The Man Who Would Be King
Written by Ben Edlund.
Directed by Ben Edlund.
Air Date: May 6, 2011.
As Castiel contemplates the details of the civil war in Heaven and his history with Raphael, Bobby and the Winchesters begin to realize the angel is being less than truthful with them.
For this episode = 7 demons and 7 humans.
For the series so far = At least 473 humans (of which 6 were witches), 86 demons, 36 Jefferson Starships, 34 ghosts, 26 vampires, 19 zombies, 14 gods, 12 angels, 9 hellhounds, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 shapeshifters, 4 ghouls, 3 djinn, 2 Arachnes, 2 dogs, 2 werewolves, 1 crocotta, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 Khan worm, 1 lamia, the Mother of All, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, and 1 wraith.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: There are a multitude of heavens whose form is established by the human souls within it, and the angels live within whichever of these individual heavens they prefer. Castiel's favorite heaven is a beautiful garden created by an autistic man. Archangel Raphael's heaven is the office of a Corrupt Corporate Executive who happened to be religious.
- And I Must Scream: Played for Laughs. Crowley turns Hell into an eternal waiting line, because "nobody likes waiting in line". And when you get to the front, you get sent back and have to start all over again.
- Badass Boast: Castiel.
- Better the Devil You Know: Discussed.
- Chewing the Scenery: Crowley, of course.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment/Right on Queue: After Crowley took over Hell, he made an endless line consisting of billions of people the standard punishment. No agonizing torture like Dean experienced during his time there, and instead of Fire and Brimstone Hell we get what looks like a long hallway that contains a line that requires people who reach the front to go all the way to the back of the line again.Crowley: See, problem with the old place was most of the inmates were masochists already. A lot of "thank you, sir. Can I have another hot spike up the jacksie?" But just look at them. No one likes waiting in line.Castiel: And what happens when they reach the front?Crowley: Nothing. They go right back to the end again. That's efficiency.
- Conflicting Loyalties
- Cold-Blooded Torture
- Confessional: Castiel's narration is essentially him confessing his sins to God.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Raphael easily defeats Cas when he refuses to start the Apocalypse.
- A Day in the Limelight: For Castiel
- Deal with the Devil: Cas and Crowley have a deal to help each other find Purgatory.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu
- Enemy Mine
- Et Tu, Brute?
- Evil Counterpart: We briefly meet the demon Ellsworth, who Castiel describes as being Bobby's counterpart. Not only does he sort of look like Bobby, complete with trucker cap, but we see him handling multiple calls with his minions in much the same way Bobby is seen handling calls with hunters (he even pretends to be an FBI agent to back up one's cover story, just like Bobby does all the time). He even calls one of his under-demons a "frickin' yeti", when Bobby and Dean refer to Sam as "Sasquatch". This is also an Actor Allusion and Shout-Out to Deadwood on which Jim Beaver played a character named Ellsworth.
- Fridge Brilliance: Why do the angels in Heaven still seem to be in their human vessels? Because we, the viewers, are human, and therefore limited, so this is how we see them.
- Give Me a Sign: Castiel ends the episode begging God to give him a sign that what he's doing is right or wrong. He gets no answer.
- Hannibal Lecture: Crowley to Castiel.
- He's Back!: Lampshaded and subverted; Castiel turns up Just in Time to save the Winchesters ("For a brief moment, I was me again"), only to continue lying to them about Crowley.
- I Can Explain
- I Never Said It Was Poison: A variation: Castiel accidentally calls back to a previous scene that he was present for, but Bobby and the boys didn't see him because he was invisible:Castiel: It is a little absurd, though.Bobby: I know, I know.Castiel: Superman going to the dark side. I'm still just Castiel.
- Ironic Hell: It's a really long line that you have to wait in forever.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Castiel starts the episode by looking straight into the camera and saying, "Let me tell you my story." Yes, yes, he was talking to God...
- Mad Scientist Laboratory
- Manipulative Bastard: Crowley.
- The Narrator: Done in the form of Castiel praying to God.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Turns out it was Castiel who raised Soulless Sam from Hell, in the arrogant belief that he could repeat his success with Dean.
- Oh, Crap!: Ellsworth when Castiel barges in.
- Our Angels Are Different: They don't have souls.
- Personalized Afterlife: Raphael and Castiel have a conversation in Kenneth Lay's personal heaven.
- Pride: Castiel's weakness.
- Revealing Cover Up: Castiel is too thorough in cleaning up after Ellsworth.
- Right Behind Me: Not Played for Laughs.
- Shout-Out: The title of the episode could be a reference to either the 1888 novella by Rudyard Kipling, the film adaptation thereof, or the song by Iron Maiden.
- Soul Power
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: A lot from Crowley.
- Take That!:
- This Is the Part Where...: Dean says this is the part where they normally call on Castiel for help.
- Too Kinky to Torture: According to Crowley, some souls who end up in Hell actually enjoy the traditional methods of torture employed by demons. To remedy this, he devises a form of torture nobody enjoys-waiting in line.
- Tower of Babel: Castiel remembers when the Tower of Babel fell...all thirty-seven feet of it. And it didn't fall because of divine retribution, it fell because dried dung can only be stacked so high.
- True Companions: Castiel is visibly moved when Dean says he's like a brother to him.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Castiel only wants to prevent Raphael from restarting the Apocalypse, but the way he goes about doing it...
- Whole Episode Flashback
- With Us or Against Us
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Castiel is, without a doubt, the most sympathetic Big Bad yet.