It’s interesting because Star Wars continues to evolve and George when watching that scene, he really liked it, but then he went “Uhhh, we have to take that scene out.” “Why, George?” “Because the Sith can’t become ghosts. That’s not what they do. They’re so concerned with their corporeal existence, and wealth, and power that they can’t think beyond that. They don’t think about the afterlife. That’s why they’re all afraid to die. That’s why they’re always trying to figure out how to cheat death.” […] So that scene was cut. But that’s the cool thing about The Clone Wars. It’s the last George Lucas produced Star Wars. And there’s so much you can learn about that mythology by watching that show very carefully.
I failed at being an angel. Everything I ever attempted came out wrong. But here … at least I have a shot at getting things right.
(technically I’ve come back around to a point near where I started this rewatch project a few months ago, but of course things in s12 have also come a long way… I don’t even recall when I started making formal rewatch notes, but I know I only started TAGGING these post when it looped back to s1… so here you go, have some wild comparisons to where we stand after 12.21…)
CASTIEL: It’s a fever, Ephraim. It will pass. EPHRAIM: You remember my name? I was just a nobody when we met, but you – you were a legend. You’ve been here before. This is my first time, and it’s … intense. CASTIEL: You know, there’s a lot you don’t understand about humanity at first. If you would just stop— EPHRAIM: Stop? I won’t stop … until I wash the planet clean of all suffering.
It struck me that Ephraim had a very similar ideology to the nephilim, with far less power to influence people. Ephraim’s solution to end suffering was to end the person’s life, while the nephilim’s is to remove the source of their suffering…
Ephraim had come to fix Cas’s soul-deep EMOTIONAL SUFFERING in 9.06, just as he’d “cured” the other humans who’d been suffering from emotional pain in that episode (interestingly enough all were emotional wounds caused by broken hearts, failed love, the pain of loneliness.
DEAN: Yeah, but this last victim was not suffering. She was just a normal, moody kid. CASTIEL: But he just got here. The ebb and flow of human emotion – Dean, I’ve been on earth for a few years, and I’ve only begun to grasp it. To him, pain is pain.
Meanwhile we also learn that Abaddon is playing fast and loose with the natural order, collecting human souls before their contracts with Hell have come due. From where we are in s12, I think it’s more of a problem than just Crowley’s “business ethic” that keeps him from breaking deals and just taking human souls to fuel Hell’s power with. Everything in due course, you know? Otherwise MAKING a deal in the first place would upset the natural order. The balance is in the fulfillment of the terms of the deal itself.
CASTIEL: Do you really think you’re doing Heaven’s work down here? EPHRAIM: I know I am. CASTIEL: Well, you’re wrong. Earth can be a hard place. But these humans, they can get better. They’re just doing the best they can. EPHRAIM: Is that what you think you’re doing, Castiel – the best you can? Well, I’m sorry. But if this is the best that the famed Castiel can do, you’re a more urgent case than I thought. I used to admire you. You failed more often than you succeeded. But at least you played big.
Thing is, the nephilim is powerful. It doesn’t need to kill people in order to take away their suffering. But it also doesn’t understand that not all suffering is bad. It serves a purpose. And despite his current suffering, Cas would ALWAYS choose to live:
EPHRAIM: Shh-shh-shhh. It’ll be over soon. I’ll take the pain away. CASTIEL: I want to live. EPHRAIM: But as what, Castiel? As an angel? or a man?
and there we have the origin of my Cas vs humanity tag…
But he’s been learning this FOR YEARS at this point, Ephraim is “new” to this lesson. Remember 4.22 (and heck I have made this comparison so many times now):
DEAN: Destiny? Don’t give me that “holy” crap. Destiny, God’s plan… It’s all a bunch of lies, you poor, stupid son of a bitch! It’s just a way for your bosses to keep me and keep you in line! You know what’s real? People, families – that’s real. And you’re gonna watch them all burn? CASTIEL: What is so worth saving? I see nothing but pain here. I see inside you. I see your guilt, your anger, confusion. In paradise, all is forgiven. You’ll be at peace. Even with Sam. DEAN: You can take your peace… and shove it up your lily-white ass. ‘Cause I’ll take the pain and the guilt. I’ll even take Sam as is. It’s a lot better than being some Stepford bitch in paradise. This is simple, Cas! No more crap about being a good soldier. There is a right and there is a wrong here, and you know it.
THIS IS WHAT CAS DISOBEYED HEAVEN FOR. THIS IS WHAT HE DEEMED WORTH SACRIFICING EVERYTHING FOR, OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
So I say again, in what universe would Cas EVER turn his back on this? In what universe would Cas EVER surrender to destiny as easily and completely as he did to whatever vision of the future the nephilim showed him?
HE WOULDN’T. AT LEAST, NOT OF HIS OWN FREE WILL.
He was willing to DIE in 4.22 for this (and he did). He was willing to stand up to Ephraim for it in 9.06. But he still felt responsible for helping Heaven. Or at least helping his fellow angels… even if he was struggling with his identity at that point. And honestly he’s STILL struggling with his identity even now.
He loves the Winchesters, and feels more a part of their family than Heaven, but even so, he still has a sense of duty to his chosen family rather than a sense of true belonging. It’s a fine line of difference, but it’s still there…
EPHRAIM: You say you want to live. But you can’t see what I see. By choosing a human life, you’ve already given up. You … chose … death.
But is choosing a human life really choosing death? It was for Ephraim, who couldn’t understand humanity.
Any time people start fervently talking about a single being as Kelly and eventually Cas began talking about what the nephilim could do for humanity (lift it to its feet!), it rings every alarm bell I have for CULTISH FANATICISM. And I worry…
Again, I’ll say it. NOTHING about how Cas is behaving now at the end of s12 leads me to believe that he is in possession of his free will. Including the fact that he healed Dean. Because that’s how cult leaders make converts. They go after hearts and minds.
I decided to draw my favorite roles of his which were incidentally his most recent works I think. I thought of including the one he played in The Other Boleyn Girl or Elizabeth: The Golden Age because Eddie in medieval clothes *_* but I couldn’t seem to fit them :”
Wish you all the best Eddie <3 and hope you’ll continue to grace us with more fantastic movies!