Lately, Destiel has become a hot topic, and by lately, I mean, it’s been that way for like, forever. I’m Team Destiel, all the way, and pretty much all of you know it. I put Destiel on MTV. (Twice. You’re all welcome for that, by the way.) A lot of us have been speculating what could or would happen to push Destiel into canon-ness; many expected it to become canon during Supernatural’s Season 9 (alternately known as Season Nein or Season Divine). Spoilers, it didn’t happen. Destiel is not yet canon. Of course, around 9.03 we had confirmation from one of the execs that Destiel is not intended to ever be canon and WHERE ARE YOU KIDS EVEN GETTING THESE SILLY SORTS OF GAY IDEAS ABOUT GAY LOVE PIERCING THROUGH THE VEIL OF DEATH HAHAHA DON’T BE RIDICULOUS WHY WOULD THAT EVER BE ON THE SHOW YOU’RE JUST IMAGINING THINGS and quite a few people got understandably upset, myself included. Well, I got to thinking lately, do I actually want Destiel to be canon? And I realized… maybe, maybe actually, I don’t. And here’s why:
To start with, let’s talk about the current state the show is in, which is “permanent train wreck.” I think we can all agree, Supernatural has dragged on for far longer than it had any reason to at this point (the actors and producer all say that there is no ending in sight), and one of the main reasons some of us tune in is the vague promise of Destiel being canon, and the promise of two of our favorite characters being revealed as bisexual (because, come on, both Cas and Dean have been shown getting down with too many ladies to be gay, so if they go together, why not say they’re bi?) Season 6 was ehhh. Season 7 was one giant dick joke that dragged on and on and on. Season 8 looked like the show might actually redeem itself. Season 9 started out strong but before long it degenerated into a filler-filled disaster that disappointed greatly. Things are constantly not canon compliant, and writers disregard character elements, things that should never have been suddenly ARE, and just ugh what are you doing go home spn you are drunk.Let’s not even talk about the backdoor pilot which, thankfully, nothing came out of. Ew.
Or “Dog Dean Afternoon”. That’s like Krom. It never happened.
Look, guys, I think in theory the idea of Destiel canon is fantastic, but, come on, do we really want it to be a thing? Would they ever make it a thing? Should they ever make it a thing? I do not believe it will ever become canon – or, if it does, it will be in a form that we would never wish upon them.
Think of all the relationships Dean and Sam have had – Jess, Ruby, Cassie, Lisa, etc – and how none of those relationships worked out. Some got fridged to further manpain; others couldn’t handle the demon hunter thing and noped the hell out (smart girls). Some slept with Sam Winchester, and you should never do that if you want to live. Jo and Dean could really have had something, but “wrong place, wrong time“. Castiel’s romantic entanglements? Well, I could have liked the thing with Meg grow further, because Meg is an interesting character, but… alas, that was not to be. Let’s not talk about 9.03. My point is, none of those relationships were given very much space to grow into something as profound as Destiel is; I know some of you might disagree with me, because these might be some of your OTPs, but, aside from Ruby/Sam, Dean/Jo and Castiel/Meg none of the relationships really seemed like they were necessary, integral, and important to the plot. You could have swapped the girls around, switched in a different girl, a different backstory, and the end result would have been the same. Like, Jess, we know very little about Jess except that she was blonde and she liked the Smurfs, and she dressed up as a nurse for Halloween and she loved Sam and yeah that’s it. The only thing that’s important to the story is that she is dead and the demons killed her because Sam was too happy to start chugging demon blood and become their new Messiah otherwise.
How does this tie into Cas and Dean? Well. If Cas became a love interest, they’d fridge him so fast we’d be looking for Mr. Freeze. He’d be dead, or worse, because GOD FORBID THEY HAVE INTERESTING, MEANINGFUL, AND FULFILLING RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE MEMORABLE AND LAST FOR LONGER THAN TWO EPISODES AND AREN’T JUST THERE TO CAUSE THE PROTAGONIST(S) MANPAIN.
Love interests being fridged faster than a tray of nearly ready yogurt pops in July isn’t the only reason we probably shouldn’t ask for canon Destiel. Remember how when Kevin died, Osric said that if we got everything that we wanted, we’d have Team Free Will sipping cocoa with marshmallows, everyone alive and well and not dead, and the worst thing that would happen is someone burning their tongue because their cocoa was too hot? And how, even though that’s what we think we might like, it wouldn’t make for very compelling TV? Well, watching Dean and Cas settle down and get all happy and sort themselves out… well, they wouldn’t give us that, and just leave it there for them to have a source of joy and happiness. No, don’t be ridiculous. They wouldn’t be left alone to figure themselves out and how they fit together. They’d be brutally torn apart into pieces before the end of the same episode, because that’s what this show does.
What are the odds that the show is going to actually let Dean and Cas do their thing together, and not screw it up utterly and completely? What are the odds that amidst the train wreck episodes, lack of canon-compliant storylines, constant contradictions and retcons, and bloody low budget shitty talking dogs that this will be written in a way that doesn’t suck, isn’t cheesy, isn’t rubbish, and satisfies at least some of the viewers?
I’m not saying I don’t want Destiel. I’m not saying we don’t need Destiel. We do. We should want it and ask for it. I think a lot of us do feel like a lot of SPN is about Destiel, and focus our creative energies on it. And, that’s not a bad thing. Destiel is the most beautiful love story to have never been written and not yet written and rewritten a hundred thousand times over, in different worlds and times and situations. We have that. We have classics like In His Image and Dance of Inanna and Black Swans and Twist And Shout – all fine literary works of merit greater than the show creators, the writers, the CW executives, or society at large can ever accept or understand. We have those things.
Are those things enough? Well… no. We want canon recognition of the Profound Bond™. We want two prominent characters to be openly bisexual because we need more queer representation, especially since NBC is straight-washing Constantine. (That’s a show I won’t be watching now, thanks NBC.) Fan-created works are constantly mocked, derided, and ignored despite the fact that many of them are by far more imaginative, canon-compliant, coherent, creative, and original than anything the show has been able to come up with or pull off consistently since Season 5 ended. We need more acknowledgement that what we’re creating is valid and real, we need more acknowledgement that the relationship between Dean and Castiel is real and true and not imaginary, thank you very much.
However, do you really think if the current team of people working on SPN gets on this, we’ll get all this in a way that isn’t cringeworthy and painful and awful and just ugh?
What can the show give us? Well, two things. Either, a possibility that is never clarified, or a brief acknowledgement, resolution, promise – one that is shattered and broken apart and torn away from us leaving us and Dean and Cas bloodied and destroyed, because this is the nature of shows like these – Charmed, Buffy, Angel, etc. There is no happy ending. There will be no happy ending. There could never be, never would be, never should be a happy ending. If you want a happy ending you have to write your own, join the legions of those painting the myth of a fallen angel and a demon who had once been the righteous man in their own books of fairy tales. But Destiel, as we want it? It will never happen. And, just maybe, it shouldn’t.