WARNING!!!!!  If you haven't seen "Blood Brother" yet, read no further!  There will be spoilers, discussion, blood, Elton John puns!!!!  But seriously, don't read if you haven't watched.  And if you have, let's do this!!!!!!!!!



What did we all think of "Blood Brother"?  I thought it was a solid episode.  Not a classic, but solid and enjoyable.  It heavily featured our newest resident vampire, Benny, so let's talk about him for a bit before heading into other topics.  Also, I apologize if this is more bullet pointy than usual.  I've had a long day, and I'm getting tired, so I may have to leave the extremely serious discussion to you, the commenters!  I'm gonna blame my 1-year-old since she's not old enough to read and see me blaming her, ha ha ha.

Benny
I have to say, I am really enjoying Benny.  I feel like he's a great addition, very nuanced.  Benny is smart, too, to not try and get in between Dean and Cass too much, to not get in between Sam and Dean.  He knows he's walking a thin line, so he's careful not to step off it.  The drinking donated blood definitely helps his case, too.  I think if he wasn't drinking donated blood, Dean would have either used him to get out and then ditched him or gone after him post-Purgatory.  Because even if Benny did help Dean get out, if he was killing humans, all bets are off.  And Benny is having such a hard time adjusting, isn't he?  He was in purgatory a lot longer than Dean, and now he's lost everything yet again.  I hope this doesn't make him fall off the wagon and start attacking humans.

Sam Flashbacks
I honestly wasn't expecting any Sam flashbacks tonight, so that was a really great surprise.  And is anyone else kind of warming up to Amelia?  I wasn't sold at first, but I can see now why Sam likes her.  She's damaged, like him, she's smart, doesn't take his crap.  I generally get the feeling from Sam that he wants a woman who's going to challenge him, and so far Amelia fits the bill.  Also, if you stop and think about it, she has every right to be cautious of him.  Here's this giant man who hit a dog and then turns up in your motel room with a tool box, and hey, that's kind of weird, right?  I'd be scared of him, too.

Okay, I'm gonna go to bullet points now, and this part might be long because there were a lot of things I enjoyed that I want to mention.
  • I loved the line about Benny crawling his way out of God's ass.  Good to know what monsters think about Purgatory.
  • I'm with Dean.  I would definitely take the Toblerone, too.  That stuff is GOOD.
  • The fight scene with Benny whistling "In the Hall of the Mountain Kings" was Awesome Sauce.  That was super creepy and atmospheric.
  • Speaking of creepy and atmospheric, the tinkling piano piece in Benny's maker's house was excellent, too.
  • I thought Sam fixing things and being a handyman made perfect sense because you know that Dean taught him how to fix things when they were kids.  They spent so much time at motels, maybe Dean did little odd jobs to help pay for the room if their dad was out on a hunt too long.  And he would drag Sam with him and show him how to fix things, too, because that's what a big brother does.  I have a lot of back story for this, okay?
  • When the fan started rattling, was anyone else expecting something bloody to come of it?  You know you're watching "Supernatural" when a rattling bathroom fan sets you off.
  • I loved in Purgatory how Dean and Benny were all like, bam, monster killing with our bone weapons, and then Cass was all, "monster, please," and smited the hell out of it.
  • "Vampirates" was literally the third thing I thought, too, right after, "oh, that's a smart plan" and "B-B-Benny and the Yachtssssssss."
  • Hey, I've got an idea!  Let's be in Purgatory trying to avoid lots of monsters but then yell very loudly for an extended period of time!  Monsters can't hear, right?
  • Sam, what did your phone ever do to you that you'd throw it around so much?  Poor phone.  Moose smash!
  • How flipping awesome were the Purgatory Leviathans, though?  They were like goo meteors.  That was really, really cool, and I hope we see more of them.
  • There were a lot of really great fight scenes tonight, and I especially liked the Benny/Sorrento one with the slow-mo.  But not over-the-top slow-mo.  Guy Bee nailed it!
  • The locations people also nailed it.  Those were some great pier/boat/coast locations.
  • Sam and Dean on the dock was a perfect example of their ability to say so much without saying a word.  Really subtle and amazing.
  • I really liked Andrea's pants, but there's no way in hell I could ever pull them off.  I'm A) not thin enough, and B) not that sophisticated of a dresser.
  • Vampirates!  Benny, seriously, how did no one in your vampire cult think of that?
  • I'm really digging how efficient Sam and Dean are this season.  They are getting shit done, whether it's fighting or killing monsters or research or math or anything.  They are lean, mean, fighting machines.  And it's really nice to see this side of them again.  I don't mind them getting one-upped once in a while, but it's been so great to not have them dropping their weapons every single time a monster gets near them.
  • "Dog! Dog!  Come here, Dog!"
  • "Oh, my God, just stop talking!"  Brothers!
  • Next week's episode looks tense, doesn't it?  Even if Garth is there to lighten the mood.  I'm glad that Sam and Dean are finally gonna hash things out, though fisticuffs look plausible, because Dean is so not over Sam not looking for him.  Maybe Sam will finally explain.
Whew!  That was a lot of bullet points.  Okay, your turn!  What did you think of the episode?  And Happy Halloween to those who celebrated tonight!  I live in Pittsburgh, so our Halloween got moved to Saturday to avoid Sandy.  We're all fine here, the city was just being cautious.  Hope all our readers are safe and sound after Sandy, as well.

Comments  

Alice
# Alice 2012-11-01 01:25
If you're going to trust a character study to any writer, Ben Edlund is the king. I did a rewatch and really paid attention to all the character nuances. There was a lot of nonverbal storytelling in this one. In the end, I went from liking it to loving it.

We were all a little desperate for backstory, and "Blood Brother" so delivered. I really loved the end. Sam was so angry and that whole slow motion, realizing what Benny was and slowly reaching for his weapon, while Dean shakes his head, just gorgeous. Wow, why hasn't this show tried that before. Very effective. I do believe one of my critiques about editing last year was slow down certain parts to draw out the emotion and tension. I don't know if anyone actually read that, but thank you so much show for satisfying me!

That really tense exchange between the brothers at the end gave us more brotherly angst than all of last season. Well done.

Poor Benny's story is just tragic. He survived that long for a memory that didn't exist. He was going to burn it all down and start over. We already know from the Winchesters what happens when the plan is revenge. It ends up very unsatisfying. Where Benny goes from here is anyone's guess. I'm very interested in seeing how that plays out.

I'll stop there. I'm sure we'll really be picking this one apart in the next week. I know when I'm watching an Edlund script, and I'm never disappointed. He knows how to weave his stories.
Shelly
# Shelly 2012-11-05 22:16
The first time I watched this episode I really liked the Benny, purgatory stuff but thought it was ok. Then I started rewatching because of posts here then I caught myself watching parts over and over again! Really loved it and caught so much more with each time I watched it. I like the Benny, Dean dynamic. I like this site, just found it tonite!
Katiki
# Katiki 2012-11-01 01:47
I agree with much of that, except I am not warming up to Amelia at all. (Man, I want Jody back.) The first time we saw her, she was pretty mean to Sam. And I thought okay, don't judge her on first impressions. The second time, she was nice, and I thought I could end up liking her. But in this one she was just bitchy again. She wasn't acting scared of Sam, she was rude and insulting. Even Sam called her "Angry Lady." (And it begs the question if she was so sure Sam was a creep and a horrible person, why did she force him to take the dog? What self-respecting vet would entrust a dog to someone they thought was a creep and horrible person?)

I also just don't like Sam's arc at all. On top of the fact I cannot accept he would abandon Dean, Cas and Kevin when they're in mortal danger, I am just not interested in romance and mundane life. The Sam/Angry Lady story just doesn't seem to fit in with Supernatural at all, it's like they've spliced in scenes from a Nicholas Sparks movie.

I too thought something bloody would come out of the fan. But there was nothing. There was just a fan. Sam fixed a fan. And then he fixed an AC. And then he fixed a sink. And then Angry Lady bitched at him. And then they talked about their feelings. How is this a Supernatural story?

I also didn't enjoy the way this episode bounced all over time and creation. Two present-day storylines and two flashback storylines was just too much in one episode.

But there was lots of good stuff in the Purgatory and Vampirates storylines.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 01:55
I adored that last scene. I really liked the Dean and Benny parts. I loved the few brother scenes. For some reason, even them bitching at each other has a lot of appeal. I didn't dislike the Sam parts, but they did feel somewhat mundane, especially in contrast to Dean's.

If we truly are supposed to be taking things at face value with Sam, then I need more. A lot more. I feel like the beginning of S6 or the end of S7 where I'm left feeling unsatisfied. With S6 there was a payoff IMO, not so much in S7.

If this is Sam's storyline and nothing more than I'm not impressed with the way they're handling it. When Dean had the Lisa and Ben storyline, we learned more about his life in the first couple minutes of S6 than we know of Sam's after the fifth episode of the season. Storywise they are doing so much hinting rather than telling that the payoff needs to be big to compensate. And I becoming afraid that is not going to be the case.

I'm afraid it's going to be like the Leviathan plan reveal. By the time they got around to telling us it was anticlimactic.
With that one if they'd revealed it earlier it would have had more impact. And I afraid they are doing the same thing here.

But I'm still hoping not, that they are planning on a big reveal that makes Sam's decision understandable. Or better yet that he is hiding secret that explains all of his behavior (and shows he did work to get Dean out). Because as much as I love Sam, at this point Benny is the more sympathetic character.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2012-11-01 02:34
Loved it! Had to work so just watched it online at 1am. Couldn't wait! A friend gave me a tip where to find it before it's posted on CW tomorrow. Definitely will be watching it again. Holy cow that last scene was epic! I agree that those two can show more in a look than they sometimes will ever say!!!! Can't wait for next week
Fool For Dean
# Fool For Dean 2012-11-01 03:05
I'm in love... all over again. And all it takes is the 10-second scene right before the ending. That Dean only shook his head and that Sam respected it enough to let Benny go - that's what I've been aching for, since... the gimp hand, I guess. Rest of the ep was good, but the last 10 seconds literally had me head over heels for the show (and Dean) all over again. Can't wait for E6 - "You left me to die, for a girl??"
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-11-01 14:04
100% agree with this, Fool For Dean. Those last 10 seconds were chock full of brotherly angstsy silence. Sam's look could kill!

Loved that, and loved badass Dean. Welcome back, in spades!

Love their bitchiness to each other as well. Brotherly stuff! Liking Benny as well. Hope he doesn't disappoint in the end.

Could Sammy be a bit green with jealousy at the end with Dean's "new" partner Benny? Sam doesn't want to hunt with Dean any more, but then he doesn't want anyone else to do it? Dean does need his back watched after all.
ryder21
# ryder21 2012-11-02 07:03
Quote:
Dean does need his back watched after all.
Bevie, I agree with this, and we see evidence of this in the first flashback, when after killing the monsters Dean reaches behind to tap Bennys arm, seeking the reasurance that there is someone there 'watching his back'. He has always needed this emotional and physical reassurance to allay his doubts and fears.
DeDe
# DeDe 2012-11-01 15:32
Badass Dean that ganked Sam's monster first kiss tells little brother "No" with a look! I had to rewind. EPIC. Why I love this show. Benny is wonderful as a foil to Sam's nonchalance. Dean enjoyed the drive with Benny in the sacred Impala.

So many hurts. No remedies.
Jean
# Jean 2012-11-01 04:50
Did anyone else find it weird when Sam just knew that Benny was a vampire when he shook his hand? I don't remember any situations where Sam (or Dean) could identify a monster just by touching it...

I also noticed that Sam got very, very distressed as soon as Dean stopped answering him on the phone...Sam's been in situations before where he didn't know if Dean was okay, and in this episode his reaction seemed different to me...It was like a panic attack...As though he was so terrified and couldn't handle losing Dean again...I've been skeptical of the theory that Sam wants to leave hunting because he doesn't want to see Dean die again, but the way Sam reacted in this episode makes me think that this is the direction the writers are heading. Does anyone else think so too?
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-01 08:08
Quote:
Did anyone else find it weird when Sam just knew that Benny was a vampire when he shook his hand? I don't remember any situations where Sam (or Dean) could identify a monster just by touching it...
A vampire has no body heat. That is how he knew.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-01 09:51
I thought - with the way they shook hands - that Sam didn't feel a pulse.
CJ
# CJ 2012-11-01 05:08
WOW JUST WOW. I really loved this episode. Watched it on a giant screen in HD with my friends and my god the purgatory scenes were absolutely awesome. I'm so falling in love with Dean all over again. Jensen is just too good. I loved the goo meteor style leviathons. It was better and scarier than in S7.
I liked that Benny saved Cass even though he wasn't particularly fond of the angel. After this episode I kind of feel sorry for him. Something tells me that its not going to end well for him anyway.
I felt Sam's parts were a bit slow but thats becos of the comparison with purgatory fight scenes I guess. Otherwise they were nice though I have to admit am indifferent to Amelia (as I was to Lisa). Hope there's a bigger reveal about Sam and his year in the next episode. Jared's acting was really fine too. It was cool the way he was easily fixing things.
I liked the phone call between Sam & Dean. Though they were arguing/fightin g I could see the brotherly love come thru. I mean Sam did rush to save Dean. And Dean did reach out to Sam. Loved the last scene in slow-mo. Had a great effect. Am loving Season 8 so far.
Btw... I've been trying to convince a lot of my male friends to give SPN a chance. This was the first one they watched and they were very impressed. Am glad I managed to expand the fandom (in my own very, very small way).
Varsha D
# Varsha D 2012-11-01 05:40
Loved, loved, loved this episode. 
My head is still stuck replaying the Leviathan scene in purgatory, it was like watching Harry Potter or something. God, the VFX is good.
Did anyone find Benny's whole "I found something, hence I quit what I am used to doing" parallels what Sam has been saying? I found the wording very interesting. 
Yes, the bathroom fan totally set me off. Edge of the seat! And Dean chopping off two vampire heads in the hallway!
I did think Sam overreacted greatly in the car, again and again we keep seeing this panicky side of him this season. Wonder where that's heading.
I'm liking Amelia more but I still wonder why she gave Sam the dog. That could make for a good quick flashback. 
I love how the boys are so badass this season.
I loved Cas's line about the metaphysics of monsters dying in purgatory, ha. And the tension between Benny and Cas, and again that between Sam and Benny was seriously well done.
Gorgeous ending, that. Vampire skin is supposed to be ice cold, maybe that's how Sam guessed Benny wasnt human. 
Awesome episode as expected by Ben Edlund!
mer
# mer 2012-11-01 07:59
I enjoyed last night's episode but will have to re-watch it to understand some of what Benny was saying.

There's one thing that makes me say "hmmm" and that is the dog.

My suspicion is this: the dog belongs to Amelia or she has control of it and had Sam hit it on purpose to bring Sam into her environment (which of course makes me think Amelia is more than just a vet).

This came to me as I saw Amelia had left her door open, the dog ran right in and on to the couch where she was sitting--purpos e was to draw Sam in even more.

Tell me I'm not seeing too much into this (I don't think I am).
E
# E 2012-11-01 09:03
Hi Mer,
I thought the same thing. I found Sam's flashback scenes to have a very weird vibe, almost surreal. I wonder if both Amelia and Sam were in limbo during this relationship; maybe they both tried to kill themselves and connected in the ether (like Dean in the season 2 premier or Death Takes a Holiday) and Sam decided to live and Amelia decided to die in the end. This probably isn't it, but I am more convinced than ever that there is something more than just what is on the surface going on underneath it all.

And maybe I am in the minority here, but I really like the Sam/Amelia story line. I don't find it boring at all; it's subtle and nuanced. Maybe, for some fans it's boring by comparison to the obvious action packed scenes of purgatory, but I am really liking to the contrast that it represents, the quiet, the stillness and mystery.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-01 08:05
Apologies in advance. This is going to be long.

Just hated this ep, as I have - sadly - hated all of s8 so far. I simply don't recognise my show.

Firstly some general comments about s8.

The show is giving us no credible reason why either Sam or Dean would choose to spend time with each other.

- We are told that Sam has left Amelia and his normal life to go back to Dean yet all we hear from Sam is how he doesn't want to be hunting and he doesn't seem remotely glad to have Dean back from the 'dead'
- We are told that Dean and Benny have forged an 'oh so special' brothers-at-arm s, together in a foxhole relationship. Yet Dean has gone back to Sam who doesn't appear to want him.

The writers are spending so much time trying to explore the pull of Dean and Sam's separate relationships with Amelia and Benny that they are neglecting to write anything resembling the strong bond they have between them that has pulled them away from those new relationships. So we are left watching 2 people who are together 24/7 but don't even appear to like each other, undermining and writing out of existence the incredibly strong bond we have seen over the 1st 7 seasons of the show. It is highly unsatisfying. And don't get me started on how ooc they are both (but particularly Sam) acting.

The season’s structure (flashbacks, separate relationships etc) seems explicitly written to give the Js more time off as they’re apart so much onscreen. I can appreciate that they'd want that. Who wouldn't? But they cannot accommodate this if it threatens the quality and feel of the show, which I believe it does.

On this specific ep
This ep was focused on Benny - a character I neither know nor care about and an exploration of his bond with Dean - a relationship I also don't give a damn about. It had less than 3 minutes of Sam and Dean together and that was all arguing and angst. I didn't like it at all. Lots of things annoyed me, and there wasn't much I enjoyed;

Things I didn't like;
- Benny's diction. I could barely make out a word he said
- Too much separation of D&S and more utterly boring angst
- Dean keeping Benny a secret from Sam (have they not learned that never turns out well!)
- Dean changing his mind about texting Sam
- Sam only turning up too late to help
- Everything about Sam's flashbacks. Its like they come from a Nicholas Sparks film, not SPN. Also he is FAR too happy / well adjusted in these flashbacks. Are we expected to believe that not only did Sam not look for Dean, but that he actually wasn't even that bothered he was dead? I don't believe either of those things but that is what we are being shown. I have never subscribed to the skewed views of some that the writers have 'a favourite'. I've always found the treatment of S&D pretty even-handed. But where s8 is going makes me wonder if the writers know / care how unsympathetical ly Sam is being depicted.
- Benny's motivation for giving up eating humans simply does not ring true. He did it for the love of a good woman? Come on!! If a vamp saw a woman he wanted to be with he'd turn her. The only 'good' vamps we've ever seen were Lenore and her group. But they didn't give up human blood for moral reasons. They did it for self-preservati on; 'no dead bodies, no hunters, we get left alone' was I believe her explanation. There is no precedent for a vampire just spontaneously deciding to become good. So what - Benny is just the bestest, most special vampire in the entire world? I didn't buy it - but I think we were meant to. I'm not seeing a double bluff here, just a less than credible story.
- the way they've chosen to tell the story is unnecessarily divisive - of the brothers relationship and of the fandom. We are now seeing people pulling for Dean/Benny over Dean/Sam. Or people saying Sam deserves a normal life with Amelia and Dean/Benny/Cas should go on hunting without him. Then others saying (rightly IMO - but its all hotly debated) that the show is about Sam and Dean and their relationship should be front and centre. The forced onscreen sepn of the actors is making the writers write separate relationships for them that the other isn't involved in / doesn't know about. There is no need for that and it squeezes out the brothers bond. Dean could meet Amelia. Sam and Dean could have met Benny topside. But instead they create these warring camps in the fandom, and onscreen angst/secret keeping between the brothers. At this stage in the show’s lifecycle they need to be taking their diverse flock along with them together. At the moment they are p***ng off as many as they are pleasing. Not a good approach if they want a s9 or 10.

Things I liked...err.... .give me a minute....;
- the scenes in Purgatory are very cinematic
- Ty is a good actor. Its not his fault I don’t care about his character / story
- I liked that Sam speeded up to get to Dean

I am as near as I have ever been to giving up on the show, and I can’t even believe I am saying that. It makes me incredibly sad and disappointed.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-01 09:25
@Geordiegirl196 7 I agree that this is not the SPN I would like to see, so far, this series. I really would like to see the relationship between the Winchester brothers being front and centre (after being on the back burner for many seasons). With how the season has developed to date, I suppose I'm hoping that instead of the writers giving us an instant fix to the brothers' distant relationship they are taking time and building it up slowly. I'm desperately hoping that there will be a fix though and that this plotline to date is not a sign of what's coming in the future i.e. no fix for the Winchesters’ brotherly bond.

I also agree with you that since the beginning of S4, the writers have concentrated more on giving screen time to secondary characters, and on giving S & D separate scenes quite a lot, and I have been thinking for ages that it must be a result of the Js wanting more time off. Their comments about heavy workload have been a theme since the end of S1 and I can understand their desire for shorter working hours, but it does have an impact on the quality of the programme at times, so I resent it at the same time (mixed feelings lol).

I'm not involved in fandom very much so I wasn't aware that there were ‘camps’ within the fandom who are supporting the external relationships that continue the division between Sam and Dean - as a fan, who began watching and keeps watching, because of the Winchester brothers and their relationship, this is quite sad to hear but I suppose that as fans we aren't all going to want the same things from storylines even though we are all fans of the series.

I am not averse to Winchester angst (I love S1-3 which are very angsty) but I like it to arise from a legitimate character-drive n and character-devel opment source and not to be forced on the characters by the writers simply because they think angst is a requirement. For example, at the moment, Sam and Dean are angry with each other (although to be honest, Sam and Dean have generally been angry with each other since S4 and it's a bit tiring after all this time). Dean's anger I can better understand (he's angry with Sam because Sam told Dean that he didn't try to find him for a year) however, Sam's anger at Dean I don't really understand quite as easily (although, the writers seem to be saying that Sam is angry that Dean's back from the dead and taking Sam away from the life he wanted). That's not a very sympathetic treatment of Sam's character, to have him resenting his brother in this way. It really does feel like he's been re-set to S1 Stanford-Sam for no good reason that I can see...yet. In previous series, Sam had come to reconcile himself to the life of a hunter and had realised that he wanted a good relationship with Dean. It’s strange to see Sam and Dean at odds over this issue again, when I thought it had been settled in previous years.

I'm not saying that the brothers shouldn't argue or have disagreements, they always have and that's part of their characters. However, I would like to see the plots showing that no matter how much they might see things differently, in the end they are brothers and they love each other.

Sorry, for the long rambly reply, I'm just trying to get my thoughts typed out without having had enough sleep :)
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-01 10:23
I too am disappointed in how season 8 is going. I wish that for once Sam would get a sympathetic edit and maybe later on he will, but never looking for Dean and not acting devastated that Dean is missing is not helping. I'm going to ride this season out and then make up my mind.
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-01 10:46
Quote:
@Geordiegirl1967 I agree that this is not the SPN I would like to see, so far, this series. I really would like to see the relationship between the Winchester brothers being front and centre (after being on the back burner for many seasons). With how the season has developed to date, I suppose I'm hoping that instead of the writers giving us an instant fix to the brothers' distant relationship they are taking time and building it up slowly. I'm desperately hoping that there will be a fix though and that this plotline to date is not a sign of what's coming in the future i.e. no fix for the Winchesters’ brotherly bond.

I also agree with you that since the beginning of S4, the writers have concentrated more on giving screen time to secondary characters, and on giving S & D separate scenes quite a lot, and I have been thinking for ages that it must be a result of the Js wanting more time off. Their comments about heavy workload have been a theme since the end of S1 and I can understand their desire for shorter working hours, but it does have an impact on the quality of the programme at times, so I resent it at the same time (mixed feelings lol).

I'm not involved in fandom very much so I wasn't aware that there were ‘camps’ within the fandom who are supporting the external relationships that continue the division between Sam and Dean - as a fan, who began watching and keeps watching, because of the Winchester brothers and their relationship, this is quite sad to hear but I suppose that as fans we aren't all going to want the same things from storylines even though we are all fans of the series.

I am not averse to Winchester angst (I love S1-3 which are very angsty) but I like it to arise from a legitimate character-driven and character-development source and not to be forced on the characters by the writers simply because they think angst is a requirement. For example, at the moment, Sam and Dean are angry with each other (although to be honest, Sam and Dean have generally been angry with each other since S4 and it's a bit tiring after all this time). Dean's anger I can better understand (he's angry with Sam because Sam told Dean that he didn't try to find him for a year) however, Sam's anger at Dean I don't really understand quite as easily (although, the writers seem to be saying that Sam is angry that Dean's back from the dead and taking Sam away from the life he wanted). That's not a very sympathetic treatment of Sam's character, to have him resenting his brother in this way. It really does feel like he's been re-set to S1 Stanford-Sam for no good reason that I can see...yet. In previous series, Sam had come to reconcile himself to the life of a hunter and had realised that he wanted a good relationship with Dean. It’s strange to see Sam and Dean at odds over this issue again, when I thought it had been settled in previous years.

I'm not saying that the brothers shouldn't argue or have disagreements, they always have and that's part of their characters. However, I would like to see the plots showing that no matter how much they might see things differently, in the end they are brothers and they love each other.

Sorry, for the long rambly reply, I'm just trying to get my thoughts typed out without having had enough sleep :)
You have very well articulated all of my thoughts.
I'm just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best :)
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-02 10:37
@Percysowner and @spookysam, I'll keep watching too and hope for a satisfying resolution to the current plotlines. I'm also hoping for the best from this season and trying to be patient :-)

On the whole, and with some exceptions, I have enjoyed most of the stories in recent years i.e. S5-7 (I nearly gave up watching Supernatural during S4 because the Heaven vs Hell plot just didn't appeal to me in the least), but I do think the fundamentally strained relationship between the Winchesters, that developed in S4, has been done to death and would really like some resolution of it in this season. They don't have to be all sunshine and lightness, I don't mind disagreements and arguments, I just feel that in S4 Kripke broke the bond between Sam and Dean and no-one on the writing team has fixed it yet.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2012-11-01 09:30
Quote:
Apologies in advance. This is going to be long.

Just hated this ep, as I have - sadly - hated all of s8 so far. I simply don't recognise my show.

Firstly some general comments about s8.

The show is giving us no credible reason why either Sam or Dean would choose to spend time with each other.

- We are told that Sam has left Amelia and his normal life to go back to Dean yet all we hear from Sam is how he doesn't want to be hunting and he doesn't seem remotely glad to have Dean back from the 'dead'
- We are told that Dean and Benny have forged an 'oh so special' brothers-at-arms, together in a foxhole relationship. Yet Dean has gone back to Sam who doesn't appear to want him.

The writers are spending so much time trying to explore the pull of Dean and Sam's separate relationships with Amelia and Benny that they are neglecting to write anything resembling the strong bond they have between them that has pulled them away from those new relationships. So we are left watching 2 people who are together 24/7 but don't even appear to like each other, undermining and writing out of existence the incredibly strong bond we have seen over the 1st 7 seasons of the show. It is highly unsatisfying. And don't get me started on how ooc they are both (but particularly Sam) acting.

The season’s structure (flashbacks, separate relationships etc) seems explicitly written to give the Js more time off as they’re apart so much onscreen. I can appreciate that they'd want that. Who wouldn't? But they cannot accommodate this if it threatens the quality and feel of the show, which I believe it does.

On this specific ep
This ep was focused on Benny - a character I neither know nor care about and an exploration of his bond with Dean - a relationship I also don't give a damn about. It had less than 3 minutes of Sam and Dean together and that was all arguing and angst. I didn't like it at all. Lots of things annoyed me, and there wasn't much I enjoyed;

Things I didn't like;
- Benny's diction. I could barely make out a word he said
- Too much separation of D&S and more utterly boring angst
- Dean keeping Benny a secret from Sam (have they not learned that never turns out well!)
- Dean changing his mind about texting Sam
- Sam only turning up too late to help
- Everything about Sam's flashbacks. Its like they come from a Nicholas Sparks film, not SPN. Also he is FAR too happy / well adjusted in these flashbacks. Are we expected to believe that not only did Sam not look for Dean, but that he actually wasn't even that bothered he was dead? I don't believe either of those things but that is what we are being shown. I have never subscribed to the skewed views of some that the writers have 'a favourite'. I've always found the treatment of S&D pretty even-handed. But where s8 is going makes me wonder if the writers know / care how unsympathetically Sam is being depicted.
- Benny's motivation for giving up eating humans simply does not ring true. He did it for the love of a good woman? Come on!! If a vamp saw a woman he wanted to be with he'd turn her. The only 'good' vamps we've ever seen were Lenore and her group. But they didn't give up human blood for moral reasons. They did it for self-preservation; 'no dead bodies, no hunters, we get left alone' was I believe her explanation. There is no precedent for a vampire just spontaneously deciding to become good. So what - Benny is just the bestest, most special vampire in the entire world? I didn't buy it - but I think we were meant to. I'm not seeing a double bluff here, just a less than credible story.
- the way they've chosen to tell the story is unnecessarily divisive - of the brothers relationship and of the fandom. We are now seeing people pulling for Dean/Benny over Dean/Sam. Or people saying Sam deserves a normal life with Amelia and Dean/Benny/Cas should go on hunting without him. Then others saying (rightly IMO - but its all hotly debated) that the show is about Sam and Dean and their relationship should be front and centre. The forced onscreen sepn of the actors is making the writers write separate relationships for them that the other isn't involved in / doesn't know about. There is no need for that and it squeezes out the brothers bond. Dean could meet Amelia. Sam and Dean could have met Benny topside. But instead they create these warring camps in the fandom, and onscreen angst/secret keeping between the brothers. At this stage in the show’s lifecycle they need to be taking their diverse flock along with them together. At the moment they are p***ng off as many as they are pleasing. Not a good approach if they want a s9 or 10.

Things I liked...err.....give me a minute....;
- the scenes in Purgatory are very cinematic
- Ty is a good actor. Its not his fault I don’t care
about his character / story
- I liked that Sam speeded up to get to Dean

I am as near as I have ever been to giving up on the show, and I can’t even believe I am saying that. It makes me incredibly sad and disappointed.
I, too, found this episode boring. I don't care about purgatory, Benny, Cas or romance so wasn't much there of interest to me. So far, I haven't like season 8 and the brothers are no longer brothers. Maybe someone should introduce them to each other.
Carver has so far missed the mark on the brother relationship. He seems to be more interested in writing for the supporting characters. How is this better than Gamble?
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-01 10:19
I do agree Carver is missing the mark on the brothers relationship. I hope he makes a recovery here. I actually think it is worse than Gamble in the brother relationship area. Gamble may have made Sam and Dean seem like hunting partners, not brothers who love each other, but at least they were hunting partners who would look for one another if one of them happened to vanish off the face of the earth.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-01 14:06
I'm going to agree with you @Geordiegirl1967 in two areas:

1) I find that the J2s are in most episodes a minimum of time. This was really noticeable last year and it appears they are trying the technique of separating them this season so as not to be so noticeable.

2) Carver, like SG, appears to focus a lot on support characters and their back stories. I don't like this trend at all.
st50
# st50 2012-11-01 08:15
Loved this episode. :-) Thank you Edlund and Bee!!!!
This season just hasn't been good for me so far, but this episode seems to be setting it back on track. Did I say I loved it?
Only thing still lacking is the FB to right after Dean left, and WHY DID SAM LEAVE WITHOUT LOOKING? That one is going to bug the H out of me.... (Please writers??) On to what I loved.....
I loved that Dean started to text Sam, and then thought better of it... He knows that meeting won't go well.
Loved that phone call. I've always thought it funny that in previous seasons one brother would call the other AFTER the fighting was done - this ones timing was GREAT! "Stop talking!" Ha
And the final scene.... God these guys can act. SO MUCH was said without words there. Ultimate bitch face! .... Can't wait for next week to see them argue this out. (Please don't let them get all silent and pouty!) Come on guys, don't fail us now, we're just getting started.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-01 08:29
Quote:
Only thing still lacking is the FB to right after Dean left, and WHY DID SAM LEAVE WITHOUT LOOKING? That one is going to bug the H out of me.... (Please writers??)
Not sure which bit you mean st50. What is 'FB'?
st50
# st50 2012-11-01 08:31
Quote:
Quote:
Only thing still lacking is the FB to right after Dean left, and WHY DID SAM LEAVE WITHOUT LOOKING? That one is going to bug the H out of me.... (Please writers??)
Not sure which bit you mean st50. What is 'FB'?
Sorry, FB is flashback, and I mean the end of S7, when Dean and Cas vanished, and Kevin was kidnapped. Again.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-01 08:53
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Only thing still lacking is the FB to right after Dean left, and WHY DID SAM LEAVE WITHOUT LOOKING? That one is going to bug the H out of me.... (Please writers??)
Not sure which bit you mean st50. What is 'FB'?
Sorry, FB is flashback, and I mean the end of S7, when Dean and Cas vanished, and Kevin was kidnapped. Again.
Oh in that case I 100% agree. It is ridiculous to leave us up in the air on this. I was very disappointed, however, to read Carina McKenzie tweeting the other day (after she had been on set and done interviews) that Sam's story is exactly what it seems to be. He didn't look for no other reason than, well, he decided not to. Hugely disappointing to me, and a tragic betrayal of Sam's character.
st50
# st50 2012-11-01 09:02
Quote:


I was very disappointed, however, to read Carina McKenzie tweeting the other day (after she had been on set and done interviews) that Sam's story is exactly what it seems to be. He didn't look for no other reason than, well, he decided not to. Hugely disappointing to me, and a tragic betrayal of Sam's character.
Ugh. I'm holding out for Carver to change his mind on that, and give us at least one scene to justify Sam's unSamlike behaviour here. Something that we as viewers need to see to have this version of Sam resonate as a 'maturer' version of MysterySpot/S4/ etc etc etc Sam. You don't change character overnight - even if logic says you should - without some really serious soulsearching/w ringing of hands/hairpulli ng...and time. We've been fans too long to not get something here. imho

But I did love the brothers in this episode! That interaction felt right for the situation. Benny - I like him, but I don't want too much of him! - it's still all about the brothers, for me.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-01 09:10
Quote:
Quote:


I was very disappointed, however, to read Carina McKenzie tweeting the other day (after she had been on set and done interviews) that Sam's story is exactly what it seems to be. He didn't look for no other reason than, well, he decided not to. Hugely disappointing to me, and a tragic betrayal of Sam's character.
Ugh. I'm holding out for Carver to change his mind on that, and give us at least one scene to justify Sam's unSamlike behaviour here. Something that we as viewers need to see to have this version of Sam resonate as a 'maturer' version of MysterySpot/S4/etc etc etc Sam. You don't change character overnight - even if logic says you should - without some really serious soulsearching/wringing of hands/hairpulling...and time. We've been fans too long to not get something here. imho

But I did love the brothers in this episode! That interaction felt right for the situation. Benny - I like him, but I don't want too much of him! - it's still all about the brothers, for me.
This is still outright bizarre and unworkable to me. It's not so much that that's not Sam to me, that's not a story to me. It's not something that functions as a coherent narrative. And it seems like they have gone out of their way to keep it inexplicable: it wouldn't be hard to lean much more strongly on Sam assuming Dean was dead, and explain his reasons for doing so. Sam not bringing Dean back wouldn't be a problem. Sam not determining whether or not it was in fact a question of bringing Dean back, not imaginable as a human response to me. In a roundabout kind of way it almost works as characterizatio n precisely because it doesn't work as storytelling: Dean's vanishing is so great a shock, in Sam's parlous mental state (yes, I know Sam's parlous mental state is one of the aspects of s7 that Carver is pretending into nonexistence, but I as viewer claim the right to still have it in canon, seeing as how it is canon and Carver doesn't actually have it in his power to change that) that it leaves Sam in topsy turvy meta world where logic doesn't apply. I rather like that fanwank, but it is the fanwankiest fanwank ever to fanwank.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-01 09:53
I can't tell you how much that last sentence made me laugh :D
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-01 09:10
I didn't want to comment until I had watched this episode a second time. Like most of Edlund's episodes, it took a second viewing to really appreciate it (hated Sam and Benny's love stories the first time around).

I'm thinking that Benny's love story is a mirror for Sam's love story. Benny lived who knows how many years in Purgatory with a memory that he wanted revenge for. Once he met Andrea, he realized that memory was dead when she was turned. The memory, of course, was the goodness he saw in humanity. I think he sees that humanity shining brightly in Dean and, therefore, admires and respects him.

Sam, of course, is right now living a delusional memory of Amelia and, under the lure of that delusion, Dean represents everything that Sam wants to get away from. Obviously, Sam was terribly traumatized when Dean vaporized. You know Sam. Once burned, he'll run from the hurt and pain as fast as he can.

I am disappointed that we aren't seeing much of Dean's PTSD playing out, but I'm thinking now that Dean is the rock that Benny, Cas and Sam's stories will revolve around. If so, that will be okay, because it gives Dean a significant role this season and I am absolutely loving this confident, top-shel.f bad-ass hunter Dean. I hope he sticks around forever.

I had a lot of trouble understanding Benny the first time around and I couldn't figure out how to get the CC on this stupid cable box, but once I figured out Andrea was a Greek heiress, I think the actress did a good job. Still not feeling it for Amelia or the actress who plays her.

The ending scene was positively electric. How mean of Edlund to leave us with that! I liked the snappy dialogue in the script, and the photography and direction were excellent.

It's not a classic Edlund, but it was solid and did what it needed to do. (Was Fabio on the cover of that book? Ha, ha!) Loved Dean, Benny and Cas in Purgatory. Man, I wished we had a whole season of the Purgatory story. And, once again, Jensen's performances are fabulous this year. Love it Dean cleaned out a vamp nest all by himself for a second time!

Thumbs up all the way around on this one.

I'd give this one a solid 9. It moved everything along nicely. One point is taken away just because Sam's love story is boring as hell (although I do think it's going somewhere) and it is a little far-fetched to think that Dean would be having a phone conversation in the middle of a hunt in a house filled with vamps (God, just stop talking, Sam. Too funny!).
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-01 09:42
I loved it too. Despite the fact that I had the volume on my TV on full and I still couldn't hear / make out most of what Benny was saying! I saw someone else tweeting that the sound on the CW was bad last night - is that possible? Seems odd to me.

But it is nice to have some complex storytelling going on. Benny is really a spanner in the works isn't he? I totally assumed he was a bad guy but it seems like they are going to make us feel sympathy for him before they pull the rug out (in whatever way they decide to do it) I still think they are going for the Frodo/Gollum/Sa m storyline with regard to how Castiel got left behind in Purgatory but I am less convinced than I was!

Did anyone else find the girlfriend storyline a little ... soap-opera ish? Like a deliberate homage to the sort of soap operas Dean likes when he is stuck on the couch with a broken leg? That girl's outfit was the most Dynasty / Romancing the Stone thing ever (yes I am showing my age). Maybe it was just to indicate that she is an old vampirate. Also was the head vampire supposed to be Robert Pattinson? You can never tell with Ben Edlund.

I have decided to be an easygoing SamGirl about his storyline since apparently there is no point complaining about it. I have to say it is nice to see a different angle of Sam's character - and despite his insecurity about it Jared is really funny when he gets comic lines, I loved the 'Dog, don't go into the Angry Lady's cabin' bit. I also loved that he decided to stand up for himself honestly when she was giving him grief instead of coming up with some story she would believe and he was actually connecting with someone for the first time in what seems like whole seasons. I like Amelia too and I think their connection is believable.

I watch with increasing amusement the number of phones those guys destroy! Honestly, I have never seen anything like it. And they don't bother with cheap phones that are easy to replace, it's smartphones! Buy phone covers people!

I need to see the whole thing again with sound (and possibly subtitles) but I enjoyed it a lot.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-01 10:30
I'm starting to believe that the rug will never be pulled out from under Benny. I think we are going back to bad wrong Sam. Last time he was bad wrong Sam it was because he trusted a monster, demon in his case. Now he will be bad wrong Sam because he doesn't trust a monster. Sam is going to be slapped back into shape so that he knows that he may never, ever think for himself and must always defer to Dean's judgement. And I'm not happy about this. I hope I'm wrong, but my gut tells me I'm right.

Oh and if Cas comes back and agrees with Sam about Benny for the first time ever Cas will be wrong and be called on it as opposed to forgiven in 2 episodes.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-01 11:38
What I got from Benny is that he is a "good" guy. He reminded me a lot of Edward Cullen or Louis from Interview with a Vampire - a vamp that doesn't want to feed off human blood. We saw something similar w/Lenore.

I honestly don't see any twists coming w/him. His story was pretty straightforward , and they made him pretty sympathetic. He was even trying to get his long lost love off human blood.
rGo
# rGo 2012-11-01 10:21
Ok. Is it just me or does anyone else smell a "Benny = New Sam" odor?

I just can't shake that sick feeling in my stomach that it's going to go that way.

Benny is kind of the brother Dean always wanted Sam to be. Not just a brother of the same father, but a brother in battle. Sam never liked hunting. Dean always wished Sam did.

Fade to Purgatory. In a sense, Dean's personal Heaven.
Add to the mix Benny, the brother in blood (even if not of blood), he can bond with. The brother that loves the violence as much as he does. The brother he doesn't want to "talk about feelings" or anything except the mission. The brother to fill the hole of Sam's absence.

That might have been all gone away once Dean returned, but the betrayal of Sam discarding him pushes Sam further from his heart and allows Benny even closer.

Now seeing Benny and Dean fight together again. You see a new Dean. Focused, methodical, and (dare it be), happy.

I know you can all see where I'm going.

Benny = New Sam
Old Sam = New Bobby

Benny + Dean = road goes on

Is it just me? I hope so, cause that's going to ruin it all for me and I'll just be done.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-01 10:34
I think it is a distinct possibility, although I don't think Sam will be New Bobby. I don't know where Sam is going to fit in. I do know that posters on several sites that are somewhat Dean centric to fairly balanced are already calling for Sam to be written out of the show entirely. I know Sam hate has been around for a while, but the handling of Sam is making some fans think he is totally unnecessary to the show. I think Carver made a big mistake with Sam's story. I hope he has a way to course correct before it is too late.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-01 10:42
The Sam hate is not surprising. He's not being written in a sympathetic way at all. From the promos, I have a feeling I'm going to be calling him a whiny bitch next week, and I LOVE Sam.

This story arc has done Sam no favors. Sadly, I'm not sure if JC cares. I'm at a loss as to how he couldn't foresee the hate for Sam when he decided to write that Sam didn't search for Dean. But not only does Sam not search for Dean, but he appears annoyed and inconvenienced that Dean dared return to disrupt his great life w/that horrible, unlikeable woman! Haha! That lackluster reunion was horrible. Sam acts like there is anywhere else he'd rather be than w/Dean. The brotherly bond is gone!

The bus has well, and truly, run over Sam.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 12:03
I have to agree Sam isn't being written very sympathetically and I do feel like his character has been thrown under a bus. But weirdly enough this is actually what gives me the most hope. Because I keep thinking they HAVE to know that, so that it must be being written that way on purpose, because there is some sort of twist or big reveal.

I'm really bibro, but I'm going to have a Sam girl rant here and get it out of my system. Even if this is a twist, I am truly afraid the reveal will be too little too late. That they will damage the character by having the payoff unequal to the hit the character is taking.

And what I find annoying is that they don't take these risks with Dean's character. Basically the first thing we got in S6 was a melancholy Dean in the present showing his new life, but contrasting with his old one with Sam. A Dean torn between to worlds. Then they actually had him say he kept trying to get Sam out, regardless of what he promised. So Dean's character remained the sympathetic, loving brother. This was greatly added to by Dean actually making a deal with Death to get Sam out. So basically his character remain the ultimate hero, despite taking a year off.

We got the exact opposite with Sam and to top it off he wouldn't even be with his brother, except he a agreed to this final quest. Whereas they had Dean torn between hunting with Sam and Lisa and Ben. And even the millisecond he chose Lisa and Ben was mitigated by the fact that Sam wasn't really Sam. And who would really give up the good life for that asshole.

So IMO either all the writers have been dropped on their collective heads and forgot in 2 seasons what the show is about or there is something else up.

I'm still leaning towards the latter despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-01 12:25
Quote:
I have to agree Sam isn't being written very sympathetically and I do feel like his character has been thrown under a bus. But weirdly enough this is actually what gives me the most hope. Because I keep thinking they HAVE to know that, so that it must be being written that way on purpose, because there is some sort of twist or big reveal..
This, this is the rock on which my whole faith in S8 rests. I hope it doesn't topple over. I am a writer by profession, and I really can't imagine any group of writers being so blind about a main character so something. Is. Up. It has to be. Please, holy friggin Batman, let it be.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 12:46
Oh Good!! It's not just me who sees it that way. I write (not professionally- as you can probably tell by my constant typos, ramblings and grammatical oopsies that I notice 2 seconds after I hit send) and I read A LOT. So I have a hard time believing that writers of Edlund's and Carver's caliber are doing this accidentally or as a oversight. But I was losing a little hope after 5 episodes so I'm happy to see someone shares my thoughts (or possibly my delusions-ha!)
st50
# st50 2012-11-01 12:56
I'm with you guys. I'm still hanging on to the 'perception' comment from Carver. Plus the fact that I don't think Sam has never actually SAID he didn't look. He ignored that question when Dean asked in the premier.
Until SAM actually says he didn't look, and it becomes canon, I'm going to stay in my make-believe world that it didn't happen that way. His ignoring Kevins plight is harder to make-believe away, so I'm STILL hoping Carver has plans... Just how much of all this behaviour is supposed to be misleading, and how much is in fact the direction they want to go with Sam is my question....
st50
# st50 2012-11-01 12:59
Baaah typos.... "I don't think Sam has EVER actually said he didn't look"......
Sorry.
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-11-01 13:07
Well thats the 64 million dollar question. Honestly I think they have left Sam up the swanee without a paddle but there is a possibilty we will be surprised in future episode's.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 13:10
I'm going to stay in that world with you I think, unless I get a compelling reason what Sam didn't look.

Now the Kevin thing is much easier for me to get over. They didn't drag Kevin into to the fight (back then) and actually sent him home, they thought to safety. So the only responsibility he had towards Kevin, was the one he chose to take on. And he could be pretty sure Crowley wasn't going to hurt him because he needed him.

Dean on the other hand is his brother, who had a large hand in raising him (and his platonic soulmate if DSofM is to be believed). They love one another and depend on each other. So there definitely would be responsibility there. But more importantly since he does love him, he should need to try to save him.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-01 13:27
I couldn't think of a better example of perception than Severus Snape in Harry Potter. We hated him till the last book. Loathed him. Then with one chapter, our whole perception of him changed. If that kind of a thing happens in s8, and I believe JC can do that based on just his "Mystery Spot", then Jeremy Carver, you are my God.
st50
# st50 2012-11-01 13:33
Quote:
I couldn't think of a better example of perception than Severus Snape in Harry Potter. We hated him till the last book. Loathed him. Then with one chapter, our whole perception of him changed. If that kind of a thing happens in s8, and I believe JC can do that based on just his "Mystery Spot", then Jeremy Carver, you are my God.
YES! Good example. I love Severus at the end of the series.... It would be fabulous if there was some sort of incredible reveal here.... We still don't know who/what was watching Sam in the premier, so there is reason for hope.

Kelly, Glad to have company in my world. ;-)
E
# E 2012-11-01 21:29
Ah Kelly, I love your outlook. I am in the same boat with you, girl. Many of you probably read/saw the interviews Jared has done with Carina MacKenzie recently. He said something in the first interview that really caught my attention. This could possibly be construed as SPOILERISH by some, so you may want to give the rest of this comment a pass if you are sensitive to such things, or at least skip over the section in brackets:

[In the interview Carina asked Jared about the direction that they were taking Sam, and asked if he/PTB were aware of the fan reaction and Jared said 'yes' that there were very aware of the risk that they were taking with the character; they even expected it.]

So, maybe for some this isn't very spoilery, but for me this tells me that TPTB thought long and hard about the direction that they were taking Sam's character and discussed it with Jared as well. They understood the risk and took it anyway. It does not tell us if we can expect the "Sam didn't look for Dean" issue to have any more depth than it does now, but it is not a mistake or sloppiness in the writing that has motivated this turn in the character, it was planed and decisive. This actually gives me hope. They wouldn't have done such a thing to his character if there was no germane, story-worthy reason for it. Why make one of your main characters look so uncaring for absolutely no reason whatsoever? Why make him so OOC for absolutely no reason? (and I am sorry, you will never get me to believe that the writers are 'out to get Sam' or they 'don't like Sam' etc... it's ridiculous). Sam having not looked for Dean does not serve Dean's Purgatory storyline at all, so it must be indicative of a larger issue with Sam himself, something we don't know much about at present. I know many fans are unhappy with this storyline, but I like it. I think it's subtle and interesting and I have hope (as I have all along) that we will be getting something satisfying regarding Sam and his place in the overall scheme of things.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 22:23
Yay, I happy to see other people beside me believe that the writers wouldn't randomly write Sam in this manner. I may or may not like the final solutions they come up with, but I have to believe there is a plan. I will have hope and patience -until definitively shown otherwise.

@Darya Yeah Severus was excellent questionable character. You never knew for sure with him up until the last.

Speaking of questionable characters, I'm on the fence about Benny. Up until this episode I was sure he was going to turn on Dean or at least Sam. But this episode he was shown to be pretty much all good. And I'm torn on that. I like that Dean is working with a monsters after his hardlined stance last season, but they are once again making his judgment the right judgment. I was kinda of hoping they were playing with that tendency, but from this episode it doesn't look like it. Then again, if he ends up bad then that brings us back to the kill all monsters theme-which I didn't like. So still on the fence on this one. But honestly if the Sam storyline turns out great I probably won't care that much which way he goes as long as its written well. And I do like Benny so far-evil or not, he a good character.
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-01 21:58
Quote:
I'm going to stay in that world with you I think, unless I get a compelling reason what Sam didn't look.

Now the Kevin thing is much easier for me to get over. They didn't drag Kevin into to the fight (back then) and actually sent him home, they thought to safety. So the only responsibility he had towards Kevin, was the one he chose to take on. And he could be pretty sure Crowley wasn't going to hurt him because he needed him.

Dean on the other hand is his brother, who had a large hand in raising him (and his platonic soulmate if DSofM is to be believed). They love one another and depend on each other. So there definitely would be responsibility there. But more importantly since he does love him, he should need to try to save him.
I'm a bibro, and though I'm more of a Dean girl, I love Sam equally, so I'm really disappointed by the revelation that Sam didn't look for Dean.

You know what would have made ME accepted it better, if He would have put up a tombstone and visited Dean's grave even if there was no body in it. People do it, especially when there's no body found.
And Maybe he met Amelia there, cause since they say she's damaged. She could be visiting someone's grave as well, maybe a dead fiance'.

I agree with you Kelly about the Kevin aspect of your post.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-01 13:22
Quote:
I'm really bibro, but I'm going to have a Sam girl rant here and get it out of my system. Even if this is a twist, I am truly afraid the reveal will be too little too late. That they will damage the character by having the payoff unequal to the hit the character is taking.

And what I find annoying is that they don't take these risks with Dean's character. Basically the first thing we got in S6 was a melancholy Dean in the present showing his new life, but contrasting with his old one with Sam. A Dean torn between to worlds. Then they actually had him say he kept trying to get Sam out, regardless of what he promised. So Dean's character remained the sympathetic, loving brother. This was greatly added to by Dean actually making a deal with Death to get Sam out. So basically his character remain the ultimate hero, despite taking a year off.

We got the exact opposite with Sam and to top it off he wouldn't even be with his brother, except he a agreed to this final quest. Whereas they had Dean torn between hunting with Sam and Lisa and Ben. And even the millisecond he chose Lisa and Ben was mitigated by the fact that Sam wasn't really Sam. And who would really give up the good life for that asshole.
Kelly, I couldn't agree more w/you! I'm a bibro fan myself, but I can't help but notice that Sam is always the one written in a generally unsympathetic manner ever since S4. He's always the bad brother doing shady things or making bad decisions. Dean is NEVER written in this manner. The audience always sympathizes w/him. So you are definitely not alone in your thoughts :)

And I'll just say that if I had any faith in the writers, I would assume a twist was coming w/Sam, but I don't have faith in the writers. I know JC is "new," but I still have no faith in him. As you pointed out, even if there is a twist to Sam's story, it will be told far too late in the season for anyone to care. We will have gone through most of the season thinking Sam was a selfish jerk when that simply wasn't necessary.

I just know that I had a lot of hope and faith in the show last year, and it was all for nothing. I was bitterly disappointed, so this year, I'm more skeptical and reserved. I expect nothing so when nothing is what I get, it won't be as devastating as last year.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 14:21
@lala2 I didn't mean to imply that they couldn't or won't fix it, just that with each passing episode it becomes harder to balance out the negative impression we've already received. For instance, if we'd learned the first episode that he'd tried to find him but couldn't so lost hope assumed Dean was dead and tried to move on. I doubt there would've been too much outrage, even if he didn't want to go back to hunting.

But 5 episodes in, we've been shown images only of him being pretty much okay with a dog and a girl. We've been shown he doesn't want to be with Dean hunting and is only doing so for this one last mission. Dean didn't want to hunt last year but did so for his brother. Even Sam S1, went originally because Dean asked him to.

Now the explanation has counterbalance the effects of those less than sympathetic images AND explain why he wouldn't have just told Dean whatever it is he went though. And with each passing episode showing Sam in a somewhat negative light than the more sympathetic and positive the explanation has to be.

Even in S4, we knew from Bobby and Dean's conversation that Sam was desperate to get Dean back. We saw that love and desperation when they hugged. We did see him using his powers and lying to Dean but that was addressed in episode 4, when we learned of his need to make the evil inside him mean something.

All through the season there was a build up to questions and reveals to counterbalance them. Now some of them didn't leave Sam looking so good (Demon blood), but we got an explanation for his behavior in time for it to have meaning. For me anyway, I know a lot of people don't like S4. But storytelling wise, it was magnificent. And even the fight with Dean and going off with Ruby, showed that same desperate Sam. Maybe he got off on the power but he still was just trying to save the world.

I'm just concerned that if there is a reveal or just a more in-depth explanation that if will fall short by the time they get around to revealing it.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 14:36
Kelly, just one thing: Sam not wanting to hunt doesn't mean he doesn't want to be with, or love, Dean. It's the same wrong thought process Dean has, seeing Sam rejecting the hunters life as a rejection of him.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 14:56
I agree, except he didn't look for Dean. And we still haven't gotten a good reason why. Like I said, if he thought Dean was dead why wouldn't he just say that the first episode.

And again they showed Dean as being torn, but they just show Sam wanting out unequivocally. Now he was panicked trying to get to Dean, but that was the first indication we got that he was worried about what would happen to Dean with him gone.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-01 15:05
And as soon as he gets there Dean turns up having cleared out the nest and proves Sam's belief that Dean doesn't need him to hunt. Catch 22 here.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-02 06:06
Quote:
And as soon as he gets there Dean turns up having cleared out the nest and proves Sam's belief that Dean doesn't need him to hunt. Catch 22 here.
LOL you're right. That look in the end is Dean's way in saying. What? You want me to hunt without you? I can. You still wanna out, be my guess. You have no right to criticize me and who I friend with since you don't bother to look for me in the first place.

I don't know why Sam still hanging around Dean at this time. Possessiveness? "I don't wanna hunt with Dean but I don't want anyone to hunt with him either. All Dean's friends are dead anyway." It's always bug me when at Hearthache Sam suggested that Dean should hunt ALONE if hunting makes him happy. Sam was not even bother to think to look for someone to have his brother's back.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-02 08:10
Wow . . . Sam came because Dean called him. Sam never said that Dean couldn't hunt with anyone else or that Dean wasn't a capable hunter. Dean said he was in a vamp nest. He didn't mention Benny until later so what was Sam supposed to do? Be was upset because Dean told him he needed a personal day and then said he was hunting vampires. I'm sure Sam wondered why Dean didn't just take Sam with him since they ARE hunting together.

And as far as Sam finding someone to hunt with Dean . . . who is Sam supposed to ask? He doesn't have any friends either. He thought Dean was also without friends but that doesn't appear to be the case.

I'm pretty much hating the writing for Sam this year but there's nothing I can do about it. Carver wants Sam as a source of conflict for Dean. That is what most of these writers seem to do to Sam, IMO.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-02 07:27
Quote:
And again they showed Dean as being torn, but they just show Sam wanting out unequivocally.
I agree
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-01 14:48
I am strongly on the side of the upset about Sam not looking for Dean, but I really don't have a problem with Sam not wanting to hunt. He's sticking around now for the mission, but he's also doing the week-by-week hunts, and he's only doing that because it's what Dean wants him to do. And I don't think Dean's situation last year was parallel to Sam's this year. It's not like Dean in s7 was wanting to walk away from the hunt and do something else; I'm sure that if he had been, Sam wouldn't have stood in his way. It wasn't that hunting wasn't what he wanted to do so much as that he was so deeply depressed he didn't want to do anything, either hunting or the alternative. And he and Sam both at that point believed that there wasn't any escape for either of them from the hunting life, though they might rescue someone like Krissy from it. I thought there was a lot of love in both of them keeping going for the other; Sam still reaching out to Dean when he was hallucinating 24/7, Dean, though suicidal, sticking around for Sam. But the only time they actively disagreed on whether to do a hunt or not, it wasn't because Dean wanted out, it was because Dean wanted to pursue the Leviathan/aveng e Bobby, and Sam wanted to help Krissy.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-02 06:01
Quote:
Dean is NEVER written in this manner. The audience always sympathizes w/him.
The reason why we always sympathized with Dean, including me this season too, is because they always write it from Dean's POV. That's why I really want to have Sam's POV. We have Bobby's, Castiel's, and even a bunch of monsters' POV but Sam as one of the two lead characters NEVER has a POV of his own, on screen. His story always told second handedly by other characters whether it's Dean or monsters.

Look, I love Dean, because I can understand him. I want to love Sam too this season but I am at lost where to start to understand him. That's why I really WISH that Benny turn evil in the end. His dialogue about "I don't know what I am" is just like what Sam was in S4, struggling with his identity. I really wish Benny fall.

Dean, I love you, but you just got to see that sometimes you can make a bad decision too, just like your brother.

Sam, honey come on. If you keep push your brother back, you'll lost him for good and not due to death. Then' you'll be left with a cheap Dean imitation namely Amelia. Sure, she behaves like Dean, talks like Dean, Bossy like Dean, angry like Dean and the best part, you can kiss her too. (threading dangerous territory here) but when you are in danger will she risk her life/soul to save you?
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-02 09:06
The writers never should have gone with this "I hate hunting" plot because it is honestly a huge waste of time. Because of the nature of the show, neither brother is going to stop hunting so seeing one angst about it constantly is annoying and frustrating.

I agree that the show spend time on Dean's POV and making sure the audience understands exactly what he thinks and how he feels. They used to do this with Sam, but ever since S4, Sam has become more and more secretive and less open in general, and the writing has neglected to bring his POV to the forefront like they have with Dean.

Sam's actions make no sense so I think it will be next to impossible to understand him this year. The idea that Sam didn't search for Dean is a hard one for me to wrap my mind around. Honestly, I can't. Apparently, the writers knew the audience wouldn't like this course for Sam but they decided to do it anyway. And I have a feeling the payoff won't be worth it.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-02 07:09
Quote:
Even if this is a twist, I am truly afraid the reveal will be too little too late. That they will damage the character by having the payoff unequal to the hit the character is taking. And what I find annoying is that they don't take these risks with Dean's character. Basically the first thing we got in S6 was a melancholy Dean in the present showing his new life, but contrasting with his old one with Sam. A Dean torn between to worlds. Then they actually had him say he kept trying to get Sam out, regardless of what he promised. So Dean's character remained the sympathetic, loving brother. This was greatly added to by Dean actually making a deal with Death to get Sam out. So basically his character remain the ultimate hero, despite taking a year off. We got the exact opposite with Sam and to top it off he wouldn't even be with his brother, except he a agreed to this final quest. Whereas they had Dean torn between hunting with Sam and Lisa and Ben. And even the millisecond he chose Lisa and Ben was mitigated by the fact that Sam wasn't really Sam. And who would really give up the good life for that asshole.
Exactly my thoughts
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-01 13:50
Jared said in a recent interview that he and the writers expected people not to like the fact that Sam didn't look for Dean. He went on to explain that Sam just felt alone and lost and didn't even know where Dean was. It was a good interview, and it made me feel better about where they started Sam at this year. If I can find it again, I'll post the link.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-01 14:39
Well, yeah, he didn't know where Dean was. This would normally seem like a good reason for looking for someone, no?

I've found Jared's interviews on the subject quite thoughtful (much more so than Carver, who has relied heavily on the imaginary promise not to look for each other), but he's still making silk purses out of sow's ears. It still amounts to "I didn't know the answer so I didn't look it up." And it still makes absolutely no sense that he reacted that way there when he faced an almost identical situation in Time After Time perfectly competently.

No matter how often they repeat the standard party line on this, it doesn't get better.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 14:49
Here's the interview I think you were talking about. Jared is giving pretty good explanations, but the problem is the show really hasn't so far. And again if this is the explanation, I not sure why they didn't give it on the first or second episode.

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/10/supernaturals-jared-padalecki-on-sams-relationship-with-amelia-it-begs-further-questions.html
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-01 15:29
That's the one. I think the Show did give it in the first few minutes of the premiere when Sam told Dean he didn't know if he was dead or alive, he didn't have a road map, and that he fixed the Impala and just drove. Dean, of course, slammed back when Sam couldn't answer that he looked for him, and Sam didn't pursue it (because I think he feels very guilty about that now that Dean is, in fact, alive). I mean, really, what more could he say?

He then tried to explain himself further in the second episode about finding something he never had before. Dean, being very, very hurt, didn't buy into the discussion...an d how could he? He was suffering his brief PTSD at the time.

I have no doubt that the rest of this story between the brothers is going to play out throughout the season. Sure, we'd all like black and white answers now, but I think this is the crux of both Sam and Dean's story, so we're going to be getting the slowly peeled onion.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 16:01
Oops I thought it was the same one because it was obviously done at the same time but it this one he talks about as she says, "In Jared's view, Sam was trying to avoid collateral damage by making an attempt to return to the life he'd been starting when we met him in the pilot."

He talks about collateral damage from there searches for each other and pulling each other back into the hunt. Which is not what he said in the premiere or since.

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/10/supernaturals-jared-padalecki-talks-sams-new-direction-and-fatherhood.html
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-02 07:28
Problem is they have not showed how Sam was just after the Dick explosion
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-01 15:11
I am suddenly finding it hilarious that the writers have actually put us, or Jared, in a position where we might try in all seriousness to sell the sentence "Sam couldn't look for Dean because he didn't know where he was." I mean, read that sentence. Think about it for a moment.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-02 06:17
Quote:
I am suddenly finding it hilarious that the writers have actually put us, or Jared, in a position where we might try in all seriousness to sell the sentence "Sam couldn't look for Dean because he didn't know where he was." I mean, read that sentence. Think about it for a moment.
hehehe... I get what you mean. It sounds like a prank.
The reason why you look for someone is because you don't know where they are. You lost your son somewhere between the mall and the house, you don't know where he is, that's why you go and look for him. Not just dismiss it like, I don't know where my son is so i don't look for him.

It's a play word, a trick sentence.
E
# E 2012-11-01 20:52
Sorry rGo, I hope I don't offend you by saying that I don't see it this way at all and I completely disagree. The actors have contracts and it's well known that Jared and Jensen do all of their contract negotiations together (this has been stated many times over the years at Cons, and in interviews etc). They must both be happy with the state of the show, their characters, their pay etc.. for them to sign off on their contracts. How could one of the actors be happy if they are essentially being written out of the storyline? And if one actor is unhappy, then both will be unhappy. Both Jared and Jensen are protective of their characters and will fight for them; and Jared and Jensen are also protective of each other, so I don't see the PTB risking both their main leads by alienating one of them so blatantly. So, no I don't see Benny replacing Sam as Dean's newest, besets hunting brother, at least not in the long term. I think that this season will be about Sam and Dean finding each other again. It may take a while, maybe even the whole season, but I believe it will happen; that is my hope anyway.
st50
# st50 2012-11-01 20:59
I'm hitting the "like button" on this one, E. Good response. They will "Find each other" again!
rGo
# rGo 2012-11-09 12:37
Quote:
Sorry rGo, I hope I don't offend you by saying that I don't see it this way at all and I completely disagree. The actors have contracts and it's well known that Jared and Jensen do all of their contract negotiations together (this has been stated many times over the years at Cons, and in interviews etc). They must both be happy with the state of the show, their characters, their pay etc.. for them to sign off on their contracts. How could one of the actors be happy if they are essentially being written out of the storyline? And if one actor is unhappy, then both will be unhappy. Both Jared and Jensen are protective of their characters and will fight for them; and Jared and Jensen are also protective of each other, so I don't see the PTB risking both their main leads by alienating one of them so blatantly. So, no I don't see Benny replacing Sam as Dean's newest, besets hunting brother, at least not in the long term. I think that this season will be about Sam and Dean finding each other again. It may take a while, maybe even the whole season, but I believe it will happen; that is my hope anyway.
Not offended at all. I'm not entirely convinced the actors would be upset by Sam & Dean going their own ways. They have said on numerous occasions their favorite episodes are ones where the boys are apart.

Again I never intoned that one would be gone, but that they would be apart. Though we see now with 8x06 that isn't exactly going to go the way I thought (ie, Garth). So, I guess now we'll wait and see how it works out.
rGo
# rGo 2012-11-09 12:39
Quote:
Sam and Dean finding each other again. It may take a while, maybe even the whole season, but I believe it will happen; that is my hope anyway.
Just for the record. Me too.
rGo
# rGo 2012-11-01 10:33
Can I also add -- that Amelia character -- there's something wrong about that character. She creeps me out more than Benny (and we all know he's hiding something really gruesome).

Anyone else? Am I going Sam fangirl here or is this mistrust warranted?
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-01 10:38
Like Geordiegirl, I feel the show is losing, or rather has lost a lot of its heart. It's just not the same show anymore. In an effort to accommodate Jared and Jensen's increasing desire for time off, for me, the quality of the show has decreased dramatically. You'd think w/how often the boys are apart, the writers would at least give them some nice bonding, quality moments but they don't. It doesn't have to be all angst, conflict, and tension all the time. The brothers can actually have fun together. They can appear to be happy to see each other.

What did I think of this episode? Hmmm . . . I didn't hate it, but it felt out of place.

I can't speak for anyone else, but Supernatural has always - to me - had two main characters: Sam and Dean. Everyone else was a supporting characters. The rock of the show is Sam and Dean.

It troubles me that I have no idea when Sam first ran into Amelia (was it immediately after he left that corporation or a few months later b/c as Geordiegirl pointed out Sam certainly doesn't seem all that upset about his "loss" in these crappy FBs) and that I have no understanding of this new JC-inspired Sam but I'm getting episodes that fully flesh out and explain someone I consider a supporting/seco ndary character. That bothers me.

Before you delve into Benny's history and explain what makes him tick, I would appreciate some understanding of Sam's year "off" or whatever, esp. since you've radically changed everything I know about Sam. This Sam is NOT the same Sam I'm used to watching. The Sam I know would not give up on Dean w/o a preliminary search, but I'm being told to accept that Sam had no resources and was completely confused and at a loss of what to do. How about research the weapon that was used? How about research anything before you just shrug your shoulders and go about your business? We're 5 episodes into the season, and we still don't know when he met this chick, how long the relationship was, if they broke up, or if he just ditched her. I have no insight into this Sam at all.

There's a reason Jared and Jensen keep getting asked if there is any more information on why Sam didn't look for Dean. It's because it is completely OOC behavior that makes NO sense. I suspect the question will continued to be asked until a proper explanation is given.

In any event, I don't mind learning about Benny, but I don't want to learn about Benny until I learn about Sam. Sadly, I don't think there is anything to learn about Sam this year, but if there is, they need to skip to that part already b/c Sam's life w/Amelia is horrifically boring, uneventful, and pointless. It's as pointless as Dean's life w/Lisa and Ben turned out to be.

I know some may wonder how I can determine Sam's story w/Amelia to be pointless w/o seeing the entire thing, but unless there is some huge twist/reveal to the story, I just don't see how this story is developing Sam's character. I'm sorry, but for me, JC's vision for Sam has turned Sam into an unsympathetic jerk! This Sam that doesn't care that his brother is dead is not at all likeable or endearing, IMO. I can't see what we're supposed to learn from this story. That Sam wants a normal life again? Okay . . . who cares? It's never going to happen so why waste time w/such a pointless plot/angle.

Let me wrap up this rant . . . .

Benny reminds me of Edward Cullen. Yes, I am a proud Twilight fan! He seems like a pretty decent "monster" who is not out to harm anyone anymore. He even allowed his GF to get staked b/c she wanted to drink human blood. And I was halfway paying attn, but it seemed like he had stopped drinking human blood before he was "killed." For all intents and purposes, they did a wonderful job of establishing this character and putting him "in the right."

I'm not sure why Sam will be so opposed to Benny when he rooted for Amy, Lenore, Jack, etc. But Sam is going to be forced to oppose Benny so there can be more unnatural conflict btw the brothers. Yay . . . fun!

If there is a twist w/Benny then I will give JC props for setting it up really well and much better than Kripke attempted to do w/Ruby.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 11:33
Quote:

If there is a twist w/Benny then I will give JC props for setting it up really well and much better than Kripke attempted to do w/Ruby.
I'm still praying for a twist, I have to admit I finally caved and watched some spoilery interviews and that is definitely not the indication they're giving. BUT I think like to surprise us and at this point this would be a huge surprise. Because I have no real idea what is going on beyond the obvious.

As for Benny, before this episode I was definitely thinking they were going for a Ruby vibe with him. This one did have more of a Edward feel to it (I'm more of a guilty pleasure Twilight fan and really more of a Rob fan- he's just so adorkable in interviews). But they did try that with Ruby, had he save Sam AND Dean, had her shown being tortured and not betraying them, kept Sam from killing himself... So I'm kinda of hoping for a twist there too.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-01 11:43
I love Twilight. And Rob is definitely adorkable in interviews!

I really liked KC's Ruby, but I never once thought she was actually "good." I always thought she was playing Sam. Maybe if Kripke had done a background episode on her, explaining her origins, etc., it wouldn't have seemed so obvious - at least to me - that she was up to no good.

After this episode, I would probably be surprised if Benny turned out "bad." He seems like a nice vamp who doesn't want to hurt humans to survive. Sam should understand that. Heck, Sam should be rooting for Benny, not plotting against him.

I really have to wonder if JC knows Sam. Maybe he should have watched the show again to remind himself of the characters and how they react to situations.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 12:22
I really wondered about Ruby after IKWYDLS and HaH because she honestly seemed to be working with them. I thought maybe they were going for Spike-like character (from Buffy) whose naturally inclinations were always kind of dark and self-serving but who manage to work with Buffy sometimes.

I have to admit Benny did not seem evil in anyway last night. But I still think it's possible they are setting us up in someway.

(And I liked the commentary for Eclipse better than the actually movie because Rob was so funny in it. The Twilight commentary is hilarious as well)
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-01 22:44
Yes, the commentary for Eclipse was hilarious! I loved when Rob was making fun of how Jackson's accent and how he said, "very common!" Hahaha :)

Yeah . . . Benny seemed to be on the up and up. I honestly didn't perceive any deception on his part! And I guess the idea of a "vegetarian" vampire is not new to me. It's not like it cannot happen whereas a "good" demon is less likely. Demons by their very nature are evil. I don't think one can say the same about vampires.

JMO.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 23:38
I guess I just got a wrong vibe with Benny. I don't know why, but it definitely looks wrong now.

(My favorite part is where he's talking about Jacob never wearing a shirt and said, "if I started running around with girls with their boobs hanging all the time you just would not like it" the grunts "BOOBS" and starts laughing. For some reason that make me giggle every time I hear it. Twilight commentary is self-deprecatin g at it's best.)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-02 07:40
Quote:
Heck, Sam should be rooting for Benny, not plotting against him.
again agree
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-02 08:56
Quote:
Heck, Sam should be rooting for Benny, not plotting against him.
Well so far Sam totally deferred to Dean's judgement that Benny is safe and the only "plotting" we have hear about is Sam asking another hunter to keep an eye on Benny to make sure that Benny is keeping his nose as clean as Dean believes he is. He's not cutting Benny's head off in front of his kid behind Dean's back or anything. Sam wants to believe that monsters can live in the human world and not hurt people. He seemed relieved that Dean was willing to let Kate go. But really, HE doesn't know Benny so trying to make certain that Dean's intuition isn't compromised due to the history with Benny isn't plotting against Benny, IMHO.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-02 11:45
Oh, I wasn't aware. I thought there was going to be tension b/c of Benny. What you said makes more sense given Sam's history.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-02 12:42
There may be tension about Benny. I certainly expect some mention of the fact that Dean overrode Sam's judgement on Amy and that Sam was supposed to just accept that Dean was right about her and now Sam is just supposed to accept that Dean is right about Benny without any proof for Sam. But I've gotten the impression that at least part of Sam's stance is going to be based on the fact that Ruby stood by him when Sam was emotionally wrecked and Dean met Benny when he needed an ally and Dean needs to be careful that things don't go south with Benny. Certainly casting info gives no indication that Sam intends to hunt Benny down and kill him, just not trust him as readily as Dean does.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-03 08:26
Oh. Okay. That's fine w/me and makes sense.

I feared that Sam would want to lecture Dean about Benny, causing Dean to throw up in Sam's face how Benny was the only one to help him while Sam was twiddling his thumbs topside and having picnics w/some chick. Yes, IMO, Dean will have every right to throw this in Sam's face but I wasn't looking forward to seeing it constantly, esp. since I find this storyline so OOC for Sam.

I kind of hope Sam keeps his opinion of Benny to himself and that he leaves Dean to make whatever decision Dean wants to make re: Benny. I don't want to see Sam trying to talk Dean out of associating w/Benny. If they give Sam a friend, maybe, he can discuss his fears re: Benny with that person.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-01 13:20
Quote:
Like Geordiegirl, I feel the show is losing, or rather has lost a lot of its heart. It's just not the same show anymore. In an effort to accommodate Jared and Jensen's increasing desire for time off, for me, the quality of the show has decreased dramatically. You'd think w/how often the boys are apart, the writers would at least give them some nice bonding, quality moments but they don't. It doesn't have to be all angst, conflict, and tension all the time. The brothers can actually have fun together. They can appear to be happy to see each other.

What did I think of this episode? Hmmm . . . I didn't hate it, but it felt out of place.

I can't speak for anyone else, but Supernatural has always - to me - had two main characters: Sam and Dean. Everyone else was a supporting characters. The rock of the show is Sam and Dean.

...

In any event, I don't mind learning about Benny, but I don't want to learn about Benny until I learn about Sam. Sadly, I don't think there is anything to learn about Sam this year, but if there is, they need to skip to that part already b/c Sam's life w/Amelia is horrifically boring, uneventful, and pointless. It's as pointless as Dean's life w/Lisa and Ben turned out to be.

...

If there is a twist w/Benny then I will give JC props for setting it up really well and much better than Kripke attempted to do w/Ruby.
Lala, like you and Geordiegirl, I too feel that a lot of the heart has gone from Supernatural (I'm rewatching S1 at the moment and that makes the change in the Winchester boys' relationship VERY noticeable indeed). It's been a steady bleed of the brotherly bond since S4, IMO. I'm fed up with the Winchester brothers being at odds over everything. Yes, they are both stubborn men with their own views on things but they used to have a common ground of family love and loyalty in earlier seasons and that seems to be missing these days. In the last number of years, they just come across as tense and snappy with each other most of the time.

I do wonder why Jared and Jensen stick with Supernatural these days given that I know they dislike the long working hours involved in being the two main characters and because in previous years Jensen said he couldn't be paid enough to keep working past a certain number of seasons. I'm not complaining about them, I hasten to add, I'm happy to still have new Supernatural seasons in my life, because, even among the episodes that I've hated in recent seasons, there have been some episodes that had the old S1-S3 vibe and I've enjoyed those. Plus, I really like the performances that the Js give as Sam and Dean. They've always done a good job :)

For me too, the rock of the show is Sam and Dean Winchester and their journey. All other characters are of secondary interest.

I also agree that I'd like to learn more about Sam's last year before I learn about what Benny is getting up to. I fervently hope there is a twist to the Benny storyline, otherwise I think the writers have gone off the boil. I keep telling myself that Benny is too good to be true and that in some way he will be a cause of bad stuff to happen for Dean (and Sam). I'm really hoping that it isn't another story where Benny comes between the brothers (a la Ruby and a la Castiel), I've had enough of that type of story.

With regards to the Amelia plotline, I do think the Lisa plotline was handled much better. We got a much clearer idea of how Dean was feeling and thinking. At the moment, the writers are being very mysterious about Sam's motivations and feelings.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-02 07:35
Quote:
Before you delve into Benny's history and explain what makes him tick, I would appreciate some understanding of Sam's year "off"
Exactly
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-02 07:38
Quote:
I'm not sure why Sam will be so opposed to Benny when he rooted for Amy, Lenore, Jack, etc. But Sam is going to be forced to oppose Benny so there can be more unnatural conflict btw the brothers. Yay . . . fun!
I agree if Sam opposes Benny then for me it will be like They use 'Sam is wrong' again and changed Sam to fit that
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-01 11:03
I've realized that I am so unhappy with the treatment of Sam's decision to not look for Dean that I can't really give a fair evaluation of episodes at this time. I'll be throwing my thoughts out, but I admit they are colored by my disappointment.

Benny could be an interesting character. They went out of their way to show us he was basically good by showing him rejecting eating people with his family and turning away from Andrea. We are obviously not supposed to suspect him the way we were supposed to suspect Ruby in season 4. I'm not that invested in his story, mostly because it takes time from Sam's story, although it at least ties into Dean's time in Purgatory, so we get some Dean exploration.
I know that maintaining an accent is a hard, but mumbling doesn't help. I really could not understand half of what Benny was saying last night. I am going to have to go back and watch with Closed Captioning on.

Sam was obviously panicked when he thought Dean was in danger. Then they decided to make him arrive too late to be of any help. I can't decide if this is to indicate that Sam really is useless or if it is supposed to make us see why Sam thinks he is useless on a hunt and give more insight as to why he wants to quit. Or if they just wanted Sam to meet Benny under circumstances where there was no action going on to distract from the first meeting.

Now to Amelia. First let me say THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION, I don't expect to convince anyone or for anyone to share it. I kind of see why Sam gravitates toward Amelia. In season one and in this season, Dean has been on Sam's case for dropping his responsibility to the world by not hunting. When Sam first met Amelia she got on his case for not taking responsibility for the dog. Dean consistently calls Sam a freak. Amelia starts by calling Sam creepy. Dean dismisses Sam's ambitions for a normal life. Amelia dismisses Sam for not having a normal life. Dean dings Sam for the way he eats. Amelia dings Sam for the clothes he wears. John made Sam feel that he was inadequate because he didn't live up to what John wanted him to be. Amelia is acting like Sam is inadequate because he is not what she expects from a normal person. Dean is damaged because he has lost so many people he loved. Amelia is damaged because she has lost an unnamed person. All of the less than positive things I said about Dean are mitigated by the fact that Dean does love Sam and they have years of bonding. That doesn't change the fact that Sam seems to have become involved with a woman who acts a lot like Dean in many respects. Many people repeat the same familial patterns over and over. Amelia is a bit like Dean without the redeeming qualities of love so far, but I can understand that Sam may feel comfortable with a bossy person who doesn't think he quite measures up.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 11:21
I like your idea of Amelia being a stand in for Dean and repeating a familiar pattern. I hadn't thought of that. And your right while it doesn't make Dean unlikable because it's tempered by love and history, it's less likable on Amelia.
rGo
# rGo 2012-11-01 11:50
I'm not sure I like the Amelia/Dean theory, but it sure is hard to ignore in the face of so many good examples.

I think your final assessment of "Sam may feel comfortable with a bossy person who doesn't think he quite measures up." says a lot.

And I think, in some way, it kind of explains why Sam didn't look for Dean -- because there was no one to tell him to, or how.

Sam has never been the leader-- of the hunt, or of himself, his entire life has been following orders or rebelling from them.

John, then Dean lead the hunt. John lead Sam by way of rebellion (in that Sam went opposite John, not as a choice, but as a reflex). Then Dean lead Sam, by circumstance, by love and in some ways by fear.

Though it seems staggering to believe, Sam really DIDN'T know what to do to look for Dean. There was no one to give orders, no one to validate his ideas. It was his "Hurt Locker" moment, so many options, no ability to choose. The realization that he's lost and doesn't know what to do. That he's not his Dad and he's not Dean.

So he fled. I love Sammy, but that's not new.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 12:27
I don't think it's fair to say Sam has never been the leader or that he has always run away. But I can see how Sam might be reluctant to make outrageous or bold decisions because he had made such huge mistakes in the past.
DeDe
# DeDe 2012-11-01 17:12
Quote:
I don't think it's fair to say Sam has never been the leader or that he has always run away. But I can see how Sam might be reluctant to make outrageous or bold decisions because he had made such huge mistakes in the past.
Even Soulless Sam followed instructions. Grandpa ordered him around. I love the Hurt Locker comparisons.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 17:34
Dean has a tendency to be bossy, especially in the first 4 seasons and now this season. But Sam would often push back. He would go along unless he had a problem with it. He was very take charge in S4, when he was on demon blood. Rebelling against Dean is part of the reason he went with Ruby. That was the issue in Fallen Idols (not a great episode I'll grant you but that was discussed).

And actually in The Third Man, Dean got all pissy because Soulless Sam was ordering him around. And he wasn't always with Grandpa, he told Dean he'd been on his own for a year. He did agree to start follow Dean's cues after Dean found out he was soulless because Dean was worried about his lack of conscience. But he was perfectly happy to ignore Dean when it suited him.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 18:28
Agree here, Kelly
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-01 22:48
I also agree w/Kelly. I think the episode was called, "Caged Heat," but Soulless Sam was completely in charge in that one IIRC. I liked that episode. Sam doesn't take the lead very often, but it's not like he can't do it.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-01 23:30
I was just rewatching season 6 and I like that it seems only while Sam was soulless did they ever have a Plan B for when things went wrong with Plan A....and its existence always came as a surprise to Dean.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-01 13:04
@percysowner that's a really interesting theory you have there. Sam does seem to be drawn to women that give him a hard time, are bossy, and are mysterious. I do hope that the writers are going somewhere interesting with Amelia's character (like you have in your theory) because if there's no twist to her plotline, I don't see the point of including her as a character in S8.

I'm fairly sure that the writers have stopped flinging serious romantic interests at the Winchesters by now. I mean they tried it in earlier seasons but none of them stuck because long-term romance is not something that works for the Winchesters, or Hunters in general, plus the audience don't like it because we're watching Supernatural and not Dawson's Creek ;)
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-03 00:06
Quote:
I do hope that the writers are going somewhere interesting with Amelia's character (like you have in your theory) because if there's no twist to her plotline, I don't see the point of including her as a character in S8.
Agree. Sam's flashback is odd and weird. There should be a purpose in introducing Amelia here. What is it that the writer is trying to tell us? It looks like a clue to a puzzle. There should be more other than Sam living a normal life. Is Sam's perception of normal is still the same as what he thought during Standford era? Or is it just as fucked up as his head?
E
# E 2012-11-01 21:51
On another thread a few weeks ago, I said basically the same thing... Amelia has reminded me of Dean from the first time we saw her; by demanding that Sam be a stand up kind of guy, by insulting him and demanding things of him and then by doing something totally sweet and caring for him like baking him a birthday cake. Very Deanlike...
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-01 12:54
I have to say, I loved this episode. It was technically quite brilliant. There was drama and angst and emotion and an ending that knocked my socks off. I am bibro, but lean more towards being a Sam!girl, and I expected the flashbacks to annoy me but they don't.

Curiously enough, I feel that there are subtle things in the flashback we might be overlooking. Sam is a drifter headed nowhere until he meets Amelia. He panics when she disappears for a mo. He panics when the dog disappears for a mo. Again in this last episode, moment of panic in the car. This when Dean had already told him he had backup, and after Sam had told Dean he'd be happier slashing his way through life without Sam. But when Dean does go to do some slashing, Sam panics.

My current theory is that post Dean's disappearance, Sam hit a roadblock. Sam's definition of not looking for Dean could be different from our interpretation of it. And now he's probably in a kind of state where he feels like he can't save anyone/that everyone keeps dying/disappear ing around him. Hence the panic, and hence also the detachment. It hurts less to lose someone if you're distant to them in the first place.

This could also well be why he left Amelia: he probably felt he was growing too attached to her emotionally and decided it was time to sever ties.

I thought the flashbacks give a quieter, drawn version of Sam, and this is the same Sam I saw in the first half of the premiere- weary and withdrawn.

I don't think Sam is going to oppose Benny. He's going to question Dean keeping this from him, of course, and he's going to ask what happened to monsters being black and white, but then it's probably going to simmer down to the tension of not trusting a vampire, being wary of him, but going along with Dean. This is sort of what happened with Dean and S3 Ruby. I also don't think, and applaud, that Benny is the same as Ruby. His arc can't just be about this Andrea woman, he didn't even mourn her that much.

As for Amelia, so far she seems quite deceptively normal. Hopefully, she is. Yes, I say hopefully, because Sam doesn't deserve one more Ruby or Madison.

Fingers crossed that there's more to this Sam story, and loving the purgatory arc.
Fool for Dean
# Fool for Dean 2012-11-01 13:04
Like many comments above, I am very bothered with the "fact" that Sam didn't look for Dean, and I'm waiting for a good explanation. I loved the critical and rational analyses of the character arcs and the writing that some of you have posted above. I've always thought that the SPN fandom has garnered a lot of sophisticated folks (such as the writers of WFB).

However, it makes me sad to see that so many people are about to give up on the show just because it isn't all Sam & Dean all the time, or because Dean isn't being what they think he should be, or Sam isn't being written how they envision he should be.

SPN isn't just about 2 brothers, it's also about 2 people - individuals - who cannot and should not stay the same as they were 8 years ago. Yes, I loved seasons 1 and 2 (Hell House, anyone?). But I have to say, if the boys stayed exactly that way, then I might as well watch DVDs of those seasons and be done.

I am loving how Dean's character is being written and acted out (many thanks to Jensen for making Dean as real and believable as he is) in S8. I don't like how Sam is being written right now, I think it's out of character for him to not look for Dean, and to be so hung up on his life Amelia even AFTER finding out that Dean had been hanging on to dear life in Purgatory while Sam found the "something he's never had before".

But I am a fan of SPN for more than Sam, or Dean; and while I think the brothers and their relationship is the rock of the show, I also think that it's impossible to write eight seasons of interesting plot without introducing some recurring supporting characters. Some I like, some I don't, but I think they are necessary.

As for the fear that Benny will replace Sam - I don't understand it. Cas didn't replace Sam (that's after the Ruby fiasco and then the soulless season). Anyone who understands Dean, and Sam, and SPN as a show, should know that in the end, the brothers will find their way back to each other. There's been countless separations (how many times has one of them walked away from the other?), but it's never permanent.

I think we should take the episode for face value, and not infuse into it our own fears of what is and what should never be ;)
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 13:31
Agree with you front and center!
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-11-01 14:28
Right on! Couldn't agree more, Fool for Dean!

Love your last line. :-)
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-02 11:05
Quote:
Like many comments above, I am very bothered with the "fact" that Sam didn't look for Dean, and I'm waiting for a good explanation.

...

However, it makes me sad to see that so many people are about to give up on the show just because it isn't all Sam & Dean all the time, or because Dean isn't being what they think he should be, or Sam isn't being written how they envision he should be.

SPN isn't just about 2 brothers, it's also about 2 people - individuals - who cannot and should not stay the same as they were 8 years ago. Yes, I loved seasons 1 and 2 (Hell House, anyone?). But I have to say, if the boys stayed exactly that way, then I might as well watch DVDs of those seasons and be done.

I am loving how Dean's character is being written and acted out (many thanks to Jensen for making Dean as real and believable as he is) in S8. I don't like how Sam is being written right now, I think it's out of character for him to not look for Dean, and to be so hung up on his life Amelia even AFTER finding out that Dean had been hanging on to dear life in Purgatory while Sam found the "something he's never had before".

But I am a fan of SPN for more than Sam, or Dean; and while I think the brothers and their relationship is the rock of the show, I also think that it's impossible to write eight seasons of interesting plot without introducing some recurring supporting characters. Some I like, some I don't, but I think they are necessary.

As for the fear that Benny will replace Sam - I don't understand it. Cas didn't replace Sam (that's after the Ruby fiasco and then the soulless season). Anyone who understands Dean, and Sam, and SPN as a show, should know that in the end, the brothers will find their way back to each other. There's been countless separations (how many times has one of them walked away from the other?), but it's never permanent.

I think we should take the episode for face value, and not infuse into it our own fears of what is and what should never be ;)
@FoolForDean, I think I've given the impression that I dislike secondary characters when that’s not how I feel about them en masse. I like, and have liked, quite a lot of the secondary characters and have found them interesting (who couldn't help but like Bobby or Ellen or Frank or Crowley for example) but I just don't find these characters as interesting as the Winchester brothers and I'm not always keen for the show to concentrate on secondary characters at the expense of developing the two main characters on the show. I'm not saying this happens all the time, and I have found some episodes that concentrated on developing a secondary character interesting. I'm just saying that I feel like sometimes the supporting characters get development when I feel the show would be better served by Sam and Dean getting some development.

I think I've also given the impression that I want the Winchesters to stay in stasis. I don't want that, I want them to grow and change and develop - as long as it stays consistent with previous character development and within the bounds established for their characters. However, what I do have an issue with is that I don't feel as though Sam and Dean like each other very much any more. I have felt that way about their relationship since S4. And since S5, and particularly in S7, the show has largely given me the feeling that they stay together because they stay together, if you know what I mean.

Early seasons had lots of episodes where they fought, disagreed about almost everything, thumped each other, parted company for a while etc but the strength of their bond for each other was apparent through all of it. In the last number of years it feels to me that the tinkering with that bond for the purposes of S4 has had a detrimental effect. I can understand why in S5 there was tension because of what happened in S4 but it continued on way past that season, when I would have liked it to be resolved.

Since S5, Dean's characterisatio n has largely been one of being angry about having his freaky younger brother to take care of and get out of trouble while dodging the Apocalypse that Sam helped to start. Sam's characterisatio n has largely been one of being subdued because of how far he went in S4, then trying to win Dean's approval back but being rebuffed a lot and then, seemingly, giving up on trying to improve things between him and Dean. I think 3 seasons with conflict in the fundamental relationship between the Winchesters is enough, let's have them working back towards the strong, caring, close relationship they had in S1-3. Let’s have them talking about things with each other and telling each other how they view things. Let's have them supporting each other and working as a strong team and fundamentally loving and liking each other again, even when they fall out with each other about things :-)

I am enjoying S8 Dean a lot more than the Dean we’ve had since S4. I was getting a little tired of his drinking, his depression, his resenting how Sam behaved. I want to see a Dean that has fire in his belly. I loved ‘Heartache’ because Dean told Sam how he felt about him and how he wanted things to be between them again. I didn’t mind Sam not agreeing with what Dean wants, Sam doesn’t always have to agree with Dean about things, but it was great to see the brothers talking about these sorts of things again instead of sniping at each other or just talking about the season's big baddie. Besides, I'm fairly sure that, in the end, Sam will change his mind and will want to be a full member of Team Winchester vs The World again. S8 Sam is a bit of a mystery and I do hope that the fact that he didn’t look for Dean is a huge misdirect by the writers, to get fandom all worked up and worried, which the writers will then resolve in an emotionally satisfying way that shows that Sam didn’t give up and abandon Dean to live life in Texas with an angry Vet :-) And I did like your positive final sentence :-) When one enjoys something as much as we enjoy Supernatural, it can be easy to get into a tizzy about things and to worry that, “it’s all gone wrong, please, won’t somebody fix it?!” I’m quoting my own reaction to S4 here lol.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-03 00:19
Quote:
I think 3 seasons with conflict in the fundamental relationship between the Winchesters is enough, let's have them working back towards the strong, caring, close relationship they had in S1-3. Let’s have them talking about things with each other and telling each other how they view things. Let's have them supporting each other and working as a strong team and fundamentally loving and liking each other again, even when they fall out with each other about things :-)
I couldn't agree with you more. I love S6 because basically it's a new thing. Although I wish they flesh out the soulless theory better. It's an interesting plot. There are lots of interesting plot in S6 that suddenly getting dropped in the middle of the season. S7 should be an extention of S6 not about the leviathan.
Fool For Dean
# Fool For Dean 2012-11-03 03:20
I think 3 seasons with conflict in the fundamental relationship between the Winchesters is enough, let's have them working back towards the strong, caring, close relationship they had in S1-3. Let’s have them talking about things with each other and telling each other how they view things. Let's have them supporting each other and working as a strong team and fundamentally loving and liking each other again, even when they fall out with each other about things :-)

@ciar: I whole-heartedly agree here, and I do feel that the 3 seasons of brotherly conflict enough. Yet, at the same time, I think with what each of them has done to the other, it would take something huge to be able to go back to where they were. How does Dean forget the Ruby thing? How does Sam forgive the killing Amy thing? I just think that in order for the plot to be realistic, the healing has to take some time before it can happen. But, God, I hope that it will, eventually. I would be crushed if they ended the show with the brothers apart. Well, I guess there is always fanfiction ;-)

I'm glad you left a comment! I feel that I understand your views much better, and it turns out we actually are in agreement on most things. :)
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-03 11:39
Quote:


I couldn't agree with you more. I love S6 because basically it's a new thing. Although I wish they flesh out the soulless theory better. It's an interesting plot. There are lots of interesting plot in S6 that suddenly getting dropped in the middle of the season. S7 should be an extention of S6 not about the leviathan.
@Kaj, I agree with you about S6, I enjoyed it a lot more than S4 and S5. S6 tried something new with Sam (for the time during which he was without a soul) and it let us see a very different side to his character. It also, more importantly, let us see a Dean who saw, and talked about, the positive characteristics that he saw in his younger brother - every time he told Soulless_Sam that there was something missing in him or that he didn’t measure up to Sam, my heart lifted because it was Dean seeing something good in his brother. However, this plot was also tinged with frustration for me in the latter half of the season when Dean seemed frustrated and resentful of Soul-Restored_Sam. Dean seemed less caring than I would have expected him to be with regards to Sam’s mental health issues. I found a lot of those episodes hard to watch. S7 was not as good for the relationship between the Winchesters: I loved how Dean behaved towards Sam in “Hello, Cruel World”, he seemed supportive and caring, however, that attitude didn’t continue throughout the season and that made me sad. Towards the end, when Sam had been committed to the mental health hospital, I did not see a Dean who would have done *anything* to fix his younger brother. I saw a Dean who was emotionally detached from his brother. Painful stuff to watch :(



Quote:

@ciar: I whole-heartedly agree here, and I do feel that the 3 seasons of brotherly conflict enough. Yet, at the same time, I think with what each of them has done to the other, it would take something huge to be able to go back to where they were. How does Dean forget the Ruby thing? How does Sam forgive the killing Amy thing? I just think that in order for the plot to be realistic, the healing has to take some time before it can happen. But, God, I hope that it will, eventually. I would be crushed if they ended the show with the brothers apart. Well, I guess there is always fanfiction ;-)

I'm glad you left a comment! I feel that I understand your views much better, and it turns out we actually are in agreement on most things. :)
@FoolForDean I’m so glad you enjoyed my comment :) I think that sometimes my frustration with things in Supernatural can make me seem as though I dislike the show and I really don’t dislike it, I just want it to be up to past high standards that I know it can reach when the writers are all doing their best job :)

I agree that there has to be a resolution of past issues for Dean and Sam before they can get back to being emotionally close again. I don’t have much of a sense from S5 onwards that they’ve ever really, properly discussed the issues that caused the rift between them and I really wish that the writers would include some scenes where Sam and Dean do have these talks. I think you’re correct that any healing of the rift should take a long time to achieve if it is to be realistic, and I really hope that’s what happens in S8. I don’t want to see an instant-fix, I want to watch them slog through the mire of their emotions, I want to see those two great actors portraying the hurt and fear their characters feel as well as the relief the characters would experience if the brotherly bond was repaired.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-03 00:14
Quote:
Anyone who understands Dean, and Sam, and SPN as a show, should know that in the end, the brothers will find their way back to each other. There's been countless separations (how many times has one of them walked away from the other?), but it's never permanent.
That's why to write a plot just like that again is like beating our heads with a stick for the third time when we know the first and the second times hurt. We know in the end they'll find a way to each other again. Is it really necessary to show it again and again and again?

Writing the same plot again and again and again?

Why not inventing a new one?
Fool For Dean
# Fool For Dean 2012-11-03 03:04
You know, you got a point there. I groan inwardly whenever one of them keeps a secret, too. I mean, not this again - didn't it happen last season... I guess it just bothers me less than it bothers other people.

I almost feel like ever since Ruby, the writers have dug a hole of mistrust that they can't get out of and so they sort of just keep going and making it a bigger hole... But yeah, I do wish they'd wrap that storyline up and move on already. Then again, how much plot can you write with two non-fighting brothers saving the world, how many new monsters can you come up with before it gets boring?
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-03 11:41
Quote:
Quote:
Anyone who understands Dean, and Sam, and SPN as a show, should know that in the end, the brothers will find their way back to each other. There's been countless separations (how many times has one of them walked away from the other?), but it's never permanent.
That's why to write a plot just like that again is like beating our heads with a stick for the third time when we know the first and the second times hurt. We know in the end they'll find a way to each other again. Is it really necessary to show it again and again and again?

Writing the same plot again and again and again?

Why not inventing a new one?
Quote:
You know, you got a point there. I groan inwardly whenever one of them keeps a secret, too. I mean, not this again - didn't it happen last season... I guess it just bothers me less than it bothers other people.

I almost feel like ever since Ruby, the writers have dug a hole of mistrust that they can't get out of and so they sort of just keep going and making it a bigger hole... But yeah, I do wish they'd wrap that storyline up and move on already. Then again, how much plot can you write with two non-fighting brothers saving the world, how many new monsters can you come up with before it gets boring?
@Kaj and @FoolForDean, I agree with both you on these points. We’ve seen years of the brothers lying to each other with negative consequences arising from this behaviour and yet they *never* learn from it. It frustrates me so much! I don’t have as much frustration with the plots where they separate and then reunite, those occasions make a bit more sense given how stubborn they both are and how much time they spend in each others company. However, I have felt that sometimes these separations have been forced on them by the writers rather than having the separations arise naturally from authentic character-drive n behaviours.

I wouldn’t want to see two non-fighting brothers, even in S1-3 (the halcyon days for me lol) the Winchester siblings squabbled and quarrelled their way across America and that was interesting, so I’d be happy to see them continue to do that but I’d prefer it not to be as a consequence of this rift between them. I’d prefer it to come from basic sibling rivalry and differing viewpoints about things.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-03 07:37
Quote:
Quote:
Anyone who understands Dean, and Sam, and SPN as a show, should know that in the end, the brothers will find their way back to each other. There's been countless separations (how many times has one of them walked away from the other?), but it's never permanent.
That's why to write a plot just like that again is like beating our heads with a stick for the third time when we know the first and the second times hurt. We know in the end they'll find a way to each other again. Is it really necessary to show it again and again and again?

Writing the same plot again and again and again?

Why not inventing a new one?
Excellent point, Kaj! I would extend your point to the "I hate hunting plot and want to live normal" plot too.

That plot has also been explored through both Sam and Dean. It has a foregone conclusion (i.e., the brother who wants normal embraces hunting), so I wish they would think of something new to do w/the brothers. Here's an idea . . . . put them on the same page for the first time! That would be new!
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-05 04:56
Quote:
Like many comments above, I am very bothered with the "fact" that Sam didn't look for Dean, and I'm waiting for a good explanation. I loved the critical and rational analyses of the character arcs and the writing that some of you have posted above. I've always thought that the SPN fandom has garnered a lot of sophisticated folks (such as the writers of WFB).

However, it makes me sad to see that so many people are about to give up on the show just because it isn't all Sam & Dean all the time, or because Dean isn't being what they think he should be, or Sam isn't being written how they envision he should be.

SPN isn't just about 2 brothers, it's also about 2 people - individuals - who cannot and should not stay the same as they were 8 years ago. Yes, I loved seasons 1 and 2 (Hell House, anyone?). But I have to say, if the boys stayed exactly that way, then I might as well watch DVDs of those seasons and be done.
I agree about wanting an explanation for Sam, and that they can't stay the same. But I disagree that what we are seeing is credible.

Character 'progression' is fine. By which I mean we see how a character starts out, we understand what kind of person they are, how they relate to the world, their loved ones, their job. We see what their values and motivations are. Then we watch that character go through many years of difficult experiences and we watch how those experiences subtly change the character in an organic, believable way. THAT is great drama and great writing. I am not at all arguing that Sam and Dean should be the same people they were in s1. I AM saying that any changes we see have to be believable when compared to their values and experiences.

EVERYTHING we have seen about Sam over the last 7 years; his courage, his sense of duty, his love for Dean, his single-minded focus on his goals, his resourcefulness , his actions every other time he has lost Dean, tell us that there is no way in hell this character would not look for his brother (or not help Kevin for that matter).

So I am all for the characters growing and maturing but this (Sam not looking for Dean) is neither. It is more like a personality transplant. This Sam is less recognisably Sam than Soulless Sam was. It is (if not adequately explained) rank bad writing.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-05 08:56
Quote:
However, it makes me sad to see that so many people are about to give up on the show just because it isn't all Sam & Dean all the time, or because Dean isn't being what they think he should be, or Sam isn't being written how they envision he should be.
For the record, I'm not considering leaving the show because it isn't Sam and Dean all the time. I'm considering leaving because Sam is acting in a way I don't understand and I'm getting no explanation as to why, while the Dean, but damaged and I'm being given all sorts of insight into his damage.

Frankly, I wish at this point that they had not done the year jump, but that they had shown one episode in Purgatory and one with Sam starting IMMEDIATELY AFTER DEAN DISAPPEARED. I would not have had a problem with them spending time apart. They didn't decide to do that and we have what we have. I watch shows because I enjoy them and Supernatural is becoming difficult for me to watch. Frankly, I have a right to say Sam isn't being written the way I want and it upsets me enough that I am considering leaving. I didn't sign a blood oath that I would watch Supernatural even if I feel very uneasy every single episode about how they are handling the situation. Jumping on my case because the treatment of Sam is MY breaking point is really not fair.

For the record again, I told myself I would stick with the show until the end of the season to see if my issues get addressed. But it is becoming har
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 13:23
I don’t know if JC has something else planned for the “Sam not looking for Dean” issue than what we were given so far, some sort of shocking or tragic revelation. It’s still possible and it might be interesting. But if there is no other explanation than “I’m sick of it all, I’m out” for Sam, I began trying to rationalize it, as Sam often does.

So, if I were Sam, had no clue were Dean was or if he was dead or alive, where would I start looking? I came up with these possibilities (sorry, it’s a bit too long):

a) Dean did not die. He may: a.1) have been transported somewhere else on Earth. If that was the case, it would be simpler to wait for Dean to find him, not otherwise. He is resourceful enough to find his way back, if he wanted to. Or maybe he just decided for some time off and was relaxing in a spa with big steaming showers. a.2) have been transported somewhere else on Earth but lost his memory. Sam might have contemplated this possibility as a second chance to Dean, a chance for peace, for a normal, non-violent life, without the all the trauma and the depression. Much like Cass when we first found him, married with Amelia#1 – he surely was in peace with himself. Make Dean remember everything they went through would be cruel and selfish. a.3) have been transported somewhere else on Earth but was badly hurt and wasn’t able to move a finger. For these guys, “hurt” means “unconscious and near death”. Anything less wouldn’t stop them. So, either Dean would survive and, then, look for Sam, or die. And there would be nothing for Sam to do, unless Dean keeps his “near death” status for so long, until Sam finds him. And that could take a lifetime, and only to find where Dean died. a.4) have been transported somewhere else on Earth but is being held captive by who knows. I’m sure if Sam was certain of that he would do anything to rescue Dean. But who would want to maintain Dean captive? Kill him, ok, but keep him alive and a prisoner? For what purpose? And a very risky situation for the person/monster/ demon/whatever keeping Dean like that.

b) Dean died and: a.1) is in Heaven: no reason whatsoever to “rescue” him. a.2) is in Hell: here we go all over again. I admit that, despite everything they have been through, I think Sam would still try to bring Dean back from Hell, using an angel, Death, a spell, whatever. But that’s tricky: if, as we were lead to believe, God is the ultimate One who decides who goes to Heaven and, consequently, who goes to Hell, then if God revisited his decision and decided to deny Heaven for Sam and Dean, they would, eventually, end up there some day, unless they find the trick for eternal life – and the one they got was not worth it (see season 3, the mad doctor). Nevertheless, the information Sam has is that both of them would end up in Heaven, not Hell a.3) is in Purgatory: a human died and went to Purgatory? Not possible!

c) Dean was alive in Heaven, Hell or Purgatory: as far as we know from the show, it would be a very, VERY, unusual thing to be in any of these 3 places ALIVE. As far as we know, only dead people/monster end up in H, H or P (or angels, as far as Heaven goes). Alive people/monsters stay on Earth. Ok, there is the SoullessSam/Sam in the Pit situation, but we don’t know if ever Sam was there alive (body and soul together).

As far as Purgatory goes, there was no logical reason for Dean to end up there, dead or alive, and even if he did, it would be too risky for the world to try to free him up.
Sam eventually gave up rescuing Dean from Hell in Season 4 after he ran out of options, and then went vengeful on Lilith as a reason to keep on living (with Ruby’s ‘help’). This time he just kept on living. I also believe Dean was searching for a way to free Sam from the Pit, but a safe way for humanity.

That’s it, that was what I was able to think of. Anyone else have a suggestion? I’m not very creative. Or I’m just trying my best to understand Sam as he was written, because I like him too much and I can’t let go, no matter the amount of bad decisions he makes (not that I necessarily think that not looking for Dean was a bad decision. It just puzzles me. I’m willing to wait and see before making a final judgment). Same goes for Dean. So, until proven wrong, I’m going with: Sam decided not to go all crazy and be consumed until his death by a search that all logic point is hopeless or too dangerous, not only for him, but for everyone caught up in the middle, bringing more death and despair, possibly even for Dean himself. Like the examples he’s got with John and himself, or even with Bobby. That’s a decision I sympathise with.

Or, still, Sam didn’t give up all hope to see Dean again, that’s why he kept going to the cabin? Ok, clearly I really cannot make up my mind! I hope we get a better insight on it.

Plus, it’s a holiday eve and work is unusually slow, so I’m bored. Sorry if I bored you all along with me! I just had to share, my PVO and my boredom!
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-01 13:49
Love this post, Vivian.
That does make sense when you look at it that way, all bulleted and explained. There really is no way for Sam to know what happened to Dean, or if at all he needs any looking (he could be happy in Heaven for all Sam knows) and researching the weapon (as someone suggested above) is simply not possible, unless God or Metatron is at hand. Even Cas couldnt read the chicken scratch on the God rock.
That being the case, the next logical step is to look for Kevin, him being the only one who can help Sam even if Sam could find some other rock that says God Weapon Manual, and this is where I go all Team Perception.
Sam was cagey when Dean played those phone messages to him in the premiere. Some thought emotionless and some thought detached, but to me, he looked like he was hiding something. He tried to change the subject. He kept looking away. A little later he is concerned about Kevin being dragged into an inescapable mess-- contradiction much?
I keep having this feeling that demons are involved somehow. I dunno how, but it's a really strong intuition.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 14:05
Thank you, Darya! Boredom can be useful!

You're right, it seems it all comes down to Kevin!

Yes, I think someone else is involved, very possibly demons (the figure watching Sam in episode 01?)

"God Weapon Manual" - ha!
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-03 00:29
Quote:
Sam was cagey when Dean played those phone messages to him in the premiere. Some thought emotionless and some thought detached, but to me, he looked like he was hiding something. He tried to change the subject. He kept looking away. A little later he is concerned about Kevin being dragged into an inescapable mess-- contradiction much?
I keep having this feeling that demons are involved somehow. I dunno how, but it's a really strong intuition.
That's what i felt too Darya. As i have pointed out on comment when 8.01 was aired, I thought Sam's stance was awkward and he didn't dare to look Dean in the eyes. Like he was hiding something. He seems more frantic in asking Dean about Cas. Then frantically asking Kevin about the tablet. Even Kevin looked at him oddly. His apology to Kevin for not answering his message sounded half-hearted, like it was not what he actually want to say to Kevin.

Demons are always involved. But I also suspecting the Angels. I am still not forgetting the mysterious figure outside the house.

The key is what's written in the tablet. Even Kevin don't know all of it. He hasn't able to read the tablet to find out the ingredients, right. There's something there about the Winchesters, I am sure.

Something about the blood of the one who broke the first seal, or the tainted blood of a vessel. There's a reason why suddenly Benny make a proposal to get Dean out of Purg.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-01 15:03
I'm sorry Vivian but these justifications just do not stand up. In order for Sam to make some of the judgement calls you imply here he would have had to first find out what had happened to Dean. And he made no such effort. I'm sorry but no matter how logical or hopeless or difficult you try to make finding Dean sound, not looking for him simply isn't what Sam would have done. We''ve seen him try to rescue Dean from Hell. We've seen him single-mindedly live a whole 6 months relentlessly searching for a way to get a Dean back who physically died in his arms. And most recently we saw him get Dean back from 60 years in the past. So the difficulty / danger of the task has never put him off before. I see no justification for the 180 degree turn his character is meant to have taken in the moments after Dick exploded.

And even if you accept all your points about Dean, what can possibly explain Sam not trying to rescue Kevin? An innocent 17 year old with huge powers in the hands of power crazy and evil Crowley. Just ridiculous that the man who threw himself into a cage with Lucifer to save the world, who has kept hunting and saving people through losing Dean, finding Dean, through losing his mind, through losing Bobby and his Dad, through being soulless, walled, hellucinations and everything else should suddenly become a selfish coward rather than the loyal brother and hero we have always known him to be.

I appreciate your efforts to make sense of this but nothing short of finding out that Sam did look, or that he couldn't look will satisfy me.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 15:54
It's ok, Geordiegirl1967 , we just have different POV.

I guess some of my reasoning comes from a personality trait: I tend to be more forgiving and understanding, especially on people weakness. I don't think a person has to be all brave all the time.

So Sam may have given up to promptly on Dean. It doesn't mean he stopped loving him. But I think he was so crushed, AGAIN, and so freaking tired to go through all that process all over again! Poor Sammy, that's what I say.

A person doesn't need to make the same decision every time when facing the same sittuation. Maybe finally, in this unth time, it hit him: stop, nothing good will come from a hopeless search, even if I actually find him, for every it seems to get worse! Like Cas said, it's like a punishment ressuraction.

Also, I don't think he had to search first to reach this conclusions. I didn't have to, it was just things we all know from previous seasons, or pure logic.

As for Kevin - yes, it wasn't right, but I guess Sam stopped hunting cold turkey, or he would he tempted to try to find Dean!
mer
# mer 2012-11-01 16:12
I agree with this point of view...to me also, the characters don't need to do what I think they should do...this story is about them and what choices they made and the consequences... I plan on staying out of the fray and watching:)

Besides one must allow for character growth the boys are not robots to behave the same way just because they did something before!!
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-01 17:41
Quote:
It's ok, Geordiegirl1967, we just have different POV.

I guess some of my reasoning comes from a personality trait: I tend to be more forgiving and understanding, especially on people weakness. I don't think a person has to be all brave all the time.

So Sam may have given up to promptly on Dean. It doesn't mean he stopped loving him. But I think he was so crushed, AGAIN, and so freaking tired to go through all that process all over again! Poor Sammy, that's what I say.

A person doesn't need to make the same decision every time when facing the same sittuation. Maybe finally, in this unth time, it hit him: stop, nothing good will come from a hopeless search, even if I actually find him, for every it seems to get worse! Like Cas said, it's like a punishment ressuraction.

Also, I don't think he had to search first to reach this conclusions. I didn't have to, it was just things we all know from previous seasons, or pure logic.

As for Kevin - yes, it wasn't right, but I guess Sam stopped hunting cold turkey, or he would he tempted to try to find Dean!
Your attitude does you credit Vivian, but sadly the question here isn't 'what would you do'? or 'what would I do'? It is 'what would Sam do'? And I'm sorry but from EVERYTHING I know about him, from his actions every time he has been faced with a similar situation, and from what we have been shown about how he reacts to others being in danger it is simply inconceivable that he wouldn't look for Dean.

If he had found out where he was - eg some of the options you spell out - he might have made the decisions you suggest. For example he would certainly have left him in Heaven. He may well have decided that it was too risky for the world in general to save him from hell. But he would have found out where Dean was first then decided on a course of action. He would not do what you did here ie sit down and in his head play out a number of scenarios then conclude 'OK I'll do nothing'.

Just as an illustration what if Dean had been zapped away by Crowley and kept prisoner. That is plausible and a rescue perfectly doable.

I say again, there is nothing anyone can ever say that will convince me that Sam just deciding of his own free will not to look for Dean is anything other than ooc, a betrayal of tthe brave and loyal character of Sam, and of the bond between the brothers, and just rank bad writing.

If this is how it turns out I will not be able to get past it. This is my line in the sand sadly.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 18:18
All right, there is no margin for debate then. I'm sorry you feel this way. I was just trying to understand Sam and the story that is being told, not make you change your mind, though. We can agree to disagree etc..
Teresa Pezzino
# Teresa Pezzino 2012-11-01 18:52
Just some food for thought - While Dean had to deal with Sam's death twice, both of those times he did not have to bury him. Sam dealt with Dean's death more than a hundred times AND had to bury him twice - a hunter's funeral, which entails a great deal of heart-breaking, hands-on work. When Dean disappeared, I truly feel that Sam put a great deal of thought into how to look for Dean but was unable to settle on any particular action that he didn't feel might lead him down that path of 'collateral damage'.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 19:25
[When Dean disappeared, I truly feel that Sam put a great deal of thought into how to look for Dean but was unable to settle on any particular action that he didn't feel might lead him down that path of 'collateral damage'.

That was the point I was trying to make above. Thank you.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-01 19:03
The only problem I have with your logic is that if 1 most of the scenarios under 1 happened, Sam made certain Dean could never find him because he turned off his phones and went to live in Texas. So he not only didn't look for Dean, if 1 a) happened, he actively kept Dean from finding him.

The whole Sam never looked for Dean makes NO sense. For me it is a writing fail.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 19:17
He turned off his phone, to not have to answer to calls that would drag, or tempt him, to hunt, IMO.

But he did visit the cabin. How frequently or why we don't know. I'm guessing, if he thought the scenario 1 was a possibility, that Dean would go there to find him. And he was right. Dean found him.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-03 00:43
Quote:
He turned off his phone, to not have to answer to calls that would drag, or tempt him, to hunt, IMO.
I am sorry Vivian but If Sam turns off his phones and if somehow a hunter, maybe Garth found someone surfing the beach in California with no memory and who really looks like Dean, he would have to call Sam, right? And Sam has turns off his phone.

If my family is missing I will never turn off my phone just in case they call me. And this is Sam. Turning off his phone just to avoid temptation to hunt is OOC for him. Sam already said he doesn't want to hunt. Hunt is not an addiction to Sam, Hunting is not demon blood. Why would Sam be tempted to hunt?

Turning off his phone can only mean turning his back on Dean. He has closed his book on Dean and consider his big brother just a mere memory of the past, just like Andrea for Benny. And Sam went to the cabin to walk the memory lane. To reminiscing the past. The problem is his 'memory' is not a memory anymore because Dean's back.

I wonder is Benny and Andrea mirroring Sam and Dean. Sam = Benny, Dean = Andrea.

Sam, like Benny, wants to ask Dean to live normal with him and be happy without hunting the supernatural. Laying low under the radar, living in peace for once.

But Dean right from the start, like Andrea, wants to bring Sam back to the hunting world just like what they did before.
SueL
# SueL 2012-11-01 13:36
Looks like there is just no pleasing people when it comes to Sam. First there isn't enough FB on his story and now when they give us a bunch, that isn't good enough either.

I personally loved the whole thing. I feel from the beginning that Sam thought that Dean was dead and had no way of knowing where he went. What else could he do but move on with his life so the wondering around aimlously makes sense, reason he didn't see the dog in time. Becomming the motel handyman gives him some purpose for now. I think Amelia will be a good thing for him since she is cautious due to her own intertermoil she is going through. From little FB scenes we've seen so far, it looks like they help each other out of their depressive states and tried to have a normal, happy life together, day by day.

As for the Benny story, I love him and the direction they have taken him. I like that he does not "drink people" which makes him even more likable. As for not being able to understand his dialog some times, I always watch with the CC on because Dean has a tendency to mumble sometimes also so that way I don't miss some important little comments.

I agree that the last scene was just priceless. The unspoken dialog between the brothers is just so spot on. Even without saying a word we all know what is going on between them. This is a testiment to their acting abilities. I'm hoping with the tense scenes coming up next week, that they both, especially Dean, reveals more of the back story from Purgatory to make Sam understand the relationship he has with Benny. That has always been the one thing that has bothered me in all seasons is the secrets that these two keep from each other. They are brothers, and rely on each other so much, there just should not be all these secrets between them.

Either way though, I am hooked, have been hooked since the beginning and will continue to hang in there with them all the way.
E
# E 2012-11-01 22:22
There was an interesting idea introduced by Ben Edlund about all the lying. Because of the way that Sam and Dean were raised; assumed names, moving all around, lying at school, John's "need to know crap" as Sam put it... they have been taught to lie from the cradle. It's ingrained in them so deeply, that they almost can't help themselves even when they know that telling each other the truth will help them. They lie to each other, to their friends, their love interests, John lied to them, Mary lied to John...it's a Winchester hallmark.
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2012-11-03 00:53
Quote:
There was an interesting idea introduced by Ben Edlund about all the lying. Because of the way that Sam and Dean were raised; assumed names, moving all around, lying at school, John's "need to know crap" as Sam put it... they have been taught to lie from the cradle. It's ingrained in them so deeply, that they almost can't help themselves even when they know that telling each other the truth will help them. They lie to each other, to their friends, their love interests, John lied to them, Mary lied to John...it's a Winchester hallmark.
WOW #E I hadn't thought about that but that all really makes sense. Of course if that is the way they have been raised and the way they live and survive, it is natural to continue that phasa with each other. Thanks for that intriguing insight.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-02 07:50
Quote:
I feel from the beginning that Sam thought that Dean was dead and had no way of knowing where he went.
Its just that i have been "feeling" for a long time its time the show showed it
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 13:37
By the way, loved the episode! Benny is a very interesting character. Will he still hold on his resolution not to drink from people? He did it for love but had a bitter disapointment. Will he change in light of what happened? He said to Dean he didn't know who or what he is anymore!
Mary Ruh
# Mary Ruh 2012-11-01 14:30
Yes, absolutely agree about the head-shaking Dean part. All that silence spoke VOLUMES and you make a great point about the subtle character nuances. Everytime I rewatch an episode I take something new away from it.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2012-11-01 15:07
Apologizing from the get go as this will be long. But my mind is just racing with so much information, theories, reflections, responses and excitement I can’t summarize any more briefly. Can’t believe I take notes on a TV show. Have to or it will really be a rambling. Watched a second time this morning. Would love to respond to so many of your comments, but alas, there are so many and I can’t keep track of who said what. But know I ready every single comment so far and appreciate everyone’s take, theory and reflections. I respect everyone’s opinion.

First of all, I loved this episode, love this show and love the brothers. So real to me it’s scary. I will admit to being slanted towards being a Dean girl. Since I am the oldest I totally understand where he comes from more often. Also, have a somewhat similar relationship as the boys to my youngest sibling, we are both female. I get the caretaker thing. Especially when a family has been through trauma. Every time another trauma hits one of you or both there is the tendency to fall back into old routines, patterns and relationships with family members.

This to me is the crux of much of what I see happening with S/D. IMO Sam is back to old pattern of letting Dean be the leader, not that Sam can’t or hasn’t ever been a leader. Listening and giving in to big brother, maybe even if he wants to do something different. Maybe guilt over past decisions when he was more of the leader, who knows. His PTSD over ‘losing’ Dean feels at the heart and soul of this Sam. His comments to Amelia, “Because you have no one at all.”, “No idea where you’re going…”. “That’s why you’re here in this place.” Comment to Dean, “All your friends are dead.” Is this Sam speaking to them or himself??

His near panic attacks when he can’t get hold of Dean, or Dean brushes him off. Fears of Dean dying again! Thinking Dean is trying to get himself killed. Can Sam handle that again? How many times does he have to relive that pain? Sometimes we can be so afraid of losing someone we love we react in just the opposite way. Don’t we get way angrier at people we love and lash out than at people we don’t have the vested interest in? It’s a mechanism most of us have to protect ourselves. So I understand the angry comments by both of them right now. Does not say to me that they don’t love each other. Quite the contrary actually. They love each other too much. I have all adult sons. I know they love each other, but spiteful digs sometimes come out of their mouths more often than a compliment for sure.

Interesting comments by percysowner about why Sam is attracted to Amelia. Totally see some of that. I am sure everyone has noticed all the booze around her place. Remind you of Dean last season?

Don’t see Sam as being too late to help. He was speeding and Dean didn’t give him much of a heads up so he could get there earlier.

Now to Dean. Loving him, but of course he has his faults. PTSD for sure. Difficulty assimilating back into being topside, but also back into relationships. Just like a soldier who comes back from a tour. Loves his family (Sam), but can’t relate. His fight/flight response is still in super high gear. Senses are on overdrive and that is hard to just turn off. Doesn’t always think of consequences of actions. Or effects on family he leaves behind. Just reacting. Will run off to save a fellow soldier and probably leave his family in an instant. Maybe not without some trepidation, guilt and confliction though. Dean started to text Sam, and then figured he’d either ask too many questions or wouldn’t understand. Can’t understand. His past year was too different. Dean can’t explain it fully. Keeps it all inside, just like many soldiers do. It’s a constant struggle within on how to reconnect with ‘reality’ and relationships pre-combat. Doesn’t mean the soldier doesn’t still LOVE his family. But different experiences change people.

So they are both trying to rekindle something that can maybe never be quite the same. All kinds of reasons. Secrets they are still keeping, being more mature, last year’s experiences, different traumas they both experienced and what they want to do in the future. Both holding back a lot as hinted in preview. But I still have seen tender moments and fun brother jabs. “Stop talking. Not what I called about.” Funny stuff in the midst of a crisis. Siblings naturally will have a changing relationship as they age, and these guys have had nothing natural, so I expect it to be even harder to keep relating.

Family members who work together in the real world have to find a balance of family and their own lives. I don’t see that as the camel breaking this show’s back as sadly some seem to fear. I just purely love watching how it all comes out. I don’t always love what the writers do, but I know it’s a show and I can’t always have my way. But I love watching, trying to figure out the mystery and speculating.

Just a couple more things and I promise I’ll quit. Interesting things with Benny and how they can have a lot of meaning regarding the boys. Revenge not turning out as hoped, memories being skewed or finding out you can’t go back to something in the past and relive it. Too much pain transpiring in between for sure. And Dean reassuring Benny they were real (HCW similarities) Is Dean trying to save Benny like he tries with Sam. Or is he trying to convince himself? Benny asking, “Why’d you resurrect me?” I mean how many times have we seen that go wrong later when the boys did it. Same with revenge.

So, although I wish Sam had looked for Dean, which as many have said, is a still bit ambiguous, I can understand and accept them both as they are right now. Looking forward to all that is too come. Loving it all. Sorry I went on so long and if you endured this to the end I also apologize for not being the prolific writer that some others are.
st50
# st50 2012-11-01 15:20
I made it to the end, winmomwannabe, and thank you for a great comment.
I love these boys, both of them.
The Sam analysis is getting really redundant, so I'll just say I'm sticking to my "It ain't canon until it actually comes out of Sams mouth" stance on the 'didn't look' thing. Other than that, I'm happy with this episode, and looking forward to next week. Let the boys fight it out and clear the air... 'cause that's what real brothers do.
For me, that's Nuff said.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-02 07:54
Quote:
"It ain't canon until it actually comes out of Sams mouth"
I agree
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-03 01:04
Quote:
"It ain't canon until it actually comes out of Sams mouth" stance on the 'didn't look' thing. ....
Agree. Just like what I always say. I am still waiting for that dialogue and that scene.

Quote:
Let the boys fight it out and clear the air... 'cause that's what real brothers do.
Yep.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-01 15:34
I think they are overselling the experience gap between Sam and Dean, which is part of my general sense that the writers are emphasizing the events of the past year to the exclusion of everything that came before. Yes, Sam wasn't in purgatory and didn't share that particular 24/7 battle zone, but he's been a hunter all his life, and he had 180 years in Lucifer's cage. It's not like he doesn't understand danger or extreme experience, yet they are acting almost like he's lived a civilian life and can't relate to the whole soldier thing at all.

And, on the other side, Dean has been questioning hunting from the very beginning, and had his own experiences of dreaming of normal and trying for normal. They may not have been the same as Sam's, but there's enough in common that it's not some huge communication gap.

I feel like they are going for a set of neat contrasts and conflicts that aren't really convincing in the light of long and complex and variable histories.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 16:28
I really like your analysis of Sam and I read others that have had decent reason for why Sam made the choice he did. The problem I find with all of them goes back to the same thing. If this is the whole reason. If this is all there is to Sam's reasoning, why didn't they explain that in the first episode or at least the 2nd or 3rd. There's no reason I can see that he would hide this from Dean. In fact by hiding them he's actually making Dean feel worse. The same with not looking for him because of the possible collateral damage.

I'm not likely to stop watching the show but for me to feel fully satisfied, I need an better or more complete explanation. If it was some random canon issue, I might gripe but move on. But the brothers relationship is fundamental to the show. And so Sam not looking for him needs to be explained extremely well, not with just throwaway comments.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 18:02
I agree with you Kelly, if that was the whole explanation for not looking for Dean, we need to understand what Sam was feeling better. I'm really, really hoping we will get there through the whole Amelia thing. Apparently, JC opted for both stories (Purgatory / Amelia) to unfold slowly, that's why we are all tense.

If that was all the reason, Sam did explain to Dean his motives (all alone, he was lost, all family/friends dead etc. - I refuse to think of Garth as a resource. I don't dislike him, but man, he is waaay too green. Only good for standard hunts. What could he possibly know that Sam didn't?), Dean is the one who's got to try to understand him. And now Sam will have to try to understand Dean in this Benny situation.

It didn't have the same repercussion in the fandom, but Sam not looking for Dean kind of mirrors Dean abandoning Cas in Purgatory. Both decisions were to be shocking at first sight, but we have to see the whole story first to judge. JC perception angle.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 18:26
I am counting on you being correct that Sam's story is just beginning to unfold. And I don't mind a slow burn in a story, it can lead to some great ones. It can also be a nice long build that ends up fizzling. Like the Leviathan storyline did last season. It's just a little riskier, but does have the potential for bigger payoffs when it works.

They motives they explained so far just aren't doing for me. They don't feel right. Going with how they are at this moment with no further explanation I say they feel like excuse to set up conflict or a poorly conceived storyline. But I'm still giving them the benefit of the doubt.

But I do need more. Like the Campbell storyline S6, I never bought Grandpa's reason for doing what he did. Now maybe if we'd have seen Crowley sweet talking him when the deal was made I would have bought it. But that was smaller storyline not pivotal to the show, so I find it irritating and move on. If this is a face value storyline, I want some FB that convinces me that Sam would not even bother to figure out if Dean was dead or alive. 'Cause they definitely haven't made the case yet as far as I'm concerned.

I noticed the Cas parallels, but so far we have Dean refusing to leave him. And a flash of Cas possibly letting go screaming. So far he's still pretty heroic.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 18:32
Let's wait and see, fingers crossed!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-01 18:49
The difference is they showed Dean being haunted by leaving Cas and they have started to show what happened in Purgatory. With Sam they have portrayed him as not feeling any remorse for not looking and then Sam seems less than enthusiastic that Dean is back. This all reflects badly on Sam and makes me really doubt the writing for this season. What happened in Purgatory is interesting. Sam's romance bores me and sheds no light on Sam's actions before he hit the dog.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 19:42
It's true, Dean was shown as being haunted by leaving Cas. But they also hinted he may have chosen Benny over Cas, which makes me very anxious!

Sam for me seems... drained. And it's not the 'romance' that interests me, it's Sam's story and state of mind told through the Amelia story. We don't even know if it was a romance at all! I don't feel like it was, they look like just two people picking up the pieces after a major tragedy. Possibly that created a bond between them, but not necessarily romance.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-05 05:54
Quote:
Sam not looking for Dean kind of mirrors Dean abandoning Cas in Purgatory. Both decisions were to be shocking at first sight, but we have to see the whole story first to judge. JC perception angle.
Except that we already know, just 4 eps in (not counting the aside that was Bitten) that Dean tried his hardest to get Cas out. He didn't abandon him. He sought him out. He said he'd get Cas out with them or die trying. So after a brief ep or so of doubt Dean's unselfish, self sacrificing hero/loyal friend halo is re-polished and back in place. Don't get me wrong. I expected no less of Dean and was happy to see that. But Sam's unsympathetic actions remain unexplained, or worse (and this is my main concern) - the writers think they have explained them.
DeDe
# DeDe 2012-11-01 17:22
I guessed you were a first born a long time ago from your comments. We get Dean from a POV. Sam, heh...he pouts a lot.
DeDe
# DeDe 2012-11-01 17:23
shout out was to WinMomWannabe. Sorry for ambiguous posts.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2012-11-01 17:49
DeDe, Hope I'm not always obvious when I comment on other posts. I do love both boys. Heck I have a Sam of my own. Ha. I have to say that watching this show and reading the comments from others has given me a new insightful POV on how my youngest sister may feel about some things. I know in the past she thought I was bossy. But on the flip side, whenever she is in trouble or in need. Who does she call at 3am? Yep, me. Not our mom. Odd symbiotic relationships! She made some very poor choices at times in her life and it is such a parallel to S/D. It made me understand her so much more. Interesting thing. Like Sam, I've never perceived that she needs me as much as I need her in my life. Guess being thrust alone with 3 siblings when you are 9 can do that kind of thing. Again, why I totally get Dean's caretaker roll and how once the protector, always the protector, even when they are 40 something!!! Haha. S/D will never be able to think alike or have the same POV on some things in life. Trouble is, they don't understand that about each other and so keep butting heads. Maybe in their 40's!
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 18:09
See now I'm the younger sister with a bossy older sister who I adore and like Dean she's got a less bossy as she got older, although her kids probably disagree. She did have a large part in raising me and typically is who I will call in a crisis. So while I probably identify more with Sam at times, Dean reminds me of her, so I end up definitely bibro. Of course I love them in there own right too, obviously.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-01 18:57
Quote:
S/D will never be able to think alike or have the same POV on some things in life. Trouble is, they don't understand that about each other and so keep butting heads. Maybe in their 40's!
I'm going to defend Sam here. In season one he tried to point out that they would never see things the same way and that it didn't mean they couldn't still be brothers and love each other. He tried to explain the same thing to Dean after DSOTM, that Sam never knew Mary, never had a mom cut the crusts off his sandwich and so he relates to family in a different way than Dean does. I think Sam totally understand that he and Dean see the world differently and that doesn't mean they have to be alienated. In fact, ignoring Sam not looking for Dean, Sam is pretty well stating the fact that he and Dean are different this year. He acknowledges that Dean wants to hunt and he doesn't. He isn't trying to make Dean fit into his ideal of a life, he's just trying to live the life he wants. Dean is the one having issues with accepting that they can do different things and still be family.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-01 20:10
I agree with the idea that Sam has much more come to grips with the idea that he wants to live a different life than Dean. Of course, he's had a lot more time to get used to that idea. I think the problem is not that Sam isn't trying to make Dean fit into his ideal of life, but he's not giving Dean or the audience any idea of how he'd like Dean to fit into his life, so to speak. This season, I haven't seen any indication what Sam actually wants from their relationship. He doesn't want to hunt, and he knows Dean feels it's his purpose. But how does he see their relationship going forward from that point? Yes, in normal families these separations are quite common, but the Winchesters aren't normal.

Let's be fair--Sam has no better idea how to separate hunting from family than Dean does. When Sam saw purpose in hunting, he wanted Dean by his side. When Dean was gone, he saw no purpose in hunting. So now Sam has separated himself from hunting, and by extension from Dean. I don't think Dean does have a clear picture of being brothers without proximity, because let's face it--a lot of times when Sam and he have parted ways Sam has not been in contact with him. He has every reason, in my opinion, to have no idea how his relationship with Sam will stand without hunting binding them together.

But here's the thing--I am really curious to know how Sam sees them going forward with their separate lives but maintaining their brotherhood, because I honestly have no idea and I don't think Sam does either. This episode demonstrated that to me--when Dean called and told Sam that he was in a vampire's nest, Sam freaked out. But if Sam is living his normal life, that's how it's going to work. Dean's going to be hunting and putting himself in harm's way, because that's the job, and Sam is not going to be there. I don't think Sam has truly resolved how he thinks that's all going to work in a way that makes both of them happy. He knows he wants normal and Dean doesn't, and I believe he believes they can still be brothers, but I don't think he's got any better clue than Dean how that might conceivably happen.

**Ignoring the fact that it's more than likely not going to happen, because show isn't going to separate the boys like that permanently, in my opinion.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-01 20:50
I agree with you, that is hard equation to solve! I don't see any answer, either, and I think Sam and Dean also don't have a clue!

I add to that: Is Sam tired of hunting or of suffering? I understand why he associates one with the other, and a normal life with puppies and rainbows, but will he stand a normal life in a long run?
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-01 21:13
That's a very good question, vivian, and I think it applies both to Sam now and to Dean during the depressiion periods. Is it really the hunt that Sam is tired of, or is it the suffering? Dean certainly lost his love for the job because of the constant losses and the crushing weight of responsibility. I think it makes sense for Sam to shy away from jumping back into the job that has taken everything from him. I think the normal life view of puppies and rainbows is the lens Sam (and by extension the audience) is examining the flashbacks through. The lighting in 8.3 certainly lent itself to that idea. I expect that to change over time.

Dean dreamed of a normal life, but in the end he couldn't ignore his brotherly bond and he couldn't make normal work. Since Sam had already left his "puppies and rainbows" normal by the time he met up with Dean, I predict he had the same difficulties adapting to normal, but faced with the idea of really rejoining the hunt he's balking. Sam is a very strong-willed man, and he never likes it when a decision is presented to him. He wants to choose his own way, so the more Dean pushes the more he'll push back. I do think that he'll come to the decision on his own, because the show's entire theme runs on the boys being heroes for saving people from monsters and because I think Sam is a hero. It's the getting to that spot that's going to be the journey.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2012-11-01 22:00
Quote:
Is it really the hunt that Sam is tired of, or is it the suffering? Dean certainly lost his love for the job because of the constant losses and the crushing weight of responsibility. I think it makes sense for Sam to shy away from jumping back into the job that has taken everything from him.
Agree with this.

Also see some of the points percysowner made above. I didn't mean to imply Sam had never tried to make Dean understand. Just don't think they are there yet. I think DSOTM exemplifies what I said about them coming from totally different perspectives. Think I said that in a post long ago too.

Emmau your thoughts also are good points. Aren't all of us better at figuring it out for other people, but still are blind to some of our own issues!
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-01 22:34
I don't think Sam has figured out anything yet either . He did seem frantic when Dean told him where he was. Does he think Dean is going to stop hunting because he does? I don't think so. But he can't stand the thought of him being out there by himself obviously, so what does he think will happen?

And I think as much as he wants a normal life what he is craving is an end to the suffering. Good points all around.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-01 23:30
Seriously good point.
If Sam simply wants to leave hunting, that really does not explain all the panic and hand-wringing and (ha) moose phone smash. Dean is a hunter first and foremost, Sam should know he wouldn't quit. So what's he going to do while living a normal life? Check on Dean every hour? Desert everything and run when he doesn't pick up the phone?
(by the way, I don't believe Sam was late. He sped up because he panicked, and it's possible that he saw the boat when he got to the dock)
I read this as Sam trying to convince himself to leave, equating hunting to suffering. The lighting in Heartache could imply that. His line 'nothing says family business more than the whole family being dead' could imply that too.
As someone said above, if he does want to quit, he needs to think of what place Dean then has in his life. (and I do mean that literally, I'm not suggesting any abandonments)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-02 08:00
Quote:
Sam has not been in contact with him.
and Dean with Sam
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-03 07:34
Quote:
I agree with the idea that Sam has much more come to grips with the idea that he wants to live a different life than Dean. Of course, he's had a lot more time to get used to that idea
I disagreeQuote:
but he's not giving Dean or the audience any idea of how he'd like Dean to fit into his life,
If the show lets him and not have him interrupted with phone calls he may.Quote:
Sam has no better idea how to separate hunting from family than Dean does.
I know he does.I am not saying he will be perfect at it just that he has a better idea.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-02 07:59
Quote:
I'm going to defend Sam here. In season one he tried to point out that they would never see things the same way and that it didn't mean they couldn't still be brothers and love each other. He tried to explain the same thing to Dean after DSOTM, that Sam never knew Mary, never had a mom cut the crusts off his sandwich and so he relates to family in a different way than Dean does. I think Sam totally understand that he and Dean see the world differently and that doesn't mean they have to be alienated. In fact, ignoring Sam not looking for Dean, Sam is pretty well stating the fact that he and Dean are different this year. He acknowledges that Dean wants to hunt and he doesn't. He isn't trying to make Dean fit into his ideal of a life, he's just trying to live the life he wants. Dean is the one having issues with accepting that they can do different things and still be family
And what irks me is before Sam was blamed for this and now thinking like this is "Mature"
nick23
# nick23 2012-11-01 15:12
i found this episode boring. I don't care about benny i really was skipping benny parts all i care about is sam and dean, this isn't supernatural that i love
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-11-01 17:42
Don't laugh, but I had to look up "toblerone". Didn't have a clue what it was. 1st thing, I noticed Sam throwing his phone to. How does it even work after that! Great on the angst part though. People always throw their phones for some strange reason.
And yelling when trying to hide! good one. That's like the walking 2 ft to talk thing!. But it is still great when they do it.
OH, how much did I love the "OH just stop talking" line. PERFECT!!!!

The only thing I wanted was to see Sam & Dean talk about Benny; but they will do that in another episode. Kinda wish Dean would have gave Benny a pep talk to, after what he went through. Felt sorry for him
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2012-11-02 01:50
Quote:
Didn't have a clue what it was.
Ha! Me either. I figured it was alcohol! My friend told me tonight. Didn't realize Dean was such a choc-o-holic. Heard Jensen was though.
shamangrrl
# shamangrrl 2012-11-01 20:10
Loved the episode, despite it being cliched and knowing exactly what was going to happen. The performances and direction were so good, that I just let myself enjoy the ride.

I know that a lot of people think that it's too much Benny, too soon, but I really felt like this episode informed not only on Benny, but Dean, and that was necessary. At this point, the Dean-Benny relationship is so different from the Dean-Sam relationship, and Dean himself is also different with each of them. And I think that's important. It's another subtle pointer to Dean's PTSD, IMO. Dean is trying to fit himself into the old relationship with Sam, but as Dean said in episode 1, "I've changed". He just can't fit back into that space, and it's causing issues for both Sam and Dean. Dean wants to slot back into that relationship with Sam, but can't. And Sam is finding that the old fallbacks for dealing with old-Dean just don't work with new-Dean. That relationship has to change, and I just hope it comes to a head sooner, rather than later. From the previews, we might get some of this next week. I'm not happy that the "therapist" will seemingly be Garth, but I'm ready for the change.
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-01 22:08
Quote:
I'm going to stay in that world with you I think, unless I get a compelling reason what Sam didn't look.

Now the Kevin thing is much easier for me to get over. They didn't drag Kevin into to the fight (back then) and actually sent him home, they thought to safety. So the only responsibility he had towards Kevin, was the one he chose to take on. And he could be pretty sure Crowley wasn't going to hurt him because he needed him.

Dean on the other hand is his brother, who had a large hand in raising him (and his platonic soulmate if DSofM is to be believed). They love one another and depend on each other. So there definitely would be responsibility there. But more importantly since he does love him, he should need to try to save him.
I'm a bibro, and though I'm more of a Dean girl, I love Sam equally, so I'm really disappointed by the revelation that Sam didn't look for Dean.

You know what would have made ME accepted it better, if He would have put up a tombstone and visited Dean's grave even if there was no body in it. People do it, especially when there's no body found.
And Maybe he met Amelia there, cause since they say she's damaged. She could be visiting someone's grave as well, maybe a dead fiance'.

I agree with you Kelly about the Kevin aspect of your post.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-01 23:25
That would have been a much better introduction of Amelia, and would have made it clear to the audience that Sam thought Dean had died.

I still don't think I would have understood how Sam came to that conclusion, but at least it would have been clear!
E
# E 2012-11-01 23:27
I really liked the episode too. I know many felt that it was too much Benny, but since SG decided to get rid of all the secondary characters in season 7, they now have to be replaced and in order to make them worthwhile and interesting, we have to know something about them to become invested in them. I am sure that some fans won't become invested in any of the secondary characters no matter what, but for me this was important information about Benny and really created even more ambiguity surrounding him. He really does seem like a decent guy at the moment and I am going to take that at face value for the time being.

And about Amelia, I understand that we are going to get more from her as well in episodes 10-11ish, and I am glad. I am in the minority here, but I really like what they are building between Sam and Amelia. It's so nice and quiet, still, sad and nuanced, and yet there is an underlying feeling of "wrong" hanging over the whole thing that is at odds with the mundane nature of what we are seeing. I find it a nice contrast to Purgatory. Its interesting to me that Purgatory, with its action, gore and violence is so washed out looking and Sam's ideal life with Amelia is so saturated with color as to be almost unbelievable. Purgatory is obvious, Sam's ideal life isn't and I think that this contrast works well.

Winmomwannabe quoted Sam in her comment: “Because you have no one at all.”, “No idea where you’re going…”. “That’s why you’re here in this place.”, and I wanted to reference it here in my comment. Did any one else find the wording Sam used odd? I sure did. It's another comment from Sam in a line of comments this season that really ring strange to me. Why did he say "In this place?" What place does he think he's in? I find Sam's flashbacks fascinating, like a puzzle. Sam's a puzzle too, he always has been from day 1, and I like him that way.
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2012-11-02 01:59
My friend, who is a Sam girl, and I have discussed several times some of the odd things that Sam has said this season. His comment at the end of Heartache about whether Brick thought he had burned himself all up. Or something like that. And in the midst of his calm demeanor suddenly getting all angsty and asking lots of questions about Cass in Ep. 1.
sharon pence
# sharon pence 2012-11-02 00:33
I think Sam acts like someone with a serious depression. Going thru the motions . Losing Dean this last time after all he has been thru was the last straw . Perhaps he collapsed maybe was suicidal. Now Dean is back he must feel totally freaked. He seems to be having serious PTSD also and doesn't seem to know how to behave and is just following along
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-03 11:27
I do think that a lot of the anger people are feeling at Sam's muted, detached response to Dean's return and Dean's presence is very similar to anger people were expressing last year at Dean during his deep depression, when he seemed to lack the emotional energy to be very present to Sam (with the notable exception of 7.2) and was alienated from hunting. I think that far from Sam's palpable panic and anxiety in this past episode and his apparent indifference in some earlier episodes contradicting each other, they are very much manifestations of the same underlying emotional state.

Mind, I still think the Sam not searching for Dean at all is implausible characterizatio n and bad storytelling, simply because I don't think they came close to establishing that Sam would plausibly have seen Dean's disappearance as the loss of Dean, but I'm not finding Sam's headspace in the present moment or in the flashbacks hard to comprehend.
RMF
# RMF 2012-11-02 02:07
I was quite surprised that for an Edlund script, this episode was so full of cliches. Benny's story was that of a bad man turning his life around for the love of a good woman, who's then done a bad turn and fights his way home to find his sweetheart in the arms of his rival. That's not timeless, epic angst, that's Victorian schmaltz. I also didn't expect the lack of chemistry between Benny and Dean. Unlike the ready connection between Dean and Cas, the more original character in more original circumstances, this is a three-quarters chemistry that wants to be more than it really is. I suppose Benny might become darker now that he's lost his true love, but I kind of don't care. I'm gagging on the symbolism of his being carried back into the realm of humanity courtesy of Dean.

The word for Sam's flashbacks is mundane. They're mundane even up against the cliches. Sam fixes stuff and bonds with Amelia over shared loss. How much does that shared loss even mean when part of it is apparently by Sam's own choice?

The only part of the episode that soared was that wordless exchange between the brothers at the end, when Sam goes crouching tiger, and Dean calls him off. It says a lot about where the writers actually should be concentrating their efforts.

[In the interview Carina asked Jared about the direction that they were taking Sam, and asked if he/PTB were aware of the fan reaction and Jared said 'yes' that there were very aware of the risk that they were taking with the character; they even expected it.] 

So, maybe for some this isn't very spoilery, but for me this tells me that TPTB thought long and hard about the direction that they were taking Sam's character and discussed it with Jared as well. They understood the risk and took it anyway. It does not tell us if we can expect the "Sam didn't look for Dean" issue to have any more depth than it does now, but it is not a mistake or sloppiness in the writing that has motivated this turn in the character, it was planed and decisive.
I don't question that the writing is deliberate. The problem is, what they think is a good story may be a real dud. So far, what we've seen on screen is downright tedious. Season 4 was taking a risk with Sam's character: it may have hurt to see him fall so far, but even if he was off the rails, it was still recognizably an obsessive, headstrong Sam who thought of himself as trying to do the right thing. Season 8 is an unfamiliar, cowardly person of muddled motivation. It's becoming the 800-lb gorilla in the room, overshadowing the overall narrative of the season, which I doubt is really what they wanted.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-02 07:32
I think your last sentence says it all. And I never thought I'd say this, but I think you're right that Season 4 Sam was a more acceptable risk than S8 Sam. In S4, I'm pretty sure Sam told Dean immediately he had tried to find a way to break Dean out in the premiere, and I know Bobby told Dean that Sam left determined to find a way to rescue Dean. While I never bought that Sam would ever speak to Ruby again, at least I wasn't being told Sam just forgot about Dean.

Plus, Sam had more of a reason to not rescue Dean after Season 3 than this season. There, Sam SAW Dean die. He buried Dean's body. There was no doubt that Dean was gone. Here, Dean mysteriously disappears. There's more of a reason to search in this instance than back then when it was known what happened to Dean!
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-02 04:29
Generally speaking the audience wants more from the story line. More about Sam and Dean's past year. They want answers to why Sam didn't look for Dean? More about fixing the brotherhood.
So should I say they are discontented with it at the moment?
If so, then how is it that the ratings are the highest in two years.
And if its true that the audience is looking for more, then the ratings contradict it.
Wouldn't the TPTB believe they are doing things right then, going by the ratings?
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-05 06:38
Quote:
Generally speaking the audience wants more from the story line. More about Sam and Dean's past year. They want answers to why Sam didn't look for Dean? More about fixing the brotherhood.
So should I say they are discontented with it at the moment?
If so, then how is it that the ratings are the highest in two years.
And if its true that the audience is looking for more, then the ratings contradict it.
Wouldn't the TPTB believe they are doing things right then, going by the ratings?
The ratings are higher for a number of reasons; we have moved from the ratings graveyard of Fridays to a more watched mis week night. We have almost the best lead-in the CW can offer in Arrow. Because fewer of our core audience are out our live ratings are up, but our DVR ratings are down (SPN didn't make the top 20 DVRed shows last week for the first time in over a season). Higher live ratings is great news for the show, but has - in the short term - little to do with the quality / content of the show. That takes time to show in the ratings. Interestingly the last time SPN tried to go for an extended period without proper characterisatio n and without featuring the brothers bond was in the soulless Sam period of s6. We started out well that season and for the 1st 5 or 6 eps ratings were at approx end of s5 levels. Then they plummeted and we lost over 350,000 viewers between ep 7ish (when it was revealed Sam was soulless) and mid season. We never got those viewers back all through the rest of s6 and s7.

I don't know whether the same will happen this time. Certainly it is not a minority view amongst the active online fandom that Sam not looking for Dean is ooc, the bro bond is lacking etc. I am seeing it shouted from the rooftops on Twitter, other boards, LJ, tumblr and here. How this view translates to the wider 2m+ more casual fandom remains to be seen. In s6 the extended period without a recognisable brotherly bond at the heart of the show was a ratings disaster.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-05 06:56
Quote:


..... we lost over 350,000 viewers between ep 7ish (when it was revealed Sam was soulless) and mid season. We never got those viewers back all through the rest of s6 and s7.

I don't know whether the same will happen this time. Certainly it is not a minority view amongst the active online fandom that Sam not looking for Dean is ooc, the bro bond is lacking etc. I am seeing it shouted from the rooftops on Twitter, other boards, LJ, tumblr and here. How this view translates to the wider 2m+ more casual fandom remains to be seen. In s6 the extended period without a recognisable brotherly bond at the heart of the show was a ratings disaster.
Geordiegirl I'm sort of reassured to hear from you that the concerns regarding Sam's OOC behaviour and the lack of Winchester brotherly bond are reflected in the wider fandom. However, because I don't really participate in those aspects of fandom (for reasons of keeping myself spoiler-free as much as I can) I genuinely wasn't sure how other SPN fans felt about the writing of the Winchesters since S4, or if anyone else was feeling that there was a distance between the brothers that had persisted and wasn't being addressed. I don't know if that online concern translates to a form of communication that the writers every hear about though. Does it ever happen that fans can express their concerns and be heard?
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-05 07:24
Quote:
Quote:


..... we lost over 350,000 viewers between ep 7ish (when it was revealed Sam was soulless) and mid season. We never got those viewers back all through the rest of s6 and s7.

I don't know whether the same will happen this time. Certainly it is not a minority view amongst the active online fandom that Sam not looking for Dean is ooc, the bro bond is lacking etc. I am seeing it shouted from the rooftops on Twitter, other boards, LJ, tumblr and here. How this view translates to the wider 2m+ more casual fandom remains to be seen. In s6 the extended period without a recognisable brotherly bond at the heart of the show was a ratings disaster.
Geordiegirl I'm sort of reassured to hear from you that the concerns regarding Sam's OOC behaviour and the lack of Winchester brotherly bond are reflected in the wider fandom. However, because I don't really participate in those aspects of fandom (for reasons of keeping myself spoiler-free as much as I can) I genuinely wasn't sure how other SPN fans felt about the writing of the Winchesters since S4, or if anyone else was feeling that there was a distance between the brothers that had persisted and wasn't being addressed. I don't know if that online concern translates to a form of communication that the writers every hear about though. Does it ever happen that fans can express their concerns and be heard?
Good for you (re staying out of the online fandom and spoiler free - wish I had your willpower).

I can't speak for how s4's demolition of the brothers bond went down as I wasn't involved with the show then. However I can say that there was a lot of dissatisfaction (not as bad as now IMO re Sam's characterisatio n, but very outspoken) with early s6. Many hated domestic Dean, rusty Dean, Lisa and Ben, Sam not going straight to Dean when out of the cage (although - unlike this time it seems - an excellent reason for that was given ie Sam had no soul), the fact that there was no brotherly bond, that Sam in particular was acting ooc. At the time I had no idea whether that dissatisfaction was constrained to those of us who think a bit too much about the show. But the ratings (in so far as it is possible to assign cause and effect) indicated that this dissatisfaction was more widespread and it showed in the ratings.

I had hoped that that poorly received last foray into going for long periods without all 3 of the key ingredients of the show; Dean, Sam and Dean&Sam's bond, would have taught them not to do that. Sadly it seems this is going to have to be a lesson JC will have to learn all over again!

Re your last question "Does it ever happen that fans can express their concerns and be heard?". I think it does sometimes. There are examples eg
- Bela's unpopularity in s3 was aparently listened to
- the dissatisfaction with the start of s6 was registered
- the negative reaction to H&H/IKWYPLS some say resulted in an abrupt about turn leading to the decision that Ruby had been evil all along when that wasn't the original intention. This isn't definite but it makes sense to me as much of Ruby's actions before mid s4 make zero sense for someone who was working with Lilith, and the retrofit of adding in that they didn't tell Alastair about their plans (which doesn't make much sense plotwise) was obviously put here to explain some of the earlier events in a Ruby-was-always -evil light.

I'm sure others can think of other examples. Trouble is that at the start of a season there are 5 or 6 eps in the can before the fans see anything and can react. Hence even if there is a response it is a long time coming.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-05 08:06
Thanks for that interesting info, I knew none of that :-)

As for my willpower in staying out of fandom to avoid spoilers - I learned the hard way from being a fan of other shows like Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, and Dark Angel that I'm happier if I stay in ignorance of spoilers. If I know what's coming I just get too wound up about it (if it sounds OOC) and I become a mopey person LOL.

I agree with you about the S6 Sam seeming OOC (and about it being hard to watch) until they gave him a reason for staying away from Dean for so long after being resurrected. I'm really hoping that in S8 we'll get a compelling reason for Sam's actions during the brothers' year apart. Domestic Dean was hard to take too so I'm glad that storyline didn't last too long. I think my strong negative reactions to early S6 have taught me to try and give S8 some settling in time. I might not like to see Sam and Dean's relationship in the fractured state in which it exists presently but I'm telling myself that if I wait to see what happens things could be repaired. The only problem is there's a wee voice inside my head (born from my strong dislike of S4) that is telling me that sometimes I don't like the direction SPN takes. Having said that, after S4, the stories of S5 onward meant I started to enjoy SPN again - admittedly not with the fire of 1,000,000 suns as I had during S1-3 but still an awful lot - and so I am doing my best to be less worried. Plus, for me, fanfic that concentrates on the Winchester bond fills in a lot of what's missing in the show :-)
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-05 07:41
The ratings had two very high weeks for the first two weeks of Arrow. Other than that, they aren't higher than they were last year. The premiere had the same rating as the s7 premiere, a .8. Bitten got a .7, Blood Brother a .8. Most of the first half of season 7 varied between a .7 and a .8. Given that that was on a Friday with a lead-in that was weaker rather than stronger in the ratings than Spn, you could actually make a good argument that apart from the Arrow bubble of 8.2 and 8.3, this season is doing worse than last. Which isn't a judgment on the season at all -- it reflects the ongoing troubles of the CW, but I equally don't think there's any remarkable popularity of this season that could be read as a ratings mandate.
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-05 09:36
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Generally speaking the audience wants more from the story line. More about Sam and Dean's past year. They want answers to why Sam didn't look for Dean? More about fixing the brotherhood.
So should I say they are discontented with it at the moment?
If so, then how is it that the ratings are the highest in two years.
And if its true that the audience is looking for more, then the ratings contradict it.
Wouldn't the TPTB believe they are doing things right then, going by the ratings?
The ratings are higher for a number of reasons; we have moved from the ratings graveyard of Fridays to a more watched mis week night. We have almost the best lead-in the CW can offer in Arrow. Because fewer of our core audience are out our live ratings are up, but our DVR ratings are down (SPN didn't make the top 20 DVRed shows last week for the first time in over a season). Higher live ratings is great news for the show, but has - in the short term - little to do with the quality / content of the show. That takes time to show in the ratings. Interestingly the last time SPN tried to go for an extended period without proper characterisation and without featuring the brothers bond was in the soulless Sam period of s6. We started out well that season and for the 1st 5 or 6 eps ratings were at approx end of s5 levels. Then they plummeted and we lost over 350,000 viewers between ep 7ish (when it was revealed Sam was soulless) and mid season. We never got those viewers back all through the rest of s6 and s7.

I don't know whether the same will happen this time. Certainly it is not a minority view amongst the active online fandom that Sam not looking for Dean is ooc, the bro bond is lacking etc. I am seeing it shouted from the rooftops on Twitter, other boards, LJ, tumblr and here. How this view translates to the wider 2m+ more casual fandom remains to be seen. In s6 the extended period without a recognisable brotherly bond at the heart of the show was a ratings disaster.
Thanks for addressing my concern Geordiegirl. You have put my mind at rest.
I remember reading that TPTB had planned a whole season of souless Sam in season 6, but cut it short cause people weren't liking it, and they were losing viewers.
Thats what worried me, I kept thinking "Well, if the ratings are high, and the audience likes Sam and Dean pulled apart" maybe they won't try to fix what they've broken.
I'm not a part of the fandom on twitter or tumblr, cause
a) don't have enough time
and b) things gets pretty nasty out there sometimes.
So, I had no idea what was going on, but now I can sleep in peace ;-)
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-11-02 05:20
I am sure they are pleased with the ratings although some of that is having a good lead in show in Arrow. They decided the course they were going to take wether it was fair to Sam or not. It isnt hard to take a risk with Sam it is just what story they decide to do? .

Unlike season 4 this time it was Sam not looking for Dean of course it is no coincidence it helps Dean's story with Benny as well . The flashbacks still dont endear you to Amelia but no doubt that will become clear in flashbacks to come. Sam not looking for Dean is brought up alot because it is a fundamental change in a main character who even recently showed he would go through hell literally for his brother.

So it isnt surprising it has become a huge bone of contention . It is a pity as it was never Sam's fault Dean ended up in Purgatory . Benny is being written in a very sympathetic way which is something many times they have failed to do for Sam. He is designed to be a contention between the brothers just as much has Sam not looking for Dean is , it is the knife Dean can throw at Sam and hit the mark.
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-02 06:40
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I am sure they are pleased with the ratings although some of that is having a good lead in show in Arrow. They decided the course they were going to take wether it was fair to Sam or not. It isnt hard to take a risk with Sam it is just what story they decide to do? .

Unlike season 4 this time it was Sam not looking for Dean of course it is no coincidence it helps Dean's story with Benny as well . The flashbacks still dont endear you to Amelia but no doubt that will become clear in flashbacks to come. Sam not looking for Dean is brought up alot because it is a fundamental change in a main character who even recently showed he would go through hell literally for his brother.

So it isnt surprising it has become a huge bone of contention . It is a pity as it was never Sam's fault Dean ended up in Purgatory . Benny is being written in a very sympathetic way which is something many times they have failed to do for Sam. He is designed to be a contention between the brothers just as much has Sam not looking for Dean is , it is the knife Dean can throw at Sam and hit the mark.
So Sharon, they'll be happy with the ratings thinking what they are doing is right, correct?
So does this mean this discontentment wouldn't be addressed? Or is it really a minority of viewers that think Sam is written OOC?
hedi
# hedi 2012-11-02 11:56
thanks fr your bullet points! i always enjoy them!
i liked the episode too but after all it's a Edlund episode , so it surely needs more watchings! although this episode was more focused on Benny , i found it in place , because we should know what was he needed to get out of Purgatory.
i really liked the whole pirates thing and the location was just brilliant.
so now we know what benny wanted and that he is not a bad monster after all (almost till now) and i'm really excited to see what does he wants next!?
i liked the flashbacks too , i think the thing with Amelia is she is a broken hearted after all and she denies every new relationship so she can be out of harm's way. i found it reasonable.
and that scene where she told sam that he knows how to lose someone i bet sam thought of Dean. because it cut to the scene where sam was looking for dean.
i found it a good scene.
i don't wanna sound odd and i know every one has its own opinio
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-02 23:42
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That would have been a much better introduction of Amelia, and would have made it clear to the audience that Sam thought Dean had died.

I still don't think I would have understood how Sam came to that conclusion, but at least it would have been clear!
Its about time they showed it.
Its difficult for me to enjoy this season cause I'm constantly on edge thinking maybe everything is supposed to be taken on face value, and I'm analyzing too much into it.
Maybe Sam didn't look for Dean. Period.
Maybe they are setting up the premise for the finale as Sam leave hunting to continue having a normal life and Dean continues hunting.
If the show is renewed for the next season (which considering the ratings, it will) maybe they show as something that makes Dean come back to Sam like they did in the pilot. If not it does make an open ending.
All these maybe's make me flustered, and removes the enjoyment for me atleast.

I watch scenes like these:
DEAN: Yeah. Well, 'cause you're a pain in my ass.
SAM: Guess I might have to stick around to be a pain in the ass, then.
and I feel "this" is never going to come back :sad:

But then I come here, and read all positive and hopeful comments and feel better :-)
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-05 15:56
And now for something completely different. I don't have a better thread to mention this in, so I'll throw it in here. Has anyone else noticed that God or gods have been at the very least mentioned in every episode this year? Episode one was expected since it was about Kevin who can read the Word of God. In episode 2 we get Thor's Hammer and his brother Villi. Episode 3 gives us the Mayan god Kakow(?). Episode 4 talks about the Mayan god and has Michael declare himself "a golden god" after being bitten. This last episode has Benny talking about how his maker considered himself god of the family.

This seems like an awful lot of god references for the show. I honestly can't remember a season where gods of any shape or kind came up so much. Season one had God in faith and a god in Scarecrow. Season 2 had Tall Tales with Gabriel pretending to be a Trickster god and Houses of the Holy with the possibility that God was intervening in the world. Season 3 had the Christmas gods and again Gabriel impersonating the Trickster. Season 4 had God mentions throughout, but not every episode and it was made clear that God had left the building. Season five still had God as part of the storyline although not in every episode and it had Hammer of the Gods where many pagan or non Judeo-Christian gods were represented. But that was only one episode. Season 6 had the truth goddess and possibly Fate, although she really wasn't a god and Castiel turning into a god. Season seven had Castiel as a god and of course The Word of God appeared.

But this season has gods all over the place, either literal gods who people once believed in or references to god as it applies to characters in the season. Is this just coincidence? Or is this going to be a plot point somewhere down the road? It just seems interesting that a show that has used God and gods sparingly is suddenly throwing the term around a lot. Anyone have any theories on this?

NOTE: Having written this, I am now fully expecting that episode six will have no god references what so ever, although I'm going to watch the previouslies closely because if the god theme is shown there, I'll wonder some more.