I’m writing this as a reference post because there’s a tendency among straight Dean stans to just round up a bunch of gifs without context as though that somehow constitutes an argument.
To start off, Dean Winchester has never called himself “heterosexual” or “straight” on the show. It has never happened, not in a single episode in the ten year run of the show. The burden of proof falls on anyone who claims that he has, and it’s proof they will be unable to provide. Literally, he has never said those things. He has indicated it euphemistically, but that’s another thing, and we’ll get to that.
Eric Kripke, the show’s creator, has likewise never called Dean Winchester straight. He did, in one round table interview at Comic Con in 2013, say that he thought the dynamic between Sam and Dean (who are brothers) is not unlike the dynamic between Sebastian and Miles from Revolution (being the topic of the interview), who are two straight men - as regards the unstated homoerotic subtext between the pairs of characters. But on Dean Winchester’s sexuality he has never commented upon, other than admitting that he named him after an iconic bisexual character: Dean Moriarty. The only indication of what Eric Kripke thinks about Dean Winchester’s sexuality can be found in the episodes he’s written.
Now let’s look at what passes as proof of Dean’s exclusive heterosexuality:
To start us off with, ‘swinging that way’ is a euphemism that could well refer to erotic attraction to males. But it could just as well refer to anonymous hook-ups with random strangers off the side of the road.
But if you think this scene has anything to do with Dean Winchester’s sexuality then you, my friend, are simply reading the scene wrong. The scene has nothing whatsoever to do with sex or sexuality. I mean, it might reflect on Dean’s sexuality if he earnestly believed the man was propositioning him and he felt the need to assert his heterosexuality. If that is how you choose to read the scene, then you must contend that he isn’t much of a hunter.
But let us assume that he is a hunter, and a good one at that, and he’s correctly reading the suspicious intentions behind the surface-friendly request by a figure claiming authority in the situation. Dean feels threatened by the man, not only because his hunter’s instincts are telling him there’s all kinds of wrong in the situation and how the man is not following the script of usual social conduct, but just in the fact that he is standing up and Dean is sitting down, which gives him the dominant social role in this interaction.
Because in that scenario Dean’s behavior is better interpreted as a strategy. And to understand this strategy, you must note the contrast between what Dean is saying and what Dean is doing. He’s saying he isn’t interested in the proposition. What he’s doing is attempting to use his charm, his youthful good looks, and flirtation to get out of the situation unharmed. He’s engaging in defensive flirting to get out of a threatening situation, a strategy employed by women, and men of oppressed minorities, all over the globe.
If you’re interested in Dean’s sexuality, you’re better observing his interactions with Mark. This is a Shiban episode, after all.
You’re making an assumption that the swinging here refers to sexual orientation, when it might just easily refer to the bondage scene. But that’s beside the point, because this banter is about dominance posturing, not about the sexuality of any of the participants. Dean isn’t inferring that he thinks the agent is a kinky son of a bitch or that himself and Sam are staunch upstanding heterosexuals, it’s not even remotely about that. He is telling the agent that he is unperturbed by this current state of affairs (which he most definitely isn’t, once he and Sam are alone).
Agent Hendricksen, who has told them in no uncertain terms that he thinks their father was a survivalist whacko who probably bad touched them as children, is the last person Dean Winchester would volunteer private information about himself. If you don’t understand the dynamics in this scene and think this is about Dean Winchester asserting his heterosexuality, I can’t help you. But I will ask you to take a look at a similar scene in 2.19 where the only difference is that Dean feels like he’s in control: he blatantly flirts with the arresting officers.
In the same episode, we also get a shot of Dean checking out Officer Amici’s ass (the camera actually pans on his ass) for what appears to be no reason. Later, the demon Ruby comes in and starts talking about sacrificing a virgin, and Ruby looks at the male officer, twice, like he’d do, she could sacrifice the officer, the officer is a virgin. But the officer looks at the virgin girl Nancy like he thinks she’s the only virgin in the room. Ergo, Ruby thought the officer was some kind of virgin that Dean wasn’t.
The thing about the episode that is significant is that the magicians were professional cold readers. Cold reading is something Dean and Sam also do for their job, but these old magicians were better at it, they’d been doing it for a long time. And these magicians assumed that Dean Winchester was a closeted FBI agent.
The reason for their sending Dean to the underground gay club seems to have been because they saw right through him. It was to teach him a lesson, to send him a warning: they know his secret, so he better leave them alone. The magicians recognized Dean’s queerness, and this is why they devised this particular run-around for him. They likely would never have sent Sam there.
Dean’s reaction is also interesting. Dean most definitely gags upon seeing the Chief. You can interpret that as being a reaction toward the gay aspect, in which case you have to contend with him checking the bouncer out when he first enters the club. Or you can interpret it as a reaction to the idea of torture, seeing how he was fresh out of hell. Dealer’s choice. But at the end of the day, both professional cold readers and an actual psychic (Jimmy Tomorrow) have read the man as swinging that way.
“Save it for the health club,“ Dean Smith tells Sam Wesson. Dean Smith is a health club regular.
“Look, man, I told you, I’m not into the, uh—
,“ Dean Smith tells Sam Wesson, a bulking huge stranger that accosts him in a closed space for the second time.
Note the definite article.
“The gay thing“? That’s one alternative, but their first interaction suggests otherwise.
“The random anonymous hook-ups thing“? Maybe, but he is a health club regular with what sounded like a regular fuck-buddy.
“The whole office hook-up thing“? Now this sounds more likely, since Dean Smith was all about company policy, and that kind of thing would both be frowned upon and come between him and the promotion his boss was dangling in front of him.
Now, it is possible to interpret this scene as regarding Dean Winchester’s sexuality. But it’s not the only interpretation. He was a health club regular, after all.
“Sorry pal, I don’t play for your team,” Dean tells the creepy stranger that accosts him in a dark alley. Now, this is a contrast to Croatoan in that Dean may have through the man was honestly propositioning him. Unlike in Croatoan, there’s also no indication that Dean thought the man was threatening beyond your random creepy stranger. You could well interpret this euphemism as Dean asserting this heterosexuality.
Dean was, at this time, in a long-term relationship with a woman with whom he was trying hard to make a long distance relationship work. He was definitely turning the man down, and may even have thought he had gone straight. We can respect that.
In an amusing twist of events, however, Dean actually ends up playing for the vampire team in the episode. And it’s only an episode later that he describes sex between men as “sexy kind of drilling“.
If there’s a scene I’m forgetting, hook me up.
Also, just so we’re clear, Dean loves posse. No one’s saying he doesn’t. You can print that on a t-shirt.
Note the contrast between the literal and the subtextual meaning, though.
Hi Tink! First of all, I'm working my way through spn for the first time and I find your posts are really insightful, so thank you. I have two semi-related questions for you: 1. I'm wondering if you could go into more detail concerning Dean's attraction to male authority figures, and possibly how much, if at all, this relates to his militaristic upbringing with John? We can see this with Dean's attraction to Cas, former captain of a garrison of angels, etc., who clearly has authority. (cont.)
(2) And I think it’s been shown that Dean isn’t attracted to Jimmy Novak, who is not a figure of authority. Similarly: 2. What do you make of the fact that Dean is an authority figure himself? Do you think he recognizes this? Dean has been in charge of Sam his entire life, practically, and seems to find much of his self-worth in protecting and taking care of Sam and others. I think Dean needs to feel like he’s in charge of something.
Hi! Firstly thanks!
I haven’t really thought about this in huge detail so I’ll give you my kind of top line thoughts and if anyone else wants to jump onboard please feel free :)
Dean I think firstly, because I’m going to answer backwards, actually isn’t so much of an authority figure deep down, this is a nurture rather than nature thing imo.
Throughout his life he was put in charge of Sammy from an early age and made to feel the responsibility and guilt if anything went wrong (1x18) so for me that is the reason behind his kind of control freak attitude.
However he is also very happy to let someone else take charge where they show themselves capable e.g. Bobby with hunting in the forest, Garth once he’s proved himself, Cas where relevant (and again importantly, he doesn’t want him to take charge where he thinks he isn’t the most capable or is weakened) even Krissy etc.
So for me he is not inherently a control freak with these things, he is for sure sometimes but he is also happy to let that go and I think with Sam ready to stand up to being a leader this could give us some great dynamics if they choose to show this, with Dean happily letting Sam take the lead and this showing some great wins (and will rile up the “they must stay as they were in the pilot where it was a false lead but that’s what I’ve latched onto and prefer to ignore 12 years of opposing canon” fans).
Then his reaction to other authority figures…
I do see this for sure, that he likes this, I think Kripke’s quote is relevant here, that
“Dean would be attracted to someone who walked in the door, slaughtered everybody and walked out and Dean would say who’s that?”
Coupled with the fact that we know in canon he likes to be slapped around in bed and is generally very submissive in the sex scenes we see.
x I wouldn’t say it necessarily stems from John / childhood, it could just be nature, I wouldn’t want to get too far into realms of sexuality and nature/nurture that I don’t myself understand as I don’t study psychology, I’m literature/classics/medicine so I can’t really comment!
Please please please share with the world the story of how you convinced your high school to take you to Mega for "community service"
Oh my god okay so. This is one of my favorite stories and it’s also sort of the story of how I got into cosplay.
I went to this really fancy high school in Florida. Super preppy, super homogenous, basically the high school from every bad teen movie but REAL. We had an anime club but it was really more like… all the nerds go and sit in the art room, talk about nerd stuff, and sometimes watch anime club.
Anyway. When I became an officer of the club (I can’t for the life of me remember if I was the secretary or the vice president) I realized that we were actually required to do community service in order to maintain our status as a club at this school. This was great in theory, but I looked around the room at my fellow club members and was like no way in hell are any of these people going to show up for community service hours I’m gonna get stuck doing like 200 hours by myself.
So I started trying to figure out how I could fix this little problem. And I came up with a really great idea that would let me do something that I’d always wanted to do and hinged entirely on my ability to bullshit authority figures like a champion.
I went to the dean of students and was like “Look. This club is already providing a really valuable service to the school by providing a safe space for students who otherwise would feel really ostracized by the rest of the community…” etc, etc in that vein for quite some time until the dean was like “OKAY OKAY WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
And I was like “I want to take the anime club to a convention in Orlando. It’s a gathering of other anime clubs from other schools and I want our club to use our community service hours to go as representatives of the school.”
And he was like “Okay sounds good, just get permission slips signed by everyone’s parents.” He asked me no questions and literally didn’t even look this up at all. I could have been taking us all to a strip club and he never would have known.
And that’s how we ended up with a school sponsored bus and driver taking my dinky little anime club (in all of our baby’s first cosplays) up to Megacon (along with our club supervisor who was dressed as Agent Smith from the Matrix) and I’ve been cosplaying ever since.
After reading your response to what I wrote, it made me think. I believe you're on to something about Sam's character. And I think my assumption might have to do with their arcs. But it made me think about Sam during the trials and that thing he says in the hallway about the knight. He treats others with more grace than his brother but I think you're right in saying that not everything is good with him. Anyhow, if you care to share, I'd be curious about your thoughts on Sam.
Hey, good to hear from you. :)
I have to say - I’ve had a very wild ride with Sam, and I’m nowhere near an expert about his character and I fully expect people to disagree with most of what I think because I think confusing things about him.
But here goes.
In the beginning Sam made perfect sense to me, because I was him - or, he was the person I would surely have been destined to become if only I’d had a fucked up family and a quest and not nice, middle class parents and a cat.
Honestly, the first time I saw Supernatural, as I explained here, I kind of disliked Dean - the douchey, sleazy, untrustworthy Casanova - and identified with Sam - a lot. His academic curiosity, his sense of justice and his determination to be himself at any cost really spoke to me. I remember siding with him whenever he fought with Dean, especially when they fought about John, or with John. His whole arc - that of a child destined to rule Hell who managed to refuse Lucifer himself - was incredibly beautiful and it just worked and when Sam fell back inside the abyss, I stopped watching Supernatural because I assumed that was the proper ending to the story. I remember being mildly outraged at the fact there even was a season 6, and even now I sometimes wonder what they will make of it all - on the whole, it’s been a very enjoyable ride, and some episodes have been true masterpieces, but I think it’s hard to deny that sort of cohesive narrative we’ve seen in the earlier seasons is no longer there.
Anyway. When I came back to the story, years later, I got distracted by the very obvious UST between Dean and Cas - watched a couple of seasons thinking I must be the only one foolish enough to notice that, then Googled the thing, found all the Destiel and Dean is bi masterposts, realized I was, indeed, an idiot, and went back to watch the whole thing from the beginning. And this time, I saw Sam in a very different light. This time, I was focused on Dean, and Sam was - sort of mean. Because, well, Sam is a lot of things, and I think he’s more scared of intimacy than even Dean is, which is why he finds it pretty easy to be wise and just and noble when it’s about other people and can be downright weird around his brother. Also, what I noticed was that, more and more, Sam was retreating into himself. It probably has something to do with real world dynamics, but my headcanon is that Sam got burned really bad by Ruby, and all that business with Lucifer just about finished the job. Because, well (please don’t hate me) - what Dean was made to become in Hell, that’s someone he never truly was (sure, in the earlier seasons he boasts about loving the job because he gets to kill things, but we’ve seen clearly since then - and, most notably, through what the Mark did to him and what hallucination!Benny said to him, that Dean doesn’t want to be that thing); but what Lucifer wanted with Sam, and how he set out to get it - he played on who Sam actually was. That, I think was the most cruel thing and the crucial difference between Michael and Lucifer. Michael used brute force, which, sure, wasn’t nice but wasn’t devious, either - and also gave Dean something to push against; but Lucifer, first through Ruby and then simply by being himself, operated a very careful seduction tailored on Sam’s personality. That whole thing with Ruby only worked because Sam was prideful and arrogant and always saw himself more clever than Dean - probably resented the fact, growing up - I assume that Dean, because he was older and more obedient, was given more important tasks by John - we know Sam felt lonely, isolated, even, as a kid - and to be excluded when you can see you’re better than your deadbeat relatives - surely there were no shortages of teachers who praised Sam and encouraged him all the way to his Stanford application - well. And also, this is something we know, isn’t it? As @welkinalauda has pointed out in this post, and others have discussed at length, all Sam wanted was not to stop hunting, but to move up the social ladder. He already knew he was better than his father and his brother, but he needed society to recognize it. He’d seen well enough that you can be as clever as you want, but if you show up in the wrong clothes, you’re going to be dismissed and belittled anyway.
Now, this is a very real struggle many people from a modest background face - your parents want you to do better than they did, and you want that for yourself, but the sense of shame about the implication - that what your loving parents gave you, probably working two jobs to stay afloat, wasn’t good enough - never fully goes away.
Except that Sam didn’t have that - at least, not in the beginning - because of his abusive upbringing. He knew he deserved better, and fuck them. Dean’s love for him, Dean’s protection from John, and what it had meant for him growing up, is the only thing not fitting into the equation, which is why, I think, Sam never contacted Dean once he left for Stanford: not because he didn’t care about Dean, but because he cared too much. He was afraid that if he were really forced to think about it - how he’d left his brother to go after demons and vampires when the only person covering his back was their asshole father (who was not only unpredictable, but often drunk) - Sam would have gone back. No question about it. Look how readily he accepted to help Dean when Dean showed up out of nowhere, visibly troubled and lonely. Sam would do anything for Dean.
But then, inevitably, he resented Dean for dragging him back in, and for everything else. Their fights felt very real, and were vicious. And Sam never really let go of his sense of superiority until that whole Lucifer business. After that, he was soulless, and God knows what he thought about that period - it was never shown, was it? And after that, there was that time of hallucinations and weird stuff - and then Cas sacrificed himself to drag him out. And I know - I know - it was Cas’ fault in the first place, all of it -
(Although, was it? If Dean had taken Cas seriously, Cas would have gone about things a different way, right?)
- but to Sam, king of the logical reasoning, sacrificing the knight that was Cas didn’t give them a queen: it gave them a broken, ruined thing which couldn’t help Dean in any way. Sam had to watch as Dean left his best friend behind - and the best and most powerful ally they’d ever gotten - and chose him instead - the boy who’d never done as he was told, the one Dean had gone to Hell for (the one who’d killed mom - even though, of course, we now know about Mary’s deal, and let’s see what they’ll make of it this coming season). By this time, Sam feels he’s a liability. His head choice versus heart choice thing isn’t a new development. The problem is, he wishes he were strong enough to make the heart choice, but he’s not. We often talk about Dean’s codependency towards his brother, but the opposite is true as well, and perhaps even more so. All Sam had to build his sense of self were precisely those things Lucifer stripped away from him: his trust in his own choices and sound judgement and cleverness and fundamental goodness. Without them, Sam is nothing. I certainly don’t know who Sam is. He’s been more or less an empty shell since season 6.
No, Sam doesn’t trust himself to act alone any longer (that’s why, I think, he never answered Kevin’s calls), and things go seriously awry when he realizes Dean is on a very different path: while Sam had been unraveling, leaving behind the - relatively sane - person he was at 22, Dean has been painstakingly finding himself and building a whole new person, brick by brick. Because his brother is with him, because he gives Dean that love and support Dean so sorely lacked as a kid, Dean is able to sort of let go of Sam. For the first time in his life, he actually makes friends. If you think about it, all the secondary characters who’ve been important in Supernatural - from Charlie to Jody to Garth - have bonded with Dean, not Sam; and this is a complete reversal of the people Dean and Sam were in the first seasons (Sam, the likeably young puppy; and Dean, the no chick flickmoments outsider).
And, again, this is something Sam knows he shouldn’t resent (just like he shouldn’t have resented his painful upbringing) but can’t help but fear. Dean getting close to other people means, quite possibly, Dean walking away, and Sam is afraid to be on his own. That desperate speech at the end of season 8 was completely unfair and heartbreaking for both characters. Sam realized he wasn’t perhaps, as ready to make the head choice and therefore die, as he’d assumed, and this crushed his second-to-last piece of identity (the very last one, his agency, was taken from him when Gadreel moved in). As for Dean - he was forced to give up everything for his brother. He was made to feel that the normal, adjusted person he was slowly becoming (someone who could care for more than one person at once) was somehow wrong. So he gave it up. Season 9 was their childhood, all over again, with Dean obeying an authority figure despite the fact Sam would obviously disagree, and at the same time keeping secrets from friends and loved ones, thus sying away from meaningful attachments. A complete disaster.
As for season 10 - there were a lot of things that went wrong with season 10, imo. Just to keep this answer shorter than 100K, I’ll point out that what Dean was doing with the Mark, Sam was doing without. The reversal of character and personality had sort of gone full circle. Remember Sam in the earlier seasons, trying to make Dean see shades of grey? Well, now Dean sees so fucking many of them he became BFF with a vampire and is karaoking around the country with the literal King of Hell. And Sam, the sensible, sweet student who was so keen on not hurting anyone, has now turned into Jack Bauer. Sam was already willing to sell his soul for Dean’s at the end of season 9 (we saw him calling Crowley, after all; but, of course, Crowley was already there), but in season 10, he gives it up completely. And, as a result, he gets what he feels he deserves: Dean rejecting him, fully and unequivocally (”It should have been you up there.”). Up until then, Dean’s whole life had been about saving Sam and protecting Sam. Even when they’d fought, things had never gotten this far (which is significant: how many times, during vicious arguments, you find yourself saying, I wish you were dead? and yet Dean never went there). It is during this season, I think, that Sam starts to think about healing and redemption. He must have realized, if nothing else, that they both have a right to a proper life - with other people. He says as much in season 11, and we know (though Sam doesn’t) that Dean is on the same page because of his church confession in season 10.
But, again, Sam is thwarted. He thought he would be redempted by dying - by fulfilling his destiny, in fact, because Dean being forced to kill Sam had been on the cards since the very beginning - but this doesn’t come to pass. So Sam tries to work on his redemption in other ways - most notably, through his Christ-like curing of the sick at the beginning of the season - and this is where his character arc gets muddy, because there’s a bit in the middle which is simply missing: his conversation with God and his musings about Lucifer. We know these scenes were scripted and/or filmed, and I hope they’ll be included in the extra, because they are fundamental to understanding Sam’s frame of mind. What we know so far? That by the end, Sam’s idea of penance, perhaps suggested by God, is the bearing of the Mark - and hence, complete solitude, forever. Which, in a way, suits Sam perfectly, because a) there won’t be anyone around him who can be hurt by his bad judgement, and b) Dean will be free to lead a life away from him.
We know that doesn’t work out, though. What happens is the mirror opposite: Dean erased from the face of the Earth leaving behind days and love and words unspent, and Sam responsible for the whole of humanity.
(I know there are other hunters, but somehow it always comes down to the Winchesters, right? So they don’t count.)
In a way, Sam got his wish, but in the most upside down and twisted way ever. He is a Christ figure, with his demon friend and his angel friend, but his brother is the one who was crucified - who died in his place - and now nothing matters anymore. I think Dean saw this perfectly - when he told Cas he was afraid Sam would kill himself, he didn’t mean Sam would kill himself because of grief (Sam has lived without Dean before, though how healthy his relationship with Amelia was is up for debate - personally, I loved that almost fitting headcanon that said Amelia had never existed at all), but that Sam would decide he couldn’t be trusted to do the job on his own. Cas had proved way too obedient once before (by following Sam’s desperate, insane orders in season 10), and Crowley won’t intervene in any way to keep Sam in check (it’s Dean he cared about, after all), so, yes - Sam may very well have decided his life amounted to nothing and the world was safer without him if Toni hadn’t intervened.
And I guess the next step of character development would be putting these guys back together - Dean should finally allow himself to have a relationship (and, again, this Destiel thing - make it canon or make it disappear, because it’s downright insulting by now and has been for some time) and Sam should do something awesome on his own and regain some self-confidence and have a long talk with his brother and possibly tell us a bit more about himself - for starters, what kind of music he likes and what the hell he studied in Stanford.
In this context, I see Mary’s return as a good thing. Sam must have felt guilty his whole life for her death (who wouldn’t?), so that thing being cleared from the board spells Very Good Things for him. And also: the knowledge (which I hope will trickle through) that Sam wasn’t to blame at all - that Mary, GoodMom™
, was the one who lied to her husband for years and endangered her whole family and basically sold her son to a demon - well, I can’t wait to see that discussion go down.
In conclusion, I don’t really know how I feel about Sam.
I think he’s someone who’s desperate to fix his mistakes without actually understanding why he’s made them in the first place, because that’s a place inside himself he’s scared to go in. I think he’s mostly selfless and good and he honestly cares about other people, but I can’t shake the feeling he also does these things (at least in part) because that’s how he thinks one should behave. I think his relationship with Dean needs to change, because it’s been a parent/child relationship for most of their lives and that’s not healthy. I think that he’s clever enough to know better, and that he should trust his brother more - that fearful admission that he thought Dean would abandon them to create a shiny new world of taupe nail polish and ravens with Amara was completely uncalled for, especially after the many times Dean had said how much he hated the idea, and how he’d die before he’d let it happen. I think Lucifer was right, and Sam still feels guilty about a lot of things he should feel guilty for - not looking for Dean, implicating Charlie in his desperate schemes, endangering Kevin and then killing him (although, yeah) - and I think he should give himself permission to feel all these ugly things and break down so he can start to heal. And I think that won’t happen as long as Lucifer is around, because Sam will never allow himself to be weak in front of Lucifer ever again.
And sometimes I think I don’t know Sam at all.
But I still hope he will get all the hugs, because he deserves them - and he fucking needs them.
Dean and Ritchie have history, and you can bet your ass it wasn’t just buds kind of history.
Dean recognizes his pal instantly, and looks real happy to see him. But then he sees the woman coming out of the other guy’s hotel room, and his face falls. And let’s be clear, his face falls at the sight of the woman well before she is established as a fancy lady and who, if you believe his press, ought to be just up Dean’s alley. So that’s kind of strange. Dean has zero reason to care about that if they’re casual buds.
But it gets weirder. Ritchie walks into the boys’ hotel room, and Dean immediately begins stripping his clothes, like it’s something he’s used to doing in front of this dude. He sheds the other garments of his fed suit rolling up his sleeves, and we have never seen him do that before this moment on the show.
And Ritchie, he’s just real comfortable in Dean’s hotel room and with the banter, like they’ve got more than one hunt between them. And what’s this that passed between them? Dean saved Ritchie from a succubus.
This episode was one of the big early bisexual anvil episodes. There are two demons in the episode, a man (priest) and a woman (bartender). Dean checks out the priest when they’re done interviewing him. He turns back and checks him out. And why not, he’s a good-looking priest. He was mesmerized by his face during their questioning, after all.
And then there’s the lover of the demon, Casey. Dean bonds with her, and the demon detects lusts in his eyes when they’re locked up in a basement together. The priest demon crashes through the door, the male and the female demon make out in front of Dean, and then Sam shoots them both in front of him. His lust for fast women and male authority figures.
If you don’t want me to write, don’t reblog prompts. This one is “You became famous and someone asked you if you had ever been in love and what?”
It kind of
figures that his ex… something got famous. Even back when they were friends
with benefits (that’s the term, right? Not that Dean ever thought particularly
serious about it, or that he ever did stuff you don’t do with friends with
benefits like cuddle and spend the weekend and driving Cas to the university
when he had time – or rather, he didn’t mean to. That counts for something) Cas
was always writing, always creating stories that Dean thought were beautiful,
but then, he was really – he liked the guy a lot.
So now Cas
is a famous author. As stated before: it figures. Dean has stayed away from his
books, though, because –
he’s afraid that he’ll find part of the stories he remembers Cas mumbled
against his skin when they drifted off to sleep. Or worse, he’s going to look
at one of these short biographies they put on the backs of books and see that
he’s happily married with children – not that he really fears that. He’d be glad
to know Cas is happy without him.
After all, it
was over ten years ago and they’re thirty-seven. Still being hung up on…
something would be insane.
I JUST REALIZED there's backseat Impala subtext this season!! In episode 1 we see Mary checking out the backseat, thinking about John and her ~doin stuff~ and Dean realized that while Cas was left confused. Idk if Dean ever told Cas what it meant, but now there's more backseat storyline stuff what with Dean choosing to stay in the backseat with Cas in episode 9, and some of us already think there was some sort of hand-holding or longing there. I don't know what to make of this!
I guess what we always make of it: a great big Destiel subtext pie :P
Do we need 3 times to prove the rule? I remember after 12x08 there was some joking about how Cas was in the backseat just on principle that it was suggesting something, in a way, referring back to that moment and Dean’s weird look at Cas :P But really not much on its own. This helps!
I mean, though, the back seat has been used a lot as a runner up trophy and Dabb made a huge deal out of who got to be shotgun back in 8x08 which I think is a really quick little thing that actually is a great key to unlocking a lot of interpersonal nonsense… Like, in season 8 context, how Sam feels about Cas, considering it all builds up to that confession from Sam at the end - looking at Sam shoving past Cas for shotgun and Dean getting to determine who is and isn’t shotgun with all that hindsight makes the shotgun joke in 8x08 ridiculously deep.
And then 9x10, also Dabb, has the scrap over shotgun between Cas and Crowley, which ALSO when it’s all said and done, foreshadows the interpersonal dynamics of Cas vs the entire Drowley arc, especially with I think a sense that Dean sends Cas to sit in the back to watch Crowley because he’s TERRIFIED of Crowley still (there was an earlier moment in season 9 which shows this really well while they’re doing stuff with Crowley in the dungeon - maybe 9x04?) and Dean trusts Cas to look out for him… Cas isn’t being relegated to the back because Dean doesn’t like him, BUT that’s a misunderstanding that can exist (especially as Dean again takes over CAS’S car and starts dictating terms in it) and Cas feeling slighted or unwanted is like, a constant thing. (Ugh, poor Cas :P)…
So there are a lot of politics there, and we were analysing stuff in 12x01 that Dean had Cas riding up front with him and Mary in the back at the end of the episode, because of how great THAT was for them, but then also in 12x03 we had Mary in the front seat and Sam crammed in the back clearly losing out on shotgun privileges, and I think Cas in 12x08 is also sort of more that when Sam and Dean are in the Impala, unless there’s Reasons, whoever else is riding with them goes in the back. (In 5x13, we have the humorous/tragic image of John driving, Mary in shotgun aka the stereotypical mom seat for families, and Sam and Dean in the back, like the kids on a road trip, and those dynamics mirrored. I swear there’s a “are we nearly there yet” somewhere in that scene :P)
(Actually, thinking of John driving, isn’t is a Thing that Sam never drove the car once in Baby, even if he got to use the backseat for, uh, work out purposes. Considering the episode was all about the car and so many people driving it, I guess that stands out… You know, if I remember that properly. I’m preeeetty tired :P)
Anyway… There’s a few different rules for the backseat and it’s always worth looking at what else is going on…
But yeah, Dean not taking over and driving whenever there’s a car is huge - it’s a sign of him giving up that control that he normally has even when it’s NOT his car (and the fact it’s Mary and her car, I think allows him to do that a bit? Like when he couldn’t argue that John drives the Impala - obviously John didn’t know Sam and Dean were his kids from the future, but symbolically that’s Dean giving up the driver’s seat to the no.1 authority figure in his life… It being Mary is I guess more about respect and deference not coming from having been brought up by her like a drill sergeant like with John, but there’s still a fair amount of unpacking to do there, though I do think this season is SLOWLY working on it… Mary needs to take a fall in their eyes which I guess is up next for her?) … Where was I? Right. Dean n Cas holding hands in the back seat :P It’s good because more equal footing with Cas, accepting someone else driving and joining him back there, with all that history, is a nice sign of equality there, as well as DEAN giving up his negative behavioural traits to get there instead of making the world bend to him.
And it being Mary’s car, in 12x01 we got this reminder/almost outside eyes that the car HAD been Mary’s as much as anyone else’s - that she was just as fond of it as Dean is, talking to the car the same way. With its history and Dean looking at it with outside eyes, then having the realisation of the backseat’s history… It was something humanising Mary AND making it about her car, so there’s a nice link to what’s going on there, with Dean and Cas, to bring it round to the previous paragraph’s point too, of changing ideas of characters via backseats…
Aaand then there’s always Dean looking at Cas after the revelation and then back to Mary, which is honestly going to make its way up into some sort of personal top ten list for Destiel nonsense the longer I harp on it because it was such a bizarre set of reactions even if Dean might “just” be checking to see if Cas got it, there was a lot of discussion about Dean’s expression, WHY he thought to look at Cas at all, and how weirdly suggestive it was.
And now there’s a thing where, SIGNIFICANTLY, given Dean’s past form and the history of back seats being significant that I’ve briefly and not exhaustively laid out (oh - like Dean’s comment about having Anna and Ruby in the back of the car, or on the complete flip side, Sam stowing demon!Dean in the back of the car in 10x02 and that showing negatively Dean’s loss of control and I STILL haven’t gone over everything, like a step-by-step of 11x04 or something :P), we have Dean and Cas together in the back seat and… I mean, maybe it doesn’t mean much and it is just a nice moment where we have completely free reign to assume Dean grabbed Cas’s hand and gave it a squeeze and Cas rode the whole way to midnight totally confused and terrified but not complaining… Or I guess there is already a little foundation about the back of the seat being something we should look at and analyse this season and ask, really, what is going on here with them :P
Tl;dr of this why did I even need to go so deep post… Given the circumstances with Dean thinking he’s dying, and the context of this season so far and its various little details about the backseat, Dean voluntarily gives up a position of control that he normally clings to for dear life, to spend his last few minutes sitting with Cas in the back seat - which had attention drawn to it this season I guess once to show Sam being shoved in there for losing out on shotgun to Mary’s assumedly eternal dibs, which does not seem applicable when this time it was Mary’s car already (making a brand new shotgun dynamic Sam apparently won this time?) BUT in the episode Dean seemed to have a very specific plan involving Cas that had nothing to do with their escape and everything to do with the emotional side of choosing to die… That leaves the coding of the backseat as, like, the “loveseat” of the car, which was a scene that had much louder attention drawn to it anyway… So apparently I just used maths to finish this meta?
(I am completely exhausted and probably should not be answering asks right now :P)
Request: I would like to request a part three to Y/N being the daughter of Dean and Cass. Thanx (So, I don’t know where part 2 is, or even if I wrote a part 2, so…… sorry!)
Request: I love ur writing, when u are not too busy can u write a oneshot where Dean & Cas have a teenage daughter who keeps getting in fights because she’s bullied & they are stern with her @ first after meeting with the principal but go get ice cream later?
Dean The Pinball Wizard: Supernatural and It's Christ Figure
(Note: I’m going to assume that people have a basic understanding of Christianity, both for the sake of ‘brevity’ and because I am by no means a theologian. I’m also someone who is very much irreligious so any belief or dogma brought up is done so strictly to illustrate a mythological point for the sake of literary analysis and nothing else.)
I’m someone who is fascinated by mythology. Judeo-Christian mythology is one that I have a particular interest in, mostly because of the impact it’s had on Western literature and history. It doesn’t shock me one bit that I gravitated to Supernatural, considering how much of its plot and themes are taken almost verbatim from that very mythos and then played around with in very creative and intelligent ways. What is shocking to me, or rather, peculiar, is the notable absence of one all important figure from that mythos in Supernatural’s proceedings, namely, Jesus Christ.
Now, Jesus isn’t totally absent from Supernatural. The use of holy water and rosaries, a blink-and-you’ll- miss-it comment about to the gospel writer Luke being a prophet from the mouth of Castiel and the Spear of Destiny being held in the Men of Letters bunker clearly imply that Jesus Christ is, in fact, part of the mythos, he’s just not directly involved in the narrative. It’s totally understandable why he’s not. Jesus is an extremely delicate subject and playing around with him even slightly would no doubt insight cries of blasphemy. Using him directly as a character would skew the shows theological stance (which, despite its Abrahamic tendencies, is planted firmly in an alternating blend of Maltheism, Agnosticism, and Universalism) too much in favor of Christianity.
But perhaps Jesus is only referenced in passing, instead of being an actual character like Cain or Gabriel, not because he can’t be or because he doesn’t fit into the narrative, but because he already is a character. Being played around with on a weekly basis, just wrapped ever so discreetly in the guise of another character who plays the role of Christ figure. Christ figures are, after all, immensely common genre fiction so it’s only logical that Supernatural would have one. Who is Supernatural’s Christ figure you might ask? The answer is simple: Dean Winchester.
By all accounts Dean didn’t start off as a Christ figure. (I think that Dean did, at least in hindsight, as I will discuss). At first, Dean was intended to be, quite literally, the Han Solo to Sam’s Luke Skywalker. Sam is the character who was originally intended to have the Hero’s Journey and at first, Sam is set up as a messiah figure, with mysterious circumstances pertaining to his infancy, mystical powers and supernatural ‘parentage’. Unfortunately for Sam, because of Kripke’s strong desire for him to ‘Go Dark’ and with the introduction of the ‘Light Side’ of Supernatual’s mythology, this morphed into him becoming an Antichrist, all be it a reluctant one, requiring Dean, as the other protagonist, to fill the Christ void. As Sam became more and more of an Antichrist, Dean became more and more of a Christ (a case and point of ‘Death to the Author’).
The first example of Dean as a Christ figure comes in the form of Passion narrative as it relates to Dean’s own. In 2.22, Dean sells his soul so that Sam can be brought back to life after he is murdered by a Psychic Kid, Jake. At the end of that same episode, Dean kills the demon Azazel. Dean sacrifices himself to atone for another’s sin, brings salvation to another and in the end destroys a force of Evil, the whole of Christ’s mainstream theological narrative told in the span of forty minutes. This is done even more overtly in 3.16, when Dean’s deal is due. Dean dies bloody and in agony, attacked by hell hounds. The final shot is of him in Hell hung up by chains and hooks in his wrists, ankles and side, screaming for help, an allusion to both the crucifixion and to the Five Sacred Wounds. Dean then remains in Hell for forty years were he is tortured and tempted by Alastair until Heaven resurrects him in 4.1, a parallel both to Jesus’ descent into Hell following his death and before his resurrection, as stated in the Apostle’s Creed, and to his forty days of fasting in the desert where he is tempted by Satan as stated in the Synoptic Gospels.
This is repeated yet again in 9.23 and even more overtly. Dean voluntarily squares off alone against the self-made false messiah Metatron. Dean is viciously beaten by Metatron who then stabs him in the chest with an angel sword for his trouble. Sam arrives and carries the mortally wounded Dean away in a vain attempt to save him and Dean then dies in Sam’s arms. At the end however, Dean is resurrected thanks to the power of the Mark of Cain and the First Blade. After Dean is stabbed with the angel sword, his body is shown collapsing to the floor along with the Angel Tablet being broken by Castiel, after which there is an earthquake. This a parallel both to the crucifixion story in The Gospel of John in which Jesus is pierced with a lance to make sure he’s dead and to the Gospel of Mathew were at the point of Jesus’ death, an earthquake is said to occur and the veil to the Holy of Holies in The Temple is torn.
The next example comes in the form of Dean being an apocalyptic figure. The Messiah is, in both Jewish and Christian understanding, someone who will bring an end to the current order, the end of the world. Dean does just this in 5.22 when he stops the battle between Michael and Lucifer, rendering Fate obsolete. Also, in 4.16 Dean is stated in to be the Righteous Man and in 5.1 to be the Michael Sword. The Righteous Man is the one who is destined to break the first Seal and hence start the Apocalypse and, subsequently, is the only one who can end it. The Michael Sword is the true vessel of Michael, the one he uses to fight and destroy Lucifer. Both of these are, as stated in the Book of Revelation, things Christ is and does. In the book of Revelation, Christ is referred to as the Alpha and the Omega, The Beginning and The End. Christ is the one who opens the seven Seals which start the Apocalypse and is the one who, with the help of the Heavenly Host, combats Satan and throws him and his army back into Hell, ending the Apocalypse.
This brings me to my next point: Michael and Christ. In a general sense, Michael is the most direct stand in for Christ (the dogmatic/supernatural entity as opposed to the person of Jesus). Both have a lot in common with one another. Christ is, according to mainstream Christian theology, God’s only begotten Son. Michael is the first born angel, God’s eldest son. According to the Book of Revelation, Christ will take down Lucifer, the Antichrist and the False Prophet in a climatic final battle known as Armageddon. He’s a bad ass too, riding atop a white horse with a sword in his mouth, his eyes made of fire and his robe dipped in blood as he leads all the angels and saints into battle. Michael is the leader of Heaven’s army and it is Michael and Michael alone who can destroy Lucifer. There is a theological basis for this connection as well. In some Christian sects, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Advents, Christ and Michael are believed to be the same entity.
Dean parallels Michael. Both are eldest and obedient sons to an absent father and both have rebellious younger brothers. Both are warriors. Dean is also the true vessel of Michael, the human man that is destined to give Michael, son of God and slayer of Lucifer, corporal form. In Christian theology, the man who served that purpose for Christ was Jesus of Nazareth. In this way, Dean is analogous to Jesus and Michael is analogous to Christ and together they make Jesus Christ.
dean has just the brattiest mouth when it comes to authority figures, y'all.
egging them on until they press him up against a wall or onto the hood of the car over a desk to teach him a lesson. and Dean’s just smiling wide the entire time, loving every single minute of it. groaning out, “That’s all you got?”
I’ve thought about this a bit more, and in principle, I don’t really see a problem with speculating that Dean may look to Crowley for guidance as a newly formed Demon. But I do have a problem with Dean/dog/hellhound comparisons. I don’t think it’s necessary to evoke such a thing (and ergo de-humanize Dean) in order to talk about obedience and authority. These are human constructs and power structures that we impose on other humans as much, if not more so than on animals. Constructs that are far more complex on the human level. To focus on the animal side of things seems as though it limits the scope of the discussion. It also strikes me as derogatory (though i’m sure that’s not the intention of most meta writers), especially when we acknowledge that when Dean is compared to an attack dog on the show, its context is most certainly derogatory.
I also don’t necessarily agree that Dean still seeks out authority figures. I have trouble recalling the last time Dean actively did so (Season 2? With Gordon?) , but have no trouble remembering the many occasions that he’s quite adeptly rejected authority, and he even seems to be instinctually suspicious of it. Think of his initial reactions to Castiel and his “orders” from heaven in season 4, or to grampa Samuel in season 6.
I think we can trace that defiance back to Dean’s struggle with John’s ultimate order to Dean, to save Sam or kill him. Because I think that order was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Despite what John told him, Dean was always adamant about how he would never kill Sam, no matter what. It’s evocative of the biblical story of Abraham, whom is asked by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Isaac shows his willingness to obey god, but an angel intervenes at the last moments and Isaac is saved. Dean, on the other hand, rejects his father’s authority by refusing to kill Sam. It’s a pivotal turning point for Dean’s autonomy. And from this point onward, Dean becomes much less willing to blindly follow orders from anyone claiming authority. And his actions over the next seasons speak to this new found skepticism.
Jailed Students Release Statement Commending The Entire System
ALLSTON – The four Boston University students that were jailed for three nights after throwing a house party released a public statement following their release on Friday. In the statement, titled “We Are Being Treated Fairly and Justly”, the four students have praised their legal treatment following the incident as sensible and appropriate. “Judge David Donnelly has reinstated bail and released us, but he has also set harsher probation restrictions including a curfew, visitor restrictions, and travel restrictions,” reads the statement. “If we violate the new provisions, we could go to prison for 60 days.” “We just want to say that we have received fair treatment from all involved offices, bureaus and institutions throughout this disorienting process,” continued the statement. “From the Boston Police Department explicitly targeting our house to their clear intent to send an intimidating message to the neighborhood at our expense, no one should have any doubt that all law enforcement authorities have acted appropriately in this matter.“ “It’s only fair that we were sent to jail for three days. Three days is the minimum amount of time to determine whether four college students are a danger to the public. We also believe that it is incredibly professional of our judge to maintain his integrity by deriding us in the press.” “It’s sensible and fair that my client currently stands to return to jail for 60 days if he violates probation,” said one defendant’s defense attorney, Patrick E. Sheehan. “I’d also like to thank the court for employing reasonable probation restrictions that any typical college student could easily violate,” added Sheehan. The students’ statement continues on thanking various authority figures, particularly Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore. “He definitely has our back, and that’s what is fantastic about him. He’s the kind of dean who buys students drinks at the BU Pub and willfully ignores the prevalence of partying, only to throw students and student organizations under the bus the second there is bad press.“ "It’s almost like he’s two completely different people, which is impressive for a busy guy like him,” the statement added. “We’d like to thank the press for publishing stories about arrests without criticizing potentially illogical policies that led to those arrests, and for humiliating defendants and ruining their reputation by omission of facts, focus on scandal and general fetish towards sensationalism.” “BU has a great journalism community that has championed our story,“ says the statement. "They should be commended for being completely objective in their reporting and not scrutinizing our treatment or critics, or bothering to point out that partying is a common occurrence in Allston and we are extremely similar to all other students at this university.” "We don’t deserve special treatment,” the statement concludes. At press time, all four defendants are grateful that their future job prospects are rightfully jeopardized because they threw a party during college.