At the end of 12x22, we had that beautiful moment where the Winchester family was reunited and had forgiven one another their transgressions. They all go in for a massive family hug, and it’s fucking beautiful. But…something was off. Take a look at these faces during the hug.
One of these faces is not like the others. Can you pick out which one?
When I first saw this moment, my gut reaction was “Aww, Dean, after everything you just went through, your family is together! Why aren’t you smiling and happy like Sam and Mary?!”
Then my brain came to a screeching halt, because I knew the answer and I was shocked it hadn’t immediately occurred to me.
We’re still missing a Winchester, one who is very important to Dean.
In fact he mentioned earlier in the episode that, like Mary, he had just found this person who is now lost.
He got Mary back, but it’s not enough to bring him that joy that Sam and Mary seem to have here.
He is still pining. He still needs Cas. And his expression in that moment tells us both of these things very loudly and very clearly.