The Born-Again Identity begins with pain and ends in pain. Jared Padalecki gives a great performance as an insomniac driven crazy by hallucinations via Lucifer(Mark Pellegrino). The episode, written by Supernatural’s show runner, Sera Gamble, was quiet, subdued and brought two storylines front, center and moved them forward. Sam’s(Jared Padalecki) brain wall crumbles and Castiel’s life after his lake walk is revealed. Both are addressed well and with closure. From Sam’s craziness to Lucifer’s taunting to Dean’s emotion at finding Cass, the story glides along with pain, tension and typical Winchester emotion. Beginning with Sam’s insomnia due to Lucifer’s continual taunts, Sam runs for his life, from his own thoughts, when he gets hit by a car, putting him in a mental institute. Dean storms the hospital only to discover that Sam is in a full-blown psychotic breakdown. So begins The Born-Again Identity.
Sam is in a mental prison and has no escape. Lucifer teases him every second of every day. The record for not sleeping is 11 days before a person’s organs shut down and they die. After being hit by a car, Sam goes bonkers, landing him in lockdown for his mental instability. Sam ignoring Lucifer incites him to use firecrackers for distraction. Sam responds to this nonstop popping with wincing and shoulder jerking. The psychiatrist cannot believe the amount of drugs he’s given to Sam with no avail, he cannot be put to sleep. When Dean forces his way into see Sam, he finds Sam as low as he’s ever been. Despondent, Sam has given up. He feels like there is no hope for him. Keep in mind, that THIS brother is the ever positive, more even keeled of the two. When Dean hears Sam talking this way, in spite of reassuring Sam that he’ll find a way to fix him, Dean looks broken. He goes straightway to Bobby’s book, calling every hunter listed, looking for a healer.
Talking to hunter after hunter and getting nowhere, Dean lays the book on a table and takes a break. While turned around, he hears a thud. Bobby’s book has mysteriously fallen to the ground with a business card falling out. I’m quite sure that this is Bobby taking care of the boys although his bones were burned. How can that be? Stay tuned. Dean calls the number for help and the hunter calls him back with info on a healer, Emmanuel(Misha Collins, Castiel) , that he personally used for healing.
Dean tracks the healer down only to find a demon already there. When Dean tosses the demon’s body down some steps, it lands at the feet of Emmanuel who looks like Castiel. Emmanuel thanks Dean for saving his wife and they talk about Emmanuel’s’ special gifts, healing and now the ability to see demons. He leaves with Dean, quizzing him about Sam’s sickness. Dean realizes that this body was Castiel’s but that Emmanuel also doesn’t remember anything about his past. Dean informs Emmanuel that someone broke his brother’s head. Emmanuel reassures Dean that he can heal spiritual wounds also.
The two stop at a convenience store for food and the demons hunting Emmanuel attack in full force. Dean is down on the floor about to be demon fodder when he thinks Emmanuel has saved him. To his and our surprise, it’s Meg, an old demon ally. Meg found Emmanuel also and needs his angel juice in her fight against Crowley. Meg needs Dean so that Emmanuel will allow her to be around. Dean concedes to her going with them with the promise of not leaking to Emmanuel who he was. Dean’s only concern is getting Sam fixed. Meg is still fighting a war. Emmanuel/Castiel is back in perfect form while the three drive to help Sam. Emmanuel mentions how uncomfortable the silence is. Meg refers it onto Dean who refuses to be goaded into revealing who Emmanuel really is for fear of Castiel disappearing or worse yet, imploding.
The three arrive at the hospital only to find it occupied by demons. Meg points out that Castiel could smite them all easily. Her and Dean converse about Castiel which Emmanuel overhears. They tell Emmanuel that he was Castiel. When Castiel remembers how he and Dean parted, he wants to leave. Dean pulls out Castiel’s trench coat, allowing Castiel a glimmer of Dean’s emotions. Let the smiting begin! Castiel doesn’t recall how to kill demons but gets the hang of it quickly. Epic music during Castiel’s smiting and walk down memory lane: Turn into Earth by the Yardbirds.
During Sam’s stay as a patient, he finds a supernatural case. A young woman, Marin, has tried to kill herself. Sam engages Marin and discovers that she is being haunted by her brother who died and wants Marin to kill herself to join him. Marin’s bracelet enables Sam to summon her dead brother, then releasing his spirit. The ghost poofs gone but Sam is grabbed by orderlies for having a lighter and fire starting! An orderly wheels Sam to a room, ready to start electro shock therapy when Sam sees it’s a demon.
The orderly demon is ramping up the shock machine but Castiel stops that torture in time. He lays his hands on Sam for healing but nothing happens. There is nothing left to put back together. Castiel shows great remorse here. He did everything with and for the Winchesters and feels responsible for Sam’s condition. Castiel realizes that he can shift what Sam is experiencing to himself and does, to be greeted by Lucifer with “hello brother”. Meg gets hired at the hospital to watch over Castiel who has taken Sam’s place somehow.
So Castiel is in a mental ward in Sam’s place, being tormented by Lucifer and with demon Meg having access to him. Following in the Winchester’s footsteps, Castiel has sacrificed it all. I prefer this Castiel to the Levaithan filled Castiel hands down. Sam is ok as far as we know and not happy about leaving Castiel alone unguarded at the hospital. He states “this feels like a demon deal” with Meg working there to protect Castiel or whatever she has in mind. Dean responds this is not so much as a deal as but mutually assured destruction. So continues the Winchester saga! As Dean said, ” We have no friends, all of our friends are dead.” Next week, we have DJ Qualls returning in Party On Garth.
Castiel and the awkward silence: vid by ChairStelenaDelena http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGg1xDWUx2Q&feature=share
Dean gives Castiel his trenchcoat: vid by ChairStelenaDelena http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A0E1BkYYpE&feature=youtu.be
Castiel’s montage with music! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QN37COp0hY&feature=youtu.be