9.06 Heaven Can't Wait

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Title Heaven Can't Wait
Episode # Season 9, Episode 6
First aired November 12, 2013
Directed by Rob Spera
Written by Robert Berens
On IMDB Heaven Can't Wait
Outline Dean and Castiel team-up to stop a rogue angel intent on ending human suffering, while Sam and Kevin strike a deal with Crowley to help translate the angel tablet.
Monster Rit Zien
Timeline
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Rexford, Idaho
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Synopsis

A distraught man talks to a suicide hotline, but hangs up. Then he puts a gun to his head. A young man appears, promising to end the man’s pain. When he puts his hand on the distraught man’s forehead, the man explodes in a burst of pink goo.

Castiel, under the alias of “Steve,” works as a sale assistant at the Gas-N-Sip, his boss, Nora, is late because she is a single mom. She says she’s free the next evening, and asks Castiel if he is too. Castiel interprets this as an invitation to go on date.

At the Men of Letters Bunker, Kevin tells Dean and Sam that he has translated some of the angel tablet by using an ancient codex. Sam suggests they do more research to see if they can translate this language. Dean gets a terse phone call from Castiel about the disappearances in Rexford, Idaho. Dean heads out for Rexford alone, telling Sam he is too weak for the trials.

Dean arrives and meets with the local sheriff. The distraught man’s cabin is completely covered by a pink substance. The sheriff tells Dean that it’s made of hair, bone, organs, everything. Three other people have died in a similar way a shut-in and an unhappy couple. Dean calls Sam, who insists he should be there. Dean says no, all the while gazing at Castiel working at the Gas-N-Sip.

Back at the Bunker, Kevin tells Sam there is some smudging on the tablet, as if the scribe does not want anyone to read it. He and Sam cannot translate it. Sam suggests they get Crowley to translate the cuneiform, but refuses. When Sam tries to reason with him, Crowley crumples the paper up and throws it in Sam’s face. Sam threatens to give Crowley up to Abaddon. Crowley asks for one phone call.

Dean visits Castiel at the Gas-N-Sip, making fun of Castiel's work. Castiel responds that there is a human dignity to his job.

A teenage girl is upset that her boyfriend broke up with her in real time, instead of Facebook. When she says she wants to die, she turns and sees a man who tells her he “can help you with that,” and causes her to explode into pink goo. Dean brings Castiel to the crime scene. Castiel is scared - he recognizes it as the work of a Rit Zein. In battle, the Rit Zein were angels who tended to wounded angels. If the angels were too far gone, the Rit Zein put them out of their misery. Now, new to Earth, the angel cannot tell the difference between the ebb and flow of human pain.

At the Bunker, Crowley proves that he can read the translation. Sam decides to let Crowley have one phone call. Kevin says letting the King of Hell and Abaddon communicate with each other is a terrible idea. The phone call involves drawing blood. When Sam starts to do it, Crowley demands Kevin’s blood. He says he has had enough of Sam’s blood, he wants something fresh. After some coaxing, Kevin agrees. He fills a syringe with his blood. With the blood bubbling in a bowl, Crowley contacts Hell. When he says he is their King, he is put on hold.

Dean drives Castiel to Nora’s house for his date. He convinces his friend to leave his blue work vest in the car, and unbutton his shirt. At Nora’s door, Castiel clips a rose and hides it behind his back for a romantic gesture. Castiel enters to find that Nora is going on a date with someone else; she wants Castiel to babysit her infant daughter, Tanya, assuring him that Tanya never cries. As soon as the door closes, Tanya starts wailing.

Crowley reaches Abaddon. Abaddon gleefully tells Crowley that she has doubled his projections by voiding his contracts and bringing more souls to Hell. She insults Crowley and tells him she will soon replace him. Crowley yells that you cannot rule Hell with chaos, and she will burn. “I can’t wait,” she snarls. Crowley passes the bowl back to Sam. Crowley asks for the transcripts, saying that he keeps his promises. Crowley reads the transcripts, and gives them the bad news: the angel spell is irreversible.

Castiel calms Tanya by singing the theme song to The Greatest American Hero. She quiets down, but as soon as he puts her to bed, she starts howling again. As he holds her, Castiel reflects on how she was pushed out into the world with nothing to guide her. He says he used to be able to stop her crying by one touch. When he puts his fingers on her forehead, Castiel feels that Tanya is running a fever.

When Sam is washing out the bowl of blood, he notices something amiss with the set of syringes. Opening it, he finds one gone. Crowley palmed one of the syringes. Heading to Crowley, he sees Crowley injecting himself with Kevin’s blood and leaning back, sighing with relief.

From the sheriff, Dean learns that the husband of the couple was “filled with divine glory.” and recognizes the truck he saw outside Nora's house.

Ephraim turns up at Nora’s because he he could feel Castiel’s pain. The angel says that Castiel has given up his responsibility to his own kind, that choosing a human life means choosing death. Castiel tries to draw an angel banishing sigil with his blood, but the angel stops him. Dean bursts in, but the angel flicks him across the room. Before the angel can smite Castiel, Dean slides him the angel blade and Castiel stabs him.

Dean leaves Castiel at the Gas-N-Sip. At the Gas-N-Sip, Castiel sees on TV that no one can figure out the “meteor shower” - what the event that occurred when the angels fell is being called.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Believe It or Not" by Joey Scarbury
(the "lullaby" sung by Castiel)

Quotes

Dean: Have you tried Professor Morrison?

Sam: Yeah, he's unreachable. He took a sabbatical to live amongst the Trobrianders of Papua New Guinea. Needless to say, we're pretty burnt.
Dean: Well, there's one guy there who is nothing if not well-rested.
Sam: Crowley?

Dean: I'm just saying, we're not keeping him chained up for the one-liners.
Castiel: My grace is gone. What did you expect? Do you have any idea how hard it was? When I fell to earth, I didn't just lose my powers. I-- I had nothing. Now I'm a sales associate.
Dean: Wow. So you went from fighting heavenly battles to nuking taquitos.
Castiel: Nachos, too.
Sam: Can you read Elamite or not?
Crowley: It's by no means my favorite of the ancient tongues, but yes.
Sam: Back to plan 'B,' I guess.

Crowley: Which is?
Sam: Give you up to Abaddon.
Crowley: You think you can threaten me with that hack?! She's all fury, no finesse.

Sam: I'm not so sure. Our last encounter with Abaddon, she was, uh — she was pretty terrifying. Scarier than you've been in years.
Dean: This is not you, man. You are above this. Come on.

Castiel: No, Dean. I'm not. I failed at being an angel. Everything I ever attempted came out wrong. But here... at least I have a shot at getting things right. I guess you can't see it, but... there's a real dignity in what I do – human dignity.

Nora: I hate to interrupt you guys, but a customer just had an accident in the men's room.
Dean: That's what this is about!

Castiel: What?
Dean: The girl.
Castiel: No, Dean, it's not. Nora, she's a very nice woman. I'm pretty sure she's not a reaper intent on killing me, and she's asked me out. Going on dates, that's something humans do, right?

Dean: Yeah. I mean, my dates usually end when I run out of singles, but, uh, yeah. Yeah, that's something that humans do.
Castiel: Right. I don't know. The Rit Zien home in on pain, it's like a beacon to them. So, when this angel fell to earth, he heard the victims' cries, and their anguish, same as he'd hear an angel's in Heaven. He's continuing his Heavenly work down here. One suffering human at a time.
Kevin: Seriously? You want to let Crowley communicate with Abaddon? A king and a power-mad Knight of Hell isn't enough for you? You want to throw a demonic team-up into the mix?
Dean: Listen, Cas... back at the Bunker, I, uh... sorry I told you to go. I know it's been hard on you, you know, on your own. Well, you're adapting. I'm proud of you.

Castiel: Thank you, Dean. But there's something Ephraim said. The angels — they need help. Can I really sit this out? Shouldn't I be searching for a way to get them home?

Dean: Me and Sam will take care of the angels. You're human now. It's not your problem anymore.

Trivia & References

The title of the episode is a play on Heaven Can Wait, a 1978 film starring and co-directed by Warren Beatty, about a man who gets a second chance on Earth after dying prematurely. There was also a 1943 film of the same name, about a man who must tell his life story before be admitted into Hell (Spoiler: He ends up in Heaven).
Writer Robert Berens said it referred to the film of the same name and also that, "Cas and Crowley have been sidelined, Cas in his human life, Crow in the bunker. But the call of heroism/villainy beckons."
Dean: In case you forgot, he's not exactly Chatty Cathy.
Chatty Cathy was a talking doll manufactured from 1959–1965. In popular culture, Chatty Cathy has taken to refer to someone who is a talkative person.
Dean: Just be careful, don't fall for any of his 'quid pro quo' crap.
This is a reference to a line from Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs when he says "Mmh. If I help you, Clarice, it will be "turns" with us too. Quid pro quo. I tell you things, you tell me things. Not about this case, though. About yourself. Quid pro..."
Dean's FBI alias for the episode was Lee Ermey, a reference to character actor R. Lee Ermey who is best known for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket.
Castiel: In the battlefields of Heaven, there was a special class of angel -- the Rit Zien. It's Encochian for 'hands of mercy.'
In Enochian "Rit Zien" translates literally as "mercy of my hands."
Dean: All right, I'll track down this Kevorkian wannabe, and I'll put him down.
Jack Kevorkian was a pathologist and prominent suicide activist. He advocated the right to die by physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. He helped a number of patients with ending their lives, which earned him notoriety as "Dr. Death". He even went to prison for his direct role in case of voluntary euthanasia. After that, he remained active in the field, since, as he put it: "dying is not a crime."
Dean: Okay. Th-that's far enough, Tony Manero.
Tony Manero is the suave ladies man lead character in the 1977 movie about disco, Saturday Night Fever.
According to writer Robert Berens, the name of the baby Castiel babysits, Tanya, is a reference to baby Tanya from the 1996 comedy Citizen Ruth.
The lullaby that Castiel sings to the baby "Believe It or Not," was the theme song to the 1981 series The Greatest American Hero. Originally Castiel was scripted to sing AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" to baby Tanya.
Abaddon: No one's seen you in weeks and last I saw you, Howdy and Doody had you tied up nice and tight.
Howdy Doody was a Western-circus themed children's tv show that ran from 1947-1960. It featured Bob Smith as the show's host, Buffalo Bob, and the show's star, puppet Howdy Doody.

Minutiae

Live tweets from writer Robert Berens, Executive Producer Adam Glass, Osric Chau and others during broadcast.
This episode was shot seventh but aired sixth in the season.
Dean: Have you tried Professor Morrison?
Professor Morrison is an Anthropology professor in Seattle that Sam and Dean consulted about the Amazons (7.13 The Slice Girls}, and later to translate ancient Mayan {8.03 Heartache}. Sam informs Dean that the professor has moved to Papua New Guinea to study the Trobriand Islanders.
Pepto Bismol was used for the pink exploding body spray effect.
Abaddon answers the 'call' from Crowley outside of a Castle Storage building.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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