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CuriousParker

S06.E20: The Man Who Would Be King

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Castiel tells Sam, Dean and Bobby about the war in Heaven and how he and Raphael became enemies. Bobby believes Castiel is hiding something, but Dean refuses to believe it.

 

 

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I mostly find this episode rather constipated and tedious, but there's some good things going on in the midst of all that Castiel narration. I'm really happy to see what Cass is actually up to, I just wish there was more to it than another trip down the same old road to hell paved with good intentions. I've already traveled this road with this show and the T-shirt, it wore thin before I got back home. I kinda wish Cass had been running a long con on Crowley too, I think it could've added more complexity to this storyline. Not much would've had to change here to make that work, but I might not have seen Cass as such a twit in the end that way.

 

However, there's plenty of complexity with Dean in this episode. Dean trying with all his might to be loyal to Cass, but also knowing deep down he's off the rails. All season Dean has been distracted and not paying attention to this other thing right in front of his face--you can just see Dean starting to add this weight to everything else he carries around. Of course, it's not like I actually think any of this is on Dean, but Dean just wouldn't be Dean if he didn't think it was. Once again, Jensen finds that perfect line and pulls out another rather nuanced performance.

 

Seeing Sam trying to support Dean and give Cass the benefit of the doubt was really nice, as well. That whole scene of Cass in the ring-o'-holy-fire is really the highlight of the episode for me--Dean telling Cass to look him in the eye; Cass asking where Dean was when he needed him; Sam learning about Cass resurrecting him from Hell--the whole thing is a thing of beauty, IMO. And, it's probably the only time the trapping of an angel in holy fire has been shot effectively for me. Usually they shoot it so slow and over telegraph everything--someone snarks at the angel while slowly lighting a match and slowly dropping it, and even slower still, the ring starts to light not to mention how it's always been pretty lucky the angel shows up exactly where they poured holy oil. But here, they do it quick and efficiently surprising Cass sufficiently that I'm not sitting and wondering why he doesn't just simply step aside like usual. Kudos.

 

I'm rather disappointed with the demon-Bobby counterpart stuff though. Too bad they chose the basic and heavy-handed rather than twisting it around and finding a new angle on this idea. Even a trucker-hat wearing woman would've been something slightly different. But really this isn't all that important, so moving on.

 

Anyhoo, I think Edlund always had a good voice for Crowley and made him more complex than your typical megalomaniac. Crowley's right, the Winchesters shouldn't be underestimated and it delights me greatly he's more worried about Sam and Dean ruining his plan than he seems to be about getting the plan done. Plus, I find his version of Hell to be more interesting than most any other version of Hell shown, or even implied, on this show--Hell should be more than a basic sex-torture dungeon, IMO.

 

I think I'd absolutely love this episode if there was less of Cass narrating. I realize he had a lot to say to God,  I just didn't need to literally hear him say it all since it was being shown to me rather effectively. The bits at the beginning and end were sufficient in my mind. And, I wouldn't trade the scene at the end for anything. It's rather compelling he's begging God to tell him what to do in the defense of free will.

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Man, just rewatching this on TNT and goodness, what a great episode.  Dean's face is so NOT OKAY when he figures how that Cas has been lying this whole time. 

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Just caught this on TNT following ALL the March Madness.

 

This is just an amazing episode.  I will never get over Dean's heart broken face. The betrayal.

 

I still love Crowley's Hell being a never ending line.  Misha just kills it in this episode.

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Good episode, but I can agree on the remarks of being a bit tedious. However i do like seeing things from new angles, and being in Cas' POV is nice.

Watching Dean struggle to believe in Cas, and watching Sam struggle to give him the benefit of the doubt is great.  Watching Sam try to support Dean is great, and is something I see continued over the next few episodes in a great way.

And while it all unravels and they learn of Cas' plans and betrayal, its heartbreaking to see Dean accept it.  The entire ring of holy fire scene is fantastic.  Dean does not do well with family betrayals and you can see it plainly in his face, even while there's a part of him just begging Cas to stop and see the light.

On 12/9/2014 at 5:58 AM, DittyDotDot said:

It's rather compelling he's begging God to tell him what to do in the defense of free will.

I find it very interesting.  And, just like humans, we assume no answer means... Do whatever you want to do. LOL

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Finally the back story.  Too bad Cas didn't learn from the brothers about dealing with demons.

 Was nice seeing Crowley again.  At least Cas still protects the brothers.

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25 minutes ago, gonzosgirrl said:

I know Sam didn't know but I think Cas did. Otherwise, no matter what they say I can't reconcile him saving Sam immediately and still never telling Dean Sam was alive. Somebody put him together with the Campbells. 

There was a scene in this episode where it seemed like Cass was going to ask Dean for help, but then decided he'd sacrificed enough for Heaven already--and then Crowley shows up. My theory is, he resurrected Sam and Sam ran away; Cass didn't understand it, but figured it was up to them to figure it out and skipped off to Heaven to find it all a mess. Then he makes a deal with Crowley and decides to stay away from both Sam and Dean because: one, he figures Dean has sacrificed enough and doesn't want him to get sucked back in; and two, he's doing something he knows deep down is wrong and doesn't want Dean--or Sam--to find out about it. So, he ignores them altogether.

I think it was either Crowley suggesting to Samuel that Sam was out there, or just coincidence they found each other. I mean, if Sam was hunting and Samuel was hunting, it could very likely be both ended up on the same job. This was actually my frustration of S6, they never explained Samuel enough; he was just there until he wasn't. I would've probably loved the spider-people episode if it had cleared up how Sam and Samuel met and started working together. As it was, it just showed us more Soulless Sam except coldly and creepily hunting with Samuel instead of Dean. Which, we'd already seen many episodes of.

Anyway, my point is, I don't think Sam was resurrected simply to work with Samuel and hunt down the Alphas. I think Cass did that as a favor to Dean that went awry--like pretty much everything Cass has ever tried to do.

Edited by DittyDotDot
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The opening narration is powerful. Honestly, I'm not sure I've seen this one before. Crap, Castiel's looking at me. "We stopped Armageddon, but at a terrible cost." Have I mentioned how much I love it when Castiel appreciates Sam? Aw, and Sam said he'd die for him. Oh, Dean, we all know you're Lois Lane in this situation. Bobby's demonic equivalent is awesome. Maybe just a little too accurate. Castiel playing dumb and failing because he let it slip that he heard the Superman line. "You know who spies on people, Cas? Spies!" Nice Sam moment asking Cas if he brought him back soulless on purpose. Very telling about how little they trust Cas in that moment. Nice ending repeating back Dean's line but changing the end to whatever I "must." Good work by Misha, although I agree that the narration is a bit much. I wouldn't have minded some throughout the episode, but that was a lot. 

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I like the opening narration, but I've got to admit: the old movie shot of David and Goliath is pretty laughable.  They were practically the same size.  The shot of Cas sitting in the park with the snow on the ground and flowers peaking through is beautiful.  

I don't recall that being Eve on the table first time I watched this.  Interesting.  And interesting that she kept laying eggs after her 'death'.  I wish the show had explored that a little more - especially going into S7.  Apparently, I don't remember several things about this ep.  I also didn't remember it showing Cas standing next to Sam as he looked in the window at Dean.  That's interesting also.  

I like the lighting on Cas when he is in the ring of fire.  

I know that Cas says it should have been his first clue that something was wrong with Sam when Sam walked away from Lisa's house.  And yet he doesn't outright deny it when Sam asks if he brought him back soulless on purpose.  

Cas asking for a sign - after the scene where Dean (The Righteous Man) tells him not too - is kind of like the joke about the man waiting on his roof after a flood and he drowns because he doesn't take the help from the people in the row boat, or the Coast Guard, or the helicopter cause he's waiting for God to save him - except much sadder.  That was your sign, Cas.

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1 hour ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

And yet he doesn't outright deny it when Sam asks if he brought him back soulless on purpose.

He doesn't? I thought he did...something like, "How could you think that?" Which I guess he didn't outright say, "NO" but seems like that's what he's saying.

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36 minutes ago, DittyDotDot said:

He doesn't? I thought he did...something like, "How could you think that?" Which I guess he didn't outright say, "NO" but seems like that's what he's saying.

Yep - I think that's exactly what Cas said.  But, when I thought about it, that's not an outright denial either.  It wasn't, 'No!  How could you think that?'  There was a pause after Sam asked his question, and then "How could you think that?"  I guess, to me, it's a little ambiguous.  Based on what Cas says in the beginning of his narration, it makes it seem like he didn't know he grabbed Sam but not his soul.  But looking at his dealings with Crowley all season and how he's been fooling both Sam and Dean, it also seems as if he's purposely trying to obfuscate without outright lying now that he's been caught 'red handed' so to speak.  

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29 minutes ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

Yep - I think that's exactly what Cas said.  But, when I thought about it, that's not an outright denial either.  It wasn't, 'No!  How could you think that?'  There was a pause after Sam asked his question, and then "How could you think that?"  I guess, to me, it's a little ambiguous.  Based on what Cas says in the beginning of his narration, it makes it seem like he didn't know he grabbed Sam but not his soul.  But looking at his dealings with Crowley all season and how he's been fooling both Sam and Dean, it also seems as if he's purposely trying to obfuscate without outright lying now that he's been caught 'red handed' so to speak.  

Oh, yeah, Cass is definitely trying to obfuscate and justify is ill deeds with Crowley and all, I just never considered he wasn't being truthful about Sam's soul being left behind in the cage unknowingly. Especially since he rescued Sam long before he made his deal with Crowley and started, not only reading, but believing his own press. I think he did it for Dean, but he was too full of himself to realize he'd made a mess of it. Then he went and made the mess bigger by ignoring the milk he'd spilled instead of cleaning it up immediately before it ran under the counters and behind the cabinets.

Edited by DittyDotDot
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10 hours ago, DittyDotDot said:

Oh, yeah, Cass is definitely trying to obfuscate and justify is ill deeds with Crowley and all, I just never considered he wasn't being truthful about Sam's soul being left behind in the cage unknowingly. Especially since he rescued Sam long before he made his deal with Crowley and started, not only reading, but believing his own press. I think he did it for Dean, but he was too full of himself to realize he'd made a mess of it. Then he went and made the mess bigger by ignoring the milk he'd spilled instead of cleaning it up immediately before it ran under the counters and behind the cabinets.

I can see arguments for it either way.  I'm not sure which side I fall on either, tbh.   That's why I think it's ambiguous.  I can also see an argument for part of what you wrote.  That "he was too full of himself to realize he'd made a mess of it", but instead of just ignoring the mess he made out of naivete or fear that he had made a mess (and so didn't want to face up to it), once he started colluding with Crowley, he realized how useful Sam could be without his soul.  At that point, it wouldn't just be ignorantly ignoring the mess he made, but willfully covering it up to suit his purposes.  Like I said, I don't quite know what I believe right now.  It all seems plausible.  

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Even if he didn't recognize his own words, Castiel making a reference to pop culture? Not likely. 

No wonder Rachel was pissed. He was spending a lot more time on earth than we even saw. 

You would think Cas would know better than to work with a demon. 

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14 hours ago, The Companion said:

You would think Cas would know better than to work with a demon. 

Nobody ever knows that on this show. Why should Cas (arguably the stupidest regular character) be special?

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