exsequar: (SN Bros love the whole of you)
I just curled up in my bed, turned out the lights, put on my enormous headphones, and watched Devil's Trap.

This post has been bubbling around in my head since I watched Salvation a few days ago. I don't have anything particularly revolutionary to say, but my own opinions on Supernatural have crystallized, so I want to get this down.

Essentially, I got smacked in the face by how profoundly the most basic underlying foundations of the show have been shattered and uprooted. I thought I had simply moved on from Supernatural, as I generally do from shows, but it turns out that the show just moved on from me, and I still retain the same passionate love for the first two seasons.

What I loved about Supernatural was that, despite the vast nature of the concept (magic, demons, and creatures of all ilk are real! There's an entire underground culture that fights them and protects us from the dark!), the story was simple, contained, and unbelievably poignant in this simplicity. It was the story of a family, shaped and hardened by fire, and the story of their love. The fascination came in the ways that love played out - my 100% favorite Winchester dynamic is that Sam and Dean are both motivated by familial love, but Sam's (and John's, of course) manifests as a desire for revenge for those they loved and lost, while Dean fights to keep those who still live. The most interesting thing about season 1 is how Sam starts completely on the polar end of that scale (revenge! revenge! I will die for revenge!), and by the end he has come to realize, largely through Dean's unwavering, blazing passion for saving his family, that there are things more important than revenge, and it is this realization that causes him to not shoot John, a decision that has endless ramifications. (I made a music video about this theme - it's that awesome!) Many people die because of that choice (including John himself!), yet within the framework the show has set up as its beating heart - the Winchesters Love Each Other - it is the right, and the only, decision.

In season one, every moment Sam and Dean had together was screaming with meaning and things said and unsaid. Their motives were centered on one another to an enormous extent. It was simple, it was beautiful, and it didn't matter what the Monster of the Week was - I watched because I loved their love. I know that's true for a lot of us.

(Of course, that's not the only thing I miss. For example, weekly awesome guest stars - do you remember all the amazing girls in season 1? Amy Acker! Julie Benz! Cadman from SGA! Sarah in Provenance! Kat in Asylum! Then of course there was the fact that Sam and Dean themselves were both unbelievably innocent, even after 22-26 years of the hunting life. Think Dean's gutwrenching admission of fear - "For you and dad, the things I'd do or kill... scares me sometimes." Ack.)

Fast forward to season 4. After seeing S1 stuff again, it feels like Sam and Dean are strangers. They have been torn asunder to generate "narrative tension" and to elaborately construct a "good v. evil" showdown with each of the boys ending up on opposite sides.


That is simply not the Winchesters we used to know. Dean shows so little concern for Sam sometimes that I actually believed for a moment that he was going to walk out of that hotel room and leave Sam to face Lilith. The Dean we were introduced to has "Protect Sam" as his numero uno imperative, the goal that explicitly takes precedence over all else. For Sam's part, he admired Dean fiercely, though he also resented him for wanting Sam to stick around in the hunting life. That didn't change that Dean was the sun and stars to Sammy. Now Sam treats him with contempt, sneaking around and actually believing that Dean is too weak and that Sam has to pick up the slack. He couldn't, I don't know, directly support and help Dean by being his brother? He has to go suck on some demon chick's arm and walk a line he KNOWS is exceedingly dangerous, while keeping this all secret from Dean? All of this behavior is just... not Winchesters. It just isn't.

For me, emotionally, Supernatural pretty much ends at the end of season 2, with the demise of the YED. That was the bow on the package we had been handed - the Winchesters' struggle to get revenge in the name of their mother, Jess, and then John, while Dean (and then Sam) struggles to keep them alive in the process. They finished that arc nicely, I thought - the cemetery scene got a little much at times, but the whole thing with the children in the ghost town was gorgeous, and I loved John helping them (sniff). It was emotionally satisfying (and draining - Sam's death and resurrection were so fucking powerful) and provided a beautiful sense of closure. The image of Dean's smile of pure, childish joy at the end is one of my favorites from the show's entire run.

After that, I remember but snippets. I never again got truly emotionally invested. And that makes me incredibly sad. I watched Sam and Dean, I continued to love Sam and Dean, but slowly, gradually, they drifted apart, so I drifted away. I found new loves, new fandoms to squeal about (see: bandom!), but Supernatural was truly the story that stole away with my heart and really shaped my life for about two years. I've been in a weird limbo place with SPN for two years since - still wanting to feel that all-consuming love, but unable to, yet still following along. I never want to leave Sam and Dean while they still exist, but I suppose I'm coming to the realization that though Jensen and Jared are still playing characters named Dean and Sam, they are not the characters that were so fucking important to me that they held my attention far longer than any other narrative ever had or has since.

So this is my acceptance of the facts. I accept that Supernatural, the show I love and will always cherish, ended at the end of season 2. And I accept that it will never be the same again. I'll keep watching, I'll probably capslock from time to time, but SamandDean is locked away safe in my heart. I won't let whatever happens next in the story taint my original feelings for those Winchesters. While I'm sad, I know there's nothing to be done about it, so this is my zen face.
Music:: The Chambers Brothers - Time Has Come Today | Powered by Last.fm
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful


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