In my analysis of season six Dean Winchester, my heart was pretty broken for the guy come the end of it. His struggles in that season were especially hard and no matter how much he tried, he couldn’t catch a break. He fought on though and did the best he could, despite the fact that his drinking was at an all time high and he was reeling at the end over the betrayal of his best friend. A betrayal that harmed the one person that Dean cherishes more than anyone, his brother. That was crossing an unforgivable line.
I so wish I could say that season seven continued in this same vein, with Dean finding enough of his fighting spirit and love for his brother to handle the numerous obstacles that came his way. Sadly, Dean spent a majority of the season apathetic and depressed, going through the motions without any fire or desire to carry on the family business. He certainly didn’t open up to his brother, which rendered the once tight brotherly bond stale. We waited all season for him to finally get the kick in the pants he needed and slip out of his funk, but he never did.
Season seven’s largest and most grossest failure is easily the characterization of both Sam and Dean individually and with their relationship. In going through the “Deeper Look” segments this year, the tone at times will stray toward bitter and exasperated, for the lost potential and blatant stripping of these beloved characters into bland, emotionless machines just didn’t work for me. While Sam’s story screams lost potential, Dean’s screams the inability of the writers to truly grasp his real spirit. I don’t recognize this Dean Winchester, and quite frankly, I don’t want to.
The purpose here is to explore Dean Winchester’s character progression from beginning of season seven to the end by going through each episode. In past seasons, promising patterns and real character growth unfolded from this exercise. With Dean this year, you will see no such progression. In some cases, regression even happens. It’s still an interesting study though, and if anything will serve as a good bottom line comparison for next season!