Dean Winchester's Season Five character development in Supernatural Season Five has created animosity with some fans.  Discuss those issues here.

A lively discussion broke out on the Reality Check: Showrunners Want To Listen To Their Fans But Can't  article about Dean's character and the overall frustration by several Dean fans.  I really think this is an excellent topic to explore further for so many great points were raised.  However, that discussion really should be in its own space. 

Here you go Supernatural fans, go ahead, tell me what frustrates you most about Dean's character.  I'm posting some comments below from Chris_J in that article thread that I really think summed up well a lot of the ire that's been circulating.  What's your opinion?

RULES OF THE OPEN DISCUSSION:

-  Absolutely NO Sam fan vs. Dean fan comments, swipes, insults, you name it!  I'm warning right off the bat.  Any of those comments will be edited.  
-  Tempers are bound to flare in these discussions and I don't mind lively, but no personal insults of other posters please.  We are adults in this forum.  

Post away!!!

 
I am not disappointed because Dean wasn't Michael's meat suit. I am disappointed because while Sam has always had a "destiny" storyline and a firm place in our mytharc for 5 seasons which we saw come to it's conclusion in Swan Song as he took on Lucifer, Dean's role became diminished to basically that of "supporter of Sam", IMO.

Both brothers should support one another, of course, but if Sam has this grand destiny storyline which ultimately came to fruition as he heroically took on Lucifer and sacrificed himself for the greater good, then I don't understand why Dean cannot have an *equally* grand destiny in which he too is shown to be heroic for the greater good and not just as the supporter of Sam and Sam's destiny?

So, for me, it's not Dean as Michael's meatsuit as the issue, although for Dean to be so easily replaced by his *other* brother as Michael's vessel really kind of bothered me, TBH.

Sam has been the one with the special powers and special destiny for 5 seasons. I thought Dean might have a special destiny of his own as well (finally), but it seems his role was just to be there for the "special" one. I thought maybe that Dean would be the only one who could use the rings to open the portal, but no, it seems Sam could do that as well. The angels really didn't need Dean after all because they had Adam. Sam was powerful enough to overcome Lucifer on his own. Dean was there to support Sam but to me that's not an equally important role as Sam's in our mytharc. So I'm sorry, that may be enough for you, but I feel Dean deserves to be an equal in our story. He deserves to have his own "specialness" and importance in the mytharc story.

Dean's role of "big brother" has been diminished as well since he spent a lot of last season apologizing to Sam for his big-brotherly behavior. Not that I blame Sam for wanting to be treated as an adult and not as a kid brother, but it just seems that everything about Dean's place in the show was taken away from him bit by bit last season... his role as the big-brother/protector (Sam no longer wanted this from Dean), his role as the "righteous man who starts it must end it" (this turned out to be Sam), and his role as Michael's sword (this was taken by Adam) -- all of these roles were taken from Dean last season and I'm just left wondering what Dean will have left in season 6?

 

Comments  

violet
# violet 2010-07-09 11:28
I am not one who has memorized every episode or anything, but IMHO, Dean's role, his grand destiny, if you like, was always to be human and to be the embodiment of the power of choice, humanity, and love. Therefore, he could never have been Michael. Sam was always about destiny; Sam was the redemption character and Dean showed why humanity was worth being redeemed. Sam was only able to fight Lucifer because of Dean.

I never saw Dean's role as being diminished, although I think the writing was not that great this last season, and I think the showrunners were awful at consistency and coherence. Although they like to claim that the story is planned out, I think they meandered and kept throwing things in for individual episodes that then came back to bite them in the bigger overall story. That, to me is what diminished both Dean and Sam in season 5.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-07-09 11:30
Hi Alice, just saw this new post here and welcome it. I’m at present computer-less, so I will use the opportunity to use this computer that I’m sitting at right now and won’t be able what others will have to say. Sniff.

This is not thought out completely, just a few ideas that spring to mind with this post and what’s been going on with the article you mention above. I might come up with something more elaborate later on, so forgive me should I babble…

To me Dean’s role has never been a smaller one than Sam’s – it might not have been the one where he saved the world in the end in the way Sam did, but he did save it by allowing his brother to go the distance. And helping him he risked his life and his soul in a manner hardly anyone else would have been able to.

If Sam is ‘the hero’ in Campbell’s sense (and I am working on an article about that right now) then Dean is the character sine qua non.

Frodo would have never reached Mount Doom without Samweis. Luke would have never destroyed the Death Star without Han. There are countless examples in mythology and literature of a likewise strong and important character (a mentor, teacher, protector, et al) who NEEDS to be there for ‘the hero’ – though I have always regarded Dean to be a hero in the deepest meaning of the word. What he faced and endured – freely, out of love and responsibility hardly any human being would be able to.

He faced his biggest fears (one being: letting Sam go – not only into the great mystery of death, but also into becoming his own person and leaving his role as kid brother) and remained standing. He might have developped a heavy list doing so, but he managed to find his courage and in the end he never faltered. What could be more heroic than that?

I refuse to look at Dean’s role as one cheaper or less important than Sam’s. Both are crucial to the show.

His character evolved in an unforeseen way. He looked at what scared him the most and did what had to be done, thereby colliding heavily with his own self-image – he had to allow new perspectives to enter his mind and act according to them while he had been used to being ‘only’ his brother’s keeper. It takes unparalleled courage to do that.

He became so much more in the course of the show – he was Heaven’s chosen one (and perhaps we will learn how it came about that Adam took his place in season 6, as we don’t know yet what happens to Adam/Michael in hell), the demons’ chosen one (to start off the Apocalypse), he made the painful experiences of not being able to save his loved ones (a fact he had been familiar with – he had always managed to save his brother and probably his father, but he could not stop Mary from striking her deal nor his dad from selling his soul for him or stopping Sam from sacrificing himself since he knew that it was necessary), he survived torture (also something hardly anyone would be able to and alone that fact allows us to assume that Dean has always been more than special in terms of resilience and inner strength), he changed to allow his brother to change and to forgive each other…

I could go on.

There might have been some minor aspects that I might not have been entirely satisfied with, but the fact that I can’t think of any right now allows me to assume that there was not much to complain. I would have loved to see Dean struggle with having Michael inside him, but only because I think we would have gotten some major acting fest from Jensen and I would have loved that.
But we got another great performance from him – his body language and eyes alone expressing so much while his face was covered in beaten-up-make up.

I am interested what other will have to say and will think more about this and perhaps come up with a more thought-out comment. And I hope there will be no offensive posts anymore whatsoever (thank you Alice for that Edit-power).

Have no idea when I will have a computer to look from, so till then, cheers to you all. Jas
SPNFAN
# SPNFAN 2010-07-09 11:39
Jas and Sonya...I couldn't have said it better myself. I have nothing else to add to that....
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2010-07-09 11:43
In truth, I'm astonished by the point of view that Dean's character is diminished. NO this is no refection on Sam, but Dean doesn't NEED a myth arc. He's The Dean and that's enough. The beauty of the story was that he was able to do his part by just being who he is.
Kalixa
# Kalixa 2010-07-09 12:50
I agree with Violet's first paragraph, Jas, and Yvonne on this one.

Dean's role was to be the human in the story. He's "Batman" - a superhero without power. His grand role in the show is to stand in for all of humanity.
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-07-09 12:53
All I can say is that I agree 100% with everything Sonya and Jas have posted.

And Yvonne, you are so right. He is THE Dean. The HUMAN
hero!
Antoinette
# Antoinette 2010-07-09 12:57
I love everything Violet said, including being disappointed in the overall quality of season 5, but especially about Dean being the "embodiment of the power of choice, humanity, and love."

I never had an expectation that we'd see Michael using Dean as his vessel because I was pretty tuned into what Kripke and Gamble were putting out there: season 5 being about humanity being in the middle of these two self-involved forces, and Dean as the most human of all the characters.

Also, I like to give the show credit for multi-season arcs. So yeah, Dean did lose pretty much everything in season 5, and that's a stressful place to be for his biggest fans. But Sam lost everything at the end of season 4, which pained me, but the show slowly put him back together for season 5.

So I am really hoping that season 6 is the season where Dean gets rebuilt into an even more awesome Dean.
Mary Bardicvoice
# Mary Bardicvoice 2010-07-09 13:12
I'm another who has never been frustrated with Dean's place in the story. I think Kripke said it best at the first L.A. convention when he said Dean was the hero precisely because he had no faith and no powers but kept going anyway, doing what he felt he had to do. Flawed as he is, Dean embodies humanity, and human as he is, he embodies heroism.

I have been a little frustrated sometimes with the inconsistency in how Dean is written - I've particularly had problems with Dabb & Loflin's take on his sophomoric sense of humor, especially in his post-Hell emotional state - but never with his role in the story.
LindaH
# LindaH 2010-07-09 13:14
I'm another person who didn't see Dean's role as being diminished in season 5. If his role was to become Michael's vessel then any victory was obtained by Michael, not Dean. If Dean had said yes then I see several possible outcomes. 1) Sam says yes the big fight happens and Lucifer and Sam get sent back to Hell. Michael leaves Dean with his mind intact and Michael saves the day. In which case Dean as Dean does nothing to save the world except be a passive observer. 2)Dean says yes, Sam says yes and Lucifer wins. Dean is dead, Sam is possessed and we have a worse situation than in The End, because there is no Dean to lead the rebellion. 3)Dean says yes, Sam doesn't say yes and Michael battles Lucifer in his less powerful vessel and wins, with less damage to mankind. This still makes it Michael's victory with Dean as the passive observer and Sam playing no part in the Apocalyptic fight at all. His character becomes irrelevant. 4) Dean says yes, Sam says no and the scene final battle plays out the same way. The only difference is having Sam there causes Dean to regain control for a minute. Dean then does what Sam did finds a way to open the cage and using Michael's strength pulls Lucifer back into the pit and he fall back into Hell.

I don't see how any of these scenarios make Dean a more important part of the mytharc. Except for the last scenario they all involve Dean giving up on finding a solution and fighting the battle as Michael. The final scenario makes Sam the one who calls Dean back to himself and that makes Sam the necessary ingredient, and I don't think people would be any more happy with Sam being Dean's savior than with how the finale went down.

The other thing that I disagree with is the argument that the man who started this is the only one who can stop it was trashed. Frankly, prophecies are messy and ambiguous at the best of times. Dean broke the first seal and the prophecy may well have meant that only he could stop the breaking of the last seal. In which case, the prophecy was fulfilled, Dean WAS the only one who could have stopped Sam and he failed. This is not a slap at Dean. The boy were constantly manipulated by demons and angels into growing so far apart that Dean wasn't able to reach Sam in a way that would stop him. Dean fell back on his fear of Sam's powers, treated Sam as if he couldn't make a moral choice, called him a monster, and told him that if he left he should never come back. Ruby was untrustworthy and evil, but if Dean had gone with Sam on that last run to stop Lilith, he could have talked Sam out of draining that nurse and may well have stopped the whole process in its tracks.

If your look at it that way, then the prophecy shifts characters. The righteous man (and Sam's motive, even clouded by demon blood were righteous) who started the Apocalypse by releasing Lucifer WAS the only one who could stop the fight before it destroyed the world. This fulfills the prophecy equally, it's jut not the way the Angels believed things would work out.

I know this is a post about Dean, but so many of the arguments that I see revolve around Sam taking over Dean's role as the savior of the world. I just wanted to point out that it is possible that the show misled us into exactly what the prophecy meant.

If you look back even farther, in some ways, Sam being righteous and not killing Jake really started the ball rolling on the Apocalypse. That led to all the deal making, going to Hell, seal breaking that led to the release of Lucifer. I don't remember the wording that Castiel used, but I remember it being the righteous man who started it is the only one who can stop it. This leaves things very open to interpretation.

I think Dean fulfilled his role perfectly. Dean is humanity's representative. He helped stop Lucifer by being human, loving his brother and reaching him when Sam need it the most, the one thing that he failed at in season four. Then he takes the incredibly heroic path of trying to go on as the last man standing and trying to live in the normal human world. He resists the temptation to try and free Sam, even though this devastates him. Living a life of quiet desperation is very heroic in this case, because each day that Dean doesn't try to save Sam he is saving the world all over again.
Chris_J
# Chris_J 2010-07-09 15:01
Alice -- I posted this over in the article's discussion, but since you were kind enough to continue with a discussion about Dean's role here, I will copy my comment here as well to add to this discussion. Sorry in advance for the length!

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First I want to preface this by saying that it’s not my intention to diminish Dean’s character here. I think the writers have done a good job with his (and Sam's) characterizatio n over the seasons. My issue with the show right now is the way it has (IMO) devalued Dean’s individuality by continually having him revert back to “big-brotherâ € mode, while at the same time presented Dean’s big-brotherly ways as wrong and something that he should be made to apologize for. Additionally, while the show set up a new role for Dean in the mytharc, they then took it away as he was replaced in that role by another brother. Dean went against his big-brother instincts and allowed Sam to go ahead with his plan which resulted in Sam sacrificing his life. My concern for next season is that Dean will once again be made to APOLOGIZE and this time it will be because he didn’t “protect” Sam. And I do not want the show to promote a dynamic where Dean is made to feel *responsible* to protect Sam yet he's also wrong when he does assume that role. The show is trying to have it both ways with Dean, and HE’S the one who ends up paying the price.

** Alice said: "As for Dean, he was always the glue that held the family together. His role was crucial. It may not seem equal, but without him it all would have failed." **

I do appreciate Dean’s role in the family dynamic, although as I said I’m not sure that it’s something the show ultimately feels is a positive aspect of Dean’s character any longer (also see: Dark Side of the Moon). Regarding Swan Song, I don’t think that the plan would have necessarily failed without Dean, and that’s part of my problem with this episode and the absence of an equally important role in the mytharc for Dean. In reality, Dean failed a lot in Swan Song (and looking back at the previous season finales, it’s a pattern for Dean to ultimately fail in his mission). Dean failed to trap Lucifer by opening the portal in the hotel room. He then tried to rally TFW to come up with another plan, but he failed at that as well. He also went to the graveyard without a plan. He could have perhaps tried to use the oil to trap Lucifer i.e. trapping Gabriel in Changing Channels or try to use the knife as he did with Zach, but the writers didn’t give Dean even that much in this episode. Dean confronted Lucifer, watched as he killed Bobby and Castiel, and then became the victim of a brutal beating. Sure Dean was very brave to confront Lucifer, but honestly he should have been killed just like Bobby and Castiel. Dean had no power against Lucifer.

Ultimately, Sam was able to overcome Lucifer because of a memory triggered by seeing his own toy soldier inside of the Impala. It wasn’t by looking at Dean’s face or because of any words of encouragement by Dean, it was because of his memory of the past. And yes, it’s a past that included Dean and their bond as brothers, which is a lovely thing. But it was all Sam’s doing. Lucifer could have easily killed Dean then and there, and Sam’s memories could have still triggered something in him that allowed him to take control of Lucifer. But in reality, Sam’s success didn’t require any *action* by Dean at the time. As Death told him, he just needed to sit back and let Sam do what he needed to do. And as Michael told him, Dean was no longer part of this story. He wasn’t needed. It was all up to Sam (and Adam) and Dean was no longer part of their story. The writers didn’t even allow Dean to use the rings in the end… that would have been *something* at least. But no, that too was Sam’s role.

And I think it was a fitting conclusion for Sam’s 5-season-long “destiny” storyline, although obviously very heartbreaking as well. We now see how all of the pieces fit – from his special abilities to meeting Ruby to the demon blood to killing Lilith and releasing Lucifer and finally as Lucifer’s vessel as he sacrificed his life to save the world. Sam has always been the central focus of the over-reaching mytharc storyline. Dean’s primary role for the first 3 seasons was to react to Sam’s storyline – his psychic powers, the YED’s interest in him, “save Sam or kill him”, his connection to Ruby and the use of his active powers, and to be the supportive big-brother to Sam.

But then in season 4 we are led to believe (at least I was led to believe) that Dean had a purpose other than being Sam’s big-brother/pro tector, for the first time in our story. Apparently Dean had his own destiny. Dean broke the first seal in hell and became a “righteous man who must end it” in the prophecy. So, we’re led to believe that Dean too had an important and unique role to play in stopping Lucifer and preventing Hell on Earth. And it seemed to me that the show was building up to this… Michael was mysteriously absent for most of the season because we were told that Dean and only Dean could be his true vessel, Dean was able to act as a “servant of Heaven” and kill the Whore of Babylon, Dean was able to kill Zach (when Uriel told us that only an angel can kill another angel) and look him in the eyes (when doing so should have resulted in burning out Dean’s eyes). So I’m not sure what happened with Point of No Return? Kripke and Gamble both claimed this episode was going to focus on Dean’s relationship with Michael and yet, it really didn’t. It did focus on Dean getting yelled at a lot for not succumbing to the needs of TFW and being on the receiving end of a brutal beatdown by Castiel. But we really learned nothing new about Michael and Dean made the decision not to say yes because Sam didn’t want him to and Dean didn’t want to disappoint Sam and the rest of TFW.

And I understand that Dean was always about denying “destiny” but I still think there were other options the show could have gone with besides Dean as Michael’s “meatsuit”. I think being a meatsuit is different than the prophecy Zach spoke of and I think the show could have taken this further without compromising Dean’s humanity or integrity. I would have preferred Dean to have a more pro-active leadership role regarding his situation with Michael. Dean is a pretty persuasive guy. He was able to use those powers of persuasion on Castiel in LR and on Gabriel in HOTG, so I think he could have eventually convinced Michael to see his side – the pro-human side of things.

I think Dean could have said yes to Michael as part of the plan, but he would not have merely been Michael’s vessel, but rather Michael’s “sword.” I thought that the “righteous man” referred to Dean because of WHO he is and how he lived his life. Dean could have been “special” not because he had supernatural powers, but because of his strength of character. And it could have been quite ironic (and awesome) that the very thing the angels abhor about Dean – his humanity – is what qualified him to be Michael’s sword. Because the role could have been setup in a way that Dean wouldn’t be merely a vessel, but rather as a weapon for humanity. But again, this would have required much more interaction between Dean and Michael along the way (maybe a temp vessel for Michael or Michael speaking to Dean in his dreams as Lucifer spoke to Sam) in order for Dean to use his powers of persuasion to chip away at Michael’s stubbornness about fulfilling his destiny and start to come around to Dean’s POV. But of course, that didn't happen.

Sam fulfilled his destiny, but in a way that utilized his own strength of character. And Dean’s role as the “sword” could have been to persuade Michael to “stop it”… stop the battle between them and allow Sam to re-cage Lucifer and finally save humanity. And I think the plan could have been that they both go into the pit, but maybe something happens - like suddenly Michael regains control - and only Sam/Lucifer ends up falling into the pit in the end. So the outcome could be the same but instead Dean could have had an active and pro-active role of his own and he’s not merely playing a supporting role to Sam and Sam’s destiny. But even if Dean didn’t become Michael’s vessel or his sword, his special role could have involved the use of the Horseman’s rings to open the portal. But that didn’t happen either, as Sam used the rings in the end. Sam with his special powers and his demon blood drinking saved the world and human and non-special powered Dean was left nearly beaten to death, useless to help Sam, useless to use the rings or to do anything else in the end but sit there on the ground and watch.

So, after PONR, not only did we finally see that Dean’s supposed unique role in the mytharc come to an abrupt end, additionally Dean is made to apologize for the other, more prominent role he’s held on the show -- Sam’s big-brother/pro tector. Season 5 was a season of changing dynamics between Dean and Sam. Dean felt betrayed by Sam because he chose to be with Ruby. Sam felt Dean treated him like a kid-brother and not an equal partner. I do think both brothers have valid points of view regarding their feelings, so I’m not going to get into the details of this. Both brothers deserve their feelings. However, if Sam doesn’t want Dean to play the role of big-brother, and the SHOW actually has Dean apologize over and over again for his behavior as the big-brother, and he doesn’t have a destiny/powers/ mytharc role, then my question is -- what’s left for Dean?

So, I do hope there is a (good) reason why the show chose this particular path for Dean. I agree that the brotherly bond is wonderful and that the show should focus on that bond. Both brothers bring something unique to their partnership and to their relationship. But it seems to me that the Dean’s role as big brother tends to prevent him from having any kind of unique mytharc-related role or special role *beyond* his role as Sam’s big brother, just as Swan Song demonstrated (to me). Sam has always had his own - special powers/special destiny/”will I turn evil or not?” – arc. And I know many fans don’t see this as a problem. I know that some fans think Dean's role as Sam's big brother is enough and he doesn't need anything outside of this. But it isn't enough for me.

And if Sam continues to have special powers and is able to use those powers freely during hunts, then their partnership will NEVER be equal. It’s apparent to me that Dean will never have special powers like Sam. Dean will never have a grand destiny like Sam. Will he have his own “redemption arc” as Sam did this season? I’m not saying that Dean needs to do or have everything that Sam has or has had, however, now that Sam has also gone to hell, that’s another thing that is no longer unique to Dean.

And for all that some fans love the big-brother protector / little-brother protected dynamic the fact remains that Dean had to apologize to Sam many times last season for his big-brother behavior and thinking. Even Bobby scolded Dean for thinking of Sam as his little brother still. Well okay then, who should Dean be in our story? He’s no longer allowed his big-brother role, he’s not allowed to fulfill a grand destiny or have a role in the mytharc, so what is Dean allowed to do without having to constantly apologize for his actions? And the last thing I want – the absolute LAST thing I want to happen is for Dean to be pushed back into hunting because of Sam. I want Dean to move beyond living his life for Sam. He is now only with Lisa and Ben because of the promise he made to Sam. But I want Dean to be motivated by his own needs and desires for ONCE and not only because he feels obligated to be the big-brother/pro tector to Sam.

So I’d like the show to finally give Dean some kind of arc that showcases Dean’s strength of character and his individuality and maybe focuses on HIS destiny. I believe the show can do this without compromising the brothers’ relationship or their bond. But it will require the writers to allow Dean to be his own individual **without apology** and to be of EQUAL importance to Sam in the over-reaching mytharc, not merely the “human sidekick” to a brother who has powers, and not merely important because he is the “big-brotherâ € to Sam. Yes, Dean has always been the glue that held his family together and he’s always defined his worth by what he can do for his family. But Dean deserves to have a role *beyond* what he can do for Sam. And I would like the writers to allow Dean to have his own unique role in the story. JMO. YMMV. Etc, etc.

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I want to add that I do agree that Dean is a hero, just as Sam is. But being a hero doesn't automatically make Dean equally relevant to the story. My complaint is NOT about Sam or Sam's role in the mytharc or Sam's role in the finale. Sam is a hero, Sam has always had a really great and juicy "dark destiny" storyline, and he fulfilled *his* destiny and redeemed himself in the end. There needs to come a point on the show that Dean will ALSO be as relevant and important for his unique role, as Sam has been to the overall mytharc. I don't agree that the show has treated Dean as an equal in this regard. I do hope that this situation is rectified in season 6. :-)

Alice, thank you again for providing this opportunity to express our opinions and concerns about Dean's role on the show.
Randal
# Randal 2010-07-09 15:13
I have to second the seconding of the thirding of Sonya and Jas' respective comments -- Dean does represent on both a macro and micro level, the best of humanity, warts and all, and that's his destiny, perhaps not "epic" in the traditional Homeric sense that most would understand it, but it's there -- but I must remark that I'm VERY disappointed there isn't more fighting in this thread. Have you all gone soft? Is it the rampant heat? Wimps.
Tiffany
# Tiffany 2010-07-09 15:24
I think this underlines one of the fundamental problems among certain fans who disagree on this issue. There are some who are just fine with Dean not having his own destiny or in his being just a supporting character in the tradition of Samwise and Han Solo. For those individuals, I can understand how Dean having his own equally important, active role wouldn't matter, as long as Dean helped Sam along on his hero' journey.

But this isn't a universally held doctrine nor is wanting more for Dean's character any less of a valid opinion. For me, if Dean was to serve as the embodiement of humanity, I would have hoped to see "humanity" be more empowered than to be beaten to a pulp by a supernatural being. What about Dean's ingenuity? His badass nature? His fighting skills? His perseverence? His leadership? His ability to think outside the box?

The message I got was not none of that mattered. The only thing Dean was needed for was to support Sam (and even then, as Chris J noted, it was Sam's memories and not Dean's voice/face that broke Lucifer's hold. Which then begs the question - as long as the Impala was there, did Dean even really need to be there?)

As much as love is important, I really think there could have been a way to showcase the brotherly bond while still having both brothers, one representing Destiny and the other Free Will, fighting together and winning. And it still could have involved Sam making the final sacrifice, as the last step of his redemption.

If Sam being the only active hero and Dean the passive wind beneath his wings really was the course that Kripke always meant to take, then it would have been cleaner and easier if Dean had been kept in that same secondary character role he'd held earlier in the series. He could have continued to serve as, Edlund put it, as the "chauffeur of destiny". Despite Jensen's unhappiness in Dean not having more to do than be Sam's brother, at least fans woudn't have expected anything else. But once the expectation was out there and canon set up this remarkable 2 year storyline that pretty much ended up being moot, I'm not surprised that some fans are feeling unhappy at the lack of payoff.
maggie
# maggie 2010-07-09 15:26
Thanks Alice, I like this kind of discussions talking about the episodes, I mean in the good way, not discussing being mean and being angry..

I loved the season finale: Swan Song
I really loved the ending and Eric Kripke's mind, and I'm a Dean girl, I like Sam too, but I love more Dean :-).

I have never thought the character of Dean is less important than Sam's, I love Dean as he is, but I think maybe the writers did had a plan for Dean being Michael’s vessel. After season 5 ending I have been more and more curious about what was going to be the ending of this series if season 5 would have been the last, obviously if we ask to the writers they would say (more or less) this was going to be the 5-year plan ending , But I have my doubts,

I was going to write this question in a post that you did a few weeks ago, where you said we could write questions. For example in season 4 in episode “when the levee breaks”, when Dean is with Cass, Dean swore obedience to the angels. What was that for?, I mean in the story, cause we know he never said yes to Michael, then, why did they do that scene? I think maybe the writers had other plans for Dean… :|


Although also, I was a little surprise when I watched a video of a convention where Jensen Ackles said that he likes more this storyline about the angels and being Michael's vessel cause now Dean is more involved with the mythology, he said Dean needed that, now he is not just Sam's brother, I remember he said something like before he was like Han Solo, Oh! I remember he said: I was just kind of hanging out being awesome!! :-)Love him.
I never thought that JA felt and thought that way, that Dean needed to be more involved…


Since season 5 finished I have read comments about people that didn’t like the season finale cause this time Dean wasn’t the big hero but I never paid attention to the comments, I thought maybe were the same fans complaining like always, until yesterday I read a lot of comments and they do have a point about what happened with Dean “the chosen” and that the angels brought him back from hell for a big purpose, but at the same time I think that if Dean would have said yes to Michael maybe we were discussing why Dean said yes if Dean, is a strength character…(or something like that).


So I’m really curious about what would have happened if this season 5 would have been the last one.

But I loved Swan Song, I don’t know how many times I watched the episode, Really I watched a lot!!. I love that this series always surprise me, never happen what I think is going to happen, that’s why I love Eric kripke, I love Supernatural and the way is written, and I don’t expect the writers listen to the fans, just want they write the story they way they want to tell it.

Thanks Alice for this site.
PD. Sorry for my bad English
Layla
# Layla 2010-07-09 15:33
This.

Since we didn't see it in the first five seasons, I'm still crossing my fingers that it's in store for season six. I've waited so long to have Dean be considered an equal, LEAD character and, like Sam's, have his storyine help move the storyline forward. Honestly, though, I'm about ready to throw in the towel at this point. But I'll give it one last try, out of respect for Sera.
Layla
# Layla 2010-07-09 15:34
Oops, this was supposed to be the comment I was responding to in my above post.
Tara
# Tara 2010-07-09 15:37
Chris-J, Tiffany, and Abbey, I thought you all did a very thorough and wonderful job via the other post (and this one, Chris!) explaining why there has been dissatisfaction with the way Dean was used, or misused, at the end of season five. There was a lot of set-up all through season four and through most of season five as to Dean's elevation and eventual role to play in the mytharc alongside that of Sam's. If Dean never had no more role than to lie across his car and receive yet another brutal beating, there would not have been any canonical need from the get-go to set up the angels as "brothers" - one "older" (Michael), one "younger" (Lucifer), with Michael having "raised" Lucifer in the same way Dean raised Sam. There would have been no need to talk about Michael as the good loyal son, and Lucifer as the rebellious one. There would have been no need to have Michael finally talk to Dean in "The Song Remains the Same" and tell him that Dean was his "true vessel" and promise him that he'd leave him intact if Dean was not to have any role there. And there certainly would have been no way the writers would have showed Dean being able to look directly into Zach's dying grace without being killed or at least blinded if that was not supposed to come into play at the end.

But the story was changed, Jared said it himself at either the LA or JiB con, and it was tweeted from vancouvernights right from the set before the end of the season that the story was changed. Even Sera was recently quoted that they plan each season for a season and series finale, and there are going to be differences inherent given which finale is used at the time. We know this, and that's fine for whatever reason they felt they had to change the season five finale (I assume due to the official sixth season renewal).

Yet it seems all the change came in the form of Dean's mytharc role - taking it from being a mytharc role with all that set up and all that canonical exposition, to one of just hanging out and being there to do ultimately nothing whatsoever. Sure, it's great that Dean loves his brother so much that he would put himself in harm's way - but isn't this what they do every week? So it's not like this was anything new or different or earth-shatterin g. The only difference is that this time Dean showed up mostly to be insulted and told he had no place in the story by an also-ran Michael - which came across as more than a little breaking through of the fourth wall there, and very belittling - as well as to be horrifically pummeled by Lucifer. But that's a passive role that anyone could have fulfilled. You don't need a hunter or a hero who has literally been to Hell and back to do that, or even a brother. Bobby could have performed that role just fine. He could have driven the car to the graveyard too - anyone walking along the side of the road could have since the worst part of the whole thing was that it wasn't beating Dean to death that got through to Sam. It was seeing his own toy soldier in the car that he connected to.

That's when my heart really broke - to think that the man himself, his own brother with his broken bones and blood and his crying out to Sam wasn't enough to break through the barrier. It seems the writers couldn't even give Dean that - it had to be a couple of inanimate objects that did the trick and that were more important than Dean was. So it was bad enough that Dean's role was changed and so reduced from being The Righteous Man or Michael's Sword or Michael's Vessel, or even Sam's partner, to just being there with no active role at all; but when just being there wasn't even enough, that's when it's hard to believe that the writers intended Dean's role to mean anything of value or consequence.

Despite what Eric Kripke may have said years ago, I personally found the the whole thing to be, ironically, very anti-humanistic . It wasn't a lowly man who made any difference at all - it was things, inanimate objects (just look how much of the episode was devoted to the Impala), plus a lot supernatural demon blood that saved the world in the end. And that's just not what I thought this show was supposed to be about.

I don't believe Dean had to be so completely yanked out of the game plan to get to that end - especially given the insta-resurrect ions of literally everybody. If this is supposed to be a story about Dean and Sam choosing family and being heroes and having this supposedly tight familial and human bond, then we should have seen them side by side fighting their mutual vesseldoms, or better yet, actually keeping "each other human" by neither being vessels and finding a way together, as was said at least three different times, to stop the apocalypse. But it had nothing to do with team work, or the brother's bond and supposedly codependent relationship. And because it didn't, like Chris-J, I have no idea what Dean has left, since all he can ever be is a lowly human, and I feel like the audience was told that a lowly human is of very little value in the grand scheme of things. I really hate that the supposed five-year arc ended on such an uneven footing, and feeling like it had nothing to do with bond between the Winchester brothers, which I thought was supposed to be the whole point of the series.
Layla
# Layla 2010-07-09 15:39
Huh. I was trying to cut and paste a part of Chris J's post and for some reason, it's not coming through (sorry for the multiple postings).

I was agreeing with his/her idea that Sam always had a juicy, dark destiny storyline and that Dean needs to be as relevant and important for his unique role.
Kathryn
# Kathryn 2010-07-09 15:59
"I don't believe Dean had to be so completely yanked out of the game plan to get to that end”

This, *this* is my huge issue with the last several episodes, and I feel my chain was well and truly yanked by the Show. I think Dean was hugely courageous in turning up even though he had no real weapons to fight with. I also think Sam was hugely courageous in potentially sacrificing himself for an eternity in Hell in order to stop Lucifer. But nothing changes the fact that nothing we were told about Dean’s destiny and role was followed up on - in fact he might as well have been left in Hell, period. He wasn’t diminished in any way shape or form – but his role in this mytharc was. I’m fairly sure this isn't how it was supposed to play out, but the changes that have been confirmed in the last few episodes turned Dean into a reactive bystander. There absolutely was no need for it to happen and IMO it is hugely OOC for him. Epic fail: the finale and the writers’ treatment of Dean – and their treatment of me as a viewer, and everyone else who actually fell for their line. I certainly won’t be buying the S5 DVDs for that reason, and will check out of S6 if it becomes clear they aren’t going to treat Dean like an individual who actually matters in the overall storyline.
Antoinette
# Antoinette 2010-07-09 16:12
Tiffany, I too would've loved to see Dean's ingenuity, perseverance, and leadership play more of a role in the ending of season five.

But I *don't* feel that stuff being missing came from any particular unfairness to just Dean's character. Instead, I chalk that stuff being missing up to season five being generally poorly plotted, written, and overall sadly limp most of the time.

I was also confused/bored/ annoyed Sam's two-season blood-drinking problem (so corny!) and irked how the morality of it seemed to shift depending on what each episode needed. I wanted Sam's dork destiny to end with season four, and am hoping we'll never hear of it again in season six.

For the finale, my heart’s desire was to see Sam and Dean *both* refuse vesseldom and instead end the Apocalypse together in some clever, brotherly way.

In conclusion, I don't think season five was particularly great for either Dean or Sam (or Cas, but that's another post), and although I can understand the finale logically (and admire Dean for staying human), it didn't do anything for me emotionally.
KarenB
# KarenB 2010-07-09 16:13
I totally agree with Chris J and Tara. I have absolutely nothing against Sam or his story, but I feel that Dean was given the short end of the stick this season. I too felt they were building up to him having a significant part in the mytharc. Then nothing but heartbreak. My heart broke in Swan Song when it was the Impala and the toy, not Dean himself, that gave Sam the ability to defeat Lucifer. And I too am tired of him always being the one to apologize or be acused of whining (I'm sorry...you try going to hell for 4 months, then have your brother try to get you to talk about it, and then when you do be accused of whining...I didn't understnad that, nor did I understand it when Bobby said he was whining). I do have hope for season 6 though, and will be eagerly awaiting to see what happens with Dean.
Kris
# Kris 2010-07-09 16:26
I hope for the sake of the show that we do see some honesty with regard to Dean's characterizatio n and story arc in season 6, because from the reactions I’ve seen the majority of fandom (and the majority of bloggers/review ers) weren't happy with what happened. I wouldn't be at all surprised if a lot of the Dean fandom bail out if season 6 doesn't provide some sort of payoff/reward for the fact he was effectively written out of the mytharc. I know I probably won't make so much effort to tune in. I imagine Sera Gamble must be aware of how the majority of the fanbase leans, so I am slightly optimistic.
muse
# muse 2010-07-09 17:46
Alice thank you for opening up your site to alternative POVs.

Excellent posts from Chris_J, Tiffany and several other Supernatural fans who did not feel that season 5 did justice to both Winchester brothers.

I also agree that Dean was incredibly heroic in Swan Song, however I don't think he was THE hero in the same way that Sam was and because this was the finale of Kripke's entire 5-year mytharc, I do feel it ultimately diminished Dean's role in the show retroactively. He was reduced to the the Han Solo or the Samwise who helped enable the true BDH to fulfill his destiny and save the world. That's great for Sam and he certainly deserves his moment of glory, but that does seem counter-intuiti ve to the many claims that this show has two equal lead characters.

I think Dean (and Jensen) deserved to be treated as equals in the story and ultimately the show failed to do that.

Now I don't necessarily think Dean should have said yes to Michael, though I would have liked to see Jensen play that kind of iconic character, even in a dream sequence or something, in the same way that Jared was given the opportunity to play Lucifer.

I also really disliked the way the writers completely turned everything back on Dean so that ultimately all of Sam's mistakes from season 4 came down to Dean being a bad brother because he didn't blindly support all of Sam's dubious choices. If season 5 was supposed to be the season of SAM's redemption, why did it feel like Dean was trying to redeem himself as a brother by doing most of the apologizing and changing after the first couple of episodes?

And finally, where does that leave Dean next year? If he disagrees with Sam, will he be accused of being too over-protective and controlling? Is he now expected to step aside again and play the same Yes-man role for Sam that he played for John? I have some very deep concerns with how they are going to write Dean next year since they have so thoroughly deconstructed his character.

Simply going back to hunting because Sam asked him to is no longer enough because this season told us that the reason the world almost ended was because Dean couldn't step out of his over-protective big brother role, the only role he was ever allowed to have on the show. Now that's gone, along with whatever nebulous connection he was briefly given to the mytharc. So Dean needs to be given a reason that is uniquely his to remain part of the story because doing it just for Sammy would be completely regressive character development.

Again thanks for allowing this discussion Alice. I hope I didn't get too Sam vs. Dean. I confess I don't really know what that means since it's almost impossible to discuss one brother outside of his relationship to the other. Anyway, I apologize if I was out-of-line but I have to admit my faith in this writing team has been severely damaged by this season so I appreciate the opportunity to express some of my frustrations. I am glad to see that I am not alone in that regard.
shadowland
# shadowland 2010-07-09 19:02
Count me in with those applauding Chris J, Tiffany and Tara as well as other Dean fans who have worded the problems with the finale and Dean's arc very eloquently.

The problem with human Dean is that the finale was about supernaturals who overcame supernaturals. It had nothing to do with humanity, nothing to do with brotherhood, nothing to do with family. It had all to do with giving Sam the ultimate hero role and sidelining Dean to being nothing more than, I don't know what, since he served no purpose whatsoever. If this is Kripke's idea of a hero, then Kripke is really confused about what family, love and humanity are really all about. When the hero's faults of vanity, arrogance and pride are verified and glorified, then really, where does humanity stand?

Sam saying no would have been the biggest battle for Sam, a true hero's battle. But that wasn't the case. Sam was told that killing innocents, drinking blood, and then satisfying his own pride in playing hero is what it's all about. How truly pathetic and sad. Meanwhile, Dean gets to get beaten, insulted and thrown under the bus because otherwise, he would have shone too brightly, and this is why I think Dean was left by the wayside, so Sam and Adam could have their whinefest.

Sadly, I don't see season 6 fixing anything. I see it continuing building up one brother at the expense of the other.
shadowland
# shadowland 2010-07-09 19:11
"" The righteous man (and Sam's motive, even clouded by demon blood were righteous) who started the Apocalypse by releasing Lucifer WAS the only one who could stop the fight before it destroyed the world. This fulfills the prophecy equally, it's jut not the way the Angels believed things would work out.""

Since the prophecy said "the rightous man who sheds blood in hell will break the first seal" I would say that having it all of a sudden shift to Sam is jumping the shark and retconning the prophecy.

Dean was the first seal, he was the rightous man and by the prophecy, he should have played a role in stopping it. He would have too, if Kripke had the balls to go there, which, he didn't.
Tiffany
# Tiffany 2010-07-09 19:20
To me, it goes back to the old argument on the show of how Sam gets the plot, Dean gets the characterizatio n. I LOVE Dean's characterizatio n so for me, it's not about whether Dean came across looking like a hero. And I thought the writers did a good job this season of broadening out Sam's characterizatio n. But it's when it comes to the plot, I just feel like there's still this big discrepancy between the brothers. Sam's individual story moves the plot. Dean doesn't have an individual story that really affects the plot. Theoretically, Dean could be in the story or not- it wouldn't really have made a huge difference last season. Sam was needed to stop Lucifer, the Impala was needed to trigger Sam's memories, Adam worked out just fine for Michael, etc. Yes, Dean was there as Sam's support system and that was great. But if the brothers are now supposed to be true peers, then I would have wanted to see the brothers as an equal team, working together, and both equally important in the conclusion to the mytharc.
Alison
# Alison 2010-07-09 20:14
I want to say that individual episodes of this season stand out as the best Dean episodes ever, especially "The End." However, I have to agree with the majority. The writers completely left Dean behind in the major story arcs and I also feel this was unacceptable. I truly believe that had this been the final season, we would have been ver satisfied with the ending, but because of the changes made, we were left just lost.
Kalixa
# Kalixa 2010-07-09 21:15
I can definitely see everyone's point. But I still think Dean's storyline was just as important as Sam's...that Dean was an active member of the mythology.

If it wasn't for Dean, Sam wouldn't have overpowered Lucifer. And as for the prophecy...Dean ACTIVELY went against it (with help from Sam, who helped him in much the same way Dean helped Sam in the finale - by reminding him why he was fighting and giving him the strength to win that fight).

...This is mostly in response to shadowland - they didn't retcon that prophecy, Dean PROVED that he COULD screw destiny. He went against the prophecy by never saying yes, so that in the end it was moot. The righteous man who sheds blood in hell and begins the apocalypse is also Michael's vessel, which means he's the only one that can end it (kill Lucifer) by saying yes. Dean didn't say yes. Instead of killing Lucifer, they put Lucifer back in the cage. They didn't end the apocalypse they postponed it. It's an unfulfilled prophecy.
trina
# trina 2010-07-09 21:17
As I said in the earlier article, I really want to thank some of you for stating Dean's case so perfectly. I rather shamefully admit to previously having a negative reaction to some of the complaints about Dean's place in the series. I still really like what they did overall, but I can also see where the other side is coming from. 3I could also understand where Sam fans were coming from last year even though I absolutely adored his arch.

I agree with those who say that they could have done more with the Dean and Michael connection. We saw quite a bit of interaction between Sam and Lucifer, but Michael was very much in the background.

I do disagree about one thing though, and that is the belief that they tossed out two years of build-up for Dean without any warning. Once it was revealed that the angels were not trying to stop Lilith at all, then everything they had previously said became completely unreliable in terms of humanities best interest. If Dean said yes to Michael and then killed Lucifer, he would have ended it. Just like Castiel said in "On the Head of a Pin". They just left out some important details. If Dean did what the prophecy said he would do, he would have destroyed half the world.
KadyM
# KadyM 2010-07-09 22:55
“I remember it being the righteous man who started it is the only one who can stop it. This leaves things very open to interpretation.”

I don't see how the righteous man can possibly have been Sam since the prophesy was that he had to shed blood in Hell. Canon is that it was Dean, and right up until the final three or four episodes canon also was that Dean was Michael’s vessel and the one who would end it.

“If Dean did what the prophecy said he would do, he would have destroyed half the world.”

Not necessarily. Why would it be any less likely for Dean to somehow be able to control Michael than for Sam to be able to control Lucifer? Why could Dean not have said yes to Michael and persuaded Michael to use the rings?

On balance it was a far more logical approach for Dean to say yes to what was ostensibly a “good” angel and pursue Lucifer while he was in a weakened vessel, than for Sam to hand Lucifer his one true vessel on a plate, thereby boosting his strength. YMMV but having Sam be able to overcome the Devil will always be the point at which this show jumped Shamu, never mind the shark. It was ridiculous, and embarrassingly badly acted too.
muse
# muse 2010-07-09 23:31
"His success came from a lifetime of action from his brother. Sam may have sacrificed his life at the end of Swan Song but Dean had been sacrificing his life since he was four years old, putting aside his life to take care of his brother."

This is a very good point but I personally feel like it got lost amongst all the commentary about how stupid, useless and insignificant Dean was and how he apparently failed at his only true role, that of being a good brother and that his sacrifice to save Sam essentially doomed the world. Not to mention his nearest and dearest continually beating him down verbally or physically whenever he failed to live up to their over-indulged expectations.

Amidst all of that, I guess I needed more than a couple of sentimental flashback montages to suggest that Dean had contributed anything positive to saving the world, besides the car, of course.

I get that the writers were probably going for some sort of dramatic irony with the stupid, insignificant comments, but if that's the case, then am I to assume the same when Bobby waxes poetic about Sam's (and only Sam's) heroism or when they have every character tell us how brilliant he is?

The writers treat the characters so differently within the text of the show that it has become very difficult for me to believe they actually do see both brothers as the show's equal heroes. From my experience with TV, the real heroes get "he/she's so awesome and special commentary" while the sidekick/comic relief characters is constantly mocked and put in their place. The show has always done this with Sam and Dean but it was ratcheted up to the nth degree in season 5.

It makes me wonder, as a Dean fan, why I should even bother with season 6 now I that I've been told fairly unequivocally that my favorite guy is nothing but the second-banana in someone else's story.
Alice
# Alice 2010-07-10 00:53
I do wonder, I get there is deep frustration, but does anyone like that Dean went with Lisa and Ben at the end? Does anyone find that setup intriguing? I'm interested in his struggles with that role and how he could possibly walk away from that in season six.
muse
# muse 2010-07-10 02:06
Dean going to Lisa and Ben was one of my favorite parts of the episode and the only scene that really affected me emotionally because I thought Jensen's acting was so powerful. If this had been the series finale, I would have been perfectly satisfied with that ending for Dean and even for Sam since we know he got sprung from Hell somehow.

I do think there is excellent potential in the storyline for Dean next year. However, I just do not trust this writing team to do justice to Dean with the story. There are just too many ways for this to be a set-up for yet another failure for Dean. He won't be able to adjust to normal or Lisa will see what a loser he is without hunting and kick him to the curb or worst of all, they'll kill them off in order to get Dean back on the road with Sam.

I don't think the writers will be able to resist yukking it up with the fish-out-of water scenario, nor their famous "role reversals." I think they'll go for some quick easy fix where someone will tell Dean to suck it up loser and he will apologize nicely and totally take the blame for the failure of the relationship in whatever form. That's how they "fixed" his PTSD and his relationship with Sam so I have no reason to believe this will turn out any differently.

So ultimately, while I think the storyline has wonderful potential, I literally dread how bad it may make Dean look. Meanwhile Sam, no doubt, will be the BDH who has been saving people all along and now has to drag poor, pathetic Dean back to what was once his calling and help learn it's true value again.
Rlwgsd
# Rlwgsd 2010-07-10 03:18
Sorry if this is messy but i am typing it up at 3:00 after getting home from work.

I have to say I love the articles on this website. Over the course of the last month I read a lot of them and sometimes even if i dont agree with the opinion express in the article i will go back and look at an episode to try and see where the writer is coming from. That being said with regards to those who think that deans role this season was dimished as sam's was increased was all wrong.

First off As was said that "the righteous man who breaks the first seal is the only one that can stop it." But it does not tell us how he is to stop the apocolypse just that he is to stop it from Happening. Yes everyone had a destiny and yet again they are forgetting that although god said this it what will happen he also gave us free will in order that we could make up our on minds. That is exactly what Dean did, he made his own decisions based on what is right and not what people expected of him or had planned for him.

As for the opinion that Sam is really the one that saved the world by himself by jumping in the pit you are wrong.
With out Dean showing up to be with his brother when he was needed the most Sam would no have had the strength to control the devil and then jump in the hole. His anger would have given the devil more power and he may just have won the battle. Any man who can knowingly walk into danger just to tell his brother that "he is here for him and will not let him die alone" is more that just a supporting player. And who is to say that that was not the plan all along and that the reason that god went away was always having to hear the angels arguing and disagreeing with the plans and wanting the apocolypse to happen and he decided to show them what the "power of love" is really about.

I would suggest that you rewatch season 5 with an open mind and you may come to the same conclusions.

Besides the greatest strength of Sam and Dean has always been to come up with their own unique plan and kick ass with it.
Sasha
# Sasha 2010-07-10 03:56
In answer to the above question, I have to say, I'm not really excited for it. In fact, the scenario sets Dean up even further from what I actually wish for the character.

Matter of fact is that this is a supernaturally- themed, action-based show, depicting the life of hunters. When the show started with Sam in the civilian life, it was different because he had a destiny that drew him back into the hunting world and the story couldn't start without him because it was his story being told.

Dean doesn't have a destiny or set-up for a Supernatural story, he doesn't have powers, he isn't the "scholar", for a long time now he wasn't showcased particularly as a skilled fighter/ a talented con man/a quick thinker etc, he isn't needed or wanted as a mentor/protecto r/nurturer anymore so what reason would they give for dragging him back from the mundane suburbia life?

I'm sure he will go because Jensen Ackles is a contracted regular but that is a behind-the-scen es-reason that has nothing to do with the story.

Just the opposite, the character may now be played as rusty as a hunter, unwilling to get back to saving people - and it would be hard not to play that as unheroic and diminishing further.

He may get an emotional througline from that but again, this is not needed for the story, unless the show is a bona fide soap. And if it's played like the post-hell PSTD with a lot of "oh, do stop whining, you wuss", then no thanks.

I wish for the character to rise up again, to be played as kick-ass, to WIN some fights instead of being the punching bag, to have his leadership abilities account for something, to be played as smart and have that acknowledged, to demand and receive respect, in short to be active and equal.

I don't think Season 5, especially the Finale gave me that - in some ways, I see it as the antithesis of what I outlined - and that was WITH a supposed solid mythic storyline.

Now he doesn't have that, I have even less hope.

Besides, there are all kinds of possibilities to make the character look bad here:
- be portrayed as a drunken failure in the civilian life who goes back to hunting because that might be all he is nominally good for
- be portrayed as a comical failure in the civilian life because it's the role of goofy sidekick
- actually strike up a positive connection with Lisa and especially Ben and then up and leave to "go back to war" and look like a jerk for it
- don't really care about saving people anymore but dragged back by Sam by his metaphorical ears like an unruly child
- follow Sam back like he always followed John and recreate the dynamic in which he was never an equal and is seen as not being able to act like an independent adult for once

Arguably, he may have been needed in the big culmination of the five year mytharc to drive a car (which I don't classify in even the smalles margin as an important, unique or equal role but that is done) but it is simply not a good enough reason for the continued presence of the character in the story.

Edlund described him as "the chauffeur of destiny". Well, anybody can drive that car, blasphemous as that may sound. And no matter how beloved or popular a sidekick is, the set-up of hero stories in the Campbellian tradition means their travel companions are exchangeable (their mentors aren't so much but that's the role that is tradtionally killed off half-way to allow the hero to come of age and fulfill his final destiny by himself as is the point of such stories).

So, after five years, I want more for Dean. I think he deserves his own big mythic and heroic story where he gets his big moment of victory and redemption in the end. He has earned that IMO.
Tara
# Tara 2010-07-10 10:03
ALICE: "I get there is deep frustration, but does anyone like that Dean went with Lisa and Ben at the end? Does anyone find that setup intriguing? I'm interested in his struggles with that role and how he could possibly walk away from that in season six."

Alice, this was one of the few parts of the finale that I did like, and I agree if - and that's a big IF - they write it correctly and do Dean justice here, there are a ton of possibilities with this story line.

But I can't say I trust in the writing staff anymore, especially when it comes to Dean as a character in his own right. There are too many ways they could screw this up and use it simply to make Dean look like a loser - and Dean is not a loser, and if they do that, I probably won't be able to continue to watch the show anymore. And I'd hate that, but after so thoroughly diminishing Dean at the end of the fifth season, the writers frankly owe him here. I hope they choose the high path with this story, and not the low one.

I think it would be interesting to see Dean struggling to make it in "civilian" life, and in a life he has been saying for years that he wanted. I want to see him forge a real relationship with these people - but, of course, it shouldn't be a cake-walk. Ultimately I hope we see that Dean managed it - and so when the time comes that he must go back to hunting, that sets up a serious dilemma, much like a solder being Stop-Lossed back into active duty in a war zone after having already sacrificed and put in his years.

I think the writers can keep Lisa and Ben in Dean's life by, again, using the analogy of the military family who must live with their soldiers going back to war whenever they are called.
Tiffany
# Tiffany 2010-07-10 11:38
I wholeheartedly agree with Sasha's post.

I did like seeing Dean with Lisa, to know that at least he had someone there to comfort him in his grieving. For whatever reason, the writers chose to sideline his friendship with Cas last season and, in my eyes, Bobby pretty much stopped being a source of positive reinforcement for Dean after "Are You There?". So,to me, Dean letting more people into his life and being around someone who cares about him was a nice ending to the finale.

But, personally, I don't care to see yet another season long emo storyline for Dean. We've already had Dean grieving for John, Dean being scared about going to Hell, Dean feeling responsible for Sam, etc. I know Jensen does a great job with those and it'd be fine for a couple of episodes. But Dean dealing with an early midlife identity crisis just sounds like just more filler, imo. I could see it as a sub theme for Dean this season, much as mourning Jess or wanting normal were to Sam's overall mytharc hero's journey. But since this is a genre show, an arc dealing with some aspect of the supernatural, that moves the season forward and wouldn't be possible if Dean were taken out of the story: that's what I'd hope to see.
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-07-10 12:13
What a fascinating discussion. Very interesting points have been made in rather eloquent fashion, and huge kudos for the maturity level in all these posts.

I personally am going to reserve judgment about Dean's overall arc until season 6 plays out. I'm curious to see where it goes, and feeling towards Dean in season 5 might change based on that.

Alice, as for your question about Dean going with Ben and Lisa, I did like that part of the episode. Dean has been wanting a family of his own for a long time, and I am glad he'll be able to experience that, at least for a little while. And the adjustment to civilian life, or lack of an adjustment, will be fascinating, too. The only sticking point I had with Dean going to Lisa is that at that point in his life, he wasn't going to her because he chose to or because he really wanted to. He was going because he promised Sam he would, and that makes a huge difference to me in terms of whether he's mentally in the right place for their relationship. Being with someone out of obligation is completely different than being with someone by choice. So that again leaves me curious to see how that whole situation will play out. Again, I'll reserve judgment until I see how the show deals with this.
Tigershire
# Tigershire 2010-07-10 13:35
I think what bothers me most about this whole thing is that many times, when folks are writing about either their love or dislike (and mainly this reflects on the negative stuff) of this season, it that many times it comes across as accusing Eric Kripke and Co of purposely downgrading Dean.

I honestly do no believe this to be true. They work to do what they can to deliver the story as best they can. Some of their constraints are outside of their control (budget for example), others are the nature of multiple people telling a story. They are, as we are, only human.

And I really don't think the writers sit around trying to find a way to write Dean's story (or Sam's or any of the other characters for that matter) in a way that will piss off the fandom. :D

Now, that certainly doesn't mean you have to forgive and forget and love what you see. People are absolutely allowed to like or dislike what they see. This is art after all and it is subjective.

But remember, they are not psychic, omnipotent or godly in any way and while you may think "what the hell are the writers doing, that really did NOT work" try to be a little forgiving of their human failings.
Suze
# Suze 2010-07-10 14:20
I'm a bit late and everyone else has put it better already but here goes ...

I miss the old Titties-and-Bee r, Give-em-Hell-Re gardless Dean and I want him back. I don't like the new Emo-Domestic Dean, it feels all weird and wrong to see him playing house and you just know it's all going to end in tears and give him even more to gloom on about next season.

I'm living in hope but as lots of other people have pointed out, the balance of power in the relationship has now shifted so far to one side it's rather hard to imagine how he's going to regain his Gung-Ho mojo next time around, but fingers crossed anyway ...
Callie
# Callie 2010-07-10 14:27
>>But remember, they are not psychic, omnipotent or godly >>in any way.

I guess on the account of Dean's place (or non-place) in the story, I find it impossible to believe they didn't know how things in the Finale would get over with parts of the fandom.

Dean not being involved in the mytharc was a very consistent gripe from Season 1 on. It was adressed previously. And by Season 4, it was adressed again by Kripke himself, Edlund and Jensen who all said in variations how now Dean is finally a part of the arc. The implicit statement in that is that he wasn't before.

Taking that arc and giving it to a tertiary character, throwing in a meta statement of "you are no longer a part of this story" (Michael for example could have phrased it differently) and having the creator/God rant preemptively against fans who would be critical all tell me they were aware.

Maybe Dean's character was always just to be the snarky sidekick a la Han Solo, popular but non-essential to the story. Maybe it was just always a Chosen One story at its core, the point of them being that Chosen Ones don't have equals in the story, otherwise they wouldn't be called the Chosen One. Maybe the writing team simply doesn't see anything problematic or unequal or diminishing in it. I don't agree but fine, it's their project, they don't have to give the character squat.

But I can't believe at this point they weren't aware that it would be simply majorly disappointing to a group of fans.

My wish is just that this time they will be upfront about it. They don't have to give the story away but don't tell us anything about the character that won't come to fruition.

For four Seasons now in a row we have had at some point or another gotten a throughline of breaking Dean down. And so far he hasn't really been rebuild into a place of strength. Maybe for short periods of time, it looked like it but ultimately he became quite frankly lesser than he was before. For example he seems a much more competent hunter to me at the start of the show (and that is taking into account that their battles got bigger as time went on). and while he has matured in some ways, the things the character seem to have flat-out lost don't seem to make up for it.
I find this to be different than Sam's journey who even in his darkest times always came from a certain place of strength.

Perhaps, that is not in the cards for Dean. Perhaps, this is the story of the deconstruction of a hero, the downgrade, as painful as I may find it.

And if so, if there was just no hope of him ever getting a real plot arc or any kind of specialness or even just to regain his strength and finally be respected by those around him in a way I think everybody deserves respect, then yes, I'd like to know as soon as possible to make a clean break. At the risk of sounding over-invested, it hurts on some level to watch a continuous humiliation of my favourite character. And it hurts doubly so when I see all the other character rising from their ashes like Phoenix, just not him.
Suze
# Suze 2010-07-10 14:58
Sometimes with a long story you latch on to a particular phase in a character's developement that resonates with you and you really identify with, and then when the story moves that character on you feel deprived and a bit betrayed. F'rinstance, I really got into grubby wandering Strider in the film of LOTR but once he was all scrubbed up into King of Gondor I went right off him. We might all be pining for a facet of DW that's not coming back ... ( Bloody hope I'm wrong, though. )
Tigershire
# Tigershire 2010-07-10 15:07
You have a good point Suze. And that can also be a similar situation with the writers. They may have had a bit of tunnel vision and what seemed like a good idea, just didn't come off to fans as planned.

In this thread we have all shown how many of us have very, very different views on this season and on Dean's character progression, or lack there of. That is why I don't believe there was any intent by Kripke or the writers to make Dean any less. They likely thought the same way those who really enjoyed this season. They can see and probably argue quite successfully, their Point of View on how Dean was not marginalized. Some folks just don't think they were successful.

And this is where I say - I may not agree with your opinion, but I will defend your right to have it.
mysticpeach
# mysticpeach 2010-07-10 16:26
I've had some difficulty connecting with Dean's character ever since season 3. I think a good part of the reason is because, unlike many other fans who I do respect, I stopped caring about Sam and Dean's relationship. I still enjoy them as individual characters, but together, I feel they have said and done everything that I would find entertaining.

So I appreciate that they have grown apart and grown up. I believe this makes their relationship much more interesting than when everything revolved around each other because this means that they have evolved, as all good characters should, and it also opens up new possibilities that affect everything in their lives. That makes it all very refreshing for me.

As for Dean's characterizatio n last season, I thought he came off a bit too much like a caricature. Too much horsing around last season shattered the pacing and feeling of urgency and suspense, and I believe that affected all of the characters involved. The two I saw hurt the most though were Dean and Castiel (I'm not a shipper). They both went from important to sidekicks.
AnnaB
# AnnaB 2010-07-10 17:06
***Maybe it was just always a Chosen One story at its core, the point of them being that Chosen Ones don't have equals in the story, otherwise they wouldn't be called the Chosen One. Maybe the writing team simply doesn't see anything problematic or unequal or diminishing in it. I don't agree but fine, it's their project, they don't have to give the character squat. ***

Yes, I believe you are right, Callie. I also think that Kripke always intended to tell the story of Sam, the reluctant hero and chosen ONE, and Dean was always meant to be the snarky sidekick big-brother whose job it is to support the chosen one. And that's exactly what we ended with in Swan Song. And I understand that some fans are fine with Dean being the supportive sidekick to Sam, but I guess I'm ready for Dean to be the chosen one as well.

And looking back on the finale, I do think Dean was marginalized and his role diminished. He was easily replaced in the mytharc. I think I wouldn't have felt this quite so much if Adam had not replaced Dean's role in the mytharc. The only role he was left for Dean was as supporter of Sam, much like Bobby and Cas were also the supporters of Sam. Sam had a team of supporters which is a great thing, but I do think that they could have given more to do than just to be part of the team of supporters of Sam.

And yes Dean does represent humanity. But so do Bobby and Ellen and Jo and other humans we've met who bravely fight evil. Dean is not unique or special just because he's a human who fights evil. And if it was important to Kripke that "humanity" save the day... then why did Sam have to drink more demon blood (something that a *demon* helped prepare him for) in order to save the world? It wasn't humanity that saved the world at all. And human!Dean ending up bloody, beaten, and helpless at the end showed us that.

I'd like some answers from the writers about why Dean can't hold an equal place as Sam in their story, why Dean too can't be a chosen one with a special destiny or a heroic arc... but I guess at this point it doesn't really matter. What's done is done.

I don't know, maybe I should just be grateful that we have another season. But after reading some of the great points made here about Dean's role (or lack of role) in the past seasons, and especially the points made by Sacha and muse about where the writers might take Dean (with respect to Lisa and Ben) in season 6, I just don't think I can take it if Dean is diminished even more or treated like a total failure who will be forced back into hunting because of his failure. And then if on top of that, if he is still just the supporter of Sam and Sam's destiny... I don't think I'll continue to watch.

Sam's storyline should be really interesting though since he defeated Lucifer on earth and was actually the devil's vessel in hell (presumably) and he'll have mystery surrounding his return. I'm sure he'll be important to the angels and the demons. I'd just like to see Dean have a role of importance other than because he is Sam's brother. I guess we'll see. I wish we had more spoilers! :P
Suze
# Suze 2010-07-10 17:49
With luck we get to find out who/what he is when he's not being Sam's minder or Daddy's little helper ... He's always defined himself by his relationships to other people ... Time to be his own man, maybe?

I'd hate to lose the Winchesters V's The World dynamic though, it's what makes the show as far as I'm concerned. Just have to wait and see!

:roll::
Shadow
# Shadow 2010-07-10 20:04
oh and I forgot to mention Sam drank blood...even demon blood, Sam was under influence violent with words (but he was hurt too) But what Sam did, was further for some internet sides to attacking, "killing" his character so Dean can be free from Sam (it isn`t THIS side of course, because I would not post then)

What I am trying to say is just this: Sam should fall, he was supposed to fall and the way he fall brought the fandom partly to hate the character, but I can`t understand that. The show told from Dean`s POV didn`t make it better for Sam (and people who like Sam)The other people did really open a killing field towards Sam. To redeem Sam they needed to take the things Sam did in relation to Dean, to Bobby and even to Castiel. All of them had to agree that drinking the blood was okay and needed for Sam`s plan. Sam even didn`t say much more only in a few episodes. I MISSED SAM SAYING THINGS TALKING TO OTHERS FOR SUCH A LONG TIME AND MISSED IT A LOT AND I CAN´T EVEN THINK HOW LONG).

Maybe it is only that some fans who were used to see Dean in the forefront are now disappointed, but I think I suffered such a long time because of the lack of Sam, that I was so amazed to hear and see Sam in action the last few episodes.

And I felt Dean so present and so important in SS, but it would have been nice to see more of their brotherly bond in season 5.

Someone on another board said the emotional impact of the episode was so strong because only one of the brothers gave his consent, not the two of them. So Dean could act like he did. And the memories about the Impala was because of their strong bond and that Dean was there and spoke to Sam, Sam only got control in that moment where the spark met his eye and then ...it came flooding.
I simply think that the writers and EK did to much fan service till to a point where they almost couldn`t return to their original story. I costed Sam insight emotions onscreen and the "fulfilled mytharc" for Dean (but not his emotional arc) Dean stayed human and said no and finally let go and tries to keep a promise. I think he has not a good time, but he is a hero and will always be.
I just hope you get my point, because when I start to write I search for english words and then I am drifting to this point or that point and I am loosing a red thread very quick. Sorry for that!
I love SS so much that I have rewatched it very often, but I would have wished for more brother bonding on screen and the brother talks, how they are mending and healing.
Dean wasn`t diminished, he was in character. He was even more Dean than before! And he made his biggest step in their relationship, to finally let go of his brother for him was the hardest thing to do, because he was more parental than John! But I would have loved to see their relaionship sooner and more onscreen...

And I want to add to the last post, not only Dean has to find out more about himself and being more confident,...Sa m too!
Shadow
# Shadow 2010-07-10 20:08
Oh, my first LONG part is gone, oh, I wrote so much, now it is gone, baah, sorry the other half is not there it is lost! A long long comment*pout*
Kendra
# Kendra 2010-07-10 21:05
I think many in the fandom feel used and lied to and to claim that the writers did not know that those viewers would feel that way, with how the finale went down is ludicrous, IMO-and Chuck/God/Kripk e's little rant at the end before he had one review of it, bears this out, again IMO. They knew exactly what they were doing and that many were going to be upset and feel betrayed by it, but they chose to do it, anyway. And after they fulfilled so many fan wishes for Sam this season, to have the one that was looked forward to the most for Dean(importance of his own and separate from Sam's in the myth-arc), yanked away at the last instant was especially hurtful precisely because it did not have to be yanked away as thoroughly as they did it. And speaking for myself, that was absolutely devastating. And frankly, I don't know how to take it any other way than that the writers just don't care as much about the Dean character-or his fans.
And yet I'm STILL willing to give them the opportunity to prove me wrong, they just shouldn't take too long doing it. Half their fandom has one foot out the door because of huge writing mistakes that they made this season. I hope they learned from them, but at this point, nothing they can say will make me believe in the writers again, or the story they might try to tell, unless it's backed up in the new storyboard, and only after the new story is brought to it's fruition. It has to be that way for some of us now because the writers through some of their writing choices in S5, have destroyed the trust and hope of half the fandom-in them and in the show, as a whole. IMO, they knew/know exactly what they did to lose that trust and they know what they need to to do to win it back. The question is do they want to?
Tiffany
# Tiffany 2010-07-10 21:20
"At the same token though, I like that Dean didn't say yes. So, I'm on the fence about what should have/could have been done about Michael."

IMO, the problem wasn't so much about Dean saying "yes": it saying "yes" out of desperation and giving in to Michael's plan that was the issue. Sam said "yes" too but he had a plan on how to defeat Lucifer. I think the same could have been done for Dean-that he figured out a way to also overpower Michael from the inside in order to defeat him. Maybe we could have learned that Michael bestowed some of his grace on a pregnant Mary in "Song", to prepare his vessel. Or that Dean's staring at a dying Zach received some temporary angelic mojo: Dean might have been able to use one of those to help him win.

To me, in those situations, Dean would have still been using his free will to do what he needed to do to stop the apocalypse. He didn't need permanent powers and being temporarily possessed by Michael wouldn't have made him any less human than anyone else who's been possessed. But since that's not the direction Kripke chose to take, it's all a moot point now.
trina
# trina 2010-07-10 22:10
Kendra wrote:
"Half their fandom has one foot out the door because of huge writing mistakes that they made this season. I hope they learned from them, but at this point, nothing they can say will make me believe in the writers again, or the story they might try to tell, unless it's backed up in the new storyboard, and only after the new story is brought to it's fruition."

Sorry, hot button issue for me right now, but I loved the finale. I loved Sam's story and I loved Dean's story. Does that mean I am wrong for feeling that way? Is your way of seeing this story and the characters the "right" way? Since some claim that the writers made a mistake writing things the way they did, where does that leave the viewers that were happy with it? Opinion is not fact, and not liking something does not mean it was a mistake.
Kendra
# Kendra 2010-07-10 22:31
To tell a large segment of a fandom(and the actor involved also) that you're going to give their favorite character his own role/place in the myth-arc and then lead them on for 41 episodes with the thought they would deliver on that promise, only to have them yank it away at the last instant was the biggest mistake made and the one I was talking about foremost(althou gh there were many others made through-out the season, and yes, you are correct these are only opinions, but I didn't think I had to put that in every sentence). And even most here agree with that. Maybe they did it because of S6(although *I* STILL feel it wasn't necessary). I guess we'll see. I'm glad you enjoyed the finale, I simply couldn't.
trina
# trina 2010-07-10 23:30
I'm sorry that I was snippy. I have been having a...discussion about the difference between "it's bad because I don't like it" and "I don't like it because...." and I let that bleed into here.

I do understand your disappointment though. One of the reasons Sam is my favorite is because of his powers, and the place he has in the mytharc. Watching him struggle with that and all that it means is a huge part of why I love this show. I do feel that that part of Sam's story is probably done, and I am OK with that because there was resolution, but if I felt it had simply disappeared without any rhyme or reason I would have not been a happy viewer.
Shadow
# Shadow 2010-07-11 06:43
anielle,

-I love your comment, to be the last man standing and to let go of all that who he was, he was a driven too (regarding Sam). Their bond brought them to the point where the world could have been destroyed, but in the same time it saved the world.
When this is not including Dean into the myth arc, when I don`t know.
And for fans who are not satiesfied, yeah, I can`t change their opinion, but I found more people who are satiesfied with the end of season 5.
What you said about Dean`s arc I think is true, he struggled probably since John died and he was tired.
I can only speak for me, but I never saw Dean diminished in SN, he was the other half when not more and we had so much episodes with his struggles (I thought this even before I started to read anything about SN. I think it should be satiesfying for people who are paying more attention to Dean. Even Jensen said he is happy with Deans arc/ending.
And I think for the two of them the writers changed massivly the myth arc. I think originally Sam should have had special powers, tainted with YED blood to get a hold in him, and I thought with using the powers Sam changed going into darkness (a bit, but not entirely) and then he raised Lucifer (but he wanted to free Dean from his deal), and I think in the end Sam should have used powers from the inside to defeat Lucifer. But the writers changed both arcs and let them win the human way. Sam had to surrender himself to a powerful being who was convinced the "cockroaches" wouldn`t win. And Sam NEEDED to do this and Dean was very important with his re-trusting in Sam and support him in a really matured way. The heaviest part in the finale was to let go from Sam -for Dean! That was was he always did (to hold on), even when he wasn`t in the shape for this for a very long time.

Alice, I copied the whole text before sending, and I saw already the first part on your side. When I went back to send the second part, the first part was lost. Do you mean I should copy my long post in "Word" first?
Sasha
# Sasha 2010-07-11 07:23
I think it comes down to a fundamental difference of opinion on what constitutes an important role.

For example, Sam was important in a global sense because he was chosen to be Lucifer's vessel - that was his overriding arc position - and that destiny played itself out by him defeating Lucifer. Now on all that Dean has no bearing. If there had never been a Dean in the show, this would still have been true for Sam.

What I had hoped for after Season 4 was that Dean now would be a true equal, that he had an important purpose, completely unrelated to Sam. Just like vice versa. How that purpose would have ultimately played out is a different question but at the very least I didn't want to see it be a red herring. In the end, Dean never had a purpose beyond Sam.

However, the problem with that is that Dean's self worth issues, the way he identified his only worth in what he could do for his family, how demons and other creatures told him he was insignificant, how Bobby asked him if his life didn't mean anything before in that scene in the Season 2 Finale - that was ultimately all true. His only worth to the world WAS in relation to Sam. He WAS just that insignificant as everybody told him. :sad:

And even as such, he didn't do much beyond driving a car to the final confrontation. I don't view his sacrifice in letting his brother go because it is not his sacrifice to make. He never had physical ownership of Sam so what Sam chooses to do with his life has always been Sam's choice. Just as it was ultimately his choice to say yes to Lucifer and his action to overcome Lucifer, use the rings, open the portal and jump in.

Dean can "let" Sam go in his mind but I consider it a meaningless decision insofar as he has no power in that regard one way or the other. I can decide that it won't rain today but even if it doesn't, doesn't mean it was a true choice that had any real bearing.

And it's saddening that as Dean was the one to break the first seal, he didn't get a chance of redemption by really participating in the saving of the world. A car - that for example Bobby could have driven to that battlefield just the same - got more of it.

Now that the storyline is over (presumably), he will likely never get a chance of personal redemption. Not to mention get a chance to see himself as worthy as an individual and on a grander scale because I don't think in the narrative of the story he is allowed to be either.

Personally, I was gleeful and excited when the show had the guts to send Dean to hell because I had feared Sam would just save him with his powers and Dean would never get an arc place. Then Season 4 rolled around and I was overjoyed how things seemed to be going. In a way, this makes the crushing disappointment of the Finale worse. Was it an emotional episode for me? Yes, but not in a good way at all.

Dean may be my favourite character but if this had been the Series Finale, I would have voted to throw him into the cage in a heartbeat and stay there for all eternity of torment if it had come after active participation in defeating Lucifer. In fiction, I have to say being the glorious, conquering hero - even if they die - is so much more of a preferable role to me than the little helper who lives on. The latter is perfectly fine for recurring characters like Bobby but for leads, I can't take it seriously.
Shadow
# Shadow 2010-07-11 09:31
Hi Sasha,

and for me it was not satiesfying how Sam`s struggles were handled, almost in the background, I even had to search for sides where this character is appreciated and loved like here so I could read more about him. It wasn`t nice what I read about Sam in some comments (not here). I saw posters who gushed over Dean and Castiel and wished that Sam should die and stay dead, so Dean can finally live his life. I even wished to have for Sam NO more powers and not being Lucifers vessel, but to see a real deep emotional story arc, finally culminating in his redemption. He needed it. I wished to see more of Sam`s struggles, inners, turmoils, his connections to others. But Sam was cut out (alienated from others and it breakes once again my heart to write that) for the big final ultimate sacrifice. And I could only watch closely at Sam and see that he is still there, with all his heart, a little from Sam I used to know also there. I always feeled deeply with this character.

I think Dean had already his redemption. He sufferd in hell for 30 years. He eventually broke there, understandable. Maybe a part of his soul will always be absent for originally making that deal with a demon and then going to hell. Who would come back after this like the man he used to be?
Dean stood up against these demons with wings in season 5. Sometimes I think Dean had this redemption his whole life already, how he always protected Sam and did not develope own wishes for himself(and Sam needed protection, this we do know now after SS) When Dean wouldn`t have been in Sam`s life, Sam never would have survived.
It sounds weird, like I would have wanted for Sam to have Deans arc and you would have wanted for Dean to have Sam`s arc.
EK shouldn`t have thrown so much red herrings, that was fan service, but the real story behind is told and in the end humanity won.

But the most important thing is the brotherly relationship. That is what is holding me in the serie, their connection and bond. In the end the bond did win!

And finally for all viewers was it showed that Sam is still on the right side. With Dean we knew it!

For the end of the finale I would have liked the brothers being together, whether alive or not, but together!
Sasha
# Sasha 2010-07-11 09:56
>But the most important thing is the brotherly relationship. That is what is holding me in the serie, their connection and bond. In the end the bond did win!

That was admittedly my other big problem in Season 5. Unlike many fans, I did not mind the estrangement in Season 4 because I expected their bond would be rebuild from that in something better and stronger and more positive for both characters.

However, in my personal understandings of what constitutes a good relationship, I didn't see that and in fact felt ultimately Dean's character was humiliated in order for the "bond" to come back. Whereas I loved how Season 1 and early Season 2 brought two estranged family members back there, the way it happened in Season 5 was pretty much a deal-breaker for me.

Maybe that is why I can't believe in Dean having a meaningful contribution and their bond saving the world despite Dean being a passive character there. I can't believe in that bond anymore so how can I believe that it would defeat Lucifer?

As for Dean and redemption, while I personally don't think breaking under torture and breaking the first seal was avoidable - I believe Alistair was lying about John because a 100 years? Give me a break, that only served to further belittle Dean - the character himself would view it as needing redemption. And it can't be found in the past because you can't pre-redeem yourself. And it can't be found in hell because there was were his perceived griveous sin happened.

And if nothing else, the character of Dean doesn't strike me as someone who would pathetically cling to Sam's victory for himself. Ergo, in his mind, he'd still be unredeemed and short of getting another chance at saving the world (to match the sin of almost destroying it), he likely will always be.

Maybe Season 6 will surprise me. Maybe someone will tell him he, just for himself, unrelated to anybody, is significant for something greater and it won't turn out a lie. Maybe someone will tell him he actually is smart, despite not having a higher education. Maybe he will have victories in hunts again, win fights and kick ass. Maybe he will be respected for it if that happens and no more "stop whining".

I'm not sure any of these will come to pass, I try not to have high expectations so as not to be disappointed further. Sigh.
Chris_J
# Chris_J 2010-07-11 10:47
Alice replied: "You see, the way I see it, Dean still has some big connections with angels, not to mention that he is somehow a "true servant of God" since he can kill The Whore of Babylon and Zachariah. I'm wondering it there's chaos in both Heaven and Hell if Dean's importance becomes big in that regards. It's all speculation though. We'll have to wait and see."


I really hope you are right, Alice. Because from my view, it seems like we were being led to believe that Dean himself was someone special in the scheme of things. That's why I and many others were so disappointed by the finale because Dean was so easily replaced by Adam and at the moment Michael said that Dean was no longer part of this story, it seemed (to me) that was the SHOW telling us that Dean's role was never meant to be anything more than as one of the supporters of Sam's destiny. I too hope the show will give us some answers about why this was all dropped suddenly in the finale and maybe Dean's role will be addressed next season (fingers crossed!).


Shadow wrote: "Maybe it is only that some fans who were used to see Dean in the forefront are now disappointed,"

Honestly, after reading through all of the wonderful posts here, I am confused as to why you would believe this is the reason some fans are concerned about Dean's role on the show? In my opinion, people have presented some very good arguments as to why they feel Dean's role has been diminished (especially in the finale) by dropping him from the mytharc. I don't see that anyone here is saying this should only be the story of Dean or that we prefer it when Dean alone is in the forefront. What I am saying is that Dean deserves to have an EQUAL place as Sam in the show and he deserves to be EQUALLY special for who he is in the show and he too deserves a destiny/heroic arc. He broke the first seal, he too deserves a redemption arc where his actions matter. And maybe Dean's redemption arc is still to come? I hope so.


Trina wrote: "One of the reasons Sam is my favorite is because of his powers, and the place he has in the mytharc. Watching him struggle with that and all that it means is a huge part of why I love this show."

I agree that watching Sam struggle with his powers and his "dark" destiny IS very interesting and it's been a great storyline for Sam over the past 5 seasons (and I'm assuming will continue next season). But Dean has no powers of his own to struggle with. And now, Dean has no destiny or role in the mytharc. His only role in the end was to allow Sam to do what he wanted to do and to be part of his team of supporters. Sam was THE story. Sam was THE hero. Sam's destiny was THE arc and all of the other characters (Bobby, Cas, and Dean) reacted to this. As a Dean fan, I am very frustrated with the writers because I feel Dean's role was diminished when Adam took his place in the mytharc and Dean was left to just sit on the ground and watch, helpless to do anything.


Sasha wrote: "And it's saddening that as Dean was the one to break the first seal, he didn't get a chance of redemption by really participating in the saving of the world. A car - that for example Bobby could have driven to that battlefield just the same - got more of it."

Yes, I have to agree with this (excellent post, btw). The more I think about the more upset it makes me on Dean's behalf. He's told by Death that his only role is to step back and allow Sam to do everything. He shows up to the graveyard only to be completely dismissed by Michael. He has no powers nor any ability to act in a way that makes any difference to the outcome in the end. Sam reacted to memories of the past and Sam alone used the rings and re-caged Lucifer.

I can't help but watch SS and think that show means to tell me that Dean is insignificant and useless because he is in the midst of these supernatural and special powered beings and who is he to think he can contribute anything? The way this episode was written, humanity really made no difference since it was Sam (who possesses supernatural powers and who was hopped up on demon blood) who was able to act to defeat Lucifer. Honestly, if Dean had died earlier in the episode, Bobby could have driven the Impala to the graveyard and Sam would have reacted to the past memories just as if Dean was physically there. Dean did nothing in addition to what Bobby (as Cas) did in the end -- they all supported Sam's decision. Dean's role was not unique in this regard and for me, that's part of the problem I have with the show right now.

Again, I do think that the show can still be successful and interesting by giving Dean an equal role to Sam in the mytharc, by giving him his own destiny/arc, and also something "special" to Dean and Dean alone (i.e. Sam's powers). I think many fans do want to see this. And the core of the show can still focus on the brotherly bond, killing evil, saving people, etc. I just don't see why Dean had to have his mytharc role taken away from him? My real concern is that it was done so that Dean's primary role will remain as "supporter of Sam" (Sam's destiny and Sam's mytharc role). Next season, I don't think that Dean is going to be involved with Lisa/Ben for very long ... the "suburban family life" doesn't have a place in the world of Supernatural, IMO. Dean is a bad-ass hunter and that's the role I want to see him in.

Is it September yet??? :P
Tara
# Tara 2010-07-11 10:48
SASHA: "That was admittedly my other big problem in Season 5. Unlike many fans, I did not mind the estrangement in Season 4 because I expected their bond would be rebuild from that in something better and stronger and more positive for both characters. "

I found the estrangement in season four hard because I felt Dean came back from Hell a POW and had no support system at all - which, sadly, is not that unusual in a real world situation for military men. I've worked with ex-POWs before - they too often lose everyone in their lives.

But, like you, I assumed after Sam realized he was duped by Ruby that a large part of season five would be devoted to repairing the brothers' relationship. And it started out that way, slow but steadfast - until it hit the skids and never really went there. After episode #4 it was all tell, no show. But there was never really any heartfelt discussing of wounds on both sides of the aisle, and no genuine apologies for legitimate failures by both brothers.

So going into season six, I'm of the mind that this relationship is still unrepaired - and I'm beginning to wonder if it will ever be repaired. And certainly that feeling contributes to the dissatisfaction I have with Dean's non-role in the finale, and the feeling that the whole thing had nothing at all to do with the brothers' bond.

It's funny how Jared keeps saying he thinks the brothers should be apart for a while - and maybe he's right. That would be sad and probably tough for the show to pull off, but I have to admit that I'd find it more realistic at this point.
Shadow
# Shadow 2010-07-11 12:16
Sasha...
Yes for the bonding. I hoped to get a slowly bonding over the whole season. Maybe this is all because of the angel-arc, and the brothers as communicating, feeling humans didn`t get the attention from the writers I expected for season 5. I really had a hard time to see the bonding coming back (in the very last episodes)!
And for Deans redemption (that`s just me) maybe the writers were gone the path since they even didn`t touch the guilt -issue with Castiel -and so Dean. Dean broke under torture and he didn`t know what it meant, when he started to protect himself by torturing other souls. Sam`s action in 4.22 brought Lucifer out, even when it was a last final move and others manipulated and drove him exactly to that point.

I also think the writers changed their kind of writing regarding the characters. Maybe it has to do with the time both of the J`s want to have, time off... more privacy... I agree that the brothers were much more satisfying portrayed in the first seasons, and they had more deepness, but I think this is fitting for both characters. It is a lack of something I can`t describe (because of my lack in english). Their former relationship shines nowadays only sometimes through (or in some talks)and there are only glimpses and sometimes only a look that brings me back to the former brothery relationship. If Jared and Jensen wouldn`t be Jared and Jensen, well....

..and I am sorry that you feel like Dean was belittled and was only a side-kick. I can`t see this further... have a good time
Shadow
# Shadow 2010-07-11 13:06
Chris,

my english is not good enough to bring up good sentences and well thought comments. I can only say (in my weird and simple words) that I think and see Dean had a full emotional story arc over the whole years.

Sam OTOH was the one with this dark destiny and their struggles with each other and their rift was the story over the years. I would have wished for more insight in his struggles, but...I didn`t get much of it. It might be the reason why so much fans left already last season (when their favourite was Sam) Okay I think I quit now and let some place for other opinions...and comments...
Tigershire
# Tigershire 2010-07-11 13:46
Chris_J "He's told by Death that his only role is to step back and allow Sam to do everything."

This is a very interesting point. Now, in some ways you can look at this and see on the surface that Death is telling him to take a back seat to everything. However, if you look at what Dean's life and role (some of which is self imposed, most was initially what John put on him) maybe it was not as it seemed.

Dean has stated over the years that his job is to protect Sam, ever since he was 4 and Sam 6 months. Dean did his job extremely well. To the point where he, himself, did not see Sam as his equal. Comments Dean made like "I'm the older, smarter brother." are only half made in jest because he sees himself as the leader of the two of them. He should be the one in control because if he's not, then he can't protect Sam. He even admits at the end that he had to let go, and let Sam grow up. Sam has been bucking Dean and John's authority before we even meet then in the very first episode. Sam has been trying to become his own person, to be allowed to make his own choices.

Now, I don't think Dean is to be faulted for this. He did what he did out of love and fear. Love of his brother and, of course, fear for his safety.

Death's chat with Dean was a HUGE turning point for the development Dean's character. Dean had to learn to let Sam grow up, and let him make his own choices whether or not he liked them. Dean had to let go of the past.

This is major stuff.

No only did Dean do just that, he also didn't let Sam go off to die alone. He walked into what was almost certain death (and as the story tells, he would have preferred it) and helped Sam defeat Lucifer.

The Impala did not save Sam, it was only a symbol. Symbolism is very big for us humans, and the Impala is the symbol of Love, Home, Family and maybe many more things. It helped to trigger Sam's memories of all those things. And we already know that Family means Dean to Sam. Who did Sam support in Devil's Trap. I loved how Sam wordlessly moved behind Dean when he was accusing John of being possessed.

And we know that the Impala symbolized the same for Dean, which is why Sam wouldn't let Bobby junk her in In My Time Of Dying. It also paralleled Dean's physical state in that episode, but if you think about it, it also reflected Dean's feeling about their family. If there was only one working part, he was determined to fix it. I feel that is part of the reason why Dean always got so upset when Sam started talking about going back to school. He could not see his family without Sam, physically, being there. The idea of Sam doing his own thing, separate from "the family business" meant his family was broken.

I have really appreciated everyone's comments here in this thread. Your posts have given me a lot to think about. Thank you.

This is also why I love this show, no matter what part of the series I'm in, it ties back to the beginning and I can find new layer in events of the past. The complexity of this story amazes me and I realize that every time I think I have the puzzle complete, I find a whole pile of new pieces. And fan discussions such as this one open up all kinds of new ways of looking at the story. Sometimes this fandom can be prickly like a cactus, but when it blooms, it's beautiful.
Sasha
# Sasha 2010-07-11 14:10
To the point where he, himself, did not see Sam as his equal. Comments Dean made like "I'm the older, smarter brother." are only half made in jest because he sees himself as the leader of the two of them.

However, when Sam voiced - under a spell but I saw it like if you drank too much and lost enough inhibition to tell a deeper truth you wouldn't otherwise tell - that he was the "stronger, smarter and better hunter", it made equally clear that he didn't view his brother as HIS equal either. And it wasn't a new sentiment, it tended to come out here and there from Asylum onwards.

Like I said, I liked Season 4 and the rift because I thought those points would be adressed in the rebuilding from both sides.

I never doubted their love for each other but respect is something else than love. And you can have one without the other, though it does not a good relationship make.

Hence my disappointment in seeing it adressed only from one side.

Furthermore, in my opinion people grow up on their own. Even if other people look at them as children - and I am not convinced Dean did totally do this - they can grow up and make their own choices.

Sam's journey over the show was to grow up and he did. He and he alone ultimately made the choice what to do with Lucifer. Dean couldn't do anything about that either way so if he lets go or doesn't let go, it holds no importance in my eyes.

In a way, it's just Death telling him to stop deluding himself from thinking he has any kind of power and significance there and do take his assigned seat in the back already. It was one more "you are no longer a part of this story" statement.

In tandem with Michael's words, it actually cancels out everything, his supposed role in the arc - debunked by Michael as well as his supposed role as the big brother - debunked by Death.

So, we are back again with where that leaves him? What purpose does the character serve now? It doesn't seem like he has anything to offer than anybody actually needs.

And I would not only find it incredibly belittling but also cruel to drag him back into the hunt if it's just about someone driving the car or companionship or having a partner on hunts. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can be found for that.
Chris_J
# Chris_J 2010-07-11 15:18
Tigershire wrote: "Death's chat with Dean was a HUGE turning point for the development Dean's character. Dean had to learn to let Sam grow up, and let him make his own choices whether or not he liked them. Dean had to let go of the past.

This is major stuff. "


See, I disagree that this was anything major for DEAN. Sam always made his own decisions, even if Dean didn't agree with him (see: Sam's actions in WTLB/LR). Sam growing up has nothing to do with Dean and everything to do with Sam's decisions and actions.

I've always thought while Dean always loved and cared for Sam like a big-brother, he always TREATED Sam as an equal and adult partner. Dean always trusted Sam to have his back. But yeah, he did disagree with Sam about using his powers, trusting Ruby, and drinking demon blood -- but yet he was still partners with Sam through all of that. Dean treated Sam like someone he was concerned about which I think was an appropriate response because I think Sam displayed behavior that was cause for Dean's concern.

But still, in the finale Dean told Sam that he supported his decision. And Dean didn't argue with Sam about his plan. But just because it was important for Dean to support Sam's decision that doesn't mean the writers had to completely eliminate Dean's role in the mytharc as well. The writers didn't have to have Michael tell Dean that he was no longer part of the story. The writers could have had Dean come up with another plan (a plan that would ultimately fail, but still, he could have gone into the graveyard with some kind of plan which showcased Dean's ability to think outside of the box). The writers could have given him an active role in defeating Lucifer, along with Sam. But they did not do any of these things, IMO. His ONLY role was to drive a car while Sam acted out HIS plan.

As far as next season, I do hope that Dean has let go of the past somewhat. I hope the writers stick to Dean's S5 characterizatio n, displayed clearly in the finale, confirming that Dean fully recognizes that he is not responsible for Sam. He is not the protector of Sam. He should not be held accountable for Sam's actions. Dean does see Sam as an adult who is capable of making his own decisions and I don't want the writers to keep backtracking on the progress Dean has made over the years in this regard. I feel the writers kept doing this to Dean all of last season and then he was made to apologize to Sam for thinking of Sam as his little brother. Enough already.

Sam wanted their dynamic to change as he told Dean in Fallen Idols. Sam said it never worked for him. Well then okay, the finale should be the final indication that Dean HAS changed. But that also means that Dean has to have some other role on the show other than "Sam's supporter/prote ctor." The role as Sam's protector has come to an end and now a new role needs to be developed for Dean that is of EQUAL importance to Sam's dark destiny/mytharc /now post-hell and formerly Lucifer's vessel role on the show.

Otherwise I fear that the writers will revert to that same old stuff for Dean (because that's ALL he has) which is that he can't let go of his role of protector of Sam and then of course Sam reacts to this by telling Dean that he needs to stop treating him like a kid, and then Dean has to apologize to Sam (again, and some more), and then round and round we go.

This dynamic needs to stop because the only thing it does is cause Sam to feel like a "kid" and Dean to feel he must apologize for continuing to think of Sam as his little brother. Unless the entire point is so that Dean will keep apologizing for this and in which case I will just stop watching the show altogether.

And I really don't want the reason that Dean leaves Lisa & Ben is because he failed in his suburban family-life. And I don't want Dean to be forced back into hunting because he (yet again) feels responsible for Sam. I want Dean to return to hunting because he realizes that he is a great hunter and that he still feels motivated to "save people and hunt evil", especially since Sera has indicated a return to the feel of season 1 (which I am all for if we return to more stand-alone MOTW episodes).
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-07-11 15:20
anielle and Tigershire - thanks for your posts. Naturally I loved them both as they were expressing my own thoughts.

Reading some of these unhappy posts sort of makes me wonder a bit if we are watching the same show. I have no feeling whatsoever that Dean is not serving any purpose and is completely useless therefore. Just what would you have wanted or expected the very human Dean ( and I love him that way and NEVER want him to have powers or become a kind of superhero) to have done to satisfy your expectations?

I like Dean "saving people, hunting things" not "saving the world, hunting Satan". We've had Armageddon and the Four Horsemen (and they were awesome) and outside of Dean going to heaven and weeding out the sorry archangels, what more earth shattering thing can he do? He's spent his life watching over others and doing his best to protect others and his own. If that isn't being heroic and necessary I don't know what is. He's my hero and I hope he stays human and vulnerable with warts and all next season. (I would even prefer Sam to be powerless now, as well, as they did just fine before the blood stuff with Sam started). Time to get the brotherly bond back and the trust they once had in each other.

I think he IS God's chosen. God's chosen HUMAN with FREE WILL and God's confidence bestowed upon him that he will do the right thing in the end and not kowtow to "destiny" or whatnot.

I was not pleased with a lot of season four as I was annoyed by the fact that Sam managed to apologize for everything except the one thing I was waiting for. Didn't think that Dean got enough consideration or sympathy considering his PTSD after the hell experience from either Sam or Bobby . Wanted to give him a hug many times myself in seaon 4 as he seemed so alone. But he persevered through everything mean and unthinking that came his way. Dean has never been so cruel and unfeeling towards anyone else as was shown to him in season 4!

Because of all that, season 4 is at the bottom of my enjoyable list of seasons. My order of pure enjoyment seasons is 1, 2, 3, 5 and 4 last. Even if season one is my favourite one doesn't mean I don't enjoy each and every season of this, my favourite show of all time. A show about Sam and Dean and their relationship, and their awesome car (home). I wouldn't trade any of the seasons for any one of another show!

So, for me, neither Dean or Sam is "useless" and the purpose Dean serves is to continue "saving people, hunting things" which is certainly very much worthwhile.

I loved Swan Song for what Kripke/Chuck said. Family, love, home. Loved Chuck's narration. Hated Sam's blood drinking. Loved Dean's human heroism. Loved Castiel and Bobby's last stand to be with Dean. Loved Dean with Lisa.
Loved Metallicar. Hated the brothers separated at the end.

I realize I cannot have everything I would like to see occur on the screen. I'm OK with that and very grateful for what I do have. I see the different opinions on the finale, and am so very grateful that the creators wrote it more to my liking. But if they hadn't, I do love the Winchesters so very much that I would manage to persevere and keep faith that my show would continue to be enjoyable to me and who knows what would happen next? Even Chuck/Kripke said "it's not ever the end" or something to that effect.

So if Kripke or Sera or any of the creators are reading this board, Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for giving me this entirely awesome show and thank the 2J's for incredible performances and for showing the love between two wonderful brothers. They are my heroes and have not been diminished in any way whatsoever. (IMO of course)
Sasha
# Sasha 2010-07-11 15:49
Don't get me wrong, I like "saving people, hunting things" but it is something they do within the arc. The arc aka the story is something to explain to us why we are watching those particular characters.

Lots of hunters are presumably saving people and hunting things. Some may even drift in and out of show but they are of no greater importance because they aren't significant to THIS story. Which used to be Azazel and the special kids, then morphed into Lilith and culminated into the Lucifer quest.

Maybe there are some other great and heroic hunters out there but because they had no bearing on the Lucifer storyline, we were never following their adventures.

Instead we were following Sam (and Dean) because Sam was the Chosen One and Dean kinda hung around Sam.

What I would like now was the "and kinda hung around" part for Dean to transform into "because he is sought out by..."

If he is a hunter, that's great and all but so are many others. It doesn't make him more important than Bobby who is a recurring character and for intents and purposes a sidekick. A lead has to be more than that.
It doesnt even make him any different than Rufus who we saw twice in the show.

If "saving people, hunting things" was Dean's purpose and he continued to be uninvolved with any potential new arc they set up, he, too, could be in only two episodes next Season for example. They could still tell their new story and show him occassionally or just talk about him.

Sam can find another partner, maybe Bobby. Heck, they could revive Adam and have him play that role. Like this, there would even be brothers.

They need to give a reason why Dean specifically has to come back, for each episode.

It is how they set up the Pilot. Dean got Sam because he wanted Sam's company but that wasn't the reason Sam re-entered the story as he still planned to go back to his normal life. Then Jessica burned, making it clear that this was something that had to do with Sam and Sam specifically so the character rejoined the hunt.

Dean is now in stasis, you could say. And if really all they need is just someone to save people and hunt things, I'm sure they can find a couple of other hunters who would fit that bill.
Shelby
# Shelby 2010-07-11 17:04
"And if nothing else, the character of Dean doesn't strike me as someone who would pathetically cling to Sam's victory for himself. Ergo, in his mind, he'd still be unredeemed and short of getting another chance at saving the world (to match the sin of almost destroying it), he likely will always be.

Maybe Season 6 will surprise me. Maybe someone will tell him he, just for himself, unrelated to anybody, is significant for something greater and it won't turn out a lie. Maybe someone will tell him he actually is smart, despite not having a higher education. Maybe he will have victories in hunts again, win fights and kick ass. Maybe he will be respected for it if that happens and no more "stop whining".

I'm not sure any of these will come to pass, I try not to have high expectations so as not to be disappointed further. Sigh."

This.

And I had huge problems with how they supposedly re-forged the bond, too. How can it be re-forged if Sam's controlling behavior in the familial little brother role(and that creates the co in their co-dependency) was barely touched on; or the fact that, while Supernatural beings through their tricks of the trade have always exploited, intensified, and exaggerated Sam's deeply buried feelings about Dean, they didn't put those feelings there or conjure them-they just exploited them, and what's most important-made sure that Dean heard them. This was never addressed in relation to the brother bond and should have been, again IMO. BOTH brothers are aware of those feelings, on some level, even if they choose/chose not to speak of them-which again is a large part of why many just feel that the bond is not repaired or re-forged-not fully. And why it was difficult for some of us to "feel it" for the bond this season and in the finale, especially.

Worst of all, is the uncertainty of if the writers even see any of what we see in this way at all; or if they feel, as was shown to us for the most part in S5(and IMO), that the larger part of the problems with the brothers' relationship have always stemmed mainly from Dean's being overly controlling in the big brother/surroga te parent role, along with his abandonment issues which lead to this inability of his to "let Sam go"(which is yet another fallacy I see in the writing because we HAVE been shown a Dean who WAS willing and able to "let Sam go" many times over the course of this series). To me, Sam's part in the S4 breaking of the brother bond was barely touched on in S5-and he most certainly did not acknowledge his mistakes or apologize for them in any way even close to the same manner in which the writers had Dean do this-so again, to me, yet another HUGE fail in the writing of S5, ESPECIALLY after all the sad events of S4.
Sam's redemption arc seemed far too laser focused, IMO, on the thought that he was the one who had damned the world(which he wasn't-not by himself-further complicating things is the question of if the writers feel this way, too). Season 5 seemed to revolve around this, while IMO, and to keep with story and character continuity and flow, it should have been about how they had BOTH damned the world; how they had BOTH played their parts in the breaking of the bond that lead to this; how they BOTH should have acknowledged, taken FULL responsibility for, and apologized specifically for those parts they played in the rending; and how, as co-leads, they BOTH should have had an active, each his own, separate from the other's part in the "ending" of the Apocalypse. Because after S3, this WAS what the writers lead us to believe the story was about-and not just through the narrative-but through outside interviews, as well.
I tend to agree with those who feel that the writers bit off more than they could chew what with their trying to end the Apocalypse AND mend the rift in the bond all in the same season-and that both aspects of the story suffered greatly because of it. For me, as a story lover and a Deanlover-much was lost and will most likely never be retrieved. That's the way it goes sometimes, I guess, but I would like the writers to consider some of these concerns as possibly very valid ones, especially when so many feel the same way. Perhaps they might even let it help them in their future writing efforts, if they're open-minded enough. And I don't think it's about being "impatient" because from a story standpoint, and to keep the story "believable" some of this stuff could/should not have waited for S6; indeed some of it would have made S5 work much better, IMO. I want to keep watching Supernatural. I love it, but if they continue with, yes, what I see as "missteps" such as these-then I'm sorry, but I just won't be able to.
Shelby
# Shelby 2010-07-11 17:49
"Like I said, I liked Season 4 and the rift because I thought those points would be adressed in the rebuilding from both sides.

I never doubted their love for each other but respect is something else than love. And you can have one without the other, though it does not a good relationship make."

I meant to highlight this, too, because I, too, believe this and it is my hope for S6 that the bond will be repaired and re-forged truly better and stronger for both brothers. They can't go back and re-do the Apocalypse, but to me the mending of the bond is still an on-going work in progress.
Tiffany
# Tiffany 2010-07-11 20:53
"You see, the way I see it, Dean still has some big connection with the angels, not to mention he is somehow "a true servant of God" since he can kill the Whore of Babylon and Zachariah. I'm wondering if there's chaos in both Heaven and Hell if Dean's importance becomes big in that regards. It's all speculation though. We'll have to wait and see."

I love your ideas, Alice! And if the plan is to move Dean's storyline into season 6, I can't tell you how thrilled that would make me. Then I could enjoy season 5 for being the season of Sam's redemption, knowing that there'd be payoff for Dean's storyline down the road. As it stands, I'm too disappointed to buy the season 5 DVDs and even rewatching season 4 has become hard.

And I agree with the above posts re: the brothers' relationship. To me, it hasn't felt as if the many other core issues besides Dean's over protectiveness and Sam's "running away" were really addressed last season. It felt more like a bandaid fix and maybe that's all that could happen because of the apocalypse taking precedence. Not that we need huge fights and angstfests but not sweeping those issues under the rug ala "Skin", "Asylum", "Sex", "Levee", etc. would be a great start.
Tigershire
# Tigershire 2010-07-11 21:04
Chris_J, we do agree on a couple of points. I too agree that Dean's role as Sam's protector is finished. And I too also hope that as we move into Season 6, we don't find that the writers fall back into that old pattern ".....which is that he can't let go of his role of protector of Sam and then of course Sam reacts to this by telling Dean that he needs to stop treating him like a kid, and then Dean has to apologize to Sam (again, and some more), and then round and round we go."

I don't want to see that either.

What amazes me about this show, is how we can all watch the same thing, yet, we all get something completely different from it.

And because of this, I feel we have come to a point where we have to agree to disagree, because we have gotten to a point where I don't see a consensus. But I do want to thank you for a great discussion and for stimulating my thinking about the show.
AnneJ
# AnneJ 2010-07-12 11:02
"Considering that I never come to any other fan site besides this one, I had absolutely no idea that there was such discontent over the finale until the discussion sprung up here."

Anielle, I'm very active in fandom and have been since day one, and I've never seen such dissatisfaction with the show overall and with the finale in particular - the impression I have gotten is that the majority of fans think it was awful and the worst finale ever. I agree - IMO the end arc was poorly written, illogical, and had no continuity at all with not just season 4 but with a lot of the plot points in season 5.

"Half their fandom has one foot out the door because of huge writing mistakes that they made this season. I hope they learned from them, but at this point, nothing they can say will make me believe in the writers again, or the story they might try to tell... It has to be that way for some of us now because the writers through some of their writing choices in S5, have destroyed the trust and hope of half the fandom-in them and in the show, as a whole."

I so agree with you, Kendra. I'm seeing spoilers that ordinarily would have gotten me excited in anticipation of the new season, but instead I'm thinking, "Meh, what's the point of getting excited about anything when we can't trust the Show to follow through?"

I feel very disheartened at the lack of follow through for Dean's arc across the last two seasons, and particularly irritated at how he was portrayed as some kind of control freak in season 5, when there has been no foundation for that and the partnership has been an equal one. I felt he was out of character in the last few episodes and I still can't believe he was reduced to watching it all go down and got no redemption himself. I am left wondering what the point of his story arc was and also feeling that I have been strung along to boost ratings. Someone above mentioned that Ben Edlund had referred to Dean as "the chauffeur of destiny" - I wish I had seen that quote before I bothered to watch the last three episodes because it might have lowered my expectations enough to make what I sat through palatable.

"Dean still has some big connection with the angels, not to mention he is somehow "a true servant of God" since he can kill the Whore of Babylon and Zachariah. I'm wondering if there's chaos in both Heaven and Hell if Dean's importance becomes big in that regards. It's all speculation though. We'll have to wait and see."

I hope so Alice, but as it is I don't see myself even bothering to tune into the new episodes when they air - I'll probably DVR them, wait to see what the verdict is on TWOP, and decide whether to watch on that basis.

I wonder if the Show's creators actually realize how badly they have damaged their relationship with a very large portion of this fandom? Since I would like to see a decent story arc for Dean - one that is followed through on properly and not erased out of existence - and would like to see the Show regain the peak it achieved in season 4, I really hope that the message is passed along to them before the ratings start to dwindle even further. I hope you can help with passing our grievances on, Alice.
Alice
# Alice 2010-07-12 12:51
I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. Do not claim the majority of the fandom hated the finale. If anything, it's a majority of over 50% on TWOP and LJ. There are with DVR stats 3 to 3.5 million viewers per episode, not to mention millions more that watch worldwide. There's also online viewing and DVR viewers. Out of all those, TWOP, LJ, and all other online communities only make up about 30,000 viewers. That is NOT EVEN CLOSE to a majority. Granted, it's a vocal minority but networks and producers know it's a minority.

I talked with a lot of fans this weekend at the Salute to Supernatural convention in NJ. I can assure you, most of that crowd had nothing but love for the finale and told Misha Collins and Rob Benedict that. Many also said they don't go online because it's too negative. So, when making your arguments here, do not say such things like "don't they realize they've pissed off a majority of the fandom." I can guarantee with unequivocal fact they didn't.
Tara
# Tara 2010-07-12 13:38
CHRIS_J: "Because from my view, it seems like we were being led to believe that Dean himself was someone special in the scheme of things. That's why I and many others were so disappointed by the finale because Dean was so easily replaced by Adam and at the moment Michael said that Dean was no longer part of this story, it seemed (to me) that was the SHOW telling us that Dean's role was never meant to be anything more than as one of the supporters of Sam's destiny. I too hope the show will give us some answers about why this was all dropped suddenly in the finale and maybe Dean's role will be addressed next season (fingers crossed!). "

You know, I'd love to believe that after throwing so much of Dean's story line out the window at the end, that the producers did so because they honestly intended to wait and address it in season six. But I'm afraid I'd be setting myself up for more major disappointment and heartache to think anything with regard to the loss of Dean's role will come back into play, especially after seeing him so easily replaced by Adam toward the end, which was the real gut-punch. Adam is not and never was a lead character - he only made three appearances, after all. More than that, he was simply not Dean Winchester, and I just don't see how that wasn't intended to be a snub.

There's just so much of Dean's role from seasons four and five, like virtually everything now, that I feel was left unaddressed and that I no longer understand. So, yeah, I do want answers, but because the producers are going to want to establish new mytharc, I honestly doubt we're going to get those answers.

Therefore, I admit my expectations for next season are very low right now, and this is the first time in five years I've felt that way. I wish I didn't, but I am hesitant to anticipate another season. I spend more time wondering how it all would have ended if they weren't renewed - if the end would have played out a lot differently.

I will have to take another season one episode at a time until I get a feel for what the producers think Dean's role is anymore, and if the respect I once thought they had for his character has come back to the forefront. I sincerely hope it does.
muse
# muse 2010-07-12 14:23
Alice I agree that online fandom is a very small segment of the overall fanbase. But the total audience ratings for the show in season 5 dropped well below season 3 numbers.

Now I have no idea what caused this -- whether it was dissatisfaction with the way the season was progressing or increased competition or more people moving to DVR and non-traditional viewing methods (probably a combination of all of the above) but the fact remains that this show went from a core audience of almost 3.5 million to about 2.5 million.

According to numbers from the PI Feedback website, here are the average total audience ratings for each season:

Season 1: 4.52 million viewers
Season 2: 3.29 million viewers
Season 3: 2.92 million viewers
Season 4: 3.19 million viewers
Season 5: 2.67 million viewers

Season 4, 15 out of 22 episodes had more than 3 million viewers but in season 5: only the Premiere managed to reach the 3 million mark. For further comparison, in season 3, 8 out of 16 episodes, surpass 3 million viewers.

I can provide raw numbers for the episodes if you would prefer to do your own calculations.

Also while I appreciate your point that people who are happy with the show are less likely to complain thus skewing the views of online fans, I think Con-goers are going to be predisposed to still loving the show because who would shell out thousands of dollars to go to a convention for a show that no longer interested them? So using them for anecdotal evidence is also drawing from a skewed sample.

Of course none of this really means anything anymore since the show has been moved to Fridays so it's a whole new ballgame, but it is clear that the show's core audience shrunk fairly significantly during season 5 and it will likely shrink more drastically during season 6 so TPTB really needs to come up with strong and coherent storylines for both their so-called lead characters in order to hang on to their dwindling fanbase. IMHO of course.
Anne J
# Anne J 2010-07-12 14:31
"I can guarantee with unequivocal fact they didn't."

By no means wishing to get into a fight with you over this Alice but - and with respect - you can't guarantee this at all. You quite rightly point out that I generalized above (apologies: I should have made clear that this is my perception of the fandom that I read and interact with online) but you're generalizing here too. This also is a perception you have formed from the responses you generally get here and from a few fans you met at the NJ con. I think it's quite interesting that at one of Misha Collins' panels at Asylum he (apparently) said the Show's creators are aware the finale wasn't popular with the fans. I say apparently but I've seen it reported in several places and since you brought up your experiences at NJ I hope you won't mind me raising this here...
muse
# muse 2010-07-12 14:36
Just to add, I believe those numbers include same-day DVR stats.
Anne J
# Anne J 2010-07-12 14:44
To Muse:

I'm actually quite shocked by those figures, I had no idea ratings had dropped that far though to be honest I'm not surprised given (IMO) the poor quality overall of season 5. It will be interesting to see how it performs in DVD sales - I believe season 4 did better than any previous season, which would seem to reflect its quality and ratings...

I really hope those figures pick up for season 6 since I would love to keep watching the show and would love to see a season 7 - dependent of course on the points I made upthread.
muse
# muse 2010-07-12 15:33
I agree Alice, which is why I said that the ratings drop could be for any number of reasons. However, I still maintain that anecdotal evidence from convention-goer s, who are arguably the most invested and therefore least likely to be critical, is no more reliable or telling than any of the other ways in which people gage fan reactions, including message boards and ratings.

Bottomline is that any of these things can be spun any way a person sees fit depending on their own biases. If you disliked the direction that season 5 took and felt that Dean was diminished, then you give more weight to declining ratings and negative online feedback. If you loved Swan Song and prefer a more Sam-focused show, then it's naturally easy to dismiss the more negative interpretations .

In the end, only the networks and TPTB know how much weight they give to any of these opinions and ultimately successful they felt season 5 was.
Anne J
# Anne J 2010-07-12 15:59
"In the end, only the networks and TPTB know how much weight they give to any of these opinions"

Good point. I'd be interested in how much weight the Show's creators give to professional critics such as Matt Roushh who (I assume) have no inbuilt bias based on a preference for one or other brother, who were generally dissatisfied with the finale and who reach a much wider audience.

I can't believe they ignore negative fan feedback - after all there is a lot of evidence that season 5 directly addressed some fans' misgivings about certain aspects of season 4. I'm sure I've read that Dean's inclusion in the mytharc in the first place was due to fan dissatisfaction with his sidekick role and in response to Dean/JA's rocketing popularity... which surely was gauged via that ongoing fan feedback. They must be aware they are going to have to pull something out of their hats for Dean or lose more viewers - so here's hoping they do that.
ARIS3
# ARIS3 2010-07-12 20:49
Some general comments about some comments here...
1.It is very annoying seeing some that didn't like the finale, claiming that the finale was bad and that's a fact... Personal opinion has nothing to do with facts.
2.It is annoying seeing people who didn't like the finale claiming that the huge majority of fans didn't like it... It depends on the sites you visit. For example, I'm sure that on TWOP boards a 90% of the fans hated the finale, but I know that this board is one of the worst -if not the worst- anti-Sam boards...
3.I know many, MANY hard core Dean fans that loved the finale and Dean's story.So, I too could say, that the huge majority of the fans loved the finale...
Maybe the pissed off fans seem to be more, because it's natural that when you're disappointed, you want to get it out and the complaints are the ones that are on the front page... I remember the same thing happening with the LOST finale, where the disappointed fans were all over the internet complaining about the six years they lost from their lives... They did seem like the majority, but they weren't...
Tiffany
# Tiffany 2010-07-12 22:42
That definitely goes both way. I've also seen a good number of pro-finale fans who state their opinion as fact. As posted above: "with reguards to those who think that deans role this season was diminished as sam's was increased was all wrong." That's just one example. I personally have found it very challenging to post my opinions about the finale at certain sites(thanks, Alice, for allowing us to do it here) because of intense intimidation that goes on. I've repeatedly come across the mentality that my opinion is less valid because I'm obviously "wrong."

And, imo, it's definitely impacted how honest some fans are willing to be in conveying their POV. I have friends who have been afraid to post their impression of the finale because when they tried, they were called "disloyal" and "bad fans". Just last week, I read fics by three different authors, who snuck in a remark about being unhappy with the finale into their author notes/comments. One said it was almost enough to make her quit writing.As far as I know, they aren't otherwise active in fandom sites. I came across a number of LJ posters who drew back after being ridiculed for disagreeing with pro-finale/pro- season 5 metas. Based on what I've seen, I can say with upmost certainty that those of us posting here are by far not the only ones who had issues with how the mytharc was wrapped up. There's a lot more out there but because they don't routinely post online, their opinions haven't really been heard.

I guess that, for me, it's less about the exact number of disillusioned fans as that they are out there and they're not just a small handful. I don't remember getting such a deep sense of disappointment in fandom over any other episode, much less a finale. I know that there were fans who were very unhappy with Sam's characterizatio n in season 4. But the difference is that the mytharc at that time was ongoing and, imo, season 5 more than made up for it. The same won't be true for Dean because this was it: the big finale, the last hurrah of the epic mytharc that had been the backbone of the Winchester family saga and the show for five years. There is no "do over", no continuation of that story starting in the fall. So what's done is done; water under the bridge at this point.

I'd love to believe that at least one or so unexplained threads of Dean's storyline might be incorporated into something new next season, even if it won't be the same scope as the mytharc. Michael's vessel was only one aspect of Dean's storyline: there was also the Righteous Man, which might have been a different role from the vessel. There's the question of why Anna called Dean the "best weapon" Heaven had when she didn't yet know about Zachariah's plan for the apocalypse. Or why Dean was tested for his decision making skills in "Pumpkin" or why Zach was so determined he stay a hunter: those qualities should have hardly mattered for a vessel. Or the significance of killing the Whore and Zach. Or why Dean's never been possessed and seems to be able to help others overcome their own possessions, even briefly. Or why Dean has such a connection with the angels - Cas/Anna/Gabe, heck even Lucifer kind of liked him. Any one of these could be an interesting storyline, if TPTB chose to pursue it.

In retrospect, what bothers me isn't even that Dean's role became so passive, although that's definitely a part. It was the way the whole shift in direction was so summarily handled. One episode, he's the True Vessel whom Gabriel said was chosen from the Beginning. The next, Cas just casually announces that Adam's now doing just fine in that role and Michael's giving a meta statement about how Dean is no longer a part of the story. One episode, Dean is the Righteous Man who's the only one who can finish it. The next, Death is announcing that Sam is the only one who can stop Lucifer. One episode, Dean is overcome with guilt and the need to redeem himself. The next, he seems to have developed amnesia about all that.

At least, if there had been a transition, some explanation that would have fit within canon, it wouldn't have felt disconcerting. There's been speculation that the show's renewal caused a change of plans: my own guess was that Dean needed to stay topside to start off the next season. But I really don't think that necessitated dumping his entire role by the wayside without explanation either. While I'm glad that Sam got his redemption, it just would have been respectful towards fans likewise waiting for some kind of payoff for Dean's arc to not just pretend that the last two seasons hadn't happened.

Now that I have such a lack of faith in the writers, it's been a tough decision about whether to tune in next season or not. I'd hate to be strung along from one episode to the next, only to find out that once again, Chekhov left a fine collections of guns on the mantle. But I love the show so much-I really want to give it another chance to restore my faith.
Anne J
# Anne J 2010-07-12 23:35
“It is annoying seeing people who didn't like the finale claiming that the huge majority of fans didn't like it... It depends on the sites you visit. I'm sure that on TWOP boards a 90% of the fans hated the finale, but I know that this board is one of the worst -if not the worst- anti-Sam boards...”

ARIS3, can I just make it abundantly clear here that while I post at TWOP and have done since day one of the show, I am not anti-Sam and neither are many of the posters here. I am here to express my dissatisfaction with how *Dean’s* arc played out. I have no problem with how Sam’s arc played out and no problem with his redemption arc. My problem is with how the writers treated *Dean* in this mytharc – ie, by not following through on it one iota. It is a legitimate grievance to point out that I was led to believe his mytharc would end somewhat differently from him sitting on the grass watching.

I have already made clear that my perception that the majority of fans did not like the finale is just that – a perception based on that portion of the fandom I interact with. The perception that most of them did is one you also have developed according to the boards you visit and your friends in fandom - and since I am familiar with your posting name I know how you lean. Bias applies to both sides.

Like Tiffany (above) I resent being called out as a “bad fan” for stating my opinion that the writers let Dean down and let me down as a fan. I know many fans whose metas and reflections on the finale were ruthlessly spammed if they dared to express any negative opinions. However, I’m entitled to state my opinion, as is everyone else here who has done so, and I have tried to do it without coming over as being "anti-Sam" because as I said, I'm not "anti-Sam." I think most of the other posters have tried to present their arguments calmly too.
ARIS3
# ARIS3 2010-07-12 23:53
@Anne J, I didn't say that everyone who is posting on the TWOP board is a Sam hater... I said about the majority.And I never accused anyone here of being anti-Sam fan or being a bad fan because they didn't like the finale...
My English may not be that good, but I think they're pretty understandable. ..!
Alice
# Alice 2010-07-13 00:05
Okay guys, enough fighting about other boards and their loyalties. Let's stick to Dean and his season five character direction. The next posts that veer off topic get edited.
Suze
# Suze 2010-07-13 07:34
It would be really interesting to know how much tweaking of the finale went on when they realised there was going to be a season 6. One of my main grumps ( and a few other peoples, by the sound of it ) was the non-answering of most of the big questions surrounding Our Deano. The writers were pretty much committed to winding up Sam's saga, but I reckon they may have left Dean's twisting in the wind so they had something left to play with next time. The angels are still around, aren't they ... ?

Also, there may well be something in Alice's point made earlier about the PTB running out of time to fit in all the bits they had left to tie up ... I used to be an illustrator before I had the squeakers and I can remember vividly the horrible sinking feeling you got looking at a hugely complicated outline and realising you hadn't left yourself enough time to fill it in before it's supposed to go to print ... So I'm going to wait and see what happens in September before I get too worked up.
faye
# faye 2010-07-13 11:37
I've been reading this thread for a couple of days now, and, people, it's been a little depressing. I've always found it interesting how so many people could find such different things in the same episodes as me. Fascinating in a good way. But there's been a lot of ill will in this thread, and the one that preceded it, and people are quoting ratings and other message boards and getting angry. I'm sure Alice won't disagree that the point of this forum is to air everyone's point of view if they are willing to give it voice (respectfully) and there's no need to cite anything to back up your opinions but the contents of the show itself. To say something was not good because the ratings declined is kind of silly. You can't tell if something is no good until you watch it yourself and decide.

So, my opinion. Did Sam have a stronger part in the finale? I guess he did, but I'm not really sure what's wrong with that. I've always felt that the focus shifted from season to season between the boys, and I haven't been unhappy with that, myself. Is it unfair for Sam to finally take control of the forces (both demonic and angelic) that have been jerking him around like a puppet his whole life? Sam learned to both accept his "destiny" and yet make it his own. I think that's great story telling.

Now, Dean...Triviali zed? Diminished? Really? From season one on, Dean has been borderline suicidal, and he's only looked at himself in one light, as his brother's keeper. (and if you want to extend the biblical metaphor, you probably should. Dean feels responsible for everyone.) Some apparently think that's trivial, but it's a defining part of Dean's character that's been obvious since season one. Personally, I see it as one of his great strengths. That Dean apologizes for it doesn't mean it needs apology. If Dean had a better opinion of himself, he would have said "That's the way it is, get over it" and sounded like his father...

As for his "diminished" role in the story, I'm stunned. Dean represents the "regular guy", you and me, someone with no magical powers, just quick wits, charm and an unshakeable sense of right and wrong. He represents our ability to do right, no matter what forces are standing against us. To me, the iconic image in that last episode was Dean kneeling alone in the cemetery, beaten, battered, bloody and bereft. The man who had given everything, and had asked for nothing in return. The man who had stood on the battlefield between heaven and hell, and he was the last man standing.
Amelia
# Amelia 2010-07-13 12:12
"You know, I'd love to believe that after throwing so much of Dean's story line out the window at the end, that the producers did so because they honestly intended to wait and address it in season six. But I'm afraid I'd be setting myself up for more major disappointment and heartache to think anything with regard to the loss of Dean's role will come back into play, especially after seeing him so easily replaced by Adam toward the end, which was the real gut-punch."

I don't think season six will be any different. If I did, I might tune in, but season five ended my hopes for Dean. I'm heartbroken, of course, but what can I do? As someone said above, maybe it would've better if Dean had been left in the marginal role of Sam's cheerleader from the very beginning... at least I never would've hoped for anything better for him and could've left the show a long time ago.

Reading these posts is making me weepy all over again. I think I need to stick to my original plan and not read anything about Supernatural anymore. It just makes me so sad to remember the promise this show had just two years ago, and how horrible the descent was when the plans changed.
Donna
# Donna 2010-07-13 12:56
Alice Said: "After a while, they might (please notice, might, my opinion) do what Kripke did. He won't be able to please everyone, so he follows his vision."

I daresay Kripke did NOT follow his vision here. I believe that changed the moment the show was officially renewed for a sixth season, otherwise Adam wouldn't have become Michael's vessel. I believe Dean was originally destined to go into the cage with Sam and the series would have been over.
traciels28
# traciels28 2010-07-13 15:18
I have to admit I haven't read all the articles on Dean over the years, and may not have gotten through every comment, but I think Dean's role in season five was huge. I know he had a destiny, and we heard about it a lot, but he ended up having a greater purpose. He had free will.

Not being particularly religious myself, I can't quote passages here, but I do remember at least part of a quote (probably not from the Bible and I can't find it by googling) but I still think it fits...it ends with "because angels and men have free will." That's the part of it I remember anyway.

Dean's journey over the five seasons has been from the "wisecracking bad boy" to the potential saviour of the world. He's the chosen one, and yet he doesn't give in to "destiny" - he grows, and thinks, and decides, and makes a choice.

Many have said that Dean being able to kill the whore of Babylon is an indication that he decided to say yes. I think, rather, that he still intended to say no, and that God saw him as a "servant of God" because he continued to follow that idea of free will. This is something the Christian God is said to have given humanity, and thus by exhibiting free will, Dean is (and always was) his servant.

He grew so much in season five. Being able to let go of Sam and see him as a man who is entitled to his own free will was a giant step for Dean. He is the one who met with Death, and that conversation was also very important. Despite Death's comments about Dean being insignificant, it is clear that Dean was, in fact, extremely significant. Death shared a lot more than pizza with Dean. (I also have a theory that Sam's return may have been granted by Death as a thank you to Dean, instead of God, but that's another conversation). Dean's had so many plans and ideas throughout the season. He was the one who said that it was time to stop thinking about sides. They would take on the angels AND the demons (I remember this from Bobby's hospital room, I think. If I turn out to be wrong, please be kind"ish"). That decision was pivotal. Dean's always said he had a "give em hell attitude" and cracked jokes about Team Free Will.

Dean's character has had a major role in everything that happened this season. Maybe he wasn't in the top two of the final smackdown between Lucifer and Michael, but he had a huge part in it. He was willing to die with Sam. He kept Sam grounded. Sam would never have overcome Lucifer and jumped into the pit without Dean. And he CHOSE to be there. (Also, if Dean had been the vessel, I believe, Michael would have been that much stronger, and the battle would have happened, and that would have brought paradise to Earth...the only way to fulfill his destiny to "save the world" as he knew it, was not to participate.) And Dean, we thank you for that.

In the end (or the almost end) Dean didn't have the luxury of being done. As much as he wanted to die, he had to go on. I'm tempted to quote a Buffy line here, but I'll refrain (okay, no I won't...the hardest thing in this world is to live in it.) I think Dean's always been the one to straddle the supernatural world and the real world most successfully. In his own way he really is the most well adjusted (or as he says, "Well fed.") Sam always fought to be "normal" but never really came close.

Anyway, I know that there are lots of sides to this, and that there are Sam fans and Dean fans and those in the middle, but I think Dean did a lot of very important stuff this season. (JMHO of course). I also think that he very much fulfilled his destiny. He maintained his free will throughout, and that was always the greatest accomplishment. I feel he had a much higher purpose than the destiny he was told he had. Dean had to maintain, and not waiver from, that highest of all qualities...fre e will and self determinism.

Now, this isn't directly on topic, but I can't wait to see what Dean becomes in Season Six. If he's had any amount of "normal life" with Lisa and Ben at all, when he's pulled back into hunting he will have to be a different person. How can he go back to womanizing and wisecracking? He'll either have them at home, waiting, or lose them in a horrible way, or leave them for their own good. (Or the writers will come up with something even more evil.) I can't wait to see the ways Dean changes and grows, and how that contradicts with old habits and characteristics . I look forward to seeing Sam, too, but I don't see quite as much change and development ahead for him (although I guess he's gotten at least some redemption now), as I do for Dean. I'm very much looking forward to it.

(I should say that I'm about 52% a Sam fan and 48% Dean, so when I say I'm really excited about seeing Dean in Season Six and not so much about seeing Sam...well, let's just say that's a little hard to admit. And here I've gone and put it in writing!)
Anne J
# Anne J 2010-07-13 15:51
"As for his "diminished" role in the story, I'm stunned... To me, the iconic image in that last episode was Dean kneeling alone in the cemetery, beaten, battered, bloody and bereft..."

A sad image indeed. Would that the Show had actually followed through on the Dean mytharc it spent two seasons telling us about and then apparently forgot at the eleventh hour. Then this might not have happened. If you read the comments here you will see that is the issue many of us are concerned about. We are not criticizing Dean and nor are we saying he was diminished as a character. We are saying his role in the mytharc was wiped out, and that is indisputable.
muse
# muse 2010-07-13 16:26
(Edited. Simmer down Muse. I don't see where you were singled out by that comment. Your thoughts an opinions are welcome here and I think you've made some good points so far, but don't let opinions of one poster set you off like that. The idea of this thread is to let everyone bring their own points of view. No one was scolding).
Kathryn
# Kathryn 2010-07-13 16:56
Faye said:
‘So, my opinion. Did Sam have a stronger part in the finale? I guess he did, but I'm not really sure what's wrong with that. I've always felt that the focus shifted from season to season between the boys, and I haven't been unhappy with that, myself. Is it unfair for Sam to finally take control of the forces (both demonic and angelic) that have been jerking him around like a puppet his whole life? Sam learned to both accept his "destiny" and yet make it his own. I think that's great story telling.’

Faye, I'm glad you don't think there is anything wrong with the fact Sam had a stronger part in the finale that marked the end of a two-season mytharc in which we were all led to believe Dean had a major role. I would have liked the brothers to have had equal roles at the end. I’m glad you think it’s OK that the show didn't follow up on Dean's mytharc. I think it renders a season and a half of Dean's story redundant. While that doesn't bother you it certainly bothers me and I don't think wiping out 40 episodes of canon is great storytelling at all.

Demonic and angelic forces were jerking Dean around his whole life too. He had a destiny too, or so we were led to believe. I’m glad you think it was fine for that destiny to be forgotten and for Dean not to have the opportunity to “take control” or to “accept it and make it his own.” I don’t think it’s fine that he was denied this, or denied his own redemption for breaking the first seal.

Faye also said this:
‘Now, Dean...Triviali zed? Diminished? Really? From season one on, Dean has been borderline suicidal, and he's only looked at himself in one light, as his brother's keeper. Some apparently think that's trivial, but it's a defining part of Dean's character that's been obvious since season one. Personally, I see it as one of his great strengths.’

So do I. Yet the show took that from him also, when it had Sam rail against Dean’s guidance. I don’t think that’s good storytelling either.
Shelby
# Shelby 2010-07-13 17:23
"I've been reading this thread for a couple of days now, and, people, it's been a little depressing."

Well, I guess we have another difference of perception here, because I've never found the comments more stimulating or the discussion more genuine than it has been in these last two articles. I've read/lurked here, but rarely felt the urge to comment until these last two. Thanks for somehow opening things up a little, Alice.
Kady
# Kady 2010-07-13 17:41
"Is it unfair for Sam to finally take control of the forces (both demonic and angelic) that have been jerking him around like a puppet his whole life?"

You seem to be suggesting this doesn't also apply to Dean. Mary and John, who were matched by angelic forces and killed by demonic forces, were Dean's parents too. Dean also had a destiny as an angelic vessel (well right up until the moment he "wasn't a part of the story anymore" according to the script). Dean lived with the reality that he might have to kill his brother because of what the YED did to Sam. He was maneuvered by demonic influences into making a deal that would get him to Hell in order to break the first seal. He was quite comprehensively jerked around like a puppet in Hell, as well as in life. It sounds like a goodish mix of demonic and angelic forces jerking him around like a puppet his whole life - to me at least.

I agree with the poster above (Kathryn): Why is it apparently perfectly okay that Dean *didn't* get the opportunity to finally take control of these forces? They affected him just as much as they did Sam. He should have been given an equal role in taking control of them and overcoming them.
Amelia
# Amelia 2010-07-13 18:46
Alice, if it helps, I think Muse felt that Faye was scolding her because of Faye's emphasis on fans who quote ratings. As Muse is the fan who quoted ratings in this thread, it is reasonable to assume that Faye was referring to her. Quotation of ratings was what Faye connected to ill will and anger, and what she scolded other posters for doing ("there's no need to cite anything to back up your opinions but the contents of the show itself. To say something was not good because the ratings declined is kind of silly"). Moreover, Faye constructed a strawman argument in order to dismiss Muse's post as "silly", as she completely ignored Muse's words:

"Now I have no idea what caused this -- whether it was dissatisfaction with the way the season was progressing or increased competition or more people moving to DVR and non-traditional viewing methods (probably a combination of all of the above) but the fact remains that this show went from a core audience of almost 3.5 million to about 2.5 million."

Ie, Muse herself said that she had no idea what had caused this, and even offered alternative speculation to the idea that it was because of viewer dissatisfaction . I can very easily understand how having her post misrepresented and then described as "silly" and "ill will" would feel like a scolding (or even an attack), especially combined with the wording "there's no need to (post what Muse posted)".

Feel free to delete this after you've read it. I just felt that it might help the overall situation if the specific points in Faye's post that targeted Muse were highlighted, since you said that you didn't see them. I would hate for you to get the impression that Muse reacted to nothing, since in my view, she has been completely reasonable and logical in this thread.

Thanks!
Tracey
# Tracey 2010-07-13 19:05
Great discussion. I didn't like the finale and have been dogpiled everywhere I have said so except for TWOP, where the mods don't let that happen.

My family actually has a Neilsen STB and I can guarantee that we won't be watching Supernatural if they don't do something to reinstate him in this show.
Amelia
# Amelia 2010-07-13 19:10
"Why is it apparently perfectly okay that Dean *didn't* get the opportunity to finally take control of these forces? They affected him just as much as they did Sam. He should have been given an equal role in taking control of them and overcoming them."

I would go a step further and say that NO one overcame those forces in the finale. Dean didn't say yes to Michael, no. But he did submit to using the demon blood, and he did submit to Sam saying yes to Lucifer, and he did submit to Death's demands. It was nice that he went to be with Sam as the world went to hell in a handbasket, it was sentimental, but was it a triumph of free will? Only in the most shallow and slightest of ways. They gave in to destiny and their own worst character flaws at every turn. It's lucky for them that Sam saw the toy soldier, but it wasn't their own cleverness, courage or conviction. It was "God looks after children and fools" rather than "The Winchesters thumbed their nose at destiny and angels and demons and did it humanity's way!" In the end, they didn't rise above. They didn't do it their way. They did it Ruby's way, and stumbled onto a lucky break.

I think that's the worst part of all... that the finale told me that demon blood and Ruby and pride were a path to salvation all along, because plot contrivance was never going to let the Winchesters lose. There was no reason to have worried about them in season 4... there was no reason to have EVER worried about them. They didn't need to grow or change or do anything. Victory was just going to fall into their laps even if they did all the wrong things, because this is a TV show. Dean's story was scrapped, which was upsetting enough, but then the entire backbone of the show was tossed along with it. If this is because of the changes they made, I can't feel that it was worth it.
Tiffany
# Tiffany 2010-07-13 19:46
Perhaps not, if the show hadn't also had Bobby reprimanding Dean, Death telling him to back down, and Sam agreeing with Dean's apologies through his silence. The message I got was that Dean's attitude was the main reason Sam acted out and if he'd been a better brother, none of this mess would have happened. Which I found very sad, considering how I'd always felt that Dean's protectiveness to be one of his most endearing qualities. I'm not sure what's left for Dean now, to be honest. I guess he can still hunt like all the other hunters on the show, while the writers dream up some new multi season supernatural arc for Sam.



We could have still had that powerful image had Dean actually, you know-done something? Representing those who don't actually fight the war but are left behind is not something I'd have envisioned for Dean. Having Dean have a role wouldn't have necessarily eliminated Sam's big moment either-it just would have been a shared victory. And I'd have felt the same dissatisfaction if it were Sam in the position of being only an observer and not a participant in helping shut down the forces that destroyed his family/ruined his life. Both brothers deserved that shot.



Exactly. Having numerous loose ends that go nowhere, minor characters having no emotional ties to the audience coming out of the woodwork to upsurp lead charcter's position, abrupt shifts in the narrative at the 11th hour....I hardly think that's great storytelling. But miles vary, I suppose.
Tiffany
# Tiffany 2010-07-13 19:52
(Dang, I lost all my quotes in my above post. How the heck did that happen? It's never done that before!)

Well, for my post to make sense:

1. First paragraph was in response to Faye's comment that Dean apologizing didn't mean he needed to.

2. Second paragraph was in response to Faye's comment about Dean being the last man standing.

3. Third paragraph was in agreement with Kathryn's comment about the storytelling
Tara
# Tara 2010-07-14 07:44
AMELIA: "...it wasn't their own cleverness, courage or conviction. It was "God looks after children and fools" rather than "The Winchesters thumbed their nose at destiny and angels and demons and did it humanity's way!" In the end, they didn't rise above. They didn't do it their way. They did it Ruby's way, and stumbled onto a lucky break."

Amelia, I love it when I stumble across posters who can articulate so well what didn't work and why (or did work and why, if the case is warranted). This! says it all, and explains succinctly why I feel like all those times they kept repeating the same tired phrases about doing it their way and standing together and keeping each other human ended up being so much empty words and just really lazy repetitive and ultimately filler writing besides, since the writers ended up never following up on those reiterated meaningless phrases.

This is why the preponderance of the tell-don't-show Chuck V/O was so annoying, especially at the very end, since he was talking about the Winchesters supposedly doing things they didn't actually do at all. Not for a minute. Like just saying it made it so, even if we didn't see it happen. But neither the writing nor direction, and certainly not the acting, ever bore out for a second what Chuck said at the end about family. It had nothing to do with that, and it certainly wasn't a celebration of humanity. It felt more like the writers were saying 'we gotta end this thing now, and since we kept changing our minds for whatever reason along the way, we don't know where we're going anymore, so let's just stop at the 42 minute mark wherever we end up standing.'

I guess what it boils down to is a feeling that they got in way over their heads with this story and they never had a good plan to end it. Plus, ultimately it really didn't fit the characters anyway.
Paola
# Paola 2010-07-14 09:27
I don't usually post here because (edited, fandom generalizations and incorrect biases aren't welcome here) and I don't feel my opinions are welcome but this:

I think that's great story telling.

I don't agree that it is great story telling to wipe out 2 seasons of the show as far as Dean is concerned. He matters too. I hope to see it rectified in the sixth season.
Chris_J
# Chris_J 2010-07-14 12:08
Amelia wrote:

"I would go a step further and say that NO one overcame those forces in the finale. Dean didn't say yes to Michael, no. But he did submit to using the demon blood, and he did submit to Sam saying yes to Lucifer, and he did submit to Death's demands. It was nice that he went to be with Sam as the world went to hell in a handbasket, it was sentimental, but was it a triumph of free will? Only in the most shallow and slightest of ways. They gave in to destiny and their own worst character flaws at every turn. It's lucky for them that Sam saw the toy soldier, but it wasn't their own cleverness, courage or conviction. It was "God looks after children and fools" rather than "The Winchesters thumbed their nose at destiny and angels and demons and did it humanity's way!" In the end, they didn't rise above. They didn't do it their way. They did it Ruby's way, and stumbled onto a lucky break.

I think that's the worst part of all... that the finale told me that demon blood and Ruby and pride were a path to salvation all along, because plot contrivance was never going to let the Winchesters lose. There was no reason to have worried about them in season 4... there was no reason to have EVER worried about them. They didn't need to grow or change or do anything. Victory was just going to fall into their laps even if they did all the wrong things, because this is a TV show. Dean's story was scrapped, which was upsetting enough, but then the entire backbone of the show was tossed along with it. If this is because of the changes they made, I can't feel that it was worth it."


THIS.

Thank you, Amelia, for this concise and well thought-out summary of the problems I also have about the finale and the brothers' respective roles in it.

I just hope the writers do have a plan to address these issues next season.
Anne J
# Anne J 2010-07-14 15:06
'I'm still keeping an open mind on frustrations over how season five didn't live up to the promises made in season four (I see points but I'm still on the fence)"

Forgive me but I don't really see how it can be denied that season 5 didn't live up to expectations *as far as Dean is concerned* and I am baffled as to how you can say you are still "on the fence" with regard to that in the face of the views expressed here. He wasn't the one to end it, he wasn't a vessel, the hints about being a servant of God, killing an angel and looking into Zachariah's grace all came to nothing. The script declared he "wasn't a part of this story" and in the closing scenes of the finale he sat on the ground and watched it all happen.

It surely can't be disputed that none of this was followed up on and that Dean's part in the mytharc never came to anything. It surely can't be disputed that this makes almost two seasons of Dean's role in the show pretty much redundant - except perhaps for fans who are happy to see him demoted to being the sidekick again. It does seem to me that there are some people here, including you, who are happy with the fact that while Sam got to be redeemed Dean didn't. I feel that anyone who genuinely subscribes to the notion that Supernatural is about TWO brothers should be concerned that they were not given equal roles in the finale despite what we were told and despite the fact that Dean's life also was destroyed be angelic/demonic influences and he also deserved a chance to take back the power and gain some peace of mind/redemption for his part in jumpstarting the apocalypse.

I'm happy Sam got his redemption and helped stop what he helped start. I'm not happy the same wasn't true for Dean, and I'm not happy that I hung on through what I consider to be an appallingly badly paced and substandard season of the show, and a lousy and badly acted finale, in the hope of some payoff. I have encountered this opinion widely in fandom. I have been expressing my views here in the hope it might actually reach the ears of the show's writers at some point, and tbh I feel like I've wasted my time.
AnneJ
# AnneJ 2010-07-14 17:39
Alice, it’s a shame that you consider opinions different from yours to be little more than “negative backlash.” That’s a tad dismissive and quite offensive to the people who have come on here and posted their concerns in a polite and reasoned way – as you yourself encouraged them to do.
AnneJ
# AnneJ 2010-07-14 17:46
I just wanted to add that I'm not the only person on here who has mentioned the negative reception to the finale and I honestly think if you're entitled to say their is "much love" for the finale surely we should be entitled to point out that there was also much dislike and derision for it in fandom…
Amelia
# Amelia 2010-07-14 18:45
Tara said:

"This is why the preponderance of the tell-don't-show Chuck V/O was so annoying, especially at the very end, since he was talking about the Winchesters supposedly doing things they didn't actually do at all."

Heh, true. That being said, Chuck has already said to us in-show that he finds writing to be very hard. :P

"I guess what it boils down to is a feeling that they got in way over their heads with this story and they never had a good plan to end it."

What bothers me is that I actually have the opposite impression... that they had a dynamite ending that was planned out early on. But they changed it, and in doing so, lost their only chance to top off the angels and demons story with a meaningful and fitting conclusion. That's what breaks my heart, the knowledge that they'll never have another shot at it. This was their one chance to make all of this mean something, and they blew it. I don't know why, but the result is the same, regardless of why it was done. And to see everyone's hard work over the years come to that is just very sad.
Shelby
# Shelby 2010-07-14 18:51
"If you take offense to the fact that mine hasn't been easily changed by all this negative backlash, then you've missed the point of an "open" discussion".

And *I* thought you were opening up things a bit...*sigh*... I DO hope someone from the show will even "skim" this one, though.
kamm
# kamm 2010-07-14 20:57
A discussion means that not everyone is going to agree with you. And that even if you state your case clearly and intelligently, as everyone here has done, chances are you aren't going to change anyone's mind. No one is going to convince me that I didn't love the finale, or that the writers were wrong to write it the way they did. It had everything I could have wanted, and more. While I can understand why some are unhappy, I also know that plenty loved it and loved what it had to say.
elle
# elle 2010-07-15 00:43
Wow, seems I've been missing some seriously intense discussion!

Since there are over 100 comments now, forgive me if I'm repeating but I have thoroughly read every comment. Also - this is probably a little clunky because it's late and I'm tired.

This is certainly an intriguing topic. For my part, I was glad to see Dean be granted a role in the mytharc of the show after, initially, Sam being the primary focus in that area (no, that isn't an anti-Sam comment and I'm not saying that Sam had more screentime/stor yline over Dean - just stating fact of the shows mytharc that Sam had a "supernatural" role to play to Dean's Joe-Normal for a good long while).

While I would have loved to see Jensen as Michael, I am glad it didn't turn out that way. To me, Dean functions as a grounding force. I agree that his ultimate role is to be the human face. That isn't to say Sam is inhuman or evil or anything like that, but he was drawn into this elabtorate scheme by external forces who wanted Sam in a position to be Lucifer's vessel. Dean was there for the human reasons - love and family.

Was the Michael-vessel switch from Dean to Adam wobbly? Without question. (Truthfully, Adam always annoyed me - nothing against the charactor or the actor, I just hate the half-sibling thing.) What was lovely about the finale is that it was the humanity of the Winchester family that gave Sam the strength to overtake Lucifer and regain control of his body. It wasn't Michael, or magic or angels that stopped Lucifer, it was the human element and I think that is what Dean embodies on the show, he always has and he always will. This isn't a lesser purpose that Sam's colourful "destiny", just a different, but equally important one.

I don't think Dean's role is diminished in anyway by the fact that he wasn't Michael's vessel. He still had a role in the mytharc. In fact, his sacrifice of a soul made it possible for (a) Sam to live to become Lucifer's vessel (and side rant - here's what confuses me - why did YED have the "contest" with the other infected children if it was known all along that Sam and Dean would the Cane and Abel bloodline needed for the apocolyptic family feud?) and (b) for Ruby to instigate herself in Sam's life and take advantage of Sam's grief when Dean died.

Destiny or free-will, the choices the boys both made contributed to the mytharc of the show and Sam couldn't have been in the position to become Lucifer's vessel, certainly not in the capacity he was on the show, without Dean, and visa versa.
Kathryn
# Kathryn 2010-07-15 18:19
“It wasn't Michael, or magic or angels that stopped Lucifer, it was the human element”

From where I was sitting it looked suspiciously like it was a plastic toy soldier that stopped Lucifer.

“He still had a role in the mytharc. his sacrifice of a soul made it possible for (a) Sam to live to become Lucifer's vessel (and side rant - here's what confuses me - why did YED have the "contest" with the other infected children if it was known all along that Sam and Dean would the Cane and Abel bloodline needed for the apocolyptic family feud?) and (b) for Ruby to instigate herself in Sam's life and take advantage of Sam's grief when Dean died. ”

Perhaps, if one counts driving the toy soldier to the cemetery. It doesn’t change the fact that for a whole lot of us it was a great big fail of epic proportions. I mean – could he not even have been given the task of using the rings? Nope. And there is all that other stuff we were told in season 4. As it it it was totally pointless for him even to be raised from Hell. In my opinion it was appalling, illogical writing that had no continuity with the previous two seasons.
elle
# elle 2010-07-16 10:07
Yes, the plastic toy soldier triggered a slew of memories - but, at least in my opinion, it was those memories of the brother moments with Dean that gave Sam the strength to take back control of his body.

Kathryn, I wasn't trying to suggest that you and others who felt "it was a great big fail of epic proportions" were wrong, or right for that matter. You're entitled to your opinion, afterall and all I was doing was communicating my own opinion. If you feel the toy was just a toy soldier, that's fine. I'm of another thought on that particular point. Further, for me, it was okay that Dean wasn't the magical, mystical element that tipped the scales.

"Perhaps if one counts driving the toy soldier to the cemetery"

Actually, I do count that as significant. More to the point was that Dean didn't give up on Sam, he came to the cemetery with no plan, no weapons in his arsenal beyond brotherly love and a glimmer of hope. What's more is that if Dean hadn't come to the cemetery, Lucifer and Michael would have duked it out to God knows what end. This stands true if Dean hadn't been raised from Hell - except that Sam would have been primed more thoroughly and likely would have said Yes sooner to Lucifer. So yes, in my opinion, Dean had a crucial role, and always has, whether its a supernatural role or just human one doesn't make a difference *to me* which is all I was expressing with my opinion.

The great thing about this site is we can all share our opinions, and generally, we don't feel attacked over them.

I enjoyed season five. Period. Was it clunky at points? Yes. Did it have it's great moments? Well, to me, yes. And the finale was one of them. But then, that's just my opinion.
Claudia
# Claudia 2010-07-22 20:06
I stumbled on this blog unintentionally . And yes, I read EVERY post on this thread. Maybe I've serious issues... :mrgreen:

I'm still on the third season of this series, but I read enough about the overall plot to understand what are you talking about.

EVERYONE here has good points. EVERYONE. But to me it's so clear the the different reactions to the Season 5 and the final episode come just to very different "world views", specifically "heroism views". Such differences I can witness in real life too, between people who believe that "to have a relevant role" means "to take control of things" and people who believe that taking control is not the ONLY thing you can do to be relevant. Between people who believe that a "support/nurtur ing/caring role" is not as relevant as the "action-hero role", that suffering and enduring means submitting, that just being standing at someone's side, even you can't really DO nothing for him, it's essentially useless... and people who don't agree with all that.

These are two really opposite views, not easily to be reconciled. If I could dare compare little things to great ones, it's the same opposition between people who believe in a "God Almighty", "Lord of the Hosts" and such stuff and people who believe in a "Crucified God" so VERY little powerful. A god who doesn't end evil and sufferings with a mmiracle, but instead choose to sharing them with his sons.

Neither of the two views is "wrong" (you know, God IS almighty AND crucified), they are just two faces of the same coin. And for personal ad emotional reasons each one of us is more attracted by one of the two. So for someone Dean just being there for no other purpose than maybe dying at his brother's side is a "scandal", is a "diminishing" of the character. For some others it's his "glory", the final fulfillment of his "destined" role (because, if you see all the Cain/Abel issue, the whole point is to be "the brother's keeper", what we ALL are called to be).

If you don't like the biblical comparison, I can take the "Lord of the Rings" (the BOOK, not the movie): well, when it first was published there were a LOT of readers angry because Frodo "falls" at the end, and give in to the power of the One Ring. SOmeone said the he should have been hanged like a traitor, and not praised like a hero. But in Tolkien's view he WAS a hero: a hero even if he didn't so much and eventually failed, and the day was saved by chance (?). A hero just for getting to be there just in time, and just for having suffered what he suffered to be there. In Tolkien's views the relevance/heroi sm can be found also in a (seemingly) "passive" role, like Faramir tries to explain to a "heroic warrior" Eowyn.

I've not still watched all seasons, so maybe the fifth season is really poor written and with too much expectations builded that were not fulfilled in the end. But as far as the basic philosophy that I've written about in the previous lines is concerned, I think I will be perfectly satisfied, because I'm among the ones who like the idea of the "passive heroism", or better, of the "supporting/nur turing role" as ABSOLUTELY relevant and UTTERLY heroic.