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We’ve got two main characters?! We have Life-Threatening Plots and Soul-Crushing Angst?  You know what that means….I think someone’s falling in love…. (AKA the Chris Carter Conundrum, if you please)


So I have this theory about television romances. First, they are freaking addictive! Addictive like store bought cotton candy – you know, the plastic canister with the heavenly blue/pink cloud of sugar love that makes the world a better place, if just for the few moments it takes you to scarf it down? Yum. Anyway, besides my desire for dinner, I’m pretty sure that Sam and Dean meet the criteria for a romantic couple, in the tradition of Mulder/Scully, because epic romance requires a few key factors…… 

And I do call this the “Chris Carter Conundrum” for a reason. Now, for the older ones in my audience (me included), I could call this the “Moonlighting Melee,” but to keep it semi-current I’ll stick with Mulder/Scully as the referents. Carter, like Kripke, had a “ginormously awesome idea for a five year story arc” that would be like “the best thing ever” and would involve “strange creatures and mysterious conspiracies” that would “ROCK YOUR WORLD!!!” Of course, apocalyptic plots need strong characters, and the boohoo moment for the “ROCK YOUR WORLD!!!” story is that it tends to fade into the background and become the white noise against the “EPIC LOVE STORY!!!!” 
So you see, Mulder and Scully are, to my mind, the perfect frames for understanding how to move Dean and Sam as brother/partners into the no man’s land (or all man’s land) of partner/partner <wink, wink>. Why, you may ask? Well, let me show you in ten handy tips.
1.  Storyline starts out with by introducing main hero character who is the centerpiece of catastrophic childhood trauma. (Mulder – abducted sister; Sam – dead mother)
2.  Storyline immediately introduces partner who provides foil for hero’s most important value; partner also has “want to be like my daddy” issues. (Scully’s science to Mulder’s para-science; Dean’s hunter lifestyle to Sam’s normal lifestyle; Scully and the Admiral; Dean and the Hunter)
3.  Storyline hints that partner may, at first, have loyalties to others besides hero, but quickly partners pledge loyalty to each other. (Scully – spy for FBI; Dean – Daddy’s little soldier)
4.  Storyline reveals hero has more intricate connection to plotline. (Mulder – family involved in alien stuff; Sam – demonic, perhaps; psychic, definitely)
5.  Storyline of hero’s journey endangers and puts partner in jeopardy; in fact, partner becomes pawn to control hero’s emotional state. (Scully – abduction, cancer, pregnancy, general danger; Dean – soul selling, multiple dying, angel conspiring)
6.  Storyline emerges as a world-altering/world-ending epic where two partners, hero and partner, must battle together with only a few others to assist. (M/S – Lone Gunmen, Mr. X, various informants; D/S – Bobby, Rufus <sad Linda>, Chuck, Castiel – Question: Why must they always kill Steven Williams? Why?!  - I love you, Steven.)
7.  Storyline focuses gradually on the two central characters and the importance of their relationship/bond as the most important weapon to beat the enemy, causing this relationship to take on epic proportions. (M/S – Every season cliffhanger; D/S – Every season cliffhanger)
8.  Storyline introduces characters that threaten core relationship, usually intimating but not explicitly stating that sexual jealousy is present. Character interruptus, as I like to call it, almost always results in being deceiving-character-of-evil-who-works-for-the-enemy. (XF-Diana Fowley, SPN-Ruby)
9.  Storyline resists, on epic levels, to bend to outside push for romantic turn between characters, instead dropping morsels of heavenly gaps of silence that can be filled in by the fan fic writers aching to start punching those keys. <Linda remembers her first fanfics. Oh, WordPerfect 5.0, how I miss you and your blue screen of inspiration.> Anyway, where are these moments? (M/S –“One Breath,” “Paper Hearts,” “Pusher,” I can go all day on M/S, people. D/S – “AHBL, I and II,” “Croatoan,” “Playthings,” “Faith,” “Mystery Spot,” I can go all day on D/S, people)
10. After original five year plot line completes itself, either in part or totally, the remaining plotlines are attempts to (1) tie up loose ends that dangle precariously and/or (2) explore and explicate core relationship, both within the show and by going meta. (M/S – “Field Trip,” “all things,” “Hollywood AD,” a kid named William?!, D/S – Soulless Sam, God Help Us-“The French Mistake,” “Hello, Cruel World”)

So you know what this means? I can finally construct a math problem that explains Wincest! I am Sheldon-Cooper-level happy, y’all!  

The SAT Word Problem Guide to Wincest (or the Chris Carter Conundrum as Slash Math): 


1.  You have two Damaged Characters (Sam’s Cracked and Dean’s Broken)
2.  who are played by two Fairly Attractive (read here: hotter than the sun on proton steroids) Lead Actors (hello, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki? Come on! That’s just frigging unfair to make them television brothers….just unfair), 
3.  and they sacrifice a lot for each other in a world on the edge of the end times (If Loving You is Wrong, Then……),
4.  all the while really only interacting with each other and leaving a lot of their histories unexamined (Living in the Great Land of No One Understands Me but You - Why do they always assume we’re gay? Or better yet, should you really look at your brother that way, Sam…and I think you had a thing with Brady, Sam…..),
5.  which often puts them in danger of dying,  and for Supernatural, being dead (Death Scenes O’ Love – Classic Soap Technique – Jensen, if you’re reading this, you understand my meaning….Love always proclaims itself in the hour of death, Days of Our Lives-style, right? - Side note: Eric and Austin, Jensen…it would’ve been soooo hot and we could’ve called it some Lord of the Rings sounding portmanteau like “Eritin.” Think about it.), 
6.  but besides the dying and death, there is also the problem of other potential mates who invade the relationship and unsurprisingly, reveal the weaknesses in the original equation (Sexual Jealousy, or The Replacements – Two brothers, a siren, a demon, and an angel walk into a bar… wink, wink), 
7.  which brings all the tension to the forefront, forcing the characters to address in some way the dependency and betrayal that total and complete love demands (Unresolved is Unresolved until it’s Resolved…..with the Great Phallic Knife of Love!), 
8.  and this is settled, of course, so that our two main damaged characters can be together forever and ever (Off the Cliff like Thelma and Louise!  - Otherwise known as “You know Dean and Sam are gonna die together….and then live happily ever after in Heaven, like an ethereal curtainfic”), 
9.  a prescribed ending which allows the show to reflect on how its five year plot plan turned into an epic romance between two people (Take it Outside, Boys – or Meta, Meta, Meta! Nom, Nom, Nom!). 
10.  Solve for x, if y is a predominantly female fandom. 
Now, you can all see my genius! I can link Mulder to Sam and Scully to Dean. Come on! To quote darkhaired!Ruby – “I’m awesome!”

But I’m so not finished…I have seasons to explicate.

Here’s a story of two lovely brothers…..


# rmoats8621 2011-10-19 23:42
ROTFLMAO! Great job! :D
# Melanie 2011-10-20 08:31
Well, that's one way to look at it, I guess.

I don't suppose it matters but Dean says he's Mulder.
# fanotheboyz 2011-10-20 09:54
Wow...just Wow! I think a shower might help about now.
# Sylvie 2011-10-20 10:30
That was too good. You know, I never even thought of the boys that way until I started reading stuff on this site. I think I'm somewhat of an innocent. Boy, the wool has been ripped off of my eyes now! I was never interested in reading fanfiction before, I certainly do not want to read it now!

Thanks so much Linda, you write with a great sense of humour.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-10-20 10:48
Thanks Sylvie. I hope that you are not turned off of fanfiction, though. My observation was hyperbolic. There are many great fanfics out there, both general and "wincest"-centr ic. I am really offering an exaggerated sense of some of these things. Some, though, I do hold water.
# Marilyn 2011-10-20 19:48
Such fun. :P I love the way you wield a two-edged sword with words: one side sharp and biting and the other falling down hilarious. Thank you for brightening my day. :-)
# Linda-bookdal 2011-10-20 22:14
Thank you, Marilyn (make me blush). I'm glad it brightened your day!
# KazKriz 2011-10-22 22:12
– hot guys who love each other and make love….in an Impala, or in some fanfics, on the Impala, next to it, and I don’t even want to think of the ones that have them with the Impala –

girl, that's gold
Diana Shelton
# Diana Shelton 2012-10-29 13:34
I just found this site & I'm really enjoying your essays. Thanks!