‘Eye of providence’ Transparent Sticker by Mominsminions
Proverbs 17:3 –> The crucible for silver, the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.
This proverb really gets to me when looking at it in the light of 15x05, but also when looking at how it relates itself to the series as a whole, because our boys are going through nothing short of a trial by fire, their whole world and sense of self is beginning to take flame and that sounds poetic af, but it’s also so fucking poignant that I can’t even.
Because isn’t this what their whole journey has been? And what it’s been about, too, meaning that the trial by fire serves an actual purpose, the get rid of the impurities (if you will) while the actual trial isn’t by fire, but lies truly in the aftermath, in the lessons and the learning curve: the heart stuff.
That aside, of course, applied to 15x05 it’s quite literally God testing their hearts - and what they’re really made of - by throwing them a proper curve ball in Lilith, not to mention this revealing the fact that he’s still a presence.
We open on Sam, who’s checking his phone to see if Cas has finally replied to all the concerned texts Sam has sent him (my heart leaped I loved it so much!) (of course Sam wouldn’t not reach out) (and amazing that Cas literally decided then and there to walk out the door and he just removed himself entirely) (also - poor Sam!) (he lost a friend!!) and Cas hasn’t gotten back to him.
Cut to the end of the episode and Sam is just hanging up from having an actual conversation with Cas. Sorry, this was me remembering this entirely wrong and not double-checking - it went straight to voicemail and is clearly stated as doing so, pls, ignore my ignorance!
There’s still a nice, subtle bookend here, and it still underscores the change we get from the opening scene to the closing: the brothers both believing they’re back to business as usual (with the difference of how now they’re actually holding the reins) vs. realising God isn’t gone and that the status quo is not something they can fall back on here.
Speaking of the status quo, the way things have always been, the saving people, hunting things, family business side to the brothers’ lives that is, as far as they’re concerned, the cornerstone of their identities… yeah, let’s speak of that for a bit, because if we look at the episode I believe the status quo, or perhaps the repeat patterns, is/are actually the answer to the question Dean finishes the episode with:
How do we fight God?
How To Fight God
This is basically speculation based in my meta reading of the episode so pinches of salt, loves, but it’s intriguing to me to think about what the rules of this world actually are, because this is GOD the CREATOR, right? Yeah.
How can you, the puppet, defeat your puppet master when your puppet master determines which of your strings are pulled at any given moment?
Well, firstly, I’m stuck on the exchange between Dean and Cas from 15x02:
Cas: You don’t think I’m angry? After what Chuck did? After what he took from me? He killed Jack. But that doesn’t mean it was all a lie. […] Even if we didn’t know that all of the challenges that we face were born of Chuck’s machinations, how would we describe it all? We’d call it life, because that’s precisely what life is. It’s an obstacle course. And maybe Chuck designed the obstacles, but we ran our own race, we made our own moves, and mostly we did well with that.
Dean: Did we? I’ll tell you what we do know - nothing about our lives is real. Everything that we’ve lost, everything that we are, is because of Chuck. So maybe you can stick your head back in the sand, maybe you can pretend that we actually had a choice… I can’t.
Cas: Dean. You asked what about all this is real – we are.
I mean technically Dean didn’t ask anything, he stated that nothing about their lives is real but alright I get that you want to break through, Cas, because this is Cas trying to make Dean understand that not everything has been pre-determined by Chuck.
If free will didn’t exist at all in the narrative, then there would be no room for any kind of stakes, emotional or otherwise.
If it didn’t come down to what choices each situation brought about and the lessons derived from the consequences of those choices, then the meaning of the character journeys would be completely nullified.
And these rules of the world we’re watching are most clearly demonstrated to us in the S14 season finale, when Dean makes that epic choice of not shooting Jack, effectively ripping up Chuck’s perfect ending and forcing him to go all mental deity on a power trip on all of their asses.
So Cas is clearly right in the above exchange, but Dean can’t hear it, and because Dean just refuses to listen, Cas sees no other choice but to leave in 15x03. Because all Cas can see is how Dean refuses to let go of old patterns of thinking, old hang ups and fears, and how Dean finds refuge in blaming an external source rather than gaining perspective, accepting his own level of responsibility (in any situation) and moving forward.
I’m very curious about the prayer and what level of exposition it will entail. Imagine it being an actual callback to the confession scene in S11, where the exposition of Dean’s internal struggles with his longing for more is so beautifully balanced. Anyway, digression.
What I’m getting at is that choices seem to play an enormous part here, and of course they should, because that’s one of the most prominent thematic threads the writers can pull on.
Our choices make us who we are.
It’s not what you are, but what you do.
No one can tell you who you are, you choose who to be.
And along these, all the times we’ve heard I didn’t have a choice. Often this has been true, when put in a situation that is about not only saving each other, but the world itself as well, but then those world-saving situations wouldn’t really have been brought about if Dean, that first time Sam died, hadn’t made the choice (echoing Mary) to sell his soul to save him, and, of course, none of the choices would’ve been necessary if Mary had let John die, but we know the world that would’ve brought about, so thank…… fate for bad choices.
Perhaps it’s time for good ones.
How do you fight God?
I think you fight him by breaking old patterns, and the only way you can break them is by recognising them for what they are and truly, definitively, moving out of them and into new ones.
Chuck represents the writer not keeping up with their own character’s progression, right? He’s not seeing what this world he’s created has actually become, without his influence. All he sees is what he wants it to be, rather than all that it is, and he believes in his own control to the extent of not adjusting the obstacles he’s throwing at the boys to their ever evolving view of themselves and what they want for themselves.
Which is why the plot point of Dean being seduced by Lilith wasn’t even hinted at until she stated, in dialogue, that apparently it wasn’t happening. Thanks to Dean’s progression away from who he was way back when, yeah? Not exactly the same, are you, Dean?
And which is why I believe the moment when Sam says–>
–> is quite possibly crucial, because Sam can see the pattern, he knows the grooves of it so well that he immediately feels something is off when they’re just handed the solution on a platter, and this hunch proves right, because they know how Chuck’s story works, innately, they’ve lived it for over a decade.
If they can catch up with this fact, if they can begin to use it to their advantage, that would be very cool. If they begin to go against their old mode of being, if they try to think outside of their own box (as it were), then not only is that a viable way of beating Chuck at his own game, it sets the stage for their final leg of character progression rather beautifully.
Because it forces them to grow wholly self-aware, to question their choices and weigh the pros and cons. Realisation City.
And how gorgeous then to have the setup be that to survive and have a healthy sense of control over their own lives, they must evolve away from their old ideas and ideals. *fingers crossed*
And then there’s Chuck as representative of the over-arching shadow, representative of all those things that the boys have battled throughout their journey, and if integration is the goal, then Chuck shouldn’t really be reaped by Billie, should he? I mean, him being reaped by a representative of strong, assertive femininity works on a symbolic level as well, but integration could mean that he simply has his power stripped.
I’d quite like that, to be honest. The way to fight God is to stop worshipping him, stop believing in what he represents, stop allowing his obstacles to be real obstacles and simply move out of the narrative he’s been telling and into a new one, where his chosen ending makes absolutely no sense. And if Jack returns there may be a player with enough power to actually tell God that his time as ruler of this particular universe is done, because they will fight him, now that they see him for what he truly is. Every step of the way.
Alright, lots of speculation here, but the thought of the brothers’ progression actually playing a role in how they can defeat Chuck makes me get all goosebump-y!
The werewolf brothers acted as a Chuck tool of foreshadowing for his chosen ending: one brother killing the other, but there’s a deeper psychological symbology in the werewolf brothers’ story, where one brother’s control and deceit made the other see no other choice but to kill him and then himself, because they were the same.
So looking at them as representative of the codependency, it’s actually the aspect of control and self-deceit that has to die, in both Sam and Dean, for the codependency to finally break. Sam leading the way (as per the water bottle scene at the start of the episode) and freeing them both in his process of breaking away from Dean.
And when Lilith says that she had to die in order to get what she wanted, it could be seen as a statement of that same symbolic subtext, and how the brothers’ progression is moving them away from who they have always been, into who they truly are and want to be: they have to kill off their past ideas and ideals, and embrace the truth of this if they’re going to be victorious in this fight.
We shall see, my loves! We shall see!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t say this, though, to a writer who has given us so much:
Thank you, Steve Yockey.