Vivisecting Supernatural- The End’s 2014 vs. Season Nine’s 2014

That of destiny and inevitability has always been a major theme in Supernatural. And Season Five was, in a huge way, about defeating destiny- it’s what spawned the name Team Free Will.
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At the end of Season Five, the general consensus was that destiny had, indeed, been defeated. Lucifer was in the pit. There was no way that the events of The End, as witnessed by Dean, would come to pass. Except that, well… this is SPN we’re talking about.
Because in The End, Bobby was dead, Cas was human and Sam was possessed by an angel.
And in Season Nine, Bobby was dead. Cas was human. And Sam was possessed by an angel.
Lucifer’s words come to mind- ‘Whatever changes you make, whatever details you alter, you will always end up- here.’
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Season Nine Dean also bears some worrying similarities to 2014!Dean- he is as casual about killing vessels as 2014!Dean was about ‘plugging some Croat’. Perhaps just as worryingly, both versions of Dean seem to be just as on board with sacrificing Cas; 2014!Dean sends him out to battle in order to use his death as a diversion, and this could be compared to Dean’s kicking Cas out of the bunker at the end of I’m No Angel, even knowing that Cas has a price on his head. Both worlds involve Dean sacrificing Cas because of an angel.
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(Um. Let me just point out. Both worlds also involve Cas growing a beard.)
The one important difference, however, is Dean’s attitude to Sam being possessed.
In The End, Dean tries to kill him, and this backfires horribly.
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In Road Trip, Dean tries to save him. And it actually… for the time being… kind of works.
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And so if Dean’s fate is to kill his brother, and yet things only ever go right for them when he tries to save him instead, where does that lead us? It leads us to the conclusion that we will only ever be happy if we tell Destiny to go screw itself. Which is, of course, a huge part of SPN. But it isn’t quite that simple.
Look at Swan Song. A prime example of Winchesters stamping on Destiny- Sam actually used his destiny as Lucifer’s vessel as a weapon that allowed them to defeat Lucifer- and yet where does it leave them? It leaves them with Sam burning in Hell and Dean out of his head with grief.
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All because they put the fate of the entire planet above their relationship. Free will landed them in a far worse scenario than angelic possession would have. And did they really save the world, considering the Darkness that’s coming? Would it have been better for them to do as the angels said?
In Brother’s Keeper, by contrast, the Winchesters must once again choose between the world and each other- and this time, they choose each other.
Was it right? Who the hell knows? One thing is certain: when Dean killed Death himself rather than Sam, I was hugely relieved. We are made complicit in the Winchesters’ choices- we would rather watch their world burn than see them separated. SPN persuades us to invest in free will while at the same time asking whether it’s right to choose free will, whether we as humans are able to make the right choice- and what is the right choice? Is the sacrifice of a single person- in this case, Sam- right, if it means that millions will be saved?
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They aren’t easy questions and there aren’t meant to be easy answers. As Sam says in Croatoan, we’re supposed to struggle with these things. And perhaps it’s the struggle and not the decision that keeps us human in the end- the moments before Sam jumped into the pit, and the moments before Dean swung the scythe.
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Supernatural does more than show us destiny’s fluctuating grasp on the Winchesters; it asks us whether the Winchesters should be in control of their own fate, and by extension, whether any human should. But of course, if the answer to that was no, who would be qualified to answer that question anyway? It becomes a paradox.
And in the end, it comes down to Dean Winchester philosophy. ‘We’ve just got to grab onto whatever’s in front of us, kick its ass, and go down fighting.’
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13 thoughts on “Vivisecting Supernatural- The End’s 2014 vs. Season Nine’s 2014

      • It definitely brings up a good discussion on destiny and whether it’s all already written for you or we’re all just floating in the wind. Scary thoughts lol. On another subject, ooo! An epic rewatch! I should do that when I get the chance. While waiting for season 11 to start anyways haha πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

            • God, I know! I’m in heaven since entering the SPN fandom… only a four month hiatus and twenty-three episodes.
              Thanks! I’m probably going to do one about the attractions of hurt/comfort next. Or maybe Dean mothering Sam, idk. Or maybe I should revise for my GCSEs.

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  1. Pingback: Wren’s Top Five Episodes Of Season Five | A Blog devoted to "SUPERNATURAL"

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