In the middle of writing a full review I feel I have to pause and scream about this for a bit:
PUPPET ALESHA: What did you do?
[takes Max’s bloody hand and gasps in both shock and care]
PUPPET ALESHA: Are you hurt?
Now I ADORE how many mirrors and parallels there are this episode. There were enough to give me a bit of a headache. But I have to talk about this one. Because yes, the most obvious Dean mirror here is indeed Max, but the mirror for the puppet creatures this episode? Cas.
The puppet creatures were controlled by the witch, made of twigs and twines but still contained a fundamental part of their original form: the Heart. Therefore still holding onto their original memories and emotions and seemingly completely unaware that they were actually puppet creatures until the witch called upon them to do their duty.
When Max brings Tasha back at the end in puppet form, she cares for him, is concerned for him and seems like she is her old self, though Max knows in his heart she is not the same. Doesn’t this remind you all of last week?
“You’re hurt” Cas says as he reaches out for Dean and heals his pain, even though Dean knows for sure that this Cas is not HIS Cas. Similar, still with heart and emotion and still perhaps believing he is in control of his own decisions… but ultimately under the spell of Lucifer Jr.
Cas is the puppet creature this episode, controlled and in no way free, bound by the spell of the baby just like these puppets were bound to the witch by the twigs and twines, but their hearts are still their own… is the heart Cas’s key to escape?