Kalliel (kalliel) wrote,

the first rule for dean winchester is that you don't talk about dean winchester

I think Dean's characterization in 10x19 was sketchy at best. And I don't mean that as a criticism--though I think people who aren't familiar with Show, or Dean, or even just the present arc might find it apt. There wasn't any substance to him, his lines, his presence. Maybe a little, when he found Sam in the basement, but less so by the time they were ready to drive home. Which I think is just the saddest, most perfect thing in the world, because it must be just devastating for Sam--because even as he's, you know, rallying the troops, he's really not pushing that hard. He's kind of letting Dean do his thing, more or less. Because doing your own thing is important to Sam--and at the end of every day and every year (and every Tuesday), that's the only way he's ever saved his brother. In 5x18 he said, look, I'm gonna trust you, and that's how he saved his brother. But I don't know that that will work this time. Because if you're gonna trust someone, even someone patently untrustworthy, he's gotta be there first; and Dean isn't, really. When Dean took the mark, he got morose and dark and played that through to the end, the way he probably would have in S5. This time around he's reaching for a different tack (all of that levity leading up to the end of 10x09 is probably the most concentrated example). In 10x18 he got scared, and felt sort of high off that fear. In 10x19 he's just kind of out there. And I think what I've loved so much about S10 in general is its willingness to speak back to that lobby of, like, "Why can't Dean be funny anymore?" sentiments and say, straight-up, hey, this is what you get when you ask someone to be something they just can't be anymore, sorry. And to make that such a bald performance.

I mean, there's absolutely no way you can take his "we're better alone than apart" line at face value--though plenty have. Not that it's untrue on its face; it's just hardly the point right now. And that doesn't really have anything to do with Dean lying about the mark, or Sam lying about the contents of the Wether Box/his contract with Rowena, etc. The scandal is not the lie, as perhaps it has been in the past. Sam knows what Dean's doing and if Dean doesn't know exactly what Sam's doing, it's not like he'd be completely blindsided by these efforts. (Even if that's how he ultimately reacts. Honestly, I feel like that'd be coming from a place of "this is how I should respond, because this should be an unforeseen betrayal of confidence!" rather than "this is how I'm genuinely responding to this completely unforeseen betrayal of confidence!")

'Cause like, lies are in the air. Yup. And what fucking of it? If that lie's the only thing you have, then hold onto it. It's not a lie pit against some better truth, it's a lie pit against I-have-nothing-else-left. So hold onto it.

Like Benny said, the point isn't really unmasking the lie. And if you stop there, yeah, this seems like old shit. Breaking headline, Winchesters lie! That lie came from somewhere; something conjured it; something is keeping it here, like a ghost. The place it came from might no longer exist; these places, after all, are at major risk of subsidence. What conjured it may now be only an abyss. It's just you and that lie, and if you're what's keeping it here and it's what's keeping you here, then hold it tight. You have one job: Hold that tight. Hold tight and hope that between now and your fingers dropping, something/someone changes the rules of the game.

I guess I'm saying this because the only reason Dean got out of there intact was because the Mark wouldn't let himself act otherwise. If the illusion had nothing to do with actual will (none of the Werther Box's victims probably would have committed suicide without it), neither did Dean's overcoming of it. It's not like his indomitable spirit came through to save the day, or that brotherly love and concern came through to save the day (at least, not in that particular instance--whatever Sam is doing, will be doing for the long-run, is an entirely different story). It was just the Mark. Whatever Dean's convictions and plans and whatever else he might have been able to scrap together, at the end of the day it was just the Mark calling the shots.

Dean said he wasn't going down without a fight, but I think if the only reason you don't kill yourself is because the Mark says you're not allowed to, then that fight's been fought, and it's over. And I mean, I think Dean will stick around. I don't think he's going to spontaneously combust at the beginning of 10x20. Always keep fighting and all. But I think that battle's over. And if it only becomes irreversibly apparent four episodes from now, this is where it really happened.

Surf's up, Sam.
Tags: fandom: spn, spn x

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