supernutjapan (supernutjapan) wrote,
supernutjapan
supernutjapan

Rewatching 7-21 Reading is Fundamental

This is a crazy episode and I am a bit daunted by it, actually. I love it but trying to interpret Cas's ramblings and Dean's reactions is the hardest part. The best thing about this episode is the dialogue - between Dean and Cas, Sam and Cas, Dean and Kevin and Meg and ...everyone. There is of course some demon and angel involvement too, and the angel part is quite important as well. The plot... just kind of holds these dialogues together in my opinion. But it is also very enjoyable.

Let me just get on with it.

MUSIC
Suite No. 5 in C minor, II: Allemande by Johann Sebastian Bach (performed by Kevin Tran)
"Chaos" by Lazy Stars(playing on Meg's mp3 player)


The episode starts with Dean and Sam getting ready to crack the clay open and release the Leviathan tablet. The cracking open of the tablet involves thunder and lightening, as if someone is calling out a big NO. They of course have to open it anyway. I really wish they wouldn’t do that kind of stuff. I’m thinking if they took it to a lab and did an MRI or Xray or something, they could find out what was inside without cracking it. What if it had been something extremely dangerous, aye? This is how they end up almost breaking the world - plain recklessness *headdesk*
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It’s interesting to contemplate though whether that is someone saying no, or not. I suspect God would have wanted them to crack it open. It could be a defence mechanism, a spell put on it when it was first made, to warn everyone off. We find out later that all the pregnant women expecting at a nearby date all gave birth that night etc. as well so maybe it’s just a declaration of sorts, and a way to call on the prophet.
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Anyway, meanwhile, Kevin is living the life of a brilliant Asian American boy. Which to me means a boy in a minority group that feels he has to be THE BEST in order to be acknowledged at all and puts a crazy amount of effort into it. (Probably an A blood type too :D) Kevin he has the goal of becoming the first Asian President of the United States. I imagine that he’s been going to special schools and studying his ass off since he was two or three. He has a very strict time schedule, including cello practice. While he is just about to work on his essay - for which he has nothing to say because he's more of a math type person I guess - the lightning strikes and he is "CHOSEN."
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Lights out for a while. He wakes up and it's past time he should be at school getting ready to take a very important test for his future. He quickly gets in the car to get to school but instead a voice in his mind tells him to go somewhere else - which turns out to be toward the tablet. VTS_01_2 36.jpg
Sam on the computer and Dean is waking up from a nap on the floor - looks quite uncomfortable. Dean goes over to wash his face and the cup moves. Dean calls out thinking it might be Bobby, Sam shows Dean the crazy EMF meter and says it is probably Bobby out of power after his fight with Dick (why is he moving things?).
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Clueless on what the tablet is, Sam and Dean prepare to go to the cabin to do some research when they get a call from Meg.
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Seems like Cas has woken up, right at the time the tablet was released from the clay. (Fun/meaningful little bit of info - Meg is listening to a song called “Chaos” when he wakes.)
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So, off they go to see if Cas knows what it says on the tablet, and Kevin senses this and makes a U-turn with the car, all the while talking to his friend and making a weird impression.
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When Sam and Dean get there, they find Cas in his coat, standing by the window. He greets them very warmly, which is rather unnatural for Cas and seems like one of the effects of the illness he took on from Sam - or a conscious effort to be nice in order to avoid conflict. I really need to think more about what Cas took on from Sam in order to figure out what comes next but to do that, I guess I need to go back a bit further to that moment that Cas remembered what he had done to the World and in Heaven. To me, this sort of is like the moment Sam remembers what he did as Soulless Sam. It’s a terrible shock because he sees it all in third person, and at first he tries to leave saying that he doesn’t belong there. He obviously is not thinking straight at this point but my impression is that he wants to escape from reality and from what he had done because of the shock of it all. But, Dean convinces him to go and heal Sam instead and when he finds out he can’t, he transfers the sickness on to himself. According to what he says to Sam later, what he finds there is a blessing, which to me seems to be a means of escape - a way to retire into himself and heal from the shock.  It also lead him to deciding on a new lifestyle - but I'm not sure if this came while he slept, of after he woke.  Obviously some of it was after he woke up.  He learned something from watching the bees and making Meg chase after him all over the place too, I think. In any case, he arrived at a decision to become a pacifist - turn the other cheek, do nothing that would be violent, to anybody - sort of like the protestant anabaptists (quakers and mennonites) and a bit like Sam in Season 11.

And why did he wake up then? It could be just because of his former job as garrison leader, and the excitement of a tablet being found or it could also be that he felt ready to go back into the world with his new "perspective."

I love Dean's expressions here as he decides whether to pull the finger or not. He seems to be very unsure of how to deal with Cas. Well, we can't blame him. He doesn't know if Cas has been cured or he's still a bit off - he has a wistful face sometimes, maybe hoping that the real Cas is back, and at others, he is uncomfortable, the way you would be if you were trying to communicate with someone you had no idea how to treat.  After Meg retrieves a lamp, Sam shows Cas the tablet and Cas knows exactly what it is and who wrote it - Metatron (that slimy SOB…) and of course we have that joke on Sam.  Someone said that this was one example of how Sam was dumbed down in later seasons but that doesn't seem like the case to me.  Metatron is not a famous angel as far as I can tell, so it's not surprising that Sam does not know him. It is also not surprising that he gets the name wrong for the alien robot as well just because it is obviously not one of his favorite movies. He's not THAT kind of a nerd, while Dean is, as we saw in TGWTDADT. He has no idea who Metatron is BUT he vaguely remembers a name like it in that film (that Dean must have dragged him to) the Transformers.  Dean corrects him on the Transformer (because he enjoyed all that robot action and knows all the names) and Cas explains that Metatron is the scribe of God. And then Cas goes all reverent on us as if Metatron was this wonderful being, which he is not BUT he did still spend a lot of time WITH God which is the point I guess. Cas looks so happy that Sam and Dean were the ones to "find" this tablet and he hugs them.

He also seems to have gone out into the garden while Sam and Dean were away, and has a lot to say about nature and how perfect it is. First he talks about the bees with their perfect plan, nothing to add, then he talks about cats.

CASTIEL:Did you know that a cat's penis is sharply barbed along its shaft? I know for a fact the females were not consulted about that.
This line reminds me of an icon someone has :D

They ask him what the tablet says… but he can't read it. It's obviously not meant for Angels - which reminds me of the argument that it’s strange how Kevin had a much easier time with this tablet compared to the others. I think that all of the tablets are in different languages or all the prophets are programmed differently. This particular tablet is written in a language that Kevin is programmed to read relatively easily, whereas the thing about the gates to hell in Season 8… was not God’s Will, or he only used it to test Sam and Dean, so it was harder to figure out. The prophet can only read what God wants him to, obviously.

Next, Sam and Dean are rude to Meg - well in actuality Meg tries to get close to look at the tablet, and they don’t let her - wary of what she might do. They have been rude all along, but here, they seem insufferable. I definitely feel sorry for Meg the way they are treating her - even though I know they aren’t treating her any differently from any other demon, and they also do have the hard experience of being totally tricked by Ruby and don’t want to trust a demon ever again.

Meg has changed since the apocalypse - the difference is she has another reason d’etre. She’s given up on Lucifer and is concentrating on getting Crowley off the throne. The only people she can trust to be in her interest are Sam, Dean and Cas. Another interesting thing we find out later on is that Meg feels “half-good” now. I can’t help but feel that this was because of her feelings (and possibly the kiss? Bodily fluids? Like how much Angel “blood” would you need to cure a demon, aye?*ponders*) for Cas. Cas on the other hand is half evil, possibly for the same reason.
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CASTIEL:Will you look at her? My caretaker. All of that thorny pain. So beautiful.
MEG:We've been over this. I don't like poetry. Put up or shut up.

These two are ADORABLE.

In any case, Dean will not let Meg come near the tablet and Meg gets upset.
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MEG:Damn it! Enough of this "demons are second-class citizens" crap!
Cas hears what’s going on and gets upset too. He tells everyone he doesn’t like conflict, and disappears, dropping the tablet and breaking it. Dean goes after Cas, and Sam stays to take care of the tablet, putting it away, as Meg continues to plead with him. Finally, when he doesn’t listen, she tells Sam that she’ll leave then, taking Cas with her - since Cas loves her more than he does them at this point. SHE’s the one that took care of him afterall. While they are arguing in the hall, they hear a noise in the room and go back and find that the bag with the tablet is gone! COME ON! SAM! Why did you leave it?!  If you want an example of Sam being dumbed down, this is it.

Then we have the wonderful chase through the grounds between Sam and Kevin. Love the zig zagging by Kevin and Sam’s hair  and spread out arms as he runs… I can’t help but grin widely just thinking of the darn scene ... and Meg finally stops Kevin by getting in front and putting her arm up to Kevin’s face. Kevin falls. Nice team work.
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MEG:Not a demon nor a chomper. What the hell are you?
KEVIN:I'm a... K-Kevin Tran. I'm in advanced placement. P-p-please don't kill me.

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Meanwhile Dean is having his little talk with Cas.  Possibly because of his fear of conflict, Cas is unable to say what he wants to say. All his little comments as they play the game seem to be his answers to Dean in disguise.
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DEAN:It's Sam's thing, isn't it? You taking on his, uh, cage-match scars. I'm guessing that's what broke your bank, right?
CASTIEL:Well, it took... everything to get me here.
DEAN:What are you talking about, man?
CASTIEL:Dean, I know you want different answers.
DEAN:No, I want you to button up your coat and help us take down Leviathans. Do you remember what you did?


It’s obvious from the whole conversation that they are on totally different levels… and Cas knows it. He tells Dean he knows he wants different answers, but he can’t say what Dean wants him to say. Maybe it is too painful, or maybe he just can’t puzzle what Dean means. What does this “it took everything to get me here” mean? Maybe he is talking about the turmoil he went through since he found out about his previous self and how he had finally gotten to a point where he could do and say what he was saying now. Dean really needs and wishes that Cas would be his normal self again and help them with the Leviathan. On the reminder of what he had done, all Cas can do is hold up the Sorry game and we do get the sense that not only is he asking Dean to play, but he is also meaning the words - both saying sorry for what he did, and for the fact that he cannot give Dean the answers he needs.

A simple game, a mindless activity that one can just concentrate on and forget the world around, and he asks Dean to play with him because he wants to try to communicate something. It reminds me a bit of Rain Man. Cas has always had a problem with communication, which I used to think was because he was an angel - but the same thing is not seen in other angels is it? Maybe - ok so sorry I’m so slow on the uptake here - Cas is special similar to how an autistic person would be as a human. He’s not human so he is not exactly autistic, but maybe he is the angel version of something similar.

I was pondering this as I wrote but did not want to say anything that was way too out of the ballpark or offensive in some way so I actually googled Cas, supernatural, autism, and found an interesting blog post that mentioned several facts:
1) Cas in The Man Who Would Be King says that his favorite heaven is that of an autistic man.
2) Ben Edland is supposed to have said at a convention somewhere: “The way he interprets that character, there’s a quotient of autism in it. He’s got a very nice grasp on a sort of nonhuman delivery, but it’s very endearing.”
3)This person who wrote the blog, who happened to be autistic herself, could relate to Cas’ various little quirks, and it seems that others do to.

So, maybe as I noted above, I was just a little (very) late on the uptake here. I should have associated him this way years ago. No wonder there are AU fic about an autistic Cas… (LOL DUH *headdesk*)

But the important point here is that the communication problems are especially pronounced in this ep, which is what forced me to try to understand it more. So as we also see from his love of the autistic man’s heaven, Cas has always hated conflict/chaos and loved peace. He’s always cared for humanity and held true to God’s command to care for humanity. This was what made him different from the other angels. What if, the horror of what he had done - which he felt when he first remembered it last ep - and Sam’s hallucination/trauma stemming from fear on remembering Lucifer and hell - combined with that dislike/fear of conflict and pronounced it? What if he was so affected by this that it took him a long time to recover enough to concentrate on “happy” - trying to make people laugh, show affection etc in order to avoid conflict? That time that Meg was running after(?) Cas before she even called the boys - what was he doing? What was he thinking? How did he recover up to this point? I guess that’s not something that can be gone into in a 45 minute show but it is a very interesting subject for me.

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So going back, he tries to use the game as a medium, to try to communicate … covertly.

Meanwhile, Sam and Meg have cooperated in getting Kevin back to Cas’ room. There Sam is very curious as to why this boy tells them that he cannot let go of the tablet, and that it is meant for him. Here finally Sam seems very smart and wary as he should be. He doesn’t try to take the tablet away once he understands that Kevin just can’t let go of it. Instead, he asks Kevin to open the bag and tell him what it is.
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As soon as he puts the pieces together, they stick and the tablet goes back into its original shape.

Back to our crypted dialogue between Cas and Dean:
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CASTIEL:We live in a "sorry" universe. It's engineered to create conflict. I mean, why should I prosper from... your misfortune? But these are the rules. I didn't make them.
DEAN:You made some of them. When you tried to become God, when you cut that hole into that wall.
CASTIEL:Dean... it's your move.
DEAN:Forget the damn game! Forget the game, Cas.
CASTIEL:I'm sorry, Dean.
DEAN:No. You're playing "Sorry!"

It sounds like he is almost trying to explain away how he hurt Sam and Dean by saying that’s just how the universe is made - it’s not his fault. Even though he is sorry it happened.

At least Dean sees it this way and contradicts him saying that Cas actually did try to make new rules when he tried to become God. And Cas deflects that… or tells Dean that it’s up to him now to do what he thinks is necessary. Either Dean doesn’t take it this way and just thinks Cas is talking about the game, or he does and he is upset by it because he wants Cas to help. He wants Cas to ACT sorry instead of just “playing” it The frustration on Dean’s part of not being able to get through to Cas, and Cas feeling sorry for being unable to give him the answer he needs … the whole scene is quite moving.
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Back to Kevin, Sam and Meg. Kevin is telling them the tablet is about the Leviathan and Sam asks him if it says anything about how to kill them, Kevin answers it’s rather hard to read, like reading through someone else’s glasses.  Just as they are talking the lights flicker and Meg senses the angels before they arrive.

The angels fling Meg away and prepare to take Kevin to the desert where he is supposed to concentrate on deciphering the tablet.

Cas senses this in the game room and they both go back - Cas through teleportation and Dean on foot, I suppose.
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HESTER:You smote thousands in Heaven. You gave a big, scary speech. Then you were gone. What the hell was that?!
CASTIEL:Rude, for one thing.
MALE ANGEL:Where have you been?
CASTIEL:Oh, Inias. Hester, I... I know you want something – answers. I... I wish it could be that… There are still many things I can teach you. I can offer, um, well, perspective. Here. [CASTIEL points a finger at HESTER.] Pull my finger. [HESTER doesn’t move.] Uh... Uh... Meg will – will get another light, and I'll – I'll blow it out again. And, well, this time, it'll be funny, and – and we'll all look back and laugh.
HESTER:You're insane.

It’s interesting to think that during this time, there is still Civil War going on in heaven. Cas out of the picture created a whole bunch of caos and they are all now fighting for power again. We are not quite sure which camp these two are from, but they definitely don’t want to lose the advantage of a tablet.

Thinking back, I appreciate Cas being fleshed out and explained a bit as well as keeping the angels in the picture. I know, I didn’t enjoy the angel storyline in my first watch of 9 and 10, but I just might this time around. I don’t see how they can really be ignored just because the apocalypse is over. They are definitely not going to go back to just doing their own thing, and now that Cas has introduced Free Will, fighting for power can be done in the open involving the human race instead of quietly amongst themselves.

Anyway, again Cas is unable to explain himself to the angels. He can’t provide the answers that they are asking for - just as he couldn’t for Dean. But what is this about perspective? What does the pull my finger trick teach about perspective? Maybe he’s hoping that, as with the “joke,” people/angels could look back on what happened and laugh? OR he wants to teach them the human emotional perspective? Teach them about humanity and humor? Or teach them about HIS new perspective, which is one that does not involve conflict?  That sounds more like it.

It could also be that he is just trying to buy time for Dean...Maybe Dean told him to hold down the fort and he’d blow the angels away…? Because that makes a lot of sense, how this “lesson on perspective” is just Cas buying time for Dean. The said Dean is making an angel banishing sigil on the wall and all the angels blow away leaving the humans and one demon.
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DEAN:All angels blown back to their corners. We got like three, four hours tops.
SAM:Meg, where did you get that?


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MEG:A lot of angels died this year.
KEVIN:What's happening?! What's happening?!
DEAN:What is that?
SAM:It's, uh... Kevin Tran. He's, uh, in advanced placement.


What’s that game where all the players have to “go back to the corner of the board? Kings Court? Anyway Dean blowing all the angel away does seem almost like a game. Sam is suspicious of Meg for having an Angel sword. What does her answer mean? That she snatched one off of an angel that was killed? “This year” would be while Cas was out, right?  So that means Meg knows about the Chaos upstairs …? Love Dean’s “What is that?” and Sam’s answer LOL Interesting he uses Kevin’s introduction to himself rather than his actual title of Prophet, which Sam already knows from the Angels. Like maybe he is just trying to calm Kevin down and make a bit of a joke at the same time :P
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Next scene Dean finds out that Kevin is a prophet and Kevin is confirming that there actually are things as Leviathan and Angels with wings. Sam interrupts saying they don’t have wings, and Dean says well they don’t have any reproductive organs either, and THAT’S NOT TRUE! Neither are. And Sam should know they have wings because they’ve seen a dead Angel before, haven’t they?? And maybe Dean doesn’t know, but we know from Season 8 that there is such a thing as an angel/human hybrid and there has to be some kind of physical mixture going on, I think in order for them to be “hybrids.” So anyway, totally out of the blue there.
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While they are talking, Meg interrupts and tells them that they should run before the angels come back. Dean’s like “we”? Still acting like an SOB toward Meg, who is admittedly a demon and it’s totally understandable… but for some reason I feel sorry for her. Meg reminds Dean that she is also on the angel’s radar and needs the safety in numbers. So they take her along to Rufus’ cabin.
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On the way, they stop for groceries and Sam’s the one buying, despite Dean telling him earlier (when they were planning to go to the cabin in the beginning) that he was going to do the buying. Dean is filling Baby up with gas while Kevin sleeps in the back. Meg is reading a magazine when she notices several demons watching. On rewatch, we know that she goes to them and tells them where to meet her later. Sam notices that Kevin has been reported kidnapped, and he quickly returns to the car so they can get on their way and not be arrested. I do have to mention that the Biggerson's commercial before the news broadcast is super funny.
COMMERCIAL: It’s like a salad bar but with PIE!
Are they trying to use a commercial to lure Dean back to Biggerson's??LOL
Then while they are driving again, Meg gets a call from Cas. Interesting how Cas has Meg’s cellphone number, don’t you think? He’s in Perth, Australia at a dog race.
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CASTIEL:I’m surrounded by large unhappy dogs.
Cas is terribly bothered that the dogs are unhappy, which again goes with his general unhappiness with Chaos and conflict. Meg tells him where they are and he teleports between Meg and Kevin.
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KEVIN:You're one of the angels?
CASTIEL:Boop. Meg, are you hurt?
MEG:Shut up.

Oh man… first of all, Cas booping Kevin on the nose sure brings back memories of sedated Sam and is so adorable and then… worrying about Meg, and Meg getting all uncomfortable <3 That is just too adorable for words. I really love this ship.

Cas is a bit distracted by the poor dogs but he finally tells Dean about how the Angels are supposed to take the prophet to the desert. According to Cas it is a rule that God made.
DEAN:What kind of sense does that make? He has to tell us so that we can use it.
CASTIEL:That's God and his shiny red apples.

But I wonder, is it? Really? Maybe it’s something the Angels made up. This reference to the fruit of good and evil is interesting too (Crowley tells Cas it’s a quince in Season 10 by the way - interesting how Crowley knows more about it than Cas.) What does he mean though? That the “shiny red apples” are there to taunt the human race and the rule is there to be broken?  I just realized that Cas mentioned "the apple" back at the "sorry" game too.  It was one of the things he mentioned that lead to homo sapiens evolving instead of the Neanderthals - so yeah, I guess he means that breaking these rules is how humanity has evolved (to make pants etc :D).
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CASTIEL:If you want the Word, you'll have to duck Hester and her soldiers.
SAM:Yeah, you're in our corner, right, Cas?
CASTIEL:No, I don't fight anymore. I watch the bees.

Again this talk of corners (I know it’s an idiom, just interesting that they’ve used it twice in the space of like, 10 minutes). And, again, Cas says basically that he is not going to get in the middle of conflict any more. It causes too much pain. Much better to just contemplate on nature and watch the bees. Well, especially bees, and I guess that’s an important point too. Like he used to watch humanity right? That was his job in the garrison. But he ended up on the inside and got into a huge mess because of it. Maybe he’s thinking of “watching the bees” as a switch from watching humanity - like a more simple, perfect system that does not breed conflict - or at least he can stay out of and view from the outside - is better than getting caught up in the affairs of “men.” He won’t mess up and cause so much damage.
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CASTIEL:You seem troubled. Of course, that's a primary aspect of your personality, so I sometimes ignore it.
SAM:Okay. Um... right now I'm just wondering about you.
CASTIEL:What about me? You're worried about the burden I lifted from you.
SAM:I think I was done for. Do you see Lucifer?
CASTIEL:I did at first. But that was... It was a projection of yours, I think, sort of an aftertaste. Now I more see... well, everything.
CASTIEL:It's funny. I was – I was done for, too.
CASTIEL:The weight of all my mistakes, all those lives and souls lost, I... I couldn't take it, either. I was… I was lost until I took on your pain. It's strange to think that that helped, but –
SAM:I know you never did anything but try to help. I realize that, Cas, and I'm grateful. We're all grateful. And we're gonna help you get better, okay? No matter what it takes.
CASTIEL:What do you mean, "better"?

Love that little bit about the prime aspect of Sam’s personality and Cas ignoring it :D Sort of reminds me of how I have to ignore hubby’s complaining sometimes just to get some peace. So, here he kind of explains what happened. How he had been “done for” before he took on Sam’s sickness, and that by doing so, he gained perspective - he could see everything from a different light I guess. (I still don’t see how that has to do with the finger joke…) I don’t understand what Sam says here about how Cas “never did anything but try to help.” Of course by taking on Sam’s “weight” he was trying to help, and I understand that Sam would want to “help him get better” for that. But what Cas did before… was not trying to help. He was trying to save the world from the other angels and an apocalypse, but he wasn’t “trying to help.” This is interesting because Cas does the same thing later, telling them he is always willing to sacrifice himself for the Winchesters, sort of glossing over that time he was so sure that what he was doing was right that he hurt Sam to stop them from interfering.  But, Sam obviously has forgiven Cas for breaking his wall, especially because of what he did to cure Sam.  And the mistakes he made by releasing the Leviathan were mistakes - Sam and Dean have also made mistakes by breaking the seals and releasing Lucifer so, they understand.  They are family.

Meanwhile, Cas doesn’t think there is a problem with how he is now. He’s happy in his new job of watching the bees and leaving all the conflicts up to everyone else.

Kevin is freaking out as he tries to translate the tablet downstairs, about how his life just doesn’t have room for this supernatural stuff. He wants to be the first Asian American President and being a prophet is destroying that life-goal. Poor guy, I don’t think he ever gets over it. Dean tries to “comfort” him - or at least help him deal with it as part of life.

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DEAN:Oh, I don't know, man. What can I say? You've been chosen. And it sucks. Believe me. There's no use asking "why me?" 'Cause 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.
This little talk can be about Dean and Sam themselves too aye? This is their life story. They were chosen as Michael and Lucifer’s vessels and that was that - except that Cas “tried” to care… and it broke him apart :’( Dean is obviously feeling very badly about Cas and blaming himself for what happened as well.
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OK, now Meg sneaks out to meet the other demons. I guess she also is not used to working with humans. If she wanted them to trust her, she should have explained instead of stealing the knife and sneaking off. She gets rid of the demons once she finds out that they hadn’t told anyone about her and comes back to a devil’s trap. She tries to explain that she was just trying to protect them all from the demons, and Cas verifies this by telling Sam and Dean that the knife has other demon blood on it.
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MEG:Look, I'm simpler than you think. I've figured one thing out about this world – just one, pretty much. You find a cause, and you serve it. Give yourself over, and it orders your life. Lucifer and Yellow Eyes – their mission was it for me.
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DEAN:So, what? We should trust you because you wanted to free Satan from Hell?
MEG:I'm talking "cause," douchebag, as in reason to get up in the morning. Obviously, these things shift over time. We learn, we grow. Now, for me currently, the cause is bringing down the King. And I know we'll need help to do it.
DEAN:Crowley ain't the problem this year.
MEG:When are you gonna get it? Crowley's always the problem. He's just waiting for the right moment to strike. I know what I'm supposed to do. And it isn't screw with Sam and Dean or lose the only angel who'd go to bat for me.
CASTIEL:This is good – harmony and communication. Now our only problem is Hester.

Love Meg telling them that Crowley is ALWAYS the problem. HE STILL IS! LOL After this little speech, Sam lets her out of the trap. Love Cas enjoying the “harmony and communication LOL

Unfortunately, Meg killing the demons sent out a beacon to the angels and they appear. Dean tries to remind the angels that they are trying to stop the Leviathan, whom an angel brought into the world.
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CASTIEL:He's right. An angel brought the Leviathan back into this world, and – and they begged him. They begged him not to do it.
DEAN:Look, just give us some time, okay? We will take care of your Prophet.
HESTER:Why should we give you anything... After everything you have taken from us? The very touch of you corrupts. When Castiel first laid a hand on you in Hell, he was lost! For that, you're going to pay.
CASTIEL:Please. They're the ones we were put here to protect.
HESTER:No, Castiel.
HESTER: You wanted free will. Now I'm making the choices.

Cas talking about himself as if he was someone else is interesting. Also Cas trying to reason with Hester - that their job was to protect these humans.  Hester though is frustrated with what Cas has become, and angry for bringing free will to the angels and making such a mess.  She beats Cas up and Sam and Dean can’t do anything but watch because the other angels are ready to kill them if they do, and Cas just lets her beat him up because he’s turning the other cheek… :'( and then Meg comes up from behind and kills her with the Angel sword. Cas of course looks at her accusingly.
MEG: What? Somebody had to do it.
The other angels don’t protest on Meg killing her though, which I guess means even they think she has gone too far. I love that Meg is the one that saves Cas.  Also interesting to compare Hester's reaction to what Cas did, to the Winchester's reaction and the other angels even... Well, first of all, I don't think the other angels think much of the Leviathans, because they don't know how powerful they are.  They probably just think it's a problem for humans and not for angels.  Plus they don't think much of humans anyway.  Regarding the genoside upstairs though - Hester obviously was very hurt by it all, but the others don't think it's reason to kill Cas.  They still have feelings for him as their leader, and possibly because of his present state in which he is not fighting back.

Sam and Dean have forgiven him for what his mistakes brought - which shows how well they know Cas and how much they care.  I never get the sense that the angels ever understand Cas as well as the boys do.  There are some family like emotions among the higher angels like Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel, but the others are so militarized - it's more like an army (armies) than a family.  They look down on or up on eachother depending on power and leadership and there doesn't seem to be much emotion.  I'm not saying they are emotionless - despite complaining how humanity is so emotional, angels have plenty - just consider Zacheriah or Raphael  and their anger and disgust at humanity and their narcisistic personalities.  Hester here acts the same way.  She's just full of anger and hurt and doesn't care that she is taking advantage of Cas in his pacifist state.They have emotions, just not the kind of sacrificial love for each other that is found in humanity -Sam and Dean- and in Cas. ... OK, I'll stop talking and go on now :P
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So I guess the other angels agree to wait until Kevin finishes the translation before taking him and Kevin finishes there - which again seems super fast compared to the demon tablet but understandable. He gives Sam the translation and is taken home by the angels, where he finds out that the Leviathan have been waiting for him and they are stronger than angels. wow.
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Meanwhile, Sam is reading the translation.
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SAM:Here. “Leviathan cannot be slain but by a bone of a righteous mortal washed in the three bloods of the fallen.” Uh... It says we need to start with the blood of a fallen angel.

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CASTIEL:Well, you know me. I'm always happy to bleed for the Winchesters.
And that is true. Cas has always been willing to sacrifice himself for the Winchesters except of course when he thought he needed to be God and the Winchesters were in the way. That’s true too.

I'd say he means this as a way to apologize for what he did and show that he is willing to help in anyway that doesn't include conflict. Dean's face here... I feel like he is remembering a time before Swan Song, when they were a team and Cas sacrificed himself for him many times and possibly he is also remembering their talk where he told Cas to not just PLAY sorry, but show that he's sorry.

When they ask him what he’s going to do now, he tells them that he doesn’t know, but that in itself is wonderful. He feels free at last from his obligations to heaven. We know for a fact that he decides to go back and “watch the bees” as he said previously.  And I guess that is part of his healing process as well.  Cas was probably right when he said there was nothing wrong with him.  He just needs time to deal, and he will come and again, sacrifice himself in order to make things right.  Unfortunately, that is not going to be enough to take away his guilt. :(
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