Here is the first part in a two part series from Guest Writer Melissa. She put together what are her Top Ten favourite things that Sam and Dean have done for each other over the years. She decided to exclude the big dying/rescuing type things and concentrate more on the moments that gives us fans the feels. Here's her first list, she went with Dean first (most likely for my benefit) but never fear, she has an equally bromantic list for Sam. Because they are both totally awesome and love each other like crazy!
What would you add to the list? Let Melissa know your thoughts in the comments!
Often when people want to cite examples of how altruistically brotherly one is towards the other, they bring up the big heroic events. There’s Dean going to hell for Sam or Sam indulging his satanic hallucinations to rescue Dean in Repo Man, etc. etc. etc.! There’re a lot of incidents of the brothers saving or sacrificing themselves for one another. But what I want to highlight are the intermittent occasions when a Winchester is simply kind or caring or, plainly put, brotherly to the other. Because in real life, siblings show their love not through rescuing the other all the time (I hope!), but by simply being a pal, giving them a friendly call on the phone, treating them out to the Cheesecake Factory (my favourite!). So first I shall list in chronological order ten random instances where Dean is kind and brotherly to Sam, and will follow up with a subsequent piece highlighting Sam’s random acts of kindness towards Dean!
Ready? Let’s start!
Number 1: Dean letting Sam drive Baby - WENDIGO
One of Dean's characteristics the show conveyed pretty much immediately was his total love for the Impala, handed down to him by the boy's father. By the second episode it's ingrained in the viewer’s mind that the Impala is Dean’s most precious possession, his Baby, for it acts not only as vehicular transportation, but also as a home symbolising. Needless to say then, that when Dean listened to his little brother’s request to drive the car, I was surprised he tossed him the keys! Though this may come off as a trifling act on the surface, in reality this scene illustrates Dean’s ability to trust Sam with what matters most to him (in terms of material possessions anyway), and to begin looking at his little brother as an adult. God knows my big brother would never let me drive his car! So I think Dean is a prince for giving Sam this privilege!
Number 2: Dean hooking Sam up with Sarah - PROVENANCE
The majority of season one was spent depicting Sam’s grief and guilt over having lost his girlfriend, Jessica, (in flames on the ceiling, just as happened to the boy's mother, Mary). Much of his despair was indeed buried, but the evidence was always there bubbling along under the surface of Sam’s heroic facade. Celibacy was one of the practises he seemed to adopt during that year, detaching himself from Dean whenever he suggested they flirt with their waitress or converse with women at the bars. Flirtation and the possible hookup is sheer innocent fun for Dean, but Sam refused to allow himself to go there, when still very much haunted by Jess’ death. Then comes along Sarah. Chemistry is evident between her and the rather bashful Sam, so Dean takes it upon himself to nudge his little brother in her direction. He recommends that he take her out to dinner, ostensibly to gather information on the case, pretends to lose his wallet so that he can set Sam up with her, even giving him money for a fun night out! All this matchmaking business seems pointless and ridiculous to Sam, but Dean insists that spending time with a beautiful and charming girl would do him some therapeutic good. Dean’s not wrong, though he is careful not to cross a line by disrespecting the memory of Jess. He tells Sam, that he doesn’t know what it feels like to lose someone like that, but also doesn’t consider it a crime to move on and meet other people in the future, not necessarily to get married, but just for some social 'recreation'. The reason I consider this so considerate of Dean is because he’s making an effort to help Sam heal from his loss and overcome his guilt at moving on and his fear that everyone he comes close to will inevitably die. We’ll just ignore the small detail that, yeah, Sarah did eventually die from her connection with Sam, but hey, at least Dean’s heart was in the right place! Right?
Number 3: Dean offering to shoot Madison so Sam wouldn't have to - HEART
Grab those tissues, because we’re about to talk about that infamous ending we all love to sob over! Our lovely Madison is a werewolf, whose monthly changes cannot be controlled. Afraid that she might unconsciously kill again, she entrusts Sam, her new found lover, to put her down. (On second thought, maybe Sam’s paranoia that all the women he hooks up with die horribly isn’t entirely unfounded!) Moments before the deed, Sam retreats to the hallway in tears, followed by his supportive big brother. Instead of lecturing Sam that it’s their job to kill the monster, or that he needs to suck it up, Dean very gently proposes to the heartbroken Sam, that he’s got this one. Nowhere inside does Dean truly want to kill some poor innocent woman that they’d been trying to protect all episode long, yet he offers to take on this burden to spare Sam the unimaginable horror of the responsibility. Naturally Sam turns down the offer and does the job himself, knowing that Madison would be more comfortable with him pulling the trigger and ending her life, but that doesn’t negate the nobility of Dean’s earlier proposal. Sometimes big brothers are there to do the dirty work in your place. There, have you run out of tissues yet?
Number 4: Dean playing Bon Jovi - NO REST FOR THE WICKED
Now I know what you’re saying: Didn’t he play that song for himself for his last night on earth? Well, not really. In the seconds leading up to that song, Sam broke the silence to try to deliver Dean a heartfelt conversation in the event that they fail to rescue him tonight. Immediately Dean stops him, claiming he doesn’t want his last night to be "socially awkward". However, I see it as his way of diffusing the tension and actually reassuring Sam. Instead of freaking out about his imminent demise, Dean is there to calm Sam through levity and music. He plays the song and encourages him to sing along, covering the fact that Dean is just as terrified as Sam is. Part of being a big brother though, is masking your own trepidation in order to soothe the other. Why fret when we can sing off-key and laugh at ourselves! That song wasn’t played for Dean’s sake, but for Sam’s.
Number 5: Dean trying to detox Sam - WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS
It was tough love and definitely one of the harshest acts of kindness Dean has ever displayed, but kind nonetheless. Another part of being a big brother is making your loved ones undergo difficult or even painful challenges, if in the end they are bettered as a result. When Sam was discovered to have been honing his powers through imbibing demon blood, this sent the horrified Dean on a mission to lock him up and cleanse him of all such poisons. Addiction is a nasty thing, as demonstrated when Sam began to exhibit signs of withdrawal that had him hallucinating, screaming in agony, and being hurled across the panic room from his residual traces of demon power. Despite Bobby’s pleas that they discontinue the lockdown before they inadvertently kill Sam, Dean heartbrokenly insisted that they persist with the treatment, believing it was the only way to save Sam, regardless of the outcome. However difficult these scenes were to watch, I always admired Dean’s unwavering resolve to cure Sam of his addiction and return and separate him from the demon influence. Lots of times when people suffer through addiction/withdrawals, their friends distance themselves so as not to have to witness the ugliness of it all. Your family or closest loved are often there to act as your caretakers and motivators. As pissed as Dean was at Sam for his secrecy, he never abandoned his little brother and intended to watch over him until he was completely cleansed. Of course, in typical Winchester way, it didn't go according to plan, with Sam breaking loose and accidentally releasing Lucifer and all... but that’s television for you . . . AWESOME television!
Number 6: Dean welcoming Sam back to the hunt - THE END
Can’t blame a guy for hurting over, losing his trust in and wanting to take separate paths from a brother who lied about drinking demon blood for over a year, beat your ass and strangled you and took off with the demon chick you distrusted from the beginning... Last week I was angry at my brother for just coming into my room without knocking first! Attempts to work through it were faulty, so early on Dean agreed to Sam’s suggestion that they split off for a while, at least until they could mend their trust issues or Sam felt more in control, less of a danger to them both. Unbeknownst to Dean, the angel, Zachariah, had plans to transport him to a possible future where Lucifer took possession of the consensual Sam, and the Croatoan virus devastated the world. The intended lesson was for Dean to consider saying yes to the archangel Michael, but he experienced a much different epiphany! Thus was born the immortal line, “We keep each other human.” What Dean took away from that trip to the future, was that he and his brother were stronger together, they needed each other and Dean needed reach out to Sam, giving him a chance for redemption. In families, it’s big for us to apologise, but sometimes it takes the even bigger person to accept the apology.
Number 7: Dean buying Sam a wedding present - SEASON 7 TIME FOR A WEDDING
Okay, this one might be debatable, but I always found this to be cute! In Vegas Sam marries super fangirl, Becky, much to Dean’s disbelief (and our envy!). Knowing Sam better than anyone else, obviously Dean’s suspicious of his behaviour and abrupt attraction towards Becky, so he conjectures it must be the result of a spell or deal. When he has enough leads, he knocks on Sam’s door to try to bring him onto the case with him. First though, he agrees (or lies) that he’s going to be more supportive, demonstrated by his delivery of a wedding present! A waffle iron! Now... some may argue that Dean bought that present and gave it to Sam purely to weasel his way into their home, but I see an underlying sense of brotherly affection here. Clearly he wants Sam back on the case with him, but I do believe a small part of him can't help but consider that this quicky marriage could be legitimate, and if so, then of course he’d be obligated to buy them a present! Waffle irons are useful, I suppose, plus I thought it was just sweet that Dean would supply his now married brother with such a domestic gift, as opposed to something more suitable for a hunter! Wouldn’t put it past Dean that he was also hoping that Sam or Becky would eventually use that iron to make him waffles for breakfast whenever he came to visit! Gift that keeps on giving!
Number 8: Dean making soup for a sickly Sam - THE GREAT ESCAPIST
There’re multiple instances of the brothers cooking or buying sustenance for each other, but this particular occasion stands out to me. The trials to slam shut the doors to Hell weaken and debilitate Sam to the point of sickliness. Luckily for him, he has his big brother to take care of him! Out of the kitchen Dean strides with the freshly brewed soup he’s prepared for Sam, even more adorably based on their father’s recipe. The way Dean brought him the soup, how he jested about using the airplane spoon manoeuvre to feed Sam, scolding Sam when he turned down the meal... I found it especially endearing.
Number 9: Dean hiding his childhood sacrifice from Sam - BAD BOYS
Big shocker here, but Dean was a stupendous brother to Sam even back when they were adolescents. Need I bring up that scene of the cereal when they were mere tykes? The "Bad Boys" episode revealed to us that when Dean had a shot at a normal life taking girls out to dances and . . . I guess, mowing the lawn or something . . . he gave it up the instant he remembered his commitment to little Sammy. Noble enough, I suppose, but what really moved me was the epilogue of that episode, when Sam figured out what Dean had sacrificed for him, and thanked him for it. Sam's appreciation was dismissed when Dean feigned ignorance and pretended like he didn’t have any idea what Sam was referring to. It’s one thing to dedicate your life to one person’s wellbeing, but it’s quite another to reject any possible gratitude for it. But Dean doesn’t do it for thanks. He doesn’t seek Sam’s admiration or words of commendation. He’s content with Sam being oblivious to his sacrifices, and that’s a true hero.
Number 10: Dean hanging up the Samulet replica in the car - FAN FICTION
Doubtless this is the most sentimental of all Dean’s brotherly actions. After watching a condensed version of their lives being interpreted musically onstage by a bunch of talented high school girls (again, AWESOME television), our jaded Dean is given a replica of the dearly missed Samulet. According to Dean, that necklace was nice and all, but was unnecessary. Some necklace didn’t need to remind Dean of how much he loved Sam. That all seemed to splinter, however, when Dean actually hung up the replica on the rearview mirror of his car. Without exchanging any words, both brothers exchange a slight smile at each other and ride on, their every destination through the windshield now crowned with the accessory. It might not be an outright act of kindness towards Sam, but I think, that act nevertheless is one of the most loving Dean has ever done. It reminds me of when I used to draw my mother pictures, and she would hang them up on the refrigerator in pride and gratitude. It might not seem like much, but seeing my artwork up on the fridge meant the world to me. That replica represented the necklace Sam once gave to Dean for Christmas, and represented something between the brothers not forgotten. And though, no longer around Dean's neck, its image is with the brothers in the front of their car.
Next I’ll be doing a corresponding article on ten different acts of brotherly kindness Sam has done towards Dean. Hope you enjoy!