Sam, Dean, and Cas are lost and parentless, with no idea how to express intimacy, because intimacy in SPN is feminine, and all the women they know are dead. SPN’s final Big Bad has always been the threat that real male intimacy poses to its proto-masculine image of itself. It’s a fight of continual repression and internalized shame, waged in sideswipes, gay jokes, and incessant shaming of effeminacy, nerdiness, and anything that might resemble nuanced expressions of male gender. Narratively, out of nine seasons, SPN has only had five canonically gay characters with a 50% survival rate. And “dorky guys” including Castiel are consistently made fodder for Dean’s and the show’s amusement, not admiration or attraction.
But the more SPN mocks and represses, the more it has to contend with its own fandom—female, queer, genderqueer, nerdy, and unashamed
. The fandom’s culling of queer and genderqueer readings from SPN deliberately repudiates its textual scouring of their own identities and emotional landscapes. SPN’s fandom is diametrically opposed to the straightlaced mainstream audience SPN wishes it had. So SPN’s creative team routinely breaks the fourth wall in the most passive-aggressive way: to remind fans that they see you and they disapprove.