Supernatural: The Man Who Knew Too Much

Bartender: "Honestly, I'm dying to know how it all turns out."

I've been confused all season about where they were going with Castiel. But I bet if I rewatched the season now, it would make sense. His search for God, his disappointment, mortgaging the moral high ground by dealing with Crowley. And it all came down to this.

I was concerned that they were about to write Misha Collins out. Instead, he just got promoted to major nemesis. It's not easy to take a sympathetic character that nearly everyone loves and turn him into a monster, but they absolutely pulled it off. Castiel is now the most powerful, frightening villain the Winchesters could ever face. And it's so much worse because they once loved him. I swear, it was almost worse than watching him die. (Except we're gonna get more Misha Collins, and an evil Misha is better than no Misha.)

Honestly, I think you can say a cliffhanger is successful if you keep talking about it afterward. How can they possibly resolve this situation? Will God stop Castiel? Can God stop Castiel? If downing millions of souls creates a god, is that how the God in the Supernaturalverse was created? Are those souls suffering, like Jimmy does? And what does Jimmy think of all this? Dean, Sam and Bobby were all looking totally freaked. Can they bring themselves to bow down and worship their former friend? I'm sure they'll think of something, since I can't see them getting smited the first minute of season seven.

Castiel brought down The Wall of Sam, and Sam not only survived; he chose to take Soulless Sam and Sam from the Box into himself, and he got up and followed Dean and Bobby. He did his best to help instead of dissolving into a self-pitying bundle of emotional goo. The scenes in Sam's head and the three way split were done so well. I got the impression that Blank Sam could have chosen to be Soulless Sam again, but his memory of Soulless Sam's victims, personified by that beautiful dead bartender, just wouldn't let him do it.

This episode was gorgeous in a bleak sort of way. The dark streets, with the song "Playing with Fire" in the background. The burning candles all over Bobby's house standing in for the fires of Hell when Blank Sam finally met Sam from the Box. Castiel glowing with power. And Mark Sheppard probably did the most powerful recitation of Latin that I've ever seen on this show. I also liked all the bits from the past they added to Sam's dreamscape, like John's Wall of Weird from season one and the storage locker full of the Winchester past ("Castle Storage"). And the Nite Owl Hotel was in "Live Free or Twi-Hard" where Soulless Sam let Dean become a vampire, reminding us that Dean was a victim of Soulless Sam, just like the bartender.

The final Castiel/Balthazar scene was terrific, too. They didn't say what they were really thinking, but it was so clearly written on their faces. I'm sad that we lost Balthazar; I was just starting to really like him. At least Mark Sheppard is still with us. Smart move, producers, because I hope we see him in season seven.

All in all, I thought this was a stronger finale than last season's. "Let It Bleed" resolved Dean's family issues. "The Man Who Knew Too Much" resolved Sam's "Wall", and Castiel just arc'd his way into the category of major threat. Instead of a big action-packed shoot-em-up, this finale was totally about our characters. As it should be.

Bits and pieces:

— I still get chills when they do "Carry On, Wayward Son."

— I assume Sam was "the man who knew too much." I'm sure we'll still be dealing with his unbearable memories next season.

— The bartender (beautifully played by Erica Cerra from Eureka) was definitely Sam's type. I kept thinking she had to be more than she appeared to be, an angel or a demon, even as I kept empathizing with her.

— Castiel finally got to explode Raphael. I actually cheered for him, even under the circumstances.

— Loved the shot of Bobby, Dean and Sam walking together down that alley.


— The Impala got crunched again. Did they have to crunch the Impala again? It's like hurting a living character. In his dreamscape, Sam was driving the Impala. It felt like an emotional stand-in for Dean.

— Blank Sam described Dean as a "male model type." It made up a bit for all of the girly-long-hair and Sasquatch jokes.

— Virgin blood, the blood of a Purgatory native, and the moon in eclipse? Then how did Lovecraft do it? And really, what was Eleanor? What are natives of Purgatory if they're not demons or angels? Is there a Biblical name for them?

— According to several sources, Misha Collins will not be in the cast next season. But of course, he has to come back. Hey, we barely saw him this season.

— This week: Bobby's place; Bootback, Kansas; Sam's brain.

— This episode was written by series creator Eric Kripke. I could tell. Gee, I think they knew they were getting another season. I have confidence that the Supernatural powers that be wouldn't have left us with such a massive cliffhanger if they thought there was a possibility of cancellation.

Quotes:

Crowley: "You seem even more constipated than usual. Maybe get you some colon blow?"

Castiel: "You think I'm handing all that power to the King of Hell? I'm neither stupid nor wicked."
Crowley: "Unbelievable. Have you forgotten that you're the bottom in this relationship?"
There are always sexual double entendres in Supernatural, but they've been thick on the ground during the last few. Balthazar was nearly as bad as Crowley.

Castiel: "You can't imagine what it's like. They're all inside me. Millions upon millions of souls."
Crowley: "Sounds sexy. Exit, stage Crowley."

Castiel: "I'm your new God. A better one."

They went out with a bang again, and I'm so glad I have a seventh season to look forward to. Four out of four Purgatory power shakes,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

First off, wonderful review Billie as always.

Second, I'm going to say right one that I am completely a Cas girl. As soon as I figured out what Cas had done, I just started chanting "No, no, no, no, no." How can Cas be God? And what are the writers going to do to get the Winchesters and Bobby out? I just can't see them bowing down to Castiel. But hopefully they won't get smited the first minute of the episode.

And I agree with you on this all making sense. I rewatched the last four or so episodes again, and you could see where it was going to go. : (

Sam's mind was done beautifully, even if I knew there was something more to the girl the second we met her. Did we even get a name? I don't think so. I just have one complaint about it, and it's that we didn't see Sam reacting to remembering all that much, but I trust we'll deal with that next season.

Again, a wonderful review, but I think I would rather pretend that our adorable trench coat angel isn't the Big Bad for next season, and forget tha last five minutes of that episode ever happened.

percysowner said...

The reports aren't that Misha isn't going to be on next season, just that he won't be a regular, which makes sense. A regular has a guaranteed number of episodes they are paid for even if they don't appear in them. My guess is that Misha is going to be a guest star like Bobby is, coming in when they need him. This year Bobby and Misha were in the same number of episodes (12) and Jim isn't a regular. They will probably lock Misha into a deal for a couple of episode, probably the finale if nothing else to wrap up his story. They can show a lot of the fallout from Castiel declaring himself god, without showing him if they have to. I'm pretty sure we will see Castiel again.

Anonymous said...

I was fully on board with Castiel's development until his "I'm God" speech to close things out. I think that went too far for a character whose justification was the greater good. To make him into a mustache twirling villain just felt awkward and out of character. My only hope is that the purgatory souls are somehow infecting/corrupting him, or the power overall is, and this isn't the Cass we know.

zob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Morgan India said...

I feel like I am a part of a minority here when I say that I really liked this 2-parter finale. Balthazar had quickly become my season 6 favourite and I hope that they find a way to bring him back for even a tiny bit of season 7. Even if it's just a small cameo between Castiel and Balthie. Sebastian Roche is gorgeous and I need to see more of him.

Even if you don't like what they've done with Cas this year, it's going to be interesting when it all plays out. But maybe now that Cas is Evil!God!Cas, maybe we'll see some of the other angels again?

Misha's already tweeting as God!Cas.

Jess Lynde said...

I liked this finale, because it kept me guessing. I was never quite sure if Cas was actually going to pull off his play against Crowley and Raphael. I thought maybe he broke the deal with Crowley as part of a trick, so that Raphael would try to use the souls and go nuclear. But instead he switched the blood mixture. Also, I kept thinking reconstituted Sam would figure into the resolution somehow, so I just wasn't sure how it would all come together.

So far, Whole Sam doesn't seem to have figured into things at all. Which makes me wonder if Cas knows that Whole Sam, with his memories of hell intact, will be the key to Cas's "undoing" so to speak. It's entirely possile he only took down the wall to distract Dean and Bobby while he opened the door to Purgatory. OR, maybe Cas knew that he'd become an all-powerful and crazed God-like figure if he took in those souls, but he still needed to do it to win the war. But as a failsafe, he took down the Sam's wall. And the boys just need to figure out how to use Sam's painful memories to save Cas and save the world.

Billie assumed that Sam was "The Man Who Knew Too Much," but I think you could also apply it to super-ensouled "I'm your new God" Castiel. Of course, Cas was "The Man Who Would Be King," so maybe it supposed to just refer to Sam.

Felipe said...

This felt like the first half of a two parter. I think it's pretty obvious the writers are stretching this season's story line to next season.

Cas's change to the dark side made no sense, he gains some power and now he wants people to worship him or die, although purgatory is supposed to house the souls of Eve's monsters. Sam's struggle was enjoyable to watch but it really needed it's own episode. It was nice to see Erica Cerra, I really love her in Eureka.

This was a disappointing episode but only because it was the season finale, I expect much more from a season ender.

Cecile said...

Billie, I have been following your reviews all this season, so I just want to post a quick “thank you” in this season finale post. This season has been quite difficult to watch, because for some of us, changes are difficult to accept, and the series definitely has changed. But I understand that things couldn’t return to the way they were just because Kripke´s arc ended last year, so I just stayed and tried to enjoy this seasons and the new arc. I must say that with its goods and bads, I definitely have enjoyed this season: good and bad is always a blur in the supernatural world and people are strong, flawed, inconsistent, resilient, caring and basically human, so you just have to wait and see how things are going to get and how people would react (something akin to the real world).
Thaks again Billie for making my experience watching a tv show so much enjoyable!

Morgan India said...

I'm still not over Balthazar's death.

Anonymous said...

I liked this finale a lot and I totally buy this new facet of Cas. Power does corrupt!
He started the show as an angle following orders and now he discovered free will and power on his own. That has to mess you up.
The other part of the ep was really well-done and Jared did a fantastic job.

Patryk said...

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. ;) Castiel going evil and godlike will make for an interesting season seven.

Why did Kripke come back to write the finale? It's sending a poor signal to Sera Gamble. Like she's unable to write a finale herself. Strange decision.

ChrisB said...

After watching five season finales, as soon Kansas kicked off, I was ready for the ride. The season finales are always magnificent and leave me wanting more. Until now.

I thought the scenes in Sam's head were fantastic! JP did a great job, especially as the burned out (literally) soul who remembers hell. And what a treat to see "Sam" again. Once we figured out what the problem was, I was intrigued and actually liked watching him.

Yes, it all makes sense now. Castiel was trying to get the souls to make him powerful enough to beat Raphael to avert another apocolypse. But surely, some part of him must have known what the consequences were going to be -- and must have relished it.

I don't know why the writers had to turn one of their greatest characters into the Big Bad. Yes, it's been done before, but somehow I don't see Castiel being brought back with a memory of a yellow crayon.

And what about poor Jimmy? Is this vessel even strong enough to hold a god? I hope so, because I would be very sorry to see MC leave the show. He adds a great deal to it.

For the first time, I was not chomping at the bit to find out what happens next. Which is actually not a bad thing. I can't find season seven on the telly in my neck of the woods (UK), and neither iTunes nor Netflix is carrying it. I'll have to wait for the BluRay release next autumn.

But, I have loved this ride and am convinced it kept me from going crazy this past week and a bit. Billie -- you and your readers have added so much to my enjoyment of this show.

I will continue lurking here for TVD and Glee reviews, and I am now tempted by Firefly (I'm a huge Nathan Fillion fan) and BSG, so who knows. In the meantime, see you all in a few months.

Josie Kafka said...

Yes, ChrisB, watch Firefly! You might have time to finish it before you get better.

sunbunny said...

Almost all of Sam's girls are tall, tan, and brunette. I'm short, pale, and blonde. Sad face.