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Dean Winchester Is Dead – Long Live Dean Winchester    

‘You can smirk and joke and lie to your brother, lie to yourself, but not to me. I can see how broken you are, how defeated, you can’t win, you know it, but you keep fighting, just keep going through the motions. You’re not hungry, Dean, ‘cause inside you’re already dead.’
  Famine, MyBloodyValentine    

 
The dying of Dean began early in this show. When we look back, we detect signs of exhaustion and emotional wreckage, going beyond the disappointment of Sam leaving home, of dad doing his thing without really informing his eldest son (in the course of which just leaving while Dean was working a gig in New Orleans without letting him know why – John had a lead on YellowEyes – or when he planned on coming back, thereby sparking worry and fear in his loyal son).  

The moment Dean realized that his father had sold his soul for him to live we witnessed the knife sliding in and fate has been twisting it in his flesh ever since. He had been left with the impossible task of protecting Sam in more ways than one, not being there in the crucial second Jake’s blade cut through Sammy’s spinal cord, killing him. Dean had followed the Winchester tradition by trading his own soul for his brother’s life, but had not managed to keep Sam from going dark side (which he did for the same reason: save Dean or at least execute revenge).  

Dean then died countless times under torture in hell, returning from the pit a broken, scarred man only to learn what he did down there: break the first seal, setting train Apocalypse in motion.  Whatever he did he was confronted with the same truth others threw in his face: that the Winchester destiny was forged from indestructible material – and that Dean and Sam were going to be lethal enemies in the end, because it was written. Abel and Cain. Michael and Lucifer.   Or so the angels say.
  Show me the man who can endure all that without faltering in his resilience and just go on fighting. Dean has done anything humanly possible. Even more than that, because he is, after all, made from the kind of texture that forms heroes. But heroes die, too. The battlefields of this planet are soaked with their blood. The brothers have lost numerous friends along the way just as well.  

We’ve spoken a few times about Dean’s psychophysical state, and after watching the last episode we were given before the Winter Olympics hiatus I thought I’d offer him my couch again. Good heavens, the man needs help – and as God seems to be deaf to the prayers of his subjects, I’d be pleased to provide any support (as anyone who watches the show would … we are incessantly moved by Dean’s most arduous journey).  

He seems to be drinking even more than he used to (about fifty drinks a week, as he revealed to his illusion-shrink in Sam,Interrupted, probably more). He sometimes doesn’t even bother to use a glass. The bottle will do. We haven’t witnessed him emptying it, so far, but it is safe to assume that he has done so. He does not seem to be affected much by alcohol (he’s still functioning fairly well and we haven’t yet seen any tremor or other classic signs of dependency, and his erratic reactions might come from there, but are primarily the result of his growing tension), since he probably built up tolerance to it by regular consumption.  

And – praised be that remarkable actor by the name of Jensen Ackles – his eyes speak of emptiness and fear. That in particular. No matter how hard he tries to pretend that he’s back to his former self, even forcing a smile to that face, his eyes remain almost frozen with an expression showing loneliness, trepidation, hopelessness and resignation.  

He doesn’t eat much junk food anymore; he simply lost his appetite which catches the attention of his loving brother who knows that ‘when a dog doesn’t eat, you know something is really wrong’. Also, he doesn’t care much for unattached drifters’ sex or sex at all, claiming he was ‘just well-fed’.
 
He has the occasional horny dream, but we haven’t seen him hit on a woman with the same ease he’s done in the early episodes when he was still sure of himself – and his world intact: he was a hunter, a strong force of the family business, and he relished ‘saving people, hunting things’ and ‘kill as many evil sons of bitches as I possibly can’. It was clear to him: human vs. non-human. The latter bit the dust confronted with Dean’s skills and experience.  

But that was in another lifetime. Literally. Between those early, cocky moments and now Dean’s life has ended and begun a few times (if we take into account his countless deaths in MysterySpot he sums up quite an impressive number of death experiences).  

I don’t know how many of you, kind readers, might have actually had a near death experience. But if you have, you will know how much a person can change afterwards. For better (hopefully, getting more hungry for life or more balanced, because the fear of death might have become lesser) or for worse (becoming hopeless, depressed, unsure of the purpose your life might have).  

Dean, after altering the initial meaning to his life (being a hunter, protecting his brother) by adding a ‘mission from God’ (as he described in MonsterMovie), slowly began to understand how little influence he actually had. So far, his attempts to change the Winchester fate have borne poor fruit. There is not much energy left in him to fight the good fight, since the results proved to be disastrous so far – Mary is still going to die in the nursery, Sam had another gulp of demon power, and Michael is too sure of himself, as all angels are, Castiel being the only constant right now in Dean’s life – a trusted friend and brother in arms.  

Dean went out to Bobby’s scrap yard to send a desolate prayer to heaven, his face not speaking of hope at all.  

Dean – ultimately – passed his breaking point. Any defiance he musters up is no longer supported by stable foundations.  

Not only does he deal with the aftermath of his time in hell and the post traumatic stress, issues of guilt and remorse, but he is beginning to actually believe that they might not win this war. Famine confronted him with that directly in MyBloodyValentine: ‘I can see how broken you are, how defeated. You can’t win. You know it.’  

Depression is very much like a form of death. People who are going through a phase of depression will confirm that they feel empty, sometimes don’t feel at all. They feel numb. Some describe it as the notion of being like an old, ravaged trunk of a broken tree. No life in them.  

That is probably what famine detected in Dean’s soul. ‘You left a part of you in the pit’ Alistair threw in his face once, and that is in all likelihood true. The man who had grown up a successful hunter (in the sense that he is still alive, as opposed to some friends who already died in a dreadful fight), emerging from his battles if not unscathed, yet victorious eventually was confronted with some simple, but all consuming facts: He and his brother are chess pieces in a celestial game. They unleashed Lucifer by breaking the first and the final seal, as intended by heaven (and hell didn’t mind, either). Their threads of destiny are constantly being woven into fate’s cloth. Whatever the brothers do, it will lead them onto their intended final destination. So far.  

Dean is by now enveloped in a veil of darkness and despair – the more he fights, the more he tries to alter the course of the fate intended for his family, the more he is forced to realize that the angels and their handymen are a step ahead. There are no breathers for him. The latest events must be suffocating for him.  

He was helpless as Michael sent his parents into sweet oblivion, thereby putting them back on Azazel’s path. In InTheBeginning Dean was not able to stop Mary from making her deal, and now, given a second chance and albeit being there in time to interfere with Anna’s plans (barely swallowing the fact that they had to kill the woman/angel Dean had sex with and whom he had trusted), he failed again (don’t get me wrong, I’m describing what I think Dean’s POV might be. Personally I think he’s not to blame at all – the man is doing whatever he can).  

Close friends died in this war – Ellen and Jo, others were injured gravely – Bobby. That tore a hole into Dean’s soul we do know yet the dimensions of. I doubt he will ever recover from that experience.  

He had to watch Sam die, twice now, in AllHellBreaksLoose and TheSongRemainsTheSame, incapable of protecting him. He was not able to stop Sam from stepping to the dark side, because he wasn’t there in time – either was Dean imprisoned in hell or held captive by demons or he simply did not find the right words to get through to Sam.  

He had to watch – helplessly – how his ‘darling little Sammy’ chose the wrong directions, and just recently, after some blossoming hope that Sam might actually control it, Dean witnessed how Sam, invigorated by a double portion of demon blood, exorcized several demons in one clean sweep, furthermore pulling them out of famine’s supernatural digestive system.

Comments  

Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-02-22 14:57
Awhhhhh, Jas. You have to think positive, but I KNOW you want Dean on your couch! :D Not to worry, Dean will be fine...eventual ly. Needed that cliffhanger for the hiatus! After all he has to be around for s6! And NO MORE MYTH ARC, boys are to be back to being the boys! At least lets hope so... if not,....I don't think you'll see a season 7. :sad:
MaryF
# MaryF 2010-02-22 15:54
I just caught up on Supernatural late last year (how brilliant is it when you can watch 4 seasons of an unbelievably great show back to back in a few weeks?!) and since then I've been totally addicted...havi ng to wait for a new episode of season 5 every week, never mind the huge breaks, is not nearly as much fun, too much stress!

Anyway, I've lurked about on a few sites to cure my withdrawal pangs during the latest hiatus and I've found the reviews and discussions on this site really good. This analysis of Dean's issues was great Jasminka!

One of the reasons that I'm so pleased about Season 6 is that I hope it will involve the brothers rediscovering some of their joy in life and beginning to repair the damage that has been done...much as I've loved the angst (and who hasn't?), that would be great!
Karen
# Karen 2010-02-22 16:05
Hi Jasminka
Beautifully written.
My heart breaks for Dean, for both actually. What they have had to endure.
I’m still hoping that Dean will over come all these obstacles and come on top.
I grew up on happy endings, so I still have to keep the little bit of hope there.
But I have to admit, I’m getting very worried.
It is definitely looking like they both will say Yes.
As to what the final breaking point will be, I think it will be something that has left them with absolutely no choice.
JulieUk
# JulieUk 2010-02-22 16:18
A dying soul ? Jas, you are scaring me. I need you to tell me he is going to be alright!
I could not agree more with your comments about depression being like a form of death and the emptyness it makes you feel, voice of experience here! I remember someone telling me you feel like you are in the middle of a dense dark forest and you cant find a path out. But you can and you do, and I have to believe our Dean will too.
As he said himself this story would have most people "howling to the nearest nuthouse". We have seen him broken before but, although this time I think that he really is near the end of that long rope he has been slowly sliding down for a very long time, when you get to the end of that rope you tie a knot and hang on. That`s what he has to do now.
I am hanging on to the hope that those heartfelt "pleases" are going to be answered, this time by God. After all have we not been promised that sooner or later he is going to show up. In what guise raises another question. This would be as good a time as any I reckon. Team Free Will needs more members and He would be pretty useful to have onside I think.
So please tell me we can be positive and that we can also believe your large friend when he said that there is reason for hope, perhaps when he has dried out he can help his big brother through this and get him back up there fighting again and more important that believing again in himself, as we do.
Also let`s not forget the wonderful Bobby Singer another strong candidate for getting him through the doubts and despair and back on track
Keep the faith PLEASE
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-02-22 17:39
Sablegreen, MaryF, Karen and Julie – oh, wow, thank you. I imagined this article to probably be somewhat provocative…

Sablegreen, I’m a strong believer in personal human strength. Sweetie, I’m always on team positive, don’t worry. The idea of Dean on my couch was just too tempting…. ;-)

MaryF, hey, welcome to our site, it’s lovely that you found something here that obviously touched you, honoured. I agree, I do hope also that the following season will have more brotherly union than pain – but, on the other hand, if the show proceeds organically, keeping its psychological continuity, the brothers will never be what they were in season one. They will be much more, though. I believe, in the end, all the quarrels and issues they have had will form a stronger bond.

Karen, I agree with you, I also think that the brothers will eventually say yes. And I believe that the reasons (which will be certainly most impossible) will be plausible. I can’t really think of the kind of catalyst that would be needed, but I’m dreading the moment it will happen… What is it with these characters… we care so much about them… and we love to….

Julie, dear, don’t fret. I didn’t mean to cause a pessimistic flood here.
Of course I am most certain that Dean will eventually find a way out of that dark forest… Right now he seems to be imprisoned there, and who can blame him. If it helps – I see the victory over depression very often.
Currently I have a patient in my care, a young man, who has been my patient for almost four months now, and today I’ve seen him smile for the first time. It was a genuine smile, just wonderful to see. He’s getting better, even though there was a time I was afraid to get that call any therapist fears, that he chose death. And he has been in the darkest place you can imagine….

So, of course there is hope. My ‘large friend’ (awesome, :D)is right, certainly. But, I also think that the manner in which Dean will get out of that pit will be hard to watch. My hypothesis is that we will witness that big match, reconciliation and the end of Lucifer.
Never worry, I’ve never lost the faith. I am well aware of what the Winchesters are capable of.

Thanks, y’all for your comments! Jas
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-02-22 17:50
Ah, Jas. A great analysis of my most favourite character ever. My poor Dean!

As to the boys having to submit to being mere meat suits I say no no no no NO! I never want that. I do want them to in the end somehow prevail, perhaps with some help coming from an unexpected source.

I love both these boys and wish to see them triumph over their awful difficulties and somehow survive all this depression and perhaps leave us in tears by beating all these odds in the final show. I want to be able to shed some happy tears in place of all this angst and suffering.

I agree with MaryF's last paragraph. I'm so hoping that season six will find their relationship repaired and that they will find some joy again in their lives.
I so miss that part. I've had enough of this mytharc with the wicked angels and demons and think it is over time to wind it all up. I want to have some hope for my boys to survive all this doom and gloom and destiny crap. I want to see a little happiness take place.

But I'm not one of the writers so will have to take whatever I get, and I will, no doubt as there is no way I will ever desert my boys. ;-)
Robin Vogel
# Robin Vogel 2010-02-22 19:21
I maintain now, as I have all along, that somehow, the love Sam and Dean have for each other will defeat the demons, angels, heaven and hell. Somehow, what Sam and Dean share as brothers is so pure and beautiful that it will bring God out from his hiding place and He will either prevent them from taking on the Michael/Lucifer meat suits, or, if they do, ensure that they both survive the fight. God left the building to test his angels and archangels. When he returns, his anger will be huge, and he's going to be doing a lot of smiting and plenty of ass-kicking! Castiel will be restored to full angel strength for adhering to God and searching for him. Bobby will be able to walk again. Sam and Dean will survive season 5 together!

That's my story and the only way I want this season to end, damn it!
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-02-22 21:36
Once again, Jas, wonderful analysis. So much of what happens to Sam and Dean on this show is psychological, and I'm so glad you're here for us to give us an expert opinion.

Dean has been through so much on this show, and honestly, I'm amazed he's lasted this long without completely giving up. Goodness knows I'd be more than a wreck if I'd only experienced a fraction of what he has. I'm curious to see where the writers will go with Dean now, and I can only hope that he'll find some sort of help because it's hard to see him so broken.
Tigershire
# Tigershire 2010-02-23 02:24
Nice article Jas, but one thing stands out for me and allows me to think that if Dean figures it out, it will give him hope.

Michael talked about the million random acts for John and Mary to be born, get together, etc, YET, Cupid (the dear soul) informed the Winchesters that John and Mary were NOT random chance, Heaven made absolutely sure they got together.

So, where is Michael's pretty little destiny now?

Go Team Free Will - Go Team Winchester!!
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-02-23 03:06
Great article Jas. Once again wonderful insight into the psyche of our poor, wounded, heroic Dean. Alas, I also understand the pit and despair of depression, having been in that deep hole once or twice. It is all the feelings you have described - the "crutches" that you used to turn to to help you get through the rough spots no longer offer the comfort they used to. The hole that is inside you is bigger than the Grand Canyon and there isn't anything anymore that can fill it. All you want is for the pain to end. It's an all consuming pain and I so feel for Dean. (And hasn't our lovely Jensen played all his emotions out so beautifully.)

I have to (and do) believe that Dean will make it out of this. As was already mentioned, he has Sam and Bobby and Castiel to fall back on for love and support. And to have anchors like that will be his saving grace. I also think that Dean has a great stubbornness about him - to some this would be a negative trait - but in this case, with Dean, I think it could be a positive trait. Because this is something that could really help him get through this. To get through this and NOT say yes to Michael.

However, I fear that we are indeed heading down the road where Dean will say Yes. But......I really hope and continue to believe that he won't. Dean is and has always been about his own choices, free will - and I just really feel that he will continue to hold on to that belief and not conform to the angels belief in his destiny to say yes. That he will hold on to that stubborn streak and spit in their eyes.

It will indeed be an epic final 8 episodes for this season. I am looking forward to them, but in a way, not completely - because that will mean the end of this season and another long summer hiatus.....and I'm just not ready yet to bid goodbye to Season 5. (But at least we have Season 6 to look forward to.)

Amen to Team Free Will and Team Winchester!!!!! !! We love ya!
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-02-23 04:57
Bevie, Robin, Ardeospina, Tigershire and Evelyn, thanks so much for raising your head and commenting, touched! This is indeed a hot topic, is it not?
;-)

Bevie, I think it’s clear, that the brothers will survive (or if they don’t survive the fights, well, they’ll be back, nothing impossible in Supernatural’ s Universe. Maybe God will have a say in it, revive the guys (should they die) and redeem them, who knows?). They are needed for season six, after all.

Robin, I understand. You can never be sure with this show. I don’t think though, that God will step down and put everything in order, like a deus ex machina (literally), it seems too ideally kitschy for this show… I guess the effect will be huge and ambiguous.
I can’t believe they will portray God as an entirely nice guy (which would be according to scripture). He will certainly have his issues, too.(this is Supernatural) Looking back at the Old Testament… a lot of testing going on there… The Inquisition did that too in His name. What if God came up to Dean to test his faith and force him to surrender Sam (as with Abraham and Isaac)? I hope, too, God will do some ass-kicking, but as a trustworthy guy.Plus: I'd love Viggo Mortensen or Stellan Skarsgard to play Him. Ah, girl, dream on...

Ardeospina, yes, I concur, Dean needs help badly. He can’t climb out of this pit all on his own, by now his strength is deeply wounded. I think he’d need someone to point him at those bottles of strength he carries in his soul, they are there, still. Not entirely broken. He just needs to find that again. He needs to find hope. I’m really curious if someone will answer his prayers, and I can only hope it will not be Lucifer. Or Michael. The possible outcome of that is too horrendous.

Tigershire – hey, let’s print t-shirts, hats, flyers, big billboards : Go Team Free Will! It might well be that Michael & Co will get caught in their own sticky webs…

Evelyn, yes, he has all those human assets in this friends. Somehow, though, I have a strange feeling that they can’t reach him at the moment. Dean was incapable of accepting Castiel’s try of comforting him. Perhaps he just shut down.

I love these characters, and I would love them to rise above it all. But the actress in me would love to see Jensen and Jared play out the fantastic possibilities there are when Dean and Sam enter celebrity death match. As far as acting goes (stepping out of the storyline here) they would have a field day. And I would love to see that, too.

Don't let your hearts be darkened, dear fans, we will get a hell of a show,

:-) Jas
Narcissus
# Narcissus 2010-02-23 06:13
Jasminka and her infamous blessed couch. That couch deserves an honourable mention in the Winchester Gospel..yep, yep.

As for Dean..well I don't think I want to start on this subject, I might cry. Shucks.
Randal
# Randal 2010-02-23 10:34
So what you're saying is that a cold one and a plate of burgers and onion rings won't fix things? 8-)

Great stuff, Jas. Regardless of what happens, we know they'll be back driving around next year. The question is, in what state of mind? Everything that's happened would break the heartiest of heroes. We're talking cosmic, Gilgamesh territory here.

In my opinion, there's no question that the biggest dick narcissist of them all *has* to be The Big Cheese, but given what's in their hearts, I could easily see Dean (and Sam) saying yes because that is, to THEM, not to some bullshit manufactured destiny, the only way to save 6 (7, now?) billion people. And then Numero Uno shows his jackass minions that THAT is how you behave. Which I guess is another way of saying "what Robin said."

Though I hope they don't get the master cleanse, because coming to grips with and moving beyond this black pit of doom is far too good a story opportunity to pass up. You don't waste brilliant actors.
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-02-23 12:01
Jas, you are right in that it will be hard for Dean's friends to reach him and provide the needed support. He is shut down and when you are in that state of mind and being it is hard for others to reach in. But, it is not impossible - they can still provide the needed support to help him continue going day to day. I remember when I was at my lowest of lows, I had to dig out of the hole by myself, but my friends and family helped give me the strength to continue going day to day and that is what Sam, Bobby and Castiel can do right now - is be that pillar of support until Dean finds the strength within himself to climb out.

Continuing on that thought that Dean is unable to climb out of the pit all on his own, that his strength is wounded, and that he needs someone to point him at those "bottles of strength he carries in his soul" - I had a wonderful thought of how they could bring John back. How about John being the one that comes and appears to Dean and helps him find his way and gives him the hope that he needs to continue. I really believe that John could be the catalyst that Dean needs and that would be one of the greatest gifts John could ever give his son. Plus it would be a wonderfully poignant moment between father and son. One which I would desperately love to see. Dean needs his dad more than ever right now. (Man I'm such a wimp, I'm tearing up even thinking about the possibilities - sniff, sniff) :cry::

Whatever happens I'm sure the writers will do everyone justice and that Jensen and Jared are up to the challenge.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-02-23 13:56
Narcissus, Randal, Dany and Evelyn – great to hear from you! Thanks for commenting on this…

Narcissus, I love the idea of my couch finding its way into the Winchester Gospel. ‘And it he spoke – get thee hence onto that lass’ couch if your soul be weary…’ Ha! Fantastic idea, dear, I’ve just grown an inch… :D

Yes, Randal, booze and food are not going to fix him… but you already knew that. I agree absolutely with your point: I think it will be only logical ,organic and necessary to have them move on (after this myth arc closes) with the memories of it all. Eventually, as it always is with bad experiences, if you survive them, they make you stronger. I’ve learned that personally and I’ve seen it so often in my job.
And, on a personal note, I very much enjoy watch these actors stretch their acting muscles…

Dany, I’m also certain, that Dean will find a way out. It will undoubtedly be painful at this point. The right way, unfortunately, is often the most painful one. Hey, he’s Dean Winchester. He has a strong soul. And he is allowed to forget that for the moment.
As for the couch-thing: don’t worry, Dany. Dean on my couch would merely be my ‘patient’, so off-limits(ah, being a professional sucks) . I’d have no problem settling for Sam, as you might know. And not on my couch… ;-)

Evelyn, the idea of taking John to help Dean is very interesting! Haven’t thought of that, yet. After all, he made it out of hell, where might he be? Need a Kleenex?
I’m delighted to hear you came out of your personal whole – it’s clear: friends and family can help, but you’re always the one who has to do the digging… Great that you were able to do that. Strong girl!! Listen to your roar…

Thanks again for your fine comments, guys.! Love Jas
Randal
# Randal 2010-02-24 08:25
I love Evelyn's idea. Always assumed (I imagine a lot of us did) that John ended upstairs and given what a wreck these guys are going to be after the fact, what a perfect opportunity for one last Winchester family moment. Hell, bring Mary back to. Even if they know it's a one-shot deal, why pass up that chance?
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-02-24 10:18
Robin, I'm with you on that. And I hope that's what they mean when they say 'going back to season one format'. Those were the best times for the boys.
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2010-02-24 10:42
Hi Jas. I read this piece a little while ago but was an ass and forgot to comment (ok my memory's an ass but still lol)... But here I am.

So, I love this article. It's very fitting and very Dean. He sure has been through alot (*understatemen t*) and he's truly dying, just drifting away. It's heartbreaking and kinda genious (in a storytelling way) 'cause it has been happening for so long, and we all know where it started, where it escalated and where it basically went straight to hell (pun intended). A part of him is still down there, and sometimes I wonder, is it an important part (jeez, what part of your soul isn't important, blah). Will he ever get it back? Will he ever be the same Dean? Maybe, maybe not, but I'm still sure he'll climb his way out of this deep dark hole and then he will be better, stronger and, at the core, the ol' Dean we all love. We can still see climbses of him underneath all that pain and brokeness. He's not dead yet. But the future ain't lookin' so bright.

I lovelovelove bhoth Evelyns' and Randals' ideas. My heart would *melt* if we could get John&Mary Winchester together to help Dean out of his despair. And let's not forget Sam! Seeing John and Mary together would help ease that anger, that resentment. He made such a good progress in The Song Remains The Same and I'd love to have J&M tell both boys how much they love them and are so proud of 'em. Well, I know that's a nice dream and might never come true, but a girl can dream can't she? These guys are soooooooo due a family reunion it's nobodys business 8-)

But thanks Jas, yet again an amazing read.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-02-24 13:08
Randal, Sablegreen, Supernarttu, thanks for commenting and discussing, this is really interesting, so thank you!

Randal, splendid idea to get back Mary into the race. Any idea how to do that? In Home she ‘destroyed herself going after’ that poltergeist in their old house. Hey, let’s speculate! How are we going to bring Mary back after she ‘died’ in the ghost world? Nothing’s impossible on planet Supernatural, so let’s give the writers ideas, eh?

Sablegreen, I disagree, I’m afraid. The early episodes were clearly the better ones as far as their relationship went (and even then it was not all wine and roses), but I don’t think there’s any logical way to get back there. Both are in another state of mind by now which doesn’t mean that they can’t be brothers and at each others’ sides, but they have changed for good. Both of them. I think it necessary to continue from there. Just imagine the possibilities! Both Winchesters emerging like the proverbial Phoenix from their ashes – which I hope for, but neither can go back. There is no more innocence left.
Don’t get me wrong, I hope this season ends well for both guys, and I’m looking forward to whatever they’re going to tackle in the next…

Supernarttu, thank you! And – dream as much as you like. We have enough reality in our lives as it is…
As I said, I’m convinced that Dean will never be the same. But that doesn’t matter really, don’t you think? I think the core of him will always remain the same, but the experiences he underwent have changed a great deal of his outlook on life and his approach to things. I’m very sure, also, that he will eventually, when he finds his hope again, emerge stronger. That would suit his character.
Perhaps it’s time to bring that amulet back at this point – sometimes holding on to something dear and personal can work as a catalyst. Where is that damn thing, anyway?

Thanks, y’all. Jas
Petranda
# Petranda 2010-02-24 15:47
Can you just imagine a white light framed Daddy Winchester? I will not only get my kleenex, but my checkbook out. How much do you think JDM wants to come back for that scene?
I'm grateful that Dean is a larger than life, impossibly bad ass character. That means that the boring rules that apply to us mere mortals, have no effect on him. I know two things for certain. #1 The Winchesters will pull a Hail Mary in the end and win. #2 Dean Winchester will be ok. 8-)
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-02-25 02:30
Supernarttu, I have to agree with Jasminka's comments about Dean. Dean will never be the same Dean he was in S1 & S2. With the experiences that he has had and the depths to which he has sunk, when he comes out of it (and he will come out of it), he will be a different person. Yes, he will still hold on to a lot of the core things that make up Dean, but his experiences will have changed him and will give him a different outlook and approach to his life. His experiences will color his actions a little differently. He will be dealing with many after effects once he finally emerges from his hell hole and starts living his life again with hope and a brighter outlook. (And I am speaking from personal experience here.)

One thing I think we can all agree on is that Dean will come out of this a stronger and better person for having lived through these last couple of years. And he will be able to take that new found strength and realize he is a worthwhile and good person and his self-esteem, which has been very low now for several seasons, will be better than it has in years. (Oh, man there are so many possibilities for S6 and I really hope that TPTB really delve into the personal after effects of these last couple of seasons. And allow us to watch Dean and Sam heal their emotional wounds.)

As for my idea of John making an appearance to Dean, I just read this morning that Mama Mary is scheduled to appear in an upcoming episode. This is so exciting, I wonder what her role will be - could it be in answer to Dean's plea for help? Wishes? Could John also be coming and they just won't tell us and leave it as a surprise? Wishes again. (I'm channeling Kripke now, bring John back, bring John back.) :-) In regards to John, I have so many ideas as to how that conversation with Dean could go, that I decided to write a fic about it. Now, I am not a writer, but I feel very passionate about this, so I thought I would give it a try. When I am done I will post it on my LJ and in a couple of other communities. (It may be awhile though - did I say, I'm not a writer.)

Once again, repeat after me - Kripke, bring John back, bring John back. :D
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2010-02-25 03:13
Hi Jas & Evelyn. You guys are right obviously. That's kinda what I tried to say to, but I guess I was too hung on to the fact that Dean 'has' to get better (my heart can't take the alternative, I don't care how many times they die, it's still brutal to me), that I got my words jumbled. I know he will never be the same. But in the core I don't think he'll lose that Dean-ness that's been in him from the start. That love, compassion, drive to help people and let's not forget that swagger and sarcasm :-) At least I hope so.

You guys truly know what you're saying, I have no personal experience nor the education to actually back my words. And I certainly didn't meen to belittle your words! I'm sorry if I sounded like that. I just... It's ridiculous to realize that you care so much about fictional characters. And I've usually been quite level headed in the tv and movie land even though I'm quite a fan of both. But this show just flipped it all around and now I'm having discussions about people who live in a world where vampires and demons row the lands, lest not forget Satan himself, like that's normal... You'd told me that 3 years ago I'd be doing this, I would have laughed my ass off and call you delusional :D

But it's not about the supernatural, not really. We have monsters in humanity and that's quite enough. It's about the emotion that this story has. About this bond of two brothers. That's real. Even if you put in in space. Family is real where ever you go. And anyone with a pulse can relate to that :-) [Were I channeling Randal right there 'cause I'm pretty sure he has said something similar lol ]

And THIS. These discussions, these ponderings and thoughts that this show awakens, brings to the surface. From people all around the world, from all ages. It's amazing. I'll never regret being a part of this. And you both Jas and Evelyn are such strong women. You open your hearts and reveal painfull experiences and share them with us. I truly thank you both for doing that, it's a really brave thing to do.

Gosh, I've gone all Maudling on us haven't I? Sorry for that :-)

I'll jump on board with the "Bring Back John! Bring Back John!" -bus. And I'll shut up now lol
alysha
# alysha 2010-02-25 08:45
Long before Hell, long before Sam even died at Cold Oak Dean became afraid. When Dean only had to deal with typical hunts involving monsters, he knew what to do, was ocnfident and on a mission. Things changed at first when he realized Sam had weird powers (which freaked him out from "Home" onward) and later when he learned Sam was part of a bigger picture.

Things weren't so clear for Dean. In S2's "Croatoan" we see how he breaks down and tells Sam how tired he is of fighting, and at the end of the episode he says to Sam that things are spinning out of control and he doesn't know what to do.

For all that Dean comes across as such a tough guy, there is a very sensitive soul in there. That sensitivity has been crushed under all the events that have happened since Sam's death.

I don't have an answer for how to put Dean back together again unless God gives him a reboot, or maybe even Michael?
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-02-25 11:50
Supernarttu, I never felt that you belittled our words. No worries. And it is interesting how we have become so invested in these fictional characters. Most of the time I never become this "obsessed" with characters, until now. Like you said, the emotion of this story is about the bond between brothers and whether or not we have brothers or sisters, that familial bond resonates with all of us. Yes, family is real and while we discuss all the issues that surround the Winchester brothers, in a way we are talking about our own family experiences and trying to figure them out. Gosh, I just love this show. And I too love this site and discussions. (Thank you Alice for creating this forum for us.)

I do love the character of Dean. He is snarky, fun and has a devil may care attitude and most importantly he says what he means. Which is something a lot like myself, although I hope I am a little more tempered than Dean. And yes, underneath all that bravado, he has a deep sensitive side and as Alysha says, that has been crushed, which is what makes this so heartbreaking. Both Dean and Sam are at very low points and hopefully it won't get much worse, although from what I've read, its going to. What I'm trying to say though is that they have reached or are close to reaching bottom and the only way to go from there is up - so I look forward to Dean and Sam climbing up.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-02-25 17:24
Petranda and alysha, thank you so much for commenting!

I also hope that Dean will find a way to feel okay again. It will probably depend on who answers his plea… if anyone does. Well, we all noticed early on that his big mouth was just a mask to hide his compassionate and sensitive soul. Such a person can only endure so much…

Cheers, Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-02-25 17:25
My dear Supernarttu, I had never even for one moment had the impression that you belittled anything here. We care so much for these characters that we get passionately protective, hey, you know when we chat away in cbox…., and we don’t want them to suffer. It’s true what you’re saying – this show is about family, the reality of the love and bond a family can provide, and if the blood ends, family does not have to, to paraphrase Bobby…

I’m a big fan of our ramblings here. We touch each others’ heart with stories, black humour (gosh how I love that) and deep respect – and, yes, people from all over the world. Vikings (you know I love to call you that), Yanks, old Europeans and so many more…. It’s enriching and not for granted…

I’m with you in hoping that Dean will get better sooner than I fear.

When you bring John back – can I slap him then just once? It would definitely make me feel better! ;-)

Thank you for your trust. Jas
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-02-25 19:11
Oh, Jas, you are too funny. Slap John once for me as well. Or better yet, shall we just form a line and let us all get a chance to slap him one. I know I'd feel better after witnessing all the damage he has inflicted on his sons (albeit unintentional, but inflict he did). :P
B.
# B. 2010-02-26 03:37
Hey Jas --

Oh, a subject I enjoy discussing - Dean's poor, battered psyche. Heh.

The character's arc throughout the five seasons has been well handled, along with Sam's emotional journey. A natural progression for Sam is that he shoulders the load a little more and grows into a solid, mature adult. Dean's natural progression seems to be one of finally dropping some of that load and letting Sam carry the weight for a while. Basically because I don't think he's going to have much choice. Someone is going to have to keep their wits about them for the final show down and it just might have to be Sam.

I think an interesting problem with Dean is that he doesn't appear to have gone through the classic teenage rebellion stage. The reason we act like absoloute horrors during our teen years, is that we have to differentiate from our parents. That means we generally go through a stage of rejecting everything about them - their taste in music, their choice of clothes, their hopes and dreams for our future. We also go through a stage of trying on different lifestyles.

Sam successfully did this by rejecting the hunting lifestyle and going off to college. So, however temporarily, Sam experienced life as a complete, seperate individual from his father.

Dean hasn't gone through this stage. Sure, he acts like a rebel, and he doesn't fit into society - but he's never had that moment of experimenting with other ways of living. He worshipped his father, over identified with him, followed his father into hunting at a young age and from the hints dropped in the show, was the peacemaker in the family, as well as Sam's protector.

Sam has had the benefit of trying on a different way of being, and he hasn't experienced as much pain and horror, so there's a bit more resiliance there.

Dean has never really figured out his value as a person, seperate to John Winchester's mission of revenge and hunting the supernatural and spookies out there. On top of that already fragile sense of self worth (heavily hooked into how he's viewed by his father), he's also been tortured horribly and then faces a situation from which there appears to be no escape.

Part of Dean making a come back is that somehow, somewhere, someone is going to have to show him that Dean Winchester has value outside of being an archangel's vessel or a supernatural killing machine. That may be Sam, it may be Castiel, it might even be Michael or even God. But to me, that would feel like an organic piece of storytelling that has evolved naturally over the course of the seasons.

In fact, the final image I would want to see of Dean is that he's standing outside of a house with a white picket fence, a wife, a baby and a dog. Because for Dean, that's his dreams come true. I think it would be a nice way to end the show.
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2010-02-26 04:13
Dearest Evelyn and Jas. Thank you for kind words. And I whole heartedly agree with y'all :-)
I knew you weren't offended but sometimes you get a little timid when talking to people online and not face to face. You put something out there and then later you realize that it didn't turn out right, you know? And hope nobody takes it in a negative way.
But here, at Alices site, it's wonderfull to just discuss and ponder (and chat lol) and get to know one another. I know a truckload of places where that just isn't possible 'cause people are at each others throats because of one little misunderstood word. Maybe that made me a little too careful, I was a lurker (and still am at other places but here) for a long time and have seen a lot of useless fighting and insulting.

But I should have remembered where I am! This place is great and all you guys are great and life is great :-) Well, except for the boys but I know they'll get there. We all know that this show is about right? Family saves the day. Go Team Winchester & Go Team Freewill!!

And oh yeah, John's gonna get a big smack from me too if that big ol' comeback... comes lol. I think it's about time :-)
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-02-26 11:54
Very interesting thoughts B. I hadn't really thought about that in regards to Dean, but it is true - he never experienced the rebellion side as a teenager. He was never allowed to go there because of all the responsibility heaped on his shoulders by John (Damn him, slapping John's face). His identity has been wrapped up in a hunter all his life and he knows nothing else, unlike Sam. Although he totally embraced the hunters life, he was never given the choice, which could be a part of his inner turmoil. Something to think about.

Supernarttu, thanks for your comments. I appreciate them. I too, have been a lurker for a long time. Still am at other sites, but here, after awhile, I did feel safe to finally start adding my two cents. This is a great site.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-02-26 17:02
B., thanks for commenting! You bring up an interesting question – Dean and his non-existent teenage rebellion… He had a bad start altogether – his raison d’ etre being defined the moment he carried Sammy out of the burning house.

I would also hope for Dean to find peace, perhaps a woman to love, but – this is Supernatural. There will be no white picket fence, I bet.

Thank you! Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-02-26 17:03
Supernarttu, Evelyn, really, that’s going on on other sites? I used to lurk on other ones, but haven’t done that in a long time because people would comment in a insolent manner on characters or bash the actors or whatever, so I decided to stay away. Is that still the case?
Well, I haven’t that much time to spend on the web, so I dedicate it to this site. Time is too precious to get irritated all the time, which I most certainly would be if I read about insults or fights of whatever kind.

It's great we found this one.... Love Jas
Dean lover
# Dean lover 2010-03-29 18:22
When Dean died I cried for days and needed the show to come back on immedaly so I could know how Dean comes back on because they couldn't leave the show with him in hell. Also when i found out they were going to kill Dean I said "NO you can't kill Dean he brings the funny and the sexy"!! But when Famine started saying that Dean is dead inside I started screaming at the T.V. " Oh he's dead SCREW you. You can't even walk without demons carrying you. Oh and have you seen your face i mean WHAT THE HOCKEY is your problum. And if he is dead inside then why does Micheal want him to be his vesel." But yeah Dean is really HOT, SEXY so they can't kill him.