“The Born Again Identity”

Season 7 Episode 17

Robin's Rambles by Robin H. Vogel


Sam runs along railroad tracks. It's very foggy. He bumps into someone. "HEY! DICK!" the man calls him. He runs through a gate, past grattifo-covered walls, past two men exchanging money for a drug deal. The dealer orders Sam away, but Sam assures him no one is after him. Why you runnin' up here like that? demands the dealer. Just leave me alone, pleads Sam. What the hell did you take, anyway? the dealer asks. Nothing, answers Sam. Shut up, says the dealer. He's tellin' the truth, says Lucifer, burned through that last beer HOURS ago, right about the time Dean passed out--come on, Sam, tell the nice tweaker--you'd be sleepin' right now if the devil would just leave you alone for five seconds--stupid Satan--chasin' you all the way to--where are we? Sam sits, head in his hands, moaning with exhaustion. I just need some rest! groans Sam. Try the hand scar, teases Lucifer. How many days you been up, anyway? asks the dealer. Four, says Luci, checking his watch--scratch that--five. Sam lurches away. Hold up, says the dealer, you want a knock-out?--I can knock you out. 

Later, seated beside the dealer in a junk car, the front windshield is blasted through by a metal pole that narrowly misses killing Sam. When he looks again, the pole is gone, the window unbroken, and Lucifer is singing "Good morning to you, our day is beginning, so good morning to you" in a cheerful, obnoxious voice. Sam runs away. I thought you liked my singing! taunts Luci. Luci follows. Pills? he says--you just get that you're bringing free drugs to the party, right?--I am INSIDE you, Sam!--hey, what's the longest a normal human being's gone without sleep?--seven days--relentlessly pursuing Sam, he says, hey, you always wanted to be normal, Sam!--if ya are, you'll be dead in a week! Blindly running away, Sam crosses a street without looking and is struck by a car.

Dean bursts, unscheduled, into Dr. Kadindsky's office. He was in a car crash, why the hell can't I see him? demands Dean. You're Sam Smith's brother, states the doctor, and sends the nurse who followed Dean in outside. Sam was admitted, treated for a broken rib and lacerations, explains the doctor, AND he's on our locked psychiatric floor. Stunned, Dean admits, he's had some trouble, but. . .  So you're aware that he's experiencing a full-blown psychotic episode? asks the doc. Psychotic?--it's not like the guy's freakin' Norman Bates, protests Dean. I'm sure he isn't, says the doc, we need to figure out if his state was brought on by the insomnia or whether the insomnia's a symptom of his condition, so we can figure out how to treat him. The insomnia's kind of new, supplies Dean. Right, says the doc, we've pumped him as full of sedatives as we safely can, so far he won't go under, I've never seen anything like it. 

 

Ward D-2 - Lucifer plays string games with his fingers, talking to a drugged Sam: I'm just sayin', back when you had no soul, you never had to sleep. Dean enters. Ah, Mr. Helpless! chortles Luci, pull up a six-pack, buddy. How you feel? asks Dean. Maybe you should cancel my UFC(?) fight, says Sam weakly. Keep that sense of humor, Sam, it'll get you through this, says Luci. Dean sits on the bed. I'm gonna find you help, promises Dean. Sam makes a sound of disbelief. Now that sounded a little cynical, says Luci. I don't think it's out there, says Sam. We don't know that, says Dean. Better than most, counters Sam, it's all snake oil--the last faith healer we hooked up with had a reaper on a leash, remember? (Good continuity!) Dean remembers. I'm just sayin', says Sam. That you don't want my help? asks Dean. No, I'm just sayin' don't do this to yourself, says Sam. If I don't find something. . .says Dean. Then I'll die, finishes Sam. Aw, you're upsetting me, objects Luci. Dean, we knew this was coming, says Sam. No, objects Dean. When you put my soul back, continues Sam. No, says Dean. Cas warned you about all the stuff it would. . .says Sam. Screw Cas, says Dean--quit bein' Dolly freakin' Yoda about this, okay, get pissed! I'm too tired, says Sam, sighing--this is what happens when you throw a soul into Lucifer's dog bowl--you think there's going to be some cure out there? Oh, you guys are having a moment! mocks Lucifer. Dean leaves. (And Luci was right, that was a very sad, tear-inducing scene. Shut up, Luci, go play in traffic!)

We have a montage of Dean going through Bobby's journal, calling his friends, identifying himself as a friend of Bobby's, trying to track down information that will help him help Sam. He keeps crossing out names, apparently coming up empty.

A nurse takes Sam's blood pressure and temperature, Lucifer making faces at him over her shoulder. She takes his temperature.

"I'm SO sorry to have bothered you!" sneers Dean, tossing down his phone angrily, crossing out another name on the list. 

Narcissistic personality disorder, reads Luci to Sam from a huge tome--okay, now this one I could have. A nurse comes in to give Sam his medication. Sets unrealistic goals, check, says Luci, but, trouble keeping health relationships. . .not so sure about that one--thoughts? 

Dean thanks another caller and tosses aside his phone. He crosses off another name, checks something else in Bobby's journal, hears a wind when he goes to the fridge for another drink, comes back to find the journal on the floor and a business card on the floor beside it. He calls the phone number on the back of it. Dean's return # is 755550128.

 

The doctor visits Sam, asks about his rib pain, scale 1-10. Three, replies Sam. You don't have to lie, says the doc. I'm not, says Sam. You've suffered terrible agony, says the doc, your pain must be astronomical. I have a high threshold, says Sam. But the worst is knowing there's always a new 10, says the doc. What are you talkin' about? asks Sam. The truly elegant torture I have prepared for you today, says the doc, his face morphing into Lucifer's. Sam rises from the bed and moves around it. Stay away from me! he says. But it's so nice chatting! protests Lucifer--Sam, I hate these one-sided conversations--come one, buddy, engage--you, me, locked ward--is it me or is this just like the cage? Sam nods, terrified.

Later, Sam's dinner is delivered. He takes one bite of the burger on white bread; inside are squirming maggots! He drops the sandwich to the floor, kicking away with the heels of his feet. A pretty girl with long red hair and bandages on her neck stops in front of his door and stares at him, then runs away in fear. 

Dean is looking at the AMAZING GRACE web site when his phone rings. It's Matthew, extending condolences on Bobby. I might have something for you, says Matthew, there's this guy, goes by Emmanuel, kinda roams, first started hearin' about him coupla months back, how he was healin' the sick and curin' the crazy--naturally, I think somethin' in the milk ain't clean. Heard the best way to get to him was through his wife, Daphne, out in Colorado, so, I go. I tell her I'm goin' blind--it's true, my right eye's burnt out. She says ho home, he'll come. So, I go. I set every trap, every test in the book. That's what I would have done, agrees Dean. Emmanuel shows--he passes every one, says Matthew--there ain't nothing weird about this guy--except he's the real deal--he touched me, and my eye was fixed--look, I don't believe in much that don't suck your blood, but I wouldn't call you on a maybe.

Sam is holding his ears as Luci yells at him through a bullhorn. (He really is a child, isn't he? BASTARD!!) The pretty redhead enters Sam's room. She offers him a candy bar. I saw you yesterday, you didn't look too happy with your in-flight meal, she says. Thanks. . .he says. Marin, she fills in, no problem. Sam, right? she asks. Sam raises his shoulders in agony as Lucifer makes the bullhorn send out discordant noise. Marin leaves. 

Dean knocks at the door of Daphne Allen's house. A man answers. You found him, he says, Daphne's resting, if you don't mine. Then step outside. I was hoping, begins Dean, then spies through a window a gagged woman tied to a chair. The "man" before him turns black eyed, grabs Dean by his lapels, turns him and shoves him into the door with enough force to break the windows in it. You were sayin'. . .Dean, says the demon. I'd think twice, says Dean, or don't you know your boss issued a hands-off memo. Please, laughs the demon, what have you done for him lately?--Roman's head on a plate?--whatever Emmanuel is, Crowley's going to want him--a lot more than he wants you these days--so. . . He steps forward to kill Dean, but the latter has the upper hand in the form of the DKK, and stabs him and kills him first. The demons rolls down the stairs to land at the feet of a man who looks exactly like Castiel. He asks a disbelieving Dean, "What was that?" 

Emanuel goes in and unties Daphne, his wife. They were looking for you, she explains. Emanuel introduced himself and Daphne, his wife, to the flustered Dean. "Thank you for protecting my wife," says Emanuel. "Your wife, right," says Dean, more confused by the second. "I saw him face, his real face," says Emanuel. "He was a demon," explains Dean. "A demon walked the earth," says Emanuel. "DEMONS," corrects Dean, "wideloads of 'em, you don't know about?" "You saw the demon's true face," says Daphne, and to Dean, Emanuel has very special gifts." Dean agrees, I have heard that about Emanuel, that you can heal people up. I seem to be able to help, to a certain degree, agrees Emanuel--what's your issue? My brother, says Dean. 

Back at the hospital, Luci awakens Sam with the very loud strains of "Wake Up, Little Susie." He's also tossing lit firecrackers at Sam's metal bed. You're actually keeping it together better than I thought, praises Luci, kind of the way someone pinned under a bus keeps it together. This isn't real, says Sam. And yet, says Luci, lighting another firecracker and tossing it at Sam, making him flinch, you know what really sucks?--it doesn't really matter--he shuts off the music on the boom box--because I won--your madness won--I mean, look at you!--it's hard to believe you're the guy that saved the world once. Sam's food is brought in. Mmmm, Sammy, what'll it be today? asks Lucifer--maggots again? Or tapeworm? Thanks, Sam tells the orderly. No problem, says the latter. That girl, says Sam, Marin. I'm not really supposed to talk about it, says the orderly--let's just say that, unlike you, she didn't get here because of no accident. Lucifer tosses another firecracker at him; Sam grimaces. Luci laughs. 

Driving back from Denver, Dean asks Emanuel about Daphne, his wife. She found me, cared for me, says Emanuel--it's a strange story, you may not like it. Believe me, I will, promises Dean. A few months ago, she was hiking by the river and I wandered into her path, drenched and confused, explains Emanuel, unclothed. I had no memory. She said God wanted her to find me. So who named you Emanuel? asks Dean. Bouncing Baby Names.com, says Emanuel. It's workin' for ya, says Dean, it must be weird not knowin' who you are. It's my life, it's a good life, he says. What if you were some kind of, I don't know, bad guy? asks Dean. I don't feel like a bad person, says E. 

Man, you must be really determined to wait out nap time, says Marin, watching him stare blearily out the window. She tosses a candy bar on the bed. She starts to exit. Wait, share this with me, says Sam. Thanks, she says, even though I'm thanking you for a candy bar I stole. He has trouble unwrapping it. How long have you been here? he asks. Five weeks and counting, she answers, going for the record. How come? he asks. It doesn't matter, she says. That's a lot of bandages for a doesn't matter, says Sam. You want the doctor answer? she asks--I'm psychotically depressed with suicidal ideation. She turns to go. And the not-doctor answer? queries Sam. I feel like crap, she says--I just want it to be over. What? he asks. Everything, she answers. Go on, she urges, tell me I'm young and have everything to live for. Why would you believe me? asks Sam. True, she says--I heard you're here because the voices won't let you sleep. Just one, really, he says, smiling weakly. Who is it? she asks eagerly, like Charlie Manson or the devil? Kinda, yeah, says Sam. Me, too, says Marin, I hear a voice. Is that why you set the fire? he asks. Who told you that? she asks, backing away. No one, says Sam, looking at her bandages, the burns. . .  I didn't set the fire, she cries, HE did!--you know, I don't even know why I'm taking to you. Marin, it's okay, Sam assures her. No, it's not! she cries, YOU are crazier than I am, Charles Manson tells you what to do, at least it's my own brother. . .  It's your brother? asks Sam. Yes, she confesses, it sucks when it's your dead brother saying kill yourself to be with him or he'll do it for you. She turns and leaves.

What's your brother's diagnosis? asks Emanuel. It's not exactly medical, says Dean. That should be fine, I can cure illness of a spiritual origin, says Emanuel. Someone DID this to him, says Dean. You're angry, says E. Yeah--he broke my brother's head, says Dean. He betrayed you, this dude, says E, he was your friend? Yeah, well, he's gone, says Dean. Did you kill him? asks E. At Dean's look, E says, I sense you kill a lot of people. Honestly, I don't know if he's dead, says Dean, this whole thing couldn't be messier--you know, I used to be able to just shake this stuff off, whatever it was, it might take me some time, but, I always could, what Cas did, I never could, and I don't know why. It doesn't matter why, says E. Of course it matters, says Dean, annoyed. No, you're not a machine, Dean, you're human. Your friend's name was Cas? It's an odd name. They pull into a parking lot. Sit tight, Sam tells Emanuel, I'll be right out. He enters George's Convenience store and checks his watch. He's almost immediately accosted by a demon, whom he dispatches quickly with the DKK. He also breaks the glass on his phone too, eliciting an oh come on! from Dean. Two more demons attack him, but it appears he has unexpected help when one is knifed from behind and the other exits its meat suit. "Emanuel, you son-of-a-bitch!" exclaims Dean. "Emanuel, yeah, not so much, says a woman standing behind the downed demon holding HIS knife--Meg Masters! "Dean Dean Dean, you got some 'splainin' to do," she quips. He looks behind her to see if she's alone.  

Dean hangs up the CLOSED sign on the door and shuts the blinds. Rumors are really starting to fly about this Emanuel fellow, says Meg, my curiosity sure got revved up. Tell me what you want, says Dean. Imagine my surprise when I find him snuggled up with you, she snarks, the spitting imagine of poor, dead Castiel--what's poor dead Castiel doing in that junker out there? Christmas caroling, retorts Dean. Fine, she says, but how is he alive, last thing I heard, he played God, went poof. I don't know, and neither does he, so you gotta keep your mouth shut! insists Dean--he doesn't know he's Cas. I know, she says, I've been watching you for hours--so here's the deal, you might remember Crowley and me--we were a bit frosty back in the day?--well times haven't changed. Good! says Dean. That hurts my feelings, she says, I've been good to you, Dean. No, he counters, you've been good to YOU, sweetheart. Look, she says, rumors of this wandering healer are strictly low level, but the body count's getting high enough to change that--folks start poking, they smell angel dust. Then they start fallin' all over each other to tell Crowley, says Dean. Now picture Crowley with his hands all over homeless little amnesia Cas, she says--don't get me wrong, I'm going to burn that smarmy dick, my time's coming, right about now, my army of one situation is not cutting it's cold out here, there's a price on my ass and I need friends. Yeah, I get that, says Dean, shaking his head, but I ain't it. That's there you're wrong, she says, 'cause I'm here to help you and that makes us friends. Huh? asks Dean--you mean see if you can't turn harmless little Cas into an angel-size weapon? Like you're taking him caroling, she says sarcastically--and by the way, you really want to keep going with no backup?--hey, I don't trust you, either, but I could really use Emanuel and he trusts you, so for now it's in everyone's best interests to hold hands and cross the street together, okay? Face tight, Dean says, we go straight to Sam, no detours. Love it, she says. And one more thing, says Dean, holding out his hand, my knife. She hands over the blood-stained DKK, and says, you sure we wouldn't be better of traveling with our full-throttle angel?--I could jog his memory. He gives her a dirty look. Kidding! she says, we wouldn't want to upset the poor guy. 

As soon as Dean walks up with Meg, Emanuel pegs her as a demon. It's okay, she assures him, we come in different flavors. She's a friend, says Dean. Meg, she says. just here for moral support--after all, we go way back. Noting Cas' puzzled look, she adds, Dean and me, just met you, of course! But I think we're gonna be good friends, too, she says, sidling up close to Emanuel. All right, could we go? says Dean testily. 

Sam stops Marin in the hall and apologizes for upsetting her. It's okay, she says. Sam tells her he believes she didn't start the fire and says he thinks he can help her--before her brother tries to help her again. He leads her back into his room and sits down on his bed. Lucifer sits on his desk, smiling, then laughing. You're worse, she observes. Your organs need sleep, you know--your hair and nails are gonna fall out and your kidneys are gonna shut down--I saw it in a movie-sorry. When did your brother pass? asks Sam. Last year, answers Marin. And you see him? asks Sam. She shakes her head. So he talks to you, says Sam, but at first it wasn't so bad, you missed him--did you just hear him at the house? Here, too, says Marin--even in a room alone, I can always tell when he's coming, because I get these chills. You feel cold? says Sam. Yeah, she says, you're right--at first it's like I knew I was crazy but I didn't really care--I did miss him--but then, he started saying he was lonely, and he would get mad, and one day he started yelling, I tried to run but the door was locked and when I turned around the whole room was on fire. I barely got out--how can you help me? I can put your brother to rest, says Sam. (Even in the midst of his own problems, Sam is still helping someone out with a ghost problem. He's an amazing person, isn't he?) He's stuck here, says Sam. For real? demands Marin, like? Like he's a ghost, says Sam. Why should I trust you? she asks. Because it's your only shot, points out Sam. Okay, she agrees. Okay, he says, so was your brother cremated, buried? Cremated, she says. Do you have anything of his? asks Sam. She shows Sam a bracelet she's wearing that her brother made for her, and with a busted hand, too--he sliced it open during stupid archery. So he bled on it? surmises Sam. Probably, she says. That's good, he says, and asks if there's any chance in hell she has a lighter. 

Driving back, Emanuel notes, this silence is very uncomfortable, is there something I should know? I don't know. . .Dean? says Meg, slyly passing the buck. No, Meg has that effect, says Dean, passing it right back--awkward, ya know? That must be difficult for her, says Emanuel. Dean is making a joke, Emanuel, says Meg. Oh, says Emanuel, embarrassed. 


Marin returns to his room with a lighter.  Nice--where did you score it? asks Sam. Stole it out of Mark's pocket, she says, being locked up is really turning me into a decent criminal. He closes the door and slides the door under it. (Security is awfully lackadaisical in this supposedly high security ward.) When they make a salt circle, Luci blows it away. You're going to have to do this on your own, Sam tells Marin, blaming it on a dizzy thing, while Lucifer calls it a "brown acid moment" that will end when Sam's heart stops. They step into the salt circle. Sam tells her to stay there with him and asks for her bracelet. The air becomes frigid enough for them to see their breath and Marin's brother's ghost appears. "Don't do this, please!" he begs. Give me the bracelet, Sam orders Marin. I'm so sorry! she tells her brother, I have to do this. The lights overhead go out in a shower of sparks. Sam lights up the bracelet Marin's brother gave her; the bracelet, along with the brother, go up in flames. Voice trembling, Sam tells her, You gotta go, go. Before she does, she thanks him. The orderlies rush in.

Sam is lying in a bed, the doctor shining a flashlight in his eyes. How do you feel now? asks the doctor. How you feeling now? asks the doctor. His soul is broken, doc, can you give him a pill? asks Lucifer. I can't give you anymore medication, says the doctor, the potential for overdose is too great. Sam notices blood on and under his fingernails. We need to talk about surgical solutions, says the doctor. Oooh, lobotomies? chortles Lucifer. We're not talking lobotomy here, the doctor assures him. Darn, complains Lucifer. Sam, are you with me? asks the doctor, but Sam is fading away. 

Dean, Meg and Emanuel pull up to find the hospital is surrounded by demons. All of em? asks Dean. No grass growing under your feet, says Meg sarcastically. How many of those knives do you have? asks Emanuel. Just the one, says Dean, gazing through his binoculars. Forgive me, then what do we do? asks Emanuel. Yeah, Dean, got any OTHER ideas how we might blast through that? asks Meg, even more sarcasm dripping than before. Dean excuses him and Meg. Oh, for the love of. . .she begins. Alone with Dean, she reminds him, SAM'S in there! I know you're enjoying the double-dip with your old pal, but. . . Is it that cut and dry, really? asks Dean--you know what he did you want to tell him and just hope he takes it in stride--he could snap--he could disappear--who knows? Emanuel has joined them. I gather we know each other, he says. Just a dollop, she says. You can tell me, I'll be fine, insists Emanuel. How do you know? demands Dean--you just met yourself, I've known you for years. You're an angel, announces Meg. I'm sorry, says Emanuel, is that a flirtation? No, she says, it's a species, a very powerful one. She's not lying, says Dean, okay, that's why you heal people, you don't eat, I'm sure there's more. Why wouldn't you tell me, asks Emanuel, being an angel sounds pleasant. . .  "It's not, says Dean, it's bloody, it's corrupt, it's not pleasant. You would know, says Meg, you used to fight together--bestest friends, actually. We're friends, says Emanuel. . .am I Cas? Seeing the answer on their faces, he says, I had no idea, I don't remember you, I'm sorry. Look, she says, you got the juice, you can smite every demon in that lot. He turns away from them. But I don't remember how, he says. It's in there, says Dean, I'm sure it's just like ridin' a bike. I don't know how to do that, either. . .all right, I'll try. Watching him leave, Dean says, "This ain't gonna go well." "I dunno," says Meg, "I believe in the little tree-topper."

Cas walks up to one of the demons. I know you, the demon says, you're dead. Yes, I've heard, says Cas, delightfully deadpan. He presses his hand against the demon's face and burns him to death from the inside out. We get a flashback to Dean's first meeting with Cas, when he first exposed his wings, when he knocked Sam unconscious with just a touch, when he drank the blood that got him into this mess in the first place, when he apologized to Dean before going to Purgatory. Cas dispatched two demons at a time, eliciting a "That's my boy" from Meg. When the last demon tried to flee, Cas says, "I don't think running will save you," and dispatched him, too. "That was beautiful, Clarence," cooed Meg, calling him by her pet name. "Cas?" says Dean. "I remember you," says Castiel, his face dark and angry, "I remember everything."

"What I did. . .what I became. . .why didn't you tell me?" demands Cas. "Because Sam's dying in there!" says Dean. "Because of me, everything," says Cas, all these people, I shouldn't be here." He starts to flee. "Cas! Cas! You stay here!" he commands Meg. "CAS!"

Sam, strapped down, is being wheeled down to the shock treatments room. "Don't be freaked, these things have helped a lot of people," the orderly assures him. "My brother," says Sam, before something rubber is shoved into his mouth. "Ordinarily, they keep this thing set on low," the orderly says, but I think we can experiment a little. What do you say, Sam?" He puts a headset on Sam--and we see his black demon eyes! 

You remember--and you know you did the best you could at the time! Dean reminds Cas. Don't defend me! commands Cas--do you have any idea the death toll in Heaven?--on earth? We didn't part friends, Dean. So what? Dean asks. I deserved to die, insists Cas--now I can't possibly fix it, so why did I even walk out of that river? Maybe TO fix it, suggests Dean--wait. He opens his trunk, reaches in, takes out Cas' bloody trench coat and hands it to him.


The demon has already started frying Sam's brain when Cas, wearing his ratty trench coat comes in and kills him. Cas takes off the headset, removes the mouthpiece and says, "I should never have broken your wall, Sam. I'm here to make it right. He places two fingers on Sam's forehead. Sam looks at him. "You're not real," says Sam. "Oh, Sam, I'm so sorry," says Cas.

Lucifer reads to Sam from THREE LITTLE PIGS. The third pig was smart, says Luci, he went out and got some bricks. Off to the side, Dean asks Cas, "What the hell do you mean, you can't?" "I mean there's nothing left to rebuild," explains Cas. "Why not?" asks Dean. "Because it crumbled," says Cas, "the pieces got crushed to dust by whatever is happening inside his head right now." "So you're saying there's nothing?" says Dean--"he's going to be like this until his candle blows out?" "I'm sorry--this isn't a problem I can make disappear," says Cas, "you know that--but I may be able to shift it--get Sam back on his feet." He heads back to Sam, determined. "It's better this way,"  adds Cas, "he'll be fine." "Cas, what are you doing?" demands Dean, as Sam stares up at Cas in terror. "Now Sam, this'll hurt," says Cas, but Sam sees Lucifer looming over him, saying this, "I'm sorry I ever did this to you." Cas places his hand on Sam's forehead. It looks like red light bursting behind Sam's eyes, inside his head, and he begins to scream. The same red light, looking like veins exploding in Cas' head, too, pulse in Cas' hand and eyes as Sam gasps for air. Dean darts forward. "Sam!" he calls. "Dean!" yells Sam, then "Cas! Cas, is that you?" Cas sees Lucifer lying in the bed instead of Sam. "Hello, BROTHER," snarks Lucifer. Cas, terrified, backs away from the bed, eyes wide open. His back hits the wall and he stares at the Winchesters, eyes filled with fear. Cas hears Lucifer's laughter, louder and louder. 

"I don't know," says Sam, as he and Dean leave the hospital, "we can't just leave him." "We can't bring him with us," says Dean, "everything on the planet is out for us, okay?--word gets out, we get protect him, not really. This is safer--every demon who knows about Cas is dead." "Not everyone," protests Sam, "look, Dean, this whole enemy is my enemy is my friend thing feels kinda like a demon deal." "It's not a deal," says Dean, "it's mutually assured destruction. Look, man, I get it, she's not our friend--we don't even have friends.--all our friends are dead." Sam stares over the top of the car, unsure and sad.

Cas sits on Sam's former bed, lost, crazed, Lucifer's new plaything.

The doctor interviews a new potential employee, who asks, "Why do you want to join our staff?" "I really just want to help the patients," says Meg, looking all spiffy in a white buttoned-down shirt, "watch over them--not to be immodest, but I feel I'd make a great fit." "I can't argue with that," says the doctor, shaking her hand, "welcome to the team, nurse Masters." She smiles.

Comments: Cas was responsible for thousands of deaths, both in heaven and on earth. His sacrifice for Sam was perhaps a small price to pay for all the damage he had done, yet I still felt so sorry for him. What did you think? Should he have died for his sins, or did he owe Sam big time for destroying the wall in his head and subjecting him to all the torture he went through? Is Cas getting his just desserts now?

I thought this was an excellent episode. The way Dean found Cas, an angel basically suffering from amnesia, but using his gift to heal people, was pretty cool. I liked the way we were re-introduced to Cas. I feel badly for his poor wife, who will wonder what became of him and probably never find out. And if by chance she is pregnant, what then?  

I was very disappointed with Rachel's Miner's performance. It was as if she phoned it in. Flat and boring, she didn't have the fun spark that has usually underscored her work as Meg. I don't know what happened, but every time she appeared in a scene with Jensen, it seemed he was trying desperately to do his own work AND hers. I felt sorry for him and wished to hell she would get on the stick. I usually enjoyed her in the role, but not this time.

On the other hand, Jared was spot on, doing a wondrous performance as exhausted, haunted Sam. He and Mark Pellegrino played so well together, I loved their scenes and wanted more. Also excellent was the actress who played Marin, she and Jared were excellent together, too. I liked that Sam, besieged though he was by Luci's antics, still managed to do away with a ghost and bring a girl to sanity. I think that shows what a strong man Sam has become. Gotta give him kudos for solving a ghost problem in the middle of a hospital. He cares even when he's getting firecrackers tossed at him by Satan!

I give this ep a strong 9. It killed me to see Cas sacrifice himself the way he did, but he certainly owed Sam big time, as well as the rest of humanity, and we know the Winchesters will do their best for the rest of us.

Questions:

How did you like the introduction of Castiel?  

Rate the performances from 1-10.  Whose did you like most?  Least?

Did you agree with Dean about leaving Cas behind in the hospital? Why do you think Meg wanted to work there? Do you think she has nefarious plans for Cas, or are her reasons for working there more altruistic?

What did you think of Cas' fate?  Did he do the right thing for Sam?  For humanity?  Did you feel sad?

What do you think about Lucifer as a torturer?  Would you wish him on your worst enemy?

Did you like the inclusion of the little ghost story Sam helped Marin solve?  

Rate the episode and explain why you rated it thus.

 

Comments  

Ginger
# Ginger 2012-03-26 06:06
I'd probably give this one an 8. I thought the script was too crowded, so much so that the skitzoid jumping back and forth between the stories, I felt, took the power away from the emotional impact of Cas' return, Dean's reaction, and the interaction between the two of them...not to mention that was also interrupted by Meg and the re-introduction of the demons. (It was great to see demons again, though).

Meg can be ganked now, as far as I am concerned. There is nothing new in the character, the show has shifted the sexual tension between Meg and Dean to Meg and Cas, an angel, and that doesn't work for me, and...yes...I miss Nikki Cox. JA carried, not only her performance, but a bucket load of all the emotions in the episode. He did a masterful job with just a little bit of screen time.

I did really like Cas' remembering montage.

JP was great in showing Sam's mental breakdown. My attention kept going to the gorgeous, muscled arms, which were very distracting from the 'dying and almost dead' story. When he heroically stepped up and saved the damsel in distress with the form fitting hospital top and lovely hair and makeup, believing in the Sam is crazy story got lost behind my giggling. Sorry. I think the screen time could have been better used.

I'm not sure what to think about Cas' sacrifice. It worked well for his 'redemption,' but the last time Cas saw his brother, he wasn't terrified. That, and I don't know exactly what he took away from Sam, since it has never been clear to me if Luci is Sam's hellucinations, a psychic link, or Sam's subconscious. So, is Sam still having the hellucinations, but Cas is the one seeing them now? That can't be right, because Luci called Cas, 'brother.' Maybe it will be clearer in coming episodes, but right now I have no clue.

Luci bores me. I hope that story is over and put to bed once and for all.

Oh, Dean. Mutually assured destruction. Very clever. The guy has always been smarter than he let on.

So, no, the script didn't work all that well for me, but it may be one that looks better once the story plays out. The performances, save one, were excellent, and I am very much looking forward to the drunk hunt and some follow up on the questions brought up in Out With The Old...and the Impala and, I hope, slaughter, action and classic rock.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-03-26 10:35
Cas was responsible for thousands of deaths, both in heaven and on earth. His sacrifice for Sam was perhaps a small price to pay for all the damage he had done, yet I still felt so sorry for him. What did you think? Should he have died for his sins, or did he owe Sam big time for destroying the wall in his head and subjecting him to all the torture he went through? Is Cas getting his just desserts now?

Cas did owe Sam big time for what he did, however I don't think it makes up for his "sins". Still I don't want him to die for what he did. I want him to earn redemption the way Sam did, one step at at time. For one thing, like Sam and Dean Castile is like a Jack-in-the-box , he dies, but he just pops up again, death is not great a way of redeeming himself. Also one act of curing Sam doesn't make up for the other people he hurt. If I were writing his redemption I would have him be part of putting the Leviathans back and then he would be forced to return to heaven and face his remaining family. Sam spent a year proving to Dean that he was worthy of trust and forgiveness. Castiel needs to work that hard for his redemption and he needs to do it with the remainder of his family. So much of Supernatural is about family and that is a huge part of what Castiel destroyed.

I thought this was an excellent episode. The way Dean found Cas, an angel basically suffering from amnesia, but using his gift to heal people, was pretty cool. I liked the way we were re-introduced to Cas. I feel badly for his poor wife, who will wonder what became of him and probably never find out. And if by chance she is pregnant, what then?

For some reason, I'm not entirely certain that his wife was human. Admittedly, part of me chuckled at his situation. Poor Jimmy Novack's body doomed forever to find nice, kind, loving, religious women and then abandon them by going all angel. I hadn't thought about pregnancy, but as a set up Nephilim (a child of an angel and a human) is an interesting concept either as a savior or an antagonist.

I was very disappointed with Rachel's Miner's performance. It was as if she phoned it in. Flat and boring, she didn't have the fun spark that has usually underscored her work as Meg. I don't know what happened, but every time she appeared in a scene with Jensen, it seemed he was trying desperately to do his own work AND hers. I felt sorry for him and wished to hell she would get on the stick. I usually enjoyed her in the role, but not this time.



I have read that Rachel is either ill or injured. Supposedly she is having back issues and she is on steroids to control the situation, which is one reason her face looked puffy. If she is truly working while in pain, I will cut her slack. For whatever reason the writers want Meg on this season and if they had recast her they would have taken time to explain why she changed meat suits. I'm guessing the writers have a plan for Meg and needed her on the scene for later developments. I hope Rachel recovers and is able to give her all next time.

On the other hand, Jared was spot on, doing a wondrous performance as exhausted, haunted Sam. He and Mark Pellegrino played so well together, I loved their scenes and wanted more. Also excellent was the actress who played Marin, she and Jared were excellent together, too. I liked that Sam, besieged though he was by Luci's antics, still managed to do away with a ghost and bring a girl to sanity. I think that shows what a strong man Sam has become. Gotta give him kudos for solving a ghost problem in the middle of a hospital. He cares even when he's getting firecrackers tossed at him by Satan!

Loved Jared and his performance. I loved that if Sam was going out, he was going out trying to make the world a better place.

Rate the performances from 1-10. Whose did you like most? Least?

Performances were a 10 across the board, except for Rachel.

Did you agree with Dean about leaving Cas behind in the hospital? Why do you think Meg wanted to work there? Do you think she has nefarious plans for Cas, or are her reasons for working there more altruistic?

I had no problem with leaving Cas behind. Don't know Meg's motives, but I doubt that her motives are altruistic.

What did you think of Cas' fate? Did he do the right thing for Sam? For humanity? Did you feel sad?


See above.

What do you think about Lucifer as a torturer? Would you wish him on your worst enemy?



I don't know, Sam held out for a long time against him, both in Hell and with the hallucinations. Lucifer was like an annoying, malicious kid. I kind of expected better.

Did you like the inclusion of the little ghost story Sam helped Marin solve?

Yes, because without it Sam would have been invisible.

Rate the episode and explain why you rated it thus.

I'm all over the map on this episode, so I find it hard to rate. I'm not a Cas fan, so his return didn't excite me. I thought the acting was good. I missed having brotherly scenes between Sam and Dean. I hated the resolution to Sam's hell trauma because 1) I don't know for certain what Cas did. Did Cas take on Sam's memories of Hell? Since everyone said Sam's soul was damaged did Cas remove Sam's soul AGAIN? Is Sam all better never to hear about what happened to him again? Heck until he totally broke we almost never saw any sign he was suffering any trauma. Now, he may as well never have gone to Hell. I also hate that Sam is once again subject to the whims of angels and demons. All Sam ever wanted was agency in his own life. His fall was started 10 years before he was born. Now his sanity lies in Castiel deciding to keep whatever the heck he took from Sam and Sam remains a puppet whose experiences have either been taken from him or who will simply never talk about them again. The writers needed a quick, clean solution to Sam's insanity. However any quick, clean solution negates so much of Sam's story that I am left dissatisfied.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-26 15:17
I don't look as deeply into this stuff as others do so it's pretty easy for me to rate the episodes. Was it fun? Was I riveted? Was I happy to see the characters? Was it as believable as a Supernatural episode can be? Were there great lines? I knew this would be angsty, so did I get enough of that? Do I want to see it again? Unlike Bugs, I can say yes on all counts so I give it a 10.

Oh, and I should clarify that is a basic level of 10. There's that whole other level of 10 and that's where episodes like In My Time of Dying and Dark Side of the Moon live for me. ;-) But this was still a basic 10.
SecretWillow
# SecretWillow 2012-03-26 15:23
Overall, I thought the episode was wonderful. I let out a dreamy little fan-girly sigh when ‘Emmanuel’ showed up on screen. I love what Misha brings to his characters, and to his scenes. And I don't have enough good words for the amazing Mr. Padalecki. He completely sold Sam’s mental breakdown, and his exhaustion beyond endurance. The pained depletion in his eyes broke my heart like the wall in his head. Jared is phenomenal.

I think I had only a few small nit-picks. One, was that everything felt very rushed. I agree with Ginger, that the back and forth jumping around, and the weaving in of so many different story lines, really took away from the emotional impact of Cas' return. And I don't feel like that did Misha any favors in terms of a comeback. I felt like he should have had more room to “spread his wings”, to give the whole scene a little extra 'Oomph'. On the flip-side though, I was also okay with it, because of the frantic and chaotic feel to things. Sam's going crazy, he's dying, and Dean is feverishly trying to find a way to help him and beat the clock. You then have all these others things being thrown at them at the same time, and when things are moving at a break-neck speed like that, a person doesn't always have time to react to all the different stimuli. Like rescue workers, or soldiers. They just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and keep going, and they don't have the luxury to stop and process things until later. I thought it worked very well in terms of story, but the jury’s out for me as to how well that translated to screen.

Secondly, Mark Pellegrino was stellar. I love Lucifer. (What a wacky sentence. Only in Supernatural fandom can someone say "I love Lucifer", or "I love Death", and it doesn't sound weird). His scenes with Jared are captivating. I completely enjoy the way the two of them work together. And Mark’s got the smug, obnoxious, maddeningly irritating performance down to an art. I especially loved the bit with the fire-crackers. I just wish there was a heavier dose of malevolence coming from him. More of a sense that Sam is dealing with an inconceivably evil monster. Lucifer was scarier and more threatening and murderous in Hammer of the Gods. Right now, he is irritating. Tortuously irritating, to be sure. Death by lack of sleep is certainly hideous. But he’s annoying Sam into madness. He’s annoying Sam to death. And that’s not quite the same thing as dread and terror and horror.

Lastly, is what Cas did for Sam. I’m pretty much holding off judgment here until I have the whole story. There are six more episodes in the season to see where this goes. Like percysowner said, we don’t really know what exactly Cas did. Did he transfer Sam’s hallucinations? His memories of Hell? Did he absorb Lucifer into himself somehow? Just before he brought Sam’s wall down in The Man Who Knew Too Much, Cas said, “Rest assured that when this is all over, I will fix Sam.” Was this what he meant when he said that? Was the whole wall brought down, or just enough to keep Bobby, Sam, and Dean busy while Cas messed around with Purgatory? Did he think there would be enough there to rebuild, or was the wall down for too long, and the longer it was down, the more unsalvageable it became? I’m waiting for everything to be put in context. This scene left me with a big question mark.

All in all though, I give it a 9. Tremendous job from everybody, and really looking forward to next week.
Belinda
# Belinda 2012-03-27 16:19
Personally, I think Cas has redeemed himself to the Winchesters, his sacrifice for Sam made up for the mistake of him tearing down the wall in the first place - that was the only true thing that I ever thought he did wrong, even though it was not his fault that Sam jumped into the cage in the first place.

Could I really blame Cas for releasing the Leviathans by accident? No not really, because if he didn't go for the purgatory souls, then Heaven would have fallen to Raphael and humanity would have faced another apocalypse. Cas didn't start the civil war for fun, he did it to protect humanity, and for all he had to suffer in this war, he has already suffered enough in my opinion. This is the lesser of the two evils, facing the Leviathans or facing another apocalypse.

If Dean and Sam hold up so much about family bonds and claim Cas as their family, then they should help him fix this Leviathan issue just as Cas had done for them during the apocalypse.
Horny Goat Weed
# Horny Goat Weed 2014-03-06 20:29
Please let me know if you're looking for a article writer for your weblog.
You have some really great posts and I feel I would be a good asset.

If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
Please shoot me an email if interested. Thank you!