Oh, thank you season eight!  Way to bring the word "character" back to Dean Winchester.  For a guy that's been through so much, he was finally able to take many steps forward in his growth, and the end result is someone I believe in again.  

For anyone that read my "Deeper Look at Season Seven Dean Winchester," I was pretty damned annoyed over the butchering of his character by the end of the season.  Of course they didn't so Sam much justice either, but with Dean, it was a guy I didn't recognize.  Here's an excerpt from that article that has particular impact on my season eight analysis:

I so wish I could say that season seven continued in this same vein, with Dean finding enough of his fighting spirit and love for his brother to handle the numerous obstacles that came his way.  Sadly, Dean spent a majority of the season apathetic and depressed, going through the motions without any fire or desire to carry on the family business.  He certainly didn't open up to his brother, which rendered the once tight brotherly bond stale.  We waited all season for him to finally get the kick in the pants he needed and slip out of his funk, but he never did.  

I bring that up because I everything that I wished for in season seven Dean happened in season eight.  Now this is the Dean Winchester I remember!  He wasn't a sorry drunk that was depressed and going through the motions.  It got personal, and Dean reacted with a new resolve and commitment to who he is - a hunter and a loyal brother.  There's no doubt about it though, this is not season one Dean.  He is more mature, grounded, and focused.  

Season eight was a tale of two seasons.  The first and second halves were dramatically different, but each had a major importance to Dean's overall character growth.  As I've done with each "Deeper Look" segment, I'm going to go through the episodes and show Dean's progression through the season.  Overall, it's a lot more refreshing and satisfying than what we've seen in a while.  However, there's so much goodness to examine this year, that for the first time I'm breaking up this study into two parts.  Part one looks at the first half of the season, part two will look at the dramatically different second half.  


We Need To Talk About Kevin

I kind of see this as Dean on a major roid high and being forced to come down.  His year in Purgatory certainly kept the adrenaline going, so his hyped up reaction to Sam and everything else was perfectly understandable.  However, this did kick off the big controversy, aka Sam making the deliberate choice not to look for Dean during that year and Dean's livid response to that.  Dean will end up not letting Sam forget about this for several episodes.  

Dean has come back with some baggage of his own though, and Castiel is clearly part of that.  He dodges Sam's questions about how he got out and about Cass, just giving the dodgy answer "I saw enough."  He's definitely a guy going through a rough transition, much like a soldier who has come home after war.  The memories of Purgatory are still very fresh and swarming inside him.  Those memories are of Benny, his comrade in arms.  It's possible that his devotion to Benny became stronger when he returned, just because of his disappointment over Sam.  

It's upon reuniting with Kevin though that Dean's new purpose is cemented.  It's their chance to send every demon back to Hell, to get back at them for destroying their lives.  They have to do that, no matter what the cost.  That cost of course involves Kevin and Sam, who must forget their hopes of a normal life and become part of that crusade.  

Dean:  If this kid is right, he's sitting on a bombshell.  Hell, he is the bombshell.  What?
Sam:  That.  There's no way that Kevin is getting out of this intact, is there? 
Dean:  Well, he's doing pretty well for himself so far.
Sam:  He got out.
Dean:  And now he's in it, whether he likes it or not.  
Sam:  So, freewill, that's only for you?
Dean:  I can't believe what I'm hearing.  Sam, we have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean.  We take Kevin to the tablet, he sends us a spell, we send every demon back to Hell forever.  Every single bastard that destroyed our lives.  That killed our mother, killed Jess...and you're not sure? 

Dean may be sure, but how far will his hellbent focus go?  Who is he willing to sacrifice?    He's certainly not going to sugarcoat things, or offer hope to Kevin like Sam did.  "Alright listen to me, I'm sorry about your girlfriend, okay, I am, but sooner you get this the better, you're in it now, whether or you like it or not.  You gotta do what you gotta do."  Ouch, on the nose much Dean?  
  
What's Up Tiger Mommy?

Meet the new, hard edged Dean Winchester.  He's still raw, and has a new FBI interrogation technique.   No dealing, more strangling and threatening with a knife.  He's the guy that will kill Kevin Tran's mother to serve the greater good.  Except I do believe that Dean forgot that the knife didn't kill Alastair, so why would it kill the King of Hell?  It would only kill Mrs. Tran.  But that's a quibble that has very little to do with our hero and more to do with a writer that didn't check his facts. 

Here the focus of Dean's guilt shifts to his memories of Castiel in Purgatory.  The encounter with Samandriel the angel triggers some of this.  He isn't letting that guilt hurt his mission though, and explains to Sam that he would have killed Mrs. Tran just because it was Crowley, no matter who's in the meatsuit.  "Yeah, it would have sucked and I would have hated myself, but what's one more nightmare, right?"  This is rather far from the Dean of earlier seasons who always drew lines when it came to innocents getting killed.  

Heartache

Aside from Dean throwing more guilt trips at Sam about quitting hunting, and him not accepting Sam's talk of going on without him, there wasn't much else to see here.  It was a blip that ruined the great character groove going from the previous two episodes.  Given the fact the writers were Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner, that explains it all. 

Bitten

There may not be much Sam and Dean in this one, but I loved seeing the two from the outsider's perspective.  Dean does say "awesome" too much (don't we all?).  But the biggest take away we got from this with Dean is he's not so far gone in his black and white thinking that he'll kill an innocent who hasn't harmed yet.  It's a reflection of the chance he's giving Benny.  A big drama that's about to play out.

Blood Brother

No doubt about it, the brothers are really on edge with each other right now.  They're at each other's throats.  Dean ditches Sam during their hunt for Kevin without explanation after a call from Benny.  He won't tell Sam why, he just goes.  It's interesting how Benny is someone that deeply matters to Dean, but Dean can't share anything about him to Sam.  Can't or won't?  Is he trying to protect Benny, knowing that Sam will be against the idea of Dean letting a monster live, or is it something else.  A trust issue perhaps?  

Sam and Dean are at odds, no doubt about that.  They aren't on the same page regarding Kevin, and Dean's questionable actions when trying to kill Mrs. Tran.  He certainly isn't going to let Sam off the hook.  "Last I counted you took a year off from the job.  I need a day."  One bitchface from Sam shows how much that comment isn't appreciated.  

With Benny though, Dean's entire attitude changes.  He's supportive, and will not turn away from his friend's needs.  He refuses to leave without helping Benny, making sure whatever he's up to won't get him killed.  He will stand by his new "brother" through thick and thin.  Plus we get a great "vampirates" joke!  The final scene though is chilling enough.  Dean and Sam are reunited at the dock with bitter stares, and when Sam figures out that Benny is a vampire, it's one head shake from Dean that tells it all.  Benny is a friend and will not be harmed.  Benny knows these two have a lot to talk about, but it only ends with brothers throwing angry glares.  They couldn't be farther apart on things right now.  

Southern Comfort

I strangely liked this episode.  It's usually the type of heavy handed stuff that launches my primal screaming for the season (luckily I didn't have to use that until "Man's Best Friend With Benefits"), but there was a logic to the way this storyline was approached.  The characterization was actually well done.  I know the whole "being under truth mind control" story is really contrived at this point, but we know with Dean it usually takes a scenario like this for him to be brutally honest with the truth.  Sam needed that brutal honesty.  We all did really.  His passive-aggressive approach with Sam not looking for him that year was getting rather tiresome. 

Dean brought up all the greatest hits.  "Because everything you've done since you've climbed into my ride has been to deceived me."  Sam drinking demon blood, running off with Ruby, not mentioning the fact he didn't have a soul, and running around with Samuel for a year letting him think he was dead.  Then of course, the big zinger, not looking for him that year all because of a girl.  This little dig at Sam didn't seem important at the time, but it plays big later.  "Benny's been more of a brother to me in the past year that you've ever been!  That's right, Cass let me down, you let me down, the only person that hasn't let me down is Benny." 

Dean actually did get a valuable lesson from this episode, and suddenly Garth has aged years in wisdom.  I've always loved Garth's easy going and simple approach to life.  He reminds Dean he can't change the past, and Sam is all he has.  He has to let it go.  It's very nice to see after this, Dean does and is slowly on his way to taking a protective role again with Sam.  I don't think Dean minded looking at things that way for once.  That's despite the fact that Sam rips into him at the end, issuing the ultimatum to move on or he will.  Dean agrees to move on with no argument.  Of course he doesn't like Sam's threat to Benny, but they'll cross that bridge when they come to it.  And oh do they come to it.  

A Little Slice of Kevin

Dean is on better terms with Sam, and that turns his attention back to Castiel.  It's meant to be the resolution to this whole dodgy guilt trip thing over trying and failing to save Castiel in Purgatory.  Dean has never handled guilt well, and obviously failing to bring Cass out of Purgatory with him weighed heavy on his conscience.  

Castiel's sudden and unexplained appearance, triggered two issues for Dean.  First, how did Castiel get out?  From his experience, that was a near impossibility.  He remembered every second of getting out.  It's hard to forget.  So Dean has to wonder, what is Castiel not telling him?  He's even being open with Sam about his reservations, so that's a step in the right direction.  

Of course, that's all part of the bigger issue, the one that's been eating away at him since he got back.  What happened back there?  How did he fail?  Dean goes through more memories in Purgatory, and even though he suspects Castiel let go, or didn't fight hard enough, he still believes what happened was his fault.  Dean believes his inability to help Cass was just another one of his failures.  "Look, I don't need to feel like Hell for failing you, okay?  For failing you like I fail every other God forsaken thing that I care about.  I don't need it."  

Luckily Castiel was there to set the record straight.  He reminds Dean he can't save everyone, even though he tries.  This wasn't Dean's fault.  He let go.  He was there for penance and didn't want to leave.  He didn't know how to tell Dean he didn't want to be saved, and everything can't be Dean's responsibility.  At the end though, Castiel's confession doesn't really make Dean feel better.  If anything, it makes him more suspicious about his friend.  

Hunteri Heroici

Dean:  What's the word Cass?
Castiel:  A short version of my name. 

Hee, I never tire of Castiel's fish out of water literal responses.  Setting that aside, Dean and Castiel do share a nice heart to heart.  Dean's obviously worried about his friend, given his mysterious return from Purgatory, and wants to help.  As much as he wants to see Castiel return to Heaven, Castiel's devastation over all the pain he caused in Heaven is a good reason not to go.  

Citizen Fang

Dean finally has to make that choice, Sam or Benny.  Sam has crazy Martin tailing Benny, and Martin is ready to play executioner just because Benny is a vampire.  Dean needs to look into it, and finally deal with any suspicions he has of Benny.  He believes Benny's story, he wasn't killing innocents, and helps him with his plan to get the person doing all this, but Sam and Martin don't believe Benny, despite Dean's reassurances.  Cuffing him to the radiator was probably not the best choice.  So Dean has to take action that will protect both Sam and Benny, because he knows each are very capable of killing the other.  It isn't pretty, but Dean will do what he has to do to get results.  

Dean obviously saw this coming thanks to Sam's words at the end of "Southern Comfort," and as we find shockingly at the end of the episode, he had a backup plan in place.  Sam during the hunt for Benny gets a mysterious text from Amelia to come quick, and he flies out of town.  That just leaves Benny and Martin, and Dean knew who would come out on top of that one.  Benny was stronger.  

There's ramifications for his actions though, and that's clear when Sam figures it out in the end.  Dean was the one that sent that text and has made his choice, protect his friend over trusting his brother.  Sure, Dean thought he was protecting them both, but Sam didn't take it that way.  Sam took it as a betrayal.  Dean sternly accepted what he did as right, and that he didn't have much choice.  His action drove Sam away though, and Sam stayed in Texas while ignoring Dean's calls.  

Torn and Frayed

Dean goes to Texas to get Sam, but their first encounter is mired in frustration.  Dean thinks Sam only heard what he wanted to hear, that Benny killed Martin.  Benny wasn't killing people, and killed Martin in self defense and defense of his granddaughter.  Sam can't believe that Dean is going with that story, but Dean says it's the truth.  "There was a time when that all meant something."  

Sam confesses why Dean's act is so harmful.  That text set off a major fear in him, that the woman he loves was in harms way.  Everything that happened Jessica, to everyone they cared about might have happened to Amelia.  Sam poses the question that gives Dean a whole new perspective.  "Is that what we are?  You save a vampire by making me believe that the woman I love might be dead?"  Dean isn't sure what he has to say to make it right.  All Sam had to do was trust him.  Sam tells Dean he wanted him to trust Benny, and he couldn't do that.  So Sam gives the ultimatum.  Dean needs to be done with Benny.  He doesn't know if he can or not and leaves.  

Sam ends up facing his own ultimatum with Amelia.  She will choose him, but he has to be all in.  He has to choose her over everything else (aka Dean even though Sam didn't tell her he was alive).  While Sam and Dean struggle with their choices, they've got to help Castiel (well, Castiel kind of forces Sam to help in rather hilarious fashion).  They need to rescue Samandriel.  

Kevin offers Dean some perspective when Dean finds out he sent his mom away.  Kevin called her a distraction.  He needed to focus.  He can't enjoy a world that he needs to save.  This is more important.  Castiel offers the other perspective, with one simple phrase.  "I need both of you to stow your crap."  

Through working together, Sam and Dean figure out how much they rely on one another to cover their backs.  It's Castiel's strange behavior though, especially his murder of Samandriel, that they realize they're into something too deep.  Dean is still willing to let Sam choose happiness with Amelia over the job and handle it alone.  Sam needs to know why.  "I don't know. I'm just tired of all the fighting.  Maybe I'm a little bit jealous.  I could never separate myself from the job like you could.  It's time for at least one of us to be happy."  Sam isn't sure, so Dean makes it clear.  Both feet in or out.  "Anything else will get you dead."  

While Sam goes off to decide, Dean makes his choice and calls Benny.  End of the line.  He's going forward, with or without his brother.  Luckily, Sam chooses to stay, although he looks miserable.  Dean is there in support, offering a silent "are you alright?" and Sam nods back looking pretty glum.  It's bittersweet, but the brothers have chosen each other.  Now they can move forward.  

LARP and The Real Girl

After this episode, I wanted to send writer Robbie Thompson that fruit basket.  This is classic, funny, loose, dedicated hunter Dean Winchester at his absolute best.  I smile thinking of how this whole whacked out situation was something that Dean adjusted to quickly, much like his prison stay in "Folsom Prison Blues."  He even went for the whole medieval outfit, chain mail and everything.  

Dean's found a little sister he can talk to and share everything in Charlie.  He tells her about what he did to Sam with the text message.  She reinforces to him how wrong that was.  With all the madness between Sam, Benny, and Castiel, a confidant and friend to share his problems is exactly what he needed.  But it was a chance for him and Sam to start square too, and this time Dean wanted to do a bit more than the job.  He wanted to have fun, like they used to.  Eventually, Sam comes around, know how much it means to Dean.  

Honestly, does it get any better than this?  Braveheart Dean for the win!  

In looking at this progression, the first part of the season was crucial in getting Dean ready to handle the big responsibilities of the second half, aka the Men of Letters legacy and getting Sam and Castiel through trials that they could not face alone.  

Coming up, it's part two of the tale of two season eights. It all leads to multiple Dean character defining moments, rather exciting ones for our hero, not to mention a restoration of the brotherly bond that's so been missing in prior seasons.  Dean becomes quite the hugger!  Maybe Garth was rubbing off on him after all.  

For my other "Deeper Look at Dean Winchester" segments, they can be found here:

A Deeper Look at Supernatural Season Seven Dean Winchester
A Deeper Look at Supernatural Season Six Dean Winchester
A Deeper Look at Supernatural Season Five Dean Winchester
A Deeper Look at Supernatural Season Four Dean Winchester
A Deeper Look at Supernatural Season Three Dean Winchester
 

Comments  

LEAH
# LEAH 2013-06-08 03:32
Thank you for this Alice. It was much less painful going through the first half with you than when I watched it. You have put things into a little perspective. I am still reluctant to rewatch though. I think a little of that has to do with the amount of energy I put into trying to reassure people here that Dean really did love Sam and that he didn't want to replace Sam in his heart and car.

I agree with you that many of the things that we all wanted to see happen this year did. It was rocky getting there. Last year was a depressing year on many levels and I did not enjoy it overall. It had it's moments however. This year was much more fun especially the latter half.

The Amelia storyline was just bad. I do see the intention but the execution was off putting.

Looking forward to part two. I enjoyed this very much.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2013-06-08 07:50
I absolutely loathed the first half of s8, and reading your article has brought back just how much. I appreciate your efforts to make this hang together in terms of consistent characterisatio n, canon and the relationship between Dean and Sam but it just doesn't. I barely recognise this Dean and early season Sam was a complete stranger to me.

So I'm afraid the only option I am left with is to chalk eps 1-9 of s8 down to appalling writing and pretend they never happened because I cannot reconcile what happened with the characters I love.

And frankly pre and post ep9 s8 are so completely different and disconnected - both in characterisatio n and plot - that pretending 1-9 never happened is pretty easy.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-09 19:51
Quote:
I barely recognise this Dean
He had just gotten back from a year in Purgatory, and also had apparently lost his best friend there. I think he'd be entitled to be a little off-balance.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2013-06-09 20:19
Quote:
Quote:
I barely recognise this Dean
He had just gotten back from a year in Purgatory, and also had apparently lost his best friend there. I think he'd be entitled to be a little off-balance.
A little off balance is VERY different from unrecognisable. A Dean struggling to adjust I could understand. The Dean who sent that text to Sam, or told Sam Benny was a better brother than he'd ever been, or who took completely on trust, despite having no idea how he'd cope with the temptation, that Benny would stay on the wagon is a Dean I don't know and don't believe in.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-10 10:01
Quote:
A little off balance is VERY different from unrecognisable.
Oh, I found him very recognizable, though it could just be that we're watching different versions of the show, LOL. In my version, Dean's comment about Benny being a better brother stemmed from Dean's own hurt. And the trust was based on having spent months relying on Benny and vice versa, in combat conditions. Kripke himself expressed the importance of "foxhole" brothers to the show. Dean gave Benny a chance, just like he did Cas. In my version of the show, Sam isn't the only character worthy of Dean's trust, respect, forgiveness and love.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-11 13:06
I don't disagree that Dean can trust respect and forgive others, but this season's Dean has consistently forgiven everyone EXCEPT Sam. Cas breaks Sam's mind, tries to kill Dean, tells Dean he does not trust him and then Dean goes off to "help" Cas on get a Cupid's bow while leaving Sam alone with the King of Hell. He forgives Cas completely once Cas returns from Purgatory and doesn't ever remind Cas of his sins. Sam he dings the entire season not only about Sam's sins, but also blames Sam for Cas leaving Sam's soul in The Cage. Sam bearing the entire burden of Dean's anger and disappointment is bothersome.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-11 18:46
Quote:
Dean has consistently forgiven everyone EXCEPT Sam.
We are definitely watching different shows.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-12 11:28
Quote:
Dean has consistently forgiven everyone EXCEPT Sam.
I had replied to this earlier, but the reply doesn't seem to have posted so my apologies if both end up here!

Are you literally expecting a line of dialogue that goes like this: "Sam I forgive you"? (As an aside, if you are expecting this, then I would point out that we haven't heard, "Cas, I forgive you." :-) )

Dean is a man whose actions speak louder than words, so I don't think verbal forgiveness is to be expected. He has very definitely shown by his actions – wanting to continue to hunt with Sam, stepping back (albeit a little reluctantly because he was worried about Sam) to let Sam do the trials – that he has forgiven Sam and that he trusts him also. If you can't see that, then we are definitely watching different versions of the show.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-12 20:57
Quote:
Are you literally expecting a line of dialogue that goes like this: "Sam I forgive you"? (As an aside, if you are expecting this, then I would point out that we haven't heard, "Cas, I forgive you."
No. I expect when Sam says "I've never been to confession I don't know where to start" (rough quote I'm sure those aren't the exact words) the answer should be looking for a confession ritual, not telling Sam that the ONLY things he has to confess for are when Dean felt hurt by his actions INCLUDING being rescued without his soul. Dean still blames Sam, it has been made very clear. Cas doesn't get a bad word, but Dean repeatedly hits Sam with how bad a brother Sam is and how that is what makes Sam unworthy. Forgiveness is in actions. Dean's actions show no forgiveness.

Dean was raised by John who never forgave anything and Dean is the same way. That doesn't make it pretty.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-12 21:43
Quote:
Dean still blames Sam, it has been made very clear. Cas doesn't get a bad word, but Dean repeatedly hits Sam with how bad a brother Sam is and how that is what makes Sam unworthy. Forgiveness is in actions. Dean's actions show no forgiveness.

Dean was raised by John who never forgave anything and Dean is the same way. That doesn't make it pretty.
May I ask why it is you seem to require Dean to revolve around Sam to the extent you do when you clearly think Dean has no redeeming qualities as a brother, and clearly believe Sam would be better off without him? I'm genuinely puzzled by your insistence that Dean should have no one else in his life but Sam when you obviously despise Dean. It's very odd.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-13 00:04
I am assuming you did not read my other answer to you. I don't want Dean to revolve around Sam. I want Sam to have his own voice and his own friends. I loved the codependent relationship of seasons one and two because there was a balance and it was far more healthy than it has become. I would like Sam and Dean to regain a healthy balance that is tied to a close relationship. I have never said that Dean should not have friends. I am not enamored with Cas for reasons that don't really belong here and that I have stated in the past. I don't hate Benny, although I had great issues with Dean is the only Winchester who can recognize a "good" monster, but that is not an issue with Benny, it is an issue with the set up of the show.

I don't mind Dean being friends with Charlie and Garth. I mind Sam having no one but Dean and I mind that Dean is still blaming Sam for every action that ever hurt him. I dearly wish they would give Sam decent friends apart from Dean the way they have with Dean, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards.
Ale
# Ale 2013-06-16 15:15
I haven't read all this thread yet but I don't understand why are we still having this discussion. I understand that was resolved in "Sacrifice", the Dean speach "I killed Benny to save you, there's nothing past or presente that I would put before you". Wasn't that clear enough that Dean HAS completely forgiven Sam? Not to mention that statement to the priest that he has complete faith in Sam.

So, I have to say again: I don't understand this discussion anymore after Sacrifice.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-16 15:46
Except that Dean killed Benny to save Sam several episodes before Sacrifice and yet in Sacrifice he's still holding on to all his resentments. I killed Benny for you could be a sign of forgiveness, or it could be reminding Sam that he killed the person who is "more of a brother than you've ever been". Plus saving Sam's life wasn't just saving Sam's life, it was saving Bobby and the quest to close the Gates of Hell.

Loving someone and not wanting them to die is not the same as forgiving them. Dean holds onto, well everything. He keeps Sam close to the extent that he refused to accept Sam's death. He also keeps his anger and resentment close.

I would have said that trusting Sam to take on Lucifer, going to Death to get Sam's soul back, seeing Sam come back and battle insanity to be with Dean, going to Cas and letting Cas sacrifice his sanity for Sam all showed that he had forgiven Sam. But this season was crystal clear that Dean HADN'T forgiven Sam. Sam says basically I'm not Catholic, I've don't know what to do, I don't know how to confess, which I took literally as this is part of a ritual and I don't know the proper steps. Dean interprets it as Sam not having any idea what his sins are and then lists every single time Sam let him down. His brother is terribly sick and weak and the possibility that Sam could die is very real and Dean feels compelled to list every way that Sam has been a bad brother. Not the people who died when Lucifer was released, not Jess dying because Sam didn't talk about his dreams, not what Sam DID to others while soulless, which shouldn't have been on Sam at all but the fact is the only issue Dean had is that Sam dared to come back soulless. Dean's recitation of how Sam sinned against Dean means TO ME that Dean hasn't forgiven Sam and frankly I don't see how Sam's confession either to God or to Dean that he does feel that letting down Dean is a sin (and boy do I have huge issues with that!) but I don't see that anything has really changed.

Dean doesn't want Sam dead and will act to keep him alive. That is great. It doesn't mean that Dean has forgiven Sam or that he ever will. To me, Dean's speech to Sam was boiled down to "yeah you are a pretty crappy person, but hey, I gave up the guy who was more of a brother to me than you were, so you owe it to me not to leave" not I'm sorry I hurt you, I shouldn't have held on to all that crap". I don't doubt Dean loves Sam, I do think the next time Sam lets Dean down, all the old resentments will come back again.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-06-16 16:03
Call me cynical but I fully expect Dean's resentments to rear their ugly heads again at some point if the writers have not allowed Sam to move on from his wrongs by now they never will. Sam is the sinner according to the show but never sinned against and resentments like Dean has never really go away he told Sam to let it go but he rarely takes his own advice.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-06-16 18:11
I don't know Sharon, I don't see Sam as a sinner. Sorry. Maybe some do but not all fans think that way. Dean doesn't let things go and can be a hypocrite sometimes but he has been raked over the coals time and again this year (and others) for his "sins" against Sam. So can we just stipulate that neither one is perfect and hope that next year is the start of a better understanding? We fans are not much better at forgiving than the characters :-) It would be nice to dwell on what wonderful men these brothers are.Never perfect. The awesome finale gave me much happiness and I am going to carry that into next season. Call me hopeful :-)
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-06-16 20:11
i'm with you leah. both boys have made mistakes but i don't really see them as sins. i actually see this entire season as the boys misperceiving ea. other and sacrifice being the episode where the misperception, or most of it at least is finally put to rest.

imo, dean perceived sam to have moved on from him. as i understand it, dean thought sam didn't look for him because he met a girl, they moved in and sam moved on with his life, seemingly forgetting about him. this way of thinking comes from what i believe to be dean's lack of self worth. he totally disregarded sam's explanation that he thought dean was dead. he also disregarded sam's comments about imploding and running. he didn't seem to hear him when he said amelia had nothing to do with him not looking, that he had been in fact driving aimlessly for months and that he hit a dog, which to me is a big red flag as to the condition sam was in. what we got to see and dean didn't was that sam's relationship with amelia wasn't a happy, loving one. sam was actually quite the opposite of happy and he in fact did not move on and he most certainly didn't forget his brother. what we saw, or what i saw from the fbs was that sam was far from alright. he was lost and broken. he reached out to someone just as broken so he can save someone because he couldn't save his brother. he ran away. he wasn't coping well at all. but what sam did manage to get from his time with amelia was time, the time he needed to become emotionally strong again. when he did, he realized he didn't belong in this life with her and he left. what i also learned from show through sam, meg, and bobby was that sam wasn't alright when dean disappeared, he wasn't anywhere close to being alright. as we the audience got hints throughout the season to let us know what it was really like for sam, dean only saw what he wanted to see, based on what i believe to be, as i stated above, his lack of self worth..

here are ea. of the boys misperceptions of ea. other as i saw it.

dean: misguided thinking in sam's reason for not looking, which i would stake a paycheck on being based on all the hints we've been given, that it's not that sam didn't look, it was that he wasn't capable of it.

sam: thinking that he places third behind an angel and a vampire in dean's eyes.
that all he's ever done is disappoint his brother.
i can see how this happened.. take sc + citizen fang=sam's belief that dean puts sam in last place. but this is all based on sam's misperception as well. his lack of self worth in dean's eyes.

i still say that dean's rant in sc was more about him than sam. dean laid out sam's past mistakes, but as i've stated, dean had just committed those very same mistakes. i think he was transferring his own feelings of guilt onto sam. i also think that he was trying to justify bringing benny topside. i still think he was trying to convince himself more than sam that benny was as peaches and cream as dean was making him out to be. i think dean lied to sam about benny because he didn't trust benny, not because he didn't trust sam.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-06-16 20:13
the crap move by dean sending that text, i thought it was more about keeping sam from benny because he was afraid sam would learn the truth about how benny got out. if sam knew the truth, then dean's claim about benny being the only one who didn't let him down wouldn't hold water, as sam could have easily pointed out that benny wouldn't let him down as dean was benny's ticket out of purgatory.
so in essence dean was trying to protect himself in addtion to making sure nobody got killed. but sam didn't see it that way. sam perceived it as dean willing to hurt him in the most cruel way possible to protect a vampire. so in sam's eyes, he sees dean as putting benny before him. i don't think dean realized how awful that move really was until torn and frayed. i also believed it weighed on him because he found the need to confess to charlie and from that point on came dean's complete 360. it's when he started to want normal for sam. i think he was trying to make up for what he did.

when we get to the finale, sam's in such a state where he totally breaks down and let's dean know his biggest sin, which is how often he lets him down. now regarding that list of so called sins dean brought up again. i don't think it's all about the times dean felt hurt by sam. i think it also has to do with all the times sam felt responsible or bad for something. sam did feel bad for the things souless sam did and wanted to atone

anyway i think the finale cleared up the misperception the boys have regarding their worth in the other's eyes. sam learned that he isn't in third place and that he is number one in dean's eyes always and forever no matter what. dean learned how much his brother values him, loves him. sam would rather die than disappoint dean. if dean had any doubt about hisworth in sam's eyes, i don't believe he has that doubt any more.
leah unlogged
# leah unlogged 2013-06-17 00:38
Hey nappi, I agree with you on your assessment of the season, the misconceptions, the compounding of these as the season progressed, the reason for the "crap" text, why Dean lied about Benny, that Sam felt responsible and guilty which added to his breakdown at the end. Dean is not blameless for adding to that guilt. The trust issues might come up again. One thing both of these guys have done now and in the past is demand truth from the other while at the same time withholding the truth at times themselves.. They don't see the irony in that. Often this has been done to protect the other or to not appear weak to the other but it just NEVER turns out well!!

Your theories have the ring of truth to them even if things were not spelled out.

Lastly, I could't agree more with your closing paragraph.(one day I might learn to do quotes :-) )
castiels cat
# castiels cat 2013-07-10 16:14
I have to disagree strongly with your first paragraph. Dean doesn't lie. If he doesn't talk about something it's because strong emotions are involved. The text, worded more like a booty call than a desperate SOS frankly, was sent to save Sam's life. Benny had soent decades in Purgator was a much better fighter than most vamps, let alone a rusty human hunter.

I have never understood this Sam is mad because Dean lied about Benny (and it smacks of trying to place the blame for Sam's bad behavior on someone else).He
never lied. He simply kept him to himself, which is what
you do when when you don't trust someone. Rest assured that Dean didn't trust Sam in the beginning of season 8; I think that Dean realized that he didn't know his brother at all.

Regarding the text, Dean's behavior is a stark contrast to Sam's. Dean thinks he was right to do it but he apologizes because he hurt Sam. He' s sorry that he hurt Sam, and shows visible guilt with Charlie. Good for Dean. This is mature behavior.

Sam accepted no blame for any of the events keading up to the text. He never apologized for not trusting Dean or for leaving him bloody, unconscious and chained. He shows no remorse or guilt for his role in Martin's death. His idea of apologizing for hurting his brother by abandoning him to Purgatory was to order him a burger. That's not the behavior of someone trying to make up with his brother.

Contrast to Castiel who apologizes, clearly feels remorse and does whatever he can to make things right.

So in Sacrifice we see Sam feeling remorse for his actions towards DEAN... FINALLY. This is why Dean never let go. Sam never showed remorse for how his actions hurt Dean. He dealt with the devil, but he never really dealt with Dean. So, what Carver did with Sam this season was intentional and huge.

Now if he can get Sam to apologize for the hurt he's caused and make amends in a way that show's Dean he cares.
leah unlogged
# leah unlogged 2013-07-10 21:42
Amy ring a bell? Of course Dean lies. He doesn't make a habit of of it. Sam too. I think this season did no favors for either of the brothers. Neither one came off smelling like a rose IMO.

The guys have never been great at apologies either. Especially, as you put it, when strong emotions are involved. I don't understand why Sam needs to grovel and apologize for attempting to go on when he was shattered by Dean's apparent death. The whole contrived conflict had both brothers doing and saying things that IMO that were out of character. Dean started acting like a jerk within a few minutes of being back because so was so supposedly hurt by Sam not looking. The Dean I think I know would have been happy that Sam tried to find some peace. I am still irked by the whole thing.

That being said, they did/do have unresolved issues from the past that needed to be addressed but the way the writers chose to bring it to a head was just all kinds of wrong.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-06-17 02:32
Quote:
I don't know Sharon, I don't see Sam as a sinner. Sorry. Maybe some do but not all fans think that way. Dean doesn't let things go and can be a hypocrite sometimes but he has been raked over the coals time and again this year (and others) for his "sins" against Sam. So can we just stipulate that neither one is perfect and hope that next year is the start of a better understanding? We fans are not much better at forgiving than the characters :-) It would be nice to dwell on what wonderful men these brothers are.Never perfect. The awesome finale gave me much happiness and I am going to carry that into next season. Call me hopeful :-)
Fair enough it is just a turn of phrase and one not without merit. I know Dean can be giving a hard time for certain actions but I feel with Sam there is a difference but that is just a personal opinion not gospel.

I hope your hopefulness is proven true :-)
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-06-16 18:57
Wow percysowner you read a lot more into that speech than was intended IMO. You keep saying that you don't doubt Dean's love for Sam but you always insist on seeing selfish motives in everything Dean does. And so it goes....
love2boys unlogged
# love2boys unlogged 2013-06-16 21:23
Leah, I totally agree with you about percysowner's take on the relationship between the brothers. I don't see the - I don't know what word I am seeking - the Competitiveness ? where the brothers are counting slurs, apologies and hugs? - in their relationship.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-12 11:37
Quote:
...and then Dean goes off to "help" Cas on get a Cupid's bow.
This word limit is annoying! Anyway, isn't it a good job Dean did go with Cas – otherwise he wouldn't have found out the trial would definitely kill Sam.

Quote:
He forgives Cas completely once Cas returns from Purgatory
I imagine that whatever happened in Purgatory after they were reunited might have something to do with that. And there is that little matter of Cas very clearly atoning for what he did. :-)

Quote:
...and doesn't ever remind Cas of his sins.
It's last season, but "clean up your mess" springs to mind.

Quote:
Sam bearing the entire burden of Dean's anger and disappointment is bothersome.
And also one of the side-effects of that stifling co-dependency you are so strongly in favor of.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-12 20:51
IMHO Cas has NOT atoned for what he did. Staying in Purgatory may have been self-flagellati on, but not atonement. Actually saying I'm sorry to a conscious Sam as opposed to a comatose one would be a start although no where near atonement.

Quote:
And also one of the side-effects of that stifling co-dependency you are so strongly in favor of.
Not me. I want Sam to get a POV and be an equal partner. The codependency of the early years has turned toxic, but it is far less toxic for Dean. Dean has been permitted to have other friends and contacts and Sam has not. Dean does not need Sam, he has Cas and Benny and Charlie and Sam lost Amelia and Amy and anyone who has ever sympathized with him.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-12 21:50
Quote:
Dean has been permitted to have other friends and contacts and Sam has not. Dean does not need Sam, he has Cas and Benny and Charlie and Sam lost Amelia and Amy and anyone who has ever sympathized with him.
Sam has had those things. Cas is Sam's friend also, albeit he isn't as close to Sam as he is to Dean. Benny could have been a friend and may well be if he returns since I should imagine Sam will be more prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt after he sacrificed himself for Sam. Charlie is a friend, Garth is a friend, Kevin is a friend, and Sheriff Mills is a friend.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-12 23:56
I personally do not see Cas as a friend to Sam. He made a few proclamations of friendship, but has not followed up with actions that mark him as Sam's friend. They have a lot in common and have reasons to be friends, but Cas rarely speaks to Sam, only seeks him out when he needs to reunite him with Dean and does little or nothing to aid Sam. In the past Cas has actively hurt Sam and then apologized to Dean, not Sam.

Benny, coulda, woulds, shoulda was not a friend to Sam, no matter whose fault it was Benny simply wasn't. Amelia could have been a friend to Dean if they had met, but they didn't so they aren't. Charlie relates almost totally with Dean. I can't remember a conversation between only her and Sam, although I may be forgetting something. Garth likewise talks to Dean while Sam disappears. I can argue that Kevin is friends with neither. they are stuck in a horrible situation together, but I don't know that Kevin likes either Winchester. Kevin is a Prophet and that leaves him very isolated.

Sheriff Mills is one of the few who is Sam's friend, and she has been removed from the scene this year. She has no contact with Sam or Dean, only Crowley.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-13 11:49
Quote:
He made a few proclamations of friendship, but has not followed up with actions that mark him as Sam's friend.
He risked his safety to retrieve Sam from the Cage. It may have gone badly wrong, but Sam wouldn't have been topside to save if Cas hadn't done that.

Quote:
In the past Cas has actively hurt Sam and then apologized to Dean, not Sam.
Episode 7.17: "Oh Sam... I'm so sorry."

I'm getting the impression you just expect everyone to revolve solely around Sam, tbh.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-13 11:50
I meant to say topside to *resoul*...
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-13 12:36
Quote:
He risked his safety to retrieve Sam from the Cage. It may have gone badly wrong, but Sam wouldn't have been topside to save if Cas hadn't done that.
And he dropped Sam like a hot potato once Sam didn't reunite with Dean. To me it was like getting Dean a puppy that ran away. If the Sam didn't make Dean happy then Cas had no interest in him. Cas admitted that Sam had called him multiple times after he came back to try and figure out what had happened and Cas completely ignored him then appeared the first time Dean called him. My feeling is that Cas did not rescue Sam to save Sam but to give Dean a nice present. Frankly people (and angels) like who they like. Cas liking Dean and being his friend and not being friends with Sam is his choice, but trying to make a case that Cas and Sam are currently friends is something I don't see.

It is very possible that you have not read my other responses in this thread. It is long and involved, so that is understandable, however I have repeatedly said that he has never apologized to Sam when Sam has been concious and can actually HEAR him. I am less than impressed by Cas apologizing to a person who can't respond. I'm not impressed when people do that in real life either.

Quote:
I'm getting the impression you just expect everyone to revolve solely around Sam, tbh.
If I wanted that I would have bailed years ago. What I won't do is ignore Dean's "bad behavior" while only focusing on Sam's. I will not talk about how bad the codependence is for DEAN and not talk about how much worse the effect has been on Sam, as I have seen it, and I will not ignore that when Sam takes an action that hurts Dean in canon Dean never lets him forget about it. Eilf has pointed out that just as Sam did not make any attempt to rescue Dean, Dean did not make any attempt to rescue Cas from Purgatory, yet at the end of the season, Dean is still beating Sam up with his failure, while not acknowledging that he did the exact same thing. The double standard bothers me.

Frankly we have two different views of this show. They seem to be fairly irreconcilable. I am more than happy to agree to disagree and move on.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-06-13 02:29
Quote:
Quote:
Dean has been permitted to have other friends and contacts and Sam has not. Dean does not need Sam, he has Cas and Benny and Charlie and Sam lost Amelia and Amy and anyone who has ever sympathized with him.
Sam has had those things. Cas is Sam's friend also, albeit he isn't as close to Sam as he is to Dean. Benny could have been a friend and may well be if he returns since I should imagine Sam will be more prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt after he sacrificed himself for Sam. Charlie is a friend, Garth is a friend, Kevin is a friend, and Sheriff Mills is a friend.
No Sam does not really have a 'friend' in his life in the same way Dean has. Sheriff Mills is about the only one where a potential friendship is possiible but she is not a character that will frequent the boys lives very often..

Dean out of the two has the established relationships and Benny is another example of the type of writing Dean has . Sam needs a friend that is for Sam and not one just brought back to be either demon possessed like Brady or merely to be killed off or is written like Amelia.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-13 11:53
Quote:
Sam needs a friend that is for Sam and not one just brought back to be either demon possessed like Brady or merely to be killed off or is written like Amelia.
I hope that happens next season. However, I suspect that if it does the producers will be bombarded with tweets complaining about how the show should be just the boys.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-13 12:18
Quote:
I hope that happens next season. However, I suspect that if it does the producers will be bombarded with tweets complaining about how the show should be just the boys.
Considering the writers totally ignored the fan uproar that lasted pretty well throughout the season asking and demanding that Sam's reasons for not looking for Dean be examined, I don't know why you would think that tweets to the writers about the relationship. The writers have made it clear that they are sticking to whatever story they want to tell and nothing will move them. Plus IIR, one of Jared and Jensen's contract requirements was that they get more time off then in the early seasons. This is most easily accomplished by separating the brothers. Since Dean has actual people to talk to, I don't think you need to worry about his codependence. Sam will most likely get scenes researching by himself and interviewing witnesses who will never be seen again.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-06-13 12:29
Quote:
Quote:
Sam needs a friend that is for Sam and not one just brought back to be either demon possessed like Brady or merely to be killed off or is written like Amelia.
I hope that happens next season. However, I suspect that if it does the producers will be bombarded with tweets complaining about how the show should be just the boys.
The show is about the boys always has always will be and long before the likes of Castiel and Benny turned up however if the show and some of the fandom is insistent that Dean must have relationships out side of Sam then I just want Sam to have the same.
castiels cat
# castiels cat 2013-07-10 16:20
He did say sorry in Rufus' cabin when they had their tete a tete. He risked his life to save Sam and only Sam to fix the mess he made. He continues to express grief and remorse for the cosmic damage that he's done as well as for the hurt that he's caused Dean. Sam should take notes.
love2boys
# love2boys 2013-06-08 08:26
Thank you Alice.
I didn't know about this site while watching these episodes. In one way, I am glad I didn't. :-? But reading this was like reading my own brain!!! (No offense to you, really.) Especially the parts that turned out to be pretty controversial, my innocent lonely take was just like yours.

That is not to say I wasn't worried and anxious! But I always thought that was what the show did each season. So I was OK while worrying. :D

Thank you for writing this. I am looking forward to the next part.
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2013-06-08 10:06
Great article. One thing though. I think the knife would have killed Crowley. Remember when Cass stabbed Alastair,he just missed his heart; and Alastair said "Almost!!". I took that to mean he almost killed him. I could be wrong though. Thanks to DVR, I'm going to go watch those episodes again!
Dot
# Dot 2013-06-08 11:30
Season 7 was a difficult slog for me, and I was really unhappy with the over-bottling and emotional constipation. S7 left me unsatisfied on Dean, Sam, and Castiel's stories. But I don't think that Dean was depressed and questioning why they do what they do and drinking too much was the problem. After the events of season 6, and then losing Castiel, I'm not sure how Dean could react after all that but to have doubts and be depressed.

Season 8 definitely took things in a direction I liked better. I have to say, though, I'm disappointed that Dean's PTSD was so little touched on. At first I thought we'd finally get the full in-depth exploration it deserved, rather than the subverted slow burn SPN has been doing with Dean's issues the past few years. It did work for me that SPN used the purifying aspect of purgatory, being in that 24/7 combat mode, with complications removed because kill or be killed is all there is, seems to have given Dean better access to his own feelings and readier expression. In purgatory, we saw him being direct and honest with his feelings for Castiel in ways we've never seen, and his priority was very clear: he's not leaving without his friend. Dean also bonded with Benny, which in itself is telling of the importance Dean puts on friendship and his changing view of non-humans. Out of purgatory, Dean kept insisting on honesty, although with Sam it seemed like more of a struggle. I liked seeing Sam and Dean being more open and honest with each other in S8 but the full fruition of that didn't arrive until the back half.

The final note of Citizen Fang seemed bleak, but in an intriguing way. Sam and Dean did choose each other, but I think it highlighted how much they've lost, and it didn't glorify the difficulties of this relationship and how isolated it is and how harsh the hunting life is. Watching them work together well in Torn and Frayed was happy-making, though, and Larp and the real Girl to me was the start of a better turn in the Sam and Dean relationship.

I really liked the first half of S8. It was hard seeing Sam and Dean at odds yet again--I think SPN keeps playing that card too readily in order to up the drama, but the emphasis on examining their issues more honestly and directly, and the way Sam and Dean were dealing more directly with each other made for some compelling tv and I found myself more engaged with the brother relationship than in S7. Sam's issues, Sam's issues with Dean, Dean's issues, Dean's issues with Sam, Benny setting off a lot of Sam's issues, Dean and Sam both making mistakes in dealing with each other, but also taking steps finally towards better understanding.
Dot
# Dot 2013-06-08 11:33
Sorry, I meant the end of Torn and Frayed not Citizen Fang.
hlnkid
# hlnkid 2013-06-08 13:11
Excellent read and take on s8/part 1 Dean.

I honestly think Purgatory might have been the best thing that happend to Dean in a long time. It showed him who and what he really is...and he has to come to terms with that at the same time as he's dealing with his unsettled relationship with Sam and his 'gray' relationship with Benny. Purgatory was a cleansing for him in a way.

I recently rewatched most of season 8. I always find that going through the season after the fact, you can really see how things get set up for the end of the year. And I totally enjoyed Dean's progression as he began the year and as he came to terms with everything during the year. He is one angsty fella, alot of which he tends to bring on himself, because of his fierce need to protect the people he cares about, but I thought the writers and esp Jensen did a fabulous job with his growth this year.


Looking forward to your Part 2 and Dean Dean the huggin' machine!
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-06-08 13:41
"Dean Dean the huggin' machine" Funny!! He is indeed an angsty fella. :-) It was nice to see his growth as the season progressed.
keslei
# keslei 2013-06-08 13:20
Thanks for this - you brought out a couple of things that hadn't occurred to me yet. And it's definitely easier to see the character progression looking back at these episodes now. I did really struggle with the first half of the season on the first time through, but now, knowing where the characters are going, I'm finding that I really like some of these earlier episodes. This season definitely helped to start rebuilding my faith in this show.
eilf
# eilf 2013-06-08 13:37
While I loved the return of the Dean who was a fighter and wanted to win and I thought the purgatory storylines were wonderful, for me the line 'Because everything you’ve done since you’ve climbed into my ride has been to deceive me.' put out there and not dealt with has spoiled something about the heart of the show that is unlikely to ever be unspoiled.

However I started a rewatch the other night at episode 12 because I couldn't face any of the other episodes without more alcohol than I had in the house at the time and I have to say the second half of the season is very good :-) I recognize THOSE characters.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2013-06-08 19:16
Quote:
While I loved the return of the Dean who was a fighter and wanted to win and I thought the purgatory storylines were wonderful, for me the line 'Because everything you’ve done since you’ve climbed into my ride has been to deceive me.' put out there and not dealt with has spoiled something about the heart of the show that is unlikely to ever be unspoiled.

However I started a rewatch the other night at episode 12 because I couldn't face any of the other episodes without more alcohol than I had in the house at the time and I have to say the second half of the season is very good :-) I recognize THOSE characters.
I totally agree. There is a huge disconnect between eps 1-9 and eps 10-23. The chasm is so wide that almost nothing that happens in the first half matters to what happens in the second half. You could, as you did, start half way through and end up exactly where we did at the end without having to relive the appalling, ooc, Sam didn't look for Dean idiocy, the snooze fest that was Samelia, the 'created for dramatic effect but totally unconvincing' angst between the brothers and just skip straight to the good stuff in the back half (MoL, trials, broments, hugs etc).

I also totally agree that the events of early s8 have permanently tainted the show for me. Something has broken in the way I feel about the show that can never be fixed I fear (unless the undo Sam not looking for Dean which I know is a million to one shot). That the writers would have Dean say the line you quoted, that he'd say Benny had been a better brother than Sam, or that he would EVER send that text is to do a huge disservice to his character and diminishes the brotherly bond that is the heart of this show. Similarly for them to make Sam not look for Dean, be angry / distrustful / jealous of Benny, handcuff Dean to a radiator, not seem happy Dean was back etc was just rank bad writing, grossly unfair to his character and, again, permanently damaged the brothers bond.

I love this show but I feel something was lost for me this season. The spell it has had over me was, if not broken, definitely cracked. I saw the writers making mistakes rather than the characters. It pulled me out of the story and actually made me feel a little foolish for having got so invested.

The end of the season was wonderful, and I'll be back for s9 but I'm not sure it'll ever be quite the same for me as it was, and that makes me really sad.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-09 17:29
I am, sadly, on board with this. Geordiegirl1967 , you said in an earlier post that you were going to pretend the first half of the season didn't exist, and I really envy you for being able to do that. I can't and those episodes have really tainted the show for me in ways that I don't think can be come back from.

Getting no explanation from Sam as to why he didn't look for Dean was inexcusable, IMHO. It left us an incomplete picture of Sam. I can accept that Sam not looking for Dean for several reasons, but "I hit a dog" isn't one of them. And Dean's

I will never be able to forget that Dean, on some level, thinks Benny was a better brother than Sam. That line ruins so much for me. For me, it weakens the final episode, because Dean telling Sam that he sacrificed Benny (the better brother) for Sam smacks of obligation, not love. It does call back to AHBL2 where Dean tells Sam's corpse that he doesn't know what to do because his only JOB (as instructed by John) was to protect Sam. It crossed my mind in season 2 that Dean sold his soul not because he loved Sam, but because he was following John's (admittedly contradictory, what with the you need to kill Sam stuff) orders. I dismissed that for years, but after the Benny the better brother comment, I'm stuck with the idea that Dean is still taking care of Sam less out of love than obligation. I know Dean loves Sam, but I'm not certain that his primary motive is loving Sam or if Sam is truly number one on his list.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-09 19:55
Quote:

Getting no explanation from Sam as to why he didn't look for Dean was inexcusable, IMHO.
But we did get an explanation. Just because it might not have been the one you wanted doesn't mean there wasn't one. It was made pretty clear that he was stunned and depressed, and he ran. It does happen to people who've gone through as much stress as Sam.

Quote:
or if Sam is truly number one on his list.
No man Dean's age should have a list on which his 32-y-o brother is number one.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-12 02:52
Quote:
But we did get an explanation. Just because it might not have been the one you wanted doesn't mean there wasn't one. It was made pretty clear that he was stunned and depressed, and he ran. It does happen to people who've gone through as much stress as Sam.
It was only tell....the same explanation if it was shown would have been okay for me.
Quote:
No man Dean's age should have a list on which his 32-y-o brother is number one.
Where as I agree for someone Dean's age you are right...what about someone who has no parents,wife ,children or girlfriend only a brother i.e like Dean
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-12 11:42
Quote:
It was only tell....the same explanation if it was shown would have been okay for me.
I do think it was shown, in Jared's great performance. It would have been great to see Sam's ordeal play out in "real time" (along with Purgatory) as opposed to flashbacks, but I seem to recall the PTB being hammered with demands that the brothers not be separated for longer than five minutes in S8, LOL.

Quote:
Where as I agree for someone Dean's age you are right...what about someone who has no parents,wife ,children or girlfriend only a brother i.e like Dean
You're right that Dean's life is unique... but Sam isn't all he has. he has Cas, had Benny (and possibly will again) and has become close to Charlie. While Sam may be his only blood-relative, he has other "family."
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-13 02:41
Quote:
You're right that Dean's life is unique... but Sam isn't all he has. he has Cas, had Benny (and possibly will again) and has become close to Charlie. While Sam may be his only blood-relative, he has other "family."
I still don't get why Sam can't be no1 based on this
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-13 11:55
Quote:
I still don't get why Sam can't be no1 based on this
If you can't see how deeply unhealthy it is, and how it has harmed both brothers, then I'm not going to debate it with you! :lol:
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-13 13:33
Quote:
Quote:
I still don't get why Sam can't be no1 based on this
If you can't see how deeply unhealthy it is, and how it has harmed both brothers, then I'm not going to debate it with you! :lol:
Let me guess because you see it as harming I have to see it too..yeah well If it so I also don't see a point in debating with you about this particular point
Ale
# Ale 2013-06-16 15:45
It's an wierd thing. I've all been hammered in the head nowadays by psycologists and magazines and stuff like this that too much love for someone is co-dependent and unhealthy, that we all have to be self suficient and independent. But still, we are spellbound by strong relanshionships like Sam and Dean. Of course I speak for myself, but I think we need MORE love and be unselfish and giving, like the boys, than being "independent", that many times means lonely and empty.
castiels cat
# castiels cat 2013-07-10 16:29
I agree absolutely with this.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-06-09 20:33
Hey, percysowner, I am not really in much of a debating frame of mind but I do want to make the observation that the word love has never been said by either brother in a serious conversation. I suspect that was one of Kripke's rules. But the fact of the matter is they have both shown in many many ways how much they love each other. I think there is an element of obligation there with Dean, it was ingrained. I think he also loves Sam above all beings. No matter what he said about Benny. I think on some level he DID think Benny was a better brother for a short time and when he was hurt and pissed at Sam. You don't show complete devastation at the death of someone unless you love them. Just because Dean didn't pronounce his love in AHBL2 didn't mean that he didn't love Sam IMO.

Just my 2 cents, thanks.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-06-10 06:22
You know, when doing my season 8 rewatch, I was actually surprised by the fact that Dean never said the words "better brother". I'd heard that bandied around so much, I actually thought it was in the script! But, yeah, it wasn't.
Dot
# Dot 2013-06-10 07:58
Dean's referencing of Benny as a comparison rolls from his own sadness at missing that rapport with Sam. Did Dean really care about Benny? Yes. Did he trust Benny? Yes. But Dean's words to Sam about Benny arise from hurt about Sam. Plus Dean references Sam and Castiel in the same breath while under the influence of the specter. Sam groups Cas with Benny as more exemplary brothers. Dean references Sam as a more exemplary brother to Castiel. All the comparisons are hurtful, but it's not about who is better or worse, but their own issues. ITA, I'm not sure how much more Sam and Dean need to do to show to the audience how much they love each other. There's still more they need to say each other but no doubt in my mind how much the love goes strong both ways.
Dot
# Dot 2013-06-10 08:04
Further note about obligation--I think it is ingrained. From the age of 4, Dean was taught his main job in life and only value was in being Sam's protector. Does that mean Dean doesn't love Sam for his own sake, no, and it doesn't mean he does this entirely out of obligation. But it is an element. Also if Sam and Dean having no one else to depend on but each other exacerbates that issue, and it's going to crush them if SPN keeps forcing them into that position. The bond between them is powerful no matter what other relationships form and I'm sorry SPN felt Dean had to send a friend back to Purgatory to prove that to Sam. Dean didn't form those found brother relationships because Sam let him down.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-06-11 17:42
Hi Dot, I am a little confused, are you replying to percy or me? If me, then we are in agreement on most things. I said very similar things in my comment even using the word "ingrained" to describe Dean's sense of obligation. Maybe this format is a little different. If you are addressing to percysowner, my apologies.
Dot
# Dot 2013-06-11 19:17
Oh, sorry, I was agreeing with you, and adding a few thoughts about the obligation element.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-10 10:27
I agree. It's odd to me that some comments seem to be very in favor of stifling co-dependency while also being rather naive in not acknowledging that an stifling co-dependency probably is going to be based in no small part on a sense of obligation.

Quoting percysowner:
I'm stuck with the idea that Dean is still taking care of Sam less out of love than obligation


LOL I'm stuck on the idea that Dean is still taking care of Sam, period – Sam is a grown-up, after all. I hope very much for less stifling co-dependency, since IMO stifling co-dependency does go hand-in-hand with obligation rather than love. That's definitely my perception of the brothers in S7, when they seemed more like work colleagues than siblings. That's what stifling co-dependency breeds – resentment because you're stuck in something you can't break free of. OTOH Dean seemed much better this season since his other loved one – Cas – was back safe, and he had other people in his life.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-12 02:57
Quote:
OTOH Dean seemed much better this season since his other loved one – Cas – was back safe, and he had other people in his life.
Sam should remind Dean how much shit he got for wanting other people in his life other than Dean and just bring it up every other episode like Dean does.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-12 11:43
Quote:
Sam should remind Dean how much shit he got for wanting other people in his life other than Dean and just bring it up every other episode like Dean does.
Perhaps that will happen in S9... :lol:
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-13 13:34
Quote:
Quote:
Sam should remind Dean how much shit he got for wanting other people in his life other than Dean and just bring it up every other episode like Dean does.
Perhaps that will happen in S9... :lol:
Praying for it really hard...
Leah unlogged
# Leah unlogged 2013-06-13 14:42
I don't agree that is Dean's mindset. I think he would like for his brother to have friends and eventually have a "normal" life. I think Dean feels like hunting is his destiny and does want Sam at his side. But in his heart I think he would give his life if he thought that was possible for Sam. I know some of you interpret some of Dean's actions as not wanting Sam to have friends or any life but hunting with him. I see it differently but different "rainbows" and all.

PS- nice to see you around anonymousN even if we don't agree. ;-)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-18 02:10
Quote:
I don't agree that is Dean's mindset.
I said that was Dean's mindset.He as well as parts of fandom has given Sam lots of Crap for wanting other things in life other than Dean and John.Well now poor wittle Dean and the same parts of the fandom want people other than Sam for Dean.I don't have any problem for Dean wanting other people in life but I just can't forget what happened earlier and would like Dean to be reminded of that.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-06-18 07:34
With due respect anonymousN was the "poor wittle Dean" necessary? I was defending my favorite character just as you do.I still believe that some of his actions were not about him not wanting Sam to have anybody as much as feeling that hunting is what they are supposed to be doing. I do believe that he wanted Sam by his side. I have always thought he wanted Sam to have all those things if things were different. I further don't believe that Dean doesn't want Sam to have friends. You don't have to like Dean, that is your right, but you don't need the mocking to make your point.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-18 09:26
"poor wittle Dean" I did not tell it in response to you ...it is those parts of fandom who blamed Sam for going to college and wanted a life other than John and dean.But I was not very clear ...so I offer you my apology.
I believe Dean resented Sam for going to College,He resented that Sam did not look for him even when he told that he thought Dean was dead.Dean did not resent Sam always but there are times he has.
My point in the earlier comment was when Sam in season 1 wanted to go to college Dean resented him still more the fandom (also till season 8 amelia this is seen) ...So now when Dean has Cas and had Benny well that was all well and good.That simply grated me.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-06-18 17:05
Thank you anonymousN, I appreciate the clarification!
My view always was that Dean resented Sam leaving his family, I think that hurt Dean. I never thought that it was about Dean not wanting Sam to be happy. But this season has been hard on all fans. I don't think many of us were thrilled about things our respective characters were made to do and say. I understand having things grate on you.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-06-13 18:29
Just one more thought, I personally will not be praying for any scenario that brings the brothers back into major conflict. There is a lot of resentment out there for Dean but it would be nice to think that Sam and Dean are in a better place in their relationship. No matter who your favorite character is, there has been mistakes made by both of them!!
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-06-13 21:09
I with you Leah, I sure as hell don't want conflict. They are both flawed. Let's love them both, huh?
Brr
# Brr 2013-06-08 22:03
Don't forget that this was an "under the influence" statement, and that the first victim of the specter in the episode killed her loving husband over a fling that occurred something like 30 years before. In contrast, Dean's resentments are much more recent, even though the speech is meant to be a painful exaggeration of those feelings. It is also a list of all the things that Dean has been shoving down and putting aside with regards to his brother since at least season 4. Though put in the harshest terms, it needed to be said, and Sam needed to hear it.

I haven't started a rewatch yet, but I intend to. I think that the brothers really had to go through this bad time in order to begin rebuilding their bond.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2013-06-08 22:32
Quote:
It is also a list of all the things that Dean has been shoving down and putting aside with regards to his brother since at least season 4. Though put in the harshest terms, it needed to be said, and Sam needed to hear it.

I haven't started a rewatch yet, but I intend to. I think that the brothers really had to go through this bad time in order to begin rebuilding their bond.
I fundamentally disagree sorry. I hear people saying this - that the boys 'needed' to go through ths to fix things. But what needed fixing? They've been through this cycle already. The whole of s5 was built around Sam making amends for what he did in s4 and rebuilding Dean's trust in him - culminating in them being in the best place they had ever been by the time they got to the end. Then Sam overcoming Lucifer for the love of Dean was the most concrete proof of how much Dean meant to him there could possibly be. Dean recognised that. At that point the issues of s4 were done, dealt with, worked through and forgiven. What exactly has happened since then (ignoring for the moment the ludicrous Sam not looking for Dean debacle)? Soulless Sam's actions were not real Sam's fault. Dean knows that and has never blamed Sam (so don't ask me why they had Dean add that to Sam's list of sins in Sacrifice). Sam did nothing to Dean in s6 or 7 once he got his soul back. And in s6 Dean gave the big 'all is forgiven now and forever' speech at Rufus's grave. Are we saying he was lying then? Are we saying that all the work they put in in s5 to repair their relationship was meaningless? More generally, are we saying Dean will always forgive Sam everything (as implied at the end of Sacrifice) or that Dean will never forgive Sam anything - starting with going to Stamford right up to him leaving the top off the toothpaste that morning?

The whole thing simply does not hang together. It requires inconsistent characterisatio n to make the story work - except that a story where characters are twisted on the altar of plot are fatally flawed and don't emotionally engage with the audience.

The other issue of course is that every time they force Dean and Sam onto this stupid 'they need to fall apart so they come back stronger' merry-go-round it is less and less convincing. We know it won't stick both for reason within the show (because they love each too much) and for external commercial reasons (because the bond between Dean and Sam is a major, if not the prime, reason why people watch the show)

So sorry but I don't buy the 'Sam needed to hear this', 'they needed to work through this' arguments. To me the early s8 conflict was an entirely artificial, done for dramatic effect, construct that required Dean and Sam to be unrecognisable in order for it to work. And guess what? It didn't. Certainly not for me, and I know not for many others.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-09 17:42
I have a couple of issues with this. First Dean is fairly focused on the idea that Sam CHOSE to remain in the cage with Lucifer as a way of hurting Dean. If Dean can't give Sam a pass for what he did while LITERALLY not himself, I can't give Dean a pass on being under the influence.

As to rebuilding their bond, it wasn't fractured in season seven and really it was strong as soon as Sam got his soul back. I didn't see a need to rebuild what was strong before this season.

Why did it have to be said and Sam needed to hear it? That puts the entire burden of the relationship on Sam, with Dean being labeled as perfect. Sam was virtually silent throughout the season, while Dean kept on hitting Sam with how much of a failure Sam is and has ALWAYS been. It might have accepted the logic if DEAN had to hear some of Sam's truths, whatever they may be, instead of only his(Dean's) feelings. The fact that Sam has internalized Dean's negative judgements of him also bothers me greatly. We have Sam, who is about to die, telling Dean that his only sins are when he hurt Dean's feelings. That is seriously screwed up and means that there can never be an equal relationship between the brothers.

Finally, when Sam does things "under the influence" it doesn't get papered over as only that. In addition to what Souless!Sam did, Sam has been held rtsponsible for what he did in Levee and his and in Asylum The show made it abundantly clear that Sam's anger was what he felt, even though Dean refused to discuss the issue.
Dot
# Dot 2013-06-09 18:50
Good point! Dean does shove too much down, and usually does require being under the influence of something to be honest about the depth of the hurt he's carrying, although not always. This isn't about blaming Sam, but the fact that the things that happened did leave a mark and did hurt, even if some of those things were out of Sam's control. Dean's knows some of it was out of Sam's control and no it's not really accurate to blame Sam for soulless Sam. But it still *hurt*, Dean suffered damage from soulless Sam, that's a fact, and it's also a fact that Supernatural hasn't really had Dean talk about that except for a few mentions in S8. But he hasn't told anyone in depth how it FELT to see his brother who sounded and looked like his brother who was not his brother. He hasn't talked about first letting Sam go at the end of S5, losing Sam to what he knows is eternal torment in the Cage, getting Sam back only to get some horrific semblance of Sam that isn't entirely Sam and who doesn't care about Dean, getting Sam back, only to lose his found family who gave Dean shelter at his lowest, and lose his best friend who in turn also turned into something he was not. The cumulative trauma of those events--it makes perfect sense to me Dean would be carrying a lot of resentment and hurt and he bottles it because he's forgiving, because he doesn't want to unload on Sam because Dean doesn't in fact blame Sam. That doesn't mean the hurt isn't there.

Dean needs to voice it and I agree with you that there was more rebuilding that needed to happen. Things were not okay between them, and I do feel they needed to go through what they did in S8 to reach better understanding.

One of my issues with S7 with the brothers was that the peace seemed so surfacy. There wasn't much opening up, they were closed off from each other even if they were getting along, and I think a lot of old hurts on both sides just let slide while they fumbled along with little direction (from the brothers or the show itself).
Brr
# Brr 2013-06-10 17:15
Thanks, Dot--you said it much better than I did.

I wasn't implying that Dean was in fact unforgiving of Sam, but that he was hurt, and not for the first time. Yes, Sam knows this and yes, they have come together in the past, and yes, they show their love and willingness to sacrifice for each other regularly. Still--Dean's tendency to shove stuff down doesn't do either of them any favors because Dean rarely admits to or deals with the emotions that surround all of the events, both in and out of Sam's control, for which he has consciously given Sam a "clean slate". So when these emotions do come out--under the influence or in another way--they are that much more devastating to both characters. That's what Sam needed to hear, and what Dean needs to express, before they could really come together again.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-06-10 14:17
Quote:
Don't forget that this was an "under the influence" statement, and that the first victim of the specter in the episode killed her loving husband over a fling that occurred something like 30 years before. In contrast, Dean's resentments are much more recent, even though the speech is meant to be a painful exaggeration of those feelings. It is also a list of all the things that Dean has been shoving down and putting aside with regards to his brother since at least season 4. Though put in the harshest terms, it needed to be said, and Sam needed to hear it.

I haven't started a rewatch yet, but I intend to. I think that the brothers really had to go through this bad time in order to begin rebuilding their bond.
Their bond was there already right up to the end of season 7 and it was not Sam's fault Dean ended up in Purgatory . After everything Sam has gone through and went through in the cage no I dont think he needed to hear that .
Valgal
# Valgal 2013-06-08 17:21
Thank you Alice for your analysis of the first half of Season 8.
I cannot watch Season 7 any more and have not bought the DVD. At Jersey Con, I told Jensen that last year I lost three family members and other friends. His depiction of Dean grieving over his many losses in Season 7 resonated with me.


However, by October, I was willing to rejoin the world and was glad that Supernatural showed a newly empowered Dean. I saw a Dean who returned from Purgatory more primal, more judgmental and yet, more grateful. These played out in different ways during the first half of the season. To survive in Purgatory, Dean had to resort to his primal instincts... What do I need in order to survive? (In Purgatory, it was to be mentally and physically sharp. It was to be morally aware.) I saw this played out in his attempts to save Benny and Castiel. ( And later in the season we see how he uses these abilities to help Sam and Kevin).

Of course, he is judgmental of Sam. He always has been, but if you spend a year trying to physically, mentally and emotionally survive, how can you not expect the same from the person with who you are the closest? Is it unreasonable that Dean be upset with Sam's choices to abandon the job, given what Dean had to do in Purgatory and to get out of there? Is it unreasonable for him to expect that Sam would still be at the job of saving people and hunting things?

Finally, the Dean who emerges is grateful. A lot of it is unspoken. Sure, he thanks Sam for the first hamburger he's eaten in a year. But the gratitude shows ups in other ways. Most of this we see in the second half of Season 8. (I do not see Dean as being the "hand-maiden" as Charlie affectionately calls him in L.A.R.P.and the Real Girl when he is nesting during the second half of the season. I see it as a way to show gratitude for what Sam is undertaking.)

I enjoyed the first half of the Season because Dean had to "right" himself and still handle what he felt was Sam's betrayal, the tablets, Benny's readjustment to Earth and the Castiel's situation.

The character was set up to show that the Dean we knew hadn't been destroyed or compromised in Purgatory. He is still the ethical man, the one who is loyal, courageous, stubborn, caring and guilt ridden. He came back a victor and his stay Purgatory chiseled the man so that he could employ his intellectual, physical and ethical strengths and handle what happens in the second half of Season 8.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-06-08 17:52
Was it unreasonable for Dean to be upset that Sam wasnt hunting? I suppose that is defined by wether Dean sees Sam has not having a right to make that choice. The fact that no genuine single conversation between the two ever took place over that year and it was reduced to there was a girl then there wasnt never really rounded the situation out.

Dean had a right to be upset Sam did not look for him that was a creative decision that put Sam on the back foot from the start but not wanting to hunt was a different scenario IMO. The Dean that emerged originally from Purgatory was in a hunters mode , he had to fight to survive everyday his mindset was vastly different from where Sam was at that time. But the first half of the season was not my cup of tea to be honest.
cleverlylemon
# cleverlylemon 2013-06-08 23:13
I was greatly looking forward to these "Deeper Looks." I think I get distracted as a season progresses, trying to follow all the archs. You sum each brother up so nicely, Alice.

I get mature Dean. I love how he is now able to open up a little more without being pushed by Sam or Bobby yelling at him to stop bottling it all up. All the hugs and the concern and the gentleness of Season 8!Dean would have been labeled 'chick-flick moments' by Season 1!Dean. But I don't think he would have ever got to this place if it hadn't been for the first half of this season. Real life is dirty too. Sometimes you have to go through a purifying process to snap yourself out of the funk you are in. I think that is what happened to Dean. He got his perspective reset in Purgatory.

But putting that new perspective into play when he came back was the stickler. Dean came charging back, raring to go and ran full force into Sam who had stopped moving. He and all of us are aware that he is at his best when driving the Impala hunting evil with Sam. So I see the first half of Season 8 as Dean trying to figure out how to join these two truths; his new found purpose and the need to put that it use with Sam at his side. Sure it wasn't perfect. There were some unnecessary comments and a certain 'dick-move' text message but I see him honestly give it quite the go. I think it segues nicely into the amazingness which is the second half of Season 8 when both brothers are on the same page and full of purpose.

I am so excited to see your Sam Deeper Look. I ate up his story line for the very first time this year. By far my favorite Sam season of the series.

(thanks for the glorious Dean shots in this post. My heart doth melt :oops: )
Alice
# Alice 2013-06-18 01:58
Thanks! I so agree with everything you've said, and that's an interesting view I never picked up on before. Dean was raring to go and Sam stopped moving. No wonder they were at such odds for a chunk of the season!

It'll probably take a week or more for the Sam Deeper Look, but it's next on the priority list!
novi
# novi 2013-06-09 00:26
Thanks, Alice, your article so reminded me of the things I love to deal with - visual aids and diagrams (I'm a teacher). Season8: downturn - trough - crisis - upturn - peak, perfectly graphical! If I had classes on SPN that would be a great help:-)
I agree that there were some common traits between S5 and S8, but to me nothing sounded either repetitive or monotonous, on the contrary, S8 kinda brought back those feels and ideas that attracted me to the show at the beginning. It's all very subjective, of course.
Dean's character certainlly evolved ...or did it? As hlnkid put it, Dean returns from P. in a full warrior's mode, he came to terms with who he is. So Dean is a fighter, an avenger, a man with a knife, yes cool but cold, terrifying.Or is Dean a kindhearted understanding friend and caretaker? I feel the gap between these two sides of the character here, and it is where the dividing line in the season goes. I think I understand Sam better after the finale, but I am not at all sure which road Dean is going to choose, and it frightens me, honestly. Because there is darkness in Dean that was shown now and then but never really resolved.
paloma
# paloma 2013-06-09 15:00
Dean always been a fighter and a takegiver. In season 7 he was sad, but he still fights, and very well. And with PTSD in season 8, although it dissapered very quickly, he was the guy who sat with the people for telling him his problems. He has a dark side, but he always had choose to save people and for now it doesn't seems to change.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-06-09 16:56
i had a hard time the first time watching the first half of the season...but on rewatch, paying close attention... i see that it was laid out the way it was supposed to so sam and dean can finally be where they are now.

sam's story was presented to us much like a jigsaw puzzle. some pieces of sam's story, much like the pieces in a puzzle were clear and recognizeable.. .like you can tell when a piece is an eye or a hand etc..and some parts of sam's story were confusing, like the pieces of the puzzle that are a solid color...they're very important to the whole picture, but until the puzzle is complete you have no idea what that piece is.

dean's story was more like a photo...you got the whole picture right there in front of you...but then again, you don't know the circumstances of the picture before or after it was taken.

i always knew there was something more to sam's story than "i didn't look"....i always knew it was more along the lines of i couldn't look...and the biggest clue for me coming to that conclusion came from dean in the first eppy...

they were sitting in the motel room and dean asked sam a question, but not the question that would've made us all understand sam's story from the get go....dean asked sam...what would make sam winchester stop hunting...was there a girl? dean never asked sam, what would make you not look for me? and that was the question that dean needed to know the most...and that's the one question dean never asked....not once..not even in the end.

clues were given throughout the entire season that something was wrong with sam ...it was always very clear to me that it simply wasn't just a case of him deciding he wasn't looking....let' s not forget...sam didn't start living normal when he thought dean died, sam fell into normal quite by accident.

sam told dean twice in the premiere he thought he was dead. he believed his whole family dead. i believe his words were along the lines of it's hard to do the family business when the business killed your entire family
sam told dean he hit a dog....red flag right there
sam told dean he imploded and ran
the most obvious clue that sam was in a very dark place was his unhealthy/unhap py relationship he had with amelia. it's pretty clear that these flashbacks were telling that sam was not in a healthy state of mind....as a matter of fact, these fbs proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt how broken sam really was. i found it very telling that none of sam's fbs of amelia were happy moments. they weren't even loving moments....they were quite the opposite of dean and lisa's. sam never made new friends, there were no moments of laughing, there were no moments of joy or intimacy, he had no pics in his wallet...every moment of sam's fbs were of amelia talking about her loss. it was all her point of view...the only thing the fbs explained was why he sought her out in the first place. it wasnt out of love....it was out of loss and pain and his need to save someone because he couldn't save his brother again. but i'll tell you what he did find with amelia...he found his strength. while trying to save her, sam ended up taking a much needed sabatical from the horror of his life..it was a time for him to regain his strength and when he did, when he realized that he can no longer run away from his life, he left her and he did all this well before he even knew dean was alive...where did sam go when he left amelia? it was back to the cabin, where i believe, he was ready to face the reality that he needed to find kevin.
sam's talk in heartache of dean being better off on his own...that was about sam failing dean, letting him down yet again and not about sam wanting to go off and live normal.
meg and bobby both pointed out that something was very questionable with sam and his not looking. bobby flat out told sam he was off the rails..
of course the finale was proof positive to me that the state that sam was in when confessing to dean was not unlike the state i believe he was in when he lost dean....only this time he had support and love whereas in the beginning he was all alone with no road map....no support....no family....no dean.

the first half of the season was subtle but very clear that something was very wrong with sam which is why he couldn't look for dean...

i think the finale may finally have dean seeing that too.....
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-06-09 21:38
Brava! Very well said and my thinking exactly. :D
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-06-09 17:18
i know this is about dean, but it all ties in together, my perception of dean this season...

in the beginning i understood dean was hurt. what i didn't understand though was why he never asked the burning question....why ?....but now i know.

i think the story played out exactly the way it was supposed to and dean asking the question would've never gotten us to where we are...and where we are is so wonderful.

it's just my opinion, but i believe that dean never asked the right question because he didn't want to know the answer. if dean asked sam why he didn't look, and sam told him the truth, which i believe to be that he broke, which he implied anyway when he said he imploded and ran, then dean would've felt responsible. dean in essence, though not of his doing, did the leaving....he left sam alone, utterly alone ...and the fact that sam couldn't handle it, well, i believe knowing dean like i do, dean would've felt guilty. so better not to know the truth. easier to just be angry.

i found dean's rant in sc quite interesting. he rambled on about every sin he thought sam commited in the past, though being souless was not his fault and not looking not for dean because he thought him dead was not a sin.

but all of these crimes he mentioned and seemingly forgave according to dean himself....dean was commiting now in the present.
dean put benny inside him/much like sam did the demon blood.
dean lied to sam about benny for months, much like souless sam never told dean he was souless
dean says sam didn't look because of a girl, which is the way dean sees it, but not the truth, but it's that anger that the coin was working off of..
dean says that sam left him, but it was dean that, apparently in his mind, left cas....he let cas down much the way dean insinuated sam and cas let him down.....
sam's past sins are dean's present sins...and benny, well imo dean was just trying to justify letting benny out of purgatory and being friends with a vampire...
so benny is painted to sam as someone who never let him down, yet in actuality, dean knew from the get go that benny needed him to get out of purgatory so of course benny isn't going to turn on dean....and contrary to what dean proclaimed, i don't think he trusted benny as much as he wanted to believe he did as indicated in citizen fang when he greeted benny with a machete.

but dean's relationship with benny had to matter. it had to be important or dean's sacrifice of benny would'nt have been believable to sam in the finale....if benny didn't matter to dean, then dean wouldn't have been able to reach sam...in essence, benny's importance magnified sam's importance.

as for dean's complete turnaround in the second half...i believe he was trying to make up for the text mssg....when sam explained why that was so hurtful, dean saw it in a new light and felt really bad about what he did..dean didn't realize how damaging that text really was. dean felt the need to confess to charlie (as dean doesn't confess to God) and charlie pointing out what a dick move that really was..only made dean want to atone for it even more.

as far as dean wanting normal for sam, dean, always walked a fine line about wanting sam to have normal , but not wanting him to leave him.....he tried to make it right to sam in the second half....he wanted to do the trials for him...

i think it's pretty clear why sam wanted to do the trials for dean... it was to make up to him all the times sam feels dean believed he let him down....to give dean a world without demons. to see that he doesn't have to go down in a blaze of glory, that there is a life for dean...and sam is willing to sacrifice himself to do.....he always has been...

i really am happy the way it all turned out....it's so much easier now to watch the first half, knowing what it all was leading to.....and how much these boys have always loved ea. other.... it's so good that the boys finally see for the first time how much value they hold for ea. other....they both have such low opinions of themselves that they never really understood, until now the high regard they hold for each other....holy crap they finally see what we've all known all along.....i think we all deserve a purple nurple to celebrate...:lo l:
paloma
# paloma 2013-06-09 19:19
I'm sorry for all I will to say.
But the first part of your review it seeams to me another one of: "poor sam what horrible is Dean". And for me, I will believe Sam's speech in the next season, this one it wasn't the best for him. It wasn't much, I only want that Dean is not going to need one long rope and too much caffeine.
First of all, I don't know how Dean sin can be that left Cas behind, if for beginning he didn't left him.
Normal that Dean didn't tell a thing, yet I'm waiting that Sam doesn't react bad, for something important that Dean tell him. And in this season it is seems Dean could predict bad movements.
Sorry, but the situation with Benny was very different that the demon blood. It's true that both of them did what they did in a desperate time. But while Dean go out of Purgatory it's more or less over, with Sam didn't leave it until it was exploted on his face.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2013-06-09 20:33
Quote:
Quote:

Getting no explanation from Sam as to why he didn't look for Dean was inexcusable, IMHO.
But we did get an explanation. Just because it might not have been the one you wanted doesn't mean there wasn't one. It was made pretty clear that he was stunned and depressed, and he ran. It does happen to people who've gone through as much stress as Sam.

Quote:
or if Sam is truly number one on his list.
No man Dean's age should have a list on which his 32-y-o brother is number one.
Sorry but one throw away line cannot possibly begin to 'explain' either to Dean or to the viewers why Sam would do something so completely ooc. The more unlikely the actions of a character the more time and effort is required on the part of the writers to provide (ideally by showing not telling) a sequence of events and the development of the mind set that led to the unlikely decision or action. Look at s4. We saw Sam's devastation and hopelessness when he'd lost Dean. We saw how Ruby exploited that to turn him from suicidal to revenge driven. Then she showed him how to get the power he needed to defeat Lilith which he believed was both for the greater good and to avenge Dean. That build up went on over an entire season to get us to the place we needed to be to make Sam's beat down of Dean credible (and I still didn't buy it but that's a different debate).

This season we see Sam faced with something he has faced before; after s3, in Mystery Spot, in TaT among others ie he has lost Dean and it seems hopeless. Every other time he has dedicated, single-mindedly , ever fibre of his being to rescuing or avenging his brother. This time he walks. Is that reaction in the realms of possibility? Doubtful. But if they are to convince the audience that it is we need to see why this time was different. We need insight into Sam's mindset. We need to see what happened in the days after Dean was lost. We got almost nothing and what we were told was lame and unconvincing. So yes the writers THINK they've explained, but it doesn't make sense for Sam's character. I'm not buying it. I know many people feel the same.

As for the comment that no 32 year old man should have his brother as the most important person in his life, can I ask why on earth not? Dean and Sam have no other family, no wives or girlfriends, no kids. Barely any friends. Plus they are very close because of the way they were raised, that they work and live together and that they get on really well. So why is it so unlikely that they'd be the most important person in each others lives, and what is wrong with that?
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-10 10:13
Quote:
Sorry but one throw away line cannot possibly begin to 'explain' either to Dean or to the viewers why Sam would do something so completely ooc.
Sorry but yes it can, and since it is now canon it is now a part of Sam's characterization. It's wholly believable that this "last straw" would break his back and he would run after everything he has gone through.

Quote:
...the development of the mind set
Perhaps that might have happened had the writers not been bombarded with demands not to separate the brothers for more than five minutes, LOL! As it is, the "mindset" was ably portrayed by JP, in Sam's panic after Dean and Cas vanished, and in his depression in the flashbacks.

Quote:
what is wrong with that?
Sorry, but in no scenario is it healthy for two brothers that age to be so co-dependent, and it has caused them a lot of pain.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-12 03:12
Quote:
Sorry but yes it can,
Maybe its enough for you but its not enough for me.Quote:
It's wholly believable that this "last straw" would break his back and he would run after everything he has gone through.
Even you are not sure..see that is why one liners don't suffice
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-12 11:48
Quote:
Maybe its enough for you but its not enough for me.
Ah, well maybe it isn't enough for you, but yes, it is enough for me. :-)

Quote:
Even you are not sure..see that is why one liners don't suffice
Eh? I'm not sure why you would think the fact I find it "wholly believable" means I'm *not* sure?
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-12 20:43
I think the words wholly believable are not the same as I am convinced or I saw it portrayed. From everything we saw until As Time Goes By, it was wholly believable that John was in contact with his Dad after he came back from Vietnam. Until DSOTM it was wholly believable that John and Mary were soulmates who had a strong marriage. Heck until My Bloody Valentine it was wholly believable that John and Mary not only loved each other but liked each other as well. All of these turned out to be untrue. Until this season it was completely unbelievable that Dean would blame Sam for having the temerity to permit himself to not be rescued from the Cage. Yet here we are. Henry disappeared when John was eight and John didn't ask the guy who asked how hid dad was "what the HECK" are you talking about. John and Mary fell in love because of angel manipulation and didn't like each other and then had a marriage where John actually walked out for a while. And Dean continues to blame Sam for coming back without a soul.

Knowing something for a fact is very different from wholly believing something. One is based on evidence the other is based on strong conjecture that on this show, at least, has been undermined numerous times.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-12 21:55
Then I am entirely convinced... until the show tells us that some kind of spell made Sam not look. :lol:
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-13 02:43
I am not convinced ...until the show shows me what happened.Can't have them being lazy now can I? :lol:
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-06-10 06:53
Thanks Alice, what a great wrap up of the beginning of the season through looking at Dean. I love Dean Winchester with a passion that may at times appear to some (maybe not you) as unhealthy! Consequently I can be as abjectly dissapointed in him as I am crazy about him. Season 8 had a couple of moments that made me yell "Dean" in a cranky voice at my TV, but for the most part I was blessedly relieved with what I saw as the reinvigoration of the character I hold so dear that I have his initials tattooed on me (you heard me). No more drunken, miserable, wants out, can't face the world, moping around Dean! Praise Carver or Chuck or Cass or, I don't know...whomever we're praying to these days. Season 8 Dean had so much of what I originally fell in love with, but with a nice grow'd up vibe. He had that spark back. Hallelujah. Yeah, he wasn't perfect, but when has he been? And you know, that's one of the things I love the most about him, his epic flaws. Anyway, before I continue to wax lyrical and piss everyone off, thanks for reminding me how much I appreciated Dean in season 8 (and 1 and 2 and 3 and...you get the picture) - not that I'd forgotten or anything... ;-)
Prix68
# Prix68 2013-06-10 18:03
Sweetondean, I second that emotion.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-06-11 21:26
in the 8 going on 9 glorious years i've been watching this show, i've never for one single second thought or felt that dean took care of sam out of obligation. i'm the oldest of three and i always looked out for my brother and sister and nobody told me to do so. it is natural instinct to want to take care and look out for them. i think all humans are born with that instinct. it's part of human development and what eventually aids in us becoming parents one day. dean took care of sam, not because he was obligated to do so, but because he wanted/needed to. he did it because he loved his brother. yes in ahbl he told sam it was always his responsibility, his job, but that's only because he was the oldest. the strongest and it was natural instinct to look out for his younger brother. it was who dean was and i'm sure even with both parents alive and kicking dean still would've always looked out for sam. of that i have not a single doubt.
Dot
# Dot 2013-06-12 00:20
Everyone's personal experience will be different, so I can't speak to yours. But this is a post about Dean, and in 8 going into 9 years of watching SPN, we've seen Dean's history and how Dean had to grow up way too fast and had more burden than a child should have to bear put on him, from the time he was 4 years old. Dean's sense of self worth outside of his role of looking after Sam, is badly damaged. It's oversimplifying to say that's who Dean is, this is what Dean wants, without context or addressing the damage the show seems well aware of. I love the brother relationship, that doesn't mean it's without problems.

In your other comments, after classifying Sam as the obligation-free relationship, you classify Castiel and Benny as obligation relationships. But Castiel and Benny are complex relationships involving trust, broken trust, and genuine affection. Just to clarify--do you really mean Sam is the only real affection relationship? Because that doesn't match canon IMO.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-06-13 20:03
Quote:
Everyone's personal experience will be different, so I can't speak to yours. But this is a post about Dean, and in 8 going into 9 years of watching SPN, we've seen Dean's history and how Dean had to grow up way too fast and had more burden than a child should have to bear put on him, from the time he was 4 years old. Dean's sense of self worth outside of his role of looking after Sam, is badly damaged. It's oversimplifying to say that's who Dean is, this is what Dean wants, without context or addressing the damage the show seems well aware of. I love the brother relationship, that doesn't mean it's without problems.

In your other comments, after classifying Sam as the obligation-free relationship, you classify Castiel and Benny as obligation relationships. But Castiel and Benny are complex relationships involving trust, broken trust, and genuine affection. Just to clarify--do you really mean Sam is the only real affection relationship? Because that doesn't match canon IMO.
i am totally aware of dean's complex history. i'm totally aware of john's absence as a father, no mother and dean taking on the role of both. my feeling is that dean's relationship towards sam isn't based on the fact that dean feels obligated to take care of him because sam is his brother and that's his job. dean takes care of his brother because he loves him. at this point in their lives, it's pretty obvious, at least to me, that dean protects his brother and takes care of his brother because dean wants to, not out of some sense of duty to his father or because he feels it's what he should do. let's remember that dean has told sam time and again that he could not live without him. dean selling his soul was not an entirely selfless act. he admitted he couldn't live with him dead. dean doesn't protect and take care of sam out of a sense of obligation, he protects sam because he loves him, but more than that, dean needs him, and i know this because dean has said so on more than one occasion. but hey, that's just the way i see it. different eyes and all.

i would like to clarify that i didn't imply that dean doesn't have affection towards benny or cas. what i did say was that dean's relationship with both is born out of obligation. dean owed cas for getting him out of hell. cas pretty much reminded him of that, as did uriel. as i recall cas threatened to put dean back in hell if he didn't show him more respect. in the beginning his relationship with cas had a modicum of fear mixed in.i concur that his relationship with cas is complex, but in the end, as shown in sacrifice, dean didn't hold cas in the same light or near the same light as sam and never will imo. he was totally accepting of cas going to heaven and possibly getting killed, but the minute he found out sam might die from the trials, he demanded cas bring him to his brother...not out of obligation to protect sam...but because he loves him.

dean owed benny for watching his back in purgatory so he kept his end of the deal and set him free. so yes in purgatory i don't doubt that dean had full trust in benny, after all dean knew he was benny's ticket out. but once topside i don't believe dean had the same kind of trust as he did in purgatory. the way i perceived it, it felt to me like dean felt obligated to trust him. i feel based on all i've seen that he felt he owed him that much and gave benny the benefit of the doubt. i think this was due mostly because i t's my belief that he needed to trust that benny would stay clean . i don't believe dean had that much faith in benny because if he did then he wouldn't have kept him a secret. there's absolutely no reason dean had to hide benny from sam, unless as i feel it's because he wasn't sure he did the right thing. dean was taking a big chance trusting that benny would stay clean not unlike sam trusting in amy. look at how it ended, both amy and benny killed and they both had their reasons, but those deaths still lie with both boys. anyway, i digressed. as much as i agree that benny mattered to dean,they shared a foxhole after all, i still don't feel that he has complete trust in him as was exemplified in citizen fang when dean greeted him with a machete. it's my opinion that dean feels he owes benny trust because benny helped save him. i don't believe that he has given benny trust freely simply because dean believes in him.,,thus as i posted above, i still stand firm in my belief that dean has more of an obligatory relationship with benny. now given time, if benny had stayed clean and the boys spent more time with him, then i do believe that dean's trust in benny would have come more naturally then out of obligation. but in all honesty i don't think that would've ever happened. benny is a monster and sooner or later as seems to be canon, all monsters, no matter how they try, seem to revert back to their nature.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-06-11 21:32
as for benny and cas, those are relationships whose foundation is based on obligation. cas saved dean from hell . dean's relationship with cas at the beginning was based on dean owing him for saving him from hell. yes, they became friends as time went on, but i think that to this day, the reason dean finds a way to forgive cas is not only due to friendship, but due to dean's obligation to cas for saving him in the first place. dean never forgets a debt. dean knew the moment he met benny that benny was using dean as a ticket out of purgatory. the relationship in the beginning was based on mutual necessity. yes, dean formed a bond with benny and he may have even trusted him in purgatory, after all dean was benny's ticket out.benny needed dean alive, so of course dean knew he can trust benny to have his back. but when dean got out, i don't think the trust in benny he had existed anymore, not once they were out of purgatory. dean got benny out because he felt obligated to do so.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-06-11 21:35
based on citizen fang and dean greeting benny with a machete, i don't think dean had that much faith in him. the very fact that he never told sam about benny or how benny got out tells me that there wasn't as much trust in benny as dean made out for sam to believe. dean was living on a wing and a prayer hoping that benny would stay clean. like i said, dean felt obligated to have faith in benny. he always naturally had faith in his brother there's a major difference.

i don't think dean said benny was a better brother, but i think he said he was more like a brother...that remark was said of course under the influence, and as i've posted i believe that dean was transferring his own sins onto sam...which were similar to sam's past ones. i also think dean was trying to convince himself more than sam about benny..because like i said, benny is dean's responsibility, if benny kills' then dean will end up bearing that burden. sooner or later dean's luck would've run out....
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-06-11 21:35
i know there has been issue with dean blaming sam for things that weren't sam's fault and i've been trying to play devil's advocate there. the souless thing is hard because dean knows sam isn't at fault, but at the same time he's angry with souless sam. he's taking what souless sam did out on soulful sam...it's irrational but rational all at once. sam losing his soul not his doing, but he did jump in the pit...dean could be resentful of sam for doing that...for sacrificing himself and putting himself in the cage for eternal suffering and dean couldn't do anything to stop it. dean was helpless to save his brother and was angry for sam for that ...that's why i think he brings that up.

there's my two cents...oh hell that's more like a quarter huh.. :lol:
Leah unlogged
# Leah unlogged 2013-06-12 00:30
Hi Nappi, very nice posts. I myself feel there was and always will be an obligation that Dean feels towards Sam, not to Sam. That obligation was to his Dad who instilled in him that it was his responsibility to look out for his brother. I, think as they are trying to sort out their adult relationships that is always going to remain as part of Dean's basic make-up. But that doesn't negate the powerful love that Dean has for his brother. Yes, if things were "normal" and they grew with parents Dean would still be naturally protective of Sam. Their bond growing up has been forged in fire and pain so their relationship is complicated but I agree that it is not based on obligation. It is based on love.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-06-13 21:39
I'm just adding my voice to this. I absolutely see Dean's commitment to Sam as coming from a place of love. We all feel obligation to family, sure, but that is not the reason Dean is how he is about Sam. As far as I'm concerned, he is how he is because he loves him. Full stop. Of that, I have never, ever had any doubt.
eilf
# eilf 2013-06-13 21:52
And when he trusts Sam enough to truly believe that Sam feels the same way about him, everything will go a whole lot smoother in their relationship. Maybe Sacrifice did that, maybe?? (please)?
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2013-06-13 22:29
Yes please!
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-06-12 03:40
Dean knew what Sam was going to do and backed Sam .Dean holding some sort of resentment towards Sam jumping into the pit makes no sense. I dont believe that Soulless Sam should of been brought into it at all. The writers cannot get away from Dean's resentment's and used the Spectre to highlight them again in Southern Comfort .
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-06-12 12:28
I know this isn't the thread to bring this up but I am hoping somebody might shed light on the beginning of S4 for me. When Dean meets Sam in the hotel room for the first time after climbing out of hell, Ruby2 greets them at the hotel room door. I have only JUST figured out that Ruby2 MUST have known it was Dean and Bobby knocking on the door and NOT the pizza man. As we see later through Sam's flashbacks, Sam had known this new recycled Ruby2 for months already. Now I don't know about this... it seems pretty hectic to me to be shockingly confronted by your dead brother, and still manage to deceive RIGHT off the bat. Ruby2 confronts them at the door and lies by pretending she doesn’t know who they are, and Sam seamlessly plays along with the pretence by telling Ruby2 that the man standing there is his brother (Ruby2 had already known Dean way before, when she was still blonde Ruby1, or have I got this wrong?)
eilf
# eilf 2013-06-12 22:15
I have a question, and maybe I am missing something here. Dean is angry with Sam for not trying to find him. So Dean's point is that we don't leave our 'brother(s)' behind, yes?

Sam didn't know Dean was in Purgatory, that much is true, but apparently he didn't try to look there either.

So why is it that when Dean got back from Purgatory he made absolutely no attempt to rescue Cas - the person he felt guilty about leaving behind? I mean clearly Sam hadn't covered all the options in trying to get into Purgatory because he hadn't tried at all. Do we see Dean making any effort to do research and see what can be done? I admit I am hazy about some of the events of the beginning of the season.
Is it ok to ding Sam about not trying to get into Purgatory even though it is somehow impossible for Cas to be rescued. Of course Dean thought Cas could have been dead because of his last sight of him giving that impression.
Do the above scenarios sound like Sam's impossible situation?
Also, no attempt to rescue Benny? Is Purgatory that much easier for Benny? I mean maybe he has changed his mind by now after his time-out? Could at least find another rogue reaper and go ask. Currently Benny is alive for a given value of 'alive' but if he gets killed in Purgatory he is gone for good.
Anyway I am interested in other people's take on why the situations are different.
Kate 2
# Kate 2 2013-06-13 12:04
Quote:
I mean clearly Sam hadn't covered all the options in trying to get into Purgatory because he hadn't tried at all. Do we see Dean making any effort to do research and see what can be done? I admit I am hazy about some of the events of the beginning of the season.
Is it ok to ding Sam about not trying to get into Purgatory even though it is somehow impossible for Cas to be rescued.
I do think Sam was in a completely impossible situation... he had seen what happened the last time Purgatory was opened, and no way would he have wanted to risk releasing something similar or worse on the world. I think it's logical he might also have assumed Dean was dead, because all the intel on Purgatory pointed to it being inhabited by monsters. I assume Dean also wouldn't have wanted to risk opening Purgatory for the same reasons, and also that he thought Cas would have been set upon by the Leviathans at the portal.

I do wish the show had referenced the wider ramifications of any rescue attempt.

Quote:
Also, no attempt to rescue Benny? Is Purgatory that much easier for Benny?
I think that would fall under the same risk assessment... though I do expect the show will miraculously find a way to get him out next season! I will be really interested to see how they do it, since he did tell Dean he *wanted* to go back, so Dean breaking him out would essentially be denying him agency.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-06-13 12:39
eilf
You make a good point here. I never questioned why Dean didn't try to get Cas out. I just assumed it was because he thought Cas was lost to him. Also he was disappointed that Cas didn't try hard enough and also guilty, so perhaps that hadn't played out when suddenly Cas was on the scene again.

The unspoken agreement between Dean and Sam to rescue each other was probably more at issue here, so IMO it speaks to trust issues (always a problem with the Winchesters). I think fundamentally the brothers are the core of each others security so it shakes there world like nothing can if they can't rely on the one they count on the most. If Cas hadn't looked for Dean for example, I doubt that it would have hurt Dean like it did when he discovered that Sam hadn't looked. It's what I love about this show, that nothing and no one can replace what the one means to the other. So I see Sam not looking for Dean in an entirely different light to Dean not looking for Cas I suppose. It is the reason why I am not worried about Cas being a regular next year (that is IF the writers and PTB don't interfere with the fundamental brother bond).
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-06-13 18:42
I agree Kaz, eilf makes good points. I also agree with your assessment about the importance of the unspoken agreement. Benny being in Purgatory was different in the sense that he "wanted" to go and almost seemed relieved. Like eilf said he might feel differently after his "timeout" but I see no reason for Dean to try and retrieve him now.
eilf
# eilf 2013-06-15 22:25
Quote:
Also he was disappointed that Cas didn't try hard enough
I am glad emergency services don't work on this principle :P
love2boys unlogged
# love2boys unlogged 2013-06-16 21:58
eilf, :lol:
paloma
# paloma 2013-06-14 22:01
You completely overlook that Dean first look for Castiel in Purgatory. Castiel dissapeared too and Dean was the only food in several kilometres. At least he try to help him out, but he couldn't. The guy can do miracles, but he doesn't believe in them. I can't say the same thing of Sam for Dean.
And Benny said that he wish to stay in Purgatory. Well in season 6 Dean said more or less that if he dissapeared he doesn't want Sam to forget him with the first girl that he saw. It happened, another time.
For this season my impression was that it is Sam that doesn't trust in Dean, and that he prefered everybody except him.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-06-15 10:55
And Dean was in a different position in that Castiel was in the same place as Dean which was Purgatory. Them finding each other esp Cas who is an angel who is tuned into Dean anyway the odds were in their favour. I may of not liked Jeremy Carvers approach to Sam in the early episodes and not looking for Dean but it is not like Sam had a road map to where Dean was.

I know the season 6 episode you are referring to but Sam was Soulless to use that doesnt hold much weight. As for Sam not trusting Dean I do not agree it was more a case of Sam needing to trust himself. But we all have different ideas to the brothers and their relationship.
paloma
# paloma 2013-06-15 17:44
I repeat that Dean look after Castiel. And I don't know how much different could it be. They were sourrender by monsters, suddenly Castiel dissapered, he doesn't know if he was still in Purgatory, for all he know he could have come back to Earth. At the same for Sam that for all he knew Dean could have been in White Russia. And he looked after him first without Benny or Castiel. The odds weren't precisely in his favour. It isn't that Dean hadn't a roadmap, he hadn't the road.
I recited that episode more for Dean's wish than for Sam's actions. Sincerely, I hope that you have the reason with Sam relationship with Dean.
eilf
# eilf 2013-06-15 21:56
I am sorry I am not absolutely certain I understand you. You seem to be saying that neither Sam nor Dean knows how to rescue someone from Purgatory because neither one had a roadmap. Is that right?
Dean's issue is not that Sam should have rescued him from Purgatory it is that he should have TRIED to rescue him.

My point is that neither one of them (Sam nor Dean) has to date made any effort to try to rescue ANYONE from Purgatory while they are topside.

I just think it is lucky for Dean's guilty conscience (which he admitted to having) that Cas didn't follow up his 'I didn't want to be rescued' speech with anything along the lines of 'I am sorry if you put yourself in any danger trying to rescue me ... you did try to rescue me didn't you Dean? After all, I pulled you out of hell.'

I am not trying to reduce the blame in Sam and increase it on Dean I just think that they appear to have done the same wrong thing - Sam because he didn't know Dean was in Purgatory and Dean because he had reason to think that Castiel was dead.

Once Dean realised that Castiel wasn't dead and that he (Dean) had now made no attempt to rescue another member of TFW from Purgatory it would seem reasonable that he could at least see the comparison between himself and Sam on this point.

Having said that I don't think Dean mentions it again until his absolutely awful attempt at being funny (I am going with 'funny' because I don't like the alternative) in Sacrifice.
paloma
# paloma 2013-06-16 01:52
My point is that Dean tried to rescue Cas when he was in purgatory. And I don't understand why you doesn't count it.
Without making the question, Dean has answered: I did everything I could to get you out – everything! I did not leave you.
And I don't know in what scene Dean mentions it again.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-06-16 03:12
While Dean did look for Castiel when they were both in Purgatory and tried to get him to come with them through the portal (which I’m not sure would have worked as Castiel is not human), I believe that what eilf is referring to is when Dean is out of Purgatory and back on earth. Once Dean came back, he knew where Castiel was, he knew that it was possible to get out of there (as he had just done it) and he believed that he left him behind but he made no efforts to get Castiel out of Purgatory then. It’s possible he thought Castiel was dead but, as with Sam, this never clarified.

In relation to "I did everything I could to get you out – everything! I did not leave you." while I can’t remember it I’ll take your word for it. It’s odd, those words are remarkably similar to the words he spoke to Sam in 6.01 ‘I looked everywhere, I collected hundreds of books, trying to find anything to bust you out’; a statement that needs to be taken with a serious grain of salt.
paloma
# paloma 2013-06-16 07:33
The episode was when Castiel came back from Purgatory, in the scene of the two of them in front of the car at night.
And sorry, but how many times Dean had to try until it is value as one of Sam's?
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-16 11:11
If Sam had been in Purgatory and completely ignored Dean, this would be a valid comparison. I hope you don't think that would have happened.

Sam did not know where Dean was. He had no idea Dean was in Purgatory. If he had knows Dean was in Purgatory, all the information he had was that to open Purgatory took 1) An ritual during an eclipse (that wasn't going to happen any time soon) The blood of a Purgatory native (the only known ones were the remaining Leviathans, and they were scattered to the winds looking like normal human beings and the blood of a virgin (and let's think how badly things went when Sam killed Nurse Nancy to stop Lilith. Or was he supposed to play blood bank technician and ask every blood donor about their sex lives?) Or 2) finding the bone of another righteous person, washing it in blessed water and sticking it in the neck of a Leviathan and possibly only Dick (I'm already dead) Roman was the only Leviathan that would work.

When Dean came back from Purgatory he was fully aware that Cas was in Purgatory. He knew exactly where Cas was, in Purgatory. He knew there were ways out of Purgatory other than the 2 methods I talked about. He believed that Cas wanted OUT of Purgatory and that Dean had failed by leaving him there. With all that knowledge, Dean didn't start looking at "hundreds of books" to see if there was another way to crack Purgatory. He didn't tell Sam that Cas was still trapped, so that Sam could help come up with options. Dean did nothing to recover Cas, which is FINE, if he didn't hold onto the huge grudge against Sam for not looking for him when Sam had much less knowledge then Dean did.

I will probably never get over Sam not looking for Dean and for me it has ruined, not only this season, but possible the show from here on out in many ways. However comparing Dean not looking for Sam and saying he was perfectly justified in not looking while AT THE SAME TIME saying Sam is a bad person and a bad brother for not looking for Dean is a faulty comparison, IMHO.
paloma
# paloma 2013-06-16 08:15
Because it seems that Dean had to try inside and topside. He has not only search in books, but he has to made deals, fight and if he couldn't make it, he didn't try it enough.
eilf
# eilf 2013-06-16 10:19
Hi Paloma. Yes you are right he did say that. He was talking about the moment when he got out of Purgatory and Castiel didn't.

If you want to extrapolate it to meaning he did anything he could think of to help once he was back in the real world, if it makes it seem better to you, well,feel free! :-) It's what we have been required to do to make ourselves feel better about Sam's inexplicable behaviour with about as much evidence.

However personally I am certain that is not what he meant - he was talking about that moment. Considering the way the writers kept referring throughout the season to Sam's wrong behaviour in not looking they missed a golden opportunity to continue the pressure if they had Dean do research on rescuing people from Purgatory and didn't show it on screen, don't you think? Like the whole scene with Dean and the unanswered phone messages.

As Tim said I am talking about outside of Purgatory when things were much calmer, Dean had a backup source of information, he knew where Castiel was and he COULD have done some research to determine if it were possible to rescue him. But he didn't. There is no indication that he did anything.

Quote:
Because it seems that Dean had to try inside and topside. He has not only search in books, but he has to made deals, fight and if he couldn't make it, he didn't try it enough.
I am not saying Dean didn't do enough. I am saying he can't blame other people for not doing something he himself didn't do.
(Just as an aside Sam has never blamed Dean if Dean failed to help him, he has always given him a pass, or in fact has actually been angry that Dean put himself in danger to help him.)
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-06-16 11:19
‘I looked everywhere, I collected hundreds of books, trying to find anything to bust you out’; a statement that needs to be taken with a serious grain of salt.

Especially since he didn't once try to contact the only being he knew that had ever retrieved anyone from Hell. When he called Cas after he found out Sam was alive, it was made clear that it was the first time since Sam jumped in the Cage that Dean had tried to contact Cas. You can say he believed Cas would not agree to try to retrieve Sam, but to say he tried anything to get Sam out is not true until he tried talking to Cas.

Now, I don't blame Dean for not contacting Cas. He was traumatized and hurting. But I do think he exaggerated the efforts he made to find Sam. People remember things the way they remember them. Dean wanted to make every effort to retrieve Sam, and he probably ran through thousands of possibilities in his head as to how to do it. But he didn't try the most obvious one of calling Cas even though it was the only thing that had worked in similar situations before.
Cj
# Cj 2013-06-17 11:58
Dean exaggerated his efforts in trying to help Sam LOL talk about putting what you want inbetween the lines to further the blame game.
M
# M 2013-06-17 12:42
I think it's clear you, and some of the others, are so hurt by the direction the show took with Sam the last couple years, that hating Dean and turning him into a bad person is soothing the hurt the show's treatment of Sam caused you.

But I'm back out of this place, until next season's end articles.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-18 02:02
Edited by Alice. We do not disrespect others.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-06-18 02:11
AnonymousN
Really I am actually going to take this on now. It would have been infinitely more gracious of you to have empathised with M, whose opinion you have wholly belittled. It really isn't ok, and it isn't nice for other posters to read either.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-18 03:28
I don't empathise with people who just comment like how M has.Quote:
that hating Dean and turning him into a bad person is soothing the hurt the show's treatment of Sam caused you.
This was uncalled for.You think it is pleasant for me to read such comments?You are worried about how people comment in this article? M commented on percys owner.I did the same thing which M did exept I commented on her.My comment was edited. we are not here comment on other posters we are talking about the show not about percysowner,M or anonymousN.My enjoyment of reading the article as well as the comments was disrupted by that comment.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-06-18 03:38
AnonymousN
I hear you and you are right, but we all get frustrated and it would have been a great opportunity to show M that this site cares for all opinions. I really just want to get back to being civil again. Pretty please everyone.

AnonymousN my responding to you also comes with a great deal of frustration on my part too. So please I don't mean to come across as a vapid old sow, I'm actually quite nice :lol:
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-18 03:49
I have read your comments before and I have never thought you are vapid or old or a sow, on the contrary I have enjoyed your comments before and even felt your frustration now.I have been away from the site myself (personal reasons) and yesterday when my supernatural withdrawal got too much :lol: I was happy to again start reading the articles in here and well I got frustrated, commented and got edited :lol:
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-06-18 04:01
AnonymousN
I know it's happened to me before too! I'm only now summoning up the courage to use emocons again eh eh. Anyway here's a bunch of flowers for you and am off to put the kettle on before I head off to the new Sam article on the other thread, see you there!
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-18 04:06
okie dokie. (I started using emocons first time in this site and maybe after a year and half after being introduced to this site)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-18 03:00
Sorry Alice.But M was not being very respectful her/himself.Quote:
that hating Dean and turning him into a bad person is soothing the hurt the show's treatment of Sam caused you.
This is wholly uncalled for.
Alice
# Alice 2013-06-18 02:20
M - It's only one opinion. I really, really hope you're not dismissing all we do here because of one poster, or maybe even a few.
Grace232
# Grace232 2013-06-17 00:42
Thanks Alice. I loved Dean this season, but appreciated him a lot more while watching the second half of the season than the first, since I spent a lot of the first half stressed out about the brothers' conflict, as I expect I was supposed to feel. So, it was really helpful to read your insights here. I am looking forward to re-watching these episodes now. I am also looking forward to part 2 of your analysis. This show makes me happy - that is why I watch it - and my appreciation for the show is enriched by articles like yours. Thanks again.
Cj
# Cj 2013-06-17 11:43
Now I remember why I stopped coming here. It's still very much a Pro Jared/Sam fawn site with a tendency to either ignore or heavily criticize Dean.

Kudos for writing a Dean article though although it is clear you're writing Dean from a Sam fan perspective but at least you tried so I appreciate that.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-06-17 11:56
Hey Cj
I know it seems that way at times, but there are posters on this cite who are pretty objective. I just ignore the bad press and concentrate on the posters who have a balanced view. I must admit though it has become more difficult to come to this forum with confidence that your opinions are valued, especially if you have issues with Sam
Alice
# Alice 2013-06-18 01:29
I'm still wondering how in the world you think we criticize Dean here. I can't control what posters post, but honestly, have you not read the writers on this site? I do not know of a more bi-bro balanced site. We praise BOTH brothers. We build up BOTH brothers. Castiel too. So you're judging, once again, our entire site on a few comments in a thread? Perhaps if you read our articles on a regular basis, you'd see differently. I'll admit, our views show Dean as a flawed character. But Sam too! Neither are saints. They're humans.

Instead of criticizing other posters (which is very not allowed on this site), please, offer your perspective in defense of Dean! This article was meant to glorify and show growth in his character. I also don't understand how it was written from a Sam fan perspective. You do realize that everything Dean does is because of his relationship with Sam, and vice versa? Or are you saying I didn't dwell enough in other aspects like Castiel? I really don't understand where you're seeing that perspective. What were you hoping to see in a commentary about Dean? Sam not mentioned at all?

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but we welcome all opinions here. Everyone has a valid opinion. If you're not seeing what you think you should be seeing about Dean, then please tell us what that is. Why are we bashing his character?
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-18 01:58
Edited by Alice - please Anonymous, I just told CJ in a post how we don't criticize other posters and you post this? Showing respect, our number one rule.
kaz1
# kaz1 2013-06-18 02:13
Cj really just ignore this. I value your opinion and there are many of us that do, so please come back as ALL opinions are worth reading, yours especially as you balance out the discussions. Be brave my friend ;-)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-06-18 03:11
Sorry I did not read that post and i should have.Also give respect and take respect.That post was a skewed view of this site.and I could not bear it.
M
# M 2013-06-17 12:37
I usually avoid this site like the plague because there is always way too much Dean hate and bashing from Sam fans until the show is unrecognizable, but I always tune in for your after the season articles, because they are so insightful. I enjoyed this very much, from your Sam perspective.

As for some of these posters, I'm happy I'm a fan who realizes Dean's love of Sam is the only certain thing in the show, even with the contrived conflicts. If all of you doubt Dean's love of Sam, the show is based on poop.
Alice
# Alice 2013-06-18 01:49
Thanks, I do wholeheartedly agree, Dean's love of Sam is the only certain thing in the show. And vice versa. I

You know, I've been running this site for five years now, and it seems every time we do our year end perspectives, people keep showing up and accusing us of being a "Sam" site. It's usually from people who keep avoiding this site, because they have this bias that because a few writers were very pro Sam three or four years ago (when we were way smaller), we're still that way. We have 14 active writers on this site right now (more than ever), we've grown quite large (thus the need for a new server), we have writers with a wide variety of intepretations and character interests, yet some people still have it in their heads somehow that we are a Sam site. I don't get it.

I'm not following where "everyone" is doubting Dean's love of Sam. Sure, there were a few comments in that direction, but we welcome all comments and all opinions here. But it's hardly "everyone." What exactly are you hoping for, a large stream of people only offering total blind praise of Dean? I’m just curious, please don’t take that as a criticism.

I honestly don’t get this Sam vs. Dean crap. I never have. The show is about both brothers. Always has been. Dean is flawed, Sam is flawed, but together they get by and manage to save the world. Now, if I put that in my reviews and commentaries every week, we’d have crickets chirping. We know it’s never that black and white. When peeling back the layers, everyone sees it differently. That’s why this fandom and the discussions I see are fun. They’re diverse and passionate. That’s why we love our show!

Are you avoiding the comments, or the articles in general? It's okay if you think the comments are skewed, I can't control who posts here and I won't turn anyone away (unless they break rules) but have you not read our articles this year? sweetondean is one of our most popular writers, and she is very, very, very pro Dean. Sam too, but she slants Dean. We have other writers like that too. We also have other writers who slant Sam, like myself. So I challenge you, what you’re looking for is probably here, just not in these comments. That’s hardly a reflection of our site though.

Thanks for commenting and checking out the article. I'm very glad you liked it! Part 2 is up now if you hadn’t seen it.
Alice
# Alice 2013-06-18 02:13
M, you know, it's 2 am in my world and I just read this back to myself. The question about “everyone” and "Sam vs. Dean" crap wasn't a comment about your comment. It was an observation in general based on all the comments I read on the thread. There was nothing wrong with your comment at all! Sorry if my tired mind made it sound like I was critcizing your post.
M
# M 2013-06-19 19:54
I came back to answer you, because I think you deserve an answer. I think you and SweetonDean do a great job balancing the viewpoint as much as possible in the current fandom climate of controversy.

It's true this place is considered an extreme Sam site. I used to come here often (I don't remember my user name) but stopped. I got bored fighting the hostility every time I commented on Dean. I don't blame the site for that. It's natural for like-minded fans to drift towards each other. There are Cas fan and Dean fan sites I avoid as well.

I think it's a natural fandom phenomenon, but the truth is, this place is not a welcoming place for Dean fans, or fans of a different POV. But I appreciate you wanting it to be...
Thisoldbag
# Thisoldbag 2013-06-17 13:18
Alice, about the article - great write up, thank you so much. About the comments...um.. .gotta love the passion of this fan-base!
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-06-17 14:09
Wow! Alice writes a beautiful article about the flawed hero that is Dean Winchester and that is seen as Dean bashing by rabid Sam fans!? This is the only site I do visit because of the fair treatment of both Sam/Jared and Dean/Jensen. Some comments get a little passionate but I don't think the love for both brothers and actors is ever in question here.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-06-18 15:11
Wow. That's all I have to say. This is one passionate fan base. ;-)
paloma
# paloma 2013-06-18 15:34
Thanks alice for your review, and I consider that you were objective, I'm sorry for the argument sam vs dean.
love2boys
# love2boys 2013-06-19 20:38
I am always amazed and puzzled by the comments. Not because of the passion, which I like. But because I cannot see what others see. That's why I am always puzzled.

I love the show, the brothers, this site, the articles. Then in the comments I find out that the site and the articles are biased one way or the other, I can never keep it straight.

The articles are really very objective and are based on what really appeared on the screen, before Sam or Dean bias is applied.

I am also always puzzled as to why the merits of an article cannot be discussed without the comments devolving into Sam v Dean.

Alice, I re-re-read your review and re-re-liked it. It really was objective and well-written. Please keep up the good work. There are lots of us out here that truly appreciate (in a non-hostile way) what this site is trying to accomplish.