Why to Me the "Mark of Cain"-Storyline Isn't Over Though Dean Is Free from the Mark
I guess one reason why I am really excited about S11 is that while Dean lost the mark physically, I kind of think it is not the end of the storyline by a long shot. While under the influence of the mark and the blade we have seen Dean’s internal darkness be amplified and Dean unable to resist his impulses and his id. We have seen Dean handle the mark all season, he wasn’t ever in a truly good emotional place, but to w good extent we only got to see glimpses into what Dean was struggling with when we were shown nightmares, flashbacks and premonitions.
S11 to me was all about showing emotional and internal darkness in comparison to beings considered “dark” or “monsters” sort of by “nature”. The question about human nature has been one of the longest standing threads on the show and this season, I personally think, it was explored in a way that it wasn’t before by having Sam go dark without any supernatural component involved to “explain” or “excuse” his actions. Like Demon!Dean said (and this line really is so diverse and layered and has been relating to a lot of things but one being this one) in 10x03 “Soul Survivor” or Dar in 10x01 “Black”. That was all him, was all Sam, was acting almost soulless or at least merciless and ruthless at times, but for the first time in a long time when he was driven to drastic actions out of desperation there was no soullessness and no demon blood involved. It was just pure human Sam. And dear did I enjoy to see that, because we have seen little of Sam Winchester over the seasons because he was never allowed to be himself because every other season he was barely himself. So we have gotten to see Sam struggle with his internal all human darkness and likewise we saw that with Dean. To me the point of Demon!Dean was to show that while he as a demon would be considered a “monster” by design Demon!Dean was far less dangerous than Human!Dean with the mark who was endlessly darker and way more sinister.
We have seen both Winchesters “battle their demons” like the tag line of the season was called. We saw this by them dealing or embracing or trying to control their internal darkness. A lot of that was tied to the MoC-storyline with Dean, so I understand why many fear that Dean ends up without a meaningful arc in S11, which is what I have seen be the worry for Sam and Cas and DeanCas too. One of the reasons I am so positive about that not being the case for any of the characters but particularly Dean is that the Darkness is still heavily tied to the MoC storyline. So even if the mark as such is gone, the arc as such is not. Even more so to me the fact that the Darkness is out of the box, the fact that it’s something tangible, that Dean’s internal darkness that was mingling with the Darkness is out there now, external to me gives room for the possibility or for me it is rather a nescessity even for Dean to do some soul searching. Everything that happened and that he did when he was influenced by the mark he will have to work through. That he really could not do to the extent he would have needed while the mark still being a force he had to internally fight against. So Dean may be mark-less now physically, but the emotional heavy lifting of the aftermath of it and working through what Dean learnt while fighting against said force and himself within and the reflection about it is yet to come when Dean will have to explore how much of what he did and what liberated him - even if it was dark as hell - was himself and his own darkness and how much was the Darkness. That’s what I think and hope we’ll be seeing in S11 and it would be very much still the MoC-storyline.
All of S9 and S10 was deconstruction and decay, S11 we’ll have to reconstruction, rebuilding, transformation. The tin man fell apart but he’ll put himself back together again but even better than before as no one except who he is and always wanted to be, not what he thought he had to be (“I always thought that’s all there was to me, but there are things and people I want to experience differently than I have before or maybe even for the first time”) and the center of him will always remain his heart.
The Darkness is out there now. The internal is external. And I assume we’ll see TFW join forces again and fight one big external bad while all members of TFW will do some self reflection and go through some self discovery at the same time. That would be how I’d go about it at least, but of course I’m not a writer for SPN. :) Anyway: Hell yeah S11 all the way!!! :)