ok, i know this is from a long time ago (so if you answered it already pls link me!) but can i ask why the finale added to your positivity/hope for destiel?? bc like... dean was supposed to die and they just hugged for like 5 seconds, which put me off a little on the romantic side of things. and he called cas a brother. do you think that the "follow your heart" storyline is going to continue? i was hoping so, otherwise it would be a flop
Hey Nonny! Thanks for this ask and sorry it’s been sitting in my ask box a while now. I have been musing on the best way to go about answering this because even I blow hot and cold with canon destiel from time to time. Though honestly, I think we are in a great place for it right now.
The season 11 finale was definitely meta’d to death back when it first aired and there were A LOT of mixed reviews about whether or not destiel had died a death with the car scene/ brother talk. However, after watching I remained positive.
I generally prefer to take the season as a whole once finished to assess the overall themes and lessons of the season. With regards to Destiel and Dean’s ‘follow your heart’ story line, comparing season 10 to season 11 is like comparing a warm beer on a rainy day in Britain to a Pina Colada on the beach in Miami. Basically season 11 is very good and satisfying for me, whereas season 10 was just a bit shit. At the end of season 10 I was very close to quitting the show. I had lost all faith in Destiel and was quite content to write stories about Cas ditching the Winchesters and the universe they broke and finding his way to another universe where he could shack up with some hot young toyboy in Miami and open up a gay nightclub…. They were dark times. (and yet my love for Miami will never falter…)
Then season 11 came along like a Knight in Shining Armour. I haven’t been this happy with a spn season since season 8. The thing is, they could have killed it. They could have abandoned all Destiel related stories after season 10 and they certainly could have got rid of Dean’s ‘follow your heart’ arc. The best thing to come out of season 10 was Dean’s confession. Which is where it all started after all. Instead, they persisted with it to a ridiculous level. I’m sitting there watching with my jaw touching the ground because I cannot actually believe that this show is going there. Why would they abandon the ‘follow your heart’ story now? When it has been given so much air time for Dean’s development? I don’t think they would because as you rightly say, it would be a flop. The audience has now been given something to look out for, and by audience I don’t just mean savvy eagle eyed tumblr viewers. I mean the general audience who usually wear air tight no homo goggles. (Personally I think there is just no going back after the Hunter Husbands Ep).
The season 11 finale in itself, as a standalone episode without all the prior build-up of an overly excellent season, is still a solid episode. Could it have resolved a few more plotholes? Yes. Definitely. The cast and crew actually all agreed that there was so much to cover that they felt frustrated with themselves for not being able to fit everything in. However THEY DID manage to get Dean and Cas alone together in that car scene, and bearing in mind there was plenty of alcohol in bunker already which the show creators made pretty damn sure to point out before Dean left with Cas, proves that the intentional subtext of the scene was that Dean was making an excuse. He wanted alone time with Cas. (This post here from @charlie-minion is a really brilliant 11x23 summary and talks about the subtext in the need for the beer run and how it was an excuse for Dean to get Cas alone. That is just one small part of a fantastic meta post though which in general is really positive about the season finale so I highly recommend you check it out!)
The last time I voiced my opinion on canon Destiel was here.
This was a while ago and honestly my opinion hasn’t changed. All that stuff about the power of love still holds true. Okay so it wasn’t the power of love in the Destiel sense that saved the day but honestly? That happy ending with Amara and Chuck being reunited, that was a loving resolution and I think it is once again evidence that the show is growing and breaking away from some of the earlier themes that they have continued to recycle over and over again that frankly we are all growing pretty tired of. I want to hope that 11x17 Red Meat was in itself a comment on just how toxic and unhealthy the Winchester’s relationship has become and moving from that to the finale was huge development in itself. (I am always side eyeing that episode because Dabb worked on it with Beren’s together so it must have been important and I think that was what it was all about. Showing just how toxic the brothers relationship is to the point of making it obviously shocking to a general audience so even they will raise their eyebrows and say “oh dear those boys are very fucked up.” So that once that was established the journey to recovery from that and true character development can actually begin) Onwards and upwards I say. Though of course Season 12 is as yet a complete mystery.
Season 11 was also a much more progressive season as a whole and the reaction it has received has been blinding. It has had more canon LGBT characters than all other spn seasons combined, which in itself is a huge deal and very positive for us Destiel shippers if we consider that maybe the show is trying to push its boundaries a bit more and encourage a general audience to look past their heteronormative lenses.
Anyway, going back to your actual ask about 11x23 and Destiel. I wrote what I thought about the ‘brother’ line in the car scene here and regarding the hugs there is an awesome post about it here from @frecklesandfeathers about just how epic it is that Cas initiated the hug and pulled Dean down to him which says a hell of a lot about how Cas was feeling at that point.
The other point I’ll make about that hug, is that it was terribly sad for both of them, because they were saying goodbye. What breaks me is Dean’s face when Cas hugs him. Dean’s face in that moment screams to me of regret.
(gif source here)
Plus look at the moment before the hug when he just looks at Cas like he is contemplating whether or not to say something else??
(gif source here)
Compare it to his hug with Sam and my god what a difference.
(I regrettably do not have a source for this because I found it on google image search and couldn’t find the source… it just linked me to the tumblr episode tag? If this is your gif please let me know.)
With Sam he has accepted his fate and his parting. He is sad, but he is keeping his emotions in check. But with Cas? It is all sorrow and regret and it ate me up. They have NEVER been great at showing their feelings especially when other people are watching them and this was no exception, but that hug was glorious for all the right reasons.
So to sum up, I think we are on excellent ground for Destiel and I am going into season 12 feeling super positive about the whole thing. Remember that we still have the following to look forward to:
- Cas realising Dean is still
- Cas and Dean reunion
- Dean introducing Cas to his
- Dean and Cas and Mary looking
- The continuation of Dean’s ‘follow
your heart’ arch (because believe me, they wouldn’t have put that much leg work
into it for nothing. Its going somewhere.)
- The continuation of Castiel’s
emotional journey into finding his true place in the world (which I talked
These are all really exciting things. I know sometimes this show makes mistakes or we build things up to impossible levels and always end up let down by what we get, but sometimes the show comes through for us. Remember 11x19? And how from promo pics alone we all dreamed of the what ifs? They could be? Maybe? They share a last name? Dare we even dream it? People laughed. Mainstream media called them brothers… but WE WERE RIGHT. See this glorious post which sums up the difference between us meta writers and the mainstream heteronormative media. YOU ARE NOT READING INTO THINGS!! (I will never ever get over the Hunter Husbands. I will cry about it when I am 90 for the sheer joy that episode brought me.)
Sometimes we are wrong, but other times we are right. With Destiel I still think we are right. The show will come through for us. The future is bright my friend. The future is multi-coloured. ;-)