Supernatural S8 Ep17 – Goodbye Stranger

Castiel, Sam, Dean, and Meg
Dean happily showing off his vintage porn

This is the last moment you see Dean happy in this episode. Savor it.

After a couple disappointing Monster of the Week episodes followed by a hiatus, Supernatural came back strong to break our hearts with some of its best stuff this season. Dean and Castiel have had their rough patches, but this episode is basically one long ode to their love for each other. It also kind of makes you want to shove your head through the wall because somehow that would feel better than how the episode made you feel. But in a good way? Ever heard of the poem by Catullus that starts “I hate and I love (Odi et amo)”? How can one person feel two contradictory feelings about one subject, such as joy and pain? Well, Supernatural likes testing that. A lot.

So in this episode, Castiel came back, completely under the control of Naomi, looking for the angel tablet. But Crowley’s been looking for it too, torturing information about it out of his fellow demon and nemesis, Meg. Sam and Dean got caught up in it all because they noticed some strange deaths that turned out to have been Cas’s work – he had been killing demons, which meant he had also been killing their hosts. Sam and Dean teamed up with Cas to rescue Meg and find the tablet, but they knew that something was off about Cas, just like Dean knew there was something off about Sam, who started out his first scene of the episode coughing blood into a tissue that Dean found later in the trash.

Dean was being lied to on all fronts and he knew it. Sam was freaked out about what the trial was doing to him, but he didn’t want to worry his brother because he loves him, and Dean is worried for his brother because he loves him. And Cas felt terrible about lying to Sam and Dean, even though he was being made to do it by Naomi, because he loves them too. He also didn’t want to hurt Meg because he had a thing for her, just like she had a thing for him. Basically, everyone loves everyone in this episode – except for Crowley, who just loves himself. I have a lot of FEELINGS about this episode, so I’m going to try to organize my thoughts instead of vomiting words and emotions at you all.

Warehouse full of dead Deans

I feel bad for the janitor.

First, let’s start with Castiel. The opening scene showed him fighting and killing Dean. This ended up being a simulation up in heaven, supervised by Naomi, because she knew that if she was going to get Cas to kill Dean then she was going to have to drill it into his head (no pun intended). And she did, apparently, about a thousand times, judging by the number of dead Deans that were lying around in that fake warehouse. So Cas was prepared to kill the person that he rebelled against heaven for, and who showed him family when both of their own were breaking apart. Yeah, that’ll be easy. Cas fought it the whole episode, following Naomi’s orders but reluctantly every step of the way.

Castiel looking shifty

Angel tablet? THAT IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION.

Cas lied to Sam and Dean about looking for the angel tablet even though he thought telling the truth would be better – and then later Meg went and spilled the beans to Sam and Dean anyway. Cas had to act like the idea of an angel tablet was something he didn’t know about. And then we got to the end when Cas and Dean found the angel tablet. Naomi was screaming at Cas to kill Dean, just like she made him do a thousand times before, except now it was real.

Cas started beating Dean up, and Dean was pleading with him to see reason, because Dean knew that this couldn’t really be Cas, not his Cas. Dean didn’t fight back, not against his friend, his brother, and he told Cas that Cas was family, that Dean needed him. Dean needs Cas, let me just repeat that. And Cas broke free from Naomi’s control. (The power of love! Huey Lewis knew what he was talking about!). So Cas healed Dean and picked up the angel tablet, which made him glow like he was showing off his angel mojo. He told Dean that he needed to keep the tablet safe from Naomi…and from Dean. Why Dean? Does Cas think that Dean would try to use the tablet to close up heaven or something? I don’t know, but then Cas disappeared, and the last we saw of him he was riding a bus with the angel tablet in tow while Dean listened to “Goodbye Stranger” by Supertramp. Great, so there’s another song that this show has ruined for me thanks to FEELS.

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