We finally hear and see the story of Season 6 from Castiel's perspective -- how he came to work with Crowley; started a civil war; and how Sam got out of hell. Even though he's talking to God, Cas is pretty much pleading his case to the Supernatural viewers. It's a tough spot the angel of the Lord is in; and by the end of the hour I'm not sure he fully explained why it was OK to resort to working with a demon who basically made life hell for the Winchesters for much of the season.
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much worshiping both Misha Collins and Ben Edlund -- who wrote and directed "The Man Who Would Be King" -- right now. What a wonderful story we witnessed. Castiel raised Sam from perdition? He turned to Crowley to stop Raphael's revolution? This particular hour of television has all of Edlund's trademark quirky humor combined with intensity and an emotion that almost knocked me over.
I just about lost it during the last two scenes of "TMWWBK" -- the Dean-and-Cas conversation/confrontation and then Castiel's plea to God for a sign he's on the right path. One of my favorite aspects of Supernatural from Season 4 on is the relationship forged between the hunter and the angel after Cas rescued Dean from hell. To see that sometimes precarious relationship shattered is painful to watch. So it hit me pretty hard when Dean realized Cas didn't turn to him for help. And in fact, he was hiding and eavesdropping on his conversations with Sam and Bobby.
-"Let me tell you my story. Let me tell you everything." Cas started this line with his head down but then he looked straight into the camera and basically talked to us. This breaking of the fourth wall is such a nice touch. It makes things seem more personal. More real.
-I wasn't sure about the Crowley alive reveal or the Cas-Crowley partnership but the acting is so good between Misha and Mark, I'm sold. So happy the Mother of All is not the big bad of Season 6.
-It's heartbreaking how Dean didn't want to believe Cas was in cahoots with Crowley. He couldn't let himself believe it; and then when he had no other choice, it was even more heartbreaking.
-Edlund did a good job of giving us a healthy dose of badass Cas. Cas takes down Crowley's demons including Ellsworth, the demon version of Bobby Singer; he takes on Raphael and challenges his fellow angels to believe in things like free will; and he doesn't back down from Crowley when the demon says Cas needs to off Sam and Dean.
-This is Edlund's Supernatural directorial debut and he didn't get an easy episode to helm. The Crowley autopsy scene (or whatever he was doing) was so gross; he has to present a heaven that's in line with Season 5's "Dark Side of the Moon"; he has to show Cas trapped in a ring of fire; he also has to feature scenes where two vastly different things are going on. For example, Cas pops up at Dean's house while the former hunter's leading his apple pie life with Lisa and Ben. While Dean's raking the yard in the background, Cas and Crowley are cementing their partnership in the foreground. Sam, Bobby and Dean are talking about Cas and his possible alliance with the devil (well, maybe not the devil, but the King of Hell). And then we see Cas hiding in the background eavesdropping on his fellow members of Team Free Will. He also seamlessly weaved in flashbacks. I hope Edlund directs again next season.
-That Crowley sure is convincing isn't he? He made it difficult for Cas to even think there were other better choices he could make. But Cas should have known he needed to go to Dean for help. When have the Winchesters let him down? I mean, really let him down?
-Why is purgatory so hard to find?
-I hate that Cas and the Winchesters had to lie to each other at various points.
-Sitting through some of the "Swan Song" flashbacks wasn't easy. They're still painful to watch to this day.
-Cas says stopping Armageddon came at a terrible cost. And it did. I love that he went to hell to bring Sam back. However, he wasn't strong enough to bring him back whole. Why? Is it because he was pretty much the Lone Ranger on this mission? When he brought Dean back he had God on his side, right? Dean didn't come back completely whole but he wasn't missing what makes him, him. That's what happened with Sam. I'm so happy we found out who brought the youngest Winchester back.
-Cas tells Crowley to find purgatory or they will "both die again and again until the end of time." What does that mean?
-While Cas is telling his story we see his lady lieutenant again, the one he was forced to kill recently. Plus, Demore Barnes was back as Raphael. So good to see him. He is appropriately scary in this episode.
-I love how when Cas first went back to heaven after saving Sam, he was all optimistic. He was preaching the gospel according to the Winchesters, telling all the angels how they're free to choose whatever they want to do.
-A heartbreaking moment: Dean defends Cas. He wanted to give the angel the benefit of the doubt. Love how Sam listened to him and called for Cas. Only Cas didn't show up. So sad.
-One more heartbreaking moment: Cas gave himself away to the rest of Team Free Will when he repeated the whole "superman" line he overheard while he was eavesdropping on them. Dean's face. No words.
-Crowley is more cunning than Cas, but Cas is stronger. Love that.
-The deal: Cas and Crowley find purgatory and split the souls in half so they can have the muscle they need to defeat Raphael and lead hell, respectively. Crowley lent Cas 50,000 souls to help the angel's fight against his big brother. Does that mean when Balthazar changed history and prevented the Titanic from sinking thereby creating 50,000 fresh souls, was that Crowley calling his loan? Was Cas trying to pay the King of Hell back?
-After Dean, Sam and Bobby trap Cas in the ring of fire, the angel has no choice but to confirm he's working with Crowley and he also reveals he saved Sam from hell. It's so sad when Sam asks Cas if he brought him back soulless on purpose. I don't blame him. The question had to be asked? This level of betrayal really cuts to the core, much like this exchange between Dean and Cas: "I can't turn back now. I can't." It's not too late. Damn it, Cas, we can fix this!" "Dean, it's not broken!"
-It sucks that Bobby had to angel-proof his house. The line is drawn and Cas is standing on the other side of it. How far will the Winchesters have to go to stop Cas and Crowley? Part of me wishes this episode had come much earlier. There are only two episodes left to deal with everything that happened in "TMWWBK."
-How brilliant was that scene between Dean and Castiel at the end? Dean calls Cas family, his brother. But Cas made his choice. And he's sticking with it. I really wanted to yell at Cas and tell him to get with the program. Dean and Sam maybe human but they shouldn't be underestimated. But Cas is so far into this thing with Crowley, he can't turn back now. He's committed.
-The last scene when Cas is talking to God reminds me of Dean's speech at his father's grave in "What Is and What Should Never Be." Misha was that good. And his plea for a sign packed an emotionally powerful punch. "The Man Who Would be King" was stellar on all levels; it's one of the best episodes of Season 6 and it's some of Misha's best work.
Favorite Lines (Courtesy writer Ben Edlund)
"Let me tell you my story. Let me tell you everything."
"See, the stench of that Impala is all over your overcoat, angel."
"Don't worry about them." "Don't worry about...what like Lucifer didn't worry? Or Michael? Or Lilith? Or Alistair. Or Azazel didn't worry? Am I the only game piece on the board who doesn't underestimate those denim-wrapped nightmares?"
"He's an angel." "He is the Balki Bartokomous of heaven. He can make a mistake."
"I had no choice. I did it to protect the boys."
"It was God, wasn't it?" "No. It was the Winchesters. They brought down the apocalypse."
"If there's a snowball of a snowball's chance here that means we're dealing with a Superman who's gone dark side, which means we've got to be cautious; we've gotta be smart; and maybe stock up on some kryptonite." "This makes you Lois Lane."
"I'm talking about Raphael's head on a pike. I'm talking about happy endings for all of us with all possible entendres intended."
"You've got what they call sex appeal."
"Next to Sam, you and Bobby are the closest things I have to family. You are like a brother to me. So I'm asking you not to do something. You've gotta trust me, man."
We finally hear and see the story of Season 6 from Castiel's perspective -- how he came to work with Crowley; started a civil war; and how Sam got out of hell. Even though he's talking to God, Cas is pretty much pleading his case to the Supernatural viewers. It's a tough spot the angel of the Lord is in; and by the end of the hour I'm not sure he fully explained why it was OK to resort to working with a demon who basically made life hell for the Winchesters for much of the season....