Nothing but spoilers
If you aren’t caught up stop reading!!!
In October 2017. The 13th season of Supernatural had just started and we are 1 episode into another heart-wrenching journey. And look, we all knew this wasn’t going to be a rib-tickler. Mary is stuck with Lucifer on Earth 2, Castiel looks dead for real this time, and Jack, the literal spawn of Satan, is wandering the earth naked in search of his “father”. (Don’t get me started on that tear-jerker)
Anyone of those things would have been a huge loss but all 3 in one battle?!
Are they trying to kill us?
Now at first, I thought Dean’s reaction to Jack was off – like he was Dean from season 2-3 again – all things not human are evil monsters and we kill on sight. It wasn’t until later, in the car with Sam who was advocating for making sure Jack was evil before killing him, that I realized the difference. He says, “because nothing good happens to us.”
Again, my thoughts went to Dean’s streak of pessimism that bordered on depression. You remember right? It was after they’d lost Bobby to the Leviathans in season 7. Bobby noticed it first earlier in the season with his, “what’s this new party line? The world’s a suicide case and we’re just hiding the pills?” comment. Frank Devereaux seems to pull him out of it with his “act like a professional” speech. Although, watching Dean force that smile onto his face as he races off to save Sam ripped my guts out.
Now, for the first time in a LONG time, neither of the boys is in immediate peril at the close/opening of a season. Instead, they are surrounded by personal devastation. Sam is throwing himself into the job, desperate for any ray of hope, no matter how small. But Dean…
For the first time since he lost Sam to the cage, Dean’s scaring me.
You’ve probably noticed by now that, while Dean isn’t afraid to get into someone’s face (or chop that face off), he rarely holds back his rage and its purged appropriately on the offending monsters. BUT when he is reduced to feeling truly helpless, he gets quiet; too quiet. The kind of quiet that hesitates in a life and death moment and gets hunters killed, just like Bobby said all those years ago.
So imagine my concern when, after that soul-crushing plea to yet another father figure he feels abandoned by (I’m glaring at you, Chuck!), his only outburst is punching a sign before he falls silent.
His line, “because nothing good happens to us,” claws it’s way deeper into my gut and I hurt for him. I’ve been there too many times. It’s not a place I’d wish on my worst enemy, let alone someone with Dean’s heart.
Sam was keeping him on his feet, keeping him fighting until they got their win.
Castiel is back so everything should be fine, right?…RIGHT?
Sorry, I’m not feeling it 100%
Look, I’m glad Cas is back. I’m glad they didn’t drag it out anymore since Misha let slip that huge spoiler at San Diego Comic-Con (its Supernatural, we hardly believe anyone is permanently dead anymore, so not that big a surprise). The writers are pretty good about believable emotional arcs, that’s one of the reasons we all watch this till our eyes bleed and our family wonders if we’re still with them. But something about Dean’s turn around feels…
…forced. Like he’s been SO desperate for that “win” that he’s burying all the feelings around losing his mom again under extra excitement over Cas’s return. And yes, I think that having their very next case play into Dean’s total spaghetti western fetish (he can deny it all he wants but we know the truth, it’s his fetish) only made that denial obvious.
I think it was only a temporary reprieve – Hear me out…
As much as I loved an episode with wild west Dean (and I mean I nothing gets this woman as hot-and-bothered as that combo…seriously, the humidity in my room rises so fast I’m shocked I can still see the screen through the fog) it was the first time I sensed a desperation in Dean. It was like he was overcompensating. Which is fun in the moment but still telegraphs horrible shit to work through in the coming episodes.
Dean got his win. They have their best friend back. That’s awesome. But it also means Dean was wrong. And if he was wrong about this, then what if he’s wrong about their mom already being dead? Because if he has to stop and consider that, he will have to face the possibility that he can’t save her. Can you imagine a more terrible thing to ask of him?
But those thoughts are already circling like the Hell Hounds that they are, threatening to shred what little is left of his heart. Is it any wonder that he would hide from that? Maybe because we (the audience) know the truth, that she is still alive, is what makes this so painful to watch. Cause eventually he will find out. He will have to face the fact that he gave up on his mom. And I think that will do the most damage yet.