The pleasure of killing - 4x11 | 9x19
I wonder if either brother have ever considered that perhaps Dean is misreading his own perceptions…that he is looking what he did and seeing pleasure in the act of killing as proof he is corrupt, when in fact the pleasure is not in the death itself, but in the claiming of power he so rarely had both on earth and in hell, and in the chance to release his internalized grief and rage.
First off, thanks to littlehollyleaf for reminding me a while ago about the lyrics to Supernatural’s sort of adopted theme song. There have been so many references to variations on blindness and seeing this season that I’m not even going to try to link to them all. I’d have to link to half of what I’ve written and a lot of what other people have written as well. Let’s just say that the above lyric to Carry On Wayward Son pretty much says it all.
And Alex, Annie, Alexis, Ann really drove the point home. This episode had so many instances of warnings for people to “see” what is right there.
OD (drug overdose) - Oh Dean…
So I talked about it very briefly this morning already. But I want to talk about this wonderful and heartbreaking scene some more, because there is one small detail that makes this scene - especially in terms of silent storytelling - so much more awesome (at least in my opinion, you are free to disagree of course).
Over the course of the episode, we saw Dean assess himself mutliple times in the mirror (I talked about those implications back when we got the promo already and funnily my assumptions were pretty spot on), trying to get a grip on who he is and what he is feeling. And I think while the episode progressed it could harder and harder for Dean to distinguish or rather see and recognize himself. The way Sam finds him, leaning on the wall for support, seemingly lightyears away, sort of out of touch, not just with himself but the world altogether as if he is under a haze.
We did not only get multiple mirror shots though, we also got many many shots of Dean clutching the arm with the mark in an almost self-conscious manner, but also in a way that alludes to Dean possibly struggling more and more with his cravings.
I personally think they showed very well how Dean tries to substitute or rather re-create the feeling the blade gave him, when he held it in his hands. In 9x17 “Mother’s Little Helper” he turned to alcohol to cope, in 9x18 “Meta Fiction” he lost himself in violence and torture to the point he wasn’t even able to stand upright anymore. I wonder if it was harder and harder for Dean as well to keep his hands steady…
The way Dean looked at the mark on his arm to me carried a notion of “an itch you can’t scratch”, it seemed like a constant reminder of Dean wanting, needing whatever it is that pumps through his veins when he is holding the blade and is making him feel… nothing? …strong? … loved? …home?
In my opinion we absolutely saw how Dean’s addiction is progressively getting worse and the tension coming to a head when Cas asks Dean
"Are you (okay)? There is something different about you?"
And Dean trying to bullshit Cas into making him believe, what Dean tries to tell himself as well, that he is fine, when he is anything but. So Dean turns away, unable to deal with Cas’ concern only Cas doesn’t let him egt away that easy, but grabs Dean’s arm demanding what Dean is hiding from him and goes to uncover the mark sitting on Dean’s arm, angry and red.
And this scene - and I have been talking about the visual of the mark reminding of trackmarks especially in my meta about Dean’s decay in relation to “Requiem for a Dream" - in my opinion really carries the notion of a loved one finding out about another loved person’s drug abuse, which is showing in track marks, which to me the MoC is (hell it even enters his blood stream like heroin does when you shoot up).
The way Dean is yanking his arm back, shows he is unable to listen to reason, to accept help and more so maybe also to admit he is having a problem.
And if all the episodes leading up this scene, wasn’t a warning sign for where Dean is headed, then just take a look at the last gif, because there we have a literal neon sign telling us that something is SO not right with Dean and where his behaviour and his addiction might lead him. To OD, overdose.
I find it interesting to think about what ODing would mean for Dean in this case. Would it mean his soul being irreversebly damaged? Would it be the last step to becoming a demon? Or would it really mean death? I don’t think that latter is the case, but who knows…
And just like all season, Dean doesn’t - can’t listen - to what Sam and Cas are saying, can’t understand or care about their worry, because he’s got other things on his mind, his thoughts cosumed by one small thing - the blade - and so he walks away and does exactly what any addict would do. Rationalize. Telling himself he just wants to kill Abbadon, when that might not be the whole truth. Or in the language of the episode: not the whole story.
All of this! It struck me the same, like a loved one finding trackmarks on the addict. And that’s what the MoC is becoming for Dean, an addiction he will not be able to control and the story is telling us he will destroy himself because of it.I’d just add that I believe the narrative of that scene shows us that Dean wanted and needed Cas to find the MoC. It’s in the way he lets himself be handled by Cas, the way he maintains eye contact with him, the way he doesn’t pull back from Cas right away. For just a brief second you can see him open himself up to Cas’ scrutiny, in a way he doesn’t do with anyone else. Dean is going to have to save himself from the MoC but I think Cas is going to play a big part in that.
Yes, I actually absolutely agree with you. I didn’t make this quite clear enough when I was typing this up in the “heat of the moment”. :) But yes, like I said here much better, he lets Cas see him, he only starts getting really defensive when Cas demands “What have you done?”. That’s when he closes off and is unabel to listen to reason. God, I will just forever love this scene. ;_;
9x15 “Thinman” / 9x18 “Meta Fiction” / 9x19 “Alex Annie Alexis Ann”
In the last few episodes we saw Dean turning a weapon towards himself three times. I am starting to think this is a pattern they are using consciously. Especially because every time the kill happens with a blade. I talked about this a couple of times in this and this post for example. But all of these instances truly make me much more certain that Dean stabbing himself with the first blade (maybe because Abbadon possesses him or maybe because he thinks it’s the only way to keep his loved ones save from himself) is a possibility to how the season might end.
Great catch. He is taking himself to the edge, pushing the act of the kill into the most satisfying violent way , to see what brings him most pleasure, he doesn’t care that the blade is pointing toward him, he doesn’t care if he’ll die, more than that- he craves the near-death feeling, he experience death.
it’s getting darker and darker. when at ‘Thinman’ killing when the ‘victim’ body is pressed to him, feeling the life goes out, kind of killing both of them, he is experiencing death through the body.
In ‘Alex Annie’ that’s not enough for him, he is standing there, but he wants to feel more, he wants the ‘victim’ to look him in the eyes, and then kills him, slowly, deliberately, yet again, when the ‘pointy end’ is toward himself. He is experiencing death through the eyes, the soul.
He is looking for the satisfaction in death through his ‘victims’, the pleasure in oblivion.
Also, he had knives held to his own throat in both “Captives” and in “#THINMAN”, and was remarkably blasé about it - some people thought that in “Captives” he almost leaned into the knife a little. Does he suspect - or know? - that immortality is part of the Mark of Cain’s cost? So that however much he craves his own death, he knows the only way he’ll ever experience it is vicariously?
I loved that bit in “Captives.”
I didn’t think he leaned into the knife so much as bared his throat for it. That gave me sooooo many Alastair/Hell!Dean feels…
Aw hun I’m sorry to hear this, hope you’re feeling better soon! *hugs*
Thannk you, sweetie!! <3<3
*Sigh* People taking the conversation about a “bratty little sister” and twisting it into something I find frankly horrifying.
Look, first thing first: the phrase “It’s just an act” appears in there. She’s just pretending. She really loves them. That is such an abuser…
The way a portion of SPN fandom uses the word ‘filler’ confuses me to no end. It just comes across as so… dismissive of any stand-alone kind of episode.
This episode was not just the writers twiddling their thumbs and killing time, it:
a) was a…
That lip thing he does. This man’s acting chops are woefully under-appreciated.
Oh dear *handing you tea* get well soon and have some rest. <3
oh no. *hugs* hope you feel better soon
Remember Bad Boys?
Remember Dean escaping the clutches of endless blood for the first time since he was four? Dean meeting a stranger who treated him like a kid rather than an object to manipulate and to mold. Dean being told he can make his own decisions. Dean being told it doesn’t always have…
#”If you want.”#Gahhhhh such a profound focus on consent and allowing someone else their own personhood.#Even though Jodi really wants to be the one to help pick Alex back up again#she’s still willing to let Alex decide if she wants that too#and is ready to respect whatever choice Alex makes. (via dustline)