I'm still trying to digest this one a little. We finally got some background info on Cas' whole deal. And wow, talk about background info. With flashbacks and everything.
So let's start from the beginning. Cas is sitting in a field, talking about how he's been around a long time - talking about all the different things he remembers. Which include the Tower of Babel, Cain and Abel, David and Goliath, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc. But the most memorable event was that the apocalypse was averted by the Winchesters and we see flashbacks to Swan Song. Cas says it was averted by "two boys and an old drunk." Heh. They thwarted destiny, leaving nothing but freedom and choice. But he asks "What if I made the wrong choice?" He's going to tell his whole story.
He appears to Dean in the car, asking if he's okay. Dean asks if there's any word on Satan Jr. (Crowley I presume) Cas of course keeps up the charade and says he can't believe Crowley tricked him. Dean wants Crowley's head ripped off and shoved up his ass.
Dean asks Cas if he'll call if he's in trouble but Cas just disappears.
Now we see Cas with Crowley, who it appears is experimenting with corpses? And "Me and Mrs. Jones" is playing in the background. How did I not see that coming? LOL, I guess Crowley has a thing for 70s R&B/soul music? Anyway Crowley's pissed that Eve is alive. Cas says it was unavoidable and Crowley tells him that he screwed up. Now we hear more about their deal. Cas says he held up his end and spoke to Dean to see what he knows. Hee, Crowley refers to Sam and Dean as Cas' "little pets" and that his interests are conflicted.
Then we flash back again to Swan Song where Lucifer killed Cas, but he was put back (by God it would seem?). They'd won but it was at a terrible cost and he knew what he had to do next.
HOLY CRAP. So it was CAS who brought Sam back?? Okay, this was one of the theories I had floated around, and then when some people suggested it was Crowley I thought that was more likely. But I can see how this happened - Cas brought him back as part of the deal with Crowley. And Cas said it was arrogance because he hadn't brought back all of Sam - meaning his soul. But I love how we see Sam looking in on Dean like we saw at the end of Swan Song.
Back to Cas and Crowley. Crowley wants him to kill the boys. Cas won't do it so Crowley says he'll do it himself, but Cas says that if he does it, he'll just bring them back again. He tells Crowley not to worry about them but Crowley starts ranting "Did Lucifer worry about them? Did Michael? Did Azazel? etc..." No one should underestimate them. Damn straight!!
Cas tells him to find Purgatory because if he doesn't, they'll both die again and again (hmm, interesting....). Cas tells him the boys won't get to him. Crowley rants as he leaves. Heh, angry yelling Crowley makes me laugh sometimes - I know it's ridiculous but something about it just makes me laugh. :)
At Bobby's place, Bobby and Sam are interrogating a guy named Red (demon I assume?) to get info on Crowley. Guy won't talk so Bobby stabs him with the demon killing knife. Dean comes back and tells them that he saw Cas but didn't tell him anything. Dean really doesn't want to think that Cas betrayed them - he insists that he's their friend, the "Balki Bartokamous of Heaven." LOL! He can't believe Cas would lie, although both Bobby and Sam just don't know - they would hate to think it but they don't know. And Sam is totally full-on Puppy when he says "He's our friend too" and that he's praying they're wrong. Aww. Bobby says they have to be careful if Cas has gone bad.
Cas is taking all this in and telling us the worst part was Dean trying to be loyal with every instinct telling him otherwise. Yeah, I'd say that sums it up well.
Finally that "Red" guy tells them about a demon named Ellsworth, who happens to be the demon counterpart to Bobby. Wow, he really does down to the beard and hat, lol. And were the two young demon guys who brought the body in supposed to look like Sam and Dean? I noticed one of them was wearing a hoodie and jacket similar to Sam's. :D
But Cas takes them all out since they would lead them to Crowley! He did it to protect the boys - or himself. Wow, he's getting so caught up in this that he doesn't even know exactly what he's doing.
Cas returned to Heaven after saving Sam. He says there isn't just one, but each soul generates its own. Rachel is surprised he's alive after what Lucifer did and asks him if it was God. But Cas just tells her it was the Winchesters. She still mentions God and he tells her no one leads them anymore - they're free to make their own choices and that God wants them to have freedom. They all seem pretty set in their ways, though.
Raphael!! Awesome to see him again in his original form. :) I thought the Ken Lay thing was a little stupid, though. That was in the news almost 10 years ago, not really topical anymore so I wouldn't expect everyone to get it. In fact I was totally spacing on the guy when Raphael mentioned his name before it hit me. So yeah I thought it was kind of dumb. You are free to disagree with me, just please don't flame me for it. Thanks.
Anyway seems that Raphael wants Cas to pledge allegiance to him to atone for rebelling. He says the apocalypse is God's will, and it's what he (Raphael) wants. Cas stands up to him and ends up with an ass-kicking.
Back to the present and our boys are wondering why that hideout of Ellsworth's is so clean. Dean wants to call Cas, Sam and Bobby are reluctant. Dean insists "This is Cas, guys." He insists that they give him the benefit of the doubt. Sam tries to call him but he doesn't show up. And he doesn't when Dean tries either. And Cas admits he was afraid to go to them.
OMG! Demons sent by Crowley attack our boys!! It leaves Cas with another choice. He could smite the demons. Crowley wouldn't like it but they are his friends. He does smite them and says that for a brief moment, "I was me again." Aw...
He tells them he believes Crowley is alive. Bobby says they owe him an apology, the way they were looking for Crowley and thought Cas had burned the wrong bones. Cas of course pretends to scoff and say that he's still Castiel. Dean says they never should have doubted him and Cas says they trust him again.
Crowley disapproves again and says he can't have friends anymore. And that they still buy the big lie - "The Good Cas." Cas threatens to end their arrangement, says he's an angel and he will bury him. Crowley calls after him "This isn't how synergy works!" Heh.
So it comes out that Raphael is stronger than Cas. Looks like it would take a lot to defeat him. We see him visiting Dean who is raking leaves. He wanted Dean to help but he didn't ask him.
Ah, now we're getting down to it. Crowley wants to make a deal with Cas (who says "I'm an angel, you ass."). The deal involves Raphael's head on a platter. Cas says he was a fool for going with Crowley. Crowley takes him to Hell, which consists of a bunch of people standing in line forever while annoying elevator music plays in the background. He says angels need leaders and basically proposes Cas start a civil war in heaven. But they'd need power for the war, which is where Purgatory comes into play. They'd need to find it. Cas mentions Dean is retired and needs to stay this way, but Crowley says they could get the monsters to help them find the location. He'd give Cas 50,000 souls.
So it all comes out now.
Back to our boys and Bobby, who seem to have something up their sleeves. Dean calls Cas who appears this time. Sam says they found a way to find Crowley. Bobby tells him "It's you" as they trap him with the oil! Cas plays innocent as they question him, and you can tell how his actions are bothering Dean. He wants Cas to look him in the eye and tell him he's not working with Crowley. Cas says he did it to protect them. He insists he can stop Raphael and that he is still their friend.
Now it's Sam's turn to get the whole "I raised you from perdition" speech! Hee ... okay, not exactly the whole thing, but...
Sam says he did a piss-poor job, bringing him back soulless, but then asks Cas if he brought him back that way on purpose. Oh, he so totally did.
Dean backing up Sam is love :D Cas tells Sam he had no choice and Dean counters that he did. Love it. He asks Cas why he would keep it secret unless it was wrong. He says they don't make another deal with the devil. Cas asks Dean "Where were you when I needed to hear that", and Dean says "I was there, where were you?"
Cas says it's too late now. It looks like there are demons gathering outside so he tells the boys and Bobby to run. After they leave Crowley shows up. Cas threatens him again if he hurts the boys. Crowley seems pissed at the whole notion of friends holding them back. He mentions "the new God and new Devil working together." Ooh, PissedOff!Cas basically tells him to shut up and go away.
Crowley: "I know what I am. What are you, Castiel? And what exactly are you willing to do?" Interesting question that I'm sure we will learn more about soon...
Back at Bobby's place, everyone is sleeping and Cas appears to Dean - apparently they did the angel-proofing wrong. Cas tells Dean he's doing this for him because Dean taught him freedom. Dean doesn't want to hear it and tells him that he doesn't get to do whatever he wants to do. Don't 'just 'cause'.
He says that next to Sam, he and Bobby are the closest things he has, that he's like a brother to him (did I hear that right?). He asks Cas to trust him.
Cas: Or what?
Dean: Or I'll have to do what I have to do to stop you.
Cas says he can't because he's an angel. Dean counters that he's dealt with some pretty big fish.
So in the end we see that Cas has been talking to God this whole time. He asks God one last time if he's on the right path and doing the right thing. He wants a sign, otherwise he'll do whatever he must.
So....... Those last words from Dean to Cas were pretty chilling and I wonder if they're foreshadowing something that could happen in the finale? I'm just speculating of course, not going by any spoilers or anything. I wonder if we'll hear anymore about why Cas brought Sam back soulless, too. I'm assuming that his soul would either be part of the arsenal of the 50,000 against Raphael? Or is Sam's soul really special in some other way that it could contribute even more power? I'm probably overreaching, but it's very curious.
Like I said before, Cas bringing Sam back was one of my theories, and looking back over this season it makes sense - especially in the way he was so adamant about not having Sam's soul put back.
So to sum up it was good to finally find out what was the deal with Cas and the extent of his partnership with Crowley. I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes down - although looking at the promo for the finale I can't help being nervous. Like most of the season finales I think it's going to break me, lol.... But we'll have next season to look forward to. Just have to get through that annoying hellatus.
One final thought: The boys looked gorgeous tonight. I want to touch Sam's hair so badly :D