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Just a quick heads-up: Next week's clip will probably be posted on either Monday or Wednesday, depending on life, not Tuesday.

And now, we get to S12...

S12 - Dean confronts Mary in 12x22


Why I chose this scene:

Now, first off, I was really torn in this season between this scene, Sam taking charge and becoming a leader, and the family hug at the end of this episode when Mary apologizes to Sam too... but in the end, this one won out, because it was the one that the gravity of which was all encapsulated in the scene.

Second caveat, is that I absolutely hate the camera technique used in this clip, when both the person in the foreground and the person in the background are in focus. (You can see what I mean by just looking at the thumbnail for the video above). BUT, that's a personal taste thing, obviously, so I'll ignore it. I think if it was universally despised, Supernatural would stop using it so often.

Okay, now let's talk about the real reasons I chose this scene. I mean, thirdly, I suppose, it kind of drops an anvil where other seasons may have layered it's contents beautifully across the entire arc of the year... but, thems not the way SPN is written anymore, so I will take my anvils and be grateful. (And man, I used to complain about anvils in the early season too, I knew nothing).

Seriously though, I need to stop complaining, because this IS a beautiful scene and it's done really well by Jensen. I think what I like about it is how it does capture that emotion of hating the people you love, and how you don't WANT to. And I love the way that Jensen plays it as though Dean is only coming to this realization about his feelings towards his mother NOW, as he gets angry at her for hiding in this dream of an idyllic life. He realizes that it's not just NOW that she's hiding in this dream, but that she had been ever since 1973... which in turn, is why she never warned John about the deal, why she 'lied' to Dean as a kid. (I put 'lied' because honestly, what was she supposed to tell a 4 year-old? "Actually, Dean, in about two weeks, a demon is going to come and collect on a deal, and I have no idea what I've promised away - could be me, could be you, could be your brother... all I know is that it's probably going to visit untold horrors upon this family.")

It was easier for Mary to put the looming deal to the back of her mind, and enjoy the life she had bargained with a demon in order to get. But, from Dean's perspective, she traded their entire futures for just 10, only slightly idyllic, years as a housewife.

But, more importantly than that, even though lays out what happened to SAM because of it, he also acknowledges - possibly for the first time since S3 - what happened to HIM because of it. That he became father/mother/brother at the age of 5. That of COURSE he would (as he sees it) FAIL at that job. (In my opinion, of course, he didn't fail - if we measure parenting by how a person turned out, then Sam is absolutely wonderful and that's because of Dean and John, but mostly Dean.... of course, I know people with shitty parents who are also good people, so that's probably an inaccurate measure. Still, all things considered, I think Dean did alright considering he was only 4 years older than his "kid").

This is Dean confronting the "perfect" image that he had of his mom, and examining it for the denial that it is... which is just as much his fault as Mary's. We often turn the dead into saints, when it's not warranted. And probably, this sainthood has been questioned in Dean's mind ever since S4, when he found out that Mary wasn't some innocent civilian. But, that all being said, Dean himself has made deals, and I like the fact that he recognizes that he can't throw stones... but the fact that Mary is just as complicit as John in Dean's horrible childhood is still something that needs to be addressed.

And I love the way he finishes off, by asking Mary to look at him. To SEE him. Probably the least blatant part of the scene, this is Dean asking Mary to confront what she did, so THAT he can forgive her. You can't forgive someone who won't even acknowledge that they did something. And yes, Mary's previously acknowledged that she did something TO SAM, but she never mentioned Dean in that before... and I think this is Dean saying that she had to see what she did to him too. That she had to CONFRONT REALITY of what/who her kids became, rather than living in denial or a dream or trying to escape it... and simultaneously, it's Dean doing the same for Mary, it sounds harsh when he says it, but his rant is about him acknowledging that she ISN'T the perfect mom, that he doesn't expect her to be, that he understand she's a flawed and complicated individual who is imperfect and has made some huge mistakes in her life and will more than likely do so again. It's him telling her that he's taking that pressure to live up to his expectations away - that she doesn't have to be this beloved figure in their lives, hates her just as much as he loves her. In return, she has to do the same for him... she has to see him as something other than a 4 year-old that she's only going to let down, but also acknowledge that she already HAS let him down, and that he's still standing there.

Anyway, it's a good scene. 

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/562309.html.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 26th, 2018 10:30 pm (UTC)
S 12... really.
Just when I want to give up on SPN entirely and move on, they give something for Jensen to really bite into with his character, and I'm hooked again.
Jul. 27th, 2018 03:53 am (UTC)
Re: S 12... really.
I know! This is what this show does... gives you just a few gems here and there that keep you thinking "well, maybe I should continue just a little bit longer..."
Jul. 26th, 2018 10:38 pm (UTC)
Jensen is incredible, all the layers he brings to these words.
Jul. 27th, 2018 03:54 am (UTC)
Indeed! He is good at his job!
Jul. 27th, 2018 10:09 am (UTC)
Such a heart wrenching scene! Personally, I was craving a little more with Mary and Sam about the deal, but hey, this is still all kinds of wonderful :)
Jul. 27th, 2018 06:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it would have been nice if we had had something comparable between Mary and Sam, other than the quick scene between them at the end, but alas.
Jul. 28th, 2018 02:27 am (UTC)
Ahhhh...how did I not guess that it would be this one?

I didn’t notice the Both Characters In Focus camera technique, but now that you point it out, it does make everything look very soap opera-y. But this scene is truly a testament to Jensen’s acting. I can’t imagine having to pull off a line like, “I hate you, but I love you.” On paper it looks unbearably cheesy...but I remember the first time I watched it, when he delivered that line I physically caught my breath. The same with “I forgive you.” On a weird, overly-attentive to detail note, I love any time he looks up to the ceiling when he’s crying, like he’s completely out of options and doesn’t know what else to do. He doesn’t do it a ton, but it’s such a vulnerable mannerism, on top of the already vulnerable act of crying.

On a character level - Dean acknowledging that Dad was an empty shell after Mom’s death! Dean recognizing that he had to become father AND mother to Sam! That stuff is still powerful to me. A little on the nose - mostly because they didn’t build their way there over the course of the season, as you pointed out. But in some ways they had built their way there over the course of the series, all of these years that we’ve seen the damage of Mary’s death, which Dean now reads as abandonment.
Jul. 30th, 2018 09:39 pm (UTC)
Sorry to bring your attention to that camera effect! Hopefully, unlike me, you won't start noticing it every single time and rolling your eyes. I mean, I think the first time they used it, I gave it the benefit of the doubt and could see the advantage of being able to see the other character reacting to what was being said without a cutaway. But, honestly, it's soured rather than grown on me.

I think Jensen and Jared really have to be given a LOT of credit for elevating the writing - not even just currently, but always... they're really amazing at what they do.

Yeah, I think if you're going to be on the nose, it makes sense to be on the nose after 13 seasons of character growth. It makes it still believable, because Dean ISN'T covering up all his vulnerability with swagger now, he's learned that life is too short and his relationships too important not to address things. (caveat that under the Mark of Cain, it was understandable that he would revert to being an idiot.) Even the long silent estrangement with Mary in S12 was an estrangement because Dean was honest about how he felt about her working with the BMoL.
Jul. 28th, 2018 02:29 am (UTC)
I’m sad that this project is almost done. It’s been fun. :)
Jul. 30th, 2018 09:40 pm (UTC)
Feel free to suggest another project! I'm going to be taking a couple weeks off in August, because I'm SUPER TOO BUSY! But I still have September to get through before the show starts back up again in October and I start the Rewatch S13 project too.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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