12x11 “Regarding Dean” “My name is Dean Winchester. Sam is my brother. Mary Winchester is my mom and Cas… Cas is my best friend…”
I’m sure this scene has been giffed and edited about a million times by now and really no one needs it another time on their dash, but I needed to express just how amazing Jensen’s acting here was, how you could see how the knowledge is slipping from Dean’s mind and how he desperately tries to grip it but the faster he holds on to it the more it slips away. It is actually a really sad metaphor for Dean’s entire life. ;____; How he tries to hold his family together, afraid of ending up alone and then gets to hear “everybody leaves you, Dean”. Here even Dean is leaving Dean kind of and it’s just…. ;______;
That said, I especially adored this scene, because it has been such a recurring stylstic device over the past seasons with Dean and the mirror shots. From “9x23 “Do You Believe in Miracles” when he looks at himself in the mirror when he is locked up after he cuts Gadreel and tries to assess who he is and what is happening to him to 10x17 “Inside Man” where we see Dean wash his hands after being the pool shark at the bar and he catches himself flash black eyes for a second or the most memorable last mirror scene (these are really just a handful of incidents the mirror shots have been extensively used throughout the MoC arc) moment in 10x23 “Brother’s Keeper” when Dean desperately seems to wash his hands clean looks into the mirror and sees Cas and Rudy staring back at him confronting him with what he did and what he has become. This week’s mirror moment can be seen perfectly in line with all of these other instances of mirror shots exploring the issue of identity. Countless times we have seen Dean try and touch base and asess who he is by looking at himself in the mirror and often times not liking what/who look back at him. But at least before his reflection wasn’t a blank as it is now.
So when Dean is looking into the mirror and actually directly into the camera it reads like a cry for help, he’s trying to piece together who he is by looking at himself, but this person who is looking back can’t provide any stability, may well be a stranger and has just as little knowledge who the person is that is refelected in there. After all he cannot even remember his name. And names… names hold power. But Dean lost everything, his name, himself, his identity. And yes, that is scary as hell.