Bloodlust - Back in Black huh.
The Metallicar all shiny and new and Dean attempting to reach back to some, well, what was for him, some Edenic existence. The world static in charcoal black and white. Not shifting, full of burned ash and ongoing loss. The fruit on the tree relating only to good and evil. Not some golden apples of Hesperides that fruit in the world of color.
The black top road. The miles stretching away into the infinite possibility with the straight line down the middle. You drive on one side or you drive on the other.
And I must admit, while in general SPN may well wish for some racial sensitivity training (a few rounds of Static Shock would do them fine), there’s something I found metaphorically pleasing in Dean and Gordon’s black and white color contrast.
Because they are both the highway. Not a carpet ride or harvest moon, but the road. Lanes in different directions. And Dean is not Gordon, not just because of Sam/Sammy, because instead of parents who couldn’t hear the tale, he got his father, who for all his secretive faults, emphasized with his dying moment take care of family.
And I consider the effort that Good Daddy Winchester must have taken when directing his boys on hunts. Not only pursuing cases where the landscape was littered with shattering families, but where the rest of this world within a world would not be. If you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. If Father this and Bobby that didn’t tell them that they were a part of some larger world, how much because Daddy W told them not to. Always arguing and pushing people away.
As if in some vast space of interconnecting roads to keep the boys in some highway walled garden. But the door opens, the off ramp curls off, and the world is full of people who know your name.
I don’t think Dean was trying to so much replace his father as to find some common space. Some other perspective view to take on the landscape. A relief valve on the pressure. Speaking with an almost unreal and unimagined stranger, who is both Self and Other. Life experiences the same and yet opposite.
And I do wonder what precisely Ellen was warning Sam about, because but for a chance in the vampires being practical creatures, they’d have burned the body, shot the rock salt, said the ritual, and…then? What then. I mean, yes, with the crazy, but not so noticeable in another circumstance. And I wonder at how lonely Gordon must be.
The other Hunters pulling a bit away from the mad focus and here’s this person, this known and imagined stranger, who is both Other and Self. Who in that moment of death, because Gordon would have died, appears like a violent storm. So, Gordon smiles and repeats over and over, “We are the same, you’d do the same,” and tries to negotiate the unknown language of family. But what’s in a name? Quite a bit.
Years of resisting, don’t call me Sammy. And years of littlest, youngest, protected in the strong frame of that black and shiny car, while Dean killed a thing with his Dad. Shot it in the heart and burned it in the outside space of the woods. Sixteen and a warrior on his Dream quest journey. Staring into the fire and tasting the first real juicy bite of that fruit. Good and Evil. Black and white. The fire and the dark.
Until red makes it’s appearance.
Dean’s face half in shadow, half in light, spattered with the remnants of something, who was a someone. Blood. Family. Beating hearts and love. Cupid with his bow, shooting not just golden arrows, but lead. Spat from a rifle at a distance. Until up close you wonder at what illusions that distance has led to.
Raised to hate. Dean looking back at childhood and with Sam no longer attacking their father, finally having the space, the ability to climb to some different perspective and view their world, their family, from another angle.
Clinging to the comfort of a word, Sammy. Like a worn blanket that no longer fits or covers, but makes you feel safe. Looking across the shiny black surface of the car, his baby, his world, and seeing the Other that is not the same. Who is no longer littlest, if still youngest. Same direction on the road, but looking out the passenger side and pointing at the trees and the color and the lines on the map. Red and green and blue and bridges.
Dealing and not dealing with the hole in the highway. Throwing off suspension and drive on into the next episode.