Friday, January 16, 2009

Is Dean Evil?

First, let me please direct you to this post at Supernatural Sisters, where I did a full recap/review of "Family Remains." Assuming you haven't already been there.

Next, let me sheepishly admit that "we'll see" (regarding whether I'll talk about the show here as much) didn't take too long. :)

I just read this article at Buddy TV. I'm not actively debating or agreeing with the article, but it launched some thoughts I felt compelled to share. You know how that goes.

I wrote a long post but went too deep into my thoughts on Dean's Hell (a scheduled topic at SS) so I abbreviated it it bit, kept it focused.

So okay. Now that Dean has opened up, he appears to be finding it much easier to admit stuff. Some people complain that the bookending brotherly moments are getting old, but if they hadn't addressed his revelation, we'd have been complaining about that. And they need to take a break from the intense myth-arc for those fans who prefer the standalone episodes. Maybe they saw some parallels and they wanted to tie that in. Maybe they struggled to make connections.

Whatever. Those one-on-one moments are my favorite parts of any episode, wherever they stick them, and whether they are Dean punching Sam in the face, Sam giving too much detail about sex with Ruby, or Dean confessing to liking the torture.

On the surface, that last revelation is disturbing. We all want Dean to be heroic and stronger than typical people. We want him to do no wrong.

But I ask, when has he ever NOT been a dick?

Let's look at episode 1.1, "Pilot." Dean breaks into his brother's house, fights him instead of just saying "Hey, it's me," and ogles his girlfriend.

He sleeps with truck stop waitresses with questionable rashes, yells at fat kids, steals, cheats, hustles...and while justified, he spent a lot of time whining about how much he's given up for this family! *foot stomp* He's very much a dick.

Now obviously, that's not all Dean is. Those things are all pretty inconsequential in the face of how many lives he's saved and the sacrifices he's made for his brother. It's very easy to overlook them. He's as much selfless as he is selfish, a complete product of his experiences.

But because of all that, I don't think his response to hell is at all out of character. I think that when you consider the two intertwined sides, the dick and the hero, they will create exactly the kind of action Dean took.

So the revelation doesn't change my opinion of him at all.


MJFredrick said...

No, not evil more than John was evil. Driven. Skewed. And yes, he was a leering bastard in the pilot. We even saw that trait in "What Is and What Should Never Be."

About the bookend moments. Maybe they bother me because they just seem to pull the car over and have these conversations. It worked in ""Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" or even Croatoan, but last night's was random. I dunno....maybe it's just the predictable structure that bothers me.

Victoria said...

Didn't read the articles and probably won't.
But here's my take on Dean saying he liked it... He said he liked it because it took away his own pain. If you think about "Hell" and what it's supposed to be like, there should be not only physical pain, but emotional pain as well. Dean got off the rack to escape the p hysical torture, but I'm sure it did nothing for the emotional torture (regardless of if that emotional pain came from hell, or his own mine).
It would be like an alcoholic - they drink to take away their pain, they like alcohol, they know it's wrong, but the end result is there.
Or like someone cutting themselves - the self inflicted physical pain takes away the emotional pain for a little while.
Dean is a dick - he does a lot of less-than-heroic things, but he is a complete package, like you said. Him trying to redeem himself by being driven to save everyone is enough to prove his true character. His revelation doesn't change my opinion of him at all.
I don't mind the bookending. I think it was necessary, especially after the way the left things after the last episode. I've never minded those scenes because they're the brotherly scenes that make me love the show even more. Did it feel a little disjointed this time? Yeah, but I'm not sure why. Maybe because the episode itself was so interesting/thought provoking that my brain couldn't keep up. I don't know.
My two cents...for what they're worth!

Trish Milburn said...

I think the reason the bookend this time felt weird was because they did just pull over at this random place for a random reason. I mean, seriously, they can't eat their sandwiches in the car? I think the writers did it that way because they didn't want Dean to be driving when he spilled this bit of info. Kind of hard to keep your mind on the road while you're reliving your part in torturing souls in hell.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I dunno....maybe it's just the predictable structure that bothers me.

It's definitely getting repetitive, and they've certainly managed to do it more smoothly before. It's funny, I hear a lot of people being bugged by that this week, but didn't see anyone question why the boys and Bobby would be out in the middle of nowhere--not near the mine, not near the hotel, even though they'd changed clothes!--to drink a beer and say goodbye. :) Maybe because the scenery was so much more gorgeous than an underpass? :)

but I'm sure it did nothing for the emotional torture

My feeling was that he was talking about the emotional pain, not the physical. It was the way he said it, that the pain just slipped away. It corresponds with the previous episode, where he said he couldn't stand how he felt.

It would be like an alcoholic - they drink to take away their pain, they like alcohol, they know it's wrong, but the end result is there.

That's an excellent comparison, because I imagine (I don't know, I've never been drunk, never mind drank to forget) that while drunk, the pain must ease somewhat but as soon as they stop, it's back, so that's why they drink some more. As soon as Dean stopped torturing, the pain he was easing would return, ensuring he'd continue.

I mean, seriously, they can't eat their sandwiches in the car?

They're usually like that, though. In Croatoan they'd left the town, changed clothes somewhere, and stopped at a random fence to drink beers. (Though they CAN'T drink those in the car!) I just figure, whenever they're outside the car, that they had to stop to stretch. They ARE long-legged boys and spend a lot of time cramped up. :) And they seem to prefer places away from people, not just sitting in the parking lot of the quickie mart or fast food restaurant.

Maybe part of the jarriness was because--kind of like V said--it was daylight, bright, colorful, very different from the misty, dreary, and dark creepiness of the rest of the episode.

MJFredrick said...

I like Victoria's analogy a lot. Makes perfect sense to me.

Hey, I can't play Heartwild....probably a good thing :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Oh, because you're on a Mac! Don't worry, they'll have a version for Mac before too long. :)