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Welcome to a Summer Themed Post! Going off a suggestion from borgmama1of5 - I'm going to pick one scene each season and tell you why I like it.

If there's a youtube clip for the scene, I'll post it, if not, I'll post either screenshots or dialogue (or both).

Season 1: Dean calls John in 1.09 Home






Why did I choose this scene: 

I've talked about it countless times before it seems, but this moment is the moment that the show hooked me. Up until this point, I was watching because the show was mildly entertaining and because it was an activity that I could do with my sister, and therefore spend more time with her (when we started watching the show, we had spent a few years separated by circumstance, and I had missed her.)

As soon as this scene happened though, and we got an emotion from Dean other than "cocky", "flirty", and "protective of Sam", I wanted to know more... Dean became a real person rather than an archetype. The facade had crumbled and suddenly he was those other things, but he was also scared, and his absent father was PAINFUL rather than just a plot device. Not only that, but his absent father was obviously loved by Dean, not just as "yeah, of course, he's my dad" but also clearly someone who Dean reached out to when he was scared.... those of us who have strained relationships with one or more of our parents know that who you reach out to when you're scared is a HUGE indicator of the relative health of your love. 

And yes, we can argue about the health of Dean's relationship to John until the cows come home - obviously, there WERE problems there... but this scene told me that whatever those problems were, John was loving underneath it all. John was someone that obviously, ordinarily, Dean felt that he COULD call when he was in crisis... and S1 was the aberration of John's response, not the standard. If John had always failed to come when Dean called him, then by the age of 26, Dean would have ceased trying. It's true, he's partially calling here because there's a slim possibility that the thing in the house is the thing that killed Mom and John would ultimately be interested in that - but that's not really how Dean frames the call. He's saying "come here, because I need you." Not, "this might be what you've been looking for."

In anycase, my main point is that this is the scene where we stared to see DEAN, not just "Sam's older brother" but Dean as his own complex character with a complex internal life, and a "public" face that he puts on for Sam, and a "private" face that he hides away.

And that made me want to watch the show to see what happened to him... without this scene, well, I would have watched the show anyway, and probably been hooked sometime later - but maybe not until S2... which I'll talk about next time.
This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/558909.html.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
supernutjapan
Jun. 20th, 2018 04:58 am (UTC)
This is such a heart-breakingly beautiful scene and also one that hooked many I think. Thank you for sharing!
hells_half_acre
Jun. 20th, 2018 05:15 am (UTC)
Indeed! I think even Kripke has talked about this scene as a moment where he was like "damn, I gotta give that kid more to do."
amberdreams
Jun. 20th, 2018 07:37 am (UTC)
This was such a powerful scene - certainly I think it was round about here that I started really loving Dean, not just thinking he was gorgeous-looking and funny. Jensen just added so much emotion to that short scene and it still packs a punch even though I've lost count how many times I've watched it. *rubs heart*
hells_half_acre
Jun. 20th, 2018 07:08 pm (UTC)
Agreed agreed!
madebyme_x
Jun. 20th, 2018 08:44 am (UTC)
Yes! I couldn't agree more. We saw the other side of Dean as his mask slipped here, and that made him so that much than he seems on the outside. I love too how he keeps turning around, wanting to keep this side of him away from Sam.

On a lighter note - flip phone!!! It's like we get to see the whole evolution of mobile phones throughout the seasons :)
hells_half_acre
Jun. 20th, 2018 07:08 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! Indeed. I mean, I know they were a nightmare once texting and internet access came along, but I do miss the old flip-phone... if only for the fact it was impossible to butt dial people.
ramblin_rosie
Jun. 21st, 2018 01:23 am (UTC)
I'm sure glad you posted this. Aside from the obvious reasons--and oh, man, does Jensen ever act his heart out in this scene!--"Home" is the next stop in my current AU, and this snippet just gave me the end of Chapter 1. :D
hells_half_acre
Jun. 22nd, 2018 12:59 am (UTC)
Nice! I'm glad I could inadvertedly help your fic along! :)
ramblin_rosie
Jun. 22nd, 2018 01:03 am (UTC)
Relying heavily on your timeline, too, so thanks yet again for that resource!
borgmama1of5
Jun. 21st, 2018 02:14 am (UTC)
The vulnerability here, hiding under the got-it-all-covered tough guy--the first glimpse we got of the depths to this character...and all these years later Jensen can still pierce our hearts with the chinks hidden away under Dean's tough outer edge...It made me want to protect him...when I think about how many times my heart has broken for him, I do have to wonder why I subject myself to this show :D

PS Delighted that you liked my suggestion and can't wait to see what you do with it!
hells_half_acre
Jun. 22nd, 2018 01:00 am (UTC)
Indeed indeed! Jensen really was a gem of a find for Kripke and co. when they were casting. They wanted to eventually rip our hearts out, and this guy is a master at it.

Thanks for making the suggestion in the first place! I hope you enjoy the next 12 posts! Haha :)
sandymg
Jun. 22nd, 2018 01:10 pm (UTC)
Oh this series will be fun. That was such a heartbreaking moment. So perfectly played. Just the voice catch. It's superior acting and it did elevate the episode. And definitely a switch up moment because it had been Sam perspective for most of the early episodes. Here we see Dean alone, hiding this call from his brother (because, of course).
hells_half_acre
Jun. 22nd, 2018 06:29 pm (UTC)
Agreed! And yes, this is definitely a moment where we started to switch perspectives.
kailita
Jun. 23rd, 2018 03:33 am (UTC)
What a fantastic idea for summer posting! I can’t wait to see all of your picks!

Agree 100% with all of your commenters above (I wish LJ had a “like” option, haha). Also I love your Team Dad reading of this scene! I’m not sure that I interpreted it that way on my first watch through - but after seeing John revealed in “Shadow,” I definitely read it back that way.

Everyone has already said it, but man, Jensen was such a godsend to this show. I’m pretty sure this is the moment that I was sold as well.
hells_half_acre
Jun. 23rd, 2018 04:56 am (UTC)
I did have a laugh about "ranking things" when I decided to do this. ;)

I think the best readings of John are as a complex character who loved his sons greatly but at the end of the day was a fallible imperfect being who made mistakes. I think people make a mistake when they reduce anything to an easy answer or "take" - you'll have "Team John" people who won't hear a single ill word against him, to the point where they blame the writers for writing him poorly - even though before we even saw Dad's love in 1x20-22, we saw the damage he inflicted in their childhood in 1x18, and that's FAR BEFORE we get to any later musings on him. Dad leaving an extremely complex legacy is the FOUNDATION of the show. Likewise, people who are anti-John, won't even acknowledge that it is OBVIOUS both in JDM's protrayal and Matt Cohen's portrayal that he was someone who loved deeply and had very strong ideas about keeping children safe.

So, yeah, that's a really long winded way to say that this phone call really sums up Dad well - the fact that Dean felt he could call him when he was CLEARLY upset, speaks to his love... the fact that John doesn't answer, speaks to his questionable fathering.

And yes, Jensen is amazing. :)
metallidean_grl
May. 3rd, 2019 05:07 am (UTC)
This was a great scene. Whenever I watch this episode I always have to view it several times before I move on. It is also one of my favorite scenes from Season 1, and overall.

This scene was a huge reveal for Dean. It gave us a peek inside this very complex character as well as a view of who Dean is under that facade that he tries so hard to keep up for everyone, including his brother. Dean, as the older brother, and because of the responsibility placed on him at such a young age, has always felt he needs to be tough, can't let any weaknesses show because his brother relies on him and needs him. I had fallen in love with him from Episode 3 when he was talking to Lucas. He showed a little bit of himself, under the facade, when he was helping Lucas - his connection with Lucas was so immediate, his ability to reach inside a closed off little boy that was scared was eye opening as far as what Dean himself had been through. So that episode was the episode that won my heart for this show and this character. This episode, with the phone call scene was the episode that solidified everything for me and made me fall head over heels for Dean. It was also the scene that developed my love for the pairing of Dean and John.

The phone call started as all business for Dean. He was reaching out to his father to tell him they might have a lead to their mother's killer. But then, it took a turn south and stopped being about telling his father what was going on, but became a phone call of a little boy reaching out to his daddy because he was scared, confused and wasn't sure what to do next. In my experience, when we are scared, or need someone to talk to, turn to, ask for help or advice or someone to just plain help and comfort us, we turn to that one person who has provided the needed help and comfort in the past, the person we know we can rely on. For me, that was my father. With this phone call, we see that that person for Dean was his father, John. The phone call was so telling. The cry for help, the break in his voice, the outright openness of Dean saying he needed his help. Dean allowed himself to be vulnerable to his dad. We don't really show vulnerability to people unless we feel safe with them. That openness showed me that Dean felt safe with his dad. I am one of those fans of John you mentioned, huge fan - will defend him to my death...BUT I am willing to admit John had his flaws and was not the best with the parenting. I don't believe, though, that John was as bad as Show made him out to believe in later seasons. I think Show retconned some of those episodes to fit a story they wanted to tell, and not necessarily how John was first portrayed in S1.

This phone call showed us that John and Dean were close. Like you said, Dean would not have reached out this time had Dean reached out to him before and John not responded. So, if we look deep into this, this type of situation has occurred before between these two. Dean has called, asking for help and John has been there. Despite the parenting problems, Dean reaching out reflects that John has been there for Dean more often than not. These two have a strong bond. Dean showed his vulnerability to his father. He wouldn't have done that if they were not close. He would remained the cocky boy we were first drawn too. Dean showed with this phone call that he was a son reaching out to his father for help. Just like I would reach out to my father for help. Because there is a mutual love and respect between the two.

I love this scene for so many reasons. It showed us a whole different side of Dean. It showed us his vulnerability, which, when a man doesn't usually show us that side, becomes extremely attractive. This scene showed us his love for his father. Showed us he is human after all. And so much more. I think we all fell in love with him just that much more with this scene.
hells_half_acre
May. 3rd, 2019 05:51 am (UTC)
Agreed!

I think you can have problems with your parents and still have a TON of love there. So, I'm one of those weird fans who don't see the latter seasons as a retcon, because I think both the flawed-father and the loving-father can exist in the same person.
metallidean_grl
May. 3rd, 2019 06:26 pm (UTC)
I agree, you can have a flawed & loving father - and they can exist in the same person. No argument there.

I just felt that there were some moments in the show where they hinted that John was an aggressive, abusive bastard of a father that Fandom really seamed to latch onto, to which they started hating John even more than they already did. I didn't sense that John was that type of father the way he was characterized and portrayed in Season 1. So, it was those few moments that I hated and resented Show for inserting them the way they did.
hells_half_acre
May. 3rd, 2019 06:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's more fandom running away with an idea that Show actually characterizing him that way.

We saw in 1x18 that Dean was super effected by just the "I'm disappointed in you" LOOK from John. And we were also, from the Pilot, introduced to the idea that John drank a lot. And I think what happens is that fandom tends to run towards cliches and extremes, rather than nuance and subtlety.

The human mind tends to turn people into caricatures, even when presented with a full picture.

So, yeah, I see that more as a fandom problem, not the fault of the Show. I don't think that the show ever hinted that John was physically abusive, but fans who WANT to explore that idea in writing are going to interpret things how they want...similarly to how fans who want Dean and Cas to be love are going to latch onto moments or quotes that "prove" it. Or fans who want Sam to be unworthy of being Dean's brother are going to latch onto any line that could POSSIBLY have a hint of ungratefulness or less-than-perfection and then blow it out of proportion and make that Sam's entire character. Fans are just annoying. HAHAHA

But seriously, even I wrote a short drabble-ish story wherein I explored the idea of John sometimes being physically abusive - I had to write multiple author-notes explaining that I was just exploring a "what if..." not necessarily that I believed it to be true... but it was an interesting writing exercise. And that was back in S4 or something, so, there's always been stuff that any fan could grab onto and twist in whatever way they wanted to explore a character.

I think the Show has actually done a good job of swinging back and forth on the issue. Like, yeah, there's a comment here and there about John being a shitty dad - but then there's also Dean and Sam both LOVING HIM even when they're complaining about him... and then there's the whole 300th episode where they break the universe getting him back and then cry a bunch. So, I think the Show does a pretty dang good job, and it's just fandom that gets ridiculous.

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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