03.mai

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5x14 “My Bloody Valentine”
“Yes, absolutely. But not just food. I mean, everyone seems to be starving for something.”

Castiel’s story in this episode is possibly one of my absolute favourite things, because it set up the arc of Castiel’s growing humanity that we witness on the show to this day and in my opinion it was Ben Edlund and this episode that shaped the Deancas interactions from here on out too. He was also the one after all, who wrote 4x16 “On the Head of a Pin”, which was not only the turning point in Castiel’s arc in S4 where he openly expressed his doubts concerning Heaven and sided with humanity, but was also the episode that had the infamous line

“I was getting too close to the humans in my charge: You.”

If you want to talk about Deancas romantic subtext, Ben Edlund surely was one of the writers, who explored this most. Hell, he was the one who penned 5x04 “The End”, which showed that Castiel, absolutely loyal, stayed with Dean even when the Dean he once fell for was barely recognizable anymore in 2014. Even more so, for the mission of killing Lucifer, he followed Dean into batlle and certain death. Now of course there lies the question why would he do it. The answer is simple: Love.

Compare Endverse with where we are now in 2016 - the similarities are striking, but this is no meta setting out to say it wil come to pass. No, this is solely an exploration of Castiel’s becoming human and falling (in love) arc.

2014 saw Cas powerless, living as a human, because the angels left. He lacked self worth, drank, did drugs, but was loyal and willingly - out of love - went with Dean, sacrificed himself in the mission to kill the devil. Now in 2016 Castiel did something very similar, lacking any kind of self worth, he said yes to the devil out of the desire to protect the people he loves.

And imo a lot of this characterization of Castiel’s growing humanity was established by Ben Edlund in 5x14 “My Bloody Valentine” - and this is absolutely an analysis wearing Deancas goggles - because Castiel’s hunger was not a sign of his vessel, it was a sign of how human Castiel had become at that point already that Famine could have such an effect on him as an angel. This gets emphasized when Dean asks Cas “if he even tried to stop” and Castiel just replies “I’m an angel, I can stop anytime I want.” Which of course is proved wrong spectacularly.

To me Castiel’s hunger for burgers never had anything to do with Jimmy novaks appetite. It was a sign for what he craved. Castiel was craving to feel human - and this season and last it was emphasized more than once that Castiel is more human than angel, it’s his identity quest. I mean, given how much he despised to eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches after he had angeled up again in S9, because it tasted like “molecules”, but in this episode he devours hundreds of burgers announcing that “these make him very happy” (You know someone else, who chooses certain types of comfort food to re-create certain feelings and emotions? Someone who may have proven an appetite for “The Elvis”…) I guess he must have tasted all of it and not just all the parts.

But more than “just” craving to be human imo by particularly developing an appetite for burgers - after Dean rejects his in the bar, where Cupid is targetting his “victims” (very interesting setting) - to me had eveything to do with Dean in particular due to that direction connection. Plus: It is really interesting how Cas turns away and cannot meet the Winchesters’ eyes when he is asked how it comes he is hungry. He turns away, mumbles it’s due to Jimmy and really it’s such a tell that no one would believe anyone in RL who behaved this way.

5x14 reveals quite a bit about the characters and their possible struggles or motivations by framing and shooting order. And with that I am finally, after one hellish long pre-face at the point to explain why I picked these two moments. Not only does it imo connect to what Castiel tells Hannah in 10x01 “Black” about “Art, love, hope and dreams”, it does also add a rather nice subtext/text and silent storytelling moment here, because when Castiel says “drugs” the camera gives us Sam’s expressions which makes sense because we have seen Sam’s struggle to wipe the blood off the knife just minutes prior and his demon blood addiction counts as drugs (like Sam himself realizes too given the look in his eyes). But of course that’s not the only reaction shot we get, it’s the second one that holds massive amount of subtext/text, because when Castiel says “love” the camera moves to Dean. That is a direct connection that can not just be read in “Dean craves love” - which is inherently true and a HUGE aspect of the current season - but also as Cas does too, he is just substituting or showing it in a way a certain other character for example associates pie and sandwiches with “home” and “love”.

And “love” and “identity” has been set up to play a key role in this season for all characters involved and with a lot of different notions. From brotherly to romantic. In the end it all just comes down to your point of view…

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In an age of darkness, when the Earth was overrun with demons, and humans were powerless under their rule, humanity’s hope lived in a demon named Sparda. With a spirit unlike any other, and wielding the sword that bore his own name, Sparda eradicated the demons. And now, the legend of Sparda has been inherited by his son…