Hope and Love and Faith
So I just watched 4.08, and I think I finally found the perfect comparison for how Jack has been influencing Cas since 12.19: Hope.
But let me take just a moment first to offer y’all up a snapshot of the inside of my head to set the stage for this. Dabb loves mirroring himself, but heck if he hasn’t seemed to love mirroring Edlund just as much. I’ve written multiple posts throughout s12 paralleling various episodes back to 4.08 and the whole concept of “the wishes turn bad.” Even Mick’s introduction to the BMoL involved him pickpocketing an ancient Babylonian coin, making his being “saved” from the streets and brought into the BMoL into a situation that clearly turned very bad for him.
We’re heavily reminded of 4.08 in 12.17 with Mick’s situation, and there are also hints of 4.08 in 12.18 in that one family’s legacy became the horror of paying Moloch in blood to keep their family’s “wish” for wealth and success alive. All of that leads directly into 12.19:
Castiel: Okay, why are you doing this?
Kelly: Because he chose you, Castiel. When you put your hand on my stomach, I heard him. He spoke to me. He told me that even if it seems scary, if I just went to the gate, if I just followed your plan, that you would make sure he was born. Sam and Dean, they want to take away his powers because they’re scared. (Sighs) But I’m not.
Castiel: Kelly, you –
Kelly: You asked me who would protect him, guide him when I’m gone. I know now. It’s you.
Castiel: Me? That’s I am not someone that you should put your faith in, Kelly. I couldn’t kill Dagon back there. I lost two of my men. I betrayed my friends, my family.
Kelly: Before all this happened, I was a cut-rate political flack in an embarrassingly unprofessional relationship with my boss. I don’t know why it’s me. And I don’t know why it’s you. But I know that we are destined for something here. Something great.
Castiel: Well, I wish I had your faith.
Kelly: You will.
Castiel: Thank you for coming to fight for us.
Dean: Are you okay?
Castiel: I am. I’ve been so lost. I’m not lost anymore. And I know now that this child must be born with all of his power.
Sam: You can’t actually mean that.
Castiel: Yes. I do. I have faith. We have to go.
Cas wished for faith, and that’s what he got. But as we’ve been reminded over and over in s12, via Babylonian coins and wishes gone horribly wrong, THIS IS REALLY REALLY NOT A GOOD THING. So with that in mind, let’s revisit Hope, the first “victim” of the Babylonian wishing coin in 4.08.
WES: Oh. Oh, wow, Hope, you didn’t have to do that.
HOPE: I wanted to. Well, no, I… I had to. Because I love you more than anything, lover.
WES: Yes. Um, Hope, sit down, okay?
HOPE: Yes, Wes.
WES: Um… Hope, uh, are you happy?
HOPE: I love you more than anything.
WES: I know. I know. And I love you. Very much. That’s why I want you to start doing things that make… that made you happy before.
HOPE: Yes, Wes, I’ll try to be happier. I’ll start right away.
WES: No, no, no, that’s not what I mean. I-I’m talk—
HOPE: Oh, Wes, please. [Voice breaking] Please don’t be angry with me. You know, I’d just die, I’d just die, I’d die!
WES: No, no, no. Don’t – I’m – I’m not angry. I’m not angry! No.
HOPE: Then let me make it up to you, Wes. Let me make it right.
This, as we learn, is the result of Wes’s wish on that Babylonian coin. He wished for Hope to “love him more than anything.” And Hope deliberately changes her phrasing from “I wanted to,” into “I had to.” She didn’t have a choice, in other words. But would we say that this is this a form of mind control?
It’s clear that Hope is not acting of her own free will here, but is this actually mind control? Wes isn’t ordering her to do all these things for him, yet she clearly feels some sort of obligation to do them anyway, borne from this falsely implanted love for Wes. Her ability to make her own choices, i.e. her Free Will, has been rerouted via Wes’s wish. She’s clearly making choices on her own– about cooking for Wes, about all the acts of devotion she shows him, even her “choice” to kill Sam before he can talk Wes into removing the coin from the wishing fountain to “wish away their love.”
If Hope truly had her own free will, she NEVER would’ve stopped Wes from undoing his wish.
Just like if Cas had truly had his own free will in 12.19, he never would’ve booped Sam and Dean unconscious for trying to stop him from leaving with Kelly.
To me this is just one more proof that Cas is not acting out of his own free will through the rest of s12. His wish that he had Kelly’s faith in Jack has been overriding and redirecting his free will through the falsely-implanted filter, just as Hope’s falsely-implanted “love” for Wes did in 4.08.
While I was typing all of this out at Lizbob earlier today, she was busy typing 2.13 at me, and I couldn’t help but make this comparison as well. 2.13, intentionally or not, set up a LOT of background for all the eventual Angel Lore in canon, and I feel this is also an important callback, especially as it also has to do with faith, hope, and love:
SAM: Yeah. So, Hope, uh, tell us how you two lovebirds met.
HOPE: Oh, best day of my life.
DEAN: I bet.
HOPE: Yeah! It’s the funniest thing. We both grew up here, but I never really knew who he was. Not by name anyway. Until one day last month, it was like I just [sighs] I just saw him for the first time. He was just… glowing. Oh, just glowing.
He was glowing, like the false angel “signs” in 2.13. A brilliant light appeared to people, presented itself as an angel, and instructed them to murder people. They were all convinced they’d acted in the name of God, and were completely at peace with their actions because of the “angel” absolving them of their “sin.”
DEAN: So. What makes you think you saw a, uh, angel?
SAM: It just, it appeared before me and I just, this feeling washed over me, you know? Like, like peace. Like grace.
DEAN: Okay, Ecstasy Boy, maybe we’ll get you some glow sticks and a nice Dr. Seuss hat, huh?
SAM: Dean, I’m serious. It spoke to me, it knew who I was.
DEAN: It’s just a spirit, Sam. Okay? And it’s not the first one to be able to read people’s minds. Okay, let me guess. You were personally chosen to smite some sinner. You’ve just got to wait for some divine bat signal, is that it?
SAM: Yeah, actually.
Then a few scenes later:
SAM laughs, then stops in shock, staring at something across the street: a young man holding a bunch of flowers; a bright white light glows behind him.
Sam had his sign. Dean stopped Sam from carrying out the mission the “angel” had given him, but everything the “angel” had wanted still came to pass, just as effectively as if Sam had killed the man himself. Dean could hardly believe what he’d witnessed. The description from the transcript:
Car chase scene. Chasing the evil young man at a more frantic rate now, DEAN grips the steering wheel tightly. They cut across lanes, over grass, and generally cause mayhem; at a cross-street, a small pickup truck carrying long metal pipes screeches to a halt in front of the man’s car. A pipe spins off the truck bed, bouncing once on the ground and plowing straight through his windshield. It impales him straight through the chest. DEAN stops the car in shock and gets out.
DEAN: Holy …
DEAN: But I’ll tell you one thing. If … The way he died, if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes I never would have believed it. I mean … I don’t know what to call it.
SAM: What? Dean, what did you see?
DEAN: Maybe … God’s will.
Back to 4.08:
DEAN: Come on. You’re gonna sit there and tell me that your relationship with Hope is functional, that it’s what you wished for?
WES: I wished she would love me more than anything.
SAM: Yeah, and, uh, how is that going? That seem healthy to you?
WES: Well, it’s a hell of a lot better than when she didn’t know I was alive.
DEAN: You’re not supposed to get what you want, man, not like this. Nobody is. That’s what the coin does. It takes your heart’s desires and it twists it back on you. You hear of the whole, uh, “be careful what you wish for”?
Because Hope professed that she loved Wes “more than anything,” even more than her own life, even more than knowing the difference between right and wrong.
She didn’t understand how her feelings had been manipulated, or falsely implanted by Wes’s wish. Like the people who believed they were acting on behalf of an angel of Heaven back in 2.13, and like Cas (and even Kelly) have been acting since 12.19. It all feels real to them. They can’t act of their own free will, because they’re incapable of even accessing it while under Jack’s influence.
It’s not that he’s directly puppeting them or controlling their actions, but that he’s inserted himself and his needs as the overriding default priority for both Kelly and Cas. They both fully believed they were CHOOSING their course of action, but Dean clearly told us that he knew Cas was fundamentally unable to think for himself here.
DEAN: Okay, so last night…that Super Mario power-up crap? That wasn’t Cas. That freaking baby isn’t even born yet and it sock puppeted him. Think about it. Cas said that he had faith in Lucifer Jr.? What the hell is that supposed to mean?
SAM: I don’t know. I mean, look, this doesn’t make any sense to me either, Dean. But if we wanna have some shot at finding Cas, the we have to…I don’t know. Uh, try and think like him.
DEAN: How? Seriously I mean up until now if Cas messed up, if he did something wrong, but he thought it was for the right reasons, I got it. Right? But last night, when I looked at him, I did not recognize the guy staring back at me.
And honestly, that’s proof enough for me.
But if you need further proof of the connection, please see this post about Kelly’s wall mural she was painting in 12.23:
The symbol on the tree trunk? Hope, love, and faith.