Supernatural Preview: 'Lies, Omissions and Secret Agendas' Play Into Castiel-Centric Hour

When you mention Supernatural and Ben Edlund in the same sentence, things like fairies, suicidal teddy bears and meta-to-extreme come to mind. But this Friday’s episode (The CW, 9/8c), which was written and directed by Edlund, takes a serious look at the Winchester brothers’ heavenly ally, Castiel (Misha Collins). “The Man Who Would Be King” will give fans much-needed insight into what Cas has been up to upstairs (and downstairs?), says Edlund, who in this Q&A also tackles our questions about the angel’s devilish side and whether he might one day become human.

TVLINE | A lot of Cas’ story this season has been off-screen. What’s going to be explored in this week’s episode?
It’s a story told from his perspective, which makes it naturally non-terrestrial. We’ll go to Heaven. We’ll go to Hell. But also what I’m pleased with is he’s kind of a dreamy cat. He’s got this angelic point of view on the world, so the structure of the episode is, I’d say, among our more kaleidoscopic, if you let me use that word.

TVLINE | We learned quite a bit about Cas and Crowley’s (Mark Sheppard) secret relationship in the last episode. How are Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) going to react to that? Is this going to have an affect on Cas’ relationships with them?
I think that’s inevitable. The way that Cas has evolved, he’s become a family member for Sam and Dean — even if he’s not of the same species. Lies and omissions and secret agendas, those are the kind of things that they respond to with a lot of emotion. That’s what will take place.

TVLINE | When we spoke at the Paley Festival, you said Cas would be making some difficult choices in this episode and taking stock of his life. What are some of the struggles he’s facing?
His biggest problem is responsibility. He’s in a kind of a Wild West situation in Heaven. War makes really, really difficult decisions arrive daily — moral choices, sacrifice and ultimatums are the things he has to weave through. I think that Episode 20 in a lot of ways sets up a lot of the choices that he’s going to have to look through and make. There’s a three-part energy to the last three [episodes, including the two-hour May 20 finale], so it puts the ball on the tee.

TVLINE | Is he going to be torn between staying in that angelic state and maybe adopting a human form?
I think that’s an inventive and possible thing. He’s essentially… a perfect machine that has been infected with human qualities. Or you could say he was once a ruthless mechanism and he’s been elevated by human qualities. He’s a hybrid now. That creates as much conflict as it does insight.

TVLINE | How does the fight for souls factor into this episode? We haven’t learned much about the mechanics of what they mean and how they help Cas’ fight yet.
I think a lot of that will be revealed, but it will be revealed then. [Laughs] That’s a lot of what the story will revolve around. When I was sitting down with everyone … my first thing to do was I drew this big, long, awful-to-look-at timeline, going back to almost The Big Bang. [Laughs] They had to listen to me for days [as I] sort of worked out my own sense of what the mechanics were. We had a lot of it, but then there were just pieces and places that I felt we had to think a little more deeply into. I think it worked. It will, I believe, satisfy a lot of those questions. There’ll be many left open because that’s the purpose of drama, but yeah, it will get you closer. [Laughs]

TVLINE | It almost seems like the Mother storyline was a diversion for what was going on with Cas and Crowley. Should we consider Cas the foe that Dean and Sam really need to be concerned with?
I think what’s kind of developed between Seasons 5 and 6…. It started to me with the way we looked at Lucifer and investigated his situation as not simply this red guy that pops out of a hole and is pernicious and wants to generate wickedness for wickedness’ sake. He had his point of view. He had conflict. He had love, tremendous love. I think one thing that’s a credit to the show is that our villains aren’t full villains. I don’t think that we’re operating on the full-on Big Bad thing. Maybe it’s possible that the Mother of all monsters felt diversionary. That was an intended aspect of what her job was, but also she is a monster. She’s more monstrous and more closer to wicked than we have been dealing with in other areas. She holds up some weight for us doing that kind of stuff because it’s good to have some of that thing there. But when it comes to Cas’ impact on the boys and his universe…. He’s kind of like a screwed up good guy. One might say he’s misguided. We’ll see. It’s more complicated. I like that.

What are you most excited to see in tonight’s Cas-centric outing? Think he’s just misguided, but ultimately good? Hit the comments and let us know.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. AlistairCrane says:

    Never been a big Castiel fan, so I’m hoping this new development is his last hurrah. I don’t want him back next season.

    • Tony says:

      Castiel provides a contrast to the brothers, with his black and white setting a nice contrast to the greys of the brothers. Me thinks he is here to stay for a little while longer, just to keep showing that sometimes, the worl is that straight forward

  2. Davi says:

    I’m very excited for this episode. One of the best things about Supernatural is that they’re willing to take risks with their popular characters, and having Castiel in an iffy moral situation actually makes sense for his character.

    On the purely shallow side: “dreamy cat” is the perfect description for Misha Collins. I swear the man sometimes looks exactly like a cat about to fall asleep.

  3. NickC says:

    Being a huge Buffy/Angel fan i stupidly thought SN was just a rippoff..Then i watched a rerun a couple of months ago.It was a Cas/Dean Ep and i was hooked.(I’ve since caught up)…This is a Great interview.I have always wondered where Cas went when he left Sam/Dean…This will be great…Dare i say it, SN is BETTER than Buffy…

  4. isis says:

    Can’t wait to see how it all plays out. Dean is my favorite character, followed closely by Cas and their odd-couple friendship has become my primary reason for watching this show. I really it hope it can weather this betrayal.

  5. Allison says:

    Love Castiel, best addition to this show in a long time. Just wish SPN had spent more time developing the “War in Heaven” story ON screen and left 2/3 of the dreadfully dull Soulless Sam story off screen. I’m really looking forward to tonight’s ep and Ben’s directorial debut. “Smile Time”, his ep of Angel that he also directed, is one of my favorite hours of television. Ever.

  6. Crystal Dee says:

    I thought Castiel had the best entrance to a TV show I’ve ever seen (and I’ve watched an obscene amount of TV), I was initially thrilled with his introduction to the show. He then went on to become a mind numbingly dull character and I resented his screen time and wondered what the hell his fans saw in him.

    That’s changed over the last two episodes, he’s finally stopped being a convenient magic machine and become an interesting, close to fascinating character.

    So I for one, can’t wait to see the episode. Supernatural continues to be one of my favourite TV shows and I’m very excited that we are finally getting new dimensions for what IMO has been a very one dimensional character, unless of course you are into Dean/Castiel slash, which I’m not.

  7. Lola says:

    As someone who’s been in love with Castiel since he first made that show stopping entrance in “Lazarus”, I’ve been fascinated with his development over the past few seasons. To me, he has always been such a rich, layered, complex character and he adds a wonderfully unique dynamic to Team Free Will. As much as I adore Cas as one of the “good guys”, I can understand how he could end up facing such difficult ethical challenges and in many ways, be ill equipped to handle them. But I’m all for watching him struggle with it- I’m just crossing my fingers and toes that his character returns next season and that his friendship with the brothers isn’t permanently damaged. His relationship with them, especially Dean, has been one a joy to watch.

    Thanks for the article!

  8. GimplyGump ☺ says:

    mt theory: Chuck, err, God come back at the last minute and rights the Heavenly wrongs. Raph is sent to Hell with his Lukey ☺ brother, and Cass is either made fully human or reassigned as the brother’s guardian angel who is Earth bound and stripped of most of his power, but not knowledge.

  9. Dee says:

    I adore Castiel and have been both looking forward to and dreading this episode. I think the angel has added tremendously to the show and I know I would not enjoy it nearly as much as I do without him. His friendship with Dean has been a real highlight these last couple of seasons, and I’d really like to see that continue. If the brothers (especially Dean) cannot find a way to understand and forgive him, it would just break my heart. Dean more than anybody has had a tremendous influence on Castiel and it seems like it’s that influence that has helped lead the angel down his current path – for good or ill.
    Please show, don’t render him beyond redemption. If Castiel does end up having to pay a price for his misconduct, I hope it doesn’t include the destruction of his friendship with the brothers, or the total loss of his life. Maybe power him down some? Make him a real human/angel hybrid? I think some interesting stories could come out of that.

  10. Joe Finkle says:

    When did Supernatural move to Thursdays? Or is it another one of Crowley’s tricks…

  11. Carry says:

    I love Castiel more than anyonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnne

  12. cassi says:

    Finally a Castiel episode! :D

  13. SueP says:

    This is one episode I’ve been rather ‘meh’ towards since hearing about it. I believe Castiel worked well in the apocalypse storyline, but, whether it’s because the Heavenly war hasn’t been fleshed out all season or simply because the character has become little more than a one-note joke, I think his storyline should end. I know some fans love him, but I could never connect since he’s been lying to Sam and Dean since When the Levee Breaks. The revelation of his deciept will break the trust Dean gave him which I think is one straw too many for the older Winchester once he learns the depth of that deciept. I hope he can be redeemed before he goes, but I won’t miss him when he does.

  14. Jaclyn says:

    I believe Castiel’s presence adds so much to the show – it offers such a different perspective that in many senses I am glad he’s departed from the predictable dog-at-heal. Our aligerous friend is most certainly in for the ride and with so much weight on his shoulders it should be an out pouring of every single deed he has undertaken since he and the boys parted company.
    Misha Collins is one of those actors that elevates others, and working with two soul-mates in Jared and Jensen, both capable of those dizzy heights, the chemistry is amazing!

  15. Chris says:

    Before watching season 4, I knew there was going to be an angel character, and at first I honestly believed I would hate him and that he’d ruin the show. I was never more wrong. Castiel has quickly become my favorite character, and IMO, is one of the best reasons to watch Supernatural. He adds the touch of humor that Supernatural sometimes needs in the really angsty periods (ex: later season 5), but it’s not all he’s good for. He’s a character that’s been going through many changes since his debut, and maybe not all of them are for the better, but that’s reality for you. I honestly don’t want him to be permanently killed off, I’ve grown far too attached to him, but I am very much excited to see what the writers have in store for his story.

  16. John C. says:

    I didn’t catch on to Supernatural until a couple of years ago but been a fan since. There’s just nothing like it on TV. And compared to the snoozefest lead-in that’s Smallville, this show is absolutely epic. I really appreciate the fact that they develop ALL characters in the show, not just one here, one there. Hope they keep is fresh week after week.

  17. Melody says:

    I already have the tissues next to my chair. Tonight is going to hard to watch, but I’m terribly excited.

  18. MJ says:

    I am so excited for this episode it’s ridiculous! I just hope they don’t kill Cas by the end of the season.

  19. eugenia says:

    If I never hear about Sam’s wall again it will be too soon.

    As for Cas, please show, keep him on. He’s one of the best characters on this show, second only to Dean, who is the best character on this show.

    Without Cas, it will once again become the redundant show about Sam and his brother, what’s his name and of course, Sam will have something wrong and Dean will be all about Sam.

    At least with Cas, Dean has a chance of becoming his own person and having a character who actually cares about Dean, not just what Dean can do for him and when he’s done, go run off to find somebody else, like Sam does over and over.

  20. Sara says:

    “One might say he’s misguided.” That is exactly the way I see him and his actions, as misguided by the pressure of the war and the responsibility. Castiel is pure at heart. He is just trying to do what is right; you can see how much it pains him to make difficult decisions and to lie to the brothers. To me he’s still good, so I will support his character no matter what[I’m expecting the brothers to do the same, if they just chastise his actions -after Dean
    s time in hell and Sam all throughout S4- I’m going to wack them with Missouri’s spoon.]
    I cannot wait for this episode. I’ve been dying to see the Castiel’s POV. I mean, he’s an angel! just thinking about all he has gone through and all he has seen in his life is mind-bottling. I’m so excited to hear his side of the story and to learn more about the war in heaven. This episode is going to be amazing! I’ve been looking forward to it for months now! I cannot wait to see it!!!

  21. Kate says:

    I love Cas and I think the idea of a conflicted angel is brilliant! I can’t wait to see how Dean deals with this…partly because he and Cas have a special bond and partly because Cas is in a tough spot. Cas is doing bad things for a good reason – kind of like Dean did when he went to Hell and learned to torture and ultimately broke the first seal to save himself. I think there are a lot people who will complain about how terrible Cas is for some of the things he is doing but Cas is at war and unless you’ve been in combat you have no idea how easily the lines can blur. Can’t wait for this ep!

  22. Carrie says:

    I didn’t realize tonight’s episode was written & directed by Ben Edlund. That means it should be awesome. I loved the twist at the end of last week’s ep. It’ll be interesting to find out what exactly is going on with Cas and Crowley.

  23. Mikaylah says:

    Tonight’s episode just about killed me. All I could do was shake my head and feel horrible for Cas. I love him so much. The character is amazing, and it has been great seeing all the layers as he becomes more “human”. I don’t like that he kept so much from the other men, but I think he truly is trying to do the right thing. I hate that Dean, Sam and Bobby don’t trust him anymore, and that Sam would even THINK that Cas meant to bring him back soulless. That just cut me. Also them angel proofing Bobby’s house. Cas would never hurt them!