[Drops remote in stunned disbelief, unable to do anything other than emulate a pile of jello.]
What the... how did… what did Dean and Bobby just do to Sam? What’s coming in the final two episodes? Until that final shocking scene and subsequent preview, "The Rapture" is a pretty even, not over-the-top yet emotional look at another family not named Winchester that's torn apart over this holy war. Every once in a while, especially in a 22-episode season, some time has to be set aside for some good old fashioned story telling. Jeremy Carver is a master and his story works very well until those of us lulled into a sense of security are whacked in the head by a two by four at the end.
[Shakes it off, tries to focus on review.]
Sheesh, this is gonna be a long week. Anyway, the one thing I absolutely love about this season is the writers' and producers' ability to mix it up. It’s never the same episode each week, and usually what’s presented manages to take me by surprise. A pleasant surprise. “The Rapture” is no different. For a story that mainly focuses on the ramifications when the calling of a higher purpose comes from an angel, I’m easily sucked in by all the drama. Sure, the pacing is slower, and it’s hardly a blow-you-away episode (until the end, that is), but I’m pleased to see this story shared. Even the vessel has issues. There’s also enough intense Sam and Dean drama to keep me going for another week and still enjoy the story told.
So, what happens when an angel comes along, asking for service? The tale of Jimmy Novak is what happens, and the story behind the man serving as the “vessel” for Castiel for the last year is gut-wrenching to say the least. Jimmy, a devout man who’s at first honored by Castiel’s presence, finds he’s one of that rare breed that can communicate with angels in their true form (after the rough first meeting, that is). He eventually commits to making the sacrifice and serve, with his only request being that his family is kept safe.
A year later though, as Sam and Dean have found out since the angels have come along, God’s calling isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Jimmy is free when Castiel is supposedly dragged back to Heaven against his will. As he tells Sam and Dean while choking down food he hasn’t had in months, the last year has been like being tied to a comet. It’s not all the glory he expected, and he’s done. He’s so eager to go back he immediately reunites with his family, not buying into Sam and Dean’s theory that he’s a target for demons and putting his family in danger.