You know the parable with the two sons? The eldest son stays faithfully with his father. The youngest son runs off to dick around and waste money. When the youngest son comes back in shame, the father has a huge celebration, because God values a sinner’s recovered soul more than a steadily devout one.
Even in primary school, this story seemed like absolute fucking bullshit. Why would the eldest son want to stay loving and faithful upon facing such clear favoritism? He stayed out of love and devotion. The other son only came back because he had no other choice. Clearly, dad always loved his youngest better all along.
John didn’t answer the phone when Dean only had a few weeks left to live, but he would have answered if it had been about Sam.
John hated letting Sammy go to Stanford, but he swung by the campus once in a while to check on him. John , upon hearing Dean point out one of his biggest screw-ups as a parent (Dean was dying! Literally dying! And if Dean hadn’t been healed, would he have let Dean die without ever seeing him again? Is that what Mary wanted for her baby boy?) Says “Yeah, you’re right I almost let you die. But watch that new attitude of yours, son.”
John Winchester can go fuck himself. If you wanna know why Dean is so messed up, look no further.
I guess you missed the part where he said “I’m sorry”. And after that moment he realised that his sons—both of them—had grown up and he made them part of the hunt for the YED. He trusted them alone with it when he left to walk into a trap set by Meg. John’s not crazy about Dean’s tone because he’s forced to recognise that in the time he was away, Dean grew up. But once he does recognise it, he respects it.
Two things to remember: firstly, John stayed out of contact with Sam and Dean because he thought he was protecting them. He thought it was the right thing to do. Secondly, at just about this exact point in the narrative, he realised he’d made a mistake. That his boys had grown up and it was time to bring them in on the hunt.
And then, when things go wrong, he dies to save his boy. His elder son. And he lets the Yellow-Eyed Demon win.
Does everyone forget that part? In the end, given a choice between Mary or Dean, he chose Dean.
Dean’s upbringing was fucked up, no doubt. John was severely flawed. But in the end, he recognised those flaws and when he asked himself what was most important in his life, the life he’d devoted to killing the YED, when it came down to it, he chose Dean.
But fandom doesn’t allow for that redemption, apparently. Meg’s redemption, yes. John Winchester’s, no. Idgi.