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â€˜In for a penny, in for a pound.â€™
Balthazar, after summoning Cas to a place which looks a bit like a tropical forest in the middle of monsoon (which it is not, of course), formulates his question quite straightforwardly and leaves no room for guessing: heâ€™s not amused of Castiel being in flagrante delicto with â€˜the king of Hadesâ€™ and seeing through Casâ€™ dilettante lies. Balthazar, however, is a much better liar. He pretends to be on Castielâ€™s side. But, well, we will learn later, he is not.
With Sam trying to help Dean, Bobby investigates on the maidâ€™s son and visits him in the mental hospital. This is a closed, secure ward, it seems. Itâ€™s a sad fate for a man who spent one night at H.P. Lovecraftâ€™s house â€“ to be haunted by that night for all his life, condemned to spend his days in a place for the mentally disturbed because â€“ obviously â€“ doctors believed him to be psychotic. I wonder at how lucid the man is, since he surely had to take neuroleptic drugs throughout his stay there. They locked him in there. For the rest of his life, because he told them that he saw monsters.
â€˜The spell worked. A door opened. And something came through. But it was invisible, so no one knew, except me. (â€¦) Because it took my mother. It went into her, she wasnâ€™t the same, she even smelled different. And then, she disappeared. And, surprise, surprise, one by one, they all start dying.â€™
â€˜Iâ€™m sorry about your mom.â€™
â€˜Youâ€™re the first person who ever said that. â€¦ Hey, you wanna see a picture?â€™
Bobby freezes for a moment at the sight of his ex-girlfriend, Dr. Visjak, Eleanor. It will take him back in his own memory storage and open wounds he probably hoped to be healed. The two meant a lot to each other, we can assume that.
But at this instant, my eyes become quite watery and I need to take a short break to gather some tissues. I barely shed a tear upon my first watching of this episode (except at the end), but now the floodgates open with more force.
This old man moves me so much. I am reminded of many patients Iâ€™ve spoken to in my professional life, telling me about terrible moments of their lives â€“ stories of rape or beatings or abuse that were not believed by the ones close to them. Itâ€™s a horrible fact that many experiences of terror (even when they are not connected to the paranormal) are not believed by others.
When they tell me â€“ sometimes after a long time of silence â€“ that they had experienced this or that and that no one would believe them, I feel the same desperate loneliness this old man shows in this scene. Then, when I reply that I do believe it, they often burst into tears, and Iâ€™ve often heard their broken voices whisper â€˜I always wished my mom would have said that to me, at least onceâ€™. They are overwhelmed to find a caring person, to not be conceived of as a fraud or liar or, worst case, nutcase, but as a lonely person who has been through some terrible ordeal and deserves respect.
Thereâ€™s no such thing as respect in the place Dean is trapped at the moment, though. There even hardly is hope. Only desperate means. A tense, strangely lifeless way in which Dean walks around the room, not noticing that the devilâ€™s trap is damaged. But â€“ that fact doesnâ€™t escape the bound demon that turns on an astounded Dean. Without Castielâ€™s intervention, Sam would have had to bury his brother.
â€˜I donâ€™t believe a word that is coming out of your mouth.â€™
And Cas, obviously missing the bond that used to exist between them, tries to rekindle that spark both needed. And still need. I know, some might think that this was just another scheme of Cas, but I canâ€™t believe it. Through my eyes I saw an angel reach out one last time to his human brother. To the only family he has ever known and cared about, more than about his heavenly brothers in arms.
â€˜I thought that you said that we were like family. Oh, I think that, too. Shouldnâ€™t trust run both ways?â€™
â€˜Cas, I just canâ€™t.â€™
â€˜Dean, I do everything you ask. I always come when you call. (I think Cas truly believes this, and in his own experience of the last weeks and months, this has to be true to him.) And I am your friend. Still. Despite your lack of faith in me and now your threats. I just saved you. Yet again. Has anyone but your closest kin done any more for you? All I ask is this one thingâ€¦â€™
â€˜â€¦trust your plan to pop purgatory?â€™
â€˜Iâ€™ve earned that, Dean. I came to tell you that I will find Lisa and Ben, and I will bring them back. â€¦ Stand behind me, the one time I ask.â€™
â€˜Youâ€™re asking me to stand down? â€¦ thatâ€™s the same damn ransom note Crowley handed me, you know that, right? Well, no, thanks. Iâ€™ll find them myself. Why donâ€™t you go back to Crowley and tell him that I said you can both kiss my ass?!â€™
Unfortunately, Cas doesnâ€™t know about Crowleyâ€™s note. He truly wishes to save Lisa and Ben and the fact that he saves them later is proof for me that Castiel didnâ€™t mean to involve these innocents in the fight. There must be enough of his angel conscience still awake that he would not resort to means like that. I donâ€™t believe Castiel meant this in the sense of: Iâ€™ll save them if you stand down. I believe he meant: Iâ€™ll save them and I wish you to stand down.
Maybe Castiel tried to manipulate Dean into standing down, but not for the cost of the lives of these two innocents. He needs to believe to be sincere about this.
It is tragic, really. Both men standing on yet another watershed mark, behind them the only life they have ever known and ahead of them stretches a fate they canâ€™t and wonâ€™t imagine, as their imagination draws up terrors and pains. For Dean of losing Lisa and therefore be branded with their deaths on his conscience, for Castiel realizing his mistakes and perhaps being torn apart by Rafael.
In this episode, Cas has not yet arrived at the point of truly becoming reckless and cruel, in the almost fascist way we will meet him in the following episode. To me it seems that Castiel is struggling to maintain a balance between what he needs (those souls to defeat Rafael) and what he found to be good for him (the â€˜somewhatâ€™ family he found in the Winchester clan). He is trying to answer Samâ€™s prayer â€“ to bring Lisa and Ben back to them, because I believe he hopes to have some heart left. Cas surely notices what he is turning into and still hasnâ€™t accepted that. His heart is not yet empty, therefore he is not yet as brutal as he will become. He wants purgatory. And eventually he will become a creature that wonâ€™t stop at anything to get it. Even hurt those Dean loves most. In this case Sam. But that is another story, for another couch, coming soon.
Bobby, in his own time, is about to lose a part of himself, too, as he calls on Ellie. His memory of their time together made it easy for him to find her cabin, one of her safe houses. For a man who just found out that a woman he was in love with once is a monster, Bobby is remarkably calm. But only on the outside, I reckon.
It does tickle him, though, hearing that she was about 900 years old and that she didnâ€™t think to mention her true nature to him â€˜the whole time you slept with me?â€™ Well, on a naughty note, we can only hope that the sex at least was hellishly good. What would he have done, then? Probably killed her, eh? Monsters do own a self-preservative drive. And, they are not all alike, are they?
Ellie happens to like it here on Earth, and I happen to like this woman/monster/whateverâ€¦ There are monsters and monsters, just as there are humans and humans. I do believe there can be peaceful, nice paranormal creatures, and Ellie probably is one of them. She did what she could to keep the door to purgatory closed. Eventually, she failed.
And Bobby fears she will be the next victim on Castielâ€™s search for purgatory. He still has feelings for that woman. He wants to protect her. There is no instinct in him telling him to kill her, only to save her. This instinct tells us that he isnâ€™t looking at her as a monster, he is being the man trying to protect his woman.
It does move me so much when Ellie refuses his offer, making it clear to him, that she can take care of her own and would be safer that way, since, still, when push comes to shove, as a supernatural being, she would have the odd advantage in a fight.
I could imagine that Bobby, after leaving her there, needs a drink, just as Sam needs one, resorting to his â€˜brotherâ€™s bangâ€™ when Balthazar finds him. Forgive me this shallow note, kind readers â€“ Jared looks amazing in this scene, again, wellâ€¦ he knows exactly how to hold his head, what expression to put to his faceâ€¦. Looking utterly seductive and attractiveâ€¦ ay, meâ€¦ okay, back to the shocking revelation that the angel is now officially on their team.