Supernatural, "Let it Bleed" and "The Man Who Knew Too Much": Castiel rises

Quick Take: Supernatural, "Let it Bleed" and "The Man Who Knew Too Much"
Loyalty, betrayal, and trust issues with an Angel. Yes, this is Supernatural.

supernatural

Review: Supernatural, "Let it Bleed" and "The Man Who Knew Too Much"
(S0621 & S0622) Who betrayed whom? "Let it Bleed" saw numerous attempts to mend fences by Castiel, yet at every step he was spurned by someone who should have embraced and trusted him. Dean’s special bond with Cas was spectacularly broken, and it was not by Castiel. In episode S0620, the angel -- who was responsible time and again for saving the Winchesters’ and Bobby Singer -- had made his case. He was not permitted to make that case to Dean and Sam when it counted because again, he was busy saving their lives. In "The Man Who Knew Too Much" he finally decided to take a course of action that would rip the world of Sam Winchester in particular into shreds.

Both episodes delved into avenues to prevent the Winchesters involving themselves with the big plan cooked up by Crowley and Castiel; free the souls from Purgatory and give Cas, and a half share to Crowley; the juice to stop Raphael bringing about the apocalypse once more. Lisa and Ben were a device to keep that from happening, but not a device that Castiel had planned on using.

Crowley’s arrogance and willingness to skip bedfellows finally showed him the meaning of a deal breaker. Castiel tore up and rewrote their deal to ensure the King of Hell stayed firmly on his leash, Crowley made a deal with Raphael to open Purgatory and thus negate Castiel, ensuring he got his share. Crowley, Raphael and so many others should not have underestimated Castiel. His guile and subterfuge were far too nuanced for Crowley or Raphael to spot.

When Raphael, Balthazar, Dean, Sam, Bobby, and everyone around him had betrayed Castiel, he had only one course of action and he played it out perfectly step by step. He dealt swiftly with his brother, Balthazar, even if he had only done exactly what Castiel might have done under different circumstances. Balthazar was perhaps the saddest of the casualties in these two final episodes of season six, and perhaps the least deserving of such a fate. He had been a good soldier until he felt Castiel had overstepped and he was fearful for what this meant. Castiel on the other hand had gone to great lengths to prevent the boys from being put in harm’s way, and interfering in what he felt duty bound to do, by releasing the location to Dean and Bobby as he did, Balthazar had in many ways betrayed that. I truly hope he returns, there were no wings spread out burnt on the floor for us to see, so who knows.

Like God, Castiel now has unimaginable power, and he’s alone. Perhaps for him that was the lesson, he clearly loves his brothers, his human brothers that is, and whilst it took Dean a long time to recognise it, he needed to reason with, not lecture an angel and a friend/brother who had given everything to him and got very little in return. Everything Castiel did was to protect humanity, he killed monsters and demons but not once did we see his wrath smite anyone that was not a risk to the boys. I believe that lack of trust and compassion broke down something inside him and he perceived he had little choice, and in hindsight, he really didn’t.

I doubt he envisaged it would affect him in quite such a substantial way, but then perhaps even God (as he appears to be in the series) is less than perfect in that area too. Why create something only to watch it suffer and destroy itself? Because he could, because no one could possibly truly know whether he exited or not and whilst there is that shadow of a doubt, he’s off the hook.

Loyalty has been shown by Castiel throughout his time with the Winchester’s, he has died for them on more than one occasion, had to learn to think for himself, something drummed into us that Angel’s are simply not made for and yet somehow he always spared Dean  especially, of the worst of fates. Life without his brother and the part of him that is the “hunter”, given the intensity of his belief in family, for Dean clinging onto and remaining close to his brother was an essential part of who he is, given his experiences I truly doubt he could have maintained that long without that vital relationship that makes him whole.

I don’t like where Kripke has taken this, I really don’t. I had hoped that Castiel would join the boys in a less angelic fashion, hunting, becoming human, or perhaps just simply refuse to rely on those powers to see where it took him. Ultimately I doubt Castiel could survive without tapping the angel juice inside him because it is so much a part of what he is, but it would have been a journey nevertheless.

 I understand the story is about the Winchester’s, but throughout there has been a necessity to broaden that horizon purely because it becomes limited and over compartmentalised. How many times can two men stop something catastrophic from happening without it becoming cliché?

Crowley was and is the bad guy, irrespective of his smart ass wise cracking comments and commentary – it was he who killed Lisa with his actions and it was Castiel who brought her back. Castiel also gave Dean a form of closure wiping his former “families” memories of any trace of Dean Winchester. Castiel did not have to do this, yet he did, he showed compassion despite Dean’s holier than thou attitude. Not a lick of thanks.

Sam’s journey was probably the most traumatic and confusing. Locked in his head as many had suggested would happen if the wall came down, he fought out a battle with the soulless Sam, and his memories of hell and its tortures. It was a clever and necessary moment, made all the more impressive by some extraordinarily amazing performances from Jared Padalecki.

Soulless Sam perceived his soul-fuelled counterpart as weak. Yet the soulless driven Sam was no match for the Sam who needed to help save his brother. Nothing would stand in the way of that happening and thus Sam stood up and dealt decisively with his past, little doubting there will be more to come in season 7. In thrusting an angel blade into Castiel he proved his loyalty and love for his brother and Bobby, unlike Dean he isn’t as emotionally attached to Castiel, so it probably helped that he harboured a deep resentment for what he saw as Castiel’s betrayal.

I suppose I am writing this from the perspective of Castiel, simply because it is a perspective that is often addressed only in context of how it might affect Dean and Sam.

Castiel was brought into the show as simply one angel, the angel who managed to be the one that grasped Dean tight and ripped him from Perdition, yet he became so much more through fan reaction and because the writers and producers recognised Misha’s talent. But he is part of the story now, a huge part of it. Allegedly he won’t be a series regular in Season 7; he’s hardly been that in Season 6, much to my disappointment.  If this is what the writers meant as somebody dying and not coming back, then I guess they’ve killed Castiel good and proper and supplanted him as God – perhaps that is the death we are meant to mourn?

By Jaclyn

About the author

Absolutely passionate about Supernatural.

English freelance writer who has contributed to Sports and Entertainment genres.

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10 Comments
On: Saturday, May 21, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

Sounds like an exciting end to the season Jaclyn !

On: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Sarah Borthwick said:

http://sportsstreaming99.com/supernatural-season-7/05/2011 get more related to supernatural season 7 ....

On: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Jaclyn said:

It was indeed a double whammy of awesome entertainment.

On: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Beth said:

I firmly believe that what happened last night was Dean's failure as well as Castiel's. From the first time Cas appeared this season it was clear that he was in over his head and taking desperate measures that he wasn't proud of - but Dean was too absorbed in his own problems to notice or care. In the Man Who Would Be King, Cas was forced to pour out his heart to an absent God because his friend, the man who irrevocably changed his life, wouldn't even take the time to listen to him explain himself. Dean seems...less than he used to be, and whether this is a result of the character being in the hands of a different writing team or whether it is a deliberate storytelling move remains to be seen.

On: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Jaclyn said:

I genuinely believe that in many ways it is not the writing per se, it is more to do with what is convenient and this idiotic notion that 'the Winchester;s always have the moral highground' in fact most of the time they are wrong. But here's the thing, I believe in their right to that belief, if that makes sense - we all hold our own morality whether true or false and things are more likely to matter more in some ways than in others.

Dean is guilty of being too self involved with his own pain and sacrfice too much of the time. He acknowledged to Bobby and Sam that Castiel had fought for them, gone to the mat as he put it broken and bloody on more than one occasion - what he failed to do, in my opinion, is recognise that very fact himself.

Castiel told them how hard it was for him, he told them often and neither listened. Still tied up with their own self importance and worth. Death put it best to Dean, even then Dean didn't understand the true nature of how small in the vastness he and his brother truly are.

I get cross with die hards inability to see that the Angel's are no less flawed and confused than they are. Castiel told Dean he had done everything he could, even with his God speech, he had protected Dean and Bobby at the point where they needed protection and in time to batter and defeat Raphael and Crowley. I would like to see some contrition from both boys with regard to Castiel because in so many ways they are just as responsible as he for what has happened.

Thanks for your input, I love being able to discuss and debate what I see, and so often I find myself arguing Castiel's side alone.

On: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Elisa said:

I don't think what happened in the end of the finale episode of season six is all Castiel's fault either. I think it's a combination of so many things..
Mostly I think it all comes down to the relationship between Cas and Dean. If that bond hadn't been broken, if they'd decided to find a solution instead of both feeling betrayed, then maybe things would have turned out differently.. 

I think Dean mostly felt betrayed by the fact that Castiel had lied to him about so many things - more than the whole "You're working with a demon" issue, cause Dean has worked with Crowley too (Season 5) and I'm sure he remembers that. Castiel obviously felt abandoned by the only friends he had and didn't seem to understand why and was also frustrated that Dean couldn't even begin to see the bigger picture.
Now it'll be difficult to get through to Cas since the relationship between Dean and Cas is broken, and Cas no longer seems to care what Dean thinks.

I don't think Sam and Dean didn't care about what Cas was battling with in Heaven, I just think they'd got a lot of things going out on their own.. Sure I think they would have helped Castiel with his war if they could have, but what could they possible do to fight a heavenly battle..? I don't think they could have done anything about that..
And besides that, they had to battle with the whole getting-the-soul-back issue and fighting the Mother Of All among other things..

I believe Castiel ultimately dug his grave when he decided to bring down the wall in Sam's head.. He did promise to fix Sam again though, but if anything is unforgiveable for Dean Winchester it's messing with his little brother and Castiel should know that by now..

The season sure ended on a big cliffhanger but I didn't like the fact that Cas turned "bad" or whatever he is now that he's the new God.. The whole "Bow before me or I'll destroy you" seemed humiliating to me on the Winchesters' behalf.. They've sacrificed themselves so many times for each other as equals and now the angel decides to turn superior - "Do what I tell you to or die."

In 6x20 I thought it was mean that Sam and Dean didn't let Castiel explain himself and so quickly decided he was doing bad things.. Actually, I was pretty disappointed in that.. 
Now by the end of the finale episode I think Castiel officially has chosen the wrong path.. I'm on the Winchesters' side - always have, always will - but I feel sorry for Castiel and I hope something will happen that fixes the relationship between Cas and the brothers and will turn "Castiel - the new God" back to just being "Cas"..

On: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Jaclyn said:

I can see where you're coming from - but it wasn't that Dean and Sam could help, Castiel knew they couldn't but as always they were too preoccupied with planet Winchester. The demands they made of him during the season and then to literally slam dunk him at the first opportunity? And it was about Crowley, Dean said so himself, that's all he cared about. Cas working with Crowley. I just believe it was short sighted or maybe a rotten plot arc that needed to break Castiel from the only loyalty and family he knew. All the way through he fixed things for them, even when Deanhurt his feelings in episode 619, 620 and so on. Basically during Mommy Dearest, Dean told Cas without his power he was nothing, and no use to them. Even then Cas saved Lisa, would have fixed Sam since he now had that power and saved Bobby and Dean again from Raphael and Crowley, who would happily have killed them if he'd just left them to it. He showed up to show off and to gloat, with those souls inside him he could do little else.

Dean broke a wall in Castiel's being long before Cas broke any wall in Sam's head.

On: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Elisa said:

I agree, Castiel has done a lot for the Winchesters doing this season, despite of having a battle of his own with Raphael in heaven.. He's saved Dean and Sam on several occasions and has protected them, kept them safe.. That is also the reason why I didn't like the out-come in 6x20 when they found out about Castiel's work with Crowley.. They didn't even give him a chance to explain himself which I think made them look very ungrateful..
You're right, Dean did hang on to the fact about Castiel working with Crowley but isn't that just wrong when he's done so himself? It's not like Castiel has been working with Crowley to do something evil - he did it so everything the Winchesters sacrified to stop the Apocalypse wasn't for nothing..
I'm still at a lose on how to deal with Castiel in the end of the finale episode though.. Is he good or evil? Or just not the Cas we know and love..? I'm afraid of what will happen when season 7 begins where season 6 ended.. I hope they'll somehow end up on the same page again though :)

On: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Jaclyn said:

Hi Elisa, I am working through some stuff on this in my head and I am very concerned. If the souls go chenobyl as poor departed Balthazar, said, then we're talking half the planet - so that's a non-starter. In order to keep Castiel from totally losing himself in these souls I think Dean and Sam will have to risk everything, I am just listening to Weekend at Bobby's and Dean is off again on his selfish way with poor Bobby! I really believe that the writers have lost Dean slightly this season. I just hope they don't kill off Castiel and maybe the only option is that he is punished by God, removing most of his angelic powers as well as the Godking status. Maybe some and some of the writers don't like the idea of him working alongside Sam and Dean, but it's time we had more hunters, not fewer, and there is still a score to settle with two hunters that killed them in Dark side of the Moon.

I am writing something for my own website right now and will post a link when I am happy with it, but it's a complete autopsy of Supernatural so far, S1-6 you are most welcome to see it and add your thoughts, as is anyone else, collaboration is a great way to see the show!

On: Sunday, May 22, 2011
ilovetvreviews said:

Hi guys my review of both parts of the season finale is up at http://ilovetvreviews.blogspot.com/ Thanks for reading!

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