Supernatural Episode 6.20
"The Man Who Would Be King"
Written & Directed By: Ben Edlund
Original Airdate: 6 May 2011
In This Episode...
We finally get to hear Castiel's side of the story. He narrates like a confessional (it is later revealed that he is asking god for a sign of what he should do). Right after the Winchesters prevented the apocalypse, Castiel told the angels they were free (a foreign concept to them). Raphael decided he still wants the apocalypse to happen. Cas has one day to submit or die. Crowley comes to him with a business proposition: start a civil war in heaven against Raphael. Crowley will loan him 50,000 demons for his army, and in return Castiel will help him find purgatory so that Crowley can access the souls of millions. The best way to find purgatory? Hunt demons and try to torture the location out of them.
Castiel is tortured by having to double-cross the Winchesters. The boys were wary of him, until they are jumped by some of Crowley's minions, and Cas saves them. They apologize for doubting him, until he compares himself to Superman going to the dark side. There is no way Cas could come up with that reference on his own - he was spying on the guys and quoted them word-for-word. Dean knows. They set up a trap for Castiel, locking him in a ring of fire, and Cas admits his involvement with Crowley by his inability to deny it. The guys are all hurt by this, especially Dean.
Castiel begs his father to give him a sign: does he remain loyal to the Winchesters, or hold up his deal with Crowley? God gives him nothing.
Dig It or Bury It?
This episode was a little more convoluted than it needed to be. Castiel told his story with so many flashbacks and flashforwards that at some point, it actually did a disservice to the story. At various times through the episode, we were in the here-and-now, the beginning of time, the time leading up to the apocalypse, the time between seasons five and six, and last week. The backwards, forwards, and sideways of it all distracted from the emotional pull this episode had. Castiel is tortured by his decisions. Dean is just desperate to believe that Cas would not betray him like that. Additionally, there were a lot of flashbacks to episodes from the last couple seasons - so much so that it began to feel like a flashback episode. I was disappointed in the somber mood that is uncharacteristic of Ben Edlund.
Early in the episode, Cas pops in on Crowley in his laboratory, which looks like a Saw trap set up in Dr. Mengele's concentration camp laboratory. Crowley digs into the chest cavity of a dead demon, concerned as to why she keeps producing eggs. Then, just for fun, he tickles her exposed brain with an electric probe, and watches as a companion demon - tied to something that resembles a wicker iron maiden - writhes in pain.
Dean tells Castiel that he considers Bobby and him family - and we all know how loyal Dean is to family. Dean thinks of Cas as a brother, which makes his betrayal even more painful.
Supernatural is off next week so that Smallville can bow out. In two weeks, the two-hour finale promises to be "the countdown to the meltdown."