sam's surprised face

SPN 11x13: Heartbreak and True Love

Supernatural episode 11x13 was not one of the best we’ve had this season. But it wasn’t so bad either. (At least not by the time it ended). There were only three remarkable things I could get from it:

1. Dean is NOT Sam’s parent anymore.

As I commented in this gif set by @mooseleys, the fact that Dean won at rock-paper-scissors shows great character development for him. He never won before because he never really tried. He has picked scissors almost all the time, and Sam has picked rock. It’s always worked like that. In this episode, we can even see Sam’s surprised face when he picked rock but Dean DIDN’T pick scissors. For the first time in 11 seasons Dean actually tried to win. For the first time in 11 seasons Dean’s priority was NOT protecting Sam. In this scene Dean saw Sam as an equal, his brother, not his child. He tried to win and he did it because this is the season where the Winchesters are finally finding a balance in their relationship. Isn’t that amazing? It’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for in a very long time.

This little game, along with the BM scene at the end of the episode (where Dean opened up and Sam was supportive), showed us that our Winchester boys are finally reaching a healthy point in their relationship. They’re walking straight to their endgames. ;)

2. Dean is NOT pining for Amara.

That was obvious since the “THEN” scenes. We were shown the Dean/Amara kiss and part of their interactions from 11x09. Let’s remember that the scenes from previous episodes are supposed to prepare us for the new content we’re about to see. What did we see happening between Dean and Amara? This:

Dean: What was that?

Amara: The future. We’re bonded. You’re the one who set me free.

Dean: No, that was an accident.

Amara: You and I will be together.

Dean: No, that’s – that’s not gonna happen.

Amara: We will become one. Why wouldn’t you want that?

That was enough for us to see that whatever Amara is selling, Dean’s not buying. When he’s in control, when he still has his agency, he says no. He doesn’t want anything to do with her. In case there were still people thinking that Dean and Amara were a good thing, real love, the show gave us an episode about “darkest desires”. The spell that Melissa was given was never about LOVE; it was about something perceived as lustful, codependent, obsessive and selfish (as we learned from Staci, Dan, and Melissa). People expecting the Qareen to take Cas’ form when facing Dean missed the whole point. In 11x11, we learned that Dean is pining for someone, and everything about Dean’s conversation with Mildred made us think that whoever is making Dean feel that way has to be good for him. Why’s that? Because Mildred’s advice was to follow his heart. She didn’t tell him that love is dangerous or that love is a weakness. She told him to stop hiding his feelings. If we were under the impression that Dean is actually pining for Cas, then we couldn’t expect the Qareen to look like Castiel because the spell would show Dean “his darkest desire”, something framed in a negative light, as it was the case of the three people affected by the spell in the episode.

The conversation Dean and Sam had at the end of the episode was the most obvious thing ever. In case the message was still unclear, we were textually told that the hold Amara has on Dean is neither desire nor love. Dean can’t explain what it is, but he’s sure it’s not any of that. The whole thing is non-consent. Sam even asked him, “Do you honestly think you ever had a choice in the matter?” in order for Dean (and the audience) to understand that this is something that doesn’t come from Dean’s heart. He’s being controlled. Therefore, the “follow your heart” advice has nothing to do with Amara. Amen to that!

3. This is a marvelous story, full of love and heartbreak and… love.

Did anybody else notice the song playing once the episode started? It’s called Heartbreak (by The James Hunter Six). Heartbreak was a theme that TPTB introduced in season 9 via Metatron. They sort of confirmed it was a theme when the opening song in 10x01 was “Heartbreaker” and when they used a song about having a broken heart in a scene where Crowley looked at his picture with Dean (in 10x02). In season 10, Dean was the heartbreaker:

*whispers* understatement!  

But in season 11, Dean’s the one suffering the heartbreak. That’s why he’s pining, isn’t it? It’s funny that almost a year ago I wrote this:

Since I heard [the opening song for season 10], I’ve thought that Dean is the heartbreaker. However, the more I realize how much Dean wants love in his life, the more I start to think that he’s gonna be the one getting his heart broken somehow, but he’s not gonna be the only one. I think both Dean and Cas will end up with their hearts broken. They care about each other, but in order to protect the other, one or both will think or even say that they can’t offer anything but friendship.

In 11x13, they used yet another song making a reference to heartbreak. A song that’s even telling us that “when two lovers must divide, there’s pain on either side”. “Whoever leaves, whoever stays […] I thought that you could tell by the way I say farewell I don’t want it any more than you ‘cause my heart is breaking too.”

This song makes me speculate (AGAIN) that Dean will say farewell (he’ll end up in the Empty) and Cas will stay on Earth. Pain and heartbreak will be obvious if that really happens.

This story is not only about heartbreak, though. It’s also about love, not just any kind of love, like the featured in this episode. NOPE. It’s a story about TRUE LOVE. Bless the TV show Staci was watching before her heart was ripped out. There was literally a devil there on the screen and these interesting lines:

Devil: True love, all right?

Man #1: Is he gone? Like, gone, gone?

Man #2: True love can get us out of here?

Devil: Yeah.

Man #3: Yeah, I’ve been in love a million times.

Apparently, true love can get Cas out of where he is (trapped inside Lucifer). There’s a man who’s been “in love” a million times, but this has to be “true love” to work. Not a dark desire, but something coming from the heart.

This line coming from the TV very little before Staci was killed was also worth analyzing: “Um… I would like to apologize for being so insensitive.” Does that sound like foreshadowing for something Dean might want to say in the future? I certainly hope so! 

All in all, the episode was meh, but I wasn’t even surprised because of the writers in charge of it. We should be grateful that we had some fascinating things to analyze and speculate about despite how forgettable the episode turned out to be.