Episode three! In which our beloved Castiel discovers the ins and outs of being human (do you see what I did there?), Sam and Ezekiel take turns with the meatsuit, and the boys race reapers on retainer to save Cas from some sincerely pissed off fallen angels.
1. HUMAN CAS!
Yep. Human Cas eats toothpaste, finds passing gas to be strange, and really, really has to pee. He needs food and sleep and air and all of the other stupid crappy things we mortals need to survive. But he’s handling it like a champ. An awkward, adorable champ who quietly teaches us life lessons, like how the ones with the least to give are often the most generous. It’s lovely to watch. I do have a question, though. When do we get his trenchcoat back? I mean, it was Castiel’s security blanket, and our beloved angelic Linus just isn’t the same without it.
2. Dean in the Dead Guy Robe
I love watching how comfortable Dean is in the HuntCave. Seeing him again in what Sam affectionately calls “The Dead Guy Robe” is a reminder: Sam may view the bunker as a workplace, but Dean thinks of it as home. My only down note about this is that, unlike last season, we didn’t catch a closer flash of leg as Dean was walking around. Come on, directors! Give a girl a treat!
3. Sam becomes Ezekiel becomes Sam
Let’s hear it for Jared Padalecki, folks! He makes the transition between Sam Winchester and the angel Ezekiel seamless. Ezekiel emerges to talk to Dean about the angels organizing to find Cas before the boys do, and how they are in the path of danger. Zeke may be giving Dean whiplash but us? We’re left wondering how Jared Padalecki can switch between these two distinct characters so very smoothly. Later, when Dean summons Zeke to help him find Cas, Padalecki is just as impressive. Watching Sam’s internal table tennis is intriguing.
4. Angel Vessels–not all they’re cracked up to be
The fallen angels are all looking for vessels (the better to hunt down Cas with.) Creatively, they use a global televangelist to recruit them. Sadly, not all human bodies can accommodate, proven when a lovely young thing steps right up and ends up a splatter. Naomi’s replacement, the slick, selfish fallen angel Bartholomew, is less than impressed. He’s an inhabited man on a mission, and he needs better human Tupperware.
5. Cas as Clarence
Let it be known: I am a huge Megstiel shipper. I loved those two together and Rachel Miner’s Meg is one of my favorite recurring characters on the show. Ever. It was a lovely touch that Cas decided to make his human name what Meg always teasingly called him, and having Dean, who is usually the pop culture nerd, have no idea where the name came from was hilarious. Our brotherly banter is back, and I am grateful for it.
6. A Testament to Faith
Cas meets a lovely woman in a church with a very ill husband, and is heartbroken to hear her praying to the angels when he knows, really knows, that no one is listening. She stops, they talk, and Cas asks her with true heartbreak in his voice how she would feel if she knew her prayers will go unanswered. The woman tells him it isn’t possible, because she has her faith, and his lack of faith doesn’t cancel hers. The whole touching scene, handled masterfully by both actors, shows that Supernatural is able to make us think about these deeply personal issues without once passing judgment on who is “right” and who is “wrong”.
7. The Boys are Back in Town
Between the bunker banter, the fed suits, and the alley way reaper brawls, the crime solving, the plaid wearing, and the buying of pie, this episode channeled the best parts of the series: Sam and Dean, working together and on the ball, solving small parts of the puzzle that fit together to make the season’s story arc. After the rocky first half of season eight, our show is back. And it’s better than ever.
8. CAS GETS SOME!
Cas smells a pickle in an alley (this is not a euphemism, I promise) and gets the kindness of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from a pretty woman named April. Later, when she sees him in a doorway in the rain, she brings him home. And then, she brings him home, if you know what I’m sayin’. After, April asks him to say something. “There are no words,” Cas replies, and Misha Collins sells the whole scene beautifully. Did I mention he looks good doing it? As S&C founder, Nanea Hoffman, said: “The amount of shirtless Misha scenes this season is proof that the Universe loves us.” Indeed. Cas was so touching (no pun intended) as he discovered the joy of sex, shy and sweet and so very happy. Too bad he was partnered with someone who intended to kill him. Eh. You can’t have everything. At least he impressed Sam and Dean with his game.
9. Castiel Dies
Turns out April wasn’t so much a love interest as a tortuous death merchant. Just before Sam and Dean manage to save the day and send her ass back to wherever reapers go, April plunges her angel blade into Cas, killing him dead and breaking Dean’s heart. The catch in Dean’s voice as he calls out to his best friend and realizes he cannot answer is terrifically sad. Jensen Ackles is crushing to watch. Fortunately, Ezekiel saves Cas’ life in a draining move, confusing Cas and forcing Dean to lie about how he survived. Dean lying. Seems to be the theme of the season so far.
(An adorable side note? Dean, shouting at Cas, “Never do that again!” and Cas replying, deadpan, “All right.” Sincerely. So cute.)
10. Dean Tells Cas Goodbye
When I say this one was “great” I mean it was “devastating.” Sam and Dean bring Cas back to the HuntCave, and he settles in for guy’s night, complete with the telling of tales of reaper sex and eating burritos. (Stellar lines? Dean: “Did you have protection?” Cas: “I had my angel blade.” Dean, looking at Sam with a grin: “He had the angel blade.” Sam: “Ummmm…” Double entendres for the win!) Sadly, our new and wonderful version of “Three’s Company” cannot last. Ezekiel warns that Cas, even though he is warded with an Enochian tattoo, will bring the angels down upon them and if he does, Zeke is so out of there. Which means Sam will die. Zeke issues an ultimatum that Dean must succumb to, and so, Dean goes to Cas with a heavy heart. “Can we talk?” asks Dean, and Cas replies, adorably, “Of course. Dean, you know I always appreciate our talks. And our time together.” (SOB!) “Listen, buddy, you can’t stay,” says Dean, and we close on Cas’ heartbreaking confusion, as he is rejected by his very best friend.
(Shakes fist) DAMN YOU, EZEKIEL! Why you reject my boy Castiel like that, huh? Can Zeke be trusted? Where will Cas hang his hat? And will Dean ever get all of his found family in one place again? Maybe we’ll get some answers in next week’s episode, which will contain honorary little sister Charlie Freakin’ Bradbury, yo. See you next time for episode four, “Slumber Party.”
*Bonus moment? All behold the glory that is the Padahair! Rrraaaooowwwrrrr.