At this point Cas and Mary are practically the same person, thinking any present-day behaviour can be excused by building a
An excuse made even more flimsy by the fact that a) if anyone is experienced in handling dangerous situations, it’s Sam and Dean, and that b) if Cas has a real interest in protecting them, then deceiving them, keeping them misinformed and stealing their weapons is the last thing he should do.
You know, I feel like Castiel’s intense need to always give Dean peace and keep him from having to do the morally questionable work always feels like penance for what happened in On the Head of a Pin.
Castiel is the only one alive who saw Dean in hell. He is the only one who witnessed him at what Dean considers his very worst, when he took pleasure in causing other’s pain. Sam knows how much internal pain and conflict this caused Dean, but he was never actually witness to it. I think it’s up there among Dean’s greatest fears (after losing Sam of course), going dark side again and hurting innocents. Even when he was a demon, he still had enough of Dean Winchester in him to fight off that impulse. Crowley kept him sated by feeding him demons to harm because even Crowley knew making Dean hurt innocents would be stepping over a dangerous line. It’s why Dean was willing to be launched into space and sacrifice himself forever, to avoid becoming the thing that fucked him up the worst.
Back in season 4 Castiel only knew that Dean was the Righteous Man, had a mission God wanted him to do, and that he was Alastair’s best torture student. And he had seen Dean in hell enjoying the torture. So when he commanded Dean to return to torture, it was with some trepidation (I mean, even then Cas was starting to fall, starting to “
express emotions, the doorways to doubt”) but he still insisted upon it because he didn’t truly understand how bad it would be for Dean. But then things went south. Dean was darkening right there in the room with Alastair and Cas began to doubt. And when Alastair got free and nearly killed Dean, I think Cas felt immense guilt and began to truly change how he saw his life and Dean’s and broadened his role as Dean’s protector from just physical to emotional.
It feels like so many of Cas’ decisions since that day are his own self-imposed penance for that decision because they are explicitly to give Dean peace and save him from ever having to harm an innocent and become what he saw in hell again. In the green room, Cas was trying to shield Dean from the pain of seeing Sam free Lucifer. Season 5 was all about saving Dean from saying yes to Michael because the ensuing battle would harm millions of innocents and Dean’s psyche. Saving Dean from becoming involved in shady dealings with Crowley and a heavenly war was Cas’ entire storyline of season 6. In season 8, Cas was willing once again to die and be locked in Heaven to give Dean peace on earth. He avoided Dean when angels were after him to keep him out of the fight and was willing to stay by his side literally forever when he was a demon to protect him from the pain of harming innocents.
So now, Cas going to heaven where many of his siblings hate him and stealing the Colt to go kill Kelly on his own are very much in character and follow the trend of Cas being willing to take on just about anything to give Dean peace and keep him from having to go down that path that he first witnessed in hell. I imagine for Cas, there is no worse fate than allowing Dean to live with the pain of harming an innocent again, when he can take that on himself. Cas may make some terrible decisions, but every one seems to be out of love and self-sacrifice for Dean.
Everyone may be flailing about the incredible romantic implications of the giften mix tape, but let’s not let that overshadow another grad gesture of love on the part of Cas: to once again be willing to even damage his own soul by killing an innocent to protect Dean from ever being even close to what he saw in hell.
Something I think we’re overlooking is the fact that Castiel came into Dean’s room knowing
that the colt would be kept in there and not the weapons safe (allegedly).
How did he know that something of sych high value– of such high importance like
that would be kept in Dean’s room– none the less, beneath his pillow? That is not the first logical place to look … something as coveted as the colt would
need to be kept in a safe or some other secure locataion, and of course, Dean is rational enough to know that … right? Castiel would most likely assume as much–
unless he had reason not to. Unless he knew from seeing it done before– that something so important to the elder Winchester, so meaningful, would
actually be kept near him during his most vulnerable times.
So that begs the question:
what else has Cas seen beneath Dean’s pillow? What else has the angel just happened upon the other times he was in the man’s room (and
how exactly did he happen upon them?) Are there other coveted keepsakes tucked away in Dean’s bedding? Are there other secrets that only the angel knows?
Oh, how I’d love to see what those blue eyes have seen.