Ephraim

Nov. 13th, 2013 06:36 pm
gwaevalarin: (Castiel)
[personal profile] gwaevalarin
I haven't seen the episode so I apologize for any inaccuarcies but I really need to talk about Ephraim for a moment.

From what I understand, Ephraim used to be a healer back in Heaven. But that didn't just mean nurturing his injured siblings back to health, it also meant giving them a quick painless death if they were beyond saving.
He never went to Earth before, so he never came into contact with humans.

Now he's fallen to Earth and he goes around killing people who are in pain. And yes, obviously he should not do that. Obviously killing people is not okay.
But here is the thing: He has no way of knowing that. He feels their pain. He follows it. And he kills them out of what he perceives as mercy.

He doesn't do it to hurt anyone. He does it as an act of kindness. All he wants is to end suffering. It's ingrained in his grace.

Which brings us to something Hael said: "In Heaven there was order. Purpose."

This is Ephraim's purpose. And it doesn't just stop being his purpose. The problem is not Ephraim. The problem is that this isn't his world, and that the people living in it are not his species.

He was probably considered kind and good back in Heaven. And now he finds himself in a world where the very same actions are suddenly considered bad.

But he can't just stop being what he is. You can't just ask him to not be a healer anymore, and to stop relieving others of their pain. It is what defines him. It is what he was created for.

And this is just one more reason why 'the angels should just learn human values' makes no sense. They can never be human. Their values and human values are just too different.

Ephraim is NOT evil. He simply has no place in the human world.


What I also find interesting - and incredibly depressing - is that he comes for Castiel. So Castiel's pain is so profound that, by angel standards, he is considered beyond saving.
I'm afraid, I find myself unable to argue with that.

Quite honestly, the only hope I still have for Cas is his Grace as the part of him that's truly Castiel, similar to a soul for a human. And that his gracelessness is basically the aequivalent of a soulless human. Except that being graceless manifests in slightly different ways.
Because otherwise... judging from what I see and hear, there is next to nothing left of the angel I love. Not even a spark of holy righteousness. Just utter hopelessness.

Date: 2013-11-13 06:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shaitanah.livejournal.com
I find it profoundly annoying that most shows that deal with supernatural beings go out of their way to highlight that the human way is the best way. Are we really that insecure that we need constant validation? God forbid someone else is happy being what they are; only humans are the "proper" species, so everyone should aspire to be that. As much as it pains me to see that Cas is suffering, I'd rather have that than see his accept that humanity is the only good thing in the world. Everyone keeps saying in-verse how angels are all emotionally challenged and how that makes them inferior to humans, but the way they're written completely debunks that! They clearly know love, they know wrath, they know sorrow - basically the full spectre of emotions, they just feel it differently. So the whole "humans are better" thing is even more annoying in light of that. :(
Speaking of Ephraim, I liked him (esp. the way he tossed Dean aside XDDD). He was tragically wrong in his perception of human pain, so of course he had to go, but he was a great character (but we all know what happens to great characters on SPN).

Date: 2013-11-13 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwaevalarin.livejournal.com
What I want to see is Castiel fighting. For his home, for his family, for his Grace. But all I see is a character who has just given up. Not that I don't understand that he has lost his will to go on. But when you really have your character at that stage... I'd rather they just kill him off for good.

The angels are such complex beings. Every single one we meet had their own story, their own reasons, their own believes. This show has such a gem with this species. And the only thing the show really does it trying - and failing - to show how much better humanity is. Not that humanity is inferior to angels. It's different, and that's what makes having a world with them both so fascinating. At least in theory.

Imagine we could have seen Ephraim's struggle trying to ignore the pain that calls him if it comes from humans. Concentrating on finding other angels instead, and teaming up with Castiel to try and find a way back home.

It's the same with every new angel. They turn up full of potential, and by the end of the episode they are dead.

Date: 2013-11-13 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shaitanah.livejournal.com
Oh, I understand that, but alas, I don't think we can expect that from SPN. I get that Sam and Dean (Dean in particular) believe that all supernatural beings are in some way inferior to humans; what I don't get is why the show so blatantly endorses this point of view. It's unrealistic and annoying. Like you say: what is even the point of creating such diverse and complex characters if all we're left with in the end is their pointless death? :(

Date: 2013-11-27 10:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opsat.livejournal.com
Hey there! =)
Glad you have a new post. Been looking in here every now and then to see if you have a new one. =)

Have only watched the episode once (which is never enough) so I may have missed some things still. If I remember correctly, Cas said that Ephraim (and angels like him, if there are others like him) work in the 'battlefields'. Can't quite imagine where in heaven are there battlefields but anyway, yeah, he basically goes around healing wounded that can be healed, and mercy killing those that are beyond help. And I guess there's nothing wrong with that in those circumstances. But he completely misinterpreted things when he found himself among humans on earth, not through any fault of his, but simply because, like you said, angels and humans are different, and the human world is not the place for him.

As for Cas, don't lose hope just yet. =) I'm still waiting to see what happens next but from the little I have seen and read about the coming episodes, it seems that he does go out there and tries to do something. So I don't think that there is nothing left of the angel we love. =P He's still there. Although, yes, he was too depressed and in pain up to this point that he has nearly given up and was about to just totally accept that he's now human and 'helpless'.

And that's exactly what Ephraim was pointing out. He came for Cas because he was already at the point of giving up. But I think Cas realized that with his encounter with Ephraim. It wasn't a big slap in the face - more like a gentle nudge maybe. But somehow, I think in the end, Cas began to question himself whether he was doing the right thing (basically running and hiding) and whether there was really nothing else he can do. He even voices this out to Dean, but Dean says to just let him and Sam take care of the angels, and it's not Cas' problem anymore. He does go back in the store after this and goes back about his business there. But the way he looks out the window in the end makes me think that he's not going to just sit around after this.

The promo for this episode said something about Cas learning a life lesson. Still not sure what lesson that's supposed to be but I have this vague thought of... 'isn't this it?' - that just giving up is not the way to go?

I believe our angel's still in there. =) He is not the burnt and broken shell of a(n angel) as he may seem to be. =P


And now I feel like watching the episode again to see if what I just wrote here makes any sense... or was I just wishful thinking? =P (And apologies if my writing is all over the place. It's all still very vague in my head. =P )

Date: 2013-11-27 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwaevalarin.livejournal.com
Hello!
So I take it that means you've caught up. :)

Thank you for your insight on Ephraim. What you say about him is about the same impression I got from other people and the things I've seen on Tumblr.

It's hard to imagine there were battlefields in Heaven before the civil war. Well, there probably were around the time Lucifer fell but that was such a long time ago even by angel standards.
Maybe Ephraim went on missions to Hell. Or to other places we haven't even heard about yet.

From what I heard he only said he'd never been on Earth before, right? Not that he had never left Heaven.

I really hope that his encounter with Ephraim will turn out to be a bit of a wake-up call for Castiel. That it reminds him of who he is - an angel, even without his grace - and of his family and home, and that there is still hope for him and his kind.

Date: 2013-11-28 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opsat.livejournal.com
(Oops! Don't know why this came out as a new comment instead of under the other one. =( )

Hi! =)
Yes, I'm up to date with the show now. And a bit more relaxed with watching because I have no choice but to wait a whole week for the next episode. =P Though sometimes I do go on a Castiel-episodes mini-marathon. ;)

Oh, right! How can I forget about the civil war? O.o I guess I was thinking more of the time before we met angels on the show so I was like, 'battlefields?!?'
Anyway, yes, I guess there would have been battlefields in Heaven during the civil war and that may be what Cas was referring to. He did say 'battlefields of Heaven' so I'm thinking these are places in Heaven and not elsewhere... unless he meant something else.

All this made me wonder about something else too. I wonder what the time difference is between heaven and earth? I mean, we know that 4 months on earth was 40 years for Dean in hell. So I wonder if there is some similar discrepancy between earth and heaven. After all, we've seen that a lot can happen up there in a split second on earth (Cas' back and forth with Naomi). I have a feeling Cas fought a civil war much longer than the (2 years or so?) we thought it was... Add to this Ephraim's little comment, 'You remember my name. I was just a nobody when we met. But you, you were a legend.'

Anyway, I think more and more that we'll see Castiel back in action really soon - maybe the next episode. I just watched the promo and it looks like something big is going to happen. I'm thinking they wouldn't call it a mid-season finale for nothing. =P And a tiny part of me is hoping this is the time Cas gets his grace back, too. =) We'll see.
Edited Date: 2013-11-28 08:23 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-11-28 12:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwaevalarin.livejournal.com
Hm... yes, battlefields of Heaven is a little strange. Then again, if angels can lay siege to Hell, who says demons can't lay siege to Heaven. Maybe there is fighting going on at the fringes of Heaven. But then, who'd be protecting the borders now if that were the case.
There is just so much we don't know. And that can make it very difficult to speculate.

How fast time goes by in Heaven is another one of those things.

On the one hand it's nice to have so much room for headcanon, on the other I'd really wish we'd get a few more answers in canon.

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