I'm also working on another installment of the demented'verse, and I want to save Kevin in it, and although I'm still a long ways off from writing that scene, I might be able to tuck some ideas into the back of my head by watching this episode...
So, let's do this thing...
Shit. No, wait... I have to file the clothes from the last rewatch first. Damn it.
*half an hour later*
Okay, Let's do this...
Ugh, I don't want to do this.
Alright, we open with the Glee Club getting killed - or wait, not them, the bikers - this episode IS horrible.
I do like the idea of angels taking over GROUPS though, not just randoms - but associations of people, so that the angels can stay associated with each other.
Dean: "So, he's better?"
Gadreel: "Yes, Sam is much improved. It shouldn't be much longer."
- I guess this gives us the reason why in another episode from now, Sam is able to survive Gadreel leaving his body.
Dean: "Wait, if you know where we're going, that means you've been listening in, are you hearing *everything* that's been going on between me and Sam?"
- Listen, I don't even like wincest, but even I can't help going to a dirty place with that line.
Gadreel: "No, just a word here and there. I've got better things to do than eavesdrop, like heal your brother."
- How much of your auditory capacity does healing take up though? I mean, I'm just wondering, because I could always listen to podcasts while I worked, as long as I wasn't writing any original thoughts down in full sentences.
Dean: "Okay, but here's the thing-"
Sam: "-I mean, I was going to say, it seems like it's getting really quiet out there, you know..."
- More effective than turning up the radio, isn't it Dean?
*Sam looks out window and is surprised and confused*
Sam: "That sign said Fort Collins 50 miles."
Sam: "So, last time I looked, like 12 seconds ago, Fort Collins was a hundred miles!"
- That means, assuming that Dean is going around 60-70 mph on a highway (I don't think American's speed as much as Canadians, so let's say 60mph)... that Dean was talking to Gadreel for around 45 minutes.
Dean: "Well, hey, man, ever since that goddess got her hooks into you, you know-"
Sam: "It's more than Vesta! This kind of thing's been happening to me! Like-like there are chunks of time missing - like there are times when I'm...not here."
- That really has got to be frightening for Sam. Especially since Dean never says anything about what he was doing during that time - which has gotta be weird... like, does he think it's something wrong with his brain's capacity to form memory?
Dean: "Well, like I've said-"
Sam: "Yes, the trials. I heard you. I heard you when you said it last week, and the week before that."
Dean: "Yeah, because damn-straight the trials, they whacked you, man, you're not up to warp speed yet - but you will be. Hm? Would I lie?"
- Yes, Dean, yes you would. Especially when it comes to being in denial about Sam's health... I mean, even if you DIDN'T know what the hell was going on, you'd probably just put on a soft rock station, tell Sam to get some sleep, and then quietly worry your head off while seemingly outwardly confident that Sam would be perfectly fine.
- I love how Sam and Cas are both just delighted by Cas impersonating the FBI. Sam's all like "this is adorable" and Cas is all like "hee hee! I'm pretending!"
Dean: "Cas, what the hell are you doing?"
Cas: "Uh, I still had that badge you gave me."
Dean: "Yeah, uh - what the hell are you doing?"
Cas: "Murders were all over the news, I thought i might be of help."
- Ah Dean, raining on the Sassy parade... though, he has every right too, since Dean's intricate dance of lies is in danger of being exposed now that Sam and Cas are in the same room.
Sam: "Yeah, but Cas, you know this is an angel situation, right? I mean, you left that night because angels were on your ass-"
Dean: "Yeah, and you were living the life - early retirement, working your way up the Gas'n'Sip ladder-"
- I wonder if Dean told Sam that Cas wanted to retire? Away from anything to do with hunting or angels?
Cas: "Hey, Cas is back in town!"
Dean: "Seriously, did y- Did he just say that?"
*Sam smiles - delighted*
- I love them all.
I love that Gadreel surfaces just to glare at Dean. Though, again, Sam's going to be confused when he comes to and Dean is across the room already.
Meeting between angel-factions. I actually don't really like political storylines, so I was KIND OF happy that they never really fully fleshed this storyline out, but at the same time, I feel like if they were going to go there, they probably should have made it more compelling and less pointless. But I guess they needed something for the angels to do while Gadreel was in Sam trying to avoid them... and they DID need to show that Heaven was still in enough chaos that Metatron COULD easily manipulate events to gain more power.
Cas: "I hope it's okay, me joining you."
Sam: "Why wouldn't it be okay?"
- The lies! They will fall apart!
Cas: "Besides, you once told me that you don't choose what you do, it chooses you..."
*Dean makes a face*
- I think that face on Dean is a "I don't recall ever saying that" face.
Cas: "Well, Bartholomew wants to reverse Metatron's spell..."
- So, they still haven't told Cas about the spell being irreversible, and it doesn't seem to be something they're particularly conflicted about. Maybe they think there's a possibility Crowley could have been lying? Or maybe they just feel 100% it's better for Cas and the angels not to know.
Cas: "[...] That's according to April."
Dean: "The reaper you banged."
Cas: "Yeah, and you stabbed."
Dean: "Yeah, she was hot."
Cas: "So, hot, and very nice... up to the point she started torturing me."
Dean: "Not every hook-up's perfect."
- I like Sam's face during this exchange. "My brother and his boyfriend are ridiculous."
- Also, I like that we start to see a bit about what attracts Cas in a partner - "very nice." Dean tends to be attracted to intelligent, formidable, people, Cas to very nice people... meanwhile, Sam...um... well, I guess people who live on the fringes of society, outcasts, fellow trauma survivors, when he's souled anyway. Soulless!Sam is just a horndog.
Gadreel: "Well, what are you going to do about this?"
- Ah, Gadreel you are ruining the fun. Also, Sam is going to be REALLY confused when he can't remember the rest of their evening having beers with Cas.
Dean: "Well, Cas isn't in good standing with ANY angel, yet here he is, ass on the line, fighting the fight, so what makes you so special?"
- Dean is finally asking the questions that he should have asked weeks/months ago... but, of course, it was all too late even then, except for perhaps giving Gadreel a sympathetic ear before Metatron was able to offer one. That being said, we see later how strongely even CAS hates Gadreel, so maybe it wouldn't have gone any better had Dean found out months before. Maybe Gadreel would have taken off with or without Sam before Sam was well enough to stay alive on his own.
Metatron: "Please, I know who you really are, and it isn't Ezekiel."
- Dun dun DUN!
Cas: "I notice that you look uncomfortable whenever Sam mentions my leaving. Doesn't he know that you told me to leave?"
Dean: "Here's the deal. When Sam was doing the trials to seal off hell, it messed him up, okay? The third one nearly killed him. If I'd have let him finish, he would have. He's still messed up, bad."
Cas: "But you said the angel, Ezekiel, helped heal him."
Dean: "Look, I gotta do everything I can to get him back, and if that means we keep our distance from you for a little while, then I don't have a choice. I don't feel good about it, but I don't have a choice. It's great to have your help, Cas, but we just can't work together."
- Ugh, Dean... I mean, I know why you can't tell him, because you KNOW that Ezekiel doesn't want you to. But, geeeeeeeeeez... this hurts my heart. Also, you really don't explain WHY healing Sam is contingent on staying away from Cas. And Cas doesn't ask either, which is also weird.
Metatron: "...but I am curious, why Ezekiel?"
Gadreel: "They say he is a good and honourable angel."
- This also hurts my heart, because Gadreel is trying to start a new life, so he borrowed the name of someone that already had the reputation that Gadreel wanted.
Metatron: "... and now you're hiding in this human, posing as Ezekiel! Tragic. It broke his heart to lock you away, you know. You were God's most trusted...."
- Way to twist that knife, Metatron. He's pretty brilliant here, because he degrades Gadreel, makes him feel every point of his worthlessness, and then offers him salvation through only him... it's pretty classic emotional abuse.
Metatron: "..that's why he chose you to protect the garden. You're ONE TASK was to keep evil from entering, from befouling his cherished creation, mankind, and you failed it!"
- So, this is an interesting character point. Mainly, that Gadreel's ONE TASK was to protect mankind, and, if we keep that in our heads, it comes as absolutely no shock that there would be a rather large chance that he would turn on Metatron on behalf of mankind. He failed in his task once, and obviously regrets it and would do anything not to fail again. The "anything not to fail again" is what Metatron exploits, but it's also ultimately what makes Gadreel a poor choice for Metatron to exploit.
- On a random other note: I am an atheist. But, if I did believe in God, I'd have to believe that, if a being were omniscient, as we are told He is, that it was actually He who let the serpent into the garden - so, to punish Gadreel for centuries, makes God a douchebag (by human standards). To have God NOT be a douchebag is to instead believe that God is not omniscient, but rather just a powerful ruler that perhaps has less limitations than any other being, but still has limitations. Anyway, theological debates FTW! (FYI: I don't actually know enough theology to have theological debates.)
Metatron: "I was the one that caused all the angels to fall, including the imprisoned ones!"
Gadreel: "No angels are in heaven? None at all?!"
- It's interesting that Gadreel didn't put this together sooner. I guess he fell, and he was like like "let's not analyze this opportunity too closely" which is I think probably a motto that Gadreel should stop living by.
Metatron: "You know, at first I thought I would love it. But it's a big place! My solitude is getting tedious."
Gadreel: "And so?"
Metatron: "And so, Plan B: Rebuild heaven the way God invisioned it, only with a handpicked few...[...] ...you were his most trusted, Gadreel... [...] you want to reclaim the Heaven that was?"
- So, I don't actually think that Metatron got bored. I think he got meglomanical. He'd successfully manipulated one angel into doing his bidding (Castiel) and by doing so, he realized that he might be able to manipulate ALL the angels.
- As well as Metatron offering Gadreel a chance to rebuild his reputation under his own name, Metatron is also invoking that popular campaigning strategy of appealing to the desire of a lost "golden" age. The idea that at some point in the past, the world, society, and culture, were better than they were today - this is usually whatever decade your listener's childhood occurred in. In Gadreel's case, he too has "a childhood" - before he was thrown in prison, before he lost his "innocense" and the darkside of heaven was revealed to him. What people who fall for these arguments don't understand isn't that the darkside didn't exist in those years, but that it had just been hidden from them, either actively or coincidentally. Also, as Dean said last episode, there comes a point where you really can't "unring that bell."
Sam: "Any word from Cas?"
Dean: "Nothing yet."
Sam: "And we're not worried about him that he just took off like that, again! I mean, it's not like he does this kind of stuff alone."
- Poor Sam. He's worried about himself, he's worried about Cas' erradict behaviour, and he's worried about the fact that Dean doesn't seem concerned about anything at all.
Sam: "It's not what you think - he's a family guy, big in the PTA, he played Santa at Christmas parties."
Dean: "So, what, one day he just up and joined a biker gang?"
Sam: "No, he did that years ago..."
- I love this character point, because it's basically screwing with stereotypes. Just because someone is a biker, doesn't mean they're a bad person. I knew a guy who dressed like a biker, looked like a thug, but was big into feminism, social justice, gay rights... and very much a total sweetheart.
I'm not talking much about the angel-faction storyline. I hope you forgive me. I just don't have that much to say about it. But if you do, feel free to talk about it in comments.
Metatron: "Frankly, I never got used to them. I lived among them for centuries, I had to isolate myself to keep sane."
- So, on the one hand, yes - Metatron was isolated, and it's not that hard to imagine that his meglomania, hatred of other angels, and distaste for humans just well, festered during all those years and became even more and more pronounced over time.
- That being said, the part that falls down a bit, or at least makes Metatron an outlier... is the fact that Metatron was a voracious reader during all those years. Usually, when people read a LOT, especially fiction (which Metatron seemed to favour), they become more empathetic and sympathetic to their fellow man. Metatron, meanwhile, seems to have skipped over developing empathy and gone straight to learning how to manipulate people.
Metatron: "...but all that emotion, geesh, and the wasted energy, it's just exhausting."
Sam: "I know. Sam Winchester - it is a mess in here. The brother - I do not know where to start."
- Maybe that's what Gadreel's been doing when he hasn't been listening to Sam and Dean, he's been marveling at how completely messed up Sam's psyche is.
Gadreel: "You intend to be the ruler of this new heaven, am I correct."
Metatron: "It is a burden, I feel I must accept."
Gadreel: "Then Metatron, does that not make you God?"
Metatron: "Oh haha, symantics. I don't think I'd take on that name... when the time comes, we can call me, X."
- Metatron's false humility is VERY false. I mean, geez... but he HAS done his reading, because he knows the relunctant-hero is a popular trope. Also, the fact that he says "symantics" means that yes, yes, he DOES intend to be God, he's just going to use a different name so that people don't accuse him of trying to be God. Like a step-father who says, "I know I'm not your father, but you must obey me and let me treat you, as though I am your father. The only thing different is that you can call me Dave instead of Dad." And that's all well and good if the step-father actually loves the kid and is a good father, but if he's emotionally abusive asshole, that's another story. In this metaphor, Heaven is "Mom".
Cas: "Okay, I'm unfamiliar with this end of the process..."
- I love this sequence of Cas praying in every prayer position used by humans. It's both adorable, but also nice because even though Cas isn't putting any one religion as "correct" over the other... at least, any religion that prays to the pantheon that Cas is part of.
*Cas tries turning on the TV*
Muriel *from outside*: "Try plugging it in!"
- Weird way to announce yourself.
Castiel: "You're an angel!"
Muriel: "Muriel. I didn't pick the outfit. ... Castiel?"
- I love both Castiel's delight and Muriel's realization of whose prayer she answered. Both reactions are very beautifully acted.
Kevin: "Dean, there may be nothing in here. Crowley said that the spell that cast down the angels was irreversible."
Dean: "Yeah, well, screw Crowley, why would you believe anything he ever says is true."
- Man, I actually forgot for a second that Kevin was in this episode... (In my defence, it's been two hours since I started this rewatch. That's long enough to forget which episode I'm watching, apparently). But yeah, this is the super depressing ending episode... sigh.
- Also, again, we have it hinted that MAYBE Crowley is wrong/lying about the spell.
- Also, we have yet another reminder that we shouldn't necessarily believe Crowley - again, I wish Dean had taken his own advice to heart.
Kevin: "This part is nearly indecipherable. Almost like when Metatron wrote it down, he wanted to keep the words hidden, even from prophets."
- We don't know which "part" Kevin is talking about, but I guess it's fairly safe to assume that he's talking about the part that describes the falling-angels spell, which is why Kevin can't tell if Crowley is lying or not about it being irreversible. Also, it makes sense because such a spell is a dangerous thing to have knowledge of, so Metatron would have wanted to hide the information as much as he could, while still not disobeying God's command to write it down.
- Also, this is really the first time a REASON is given for why Kevin has increasing difficulty reading the tablets. Metatron may have made the entire angel tablet as indecipherable as possible to try to hide their weaknesses.
Sam: "Wow, it's a bunch of kids."
Dean: "Kevin? Clock's ticking."
- Oh, the forshadowing. Kids are being killed and Dean names Kevin and then tells him the clock is ticking. I mean, yeah, pretty blatant there.
Cas: "Who leads the opposition?"
Cas: "Malachi, the anarchist."
- I love how Cas is the great rebel of heaven, but Malachi is LITERALLY WIDELY KNOWN as THE ANARCHIST. Like, wow. I don't even know where to go with this. "Well, yes Malachi is an anarchist in a society that insists on order and obedience above all else, but that Castiel - he's got some sort of moral compass!
I usually don't find Castiel/Misha attractive, except, apparently when he's strung up, has a few buttons undone, and is covered in blood from being tortured.
Malachi: "Oh, a dupe. The great Castiel, valued and trusted Castiel, top of the Christmas tree Castiel, no more than dupe! Dupe or mastermind, you were inside the circle, you know where Metatron's weakness lies."
Malachi: "... is Metatron worth your life? Is Metatron worth your life?"
- So, Castiel's reputation kind of does him in here. Because he HAS become a legend in heaven - disobediant to the archangels, DEFEATER of archangels, once a meglomanical god himself... it's unfathomable for some angels to believe that Castiel ISN'T more powerful, that Castiel ISN'T more intelligent... isn't some sort of mastermind who can't be tricked. Even though, fundamentally, Castiel has been tricked over and over again - by Crowley, by the Leviathan who made him feel temporarily God-like and in control, by Naomi... and by Metatron. Castiel is might be disobedient, but he is nothing if not susceptible to manipulation - mainly BECAUSE he has free will, unlike the other angels. The other angels obey whatever leader they feel is strongest, but Castiel will obey whatever leader appeals most to his reason, and his reason isn't actually all that cunning.
Malachi: "Just following your example, Castiel. How many did you kill in Heaven? How many in the fall?..."
- This is the other thing that sucks about Castiel's past - in that he can't serve as an example, but instead as a warning... or rather, he has to serve as a weird mix of both, and anyone can justify using him as an example when Castiel would want them to use that part of his past as a warning.
Malachi: "...oh a host of angels died when they fell - Azriel, Sophia, Ezekiel..."
- Ah, and there we go... also Azriel is an awesome name, and I'm sad that angel is dead now.
- I also love how Castiel basically tunes out the rest of Malachi's speech because he's too busy going "Then who the hell was Dean dealing with?!?!"
I like Theo. He reminds me of Bull from Night Court.
Theo: "I need you to speak to Metatron. Everyone knows you have influence, he'll listen to you. Ask him to raise me to Heaven. You can do this, Castiel. I'll be a soldier for Metatron, do anything he wants?"
- And here is where Castiel's reputation also saves him - because if people believe you are more powerful than you are, that you have influence, they're more willing to do things for you.
Theo: "I did what I had to."
Castiel: "When you were sure he would defeat Batholomew-"
Theo: "But no one will survive this war."
Castiel: "So you'd prefer sitting it out in Heaven."
Theo: "I can talk to him, about restoring your grace."
- So, we get the first iteration of "I did what I had to do." And it comes from Theo - Malachi's thug who is just trying not to get killed, who has placed "not getting killed" as his number one priority and not thought of morals or right and wrong since.
- It's also interesting that Theo believes Cas has influence with Metatron, that he was a co-conspirator with Metatron, but also believes that Cas is graceless against his will.
- The irony, of course, is that, killing Kevin aside, Metatron using Theo as his thug is actually a smarter move than using Gadreel. Because Gadreel doesn't want to be bad, but Theo just wants to live and doesn't really care about good or bad.
I love how Cas completely acts the part for Theo. I feel really bad for Theo though. I do.
And Cas becomes an angel again - at least, temporarily.
Cas: "He had me. I was tortured. But I got away."
Cas: "I... I did what I had to. I became what they've become. A barbarian."
- And our second iteration.
Dean: "Wait, you're back? You got your mojo?"
Cas: "I'm not sure, but I am an angel."
Dean: "And you're okay with that?"
- I do love that Dean asks that. I mean, I think we all know that Cas prefers being an angel, that that's what he feels he's truly meant to be - but I like that Dean doesn't necessarily take that fact as unchanging.
Cas: "Dean, there's more."
Cas: "Didn't you say that Sam was healed by an angel named Ezekiel?"
Dean: "Yeah, why?"
Cas: "Ezekiel is dead."
Cas: "He died when the angel's fell."
- Dean's face is pretty devastating. (and I mean both those words).
Kevin questioning Dean is awesome, but Dean has come a long way in his lying capabilities. The reasoning that they want to clue vessels in to the angel's possessing them is a good one. Also, I kind of like it because it brings back the notion that everytime an angel dies, a human dies as well. They've been ignoring the consequence of vessels a lot in the last few seasons, unless it's someone they know, so it's nice to have Dean give a shit about the unknowns, even if it is just a convenient reason to save someone he knows.
Metatron: "There is just one more thing."
Metatron: "I need to be sure of your fidility."
Gadreel: "You have it.
Metatron: "No, really sure. We have enemies that pose an imminant threat to our efforts. They must be neutralized."
Metatron: "In a word."
Gadreel: "That is not who I am."
- Ah, poor Gadreel.
- Metatron is, again, pretty smart at using language here. He doesn't actually use the word "kill" or "slay" or any of those synonyms. He uses "neutralize" which could also mean "inprison" or "disable." I mean, there's no doubt that Metatron WANTS them dead, not just "disabled" but he lets Gadreel leap to that conclusion rather than say it himself. Hitler actually worked similarly. And it's not even for any particular reason, as far as I can tell, it's not like Metatron NEEDS plausible deniability, but maybe he gets a sick pleasure out of having it.
Kevin: "Dean, what's going on?"
Dean: "I told you."
Kevin: "You told me theoritically. Dean, we just painted sigles in the storeroom. What the hell?"
Dean: "You're going to have to trust me, and trust that I told you everything I can for now. Can you do that?"
Kevin: "I always trust you. And I always end up screwed."
Dean: "Oh come on, always? Not always."
- Yes, always.
- It kind of bugs me that Dean doesn't tell Kevin here. Not because I necessarily think it would have saved Kevin, but because he really doesn't have a reason not to - unless he's only concerned about his own pride - that he just doesn't want to admit his mistake, admit that he messed up royally.
Dean: "I need to tell you some stuff fast. It's going to piss you off."
- I do love this opening.
Gadreel DOES do a good job of playing Sam here. But then, he does have months of knowing how Sam would react.
Kevin: "Hey, Sam. Oh hey, do you notice anything off about Dean lately, between you and me, I'm a little bit worried about him?"
Gadreel: "Don't worry about Dean, Dean will be fine."
- Oh Kevin... why didn't you put this together? That Sam was going out more, that Dean was wanting to talk to someone who was possessed...
- Also, I do think that Gadreel doesn't want to harm Dean. It's a small thing, but I think his "Dean will be fine" is almost a promise that he might be killing Kevin, but he doesn't ever plan to kill a Winchester... but hey, maybe I'm wrong.
Gadreel: "Sorry about Kevin, but ultimately it's for the best. I did what I had to."
- And our third iteration. Said by Gadreel after killing poor innocent Kevin - a prophet who angels are supposed to protect. I mean, wow, that must have been going against all sorts of fundamental programming.
And Gadreel kills the prophet and takes the tablets, thus ending the "boys have a good resource for knowledge about their enemy" storyline.
Dean: "Kevin? Kevin?"
- Ugh, my heart.
And now Dean has nothing and no one.
Tune in next week, for more fun!
(or whenever the heck I do the next rewatch, probably Sunday or Monday.)
Comment! Let me know what you think! Also, as usual, LJ spellcheck isn't working, so please forgive any and all spelling mistakes.