edit: supernatural

Obviously the ‘Tombstone’ scene with Dean and Cas has been yelled about all weekend, but one thing I’m super surprised I haven’t seen discussed is the way it blatantly uses polysemy and then destroys it as this was the first thing out of like a million in that scene that had me silently screaming.

Like, as soon as the name of the episode was released, everyone latched on to the fact that, especially as it was about cowboys, it could be a reference to the movie or to the town. A third reading is that it’s an episode about ghouls. This is not a new thing: Supernatural has always used polysemy, but especially in the last four or five years it’s been an increasingly important part of Destiel discussion. Almost every single scene with Dean and Cas has had multiple readings, to the point where we’ve had to literally discuss what qualifies as ‘canon’, because by so many definitions, it’s literally already canon.

So I pretty much expected them to lampshade the ‘Tombstone’ movie and move on, kind of as a wink wink nudge nudge to the audience, because this is the usual move. Veiled acknowledgement, but nothing more. BUT OF COURSE, in this GLORIOUS season where there is literally no sub to that text anymore, Davy Perez went straight past wink wink nudge nudge to a fucking “I’m your Huckleberry” god bless this season.

Dean brings up ‘Tombstone’, and then Cas says, “The city?” This is literally Perez pointing out the two readings of the title. (And like, look. It’s not a coincidence that one reading is pretty obvious and the other reading is literally a queer-coded one.)

Then Perez has Dean go, no, not the obvious one. The queer-coded one.

And then makes it gayer. Not just ‘nope, the queer-coded one’, but ‘the queer-coded one that we watched together’.

And then makes it even gayer. ‘The queer-coded one that you made me watch with you (singular) and will now use a reference to in a deep voice and you’ll have to swallow and look away.’

The “I’m your huckleberry” line has also been scrutinized like hell, but something that’s really, really interesting to me is, as pointed out in this great post by someoneworthfinding, it’s not a romantic-coded line. It’s a taunt. It’s a dare, and Cas watches Dean’s reaction to it very closely.

And Dean looks away, swallows hard, licks his lips, and then tells Cas honestly, without any posturing or nicknames or jokes, that he’s glad to have him back. This part of the scene, more than anything, feels like testing the waters and a huge step forward.

2

“You destroyed them, you left them. I don’t care that you hate me, but they deserved better ! They became your little soldiers, they sacrified everything for your crusade and you let them in your shit ! You’re as bad as the monsters we’re hunting !”