I couldn’t watch last night’s episode live, but when I heard that Dean made Cas a mixtape (of his top 13 “Zepp Traxx,” no less), I knew I had a quality piece of TV full of feeeeeeelings to look forward to.
“The Future,” written by Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn, and directed by Amanda Tapping (she played Naomi, and her directing was wonderful, I’d love to see her at the helm of a few more episodes in the future), starts off with Kelly in a cell, where Dagon is force-feeding her vitamins and telling her to, “stop disrespecting the god inside of you.” Kelly is understandably depressed, so when she takes a bath a few minutes later, and major trigger warning for the rest of this paragraph, she decides to kill herself. She slits her wrists, and the camera pans out to one of the most morbid, haunting cold opens in Supernatural.
Back in the bunker, Sam is doing research on how much time he and Dean have left before the nephilim is born (it’s less than a month), when they’re interrupted by the long-awaited return of Cas–finally. Dean isn’t as thrilled to see Cas as I am, though; instead, he chews Cas out for going AWOL, not giving them any updates on his whereabouts, and ignoring their messages– especially because they could’ve used his help with Dagon.
Dean storms off, and Cas goes into his room to return said mixtape. Dean gives it back, saying, “It’s a gift; you keep those.” We get some more great character development from Dean, when he explains to Cas why he was so upset–he and Sam were scared something had happened to him, not just that he wasn’t there to help them with Dagon–and Cas explains that he wanted to bring back a win for them, and for himself. He doesn’t want Sam and Dean to have to go through with killing an innocent, but Dean tells him that they’ll find a better way, and that, “You, me, and Sam, we’re just better together. So now that you’re back, let’s go Team Free Will. Let’s get it done.” Honestly, an A++ heartwarming moment.
Oh, by the way, remember how Kelly killed herself in the cold open? As it turns out, the nephilim stopped her from actually doing so, and instead of knowing the reason for that is because she needs to stay alive for him to be born, Kelly takes it as the baby wanting to protect her. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Sam actually did come up with a way to save Kelly and her baby: by using the grace extraction procedure Cas had done on him back when Gadreel was in the picture. Because the baby is just a human with angelic grace, if they can get rid of it, then the kid will most likely end up normal. Excited by the breakthrough, Dean goes to tell Cas, only to discover that he’s gone again, and this time, he took the Colt with him.
Cas brings the Colt to Kelvin as part of the plan with Joshua to take care of Kelly, Dagon, and the baby. The plan is for Cas and Kelvin to kill Dagon and Kelly so Sam and Dean don’t have to; Dagon isn’t easy to kill, and while Kelvin attacks her, Cas finds Kelly, but instead of killing her, he leaves with her. Pretty soon after that, it’s revealed that Kelvin has been captured by Dagon, who’s got to find Kelly and the kid to avoid Lucifer’s wrath, so she uses Kelvin to find out Cas’ plan.
Long story short, Cas’ plan is to take Kelly to the entrance to Heaven–a sandbox at a playground–so that she and the baby will both die. Kelly is still adamant that her baby is good, and has Cas feel the baby kick. When he does, something happens inside Kelly: her eyes turn fiery and she can see the future, where Cas protects her at the sandbox, which makes her trust him.
Sam and Dean find them shortly after that, and when they explain the grace extraction plan, Kelly wants none of it because by taking away the grace, they’ll be taking away the thing that makes the baby special (ooookay, Kelly). Finally, the Winchesters manage to convince Cas and Kelly to head back to the bunker with them to talk it out, but instead, Kelly steals the Impala and drives herself and Cas to the sandbox.
They’re met there by Joshua, who has about a three-second cameo before he’s killed by Dagon, who had been waiting for them for hours. When Sam and Dean arrive to try and kill her again, Dagon destroys the Colt before heading for Kelly to take her back to their lair, which– home sweet home, I guess. Before she can, though, Kelly holds Cas’ hand and the nephilim’s powers are transferred over to the angel, who uses them to kill Dagon.
Sam and Dean can tell that something’s up with Cas now, especially because he’s done a complete 180 on his nephilim opinion, saying that the kid has to be born with all of its powers. They say that they’re not letting him leave before they figure out what’s wrong with him, but before they can do anything else, Cas knocks them out, and he and Kelly leave.
When Kelly asks what the nephilim told him, Cas just says that he didn’t tell him anything; he showed him the future.
But guys, what was the future? What’d Cas see? We’re not finding out next week because Sam and Dean will be going on a hunt with the witch twins from “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” while Mary and Ketch seem to have…a disagreement, to put it mildly. I’m a little bummed that Cas now seems too much like the Cas we’ve seen in past seasons (wanting to fix things, but inadvertently getting caught in the middle and doing more harm than good), but I’m going with cautious optimism here: we’ve still got a handful of episodes left before the season finale, and Team Free Will’s got to reunite again and kick ass.