The Perhaps (But Hopefully Not) Brief and Tumultuous Return of Castiel

Cas is back! Or at least, the teaser/trailer for the March 16 return of new Supernatural episodes would have us believe so with its brief glimpse of a suitless Castiel. Having believed that the beloved, yet sometimes misguided, Cas has been dead since the first episode of this season, imagine the surprise for Sam and Dean, and the jubilation of the fans. However, all joy and relief aside that Cas has not in fact perished in an explosion of black ooze, there is much speculation at hand. How will the Winchesters react to their prodigal friend? After all, Cas tore down the “great wall of Sam” that kept Sam functioning after Death restored his soul. And the under-the-table wheelings and dealings between Cas and Crowley are hard to overlook. Nevertheless, Cas maintained that all of this was done for the greater good, a broken record we have heard many times in the course of the show. Sam indulging in demon blood? For the greater good. Torturing innocents possessed by demons? For the greater good. Rebelling against heaven? For the greater good. Self-sacrifice? For the greater good. Notice a pattern here?

As is the case with the return of any character after a hiatus, several key questions and subquestions accompany Cas’ reappearance: How will he affect the plot? And therefore, is he over his God complex? What’s the status on the war in heaven? Is this just a final character arc before killing him off for good? If so, who’s going to fill that void? Frankly, with the loss of Bobby still fresh, to turn around and tease us with Cas’ comeback and then send him back into oblivion is just cruel and unfair. Yet, if a tease is all this happens to be and we must prepare to say our final goodbyes to our dear, dear trench coat-wearing, hoarse whispering, sometimes befuddled Cas, can we forgive him for what he’s done? Or is forgiveness even necessary? For he had already apologized to Dean before attempting to send back the Leviathan to Purgatory and he explained why he felt compelled to do it all and kept it from them (again, for the greater good).

We’ve seen Dean forgive Sam for the whole Ruby/demon blood/psychic exorcising ordeal, that is if you call snide comments forgiveness. So will Dean let Cas off the hook and back into the fold just as “easily” as he did Sam? Brotherhood and family is such a huge part of Supernatural, and as we’ve seen disloyalty and betrayal by/of a family member is the ultimate evil. Perhaps, that’s why Dean was more willing to absolve Sam after his indiscretions.  Sam is all that he has left, and it’s pretty obvious (and understandable) to say that Dean has abandonment issues. And although Dean has declared Bobby and Cas as members of the Winchester family, blood is thicker than holy water.

Dean seems to have no qualms about pointing out the faults and mistakes of others. Yet wouldn’t he make the same exact ones if it meant saving his brother? A friend?  Someone in need?  The world? Time and time again we’ve seen his brinkmanship. Surely, he would have done the same had he been in Cas’ or Sam’s shoes.

Cas’ return to the show is definitely a turning point in Season 7, perhaps even in the series as a whole. Being an integral part of the show since his introduction in Season 4, Misha Collins’ portrayal of Cas has attracted quite the following, and rightfully so. When the Winchester boys lost their father, he was successfully replaced by crotchety Bobby Singer. Replacing Cas, on the other hand, may not be such an easy task, and where the show goes from here is a mystery indeed. After you’ve repeatedly gone to hell and back, had a showdown with the devil and the hosts of heaven, and now creatures from someone in between, what else is there left to fight?

 

 

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Emily Jones

A recent college graduate, or you might say college graduate statistic as I'm living at home still looking for a job to put my $80,000 English and History degrees to good use, I verge on obsesssion with anything that smacks of 70s and 80s pop culture. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, the music, the movies, professional wrestling, and sadly, even the clothing and hair. As I impatiently await a Jon Bon Jovi/Sammy Hagar doppelganger to whisk me away from the monotony of asking "paper or plastic?", I'll be blogging about Supernatural.Read Full
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