I’ve often said that Season 7 convinced me of the canonicity of Dean/Cas, and to this day it boggles my mind that so many fans blame Sera Gamble for “ruining” the characters’ relationship. So I thought I’d step through my favorite season, episode by episode, and point out exactly why I’m so convinced their love is not only of the romantic sort, but also very, very canon.
Previously: Out With the Old
Author’s Note: I’ll be traveling for the next several days, so I won’t be able to get to part 2 and beyond for some time, until at least mid next week. But this part’s a little longer to make up for it. So settle in for a book, friends. Hopefully it will tide you over until I get back. :)
17: The Born Again Identity, Part 1
If “Death’s Door” is a masterpiece, then “The Born Again Identity” is Sera Gamble’s magnum opus, her crowning achievement, the one Supernatural episode for which she should be remembered forever. Fine; I’m being a little hyperbolic. But it’s also really that good.
Subtle and complex, darkly humorous and painfully cathartic, “The Born Again Identity” packs in enough content to last three episodes, yet somehow it never feels rushed or forced. Pop culture and literary references abound in equal measure, but it’s also highly self-referential, in that it calls back to almost every other Supernatural episode Gamble ever wrote. Those who’ve carefully watched and re-watched the series are thus rewarded with additional context and deeper meaning for the scenes now taking place. This is fangirl catnip at its most potent. I love it.
“The Born Again Identity” is a love letter to Dean, to Cas, and to everything the Supernatural universe has come to represent. Yet I think it remains one of Gamble’s most misunderstood episodes, certainly one of her most overlooked. If I remember correctly, at the time of airing many fans were disappointed, and I’m not sure why, other than maybe the fact that the reconciliation between Dean and Cas is saved for another episode.
As well it should be. Damage that big can’t be fixed in one go, and besides, this isn’t an episode about reconciliation. This is an episode about death, and fear, and facing both head on, only to come out the other side in one piece, stronger than you were before.