Well I’m writing this post Vegascon euphoria, where I not only got to watch the episode live with my sister from another mister - on the tele and all - I also got to see Jensen a couple of days later, and got to speak to him about the episode and listen to some of his thoughts and behind the scenes tidbits - like how there were two bunnies, and the bunny wrangler named them Sam and Dean. It was Dean that was in the scene!
“Regarding Dean” was one of those episodes that makes your heart sing while simultaneously breaking it. It was funny and sad, all at the same time, with amazing brother moments, amazing Sam moments, and completely amazing Dean moments.
Both Jared and Jensen turned in stunning performances, with Jensen delivering aspects of Dean that we’ve never seen - a Dean who was carefree, but not in the same way he was when he was under the influence of the Mark of Cain. This Dean was still a good person, he still wanted to do the right thing, he still wanted to hunt and help, he still wanted to be Dean, he still wanted to be a brother, it’s just that all his memories of all the horrors and darkness that he’s experienced were slipping away, and this left him - when he was oblivious to what was happening - lighter. Laughing, smiling, lighter. Kudos belongs 100% to Jensen here, who was able to strip away so much of who Dean is, but still maintain the essence of the character.
Of course losing oneself is not something to laugh at, and we saw the flip side of what that process means, as Dean stared at himself in the mirror repeating his mantra - the names of those he loves the most - over and over. Jensen likened what was happening to Dean to what alzheimers must feel like. He wasn’t expecting to get so emotional during the performance, but the thought of feeling yourself slipping away and no longer knowing, not only who the people around you are, but also yourself, struck a deep chord with Jensen - as he tackled that scene at the end of a long night, looking straight down the barrel of the camera. He wasn’t expecting the tears that came.
The brothers have both dealt with times when they’ve lost who they were - but being soulless, or being a demon kind of elevates the care factor! Being full cognisant and fully aware and actually giving a damn, gives you a totally different characterisation.
The fear for both the brothers was palatable - Sam was watching everything his brother is, the brother he loves, disappear right before his eyes. In the moments that they could actually talk about it, it was heart breaking, as Sam repeated everything to Dean, telling Dean they’d figure it out, with Dean listening, understanding but also knowing in a moment it would all be gone again. For Sam it was worse than seeing Dean die, because it was seeing Dean lose everything that made him Dean - the Dean Sam has known and loved his entire life. Jared played those moments so beautifully, with his eyes just slightly watery. Just devastating.
The most wonderful moments came from the moments between Sam and Dean. Whether funny - like the in the diner and in the bar, Sam so well versed in his brother’s extracurricular night time activities he came prepared with pain killers! The wonderful post it notes that Jared wrote himself…LAMP, ANOTHER LAMP, COFFEE MACHINE - HOT DON’T TOUCH. Jared really enjoyed writing them, and Jensen got a kick out of reading them! Then explaining the job to Dean and the patience/frustration/patience Sam showed with his gleefully out of touch brother.
And then there was Dean, who a moment ago could not remember his own name, but as soon as he heard his brother yelling out in trouble, he calls out SAMMMM! Or who has such an ingrained trust of who Sam is and what Sam is to him, that regardless of not knowing who Sam is in the moment, when Sam points to himself and says “brother”, Dean trusts him so completely that he kills the other guy. These are special moments, special Winchester brother moments - the kind we live for! Dean knowing Sam no matter what, gives me life!
We were also blessed with the wonderful Rowena - who came to “help” because she wanted the book of spells. But left alone with Dean you can see that Rowena is not all bad, because even though she could have let Dean think he was just a killer, she made sure he knew what he did was always for the greater good. She’s a complex one that Rowena…and you know that everything she confessed to Dean, Dean remembers…but to his credit, is not saying anything. I do love Rowena and who that character has become.
In the end, we have the boys, talking over the Impala - as if this episode couldn’t get any more perfect - with Sam admitting he was a bit jealous at first, that Dean could get to drop the baggage…but Dean responds…
“Was it nice to drop our baggage? Yeah, maybe. Hell, probably. But it wasn’t just the crap that got lost. I mean, it was everything. It was us, what we do, all of it. So if that’s what being happy looks like, I think I’ll pass.”
For Sam and Dean - if happy means not being brothers…that’s not happiness, for either of them… And that right there, is air.
Then we wrapped up the episode with an unscripted montage of carefree, memory-loss Dean intercut with Dean riding Larry the bull. The final shot was pure porn quite frankly. Seriously Ackles…just stop (never stop).
Meredith Glynn please stay…and please keep writing episodes like this.
Sorry this is so short guys, but I’m on the road and just wanted to get some thoughts out for you. Basically my thoughts are, I love this episode so much. Jensen proved once again that he is a magnificent talent - so underrated (except by us). He broke me, and made me gleeful. The pleasure and the pain that is the glory of Supernatural.