Dean's New Burden

Dean accepted the mark of Cain so that he could find the First Blade and kill Abaddon. Does this mean that Dean will have his own story this season?

Dean gets his own storyline in Supernatural

In the Supernatural episode "First Born," Dean met Cain (yes that Cain, as in Cain and Abel) and the show stepped off into a new bit of mythology. Putting a twist on the biblical tale, Supernatural's version had Cain striking a deal with Lucifer to save his brother Abel from going to hell. Cain traded his soul in hell for Abel's soul in heaven and, though Lucifer agreed, the deal came with one caveat: Cain had to be the one to kill his brother and send him to heaven.

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Anyone who has watched Supernatural for any length of time could draw the lines of similarity between the show's version of Cain and Abel and the Winchesters. But even knowing what Cain was forced to do to his brother, Dean didn't hesitate to accept Cain's mark so that he could wield the First Blade and (hopefully) kill Abaddon.

And with the meeting of flesh and the burning of skin, Dean went into a realm that fans have been clamoring for for a long time: His very own storyline.

Last summer, I wrote about five things that Dean could do in Season 9 and one of the things I hoped for was the older Winchester getting his own story. I said it then, but it bears repeating now — I am not, in any way, shape or form, a Sam hater. To prove that, I even wrote about five things Sam could do in Season 9. I think it's awesome that Sam gets some amazing story lines. I just wish that sometimes Dean would get some of his own. Stories that don't necessarily wrap around his brother, such as trading his soul for him, worrying about him or taking care of him.

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Which is why I actually squealed with joy when Dean took the mark from Cain and accepted the consequences that came with it.

Now, I'm not an idiot, I am fully aware that Dean accepting that mark could mean that he will have to choose between saving the world and saving Sam. Or that he'll have to trade his soul for Sam's. Or any of another countless acts that lead right back to Sam. But for now, Dean is doing something that is wholly based on trying to kill Abaddon and save the world (again). He did it without his brother's knowledge or consent which, to me, totally qualifies it as his own story.

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What will happen from here on out, I don't know, but for now I will do a Snoopy dance of joy at the prospect of seeing Dean's new story carried out.

What do you think of Dean's new storyline on Supernatural?

Image courtesy of CW

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Comments on "Yay! Supernatural finally gives Dean his own storyline"

Greg February 07, 2014 | 2:58 AM

@mark - gadreel was imprisoned in heaven, not hell. They were pretty clear on that in the eps.

mark February 05, 2014 | 10:48 AM

If every angel was set free from heaven and from the chains in hell (Gadreel) then why not lucifer and Michael in the cage? what if the spinoff is a solo show with just Dean because Sam still becomes the devil?its a good set up for Sam saying yes since he already has had an angel and a demon in him, now with the tatoo removed and dean with his mark of cain, and killing brother mojo

angel64 January 28, 2014 | 5:08 PM

@Finally- Sadly, not everyone is pleased about this turn of events. Some are angry that the story of Cain was twisted to make him look more sympathetic, as if somehow it softens Dean's actions this season or somehow slights Sam. This is really the first site I've come across that gives Dean as much love as Sam. So many other sites I've read how Dean is always made out to be the big hero and somehow Sam is trashed by SPN. I am puzzled by that, as to me, SPN as always painted SAM out to be the special one, the smart one, the chosen one, and the one who was able to find the darkside and save the world, while Dean's the one who kept screwing up and whose onlt real purpose was to live for Sam. I always thought that BOTH brothers should have equal storyline importance, and BOTH be equal heroes. I am not pleased about the actions they had Dean take this season, as it seems like something he can never atone for, and I've read so many posts of hate towards him. But I am hoping that at least Jensen will have an opportunity to actually ACT this time, instead of playing the exact same "protecting, existing for Sam while Sam get's to be the important one" that he could probably phone in by now. And no, that DOESN'T mean I dislike Sam in anyway, I love him. So glad to see the writers remembering they have another lead character.

FINALLY January 28, 2014 | 11:38 AM

Could it be?! A storyline for Dean?! I can barely believe my eyes! As one of the Deangirls who hasn't followed this show for a while, I am tentatively excited for the rest of the season. This season has really picked up steam after the lackluster first half. I loved Crowley's line in the episode Road Trip, "The poor giant baby is in trouble again" - it seems that the show hasn't lost all of the levity and self-awareness that gave it its distinct voice all those seasons ago. Hopefully this is acknowledgement that the writers realize how repetitive and unbalanced the storyline of previous seasons have gotten (endless variations of "somethingwrongwithsam"), and are on their way to remedy it. Dean is a fantastically complex, iconic character, and Jensen is a phenomenal, charismatic actor. It is a colossal waste to leave him in the sidelines. The Cain idea is new, fresh, and original - I can see so much storytelling potential surrounding this, and really hope it gets properly developed. The writers must see that it's working, with the positive fan response and increased ratings. However I'm almost afraid to get my hopes up again, as they have been dashed many, many times before. To reiterate what the other commenters have said: *fingers crossed*.

angel64 January 27, 2014 | 9:11 AM

Season 4 was supposed to be equally about Sam and Dean, but then Dean's story got shoved aside and Sam's demon blood/Ruby story became the main focus. I NEVER wanted Dean's story to overcome Sam's, just some equality please. I always wanted them both to have their separate but equally important arcs, and also the main arc together. But before we rejoice, we have to remember that the element that started Dean down this path was STILL Sam. But that's ok. I thin we may see an ironic twist: That John, Dean, and Sam all feared that Sam would be seduced by the darkside and go evil. But imagine if after all this time, it turned out to be Sam that was on the side of good and Dean that went Satanic? I have read many comments from Sam fans who are convinced that Dean will end up having to really kill Sam or that Sam will otherwise die some other way and Dean will have to learn to finally let him go. I don't see that. I think it will be Dean that ultimately dies, and Sam will finally be free of that life he always wanted to leave.

angel64 January 27, 2014 | 4:28 AM

@sue- Where you see Sam as a plot device, I and many others have always seen Sam presented as the main hero of the entire piece, the boy who, despite being groomed to be Lucifer's general, overcame incredible obstacles, successfully resisted the seduction of the darkside, to subdue and overtake Lucifer,stop the Apocalypse, and save the world, ALL BY HIMSELF. Whereas Dean was basically told he wasn't as important as Sam, that he was weak, that he was holding Sam back, and that only Sam could defeat Lucifer so Dean, get out of his way. Not to mention, Sam's overall struggle to fight the dark forces within himself on his way to victory over Lucifer was, in itself, a story about Sam. Dean, on the other hand, had a couple mentions here and there in the early seasons about wanting a home and family, but 99.9% of the time, Dean's whole arc for the whole series has been either about saving Sam or protecting him. (By the way, I love Sam too). So if Dean getting a fraction of the good story arcs and importance as Sam has ALWAYS had, makes him a plot device, then bring it on.

bex January 27, 2014 | 1:37 AM

@angel64 Nice comment and I agree with your overall point. But I do have to point out that Sam had his own mytharc story in season 3. That's when his seduction to the darkside by Ruby began and while his motivation may have been about saving Dean, his actual storyline was about him going darkside and Ruby was completely focused only on him. In season 7, he also had had a story with the Lucifer halucinations. I would consider this mytharc since it was all about exploring the impact of his being the hero of the first five-year mytharc which was being trapped in the cage with Lucifer. But even people don't want to consider it a mytharc since the main arc was about Leviathans, that doesn't negate the fact that an entire storyarc with a beginning, middle and end were devoted exclusively to Sam even in that season where the Winchesters were incidental to the entire mytharc. So I feel that every season, Sam has had some kind of link to the mytharc and a story that revolves around him and only him, whereas Dean's entire existence, except for season 4 and part of 5 and hopefully this season, have been dependent solely on the fact that he is brother to Sam, The Chosen One.

angel64 January 26, 2014 | 5:14 PM

To those who claim that Dean's interacting with some people and having some POV somehow qualifies as a story, well, no disrespect, but I disagree. And those of you who claim Sam is a plot device, I disagree there too. Sam has pretty much ALWAYS, save for season 3 and 7, had every major story, and the story was always about HIM. And Jared has always had the meatiest material to work with. In contrast, Dean/Jensen ENTIRE story arc, has been about saving or protecting Sam somehow.Even season 3 happened because Dean was all about Sam and sold his soul for him. Season 7 had no story for either of them.

sue January 26, 2014 | 1:55 AM

Dean has always had his own storyline, he has POV and interacts with every character on the show. If him having a mytharc means that he's going to become a plot device the way Sam is, I doubt DeanGirls are going to enjoy it very much. I hope Carver hasn't screwed this show for good.

Thefalling January 25, 2014 | 1:31 PM

Ohmygod FINALLY!!! I've been waiting for a Dean centric arc for AGES! He was BADASS in this episode!!! I feel like the turbulent and promising winds of season 3 are brewing again for our elder Winchester. Here's to hoping it stays that way fellow Deangirls! Cheers! XD

tia January 24, 2014 | 2:20 PM

I agree with all here-finally -finally - Dean gets his own story. Please don't let it end up that it turns into a Sam story down the road or worse dropped after 3 episodes. So much potential for story and for Jensen to show his acting chops. Heres to Hoping!!!

Nina January 24, 2014 | 7:01 AM

Now Dean is my favorite charector out of all of the shows that I watch and this show is by far the best. However, not trying to burst anyones buble, but season three was pretty much all revolved around dean, hints why it is my favorite season. so, thankfully, he has had his own story, BUT sam has taken almost all of the story lines since then. I am very glad that dean is geting his own story. But hopfully it goes somewere.

Volta January 24, 2014 | 6:59 AM

Thank you for writing this! I am SO, SO excited that they finally have written Dean back into the mytharc. About time! This new Mark of Cain storyline came as quite a surprise and I think it has so much potential for awesomeness! I hope it continues at least through to the end of the season, if not into season 10 as well, that it remains Dean's, and that it isn't dropped. Will immortality be the burden? Will he experience more bloodlust once he picks up the first blade? What will the burden/cost be? So many questions and I can't wait to see where they take this. It has the potential to be epic. Dean was such a bad-ass this episode. That fight scene was super cool, energetic and Jensen did a great job w/ it. I love the new character Cain and Tim O. did a great job w/ it. The team of Dean/Cain/Crowley... I'll take more of that any day! :P

Joseph Balaich January 23, 2014 | 10:15 PM

It's my personal belief that Dean will be immortal because of bearing the mark of Cain. Also he will most likely gain some powers Dean did not normally have as a normal human being. Essentially Cain became a Demon because of making a deal with the Devil, so its likely Dean is becoming a knight of Hell in his own right. As for Sam we will see him be a lot like Abel who feels like he needs to die soon and no longer carry the weight of saving the world.

DeanFTW January 23, 2014 | 9:52 PM

First of all, thanks for writing about Dean and his lack of storyline that doesn't revolve around Sam. After waiting YEARS, I'm one of those Deangirls who finally gave up in disgust last year when the Purgatory storyline was dropped and everything and the trials became all about Sam. But I have seen all the excitement about this business with the Mark of Cain and I am cautiously excited, even though I haven't seen the episode yet. I have been burned too many times by this show so I think I will wait to see how it's resolved and remains about Dean before jumping back on the bandwagon. I will follow your blog and some of my fellow Dean girls to see if that the story is worth it, then I will get the DVDs or netflix it, something I haven't bothered with since season 6. Thanks again for making me interested in what was once my favorite show.

Sara January 23, 2014 | 9:38 PM

I'm thrilled. I hope some of my Deangirl compatriots who left will return to the show now, but likely they will want to see the resolution first because since S5, Dean's awesome storylines somehow always wind up being re-gifted to other characters. So a cautious but big YAY! for this. It could be epic, but not if it just becomes All About Sam again, or if given to another character at the 11th hour.

Lucy January 23, 2014 | 9:30 PM

After years without Dean having any own history which was not discarded in the first possibility as happened with purgatory , I just hope that the arc of Dean / Cain will last at least until the end of the season and not become another repetitive save or kill Sam. As far as I'm excited about the possibility of one mytharc for Dean, I'm afraid to see this curse be repeated. So I also think we have to enjoy it while we can because stories that are not all about Sam - and only about Sam- never last long in spn. eu nunca vou entender porque Spn desperdiça o talento de Jensen Ackles por tantos anos. I'll never understand why spn waste Jensen Ackles's talent for so many years.

Shar January 23, 2014 | 9:21 PM

Thanks for the great article. I can't tell you how excited I am over Dean's new storyline. I know it's going to be epic!

Fate3 January 23, 2014 | 9:08 PM

I am completely and utterly STOKED that Dean has his own storyline!!! Finally, he has his own "special status" storyline, that revolves around him and his worthiness and abilities. I loved Dean's stuff with Cain and with Crowley. All three actors played off each other extremely well, and it was such a lovely change to have Dean involved in something that didn't revolve around saving Sam, worrying about Sam, or taking care of Sam. It was all Dean and killing Abbadon. It was such a great change! Now, we can (hopefully) see Dean have his own storyline, focused on him and what is happening to him, and (hopefully) have Sam worried about Dean and trying to save Dean for a nice change. Fingers crossed no formerly unknown older half brother comes to take this storyline out from under Dean!

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