On the “death” of Supernatural’s Castiel

January 21, 2012

Articles, Entertainment

by Sol Oróstica-Trejo:

The CW’s Supernatural has dedicated complete episodes to the fans, showing the series ideas through books and an underground franchise, conventions and an obsessive fangirl working side by side with the Winchesters themselves. Until recently, there were no major troubles among the fans about the writers’ decisions, even as the first three seasons focused exclusively on the hunters.  Since the Angels and Demons storyline has been incorporated into the show, many people have lost interest in it.

After three seasons accompanied by the angel Castiel, we see that new viewers have come, and how people have reacted towards the dismissal of the character. We only managed to see him in one episode in season seven so far, and his return is planned to culminate with another goodbye.

My admiration for the character is owed to his awkward personality, a structure we only appreciate in literature and that je ne sais quoi we see in several Britannic characters (Sherlock Holmes, The Doctor, Tony Hill, etc.) – it is not for nothing that fanbases seem to hit it off and come to love some of them.

It’s not every day that we see a man with little tact, of an almost innocent nature, interacting with an unknown environment. Genius and talented characters, or creatures with superpowers, tend to be arrogant and vain. Castiel approached such antagonist behavior by the end of his run, tired of being a sheep, and perhaps took “the wrong side.” The day Cas lost his original features, they put an end to his existence.

I love Cas (played by actor Misha Collins), and I want him to come back for good, not just three episodes. But I feel most comments from viewers are rants because of external reasons, not because of the character itself. The writers don’t want the actor in the series? How many fans love Misha more than Castiel, or even more than the Winchesters?

Many say we don’t need to accept Castiel’s death, and that the writers need to adjust to our satisfaction. I don’t entirely support that idea. Writers need to write a good story and do a good job. If the idea is to leave the Winchester Brothers in complete abandon, and to remove the few relationships the characters developed during their journey hunting monsters, exploiting their personalities and fears, so be it.

The big issue is to assume that fans will be satisfied with seeing their beloved character, who evolved from playing a minor role to that of a main character, and died in shameful circumstances taken away… again. For what? To create a big ‘jumping of the shark’? This is not usual in ‘Supernatural’, not like many other series that satisfy people for the ratings and turned out to be awfully boring. I don’t see ‘Supernatural’ that way: I don’t see bad actors, and I don’t see excuses, either. Supernatural has “only” killed off every secondary character, and they didn’t twist the story with bad scripts. That’s the difference.

Writers wouldn’t satisfy fans by discarding some characters or actors, because we accommodate ourselves to the atmosphere they create for us. Not all of us need immediate closure when we lose a loved one; we choose to continue watching TV shows because we can see anything is possible, and the least we expect from it is to feel satisfied. Control over life and death doesn’t exist, but in ‘Supernatural’ it does, and that always works in favor for the creators, not the fans, who await certain moments, certain characters, certain actors, etc.

We don’t need to tell ourselves what is wrong and what is right, either. We feel sad about Bobby Singer’s death, and I’m sure we accept Castiel at his best and at his worst. We don’t need to tell ourselves that Dean and Sam are the main characters. We’re not fools; we know we’re watching a TV show, but the fun part is to think beyond the plot, because if you don’t think about what you’re watching, you just watch something in a literal way, and for me, that’s never the point at all. That’s like reading a book for school because you have to. That’s a gained point for the writers; we believe!

It seems like we need a balance that we haven’t yet found this season. I think it has been satisfactory at the moment: good direction, good script. But we have the feeling that we’re constantly waiting. And if the masses have made the effort to vote in award shows, the masses want something in return — not just a second farewell. I guess the way it has been taken is to delay until we see the end of the season, and probably a return to even more striking things on a next season.  Because, let’s face it, we can have stories for a long time, and I hope it will be good for all the parties involved. Making us feel connected is important.

Supernatural airs on The CW network, Fridays at 9/8c.  It returns with a brand new episode on Feb. 3rd.


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Sol Oróstica-Trejo, can be found at

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Promotional pictures are courtesy of The CW.

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One Comment on “On the “death” of Supernatural’s Castiel”

  1. Nathalia Martin Says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your article, Sol. CW has been creating anymosity between Supernatural fans: in order to show love for the series you have to accept blindly what they throw at you. I strongly disagree, season 7 isn’t cohesive and, in my point of view, Bobby’s and Castiel’s deaths just show how much the writers team isn’t prepared to come with something creative – “killing is the last resort, when you simply don’t have any ideas to explore”.

    Castiel’s character was a needed opposition to Winchester’s and Singer’s know it all, strong characters. An angel who’s innocent and knows nothing about earthly life and costumes; someone who we could follow the evolution. Of course, Misha is a great actor (7×01/7×02 are amazing examples), but the character Castiel is needed, just like Bobby’s death.

    “Closure”, for who? For a storyline full of holes or for the writers to show that they have “competence”? Castiel was one of the best characters from the story and unfortunately, they made the big mistake when they killed him – it’s the same thing as a shooting your own foot.


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