I may or may not have, uh, downloaded that song yesterday..
Anyway. I want to record my feelings for posterity but I'm also too tired to live, so I'll just talk in circles for a bit.
God and Michael really do have a lot in common. I know I talked about Drama Kid Michael during the mid-season finale, and I think my favorite Michael scene is probably him like, sitting down to drink his scotch in a chair that faces away from the door and like. Purposively arranging himself so the Winchesters and Castiel can eventually show up and find him in this dramatic ridiculous penthouse. XDD And for all that God enjoys playing this aw shucks beleaguered author character, at his heart what he really seems to want is for people to recognize his genius--but not in Lucifer's way, where Lucifer wants people to stand in awe of his powerful majesty (though they rarely do). Nah. God has more of a manic pixie dream girl thing going for him, where like, he wants his inner circle to be endeared to how quirky and artistic and weird he is. He's the kind of person (deity) who self-describes as "quirky" and desperately wants everyone to recognize how quirky and countercultural he is, lolol. So he'll pull out his guitar or talk about squirrel universes or lead his audience through arcane logical paths just to show how quirky he is. But Sam and Dean aren't into that.
And like, it makes me wonder about all the previous instances of God showing up, and reading his fascination for the story back onto other moments where he seemed to want to have more dramatic moments with Sam and Dean. He wanted to write himself a story where he could watch Sam and Dean make a pre-ordained Apocalypse fly off the wheels. He wanted to write himself a story where he gets to have teary heart-to-hearts with them.
"All for what? All for the sake of literary symmetry. I toyed with your lives, your emotions, for... entertainment."
4x18 "The Monster at the End of this Book"
It makes that all delightfully creepy. Especially the further back you go, frankly, when he was still fully committed to method-acting Chuck. Because then he has himself pretending to learn a truth he already knew, just so he could drink up Sam and Dean attempting to soothe him out of it. It's very evil stepmother, somehow, and it has a little bit of like... Law and Order: SVU grooming behavior to it. And like, if you're God and you have these powers and you're tantalized by the act of storytelling, I think that's sort of where we all end up. We're all out here writing fanfic that taps some form of perversity that the show wholeheartedly invites but doesn't itself offer up--whether your predilection is porn or h/c or torture pain or all of the above, we're all kinda doing it. But I think the self-reflexivity of God and the meta elements of this episode are pretty much par for the course in SPN at this point.
What I want to know is, why now? It seemed like God's disengagement with the world prior to S5/S11 had a lot to do with boredom. He wanted to go off and pretend to be limited like a human, or learn guitar, or do whatever. Because if he lived this small existence, not only could he indulge in the tiny pleasures of the world he'd created--he could also pretend there wasn't this gaping eschatological world he found lacking. He could numb his capacities to being Chuck and leave it at that. But with Amara back in the picture, you'd think he'd be creatively challenged again. There'd finally be someone around with whom he could truly converse, in the language of the omnipotent, the ineffable. You'd think (or at least, I would think) that would compel him to be a more benevolent and less manipulative God to Earth. Basically, God the Gifted Child would be appropriately creatively stimulated by Amara, and therefore wouldn't act out as much in class. But instead we get him coming to town and creating Equalizer guns and watching his favorite Show all the more intently.
And was he really afraid of Jack? That is, Jack's potential to royally fuck his favorite world? Or did he drop in thinking he'd save his pet project only to have a change of heart and decide to kill his darling? Would he have tried to kill his darlings in a grand spectacle, even if Dean had killed Jack (and himself)? Or even if Sam hadn't then shot him?
POOR CASTIEL. He's batting a big zero when it comes to choosing how to interpret the minds of others, whether they're angels or humans. He's tired, too; and apparently the first thing to go when you are, in your trueform, a multidimensional waveform, is relational fluency. Being able to accurately interpret and respond to relational cues between discrete, bounded, presently-corporeal beings. XP He missed with Duma (in trusting her), really missed with Dean (in not being able to tell if Dean really believed Jack was a monster, or if it was something Dean decided he was going to believe--which, in fairness, is a very complicated but very Dean distinction. And aren't they supposed to have a profound bond?), didn't understand how the multidimensional waveform gun worked. I like to think that Sam and Dean didn't understand the gun because the logics that control it are more angelic than human. But Castiel didn't understand the gun not because he doesn't understand how dimensions and waves work, but because he couldn't parse those understandings as translated into human ones. Like, he didn't get why it was a gun. Or he didn't understand how those logics could be applied to a discrete object like a gun. Castiel was just as confused as Sam and Dean, but from a completely different place. And this, really, was probably always God's frustration with angels, and the general lack of cross-compatibility across his creations. He is fluent in all things, but his creations can never be. Not even the curious ones, like Joshua. Like Metatron. Or the belatedly curious, like Michael (asking everyone, too late, what they want).
Sam and Dean
I love them to the moon and back. It's funny, actually. I watched the preview for 14x20 on Youtube the week before, and a bunch of the comments to the vid were people expressing complete indignation at Dean wanting to kill Jack and talking about how angry they were with him and how dare he. And I was just kinda like, huh. I think we have very different understandings of Dean. Because like, I think he's done plenty of bullshit, and felt real justified in doing it. I think Dean is fully capable of being a shit person, all the while feeling a lot of conviction about it. XP But I didn't get the impression that's where he was coming from here, even if he really wished he were. Dean can yell about "the hell I am" all he wants, but Dean didn't feel strongly about killing Jack, or labeling him a monster, or any of it, really. He just gave up. He didn't have the capacity to muddle through all those emotions or feel that pain or extend that grace and still have it all pan out to nothing. So he shut all of that down and presented himself with a simpler narrative: Kill the monster. The only way to end this is to kill the monster.
Because, you know. Sometimes you just want something that feels pure.
He knows Jack's not a monster; not really. And he knows he doesn't believe that. And he knows Sam knows he doesn't believe that. (This is too many layers of Winchester nonsense for Castiel to parse. This is next-level exegesis.) But Dean can force-feed himself that narrative anyway. He's good at that--and doing anything more creative, or rebellious, is just beyond him at this point. Equalizer gun? Fuck it, sure. Whatever. He's tired. He's fine with just following the script. And for all the times Dean's rallied and vowed to "go down swinging," he's given up just as many times. (5x18. The Mark. The Box.) Sure, he kept the lid on Michael pretty well. He was very invested in dealing with Michael. But aside from that he's been offering up the reigns to Sam right and left, and not always (not usually?) out of respect for Sam's autonomy, or Sam's leadership. Just because it was easier that way. Which has always been one of Dean's patterns, some years more than others, but he's been heading there hard this year. It's easier to pretend it has to do with Mary--symbolically convenient--but it's not. Not really. He's just done.
And like, he clearly makes the decision that he's going to be the one to use the gun, kill Jack, die, etc. But even then he still wants Sam to agree. It's not even that he wants Sam to be on board--he just wants Sam to validate the narrative, to agree that this is the story they are going to live so no one has to expend the energy to debate all this shit. Which like, #relatable #relatable #relatable, honestly. (And yes, I'm annoyed LJ is going to automatically punt this down into this post's tags.)
But Sam refuses to be interpellated. He's exhausted, too, but he's not willing to give up the world he wants. Not yet. Not even after what happened to Maggie and the rest of them; to Mary; to Jack. He's not willing to be brought into Dean's shitty narrative. He's certainly not going to give Dean that. (He's exhausted enough to be at peace with ending all of existence, though.)
And since Dean is clearly in a mental state where he needs someone to tell him "yes go do the thing" (unless it's Castiel telling him to go to something much harder), Sam probably leaves him in his room because he doesn't think Dean's actually going to do anything without more direction. (Also, Dean's already noticeably drunk, which in this season particularly has been Dean's way of saying he's given up for the day, and let the Magic 8 Ball continue in the morning. Also also, can I just sidebar for a second and say that omg I am so tickled by the fact that Dean added another desk to the desk that's already in the room, in this weird corner behind the door so that it can't be seen from the hall/his presence in his room and his doings can't immediately been determined without actively coming into the room. And Sam seems surprised to see him there, so this furniture feng shui must be a relatively recent development. Also there's like three chairs, which is significantly more than Dean would ever need in his room--especially since when he tells Sam to take a seat Sam EXPLICITLY DOESN'T SIT IN ANY OF THE CHAIRS, BUT CROSSES CLEAR OVER TO THE BED. GAH. I LOVE.) And I think that's significant, because usually if Dean has a plan in mind Sam keeps real close tabs, and doesn't leave him until he's satisfied that Dean's changed his mind and isn't going to run off and do some Sam-unapproved shit. But here it seems more like Sam's pretty sure not giving Dean the time of day is the way to keep him from running off and doing some Sam-unapproved shit. So he knows pretty well where Dean's mental state is at right now, knows where his willingness to accept narratives is coming from.
Sam probably doesn't anticipate God being able to stand in as sounding board, though. Because unbeknownst to us and him, it's pretty clear God went to talk to Dean, too. At the very least, to tell him in which direction to drive, and where he'd be able to find Jack. Sam seems genuinely surprised that Dean actually left, and that he'd already left, when God points it out. Whoops?
I LOVED. THE MOTORHEAD MONTAGE. AND ALL THE SOULS FROM HELL REANIMATING RANDO CORPSES IN THAT RANDOM GRAVEYARD. AND ALL THE SOULS THAT RETURNED TO BEING GHOSTS. I LOVE IT ALL. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS BUT I'M HERE FOR IT.
Honestly, it's probably a good thing Sam and Dean got some zombies to handle, even if they're both hurt and there are a good, good many zombies. It's easier than contending with Jack's dead body. And it doesn't required a lot of thought. If a zombie horde is meant to be thoughtless peril, dispatching them is similarly thoughtless. And maybe that's the grace of zombies. They can be killed, and your role as someone confronted with a zombie horde is fairly self-explanatory. You can dial down, eliminate everything else, and find that pure conviction you'd never have found without them. You can do this.
It feels pure.
(I guess the question is, if you know your artiste of a God was watching you then, relishing it all, do you resist that this time? Do you change your tack? You felt sort of bad about it last time. But what if that's your only way through this?)