D E A N C A S MEME → [3/10] Episodes
↳ The Man Who Would Be King
Hey, you wanna know how Cas’s backstory in The Born-Again Identity coulda been a million times more heartbreaking, and also actually make sense? If instead of Dean finding ‘Emmanuel’ shacking up with a woman in a just plain implausible scenario (that was legally improbable[if not impossible] and morally questionable and dubiously consensual), that Dean found ‘Emmanuel’ with Jimmy Novak’s family, who think Jimmy’s finally been returned to them, albeit sans memory.
Because generally speaking, what happens when someone comes across a naked, confused amnesiac stranger, crawling from a river and obviously traumatized, is that they call a fucking ambulance, who would take that naked stranger to the hospital, and eventually the police would likely be called to try to figure out the identity of the amnesiac, see if he matches any missing person reports, and so on. And just who would Cas’s vessel be identified as? Jimmy Novak.
Can you imagine how much more compelling the story would be, the genuine conflict and a moral dilemma with no real good outcome? And if it was told in real time, so that the audience isn’t even sure if is Cas or Jimmy at first, Dean doesn’t even come in until at least halfway through. The possibility that this may be Cas drips slowly through the story, where we see him not sleeping, not eating unless Amelia puts food in front of him, not having any social ease, but is it because it’s Cas or because Jimmy is traumatized? We see Jimmy react very badly to someone for no apparent reason (later in story, that person pops back up, and they’re a demon). He can’t adjust back to the kind of bullshit office job he had had, because his manager is a tyrant abusing their power and mismanaging the office, and Jimmy tries to lead a revolt against him and is fired. But that leave him more time to stay home and watch Adventure Time with Claire, and ask very serious questions about it. In Jimmy’s absence, the Novaks moved from Pontiac to St. Louis (so Dean isn’t at all suspicious when he hears of a faith-healer in St. Louis, rather than Pontiac).
When Claire falls out of a tree and breaks her leg, Jimmy finds out he can heal with his touch. Claire tells him he can’t tell Mom, because she’d be upset like when she found out he wasn’t getting his haircut, it just wasn’t growing. Walking Claire home from Catholic school one day, they run into two men stumbling out of an alley covered in blood, one of them ripped open and not going to make it. He’s not sure why one of them throws their water bottle at him, or touches him with a silver spoon, and if they insist he nick his finger before they let him close, well, they probably just wanted a demonstration before they let him begin. He gives a fake name, because, well, that’s what you do. Claire follows suit, without prompting.
A short time later, we see the healed man on the phone, telling someone about the real-deal faith healer in Saint Louis who saved his life, calls himself Emmanuel, and has a little blonde daughter called Fiona who carries a big yellow dog backpack and goes to Catholic school. Who knows, maybe he can help with Sam. And then the first time we see Dean in this episode is when Jimmy picks up Claire from school one day, there’s just this black Impala in the background that the camera slowly focuses on, and then the POV shifts to Dean in the Impala, watching the crowd, and his expression slowly melts from his ‘Serious Hunting Face’ to just that gobsmacked Rapunzel blinking whenever he sees Cas again after thinking he’s dead. And we all know just what he’s fucking looking at, they don’t even need to cut to a shot of Cas walking with Claire.
I mean, just fucking imagine Dean trying to figure out what to do, imagine Amelia trying to convince herself that this is Jimmy, a changed and traumatized Jimmy, but Jimmy. Dean wondering if maybe it could be, at least partially, Jimmy, and not wanting to fuck up another family. Cas being confused as fuck, because intellectually he knows he must be Jimmy, he sees the pictures, he can see the emotion in Amelia and Claire’s eyes, but he doesn’t feel it. But when he sees Dean, there is something REAL, and he feels it. Imagine Claire, angry and lashing out at Dean for trying to take her father, then later, at Castiel. Imagine Castiel ‘waking up’ and having to confront the family he destroyed with his good intentions, imagine him having developed some kind of feelings for Claire and the genuine pain when she rejects him.
IMPORTANT THINGS THIS REVISED VERSION COULD HAVE ADDRESSED:
- The damage done to the Novak family
- Confirming in no uncertain terms that Jimmy is no longer around/is in Heaven (not that I think he is, and there was an indirect textual confirmation that he is gone in 5x20, but an absolute confirmation would be nice)
- LISA AND BEN’S INDUCED AMNESIA and how that was a fucked-up way to ‘protect’ them
- Consent, both in regards to vessel-taking and sex (Dean makes some off-color remark/joke about Cas and Amelia having sex, because Dean can’t deal with his feelings, and Amelia tells him that she tried one night to initiate sex with Jimmy, but he became tense and passive and so obviously not into that she stopped after a few kisses, and though he keeps telling her it’s fine, go on, she can feel he’s very unsettled by it and passivity isn’t consent, so she stops and resolves to wait until he makes the next advance, which he never did. I really need to stress how important it is that Amnesia!Cas and Amelia don’t have sex, not because of shipper reasons, but because of consent issues)
how hard is it to have cas move into the bunker and for eps he’s not in…to just have sam or dean say: ‘oh cas is having a meeting with some other angels,’ or ‘yo cas is out grocery shopping,’ or ‘cas is honing his shooting skills in the gun range downstairs.’
N°137 in the series “wild spam of random caps” - SN 06x08
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