(So I completely adore you and your blog) I was wondering what's the badge shot? And why use it special? You light up my life by the way
if you’re referring to “THAT SHIT WITH THE BADGE” mentioned in this post then buckle up friend, because the only thing I love more than the badge shot is talking about the badge shot!
The Badge Shot happens around half way through the Dean/Aaron pub scene (in 8.13 “Everybody Hates Hitler” just in case you’re not completely obsessed with this scene like I am) and it looks like this:
that’s the entirety of the badge shot. the whole thing. but this scene is unbelievable and this shot is the crowning fucking glory.
how many times do you think Dean Winchester has flashed an FBI badge? hundreds of times? THOUSANDS??? and it’s never a Thing. sometimes we see it close up when he shoves it all up in someone’s face, but usually it’s just bish bash bosh badge, put it away, move on. but then there’s THIS, a shot which turns up in the middle of a scene in which Dean is hit on by a dude and DOES NOT SHOOT HIM DOWN.
so Aaron is being cute as shit and telling Dean he thought they had a little eye magic, shared a moment – and Dean realises what’s happening, sloooowly reaches out, pulls the badge towards himself, and closes it. and this stuck out to me from the minute I saw this episode at arse o’clock in the morning on a shitty jumpy livestream. I was WAITING for a gif of him closing his badge to show up. because it’s not just Dean closing a fake FBI badge. that fake FBI badge is Dean’s hunting persona. that fake FBI badge is hunting, full stop. it’s monsters and death and fucking Nazi necromancers but, most importantly, it’s LYING. it’s symbolic of Dean lying, putting on a front, being someone he’s not.
Dean closing that badge in the slowest, most deliberate way anyone has ever closed a badge is Dean consciously choosing to approach this as DEAN, not Agent Bolan (and don’t even get me started on that name choice). this is Dean realising he’s being hit on by a guy and choosing to be HONEST, choosing to be HIMSELF, and to not put on the hypermasculine alpha male hunter front that he usually falls back on.
if he’d just put the badge away — no muss, no fuss, no drawing attention to it — then it wouldn’t mean anything. without this shot, FBI Dean could have said “yeah okay, but no, no moment, this is a federal investigation”, shot Aaron down, left the pub and it would have been 100% believable. but we got this shot. we got Dean Winchester stuttering and blushing and fidgeting with his badge all the way through ”yeah okay, but no, no moment, this is a federal investigation” and the subsequent flirting, fluster, minor panicking, “oh my god what am I doing???”, foot-in-mouthing and bumping into tables is ALL DEAN.
and there’s nothing special about Dean being himself (he’s himself 90% of the time) except for the fact he could have been DONE with this conversation in 1/3 of the time if he’d just stuck to the script, but he CHOOSES NOT TO. it’s ALL ABOUT THE CHOOSING. it’s about Dean DECIDING TO STICK AROUND AND LET A DUDE FLIRT WITH HIM JUST TO SEE WHERE IT GOES. (and, arguably, if closing the badge so deliberately symbolises Dean being honest, but he keeps up the FBI cover then… I wonder… what he could be being honest about…)
if Aaron hadn’t back-pedalled after Dean’s reaction to “is that supposed to make you less interesting?” then you can fucking BET they would have ended up getting cute awkward drinks later and probably having a cute awkward makeout sesh in the car. I mean, if Aaron wasn’t actually tailing Dean and didn’t have a huge golem, but whatever.
(HONESTLY THOUGH, Dean’s reaction to “is that supposed to make you less interesting?” is surprise and poorly concealed interest, so of course Aaron is thinking “oh shit this wasn’t supposed to WORK” and aborts mission pronto and, seriously, Dean’s facial expressions are INCREDIBLE. you can literally SEE him thinking “oh god, what am I DOING, I actually almost WENT FOR THAT, get outta here, Winchester” and it’s superb. he even does one of those calming hand movement things. I can’t believe this scene is real.)
and, I mean, everything is open to interpretation, but how you can read this as anything other than “Dean gets hit on by a cute guy and is really flattered and flustered and into it and decides to test the water re: burgeoning sexuality in a safe controlled environment and then gets cold feet” and still have it make sense is beyond me.