- Dean fights tooth and nail to find Cas and get them both out of Purgatory + "Cas, buddy, I need you."*
- Dean is upset Cas didn’t make it out
- Cas appears under suspicious circumstances
- "Cas, no, you’re not strong enough"
- "Talk to me."/"I’m afraid I might kill myself"
- Dean offers shotgun, Cas opts to stay behind
- Cas appears again, and he’s kind of messed up
- Dean offers happy hour, plot gets in the way
- Cas stabs Samandriel and vanishes + “Cas, wait!”
- Dean witnesses Charlie and Gilda together
- "No, he’s uh… he’s not answering"
- Dean gets hit on by Aaron, turns down Ellie because he “can’t.”
- Dean doesn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, wants to do the trials assuming he won’t survive them**
- Dean witnesses Portia and James together
- "Where the hell are you, man?"
- Cas reappears, even MORE messed up
- "We’re family. We need you. I need you."***
- Naomi’s control is broken
- But Cas vanishes. Again.
Dean secretly cries over the Cowboy Junkies
* Dean is driven in Purgatory. He has the motivation to fight for a YEAR in “a land of abominations.” He must have something to live for, because otherwise why would he want to survive and get topside again? (Casual reminder he was looking for Cas before he even knew a way out existed.)
** Wait, wait, wait… what happened? I’ve seen people complain this is poor, inconsistent characterization given Purgatory!Dean, but when I look at the timeline of events, I see a variable missing from their equation. Maybe something was there for Dean in Purgatory but feels like it’s slipping away in the real world…
You know, it almost looks like Cas is what kept Dean going in Purgatory, and his absence makes Dean feel hopeless about the future. It almost looks like Dean keeps reaching out to Cas, against all common sense and despite being rebuffed over and over. It almost looks like Cas gives him something to hold onto other than “normal life for Sam and wormfood for me.”
It almost looks like “I need you” is meant in the most literal way possible.