I haven’t seen a post about this yet and I am dying to talk about it.
I know a lot of people were freaked out by this suddenly happening, I know I was. But after a minute, when Dean tried to cover his face to block what was scaring Elle and stating that what she was seeing wasn’t real, my mind jumped back to the end of season 3 when Dean was going through the same thing as her.
I remembered specifically when Bobby told Dean that “You’re almost hell’s bitch, so you can see hell’s other bitches.” and the one time when Dean saw Sam’s face twist like the demons’ because his little brother was ingesting copious amounts of demon blood from, you guessed it, hell’s bitches.
It hit me then that this twisted face was in fact, Dean Winchester, hell’s ex bitch in the flesh minus the angel mojo.
It’s not a simple trick of the hellhound getting close, otherwise Elle would be seeing more than just Dean’s face twisting into something horrifying and Dean would have seen Bobby’s and other human faces twisting into demonic images of themselves back in season 3. From the past episodes with hellhounds, the only things who had this happen were actual demons and Sam, the boy with the demon blood.
Now you might be wondering, “How can that be Dean?”
Well if you recall, Dean was dragged to hell and thrown onto the path of tortured turned torturer for forty years. A path that is often the root that souls follow to become demons. This means that before Castiel came along with his lovely angel mojo, Dean looked like this, a 75-76 year old (approximately, I hear several different total age ranges for Dean) demon in progress that was halted by the touch of an angel because he was the righteous man and the first seal.
This is Dean Winchester’s true face.
And him hiding his face and jumping up so quickly can be explained easily as him moving to try and kill the hellhound before it got to Elle or Sam got any bright ideas, but I think it was also because he knew what she saw and didn’t like that she saw it.
I mean, who would like to know that they’re suspicions that they look like a demon in the eyes of someone about to be dragged to hell were true? Dean spent more time in hell than he has on earth and this is just a lingering reminder of that torment that he can’t get rid of no matter the angel scrub he gets. It’s imprinted on his soul.
And if you think that’s bad, think of how this might be the way Cas sees Dean all the time. Or what Elle might have seen if it had been Sam, the man who spent over 180 years (going by Dean’s time span in hell) to about 5000 years (going off one of the calculations based on a time span Soulless Sam mentioned) in Lucifer’s cage. That might not have been the pathway to becoming a demon like Dean was on, but that amount of torture probably twisted Sam’s true face just the same.
It’s been really bothering me, the odd lingering shot of Dean’s bedroom; especially given his later, snarky admission that he’s “nesting”.
When Dean goes off to “fix [us] some grub”, Sam idly looks around the room. The camera goes to the photo of Dean and his mother, then moves back again as Sam focuses in on it. He gives a fond smile, gazes after Dean, then turns back to the room.
We see the left-hand side of the room brimming with guns and knives and all Dean’s ‘stuff’. The camera focuses on the bed that looks so wide and empty given the single, solitary pillow. As Sam’s gaze continues to the right-side of the room, there’s a marked absence of decoration. A bare brick wall, lit with a single desk light, and a telephone that still manages to draw the eye despite that it’s partially obscured by shadow.
And on re-watching, that’s when it struck me. Dean’s only decorated his side of the room. The same side of the bed that he was sitting on when he was extolling the virtues of memory foam. The other side is bare and waiting, with a single light left to guide that other person home – the lonely-looking telephone perhaps to signify that it’s someone Dean hasn't heard from for a while….