I think for an episode that didn’t have Cas in it there was an awful lot of Destiel.
Why do I think that? Is it because I’m a desperate shipper clinging to shreds of hope? Yes. Does that mean I’m gonna disregard this stuff? No.
So let’s start with the beginning of the episode. Dean has a new found commitment to behaving and living healthy. He’s determined to beat the Mark of Cain. Sam of course is quick to reassure him with promises of a brighter future. “We’ll figure it out Dean. Cain did it so you can too.” These statements and other platitudes are repeated through the whole episode enough times to make them all sound like broken records. Seriously, I think there were two between every commercial break.
Next we have the plot of the episode. Charlie is split from her rather morally ambiguous but generally good self into two polar opposite pieces; Good Charlie and Bad Charlie. This parallels Dean so perfectly. He wasn’t a good man but he did the right thing and he cared and he tried to be good. Then he got the mark of Cain. Now he’s Bad Dean, or at the very least he’s terrified of becoming Bad Dean again. Like Sam said, the answer isn’t just stuffing Bad Dean in a box, it’s learning to live somewhere in a balance.
Now what does *any* of that have to do with Destiel? Especially considering Cas is now apparently communicating with the Winchesters exclusively through phone calls with Sam. It’s important to think like a writer when trying to analyze Supernatural. What is the narrative logic in attempting to live with the mark instead of get rid of it? (They are still trying to get rid of it that’s true but I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s gonna be no answer) Narratively; if you look at Cain and what got him to be able to retire from murder it appears to be an excuse to get Dean to settle down and retire. Cain found his peace in keeping bees and living a simple wholesome life. If you look closer at the real reason he settled down you find Colette. Colette; our friendly neighborhood Castiel parallel.
When Cain originally stopped it was when he fell in love with Colette. Then he picked the blade up one more time to rid the world of the nights. As a consequence she died. That’s what I think we’re heading towards. Dean and Cas will get together and be ready to settle down, only for some big bads (probably lead by Rowena) to appear. Dean will pick up his blade one last time only to lose his new found happiness in the form of Castiel. Dean now has two choices; settle down like Cain, or become the a villain with the best back story of all time.