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Dean and Anger management

Keeping up with the rerun schedule I re-watched (yeah, like I need a reason to re-watch any episode, well maybe except Route 666. I`d need a reason for that.) Skin (my snarky recap here: Skin Snark), it really got me thinking of the character`s further development.

Contains some vague speculation for Season 2 spoilers, nothing specific though.

Because it occured to me that Shapeshifter!Dean is the most honest Dean we`ve ever seen. Bar none. Which of course is pretty ironic since it wasn`t really Dean at all.

Sure, Dean has let his vulnerablities show from time to time but what about his deep-seeted anger and resentment? With his upbringing and what he`s been through in life, he must have tons of issues. He is not a saint after all. But apart from this episode I`ve never seen him voicing any of those, not really.
I sometimes have this image in my head of Dean inwardly putting his hands over his ears, going all "Lalalala, can`t hear you" while a little voice inside him tries to tell him he should be nine kinds of angry right now.

First let me say, I don`t believe the Shapeshifter lied in any way. It was pretty much the same deal Sam had going on in Asylum. There Sam`s anger was amplified, the feelings twisted and taken out of context, only focused on the negative things but that doesn`t mean the feelings weren`t his. Ellicott wouldn`t think Dean was a pathetic drone, he neither knows him nor does he really care. Sam is the one who has repeatedly made his displeasure known about Dean always following their Dad`s orders with question. So on some level yes, this is what he feels and I really think it is more frustration than anger. It`s just that usually these feelings are balanced out by the love, affection and yes, admiration he has for his big brother.

In the same way Shapeshifter!Dean, after sharing the psychic link with the actual Dean, voiced the latter`s innermost thoughts. And due to the Shapeshifter being kind of an unfriendly lad himself, he latched on to the negative aspects.

So, what did we learn through the shifter? Dean has a fear of abandonment. Well, duh, that was kind of a no-brainer. And I believe Dean showing his emotional vulnerability in Shadow and Salvation demonstrates him being conciously aware of that, even if he normally tries to keep it hidden beneath the tough guy facade. He pretty much admitted in both episodes his fear of being left alone, his family being all he had.

The other fun little tidbit the shifter revealed were his envy of Sam and also his resentment of his little brother. With this I`m undecided if Dean conciously lets himself reflect on that. I`m sure he was/is angry at Sam for leaving but I`m guessing he chooses not to focus on that thought.

The most interesting thing for me was his anger at Dad.
"Hell, I did everything Dad asked me to and he ditched me too. No explanation, nothing. Just Pfft." (and I love the Pfft here :)

This is DEAN, John`s biggest cheerleader in all the lands. This is the guy who blows a fuse in his brain trying to comprehend Sam`s utter not caring about being given an order by their Dad. It really was like a computer screen: Unknown ERROR. Does not compute.

This is the guy who fanwanks John sending them the coordinates in Something Wicked so John is seen as the shining knight, who gives his unworthy son a chance to repent for his big sin. (Can you tell I`m still bitter? I would have told him where to shove his coordinates.)

So really, I have a hard time picturing the Dean as early in the Season as Skin thinking anything bad about his hero. Not that he wouldn`t feel anger about being ditched without a word, mind you. I just think he would clamp down on this so hard and be so deeply in denial about it, he wouldn`t let himself voice those feelings, not even in the privacy of his own mind. He just wouldn`t acknowledge that, burying any negative feelings he MIGHT have under layer upon layers of excuses.
But with the Shapeshifter the gloves come off. That guy feeds on these powerful emotions since it reminds him of the rage in himself. And he lets it all out, he lets Dean rant through him.

And concerning certain spoilers about Dean being negatively effected by the events of Devil`s Trap I makes me wonder if this could be a way for the character to go. Not that Dean will end up tying women to chairs to torture them, which admittedly could be a fun show if he continues to take his shirt off afterwards *g*, but will he allow himself to really feel and adress his anger this time? Or will he continue to internalize everything, drying to put it away in neat little boxes in his mind, he never has to open again?

Fact is, Dean is still too co-dependent on them. He needs to free himself from them and I have this feeling that things will have to get a lot worse before they are going to get better. Maybe he needs to have a cathartic fight with either John (if he is around) or Sam or both. Dean needs to be the one to walk away from them out of his own free will for a change. That will ultimately be good for him and may lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation between him and his family.
And quite frankly, it might serve as a wake-up call when the guy you could count on to be unquestionably loyal, always by your side, kind of throws things at your feet and walks away. I don`t think either John or Sam, who in fact doesn`t take Dean for granted the way his Dad does, would ever imagine THAT little scenario. So that would be quite a shocker. And Dean would learn that he can survive that, he doesn`t need to define himself through them and the jobs he performs in the family.

So, as much as I love the boys`tightness (and god the slash jokes are just writing themselves in this fandom, aren`t they? *g* ), I think they need to have a big blow-out fight. Even moreso with John, if he survives. Otherwise the brothers are fast approaching a dead end emotionally. They have out-grown their separation and rediscovered each other, gotten closer together but short of either of them totally changing his philosphy/personality they can`t really move forward.


Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC)
i'm avoiding spoilers like a big avoidy thing (hands over ears, "i can't here you lalala," that whole thing) and if there is speculation or actual spoiler as to what happens with dean in season 2 I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW, but i can't think of a reason short of john and sam being dead that would lead him to walk away. i totally agree that for him to get any kind of independence (and yeah, he kinda needs to be able to be on his own, completely on his own without guidance or direction or need for approval from dad, or he'll be five years old the rest of his life and that ain't healthy), he needs to be able to leave of his own free will. have a screaming fight with dad and sam, lose his patience and walk out, whatever. but he has to go, he can't be pushed. but i don't see him ever wanting to. i don't know what would induce him to leave. he's so dependent on john, at least - i mean, he survived three years without sam, not happily but he did it, and i don't think either he or john ever really expected sam to come back. might be he's too terrified of being left to leave himself, and it's too ingrained in him to obey and answer to his dad and to protect his brother. and he's been working for and with the family since he was four - he doesn't know any other way to be. he CAN'T be on his own. he doesn't know how.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC)
but i can't think of a reason short of john and sam being dead that would lead him to walk away.

Problem is I`d see Dean reacting very badly to this if it were to happen right now. He would probably got himself killed due to recklessness and even a slight death-wish within a couple of weeks on a hunt or in a bar-fight.
So, to overcome this he would really need to make a choice in walking away and them being dead would again take the choice from him. But I agree with you in not being able to see that right now. There would have to be some fundamental shift in his thinking to go there.

Right now he is kinda stuck, to move forward emotionally he needs to go, but he can`t ever imagine doing that because being the family crutch is too ingrained in him and since he never learned how, he might not make it on his own. Poor Dean, caught between a rock and a hard place.

i mean, he survived three years without sam, not happily but he did it, and i don't think either he or john ever really expected sam to come back.

Absolutely and as soon as John went missing he went and got Sam. It`s like he needs at least one of them around any given time. Which of course is not gonna work forever since they have both shown to be able and willing to walk away in certain circumstances.