ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND ARE NOT INFUENCED BY ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT I HAVE PERCIEVED FROM THE SHOW. NOT INTENDED TO BASH ANY CHARACTERS. I’m back with a new analysis on the other half the Winchesters; you guessed it, here’s Dean Winchester. Now behind that bad boy exterior, we all know he has a heart of gold that beats for his family (namely Sammy, *cough *cough) and enough wit and charm to keep us laughing, even as the nature of the show grows darker. Dean the big brother, Dean the protector; he has many names, and many sides, and I’ll attempt to do him justice as we explore the many faces of Dean Winchester. I have a complementary article about analyzing sammy, check out my other articles too. I've actually had this done for a while, but I haven't gotten around to posting it yet, look for part 2 soon :)
1. Dean is witty.
No supernatural episode is complete without some helpful advice from dear Dean. Affectionately dubbed ‘Dean-isms’ by fans, I could write a whole book and still have more to say if I were to keep track of every wisecracking remark he has ever made. The man is charming, he’s a stud and his sarcasm and wit in the face of danger helps lighten the mood of anything. Sam has mentioned on more than one occasion that he doesn’t think Dean is funny, though I personally think it’s a white lie he tells, while secretly biting his cheeks. While wittiness is a trademark of his character, any fan could tell you that it is a part of his outside façade. For Dean, his jokes and sarcasm bury his pain and insecurities, masking them with light-hearted humour that can often be seen through. We often see his jokes escalating, as the situation grows dire for him. The same is not true when it comes to Sam. In fact, Dean will not hesitate or joke around when it comes to his little brother. Note to self; don’t mess with Dean’s brother if you don’t want to mess with Dean. The humour is almost like a defense mechanism. When the going gets tough, Dean gets going…on the jokes. Of course we always appreciate his wit, though we sometimes wish he were more honest...with himself. But in all seriousness, the man’s a legend.
2. Dean is weak…to Sam.
When Dean curls into his little ball and refuses to come out, we can always count on one person to drag him out, his Sammy. On more than one occasion, we can see that nobody but Sam is able to save Dean, whether this be from monsters, or from himself. He will bend over backwards for Sam, and Sam knows it (he uses it to his advantage occasionally). Need an example? Season 5, Sam takes Dean with him to save Adam, even though Cas and Bobby think he’s hell bent on saying yes to Michael. But Sam simply believes in his brother, that he would do the right thing when the time came, and Dean repaid his trust. Maybe it’s the puppy dog eyes, but Dean can’t stand letting Sam down. It’s almost like an instinct thing. Regardless, it has helped saved his life many times. Sam is also able to get Dean to bare his soul. It may take a few times, but if Sam is persistent enough, he will crack Dean. An example would be when Dean finally tells Sam of his time in hell, tearing up when he admits that he tortured souls. It’s because of Sam that we see many of these vulnerable moments of Dean. Sam allows Dean to be comfortable enough to release even his deepest burdens, and Dean nearly always feels better afterwards.
3. Dean is insecure.
Well this is a big one. Any fan knows that behind his humour and jokes, lies a mass of insecurity. I’m not sure where it started, but it has always been a part of him. If we examine his childhood, he didn’t really have one. John engrained in him from the tender age of 4 that he had responsibilities, some which were much too great for a young child. Nonetheless, Dean took them all in, without a complaint. He knew his place. He was the big brother. He had to keep Sam safe and be the ‘good’ and loyal son. He wanted to be the perfect big brother, and he practically lived off of the sincere admiration that he was showered with by Sam. In fact, some of his happiest memories were that of Sam, looking at him like he was some type of hero. Dean thrives off of being needed. And for much of his life, he was needed, by dad to protect Sam and by Sam to be protected. However when Sam left, Dean suddenly lost his place. What was he suppose to do when Sam was gone? This can be seen many times throughout the series, namely when Sam died at the end of season 2. Sam’s presence keeps him grounded and level headed, so when he isn’t there, all the insecurities come out in a mess. Maybe it was the pressure his dad placed on him, but Dean has a very low opinion on himself. He doesn’t feel like he can share his burdens with Sam. Because he has built this whole big brother façade for Sam, it is hard for him to tear it down and expose his insecurities. So instead, he talks to other people about his problems, which leads to problems because Sam eventually finds out other people (and not from Dean himself). Dean often uses humour as a means of covering up his insecurities. He changes the topic, to avoid emotional talks, which makes him uncomfortable. Then again, who wouldn’t be? He breaks down more often the Sam does, and he cries, like really cries. This breaks our heart, (Jensen Ackles is one hell of an actor, I must say) because its these little moments that we come to see how broken he really is inside. The insecurities churn inside him until it explodes and he can do nothing else but cry.
4. Dean is sweet.
Dean doesn’t come out as a sweet and sentimental person, but if you look behind everything, you can see glimpses. He is willing to go to great lengths to keep people happy. Whether it be his dad, which he obeyed without question, or Sammy, which he is always willing to listen to, but Dean is a sweet person. He was an excellent dad to Ben and tries his hardest to prevent Ben from going down the same path as him. Dean is also surprisingly good at taking care of things that hold memories. The amulet he wore until season 5 was a gift from Sam (which wasn’t even meant for him to begin with), and he wore it religiously, only taking it off when Cas asked for it and when he went to hell. The trademark, ivory handle gun, that once belonged to his father. The Impala that was like a home to them. He takes care of things that were passed on to him. Like Chuck said in his narration during the season 5 finale, “It never occurred to them that, sure, maybe they never really had a roof and four walls but they were never, in fact, homeless.” I really love that quote, because it shows that home is where the heart is, not just a physical building. And even though they lived in shady motel rooms while hopping around the country, they had each other and never needed more then that. The Impala also held many memories (eg. The army man Sam stuck in the ashtray, the Lego bits Dean stuck in the vents, their names carved in the side) and Dean made sure those things stayed, even when he rebuilt the Impala from the ground up. Because, “it was those blemishes that made her beautiful”.
5. Dean is protective.
What fan doesn’t like it when Dean goes into ‘big brother mode’ after some mega-baddy tries to mess with his Sammy? Maybe it has something to do with him being a big brother, or his dad always telling him to, but Dean is extremely protective of Sam and his family. Rewind to season 1. Sam’s constant nightmares about Jessica and psychic abilities freaks Dean out, you can see it in his eyes. But he constantly reassures Sam that he is looking out for him, that he will face whatever may come after them. Season 2, we find out that John has left a huge burden on Dean, making him promise that he would save or kill Sam, the one person he has always been protecting. The inner conflict is portrayed beautifully by Jensen Ackles (that man is fine ;), especially the season finale, when he has a heart-breaking speech to a dead Sam. And who can forget the moment of epic proportions when he strikes a deal with a demon to resurrect his brother? Season 3, we see an almost reversal of roles in a way. Sam tries to find a loophole in the deal, trying everything in his power to save Dean, while Dean begins to realize the gravity of his situation. He is upset that Sam shot the crossroads demon, not because he didn’t get out of his deal, but because Sam could have died. When Dean comes back in season 4, he is tortured (no pun intended) by his memories of hell, whilst trying to stop Sam from going ‘dark side’. Season 5 is where Dean realizes that Sam is no longer the child he had to look out for, that they were equals. He grudgingly allows the plan with Lucifer, and watches in anguish as his brother jumps into the pit. His every ‘fiber’ wants to die or find a way to bring Sam back, but he makes good on his promise to Sam, because he knows that’s the best he can do for him. Season 6 smacks Dean in the face, with a soulless Sam, whose very presence disturbs him. When he finds out that his little brother’s soul is burning in hell, his renewed sense protectiveness kicks in and he does all that he can to return Sam to himself. And season 7, we can see him trying his best to help Sam cope with the crumbling wall in his head, whilst trying to comfort and convince Sam that he was safe and they got him out of the cage.