(I’m sorry to all of you that this is coming in so late. There were technical difficulties at my floating ice palace. It’s all straightened out now. WAHOOO!)
This week Supernatural finally returned to form. For the first time in three episodes, it is finally the show I volunteered to recap. Castiel was once again a major plot point, and his arc played well with The Winchesters’. On one side, we had Castiel coming to terms with his newfound humanity, on the other there was Dean slowly realizing the effects of allowing Ezekiel to posses Sam. Oh boy the effects! They let Ezekiel track other angels, heal humans, and . . . well . . . that’s about it. Still, that’s more than I can do.
Castiel has been moving from place to place under the assumed name Clarence. He’s trying to avoid the angels. It’s not working, but he doesn’t know that. We know it’s not working because everywhere he goes people die. We first see him at a church, where the resident priests are tortured and hung up on spikes. Once Castiel sees this, he starts to realize what’s going on. Soon after, he arrives in Dayton. Angels find him. They also die. This trail of bodies provides Sam with all the information he needs to track down the prodigal angel.
Soon all of our heroes are in Detroit. Castiel is staying with a pretty young lady named April. She found him outside in the rain and invited him in. The two have sex, and it’s another first for Castiel. That’s in many ways the best part of the episode. Watching Castiel experience the place he’s lived for so long (Earth) in a way he never has before (as a human) is executed very well. The strange camera angles, off-kilter lighting, and heavily effected sound that accompany Castiel’s POV successfully convey a distressing lack of familiarity.
Let’s get back to the plot. It turns out April is not all that she seems to be. In fact, it turns out April is a reaper hired by evil angels. THE OTHER BEST THING ABOUT THIS EPISODE! The evil angels are so awesome. This is really how the show gets its groove back. The work with Castiel is an awesome touch, but the angels are classic Supernatural. Bartholomew, Naomi’s old protégé, is in charge now. He’s using Evangelical Christian television to spread a message of divine grace. People are opening themselves up to angelic possession. This is how the angels can build an army. Part of Supernatural’s super dense mythology is the fact that angels cannot possess someone without permission. Bartholomew plans to develop this angelic crew to hunt down Castiel, but due to some very important tattoo work Castiel is warded and untrackable. Thusly, we have the reapers.
While reaper April is torturing Castiel, Dean calls on Ezekiel to track the reaper. They know reapers are involved because one was following them. They caught it. I don’t know how. It seems like it’s against the rules, but let’s let it go. Everything else in the episode makes a fair amount of sense. The Winchesters ft. Ezekiel find Castiel, and after a pretty solid fight scene are able to free Castiel (after some of that handy-dandy healing from Ezekiel) from the reaper.
The episode ends in a not so positive way. It looks like it might undo all of the magic this installment achieved. Back at the bunker, Ezekiel emerges through Sam in order to tell Dean that Castiel cannot stay. The angels will eventually track him, and for a reason thus far undisclosed that also puts Ezekiel in immense danger. The final scene is the face of a heartbroken Castiel reacting to the news of his eviction. He’s pretty bummed but not as sad as I am.
This show is at its best when the three protagonists are together, or at least closely connected. They have great chemistry, and the three characters play off of each other very well. With Castiel’s development as a human character, it seemed like the perfect time for a reunion. I guess the writers disagree. Here’s hoping they’re right, and I’m wrong.