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15.18 Despair

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In the [ Latin American dub] of this episode, Castiel uses the specifically more romantic / affectionate version of "I love you," -- "Te amo" which is typically reserved for significant others or immediate family members." Fans were shocked to hear Dean respond, "Yo a ti, Cas," which is the romantic version of "Me too, Cas" though the English subtitles remained, "Don't do this, Cas." The episode is also titled "La Verdad" (The Truth), not "Despair." In the fan uproar to this revelation, Tumblr was overloaded and briefly went down while #TheySilencedYou trended #1 on Twitter in the U.S. as fans encouraged each other to boycott The CW for presumed censorship of the English version of the show, while "YO A TI CAS" and "DEANCAS" trended internationally.
Misha Collins went on to post [ video to his twitter] to put the record straight that there was never any planned, scripted, or filmed reciprocation from Dean in this episode. In subsequent tweets, Misha [ apologized] "about how tone-deaf my video is" and responded directly to comments from LGBTQ+ fans who felt unheard. Fans continued to propose various conspiracy theories that either the line was in an earlier version of the script, that it was in the filmed version of the script but edited out (based on the fact that Jensen had said he recorded the whole scene on his phone and a lot was cut out), or even that it was added later in ADR and then edited out (as Jensen had said he'd done ADR for this scene). An anonymous crew member posted [ photos] of the [ script] confirming it read "Dean can't reciprocate." [ Other sources confirmed that there was never any scripted response from Dean], although Jensen ad-libbed "Don't do this" and "What are you talking about, man?" during filming.
In an [ interview for WonderCon@Home 2021], the LATAM voice actor for Castiel, Alejandro Mayen, stated when asked about Castiel's goodbye to Dean, that he believed that the "I love you" was fraternal, and didn't believe that the show was ever hinting at anything romantic between Dean and Castiel.
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In September 2021, when the episode aired in Italy, the Italian dub of this episode had Castiel uses the phrase "Ti voglio bene" which is used for someone you are fond of, rather than "Ti amo" which is used for someone you are in a romantic/sexual lvoe love with. Italian fans flooded social media, and Misha responded with [ a tweeted video] in which he said "Ciao Italia, ti amo" and the tweet "L'amore è amore in qualsiasi lingua. ❤️ (Love is love in any language.)".
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Also in September of 2021, [ Misha did a panel at Momento Con] in which he answers a fan's question of, "When do you think Castiel first realized his feelings for Dean?" Misha says, explained::"I first started talking with Berens, the writer of that episode, more than a year before we shot it: about the substance and content of that last scene. So it was at least a year, when it was very much at the forefront of my mind. But I think interestingly, latently, that it was there for a long time. [...] I think that Cas, like myself, like the producers and writers of the show, like many of the fandom, were in denial. [...] So I think it was there but it was latent for a long time, and I think that that's also just fine. Cas was in denial, and so was everyone else." In answer to a similar question later in the panel, Misha goes on to say, of Dean's reaction: : "I think Dean not rejecting [Castiel's confession] was also huge, and also profound, and also important. [...] Dean never reciprocated, and a lot of the other characters moved on in the last episodes, but I think the fact that... I think Dean showed love in his eyes. And I think the fact that he didn't say, "Fuck off," given the character of that show, was actually really profound. At least it was to me. [...] I was so grateful that we were able to go as far as we did, and I was grateful that Cas was able to express himself like that."
See the [[Destiel]] entry for more details.

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