Supernatural just finished its eleventh season and has proved to be the CW's most successful show not adapted to DC Comics yet again. It has never been the number one show on the network, as initially it was on the WB and when that turned into the CW, it was always slightly behind Smallville. Then for a little bit, The Vampire Diaries and then finally Arrow. As of now it ranks third on the network at pulling in views, right behind Arrow. It may even come fourth soon, when DC's Legends of Tomorrow premieres but even then, will still be first when you ignore adaptations to DC Comics. Why is Supernatural so successful? It is a character study, that shows two brothers and their relationship. Let me say something that I'm fairly certain Yafisz may have said before me in a different fashion: a relationship in real life does not end after ten or eleven years and in a relationship there are no overused plot threads. Ever since the Season 5 finale, people have claimed that Supernatural has not been as good, that the CW should let it die and so on, but I disagree. Should the show have ended at the fifth season, maybe, but should it end at the eleventh season, no. It still has a few years in it, a few more years to explore the brothers' relationship. We can now officially divide the show into: 1) The Kripke Era 2) The Post-Kripke Era 3) The New Era.
Now, let me describe to you the brothers' relationship as the show goes on. In the beginning, the very first season, the two brothers are looking for their father, who is obsessed about avenging his wife. The two brothers get along, have fun, make jokes and work well together, despite not having had seen each other for a while. It is here we begin to get the idea that Dean will do whatever it takes to keep Sam safe. As the second season begins, we see Dean conflicted towards Sam, being told he may need to put his brother down. Sam takes this as Dean shunning him as a monster and feels hurt and even though it works for the Demon's plans, Dean brings Sam back to life. The third season introduces Ruby and we see a rift begin to form between the brothers, Sam wants to defeat Lilith and is willing to work with Ruby to do so. Dean is morally against this idea and believes that working with Ruby will make him lose his brother. Dean's resurrection in the fourth season proves just this and Sam's obsession with Ruby's blood turns the two brothers on each other. Eventually, though, Dean realizes the error of his way and sees that he has just pushed Sam away and goes to do what he always does: save his brother. Yet Lilith dies and Lucifer rises. Dean lies to Sam subsequently, saying it will be all right, but feels the pressure of Michael on his shoulders and feels betrayed: his brother chose a demon over him. Yet in the end, because they are brothers and love always endures, Sam overcomes Lucifer and Dean is forced to let his brother go.
That was The Kripke Era, now let us see the Post-Kripke Era:
Dean is with Lisa and Ben. He is happy, but if one pays close attention, they can see he feels so much guilt that he kept his promise to Sam. Yet when Sam comes back, he feels betrayed and the more time he spends with Sam, the more he begins to feel cautious about him. Learning Sam is without a soul, Dean makes a deal with Death to save his brother. This is the first true example of how codependent the two are on each other, that Dean is willing to bargain with the Grim Reaper himself to save Sam. Then he tries to make sure that the wall does not come down in Sam's head, and when it does, Dean once again goes to immeasurable lengths to save Sam. Yet when Dean dies due to exploding Dick (yeah, that happened) and ends up in Purgatory, Sam does not save him. Dean feels hurt, he just survived a war in the afterlife and finds himself not even missed. Yet Dean is Dean and moves past it and when Sam is in danger, he sacrifices Benny. Then Sam is once again faced with death. Except, if he dies this time, Sam seals the gates of Hell. This is the first time when saving Sam was the wrong thing, yet Dean doesn't realize it and lets Gadreel possess his brother. When this goes wrong and he once again saves Sam, Dean refuses to admit he did the wrong thing and finds himself shunted from the one thing that has truly kept him going. Then he accepts the Mark of Cain, dies and turns into a demon and Sam realizes then, what Dean felt. Sam becomes obsessed, doing this he would never do to save Dean and when the Mark of Cain persists, Sam goes to insane lengths. When Charlie dies Dean finally realizes that they are too dependent on each other. When Charlie dies, Dean admits that what he did was wrong and should have let Sam seal the gates of Hell instead. Yet Dean cannot kill Sam and turns against Death.
That is a huge analysis of their relationship and personally, call me selfish, but I would like to see Supernatural continue for a long time. If it has to end soon, it can, but I would prefer it be Season 13 or Season 15. No other show, I repeat, no other show has so thoroughly analyzed the relationship shared between two people. Relationships don't end, they evolve, sure they are forced to through similar adaptations, but they evolve. Sam and Dean's relationship is far from done, they are brothers after all. What comes next now that they have finally seen each other's point of view? How will this dynamic continue to change? I can't wait to find out.
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