On Supernatural

"We're Not Exactly the Bradys"

By Tanya Huff

Just to get one thing out of the way up front–I do not have kids. What’s more, there’s no chance of my ever having kids. Therefore, my discussing John Winchester’s parenting choices and the results of same could be considered marital advice from yet another unmarried marriage counselor. On the other hand, I never had a wife be eviscerated by a demon and pinned to the ceiling to burn, nor have I ever owned a ‘67 Impala. It’s unlikely that the lack of either will weigh against me during any evaluation of my scholarship on the topic, so perhaps we can ignore the lack of kids thing as well.

It is therefore my opinion that John Winchester, for all his flaws as a father-and they were legion-was not, as it happens, a bad father. He was not, by any means, a good father (“So, somewhere along the line, I stopped being your father. And I became your drill sergeant” [“Dead Man’s Blood,” 1-20]), but he had to have done something right. He must have because his sons, for all their flaws-and those flaws are also legion-are good men.

Dean Winchester, tired of the fight and wanting nothing more than a chance to live happily ever after, is so much a good man that his subconscious refuses to let him rest. His mother was alive, Sam had Jess back, he had a beautiful woman who loved him, and yet he sacrificed happiness because strangers needed him, and there was a job that only  …

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