So, I was reflecting over the events this week on Supernatural and why they really bothered me. Normally this type of shipping nonsense doesn’t bother me, though it can get annoying when I feel toyed with by writers. This wasn’t annoyance, however, at Dean and Castiel, it was actual upset. Why? Well, just now over lunch I figured it out. Dean and Castiel are in an abusive relationship.
Now, I admit it’s not a Lifetime movie kind of abusive relationship, but it’s emotionally (and perhaps psychologically) abusive.
It stems from the writers trying to put off the same thing they’re trying to build up. Whenever Dean and Castiel get too close, Dean rejects Castiel. We’ve seen Dean do this before. Now, you could claim it’s a defect because Dean’s never seen a proper functioning relationship in his life. You could claim that Dean is scared of the feelings he feels for Castiel, so he has to shove Castiel away, which is a pattern of behavior seen IRL in some people. That doesn’t negate, however, that it’s an abusive form of behavior.
Castiel also engages in it, don’t get me wrong. We’ve seen a lot of build up only for Castiel to reject Dean and disappear. However, when Castiel does it, the writers make sure to have Dean push Castiel to his limits. When they have Dean reject Castiel, it’s abrupt.
I think that it took me so long to realize the abusive aspect of this dynamic because we’ve never had quite the build up-pay off differential before. They kept having Dean say “I need you,” “We need you,” and placing Castiel in his group of chosen family. Lots of build up, super build up, and then Dean kicks Castiel out for sleeping with another person.
Now, I’m not saying Dean can’t be angry with Castiel. Nor am I saying that Dean has to be okay with Castiel’s choices. One thing we have to remember is that in season four, Dean told Castiel that Castiel should lose his virginity to a woman he barely had any kind of personal connection to. Dean encouraged this kind of behavior and condoned it. Then by showing Castiel porn, it reinforces this type of behavior as being condoned by Dean. Dean also approves of this behavior in Sam, Bobby, and anyone else they really come across. Dean has never once said to Castiel anything that would indicate that Dean would not be okay with Castiel sleeping with anyone else.
What the writers have created in their not quite there but trying to be there but oh can’t actualy be there relationship to end all almost homosexual but not quite relationships is a one-sided never-spoken thing that wasn’t spoken so not all parties understood what exactly was happening between them. This of course, opened the door for Dean to reject Castiel, when really if the writers were that desperate to keep Castiel and Ezekiel from being in the same place at the same time, there were better ways.
Another part of this problem that has led us to a relationship I’m not sure I want to happen anymore, is that the writers are completely married to 2014. They are so married to 2014 that they have erased Dean’s year with Lisa and Dean and Castiel’s year in Purgatory so that we’re still in 2013 in the timeline even though we should technically be in 2015. I mean I know that Eric Kripke is all about the mirror imagery so Carver is trying to be true to that, but you can still have Endverse in 2016. I mean we already know the prophet hanging around is Kevin not Chuck. We also know that Dean is probably going to hold his own in the bunker and not in a commune. Do we need Castiel with a pill addiction? Is there another way to tweak it? Then again, tweaking that part of the equation could make it far worse. It might also make Dean more complacent if it’s not 2014. Then again, the writers prove time and time again that they are willing to erase character development to suit their plot needs. They are also willing to forget significant events (like say Castiel being human in season five) to suit their plot needs as well.
It’s just a big fat mess. I mean I want Destiel to happen because Dean is a character who struggles with legitimate relationship feelings like I do. It’s nice to have a character who can’t say “I love you” to people like I can’t. That said, this isn’t really how I want it to go down. I don’t like that the writers have to resort to emotional abuse to suit their agenda. I don’t want Supernatural to condone emotionally abusive relationships like they condone codependent relationships.