To be perfectly blunt, it really failed my expectations by a long-shot. I felt the episode was strangely paced, not very well written, and the entire ambiance of it all, to me, seemed to lack direction and conviction- as if the writers didn’t know what they were going for much at all. But that seems strikingly harsh so I’m going to move on-
I wanted to see Castiel suffer with Hallucifer. I wanted to see him, masochistically I admit, be in complete despair and sorrow, and the dynamic between two of the most important fallen angels in the show is something I wish they had worked on- it would’ve been pure gold. So though this cracked up Cas was not what I expected, I did not mind it. Time and time again, I was reminded of Ophelia’s mad scenes in Hamlet, and how completely deranged and heart-broken she seemed, despite trying to make humor out of her situation. And so through the eccentricities and complete randomness of Cas, I really felt like a touch of complete heartbreak was still there. I don’t want to believe this whole ‘I’m nuts now, it’s all a joke now, I’m gonna go be a wandering bandit now’ skit. I want to think that Castiel is truly that broken, that he’s escaping from conflict in any way he can and completely (intentionally) deluded himself into thinking not having any direction or conviction is ‘amazing.’
I’m going to console myself with the thought that his constant joking was a round-about manifestation of the desire he’s always had to bring Sam and Dean happiness. That, really, everything was a desire for approval or laughs, a complete shot in the dark, to mimic their humor and jesting and get a nod (and a hug) from the two people he cares about the very most for.
And I’m not going to let anyone tell me that he loves Meg- because I truly don’t buy it. You can’t sell it to me. Because if I have the license to interpret this how I’d like, I want to say he’s clinging to her, desperately trying to convey this affection for her, because unlike the Winchester’s, she’s stayed. He’s too deluded to know the whole story; hell, maybe he does know Meg is only there for self-interest. But he’s used to being used, and he’s in need of anything, anything, that’s there to hold on to, to last, even if it’s only for a moment. He needs someone to go out of their way for him, or entertain a thought- and because Dean can’t give him forgiveness, the one thing he wants the very most, he’ll take what he can get. Because at least Meg can change the lightbulbs for him when he’s trying, always trying, to be funny and make everyone laugh- it’s proof their okay, right? Proof that their happy, right? With the situation, with the joke, with him?- and he needs all the indulging he can get.
Because Dean won’t, it seems, forgive him (Castiel can’t be sure he ever will), and he has no power to fix anything, and things will never be the same-
well, then, maybe he can just be happy someone gives a damn enough to pick up some broken glass and screw in a lightbulb.