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Rewatch S9: I'm No Angel 9x03

And another! I'm going to have to slow these down eventually and return to looking for work and whatnot, but until then, more rewatches!

9x03 I'm No Angel

Guy: "Hey Clarence, how much longer are you going to be with us?"
Clarence: "I'll be moving on tonight after work. It's time. Can I ask you something?"
Guy: "Sure."
Clarence: "Do you ever tire of urinating? I'll never get used to it."

- YES. I mean, I know this is a joke, but goddamn it, I get so tired of urinating... and eating, while we're being honest. The fact that I have to eat all the time really annoys me, as does other bodily functions. I'm glad I'm not the only one, even if this is a really weird character to find comradery in.

Cas in street clothes is pretty cool, I have to say. If he HAD gone for the permanently human route, I'd have probably started keeping track of his clothes too.

And dead priests, never a good sign.

[D- robe. S - dark coat, blue plaid. Takes off coat.]

Dean: "....but Sam, you went through the trials and that put a big strain on you. I just think it'd be better if you took it easy, and didn't act like you were-"
Gadreel: "Possessed by an angel. And he does feel better. Work in progress of course, but I'm still healing him."
Dean: "That's great, but-"

- Gadreel aside for a moment here. I think Sam's probably looking forward to Dean stopping with the mother hen routine - since he fought it all through the trials too.
- I really love the transitions Jared does in this part.
- Also, I think Dean had a mini heart-attack there, possibly not realizing right away that Sam had switched to "Ezekiel".

And Gadreel has news on the angels... I forgot that they didn't know if Naomi was dead or alive at this point.

Sam: "I mean, Cas is human now - it's going to take him a lot longer to travel."
Dean: "I'm going to get whiplash."

- Again, I love the transitions.
- Also, I've said this a billion times, but I love how the Winchesters are constantly switching roles for each other. When Sam was worried about Cas, Dean was confident that he'd be fine. And now that Dean is worried about Cas, Sam is confident that he's fine.

Dean: "If the angels are organizing..."
Sam: "What makes you think they're organizing?"
Dean: "It makes sense!"

- Haha, I love Dean's face.

And we get the evangelical TV preacher. It's a pretty smart idea - and one they've sort of used before, when they used the street preachers to keep an eye out for Dean back in S5.

Buddy: "Thank you, Bart."
Bartholomew: "It's Bartholomew."

- I liked Bartholomew as a bad guy. I kind of wish they'd done more with him, but then I guess they wanted to bring Metatron in as the big bad instead... still, all these faction fights seem like they're possibly leading somewhere and then they just kind of...don't. Mind you, I'm not usually one for political intrigue, so maybe I would have hated a political-angel plot.

The girl exploding is super gross. Also, it's obvious that Bart KNOWS that she's not the right bloodline - why kill her? Why not just explain that she's not suitable? Or that she can serve them in other ways, like continuing to be Buddy's PA or whatever she was. I guess it shows that Bart's the bad guy, but I don't think we necessarily needed that confirmed. We've already been conditioned by society to distrust blonde good-looking dudes in suits who align themselves with religious fanatics... or at least I have.

[D- dark shirt. S-ibid]

Cas: "You know, I'm finding that often, the people with the least to give are the most generous."
- There have actually been studies that prove this is true. However, it is not true for me. I am completely broke and I am not generous at all.

Cas: "Well, I'm going to try falling sleep. It's quite a process isn't it?"
Guy: "Try counting sheep."

- Sleep IS kind of weird when you think about it. Your body basically paralyzes itself so that you can safely hallucinate for a few hours... and you do this EVERY DAY.

Cas: "What sheep?"
- So, yes, funny line... but the thing that gets me is that by his phrasing, the guy could have also meant "you think falling asleep is a process? Try counting sheep, buddy - now THAT's a process." If you didn't know the trick of imaging sheep and counting them, if you didn't know that phrase - I think you'd be more likely to believe the guy meant it in the second interpretation. But then we wouldn't have the punchline of Cas not realizing the guy meant imaginary sheep.... and instead we'd have to explain how Cas now believes that guy used to be a sheppard.

And pharmacist guy finds him.

Where does Cas keep that angel blade?

Pharmacist: "You're human?!"
- So, it's also interesting to me that the other angels can't tell that Cas is human. So, there's gotta be something about Cas that still gives off angel-vibes, even though he's not an angel. So, Cas is some sort of weird angel-human, and I guess Anna was the same.

[Suits]

Dean: "...good news is he's getting cagey. He's using a fake name - Clarence."
Sam: "That's what Meg used to call him. 'course, he doesn't get that's the name of a pretty famous angel."
Dean: "What?"
Sam: "It's a Wonderful Life? Dude, seriously?"

- I still think it's really weird that Dean wouldn't know the reference. I mean *I* know the reference and I've never actually seen It's a Wonderful Life. Also, was Dean never in the room when Meg called Castiel Clarence? Or did he just not note it? Anyway, my point is that this dialogue seems odd to me.

Cas gets a tattoo! I wonder if he still has it. The tattoo artist is really pretty. Also, it's a pretty weird shop that you can just walk in and walk RIGHT up to the tattoo artist who is in the middle of working on a dude and have a conversation about what you want done with her RIGHT THEN. But hey, I guess it IS supposed to be a sketchy tattoo place.

Lady: "I guess that's why we pray. We get dealt such a bad hand sometimes. You need something stronger than yourself."
Cas: "That's a wonderful idea, but..."
Lady: "What?"
Cas: "What if you were to find out that no one is listening? That God pretty much left. That heaven had gone out of business. What would you do?"
Lady: "But that's not possible."
Cas: "It's completely possible."
Lady: "No. You're missing the point. It's not possible, because I have my faith."
Cas: "But when I tell you the truth."
Lady: "Your truth. Not mine. Your lack of faith doesn't cancel what I believe, that's not how it works. You know, I think you might feel better if you tried it my way. Someone IS listening."

- This is another dialogue that I can't really wrap my head around its purpose - or its intent. Maybe it's because I'm an atheist. I understand that prayer is the same as hope - this lady believing that God might send an angel to heal her husband is the exact same as just hoping that her husband will pull through and survive. If he does, she'll call it a miracle and thank God for hearing her prayers. If she didn't believe in God, she'd instead thank the doctors, or her husbands immune system or strength of will, and she'd still think it a miracle. So, in that respect, Castiel IS kind of missing the point - her needing to believe in something stronger than she currently feels is something independent of God existing or not existing. She feels like she needs to lean on someone to go on, but her husband is currently weak too, so she leans on an "imaginary" strong person.
- But on the other hand, what Cas is experiencing isn't a lack of faith, but rather the fact that he KNOWS that God is gone and Heaven is closed and all the angels are douchebags. So, in that respect, "his truth" is actually THE truth and that DOES cancel faith. You can believe all you want that when you bite into a lemon, it will taste sweet - but that won't change the fact that it's actually going to taste sour.
- Now that all being said, in the Supernatural universe, faith in Heaven and faith in God are two separate things. Cas lost faith in God back in S5, true, but then God brought him back in 5x22 - whether it's in Castiels "programming" not to die (my personal headcanon) or whether God is actively keeping him alive, we don't actually know. So, technically, Cas COULD still put his faith in God again and leave heaven and the angels out of it. Whether that would be a source of comfort or frustration, however, is another matter altogether. Castiel has a very different relationship with God than humans do, since Castiel's God is in fact "the God that turned away" which is something Castiel doesn't understand. Really, Castiel's relationship with God is probably a lot like the crisis of faith that a lot of Jewish people had after the Holocaust - in that they could not reconcile the fact that God would let such an atrocity happen to his chosen people. Anyway, it's all rather facinating.
- My point, however, is that I'm not entirely sure what the writers were trying to communicate here.


Bart: "...our ability to track him has been jammed. Which brings us to you."
Reaper: "My kind, we always get who we're looking for, chief."

- See, here we have a reaper as being something OTHER than angel. The angels can't track Castiel, but the reapers can. Therefore, reapers aren't angels.

Bart: "...but some of you have taken your skill set to a whole new level...and are willing to freelance, for a price..."
- So, the freelancing Reapers... fine, I'll bend enough that I can put up with these guys. But I still prefer reapers as more akin to a force of nature - to something OTHER."

[still suits]

And Cas meets April.... there's some ambiguity here, I think, where April could have been human when she gave him a sandwich, but a Reaper by the time she weirdly decided to invite a homeless dude back to her place and sleep with him. I mean, it'd be pretty weird for a reaper to work all day at a job when their target was just outside.

[S- Dark coat. Pink plaid. D- Dark blue coat. Tan or green shirt.]

So, Cas is in detroit - which is decidedly not anywhere close to the bunker, which makes me wonder if he was actually listening to Dean and trying to get there, or if he decided to strike out on his own... or if he IS trying to get to the Bunker, but his sense of georgraphy sucks when he's not an angel and he doesn't actually know where the Bunker is in relation to anywhere else.

See, April also seems to be surprised that Cas is still there. So, yeah, I'm super confused as to what game she's playing if she's a reaper. Maybe she's possessed in the middle of the night? Still, weird girl for inviting a homeless dude back to her apartment and sleeping with him.

April: "I'm April, by the way, April Kelly"
Cas: "Castiel."
April: "One name?"
Cas: "Yeah, like God."

- Haha.

And Dean and Sam get the jump on the reaper that's trailing them. I love it when they do stuff like that.

Mmm...naked Cas.

Again, guy in your apartment admits that he stabbed someone. YOU START RETHINKING THINGS. Yes, I know she's secretly a reaper, but I honestly don't know WHY she stretches it out this long. Does she just like having sex? I mean, fair play if she just likes to give her victims one last good time - but I still find it bizarre character-wise.

Cas: "Vanity. I thought I was more important, more effective than I am, that I could fix everything - now all I can do is keep running."
- So, maybe she takes this route to get information through kindness rather than torture? But then, why does she switch to torture in the morning?

Mmm... make outs.
Haha, that was a well places scream.

Sam and Dean torturing a reaper for info. Here's where they find out Naomi is dead and Bartholomew is the faction tryng to find Cas. And then they kill the reaper. Again, I'm fine with rogue-reapers being killed by angel blades, because as far as I see it, going "rogue" means they lose Death's protection. BUT THEY ARE NOT ANGELS! RAR!

When did April and Cas light all those candles? Here's a pro-type guys: stopping the make-outs to light candles before sexy times, in my opinion, tends to diminish the sexy-times rather than enhance them. But then, I AM horrible at romance, so what do I know... I'm good at sexy-times though, or at least I was back in my youth.

April: "So, that was okay?"
Cas: "Very much so. Um, what I did, that was correct?"
April: "Very much so."

- Aww, cute.

April: "Whoever you trusted. Can't they help undo this?"
- Ah, so, this IS definitely reaper-April trying to get info through kindness... but yeah, weird way to go about it, and why she switches to torture is still a mystery.

Dean: "I think it's time for Plan B"
Sam: "I'm not following."
Dean: "I'm letting you know."
Sam: "Uh, okay, letting me know what?"
Dean: "I'm letting YOU know."

- Ah, Dean, so smooth.

Gadreel: "What is it, Dean?"
Dean: "I need your help."
Gadreel: "That is flattering..."

- HAHAHAA, oh man... I didn't remember that line. Brilliant. I love Jared's delivery there.

Dean: "There might be a reaper for rent on his ass, could you find them?"
- Dean's pretty brilliant.

April: "I miss being her, very sweet, didn't mind me entering her one bit."
- Again, it annoys me that the reapers are using angel terminology. I mean, yes, I know I have to just accept the fact that the show made them a subset of angels and move on - but ugh, I just hate it so much.

April: "...I had to gain your trust."
Cas: "And that required intercourse?"

- So, now Cas is feeling used, which sucks as a first time sex experience. Also, if April went to all the trouble of gaining Cas's trust, why BLOW it by tying him to a chair and torturing him now? Why not stick by him and trick him into walking right into Bartholomew or something. Or pumping him for more information about what Metatron did - it seemed like Cas was quite willing to talk to April about it. Man, I'd be so much better at April's job than April is - including the sexy-times. I wouldn't stop to light candles, for one.

Cas: "It may be unwise to kill me. If my grace were key to empowering the spell, I may be key to countering it."
- I still want this to be true. Perhaps perhaps...

And Cas is killed.

I wonder how Dean explained to Sam how he knew where Cas was.

Dean: "Cas! Cas? Cas?! Cas... no."
- :'(

Dean: "Sam, he's gone."
*Gadreel heals Cas*
- So, here Gadreel heals Cas, even though he's actually terrified of being around him lest the other angels discover Gadreel. So, yeah, Gadreel isn't THAT bad. Dean didn't even demand that he heal Cas here, Gadreel just DID it.

Cas: "Dean?"
Dean: "Hey, hey, hey, yeah."
Cas: "And Sam?"
Sam: "Cas? You're okay."
Dean: "Never do that again!"

- Ah, Dean, the safest emotion is always anger. Supernatural really is a study in the ridiculousness of performative masculinity.

Dean: "Well, you got dinged. And you - I made a deal with her. I said she wouldn't get kebobed if she brought you back. She brought you back."
Cas: "You lied."
Dean: "I did. I do that."

- I love that Dean is technically telling the truth with the second line.
- I also love that Castiel looks pleased that Dean lied and saved him.

[S- dark blue plaid. D- MY SHIRT! Hahaa... windriver shirt... one copy of which I own.]

Dean: "I told you, I went through Maurice's pockets, found an address, took a shot."
Sam: "I don't remember seeing you go through Maurice's pockets."
Dean: "What are you talking about? I don't see you half the nerdy stuff you do, doesn't mean you don't do nerdy stuff."

- Ah, that's how he explained it.

Cas: "Yes, there's more to humanity than survival, there's purpose - and you must not be defeated by anger or despair, or hedonism for that matter."
Dean: "Where'd hedonism come into it?"
Cas: "My time with April was very educational."
Sam: "Yeah, I mean, I'd think that getting killed is something."
Cas: "And having sex."
*Dean chokes*
Dean: "You had sex with April? So, did you have protection?"
Cas: "I had my angel blade."
Dean: "He had the angel blade."
*Sam makes strangled noise.*

- Okay, so firstly, this is hilarious.
- Secondly, I guess this kind of answers my question as to what the scene in the church was about - it was about Castiel succombing to despair. So, this episodes was kind of about him moving past that.
- Thirdly, I hope before they ship him out on the road, Dean or someone sits him down and has the safe-sex talk.

Gadreel: "Castiel cannot stay here. He'll bring the angels down upon us."
...
Gadreel: "... he is in danger. I am in danger."
Dean: "*You're* in danger? From who, the angels?"
Gadreel: "If he stays, I'm afraid I will have no choice but to leave."

- So, Dean REALLY should have pursued the line of questioning. Instead he doesn't, he lets Gadreel hold Sam hostage without asking him WHY Gadreel is in danger from the other angels. I usually try to skirt around plot-holes, but I really feel like this is a pretty glaring one - there's no way that Dean's curiousity doesn't get piqued here. I don't see why he would leave this one alone. But, I understand why the writers needed him to leave it alone... because if Dean kept questioning him. If Gadreel actually told Dean who he was and what his backstory was, then I'm pretty sure Dean would be sympathetic, which was really all Gadreel wanted - was to have someone be sympathetic to his plight. Which, of course, is the very thing that Metatron ends up exploiting. Anyway, frustrating to me, because it's yet another thing that leads to the disaster that Gadreel's presence becomes, when it really could have EASILY been avoided.
- But yeah, Gadreel IS holding Sam hostage at this point. So, Dean has really backed himself into a corner. He either lets his friend stay and watches his brother die, or he turns Cas out on the street again and Sam lives... one of those options involves a certain death and the other just makes him a shitty friend, so yeah...

Dean: "Cas, can we talk?"
Cas: "Of course, Dean, you know I always appreciate our talks and our time together."
Dean: "Listen, buddy, you can't stay."

- Aww, just to make Dean feel the shittiest possible.
- I do like how Dean calls him "buddy" though, trying to emphasis that he does love Cas, without actually coming right out and saying it.


CUT SCENE

It's a Buddy Boyle scene - with Buddy recording, and looking quite demonic. I can see why they cut it. It makes him look like a sinister being rather than a hapless pawn.


Let me know your thoughts! I'm not sure if I'll have another one of these for tomorrow or not. I might take a day off.

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Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Sep. 22nd, 2014 10:57 pm (UTC)
I think it would have been cooler if the reapers did remain a separate type of being...but it was never exactly stated what they were, so the writers didn't exactly contradict canon...Though now you have me wondering, if the reapers are a class of angels, and reapers report to Death, how does that work with God and Death each having their own corps of angels?

Bart is boring...Bad guys who run their organizations by terror and intimidation of their employees always end up losing their minions' loyalties or their minions' lives and eventually whatever the fight is about.

Your lack of faith doesn't cancel what I believe, that's not how it works.

I have no idea what the writers intended with this scene, but the above line really hits me in a totally non-SPN way...I hear 'you can believe what you want, and I can believe what I want, and I don't have to convert you and you don't have to convert me.' And that is a major truth to me and I believe that all the different ideological factions that run around trying to impose their view of the truth on other people need to accept this. And the world would be much better off!

I watched April closely too, trying to figure when her possession by Reaper occurred, and have no satisfactory answer. It would have made the most sense if she were possessed in the morning, but she clearly was in April during sex, so everything you said about her interrogation techniques (they suck) is true. Also true about the candles. (I thought I was the only person who noticed their weirdly timed appearance--it's a little scary how much we see things similarly...)

It's very significant that Gadreel resurrected Cas on his own without any prompting from Dean. Like you say, It would have been easy to swing Gadreel permanently over into the good guys column...he was not a bad guy when he came to help Dean!

Dean: "...So, did you have protection?"
Cas: "I had my angel blade."


Best line of the episode IMO...
hells_half_acre
Sep. 23rd, 2014 12:28 am (UTC)
Though now you have me wondering, if the reapers are a class of angels, and reapers report to Death, how does that work with God and Death each having their own corps of angels?

EXACTLY! That's why it bothers me so damn much. SPN set up their universe to have TWO supreme beings - God and Death. Death doesn't remember who came first, but they are both EQUALLY POWERFUL because Death will eventually reap God. Now, Death's power might be narrow, but reaping God is nothing to sneeze at and also indicates that Death is NOT God's employee. He is beyond a specific religion. He is the inevitability of all things.

So, he does not have ANGELS, he has REAPERS... and there is no way in hell those Reapers should be employees of Heaven.

It makes me mad.

The writers might not have contradicted canon specifically, but they did it logically - and actually, also specifically, because back in S1-S2, and even S7, it was made quiet clear that you cannot kill a Reaper. Ugh. So annoyed. There's a lot of things Carver's done that I love, but his disregard for the hard and fast rules of the universe really bother me, because it's hard and fast rules that keep fantasy universes alive and well in the imagination.

And that is a major truth to me and I believe that all the different ideological factions that run around trying to impose their view of the truth on other people need to accept this. And the world would be much better off!

I agree. Add on the caveat that religion should stay out of politics, healthcare, and the science classroom, and we've gone a long way to achieving world peace.

Anyway, sorry about the rant. :P Sounds like you and I are on the same page on everything as per usual! ;)
percysowner
Sep. 22nd, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC)
About Cas being recognized as an angel, in season 8 (which was this set of writers, so it looks like this is this year's canon) Meg said that angels were a SPECIES. So Cas may have lost his grace and his powers but he's still an angel. Just like someone in a coma is still a human being even though he can't speak or move or possibly even think.

I too hate Reapers being a subset of angels. I also have real trouble envisioning the Death we know as permitting his employees to go rogue. I really hate what they do later in the series, which I'm sure we will commiserate about when you hit Stairway to Heaven.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 23rd, 2014 12:18 am (UTC)
Hmm, yeah, I think I'm realizing that I'm letting my own headcanon confuse me.

My headcanon was always that angel=soul+grace... so if you remove the grace, you just get soul=soul. BUT, what I'm realizing is that it's probably angel="angel equivalent of soul"+grace. So, Cas doesn't have a HUMAN soul, he has a graceless angel-essence.

I also have real trouble envisioning the Death we know as permitting his employees to go rogue.

Me too, especially since we had that great episode in S6 where Death was all like "YOU CANNOT DISTURB THE NATURAL ORDER!" Ugh, it annoys me - but that's why I WILL accept that you can kill these rogue reapers, because Death has turned his back on them.

And yeah, there will be a very big rant when we get to Stairway to Heaven.
percysowner
Sep. 23rd, 2014 12:39 am (UTC)
From The Man Who Would Be King

CROWLEY I want to discuss a simple business transaction. That's all.

CASTIEL You want to make a deal? With me? I'm an Angel, you ass. I don't have a soul to sell.


However, now that the angels have fallen, I can buy that angel essence=angel soul, but not a human soul.

Edited at 2014-09-23 12:39 am (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Sep. 23rd, 2014 12:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, I remember that dialogue, so it really should have stuck in my mind that angel "souls" were different than human souls. Likewise, although Crowley IS a human soul corrupted, he officially doesn't have a soul either. So, therefore, although angel-essence and demon-smoke ACT like souls (in that they carry the personality and memories of the being in them), they can't be used the same way a human soul is - they can't fuel deals, hell, or heaven.
nemo_forever
Sep. 22nd, 2014 11:08 pm (UTC)
Re: being a human with the bodily functions yeah I pretty much feel the same. I joke all the time that I want to be a robot so I don't have to worry about all the breathing/eating/sleeping/peeing stuff. Life would be so much more awesome without it.

Re: Bart I'm not really sure why they put the part with the exploding girl in there but you did just help me clarify one of the things that makes me so very uncomfortable about all of the religious people in this show, in that they are fanatics or at the very least incredibly easily swayed into doing horrific things to themselves and each other in the name of 'god'. I'm not Christian myself and I was trying to explain to my very Christian best friend the other day why even Jimmy Novak being so religious kind of freaked me out but I couldn't put it into words. Now I can so thanks!

Re: Cas: "You know, I'm finding that often, the people with the least to give are the most generous." I think it's less about being broke and more about the losing everything that is important here. The people Cas is meeting are on the fringe of society but they band together and help out more than those who make up what society is. In a lot of ways this is who the Winchesters are as well. They exist outside of the normal framework and have repeatedly given their lives in the name of humanity. As a side note, I have wondered since I saw this episode the first time how much Misha Collins's personal experiences influenced Cas's story arc in this season.

Re: the faith dialogue I think part of the purpose here is to remind people that he deals mostly with the fringes of everyday people. Most of the people he meets through his mission and through the Winchesters are pretty scary when it comes to the topic of god. Maybe he needed a reminder that there were millions of people out there who don't need tangible proof that a higher power exists. This actually seems to be a recurring theme for him. Quite often when he starts to get really out there he connects with the people who have absolutely no need to see actual acts of god to believe that something good exists and it seems to allow him to keep going.

Re: candles My thoughts during this scene: Ahhhh set dressing. Why are we so conditioned as a society to associate candles with romance? I blame Hallmark.

Re: Dean getting angry at Cas I read this more as like when a mom scolds her kid for getting lost. I definitely react with anger when I get scared, mostly because I am angry that I got scared and all the adrenaline that appeared in my system is useless now that the scary situation is resolved. So I don't know if it was necessarily a masculine response for him to get angry so much as kind of a 'caretaker' response.

Re: Gadreel resurrecting Cas Hmmm. HMMMM. Maybe Castiel worked it out that this is what happened? Maybe that's why he started getting all probing about whether Sam thought Gadreel was actually malicious or if something else was going on later? HMMMMM.



Also, hi! I'm new here. I really love your metas tho so thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!
hells_half_acre
Sep. 23rd, 2014 12:08 am (UTC)
I'm not really sure why they put the part with the exploding girl in there but you did just help me clarify one of the things that makes me so very uncomfortable about all of the religious people in this show, in that they are fanatics or at the very least incredibly easily swayed into doing horrific things to themselves and each other in the name of 'god'.

I think they DO have less fanatical religious people in the show, but the problem is that just like IRL, those people aren't the ones that stick in the mind. They often talk to normal priests, just in this episode (besides the lady in the church) they had the other guy at the shelter say that at least the dead priests were "with the angels now" - or, like the grief counsellor or doctor in the season opener, they'll have people casually mention God or angels in a way that suggests they might believe in them. Of course, this being supernatural, those are often used for Dean to make a cutting remark, because Dean is firmly in the anti-God camp... and we forget about those people, because we just remember them as the straight-man to Dean's snark.

The ordinary religious folk aren't pointed to with neon signs like the bad religious folk... because there is no need to. They're living well and they're not doing horrible things to their fellow humans, so Sam and Dean don't interact with them much. But they are there.

As for the Novaks being religious, I can see why that might make you uncomfortable. The message of SPN has gotten a little convoluted since S5, but Kripke was very much a humanist - so it was a specific point that he was making that Jimmy was devout and that actually seeing the reality of angels, having his devotion ruin his relationship with his family, actually turned him off religion. At least, that's how I read it, and that can be an uncomfortable reading for some people. Personally, I'm actually super anti-organized-religion (though NOT anti-belief), so yeah...I liked it.

This actually seems to be a recurring theme for him. Quite often when he starts to get really out there he connects with the people who have absolutely no need to see actual acts of god to believe that something good exists and it seems to allow him to keep going.

Good point. Perhaps Castiel just needs support in his own belief in God, even when he knows that God is not in heaven. He needs people who don't mind believing without proof - since Castiel himself has no proof that God cares about him one way or the other (being continually brought back from the dead notwithstanding - though, by the end of S7, Cas was seeing his resurrections as punishments.)

I definitely react with anger when I get scared, mostly because I am angry that I got scared and all the adrenaline that appeared in my system is useless now that the scary situation is resolved. So I don't know if it was necessarily a masculine response for him to get angry so much as kind of a 'caretaker' response.

Hmm... good point. I get angry when I get injured - I'm assuming because of adrenaline, but I've never been in a situation where a loved one has been in peril and then been fine, so I have no idea what my response would be.

Maybe Castiel worked it out that this is what happened? Maybe that's why he started getting all probing about whether Sam thought Gadreel was actually malicious or if something else was going on later? HMMMMM.

Hmmmm... perhaps?!

Also, hi! I'm new here. I really love your metas tho so thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

Hi! Welcome! I like the way you organized and formatted your comment.



Edited at 2014-09-23 12:13 am (UTC)
percysowner
Sep. 22nd, 2014 11:14 pm (UTC)
I forgot to add in my last post about the woman praying for her husband. There is this wonderful Terry Pratchette quote on miracles “Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been fate. People are always a little confused about this, as they are in the case of miracles. When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that's a miracle. But of course if someone is killed by a freak chain of events -- the oil spilled just there, the safety fence broken just there -- that must also be a miracle. Just because it's not nice doesn't mean it's not miraculous.”
hells_half_acre
Sep. 22nd, 2014 11:54 pm (UTC)
Great quote!
shadowsong26
Sep. 23rd, 2014 03:56 am (UTC)
I think my feelings for this episode (and, to be fair, quite a few periods in this show because it's an easy way to create Drama but this episode exemplifies them) is 'shadowsong is going to throw bricks with COMMUNICATE DAMMIT written on them in sparkly neon pink at everyone.' Because, yeah. So many opportunities to actually explain things and sort through this crappy situation they're in and make things better for each other but no. one. takes. them.

Except Bartholomew. Bartholomew doesn't get any bricks because he's actually communicating loud and clear. Why is it that a vilain that I don't even like has the best communication skills in this episode? Sigh.

Dean's increasingly implausible explanations for Sam's missing time peak in fun here and then start to get sad and/or mildly disturbing (depending on context) as Gadreel gets more and more desperate and starts making threats.

I like the idea of Bartholomew more than I like Bartholomew himself--and, unlike you, I enjoy the angel politics. But I spend pretty much every time he's on screen comparing him to Naomi and I'm just like '...really? You're the followup? Wow.'

Yeah, that exchange about 'Clarence' was weird.

I'm with you on that church scene. It's an interesting discussion but...IDK. I think the writers get a brick here.

Yeah, I have no idea what's going on with the reapers in this episode. Maurice is a little clearer than April, but...yeah.

I like the idea of Cas failing at geography when he doesn't have a bird's-eye view of the world anymore.

Oh, Dean. Subtle you ain't. "I'm letting YOU know" indeed.

IDK what's up with April. Maybe she's bored and experimenting? Seems counter-intuitive to actually getting what she wants out of Cas...I think she wins a brick, though.

Okay, yeah, the point you make about the moving-on theme making sense of the church scene is a good one. And definitely with you on the safe-sex talk, oh man.

Re: Not pushing Gadreel/Ezekiel on why he's hiding from angels: ALL. OF. THE. BRICKS. FOR. DEAN. HERE. I mean, you pretty much summed it up--and I agree with you, if Gadreel had been pushed to a point where he had to just 'fess up, especially earlier rather than later...ugh. The one thing I can think of to justify it is Gadreel's experiences with prison/torture and having to watch Dean torture Maurice? So he might be a little leery right here in this moment, and this is probably the last time he could have said something without it blowing up in his face, so he backs down here and then he's in too deep to salvage things. Or something. IDK. Gadreel gets bricks, too. They can build their corners that they've backed themselves into with all of the bricks I'm giving them.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 23rd, 2014 08:55 pm (UTC)
I agree about the bricks! That's really the foundation of this season - no one is communicating effectively.

But I spend pretty much every time he's on screen comparing him to Naomi and I'm just like '...really? You're the followup? Wow.'

Very true. Naomi was a much more nuanced and dynamic villain. Though, I guess because they had her come around in the end, they had to kill her in favour of someone who wouldn't be sympathetic at all.

The one thing I can think of to justify it is Gadreel's experiences with prison/torture and having to watch Dean torture Maurice?

Perhaps, I just wish they had shown that or something... and it sill doesn't explain why Dean didn't question him. It might explain why he didn't OFFER the information, or why he would have avoided answering, or lied, if Dean DID question him. It just bugs me that he didn't even try to question.

Anyway, yes, bricks thrown at everyone.



percysowner
Sep. 23rd, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC)
I cut Gadreel a bit of slack here. He is known as the guy who let Lucifer into the garden. When Cas finds out who he really is, Cas blames pretty much everything that went wrong on Gadreel. If Gadreel tells Dean he lied about who he was, Dean will check him out with Cas. Cas will tell Dean "he's evil and worked with Lucifer" and Gadreel will be dead, or on the run. I have some sympathy for Gadreel. He's like Sam in so many ways, and they never really used that the way they should.

I basically see Gadreel being in the same position as Sam when Tracy went off about him starting the Apocalypse. What could he say? The reputation is out there and no mitigating facts are even considered. It was the one thing that bugged me about the Tracy conversation, that Dean has totally embraced the idea that Sam alone released Lucifer. I mean I can see Dean forgetting his part in breaking the first seal. I can see him not telling Tracy that the angels were letting seals break left and right and that Sam had been misled into breaking the last one. What I hated was that Dean didn't remind SAM that no, Sam was not the only one involved here and Sam has pretty much accepted that no one else should ever, under any circumstances, get looked at for what happened.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 23rd, 2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
Good points, both of them. I had forgotten Cas' reaction to Gadreel, so I suppose Gadreel was justified with not telling Dean who he was. That being said, I STILL find it hard to believe that Dean wouldn't at least try to question him... whether or not Gadreel would have answered is another matter altogether.

And yeah, I also agree about how it's a little frustrating that everyone seems fine with Sam shouldering the blame for Lucifer, even though Dean broke the first seal, Cas let Sam out of the panic room, and Sam thought he was saving the last seal from breaking up until it was too late. I mean, in terms of INTENT, the person to actually blame is Castiel, because he KNEW what he was doing when he let Sam out of that room.
frozen_delight
Sep. 23rd, 2014 06:49 am (UTC)
Dean: "...good news is he's getting cagey. He's using a fake name - Clarence."
Sam: "That's what Meg used to call him. 'course, he doesn't get that's the name of a pretty famous angel."
Dean: "What?"
Sam: "It's a Wonderful Life? Dude, seriously?"
- I still think it's really weird that Dean wouldn't know the reference. I mean *I* know the reference and I've never actually seen It's a Wonderful Life. Also, was Dean never in the room when Meg called Castiel Clarence? Or did he just not note it? Anyway, my point is that this dialogue seems odd to me.

It's really odd because I think that Dean definitely spent more time with Meg and Cas, so I would have expected him to be the one to remember, not Sam. And Dean not getting the reference is really weird.

- My point, however, is that I'm not entirely sure what the writers were trying to communicate here.
What I think the writers are trying to communicate here is how utterly isolated and ill-adapted Cas is in his new human surroundings. There's a lovely paradox here - we've seen Cas struggle with sleeping, eating, urinating, toothbrushes, whatever, and none of it surprises us. And now Cas suddenly enters the sphere of human religion and we would expect him to get that at least, like a pro even, for he used to be an angel after all. But he doesn't. I think this conversation highlighted really nicely that the human perspective on religion is always going to be something very, very different from the heavenly perspective; and while I consider that to be a very comforting thought, it definitely isn't for Cas, because he can't deal with this difference. Cas is the post-lapsarian man who hasn't accepted yet that he's been expelled from heaven, both literally and metaphorically.

Also, if April went to all the trouble of gaining Cas's trust, why BLOW it by tying him to a chair and torturing him now? Why not stick by him and trick him into walking right into Bartholomew or something. Or pumping him for more information about what Metatron did - it seemed like Cas was quite willing to talk to April about it. Man, I'd be so much better at April's job than April is - including the sexy-times. I wouldn't stop to light candles, for one.
Really excellent questions. Perhaps this was April's first time as a rogue reaper and she didn't know what to do without orders and simply improvised as she so fit? :) Because you're right, her behaviour simply doesn't make sense.

- So, Dean REALLY should have pursued the line of questioning. Instead he doesn't, he lets Gadreel hold Sam hostage without asking him WHY Gadreel is in danger from the other angels. I usually try to skirt around plot-holes, but I really feel like this is a pretty glaring one - there's no way that Dean's curiousity doesn't get piqued here. I don't see why he would leave this one alone. But, I understand why the writers needed him to leave it alone... because if Dean kept questioning him.
I have to confess that this doesn't feel plot-holish to me at all and that I didn't see any need for Dean to question Gadreel further. When they first met, Gadreel told Dean that he was one of the few angels who still believed in Cas and wanted to further his cause, I think? And in this episode, Sam and Dean find out that Bartholomew is looking for Cas and sending reapers after him and that other angels have been killed? So wouldn't it be only natural for Dean to suppose at this point that any angel who isn't in Bartholomew's camp must be in danger?
hells_half_acre
Sep. 23rd, 2014 08:50 pm (UTC)
Interesting take on the church conversation! Thanks!

When they first met, Gadreel told Dean that he was one of the few angels who still believed in Cas and wanted to further his cause, I think? And in this episode, Sam and Dean find out that Bartholomew is looking for Cas and sending reapers after him and that other angels have been killed? So wouldn't it be only natural for Dean to suppose at this point that any angel who isn't in Bartholomew's camp must be in danger?

Yeah, but if "Ezekiel" supposedly believed in Cas, you'd think Dean would be confused as to why Ezekiel basically wanted to through him to the dogs (or in this case, reapers) without any back-up in order to protect himself. It just seems fishy enough to me that I think Dean should have followed through with a line of questioning.

But, fair enough if your opinion differs! Maybe Dean just realizes that as long as "Ezekiel" is in Sam, "Ezekiel" is calling the shots whether Dean likes it or not.
supernutjapan
Oct. 2nd, 2014 03:30 pm (UTC)
Just a note that Alistair killed reapers in Death Takes a Holiday (Season 5) so it's not such a new concept. BUT the method seemed a lot more complex aye? :P

This seemed to me a "Cas episode" and good as long as I considered it to be that.

I was rereading my thoughts from when I watched the ep - I haven't rewatched Season 9 yet at all - and a rather fun tidbit re the scene in the church - remember how in Hellhouse a ton of people believing in a monster made it true? So if that's the way of things in Supernatural, people believing in God could actually create God.... um... Metatron?!

Or... Metatron is actually using this lady to make his point?? I do think we need to consider it in relation to what Metatron says to Dean at the end of the season as well but my brain is too fried at this point. Maybe later.


Loved Sam/Ezekiel(Gadreel) switches. Jared really did a great job with that.

pushistyj_koshk
Oct. 29th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
Re: YES. I mean, I know this is a joke, but goddamn it, I get so tired of urinating... and eating, while we're being honest. The fact that I have to eat all the time really annoys me, as does other bodily functions. I'm glad I'm not the only one, even if this is a really weird character to find comradery in.

Massive yes! Some of the functions at least. Especially if you are trying (for the 100th time) to listen to everybody's advice to drink more water. A waste of time and water, really.


Re: I really love the transitions Jared does in this part

Jared was great with the transitions. I generally like Jensen more as an actor, but Jared was awesome last season. Except for the times when writers made him say things that made him seem like an idiot, e.g. “What language is that?!” when Sam knows perfectly well it’s enochian.


Re: I liked Bartholomew as a bad guy. I kind of wish they'd done more with him

He kind of reminded me of Mr Smith and I love the first Matrix :)


Re: The girl exploding is super gross. Also, it's obvious that Bart KNOWS that she's not the right bloodline - why kill her? Why not just explain that she's not suitable? Or that she can serve them in other ways, like continuing to be Buddy's PA or whatever she was. I guess it shows that Bart's the bad guy, but I don't think we necessarily needed that confirmed.

Then again – why not kill her? If she’s useless to the angels, then she’s… well… useless.


Re: Cas gets a tattoo! I wonder if he still has it.

And now thanks to 10x01 we know that he indeed does have it :) http://www.homeofthenutty.com/supernatural/screencaps/albums/SPN10x01/SPN_0461.jpg Yes. I am SO LATE to your re-watches. On the bright side – I have lots of answers now :)

Edited at 2014-10-29 06:03 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Oct. 30th, 2014 12:21 am (UTC)
Jared was great with the transitions. I generally like Jensen more as an actor, but Jared was awesome last season. Except for the times when writers made him say things that made him seem like an idiot, e.g. “What language is that?!” when Sam knows perfectly well it’s enochian.

Agreed agreed. I think Jared tends to be more understated with his good acting, if that makes any sense. Jensen's good acting kind of punches you in the face, whereas Jared is like that busker that you walk by on the street and then you pause like a block later and think "Wait a second! That music was beautiful!"

Also, yes, I really wish the writers would stop making Sam say stupid things.

He kind of reminded me of Mr Smith and I love the first Matrix :)

YES. I was trying to put my finger on it. He's not quite as cold, but I can definitely see the comparison.

Then again – why not kill her? If she’s useless to the angels, then she’s… well… useless.

True, I guess!


pushistyj_koshk
Oct. 30th, 2014 07:12 am (UTC)
Jared seems better as an actor when he actually has to act. He was great as a soulless Sam and he was great as crazy Sam also. Whereas Jensen's acting quality is more stable, but then he just absolutely blows you away when he has to do something challenging. Must be the daytime tv experience :)
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