brodependent

SPN 11x01: Here we go again!

It’s that time of year again! Supernatural season 11 has begun and, even though there are a lot of things to talk about, I just want to focus on three.

1) THE OPENING SONG

Run Through the Jungle” by CCR was definitely the perfect choice.

Whoa, thought it was a nightmare, Lo, it’s all so true, they told me, “Don’t go walking slow ‘cause Devil’s on the loose.” Better run through the jungle (3x), woa, don’t look back to see. Thought I heard a rumbling calling to my name, two hundred million guns are loaded, Satan cries, “Take aim!” Over on the mountain, thunder magic spoke, “Let the people know my wisdom, fill the land with smoke.”

This year, the song is NOT about Dean. It’s about what’s going on with the Darkness. Devil’s definitely on the loose and two hundred million guns are probably going to be loaded to defeat it. The land is filled with smoke. They chose a quite literal song for this season. Good choice!

2) BRODEPENDENCY

This is something I said back in June, once season 10 was over:

Now that the narrative has turned both of them into the opposite of heroes (and that was ON PURPOSE), in season 11, somehow they should start anew. Their relationship should be different, but don’t expect that to happen all of a sudden. Baby steps, but that’s where we’re going. The final resolution of this will be once they decide they’ve reached their final season. (Maybe season 12?) […] I’m glad that you didn’t see the season 10 finale as heroic. It wasn’t supposed to be. We’re supposed to question the relationship between Dean and Sam. We’re supposed to feel sick about it. We’re supposed to kinda hate them for what they’ve done. You know why? The show’s always been about the brothers, blah, blah, blah. But the brothers have always had a destructive relationship that we didn’t care to question before. They get people killed and as long as those people are not favorite characters, we seem to be okay with that. What happens when the so-called “family” gets hurt in the name of the “brodependency”? That’s when we don’t like it because our heroes seem more evil than the villains. The thing is that our heroes are not perfect. They’re not totally good, but they’re not totally bad either. Hopefully, this time they learned their lesson. (x)

I love it when I’m right. Dean and Sam are not blaming each other this time. They know this whole mess is because of their codependency, that thing of always wanting to save each other. Sam said it himself, “If we don’t change, right now, all of our crap is just gonna keep repeating itself. […] Saving people means all of the people, Dean, not just that baby… not just each other. I released a force on this world that could destroy it… to save you…. And I’d do it again. In a second, I would do it again. And that is what I’m talking about. This isn’t on you. It’s on us. We have to change.”

They finally talked about the elephant in the room. And you know what’s even better? Dean agreed that they have to change. He said nothing about it specifically, but he agreed on Sam’s plan even though that meant for them to go their separate ways, even though it meant Sam would stay behind and risk his life so Dean could get the baby out of the hospital.

You might say that at the end of the episode, Sam lied to Dean AGAIN. You’re right. That happened, and it’s something very Winchester-like. However, you have to remember that I said “baby steps”. “Their relationship should be different, but don’t expect that to happen all of a sudden.” Give it time, but remember that we’re on the right track.

3) DEAN AND CAS

First of all, Cas called Dean. He was desperate enough to pray to his brothers and sisters for help. He wanted them to save him from doing worse, from hurting innocent people. And then while he was still out in the woods, he thought about calling Dean (not Sam as it was in season 10). No matter what happened to him, if his brothers or sisters decided to help him and punish him, he wanted to make sure that at least everything had been worth it, that at least Dean had been cured. And that… that breaks my heart!

And Dean… oh boy, Dean! First of all, let’s notice that he walked away from Sam the moment he saw the call was from Cas. Once he answered the call, the first thing he asked Cas was where he was. When Cas avoided the question and said he was OK, Dean immediately called him on his bullshit. “You don’t sound OK” is what he said. Cas said that what he had, Dean couldn’t help him and Dean asked him, “What do you mean what you have?” Castiel avoided the question again and told Dean about Rowena escaping with the Book of the Damned and the Codex. And Dean’s answer? “Forget Rowena! Where are you?” For the third time, Cas avoided the question and asked Dean about the Mark. Dean couldn’t believe Cas was worried about him after everything he’d done, but everything Cas cared about was if the Mark of Cain was gone. When Dean said that he was good, this was Cas’ reaction:

Tell me if that was NOT the face of a man who thought that nothing else in the world mattered. As long as Dean Winchester was safe, he could endure anything.

Then the magic was broken thanks to our dear Sam who approached Dean. Dean put Cas on speaker and let Sam talk. You can even notice how much Dean’s tone changed when he was privately talking to Cas and when he was talking to him in front of Sam.

The best part was when Cas suddenly said goodbye. Dean called Cas’ name twice. If you have episode 9x03, compare Dean’s cry of “Cas!” when he thought Castiel had died to the second “Cas!” in this scene. Dean was afraid for his angel. So afraid that even Sam got it. Sam knew Dean wanted to get out of the hospital for three reasons, in this order: save the baby, find Cas, and stop the darkness. When Dean and Sam were arguing about the plan, Dean said, “We can’t save Cas. We’re stuck in some hospital.” The only thing Dean said he could do was try to head out and save the baby. Saving Cas was probably next on that list, but he definitely needed to get out of that place first. Notice that Sam said “find Cas”, whereas Dean said “save Cas.” Dean Winchester knows that his angel is not OK and that something has happened to him. And that… that breaks my heart even more!

If I was excited about season 11 before the premiere, I’m a lot more excited now. This was just episode 1; we have 22 more episodes to go! I can’t even wait!

Can we talk about thematic significance of the scene in which Sam was trying to break down the door so he could get through to his brother and stop him, and he was failing, and Castiel tried, and they got through?

Yes let’s talk about this one

SPN 11x10: Such a meta plot!

I had already written something for 11x10. However, I got a submission asking me to write meta on the entirety of the episode. That’s why I decided to write this. ;)

Episode 11x10 tried to answer many of the questions we had or inconsistencies we saw in 11x09. After the mid-season finale, people couldn’t understand how Rowena had been conveniently captured by Crowley or why/how Sam ended trapped in the Cage with Lucifer. In 11x10 we learned that Lucifer used visions/dreams to contact Rowena just as he used them with Sam. And we also learned that Rowena let herself be captured because it was all part of Lucifer’s plan.

In less than 5 minutes, we were told that no matter how much Sam has said that “saving people” is not just “saving each other”, he still counts on Dean saving him. He still counts on the fact that if he goes missing, Dean will do whatever it takes to find him. And there we have the codependency cycle spelled out clearly!

How meta can the show get? I mean, they used Lucifer, the devil himself, to tell Sam that he’s been wrong since season 8. The show was telling the audience, “Look! The codependency was Dean’s thing, not Sam’s, but then Sammy fucked up for not looking for Dean when he was in Purgatory.” The show told us that was the right thing to do for Sam (though I remember a lot of fans complaining because Sam didn’t look for Dean. Apparently, they’re in love with the Winchesters’ codependency). Luci pointed out that if Dean hadn’t returned, Sam would have been fine, but the problem was that Dean did return and made Sam feel guilty every chance he got. (That’s emotional blackmail, which in return is abusive behavior). Sam felt like he failed his brother because Dean never gave up on him even when the odds were not in their favor. But Sam did. He left his brother in Purgatory for a whole year to be with a girl and a dog. He exchanged his happiness for his brother’s life, and then he felt crushing guilt. After that, Sam thought he owed Dean. That’s why in 8x23 he said he confessed his biggest sin, which was to let Dean down. It was right in that episode when Sam let Dean stop him from closing the gates of Hell because he didn’t want to fail Dean again. His guilt was stronger than his sense of what was right and wrong. In season 5, Sam was a hero. Dean didn’t want to let him sacrifice himself, but he told his brother that he had to let him do it. He had to save the world. But in season 8, Sam was not a hero anymore. He became a victim of the same condition that’s affected Dean for years.

“You’d do anything to save him, and he’d do anything to save you, and that is the problem!” “Instead of choosing the world, you choose each other. No matter how many innocent people die.” Lucifer’s words are extraordinary. That’s basically why we had seasons 9 and 10. By the end of season 10, people were complaining because Sam and Dean were not heroes anymore, and I remember I said in this meta that it was true, but that it was done ON PURPOSE. The show was trying to show us that the relationship between Sam and Dean is NOT healthy and beautiful. Yes, they love each other a lot, but they crossed the line of healthy love a long time ago. Sam was stronger than that before. Everything changed thanks to Amelia! And you know what? That was the first storyline Jeremy Carver used, which means he knew he wanted to put a stop to the “brodependency”, but he had to get his characters to touch bottom before making them come back up. That’s what he’s been doing since he took the reins of the show in season 8. The fact that Sam said no to Lucifer is HUGE! Mostly because he said, “I’m ready to die, and I’m ready to watch people I love die, but I’m not ready to be your bitch.” That means that he’s ready to let go. He will be once more like the Sam that was strong enough to go to Stanford. He will be strong enough to live his life when this whole mess is over. Good for him! His endgame is getting closer.

Dean had nothing much to do in this episode. He got the “smiting sickness” because it was essential for the plot to have Cas go to the blast site alone. He had some ha-ha moments so that he could have some screen time to look pretty, but plot-wise, he was totally irrelevant. Even during the fight in the cage, he was there to be the “damsel in distress”. Lucifer threatened to kill him because he thought Sam wouldn’t let it happen. But Luci was underestimating both Sam and Cas. He didn’t realize that Sam meant what he said; he won’t let Luci manipulate him. And he didn’t realize that Cas would never let anything happen to Dean.

Along with Sam, Cas’ plot was the other important part of the episode. I’ve been talking a lot about it in different posts. Cas was repeatedly told how good for nothing he is. He realized that his brothers and sisters think that he kills angels and that he’s the Winchesters’ tool. Metatron said that in 11x06, but maybe Cas thought that Metatron was just trying to be mean. The fact that Ambriel said similar things in this episode didn’t help Cas feel better about himself. He literally was told that if he died, it was not a big loss because he helped but was no hero. Right now, the narrative wants Cas to believe all this. Everything Ambriel and Amara said is supposed to make Cas feel worthless. He has no family in Heaven and no family on Earth. How many times have the Cas haters say that Cas is just a tool? I’ve seen people in this fandom saying such things. Now the show itself is saying that Cas is expendable. That should be painful for Cas fans. But… NOT REALLY! Because Metatron, Ambriel, and Amara are not reliable narrators. They say what they think is true and now Cas thinks it’s true, too. However, the reliable narrators will be the Winchesters. They will be the ones who will prove both Castiel and all the Cas haters that Cas is another Winchester; that Cas is important; that Cas is a hero; and that Cas is loved. It’s the only way to interpret the narrative, so don’t even try to deny that’s what’s happening here. I’m so in love with this story arc that I’m looking forward to each second of it! (Besides, Misha playing Lucifer is hot as hell! *no pun intended*)

To end this, I have to mention Rowena’s idea of love. “Love is weakness,” she said. But the thing is that LOVE is totally the opposite. Love helped Sam in season 5 when he was being possessed by Lucifer himself. Love for his brother. But that didn’t stop Sam from doing the right thing; it gave him the necessary strength. On the other hand, codependent love makes us weak. Because in order to protect what we love, we sacrifice anything and expect them to do the same in return, and then we sacrifice anything again, and on and on it goes. It’s a never ending cycle and we become weak and an easy prey for our enemies. Yes… in that case, love is weakness. I think that out of love, Cas will save the world, and out of love, Dean (and Sam) will save Cas. The love that makes us strong, not the love that makes us get innocent people killed. Weeks ago I said that “hate and Love are going to be part of the theme for this season, but love will win in the end.” (x) In 11x01, we heard this, “Love’s a-winning. […] It’s love that won”. So now I’ll keep an eye open for more “love” (or “hate”) subtle references. [ETA: That reference was, in fact, in 11x02]. Regarding Rowena’s “I hate you because if I didn’t, I’d love you” is a mirror to Amara’s feelings for God. She hates him because of what he did to her. He let her down, he betrayed her trust, and he hurt her. She hates him because if she didn’t, she’d love him, and now she probably thinks that love is weakness, too. She loved her brother and look what happened to her! But, in the end, “love’s a-winning.” So, I don’t know how it will happen, but God will have something to do with the resolution of the plot.

I hope I made some kind of sense. I’m too tired and sleepy to reread this, so if my writing is not the best this time, I apologize.

Sam & 9x14 - The Storm Off

A lot of people are calling Sam immature for storming off to his room once the Trans take their leave. Dean turns to Sam to say something, except Sam’s already gone, so Dean’s left standing there, confused and upset.

And yeah, I definitely feel for Dean. He just wants things back to normal between the two of them. He doesn’t want to hide in his room, blasting music and pretending his brother’s not down the hallway ignoring him. It’s hurting him, obviously.

However,

Let’s not forget that Sam is a victim in all of this. Yes, there have been plenty of times when Dean’s been a victim, too; that prioritising Sam has wound up hurting Dean many times before. But that’s the point - if they can resolve this properly this time, then Sam won’t be stripped of his agency, be actually allowed to make his own choices, and Dean won’t have to sacrifice his own happiness for Sam’s benefit.

The big issue here is that Dean makes decisions for his brother - decisions that ultimately hurt Sam, hurt Dean, but at least Sam’s alive, right? Nevermind that Sam was willing to die for a good cause. At least Sam won’t be dead, and Dean won’t be alone with his guilt.

This cycle needs to end, but only Sam seems willing to acknowledge that it’s even an issue right now.

Keep reading

The Winchesters’ codependency

I’ve wanted to write meta about the Winchesters’ codependency since the season 11 finale aired. It took me a long time to finally start doing it because I needed to find the best way to explain this logically. In this post about 11x23 I said that Amara was NOT Dean’s love interest and that she represented codependency, and I promised to talk about that specifically in another post. So here I am ready to do my best.

When season 10 ended, many people were really upset. The codependence between Dean and Sam had reached a point where it wasn’t entertaining anymore. However, I understood what was going on. In fact, I tried to ease the fandom by writing this: 

“Both Kevin and Charlie were family and they died because of the toxic relationship between the Winchester brothers. They need to stop hurting people! However, the answer is not for Dean to kill Sam or for Sam to kill Dean. The answer is to let the other person go, to understand that they’ll be okay. Now that the narrative has turned both of them into the opposite of heroes (and that was ON PURPOSE), in season 11, somehow they should start anew. Their relationship should be different, but don’t expect that to happen all of a sudden. Baby steps, but that’s where we’re going.” (X)

Now that I reread what I wrote, I know that I should have seen what would happen between Chuck and Amara before it did. If I had done it, I would have known that neither God nor the Darkness could die at the end of season 11, because the answer was not for any of them to kill the other. The answer was to let the other go, to understand that they’ll be okay.

Why do I say that Amara represented codependency? Because of this conversation she had with her brother:

AMARA: Brother, I… In the beginning… it was just you and me, and we were family. I loved you, and I thought – I knew… that you loved me.

CHUCK: I did. [ Sighs ] I do.

AMARA: But then you went and you made all these other things. I hated them. I hated you for needing something else, something that wasn’t me.

Doesn’t that sound like Dean? They were a family and he thought his brother loved him, but then Sam left (to Stanford), chose Ruby, or stopped looking for him when he got sent to Purgatory. Sam was able to have a normal life a couple of times, and Dean resented him for needing something else, for needing something that wasn’t him.

Doesn’t that sound like Sam, too? They were a family and he thought his brother loved him, but then Dean decided to turn to other people instead of him (“another angel, another –another vampire? Sam asked in 8x23). Sam resented Dean for needing something else, for needing something that wasn’t him.

Both of them got people killed because of their inability to let the other go. Dean got Kevin killed; Sam got Charlie killed. (And hundreds of others, but somehow getting their “family” killed is always more shocking).

The conversation between Amara and Chuck continued:

AMARA: But I was wrong. What you’ve made… it’s beautiful. It took me a long time to see that. I know that we can’t go back to the way things were. I don’t want to, but I wish… I wish that we could just be family again.

CHUCK: I do, too.

This is what happened in the end:

Amara understood that she and her brother could still be a family despite Chuck having created other beings. It didn’t have to be only the two of them, and the fact that Chuck loved his creation didn’t mean he didn’t love her. They were different kinds of love. It was OK for Chuck to need something else, something that wasn’t Amara. But the thing is… Chuck never stopped loving her, no matter if he locked her away for eons of years. God loved his sister.

At the end of season 10, I knew the writers were trying to put an end to the toxic relationship between Dean and Sam. Now that season 11 is over, I’m sure they’ve done it. They fixed the first toxic relationship in the history: the one between God and the Darkness.

This is great news for our dear Winchester boys. You can say that season 11 still showed us a desperate Dean willing to kill himself to save Sam (in 11x17). However, as I said when that episode aired:

I think that something changed in this episode. What Dean did taught him a lesson. I think that he won’t repeat the same reckless behavior again. Why do I say that? It’s because of what Dean told Michelle, “This is gonna be very hard, but you will be OK. And eventually… eventually you’ll get back to normal.” That’s some advice that Dean should take for himself. And I think he will. Even though Michelle didn’t think she could have a normal life without Corbin, Dean still wanted to believe she could. When Sam asked about Michelle, Dean told him, “She’s strong. She’ll be alright.” That was not the feeling the audience got after her last words, but that was what Dean wanted to believe. He HAD TO believe that. He had to believe that if his brother died again, it would be very hard but he would be OK and would eventually get back to normal. Dean wanted to believe that he would be strong, that he would be alright. And because of that, I think his words were the first step to getting rid of codependency. (X)

I was sort of proved right five episodes later.

In 11x22, Sam agreed to bear the Mark that would lock Amara away. Dean was obviously NOT OK with that decision. How could he? But what did he say in the end? “OK, Sam.” He didn’t agree with Sam’s decision, but he respected it. (X)

As I wrote in my meta for 11x22, Dean was able to accept Sam’s choice, no matter if he agreed or not. He knew that if Sam bore the Mark of Cain, he would end up a demon or worse, but he let go. He let his brother make his own decision and that was BEAUTIFUL.

I really think that the end of the “brodependency” is here. I’m not saying that the brothers will stop loving or protecting each other. That’s not the point. But the moment they’re not able to live their own life, the moment they can’t go on without their brother, that shows some kind of unhealthy relationship that should definitely worry them. Love doesn’t have to be a codependent obsession. Amara learned that lesson, and I believe that Dean learned his lesson as well. (He was always more in need than his brother; besides, we knew Sam had learned his lesson since 11x01).

For all this, I’m SO ready for season 12. Bring it on, Mr. Dabb!

Going on tumblr lately has been really stressful with the Cas-in-season-10 panic. I mean, I understand it, we did get confirmation at the end of February last year for Misha’s contract. But, I still don’t think it’s time to grab the pitch forks. Like yeah, tweet tpth and tell them how much you adore Cas, but surly the plan for Cas/Misha for the end of the season is already decided. Here is why I’m not blowing steam out my ears yet:  Cas is a critical element to the Carver era, he’s completely engrained. He’s no longer a plot device to tell us things about the Winchersters. I know many of us are super bitter after they made Kevin and honorary Winchester and then fridged him at the alter of the brodependancy, but they are not, I repeat, not going to do that with Cas (permanently). I can’t remember which meta write pointed this out, but writing him out completely would cause a huge weight imbalance for 8, 9, and 10.

The other possibility to why they aren’t making an announcement is how valuable Cas really is. Death for the main’s means absolutely nothing in terms of Dean and Sam, they will be there till the finale, end of story. Cas’ fate less so. Dean going darkside is going to create anxiety over the other character he cares about most in the narrative besides Sam, the character his relationship with his brother has kept him away from the majority of the season when he wanted desperately to be with him. Not giving an announcement on Misha’s possible return keeps Cas fate in a state of insecurity. If that is what they are doing I think that it A+ PR, especially if something happens where there is a cliffhanger where Cas’ fate is unknown. mmmm.

In light of recent events, especially Billie the Reaper saying multiple times that she’s going to make sure Sam and Dean’s next death is permanent, and the show highlighting the gross brodependency and their not so great treatment of Cas in the past here is what I would like to happen:

Seeing as how Cas has died for Dean many times and every time he did he never expected to come back again, I want Dean to die for Cas.  He will think that it is a permanent death because of what Billie told him, and so will the audience, but he will die to save Cas anyway.  Sam will fully support him in this because he knows that Dean loves Cas, Sam loves Cas as his friend and he knows that after everything Cas has done he deserves to be saved.  Dean dies permanently and Cas is saved because of it.  

However.  Just when Billie is escorting Dean to the ‘void’ or whatever, God steps in and brings Dean back from death just like he did so many times for Cas.  He tells Dean he’s brought Cas back for him and now he’s bringing him back for Cas.  Canon destiel at this point would be the best possible outcome but I doubt that would happen.  It would be an amazing way to do it though in my opinion.

Just with this simple storyline, you have multiple problems solved.  The Winchester’s cavalier attitude to death, over.  The Winchester’s toxic codependency, done.  Because they were going to be separated forever and they were both ok with it.  Sam and Dean are redeemed at least partly because they were willing to sacrifice for their friends, at the expense of each other and they wanted to do the right thing. Cas’ feelings of being expendable and unloved, wiped away.  And canon destiel would also be amazing obviously.