No More Nesting Dean?
Dean used to be so excited about the bunker. He had his own room with a mattress that remembered him and a bedside table where he could put his picture of Mom. He enjoyed the “marvelous” water pressure in the showers and felt comfortable enough to walk around in slippers and a bathrobe. He cooked and kept the place clean. He hung around with Sam, with Kevin and Cas and Charlie, sharing a drink or watching Game of Thrones together or just sitting in companionable silence. He was surprised that Sam didn’t see the bunker as anything more than a workplace. Because to Dean, the bunker represented safety and family. Sadly, both of those things are not exactly there anymore.
It turned out that the bunker isn’t the impenetrable fortress it was made out to be. Gadreel killed Kevin, the Wicked Witch killed Charlie in Dean’s own room, Demon Dean almost killed Sam. The Stynes broke in easily, going through Dean’s most personal possessions, making fun of them and planning to burn it all before Dean killed them. Lucifer snuck in, wearing the body of Dean’s closest friend. Chuck and Lucifer took over the bunker, poisoning it with their family drama. Lucifer occupied Sam’s room and threatened the Winchesters, Chuck took to wearing Dean’s bathrobe (just like Mary did, curiously) and using his laptop without permission. Metatron’s been inside, as has Billie, Rowena and Crowley. Toni broke in to kidnap Sam. It’s not a surprise that Dean didn’t show any concern over Crowley being able to zap in after all that. And as Mr. Ketch’s recent visit shows, the BMOL can come knocking at the door anytime. The place is not safe anymore, it’s not Dean’s anymore.
And as for family? That concept has been getting a lot of hits too, lately. Mary’s return paradoxically made Dean’s home less of a home as the truth about who Mary is (and was) slowly deconstructed the idea of home, safety and family that Dean had held onto since he was four years old. Even before she left, things were off, as shown by Dean feeling the need to exile himself to the kitchen floor. On top of that, Mary lied to Dean, as has Sam, both choosing a group of deceitful strangers over him. And it doesn’t matter that they confessed to it or apologized, Dean’s trust in them is seriously shaken. As is his image of what family is supposed to be. Or rather, it seems like he’s the only one holding onto something that everyone else has abandoned or forgotten, and it only keeps getting him hurt.
It’s no wonder that by Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, we see Dean carelessly sit in a clean chair in his blood-streaked clothes and flick bits of siren gore across the room, and at the same time be overly protective of the Impala. It’s like he’s retreating from the bunker back to the car, because Baby is at least still his, still safe, still home.