The necessity of angels to the SPN storyline is a point of division within the fandom. I’m well aware of this fact. I’m still going to tackle this subject though because, well, I can. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was overjoyed when I found out that season 4 was going to introduce angels. I thought ‘Finally! Sam and Dean can get some help from the good guys!’ Needless to say, I was supremely disappointed when the angels were revealed to be manipulative, petty, sadistic jerks. They’re worse than demons. Well, most of them are. Then there was Castiel. I can’t say that I liked Cas from the start, but he did grow on me. I liked the fact that he really tried to understand humans. Dean in particular. Most of the angels referred to humans using derogatory terms, but Cas referred to humans as works of art. Although he didn’t understand them, he still understood their uniqueness. Gabriel was another angel who understood the value of humans. He understood that although we’re not perfect, we generally try to do better and leave the world a better place than we found it. My hope was that all of the angels would be more like Cas and Gabriel. Alas, most of them were like Zachariah, Uriel, and Lucifer. They hated humans and took great delight in toying with them. Despite my general disappointment with the angels, I still believe they were an interesting addition to the SPN mythology. Especially when we found out that Sam and Dean were the vessels for Lucifer and Michael respectively. It shed a new light on John’s S2 statement about Dean having to kill Sam. The angel problem added layers to our heroes and made for some very interesting drama. Swan Song is still, in my opinion, one of the best hours of SPN they’ve ever done.
Then came…season 6. Sigh. Season 6 was a mess of dropped storylines, a non-cohesive story, a heavenly civil war that took place almost entirely off-screen, less than impressive monsters (with the exception of the Alpha Vamp), the creepy Campbell clan, and a Sam and Dean that were so far removed from the heart of the story that SPN became almost unrecognizable. There were a handful of good episodes (Frontierland and The Man Who Would Be King come to mind) but for the most part, season 6 was a hot mess. My opinion is and has always been that season 6 suffered so badly because of the angels. The fandom fell in love with Castiel and Misha Collins. And honestly, I can’t blame us. Castiel broke ranks and sacrificed everything for the Winchesters. In a world where the angels were causing nothing but pain and strife for the Boys, Castiel chose to stand with and fight for the Winchesters. His character added a great deal to the Winchester universe. Namely, the relationship that developed between Cas and Dean. Dean has never really had any real relationships outside of Sam and Bobby. It was important for him to have someone outside of them that he could confide in and trust. It makes sense that it was Cas since they were kindred souls, if you will. Dean and Cas have a great deal in common. They both were loyal to an absent father. They both blindly followed orders. They were both faced with a choice to either follow orders or do what they felt was right; they chose to do what they thought was right. They both made horrible decisions in the name of trying to do what they thought was right. They were both betrayed and/or disappointed in a big way by someone they loved. Dean didn’t have very many people he could turn to who truly understood that and Cas didn’t have anyone but Dean. I have really enjoyed watching the evolution of Dean and Castiel’s relationship. Add to that the fact that Misha Collins is awesome. In addition to being a fantastic actor, Misha is hilarious, has great chemistry with Jensen and Jared, and he’s a really sweet guy. Understandably, TPTB wanted to keep him around. But his (and all the angels’) inclusion in the overall season 6 story marginalized Sam and Dean in a massive way. The story (such as it was) really could’ve happened without Sam and Dean at all. It was about halfway through season 6 that I thought to myself ‘why are the angels still here? They need to go.’
The angels were better used in season 7. They were hardly in the season. That is as it should be. The story was able to focus on Sam and Dean again. But I’m glad they aren’t gone entirely. The primary reason I’m glad they aren’t gone altogether is that Cas and Dean need to repair their relationship. Dean loves Cas which is why Cas’s betrayal hurt him so deeply. It was true to character for Dean not to forgive him right off. Cas committed the number 1 sin of hurting Sam, after all. I would’ve been disappointed if Dean had forgiven Cas quickly. But Dean wants to forgive Cas. And Cas wants to be forgiven. They took steps down that road at the end of season 7, but they still have a long way to go. I’m interested to see what effect their time in Purgatory will have on their relationship. Based on some of the things Jeremy Carver said at Comic Con, the angels are going to play a major role in season 8. My hope is that the angels as a whole aren’t too front and center, but I do hope we get to watch Dean and Cas rebuild what was broken.
Well, there you have it folks. A few of my thoughts on season 6 and a tiny bit of my thoughts on the angels. I’m keeping an open mind about season 8. I have faith that Jeremy Carver has something good in store for us. I’m encouraged by his comments at Comic Con that he’s got a plan for several more seasons. It’s such a relief to hear that the showrunner actually has a plan. Fingers crossed it’s a good plan. That’s all for now. Until next time: peace, love, and joy to all. 🙂