Good evening dear anon,
that is something I have been talking about with a couple of different people too. It is a trend that we are thinking has been there for a few months now. It seems that in general the fandom is a little less interested in meta than during S8 for example unless it’s all time hot topic themes such as John Winchester’s awful parenting or the relationship between Dean and Cas for example. I will admit though that after the finale there seem to be even less interest in conversation about where the show could be headed. There are a lot of very disheartened peeps out there, who either are deeply dissatisfied with the show and said they were about to quit watching or people, who aren’t feeling any inspiration to join discussion over the finale or the possibillities for S11 yet simply because they need time after the finale to make up their mind.
I can only speak for myself of course, but it saddens me that there are quite a few people I know, who think SPN has fucked up everything for them. I just wish the show could provide something for all of us to enjoy and be excited about. Of course it’s impossible to make everybody happy, but it sure would be nice if it worked that way. :)
I know I am a total minority in feeling this way and I absolutely understand the critique many express over the finale, but I actually like the set up of where we are now. And while there are things that I also think would have made more sense to tie up differently - for one, the fact that the mark could be removed will never make sense to me on a narrative level (though I understand why the show deemed it nescessary to free Dean from the mark - though at one hell of a price) since it goes against everything the past season has been trying to say imo, which is that the key is not the complete erasure of one force, but to find balance (Good!Charlie and Dark!Charlie probably were the most head on symbol for that), but who knows, maybe that very fact will come up in S11?
Like I said. Total unpoular opinion, but I guess the reason I personally am not as upset as many others is based in my reading of the moment when Dean is about to kill Sam. I totally get why for most people this is the ultimate return to the bro-dependency and the erasure of any character development, but I actually never saw that this whole scene was just in the slightest framed in a positive light. In my opinion the show has never made it clearer as in that moment that Sam’s and Dean’s actions to save the other no matter the cost, is something toxic and dangerous and not at all desirable, but something that has to change. And the fact that their actions unleashed the Darkness, basically brought on the second apocalypse and placed the world in the biggest known danger to date just speaks volumes about how tangled up and harmful their relationship has become. Not for a single second Sam and Dean have been framed as making the right choice there.
So I get why people see all this differently, but the main reason why I am reading this not as a fallback into old patterns is due to Dean not stopping for Sam or his love for his brother, but his mother. I know this is another massive unpopular opinion, but to me that moment was not about the brother bond, it was about a mother-child-relationship and the specialness of said love. To me this was particulary emphasiszed because it was contrasted so heavily with Crowley and Rowena. But I don’t urge anyone to agree with me.
Also, to me it really seemed as if Dean was genuinely surprised he had missed Death. obsessionisaperfume wrote a wonderful piece on that moment, which I think provides an interesting reading of that moment, because it truly did seem as if Dean was shocked to see he killed Death (or his human vessel) and as if coming out of a haze, basically the mark stepping in and protecting its host from being plucked from the playing field and depriving the mark and Darkness to be sated.
That’s one way to look at it, the other to me was that Dean maybe had not intended to kill Death but had meant to miss Sam. He may have intended to miss Death too. I personally think there was the possibility that Dean would give Sam the benefit of the doubt and chance to say goodbye and promise to not try and save him. Of course it’s unlikely, but since Dean really has understood how wrong things have been going between them, how their actions though out of best intentions turns them into the bad guys more often than not and bring about damage affecting the entire planet, I think he never would have backed back into the old patterns and I don’t think he has. The way he said “I’m sure everything’s perfectly fine” shows how well aware he is how massively they fucked up.
The thing is, and I assume this is partially where the frustration stems from - and I do understand it - Sam not being on the same level yet. He is miles behind Dean in that regard and he has to catch up and fast.
So yes, basically I think maybe the fandom at the moment is still too upset about various things to be interested in conversation, discussions, spec or meta, because of the disappointment felt over the finale, which I can understand, maybe it’ll change in a few weeks or months. I sure miss a few peeps I used to be able to freak out with collectively and run wild with spec wise, but I think if you are too disappointed and hurt by where the show decided to go (not just the finale but with Charlie too), then it is better to withdraw - maybe for a while - in order to not hurt even more. I personally am really interested in S11 and the possibilities the introduction of the Darkness holds. Like I said here yesterday, it has the potential to re-write the whole grand story and that is exciting to me. It’s sad at the same time though that I feel like being excited about it makes you look stupid or insensitive or wrong.
I hope that SPN will provide something to be excited about and maybe also something to convince those, who feel burnt by the show now, that things will change. Of course maybe they won’t ever find out because they left before. So I can only say I wished SPN would have made all of us equally happy.
Sorry that this got long and completely off-topic. Though I guess it is partially a reason for why there seems to be less spec and meta. Then again, maybe the fandom and everybody in it just needs some time to come down and breath, collect itself in order to come back with more energy and new ideas and love for discussion, spec and meta.