'Supernatural' Recap: The Miseducation Of Castiel
October 23rd, 2013 8:38am EDT
For an episode that delved into Castiel's newfound humanity, I expected a lot of zingers, confusion and the bizarre, cerebral humor that the former angel's portrayer Misha Collins has perfected. I was not prepared for "I'm No Angel" to cut out my heart out with one of those pesky angel blades and turn it into tartare.
Ward yourself against those organizing angels and let's dive in, shall we?
"Supernatural" kicks off with Dean grumbling through the bunker with searching for coffee and his little brother. Apparently, Sam, when he's not sans soul, trying to rid the world of demonkind or burdened by starting the apocalypse, is one of those rritatingly productive morning people. He already went for a ran, took in the sunrise, and got his brother greasy bacon and eggs to go with his coffee.
Unbeknownst to Sam, he's only being kept alive by an "angelic pacemaker" and probably shouldn't be making like Forrest Gump every morning. He shrugs off Dean's palpable concern with a Winchester scoff. It’s mighty helpful that Sammy is tuned into angel radio and there's breaking news. Zeke emerges from Sam with nothing more than a flash of blue eyes and a clever sweep of the camera. "There is a faction that is rapidly organizing and finding human vessels to contain them. This faction's leadership wants Castiel found. You see, Dean, I can be useful."
Dean wants him to lay low until the situation is dire. Zeke snaps back and Sam continues the conversation where he left off mid-sentnece. This touches on the angelic manipulation we saw last season with Castiel and Naomi. It’s disturbing what Zeke can do without Sam knowing, and it only makes me wonder how far they will take it.
Dean gropes for a way to put finding Castiel back on the table so Sam will think it’s plausible, and eventually the brothers start researching. In a great show of continuity, the brothers track Castiel from his last known location of Longmont, Colorado through Iowa and Indiana, thanks to police reports detailing Hael's murder in the season premiere and the gruesome murder of two priests who were "impaled on posts" and tortured in the cold open. The boys follow Castiel's bloody breadcrumbs.
Cas or Clarence lives an entire life in the span of one episode. In Season 6, Dean called Castiel an infant. He's stumbled through his adolescence and is now learning the brutal truths that come adulthood: the real definition of faith; that "people with the least to give are the most generous"; and bitches be crazy.
He was once a warrior, and he manages to escape the angels that killed and angel-boarded those poor priests and the angel that ambushed him in the abandoned bus. He also takes a page from the Winchesters' playbook and gets an anti-angel tattoo. A sweet young woman finds him digging through the dumpster and offers him food, shelter and some good old fashioned lovin' much to the horror of some fans, I'm sure. However, this is "Supernatural" is so Castiel's magical night with the woman who gave him shelter from the rain, food to fill his belly and bandages for his wound quickly becomes a torture-fest when he wakes to find her slicing blood oranges with his angel blade.
April was once a kind, churchgoer but she's now possessed by a devious "reaper-for-rent," who was told that Castiel was "dangerous and powerful. You came armed, so I had to gain your trust," she shared.
"And that required intercourse?" Castiel wonders. Oh, honey. You have so much to learn.
Meanwhile, Sam and Dean are stuck on a wild goose chase. They are hot on Castiel's trail but cannot pin him down. The case finally gains much-needed momentum when a freelancing reaper that's about as inconspicuous as Shaquille O'Neal at a jockey convention makes the mistake of following the Winchesters. They make him, truss him up like a turkey and torture him. Are you sensing a theme in his episode? Maurice spills the details: Naomi's dead, and her protégé has risen in her place. His name is Bartholomew, and he looks like a cross between Sam's friend Brady from "The Devil You Know" and Agent Smith from The Matrix movies. He's a cunning angel that has enlisted the help of a popular religious podcaster named Rev. Buddy Boyle to compel his God-fearing followers to let the angels in when "they come aknockin'." I was tickled by the notion of a folksy down home reverend happily doing the bidding of a group of rogue angels. However, this villian is painfully similar to that of the Leviathan king, Dick Roman, with the suits and the business-like henchman. To be fair, Bartholomew hasn't even begun to stretch his wings, so I'm withholding any lasting judgments.
With "delta force" reapers on Castiel's tail, Zeke can track them down using his "intergalatic, hyper-space x-ray eyeballs." Dean awkwardly calls in the secret weapon. I definitely think Dean and Zeke need a safe word so this is easier for all involved.
So Sam and Dean break into April's apartment to save the day, except the trigger-happy angel runs Castiel through with his angel blade, and bats the Winchesters around like beach balls before Dean avenges Castiel's honor. "Sam, he's gone," he gasps brokenly to his advancing brother. Except it's not Sam who is approaching Castiel, eyes full of intention, back ramrod straight. It's Ezekiel. He, like Sam, is still a work-in-progress but he heals Castiel completely and promptly passes out.
Only on "Supernatural" do you get yelled at for dying. "Never do that again," Dean barks. Our Cas is obviously confused: "I know she stabbed me, but I don't appear to be dead." Dean, who's been flailing more than ever to keep the lies straight, struggles. "You got dinged," he tells Sam as he wakes up. "And you...I made a deal with her, said she wouldn't get kabobbed if she brought you back."
"You lied," Castiel says. "I did...I do that," Dean replies. And he looks so proud of himself. I kind of want to hate him for the lies he's telling, the liberties he's taking with his brother's body and Sam's life, but then in the next scene he's slurping on his cola and telling Sam "I don't see half the nerdy stuff that you do. It doesn't mean you don't do nerdy stuff," and he's so damn adorable that I just can't (Honestly, Dean could slay a basket of puppies, and I’d still defend him tirelessly).
Sadly, his lies are piling up at an alarming rate, and there’s no way that even the great Dean Winchester will be able to keep them straight for much longer. This is the second time in three episodes Sam was knocked unconscious and awakened with the day saved. It’s already feeling repetitive, and I wonder how long it’ll be before our Stanford-educated Sammy starts putting the pieces together and realizes many of them are missing.
But enough worrying and hand-wringing for now. Back at the bunker, Castiel still has that “I’m Happy To Be Alive,” post-amore glow. Castiel is not virgin anymore, and he wants to share. Sam and Dean choke on their laughter and burritos as Castiel says "he had his angel blade" as protection. How do-or-die do you think the rock-paper-scissors will be for deciding who has to tell Castiel about STDs and condoms?
Or course, this being "Supernatural," it's not all burritos and strippers. Ezekiel crashes and eventually destroys the party to announce: "Castiel cannot stay here. He will bring the angels down on all of us. He was warded when April found him, and she killed him." Zeke says. Dean insists their home is safe but Zeke can’t risk it. "If he stays, I'm afraid I'll have no choice but to leave..."
Dean immediately knows what will happen to his brother if Zeke leaves. Now it’s decision between Sam and Castiel, the adorable human who "enjoys their talks and their time together." “You can't stay," Dean tells Castiel, clearly upset.
The heartbreaking image of Castiel's horrified face is the last twist of the angel blade before the ends with no resolution and my stomach in knots. “I’m No Angel” felt like a chaotic journey, even if it did get lost. I didn’t realize until the second viewing that April was a reaper, not an angel. Are reapers normally that strong? I also wonder how Dean explained to Castiel how Sam was healthy enough to hunt when less than a week ago Dean called him at DEFCON 1 because Sam was dying. Ultimately, Castiel makes a compelling human being. He’s fallible, vulnerable, emotional and of course, very odd. It’s another facet to an already dynamic character. The performances turned in by Collins, Jensen Ackles and double-duty Jared Padalecki, whose transitions between Sam and Zeke were deft and flawless, easily elevate an episode that meandered a bit.
What did you think of this week's episode? How cute is it that Sam worries about Dean's diet? How much do you love human Castiel? Sound off in the comments below. Do you think it's weird that Zeke wanted Castiel exiled from the bunker?
Next week, Oz come to "Supernatural" and Charlie plays too!
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