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A Dean and Castiel Timeline, Part One

After the S6 finale, I saw a lot of discussion on the concept of Dean and Cas as family, particularly the validity of Dean's assertion that Cas was like a brother to him, and Cas's echoing of that sentiment.  And I started thinking (rarely a purely good thing) , I have also frequently wondered about the bond between Dean and Cas, and as the seasons progressed have many times been confused by the growth of their friendship.  I never doubted the bond and friendship existed, to me it's always been self-evident.   I just frequently lost track of the "how's" of the development.  So I pulled out the DVD's beginning with S4 and started watching.  And analyzing.  And studying.  And discussing it with a friend and fellow fan.  And then got confused again.  So I decided to write out a timeline of every episode Cas has appeared in since he met Dean, focusing separately on Dean's perspective and Cas's perspective (I'm just a little OCD) and mostly excluding Sam from the discussion for the sake of my sanity.  And then I decided to share it.  The following article is part 1 of a planned 3 part series, beginning with season 4.  
Fair warning -- what follows is largely opinion and highly subjective.  I'll admit upfront that what I see in a reaction from Dean or Cas is very often not what others see.  I opted to write what I see - I'm weird that way.  And I can't promise I've stuck completely to the topic as I have a tendency for random thoughts and sidebars.  
Lazarus Rising
Dean is dragged from Hell by what he assumes is a powerful demon or other malevolent force, and he assumes that same deadly being is hunting him with an unknown agenda, hurting those who attempt to help him along the way (Pamela, specifically).  Dean finally has enough and decides to stand his ground, only to be confronted by an even stronger and more terrifying force than he anticipated.  He fails to be comforted that that force is an angel , in fact, he may be even more disturbed by the revelation.
Cas is calm and assured.  He is expecting - well, I'm not sure what he is expecting exactly, but it certainly isn't what he is confronted with in meeting Dean Winchester.  We have reason to believe that Cas already knew that Dean was the righteous man of prophecy which no doubt carried certain expectations in and of itself.  We also have reason to believe Cas at least suspected Dean to be a vessel given Cas's attempts to communicate with Dean in his true angelic form before resorting to taking a vessel himself.  Cas seems truly abashed at his error and any physical pain or fear the failed communications may have caused Dean, and also seems truly sorrowful at the harm that befell Pamela , although he is also quick to point out she was warned.  Cas seems perturbed and confused at Dean's obvious discomfort and disbelief in Cas's words, and adopts a careful, slow, almost soothing approach towards Dean.
Are You There God?  It's Me, Dean Winchester
Dean's entire worldview is in upheaval.  In an interesting parallel to the many "civilians" he's introduced to the supernatural over the years, he is now in their boat, being confronted with the existence of a reality beyond his experience  or belief ,and he is having difficulty accepting that reality.  And when he does finally accept the fact that Cas is an angel, he does so in an angry and accusatory manner, barraging Cas with the exact same accusations and rage the spirits of Meg, Henrickson, et al, have hurled at Dean himself all night, "Where were you?  You had the power (ability) to stop it, why didn't you? I thought you were supposed to save people, why didn't you do it?"  And even in the midst of his outburst, some part of Dean must know there is no satisfactory answer Cas can give, just as Dean himself had no satisfactory answers for his own accusers.  When Dean's anger reaches such a level that he finds himself threatening to kick an angel's ass, you can see Dean visibly catch himself and back off a little, aware that he's pushing a little too hard for his own good , or perhaps realizing he's not being entirely fair, we can't be sure.  Dean being Dean, though, he couldn't stop himself from pushing too hard again a few moments later, resulting in one of the few times in my memory Dean has actually been taken aback enough to drop the game face and show fear to his opponent.  
Cas is clearly tired and battle weary,  but still remembering the lessons learned from his first meeting with Dean and still careful in his approach to his new charge.  Cas (initially, anyway) seems to have no desire to make Dean fear or be in awe of him, he just wants Dean to understand.  Unfortunately, between the recent resurrection, realization that angels exist, his past failures in the form of Meg and the others coming back to haunt him, Dean is on overload , understanding anything more is unlikely.  Even in the face of Dean's explosion and accusations, Cas restrains his temper and continues to exercise care in his approach , but he is losing patience.  In my opinion, Cas here doesn't want to intimidate or bully Dean into anything but genuinely wants to help Dean understand and to help guide Dean through the trials Cas knows are coming.  Dean's belligerence  inevitably gets the best of Cas and he snaps, issuing the threat of casting Dean back into Hell if Dean continued in his disrespect.  Cas informs Dean of a bigger picture and reveals the likely reason behind his patience failing , Cas lost 6 brothers in battle that week.  It is never stated, but I believe that those 6 brothers were killed in the fight to rescue Dean.  We know that this meeting takes place within a few days of Dean's resurrection and first meeting with Cas, and we know that Cas did not go into Hell alone to retrieve Dean.  If I am correct in this assumption, to Cas it would in that moment have been intolerable to know his brothers were sacrificed to save this creature that now spat and clawed at him so vehemently.    I believe Cas regretted his loss of temper later, and I furthermore don't believe Cas ever truly blamed Dean for the collateral damage of his rescue, but in that moment it was too much and Cas allowed his weariness and irritation, and power, to be known.  
In The Beginning
Dean is in upheaval for most of this episode, and Cas's brief appearances are the closest thing to stable ground he is afforded.  A decrease in antagonism to Cas is apparent from the beginning of the episode.  Sure, his actual words to Cas are less than welcoming, but aggression and anger are missing from his tone and manner.   And by the end of the episode when Cas appears at his side after Mary has made her deal, Dean trusts Cas enough to not even attempt to put his game face back up.  He lets Cas see his pain and confusion openly, which is rare for Dean to do, even with family.  The wall goes back up, naturally, when Cas makes the threat that he will stop Sam if Dean can't, but the fact that the wall went down even temporarily marks progress in their relationship.  
Cas is tasked with informing Dean both of past events that Sam knows  but hid from Dean as well as with information that is new to both brothers.  It is unclear whether Cas was ordered to take Dean to the past to see the events for himself, or whether Cas opted to do so under the assumption he would have difficulty getting Dean to believe him.  Either way, I do not think Cas had any clue that watching the events play out would devastate Dean in the manner that it did, and I believe he was truly sorry for the method the information was imparted when he did realize the impact.  
Cas doesn't physically appear in this episode, but his presence is evident in one scene, and it is a significant clue to Dean's growing friendship with the angel.  Dean refers to him by the nickname "Cas" for the first time.  And while it's not terribly uncommon for Dean to give people, things, creatures nicknames, they are usually at least slightly derogatory unless it's family or friends.  Dean shortening Cas's name in a familiar but not flip manner speaks volumes about how close they have grown in a short time.
It's The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
Dean rather frantically (for Dean, anyway) stops Sam from wielding a gun in Cas's direction.  Granted, there's a good chance this is more to protect Sam than Cas since Dean knows bullets won't hurt him.  But either way , if the move was an instinctive move to protect Cas, well, obviously, Dean has developed some protective instincts toward his friend.  If the move is to protect Sam, well, then Cas has earned at least a measure of respect from Dean, who does not want his baby brother to offend the angel accidentally.  And Dean's opening conversation with Cas shows a willingness to work with him to find and kill the witch.  That is, up until Dean's "wrong" alarm goes off, because no matter how much trust or friendship has developed, the trust  is not complete, and Cas is not family, not yet.  Dean is aware Cas's loyalty is to the other angels and his orders, not Dean or humans.  Even before Cas has actually spoken directly of their plan to destroy the town, Dean demands of Cas "what are you going to do?" knowing already the answer will not be good.  But though Dean does take a stand against the angels' proposed course of action, he does not fly into a tirade but instead makes a case (directed at Cas, as he quickly judged without being told that Uriel ranked beneath Cas) for allowing himself and Sam to stop the witch, using his own life as leverage.  And though Dean strenuously disagrees with Cas here, he is not angry at Cas , Dean exhibits a willingness to communicate openly with Cas that was lacking in some of their earlier encounters.  Some of the anger returns in his conversation with Cas in the park in the final scene of the episode, but that's likely more defensiveness against wrongly perceived judgment in addition to his own self-recrimination that despite saving the town, they did fail to stop the witch.  And once Dean listens to Cas enough to understand his viewpoint, the anger dissipates.  
Cas appears uncomfortable with the necessity of lying to Dean to conceal the nature of their true orders.  He is awkward and unintentionally hurtful in his initial meeting with Sam, which given how very careful he was in his initial meeting with Dean makes it difficult for me to attribute to anything other than discomfort at the subterfuge being asked of him.  Still, he forges ahead and presents Dean with the opportunity to flee town before the angels destroy it, and makes absolutely certain Dean is clear on the stakes if they fail to prevent the seals breaking , that Hell would rise with Lucifer. In that moment, when Dean froze briefly with the stark mental image of a literal Hell on earth and Cas's reminder that Dean of all people understood what that meant, Cas looked regretful and I believe he thought Dean would desert the town to the angels.  Cas seemed genuinely surprised when Dean chose to save people, period , screw fathers' orders and bigger pictures , an instinct which resonated deeply enough with Cas that by the end of the episode Cas opened up to Dean with fears and doubts that he likely had never shared with another living being , especially not any of his brothers, since as we later learned from Anna he could be sentenced to death just for having those doubts.  The fact that he chose to speak of his doubts aloud at all, and that he chose Dean to share those doubts with, is concrete evidence that an extremely deep bond had formed.   
I Know What You Did Last Summer / Heaven and Hell
Dean is hopeful when Cas and Uriel appear that maybe they are there to help -- though he doesn't take it for granted.  When Dean hears their intent to kill Anna, well, trust hasn't yet grown enough for him to take Cas's word that she has it coming and he resists.  Even after learning the full story, Dean cannot bring himself to turn over a human to angel justice, but signs onto the plan for her to "angel up" so that she can deal with the angels on her own.  And sure, Dean was apparently (that ending still confuses me, but I'm pretty sure Dean was in on the plan) on board with pitting Cas against Alastair long enough for Anna to get her grace back, but I don't believe it occurred to Dean for a second that Cas would be in any danger, and I think he was sorry for that lack of foresight when Alastair overpowered the angel.  As terrified as Dean was of Alastair, he still grabbed a crowbar and took it to the demon's head to get him off Cas once he realized Cas was in trouble.  Without a strong bond already having formed, Dean probably would have grabbed Sam and ran, leaving the supernatural entities to battle it out, but because he was already considering Cas a friend, he had to step in and help.
Cas seemed surprised and a little disappointed to see Dean evidently working with Ruby, but he didn't appear to dwell on it.  But neither did he help defend Dean from Uriel's physical attack but instead focused on his mission and headed to get Anna, a reminder to Dean and the audience that regardless of any bond or friendship Cas would put orders first.   I do not think the significance of Dean stepping in to defend him against Alastair, of all demons, was lost on Castiel, and rather than Castiel's attachment to Dean being damaged by the events in this episode I believe it was strengthened as admiration grew not only for Dean's willingness to put himself in danger to save Cas from Alastair, but also for both brothers' handling of the situation as a whole in simply moving the fight out of the earthly realm to the angelic one, where it rightfully belonged in the first place.     
Death Takes A Holiday
Dean's perspective is difficult to gauge here, primarily because it's impossible to know how much of it is colored by the fact that Cas lied to him to serve his own agenda.  And despite Castiel's questionable assertion that Dean does the opposite of what Cas asks, it's also impossible to know whether if Cas had simply asked Dean to help what Dean would have done.  Though Dean did voice an objection to Sam (which he echoed again to Cas later) on the basis that people who had been miraculously spared life-ending events would drop dead, he nonetheless continued to work the case alongside Sam , heck, it was even his idea for astral projection that gave them their first big breakthrough.  Who's to say he wouldn't have done the same if Cas had just asked?  
Cas appears triumphant, pleased that his deception of Dean resulted in not only a seal being saved but Alastair being captured.  This time Cas is completely comfortable with his trickery, perhaps not viewing it as an outright lie or just maybe showing his first signs of that "end justifies the means" mentality that would flare out in full bloom at the end of S6.  At any rate, Cas frustratedly asserts the lie was necessary because Dean always does the opposite of what Cas asks, which is not an entirely fair or accurate statement (and the proof against this is actually best exemplified in the next episode).  In compiling this list, I realized that up to this point Dean has only outright refused Cas twice , and one wasn't even a true refusal, but rather that he forcefully plead the case for an alternate solution (granted, that was partly because he knew he could not stop them in that instance, so he went as diplomatic a route as is possible for him to go).  I do not think Cas truly believed Dean would just arbitrarily say no just because he was asked, but Cas is growing frustrated with himself that he does not yet understand Dean well enough to know which way he would jump on this issue, and is exaggerating the frequency of Dean's refusals in exasperation.
On The Head of a Pin
Dean's attachment to and trust in Cas is evidenced in this episode more than any other.  True, in exhaustion and grief (and guilt) over Pamela, he lashed out with rage and venom directed equally at Uriel and Cas.  But while his disdain for Uriel remained palpably obvious, he returned to his normal treatment of Cas once he'd vented his anger.  Once in the slaughterhouse, it did not matter how securely Alastair was bound , Dean did not want to do what they wanted.  Period.  Everything in him screamed that it was wrong, and that he would never recover, never be himself again (and he was right, just not in the way he believed).  And yet , he agreed.  Not because he had to, we all know by now angels can't make Dean Winchester do anything by force.  He agreed because his friend asked him to, because someone he trusted believed this to be the only option.  
Cas knew what they were asking of Dean was abhorrent and would damage Dean in ways they couldn't anticipate (and he, like Dean, was proved to be right , though again not in the manner expected).   Worst of all, he had to let Uriel "manage" Dean, which naturally made matters worse.  Once left alone, however, Cas showed a marked increase in his insight into Dean.  This time, maybe the first time, Cas understood Dean's objection , he'd seen firsthand the creature Dean had become in Hell and understood Dean was not being stubborn, but rather feared that in letting that side of him out he would not be able to shove it down again.  So Cas spoke simply and sincerely, letting Dean see his own doubt and distaste of what they were asking.  Perhaps Cas knew that Dean, without having an alternate plan to offer, would not refuse a sincere plea for help in such dire circumstances.  Or perhaps Cas plead the case only because he was required to by orders, while secretly hoping Dean would continue to refuse.  By the end, though, Cas feels fully responsible for the wreckage that remains of his friend, further solidifying the bond and increasing Cas's growing instinct to act as guardian over Dean and his brother.  
It's a Terrible Life
Once again, I know Cas is not actually in this episode.  But I believe there's a good chance that the entire charade may have actually been more for Cas's benefit than Dean's.  It would have been to Zachariah's advantage in the long run to leave Dean a broken and rudderless mess, lacking the will to fight effectively or refuse Michael when the time came.  And Zachariah would later confess to Dean that much of the angelic orders over the past year had been a ploy to keep the  "grunts on the ground" i.e., Castiel, from discovering the truth to prevent a rebellion.  I believe Zachariah's actions here were to placate Castiel's request that they repair the damage Uriel's actions had caused to Dean, and to prevent Castiel from asking questions if they refused to heal and help Dean.
The Monster at the End of This Book
Dean prays for help, and Cas appears.  At first, it seems as though Cas is not going to help after all, and Dean responds with anger.  Dean accuses Cas of requiring much of him while proclaiming he himself never asked for a thing, which, no.  That's not entirely true, just like Cas's assertion in a previous episode that Dean did the opposite of what was asked was not true.  Dean is lashing out in frustration.  The frustration quickly drops when Cas does come through with a solution, and Dean for the first time utters the phrase "thanks, Cas" and means it.  
Cas is pleased Dean has prayed for help, viewing this as a positive step in both their friendship and in his assignment regarding Dean.  So Cas is genuinely disheartened to have to answer Dean's relieved and hopeful "so you'll help me??" with a no.  I'm not even entirely sure Dean's angry response and threat to refuse assistance to the angels in the future even registered fully with Cas, such was disappointment at not being able to help at such a crucial juncture.  Until, of course, he found a way to help without helping, knowing Dean would see and know how to utilize the loophole.  
The Rapture
Dean almost instantly realizes his friend is in distress, even in the dream state --  "Cas, what's wrong??".  He follows directions to meet at an abandoned warehouse, and from there, well, finds his friend gone.  And even when Cas is returned to his customary vessel at the end of the episode, he is fully Castiel again , Dean's friend Cas is still gone.  For now.
Cas has discovered that his orders are not coming from God after all, but from a corrupt chain of command intentionally bringing on the apocalypse.  In his distraught and confused state, he seeks out the only friend he can still trust, Dean.  And judging from the condition of the warehouse where Dean was scheduled to meet him, Cas fought hard to remain on earth and to tell Dean what he had learned.  Unfortunately, unendurable torture resulted in Cas returning obey orders mode, and to renounce his friendship with Dean.  
When the Levee Breaks
Dean calls Cas again for help.  And after a mild reproach over how long it took Cas to respond, Dean's manner towards Cas seems to largely ignore Cas's rejection of their friendship at the end of The Rapture and focus on the issues at hand..  Dean is not quite as at ease with Cas as he had become before, and he still makes his negative opinion of Cas's new attitude clear, but to my thinking Dean's attitude here seems to be that he understands Cas is reacting to the torture , something Dean understands and can sympathize with too well --  not to actual anger or ill will at Dean and as such is treating Cas's earlier harshness and continued distant attitude as temporary, thus the statement "you're a dick these days".  Dean is still reacting to Cas as his friend here, albeit more carefully and with yet another sharp decline in the up-and-down roller coaster that is representative of the trust levels between the two of them.  
Cas tries to maintain the appearance of aloofness, sharply telling Dean to "get to the real reason you called" when Dean tries to inquire about the events of The Rapture.  Under even mild pressure from Dean to open up, however, the facade crumbles quickly and Cas throws Dean one very desperate look and a meek "I can't" before pulling the mask of Heavenly loyalty back on again.  Cas wants to tell Dean what he knows, he knows it is the right thing to do and more than ever he believes Dean can stop the apocalypse, because he knows only Dean has a chance at stopping Sam.  But he is afraid.  The torture he endured has shaken his faith in his human friend's abilities to thwart the plans of his angelic superiors.  He falls back on the only thing he has ever known , obey orders, despite obviously remaining torn and guilt ridden about his resulting actions.
Lucifer Rising
Dean still trusts Cas more than any of the other angels, which is why I suspect Zachariah allowed his presence in the Green Room at all.  Zachariah is managing Dean here, or attempting to, and believes rightfully that Cas's presence will help keep Dean calm.  And it works , for a time.  Until Cas won't take Dean to see Sam to make amends, to say goodbye.  It is from this point that everything unravels and Dean starts causing trouble for Zachariah's neatly laid plans.   After Dean has learned the truth of what Zachariah and the angels intend, Dean confronts Cas that he knows what he is doing is wrong, and reminds Cas that he had intended to help Dean up until fear and pain took over his judgment.  Dean asks Cas to help him now, to set right what they could before it was too late, and when Cas cannot summon up the courage Dean abruptly ends  the friendship with a "we're done".  So when Cas later tosses Dean into a wall, covering his mouth and pulling a knife, Dean's eyes show a brief flash of fear before he understands Cas is himself again, he has reclaimed his sense of duty to God, not to Zachariah and the angels, and Dean accepts Cas's help with renewed trust and gratitude.  
Cas's guilt over his complicity in Zachariah's actions is written all over his face from the moment he appears in the Green Room up until the moment he takes Dean's side.  Particularly telling is the moment when Zachariah reminds Dean of his vow to obey, and Cas is utterly unable to look Dean in the eye, or even in his direction, dropping his gaze to the floor when Dean looks to him.  Cas knows he has betrayed his friend, and he knows his friend knows it.  The fact that he did everything but put on a neon sign telling Dean he couldn't be trusted due to orders doesn't really make him feel better at this moment.  And in the face of Dean's all too true accusation that Cas knew what the angels was doing was wrong, Cas was finally able to overcome his fear and stand on the side of what he believed to be right, which happened to put him squarely at the side of his friend.  I do not believe Cas chose to help Dean just because Dean asked him to.  Cas helped Dean because Dean's stand coincided with what Cas believed the Father he loved and sought to serve would have him do.  And he paid quite a price for it.
Part Two coming soon...


Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-26 00:16
A wonderful look at Season 4 Castiel. There's a lot of depth, and the beautiful thing with this show is there's always something new each time you rewatch.

I found myself mulling over Cas's actions at the end of season 6, and found the meta trail lead right back to Lazarus Rising. All the pieces had been in place for what he would do in season 6.

To me, Season 4 Cas is very much concerned with orders and adhering to what he's being told to do. He's also confronted with the Righteous Man, who is nothing like he pictured. I think he believed he'd find this upstanding and good man----and he did, just not in the packaging he feels would suit it. Dean's upstanding, good, and loyal. He's also brash, full of self loathing all too often, and reckless. It must have been hard to reconcile this personality and persona that Dean often uses to hide from the world with what Castiel expected to find. I don't think Cas, until saving Dean, had really thought about human nature. I don't think he really paid attention to it, did not realize how complex and layered our personalities can be. On one hand, Dean will cut his own arm off to save Sammy or another person, but on the other he's lipping off and sleeping around or drinking himself into a stupor. The torturing alone was NOT in Castiel's expectations, either. Considering that I agree with you that Cas had to have known from the moment he went to save Dean that Dean was Michael's vessel, he wouldn't have imagined this man being capable of such atrocities, even in Hell.

I like your assessment of their relationship so far. Dean doesn't trust easily, but somehow he finds himself trusting this fellow soldier. It might be because Castiel had rescued him from Hell, but we know Dean wouldn't believe himself worth of this. It might be due to the fact that he has no anchor to hold onto, as well. Sam is distant and struggling on his own with his own problems---if ONLY they had truly sat down and talked REALLY talked (I don't really count Sam's confession in I Know What You Did Last Summer) all the things they could have averted!

The only thing that was not addressed here is the fact that it IS Cas that releases Sam from the Panic Room, which allowed Sam to make it to the church to kill Lilith. I think it's something that he's never faced up for or owned up to. I don't think either brother even knows that tidbit, either.

Great job and I look forward to the next parts!
# purplehairedwonder 2011-06-26 01:00
The only thing that was not addressed here is the fact that it IS Cas that releases Sam from the Panic Room, which allowed Sam to make it to the church to kill Lilith. I think it's something that he's never faced up for or owned up to. I don't think either brother even knows that tidbit, either.
This is still something I REALLY want to see addressed at some point. Cas has become an honorary Winchester, for better and for worse. Winchesters are loyal, driven, flawed, and make mistakes. But they own up to them and work to make amends (whether it's necessary or not). I'm just waiting for Cas' turn to own up to his mistakes (and there are many, though I think the list starts with the panic room) and hopefully get the chance to make amends for them.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-26 01:06
Considering all the heartache that came after this action, yeah, it'd be nice to see them address it. It's just kinda always hung there. And yes, both brothers will bend over backwards to make amends for their wrongdoings---e ven when they themselves are not at fault really. Cas has never owned up to to this, and I really wish he would.
# Lori 2011-06-26 23:06

I found myself mulling over Cas's actions at the end of season 6, and found the meta trail lead right back to Lazarus Rising. All the pieces had been in place for what he would do in season 6.
Likewise, as I was compiling the list I realized that many of the statements I was making about S4 Cas and how he related to Dean could actually be copied almost verbatim for the S6 part of this series, just substituting the new context over the old.
# Lori 2011-06-26 23:11

The only thing that was not addressed here is the fact that it IS Cas that releases Sam from the Panic Room, which allowed Sam to make it to the church to kill Lilith. I think it's something that he's never faced up for or owned up to. I don't think either brother even knows that tidbit, either.

Great job and I look forward to the next parts!
In my head, Cas releasing Sam from the Panic Room was included in the phrase, "remaining torn and guilt ridden about his resulting actions" in my coverage of Cas's perspective, but you're right, it would have been better had I spelled that out -- oops! I intentionally did not bring it up in Dean's perspective because he did not know about it at the time, and like you I feel he probably still does not know Cas rather than Ruby is responsible for Sam's escape. Thanks for commenting, and for your kind words!
# Sara 2011-06-26 03:54
Well right off the bat, Castiel is an angel and Dean is a man. Add to that fact that Castiel is older than humanity itself. I don't think Cas could ever see Dean as an equal (a brother) but more like a child, the son he could never have. This is why Cas is so protective of Dean. Cas also used the word family over the word brother when trying to reason with Dean. Castiel has shown patients that many brothers would not. And like a parent, Castiel guides Dean on his path rather than impose his will as Dean has done so many times to Sam.
Where as Dean doesn't want a father figure, but a brother, someone to boss around as he does Sam. Dean want to be the Big Brother and tell Castiel what is right or wrong, what is important and fells the need to stop him if he does something other than what Dean sees as right.
There is not doubt in my mind that they do act like family with all the tears and heartache as well as good times that family means, but the roles that each play and how they look at each other is what got them where they are today.
# Lori 2011-06-27 00:06
Dean want to be the Big Brother and tell Castiel what is right or wrong, what is important and fells the need to stop him if he does something other than what Dean sees as right.
The catch though is -- Dean is right. It's not just what he sees as right, he is very, very right and he knows it. If anything, Dean underestimated how right he would be in telling Cas what he was doing in attempting to open Purgatory and take in the souls was dangerous and wrong. Dean understands clearly the point Cas missed -- the way a battle is fought is just as important as whether the battle is won. This is the same point Dean made to Sam in Jus In Bello "If this is how wars are won, I don't wanna win". If you become worse than the evil you are trying to fight, you have not only lost the war -- you are lost as well. Cas in his desperation to stop Raphael became the next incarnation of Lucifer. He may have beaten his opponents, but he lost his mission -- he lost his war.
# Sara 2011-06-27 01:05
It is that exact line of thinking on Dean's part as to why Castiel could not go to Dean for help. War unfortunately is not black and white but several shades of gray. While it would be nice to do the right thing and win, that idea would loose the war (and most of humanity). Sam and Dean saw that when Lilith killed the people they had fought so hard to save by doing what was right over what needed to be done.
While Dean might be morally right, his way would have let Raphael restart the Apocalypse. Castiel WAS looking for another way to win the war, asked God for help. His prayers went unanswered and he went through with his plan. IMO Castiel saying that he was the new better God was his way of saying that he would never abandon them like his father did. And telling them to bow was to give him the respect he felt they never gave him.
# Lori 2011-06-27 17:58
First, thanks so much for your comment, I really enjoy a good thoughtful debate especially with a concrete opposing opinion.

Secondly, sorry, I should have clarified that my previous response was specific to the moral lessons learned by the characters as the show has put forth in the past, not to war in general or in any way applicable to reality. And if you made the exact same statement in reference to the dispute between Dean and Sam at the end of S4, when Sam was drinking blood with the very noble intent of killing Lilith, I'd have agreed. That situation was grayer, more ambiguous. Neither brother was fully right, neither brother was fully wrong. Until, that is, Sam's actions directly caused the release of Lucifer -- at that point, to my way of thinking, the show declared Sam to be wrong. Was he? If we could ask him, I imagine he'd say yes, and that he wished he had listened to Dean.

So when you get to the end of S6, the situation with Cas and Dean appears to me to be nothing more than a repeat of the S4 situation with Dean and Sam. There are different stakes and different circumstances, but the emotions at play are the same, and I can't imagine the moral at the end will be any different.

For the record, I prefer it when things are more ambiguous. I would have enjoyed the final episodes of S6 better if I could in any way see a possibility that Cas would be proven to be right (and when I get around to writing part 3 it may still jump out at me). ButIright now I just don't, especially in light of his threat to punish Raphael's followers severely (undoubtedly, he really meant torture or kill them) and his threat to destroy his former friends if they did not bow down. He is not Cas anymore, not in essence, and I believe when the show returns we will find that Cas in trying to avert one apocalypse will have simply brought on a different one. But the rest of that thought is for part 3.

Thanks again for the comment!
# Julie 2011-06-26 11:21
Hello Lori
I really enjoyed this wander down memory lane, what a great idea.
I know Dean saying Cas was `like a brother` upset a lot of people but for me it in no way diminshed Sam at all, it just gave some recognition to how the relationship between Dean and Cas has changed and grown over the last 3 Seasons.
I look forward to reading the other articles Ju :-)
# Ellie 2011-06-26 13:47
Of course it diminshed Sam and certainly in the eyes of some of this fandom who in hearing those precious dream words that they had being waiting to hear since they decided Sam was not fit to breathe the same air has Dean let alone be his brother that now here is the shows confirmation Castiel is Deans brother .

Dean can decide who family is for him doesnt mean Sam has to see Castiel the same way ifSam had turned round and called Brady you were like a brother to me Sam would of been crucified but it is fine for Dean to say it to Castiel. Dean saying that to Castiel esp after the way Dean barely thought about Cas through out the season stuck in my throat and still does. It took from Sam the moment Ben Edlund had Dean utter those words to his long distance like a marriage partner .
# Brynhild 2011-06-26 15:49
Tell me something: if you have TWO brothers, how on earth expressing your love for one of them dimiishes the other?

Calling Bobby a "quasi-father" diminishes John in any way? And if we can see Ellen like a mother-figure for the boys, does it mean that Mary was less of a mother for them?

We learned long ago that the "family" Supernatural is about doesn't end with blood: being family is earned building a relationship based on trust, reliability, having each other's back, being there when needed. I think that in S5 Castiel earned to be family like Bobby and Ellen. Dean saying that he's "like a brother" (beware: LIKE a brother, not A brother) is just an aknowledgment of that.

Why a "brother", in particular? Because they fought side by side, giving each other help and support in times of stress and danger, risking so much and giving up so much for each other. Just like Dean and Sam did, only for a shorter time. There is also a thing called "war/arms brotherhood", and I think that this is the case for Dean and Castiel.

Not to mention the "more profound bond" they share... :D
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-26 17:35
I agree with you whole heartedly here. I believe firmly that family doesn't end in blood. Dean's perception of both Cas and Sam is different---eve n if he is using the same term in "brother." To me, it just shows how big of a heart Dean possesses to be able to do things like that. It doesn't make Sam LESS Dean's brother. And while Sam didn't have as much of a connection to Cas as Dean, we saw him treat the angel in a similar manner in his own way. I don't think it makes what Sam and Dean share any less that Dean had a big enough heart to open it up to Cas---even if it looks like that might have come to an end by the end of season 6. We shall see where they go with that in season 7, I suppose.
# Jasminka 2011-06-27 07:07
Amen to that, Brynhild! I hope your voice of reason will be heard.
Thank you. Jas
# Julie 2011-06-26 16:35
Hi Ellie,
If you will note in my comment I did acknowledge exactly what you are a saying that some parts of fandom were upset by this statement, but, if you continue to read I did qualify my statement by saying `for me` this was not the case.
I rarely engage in debates here as I have so often observed that whilst we all watch the same programme peoples` perceptions of it and of the characters are very different and that everyone will see and believe what they want to. Again `for me` I am certain that no one will ever be more important to Dean than Sam, he has always put his needs, safety and indeed life before any others including often his own. Ju
# Lori 2011-06-26 23:24
I agree Sam does not have to see someone as family just because Dean does -- in fact I don't think Sam sees Cas as family. He sees him as a friend and ally, but I do not think Sam views Cas as family at all -- but he also does not mind that Dean does. In my opinion, Sam is just grateful Cas was there to help pull Dean through his recovery from Hell trauma when Sam himself was too occupied with his own brand of trauma to realize Dean needed help -- preferably from his brother -- not revenge.

And I think it's important to remember that Dean used the phrase "next to Sam" before continuing to say "you and Bobby are the closest things I have to family, you are like a brother to me". The "next to Sam" is key -- it clearly places Sam above anyone else. If you take Dean's statement as a whole, it does not diminish Sam -- it elevates him.
# LordAniline 2011-06-26 23:50
Was that line from Man who would be King? The entire episode was told from Cas POV and honestly, I don't trust Cas' narrative. The way he told it, *he* was the one who stopped the Apocalypse, so it wouldn't surprise me if Cas "misheard" Dean's line about him being like a brother. Cas has been telling so many lies through out season 6 that I had to wonder if he's delusional because everybody was acting weird and OOC in his narrative. Even his narrative to God were lies by omissions.
# Belinda 2011-08-14 18:13
I did not see how everyone has been acting weird or OOC in the Man Who Would Be King, and just because he was telling lies doesn't mean his admission to God and things from his point of view are just thrown aside like trash.

The way he told the story, the apocalypse was stopped by two boys, an old drunk, and a fallen angel, and Sam made the ultimate sacrifice, he had said nothing of he himself stopping the apocalypse. I think you are putting words into Cas's mouth that he never said or implied.

And there is nothing wrong with Dean saying that Cas is like a brother to him. It does not diminish Sam in any way especially considering if people would stop taking it out of context and see that Dean said that "NEXT TO SAM" that Cas and Bobby were the closest things to family. And just because Cas is like a brother to Dean doesn't mean Sam isn't important. I often tell my best friend that she is like a sister to me, it doesn't mean I love my little brother any less. Soldiers who fought in wars together often see each other as brothers, it doesn't mean their blood families doesn't matter.

I think people are taking that quote way out of context just to start conflict when Dean clearly says that Sam is more important despite his bond to Cas.
# AndreaW 2011-06-27 19:38
I'm really grateful that Dean remembered to add the "next to Sam" line. More than being united by blood, Sam and Dean have a lifetime history together. What they shared can never be compared to anything between Dean and Castiel. If it weren't for the "next to Sam" words, Dean calling Castiel a brother would put him in the same level with Sam and that is wrong to me. An ally and a friend, yes, but not a brother.
# MB 2011-06-26 17:16
To this day I still believe that there is more to Castiel's return to form rather than simply wanting to tell Dean the truth. 4.17 proves that the angels can easily remove any knowledge they don't want known from a human without breaking a sweat. A part of me wonders if an element of Castiel's reindoctrinatio n spans from the fact that he was thinking for himself and breaking ranks and orders.

Something else to consider perhaps?
# AndreaW 2011-06-26 20:30
While respecting who thinks otherwise,I'm with those who didn't like Dean calling Castiel a brother. I have no long explanation to offer. I just don't like it. The show has always been about Sam and Dean's unique relationsip. When Adam was introduced there was a riot, because how did they dare to introduce a third brother? Now, Castiel is promoted to Dean's brother and no one seems to bother. Sam, Dean AND Castiel? It just doesn't work for me. Sounds like something added to please the Dean/Castiel fans.

Since we're on the subject, I also think that Dean could be just a little more angry at Castiel for what he did to Sam. All he said was "I lost Sam, don't make me lose you too". Nothing of this makes much sense to me.
# LordAniline 2011-06-26 21:21
I took Dean's line as to not piss off His Majesty Castiel. Dean has just seen Cas kill Raphael, the archangel he's been trying to defeat for 2 years, with a snap and a smile. Even before the soul munching, Cas was already off the rails with torturing Ellie and breaking Sam's protective wall, clearly demonstrating that Cas was not hesitant about using great cruelty.

Dean's line was about placating Cas, his "family" speech is his M.O of last resort when things aren't going his way.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-26 22:03
I kinda felt that Dean was talking to Cas the same way he had talked to that guy in Mystery Spot. Anything to try and get the guy to give up the gun, you know? He wants to get out of there alive and so he has to talk to him carefully. It's either that or get snapped out of existence yourself, you know?
# LordAniline 2011-06-26 22:30
Any psychiatrist will tell you when faced with a crazy person with a gun, always say, "Yes!" Mystery Spot guy with a shotgun and Castiel with untold number of nukes, you speak to them with a soft voice and act like their best friend forever.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-26 22:33
Exactly. I NEVER took it to mean Dean was bowing to Cas. It was more like "If I talk softly and slowly maybe we can get out of here alive and THEN figure out what the hell to do."
# Jasminka 2011-06-27 03:36
And yet, there was sincerity in Dean's voice when he said that line.

I believe he was - apart from trying to 'talk down' Castiel - also feeling utter devastation that he was about to be losing someone he regarded as a part of his family.

Cheers, Jas
# LordAniline 2011-06-27 18:20
Have you ever tried to talk/calm down a psycho family member that is more interested in hurting you than listening to you? The person you’ve known all your life is replaced by a pod, every core of your being knows this and every cell in your body is screaming at you to survive this pod person who can and may want to extinct you. Survival instinct completely takes over and you find yourself saying the most ridiculous things and acting in the most humiliating submissive manner in hopes that the pod person will be amused/distract ed enough not to extinct you, because the pod likes this new you and don’t care if it’s a lie.

Cas isn’t Dean’s Cas anymore, Dean has seen the before and after and this isn’t Cas but a threat that looks like Cas that needs to be put down; especially when he threatened Dean with, "you're not my family". Pod people does that all the time, say that you are no longer part of the family and hence not worthy of any protection. From there it's a very short step towards extinction.

Besides it’s typical police procedure, distract the nut waving a gun while your partner sneaks in a kill shot.
# Jasminka 2011-06-28 07:23
Hey, I work in the psych department. You may assume that I have been in dangerous situations. You're preaching to the choir. No need for this kind of passion, m'lord.
;-) , Jas
# LordAniline 2011-06-28 19:39
Working with it when you have the option to leave is not the same animal as living it when 90% of society (psychiatrists included) tell you that you are a horrible person for wanting to leave.

Cheers, m'lady.
# Jas 2011-06-29 16:17
Any psychiatrist who tells you that you were a horrible person for wanting to leave an (unbearable) situation, is overstepping the line. You can assume that he hasn~t learned his job well.

I truly wish that you can get over whatever has been/is so painful to you.

Best, Jas
# LordAniline 2011-06-29 20:21
At best one can move toward the future, learn from the past, and make a promise never to be put in similar situations again. But one never truly "get over" it, for it is always part of oneself, everyday is a struggle. To tell someone to "get over" it is one of the worse thing you can say as a form of invalidation.
# Jasminka 2011-06-30 13:37
I am profoundly sorry that you misunderstood and misconstrued what I was sincerly wishing: that you would be able to get over whatever happened to you and that in time you could learn to live with the pain. wishing you all the best, Jas
# Brynhild 2011-06-27 19:54
I took Dean's line as to not piss off His Majesty Castiel.
Ehm... LordAniline, Dean's "brother" line is not in "The man who knew too much", but in "The man who would be king", so is NOT used to calm down God!Castiel, but to call to the heart of a (ex?)friend.

I just don't understand all this aggressiveness toward Castiel. Was he involved in the plan to free Sam from panic room and let him kill Lilith? Yes. So? He had been tortured and frighened, much like Dean in Hell. Still I don't see anyone blaming Dean SO MUCH for becoming a torturer. Why blaming Castiel?

Has he gone darkside? Yes. Was he planning that all along since S5? NO. A big NO. Please, rewatch the S5 episode. If he was something in S5, is more human, struggling for better understand humans; without his family, longing for and resenting to an absent Father, he leaned on Dean and Sam and stood loyally by them, learning from them the value of free will and the true meaning of "family". And he was far from bossy, so so far from it that Dean still treat him like a "baby": awkward and needing instruction in humanity.

So I just don't know what kind of Castiel did you watch. Maybe you saw him through dark colored glasses from the start...
# LordAniline 2011-06-27 22:17
The line I was referring to was in Andrea's post "I lost Sam, don't make me lose you too" when I wrote that Dean probably said it to not to piss off His Majesty Castiel.

Yes, I know the "brother" line was in the "Man who would be King". Since the entire episode was Castiels POV, I don't entirely trust his narrative since he lied from here to Kingdom Come for at least 2 years.

As for season 5, writers passed up numerous opportunities for Dean and Castiel to establish a personal bond. When Dean did want to talk, Castiel often just flew away. Heck the writers could have salvaged Castiel in season 5 but instead turned him into butt of jokes who didn't do a whole lot to fight the Apocalypse and instead moped about his dad and drank alot. Meanwhile the writers rewrapped the Trickster by making him Gabriel, have him tell the brothers how to trap Lucifer, then taking on Lucifer himself while delivering an awesome pro-human speech, and then having heroic death. Castiel getting blown up a second time was just kind of funny.

Maybe he learned something about humanity from season 5, but if he did it was unlearned post-Swan Song. Once he regained his power Castiel more or less reverted to his season 4 self; lied to Dean for 2 years, raised soulless Sam and abandoned him to the wilderness, teamed up with Crowely, and put the world at bigger risk than before.
# Lara 2011-06-26 20:31
I guess for me, Dean saying Castiel was like a brother to him, combined with Ben Edlund's assertion that Dean and Castiel were in a "long distance marriage" when they both pretty much ignored each other as persons in season 6, pretty much trashed everything for me. I want Castiel dead and gone as originally intended at the end of season 6. I don't think the writers have the guts to do it for real. I just view Castiel as a villain now, and much worse than Ruby ever was.
# LordAniline 2011-06-26 21:02
I agree there, Dean and Cas have been ignoring each other for most of S6, and when they do meet up again it's been mostly indifference. Even Cas' loyal follower (before he killed her) accused Dean of being not a true friend to Cas. Unless that's how "long distance marriage" really are, I don't have that experience.

The only reason I can think of why Dean would refer to Cas as "family" is 1) Cas rescued him from hell, which is a big deal, and 2) he is really short on friends and allies. And with Cas going darkside, the number of friends and allies have been completely cut by half to now just one left, Bobby.

Also agree that Castiel is worse than Ruby, who wanted Lucifer to rule the world where as Castiel wants to rule the world himself.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-26 22:08
To me, Dean has such a big heart. Both Winchester brothers do. When they let you in, they let you in for good---until you betray them beyond the shadow of a doubt. I think Dean did feel like Cas was family, that his rescuing him from Hell and turning away from the other Angel's plans in season 5 meant something.

Castiel obviously hid from Dean and was distant from him in season 6 because he was on his dark path and I think knew he had need of hiding it. Dean was distant because he was trying to cope with returning to hunting, straddling the two worlds with Lisa and Ben on one side and Sam on the other, and then Soulless Sam himself. It's no wonder that he wasn't in thick with Cas for much of the season.

I don't know that Cas is worse than Ruby, but I do think it's going to be fascinating to see how they resolve what's happened. We have, what, 89 days till season 7? I'm just trying to make it till next Friday for my convention!
# marilyn 2011-06-26 22:23
Hello Lori

Great article- I am looking forward to the next installment.

On the brother debate: I think Cas filled a hole in Dean's life when Sam took off with Ruby in S4 and when he and Sam were estranged in S5. So I can see Cas as being both a surrogate brother and a brother - in - arms due to their battlefield experiences.

But I cannot see anyone taking Sam's place in Dean's life and heart. No one else will be the "pain-in-the-as s little brother" who became an equal, gaining Dean's respect after sacrificing himself to put Lucifer in the cage.

I, too, do not fully understand the ending in Heaven and Hell. If they were all in on the Godzilla vs Mothra plan, they did one hell of an acting job in front of Cas and Uriel. Also, could Uriel have thrown Dean back in the pit during a dream?

Far Away Eyes- Good point about Cas letting Sam out of the Panic Room. He never owned up to it as far as I can tell.

Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-26 22:37
I never ever saw Cas taking Sam's place in Dean's heart. Both brothers were struggling so badly and Dean grabbed onto a footholding. It just happened to be Cas. It didn't make Sam less than or take the hurt from their estrangement away.

I don't know how much Cas really knew about the plans of Heaven and Hell in season 4. I got the impression that until the Rapture, he was left a lot in the dark. Once he knew they were set out to release Lucifer to have the big dance off and he had his "retraining" he came back to fulfill those orders, including letting Sam out of that Panic Room. I still want that addressed.

I wonder if another angel could have thrown Dean back at will---but I don't think they would have. They needed his meat suit for Michael, even if he was refusing to say Yes. It's why they brought both brothers back over and over in season 5.
# LordAniline 2011-06-26 22:48
Nope, Castiel never owned his part for bringing on the apocalypse, he knew about Lilith being the final seal and he let Sam out of the panic room for that purpose. In season 5's first episode Castiel blamed the brothers and bitched at Dean, "I rebelled and I did all of it for you and you failed. You and your brother destroyed the world." He never acknowledged his part and never took personal accountability, which is why his downward spiral into soul munching was of no surprise. Season 6 Castiel pretty much reverted back to his old season 4 self.

It's kind of hilarious after being threatened with Sam going evil for so long that it was actually Castiel who went full blown darkside. Reminds me of season 5 when fans were wringing their hands that Sam would say "yes" to Lucifer when it was actually Dean they had talk off the ledge and cuff him in the panic room.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-26 22:50
Lori-I like this concept and agree that the discussions about the evolution of Cas/Dean relationship starts by analyzing when Cas and Dean begin this tenuous and often one-sided relationship. To my mind, I've often felt that Dean, especially in Season 4, was confused by his role in the grand scheme and hence his relationship with Cas was confused as well. (As a tangent, I really like your observation about Cas in "The Rapture," which I think was a particularly important episode.)

Now, Cas, on the other hand, I think finds affection for Dean (and Sam) because now he has this relationship by which he compares the sense of heavenly brotherhood - that is the brotherhood of Heaven (as we'll learn later from Gabriel as well) is saturated in contention and competition for the affection of the absent father-God. And as much tension that Sam and Dean feel toward each other, the show was always careful to discount any real competition between them for John's affection. Even when the idea was brought up, like in "Salvation" I believe, it was quickly shown that it was not something Dean experienced with regards to his father. It seems to me, at least, that angelic brotherhood is almost like one body that is diseased, breaking apart in its DNA because it's dependency on God weakens it. Sam and Dean are separate beings with these separate relationships to the world and those in the world, which underscores that even if they are siblings by blood, they are brothers by choice. And that's really the lynchpin that I think draws Cas to Dean. And for Dean, who is often almost over empathic, senses this and demonstrates (by choosing Cas as family) how unlike heaven the world can be....

Just some thoughts - love the article and looking forward to your timeline in seasons 5 and 6.
# Lori 2011-06-26 23:51
I really like your assessment that part of the reason Cas is drawn toward this human family is the contrast between family as represented by Dean and Sam (and Bobby) as opposed to his own, especially as he watches how Sam and Dean handle their differences vs. how his Heavenly family does. Sam and Dean face many of the same troubles plaguing the angelic brotherhood -- lies, betrayal, anger, hurt, banishment (self-imposed or otherwise) -- Sam and Dean struggle and falter but inevitably wind up doing what they have to do to work through it, to wind up together and united (think of Dean's statement to Cas while trying to convince Cas to help him escape from the Green Room, "I'll take Sam as is" -- Dean and Sam had just had one of the biggest fights of their lives, parted completely at odds with each other, and yet Dean is still refusing to abandon his brother). Compared to Cas's angel-brothers who just continue to betray, lie, and work their own agendas, and you're right -- of course Cas is drawn to them, it's the way family should be, and Dean is his closest tie into that family.

I also agree 100% with your point that unlike many of the angels, Sam nor Dean ever competed with each other for Daddy's attention. I think it's indisputable Dean did court John's favor more than Sam, but there is absolutely no evidence Dean ever did so at Sam's expense, nor that he resented any attention John gave to Sam. Both brothers have in the past believed the other to be John's favorite (or maybe they both still do) -- Sam said outright in Bugs that Dean was the favorite, that he was "perfect" as far as John was concerned. And though I don't think Dean has ever expressed it out loud, it's been thrown in his face by enough demons who were undoubtedly reading his thoughts that I think it's safe to say he thinks Sam's the favorite. But despite that, neither brother resents the other for it -- which speaks highly of the character of both if you ask me.

Thanks for the comments, and for giving me more things to think about -- I'm not quite finished with part 2 yet, and I'm going to keep your comments about heavenly brothers vs. human ones in mind as I continue -- excellent point.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-27 06:39
This. THIS. The brotherly bond is unshakable and unbreakable between Sam and Dean because the are capable of accepting one another, warts and all. It's something the Angels seem incapable of doing. You're right. The Angels all fight over a father who has left them all behind long ago and so they stab each other in the back over and over.

I've been brewing a meta piece comparing demons and angels, and I'm discovering which side is actually less honorable. It might surprise people to know which I think has honor and which doesn't! It's largely because of this type of issue between Angelic siblings.
# Jasminka 2011-06-27 03:45
Hi Lori and thank you for this fresh approach to the Dean/Castiel issue.

I agree with many of your assessments, with some not entirely, but that's not really important.
You made me curious about he other parts yet to come.

You poked the bear, it seems, with this article - judging from some comments above. So - kudos to you for tackling such a 'hot' subject.

I saw their relationship often as that of a stranger being led through the strange land by a native, meaning: Castiel was very much a virgin in the ways of men, a detached figure who knew nothing of human emotion or attachment or pains.

And how could he - being a creature outside human contacts, an observer, a heavenly tool, but not truly involved.
And then he got to know more about those humans and started thinking for himself.
He suffered a lot, I'd say, because he knew that he was breaking the law of obedience various times.

He became attached to Dean, formed a close bond, and Dean did so, too.
I love your description of their relationship in your take on OnHeadOfAPin. Only Castiel was able to get Dean to do what he dreaded. And Dean did it because of the bond that was already there. For me one of the saddest moments in the entire series.

Looking very much forward to your further installments, Lori! This was a job well, well done! Thank you! I think we need articles like that.

Cheers, Jas
# Lori 2011-06-27 18:12
Thanks for your very kind comments. As a general rule I don't read comments on fan sites and just stick to the articles themselves, but naturally wanted to read responses to my own, especially as I'm finalizing my thoughts on S5 and preparing to start on S6. It has been quite educational! I guess poking a bear is as good a way to introduce yourself as any, as long as, to paraphrase Dean, he doesn't wind up some giant falming pissed off teddy :) Thanks again for reading and for the interest in the topic.
# shadow 2011-06-27 11:07
I have really a hard times studying a supernatural being like it is a human, emotional and compassionate.
The angels in the world of Supernatural are for me like demons with wings and they fail, all of them to really and truly understand humans like the Winchesters.
I even feel uncomfortable to read Cas instead of Castiel. Its to humanized, like a pet(but I prefer my real pets). I was even hesitant to read your article because I am really fed up with Castiel/Dean forced extraordinary bond, or -more profound bond (says who?)
For me they never can be friends and I often cringed and felt uncomfortable watching Castiel in the series. Even to think about how Castiel is feeling is to much for me, and now getting a whole POV episode in season 6 (for me that was the worst episode ever) -I have no words in english right now!
From the very beginning Castiel manipulated Dean (AND Sam) and till now nothing is adressed. It seems Castiel can't take responsibility after all he is not a human being with an incredible soul (like the one who sacrificed himself for the world) and I choose to see Castiel like Ruby, a big manipulator, arrogant, his own "staring at his own navel" and using humans like playthings. Castiel failed to be an equal, he doesn't get humans and the "friendship" was never a friendship. I din't like what the writers gave Ackles and Padalecki to speak to Castiel. The words from Sam "I'd die for you" and from Dean "You're like my brother" my only reaction to this was *gulp* "what? What was that?"
I think the only reason for Dean to feel anything towards this winged being is that he rescued Dean from hell. That's a valid point I understand (to bad Sam couldn't save his brother).

Castiel is a reflection of Ruby in a different way and I think it's time to clean up for the brothers.

When season premiere starts with the brothers standing shoulder to shoulder defeating this supernatural being, I will be the most satiesfied supernatural viewer ever.
When the writers including Sam POV in season 7 I will be the happiest Supernatural viewer of the world!
I even don't know wether I further want to read more about Castiel, I just have to get this out of my system.
Sorry, it's just I feel this way and I want an end to the angel story. I want back to the brothers story!

I won't comment again to Castiel's article here, I promise!
# Sylvie 2011-06-27 15:18
Wow, Lori, your article certainly woke up quite the debate. I thought it was really interesting and I will be looking forward to parts 2 & 3.

When Cas first shows up in season 6 and Sam says to Cas that he prefers Dean, he simply states the fact that he and Dean have a special bond, and I do think he means it at the time. Or course they could never be brothers, one is human & the other is a very powerful supernatural being! But I do think they have that special bond Castiel mentioned. In season 5 in "Free to Be You And Me", Dean says that he's had more fun with Cas in one day than he has with Sam in years. That line broke my heart, so I was very glad that Sam & Dean reconnected in season 6, well when Sam got his soul back anyway.

I think a whole lot has been said about this relationship, so I'll just wait for your next articles. Thanks for making us think on this.
# LordAniline 2011-06-27 19:03
The line was sad because it showed how much Dean missed his brother. The quiet tone he finished with, the look the way he skipped a breath when thinking about Sam. Dean didn't even want to help Castiel in the first place, he was irritated. The only part of that episode that had any feeling in it was when the brothers were talking with each other.

The whole episode was about how much Dean was devistated about not being with Sam. And the funny thing is IF and an extreme IF it was true that he had more fun with Castiel, Dean still wanted to be with Sam more than he wanted to be with the 'fun' Castiel

But I noticed that this particular line is what the extreme Destiel fans always goes back to, as "proof" that Castiel should replace Sam as Dean's brother. And now that Castiel has apparently gone darkside, those same fans have completely turned on Dean and blaming him for stopping/saving Castiel.
# Sylvie 2011-06-28 11:32
I am definitely not a Destiel fan or a Wincest fan by any measure! Yes, I agree that Dean missed the relationship with his brother, and after what he witnessed what happens in "The End" he calls him up and they do try and form that brotherly bond again. It takes a while, and I think it's still being fixed. Especially after Dean forgives everything in "And Then There Were None". Even Sam says to him that some of them have done some pretty shady things. So we'll have to see if that forgiveness will extend to Castiel. I have my doubts.
# LordAniline 2011-06-27 19:06
last line should have said "not stopping/saving Castiel".
# laurie 2011-06-27 22:18
I think you are too quick to see actual friendship, right off the bat between them. Your view of Castiel is much to [Cas fan] sympathetic in the earlier episodes, anticipating the future friendship. He was no friend at first, only obeying orders.

While Cas does express doubts, it is definitely not friendship at all. I think the first real sign of affection for Dean himself isn't until "On the Head of a Pin". Before that, it was reaction to the other angels like Anna and Uriel, and reflection on his own duty.
# Sylvia37 2011-06-28 01:26
You're article is definitely interesting and insightful.

As for my own opinion, I'm really curious to know what the original intent for Castiel's character was before they found out what a popular character he turned out to be. I wonder how far from the original path they went.

I've always felt that the writing for his character was inconsistent and contrived to fit the story. While I see how you came to the conclusions you did about season 4, I think his character was pretty much butchered for season 5. One minute he's blaming Sam for not making the right choices (seemingly not taking into account his own part in those choices), and the next he's telling Anna he's his friend. He obviously feels sympathy for Sam during MBV, and by the end of the season, he's pissed at Dean about his apathy, siding with Sam to stop Dean from saying yes to Michael. All of this with basically no significant dialogue between him and Sam for any episodes. I find that really funny and sad.

As for Sam, I didn't find that his being willing to die for Castiel the least odd. I find it funny how people read so much into those words when we have consistantly been shown that both he and Dean are willing to put themselves into harms way time and time again, mostly for people they don't hardly know at all. It was pretty much established in "Wendigo" when Sam stood in front of Haley and her brother as the monster came for them. How is it surprising that he would take a hit for Castiel? Especially as he knows how important he is to Dean. If fact, I'd be willing to bet that by season 5, Sam thought Dean would probably be willing to sacrifice Sam for Castiel as well.

And finally, while I did feel a twinge at Dean saying Castiel was like a brother, I didn't feel like it diminished Sam. Dean tends to adopt people into his idea of family, while keeping his relationship with Sam on a different level. There's family and then there's Sam. I think Sam is the same way. While he doesn't get as close to people as Dean (mostly because the writers don't tend to think showing his relationship with people other than Dean is important) to Sam, Dean is on a plane above everyone else. It's just a given. They might have battered it a bit during seasons 4 and 5, but they didn't kill it.

I look forward to the rest of your ideas.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-28 07:23
I agree entirely with you on both brother's view of family. There IS Family and then there is Sam or Dean in each brother's head. They elevate each other so far higher than every other possibly adopted family member---includ ing but becoming less and less over time, Bobby. Bobby's probably the only one that will ever reach towards that level of importance for both brothers.

You're right. Both brothers will lay their lives down for complete strangers they just met. Why is it surprising they might do the same for Castiel?