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Rewatch S9: Meta Fiction (9x18)

I apologize for the rather long break. I honestly thought I'd do at least one rewatch over the holidays, but obviously that didn't happen.

But, it's happening now! So, let's dive right in and hope I'm not rusty already...

Meta Fiction

We're still in the heavy plot episodes. We'll get a little break on the next episode, but not this one! I think I tend to procrastinate on these episodes just because I know how frickin' long they take to do. You may have noticed that I never went back to doing Sherlock rewatches, because those took 10 hours per episode at least. (ETA: For the record, this episode took me 6 hours.)

Anyway, we begin this episode with Metatron talking directly to the camera. Hey, does the word Meta come from Metatron? *pause episode* NOPE! That was a stupid thought - meta as in meta-fiction comes from a misinterpretation of what the "meta" part of the word "metaphysics" means (etymological dictionary). Whereas Metatron is either a made-up word from Hekhalot-Merkabah texts, or means "to guard, to protect", "keeper of the watch", "the one who serves behind the throne", "a measure" or other inconsequential possibilities (wikipedia). (And this, folks, is why these rewatches take me so long - it's my own damn fault).

Metatron: "What makes a story work? Is it the plot? The characters? The text? The subtext? And who gives a story meaning is it the writer or you? Tonight I thought I would tell you a little story and let you decide?"
- Ah philosophy of writing. Personally, if at the end of this story, you are going to let me decide, than that already tells me that it is the reader that gives the story meaning.

DEAN IN THE SHOWER! YES! SHOULDERS! HOW DID I FORGET THIS?! Noooo... more nakedness, please. Why can't this be like Chris Eccleston in Shallow Grave.... sigh. I just want to see the booty.

Um, right, actually talk about the show...obviously, Dean is feeling things from the Mark. Ominous.

Sam is on the phone to someone named Carlos. I like to keep track of the hunters that we never see. I still wonder who (singular or plural) has taken over Bobby's job. We don't REALLY see the boys on the phones enough to say it's them, but at the same time, they DO seem to be plugged in to the hunting network more than they've ever been before - I mean, it wasn't even until S2 that they KNEW there was a hunting network, and then they largely had to stay out of it because of Sam's powers and subsequent shenanigans.

Sam first wore the shirt that he is wearing in 7x02, when he had his first weird flashback thing with the meat-hooks in Bobby's basement.

Oh! This is the episode with Gabriel!!! I had forgotten. Uh, I mean - Castiel rips his jacket, and it plays an important role later on.

And we get the weird horn of Gabriel symbol.

Hannah! I also forgot this was the first episode with Hannah.

Castiel: "I heard it too. What was it?"
Hannah: "I don't know. It sounded familar - like Heaven. It's so strange down here. I followed the tone and found so many of my brother's and sisters here as well. It felt safe here..."

- It's interesting that the angels (or at least Hannah and Castiel) don't immediately recognize the horn of Gabriel  - but then, Gabriel HAS been missing for a very long time and who's to say that he ever actually used the horn before.

Hannah: "You're Castiel, aren't you?"
Castiel: "Yes."

- So, we already know that Mr. Cas-"I thought I knew all the angels in Heaven"-tiel had never met Hannah, but we also see that Hannah has never met Castiel either. I guess Gadreel could pick Sam's brain, so he knew exactly who Cas was. Hannah obviously knew who he was, but had never seen him before. I just find it interesting - I like to think of Hannah as a sort of office-angel, like Metatron was before God chose him to write the Word. Kind of just a nobody-angel, and not necessarily a fighter. (Yes, all angels are technically God's soldiers - but Hannah was obviously never stationed on Earth, like Castiel's garrison was.)

Hannah: "You took a stand against Bartholomew. Are you going to help us? Lead us against Metatron?"
Castiel: "I'm no leader..."
Hannah: "But you-"
Castiel: "I am no leader, Hannah! But I will find Metatron and I will make him pay."
Hannah: "Let me help you. Let us help you!"
Castiel: "You are safer away from me..."

- I do like the character consistancy of Castiel trying to flee all positions of power. I think that was largely why he chose to be "crazy" in S7, and why he refused to return to Heaven in S8.. ever since S6, Castiel basically sees himself as poison to angel-kind, sadly, confirmed by Metatron tricking him at the end of S8. I always go back to Hester telling Dean, "The very touch of you corrupts." Only, obviously, I think that's what Cas thinks of himself, rather than Dean. We also found out from Naomi last season that Castiel has ALWAYS been a spanner in the works when it comes to Heaven. That he rebelled at least once before during the plagues of Egypt, long before he met Dean... so yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if Cas put these facts together and determined that it's not Dean that corrupts, but Castiel himself and he was and is already a chaotic piece in a species of beings that considers order divine.

Sam: "Gadreel?! Gadreel is working for Metatron? How long?!"
...
Dean: "So Metatron made Gadreel kill Kevin."
Castiel: "It would explain a lot and there've been no new prophets, which Metatron could have fixed to his advantage."

- - Man, I forgot that they didn't know this already. That they just thought that Gadreel killed Kevin and took the tablets for shits and giggles or something. They really do just put it together here.

Dean: "And Gadreel said that angels were returning to Heaven? How - I mean the spell is irreversible."
Sam: "That's what Crowley said. Look, let's just find Gadreel and beat some answers out of him."

- I love the way Sam says "that's what Crowley said" like, kind of angry and under his breath and with a dirty look - it really communicates both the fact that Crowley can't be trusted, and also the fact that Sam doesn't like that Dean seems to have forgotten this.

Castiel: "Honour bar... what's honourable about a miniture bar in a motel room?"
Dean: "Everything." *smiles*
*Cas smiles*
Cas: "How are you, Dean?"
Dean: "I'm fine, Cas, how about you?"
Cas: "I miss my wings. Life on the road - smells."
*Sam and Dean both smile*

- Aww, they're all so adorable. I love the fact that Robbie Thompson put this exchange in here, just so that we have the reminder that these guys are friends and all love each other. *smishes them*

Dean: "Didn't we work a job in Ogden?"
Sam: "Yeah, it was a witch situation, right?"
Dean: "Yeah, and there was that kid in town that helped us, wasn't there?"
Sam: "Yes, we should call him, see if he's still in business."
Dean: "Yeah, what was his name?"

- So, we get a mention of a former job that we never saw on the screen. I actually love these mentions, because we have no idea what year it was (besides long enough for them to be a bit sketchy in their memories of it) and it gives us the idea that we never see, and will never see, every aspect of the Winchester's lives - not just their boring domestic moments, but also not every case either.

Of course, Gadreel gets to the kid before they do. He was also in Sam's head.

Gadreel: "Good afternoon."
Guy: "It's afternoon?"

- Heheheh, totally going to start using this.

Gadreel: "I'm curious, do you also have fairy bones? It does not matter what realm they were from."
- I love the idea of multiple fairy realms.

And we get Gabe's re-introduction.

Gabriel *on TV*: "Hello, remember me, bucko?"
Castiel: "Gabriel."
Gabriel": "I'm going to take that as a yes. *snaps* *appears in room* I need your help, brother."

- So, the big debate with this episode is whether or not this is the real Gabriel. So, let's start with evidence #1: He still has his powers. If all angels were kicked out of Heaven, does that include archangels? Wouldn't Gabriel's wings be clipped as well - making tricks like he just performed (and is going to perform) on Castiel impossible for him? But then again, Metatron has been suped-up and could be imitating Gabe's powers with an illusion... we do find out in a cut scene that this is all in Cas' head, and reality in your noggin is a lot easier to bend than reality in reality. :P

Cas: "Where have you been?"
Gabriel: "Oh, you know, hither with a side of yon. I was hiding, Captain Side-Eyes, in the safest place in the universe - Heaven. But then you, and the other two stooges had to go and ruin Christmas, didn't ya?"
Cas: "I'm sorry.|
Gabriel: "Oh cry me a river. Look, I dropped, I hide - but then your BFF Metatron sent his minions out looking for me. Apparently, he thinks because I'm an archangel, I have extra juice."
Cas: "And you're a threat."
Gabriel: "Yeah, but I got hurt in the fall too - used most of my juice to get back into porn. That came out wrong. So did that.

- Evidence #2 - Gabe says he was hurt in the fall and DOESN'T have extra juice. I would say he's lying based SOLELY on his entrance. Which, would either mean that he's an illusion created by Metatron (who is the only angel that still has powers - and supped-up powers besides) or it means that Gabriel IS alive and IS a threat to Metatron, but wants largely to be left alone so struck some kind of deal about helping him with getting Castiel to play his side of the story in exchange for his own freedom.

Gabriel: The point is, I've been on the run, but then a few weeks ago, somebody started playing my song."
Castiel: "The angel siren."
Gabriel: "No, the Horn of Gabriel. One of Dad's party favours that I never got around to messing with. Metatron dug it up, started blowing."

- So, that explains why the angels don't recognize it - Gabriel himself has never actually blown the horn of Gabriel.

Back to Sam and Dean, and I find it hard to believe that no one went into a smoking paraphenalia shop between the afternoon and nighttime.

And Gabriel takes Castiel's phone and, as we find out, DOESN'T talk to Sam and Dean, but I do love what he says. Which I'm not going to write out, because I'm lazy.

Gabriel: ".. most angels aren't like us, Castiel. They can't handle this free will thing. They're sheep, drones. But us, we're rebels - one without a cause, one with."
Cas: "I'm just a soldier."
Gabriel: "Bitch, please, you've been God more often than Dad has."
Cas: "Yeah, look how that worked out."

- I also like that little moment - real Gabriel or not, the way Gabriel and Cas talk to each other just then is more like siblings than we've ever seen them act. Cas and Gabe might be brothers, but it's not like they actually had any interaction before Changing Channels - they didn't KNOW each other, besides knowing the fact of each other's existence... and it's one of the reasons I WOULD like this to be the real Gabriel, because that fact starts changing in this episode - and Cas and Gabe start treating each other like family.
- I also like the fact that when Gabe says "one without a cause" he looks to the right - his side of the car, and when he says "one with" he looks back at Castiel. Gabe's shown up at Castiel's door WITH A CAUSE, but the way he talks here, you can already tell that he's not actually the one who fights for what they believe in, Castiel is. And even now, Gabe's not the one with the cause, he's the one trying to get Castiel on the cause that Metatron wants him to be on.

Gabriel: "I don't want to run anymore. I want to do what I was meant to do. Lead."
Cas: "Well, we need a leader, and I'm happy it's going to be you."

- Richard actually looks directly into the camera right after Castiel says that. I wonder if that's intentional. I think it must be, it's far too blantant to be anything but. Talk about meta-fiction, but I think they're addressing us directly there and saying that Gabe is lying.
- But, ugh, I wanted Gabe to be real - as much as it'd be a deus ex machina - it'd be so cool to see a Gabriel v. Metatron fight. Also, it'd be cool if Heaven were run by someone the Winchesters could vaguely trust - yes yes, I know, where's the drama in that?

And then the fake minion attack.

And then Sam and Dean successfully trap Gadreel! Yay! Tahmoh is dreamy.

Gabe: "I lied before. I never watched Downton Abby, I was just trying to fit in. Oh, and I do have some archangel juice left. I can hold these boneheads off long enough."
Cas: "Long enough for what?"
Gabe: "For you to get out of here."
Cas: "No, I'm not leaving you."
Gabe: "Yes, you are. Those guys will cut you to ribbons. But I can stall them long enough for you to am-scray, and you can take my place!"
Cas: "What are you talking about?"
Gabe: "The angels need a leader. It's gotta be someone like us. Somebody different!"

-  I find it interesting that Gabriel (fake or not) IS acknowledging that he and Cas are different from the other angels. I mean, he's not the first to do so - in the past, Castiel has also been compared to Lucifer, who was another rebellious angel... but it's interesting that in a species the is all about order and all being the same, Castiel isn't really arguing that he's not different anymore... and I don't think it's from a point of arrogance of pride (like it would have bene in S6), but rather it's coming from that sort of uncomfortable feeling you get when you realize that you're different than everyone else even though you don't WANT to be, and you've gotten to the point where you're able to recognize and accept that difference rather than deny it. And yeah, you're mind might jump to being a minority sexuality, and that's a good example, but it really could be anything - like being on the autism spectrum for example (which some have argued that Cas is basically the angel-equivalent of being on the autism spectrum and that's why he's the "quirkiest angel who ever quirked").

Cas: "What if I fail again?"
Gabriel: "You won't! You can't."
Cas: "Thank you."
Gabriel: "Shut-up."

- Awwww. I want him to be real.

And... the pocket.

Gabriel: "I haven't got all day, hot pants."
Cas: "Was any of this real?"
Gabe: "What the hell you talking about? Cas, go!"
Cas: "No."
Gabe: "So what, we both die here?"
Cas: "No, you're already dead."

- Is that the first time that Gabriel actually calls Cas, Cas? Probably not, but it's the first time I noticed.
- Also, evidence #something - Gabriel doesn't have a solid form. Indicating that he COULD possibly be a complete fake (as in an illusion controlled by Metatron rather than an illusion controlled by Gabriel). Though, he IS in Cas' head (according to cut scene and scene of Cas waking up, so who knows if solid form is even a possibility.)

Gabe: "What gave it all away?"
Cas: "My coat was torn earlier today."
Gabe: "Oh, crap. I really hate continuity errors."

- They do get you every time. Or, at least one time. :P

Gabe: "Here's the thing, none of it was real, but all of it was true."
Cas: "Whose truth? Yours or Metatrons?"
Gabe: "Just hear him out, would you? He's trying to help you."
Cas: "Really? How?"
Gabe: "Uh, sorry. Didn't read the whole script. Just skimmed for my parts. Well, it's good to see you, old bean."
Cas: "Wait. Are you dead?"
*eyebrow raise* *snap to wake Cas up*

- If Gabe weren't real wouldn't he have known why Metatron was trying to help Cas? Wouldn't he have made Metatron's case for him in the dream rather than send Castiel to Metatron's office? If Gabe weren't real, wouldn't he just be Metatron's safe mouthpiece? That being said, Metatron likes the dramatics, so having Castiel come to his office was probably always his ploy. Probably, if Cas had fallen for it and run out of the gas station, he may have just "run" into waking up in Metatron's office to hear the final plan for setting Castiel up as Metatron's adversary.
- That being said, if Gabe weren't real, would he have exited the illusion in such a very Gabriel way? Metatron was in hiding for Gabe's entire turn as the Trickster - how could Metatron have copied him so well? The supernatural books? I suppose it's a possibility. I know Richard Speight, and possibly Robbie Thompson, like to believe that Gabriel is still alive - that the final eyebrow and snap mean that he's still out there somewhere and that WAS him... but who knows, the actor and one writer aren't the only ones who decide where this show goes - and if that was the last time we see Gabriel, then he may as well still be dead. So, we'll just have to wait and see if he shows up again.

Gadreel: "I have been you, Sam Winchester. Your insides reak of shame and weakness!"
- Smell something you recognize, Gadreel?

Metatron: "...That was my plan, anyway - I guess that's where my story failed..."
- So, this suggests that it WASN'T Metatron's plan to have Castiel end up in his office?

Cas: "Who?"
Metatron: "Inspector Gregory? Sherlock Holmes? Silver Blaze? You have been around since scaly things crawled out of the muck, would it have killed you to pick up a book? Watch a movie? Here, I know it's a bit of retcon, but it's going to make this whole conversation a whole lot easier."
*touches Castiel's forehead*
*Castiel makes pained noises*
Metatron: "I just gave you every book, movie and tv show I have consumed in the past couple of millenia. Now do you understand that the universe is made up of stories, not atoms?"
Castiel: "I understand that that's a quote by Murial Ruckheiser (sp?)"

- So, I know some people hated it, because they liked the fact that Cas never got references - but what I love about this, and what I think is brilliant about this, is that Metatron gives Cas this knowledge so that he can understand what Metatron is tryng to say - BUT, what Cas does, whether intentionally or not, is point out the subjectivity of the interpretation of the knowledge. Metatron thinks the universe is made up of stories - Castiel KNOWS that is a quote and does not necessarily think it true or not true, only recognizes it as someone elses belief.

Metatron: "First rule of Writer's Club - steal from the best. Second rule - Every hero needs a villian."
Cas: "What are you talking about?"

- Not bad rules. I read a whole thing on the interent somewhere that went into the fact that there were story set-ups in other cultures that didn't actually require villains. Of course, I completely forget where I read this or exactly what it said - but it was interesting. Also, I'd like to point out that in western literature, you can be your own villain, or just the state of the world could be the villain.

Cas: "Is it true? Can you bring angels back to Heaven?"
Metatron: "Sorry, no spoilers."

- It IS clever of the writers to keep angels depowered in a way where it doesn't necessarily have to be permanent, so they can do it as long as it suits their narrative and then decide later on that the OH LOOK, the spell IS reversable - but, they more they remind me that they're doing that, the more slightly annoyed I get that they're doing that. But then, I'm probably just empathizing with Castiel, and that's good writing too.

Metatron: "So, I did my homework - The Winchester Gospels. Pulpy stuff." *throws in fire* "Gave me and idea though. You need to be taught a lesson, and no one teaches lessons better than good old Gabriel aka: the Trickster."
- Which would suggest that Gabe WASN'T real and that Metatron did just make up his character based on how he was captured in the Winchester Gospels.
- I'd also like to point out that the Winchester Gospels are technically the Word of God, written by a Prophet of the Lord (at the least), or written by God Himself (at the most)... and Metatron just THREW A COPY IN THE FIRE!  I don't care how ridiculous their religion is, you don't throw someone's holy book in the fire. It's just not polite. Also, you especially don't do it when it's supposed to be YOUR RELIGION TOO!. Geez.

Cas: "And you did all this to make me a hero?"
Metatron: "Hahahahahahaah - that's priceless. No. You are not the hero in this masterpiece. You are the villain."

- Oh Metatron. He is the hero. Every character is the hero of their own story.... unless they have massive self-esteem issues... or are Tony Stark in Iron Man 3, then Pepper and Rhodey are the heroes and Tony is the damsel in distress.

And Dean insists that Sam is too close to this and sends him off to find Castiel... oh dear.

Gadreel: "So, he acts tough and you show kindness, is that how this works?"
Dean: "No. See I don't care whether you talk - you're going to pay for what you did to him, and Kevin."

- And we get Dean's first instance of sending Sam away with an excuse (that's good enough for Sam to believe) so that he can release the murderous rage that's building up inside him without Sam seeing.
- This episode is another great example of Sam's character - for all extents and purposes, Sam should be beating the shit out of Gadreel and/or killing him for revenge - but he instead prioritizes helping Cas and the angels (and the world) above his own need for vengence.
- I do still feel bad for Gadreel though. I mean, he's out killing angels on Metatron's orders, and he's obviously got a lot of blood on his hands, but he really honestly helped Dean and Sam in order to HELP and to try to be GOOD - and then he was seduced over to the dark side worse than he ever was before. This stuff is harder to come back from I think, because it's not like we haven't seen him questioning, even from the beginning, about whether or not what Metatron is having him do is right.

Metatron: "...among all God's little wind-up toys, you're the only one with any spunk. I left you human because I was hoping you would live happily ever after, but you screwed that up too! And now? You leave me no choice. If you want to get back on board, fine, but you're going to have to follow my script."
Cas: "Well, based on your assessment, that doesn't sound like me."

- So, I just realized why Castiel ended up doing what Metatron wanted. It was right here the whole time. He's had an entire episode of people reminding him that he's the spanner in the works - he NEVER does what he's supposed to, he ALWAYS screws up whatever he tries to do - so, what is the most effective way to mess things up for Metatron? Try to do what Metatron wants him to do.

Metatron: "You're going to make me do the hard-pitch, aren't you? How's that stolen grace inside you working out?"
Cas: "It's fine."
Metatron: "No, it's not. It's burning out. It's burning you out. I can give you a neverending supply of rechargable batteries..."

- And this was the first time we learn that Cas' many numbered days are considerably less than we'd like.

Dean: "Word around the campfire is you let the snake into the garden, ruined it for all humanity."
Gadreel: "I set them free. I loved humanity."

- Interesting. Because here we get the ONLY hint that Gadreel may have known exactly what he was doing when he let the snake in - or, at the very least, he doesn't regret it so much as he regrets getting caught? Perhaps his punishment wasn't such a dickbag move by God? I mean, granted, the fact remains that if God is all powerful, then it was God who let the snake into the Garden, because it was God who sat back and allowed Gadreel to be tricked/convinced by the snake/Lucifer to allow him entrance into the garden.
- But, the really important thing here, and what will save everyone (and serve as Gadreel's redemption) is that Gadreel DOES love humanity.

Gadreel: "All your talk. All your bluster. You think you're invincible. The two of you against the world, right?"
Dean: "Damn straight."
Gadreel: "You really think Sam would do anything for you, don't you?"
Dean: "Oh, I know he would."
Gadreel: "I've been in your brother's body, Dean. He would not trade his life for yours."
Dean: "Well thanks for the rerun pal, Sam's already told me all that. Hell, he's told me worse."
Gadreel: "He told you that he has always felt that way. That he thinks that you are just a scared little boy who's scared to be on his own, because Daddy didn't love him enough. And he's right, isn't he? Right to think you're a coward, a sad, clingy, needy-"
Dean *punches him*: "Keep it up"
Gadreel: "-bottom-feeder who can't even take care of himself, who would rather drag everybody through the mud then be alone, who would let everyone around him die-"
*Dean stops just short of killing him*
Gadreel: "No, do it! Do it! KILL ME!"
Dean: "Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you - that's what that whole speech was about. You're not afraid to die, are you - you're afraid to be left in these chains forever. Well, you can sit here and rot, you son of a bitch."

- And for once Dean actually recognizes and (briefly) wins the psychological round of a torture session.
- Back to what Gadreel said though - I don't actually think Sam thinks that. I think the "wouldn't trade his life for yours" is an interpretation of "will not make a deal, because that never goes well" and "has always felt that way" - well, I think we can remember how Sam reacted when he found out Dean made a deal for him, that he pointed out how Dean knew full well how that's a shitty thing to do to Sam. So, Sam wouldn't have made a deal before because he knew that Dean would never forgive him for it. And we HAVE seen Sam try to make a deal for Dean, but only in the depth of his grief for Dean where he was probably kind of mad at Dean anyway and wouldn't care if Dean hated him forever, because the bastard did it to him first... and then Sam learned about the whole apocalypse thing and how Dean's deal was the worst thing he could have done, and yeah, lesson learned there.
- As for the other stuff Gadreel says, I DO believe he got that all from Sam's head, but I think it was in there not because Sam believes it, but because Sam knows how Dean sees HIMSELF. Sam knows what the worst things to say to Dean are, because he knows his brother better than anyone.

And Metatron shows up to barter for the hostage exchange.

Metatron: "If not, Castiel dies. No comebacks this time."
- I wonder if Metatron can even control that. He's not god. He's just a suped-up angel.

And Dean has gone off the rails...

Sam: "Dean, are you okay?"
Dean: "Yeah, you gotta stop asking me that."
Sam: "I've been calling you, what have you, uh-"
Dean: "He won't talk! He wanted to die and I was going to kill him, I was, but then I stopped, because I know we need him to talk!"
Sam: "Dean, listen, Metatron has Cas. He's offering up a trade."
Dean "We can't trust Metatron."
Sam: "I know that, obviously - look, this is the first time we're going to know exactly where Metatron is, let's take Gadreel to the meet-up and trap Metatron..."

- Again, Sam is priortizing Cas and killing Metatron, over getting revenge on Gadreel for possessing him. Though, granted, now that Sam's found out that it was Metatron who ordered Gadreel to kill Kevin, there might be an aspect of shifting his revenge to Metatron rather than the underling who followed the order.
- Also, I don't think Dean is doing a good job of convincing Sam he's fine by laying there like he's just had all his strings cut and sounding like he's drunk.

Oh hey, interesting fact: The corduroy jacket that Sam wears for nearly all of this episode is the same jacket that he first wore the FIRST time he was ever possessed (Meg, S2).

Metatron: "Of course I'm going to show. I was just waiting for you two to finish setting up your little trap for me. Am I hitting my mark?"
*fakes being in pain*
...
Metatron: "Make a wish boys*
*blows out fire*

- Suped-up angel.

*Gadreel looks at Sam*
- I wonder what that look was. "You can't kill me!" "You're brother is messed up and I'm a little worried!" "I have no idea what I'm doing anymore - sorry!" or maybe "Hey, remember all those times you jerked off - those were fun for me too." It could be anything!

Dean: "Why are you doing this?"
Metatron: "Because I can. Because your brother, your fine feathered friend, and all those secrets you have locked away in that Bunker of yours can't stop me. But I'm going to enjoy watching you try..."

- So, Metatron is basically the person who reads a lot and then decides to try their hand at writing - but because the last thing Metatron wrote was the Word, he decided to stick to his strengths and write a biblical story.

Sam: "Play God? Cas, he erased angel warding. He friggin' blew out holy fire. He IS God. He's powering up with the angel tablet, how the hell are we supposed to stop this guy?"
- It does raise an interesting point. If you are the most powerful being in Heaven, are you God? Personally, I'm going to go with Death on this one - No. Metatron might be powerful, but he's not omniscient - otherwise, there wouldn't be anyway to beat him, and he would have known about Gadreel being captured before his assistant told him. But, for the sake of argument, even if he IS God, that's never stopped Dean before - I distinctly remember him telling Cas at one point that he was coming for God next. ;)

Sam: "You want to sneak onto the Death Star, take out the Emperor?"
Cas: "I'm not sure what a fictional battlestation in space has to do with this, but if taking out the Emperor means taking out Metatron than I'm on board."
Dean: "Wait, did you just understand a Death Star reference?"
Cas: "Yeah, I think so, but I don't understand what that has to do with Heaven."
Sam: "He's halfway, I guess."

- So, I love what they did here, because YES, Castiel will "get" the references now, but he won't actually "get" them, because he doesn't necessarily understand metaphor. Mind you, he puts it SORT of together by equating evil person (Emperor) with evil person (Metatron), but where it falls apart is evil place (Death Star) with peaceful home (Heaven.)

Dean: "You sure you're alright?"
Cas: "Yes, are you?"
Dean: "I'm fine."
*pats Cas on shoulder*
*Castiel grabs Dean's arm and sees the Mark*
Cas: "What have you done?"
Dean: "It's a means to an end."
Cas: "Damnit, Dean!"
Dean: "Look, you find Heaven, you drop a dime. Meantime, I've got a Knight to kill."
*Dean gets in car*
Sam: "Be safe out there*
*pats Cas on shoulder*
Cas: "You too. Hey, Sam, you keep an eye on him."

- So, this is where the non-affectionately-demonstrative nature of hyper-masculinity works against the writers a little, because while it's cool to have Cas catch Dean's arm in order to see the Mark - they then have to have Sam also reach out and pat Cas' shoudler goodbye, so that it's seen as "something they do" rather than "something Dean did in order to have Cas pull that cool move for the benefit of the plot" - but the fact remains that Sam and Dean very rarely touch Cas. It's why it's always hilariously awkward when Cas decides to greet the Winchesters with hugs (as in S7 and in a few episodes from now.) Though, yes, Dean and Sam have both hugged Cas before, it's usually after something tramatic has happened, such as being separated (S8 - Purgatory) or an emotional event (S9 First Born with Sam and Cas). Mind you, I could be wrong, maybe they're shoulder-patting all over the place and I've just never noticed before.

I love Gadreels leather/hoodie outfit. Mmm.... also, I fully believe that any character that is regularly wearing a hoodie is a character we are at least partially supposed to sympathize with. I understand this might be different in the States, where hoodies are associated with criminals, but to me they just look so soft and cosy and YOUNG looking. Did you know that in Saskatchewan hoodies are called "bunnyhugs"? BUNNYHUGS! I mean, how can you hate someone wearing something called a bunnyhug. :P

Metatron: "... but that's why we rewrite. That was God's problem. He published the first draft. You have to keep at it until you get all your ducks in a row."
- Probably, if you can publish your first draft, you are God, and if you can't, then you are NOT GOD.... uh, with stuff like this. I mean, I've published first drafts before, though, granted they always had at least one grammar or spelling mistake in them - so, yes, I am by no means suggesting that I am God. God wouldn't have spelling or grammar mistakes. :P

Gadreel: "Was the Winchesters grabbing me part of your plan?"
Metatron: "That was a surprise - but hey, what writer doesn't love a good twist. My job is to set up interesting characters and see where they lead me. The by-product of having well-drawn characters it that they may surprise you. But I know something they don't know - the ending. How I get there doesn't matter, as long as everybody plays their part."

- So, this is actually something that one of my favourite authors has discussed on twitter before - about how he hates when people say that the characters surprise them - his argument is that it's a sign of bad writing if you don't know your characters intimitately, that if the story can't go where you originally wanted it to go because you realize that it conflicts with your characters motivations, than what you have done is incorrectly drafted that character, rather than incorrectly plotted the story (ie: it's not a sign of a well-drawn character, but rather the sign of a badly-drawn character). In his opinion, you don't change the plot, you change the character. And I can see his point - it all comes down to how you draft your story, do you start from character or do you start from plot? Metatron suggests that he's starting from plot - because he has a specific end-point that he needs to get to, and he needs everyone to play their part in order to get there. THE PROBELM is that Metatron did not draft his characters - God did, or maybe it was the chaotic unfeeling universe, or maybe it was a mixture of the two. All Metatron can do is try to select characters that he THINKS he knows and then manipulate them into doing his bidding - but he can't redraft them, so in his case, the characters WILL surprise him, and that inevitably means that his plot might get foiled.

Metatron is, in essence, writing canon-based fan fiction, because that's what fan fic authors have to contend with. They didn't draft the characters they're using (unless it's an AU) and so they are limited in what plots are possible. If you're writing a canon-based fanfic, you can't have Dean being a big cuddle-monster with his male friends, and you can't say he loves kittens and puppies or that he decides to kill Sam, Cas, and everyone he loves on a mad quest for power so that he can rule over all of humankind and subjugate them to his will, and also have him killing young children on the side. Because all those things are varying degrees of things that are NOT Dean. He's not overly physically demonstrative, he's allergic to cats, he's not a dog person, he loves Sam and Cas and would never willingly harm them (unless in an altered state), he believes in free will and is not power-hungry at all, and he never harms children, even monster children. Dean is not the right character for that story you want to write - maybe make it an AU or choose a different show that DOES have a character that would fit that plot.

So, yes, Metatron's downfall, really, is that he can play at being God, but he is not God. He did not create this universe and therefore he cannot control it - no matter how hard he tries.It has been written and the LAST Word of God - The Winchester Gospels - ended with the distinct choice of Free Will for All. What Metatron is effectively trying to do is UNDO that, because he wants puppets for his story.

You can't write fanfiction for reality and have it become canon - or at least, not unless you write from character. We all may be heros of our own stories, but we have to base those stories on character, not plot, because we didn't draft any of the characters in our lives (not even our own) that was either God, the chaotic unfeeling universe, or a mixture of both (depending on what you believe).

Anyway... episode ends with Sam giving Dean a concerned look. Castiel deciding to lead Hannah's group of angels - not taking Metatron's deal, but doing what he wants anyway. And a really nice song playing.... all while Metatron types it up on his typewriter.

CUT SCENES

#1. Sam and Dean in the bunker, getting Castiel's phone call. Obviusly, in post this was cut to them already being on the phone.

#2. Cas and Gabriel in the gas station - extended scene - flashback to Cas getting punched in the face and abducted by Metatron's assistant midway through Gabe saying that none of it was real but all of it was true.

#3. Cas sewing the hole in his jacket - hence why Metatron pulled out the thread in a later scene.
- I love how we actually see Cas mending his clothes. I think that's pretty cool, sewing skills!


As usual, tell me what you thought in comments and please forgive spelling mistakes!

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
shadowsong26
Jan. 7th, 2015 03:15 am (UTC)
YAY GABRIEL. Ahem. Sorry, I'm absurdly fond of him.

(Yes, all angels are technically God's soldiers - but Hannah was obviously never stationed on Earth, like Castiel's garrison was.)

There's also medic angels, and Metatron's the Scribe and Gabriel's the Messenger...I think there are different angelic roles, but the only ones who ever come down to earth/interact with humans are the soldiers, because there's no reason for any of the others to.

Huh, you're right, they didn't link Gadreel and Metatron before...which brings me to the point that Sam has access to at least some of what Metatron was planning--granted, not all that much, since a) Metatron doesn't give Gadreel any more details than he has to, and b) Gadreel wasn't in Sam very long after starting to work for him. And I totally get why Sam doesn't go poking those memories, but ever since we found out that vessels do at least passively record everything their angels see (and, presumably, hosts do the same for demons)...so it's probably just a question of access. And...man, just the possibilities there. Like, if someone compiled all the snippets all the ex-hosts and former vessels could find then people could have, like, a clue about the plans of Heaven and/or Hell. ...which kind of makes me wonder if the Men of Letters ever tried to do that. I mean, it would probably be a horrible, horrible experience for the freed human, getting all those memories of what's probably the worst experience of their lives dragged out and picked over, but...anyway, sorry, tangent.

I love the idea of multiple fairy realms.

Me too!

GABRIEL\o/

As for whether or not it's real, I think this is the real Gabriel. On the other hand, I doubt that he's entirely acting of his own volition here--Metatron is overpowered, and basically has a guidebook on everything Angel. At this point, I have zero doubts that Metatron could bind Gabriel, and that's what I tend to think is going on here.

Also just because Gabriel is real doesn't mean he needs to be honest! And there's a couple lines that convinced me he's not in total control of the situation; the phrasing is very Metatron, not Gabriel at all. So, while I think he's real, he's definitely playing to Metatron's script. I don't think he's doing so entirely willingly, but I guess we'll find out if/when he comes back.

That bit with the hug, though, was 100% Gabe. Or so I choose to believe.

Gabe: "Oh, crap. I really hate continuity errors."
- They do get you every time. Or, at least one time. :P


More than once! Although the Changing Channels ones were probs deliberate. Which kind of feeds my theory that he's doing this unwillingly--I'd have to rewatch the sequence, but if I'm right, he might be trying to stretch the limits of the script as much as he can to clue Cas in.

THE EYEBROW

so, what is the most effective way to mess things up for Metatron? Try to do what Metatron wants him to do.

...that is a brilliant insight, wow.

As for Gadreel in the garden--I wish we had more info about that. I think that when he did it, he thought he was setting humanity free--Lucifer is manipulative enough to persuade him of that. Especially if this was in the immediate aftermath of the Lilith mess--just imagine the confusion Heaven must have been in, with suddenly Lucifer gone. Then Gadreel has his beloved brother telling him 'It's a mistake, I can explain. But first, let me do this thing, okay?' So, yes, he loved humanity, he wanted to set them free, and he made a mistake--trusted the wrong person. I really wish they'd drawn the Gadreel-Sam-Cas parallels more clearly this season because yes.

Totally agreed on your comments on Gadreel and Dean's conversation. And your commentary on that look Gadreel gives Sam XD.

I love this episode. Because Gadreel and Gabriel and YES. And I choose to believe it was real, but there's real and then there's honest, and it definitely wasn't the second. Whether or not he was real, large parts of that were dishonest. It's whose dishonesty, and why, that is the question--and I think it's more interesting if it's Gabriel's.

Then again, Gabe has consistently been one of my top five characters since I started watching, so I may be a little biased :)
hells_half_acre
Jan. 7th, 2015 04:01 am (UTC)
There's also medic angels, and Metatron's the Scribe and Gabriel's the Messenger...I think there are different angelic roles, but the only ones who ever come down to earth/interact with humans are the soldiers, because there's no reason for any of the others to.

Very good point!

which kind of makes me wonder if the Men of Letters ever tried to do that. I mean, it would probably be a horrible, horrible experience for the freed human, getting all those memories of what's probably the worst experience of their lives dragged out and picked over, but...anyway, sorry, tangent.

Yeah, it's a conundrum, because while the potential for knowledge is vast, the potential for it being a horrible PTSD flashback filled experience for the former host/vessel is also vast. So, while you're frustrated about not going after the knowledge, you also sort of understand why most vessels/hosts may choose not to.

I'll probably talk about this later on, in the episode where Cas asks Sam if Gadreel ever felt malicious. It's an interesting avenue to explore.

As for whether or not it's real, I think this is the real Gabriel. On the other hand, I doubt that he's entirely acting of his own volition here--Metatron is overpowered, and basically has a guidebook on everything Angel. At this point, I have zero doubts that Metatron could bind Gabriel, and that's what I tend to think is going on here.

At times in this episode, I thought that Gabriel was sort of playing a caricature of himself - which would totally make sense if he was following a script set forth by Metatron based on what Metatron knows of Gabriel from the (um, rather pulpy) Winchester Gospels.

I'd like to think that it is the real Gabriel too - and the look to the camera in the car - the hug - the "shut-up" - the eyebrow raise and snap-out, were all Gabriel trying to tell us that yes, it really is him.

But then, I also love the character and want him to still be around.

I completely forgot about the continuity error in Changing Channels. You're right!

I think you're right about Lucifer and Gadreel. Lucifer is good at manipulating people based on what he knows of them. Knowing that Gadreel loved humanity - well, he could have easily sold Gadreel on how setting them free was the most loving thing that Gadreel could do for them. I mean, there's a saying for that and everything. ;)

I really wish they'd drawn the Gadreel-Sam-Cas parallels more clearly this season because yes.

Me too. I think it might have been a way to bring Gadreel redemption/forgiveness without him having to kill himself. But then, I really love Tahmoh and I really wish there were move of him in the show - so maybe I'm biased. Still, it would have been a great character-based avenue to explore.

I love this episode. Because Gadreel and Gabriel and YES. And I choose to believe it was real, but there's real and then there's honest, and it definitely wasn't the second. Whether or not he was real, large parts of that were dishonest. It's whose dishonesty, and why, that is the question--and I think it's more interesting if it's Gabriel's.

Gabriel DOES say "None of it was real, but all of it was TRUE." - And by that point, Gabriel is off-script. So, faking his death, hiding in heaven until the fall, Metatron perceiving him as a threat would all be true. And maybe Metatron's solution to Gabriel being a threat was to bind him somehow.

But really, we can never truly know - and Gabriel IS the Trickster in this universe. He's been Loki so long, that he basically IS Loki - so friend or enemy, dead or alive, all these things it's in his best interest to keep us guessing on.






borgmama1of5
Jan. 7th, 2015 05:36 am (UTC)
Metatron suggests that he's starting from plot - because he has a specific end-point that he needs to get to, and he needs everyone to play their part in order to get there. THE PROBELM is that Metatron did not draft his characters - God did, or maybe it was the chaotic unfeeling universe, or maybe it was a mixture of the two. All Metatron can do is try to select characters that he THINKS he knows and then manipulate them into doing his bidding - but he can't redraft them, so in his case, the characters WILL surprise him, and that inevitably means that his plot might get foiled.

Thank you for this explanation! Because it made me crazy trying to figure out how Metatron could be writing the story and then be surprised!

The corduroy jacket that Sam wears for nearly all of this episode is the same jacket that he first wore the FIRST time he was ever possessed (Meg, S2).

How is it possible Jared still fits into it???

Appreciate you analysis of the question re: Gabriel--real or Metatron's creation? And I agree with your conclusion, we deliberately were not given enough info to make a definite conclusion.

hells_half_acre
Jan. 7th, 2015 06:29 am (UTC)
Happy I helped you understand why Metatron isn't actually completely in control of the story! :)

How is it possible Jared still fits into it???

One of the mysteries of the universe. :P

Jensen also wore that jacket in 4x01, and it was a little long in the sleeves on him.
supernutjapan
Jan. 7th, 2015 08:11 am (UTC)
Otsukaresama! I enjoyed reading :)

I just visited the Gabriel/Cas scene recently because I wanted a gif of that hug ♡

What do you think of Gabriel's saying, "None of it was real, but all of it was true"?

None of it was real = it was all in Cas' head.
all of it was true = everything that Gabriel said was true.

Which means all that stuff about hiding was true too?

pushistyj_koshk
Jan. 11th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
Re: You may have noticed that I never went back to doing Sherlock rewatches, because those took 10 hours per episode at least.

I actually managed to talk my husband into watching the first (!) episode of Sherlock this weekend. He doesn't really fancy movies and such :)

* * *

Re: ETA: For the record, this episode took me 6 hours.

You're ur hero!

* * *

Re: DEAN IN THE SHOWER! YES! SHOULDERS! HOW DID I FORGET THIS?!

You forgot that? C'mon! Tis the reason for the season!!!

* * *

Re: Castiel rips his jacket, and it plays an important role later on.

We'd be doomed if I was Castiel. I wouldn't have noticed.

* * *

Hannah! I also forgot this was the first episode with Hannah.

And her hair was better then. Don't remember the clothes.

* * *

Re: Man, I forgot that they didn't know this already. That they just thought that Gadreel killed Kevin and took the tablets for shits and giggles or something.

My New Year's resolution is to use the phrase 'for shits and giggles' more.

* * *

Re:
Gadreel: "Good afternoon."
Guy: "It's afternoon?"


- Heheheh, totally going to start using this.


I constantly keep forgetting what day of the week it is etc. Can't remember my security (or even age and on occasion date of birth) for shit. Do still know my name, which is weird.

* * *

Re: But, ugh, I wanted Gabe to be real

But are there any characters you absolutely need to have (back) on the show? Me - as long as Sam and Dean are present, I'm good :)

* * *

Re: [...] in the past, Castiel has also been compared to Lucifer, who was another rebellious angel...

I'm sorry - I absolutely need to leave this here


* * *

Re: Did you know that in Saskatchewan hoodies are called "bunnyhugs"? BUNNYHUGS! I mean, how can you hate someone wearing something called a bunnyhug. :P

You most definitely cannot! Thank god they're not called "sloth hugs" for example or I would be in real trouble! They are so cute!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )