An analysis of 9.22 “Stairway to Heaven” Preview Clip

This scene opens with a wonderful shot of Sam asleep and it’s very cute and sweet and it’s just reminding us that Sam is still human. The way he’s lying also shows him as vulnerable, kind of snuggled up like a baby (which he still might be from Dean’s perspective), and he’s still in his jeans meaning he obviously just passed out on the bed as soon as he got in. He’s frickin’ exhausted basically which creates even more sympathy for him in this scene.

So, Dean wants to wake him up to go hunting and he decides to use music on his phone to do so. I found this to be the most interesting piece of the scene. It really encaptures Sam and Dean’s relationship right now.

Back in the day, when Sam and Dean were still close brothers, Dean would have physically nudged Sam to wake him up, if he would have woken him up at all! Sam looked like he was comfy there but clearly Dean only cares about working at the moment. Imagine a Season 1 Dean, where Sam was still some what of a big child: Dean would have gently and affectionately woken him up, almost reluctantly, like trying to soften the blow of their jobs interfering with Sam’s everyday life.

Dean waking Sam up from a distance perfectly shows the gap in their broken relationship and Dean’s detached mood ever since the Mark of Cain made an appearance. This Dean is becoming uncaring and reserved.

Music has been used throughout Supernatural to show Dean in times of emotion (the “Yellow Fever“s Eye of the Tiger being one of my favourites.) This subtle link to the old Dean is not only comic but shows us Dean’s complete deterioration from when he passionately loved his songs, shown in “Captives” in which he turns to music because he is alone and isolated from his brother. Right now, he is just using this music as a tool and a distraction. A barrier separating him and Sam.

tumblr_inline_n66qouVL5N1rcajj9Dean getting lost in his music in 9.14 “Captives”

So, Sam pulls a gun on Dean to which both the audience and Dean praise his “nice reflexes.” Personally, I loved this, it’s beautiful. Sam has been through so much that he has grown as a person and is stronger and more vigilant, more like his older brother.

The fact that he pulls a gun on Dean could easily be foreshadowing something. Sam woke suddenly, expecting to have to shoot something they hunt: a paranormal monster. Instead, he finds his own flesh and blood. It just shows Dean’s increasing lack of humanity and normalcy. Sam may even have had the gun ready because he has noticed this slow change in Dean and wants to be prepared for anything.

Sure, affection is still there. The comic lines from Dean “better hair” just makes me miss the good, old days and Sam’s “I could have shot you” indicates a lot of care, despite his proposal of not being brothers. Sam obviously does not want to shoot his brother but may be faced with the challenge if Dean’s darkness overcomes him.

Sam seems to be concerned for Dean as he also asks why he isn’t sleeping. Dean is apparently “not tired” indicating that there is definitely something wrong. The lazy Dean we know and love would jump at the chance to hit the pillow for a couple of hours despite his high work ethic. Dean throws Sam some shoes, to which he throws them back to the floor, showing even more of the conflict and tension between them. Too bad Dean had already left the room before Sam could start a macho shoe fight.

Originally Written: May 9th 2014

About Evie

Writer + Blogger + TV/Film Lover
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