Jared, Jensen, and Misha,
I want to say thank you for "Soul Survivor." While the episode may have dealt with demons and angels, it is the metaphor that they represented that touched me deeply. In my weekly review, I addressed this episode as one discussing the ravages of disease and how that can be an emotional struggle. I know it all too well as I have a father that suffers from a chronic condition with no real cure.
It has its ups and downs and it can be scary----I see Demon Dean as his condition for sure. If it were able to speak, I can't imagine it would have anything nice to say or do. It was powerful to have a face for it, even in the disguise of a demonic character. It's hard to be angry with something you can't really see or yell at, but I found this character to be very cathartic for that reason. His cruelty and the way Demon Dean lashed out during the cure is how I'm sure my father's condition would.
I also connected deeply with Misha's performance as he conveyed Castiel's decline. I've seen this type of behavior with my father at times, and I know that it's not easy to discuss or acknowledge sickness. Seeing how this was shown in the episode made it all the more heartbreaking as Castiel slowly made peace with his fate---and tried to help Hannah to do the same. Castiel may be an angel and it may be a supernatural illness, but the way Misha played it was so human and real.
I also see Sam's struggles in "Soul Survivor" as my own in coping with what my father endures. I truly felt moved watching Sam holding the pictures of Sam and Dean's better days. Seeing him find his resolve to continue gives me a reminder of why I stand with my father against his condition. I will draw upon this scene and this episode. It captured, truly, all the highs, lows, and difficult emotions when one is dealing with the ravages of disease.
When I feel it is the darkest, I know I can turn to this and remind myself to keep fighting---that I'm not alone in this and that others feel as I do when facing illness. I'll be like Sam and look at pictures and memories that remind me what's really important: my love for my father. I'll beat that Demon Dean back. Thank you for such a powerful and moving episode. It means more to mean than you'll ever know.