Review: 7.21 "Reading Is Fundamental"

by sweetondean 

The Angels, they don't care. I think maybe they just don't have the equipment to care. Seems like when they try, it just breaks them apart.


"Supernatural" is a complex show. It sounds pretty simple on paper, 2 brothers travelling the back roads of America, hunting monsters and saving the world, but any one who watches it knows that there is soooooooo much more to it than that. It's a deeply layered story, rife with multi-faceted relationships, profoundly damaged characters and rich mythology. "Reading Is Fundamental" is a perfect example of the kind of show Supernatural can be. Layered, multifaceted and rich. One that sometimes leaves you not knowing how to feel, or feeling all the feelings, or flip-flopping between the two. This was an episode screaming to be dissected, if that's your bag, and for the first time in a long time, I actually made notes on my 3rd rewatch because there was so much happening, I found it hard to keep track of it all. I will, of course, miss stuff. I always do. I never read anything before I write an episode up, but after that I go and read everything and half the time I wind up going, "Awww. Nuts!" because I've totally misread a situation or didn't pick up on a nuance in a certain scene. I have a feeling "Reading Is Fundamental" is going to be one that makes me go, "Awww. Nuts!" a lot and probably loudly.

Ben Edlund wrote and directed "Reading Is Fundamental" and if you know anything about me, you know that I'm a massive fan of this man, his crazy brain and his brilliant writing. Edlund knows how to tell a story. This was the 21st episode of "Supernatural" he's written and the 2nd one he's directed. Looking back at Ben's work, one thing jumps out, there's always more to his episodes than initially meets the eye. Even with the funny ones there are layers upon layers and he manages to bring all those elements together without it feeling disjointed. Other writers on the "Supernatural" team don't quite have the same level of skill. When they attempt this layering they somehow just miss the mark in making the whole thing feel cohesive and their episodes wind up feeling tonally disjointed. It's one of the things I love most about Edlund's work, that he can deliver complex narrative and still maintain cohesiveness in concept and tone. On some level "Reading Is Fundamental" was baffling, because it confronted us with changes in characters and relationships that we may not have been prepared for, but tonally it never waivered. The comedy, though still there, took a back seat to the guts of the story, which built momentum as the hour progressed. It's an episode that's in desperate need of a rewatch. If you got everything going down on the first pass through, you're way brighter than I am!

So Castiel is awake and he's somewhat, errrrr, changed. Cass made me feel uncomfortable in this episode. I teetered between feeling sorry for him and wanting to hug him, to feeling frustrated by his strange behaviour, to feeling bemused by his new persona, to feeling distrustful of who he's become. What an ever-morphing character Castiel is. There was a lot of chat about how this Cass persona was very much like Future!Cass and at first I was all, oh yeah! But on 2nd watch, I realised they're diversely different. The only similarity to me seemed to be their ability to smile. Future!Cass was cynical, jaded, broken in spirit, human. Crazy!Cass is almost optimistic, or is it naive, or is it self-accepting, or is it enlightened, or is it insane, see, I'm not at all sure what to make of this new Cass. Part of me thinks that in making that sacrifice and taking on Sam's Hell torture, he's managed to come through the other side with a new perspective on things, like he said to Sam, now he sees everything. When Dean asked him what he was going to do, his answer seemed to indicate a lightness, like the weight of all he'd done and all he was had been lifted, "I don't know. Isn't that amazing." Here is a Being that has followed orders his whole existence, has always been duty bound. Now he finds himself free of those binds, which in itself is highly disturbing because there was nothing in him that seemed like he wanted to stay and help, not just the Winchesters, but also, mankind. He'd rather watch the bees. Apart from handing over a small vial of blood, he was flying out of the whole shebang. Unprotected I might add. Do we all remember what Cass said about giving someone enough rope? Even his line about the blood, I couldn't quite read if he was just being new weird Cass or plain sarcastic, "You know me, always happy to bleed for the Winchesters." What? I don't know, I really don't.

Then there was the game of Sorry. I don't know, what was being said here, but I know one thing for sure, this weren't no game of Sorry. Is it that this was the only way, in his current state, Cass could actually try to communicate amends to Dean? Get his message across? Was he trying to get Dean to apologise, or break bread first? Did he mean something more when he said, "I'm sorry, I think you have to go back to the start?" Or was he literally only talking about the game piece. "Why should I prosper from your misfortune. But these are the rules, I don't make them." Ok, what? I feel like there was a whole other conversation going on here that I wasn't privy to and it's going to keep me up at night! The other line that baffled me was before the game started when Cass said "It took everything to get me here." I'm with Dean, "What are you talking about?" What did that mean? Is he being purposely obtuse or is he in fact, simply addled. I can't tell. This was one loaded conversation and if I were Dean, I'd be running it over and over in my mind. All this makes me believe there's something going on with Cass and we don't know about it yet. I don't know, I might be reading too deep, this episode kind of threw me into that end of the pool, but if Supernatural has taught me one thing, it's to never expect anything to be what it seems.

The only point where I felt Cass was not speaking in circles was in his conversation with Sam. I absolutely loved this scene. Cass was lucid and sounded sane to me. He was accepting of what he'd done and I would say, accepting of this outcome being his penance for past transgressions. Taking on Sam's pain almost gave him a new sense of purpose, a sense of doing right, like his burden had been lifted. He couldn't see how he could improve. When Sam said they'd find a way to make him better, he was confused, because to Cass, he is better. This conversation, which was so heartfelt, made me feel like the other Cass was not being honest. Like he was hiding behind his craziness. Like he was wearing a mask. Because if in this quiet moment with Sam he can make this much sense, what was with the pull my finger routine, or the horribly awkward meeting with the other Angels. It's almost like it was a show. Like I said, I don't know, I really don't. Castiel completely did my head in. I'm literally champing at the bit to see where they go with him next, because I really can't imagine. 

Where as Sam seems to have forgiven Cass by way of understanding a shared experience, Dean of course, is still struggling with it. As well he should be. It would be out of character for Dean to forgive so easily. He will forgive, he always does, but when people this close to him disappoint him; it takes time for him to trust and move forward with the relationship. Look at how he struggled with forgiveness of Sam in season 5 and that's Sam. Castiel is in a worse position. He did the one thing that Dean says do not ever do. He hurt Sam. You don't hurt Sam. Sam's Dean's life. In fact, Cass came very close to killing Sam. I think Dean could easily overcome the issues around the betrayal with Crowley, but not what Cass did to Sam. That was the ultimate betrayal. Even though, in the end, Cass took on Sam's pain, let's not forget, he's the one that inflicted that pain in the first place. But, we can see forgiveness starting, with baby steps. It's not like Dean's not speaking to the guy, he is and you can see how desperately sad the whole situation makes him. But anyone hoping for that relationship to find its heart again may have a long and possibly disappointing wait ahead. If in fact it ever gets back to where it once was. They've both changed since Cass went darkside. I hope at some point they talk it out though. Dean always gets to a point where he needs to talk, usually over the Impala. Once he's talked, well then, he seems a lot better. I expect that will come...eventually, because Dean's great capacity for forgiving those he loves is part of his beauty. 

"Reading Is Fundamental" also reintroduced the Angels to the show. I like the biblical mythology in Supernatural and as we're dealing with Leviathan, it seems appropriate we deal with Angels again too. The thing is, they're out there, we know that now, so not to integrate them from time to time in the Winchester's Universe seems a little ridiculous. I was ready to say goodbye to the big Angel storyline, mainly because I was tired of the focus being taken away from the brother's journey and I wanted the Winchesters to learn to lean on each other again and work through a case with out Heavenly intervention, which they're now doing very nicely thank you, but I'm quite happy to see Angels pop up here and there, because it seems silly for them not to. Especially when there's something at stake as big as the Word Of God and the Leviathan eating the earth. I thought both the Angels featured in this episode were great. I'd be pretty happy if we saw Inias again, I liked him. He seemed more Angelic than most of the Angels we've met. Hester, on the other hand fell into to the typical Angel barrel of dicks! That whole "The very touch of you corrupts. When Castiel first laid a hand on you in Hell, he was lost." Wow. Cranky much? Like Dean doesn't shoulder enough guilt. We know he already blames himself for, well, everything. Guilt is an essential part of his makeup. But hey, it wasn't his idea to send an Angel down to Hell to haul him out. It wasn't his fault that Castiel realised that humanity was something worth fighting for, when all the other Angels were conspiring against us. Great line though Mr Edlund, a real pearler! I was glad Meg stabbed Hester. Even though that confused me because I thought only an Angel can kill another Angel. Though I guess as long as you have the blade. Dean killed Zach. But I always assumed that was because he was rockin' the Michael thing. Have the boys ever killed an Angel, other than Zachariah, with the Angel killing blade? Someone tell me please because my head hurts and I'm too lazy to look it up. 

And what about Meg? What's she up to? More than she's letting on that's for sure. Her relationship with Cass is really rather amusing. At first it squicked me out, but now I'm starting to think she has a bit of a soft spot for the Angel, which could be interesting, if it played out that way. Not romantically, obviously, but if she was forced into a situation with Cass which goes against her demon nature? Maybe there's more to Meg than her skanky, self-serving demony ways? Probably not. I really want to dislike her, but I just can't. I never have. I think she's an awesome villain and I'm happy she's managed to survive this long and I hope she continues to be a thorn in the brother's sides for seasons to come. Plus, I really love that she reads gossip magazines! How funny was it when the other demons rocked up in that truck? They're not sharpest tools in the shed those demons. It must have been the largest, loudest form of transport they could find! As their boss would say, Morons! I'm assuming Meg led them there to see if they'd told anyone else about seeing her. Make sure they're stupid and alone and then do them in. Or is she really planning on handing Castiel over to Crowley in order to get back in with the King. I liked her position, "Find a cause and serve it. Give yourself over and it orders your life. Obviously these things shift over time. We learn, we grow." But what is really Meg's cause? Do I believe the line she slinging the Winchesters? Nup. But I can't wait to find out what she's planning and where she's gone. Where did she go?  

In a season full of great new characters, we got another one in this episode. Kevin Tran, The Keeper of The Word. The Word of God! Crikey. Just when you think Supernatural can't reach more lofty heights, they bring in the Word of God. Poor old Kevin, being dragged into this whole Leviathan mess. At least as a prophet he doesn't share the same crippling headaches that Chuck had. But Kevin does have a very big Leviathan problem, with Edgar now having hold of him and the God rock. But where was Kevin's Archangel? A prophet has an Archangel tethered to him right? There should be a few more kicking around unless they all died in the war in Heaven without us knowing. I must admit to loving the way Edgar took out the Angels, driving his fist into them with black goo oozing out everywhere. I guess the Leviathan can kill Angels too? Maybe as they were God's first creation. That's what I'm assuming. But fuzzy Angel mythology is fuzzy.

Apart from the awesome Metatron/Megatron conversation, in an episode full of sharp and textured dialogue, my favourite line came from Dean. "The Angels, they don't care. I think maybe they just don't have the equipment to care. Seems like when they try, it just breaks them apart." Oh man. That's such a sad line. That really hurts. You can see on Dean's face how much that really hurt, both to say and to realise. I also thought it might have been prophetic and maybe a nugget pointing towards his future relationship with Castiel. Because caring so much did indeed break Cass apart. He wasn't built to care like he wound up caring and everything he did and become was because of that. He was corrupted, but not by the evil of humanity, but by our heart and soul and the goodness that lives within, as amplified by the Winchesters. In order to prevent this happening to Castiel again, should Dean keep him at arms length? Is that what he's thinking? Sad. Oh, and did you notice that Meg called Sam Bullwinkle! I also thought her "wingnuts" description of the Angels was a great term for them. The Sam/Kevin chase was damn funny too. The big guy doesn't corner so well.

So we're left with how to kill the Leviathan with the bone of a righteous mortal, washed in the three bloods of the fallen. According to the screen grab I got, the fallen are: the fallen Angel, the ruler of fallen humanity and the father of fallen beasts. Awesome, seriously awesome! Great set up for the next 2 episodes! Of course my mind immediately went to Dean when I heard the words righteous mortal, him being the righteous man from Hell and all. I don't want him to have to hand over any part of his body, but if he did, if he had to give a up rib or some other bone he could do with out, would that assuage some of his guilt? Of course it could be another righteous mortal entirely. After all, it says mortal, not man, so it could be a woman. Yeah, I doubt it too. I have a feeling the deals the brothers are about to make to get the blood from the other two fallen, may have repercussions that ring through into season 8 (which I can say now and know it's really happening!). I'm wondering if we finally find out that the ruler of fallen humanity", as seen in the promo, is not what we think, which has been teased and implied and analysed here and there for a ages. Probably not, but it's still fun to consider! Sorry", being purposefully obtuse, just like Cass, in case my readers haven't seen the promo for next week's episode.

"Reading Is Fundamental" packed a complex and emotional wallop, while delivering an intricate story and exciting set-up for the season finale. As with last season's "The Man Who Would Be King", it filled in the mythology gaps and laid groundwork for the coming weeks. I hope the momentum created in this episode continues in "There Will Be Blood". That all the pieces lain out here by Edlund are built upon. Only 2 episodes to go and I have lots of bad feelings about where we're going! We know it's going to be a cliffhanger,  but what kind of cliff are we going to be hanging off? Ugh. Supernatural finales always kill me. I don't want the season to end. I really hate the hellatus.

What did you think of the episode? What was your take on Castiel?

Thanks for reading. See you next week!

-sweetondean

Comments  

Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-05-05 22:42
I have watched for the third time now and am still discovering subtext. One thing I am very intrigued by is Metatron. I did a bit of research and found some real lore. Metatron is an angel closest to God and the scribe of heaven. There is also Metatron's Cube a piece of sacred geometry that comes from the Tree of Life. The cube consists of spheres connected to each other through their centers. Here is a link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metatron's_Cube
I wonder if the spheres that Cas mentions when he talks about Neanderthal poetry are these and if he, in his enlightened state, now sees how all things are connected, as in this cube of spheres. I must say, I love when SPN goes this deep!
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-05 22:51
I think a lot of what Cas said may have sounded like jibberish but has some significance to the big picture. The seeing everything, the connections, it really is like he's in an enlightened state. I also love when the show goes this deep. I wonder if we'll get to see Metatron, I googled him too. Quite a bit of info out there on him on Angel reference sites.
mybelle
# mybelle 2012-05-05 22:51
Great review! I'm pretty sure I agree on most counts! :D

I'm going off one viewing so forgive me if I don't address specifics.

I have A TON of mixed feelings about Castiel. I was not really happy to see him come back this season as it seemed simply fan service. Now, it seems he has more purpose, but I'm still worn out by the character. I found myself extremely frustrated with him this episode particularly. I just don't know what to feel about him, and I wish he'd either go away completely or return to be a friend again. It's too much angst for Dean, when there's NO resolution or hope of resolution because the guy is completely wacky right now (or whatever he is). *sigh* Does this make any sense???? :(

The "only an angel can kill an angel" thing...I took that to mean because previous to when Castiel pulled Dean from hell, angels were not present on earth, interacting with humans. No one BUT an angel ever had an angel sword, so of course, to the point where this line is spoken it is true that only an angel could kill an angel, because only angels had special angel blades to do it. Now that these blades are so prolific, I think the point should be clarified that only an angel blade can kill an angel...doesn't matter who wields it. Though honestly, this little "error" (if one wants to call it that) has never bugged me; but that's my take on it. :)

Lastly, I want to add that my first thought was Dean as well, when the righteous mortal line was read. And it might have merit because when Guy Bee was tweeting about directing episode 22 he posted a picture of his "homework", which included the season 4 disc that has the episodes 13-16, and episode 16 is On the Head of a Pin. I don't know. It could mean nothing...but I wonder...

Okay, off to rewatch. :D
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-05 22:54
I remember seeing that tweet too and checking which eps they were and being extremely interested by the fact OTHOAP was on there. Very interesting indeed.
mybelle
# mybelle 2012-05-05 22:55
I mean it certainly can't be After School Special...hahah a...
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-05 23:00
Unless the tiny red shorts are the answer to everything in the Universe....I kinda think they could be ;-)
mybelle
# mybelle 2012-05-05 23:09
hahaha!!! They could be the answer to everything in *my* universe, that's for sure! :)
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-11 23:20
Funniest thing! It was indeed After School Special that Guy had to study for the ghost possession! Who'd of thunk it!! :lol:
mybelle
# mybelle 2012-05-12 01:29
LOL!!! I definitely didn't expect that one...so crazy :D
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-05-05 22:57
Great recap and article. I have lots of mixed feelings about this episode and it's the first time I've ever felt this way...ever. I'm going to reserve judgment until after the next two episodes before I rate this episode. So much to ponder and really think about....
LisaM
# LisaM 2012-05-05 23:11
This episode had many lines and/or scenes that could be interpreted differently by different people or with multiple viewings. For my part, I think Cas is hiding inside her new persona. He was asked by Dean if he remembered what he did. Hell yes he remembers! So he hides behind this I watch bees crap to avoid his guilt. There was an episode of MASH where a man felt such guilt at bombing villages, his mind turned him into Jesus Christ, because Jesus would never hurt anyone. Cas reminds me of that character, so much in pain with his memories, guilt and anything else an angel can't handle that humans deal with all the time, he is not himself but someone who doesn't fight and observes nature rather than destroys it. And Dean knows he has some responsibility for Cas's mental condition even before the angels articulate that accusation. I wasn't sure about this epi at first but on second viewing, there is more there.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-05 23:21
Agreed...he's packed away behind the crazy.
LisaM
# LisaM 2012-05-05 23:12
Revision: Cas is hiding inside HIS new persona. sorry.
Vanda
# Vanda 2012-05-05 23:18
I really enjoyed watching this episode, I watched it 4 times already & I don't think I will ever stop discovering things I missed... so much going on!! I like your breakdown of all the different parts of this whole. I must be a real dumbass unable really understand this episode fully, but your review helped a little. makes a little more sense to me now... so now I'll watch it again. LOL
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-05 23:20
It was a tricky one V. It baffled me at many a turn. But the best episodes are the ones that make us think and talk and connect. That's what makes this show so special right? :-)
tmateotb
# tmateotb 2012-05-05 23:21
This episode. THIS EPISODE! You get a massive congratulations for even being able to finish the review. I still can't properly get my head around it. I loved it, but it was so agonisingly complicated! I was laughing out loud, then within a second holding my breath in pain, then laughing again. And everyone in this ep was so pretty, the boys, Cas, Meg, Kevin. The sets also seemed v.spacious and lush. Great job cast and crew. The only part I was disappointed by was the duplication of the S4 plot, taking Meg on the run with them almost exactly the same as they did with Ruby in S4, even to them both leaving to meet up with other demons as a ruse to protect the winchesters and their angels, Anna and Cas. Reusing this idea snapped me out of the magical trance I was in throughout this ep.
mybelle
# mybelle 2012-05-05 23:26
Quote:
The only part I was disappointed by was the duplication of the S4 plot, taking Meg on the run with them almost exactly the same as they did with Ruby in S4, even to them both leaving to meet up with other demons as a ruse to protect the winchesters and their angels, Anna and Cas. Reusing this idea snapped me out of the magical trance I was in throughout this ep.
Gosh I didn't even realize this, and I've watched those particular episodes of season 4 probably more than any others from that season...so interesting! Too bad it pulled you out of this one, though.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-05 23:27
I didn't see that either. Tonally the episodes felt very different to me. But I do see that they could be likened in that way.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-05 23:33
There were some beautiful production moments, like the cello playing as the boys set up in their desolate surrounds and the lighting when the boys first met up with Cas, he glowed and they were in shadows. Really spectacular work.
dru
# dru 2012-05-06 01:04
VERY indepth review...phew::DDD
Thank u... :lol:
AND loved the Sammy run:P
Shelley
# Shelley 2012-05-06 01:32
Brilliant review, as always, Amy :)
I loved this episode so much, but being as complex as it was, I'm hard pressed to put my finger on WHY I loved it so much. Let's just blame Mr. Edlund. I love the way he writes Cas. Love love love it. I loved this new, crazy Cas, but he left me feeling a little uneasy. I can not wait to see where he goes from here! Can I just say how bloody awesomely talented Misha is?! He out does himself every time, and always gives us something new.
I think I'm going to need to rewatch this ep at least 50 more times before I can form anymore coherent opinions on it - it's all just swirling around in my head right now!
Laurie
# Laurie 2012-05-06 01:55
You always write my favorite reviews! I see so much more through your eyes.

I think Meg is still a Lucifer minion. She eavesdrops on Cas and Sam talking, and she had an odd look on her face, when Cas said he saw Lucifer at first. I think she's hoping the Leviathan crisis will be a way to free Lucifer again. If Crowley is the enemy of Dick, then Meg by extension may be working with them - the enemy of my enemy is my friend, sort of deal. They may not know it, yet though.

I am fighting disillusionment over the last few episodes. So many things have been built up, only to not deliver what they promised.

Sometimes you have to deliver the pay-off, and SPN hasn't been doing much of that lately. I'm starving for it. If they actually have Dean be the righteous one, and the one who I also suspect is the ruler of fallen humanity ;) I will be satified for a long while, even with a cliffhanger.

Even without that, I will be satisfied if Sam and Dean are the main players of their story, instead of watching it happen, or stuck in private angst, like last year's finale. I want them to DO something to change the world again. Not watch as others do it.
Laurie
# Laurie 2012-05-06 02:08
By ruler of the fallen, I don't mean Dean, by the way. lol I was trying to be as cagey as you.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-06 02:13
I know!
Also, I hope it's Sam and Dean's story in this finale. I hope they are the heroes, the key to saving the world. I understand they need help, but they must be the ones. For me, the greatest error of season 6 was making the finale not centred on Sam and Dean and their relationship. For the first time. I think that was a mistake. I hope it doesn't happen again. I want this show to be about them, as you say, the main players in their story. There's room for supporting characters, but that's what they should be, supporting characters. I know not everyone is in this school of thought, but this is where I live and breathe, with Sam and Dean.
hedi
# hedi 2012-05-06 04:40
oh man u seriosuly touched my heart with this review! thank you so freaking much! you said everything i was thinking about ! awesome review!
like all of you i loved this episode. i watched it over 4 times right now and every time i find something new. im not very familiar to edlund's work but i loved this writing . the way he plays with characters and their lines is so incradibely great and complex at the same time. like at first you would laugh at Cas's dialogs but after a momet you'll find it completley sad and heart-breaking.
i don't know how to deal with Cas's new state , but i believe he is kind of hiding himself behind all those pressure and guilt , he kinda feels free and doesn't want to get involved beacuse he is too scared maybe he'll make another mess for the winchesters.
God, this ep was huge , it needed more and more watch. and i really sadly like Cas's dialog , like the one he said : "i was their captain, isnt it strange?" or the scene that he is beaten up by Hester , he doesn't even try to survive , like he wanted it all to be over.
so much pressure on this ep and i don't think it sinks so soon!

and btw i loved this line of ur review! really touched my feelings !
Quote:
He was corrupted, but not by the evil of humanity, but by our heart and soul and the goodness that lives within, as amplified by the Winchesters.
hedi
# hedi 2012-05-06 04:59
and about the "An angel can only kills an angel" i think what Uriel meant in OTHOAP was that you have to have a angel killer-blade to do that , so doesn't necessarily means that you have to an angel to do that. because before that episode we had no clue if the angels could be killed off too. that's opinion on how meg could kill Hester or Dean killed Zach and everything.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-05-06 12:00
I think maybe Cas has some sort of dissociative identity disorder. He was already on the way before he took on Sam’s mental trauma and now he has lost it completely. He is wavering between different forms of himself. His mind is running away from what he did and basically everything. Sam wasn’t condemning so he took on a more relaxed form, but Dean’s anger and frustration were coming off him in waves, so he was more disconnected. But the most telling moment is when he was confronted when Dean and Hester were yelling and arguing about him he says, “He’s right. An angel brought the Leviathan back into this world and –and they begged him-they begged him not to do it.” He was shuffling and looking down at his feet like a little kid. Even though earlier his response to Hester accusations was only, “It was rude, for one thing.”
“Why should I prosper from your misfortune? But these are the rules, I don’t make them” This line threw me too. From whose misfortune is prospering? I suppose he could mean Sam’s, but I don’t think so. I think whatever he meant by this has yet to be revealed.


As far as the angel can only kill angels thing. I always thought that Uriel was using a little bit of hyperbole. Basically saying that because angels are so powerful and fast that it was unlikely that anything other than another angel could kill them (even with an angel blade). NOT that absolutely nothing else could. Because why would they even be investigating what was killing the members of their garrison(which is what they had Dean torturing Azazel to find out) it they already knew it had to be an angel. I don’t think this breaks canon because I don’t think it was ever intended to be canon.

I do think the angels might be less powerful than they once were though, because Future Cas said he’d thought he lost his mojo when the angels left. And with so many angels dead due to the apocalypse, war and Cas. I think it’s possible that they lost some of their power.
Is there anyway to create new angels, except for God?
kaj
# kaj 2012-05-06 18:58
Quote:
As far as the angel can only kill angels thing. I always thought that Uriel was using a little bit of hyperbole. Basically saying that because angels are so powerful and fast that it was unlikely that anything other than another angel could kill them (even with an angel blade). NOT that absolutely nothing else could. Because why would they even be investigating what was killing the members of their garrison(which is what they had Dean torturing Azazel to find out) it they already knew it had to be an angel. I don’t think this breaks canon because I don’t think it was ever intended to be canon.

I do think the angels might be less powerful than they once were though, because Future Cas said he’d thought he lost his mojo when the angels left. And with so many angels dead due to the apocalypse, war and Cas. I think it’s possible that they lost some of their power.
Is there anyway to create new angels, except for God?
Exactly my thought. I'm also not surprise of this development about 'killing angel'. Plus, the Angels are all dicks and they are arrogant. They should be because they work directly under God's order. All of them thinks they are better than human. If Uriel and Castiel fought using their power and somehow Castiel put his palm on Uriel (like when he did to demons) and blast Uriel apart with his mojo, now THAT, I call only angel killing angel because only angel have that kind of power.

Ever since season one it is established that no one couldn't be killed. The boys thought demons can't be killed, right? They can only be exorcised and banished back to hell. But then out stepped John Winchester saying about this so called gun that can kill demon. Then we were introduced by knife killing demon. So, ever since S3 I realized that there's always a tool to kill entity. S4 rolled around and we met angel. When Cas fought Uriel I was already thinking 'Ah, so that's the angel killing weapon, the angel sword' This is actually consistent throughout the series. So, last night episode is not about establishing new lore but continuing past lore.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-05-06 12:30
One of the best set-up episodes.I liked your review very much.While reading your review the paragraph about forgiveness caught my attention .Yes Dean is a forgiving person and it is in his make up and the beauty in his character. Sam has forgiven before and now kind of immediately but even then i have not seen many attribute the forgive and forget characteristic to him.I think Tim the enchanter said in her comment to the let's speculate but that's it.This is not a complaint or me telling what you said about Dean is wrong because i believe what you said about Dean is right.As far as Kevin ,a nice addition.Let me just say i am with Dean about forgiving Castiel may be because Sam is my favorite character,but i felt sad for Cas when he asked Hester to pull his finger.I liked both the angels and felt Hester was hurt because of what Castiel did and had still not let it go unlike Inais
LisaM
# LisaM 2012-05-06 15:15
so why did Jensen say he feels the character hasn't forgiven Cas yet, nor could he just yet. Both Dean and Sam seemed to have moved on, but is it because they need Cas right now, not because they have forgiven him.
mybelle
# mybelle 2012-05-06 15:49
Not sure if your comment is rhetorical or if you are actually asking, but I'm gonna address it anyway! ;)

For me, though Dean (via Jensen's words) hasn't forgiven Cas for his actions he can still work with him to solve a common problem. Like what happened with Sam at the start of season 5. Even though Dean was furious he was able to put that aside in the moment to deal with the more immediate danger of Lucifer. I see that being the case here - though Dean's anger may be muted some by time and distance, Castiel's actions were such that forgiveness, while it might come later from Dean, will have to be hard-earned by the angel.

Dean does have the capacity to forgive, but I feel like it's a constant struggle with the "once bitten, twice shy" or "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me". There's inherent danger in forgiving someone something so big. I feel for the guy (Dean)! Dean requires a lot from those around him, in the forgiveness arena - if that makes sense...?
LisaM
# LisaM 2012-05-06 15:14
Sam knows Cas isn't fully recovered, despite that whole I don't fight, I chase butterflies attitude of his. He even tells Cas they're going to help him get better, his instinct speaking there.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-05-06 16:22
This was such a beautifully nuanced episode, thank you Mr. Edlund. After two viewings I still haven't wrapped my head around it, it's going to take me quite a few more before I've figured it all out. First off, the beginning blew me away. Kevin playing his cello while Sam & Dean are setting up. It was just beautiful, quiet and full of meaning. And then to uncover the word of God, just wow. I'm full of excitement as to what this is going to bring. I absolutely love the biblical undertone to it all.

As for Castiel, he's like someone who's seen everything and come out the other side with an inner peace. I know I'm not expressing that very well, but that's what it felt like to me. Meg said it best when she tells Sam that he is not the same Castiel as when he disappeared for his long nap. He said to Sam that he can see everything now. What does that mean? As for Meg, oh how I adore her snarkiness, I hope she will be around for season 8. I don't trust her one bit, but just as Castiel is very different, so is she. I think that even demons are capable of change.

I'm looking forward to the last episodes to see what this all means. I'll be sad for the season to be over, but I thought this season rocked. I know alot of people don't share that thought, but I am loving it so much.

Thank you for such a great review, I always enjoy your take on these episodes.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2012-05-06 21:00
I HAD COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE PROFIT ALWAYS HAS A PROTECTOR. SO NOW EDGAR POSSIBLY WILL NOT HARM KEVIN.

THAT IS NOT CASS. I DONT KNOW WHO, I AM HOPING GOD IN DISGUISE AGAIN, LIKE CHUCK.

I DONT HAVE A GOOD FEELING EITHER ABOUT THE WRAP UP & UP COMING CLIFFHANGER. WE SHALL SEE.
FMJemena
# FMJemena 2012-05-06 21:23
Dear sweetondean: THANK YOU for this article.
Yeah, so many levels. Here are my theories:
---Castiel: "I'd rather watch the bees." You know that situation when you let go of your usual worries or preoccupations, annd just force yourself to 'try and smell the roses'? Sometimes, during the show, I get this feeling that Cas's new perspective 'that he now sees everything' kinda reminds me of the Creator or, at least, of a Spirit elevated to a higher level. He see everthing and knows that everything will be alright. That everything is going according to plan.

---Castiel: "I’m sorry, I think you have to go back to the start.” Maybe this is where Season 8 will go--to the start of everything. Remember, we fans wondered about Zacaraiah's statement in S4 that Dean and Sam are direct descendants of Abel and Cain? Michael's statement that the Apocalyptic fight betw Mike and Luci had to be represented by Sam and Dean bec. of this blood thing? Maybe this will be part of S8. Also, the other ingredienst for Leviathan destruction--bl ood from the father of fallen humanity. Isn't that Adam of the Genesis? As to the father of the fallen beasts--can't decide if that is Cain or the Lucifer in Snake form. Or it could be Crowley, since he is the new King of Hell. (Maybe this is will be part of MEg's role.) I know I have encountered that phrase before in Bible class, just can't remember.

---Didn't one of the SPN Top brass mentioned in an interview that the ingredients are possessed by 3 characters? Cas has one (blood), the other two being Crowley and Bobby. If someone does remember this interview...

--Another loose bit which may be tied up in S8. That Jim Novak's bloodline is special, which made his offer to be Castiel's meat suit suitable to the Angel. Well, if Jim Novak is already a dead-end, who else is left but his daughter.

Anyway, thanks again.
Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-05-07 03:34
I am very intrigued by this "starting over" notion. Especially in the context of the Metatron angel and the Tree of Life (see Metatron's Cube http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metatron%27s_Cube). Cas speaks of the beginning of humanity (and starting the game over) and Hester talks about how Cas was doomed the moment he touched Dean. The Tree of Life was what gave humans knowledge and it was what got them thrown out of Eden once they touched it and learned of good and evil. Dean speaks about how the angels break once they try to care. Once Cas learned about choice and free will (by touching Dean and learning from him) he "broke", was doomed and had to leave heaven (Eden). Also, could the father of fallen humanity be John Winchester (Adam), father of Dean and Sam (Cain and Abel)?

Oh, the layers in this episode! This is the Supernatural of old! Great article and great comments!
FMJemena
# FMJemena 2012-05-07 10:58
Just saw the trailer for SPN 7.22, "There will be blood." It seems that the other two blood donors may be Crowley and an Alpha Vamp. The Winchesters and the Leviathan seem to think so. That would cetainly make things easy storywise and productionwise, esp. if this Leviathan problem will be part of S9....BUT, what if the brothers and the Leviathans turned out to be wrong in their guesses?? I mean, why would SPN show part of the answers in a trailer, right? That's like the equivalent of 'flashing'--kil ls the thrilll.
Reetu
# Reetu 2012-05-07 08:14
hi sweetondean,
loved your review and the episode though i am still dazed as to what happened in 40+ minutes??
I felt the use of Brothers role was again minimum and hope in last 2 episodes they emerge as real heros (more actions then just gather help)..
I am at loss for Cass..i dont know what has happened to him and it was not clear by his interactions with brothers separately. if anything it confused me confused me more and the more i read reviews the more i get hazzy (so i will wait for nexties). But i do wish him to be again caring Cass not this "not-caring" angel or whatever h is.
On another note i like Meg in last few episodes but why is she given more action than the Boys?

One last point that i am confused with and need answers is Cass told Sam n Dean that Word of God written for all teh creation, its like dictation of instruction of whatever he made. Since levis are made first by god before mortals or angels or anyone then how come Gos knew how they will be destroyed? I mean I can guess since he is God he knew exactly what he was making and how it will be killed even if the recipe is futuristic but lil explanation on that side will help...
Also Cass and Meg relation over Cas-Brothers relation.? The way he was behaving/shown behaving it felt even after remembering everything he was more concerned/conne cted with Meg than brother..i mean i have no clue what has happened but i liked whatever happen but i want answers...

Thanks again for analyzing it for us...
FMJemena
# FMJemena 2012-05-07 08:53
@REETU:
"One last point that i am confused with and need answers is Cass told Sam n Dean that Word of God written for all teh creation, its like dictation of instruction of whatever he made. Since levis are made first by god before mortals or angels or anyone then how come Gos knew how they will be destroyed? I mean I can guess since he is God he knew exactly what he was making and how it will be killed even if the recipe is futuristic."
GOOD POINT. I want this cleared up, too. I have a theory, though. Maybe the Leviathans chose to be predictably avaricious and evilly destructive since the Beginning of Creation that the Great Creator dictated their destruction to Metatron--just in case?
Reetu
# Reetu 2012-05-07 08:51
Addition: I liked your line specificaly for Cas
"He was corrupted, but not by the evil of humanity, but by our heart and soul and the goodness that lives within, as amplified by the Winchesters."

It its exactly what has happened..he started to care when his mechanism was not made for that...

Also by the line of Cass " Why should i proper from your misfortune" i guess its was not for Sam or Dean but Human in general...

ok only this much i could infer from cass...need more answers..Btwn sweetondean i read your fictions on soem site i liked them but dont know how to post anything on that site..I am just googling stuff on SPN and came across your short fan fictions..veryy verry Well written...
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-07 17:00
Thanks very much! And thanks for reading them! :lol:
m1tchells
# m1tchells 2012-05-07 11:03
Loved the episode! Loved your review! And loving the speculation!

So here's a quick thought to chew on...I just read on twitter that @dickspr8rj said that Gabriel would be coming back. Now...I only read that one statement and haven't had time to look any more into it so it might be a bunch on bull but if it were true, what if Meg isn't really Meg at all? What if she is the Trickster? Again, I haven't given this alot of thought. Just kinda popped into my head. You all are very, very good at dissecting things so I thought I would throw it out there. Looking forward to hearing thoughts...
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-05-07 11:08
I wonder if the 'bone of a righteous mortal' might refer to Adam. He did, after all, do the angel's bidding (and given the time period this word of God was written and by whom, I think that’s important). He too has Winchester blood and he did get a fairly ignominious ending for a Winchester.

I do hope that Dean will get the kill because it is he that threatened it (and given that Sam killed Samuel I think Dean is due this one) but I don’t know by what criteria they are judging righteousness. Did Dean’s lose his righteousness when in hell? Could Sam be considered a righteous man based on his sacrifice in Swan Song or is he banjaxed because of the Lucifer vessel thing?

I know it’s unlikely to be Adam but I would like him to get some acknowledgement (and his story some finality) and were he brought back for this purpose it could also give some peace to Dean (and Sam) who must surely be tearing himself up at the thought that Adam could still be in the Pit. (If he is in the Pit, I don’t think he is.)
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-05-07 16:57
I thought about Adam too. That story needs resolution, but I'm not sure how that'd get their hands on it. I'm assuming if he's in the pit he's in there body and soul as Death offered to retrieve either his soul or Sam's. I also heard that Jake Abel was in Van prepping for a movie around the time they shot the finale.... I don't know how much truth is in that though.
I'm with you on the Dean front. I'd love him to get the kill he deserves a win, or at least the boys, they need to reclaim their story.
cd28
# cd28 2012-05-08 09:10
I don't really care who gets the kill, and I'm guessing it will be Dean since the Leviathans seem to be more his story, but if we're taking turns, the big monster kill of season 6 was Eve, not Samuel. Samuel was an unintentional, self-defensive kill of a flawed relative. Not something Sam felt good about.
popoki_ehu
# popoki_ehu 2012-05-08 08:33
Just a quick note about one of those pieces of "nuance" that can be caught via multiple viewings: the subtitle of the Sorry game Cas pulls out to play with Dean is "the game of sweet revenge." You can barely see it for a second on screen when Cas shows Dean the box before he angel-magicks the board and pieces onto the table, but it's really clear in the Hasbro Co's ads for the game.
Given this, it's entirely interesting that Cas asks Dean if he'd like to make the first move, later reminds him he needs to start over, and then gives that whole speech about "profiting" from Dean's loss and he "didn't make the rules."

SO MUCH subtext in that one scene alone. As Dean says to Cas, he is just "playing sorry"; meanwhile, Dean isn't really playing at all....
Nitewoman7
# Nitewoman7 2012-05-10 02:16
Darn here I go again - late to the party. I'm also really at a loss here as I have only seen the episode once (haven't had time to rewatch) Great review! Agree this episode had so much packed into it I sure don't have my head around it at all. Ben Edlund - what can I say GENUS!! I adore all of his work wish he wrote all the episodes. I love Rachael's Meg. Her snarkyness with Dean and Sam is pure enjoyment. I hope we don't loose her you always know where she stands - on the winning side of the moment and what is best for Meg.
Few scenes to mention. Don't understand them all but they stood out. 1. Cas playing Sorry with Dean - there is so much poignant stuff here. Cas was trying in his simple way to say SORRY but also mean a lot more. Dean just angry and lost. I loved this scene Jensen & Misha are gold together. Sam and Cas scene brilliant. At the cabin Cas Meg Sam & Dean devil's trap brilliant.
Righteous and moral man - Dean, fallen father - What about Bobby? And I think there is one being that we have forgotten about in regares to the Leviathans - DEATH Season opener Death was the only one who knew about those beasts and hasn't it been said Death is older than God? Just some thoughts to throw out there. I want some answers to the season but SPN is great of cliffhangers. Kinda glad season is over for a while. Give me a chance to catch up! And get into some fun with speculation on S8.