When I was a kid, my uncle would make ice cream when we went to visit. Not buy it from a store, make it from scratch.
This is how it went:
- Mix ingredients
- pour mixture into churn
- pack ice around the churn
- put rock salt on the ice to delay melting
- connect dasher to crank handle
- crank that sucker until the mixture is frozen
If you did any of those things wrong, or didn’t churn long enough, you got crappy ice cream, with ice crystals that you could feel or a thin, melty, softserve kind of result instead of smooth, solid ice cream.
The key to getting perfect ice cream was in the churning. You had to turn that crank until it just flat would not turn any more because the ice cream was so solid. My sister and I used to take turns sitting on a towel folded up on top of the churn to keep the thing from turning, and let me tell you, that was just as cold as it sounds like. But if we didn’t, the churn would just spin around in the ice and the ice cream wouldn’t get hard enough. And it ALWAYS took way longer than we wanted to wait.
Every so often, my uncle would take the lid off to check the consistency of the ice cream, and if it wasn’t ready, back on the top would go and back on top of the lid we would sit, until it was right.
And every time he checked it, we would beg him to just let us eat it already, it was ready, really, it was, come on, just give us our ice cream! But he always waited until that ice cream was just right, no matter how impatient we were.
Was it ice cream baiting for him to keep going even though we were ready for that ice cream RIGHT NOW OMG? And we would have been satisfied with a sub-par product?
No. It was not.
And neither is it queerbaiting for Show to keep not giving us an, “I love you,” or a kiss, for Show to keep trying to make Destiel as solid as it can possibly be before they do anything like that.
This season, Show has been laying groundwork, doing things to prepare the Casual Viewer for Destiel, planting suggestions that heaven is okay with homosexual relationships, or that Dean is figuring out how he feels about Cas, or that a human and a supernatural being can actually fall in love without the world ending.
Show is doing its best to make sure that when we finally do get blatant canon confirmation of Destiel, the reaction of the Casual Viewer will be, “Well, it’s about damn time!” instead of, “Aaaaaah! No Homo!”
When the show is finally over, and Show itself (not somebody above Carver’s pay grade) has decided not to give us blatantly canon Destiel, THEN you can cry queerbaiting. That’s fair, and I’ll bitch about it just as loudly as anybody.
But disagreement about whether the plotline is ready to go unmistakably textual does not equal queerbaiting. We’re not the one who gets to say the ice cream is done enough. Our job is to sit on top of the churn until it is.
I’m sorry… remind me who Cupid’s next target was again?
My thoughts are that you are drawing a false dichotomy, and what I hope you don’t realize is a cruel one.
It doesn’t matter how someone interpreted the content last night in terms of Destiel, their hurt would not be coming from that. No, it’s not reasonable to the narrative that it would happen RIGHT NOW. But that’s not why they’re pushing, any more than it’s why so many young, not-really-ready same sex couples go rushing to the courthouse the moment each state passes marriage equality and so many others from neighboring states elope.
Imagine you have two kids, both of whom adore chocolate cake. But one has been raised in an average upper-middle class home where food has never been lacking…like West Collins. Now imagine that the other child has known only terrible, life-endangering poverty and hunger that has left them horribly malnourished. Both children are being fed proper meals. Both are being told they must eat small bites and wait for dessert, which while they cannot SEE, they can clearly SMELL.
For both children, this is equally necessary and reasonable. If they bolt their food, they will make themselves sick. If they eat the sweets at the beginning of the meal, they will have less room for the more nutrient-dense food they really need. But what is a minor annoyance for little West and earns only one of the famous Collins family eye-rolls would be abject torture for the starved child, and no decent person would mock them for screaming, sobbing, begging, and being completely certain that if they didn’t eat it RIGHT NOW, it would vanish.
Because they’re not delusional. They see damned clearly, and they hear damned clearly. They see and hear every advertisement, every story, every movie, every song saying love love love. Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love…then comes marriage, then the suburbs and the baby carriage. But then they’re told that only counts for certain kinds of love - cishet love - and they hear that too. They hear that anything else is less. A fetish, a choice, a perversion, a birth defect, a sin, a flaw, a goddamned criminal act. They hear it. They see it. Loud and clear. They are anything but delusional. And THAT is where their hurt is coming from.
Yes, Destiel shippers are being fed small bites and told to wait for dessert. Yes, there’s good reason for that. No, it doesn’t mean they want to hurt anyone. And yes, some of them - mostly the privileged kids like me - are remaining calm about that. But others - particularly the ones most grievously starved for love-acceptance - are kind of hysterical and struggling with panic attacks every time there’s even the slightest sign the food might be taken, and they are honestly saying that if after all this, it still gets snatched away or turns out to be nothing but a chocolate-scented candle burning in the other room, they will be tremendously devastated and it would be an act of untenable cruelty.
My thoughts are don’t you fucking dare mock them for that.
1. This was the end of the first act of a story, not a self-contained story. Seriously. I’ve talked about it before, and they’ve done exactly what I said they needed to do in putting all the pieces on the board and having them claim themselves…but that also means we’re moving into act two. Aka, the Act Where It All Goes To Shit. So please, please, please, do not start setting yourself up emotionally that things are going to be resolved as soon as the show starts up again. This was a season of opening doors, of starting things, not of finishing or answering them. And that’s ok. That’s a GOOD thing. If they’d tried to wrap it up at the last minute, I’d be sobbing, because it would mean that they were trying to do the same damned thing Gamble did in playing one season at a time extensionary A arcs. But they didn’t. And they didn’t in a way that seriously confirms we have a fucking storyshape again.
2. We have endgames. All three main characters confirmed their endgames during the final trilogy. Sam is going to be getting the white picket fence, the girl, and the life as a Man of Letters in support of Hunting (and maybe sometimes taking the odd case for good ol’ times sake) but no longer a road monkey. Dean will continue to be a hunter, but with emphasis on the Saving People, not the Killing Things, and deliberately not on any kind of Great Crusade To Avenge squatdiddly, he will not do so alone, and though it will not be as he did it before as an extension of his brother and/or father, it will be with Sam’s blessing and his parents’ true legacy. Castiel will continue as a warrior of God, Saving People and Smiting Things, with an emphasis on the Saving People, he will not do so alone, and though it will not be as he did it before as an extension of Heaven and/or his Father, it will be with their blessing. Two of these line up so fucking tightly that I’m willing to hardcore call that the endgame WILL be this
regardless of whether they follow through with this.
3. We have All The Things…so we’re fucked. We have possession of BOTH the angel and demon tablets AND the Prophet to read them AND Charlie, who gives us Bobby-levels of resources and access in the human world. Garth and Linda are question marks, and we have an inside vamp in Purgatory, and a witch, a nest of baby hunters, a fairie, and a werewolf out there who owe us favors. PLUS the Batcave and all the shit in there AND Castiel, whom even depowered is one motherFUCKER of a warrior. Now, given what I’ve already said about story shapes and three-act plays, given that the last time we were anywhere NEAR this strong was Season 5 (when we still weren’t even close), and we’re basically guaranteed that 9 is going to be some knock you back on your heels holy fuckbiscuits. You don’t hang a gun you’re not going to need to fire. And when the gun you’ve hung looks like this?
You ain’t hunting these.
4. The angels. It’s not necessarily going to be a game-changer on the world seeing the Supernatural. They’ve already established that this is a universe where the public can forget that the brothers have been on the Most Wanted list a half dozen times, that Godstiel happened, and that there were huge clouds of demons coming in to major cities, among other things. And I think they’ll assimilate about as well as the Leviathan did. The bigger question, to me, given the nature of Angels, is whom now will they serve?
5. Hanging chads. Yes, I’m frustrated that they still didn’t answer about the Amelia thing, the Grand Canyon, the double casting, or any of those things. But they’re still not plot holes…because TPTB have acknowledged them and said that we need to wait and see about it. Which means that there’s shit there on the A plot, we’re just not to it yet. They admitted to dropping Dean/Anna because it tanked as well as wanting to do stuff they never got around to, like going back to the Leviathan or Alpha Vamp, so I’m willing to believe them when they say that these things are on purpose and mean something. And yeah, I do think they meant to get there before the end of the season, but then Charlie Bradbury wound up 6,000% more popular than anyone had expected in 8.11 and they had to give Felicia a serious acting test and make decisions FAST about whether they wanted to make her recurring for 9, and they basically lost a whole episode in a hugely key part of the arc. Long run, they made it work, but shit had to get bumped. So I’m expecting a lot of “OOOOOH” moments in early 9, unless they’ve decided to spread it out or move the reveal, which I won’t be able to call until I at least see 9.01.
6. Down, not out. Abaddon, Crowley, Metatron, and Naomi. All four are down - Crowley partially humanized (but it never finished), Abaddon holy-molotoved (but smoked out at the last second) and Naomi shived in the head and probably fallen (but no wing scorches and if she was unconscious when the angels fell, that might affect things), Metatron revealed and holed up in Heaven with no allies. They would not have given THAT much effort to building up Abaddon and Naomi only to ditch them that easily…especially not a team that has explicitly criticised that happening to Eve and Dick Roman, and not without introducing some Bigger Bad the way they did when they ganked Lilith and Ruby in favor of Lucifer. They HAD to hit the pause button on all the major antagonists if they were going to allow Cas, Dean, and Sam the necessary moments of complete vulnerability to take such huge transitional steps, but now that those steps are taken, they’ll get exactly as much room as they NEED and not nearly as much as they’d LIKE before at least one of the big bads resurfaces. And by leaving them all in a state of pause that is also a state of question mark and all in antagonism with each other, that gives the widest possible combination of variables for their re-emergence.
7. Carver loses a cookie. The trans*/drag joke was absolutely unacceptable. There was no reason for it, there was no justification for it, it was a cheap laugh at the expense of already marginalized people, it played to things that SPN usually roundly rejects, and Carver should be ashamed of himself. Yes, it was hurtful and people have a right to be hurt, but no, it doesn’t make him a monster or mean he hates trans* people or that the show is evil and wants all queers to die in fires. It means he took a cheap shot for a cheap laugh in a place that the culture makes it easy for a cishet dude to not even think about when he really should, and I’m honestly planning to write him from the perspective of “you’re better than that and should apologize.”
8. And wins one back that’s at least as big. Weirdly, for all that I absolutely hold by everything above? The stuff that came after with Cupid had more meaning to me because of it. Not because of the line itself - that was still an inexcusible throw-away that did nothing to enhance what came after - but because it suggested strongly that Carver was being genuine in what he was trying to say with the gay couple. This isn’t someone savvily trying to “cater to the LGBT demographic.” This is someone who genuinely thinks that Love is Love and Genitals Don’t Matter and wants to Say Things About That Because Important, but is still outside the queer loop enough to not realize that “chix with dix” jokes are Not Funny (though ignorant stupid is so much easier to fix than hateful stupid). Which also means that there’s way, way, way less likelihood that Destiel is queerbaiting. And yes, I also love how they totally subverted the stereotype of what Gay Should Look Like, how they had Dean react in a way that suggested he was more “well I’ll be damned, that’s my bad for not seeing it as a possibility” than “OMG GAY WTF?”, and for the tidy trick of in retrospect having what seemed like a Socially Awkward Cas Is Socially Awkward gag turn out to actually be another example of Cas being surprisingly perceptive…and having no problem either recognizing or being seen as queer.
9. The brothers…oh, Jesus, the brothers. They DID close the gates of Hell. Not the trivial ones that let demons in or out. Demons they can handle…six before breakfast on a bad day. The one they closed last night was the hellgate which opened in that nursery in Lawrence 30 years ago. Azazel started the pattern where Sammy was the Tainted Prince. Everything - Stanford, the Psychic Children, the Crossroads Deal, Ruby, Lucifer, ALL of it - was spiraled off of that. Last night closed the spiral. Dean finished the process of purging himself of John - the original Righteous Man and Broken Caregiver he had been crafted to replicate - that he had begun in Purgatory, abnegating the last and deepest of John’s influence by recognizing that he had BECOME the bad father who could never be pleased and renouncing that and seeking forgiveness. Sam finished the process of cleansing himself with a complete confession without justifications and a willingness to both sacrifice himself and stand up for himself in his honesty with Dean. They have debrided the festering wounds in their relationship down to the healthy tissue and in finally breaking their long-established patterns and truly forgiving both themselves and each other - which has NEVER happened before - they have completed their trials. Azazel, Alastair, Ruby, Lilith, Crowley, Lucifer…they hold no power over the Winchesters any more. In an Akedah act rather than a Martyrdom, the Word of the Prophet remained true; Sam gave himself to all three trials and closed hell.
10. Cas chose Heaven, and that’s awesome for Destiel. One of the best pieces of advice that I should have listened to was to never get involved with someone who will cheat on their current partner to be with you. If they can do it to them - rather than just break up with them if they’re so unhappy or try to fix it if they’re not - then they can and will likely as not some day do it to you. Heaven has been Cas’ family for hundreds of millions of years. If he’s willing to walk out on them after less than four years of everything going to shit…scaled to Cas’ lifespan against a human’s, that’s barely a few minutes at most. Maybe a few hours if you go back 20-200K years or so to Lucifer. It was one thing when he was choosing stopping the apocalypse and that meant choosing the Winchesters. That was still humanity first…his actual prime directive, as even Naomi finally admitted. But this season, even though it would have been so much easier, even though he was in love with someone else, he didn’t “cheat.” He chose to “go to therapy” and see if the relationship could be saved. That blew up in his face to say the least, but it also resulted in Heaven agreeing that it’s ok that he’s different and they’re willing to let him be that. (Not to mention that extradiegetically, they can finally give Cas some screen time now)
11. …and Dean recognized that. God, it hurt him, but there was something completely new in that bar scene between them, and he was mourning it maturely and in a genuine “if you love something, let it go” way rather than self-flagellation or shoving it away and spitting on it. Dean has come far enough in himself that he no longer saw of course you’re leaving, I’m not good enough for you and everyone leaves. He saw of course you’re leaving, because this is your duty in a way that doesn’t exclude loving me or having a damned thing to do with that, it overrides it. When the chips are down, that we’re both soldiers comes first - hell, it’s half of why I love you and why we get each other - and I finally get that this sucks for both of us, but I guess it never could have worked…not because I’m not worth it or you’re not worth it or someone doesn’t love enough, but because you’re kind of extremely not my species and we’re both already married. Me to Sammy and Hunting, you to Heaven. (And I would also point out, you can’t start a conversation about the end of a thing without defacto acknowledging that there is, in fact, a thing)
12. And we’re in a whole new ballgame. Because now Heaven no longer has that disastrous toxic fuckthing with Cas…but has opened a door to something that might work and right now needs him. Sam no longer has that disastrous toxic fuckthing with Dean…but has opened a door to something that might work and right now needs him. And now Cas and Dean are equals…in more than being the same species, though they’re that, too, and just the capacity to feel different things and being in full bodily ownership might do a lot. Now they are each their own person and have taken ownership of their own identity and accepted what they are, that they do not have to and should not throw that away In The Name Of Love, and that you don’t prove love by hurting yourself in the other person’s name or having to cut off everyone else that matters to you. They’ve done everything I said they needed to do to have a healthy relationship including the back and forth hurty dance. And they’re about ten episodes away from a point where they have to pull out their biggest possible guns to earn the last renewal…which I think will be Destiel.
But new ballgame or not, I’ve been batting a good average so far.
The problem wasn’t the pain of every day life, nor even the fact that Cas could no longer heal himself; if anything, he seemed to find these things fascinating (Dean had even walked in on him holding a kitchen timer and staring at a paper cut, measuring the amount of time it took for human wounds to heal). No, the biggest problems were the little things. For one, being so used to disappearing whenever he felt like it, Cas had no idea how to finish an entire conversation. He would simply stop in the middle and refuse to say anything more, no matter the amount of coaxing (or in Dean’s case, cursing). Having never had an internal clock, he ignored all signs of hunger and exhaustion, which meant he would go about his business until he quite literally ran out of energy and passed out wherever he was. Dean was starting to get used to being in the middle of dinner or lying in bed listening to Good Times Bad Times and just hearing, faint but familiar, the telltale crashing sound of Cas falling down the stairs or keeling over in the library.
Teaching Cas these things- eating, sleeping, and talking- were more Sam’s area; for Dean, it was the tasks of driving and, most dangeorus of all, shooting.
I have heard this fight between couples before.
“Do you even know what you’re sorry for?” *huffy glare*
“How about you’re sorry for going out to like 80 Biggersons and not taking me, hm? Or maybe you’re sorry for stealing my new book and not letting me read it? What about you’re sorry for when I said I love you and you didn’t say it back? HOW ABOUT THOSE THINGS?”
“Yes, those things. All those things.”
“Ugh, it is *so* clear to me that you just want back into this bed and that is not happening. Just get out of here. But wait, take the heating pad and put it on your stomach.”
“No way, I don’t want to hear it.”
*an hour later*
“I need to buy a present so I can get back into my bed.”
That’s a very interesting topic because it’s one that really upsets a lot of people in one way or another. I probably shouldn’t talk about it - I shouldn’t talk about it. In fact, that should probably be the right answer. I shouldn’t talk about it. No comment? Plead the fifth?
There is clearly a very, very profound bond between the two. And I will leave it to you to read into that what you will, because I don’t want to be accused of queerbaiting or any of these other things that I am not doing.
Doing something like this, you have the opportunity to reach a lot of people, and that’s a really gratifying and lovely experience. You also have the opportunity to very easily piss off a lot of people. That can be lovely as well. But I sometimes have to resist the temptation to engage, like, “Hold on you fuckers, that’s not - “
I did a convention in Seattle. I don’t know what it was I said or what transpired, I don’t know what it was. But people got upset and I feel like it was really unfair, what was said.
First of all, I think the term “queerbaiting” is not accurate. It pissed me off, because I feel like a real champion of that community with all those letters [LGBTQA] - you know, I’ve officiated gay weddings. Also, I don’t know understand what the term means.
At the same time, it’s imbued with a lot of meaning in a lot of ways and there are a million different interpretations open. I hesitate to call it an artform, but it is one, especially when Ben [Edlund] is writing. It’s a lot of things. It’s deep and meaningful.
Is it love? Probably. What does that mean? It’s a million different things. At the very least, it’s a complex relationship. One of them is a celestial wavelength of intent, which is obviously a difficult kind of being to have a relationship with. “Yeah, you know, my boyfriend, he’s great, but he’s a celestial wavelength of intent. So a lot of times, when he sleeps over, I don’t know what’s going on. Because he’s there and then he’s not there and then he’s back again and then he’s in my head, literally in my head”
So yeah, it’s a very intense relationship. Let’s leave it at that. What is that? Am I a politician? They love each other, but it’s purely sexual."
Misha Collins on the relationship between Dean and Castiel, queerbaiting, LGBT+ rights, and the difficulties of dating angels
Misha Collins AKA one Class A human being.
A sort of companion piece to Anna’s drabble.
He’ll be speechless at first. Eyes full of wonder like they usually are when he looks at you, like this isn’t the fourth or fifth time you both haven’t spent the night sleeping. You joke over a beer that usually once is enough when it comes to you, but he’s still an angel, technically, and maybe that should account for some things.
He’ll be speechless, but you’ll tease him and he won’t like it. You’ll ask him what he wants and he’ll roll his eyes and knead his fingers into your sides impatiently. He’ll tell you to get on with it, tell you that his wants leave little to the imagination when you’re both naked and touching and the door to your shared room is locked. He’ll joke your demeaning him, that he’s much bigger and much older than you are and not fit for begging. You’ll ask him again and laugh when he tries to bite your lip halfway through your kiss.
“I want-” he’ll submit, trembling, when your hand isn’t enough. You’ve developed a knack for this. You’ve always had beginner’s luck. You’ve always been good at starting off on the right foot, on being a natural with guns and flirting and whiskey. You’ll be much better at loving than you ever were at firing rounds at monsters that didn’t kill your mom. It’ll surprise you. It will every time he reaches in to kiss you when you wake up in the mornings.
“What do you want, sweetheart?” you’ll ask, though you answer the question with your hands. You touch him more. You wipe your palm across his forehead, brush away the sweat. You clamp your mouth down to the scruffy shadow of his neck and kiss him there until it sounds. “Just tell me what you want, babe, just tell me-“
“You,” he’ll breath out. “You, I want- I need you.”
It’ll make the pace of your advances hiccup, because the last time those words were uttered, your voice was hoarse and your prayers were mumbled and you could still remember how the blood tasted on your tongue not long before that. And he’ll say it like an anthem then, until he’s run out of things to say, until you rob him of breath. He’ll draw it until the words run over and spill at the edges, until all he can manage is the high incantation of ‘I’ or the long prolong of ‘you’ that turns into a very low and very awesome rumble of ‘ohhh.’
He won’t need you like he needs food. He won’t need you like he needs a cat to keep him company or the occasional privilege of the front seat. He won’t need you like he’ll need your words when he can’t imitate Vincent D’Onofrio well enough to pull off a successful interrogation.
He’ll need you like you need him, present and honest and there. He’ll need you like he needed the tablet in his hands, like instinct. He’ll need you like he needed your prayers the whole bus ride through, like how he needed to reply to you, like how he swore this would be the last time your call for him came unanswered.
He’ll need you like he needs your hands, and the way you grab the bony curves of his hips. The way you’ll clamp your mouth over his when he’s being too loud for your brother’s sanity. He’ll need you the way he needs to be worshipped, holy being as he is- without request, saying he’d rather kiss the scars and freckles on your skin because you’re so much purer, so much better, than the scorched mess that is him, but he’ll need you. He’ll need you like the compliments, like the shared clothing, like the trunk of your Impala that still holds his coat and his tie on the growing days when he’s comfortable enough to not wear them.
He’ll need it all when he gasps and holds his breath and unravels against your chest. When his eyes close and he rests his head against your shoulder, giving it a squeeze, whimpering into your ear. He’ll need you, and you’ll be there, and you’ll slouch over him when you’re out for the count. You’ll close your eyes and you’ll listen to the soft song of his returning breath. Someday, you’ll hum along perfectly.
He’ll need you, and you’ll be there. But you probably won’t stop asking- asking him what he needs. Not because you doubt it, though sometimes you will. You’re made like that, formed to the insufferable habit of demeaning self-worth. You won’t stop asking because he won’t stop saying it, he won’t stop promising it.
And that’ll be okay with you.
He’ll kiss you with soft longing, whisper thank you’s into your hair, peck along the bridge of your nose from where he sits on your lap, arms around you.
He’ll need you and you’ll be there. You’ll need him, too. You always have. You always will. You’ll tell him so.
Dean pushes Sam back away and points at the Impala. “Move ‘er to the side of the road.” When Sam hesitates, half-way to Castiel’s side, Dean crouches down and begins hauling Cas up himself. “GO,” he demands.
He pulls Cas’s right arm over his shoulders and Cas manages to…
Maybe instead of fighting about whether Jensen and/or Misha should or shouldn’t and did or didn’t ban people from asking questions about Destiel and Dean’s orientation, how about I turn it around on y’all.
What should they have said if they had answered?
Your answers must be given with no more than 15 seconds consideration (but actually, if you pause more than 5, you’re equivocating and it’s rehearsed and you’re probably lying and regurgitating PR). No re-phrasing. Aim for 30 seconds to 3 minutes spoken. More than that, and you’ll anger people for taking too long. Less than that, and you’ll anger people for being dismissive. Assume that all questions are politely asked and appropriately phrased. Let’s assume no one in any way explicitly or implicitly mentions porn or confusing fandom terms. Let’s assume it’s the first time anyone today has mentioned this.
Your first question: what can you tell us about Dean’s feelings for Cas/Cas’ feelings for Dean/their relationship/where you see their relationship progressing/where you would like to see it progress?
BUT WAIT! There are two more episodes yet to air in which the nature of Dean and Cas’ relationship and specifically how much they can trust one another and with whom they will choose to ally and how will be massive plot points! Your answer must not be snark, misdirection, intentionally vague, answering with another question, or a “cop out” and must give no hint, implicit or explicit, towards what any of those choices or feelings might be, must not be viewable in as any way homophobic, and cannot be anything that has ever been answered on this topic before…and if you say any version of “well, there are feelings there, they’ve been through a lot together, but what those feelings are is complicated and can go several different ways, one of which is certainly romantic and we know many people want to see but others that are not” then you fail and are a queerbaiting asshole shooting down the ship forever.
Or maybe we should skip the Destiel question all together. After all, the important one is about Dean’s orientation, right? That’s the one that really needs to be answered, otherwise the show doesn’t care at all about its queer fanbase.
So lets pretend for a moment that we can get any ten people - much less any several hundred, queer or straight - together and have 100% agreement on what the word “bisexual” actually specifically means that won’t descend into a fight about terminology and spectra and Kinsey scales and labels and gender identity and wavelengths of intent and erasure. Let’s pretend that we can be guaranteed that Jensen’s idea of bisexuality is exactly the same as yours…or, even better, that we avoid the issue all together and phrase it as utterly neutrally as possible; something like Have you ever at any point during the show portrayed Dean as attracted romantically or sexually to a person presenting as male?
Should be easy to answer, right?
Except just remember, if you say something evasive or that’s any form of “I think you could read a lot of scenes a number of ways”, then you’re a fencesitting bi-erasing homophobic cocknugget.
If you say something that is or could be read as any form of no, you’re pissing hot horsesweat in the faces of everyone who has ever written you and said how much it matters to them that they have the option of reading Dean as queer AND you’ve implicitly shot down Destiel forever (guaranteeing that it’s going to be fandom-seen as your fault if it doesn’t happen and you’ll be a hateful liar who broke fan hearts if it does) AND deflated a lot of air from the tires of the “WTF is going on between Dean and Cas what even are they to each other and how much can they trust each other?” that the show has been building towards the end of this season and arguably for 4 years now.
If you say something that is or could be read as any form of yes whatsoever, you’d better be prepared to go back to your room and find a voicemail from your bosses at the CW saying some form of “we need to talk.” Because no matter how much “my opinion” and “I feel” and “I made the personal decision” and “I like to think of it” you caged with, what just popped up on Perez Hilton and AfterElton in big, bold, unplanned, unauthorized, this-is-not-how-they-wanted-to-use-this-story-and-PR-and-he’s-taken-any-suspense-or-drama-out-of-an-in-canon-story-arc-about-it grenade letters is that you just fucking outed Dean.
And of course, anything you’ve ever said in the past is also off-limits, because now you’re being intentionally obtuse because you hate gay people. And God forbid you say anything in precise phrasing that might not be flawlessly PC to a group of people who use language about gender and sexuality that is only understood as the parlance in certain circles of queer academia and a subsection of a few blogging websites but cannot themselves agree on precisely what is and isn’t ok.
If you’ve come up with answers that meet all of these specifications, please send them to Jensen Ackles and/or Misha Collins. I’m sure they’ll be grateful.
Or, you know, you could say that there are approximately 9,452,666 other things going on with this cast and this season and these characters and just say that you’ve answered those other questions literally scores of times the only ways you’re able and that this is now not only a dead horse, it’s a dead horse that’s upsetting people more and more every time it’s flogged. So please, let’s talk about something else.
At this point, I don’t see Destiel as “Shipping topic” anymore, but a legitimate story line between Dean and Castiel.
So it’s natural that Misha would give a serious answer despite not confirming or denying anything, because it will be a spoiler to the story.
Am I just too optimistic?
I don’t know
I agree. It has become a matter of plot and characterization based on acting choices, writing choices and directing choices. The story is being told in a manner that suggests a possible romantic interest. Asking questions based on that is not wrong. They have to be aware of this, which makes me believe that the evasion is because they were told to avoid spoilers.
My guess is that Jensen and Misha could possibly find questions uncomfortable if they know they can’t answer them right now. Misha’s answer was perfect. He said nothing, yet still answered.
Jensen seems to talk himself into trouble when the subject comes up. It seems that the fans twist everything he says. The ‘unmanly’ statement is the best example. I completely understood what he meant, yet there was a ton of wank about it.
Basically, Misha is the better politician and for some reason, gets forgiven a lot quicker than Jensen does. Misha says the wrong thing and we laugh it off, but Jensen gets hate for it. Personally, I don’t blame him for not wanting to try to answer them.
I’ve gotten a couple asks along the lines of “destiel feels flat and abandoned right now and I’m worried it’ll never be canon!” and “please tell destiel shippers not to get their hopes up for the season finale because they might be crushed!” I’ve also seen a lot of the wank from various quarters on my dash (not limited to the destiel/deancas quarter, mind!). My initial reaction was to go offline for a while and read a book, which I did, and it was great (you guys should try it when you’re stressed). I also got to thinking how to answer some of these questions.
Just to add to this, making Destiel canon (specifically via a kiss or a declaration) at the end of this season would not necessarily be a good thing. TPTB have so far only laid down the groundwork to acknowledge the romantic aspects to their relationship, meaning that casual viewers- who composite the majority of the audience- are only now beginning to see it. The subtext will continue to make the move into text, but slowly, easing the casual viewers into it until everyone, not just shippers in fandom, are screaming “Just kiss already!” at their screens (homophobic viewers stewing in denial aside, because they won’t see it even if we get a full on sex scene). If Dean and Cas get together before then, it will be too soon. The subtext to text transition has moved extraordinarily far this season, but it’s not yet reached the point where Dean and Cas can just get together- hell, I’m not even sure they will get together in the technical sense, given that Supernatural is a television show and they need to keep their audiences interested, which means drama piled on top of more drama with a dash of drama just to spice things up. But I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: what we will get, unless some asshole network exec butts in and fucks with all this fine buildup the writers have been creating, is an acknowledgement of the romantic undercurrent of the relationship- not as a joke or a hat tip to the fandom, but as a serious development in the plot. Subtext will become text, and Destiel will officially become a will-they-won’t-they relationship.
These last two episodes are crucial, definitely, but they aren’t the last word on the subject. And honestly, as important as this ship is to so many people, as important as it is for LGBTQ representation in the media, and as important as it is for the development of these two characters, I for one would rather see it done right, rather than just thrown in there because a notoriously rabid fanbase is demanding it.
i thank the blogs i follow once again
and a look back, and forward, on the canonization thereof
Part 6 of 6 in a collection and analysis of the different parts of the Dean/Cas love narrative.
In this installment: thoughts on queerbaiting, episodes 18 and 19 and their place in the love narrative, and predictions for what should come next.
For links to all six parts, click here. Thanks for playing, guys!
A wonderful conclusion to a wonderful series. A must-read.