The third to final episode of Supernatural features one of most controversial moments of the entire series, but now the Spanish translation of the scene has put another spin on it.
“Despair” sees Castiel declaring his love for Dean right before being pulled into the Empty to save the elder Winchester from the wrath of Billie. In the original English dialogue, Dean responds to Castiel’s “I love you” with “don’t do this,” referencing the result being part of a deal that the latter made (and disregarding many fans’ perception of a mutual attraction), but the Spanish dub has him replying “Y yo a ti,” meaning “and I you,” suggesting the feelings were reciprocated. That’s obviously a significant change and has the SPN fandom calling for The CW’s blood, as they believe that the network vetoed Dean coming out and the Spanish dub “restored the original dialogue and intention of the scene.”
Granted, the translation doesn’t unequivocally state that he has romantic affection for Castiel, as familial love is one of the series’ core themes, but the ambiguity of the wording is likely intentional to let viewers place their own reading on the response, allowing them to internally validate the gay love without breaking canon. In any case, with Twitter erupting in a rage of backlash at The CW now, star Misha Collins has taken to social media to break the silence on the situation, as you can see below.
I’m seeing a lot of commentary on the ending of #SPN & the recent Spanish dub & am disheartened to see there are a lot of misconceptions that are making many in our family feel unheard & unsupported, so I’m calling a #SPNFamily meeting to sort a few things out for the record: pic.twitter.com/hwK0HOkZ8a
— Misha Collins (@mishacollins) November 26, 2020
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Of course, this also brings up another problem in that upon Dean’s death in the finale, he’s sent directly to heaven, tacitly implying that straights get paradise while gays get an eternity alone in a purgatorial black void. Yes, the difference is that Dean is human while Castiel is an angel, but the connotations are unavoidable, especially in a show that already has a problematic track record with its LGBT+ characters. While a line in the finale suggests that Castiel was rescued from the Empty by Jack, that it had to happen in the first place is still a valid issue.
After fifteen years, Supernatural might be finally over, but the discourse surrounding the series, particularly the ending and the lead-up to it, are showing no signs of dissipating, especially when two different versions of the same moment have such wildly different interpretations.