Once the hiatus is over, the Mark of Cain will be the focus of attention in the show. That’s why I decided to rewatch episode 9x11 to refresh some things about the Mark, but most importantly about Cain (because he’s our Dean). Here’s what I want all of you to keep in mind:
The Mark of Cain was the source of the first blade’s power; without it, the blade was just a bone. Lucifer himself gave Cain the Mark and that’s how Cain became a soldier of Hell, a Knight. He was the father of murder. He was not only a demon; he was the “deadliest demon to walk the face of the Earth.” He killed thousands. He was the best at being the worst. He trained the Knights of Hell. He built that entire demonic order with his own hands. For centuries, he and his Knights did horrible things. Everything was chaos and darkness until Cain met Colette. She knew who he was, what he was (a Knight of Hell, a killer). But she loved him unconditionally. She forgave him and only asked for one thing: TO STOP. And stop he did. It was the power of love.
Cain was done killing. He only picked the first blade back up when the Knights took Colette. It felt good to have the blade in his hands again (the mark needed the killing). So he slaughtered all the Knights, except for Abaddon. Cain stabbed Colette when trying to kill Abaddon. He tried to promise her that he was going to find Abaddon and kill her, but Colette made him promise not to. She said he was better than all that. She asked for no more killing. Cain buried his wife and walked away. He retired, but he still had the Mark; he always had the Mark. However, there was no killing urge from the Mark, no need for vengeance strong enough to make him pick up the blade and kill again because Colette didn’t want him to. He threw the blade to the bottom of the deepest ocean in order to keep his promise to Colette. Then, he just disappeared and stayed that way for 151 years until Dean Winchester found him.
Cain never found a cure for the Mark. He never removed it. One insignificant person was enough to make him stop. The only thing that truly made him walk away from that life was the love he had for Colette and, most of all, the faith she had in him. “You’re better than all of this,” were the last words Cain heard from Colette right before she died. So, even after she was gone, he didn’t want to disappoint her. He tried to be better than a simple killer, for her sake.
Why am I bringing up all this? Because our dear Dean Winchester has the Mark of Cain now. And he just can’t find a way to stop. He’s a killer now, just as Cain was for centuries. Dean is trying to control the need to kill. He doesn’t have the blade, but the MoC overpowers him. Dean, Sam, and Cas will try to find a cure or a way to remove the Mark, but will they find one? How can Dean stop?
What helped Cain was the power of the love he had for Colette and the faith she had in him. Who has that kind of faith in Dean? Who does Dean love? (“Who do you love?” As the opening song for season 9 asked). This is some romantic shit we’re talking about. Colette was canonically Cain’s wife, the love of his life. Therefore, if we believe the narrative structure, we are to expect Dean’s love for someone to save him. But who? Seasons 9 and 10 so far haven’t given us any (female) love interest for Dean Winchester other than random one night stands and Dean’s getting darker by the second. We’re running out of time!
In episode 10x07, Dean acknowledged that he was pulled back from the edge by the people who love him. Who are those people? Sam and Castiel. For the first time in the whole show, Dean said out loud that Cas is one of the people who love him. I think if he ever doubted that (‘cause even Naomi told him “I only wish he felt the same way” in 8x19), after what happened in 9x22, when Cas gave up an entire army for him, he realized how much Cas loves him.
Of course, Dean has never been good at feelings. He said it himself in 9x02: “I’m not really with the whole, uh, love, and… love.” But all the narrative in the Carver era has been setting this up. This is a story, a marvelous story, full of love, and heartbreak, and love, as Metatron said in 9x23. It cannot get more obvious than this.
Why “love” twice? Because Supernatural has always been about familial love. The power of love that made John, Bobby, and Sam not kill Dean when they were possessed (in seasons 1 and 5). That’s the core of Supernatural. However, this is a story about “love, and… love”. There’s another type of love. The one Cain felt for Colette. The power of romantic love. The question again is, who does Dean love? And who has so much faith in him? Who knows who he is, what he is, loves him unconditionally, and forgives him?
I’ll just leave this here:
1. Dean to Castiel when Castiel was about to kill him (8x17):
I know you’re in there. (Cas overpowered mind-control).
2. Haggerty to his friend Jerkins when Jerkins was about to kill him (9x04):
I know you’re in there. (Jerkins didn’t overpower mind-control).
3. Charlie to Dean and Sam when they were about to attack her and Dorothy (9x04):
Guys, I know you’re in there. (The boys didn’t overpower mind-control).
4. Sam to Dean when he was trying to kill him (10x03):
I know you’re still in there somewhere. (Dean didn’t overpower his demon-mind).
Number two is a good example of two male friends, a totally platonic relationship, a love that was not strong enough. Numbers three and four are examples of familial love. Both boys consider Charlie like a little sister, but their love for her wasn’t enough. And nobody can deny how much Dean loves his brother, but familial love wasn’t strong enough this time. Number 1 is an example of… what kind of love? What broke the connection?“I don’t know”, said Castiel long before he became completely human and could really understand human things such as “art, hope, love, and dreams.”
Only Dean could make Castiel stop in 8x17. Is it possible to think that only Castiel will be able to make Dean stop in the near future? Does Castiel love Dean unconditionally? What has Cas given up for him? (Hmmmm…. So many examples here, but most recently, an army of angels in 9x22). Does Castiel forgive Dean for what he does? “You were stupid for the right reasons.” “I prefer the word ‘trusting’. Less dumb, less ass.” Does Castiel have faith in Dean? “What’s the matter? You don’t think you deserve to be saved?” [Dean: I ain’t exactly a role model] “That’s not true.”
I’m really trying to see this objectively, but I always jump to the same conclusions. The more I analyze the narrative structure, the more I believe this is not a coincidence. I mean, come on! Even Crowley saved Castiel because he was useless to him dead and sent him to Dean. Crowley knows Dean can’t be killed if he has the Mark (Cain couldn’t be killed in 9x11 as he proved to Dean when he got stabbed). Crowley was there when Cain talked about Colette. This was Crowley when he heard Colette’s story and understood that she was the only one who got Cain to stop.
Crowley is not stupid. He’s always been the brightest player in the game. He saved Cas in 10x03 for a reason. The same reason the show has blatantly rubbed in our faces the season 10 title card with the demon smoke and the angel grace.
For once, I agree with Metatron, this is “a marvelous story.” I find it very entertaining and I’m looking forward to seeing how they’re going to resolve the MoC arc. Considering Supernatural is probably going to have a season 11, I’m interested in what Carver and company have for us. In my mind, Dean and Cas are and will always be endgame (whether explicitly romantically involved or not), so if we don’t reach the series end yet, there’s no way they’ll be together. We will need more drama, more problems. But that’s the show and we love it just the way it is, don’t we?
The League of Gentlemen was the specialist subject of a chap on Mastermind earlier this evening. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s a quiz show with combined “specialist” and general knowledge rounds. He had 90 seconds to answer as many questions as possible on the League - from the 12 questions asked he got 9 points. How many would you get?
What ominous message appears on the road sign underneath “Welcome to Royston Vasey”?
What is the name of Edward’s wife who runs the local shop for local people with him?
Who was the director of both the television series and the feature film?
Which sinister circus ringmaster played by Reece Shearsmith abducts other peoples’ wives and often takes their wedding rings, hissing “You’re my wife now”?
What are the names of Harvey Denton’s favourite toads that are accidentally killed when Benjamin is babysitting his cousins?
At the start of the second series who has taken over from Pauline as the Restart officer at the Royston Vasey job centre?
In “The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse” Steve Pemberton, playing himself, bumps into one of his own characters in an office and they swap lives for a while – which character was this?
What device does the vet Mr Chinnery manage to electrocute Mr Hart’s koi carp with while attending to the iguana Curly who has been off his locusts?
In the episode “Turn Again Geoff Tipps” Geoff goes down to London to try his hand at stand-up comedy. At which club does he perform?
What ailment often resulting in death affects everyone who has eaten butcher Hilary Briss’s special stuff?
Which comedian plays the part of Larry Vaughan the foul-mouthed mayor?
What is the name of the world’s smallest escapologist who cries “will someone let me out?” as the camera pans past his closed box in the first episode of series two?