Longer title: Destiel: why I ship them, why they’re clearly a couple and why Dean is bisexual
Warning: this essay could contain spoilers from season 1 to season 7, episode 10 (Death’s Door). And spoilers for “Thelma and Louise”.
For those of you who say Destiel (the romantic pairing consisting of Dean and Castiel from the TV show Supernatural) can’t ever be canon or doesn’t make sense because Dean is clearly straight, I ask you to closely watch his interactions with other male characters.
Specifically, off the top of my head, the scene in “Everybody Loves a Clown” (season 2, episode 2) where Sam and Dean give Ash (a fellow hunter) their dad’s research on demons and the like. Look at the looks Dean gives Ash, his general behavior in the scene. That’s only one instant where he has some connection with another guy. Most of the time, if there’s a scene with Sam, Dean and another male character (excluding Bobby and blood relatives), Dean is the one who’ll connect with the guy. Want an example? I give you “Nightshifter”, (season 2, episode 12), where Ron prefers Dean over Sam; he even says, to Sam, “I don’t like you!”
Want another one? “Bloodlust” (season 2, episode 3) where Dean connects with Gordon (yet another hunter). Want yet another one? “Folsom Prison Blues” (season 2, episode 19) where Dean connects with Tiny, one of the inmates. Now I’m not saying he’s sexually attracted to all of these guys, but there are other instances, like with Doctor Sexy (I’ll get to that in a moment) and Castiel, which make it clear that he is attracted to men.
Then there’s Garth (a hunter) in “Season 7, Time for a Wedding!” (season 7, episode 8 ) who, just before leaving Dean, hugs him. And there’s Dean’s connection with Ranger Rick in “How to Win Friends And Influence Monsters” (season 7, episode 9):
BOBBY: Damn thing’s eating Rick.
DEAN: Man, I liked Rick.
SAM and BOBBY look at DEAN. BOBBY closes his eyes and fires up into the tree. A humanoid creature holding one of RANGER RICK’s arms falls to the ground.
And before that, in the diner, when they’re talking to Ranger Rick for the first time, watch Dean closely: link to clip. See the smile when Rick says “Call me Rick. Ranger Rick”? And his hands from 0:31 to 0:37? And just as he leaves the table he smiles as he says, “Oh. Excuse us. Well, you, uh… enjoy your lunch… Ranger Rick.” Now my sister just pointed out that I might be reading too much into that, but I say Jensen Ackles is a dedicated actor who puts a lot of thought into his performances.
Then you’ve got the episode “Sex and Violence” (season 4, episode 14) where the siren appears as a man to Dean and all the instances where Sam and Dean are mistaken for a gay couple, like “Bugs” (season 1, episode 8), “Something Wicked” (season 1, episode 18) and ”Playthings” (season 2, episode 11).
In “Bugs”, though, Dean goes along with it. So his reactions to being mistaken for gay aren’t always the same. Sometimes he’s fine, sometimes he isn’t. But, as someone said on some blog (I can’t remember which one–I read a lot of different blogs), when he’s mistaken for gay and acts all awkward, it’s probably got more to do with the fact that they think he’s dating his brother than that they think he’s gay. [It might have been in the comments section of this excellent essay analyzing Dean's bisexuality: "Well, You Are Kind Of Butch": The Bisexuality Of Dean Winchester.]
In “Something Wicked”, his reaction is more that of surprise that a kid made a comment rather than of anger or embarrassment.
Michael: King or two queens?
Dean: (Asking for a room) Two queens.
Michael (Looks at Sam waiting outside): Yeah, I bet.
Dean: What’d you say?
Michael: Nice car.
And in “Playthings”, we have this exchange after Sam and Dean have been mistaken for a gay couple yet again:
Dean: Of course, the most troubling question is why do these people assume we’re gay?
Sam: Well, you are kind of butch. They probably think you’re overcompensating.
And then Dean has this look on this face. If he was completely straight, there’d be no look, no “forced laugh” as this transcript says.
The next bit of evidence is the one involving Doctor Sexy. it’s been mentioned by plenty of other fans, but I’m still gonna talk about it, because it’s the closest the show has ever come to making Dean’s bisexuality canon. His crush on Doctor Sexy in “Changing Channels” (season 5, episode 8 ) is obvious: stammering and blushing. It’s already been covered in the essay I linked to above. Anyway, his behavior in that scene is not the behavior of a completely straight guy.
So Dean is bisexual, with a preference for women.
Oh, one final thing (because I just have to mention this). In the episode “The End” (season 5, episode 4), Dean travels to the future and has to prove to his future self that he really is Dean. Here’s what he says:
Dean: Rhonda Hurley. We were, uh…19. She made us try on her panties. They were pink. And satiny. And you know what? We kind of liked it.
Dean and Castiel are clearly a couple
The first time they met:
Now that Dean’s bisexuality is clear, I wanna get back to proving that Dean and Castiel are totally a couple. Like with Ash, Dean gives Castiel these looks, except between them, the looks last longer and there’s a lot more of them. There’s also more chemistry. There’s a reason the fans call their staring matches “occular intercourse”. (Dean can’t keep his eyes off of Cas: http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/12500495823/river-song-stole-the-impala-eastcollins.)
Then there’s the body language.
Oh, the body language. Now listen, I know that what’s canon is them being best friends, as Bobby said in “Hello, Cruel World” (season 7, episode 2).
Bobby: Course. You just lost one of the best friends you ever had, your brother’s in the bell jar, and purgatory’s most wanted are surfing the sewer lines, but you know, yeah, I get it. You’re fine.
And Dean says Castiel is like family to him in “The Man Who Would Be King” (season 6, episode 20), but as this person said in their essay (http://saucery.livejournal.com/14078.html) the only love Dean knows and understands completely is familial love. Because he’s never been in a successful relationship (the closest he came to one was with a women called Cassie (“Route 666″, season 1, episode 13)–hey, isn’t Castiel’s nickname Cas/Cass?), he doesn’t know how to express this kind of love. By calling Castiel family, he’s telling him how much he cares about him, how much he loves him, that he would die for him, because short of actually saying all that, it’s the only way he has of letting him know this.
Besides, best friends would be comfortable saying “I love you” to each other, but they don’t. In fact, their entire relationship is based on body language and looks, not words. And don’t give me that “angels don’t get personal space”, because, like castielsmitesyou said:
You know all those people that say Castiel stares at and stands so close to Dean because he’s an angel so he doesn’t understand why it’s inappropriate? Well, isn’t it funny how no other angels do that? Isn’t it also funny how Castiel doesn’t do it with Sam, Bobby or anybody else besides Dean? Yeah, I know, right? Funny that.
For an example of this, just pick an episode with Castiel. Pretty much any episode will include him standing close to Dean. If you’re too lazy, this pretty much sums it up: http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/12548930908/standing-arm-to-arm-is-their-version-of-handholding-in.
I’m not done though. I also have fanmade videos to illustrate my point:
- White Blank Page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN4toBLEASg
- I will go down with this ship http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH1Tj4VSbzc
(they’re the two most beautiful ones I’ve seen) and I have all these moments as proof.
In the episode “Two Minutes To Midnight” (season 5, episode 21) Castiel is in the hospital (a banishing spell has weakened him) calls Dean. Why Dean? Maybe it’s the only number he knew by heart, maybe it’s because of his “profound bond” (“The Third Man”, season 6, episode 3) with Dean, huh?
The episodes “Free To Be You and Me” (season 5, episode 3) and “The End” (season 5, episode 4) gives us quite a few Destiel moments. In “Free To Be You And Me”, on what might be Dean and Castiel’s last night on Earth, Dean gives us this gem:
Dean: There are two things I know for certain. One: Bert and Ernie are gay; two: you are not gonna die a virgin, not on my watch.
Do I even need to make a comment about this? But, this isn’t the only reference we get to two fictional characters who are supposed to be best friends yet are considered gay by viewers or have shared a kiss. I’m talking about this quote:
Dean: So, what — I’m Thelma and you’re Louise, and we’re just gonna hold hands and sail off this cliff together?
At the end of the movie, just before sailing of the cliff, they kiss. On the mouth.
So really… Dean is straight? And NOT in love with Castiel? But, I’m not done.
Now you know Castiel is an angel; so he’s been alive longer than humans have existed. Dean, a simple human, must mean a lot to him if in the episode “The End” (season 5, episode 4) he stayed on Earth while all the others angels left. You could say he “fell from grace.” And he did it for Dean.
I can think of another angel, on another show, who fell from grace for a human—Leo for Piper on Charmed. And his love for her was not “You’re the closest I have to family.” It was “I want to marry you.”
Huh? How about that? But I’m still not done. Far from it.
Also in “The End”, when Dean finds out that 2014!Dean is going to use his friends as a diversion, he says:
Dean: You mean you’re gonna feed your friends into a meat grinder? Cas, too? You want to use their deaths as a diversion?
Notice Cas is not counted as a friend, because he’s not. He’s more than that.
As the episode “The End” is chock-full of Destiel moments, and I can’t list them all, I ask you to read this post providing an in-depth analysis of Dean and Castiel’s relationship in that alternate future: http://saltfree.tumblr.com/post/4516827366/favorite-dean-cas-scenes-the-end.
And here we have Dean saving Castiel: http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/13790950785. Earlier in the episode (“Heaven and Hell”, season 4, episode 10), Dean called Castiel and Uriel “some heartless sons of bitches.” And yet, the moment Cas is in danger, Dean doesn’t hesitate to pick up a crowbar and hit Alastair over the head with it. (Sure, Alastair is the demon who torture Dean in Hell; but would he have done the same for Uriel? I doubt it.)
This post shows a lot of little moments that prove that Castiel loves and is in love with Dean: http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/9653498144/castielsmitesyou-jesusfoodsex. My favorite out of those has to be from “Family Matters” (season 6, episode 7):
Dean: Well you better tear the attic up. Find something to help Sam.
Castiel: Of course. Your problems always come first. I’ll be in touch.
As you can see, Castiel would do anything for Dean. In fact, that’s what he does. He rebels against Heaven, kills his own brothers, drops everything he’s doing whenever Dean needs help. The episodes “The Man Who Would Be King” (season 6, episode 20), “Let It Bleed” (season 6, episode 21) and “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (season 6, episode 22) have the best examples of Destiel.
From episode 20:
Castiel: It sounds so simple when you say it like that. Where were you when I needed to hear it?
Dean: I was there. Where were you?
From episode 21:
Castiel: Dean, I do everything that you ask. I always come when you call. And I am your friend. Still, despite your lack of faith in me and now your threats, I just saved you yet again. Has anyone other than your closest kin ever done more for you? All I ask is this one thing.
From episode 22 (the souls from Purgatory are all inside Castiel; he’s basically a ticking bomb):
Dean: Listen to me. Listen, I know there’s a lot of bad water under the bridge, but we were family once. I’d have died for you. I almost did a few times. So if that means anything to you… Please. I’ve lost Lisa, I’ve lost Ben, and now I’ve lost Sam. Don’t make me lose you too. You don’t need this kind of juice anymore, Cas. Get rid of it before it kills us all.
It says it all. I mean Castiel’s lip quivering ever so slightly when Dean says they’re done? That sounds like someone breaking up with their boy- or girlfriend.
Then we have Dean grieving Castiel’s death while singing to Air Supply’s “All Out Of Love”: http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/13627005448/the-singing-in-the-car-scene-destiel-or.
Why would Sam say sorry for the song? Sorry because he knows Dean doesn’t like that kind of music? No. He says it in a pretty serious way, like “Sorry, I know this song reminds you of your dead boyfriend.” Video proof? But of course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjvu8gf3tCs.
At 0:40, that is not a look of “Really? That shitty music?” It’s a look of hurt. And I wonder why Swayze movies get a pass? Maybe because Dean has a big gay crush on him.
They get jealous when the other kisses someone else. When Dean kisses Anna in “Heaven and Hell” (season 4, episode 10), Castiel clearly doesn’t like it. When Castiel kisses Meg in “Caged Heat” (season 6, episode 10), Dean clearly doesn’t like it.
Castiel worries about Dean. In “Mommy Dearest” (season 6, episode 19), when Eve bites Dean, Castiel shouts out his name. Not Bobby, not Sam: Castiel. And none of them knew about Dean’s plan. They all had good reason to be worried about shout out his name. But Castiel is the only one who does, because he’s never truly let Dean know how he feels and he could die without knowing that. (gif: http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/12501509256/sweetlikethesixties-dean)
Dean is Castiel’s widow: http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/11596723739/itsfuuh-guy-norman-bee-talks-about-dean-keeping.
After Castiel’s apparent death (no one stays dead, plus Misha Collins will be back in episode 17; sure, he might not be playing Castiel, but he could be. We don’t know yet), his trenchcoat floats to the side of the lake and Dean fishes it out, folds it up and keeps it in the trunk of his car. It’s still there in “The Mentalists” (season 7, episode 7), at the end. Folding the trenchcoat is canonically a reference to the flags for soldiers who’ve died. And who keeps the flag? The widows.
Dean is Castiel’s widow!
“Slash Fiction” (season 7, episode 6): http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/13706346684/hellosweetease-the-look-on-deans-face. Oh yeah, the leviathan knows ALL about Cas and Dean’s relationship. Hell yeah.
Bickering like a married couple: http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/13402977440.
Dean cares about Castiel: http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/13249642706/libraryghost-do-you-see-how-immediate-deans
More little moments where Cas clearly cares about and loves Dean: http://destiel-destiny.tumblr.com/post/12942131770/castielsmitesyou-i-was-never-really-insane
An awesome essay that nearly brought me to tears (beautifully written and so, so accurate): http://putmedownpunk.tumblr.com/post/13206080907/confessions-of-a-post-war-destiel-shipper-pt-1
I’d just like to end with this quote from “Lovers Walk” (season 3, episode 8 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer):
Spike: You’re not friends. You’ll never be friends. You’ll be in love ’til it kills you both. You’ll fight, and you’ll shag, and you’ll hate each other ’til it makes you quiver, but you’ll never be friends. Love isn’t brains, children, it’s blood — blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love’s bitch, but at least I’m man enough to admit it.
Why I ship them
I ship Destiel because their love is so tragic and epic and I cared enough to write this essay. I’ve never even done this for Buffy, and that show is my life. It’s the foundation of my writing career (I’m working on my second novel right now) and it has inspired me in so many ways.
Yet the first essay I write about fictional characters is for Supernatural, not Buffy.
I think that says a lot about how brilliant Cas and Dean’s relationship is, how well it’s written and acted by Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins.