Once again we are hit with an okay episode. There was a lot to like about this one and we can see that the season definitely has some kind of an agenda, involving the Angels, Castiel and the Winchesters.
Things I enjoyed:
The genderswaps of Benjamin and Castiel. Seeing Castiel as a woman was a real treat. I shouldve expected it after Ish’s little side comment of liking Castiel’s old vessel more.
After learning about what Isham did to Lilly, it puts his statement about Cas’ old vessel in a new light. Ish is a typical stalker-ish cad, really. He killed Lilly’s family because he felt she betrayed him. I guess he had it coming. I do like the deeper implication of Isham’s toxic masculinity, and how the fallout for his actions catches up with him over a century later. And the deeper theme of consequences for one’s decisions, as that was the broader theme of this episode for Cas.
Dean being snotty to Castiel was kind of fun. Yeah, okay it wasn’t fair. There are a myriad of ways for Dean to show his displeasure about what Cas did, without belittling him. His behavior towards Cas had serious repercussions later when Ish used that, as fodder to humiliate Cas, at a crucial moment.
The bro-mance was at peak this episode and that was a lot of fun. This season seems to be making up for the last few in which the brothers didn’t seem close, but Sam and Dean seemed to have reached some kind of equilibrium in their relationship.
At the same time, the brothers treat Castiel like any other sibling. I just like their dynamic, including Dean’s hypocritical stance on Cas doing reckless things. This season has mostly been Dean being pissy towards people who displease him. He’s just getting more and more like Bobby every season: old and cranky, while Sam plays diplomat and peacekeeper, as usual. This doesn’t bother me particularly. Its just interesting to note.
Lilly. Its interesting that the show started out viewing her as something of a victim but I reminded myself that we only ever had Isham’s side of the story, and Angels can be bad guys.
I hope Enochian magic comes in to play at some later moment in the season. I hope we see Lilly again, too. I thought she was kind of cool. And since the show will be having a 13th season, I think the fallout from something like that will be interesting.
I enjoyed the backstory behind Benjamn’s vessel, who was a very devout Christian woman that Benjamin was actually friends with, possibly even loved. I just thought it was beautiful, and a callback to the episode The Rapture, a reminder that Cas and Jimmy had that kind of relationship too. Now I’m wondering about the backstory of Cas’ first vessel.
Things I disliked:
Seeing Cas stab yet another Black woman in the back, right after he killed Billy, is a nice callback, but I don’t want the show to make a habit of it.What’s this show gonna do? Just kill off every single black woman that shows up? Then there’s the idea of Cas sneaking up on people and stabbing them in the back. This is a fighting style that’s getting kind of old, and the show did it twice in one episode, so it was especially noticeable.
Isham’s intention to kill Dean. I really hated him at that point. That he chooses to harm the person he has a beef with by killing the people they love. Although its interesting that the show is setting up this Castiel, Sam, Dean, brother dynamic now.
I’m back to having that ho-hum feeling again. I liked how they tried to tie this episode into the larger narrative, but it still felt a little bit like filler, and I wasn’t as enthused about this one as I was with last week’s episode.
Maybe part of the reason is that there are no memorable songs. The mythology episodes are often being treated like “special episodes” with proper music, cinematography, writing. Sometimes the episodes in between can feel like the same amount of care wasn’t put into them,although I do understand that they are directed, and written, by different people. So while this isn’t a bad episode, when compared to the last one, it feels rather lackluster, and just a little workmanlike.
So I’m going to give this episode a 7.5 out of 10, because it just didn’t measure up to the last one. Its not bad but its not worth a 10.