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I can`t seem to stop watching the scene where John silently holds vigil at Dean`s bedside. Help. :)
Anyway here is a

As throughout the whole episode the acting is perfect here. John`s expression here much more than pain and guilt and defeat is one of awareness. And that makes such perfect sense, especially with his speech to Dean at the end.

Mary`s violent death propelled him on this path and it`s always been my belief that John never went through all the stages of grief where Mary was concerned, certainly he didn`t reach acceptance. The way I see him he was caught in a stage of emotional numbness that only gradually progressed. He tapped into anger, to a point into grief.

It could and would have been very different if he didn`t have anything after losing Mary. But he did, two things to be exact. More importantly two things that came from her. So the classical reaction was to fiercely hold onto them, keep and protect them at all costs.
Yet this love for his sons also objectified them. They became "his sons", "his boys", "the one thing he couldn`t lose" etc. The downside to that is that you lose sight of the very things you love.

And this process became worse and worse over the years IMO. When they were little I`m guessing they simply demanded, on account of them being children, that he looked at them and paid attention.
Yet as they got older they morphed from persons into symbols.

It`s like having a very precious china vase. At first you marvel at the craftmanship, the beauty of every line, the colouring. But in time you become so afraid for it, you put it behind glass and you don`t really see it anymore. You just see "something precious." That`s what John did to his children in his mind.
He saw them, but didn`t see them at all. Not for what they were. Hence Sam gets thrown out when he wants to go to College. Hence Dean gets taken for granted in everything he does.

It might even seem like a contradiction to value something so much and at the same time treat it with such little reverence but that`s the bitter irony of objectifying love. Your own feelings blind you and often cause you to hurt the one you love. What they want or feel or suffer doesn`t matter in light of what YOU think you have to do out of "love."
What`s more, in John`s case he juggled three objectifying "loves." His love for Mary demanded vengeance which at times clashed with his sons well-being. His love for Sam demanded that Dean be sacrificed in his childhood at times.

I think John filed all this information away, he saw that Sam longed for school and whatnot. He saw what Dean did everyday. He noticed but he noticed through of fog of numbness. The feelings that went with these observations didn`t register because he wouldn`t let himself feel them. He just motored on.

But now he looks at Dean and he is forced to see him, to really see him. And my guess is what he is seeing when he looks at his eldest are images of a baby, a bouncy 4 year old, the kid that came up to him and tried to comfort him, the one that took care of Sam etc. All these instances come rushing back and now, now he feels them.
The vase is broken and once you look at the shards, you become aware again of its former uniqueness, the things that made it the specialist vase in the world for you. The picture is no longer blurry but brilliantly sharp and painful. And it cuts you in half.
For John it`s even worse because not only didn`t he avenge Mary but now his quest might have cost him one of the two things precious he had left.
The question or more the outcry becomes: "That`s not worth it."

And all this was encompassed in the look in John`s face here and the little break in his voice when told Dean he was so proud of him for everything. I think that was not only the first time Dean heard this, it was the first time John let himself reminiscence about it. That`s NOT to say he didn`t love Dean all these years or was proud of him, far from it but I think now is the first time in a long time that he stopped and let himself feel that so clearly.
Would he have hesitated to sacrifice himself for Sam or Dean`s life? Hell no but now it`s different as it is always different when your eyes are finally open.

Man, this scene and JDM in it rocks my socks off. :)


( 4 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
Oct. 3rd, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
*cries again*
Oct. 3rd, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC)
*hands out comfort cookies*

The whole episode was one big Kleenex ad.
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, John. Cool meta. :)
Oct. 4th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks. This episode was a lot of "Oh John" and "Oh Sam" and "Oh Dean", wasn`t it. :)
( 4 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )