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First of all, thanks to i_o_r_h_a_e_l for my newest icon. I refer to it as my "Sfumato Dean" because the effect of what she did to the screencap reminded me of the famous technique perfected by Leonardo Da Vinci. The icon is ideal for what I'm trying to say in this post because I feel the word (sfumato) can be used to described the tonality of this episode, and by that I don't mean the actual color and lighting of the scenes per se.

Like I stated in my previous post, what exactly happened here wasn't that clear cut to me. I appreciate everyone who answered my "burning questions" -- you all provided me with valid arguments supporting various thoughtful opinions. But in the end, the "contour" of what's happening with Dean (or even more extreme, what is Dean) remains hazy to me.

Perhaps at this point, it's better if I back up a little, and examine should we wish to see Dean and Michael become one and the same instead. To answer that, I think we need to determine if the unseen (in the present timeline) Michael is a protagonist or an antagonist first.

But my answer has been switched back and forth here. Instinctively I want to say Michael is an antagonist. Mostly because if he isn't, all this while Dean has been denying him would've been a waste of time then, not to mention the waste of innocent lives that could have been spared had Dean acquiesced early on. I really don't want to see Team Free Will's effort in "screwing destiny" end up being nothing more than an obstinate stubbornness, that in the end, they should have said yes all along.

Besides, when we did get to meet Michael briefly when Dean and Sam traveled back in time, we saw he was almost as arrogant as Lucifer. That alone is a marked difference between the archangel and his destined true vessel in my opinion. Then again, the archangel maybe a dick, but he's not here to win personality contest. From an objective point of view, Michael's end game is to stop Lucifer and the Apocalypse. That surely tips him over to the good side.

I maybe missing something vital here, I think the show hasn't clearly established the consequence(s) of Michael's manifestation. The Apocalypse is happening with or without Michael getting his vessel. With three of the Four Horsemen unleashed, people are dying anyway, Sam and Dean's friends and allies are dropping like leaves in the Fall, so the argument Bobby gave Dean that they must find an alternative besides Michael because not everyone can be saved if the archangel gets involved is not entirely sound IMHO. What did they all expect? That after Michael materializes, he's gonna massacre innocent lives? As far as I can tell, Michael's beef is with Lucifer alone. I doubt he would go after humans.

Perhaps the answer lies in the method in which Michael is using to defeat Lucifer then. I was under the impression Michael is vying for a one-on-one fight with the devil here (hence the need for a corporeal vessel). Perhaps it's like Team Free Will assumed, that the clash of the two supernatural powerhouses would inevitably result in the torching of half of the planet. I'm not quite sure how they derived this conclusion, but whether this is correct or not, like future!Dean said, it's still better than no planet at all. Because that's what they would get should they fail to come up with a timely solution other than involving Michael. At this juncture, I couldn't help remembering what future!Dean admitted to himself: I was cocky. Never thought I'd actually lose. But I was wrong. Dean, I was wrong! I'm begging you -- say yes.

The bleak world Dean saw in the future may or may not be Zachariah's machination, but the possibility of what future!Dean said cannot be ignored, especially now they are starting to exhaust their means of icing the Devil. Thus I found myself nodding my head when Dean told Bobby: You are not my father, and you ain't in my shoes. Ugly as these words are, they are still the truth -- Bobby is not the one bearing the weight of the decision that affects the fate of the world here. Further more, the distinction between the right choice and the bad choice for Dean is rather blurry at this point.

Another murky outlook here is what would happen to Dean personally should he accept Michael. It's apparent that Dean himself didn't think he would survive it, hence the "farewell tour" and the packing of his meager belongings (God, that scene ripped my heart out). But Michael did guarantee Dean's well being during their encounter, did he not? The fact John Winchester had all his faculties and wits remain intact after being "worn" by Michael surely suggests the archangel is capable of leaving his vessel unharmed. Then again, Michael didn't "wear" John to a fight with the Devil. So maybe there is that. Dean might've believed Michael can defeat Lucifer, but he didn't expect himself to come out alive from the showdown.

While Castiel and Bobby more or less saw Dean's willingness of accepting Michael as a form of surrender, of giving up, Sam saw it as a sacrifice, thus reinforcing the notion that it wouldn't bode well for Dean should he become Michael's "prom dress".

So what now? Could Lucifer be defeated by mere mortals with the aid of one rogue angel? Or maybe Team Free Will need help from higher power? Would there be a showdown between Michael and Lucifer? In the forms of their respective vessels? This episode answered none of these questions, yet it made me more curious than ever about what's going to happen. I have no doubt the myth arc progressed further here, and I'm almost positive there are repercussions to what Dean has done in this episode, I'm just not sure what those are yet.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Apr. 22nd, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
You know, I don't think we're suppose to know what is happening with Dean. I'm guessing Kripke has us exactly where he wants us right now.

I never saw this as Dean quitting or giving up--I saw it as more him choosing the lesser of two evils. He knows that, whatever he decides, millions of people are going to die. Does he let them die and have Lucifer rule those who are left, or does he let then angels? Neither side can be trusted, but Dean knows first hand what hell is like...

I'm very nervous as to how the season is going to end, though.

I do want to say that I agree with everything you've said here, and, as usual, you said it way better than I ever could.

mick
xwacky
Apr. 22nd, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
Yeah I agree we the viewers are exactly at where the writers wanted us to be at this point, which is having more questions than answers.

At least track records showed Kripke is good at tying up loose ends at the conclusion of a season.

I didn't see Dean's choice of accepting Michael as him giving up either. It's just with everything he's been told and seen, he was losing faith in Sam -- he wasn't sure Sam would stick with him always, and the stake is too high if Sam didn't (I think Dean still firmly believed if he wasn't there guarding Sam, Lucifer would succeed in turning Sam).

I also think Pamela's words had a great impact on Dean, made Dean reexamine his options. Is it better to die and go to Heaven or to live a life of Hell on Earth? Because that's what would be if Lucifer persevered. You are absolutely right, Dean knows first hand what Hell is like! So it's not surprising Dean made the choice here.

And I'm most annoyed at Castiel for beating the crap out of him because of it.

If there's one bad thing about knowing ahead of time next season is green-lighted, it's we are guaranteed whatever happens at the end of the season, the boys would survive. Or maybe it's a good thing since it takes away the brunt of the angst.

And sweetie, thanks so much for your kind words. *blushes*
(Anonymous)
Apr. 22nd, 2010 11:46 am (UTC)
I'm right there with you about Castiel! I saw so many comments about how great it was, about how Dean needed it...Dean didn't force Cas to leave heaven. He may have given him some compelling arguments, but when it came right down to it, it was Cas' choice--isn't that what this is about, making your own choices, not following destiny?

I don't know, though, about taking away the angst. Since they know there's going to be a season 6, they could leave the boys in a really bad, angsty place... :(

Have a good one!!!!
mick
layne67
Apr. 22nd, 2010 05:06 am (UTC)
Those are excellent points that you brought up there and I sincerely and fervently hope that the writers will deliver, one way or another. Oh to have Kim Manners back on the team *weeps*

I'm VERY keen to see Michael in Dean but it's more because I'd love to see what Jensen's take on him would be like. But with how 5.18 ended, I think it's quite unlikely that's going to happen now. Michael would probably use Adam, and for some reasons I could picture them all working together - Sam, Dean, Castiel and Adam!Michael, with Michael probably not getting his full powers since he isn't in his true vessel.

And it would sadden me if Michael turned out to be as much of a dick as Zachariah :(
xwacky
Apr. 22nd, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
You are quite right. If nothing else, I'm quite curious on how would Jensen portray archangel Michael too. I don't know if we would get the chance or not. I also want Mary's comment that Dean's her "little angel" to mean something more than a mother's endearment for her child.

As to Adam, I thought Jake Abel only appears in one episode this season. I could be entirely wrong, but I didn't think he was on set long enough to appear in multiple episodes?
layne67
Apr. 22nd, 2010 07:53 am (UTC)
I neither like nor dislike Adam, but oh, I want Michael to be in Dean, but without Dean losing his Dean-ess. Can I have my cake and eat it, too? :D

Btw, about Adam. Did you read in an article ( can't remember where ) in which they said Adam was like Sam's and Dean's lovechild? Lol, he does have both their features, doesn't he?
ckll
Apr. 22nd, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
coughbecarefuloftheanonymouscough

You're right about Michael and we still have some questions about it and i still woner if Dean said the yes.
xwacky
Apr. 22nd, 2010 07:01 am (UTC)
Oh sweetie, thanks for looking out for me. I know a lot of people at LJ experienced problems with anons. But that was actually my old friend Mick who doesn't have an LJ account. She's the primary reason I keep from friends-lock my LJ.

*sigh* Michael! I actually hope we get to see him more that one time before the Apocalypse story arc ends. Layne said it best above: I too would love to see what Jensen's take on Michael would be like. But then again, I'm not sure that would bode well. So I'm confusing myself here.
anastdean
Apr. 22nd, 2010 07:31 am (UTC)
I love your new icon and you know I loved the episode, hope the new one is as great as this one.:))
Wishing you a lovely day my friend:)
xwacky
Apr. 22nd, 2010 07:39 am (UTC)
My beautiful friend, thank you!

You know i-o-r-h-a-e-l made a bunch from her beautiful picture, and I had a hard time deciding which one to use. I finally settled on this one.

I too loved the episode. Shortly aside from Sam re-gift the amulet to Dean (yes, I believe Sam picked it out of the trash bin), this is as close as the boys can get. *g*

Wishing you a lovely SPN day too! I hope the new episode is a good one!
anastdean
Apr. 22nd, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
I too believe he picked it up, hope they address it some day, hope he gives it back to him. Unless Jensen is now bored of Dean's jewerly.
Let's all have fun my beautiful sweetie.
PS:still no show on our opp, will get it for you the second it arrives.
Hugs
xwacky
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
So sorry about the late reply. I often can't keep up with even my own LJ.

First of all, let me just be frivolous -- I love your icon here! Those eyes, lashes, nose, and lips...sigh...

Sam has to give it back to Dean. I recall hearing Jensen reminding fans at con that we should remember after Dean dropped the necklace in the trash can, Sam was still in the room. So I think we might get the re-gift of the amulet before the season's end. *fingers crossed*

Don't worry about the photo. I'm sure it'll get there sooner or later. *grin*

HUGS

anastdean
Apr. 28th, 2010 06:53 am (UTC)
Oh hey there don't worry, I lose messages along the way, hope my friends here don't hate me, but they're too many.
But on the subject really? Jensen said that? I don't remember, I surely haven't seen that vid, hope he didn't say it at the LA con, cause this will mean I got amnesia after being face to face with his hotness.. LOL

But since you say he said that, yeah I'm sure it'll somehow be addressed by the end of this season, Jensen wouldn't have mentioned it if it won't be.
You made me happy with this thank you.
Lots of hugs your way my pretty friend.

PS: I got a serious addiction with icons.
i_o_r_h_a_e_l
Apr. 22nd, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
First, you're very welcome. I'm glad you like the icon and thank you for the elaboration of Leo Da Vinci.

Second, wow. This is so insightful and deep. This makes me think and thus, feeling confused, too.

I will only say that, being a muslim, this series is actually so Islamic. Heheh. That's only imho, you know, please don't take it that other muslims will think the same way. It's just that in our teachings, we are taught to never simply give up to our destiny. We are supposed to fight for our best and only when we do that and get what we get, then we can say that that's our destiny. I'm not saying that we're supposed to defy an archangel, though, for we're supposed to believe that they are God's creatures with a task and they are not bad beings.

Thus comes my confusion about this show. :) But this: Or maybe Team Free Will need help from higher power? I think I tend to believe that now. Seeing that Dean has begun to have particular abilities.

Again, awesome thoughts, dear. Looking forward to more.
xwacky
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
Sorry hon, I suck so bad at keeping up with LJ.

This icon you made is for the WIN! And thank you so much for giving me your perspective as a Muslim. I especially enjoyed reading how you relate what you saw with Islamic teachings. Don't worry, I won't generalize your personal feelings to how other Muslims would see this. I never thought for one minute that Supernatural is about spirituality. It really is a story about family IMHO. In that sense, our show is very humanistic. These angels, demons, deities from other cultures/religions, even the brief glimpse of "God" through Joshua's POV, all exhibited emotions that can only be described as human.

With only 3 more episodes left, I can't wait to see how the story would pan out. I hope when we reached the finale, we can look back and think this all make sense! *fingers crossed*
(Deleted comment)
xwacky
Apr. 28th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Sorry darling, I suck at responding comments from older posts. I haven't seen you around for awhile, hope everything is going well for you!

I love your take of the ramification for humans if Michael wins. To put into the social political content of today's world, I guess it's more or less like a superpower nation establishes a puppet government in a non-stable foreign country. Of course it's best for that country to be sovereign. But if the alternative is chaos, I honestly don't know what's the best choice.

Back to the world of "Supernatural", I can really appreciate how tough it is for Dean to weigh his options. I think his natural instinct is to fight till he couldn't anymore. Yet, like Mick pointed out above, Dean has first hand knowledge of what Hell was like, and I think he would do anything, including choosing the alternative to prevent turning the world into Hell.

Honestly, from when Lucifer was released from his "jail", I was more or less expecting the story arc would end with him being shoved back to where he belonged. Because killing Lucifer would equivalent to eradicating evil, wouldn't it? But I had no idea how they would be able to do that though. I half expected the Colt Crowly gave Dean was a fake, but the horsemen rings are pretty cool. I can hardly wait to see how the rest of this season is going to play out!

Hee, thanks! I love the icon too. :)
(Deleted comment)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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