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SPN 11.19 The Chitters

Posted on 2016.05.08 at 17:32
Current Mood: chipperchipper
SPN 11.19 The Chitters

Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.
-- Robert H. Schuller

Hope. I looked up the definition of hope, and one of the provided definitions was this:

the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best

Dean has been fighting to hold onto some hope for helping rescue Castiel from Lucifer, and now Amara's grip. It seems that every time recently he and Sam have tried to make the case that they are due for a break, for something to finally go right, or at least not go wrong, it just has not gone well. Hunting it a hopeless enough job to embrace -- high risk, very little thanks or reward. It usually ends sad or bloody, as we have seen all too many times.

Sam: We'll catch a break on Cas. We have to. It's -- it's karma.
Dean: You know, karma's been kicking us in the teeth lately.
Sam: Yeah. So... let's kick it back.

Sam is trying to keep Dean's hopes alive in believing they can help Castiel, and figure out a way to stop Amara. So this particular case that comes their way is badly needed to help keep the idea of hope alive.

This was an interesting case. We met two new hunters that were easy to see certain common grounds between them as a hunting partnership and Sam and Dean's partnership. We have already seen how Sam and Dean cope with their many losses; usually hunting gives them a focus, something that lets them believe they can create a better outcome for others, even if not for themselves. Their hope isn't about going back to some kind of "normal life", although the idea of it hasn't departed so far that they can't understand the dream of it.

Dean: As far as Dad goes, I dream about Dad all the time.
Sam: You do?
Dean: 'Course I do. It's usually the same one, too. We're all in the car, I'm sitting in the driver's seat, and Dad's sitting shotgun. But there aren't any shotguns, and there's no monsters, no hunting. There's none of that. It's just, he's teaching me how to drive. And I'm not little like I was when he actually taught me how to drive. I'm sixteen and he's helping me get my learner's permit. Of course, you're in the back seat, just begging to take a turn. We pull up to the house -- the family house. I park in the driveway, and he looks over and he says, 'Perfect landing, Son.' ...I have that dream every couple of months. It's kinda comforting, actually.
Sam: I always dream about Mom. Usually the same kind of thing, though.
Dean: Normal life?
Sam: Yeah. Normal life. (11.04)

Normal life isn't something that either Winchester can go back to.

Sam: You don't... Ever want something more?
Dean: I'm sorry, have you met us? We're batting a whopping zero in domestic life, man. Goose eggs. (11.04)

How unique are Sam and Dean in this regard? How do other hunters manage their hopes for their own futures?

Cesar: I never had a brother or a sister, but I've seen it over and over, when someone loses someone when they're young. It never heals over.
Dean: No, it doesn't.
Cesar: And the insane thing is, how many hunters have you seen over the years get their revenge?
Dean: A few.
Cesar: Yeah. Me, too. And they are never fixed, are they?
Dean: No, I guess not. But you gotta help him get that revenge anyway.

Dean and Sam have met other hunters, some of whom got halfway out of the life. But there was always still a strand of connection to their old life. They couldn't un-know what they had seen and done. The more fortunate hunters found a way to establish some kind of civilian life for themselves, but there was always still a shotgun or sigil or some other sign of distance between them and "normal".

Not too long ago Sam and Dean ran into another hunter, Eileen, on their banshee hunt. Her outcome mirrored the typical hunter's.

Sam: So... How do you feel?
Eileen: It felt like... Just another kill. It didn't bring my parents back.
Sam: Nothing will. What now? Law school?
Eileen: No. This is my life. (11.11)

So where does hope fit into this picture for the future of any hunter? Are they all doomed to be permanently marked by their pasts, to the point that their losses define their future, rather than hope?

It's not just hunters who grapple with this question. Loss is something all humans face. Monsters give it an extra complication, but loss is a shared human reality. And hunters aren't the only ones who have trouble moving beyond it.

Sheriff Cochran: I couldn't find them. So that's on me. I never recovered from it.

This man was broken by his loss. He lost his daughter to the monsters, and he retreated from the world. Alive, but not really living a life.

Jesse: You son of a bitch. You knew the whole time! You knew where they were when everybody was suffering.
Sheriff Cochran: I was suffering, too! ... You think anybody would've believed me?! Monsters?
Jesse: You told me I was making it up! We could've told people together, found those things.
Sheriff Cochran: They were already dying. All the missing people were dead.
Jesse: No. You didn't wanna say that your kid was one of them, a monster, and that you... killed her... What did you do? What, did you just erase her from your life? Pretend that she just went away somewhere?
Sheriff Cochran: Yeah, better to bury it. All of it. We just let the townspeople think their loved ones had run off for a... big, bright life.

Sheriff Cochran thought he was making a decision for the best. The only way he could remotely cope was to lie. He believed he was giving hope to those who had lost their loved ones, giving them the idea of those missing people living a "big, bright life". He needed the hope of that lie as his buffer to remembering the truth. But it didn't stop him from shutting himself away from the world, shaping his future with the pain and guilt he wasn't able to let go of, because ultimately he knew it to be a false hope. He was one of those people who were never going to be fixed, no matter that the Chitters finally were stopped for good.

Jesse was profoundly affected by that lie. It turned him into a hunter needing acknowledgement of the truth of what had happened to his brother. His family was destroyed not only by the monster, but by the lie itself.

Jesse: Everybody in town, including my mom, thought some pervert had taken him. She was falling apart, crying. Why didn't I remember what the guy looked like? Why was I making up this lie?
Sam: She still live here?
Jesse: Moved as soon as she could. Still thinks I should've done something. Saved him. Everybody did.
Sam: They couldn't accept that your brother was taken by a monster, huh?

Some losses can't be fixed, some families can't be put back together.

Cesar and Jesse dared to hope for better future for themselves, eventually.

Dean: Well, you're awfully upbeat for a guy who spent half the night in a cave.
Cesar: That's because we had a deal. When we finished this hunt, if we caught 'em, we hang up our spurs.
Dean: Nice.
Jesse: Unless your hides need saving.
Dean: No. No, we're all set. So, uh, what's freedom look like?

They had a plan for their future beyond the hunt. Their hope was that they could see it to a reality. The odds were against them, a once every 27 years shot at taking out the Bissan, and even longer odds for Jesse to actually find his brother's remains and have some closure there.

And with help, they managed to beat the odds.

Cesar: It's time to start living.

It's not assured that they will actually succeed in getting out of the hunting life. As Cesar alread noted to Dean, even hunters who get their revenge don't heal over from their loss. But Jesse isn't alone; he has a partner who can help him, understand him, and work together to figure out a life shaped by hope, not the hurts from the past.

Taking it back to Dean and Sam, what is their hope?

Mildred: You wanna know the secret to living a long and happy life?
Dean: Actually, I do.
Mildred: Follow your heart. You do that, all the rest just figures itself out. (11.11)

Hunters aren't supposed to get a happily ever after. But Dean and Sam just got to witness a hunting pair that dares to hope.

Sam: Couldn't do it, huh?
Dean: No, didn't feel right.
Sam: Yeah. I know what you mean. Two hunters who make it to the finish line?
Dean: Yeah, you leave that alone.

Dean made the decision to not ask Cesar and Jesse for help in fighting Amara and saving Cas despite the fact that they might have been useful, because they provided help in a different way. They showed that hope can exist for a happy ending, even for hunters, despite the odds. They needed that boost after being kicked down in the hope department repeatedly.

There is no guarantee about the outcome, but they can still continue to move forward from a place of hope, not being shaped by only loss of their adoptive brother Castiel. Maybe they can beat the odds too and actually save him.


borgmama1of5 at 2016-05-09 02:57 (UTC) (Link)
I truly didn't expect Cesar and Jesse to both survive.
blackcat333_99 at 2016-05-09 23:23 (UTC) (Link)
I know, right? I know there were continuing details foreshadowing a less happy outcome awaiting Sam and Dean, but this was a badly needed win to remind all to not give up on hope, no matter how impossible it seems. And with the final countdown to the finale underway, this is probably the last little win to tuck away.
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