The writers of “Supernatural” apparently decided what worked once can work again. Turning Sam (Jared Padalecki) worked well enough, so now it was time to turn another character to the dark side. This time, it's Castiel (Misha Collins) who drew the short straw and now must succumb to the powers of evil.
The episode was told from Castiel’s point of view, with a series of voice-overs and flashbacks. Castiel started with good intentions, only to have everything blow up in his face. By the time he learns his lesson, he is too far down the path to turn back.
Never has Castiel seemed more human. Even as he tries to do the right thing, it was always for the wrong reasons. And while he acts as if he knows what he is doing, it is clear that he in fact does not. It is the personal struggle that drives the episode. Viewers watch how the desire for power corrupts even a well-intentioned angel.
The episode was one of the strongest entries of the season, and given that most fans have grown quite attached to Castiel, it could easily be considered among the show’s best. Seeing a good character go dark is by no means original, but that does not detract from the overall quality of the episode.
Points Of Interest
A little humor was interjected when Raphael (Demore Barnes) chose Ken Lay’s version of Heaven, which included a giant George W. Bush portrait. Castiel questioned whether Lay should have been admitted. Lay, of course, was the disgraced Enron executive.
The title is an allusion to a Rudyard Kipling story of the same name.
Seeing the series of events from the point of Castiel was a very refreshing change. Like Bobby (Jim Beaver), Castiel has become a surrogate family member, and having his perspective was a real plus.
What Didn't Work
Castiel working with Crowley (Mark Sheppard), sadly, just doesn’t make a lot of logical sense. Even given the context presented, the alliance seems strange. I’m not a huge fan of turning Castiel dark either. They’ve already done this with Sam. It’s getting to be clichéd.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"Supernatural" stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. "The Man Who Would Be King" was written and directed by Ben Edlund.
“Supernatural” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
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