OMG YOU GUYS, CAS IS BACK. Cas came back last night and it was kind of awesome. I wasn’t expecting it to be awesome because I’m a pretty apathetic Castiel fan, so the big reveal that Misha Collins would be donning the mighty trenchcoat once again in “A Little Slice of Kevin” failed in its mission to make me scream and throw my bra at the TV. However, Castiel’s return to Team Free Will proved to be much more than a return to status quo. Also: AMANDA TAPPING.
So, demons abducted a cute little finger-painting preschooler, and man was I glad that it was just an abduction. Yes, I feel like a bad person for typing that, but I’m just not mentally prepared for the kind of darkness required to slaughter a five-year-old on The CW until at least the second half of the season. Demons abducted the kiddo because he was prophesied to MAYBE become a prophet one day, in the event that Kevin Tran, current prophet extraordinaire, bites it.
Meanwhile, Dean was maybe possibly hallucinating Castiel along the side of the road and in the bathroom mirror, and he was trying not to panic because we all saw what happened to Sam last season. Luckily—or maybe not so luckily, given the new and exciting avenues of angst Castiel’s return opened up for Captain Emo—Dean wasn’t hallucinating and Castiel was actually back. Yay! They let Misha Collins shave and EVERYTHING!
Castiel, of course, had no recollection of how he actually got out of Purgatory. Dean called shenanigans, but Castiel was telling the truth. Unlike a certain elder Winchester brother who— You know what? I’m not going to jump on Dean for telling a version of his Purgatory jailbreak that didn’t exactly line up with the actual event. For one thing, it was traumatic and I’m all about respecting the emotional baggage (as I always have been), so I’m downright delighted that the show itself is, too. For another, Dean’s recollection differed from the truth in a way that actually made him look like a bigger jerk than the actual event did. Wow, that boy is so damaged.
All along, we were led to believe that either Dean had failed to save Castiel during their escape, OR he'd deliberately abandoned his angel BFF because BETRAYAL. Or Benny. Or whatever.
In actuality, Castiel botched his own escape because he was still feeling guilty about the whole breaking-Sam’s-wall-opening-Purgatory-eating-all-the-souls-killing-all-the-people thing and eternally outrunning Leviathans sounded like a pretty good punishment for all of that.
Naturally, Dean still angsted even once the truth was known. (It’s okay. It’s what he does. It’s practically an art to him.) I still loved Castiel’s epic verbal smackdown, though. “Everything isn’t your responsibility.” THANK YOU. Not that Dean is going to listen to it, but THANK YOU.
Then again, maybe he will. Maybe that will be Dean’s big journey this season. An overinflated sense of responsibility has certainly been an integral part of Dean Winchester’s personality since, honestly, the beginning of the series, and his and Sam’s different opinions on what is and is not their responsibility have always been a source of tension between the brothers. The resulting divide has never been quite so wide as it is this season, where Sam, as far as we know, threw in the towel when he thought Dean was dead and managed to live life (somewhat) happily even knowing that his inaction as a hunter probably led to some preventable innocent deaths. Sam has accepted that he can’t save everyone, and we’ve only really seen him feel bad about it when Dean lays down the guilt trip.
Being unable to save someone he's decided to save is simply unfathomable and unacceptable to Dean. It’s a failed mission, and a failed mission doesn’t compute with Dean’s perfect soldier persona. It doesn’t make him a bad guy, but it certainly contributes to the occasional bouts of self-righteousness that make him pretty insufferable at times. From bonding with Benny to taking an earful from Castiel like a champ, Dean is poised for a long-overdue character development and it looks like we may finally get it. SWEET.
Back with the Family Tran, their amateur status started to show when Momma Tran teamed up with a Craigslist witch to construct demon bombs. Delta, unsurprisingly, sold her out to Crowley, who quickly wooshed Kevin off to his secret lair that I spent half the episode pretending was in a volcano until we saw that it was just a boring old warehouse—it’s ALWAYS a boring old warehouse. A little torture and an amputated pinky later, K-Tran was willing to translate the Word of God for the King of Hell. Really, that's all it took? Fine. Rookie.
Kevin was barely getting to the good part when a not-yet-fully-charged Castiel got sick of watching Dean unsuccessfully try to pick a lock and teleported ahead without him. Even though he was lacking most of his angel mojo, Castiel managed to put on a convincing show that sent Crowley crawling back beneath the rock from whence he came... with half the tablet that Castiel shattered during his angelic display of badassery. I’m sure that will be important later.
ENTER: Amanda Tapping. Plucked from mid-conversation, Castiel found himself in the ultra-modern/minimalist corner of Heaven where the pencil-pushing angels work, facing Tapping’s Naomi, who claimed that her legion rescued Castiel from Purgatory. She instructed Castiel to work closely with the Winchesters, answer their beck and call, and report back to her each time. Castiel was understandably apprehensive, but apparently he didn’t have a choice in the matter. Naomi claimed that he would report to her with no memory of their meetings, and despite Castiel’s protestations, it appears that the arrangement will go undisturbed for the time being. I, for one, am totally excited about it. What a great way to head into the Thanksgiving mini-hiatus.
What did you think of “A Little Slice of Kevin”?
– Naomi: good guy or bad guy?
– Smart Winchester Sighting! Sam pretending to make a phone call so he could mumble an exorcism in front of a suspected demon was fantastic.
– Turkey Day shout-out! Should we add Momma Tran’s turkey baster full o’ holy water to the Impala’s arsenal?
– A shiny pinwheel, a monogrammed hankie—Mark Sheppard got all the fun props this time around, didn’t he?