I think the theme this year, in part at least, is going to be soldiers back from war — what do veterans do when they come home from the front? How do they adapt and readjust to civilian life? How do they overcome their PTSD?
Some soldiers are like Sam; they have their memories, they carry their scars, but they try the best they can to carve out a slice of normalcy for themselves. They’re haunted by the front, and they think they can run from the things they’ve done and the things they’ve seen without confronting it. They try to tell themselves that, now that they’re home, it should all just stay in the past. But it never quite works that way, does it? You can’t bury your past, and sometimes, instead of your memories haunting you, your brother shows up on your doorstep and literally drags you back to face the things you don’t want to confront.
And then some soldiers are like Dean, still fighting the war even at home. Dean’s meatshield may have made it out, but his heart and mind and soul are still obviously stuck in Purgatory (where Cas remains). (We can see this by how he demands Sam prove he’s not a monster; and then when Sam refuses to make him do the same, he does it anyway, grim-faced and fierce and definitely a little scary. It’s like 2014!Dean all over again) They’re so haunted by the things they’ve done, the people they’ve lost, that they refuse to mentally leave the war — it’s another way of coping, of running, of not confronting, because once you leave the war, you have to look at what you’ve done. So the only solution for Dean and soldiers like him is to jump back into the war, to make his homestead a new front, however he can.
How do soldiers heal? How can they reconcile their trauma? If this is really what Season 8’s going to explore, I am so excited, because this is such an amazingly complex and important story to tell.
OMFG BRING ON SEASON GR8