NUMBER ONE: the last five minutes of 8x02, "What's Up, Tiger Mommy? AKA SHUT UP AND FUCK YOU, Dean, courtesy of Kevin Tran. I know, worst Deangirl ever, old news, get over it. Anyway, Crowley, having recently excised himself from Linda's body, offers Kevin a word of advice:
I know we're not mates, Kevin, but one word of advice – run. Run far and run fast. 'Cause the Winchesters – well, they have a habit of using people up and watching them die bloody. Toodles.
CROWLEY waves and leaves the room.
INT. WAREHOUSE – NIGHT
DEAN, SAM, KEVIN and MRS TRAN are in the room where the auction was held. MRS TRAN sits unmoving in a chair. KEVIN sits in front of her with a hand on her knee.
Has she said anything? [KEVIN shakes his head.]
Listen, Kev, what your mom went through – it's hell. Trust me, I know. But she seems tough. She'll pull it together.
You tried to kill her.
Kid, in this life –
Shut up! I don't want to hear any more of your crappy speeches. I just want to talk to my mom alone.
Sure. Five minutes.
MRS TRAN’s face is blank.
SAM and DEAN are waiting in the next room.
Dean, were you really going to, uh...
What? Slit soccer mom's throat? Yeah, I was. I wish I had.
It was Crowley, Sam. No matter what meat suit he's in, I should have knifed him. I mean, yeah, it would have sucked, and I would have hated myself, but what's one more nightmare, right? [Pause] It seem a little quiet in there to you?
SAM opens the door to the room where the auction was held. KEVIN and MRS TRAN are gone.
You've got to be kidding me! [He sees a folded piece of paper on a chair.] Hey.
What? [DEAN unfolds the note.] What's it say?
Uh, that they bolted, that we shouldn't come looking, and since we lost the tablet, Kevin figures we don't need him.
Yeah, but Crowley still does. What's that kid thinking?!
He thinks people I don't need anymore – they end up dead.
Dean, that – that – that's not true. You know that.
Text courtesy of the SuperWiki.
Kevin's fervent rejection of any sort of justification, or half-assed moral patch-up speech, is just beautiful to me. Because as much as Sam and Dean don't obviously go around looking to abuse people, offing contacts who have outlived their usefulness like they're some kind of hunter mafia, what a weird proportion of fandom seems to forget is that they're not exactly, like, these super honorable crime fighting heroes, either. Which is something I love about them/about SPN, but it's something I think it's necessary to take at face value, as Kevin does--it's fucked up. They're fucked up.
And, I think, this is hugely resonant coming out of S6/7, where so many of their long-time friends/family members were either killed or disowned, or left for dead (not to mention that demonophilic guy with the cute dog in late-S7), and leading into a season which begins with Kevin, Megan, and Castiel--all eleventh hour allies in S7--god knows where; which abandons Amelia and Benny (whatever the motives and justifications); which abuses Kevin's talent (worst cared for prophet on a boat of all time, even after the discovery of the Batcave!*); and kills off several more friends/family members.
It always reminds me of 5x04, where S5!Dean is appalled by Endverse!Dean, and angrily asserts that they don't use friends as bait, and they don't just let people die. This is almost immediately disproved in 5x10 with Ellen and Jo (which was largely voluntary on their part, but I think Dean's made fairly clear the sense of culpability he feels, nevertheless), and becomes increasingly fraught as the years press on, and a case overtly made here in 8x02, when Dean admits that uh, yes, he would kill Linda to kill Crowley.
Again, there are definite upsides to this logic! And for the sake of the world, an A+ idea. No one's really arguing with that idea. But the truth of this is not the part of this that keeps Sam and Dean up at night, so we'll direct our attentions elsewhere. Because then you have 8x19, where friend!sacrifice is pretty literal. And yes, AGAIN, there are a lot of dimensions to this; it's messy. But the full breadth of that mess requires that we acknowledge that Crowley's speech here (and later, Kevin's letter), whatever contexts might extenuate it, is... Not wrong?
Not wrong at all.
Speaking of 5x04, I think it'll be interesting to rewatch that episode as S9 kicks into gear, just to see how Lucifer's assertion "we will always end up here" plays out--not at the cataclysmic level, necessarily, but at the level of personal development/characterization.
* Obviously, I understand that S/D were barely keeping it together as it was, and there's only so many balls you can juggle. I'm just sayin', Kevin wasn't exactly the recipient of the loving-est care! And they totally did leave him on that boat, even after discovering an impregnable, well-furnished, and extremely well-stocked home base. Of course, I maintain that Kevin wouldn't have wanted to be Batcave'd immediately anyway, because how terrible would it be, to be housemates with the Winchesters? It would be terrible. And I'm pretty sure I like the Winchesters a lot more than Kevin does.
eta Also, people use the Winchesters this way all the time, too. And then they go on to perpetuate it themselves, poor bbs.