobby's call had been plotted, that Dean had called him for help somewhere between Cas walking away and climbing back into the car. They close the door and lock it, Sam pounding on the other side. Oh. My. God.
I usually don’t go into previews in this ramble, but what they showed us had my stomach tightening up into a serious knot. And… it’s said “SOON.” What does SOON mean?? Does anyone know? When is the next episode?
I thought it was next week… but the SOON made me think we were taking yet another break.
Well, whenever it is, I hope to see you back because I’m so far down this rabbit hole I’m going to need spelunking gear to get myself out. Need ya’ll there with me.
Arafel, if you’re reading, I will try to check out TVGuide.com and Tina’s blog, but I don’t think the site likes me very much, because I could never get past page 4 of the comments from last week. Just wanted you to know.