'Supernatural' Season 7 premiere: Castiel smites the hypocrites, Sam loses it. What did you think?

spn-castiel-death.jpgThe " Supernatural" Season 7 premiere is bound to be controversial among fans, who have been waiting all summer to find out how Castiel ( Misha Collins) handles his great-power-great-responsibility situation.

With the strength of a God, Castiel's first move is to strike down the angels who betrayed him during Heaven's civil war. His second move is to axe a Michelle Bachmann-like politician, a bunch of hypocritical and homophobic religious leaders. (We have to say... it was awesome.) "Tell your flock where your genitals have been before you speak for me," he says. And we swoon.

Unfortunately, Castiel's vessel is unable to contain the souls and various other creepy-crawlies he consumed, as we saw when they tried to crawl their way out of his stomach. (We have to say... it was gross.) His body begins to disintegrate, much the way Lucifer's did in Season 5 before he hopped into Sam.

Because they can't just sit back while Castiel did all of his smiting, the Winchesters and Bobby decide to summon Death and bind him with a spell... because that's worked out so well for, oh, every power-hungry victim they've had to save over the last six years. Perhaps they figured the junk food they bought for him might help ease his bad mood a bit. Spoiler alert... it didn't.

Death reveals that Castiel is being consumed from the inside-out by the Leviathan -- the oldest beasts, which God #1 initially cast into Purgatory to keep the world safe. He gives the Winchesters until Dawn to cast the Leviathan out of Castiel.

Though Cas is initially reluctant, ultimately, he has no choice but to participate, and even to apologize for hurting Sam and Dean. Dean tries to accept the apology, but it doesn't make anyone feel better -- especially not Sam, who is still suffering the consequences of Castiel breaking down his hell wall.

In the end, the ritual only makes things worse -- the souls that kept Castiel strong are sent back to Purgatory, while the Leviathan take over his vessel. Castiel, it seems, is gone forever.

We barely have time to mourn, though, because we're too impressed by Collins' work in the final scene. He's played so many versions of his character on the show -- Castiel, Jimmy, God, human Castiel, and now, the manic, hysteric Leviathan. If this show wasn't on The CW, we'd be talking about guest-star Emmy buzz.

We know that next week's episode is the last one that Collins is in for the forseeable future, so what do you think about what's to come for the character? Are you still holding out hope for "real" Castiel, or do you believe he's gone for good? What did you think of his performance in this episode?

Drop us a line in the comments below.

Photo/Video credit: The CW