After making a post on how we have to face the possibility that Destiel will become canon this season, I received an anonymus ask:

So this time last year I was binge watching SPN and it was my first time seeing it so I’m pretty new. Is it typical for the fans towards the end of the season to start talking about how their ships going to become canon? I don’t wanna get my hopes up…

Hey there Nonny 🙂
Guess we have something in common, because I started just over a year ago. Watched seasons 1-7 in under one month (in March, to be precise, so around that time last year I’d just reached S9) ^^
Anyways, to answer your question. I think there’s a lot of hope in there. Making a ship that has existed for a long time canon is something special – you don’t do that just like this some time within the season as plot side note. Many ships were either strongly hinted at or made canon in special episodes, season finales or series finales (that’s something I claim after 17 years of watching TV shows and shipping, and after approaching the subject scientifically by writing my Bachelor thesis about shipping).
Now, with Supernatural it’s a bit hard for me to say, since I’ve only experienced the fandom’s mood during one season finale firsthand, so I’ll answer with my personal opinion.
You have to know, I’m rather, well I won’t say pessimistic, but realistic when it comes to ships and canon. I’ve seen way too many ships sink or at least get stuck not far from their safe harbor to be as optimistic as some people here seem to be. There are many things – moments, scenes, quotes etc. – people like to see as confirmation that something will happen soon I will look at with a critical eye.
That being said, I’m hesitantly optimistic this time. There’s just too much accumulating that it should be surprising even to me if nothing happens. I don’t know what, to be honest, but there’s a strong vibe of something, something that will make Destiel real – or realer than it is now, made so by clear words or actions.
Here’s what makes me optimistic (sorry, this is long):

  • The season title card. Grace and a demon trap. Well, Cas is an angel (yet…) and Dean was a demon, still has the potential to be one again. The Grace is burning along the lines of the demon trap, something that is supposed to keep demons locked in place. Consequently one could see it as an angel’s Grace being used to lock a demon(‘s soul) away, keep it in check, stop it from leashing out.
    Now, how many angels are still around? In Dean’s immediate vicinity, and possibly willing to use their Grace?
  • It has been said in several interviews by TPTB and Misha that this season,Cas’ first and foremost objective is helping/curing/freeing Dean of the Mark. It has also been said that his Grace is burning out and that he may not have much time left.
  • Resulting from these two above, I keep thinking that it is entirely possible that Cas uses the last of his Grace to save Dean (maybe they find a ritual that requires Grace or something). It has been implied that his Grace burning out could/will mean Cas’ death – and still Cas goes on, his priority being Dean. What I wanna say is – you don’t do that for people who are just casual friends, or even close friends.
  • The Grace and getting rid of the Mark business is still something that, in itself, could be seen as something you’d do for someone who’s close to you, but only in a brotherly sense.
    But, as we know from last season(s), Cas is in love with Dean. I don’t believe that’s a secret or surprise anymore; it has been hinted at, hell, even outright said by so many characters that it can’t be coincidence, or everyone’s intention to mock/tease someone anymore. In addition we have Cas’ previous behavior, most notably his refusal to kill Dean in 8×17 despite his thorough conditioning, and in 9×22 when it was literally killing Dean or losing his army to Metatron and thus possibly all his chances of winning against Metatron and bringing justice to Heaven.
  • So we know Cas loves Dean, and I believe it has been further confirmed this season. But what about Dean? Well.
  • With Dean, things are a bit more complicated due to his upbringing and basically his whole history. Obviously falling in love with a man (or a genderless being in a male body, for that matter), being with him, is complicated for Dean to even consider. We can’t and probably never will know for sure, but it can be assumed that John wouldn’t have approved of his son being gay (or bi, but it’s being with a man what matters, so there’d be no difference to John in that case).
  • Here’s the thing: That Dean became a womanizer I won’t blame on John in regards to his behavior towards his sons – from what we know never came “home” with affairs, so if there were any (which can be assumed, as John is still a human being with needs and we know of, for example, Adam’s mother and that woman who helped Dean and Crowley find Cain), his sons didn’t know of it until recently. Therefore, Dean’s behavior of finding as many women to bed as possible (in his younger years, as we know it has almost stopped now) isn’t an imitation of John, but a combination of his need for love or any substitute of it (in that case, physical pleasure and closeness), something he probably never got from John, and his upbringing that will have taught him the essential “man has to be with woman”.
  • Lately, things have changed. Dean has changed. How many women have we seen him with, compared to the first few seasons? But that’s not the only change, maybe not even the most important one.
  • Suddenly, Dean doesn’t mind Taylor Swift. Now, Dean has been seen liking certain songs (All Out Of Love, to just name one) before already, but then he mostly tried to hide or overplay it in front of Sam. This time, he shrugs, grins, and says nothing, openly accepting something that is new, different.
    Suddenly, Dean develops a liking for cakes. Remember when Dean came close to committing fratricide when Sam once came back with cake instead of pie (S7, I believe it was)? I actually like the picture that has found usage on Tumblr, comparing pie to what Dean knows and cake to something he might be willing to try – referring to his sexuality. I believe there is some truth to it, and that cake, in that case, is something Dean is slowly coming to terms with; something he’s allowing himself to taste and be open to. Looking at that under the assumption that pie are women and cakes are men, or pie is his heterosexuality, and cake his bisexual tendency, well… it’s self-explanatory, I guess.
  • Of course there are the pictures Misha and Jensen posted a while back, the ones of them in front of a sunset. As they are connected to the “Angel Heart”, and episode where already the title is saying a lot, if you ask me, it only fuels the hope of something happening soon.
  • And, to top it all, we have that quote from yesterday’s episode – Dean saying “There’s things… there’s… people, feelings, that I… wanna experience differently than I have before. Or maybe even for the first time.”
    Try as I might, I can’t find another explanation than him talking about Cas. About his feelings for Cas. Whoever else could there be? “People, feelings” he adds to “things” after a moment of hesitation. He wasn’t sure about revealing that, but there seems to be a dam broken now. The priest is trustworthy, it seems, must be to Dean as well. And nothing is to leave a confessional, so what has he to lose? Dean is looking death in the eye, and he knows it. He’s gone through so much, been to Hell in more than one sense, and he’s afraid. Of course he is. When you fight as much as the Winchesters, you get tired. And both Dean and Sam have often enough shown that they wish they could have a normal life.
  • What Dean says here is actually what we have been waiting for. No “I need you” was, to my mind, worth as much as what Dean has confessed now. Because I need you can mean any number of things. But “experiencing things differently than before” and/or “for the first time”? That is Dean accepting who he is and what he feels. And since he believes he’s quite close to death – another thing he says here – he might be willing to finally act on those feelings. It is, after all, something people do in the face of death.
  • Something else, for me, is also the seemingly growing openness of the actors, especially J2. There have been quite a number of jokes and comments lately that make me think that maybe Dean isn’t the only one who had to come to terms with it first, but also Jensen (and, to some extent, maybe Jared). And they, especially Jensen, seem to be getting there.

Cas is in love with Dean, that is canon. Too much has been said and done to believe otherwise.
Dean, on his part, is getting there. Admitting to liking things or accepting them as part of his life even though he has/would have refused them vehemently only a couple of seasons earlier.
He is in the progress of accepting and embracing things he has refused before, and his feelings for Cas (which are there, but their true strength is yet being suppressed and hidden) are one of these things.
Thus, and as hesitant as I am to get my hopes up in regards to ships, I believe we’ll have canon confirmation of Destiel soon. And the speed these changes have occurred with recently – most notably that quote from Dean’s confession from 10×16 – speak for the end of the season to be that time.

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Tags: Angel Grace, Angels/Demons, Castiel, Dean Winchester, Mark Of Cain, Supernatural