“I’m No Angel” marks the return of our favorite former angel, Castiel. He’s got the angel squad hot on his trail and they have no qualms about leaving bodies (priests included) in their wake.
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This episode seems to focus a lot on getting used to new situations. Cas is getting used to his new situation as a human and Dean is getting used to Sam being half Sam and half Zeke and Ezekiel is getting used to hiding inside a human body of someone that doesn’t know he is there. In some ways, the pace seems less urgent here, but it fits with the many changes going on beneath the surface that appear in subtle ways throughout this episode.
A team of angels is searching for Castiel, who is currently residing in a church men’s shelter. He is still adjusting to his human existence (“Do you ever tire of urinating? I’ll never get used to it.” SPN cool quote #1) and is going by the alias of ‘Clarence’ (his nickname given to him by Meg). When he finds the gruesome bodies of two men of the cloth, he realizes the angel squad has arrived and it is time for him to move on.
Meanwhile, back at the Men of Letters bunker, Dean and Sam wonder what is taking Cas so long to arrive. Dean is also concerned for Sam, who is showing all the signs of a person completely rejuvenated. Sam assures him that he is fine and then — in the blink of blue eyes — Ezekiel is also assuring him that Sam is fine. Zeke has popped in to tell Dean that a faction of angels has found a quick way to find vessels and that the faction’s leadership are searching for Cas. He points out to do that, see, he can be useful to which Dean responds, “Well,so can my brother. So why don’t you go check your email and if I need your help, I’ll let you know.” (SPN cool quote #2). And with another flash of blue eyes, Sam is back and finishing his thoughts on the trials of Cas traveling as a human now. A confounded Dean responds, “I’m gonna get whiplash.” (SPN cool quote #3). But how long before Dean starts to forget who he is talking to, Sam or Zeke? Or which one knows what? About ten seconds, apparently, since he starts talking to Sam about the angels organizing and Sam doesn’t know what the heck he is talking about.
Speaking of the angels, it seems that this new faction is using evangelical television to reach out and touch potential new vessels. The television evangelist, Rev. Buddy Boyle (Kevin Brief) (complete with southern accent) urges listeners to open themselves up to the divine presence of the angels, “If angels come a-knockin’, just let ’em on in! And fill yourself up with their grace.” Behind the scenes, we meet the angel, Bartholomew (Adam J. Harrington) who was Naomi’s protege’ and the brains behind this operation. A young woman approaches team B and B, offering herself up as a vessel. Bartholomew reluctantly agrees and send in the angels. We understand his hesitance, though, when she ends up imploding all over the Reverend’s office. Yes, as we knew, “all who are willing are not designed to contain heaven’s grace.” Bartholomew tells Rev. Buddy, “You have to expect a few casualties.”
Sam and Dean are closing in on the trail of the angel squad and Cas, while Cas stays on the move. But an angel finds him at one of the homeless campsites and he is forced to kill him. He realizes he has to do something more to protect himself, so he decides to get a protection ward tattoo. Bartholomew is furious that Castiel was able to kill one of their operatives and vanish again. Castiel has his tattoo ward now, but is overwhelmed by all of the human stimulus around him. He seeks solace in a church and has a conversation with a woman who is there praying for her sick husband. He tries to suggest that maybe no one is listening, but she is adamant that his lack of faith will not shake her faith. She suggests that he try things her way instead of his — which may just be what he needed to hear.
Because Cas has warded himself against angels, Bartholomew decides to to hire a reaper, Maurice (Artine Brown), to help. His suggestion to the reaper for the best way to find Cas? Winchesters. Sam and Dean’s investigation leads them to the Reverend Buddy Boyle and then to the homeless group where Cas was last seen. The reaper watches all from a distance. But the Winchesters are on to him and set up a trap that he falls right into. They want to know who sent him.
Castiel has become more desperate and, while rummaging through the trash for food, he meets a young woman, April (Shannon Lucio), who takes pity on him and gives him a sandwich. When she sees him out in the pouring rain later, she decides to take him in for the night. She takes care of him and tends to his wounds. He opens up to her about his fight with the angel, his despair over the choices he has made (trusting the wrong person), and his feeling that his is all alone. She goes from offering tea to sympathy… and by sympathy, I mean sex. Another human function that Cas must adapt to… and he does… quite willingly.
Meanwhile, Dean and Sam are trying to get the reaper to adapt to giving up some information. They find out that Cas is warded, Naomi is dead and the new guy in charge is Bartholomew. They dispatch Maurice with the angel blade to whoever or whatever reaps reapers.
Cas and April are basking in their sexual afterglow and having that awkward “was it good for you” conversation. April asks him about their talk earlier. Could Cas get the person he trusted to help him undo the things that are making him feel so guilty? Cas tells her they are not in touch. She asks what lies ahead for him? “More of this, I hope,” is his reply and off they go again. Pan to flickering candles. When Cas awakens the next morning, April has washed his clothes, made him fresh-squeezed orange juice, and confiscated his angel blade. She is a reaper.
Dean and Sam are on the road, still on Cas’s trail, but no closer to actually finding him. Dean stops on the side of the road and awkwardly asks for Zeke without actually asking for Zeke and a confused Sam suddenly clicks into angel mode. Zeke is not happy to be summoned but agrees to use whatever powers he has to try to find Cas through the reapers who may be tracking him.
Cas is being tortured and interrogated by April, but she is not getting the information she wanted. He points out to her that it may be unwise to kill him since he (or rather his grace) was key to the closing of heaven and he may be just as important to opening the pearly gates again. April is not happy with that suggestion and it is at that moment that the brothers Winchester make their heroic appearance bursting through the apartment door. Unfortunately, April sees that as her cue to stab Castiel with the angel blade. She fights off Dean and knocks out Sam but Dean attacks her from behind with the angel blade she left in Cas. She goes out in a blaze of light. Dean tries to revive Castiel, but it is too late. He is dead.
Sam comes to as Dean realizes that Castiel is dead — but it is not Sam, it is Zeke. And he wordlessly walks over to Cas, heals his wounds and brings him back to life. But this proves quite draining for him and he stumbles away and passes out. Castiel awakens to Dean hovering over him and Sam — the real Sam — coming to across the room. Cas question why he is healed and still alive after April stabbed him. Dean quickly says that he made a deal not to kill her if she would heal Castiel. As Dean glances down at April’s body, Cas surmises, “You lied.” (And he looks rather proud of Dean for it.) Dean replies, “I did. I do that.” And that statement has so many levels and hidden meanings that we could write a book on it.
Back at the bunker, Sam questions Dean about the details of what really happened with finding Cas and Dean just sidesteps the issue. Castiel is impressed with the MoL digs (“Plentiful food. Good water pressure.”). He opines that there really is a lot to being human to which Dean replies, “It ain’t all just burritos and strippers, my friend.” (SPN cool quote #4) [Cue the new Supernatural convention costume of strippers carrying burritos — do the writers do this on purpose??] Cas continues to wax poetic about the complexities of mortal life. He tells the boys that his time with April was educational — as in having sex. (Dean, “Did you have protection?” Castiel, “I had my angel blade.”)
As Castiel goes in search of the perfect burrito, Zeke makes an appearance and tells Dean that Castiel cannot stay. It is too dangerous. If Castiel stays, then Zeke must go. But Zeke can’t leave Sam’s body because Sam is not strong enough to survive on his own. “I know. I’m sorry,” is Zeke’s only reply. Dean must make a choice. He approaches Cas who is happily eating his burrito and asks to talk. The look on Castiel’s face is open and trusting as he tells Dean that he always appreciates their talks and their time together. The look on Dean’s face is cool, grim and determined as he tells Cas he can’t stay. The last shot is of Cas’s face as he tries to absorb what Dean is telling him.
He is alone again.