And then tonight, I felt the hand at my elbow, pulling me back. We’re still on the edge, but we’re not tipping over. And we have enough balance to look over our shoulders and seek solid ground.
I’m out of practice—I usually jot down notes during the commercials, but I didn’t write fast enough this go-round. So, if I’m light on the details, I hope you’ll forgive me.
The THEN was ironically chronicled to Aerosmith’s “Back in the Saddle.” *high-five for classic rock* It was basically a catch-up of all 11 past episode’s crucial plot points. And then, we open with a scene that in real life would fill me with complete and utter terror: a two-seater prop plane flying through a thunderstorm. I think my pulse began hammering immediately.
Stan the pilot is trying to comfort his pretty, dark-haired, terrified girlfriend (I never caught her name, so if you can, fill in the blank for me) as they fly for “just a few more minutes” looking for a place to land. She glances out through the side window and sees a quick flash of what looks like gigantic wings.
I was totally reminded of that Twilight Zone with William Shatner: “There’s…something…out on the…wing!”
Anyway, Stan is telling her to relax and think of some place peaceful and suddenly BLAM! He’s grabbed through the window and the plane is going down and the girl is screaming her bloody head off. Yikes!
Title card and we break to a close up of Dean’s hand, his fingers nervously bouncing on his arm as he waits for Cas to emerge from the panic room. When he does, we can see Sam, same clothes, lying on the bed with an IV hooked up to him. He looks asleep—and peaceful. It’s unclear at this point how long he’s been that way, but the IV is a clear indication that it’s been awhile.
Later, Bobby says something about 10 days; no wonder Dean was uber-stressed about him ever waking up.
Dean asks Cas if his brother will wake up and the angel replies with a surly, “I’m not a human doctor, but probably not.”
Dean snaps at him about sugar-coating the news and Cas reiterates the fact that he’d told Dean not to do this he says that Sam’s soul, “felt like it had been skinned alive.”
My first reaction was a knee-jerk as if Dean doesn’t know what that feels like. But then, I realized that I’d inserted being skinned alive into a fanfic; we hadn’t gotten any canon confirmation of that aside from Dean’s skittish, horrified glances at animal skins strung on a rack in Samhain’s office in Season 4. Whoops.
Cas: “If you wanted to kill your brother, you should have done it outright.”
And with that painful slash of words, he leaves Dean to stand there round-eyed and hurting.
OUCH. Seriously, I didn’t know what to make of Cas this episode. I am hoping for more answers on what’s been going on with him and the Civil War in Heaven, because I thought his words to Dean were unfairly harsh. I wasn’t sure what he expected Dean to do, really.
Dean asked the same question: “What was I supposed to do, let T-1000 walk around and hope he doesn’t kill somebody?!”
Not only that, but Sam’s soul was in Hell, right? In the Cage? Getting its glowy little ass kicked for 100 non-Earth years? Did Cas expect Dean to just leave it there? If Dean had killed Robo-Sam, he wouldn’t have freed Sam’s soul—it would still have been down there, suffering. If he just let Robo-Sam walk around all hollow and faking it, again, his soul would have been in the Cage. I don’t see that Dean really had a choice.
Yes, it was a risk, and yes Sam’s soul is damaged, but Dean loved his brother enough to take that risk. It was Sam’s human soul that overpowered Lucifer. And back in the panic room in Season 4 when they were trying to dry Sam out from demon blood, Dean knew that detox could have killed him then, but that at least Sam would have died human. So he risked it all to save Sam’s shell from continuing on as an empty husk of a monster and become human again and save Sam’s soul from continued torment.
With all of that, I can’t figure out why Cas was so strongly opposed to Dean doing this. It just feels like more than simply caring about if Sam lived or died. Maybe I’m looking into it too deeply, but I’m ready for some more levels of Cas’ onion to be peeled away so that I can understand him a little better. And not be so irritated with him for saying what he did to Dean.
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