I think I wish I could’ve witnessed a scene like that when I was a teenager. It might have helped get me out of the closet a lot sooner. As a queer viewer the resolution of that scene was the single most important few minutes of film in the show to date. I’ll get to why later. This is gonna be one long-ass post so strap yourselves in.What are your thoughts on the Cupid bar scene in 8x23?
Nock and Aim
The scene opens on Dean at a bar watching a hunting show of some sort in which a man in camo draws back on a bow and takes aim towards the camera. Right on the surface you have an obvious allusion to and connection between the Cupid for whom they’re waiting and Hunters (further connected by Artemis, goddess of the hunt, from 8.16). There are two more technical points that make this moment huge that you might not consciously understand unless you have some basic understanding of narrative construction in general and film specifically.
Composition is one of the most important elements of art. In visual arts, including film, composition defines space and directs the viewer’s attention to what’s important. Anything that appears to reach into the viewer’s space, especially, is a giant waving “PAY ATTENTION” flag – whether it’s breaking the fourth wall for a moment of emphasis (see: asides in stageplays, wherein a character voices their true thoughts directly to the audience, or the pointed-stare-straight-at-the-camera reaction shot commonly used in The Office) or creating the illusion of extended, three-dimensional space in a 2D medium. The bowman’s act of swinging his aim towards the camera that captured him on film further puts his aim – his attention – on the camera that makes him part of Supernatural, thus reaching past the TV in the bar on the TV and using the audience as the bridge to the next shot: Dean at the bar, an extra beer sitting at the ready, just as Castiel returns to sit beside him.
The second beer, by the by, establishes even before dialogue begins that Dean was expecting Cas back sometime relatively soon.