Before they could strike at the heart of this season’s mark-causing-chaos, one last extra-special detour needed to be made involving Castiel’s vessel’s family. Claire returns as she searches for her mother, Amelia, who disappeared two years prior. The Winchesters intercept and uncover the existence of a watcher angel who had survived extinction and has been feeding off of humans for decades. The bonds of family run much smoother this time around with Claire finally understanding Sam and Dean’s plight as well as the role her father played in helping Castiel save the world.
There was a lot of good heartfelt moments in this episode, more so than I expected when I hear the jazz-organ intros that have canonically been placed in episodes that tend to be more lighthearted as a rule. Even more impressive was how long it took the writers to come up with a type of angel that hadn’t been introduced as of yet. I won’t lie, I first thought Tamiel would be the equivalent to a knight of hell, and one could probably argue they could be similar, but in all fairness to Abaddon, I shouldn’t compare the two.
After Claire is wounded from searching a contact about her mother, the gang discover the possible existence of another renegade angel who is feeding off of humans. Claire’s mother is one of these individuals and has been trapped for quite a while. While Castiel and Sam track down the angel in question, Dean and Claire engage in a putt-putt bonding ritual that helps settle old nerves about her father and what his sacrifice to Castiel meant. Collectively, everyone discovers that Tamiel, an old watcher angel had survived and turned on humans for a long time, collecting and feeding off of them. Amelia is saved but sacrifices herself to save Claire from being stabbed by Tamiel’s angel sword. Everyone fights Tamiel but it is Claire that impales him from behind killing him. In heaven, Amelia reunites with Jimmy and the two are at peace. Sam and Dean send Claire off to Jody Mills and she finally accepts Castiel in her life.
To start with, I’m glad wiki has a really quick summary on these watcher angels and it appears Tamiel means “perfection of God.” He was a fallen angel mentioned in the book of Enoch, so the lore fits like a glove. It was handy that Dean gave Claire that Enochian myth book as well. I can see a future episode where she’s hunting down some other renegade angels with that sword. How bad-ass would that be? She could have her own spin-off even. And it could co-star Jody Mills and everyone else who’s survived on Supernatural after ten seasons. That’s a lot of surviving.
My one tiff with the episode is how Castiel felt Dean was overreacting. I’m completely on Dean’s side. The amount of pressure and technique used to get the name from the bar contact was hardly as gruesome and crazed as Dean being in a real bloodthirsty state that really would show he’s getting worse. I felt that was just thrown in to keep the brothers separate and as a plot device to remind us that the mark is ever still the cause of woe in this season. They could have done a little better with this or actually had Dean go maniacal on the guy with a beatdown that Castiel would have stared wide-eyed at. I just didn’t see that this time around.
What really did stand out the most though was how Sam and Dean interpreted growing up alone. On one hand, Dean believes growing up alone makes you stronger, while Sam believes going it alone is no way to live and having support whether they want it or not is good for everyone. Now the belief wasn’t really tested between Sam and Dean but rather for Claire who, in the end realizes what having that support means and finally investing in the concept. So, basically Sam is right in the long run. Dean’s attitude still makes sense, and even in his own way he warns Claire that his lifestyle doesn’t make for healthy long lives. I think Claire still has a lot to learn and may continue to believe in Dean’s way of things as a basic rule-set but for the moment, there’s hope that she’ll turn her life around and be that force for good that can rely on others for help and support. It’s a positive message for youth and an excellent parable to tell it in this realm.
Everything from Jimmy’s reunion with Amelia to the end. It was an uplifting moment and a promise of good directions for Claire, even though she now owns a stuffed grumpy cat, but hey, angel sword. They’ve been ending some episodes without the dismal drive with two brothers wailing in silence and these are healthy steps in the right direction. I’d like to see them pair up with Claire again but this time, on equal ground.
Claire gets the award tonight. She showed courage, strife, and most of all growth in her personality which had been a long time coming. Her banter with Dean rivals that of most minor characters that get to banter with the man and together they have great chemistry. I just don’t get the grey colored nails.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
It is very much all down here from here. This was the last episode that gave us warm fuzzy feelings and now from here on out, downhill, very fast. Blood-soaked mayhem, mark of the butcher-everything-Cain is on.
With as many rooms as they have shown of heaven, it’s interesting how often and willing the show is willing to explore the finality. The theme was echoed more than once that goodbyes are not forever and no matter what death isn’t always goodbye. The aftermath is just as thought-filled and existing as any person’s life can be. I wonder if the show is preparing us for something very strange in our future regarding this.
I kind of wish the angel sword had more meaning behind it’s look and those who wield it. I mean, if angel swords are just wide and longer than angel blades, why didn’t every one get one? It seems it was more a status symbol than anything and angels rocking swords since the beginning would have had a cooler look, my opinion anyway.
It would also have been interesting if Jimmy and Castiel had one more scene together, more of reflection on Claire and what taking care of her or looking after her would mean. Jimmy could have imparted some fatherly advice, but then you’d have to have Claire and Jimmy have a scene together and for some reason they didn’t want to do that this time around.
The Caddyshack/Happy Gilmore generation gap was actually well done. Taking two equally funny golf movies (The only ones I might add) and showing how Dean and Claire make fun of each other. Dean still gets the edge because he’s seen both movies and knows which is the superior.
9 out of 10. Fantastic episode. The lore of Tamiel could have been a teensy bit better but we got the gist of it and for the most part I didn’t feel this angel plot was luke warm or watered down. Claire got the send off she needed even though the cost was a bit high with losing her mother. I felt they kind of glossed over Claire’s grief with losing her but the scene in heaven made up for it. We got perspective from the brothers that shows the two still have a different way of approaching certain aspects of life, which really isn’t new, but at least it’s consistent. Now it’s on to the final episodes of season ten and the bitter climax that’s sure to keep us on edge until season 11.
No more words