Destiel in the remainder of season 9
Thoughts on season 9 from a Destiel perspective. Spoilers for the season so far, as well as for the promo trailer.
For some reason, today I started thinking about Cas’ transformation to humanity as something of a “Little Mermaid” story. I’m sure people have discussed this before, as the parallels are quite obvious. Cas literally gave up his voice (remember that big scary angel voice that blows out windows?) as well as his tail (well, wings) when he became a human. He’s gone through painful physical struggles, just as the little mermaid did in the Hans Christian Andersen story, and explored a world that he’d previously only seen from afar. (Yes, he’s walked around on Earth for years, but he’s never really understood humans till now.) And he’s been rejected by his prince twice (Dean has reasons for that rejection, but Cas doesn’t know what they are), and even died as the little mermaid did.
But the analogy isn’t a really good one, because unlike the mermaid, Cas didn’t choose to become human. The Sea Witch (Metatron) took his grace from his throat, in a scene that was actually very reminiscent of the Disney version of “The Little Mermaid,” now that I think of it. But Cas didn’t give up his wings and his voice voluntarily. This made it likely that he’d either get his grace back and give it up again, or be offered the choice to get his grace back and decline it.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what’s happened. Cas has grace— not his, but someone’s. I think the writers made it clear that Cas isn’t sure if this is going to work out well, and I’m pretty sure it won’t. The last time Cas grabbed power that wasn’t his and became Godstiel, things went south in a big way. (We also have a bit of visual evidence to support the idea that Cas won’t be quite right. Someone— no idea who— pointed out in a brilliant bit of meta that while the previews show Cas with trenchcoat on, symbolizing he’s an angel again, it’s quite noticeably not the same coat. He has grace again, but it’s not HIS.)
In any event, I expect this part of the season to be a little grim. (The second act in screenwriting is the part where complications arise and the characters have to overcome obstacles. We’re basically in the second act here, and things are going to get messy.) Cas is likely to go down a bit of a dark path, mostly because these writers always have him go down a dark path (and let’s face it, this hasn’t been the most original season ever, writingwise).
I imagine once Cas realizes that there’s an angel in Sam, which will presumably happen in the next episode, he will immediately understand why Dean kicked him out. At that point, he will likely be angry that Dean didn’t trust him enough to explain it to him, and there will be a blowout between them, which will contribute to whatever Cas’ season 9 darkside path is going to be. But eventually, Cas will have to make a choice— does he want to hold onto the power of being an angel, or does he want to consciously give up his humanity for Dean?
It’s been pointed out by real meta writers (of which I am not one!) that Cas really couldn’t make an informed choice before, because he didn’t truly understand what it was to be a powerless human. Now he does— as a homeless person, and then by being tortured not once, but twice, he’s learned all too well how painful and difficult life can be for an ordinary human— and he can make that choice with full understanding of what it would entail.
The problem for Cas is that giving up his angelic power means losing his ability to heal and save the people he loves. Think how hard it would be to make that choice. It’s not just giving up your wings and your voice, or even all those other wonderful powers a seraph possesses— it’s giving up the ability to hold back death. (My musings here are making me wonder if the next act isn’t going to open with Cas saving Kevin, because what better way to drive that point home to him? Here’s hopin’, anyway). The little mermaid had to give up her family and the home that she loved, as well as her voice. If Cas decides to become human once and for all, he has to give up all that, but he also has to give up the power to save the ones he loves if they are badly injured.
I’m guessing that Cas will eventually make the choice to become human (because otherwise the first part of this season is really pretty meaningless, and I’d rather think there was some purpose behind it). As a Destiel shipper, I want to imagine that what will drive him to it is his emotional connection to Dean. But I suspect it’s more likely that he might have to willingly sacrifice his powers for some reason, perhaps to save the angels and the world and get his brethren back to Heaven where they belong (and probably because he screwed up somewhere along the line and this is the only way he sees to make things right). I do hope his feelings for Dean will have at least a little to do with it, though!