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Recap / Supernatural S 04 E 20 The Rapture

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 4, Episode 20

The Rapture

Castiel: I learned my lesson while I was away, Dean. I serve Heaven, I don't serve Man. And I certainly don't serve you.

Written by Jeremy Carver.

Directed by Charles Beeson.

Air Date: April 30, 2009.

Castiel tries to give Dean an important message in a dream, but when the boys arrive to speak with him personally they discover instead his vessel, Jimmy Novak of Pontiac, Illinois. Castiel's been recalled to Heaven for something, but Jimmy doesn't know what and just wants to go back to his wife and daughter. But the forces of Hell are after him as a former angelic vessel.


Body count

For this episode = 4 humans and 4 demons.

For the series so far = At least 311 humans (of which 5 were witches), 28 ghosts, 26 demons, 10 vampires, 6 changelings, 3 gods, 3 shapeshifters, 3 zombies, 2 angels, 2 ghouls, 2 werewolves, 2 dogs, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, and 1 wendigo.


  • A Day in the Limelight: This episode focuses on Jimmy and, to a lesser extent, Castiel.
  • Adult Fear: You walk in on your husband with his hand in a pot of boiling water, and he tells you he's talking to an angel. Then he refuses to take antipsychotic medication and disappears for a year, after telling your daughter "I'm not your father". When he comes back, he's the most kind, loving, and understanding person you could want... right up until he starts whaling on your neighbor with a beer bottle and screaming he's possessed by a demon. That the bit about the demon is true is where this trope ends.
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  • And I Must Scream: Jimmy, while possessed by Castiel. He compares it to being tied to a comet.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: This episode explores the implications of being a vessel - namely, the fact that said vessel is constantly suffering after having given his consent. Castiel is a powerful ally, but he's still possessing a human at a terrible cost to that man, and Jimmy only takes on the role again to prevent his daughter from suffering the same fate.
  • Awful Truth: Despite being a devout Christian, Amy couldn't or wouldn't believe that Jimmy was speaking to an angel. When Jimmy attacks his demon-possessed friend, she immediately panics and tries to get Claire to run. Then she sees the possessed guy threatening Claire and realizes it was all true.
  • Back Story: For Castiel's vessel, whose name was even unknown until this point.
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  • Badass Baritone: Averted with Jimmy, who lacks Castiel's deep voice.
  • Big Damn Heroes
    • The Winchesters arrive Just in Time to save Jimmy's family.
    • Castiel returns to Earth and possesses Claire, Just in Time to save her and everyone else.
  • Body Surf: Castiel switches from possessing Jimmy, to Jimmy's daughter, and eventually goes back to possessing Jimmy again.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Castiel burns through the ropes binding Claire to the chair.
  • Break the Cutie: Not only does poor Jimmy get broken, but his beloved wife and child do, too.
  • Brutal Honesty: Sam tells Jimmy he'll never see his family again as he would always be a threat to them. Unless he wants to kill himself.
  • Call-Back: In Lazarus Rising, Castiel told Dean that there were certain, special people who could perceive his true visage. Jimmy is one of them, as he is shown conversing with Castiel pre-possession (unlike Dean who heard only a loud, high-pitched whine), and appears to actually see Castiel when he is showered in golden light before Castiel takes over his body. Presumably his daughter Claire has these capabilities as well, though they're not shown on-screen.
  • The Chosen One: Jimmy, chosen to be Castiel's vessel.
  • Conversational Troping: Sam notes that when they ask you to Come Alone, then Trap Is the Only Option. Dean however has a plan. The Winchesters get caught anyway.
  • Crisis of Faith: Implied with Jimmy when he doesn't say grace before eating.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Sam's addiction to demon blood is basically the supernatural equivalent of a heroin addiction. He also feeds via the neck of a female demon, just like a vampire.
  • Downer Ending: Jimmy can't ever see his family again and Sam is left in Bobby's panic room to detox.
  • Dutch Angle: When Jimmy is riding back home in a bus, presumably to show his sense of dislocation.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Castiel tells a dying Jimmy that he'll live forever in Heaven. Although there's some confusion as to when Jimmy actually dies, Season 10 reveals that he did get into Heaven, where he's joined by his wife Amy.
  • Exact Words: "It's in your blood."
  • Gender Bender: Castiel briefly leaves his standard male host and possesses said host's preteen daughter. S/he switches back to Jimmy when the man begs hir to take him and spare his daughter.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Sam can't even kill a minor female demon, causing her to sneer, "Can't get it up?"
  • Grand Theft Me: They need permission, but this is basically what angels do to their vessels. Once you've given your permission, they can apparently stay as long as they need to, though the conversation between Claire!Castiel and Jimmy seems to imply that they might need to ask again if circumstances(such as Castiel being recalled to Heaven and pulled out of Jimmy) depend on it. Castiel also, this time, makes sure that Jimmy understands this possession will be open-ended until Castiel's task is done, and that it could take years.
  • Headbutt of Love: Jimmy leaving his daughter for what he assumes is the last time.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jimmy gives up Heaven to spare his daughter from becoming Castiel's vessel.
  • I Have Your Wife: A demon possesses Jimmy's wife, and holds their daughter hostage.
  • Jumped at the Call: Jimmy first.
  • Kind Restraints: After discovering that Sam is addicted to demon blood, Dean and Bobby lure Sam into the panic room, then shut the door on him.
  • Little Miss Badass: When Castiel possesses Claire.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • When Jimmy wants to know how long he'll have to stay away from his family, he's told "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it". When he demands a proper answer, Sam bluntly tells him. "Forever". Rather than repeat this to his family, Jimmy uses the bridge crossing line.
    • Castiel repeats the "I'm not your father" line when meeting a teenage Claire Novak in "The Things We Left Behind".
  • Must Be Invited: Unlike demons, angels require permission to enter a host body.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Castiel has a horrified, guilt-stricken look as he possesses Jimmy again, implying this is in effect.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: Jimmy puts his hand in a pot of boiling water, as a test of faith that Castiel will protect him.
  • Papa Wolf: Threaten Claire and Jimmy will beat you with a beer bottle.
  • Parents in Distress: Claire says "yes" to Castiel to save her parents.
  • Playing Possum: Jimmy escapes when Sam slips out for a hit of demon blood.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Castiel on seeing Jimmy's daughter, moments after possessing his body.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Jimmy is furious at Castiel for letting his family be put in danger.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Dean is mocking Sam for letting Jimmy escape. When Sam claims he slipped out for a Coke, Dean asks, "Was it a refreshing Coke?"
  • Skewed Priorities: Dean starts flirting with Anna, only for her to point out that they have other problems.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: All angels do this, but Anna takes the cake in this episode. She appears in the backseat of the Impala while Dean's driving, startling him and causing him to jerk the wheel violently.
  • Take Me Instead: Jimmy gives up dying and going to Heaven in favor of letting Castiel possess him instead of his daughter.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Dean is happily fishing by a lake when Castiel appears beside him, and Dean realises he is dreaming.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Jimmy eases his way back into his family by asking his wife to make him dinner.
  • Tempting Fate: Jimmy tells his neighbour that he lived through the worst year possible, but he's glad it's all over. Cue Black Eyes of Evil from the neighbour, who tells him it's about to get worse.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Dean lists vivisection as the least the demons would do to a former angel vessel.
  • The Unreveal: Castiel never does tell Dean what he intended to tell him.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: When Jimmy tells his wife about Castiel, she thinks he's mentally ill. It doesn't help that shortly after that, he vanishes for almost a year. Then Jimmy comes back and, knowing how she reacted before, claims he was in a mental ward.

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