12x15 “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” Silent Storytelling Galore: When Expressions Say Much More Than Words
This is a face of utter defeat. A face of complete disillusion and seeing things exactly for what they are: freaking sad. Dean has been shown done with lieing a multitude of times this season, but this moment like no others before drive home, just how done Dean is with them. I don’t think he was truly surprised when Sam told him where he got the phone calls and jobs from at the end of the episode. It was more like a sad: “I thought so.” Dean isn’t on board. He’ll never be on board. His entire body language screams that. And that’ll pose issues further down the line. Will Dean become the next “rogue hunter” the BritMoL may think they need to deal with? I personally hope that come whatever the narrative will focus on how Dean cannot “be tamed” or “controlled” - because that’s in the end what the BritMoL want, utter and complete control over them - he is the ultimate symbol for free will after all.
All he knows is heaven
and all she’s ever known is hell.
He’s got a smile like holy
a voice like prayers
and a kiss like salvation.
She’s got a smile like sin
a voice like curses
and a kiss like damnation.
But when they look at each other
they think the same word:
It was with a warm hand on Castiel’s shoulder that Chuck watched his son die for the first time. Watched as the archangel shredded Cas under the weight and pull of angelic power. It was messy. It was callous.
Chuck wiped his blood-covered hands on his jeans, feeling the way the slick met rough—what was left of his son smeared on the denim.
Dean had come and gone and Chuck was left, sitting in the red-painted house, knowing that somewhere, his firstborn son was breaking free. Going to end the world.
Chuck sighed, grabbing a bottle of liquor from the counter and taking a deep swig. He could still see the glow in Castiel’s eyes. Not from grace, but from something perhaps more pure. Like a memory of the light once used to create the earth and all the creatures that inhabited it. The light that Chuck had given his creations straight from his own fingertips.
Cas, you beautiful idiot, he had thought as the room shook and he watched his son hold his ground, his last breaths rooted in a pearl of hope for the Earth. Hope placed in the small hands of two forgettable hunters fighting against the rising powers of hell.
The brave sacrifice of the brown-haired, blue eyed angel who died to save the world would likely never be told, but still, Chuck couldn’t help but think that it was the stuff that stories were made of.
It was quiet now, in the kitchen with the reminder of Cas, the man who’d ripped up the pages of destiny and spat in the face of fate. The man who’d scoured the earth in search for God with nothing but a second-hand pendant and a desire to protect.
Chuck closed his eyes, tightly. A desire to protect, he thought, his mind drifting back to the sense of wonder he’d felt when he’d first created his angels.
He sat down and poured a little drink on the floor in tribute before squeezing the bottle between his knees. And he tried not to remember that he had the power to protect, too. To protect the world from the impending apocalypse. To protect Castiel.
He didn’t. He wouldn’t. It was a promise he’d made a long time ago when, in an effort to “save,” he’d purged the earth with water. What surprised him, however, was how men continued to preach in his name, building philosophies and stamping them with heaven’s seal without care to God’s sanctions.
“Maybe my children make better Gods than me,” Chuck considered, finding himself again drawn to the two young brothers that, even now, were facing Michael and Lucifer when even their own God couldn’t.Dean and Sam were better men than their father, Chuck thought, and Cas was a better man than me.
Chuck stared at the way the room wore bits of Cas and wondered at the feelings of sentiment he felt. True, Chuck knew all of his angels, but he couldn’t find it in himself to understand why he felt the world was smaller now in the space since he’d watched Castiel die. After all, it was simply the natural order of things. He created angels like shooting stars: fiery, fierce and beautiful. And, like the meteoroids plowing through the sky, Cas had come too close to the earth, burning up inside the atmosphere.
Once, Chuck had commanded the angels to love the humans. The angels had become volatile, hardened creatures, made for duty with no one to serve. Statues of rigid perfection.
Chuck looked down at his own hands, letting his mind wander through the intricate designs of the human vessel he’d created for himself. Human flesh was so different than the fierce ether of an angel. He’d created them with the heads of beasts and great spanning wings. They were formidable, truly, they were. And yet, Chuck knew, even then, when he’d first birthed them, that humans were his most beautiful creation. They were breakable, small, and beautifully flawed. And, he’d known then, too, that he’d created mankind to save them all. To save the angels. To save himself.
It was his own last beacon of hope, that perhaps they could all become something more than the patterns of war and violence that had emanated from him and poured into his creations.
Chuck smiled as he looked at the Supernatural books, knowing he had found it. His broken children who had become more than their God, willing to die for the sake of the planet.
They had transcended him. He always knew they would. But, what had surprised him was the angel in the dirty trench coat and blue eyes, falling away from heaven’s glory for one man. One human. An angel that had such faith in and love for humanity that he’d given up everything.
Chuck bowed his head to his chest. He wouldn’t, he couldn’t get involved. And yet, he could still hear Castiel’s prayers in the back of his head—months of the angel’s voice crying for an absent God to step in and save his children.
And Chuck knew what he had to do. Though it wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things—a small gesture, really. But significant nonetheless.
Slowly, he leaned down to the floor, touching a spot of red with his finger. He watched as the bits of Cas responded, finding their way back to the whole. It was a fascinating process, to see the parts of Cas’s vessel come together, gathering, binding, creating arms, legs, a face. Until, suddenly, he was staring at the calm features of Cas’s body, laying down with his eyes closed, as if he could be asleep.
Then, with a breath, Chuck pulled light from the skies, infusing grace and soul and power to recreate Castiel’s true form, creating a sacred space inside the simple kitchen of Chuck’s home. It felt wrong, in a way, to bring so much of his God self back to the place where he had gone to leave it all behind. And yet, it also felt right. To put something back together again after such a long time of watching things fall apart.
And, finally, it was done as he gingerly placed Castiel back inside the man laying on the ground. He watched as the vessel’s chest hitched with the first breath of life, and smiled when he looked at the body he’d created just for Cas. For the angel who wanted so badly to love humans. In a way, now he could be one. He thought Cas would like that he’d made him look like Jimmy. That maybe he’d find it easier if he could look in the mirror and see the man whose face had first chosen to be so autonomous and free from heaven.
Cas’s eyes were still closed, and Chuck knew he couldn’t let him wake up here. He couldn’t face his son. Not now. Still, he was surprised to find himself kneeling on the floor of the kitchen, running his hands through the soft parts of Castiel’s hair, his thoughts, surprisingly far away from the ending of the rest of the world. Instead, he placed a kiss on top of Cas’s head, sending him to a beautiful forest, by a stream to wake up.
And then the kitchen was empty again, the clock on the wall ticking loudly, and the stain from the spilled alcohol shining on the floor.
Chuck contemplated what he’d done. Wondered at his own need to break every rule that had bound him for centuries and heal one lowly angel when he’d let hundreds of others die.
But, he thought he already knew the answer. Where Chuck had made humans in a deliberate effort at salvation, one lowly angel had been a surprise. A miracle. And, as Chuck sat back in his chair, he smiled as he admitted it to himself: it turned out that maybe it wasn’t just the humans that were there to save. It turned out that maybe, just maybe, a forgettable, self-sacrificing angel with blue eyes and too much heart could be the one to redeem them all.
Our souls have always been free, unchained we have walked the earth, taken flight through seamless thoughts, but we are ruled by a decree that binds us to this world, now, material heaven religion and propagation, the suffocation of unending needs, we have forgotten to be free;
“we are tied until we rise we are broken until we are put together, we are silent until we speak”
yet seldom do we heed the voice that has guided us for so long, from inception to death, we forget to hear the call, and we succumb as a race to the tyranny of others who have forgotten too, what it is to be human.
I know I’m probably…definitely reading into this, but this scene is really important to me. In case the pictures aren’t enough, it’s episode 22 of season 9 when Hannah tells Cas to choose between the Winchesters or them, asking him to kill Dean. The reason I love this scene is because there have been several scenes throughout the show where Sam and Dean are captured or hurt or something like that and every time, especially when it’s the other person in danger, they tell the person who is responsible or is given the ultimatum “don’t do this” or “you don’t have to do this”, they’ve even said it to each other and Cas previously. However, here, when Cas is offered an entire army if he can kill one person, neither of them say anything. They don’t ask him not to do it, they don’t protest, not even Sam, they just look at him. It is such a small thing but it is so important to me. Even if it isn’t outright said, which it has also been, this shows how much they trust him and I love that.
Sometimes, he becomes so overwhelmed that his legs give and his eyes leak. It’s no doubt a amalgamation of everything that happening to him—inside and out—but it’s unbearable. He clenches his jaw. His stomach twists. His chest aches.
Castiel usually ends up in the laundry room.
It’s the only place that reminds him of how he used to be–warm and buzzing from the constantly running industrial machines, like the light and cadence of Heaven.
He’s free to think and cry and rage, here; to obsess over his past mistakes and whatever new ones he’s sure will come to pass. Among the steady clunkclunkclunk of the dryer, he hears Metatron ask him who he is, and Ephraim tell him he’s pathetic, and Josiah say I look at you… and I don’t see an angel staring back at me. He hears that he is “not the hero of this masterpiece”, that he’s expendable, that… he doesn’t belong, anywhere. Not in Heaven. Not on Earth. That he is weak and hated and does nothing but make bad decisions with his good intentions.
But arms wrap around him, and calloused fingers thumb wetness from his cheeks, and the song changes:
You are good.
You are strong.
You learn from your mistakes, and that’s all anyone can do.
You are myfamily. My hero.
…You belong right here, Dean sings, holding his angel close; right in this laundry room, sitting here, with me.
And maybe it’s the hum of the machines or the warmth of the dryer or the way Dean whispers I love you, man, into his hair—but sitting there, in the laundry room, Castiel believes him.