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Supernatural Fodder

Supernatural: Dean, the returning warrior

Jensen-Ackles.jpgWe all know Dean is coming back. But how will he and Sam be affected by his return?

Eric Kripke, in several interviews, said that Dean will be affected profoundly by his time in Hell (how could he not be?), even though he will have few memories of it. I think it's going to play out like post-traumatic stress disorder. This also makes sense, because Eric Kripke has said many times that this is war between demons and humans, and PTSD is a major problem for many returning soldiers.

PTSD

If you look at the Diagnosis section of the wiki article, I think we'll see Dean having re-experience, avoidance, difficulty falling asleep, hypervigilance, and social impairment symptoms.

Of course, when we're talking about Dean, how could you tell if he had avoidance, hypervigilance and social impairment?

That brings out a good point. Dean's personality has been formed by his childhood. Sam, who was sheltered as much as possible by Dean, has managed to mostly live normally despite the chaos of his family life. Maybe Dean was already borderline PTSD, while Sam was spared, thanks to Dean's efforts.

But now, Sam has had to learn to live without Dean's protection. And Dean, well, Dean is going to be fully over the line now. I think it's possible he takes out a lot of frustration on Sam, frustration with his reaction to Hell. Dean thinks he's fine, but if he starts having flashbacks, and becoming hypervigilant, or if it starts affecting his hunting, he'll know he's not healthy. And he'll feel weak, and take it out on Sam.

So be prepared to see a fractured relationship between the brothers, at least early in the season.

What about Sam?

In Sam's case, though, he's been grieving, and learning how to be independent. He'll be stronger, a better hunter, more decisive. Part of that will have been fueled by anger at what happened to Dean. But he won't be overboard with it. The Trickster taught him well in the Mystery Spot episode. He not only knows intellectually that he can't become single-minded in a quest for vengeance, he's actually lived it. He's too smart to fall into the same trap.

But Sam being Sam, I think he's likely to take quite a bit of abuse from Dean for a while, just because he's so happy to have him back. But not too much. The pushback from Sam might not happen until the middle of the season, but I think he will push back against Dean, and that might be the trigger that helps Dean recover, finally.

More show mythology

Last post I wrote about how Sam or Dean either could maybe be an Antichrist. I'm not sure we're going the Apocalypse route for the mythology, but I think it's possible. For this season, though, the brothers start off with 2 simple, related missions. One, win the demon war. Two, find Lilith and kill it.

Along the way, they may probably discover a larger plot, but maybe not. It may be that the demons simply believe Lucifer - Satan - is ready to emerge into the world (based solely on their "bible" and their faith), and are trying to conquer the world to make it ready for him. Of course, along the way they will enjoy whatever misery they can bring humans.

Pending questions

Of course, we still have a few questions left from seasons past.

What, exactly, is the amulet Dean wears? Why did Bobby give it to Sam? Does it have special powers? Did Bobby know it had special powers?

Why did Dean's eyes bleed in the Bloody Mary episode?

And finally, the big one. How did Mary Winchester know the YED, the night it killed her?

Quick note about True Blood

If you like Supernatural, you might try True Blood, the new vampire show on HBO, based on a series of books by Charlaine Harris. One of the writers/co-producers is Raelle Tucker, from some of Supernatural's great episodes, like What Is and What Should Never Be, Faith, and Salvation. I picked up the show from the beginning, and I have to say I like it, though I thought the first episode was a bit rough. So far, though, I haven't seen a lot of emphasis on faith and belief, which I felt were trademarks of Raelle episodes on Supernatural.

Still, from the first 2 episodes, I think True Blood is worth watching on its own merits.


Posted by Miller on September 17, 2008 7:33 AM
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I thought the amulet at least was addressed in the Christmas episode: if young Sam just got it as a present for Dean, I don't think that implies any special powers (aside from the Love-is-magic route). So, while I think it's important symbolically, that question anyways has already been addressed.

-- Posted by: Peace at September 21, 2008 7:22 AM

I'm not so sure.

I think there was at least one Kripke interview where he said there was more to the amulet than we know. Of course, he could just be talking about the symbolism being the "more".

-- Posted by: Miller at September 22, 2008 8:18 PM

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