So, I’ve been rewatching Heaven Can’t Wait (because I don’t care, I LOVED that episode), and a few things have been standing out to me. The spoken stuff between Dean & Cas wasn’t necessarily overt I LOVE YOU WITHOUT SAYING I LOVE YOU type stuff, but their love and care for each other as well as the tension was there in bucket loads, and not always just in the way Jensen & Misha played it, but also with some of the camera shots. So here goes, a very brief look at the ep to show that this WAS a very Destiel heavy one since I still see some people reading this as a real no homo episode, which I think couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ll start by saying that this is about two people who really do want each other, don’t know the feeling is reciprocated, and are for varying reasons (mainly Dean kicking Cas out) feeling very awkward and unsure around each other.
First off there’s the scene before Dean goes in, when he’s on the phone with Sam. And what is he doing? Just watching Cas. He’s not sitting in the car like he normally would, finishing off the phone call. He’s also taken the time to get changed, cleaned up a bit after seeing the vaporised body. And the music! It’s not exactly the same as S8 when Sam was looking through the window at Amelia, but it’s pretty damn close. It certainly gives the same feel, and that feel is decidedly romantic. Imagine a movie where former lovers are meeting again for the first time in a while - you’ll have a scene almost exactly like this, music and all. It’s been done a hundred times before. Dean just likes watching Cas, seeing what he’s been up to. He needs to psych himself up for this - this is not a situation in which he can just walk in and have it be like it always was.
We’ll skip straight to Dean finding out about the date with Nora. Here is what Cas has to say about it:
“Nora … she’s a very nice woman. I’m pretty sure she’s not a reaper intent on killing me. And she’s asked me out. Going on dates. That’s something humans do, right?”
He’s going on the date because he wants to be human. He knows that what your average human does. And remember, he had no idea Dean was going to find him when he accepted the date. Even if he had, would it have made a difference given how hurt & pissed off he was? Probably not. He’s also keeping himself very busy with his work, showing Dean that he doesn’t need him, that he’s making a good go at being human all by himself. Because remember - he still hasn’t exactly forgiven Dean yet. He’s not angry anymore, but anyone who has been dumped will know the feeling of wanting to show the other person how much you don’t need them, even if you do. And it’s all very impersonal - the closest he gets to a real compliment is “She’s a very nice woman”. Not exactly sweep her off her feet type language. He doesn’t seem to really know her at all, but this is what being human is, and he likes her well enough, so why not give it a go? But then Dean gets the phone call after their little conversation, and Cas can’t help but watch:
Even after that, his focus is still on what Dean is doing. They talk, Dean convinces Cas to go with him (and it was a slightly less desperate version of Purgatory’s I’m-not-going-to-take-no-for-an-answer thing). Cas still is showing Dean that he has his own life with responsibilities & he isn’t going to just drop everything to go running when Dean calls. He does still say yes though.
At the scene, Cas is scared, and Dean sees this. It is here, I think, that Dean realises just how much things have changed for Cas. It’s here that he decides that maybe yeah, Cas is better off without him.
I mean, look at his face. That is Dean’s “I’m heartbroken but gotta keep it together, stay strong” face. He is miserable. It hadn’t really occurred to him just how hurt Cas was, and how different everything was. He finally understands what Cas meant back at the Gas-n-Sip when he said “I had nothing”. And he says to Cas to that he’ll take care of it, that Cas doesn’t need to worry. And instead of being relieved, this is Cas’s reaction:
Yes he’s scared, but Dean has also stopped trying to convince him to come along. It’s almost as though he was hoping that Dean would give him the speech again, try everything out to get him to come, but he doesn’t, and so Cas goes along with it because he doesn’t know how to ask.
Fast forward to the next day. Remember, this is after the fight with Ephraim, after Dean has found out what is going on with Cas. Cas has chosen the human life, but he is in serious pain. He is distraught, and isn’t sure how to cope. And this is also after the unexplained night. This is the dreaded adios. Dean tells Cas to go live a normal life, that it isn’t his problem anymore. And Cas is resigned to it. He takes Dean at face value, that because he is scared & has no powers that he can’t really be of any use. And this is his face:
But Dean? He’s not happy about it. He even allows that to show while Cas has his back turned.
And then, as Dean says later, it’s adios. Always the adios. And this is the adios of two people who desperately do not want to be saying it (and indeed, actually don’t say anything at all), but feel they have no choice. They each seem to think that by being apart they are doing the other a favour, when it is clear just by looking that the opposite is exactly the case:
Cas even lingers, as though he’s waiting for Dean to change his mind, hoping that there will be one more “Cas, I can’t let you do this”. But it doesn’t come, and so he turns away, and Dean’s face falls once more, and you can almost feel that dull ache of loss right in his centre.
But it’s the camera work right at the very end of their interaction that really does it for me. Normally, in a romantic movie, when the person is leaving, the one they are truly supposed to be with watches them, and the camera shifts focus to show us this since the one leaving can’t see this. That didn’t happen with Nora, because she was never the one for Cas. Dean though? We do get that. Just briefly, but it is there and it is noticeable.
All of that to me made this one of the most romantic episodes of the season so far, even if it was the separation “I’m doing this for your own good” stage of the relationship, the part that breaks our collective hearts. It was heartwrenching in the extreme, but it is what is going to make the payoff all the more rewarding when they come through it on the other side.