Oh, also just a "quick" note on the title... As far as I know, it is based on the movie of the same name. The explanation in Wiki doesn't really make me think of this ep except for that it's about the end of the world, so I'm not sure why it was chosen. If anyone's seen the movie and has some thoughts, please share!
Supernatural Wiki is out again so I've written this while actually rewatching the episode (again) to get the necessary quotes.
While there was no music used during the opening scene, the closed captions read,"Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Green River' playing," and then the opening lyrics were quoted (taken from Fanpop)
We start with Dean's dream - which is a bit different from one he has a bit later and seen by Anna :P It's a peaceful fishing scene and we find out for the first time that Dean loves to fish.
Cas appears and tells Dean that he has to tell him something but not in his dream, because someone may be listening. He tells Dean to wake up and come to him.
Dean wakes up with a gasp and when he and Sam get to the warehouse where Cas told him to go, they find a wrecked warehouse, angel "blow away" sigils and Cas... except it's not Cas. It's Jimmy. The vessel.
JIMMY: Castiel... Not castiel. It's me.
SAM: Who's me?
JIMMY: Jimmy. My name's Jimmy.
DEAN: Where's Castiel?
JIMMY: He's gone.
Jimmy is really hungry and even Dean is feeling ill looking at him cram food in. It seems he hasn't eaten in months. Sam and Dean try to get information from Jimmy - where is Cas, what was his message...
but Jimmy knows nothing except some bits and pieces from when he was possessed, and his memories as a person. Nothing that is vital for Dean and Sam to know. And then we get a flashback as Jimmy remembers what happened.
Pontiac Illinois. We have a nice scene of Jimmy and his family praying before they eat. It is a typical (devout) Christian home similar to what I saw growing up. We see the love for Jimmy that the wife and daughter have, if not the same devotion. Mom and daughter look at eachother and smile before bowing their heads for prayer and I could take this both as just their happiness and love as a family and as forbearance toward Jimmy's devotion. The way his wife reacts to Jimmy's "faith" and "miracle" later makes me think this would also be possible.
After dinner, Jimmy is falling asleep listening to some Christian show talking about angels of course (just like in Houses of the Holy), when the TV goes haywire and Jimmy wakes up. He tries to fix the TV and cannot, and suddenly he is assaulted by the high screeching sound of Cas trying to talk to him. He goes into a seizure. Then he seems to black out.
While Jimmy is having his flashback, Dean and Sam are talking outside.
Dean wants to let Jimmy go back to his home, but Sam is being realistic. Jimmy is their only lead to figuring out what Cas wanted. He also adds that Jimmy will be wanted by demons as well. He can't go home. They go and talk with Jimmy, who desperately wants to go home and is not really listening/believing Sam when he says that demons might really come after him and his family if he does.
JIMMY: How long.
SAM: We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
It's four am and Sam is craving some blood. He sees that both Dean and Jimmy seem to be a sleep so he goes out to lick up the last of the blood he has in his little vial (I wonder how got the blood in there... maybe Ruby got it for him aye?) and Jimmy takes the opportunity to skip town.
The next morning, Sam is pushing Dean to hurry so they can catch up with Jimmy. Dean thinks it's pretty hilarious that Sam let Jimmy get away. He's laughing as he brushes his teeth (with a blue toothbrush ;) )
SAM: This is funny to you?
DEAN: Mr. Big Bad Prison Guard, Jimmy McMook gives you the slip? Yeah it's pretty funny. What were you doing anyway?
SAM: I was getting a coke.
DEAN: Was it a refreshing coke?
While that's going on, Jimmy is on the bus to go back home. He's looking out the window, and we get another flashback.
It seems Cas has told him over the radio waves that he should stick his hand in a pot of boiling water to show his faith and Cas would show him a miracle. And Jimmy does it without question. So we see just how devout Jimmy is. I mean, who does that?! Right? And then, his wife Amelia comes in and freaks. The crazy thing is, she sees his hand come out without a burn on it, and she still thinks Jimmy has gone nuts.
AMELIA: What's wrong with you?
JIMMY: Nothing's wrong. He asked me to do it.
AMELIA: Who asked you to do it?
JIMMY: Castiel. To prove my faith. Look. I'm fine. It's a miracle.
AMELIA: Who's Castiel?
Which makes me think she may be on the very opposite of the spectrum from Jimmy. Who wouldn't be awed by something like that...? Isn't that the kind of miracle that people flock to see? But, nope. When Jimmy tells her about Castiel later, she threatens to take their daughter and leave.
Back to Sam and Dean, they are driving to Illinois to find Jimmy when Anna suddenly pops in to see them.
DEAN: You look terrific
ANNE: Um, yeah, not the most appropriate time, Dean.
It seems she has heard the news that Cas has been taken to heaven - to prison - to be reprogrammed.She is scandalized that they let Jimmy go. And Dean takes a jab at Sam again. Anna also notices that Sam is a bit different - which we assume is because of the demon blood - but, remember Sam is out of demon blood now, while in Heaven and Hell he had as much of that as he needed... right? (Yup, confirmed.) So that means Anna is noticing that Sam DOESN'T have the demon blood in him like he did before?
Jimmy arrives home.
It's a very touching scene as he stands in front of the house, looking inside. He remembers the talk that Amelia and he had had before he left. How Jimmy was not taking the pills that Amelia told him to take (she probably made him go to a psychiatrist and diagnosed him crazy).
JIMMY: You believe in God, right?
AMELIA: What kind of question is that? Of course
JIMMY: And Angels?
JIMMY: So why is it then so hard to believe that they're talking to me?
AMELIA: Jimmy, You sell ad time for AM radio...
JIMMY: No. He said that I'm special. It's in my blood.
JIMMY: It's God's will. Not really my place to question it.
This is a blessing. This is the most important thing that ever happened to me.
AMELIA: I thought we were the most important thing that ever happened to you.
So Amelia says she believes in God and Angels - she says she is a Christian - but when it comes down to it, she really doesn't, does she? Another point is that not only does she not believe in these "higher" powers, she also does not have faith in her husband.
But then we have the other end of the spectrum. Jimmy has so complete a faith in Angels that he does not question it. Actually he is very much like Castiel in this way isn't he? I don't know if he was brought up in the faith but to him the goodness of Angels is absolute. Of course he does not even consider that he should be questioning what is so important that the angel would ask him to leave his family. And we have the theme of family here again, don't we? Amelia may be faithless but she still loves Jimmy and Jimmy turning from his family and obsessing over angels is not a happy sight. Does this sort of remind you of Sam and Dean? Sam obsessing over the demon blood because it makes him feel special? The whole "faith" thing ties in very well too... How Dean has no faith in what he cannot see, while Sam has always believed in Angels; How hard it is for Dean to have faith in Sam after he finds out about the blood but he still loves him so he tries to stop him? And Sam ends up going off alone with Ruby? And then finds out that he was wrong? Interesting parallels.
Jimmy then had gone outside with his trench coat on, ready to leave his family if he has to, to talk to Castiel.
(I had to include that for Misha fans <3)
Cas explains what he is going to do but promises that he will take care of Jimmy's family. Nothing bad will come to them. And with that promise, Jimmy agrees.
When Claire notices and comes out, calling to Jimmy, Castiel answers -
CASTIEL: I am not your father.
Back to the present, we see the parallel in Jimmy in front of the house - the first time looking away from his family, and now he is looking toward it. He has realized through his experience that this mission with Cas was NOT the most important thing that happened to him. That as Amelia had said, his family was the most important thing. That he had been wrong to go off with Castiel and to have so much faith in him.
Amelia opens the door and is obviously happy to see him but still worried he is crazy.
JIMMY: I was confused, Amelia. I was completely delusional. I thought God was calling me for something, and I thought that it was important. And I was wrong. I was such an idiot. Heaven, hell, none of that matters. The only thing that is important to me is you and Claire.
Jimmy lies that he went to a psych hospital for her sake and suggests that if she doesn't want him to move in right away they can take it slow... just have dinner together. We have a touching scene with his daughter - who obviously loves him and is glad to see him back. She does not seem particularly wary of him or even angry for leaving, even though Cas had left her with the cruel words, "I am not your father." (so I wonder how much Claire had known at that point. Wouldn't she be more bitter if she thought Jimmy had left her? so maybe Amelia had told her that Jimmy had been mentally sick.)
The dinner scene of course is very significant - the fact that Jimmy refuses to pray before the meal. This is not because he doesn't believe in God - obviously. But he feels strongly that his family was more important and of course he doesn't want to emphasize God or heaven or hell at the moment.
Sam is calling Ruby in a store as Dean waits outside. I guess Sam had said he'd get supplies at the store. He is obviously desperate, and Ruby is not answering. Why I wonder? Is it all on purpose? Does she want him to become desperate for some reason?
As Jimmy and his family are eating, their neighbor comes in, but he's been taken over by a demon.
Jimmy remembers enough that he attacks the demon and tries to get his family to safety. Unfortunately, Amelia only thinks that he's still crazy and makes Claire go out of the salt line and she is caught by the demons.
Seeing the demons for what they are, finally Amelia believes Jimmy and tries to stop the demon from killing him. Just as Jimmy is about to get killed, Sam and Dean come in and Dean is able to kill one of the demons with the knife. Sam tries to get the "neighbor's wife" demon but he doesn't have it in him and he almost faints with the effort. Dean comes back in time to try to kill her with the knife but she smokes out and they leave the house with Jimmy and his family.
Jimmy now realizes how wrong he was to assume everything would be ok and demons wouldn't be coming after him or his family. Amelia now realizes that she had been wrong not to believe Jimmy. Jimmy also realizes - after Sam puts it very bluntly - that he can never go back to his family.
SAM: You have to come with us.
JIMMY: How long? And don't give me that "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it crap."
SAM: Don't you get it? Forever. Demons will never stop. You can never be with your family. So you get as far away from them as possible or you put a bullet in your head. And that's how you keep your family safe. But there's no getting out and there's no going home.
DEAN: Don't sugar coat it, Sam
But we know that his wife is already taken over by the demon that smoked out, most likely, and that the demon was probably hoping to stay with Jimmy and glean as much information as she could that way. Unfortunately, Jimmy refuses and tells her to leave with Claire. It is still touching when Jimmy uses the kinder words that Sam had used earlier when he talks to his "wife."
AMELIA: For how long?
JIMMY: We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
JIMMY: Take care of your mom, OK bud?
Sam, Dean and Jimmy are on the road and Jimmy seems to be asleep. Dean asks Sam about his "mojo" and how he needs to know what is going on with it, how unpredictable it is -- first making Sam strong enough to kill Alastair, then now he can't even "kill stunt demon #3."
DEAN: I'm not trying to pick a fight here, OK. You're scaring me man.
SAM: I'm scaring myself.
Sam just cannot tell Dean about his obvious addiction.
We get a phone call from Amelia demon telling Jimmy to come alone to a warehouse. When they get there, "Dean has a plan." Jimmy has a plan too. He calls to Cas to help him. (I wonder what the demons are doing while Jimmy is shouting to Cas. :P)
JIMMY: You promised my family would be ok. You promised you would take care of them. ... You promised Cas. Help me!
When he gets inside, the demons have got Sam in Dean (Hackle and Jackle ) and Sam can't do anything because his powers are gone. Amelia demon shoots Jimmy in the stomach it looks like, and another demon is just about to kill Claire, tied up in the back, when Claire all of a sudden breaks her bonds and stops the demon - and kills it with her hand on his forehead and we know that Cas is inside of her. Sam and Dean get away from the demons as soon as Claire gets away, and Sam gets the knife away from the woman demon and nicks her in the neck... then his addiction takes over and he can't help but drink the demon's blood before killing her with the knife.
He then turns around toward Dean and Claire!Cas with blood all over his mouth - quite a scene -- and sends the demon inside of Amelia back to hell.
Cas in Claire goes up to Jimmy and tells him, of course "we always keep our promises."
CLAIRE!CAS: Rest now Jimmy.
JIMMY: No. Claire...
CLAIRE!CAS: She's with me now. She's chosen. It's in her blood, as it is in yours.
JIMMY: Please Castiel. You need to take me. Take me, please.
CLAIRE!CAS: I want to make sure you understand. You won't die, or age. If this last year was painful for you, picture a hundred, a thousand more like it.
JIMMY:It doesn't matter. You take me. Just take me.
CLAIRE!CAS: As you wish.
And our trench coat Jimmy!Cas is back. But he's not the same Cas he was.
DEAN: Cas, hold up. What were you going to tell me?
CASTIEL: I learned my lesson while I was away Dean. I serve heaven. I don't serve man. And I certainly don't serve you.
It's going to take a while for Cas to be deprogrammed again, aye? It reminds me a lot of our Season 8 episodes when we find out what they actually did to Cas many times through the ages.
Sam and Dean are in the car and Sam is expecting an outburst from Dean but he's not getting it and it's spooking him out. But Dean has his usual "I'm tired, Sam" speech. (I'm a bit tired of that speech actually)
We know, though, that Dean has already talked with Bobby and decided to lock Sam up in the panic room. Bobby calls and tells them to come right over.
SAM: So, ah, what's the big demon problem?
BOBBY: You are. This is for your own good.