Kalliel (kalliel) wrote,
Kalliel
kalliel

SPN 11x12 - character moments by the omission of Moments & transferring kinship

(These aren't "reviews," per se, because I'm not evaluating anything, or even offering an overview of the episode. Basically, I'm just trying to put into words my experience of watching SPN. Or articulate my relationship to SPN?)





My favorite scene was Dean and Jody in the kitchen, talking about Claire, because the resonances between Claire's driftlessness and whatever it is Dean was doing after Sam left for college were so keenly felt, even as Jody tactfully avoids making them explicit, and Dean elects not to respond to them. There was just so much there by omission--conscious omission--that I loved.

Sam and Dean tend to jump at these chances to relate their own experiences to those of others--like, all the time, regardless of whether the experiences of others actually track at all with theirs, haha. XD Like, from Day 1 to 200-something, this is always a Thing That They Do.

But not this time.

Even though it's Claire, which makes it personal; and even though it's actually about hunting (or because it is?), Dean elects otherwise:

Jody: I'm not Alex's mom--I'm not Claire's mom. I didn't raise them, I don't have that kind of history with them. [...] She doesn't have any friends. She spends all her time trawling for cases and reading lore.

Dean: Sounds kinda creepy when you put it like that.

Jody: You know, I've not nothing against hunting, but i she's hiding in it, like she doesn't have anything else? I'm just--worried about her being so alone.

Dean: ...Well, I'll put Sammy on it. He's better with the whole talking thing, anyway.


And I think that's such a rich character moment for both him and Jody, because Jody does give him that choice--will you talk to her about this? or no?--(even as she doesn't, for instance, excuse them from the awkward dinner conversation immediately prior).

Which is so Jody. Holding space when it matters is something Jody does really well (and incidentally, something I think both Sam and Dean are easing into with each other--learning by example, slowly. More trips to Jody's, then, may be in order!)

It also makes me wonder what Jody and her husband used to joke about on Friday nights, in bed by 9 after putting their little boy to sleep. Innuendos about wild parties Jody's husband only wrote about but that Jody knew well. Playing footsie under the cover, imagining their boy growing up and them tag-teaming the parenting. The cavernousness Jody felt those first few months with Alex--and then again with Claire, like opening up old wounds. Again and again, and knowing that a lot of the time, that's probably what parenting is. Zombies and vampires and rabid german shepherds or no.

And there's Dean, who doesn't go those lengths for Claire. Maybe this suggestions transition--Jody mentions that she doesn't have that history with Claire, does not feel comfortable overstepping what her role is. The insinuation being, of course, that in lieu of either of Claire's parents, Dean might make up that difference. Claire did call him, after all. (Did she call Castiel first? Did Lucifer answer?)

In electing not to rise to this occasion, it's kind of like Dean giving those reins (as it were--more specifically, with whom Claire has her strongest relationships, advocates, familial kinships) to Jody. Like, this is who's in your corner, one hundred percent. This is who cares about you more than anyone else out there. This is who really needs to matter to you. It's not me, or the life I lead (as I choose to live it--plenty of hunters do not seem to do it the bizarre Winchester way). It's Jody.

Which makes me kind of sad, because I'm rather fond of Claire and Dean's relationship. XD It's like Free Willy except Dean is the whale!!! :D ...Right up until Dean loads Claire off on Sam, who is apparently obliging but has even less of a relationship with Claire than Jody thinks she does. XP

I'm not saying Claire and Sam didn't end up having a productive conversation anyway! But I don't think Dean "put Sammy on it" because he actually thought Sam would make more sense here. I mean, he opened with Caddyshack when Claire called--he knows what his relationship with Claire is, vs. hers with Sam.

And that makes me wonder what about this moment in time makes Dean feel like it's not time for a Trust Fall Bonding Conversation. Because again, it's not like he and Sam don't play that card with people all the time. And it's not like Dean hasn't before (with Jo in 2x06, or Krissy in S7/8, etc.).

But in this kitchen, on this day, in the middle of S11, he doesn't want to talk about the precarity of being a newly-minted adult in the world of monsters, adrift and at odds and probably losing yourself, having already lost yourself, in the belly of some hunt or another or the next. Something's different.

Maybe it's because he doesn't have a real answer to that (seeing as that potential remains how the Winchesters continue to operate, more or less). Or maybe it's because maybe he does--an inkling of one, awash as we are in the coda of 11x11. Maybe he does but the very tenuous fact of it would not withstand a walk down memory lane.

Certainly, I'd be interested in playing that either way--Dean can't help Claire because for once, he's actually trying to help himself. (And in the process is also recognizing that there are other people in the world who can and will help people and save things, and are perhaps even in a better position to do so than he is--in this case, Jody.)

Alternatively, Dean can't help Claire and thereby negates his nascent relationship with her, further isolating himself and running the real risk of having Claire do the very same, too. (Though luckily Jody and Alex step in to fill this gap handily!) Because 1) loner Winchester force of habit, or 2) the uneasiness of this business with Amara, or 3) perfect storm of both. :S!

I'm interested to see where 11x13 takes us.

Other narratives:
11x11: saving people, hunting things, and the third half of the bumper sticker - extremely Sam-centric thoughts


 
Tags: fandom: spn, i can't watch tv like a normal person, spn !!
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