The return of absent, feathered friends this week, as Castiel made a reappearance in the Winchesters’ bunker, and seemed determined to follow through with his plan to kill Lucifer’s spawn, no matter what. But this is Supernatural, and I don’t think poor Cas has ever had a plan work out for him in the history of ever. Cas is the Baldrick of celestial beings, perpetually and misguidedly optimistic that this time, a cunning plot of his devising will succeed, seemingly doomed to repeat the same dumb mistakes over and over.
While Kelly Kline languished in a dingy basement, prisoner of Dagon, who had been tasked with protecting the unholy progeny of Satan, Sam used his big, beautiful brain and realised they could use the grace removal ritual that Cas had performed on Sam when he was possessed by Gadreel. With a Nephilim baby being half angel, half mortal, this would essentially neutralise the threat by rendering the child totally human. Unfortunately, Kelly didn’t get the memo in time to prevent her slitting her wrists in the bath, but her unborn son had other ideas and healed her wounds before she bled out. Taking this as a sign that destiny was calling her, Kelly decided that Luci’s offspring wasn’t evil after all, and that he must be allowed to live at all costs, and retain his powers. I’m sure that’s going to work out just peachy!
Cas didn’t get the ‘no one needs to die’ memo either, and turned up at the bunker, looking sheepish, to tell the brothers he’d been in Heaven while MIA, and had failed to find a way to stop Kelly and the all-powerful foetus. While Sam was prepared to forgive and forget, Dean gave the angel a hard time, but finally softened when Cas knocked on his bedroom door to return a Led Zeppelin mix tape. This scene smacked of fan-service, but I was prepared to go along with the cute awkwardness of their making up session for a while there. I’ve always seen Cas as a slightly tragic character, a fallen angel who has forsaken his higher purpose for the love of a mortal (or two, in this case). His feelings for Dean have always seemed a little ambiguous, at times tipping over from hero worship to schoolgirl unrequited crush, so knowing Dean had made him a gift, conceding that the hapless angel has a place in his affections, was kind of sweet.
But as is so often the case these days, Castiel’s character was done a great disservice in “The Future”, when it transpired that he’d only gone to the bunker, and to Dean’s room, to steal the Colt. While he claimed he was acting to protect Sam and Dean from having to kill an innocent, he lied to them and went rogue, even after Dean’s insistence the three of them were better together, the original Team Free Will. Furthermore, although he started out resolute about what needed to be done (enough to go against his ‘family’), he then stalled, convinced Kelly to accompany him to Heaven where both her and her baby would reside forever, and finally did a complete U-turn under the influence of the supernatural brat!
Kelly and Cas, imbued by some kind of Nephilim power, were able to overcome Dagon and kill her, but not before she destroyed the Colt and killed Joshua, who’d materialised in the sandpit portal to shepherd Kelly to Heaven. This is something else which has happened a lot throughout Season 12 – the bringing back of characters from past seasons only to have them killed off. We saw this with Billie, the Alpha vampire, and now Joshua, who had the added misfortune of being transformed into a weedy white guy before he bit the dust. And it seems not even inanimate objects are safe now, as the Colt is no more. Again, I don’t see the point of having featured it so heavily, devoting an entire episode to its recovery, only to have it taken off the board again almost immediately!
So with a handful of episodes left to go in this series, Dagon is dead, Joshua is dead, Sam and Dean are down one very powerful weapon, and Castiel has been brainwashed by Rosemary’s baby. While Sam and Dean have shown signs of development over the last few years in terms of openness and honestly, Cas repeatedly fails to learn any lessons. It remains to be seen how this all ties in with the Crowley/Lucifer situation in Hell, and with the British Men of Letters being out to eliminate the Winchesters, but with the brothers and their angel on opposite sides of the fence once more, perhaps we’re heading for a conflict on a par with that of Season 7?
Final Grade: D+
+ Dean affectionately referring to Sam as ‘Beautiful Mind’ was a nice throwback to 7×02 “Hello, Cruel World”, which is one of my favorite episodes, and one which parallels the boys’ current battle with Cas.
+ Lucifer’s fury at Dagon was pretty intense and chilling.
+ Kelly’s attempted suicide was pretty horrific and made me genuinely queasy!
– I did a double take when I saw this was co-written by Robert Berens. The dialogue lacked his signature finesse.
– I am so tired of characters turning idiotic for the sake of plot. The whole palaver of tossing the Impala’s keys around carelessly to enable Kelly to steal the car was ridiculous. It’s the Winchesters’ only constant. The Most Important Object in the Universe. They aren’t going to hand it to Stepford Kelly on a plate! Speaking of Kelly, at least she has divine intervention to blame for her brainlessness. I was going to point out that she must have had some smarts at some point to get a job in the White House, but then I remembered REAL LIFE.
– Although there were four deaths, an attempted suicide, and the loss of a significant piece of Supernatural history in the form of the Colt, this episode still seemed a little light on actual plot, and overly reliant on contrivance. Sam placed a tracking device on Castiel’s phone because the notoriously socially awkward angel wouldn’t make eye contact? Really?
Extra Thoughts: I am not sure I understand what use Castiel’s plan to take Kelly and her baby to Heaven would do. Sure, their physical vessels would be destroyed, but the soul of the Nephilim kid would still be floating around, ready to make some serious trouble. You can exit Heaven through a playground sandpit these days, after all! *Eyeroll*
So what did you think? Is there any hope of redemption for Cas, or is he in a whole world of Holy Shit?! Sound off in the comments, or tell us on Twitter!