I’m back with another Castiel write up! I decided how I was going to work this out. Each post will be written as follows-
- I will pick episodes in chronological order from seasons 4 onwards that have Castiel in them.
- Each season will be divided into halves or thirds depending on the number of episodes containing him and talk about him.
- The posts will be like chapters in a book. There will also be a summary of Castiel at the end of each season write up.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get on with it! From season 4, I’m picking the following episodes, in order.
- 4×02 Are You There God? It’s Me, Dean Winchester.
- 4×03 In the Beginning
Castiel returns to meet Dean in the very next episode of season 4 after the boys tackle the Witnesses. The angel comes to Dean in his dream to congratulate them on their victory but is met with a whole lot of sass and vitriol on Dean’s part. Dean questions everything that Castiel possesses- the definition of angels, his loyalty to God, where he was when the events went down and if there even was a God. Castiel is merely amused, that’s his religious and soldier side, the one that just stands and smirk smiles while silently saying- “You ignorant human. You really have no idea.” Having only recently been in contact with humans, Castiel can only laugh at all the things that Dean says. It is in his nature to believe that he is a superior being and that they must Believe, have Faith and protect God’s creation.
Another thing that Cas clarifies for Dean when he calls them dicks, is that they’re supposed to be God’s soldiers, not perched on the shoulders of humans. They’re fierce and do as they are commanded by God. Each action and word that he utters is him trying to prove to Dean that he is a soldier of Heaven and is clear on what he’s supposed to do. Another thing is that the Host sends Castiel down to covey the message to Dean and not any other angel. Maybe he volunteered, we don’t know. But, this proves a point in his cautious curiosity- Cas is attracted to humans, one human and no matter how hard he tries to explain to Dean that he didn’t pull him from the pit for kicks but for a job, there is a possibility that he would’ve done it without an order. And that, is unsettling to him. The entire conversation revolves around the seals and Lilith breaking them to set Lucifer free, the start of the apocalypse and the entire time, Castiel looks at Dean like he is a marvel- a being more capable than the angels give them credit for. Here is where the seeds of admiration and respect seem to have been planted.
Of course just because Cas is interested in Dean’s goings on does not mean that he takes crap from him. The minute Dean tries to even remotely hint at the incompetence of Heaven and expects Castiel to follow him around everywhere, his anger and fierceness show through. Dean is clearly intimidated despite Cas being shorter than him and the way he comes on to him is very impressive. In this moment, Cas proves to Dean that angels are not to be messed with and that he is also a warrior that has fought over millenia. He is cold and deadly in his demeanor and with his words when he demands respect and threatens Dean that he holds the power to throw him back in Hell. This scene was purely angel, something that was said for the last time on the show.
In the next episode, Castiel turns up at Dean’s bedside while he’s asleep, something that is very intimate but the angel is unaware of. The easy dismissal of Dean’s reaction is something that comes more than naturally to Cas, it’s what he would’ve done with any other hunter he would’ve been put into contact with. The mission that Cas brings him is levels more sensitive than ever, something that is directly connected to Dean’s past and pertains to the present which Cas throws Dean into without preamble.
The only thing Castiel tells Dean before sending him off to 1973 Kansas is that he needs to ‘stop it’. Way to be vague, still being the soldier without letting himself feel. When Dean finally comes face to face with Cas at the corner from the diner, the quirk of a smile like Dean’s life turning upside down is a joke to him, he really was unfeeling. And the superior air with which he explains to Dean the nature of time and that angels can manipulate it to suit their needs, he’s calling Dean a mud-monkey in his actions without outright saying it. I do wonder if that’s because he’s hiding his true curiosity, his attraction to this human he saved from Hell or if he’s trying to be the good angel that He created.
The final scene is where I started to see why people ship Destiel. The pain that Castiel sees in Dean’s eyes when he sees his mother make a deal with Azazel to save John, it cracks his angel facade and registers somewhere on a deep emotional level. It’s a ‘screw this, I can’t ignore my feelings’ kind of moment especially when he places his hand on Dean’s shoulder in the exact place of the handprint. People could contest that he put his hand there to take them back to 2008 but it was, I think, to provide some comfort to Dean. The angels were abandoned by God when He left heaven and maybe Castiel feels that pain in Dean’s eyes when he sees that no matter what he does, his present can’t be changed. It is probable that Castiel has thought about bringing his Father back and bringing order back to Heaven and give them direction.
That moment when they return to the motel room and Castiel is off standing near the door, his shoulders are more than heavy with the inevitable revelation of Sam’s demon blood drinking habits. To be the bearer of that burden and pain, like someone had been when the news of God leaving reached all the angels, the familiarity of it affects Cas at some level. I think that’s why he shuts down and tells Dean that if he can’t stop Sam, the angels will in his most menacing, angel of the Lord voice so that the hunter has a chance to do things the right way instead of celestial beings interfering. There is a registering of some human-level emotions in Castiel despite only having been in contact with them a few times.
Is it because Castiel was sent to retrieve Dean from Hell and he knows that Dean broke a seal so he’s giving him a chance to put things right without that knowledge breaking him completely?
These first episodes are quite angel Castiel, still learning to balance his angelic duties with his interactions with humans. But pulling Dean out of Hell broke something in him that allowed him to become more human than angel.
I’ll be posting more in a couple of days. I hope you enjoyed!