Over the last decade, viewers have watched as Castiel has developed into a vital part of Supernatural. He has gone from the Winchesters’ guardian to a family member, and he stole the hearts of many fans the moment he strolled into that barn and confronted Dean Winchester.
September 18, 2018, will be the ten-year anniversary of Castiel’s first appearance on Supernatural, and we are celebrating by publishing an article daily leading up to that special day. Each article will focus on Castiel’s five biggest moments from one of the ten seasons he has been a part of the show. If you missed them, you can see his biggest moments from Season 4 here and Season 5 here. On the anniversary itself we will post an ode to Castiel and his time on Supernatural, and you won’t want to miss that!
Today we will take a look back at Castiel’s biggest moments of Season 6.
As a refresher, Castiel has been with the Winchesters for just two years at this point, and he is already an integral part of the Winchester family, though he may not know it himself. The angel who started out as the Winchesters’ guardian is now battling many evil forces alongside them. Season 6 saw Castiel face new challenges in Heaven, with the Winchesters, and ultimately make decisions that forever altered all of their lives.
Season 6, Episode 16 – “The French Mistake”
Though the war in Heaven takes place off-screen, we are given a few glimpses of Castiel’s progress on the battlefield. Cas, now working with Balthazar, uses Sam and Dean as a diversion for Raphael.
The Winchesters are given a key and are told it opens the vault holding the weapons of Heaven that Castiel has been trying to find. The key must not fall into Raphael’s hands or he will possess their power. Balthazar tells them to protect it with their lives. In an effort to keep the boys out of Raphael’s reach, Balthazar sends Sam and Dean into an alternate reality where their lives are a television show.
Raphael falls for the diversion and sends an angel after Sam and Dean. He manages to steal the key, but Sam and Dean are able to track him down and follow him back to their reality.
Castiel appears in one of the final moments of the episode, saving Sam and Dean from the wrath of Raphael. He reveals that the Winchesters were only a diversion and that he now has the weapons of Heaven. He spreads his wings in a display of strength and Raphael retreats.
The events of this episode give us a glimpse at just how far Castiel is willing to go to win the war against Raphael. He chooses to use his friends as pawns, placing them in harm’s way in order to further his chances of winning the war. This is just one of many events throughout Season 6 that show how ruthless and determined Castiel becomes.
His plan is successful, which increases the odds of winning the war and also bolsters his self-confidence in his decisions, making him think that he is on the right path. This is a major victory for Castiel and leads the audience to believe he might win and become the ‘new God.’ However, we are also left to wonder just how far Cas is willing to go and what that might mean for Sam and Dean.
Season 6, Episode 20 – “The Man Who Would Be King”
There are several events in this episode worth highlighting in our look back at Season 6. The episode opens with Castiel praying to God, and for the first time, we get to see the events of the last 19 episodes from his point of view. Castiel’s motives are laid bare for judgment both to the audience and to God as he defends his actions. “Let me tell you my story. Let me tell you everything,” he pleads.
Castiel reveals the details of his deal with Crowley to locate Purgatory and split the souls within 50/50 between them. Enticed by the idea of so much power, Crowley persuades Castiel to start the civil war in Heaven.
Angels need leaders, so be one. Gather your army and kick the candy out of each and every angel that shows up for Raphael.
Are you proposing that I start a civil war in heaven?
Ding! Ding! Ding! Tell him what he’s won, Vanna.
You’re asking me to be the next Lucifer.
Please. Lucifer was a petulant child with daddy issues. Cas, you love God. God loves you. He brought you back. Did it occur to you that maybe he did this so you could be the new sheriff upstairs?
Though he wanted to ask for Dean’s help rather than partner with the demon, he did not want to disturb the peace Dean finally found with Lisa and Ben.
Castiel was faced with two terrible options: call on Dean who would certainly help, but that would also drag him back into a life he’s trying to leave behind, or partner with Crowley. He simply chose the worst of the two in an attempt to give his friend some peace and happiness. It’s hard to fault him for wanting Dean to be happy, though looking back, it was this moment when Castiel made his deal with Crowley that began his slide down a slippery slope.
From here, he experiences a series of unfortunate events, Castiel edition. From raising a soulless Sam from Hell, to lying and deceiving his friends, and working with Crowley, each decision only brings Castiel deeper and deeper into trouble. Unfortunately, this is only the first time in Supernatural where we see Castiel’s good intentions turn all kinds of bad.
I think it is important to note that this one moment where Castiel decides to work with Crowley is reminiscent of the biblical story of the snake convincing a naïve Eve to bite the apple. When all is said and done, it’s that one decision that ultimately leads to Castiel’s downfall. Castiel sums up this moment himself by saying, “I believe it is what you would call a tragedy from the human perspective.”
Season 6, Episode 20: “The Man Who Would Be King”
As this episode progresses, we get more information from Castiel and what I think is another significant moment for his character. He talks of the dispute with Raphael in Heaven and how he is constantly manipulating and spying on Sam, Dean, and Bobby to make sure they do not know he is in league with Crowley to locate Purgatory.
When Castiel unknowingly betrays himself by using a pop culture reference to Superman and kryptonite in casual conversation with Dean, Dean is immediately suspicious. After all, they had used that same phrase during a private conversation earlier in the episode when they didn’t know Castiel was spying on them.
All doubts of Castiel’s actions are erased when Sam, Dean, and Bobby trick Castiel into a ring of holy fire and force him to confess. He attempts to explain his actions.
Castiel’s efforts to explain are fruitless, though. Sam, Dean and Bobby no longer trust his judgment or expect him to tell the truth. Dean tells Cas that he should have come to them for help, and he should quit working with Crowley to locate Purgatory immediately. Unfortunately, we see that Castiel has no intentions of doing so.
Castiel’s attempt to conceal his actions from the Winchesters come crashing down in this moment. They have figured out that he is working with Crowley, and that he has been spying on them and deceiving them for months. Not only do Castiel’s plans to keep the Winchesters from attacking Crowley fail, but he has also lost their support and friendship. It’s easy to see by his expression and his unwillingness to meet Dean’s eyes that he’s ashamed by his actions, but still maintains he’s doing the right thing.
He has broken their trust and knows that will not be an easy thing to regain. Castiel has been so driven to do whatever it takes to beat Raphael that foolishly, he never once stopped to consider that the Winchesters might have been willing to help him in his mission. Ultimately we watch has his bond with Sam, Dean and Bobby crumble, and Castiel is left alone.
Season 6, Episode 22: “The Man who Knew Too Much”
Castiel now fully believes in the righteousness of his motives for starting the civil war in Heaven and is more dedicated than ever to defeating Raphael. He and Crowley are close to opening the doors of Purgatory to acquire the souls within. Castiel tracks down an old friend of Bobby’s who also happens to be a monster escaped from Purgatory.
Castiel tortures her until she reveals how to open the doors, then takes some of her blood to perform the ritual, killing her in the process. It is in this alleyway that Castiel confronts Sam, Dean and Bobby yet again. It is here that we see Castiel has barely scraped the surface of just how far he will go to win his war.
Castiel touches Sam’s temple, destroying the wall between Sam’s conscious mind and the memories of Hell. He tells Dean he will heal Sam if, and only if, they stand down and let him complete the ritual to open Purgatory. Now left with an unconscious Sam, Dean and Bobby are preoccupied with his suffering for most of the episode. It is only after a pep talk from Bobby that Dean agrees to leave Sam and try to stop Cas and Crowley one more time.
This moment was particularly heartbreaking to watch. Castiel’s uncharacteristic choice to hurt and possibly kill Sam is yet another sign of just how far he’s fallen and how badly he wants to defeat Raphael and rule Heaven.
As we know, this moment has dire consequences for both Castiel and Sam in future seasons. I also believe that this moment served to convince Sam, Dean, and Bobby that they would likely have to kill Castiel to stop him. This is irrefutably a big moment for Castiel, but it’s also one of the worst decisions the character has ever made during the course of Supernatural.
Season 6, Episode 22: “The Man Who Knew Too Much”
Now in possession of the spell and all ingredients, Castiel meets with Crowley as planned. However, Castiel surprises everybody watching and Crowley, informing him that he is no longer happy with their previous agreement. Castiel now plans to take all the souls of Purgatory for himself, leaving Crowley with nothing.
You get nothing. Not one single soul.
Can’t help notice, seems a bit unfairly weighted. Castiel. You wouldn’t dare. I brought you this deal.
You think I’m handing all that power to the king of Hell? I’m neither stupid nor wicked.
Unbelievable. Have you forgotten that you’re the bottom in this relationship?
Here are your options. You either flee, or you die.
Crowley flees, but returns shortly with Raphael at his side, having struck a deal with him instead. Though they offer Castiel the same deal, flee or die, Castiel outsmarts them both by giving them the wrong blood for the spell.
Castiel performs his ritual in private and returns to face down both Crowley and Raphael, now with all the power of Purgatory’s souls inside him. Dean, Sam, and Bobby are also on the scene, having arrived in an attempt to stop the ritual. Castiel displays the power he now possesses by blinding everyone in the room including the archangel.
Cas lets Crowley escape, but kills Raphael with a snap of his fingers. It’s worth noting that this is a favorite move of Lucifer, possibly hinting at the evil now residing in Castiel. Dean tries to persuade Castiel to return the souls to Purgatory before it kills him, and possibly everyone, but Castiel is not about to relinquish his newfound power. He plans return to Heaven and punish Raphael’s followers.
Before he can leave, Sam tries to kill him with an angel blade, which does nothing, and shows us just how powerful Cas has become. He leaves them with an ultimatum, worship him as their new God or die.
Castiel justifies his decision to renege on their deal by making it seem like a righteous choice; of course he can’t give that much power to the King of Hell. However, as his actions have become more and more ruthless throughout the season, it’s easy to see that Cas just wants to take all the power for himself, ensuring no other being will be able to stop him.
Looking back at these moments, it’s clear that Castiel is headed down a dark path, though in his mind, he tries to defend those choices as being for the greater good. Castiel takes a step into the shoes of the villain at the end of Season 6 and viewers are left wondering how he’s ever going to redeem himself.
Our fallen angel has changed drastically in this season and it is thanks to Misha Collins’ amazing acting that it is 100% believable. We don’t question the sudden behavioral changes as odd acting choices, but rather wonder what is happening behind the scenes to make Cas act this way. Collins’ delivery is flawless and it is no wonder both writers and audience refuse to let him leave!
Check back tomorrow for our next post highlighting Castiel’s five biggest moments of Season 7, and we’ll see just how he manages to get back on the good side of both the Winchesters and the viewers.