So, as some of you may know, I actually try to avoid other people's reviews of episodes, because I can't stand negativity. I only read a select few reviews on my flist (people who I know form solid well-thought-out opinions that come from a positive place, or people who at least haven't pissed me off so far).
However, I did read a few other reviews for 5x17. Just a couple, mostly because I couldn't really help it, or well...I got really bored yesterday.
One thing I noticed was that a few people seem to be confused as to the emotional relevance of Lisa and Ben. There's been a lot of:
"I don't get it. He had one weekend of sex with her, saw her briefly one other time. And he's making sure she and some kid that's not even his are protected? What about Bobby?"
My question is: Have these reviewers never accidentally turned someone into a fantasy? Maybe they haven't. Maybe these reviewers are all 18 years-old and have never been in love with an idea of someone, instead of the actual someone.
Dean's a family-man. It's pretty goddamn clear that Dean is all about family. What would be more appealing to Dean than a ready-made family? A wife he knows is amazing in bed, and a son he knows he'll get along with. Does it matter if the kid is his biologically? I think anyone who has adopted children, or has adopted family members, would tell you that DNA really doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how much or how little time Dean has spent with Lisa. He's in love with the IDEA of her and Ben.
And I think it's such a given that Dean would ask for ALL his loved ones (including Bobby) to be protected, that he doesn't feel the need to TELL Bobby...plus, Bobby would call him an idiot for deciding to say yes, so he can't really go to Bobby's house and give him a sappy speech. Lisa, however, doesn't know what's going on - so she won't know what he's about to do. Moreover, he wants to tell her because Bobby and Sam both KNOW Dean loves them, but Lisa doesn't know that he does...she doesn't know that he's probably thought of her offer to stay with her and Ben mostly every since she made it. So, like most people, before he dies he wants to make sure that everyone he loves knows that they are loved by him - even if he doesn't realize that he's only in love with the idea of them.
So, I thought the ending was great. It's not necessarily Dean saying goodbye to Lisa-the-love-of-his-life. It's Dean saying goodbye to the idea that he could have a family. It's Dean sacrificing himself so that other people CAN have families. Lisa and Ben are just a stand in for the families of the world, and it's Dean basically saying "I'm going to sacrifice myself so that everyone else can be happy."