Castiel: I mean I can relate now to how you feel…The only person who has screwed things up more consistently than you is me. And now I know what guilt feels like. And I know that it means to feel sorry Sam.
This dialogue between Sam and Castiel highlights a trend that many of the fans have voiced over the years. But it’s not the kind of parallels that is apparent or deliberate ones like Dean and Cain are. This is an underlying trend that has been going on for some time but now it is finally out there for everyone to see and ramble on.
These two have been doing their own thing but there have been times where they have been almost mirroring each other. The best commonality between them is their sense of purpose. Both have to finish what they started. Cas needs to get his house in order by shutting the gates of heaven or restore some sort of order. This leads him to trusting Metatron and going through trials and leads him to become a cast out, and he is forced to leave as a human. Sam also has a mission to close the doors to hell which he opened. He goes through trials and ends up on the cusp of
death. They have both almost managed to destroy their respective habitats.
Their parallel journey follows the same trajectory: rebellion – fight – losing the war – redemption.
Loss (read losing the battle) is a recurring theme in supernatural but it’s never been truer with these two. Castiel has lost almost everyone in his family with people he liked, Balthazar, Anna, Gabriel to people he hated Zachariah, Uriel, Raphael and Michael. Sam on the other hand has lost his brother both physically and mentally (at the end of season 4 Dean moves away from Sam and throughout season 5), Jessica his love, both his parents and friends. The story of loss just does not stop here, instead it leads to both losing their minds and souls. In season 6 Sam is resurrected but has no soul. By the end of the same season, Castiel loses his soul when he swallows the souls from purgatory. Again in season 7 we see that Sam loses his mind completely and ends up in an asylum. By the time we come halfway through the season Cas takes over Sam’s trouble and thus having a mental breakdown himself.
Redemption is another similar theme between these two. Sam does the trials in season 8 as form of redemption towards Dean and towards the world in general.
Sam: You want to know what I confessed in there? What my greatest sin was? It was how many time I let you down. I can’t do that again
Castiel’s redemption has begun from season 7 when he takes over Sam’s devil and then moves on to season 8 when he refuses to get out of purgatory with Dean.
Castiel: The weight of all my mistakes, all those lives and souls lost, I… I couldn’t take it, either. I was… I was lost until I took on your pain. It’s strange to think that that helped
A very important aspect common to both is rebellion. They refuse any sort of blind faith in authority even if it means going against their family. Both are raised soldiers but both cannot blindly accept orders. This leads them to becoming rebellious. Sam breaks away from John in order to become normal and then leaves Dean cos he think Dean is weak. Castiel rebels against heaven for his beliefs. Their rebellion whether wrong or right proves one thing to us, that they’re rational and will not do anything which they do not think is right. They also seem to have trouble with authority as well.
Finally the most important common factor for these two is Dean. Dean is a very reason that these two are together under one roof. Dean in a way keeps both of them human. Sam and Castiel most of the time are quite calculating and prefer choosing the benefits of the many over the few. This is completely against Dean´s thinking. However, Dean has been let down by both of them. Cas abandoned him in the pursuit of power. Then, Sam moved away from Dean in order to win, cos he thought Dean had become too weak and he could deal with Lilith by himself. The interesting similarity between the two is that both have always cited that they were trying to help Dean. All of this being said, they’ve both been instrumental for teaching Dean to look at the other side of the story. They are better in understanding the dark side of supernatural. For example Sam understands vampires, Amy who is a Kitsune. On the other hand Castiel understands demons and humans. They help Dean to realize the fact that everything that isn’t human doesn´t necessarily have to be dangerous. Sam is willing to waste the virgin, but then when Dean insists that no one is taking the virgin, Sam comes up with other ideas.
In a nutshell, Castiel and Sam: consideration, intellectual approach, understanding of the other side, but also the fact that both are realists, and the understanding that when logic runs out there is no hope. In the last episode we see that they realize that being human is taking stock and trying to rectify your mistakes and in a strange way they both are doing that. It seems that these two characters have reached a point where they can be very truthful to each other, Sam and Cas – and it will be interesting how Dean fits into this new bond??