The Carved Becomes the Carver: Psychological
torture in On The Head of a Pin and Reichenbach
I was reading lost-shoe's brilliant meta about the psychological torment that Dean inflicts upon Cole in Reichenbach, and I realized that the whole scene reminded me of the torture that Alastair inflicts on Dean in On the Head of a Pin. As shown above, there are so many shots between these episodes that set up the clear parallels. (I actually had to cut my screenshots for this post in half because I couldn’t fit in all the mirrored shots.) Each of the shots I included give the viewer a clear picture of which character is has the power throughout these encounters. Not only are these visual parallels clear, but the methods of psychological torture are almost identical between the two episodes.
Despite the fact that Dean’s orders are to torture Alastair, it is his former mentor who is in control throughout their entire encounter. Alastair is once again the torturer to his apprentice. Now, several seasons and one twisted human soul later, we see Dean toying with Cole, subjecting this man to just a small piece of the absolutely horrifying psychological abuse that he faced in one single encounter with Alastair. Dean follows all these steps taught to him by the demon who spent thirty years torturing him in Hell and another ten training him in the art of soul destruction.