Destiel Subtext in Season 11

**This post is a bit cynical.**

Hey guys, it’s time I talked about a fandom I haven’t brought up in depth for a while: Supernatural. The past season has been…evocative, to say the least.

The question on everyone’s mind is: are the writers foreshadowing Destiel to become canon? Destiel, if you don’t know, is the romantic pairing of main character Dean Winchester and his best friend, Angel of the Lord, Castiel. There have been in-canon references to the pairing, even going so far as to say the ship name in season 10’s fifth episode, “Fan Fiction” (apt). The actors themselves are supportive of the fandom’s zeal for the pairing; even actor Misha Collins (who plays Castiel) himself is an active shipper of Destiel. But it’s been made clear by the writers and directors time and time again that Dean and Cas will never be together romantically on the show.

So why all the foreshadowing then, SPN staff???

One could argue that Destiel has been forming since season 4, episode 1, “Lazarus Rising” (Castiel’s first appearance), but while Destiel has been nothing more than fan speculation and “cheap gay jokes”, it seems that since last season, Destiel has been treated with more reverence, and even some of the subtext seems to be pointing toward that Dean and Cas being together is endgame.

Let’s go to the sixteenth episode of season 10, “Paint It Black”. While in a confessional booth, Dean claims, “There’s things, there’s people, feelings that I want to experience differently than I have before, or maybe even for the first time.” Which, playing devil’s advocate, could just be referring to how Dean’s always desired a normal, non-hunter life. But he has experienced that, when Sam died in season 5 and Dean went to live with Lisa and Ben. So it wouldn’t be for the first time. Plus, it’s just a really strange thing to bring up in the moment, like it’s some big, deep dark secret. But it’s not. We know Dean wishes he had a normal life. So it’s got to be something else. (Like Dean admitting he’s queer and in love with Cas.)

Then there’s Amara. When she kisses Dean, Dean feels that they have a spiritual connection, but he says it himself, it’s not love. It’s whatever magical blood tie the Mark of Cain has bound them together with. The Qareen comes to Dean in Amara’s form in episode 11×13, “Love Hurts”, as Dean’s “deepest desire”, but Dean doesn’t want her, he wants to kill her. In 11×11, “Into The Mystic”, Mildred senses that Dean is pining for someone. You’re supposed to think it’s Amara, but if Dean doesn’t love her, then why would he be pining for her? Simple: he’s not.

You might be saying right now, “but how could Dean be in love with Cas? Dean’s straight!” If you want further proof of Dean’s attraction to men, let’s look at how Dean reacts to Dr. Sexy and Gunner Lawless, Dean’s favorite wrestler. Dean’s fangirling and Sam’s crush on the female round caller are direct parallels.

And speaking of parallels, in 11×17, “Red Meat”, the married couple, Michelle and Corbin, are mirrors for Dean and Castiel (Supernatural, like Sherlock, loves to use mirroring, but the difference is that Supernatural is lot more obvious and heavy handed with the parallels). Corbin has been infected by a werewolf, Cas was possessed by Lucifer. Corbin (or the inner wolf) strangled Sam, Lucifer is constantly strangling and assaulting Sam. Michelle, all the while, keeps insisting that Corbin truly is a good man, and that she loves him. Dean wants desperately to save Cas and expel Lucifer from him. So Michelle and Corbin are Dean and Cas, and they’re a married couple. Interesting.

And speaking of married couples

This past episode of SPN featured Sam and Dean teaming up with a gay hunter couple, and boy oh boy, do these guys remind me of Dean and Cas. Jesse is an vengeful hunter who lost a member of his family when he was young to supernatural causes and has devoted his life to hunting, but is deep down a big softie. Cesar is Jesse’s close friend; he’s supportive, badass, soft-spoken, and dedicated to helping Jesse find peace. Dean seems very interested in what domestic life with another hunter is like, and is eager to help them achieve their happy ending. It reminds me of how Sam is constantly asking Dean if he’d like to settle down someday, with someone like them, a hunter, someone who knows the life. That’s not Amara. (Sam is such Destiel trash. And look at that Jesse’s brother, the one who died, was supportive of Jesse being gay.)

And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how Dean stays up all hours, researching a way to defeat Amara, all to save Cas. Now that Cas is in danger, the rest of the world has taken a backseat in Dean’s eyes. So yeah. The Destiel game has gone 0 to 100 this season real quick.

But I’m doubtful that the SPN execs have plans to actually make Dean and Cas canon. They’ll most likely just throw in some Mary Sue lady hunter to be “the love of Dean’s life”, because that’s just the way Supernatural goes. It’s a heteronormative, queerbaiting mess that jumped the shark in season 5 and should’ve ended there. The only reason I continue to watch is because I love the characters too much.

If the writers are planning to turn Dean and Castiel into an explicit couple, then that’s great, keep up this…whatever it is. It’s a beautiful setup. If not, it needs to stop right now, because it’s queerbaiting, it’s disgusting, and it’s dismissive of a large portion of its devoted fanbase.

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