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Unabashed Spoiler Hound & Fanfic writer

Reveling in the fickle nature of fangirlishness

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Dean and Mary Winchester - A Mother and Son connection

An old TV Guide bloq:

If you haven't seen any of the Director's Cuts and don't want to be spoiled about them,then stop now. I'll be quoting from one later on in this blog.

When I saw this Director's Cut, it spoke of how Dean has been shaped by the memory of his mother and how the tragedy that ripped her from him has affected him.

We've talked a lot about John Winchester and his influences over this sons and some brief mentions have been made about Mary and her potential role in Sam's destiny, e.g. Did she have some kind of hand in making Sam who he is? But other than that, she's just been this catalyst that has led the Winchester men towards "saving people, hunting things".

In Season 1 she was a constant in the Intro of just about every episode which usually began, "22 years ago..." and sometimes there would be, "Their mother mysteriously died..." Then there were the wonderful The Road Thusfar intros that culminated their road to the confrontation with the demon at end of Season 1, coming full-circle in a manner of speaking, facing the killer of their mother and more intimately for Sam, Jessica. It was the perfect exposition of the Winchester Family Saga.

Mary's presence has come into the play only a few times. In Season 1, the pilot revealed how she was perceived by both Dean and Sam. Sam shrugging off their family legacy as "dad's crusade" and that even if they found the thing that killed their mother, she was gone and wasn't coming back. Dean takes this comment as an insult and affront to their mother's memory and calls Sam on it, almost acting like a parent himself by scolding him to not talk about her that way. This shows Dean as a good son who remembers his mother fondly, who was old enough to reap the benefits of her influence and love in his life whereas Sam was 6 months old, only able to recognize her through photos. It's clear that Dean loves his mom and feels her loss in his life keenly.

In SCARECROW, Sam deals another blow to his mother and Dean's memory of her by saying that Dean could never understand his loss of Jessica because it happened recently and that he had lost their mom at 4 years old, that the two losses could never equate as the same because Sam thinks time had dulled the pain of their mom's loss for Dean, but you can see the look of shock on Dean's face that Sam could even minimize how much his mother meant to him. That her memory still resonates with him.

In HOME, Mary returns to their family home to save her sons from a very nasty poltergeist. She sacrifices herself to do it and does it lovingly as any mother would to protect her children. The look of loss and longing is painted all across Dean's face and her smile radiates for him. Her single utterance of his name is enough to make the strongest man crack from the loss. Sam is also rewarded with seeing his mother, animated, no longer a static image in a photograph. He can feel her presence, hear her voice and her saying his name, is no less potent and powerful, especially to a son who had never known her. Never mind the heartfelt yet potentially ominous apology she gives him without any explanation to understand its meaning. Sam meets the mother he has wondered about all his life, the woman who had been killed in his nursery, by his crib when he was only 6 months old.

In Season 2, in CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, her presence is has been a name on a gravestone. Sam insists on leaving their father's dogtags even if it is to an empty grave in the hopes that he can give her something that he feels she would want to have as a remembrance of their father. Instead of joining Sam, Dean stays distant, doesn't even want to acknowledge his loss this time. It's just an empty grave to him. Even near the end of the episode, he only allows himself a glance at the headstone before walking away. So many theories can be made by this reaction as it is so counter to how he has felt and defended his mother's memory in the past. Could it be a sense of resentment for an unknown fact that she may been a part of Sam's destiny? Could it be shame on his part that he has disappointed her in some way, failing to be the kind of son that she would have wanted? Or is it just sadness that now he and Sam have lost both their parents? Hopefully future episodes will illuminate.

Now with the revelation in the DC of tonight's episode, HOUSES OF THE HOLY, we learn where Dean not only gets the philosophy he mentioned in FAITH, but of his lack of faith:

Sam: Maybe it's time to have a little faith, Dean.

Dean: You know what I got faith in? Reality, knowing what's really going on.

Sam: How can you be a skeptic? With the things we see everyday?

Dean: Exactly. We see them, we know they're real.

Sam: But if you know evil is out there how can you not believe good's out there too?

Dean: Because I've seen what evil does to good people.

This scene underscores, not only Dean's skepticism in faith, but having seen evil and what it can do to good people has colored his belief that there is an ultimate good. The question in his head being "why would any higher being stand by and allow evil to hurt good people?" I also believe that in his heart, he believes that his intervention in preventing as much evil from hurting others is his reality, the reality that he can save people from evil.

Perhaps, he was also revealing a little about their own life, about how evil killed their mother, a good person and now we learn from one of the DCs a believer, someone who had faith and in Dean's eyes whose belief failed her:

Dean: And I'll tell you who else had faith like that. Mom. She used to tell me when she tucked me in that angels were watching over us. In fact that was the last thing she ever said to me.

Sam: You never told me that.

Dean: What's to tell? She was wrong. There was nothing protecting her. There's no higher power, there's no God. I mean, there's just chaos and violence and random, unpredictable evil that comes out of nowhere that rips you to shreds and you want me to believe in this stuff? I'm gonna need to see some hard proof. You got any?

This bitter and sad retort reveals where Dean's lack of faith stems. His mother's violent and supernatural death, a woman who was a loving and caring mother, who believed in an angel's protection, was the catalyst that formed his belief system. How could there be a God, if it could let their mother, a woman of faith, die like that? In a way, he probably feels he was betrayed his faith as well, for up until that point, whenever Mary tucked him into bed and said those words, he probably did feel safe, protected, loved, not only by her, but by angels. After her death, the only safety, love and protection he believed in and could rely on was the reality of the protection, safety and love that he could provide his family as a skilled hunter.

His determination and responsibility to save Sam will be tested when finally faced with the ultimate unknown and perhaps the ultimate evil, but as others have already mentioned from the HOUSES OF HOLY trailer where Sam asks, "What did you see?" and Dean says, "God's will", perhaps Dean will receive that assurance of faith that he has so long abandoned and yet keenly desires now that Sam has made him promise to kill him if he succumbs to evil. Will he be endowed with something more than just belief or will that faith and belief that there is a greater power on his side in the fight become Dean's greatest weapon? Time will tell and tonight is just around the corner.

Enjoy everyone!