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  • “How am I then a villain?”: Crowley as Supernatural’s Shakespearean Antagonist (Part One of Four)

    Part One: Seasons Five and Six

    "Cannot be ill, cannot be good." - Macbeth, Act I, Scene 3

    Villains and heroes share one important trait - they often act to build a better world, to right perceived wrongs, to bring justice to an unjust system. They diverge, many times, in motivation. Heroes tend to act from a place of common good, a common good that is shared by the audience, whereas the villain acts from a place of common good not shared by the audience. Good villains (and heroes) are not easy to create. There is always the danger of caricaturism, of creating one-dimensional personalities that speak words but are unconvincing in both action and motivation. Good villains are ambiguous - they require the audience to sympathize, perhaps even empathize, with their acts. One of the best writers of both heroes and villains was William Shakespeare, and this essay seeks to align some of Shakespeare’s most complicated villains with Supernatural’smost complicated villain, Crowley. I hope to delve into Crowley to show how he echoes a long line of valued antagonists, how he inherits and translates the villain for today’s genre audience.

  • A Deeper Look At Season Five Dean Winchester

    It's that time of year, another chance to go through the season gone by and examine closely how the beleaguered Winchester brothers fared in their fight against all odds. Needless to say, we're talking some major damage to their emotional and physical well being. Thanks apocalypse! Up first, the elder Winchester. 
     
     
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    Dean's character progression, much like the past two seasons, took a really intriguing turn in season five. Season three was Dean's season of self actualization. Season four was all about his character test. Season five too had plenty of tests, but for Dean it all ended up being about survival. Not just his though. So much more was at stake than his and Sam's safety. He had to step up and save the world. By the end he suceeded against impossible odds but it cost him everything. He became exactly what he didn't want to be, the last man standing. He reluctantly went into a new life mired with huge survivor's guilt, shattered faith, and a lost sense of purpose. Once again, Rufus Turner's "There ain't no happy ending" rings prophetic for poor Dean.
     
    I've read a lot of complaints where the promise of Dean's character direction at the end of season four went nowhere is season five. I don't see that to be the case at all. Dean's character did go through some big shifts in season five, sometimes perplexing shifts. However, I think there was consistency with season four as well as the prior seasons in the direction he took. Sure he was more vulnerable this time, but considering how much has been thrown at him becoming worn down by it all was understandable. He came out of it all the tragic hero, which was a bit better than Sam's outcome, the martyred hero. Or, maybe not. Dean would have traded places in an instant.
     
    As I left off in my season four analysis, Dean's major shortfall and biggest hanging issue was his relationship with Sam. He fought the good fight against Zachariah and convinced Castiel to fall from grace for doing the right thing, but his handling of the Sam situation led to disaster. Lucifer broke free. So that's how he started season five. He had to take on the Devil and try to rebuild his broken relationship with his brother.    Let's look at the key episodes and see how Dean progressed from that point. 

     
    Sympathy For The Devil

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    Dean tried, he oh so tried. Lucifer was free, Castiel was dead, he was wanted by angels, and he tried to derive a plan out of a hopeless situation while at the same time having lost complete faith in Sam. After all, despite his intentions, Sam did the unthinkable. He betrayed him for a demon. Dean tried to see past it and focus on task but the hurt was too deep and the betrayal too raw. He couldn't forgive. Despite all that emotional turmoil though, Dean drew the line in the sand that defined the battleground of the season. He wouldn't be a vessel. He'd fight his way. He just didn't believe that Sam had his back. This all kicked off his feelings of isolation that grew throughout the season.

     
    Good God Y'all
     
    Dean saw the hard reality, his life's mission had to change. Sam no longer could be his main priority. Despite all the mistrust and the hurt protecting Sam at this point was instinctive. It was what he wanted to do, but the world needed him more and this great burden from here until "Point of No Return" ate away at him slowly. When Sam suggested they part at the end Dean agreed without a fight. He made the decision with his head instead of his heart. Sam leaving meant one big burden off of him, freeing him to focus on the world alone. Yeah, reality caught up later in a hard way.


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    Free To Be You and Me

     
    Dean was still pretty delusional here. The burden of Sam may have been gone, but the emptiness of being alone became the issue. He tried to convince Castiel he didn't need Sam but who was that speech exactly for? I didn't buy it. I doubt Cas did either.

     
    The End

    Dean saw a lot of crap in this one. Was the future real or fabricated by Zachariah? I'm going for the "what if " reality. What if Dean and Sam stayed apart? Sam did eventually say yes to Lucifer for reasons we found out were purely strategic, so we could assume the same reason happened in this reality. So, what went different in this scenario? Easy, when Dean chose the world over his family he let the Impala rot and he let his morals slide. Without the Impala there to trigger the memories, without that strong brotherly bond, Sam failed in this reality in his plan to overtake Lucifer. In other words, neither could take on the world alone.




    So, what made Dean see the light? What made him realize that he and Sam could only be stronger together?   I can only assume seeing Sam become Lucifer did the trick and I'm sure he didn't like his future self either. He had to go the other way. He didn't take Sam in with open arms though and an "all is forgiven" attitude. There was still some reluctance there but at least he followed his gut instinct. The pain over Sam's betrayal was still too raw though. So, enter the bittersweet reunion.

     
    Fallen Idols
     
    No, he didn't forgive Sam. He put his brother through the ringer instead. Many thought his actions were out of character but I thought they made perfect sense. He knew that he must stick with Sam but there was still that lingering resentment. In the end he got it out of his system and took Sam up on his request to meet him halfway. It was a good step forward that lasted about one episode.




     
    The Curious Case of Dean Winchester
     
    There was way more to Dean than meets the eye in this one. Dean essentially proved that older is not wiser. He and Bobby both had tremendous blinders on when it came to Sam and both were too caught up in their own sorry predicaments. Neither could fathom that Sam was a crafty poker player that could have gotten them out of this the honest way. Both instead stayed overprotective of the "snot nosed kid." In Dean's case though, his blinders extended beyond Sam. He took on the burden of Bobby's welfare too and tried to fix this mess by himself. This contributed to that long spiral downward. He had faith in no one but himself, even when given the limitations of being an eighty year old man. He may have convinced Bobby he wasn't useless, but he still didn't have much faith in Sam and only added to his growing internal pressure.

     
    The Real Ghostbusters

    This ended up being a refreshing perspective for Dean, his life isn't all that bad. Too bad that lesson that went nowhere. Still, it was nice for Dean to see the other side for once, wasn't it?

     

    Abandon All Hope
     
    If any episode drilled a nail deep into that Dean Winchester fractured psyche hard it was this one. The title was meant for no one but Dean. His self imposed burdens took their toll and the losses of Ellen and Jo were a major turning point for him. A turn downward. Losing people to Dean has always been hard but he couldn't take losing friends anymore. Especially people he always considered more than friends, more like family. His failure to kill Lucifer on top of Jo and Ellen's demise made it even worse because their deaths were for nothing. To Dean, there's nothing worse. This outcome will haunt him for a lifetime.

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    Sam, Interrupted

    The Dean Winchester mind bender. It was a very rare glimpse at what goes on inside that noggin and it was not pretty. We had to wonder how the boy could even function. He admitted to not sleeping much, that he drinks way too much and has never been involved in a long term relationship (except for the glaringly obvious choice, but I assume the question was about an intimate relationship). Sam insisted that they take the job because of Dean's depression over Ellen and Jo, showing us his already fragile state. So when the crazy spell started working, Dean's inner frailties surfaced in a stunning way. His single handed burden now involved saving all six billion people on the planet. That intense internal pressure surfaced, that inner fear that he can't save Sam, he can't save the world, he can't save himself. It all was going to burn and it was his fault. Once he got free of the spell, he took all that anxiety and did the worst possible thing. He buried it. Then he ordered Sam to do the same. Oh yeah, it came back to bite him.    
     


    The Song Remains The Same
     
    Poor Dean. He still clung onto that hope that he could save his parents from their awful fate. He was even willing to not be born to make sure that happened. Sadly he was too late. Mary was already pregnant and Michael found his way to hit the reset button. His conversation with Michael especially led to more discouragement and contributed to his increasing hopelesslessness. Still, there was some fighting spirit left, aka Team Freewill. He wasn't not ready to back down yet. 

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    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

    Yes, I'm putting this before "My Bloody Valentine" because it was filmed first and always intended to be first. Dean's world order view had changed, likely because of "Abandon All Hope." He wasn't about to lose another person close to him and chose to protect Bobby over saving everyone else. He was perfectly willing to let Sam go save the town. So, did this mean he was losing hope? Was he losing the will to fight? Maybe. I know seeing Bobby crushed emotionally at the end didn't help his crumbling psyche. Especially when Death raised the dead in Sioux Falls to break Bobby so Sam and Dean would say yes. Guilt doesn't do Dean favors.

     


    My Bloody Valentine
     
    The one were Dean falls apart. It was about freaking time! He had good reason. His faith in Sam had slowly been getting stronger and he had been able to rely on him more recently. That all was shattered here. No, sucuumbing to Famine's spell wasn't Sam's fault but it was enough to shake Dean to the core. He was reminded under no uncertain terms how dangerous Sam was, how the demons knew how to manipulate him and exploit his weaknesses. He also figured out that without Sam by his side, he couldn't do this alone. He needed help. His breakdown at the end was his somber admission that he was human afterall.

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    I know, what about Famine's chilling words that Dean was already dead inside? He had no deep hunger. In a way that was true. At this point, he was just going through the motions. His faith in everything he ever believed in was dwindling. He was tired, discouraged, and so hopelessly lost. He didn't know what else to do.   A weeping man though pleading to God for help is not someone who was completely dead inside. It was more like the act of a completely broken man. Sam couldn't help him and even Castiel was growing more vulnerable too. He really believed he couldn't save himself either. He may not have been dead inside, but he thought he was.

     
    Dark Side of The Moon
     

    Dean's hopelessness and disillusionment hit rock bottom. He had only had one hope left, finding God. Seeing Sam's happy memories being when he ran away from family, aka Sam's best being Dean's worst,   was the final straw with his brother. Sam could not be trusted and would eventually leave him. When he got the message from Joshua that God wouldn't intervene, that was all it took for Dean to lose all hope and faith in everything, especially Sam. The tossing of the amulet symbolized that everything he held dear didn't matter anymore, including family.


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    99 Problems
     
    Sure he was killing so called demons, but this was all the backdrop to Dean comtemplating his next move. He was again going through the motions. Sam tried his plea to him, but Dean figured he had no choice left. He wanted all this to be over and saying yes to Michael was the only option left. His thinking was the last act of a beaten man.   He didn't consult Sam and Castiel on the plan though, probably because he knew they'd try to stop him. Which they did. 


     

    Point of No Return

     
    Sam and Castiel stopped Dean, but he reacted by going into defensive mode. He was rude to Bobby, he squabbled with Castiel, and the heart crushing things he said to Sam...oh it still breaks my heart. Sam didn't lose faith though and Dean finally saw the light in an extraordinary way. He couldn't find it within him to disappoint Sam after Sam put a huge amount of faith in him. Heck, Sam risked the welfare of humanity in the belief that Dean would do the right thing. How could he not go back on his "yes"? He wasn't dead inside after all. He finally made peace with Sam too, his decision being the ultimate act of forgiveness. 
     
    Dean also had this angel/whore killing mojo going which may or may not have been related to him thinking about saying yes. It was perplexing, but I think it was meant to show that Dean was a true servant of God. So Sam wasn't the only one with the extraordinary faith in Dean. I'd call that a pretty big character leap. The guy is special. 

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    Hammer of The Gods

     
    A rejuvenated Dean tells Gabriel to go kill his brother. I don't get it either, especially after his big reconciliation with Sam. We cover our ears and pretend it didn't happen. Lalalalalala!!!! I can't hear you!

     
    The Devil You Know
     
    There's a big role reversal here. Dean in a desperate situation, just like Sam in season four, choses to trust Crowley, going against Sam's protests. He figures out that uncertain times call for the previously unthinkable, like trusting a demon. Just like with Ruby at the end of season three, the consequences of that choice remains to be seen. 

    Dean was back to his subdued and somewhat depressed self (told you Hammer of The Gods was a fluke) but this time he had fight in him. He was still leary of their chances though. He had to have a cool head though to hold together an increasingly destabilizing Sam. He handled Sam perfectly. He didn't judge or chastise and even let Sam see Brady knowing what he would do. His attitude toward Sam had definitely changed. Sam's cold blooded calm when he killed Brady though unnerved Dean pretty good. He didn't hold that against Sam though. That was his way of seeing how much his little brother was changing.

     
    Two Minutes to Midnight

    Speaking of unnerving, this had to be the most intensely frightened Dean has ever been in his whole life. After all, not too many mere mortals get to have pizza with Death and live to tell about it. This visit with Death didn't do much for his already rattled state, but that was nothing compared to the deal he was forced to make. In exchange for the ring that they needed to trap Lucifer, he had to let Sam handle his own fate and not intervene. In other words, he had to go against everything he's ever done in his life, aka his identity. Such a thought was so heartbreaking for him that he actually considered going back on his word to the most powerful being in the universe. Luckily, Bobby saw the light and convinced him otherwise. So what was he afraid of, losing or losing his brother? Clearly the latter. Even the world ending wouldn't be worse to him than losing Sam.

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    Swan Song
     
    Oh Dean, what did this boy not go through? He had to let go. He had to let Sam take control of his own destiny.   All he could do was be there by Sam's side and watch while his brother took on the most horrifying burden imaginable. He wasn't happy at all about the plan but said nothing, brooding for the most part when it came together. When the plan failed at first, Dean was crushed but not broken. The end of days was here and all he could think about was Sam musn't die alone.
     
    Dean managed to get through, or the car that he drove there did, but it was their brotherly love that saved the world. Still, it was an empty victory. All Dean could do was helplessly watch knowing either Lucifer/Sam would die or Sam would fall into the cage, thus spending an eternity in the worst possible Hell imaginable. When the latter did happen, Dean's fulfillment of his promise to have that apple pie life with Lisa was done with an empty heart. As Chuck said, all he wanted to do was die or bring Sam back but did neither only because he promised. His worst possible fear came true. He may have been with Lisa but had never felt more alone.
     
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    So how does Dean go on in season six? He doesn't look comfortable in his life with Lisa but will he give it time out of obligation? Is it possible he won't have that luxury if duty calls, especially when Sam returns? How about his emotional state? Will he have anymore fight left in him? Does saving the world matter to him anymore? Will he end up like season one Sam and be a reluctant participant dragged into the life? I must admit, I'm far more intrigued about the season six possibilities for Dean than the beginning of season five. Adjusting to a normal life is the harshest test for any warrior returning from the battlefield. I can't wait to see how Dean fares.
     
    So that's season five Dean Winchester in a nutshell. Coming up, season five Sam. Talk about having inner demons.
  • A Deeper Look at Season Five Sam Winchester

    Season five Sam Winchester was all about redemption.  There was a high price for that redemption though.
  • A Deeper Look At Season Four Dean Winchester

    If Season three was about the self-actualization of Dean Winchester, then what was Season four about? A self-actualized man must face his character tests. Dean's ultimate season four test ends up being the test of faith. Not faith in God or angels, but faith in everything he believes to be right and what matters to him the most, family. No matter what situation he faces, he has to keep honoring that humanity rulebook, not gray the line between right and wrong, and be willing to die over what he believes no matter what or who tells him otherwise, including the angels. Including Sam.
     
    Test of faith are one of the most infamous trials faced by common man. What makes Dean's case so extraordinary is that he never had faith in God before. He only believed what he could see. So when he's pulled from Hell, resurrected by an angel, called for duty by Heaven to prevent the apocalypse, forced to deal with his PTSD from life in Hell, and watched his brother transform into a monster, it's incredible any faith at all grew from that. Somehow, it got stronger. 
  • A Deeper Look at Season Four Sam Winchester

    This time last year, rumblings in the fandom over Dean's supposed lack of character development got me in a tizzy, so I wrote an article, "A Deeper Look at Season Three Dean Winchester" for blogcritics in response to that misconception.  I eventually followed it up with one about Sam and they got some discussion going.  This year, all the rumblings seem to be over Sam's character, so I've decided to do a similiar analysis for season four and start with Sam.  There's a lot more to look at this year.  I guess a full 22 episode season will do that! 

    So, get your meta hats on everyone and enjoy (or feel compelled to totally rip apart) "A Deeper Look At Season Four Sam Winchester." 
  • A Deeper Look at Season Six Dean Winchester



    Each year when I sit down and look at how the just finished season has treated the Winchesters, I'm constantly surprised over how rich the story lines continue to get.  In Sam and Dean's case though, rich often means intense emotional angst and excrutiating physical and psychological torture.  Just when you think that they can't go through anything worse, it gets topped.  

    In season six, that's especially true for Dean.  He had it really rough.  We all remember the end of last season when he was a broken wreck.  The absolute most horrifying thing that could happen to him did, he lost his brother and helplessly watched him be condemned to an eternity of the worst possible Hell.  One would think it's all up from there for him, right?  



    Nope.  Season six has turned out to be his most heartbreaking yet.  Yes, worse than season two when he lost John and had Sam die in his arms.  Worse than season three when died and went to Hell.  Worse than season four when he saw his brother betray him and then beat him to a pulp before starting the Apocalypse.  And then of course, there was Lucifer's cage in season five.    
     
  • A Deeper Look at Season Six Sam Winchester



    You want to know how freaking impossible it is to critique season six Sam Winchester?  I mean, how in the world to you characterize a character that wasn't a character for an entire half a season?  It just blows the mind. 

    Nah, there's certainly something more to soulless Sam than meets the eye.  After all, it's an intriguing notion.  What exactly is a soulless man?  Still, I hit the wall of soulless fatigue right around episode 8.  Considering Dean's fatigue came much sooner, I shouldn't complain.  

    (Read A Deeper Look At Season Six Dean Winchester)

  • A Deeper Look At Season Three Sam Winchester

    It's Sam's turn! As I'm sure many of you have picked up from my previous articles, I'm rather intrigued by the character of Sam Winchester. He's dark and mysterious, and I really need to look hard to even get a small grasp of what's he's all about. Dean's more open and since he's already hit rock bottom, there was nowhere to go but up, thus making his story far more inspiring. Sam is descending downward at a slow, uneasy pace, and it's my hunch the worst for Sam is yet to come in season four. In the meantime, season three gives us a compelling look at a character who's losing his grasp.

    One thing that's obvious, the boy has issues. He always has, but in season three Sam wasn't likeable or empathetic like he had been in previous two seasons. He grew distant, especially with Dean, even though his only goal was to get him out of the deal. That obsession practically destroyed him. With each episode his frustration and desperation grew. Unlike Dean in "Dream A Little Dream Of Me", Sam's ordeal with the Trickster in "Mystery Spot" didn't inspire him to turn a corner and go forward. Instead, he turned irrational, and lost what little identity he had left.

  • A Deeper Look At Supernatural Season Eight Sam Winchester, Part One


    Sam has always been an inward person, taking in with little protest all the horrible things that have been dished out at him.  Yet in season seven, it all got borderline ridiculous.  Forget borderline.  The wall in his head came down, and suddenly he had to live with psychosis.  Yet this is Sam Winchester, the teflon hunter.  It all got better with just a little hand grab.  After one psychotic (and oh so gripping) meltdown, Sam was fine for most of the season, until it all caught up with him.  But instead of taking advantage of Sam's breakdown and exposing those dark inner layers, he just sat there and took it, waiting to die.  That angst lasted long enough for Castiel to magically take it away, even if he took on the burden for a small bit.  Do over!  This is exactly why this time last year I was primal screaming over the total wasted opportunity of showing Sam to be something more than a very pretty piece of toast.  

    What a difference a year makes.  As I said in my "Deeper Look Season Eight at Dean Winchester," Sam Winchester, much like Dean, in season seven was unrecognizable to me.  My wish was for him to be humanized, and season eight delivered big time!  We finally got to see those inner layers and exposed vulnerabilities, and they were relevant to the Sam we've gotten to know the entire series, not just who he was this season.  It tied together so many things, and suddenly this is the best we've ever known Sam.  He's finally a relatable character.  

    Just like with Dean, this is a tale of two seasons.  Sam in the first half was not Sam in the second half.  Sam spent the first half of the season trying to ease back into a life he abandoned a year ago, and it wasn't easy, especially with a big brother that was more supercharged than ever for the job.  But it was more than that.  In Sam's year, he found his identity, something that he hasn't seen most if not all of his life.  It was ground breaking and character defining, and long overdue.  It was also boring as hell.  But, when put together with the second half of the season, it made sense.  

    Going through each one of the season's episodes, the progression of Sam's behavior and actions makes a lot more sense when put together.  Sure, there were a few head-scratchers (Amelia?) but it all did lead to something.  Since the first and second halves were so drastically different, I'm breaking down Sam's analysis into parts one and two, just like I did with Dean.  The first half covers Sam from episodes 8.1 - 8.11, and the second part is episodes 8.12 - 8.23.
  • A Deeper Look at Supernatural Season Eleven Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester.  Let’s face it, his character is iconic.  The big brother, the protector of all bad, the macho hero in the leather jacket with the smart mouth… He’s that “no chick-flick” moments kind of guy that underneath it all has a soft and tender side who loves chick flicks and makes women (and some men too) swoon.  That tender side is most evident when his brother is involved and his quirky angel friend with some real self esteem issues.  Hell, he’s even the main voice of reason to the freaking King of Hell himself.  

    I’ve traced Dean’s journey of growth and despair ever since season three, a season where he hit a point of “self actualization.”  Since then his journey has been captivating.  So what happened in season 11?  Oh man, what did happen? Instead of any kind of growth, we got a meandering Dean Winchester cliche who more found himself in situations based on happenstance than any sort of destiny.  He was walking the walk, talking the talk, and it all ended with Dean playing family counselor, providing off the cuff advice to save the world.  He didn’t get to play hero a lot of the time or be the bold and brash leader we have grown to love.  He was just…there.  You know that the writers clearly hit a wall in season 11 when they had no idea what to do with a character that helped define their series.  

  • A Deeper Look at Supernatural Season Eleven Sam Winchester

    I’ve really struggled with putting together my “Deeper Look” articles this season, both for Sam and Dean.  We were given 23 episodes and that is usually plenty of time to do a deep character examination. Season Eleven went a different way though, different than any other season before it.  Character development was a sorry after thought.  That’s been a troubling trend in the last few seasons but season eleven really dropped the ball.  Turns out it is the worst season yet for characterization. 

    The potential for Sam and Dean’s characters to do epic things and grow as human beings was there at the beginning.  TV writers often like to push their characters into spirals with the eventual goal of moving them forward (you can’t go up without going down sort of thing), so the setup was there, but nothing happened.  Dean was intended to fall into a serious low this year with his attraction to Amara, but that didn’t quite happen the way it should have.  Instead of a spiral, he quietly slipped into a boring holding pattern that did little to no justice for his character.  But I’ll cover all that in my segment for Dean.  This analysis is about Sam.  

    Half a season of effort went into Sam.   The rest was throwing him into clichéd MOTW case mode, acting out of character, and then just outright pretending he wasn’t a relevant character.  I’m not happy that Sam became waterboy for God instead of hero, but that’s not what has made me unhappy about his character overall.  It was the writers not following through on what they started because the writing got lazy and disorganized as the season progressed.   Once the “big reveal” about Sam’s visions happened in episode nine, which honestly wasn’t all that big a reveal since fans are smart, Sam was pushed more and more to the background until he was utterly useless in the end.  That’s exactly what shouldn’t be happening to one of the two main characters.  

    Where did the writers go wrong?  Let’s look at some key episodes. 

  • A Tribute to the Badass Men of Supernatural - Part 1

     After I made "A Tribute to the Kick-Ass Women of Supernatural" and part 2 , I wanted to write a similar article about men. I value both in Supernatural because the show has some of the most remarkable guest actors and actresses, so the loss of both are deeply felt. I decided to use the same criteria as I had in my first article. I chose the male characters that had a great impact on me and were also Badass on their own accord.

  • Concerning Crowley: Insights Into the Supernatural Demon Who Is King

    Part 1: The Good, The Bad, And The Crowley

     

                The man who became a demon. The demon who became a Ruler of Crossroads. The Ruler of Crossroads who became the King of Hell. Crowley’s rise to power has shown one thing to be undeniably true - he’s a survivor. Whether you’re a fan of his or not, on several occasions he’s stepped in to rescue the Winchesters, helped defeat ‘big bads’, and even saved Castiel’s life. Yet, in all fairness, he asks for nothing in return. At least, not right away. He does these things because he feels it will give him an advantage. The game he plays is quid-pro-quo, but he’s also not above rotating the chess board. There have been plenty of dark deeds the King of Hell has performed as well. While his allegiance to the Winchesters can appear to change with the tides, his devotion to himself has never faltered. Which leads us to an interesting conundrum: Do we call someone who has inarguably helped and supported our main characters, yet serves primarily himself - a hero or a villain? How do we crack the code that is Crowley?

  • Old v New: Dean Winchester – Part 1: Sense of Self

    Like his brother, Dean has evolved in a multitude of ways since we first met him over ten years ago. On first glance, Dean was confident, cocky and maybe even arrogant to the surface glance. He was flash and sparkle to cover the untouched child issues and the deep emotional needs he couldn’t address in the hunter world. Though 'connected to his family', Dean had well beyond healthy levels of reliance on this definition when we first met him. Family is at the core of who Dean is - just like his brother. Truly, for these two, it is a significant part of who they are and what they do. When it comes to Dean - it shapes him in a particular way: Dean is a protector - ultimately this is his identity. That's not exactly shattering news of course. It becomes of question of how deeply this defines who he is that is important in his sense of self.
  • Redemption, Second Chances & Changing Attitudes

    In honour of season 11 and all the attitude adjustments it wrought, today we’re counting down some of the top ten “redemption” hits in Supernaturalhistory.
  • Supernatural Old v New: Part Two – Sam and Dean's Motivations and Desires

     
    Initially, I began looking at Sam and Dean separately when it came to their motives and desires: two wholly individual pieces on two different men. As time went on, however, it became increasingly apparent that you can’t readily examine one without the other present because as we well know – the Winchester brothers are motivated by each other. Having said that, the following will examine the pushes and pulls of each Winchester in their unique development throughout the last decade as well as the intersections that are indisputably fraternal along the way.
  • Supernatural: Reflecting Mary

    [Editor's Comment:  As Sam and Dean's mom, Mary Winchester was a beloved character in Supernatural for the first eleven years of the series. With her reintroduction to the story in season 12, she has become a great deal more controversial. Guest writer Gail Martin reflects on Mary's life, examining the emotions and perspectives that may be influencing Mary's decisions after her reunion with her sons. - Nightsky]

    Mary’s comment to Dean about him not being a child and his response about not needing her to tuck him in--as though an adult doesn’t need a parent--really bothered me. Then I thought about it—Mary lost both her parents in 1973 when she was 19. John’s father disappeared when he was a young child, and there’s not much mention (any?) of John’s mother.