has shown a surprising amount of restraint when it comes to killing Sam and Dean. There has been the occasional (very temporary) death of Dean. It's been a while since Supernatural
ended a season with one of the brothers dying in a more permanent-ish fashion, which was a staple of the series for a very long time. However, it appears that the closer season 13 gets to its endgame the more likely it is that the old Supernatural
trope might return. The episode "Unfinished Business" dropped some heavy hints that Dean could die before the season is out.
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Winchester Death Wish
Most of "Unfinished Business" was another standalone Supernatural episode, although the episode did end with Gabriel being recruited for the mission against Apocalypse Michael. In the final moments, though, Supernatural managed to drop the biggest tease for what's to come. Sam finally confronted Dean about his erratic behavior and how often he's flown off the handle recently. As expected, Dean explained that everything he's done has been an effort to save Sam's life.
Equally predictable was Sam's response. An annoyed Sam told Dean that they're not going to win against Michael, or anyone, if the don't work as a team. If they die, they're going to die together. Sam, as usual, is right. However, Dean didn't seem swayed. Dean's only response was an bemused and unconvinced grin.
Dean absolutely should listen to Sam. Yet Supernatural wouldn't be Supernatural if one of the brothers (or main characters) didn't do something foolish and reckless, with the best of intentions, that everyone will have to pay for in the future. It's perfectly within Dean's character to do something reckless at the very last second to save Sam's life but also end up losing his own in the process.
The clues for a climatic and deadly end have been all over Supernatural season 13. It's not just in Dean's own behavior. The last time Billie and Dean saw each other, in the episode "Funeralia," she told him she'd seen again "soon." Likewise, throughout "Unfinished Business" Mary kept fretting over the life of Jack because she can't lose another boy. While Mary is concerned about keeping Jack alive, Dean might very well end sacrificing himself. Yet the biggest clue of all is the specific reason for Dean's worrying about Sam's life and a behind-the-scenes tease from Jensen Ackles himself.
The Prodigal Vessel Returns
It's nothing new that Dean is concerned about Sam's life. Dean's primary mode is to be selfless and sacrificing for his brother. "Unfinished Business" made a point to have Dean remind Sam (and the audience) that the last time there was an apocalypse and a Michael around it didn't work out well for the Winchesters.
Sam was given no other choice than to be Lucifer's vessel. He ended up in hell for it. It's important to remember though that Sam isn't the only Winchester who can hold an archangel. Dean is meant to be the true vessel for Michael. It's an effort that will likely fail or at least result in Dean's death but Dean will probably do it anyway.
The same rules might not hold in the Apocalypse World. Sam and Dean were never born in that universe. However, it's still reasonable to assume that Dean could think he could make the same sacrifice that Sam did in season 5. Dean could attempt to end the conflict with Apocalypse Michael by becoming his vessel, and like Sam, attempting to overthrow the archangel while in his body and take control.
Jensen Ackles has teased the possibility. Ackles said that a big change is coming to Supernatural
. For the first time ever, he'll be playing a character other than Dean.
While it's possible to introduce another Dean from another world to fulfill Ackles' promise it isn't likely. There's been no teasing of an alternate universe Dean. There has, however, been some heavy foreshadowing that Dean will die.
But what do you think? Will Dean listen to Sam or die doing something stupid and selfless? Will Dean try to become the new vessel of Michael? Will Dean die in some other way? What are your theories on the new character Jensen Ackles will be playing?
(Image courtesy of the CW)