8x17 // 9x18

Both Goodbye Stranger and Meta Fiction were written by Robbie Thompson, and directed by Thomas J. Wright. It’s no coincidence then that were were several common themes shared by these two episodes.

They were stark contrasts to one another in many ways, with Dean and Cas seemingly having switched places at this stage. In Goodbye Stranger, it is Cas who is being controlled by Naomi; in Meta Fiction, Dean is being changed by the Mark of Cain. In Goodbye Stranger, Cas leaves Dean standing in a crypt; in Meta Fiction, Dean leaves Cas standing in a parking lot.

Throughout season 8, and the first half of season 9, it was Dean who showed great concern for Cas and his wellbeing. Now, it is Cas who is showing great concern for Dean. They know each other so well, and they can sense when something is not right. Dean knew Cas wasn’t right when he got back from Purgatory, and Cas sensed right away that there was something different about Dean after seeing him for the first time since he took on the Mark of Cain.

Both episodes end with music being switched on, followed by somber car rides with Sam looking concerned after he knows Dean has had incredibly emotionally draining moments with Cas.

The song that plays at the end of Goodbye Stranger is the episode’s namesake:

Goodbye stranger it’s been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true
Goodbye Mary, Goodbye Jane
Will we ever meet again
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain

In Meta Fiction, the song The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore plays as the episode comes to a conclusion:

Loneliness is the coat you wear
A deep shade of blue is always there
The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky
Tears are always clouding your eyes
When you’re without love

Both incredibly fitting songs, the first about a wayward lover, the second about deep abiding loneliness. It’s also interesting that the song playing in Meta Fiction contains the lyrics “I need you”, which as we all know is something Dean said to Cas in Goodbye Stranger. I know many of us have been wanting a reverse crypt scene, and I think last night we at least got part of one, in a way. Only this time, with a lot less violence, and far more love and concern on Cas’ part. Perhaps this is an indicator of things to come. Perhaps this is an indicator that the angel who knows Dean so well will be the one to break the connection next time.

anonymous asked:

Wow, the new info on angel praying make every Dean Cas parting scenes 200% sadder, including the whole s06. And when Dean kicked Cas out of the bunker, for the first time in his life, Cas was unable to detect whether or not Dean wanted him in his life anymore. Other times, angel Cas knew that in one way or another, Dean won't completely push him away. Human Cas didn't have that certainty. He did't ask Dean why he's being kicked out because he was afraid this was the end.

I can’t believe you’d say something like this to me. I thought we were friends.

Because now I’m just thinking about Cas looking up startled when Dean approaches him in 9x06, and he’s taken off-guard because he’s been so used to knowing where Dean is at any moment.

Maybe he didn’t even fully realise it himself: it properly started in Purgatory. Knowing where Dean was every second of the day just became a second nature, a part of the torment of that place. But it didn’t go away even when they were out and Dean technically stopped searching for him. Cas came to rely on it - he could tell you where Dean was from the other side of the universe.

After Dean vocalised that desperate last “I need you” at the crypt Cas felt that longing spike so hard in a wordless, unspoken prayer, and somewhere far off where he was free to think for himself he wondered if the prayer Dean wasn’t saying had changed somehow from merely wondering where Cas was. He was already right there in the room with Dean - how could he be subconsciously reaching out for Cas to be any closer? And then Dean gripped Cas’s sleeve and Cas cupped his face and for the first time that longing cut off as Dean slowly realised that Cas was only healing him, not killing him…

But this is a different lack of that longing: Dean is right there smiling at Cas, and Cas has no idea how Dean feels. When Cas was darting all around the country on his Biggersons coffee crawl he could pinpoint constantly where Dean was in relation to him from halfway across the continent, every time, instantly. Cas practically navigated by it.

He could close his eyes right now and Dean wouldn’t even be there.

“Do you have any idea how hard it was? When I fell to earth, I didn’t just lose my powers. I –”