Supernatural Chat: Dean and Cas in Purgatory – Who Let Go of Whom?

Supernatural Season 8 Episode 2 What’s Up, Tiger Mommy

Hey there Supernatural fans! How is everyone liking the season so far? I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really enjoying it.

This week in Supernatural Chat, I wanted to take a look at the bits and pieces we saw between Castiel and Dean in Purgatory. In the premiere episode, Dean told Sam that Cas was gone, that he just “let go” and that Dean “saw enough” to know that his friend was gone.

I think nearly all of us interpreted those words to mean that Cas had lost his mind, that the reference to letting go meant he’d let go of his sanity. It was a perfectly good theory given that the last time we’d seen our fair angel, he was a few puppies short of a pet shop. But with the revelations from the most recent episode, it looks like Dean’s words weren’t a metaphor so much as they were an explanation of an actual physical act.

The more I think about last week’s episode, the more I keep having a question roll around inside my head: who let go of whom and why? Here are the theories I’ve come up with to explain it both ways.

Cas let go of Dean

Because Dean told Sam that Cas “let go” this does seem like the most plausible explanation of what happened. It looks like maybe Dean (with Benny in tow) was jumping through the portal out of Purgatory back to earth and trying to bring Cas with him. The portal wouldn’t let an angel through and Castiel finally decided to let go of Dean to allow his friend to escape.

Like I said, this theory makes the most sense given the information that we’ve seen so far on the show. Castiel obviously blames himself for everything that’s happened and I don’t think Cas would hesitate to let Dean go, even if it mean that he would be stuck in Purgatory forever. I think Cas would see that as his rightful penance for what he’s done and though he would know that Dean would be upset to lose him, he would also know that it’s better than Dean being dead.

Dean let go of Cas

Based on what we’ve seen so far, I realize this may not be a theory that holds much water but it’s a thought that I couldn’t get out of my head after watching the last couple minutes of “What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?” last week. Dean reads Kevin’s note and when Sam asks what the kid is thinking for leaving them, Dean’s reply is: “He thinks people I don’t need anymore – they end up dead.”

Then Dean flashes on Castiel reaching out and calling his name and it made me wonder, did Dean perhaps let go of Cas? Did he decide in that moment to err on the side of the greatest good and (if it was indeed the portal out of Purgatory) choose to return to his brother instead of staying with his friend. It’s a sucky situation either way, but if Dean was forced to do that, it might explain why he would say something like that to Sam and also his innate sadness since his return. Dean is the king of taking the blame of the universe on his shoulders, but I think letting go of Cas – even if it was to save his own hide and Sam’s if he thought his brother was in danger back on earth – could explain the way he’s acting right now.

As the details of what happened in Purgatory become clear, I realize that there’s a chance I’m completely wrong on both counts but I can only go by what we know so far, right? So what about you folks? Do you have any theories about what happened to Dean and Cas in Purgatory? Sound off in the comments below. I love hearing from you guys!

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”Supernatural Chat” is published every Tuesday. If you’re curious what this column is all about, check out our introductory post on it and more articles here.

  • MiiChan

    Hello! I’m from Austira and yeahh i love supernatural, and i always watch the new episode in the new weeks!

    Well i read this entry and hmhmnn i think yes and no.
    Cuz in the internet are many Pictures about Supernatural, also from Season 8. And i saw the End of the last Episode 8×2 and the last seconds from Castiel how he shout Dean’s Name and we didnt saw that Dean catch Castiel’s Hand for save him from  Purgatory.
    But! i saw in the internet, Dean catch for Castiel’s Hand. So i dont think he let him go…
    I think Castiel was slip out and Dean cant hold him. So he decide to leave Purgatory….and Dean have a remorse.

    Sooo that or other Things right :)
    Thats is my opinion.

    Sry for my english!

    Greets!

    MiiChan

  • Blumenschinea

    Are you sure Cas was holding on to Dean? Just because he called Dean’s name doesn’t mean he wasn’t holding on to Benny. I think Benny let go.

    • Dr Pepper

      At that point Benny’s soul was likey in Dean’s forearm. After coming through the portal we saw Dean cut open his arm to pour Benny’s soul over his bones.

  • Kayljay

    I’m betting whatever the answer is it’s not going to go how any of us think. The writers are heartless that way. :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melody-Paris/505717422 Melody Paris

    I don’t know.  I hate the idea of Dean sacrificing Cas, and depending on what happened over the year in purgatory it’s possible he got to that point.  I feel though it makes more sense that Cas was the one to let go; it’s just something he would do.  I’m hearing rumors though that he’ll be back in the mortal world soon – I’m hoping he was the guy standing outside of Amelia’s place watching Sam.

  • Neesalun

    Wow. I have so many more questions now with your article. I’m looking forward to more from the show and more from your reviews since you answer so many things. 

  • Deborahlb58

     I’m hoping this scene did not even take place when they WERE escaping Purgatory, but perhaps at some point when they may have been under attack and Dean let Cas go to fight. {The writers are good at tricking us into believing we’re seeing something, when we’re not.} However, if it was when Dean was escaping, I’m hoping he did not deliberately let Cas go to save his own rear. Dean changed in Purgatory; emotionally and mentally.  Part of it may have been Benny; he may have had Benny and suddenly he didn’t feel as if he ‘needed’ Cas anymore. Sometimes the new Dean reminds  me of the do-whatever-it-takes-sacrifice-whomever-to-reach-his-goal Future Dean of “The End.”  That Dean WAS willing to let Cas die, just so he could reach his goal. I just hope that didn’t happen in this case, as I believe that would turn a lot of fans against Dean.

  • 10_charris

    In viewing that scene again, it looks to me like Cas slipped – like people do on loose rocks while climbing.  If the portal wouldn’t allow an Angel through, Cas is in a human vessel..Jimmy Novack and as far as I know, Jimmy’s soul is still with him.  Cas was brought back to life several times, but unless I am wrong, Angels can only occupy living humans not dead corpses.  It will be something to see what exactly this scene means.  I just think that he was out of Dean’s reach and Dean got pulled into the portal  or sucked in and didn’t have a choice. 

  • Mrs. Peele

     n
    viewing that scene again, it looks to me like Cas slipped – like people
    do on loose rocks while climbing.  If the portal wouldn’t allow an
    Angel through, Cas is in a human vessel..Jimmy Novack and as far as I
    know, Jimmy’s soul is still with him.  Cas was brought back to life
    several times, but unless I am wrong, Angels can only occupy living
    humans not dead corpses.  It will be something to see what exactly this
    scene means.  I just think that he was out of Dean’s reach and Dean got
    pulled into the portal  or sucked in and didn’t have a choice. 

  • Mrs. Peele

    In watching that scene again, it looks like Cas slipped on loose rocks which people can do while climbing.  If he cannot pass through the portal because he is an Angel, he is in the vessel of a human, Jimmy Novak.  Cas has been resurrected several times but as far as I know, he still has a living human soul with him.  It is my  understanding that Angels can only occupy living vessels not dead corpses so if Jimmy’s soul is with him, he should be able to pass through.  I think Dean tried to reach down to him but got sucked into the portal and he had no choice in the matter.  We shall see though how they actually write it.  

  • http://twitter.com/Phoenix_Ranger Why Would I Tell?

     My thought is this:

    Benny, Dean and Cas are attacked by Leviathan on their way to the portal, thanks to Dean’s weapon, Cas’s low but powerful abilities and Benny skill, they survive.

    Benny takes Dean aside and tells him to ditch Cas, that it’d be easier trying to get two out instead of three and he’s dead weight for them anyways, drawing all kinds of unhelpful attention to themselves.

    Dean flat out refuses to leave Cas behind and tells Benny that, while Cas overhears the whole conversation.

    Dean and Benny rejoin Cas and Benny tells them how to get out, and tells them that they only have one possible shot at this portal, once it’s gone, there are no ways out for any of them and they’re stuck forever.

    Cas advises Dean against taking Benny out of Purgatory because Benny DOES belong in there but Dean again refuses to listen to that kind of talk and does a ritual and Benny soul goes into Dean’s arm.

    Dean activates the portal by cutting his hand open and using his human blood to open the gate, Cas insists Dean goes first.

    Dean is halfway through the portal, Cas a few steps behind him, when suddenly out of nowhere Cas is grabbed from behind and attacked by a huge group of Leviathan, dragging him backwards back into Purgatory.

    Cas yells out and reaches out for Dean and Dean hesitates in the gateway doorway as the portal begins to close, he looks down at his throbbing glowing forearm where Benny resides, glances up to the path to freedom and Sam and then looks back at Cas – his eyes filled with both fear and sadness.

    Cas sees his moment of hesitation and indecision and tells Dean to go, that he deserves this for all of what he’s done – as the Leviathan continue to tear at him.

    The portal is still closing as Dean still looks unsure, his eyes full of pain but when Castiel yells out a forceful “GO!”, Dean looks back at Cas and says “I’m sorry Cas”,

    Dean jumps through the portal and as it closes, Dean turns around and Dean’s last vision of Cas is of him being overwhelmed and probably killed by the Leviathan.

  • Guest

    Benny was in Dean’s arm when this happened…I’m willing to bet that Benny influenced him and made Dean let go without Dean actually realizing what happened. Cas probably realized it, though, which is why he was calling for Dean. It wasn’t “Dean, save me!” it was “Dean, focus, don’t let yourself be influenced”