November 15, 2012
You know when Cas says to Dean, “Hey, everything isn’t your responsibility” and Sam says to him, “You did everything you could … Survivors guilt… You gotta walk past it”, they are essentially saying the same thing to him. He can’t save everyone, and he shouldn’t feel bad for saving himself.
But, of course, Dean doesn’t value himself except for how well he does his job. So saving himself didn’t mean much, if he couldn’t save Cas as well. If he fails at his job — saving others — then he takes all the guilt for that. He doesn’t believe his best is good enough.
Looking back at the way Sam behaved in Mystery Spot and when Dean was in Hell — he lost it, went off the rails. He was a danger to himself and others. He became a stone cold hunting machine, almost like soulless!Sam. So this time when Dean disappears, he shuts down emotionally. I think it was an unconscious defense mechanism to prevent him from becoming that dangerous killer. (more…)