'Supernatural' recap: Are both Castiel and Crowley embracing humanity?

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So far, Season 9 of "Supernatural" has seen both angel Castiel and demon Crowley struggling with their newly-human(ish) states. But after Tuesday (Nov. 12) night's all-new episode, "Heaven Can't Wait," it would appear that both Cas and Crowley may not be struggling as much as we thought. Well, they sure aren't having an easy go of it, but they aren't as unhappy about it as we previously were led to believe.

How did we come to that shocking conclusion that perhaps Cas and Crowley are both embracing their humanity? Let's back up a bit, shall we?

At the top of the hour, we finally get to see Cas after Dean oh-so-unceremoniously shoved him out of the Men of Letters bunker due to Zeke's refusal to coexist with the wanted fugitive. We find Cas in civilian clothes, working at a convenience store, learning how to drink his coffee from customers. He's still in hiding from the angels on his tail, and is going by Steve. He even clearly has a crush on his boss who is so taken with his responsibility and work ethic that she asks him out. Human Cas has game!

While Cas was busy building his quiet yet stable human existence, some big things were happening in the bunker. Kevin was able to completely translate the angel tablet into ... an extinct language. Cue the sad trombone noise. A lot good an extinct language translation does them, right? Wrong. But he was able to figure out that the footnotes translate into the fallen angels spell Metatron used ... so they need to get the whole thing translated pronto to figure out a way to undo the spell.

Cas interrupts their big research into extinct languages with his first phone call to the brothers since he left the bunker. He tells them there's a case in his new hometown -- depressed people keep vanishing -- and Dean uses the kind-of small case as an excuse to dip out on research. But Sam doesn't understand why Dean doesn't plan on seeing Cas while in Idaho, and Cas isn't exactly jumping to see him either. Dean still hasn't come clean about the main reason he kicked Cas out, and while Cas believed that Dean sent him away for his own safety, he's not exactly happy with his friend, either.

When Cas' small case turns out to be a real case -- the four sad people didn't disappear, they all spontaneously combusted -- Dean won't let Sam join him in Idaho for fear of Zeke being near Cas, so it's time for him to make up with Cas so he won't work the case alone!

Hey Dean, you know what helps smooth an apology over? Not judging someone when they're proud of their achievements. It turns out, Cas is really proud of his accomplishments, but Dean is judging his lifestyle hardcore. He doesn't see why Cas is so proud of being a sales associate in a small town convenience store, and says Cas is above all of it. But Cas doesn't agree ... he says he failed as an angel, but as a human, he has a shot at achieving real dignity. He's built up a life from literally nothing: he started off as a human with no money, no home, no food, no clothing, and pretty much no one after Dean kicked him out. But now, he's got a job, responsibilities, and a date, no less!

Back at the bunker, Sam and Kevin quickly figure out they've got a surefire way of decoding the ancient text ... since they've got someone even older tied up in the dungeon. That's right, they go to Crowley for help with the tablet. After Sam eggs him on about seeing him break down in the church, Crowley denies that there is any lingering effects from Sam's trial -- though we'll see evidence to the contrary later. Sam even threatens to give Crowley up to Abbadon, saying she was scarier than Crowley's been in years ... and you could tell that affected Crowley greatly. He always prided himself on his hellish authority and ability to strike fear in the Winchesters.

After Dean convinced hunter-in-training Cas to help him out with his case, the next crime scene -- a teenage girl who had just been dumped spontaneously combusted outside her high school -- sparks an epiphany in Cas. He's seen the kind of carnage before in heaven, and knows exactly who is behind it ... and that knowledge has him super freaked. He tells Dean about the Hands of Mercy, a battalion of angels that acted as medics and executioners for those too far gone on the battlefields of Heaven. They provided a death so quick that it was merciful. These Hands of Mercy are drawn to pain, and one of them, now that he's fallen, is continuing his work, because he is so confused by the constant ebb and flow of human emotion. He's been killing those humans who were extremely depressed, even if they didn't want to actually die.

Back in the bunker, Crowley finally agrees to help for the price of one phone call to his usurper Abaddon. Of course, that phone call to Abaddon requires blood, and he won't take Sam's ... he only will take Kevin's. Crowley says it's because he's had Sam's before and wants to change it up, but we'll find out later it's because he wants purified blood, and there's no blood more pure than a prophet's.

During his call (after he was put on hold, the nerve of the operator!), Abaddon reveals she's been taking souls before their time, voiding Crowley's way of using contracts, and they declare war on each other. Despite his deep rage about Abaddon, Crowley keeps up his end of the deal and translates the texts ... turns out, the spell Metatron enacted can't be undone. They're stuck with the "new world order," and the fallen angels are here to stay.

Despite the fact that a rogue Hand of Mercy is on the loose, Dean let's Cas put his hunting on hold to attend his date. He even gives Cas fashion and dating advice -- seriously, we've been waiting so long for this scene, and now that it's finally here, we're satisfied. Dean even waited outside after dropping Cas off, just like a parent! But in the biggest heartbreaking twist of the night, it turns out Cas fell for the oldest trick in the teen rom com book ... he's actually the babysitter. His boss is going on a date with some other guy, and just like that, the entire fandom hates this woman. How can you break Cas' heart like that? But in the end, it works out for the best, since we're treated to ... oh my god, Cas holding a baby, singing a lullaby! Uhh, scratch that, it's not a lullaby, it's the theme song to "Greatest American Hero." This is just another sign of how much Dean has influenced Cas, since this is totally what Dean would sing to a baby too. Can we get a GIF of this, please? On a loop, forever and ever? Awesome.

This little adorable amazing moment is cut short, however, when it turns out that his boss's date is actually the Hand of Mercy, Ephram! He catches up with Cas, and reveals that he plans on washing the entire planet of suffering ... starting with Cas. That's right, his pain has been so loud that Ephram was able to find him despite his warding. Before Ephram can explode Cas from the inside, Dean arrives just in time to pass Cas an angel knife, and he kills Ephram.

After Sam cleaned up from Crowley's "phone" call, he realizes the syringe with Kevin's leftover blood is missing. He sprints back down to the dungeon just in time to spy on Crowley re-injecting himself with it. Whaaaaat?

Is Crowley trying to re-purify himself, and keep up the effects of Sam's trial? Were the effects starting to wear off? Does he want to stay humanized, now that he realizes Abaddon has taken his place at the top of the hell food chain? What does it all mean?

While Sam was stuck trying to figure out what was going on with Crowley, Dean was busy once again not telling the truth. He didn't clue Cas in to the fact that Metatron's spell is irreversible. He just told Cas that he's proud of all he's achieved as a human, and tells him not to worry about the angels. Now that he's a human, it's not his problem anymore. But will Cas really sit it out? Sure, he's embracing his new life as a human, but he's proving to be a good hunter even without his powers. Plus, we've seen Cas time and time again do everything he can to make things right (even if it turned out to be horribly wrong). Has he finally learned his lesson to sit things out?

With both Cas and Crowley embracing their newfound humanity, we're left to wonder how this will affect the Winchesters going forward. Does it mean good things ... or really, really bad things? Either way, "Heaven Can't Wait" was a truly top-notch episode, showcasing both humor and emotion while moving the main story line of the season forward. What did you think of the episode?

"Supernatural" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW