In Supernatural season 8, it’s Dean who’s alone

supernatural what's up tiger mommy

Over the past 7 seasons of ‘Supernatural,’ we’ve come to know Sam as the brother who’s always left alone. The tables seem to have turned in season 8 as Dean is the one who’s been abandoned by everyone.


There’s always been a loner aspect to Supernatural‘s Dean Winchester, through his martyrdom and warrior attitude, through his “I am meant to hunt and whether I like it or not it’s my duty.” Self-afflicted solitude, in that no one could ever understand what Dean’s life was like or what he was going through. He led the battles and bore the burden, no matter what it took … but he didn’t do it alone. Being a self-induced loner and being alone are two very different things.

When aloneness was focused on as a theme in Supernatural, it’s historically been Sam that was the one left alone. His mother left him in his crib, Jessica left him through the same tragic means, Dean went to Hell and left Sam to fend for himself, Sam was alone in the Hell cage with Lucifer while Dean lived a loving life with Lisa and Ben. Heck, Sam was even left alone from his very self, when his soul was taken away from him.

In Supernatural season 8, it’s Dean who’s getting left alone. Dean was left alone in Purgatory — Castiel ran away from him, Sam didn’t look for him and essentially ran away from the entire hunting life, to fall in love with a dog and a vet, much like Dean did with Lisa and Ben. John’s long gone, Bobby’s gone (for the moment, I’m not convinced yet), Kevin and his mom left because they don’t feel safe with Dean and even Sam is still planning on leaving the hunting life.

Everyone has left Dean — John, Bobby, Castiel, Sam, now even Kevin and his mom.

In “What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?” Dean is starting to get it. He was sarcastically angry with Sam in the season 8 premiere, and I’m not sure anyone really understood exactly why. It felt true to Dean’s character, yet it didn’t at the same time. After seeing how Castiel ran away to leave Dean alone in Purgatory, it’s a bit easier for us — and probably Dean himself — to understand why he was so angry with Sam.

Dean’s never really been alone before. He’s either had Bobby to fall back on, Sam to take care of, Lisa and Ben to be with or Castiel to back him up. Even in Hell, he had a trainer, mentor, torturing partner, what have you. From what we’ve seen of Purgatory, Dean was left by everyone who has always been there for him in some way.

And it’s really a wonderful thing for all parties involved. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki get to take their characters places they’ve never been before. Instead of playing the same characters week after week, these lucky actors have the opportunity to stretch themselves and dig deep to find new aspects of their characters that wouldn’t have been revealed had Dean not been abandoned and had Sam been alone yet again. I don’t have to even point out what a score this is for the viewers.

The relationship between Dean and Benny could be mined in so many great ways that I can hardly wait to see what Jeremy Carver does with this little nugget.

This is all going to play a greater part in Dean’s bonding with Benny the vampire, seemingly the only soul in Purgatory who had Dean’s back. This relationship could be mined in so many great ways that I can hardly wait to see what Jeremy Carver does with this little nugget. Season 8 — new aspects of our leads’ personalities to explore, a delightfully sketchy new secondary character, brand new character interplay and dynamics to naturally build upon the already-laid foundations. A recipe for success if I’ve ever seen one.

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Photo Credit: The CW

23 Comments on “In Supernatural season 8, it’s Dean who’s alone

  1. Are you guys serious? Sam was alone? When Dean went to hell Sam took up with Ruby, when Jessica died Dean was there for Sam, when Sam was souless he had Bobby as well as the Campbells and then he had Dean who got his soul out of the cage. When Sam was in the cage he had Lucifer as well as Michael and Adam. As for being left alone in his crib, that’s really stretching. Dean was left alone as well to sleep, what of that?

    I think what you seem to miss is the reason Dean was angry was that Sam didn’t even bother to find out what happened to him. Dean disappears and Sam, as usual, finds a replacement within hours.

    Dean was alone for 30 years in hell while being tortured by his “mentor”. I hardly consider that company.

    Cas ran off to keep Dean safe, but that’s besides the point. The point is you seem to think that Dean is angry with Sam because Dean was left alone? Did you forget the episodes where John left Dean alone to hunt when he went to visit his other family? Or that John left Dean alone to find Sam? Or that Dean’s been on hunts alone? Or that Sam left Dean alone in Free to Be You and Me?

    I don’t thin you fairly use the word alone in your article and I also feel that you have completely missed the reason Dean was angry with Sam. Not only did Sam not bother looking for Dean, but ignored Kevin’s plight, as well as admitting to Dean he read papers about people dying but pretty much dismissed them also, something Dean can’t do but Sam has done over and over through the years. Sam gets involved only when it concerns Sam. Dean gets involved because he believes in the cause.

    The only part I agree with in your article is that the Dean and Benny dynamics are off the chart and I can’t wait for Cas to come back. As for Sam, he usually does whatever he wants to do, no matter what. Apparently looking for Dean, helping Kevin, or saving innocents wasn’t something he felt would benefit him, so he moved on.

    • And I forgot. Why do you think Dean is the one who has abandonment issues? You think it may be because both John and Sam kept leaving Dean behind? Sam’s left Dean so many times it’s become a drinking joke. If Sam was ever alone, which he wasn’t, it was a self-induced aloneness. Dean knows what lonelyness as well as being alone are like. He knows what being abandoned is like. He’s experienced both for years now.

      I think maybe you should just watch the show more objectively.

      • No one can watch a show objectively! :-) And I don’t like one brother more than the other, it’s definitely not that. I guess my lens is such that Dean has accepted the hunting life but whined about his lot, while Sam hasn’t embraced it to the same extent, thereby feeling more alone b/c he’s stuck in something he didn’t choose. Like I said, so many complex aspects.

        • I’m sorry but Dean whined about his lot in life? No, that was Sam.

          • No, Dean’s a sulker. He drowned it drink, the whole Eliot Ness episode brought it all out … Dean was feeling victimized by his lot in life.

          • And of course, poor saintly Sam doesn’t sulk. He just takes his lot in life and bravely moves on. Such a martyr. Yeah, thanks but no thanks. I think I will agree to disagree with your article and your views, as apparently, Sam is the victim and Dean is mean. Whatever.

    • Maybe you’re right about the way I used the word “alone”; maybe what I mean to say is that it’s really hitting Dean that no one has his back right now.

      And when I refer to Sam’s aloneness, perhaps I’m more meaning that he always felt alone because he never embraced the hunting life like Dean has, whether he’s wanted to or not.

      There are so many interesting and complex dynamics between the characters over these 7+ seasons, but the one I wrote about is what struck me in the moment, after seeing the latest episode. I couldn’t do all the facets of aloneness in Supernatural justice without making it a thesis! :-)

      • Sam not embracing the hunting life isn’t aloneness, and it seems to me that when it suits Sam to leave the hunting life, he’s never had a problem doing just that. The only times he comes back is when he’s in trouble. Yeah, poor Sam, it’s so hard for him to have to do something he hates. Well if that’s the case, then let Sam just leave once and for all. He sure doesn’t have Dean’s back, hasn’t had it since season 4 and Dean does just fine without Sam.

        I’d love to see the show have enough guts to have Sam retire for good, live with his vet and dog and have Dean, Cas and Benny be the hunters. Both Benny and Cas will cover Dean’s back a lot better than Sam.

      • Actually, it is Dean who is iconically alone in the whole series. Remember the YED in Devil’s Trap commenting on how unneeded he was to Sam and John? And Mary in Dark Side of the Moon saying flat out “Everybody leaves you Dean.”

        Sam is alone mainly because the writers forget to supply the characters for him to interact with. Dean is alone in canon, and abandonment is his core experience that determines much of his behavior.

      • Well guess what, not choosing to “embrace” is the exact same thing as “self-inflicted”. Sam could have had Bobby after Dean went to Hell, instead he chose a demon who had done nothing but lie to him the entire year before. This time around he also chose, he wasn’t completely alone, there were still a few hunters he knew and the lady sheriff from Bobby’s town. Dean’s been every bit as alone as that. Dean knows what it’s like to have no “back up”.

        Dean didn’t whine, but apparently while Sam is allowed to feel victimized all he wants, if Dean even TRIES to talk about how he feels, he’s accused of whining about it. Dean never gets to deal with his emotions because no one is ever there for him to deal with them with, even when Dean has tried. Then he gets accused of being weak or whining as soon as he so much as mentions it.(and considering Elliot Ness had no clue what Dean had been through he really had clue what he was talking about). That’s why Dean has abandonment issues, because he’s been repeatedly abandoned when he needed someone most. When Dean got back from Hell, Sam was there in body, but he wasn’t there for Dean, he spent his time looking down on Dean telling Dean how there was something wrong with him and he was “weak”. When Sam got his soul back, Dean was there for him, he helped him deal with it and he tried to do more but Sam wouldn’t accept his interest or his help.

        Dean isn’t a sulker, Dean’s been suffering from PTSD in one form or another since he was 4 years old(remember Dead in the Water, we found out he didn’t talk for months after his mother died, that’s a form of childhood PTSD), not to mention his father dumping adult responsibilities on his while he was still in grade school and using him to blame for John’s own failures as a parent(Something Wicked, the episode we find out Sam ran away and John took it out on John, etc) – yet Dean’s spent most of his life not only making lemonade out of lemons(enjoying the little things in life) but managing to support everyone else. 99% of the time he’s done anything but sulk.

      • Then you should have proofread your article before publishing it then retracting most of it. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

        Finally, Dean does have people who have his back, their names are not “Sam” that’s all.

  2. Why was Sam all alone when Dean went to hell? What was Bobby back then? Chopped liver? He was around, if Sam kept in touch or not, the option was there.

    So I really don`t get why Bobby gets held up as a fall-back for Dean but not Sam.

    And Ruby, much as I disliked her, was there, too. Hence, Sam wasn`t “all alone”.

    Same goes for hell/the cage. If you count Alistair as sufficient company for Dean that made him not “alone”, then why on Earth does Lucifer not count in the same way for Sam? That makes no sense whatsoever. Not that I imagine either one enjoyed the company of the respective torturer.

    When Mary died, Sam also wasn`t alone. He had John and Dean. When Jessica died, Dean was still there.

    I think we need to put down the same criteria for either brother on what all alone means. In which case, the first time it ever happened to either one was with Dean in Purgatory before he met Benny. After that, he wasn`t all alone anymore either.

    Other than that, there was always, always unfailingly another character around for either one. If that character was used for companionship or not does have nothing to do with that.

  3. Clearly you missed the part about Castiel “running away” in order to protect Dean from the Leviathans. Please stop continuing the anti-Castiel rhetoric I’ve read from many others who jumped on how Castiel ‘ran away’ and failed to appreciate WHY he left. It’s tiring and a disservice to the character and the fans. As for Benny, Benny is Dean’s Ruby. That will NOT end well. It never ends well with one of the brothers hooks up with a ‘monster’ and Benny, is, a monster. He’s not a good guy, no matter what he did in Purgatory. He did it with an ulterior motive and I’m still not convinced that someone ELSE (another big bad) wasn’t urging him along, telling him to get Dean out of Purgatory for some darker purpose. I find it a little suspicious that if it was a known fact humans were a portal out of Purgatory, none of the other monsters attempted to ‘befriend’ Dean. For some reason, it was ONLY Benny. Why? Perhaps because some big bad was pulling the strings? Benny is working for a Big Bad, as Ruby was working for Lucifer? Perfect plan: get Dean to trust him, make him feel ‘all alone’ (I noticed Benny immediately tried to make Cas look bad in front of Dean when they reunited), etc. Get him top side. Then, turn him dark.

    • I really hope that Carver doesn’t decide to rehash the Sam and Ruby story with Dean and Benny. That would be such a cheap cop out as far as storytelling.

      I like Benny and I do hope that while Benny isn’t a good guy, he won’t betray Dean. There’s no reason why Dean and Benny and Dean and Cas can’t be friends. Dean is allowed to have more than one friend.

      • I don’t mind Benny staying IF he doesn’t replace Castiel. Dean can have two friends, okay, as long as the vampire doesn’t replace the angle. As long as both are kept around. However, I do feel that Benny is going to ultimately be another Ruby. Whenever one of the brothers has become involved with a bad guy, it has always turned ugly. If Dean should fear anyone is going to betray him, he should fear Benny. Benny killed his ‘friend’ in Purgatory without a second thought – – remember him killing the vampire to ‘save’ Dean – – telling Dean the vamp he just killed WAS his friend, but now Dean was his friend. He changes loyalties like someone changes a shirt.

        • OOPS!! That should say “replace the angel.” Typo!! LOL

        • The Benny – Dean story is powerful, especially the way it will evolve Dean’s black & white approach to things, so I hope Carver plans a more interesting use of it than rehashing the Ruby scenario.

          And he won’t replace Cas. That is the repetitive worry of a subset of fans who are interested in the slash pairing. What can that possibly matter to the show’s storyline? It’s an irrational fear, now that Sera Gamble’s gone and Carver wants to repopulate the Winchester’s world. I hope Benny’s here to stay! Awesome character/actor.

          • The worry about Cas being replaced is NOT just from those interested in the ‘slash pairing,’ Marilyn. That is totally unfair. Tons of SPN fan, including those who are not interested in destiel, enjoy Cas and his contribution to the show; he’s an awesome and interesting character. I have loved the series since season one; love Dean and Sam. But I also love Cas; he’s funny, intense, interesting. His give and take with Dean is priceless; the chemistry on screen between Misha and Jensen is marvelous. I love Team Free Will; the term Dean coined for he, Sam, and Cas in “Song Remains the Song.” In addition, Misha is an amazingly talented actor.

            I have nothing against Benny staying, as long as Dean can keep BOTH of his friends, new AND old. I just don’t want SPN tuning into Team Vampire. I’m tired of the glut of vampires in television shows and the movies. I don’t want SPN turning into a run-of-the-mill vampire show.

  4. “When aloneness was focused on as a theme in Supernatural, it’s historically been Sam that was the one left alone. His mother left him in his crib, Jessica left him through the same tragic means, Dean went to Hell and left Sam to fend for himself, Sam was alone in the Hell cage with Lucifer while Dean lived a loving life with Lisa and Ben. Heck, Sam was even left alone from his very self, when his soul was taken away from him.”
    I have no idea where this thought could come from. Dean is the one with abandonment issues-and he has them for a reason. Just a suggestion-Go back and watch Dark Side of the Moon when Zachariah’s reflection of Mary hits on all the reasons why. I disagree entirely with this article-Sam has never been ” “left” alone, on the contrary, he’s often chosen to go it alone when he’s had ample support just a phone call away, and he’s even at times been portrayed as desiring a life separate and alone and away from his family as he equates his family with hunting.

  5. This article is puzzling. I’m not sure the word “alone” means what you think it means. Now, if your definition of alone is the absence of family, friends, and allies, then the only time Sam has ever been truly alone is when he was in Lucifer’s cage. At the end of last season, Sam no longer had Dean, Cas, or Bobby, but he still had allies and friends he could have contacted. He chose not to, and apparently did just fine because it didn’t take him long to adopt a dog and hook up with a new girlfriend.

    As far as Sam being left by Jessica, his mother, and Dean, although I would argue that Jessica and Mary were taken, the same can be said for Dean. Just replace Jessica with Cassie (she’s not dead, but she might as well be) and you have the same result. However, each of those times Sam and Dean had someone else they could call on. They either had each other, John or Bobby.

    Dean on the other hand, was alone at some point in Purgatory, not sure how long, but even he wasn’t alone for long. However, he was truly alone in Hell. I literally cringed when you said that Dean wasn’t alone because he had Alistair as a mentor, trainer and torturing partner. Most people only see Dean as being tortured for 30yrs, I believe he was tortured for the entire 40yrs. Just because he took up a knife and tortured souls for 10 of those 40yrs, and apparently liked it, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a form of torture, psychological in fact. Remember, Dean was broken up about his time as a torturer and to this day I believe he still harbors some guilt because of it. He hasn’t been the same since.

    In the end, your definition of alone when applied to Sam shouldn’t be any different when applied to Dean. I can further discuss issues of abandonment, because I believe it was something you hinted at when you talked about Mary, Jessica, and Dean leaving Sam alone. However, as I don’t have the time or patience to get into that at the moment, I’ll stop here. Besides, I believe there’s truly only one brother with abandonment issues on this show (for good reason), and that would be Dean Winchester.

  6. Time and time again, I see the same Deanfans being very confrontational and aggressive toward others’ opinions. I may not agree with everything that’s been discussed, but there is a better way to go about things than name-calling and attacking. Is that really the MO of extreme Deanfans now?