Good news! My iPod came back to life - so you once again get emo song lyrics to lead you into my episode reaction...
So, we begin this episode with a dude trying to commit suicide - only at the last moment he sees a picture of possibly his mother, and doesn't. Is it wrong that my first reaction was "This is why you shouldn't keep pictures of your mother next to your guns" before I remembered that it's bad to commit suicide? Yes, yes, it probably is wrong.
Sadly, although he stopped, some dude shows up and kills him anyway! Kills him angel-style, but BRIGHT PINK angel-style! I wanted to make a joke about REALLY GAY angels, but then figured that much like my suicide joke, it was probably wrong to do so.
My friend pointed out that the angel dude reminded her of... shit....um... some character from Sandman who has teeth for eyes. The Corinthian! (Damn it, I had to look it up. I kept thinking "The Constantinople?") Anyway, I must admit that I've never read Sandman, so I can't comment on this.
Cut to Cas! He's working at a Gas'nSip. He's got a blue vest and a name tag that says "Steve" - he's learning human behaviour from observing and mimicking. He's ADORABLE. He's staking the papers when he sees an article about strange deaths...
Cut to Sam and Dean! Kevin has translated the tablets into a dead language that no one can read. Um, helpful? Also, MAN they really walked back Kevin's ability to read tablets. Remember back in S7 when he could translate them into english? Apparently the Leviathan tablet was written in the equivalent of a waterproof chewable book for children. The demon tablet was a "Jane and Dick" early-reader book or maybe the Hardy Boys. The angel tablet is Ulysses by James Joyce...or Milton's Paradise Lost... or possibly the Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.
Anyway, research time! As much as they aren't actually using the books correctly (if you were going for research efficiency), I DO like Kevin's line to Dean, "Don't worry, we have them all" when Dean discovers that they might have to read 24 encyclopedic volumes - that WAS accurate to what a researchers first priority is: "Do I have the resources" - second, they should have gone for "what's the most efficient way for me to find the information I'm looking for" but they skipped that step and decide to go with "what's the most thorough way to find information."
Um... sorry, I just realized that I'm nitpicking RESEARCH. Oh god. I'm a dork.
ANYWAY...Cas calls Dean to tell him about the job. I loved Dean and Cas' interactions throughout this episode - and I love the fact that Cas just launches into telling Dean about the job and Dean's like "hello to you too"... but then it's also notable that Dean immediately walks away from Kevin and Sam.
Dean goes to check out the job in Cas' town, downplaying it as possibly not a job at all... using avoiding research as a possible cover when Kevin accuses him of it. But I think Dean really wanted to keep Ezekiel and Cas separated, for fear of Ezekiel jumping ship? Or because Dean possibly doesn't trust him that much? Who knows...
Meanwhile, Steve is being hit on by his boss - or so it seems. Even though he keeps a toothbrush in the supply closet and a sleeping bag in the back...he totally just used the sleeping bag when he was doing inventory last week, he TOTALLY has a bed somewhere else... um, Nora, the fact that you buy this is slightly worrying. It's pretty sad that Cas is living at the Gas'nSip. You'd think Dean would have set him up with a credit card he could use to at least get himself a cheap motel room.
Dean investigates the death... would liquified/vaporized human remains really be that bright pink? Blood oxidizes fairly quickly and dries to a dark brown, wouldn't the remains be a more rust colour? I know brain matter can be bright pink, but I think it then fades to a brown or a grey too. I don't know. It seemed weird. Also, would they really let Dean just walk in there? I'd think such an event would require a full hazmat suit.
Anyway, Death is definitely weird so Dean calls Sam... while watching Cas work in the Gas'nSip. Awww.... it's the "romantic stalker" scene.
Sam thinks he should come help, but Dean dissuades him, again, downplaying the job... I really do think that Dean is trying to look after Cas AND Sam and in order to do that he has to keep them as separate as possible. Sam and Kevin, meanwhile, want to use Crowley to translate the cuneiform. Well, maybe that WAS a helpful translation to make after all. Dean warns not to let Crowley have anything in return.
And then Dean goes to see Cas. He makes fun of him a little for working at the Gas'nSip, but Cas claims to be happy there - he DOES seem upset that Dean sought him out though...perhaps not as happy as he says he is? Perhaps still hurting from not being able to stay with Dean at the bunker?
Meanwhile, there's a teenager at the school who wishes she were dead, and BAM - pink-angel dude shows up to make it so!
Dean finds out that Cas has a date... adorable. I love Cas' standards: "She doesn't appear to be a reaper intent on killing me" ... but Cas is pretty pleased with himself that he's gotten the human thing down enough to actually score a date. Dean, of course, is having a ball teasing him. It's adorable... did I say that already? Be prepared for me...
Dean gets the call about the high school death and wants Cas to come along. Cas argues that he doesn't have powers anymore. 'So what?' Dean argues, Dean doesn't have powers either....seriously, these guys are warming the cockles of my heart (pun intended?). Dean points out that Cas was once a hunter in training! That's pretty huge coming from Dean, who hates amateur hunters... he's definitely trying to build back up Cas' self-esteem. Cas finally agrees to come along.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Sam and Kevin are negotiating with Crowley, who can read the cuneiform, but refuses to help until he gets to make a telephone call. Sam and Kevin argue about it out in the hallway - Sam thinks they should give Crowley the call, Kevin is reluctant. Sam wins.
Crowley demands they use Kevin's blood for the blood-bowl call, rather than Sam's... this choice becomes WAY more interesting later....
Anyway, Kevin stabs himself with a needle in the COMPLETE WRONG PLACE ON THE ARM! I mean, Jeeeeeeeeeeeeez...at least find a vein first?! What the hell. You can't just draw that much blood by stabbing yourself randomly in the arm. You'll get like, joint oil and miscellaneous viscera. Okay, unrealistic blood drawing aside - Crowley makes the call to Abaddon...
Let's go back to Cas and Dean (apologizes if I'm getting the two separate storylines out of order, but you guys have to remember that I write these quick reactions after only one viewing and 3+ glasses of wine.)
Cas and Dean show up at the high school and I love how the local cops don't question the "FBI agent" at all when he shows up with a random Gas'nSip employee. The show isn't even trying anymore. :P
You can see right away that Cas recognizes what is going on, but we have Dean interview the girl before he realizes that Cas isn't by his side anymore. Cas is over by the car, freaking out. It's a special kind of angels that was the equivalent of an army medic, only when they couldn't save an injured angel, they put them to death swiftly and painlessly. Now the angel is on earth and doesn't understand that human can actually RECOVER from depressive states.
Dean recognizes that Castiel is terrified... which, I wonder if that's more jarring to him than End!Cas. Because End!Cas was all about the drugs and women, but he still walked right into certain death... but this Cas is too scared to hunt with Dean. He's powerless and he FEELS powerless. So, they agree that Dean will go after the angel and Cas will go on his date....and Dean will drive him to his date, because Cas doesn't have a ride.
Back at the bunker, Crowley is put on hold... obviously, it's been enough weeks that Crowley's lost his clout in hell.
Dean drops Cas off at the house - pulling the whole BFF "you can't wear that on a date!" trope thing. I love it. Though, again, what's with Cas and only having one outfit all the time?! I'm not going to lie, the part of me that has a huge clothes sharing-fetish really wanted to have Dean lend Cas some clothes. But now... also, the shirt Cas IS wearing has this weird button on the mid-sleeve that drove me nuts the whole episode.
ANYWAY, I'm sure the shippers will be thrilled with the part where Dean gets Cas to unbutton his shirt a little bit... less thrilled with the fact that Dean is dropping Cas off on a very heterosexual date. (I'm not going to wade into that mess, but I will say - to those who want to have their ship and enjoy the show too - there IS such a thing as an open committed relationship, and I think Dean and Cas would be prime candidates for maintaining a healthy one if they were both bisexual and into each other.)
Cas walks up to the door and swipes a rose from the flower pot, hiding it behind his back. Then he waves Dean away, because having your husband drop you off on your date is so lame! Haha, well, in this case, I'd say it's more like having ANYONE drop you off.
Sadly though, Nora didn't want to date Cas, she wanted him to babysit while she went on a date with someone else... ouch. Though, really, what I'm wondering is: who finds evidence that they're employee is sleeping at work and then thinks "I should leave him alone with my children." But hey, I'm not a mother, what do I know. I'm also really protective and controlling - I mean, I don't like leaving people alone with my laptop. I'd hate to see what I'd be like with a child.
Poor Cas. Stuck with a crying baby.
Let's get back to Crowley, who eventually gets connected to Abaddon. This is the first time we actually see BOTH ends of a blood-bowl call, and apparently both ends need to have a blood-bowl! Interesting! I guess Crowley was on hold so long because Abaddon needed to find a dude and kill them...how did she know she had a call? Maybe she has a secretary somewhere?
But I digress... Abaddon, it seems, has been deregulating hell. Abaddon, I know you were timetraveling during the recent economic crash - but DEREGULATION IS BAD!
Crowley ends the call, but it's hard to tell whether it's truly on a confident note that he'll be able to get his kingdom back. He IS still locked ina basement after all.
He reads the cuneiform - Sam and Kevin only giving him the page about the spell to knock the angels out of heaven - and Crowley tells them that it's irreversible. .... wow.... but is he telling the truth? Or is there another way that's just not on the part of the tablet they gave him? More importantly though, THEY NEED TO GET HIM TO TRANSLATE THE SYMBOLS! Seriously, they've got the ability to make their own rosetta stone here!! Why are they just having him translate verbally?! HAND THE MAN A PEN! UGH...the linguist in me was/is having a conniption.
Anyway, back to Cas...who has a crying baby on his hands. He sings her the theme song to some show from the 70s. "Greatest American Hero" - I liked it! It was hilarious to hear Cas sing a lullaby in his deep deep scratchy voice. I did sneak a peak on twitter and saw that originally it was supposed to be Highway to Hell by AC/DC and that maybe would have been even funnier and made more sense (something he would have heard in the Impala) - but I like the thought of Cas watching old shows on some broken TV somewhere too.
Eventually, Cas just commiserates with the baby - about how horrible it is to be thrust into a world that you don't understand. Awww...
Meanwhile, Dean is investimagating and discovers that the angel is probably riding around in the first victim's husband and DRIVING A FORD! Oh no! Because Dean saw that ford while he was trying to pull away from Nora's house - so Dean runs off to rescue Cas...
Cas meanwhile, is worried that the baby has a fever and is calling Nora...and when there's a knock on the door, he just answers it - only to find out that it's the angel. Ephraim. It's interesting that Castiel knows the guy's name. Was there only one angel that could do this? Can Castiel still recognize angels even though he's human? If so, why did he not recognize Ezekiel in Sam? Or maybe it's because Ephraim uses his name and Cas has only ever met one angel with Ephraim's abilities so he assumes it must be the one he met?
Cas thinks that Ephraim has come for the baby, but no, Ephraim has come for Cas - apparently Cas is so miserable that Ephraim can track him by his misery. Ouch... so much for seemingly content Steve.
Cas uses the rose he cut to slice up his hand, trying to make a banishing sigil on the interior french doors - but Ephraim catches him in the act. Luckily, Dean rushes in, and although he's thrown into a wall, he manages to shove the angel blade over to Cas, who then kills Ephraim. See, Cas, you don't need powers to be a badass! You just need a STABBY THING!
When Nora gets home, Dean has obviously removed the body and Cas has cleaned up the blood - also, apparently DEAN knew how to bring down the baby's fever safely and without bringing her to a hospital. Um, Daddy!Dean feels anyone? Because I suddenly have some here, if you were looking...
Nora says that the thing inside Cas that makes him care so much is the thing that makes him special... which is true. It's what set him apart from the angels too. "Too much heart was always Castiel's problem."
Cas goes out to the car - and he and Dean drive off into the night....
And then Dean drops him off at work the next morning. Um... shippers? I think there's some great fanfic room in between these two scenes, just in case you didn't pick up on that.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Sam is washing the blood bowl and he notices that one of the syringes is missing. He goes back down to the basement to find it and walks in on Crowley injecting himself with blood and looking relieved. SPECULATION TIME!! Does human blood work for demons the way demon blood worked for Sam? Is Crowley now an addict? Is there significance that Crowley specifically requested KEVIN'S blood and not Sam's? If he just wanted blood, shouldn't it not have mattered? Or is Sam's blood not as pure as Kevin's given Sam's past? Or is there some nefarious purpose - is Kevin's ability to read the tablets transmissible? Or is it a good thing? Will Crowley eventually turn human? If he does will they have to feed him and let him sleep ala the Geneva convention for POWs? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
There are questions about Castiel too? Now that his misery has been pointed out to him, will he change things?
Dean chose not to tell Castiel that the spell was irreversible - will he have to eventually? Is this another secret that's going to make his loved ones hate him? How does Ezekiel feel about this news? Does Dean have to worry about that too? I can't imagine that the spell is actually really irreversible. There has to be a way. Personally, I still think that the Winchester's fallen friends should form a kick-ass team in heaven and go after Metatron.
So, what did everyone think? Let me know in comments, and, as always, let me know if I missed talking about anything major.
Next week looks like a MOTW, but a possibly pretty freaky one... so we might not get answers to any of my questions for a while!