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Heavy Meta Poisoning
Supernatural is truth
Dead in the Water: John meta 
29th-May-2006 09:41 pm
Twelfth Doctor

This'll be a bit odd. I started writing this before deannie said she'd tackle John (*ahem*), but I went ahead and finished.

 

We have little to no tangible evidence of John in this episode. The journal isn’t referenced at all. John is only mentioned at the beginning of the episode, when Sam comments that their father’s trail is cold and getting colder by the minute. Dean counters with some anger, stating he was with dad for two years while Sam was off playing college boy. Dean states he wants to find dad, and insists they will find him, but they’ll kill as many evil things between then and now. In effect, continuing what Dean stated about their dad in Wendigo regarding the journal: it was their dad’s life’s work, and it was being passed to them to continue their dad’s work. Dean is just following the (unspoken, interpreted) orders of their dad.

 

John obviously invokes serious loyalty from Dean, even when he’s not physically present.

 

I believe a bit of John was shown through Dean, when Dean was researching at the very beginning of the episode. Dean found the three lake murders and believed them to be tied together. From what we’ve seen so far of the journal, it’s very thorough in what it talks about, the means and methods to kill things, protection charms/spells against creatures, instructions, things of that nature.

 

One notable thing due to its absence is the boys do not reference the journal in this episode. Dean rattles off possible creatures/spirits that can be causing the water troubles, as does Sam. They don’t need to reference the journal – did John teach them, set them lessons, on different creatures? That isn’t well-known knowledge; it’s special and had to be learned at some point. For the boys to come up with not just a few, but about six or seven different possibilities, tells me that John definitely set his boys some demon lessons. So not only did John teach them weaponry (as Sam pointed out in the pilot regarding the .45), but he taught them some book smarts, too. Good military tactics: know thy enemy.

 

I’m now curious if Dean learned how to deal with children from his father, or if it’s something he picked up by watching Sam at an early age. Could it possibly be that Dean remembers how John was Before, with four-year old Dean, and tries to emulate that?

 

I wish I could find more of John in this episode, but so much of Mary was present, that it overshadowed everything I saw with either of the boys.

Comments 
30th-May-2006 02:49 am (UTC)
I think that Dean learned how to deal with kids by helping raise Sam. We saw in Something Wicked that he was left in charge of Sam, with the implication that was a normal state of affairs.

Although if we're trying not to reference latter eps, then simply knowing he's the older brother tells us that he learnt to deal with kids by having a younger kid around. ;-)
30th-May-2006 04:15 am (UTC)
then simply knowing he's the older brother tells us that he learnt to deal with kids by having a younger kid around. ;-)

Being an older sister, I can tell you that nope, I had no clue until my sister had her first born *g*. I wasn't left to raise my sis, either, so that gives Dean some leeway. Rewatching this again, I noticed the little things - when Dean takes the sandwiches from Lucas, he acts like they're heavy as he walks off camera. Little things, I tell you.
29th-Sep-2006 03:56 am (UTC)
I wasn't exactly left to raise my sister's but I shouldered a lot of responsibility since I am seven and ten years older than them. I identify with Dean quite a bit, and the writers seem to know where they are coming from most of the time.

I doubt he has clear memories of John before. I think a lot of Dean's easy relationship comes from not treating them like little people. He knows what it is to be scared and young and also to be young and not an idiot, to be more grown up than you look. And if you look at his relationship with Sam you'll see the same sort of playfullness.

Also, I found it interesting how different he was with Lucas and Michael(I think that's the blonde kid from the shtriga ep.). It wasn't an extreme difference, but there was something. Part of it it was Dean's own emotional struggle, but I think part of it was the identity of being an older brother.
2nd-Jun-2006 02:25 am (UTC)
So not only did John teach them weaponry (as Sam pointed out in the pilot regarding the .45), but he taught them some book smarts, too.

That's an interesting point about them not referencing the journal. I think you're right, that the boys learned their mad research skillz from John. He taught them not just by rote and what's in the journal, but how to find out on their own. Whether they did that by observation and example, or John actually sat down and taught them how to look things up, I don't know. I was really impressed when Sam referenced Lexus-nexus in one episode; Sam probably picked up a lot of additional research skill in college. But Dean hasn't been to college, and he's just as good at researching as Sam.

I’m now curious if Dean learned how to deal with children from his father, or if it’s something he picked up by watching Sam at an early age.

In my experience, that's something that comes naturally, not something that's taught--I think Dean knows how to relate to children as people. He doesn't condescend to them, and he relates strongly to the traumatized boy, sees his own experience reflected back.

Nice meta!
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