top 5 dean protecting sam moments (im so sorry )
Cruel, Anon. Very cruel. What you’ll find is that I have a very loose interpretation of the word “protecting,” but we’ll go with it, yeah?
1. All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two
“I guess that’s what I do. I let down the people I love. I let Dad down. And now I guess I’m just supposed to let you down, too. How can I? How am I supposed to live with that?“
If I have an overall favorite Dean moment, this is it. This is the speech that makes me cry all over again just reading it to find the right quote to include here.
Look, I could give a lot of meta thoughts about how Dean’s choices in this episode put an awful burden on Sam, in the end, but this is an episode where I really understand why Dean does what he does. His brother dies in his arms, and after years and years on the road with only his family to count on, Dean’s suddenly all alone in the world. And he panics and makes a (completely shitty) deal to save Sam, dooming himself to an eternity in hell in exchange.
2. Swan Song
“Sam, it’s okay. It’s okay. I’m here. I’m here. I’m not gonna leave you.“
…And I’m already getting emotional again. Dean has just watched Lucifer overpower his brother and possess him, and then use Sam’s body to kill Castiel and Bobby in front of him. He’s told that he’s on a suicide mission to still be trying to reach Sam after he’s been possessed - he’s going to die, and he’s just going to see Michael kill Lucifer in Sam’s body. But he doesn’t want Sam to die alone.
In the end, it’s a combination of Dean’s interventions triggering memories of the two of them in Sam, and Sam’s own inner-strength, that allows Sam to overpower Lucifer and throw himself into hell to save the world.
3. The Benders
“Look, here’s the thing. When we were young, I pretty much pulled him from a fire. And ever since then, I’ve felt responsible for him. Like it’s my job to keep him safe. I’m just afraid if we don’t find him fast—please. He’s my family.”
This is a great episode for Dean. A terrifying episode overall, but a great one for Dean. Sam gets kidnapped, and Dean fucking panics. And then he pulls himself together, cons a police offer and, when that only gets him so far, wins her over with his devotion to Sam. He gets caught impersonating a police officer by a police officer, and still manages to talk her into helping him rescue his brother. And, sure, the rescue gets a little botched in the end, but they’re so damn happy to be reunited with each other that I get the warm fuzzies just thinking about it.
“I’m gonna say this one time - you make a move on him, you’ll be dead before you hit the ground. You understand me? I mean, do I make myself clear?!“
So the lesson is, clearly, early seasons Dean getting emotional about his brother are my weak point when it comes to him.
One of the things that I love about Dean in this episode is his choice to keep Duane, the potentially-infected guy, alive because Sam asks him to. Sam wants to give this guy a chance and, in the end, Dean can’t go through with killing him for that very reason. And then, when Sam himself is infected, Dean refuses to let the others kill him. Instead, he decides to stay with Sam and wait for the end to come for both of them.
5. A Very Supernatural Christmas (Flashbacks)
“It’ll all be better when you wake up. You’ll see. Promise.“
I don’t think this list would be complete without at least one mention of little!Dean. I am, overall, uncomfortable with the parentification of Dean by parts of fandom, but this is an episode that breaks me in terms of their relationship as siblings.
For one, it reinforces just how much of a child Dean was. He wasn’t a parent to Sam - he was very much a typical older brother - but he clearly cared deeply about him anyway. It inadvertently falls on him, at the age of twelve, to reveal the existence of monsters to his eight year old brother because their father is entirely absent on Christmas Eve. And, here’s where the “protecting” part comes in, he tries his damnedest to save Christmas for Sam in the best way he knows how - by stealing him presents and trying to convince him that they’re from their absent father. Dean isn’t a parent to Sam, but this is definitely a shining moment of him being a pretty great big brother.