|Name||James "Jimmy" Novak|
|Dates||July 10, 1973 - 2010 (body used as a vessel since 2008)|
|Occupation|| Sales provider for AM radio|
|Episode(s)|| 4.20 The Rapture|
10.20 Angel Heart
Castiel, you son of a bitch! You promised me my family would be okay! You promised you were gonna take care of them! I gave you everything you asked me to give! I gave you more! This is the thanks I get?! This is what you do?! This is your Heaven?! Help me, please! You promised, Cas! Just help me!... Typical.
– Jimmy Novak, 4.20 The Rapture
A devout Christian, Jimmy is married to Amelia, and has a daughter named Claire and sold "ad time for AM radio." The suitability of Jimmy being able to host an angel is said to be in his blood. He is able to process and understand the angel's real voice, and he hears the angel speak on multiple occasions before his possession. On one occasion, Castiel asks him to prove his faith by plunging his arm into boiling water. Jimmy is unharmed, and reveals his interactions with Castiel to his wife. She does not believe that he has been contacted by an angel and begs him to get psychiatric help. She gives him an ultimatum: either he receives treatment, or she will take their daughter and leave.
Jimmy agrees to become a vessel for Castiel and remains so until Heaven takes Castiel back to Heaven for "re-indoctrination" after his superiors become concerned that he is becoming too close to humans - Dean in particular. After he leaves, Jimmy tells Sam and Dean that his experience as a vessel was unpleasant like being "chained to a comet." He returns home and tells his wife that he has been in a psychiatric hospital, and his family is all that matters to him.
Demons want to capture Jimmy, and take his wife and daughter as leverage. Jimmy goes to exchange himself, and is shot by a demon who is possessing his wife. He and the Winchesters are saved by Castiel, who has taken Jimmy's daughter Claire as a vessel. Jimmy, near death, begs to be allowed to act as a vessel again to spare his daughter. Castiel agrees, and re-enters Jimmy.
Years later the initial possession, after the angel Hannah decides to relinquish her vessel, Castiel begins to search for information about Jimmy on the internet. He later tracks down Claire and attempts to help her to make up for what he did to Jimmy, even posing as him at one point. He later helps Claire rescue Amelia from a Grigori. Amelia tells Castiel that he has kept his promise to Jimmy by protecting Claire even though he hadn't been able to help her. Minutes later, Amelia is killed by Tamiel and is finally reunited with Jimmy in Heaven.
Sam: You remember anything about being possessed? Anything at all?
Jimmy: Yeah, bits and pieces. I mean, angel inside of you, it's kinda like being chained to a comet.
Jimmy dressed in a suit and trenchcoat and stands in front of his house. He prays, and Castiel answers. Jimmy agrees to act as a vessel, provided that his family is protected. Castiel descends, possessing him. Jimmy becomes a vessel not long before Dean is resurrected. Almost a year later, he is released when Castiel is recalled to Heaven for "re-indoctrination" after concern from his superiors that he is becoming disobedient and too close to Dean.4.20 The Rapture Sam and Dean find Jimmy in a ruined warehouse after Castiel's forced removal. In conversation, Jimmy reveals that his experience as a vessel was unpleasant, and that he is anxious to go back to his old life. The brothers attempt to prevent Jimmy from returning to his family, on the grounds that demons would be interested in him as a former vessel, but Jimmy escapes their custody. He returns home and tells his wife that he has been in a psychiatric hospital, and his family is all that matters to him.
Castiel (in Claire's body): I want to make sure you understand. You won't die or age. If this last year was painful for you, picture a hundred, a thousand more like it.
Jimmy: It doesn't matter. You take me. Just take me.
Demons eventually track Jimmy down at the house, but he and his family are saved by Sam and Dean. Jimmy agrees to be separated from his family, but it is too late: his wife was possessed during the struggle at the house. She orders Jimmy to surrender himself at a warehouse. Before entering, Jimmy yells at the sky, directing his tirade at Castiel. He accuses the angel of breaking the promise to protect his family, and of taking everything Jimmy offered (and more) without any form of repayment. Jimmy, Sam and Dean are captured, and Jimmy is shot by his possessed wife. They are saved by Castiel, who has taken Jimmy's daughter Claire as a vessel. Jimmy, near death, begs to be allowed to act as a vessel again to spare his daughter. Castiel agrees, and re-enters Jimmy.
After Hannah experiences an encounter with her own vessel's husband, Joe, Castiel tells her the story of him and Jimmy though he does not state whether or not Jimmy is still alive inside him. Castiel calls Jimmy a good man and states that it was difficult to take Jimmy from his family but was necessary for the mission had to come first. After Hannah decided to return to Heaven so her vessel could have a normal life, Castiel looked up Jimmy on the Internet to find that his family was still searching for him.
Castiel tracks down Claire in a group home and visits her pretending to be Jimmy. When asked if Jimmy is still alive, Castiel informs Claire that Jimmy has been dead since an archangel killed him by ripping his body apart on a subatomic level and now resides in Heaven, even after God put Jimmy's body back together. Castiel later poses as Jimmy in an attempt to get Claire out of the group home. Castiel still carries Jimmy's driver's license in his wallet, which Claire steals and gives to her surrogate father Randy.
Claire goes looking for her mother Amelia with the help of the Winchesters and Castiel. Amelia is being held captive and her soul fed on by a Grigori, where she continually dreams that Jimmy comes home after leaving so long ago in 4.20 The Rapture. They rescue her but she sacrifices herself to save Claire from the Grigori. She goes to Heaven, where she reunites with Jimmy. She tells him that Claire has grown up beautiful, and they hug and cry, happy to be together again after all this time.
Jimmy's body was "taken apart at the sub-atomic level" by an archangel following Castiel's rebellion against Heaven, and Michael's plan to start the Apocalypse. It was revealed many years later by Castiel to Claire, that it was at this time that Jimmy ascended to Heaven. However, before this revelation, Jimmy Novak's fate was the subject of much fan speculation. Jimmy's taste for red meat affected Castiel when he was in the presence of Famine, causing him to devour hundreds of burgers. It was learned from Famine that, "hunger doesn't just come from the body, it also comes from the soul," revealing that Jimmy's soul was still present within Castiel.
Another issue which raised a question of Jimmy's fate was the fact that Castiel states in 6.03 The Third Man that he spent the year between seasons five and six as a "multidimensional wavelength of celestial intent," if Jimmy's soul was gone during this time, it raises the question of how Castiel could have left his vessel and regained possession of it without requiring consent.
- In the spin-off novel Supernatural: War of the Sons, Dean and Sam discover a scroll that lists the bloodlines of all angelic vessels, which states that Jimmy and Claire are of the line of Ishmael, and Jimmy's father was named Gregory.
- The name Jimmy Novak may be referencing Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak who starred together in the Hitchcock movie Vertigo, which is about a woman who is not whom she appears to be. There is also a real Jimmy Novak who is a Chicago radio host who used to run a segment called "4:20 Hit of the Day."