A few weeks ago I put out the question, “Is Sam Winchester Really Okay?” along with a little analysis that leaned towards the conclusion that while a lot of evidence isn’t there, he probably is due for an upcoming meltdown. The results were overwhelming, and often explosive. Opinions were quite scattered. So how could I not resist looking at the other side of the Winchester universe?
A question asked to me at the Salute to Supernatural Convention in Chicago always rings in my head whenever I look at Dean and his plight in season seven. When will we see the real Dean Winchester again? I made sure I got the definition of who the real Dean Winchester is from this person. Seasons one and two Dean, the wisecracking, confident, never say die badass that charmed all the ladies and evoked fear with just one brutal stare. I do admit, we haven’t seen that Dean in a while. Is that the real Dean Winchester anymore though? Has he been through too much where he can go back to that?
Hell no doubt changed Dean, but he did come back swinging. He wasnâ€™t going to go down without a fight. Itâ€™s quite interesting when all that trauma of Hell came back to him and haunted him with nightmares and triggered bouts of heavy drinking, he still had a fire inside for the life. It wasnâ€™t until the middle of season five that he started to have doubts. Sam was the one that eventually got through to him, and pulled him back into the fight with vengeance. Just in time for it all to fall apart by him watching Sam fall into the pit with Lucifer.
Season six is where it all starts to perplex me. Dean clearly struggled with giving up the hunting life and taking his shot at something he always wanted by having a life with Ben and Lisa. Considering that desire was well noted early on in the series (especially in â€œDream a Little Dream of Meâ€) the whole idea was worth exploring. It was an interesting dilemma for him and it played out well for the most part. However, when Dean got back to the life, something was different. He didnâ€™t have that internal spark, that urgency to save the world.
I suppose I didnâ€™t expect him to have that at first. I do think that Sam’s trip to Hell soured a lot of that desire. He was also too worried about getting Samâ€™s soul back for anything else to matter. Once that happened though, it still took him a while to find that spark. It wasnâ€™t until â€œMommy Dearestâ€ that we finally saw a glimpse of Dean of old. He was up for taking the fight to Eve but he drew his moral lines while on that task. Without a doubt, Dean was a total badass.
It all unraveled too fast though. He found out his close friend Castiel had betrayed him, he lost Ben and Lisa, and then Sam’s head broke. That easily crushed whatever renewed spirit he had. Any new trials and misfortunes he had to face since then he’s dealt with by going through the motions. In “Meet The New Boss” he decided the only thing he could do was fix his car. In “Hello Cruel World” his focus turned to Sam and his psychotic break, but it clearly shook his confidence. Then, the whole Amy mess came along. He killed Amy after promising Sam he wouldn’t, and then lied about it. He tried to hide his guilt through excessive drinking, and wouldn’t confess to what happened despite the fact that Sam could clearly see something was wrong.
Dean is still carrying on, but it seems like heâ€™s moving along from job to job with no desire to be there. Personally, I find it really tough to see Dean flounder like this with both his profession and his brother. Yes, heâ€™s under enormous pressure. The Leviathan have certainly done their share of damage. Instead of getting mad and choosing to fight though, heâ€™s just gotten grumpy and complacent. This is especially true when Sam left him for a time not once but twice. In “Season 7, Time For A Wedding” Dean was a little sad over not having his brother around during Vegas week, but we never really learned how he dealt with that ten days apart after “Slash Fiction.” Judging by his location, he went to North Carolina and worked on a case. I think he did that because he really didn’t know what else to do, which is the reason he was drawn to Lily Dale, NY. Part of him obviously cares, but something is missing. It seems like he’s stuck.
Dean’s issues havenâ€™t totally been avoided, but it took until episode nine, â€œHow To Win Friends and Influence Monstersâ€ to finally open them up. Dean has had enough of saving the world. They save it, and it goes back being in trouble again. Theyâ€™ve saved the world twice, heâ€™s wondering why they should do it again. This I think is the most sense Dean has made in two seasons. He has a right to say these things, to question why heâ€™s doing this. He just needs a friggin answer! Iâ€™m just not sure why itâ€™s taken this long into the season to get his feelings out in the open. Dean Winchester without a purpose for ten episodes has not made for a compelling character.
Going into the rest of the season, now Dean may or may have not have lost the one person that matters to him as much as Sam. How do you think Dean would take the loss of Bobby? He does have a revenge thing going against Dick Roman. That would likely be his reason to get back into the game, but how far will he take it? Will he find his old spirit again? Will he go back to the old Dean Winchester, wise cracking and being totally bad ass in going against his foes?
Another burning question too with Dean is from the end of â€œSeason 7: Time For A Wedding.â€ Why doesnâ€™t he want to focus on himself instead of worrying about Sam? That long worried gaze, what did it mean? Why doesnâ€™t he want to look at himself? Also, if Bobby dies, or at least is out of the picture for a while, will Dean try to go back into protective mode with Sam? Will he try to bury that pain? How much more can he bury?
Speaking of Sam, I was a bit bothered how apart the brothers were in “Death’s Door.” Will Dean eventually lean on Sam, like he did after John died and when he came back from Hell? Is this just a normal grieving pattern for him? Or are you worried that the brothers being apart like this in their time of need is going to get worse?
What would you like to see from Dean Winchester? How do you think his character has been handled in season seven thus far? Who do you think the real Dean Winchester is? Will we ever see him again?
I recognize that any time we have such discussions, they can get heated. I ask be respectful, let everyone have their opinion even it you donâ€™t disagree, and no Sam vs. Dean. In other words, no knocking down Sam to build up Dean. Otherwise, Iâ€™ll give some latitude in this thread. So discuss away!