Saturday, May 7, 2011

Supernatural 6x20 "The Man Who Would Be King"

This was quite a solemn hour of Supernatural, wasn't it? Seeing things from Castiel's perspective was really interesting, in my opinion. We haven't seen much of the angelic one this season because he's been off doing his own thing, and just what that own thing entailed wasn't entirely clear. Until now. So just what has our dear Cas been up to? Not good things, as it turns out.

Recap/review of Supernatural 6x20 "The Man Who Would Be King" by freshfromthe.comI'm reminded of a certain saying that pops up in the last Harry Potter book here - "For the greater good." It's basically a saying used by Grindelwald to justify his actions and make them seem less horrific. I think we can safely assume that Castiel was adopting the same mindset, though he knew deep down that what he was doing wasn't exactly right. But was it entirely wrong? It's hard to say. Because if he didn't do what he did, then what would've happened? Raphael was intent on re-starting the Apocalypse, the very thing Cas and the Winchesters had just worked so hard to thwart. So what I'm saying is, I can see his side of the story. It's not so cut and dry, no matter how much Dean, Sam and Bobby tell him it is.

But I'm digressing a little bit here. Let's get back to the details of the episode itself. The episode was framed around Castiel telling his story to someone who we assume is, and later find out to be, God. I mean, as much as you can tell a story to God, since he's not actually there. Castiel's story takes us back to before there were humans, all the way to present day, and we find out just how long he's been working with Crowley, and what caused him to go to such lengths.

You see, after Sam jumped into the cage with Lucifer inside him, Castiel was brought back to life. When he returned to Heaven, the other angels were amazed and looked to him for guidance. What were they supposed to do now? Cas tried to tell them that they were free to make their own choices, but they were having a tough time wrapping their heads around that concept after millennia of being told what to do. Cas didn't get much chance to show him what it meant to have free will before being summoned before Raphael, who had other plans. He wanted Castiel to step in line and follow him as the new leader of Heaven - and restart the Apocalypse.

Castiel wanted to go to Dean for help, but after seeing him in his new life, he didn't want to disturb him. And then, a new opportunity presented itself in the form of Crowley. He had a proposition for Cas - that they should team up, to look for purgatory and get more souls, thereby getting themselves more power. Cas was reluctant at first, but after some silver-tongued persuasion from the new King of Hell, he agreed to his proposition. Crowley would give him 50,000 souls to power up and take on Raphael, and later when they found purgatory, they would split all of the monster souls in there. They did disagree on how they would go about finding purgatory, though. Crowley wanted to put Dean and Sam on the case (we also found out that it was Castiel who brought Sam back from Hell, though he didn't realize at first that it was without his soul), but Cas forbade him from using Dean. So that's why Crowley brought Samuel back - so he and Sam could track down purgatory for him. With me so far?

Which basically brings us to present day for those two. Crowley is pissed at Castiel for letting the Winchesters kill Eve, the Mother of All, as she was their best chance of tracking down purgatory. Crowley wants to take out the Winchesters before they track him down, but Cas forbids him.

Meanwhile, Sam, Dean and Bobby are indeed looking for Crowley, and though Sam and Bobby are convinced that Castiel is working with him, Dean wants to keep his trust in Castiel intact. They track down a hunter demon who has been taking out nests of monsters and the like, figuring he must be getting his orders from Crowley. After some back and forth, they get it out of him that he gets his orders from the demon version of Bobby - this demon dude named Elsworth.

They go off to find this Elsworth, but it's too bad for them, because Castiel was listening in on this little conversation and goes ahead of them to kill Elsworth and his cronies. Thus, when the Winchesters and Bobby arrive at the place, they find it suspiciously clean. Sam and Bobby are suspecting Cas, but Dean decides they've got to just tell him that they've been looking for Crowley and see what his reaction is. Before they can do that, though, some demons appear and attack. Luckily for them, Cas was actually listening in this whole time, and shows up to kill the demons.

They finally tell him that they've been looking for Crowley, and Cas manages to at first lie his way back into their trust. But then he slips. He makes a reference back to the conversation they all had earlier about Superman going darkside, which he wasn't actually supposed to have been there to hear. The look on Dean's face says it all - he knows he's working with Crowley. They put together a plan to trap Cas in holy fire, and it works like a charm.

With Cas trapped in the ring of fire, they're able to confront him about what he's been doing. Dean basically says that they'll kill him if they have to, no matter what his intentions may have been. Cas tries to explain, but they aren't understanding his predicament too easily. Before anything can really go down, though, some demonic smoke starts heading straight for them, and Cas tells them to run for it, which they do. It's Crowley, come to set Castiel free from the holy fire, and give him some grief over the situation at hand, asking him just what he's willing to do.

Cas makes one last visit to Dean to try to make him understand. Dean asks him to just stop what he's doing, because it's him asking. He wants him to trust him. But Cas is at odds with this request. He's gone too far now to turn back.

In the end, as he finishes his tale, he asks for a sign from God. What's he supposed to do?

It's a good question.

Random Thoughts:

- This episode was written and directed by Ben Edlund. Great job!

- It was interesting to learn that Cas (and, it seems, Crowley) could just sit in and listen/watch people without them knowing they're there. I don't think we'd ever seen either of them do that before.

- Crowley's new version of Hell does seem pretty terrible. Waiting in lines is the WORST!

- Castiel was the one who brought Sam out of Hell. Did he know it was without his soul? It was implied that he didn't know, but he's being awfully shady, you know.

- I liked that Crowley actually gave the Winchesters their due after Castiel told him he didn't need to worry about them finding him. He basically said that they'd killed all these other demons, so yeah, he did need to worry. True, true.

- Even though Eve is dead, she's apparently still laying eggs, and when Crowley touches her exposed brain with a hot poker thing, it makes a vampire he has tied up go nuts. Interesting.

- Next week is an off week with the series finale of Smallville, but on May 20 we get a two part finale. Can you believe season six is already coming to an end?!


"He's the Balki Bartokomous of Heaven, he can make a mistake." - Dean (wow, super obscure reference)

"If I knew then what I know now, I might have said: It's simple. Freedom is a rope, God wants you to hang yourself with it." - Castiel

"Do I look like I'm joking?" - Raphael
"You never look like you're joking." - Castiel

"I know two eerily suited Teen Beat models with time on their hands." - Crowley

"You know who spies on people, Cas? Spies." - Dean

"Just because you can do what you want, doesn't mean that you get to do whatever you want." - Dean

Previous Episode -- Next Episode


  1. I wrote a ridiculously long comment and Blogger ATE IT. Hiss boo.

    Basically, in a nutshell, the boys are being awfully self righteous and "Why didn't you ask for help?" when Cass talked about the issues with the civil war in heaven early on, and they basically ignored him. They never asked if they could help or pushed it much, so now they 're all, "Why didn't you come to us?" for starters, they don't know what's going on AT ALL, so Dean asking Cas to trust him about something he is so completely clueless about was frustrating to me. They're painting Cas as the baddie, but it's just not that simple. The boys should apologize for leaving Cas to his own all this time, not bawl him out for not whining more.

    Also, Sam being angry about Cas bringing him back still confusing the heck out of me. He was better there? And I can't see why Cas would purposely bring him back soulless, that doesn't make sense with anything we've seen so far, even with tonight's secretive Cas. If I, a casual viewer, don't jump to that, why would the Winchesters?

    I guess if an ep/season has me raising this many questions and ranting this much, it's doing its job. Unfortunately, I heard the season ends on some kind of cliffhanger, so I might have to wait three months for the answers.

  2. The boys can be very self-righteous a lot of the time, actually. And I agree that they haven't given Cas enough leeway. What else was he supposed to do, really? Let the Apocalypse re-start? He was just trying to let them have their lives back by not asking them for help. But the show wouldn't be as interesting if they agreed on everything either.

    I wonder what sort of cliffhanger the show is going to end on. I sort of know what one of the episodes is going to be about, but I don't know which one it is.... I won't say in case people avoid spoilers!