Supernatural: What Is and What Should Never Be
June 24, 2021 4:31 AM - Season 2, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Dean is attacked by a djinn and finds himself in a new reality where his mother is still alive and he's living a normal life... except for the sight of a woman in distress who keeps appearing and disappearing.


Dean: Bitch.
Sam: What're you calling me a bitch for?
Dean: You're supposed to say "jerk".
Sam: What?
Dean: Never mind.

Dean: [At his father's grave] 'Course, I know what you'd say. Well, not the you that played softball, but...? So, go hunt the djinn. It put you here; it could put you back. Your happiness, for all those peoples' lives? No contest. Right? But why? Why is it my job to save these people? Why do I have to be some kind of hero? What about us, huh? What, Mom's not supposed to live her life, Sammy's not supposed to get married? Why do we have to sacrifice everything, Dad?

College Professor: Son, have you been drinking?
Dean: Everybody keeps asking me that but no.

Dean: Yeah. Lucky me. I've got to tell you, though, man -- you had Jess. Mom was gonna have grandkids.
Sam: Yeah, but, Dean -- it wasn't real.
Dean: I know. But I wanted to stay. I wanted to stay so bad. I mean, ever since Dad... all I... all I can think about is how much this job's cost us. We've lost so much. And we've sacrificed so much.
Sam: But people are alive because of you. It's worth it, Dean. It is. It's not fair, and, you know, it hurts like hell, but it's worth it.

Sam: Since when do you call me Sammy? Dean, come on. We don't talk outside of holidays.
Dean: We don't? Well we should. I mean, you're my brother.
Sam: You're my brother? You know, that's what you said when you snagged my ATM card, or when you bailed on my graduation, or when you hooked up with Rachel Nave.
Dean: Who?
Sam: My prom date. On prom night.
Dean: Yeah, that does kind of sound like me.


The photos of Sam and Dean in Mary's home are real photos of the younger Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. There's one of Jensen with his prom date.

This is the first time the Impala is seen with Ohio license plates instead of Kansas plates.

The scene where Dean breaks into the house to steal the silverware and Sam interrupts him is a throwback to a very similar scene in the beginning of the show's pilot episode, even including some of the same dialogue.

Samantha Smith, who plays Dean and Sam's mom, is actually only 9 years older than Jensen Ackles, while Jeffrey Dean Morgan is only 12 years older. But then they had to have the actors look young enough to play their parents to a 4-year-old and a baby in the flashback scene in the first episode, and the original plan was to not have the parents around long, so....
posted by orange swan (24 comments total)
It gives me the giggles that alt-world Dean banged Sam's date on prom night. It's Dean's need to save people, and take care of Sam, that have made him the man he is, and their deprived childhood that created the intense bond between him and Sam. If that fire had never happened, he would have grown up to be an ordinary mechanic with a good life on the whole because he's hard-working and intelligent, but he'd have no larger purpose keeping his natural hedonism in check, and so yes, he'd also be kind of a jackass, at least when young and single, though getting older and being in a committed relationship would help settle him. 

Sam, meanwhile, is exactly the person he was trying to be when he left his dad and brother to go to Stanford.

There is a guitar in Dean's dream apartment, though the "real life" Dean doesn't play guitar (Jensen Ackles does). But yes, ordinary life Dean would have learned to play the guitar, as he loves music, and as we find out late in the series, he is quite a strong singer. He and Sam missed out on being able to do so many things like that as kids. Birthday parties, sleepovers, school trips and concerts and dances, team sports, hobbies, hanging out with their friends... They probably got to do hardly any of those things.

The scene where Dean first sees his mother was so heartbreaking. The fearful skepticism that it was really was her and not some sort of trick, the gradual acceptance that it was her, his mixed grief and joy as he hugs her... Jensen Ackles really sold it all. Dean also passed up sex with Carmen to go see his mother. For that matter, this episode underlines as few of the series episodes do how much Dean wants a normal life where the people he loves are alive and well and he has a home, and he can just mow the lawn and enjoy a beer in peace, and how tragic it is that he can't have that.

In the scene where Dean breaks into Sam's apartment in the pilot when Dean breaks into his mother's house to get one of her silver table knives. Sam and Jessica were even shown sleeping exactly the same way as they did in the pilot: on their sides, with their backs to each other. Then Sam gets up to go investigate when he hears an intruder. This time it was easy for Dean to take Sam down, and he also needed to protect Sam when they went after the djinn, because he was just a civilian, not a highly trained and experienced hunter.

Cool djinn costume/makeup. This show excels at creating freaky monsters.
posted by orange swan at 5:10 AM on June 24, 2021

I keep meaning to rewatch this episode because Melanie Scrofano (my beloved Wynonna Earp) plays the Djinn's victim.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 9:05 AM on June 24, 2021

I know it's a stupid little nitpick but Dean stealing his mother's silverware comes across as so wrong to me because Dean really should know better.

Most sterling-silver flatware is only mostly sterling. The forks and spoons are silver. The knife handles are silver. The knife blades however--the pointy stabby bit that Dean needs--are usually stainless steel in modern knives or some other form of steel in older antique knives. (And usually the blades aren't very pointy or stabby.) There are even companies that specialize in replacing old rusted blades in sterling handles.

Given what we (later, I think, I'm a bit ahead of where the rewatch is) know about the mother's side of the family, maybe she has a special set of all silver knives, but would Dean know about that? Somehow I don't get the impression young Dean would care much about flatware, especially given that a) the contents of the house (including the silverware) likely burned up in the fire and b) even if the silverware had somehow survived, I can't see John hauling Mary's flatware chest around in the back of the Impala as the family travelled from town to town.

No matter what, Dean should have tested the blade (or even just read the stamp said "stainless steel blade") like he would with any other found-object knife he was scrounging.

Other than that critique, I really liked this episode. Strong acting, good writing, and some great insights into the inner psychology of the boys--everything that I've come to enjoy from this show.
posted by sardonyx at 9:26 AM on June 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

Good point, hunterDean should know better about silveware. But since this is all in his head?

Is the dream world entirely generated out of Dean's hopes and fears, or does it have any bearing to (an alternate but "true") reality?
posted by porpoise at 4:10 PM on June 24, 2021

That's an interesting question. I would think that even in his dream world, his hunter instincts would be to ensure that whatever weapon he's choosing would be up for the job at hand. Whether that dream aspect would just allow him to conjure up a silver knife blade, I have no idea, but (again this comes down to his experiences and to the lessons his dad taught him) I suspect he would have a pretty good grounding in "useful household items that can be used to kill mystical things and how to improvise with them."

In one of these posts, somebody mentioned Dean's silver money clip. Again, to me (outside of the aesthetics and the vanity), it makes sense that he'd be carrying as much innocuous sliver as possible on his person, in case he finds himself in need of something that could be easily weaponized. Silver accessories would be much easier to find than iron ones, for example.
posted by sardonyx at 5:07 PM on June 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

I've never been quite sure what to make of Dean's dream. Just because of how TV works, we don't stay completely in his perspective the whole time, which reminds you things happen when he's not around that he has no awareness of, which feels more like a parallel universe than a dream. The whole pretext that there was a completely separate Dean carrying on this life before Dean woke up into it has always been a weird detail. But also, the djinn creating or sending you to a literal parallel universe seems like a lot of work just so you don't fuss while he slowly juices you like a Capri Sun till you die.

(As a fantasy Dean created essentially to both pacify and save himself, a lot of it is kind of a bummer. Because if it wasn't kind of a bummer it wouldn't feel like his life? Or maybe he can't fit John into this version of his life, and can't really imagine a way of being brothers with Sam that isn't either 200% codependency or mutual rejection? Or on some level he longs for suburban hetero domesticity, but doesn't have anyone better to fill in the picture at this point than a model from a beer ad?)

I do love how overjoyed Dean is to see Jessica. He barely met this woman, but the second she's of the car he's tackle-hugging her like OH THANK GOD YOU'RE HERE. He's obviously not happy he and Sam aren't close, but Sam and Jessica are safe and happy and I legit think it does not cross his mind to be jealous.

I didn't know that about silverware! But yeah, definitely, Dean would. Beyond that somebody was just enjoying some parallels with the pilot, I can imagine Dean himself trying to recreate the interaction that brought him and Sam back into sync at the moment he most needs it, like a magic spell that if you get all the words right will give you Team SamandDean.

MEANWHILE, in other Supernatural news: a prequel series, I guess! (oh I don't know how I feel about this)
posted by jameaterblues at 7:05 PM on June 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

So it's Young Sheldon for the mystic set? (Adult character narrator looking back into the family's past, parents' marriage fated to end badly.) I don't think I'm onboard with it (although I've said that before with other shows and then found myself watching them).

You're right about Dean being happy that Sam and Jess are happy and together. Of course he wants to see his brother happy. That would mean Dean both succeeded in keeping Sam safe and that maybe there is more to life for Dean out there besides being the good little hunter John raised

That's really one the big draw for this show: that these two siblings obviously care so much for each other, they'll go to Hell and back to keep the other safe and happy (and alive). As much as the self-sacrificing can be hard to take in, I truly do love that siblings-there-for-each-other dynamic.
posted by sardonyx at 7:53 PM on June 24, 2021

As a fantasy Dean created essentially to both pacify and save himself, a lot of it is kind of a bummer

Absolutely. I wonder how much of that writing is on purpose, or happenstance. Like, would Sam really have become (further) estranged while following a career in law (even if Dean took a "square" career path), or is that purely in Dean's head.

That Dean thinks that Sam's life would be better with a happy Jess might seem to imply the latter.

Also, as sardonyx alludes to, John being out of the picture speaks to Dean's latent acknowledgement that John's hunter lifestyle messed him (Dean) up. If the meta was intentional.


Skeptical of the Young Winchesters thing, I think that it will depend a lot of the casting. More on the chemistry front over physical likeness.
posted by porpoise at 12:28 AM on June 25, 2021

I posted a comment in the last episode thread about how Dean reminds me of my brother (don't read the comment if you don't want the series ending spoiled for you), whose middle name was Dean. In one of the many freaky coincidences between them, in Dean's dream normal life, he is a mechanic who is living with a nurse; my brother was a mechanic whose wife was a nurse.

Something else I've been thinking about is that, if the djinn gave Dean this fantasy life and wanted him to buy into it until he died in reality, he should have given him the life in a world where there were no monsters. Dean would never have not been a hunter if there were people who needed saving, and even if he could have stayed in that life as he wanted to, he would have left his job and his girlfriend to become a hunter. And, of course, it is finding out that people he saved had died that got him to dig for the truth.
posted by orange swan at 5:26 AM on June 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

So much for best buds/bros forever.
posted by sardonyx at 9:44 AM on June 25, 2021

Holy shit, I find it bizarre that Jensen wouldn't have told Jared about it from the beginning!
posted by orange swan at 10:00 AM on June 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

I guess he was never able to get a live-action DC comic character movie off the ground (à la Ryan Reynolds convincing Marvel to do Deadpool) so he just dipped back into the well he knows best. And if he wanted to be in charge, it would make sense (from a business perspective--not a personal relationship one) not to call Jared--protecting the future intellectual property and all that. I haven't seen it, but I'd hazard a guess that Jared has an executive producer credit on Walker, whereas Jensen doesn't have anything equivalent, so he's hungry.
posted by sardonyx at 1:06 PM on June 25, 2021

I can see how there might not be a role for Sam Winchester in the new show. You could justify Dean's narration as him writing in his journal or something, or even just do a "Wonder Years" and never explain why the narrator is telling us this story about his family. But if you get Sam involved then it becomes a thing where the brothers are both telling the story and you start wondering when this takes place in their continuity, etc. (Although it would be fun listening to Dean and Sam bicker while they tell us the story. "This is our grand-uncle Pete. Total asshat." "Dean, don't call our grand-uncle an asshat!")

I'd be down for the prequel. It's too bad Mitch Pileggi has probably aged out of his role, because I'd love to see him be part of this. I never imaged we'd see Padalecki and Ackles in their roles again, but I'd be willing to bet they'd pull some time-travel hijinks to get the bros in an episode or two. Well, assuming the actors work out this latest little rift between them. It is weird that Ackles didn't even tell Padalecki about the show. They've always seemed pretty close as co-stars go.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:45 PM on June 25, 2021

Both Ackles and Padalecki have posted tweets to the effect that they've talked and things are good between them. Padalecki also deleted a tweet he'd fired off at Robbie Thompson, the Supernatural co-executive producer who will pen the prospective series: "Et tu brute? Wow. What a truly awful thing you’ve done. #Bravo you coward."

This seems like as good a time as any to post about something I've been learning about lately, which is that Jared Padalecki seems to have a serious problem with overreacting to things, and that's putting it more kindly and mildly than he deserves. He's been open about his problems with depression and anxiety, so I'm taking that into account, but his behaviour towards others has been quite appalling on many occasions.

In October 2019, he got arrested at a bar named Stereotype in Austin, Texas, and was charged with two counts of assault and one count of public intoxication. According to the news items about his arrest, he hit both the general manager and an assistant manager of the bar in the face, put a third man in a headlock outside the bar, flashed what appeared to be a wad of cash at the police, was restrained by police after he put his hands on the chest of an arresting officer, and was uncooperative during questioning by another officer. There were also suggestions he may own, be part owner, or be an investor in Stereotype, which means he would have been assaulting his own employees.

In September 2020, Padalecki claimed that he doesn't have a clear memory of what happened, that he had too much to drink, and that he hadn't had a drink since.

Aside from this, Padalecki has a longstanding pattern of behaviour of complaining on Twitter about getting bad service, or customer service people being rude to him, which isn't so bad in itself, but he names names and doxes people. For instance, once in April 2017, he ordered food from Favor, which didn't arrive, so he sent this tweet: "Dearest @ Favor “Kobe” at customer support needs to be fired. I’m sure he’d land happily with @united." (He often posts about his airline woes.) In August 2016, he took a photo of a server from a restaurant he'd been to, and posted it on his Facebook page, with the comment:

“Hey BK at @ConstantineMpls you are the meanest human being that I have ever, in my adult life, been around. I hope you find your peace. Please know that I will never ever in my life be back at @HotelIvy or @ConstantineMplsin Minneapolis because I have never felt the hatred and spite and judgement that I feel from you.”

As might be expected from his large, and rather rabid, fanbase, this post on his part led to his fans rating the restaurant one star, finding “BK” on social media, harassing her and causing the restaurant to deactivate their Facebook page entirely for the time being. He had to know that would happen. A commenter told him it was disturbingly vindictive of him to do that, that he could have endangered and negatively impacted the woman's life for some time to come, and that he needed to be more responsible in his use of his social media platform in future, and this was his response:

Thank you for voicing your opinions and your concern. You are, of course, entitled to both. As far as last night goes, I didn’t receive "poor service". I didn’t have mustard instead of mayonnaise on my burger, and she didn’t give me too many or too few cubes of ice in my drink. The picture of her playing on her phone was the NICEST thing she did during the course of the evening…… No. I was subjected to a mean, spiteful human being. Period. She was mean. She was a bully. She, specifically, did several things that hurt mine (and our) feelings.

She made me feel singled out and not welcome and "essthan" (maybe you’ve been in the same situation before?). She ruined my night (if not my trip) in Minnesota. Furthermore, I’m not incredibly happy to have you express that you believe I’m not entitled to share my concerns or unhappiness because I’m a "celebrity". That’s akin to the people who told me that I should be "happy" because I’m "successful", and that I shouldn’t have "depression" or "anxiety" because "famous people" are so "lucky".

And I very much don’t appreciate being victim shamed, even though I’m "famous" and should just "deal with it and keep quiet about it". At the end of the day, I am a human being that breathes oxygen. The same as you. And, sometimes, there are people who hurt my feelings intensely and I want to reach out to my social media family to express my hurt and let y’all know that I, too, sometimes run into mean people who aim to ruin my day.

As far as "keeping future grievances" more private? Simply put, no. I will not let you silence or censor me and my feelings the same way those in the past have tried to silence or censor or ignore or belittle my feelings. I’ve worked too hard for too long on myself to be told to take negativity that's sent my way, and shut up about it, just because I'm a "celebrity". I’m truly sorry that the existence of my hurt disappointed you, and I wish you peace and happiness. With love, jp."

A freaking restaurant server was the most hateful, meanest person Padalecki's ever been around? Seriously? What a fortunate life he must have led. He provides no specifics whatsoever as to what the server did, so it's impossible for anyone to assess whether he was actually poorly treated, but I really, really doubt she could possibly have behaved in such a way as to cause such a crisis of self-confidence in any reasonably well-adjusted person. A poster on the Facebook post claimed that the server didn't even know who Padalecki was when he came into the restaurant, so perhaps that was part of the problem for him. Apparently the restaurant had to get their lawyers involved. Padalecki deleted the original post, but he's posted pictures of customer service people he considers lacklustre since, so he's learned nothing.

Besides the arrest and his, uh, customer complaint issues, there's the time he tweeted, in response to Philip Seymour Hoffman's death in 2016, "'Sad' isn’t the word I’d use to describe a 46 year old man throwing his life away to drugs. 'Senseless' is more like it. 'Stupid'." When he got pushback on that, he said, "I didnt mean PSH is stupid or that addiction isnt a reality. I simply meant I have a different definition of 'tragedy'."

I could go on about other shit he's posted about how cracker is a derogatory racial term, he believes in reverse racism, he makes deportation jokes, he was asked for his best pickup line and his answer was, "Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?", but I think I need to stop reading up on what he's really like if I'm to carry on with the rewatch. I mean, UGH.

The guy talks a good game about treating everyone with respect and supporting the right causes, and he does seem to have gotten along well with his Supernatural co-workers for 15 years, but it seems he has no real grasp of political issues and can be pretty awful to people he thinks don't matter or who inconvenience him, and he acts like a whiny manbaby when he gets criticized for it.

I still like Supernatural, but I'm most emphatically not a Jared Padalecki fan, and I'm not taking his word on his not being informed about the new series, or for that matter, any other interpersonal conflict he has.
posted by orange swan at 3:02 PM on June 25, 2021 [4 favorites]

Everything posted above is one of the reasons I don't pay attention to what actors and celebrities do in real life. I learned my lesson early on that doing so just means I should expect disappointment.

Until I started watching this, I didn't know Padalecki's name. I could recognize he was one of the Supernatural brothers but that's about it. (Although I can't say that when I saw any early Walker promo stuff I recognized him.)

I did end up eventually learning Jensen Ackles' name a few years ago, but that's because he keeps crossing over into comic news coverage. After so many articles like "Supernatural star Jensen Ackles went to ComicCon and he dressed up like this DC character" he kind of wormed my way into whatever space my brain sets aside to recognize celebrities' names and faces.

I'll have some comments about the parallels between Jensen's (apparently) favourite comics character and his role on Supernatural once that parallel is blindingly and obviously drawn in later episodes.
posted by sardonyx at 5:10 PM on June 25, 2021

Ugh. UGH. I try pretty hard not to know anything about actors--I think I learned in one of these posts that JP and JA sound different than Sam and Dean and realized I've never heard their normal speaking voices in sixteen years, I do not expect to ever watch either of them in a different role--but it's hard to spend time in remotely fannish circles and not absorb anything. I was perfectly happy to just not be that interested in the prequel, and I haven't dug into the details because these are actors and their lives and careers are of no interest to me and knowing more about them will not make me a happier person. But it's been weirdly nice getting back into SPN since the finale, these threads are a thing I look forward to (thank you again orange swan), and the whole thing just...really bums me out.

Don't watch a TV show for 15 years, kids, this is what it does to your brain.
posted by jameaterblues at 7:07 PM on June 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was surprised how different Ackles sounded when I listened to a promo for an upcoming animated movie that features him in the lead role. I did hear him in another animated movie, and I thought he sounded much more like Dean (although I might be really mistaken about that impression because I watched the movie long before I started watching this show).
posted by sardonyx at 7:35 PM on June 25, 2021

I can't really justify why, but Jensen Ackles as Jason Todd hits so much less weirdly for me than JA as Batman. (Maybe, honestly, because in 2010 Dean>Red Hood Jason was a way shorter jump than Dean>Bruce Wayne, which is not his fault.) (Also because I grew up in the 90s so I think Kevin Conroy sounds like Batman and everyone else sounds like some guy, and I guess in this case a specific guy, which is also not JA's fault.) The Long Halloween isn't my cup of tea story-wise, but if the movie can make it work more power to them.
posted by jameaterblues at 9:14 PM on June 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Wow, I had no idea Padalecki was so... troubled. It sounds like he's trying to work on himself, talking about his struggles with his mental health and stuff, but it also sounds like he's gotta be kind of a nightmare to deal with. Here's hoping he has some breakthroughs before he goes all Nicolas Brendon on us. (Don't Google what's been going on with Brendon since Buffy. Just don't.)

I've heard rumors Ackles may be a Trump fan, but if so he at least has the smarts to keep that shit to himself and not break the hearts of his fans with a bunch of Gina Carano-style Twitter meltdowns.

Please don't tell me that Misha Collins is anything but the charming little weirdo rascal he appears to be. Don't disillusion me about Misha!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:54 AM on June 26, 2021

I spent several hours googling yesterday, and was very dismayed to learn that basically the entire cast of Supernatural are douchebags. It's standard practice for me to do a bit of reading up on the cast of a show I'm particularly into, and I've never seen anything like this. Jensen Ackles doesn't behave as badly as Jared Padalecki, but I think it's because he's a bit smarter and a lot more stable and he has the sense and the self-discipline to keep up a better front in public, rather than because he's a better person.

Ackles is known to be a registered Republican. Even if he's not a Trump supporter, there are no good Republicans at this point. And he doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong with Padalecki's behaviour. When Padalecki returned to the set after his arrest in 2019, Ackles was joking how they wanted to get 50 people dressed in orange jumpsuits to welcome him back, but they weren't able to get the jumpsuits. Yeah, dude, just make a big joke out your buddy assaulting three people during a drunken rampage. When Padalecki made that joke about his pick up line being "Excuse me, does the rag smell like chloroform to you?" at a convention in 2017, Ackles responded "No, Mr. Cosby." Most of the convention attendees looked uncomfortable, so Ackles said, "Too soon?"

Mark Pellegrino, who plays Lucifer, has a track record of racist, bigoted tweets and when anyone tried to disagree with him, he would try to sic his followers on them and would use hate speech and sexist derogatory remarks in his own interactions with them.

Travis Aaron Wade, who played the marine Cole Trenton later in the series, has been accused of inappropriate sexual advances and harassment by multiple women.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan posted a picture of himself in a Blue Lives Matter t-shirt with commentary that began, "Dear assholes. Blue lives do matter. Can't believe I need to explain to you this fact." He got pushback, deleted the original post, and then in a follow-up said it had been misinterpreted and that he stood by what he said.

Ty Olsson, who played Benny Lafitte, once showed up at a convention drunk and behaved so inappropriately he was booted out. He then posted a rambling, incoherent non-apology on his website in which he claimed that someone had spiked his drink with some sort of roofie. He said he wasn't accusing a fan of doing it, and he'd tested negative for anything of the sort, but he knew it had happened.

Samantha Ferris, who played Ellen Harvelle, has a record of saying stupid shit, such as the time she tweeted, "Not trying to B a douche 2 @lindsaylohan; but honey I had a miscarriage too. U don't need weeks off work to recover. Super weak, dumbass."

I won't go into details about Misha Collins since Ursula Hitler doesn't want to hear them, but yeah, he's no better than the rest of them.

Jim Beaver and Samantha Smith seem pretty decent on the whole, but they've rushed to the defense of Jared Padalecki in an enabling kind of way that isn't good.

I'm going to have to try to put all this aside and just try to enjoy the show for what it is. After all, every show I've ever enjoyed would have at least some problematic people in its cast, because human nature is what it is. But it sucks donkey kong.
posted by orange swan at 6:22 AM on June 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

I can't really justify why, but Jensen Ackles as Jason Todd hits so much less weirdly for me than JA as Batman. (Maybe, honestly, because in 2010 Dean>Red Hood Jason was a way shorter jump than Dean>Bruce Wayne, which is not his fault.) (Also because I grew up in the 90s so I think Kevin Conroy sounds like Batman and everyone else sounds like some guy, and I guess in this case a specific guy, which is also not JA's fault.) The Long Halloween isn't my cup of tea story-wise, but if the movie can make it work more power to them.
posted by jameaterblues at 9:14 PM on June 25

Totally in agreement with you on all accounts.

As I said, I got to know Ackles' name because he seems to have a personal affinity for Jason Todd and comic news sites kept pumping out those kinds of stories.

I don't know if Ackles is just a comic reader who likes Jay, or an aspiring movie producer who thought he stood a shot at getting a live-action version of Robin II's story on the screen or if it's because he saw so many parallels between Dean's life and Jason's that it seemed to be a natural evolution of moving from one character to the other. Without being too spoilery, there's a "good soldier" line delivered to Dean at one point that pretty much draws a direct line between Jay and Dean, a certain physical experience in a cemetery that Jason and Dean share, a pretty black-and-white attitude when it comes to dealing with evil/monsters/villains, a preference towards more direct physical action as a first resort --as opposed to plotting and researching, like Tim and Sam--and so on. (Although given Dean's propensity for always trying to follow John's lead, Jason would likely say that Dean is more like golden boy Dick, but that's probably a derailing discussion for another day.)

So while physically and vocally I don't really read Ackles as Jason, it is absolutely an easier leap to make than envisioning Ackles as Bruce.
posted by sardonyx at 8:31 AM on June 26, 2021

I got curious, and while Googling "Jensen Ackles politics" does bring up references to rumors of him being a Republican (and gay?), it also brings up references to him stumping for Beto O'Rourke in the last election and this news article about the show's leads taking part in a charity zoom with Stacy Abrams to raise funds for Abrams' Fair Fight Action. So, he's maybe a lefty? He's not a big Q-anon douchebag, in any case.

I think that's as deep into this as I wanna look. As much as I love this show I've never been super interested in the private lives of these actors, and I think I'm better off that way.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:00 PM on June 26, 2021

Jensen Ackles' Aunt Kelli has gotten involved in the whole tempest in a teapot about Ackles not giving Padalecki the heads up about him not being involved in the prequel series (if that's what happened) posting things like "Damage done". Good grief woman, I have grown nephews myself, and I cannot by any stretch of the imagination picture myself jumping into any online brou-ha-ha over them. They are adults and can look after themselves. You're only going to make things worse.

The Supernatural fandom is absolute cocoa puffs -- there are actually fans saying that the people Jared Padalecki assaulted/doxed had it coming -- and while I know it isn't fair to hold creators responsible for what their fans do, I can't help but think that there's a correlation between the nature of the fandom and the tone the creators set.

I'm glad FanFare never gets crazy like fansites do. Here, we have people who have a range of reactions to a show discussing it in a critical, objective way, and even the people who love the show in question the most seem to be able to behave rationally.
posted by orange swan at 10:20 AM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Right there with you, orange swan. I didn't really get too much into online discussions about TV shows back in the newsgroup days (with one small exception, but it was a pretty quiet group because the show wasn't hugely popular, and even then, I read more than I posted). When FanFare was initially proposed, I wasn't expecting to make much use of it. Apparently, I like to prove myself wrong.

It has been a really nice resource to have to share thoughts and impressions about shows that nobody else I know watches. Whether that has been to moan about how much the Arrowverse passed the stupid ball back and forth amongst its major characters or deride a bunch of bad designs on clothes-making competition shows, I've been really happy to have this outlet.

Now, I just wanted to say that I really appreciated you starting up and driving these Supernatural posts. I also appreciate the MeFites who are taking part in the discussion. There's a lot of [hand waves] general stuff [hand waves] that's happening that I wasn't expecting or hoping to deal with, and it has been a nice relief to sit back, shut my brain off and just watch the Winchester boys try to sort out good and evil. Being able to come here and read some insightful commentary into the show, the characters, the production, how the show reflected society at the time and how it plays today, has been the lovely and unexpected bonus on the cake. I certainly hadn't expected to stumble into a rewatch, but I'm very glad I did.
posted by sardonyx at 8:41 PM on June 28, 2021

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