Dean and self worth in season 12
I was going to write a post about Cas as the unrequited lover this season but I ended up really focusing on Dean and his view of himself. It’s quite clear that Dean reciprocates the romantic feelings but is holding back. My perception is that its due to 3 main reasons (and I’m sure a whole bunch of others but lets stick to these).
1. Cas is an angel
2. Cas is a dude
3. Dean has poor self worth
I think the first subject is nearly a moot point as its pretty clear where Cas’s arc is going. The second has been discussed so many times I don’t want to insult anyone by repeating what much more coherent people have said. The third though I think has been less touched on in it’s relevance to this new season so here are my little thoughts.
Regarding his own self worth this has been an issue for Dean since the pilot…
Just a few moments to remind us:
“Come on, man. Can’t you see? I’m… I’m poison, Sam. People get close to me, they get killed or worse. You know, I tell myself that I I help more people than I hurt. And I tell myself that I’m – I’m doing it all for the right reasons, and I believe that. But I can’t, I won’t drag anybody through the muck with me. Not anymore.”
Now unfortunately Cas actually makes this sense of self worth even worse as clearly since their first real defining moment, when Cas defied HEAVEN for him “I did it all for YOU”, Dean has felt the weight of all that happened to Cas since. That’s why Cas’s words in 12x12 made him clam up, tense, look away. “The things we’ve shared together, they have changed me”. it isn’t what Cas meant but Dean can’t help but take on yet more guilt in Cas’s dying moments.
Especially if HE might be to blame as Cas’s “human weakness”…
As is a continuous theme from other Angels…
As he sees Cas changing over time he therefore can’t help but blame himself. And unfortunately most of the changes haven’t been for the best.
Remember that scene with Kevin from 7x21:
“Cause the angels – they don’t care. I think maybe they just don’t have the equipment to care. Seems like when they try, it just… breaks them apart.”
Now in Season 12
Dean tells Mary that :
“Saving people, hunting things, this is our life. I think we make the world a better place, I KNOW that we do”.
Now that is a big step forwards to his self worth.
He’s also upset with Mary in the later episodes BECAUSE HE FEELS HE AND SAM DESERVE BETTER! If he didn’t have self worth he wouldn’t care so much.
Now, regarding Cas, he is less and less angelic and more human, and Dean is noticing this. Cas keeps refuting the angels and has now said himself that he considers the Winchesters his family. He is definitely becoming more human. He’s hunting, driving a car, feeling emotions and now finally feeling like part of the family. Yes, he also has been more broken, but he is definitely getting better now that the boys have both been supportive in recent times. Just the sniping back at Dean in 12x12 is again, similarly to Dean’s reaction to Mary, showing that CAS has more self worth and will stand up for himself.
1. If only Cas were human…. *cough* probably not going to be an issue forever.
2. If only performing!Dean were having some deconstruction and he didn’t feel the need to keep the front up re: bisexuality. I mean, the whole point of 12x11 was about deconstructing for the audience performing!Dean, what’s the point if not to continue this theme in the narrative.
3. If only Dean thought he deserved to be loved (its
not surprising how when you look into it Crowley has some really good relevance to Dean’s internal struggles…). This seems to be an overriding theme of season 12 / Mary’s arc.
Well, all I can say is all these things seem to be being addressed in season 12 :)