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Heavy Meta Poisoning
Supernatural is truth
As long as I`m around: Dean in Nightmare 
5th-Oct-2006 04:01 pm
And another bit of nostalgia:

"As long as I`m around...": Dean in Nightmare

Nightmare revisits the shows myth-arc and and with it Sam`s visions. To noone`s surprise that freaks Dean out greatly since the visions are something that clearly seems to be hurting Sam, both emotionally and physically. Not to mention it makes him more of a target for ghosts and other entities who zero in on the "shining" as seen in Asylum.

Yet it`s neither something corporeal to fight and protect his little brother from, nor does he understand enough about it to figure out another solution or coach Sam on it somehow. It`s basically an invisible enemy and Dean is helpless in the face of it. And if there is one thing Dean doesn`t do well, it`s feeling helpless.
Predictably his underlying reaction throughout the episode is pretty much denial, as much for his sake as to alleviate Sam`s own doubts and feelings of guilt.

Tell me that doesn`t freak you out?
It doesn`t freak me out.

It`s an obvious lie but one Dean needed to tell and Sam needed to hear. They can`t both be screaming "OMG, we`re all gonna die here" while the plane goes down. One always has to keep their cool, that`s teamwork, see "Phantom Traveller" for this literally. :)

Though it is a testament of the trust and synch between the brothers that when Sam wakes him up from a peaceful slumber, demanding that they go now, they indeed do it. If someone ripped me from my dreams, I`d be MUCH less inclined to accomodate them.
So even while Dean is skeptic and says as much in the car, he follows Sam`s lead here.

Something that`s been mentioned before and analyzed in depth by sargraf`s wonderful manlove metas is how Dean, while having trouble getting emotional with words - at least when it comes to him, is comfortable in expressing himself physically with Sam. (Not. Like. That. ;)
He runs over to his brother and grips his shoulders in an attempt to ground and anchor him when the vision strikes in the motel room. He also props Sam up and puts his arms around him when Sam has another vision out on the streets. And remember how well that went when Sam tried to practically carry Dean from the car in Faith? Yeah, me too. :) It reinforces their roles again. Dean is much, MUCH more comfortable in the role of protector and caretaker. And Sam accepts and trusts him in that role still.

Also, did anybody else get the impression that Dean resorts to weapon`s maintenance aka knife sharping and gun cleaning when he is nervour or upset ? It`s actually a common thing to perform such a well-known, almost automatic task in such a situation and it`s fitting for Dean here.

Once the brothers figure out what`s going on, they are - again - faced with a human as the culprit here. And once again the brothers are of different opinion on how to handle this thing. Sam takes the "we don`t kill humans" and Dean the "we do if they use supernatural means to kill" position. And I think both their arguments are right and flawed at the same time.
At least I don`t think Dean is a trigger happy, morally corrupted guy. He does have a black and white view in this but so does Sam. One views the action, the other only the perpetrator. Neither decides on a case-by-case way here. And Dean has been shown to be deeply affected by the events in Faith and doesn`t take a loss of life to lightly. He was also rather easily talked out of it by Sam so I don`t think he was dead set on marching in this house and offing Max just like that.

Is Dean brash and somewhat impulsive in bringing the weapon here ? Yes but I believe it`s also cautious. Dean is a hunter and he acts like one. He also isn`t that sold on the profound goodness in humans so it makes sense to think that a little chat with Max probably wouldn`t help. I don`t think he was wholly without compassion for Max here. In fact his line about how they came about 10 years too late to help Max IMO showed his insight into the situation because he was right. Also as much as he bonds with kids, I don`t think he`d take to kindly to one being horribly abused and beaten.

Of course something should be said for Dean as Priest, mainly he sucks at being one. And I`m aware that Dean as a real priest would probably be "Thornbirds" material. :) He was alternating between being obnoxious and laying it on way too thick. We know a certain Pastor Jim was a figure in the boys`life so I think he could have pulled off a better priest impersonation if he put his mind to it. And we`ve also seen the brothers being able to come off as professionals sometimes yet this was not one such moment. So I don`t know why he didn`t try a little bit harder here.

We also get another glimps of Dean as valiant protector of the innocent or at least the defenseless when he steps without hesitation
between Aunt Zelda aka the Stepmom and a floating gun, telekinetically operated by a crazed and unstable human. I mean Max made it clear to me that he didn`t mean to shoot Dean just for the hell of it, not if he kept out of it.

Interesting bit at the ending for me was Sam`s answer to Dean`s: "There is one thing you have that Max didn`t" and Sam mentions Dad. I know Sam has just had some change of mind about John, but DAD? The one who doesn`t even answer his phone? I wondered if Dean was secretly bothered here that Sam didn`t immediately know what the whole viewing audience knew, namely Dean was talking about himself. He gave no visible indication of it but then, this is Dean.

Otoh, I think he was, as his last look indicated, so freaked out about Sam`s new wave of angst and suddenly emerging TK power that it went completely over his head how Sam practically gave him the supernatural version of "I lifted a car of my child" or in that case, brother.
As gestures go, that one was rather big I`d say.

Considering he tried to keep a poker face about his own angst throughtout the episode, I thought it was a fitting ending line that Dean wanted to go to Vegas though. :)
5th-Oct-2006 02:15 pm (UTC)
Oh lovely Dean meta. Starting at the end, with a big *G* for your poker face line!

Dean resorts to weapon`s maintenance aka knife sharping and gun cleaning when he is nervour or upset ? and when ??sexually frustrated (see Provenance when Sam is on his date!)
5th-Oct-2006 02:46 pm (UTC)
and when ??sexually frustrated (see Provenance when Sam is on his date!)

But he just came off a threesome then. Man, this guy must have an appetite. :)
Though I can see Sam doing an inordinate amount of cockblocking since they started travelling together, aka the waitress in DitW. Poor Dean. *g*
5th-Oct-2006 08:51 pm (UTC)
I really liked that bit where you pointed out how Sam lets Dean prop him up while Dean does the whole "hands off, I'm fine" thing in Faith. Their characters are so well written, I love it.
7th-Oct-2006 11:51 am (UTC)
Yes, characterization is the one area where this show really sparkles. They are absolutely believable as bickering yet loving siblings.
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