In Part One of my Deeper Look at Dean Winchester, Dean is barely clinging on to control of the Mark of Cain.  In part two, the wheels fall off the wagon. Eventually. 

“About A Boy”

Dean is anxious to find that cure now.  He knows, as does Sam, that the wheels are starting to fall off the wagon.  He does actually talk to Sam this time!  He’s still feeling guilty about Charlie, forgiveness or not.  Sam has the perfect cure, time to work a case.  

Dean does have a small stroke of luck and meets a woman in a bar with as many hard luck stories as him.  This week, that little encounter offers perspective, especially when they both have been turned into young teenagers.  If anything, it reminds Dean what it’s like to get to save the girl.  It also gives him a glimpse of life without that Mark.  It’s an interesting dilemma.  Remain a teenager and not have the MOC anymore, and hope it stays away when he reaches his age some twenty plus years later, or try to go back to his current self and live with it.  

In the end, the choice was easy.  Turn himself back so he can save Sam and Tina.  He pulled a “Dean Winchester.”  Dean will take the win this time. 

“Halt and Catch Fire”

I don’t think I can buy that the victim of the week’s situation can parallel Dean’s Mark of Cain drama, but they tried anyway.  One take away, he regrets! (yes, they’re stalling).

Dean:  I have made more mistakes that I can count.  Ones that haunt me day and night.
Delilah:  So…how do you deal?
Dean:  Whiskey, denial.  I do my best to make things right, whatever they may be.  

Dean and Sam have their closing moment though and Dean is doubting that a cure can be found.  The answer is with him.  “I’m not just gonna give up.  I appreciate the effort, okay?  I do.  But the answer is not out there.  It’s with me.  I need to be the one calling the shots here, okay?  I can’t keep waking up every morning with false hope.  I got to know where I stand.  Otherwise, I’m gonna lose my freakin’ mind.  So I’m gonna fight it til I can’t fight it anymore.  And when all is said and done, I’ll go down swinging."

Those might be inspirational words, but considering the next episode is the Cain one, we all knew that wasn’t going to last. 

“The Executioner’s Song”

Oh boy, the beginning of the end!  Poor Dean, this time circumstances are beyond his control.  He’s forced into dealing with Cain, the only other holder of the Mark.  It’s clear after years of resistance the MOC has corrupted Cain in the worst way.  His plan is genocide of all his descendants and he’s gotten off to a gruesome start.  

This is one of the hardest tasks Dean has ever had to face and his confrontation here seems like a crafty parallel to Sam’s decision to say yes to Lucifer in “Swan Song.”  The chickens have come to roost so to speak, and this is all on him.   He’s scared and has every right to be.  He’s in a sense jumping into his own cage, knowing that if he comes out of this he won’t be the same.  Even worse, the MOC could finally take control and Dean becomes the monster every bit as lethal as Cain.  A lot is on the line. 

Dean:  When he gave me the Mark, Cain said that this day would come, that after I killed Abaddon, I would have to come and put him down.  
Sam:  Great.  So you’re taking orders from a madman.
Dean:  No, he wasn’t mad then.  Cain resisted the Mark for a long time, then I came, kicking up trouble about the blade.  I sent him down this path.  This is on me. 
Sam:  It doesn’t mean you have to be the one to go after him.
Dean:  Yes it does.  And there’s only one thing that can kill him. 
Sam:  The blade.  
Castiel:  Dean’s right.
Sam:  Dean, wielding the Blade against Cain himself…win or lose, you may never come back from that fight.
Dean:  I know.  

Dean is painfully aware what can happen, evidenced by his answer to Crowley about giving the First Blade back.  “If I survive and I come out of there and I don’t give it back, you’ll all have a much bigger problem on your hands.”  But Cain did so much worse than force Dean’s hand to kill him.  He messed with his head, foretelling a couple of very dangerous prophecies.  

Cain:  Look at my example boy!  There is no resisting the Mark or the Blade.  There is only remissions and relapse!...This may be hard to believe, in light of what I’m about to do to you, but I care about you, Dean.  I truly do.  But I know I’m doing you a favor.  I’m saving you.  
Dean:  Saving me from what?
Cain:  From your fate.  Has it never occurred to you? Have you ever mused upon the fact that you’re living my life in reverse?  My story began when I kill my brother, and that’s where your story inevitably will end. 
Dean:  No, never.
Cain:  It’s called the Mark of Cain for a reason!  First you’d kill Crowley.  There’d be some strange, mixed feelings on that one, but you’d have your reason.  You’d get it done, no remorse.  And then you’d kill the angel Castiel.  Now, that one, that I suspect would hurt something awful.  And then!  Then would come the murder you’d never survive, the one that would finally turn you into as much of a savage as it did me. 
Dean:  No.
Cain:  Your brother, Sam.  The only thing standing between you and that destiny is this Blade.  You’re welcome my son.  

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Dean bests Cain and with much distress and reluctance, delivers the fatal blow with the First Blade.  Cain is dead and Dean is devastated.  It’s all because he knows that as long as he has that Mark, Cain’s prophecy will likely come to be.  That is going to mess with his head from here on out.  Sure, Dean throughout this series has been a “prophecy be damned” sort of guy, but given his struggle with the MOC, he just might be believing he isn't strong enough to fight it this time.  

At the end, after Sam gives him encouraging words about holding it together after killing Cain.  “You know, if you can do that without losing yourself…that’s cause for hope, even without a cure.”  Dean excuses himself and is seen rolling his eyes out in the hall.  He’s not buying Sam’s words of hope at all.  Oh yes Sam, we know, Dean’s in trouble for sure.  

“The Things That They Carried”

Dean knows Sam is still trying to find a solution to get rid of the Mark, and he’s not being supportive anymore.  They have to face the truth and in the meantime, they can work the case.  They do. 

“Paint It Black”

I would quibble that this is irrelevant, but I think the confessional scene did capture something about Dean’s frame of mind.  

“You know, the life I live, the work I do…I pretty much figured that that was all there was to me, you know?  Tear around and jam the key in the ignition and haul ass until I ran out of gas.  I guess I just thought sooner or later, I’d go out the same way that I live – pedal to the metal, and that would be it.” 

"Now, um…recent events, uh, make me think I might be closer to that than I really thought.  And, I don’t know.  I mean, you know, there’s – there’s things, there’s…people, feelings that I want to experience differently than I have before, or maybe even for the first time.” 

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Dean wants to experience more in life.  I would actually call this little flash of perspective, one that may or may not be relevant later, to be far more healthier than Sam’s perspective on things right now.  It’s kind of refreshing to see.  But is it really Dean’s desire or just a set of writers trying to do some filler?  Given his upcoming beach speech to Sam (waiting for it…), perhaps that it’s the POV of a dying man coming to terms with the end of his life.  He does have a lot to experience yet.  

“Inside Man”

While Sam’s story ramps up a bit, Dean becomes the guy in the dark behind it all.  He’s getting worse, the nightmare he had in the beginning of the episode his biggest clue.  But also, he knows Sam is lying to him, but he doesn’t care.  He’s off to do fun stuff, like be a dick and steal money from normal guys playing pool.   Oh yeah, Rowena shows, but that’s just her seeing the power of the Mark of Cain and getting involved in this whole mess.  It’s a curse.  Uh oh, way to open a can of worms. 

However, I do love Dean’s little talk to Crowley about his mother.  It just goes to show, he still has a soft spot for the King of Hell and vice versa.  There’s still the real Dean Winchester in there somewhere. 

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“Book of the Damned”

Dean tells Sam that the MOC is a curse.  That as well as Charlie’s arrival sets up the whole ill fated chain of events… 

Oh, let’s just get to the beach speech.  It just makes me smile. 

Dean:  We’re due for a win, okay?  Overdue.  I’ll tell you another thing, if this actually does work, we’re gonna take some time off.
Sam:  What, like a vacation?
Dean:  Mm-hmm.  And I’m not talking just like a weekend in Vegas or sitting in some crap motel watching pay-per-porn.  No, I’m talking about a beach.  Drinking cervezas, go for a swim, mingle with the local wildlife.  When was the last time either one of us was on a beach?
Sam:  Never.  
Dean:  Sam between our toes, Sammy, sand between our toes.

Dean is hopeful, until he feels that book.  Oh no, this is not going to work.  It’s evil!  The Mark knows it.  When the Stynes come for the book, Dean demands that Sam destroy it.  He knows deep down it is for the best of everyone, despite the fact that it means he keeps the MOC.  He finds his “win” in Castiel getting his grace back instead.  When he finds out…

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“The Werther Project”

Dean is feeling edgy for sure and is finding more productive and reckless ways to deal with his bloodlust, like take out a vampire’s nest all by himself.  All in a day’s work!  He knows Sam is bothered by this, but in a role reversal from Sam's days with demon blood, he's getting very irritated by Sam's attitude toward him.

Dean:  Come on, man. It’s the only way I can take the edge off. I’m sorry. I don’t always like to wait around for you, especially with you looking at me like that all the time.
Sam:  Look at you like what?
Dean:  Like that. Like I’m some sort of a-a-a diseased killer puppy.

Despite his irritation with Sam though, when Sam runs off by himself to work a case Dean tracks him down.  He wants to help and feels guilty.  He doesn't seem like a guy overcome by the Mark of Cain and not as bad as Sam is believing.  But after he's affected by the enchanctment and sees Benny, that look inside what Dean is truly feeling right now is fascinating.  He's scared and that's because he knows deep down his "plan B" is flawed.  

s10e19 416 Dean Benny

Benny:  Remember what you said to me when we first met? About the purity of this place? Dean, slow down. Dean, stop. Listen. This…. This place you don’t have to go looking for a fight. All you have to do is be still for one moment, and that fight will come to you. That’s why you’re here, Dean. That’s the purity you crave – killing with no consequence. 
Dean:  No, Benny. I don’t wanna fight anymore. I’m tired of fighting.
Benny:  The Mark ain’t. So, can’t leave, don’t wanna stay, bit of a bind ain’t it? Good thing there’s always a third way out. You can’t say you haven’t been thinking about it. 
Dean:  That ain’t gonna happen, ever.
Benny:  Come on, Dean. I know you can see it. The purity, the honor.
Dean:  There’s no honor in that.
Benny:  What., you just wanna wait for the Mark to reclaim you? Go out swinging, die topside, then what? Maybe kill a few humans? Kill Cas? Kill your brother? Yeah, that’s mighty honorable!
Dean:  Benny, shut up!
Benny:  Oh, I-I’m sorry. I forgot… about your plan. You gonna get Sam and Cas to put you down? You really think that they’re gonna keep that agreement? Come on. Dean, let’s say they do. Do you think they will ever recover from that? It will ruin them. This little backup plan of yours, I know you’ve been thinking about it for a time, I know it’s been gnawin’ at you. You can’t leave that job to them. 

This is the real inner Dean.  His hope that Sam and Castiel will take him out when the Mark of Cain takes over isn't realistic and he knows it.  He doesn't want to fight anymore but the Mark of Cain won't let him be.  It's because of the Mark of Cain though that Dean overcomes the enchantment and saves Sam in time.  To him, death is not an option.  The Mark wants him alive.  He wants to be alive with his brother.  It's no accident that the Werther Box needed blood from both of them and they would have died if they had gone on their separate ways.   

"The universe is trying to tell us something we both should already know. We’re stronger together than apart."

“Angel Heart”

Was Dean in this?  Oh right, he played mini golf with a teenager.  And he snapped in the bar, just to prove to us he’s getting worse. 

Dean does tell Claire this at the end of the episode though, just to reinforce what we’ve been seeing all season long:

Claire:  Are you gonna be okay?
Dean:  Me?  I don’t know.  But I will keep fighting.  I’ll keep swinging until I got nothing left.  

“Dark Dynasty”

Ugh.  Alright, there’s one important moment.  Dean finds out that Sam didn’t burn the Book of the Damned.  His confrontation of Sam is downright creepy!  Hovering over his brother, looking like he would snap his neck at any moment, it took my breath away.  But nothing like that cell phone ringing to break up the mood.  Once that call reveals that Charlie is in trouble though, Dean is furious.  Oh geez, how far will this push Dean?  

“The Prisoner”

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The anvils are falling!  In something that was called a mile away, Charlie is brutally murdered and Dean uses her death as the reason to go off the rails.  The purpose of the episode is to show how low and how deep Dean will sink, but I think all it showed was that we are getting really tired of watching Dean Winchester the killer.  They’ve been foreshadowing this moment would happen for a season and a half now and now that it’s here it’s so…underwhelming.  Look at Dean massacre the bad guys, even the kid who was a good part of the bad guys!  See how stunned and horrified we are!  

Here’s what’s important to know for what is really the true showdown coming in the next episode.  Dean is really pissed at Sam.  He sees what Sam did, trying to find the cure behind his back using The Book of the Damned, as a betrayal.  It got Charlie killed.  He even flat out tells Sam that should be him on that pyre, not Charlie.  That is just enough to make us believe that Dean is so far gone, he’s willing to kill Sam.  So just remember that scene.  It’s extremely important for later.  The rest is window dressing. 

“Brother’s Keeper”

Dean is not good and he knows it.  After causing the death of another hunter (we hardly knew you Rudy!) he pulls the ultimate desperation play.  He summons his good buddy Death.  If anyone can kill him, Death can!  Death knows better though.  Dean cannot ever lose that Mark.  It’ll unleash “The Darkness” on the earth.  He can take Dean far away where he can live in isolation and never hurt anyone again, but he must continue to bear the Mark of Cain.  There’s one condition though…

I have to smile the way Death keeps doing all these “tests” with the Winchesters, particularly Dean.  He flat out tells Dean that he has to kill Sam, and Dean sees the logic in this.  Dean even calls Sam and summons him to where he is, just to drop the bomb that he has to die.  Even though Sam’s death was Death’s condition to helping Dean (since Sam wouldn’t stop at trying to find his brother), he insists that Dean has to deliver the final blow.  You know he had to know that Dean couldn’t do that, no matter how far gone he was from the Mark. 

Sam:  You traded my life.
Dean:  I’m willing to live with this thing forever, as long as I know that I and it will never hurt another living thing. 
Sam:  This isn’t you.  This doesn’t make any sense.
Dean:  No, it makes perfect sense if you stop thinking about yourself for one damn minute!  

But Death’s motives aren’t the issue, Dean’s are.  Dean tries like mad to justify what he’s about to do, pulling with Sam the whole, “How are they not evil?” argument.  Not only does he think he’s evil, but he thinks Sam is as well.  Dean is all about killing evil.  It’s the MOC and its corruption trying to convince Dean what he's about to do is right.  This is clearly the MOC talking: 

Dean:  Remember when we were in that church, making Crowley human, about to close the Gates of Hell?  Well, you sure as hell were ready to die for the greater good then. 
Sam:  Yeah, and, Dean, you pulled me back. 
Dean:  And I was wrong.  You were right Sam.  You knew that this world would be better without us in it. 
Sam:  No, no, no, wait a second.  You’re twisting my words here, Dean.
Dean:  Why?  Because we track evil and kill it?  The family business?  Is that it?  Look at the tape, Sam.  Evil tracks us.  And it nukes everything in our vicinity - our family, our friends.  It’s time we put a proper name to what we really are and we deal with it.  
Sam:  Wait a second.  We are not evil.  Listen, we’re far from perfect, but we are good.  That thing on your arm is eveil, but not you, not me. 
Dean:  I let Rudy die.  How was that not evil?  I know what I am, Sam.  But who were you when you - when you drove that man to sell his soul…or when you bullied Charlie into getting herself killed?  And to what end?  I have this thing on my arm, and you’re willing to let the Darkness into the world.  

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Dean finally convinces Sam that he must die through the act of brutality, beating him bloody.  What a better way to show what a monster he’s become that physical violence?  But Sam knows how to get through, refusing to close his eyes for the fatal blow, even when Dean orders him to do so, and then breaking out the family photographs.  Sam though pulls the one card that Dean cannot overcome, family.  One look at those photos of him, Sam, and Mary and his weeping brother on his knees ready to meet his fate and no wonder Dean can’t do it.  The Mark just isn’t that powerful.  Family is the greatest power of all.  Of course he accidentally misses Sam and hits Death instead, causing a whole mess of problems.  Hey, that’s what season 11 is for.  

Overall analysis

Dean’s season ten journey is his season one journey full circle.  He did everything in his power to hold the family together then, and now that Sam has done that for him during his darkest hour, he is reminded of that devotion that has ruled his life.  It’s all for Sammy.  It’s so complicated, yet it’s so simple.  Everything these brothers do is for each other.  

When Dean said that it should be Sam dead on the pyre instead of Charlie, was that him or the MOC?  It was him, just without the filter.  He was angry and the MOC as we have learned releases inhibitions and self control.  He chose in his betrayal and hurt to go it alone, like he has done in the past (think season nine’s “Road Trip”).  The MOC gave him the power of revenge without fear.  With Sam not around, he could carry on his act without his brother's interference.  It was in a way easier than dealing with the pain.  As I said in part 1, Dean under the Mark’s influence is essentially Soulless Sam.  

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Oh yes, I could joke about Dean's well known fears, but think about it.  Dean could have gone back to Sam in “Brother’s Keeper” asking for help or taking his revenge on his brother, but he went to Death instead.  Was he doing that to spare the world from his tyranny and find the solution that Sam couldn’t?  Was he doing this for Sam’s sake as well as his own?  Sam was right, it wasn't an evil act.  When Death made Sam the condition though, Dean gave into the MOC by convincing himself he's evil.  It was the only way to not feel the pain and guilt of killing his brother.  

No matter which brother is under the test, the result ends the same, love of family triumphs all.  Even Lucifer couldn’t best the Winchester bond, and now the Mark of Cain couldn’t either.  Not we’re not surprised, but I did think they did a great job of raising that doubt in our mind that Dean was so far gone that he could have killed Sam.  But no, of course Dean couldn’t do it.  But by killing Death, how much more of a hole has he dug them into on top of The Darkness? 

Was the Mark of Cain harder on Sam or Dean?  After looking at both their journeys, I’d say it was of equal consequence.  Dean had to fight that monster within, fighting every instinct he had to hurt his brother after the Demon cure.  He didn’t want to feel or experience that again, especially after feeling the huge regret of trying to kill Sam in “Soul Survivor.”  Dean fought every urge until “The Prisoner.”  For Sam, the sheer agony and desperation of seeing his brother struggle ate him alive.  Both were hurting pretty bad.  

I do wonder, is Dean’s ultimate goal and dream now to just experience the finer things in life?  His speech in “Paint it Black” called back on Dean the dreamer.  Dean experiencing friends and relationships that don’t end in death, Dean experiencing the simple moments that he’s been robbed of his entire life like a beach.  Will this brush with the MOC push him toward that desire to experience the simple pleasures, even with the Darkness looming?  While there may be no happy ending, how about those Tuesday afternoons flying a kite in the park?  I do hope that a new perspective will emerge from the whole experience, for his sake and ours.  We need to see Dean be happy once in a while.  Maybe it’ll rub off on Sam too.    

So that concludes my “Deeper Look” series for season ten.  What are your hopes for Sam and Dean in season 11?  Yes Mr. Carver, you owe us that beach.  

Comments  

njspnfan
#81 njspnfan 2015-10-02 15:07
are you ignoring the conversation Dean had with Cain in First Born?

DEAN Can I use it to kill that bitch?
CAIN Yes. But you have to know with the mark comes a great burden. Some would call it a great cost.
DEAN Yeah, well, spare me the warning label. You had me at "kill the bitch".
Fazzie
#82 Fazzie 2015-10-02 16:21
And are you forgetting

CROWLEY
Your brother, bless his soul, is summoning me as I speak. Make a deal, bring you back. It's exactly what I was talking about, isn't it? It's all become so... expected. You have to believe me. When I suggested you take on the Mark of Cain, I didn't know this was going to happen. Not really. I mean, I might not have told you the entire truth. But I never lied. I never lied, Dean. That's important. It's fundamental. But...there is one story about Cain that I might have... forgotten to tell you. Apparently, he, too, was willing to accept death, rather than becoming the killer the Mark wanted him to be. So he took his own life with the Blade. He died. Except, as rumor has it, the Mark never quite let go. You can understand why I never spoke of this. Why set hearts aflutter at mere speculation? It wasn't until you summoned me... No, it wasn't truly until you left that cheeseburger uneaten...that I began to let myself believe. Maybe miracles do come true.
anonymousN
#83 anonymousN 2015-10-02 16:36
Quote:
are you ignoring the conversation Dean had with Cain in First Born?
Looks like it
cheryl42
#84 cheryl42 2015-10-02 20:45
I'm not sure what that post has to do with me. I never said nor do I believe that Dean was at fault for Charlie's death. I have said I think numerous times that Sam is the one who coerced Charlie into helping him decode the codex. Now Sam did leave Charlie in the care of Cas who she stupidly ran away from so most of her demise is on her. But Sam did bring her in to the plan.

As far as looking for the book in the first place all Sam knew was that it was a book that might be able to help them and it was in Italy. That was all the information that he had. Charlie jumped on it instantly. I don't think that counts as Sam getting her involved with an evil book sought after by an international evil family of psychotic killers. No one knew anything about that until Charlie called them from the "payphone".
Fazzie
#85 Fazzie 2015-10-03 03:16
Cheryl I am just saying that this post from disgruntled started this part of the thread and my logic.


Her statement that Dean is more to blame and Sam was the one keeping her safe doesn't hold water as it states Dean was culpable for Charlie and Sam wasn't in really involved in fact he was the hero who tried to keep her safe. Sure they aren't responsible for her death, but Dean being in such a low place he made the bone headed move to the mark doesn't make him responsible for it either. If we are going to say that, which appears that disgruntled is saying then Dean is responsible for Lester selling his soul, even though he wasn't there, and Rowena casting a spell on Cas and her killing Oscar. He is responsible for all darkness and everything that happens since. But that negates everyone elses agency including Sam's. It makes Sam a silly little damsel in distress who tries and fails and really needs his hand held and I can't agree with that because it also makes Sam a special snowflake which he isn't, plus it blames Dean for other people's decisions and not them. But that aside it making Sam a special snow flake makes him a really boring character/plot device and I don't want to find him that as it means anything that he maybe responsible for I'm supposed to say isn't his fault as he resets every season to become a plot device to whatever Dean causes him to do even when Dean and everyone else around him says it will blow up in their faces and then that happens.

I am agree that Sam isn't responsible for her death, her running off or the actions of the Stynes or forced her to go but still he brought the book up and kept going with it when him and Charlie were told not to use it by Dean called her to decode it. It gives him a little more interaction with Charlie's end than Dean in a lot of ways, even though I really do get he was desparate for me it is to do with him feeling guilty about not getting or doing more to help Dean with his issues pre getting killed as I have said before. But the way he does it ties in to the side of Sam that has been there before. The part that takes after their dad. But also I have to remember he is Sam Winchester, he may not have known if the book would have worked or about the monastery or the Stynes but he knows the book is incredibly powerful and is called the book of the damned - he's smart even though he is desperate and there was little warning to Charlie to be careful. I get the desperation I do and I am still not saying he is responsible for her death or her running but can you see the likes of Bobby sending Garth for a book called that? Or even the boys without instructions to call every step of the way or a warning about anything connected to the research he's found about it? This is Charlie who's dark half thought it could get past Dean Winchester by taking him on in a physical fight - the woman maybe smart and yes feeling like she should be helping her friend who is needing it but if part of her thought she could do that in a one on one fight there is a deluded side to her that Sam should be factoring in when he tells her about the book.
Maire
#86 Maire 2015-10-03 07:41
If there is no boundary that Dean can cross that fans won't forgive him for then it doesn't make a difference what they show him doing, fans won't buy into it anyway. However, that shouldn't take away from what they did show him doing and they showed him doing the same as Cain i.e. escalation of violence. And Sam has always been about saving before killing. Perhaps he wanted to save Dean before he killed hundreds of people and unleashed more monsters on the earth.

The things that Sam did that you feel were unjustified were:
(a) Dealt with a witch - Something Sam and Dean have done before
(b) Ask Bobby for help - They've been doing that since season one
(c) Ask Castiel - They've been doing that since season four
(d) Ask Charlie for help - They've been doing that since season seven
cheryl42
#87 cheryl42 2015-10-03 08:13
I understand Disgruntled's logic though. If Dean doesn't make the reckless move to take on the MOC without knowing the consequences then none of these events would have occurred. If Dean hadn't walked away from Sam on the bridge and inexplicably run off with Crowley no one's life would have been put in danger. The universe really is trying to tell the Winchesters they are stronger together than they are apart. They tend to make bone headed decisions when they are separated.
cheryl42
#88 cheryl42 2015-10-03 08:36
I understand what you are saying. My point however is that since fans love Dean (and will forgive him for anything he does) the show should have taken the character to a darker place than they did. I would have liked to see a Dean that really was an unstoppable force. Demon army raising, amoral and a global threat (kind of like the Darkness). Then the urgent desperation that was shown from Sam would have made more sense to me. But I do understand that the story went in a different direction. They wanted to show a Sam that wanted to save Dean before he turned back into "that thing" again. I would have preferred showing Dean from the beginning as something that needed to be stopped no matter the cost.

And really it was Sam's actions that inadvertently pushed Dean over the edge.

a) Dealt with a witch- well this witch had killed an innocent girl right in front of Sam and tried to kill Dean. And Sam handed over a very powerful book of unspeakable evil. They've never done that before.

b)Ask Bobby for help- Yes they have asked Bobby for help but Bobby was resting peacefully in heaven. Sam knew that Bobby would be punished for what he had done.

c)Ask Castiel- yes they have and I think Cas has a lot to answer for too. After all he just stood there while Rowena killed an innocent man.

d) Ask Charlie for help- Yes they have but Sam knew what he was asking was far more dangerous than anything he had asked before. Of course he didn't mean to get Charlie killed and she was largely responsible for her own decisions but Sam involved her in a very dangerous plot and he knew he was risking her life. But like he told himself in the Werther Project "you'll do anything to save that doomed brother of yours".
cheryl42
#89 cheryl42 2015-10-03 08:39
I don't know about masterpiece. Did you see Revolution? Shudders.....
disgruntled viewer
#90 disgruntled viewer 2015-10-04 09:04
No, I'm not interested. I was appealed to SPN because it's a postmodernistic playing and a deconstruction of biblical stories both canonical and non-canonical ones, raising very serious ethical issues, which often don't have unambiguous solutions. I'm not interested in action per se, i like when they give us some food for thought. And that's why I think very highly about the first five seasons. 6 and 7 seasons were not so rich of such topics as the first five seasons, but there were some. I didn't see anything like that in season 8, and season 9 and 10 had some, but I think they paled in comparison even to seasons 6 and 7. Though season 10 put some serious questions to think about, I think it still a far cry from Kripke's era. :)
disgrunted viewer
#91 disgrunted viewer 2015-10-04 09:38
I was a bit unjust about season 8, when I was saying it had no ideas. It had an idea, which was clearly expressed in Remember the Titans (the best episode of the season in my opinion), that is "What the point of saving the world, if you can't save people you love", but it was overshadowed by the contrived conflict between the brothers, and can be easily overlooked because of it.
Fazzie
#92 Fazzie 2015-10-04 10:54
By that logic you can also say it is all Sam's fault for listening to Dean and not closing the gates of Hell as Abaddon wouldn't have been able to make a power play to become Queen of a Kingdom she couldn't get to or get reinforcements to from. She wouldn't have been a present danger but we don't go 'oh Sam is to blame for all the damage every demon did for not closing the gates of hell' Even though you could say him dropping closing the gates because Dean asked when he was in a position to do so and giving Crowley a connection to humanity was a trigger for the events that allowed Abaddon to make her move. Also he wouldn't have been alive for Gadreel to possess and to kill Kevin,

It is swings and round abouts and again negates each brothers personal agency and that is the important thing. That is the thing that makes the brothers stronger together their free will builds on each other. Yes, Dean took the mark and said when they got the book, not to use it. Sam used it and brought Charlie in. Is Dean culpable for the mark yes, is he cupable for the decisions others made to cure him - no they are are. He isn't to blame for that because of that tricky thing called FREE WILL.
cheryl42
#93 cheryl42 2015-10-04 13:34
I suppose we could go back to Mary's deal or the fact that Dean turned the YED onto her scent in the first place. Yes I was just pointing out that every thing has a cause and affect. But Free Will is one of the most important themes of the show. That is why Charlie is responsible for every move she made. From going after the book to running away from Cas to not listening to Dean when he told to give up what she had.

Same goes for every character on the show. No one is blameless and no one is entirely to blame. Now I also believe that Sam had a part in involving her with Rownena but Charlie could have declined any time she wanted to. She didn't. Because she wanted to save Dean (who recklessly took on the MOC without reading the instructions first)

Everyone played a part. Not just Sam.

That is why I am personally so excited that there doesn't appear to be a blame game going on next season. Enough already!
Fazzie
#94 Fazzie 2015-10-04 15:10
Quote:
I suppose we could go back to Mary's deal or the fact that Dean turned the YED onto her scent in the first place.
And not the fact that the angels and God had gotten Mary and John together in the first place and Lucifer had sent the YED to Lawerence for his special child and was buying souls causing the Campbells to turn up as well before Dean ended up in 73? Or that Samuel took her along with him and Dean after Dean told all of them to get out of town? Or Mary going along or for actually making the deal knowing what she was making it with. Or Cas who took Dean all the way back and who told Dean when he got back that Destiny couldn't be changed so his family was always going to be cursed, but without Dean wouldn't have been in 73 in the first place as Dean didn't have a tardis of his own.

As you said it is cause and effect but even when the blame game isn't played in the show there does seem to be a blame game on this site and it kind of goes way past cause and effect. It seems to turn into Sam is an innocent getting dragged into things that Dean has caused and without Dean none of it would have been caused. For me it kind of takes away from Sam and makes him look like a fool for sticking around in the show.

Now Charlie is responsible for her own actions including running off and ending up in that bathroom - I've said that in every post but if you are going to look at the cause and effect of Charlie's journey with the book you start with the person who mentioned it, not the one that didn't which means Charlie's dealings with the book like it or not begin with Sam which is why I answered Disgruntled's post about Dean being more culpable than everyone else because I'm tired of the blame game and whitewashing. Because it snowballs and goes on and on then it gets thrown back to well Dean is to blame for the YED getting Mary's scent.
cheryl42
#95 cheryl42 2015-10-04 15:44
Fazzie I was agreeing with you. Free Will is one of the most important themes of the show. EK is the one who put in all the backstory to set up the dominos so he could knock them down. Since manipulation also seems to have been a huge factor in the brothers lives I'm not sure God won't eventually have a hand in all of this. In fact I can imagine Death and God idly playing an apocalyptic game with Sam and Dean as the catalysts for every outcome.

I don't think Sam praying to God is going to have the affect he was hoping for.
Marie
#96 Marie 2015-10-05 03:33
And the reason the book of the damned was mentioned was because of the Mark of Cain on Dean's arm. Sam wasn't just talking about it in isolation. You see, you could do this forever.

There is a culture of blame on the show, there always has been, from the very first episode. In season 4, 5 and 8 it was particularly bad but there has not been a season on the show so far where attributing blame has not played a part, even in a minor way. It's only natural that would translate to fans playing the blame game as well. And all parties do it, yourself included.

Sam is wholly responsible for the actions he took in season 10. Looking at the promo clips, he has taken full responsibility for them and as he has done numerous times before, he will clean up that mess. However, like you said 'cause and effect'. The reason those actions had to be taken was because Dean had the Mark of Cain. That's not playing the blame game, that's stating fact. If Dean had not taken on the MOC there would have been no reason to rid him of the MOC. If he hadn't taken on a biblical mark that turned him more violent, more blood thirsty and more demonic, then there would have been no reason to look for the book of the damned, to involve Rowena, to involve anyone. In this situation, Dean was the cause, what Sam did was the effect. But there is no effect without cause.
Marie
#97 Marie 2015-10-05 03:38
a) They haven’t handed over books but they have made deals with demons, angels, Death, witches etc, all of which have considerable power and are capable of unspeakable evil. And all these demons, angels etc have killed an innocent someone, not just Rowena. It still doesn’t stop them from working with them.

b) Bobby is a hunter. He needs to help people. He choose to do what he did because he wanted to help Sam and Dean and also to save lives. In his letter to Sam he said that while he might have been ‘content’ in heaven, getting the call from him was the ‘happiest he’s been in forever’. And there is no evidence that Bobby was punished, merely assumption.

c) Point being that asking Castiel for help is nothing new so it was not unjustified. Castiel had killed innocent people before that but Sam and Dean had no hesitation in working with him.

d) There’s no evidence it was more dangerous than walking into a building full of Leviathans, who at the time were the most dangerous creatures in the world, and stealing their files when they were right there, especially when she was merely a civilian. However, her skills were needed so they asked her. Her skills were needed for the codex so Sam asked her. And working with the ‘most dangerous witch in the world’ wasn’t what got her killed. (Add to that at this point, Rowena was nothing more than a two-bit witch who happened to be the mummy of the king of hell. Nothing we saw on the show indicated she was the most dangerous witch in the world.) And don’t forget, in that scene both Castiel and Charlie said they were doing it ‘For Dean’. They weren’t doing it for Sam.

In order to be pushed over the edge then you need to be on the edge, and per your previous comments Dean wasn’t anywhere near the edge, he was perfectly fine so I’m not sure exactly how you’re holding Sam responsible. Sam’s actions didn’t drive Dean over anything. At the time Rowena got involved Dean had already massacred people, he was already more violent and bloodthirsty. He was already more out of control. Sam didn’t drive him to kill the Stynes or to get Rudy killed. He did that all on his own. Dean knew it too, that's why he went to Death. If Sam was responsible for Dean's actions then Dean would have went to Sam to stop him.
Fazzie
#98 Fazzie 2015-10-05 05:42
Marie yes Dean is at fault for everything and Sam wouldn't have done anything if Dean hadn't made him as Disgruntled and anonymous says it is all Dean's fault - lets castrate the character!!

Yes Dean took the mark, never said anything against that, everyone made choices yes and because of that then we have to look at each persons own culpability if we are going to be playing the blame game which is why I replied to Disgruntled's post about Dean being the one most culpable. As I have also said Sam's actions and desperation for me are part of him now over compensating to his previous response to Dean's PTSD which the mark is part of. His desperation over it took a while after the mark was on Dean's arm - his free will and part of a three year arc. Understand why it took so long to hit but still it is part of a three year arc.

They are responsible for their own actions yes, Free will is important yes, but this always bringing it back to Dean did this and forced everyone else which it seems to always turn into here when it seems someone says Sam could be responsible for something they don't like is a bit much especially when you try and call someone on it then you find yourself at the the bottom of a pile in.

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