This in 12x16 felt like another solid character moment, to me; not just the fact that Dean left, but that Sam stayed. I think it’s the same difference in attitude that prompts Dean to squash down and deny the things that worry him (or, the flipside of the same coin, to accept them with fatalistic helplessness) whereas Sam will stare steely-eyed and insistent into the face of his problems. (Of course, that can certainly be problematic too.)
“Take your brother outside as fast as you can.” “I was a kid allright!” “Most importantly? Watch out for Sammy.” “Watching out for you, it’s kinda who I am.” “Don’t you dare think there’s anything that I would put in front of you.” “There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you.”
The subsequent exposition of the episode, where Dean is actually asked in a calm and loving environment what HE wants from life…where he tells us. He gets a glimpse of a happy life in a caring environment with a future open to him. Sonny is willing to stick his neck out for him, Robin wants him to stay, these are the things that have been set up over 9 years as missing from Dean’s life and things he craves.
Then in the end we see Dean choosing Sam over himself, all framed in sadness and loss, to go back to what was and continued to be a terrible life with a neglectful John who let him “rot” in what he thought was a bad place, letting go of a great opportunity for a brighter future with Sonny and a lovely girlfriend…. all because of his feeling of responsibility for Sammy (but it’s not Sam’s fault of course! He thanks him, he cares about how hard it was on Dean, it just was).
On top of this is the set up for this feeling of responsibility and his own worthlessness so negatively and toxically as a whole in the season leading to the Mark of Cain… it’s impossible NOT to think that Dean putting Sam before himself his whole life was extremely damaging and led to his repression of accepting that he deserves good things for himself.
It’s an exposition in just 1 episode for the whole season’s (and the show overall for Dean) core plot line, exposing the toxic parts of their codependency as negative and damaging.
I love it because it’s there to be subverted.
We are supposed to want the toxic part of their relationship to fall away! To want the negative guilt and responsibility to go and leave just the love and caring, evolving into a happy healthy relationship instead of a toxic negative one that always leads to the next big bad, the next problem. Because it’s BAD.
We are supposed to be rooting for what happened regarding Dean’s feelings of self worth increasing, steadily getting better, leading all the way up to 12x22 and REVEL in this, which we did!
It just shows us how long some of these themes can go on for.
Dean has been growing towards the events of 12x22 since the pilot but particularly regarding this part basically since he figured all this out after the huge negative toxic codependency climax moment of 8x23 which led to all sorts of bad things happening in the subsequent chain of events (and coincidentally starting from the point this happens with Crowley, his dark mirror, *shocker*):
I’m just so weak for a happy, healthy relationship between the brothers :)
“Just because you’ve read everything about vampires that you can get your hands on, does not mean that you understand our nature. A vampire is a killer. I am a killer. At my core. That’s what I am. And I have to fight against that every day.”
“… and then your dad did what no one else ever did, he fought back the devil and won. The world was saved because of the strength of your dad’s spirit and the bond of love between your dad and papa. Their love is unbreakable.”
John Bobby or J.B as he likes to be called could only stare up at Sully in pure awe as his friend finished telling him a tale of how brave his dad and papa are. “Wow.” J.B breathed out.
Sully’s smile could have powered up the room. He had been so honoured when he became the imaginary friend to the son of Sam and Dean. He had made it his mission to tell all the children that he became friends with the heroic tales of Sam and Dean Winchester. The boys deserved to recognized as the heroes they are.
“You’re my hero baby boy,” Dean whispered as he curled his arms around Sam’s waist and tugged his boy into his arms. He hadn’t been too happy when Sully arrived in their house telling them that he was their son’s friend. That all changed the first night Dean overheard Sully telling J.B about the heroic things Sam had done, clean for small ears and Dean had surprised himself by standing outside of their son’s room, against the wall listening to all the things Sam had done. Then Sully had surprised him when he started talking about all the times Dean had saved the day.
Sam could only smile at Dean as he leaned into his arms. “And you are my hero. Always have been always will be.” Sam promised.
That wasn’t the first time Sam had said that to him and Dean knew it wouldn’t be the last time he heard those words fall from Sam’s lips and he treasured them. They were done with the life of hunting, had been since the moment Sam had come to him with a scared look in his eyes and told him that he was pregnant. Nothing had mattered in that moment to Dean but Sam and the baby he was carrying.
Jody and Donna had helped them set up a new life and they lived ten minutes away from Jody who they asked to be their son’s godmother. Dean’s hand curled around Sam’s growing stomach, Donna was to be the next one.
Sully could hear Sam and Dean out in the hall and his smile grew as he watched J.B the perfect mix of the two eyes flutter shut.
Dean and Sam had known each other were heroes and they had been enough for them but not for Sully. Sully made it his mission as did his fellow imaginary friends to spread the heroic tales of Sam and Dean Winchester. Their story would never end.
Two months and a lot of procrastination/anxiety later, i finally finish the Septic Eye Sam Project Part 2!
While maybe not as big as the first one, it’s really cool that I was still able to include over 100 people (106 to be exact) from the community into the project! Like the last one, it was really cool to recognize some of the usernames from the jacksepticeye tag, while also finding new people there as well ^-^.
This month marks two years since i first made this blog, and I’ve said this countless times already, but I really appreciate being a part of the community here. This community has brighten my day many times, especially on those days where it just kinda seems impossible to do. And in general, we all continue to be here for each other, and that’s something that’s really rare to find in a group as big as ours, so thank you for that :)
Finally, I am going to Pax East this Saturday and Sunday, and I hope that I get a chance to finally meet Jack, and give both projects (totaling over 700 people), along with the hw 100 project and the 11mil fandom map, to him if/when i do. It’s kinda my way of bringing as many people from the community as I can, so that in a way, a bit of everyone gets to come along and meet that cool dude, especially those who may never get a chance to.
The community has always been there for me, so i hope that through this i’m able to give back to it just as much. So thanks guys, for everything <3