I should just file this under my growing pile of “what to show people when they ask ‘what do you mean, Dean loves Cas/Dean is bisexual?’” because WOW GUYS you don’t get much more blatant than that.
Okay let’s break this down in the context of the show. Some people would look at this and say “you’re overanalyzing this”. I would say I was too, if the fact that the crew hadn’t so blatantly decided to have two female extras going the opposite direction for contrast. Think about that for a moment, okay? They could have done this scene with just the army guy walking past Dean, and if they had done that, it would have meant/shown NOTHING. It would not have shown Dean’s interest in the guy, how he watches him go, looking in the direction of his feet (oh wait, I mean his ass because his head isn’t completely facing down, is it? It’s looking at the guy’s ass). Heck, it probably would have gone off as just another extra doing another extra thing, BUT THEN THE LADIES APPEAR. Those ladies are pivotal; they are wearing the top fashions of the time, they are beautiful, striking, they would turn heads of men walking down the street. They are bright, flashy, noticeable. I mean DAMN look at that red, it’s so noticeable because red is a color that’s meant to attract your attention; human eyes are drawn to it naturally because it’s a color that represents life and blood and passion and ripeness and all these things; red doesn’t occur in nature often and so human eyes look for it specifically; we like warm colors.So yeah, the viewer, we like that red. We watch that red.
We watch that red so much we almost miss the drab army guy walking past… Except Dean doesn’t.
Isn’t that crazy?Seriously, think about it. Let’s put a straight male character in this position. Let’s say, Joey from Friends. I pick Joey because like Dean in the first 3 seasons, he is heavily attracted to women for sexual reasons, and generally has superficial relationships with women. If you put Joey in this context, he would see those two ladies, maybe tip a hand at them, perhaps even pursue them or make a mental note of their beauty if they pay attention to the attraction he is showing for them. That is what we should expect from a man sexually attracted to women, especially when they are wearing red, a powerful color.
And then we have Dean. Dean, Dean, DEAN. This is such a huge moment, because he looks PAST the power color, he looks PAST what he “should be” interested in, and instead goes for what actually is interested in; an army boy, someone who is smaller than him, a man in uniform. A possible, warrior hero type with a high moral standing. I mean there’s nothing else about this guy that even stands out; we don’t even see his face because he acknowledges the attention Dean is giving him. And Dean’s sitting there WATCHING HIM WALK AWAY and he ain’t looking at this guy’s eyes.
THAT IS HUGE GUYS. This isn’t queer-baiting, this is a conscious decision on the part of the producer/director/writer to make Dean overlook attractive, bright women for a seemingly unimportant man. And the only reason they MAKE this an important distinction is by placing those women in front of Dean and STILL HAVING HIM FOCUS ON THE MAN. This isn’t an accident; this isn’t “over-analyzing”; THIS IS WHAT THE CREATORS WANTED THE AUDIENCE TO SEE IF THEY CAN FIND IT. They are leaving that there for us to notice and take it for everything it is; Dean checking out a guy and letting his gay show.