Episode1 part2: All in the Family

Family dynamics is huge in the Supernatural Universe and Pilot gives us the first glimpse into the dysfunction of the Winchesters. For starters Sam has not spoken with his brother since he left for college after he and his dad had an awful fight. Sam remembers his father rejecting him for wanting to leave the “family business.” This is common in enmeshed families when one member of the family leaves communication is little to non-existent. This person is seen to have “abandoned” the family for trying to have a life outside the family norms and morays. Sam is seen as the “black sheep” for not continuing to “save people, hunt things, you know the family business.”

We are also introduced to Sam’s girlfriend, Jessica Moore. Jessica looks very similar to Sam and Dean’s mother, Mary. Even though many of Freud’s theories were discredited there is something Oedipal about Sam dating someone who resembles his mother.  Jessica also dies in the same way as Mary. Sam came home after a weekend of hunting with Dean for his interview only to find Jessica pinned the ceiling with her stomach slashed and moments later she burst into flames. This incident brings Sam fully into the hunting lifestyle like his father, to avenge a lover’s death.

Dean had his call to adventure in the hero’s journey when he was 4 years old. The moment his father entrusted him with Sam’s safety. Dean is the epitome of a parentified child. He was not allowed to have a “normal” childhood. Dean shows his resentment in this episode when he tries to talk Sam into searching for their father and gives passive aggressive comments. He is also shown to have almost blind loyalty to their father being  “the good little solider” and never questioning John. This is just the tip of the iceberg for the dysfunction that is the Winchesters.

Want More Like This? Start Here...  Overview of Mental Health Counseling

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Which brother do you identify with most in this episode Sam or Dean? And Why?

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