- Ahem. Dean and Castiel. Episode 4x01, his first episode, he already seems to have a thing for leaning waaaay too close to Dean and staring into his eyes. There's a reason for that.
- Forget the staring, look at the way he's introduced! To quote Eric Kripke, "[Dean would] be attracted to someone who walked in the door, slaughtered everybody, and walked out, and then he would say, 'Who's that?'" Castiel doesn't kill anyone, but he does knock Bobby (the only other person there) out cold. Dean's reaction to seeing him walk in, sparks falling all around? "Who are you?"
- It's not only the first episode. In particular, the last 5 minutes of 4x02 were just ridiculously slashy.
- The solidifying moment of shippiness was at the end of "In the Beginning," episode 4x03, when Castiel appears beside Dean in the past to bring him back to the present, with a hand on the shoulder and a tender, sympathetic expression. Look at his faaaace!◊
- Episode 4x07 has a few moments between them, especially when Dean appeals directly to Castiel to let them try to save the town.
- And later when Castiel confides in Dean something that he literally cannot tell another soul, because if anyone else finds out, Castiel would be killed for it. And he tells Dean this to correct Dean's fairly offhand accusation earlier in the episode. There's no real reason he should care so much what Dean thinks of him, so...
- It's established pretty early on that Dean trusts Castiel, despite thinking angels are "dicks with wings."
- Episode 4x10: Uriel delivers a threat to Dean. The explanation given for Castiel not being present?
Uriel: Castiel? He has this weakness. He likes you.
- Dean's face there! He kinda straightens up, like he's thinking You—you mean it? You really think so?
- In that same episode, the plan is to set the angels and demons on each other and get out of the crossfire. Yet Dean, who makes it no secret that he has little love for the angels, saves Castiel from Alastair.
- And by this point, Cas has apparently visited Dean's dreams often enough that Dean can immediately tell that Uriel is in Dean's dream. Later in the episode, we actually see Cas in Dean's dream for the first time, and they seem totally at ease there, like they've done it so many times it's normal for them.
- Episode 4x16: Castiel has been demoted because he's gotten too close to Dean and his superiors feel it will "impair his judgement".
- They're right. Castiel goes on to investigate something he has been ordered not to, because Dean was hurt.
- Episode 4x18, Cas bends the rules almost to the point of breaking them entirely to help Dean, and by the 20th episode he's all set to disobey completely and tell Dean what the angels are really up to.
- By this point at the latest, Dean has figured out that he can manipulate Castiel simply by threatening to end their friendship.
- Every single episode in which Castiel appears seems to be a teaser for Castiel/Dean. Cas watches Dean in his sleep, he visits him in his dreams...
- Episode 4x20 is a good one.
- Cas apparently visits Dean's dreams often enough Dean can tell within seconds it's a dream, and seems totally calm about it.
- When Cas asks Dean to meet him somewhere without telling him anything other than where to go, Dean does, though is confused and surprised when Cas doesn't give any more information.
- Dean seems worried when they see the area trashed, and sounds pretty stressed when he calls for Cas.
- Dean acts completely differently around Jimmy. He starts out with the usual eyesex, but within a couple of minutes stops looking at Jimmy almost entirely, and says nearly nothing. This behavior continues throughout the entire episode, and Sam starts giving him very weird looks when he notices.
- Dean tries to send Jimmy away with no protection, and has no good reason for it. Because, of course, there isn't a good reason. Sending Jimmy away, back to his family, would just make him a target, and them, too. And of course, Sam's right, it does, and all three of them nearly die. Dean is an experienced hunter, this isn't exactly the first time he's dealt with demons, or with someone likely to be targeted by a monster. Sending an untrained, unarmed, unprotected man off alone, back to his family? Dean knows perfectly well that is a terrible idea.
- Dean is in a much better mood after Jimmy escapes, actually laughing about it, despite Jimmy now being in serious danger.
- Dean's good mood completely vanishes when Anna tells him that Cas was "dragged back home", saying it was "a very bad thing. Painfully, awfully bad", and "he must have seriously pissed someone off". Dean knows torture, he knows what Anna's saying.
- When Jimmy kisses Amelia, we get a Reaction Shot from Dean, and he looks really jealous. Nothing from Sam, of course, because why would Sam care?
- Dean's plan works almost perfectly—he was totally right about Cas coming back if his vessel was in enough danger—but when Jimmy is shot, Dean is horrified.
- Claire!Cas comes to help Dean first, and then continues to stand within about four inches of him as long as possible.
- Cas planned to tell Dean something Heaven didn't want him to know. Something they were so determined Dean must not learn that they tortured Cas to stop him.
- Episode 4x21, Dean and Castiel just stare at each other for nearly 20 seconds.
- More than just the stare, what's going on in that scene is amazing. For starters, despite being majorly stressed about Sam, his addiction to demon blood, not even knowing if Sam would survive the detox, or hell, trying to stop the apocalypse, the first thing Dean says to Cas is about Cas. "You can start with what the hell happened in Illinois?" He's not asking about Sam or the apocalypse, that's about Cas and Dean.
- Cas starts the scene behaving completely differently from his normal manner. Usually, he appears within a few inches of Dean, and now he appears a good twenty-some yards away. (Meaning, at the very least, that he can do that if he wants, and so chooses not to.) He has to walk toward Dean just to talk to him, and he's so reluctant it looks like he's in physical pain.
- Cas is a terrible liar, at least when it comes to Dean. When he says that what he was going to tell Dean in Illinois was "nothing of import", he can't look Dean in the face. Note that by this point, he's back to his usual spot a few inches away from Dean.
- Cas looks back at Dean after he finishes speaking, but when Dean references his torture in Heaven he looks away again, only looking back to say "I can't. I'm sorry."
- And after he says that, Cas walks away from Dean. We've seen it the other way around before, that's what Dean does when he's struggling, trying to deal with his emotions, when he's feeling vulnerable, when he's feeling scared, but Cas? That, we've never seen before.
- Once there's some space between them, Cas changes the subject to Sam, getting the topic of conversation away from himself, and then comes right back mere inches away from Dean.
- Even though Cas had just told him basically that if he did this thing, Sam would be okay, Dean kept questioning, and when he got that Cas was lying to him, or at the very least keeping relevant information from him, that was what upset him. Not that Sam might still be involved, even hurt, but that Cas had tried to lie to him.
- Cas was called back to Heaven with no warning and tortured, because he was getting "too close to the people in his charge. You." Specifically, he was going to tell Dean something Heaven didn't want him to know, something they were willing to torture to prevent. And even after that, after he was tortured for being too close to Dean, he still manages to give Dean information the angels did not want Dean to have.
- The zoom-out shot of them in that scene is reminiscent of the shots employed for especially romantic kissing scenes in many movies. You know the ones, beneath a starry sky, wrapped up in each other and oblivious to the rest of the world, surrounded by the scrap parts and old tires of Singer Salvage Yard...
- Episode 4x22, Cas pins Dean to a wall and covers his mouth, leaning in REALLY close...
- Aaaaand don't forget, this is the episode where Castiel chooses Dean over all of Heaven. And he does this by slamming him into a wall, getting up real close, putting his hand over Dean's mouth and pulling out a knife. Fanservice at its best.
- Dean trusts Castiel, despite the knifeplay, enough to go along with everything without question or complaint.
- Also, Castiel does all this because Dean becomes disgusted with him and tells him, "We're through." Castiel reacts with visible distress.
- And there's Castiel's repeated assertions (5.02 and 5.18 in particular) that everything he has done, he did for Dean.
Castiel: I killed two angels this week. My brothers. I'm hunted. I rebelled. And I did it, all of it, for you.
- It's definitely worth noting that nobody gets under Castiel's skin like Dean does. Not even the biggest bad guys in all Creation can get Cas that riled up.
- Don't forget that 5x18 is the only time Castiel has ever physically attacked Dean. And why does he loose control this way? Because Dean is willing to give himself up and say yes to Michael.
- Surely, someone must have noticed 5.02, when Castiel borrows Dean's pendant, that the object in question could be "virginity", and the lines would still be the same.
- Let's also note that beyond that, we're talking about Dean's amulet. The one that Sam gave him when Dean was thirteen, and that Dean has worn ever since. The one that his soul apparently wore◊note . That Dean "felt naked" without. And he just hands it over to Cas after not a full minute of thought with an "okay, I guess" and nothing more than "don't...lose it" as a warning.
- Episode 5x03, "Free To Be You and Me". Castiel appears out of nowhere about a foot away from Dean so that when Dean turns around, their faces are really close together. Later in the episode, Dean straightens Castiel's collar and tightens his tie.
- And when Dean takes Castiel to a brothel to get him laid, they both end up fleeing the place, with Dean admitting that he hasn't had that much fun in a while as he slings his arm around Castiel and the two share a smile.
- Dean promised Castiel wouldn't die a virgin. Many a fanfic has sprung up around him keeping that promise when the brothel plan fell through.
- Dean also, quite pointlessly, informs Castiel that Bert and Ernie are gay before taking him off to get laid. One has to wonder why.
- Earlier in the episode, when Cas first shows up and asks for Dean's help, Dean says, "So, what, I'm Thelma and you're Louise, and we're just gonna hold hands and sail off this cliff together?" Thelma and Louise, of course, kissed right before sailing off said cliff. The way he looks at Cas◊ as he says it...are they even trying to keep this to subtext?
- Not to mention the reason he takes Cas to a brothel is because he asked Cas what he wants to do (on his last night), and offers booze, women...the look Cas gives Dean could easily be (mis)taken for "you".
- The whole plot for Dean and Cas counts, actually. Cas probably isn't consciously manipulating Dean, but his explanation about needing Dean's help isn't exactly true. Everything they do in regards to the case, he could have done himself. Even his implication Dean could be used as a human shield didn't work, because when Raphael gets pissed and explodes a window, Cas instinctively shields Dean with his own body. It seems what Cas actually needed was moral support—understandably, not many people would want to spend what could be their last hours alone. Dean, in general, is so important to Cas that, in this instance, Cas mentally assigned him a more important role in this particular case than Dean actually occupied.
- Episode 5x04, "The End":
- Even in the post-apocalyptic future, Castiel remained on Earth with Dean and fought beside him for 5 years, and, despite becoming utterly disillusioned, he still follows Dean into a situation he knows to be potentially deadly.
- Future!Dean basically admits that he is using his friends as cannon-fodder, and yet:
Dean: Are you coming?
Castiel: Of course.
- One of the things that appalls Past!Dean most about Future!Dean is his willingness to sacrifice his friends, but Past!Dean seems especially horrified that he's sacrificing Castiel. "You mean you're going to feed your friends into a meat grinder? Cas too?" He seems to imply that he could possibly understand sacrificing the others, but deliberately letting Cas die is crossing the line.
- Cut from the production script:
Future!Castiel: But instead, we become this. The only thing I think we have left, Dean and me, is each other. [unadorned sincerity] If Dean says itís time to go out in a blaze of glory, win or lose, so be it. Iím in. But, then... [smiles at Past!Dean] Thatís just how I roll.
- There's a pretty good argument that Future!Dean and Future!Cas were, in fact, in a relationship and everyone at Camp Chitaqua knew.
- Episode 5x08, "Changing Channels", has an interesting little moment. The host calls Cas a "pretty boy angel", and we get a Reaction Shot from Dean. Not from Sam, just Dean. And the face he makes... if he'd said "'Pretty boy angel'? I never really thought... well, maybe a little..." out loud, it couldn't have been any clearer he was thinking it.
- And that's not all in this episode: So, Dean and Sam are in a sitcom-style show; Castiel manages to break in, and apparently tries to impart some important information. Before he can, the Trickster bursts in, throwing him against a wall and making duct tape appear over his mouth so he can't say anything. Dean looks, until this point, surprised/confused/annoyed, but not much more.
Trickster: [brightly] Hey, Castiel!
(The Trickster flicks a hand, and Castiel vanishes)
Sam: You know him?
Dean: Where did you just send him?
Trickster: Relax. Heíll live. (pause) Maybe.
Dean: (stepping forward, now clearly angry)
All right, you know what? Iím done with the monkey dance. ĎKay? We get it. /
- So he ignores Sam's fairly good question — how does a Trickster know Cas by name? — in favor of just getting mad.
- Dean called Castiel "Huggy Bear" over the phone in "Abandon All Hope..." (in reference to a character on Starsky & Hutch, because of Cas saying "it's going down").
- Episode 5x13 has a delicious little parallel. Dean is still dealing with the decision of whether or not to let Michael use him as a vessel. Sam points out that their father had eventually said yes. Dean responds:
Dean: That was different. Anna was about to kill Mom.
- In other words, John said yes because the love of his life was in danger. Cas, meanwhile, is continually getting weaker, and is being targeted by both the angels and the demons. And what does Dean do a few episodes later? Try to say yes to Michael, even though Dean and Sam themselves are still okay. The only one currently really threatened is Cas. Meaning...
- And, of course, there's this: When Cas almost collapses◊, Dean and Sam◊ help hold him up◊. However◊, they hold him very differently. Note how Sam has his hand on Cas's chest, but quickly removes it as Dean comes farther forward. While Sam has one hand hooked under Cas's arm and the other holding Cas by his elbow, Dean is holding Cas's arm so tightly it's pulling at the fabric, and the other is holding Cas's forearm. The way Sam is holding Cas actually provides more support than Dean, which would usually be Dean's primary concern. Then, when Cas starts to fall again, Sam tries to pull him up, using his own body weight as an anchor, while Dean collapses down with Cas to catch him before he hits the ground.
- It's also probably worth pointing out Anna dies in this episode. A small, unimportant fact, it might seem at first — and until the reveal that according to TPTB, Anna was originally supposed to be Dean's endgame. As in final/long-term love interest. The Anna who appears in six episodes and gets killed off in the last. And the reason for the change? Misha Collins was originally slated for a few episodes as Castiel, to pull Dean out of Hell, before getting killed off, with Anna the one who'd be sticking around. But instead, Dean and Castiel had such chemistry, and the fans liked Cas so much better than Anna, that they switched the roles, killing off the no-longer-long-term-love-interest Anna, and keeping the fan-beloved Castiel instead.
- 5x14, "My Bloody Valentine" - a shipper's dream come true.
- Episode 5X16 has a bit.
- First, there's the fact that, several episodes prior, Dean jokingly called Cas Huggy Bear. In this episode, one scene features Dean wearing a T-shirt that reads, "I wuv hugs"... and features a picture of a bear! More of a Ship Tease than anything Dean consciously or unconsciously meant to communicate, though, because it was of course based on a shirt Dean owned decades prior to ever meeting Cas. However:
- In more of a Tear Jerker move near the end, after Dean has spent the episode facing abandonment issues from his parents, Sammy, and God Himself, Cas gives back the amulet he borrowed near the beginning of the season. Of course, it was never a gift and the understanding was always that Castiel would return it when he was done. However, given the timing and how down both were feeling, the scene plays out more like a girlfriend returning a ring or a necklace after a painful breakup. No wonder Dean throws it in the trash after Cas is gone.
- Episode 5x18, "Point of No Return", has a lot of fun with this:
- Dean responds to one of Castiel's way-too-intent stares: "Last person who looked at me like that, I got laid," followed by a wink when Castiel starts to leave.
- The fight (or rather beat-up) scene. While it was surely brutal and nothing to be encouraged, not many fangirls missed how CLOSE their faces were. And just the fact that Cas took it that personally that Dean in particular was giving up... it was all very emotional.
- It seems very likely that the quite stunning overload of Ho Yay in this particular episode was all quite deliberate Fanservice, since this was a milestone episode (the show's 100th) and what better way to thank your fans than trampling all over that fine line between subtext and text?
- In episode 6.03, "The Third Man", Castiel states (like it's the most obvious thing in the world) that he and Dean "share a more profound bond" than Cas and Sam. The way he says it and then looks back at Dean makes it look like it's something he'd told Dean before, but "wasn't going to mention it" (his words) to Sam.
- Amusingly, whenever another character points out the "profound bond" that Dean and Castiel seem to have, the normally snarky Dean goes completely silent and cannot even seem to muster a denial.
- In episode 6x05, "Live Free or Twi-Hard", Dean and Sam go to a bar during their investigation. While there, we see a taller fair-haired man kissing a shorter man with dark hair. ::cough::parallel::cough::
- Worth noting, too, that soulless!Sam shows no reaction, but Dean apparently finds it so unpleasant to look at that he turns away, glancing over to see Sam's reaction, and then keeps his eyes deliberately averted for several minutes more.
- In episode 6x10, "Caged Heat", Castiel and Meg unexpectedly start making out. The Winchesters could've turned around or pretended not to see, but the fact that they ogled the whole thing with those particular expressions on their faces made it hard not to think other things. Dean's shuffling and awkward little dance — like he doesn't know what to do◊ with his hands — made the entire scene all the more Ho Yay-tastic.
- Most of season 6 has Dean being a big baby about Castiel not being around enough for him. He openly laments Cas not being human-like anymore. He just seems so entitled and used to having Cas by his side, and he's being a big jerk about it. In episode 6x17, "My Heart Will Go On", when Castiel finally opens up enough to say things aren't going so good for him, Dean finally starts cutting him some slack.
- It's not just that Cas admits things aren't going well for him, it's that he admits he'd rather be with Dean and Sam.
- Not to mention, later in the same episode Castiel has Balthazar sink the Titanic again to save Dean and Sam from Fate. It's more significant in context.
- That episode gets better: Balthazar tells the boys, or more specifically Dean, who he's clearly looking at for the last part, "I'm sorry, you have me confused with the other angel. You know, the one in the dirty trenchcoat who's in love with you?"
- Episode 6x19, "Mommy Dearest."
Dean: Why's it always gotta be me that makes the call, huh? It's not like Cas lives in my ass, dude's busy!
Bobby: *Gives a disbelieving look*
Castiel: *Shows up behind Dean*
Dean: Cas, get outta my ass!
Castiel: I was never in... your... *Cue awkward looks*
- When Sam and Dean are about to leave the police station to escort two children home, Cas emotionally (or at least, emotionally by Cas standards) pleads with Dean to stay and help him. Not Sam, just Dean. The intense eye contact and close proximity did nothing to lessen the sexual tension.
- The poignant music playing in the background as Cas watched Dean leave with a hurt expression certainly didn't help either.
- Episode 6x20, "The Man Who Would Be King", is one giant testament to Dean and Cas's relationship, depressing ending included.
- Dean seems really reluctant to suspect Castiel's working with Crowley, and seems visibly distressed by it. When Castiel is spying on them, he gives Dean a long, mournful look.
- OHMYGOD this episode is so Dean/Castastic it's not even funny. Dean not wanting to believe the truth about Castiel, Castiel's desire to have his friends [read: Dean] not think poorly of him, topped with the emotional confrontation at the end. Take away all the heaven/hell/angels/demons stuff and this is an episode about cheating. Castiel is a cheating husband who covers his tracks and eventually slips up, Crowley is the other woman and Dean is the wife who won't listen to her girlfriends when they tell him her man is cheating. Take a look at this exchange and replace 'working' with 'sleeping', seriously.
Dean: You got to look at me, man. You got to level with me and tell me what's going on. Look me in the eye, and tell me you're not working with Crowley.
[Castiel looks at Dean, but then looks away]
Dean: ...Son of a bitch.
Castiel: Let me explain.
Dean: You're in it with him? You and Crowley have been going after Purgatory together? You have, huh? This whole time!
- This is further underscored earlier in the episode when Cas goes to talk to Crowley. During this scene, the song Me and Mrs. Jones is playing in the background—a song about a destructive extramarital affair.
- Everybody and their mother knows Dean projects his issues on other people. We see it again and again, including repeatedly in season 7, particularly 7x03 and 7x05, but there's a brief moment here, too.
Bobby: (talking about Castiel) That means we're dealing with a Superman who's gone Dark Side.
Dean: (looking at Sam) That makes you Lois Lane.
- Note too his face during the line "Superman gone Dark Side"/"Superman going to the Dark Side", and even more look at his expression when he turns back to look at Castiel one final time before leaving the warehouse. He seriously looks like he's about to cry.
- Episode 6x21, "Let It Bleed". Despite it being an episode with Lisa and Ben, it screams of break-up for Dean and Castiel. In Dean's mind, all things having to do with Cas > Lisa and Ben.
- Castiel cares about humanity only in a very detached way. Him turning against heaven is motivated by a desire to keep Dean's friendship (as confirmed by Misha Collins - and the script). Teaming up with Crowley is motivated by not wanting to cause Dean further anguish.
- Episode 7x01, "Meet the New Boss".
- Right at the beginning, Cas says specifically the point of becoming God was to attain Dean's love.
Godstiel: Stop it. Whatís the point if you donít mean it? You fear me. Not love, not respect, just fear.
- The first thing he does as Godstiel is to smite a minister in the middle of a sermon about the evils of homosexuality.
- Dean clenches his jaw and turns off the tv immediately after a woman being interviewed calls Cas sexy.
- And then, that final scene is so slashy it's not even funny. First, right at the beginning of the ritual, Cas falls and Dean starts forward to help him immediately, is hesitant to let go, and is clearly ready to catch Cas if he starts to fall again.
- Then, just as the portal is opening, Cas turns to Dean and says "I'm sorry, Dean.". The mix of emotions on both of their faces says so much in just a few seconds. And then, when you learn a few minutes later Cas didn't expect to survive the ritual, you realize that though he had enough time to say goodbye, he chose not to, so that instead the last thing he said would be Dean's name.
- As soon as the ritual is over, Dean is there with Cas, trying to tell if he's alive. When Bobby says Cas is cold, he asks if there's a pulse. Then, he gets this hopeful look on his face and suggests "Maybe angels donít need to breathe". When Bobby convinces Dean that Cas is really gone, he looks completely crushed, and like he can't believe this is really happening. As he stands up, he says "dammit", and he sounds like he's had the wind knocked right out of him.
- And then, all that is completely reversed in a matter of seconds when Cas heals and opens his eyes. He looks like he's just been told the most wonderful thing he's ever heard. He helps Cas up, holding on to him rather longer than necessary, and when he does let go he just kinda trails his hand down Cas's arm slowly...
- Despite Cas having betrayed him completely - including hurting Sam - when he says he'll find some way to redeem himself to Dean, he says "one thing at a time," indicating that as actually possible. Only Sam's ever gotten that much from Dean.
- And then, after the Leviathan take over and say Cas is dead, Dean just collapses, looking utterly crushed, and so much more so than any time before, even when he thought Cas was dead just minutes ago.
- And this isn't nearly everything! There's so much meta out there about this episode.
- Also a bit of slashy Foe Yay there, considering Leviathan!Cas yanks Dean close, holds their faces about four inches apart, and stares at Dean's lips half the time they're talking.
- Might be more than just Foe Yay, too... In a later episode, a captured Leviathan tells Dean they knew everything Cas knew. Perhaps a bit of Cas's ...feelings... carried over for those initial few seconds?
- Episode 7x02 is just as amazing. In particular, when Castiel seemingly explodes underwater and his trench coat (over coat) washes ashore, Dean picks it up, folds it, and takes it with him.
- Not just folds it - folds it roughly the way the flags on veterans' coffins are folded for their widows/widowers.
- Bobby points out the thing Dean and Cas had, in a totally un-Bobby move. When Sam chose Ruby over Dean, Bobby's reply was "So sorry your feelings got hurt, princess." When Cas dies?
Bobby: You just lost one of the best friends you ever had, your brotherís in the bell jar, and purgatoryís most wanted are surfing the sewer lines, but you know, yeah, I get it. Youíre fine.
- Parallel time! Episode 7x03 has a major parallel: from Dean's point of view, Sam/Amy is pretty much the same as Dean/Cas; a relationship between a supernatural being and a Winchester boy who fell in love with them when he was too stupid not to. Dean thinks Cas betrayed him, and that he should have killed Cas when he had the chance, and he projects that guilt onto Sam and Amy. Killing Amy is basically Dean trying to do it right this time.
- Episode 7x04, we see Dean go for his first one-night-stand in a very long time, and he apparently has to convince himself to do it.
Dean: You are Dean Winchester. This is what you do.
Dean: Iíll do another.
Bartender: Love life or job? [*smiles at Deanís confused look*] Two quick doubles, itís something. Iím Mia, by the way.
Well, Mia. That is aÖ complex question.
- ...so why exactly is it complex? What "love life" are we talking about? Dean hasn't slept with anyone that we know of since Lisa, and before that, Anna. Why would either of those be affecting him like this now?
- Episode 7x05, "Shut Up, Doctor Phil". Though, as mentioned above, this could be a parallel to the Sam/Dean relationship, there's some notes of Dean/Cas in there, too.
Dean: Obviously you two are capable of wiping each other out, right? But you havenít, huh? Which means, that you two, you still valueÖ whatever it is youíve got. And you want to keep that dance going.
- Dean and Cas both had the chance to kill each other, multiple times, but didn't. And then, it gets better...
Dean: Maybe itís punishment. Maybe itís sick, messed-up, kinky, erotic, clamps-and-feathers kinda loveÖ
Sam: Okay, thatís going WAY too deep there, cowboy.
Dean: *pulls back, looking completely horrified*
- Since when has Dean been bothered by talking about sex? He and Sam have joked about it before, what difference is there this time? ...except maybe the fact that he's talking about himself and Cas there? Dean himself has used "feathery" to talk about/to Cas before, including in "The Third Man" - moments before Cas's line about their "profound bond"; remember that - and that previous bit set it up as Dean talking about the two of them disguised poorly as talking about the two witches. How does Sam take over from here?
Sam: What he's trying to say is that you two, whatever it is you have, you're bonded.
- "More profound bond", anyone? Clearly, considering how Sam cut Dean off, he got what Dean was really saying there, and was basically saying "stop projecting your shit on these two."
- 7X6, "Slash Fiction": When Sam turns on the radio, and Air Supply's "All out of Love" starts playing. He's about to change it, but Dean stops him, and in fact starts singing along. At first, it looks like it's just another example of something Dean enjoys ironically... except the scene drags on just a little too long for that and it isn't played for laughs. In fact, his expression is almost mournful as the incident unfolds. Opinions vary, however, as to whether he's "so lost" without his angel... or his Impala.
- Episode 7x07, Dean manages to say more about what's up with him than he has so far in the entire season except through projecting on others.
Dean: Ever since Cas, I'm having a hard time trusting anybody.
- In addition, we see Cas's trenchcoat in the car at the end, and that pony from last episode - the one with the wings - is next to it.
- Episode 7x08 takes that even farther, thanks to the Turducken.
Dean: Are you kidding? Iím fine! I ó I actually feel great. The best Iíve felt in a couple months. Cas? Black goo? I donít even care anymore. And you know whatís even better? I donít care that I donít care. I just want my damn slammer back.
- So, having been drugged by said slammer, Dean's able to say what's bothering him. It's not the problems he and Sam had been having, it's not losing/giving up Ben and Lisa for good, it's not the Leviathan keeping them on the run, it's not Sam's mental problems, it's not even Cas's betrayal, or time as God, it's about Cas's death.
- Episode 7x17 is an entire episode of incredible parallels.
- Even though his wife was just held captive by a demon, it's Dean who holds Emmanuel's attention, and not her, in their conversation.
- The entire conversation in the car is amazing, and cannot possibly be summed up here. One moment out of many, and one fairly easy to overlook on a casual viewing, is when Emmanuel!Cas asks Dean if the one who betrayed Dean was his friend. Dean doesn't answer verbally, but his face gives it away. He gets this expression on his face, and looks away from Cas, like he wants to say "Yes, he was, but he was more than that, too," but can't, because he still doesn't quite understand how he feels, and he doesn't know how to put it into words.
- When Cas regained his memory in that same episode, the three memory flashes shown were about Dean. , too, but with that one we didn't get to see what he remembered, only the expression on his face when he did. And look at his eyes: he's looking down and to his right, "a body language cue which generally indicates you are remembering a smell, a feeling, or a taste."
- Not to mention, Dean kept his coat in the back of their car, and there was the line from the promo, "part of me always believed you'd come back." How is this not canon?
- This deserves to be repeated. Despite Cas lying to them about a major issue and hurting Sam, which Dean will not tolerate from anyone, and despite the two having to change cars at least seven times over the past few months, Dean never stopped carrying the coat around. He always kept it with him. He never washed it, either, as if he wanted it to still smell like Cas.
- Episode 7x21, "Reading Is Fundamental" has this little gem:
Dean: The Angels, they donít care. I think maybe they just donít have the equipment to care. Seems like when they try, it just breaks them apart. *forlorn stare into nothingness*
- It should be noted that while he is talking to Kevin at this moment about the angels in general, that he is talking about Cas in particular is heavily implied by the nature of the other events in the episode. i.e. Deans attempted intervention/talking about feelings with Cas.
- Those demons and their lampshading. In the season 7 finale, episode 7x23, Meg says to Dean that Castiel "was [his] boyfriend first". Dean says nothing to deny it, as if he's given up on pretending they weren't.
- That entire episode was Destiel filled, from the apology to Purgatory. The only thing missing is the big kiss.
Sam: We should call Castiel.
Dean: Dude, on my car, he showed up naked, covered in bees.
Sam: Yeah, I am not really sorry I missed that.
- Episode 8x01:
- Dean escapes from Purgatory and meets up with Sam.
Sam: What about Cas? Was he there?
Before speaking, Dean turns away from Sam, something he does when he's trying to hide his emotions.
Sam: What exactly does that mean?
Dean: Something happened to him down there. Things got pretty hairy towards the end, and he... just let go.
Sam:So Cas is dead? You saw him die?
Sam:So, then what, you're not sure?
Dean: (angrily turning back to Sam) I said I saw enough, Sam.
- Dean went back to torturing to find Cas.
- And of course, we have this lovely exchange: In six words, we have Crowley referring to Castiel as Dean's angel, and Dean not trying to deny it in any way; instead, he responds without missing a beat, and in such a way as to imply it's true.
Crowley: (looking at Dean) Where's your angel?
Ask your mother.
- Let's not forget that in the past, when Dean tried to tear down Cas, he's used sexual lines like "Blow me, Cas," or calling him "junkless". Now to insult Crowley, he's making jokes about Cas and Crowley's mother.
- And now episode 8x02 has managed to cram enough Dean/Castiel Ho Yay into a few small minutes to give Tumblr a nervous break-down. Just to summarize:
- The scene begins when they find Castiel. Dean, who avoids emotional moments like they'll give him the Croatoan Virus, walks up to Cas and flat out hugs him with no hesitation at all. Apparently the fact that Cas betrayed him and drove his brother insane has been completely forgotten about, and it just gets better (or worse) from there.
- Dean leans into the hug, resting his head against Cas's.
- Meanwhile, instead of hugging back, Cas just stands stiffly and clenches his fist, like he's having to physically prevent himself from hugging back.
- Right after the hug, Dean steps back just slightly (though still, personal space? what personal space?) and touches Cas's cheek.
- You have Dean utterly convinced that Cas had a legitimate reason for abandoning him in Purgatory despite his previous betrayals and general craziness, fiercely defending him to Benny when he implies otherwise, and refusing to leave Purgatory without him.
- Dean prayed to Cas every night.
Episode 4x01, Castiel: This is your problem, Dean. You have no faith.
Episode 4x18, Castiel: Prayer is a sign of faith.
Episode 8x02, Dean: I prayed to you, Cas! Every night.
- You have Dean telling Cas he needs him, clearly meaning in an emotional sense, seeing as Cas is a walking target at this point and bound to complicate the escape from Purgatory, particularly since Benny seems to dislike the idea of Cas tagging along and also seems unsure if his plan works for an angel as well.
- On Castiel's side, you have him abandoning Dean, his only support in Purgatory, in order to protect him from the Leviathan still after him, and refusing to leave with him because he'd be a danger to Dean.
- Cas's line about keeping the Leviathan away from Dean was pretty much a confession of love, and Dean got it, too. He looks practically poleaxed for a minute after Cas finally comes out and says it. That's actually what prompts the line, "Cas, buddy, I need you."
- And that's ignoring all the long stares and teary eyes- there's even romantic music playing the whole damn time. Let's be honest- the writers just don't care about subtle any more.
- All this after Dean's spent an unspecified amount of time searching Purgatory for Cas, actually going back to torture to try to find him. And while that length of time is unspecified, it's long enough that both Dean and Cas, or at least Dean's search for Cas, are notorious by the end, with one of the last monsters Dean interrogates calling Cas "Dean's angel".
- Let's not forget that the flashback started after another angel said he thought Castiel always had "too much heart".
- For a Cas-free episode, episode 8x03, "Heartache", was fairly screaming Destiel. The ancient, immortal warrior who fell in love with a human, and couldn't bear the idea of living alone again? Just compare Dean's face to Sam's when Betsy tells the story. Sam looks sad and understanding, like you would listening to a really sad story. Dean, though, just looks crushed, in such intense emotional pain; he's not listening to the story, he's remembering it, he's in it. His face isn't how you look when you listen to something sad, it's how you look when you see yourself in that story.
- Let's also note the difference in Dean's reaction to a case with strippers here as opposed to back in season four:
- Not just destroyed about the story - Dean is probably remembering the broken Castiel from "The End" and broken Purgatory Castiel as well. This is one of Dean's greatest fears - Castiel dying because of love for Dean.
- Destiel has been declared canon by Misha Collins - as in, the actor who plays Castiel. This post by lurea has been confirmed as fact by the twitters of two other people who were in the room.
lurea, quoting one of the main writers for the show: "'There is a relationship that fans like to talk about a lot that will be talked about on screen soon and resolved.'"
Misha: "A relationship that fans like to speculate about? Well, yeah, that would sound like heís talking about Dean and Cas to me. Thatís really the only love relationship on the show that it could apply to."
(everyone in the room gapes in shock)
Misha (impatiently): "C'mon, I think the love there is made pretty clear."
lurea (trying to get him to elaborate): "Sure, on Casís part, it's well established that he loves Dean, but I donít think it is on Deanís side."
Misha: "Címon, in the first few episodes, Deanís running around Purgatory, chopping off heads, Whereís the angel, whereís the angel, you know, the guy Iím in love with?"
lurea: "I DON'T REMEMBER DEAN SAYING THAT!"
Misha: He might as well have. You know, we know what it is, whatís going on. We donít talk about it. The actors donít, Jensen and I donít. But weíre all perfectly aware of how the relationship is, the writers are completely aware of how itís being written. It may be unspoken but that doesnít mean itís not there or not true.
- And again with the parallels! Episode 8x05, "Blood Brother". If Benny and Andrea aren't parallels for Cas and Dean the same way Brick and Betsy were, then this episode doesn't make sense. The difference is, of course, that here the major parallel is Benny-and-Cas, whereas before the focus was on the Dean-and-Betsy side of things.
- When Benny asks why Dean actually resurrected him once he made it out of Purgatory, instead of just getting rid of him, Dean gives a non-answer. Then we get a flashback to a Purgatory fight scene that ends with Benny saving Cas from a Leviathan when Dean couldn't.
- This one deserves more. That fight scene alone has had loads of meta written already; here's a few points.
- Early in the Purgatory flashbacks, Dean is actually shown not getting along particularly well with Benny, in complete contrast to what we see in the present.
- Dean says he will do whatever it takes to get Cas out of Purgatory, even if it kills all three of them.
- When Cas warns of Leviathan coming, Dean tries to get Cas to leave. After all he's done trying to find Cas and stay with him, once the Leviathan are coming, he wants Cas out and safe(r) even if it means he'll have to search Purgatory all over again.
- While Dean is struggling with one Leviathan, Cas is dealing with another. Just as Dean takes out his, the other gets the advantage over Cas, and is about to kill him, but Benny saves Cas. Cas doesn't look particularly grateful, considering he's now only not dead thanks to Benny; instead, he looks surprised, and somewhat upset, as if he's thinking "Why did you save me? We both know if I die, you will be safer, and so will Dean. You should have let me die."
- Dean, meanwhile, doesn't look as happy as you'd expect considering he just saw Benny save Cas's life. Instead, he looks haunted, almost scared, like he's having trouble moving past the bit where Cas nearly died, and there was nothing Dean could have done about it.
- Considering both how we've seen Cas deal with Leviathan before, and how we know Cas kept himself alive for what could have been months without any help, having one get the drop on him there seems rather odd. Taking into account how upset he looks when Benny saves him, what if Cas deliberately didn't fight as hard as he could have? What if he was letting it win, thinking his death would mean more safety for Dean? And if there's any truth in that, Dean, of all people, would know, which comes back to that haunted expression he had; for perhaps the first time, he'd just had it shoved in his face that Cas has lost his will to live, that the only reason he fought this long was for Dean's sake, to be a distraction, and now that Dean has found him and won't let him leave again, the only way to ensure Dean's safety would be for Cas to die...
- Before Benny saved Cas, Dean and Benny had a fairly antagonistic relationship, Dean clearly not trusting Benny at all, even calling him an "undead blood junkie" - and coming from Dean, that's actually a harsher insult than it sounds to someone who wouldn't likely know about Sam's history with the demon blood. After Benny saved Cas, we know already their relationship improved to the point they call each other brothers.
- Oh, and did we mention that this flashback came right after Benny asks Dean why Dean didn't just let Benny die once out of Purgatory, and Dean didn't give him an answer?
- And of course, we get to see six people featured prominently in this episode. Four of those people come in pairs: Benny and his love interest Andrea, Sam and his love interest Amelia, and the odd two out are... Dean and Cas.
- And there's more! Before we learn that the parallels are stronger the other way around, the initial conversation where Benny tells Dean about Andrea has this lovely scene:
- A minor moment, perhaps, compared the episodes before and after, but episode 8x06, "Southern Comfort", includes Dean being possessed by a ghost that forces people to kill those they feel have wronged them. While he's talking to Sam, we get the line "Cas let me down, you let me down." As he says the first part, he looks much more upset than he had any time before in the episode. Then he's talking about and to Sam, and he's back to looking angry, even furious, again. It's a subtle contrast, and one easy to miss initially, but is very telling when it comes to comparing how he apparently feels about the difference in how Cas let him down vs. how Sam let him down.
- There's also the moment when Garth asks if Dean really went to Purgatory-Purgatory, and Dean replies "No, the one in Miami." Said "Purgatory" in Miami is a bar. A gay bar.
- Welp. Episode 8x07, "A Little Slice of Kevin", was a fangirl's dream come true.
- The episode starts with Dean seeing a hallucination of Cas by the side of the road. Considering this show's love of parallels (look at this season alone), comparing it to Sam hallucinating Jess by the side of the road back in season one's "Bloody Mary" doesn't seem like much of a stretch. Of course, that was a Winchester imagining he'd seen the love interest◊ he'd lost not long before◊... hm.
- Then we have another hallucination not long afterward: Dean sees Cas standing outside the window of the motel. Note that while Sam was sound asleep, Dean was on his bed, fully dressed, on the computer, despite it being the middle of the night. He could easily have passed it off as nothing, just lack of sleep, or to him actually dozing off. Instead, he gets up and actually goes outside, looking around for a couple of minutes before finally coming back inside.
- When Sam wakes up and notices that Dean is clearly upset, Dean actually tells Sam what happened, including willingly talking about his feelings. When have we ever see Dean volunteer that much information about his emotions?
- During the entire conversation, he looks on the brink of tears.
- When Cas makes it out of Purgatory, he goes straight to Dean. As in, about two feet behind him. He doesn't stop to clean himself up, just finds the Winchesters as fast as he can.
- When Dean finally makes it into the room where Castiel was confronting Crowley, he goes straight to Cas, ignoring the kidnapped and tortured prophet and the Word of God until he's sure◊ Cas is alright◊.
- At the very end of the episode, it's revealed that in fact, Cas did quite literally just "let go". He voluntarily stayed behind - never had any intention of leaving Purgatory in the first place. Dean couldn't handle with the idea that Cas would leave him, his massive guilt complex making it be his fault for failing Cas, for not trying harder to get them both out, not managing to show Cas how much he needs him, and so he created a set of false memories so it would be much more directly his fault. So he'd been the one to "let go", really. So he hadn't held on tight enough to Cas, so he'd really been the one to fail him. So all he'd have to deal with would be one more simple reason to feel guilty, because he'd failed someone he cared about yet again.
- Cas planned to stay all along, but couldn't ever bring himself to tell Dean while they were in Purgatory.
- When Castiel realizes that Dean didn't remember how things had really happened, he is horrified. Because the one thing he hadn't wanted was for Dean to blame himself.
- Dean actually says to Cas in so many words that he cares about him.
- For how many seasons now, demons and monsters have been using Dean's failure to save everyone as a taunt, to hurt him, make him feel like a failure. And then Castiel says the same thing, but to help Dean. And it does.
Cas: You can't save everyone, my friend. Though you try.
- And, of course, when Castiel learns how he escaped Purgatory - he was pulled out by other angels, who are now using him as an unwitting spy on the Winchesters, forcing him to tell what they're doing and wiping his memory each time they're done with him - he looks crushed. Look at his face!◊
- And let's not forget perhaps the most glorious scene in the episode:
- Cas comes out of the bathroom, all cleaned up. First, we get a shot of his shoes that pans up◊ like the post-makeover scene in a movie when the suddenly pretty! girlfriend comes out in her dress.
- Reaction Shot from Dean. Looking Cas up and down◊, Dean's mouth falls open, and he shifts in his chair, sitting up straight, and moving his hands to cover his crotch.
- Then back to Cas◊, who holds out his arms and smiles, asking "Better?"
- And over to Sam◊, who's looking away from Cas - notably, watching his eyes you can see they never leave Cas's face, unlike Dean - toward Dean, smiling at Dean's... reaction to cleaned-up Cas.
- And for the finishing touch◊, Dean looks at Sam for a moment, and then looks straight back to Cas, his mouth still hanging open all the while.
- Let's also note that Dean's now been out of Purgatory for seven episodes and has yet to hit on a girl once or even pay attention to an attractive woman in any manner other than strictly business, including the case at the strip club.
- Of course, anything after that was bound to be a disappointment. How could they possibly improve on that episode? ...Apparently, with this one. 8x08, if anything, was better than the last.
- Starting off nicely, we see Dean looking at Cas briefly, then looking away, and then looking back again, like he has to keep checking on him.
- Then Cas tells Dean that he's no longer listening to the other angels. Dean, though obviously wanting to, doesn't say anything.
- Dean makes a comment about getting a bed & breakfast in Vermont - which was, coincidentally, the first state to legalize gay marriage. Perhaps an innocent statement on its own, but added to the "the Purgatory in Miami" bit from last episode, it makes one wonder...
- Note that Dean also says not "What's next for you", but simply "What's next?"
- Dean objects immediately when Cas says he wants to be a hunter, because he doesn't want Cas to leave. Once it's settled that Cas will be staying and working with them, Dean's a-okay with it, no more discussion needed.
- Note too that Dean doesn't, y'know, ask Sam if it's okay for Cas to join them. We're talking Cas working with them indefinitely, and very specifically travelling with them. Kind of a big change for Dean not to check with Sam about.
- In the morgue, we meet the detective. The very pretty female detective, who's very much Dean's type (intelligent, assertive, and ethnic or a minoritynote )... and Dean shows zero interest. Huh. Instead, we have Dean and Cas standing very very close to each other.
So Cas acts and looks like Mulder. Dean, on the other hand, is the voice of reason in this scene, explaining the facts to Cas. So the lady identifies Dean as Scully.
ďI wrote that Agent Scully falls in love, but thatís impossible. Agent Scully is already in love.Ē
- All through the episode, Cas fails pretty hard at the detective-work part of being a hunter. Instead of mocking him or getting annoyed, Dean teases him lightly, the way he would Sam, and shows him how to do it right.
- For a particularly good example, look at right there in the morgue. Cas learns a lot about the man, thanks to his angelic powers. Dean helps show him how to narrow it down to what's relevant. Then, when Sam reveals the man was having an affair, Dean starts talking about it, walking Cas through everything they can figure out. When they walk out, he's still standing right behind Cas. Who's that talking about "personal space" again? ...well, not Dean, since we haven't heard a complaint from him since season six.
- Cas, as usual, is... less than good at interviewing/interrogating people. Dean makes a joke about Cas being not "bad cop" but "bad everything", but then again, instead of making fun of him or getting frustrated, he tells Cas to watch Sam, so he can learn to do better.
- And ''still'' no personal space.◊ Really, you two? All that space, that wide-open room, and you're standing at most three inches from each other, probably less.
- Cas doesn't know about cartoons. Does Dean make fun of him? Tease him at all for thinking that Bugs Bunny is an "insect-rabbit hybrid"? Nope. He calmly, patiently explains Looney Tunes to Cas, then takes him back to the motel room to let him see for himself.
- Cas starts casually◊ poking through◊ Dean's things◊, including looking at John Winchester's notebook, and Dean is just fine with that. Cas pulls out Dean's toothbrush, and Dean doesn't even care.
- When the question comes up of where Cas will sleep, Dean's resistance seems a bit forced, and the joke he makes is more at Sam's expense that Cas. Later, they come back to the motel, but there's no further discussion of what Cas will do or where he'll go.
Dean: Cas, you gonna book a room or what?
Cas: (Continues looking through Dean's bag) No, I'll stay here.
Dean: (Sarcastically) Oh, okay, yeah. We'll have a slumber party, braid Sam's hair - where you gonna sleep?
Cas: I don't sleep.
Dean: Okay, well, I need my four hours, so...
Cas: (Wide-eyed and totally sincere) I'll watch over you.
Dean: (Pauses, then points a finger at Cas, shaking his head and grinning)
That's not gonna happen.
- Sam, meanwhile, is there in the same room, but Cas is very clearly only addressing Dean when he says "I'll watch over you."
- Also worth noting - Cas's line about watching over Dean is a clear reference to an earlier episode, in which we witness Mary (in a flashback, of course) telling a young Dean "Angels are watching over you."
- When Dean mentions that, in cartoons, a "pretty girl can make your heart leap out of your chest", Cas quickly turns to look at Dean and then looks back apprehensively at the dead man, looking like he were afraid it would happen right there.
- At the bank vault, Cas asks why the black hole isn't working, and Dean replies, seriously and without even a hint of sarcasm, that he has no idea; all through the episode we see him treating Cas this way, like an equal, someone to take seriously and teach.
- When the three of them arrive at the nursing home, Dean makes a joke about Sam and Cas, but one that implies they'll be working alone or separately. Despite that, Dean and Cas stay within maybe two-three feet of each other nearly the entire time (as per the norm for this episode).
- In a moment reminiscent of season five's Changing Channels, Sheila, one of the elderly ladies, they interview calls Cas "pretty", and Dean immediately looks away from Cas, as if trying not to think about it. His gaze lands momentarily on an attractive nurse, but he looks uninterested, and shifts his gaze again quickly. When, later, she is revealed to have been stealing from the people at the nursing home, Dean looks like he couldn't care less.
- Sheila says something about her late husband, and Dean looks at Cas again◊...
- When they find the injured man, Dean says simply "Cas?" Cas then heals the man and they begin questioning him, no further/explicit request required.
- When they get to the bank, Dean (in what seems an OOC move at this point in the episode) sends Cas with Sam to go find Fred Jones. Meanwhile, he goes after the man with the gun inside. The gun that probably wouldn't hurt Cas. At all. And yet, Dean sends away his brother and friend, choosing to confront the armed man inside alone.
- And, of course, The Scene.
- So, we start with Dean and Cas alone at the motel. Note the lack of discussion of where Cas will be that night. Cas is poking through Dean's things, including looking at John Winchester's journal. Dean is on the computer. We've seen him repeatedly choosing not to discuss things with Cas as yet - Cas shutting off "angel radio", wanting to become a hunter, not talking about Purgatory - and now he starts to talk about it. Now, he and Cas are alone, Sam's not with them, and they have time before he'll get back, and so Dean Winchester is voluntarily discussing feelings◊. HELLO, Character Development.
- Cas deflects the question, saying simply that he's "fine". Dean doesn't let it go. Instead, he turns away from the computer, offering his own experiences to Cas, trying to lead him into conversation.
- "I'm happy you got out, I'm freakin' thrilled." Thrilled? What happened to "No chick-flick moments"?
- He suggests Cas go check out Heaven, apparently contradicting his behavior throughout the episode. Unless, of course, he's trying to get Cas to open up, and thinks that will get a reaction from him. Cas refuses, and Dean keeps on at it, until Cas actually raises his voice
Dean: It's just this whole mysterious-resurrection-thing always has one mother of a downside.
Cas: So? What do you want me to do?
Dean: Maybe take a trip upstairs?
Cas: To Heaven?
Dean: Yeah. Poke around, see what the God-squad can tell us about how you got out.
Dean: Look, man, I hate those flying ass-monkeys just as much as you do, but-
Cas: Dean, I said no!
- Instead of giving up there, Dean closes the computer and walks over to Cas, sitting down on the bed across from him, and tries again. Dean Winchester, Mr. No-chick-flick-moments, asks Cas to talk to him. And Cas does.
Dean: Talk to me.
(Cas sighs, puts the journal down, and turns to face Dean)
Cas: Dean. When I was... bad, I had all those things, the Leviathans, riding inside me, I caused a lot of suffering on Earth, but I devastated Heaven. [...] I can't go back.
Dean: (trying to understand) Because the angels will kill you.
Cas: Because if I see what Heaven's become because of me, what I made of it... I'm afraid I might kill myself.
- And Dean's heart nearly stops. Look at his face! He understands completely what Cas is saying, though he doesn't want to, he's just had some of his worst fears confirmed, and his face shows it. In comparison to his behavior in the rest of the episode, it's particularly striking. Throughout most of the episode, he's been much happier, behaving almost like pre-Hell!Dean in many ways, because Cas is back and sane and hunting with Dean and Sam and there's no apocalypse on the horizon, and from Dean's POV things are pretty much perfect. Sure, he's teased Cas about his lack of experience hunting, but they're light-hearted taunts made all in good fun. And then came this conversation. Now, all the little niggling doubts he's had, all the little tiny things he noticed almost in spite of himself, are being proven true and are very much something to be worried about.
- Episode 8x10, Torn and Frayed starts off pretty well, considering the title comes from a song about being in love with a man who wears a trenchcoat that's seen better days. Could be written off as a coincidence, but some of the lyrics seem a bit apt...
"Hey let him follow you down/ Way underground, wind and he's bound/ Bound to follow you down"
"Well his coat is torn and frayed/ It's seen much better days/
Just as long as the guitar plays/ Let it steal your heart away"
- During an investigation that's as yet born no fruits, Dean asks Cas if he wants to head back to the bar a few miles back. As in, he actually shows interest in spending time with Cas just hanging out, completely outside of work.
- Well, Episode 8x11 certainly didn't disappoint, with the most explicit Dean/Castiel parallel so far in season 8. Let's start, shall we?
- Episode 8x15 continues with the parallels, making them almost a running theme in this season.
- The first comparison is, again, an interspecies romance. James, a human and a witch, has been in a relationship with Portia, his familiar who can turn into a dog. At one point in the episode, Dean seems very interested in how such a relationship works.
- There is an emphasis on the unbreakable bond between a witch and their familiar. The bond between Dean and Castiel has been pointed out and commented on a fair amount of times. With James and Portia this extends to how they would die for each other. Seems familiar?
- Portia is portrayed as James' guardian, and because of this their relationship is considered wrong.
- Portia gives Dean a stern talking to, slightly reminiscent of one Castiel gave him in season 5. Afterwards, Dean says "That was incredibly hot."
- Episode 8x16 continues the parallels even further:
- Basically, Prometheus is Cas, Artemis and Hayley are both Dean, and Oliver is Sam.
- Prometheus keeps coming back to life and he doesn't know why (Cas has been resurrected three times, and we still don't really know why)
- Prometheus's memories have been taken from him (Cas can't remember Naomi)
- His memories were taken because he tried to help humanity, against the wishes of his superior(...um, yeah)
- Artemis, the Hunter, initially follows her father's orders no matter what (Dean and John, for the first couple seasons)
- There's also Hayley, in love with the man who lost his memories, and with a younger boy she spent her life taking care of (Dean and Sam)
- Or, looking at it another way, Hayley is Lisa, Prometheus is Dean, and Artemis is Cas:
- Hayley is "a young woman with long dark hair, whose only crime was saving the life of a man left to die on a mountainside" — much like Lisa helped Dean at the end of 5x22/"Swan Song".
- And Hayley/Lisa's son, "a young boy who grew up without a father, whose life has been irrevocably altered by brushing up against the supernatural." Ben and Oliver are "both young boys who have never known their true father, boys who grew up without a father-figure; boys who found a temporary fathers in Dean and Shane, only to lose them both to the supernatural."
- And the last person in the Hayley-Prometheus-Artemis/Lisa/Dean/Castiel parallel triangle: Artemis and Cas. Artemis attempts to save the man she loves, killing her own family to do so; see all of season six and a fair amount of season five. :::coughI did it, all of it, for youcough:::
- In the end, Prometheus fought to to save his family, and Artemis fought to give him that chance.
- And, of course, The Prayer Scene.
- So, earlier in the episode he makes a casual reference to Cas not answering — though that alone calls back to 6x20.
Cas: I always come when you call.
He's, uh, he's not answering.
- Later on, after the case is over, Sam and Dean head back to the "Batcave". Dean goes into his room; once alone, he prays to Cas, and it's a prayer like we've never heard before.
Dean: Cas, you got your ears on? Listen, you know Iím not one for praying, Ďcause in my book, itís the same as begging. But this is about Sam so you need to hear me. We are going into this deal blind. And I donít know whatís ahead or when itís gonna break for Sam. Now, heís covering it pretty good, but I know heís hurting. And this one was supposed to be on me. So for all weíve been through, Iím asking youÖ you keep a lookout for my little brother, okay?
- After he finishes, he turns to look at the empty room behind him, tears in his eyes, like he's looking to see if Cas will show up. And not just the room in general — but to the chair he put facing the bed.
Where the hell are you, man?
- And then he nods a little, and as saltedpineapple puts it, he looks like he's remembering what Cas said in the hotel room back in 8x08, and thinking, "you really did kill yourself, didn't you?"
- An episode that marks Cas' return was definitely going to be Destiel-heavy, and 8x17 didn't disappoint.
- Let's start with the fact that, to condition Castiel back to factory settings, Naomi had him kill hundreds of copies of Dean. No Sam, no Meg, no Balthazar and no Bobby, only Dean. Certainly says something about the high regard Cas holds Dean in.
- Perhaps more specifically it demonstrated that Naomi was confident that she could easily compel Cas to kill anyone except Dean. Even Sam, whom Cas thinks of as a friend, apparently was not a significant concern.
- It also takes about a thousand kills for Cas to get to the point where he can do it without hesitation.
- Not to mention the fact that, when Cas is finally in a position to actually kill Dean on Naomi's orders, what does Dean say to snap him out of it?
Dean: Cas. I know you're in there. I know you can hear me. Cas, it's me. We're family. We need you. I need you.
- An important point being that Cas has already broken free of Naomi's control before he touches the tablet and vanishes from her sight altogether.
- Following this, it's probably quite significant that, when Cas heals Dean, he chooses to caress Dean's cheek with his whole hand, rather than doing the usual two-finger forehead-touch.
- Dean also grabs onto Cas's wrist◊, clutches him in what appears to be an attempt to prevent Cas from fluttering off, and then all but caresses his arm.
- Cas takes the time to explain to Dean everything that has been going with Naomi controlling him.
- In 8x18, "Freaks and Geeks", Sam asks if Dean needs to talk about his feelings towards being beaten by Castiel. Dean snarks back that they could get some Cowboy Junkies music for the conversation. Two of Cowboy Junkies' most well-known songs, "Misguided Angel" and "Angel Mine", are about being in love with an angel.
- Actually it's even better: Sam only asks if Dean wants to talk since he was beaten up by Cas, and it's Dean who brings up his feelings. Sam could well have been talking about if Dean was physically ok after being hurt, but Dean immediately assumes the talk would be about his emotions.
- Realistically, Cas healed Dean and it is obvious that he is in perfect condition. Also, Sam did not witness the actual beating or see Dean injured. So it seems likely that Sam actually was hinting that Dean might need to talk about his feelings rather than his health. It is however interesting that Dean did not just point out that Cas healed him and that he is physically fine, and leave it at that. Instead he got defensive about what he clearly understood to be a question about his emotional state. The two Winchester brothers know each other well enough that misunderstanding is now less of an issue than willful avoidance of certain conversations.
- In 8x19, "Taxi Driver", Naomi meets with Dean and observes that the reason Dean has not warded Kevin's hiding place against angels is because he is hoping that Cas will come back. Some of the language she uses is... deliberately ambiguous at best.
Naomi: You're hoping Castiel will return to you. I admire your loyalty. I only wish that he felt the same way.
- It has been observed by many fans that the fact that Naomi makes a point to have this conversation with Dean when Sam is not around, and the fact that she specifically refers to Cas returning to Dean, is meant to imply a personal relationship between the two of them, not between the Winchester brothers and Cas collectively. This ties into episode 8x17, wherein Naomi forced Cas to kill a thousand clones of Dean, but none whatsoever of Sam.
- Writer Adam Glass took to answering a question on twitter◊ for the accusations of Dean/Castiel queer-baiting and denied it, saying that the character belonged to the fans so they could interpret it as they wanted.
- In 8x22, "Clip Show", Dean is unforgiving of Cas's abandonment but obviously still cares. He ignores him, verbally lashes out, and then, orders him to stay in the bat cave and heal while the brothers go out on a case. Instead, Cas goes to a convenience store and tries to buy toilet paper along with beer, beef jerky, and Dean's preferred porn magazine. He wants to buy pie, but they're out. His response to this is to physically assault the teenage cashier, manically declaring he needs pie. The sad thing is that if he'd just been there at the bat cave when the brothers returned, Dean might have finally started to relax and been more willing to start mending their relationship.
- They also have something far too close to a couple's fight at the beginning of the episode, complete with sad piano music and Sam coughing awkwardly to remind the two that he's still in the room.
- In 8x23, "Sacrifice", Dean and Cas are in a bar, trying to catch a cupid. There are two human men in the bar, both gruff and conventionally masculine, and in the bartender's case, heroic, as he had previously helped save Cas' life. The bartender is due to be visited by the cupid. A delivery woman comes in, and they assume she and the bartender are meant to hook up. Only, it turns out she's the cupid, and she got these two traditionally masculine men together. Cas is unsurprised at this twist. Dean, on the other hand, has a brief moment of shock. Never mind the positive message this sends about Supernatural's statement on religion and QUILTBAG individuals, this is an important moment for Dean, who has always been insecure in his masculinity.
- Other potentially important things about this scene: first, there is a hunting bow on the television screen, obviously symbolic of Cupid. The two men at the bar watch the bow being aimed, remark upon it at the same time, and then get caught in a Held Gaze, indicating that Cupid's done her thing. However, this is the second time the bow is shown on the screen; the first time, Dean is watching the show, and the hunter holding the bow directly in front, pointing to the viewer... Dean. And then Cas enters, and the hunter onscreen moves the bow at the same trajectory Cas is entering at, moving to keep in line with him. So first the bow is pointing at Dean... and then it moves to follow Cas.
- Dean is in a bar with Cas. Dean could've been helping Sam with the Third trial (although Sam didn't really need any help), but because Cas asked for his help he chose to be with him (after checking with Sam, of course). But Cas doesn't seem to need him for anything specific, except to tell him what's going on. Which leads to the question why is Dean sitting in a bar with Cas (apart from resolving Dean's suggestion back in 8x10 that they head to a bar and hang out)? Because Cas wants him to be there, wants to be with him before he tries and closes the gates of Heaven, sealing all the angels including himself away.
- The camera angles they use for both Cas and Dean are remarkably◊ intimate.◊
- This is up for debate, but there is a suggestion that Cas and Dean are talking at cross purposes throughout this scene. Dean asks Cas whether he's sure about what he's doing. Cas acknowledges that the other angels might kill him if he closes the gates of heaven. And then Dean says "So this is it... ET goes home." And then Cas makes a confused expression. Now, this might be Cas simply failing to understand the reference again (which is almost certainly how Dean perceives it), or it could be that Cas was talking about staying on this side off the lock and with Dean while Dean was talking about Cas staying on the other side of the lock with the other angels. In which case, Cas is basically confessing to choosing to stay with Dean forever over eternity in Heaven, and Dean didn't notice. not that it matters, since Cas is stuck with Dean regardless of what choice he was originally going to make, but it might be an important point if/when the choice is brought up again.
- Also up for debate, the whole "casting Angels from Heaven plot" and the three trials could possibly be a reference to their love. The first trial is The product of past love between and Angel and human, the second being the bow of a Cherubim, gifting humans with love. Both have something to do with love, Angels, and humans. What's the third trial? The grace of an Angel, but not just any Angel, an Angel who fell in love with a human.
- In 9x01, Sam is dying, and normally, Dean would accept any sliver of a chance, no matter how remote, that he could be helped. Except, when Cas offers, *after* Dean has learned that Castiel is now human, and being hunted by the understandably pissed-off angels, he realizes, for once, that the risk to Cas if he does join them at the hospital is not worth the limited benefit. It might not seem significant, but considering how Dean is usually willing to put anything and anyone on the line to help Sam, the fact that instead, he tells the angel to take cover and stay safe, is in fact huge.
- There's also the marked difference in Dean's prayer to Cas and his prayer to the other angels. Dean's prayer to Cas has sad, romantic music playing in the background and is shot at very intimate angles, while his voice is more emotional than he usually lets himself be. The prayer itself is to tell Cas that Dean isn't mad at him and even if Cas caused Heaven to fall, they can "work it out" when Cas returns because Dean "needs [Cas] here". Considering that Cas has already stated that Sam's condition is not something he can heal, Dean is basically just asking Cas to be there for moral and emotional support. In comparison, the music is much more dramatic and the shots much more impersonal when Dean broadcasts a prayer to all the angels. Dean's voice is matter-of-fact to the point of being cold as he asks for anyone that can assist in healing Sam. Dean wants a fully-powered angel because an angel could save his brother; he wants Cas to be there because it's Cas.
- 9x03. Good Chuck, 9x03. While there aren't any shots inside the Impala after Ezekiel detects the Reaper that's been sicced on Castiel, the camera makes it clear that Dean is flooring the accelerator. The Winchesters bust down April Kelly's door just in time to see her stab Cas through the stomach with his own angel blade; after Dean ganks her, he turns to see Cas lying utterly still and shakes his shoulder while calling his name, and when that doesn't do any good, Dean grabs Cas's face in his hands. You can hear his heart break along with his voice when he calls Cas's name one more time, thinking he's lost him for good.
- And when Ezekiel moves to bring him back, Dean is mouthing silently and desperately "come on, come on." When Cas wakes up and says Dean's name, all Dean can manage is a broken "hey, hey, yeah" while touching Cas's knee and shoulder. He's too emotional to say or do anything else until he pulls together, straightens up, glares at Cas and tells him, "Never do that again!"
- In an later episode (9x04), when Charlie is resurrected, the first thing she says ("Merry Christmas") is explained as a reference to her Heaven. What's the first thing Cas says?
- The conversation between the two in the bar in 9x09 (once again set to sad/romantic music) about why Dean can't see Cas any more just reeks of a break-up, culminating with this from Dean: "It's been great having your help, Cas. But dammit, we just can't work together." Both men look utterly heartbroken by this state of affairs.
- Really, this whole season has followed an on-again, off-again pattern of breakups and reconciliations, starting, actually, with the end of last season:
- 8X23—Breakup; Cas awkwardly explains to Dean that he feels it's his duty to seal up heaven and "go home." Dean reluctantly accepts it.
- 9X1—Reconciliation; Dean prays desperately to Cas, emphasizing how badly he needs him.
- 9X3—Breakup; anyone who's ever initiated a breakup to someone who never saw it coming will feel Cas' puppy eyes as he says, "I always enjoy our talks, and our time together!"
- 9X6—Reconciliation; Misha Collins was even told to play the first couple scenes like a jilted ex-lover, but by the end of the episode, Dean clearly means both his apology and his expression of pride in how Cas is managing.
- 9X9—Breakup, as mentioned above. But if we follow the pattern, next episode will fix that.
- 9X10—Reconciliation, but followed by what was functionally a breakup at the end, when Dean decides he's "poison" and abandons Sam and Cass for what he perceives to be their own good. They remain apart for the next couple episodes in which Cass even appears, and then when they reunite in 9X18, their joy is cut short by a) the looming burden Metatron has placed on Castiel's shoulders, and b) Castiel's discovery that Dean has taken on the Mark of Cain. What follows is a montage set to a sad, romantic, "lost-without-you" kind of song, in which Dean is apparently numb and Cass is angry/panicked, much like you might expect of a couple who have just split yet again. At this point, this tropette would say the on-again-off-again pattern has been broken in favor of an angstier, more permanent split that nevertheless carries some very romantic feels.
- Gabriel refers to Castiel as Dean's "boy toy" in 9X18, and shortly thereafter makes a snarky pun about how the angels' fall resulted in "raining winged men." It's hard to tell, since the camera was obviously focused on Gabriel, but it appeared that Cass was in fact smiling in the background at the description.
- In 9x22, Cas is forced to choose between Dean and his angel flock. He chooses Dean. Cut to Metatron saying that Castiel's biggest weakness is that, "He's in love," (beat) "...with humanity!" Metatron fashions himself an author, but he's proven (particularly in 9x18) to be an unreliable narrator, as it were. He's not very good with details, with subtleties. He got the first part right—Castiel is in love—but the second part is all Metatron not quite getting it right. (And that pause is very deliberate writing. If the audience was meant to take this line at face value, the beat wouldn't be there.) This dialogue of Metatron's is also sandwiched between two other characters specifying that Castiel's choice was between his army and "one man/guy," not humanity as a whole. When you take it all together, this episode came as close as it possibly could to saying that, "Castiel is in love with Dean," without literally saying those words in that order.
- The expression on Dean's face when Cas says he cannot kill him. The notoriously self-loathing Dean just looks like he can't even comprehend why Cas is choosing him over an army of angels. He knows Cas has made such decisions for his benefit in the past. But this time he witnessed it as it happened rather than finding out after the fact. This is also a callback to 8x17, which was another time Cas stood with an angel blade in-hand, being pushed to kill Dean by another angel. Dean has now seen that either mind controlled or of his own free will, Cas cannot kill him, even for the sake of Heaven.
- According to Misha Collins, the original script had Casí version of heaven with photos of naked men with Dean's face on it. This is Misha, who's something of a troll, but still.
- In 9x23, the season finale, Metatron essentially amends his previous statement and declares that everything Cas has done thus far has been, not for heaven, or even humanity in general, but for ONE HUMAN, Dean Winchester. Cas, to whom this comment is addressed, doesn't even try to deny it. At least from the angels' perspective, it's Everyone Can See It by this point.
- In the 200th episode (the musical) Sam and Dean end up talking about Destiel and Sassy (Sam/Castiel) and Dean responds to Destiel with expected awkwardness and responds to Sassy with basically "OMG, STFU, never talk about that, ever!!!!". Implying the Destiel is fine, cuz it's Dean/Cas, but Sam/Cas is a huge no no.
- Also pretty much confirmed that God approves of their relationship. He says he really enjoyed everything about the play, which likely had much Destiel in it.
- Additionally, the differences between Dean's reaction to Wincest versus his reaction to Destiel. When he sees the actresses playing Dean and Sam standing very close together, he gruffly tells them to take a step back. When he sees the girls portraying Dean and Cas embracing, he stares in shock and gets nervous and flustered.
- Sam wasn't present when Dean learned about Destiel, yet they are later seen talking about it. That means that Dean deliberately told Sam about it, instead of simply dismissing it as something those crazy fangirls came up with.
- The two girls who play Dean and Cas for the musical (Siobhan and Kristen, respectively) are in a relationship outside of the production. When Dean sees them together, he looks genuinely confused and conflicted, with no trace of disgust.
- The very fact that the girls were dating in the first place. They could have made a reference to Destiel in whatever way they wanted, and they chose to do it through a canonical lesbian relationship. Not to mention, the relationship itself is likely a nod to Cockles, the ship of Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins. Love letter to the fans, indeed.
- When Marie first tells Dean about the ship Destiel, she defends it by claiming that there's "subtext" to back it up. Later, when Dean is trying to inspire the cast to put on the show, he instructs them to "put as much "sub" into that text as you possibly can." He looks at the girl who plays Cas when he says this.
- A somewhat meta example. During the season 10 episode No Place Like Home, Sam and Dean utilize FBI aliases. Dean's is Collins.