I was as excited as anyone about the return of Misha Collins on tonight’s Supernatural, and after getting a sneak peek earlier this week (you’re welcome!), my expectations rose to almost impossible levels. The result was anything but disappointing.
His return in tonight’s “Born-Again Identity” was twisty — as promised. But ultimately resulted in a game-changing, self-less act that both saved Sam and — in my eyes, at least — redeemed Castiel. But let me back up.
Sam’s scrambled egg of a brain was still giving him problems and eventually landed him in a psych ward with Lucifer as a roomie. Dean, troubled by the sight of his dying brother (and, yes, not sleeping for five days is life threatening), went on a search for help, scouring Bobby’s contacts for someone who could help. (Very nice call-backs to “Faith” in this ep.) Finally, he got wind of a legit healer named Emmanuel, who, it turned out, was not just an ordinary man.
Castiel apparently had risen from up the water (butt naked!) and came upon a woman named Daphne, who would eventually become his wife! But he had no memory and no name, so bouncybabynames.com stuck him with Emmanuel.
Dean refused to educate Cas about his past wrongdoings and instead opted to simply draft him to help Sam. Even when Meg showed up (MEG!) and encouraged him to share the truth with Cas (erm, Emanuel?), he refused to strip his former friend of his new-found peace of mind.
When they finally made it to the hospital, Castiel, whose memory was restored after a little smiting action, was distraught to learn that he couldn’t fix Sam (who was being electro-shocked!) nor could he rebuild the wall in his head that was protecting him from the memories of hell. But he had a back-up plan. If he couldn’t heal Sam, he would “transfer” Sam’s troubles into his own mind. Thus, he sacrificed himself for Sam’s sanity. (Aside: Am I the only one not clear on what exactly happened? Did Cas transfer Sam’s mind-crushing hell memories into his own head? Or did he trade his brand-spanking new soul for Sam’s broken one? Does born-again Cas even have a soul to trade? Feel free to clear me up here.)
In the closing moments of the episode, we saw Cas now occupying Sam’s spot in the mental hospital, Sam (lookin all sexy and grizzly-faced) exiting the hospital with Dean, and Meg joining the hospital staff. We’ll definitely be seeing more adventures of Cas and Meg, I predict.
As I said in my First Look post earlier this week, Castiel’s re-appearance on the show always meant more to me than the simple pleasure of seeing a familiar face. It was a matter of dynamic and the fact that in the course of his character’s time on the show, he inspired so much from the characters around him, especially Dean, who could always open up to Cast. (tonight was no exception.) Also, let’s face it, Cas specializes in saving Sam and Dean’s butts — and these days, they could use all the help they can get.
In all, his return functioned in every way I’d hoped. With Lucifer out of Sam’s head, it definitely opens us up to focusing on the Leviathan, while still having an emotional connection to the Lucifer storyline we’ve followed all season. And Cas proved he can still pull at my heart strings after taking a really dark turn. In fact, at one point, I wondered if I could ever forgive him. I think I have. Am I alone? Or do you forgive Castiel, too?
I invite your thoughts on Castiel’s return (and Meg’s) and your overall thoughts on the ep!