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Heavy Meta Poisoning
Supernatural is truth
Legally Dead: Dean in "Skin" 
29th-Jul-2006 02:44 am

Dean's reaction to his official death in Skin is interesting. Actually, it's his lack of reaction that's interesting. He expresses no concern about the loss of his identity. He doesn't seem to be concerned that his father or any of the Winchester colleagues, so to speak, will hear about his "death" and be concerned. His one comment is, "How many chances am I gonna have to see my own funeral?" It's flippant and casual--amused even--and in sharp contrast to the look on his face when he stared at the dead shapeshifter earlier.

The other half of Dean's attitude can be seen in the beginning of this episode, in his conversation with Sam over Sam's emails. Dean seems genuinely surprised that Sam is bothering to keep in touch with his college friends. Sam is keeping his ties to his "normal" world, laying groundwork to come back to that someday. Dean...doesn't get it. Which is not a new revelation; one of the first things we learned about the Winchester brothers back in the pilot was that Sam wants to be normal, and Dean thinks that's both ridiculous and unrealistic.

Shapeshifter!Dean would have you believe Dean is jealous of Sam's shot at normalcy, and wants it for himself. I think he puts the unreliable in unreliable narrator at that point; he knows enough to know what will make Sam squirm, plus I think he's garnishing Dean's issues with a heaping helping of projection. The shapeshifter thinks of himself as a freak, wants a normal life. If the download he gets from Dean tells him otherwise, he might not be able to believe it.

I think that, for Dean, drivers' licenses are for other people, you know? The loss of your official identity is the kind of thing people with houses and W-2s and college friends worry about. Dean's got monsters, girls in tight shorts, and his family to think about, not whether his Social Security Number has been deactivated. Even at the end of the ep, he apologizes to Sam for the way his life has changed, and says he wishes it could be different--but just for Sam. He doesn't say anything about wanting something different for himself.

Makes you wonder what will happen if Dean lives long enough for all that to catch up with him, doesn't it?
29th-Jul-2006 01:31 pm (UTC)
I had pretty much the same take on the shapeshifter's interpretation of Dean's thoughts. Shapeshifter!Dean is very much projecting its issues onto the data that it was downloading from Dean.

Look at the way it corrupted Dean's autopilot attraction to Rebecca Warren ("You know Dean would bang her if he had the chance") into assaulting her. Dean wouldn't rape, torture, and kill a woman (despite the inevitability that he'll be portrayed doing just that at some point in someone's soul-crushing badfic.) Why assume then that the shapeshifter spoke for Dean when it interacted with Sam?

As for Dean being not just officially dead, but an officially dead serial killer, I have every faith that we'll get to see this catch up with him at some point in the series. They've been wonderful about continuity so far. Hell, five episodes later in "Scarecrow" (and, yeah, I cry a little that I noticed this), we see Rebecca Warren's info programmed into Sam's cell phone. If they're going to go for that sort of detail in a blink-and-you-miss-it throw-away scene, then they'll certainly follow up on Dean being dead after reminding us of that in "The Benders."

In fact, if the Winchester boys don't wind up being dragged off to a lair or rescued by other Hunters, there's a good chance we could see all sorts of hell break loose at the start of the season. If cops arrive at the scene of the accident, they'll be greeted with a car full of a terrifying assortment of weapons, fraudulent credit cards, and a variety of fake IDs that feature at least two of the men in the car. They're going to scrutinize the hell out of John, Sam, and Dean while the Winchesters are in the hospital. There's no way the fact that Dean is officially dead (and a presumed serial killer) would escape their attention at that point.

But, yeah, Dean doesn't exactly plan on drawing social security or otherwise fret over a lack of a conventional lifestyle. He's only pissed that the shapeshifter used his face and (oh, man) drove his car. Who can blame him?
29th-Jul-2006 04:04 pm (UTC)
See, I think that a lot of what ShapeshifterDean! says to Sam is really drawn from Dean. Twisted and exaggerated, yes, but still drawn from Dean. Do I think Dean wants normalcy? Hell, no. He'd be bored out of his mind. However, I think the most true thing that ShapeshifterDean! said was the part about Dad and Sam leaving him. I think that Dean feels that VERY much. He says as much in the season finale. He feels like Sam and Dad are going to leave/get themselves killed, leaving Dean alone to clean up the mess.

As for the being dead thing, I agree that Dean probably doesn't really care except that he's now going to get even more hassles from the cops. THAT he'll hate.
4th-Aug-2006 12:18 pm (UTC)
Sam is keeping his ties to his "normal" world, laying groundwork to come back to that someday. Dean...doesn't get it.

Actually, I think Dean does understand it. I think he knows exactly what Sam's doing, and why, and it scares the hell out of Dean. Dean knows this means it's more likely Sam will someday leave him, and that's the absolute last thing that Dean wants.
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