Is Dean under a Djinn induced dream? Has he created an alternate reality in this dream world?
First, I would like to point to the very first episode of Season 6, Exile On Main Street. While many have expressed that this is not one of their favorite episodes and have viewed only once or twice, I really liked it. Further upon review of the episode, I propose that Dean never really escaped the Djinn encounter. In fact, he succumbed to their spell and unlike his previous experience, Dean made the decision to stay but while agreeing to this, he decided to take a different path to see his wishes come to fruition.
Now, there are many reasons why I believe this to be the case. First, Dean had lost Sam. He lost him in a way that he couldn’t get him back in any way that he had knowledge or that he could find anything that would assist him in reversing Sam’s fate. I believe that in fact Dean had gone to Lisa as directed by Sam and sought refuge. While he was there, Dean had continued on his quest to find a way for Sam to be released. He was unsuccessful. At the time of the Djinn attack, Dean was vulnerable and rusty. He hadn’t hunted in a year. Although he still used the old sigils, etc. to keep away demons and ghosts, he was not prepared if any other monster attacked him. So attack they did and were very successful. Dean falls under the spell and the dreaming begins.
Inside the dream, Dean can create a world of his own making. Of course, this time would be different. He has a different prized wish and that was to be reunited with his brother, his father-like figure and his best friend. Dean wouldn’t wish to be united with John and Mary since he had already done that the first time and that was a disaster. So, this time, he changes it and wishes for the one person who he knows can be family and provide a family-like atmosphere to Sam. That’s Samuel. Dean knows Samuel. He’s blood family. Samuel is their grandfather. He’s met him and had the opportunity to get to know him unlike Sam. His reasoning is that Samuel could provide a home of sorts to Sam and maybe an extension of family so that Sam wouldn’t be alone. Dream Sam would have the same characteristics as his real self, but without the memories; a sort of safety net to keep reality at bay. Dream Sam would be invincible and not succumb to any harm from another monster or being. Now, you may wonder, what about Deanna, his grandmother? Why didn’t Dean include her in his dream world? Well, he didn’t really get to know Deanna except for their brief conversations. There was not the intense interaction between them as there had been between Dean and Samuel. So, he could exclude her from his world.
Now that he had the principle characters for his world, his dream could commence. Sam could reenter Dean’s world. Dream Sam would be much different than the Real Sam. Dream Sam would come back somewhat broken. That’s based on Dean’s own experience with Hell. He had left some part of himself behind and thus, Sam would need to be the same. However, unlike Dean, it would be Sam’s whole soul. Dean has always believed that he left part of himself in Hell. This part was confirmed in a conversation with Alastair during the episode, On The Head of A Pin. Dream Sam would also have more of the same Hell experiences as Dean but to a greater extent. The hooks and heat would be present and maybe some interjections of fire based on his readings of the Bible and Revelations. It must be pointed out that Lucifer told Sam and Dean in Swan Song that he burned cold. Lucifer caused frost to form on the window in which he drew a picture of a pitchfork. That’s in contrast to Dean’s experience. So, Dean would need to dismiss this in his dream world and change it to more closely mirror his own.
Now, the brothers could unite and join forces. They would fight evil as in the past. Their paths could cross other monsters that they had come across and through Dean’s dreams, other monsters could be combined to form new ones. Dean could explore a deep dark theory that one day a monster would actually turn him into a monster instead of killing him. Plus Dean has always disliked Vampires. Once he satisfies his theory, he resolves to become whole again (Live Free or TwiHard). Dean could even name a new kind of monster (Mommy Dearest)! Death would have a kind of kinship with Dean. He would be an ally of sorts instead of a foe to fear. The both of them would share a comical common interest; fast food (Meet The New Boss). He would be the big brother again. He’s following his desire to protect Sam, even if it’s only his dream Sam. However, since he believes all the events transpiring are real, the distinction between the two worlds no longer seems to apply. Dean is able to explore his most wanted desires. He can go to places he’s dreamed of and meet his heroes. He goes back to the Old West and to the 1940’s (Frontierland and Time After Time). He also wants escape from his dream world with Sam into a possible alternate dream reality (The French Mistake). It’s just like the holodeck on Star Trek! The bonus is…Sam is along for the ride. Now, Dean has to have conflict to keep up with his belief that his dream state is real. Perfection is not real. So, Dream Sam may be broken, but they’re together. That’s all that counts (Like a Virgin).
Dean still can’t forget about his mother. So, she joins his dream world, but is altered. Mary Winchester is not really his Mom. After all, she’s dead and as I’ve said the last time he was in the Djinn’s dream world, his wish to be with her was disastrous (Mommy Dearest). So this time, it’s a monster pretending to be his Mom.
As for Dream Castiel and Dream Bobby, Dean would expect them to die at some point. Anyone close to the brothers has always met this fate and why should this time be any different. So, one by one they’re gone (Hello Cruel World and Death's Door). Being a supernatural and celestial being, Dream Castiel has the ability to once again reenter Dean’s world. Dream Bobby does not. His death would be permanent. As for Dream Lisa and Dream Ben, they won’t meet this same fate. The both of them hold a special place in his heart. After all, they took him in when he hadn’t really expected them to. So, their fate will be one of amnesia. This in a sad way is a kind of death since they will not know that Dean exists at all (Let It Bleed).
The thing that Dean wants most for Dream Sam (and the Real Sam) is to be happy. In his previous dream, Sam and Jessica didn’t work out and so now, he has decided that it must be played out differently. It won’t be perfect. Nothing ever is in their world. So, why not someone like Becky for Sam? I suggest this due to a very odd poster that appears on Becky’s wall. It’s of the Route 666. That was the episode where we all met Dean’s first real love. If Season 7: Time For A Wedding had been real, I would have expected the poster advertising the episode Heart on her wall, not Route 666. Heart was tied more directly to Sam than Dean. Besides, Sam needs love of some sort, too. Dean only knows of four women that have been closely tied to his brother. Jessica, Sarah, Madison and Becky. Jessica and Madison are dead. Sarah’s fate is unknown, but Dean does know that Becky is still around. Chuck confirmed this in Swan Song during a conversation with Dean just prior to Dean going to the Stull Cemetery to see Lucifer Sam. However, in the middle of the dream, Dean realizes that this won’t work and changes the reality. Becky and Sam are not to be.
Still I propose there’s another story arc running concurrent to this one. This one is on the down-low. It’s not being advertised or shown except through periods of Dean’s semi-consciousness. The first possibility is that Sam has gotten out of Hell. Castiel was successful and able to retrieve him. Since he’s one of the only angels still around who’s been to Hell and back, he was able to get him with some backup. I’m thinking that’s where Balthazar comes into the picture. Once again, Castiel is powerful since God brought him back, but he still needs assistance on this task. It’s too big of a job for Cas to do alone. At this time, there are next to none of the archangels still around; only Raphael.
Real Sam has been trying to reach Dean with Castiel’s assistance. Bobby has also been trying, too. I see all of them using everything in their arsenal like dream walking, etc. It’s a game of touch and go; small wins making some headway. Dean has put up barriers and walls in his Djinn dream world reality. The wall in Dream Sam is actually a wall constructed by Dean. It’s a wall that won’t allow reality to seep into his world. Sam keeps pushing. Dean keeps resisting until it finally starts to crack a little.
The second possibility is that Sam is still in Hell and reaching out to Dean through his psychic connection. Bobby and Castiel are working in tandem trying to retrieve both of our guys from their awful situations.
These arcs continue throughout Season 6 and 7 where sprinkles of the brothers’ pasts intertwine with scenarios dreamed up by Dean to explain his world. Throughout it all, time remains a constant factor. It’s a reminder to Dean that all things must come to an end. Since he’s already been in the Djinn’s dream world before, he knows this at some level of consciousness. It will all end and he will die. However, unlike the real world, Dean won’t have to worry about Sam. His version of Sam will be safe and happy.
In conclusion, it’s all a discombobulated wacky dream and I bet they’re getting quite an enjoyable laugh.