Supernatural star Misha Collins weighs in on the controversy regarding Castiel and Dean, assuring fans there is no conspiracy or alternate ending.
Supernatural star Misha Collins weighs in on the latest controversy surrounding Castiel and Dean. Arriving in the season 4 premiere of the long-running drama, Collins provided Supernatural with a shot in the arm. Portraying the powerful angel Castiel, Collins opened the door for supporting actors to get more focus on a series previously focused largely on its two leads.
Castiel’s debut also provided viewers with a viable pairing, as many viewers were drawn to the interactions between Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Castiel. Commonly referred to as Destiel, the two grew immensely close with each season. In season 15, episode 18, titled “Despair”, Castiel reveals his true feelings for Dean. Already divisive, the scene doesn’t show that Dean returns the sentiment. But in a Spanish dub which surfaced on social media, Dean does reciprocate Castiel’s words. The inconsistency has led to calls for a boycott of The CW, which aired Supernatural, and accusations that the show attempted to diminish the romance between Dean and Castiel.
In a video posted on Twitter, Collins weighed in on the newest development in the Destiel controversy and began by assuring fans that there was no conspiracy or alternate ending. Attributing the difference in the Spanish dub to a “rogue translator”, Collins went on to explain why he feels that Castiel’s confession to Dean was significant. The video, in which Castiel defends the Supernatural episode, has been included below.
The scene between Dean and Castiel was already controversial. While some fans appreciated the moment, many more pointed out that it played into several negative tropes regarding the depiction of LGBTQ+ characters. Castiel essentially dies right after admitting his love for Dean, playing into the troubling tendency of gay characters getting killed off. Castiel’s sacrifice also meant that the writers never have to deal with the ramifications of Castiel’s admission and that, whatever relationship change might occur for Destiel, will never be fully explored. Given that Castiel has been a part of Supernatural for well over a decade, and the support for Destiel has been around for just as long, it’s fair to wonder why wasn’t their dynamic explored earnestly for at least an episode. As it stands, some felt that the scene was thrown in to placate viewers. Ultimately, however, it’s ended up having the opposite effect.
It’s possible, as well, that some of the cast and crew were never interested in the fact of a romantic relationship between Castiel and Dean. On its own, that would be uncontroversial. It’s certainly true that the habit in fandom of looking at interactions through a romantic lens has its own problems, diminishing the value of platonic and even intimate friendships. Similarly, it can cause the writers to feel boxed in by the need to address a phenomenon they never intended. In the case of Supernatural, however, which has an uneven track record when it comes to diversity and inclusion, the anger of audiences is understandable. Castiel’s sexuality didn’t have to be treated as a fun little finale moment, mentioned once and then ignored. If the subject had been handled with more careful consideration, then maybe the backlash wouldn’t be as strong.