“Teach Your Children Well”
October 18, 2022
The ties that bind a family together can be complicated. Parents raise you, teach you what’s right and wrong, and in some instances, how to kill monsters. But no matter who you are, there comes a time when you have to break from them and make your own way. And if you’re not careful, things can get pretty ugly.
The camera swoops and sails (in a fine bit of cinematography) towards an abandoned power plant in Savannah, Georgia. The Men of Letters are nothing if not consistent in their architecture. My closed captioning describes the music of the score as punchy and percussive.
We fly through a broken window, across a catwalk and the POV pans down to the floor below. Several bodies are sprawled around a large Aquarian star mosaic.
The Scoobies enter cautiously.
Mary is in the lead. She’s changed her hair—it’s more similar to how Amy Gumenick’s Mary was styled. John is untroubled by the corpses; they’re just a sign that the group has reached another dead-end in Samuel’s trail. Mary directs the others to check for files about the Akrida and make sure the bodies are just zombies.
Lata kneels down next to one of the bodies for a closer inspection. For science. She pokes at its jaw, demonstrating to Carlos how it can dislocate, presumably for bigger bites. Carlos declares his friend deeply weird and starting to concern him.
“Lata, we’re not here to play with zombies.”
Mary picks up a spent shotgun shell from the floor. She takes it, and the fact that the file cabinets are all empty, as a good sign. She says if the information about the Akrida is gone, it’s because her dad has it. She tosses the shell to John and he notes the S.C. marking on it. Mary says Samuel always signs his work.
Lata asks why Samuel wouldn’t have waited for them, or tried to contact Mary? Mary insists that this is his way of contacting her. Carlos calls shenanigans on that bit of mental gymnastics just as a zombie launches itself from the upper level onto John.
John catches the zombie and uses its own momentum to block it aside. A second zombie rushes out of the shadows and latches itself onto Carlos.
NO! PROTECT CARLOS AT ALL COSTS!
With shaking hands, Lata quickly begins tracing out the locking sequence on the monster box, but oh noes! The box isn’t working! Fight, fight, struggle, fight. Carlos stabs one monster through its zombie fontanelle; Mary pulls the blade out and wings it at the zombie that has John pinned on the ground.
Like mother, like son.
John is okay, but comes up off the floor with a big mouth full of zombie juice. So, tell him again some more about shells? Mary says Samuel always covers his tracks; if he left the zombie bodies strewn about all willy nilly it must be a message.
Mary uses her boot to flip over a random twice-dead zombie. She finds a file folder underneath it and a newspaper clipping pinned to the body with a knife.
The article is recent, detailing the disappearance of a Topeka man, Barry Smith. Mary and Carlos have a good old fashioned, Supernatural Season 1, Dean and Sam argument over chasing after the barest scrap of a case left behind by dear old dad. Mary declares that Samuel needs their help and they’re going to Topeka to find him.
She stomps off towards the exit with a chorus of objections following her. Mary ignores all of them. She tells Ada to set up shop in the chapterhouse and figure out how to fix the monster box. The rest of them will talk to Barry’s dad and see what’s going on.
No one moves. Carlos is basically like who made you sheriff? Mary says she’s following in her father’s footsteps.
“Which means you don’t listen like he never listened.”
Mary barks that she’s doing whatever it takes to find him. So who’s with her? John is the first to roll out, followed with great irritation by Carlos and a skyward, ‘Chuck, grant me patience,’ by Lata.
Mary is behind the wheel of the Swagger Wagon. John is riding shotgun and brooding. When she asks, he says he was a scout in the war—and good at it—but these weeks of not finding Samuel have him doubting himself. He thinks Henry left him that letter, intending his son to follow in his footsteps … but he doesn’t know how.
Mary asks if learned how to be a Marine scout overnight? John chuckles, taking her point. She tells him not to worry—he did good in Savannah. John credits a good teacher. They banter over exactly how many zombies John killed. It is a very sweet and shmoopy moment (all things considered). Yes please, Show.
Millie is stewing over worries of her own, sorting through the box of items John brought back from the chapterhouse. The garage’s bell dings and Millie is on her son the minute she steps outside. There’s no hello, just a reminder that they had a deal. She says he promised to come home, not disappear for a week and then come back covered in blood. Whose blood is irrelevant. It’s Henry all over again.
A call. A single call. That’s all she wanted.
When the phone did ring, it was Betty. (Betty? Who’s Betty?) And then a trashed Roadrunner shows up at the shop with his name on it. It’s only when Mary gets pulled into the conversation that John pipes up. He says the car belongs to his friend and he’s going to fix it.
Mary is sitting behind the wheel of the Swagger Wagon like, hiyeeeee. Carlos and Lata are filling up the van’s gas tank like, PUMP FASTER.
Millie tells John she’s spent the past week with Henry’s things. She calls it his whole life reduced to a box. She asks her son if that’s all she’s going to have left of him, too.
John doesn’t grasp his mother’s terror. He projects his own doubt and insecurities onto her and concludes she doesn’t think he can do this. He turns and gets back into the van and the Scoobies drive away.
Topeka. The van is parked on a street in a tidy, middle-class neighborhood. Mary is trying to get John into character. She fusses at the collar of his jacket.
John nervously says he’s not nervous. He just thinks he enjoys the less talky, more punchy side of hunting.
Mary says he’s going to have to learn it all if he’s going to do it all. She tells him to think of it as telling a story—one about a missing college kid. Their classmate, according to the fake IDs Carlos made for them. John heaves a sigh and his nerves are replaced by irritation. He’s Mick Fleetwood? Seriously? Mary chuckles and says it’s nice to meet him. She’s Christine McVie.
Barry’s dad answers their knock and John awkwardly takes the lead. He gets them in the door and Mary gives him a silent good job, thumbs up that is honestly just so wholesome.
It’s interesting contrasting this Mary with the person she’ll be in a little over a year. The Mary that Dean meets in “In the Beginning” is open and hopeful. She’s in love, and loved, and has a new life with John to look forward to. A life that’s safe. One that doesn’t involve hunting.
Now, Mary is afraid for her father and terrified at the possibility of losing him. Add to that the guilt of wanting to leave hunting—and by extension, Samuel—behind. It translates into a sense of Mary being hard and closed off, so it’s really lovely to see her responding to John’s vulnerability in kind. There’s a lightness to Mary when she’s with him that hints at their eventual relationship.
Lata and Carlos are waiting for them at the Oasis Motel. Carlos snarks about the personal library Lata is traveling with. Did she bring enough books? SIR. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY BOOKS. Lata says there are even more in the van. GODDAMN RIGHT THERE ARE. She brings up Millie’s mention of Betty—gotta be an ex, right?—and pings when Carlos doesn’t engage in the gossip.
Carlos admits he’s struggling with the group’s power dynamics. He says he’s used to being the only one on stage. He’s not built for a band—especially when Mary is on lead vocals. “She only knows how to sing Samuel’s song.” Lata ruefully says she knows those lyrics—the ballad of the Campbell way or the highway.
Cue the door opening. There’s no hello—Mary launches into a sitrep as soon as she crosses the threshold. No sign of Samuel or the Akrida, but there is a case. Barry’s friend Maya told his dad she saw him get taken by some kind of monster at a commune they were visiting. Barry’s dad just assumed she was “on the drugs.” Using ‘the’ as a modifier where it doesn’t really belong will never not be funny to me.
Lata and Carlos have two very different takeaways from Mary’s report.
Lata is nonplussed. A monster, you say?
Carlos is downright gleeful.
Mary is like, no. Reel it in. REEL IT IN. She calls him Losy. Carlos picks up the tambourine that just happens to be sitting on the nightstand and begins singing “Age of Aquarius” from the musical Hair. Lata joins in until he tells her to stop—this is a solo.
It’s a goddamn delight is what it is!
The Fifth Dimension sends us into a commune montage—a commontage, if you will—as the Scoobies join the peace and love. Lata is wearing a flower crown and a cunning patchwork maxi skirt. John is wearing love beads and a fringed vest. Carlos is giving octogenarian art teacher meets coastal grandma chic that is PERFECTION.
And Mary … Mary is wearing a nightgown of DOOM!
You did that, Show. You really did that.
Mary is also wearing boots and walks like it. I seem to recall Television Without Pity recapper Demian describing Dean’s walk as, “clompy-stomp”, and like-mother-like-son. But I say that only as an observation, not a judgment. I fully support a good murder strut.
Carlos is in his element at the commune. He is LIVING. Mary gripes that all she sees is a lot of peace, love, and happiness and it is THE WORST. Carlos and Lata find and interview Maya. She says she and Barry took a walk through the woods after the circle. Barry’s third eye was open. He told her they were Russian dolls trapped inside their parents and their parents’ parents. It was a moment of awareness that made him want to tell his old man exactly what was on his mind!
Maya suggested he just relax and see where the night went. Maya’s vibe suggested ideally into her pantaloons.
She tells Carlos and Lata it sounded like Barry saw his dad come out in the woods. All Maya saw was a creepy old thing … but it was dark and she’s pretty sure the drugs were laced, so. She says Clyde thinks Barry maybe ran off to California.
John and Mary are following Clyde as he guides them through the commune. His vibe and styling are very:
Clyde says they’re always happy to welcome new members eager to change and break free from the tyranny of control. He calls it a process of shedding your past like a skin.
Shedding your skin, you say?
Is Clyde a shapeshifter? Clyde is totally a shapeshifter.
Clyde says the person in his past who hurt him was Sister Bernadette at St. Nicholas’ Orphanage, but for most people, it’s their parents. When they’re ready, he’ll be their guide. Mary clocks the pendant Clyde is wearing. Lata and her enough books ID it as a triskelion of Celtic origin. John says it’s a symbol of transformation, and look at him!
Mary is certain they’re dealing with a shapeshifter. She and John walk through the forest looking for Clyde. Mary tells John her father taught her to identify a shapeshifter by its tell—slip-ups in its behavior.
“And if that doesn’t work, the part where they’re trying to kill you is usually a dead giveaway, so.”
John worries over his place in the hunter world. What if his mom is right? What if he’s not cut out for it? That’s not what his mom said? At all? Mary does not point out that it’s his own insecurities speaking—not Millie. Yes, it’s his life—his mom just doesn’t want him to die.
Clyde walks through the forest with a young woman who’s like, hey, didn’t Barry go missing out here? ARE WE IN A MURDER FOREST? Clyde brings the conversation back to the difficulties of breaking away from the past, and his own struggles escaping his mother figure. And that’s when he sees Sister Bernadette in the trees.
Clyde runs towards the nun, seeming intent to confront her, but the sight of her freezes him. He becomes the terrified, lonely boy that he once was. Sister Bernadette reaches out her arms and vines shoot out from her sleeves. Forest Girl watches as Clyde and the nun sink into the ground and are swallowed up in the dirt.
Carlos and Lata find Forest Girl wandering around in a daze, “and not the fun, drug-induced kind.” Carlos adds that Clyde got attacked. His tone of voice says, swing and a miss on that one, Mare. Just in case his subtlety is lost on the group, Carlos says, “He’s not the shapeshifter.” It’s the way he whispers the line and lingers on the ‘r’ that makes it poetry.
Forest Girl Layla (her name is Layla) takes them to the scene of the abduction. Carlos says he doesn’t see any sign of where Clyde was taken while Mary walks around the GIANT TANGLE OF VINES AND PURPLE FLOWERS ON THE GROUND. John crouches down next to the vine but Mary’s attention is focused on the green blood on a nearby tree. She says it narrows down their possible monster suspects—they’re dealing with a mimic.
The Campbell family went up against one in Alabama—they’re vulnerable to weapons made of copper. Carlos is like, COME ON! Literally the only metal he doesn’t have in the van? He explains the gap in the armory as taking pride in carrying quality weaponry.
“Not cheap garbage made out of … pennies.”
Lata examines the tree and suggests Mary isn’t seeing blood, but sap. And the unusual flowers … maybe they’re connected. Mary dismisses Lata out of hand—they’re dealing with a mimic, end of story. John will go back to the motel to appropriate copper pipes from the bathroom while the rest of them track the monster. And break!
Back in Lawrence, Ada visits the garage and tries to introduce herself to Millie. She is not warmly greeted. The amount of distrust and disdain Millie packs into, “One of John’s new friends,” is truly impressive. Ada centers herself and tries again. She says John just needs time. He’ll come back when he’s ready. Millie wonders if Ada learned all that after one week on the road with her son.
“I learned all that from his father.”
That stops Millie in her tracks. She turns and the look on her face—shock and pain tinged with envy. Ada puts her hands up in the universal sign of not looking for a fight. She says she and Henry worked together. He had his secrets. He made his mistakes. But John is open in a way that Henry never was. Ada says she suspects that part of him comes from Millie.
Ada hands her a slip of paper—the number and address of the motel where the Scoobies are staying. Ada calls it peace of mind. Before she leaves, Ada asks Millie if she can take a cutting from the vine that has taken over most of one of the garage’s walls. Millie says Ada can have all of it if she wants. Henry planted it—she never learned its name or how to take care of it—but somehow it’s still here, after all these years.
Ada breaks off a stem and tells Millie it’s jasmine—for protection. She takes it back to the chapterhouse, which apparently includes a large conservatory. She adds the jasmine flowers to a pestle and grinds them with other ingredients to make a tea.
As she’s pouring the water, the phone rings. The phone in the chapterhouse still works? Who even has the number? IT’S HENRY! CALLING FROM THE FUTURE! Nope, just Lata looking for help identifying the flower. She calls her hunch stupid, but Ada encourages her to continue. We love Ada. She says Lata is describing a plant found in remote regions of Columbia. It’s enough information for Lata to continue researching it herself.
They sign off by wishing each other luck, and Ada goes back to her steeping tea. She sits down with several sheaves of blank paper and a pen. She sips the tea, chokes down the liquid (and tries to keep it from coming back up again). With an [intense musical sting] (according to the closed captioning), Ada’s head snaps back and she begins covering the pages with writing and symbols.
John goes back to the motel and sets to work liberating the pipes from the bathroom vanity. In the forest, Mary tells Carlos to just come out with why he’s mad at her. She says he hasn’t given her the silent treatment since she admitted she hated Cabaret.
Carlos asks her to please, please not open that wound again. Mary fishes, wondering if this is about her and Lata earlier. Carlos snaps that it’s about Mary and everyone. She can’t keep treating people like Samuel—the frontman who ignores the rest of the band. He tells her she needs to listen. Mary gets defensive. She doesn’t have time for everyone’s blah-blah when there’s a monster out there putting people in danger!
Carlos does not point out that clinging to your first impression and excluding other opinions could get people killed, too. Instead, he says it’s time for Mary to take her father down off his pedestal. She doesn’t have to go so far as a dream root-induced confrontation and shooting her dream self in the chest with a shotgun. But she can take a page from what everyone in the commune is talking about and break free. She can embrace the kind of leader she can be without Samuel.
But if it were up to Carlos, Mary would be David Crosby.
And the fact there’s no longer a Y in CSN and Y is not the point! The point is, the Scoobies should be on equal footing singing four-part harmonies.
The conversation ends when Lata comes racing up behind them on the trail accompanied by [dramatic musical sting]. It’s almost like she’s the mimic … Is she the mimic? No—because they’re not hunting a mimic, MARY. And she gets the silent treatment Cabaret question right, even though she thought they had all agreed to never speak of it again.
Lata opens the tome she’s carrying to an entry about La Tunda. In this version, she’s an abusive and controlling mother who kept her children trapped deep in the woods. When the children tried to escape by hobbling her, she caught and punished them for their disobedience by chopping them up into mulch for her flower garden.
The flowers became imbued with dark magic and an insatiable thirst for blood, so they transformed La Tunda into a monster to keep them fed. Now she listens in the woods for other disobedient children to drag into her lair to feed on—slowly, painfully, over months. Mary realizes that if La Tunda was listening to their earlier conversation, John could be in danger.
John answers a knock on the motel room door. He’s surprised to see Millie—OR IS IT LA TUNDA? (It’s La Tunda). She sits on the end of the bed while John pleads with her to just believe in him. He can be a hunter. He can pick up where his father left off.
La Millie asks who he’s trying to convince … because deep down he knows it’s Henry who never believed in him. If his father wanted John to follow in his footsteps, he would have stayed. La Millie slowly twists John’s self-doubt and longing for his father into a sharp point.
It’s not just that Henry left. La Millie says it’s John knowing that he was the reason his father left. Henry could have stayed and trained John—like Samuel trained his new friend, Mary—but he didn’t.
La Millie overplays her hand. John pings—he never told her about Samuel or dropped Mary’s name.
The Scoobies burst into the room. Mary runs right past the fallen copper pipe and the pile of flowers in the middle of the floor. She checks the closet and the bathroom—John has to be there! (He isn’t).
Mary admits to Lata and Carlos that she should have listened to them. She acknowledges that she was so focused on finding Samuel that, when he wasn’t there, she just wanted to close the case and move on. She quietly says she’s sorry.
Carlos is too stunned to speak. He gapes at Lata and then cuts his eyes back at Mary. Is SHE a shapeshifter, because her mea culpa is really not tracking for him. Lata smacks him in the arm for not accepting Mary’s apology graciously. Carlos says he just never thought they’d live to see the day.
Lata deadeyes Carlos and is like, what he means is, of course they forgive her. Carlos relents (because you cross Lata at your own peril) and agrees. And apologizes for being snarky.
And it’s interesting that it’s only after John is placed in mortal peril, that Mary is willing to consider how her single-minded focus to find her father is putting other people—people she cares about—in danger. The Scoobies have chosen to follow her, but they should be able to trust that she’ll take their best interests to heart. And she’s been a little loosie-goosie in that respect.
So I guess that Winchester tendency to let the world burn if it means saving family is actually a Campbell trait.
Carlos shifts back into Team Scoobie mode, reassuring Mary that they’ll get John back. Lata asks what they do now. Mary acknowledges that Lata is the expert in the room. She discovered that they’re dealing with Audrey Three … what does Lata think they should do? What’s the plan?
It’s Lata’s little smile at having her competence recognized that makes the moment poetry.
Lata pages through the tome, explaining that La Tunda is more plant than person after centuries of feeding on children. Carlos asks how they kill her: a one-two punch of DDT and some garden shears? (Fascinating Fact for the Youngs: DDT was banned as a pesticide in the US in 1972, following public outcry and opposition galvanized by Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring). Reading from the lore, Lata says La Tunda can only be killed by piercing her heart with a piece of magic as strong as her.
And when it comes to these Scoobies, what’s stronger than the power of their friendship?
Lata suggests using a part of La Tunda’s own magic—a body part—against her. Yeah, that could work. Carlos declares it sick and twisted enough that it just might. He takes back his previous statement—he loves that deeply weird side of Lata. YAY LATA!
John comes to in La Tunda’s lair. He struggles against the vines pinning him in place on the ground. Clyde tells him La Tunda doesn’t like children who disobey. The monster enters the lair and begins feeding on Barry. John is able to break free from the vines and quickly releases Clyde. This displeases La Tunda. Now she has to punish John.
Carlos has an idea for finding the lair. Mary questions if following a path of purple flowers through the forest will lead them there. Carlos tells her to go with it. She trusts her father; trust him. Who’s following in Samuel’s footsteps now?
Fight, fight, struggle, fight. John lands some solid blows against La Tunda, but his fight just seems to feed her. Wearing Millie’s face, the monster taunts that John doesn’t have it in him to stand up to her. She throws him about before beginning to feed on him.
The Scoobies rush in, and Mary directs Carlos and Lata to help Barry. She squares up with La Tunda and gets tossed across the lair like a rag doll. John comes around and she tells him to go for La Tunda’s leg.
NO MERCY! SWEEP THE LEG!
La Millie taunts John, but he realizes he doesn’t need his parents’ validation—he just needs to believe in himself. He kicks La Millie, shattering her leg. The monster falls to the ground, howling in agony. Mary picks up a chunk of the wooden leg and stakes it into La Tunda’s heart. She pulls it out and sticky green sap spurts out of the wound, spraying all over John.
John and Mary watch from the van as Barry approaches his house. His father meets him on the sideway, throwing open his arms in relief and wrapping his son in a hug. YAY! HUGGING!
The Swagger Wagon rolls up to the garage. John and Mary get out and introductions are made. Mrs. Winchester tells Mary to call her Millie and tosses her the keys to the Roadrunner. Millie says she’s all set—repairs are on the house. It’s the least Millie could do for Mary bringing her kid home safe.
Anticipating that his mom is about to tear into him (she isn’t), John asks if he can go first. He says he thought he was angry at her for not believing in him … but really, he’s angry at Henry. He admits he did what he always does, which is taking out on her what he can’t take out on him. He says he’s sorry.
Millie tells her son that she does believe in him. She hands John the picture he found in Henry’s locker. She says the day that picture was taken, she and Henry got into a fight about the Men of Letters and how it was always taking him away from his family. But Millie says she and Henry had a rule—no matter how bad their fights were, they had to find a way to tell each other after, “I love you.”
Millie says they followed their rule that day of the photo … and it shows.
The last fight they had, the day Henry walked out the door, neither one of them stopped to say it.
Millie tells John they’re always going to have their fights. And she’s always going to worry about him. But she is never going to let him walk out that door again without telling him, I love you.
This scene between Millie and John took my breath away. The amount of heart in this show is unexpected and a delight. And it makes it hurt even more knowing how much will be left unsaid later between John and his boys.
After freshening up, the Scoobies repair to the … wait, what? What is this place? Is this the chapterhouse from the Pilot? It is clean and fresh and exceptionally well-lit. Did Ada do all this while they were in Topeka? Did she hire a cleaning service? What??
Carlos comes in with sustenance—a cheese pizza, plain and boring just how Mary likes it. He slaps a slice on the book Lata is reading and SIR. WE DO NOT TREAT BOOKS THAT WAY.
Mary thanks Carlos for calling her out in Topeka. She hates to admit it, but he was right. She does have one question though. If she’s Crosby, what does that make Carlos?
Does she even have to ask? Neil. Neil Young.
Carlos says he may be a part of this band, but Mary better watch out, because he’s also a renegade. John walks in and is still a little surprised by how well things went with Millie. He tells Mary she’s still worried about him, but she believes in him.
There’s the sound of a click and a creak and a bookcase swings away from the wall. Ada steps through and says she has a lead on the monster box. She leads them into the conservatory. She’ll give them the full tour later—there’s more to the chapterhouse than they may have guessed. Carlos spies a tray of mushrooms but Ada quickly cautions him away from them. They’re not the kind he’s thinking—these will kill him in seconds.
Lata asks about the sheets of paper covered in ink. Ada says it’s automatic writing. The tea she brewed allowed her to tap into her subconscious so she could access the echo of any remaining portion of the demon that possessed her.
Did the tea also allow her to tap into her inner DIY and slap a fresh coat of paint on the walls? WHY IS NO ONE MENTIONING THIS? (And that is a cunning shade of blue.)
Mary acknowledges the weight—and unpleasantness—of what Ada undertook for them. Ada says the demon is dead, but he knew the demon that attacked them at the bookstore, and they both knew about the box, so. If they can find the demon they might be able to get some answers. And the Akrida. And Samuel.
Carlos is like, cool cool, can we go eat more pizza now?
CSNY’s “Teach Your Children” plays us out. The POV switches between the Scoobies laughing and talking in the chapterhouse, Millie tending Henry’s jasmine plant, and a hooded figure entering La Tunda’s lair. The person—a woman—stands next to the pile of flowers marking the spot where La Tunda died. She takes a small glass bottle from her sleeve and pulls the stopper from the neck. The grave glows red and a small ember of energy with a purple aura wafts into the bottle.
Purple. You know who casts purple magic?
Okay, YES but also:
Is this Rowena? Has the Queen of Hell come back to us? Probably not, but what if it is? Is it Rowena in real time or has she traveled from the future? If it’s not Rowena, is it someone we’ve encountered or heard of before? There was a witch (and witch family) introduced in Season 12’s “Twigs, and Twine and Tasha Banes” that would honestly be nice to revisit.
Anyhoo, mystical mischief managed, the cloaked woman walks out of the lair and through the forest. Some kind of smoke dog things with too many legs come out of the shadows to follow her and, what? What are the smoke dog things? Who is this woman? WHAT. IS. HAPPENING.
I don’t know, y’all. I have no clue but I am HERE. FOR. IT.
So the lyrics to “Teach Your Children” is a near-perfect summary of the family dynamics in both The Winchesters and Supernatural. It’s a study in generational trauma you can sing along to.
The second verse deals with children not knowing the fear, “that your elders grew by”. Is that part of Dean’s journey through his parents’ past? To understand the fear that shaped them and how he can help them—and himself, and Sam—to understand some truth about their family experience … and maybe heal it?
Showrunner Robbie Thompson’s comments leading up to the Pilot suggest that nothing in The Winchesters will change what we already know, but that doesn’t mean Dean isn’t still trying to fix the future for his family. And the biggest lesson he seems to be trying to encode into the Winchester DNA is to tell people you love them while you have them.