A Firm Hand: "Be obedient, children, or this will be your fate."
The new God-Cas is nothing like the unsure and awkward angel we've known until now and I miss the confused head tilt. The startling image of slain angels, blackened wing silhouettes stark against the grass as Cas delivers a military-esque decree to the Heaven's populace was breath-taking, though not in a good way The grass looked almost sickly yellow, and combined with the black scorch marks of dead angel wings brought to mind the idea of plague- Cas is bad, and he means business.
"So are you fixin' her, or primal screaming?"
Dean and the Impala sharing a pseudo-intimate moment is always good to see even if it is symptomatic of Dean perhaps avoiding greater issues. The stress is clearly getting to Dean and as he has in the past, he turns to repairing the Impala where he can't fix the world. Dean, for my money, seemed in a healthier mind set in terms of tackling things one problem at a time, moving up the rungs to "New and Improved" at the top of the ladder. At least I thought so until he decides to turn to booze and porn for what he feels will be a short remaining life until Cas gs boom and the world disintegrates.
"One wall per customer."
Poor Sammy - can't get a break. Or, I suppose he did and that's the problem being as the whole wall broke down. (Okay, I typed that line before Dean said it, I swear). Now Sam is putting on a show to keep one more thing off his Big brother's full and teeming plate and however noble in intention by keeping from Dean the visions that are tormenting him, when will these boys learn that keeping secrets from one another is NEVER the answer?
I like that it was Sam who made the plea to Cas' remaining good side. Dean though the closer of the two to Castiel, is too devastated by everything around him and hurt by the loss of his friend. It speaks to Sam's stoic strength despite the fact that his mind his betraying him, he can gather himself enough to reach out to Castiel. I suppose Sam would understand better than anyone the way power can corrupt - even when you think you're doing the right thing, you can't see that you're actually inflicting pain and harm to the world.
"Hello, Crowley. You look stressed"
It's good to see Mark Sheppard again, I'm glad that he's managed to survive this long on Supernatural - he's certainly one of my favourite bad guys - right up there with YED. I'm hoping we get more of Crowley and his double crossing, self-scheming presence throughout season seven.
Despite the madness of the plan, off go the Winchesters and Bobby to fetch a solidified act of God in the form of crystallized sand to bind Death. Right, that couldn't possibly backfire at all. I will admit that this ill conceived plan gave rise to a great break and enter scene. It was great to see Sam ribbing Dean, if briefly; over his comment to the security guard but my favourite moment was when Dean was caught by Dr. and Mrs. Homeowner. Dean's expression had me burst into laughter when the good doctor explains, "I'm the one with the firearm, son." Well, homeowner with a gun, that dsn't mean much when you're dealing with the Winchesters. I enjoyed the entire B and E segment, but especially the way we cut from HO holding a gun on Dean, who promises he means no harm to the HO and his wife tied down and gagged where Bobby and Sam come in and say an awkward hello to them both.
"This isn't going to end well."
Death, played impeccably and one of my favourite recurring characters said it and I believed him. Leviathans sound nasty and being that God locked them away in purgatory and now Castiel has taken them into himself, into a vessel that is collapsing into itself, warm and safe feelings weren't on the rise at this revelation. Death informing the boys that Cas wasn't truly God, just on who "really bought his own press" did make me think the boys stood a hair of chance in defeating Cas, somehow, someway.
"You're still in the cage."
How great was it to see Mark Pellegrino again? He was such a fabulous Lucifer. It's an interesting theory - the last year has all been in Sam's head as a form of psychological torture. It's quite the tease and keeps viewers wondering, at least this viewer and at least just a bit, if it's even possible this is somewhat true. I recall an episode of Buffy that was much the same and they cruelly left us wondering forever. Personally, I don't think it's in Sam's head because that feels like cop-out solution to things that wouldn't be in keeping with the Supernatural style. With luck, Sam won't be separated from Dean and Bobby too long. I knew when he pled his case to Dean about knowing the difference between real and not-real that it would come back to bite him! Good plot manuvre, though - certainly a way to keep the "Sam's wall has come down and now he has visions of his time in the cage" story fresh.
"And he who lies in my name shall choke on his own false tongue"
The Reverend of Serenity Church had it coming, probably for a while, given the nature of his speech to the "flock" but I couldn't help but wonder whether his Godliness was really going to spend his time hunting up tiny Churches across the world to smite all the people falsely preaching in his name. If so, he's going to be one busy little dictator. Well, he was for a while there until a bloody massacre seemed to bring Castiel back to earth.
By the end of this episode, Cas seems desperate for approval of the people of Earth to validate his role as God "“ he is coming apart at the seams and I felt sorry for him during his desperate speech in the campaign office. As they say, Pride (and apparently, desperation to prove a point about how to be a Heavenly father instead of an absentee one) cometh before the fall, though I expected the fall wouldn't come until the end of the season, it was a pretty hard fall nonetheless. Having now seen the entire episode and the smile that Cas shoots to the security camera before he kills the office workers and his apparent confusion (and distress) over what he has done upon waking, I imagine Cas was at least being influenced by the presence of the Leviathan in his system. Death referred to them as poisonous creatures so this seems plausible to me.
Castiel's vessel was obviously afflicted in some way. I believed at first as a result of his body being unable to contain the power of God but when the souls (or perhaps Leviathans) push against his skin (so creepy) I immediately wondered when, not if, Cas would explode and when that finally happened, how big would the mushroom cloud?
Misha Collins was truly superb in this episode. I always think he ds a good job with Cas, but it's telling of an actor when they can play so many vastly different characters on the same show and you know without a doubt that this is a different character now. The Godly Cas, self-righteous and full of pomp and circumstance, however arrogant and goal-oriented was very different from the maniacal Leviathan in a Cas-suit. Every time a new face of the Castiel body shows itself, I'm impressed by the clear and bold line drawn between them through Misha's acting.
I was delighted when Cas surged back to live after emptying the tank back into purgatory. But of course, with Supernatural being the show we know and love, we knew if couldn't be that easy, right? Leviathan have clung to Cas, overwhelmed him and moved into the driver seat.
"This is going to be so much fun!"
The ending of this episode is far more alarming that the end of season six, in this reviewer's opinion, but the bonus side is we don't have to wait nearly as long to see what the fall out of this will look like. As I expected the boys to be battling Castiel as the Big Bad of the year, this was quite an unexpected but well executed twist.
As far as a season opener gs I enjoyed this episode a lot. The plot barrelled ahead in unexpected ways, we've set up to a better season than I initially thought (not that I thought we were staring down the barrel of a bad season, this twist with Cas not actually being the baddy is just better!) and where last season didn't quite have that Supernatural vibe, the season seven opener certainly had the feeling of the Supernatural episodes of seasons past. Cas' parting words to Dean about finding a way to redemption give me faith that somehow, someway he'll be able to overcome Leviathan "“ though I wonder at what cost to Cas?
Judging from next week's promo, it looks like we're going further into the stressful swing of things the way only Supernatural can...What did you think, fellow viewers?