I was watching 4.16 (immediately after watching 4.15, and then watching 4.17 and 4.18 for good measure…) and I think I just realized something. A lot of the recent meta I’ve read about s6 has been from the POV of comparing it to s12. Which, fine, okay. We’ve all been saying since the very beginning of s12 that it was shaping up like an s6 redux.
BUT. I see very little acknowledgment that everything in s6 sort of mirrors and deconstructs s4… which is what Lizbob’s long post the other day really got into with the killing past canon stuff.
This post is sort of a meandering through those mirrors via this run of episodes in s4, setting up how they’re addressed from the opposite side of the road in s6, and sort of pointing and gesturing toward s12 waaaay off in the distance where these themes are beginning to meet in the middle.
So, under a cut, because I sorta ramble for like 3k words here… (aka, why can’t I write 3k of fic without batting an eyelash like I can plow through 3k of canon discussion? Ehhhhh…)
How do you think what was shown about Dean Smith from 4x17 reveals about Dean Winchester?
I don’t think the episode reveals much that we don’t already know about Dean. It ends up confirming a lot of what we know already (mainly how strong his core self is), and it’s why I find the episode so fascinating.
I think it reveals more about Zachariah (and the angels) and how he sees his mission and his brothers than it does new things about Dean. The angels would have heard about the Winchesters in heavenly sunday school and it’s obvious Zach put Sam and Dean in the roles to which he believed they were best suited. Dean as the vessel to Michael takes on a leadership role with a big fancy office; someone who is respected and valued. While Sam works down in the basement with a bunch of losers. His friends are a dude who steals office supplies and a guy who surfs porn on the company computers instead of doing his job.
None of this is coming from Dean. Even Dean’s fake family isn’t coming from him. Zach reaches into his head and finds Bobby the father figure and pretty much the only two women we’ve seen more than once and slots them into a family unit. Does Dean think of Jo as a sister? Obviously not, but Zach is an angel, and I don’t think he gets the subtle differences there so he makes Jo his sister and Ellen into Bobby’s wife because the ages work out that way.
i’m not saying Dean wouldn’t make a great VP of a company-type person. Because clearly, anything Dean puts his mind to is something he can accomplish. And accomplish well. Especially because Dean is a leader, and he’s a good one. I just don’t think that sort of life is what he would choose for himself, even without monsters. I don’t see any secret yearnings or hidden messages about what Dean wants outside of his normal life when I watch this episode.
What we do learn about Dean is actually re-learning or re-emphasizing things we already know. We see some of Dean (the important parts) still holding tight, despite Zach changing his memories, etc. His instincts are still intact and strong enough to make him start wondering just what the hell is going on when what’s his name from downstairs pencils himself to death, and I find that really interesting when I watch this episode. He’s still got that curiosity and need to figure things out that we often see when he’s hunting. The way he looks at the pieces and figures out how they fit into a puzzle. That’s all still there and immutable.
And his bond with Sam is also clearly un-dissolvable, which I think is fascinating to watch. And that brings us to the (often troubling) penchant Dean has for letting his family talk him into doing things. That drive to please the people he loves is so strong, it breaks through the brainwashing. Remember that Sam Wesson tries to convince Dean Smith to leave their jobs and take to the road to hunt monsters and Dean Smith’s response is basically, “Without insurance? You’re crazy.” And then, what does he do? He tells his fake boss Zach that he’s out, generous raise be damned. It wasn’t just about the need to get out there and hunt and save people, as Zachariah says. It’s more complicated than that. It always is with Dean.
And those are the parts I find interesting when I watch the episode. That the Dean we know is still intact under all the fake stuff. He can’t be snuffed out. That’s what we learn about Dean. Re-learn. How strong the core of Dean Winchester is. Zachariah’s fake world proved that point very well.
what did Dean S mean by "save it for the health club,pal" ?? I don't get it
Y'know how I’ve written a couple times that Dean weaponises others’ sexuality/attraction to him as an “ink cloud” when he’s feeling cornered? That’s what he was doing there, brushing off Sam W’s interest by insinuating it was an unwelcome sexual advance.