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Ever since I found out about 10x01 simply being titled „Black“ I was kind of fangirling about it on the inside, because I love how straightforward it is in a way. I don’t think I can re-call many SPN episodes that were only one word outside of S1, but had so much meaning on so many different levels others than „Faith“ or „Metamorphosis“ for example.
Black and all it’s connotations: darkness as in absence of light, but also in a psycholigical way, it being the colour of grieve and death, a symbol for nothingness, depression and mayn other things fit perfectly to this new – son of Cain – Dean.
I have been talking with the lovely deathswaywardson recently about songs they could use in the season premiere that would also fit to the theme of the season and would shed further light on Demon!Dean and his character. Deathswaywardson suggested „Black“ by Pearl Jam (a wonderful song btw, if you haven’t listened to it, you should change that asap and go here) and I very much think there are many interesting aspect in the lyrics one could apply to the Demon!Dean. Especially these parts:
„And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass of what was everything
All the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything…
All the love gone bad turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I’ll be… yeah…“
While driving to work today another song, that I feel could be fitting as well came to mind and yes, it also features the small - but oh so telling - word „black“. It’s „Paint it black“ by „The Rolling Stones“ (I am kind of intrigued by how colours/colouring, classical rock songs and SPN fit together lately or maybe I am just being weird since the lovely anon this morning got me to spec about „Golden Brown“ in relation Son of Cain!Dean – here).
Take a look at some of the lyrics (and listen to it here if you want)
„I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors any more, I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by, dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes
I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door I must have it painted black
Maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts
It’s not easy facing up when your whole world is black
No more will my green sea gord turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes“
If I remember correctly Mick Jagger said that the song is about someone, who is depressed and sees no way out. In this vein I think the song might actually be the better descriptor for pre Demon!Dean. And that’s what I am actually finding interesting. In S9 Dean was seeing everything black, he was hopeless, resigned and was slowly burning himself to the ground until he became the darkness himself and – from what we can gather - embraced it completely, because it freed him, liberated him and makes him feel much more alive than he has probably felt for a long time as a human.
I think it would be a wonderful contrast if they used this song in a sort of montage of Demon!Dean running wild, drinking, partying, getting in nasty bar fight and most of all enjoying the hell out of everything.
I like the correlation between Dean having seen everything black in S9 and now that he is black-eyed in S10, the black has turned into differing shades of dark and in the end maybe even colour, because his perception has shifted. I see it kind of like a „minus and minus equals plus“-situation. And that may be just one more reason why Dean has absolutely no desire to be turned back. That is why I love Jensen talking about Demon!Dean as a heroin addict so much, because it really captures the seriousness and problematic very well. I am sure there is still much human and true Dean buried under his new persona, but he may be burning it away bit by bit until there is nothing left of him at all and him not even seeing it as a problem, because he has found his perfect poison, or as Jensen said, „Key to happiness“.
He finally feels good and content and in control after years of feeling the exact opposite only that he isn’t realizing or just remotely caring that he is completely out of control. „You cannot reason with crazy“ Dean said himself not too long ago and I guess that’s what it comes down to: It’ll be heard to reach him, because in Dean’s mind no one needs to save him from anything, because he is already saved.