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Welcome to our newest experiment, the Let's Discuss threads!  The idea is to focus the discussions and topics out there and let burning subjects that are on people's minds to have their own dedicated place.

By request, we're opening up a discussion thread on papa bear himself, John Winchester.  There are a lot of unresolved feelings toward John, so here's the place to voice them!

I'll start with a few topics of discussion, but feel free to add in your own topics, too.  Anything John-related is fair game in this area!

**  How do you feel about John as a parent?  Do you think he did the best he could or do you think he wasn't a very good parent?
**  What do you think John would have done if he had found out about Mary's history as a hunter?
**  How do you feel about the deal John made with Azazel in order to save Dean's life?
**  John's need for secrecy is one of my personal issues with him, but do you think it was warranted?  How do you feel it did or didn't affect his sons?
**  In what ways are Sam and Dean like and unlike their father?
**  How do you think his character was affected by information about him that's come to light in the past seasons, especially in regards to Adam Milligan and the events in "Dark Side of the Moon"?  (John leaving Mary for a time.)

In your comments, please be aware of our rules.  Otherwise, this is a free form discussion where all comments are welcome.  If there are other topics that you'd like to see in "Let's Discuss," send your suggestion through the "Contact Us" section.  

The Rules For Commenting



# Ripley2win 2012-11-05 18:07
My feelings have softened towards John Winchester over the years. Being a parent is always "on the job" training. But for me the deciding factor regarding John is like that song from the Sound of Music. "Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could. Somewhere in (their) youth or childhood (John) must have done something good." He raised TWO great men, Heroes. He has to get SOME of the credit as well as some of the BLAME.
# hartbroknagn 2012-11-05 18:43
I have always thought John did the best he could with his sons. Firstly, he was an army guy and he said himself in S1 that he stopped being a father and became their drill SGT. He also told Sam that he was so afraid for his children he didn't want to lose them.

I have always hoped that somehow they would be able to see their father again. I think that the older they get maybe they will be able to see what he did for them and why.
# percysowner 2012-11-05 20:53
How do you feel about John as a parent? Do you think he did the best he could or do you think he wasn't a very good parent?

John may have done the best he could, but he still wasn't a good father. No one intends to be a bad father. He was overwhelmed after Mary died, but leaving your young children alone while you go hunt monsters is bad parenting. I've often said that John was a good man, but a bad father because his dedication to the cause of finding the YED and hunting evil saved lives, but overtook his ability to be a good father.

What do you think John would have done if he had found out about Mary's history as a hunter?

I'm not sure he didn't find out at some point. We learned that the Campbells were big name hunters, who had hunted for generations and had libraries and who pretty well died off after Mary died. John was looking at all kinds of resources and I can't imagine he didn't find out about Mary's heritage at some point. But even if I'm wrong, I don't think it would have affected him much after Mary died. John was secretive and didn't play well with others as a hunter and knowing that Mary had been part of the hunting world would not have changed much.

How do you feel about the deal John made with Azazel in order to save Dean's life?

I think it was both loving and cowardly. John acted like any loving father who would do anything to save his son's life. John expected to be tortured, I'm sure he didn't know about the demons being people thing.

But John was also a coward. John knew that Sam was in terrible danger from the demon. He told Azazel that he knew everything, but we really don't know if he did know everything or just thought he did. In any case he thought that Sam might become so evil that he would have to be killed and he put that burden on Dean. John's deal was both loving and horrific for Dean.

John's need for secrecy is one of my personal issues with him, but do you think it was warranted? How do you feel it did or didn't affect his sons?

John's secrecy was very damaging to both Sam and Dean. He taught them to constantly live lies. This has led to their major breaks. Sam kept his desire to go to college a secret and got kicked out of the house when he made it happen, instead of being able to talk about his wants and needs and having John let him go with less hostility. Sam kept the demon blood secret which led to his downfall, partly because John's actions taught him to never tell anyone anything. If John had been honest with Sam about why he didn't want him to go to college, if he had told Sam what he was facing, heck if he had told Dean what he thought Sam would do to deserve death, so much pain could have been avoided.

In what ways are Sam and Dean like and unlike their father?

Skipping this for now, I'll have to think.

How do you think his character was affected by information about him that's come to light in the past seasons, especially in regards to Adam Milligan and the events in "Dark Side of the Moon"? (John leaving Mary for a time.)

My negative feelings toward John were always about the kind of father he was shown to be in season one. Having an affair YEARS after Mary died didn't bother me. Finding out he had a son and trying to have some kind of contact with him didn't bother me. Not telling Sam and Dean was iffy, but since John had no intention of bringing Adam into the hunting life (possibly because he had found out about Mary and thought that Adam was safe because he wasn't Mary's child) it doesn't bother me that much. Adam took a couple of days a year with John. Sam and Dean were grown by the time John found out about Adam and I have little problem with him trying to keep his lives separate. Plus it is part of his secretive nature.

Leaving Mary in DSOTM didn't bother me that much either. Cupid indicated that John and Mary didn't really LIKE each other when they were forced to fall in love. I can see having real problems when you are passionate about a person who you really don't like. Dean was affected by the tension of the fights and by the feeling of abandonment when John left, but since we don't know enough about the fights, it may have been less hurtful to Dean for John to leave and get some space instead of exposing Dean to whatever anger was between John and Mary.

I should say I liked young John from In The Beginning and The Song Remains The Same. He seemed to have good instincts and certainly good intentions about fatherhood. He was appalled by the way he was eventually going to raise Sam and Dean. It is hard to know exactly what changed him. By the time Dean was born he had been possessed by Michael and although Michael didn't leave him a drooling idiot, he may well have affected John's mind in some way, leading him to make his boys warriors because that was what Michael wanted. Certainly having his wife die in a horrific, unexplainable way after having been at such odds with her that he had left the family had to leave him feeling guilty as well as confused about what he saw the night Mary died. Finding out about the supernatural may well have pushed him over the edge, although I think a case can be made that it is possible that the angels and the demons helped. Sam was followed by demons all his life and they wanted Sam in the game. So John's actions may have been influenced as well to push Sam into becoming what the demons wanted.

John angers me for the way he treated Sam and Dean. He is also a truly tragic figure, caught in a battle between Heaven and Hell and never knowing why his life fell apart.
# Ginger 2012-11-07 17:36
I loved John W.'s character, but I think he was emotionally abusive, maybe even physically abusive, to the boys, but especially Dean. He sure did a number on that boy.

That said, Dean would not be the person he is today if not for John. Allthough I think Dean's hunter instincts were born in his genes, they were honed under John's tutelage. I think Dean's imagination, and he has a very good imagination that allows him to make quick decisions and come up with out-of-the-box solutions, came from walking the fragile line between John's expectations and Dean stepping up to meet those expectations.

I also think that Dean always questioning himself, always evaluating and judging what his actions, came from John putting too much responsibility on his young shoulders, but that very questioning and judging has allowed Dean to form his own moral code and the toughness he needed to live the life he has lead, all the while guiding and protecting Sam.

I also think that the four years with his mother had a bigger impact on Dean than the show has ever brought out, or could ever bring out. Dean was heavily, heavily influenced by his mother, and that is why I think Dean is like Mary and Deanna, his grandmother, while Sam, lacking Mary's influence, took after John...that and just the luck of the birth draw, of course.

So, while I think John was one, big SOB, I still like his character. I like complicated men. I don't want John back, though. The show has so totally trashed his character with that Adam crap story, John is a done deal for me and, I hope, for JDM, too.
# LEAH D 2012-11-07 19:05
Ginger, completely agree with most of your comment. I have kind of a love/hate thing about JW. I am always so sad to see those flashbacks of young Sam and Dean, especially the parts where they were left alone. Sad and mad. In spite of that, and the number he did on Dean, I think he loved them dearly. I only disagree about not having him make an appearance again. I would love to see JDM again, if they could find an appropiate way to do it. Not some contrived thing. I wasn't crazy about the Adam story either but it doesn't affect my desire to see JW again. Fat chance though :)
# Navii 2013-01-05 16:43
I really want to know what happened to John's spirit after the gate. Ash said he couldn't find John or Mary Winchester in heaven. Are the being held captive in heaven by an angel that isn't part of the Cas/Winchester fan club? Hopefully, this will be touched on as the "heaven conspiracy" unfolds. I'm hoping it's not a dropped storyline because it has potential to be very interesting. It would be a great way to involve John, Mary, Jo, Ellen or Ash in the main storyline without having to sacrifice plot stability. It also could be the answer we are looking for reguarding Bobby. I don't think that's Bobby's storyline, but if the writers are smart they're looking for a way
# Navii 2013-01-05 17:44
To reintroduce some familliar side characters back into the story. I feel the real rift between seasons 1-5, 6 & 7 lies in the lack of side characters. Even in seasons one and two had recurring side characters that were usefull for telling different types of plots (for example the female crossroads deamon vs John). We learn a lot about characters through the way they interact with the world, which is hard to do if there's no world left to interact with. Which is probably why Jeremy Carver had to manufacture conflict (via Sam not looking for Dean) to buy him some time to introduce some new characters in a way that makes sense (Hello Benny) with back story so we actually care about them. Obviously, this has led to the segmented and confusing season 8, but it's not Carver's fault. It's what he was left to work with. This is also why this show absolutely NEEDS Cas. Think about it, The brotherswere always a trio. Even in seasons one and two. We first learned about the charactersristi cs that give the brothers unique personalities through their interaction with John. What they thought about John. How John affected them. Even when John wasn't there there was constant talk of John. What would John do? He was dictating their actions like a phantom even when he wasn't there, he was their third man. A trio. It gave them history and created. Sam and Dean out of nothing. What would we know about the brothers if they never interacted with anyone? Nothing. That's why it was totally nessisary to fill the gap John's death with a symbol of athourity and push the brothers into personal conflict. This opinion of authority is where Sam and Dean differ the most, it creates drama and it allows them to be different from one another creating character. All dramas create character this way, that's what a drama is. They couldn't rely totally on Bobby because his main function was to stay at home and be the FBI, look stuff up in books and offer the advice of an experienced hunter.
# E 2013-01-05 18:10
The only problem with having Cas as a side character is that he only really interacts meaningfully with Dean, creating a terrible imbalance in the storytelling. We have learned nothing about Sam in his limited interactions with Cas. If the PTB would change this then I think the storytelling would improve a thousand fold.
# percysowner 2013-01-05 18:26
I totally agree with this. Cas is tied to Dean and pretty much Dean only. Sam is like the kid brother of his best friend, who always tags along. He cares for him to some extent, maybe, but in the end his loyalty is to Dean not Sam. Cas has shown virtually no interest in Sam outside of Dean. Benny is in a similar position. Sam only has Amelia and that isn't a current relationship. It hasn't really told us much about Sam.

I'm all for additional characters, but they need to interact with both brothers or Sam needs to get a character that actually cares more about him than Dean, and no, I don't mean a married girlfriend, or even a girlfriend. Those never work out in this universe.
# Navii 2013-01-05 19:11
But that's only one side of the John coin (via John's notebook and experience). But the thing is that Bobby is too comforting and warm to promote conflict. As in the boys share the same opinions about Bobby, interact similarly with Bobby, Bobby pulls them together. Because of Bobby's warmth and his function within the relationship of the brothers he lacks the nessisary "fear factor". Instead the writers needed a figure that was cold, distant who's interaction could affect the boys morality directly and distantly, cause conflict, earn the respect of both (not Ruby), who's authority was absolute and trustworthy (not Ruby," deamon" has a strong connotation within the show and the real world and would take much backstory to contadict the perception. Which is why Ruby could never really have been the "third man" despite filling other qualifications. This is also why Ruby can become a controversial character....ov er time) ? And this mystery character had to be this immidiately and without much backstory in order to fill the John gap on short notice. An entity that was already a powerful symbol both the boys and audience would recognize that would fit into their world and the mythology of their universe.
# Navii 2013-01-05 20:16
Which is why Bobby + Cas = John. That's right, they're both sides of the same John coin. This is also the the most reasonable explination for Castiel's personality shift in season 5. In season 4 Castiel functioned as John Winchester without the fatherly connotation and warmth (which was provided for by Bobby). Castiel had all the information and experience to hunt what they were hunting at the time and his visits were just as sporadic and just as distant as John's were in seasons one and two. This character could have stayed that way butCas got popular so they writers added enough extra attributes to make Cas his own charater. Had they wanted to, they could have used the time develping Cas to introduce another chatacter and develop a backstory there, an alternate "third man" and just dump Cas after season 4. But obviously as the series was supposed to end during season 5 and they already had a character in Cas so they developed him instead. So for the people who say that the show is less about the Winchester brothers after the introduction of the angels than it was in seasons one and two I say this: that's partly true, but only because the main plot of those seasons pulls away from the boy's personal journey and gets much bigger (revenge for mom vs apocolypse). It's not because of Castiel. The Duo was alway a trio and the shoe needs that.
# once_an_angel_always1 2014-03-11 10:03
What if John Winchester got his own show, pre-sequel to Supernatural? That would be totally awesome.