Another Winchester Wednesday, another batch of disgruntled fans doing the character bashing and story line displeasure dance. Always a good time.
Don’t get me wrong, Supernatural is not above criticism. No show is perfect. My issues lie with the types of things that are being condemned and cut down. Many of them are simply answers to questions we have not yet been privy to and questions themselves that have not yet been asked. I’m not sure how often I should have to beg for patience. Season 8 will be exactly 23 episodes, of which we have only seen one third. I will play again the recording I made of “just wait and see” so that I don’t have to talk myself hoarse.
This week I am listening to the familiar chorus of “Dean should stop giving Sam a hard time for taking a year off,” followed by the repeated verse of “Sam should have looked for Dean.” We all have the freaking song memorized at this point. But the lesson to be learned from the lyrics hasn’t changed. It’s completely understandable that Sam would have felt so lost and alone that running was all he could do. His mind was just freshly Satan free and cleaned up or not, that kind of trauma is bound to leave a mark. Who hasn’t wanted to hide from the world when it all came crumbling down? On the other hand, Dean has every right to be upset. They are HIS feelings. I am personally not a big fan of other people telling me how or what I should feel about any given situation. Why is it different for Dean? He’s mad, he’s hurt and he is allowed to be. Period. And, being Dean, he’s much more likely to lash out and captain a nice long guilt trip than he is to sit with folded hands and talk about his feelings. This is not new information.
I recently read an article breaking down every single point of the series where Sam told Dean that he wanted more than hunting, and that Dean should have let him go. For starters, if that had happened, we’d have had less than one season and would not be here arguing about it today. Is that what we want? Right. Secondly, it’s unnecessary. We all know that Sam, on several occasions, has told Dean that he wanted out at some point. What the writer forgot to address were all of the times that Sam was fully committed to the fight, even when Dean himself was not. They keep each other on this path. No one has dragged the other along, tied up in chains. Even though that might have been fun to watch.
These characters are flawed and layered, created with so much care and precision, it’s sometimes hard to remember that they aren’t real people. They feel real and their battles with the world and with each other should reflect that. The brotherly discord and its complete and rounded basis in reality has been one of my favorite parts of this season so far. Are we supposed to believe in angels and demons but not in brothers, closer than most, occasionally disagreeing about how their lives should be lived? If you were raised in a family where every member was in constant acceptance of your life and decisions, I might be just a tiny bit jealous. The fact is, when two lives are this intertwined, there are bound to be struggles and those struggles should feel gritty and honest. If they don’t, there is no consequence, no reason to care what happens to them next. Of course they love each other. More than anything. More than themselves. I sincerely hope that’s not being disputed by anyone. But they are not always going to walk hand in hand in harmony. That would be boring and disingenuous. I have every faith that they will find their common ground again but am glad to see that it isn’t happening over night. Heavy conflicts should have equally heavy resolutions.
The mystery and secrets surrounding both Sam and Dean’s relationship and the mythology this season are intense and feel well thought out. I am an extremely impatient person at my core, but the anticipation of answers and forward moving conflict has me nearly giddy with excitement for each new episode. This year the show is deeper and more involved than who is going to hell and how to do we kill the bad guy. It has made me a more engaged viewer and has bred dozens of intelligent conversations and theory discussions. Supernatural isn’t perfect, but what’s to complain about when television builds this kind of passion?
Happy viewing, friends. And be nice to one another.