Issue 62

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Supernatural - What is and What should never be

Umm, and then I’ll loop back because I would like to ramble a bit on this week’s Supernatural.
What is and What Should Never Be (WiaWSNB) unwieldy in acronym. But an amazing hour of television.

I’ve read, by now, quite a few brilliant commentary perambulations on it. The swap of Dean’s pagan amulet for a Saint Christopher medal. The Gethsemane of the garden. John’s absence into silent growl over Dean’s shoulder. The disjointed photography of Dean speaking to his remembered father. The saturated colors of the dream. The blue of Dean’s collar. The white of Sam’s. The poorly photo manipulated/out right pasted photos of the family Winchester. Smiling with their identical sweaters, and papa as Santa. Dead Santa. The wave of women into the world of the Supernatural.

I’m not really sure I have much to add. But I feel like typing. So I will.

There a number of implicit theories on how the dream works, so here’s mine. The djinn of smokeless fire and hazy wishes whispers sleep and puts the dreamer into the dream, but the wish, the form, even the figures begging the dreamer to stay, they come from the dreamer. The four year old longing for love, comfort and safety. Rest. No more worries about his little brother clutched in thin arms and coughing at smoke. Having a love-full life with a family forward. And he’s so sorry. To the figments. To himself. The adult lets the dream go and dies into world. Blood from his mouth and into his little brothers plaintive calls.

There was a moment back in Born Under a Bad Sign, when Dean hears the litany of Sam’s deeds from a store clerk. Drinking, smoking, fighting. He says that sounds more like him than Sam. Which since Dean doesn’t smoke, and apologizes to poor little Tiny after their fight, although he certainly drinks (one of these days, I really do need to get a hip flask), it was an interesting comment. When unSam tells Dean that unDean (but not undine) stole his ATM, skipped his graduation, and slept with his prom date, on prom night, Dean once again takes the burden of that sounds like himself.

I could of course get into the woobieness of Dean (pause for an Oh, Dean to rise naturally from Saint Christopher’s pure burning heart), but it’s a curious moment of perception un-perception. And I do wonder at the misshapen monster carrying the maiden through the garden in the opening of his dream.

That and the lack of blades in the lawnmower. Movement with no motion. He steps back and forth to cut a lawn that does not need to be cut while a garden gnome watches calmly. Restfully. Rest Dean. He needs to get some rest.

At first it seemed an odd disjoint to me that Hollywood Babylon and Folsom Prison Blues were followed by this weary Dean. But, well, Agent Hendrickson did tell us that Dean had his game face on. Not that I don’t think Dean wasn’t delighted to be in Hollywood. Part of a team. That he didn’t fit in right in prison. Strange reckless plan. For someone whose modus and operandi is motion, to come to a small cell stop.

And here. He wakes into the dream world. He even sleeps in it on his mother’s couch. In her house with the overdone cabbage rose wallpaper and festooned with cobbled photos. It’s perfect white picket fence and roses in full bloom. Of course they are. Kansas prairie blooming roses on the December anniversary of a plane crash. What a wonderful world indeed. Blooming and breath deep. Go to sleep at 9:00.

God like power. The figment reminds the dreamer that djinns aren’t real. You been drinking. Ecstasy and LSD. Blue fire only quenched with silver knife dripped in lamb’s blood. The sacrifices hung from the ruins. Strange trees with their plastic vines and blood fruit. Because the coin of the realm is always blood. Always.

And as Dean faces dream death, the elder sister of sleep, his mother, his sainted sacrificial mother in her white dress appears. Save her. Stay with us. Get some rest.

He doesn’t believe it. A dream in which the only way he can believe in his mother, the only thing he knows from himself about her is that she told him about angels every night before bed. Back when sleep was safe. One of the few stories he no longer believes in.

And in the real world, Sam in his white collar with patterns. Dean in his blue collar denim shirt. Sitting next to his brother and then moving away from him. To face him. The point not being to tell the audience what we know, Dean wanted to stay, but to have the brothers tell each other their truths. Or not, ending as episode ended on the enigmatic of Dean being told it’s worth it. Not responding, just looking at his brother.

 
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