Supernatural: The Rapture
August 1, 2021 4:14 AM - Season 4, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Castiel has been recalled to heaven, and his human vessel, Jimmy Novak, tries to resume his life, but continued demon interest in him puts his wife and daughter at risk.

Quotes:

Sam: Sorry, uh, this is funny to you?
Dean: Mr. Big-Bad-Prison-Guard Jimmy McMook gives you the slip? Yeah, it's pretty funny. What were you doing anyway?
Sam: I was getting a Coke!
Dean: Was it a refreshing Coke?

Dean: You used to be strong enough to kill Alistair. Now you can't even kill, uh, stunt-demon number three?

Amelia Novak: [possessed] You know what's funny?
Dean: You wearing a soccer mom?

Trivia:

Before he becomes Castiel, while sleeping in his chair, Jimmy Novak is watching Sid Roth's It's Supernatural.

While Dean's line "Anna used something like that to wish the angels back to the cornfield" is a reference to the classic "It's a Good Life" episode of The Twilight Zone, in which a small boy with psychic powers eliminates those who don't do as he wants by "wishing them out into the cornfield".

Jimmy Novak, the vessel of the angel Castiel, was from Pontiac, Illinois. In the beginning of season 4, Dean was buried in Pontiac, Illinois where he was raised from the grave by Castiel. It was at this time that Jimmy Novak accepted Castiel's possession of him, and Castiel did so in order to raise Dean from perdition.

Misha Collins liked to experiment with different voices for the different characters that he played within the series. In this episode, Jimmy Novak's voice is Misha Collins' normal speaking voice.
posted by orange swan (11 comments total)
 
Amelia thought her husband had become a schizophrenic, and who can blame her.

Jimmy had been shot and probably had some other fatal wounds as well while inhabited by Castiel, which usually means death for a demon-possessed human once they're exorcised of the demon, but I suppose it's different when one is possessed by an angel, who has healing powers. And can also apparently magically mend and launder clothing.

It does not make sense at all that all those demons would be so avid to destroy an empty vessel. I mean, pick your battles, guys. They seem to think he knows useful things, but what on earth would he know besides what Castiel had already done?

Hearing Misha Collins' real voice was definitely a shock. There's a lot of talk about how Jensen Ackles lowers his voice to play Dean, but I have never thought it was significantly lower. Misha Collins' real voice is VERY different from the one he uses for Castiel.

Claire Novak is played by another actress later on -- this young actress appears in just this one episode.
posted by orange swan at 4:19 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I love how Supernatural reminds us that Castiel is responsible for turning a random family's existence into a horrorshow. That's one of the things about the earlier monster-of-the-week episodes; we end up watching completely random people deal with unspeakable tragedies and then just, go and rarely think about them again. Only this time one of the major characters is the unspeakable tragedy.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:10 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


I thought it was too much that at the end Jimmy is begging Castiel to take him in exchange for protection for his wife and daughter. Surely after Castiel had seen all the pain and trauma he caused that family he wouldn't have done that -- he could surely find another willing human who has no family to leave. But I suppose the show didn't want to lose Misha Collins, so they went with it.
posted by orange swan at 6:50 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I always found it kind of amusing that Misha Collins did this one-off deep voice for Castiel and then surprise, had to keep doing it for years! I guess we're lucky he didn't injure his voice doing it or something.

Poor Jimmy.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:38 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


Only this time one of the major characters is the unspeakable tragedy.

Exaaaactly. The idea that you have to consent to let an angel possess your body is one of those things that on the surface makes them sound like the good guys, compared to demons who take people by brute force, but the execution makes it so much more fucked up. The dynamics between Castiel and Jimmy and Claire are lowkey some of the most interesting on this show to me and I'm really glad they explored it a little this early on.

Jimmy I have to feel bad for because not only did something possess him and ruin his life--that happens to hundreds of people--but everyone important to the story and also the audience decided they like having Castiel around more. What do you do with coming in as God's runner-up preferred inhabitant of your body? What could Claire make of people who genuinely trust and love this incomprehensibly alien being wearing her dad's dead body around like a Halloween costume? Even Castiel, who already is the most heroic angel character second to Anna, visits this very devout guy twelve times to tell him, you're special, you're needed by God, stick your arm in this boiling water and I'll protect you, and it really seems like that's it. But after all, didn't he ask permission, and didn't Jimmy say yes?

(Somewhere down the line you find out Claire spent years praying for Castiel to leave and let Jimmy come home, and Castiel always heard her, which, brrrrr. Unlike Hell, Heaven, and demons, we never see what an angel really looks like, which I dig even though I'm sure it was just too expensive. But in practice that means from now on Jimmy is what Castiel looks like, and how he pictures himself, even in situations where he doesn't need a vessel, even after he's dead. He wears Jimmy Novak to the afterlife.)

The very first thing we're told about Jimmy is "he prayed for this" and it's so rough to hear it from Jimmy's side, and so sad when he begs to hand himself back over, knowing how awful and painful it will be, so Castiel doesn't take Claire's body instead. Claire's life is never easy after it intersects with Castiel's but I really like that the show found a niche for her, and that she was one of the (really very few) survivors of the Great Winchester Doom Vortex.
posted by jameaterblues at 10:20 AM on August 1 [5 favorites]


we never see what an angel really looks like

That's fascinating. I wonder if it also has to do with the WTF factor or offending nominally-Christian sensibilities?

Malakim are supposed to look kind of like humans, but no wings.

Cherubim... "have four faces, that of a lion, an ox, an eagle, and a human. Straight legs, four wings, bull hooves..."

Seraphim have six wings, and are flaming (or are hooded like cobras, depending on interpretation).

Ophanim are just weird; interlocking gold wheels covered in googly eyes.

The effect they went for with dead angels (spread wings burned into the ground to either side of the body) look pretty cool.
posted by porpoise at 11:38 AM on August 1


I'm sure it was mainly a decision based on F/X costs. At one point, Cas says he's as tall as the Chrysler Building and Zachariah mentions one of his faces is a lion (and he has multiple sets of wings). Besides it was established that people can't look upon their true faces without going blind, so that's the canonical out. The dead angle after image is striking, effective and relatively cheap, so I'm good with them not resorting to bad F/X when there is no need (as in with the Hellhounds). Sometimes, the visuals just aren't necessary.
posted by sardonyx at 2:08 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


For me, the scene in which Castiel meets Dean and shows him his wings is one of my favourite special effect images of the entire series. Less is more sometimes.
posted by orange swan at 2:31 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Is this the one where Castiel tells Claire, "I'm not your father"? Like, the whole experience wasn't traumatic enough for the poor kid, and that's his exit line? Cas' association with the Winchesters apparently softened him a LOT, because the glimpses we get of him before can be pretty horrifying.

Another reason to be sad about Wayward Sisters not being picked up: You know Misha Collins would have dropped by, at least for a guest spot or two. When you've got Claire Novak as a regular character, there's no way you won't have Castiel or Jimmy show up.

I never forgot the line about Cas being as tall as the Chrysler building. Probably for the best that we never saw his original form. It'd be hard to live up to the expectations!

I really liked the cheap-but-awesome special effects of the early seasons, and missed them when every monster just became some guy with contacts. (For me the worst offenders were the dragons. The show brought in a dragon... and it was just some scrungy guy. I don't even remember if he had contacts in. That's how memorable their freakin' dragon was!) I'm sure the change was mostly about the budget, but it seems like it had to also be a stylistic choice to some degree. They could've bought some good, cheap masks from the Halloween store and just kept the monsters in the shadows, but they didn't. No matter how grand the mythology got, visually it always came back to some guys in long coats, glowering at the Winchesters in a Vancouver warehouse.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:06 PM on August 1


I just watched the dragon episode. The dragon had glowing hands (I guess to represent the fire that dragons can typically breath) that could heat things/melt things. I don't recall any contacts, but that doesn't mean there weren't any. But yes, the dragons were really sad.
posted by sardonyx at 5:38 PM on August 1


(Somewhere down the line you find out Claire spent years praying for Castiel to leave and let Jimmy come home, and Castiel always heard her, which, brrrrr. Unlike Hell, Heaven, and demons, we never see what an angel really looks like, which I dig even though I'm sure it was just too expensive. But in practice that means from now on Jimmy is what Castiel looks like, and how he pictures himself, even in situations where he doesn't need a vessel, even after he's dead. He wears Jimmy Novak to the afterlife.)

I feel like there's a good story in there somewhere about that sort of careless appropriation of someone else's identity - though Supernatural definitely was not the show to tackle it. (I admit I stopped watching before Claire showed up again, so I can't speak to that or how the show dealt with that reunion, I guess that can wait until we get there)

Novaks were fairly popular for a couple of years in fanfic - with Jimmy it was a mixed bag of horror and Jimmy being a human explainer for Castiel, with Claire it was largely surrealist horror stories about dealing with unspeakable trauma with the occasional murder spree.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:53 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


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