In part two, things really unravel for poor Dean now that he has the Mark of Cain, which seems like a chicken scratch for a bit of the second half until he gets to touch the First Blade.  It’s the great fall of Dean Winchester, and it all plays out like a Greek tragedy.      

(For those that missed part one, I suggest checking that out first). 

Sharp Teeth

In my Deeper Look at Sam Winchester, I pretty much roasted the writer for Sam finding out Dean had the Mark of Cain and reacted like Dean had a small scratch.  Then it was forgotten until episodes later when Dean started acting strange (go figure).  So here I wonder, why the hell didn’t Dean at least Google the Mark of Cain after taking it on?  Buyer’s remorse?  He didn’t want to find out how screwed he was?  There are many that debate that Dean couldn’t have been so distraught after one episode that he takes on the MOC, but I’m okay with that.  The visual of Kevin’s death was pretty jarring.  Also, many don’t want to flirt with that buyer’s remorse, so I assume Dean put it off until later when he realized s*** wasn’t right. 

There’s something I don’t get in Sam and Dean’s prickly reunion at the hospital.  Why is Dean not happy to see Sam?  I get Sam’s reaction, but why was Dean so agitated?  He should have been happy to see that Sam was at least healed and back out doing cases.  I know, it’s the whole “I’m poison” crap that’s still lingering in his head.  Good thing it doesn’t stick when Sam calls him out on it later.   

9.12 Dean to Garth 1425

I digress though, because “Sharp Teeth” is a mess all the way around, so to dwell on what I thought was Dean OOC would be pointless.  I will say though, I did like his final parting with Garth.  He was supportive, even though he was ready to kill Garth earlier (I’m not sure what changed his mind, but there you go).  He did with Garth what he did with Castiel in “Heaven Can’t Wait,” he supported the idea of him having a normal life, even if he was a werewolf now which is hardly normal.  He even initiated the hug this time!  Oh Dean, you’re such a softie.

Any goodwill I had for this episode blew apart with the “token” brotherly chat though.  I mean, what happened in “Sharp Teeth” that caused Dean to go from, “I told you we can't hunt together, it's for your own good,” to accepting Sam’s terms of a partnership that’s strictly business?  I honestly don’t know how he got from point A to point B.  It doesn’t seem far fetched knowing the history of this show that he misses and wants to be with his brother, but we didn’t see anything on screen in this episode to show how and why he decided that hunting together was now okay.  Maybe the hug from Garth squeezed some magic mojo into him or something?  The smell of Sam’s musk?  At this point any theory wins because the Lycanthrope story taught us nothing. 

We don't...see things the same way anymore -- our roles in this whole thing. Back in that church, talking me out of boarding up hell? Or -- or tricking me into letting Gadreel possess me? I can't trust you -- not the way I thought I could, not the way I should be able to.

Sam did raise an issue though in his speech to Dean that is relevant to Dean’s deteriorating psyche.  These brothers have never really seen eye to eye, but there has been a certain sense of harmony that’s broken right now.  Dean thinks just a few more W’s on the board will get them back to where they were but Sam is way to hurt right now to consider that.  This really hurts, because relationships mean everything to Dean.  He craves the family dynamic, with not only Sam but his closest friends as well, and without it he becomes vulnerable, isolated and self-loathing.  Sam values honesty and trust though more than family, thus the comment, “You say that like it’s some sort of cure-all, like it can change the fact that everything that has ever gone wrong between us has been because we’re family.”  Yes Sam, but it’s also the reason everything’s gone right too.  I really wish Dean had come back with that. 

The Purge

Dean is back at the MOL bunker, and he’s already starting to fray.  Is it the MOC or just plain depression?   Who knows, but this is our Dean of the week (hey, it was worse with Sam).  He does at least admit he was researching the Mark of Cain online, among other things.  We get a hint of what Dean is feeling when Sam asks if he’s upset about what he said about not being brothers.  He was being honest.  Dean got that, and he may be playing it cool, but he’s not okay with it.  No one is punishing Dean more than himself right now and Sam is only making it worse.

I do appreciate how there are laughs in this, because this ends up raising a very serious issue for Dean.  He values relationships.  He doesn’t need “chick flick” moments, but loyalty and appreciation is a must have on his list.  So how is Dean supposed to take this conversation?

Dean:  About what you said the other day.
Sam:  I thought it didn't bother you.
Dean: You know, Sam, I saved your hide back there. And I saved your hide at that church... And the hospital. I may not think things all the way through. Okay? But what I do, I do because it's the right thing. I'd do it again.
Sam:  And that... is the problem. You think you're my savior, my brother, the hero. You swoop in, and even when you mess up, you think what you're doing is worth it because you've convinced yourself you're doing more good than bad... But you're not. I mean, Kevin's dead, Crowley's in the wind. We're no closer to beating this angel thing. Please tell me, what is the upside of me being alive?
Dean: You kidding me? You and me, fighting the good fight together.
Sam:  Okay. Just once, be honest with me. You didn't save me for me. You did it for you.
Dean:  What are you talkin' about?
Sam:  I was ready to die. I was ready. I should have died, but you... You didn't want to be alone, and that's what all this boils down to. You can't stand the thought of being alone.
Dean:  All right.
Sam:  I'll give you this much. You are certainly willing to do the sacrificing as long as you're not the one being hurt.
Dean:  All right, you want to be honest? If the situation were reversed and I was dying, you'd do the same thing.
Sam:  No, Dean. I wouldn't. Same circumstances...I wouldn't. I'm gonna get to bed.

And then, we get this face…

SPN 1794

Well, if anything, this proves one point from “Sharp Teeth.”  These brothers definitely aren’t on the same page.  They’re not remotely in the same chapter.  Dean is in survival mode, do what it takes to fight.  It’s the same mentality he’s had the entire series.  Sam has moved on from that.  Some things aren’t worth fighting for, like being normal.  Dean didn’t get why Sam was angry, so yes, the brutal truth hurts, but sometimes the brutal truth is the only way to get a point across.

Sam is so angry right now (understandably) he doesn’t (or can’t) see things from Dean’s POV.  Dean believes he deserves a bit of gratitude, or at least a show of respect.  Everything Sam said is far from respectful.  It essentially scolded Dean for loving his family too much.  Remember how wounded Dean was after Sam’s words in “Sex and Violence” in the beginning of “Death Takes a Holiday?” He takes such comments personally, no matter what the circumstances.  I’m not sure what human being wouldn’t in this case.  The question is, what is Sam truly saying?  He wouldn’t try to save Dean’s life, or he just wouldn’t have under the same circumstances?  I took it to mean just under the same circumstances, but Dean took it to mean that his brother wouldn’t have his back.  Heck, maybe Dean has no idea what it means since Sam ends up acting so erratically through the rest of the season (something he calls Sam out on once or twice I might note).  One thing is clear about these words, Dean took them to be an emotional blow and that is a major contributor to Dean falling into darkness. 

Captives

Kevin, I'm sorry. You did not choose this life. You busted your ass, you lost everything, everyone you've loved... And your reward? Getting killed... On my watch. If I... It was on me. It was my fault, and... And there's nothing I can do to make that right. I am so sorry.

DeanGrieving

The guilt over losing Kevin is really eating Dean up.  While I loved seeing Dean take this opportunity to say what’s been weighing him down, but I also love Kevin’s reaction, which essentially tells Dean to stop the pity party.   

 “No, this is not happening. Didn’t spend months struggling to break through the veil just to get stuck listening to Dean Winchester having a self-pity session. Didn’t hear enough of those when I was alive.”

Hee, a Dean Winchester smackdown from the veil.  This time, Dean didn’t mind one bit.  Anyway, our takeaway from this comes yet again from the closing scene. 

Can you two... Get over it? Dudes, just 'cause you couldn't see me doesn't mean I couldn't see you. The drama, the fighting... It's stupid. My mom's taking home a ghost. You two... You're both still here.

Dean is willing to chat, but Sam disappears to his room.  He may have hesitated before going in, but Dean didn’t see that.  This time though Dean isn’t wallowing in pity.  He’s pissed.  He’s tired of Sam acting like a child.  Right now, angry is not what Dean needs to be.  It’s another turning point.   

SPN 1600

#THINMAN

I don't know, man. 'Cause lately with you, up is down and down is sideways, you know? I-I -- I don't know what you want.

Dean expresses frustration right off the bat with Sam.  He has a damned good right to.  Obviously he’s not too far gone, because he takes time to be sentimental with Sam, recalling when they were kids pretending to be Superman and Batman (a broken arm, a trip to the ER on Dean’s handlebars, and a lesson that Batman can’t fly).  Dean isn’t seeing that Sam is starting to thaw a bit though, or if he is, it’s not enough.  Sam is still pushing away. 

But it’s this episode we get the first clear cut sign that the brutality within is starting to take hold of Dean.  He struggles with Roger the villain, a human, over the knife but gains control, slowly pushing that knife into him until he dies.  His expression through that long kill is cold, calculated and without remorse.  Dean was killing a human, not a monster.  Sam realizes something may not be right.  So, he does nothing.  In parallel, Harry killed the other deputy bad guy and is very disturbed by that.  It’s a contrast meant to show how Dean is taking a turn, and it’s about to get worse. 

Blade Runners

Here it is, the BIG moment.  Dean touches the First Blade for the very first time.  Yep, a pretty explosive reaction.   Dean definitely didn’t see it coming and it plain freaked Sam out.  No doubt, combined with the MOC there is an overwhelming power flowing through Dean that he won’t be able to control.  Sam got through this time, but what happens next time? 

SPN 1547

I should note, it’s pretty good to have an episode where there’s not a mention of the brotherly strife.  Dean and Sam start carrying on status quo and it seems to be working.  Which is an interesting question, would Dean have fallen to the Mark of Cain if Sam wasn’t around to talk him down?  Is his anger and frustration over Sam shutting him out emotionally making his need to kill worse or the same?  We never really get a good answer on that, but it’s certainly implied to be the case.

Mother’s Little Helper

Now the wheels are starting to fall off the wagon.  Dean won’t go with Sam on a case.  Sure the guise is he must find Abaddon, but Crowley hit the mark pretty early.  Dean’s little encounter with the First Blade spooked him and spooked him good.  He enjoyed the power, he enjoyed how easy it was to kill.  Yes, a parallel with Sam and the demon powers of season four.  But Dean knows there’s a lot of evil behind that power.  Now he’s questioning what he’s done, and what the MOC is making him.  And he doesn’t like it one bit. 

DeanBottle

What’s really sad is only Crowley sees it, and as we learned from his little scenario with the other demon he was only there to test Dean and his readiness (or his loyalty to him or something, I’m not really sure).  Sam guesses that’s something’s up, but he’s still in “just business” mode keeping his emotional distance.  Judging by how much Dean was pounding down the whiskey and beer in this ep, he needed more than that.  Not that a brotherly chat would have necessarily saved him, because once the wheels are in motion, it’s hard to come to a full stop.  But just saying, he needed one.  At least he was keeping in touch with Sam by phone regarding the case for sanity’s sake.

So what did we learn from this?  Dean is leaning on the King of Hell to get through this and not his brother.  That’s bad news, and that’s so season four in reverse.

Meta Fiction

Oh man, Dean kills me in this one!  Any hope of him maintaining control is slipping away.  First, the angsty shower of angst!  The way he shoves away the water rolling down, the gaze in the mirror, something inside him is changing.  Whatever’s got a hold of him is very unsettling and he’s having trouble fighting it.  His mood is darker, he’s clearly troubled, and Sam notices but takes the “I’m fine.”  Except “FINE” is an acronym for “F***ed up, insecure, neurotic and emotional.”  Never accept that word Sam!

Dean and Sam capture Gadreel, but Dean sends Sam away to find Castiel.  He tells Sam he’s too out of control, but clearly Dean has powerful urges and wants a piece of Gadreel.  He chooses to go to dark places to get there.  He doesn’t want Sam to see this side of him, probably because in part Sam will try to stop him, but mostly he’s still going on the notion that this is his fight and his fight alone.  Sending Sam away is the only option.  Of course conversations like this only fuel Dean’s internal justification that he has to do this alone. 

Gadreel:  I have been in your brother's body, Dean. He would not trade his life for yours.
Dean:  Well, thanks for the rerun, pal. Sam's already told me all that crap. Hell, he's told me worse.
Gadreel:  He told you that he has always felt that way, that he thinks you are just a scared little boy who's afraid to be on his own because daddy never loved him enough? And he is right, isn't he? Right to think you are a coward, a sad, clingy, needy...
Dean (punching Gadreel): Keep it up!
Gadreel:  Pathetic bottom-feeder who cannot even take care of himself, who would rather drag everyone through the mud than be alone, who would let everyone around him die!

Gadreel was using that whole speech as an act of intimidation, but if there was any way to push Dean’s buttons, this how to do it.  The trouble is, Dean believes he’s correct.  It fits with what Sam said in his speech in “The Purge.”  To question whether Sam really feels that way strays from the point of this article, but if Dean believes it and no wonder he’s ready to take on the world on his own.  He feels isolated, lonely, abandoned by everyone including his brother, and he’s teetering on a dark edge right now.  To hear words like this when Sam keeping his emotional distance, all while his internal well being is falling apart, its a lot for one man to bear. 

SPN 1154 
All of this can be seen so brilliantly (and frighteningly) when Dean looks in that mirror in the bathroom.  The whole story is right there in his eyes.  He’s trying to hold it together and can’t take it any longer.  He wants to kill Gadreel so bad but he knows he can’t.  Dean beats Gadreel, but he stops himself from killing him.  But he’s pushed himself farther than he’s ever gone before.  All that anger, frustration, and self loathing no doubt came flowing through during that beating.  It’s the Mark of Cain grabbing on and not letting go.  After all, Dean has everything it needs to serve its purpose. 

Oh, and Castiel finally finds out about the MOC.  He knows this isn’t good, but leaves it at Dean’s comment , “It’s a means to an end.”  The question is, whose end?  This is the foreshadowing that Dean is being setup for a fall.  Yes, my primal screaming flares up again when all Castiel does is tell Sam to keep an eye on him.  Um, could you elaborate a bit more on that Castiel?  Maybe give a little warning about what’s really happening here?  The ignorance of both Sam and Castiel regarding Dean is just mind numbing.  It’s so obvious Dean’s not okay. 

Alex Annie Alexis Ann

Dean manages to reel it in a bit this week, but he’s still embracing his dark side and that killer within.  Now killing is kind of natural, and possibly a bit fun.  It’s the cold, brutal killer that’s always been inside of him, but the one that’s been held at bay by his relationship with his brother.  Sam was always his moral compass, his reality check.  Both Sam and the MOC are releasing that inhibition, and it’s frightening.  Sam again notices there’s a problem, but isn’t doing anything to stop Dean yet other than saying something then dropping it.  Yep, message received and virtually ignored.  Whatever is stirring inside of Dean is mushrooming now and it’s going to be impossible to stop. 

DeanKillingConnor

Also, to reinforce what Gadreel drilled in his head last week, Dean is definitely believing now that Sam won’t try to save him.  It’s obvious when he unhooks a barely conscious Sam from the tubes draining his blood. 

Yeah, I know, you wouldn’t have done the same for me.

Ouch!  Bitter much Dean?

Bloodlines

Honestly, I wish Dean did go First Blade crazy on all this lot.  No such luck though.  Useless filler.

King of the Damned

I kind of named this one “Dean vs. the Obligatory Kill.”  I mean, it was a bit too easy to off Abaddon, wasn’t it?  Of course, I see the point of that now.  By him believing that these powers were making him invincible and he was able to do all this alone, that set him up with delusions of grandeur for the big showdown with Metatron.  So I dismiss any reservations regarding how Abaddon ended up being kind of useless.  It’s like Sam defeating Lilith so easily and then realizing Lucifer was right behind that.  It’s a parallel, sort of.

DeanKillingBlow

What bothers me is Sam is still not fully aware of what his brother is becoming, and Dean is continuing to keep his brother in the dark.  Dean once again sent Sam away so he could do his kill alone.  He also refuses to listen to Sam’s advice to put the First Blade into safe keeping.  The power of the blade has clearly hooked Dean now and he can’t shake it any longer. 

Stairway to Heaven

Honestly, do I have to cover this one?  I swear the episode just went out of its way to make Dean look like a dick.  Since when does someone who’s spiraling into darkness equate to having to be a total jerk to everyone, including his best friend and brother?  By taking that approach, suddenly you don’t feel sympathy for Dean.  You are waiting for someone like Sam to cold cock him because the asshole had it coming.  It’s piss poor writing and doesn’t serve this arc well at all.  I hated this episode for many, many reasons, but I guess our takeaway is the new target is Metatron, Dean is off the rails and Castiel and Sam must do something about it now.  Finally!

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Yep, trying to get through this one without weeping.  The fall of the tragic hero.  Oh Jeremy Carver, you magnificent bastard.

Dean, fresh off his attempt to kill Gadreel, has been banished to the dungeon.  He throws the “I’m the only one that can kill Metatron” card, and sadly he’s right.  Unlike the drama we got when Sam was locked in the panic room in “When The Levee Breaks” (more parallels!), Dean gets out pretty quick.  Apparently the dungeon has all the supplies needed to summon a demon!  But the important part, Dean is getting sick now.  Physically puking out his guts.  So what’s up?  Crowley knows the answer. 

Dean:  What the hell's happening to me, you son of a bitch?
Crowley:  Liquor before beer, bad taco? How should I know?
Dean:   I can't turn it off! Ever since I killed Abaddon, it's -- it's like this whole...other thing. I get this high and I-I-I need to kill. I mean, I really, really need to kill. And if I don't –
Crowley:  -you yak your guts out. It's the mark.
Dean:  Meaning?
Crowley:  It wants you to kill. The more you kill, the better you feel. The less you kill, the less better you feel.
Dean: How much less better?
Crowley: One would imagine the least-best better.
Dean:  So dead? Well, Cain had the mark. He didn't die.
Crowley:  Cain was a demon. Your body's not strong enough to contain the blade's power.

The truth is now out.  Crowley asks Dean if he wants to give the mark back, but Dean is only focused on Metatron.  But this time Sam catches up with Dean.  Sam tries to sell going after Metatron together, and Dean agrees, but then knocks out Sam before the showdown.  Dean had already decided, this was his fight and his fight alone.  This also ended up being Dean’s fatal error. 

Dean is so super charged now, he went into the fight half cocked and alone.  That’s never gone well for Sam or Dean ever.  I have this theory that this played out exactly as Metatron had intended all along.  It goes back to his story and how he said in “Meta Fiction” he was the hero in his story and knew the ending.  It played out perfectly.  Powered by the Word of God, he stabs the “bad guy” (aka Dean) in the knick of time.  Everything he did was so this could be the outcome.  It does make me wonder, did he and Crowley consort?  Another debate for another time I guess.  (Metatron did underestimate his foe though, but this time it was Castiel he underestimated, not Sam and Dean.)

SPN 1396

Dean’s stare at Sam right after the fatal blow is crushing.  It says it all.  The pain, the regret, or just basically “I’m sorry” for failing.  It’s not for just one act in particular, just a dying man making his peace with his (semi) estranged brother.  He doesn’t want to fight anymore.  Once again, so much story told in one expression.  It’s beautiful, as is Sam’s shocked reaction when he saw that blade go in his brother’s chest.   Both these guys just kill it when it comes to non-verbal acting, and this is just another awe-inspiring achievement. 

Dean is strangely at peace with this.  He believes his death is the only thing that can free him from the MOC, and he’s alright with that.  He even tells Sam it’s for the best.  “The Mark.  It’s making me into something I don’t want to be.”  Sam won’t accept it though, he’s ready to save his brother. 

Dean:  What happened with you being okay with this?
Sam:  I lied.
Dean:  Ain't that a bitch?

Hee, even in the face of death Dean won’t let Sam forget about that.  Big brothers I tell ya. He did get to see before the end that Sam does care and will do anything for him.  It’s really all he needed to see.  He surrenders with his final words, “I’m proud of us.”  It’s beautiful, it’s poignant, and it’s likely the way Dean always visualized he would go - in his brother’s arms, going down swinging. 

Deandies2

Oh yes, the cruel twist of fate, because this is a  cliffhanger, not a series finale.  The Mark of Cain didn’t let go, and the same fate that fell upon Cain is now Dean’s.  He is resurrected from death, as a demon.  The rest of it plays out now in season ten, but no doubt this is Dean’s worst possible nightmare come true.  We know it’s probably Sam’s.  It was supposed to happen after he went to Hell in season three, but that would have been through years of burning away his human soul.  Here he’s been twisted and turned at his core into something evil, soul and body. 

It’s really shocking and tragic this outcome, and there’s still the open debate that it happened because Sam turned Dean away emotionally.  I don’t think it’s solely that, but it played a role for sure.  No doubt Sam’s words at the end of “The Purge” left an indelible impression, intended or not.   But a lot of Dean’s downturn was fueled by years of self-loathing and guilt, something we’ve seen in Dean since season one.  Those inner demons (so to speak) were too powerful to exorcise by the time he made that deal with Ezekiel (Gadreel).   When the King of Hell picks up on all that and uses it for his advantage, Dean didn’t have much of a chance.  The family bond has traditionally saved both Dean and Sam in past, and a break in that bond resulted in the worst when the timing was right.  Considering that break happened due to Dean’s desperate act though, it all gets kind of circular, doesn’t it?  It’s really nobody’s fault in the end, and everybody’s too.  It was all bound to catch up with Dean eventually, and no doubt this will hit Sam very hard too (TBD).

So that’s season nine Dean Winchester in a nutshell.  What did you think of his plot progression?  Was it logical or half-baked?  Did you enjoy it, or are you tired of his character being put through the contrived emotional wringer like this?  Speak up, there’s still plenty of Hellatus left to debate.  



Comments  

cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-19 18:37
Thank you Alice for this look at Dean. I loved his story from beginning to end. My few observations of his downfall really seem to be based on what Cain said to Dean in FB. Taking on the Mark was going to be a great burden and a great cost. I never got the impression that anything Dean, Sam or Cas did was going to change the outcome of his taking it on. Once Dean killed the first time after getting the Mark he was doomed. In order to survive he had to continue to kill and after Abaddon the drug was to powerful. He didn't want to give it up period. Nothing Sam or Cas could have said would have changed what happened.
In the Purge I would have to go with what Sam said instead of what Dean heard. Same circumstances, not I would never save you.
In Captives I will have to go with Kevin here. Dean was having a pity party. Kevin is the one who is dead and Sam is the one that has to see his hands killing Kevin. It was Dean's choices but as he said in the Purge he would do it again so why do you feel bad about it now. Kind of didn't feel all that bad for Dean here.
Blade Runners I don't think after Dean held the blade (awesome acting by Jensen here) there was going to be anything that Sam was going to be able to do. Sam could talk Dean down this time but the blade was in control already. His first kill with the blade sealed that deal no going back now.
Mothers Little Helper Dean was lying to his brother (wife) and hooking up with his drug dealer (mistress) he already didn't care about Sam anymore. Sam repeatedly called Dean to update him and to ask for help. Dean was already done with Sam but trying to keep it together anyway. I loved this episode by the way all the way around.
King of the Damned Is Abaddon really dead? Seemed to easy to me. But that is an interesting theory of the kill being a set up by Crowley and Abaddon? Metatron? to be an easy mark for Metatron. I hadn't thought about that scenario.
Do You Believe In Miracles I swear I was driving to town yesterday and found myself weeping when a certain song was on...dammit Dean!!
I still think that the MOC would have taken hold regardless of Sam. How could it have been avoided?
Again I know you had issues with this season but I did love Deans journey. Thanks again for your look at S9 Dean...
Alice
# Alice 2014-08-19 20:03
I agree, Dean's journey was the strongest part of the season by far. It was beautifully portrayed, and for the most part (yes there were a couple of hiccups) well plotted. I don't think Sam could have saved him either once he got the Mark, but since Sam didn't really try (a big fault of the writers) I guess we'll never know! Thanks for the comment.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-19 20:57
I so agree with that. How much better this season would have been if we had seen Sam desperately trying to figure out what having the Mark meant and freaking out about what was happening to Dean. It wasn't like Dean was hiding anything really. Again thank you for your review of Dean this season.
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-08-20 02:31
Well that is what people are going to get in season 10 a desperate Sam doing desperate things to save Dean. That seems the issue for alot that came out of last season what Sam did and what he did not do where Dean is concerned not really the behaviour of Dean himself .
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 10:33
In reading my post it came off as a pity party for Sam when all I meant to say was that Dean got into the mess he is in because of his own choices. I don't think anything that anyone could have done would have changed the outcome for Dean. I was agreeing with Alice that it would have been more dramatic if the writers had shown Sam seeing the changes in Dean and going into research mode or trying to find Cain for himself or asking Cas what he knew about the Mark. Cas too seemed concerned but it went no where. So when Dean died as emotional as it was for me personally it would have had even greater impact.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-19 23:40
i think the point of the season as it was so brilliantly written by sabbath68, is that of consequences. season 9, imho, represents the dysfunction of the boys relationship... the core of what's wrong and ultimately the dire result....
it seems to me and i know it's going to piss off quite a few here, but here i go anyway... the way i see it, dean has a problem with accepting responsibility when it comes to his actions, especially when it comes to his brother. dean is exceptional at taking blame for his actions, but he doesn't take responsibility for them and i see a significant difference there. dean does something without thinking, consequences be damned, and because he does it to save sam , all is supposed to be forgiven. the end justifies the means. very Machiavellian. but alas, sometimes the end doesn't always justify the means. dean does what he does out of both love and necessity for his own well being...let's be honest, it's canon that dean needs sam, he doesn't want to be alone ....without sam, there aint no him. so dean does the unthinkable to save sam and it seems that sam is required by dean and unfortunately some of the fandom to simply forgive and forget simply because, well hey,,,,it's dean Winchester and they are family. for dean, being family apparently means that he can hurt sam in the worst possible way and, there's no need to apologize for any of the hurt he caused and there's no need to acknowledge his brother's pain in any way at all, and he definitely doesn't have to make any effort at all to attempt to try to make it right with sam,.....so by rights dean should get a pass... and because he's dean Winchester....i nstead of taking responsibility for his actions, instead of finding a way to atone to sam or at the very least, simply saying he was sorry for the hurt he caused him...dean instead strictly takes the blame. with that he declares himself to be poison and runs away. he runs from his brother. he runs from responsibility. rather than dealing with what he'd done to sam head on, he wallows in his own self pity, again making hasty decisions with dire consequences. dean does all this to himself and sadly sam is seen as the uncaring brother who pushes dean away.....

sorry to say it, but sam didn't push dean away. dean pushed sam away. dean isolated himself from the moment he let gad in sam. dean was the one who lied to sam every day for months. dean worried about sam yes, but he wasn't emotionally close to sam. there was a barrier there, all of the guilt dean was feeling. the shoe that would eventually drop. they were together, but emotionally, they were far apart, it's just that sam didn't realize it at the time. then when that shoe did drop, dean isolated himself even further, only this time not only emotionally but physically as well. he literally walked away. in regards to sharp teeth, well i guess for me it was pretty clear why dean wanted to get back to sam...dean didn't want to be physically alone and he most likely believed sam would simply just forgive and forget. dean was wrong though....it wasn't just a simple case of forgiving and forgetting for sam...there was no sweeping it under the rug this time....for sam, dean was going to have to work at making it right again and i'm with sam on this one....dean did have to work at making it right again....you ask why did dean stay? well, dean wanted to be punished didn't he? he could've just as easily opened up to sam in the purge when sam asked if he wasn't sleeping because of what he said. but dean chose to tell sam that he didn't break that easy...knowing full well that's what sam wanted....maybe dean wanted to be punished. so instead of just clearing the air right then and there...he closed the door on sam...
that leads to ....i'm not for a second buying dean's not knowing what sam want's speil in thinman...dean isn't stupid. he knew before he let gad in that sam would be upset. dean knew sam would be upset about the lying....if dean didn't know all these things he wouldn't have felt guilty for the first half of the season. the setup in thinman seemed pretty simple....dean makes like he doesn't know what sam wants...sam basically tells dean what it is that's been eating away at sam....secrets ruin relationships.. ...so now dean knows. i also didn't buy into dean not knowing that sam was trying to bait him in sharp teeth...to get dean to engage. sam even followed up in the purge....dean knew sam was trying to get to him, but pride got in dean's way. " i don't break easy".... pride goeth before the fall....and dean sure did fall. :( but then again, was it all pride or was it that deep down, dean wanted to be punished?:o
i agree with Cheryl that sam referred to not saving dean in the same circumstances, which stands to reason given how sam feels about lack of control given that most of his life he never had control...he was always somebody's puppet....so when sam is yet again another's puppet, made to kill...well it only stands to reason that sam would never do that to his brother under any circumstance... so of course when dean declares sam would save dean in the same manner, it comes as no surprise that sam says "no"...same circumstances i wouldn't. as sabbath68 wrote and i had also written a few times before, sam shows his love by respecting other's wishes, even if death is involved and even if it would kill sam to do it.
as for thinman...it seemed to me to be a setup for a later date: dean knows what sam is so upset about. both boys seem to silently agree that neither of them want to end up on that porch alone with an empty rocker next to them....if show had wanted to, the very next eppy could've very well been the start of them dealing....but alas....not yet....we'll get back to this though.....;) but i'll tell you this much, after thinman, sam seemed to be less focused on his own pain and was able to focus more on his brother.. guess sam just needed a little time to heal.
mother's little helper : once the blade was reunited with the mark it became it's own entity once again. a power source. so when Crowley took the blade, it called upon the mark. i don't think Crowley just took the blade so dean wouldn't use it on him....Crowley did to dean what ruby did to sam....he got him hooked on the blade by leading him to the mark...then he withholds the blade so dean gets strung out...the way ruby strung sam out by withholding the blood....then dean, like sam needs it more...to the point of obsession...so that only the blade matters.....dea n thus isolates himself from his brother because his need for the blade is overwhelming... ..it had nothing to do with dean's misconception that sam didn't want to be his brother.....sam and dean could've patched things up and everything lollipops and candy canes and the blade still would've called out to the mark. dean was doomed the moment he took the mark. Crowley knew it...it's why he led dean to the mark in the first place. dean's further isolation from sam following blade runners had everything to do with the mark/blade and that's all. it's called addiction....ad diction isolates the addict from everyone who cares for them. dean's actions are caused by his lust for blood which comes from the mark and blade. i disagree that sam is part of the reason that dean falls pray to the mark. dean took the mark of his own volition. he was warned of the consequences but dean didn't care. he didn't listen. he was told of the burden it would bear...like i said, even if sam and dean had kissed and made up...dean still would've turned into a demon. it was the burden that cain spoke of. nothing could've prevented it....Colette's love for cain didn't prevent him from becoming a demon....her love is what saved him when he did become a demon.

consequences: the theme of s9.
dean saves sam by possession: consequence: kevin dies. dean loses sam's trust.
dean doesn't take responsibility for his actions; he only takes blame: consequence: a fractured (not broken) brotherhood. dean takes on the moc, damning his soul.

dean saves sam's life in the one way that sam would never allow. dean takes aways sam's ultimate choice of dying, going out on his own terms without anyone getting hurt because of him...which dean really didn't have the right to do....but forgiving that, he still did so through deception. he thus once again took sam's autonomy from him leaving sam at the mercy of another...who in fact yet again used sam as a puppet in which sam commits the murder of someone he cares about. add to that dean lied to sam about it for months and had dean just told sam the truth, trusted in sam to decide for himself if he wanted to trust in this angel....kevin may very well be alive...at the very least he wouldn't have died by sam's hands. given all of this...at no point did dean take responsibility for what he did to sam: no , instead he took the blame. with that he walked away, isolating himself from his brother, and taking on the moc as punishment for what he'd one, dooming himself to become a demon.

had dean taken responsibility for his actions: at the very most he would've acknowledged his brothers feelings and perhaps asked what he could do to make it up to sam. at the very least, he could've told sam he was sorry for the pain he caused. he could've stayed with his brother instead of walking away. he could've allowed sam the chance to just let him have it. a verbal beat down...a face to face confrontation. the chance for sam to let go of that pain and anger...to be the whipping boy just this one time, as sam has always dutifully been for him.

so what will s10 bring us......well since s9 is about consequences then i hope that in part s10 is about learning from mistakes as much as it is about acceptance of who the boys are as individuals and how they will come to accept ea. other. i think s9 ultimately is an example to the boys of what not to do. this is the opposite of the way things should've been handled. i think s9 was meant to illustrate the dysfunctional aspect of their relationship and the consequence of that dysfunction is meant to invoke change. most especially in dean. over the years sam has screwed up big...so much so that he's learned from his mistakes and therefore does his best not to repeat them. he has grown and matured a lot. he sees life differently than he once did. the same could be said of cas. dean on the other hand still makes the same mistakes...repe ating the same cycle, thus his character hasn't shown any real growth. he's stagnant. i think his falling will change this. i think dean had to experience the utmost of mistakes, the whopper of them all, in order to finally learn to change...so as to not make the same mistake again. so that he can finally be free of the endless cycle dean Winchester has been relegated to.

s9 is the beginning of the end of the dysfunctional relationship that exists between the boys....in s10, we will see a new, stronger, closer relationship of the men they have become....from the lessons they have learned....and they will accept who they are and hopefully find contentment in themselves. i look forward to the brother bond to come. ;)

just so you know.....i do like dean Winchester. i care very much about him .....just because i spoke of the flaws that inevitably damned dean's soul, that doesn't mean that I've forgotten everything that's good about...because it's what's good about him that will enable sam to save him....;)
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-08-20 14:19
Hi anna, your comment "it seems to me and i know it's going to piss off quite a few here, but here i go anyway... ", is kind of funny. What site do you think you are on? :) There are very very few Dean fans who even post here atm and I think we are pretty understanding about legitimate criticisms of Dean. Maybe touchy about people who say everything he has done the whole series is selfish and abusive. I have no major issues with most of what you say. I think Dean was wrong to let Sam be possessed. Do I understand sitting beside a hospital bed and watching a loved one dying and want to try and save them, hell yes? I think he was wrong to lie about it after, even though Sam's life may have been on the line (or so he thought). He did try and tell Sam a few times. I don't agree with his choices but I do understand his desperation. That is not saying he should "get a pass", I have seen very few, if any posts, here advocating giving him a pass. Or saying Sam was in the wrong for feeling betrayed or in any way responsible for the MoC choices and the consequences. I just have a much higher opinion of Dean than you or most of the people here. I think he is much less selfish and much more honorable, more loyal and loving, and a much better brother than he is given credit for. He has been wrong in his decision making often, and especially this year. And yet I agree with much of your post. Not all! I like how you always end your critiques with 'it's all going to a better place of understanding'. Takes the sting out.:)
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-08-20 15:48
I couldn't have said it better myself, Leah, really I couldn't. That is how I see Dean as well.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-20 19:00
Quote:
He did try and tell Sam a few times.
I think he tried to tell Sam once. Twice if you count the time at the hospital where he ended up agreeing with Gadreel that the possession should be kept as a secret. When Dean tried to talk to Sam directly by using a sigil in 9.09 Holy Terror, he already knew something was wrong because the angel had lied to him about who he was.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-20 21:43
leah, it was you who i was worried about pissing off believe it or not because i know how much you adore dean. please understand that i do not have a low opinion of dean. i know i have pointed out what i believe to be a major flaw in him that I've always felt he needed to work on, to change....but that doesn't take away the fact that i believe dean is absolutely loyal and a loving brother. I've only pointed out at one time or another how i believe that love to be a smothering one at times...which in the end results in actions that hurt those he loves...in particular sam.... I've said from the beginning that i believe carver when he said that he wanted to create a mature and stronger bond between the boys....I've said often that i feel that it's the dysfunction between these boys that carver finally wants to put to rest once and for all...and i know carver needed a realistic approach to do so.... i have expressed my belief that although dean has been seen in a negative light, i believe it's important because it's the monster inside dean that needs to be dealt with once and for all. so his metaphorical demon has become his literal one....himself. the way he got there is due to what i believe to be his inability to take responsibility for his actions vs his ability to constantly blame himself for everything that's ever gone wrong...even if the blame doesn't fall on him. i believe his inability to deal with what he's done to sam stems from his core issue of lack of worth....his self loathing influences the way dean handles a situation or doesn't handle a situation, as in this case with sam. his self loathing allows him to feel the guilt and take the blame for what he's done, and thus he demands to be punished and therefore does it himself, worse than anything sam would've done had dean just dealt with sam head on. this eventually leads to his decent into demon hood.

what i also believe and i know you probably don't agree....but i believe that down deep..dean believed he should be punished. i dont' see dean as stupid and i don't want to believe that he's that insensitive to sam's feelings...afte r rewatching, and really paying attention to dean....i know he knows what sam is asking from him, without actually using the words...i saw recognition from dean in sharp teeth...i saw it again in the purge....the way dean is always twisting what sam actually says into what dean believes he's saying...becaus e that's what dean believes should be said....i'm telling you leah, the more i think about it the more i think dean on some subconscious level deliberately played at being ignorant and callous because he wanted to be punished. it was so easy for dean to gain sam's forgiveness...s am is so forgiving of so much...all sam wanted was some sort of recognition from dean....or those two little words that could've changed everything....i 'm sorry.....and i know dean was....he just never said it. so much of the dysfunction between the boys lies with how they see themselves..... i really think the fall of dean Winchester began in s8.....the way i see it...sam fell already and rose above....cas fell and has done his damnedest to rise above....now i think it's dean's turn to fall and rise above....i think and have believed it for awhile now, that it's the final step in ridding the dysfunctional relationship that exists between the boys and creating a new and stronger bond between the men they have become. ;)
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-08-20 23:15
You misunderstand me. My overriding emotion wasn't being pissed off and if you noticed I really had no major issue with much of your comment. I agree Dean's self pity and self loathing are major factors in his bad decisions. I did think he wanted to be punished for what he did to Sam and the disastrous aftermath. Where we may diverge is I think he tried to talk to Sam and I believe he felt remorse and some of those conversation just went so far off the rails then at some point he just started losing any objectivity he may have had first due to the MoC, then the blade and their affects. I think they magnified all his negative feelings, not just the desire to kill. The crux of my comment was agreeing with you for the most part. Doesn't mean I won't occasionally feel the need to put some love out there for him when there is so much anger being directed his way on this site. I think some of it is deserved, not all of it. I wasn't angry just determined to see more good in Dean than some do, despite his bad judgement at times. The truth is that I have great love for both of these characters, sometimes I think Dean needs it a little more than Sam does because he is so flawed and damaged. There is no lack of Sam love here. ;)
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-21 02:15
Leah, I'm pretty new to this site and love both boys, and don't think either can be given a pass for their behaviour if it is out of order. I too believe that with the writing of the past few seasons that Dean appears to need Sam more than Sam needs Dean. I think that Carver in the past few seasons is trying to take both boys down a road where he readdresses the balance. Sam to a point where he recognises that he requires to actively acknowledge the emotional support he gets from Dean outside complaining that Dean is controlling and not take it for granted that it will be there if Dean is in the room while Dean needs to lessen his need to physical and emotionally cling to Sam for his self worth.

It is just going to take time, a long time for that storyline to have a logical progression because the codependency is intertwinned. That is not vilifying or victimising either brother just saying that is how their relationship has become stuck in and it is going to kill any stories.


Just this site is beginning to scare me with regard to the comment section. It does feel really imbalanced. This is an article about Dean's progression and I am finding that 90% of the time I am finding I am not talking about that. I am justifying what I am saying about Sam. Even if what I am saying is that I am interpreting Sam's actions through Dean's mindset I am getting back, Dean is twisting Sam's words, like Dean is deliberately twisting things out of badness and his wish not to take responsibility for his actions, not that he is tired, stressed,feelin g guilt and both boys aren't communicating, just Dean is bad, Sam is good.

It is a weird mindset to discuss things from.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-21 04:52
Don't be discouraged with the comments. It is the nature of any discussion of this show. Positions are going to vigorously defended. There are many of us that love both brothers and we have to defend our position just like those that love only one brother over the other.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-08-21 07:23
I wouldn't be that concerned about the comment section Fazzie. This site is well worth the visit. The articles are excellent and the writers are all varied in their views. It does lean Sam in the comment section. true, but most of the regulars here are nice and just want to, as Cheryl said, "vigorously" defend their character(s) and perspective. I don't always agree but I respect that. It all comes down to how they are written after all, and how we the fans choose to perceive it through our own character bias's. I find that interesting most days. :)
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-23 14:44
i don't know if you would agree with me or not on this....but I find dean to be the most complicated and the most messed up character on this show. :D that being said, I feel the basic flaw that I think is being focused on, as it so desperately needs to be addressed if carver is to achieve his goal of a more equal, mature, stronger brotherly relationship, is dean's lack of self worth. I really do believe this one aspect is responsible for so much of what dean feels and does, or in this case doesn't do.

i'd like to explain what I mean... the basic issue I think sam's been having this season with regards to dean, is his misguided belief that dean didn't save sam for sam, dean saved sam for dean. I think there are extenuating circumstances that lead sam to believe this:
1. the method in which dean saves sam...using trickery/decept ion. it went against everything dean said to sam at the church.
2. dean's non existent apology and his blatant disregard for sam's feelings...(at least this is what sam is interpreting).. .because
a: sam tells dean that he cannot trust him like he should be able to...that something was broken and dean's response was basically a non response. so sam reaches out to dean telling him they're damaged and all dean wants to do is work the job. this was absolutely the opposite response of what sam needed to hear from dean. dean's only acknowledgement was that he took a piece of sam...but then in the next breath he doesn't apologize and he doesn't give sam any indication at all that he cares that the relationship is damaged....a we just got to put a few w's in the win column, doesn't demonstrate to sam that dean actually cares about what he's done...so sam feels as though dean doesn't really care...hence his retort: if you want to be partners fine....if you want to be brothers....... sam reaching out to dean...if you want to be brothers...then show me that you do...show me that you care when I say to you....we're damaged...there 's something broken.
b: dean's declaration that he doesn't break easy....combine d later on with i'd do it all again....which as sam sees it, again affirms sam's belief that dean didn't save sam for sam...he did it for dean...and he was willing to do it all the same way, knowing how much hurt he caused...thus only affirming sam's false belief that he's not worthy of saving...dean only did it because he couldn't be alone...and then we get sam's pained retort that under the same circumstances, he wouldn't do things the same(possession ) not because he doesn't love dean and wouldn't save him, but because he does love dean and he wouldn't save him in that way.
so here we are again....miscon ception, misunderstandin g...pain and hurt on both sides. and something I feel might have been avoided on this extreme level if dean had been able to face what he'd done with his brother. now I know I've used the word selfish and it most likely has annoyed you...but I do feel that dean's inability to acknowledge sam has led to dean's self centric behavior. what I don't feel and never will is that dean intentionally acts this way in order to hurt his brother. if I've never made that clarification before, i'd like make it now.

getting back to dean: here's what I believe , and again you may or may not agree....but here goes:

if I had dean Winchester on my couch...:);) no not for that.... but if I could openly be honest and tell dean Winchester what I thought his issue was....

dean has no self worth and that in turn influences the way he does things. but it's more than that. as I rewatch s1 alongside s9 i'm starting to get a better picture of dean. dean, due to his lack of worth in himself, has a hard time with failure. basically it seems it's not even an option for him, at least not when it comes to sam(thanks for that daddy w). you can see it first in the benders when he tells the lady cop that when they were younger, he pretty much pulled sam from a fire. ever since then I felt responsible for him, likes it's my job to keep him safe. we saw it in nightmare...whe n sam says...aren't you worried that i'll turn into max? dean's reply..nope...b ecause you got one thing that max didn't...sam say's: dad? because dad's not here dean....dean's reply: no. me. as long as i'm around nothing bad is going to happen to you. in something wicked...dean, like any kid feeling confined in a room for days on end..just wanted to take a few minutes to play a video game. the one time that dean left sam, and the shtriga attacks sam, nearly killing him....but it was dad's reaction that dean never could forget.....dad, he looked at me different....de an almost failed sam and not only did his own guilt weigh on him, but his father's reaction never left dean either....I think john's reaction did more damage than anything.
so when sam dies in s2...dean sees it as a failure. he failed his father, as he didn't do his job right...he failed sam....he promised nothing bad would happen to him as long as he was around....and something very bad happened. dean couldn't handle this failure...so he sold his soul to a demon. consequences be damned...he had to make it right, fix his mistake. it ties into his lack of worth. he's no good. his mother left him(though she didn't really, she was taken), his father left him, sam went to school so he left him...he's not worth loving...but there's a survival instinct in us all. he may not see himself as worthy, but the part of him who wants to survive...he saves people. he kills monsters. he's a hero. most importantly, he's his brother's hero.
when sam is soulless, again, dean does whatever it takes to put sam's soul back in. sam trapped in hell is again dean failing at taking care of him. his job. his responsibility. his promise he made to his brother.
I think dean saw himself as failing sam again in s8. I don't think dean was as ignorant of sam as he portrayed himself to be. I think it's where his selective hearing comes into play. sam tells dean that he was wandering for months after dean died. sam told dean he thought he was dead. but dean doesn't hear it or doesn't see it. his lack of worth has dean blind to the fact that sam stopped hunting because his brother was dead. dean can only surmise another reason....so he asks if there was a girl even though sam said there was and there wasn't. she had nothing to do with it...that sam had stopped hunting months before he even met her....dean ignores sam and determines that sam didn't look for him because of a girl sam left him in purgatory, where dean actually found a sense of appreciation. so dean made it seem to sam that purgatory was worse for dean than it truly was.
dean kept at sam too...making sam feel worse and worse...but in all honesty...I think dean did it because of his own feelings of failure...faili ng sam and failing cas. dean couldn't bring cas out of purgatory. the way dean saw it, he failed his friend, but he took a vampire out with him. for sam, I think dean actually did hear what sam said, on a subconscious level felt like he failed sam...he left him all alone, with no family....I think it did hurt dean when sam told him he thought he was dead and that he just drove aimless for months...after all, dean knows from experience what it's like to lose your brother. I think dean believed he failed sam and couldn't face it....so instead he kept hurting sam....but when dean hurts sam to the point where sam ultimately gives dean the choice of him or benny, I think dean realizes that he pushed sam too far...and he seemed to me to have spent the second half of the season trying to make up for it...see...here dean did go out of his way to try to make things right....it's just that sam, and his own feelings of unworthiness and his belief that he's constantly failing his brother and is nothing more than dean's disappointment. ...I don't think sam could see that dean was trying to make things right...I think sam just believed that dean was just doing his normal job of looking out for sam....not out of love...but out of duty and responsibility. ...
so when we get to s9, dean again failed his brother. he didn't fail at saving him. but in the process of saving him, dean took a piece of sam away. sam never had a chance to confront dean on that bridge, because dean walked away and decided that he wasn't worthy of his brother. he's poison. ....but I think basically, for dean....he failed sam and he couldn't face him on that bridge. because dean has always had a hard time failing sam in any way shape or form.

thing is ....dean didn't fail sam. sam never saw dean as a failure. sam was just hurt. not by dean saving him...but by the method and the deception... nothing dean did was unforgivable... but here in lies the problem...the dysfunction that is sam and dean Winchester....

dean's inability to acknowledge sam's feelings, even with something as simple as an apology....stem s from the fact that he believes deep deep down, he failed his brother. worthless dean Winchester, once again he failed to do his job. the one good thing dean has going for him, is that he's a soldier and a damn good one....what does it say about dean if he can't even do that right?
yes he saved his brother but look what happened in the process, kevin is dead and he still ends up destroying what matter's most (besides sam alive)....that' s sam's trust.. I think for dean, deep down in his subconscious, he feels that he failed sam. for dean to apologize or even acknowledge sam's pain, means that dean has face his belief that once again he failed his brother. so instead of taking responsibility for what he did, he instead runs away from sam. he cannot admit to sam how he knows his actions hurt him. he can only try to divert sam's hurt and try to wish it away....or he tries to declare that he did the right thing and would do it all again...it's easier for dean to do that than face up to and admit to himself that he screwed up...because then in dean's mind, it's admitting failure....the one thing dean won't or can't abide is failing sam....even when sam doesn't think this at all. I found it very interesting that dean could say he was sorry to kevin, but he was never able to say he was sorry to sam. the way I see it...he liked kevin but kevin's death ...it was more bearable for him than sam's could ever be. dean has no personal stake to kevin. if he fails kevin, dean will feel guilty and bear the burden of that guilt. but to fail sam....no can do....so dean can't bring himself to apologize...if he does he's forced to face that he failed sam...something he can't do. it's this soldier mentality drilled into him by john...

so dean punishes himself instead by taking the moc without heed to cain's warning, unwittingly damning his soul.

now I have to tell you that...even if sam was able to sweep it all under the rug and just ignore all his pain and hurt and they hugged and kissed it out.....dean still would've ended up turning into a demon. he was doomed when he got the moc....it was an inevitable outcome....Crow ley knew it. crowley got dean to get the moc...crowley knew where the blade was and could've gotten it himself...but he needed to witness dean touching the blade. crowley engineered the whole thing and nothing was going to stop dean from turning into a demon....the moc/blade was an entity of it's own. with it's own source of power..with the ability to corrupt.... even with all of that....dean's guilt over kevin and his guilt over sam.....breakin g the trust, lying to him....basicall y failing at taking care of sam as he always promised he would do...that he declared himself his duty....he still would've succumbed to the blade because of his own lack of worth....which ironically, made dean worthy of the moc in the first place.

jmo of course
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-08-24 19:33
Hi anna, love your epic posts! Thank you so much for your thoughts. First of all I wasn't EVER upset with you for criticizing or analyzing Dean. In fact I agree with much of what you have said! If it gets too nasty then it bothers me, when everyone loses sight of his good qualities it bothers me. When his every action gets twisted into a selfish, abusive, malicious thing, it bothers me. Even though you don't do that, I occasionally have to remind myself and others that he has some many great qualities in spite of being one of the most messed up characters on the show, and possibly all of TV. I have read many posts lately laughing at the idea that Dean does some of the things he does out of love. As if that no longer applies. Evert time I see the word "vile" used it bothers me. I don't believe no matter how wrong his action have been, and they have been wrong, that he did ANYTHING with a malicious intent. Sam may see it that way because of Dean's defensive posture. But whatever Sam was trying to say in his short conversations they came across to Dean as 'family is the cause of all our problems', 'I don't want to be brothers anymore' and 'I wouldn't save you at all costs'. Now I believe I know what Sam was trying to say but Dean being 'I am not worth anything' Dean, he heard what he expected to hear. NO SAM BLAME at all. This is all Dean and him hiding his hurt behind a bunch of defensive crap. Which caused Sam to feel that Dean didn't care. Round and round we go.....

As for the disastrous aftermath I don't think Dean meant he wasn't sorry that people died, especially Kevin. He meant he would always save Sam, no matter what. That is ingrained him so deeply I am not sure he can ever change that mindset. I do think he has many other things he CAN change. Things that will allow he and Sam to have a better relationship going forward. Hopefully lessons were learned, remorse and regret were felt and we will have a better brother relationship going forward or I won't understand WTH these last few painful seasons were all about!:)
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-24 20:50
thanks leah...

I do have a tendency to go on, this I know. :D I know I've been a bit critical of dean of late, but honestly I think that's been the intention....af ter all if the boys are going to grow out of this dysfunctional relationship into a more mature, equal, stronger one that I know we're getting....then the negative aspect/flaw that is the crux of their dysfunction needs to be faced and conquered...sam fell and learned his lesson....cas fell and learned his lesson....now it's dean's turn:p;)

personally the more I rewatch, the more I like the journey...and the more I think I've come to understand it. so it might take me awhile, but just know that even though I might criticize dean ...I will eventually start to search for the why ....why I feel he acts a certain way.....

I would do, oh hell have done....the same for sam. :) don't worry leah....it's all going to be worth the trip. ;)
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-08-24 21:57
:)
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-20 01:53
Quote:
The Purge --- We get a hint of what Dean is feeling when Sam asks if he’s upset about what he said about not being brothers. He was being honest. Dean got that, and he may be playing it cool, but he’s not okay with it.
Unfortunately, that comes across as twisting Sam’s words subtly.

Dean: Good. Looks like it's a whore's bath for me. I'll be ready in five.
Sam: You sure you're okay, Dean?
Dean: Why wouldn't I be?
Sam: 'Cause -- I don't know you... This isn't about what I said the other day, is it?
Dean: Oh, about that we're not supposed to be brothers? No, don't flatter yourself. I don't break that easy.
Sam: Oh, good, 'cause I was just being honest.
Dean: Oh, yeah. No, I got that loud and clear.


Dean goes on the attack so to speak because he feels threatened by Sam asking if Dean is upset because of what Sam said earlier. Dean implies that Sam is self-centered if he thinks Dean cares that much about being brothers with him. Sam says he was just being honest i.e. he wasn’t trying to break Dean. (In my opinion Sam never disowned Dean.)

Quote:
The Purge --- Everything Sam said is far from respectful. It essentially scolded Dean for loving his family too much.
That is you saying Dean’s actions were based on loving his family too much, correct? It’s understandable that Sam felt Dean hadn’t truly been thinking about his brother when he went about things the way he did.

Quote:
The Purge --- The question is, what is Sam truly saying? He wouldn’t try to save Dean’s life, or he just wouldn’t have under the same circumstances? I took it to mean just under the same circumstances, but Dean took it to mean that his brother wouldn’t have his back.
Sam never said, “I would not have tried to save your life [under the same circumstances]” Dean said, “All right, you want to be honest? If the situation were reversed and I was dying, you'd do the same thing,” and Sam’s answer was, “No, Dean. I wouldn't. Same circumstances...I wouldn't.”

I think Sam’s biggest issue was how Dean had tricked him and lied to him. Dean had been too scared to find out what Sam would do if he learned the truth. I think Sam was saying he would have trusted his brother to make his own decision even if Dean had been dying.

Quote:
Captives --- This time though Dean isn’t wallowing in pity. He’s pissed. He’s tired of Sam acting like a child.
If he really thought that, why wasn’t he taking Sam to task instead of going to his room, putting his headphones on and staring into middle-distance with his arms crossed? And isn’t “Get over it,” pretty insensitive considering the circumstances?

Quote:
#THINMAN --- I don't know, man. 'Cause lately with you, up is down and down is sideways, you know? I-I -- I don't know what you want. Dean expresses frustration right off the bat with Sam. He has a damned good right to.
How so? Dean was going on a hunt. Isn’t going on hunts together the whole point of being partners?

Quote:
Mother’s Little Helper --- At least he was keeping in touch with Sam by phone regarding the case for sanity’s sake.
More like Sam was keeping in touch with Dean and Dean had to pick up the phone for appearance’s sake although he really didn’t want to.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-20 07:17
i totally agree.....and when i used the term break dean...i should've explained that better. i too agree and never for one second thought sam disowned dean. sam was giving dean an opportunity to deal with the situation in sharp teeth. sam told dean that he wasn't able to just put a few w's in the win column...he can't just sweep what's happened under the rug. sam explained that he couldn't trust dean the way he should be able to....sam went as far as to use the words....someth ing is broken here.....and dean's response to that was....well whatever i did, we're family. that's it? that's what sam gets....so it's totally understandable in sam's frustration, in his hurt and pain and anger that's stirring inside him, it makes total sense that sam's response to dean's non apology and utter disregard to sam's feelings at that moment, was ok you want to work...let's work...(i mean after all dean had just finished telling him all they had to do was get back to work and put a few w's in the win column right?..that was dean's remedy for what was wrong here) but if you want to be brothers... which seemed pretty clear to me that sam was making it pretty clear that if they were going to be more than partners, if they're going to be brothers then it's up to dean to make things right again......thos e are my terms....sam indicating that sweeping it under the rug is not an option here, that if they're going to repair the damage, then they have to work on it together....the operative work here being....work on it....something that dean never attempted to do...but imo knew that's what sam truly wanted...

so when i say sam was trying to get dean to break, i really meant that sam was holding his ground here. this was something a situation that dean could just sweep under the rug...there's a bigger problem here...as was touched on by sam in the purge.....dean doing what he did for dean and not for sam....dean couldn't deny this...he instead directed the subject in another direction...you would do the same....
this isn't only about the way in which dean saved sam, it's also about his deep rooted issue of why it is that he goes to such measures....his own issues of self loathing/need for control/abandon ment issues/his point of view as to how things should be and ....it is about dean's inability to take responsibility for his actions ...which ties into the self loathing thing i believe.

i also agree with you in regards to mother's little helper: sam was the one who was calling dean every half hour or so to check in...asking him to join him...asking how things were going....dean is the one who picked up the phone for appearance sake, otherwise sam would've just come back...

i don't think sam was acting like a child in captives at all....i think the child all along has been dean...after all, it's been pretty much about him and his own self pity ....he still hasn't at any point made any attempt to try to make things right with sam.....dean's focus has pretty much been on himself ...even when saving sam, dean pretty much kept up the lies for fear of what.....how sam would react to dean...when sam did find out...it's been about how he's been feeling and at no point have i seen dean acknowledge to sam how sam might be feeling....it's been a pretty deancentric universe for our beloved Winchester and dean all pouty and pissy at the end of captives just illustrated to me....the child who hasn't gotten his way....who's still angry that his brother, who so often let's dean off the hook, cannot in this case...just get over it.. seems dean really has to work at fixing this relationship, and by his expression at the end of captives...it pisses him off.... which leads to his comment in thinman in the next eppy...about not knowing what sam wants....a childlike reaction...plac ing it all on sam once again....playin g like he doesn't know what's really wrong.... once thinman ends though, he can't really play that card anymore...becau se sam laid it out for dean....so again, sam had put the ball back in dean's court....
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-20 05:03
Hi Alice,

Thanks for part two of this.

As for Stairway to Heaven, I do think poor writing was involved, but I also think that Dean needed to be a jerk too.

He wasn't with his brother and his friend, he was there to do a job that they want him to do without thinking how it may affect him. Cas asked Dean to come and interrogate because he couldn't and the last time he did that was Alistair. Dean obviously thinks that Cas wanted the rep of Dean the torturer in that room, have someone to go further than simple question asking if he isn't getting answers. That is all he thinks they need him for, so that is what he'll do. He'll be the scary interrogator for Cas and the business partner for Sam. Sure he'll do pleasantries, but when push comes to shove, he's there because they asked him to do a job and nothing else so why should he treat them any different.

It isn't just the mark, it is his self loathing and low self worth that is kicking in with the mark. Not to mention how he sees himself being treated by those around him even though he thinks he deserves it and in many respects can't really ask for anything more after Gadreel. But it them keeping their distance from him, it hits Dean differently from Sam and Cas because instead of them needing actual help with some grand quest, what Dean needs sometimes is someone he can just cut lose with, a wing man, to make life worth it in very simple ways, like the time he and Cas ran away from the brothel laughing. So far this season the only person he has felt even wanted to cut lose with is Crowley, not Sam or Cas.

I think he honestly thinks that Cas and Sam don't really see him as anything other than a tool until Cas stands up for him and then all his anger is focused on Sam. It is building up inside him and it needs to go somewhere so comes out at Sam. It may sound jerky but he is essentially telling Sam he'll do what he thinks Sam wants, get Metatron but it is in his terms, so he feels in control. Sam doesn't help matters by storming off like a jilted girlfriend instead of turning round and telling Dean to knock it off. If he had done that it may have grounded Dean a little which he needs as he is turning into an insecure bully who thinks people hate him so he'll hate them more to mask the guilt and fear he feels. But that is the only way he can feel he can actually fit in the world around him because if he doesn't do that what is he to Sam - nothing really. If he isn't the tool Sam wants, he isn't even a good business partner because they aren't brothers at that point.

Dean needs someone to ground him and Sam with his emotional distance and non constancy isn't capable of doing that at that point, he may be warranted in it because of his feelings about Gadreel, but for all his complaints about Dean not being honest with him, he doesn't help himself by actually not communicating with Dean, his feelings. We might see his dithering about letting Dean back in, but Dean doesn't see it so Dean sees it as Sam pushing him away and so he pushes back in more final ways. It something that has been building from Season 8 and they never fixed it because even without Gadreel, Dean had to ask why Sam didn't feel at home in the bunker, he had to push Sam to accept the place that Sam said Dean had finally settled. If it is good enough and safe enough for Sam to say Dean has settled there, his explanation of why he can't truly settle smacks Dean in the face a little.

Also, this season I think Sam suffered from not having a Bobby type character who in no uncertain terms does the same for him as Bobby did for Dean - telling him to stop being a child by dwelling on his personal wounds and open his eyes to the mess that needs to be dealt with right in front of him because it is going to blow up in his face a lot worse than whatever he is stewing about. If anything next season I hope for one thing, the stopping of pussy footing around things when it comes to the emotional stuff that has occured since Bobby died. The closest we got was Kevin telling Dean to knock off the pity party but both boys need someone who tells them like it is and then have them deal with things as adults.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-20 06:33
I think it was an intentional choice not to have Dean come across as sympathetic in Stairway to Heaven. Some were cheering Dean on for telling Sam off but I think the episode was meant to portray how the mark of Cain was changing Dean. A little while later he gained more self-awareness (which was shown in the finale).

Quote:
He wasn't with his brother and his friend, he was there to do a job that they want him to do without thinking how it may affect him.
The interrogation scene was in 9.21 King of the Damned

Castiel: That brings me to why you're here. We have a prisoner. It's an angel from Metatron's inner circle. I need to know what they're planning, but so far, he's revealed nothing.
Dean: So, you're done with the rough stuff, and you want us to be your goons?
Castiel: Well, you've had success at these situations before. If you don't want to do it, I understand.
Dean: Who says I don't want to do it?


I don’t think it’s fair to lump Sam in with Cas. Cas asked a favor from both of the brothers and it was Sam who didn’t want Dean to beat an angel up so he came up with the Mean Girls angle.

Quote:
If he isn't the tool Sam wants, he isn't even a good business partner because they aren't brothers at that point.
9.22 Stairway to Heaven

Sam: So, Dean, uh...are we gonna talk about this, or what?
Dean: About what? Yeah, I lied, but you were being an infant.
Sam: Wow. Even for you, that apology sucked.
Dean: Oh, I'm not apologizing. I'm telling you how it's gonna be.
Sam: Dean, that Blade --
Dean: That Blade's the only thing that can kill Metatron, and I am the only one who can use it...so from here on out, I'm calling the shots. Capisce? Look, until I jam that Blade through that douchebag's heart, we are not a team. This is a dictatorship. Now, you don't have to like it, but that's how it's gonna be.


I think Dean was calling off the partnership because he didn’t want to leave the blade and he wanted to have all the say - not because he was deep down feeling sad about not being a good enough business partner.

Quote:
If it is good enough and safe enough for Sam to say Dean has settled there, his explanation of why he can't truly settle smacks Dean in the face a little.
9.04 Slumber Party

Dean: Why haven't you moved in?
Sam: Is now really the time for this, Dean?
Dean: Well, just asking.
Sam: Look, I never had what you had with mom and dad, okay?
Dean: What are you talking about?
Sam: I don't have any memories of home. And whenever I've tried to make a home of my own, it really hasn't ended well.
Dean: Yeah, but a lifetime of abandoned buildings and crappy motel rooms. I mean, this is about as close to home as we're gonna get, and it's ours.


Sam said that trying to make a home has never ended well for him so how would that be a smack in the face for Dean?
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-20 07:47
It may not seem fair to lump Sam into what Dean is thinking if you are an outside observer, but from Sam's actions it is easy for Sam to be lumped in from Dean's POV when Sam isn't sharing anything that makes Dean feel like he is a worth while person. It is what is happening in Dean's head that you have to look at and it isn't exactly good from Dean's mental stand point.

The interrogation scene was in 9.21 King of the Damned

Castiel: That brings me to why you're here. We have a prisoner. It's an angel from Metatron's inner circle. I need to know what they're planning, but so far, he's revealed nothing.
Dean: So, you're done with the rough stuff, and you want us to be your goons?
Castiel: Well, you've had success at these situations before. If you don't want to do it, I understand.
Dean: Who says I don't want to do it?


Sam may come up with the mean girls angle and may seem uncomfortable about Dean being there but we didn't see him do anything to stop Dean going into that room and that is after seeing what he did to Gadreel in metafiction. He came in to find Gadreel in a pulpy mess and Sam is comfortable enough to let him into another room where he may have to go that far again.

In Dean's head, Sam is playing good cop bad cop and Dean is definitely the bad cop, the weapon, the threat and Cas sees him pretty much in that light too because Cas, the angel who is 1000's of years old is telling Dean, he's had more success in getting information of supernatural beings than he has - how using skills that don't make him a nice person, skills that on head of a pin he told both Sam and Cas that if he uses he comes out as a person they wouldn't want to be around. But neither Sam or Cas really question that, see it as a red flag when combined with Dean saying that he wants to do it. And it isn't like they aren't pulling Dean out because they want that information from someone as formidable as Alistair or Crowley or even Gadreel, but a whelp like Ezra. Dean once in that room is seeing it as Cas wanting easy information instead of his friend sending him in as the last resort. As for Sam, he may have went for the mean girls tact and it may get results but that was used after Dean told Ezra that he had just asked him to dance - what was Sam's plan if the mean girls tact hadn't worked with a Dean prepared to take Ezra apart being in that room?

And how does that play to Dean because in his head Sam has seen exactly what he is capable of with Gadreel, a Sam who in his head only trusts him on the surface? In his head Sam is treating him as the killer that he has always claimed to be and the MoC and blade is also telling him that he is.

Is it fair on Cas and Sam, not completely but is Dean out of line thinking that way, not completely either . Cas and Sam's longest discussion on Dean's mental state up until his attack on Gadreel in the bunker seems to consist of the following

CASTIEL
Does Dean seem different to you?

SAM
Yeah. Lately, he seems to be...amped up --you know, on edge.

CASTIEL
Effects of the mark?

SAM
What else?

CASTIEL
He does seem angry. I mean, he's always a little angry, but now it seems like...more. I think a part of him actually believed that I ordered those angels to, you know...Sam, you don't, do you?


It goes back to what is happening with Cas, not any further discussion about actually what is happening with Dean, like Dean is going to resolve himself and they don't really have to do anything about it or they will get around it at somepoint when there other stuff is sorted. Basically it isn't high on their list and Dean is still fit to do what they need him to do. Is it out of meanness on their part, no to the outside observer Sam's hurt, Cas has stuff to do but also they are use to Dean being okay. But they took their eye off the ball with regard to Dean because of their own stuff and you can't say Dean is hiding the signs of it happening and to Dean it is because that is what they see his worth as. As long as he can do the job everything will be find with them.


9.22 Stairway to Heaven

Sam: So, Dean, uh...are we gonna talk about this, or what?
Dean: About what? Yeah, I lied, but you were being an infant.
Sam: Wow. Even for you, that apology sucked.
Dean: Oh, I'm not apologizing. I'm telling you how it's gonna be.
Sam: Dean, that Blade --
Dean: That Blade's the only thing that can kill Metatron, and I am the only one who can use it...so from here on out, I'm calling the shots. Capisce? Look, until I jam that Blade through that douchebag's heart, we are not a team. This is a dictatorship. Now, you don't have to like it, but that's how it's gonna be.

I think Dean was calling off the partnership because he didn’t want to leave the blade and he wanted to have all the say - not because he was deep down feeling sad about not being a good enough business partner.


It is partly about the blade, but is also about Dean telling him that he is redefining the partnership and Sam doesn't tell him to go shove it to tell him the business partnership is over, he goes off in a huff. That isn't a definite dissolving of the partnership as Sam has wiggle room to come back. Dean at that point wants the blade, but he isn't going off on a killing spree with it, he is focusing on what Sam wants too, to get Metatron. It is just he is also saying that if they are doing with him in the lead because he needs some control and Sam with his walking off isn't telling a Dean, who is going off the rails, that he is completely out of line.

Sam at no point turns round and tells Dean to shove it, it is too much or anything else about pussy foot around Dean and the blade. It is understandable because he is still angry and doesn't want hurt but to Dean, his brother is just stating that all he is good for is to be the nuclear weapon that Sam protests to Cas and Gadreel he doesn't want Dean to be. It is just he isn't voicing it to Dean so Dean thinks he wants that too even though it isn't really the only option they have. Metatron is still an angel and they have nothing to say an angel blade wouldn't do the job if they destroy the tablet But Dean going after him with the blade is the most expedient course of action that they would be sure that would work.

9.04 Slumber Party

Dean: Why haven't you moved in?
Sam: Is now really the time for this, Dean?
Dean: Well, just asking.
Sam: Look, I never had what you had with mom and dad, okay?
Dean: What are you talking about?
Sam: I don't have any memories of home. And whenever I've tried to make a home of my own, it really hasn't ended well.
Dean: Yeah, but a lifetime of abandoned buildings and crappy motel rooms. I mean, this is about as close to home as we're gonna get, and it's ours.

Sam said that trying to make a home has never ended well for him so how would that be a smack in the face for Dean



What was Sam's speech to Dean when he took over the trials

Sam - You have friends up here, family. I mean, hell, you even got your own room now. You were right, okay? I see light at the end of this tunnel. And I'm sorry you don't -- I am. But it's there. And if you come with me, I can take you to it.

Sam saying that Dean getting his own room is good enough but for him it doesn't work because he is waiting for it all to turn to crude because it always does? Well if someone said that to you how would you take it? In some ways he tells Dean to hold onto that room and friends as hope and then later when called on why he doesn't he says it is because he feels like an idiot if he did because he's waiting for the other shoes to drop. In self worth terms Dean would probably think that Sam would think of him as an idiot for considering the bunker home and even with all the saying that Dean having his parents while he didn't doesn't mean much because Dean had the trauma of losing that at four. If anything Dean should understand the fragility of home better than Sam did because he had true stability ripped away from him when he was able to comprehend what it meant.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-21 03:39
When Dean was torturing and killing demons in order to find out where Lisa and Ben had been taken and it was getting to be too much, Sam offered to take over. A similar mentality was occurring here.

Quote:
He came in to find Gadreel in a pulpy mess and Sam is comfortable enough to let him into another room where he may have to go that far again.
Sam yelling Dean’s name and motioning him to come over after Dean raises the angel blade demonstrated the exact opposite.

Dean had been able to stop on his own before (“He wanted to die, and I was gonna kill him. I was. But then I stopped 'cause I know we need him to talk”) and now Sam was with Dean.

Quote:
As for Sam, he may have went for the mean girls tact and it may get results but that was used after Dean told Ezra that he had just asked him to dance - what was Sam's plan if the mean girls tact hadn't worked with a Dean prepared to take Ezra apart being in that room?
Sam would’ve continued to take the lead even if Dean had started to give Sam a hard time because as Sam said, ”He won't be telling us anything dead.”

Quote:
That isn't a definite dissolving of the partnership as Sam has wiggle room to come back.
You mean room to come back to a dictatorship?

Quote:
Sam at no point turns round and tells Dean to shove it, it is too much or anything else about pussy foot around Dean and the blade. It is understandable because he is still angry and doesn't want hurt but to Dean, his brother is just stating that all he is good for is to be the nuclear weapon that Sam protests to Cas and Gadreel he doesn't want Dean to be. It is just he isn't voicing it to Dean so Dean thinks he wants that too even though it isn't really the only option they have.
After Dean says his piece, he turns his back on Sam. I doubt Sam could’ve had a real talk with Dean at that point because Dean clearly had issues with Sam that went beyond how they should go about things.

Sam voicing his concerns to Dean about the blade conveys that he doesn’t think all Dean is good for is being a weapon. Dean is convinced that he is going to off Metatron by himself, his way.

Quote:
In self worth terms Dean would probably think that Sam would think of him as an idiot for considering the bunker home
How would Sam saying Dean can have that, he can enjoy the Bunker and even see it as his home make Dean feel like an idiot? Sam thinks of himself as the one who is cursed.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-21 05:53
Again, you are going from your mindset and not trying to get into Dean's headspace with what has gone down.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-21 20:44
You seem to be saying that Sam’s actions made Dean feel like he is nothing but a tool. Sam went with Dean to the interrogation room, Dean rolled his eyes when Sam stopped him once Dean raised his hand against the angel so Dean knew the situation made Sam feel uncomfortable and that Sam didn’t want Dean to start torturing. If Dean still thought he is only a weapon in his brother’s eyes, it’s based on deep-seated feelings of inadequacy.

Again, why would Dean feel like Sam thinks he is an idiot after he learns that Sam doesn’t see the Bunker as home even though he wants Dean having his own room be a positive thing for Dean? Not seeing eye to eye when it comes to the Bunker might take some fun out of the whole experience but Sam’s issues are his own issues. Like Dean said, “Yeah, but a lifetime of abandoned buildings and crappy motel rooms. I mean, this is about as close to home as we're gonna get, and it's ours.”
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-08-20 09:04
Alice - thank you, I agree that Dean's journey/arc was the strongest part of Season 9. But my biggest issues with Dean as a character were a loss of sympathy for his plight as the second half of the season progressed, and that they telegraphed the fact that Dean would become a demon pretty early on

In the Purge we had Dean say he'd do the same thing all over again - "You know Sam, I saved your hide back there. I saved your hide at that church — in the hospital. I may not think things all the way through but when I do, it’s because it’s the right thing. I’d do it again." Much has been made of what Sam said to Dean and what Dean heard (Same circumstances, I wouldn't) but, on the flip side, what would Sam be thinking when Dean said he'd do the same thing all over again? That Dean would let his brother be possessed by a psycho angel all over again? That he'd, in effect, trade Kevin's life for Sam's? IMO that statement by Dean is what initiated the strong and harsh response from his brother.

In Mother's Little Helper we had Dean lying to Sam and, their "business agreement" aside, not having Sam's back on a case, even after Sam repeatedly asked Dean for his help. At this point, Dean is becoming an unlikeable and unsympathetic character to me.

King of the Damned - we have Dean once again lying to Sam, deciding to go it alone against Abaddon. Killing Abaddon was a forgone conclusion but I like your take on this, the fact that it was supposed to be easy so Dean would be feeling invincible for his showdown with Metatron.

Stairway to Heaven is when I pretty much stopped caring about Dean and his plight; yes, he is under the influence and addiction to the MoC. Yes, he was in full self-loathing/s elf-pity mode, and was being manipulated by Crowley, but he took on the MoC of his own free will, ignoring Cain's warning about the cost/burden. Much was made of Sam not researching the MoC in the second half of S9 but, to be fair, Dean didn't either, nor did he take 30 seconds to ask Cain what he meant about burden/cost of taking on the MoC. But you're right, he's acting like a total jerk in this one. Then, after Gadreel extends his hand and Dean shakes it, he attacks Gadreel with the blade. I'm sorry, this isn't something an honorable person does, addict or not.

Finally, in Do You Believe in Miracles, Dean's story was a fait accompli and he became a demon. By this point, I pretty much stopped caring about Dean and that's why the season ender didn't work for me. After 1/2 a season of Dean's descent into darkness, I needed a lot more than "I'm Proud of Us" to fix this.
chriscross
# chriscross 2014-08-20 09:47
Quote:
Sam was always his moral compass, his reality check
I do not agree with this statement at all.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-08-20 10:41
Gadreel lied to Dean about who he really was, was part of tricking Sam into being possessed, used the continued threat of Sam dying to stay possessing Sam, joined up with Metatron against the Winchesters and Castiel, actually killed Kevin and others for Metatron, but when he shows up at the bunker to once again claim to change sides, Dean is the dishonorable one for not believing him and trying to kill him? Better yet Sam forgives Gadreel immediately for his lies, tricks and killing Kevin and calls him friend. Sam can't even begin to fathom forgiving Dean for wanting him to stay alive for whatever reason but Gadreel he can forgive in a New York minute! Dean is not the only one who thinks Sam was up, down and sideways this season.
Thanks for the deeper look articles Alice. I do think this season suffered from poor plotting and lack of Sam POV and even a comprehensible POV when Sam actually was sort of given one. The only thing that was clear this season was Dean was going dark side.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 11:02
Do you think that Sam forgave Gadreel or understood that they needed him because he had direct access to Metatron. Sam has always been use first kill later. With Dean now almost completely consumed by the MOC he knew Dean wasn't thinking he was out of control. Sam wanted the same thing as Dean to kill Metatron he just knew that their best chance was to use Gadreel to get to him.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-20 11:31
Sam's description of Gadreel at the end is muddled at best. One minute he is a friend, next he is a means to an end and the next it's Dean fault that he was let through the door and Kevin and Sam paid the price of it and that is in the space of what 5 lines?


SAM : Yeah, I sort of got that. I just thought you might like to know that while you two have been playing, uh, odd couple, your real friends, like Cas, like the angel you stabbed, Gadreel --they're out there right now risking their asses to help you win this fight.

DEAN : What the hell are you talking about?

SAM : A fight, I might add, you made that much more complicated when you decided to stab the one angel who could actually get us to Metatron.

DEAN [angry flaring] :You mean the angel that took you for a joy ride? The angel that slaughtered Kevin? That angel?

SAM :Who you let in the front door in the first place. You tricked me, Dean. And now I'm the one who wakes up in the middle of the night seeing my hands killing Kevin, not you. So, please, when you say you don't want to explain anything to me, don't. I get it. And I also get that Metatron has to go. And I know you're our best shot to do that.



Does he really think of Gadreel as a friend? Or is all of it just a way to get through to Dean, does the first part about Gadreel being a real friend what he thinks because if it does it ties in to what him and Cas had discussed earlier about how Gadreel felt misunderstood. If so it doesn't help Dean understand because we don't see him vocalise any of that to Dean so how could Dean understand Sam's turn about with regard to Gadreel?

It doesn't come out clear what line Sam is truly going for apart from trying to get through to Dean which at that point involves the scatter gun approach as they are two people communicating on completely two different wavelength - Sam goes for loyalty first (mention of friends), then a shot at Metatron which Dean made complicated by going for Gadreel and then when that doesn't work guilt about Kevin and himself.

The only thing that is consistently coming out is that Gadreel is a way of helping Dean in the fight, that Dean is the one that has to fight. Now you can say Sam is bigging up Dean's role but he is saying that Cas and Gadreel aren't helping Sam and Dean fight they are there to help Dean fight, to get rid of Metatron, a being that is firstly affecting angels because he hasn't really been toying with humans to the same lengths at that point. Why? In Dean's head it is because they've all agreed that Dean is the best shot at getting rid of Metatron, which maybe true but it puts Dean in the firing line not them, in the same way because Dean at that point is the only one that has a definite standing in the line of fire place in the plan to get rid of Metatron, everyone else's at that point has a negotiable place in the end game.

Now Sam does say he wants to be standing by Dean's side at the end of it but that is after all of this and it is really not in the same league as the Sam LoTR speech Dean made in season 8, when all along the way Dean states he is standing by his brother doing the trials.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 12:48
Well Dean was involved in the trials from the start so even though they both ignored the third trial price to pay, getting your spine ripped out of your mouth for all eternity (which doesn't sound survivable to me) they forged ahead together. And Sam wasn't being turned into an out of control killing machine. Sam wasn't there when Dean got the Mark and Dean wasn't really confessing to Sam (hence the estrangement) what the warnings were (great burden, great cost). And everyone has there own interpretation of dialogue but my understanding was that Sam was referring to himself and Castiel as his friends and Gadreel as the angel who could get them to Metatron or at least to the tablet that was powering him. But that was my point earlier about the writing for Sam. It would have been nice if the writers had shown more urgency from Sam and Cas about what was happening to Dean. It would have made more of an emotional impact for the finale.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-20 17:55
That lack of urgency from both Cas and Sam does neither any favours. The best excuse for it is that both were under the assumption that if things were really bad the other would take care of it - Sam thinking if the mark was that toxic Cas would step in and Cas assuming that Sam was moderating Dean's behaviour. Having both take it for granted that the other would be looking out for Dean if Dean couldn't sort himself out kind of fits with the relationship the three of them has fallen into. Dean takes care of their needs and doesn't let them deal with his if he has any choice. But that still doesn't mean that they don't need to look out for Dean when it looks like he's in trouble.

As for the mark being different than the trials, having Sam not being concerned enough to look into the Mark because he wasn't there when Dean got it, well it paints Sam as somewhere being pig ignorant while being wrapped up in his own anger and Stupid; his big brother turns up with a supernatural mark he gets from the first recorded murderer and says he's using it to get a Kinight of hell and he got it because Crowley lead him there. Alarm bells should be going off in Sam's head to the point he at least looks up what the Mark could mean, even if Dean isn't saying Cain said there would be consequences. Not looking because he wasn't there is like saying Dean shouldn't have been concerned about Sam being addicted to demon blood because he doesn't know if Sam went through a check list with Ruby first about knowing what the risks were about it.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 18:31
Well there was a scene where Sam was trying to get information about the Mark but there wasn't a lot of lore available. And we had an entire 4 seasons dealing with Sam's eventual turn to the dark side. Dean had been warned about it and had been waiting for it for years. Sam woke up from an angel possession and immediately Dean took off. When they hooked up weeks later Dean seemed ok he just had a weird tattoo that was going to help them gank Abaddon. And at first Dean seemed ok, they were just waiting for Crowley to find the blade. When they did find it and Sam saw what it did to Dean he did try to get Dean to leave the blade behind. Again it is in how you view the brothers on this show. I don't think either brother is evil or willfully trying to harm the other. I don't think anything that Sam or Cas could have done would have changed the outcome. If we want to blame a character for anything it should be Crowley and his long con.
Anyway this is just going to go around and around so I will say we obviously view the show very differently. So I will bow out of the conversation.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-20 18:40
We get one scene of Sam looking, just one about the consequences of the mark in the library. We had more about the search for Abaddon from both boys and more about how he wants Dean to contact Crowley to see where he is on the blade.

The balance is out if they were trying to show Sam is actively researching everything he can to see what is known about the mark and the blade. I'm not saying Sam is evil, just he is angry and got tied up in his own stuff to look while Dean is saying he is fine. But it also means that Sam came off looking like a bit of a dick because if the bond is intact he'd be looking to see what he was dealing with, just like he did when Dean sold his soul and told him not too. It makes Sam human and on the start of an emotional growth story.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 18:48
Again I don't see either character as being a "dick". Not Dean for tricking Sam into angel possession or Sam for not understanding what having the MOC was going to mean. Again impossible circumstances being dealt with in the best way they can.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-08-20 18:55
Totally agree Cheryl.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-08-21 03:54
Quote:
We get one scene of Sam looking, just one about the consequences of the mark in the library.
We did not even get one scene where Sam was feeling the trauma from Kevin's death or where we could conclusively say yes this is the aftermath of that particular possession...bu t that is to be expected as this is Sam and not Dean.
So having one scene is a great thing.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-20 21:11
Quote:
The only thing that is consistently coming out is that Gadreel is a way of helping Dean in the fight, that Dean is the one that has to fight. Now you can say Sam is bigging up Dean's role but he is saying that Cas and Gadreel aren't helping Sam and Dean fight they are there to help Dean fight, to get rid of Metatron, a being that is firstly affecting angels because he hasn't really been toying with humans to the same lengths at that point. Why? In Dean's head it is because they've all agreed that Dean is the best shot at getting rid of Metatron, which maybe true but it puts Dean in the firing line not them, in the same way because Dean at that point is the only one that has a definite standing in the line of fire place in the plan to get rid of Metatron, everyone else's at that point has a negotiable place in the end game.
Dean was the one that showed that line of thinking from the get-go.

Sam: Something is wrong with you, Dean. And until we figure out what, this is where you have to stay.
Dean: And you two are gonna do what? Take on Metatron yourselves? That's smart. Oh, no, wait. No, you -- [motions to Castiel] you lost your Angel army. And you -- [motions to Sam] now you're trying to lock up the one guy who has a shot at killing the son of a bitch! Hell of a plan, fellas!


Soon after Dean leaves with Crowley and takes the blade with him.

Sam learns that Metatron wants to be God and he is using the angel tablet to accomplish that. Dean also sees a viral video of Metatron resurrecting a woman.

Sam: Who you let in the front door in the first place. You tricked me, Dean. And now I'm the one who wakes up in the middle of the night seeing my hands killing Kevin, not you. So, please, when you say you don't want to explain anything to me, don't. I get it. And I also get that Metatron has to go. And I know you're our best shot to do that.
Dean: I'm gonna take my shot, for better or worse.
Sam: I know.
Dean: No matter the consequences.
Sam: I know. But if this is it, we're gonna do it together. You want to know what he whispered to her, right, in the video? His next stop.


Stating that Dean is their best shot to get rid of Metatron is just stating the facts. Gadreel and Castiel are only angels (Dean had already almost killed Gadreel). Still, everyone has a role to play and that’s what Sam wants Dean to understand. They have to work as team to have a chance to succeed, it’s not a dictatorship.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-20 12:19
i'm with you cheryl. i don't think it was about sam forgiving gadreel at all and more along the lines of knowing that they needed him to kill metatron. again, this is about consequences, something that dean has a hard time considering once again. gad came into the bunker waving a white flag. he spoke of trying to make things right, of helping the boys get metatron. dean in his ire just attacks gad without warning. i'll tell you something else, dean's anger at gad, i don't think it was just about what gad did to kevin or sam, what dean was really angry at...was that this was an angel whom dean trusted and it turned out that dean made a mistake....gad represents dean's mistake..in full living technicolor. i don't imagine sam will ever truly forgive gad or consider him an actual friend....but in comparison to crowley, i'd say gad was more of a "friend" than crowley can ever claim to be. and sam's not stupid, he didn't just throw his trust towards gad at all....but what sam does see is that gad is trying to atone for his mistake. he's making the effort. he's reaching out trying to make up for what he's done to hurt others....sam recognizes the need for redemption. and sam is going to use that to their advantage. that's it there though isn't it. it must not have been easy for sam to watch gad make the effort to try to make things right, while his own brother never made any effort at all. :(
sam made it clear in thinman that what hurt him the most was not that dean saved him, but the secrets and the lies. it was the secret and the lies that led to kevin's death by sam's hands...an image he cannot escape. it was the deception that broke their sacred trust....it's not that dean saved him that sam is having a hard time forgiving....it was the deceptive method in which he did it, and perpetuating the lie for so so long. kevin's death just exacerbates the hurt and pain because it most likely would not have happened by sam's hand had dean not kept this secret from him way longer than he should have.
back to the gad thing: sam using the term real friends when describing gad...i think that wasn't so much his personal opinion of gad as much as it was meant to emphasize that working with crowley was an even worse mistake. as far as sam sees it, dean is putting his faith in crowley...crowl ey, who killed sarah and so many others.....crow ley who's been king manipulator forfreakinever. .. crowley who is truly the serpent in the garden.....so compared to cas and gad vs. crowley....well i'm with sam and i'd put my money on cas/gad.... as i believe sam to have done, i'd have said anything to dean too to get dean to see that working with crowley is the last thing he should be doing. even if it meant singing gad's praises....you do what you gotta do and that's what sam did.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-08-20 12:34
I think it was a combination of factors - Gadreel was a means to an end, he could get them to Metatron. Also, Castiel was willing to work with Gadreel at this point so Sam was, in that regard, taking cues from Castiel. Sam has always had the capacity to forgive others - he was even able to forgive Castiel after he broke his hell wall in S6. And there was the big picture - Metatron was a far bigger problem than Gadreel.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 12:50
Agreed
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-20 13:03
me too.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-20 19:07
Quote:
Better yet Sam forgives Gadreel immediately for his lies, tricks and killing Kevin and calls him friend. Sam can't even begin to fathom forgiving Dean for wanting him to stay alive for whatever reason but Gadreel he can forgive in a New York minute!
How on earth was that shown?

In 9.18 Meta Fiction, Sam was ready to beat the angel up before Dean removed Sam from the situation.

9.21 King of the Damned

Castiel: Did you ever feel threatened?
Sam: No. More that he... wasn't at rest, l-like he had unfinished business. Now that we know more about him, I-I'd say he felt misunderstood.
Castiel: But not -- not a danger, not hostile.
Sam: No. I was wrong, obviously. He killed Kevin.


It wasn’t until Gadreel came to them of his own accord at the end of 9.22 Stairway to Heaven that Sam could accept him because the angel was willing to put himself at risk so he could help them fight Metatron.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-08-20 13:03
I'm just pointing out that Sam's real friends broke the wall in his head and caused the nightmare of seeing Kevin killed by his own hands. Yet, Dean he found unable to forgive. Dean was considered careless to trust Zeke/gad and for lying to keep Sam alive but Gadreel was right in there encouraging Dean and blocking Dean from telling Sam the truth. Sam didn't say we need Gadreel's help, he called him a real friend. That's a huge difference, IMO
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-08-20 13:38
agreed - poor choice of words by the writers for S9 Crypto-Sam :)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 15:04
Sam told Dean "your real friends" so I took that to mean that these were the guys that were trying to help. Even though Dean was there only hope to defeat Metatron (at least what they thought at the time) Sam wasn't going to let them use Dean as a weapon. He was going to use Gadreel and Cas instead and be at his brothers side no matter what. There was no exclamation of forgiveness on either side just an understanding that no matter what they will always be there for each other. Even Dean in the end knocking out Sam to keep him out of harms way, as far gone as Dean was his thought was still protect Sam. Dean isn't the villain here and neither is Sam. They had to deal with circumstances beyond their control and as always did the best they could.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-20 17:39
Quote:
Sam wasn't going to let them use Dean as a weapon.
But he didn't tell Dean that and like it or not that is what we have to look at, he expressed to Dean that Cas and Gadreel were his 'real' friends, there is no inclination he was saying that to Dean as meaning 'hey we are going to use them to get what we want', just that he has either gotten to a point he can work with Gadreel after the possession (something that isn't clear from his announcement that he is still struggling as wakes up with Kevin's blood on his hands) or he sees Gadreel is slightly more trustworthy than Crowley. If it isn't and he just wants to use them then Sam has just come off as a bigger 'dick', considering the language he uses to manipulate two angels then essentially emotionally manipulates his brother into using his plan to going after Metatron. That is not a Sam I'd want to believe the writers were trying to portray. I'd prefer to see it as just a man who is failing to fully communicate with his brother at a really bad time because as much as Sam may have said to Cas and gadreel that Dean wasn't a warhead to be armed, Dean doesn't know that because he isn't sure what Sam wants and he wasn't there to hear Sam's sentiments. To Dean, sure he gets that Sam is willing to be by his side but Sam isn't saying he gets Dean will fight but he hasn't come up with any way to stop him fighting and changing into whatever it is that the Marks is changing him into.

Neither Sam or Dean is a complete villain, but neither is a complete victim in the what happened between them because both could have expressed themselves better and made sure they understand where each other is coming from.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 18:04
I agree that neither character was meant to be portrayed as a victim. I think there was supposed to be a parallel to S4 when Bobby wanted to use Sam as a weapon in the fight to stop the apocalypse. Sam didn't hear Dean's words to Bobby either. Just as Dean refused to let Sam drink demon blood Sam refused to power up Dean with the Blade. But as I said the interpretation of the dialogue is varied in whether you want to vilify one character over the other. My personal choice is to see both brothers as hero's facing impossible circumstances and doing their best to do the right thing. They probably could have made better choices if they had the chance to see where it was all going.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-20 18:34
I get that there was meant to be the reversal, most of which was to place Dean in a position where he would fall down a path towards demonhood. But that path did follow a logic progression - to do so you had to isolate the character in a way he had to fall into self loathing he had no hope of getting out of himself. Which meant having to have Sam somehow being willingly blind to the state Dean is in. It is not an attempt to villify either character but saying that for this story to progress neither can be lilly white on what went down.

As for the comparison between the blade and demon blood, Bobby thought they could use Sam as a weapon but he that is while he is letting Dean use the room to dry Sam out - Bobby was conflicted about things but acted in the end what he felt was best for Sam. Sam is saying he doesn't want Dean to be a warhead and then goes to Dean and says he is the best chance they have against Metatron, that is contradictory. But his actions are consistent to Sam thinking that Dean can use the blade just he wants to it in case of emergency. Which meant it after Abaddon it was still in play and that was before it became the thing to use against Metatron. He was for using it in big boss fights. He wasn't for getting rid of it or researching how to get rid of the mark after Abaddon was gone if it meant Dean was completely lost. He was saying Dean would keep the mark for the rest of Dean's days because they still may need to use it. Hence my thing as how can Dean see that Sam views him as anything else but a tool/weapon at that point. That the only thing Dean brings to the table in their business partnership is the mark and blade.

Personally, to me this doesn't mean Sam is vilified but is at a cross roads for great emotional growth. Sure he is going to want to save Dean but I hope that it will also mean that he has to examine the motivation behind that hunt. Is it solely for the wellbeing of Dean or will he have to examine how much of his search is founded on guilt about his side of the bond disintegrating, which occurred while he was not anything other than a human being. Will he fully deal with demon Dean or Crowley playing on this guilt? To me if the writers go for this route we would have to get a consistent POV from Sam for it to work. But would also mean we have to see Sam fall as a human being and deal with his side of the codependency, because as much as Dean falls back on being over protective, Sam falls back into being over protected while complaining about the act.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 18:56
Yes I agree Sam knew he couldn't stop Dean so his choice was to go with him and go down together. Dean took that choice away from Sam when he knocked him out and took on Metatron alone. If he hadn't both would be dead instead of just Dean. So at least Sam gets to try and save Dean. And I also agree that these guys need to understand each other better. Dean needs to trust that Sam will make the right decisions given all the information. Sam doesn't want to leave Dean anymore than Dean wants to leave Sam. Events just played out that way. And now Sam will see what lengths he will go to in order to save his brother.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-20 19:08
Quote:
Dean needs to trust that Sam will make the right decisions given all the information.
But for that to work Sam needs to show Dean he can be trusted to make the right decisions with all the given information and in the past couple of seasons Sam hasn't always done so for the part of Dean that parented Sam to let go. The not looking and then falling back on the agreement, his determination to go after Benny when he has let other monsters go if they weren't killing because he didn't trust Dean and didn't like Dean's relationship with Benny. Then this season him being all over the place.

As for Sam knowing he couldn't stop Dean so he go down with him, well Dean knocking him out after his actions with Abaddon and everything else Dean has ever done was something Sam could have seen coming if he actually trust Dean enough to fully communicate with him. He didn't let Dean know he got that facing Metatron would mean death for both of them and that is what he wanted. In the purge he lashed out and he knows Dean enough to know how Dean would take his words. There is a difference between open honesty and brutal honesty, Sam went for brutal which is not the way to rebuild any relationship.

It is swings and roundabouts, both are as bad as each other.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 19:36
Well I will have to strongly disagree with you here. Neither brother is bad or evil or a villain. I haven't ever seen either character that way ever. The reason I watch this show from day one is because of the very complicated relationship between the brothers. Add on to that the impossible circumstances of their lives. These guys are hero's. Their story is it is them against all evil in the world. That is bound to take it's toll. They persevere and remain bonded no matter what. That is what I love about their story. They never give up on each other and I can't either.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-20 23:43
Quote:
But for that to work Sam needs to show Dean he can be trusted to make the right decisions ---
Quote:
As for Sam knowing he couldn't stop Dean so he go down with him, well Dean knocking him out after his actions with Abaddon and everything else Dean has ever done was something Sam could have seen coming if he actually trust Dean enough to fully communicate with him.
Sam: You good?
Dean: Yeah, I'm good. --- Listen, Sammy, about, um, you know, the last couple of months...
Sam: I know. --- So, before we find something else to fight about...tell me...Are you ready to gut this bitch?


So getting punched unconscious was on Sam?
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-20 22:41
Quote:
Yes I agree Sam knew he couldn't stop Dean so his choice was to go with him and go down together. Dean took that choice away from Sam when he knocked him out and took on Metatron alone. If he hadn't both would be dead instead of just Dean.
I disagree. Castiel was seconds away from breaking the tablet when Dean was stabbed. Sam wanted to fight alongside his brother and he could’ve bought Dean more time if Dean had accepted Sam to be there with him.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-21 21:47
I don't know...Sam had no weapon to fight Metatron with and instead of playing with Dean Metatron might have just killed them both that much quicker. My point was that if Sam had also died Dean's only hope would have been a dying angel. And as njspnfan pointed out it wouldn't have mattered if Sam was there or not Dean was doomed to die because as Crowley pointed out Dean's body was not designed to carry the MOC. They may have killed Metatron but Dean was still going to become a demon no matter what. But I do get your point the brothers are always stronger when they are together.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-21 22:37
9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?

Dean: What the hell’s happening to me, you son of a bitch?
Crowley: Liquor before beer, bad taco? How should I know?
Dean: I can’t turn it off! Ever since I killed Abaddon, it’s — it’s like this whole…other thing. I get this high and I-I-I need to kill. I mean, I really, really need to kill. And if I don’t –
Crowley: -you yak your guts out. It’s the mark.
Dean: Meaning?
Crowley: It wants you to kill. The more you kill, the better you feel. The less you kill, the less better you feel.
Dean: How much less better?
Crowley: One would imagine the least-best better.
Dean: So dead? Well, Cain had the mark. He didn’t die.
Crowley: Cain was a demon. Your body’s not strong enough to contain the blade’s power.
Dean: What if I got rid of it?
Crowley: You want to get rid of it?
Dean: What I want is Metatron.
Crowley: Go on.
Dean: But I have to get through that door, and I have to get to the blade. And you're gonna help me.


I think that definitely contributed to Dean wanting to fight Metatron by himself. However, he had already said earlier, “First time I touched that Blade...I knew. I knew that I wouldn't be stopped. I knew I would take down Abaddon and anything else if I had to. And it wasn't a hero thing. You know, it wasn't... It was just calm. I knew. And I had to go it alone, Sammy.” So, I don’t think Dean was on a complete suicide mission. He was surprised by how little power he had over Metatron.

Dean was trying to stall so Cas and Gadreel would be more likely to be able to break the tablet. I think Sam could’ve helped by forcing Metatron to divide his attention. I don’t think Metatron would have just killed them quicker. He was enjoying his role in the story. I think he would have underestimated Sam because Dean was the one with the First Blade but once the tablet was smashed even Sam could’ve killed Metatron by using the angel blade. It definitely would have been two against one which has been the downfall of many enemies.

I’m not sure what you mean by “if Sam had also died Dean's only hope would have been a dying angel” Wasn’t Cas (and Gadreel) already Dean’s only hope because he had punched Sam unconscious (“Sorry, little brother. It's not your fight.”)?

If Dean had succeeded, killing Metatron would have satisfied the mark and given the brothers more time to figure out a solution. (They didn’t know something was really wrong with Dean until the finale.) Although an interesting question is how much darker Dean would have become.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-21 23:53
Goodness even if I agree I get debated with...I meant that afterwards if Sam had died Dean's only hope for ridding himself of the Mark would have been Cas the dying angel. I got the impression if Dean had killed Metatron and survived his lust for killing would have consumed him. As Crowley said his body was not able to carry the MOC because he was not a demon. The more he killed the more he needed to kill and there was no way to contain Dean at this point. Which is why Cain killed himself. He was trying to stop himself from the endless murdering. But all it did was turn him into a demon or a Knight of Hell. My impression of Dean yakking up his guts after not killing Gadreel was the fact that if Dean started to kill someone and didn't the Mark started to kill him in order for him to become a demon. Just a wandering thought I'd put out there didn't mean to start anything.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-22 00:41
All I was trying to say is I think Dean went alone because he knew his body was dying so why risk Sam’s life. Dean felt he could fight Metatron by himself.

(If Dean knew he was walking to his death, I think he would’ve said something to his brother so a punch wouldn’t be Sam’s last memory of him.)

I think Sam could have helped to stall Metatron. In fact, Sam was almost in time to stab Metatron with the angel blade although Sam had been knocked out so he wouldn’t be part of the fight.

Is your opinion that Dean knew he was going to die one way or another? Either Metatron would kill him or he would kill Metatron and then fall on his sword?
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-22 05:44
With Dean it always seems to be a suicide mission. I think that Dean wanted to die rather than become something he didn't want to be. But could he have killed himself under the influence of the Mark? Cain was able to do it. It wouldn't have changed anything though he was still going to become a demon.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-22 06:33
Dean: Listen to me. It's better this way.
Sam: What?!
Dean: The Mark. It's making me into something I don't want to be.


I don’t think Dean had that mindset from the start. Yes, he was prepared to die but he thought he could fight Metatron alone. When Dean said those words to Sam, I think it was about him coming to terms with dying when he could feel the inevitability of it. He saw death as a better alternative to what was happening to him because of the mark. I don’t think he went to fight Metatron knowing he would not come out of it.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-22 13:16
After what Crowley told Dean in the dungeon I think he really hoped to die in the battle. I'm sure he wanted to be victorious in killing Metatron but I think maybe deep down that part that was still Dean wanted to die.
If Metatron was powered by the angel tablet to have godlike powers would the angel blade have worked? He did seem surprised by the Blade but he was so arrogant I got the feeling that he didn't fear any weapon he thought that the Winchester's might have.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-23 00:19
Dean: I’m gonna take my shot. For better or worse.
Sam: I know.
Dean: No matter the consequences.
Sam: I know. But if this is it, we’re going to do it together.


I think Dean was prepared to fight no matter the consequences since he knew he was dying because of the mark and the blade. He thought that Sam fighting alongside him was unnecessary. Dean didn’t want Sam to put himself at risk because Dean felt he could fight Metatron by himself and Sam was physically healthy. I don’t think Dean had given up on hope so I wouldn’t classify him going alone as a sign he was on a complete suicide mission.

Holy oil did not keep Metatron imprisoned so the angel tablet needed to be broken and he would be just an angel again. Sam tried to stab Metatron before the angel transported himself to Heaven because the tablet had been broken. If Sam hadn’t been knocked out, he could’ve come in sooner and helped his brother once it was apparent that Dean's powers were no match to Metatron’s.
E
# E 2014-08-24 21:35
Quote:
He thought that Sam fighting alongside him was unnecessary. Dean didn’t want Sam to put himself at risk because Dean felt he could fight Metatron by himself and Sam was physically healthy.
Weather Sam fights or doesn't' fight along side his brother is SAM'S choice, not Deans. It doesn't matter if Sam is healthy or he's at risk or that fighting Metatron was unnecessary, the choice was Sam's and Dean took Sam's right to choose his own path away from him AGAIN. The only thing I really want to see in season 10 is Dean coming to the realization that he has got to stop making decisions for Sam (or for Cas or for Charlie or anyone else for that matter). Dean decided that he was going to die in his fight with Metatron and yet he took Sam's decision to die in "I Think I'm Going to Like it Here" away from him. Why does Dean get to decide this sort of thing and Sam doesn't? Dean bashes Sam for a whole season for deciding not to hunt and then when Sam commits himself to the hunt Dean takes him out of the game with a sucker punch. What happened to "you and me come whatever?" and "there aint no me if there aint no you" Does that only go for Dean and not for Sam? No wonder Sam can't ever manage to do the right thing when the "right thing" keeps changing every 5 minutes.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-23 09:34
i think i might agree here....it's all very reminiscent of sam going after lilith....

back to consequences which is the apparent theme here:

the first time we see dean pretty much damning the consequences this season is when he chooses to save sam by possession. he knows going in that there's the possibility of things going wrong....i'm trusting you, he says to gad...he really was flying on a wing and a prayer here...but for dean sam needed to live...as long as that was the result, it seemed that deal with the rest of it later...only i don't think he expected, though he knew it was possible, for things to go so wrong.....kind of like the person who drinks and drives....their mindset is that they are seemingly invincible...an d no matter the warnings of what happens when you drink and drive, it won't ever happen to them....but so often, sadly it does....and when it does others get hurt in the process. now i don't really like using the word selfish here when it comes to dean and his inability to consider the consequences at this point....i guess desperate comes more to mind....and perhaps naïve in thinking that the shoe wouldn't eventually drop....as a Winchester, he should know better.
the second time he ignored the consequences it was out of sheer recklessness. he was actually given a warning, but dean didn't care. it was about punishing himself. so again, the word selfish comes to mind here because as much as it was both careless and reckless on dean's part to undertake the moc without heeding it's warning or asking what it would be, it doesn't in the end just affect him or punish him....it ends up hurting others...so it loops around to being a selfish or selfcentric act, because he's pretty much thinking about himself at this point, his reasons for taking the mark...conseque nces be damned.
then we get the speech in mother's little helper.....whic h by definition...re fers to a drug by the way. again dean knows there are consequences but flat out doesn't care. this speech comes from an addict who claims that it's about killing abbadon, but it's really about getting that blade. dean may have tried to fool himself into believing that, but Crowley calls him out on that....it takes a junkie to know a junkie ...and you tell yourself whatever so you can sleep better at night. it's all about addiction in mlh and the addict only cares about one thing.....and to note from another post above....Crowle y isn't taking notice of dean because he cares about dean....Crowley has been paying close attention to dean because he knew all along what the moc/blade would do...that's why Crowley led dean right to it...that's why he's been baiting him with it...that's why he's holding it over dean's head, stringing him out, testing his loyalty to the drug dealing holding his supply....offer ing him what he needs....it's not about friendship....a nd sam did take notice of his brother once he touched that blade...prior to dean touching the blade, dean hadn't behaved any differently than he normally does when he's feeling guilty about something.
so in mlh i don't believe dean is thinking about suicide at his point....he's thinking about getting his hands on that blade ....it's all about addiction.
the final time we see dean talking about consequences... .and again.....no matter what they are, once again consequences don't matter.....it's after realizing, i think for the very first time because it hit him in a physical way, he was feeling really really sick....dean finally connected with the fact that something is wrong with him...he demands to know what's happening to him from Crowley....and when Crowley explains the situation...i think that's when reality hit dean....he was becoming a monster, the very thing he always feared himself to be....so at this point, when he was talking to sam about consequences... and sam still wanted to come...dean already decided he was going to take sam out...i don't think it was because he saw sam as his weakness...i think it was because if sam did come, dean might actually survive....and he didn't want to. like he told sam...it was better this way, the mark was changing me.....it wasn't until dybim that dean decided that this would be his last mission and his mission alone. i think one way or another dean wanted death...and both Winchesters know, as reiterated by Charlie....when the Winchesters work together there's nothing they can't do....but apart....well that's always been their downfall and i think it's what dean counted on.

jmo of course. ;)
E
# E 2014-08-24 21:19
Oh.. so Dean gets to decide when and where and under what circumstances that he gets to die and that's OK, but when Sam decides the same thing it's not OK? :(
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-24 23:51
I'm sorry E I don't know which post you are referring to. Hasn't Dean always been that way? As far back as Cold Oak he decided that he was going to sell his soul for Sam. Sam was absolutely crushed by Dean's decision. But Dean was ok with it because Sam was going to live. Dean couldn't kill Soulless Sam so he made a deal that almost drove Sam insane. Dean wanted to do the trials not caring if it was a suicide mission so that Sam could have his normal life. So Dean choosing to have Sam possessed by what he thought was an honorable angel just fell in line with Dean as we have always known him. I think in Dean's mind it will never be ok for Sam to die if he can do something to stop it no matter the consequences. Which is why Dean is now a dam demon. Dean can't not save Sam if there is a way. Dean learned and is going to learn it looks like that there are fates worse than death and Sam is evidently going to learn that he can't ever let Dean die either if there is a way to save him. Sam has never been able to save Dean from the big (supposedly) permanent death or purgatory or whatever mess these guys get into. He has always done the big picture sacrifice. This is his first opportunity to actually go as far as Dean would go just to save one person. The question is will he. I guess we will see.
I'm really tired right now (been awake since the earthquake. 15 miles from the epicenter) and I'm sure I am not saying this how I mean it but hopefully you get the gist. These two will never be ok with the other dying. So maybe being able to let go of each other for the greater good is going to be the big lesson learned in S10.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-08-24 12:45
Agreed, which poses an interesting question about S10 and Dean. Cain killed himself and was brought back as a demon by the MoC/First Blade. How was Cain able to control his blood thirst after becoming a demon? He stopped killing at Collette's request - did that mean he still had some humanity in him? When we saw Cain in S9, he seemed like a pretty well adjusted beekeeper and corn shucker would happened to be able to take on a room full of demons and rip them to shreds :)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-24 13:24
I'm thinking a little road trip to Cain at some point (when TO is available). I would assume Dean's love for Sam is going to help with the murdering thing but the MOC might be a different issue.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-20 23:39
Quote:
But would also mean we have to see Sam fall as a human being and deal with his side of the codependency, because as much as Dean falls back on being over protective, Sam falls back into being over protected while complaining about the act.
9.21 King of the Damned

Dean: I didn't tell you about the warning because I knew exactly what you would do. You would make sure that you were right alongside me going in that room.
Sam: You mean like we always do? Because we're actually partners in this and we watch each other's backs?
Dean: I don't expect you to understand.
Sam: Try me.
Dean: First time I touched that Blade...I knew. I knew that I wouldn't be stopped. I knew I would take down Abaddon and anything else if I had to. And it wasn't a hero thing. You know, it wasn't... It was just calm. I knew. And I had to go it alone, Sammy.
Sam: Oh. Of course. So it was just another time where you had to protect me.
Dean: You could've gotten nabbed by Abaddon, and she could've bargained her way out. We couldn't afford to screw this up.


Sam had trust in them as a team. Yet Dean sent Sam on a wild-goose chase because he felt Sam would have been a liability. So how is that Sam falling back into being over-protected?
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-21 07:02
You really want me to go into examples of Sam being playing into the overprotected little brother trope?

Really?

In the comment section of what Dean's storyline is.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-08-21 09:47
It would be great if you could substantiate that claim about Sam.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-21 18:36
Aren’t you essentially saying that Sam “falling back into being overprotected while complaining about the act” affects Dean’s headspace? Where were those kind of moments that then contributed to Dean’s fall this season? I provided an example that seems to be contradictory to that.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-08-20 18:51
And conversely I don't think either character was meant to be portrayed as a villain either. I think we were supposed to understand what motivated each brother and I think the writing in more skillful hands may have done a better job of that.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-08-21 03:55
Quote:
I agree that neither character was meant to be portrayed as a victim.
Sam was the victim and Dean was not.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-21 04:15
I think I said that neither character was "meant" to be portrayed as a victim. Many saw Sam as a victim of Dean's choices. I can't disagree with that. I just don't think that is how these characters are meant to be seen. But that is just my opinion.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-08-21 09:49
and that was my opinion.:).
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-20 22:25
Quote:
If it isn't and he just wants to use them then Sam has just come off as a bigger 'dick', considering the language he uses to manipulate two angels
At what point is that shown?

This is their discussion in 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?

Castiel: Are you sure it was Crowley?
Sam: Who else would he summon? I mean, he and Crowley have been bromancing over the Blade ever since Dean got the mark.
Gadreel: The mark?
Castiel: The mark of Cain.
Gadreel: So that's what Dean cut me with -- the First Blade. In a way, that could be useful.
Sam: What?
Gadreel: Well, Metatron is more powerful than ever, but if Dean has the First Blade and the mark, that might give us our best chance.
Sam: You're joking, right? An hour ago, we were ready to throw Dean into a padded cell, and now you say he's our best chance?
Castiel: Hear him out, Sam.
Sam: Oh, right. Excuse me. Sorry, guys. Uh, sorry I'm a little less than eager to hear that our best chance is -- is arming the warhead and hoping it hits the mark. This is not a bomb we're talking about. This is my brother.
Gadreel: And your brother would not be in this alone. We can help.
Sam: How?
Gadreel: I believe Metatron has found a way to tap into the Angel tablet, harnessing its power to give him powers equivalent to --
Sam: God, right? I mean, that's what this is all about, isn't it? Metatron wants to be God.
[Gadreel nods]
Sam: Great, well, that basically makes him unstoppable.
Castiel: Not if we can break the connection between Metatron and the tablet. That would make him just an ordinary Angel. Where's the tablet?
Gadreel: Metatron's office.
Sam: In heaven?
Gadreel: I can get us to the door.
Sam: And then what? I mean, why would they let you in? If Metatron's number two shows up with heaven's most wanted, [motioning at Castiel] the gig is up.
Castiel: Sam, we have to try.


Quote:
then essentially emotionally manipulates his brother into using his plan to going after Metatron.
Crowley [overhearing from the car] So what are we all gollywagging on about? Chop-chop. [Dean and Sam both turn to face him with faces that tell him to get lost.] Excuse me. I'm not exactly demon Minion number three here. As the kids say, I've got mad skills.
Dean: Look, I don't know what you expected here, okay. I don't really care, but you wanted off the hamster wheel. Get off.
Crowley: Well, I guess I've been Winchestered. I'd wish you boys good luck... If I thought it would help.


So are you saying Dean was emotionally manipulated to drop Crowley?

Later Sam is preparing to face-off with Metatron alongside with his brother. “So, before we find something else to fight about...tell me...Are you ready to gut this bitch?” Dean punches Sam out and says, “Sorry, little brother. It's not your fight.” Dean had made up his mind that he was going to do things by himself. It happened already when he first touched the blade.

Quote:
To Dean, sure he gets that Sam is willing to be by his side but Sam isn't saying he gets Dean will fight but he hasn't come up with any way to stop him fighting and changing into whatever it is that the Marks is changing him into.
Sam wanted Dean to stay at the Bunker until they’d figure out what was wrong with Dean.

Gadreel: Did you hear him?
Castiel: Metatron. Yes. Where is he going? What does he want?
Gadreel: I'm afraid...humani ty.


Sam finds out Dean is gone. [Sam is on the phone talking to his brother's voicemail] Dean, pick up the phone. Call me back. I'm not kidding, all right? Don't do this. Not like this.

Sam and Dean will risk themselves to save the world but Sam doesn’t want Dean to do it without him.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-21 01:54
You realise that on an article about Dean, the story of Dean you have spent a lot of effort simply defending Sam.

Not discussing why Dean might think about anything.

I am narked at myself that I have allowed myself to be deflected from actually discussing Alice's article, Dean's story progression this season and what is going on in his head to going on about how Sam is a poor injured party in this, stuck between a rock and a hard place.

That is not what this article is about. It is Dean's story progression and mostly the comments about Dean aren't is the story logical or trying to get into Dean's head space it is simply that Dean is wrong and twisting Sam's word and not trusting him.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-21 03:49
It would be a bit too much to expect people to refrain from commenting on Sam’s role in Dean’s journey considering the article.

Quote:
It’s really shocking and tragic this outcome, and there’s still the open debate that it happened because Sam turned Dean away emotionally. I don’t think it’s solely that, but it played a role for sure.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-08-21 04:08
Quote:
Dean is wrong and twisting Sam's word and not trusting him.
I think Dean was wrong.So what, are we not allowed to think Dean is simply wrong.My problem was never that Dean was wrong.It was that Dean did not do anything to even show that he understood what he did wrong..especial ly to Sam.He went and took on MoC and then I have to listen to articles..yes articles..comme nts section has been predictable..fr om when I have joined the online spn commenting it has been Dean right,sam wrong..even for things others have done Sam is somehow to blame..this season it was Dean going off and taking on the MoC..somehow it was because of Sam.I have simply realized that whatever goes wrong in the show somehow it will be always because of sam.The show itself has not showed many things from sam's POV so why should many anti-sam fans.
The article is a deeper look of Dean winchester..yes we have to analyse why Dean did it ..It just does not some how make Dean's actions right.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-21 04:41
You ask if you are not allowed to simply think Dean is wrong.

Yes you are, but if that is what you think then why get into debates about how Sam has every right on an article that tries to get into the writing about Dean.

If you think he is wrong then he is wrong end of.

Plus I never said Dean's actions were wholly right, I am just trying to get into Dean's head space to understand why he made the choices he did and like it or not there is a logical progession of his actions if you combine it with his low self worth and guilt and how he has taken Sam's responses. It doesn't make him wholly right or whitewashed, it makes him human and understandable.

But instead of that I find I am trying to defend how I am seeing Sam was viewed by Dean in an unsettled state. How Sam's anger affected Dean's choices and may have kept him from seeing how Dean's actions were a logical progression and how Dean's actions didn't come in a vacuum where only Crowley and Dean's bad decisions had an affect on him and the nature of the brothers relationship. That isn't me being an anti Sam fan that is me commenting on the article. But somehow it is become for many as a rallying call to come to the defence of hard done by Sam, when the original article isn't about Sam at all except Sam's motivations weren't served as well as Dean's in the writing.

You mention that many sites are Dean is right and Sam is wrong. That is no excuse to turn this site into the opposite when it can be a place where we can discuss the actual articles written.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-08-21 06:21
Quote:
You mention that many sites are Dean is right and Sam is wrong.
This site too.If you really want to know what I am saying you can read the review of the episodes of s09 and deeper look into sam winchester.It has been about blaming Sam for Dean taking on MoC.there was maybe half a conversaion between Dean and Sam before that to even show Sam was angry.Since this article is about Dean.What I see behind Dean's action is cowardice.His utter inability to face Sam is what lead to the path taking MoC.but the act of taking on MoC that was because he trusted a demon which he should have been weary about.He was thoughtless and did not want to listen to what Cain wanted to say.He wanted to believe he was poison rather than a human being who trusted a wrong angel and whose (dean's) decisions had tragic consequences.Th at is what he actual.He trusted something and that thing itself was conflicted.He had to have the courage to face Sam's anger,disappoin tment anything that sam felt because Dean had already made his bed.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-21 07:07
Your Sam is a hard SOB if he is to does nothing to deal with the mess that Dean has become seeing how Dean has made his bed and Sam apparently is to do nothing but to let him lie in it.

Both have example of being a coward when it comes to their actions both have examples of being heroes but what you are saying is bordering on a vitriolic outburst and does nothing to get into the headspace of Dean. Just like blaming Dean for everything does nothing to get into the headspace of Sam.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2014-08-21 08:55
"Your Sam is a hard SOB if he is to does nothing to deal with the mess that Dean has become seeing how Dean has made his bed and Sam apparently is to do nothing but to let him lie in it."

Where do you get the idea that Sam will do nothing about it? The previews show exactly the opposite. If Sam is a hard SOB what does that make Dean for locking Sam in the panic room to die? Where was his sympathy for what Sam was going through?

I hope there are major consequences for Dean because the MOC is all on him and he needs to find out what addiction is. I want Dean to learn from his mistakes. Here I agree with Nappi, it's about time he took responsibility for his actions.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-08-24 06:39
Locking Sam in panic room to die?
Now who is blaming what character? If my memory doesn't fail me he locked Sam there to detox him actually to get off him from demon blood.

But anyway, also people saying this is Sam against site. Sorry, that is totally wrong. If an example a person says: "Sam wasn't there and Dean took the MoC partly because of that." It is not blaming Sam. The fact was. Sam wasn't there but it was for a reason. If he was there maybe Dean wouldn't have taken it because Sam would have prevented Dean to be even near Crowley. To be his voice of reason so to speak.

This is NOT me blaming Sam because he didn't know what was going on with Dean. He couldn't be there but he not being there was a part of the whole thing. Same like Dean's choices on the series have effect on what happens to Sam. If we can't talk about in comments about the whole situation which lead from A to D because a characters name is mentioned and it is immediately blaming then...

Oh, and just to be clear: I DON'T BLAME SAM and I could say that for almost everyone on this site. At least for my part I hope it's Clear.
Dean's choices and Gadreel and even more Crowley are blamed about the situation. Not him.

- Lilah
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-08-21 11:01
You seem to be forgetting that Sam's "real friend" Gadreel actually killed Kevin and also tricked Sam into the possession and lied. Your attitude is Dean was wrong when in a desperate moment, he chose to trust an angel to save Sam's life, but now Sam is right to trust this same angel. If we are misinterpreting Sam's calling Gadreel a real friend then so was Dean and said so. But Sam didn't answer he wasn't calling Gadreel a real friend. Sam answered he is having nightmares about Kevin being killed because of Dean. Why give Gadreel the free pass and understanding but be pissed at Dean for months. Dean's actions may not have been right but neither were Sam's. I repeat Dean did not kill Kevin. Gadreel did on Dean's watch and Dean didn't forget that betrayal by Gadreel. You can think whatever you want but you don't need to be snarky with fazzie for having a different perspective.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-08-21 12:08
Quote:
You can think whatever you want but you don't need to be snarky with fazzie for having a different perspective.
I was not being snarky.Kindly do not assume things.Thank you.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-21 02:27
Okay I'm going to do this, why I am I don't know.

You asked how it could come off as Sam manipulating two angels - well it has been said Sam uses the words 'real' friends in relation to Gadreel and Cas because he is going to use them. Well they are the ones that suggest walking into heaven, Sam is going for it, they suddenly become his real friends at that point? Then with regard to Dean, Dean is with Crowley the plan for Gadreel and Cas to go into heaven then fight metatron is for naught if Dean isn't in the right place at the right time. Cruising around with Crowley isn't the right place.

Sam sitting waiting at that end of the clue trail can be argued not to be simply done out of worry about his brother. It can be argued that it is also collecting the parts of what is required for the plan to get rid of Metatron. Is it required, with the terms of the plan sure it is, is Sam caring for Dean in there yes but it can be argued that it isn't the soul reason. When it comes to tactics, Sam has always been more of a situational strategist than Dean, doesn't mean he isn't capable at it. Also if people here are going to say Dean is simply twisting Sam's words, you have to say that it can be argued that in pushing Dean away and saying it is a business partnership some can view Sam's motives through the lense of being less about him caring at that point, that he doesn't want to show he cares to Dean and his obvious actions with Dean is more about simply getting the job done in the quickest way possible and that involves him keeping that mark for the rest of his life to get rid of the targets that Sam deems worthy - as Sam put it keeping the blade for the big boss fights.

Personally I think it is somewhere inbetween, two men trying their best while communicating really really badly.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-21 05:19
Quote:
Is it required, with the terms of the plan sure it is, is Sam caring for Dean in there yes but it can be argued that it isn't the soul reason. When it comes to tactics, Sam has always been more of a situational strategist than Dean, doesn't mean he isn't capable at it.
I don’t understand the need to separate those two elements. They are intertwined. Sam knows Dean is going after Metatron. Sam cares about his brother so he wants all of them to work together so Dean has help and they have to work smart in order to have any hope to stop Metatron who is a threat to humanity.

Quote:
and his obvious actions with Dean is more about simply getting the job done in the quickest way possible and that involves him keeping that mark for the rest of his life to get rid of the targets that Sam deems worthy - as Sam put it keeping the blade for the big boss fights.
9.21 King of the Damned

Sam: Look...I'm glad it worked out, okay? I am. And I'm glad the Blade gives you strength or calm or whatever, but, Dean, I got to say... I'm starting to think the Blade is doing something else, too.
Dean: Yeah? Like what?
Sam: I don't know. Like, something to you. Look... I'm thinking until we know for sure that we're gonna kill off Crowley, why don't we store the Blade somewhere distant? Lock it up somewhere safe? Okay?
Dean: No.


9.22 Stairway to Heaven

Sam: Well, do you think we need the First Blade? Why don't we just leave that here?
Dean: We talked about this, and we decided that --
Sam: No. In all fairness, we didn't decide. You did.
Dean: Okay, I decided that a hockey stick that can kill anything might come in handy, so sue me.
Sam: How many times have we been around this block? Magic that powerful comes at a price, and right now we don't know what that price is.
Dean: I'm fine. I'm fan-friggin'-tastic.
Sam: And I'm glad, honestly. I'm not saying we bury the thing. I'm saying we just save it for when we really need it. Crowley. Metatron. The big boss fights. You don't have to have it with you all the time, right? I mean, just leave it. Please.
Dean [setting the blade to the side] No problem.
Sam: Thank you.


How on earth is Sam conveying to Dean that he thinks Dean shall keep the mark of Cain till the day he dies? Sam voices his concerns about what the blade does to Dean and what the price will be. He wants Dean to withhold using the blade until they’d have to deal with a current threat Metatron or possibly the King of Hell who they haven’t been able to eliminate. They have to take things as they come. It isn’t until 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles? that Dean’s body starts to fail because the blade’s power is too much for a human and both of the brothers learn that the mark is changing Dean into something he doesn’t want to be.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-20 19:17
“With friends like that, who needs enemies?” definitely seems to a recurring theme when it comes to Sam. I think it makes perfect sense that Sam holds Dean to a higher standard than he does anyone else. Referring to Gadreel as Dean’s real friend was a bit weird to me at first but I think Sam was trying to open Dean’s eyes. What had Crowley done for Dean? Gadreel had come to them knowing he could get imprisoned or worse and now he was putting his life on the line. He knew how powerful Metatron was because of the angel tablet. Plus Sam has memories of Dean and Gadreel interacting. I think Sam noticed that they had become closer as time went on.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-08-21 09:22
i think people's view on this depends on how they view Dean's actions in tricking Sam in to being possessed. If you view this as a serious breach of trust, a betrayal, then yes, it's a lot harder to forgive what Dean did. I do think Sam ultimately forgave Dean in the season finale, though.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-20 17:56
That lack of urgency from both Cas and Sam does neither any favours. The best excuse for it is that both were under the assumption that if things were really bad the other would take care of it - Sam thinking if the mark was that toxic Cas would step in and Cas assuming that Sam was moderating Dean's behaviour. Having both take it for granted that the other would be looking out for Dean if Dean couldn't sort himself out kind of fits with the relationship the three of them has fallen into. Dean takes care of their needs and doesn't let them deal with his if he has any choice. But that still doesn't mean that they don't need to look out for Dean when it looks like he's in trouble.

As for the mark being different than the trials so Sam doesn't need to be as concerned as Dean was about the trials. I don't know what that is. Well it paints Sam as somewhere being pig ignorant while being wrapped up in his own anger and Stupid; that is what that does. His big brother turns up with a supernatural mark he gets from the first recorded murderer and says he's using it to get a Kinight of hell and he got it because Crowley lead him there. Alarm bells should be going off in Sam's head to the point he at least looks up what the Mark could mean, even if Dean isn't saying Cain said there would be consequences. Not looking because he wasn't there is like saying Dean shouldn't have been concerned about Sam being addicted to demon blood because he doesn't know if Sam went through a check list with Ruby first about knowing what the risks were about it.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-08-21 04:15
Quote:
The best excuse for it is that both were under the assumption that if things were really bad the other would take care of it - Sam thinking if the mark was that toxic Cas would step in and Cas assuming that Sam was moderating Dean's behaviour.
No that excuse is not supported by the story told.Quote:
But that still doesn't mean that they don't need to look out for Dean when it looks like he's in trouble.
How?Quote:
As for the mark being different than the trials so Sam doesn't need to be as concerned as Dean was about the trials. I don't know what that is. Well it paints Sam as somewhere being pig ignorant while being wrapped up in his own anger and Stupid; that is what that does.
No it does not paint Sam as "pig ignorant".It just states a fact that the situations were different.Calling sam names that is all you.Quote:
Alarm bells should be going off in Sam's head to the point he at least looks up what the Mark could mean, even if Dean isn't saying Cain said there would be consequences.
From what source?He was searching in the library.Quote:
Not looking because he wasn't there is like saying Dean shouldn't have been concerned about Sam being addicted to demon blood because he doesn't know if Sam went through a check list with Ruby first about knowing what the risks were about it.
Not looking and being concerned are two different things and the situations you have compared are not in anyway comparable.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-21 04:47
Firstly the post you are replying to was originally a response to Cheryl, just my computer glitched and posted it in multiple places and multiple times. It would help if you read the entire conversations.

Secondly, taking your response solely in the context of what you posted.
Quote:
But that still doesn't mean that they don't need to look out for Dean when it looks like he's in trouble.
How?
Sorry, there was me thinking that if you really care for someone you look out for them if they are in trouble and the only reason you don't is that someone else is doing so is better able than you are or they are going to take you down with them. Sam working with Dean in a business partnership didn't seem like he was at the point he needed to cut all ties for self preservation.

Quote:
Alarm bells should be going off in Sam's head to the point he at least looks up what the Mark could mean, even if Dean isn't saying Cain said there would be consequences.
From what source?He was searching in the library.
We got one scene of Sam looking and for years they didn't have the library - you saying that the boys don't have any other sources to look at outside the library?

And again it is defend Sam from all comers comment, nothing about how the actions lead to Dean having a logical progression of decisions this season. May not be right but logical.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-08-21 05:53
Quote:
Sorry, there was me thinking that if you really care for someone you look out for them if they are in trouble and the only reason you don't is that someone else is doing so is better able than you are or they are going to take you down with them.
Dean had already pushed down Sam which was worser than taking down Sam with him.There was no one to look after Dean.Quote:
We got one scene of Sam looking and for years they didn't have the library - you saying that the boys don't have any other sources to look at outside the library?
Yes.I cannot think of anyone.If you can I would like discuss.Quote:
And again it is defend Sam from all comers comment, nothing about how the actions lead to Dean having a logical progression of decisions this season. May not be right but logical.
That is simply because when Dean's actions have been attributed to Sam's anger??? when he has not even recovered from his possession.You are new.I do not know if you have read Sam's set of articles.You can see how Sam was to blame for Dean's actions in many comments there.
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-08-21 05:21
The onus of the mark is on Dean we could call Dean equally stupid for not heeding Cain's warning and accepting the Mark as is . Maybe Sam was wrapped up in his anger like Dean was in season 5 when Sam told him about being Lucifer's vessel but I would not describe it as being 'pig ignorant' . Dean got himself into this mess because he convinced himself he was right to do what he did to Sam the ends justified the means so whatever hurt it caused he was willing to chance.And when it went pear shaped he could not face Sam or Sam's anger and marched off the bridge before a genuine conversation could happen.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-21 08:29
Being too wrapped up in his own pain to fully acknowledge and do something practical about what is happening to Dean is one thing, that is human. But the idea that Sam doesn't need to be as concerned about the Mark as Dean was about the affects of the trials on Sam because he wasn't there when Dean took on the mark - well that idea paints Sam as pig ignorant and so self absorbed that it verges on painful.

Like he has to be there for every major event for him to be fully involved in what is happening to those he cares about. That was what I was commenting about, the previous comment that the concern should be different because the trials and the mark were different and because Dean was there at the beginning of the trials and Sam wasn't there for the mark, because if it is that is a terrible judgement on the character of Sam. Dean marching off has nothing after Crowley helped Sam displace Gadreel has nothing to do with the idea that Sam shouldn't be concerned because Dean did something stupid.

Because at the end of the day, Sam took on the trials not knowing the full consequences, there was so much they were flying blind about which in PRACTICAL terms similar to what Dean did with the mark. He took it on for his own reasons not fully understanding what would happen to him.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2014-08-20 18:03
Double post
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-21 07:56
It’s really shocking and tragic this outcome, and there’s still the open debate that it happened because Sam turned Dean away emotionally. I don’t think it’s solely that, but it played a role for sure.

i don't agree with this. dean doomed himself by taking the mark. he took the mark to punish himself. .....if you want to put blame on the dean's accomplice into demon hood, i think that blame should go on Crowley, not sam.

let's not forget that Crowley has history with the Winchesters.. everyone thought that Lucifer was the serpent to be worried about, but imo, it's always been Crowley. i think what's significant here, besides everything we know of crowely so far, is that Crowley was present during the speech in sacrifice. he heard everything. he saw everything. if anyone got a deep insight to sam and dean, other than us out here in fandom world, it was Crowley. Crowley had a lot of time alone to plan while locked in that dungeon....and he's a demon...and i'm not sure what he can hear and what he can't, but as with kevin, who's to say that Crowley couldn't hear what was going on in that bunker....i got the impression in slumber party that he knew what was going on before the witch even got in his dungeon...his reaction was not of surprise...it was more like he expected her....

crowely read the chuck shurley books. Crowley has a personal history with the Winchesters. he's manipulated dean before when he used him to get brady back in s5. Crowley wanted out of that bunker and he wanted abbadon gone. Crowley, mr red smoke, has a long mysterious past we don't know about and as far as we do know...he hooked up with Naomi...an angel by the way. needless to say that the villain all along here isn't metatron.....it 's Crowley. he's going in the back door, while everyone is guarding the front.

because Crowley seems to know more than anyone else on this show and he knows the Winchesters far more than i think they even know themselves at times....how long do you think it took to plot what he did...i don't think it took more than when he first talked to sam while gad was in him....i think Crowley knew gad was in sam from the start. i think that was when he concocted his scheme....

why do you suppose dean Winchester is really worthy of the blade? because he's a killer. sam has killed as well. there are killers out there, in the scheme of things who would be worthy of the blade if it was about being a killer. dean wasn't worthy of the blade because he was a killer.....dean was worthy of the blade because of his self hatred. the chink in the armor ....dean is the perfect vessel to home the moc/blade much the way that yed and ruby and Lilith and Lucifer all thought that sam was the perfect vessel to house him.....

now if you want to say sam played a role in dean's downfall, then the only part sam played in that was that sam was the victim of dean's failure to control a situation which he mistakenly believed he actually did have control over. so yes, the fact that sam ended up broken and kevin ended up dead.....that is as far as sam's role went in dean's fall. ....

but things went bad....unexpect edly bad.....and dean had no control....unfo rtunately he realized he never had control in the first place. now everything that has gone wrong is because he made a mistake. and because he has such a low opinion of himself...becau se he loathes himself more than any demon he's ever come in contact with.....this failure broke dean....he couldn't face his brother...and well...as sam had done not so long ago....dean...i mploded and ran.....the only difference i see here....is that dean never stopped running.....eve n though he came back to sam......he was still running.....he was running away from his mistake by not dealing with it and instead punishing himself for it....something Crowley knew dean would do.....dean was running from sam and ran right into Crowley's open arms....offerin g dean the solace he needed.....not so unlike the situation sam had gone through when he sought solace from Amelia.....big difference of course....dean is getting his solace from the king of hell himself....the king manipulator.... who has the very thing dean needs to correct his mistake...the location of cain.....the first knight of hell...imo, a man who was worthy of the mark because cain was much the same as dean himself....one who loathed himself, who was worthy to carry a mark/blade and unleash it's power.....dean/ cain....not, hee hee, not that dean cain.....but i think you know what i mean....

dean's worthiness wasn't that he was a killer. his worthiness is that he hates himself....so the mark is not only punishment...ye t another consequences be damned scenario dean has found himself in...but for dean it's a way to fix his mistake...kill abbadon...kill metatron....the n all will be forgiven...espe cially by sam....

the sad thing is.....dean didn't have to take on the mark to be forgiven by sam....all he needed to do was take responsibility for what he'd done by facing sam head on, dealing with sam's hurt and just listening to what sam needed to say...if sam had been given that opportunity to just release all that pain....or as i said....a simple i'm sorry would've gone a long long way....

Crowley knew....he heard the speech in sacrifice...he knew how sam felt about trust...he knew about how sam feels that he's a disappointment. ..he knew that sam came first with dean....he saw the dysfunction for himself in that church and he used it against them when the opportunity arose....for Crowley it arose quite quickly....

i hope the boys finally heed meg's warning back in s7.....Crowley is the problem.....
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-08-21 09:29
Regretably, this has once again descended in to the usual Sam vs. Dean dreck. I would agree with the showrunner Jeremy Carver when he said that Dean's decisions would drive the myth arc in Season 9. They did, and not in a good way. In the season opener, Dean was desperate, even ready to make a deal with Crowley for Sam's life. And, when Sam found out, he had every right to feel betrayed, especially in light of what happened in 8.23 Sacrifice.

As far as whether Sam researched the MoC, that was covered in a prior article by Alice covering a deeper look in to Sam Winchester. But, I was thinking - if Dean couldn't take the time to ask Cain what the cost/burden of taking on the MoC, why was it incumbent upon Sam to do so? As far as which brother was at fault/blame, neither of them is entirely at fault, but neither of them is blameless either.

Someone also brought up the fact that Sam didn't do anything to help/save Dean. Didn't Sam and Castiel lock up Dean in the dungeon, until they could figure out what to do? It was Dean who summoned Crowley; turns out Dean would have died anyway because humans aren't strong enough to endure the effects of the MoC. So, regardless of Dean's showdown with Metatron, he was a dead man walking. In that regard, Dean viewed this as a suicide mission because he knew he was going to die as a result of the MoC.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-08-21 11:19
Yes, this I can agree with.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-21 17:28
fazzie,
this is an article about dean, but as dean as so eloquently put it.....or fake dean....there aint no me if there aint no you.....meaning it's really not so easy referring to one brother without bringing up the other. I've noticed in these back and forth comments, you yourself have brought up sam just as much as anyone else, and in your comments you put a lot of fault on sam, you actually revert to name calling....pig ignorant and stupid...are the words you use to describe sam....nobody on this site has insulted dean in that manner. l you must know that if you're going to do that it's only natural those out there who don't agree with your stance are going to defend sam's character.... you seem to have targeted sans summer for some reason. well in his/her defense sans summer happens to be quite good at defending a character in a fair and respectful manner...whethe r it be sam or dean.... he/she is constantly pointing out specific dialogue to counter whatever argument is being debated. everyone has a right to their opinion here...whether the opinion is agreed with or not... you seem to be quite agitated that there are some out here who don't find any sympathy for dean or just plain feel that he was wrong in his actions.....i understand that you would feel that way....it's the same for those on the other side of the fence.....but with all due respect, i don't think it's fair that you call out one specific person who doesn't agree with you and basically scold them for defending a character they obviously care for. especially when the posts have been nothing but respectful. he/she just doesn't throw out their own opinion willy nilly....he/she backs up her opinions with specific dialogue. and i don't recall his/her posts resorting to name calling. now one doesn't have to agree with his/her view even with the specific evidence given, but i don't think it's right to pinpoint this specific poster...or any poster for that matter, unless they have truly been disrespectful in some way or blatantly antagonistic, which he/she hasn't. as a matter of fact, i think most of the posts here have been pretty respectful over all....


as for the whole gad is a real friend thing...i don't think it was meant to be taken so literally. i think it was more about keeping dean from Crowley. it seemed to me that the statement "real friends" which happened to include cas, who is in fact dean's real friend, was to make clear to dean....that Crowley is not the one dean should be bromancing with...he cannot be trusted. Crowley isn't there for dean because dean is his new bff...if Crowley is tagging along with dean then there's an ulterior purpose....dean can't see it....sam can....

so yes he uses the word's real friends....but in comparison to Crowley....i think sam is right when he says that cas specifically and gad (out of guilt/remorse and need for redemption) is more likely a friend to dean than Crowley. don't get me wrong...this isn't about true forgiveness from sam...this isnt' even about sam fully trusting in gad....but i do think sam recognizes, from personal experience, when someone is truly seeking redemption. gad didn't have to come to the bunker...he came because he finally realized that metatron is truly off his nut and had to be stopped. do you realize how big of a risk he took walking into that bunker? he wanted to make things right. both cas and sam were willing to listen...and with gad's help they could stop metatron.... even after dean stabbed gad, gad still wanted to help. he was truly making the effort...even if sam based his words on that alone, it rang truer than dean believing that Crowley really was there to help him as a friend....

yes dean brought up that gad was the one who killed kevin...and sam in turn brought up the fact that gad was the angel that dean invited into him in the first place, but i felt that was more along the lines of....
dean: wait, you're trusting this angel who killed kevin?
sam: well it's the angel that you trusted in the first place....

kind of like, well look you trusted him then, so i'm taking the chance in trusting in him now....given that Crowley is no option for sam....that cas is also trusting in gad....that gad has literally been reaching out and trying....well again, i think gad is closer to the definition of real friend than Crowley could ever be. ;)
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-08-21 21:21
Thank you, nappi815! <3

Sam: --- I just thought you might like to know that while you two have been playing, uh, odd couple, your real friends, like Cas, like the angel you stabbed, Gadreel --they're out there right now risking their asses to help you win this fight.

I also think that Sam counting Gadreel as Dean’s real friend is relative to Crowley. Dean had already decided he was the one who will try to kill Metatron but Sam pointed out that Dean doesn’t need a demon’s help to get to Metatron (in fact, Sam, Cas and Gadreel had gotten ahead of Crowley and Dean).

Dean had almost beaten Gadreel to death earlier but the angel still came to the Bunker even though he was putting himself at a disadvantage. Then Dean almost killed him using the blade but even after that Gadreel risked getting caught by Metatron’s supporters so Dean could have a chance to take on Metatron. (In 9.18 Meta Fiction, Dean had figured out that Gadreel feared imprisonment more than dying). Crowley hadn’t put himself on the line for Dean even though he acted like he was Dean’s buddy.

And then Dean kicked the demon to the curb. I think Dean could see where Sam was coming from although he still believed that the fight was only his to fight.

Quote:
kind of like, well look you trusted him then, so i'm taking the chance in trusting in him now....
Good point. Now Gadreel had a lot more going for him than he did when Dean originally invited him in.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-21 21:25
That's funny because that actually popped into my head just a few minutes ago....hey, that is what Sam meant. Crowley is not your friend Dean. He is delivering you to Metatron. Crowley has tortured and killed their friends countless times over the seasons. And while Gadreel isn't family he is the one who can get to the tablet and Cas trusts him. He is a far better choice than Crowley.
Yeah and what SanSummer1 said too....
SueB
# SueB 2014-08-21 23:30
Finally got to read Alice's interesting article and all the comments.
Alice's review:
- I think Dean was already doomed the moment he took on the Mark of Cain. I think he was suicidal with guilt and when he said he just wanted to even things up a bit, IMO Dean was looking for some action/mission/ purpose to distract him from his overwhelming self-loathing and grief. Dean's state of mind is evident back in First Born when he says "I'll burn for that". Dean, who literally knows what Heaven/Hell/Pur gatory are like, believes he has eternal torment to look forward to. I think Dean took on the Mark figuring he'd die soon and he had NOTHING TO LOSE.
- What surprised me in Sharp Teeth: He didn't hide the MoC. Was he hoping Sam would show concern? I think that's possible. Garth, however, took priority. Dean's comments to Sam at the end were kind of odd for me:
Quote:
Dean..But uh, I know I took a piece of you in the process, and for that… somebody changed the playbook, man, you know? It’s like what’s right is wrong and what’s wrong is more wrong...
First we get the almost-apology. Sam is right, Dean sucks at apologizing (particularly to Sam). But then he tries to justify it by basically saying he's unsure of his moral compass. And I think it's been that way since S8. If you think about it, this is only the second uninhibited conversation that Dean has had with Sam (beyond case talk) since S8. So after asking Sam for a quick verbal beating (which Sam did not really give him), Dean (I think) is kind of bursting at the seams to express his confusion about what to do and what he did. Like a little kid, Dean seemed to hope Sam would just yell at him in Road Trip and then they could move on. But it was far too deep of a hurt for Sam and by holding his ground with the "something is broke here" speech, Dean is starting to get it.
In short, I think Dean hated himself for Kevin and Sam's situation but truly didn't fathom that he'd "lost" Sam until Sam came up with the "no brothers" rule.
The Purge: I DO think Sam and Dean were both trying to argue like brother's argue with a one-up-manship approach. There was far too much snark in that breakfast scene IMO for it to be sincere on either part. When Sam said what he did, all I could think of was "Azazel was right." :
Quote:
Azazel!John: You know, you fight and you fight for this family, but the truth is they don’t need you. Not like you need them.
I certainly think Sam had every right to be angry (or frankly walk away). I think Sam meant under the same circumstances (possession). But I think it's a cold hard truth (as others have said): Dean needs Sam more than Sam needs Dean.
And that hurts. A lot. Now this isn't Sam's fault and it doesn't make him the bad guy. It just is unbalanced and Dean keeps getting this message over the years and he just internalizes it (as something wrong with himself) rather than accept that people are different and love differently. I've been in Dean's shoes. It SUCKS. But if Sam loves Dean more than anyone else on the planet but it's not at the same "I'd do anything for you" level, then it's not really anyone's fault. Dean feels how he feels. Sam feels how he feels. It just hurts to feel you are unworthy of love. It doesn't matter if you can rationally explain why you are worthy and it's not really something you should internalize. Dean has a massive abandonment issue (death of his mother, father dying FOR him while simultaneously laying the burden on him to save or kill Sam). And a massive issue with feeling like he's not good enough (thanks John!). And he avoids thinking about this crap because it hurts too much. Time and again he's shown us he's incapable of dealing with his internal pain (the alcoholism being a huge clue). Note: I was actually kind of proud of him for saying "that's not in me" regarding letting Sam die. At least he's acknowledging what he can and cannot handle.
So "The Purge" was a sucking chest wound of pain for Dean (and me). I felt I knew and could empathize with what Sam meant. But it still hurt like hell.

Unfortunately I think neither Sam nor Cas taking significant action to stop Dean's emotional spiral was a plot-driven choice vice consistent with their character's priorities. Sam was still reeling from the possession and trying to gain his independence from Dean. Cas was dealing with an Angelic crisis. It's not like they weren't busy. But both have shown far more sensitivity to Dean's situation in the past. So... since Carver wanted Dean to go down a dark path, he kept those closest to Dean intentionally blind to the situation.

I hated that Dean never acknowledged he murdered that guy in #Thinman. I felt Dean had control and could have subdued the guy. That was an ugly moment for Dean IMO.

I don't think Dean truly gave up hope for a reconciliation with Sam until AFTER Kevin's speech and Sam walked away. Kevin was simultaneously an audience avatar (just BE BETTER ALREADY) but also expressing (to some extent) Dean's side of the argument. Your brother, your family, get over it. Sam is just not having any of that anymore and Dean needs a better argument. I didn't like Kevin's pity-party comment. It's not like Dean really appreciated that Kevin has been watching him. And apologizing to the guy you got killed is not a douchey thing to do. So, I felt it was just telling Dean to "get over it" just as much as Sam. I don't think it's that easy.

I don't agree that Dean should have taken Sam with him to kill Abaddon or Metatron. I think he's acknowledge that Sam is his weakness and handing his mortal enemy a bargaining chip is kinda stupid IMO. NOT taking Sam was improving his chances IMO.

Finally, I looked up the psychology today article on blame vs responsibility (based on comments section). I guess I see it more shame vs guilt. Dean think's HE is wrong vice just that he's done something wrong. It's still unhealthy but I don't know how someone who RUNS from his feelings is ever going to work his way out of this mentality.
amyh
# amyh 2014-08-22 17:52
Sue b... if either brother at any time believes that their brother who is their hunting partner should be left behind or knocked unconcious because they dont want the otther captures and used as a bargaining chip...well.... .thats when they both should terminate the partnerhip. Really......Dea n clains he wants to hunt with Sam but only whyen its convienent? Or Safe? Since when is hunting safe? anything they hunt always has an opportunity to use the other brother againsthis brother as a trap, a bargaining chip or whatever. BAsed on what Dean said and knocking Sam out or sending him on a snip hunt......they shouldn't be hunting together at all. There needs to be trust and loyalty and it needs to go both ways. Sam should be focused on the job and worrying if this job will be the one where Dean will decide Sam is a liability and knock him out or lie and feed him misinformation.

They can be brothers...they can be hunters but they shouldn't hunt together. Go their seperrate ways...see each other on holidays.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-08-23 11:06
Quote:
Finally got to read Alice's interesting article and all the comments.
Alice's review:
- I think Dean was already doomed the moment he took on the Mark of Cain. I think he was suicidal with guilt and when he said he just wanted to even things up a bit, IMO Dean was looking for some action/mission/purpose to distract him from his overwhelming self-loathing and grief. Dean's state of mind is evident back in First Born when he says "I'll burn for that". Dean, who literally knows what Heaven/Hell/Purgatory are like, believes he has eternal torment to look forward to. I think Dean took on the Mark figuring he'd die soon and he had NOTHING TO LOSE.
- What surprised me in Sharp Teeth: He didn't hide the MoC. Was he hoping Sam would show concern? I think that's possible. Garth, however, took priority. Dean's comments to Sam at the end were kind of odd for me:

Dean..But uh, I know I took a piece of you in the process, and for that… somebody changed the playbook, man, you know? It’s like what’s right is wrong and what’s wrong is more wrong...


First we get the almost-apology. Sam is right, Dean sucks at apologizing (particularly to Sam). But then he tries to justify it by basically saying he's unsure of his moral compass. And I think it's been that way since S8. If you think about it, this is only the second uninhibited conversation that Dean has had with Sam (beyond case talk) since S8. So after asking Sam for a quick verbal beating (which Sam did not really give him), Dean (I think) is kind of bursting at the seams to express his confusion about what to do and what he did. Like a little kid, Dean seemed to hope Sam would just yell at him in Road Trip and then they could move on. But it was far too deep of a hurt for Sam and by holding his ground with the "something is broke here" speech, Dean is starting to get it.
In short, I think Dean hated himself for Kevin and Sam's situation but truly didn't fathom that he'd "lost" Sam until Sam came up with the "no brothers" rule.
The Purge: I DO think Sam and Dean were both trying to argue like brother's argue with a one-up-manship approach. There was far too much snark in that breakfast scene IMO for it to be sincere on either part. When Sam said what he did, all I could think of was "Azazel was right." :

Azazel!John: You know, you fight and you fight for this family, but the truth is they don’t need you. Not like you need them.


I certainly think Sam had every right to be angry (or frankly walk away). I think Sam meant under the same circumstances (possession). But I think it's a cold hard truth (as others have said): Dean needs Sam more than Sam needs Dean.
And that hurts. A lot. Now this isn't Sam's fault and it doesn't make him the bad guy. It just is unbalanced and Dean keeps getting this message over the years and he just internalizes it (as something wrong with himself) rather than accept that people are different and love differently. I've been in Dean's shoes. It SUCKS. But if Sam loves Dean more than anyone else on the planet but it's not at the same "I'd do anything for you" level, then it's not really anyone's fault. Dean feels how he feels. Sam feels how he feels. It just hurts to feel you are unworthy of love. It doesn't matter if you can rationally explain why you are worthy and it's not really something you should internalize. Dean has a massive abandonment issue (death of his mother, father dying FOR him while simultaneously laying the burden on him to save or kill Sam). And a massive issue with feeling like he's not good enough (thanks John!). And he avoids thinking about this crap because it hurts too much. Time and again he's shown us he's incapable of dealing with his internal pain (the alcoholism being a huge clue). Note: I was actually kind of proud of him for saying "that's not in me" regarding letting Sam die. At least he's acknowledging what he can and cannot handle.
So "The Purge" was a sucking chest wound of pain for Dean (and me). I felt I knew and could empathize with what Sam meant. But it still hurt like hell.

Unfortunately I think neither Sam nor Cas taking significant action to stop Dean's emotional spiral was a plot-driven choice vice consistent with their character's priorities. Sam was still reeling from the possession and trying to gain his independence from Dean. Cas was dealing with an Angelic crisis. It's not like they weren't busy. But both have shown far more sensitivity to Dean's situation in the past. So... since Carver wanted Dean to go down a dark path, he kept those closest to Dean intentionally blind to the situation.

I hated that Dean never acknowledged he murdered that guy in #Thinman. I felt Dean had control and could have subdued the guy. That was an ugly moment for Dean IMO.

I don't think Dean truly gave up hope for a reconciliation with Sam until AFTER Kevin's speech and Sam walked away. Kevin was simultaneously an audience avatar (just BE BETTER ALREADY) but also expressing (to some extent) Dean's side of the argument. Your brother, your family, get over it. Sam is just not having any of that anymore and Dean needs a better argument. I didn't like Kevin's pity-party comment. It's not like Dean really appreciated that Kevin has been watching him. And apologizing to the guy you got killed is not a douchey thing to do. So, I felt it was just telling Dean to "get over it" just as much as Sam. I don't think it's that easy.

I don't agree that Dean should have taken Sam with him to kill Abaddon or Metatron. I think he's acknowledge that Sam is his weakness and handing his mortal enemy a bargaining chip is kinda stupid IMO. NOT taking Sam was improving his chances IMO.

Finally, I looked up the psychology today article on blame vs responsibility (based on comments section). I guess I see it more shame vs guilt. Dean think's HE is wrong vice just that he's done something wrong. It's still unhealthy but I don't know how someone who RUNS from his feelings is ever going to work his way out of this mentality.
Interesting comment .Loved reading it :).
E
# E 2014-08-24 06:56
Quote:
I don't agree that Dean should have taken Sam with him to kill Abaddon or Metatron. I think he's acknowledge that Sam is his weakness and handing his mortal enemy a bargaining chip is kinda stupid IMO. NOT taking Sam was improving his chances IMO.
How so? He LOST. I think by removing Sam he committed the fatal flaw that Sam committed in season 4, removing your bother from the equation guarantee's your failure. It's too bad that Dean didn't learn that lesson; Sam seemed to have. Sam committed himself to Dean at the trailer park, telling him he was willing to do whatever Dean wanted in his confrontation with Metatron. Sam knows that the brothers are stronger when they work TOGETHER; he learned that when he took Dean out of the fight in season 4 which lead to him freeing Lucifer but then made sure he and Dean fought Lucifer together in season 5 which allowed them to defeat Lucifer once again. Metatron is powerful, but he's no Lucifer. It's too bad that Dean didn't remember any of that when the time came. Taking Sam out of that fight sealed Dean's fate IMO, knocking Sam out sealed Dean's fate and assure this ultimate failure. If Dean had actually let Sam help him, I think he would have won that fight with Metatron and would still be alive. He'd still have the Mark and still have the problem of blade addiction but he wouldn't have died thus completing the process of becoming a demon.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-24 07:48
e,

I think it's exactly what dean wanted too, to lose...but for dean, his belief that dying would save him, would mean he actually won. it's just too bad that he never had a chance either way. by the time we get to dybim, dean comes to understand truly, for the first time I think, what is really happening to him. it's like the light finally went on in his head. when he started to get sick, physically sick...I think the hard truth finally hit him. when Crowley explained to dean what was truly happening, I think it was then that dean realized his fate. he knew what he was becoming and didn't want it. I think dean planned on dying whether or not he beat metatron or not. I got the feeling, as I believed sam was going to do back in s4, that he was going to ensure he ended up dead one way or another. the fact that sam was waiting for him at the trailer, that he sam was going in with dean....well, I think the purpose of that was so that dean would know that sam loved in..no matter what...it didn't stop dean from doing what he was going to do...but at least he knew he would go out knowing his brother forgave him and loved him. I believe that dean knew with sam by his side that he would more likely succeed and survive. I don't think this is a lesson that he'd forgotten....in fact I believe the opposite...that it was the one thing he remembered....w hich is exactly why he sucker punched sam. dean wanted to die at this point, based on what he told sam....it's better this way, the mark is changing me...he didn't want to become the monster he knew he was becoming...and with sam around, he was more likely to survive this mission than not....

jmo of course. ;)
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-08-24 08:17
It is actually sad.
And as beaten he was at the end he still worried that Sam wouldn't survive. That Metatron would come back and kill him.
The brothers love one another and either of them doesn't wan't the other to get hurt/die/other bad thing happening to them.
Their reaction always shows when the other one is in that kind of situation to prevent it.

That is the basis of the brothers and that is what I will always focus on.

- Lilah
E
# E 2014-08-24 13:21
I don't agree entirely. Yes, I do believe that Dean felt he was probably going to die and that he was OK with that. But there is no way that I believe that Dean didn't care if he failed in his mission to kill Metatron. What would be the point of his taking on the Mark and sacrificing himself if it was going to mean nothing in the end? Dean had no way of knowing that Cas was able to contain Metatron after their confrontation, for all Dean knew, Metatron returned to Heaven, killed Cas, continued his bid to be the new god and then would end up setting his sites on Sam, and the fact that it didn't happen that way was pretty much dumb luck and neither brother knew during the finale that Metatron had been contained. And just because Metatron is currently out of commission does not mean that he won't be back later to continue causing problems, which is exactly what I think is going to happen. No, I think the most sad thing about this whole MoC/Blade thing was that Dean really did want to succeed in killing Metatron and he couldn't do it, and I believe he couldn't do it because he took his brother out of the equation. So, yes, I agree with the idea that Dean knew and probably even wanted to die and by this point his death was probably a forgone conclusion weather it was Metatron or the blade that got him in the end. But I don't believe that he wanted to fail to get Metatron as it negates the entire point of him taking on the Mark and ending up dead in the first place. And how come it's OK for Dean to to decide that it was OK for him to die but not OK for Sam to decide the exact same thing for himself? Dean was able to make that choice for himself, but denied Sam that very thing.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-24 16:52
I just looked over what I posted. I didn't even realize that I said that....I really need to re-read before I post, but it was early this morning and I had to rush off to work. :P dean didn't take the mark to kill metatron. I believe at the time, he took the mark to kill abbadon. he didn't seem to care about the consequences of taking the mark, so my guess is that a big part of taking the mark had a lot to do with punishing himself. I think part of him also thought that if he can succeed in killing abbadon, that somehow it would make it right with sam.

I don't think dean wanted to fail in killing metatron ...you're right.....but I do think he wanted to die as a result ....maybe more kamikaze style...but I really do think that he did not want to survive, and I really do think that keeping sam out of the way made it all the more easier......as with sam back in s4, he did want to succeed, but he wanted to die as a result and I got the impression from sam that he would've ended his own life because he knew he was changing into something he didn't want to be.....I think the same applies to dean here.
E
# E 2014-08-24 20:53
Actually he took the mark to kill Gadreel… I am not sure why he decided to take on Abbadon other than he was begin manipulated by Crowley. I never thought that the "I'll go after him myself" mission to kill Gadreel suddenly become a mission to kill Abbadon, it wasn't clear and didn't make much sense. Then later, after Abbadon was dead, the mission was to kill Metatron and also Gadreel. The whole Abbadon thing seemed very contrived, the set up was pretty poor. Basically she became a necessary kill for Dean's addiction journey and I thought she deserved better. Kripke was much better at tying together loose ends in a meaningful way.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-08-22 08:05
this is the conversation between dean and crowely in mother's little helper;

DEAN

Demons don't take leaks. Next time you want to shoot up, why don't you find a better excuse?

CROWLEY

Guilty as charged.

DEAN

What happened? I thought you were cleaning up your act.

CROWLEY

Well, I was going to, but then after very little soul-searching, I decided to embrace my addiction. What about you? Takes a junkie to know a junkie. You just want to touch that precious again, don't you?

DEAN

I want to kill Abaddon. That's what I want. So, whatever happens with the Blade, I can't worry about that.

CROWLEY

Sure. Whatever you got to tell yourself so you can sleep better at night.

DEAN

Look, what I want, what I fear, none of that means squat. Because this is the one chance that we have to kill Abaddon. So, I'm all in, no matter what the consequences.

CROWLEY

So the plan remains the same?

DEAN

I find her, you bring the Blade.

CROWLEY

It's a date.

this is the second time, no actually the third time this season that dean ignored or showed no interest in consequences of his actions. there's so much focus on dean's emotional angst that there is a blindness to the danger he's causing not only himself but others as well. again it goes back to dean, while seemingly being sacrificial or heroic, the real truth of it is he's actually being a bit self centric. he's looking at things and acting in a way that he believes things should be according to him, disregarding how it might affect others. this is a problem...and I still believe it stems from his basic flaw which has been the focus and meant to be dean's downfall.....hi s own self hatred. this monster in him which has now taken over completely. is this really a suicide mission for dean? at this particular moment....I don't believe it to be. I believe this is the speech of an addict who will say and thus believe anything so that they can get their fix, which in this case was dean's hands on that blade. i'm not saying dean doesn't have his fear because he does, but his addiction for power, his need to have the blade overrides any fear he might have....and thus he fully admits that consequences don't matter. it doesn't matter how he does it....who dies in the process of doing it...who he hurts in the process....the only thing that matters is getting his hands on that blade....abbado n is the excuse he uses to justify what is actually his addiction....th en when abbadon is dead, he has another excuse for the blade....metatr on....and then there would've been another....

Crowley's remark that dean was ready...and not just because he saved him....Crowley had been testing dean to see if the addiction had truly taken over...and it had....dean no longer cared. he was Crowley's perfect tool..not weapon....tool. ..because Crowley had plans for dean and he was just getting started here.

dean's disregard for consequences yet again seems to be the focus here. the first time he does it...he damages his relationship with is brother and kevin, plus a few others end up dead. the second time he does it, he takes on the moc without heeding it's warning, thus in this case dooming himself and again hurting those around him who love him....and now again, consequences be damned....the addict needs the drug and that's all that matters...in this case the consequences again affect others...not only has dean damned himself into becoming a demon, but now as a demon, how many innocents will die at his hands in the upcoming season? how many will suffer at his hands?

and it all boils down to the one flaw in dean that has been the bane of his existence...his belief that he's no good. this overbearing trait that has control of what he believes and what he does. I think it's why dean needs to be in control all the time. it's why he thinks things should be a certain way, his way...what he deems to be right and doesn't give much consideration on what might be right for others at times. it also explains his soldier mentality that john whether he did it deliberately or not, inflicted upon his children. the loss of his mom, dad's influence, leaving dean to be the parent while he goes off seeking revenge...drill ing into dean "the mission"....sav ing people, hunting things...the family business.....I really do believe john brainwashed dean into thinking that this was his mission in life...this was dean's purpose....he's basically no good, but i'll make him a damn good soldier...a blunt little instrument.... I don't think john intentionally wanted dean to believe or feel this way.....but again consequences... .john's need for revenge....look what it did to his children psychologically...

dean is about family...don't get me wrong....but I think of lot of what he feels about the state of his family is more like his mission: his family, sam, is his mission....keep them safe. keep them alive. no matter what...you are a soldier dean. this is your task....you will do your job....I think dean has incorporated this belief into more than just his family...I think he incorporated it into everyone...savi ng people...huntin g things...the family business...your job...don't you fail...failure is not an option...

when you have someone who thinks so little of themselves and thinks the only purpose they have, the only thing they're good for is to succeed at their mission, which for dean is to take care of his brother and keep him safe at all costs....then you end up with someone who leaps before he looks...who goes to extremes in order to succeed....who will do whatever it takes without pause...and when you mix in all of this with the extreme amount of love that dean has for his brother...well you end up turning yourself into a demon. :p:(

I think season ten is meant to bring about an end to dean's belief that he is no good. an end to his belief that his brother doesn't love him because he does....and my extreme hope that he realizes it's not sam who doesn't love dean with all that he is....it's dean who doesn't love himself and doesn't believe he could or should be loved. once he conquers his inner monster who is now his outer monster...he'll change his outlook on who he believes he is....and hopefully learn from his mistakes...and in the future....never forget that consequences often have harsh results.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-22 10:29
Crowley did say to Dean no one hates you more than you do. Believe me I've tried.
Bluepony
# Bluepony 2014-08-22 21:51
Thanks for the article Alice. I've loved Dean's story this season. I think one point you made that struck me was that Crowley was the only one paying attention to Dean and he was who Dean started to lean on. That is such a sad statement about a "partner/maybe brother " and his best friend. Honestly I want Dean to go completely off the reservation. Not only off the reservation but to burn it down and dance in the ashes. And when he remembers his humaniy, I would like him to see what a wonderfullly flawed human he is. But for now just to see him totally free of guilt and responsibility and as hedonistic as possible is a story I definitely want to see.

No wonder he was in the TV Guide list of most iconic characters.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-22 22:18
Unfortunately it looks like being a Knight of Hell and having no inhibitions also means being murderous. I have a feeling that demons and bad guys aren't the only things that will get killed along the way. As with SS I don't think DD is going to care what he does to whoever gets in his way. And when he does get his humanity back I'm afraid the angst is going to be unbearable. Dean is going to have a rough go of it. Since he is a good man it will probably eat him alive.
vince
# vince 2014-08-23 08:07
Technically Abaddon is really the only big bad that has actually put up a fight against one of the Winchesters. I mean Azazel kinda just stood there waiting to be shot, Lilith was willing to die, Lucifer beat the shit out of Dean, but his defeat was through Sam wrestling control, and Dick Roman stood there as a bone went through his neck.
eilf
# eilf 2014-08-23 08:52
How does Sam wrestling control back FROM LUCIFER - one of only 5 creatures in the universe not killable by the colt gun, and currently possessing Sam (supposedly body and soul) - not count as one of the Winchesters winning a fight against a big bad? I mean Sam is one of the Winchesters.
E
# E 2014-08-24 13:25
Agreed! I'd say that was a victory; a big one!
Amyh
# Amyh 2014-08-23 08:55
lol Technicaly Abaddon sat around waiting for Dean while drinking wine...then put up the pretense of a fight. Honestly Abaddon came across more like Lilith (baiting dean and going through the motions of making it appear she wanted him dead). Liliths death was required to free Lucifer. She was the 66th seal. Abaddons death is what clinched Deans addiction to the blade. I wouldn't be surprised if it was revealed she was loyal to Crowly.
Attacking Crowly was part of the show.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-23 12:46
I wonder what Abaddon's compensation for getting killed was. I also agree it was a very easy kill and I'm not convinced she is all the way dead. Although you are right that in order for Dean to be hopelessly addicted to the blade it had to be a kill. The whole scene was very staged looking.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-08-24 13:00
I don't know if it was an easy kill but it was rather anti-climactic (and kind of cheesy). In this regard, it was very similar to S6 where Eve was presented as the "big bad" but that was a diversion; turns out it was Castiel, just as Metatron was in S9.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-24 13:30
I kind of agree with amyh that Abaddon basically sat around and waited for Dean to show up with the only weapon that could kill her. She must have known that so it all looked very staged to me. If it wasn't than yes I agree it was cheesy and anti-climatic
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-08-24 17:07
i don't agree at all that this was staged, or "planned" such as Lillith being the 66th seal. And there was no way she was in cahoots with Crowley. I just think it was a case of Abaddon being arrogant, thinking she could take out Dean and the MoC. And besides, even if Abaddon had managed to kill him, Dean would have come back as a demon and killed her anyway.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-24 18:45
You are probably right. I remember thinking at the time that she just sat there visiting with Crowley until Dean showed up. It was either a very awkwardly written scene, poorly executed or it was a set up. I just thought that for whatever reason she and Crowley had come to some sort of deal and she let Dean kill her.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-08-24 00:14
Alice, you say that Sam played a part in Dean becoming a demon. I don't agree. Dean became a demon because he took on the Mark of Cain (practically begging for it as Cain was trying to explain the risks) and then died. Sam had nothing to do with Dean leaving him right after Gadreel had been expelled and Sam was still reeling from the possession. He had nothing to do with Dean hooking up with Crowley and seeking out Cain. It's ALL on Dean.

I found Dean really hard to like in season 9. It goes beyond the lies and trickery. For me, in about the betrayal in the first episode and Dean's refusal to own it, worse, saying he'd do it again. Dean had Sam possessed, even if he knew that Sam would rather die, given his history with Meg, Lucifer, etc. He did it anyways and cannot see how utterly wrong it was and how hurt Sam was. I just can't get past it and sympathise with this version of the character.

The only way I can rationalize Dean's actions is to fall back on the parent/child relationship that Sam and Dean have. As endearing as it was during the first seasons when Sam was so young, it doesn't work anymore IMO. I'm tired of Dean ordering Sam around, making decisions he has no business making on Sam's behalf, basically acting like the father of an untrustworthy teenager. I used to love them both so much, but now I wish they were separated. I hope season 10 restores my faith in the brotherhood.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2014-08-25 13:34
JuliaG I agree wholeheartedly with your post.
amyh
# amyh 2014-08-25 21:16
I agree with your agreement with JuliaG. It used to be endearing and sweet but its turned the relationship claustrophobic and frustrating. I worry that nothing Carver does will restore my faith in the brothers relationship and like Julia the best thing for the boys (and the world at large imo) is that they seperate.