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“The Man Who Would Be King” Episode 6/20
Robin’s Rambles by Robin Vogel
 

Head bowed, shoulders slumped, Castiel sits, and everything he says, we see, illustrated either from a cheesy old movie, or a storm-tossed sea. "I have been here for a very long time," he says. "I remember many things. I remember being at a shoreline, watching a little gray fish heave itself up on the beach, and an older brother saying, 'Don't step on that fish, Castiel, big plans for that fish. I remember the Tower of Babel, all 37 feet of it, which I suppose is impressive at the time, and when it fell, they howled 'Divine wrath!', but come on, dried dung can only be stacked so high. (LOL!) I remember Cain and Abel, David and Goliath, Sodom and Gomorrah." We see Cas' own metamorphosis from man to angel. "And of course I remember the most remarkable event--remarkable because it never came to pass"-- scenes of Sam, Dean, Bobby, events leading up to the apocalypse and of course, Lucifer--"it was avoided by two boys and a fallen angel. The grand story--and we ripped up the ending." (Lucifer-possessed Sam, Dean, Michael-possessed Adam.) "And the rules, and destiny, leaving nothing but freedom and choice." (Sam, Dean, Adam, the rings, and Sam tossing himself into the cage, Adam-Michael, grabbing on tight.) "Which is all well and good, except, what if I've made the wrong choice, how am I supposed to know. . .I'm getting ahead of myself. . .let me tell you my story. Let me tell you everything." Cas seems to be speaking to us directly, his face pleading, but we know he is speaking to God, his father.
 
Ednote: We know right away that Castiel is in agony and what he's going to say very difficult. This is a confession, and no amount of Hail Marys is going to get him out of this one.) It's also a Ben Edlund script directed by Edlund himself, and his scattered black humorous gems are everywhere.
 
Cas pops into the Impala beside Dean, startling him. Dean bangs on the steering wheel in frustration. "Are you all right?" Cas asks. "Yeah, I'm fine, how're you?" asks Dean. Cas just wanted to check in. "Any word on Satan Jr. bein' alive?" asks Dean. Cas assures him he's looking, he just doesn't understand how Crowley could have tricked him. "Tricky SOB, that's how," says Dean, "doesn't matter, but if he is up and kickin', then what matters is finding him, ripping his head off and shoving it up his ass." "You found anything?" the angel asks casually. "Nothin' yet," says Dean. "Where's Sam?" asks Cas. "Keepin' busy tracking a Djinn in Omaha as we speak," says Dean, "I'm headed there right now to meet up with him." "I'd come if I could," says Cas. Dean understands how busy Cas is--"No worries--but Cas, you'll call, right?--if you get into real trouble?" Cas nods and flies off. Dean nods and lets out a breath of air, exhausted from lying.
 
Cas enters a room where "Me and Mrs. Jones" plays. Crowley is butchering Eve and her creatures. He finds one being who's dead, but still keeps laying eggs (and he picks up a handful, which is very gross). He pokes Eve in the brain, causing one of her children to jitter uncontrollably. "Chocula here feels every tickle," says Crowley. "What is that good for?" asks Cas. "Apart from the erotic value, beyond me," answers Crowley. "You said Eve could open the door to Purgatory," says Cas angrily. "Correct," says Crowley, "and I'm confident that she could have--IF SHE WAS STILL ALIVE!! Our single best chance to get under the rainbow and the Winchesters killed her!" "It was unavoidable," insists Cas. "YOU screwed up, Cas, you let the hounds mangle the pheasant, and now I'm up to my elbows in it!" "What is your point?" demands Cas. "The point is, you're distracted," says Crowley, "and that makes me nervous." "I am holding up my end!" insists Cas. "Ah yes, but is that all you're holding?" asks Crowley slyly, almost whispering in his ear, "the stench of that Impala is all over your overcoat, angel--I thought we'd agreed--no more nights out with the boys." (and more sexual innuendo!) "I spoke with Dean," says Cas, "I needed to know what they know!" "About what?--about me, maybe?" asks Crowley-- "because I happen to have it on good authority that your two little pets are currently trying to hunt me down!! Forgive me, but I think we might have a little conflict of interest here." And he stabs Eve's brain again, sending the other poor soul into convulsions.
 
Narration: "Crowley had a point, of course, my interest was conflicted; I still considered myself the Winchesters' guardian. After all, they taught me how to stand up (Cas throws the explosive bottle at Michael/Adam, calling him assbutt), what to stand for, and what generally happens to you when you do" (Samifer snaps his fingers, rendering Cas into sludge. In cool slow-mo, we see Cas' gore moving around, twirling and dancing. Then, one large, perfect red lump appears.) "I was done. I was over. And then the most extraordinary thing happened." (The bubble divides.) "I was put back. We had won! We stopped Armageddon." Cas repairs Dean, brings Bobby back to life. "But at a terrible cost--and so I knew what I had to do next." (We see Sam standing near Dean's house, a blank expression on his face.) "Once again, I went to harrow hell to free Sam from Lucifer's cage. It was nearly impossible, but I was so full of confidence, of mission, I see now, that was arrogance, hubris, because I hadn't truly raised Sam, not all of him," (Sam punches the deputy from Rhode Island, watches Dean be turned into a vamp, nearly kills Bobby) "sometimes we're lucky enough to be given a warning. This should have been mine." 
 
Crowley rips a piece off the Eve's body, causing the other to groan in agony. "Please, I'm begging you, Castiel, kill the Winchesters," Crowley pleads. "No," says Cas. "Fine, then I'll do it myself," the demon says. "If you do, I'll just bring them back again," vows Cas. (Nice friend to have, huh?) "No you won't," says Crowley, "not where I'll put 'em, trust me." "I said, no," Cas repeats quietly, "don't worry about them." "Don't WORRY?--what, like Lucifer didn't worry? or Michael? or Lilith? Or Alistair, or Azazel didn't worry? Am I the only think piece on the board who doesn't underestimate those denim-wrapped nightmares!" "Just find Purgatory," says Cas, "if you don't, we will both die, again and again, until the end of time." Cas turns to walk again, assuring, "The Winchesters won't get to you." "Let 'em get to me!" screams Crowley, "I'll tear they're friggin' hearts out!" 
 
Bobby's living room, where, Sam at his side, he's torturing Red, a filthy, lower-than- snake-spit hell-spawn, for Crowley's whereabouts. He's praising Red for becoming a damn fine hunter. "I don't know whether to kill ya or kiss ya," says Bobby. "Oh, please, kill me," says Red. "That was you that dug out that nest of vamps in Swan Valley, wasn't it?" asks Bobby. "Nice work," says Sam. "And then you brought ‘em to Crowley, right?" asks Bobby. "The king is dead," insists Red. Bobby tosses holy water on the chained up man, causing him to cry out through gritted teeth. "Crowley's alive," says Bobby, "you prove it just by bein', you poor, dumb jackass. Crowley's alive, his nets are still out, except he's using you schmucks to hunt his monsters." "Up yers," retorts Red. Sam hands Bobby the DKK, and Red's eyes widen at the sight of it. Dean enters and indicates for Sam to join him aside. "Red, where's Crowley?" asks Bobby, no longer fooling around. The other man just looks at him, then down. "No? Nothin'?" says Bobby--"OK, then. Hang onto this for a bit." He thrusts the knife into Rob's leg, just above his knee. Red screams, loud and long. (Ednote: Never fails to make me admire how good Bobby is at torture. He starts with a little pain, like holy water, then goes on to the good stuff, the DKK that REALLY hurts! I will always want Bobby on MY team!) 
 
"So what did you tell him?" Sam asks Dean. "Nothing," says the latter, "just relax. "What's the hubbub?" asks Bobby, joining them. "Saw Cas," says Dean, "he popped in on me about two hours back." "What'd you tell him?" asks Bobby. "Nothing," says Dean, "I told him we were on some crap monster hunt, "he doesn't know we're getting close to Crowley. You know, he's our friend, and we're lying to him through our teeth." "Dean," begins Sam. "So be burned the wrong bones," says Dean, "so Crowley tricked him." "He's an ANGEL," Bobby reminds him. "He's the Balki Bartokomous of heaven," says Dean, "he can make a mistake." "Nobody's sayin' nothin' yet," says Bobby. "You think that Cas is in with Crowley," accuses Dean--CROWLEY?" "I'm just sayin' I don't know," clarifies Bobby, "I hate myself for even thinkin' it, but I DON'T KNOW!" "Look, Dean, he's our friend, too," says Sam, "and I'd die for him, I would, but, I'm praying we're wrong here." "But if we ain't," says Bobby, "if there's a snowball of a snowball's chance here, that means we're dealin' with a superman who's gone dark-side--which means, we've got to be cautious, we've got to be smart, and maybe stock up on some Kryptonite." Looking at Sam, Dean teases, "This makes you Lois Lane." (They're going there again!) "One problem at a time here," says Bobby, "we gotta find Crowley NOW, before that damn fool cracks open Purgatory." 

Comments  

Ellie
# Ellie 2011-05-08 10:10
Being in a fox hole with somebody yes they all were together. But this Season can anybody honestly say Dean has been caring about Castiel? or Castiels plight. this Season..?.

Lets see Dean gets the surrogate father and now a brother .Sam would be better off going behind his wall and staying there.
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2011-05-08 10:41
Robin, thanks for your enjoyable article.

Some quick thoughts.

1. What did you think of this episode? Does it seem a re-telling of Sam-Dean? Is Cas REALLY as close as a brother to Dean? That part I don’t agree with and feel it’s an insult to Dean and Sam’s relationship.

I think it's fairly obvious that there are similarities between Season 4 Sam and Season 6 Castiel.

I do think that Cas is - well, was - like a brother to Dean. Like men who go through war together on the same side, I'm not at all surprised Dean and Castiel developed a brotherly bond that is comparable to blood brothers.

2. What did you think about Crowley’s offer to Cas? Does it sound good or too good to be true?

Crowley's a demon :P - I'm fairly sure that if he and Castiel had found a way to break open Purgatory, Crowley would have found a way to siphon all the soul power for himself, cutting off Castiel. I do not think Crowley likes to share, if he can possibly help it.

3. Crowley wants the Winchesters dead. Cas wants them alive. Which of them is going to win that now that Dean and the angel have come to a parting of the ways?

Tough call - it could go either way, especially with the much touted cliffhanger at the end of Season 6 (whatever it may be).

4. I’ve said before that it was no coincidence that Sam’s soul was left behind. I was sure that Cas raised Sam from perdition, too—where’s his hand tattoo like Dean has? Can we safely assume Crowley ordered Sam’s resurrection?

I'm a bit confused about this part - there appears to be a number of possible explainations. Maybe rescuing Dean from Hell is different from breaking Sam out of Lucifer's cage ?


5. Do you think Cas made his slip-up with Superman because he had too much pride or too much humanity?

I think Dean described Cas best a couple of episodes ago - Cas is, in many ways, still like a child. :P He simply did not think fast enough on his feet.


7. What is the outcome of this tragedy going to be? Speculate.


Everyone appears to die at the end of the Season 6 - including Dean and Castiel appearing to kill off each other in a bloody knife fight ? :P
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-05-08 12:33
1. I enjoyed this episode immensely. It was full of such angst and heartbreak. All of our suspicions as viewers were largely confirmed. It was to an extent a repetition of season 4 between Sam and Dean concerning Ruby, and yet different. I think, in Dean's POV, that Cas is a brother to him. It's Dean's nature---consid ering how lonely the hunter's life can be. He's adopted Bobby as his father. He's finally returned to his big brother role for Sam in all its glory. He took on the role---even if he had to give it up---father to Ben. Bobby said it best: Family don't end in blood, boy. Does this elevate Cas above Sam? I don't think so. For me, it isn't so much an insult as much as it is a demonstration of how loyal Dean can be to those he allows into his heart. And when they break it, it shatters. This is the second time a "brother" has chosen a demon over him. It's going to give poor Dean a complex!

2.Cas should have known better. Crowley is a demon, the self proclaimed King of the Crossroads, now King of Hell. His job is to be a smooth talker. As an Angel of the Lord, Cas should have seen what Crowley was doing. I think he was so desperate, knew that Crowley needed the Apocalypse to stay off the rails as much as he did, and assumed that he could somehow keep this in his control. He's still an Angel, and they thrive upon structure. He had made his own choices while helping Sam and Dean in season 5, but even there Dean called a lot of the shots. Here, Cas was on his own. Because he had decided to tackle it alone, he had no true sounding board to fall back on and reassess a decision before making it. It's hard to say how it might have been different if he had gone to Dean right away---we'll never know.

3. Dean might have turned Cas away, but I don't think Cas will stop protecting him and Sam as he can. Crowley pointed out Sam and Dean's lengthy demon body count himself---and I have no doubt that the boys will find a way to add him to that list if given the chance. I don't think Crowley will succeed in killing the brothers. And even if he does, he should now better than that by now. They don't stay DEAD. Seems the only demon they've never managed to kill is Meg! She survives largely by staying far, far away and having escape plans. Either way, I don't see the boys enduring another death----the crumbling of Sam's wall on the other hand---

4. I don't think Crowley ordered Sam's resurrection. I do think Cas had good intentions in pulling Sam from the Cage, but I do think he may have left the soul behind on purpose. He just didn't seem to try hard enough to deny it and the shamed look on his face gave me the impression that he had done so on purpose. Crowley managed to find a way to exploit the situation, however. Soulless Sam, love him or hate him, was good at what he was doing---at least from the King of Hell's POV. He didn't have that pesky thing called empathy to get in the way. He hunted creatures, he handed them over, he didn't ask questions. He was, to Crowley, the perfect hunter for his purposes. Grandpa was just his knowledge fountain. Soulless Sam was his hammer. It is possible that Cas had intended to try and find away to bust Sam's soul out in a second attempt at jail breaking the Cage, but was persuaded to leave it there only a little longer until they had Purgatory in their grasp. As much of a fast talker as Crowley was in convincing Cas to start the Civil War in the first place, he could have convinced our wayward angel that it wouldn't be for long and then he could reunite Moose and Soul. It makes sense when you consider JUST how adamant both Cas and Crowley were against the return of Sam's soul. There's also whatever power source it provided----the big question I truly want answered. What if Crowley, in his convincing of Cas to keep it in the Cage, had found a way to tap into Sam's soul? It's the questions we have left on the table lingering from this episode.

5. I think Cas wanted to get caught. On some level. Rather it was conscious or not, he wanted to get caught. He knew he was in too deep. He knew that he needed help. He also knew that the likely hood of getting it by a full on confession to Sam, Dean, and Bobby was likely not to go over well. He had to slip up some other way. I think he has become much more human---and thus more prideful as well. I think he's been twisted around and turned upside down this season in so many ways that he just didn't know how to stop anymore. He had already lied repeatedly about Sam and his soul. He had deceived the brothers with Crowley. And now that they've managed to---judging from this episode---kill the Mother of All for good, left him with little hope to open that door to Purgatory. I think he is realizing that his deal with Crowley is falling apart and fast and that it is time to find another avenue to winning the war in Heaven. The question is: is he too little too late in going to the Winchesters for real this time?

6. I think Raphael is what Cas once said he is early on in the season---a traditionalist. There were, once upon a time, four Arch Angels: Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer, and Raphael. Now there's only one free. Gabriel was slain by Lucifer. Michael and Lucifer are together trapped in the Cage. I think Raphael wants the prize fight, but not because it's the script God set forth. He makes Cas's pride and hubris look tame---despite its tragedy. Raphael has assumed the mantel of God for what it's worth. I think he wants Michael and Lucifer to have their prize fight so that he can eliminate the winner and fully cement his place as the new ruler of Heaven. Cas was simply a small insect and now thorn in his side to accomplishing that goal. As long as both Michael and Lucifer are alive and in the Cage, Raphael's position is precarious. If he can find a way to somehow get them to kill each other or kill the winner, they are no longer a hovering threat to his rule. First, though, he has to stomp out this freedom nonsense and the leader of that movement----Cas tiel. I somehow think he might not succeed at this venture.

7. I think the outcome of this tragedy will have a wide reaching effect for the end of this season and the majority of season 7. I think it will take a long time for Dean to recover from this second betrayal. And with the other events we know are to come in terms of Sam's Wall, it's likely that Castiel will be pushed aside in Dean's world in favor of Sam. Do I think Cas will find a way to redeem himself---even perhaps before the end of the season? Perhaps. I think he could smite Crowley at any time---Crowley just has him tied up in so many knots that it keeps the angel from doing it---until now. Cas has lost a lot, possibly everything. If he feels Crowley is a threat to Sam and Dean, he'll kill him---for REAL this time. It's probably the one thing he can do at this stage to restore any speck of trust Dean might have for him. It'll be very interesting to see how it plays out whatever the outcome.

And I thank you again for providing us such wonderfully thought provoking questions. It's always a treat to answer them and see what might come from them.

Far Away Eyes
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2011-05-08 13:28
1. What did you think of this episode? Does it seem a re-telling of Sam-Dean? Is Cas REALLY as close as a brother to Dean? That part I don’t agree with and feel it’s an insult to Dean and Sam’s relationship.

This was a really heavy episode. It was the first episode we’ve seen from SPN to be told like a confessional (and was it also the first episode where flashbacks actually told a story, they weren’t just there to supplement it?) and one I really enjoyed. Conflicted Castiel is good Castiel.

I’m going to go with Castiel is like a brother to Dean and vice versa. Dean considers him a brother and I don’t think he’d say those words lightly. He said as much in ‘And Then There Were None’ when he said blood doesn’t make you family. Bobby is Sam and Deans father and there’s no blood relationship there. Dean and Castiel fought together, saved each others lives and averted the Apocalypse together. Yeah, I’d say they’re brothers (or were brothers).

2. What did you think about Crowley’s offer to Cas? Does it sound good or too good to be true?


The sleazy demon does talk sense! That being said, you couldn’t trust Crowley as far as Castiel could throw him (and I imagine that’s pretty far). Crowley will sell out Castiel first chance he gets. Castiel still seems to think that Crowley is a bit beneath him, something that can be offed in a heartbeat but Crowley has much more experience than Castiel in manipulating people/situatio ns etc to suit himself.

3. Crowley wants the Winchesters dead. Cas wants them alive. Which of them is going to win that now that Dean and the angel have come to a parting of the ways?

They’re gonna be alive. There is a season 7 after all!

4. I’ve said before that it was no coincidence that Sam’s soul was left behind. I was sure that Cas raised Sam from perdition, too—where’s his hand tattoo like Dean has? Can we safely assume Crowley ordered Sam’s resurrection?

I though Castiel bought Sam back ever before he met Crowley? Where is the handprint indeed? I assume we’d have seen it in Two and a Half Men (unless there’s a big handprint on Sams ankle. Oh, the indignity!)

I don’t think he (Sam) has one. There are differences between Sam being raised and Dean being raised. Dean’s physical body was on earth therefore it must have been his soul that was raised. Sam was in hell body and soul. Castiel has touched Sam many times during the seasons and it’s never burnt. Perhaps when Dean was raised, Castiel grabbed hold of his soul and this was reflected in the burn on his shoulder. He didn’t do this for Sam. Could also explain why it’s such agony when the soul is handled; it burns.

5. Do you think Cas made his slip-up with Superman because he had too much pride or too much humanity?

I think Castiels guilty conscience led him to overcompensate a lot ie he was much more ‘Cas’ than a new, improved, ultra angelic ‘Castiel’ should be (does that make sense?). Look at his manner after Swan Song, all business, no unnecessary words and/or actions.

Now he is saying/doing things that reinforce the more human side of him; throwing in extra quips and jibs etc that Castiel (especially a more souped up Castiel) wouldn’t have done. Even Cas of the past would not have looked to engage in extending a conversation, once he got the apology he’d have vamoosed.

I think the relief of getting away with it caused him to talk without thinking.

6. Why do you think Raphael decided to take over in hell and roll over Castiel the way he did?

Hierarchy. Michael, Lucifer and Gabriel are gone so Raphael is the only archangel left. Kind of like being fourth in line for the throne, you never assume it’s going to get so far that you would actually have to lead. Therefore, he doesn’t know how to rule so he is overly dominant and aggressive. The whole rule by fear and not love scenario.

Raphael hasn’t a clue what he’s doing, is probably as uncertain as Castiel about the future but he cannot show any weakness whatsoever therefore it’s ‘my way or the high way’. Castiel and Raphael have a lot in common.

7. What is the outcome of this tragedy going to be? Speculate.

So many tragedies, whichever do you mean!!

Ah, short term, Crowley is going to sell Castiel up the river. Castiel isn’t doing what Crowley wants (kill the Winchesters), he’s threatened him on more than one occasion. Crowley is going to see this as a weakness, realise his situation is precarious and sell him out to a bigger gun (ie Raphael). When Castiel is in trouble, I think Sam and Dean will help him, that’s what family/friends do.

Will Sam and Dean forgive Castiel? Yeah, I think so. Might take a good while before they (esp Dean) trust him again but I think they will.

What will happen long term? No clue but guaranteed it’ll drive us all bonkers over the summer break.

Disclaimer: these are only the tragedies we’ve seen so far. Next week could tell a different story with a whole new set of tragedies!

Thanks for these, Robin.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-05-08 20:29
1. What did you think of this episode? Does it seem a re-telling of Sam-Dean? Is Cas REALLY as close as a brother to Dean? That part I don’t agree with and feel it’s an insult to Dean and Sam’s relationship.

I loved this episode! It totally rocked! :lol:

As for the brotherly relationship between Dean and Cas, I feel that this is the case. I mean, I have a sisterly relationship with my BFF. So why can't Dean have the same kind of relationship? I don't think it insults Sam and Dean's true brotherly bond. Sam doesn't see it as a threat.

2. What did you think about Crowley’s offer to Cas? Does it sound good or too good to be true?

The offer was definitely in the category of too good to be true or don't trust deals made with a snake oil salesman. Crowley is a snake oil salesman if ever I've seen one! I think Cas made it because it didn't have the benefit of an opposing view point having decided to not to go to Dean.

3. Crowley wants the Winchesters dead. Cas wants them alive. Which of them is going to win that now that Dean and the angel have come to a parting of the ways?

I want Cas to win and I think he will, but the cost will be great.

4. I’ve said before that it was no coincidence that Sam’s soul was left behind. I was sure that Cas raised Sam from perdition, too—where’s his hand tattoo like Dean has? Can we safely assume Crowley ordered Sam’s resurrection?

I believe that Cas did raise Sam. However, Dean and Sam were in Hell under totally different circumstances. Dean's soul was in Hell, but his body was still on Earth. So, when the two were joined together, that's how the hand print on Dean came into being. However, Sam's whole body and soul was in Hell with Michael and Lucifer. I think Cas had the mojo to get Sam's body out, but not his soul. With Dean, he wasn't alone in the rescue, but with Sam, he seems to be on his own. Cas couldn't get it away from Michael and Lucifer. Those two would have been very interested in keeping Sam's soul and punishing it for their loss of completing the Apocalypse to its conclusion.

5. Do you think Cas made his slip-up with Superman because he had too much pride or too much humanity?

On this, I think the answer is both. Cas wanted to be caught. He was running out of answers and the answers that he was coming up with didn't seem to satisfy him anymore.

6. Why do you think Raphael decided to take over in hell and roll over Castiel the way he did?

I think you actually mean Heaven. Anyway, Raphael is really no different than Meg. By that I mean Raphael wants the Apocalypse to continue and so does Meg. Both want their chosen champion to win and take over. Crowley and Castiel have both put a monkey wrench in those plans. So, Raphael and Meg are not going to just stand by and take it. They both have agendas to fulfill. I know that Meg wasn't mentioned, but I feel she has just as much a vested interest in this situation as Raphael. Both are power hungry and ambitious.

7. What is the outcome of this tragedy going to be? Speculate.

Well, that's the big question. I don't envision a happy ending coming up. I mean, it's going to take a lot to straighten out this mess and I think there are many more casualties to come. I fully expect to see the Angel of Death again. It may come down to God and Death being the only ones able to set things right and correct the natural order. At least we all can take comfort in the knowledge that there will be a Season 7 in the fall. :D