Season One Hits and Misses: Part One
 
Since the Hits and Misses of season seven got such a good response, I thought why not take a look back at the previous six seasons and talk about what worked and what didn't. 

So, in no particular order, here are the hits and misses of season one (part one):

Miss: Meg's first appearance


This may surprise many people or be a point of debate, since Meg is a generally well regarded character. However for me her first appearance was a little too much. She was so blatantly screaming "I'M A BAD GUY, ASK ME HOW" when Sam met her. She was little too clever, a little too witty and little too mysterious. She was also a bit too interested in Sam and Dean's drama. Of course the show doesn't keep secret that she's a bad guy "“ I just can't figure out why Sam didn't get this from his first encounter with her. So yes, Meg, installment one, big miss. 

Hit: Sarah, Provenance


Now this is a character I can get behind and I think there is some general consensus out there on this one. Sarah was spunky, clever, resourceful and curious. And she didn't take nonsense from the boys. But she wasn't overly done in any of these areas such that you couldn't like her: she wasn't a know it all. And to top it all off, she helped Sam begin to move one after Jess by addressing some of his fears and insecurities. What's not to like?

Miss: The First Demon


This takes place in Phantom Traveller and I just don't like the way it's done. To begin with, I absolutely cannot believe that Sam and Dean haven't encountered a demon, in 22 years, such that they actually have to research a ritual to get rid of it. Really? You've never seen an exorcism or heard about it from Dad? This doesn't seem right to me. I can accept, I suppose, that the boys didn't have the exorcisms memorized because that's kind of a running thing for Dean and Sam's been out of the game for four years or so by this point. But to have no familiarity at all? No, that doesn't work. Furthermore, the demon itself it's really in keeping with what we will see from demons in the future. I know this is early on in the show when it was still getting its footing, but this episode always bugs me. I don't like that the demon seemingly "picks" it's victims based on fear/nerves, I do not understand it's motives for crashing planes and the fact that the victims have no memory of possession in the end doesn't make sense given what comes later. So overall, this was a miss for me.

Hit: Winchester Family Fun


In Dead Man's Blood you really get a sense of what the relationship dynamics between the three men has been like. We see Sam and Dad go toe to toe and Dean physically gets between them and shoves them apart. This is a short scene but nevertheless conveys what it must have been like, certainly in the years before Sam went to Stanford. Any family insight into the Winchesters is a hit for me. 

Miss: Asylum Confrontation


The confrontation I'm referring to here is when Sam is infected by the spirit's anger and rants at Dean before eventually shooting him full of rock salt. It's not the confrontation itself that I have the actual problem with, because in fact I love it and most of this episode. The confrontation tells us a lot about Sam and his relationship with Dean and their father. It was a great way of exposing some of the deeper aspects of this character to us in a new way. All of that I'm on board with.  It's that they never address this again that I take issue with. I know technically they brush the subject before leaving the asylum, but I felt like there was so much potential here that didn't come to fruition. 

Hit: Faith


This whole episode is beautiful. I really love the relationship you see between Sam and Dean here because Sam absolutely refuses to let Dean go, despite Dean's bravado and seeming acceptance of death. What I like in particular is this is the first time we see one of the boys employ the supernatural to save the other (yes, it was unintentional, but regardless). It speaks to a more innocent time in the series. Today, knowing what they know and how these situations work out "“ I don't believe Sam would have the same approach. They've learned by now that nothing comes without a price.
 
Miss: John and Dean


When the boys reunite with their dad, Sam and John get to hash out some of their issues but if I were Dean I'd have had some things to say too. I suppose again these are sort of danced around, but not to fully satisfy this viewer. I like John and as I said, any opportunity for family relationships should be taken. So, this was a missed opportunity. 

Hit: Shapeshifter Insight


The shapeshifter in Skin communicated to Sam some of the things that Dean would never say, at least not back in season one. It was good insight into Dean's character early on (much like Sam's possessed rant in Asylum) and let us and his brother get a glimpse inside his head. Character development is always a big hit.
 
Miss: Route 666 "“ Flashback Opportunity


Okay, I'm not going to go into all the things wrong with this episode, because let's face it they've been dealt with to death. There is one thing I always think about watching this episode though - it would have been interesting to see a flashback to Dean as a vulnerable and lonely young man, telling Cassie what he does and her rejection of him. To begin with, watching Jensen Ackles play the emotions of that exchange would have been phenomenal. Second of all, I don't think the episode really gave us time to appreciate how much that sting would have affected Dean because he doesn't open himself up that way often not to mention that it was kind of treated in more of a teasing way than a serious way. This episode is universally panned as terrible, but it had potential - it was simply never used. Miss.
 
Hit: Dean and Lucas 


This was another beautiful character development moment: watching Sam watch Dean telling Lucas about his mom and his own experiences as a very young child who saw something scary and whose entire life changed in a second. This is another small but powerful scene and definitely a hit. 

So that's part one. I hope to have part two up shortly. As we go through these, I probably won't include some of the more consensus-y misses like Bugs or the more obvious problems such as the issue with Dean's line in the pilot about not have asked Sam for anything in "two years" - so don't think I don't consider these type of episodes/plot holes issues, I just don't think they're worth bringing up again.

Comments  

Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-28 18:47
Meg's First Appearance: I actually take this as a hit. Meg was one of the best bad guys the show has had, and I felt her introduction gave her the 'umph' that was needed to let the audience know she was going to be a formidable enemy. Yet, I didn't think it was over the top for Sam not to realize that she was the bad guy. Instead, I thought she was smart enough and mysterious enough for Sam to be curious about her. Later, when he met her in Shadow, you could tell that he had not given that much thought to her after their meeting.

Sarah: I take Sarah as a miss; but not because she wasn't a good depiction for a female character, because she was. No snarky smart mouth, no 'I'm tougher than you," and no making the boys look dumber than her. I simply don't think the actress was all that good. I actually thought this was a pretty solid episode all around.

The First Demon: I was okay with the first introduction of the demon and could believe that John kept demons a secret from the brothers...alth ough he should not have done that with Dean. As you say, this was a 'finding your footing' season, so it gets a lot of passes for that (and they have done so much re-writing of canon over the years, it's hard to hold canon as a gauge against anything).


Winchester Family Fun: A hit. It did give real insight into the Winchester's life, and who could not feel sorry for Dean and what he had to live through with those two. It also should have been an early hint into how much Sam was like John. Actually, John was already showing that he was a dick, and I don't know why I held him in such high esteem for so long (until Jump the Shark, when I dumped him).

Asylum: I don't know that this is a miss, given how Sam acted in later seasons. I have often thought that Sam was too selfish to think as much of Dean as Dean did of him. My mind still hasn't changed on that point, but I am beginning to think that Dean is out-growing his dependency on Sam these days. It would be a good thing for Dean.

Faith: Agree a hit and a beautiful episode.

John and Dean: I don't know that this is a miss. John simply did not care or love Dean as much as he did Sam, and he didn't give Dean as many passes as he gave Sam. I'll say it again: John was a dick and very abusive to Dean emotionally and, probably, physically.

Route 666: If it involved more screen time for Cassie, then no, let's just leave it where it was. Dean was young and he made a mistake. Unfortunately, he repeated it with Lisa. Let's hope he doesn't do it again...ever.

Dean and Lucas: That was a beautiful scene, with Sam looking on. Unfortunately, in later episodes, he seemed not to have remembered what he learned, as far as understanding his brother. That's one thing I wished the show would do...show that Sam does learn lessons from past experiences.

Thank you for not bringing up the 2 or 4 years. The writers have trouble with elementary math and there's no sense in rehashing it.
Katie
# Katie 2012-02-28 21:22
I have a quick question about your post. I'm not sure if it's just a difference in point of view or if I'm misinterpreting your statement about "Asylum."

You said that you "have often thought that Sam was too selfish to think as much of Dean as Dean did of him." And that you haven't changed your opinion of that. But I don't understand how thinking Sam is selfish connects to Dean being dependent on Sam. Now, I don't think Sam is selfish, so this could be just a point of view difference. But the episode of "Asylum" had to do with Sam having trouble with Dean's blind faith in John and Sam's opinion being dismissed because of it. I always thought Sam had a problem with the fact that him and Dean had a system down and John disrupted it constantly. Dean would go from this confident guy who could lead in any situation to all of sudden being "yes, sir" following with no questions or thought of his own. I think that's where Sam's problem was. Sam didn't like the fact that Dean could stand up for himself against John. Personally, I think in a lot of ways, the only person to really and truly stand up to John and call him on his crap and how he handle things, when John was alive, was Sam. Sam wanted out of the violent bloody hunting life, so maybe that was selfish. And as a college student, it means that wanting a life separate from my family and getting an education makes me selfish, then I'm as selfish as they come. But I think the show has shown that Sam wants that for Dean too. He wants Dean to stand up for him and want something for himself which he does bring up on several occasions in the first season. But I don't understand how Sam was selfish for being upset by the fact that Dean was just blindly following John with no question. I agree that it would be a good thing that Dean out grow his dependency on Sam, but I don't think Sam thinks less of Dean. They're brothers, so they have their good thoughts and bad thoughts about each other. And I'm sure there are certain qualities in the other one that they can't stand. But that doesn't make them self-centered or selfish. It just means that they know everything about each other.

Based on the way your comment looks like, you seem to be a Dean fan completely (and I'm sorry if stating this is way out of line, I'm not trying to offend you). And I never saw John as having a favorite, but I don't think he was physically abusive, but that's a different story. I do think that Sam and Dean both have learned from past experiences. But I'm not sure what you mean by Sam not understanding that Dean had troubles with Mary's death. It's not something that has come up a lot. However, there are times when I don't think either brother has the slightest clue about the other one. But a lot of the time, I think it has to do more with the plot requiring a character to either slow down the other brother or keep him out of the loop for drama.

I could just be what I'm seeing versus what you see. I don't know. But your comment about Sam being selfish because he doesn't see Dean a certain way has me puzzled. I can't tell.
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-02-29 03:57
Sam being selfish was something started as early as Wendigo it became the over used Sam put down from then on.
I have never understood this idea that because Sam didnt say or act a certain way where his brother was concerned he was selfish.Both boys could miss something with the other but it wasnt a crime I never saw Sam has being anymore selfish than Dean .

Season 1 is one of my favourites because it was more balanced in the sense of both brothers having a say and pov that changed later down the road when Eric decided Sam was to blame for everything and even going to college was selfish and the negative Sam storytelling started but in season 1 there was a genuine feel to the season and the brothers that has not existed for a long time.

Ellies hit and misses are interesting.

Dead Mans Blood confrontation between John and Sam still sends shivers down my spine raw emotion there esp from Sam , wonderful scene for me.

And loved Sarah she really connected to Sam .

Aslyum I suppose can be a hit or miss depending on what you take from the episode and that scene but for me it was rare insight into Sam even if it wasnt pretty to watch

Skin I totally agree with .

Route 66 was alright prehaps potential there not quite realized .

As for Shadow I think that scene was needed for Sam , the show had established his fractious relationship with John and how he had pretty much been told if you walk out that door dont came back by John when he left for college that this scene was the right thing to do for Sam .And even more so has Deans relationship with John got more focus later in seasons.So this was a moving scene to see the two of them father and younger son share that moment.
Impala67
# Impala67 2012-02-29 15:01
(Deleted by Alice). We do not bash other posters here. That is violation of one of our critical rules. Be respectful.
soniama
# soniama 2012-03-05 17:39
I agree with you
a very smart idea
I loved his defense of sam
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-02-28 22:41
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John and Dean: I don't know that this is a miss. John simply did not care or love Dean as much as he did Sam, and he didn't give Dean as many passes as he gave Sam.
How and where did John care or love more about Sam or give more passes.It may difference of our view points but i would surely like to know why you think so.
Omnia Abbass
# Omnia Abbass 2012-02-29 15:03
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John and Dean: I don't know that this is a miss. John simply did not care or love Dean as much as he did Sam, and he didn't give Dean as many passes as he gave Sam. I'll say it again: John was a dick and very abusive to Dean emotionally and, probably, physically.
I have to disagree with you on that, I never thought John was abusive to Dean or didn't care for him in particular. John was not a father of the year figure and he admitted he was so obsessed that he forgot the boys needed a father. John pushed Sam away, they always butted heads, He never tries to win him over and understand his needs, So when ever there was a discussion between the two, it quickly turned into a heated fight. Yet, when Dean finally stood up to his father on "Dead man's blood" and later on "Salvation", John handled Dean's new defying attitude in a more calm way than he ever did with Sam. Moreover on "In my time of dying" John totally wasted his last moments with the kids, By sending the youngest away, with not even a word of love or appreciation, then he burdened Dean with those words about having to kill his brother. Plus, John did go to Hell to save Dean for crying out load. John was a very bad example of a father and I thought Bobby was a far better example to the boys than John had ever been.
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I have often thought that Sam was too selfish to think as much of Dean as Dean did of him. My mind still hasn't changed on that point
Sam on season one was a 22 year old boy who wanted nothing but to have a normal safe life, later on we discovered that Mary wanted that too and Dean did too at some point, Sam even wanted this life for Dean and asked him go find Lisa and live happily with her. So to me there is nothing selfish about him back then, he only wanted what every one else in the world takes for granted and he came to understand that he can never have that and he now seems to have no problem with that.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-01 03:43
Exactly!! John lost me right then. He's asking one son (who had to basically raise the other son, because he was gone so much) to kill his other son if necessary. And doesn't even say goodbye to Sam-really. And says that to Dean knowing that he loves Sammy like his own kid as well as his brother. ARGGGH. I know I'm going to get in trouble for this, but I was not sad when he died.
I cried buckets when Bobby died.
Though I thought John's only moment of redemption was that he went to hell for Dean, even though you're right it was a bad example. But I love me some Dean so---
But it ticks me off thinking its very unlikely he would have done that for Sam considering he saw him as a potential threat. And I feel bad that Sam likely realized too.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-01 11:53
It’s very hard to stand back and look at the Winchesters and their actions impassively (thank God) and one of the key talking points will always been in relation to whether or not John was right to say to Dean what he did (before John died).

Obviously, it’s very easy to go ‘No way should John have said what he said. It was a terrible thing to lay on Dean etc’ and yes, it definitely was. It put all three men in an excruciatingly difficult position; Dean having the responsibility to decide whether or not Sam had to be killed, John for having to put it on him and Sam for having to live in fear every day of his life and knowing that he wasn’t to be trusted with the responsibility of deciding his own fate. But (and there’s always a but), what other option did John have in this situation?

John’s decision here is kinda synonymous with the Winchester life in that it's less about what you want to do and more about what you have to do. Consider the circumstances. At this time, John was going to be in hell in an hour or two, he wasn’t going to be around to have any hand, act or part in what was going to happen in relation to his sons in the future. He wasn’t going to be around to keep an eye on Sam, to guide him or protect him. Even if Sam would have listened to him, he wasn’t going to be there to do it, so John did what he had to do. Consider what would have happened to Sam had John not said anything to Dean.

Another question, had John not been about to die, would he have said what he said to Dean? I sincerely doubt it. It wasn’t a case of ‘Oh Dean, I’m just off to get my hair cut. Would you mind putting a bullet in your brothers head while I’m out?’ This was a decision driven by circumstance, not desire and certainly not selfishness.

Add to that, John didn’t tell Dean he had to kill Sam. If it was inevitable that, preseason, Sam had to die then John would have killed him himself. He would have given Sam that respect. Prior to 2.1 John had said nothing to Dean about Sam therefore it’s safe to assume that, at that stage, he wanted to shield Dean from it and deal with Sam himself, if it came to that. He wanted to give Dean the chance to save Sam because he knew he wouldn’t be around to do it.

John had hunted long enough to know that good men can fall. He knew that there was a very strong possibility that Sam would fall, regardless of how much he didn’t want to. John was world wise enough to know that we can’t always get what we want so he had to prepare for what might be needed.

And this then leads to the next question ‘Why Dean?’ Well, perhaps Dean, because John loved his sons. Who else could John have told about Sam? If he had said it to Bobby or another hunter or someone who cared one iota less for Sam than Dean did, then Sam would be dead. If John told Sam the situation then there is a very, very good chance that Sam would have killed himself to prevent it from happening and again, Sam would be dead. Every hunter in the world bar John and Dean would have killed Sam on the spot without even giving him a chance, and in light of what happened and of what Sam was, they would have been right to.

Now, would knowing that Sam was killed by some random hunter because he ‘could’ have been a monster, something that he wasn’t even aware of yet, have been harder or easier on Dean than not telling Dean about it and by giving Dean the chance to save Sam from his fate? Imagine what would have happened to Dean had he not even been given the opportunity to save Sam. Hell, we saw what happened to Dean when he couldn’t save Sam. That is what John’s decision was, a chance for both Sam and Dean.

In every other scenario, Sam would have been dead. Had John said it to no one at all then Sam would be dead, and worse. And if Sam died, then Dean wouldn’t be too long after. This is why it had to be Dean, it had to be Dean, because John knew that Dean was the only person left who could save Sam. Again, asking Dean to save Sam was a huge responsibility to put on Dean’s shoulders but is that responsibility lesser or greater than asking Dean to decide whether or not to kill him?

Which bring my onto another, more uncomfortable, question (sorry....) If Sam Winchester was just a guy, not Sammy Winchester, nerdmaster supreme, if he was just some random prepubescent Supernatural case, ala Amy or Jack Montgomery who popped up in some standalone episode, would we have been okay with him being killed, whether by Deans hand, or any other? That is all Sam would have been to every other hunter on the planet; some random monster and we all know how single minded hunters are in relation to whom they kill; better safe than sorry. Sam would have been killed without ever getting the chance to turn.

And the final, most uncomfortable question.... For Dean (and John, and Sam) is it a case of 'If I knew then what I know now I'd be a wiser man?' Given what we now know about Sam, given what we know about Dean’s 40 years in hell, and Sam’s 200 years plus in the Cage, the Devil’s Gate opening, the Apocalypse, Lucifer being released, the various natural disasters which surely killed thousands, all acts that Sam's actions had a hand in, should Dean, or John, have killed Sam? Would killing Sam while he was still a teenager or before the visions etc hit, have actually saved him? Would Sam, Dean, John and the world have been better off if Sam had been killed when suspicions arose about him in the first place? If we think about it impassively, and not as people who are invested in the show and the characters, then the events and consequences of the past six seasons make it very hard to say ‘No’ to that.

But that stems back to why John didn’t kill Sam when those first suspicions first arose. Probably because Sam was John’s son and he did love him. He was preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. We don’t know how early on Johns suspicions were raised about Sam. We don’t know at what stage John knew that Sam was marked. We do know, and John knew, that the only option was to try and save them. No way was he going to let his kids die like his wife did. When he knew he couldn't save Sam, he asked his second in command to do it.

Was it a hard thing to do? Yes. Even if you think that John Winchester was the sexy offspring of Pol Pot and some woman who once kicked Lassie, you have to concede that telling one son he might have to kill the other must have been excruciatingly difficult for him to do. Was it the right thing to do? Guess that depends on your definition of right. Was it the best thing to do? For me, and looking at the other options, it was the only thing to do.

So this is the thing, for all that John was wrong to do what he did, what would have been the right thing for him to do for both Sam and Dean? Can anyone come up with a solution that would not have killed Sam and destroyed Dean because honestly, I’m struggling to come up with one.
Omnia Abbass
# Omnia Abbass 2012-03-01 12:53
Well I agree with most of your thoughts, But I have to say that John's last words turned out to completely useless. Dean did live torn between his love for his brother and having to follow his dad's orders, and Sam had to live in total doubt of himself and in turn he had to make some shady decisions thinking he is doing the right things. So the whole thing was a complete torture to all of them, Besides I would have liked John to share what he knew about Sam to his sons and trust them to do the right thing, or at least to only Dean instead of some cryptic message that torn him apart.

Then Sam did die and this turned to be the problem not the solution. Sam died so Dean had to save him and make the deal and go to Hell leaving Sam behind broken and lost, Sam had to trust a daemon and the whole dilemma went on. So killing Sam only made things worse.

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Would Sam, Dean, John and the world have been better off if Sam had been killed when suspicions arose about him in the first place? If we think about it impassively, and not as people who are invested in the show and the characters, then the events and consequences of the past six seasons make it very hard to say ‘No’ to that.
Saying that is not fair, Because destiny had a huge role to play through out the course of their lives and even hunters with the typical black and white perspective did cause the death of innocents every now and then (I know there is no comparison, for the thousands who died as a result of Sam's actions, but still.) So Sam was destined to die and Dean was destined to save him and go to Hell and break the first seal and start the whole mess.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-01 15:13
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Well I agree with most of your thoughts, But I have to say that John's last words turned out to completely useless. Dean did live torn between his love for his brother and having to follow his dad's orders, and Sam had to live in total doubt of himself and in turn he had to make some shady decisions thinking he is doing the right things. So the whole thing was a complete torture to all of them, Besides I would have liked John to share what he knew about Sam to his sons and trust them to do the right thing, or at least to only Dean instead of some cryptic message that torn him apart.
Based on the actions of the boys, John’s final words were pretty useless. However, we can only judge the validity of those words at the time they were given. At this stage, Lucifer, Dean’s deal, seals etc weren’t even in the picture so John, when he said what he said, was only delivering it in the context of stopping Sam from leading the demon army, nothing beyond that. Sam’s death, at either his own, or Dean’s hand, would have stopped what John believed to be Sam’s destiny at the time, leading the demon army.

Yes, it was complete torture for all of them and yes, it would have been nice (!!) for Sam to have been told but like I said, if John had told both Sam and Dean about the demons plans for Sam in the hopes that they would work it out, what would Sam have done? Most probably, he would have taken the decision away from Dean and into his own hands and killed himself so as to spare Dean from doing it. That would have been Sam’s ‘right thing’.

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Then Sam did die and this turned to be the problem not the solution. Sam died so Dean had to save him and make the deal and go to Hell leaving Sam behind broken and lost, Sam had to trust a daemon and the whole dilemma when on. So killing Sam only made things worse.

Sam’s dying was not the problem. It was the manner of Sam’s death that led Dean to make the deal and it was Sam’s return that was the problem.

However, if Dean (and not Jake) was the one to kill Sam with both of them knowing what was at stake, would Dean then sell his soul in order to bring Sam back? Nope. Why would he? And then things would have been different. Okay, while Dean might not have gone to hell then John (as the righteous man in hell) might still have shed blood and broken the first seal but if Dean had not gone to hell then Sam himself would have been different. With Dean alive, would Sam have been as open to manipulation by Ruby, have started drinking blood, used powers, broken the final seal etc?

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So Sam was destined to die and Dean was destined to save him and go to Hell and break the first seal and start the whole mess.
I don’t think Sam was destined to die, too much work had been put into keeping him alive. Sam’s 'destiny' (at the time of John's death) was to lead the demon army via winning the special kids Royal Rumble ie by killing and staying alive. Dean was not destined to go to hell, it was his choice (though some choice!) to go to hell. John was meant to be the one to break the seal and start the whole mess. And like I said, if Dean had not gone to hell, then while the mess might still have been started, the result of the domino effect of its aftermath might have been different. (Might, not definitely. The show would be pretty sucky if that was the case!)

This is not, in any way, shape or form, an attempt to pass the buck in relation to the actions of the Winchesters. God knows there are enough people out there who blame Sam and John for everything wrong in Dean’s life, Dean and John for everything wrong in Sam’s life and Sam and Dean for everything wrong in Johns life (though those guys are few and far between....) I believe that each man is responsible for his own actions so what I’m posting is not an attempt to shift blame etc, merely an attempt to understand why these three men did what they did.
Omnia Abbass
# Omnia Abbass 2012-03-01 16:25
Well first thing is first, I'm glad to have this discussion. Great mind streaming, exchanging different point of view than mine giving a new depth to my favourite show.

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he would have taken the decision away from Dean and into his own hands and killed himself so as to spare Dean from doing it. That would have been Sam’s ‘right thing’.
Had that been true then Sam would have killed himself after knowing what John told Dean before he died, but instead he tried to do things different and try to make good out of his dark gift (He only asked Dean to full fill his promise to John and to himself if he ever turned dark side) so doubt Sam would have been suicidal.

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Dean was not destined to go to hell, it was his choice (though some choice!) to go to hell. John was meant to be the one to break the seal and start the whole mess.
Well it was for sure Dean's destiny because "the righteous man who started it, shall be the one who ended it" and Dean indeed did end the apocalypse (the power of love and all) and the archangel Michael did say that every random choice the boys make would lead them to the same result. So John was not the one supposed to break the first seal (merely a plan B played in advance, by the YED narrow mind and incapability to foretell the future).

If John was the one to break the first seal then he would have to be brought back to finish it, so he had to be the vessel of Heaven. But according to Lucifer the choice of Sam and Dean went all through their bloodlines as well as their behaviour towards their father (one obedient and the other defiant).

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the manner of Sam’s death that led Dean to make the deal and it was Sam’s return that was the problem.


We all know that Dean would in no way have killed Sam even if Sam turned to be the devil himself ( Dean refused to kill his brother even when Sam was in his darkest hours, drinking daemon blood and everything and even after he started the apocalypse, Killing Sam was never an option to Dean) and even though Dean knew that Sam was supposed to go dark side, he still made the deal to bring Sammy back.
So no it was Sam's death that was the problem, not his return because that death began the cascade of random actions that lead to the apocalypse.
The apocalypse was destined to start by the boys hands, Dean breaking the first seal and Sam breaking the final one. Yes the whole army of Heaven and Hell were working against them. Furthermore Sam would have returned had Dean done the deal or not because he was destined to be Lucifer's vessel.

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Sam’s 'destiny' (at the time of John's death) was to lead the demon army via winning the special kids Royal
True, However I remember the YED telling Dean in AHBL 2 that he was petting on the Winchester habit of sacrificing themselves for each other. (John had sacrifice himself for Dean and Dean had to go to Hell for Sam and Sam had to give in to his powers and daemonic manipulation to try to save Dean or at least to get revenge) so all part of the plan, I think.

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God knows there are enough people out there who blame Sam and John for everything wrong in Dean’s life, Dean and John for everything wrong in Sam’s life and Sam and Dean for everything wrong in Johns life (though those guys are few and far between....) I believe that each man is responsible for his own actions so what I’m posting is not an attempt to shift blame etc, merely an attempt to understand why these three men did what they did.
You are very right on that because if that was the case then we have to blame everything on Mary for making the deal in the first place and accepting to let the YED in her house in exchange for bringing John back, Then we have to blame Dean for leading the YED to Mary in the beginning, Moreover we can blame Castiel for taking Dean back in time thus leading the YED to Mary and so on. Yes every man is responsible for his own actions and those actions affect people either directly or indirectly for better or for worse. I believe in free will but I also believe that this free will is in a way part of destiny's plan. (do I make any sense? I hope I do.)
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-01 18:29
Okay, all this is just for discussions sake, to prolong it because it’s fun and the weekend is coming up and I’ve no plans for it. I’m not trying to reduce or enhance the role of any particular character in any particular storyline. I’ll also be really brief because I swore to myself I wouldn’t spend another night on here. (Last night I spent about six hours over on Cbox, learning how to make motivational posters. It was a night well spent...) I wonder if it’s possible to sue a website for making me less productive at work??

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Had that been true then Sam would have killed himself after knowing what John told Dean before he died, but instead he tried to do things different and try to make good out of his dark gift (He only asked Dean to full fill his promise to John and to himself if he ever turned dark side) so doubt Sam would have been suicidal.
Thing is, at this stage, Sam believed he could stand strong against his destiny because he was quite idealistic (aka young, naive and stoopid....) and optimistic. He had already done it once with Stanford. He thought that because he didn’t want it to happen, it wasn’t going to happen. It was never going to be a case of ‘Oh, Dad said I’m gonna turn evil, well just hand me my gun’. Add to that, if Sam did turn then there’d be no way he would go the suicide route. I think demons are big into their self-preservation. (Why do they keep pissing off the Winchesters then??)

However, if there came a time when Sam had to die, when he knew that, despite everything, he was going to turn, would he have asked Dean to do it, or would he have tried to spare his brother that? He was willing enough to go the suicide route when he learned he was Lucifer’s vessel so it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that he would have considered it a solution here.

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Well it was for sure Dean's destiny because "the righteous man who started it, shall be the one who ended it" and Dean indeed did end the apocalypse (the power of love and all) and the archangel Michael did say that every random choice the boys make would lead them to the same result. So John was not the one supposed to break the first seal (merely a plan B played in advance, by the YED narrow mind and incapability to foretell the future).
So if Dean never went to hell, how could he have broken the first seal? Add to that, had John not died, how would Dean have known to sell his soul? And if John was a Plan B, then why was he tortured first, and Dean taunted with it?

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If John was the one to break the first seal then he would have to be brought back to finish it, so he had to be the vessel of Heaven. But according to Lucifer the choice of Sam and Dean went all through their bloodlines as well as their behaviour towards their father (one obedient and the other defiant).
Yet, Adam was then thrown into the equation as a substitute so it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility (in a crappy show) that the two vessels could be John and Sam. (Memo to all, these are just random thoughts. I’m not endorsing John in lieu of Dean in the vessel storyline.)

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We all know that Dean would in no way have killed Sam even if Sam turned to be the devil himself ( Dean refused to kill his brother even when Sam was in his darkest hours, drinking daemon blood and everything and even after he started the apocalypse, Killing Sam was never an option to Dean) and even though Dean knew that Sam was supposed to go dark side, he still made the deal to bring Sammy back.
Dean didn’t kill Sam in his darkest hour because Sam had not turned. Dean believed he could get him back. However, Dean was willing to let Sam die in the panic room if he thought it would save him, if it would let him die human. He was willing to let Sam go to the Pit (again though, not much of a choice) so I guess the question is, if Dean knew what was ahead for both him and Sam by not killing Sam back in season 2, would he have done it?

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So no it was Sam's death that was the problem, not his return because that death began the cascade of random actions that lead to the apocalypse.
I’d argue the other side of that. As I said, had Sam stayed dead, Dean would never have gone to hell, Sam would not have been open to manipulation so while the first seal might have been broken (because of John), I do think that, if Dean didn’t go to hell, there would be no guarantee that the final one would be broken by Sam.

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The apocalypse was destined to start by the boys hands, Dean breaking the first seal and Sam breaking the final one. Yes the whole army of Heaven and Hell were working against them.

Yet Alastair (and I’m sure someone else but I’m not in the form for a 6 ½ season rewatch at the moment. Maybe tomorrow night!) told Dean that John didn’t break in hell. Is it possible that because John didn’t break that Dean had to go to hell in order to break the first seal? (You know, you wouldn’t want to be thinking about this sort of thing with a few drinks in you...)

In relation to the whole idea of destiny, both brothers decided to tell their original destinies to ‘feck off’. Sam choose to eschew (I love that word) his ‘destiny’ by not killing Jake and Dean when he said no to Michael.

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True, However I remember the YED telling Dean in AHBL 2 that he was petting on the Winchester habit of sacrificing themselves for each other. (John had sacrifice himself for Dean and Dean had to go to Hell for Sam and Sam had to give in to his powers and daemonic manipulation to try to save Dean or at least to get revenge) so all part of the plan, I think.
Yet, how would that plan have worked out had the first domino not been knocked, Sam staying dead...... I’m like a bloody parrot with that line!! (Man, I wish I had skinny legs like a parrot.)

Actually, bring it back before that, how would that plan have worked out had Sam killed John, like John wanted, while John was possessed?

At any stage a plan can be derailed. We saw this when Dean said 'No' to Michael and when Sam overthrew Lucifer. We saw it when Castiel vamoosed Dean to the church where Lucifer was rising (name, name, name???) These actions were not in the grand plan of the angels. An alternative route to their destination ala Adam could be found but the plan itself was different and because the plan was different, the more likelihood there was of the plan not working.

Dean saying 'No' to Michael also allowed him to go to Stull Cemetery to be with Sam which enabled Sam to fight back against Lucifer. Also not in the grand plan.

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You are very right on that because if that was the case then we have to blame everything on Mary for making the deal in the first place and accepting to let the YED in her house in exchange for bringing John back, Then we have to blame Dean for leading the YED to Mary in the beginning, Moreover we can blame Castiel for taking Dean back in time thus leading the YED to Mary and so on. Yes every man is responsible for his own actions and those actions affect people either directly or indirectly for better or for worse. I believe in free will but I also believe that this free will is in a way part of destiny's plan. (do I make any sense? I hope I do.)
Well I ain’t blaming God for it because some day when I’m before the pearly gates (fingers crossed and all that) I wouldn’t want to find out that he’s a TWFB fan because if he is, then I’m screwed so I'm totally going to blame Mary. She’s a woman (on SPN). And she nabbed John. Bitch. And she’s skinny too. Oooooh, I hate her.......
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-01 22:51
If Sam had died the plan would not have stopped ..It would be jake or ava or any other special children..I am glad it was Sam as other children would be clueless and would be the death of man kind (i am extrapolating this from the fact that what happened to Sam even after knowing somethings).
Sam going to stanford was not stunning his destiny but simply wanting out of a forced life i think.
The brilliancy of the Demon's plan was they made everyone (even fans) believe that they were planning to kill Sam (this was actually after azazel but i have always found that aspect of the plan brilliant)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-01 22:51
shunning not stunning..sorry
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-02 02:00
Well Sam’s death did not stop the Devil’s Gate from opening, that we know. However, how would Jake or Ava have fared with killing Lilith (if they managed to live that long, given that a seriously pissed off Dean Winchester would be on their tail)? And what would the story have been with Lucifer? Would he have taken Jake or Ava as a vessel? And where on earth would Michael have come into the equation?

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Sam going to stanford was not stunning his destiny but simply wanting out of a forced life i think.
But what is destiny if it’s not a forced life.......
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-02 03:13
English is not my first language .I have learnt it in school but not as a first language so what i was saying was for Sam it was not about destiny as how it was later where they did every thing keeping their destiny in mind..i hope i have expressed my thoughts clearly.
This is an extrapolation and a huge one at that(which i normally don't like doing)
but may be ava would gladly join lilith and then kill Lilith when their purpose was served...Jake i can say similarly but with less certainty he might have needed a little more work than ava ...again i think.
As far as a pissed Dean winchester goes i don't think much about a pissed Dean winchester as they will be a lot more powerful and a part of atleast a 30 year old plan and lots of numbers(demons) .He might be pissed but without the knowledge that they are trying to bring lucifer (Castiel told him at the very end) i doubt he could do much or the angels would allow him to do much.In the sense they could do what they did to adam but not at that big room but they successfully changed anna who was really good before cas betrayed her.
I would really like if you could explain the last sentence because what i understood from the sentence is that destiny means forced life but sometimes they say like you are destined to greatness or evil but does that mean it is always forced does it not depend also on the kind of person you are..also both Dean and Sam were forced but Dean took to the life where as Sam did not their lives were not their destiny but being the vessels was their
destiny how they become that is not..that is what i thought
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-02 00:38
I think that John became the plan for cracking the 1st for the demons not the angels and when that didn't work they leaped on Dean's deal giving them a back up plan. I'm not sure when which angels knew what about the grand plan for the apocalypse and vessels. But I obviously they all didn't know the plan since Cass didn't.

Also, I think John might partially sacrificed himself for Dean knowing that Dean would be better able to guide Sam down the right path. Since Sam didn't listen to John at all. But I still can't like the guy. I don't hate him but he said he was all concerned for the boys safety and then sends them out on dangerous hunts and doesn't show up when Dean's dying. I think too many years of non-stop hunting warped the guy.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-02 02:27
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I think that John became the plan for cracking the 1st for the demons not the angels and when that didn't work they leaped on Dean's deal giving them a back up plan. I'm not sure when which angels knew what about the grand plan for the apocalypse and vessels. But I obviously they all didn't know the plan since Cass didn't.
Castiel did know the plan for the Apocalypse. He spent the majority of season 4 working the plan.

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Also, I think John might partially sacrificed himself for Dean knowing that Dean would be better able to guide Sam down the right path. Since Sam didn't listen to John at all. But I still can't like the guy. I don't hate him but he said he was all concerned for the boys safety and then sends them out on dangerous hunts and doesn't show up when Dean's dying. I think too many years of non-stop hunting warped the guy.
This is the divisive thing, what constitutes good fatherhood? I’m not a parent but I would assume that one of the key roles of parenthood is to do everything they can to keep their children safe, healthy and quite importantly, alive. John Winchester was no Cliff Huxtable, fair enough. However, if John were Cliff Huxtable then Sam and Dean would be worse than dead, and where does that lie in the good parenting plan?

To a lesser extent, this would be something akin to making a child eat their vegetables. Most kids will hate them and want to live on sweeties etc but parents can’t let them do that because it will be detrimental to them in the long run; because they are working with the childs best interests at heart, no matter how hard it is.

And yes, the question is there as to why John sent his sons on hunts if he wanted to keep them safe. Well, evil was coming for his kids so he had to prepare them to try and save them. They had to be prepared by sending them on hunts. Wouldn’t John have been a much worse parent if he knew what was coming and did nothing to prepare his children to protect themselves?

So the question is, what should John have done? Should he have lived the normal, happy life for 22 years for the sake of his children’s happiness and after evil had taken them said ‘Ah well, I gave them 22 good years’ or ‘I kept them alive for 22 years, there’s not much more I could have done’.

Now I’m not telling you to like John, definitely not, your opinion is your opinion. God knows, there are plenty of times I dislike him myself but I can’t dislike him for the way he bought Sam and Dean up because to not do as he did would be like living on the verge of a lake and not teaching your kids to swim.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-02 03:31
1) I agree about the castiel comment .I think he knew the plan too and was sure it was for the good of every one because he believed heavenly host 9i think this refers to his superiors) to not be wrong
2) As far as John's upbringing he equipped them with skills which helped them so yes i have some complaints but it is not that he did not love them may be it seemed like that and my thoughts were exactly like Sam's in the song remains same where he interacts with younger john and says he understands.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-05 00:17
I definitely could be wrong but I thought that Castiel didn't learn about letting the end times come until The Rapture. I thought that is why he got yanked back to heaven and schooled because he found out the plan and was going to tell Dean. He definitely seemed to be working to keep the seals breaking up until that point.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-06 06:24
What i thought was castiel was schooled because he started rebelling against the plan when he started to have doubts .
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-05 00:26
I guess I'm comparing him to what I do see as a great fathers on the show in similar situations. Dean and Bobby. John TRAINED the boys but I don't really see him raising them, especially Sam. Sam was basically raised by Dean, who let him take risks, but was always there to have his back. Whereas John just sent them out in sink or swim scenarios-I'm not impressed with that. But if he hadn't been so hardcore they probably wouldn't have been so prepared. But I still say that makes him a good drill instructor not a good father.
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-03-05 04:23
Bobby was never in the situation John was in with two children and a sense of evil wanting to hurt his family. I agree John could of been better and maybe he got blinded sometimes but I dont really like comparing Bobby to John because he wasnt their father .John loved those boys but I do think in my opinion people are too guided by Deans view of things too much.
If John is great in Deans view then the audience thinks that yet the moment Dean had issues with John the reverse happens.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-06 06:26
I agree..in real life i have seen uncles , aunts,mostly grandparents coddling and parents being strict .Bobby was definetly not coddling but relatively speaking...
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-05 08:25
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I guess I'm comparing him to what I do see as a great fathers on the show in similar situations. Dean and Bobby. Dean and Bobby. John TRAINED the boys but I don't really see him raising them, especially Sam.
I find it really strange that people say that Sam was basically raised by Dean when 6.02 showed that Dean couldn’t change a nappy, so unless Sam went bareassed for the first two odd years of his life.....

Add to that, if Sam was raised by Dean, wouldn’t Sam have been a lot more like Dean? Those two are polar opposites in terms of personality, whereas the show has well established how alike John and Sam are.

Dean showed in 6.02 that when it came to fatherhood, he was cut from the same cloth as John. When he thought they were in danger, he was hugely restrictive to Ben and Lisa, stopping Ben from taking a look around a new neighbourhood and superseding decisions they, as a family, had made (and he gave whiskey to a baby!!). We saw plenty of evidence over the season’s, including in flashbacks, of Dean’s ‘what I say, goes’ attitude. Sam had huge restrictions placed on him when he was a smallie. We saw this when he wasn’t allowed to walk home from school in After School Special but these restrictions would have had to be endorsed by both John and Dean, not just John. If it was just John enforcing them then any time John was out of town Sam would have just done what he wanted.

We saw in Bad Day at Black Rock that John had kept keepsakes from Sam and Dean’s childhood; soccer trophies, sawn off shotguns, certificates etc. Why would John have kept these if his only focus was on being a drill instructor? When would he have had the opportunity to get them if he wasn’t around? How would he have known to keep them if he didn’t know they were important to Sam and Dean? John was around plenty. John loved his sons plenty. He might not have been able to always give his sons what they wanted, but he always gave them what they needed.

I’m 33 years old (fuck sake...) and not once in those 33 years has my father, even once, hugged me or said he loves me. I went travelling for over two years and all I got from my Dad was a pat on the back and a ‘Right, be safe now.’ Does that mean he doesn’t love me? Of course not. I know that he does because when I come home for the weekend he’ll open the window in my bedroom to let fresh air in and he’ll put a hot water bottle into my bed if I’m going to be home late. When I was travelling I’d always find a bit of extra money in the bank account and once or twice a week I’d get a text from him saying ‘How r u?’ despite the fact it would take him about two hours to send that text. He’ll pump the tyres on my car if he thinks they need it or put petrol into it if he thinks it’s running low.

There are four kids in the family, and not once has any one of us ever had to hitchhike or get a drive home from someone else after a night out. Whether it be 2am, 3am or 4am, the father would always be outside waiting to bring us home because that way he knew we’d be safe. When he was working (he’s retired now) he’s get up at 5.30am so that he could make our school lunches before he went to work for 7am, just so we could get an extra 20 minutes in bed in the morning. He spent the past weekend cutting firewood, loading it into a trailer and delivering it down to my brother’s house because ‘There’s a cold snap coming'.

Oh, he was plenty strict, and that (I’m ashamed to say) is all that I was aware of growing up. The TV couldn’t be turned on until after 6pm and never before the homework was done. We weren’t allowed to watch over 18 films. He wouldn’t let me give up swimming or squash even when I wanted to. He wouldn’t give us £1 for a freaking Mars Bar but if I needed £60-£70 for a school book or a new pair of runners, he’s hand it over without hesitation. All four of us went to university. I still play squash now and worked as a lifeguard for a long time. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of that had I been allowed to do what I wanted. Does all that not negate the fact that he never said three words or didn’t give hugs?

It’s only as I’ve gotten older that I’ve focused more on all the things that he did do, and focused less on the things that he didn’t. This is what I wish Dean would realise about John, that it isn’t about what John wasn’t but about what he was. It has to have been one of the biggest regrets of John’s life that he had to focus so much on what his children needed that he often couldn’t give them what they wanted.

I know there are many ways that John left the boys down. Yes, he put too much responsibility on Dean’s shoulders and left them at home often but may I ask, if all those times Dean was left alone with Sam, John was out working, and not hunting, would we be so critical of him? Short of giving up hunting, and thus putting his children in danger, what could John have done? Short of giving up his children, which was a non-runner, what could John have done?

In relation to Bobby being a ‘good father’. It was very easy for Bobby to be the good guy because he wasn’t the boy’s primary caregiver. In the same way that if I’m babysitting (jeez, childminding at this stage. I’m so freaking old....) it’s very easy for me to rationalise not doing what I’m meant to be doing when it comes to minding kids. I’ll give them pizza for their dinner (it’s a treat for them), I won’t make them tidy their rooms (what’s the point, they’ll only get messed up again) or I’ll let them stay up late (what harm will it do? Shur, they can stay in bed in the morning.) However, if they were in my care 24/7/365, then I wouldn’t be able to be like that.

The funny thing is, their parents know what I do. They know I don’t do what they want me to do, yet they keep asking me to babysit, despite there being plenty of other options. Why is that? They always tell the kids to not eat rubbish when they go away yet there’s always a new tub of icecream or something left in the freezer when they leave (and I didn’t buy it!).

Do you think it possible that John sent Sam and Dean to Bobby’s because he knew they’d get the chance to be kids there? Surely if John wanted the kids to be just ‘soldiers’, then he wouldn’t have sent them there in the first place, especially if he thought Bobby wasn’t ‘training’ them? Yet he persistently did, so if John ‘disapproved’ so much of what Bobby was doing, why did he keep leaving them there? Why not bring them with him, leave them in the car? Why not leave them in the motel or with another, stricter, retired hunter? Why always Bobby? Maybe because he felt he needed to be a drill instructor to keep them alive but he also gave them the opportunity to be children by sending them to Bobby’s.

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.... by Dean who let him take risks, but was always there to have his back. Whereas John just sent them out in sink or swim scenarios-.....
There is no indication that John sent Sam and Dean out in sink or swim scenarios. There’s no indication that he didn’t watch Sam and Dean’s backs from every turn, even when he sent them out on solo missions (we don’t even know what these solo missions were. Maybe they were sent out to kill a blind, legless pixie??) Why on earth would John just dump them into dangerous situations, without him bring there, if he thought they were incapable, when he spent his life trying to keep them safe? We don’t know what age Sam and Dean were when John stopped going with them on hunts. Dean might have been 18, 19, 20. Is that old enough to be hunting without his father? Early season 1 indicated that, to me, John and Dean were doing a lot of hunting together, even at that stage.

Honestly, I find it strange that people think little of John for letting Dean take risks yet endorse Dean for letting Sam take risks? Yep, Dean watched Sam’s back but there’s no evidence to accept that John didn’t watch Deans.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-05 18:11
I've really enjoy reading your ideas about John. But my perception of his time with his boys, that we don't see, is clearly different than yours.

I think because we only get tidbits about their childhood, we're left to fill in the blanks based on our own past experiences. Maybe because JDM had to leave the role, the only glimpses we get are of them by themselves and the first year of the show when he wasn't around most of the time. But by what the boys have said, the show clearly has established an absentee or deadbeat father role for John. Now I'm sure part of the was for to the literary symmetry, but the basis for it was already there.

My guess (again perception) is that in those first few years there were a lot of babysitters, who were changing the diapers. (We know of one from Swap Meat). Because infants are a full time caregiver position there is no way John could do that and hunt (I doubt his obsession let him hold off for a few years). My guess is until Dean was old enough at the ripe old age of what 8? 9? that they had babysitters. And because I find it hard to believe John put in an 8 hour shift hunting and was home in for dinner, like some other working parents. He would have spent a limited amount of with his children. Which would mean a lot of babysitters. Dean and Sam being each others only constant.

Your dad sounds fantastic. But will say there is absolutely NO evidence that's shows that John did any thing close to that after Mary died. If if was just a matter of him not being demonstrative, I would not have a problem with him.

But we do not have one scene of John being a caregiver. We do having several of Dean taking care of Sam. And even Mary was referenced with the tomato rice soup and "Hey Jude" and the scene from heaven. The only parts of John that were shown were him giving Dean a lecture as he left a small boy with an even smaller boy to watch. Yeah never going to make my father of the year list.

But John's worse offense IMO, besides the death scene, is when he failed to show up when Sam left a message Dean was dying. If that were Dean or Sam or even Bobby nothing would have kept them away. Sam left school just at the possibility his dad could be in danger.

As far as having keepsakes from their childhood, I don't doubt that John loved them(although I think Sam has plenty of reason to doubt it) I just think he let his obsession get in the way of actually taking care of his kids too often. I don't doubt that they are tougher for it but that doesn't make it right, IMO.

As for Bobby, I'll admit that's is based almost entirely on my assumption of what kind of father he WOULD have been, given his relationship with them as adults.

But Dean is another story. We have ample evidence of what kind of dad he would be. Both we Sam and Ben. When Dean was with Ben and Lisa, he put them on lockdown for a short time, but most of the time it looked like he was pretty chill considering the life he'd led. But I wouldn't really fault John for being overly protective. His protection, though is so hit and miss, I can't be really moved by it either. He would leave them for days and weeks at a time and the yell at Dean for leaving the room. Dean did WHATEVER it took to keep Ben and Lisa safe, even to the point of losing them altogether. I'm not saying I even agree with that decision but it does show his commitment to their safety.
He did leave Dean to fight on his own a good portion of the time we know when Sam was at school by Dean's own account. And we've seen how well hunting on your own goes with Sam and Dean.

And having had a workaholic, alcoholic mom growing up and a father who lived several hours away. Let me tell you only being a few years older does not stop a sibling from being the primary caregiver. My sister is only 3 years older than me and trust me her word was law. She's still the matriarch of the family despite not being that old. She 5'2" and can make grown men tremble. We had babysitters until she was about 12, but she was the one to mind. And like it or not, her voice is the one I still hear in my head when making decisions. I think in that respect Sam is the same. He loved and respected his father but he LISTENS to Dean, at least more than he does anyone else. Dean is the one he trust above all others, even his father.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-06 06:39
The first scene of the show tells us that John was a caring person (father among that)..Again not implying he was perfect but as far as Mary goes she too was hiding something..some thing which ended after 5 seasons.Even the way he handled things when he came to know about Mary's past when Sam and Dean went time travelling was really good considering he was very young.What i am trying to say is he was not a perfect dad but he was also not dead beat dad...For me the biggest problem in exactly pinning where john is in the dad rating scale is not knowing how much he knew about Sam's destiny.I always thought John wanted to handle the demon by himself but at the same time make Dean and Sam ready in case he is incapable of keeping them away from danger ..in which case they had to handle things without his help
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-06 15:31
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..... deadbeat father role for John....
Calling someone a deadbeat dad doth not a deadbeat dad make.....

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... limited amount of with his children.
I think the opposite. I don’t think Mary died November 2nd and by November 3rd hey presto RamboJohn. It could have taken months, even years, to get to that point. A spouse’s death, and its aftermath, takes a great deal of time of process, during which time you cling to those you have left even more, you don’t ship them out to a babysitter asap.

And my previous question still stands. If John was out working a paying job to keep his family together, would we be so critical of him?


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But will say there is absolutely NO evidence that's shows that John did anything close to that after Mary died.
There’s no evidence that he didn’t, either. I’m aware that a lot of this is based on supposition but I take a look at Dean with Sam and think ‘He had to have learned it from somewhere’. Who, if not John?

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But we do not have one scene of John being a caregiver......
We have how John was with Sam and Dean in the Pilot. We heard what he said to Sam in Dead Man’s Blood and Dean in In My Time of Dying. Does this not show he cared for his sons? That didn’t stop the minute Mary died. If anything, it would have increased.
In relation to the ‘lecture’; consider the circumstances. John had told Dean not to leave Sam alone and Dean did. With all due respect, and this might seem harsh, Dean got off light. What should John have done? Give him a pat on the back and say ‘Don’t worry about it.’

I’m not sure if you’re a parent but have you ever scolded someone because you were worried or panicked about them? My niece went missing for about 20 minutes when she was small. The front door of the house was open so the panic was unbelievable. Her parents nearly needed to be sedated they were in such a state. Anyway, the little wretch was inside the clothes hamper. She had heard us calling but she was ‘hiding’. Once the panic was over, her parents lit her from a height but they also gave out to her brother who left the door open. Lesson learned. Door never left opened again. That’s what panic is, and that’s what panic does. Did Dean ever leave Sam on his own again when John told him not to? Unlikely.

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...is when he failed to show up when Sam left a message Dean was dying..
But we’ve no idea why John didn’t come when Sam rang about Dean. There have been many instances throughout the seasons when Sam/Dean/Bobby didn’t answer the phone. Maybe John’s phone was broken, maybe he had no reception, maybe he didn’t get the message or maybe he was stuck down a well waiting for Lassie to rescue him. I think, given how much John loved his sons, it’s a bit much to think he didn’t intentionally not come when Dean was dying. Next time that happened, John went to hell for Dean.

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I just think he let his obsession get in the way....
What do you think was the obsession; avenging Mary’s death, protecting his family or ensuring that his youngest wouldn’t be some demon’s bitch, keeping the boys together, alive and ready to protect themselves?

And again, what should John have done? I’m hearing a buttload of John is this, John is that etc but again, what should John have done to ensure that his boys were safe, independent and prepared? It’s so quick to judge, but so difficult to solve. How would you have reacted were you in that position?

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As for Bobby, I'll admit that's is based almost entirely on my assumption of what kind of father he WOULD have been, given his relationship with them as adults.
Your assumption is based on what kind of father he COULD have been. John and Bobby were remarkably similar. They both turned to hunting for revenge in the aftermath of their spouse’s death.

You mention relationships with adults and that is a key point. John’s relationship with Sam and Dean was quite good when he met them as adults because the hard work was done, and while he would always worry about them, he had got them to a place where they would not be easily killed.

Bobby got to play the cool uncle; he got the boys when they were toilet trained, so to speak. But had Bobby been their father, and his wife had burned on the ceiling, and he later found out that his youngest son was on a demon’s hit list, how do you think Bobbydad would have reacted? I dare say exactly the same as John.

Quote:
But Dean is another story. We have ample evidence of what kind of dad he would be....
Yep, we saw ample evidence of the kind of dad Dean would be..... when he thought evil wouldn’t come after him. We saw evidence of the kind of father John would have been.... had there been no evil in the world. Unfortunately, there is evil in the world. And it’s easy to be chill when you’re a trained hunter. Dean still had a knife under the bed, he salted the doors and windows. Lisa knew how to shoot. However, what did Dean do when danger reared its ugly head? He moved his family and emulated John.

Quote:
He would leave them for days and weeks at a time and the yell at Dean for leaving the room.
No evidence that he left them on their own for days and weeks at a time when they were young. That’s something that stemmed from fan fiction. Physically, Dean would have been incapable of taking care of Sam for long periods of time. What would he have done had Sam gotten sick, or they ran out of food, or a monster came calling? Wouldn’t be much point John sacrificing everything to save his sons only to have them kick it from vitamin deficiency! He quite probably did when they were much older but that’s fairly commonplace in all working families.

Quote:
Dean did WHATEVER it took to keep Ben and Lisa safe, even to the point of losing them altogether.
It’s ironic that you mention ‘losing them altogether’. By making Sam and Dean so independent, John effectively lost them. However, to keep Ben and Lisa safe Dean put them on lockdown (like John). He left them at Bobby’s (like John.) He got in his ‘son’s’ face (like John) and he wiped their memories (not at all like John). How do you imagine Dean would react if he later found out Ben or Lisa was killed by a monster or a demon? I bet he’d wish he trained this family up good and proper, kinda like John....

Quote:
He did leave Dean to fight on his own a good portion of the time we know when Sam was at school by Dean's own account.
Dean was about 22 when Sam went to school (I’m assuming you mean college here.) Bloody hell, if he still needs John to hold his hand at 22! John had fought in Vietnam and won a bronze star by the time he was that age.

Quote:
And we've seen how well hunting on your own goes with Sam and Dean.
Actually, not all that bad at all. Dean got on fine when Sam was at Stanford and when he was taking his ‘break’ in Free To Be You and Me. Sam did well in the four months Dean was in hell (if you ignore the fact that he went a little loolah, though this was more to do with the fact that Dean was in hell and less to do with the fact that he hunted on his own.)

The times Sam and Dean have made a complete balls of it was when they hunted together and then split up, but that’s not the same as hunting on your own. The boys are better hunters together but they’re not bad hunters apart. Hell, in Pilot Dean said that he didn’t need Sam with him on the hunt.

Quote:
..... only being a few years older does not stop a sibling from being the primary caregiver....’
Sam spent more time with Dean so it’s not surprising that he trusts Dean more than John. However, who did Dean trust more, Sam or John? To whom did Dean listen to more, Sam or John?

We need to tie up lots of information when thinking about what motivated John, and even with that, there’s a bit of supposition. We know that John loved his sons, went to great lengths to protect them etc. They knew little about demons in season 1 so John obviously shielded them from that so a question remains as to why he trained them as hunters. He told Sam that this was not the life he wanted for them so why did he give them that life?

I wonder at what stage hunting became the plan for Sam and Dean. Was it before or after Mary’s relatives started to be killed off? Was it before or after John was told of plans for Sam? Was it before or after John began to think they might be true? We know demons don’t move fast. Did John only bring them into the hunting lifestyle when he realised that evil was coming for them regardless of what he and so he was determined to have them ready? Surely this could explain John’s tough love attitude. There can’t be any room for mistakes because one mistake and you’re dead.

I know, given that we’ve seen so little of John, much of what you and I both say on him is based on supposition. However, thinking about John now is like thinking about Sam in Season 4. There’s a lot of algebra involved in trying to figure him and his actions out (freaking Maths....)
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-03-06 15:47
Wonderful post Tim.
Brynhild
# Brynhild 2012-03-06 20:07
Quote:
What do you think was the obsession; avenging Mary’s death, protecting his family or ensuring that his youngest wouldn’t be some demon’s bitch, keeping the boys together, alive and ready to protect themselves?

And again, what should John have done? I’m hearing a buttload of John is this, John is that etc but again, what should John have done to ensure that his boys were safe, independent and prepared? It’s so quick to judge, but so difficult to solve. How would you have reacted were you in that position?
Actually I found myself wonder the same some days ago, while I was watching my one and only (so far) episode of "Torchwood".

I'm a new mother of a nine months old baby boy, and I had him asleep in my arms when I was watching it.

And in that episode some aliens invaders had asked 10% of british children population as ransom for not destroying the nation. And the british government had obliged, and sent the Army to take away the children from their families, or directly from the schools, without any explanation. And, in order to "give a good example", the Prime Minister asked to his close collaborator to give away his two daughters. The man, incpable of rebelling, got home, closed himself and his daughters in a room and shoot them first, then himself.

And I was there watching, with my baby in my arms, and I couldn't believe my eyes.

Because if something like that should happen in my real life, NEVER I would make such choice. They should have to pass on my dead body, before they take my son. If something like that should happen to me, I would run to my home, make a quick call to my husband to explain the situation asking him to meet me somewhere, I would pack the essential in a duffel bag, put my son in my car, retire how much cash I can from the nearest automatic point, buy a gun in the nearest hunter's shop (even if I never shot a single bullet in my life) and run away like I had the hell on my heels.

And VERY probably I'd ended up like John, or more probably like Mary, should have Mary survived. I couldn't give my son to none of my relatives, because they could be arrested by the government. Nor could I give him to some foster house, since they would be the first places where the government would go taking his "10%". I couldn't trust any institutional figure. Me, my husband and our son would be constantly on the run, moving from place to place, in order to not be caught. I would change identity, so I would live out of the law. And should the situation go on for years, I would have to teach my son to do the same. An never, in any situation, I would let him far from my reach.

This passed through my mind while watching that Torchwood episode. And suddenly I sympathized with John Winchester, whom I didn't love so much so far (even if I never disliked him: I was ever convinced he did the best he could in such circumstances).

I don't think he wanted his sons to be hunters, I think he wanted them to be prepared for any danger they could be facing. I think he took them with him because he felt that more safe than letting them alone. I think he resented Sam's desire to go to College not because he wanted him to be a hunter or nothing else, but because this could only mean that he had to let Sam go away on himself, without protection (and being Sam the "little one" of the family, this feeling is more pronounced than for Dean). And maybe also because he saw Sam's "rebellion" like a questioning of himself and his life choice, a questioning of him as a father. And every parent knows far too well how this is frustrating and crushing and maddening.

And I don't think John did what he did only out of revenge for Mary's death. That was the trigger, but, from what I see in his sons, he must have found also some wider meaning in the hunting: something like a "call of duty" (he was a soldier, after all, a veteran and a marine), a call "to serve and protect" innocent people from the things that go bumping in the night: the famous "saving people, hunting thing: the family business" line that Dean MUST have heard from him who knows how many times.

So maybe this attitude somehow passed in his sons, in Dean particularly at first, but then in Sam also, even if he rebelled to him (and this rebellion is RIGHT and NATURAL, is the stage we all passed through to define ourselves as individuals, different from our parents).
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-06 20:50
Bingo, Brynhild. :-D
Brynhild
# Brynhild 2012-03-06 20:41
Quote:

I find it really strange that people say that Sam was basically raised by Dean when 6.02 showed that Dean couldn’t change a nappy,
Actually the episode showed that he could change a nappy, but he explained that he learned it with some Lisa's niece or nephew (I don't remember)


Quote:
Quote:
.... by Dean who let him take risks, but was always there to have his back. Whereas John just sent them out in sink or swim scenarios-.....
There is no indication that John sent Sam and Dean out in sink or swim scenarios. There’s no indication that he didn’t watch Sam and Dean’s backs from every turn, even when he sent them out on solo missions (we don’t even know what these solo missions were. Maybe they were sent out to kill a blind, legless pixie??) Why on earth would John just dump them into dangerous situations, without him bring there, if he thought they were incapable, when he spent his life trying to keep them safe? We don’t know what age Sam and Dean were when John stopped going with them on hunts. Dean might have been 18, 19, 20. Is that old enough to be hunting without his father? Early season 1 indicated that, to me, John and Dean were doing a lot of hunting together, even at that stage.
It's clear since from the Pilot that usually John didn't let his sons go hunting alone. When Dean explains to Sam that he was hunting solo, Sam is like "WHAT??" and Dean says "Hey, I'm 26 now". Since they haven't been in touch in the last two years, it can be agued that Dean never went hunting solo until he was 24.

Teh ONE and ONLY time (at least that I can recall) that it's said otherwise is in "The kids are alright", where Dean remembers knowing Lisa when he was off on a hunt far from his dad and from Sam, and he was 19 (based on Ben's and Dean's age and Dean's doubts that he can be his son).
cd28
# cd28 2012-03-01 12:13
I was just going to respond to this and found that Tim had posted a much more detailed and better worded response. I agree with everything Tim said, but I'll still write what I was going to write.

It's not like John told Dean to kill Sam because he was an ungrateful kid. He knew YED had a master plan to turn Sam darkside and set him on the path to do something evil on the scale of launching the apocalypse. John had battled YED for years and always seemed to fail, so while he still hoped Dean could save Sam, he knew Dean might fail as well. He was bracing Dean for what was to come.

Did Dean want to hear this warning? No. Did he need to hear it? Yes. As painful as killing Sam would have been for Dean, sitting back and watch his brother destroy the world, and not seeing it coming, would have been worse.

And John didn't really say goodbye to either son. He gave Dean the message he needed to give him, but he didn't tell Dean he was going to die. If he had told them that he had sold his soul to YED, he probably would have spent his last few moments fighting with Sam. Besides, he had a nicer moment with Sam in an earlier episode when he told Sam that he had wanted Sam to go to college but lost sight of things because he saw danger everywhere.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-02 00:49
I disagree about the not saying goodbye to Dean. He may not have said the actual words, but right before he collapsed he said all these amazing things to him and told him how proud he was of him. The only thing he said to Sam THE LAST TIME HE WAS EVER GOING TO SEE HIM was that he didn't want to fight. He didn't even give a pat on the shoulder as he left. Maybe he was still angry Sam didn't shoot him, but it was still pretty crappy. And even when he came back in the AHBL2 he has a moment with Dean and barely nods his head at Sam, like he's a casual acquaintance.
OK fan girl (or closer to old lady)rant over.
buffsgirl
# buffsgirl 2012-02-28 19:25
Great list and I agree with most of it. I just have a couple of observations / comments.

In "Phantom Traveler" I initially had the same reaction you raised to them not knowing how to deal with a demon. However, I no longer take objection to it and actually think it works and here is why. I think it was in E22 of S1 Bobby says something to the boys like -- "You guys have really stepped in it this time. Demonic possesions have really increased. I used to hear about maybe 5 or 6 a year. This year I've already heard of 12" -- or something to that effect. I think they (the writers) wanted us to understand that demons weren't a common occurance and that Sam & Dean's hunting was mostly of ghosts and other beasties but not demons. I actually feel like we got to see them increase their knowledge and skill set and become more experienced hunters before our eyes, which I like. Plus...... how funny is the demon smoke in this one. Their early attempts at the black smoke make me giggle everytime I see it! :-)

In "Shadow" when Sam and Dean reunite with John, I get why you feel it was a miss but, I think it was true to character and therefore see it as a hit. For Dean to hash things out with his dad at that point or question where he was or his motives would have seemed contrived to me. Dean just wasn't at the point in his own growth to stand up to his dad. This also was a hit for me because you can see how much Dean loves Sam and how important the moment that Sam and John share is to him. Why doesn't Jensen have like a million awards??? He is phenomenal.
elle
# elle 2012-03-01 17:17
You make a good point about Phantom Traveller. I suppose I can concede it's possible it'd have been rare for them to encounter a possession. I'm still skeptical though, :)

Yes, Dean hashing things out would have been out of his character. There are just some things throughout the series I wish could have been discussed, or touched on - in particular that John apparently up and left without a word one way or another to Dean. I realize the time constraints, plot needs, etc. are a factor, but a girl can wish can't she? I just think John's relationship with his boys is so complicated, I love any chance to explore further

Thanks for your comments!
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-02-28 20:18
@Ginger (reply wasn't working)
Huh, I never saw Sam as John's favorite or him catering to him, just the opposite in fact. I don't see John being any better with Dean, but I then I don't think he was great father to either of them. I love the actor but think the character is a bit of a obsessed ass. I do like young John.

I think Sam was mildly selfish the first session, typical of his age (and really bad the 4th with the demon blood) but not really any other time.

@Elle I agreed with you on everything-well except liking John LOL.
Alice
# Alice 2012-02-29 16:11
Hey, just curious on the reply thing, were you using IE9? We've been having some problems with that browser and I wanted to check.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-01 03:46
I was at work and was on windows explorer. It was probably a glitch with the system they happen a lot at work.
redheadedali
# redheadedali 2012-02-28 21:42
That scene between Dean and Lucas was the exact moment that I a) became hooked on the show for good and b) fell completely in love with Dean. It's still one of my favorites.

One of my favorite family moments from season 1 is in Shadow when John says, "She was the bad guy, right?" and Sam and Dean both say, "Yes, sir". I feel like the delivery of those two words did more to fill in the backstory of their relationship with John than pages and pages of dialogue from another show could have.

Also, I think Route 666 might have been marginally better if Jensen and the actress who played Cassie had had any chemistry at all. Which they did not. Which was kind of a problem since they were supposed to be in love.

And, finally, I, too, love Provenance. It's such a fun episode.
elle
# elle 2012-03-01 17:19
You're right, we managed to get a lot about John and the boys' relationship without many words or even that much shared screentime. It speaks to the talent of the entire SPN team.

Chemistry in Route 666 would have been an advantage, yes, haha. Everytime I see that actress I think "it's you. The one who dumped Dean. You moron."
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-02-28 22:56
I did not think Dean not talking to John after the daevas was a miss as it stayed true to character but at the same time liked it when Dean stood up to john in the vampire episode but the tragedy and not a miss was John died before Dean got the chance to hash it out with John.
For me atleast Sarah and Meg both were hits,Sarah was perfect.
elle
# elle 2012-03-01 17:21
I think I need to clarify, that I don't dislike Meg. And my problem with her intro is more that Sam missed all the signs of a clear bad guy. I get that he was still in the midst of grief for Jess and sorting himself out in the post-Stanford, back on the road and hunting lifestyle. But I always watch and think, why don't you see she's evil?! Especially when she turns up again later on.

Sarah was awesome, I loved her.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-02-28 23:01
And that particular scene i think liked John more as if i remember properly he hugged Dean (the son who stayed) first and then Sam.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-02-29 00:24
I agree with all your choices except that I wouldn't call Route 666 an absolute miss...maybe a honorable mention??? I liked Cassie. I can see Dean with a very competent, strong and classy girl although I do wish that the chemistry had been a little better between the two of them, but maybe that was on purpose. After all, it had been years since they'd seen each other and their last encounter ended badly.
elle
# elle 2012-03-01 17:23
The episode wasn't what I classified as a miss in and of itself, but rather a missed chance at some backstory exploration. Personally I don't like the episode or the character of Cassie but I just think, how big was it for Dean to share his lifestyle with someone like that? He nust have been absolutely head over heels for this girl, and maybe some backstory context could have given the episode some strength and the relationship some legitimacy. Honestly, when I look at the episode, it feels contrived to me.

But to each their own, eh? ;-)
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2012-02-29 03:21
Great choices, Elle.

I agree with most of them, although I thought the introduction of Meg was pretty good. And I agree with you about Asylum because it started the trend of important issues that get swept under the rug for the rest of the series.

People are entitled to their opinions, but it has always frustrated me to hear Sam stated as selfish. I agree with Katie's statements. I don't think what Sam said was selfish as much as frustrated with John's behavior and Dean not standing up for himself. And I agree that he was very young at the time and didn't have the same insight that we all gain as we mature. As he spent time as an adult with his brother, Sam came to understand Dean's actions better, just as many people do, and yet part of the fandom cannot seem to accept that. Dean has said many things to Sam that were just as hurtful, yet it appears to be okay because it's Dean who's saying them.

I also thinks it's the writing of the show that is partly at fault. I think in the first seasons, they did a relatively good job of showing that both boys had issues with the other and that neither one was necessarily right or wrong. They really didn't, in my opinion, show Sam's leaving in a negative light until later. Even Dean stated in season 1 that he admired Sam for standing up to their father, but when they decided that Sam was to blame for everything wrong in the universe, then all of his choices, how he felt about John, how he felt about hunting, everything became wrong.

Don't get me wrong. I love Dean. I love both of them because they have strengths and weaknesses and are not perfect, but they keep trying no matter what. But, for some reason, it's Sam who takes the brunt of the negativity even though they are equally flawed characters.

Not trying to start a Dean versus Sam debate, I promise.

I look forward to the rest of the the article.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-02-29 12:48
I agree that in Season 5 they didn't show Sam's point of view and almost ALL Sam's past decisions were presented somewhat negatively. But I kind of saw that as Sam's guilt and his feeling this way, rather than the writer's POV. Also saw it as a plot device to separate the boys.

This season they've shown a couple different times that Dean regrets pulling Sam from school and back into the life. But I again think this is Dean's POV rather than the writer's because Sam would have been pulled back in eventually because he had a role to play for YED, Lilith and Lucifer. (That is what irritates me most in Defending Your Life is that the better arguments weren't made but since Dean's guilt is a recurring theme this season maybe they didn't want it cleared up. I do hope he's able to find SOME resolution to it this season.)

I totally agree with you about them being equally flawed and totally loving them both despite those flaws (and maybe because of a few). Don't really understand the whole Sam vs Dean thing- for me it's like picking a kid to love more. Sam was an ass through a good portion of Season 4 but Dean was an ass through a good portion of season 5. Dean's attitude was because of Sam's actions in 4, but he was more deliberately hurtful to Sam than Sam has ever deliberately been to Dean. So I call it a wash and GREAT writing, because those two seasons are my favorites! Even though I love their brotherly moments the most-weird huh.
elle
# elle 2012-03-01 17:25
Hi sylvia37,

Thanks for the comments!

I don't dislike Meg's intro, per se, just the fact that Sammy can't seem to see she's evil incarnate. I enjoy the Meg character a lot actually.
Gwen
# Gwen 2012-02-29 04:54
Great post, Sylvia. I agree with you completely. I didn't get the whole Sam is selfish notion way back in S1 and I most certainly do not understand why he's still getting labelled as selfish nowadays.
Also your point about the writing of the show is spot on, imo.

Agreed 100% withKatie's post upthread too.

As for these hits and misses - I adored the introduction of Meg. I loved how she was a little too witty, a little too clever and a little too mysterious. It made me extremely eager to know more about her and why she was targeting Sam.

Sarah, Provenance - I disliked Sarah so she was a big miss for me. Although I still liked the episode and it was good to see Sam beginning to move on from his heartache and grief over Jess. Also Dean's 'that's my boy' at the end had me melting.

Dead Man's Blood confrontation - Loved it. Sam's hurt and anger...just wow. I loved the tortured, messed up relationship between Sam and John and loved any insight we got into it so this scene and this episode was made of win for me.

Asylum scene - A hit. Anything that gives us insight into Sam's headspace and, especially, some insight into what it was like for him growing up in his family is a hit with me.

Faith - Loved it. A hit. Loved seeing Sam's love for Dean. Loved Dean's scenes with Layla. Great episode.

John and Dean in Shadow. This is my favourite episode in S1 so nothing about this was a miss for me. I absolutely adored Sam and John's reunion. Sam had spent so much time - years - thinking his dad hated him and that he wouldn't want to see him. This was Sam's time. Their reunion, and the all too soon split, ripped my heart to shreds. I agree with the comment upthread that Dean wasn't ready to hash out his issues with John just then. It was only a few episodes later (DMB) that he started to stand up to John and then he aired some of his grievances in Salvation. I think at this point it was far more important to Dean to have his family reunited than to start hashing out issues and possibly spoil the moment. I loved Dean in this scene, his love for Sam was so evident.

Skin. A hit. Great insight into Dean's head. Also we got TiedUp!Sam. Ahem.. :P

Route 66 - I liked this episode and I liked Cassie. Not a hit but not a miss either.

Dean and Lucas - This was my least favourite episode of S1. The Dean insight was interesting but, and this makes me sound like a completely horrible person, for some reason Lucas really got on my nerves. *Hides*

As for Bugs. I loved that episode. Yeah, the MOTW and InstaDay were rather underwhelming but the insights into the boys' earlier years and their differing perceptions of these years were fascinating.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2012-02-29 05:11
Quote:


Dean and Lucas - This was my least favourite episode of S1. The Dean insight was interesting but, and this makes me sound like a completely horrible person, for some reason Lucas really got on my nerves. *Hides*

As for Bugs. I loved that episode. Yeah, the MOTW and InstaDay was rather underwhelming but the insights into the boys' earlier years and their differing perceptions of these years were fascinating.
Thanks Gwen. LOL, if you have to hide, then so do I because I feel the same way about Lucas. One of my least favorite episodes. And I didn't dislike bugs nearly as much as others seemed to.
elle
# elle 2012-03-01 17:28
Hi Gwen,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love that this show can be interpretted in so many different ways - gives us great discussion material, eh?

The Lucas thing I totally get. Generally speaking, I hate child actors. They often act too young or too old and many times, to my disdain, they are supergenius'. The Lucas character himself isn't why I put this down as a hit, but more the way Dean approachs and connects with him. Makes me swoon!
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-02-29 09:19
Thanks for this Elle, it certainly gets the fans talking. And although we don't always agree on what is a hit or a miss, we agree that this is one great show.

I actually liked the way Meg was introduced. Should Sam have been leary of her? Maybe, but I think he was a little less suspect of people at that time. He didn't know about the demon blood back then. Which brings me to the demon in "Phantom Traveler". I thought it plausible about not knowing about how to exorcise a demon pretty much for the same reason that I thought Sam didn't see Meg as a baddie. My theory is that demons were told to stay clear of Sam & Dean until it was time for Azazel to make his move on Sam. And we don't know for a fact that John had never shown either of them how to do an exorcisism.

As for "Provenance", I liked Sarah and the chemistry she had with Sam, so for me that would be a win. I watch that episode quite often, I love a good ghost story. And my all time favourite motel room is in that episode, just the sound of disco music as they enter gets me every time.

I agree with every hit you have on your list. "Faith" was a winner from beginning to end, no doubt about it.

I'm looking forward to the rest of your Hits & Misses, it's making the Hellatus go by smoothly.
elle
# elle 2012-03-01 17:31
Yes, this has certainly inspired some discussion. Which is great, especially during hiatus when we're bored, lol.

When you say we don't know for a fact that John had never shown them to exorcise a demon, this is my exact problem with the episode. I can't believe that John would never have shown them or never have mentioned it, even to Dean in the four years they were going about their business. They research it in the episode and seems wholly new to the boys, so that's where I struggle with believability. I know it isn't really fair to pick on this point, because it's early in the season and series and SPN was still getting it's footing. Nevertheless, on this difficult to assemble list (I did struggle for misses, hence perhaps some nitpicky ones) it had to go down.

Glad you're enjoying this series of articles!
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-02-29 17:34
I'll just say to begin that I love all your hits and disagree with all your misses. :eek:

I loved everything and every episode of season one. Still do. Even Bugs and Route 666 offered more insight into the brothers relationship than season 7's "Defending Your Life" which could have been SO MUCH MORE!

Adored Sarah completely, and didn't hate Caasie like almost every other fan alive does. Cassie was a capable and intelligent woman that Dean could admire and fall for, and not a mindless bimbo! Still hoping Sam ends up with Sarah when series ends. (PLEASE, never end!)

The confrontation in "Asylum" could have been hashed out a lot more, but there is a time limit to the episodes. Thought it was electrifying myself .

Meg's introduction was also , to me, very well done and acted. Why should Sam suspect anything wrong because she was witty and smart? Should he only trust dimbulbs?
Meg gave me the creeps. :o Oh, and I LOVED "Scarecrow" entirely!

Faith is just so very good it needs no more words from me. Winner definitely!

Loved Dean and the kid in "Dead in the Water". So much about Dean was revealed that even Sam never knew before.

Loved the meeting of Sam and John in "Shadow" and Dean's pleased expression when those two hugged was wonderful to see. That Jensen was some actor, even in season 1! (Where are his many Emmys?) And I never ever thought John loved one of his boys more than the other, or was ever intentionally abusive to either. His judgement was off at the end of "MyTime of Dying" in sending Sam for coffee and burdening his eldest with that ghastly request, but I think he thought he had to inform Dean about it some way and he really had no time to be subtle or to explain WHY! :sigh:
Horrible for Dean!
elle
# elle 2012-03-01 17:36
Hi Bevie,

I really struggled with finding Misses for season one, or at least enough to counterbalance the hits, for a number of reasons, including that I have great affection for season one and the innocence of our characters as compared with where they are now. Thus, I suppose some are nitpicks and some are just personal things that bug me, but not enough to detract from the season, certainly.


I guess with Meg's intro she felt a little too "on" not to be suspicious. I grant that at this time Sam had other things on his mind and at that point in the series was a little more trusting compared to now. As much as I enjoy Scarecrow overall (the down, the MOTW, Sammy saving the day in the end and the brother stuff) the subplot with Sam going off and handing out at the train station has never been my cup of tea. *Shrugs* don't know why. That said, I do love Meg in her own right.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-02-29 17:51
I wouldn’t be too worried about Meg being too interested in Sam and Dean’s drama. In fairness, if either Sam or Dean were to even have a freaking hangnail, I’d find myself interested in it!

I don’t find it that surprising that Sam didn’t pick up on the fact that Meg was a bit of a demon. He hadn’t had much contact with demons and he wasn’t as world wise at this stage as Dean was. Add to that, we didn’t really have that much contact with them at this stage so as far as season 1 viewers knew, a demon could just be another big bad of the week; kill and move on. Plus, the viewers weren't used to have a longer running storyline (Meg and demons) so I guess we were caught a little unawares too.

I liked Sarah. She had great hair and a good solid scream!

I didn’t pick up on the whole Sam and Dean’s inexperience at dealing with demons until you said it. That’s the problem when you watch about five seasons in one go. It does seem strange they hadn’t a clue, especially given the prominent role played by demons in their life. I’d have assumed that John would have at least written about them or they had gone on some hunts involving demons. I guess that’s the danger with assumptions!

Dead Man’s Blood – I like that we got to see a bit of the dad behind the hunter with John. He’s been maligned so much lately, it was good to see even a small glimpse that what he did, he did out of fear and out of love. And (non-sparkly) vampires rock.

Re: Asylum. It did seem to be the start of the rather unfortunate tendency to brush things under the carpet. Ah well.

To be honest, what Sam said to Dean while under the influence didn’t bother me, in the same way that what ShifterDean (after downloading Dean’s thoughts and memories etc) said to Sam didn’t bother me. Neither of the two boys are saints. They both have their selfish moments, as every single person on the face of the earth does. That is not to say they are selfish (and I’m sorry, but re: an earlier comment... I could never consider anyone who is willing to give up their life, their future, their happiness, their hopes and dreams to help others, to be selfish. Even Gordon, despite being a class A prick, wasn’t selfish.)

There are some things that Sam and Dean are ticked with each other about that they didn’t bring up for fear of offending the other. Welcome to the human race. You can’t control what you think. You can try to understand it and rationalise it but it’s very difficult to completely eschew the thought in the first place. Surely the fact that they didn’t (willingly) vocalise these feelings to each other indicates just how much they care about each other?

Yeah, I liked Faith too because ever before Dean sold his soul for Sam, we saw how far Sam was willing to go to save Dean. Would Sam have made a deal to save Dean at this stage? It’s very probable, had he the knowhow etc.

John and Dean not hashing out their issues also didn’t bother me. (God, I’m very mellow tonight!) At this stage, Dean wasn’t even aware that he had issues with his father so there really wasn’t anything to hash out.....

Is it wrong that I can’t remember a single thing about Route 666 except that it was similar to Stephen King’s Christine? No? Good. I can’t remember a single thing about Route 666. Sorry. I’m sure it was grand.....

Another hit? The M&M’s in Wendigo. I’m now totally justified in eating them (they are the food of hunters, after all.) I wonder why Dean switched to pie.

Thanks for this Elle. Look forward to part 2.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2012-02-29 23:53
Quote:

To be honest, what Sam said to Dean while under the influence didn’t bother me, in the same way that what ShifterDean (after downloading Dean’s thoughts and memories etc) said to Sam didn’t bother me. Neither of the two boys are saints. They both have their selfish moments, as every single person on the face of the earth does. That is not to say they are selfish (and I’m sorry, but re: an earlier comment... I could never consider anyone who is willing to give up their life, their future, their happiness, their hopes and dreams to help others, to be selfish. Even Gordon, despite being a class A prick, wasn’t selfish.)

There are some things that Sam and Dean are ticked with each other about that they didn’t bring up for fear of offending the other. Welcome to the human race. You can’t control what you think. You can try to understand it and rationalise it but it’s very difficult to completely eschew the thought in the first place. Surely the fact that they didn’t (willingly) vocalise these feelings to each other indicates just how much they care about each other?

Yeah, I liked Faith too because ever before Dean sold his soul for Sam, we saw how far Sam was willing to go to save Dean. Would Sam have made a deal to save Dean at this stage? It’s very probable, had he the knowhow etc.

John and Dean not hashing out their issues also didn’t bother me. (God, I’m very mellow tonight!) At this stage, Dean wasn’t even aware that he had issues with his father so there really wasn’t anything to hash out.....
Can I hear an AMEN, sisters and brothers?
elle
# elle 2012-03-01 17:42
Hi Tim,

Sam's comments to Dean while under the influence never bothered me either. I love the episode, actually. I just wish we could have had a little more...somethin g at the end. I don't know what exactly. Discussion maybe, or a reference somewhere. Looking to Sex and Violence, (which I know is controversial, but it's for an illustrative point here only) following that there are references to the words between brothers. Ah well, I guess that's what fanfiction is for, haha.

Regarding Dean not hashing it out with John, I guess I'm just sorry we didn't get more Winchester family moments (I desperately want JDM to come back!) and one of the things I imagine they could discuss is John just sort of ditching Dean and I wonder if they discussed the events of Home at all (like hey dad, you know that message I left you where I was near tears and desperate? Might of been nice to talk to you or hear back. Just sayin'.) This list is partly my wish list for things on the show, I suppose.

Like I said above, I had to reach for things in Season one to pick at. It's a pretty solid season as the show goes, given that it's a first season and should maybe have the most kinks and inconsistenties .

Part 2 will be forthcoming, eventually, haha.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-03-01 19:32
One thing that I miss even now is that the Show has never resolved the issues between John and Dean...well, the issues Dean has/had (whatever) with John. The last that was shown is that Dean thinks his dad was a deadbeat dad, similar to SPN's God.

I can only assume that since the Show went on to totally trash John's character, he was a deadbeat dad. While I started out liking John, at this point, I don't want John back on the Show.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-02 10:26
Quote:
One thing that I miss even now is that the Show has never resolved the issues between John and Dean...well, the issues Dean has/had (whatever) with John. The last that was shown is that Dean thinks his dad was a deadbeat dad, similar to SPN's God.
Perhaps the show never resolved the ‘issues’ between John and Dean because there are no issues to resolve between John and Dean. In much the same way that Sam, in time, accepted that John did what he had to do with their best interests at heart, perhaps Dean too has done the same thing. Dean’s issues with John are precisely that; Dean’s issues. He’s the one who needs to make peace with them, not John.

That being said, in season 6, Dean seemed to be much more at peace with John and his decisions. This was evident on more than one occasion, most notably in 6.03, when Dean not only endorsed, but emulated John’s actions.

Quote:
I can only assume that since the Show went on to totally trash John's character, he was a deadbeat dad. While I started out liking John, at this point, I don't want John back on the Show.

The show did not thrash the character as the show went on because the John we saw in season one was the same John he was in seasons five, six and seven. John’s character has only been thrashed by Dean, and Dean’s state of mind, at the time of the trashing, was questionable. Dean’s lack of faith in, and increasingly negative view of, his father very much coincided with the period of Dean’s life when he had a negative view of, and no faith in, himself so we need to consider the situation beyond the eyes of the protagonist before we can label John a ‘deadbeat dad’.

I find it so strange that during seasons one and two, when Sam dislikes his father, but Dean thinks John is the best thing since sliced bread, that the audience thinks that John is great. Yet when Sam accepts John, and Dean starts disliking him, the audience starts disliking John, yet he is still the same guy!
Karen
# Karen 2012-03-01 15:30
Hi Elle
I enjoyed reading your list. I agree with all your hits and some of your misses.

Meg – I agree from the moment I laid eyes on her I knew she was a baddie. But I accepted Sam inability to notice this because at that time he was too consumed with locating his dad and finding Jessica’s killer.

Sarah – Total hit for me too. I really liked her and Sam together.

The First Demon – This never bothered me, I guess looking back you would think that at least Dean would have been exposed to one while hunting with his dad. But like what Bobby referenced later in The Devil’s Trap, possession were few and far between back then.

The Winchester Family Fun – This was a hit for me too. I really felt for Dean here.

Asylum Confrontation – I agree the writers like to brush some things under the carpet, especially if it’s an issue they only want for one episode because it adds to the drama.

Faith – I love this episode and definitely a hit all round.

John and Dean – I don’t see this as a miss. Dean still held his Dad high on a pedestal and was more relieved to finally find his Dad alive and well.

Shapeshifters Insight – Totally agree here too.

Route 666 – I really didn’t need to see a flashback of their relationship. The only issue I had with this episode was I didn’t feel the chemistry between Dean and Cassie and I thought the actress who played the mother needed to look for another line of work.

Dean and Lucas – Love these two.
elle
# elle 2012-03-01 17:44
Hi All,

Thanks for reading and commenting! I'm surprised by the discussion that have come from the list, but I guess it's the mark of great TV that we can all look at the same thing and have so many different feelings about it.

Look for part 2 coming soon.
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2012-03-01 17:16
Hi Elle. Loved your idea for an article SO much, that I decided to pull my head out of the LurkerBush, and contribute! So here goes...

Re: MISS Meg

I like Meg. She's been a real fun character. I'll admit, I remember thinking, on first viewing of this eppie, that she might be some kinda love interest and I was really not liking the idea... So, the way they went with the evil demon chick really worked for me. I didn't really see her as evil at first, more really pushy and clever, but she quickly got my danger vibes going. I hope we see her again. A Hit hit hit from the get go.


Re: HIT-Sarah

Hm.. I'm a bit ambivalent about her. She has great chemistry with Sam and their scenes together were very cute. I just didn't like her all the time, she just sometimes seemed 'too' perfect for Sam (and her constant lipgloss irked me, alot). So, I like her but she's a bit annoying. Which is a normal reaction, to anyone, I'd say. So I guess she's on the hit-side for me :)


Re: MISSy the Demon

The first demon was a hit for me, just because I liked the way they did it, in the way that it was the first of many (to come). Even though it bugged me that they changed the style of it a bit, TPTB has been changing many things since, so I'm not that broken up about it :)
Re: the boys not knowing about demons beforehand, I think Bobby said something in Devils Trap that "you normally hear of 2 possessions in a year, maybe 3", so I guess it's plausible that if they used to be so rare, the boys would not have come across them alot. And I bet John took care of the ones he found, alone, for their protection.


Re: Dead Mans Bloody HIT

Wow. A definate hit for me too. These scenes were so amazing! Even years apart, and they slip so easily into the familial roles they've been playing for so long. I don't envy anyone in that situation since everyone seems so alone. They all had that "Well, back to old tricks, I see."-attitude going on, about each other. Brilliant. Loved it.


Re: The MISSing Asylum Confrontation

I loved this confrontation scene too. I myself have never seen Sam selfish, or anymore than everyone else on this Earth is. Everyone is selfish at some point folks (read: alot), and that's normal. I saw Sam as speaking his own mind, doing his own thing, wanting things for himself, which again, is normal. And important! Even Dean has said (in season 1 atleast) that's it's a good thing. And I'm sure John was proud of him for that, even if they did drive each other bonkers, preStanford.
But I too, agree on that they've let so many juicy little tidbits unexplored (like Deans "insight" in Skin also), so this one's also a little miss for me. They could have digged a little deeper with this, since we don't get so much POV from Sam. But overall, I can't but love these little insights that we 'do' get so I'm putting this scene on the hit-column (it's great to speak now, since we have 7 seasons worth of material to look back on).


Re: HIT the Faith (or was it Keep the Faith?? ;D)

Faith as an eppie overall is a big hit, now. I used to not appreciate it all that much. Why? Because of Darla, I mean Layla. And her bitchy mom. I just didn't see Layla as Layla, but Darla and was waiting her to fang out any minute. Julie Benz just wasn't selling it to me in this eppie. But as time went by, I started to see past those little scenes where they were and see all the awesomeness in between. Wow. A fantastic ep. I just squint a little when Layla and her mom come onscreen and my enjoyment is guaranteed! :) But I still gotta admit, that last scene? Brilliant. "You can't just have faith when miracles happen. You gotta have it when they don't." Good work, Layla. You did it in the end. Hittery hit.


Re: Shadow MISS: John and Dean

I don't think this scene is anywhere near a miss. I love this eppie to death and the reunion is the best part. You can see how clearly John and Dean are in sync even with a lot of time apart. Sam is really hesitant and wants to come to him more openly but still can't shake away those years of being alone, kicked out (he didn't know that he was being checked on so, as much as he thought, he was utterly alone... Allthough the phone does work both ways. But who's the parent here? The 22 year old??!) so I can see him being torn.
And then John, the parent, the Father, takes the step, makes it easier. And there we have it! A genuine hug! And Dean is so happy! I'm happy too! Rainbowns and candycanes for everyone! Yeah right, you know it had to end, soon. And so it did. But I really liked the way this scene played out.
I agree with other posters that Dean did not address his issues with John because I don't think he was even aware that he had any, on a conscious level anyways. I think Sam helped him to see into his own mind, what he wanted. You don't always have to follow orders like a soldier. And sometimes it's important to listen to others, listen to experience. I love how these brothers have helped each other in so many ways, even unknowingly.


Re: Shapeshifter HITting it out of the ball park

Hit. Hithithit. I love this episode, like a mad woman, I do. And it was so early on the season!And so, so good. Brilliant. Interesting insight into Dean. ShapeshifterDea n leaning on Sams knees while spouting all that 'truth'. Creepy as shit. I loved this scene. I'm so cranky that Jensen hasn't had the apportunity to play bad more, he's SO good at it. He should go darkside on season 8! Me concur! Wait, I allready wrote that... Anyways. Brilliant. Fabulous. Exceptional. Bravo.


Re: The MISSed Route 666

Yep. A miss missity miss. Not a fan of Cassie. The actress just didn't convince me, at all. And her chemistry with Jensen? Non existent, in my opinion. I agree, some flashback might have made it better but we got what we got and it was bad. Baaa-a-a-a-ad.
Allthough, when Dean did dream of having a family (in Dream a Little Dream of Me), I was a bit suprised he didn't dream of the supposed girl he loved (the only one he had loved, was it??) but of some random hook-up who had a kid. But he was young, when he was with Cassie so maybe he's dream girl at that time was a weee bit different :)


Re: Dean and Lucas, HITting it off?

See this one? A miss for me. I didn't really like that kid playing Lucas, he was just blah for me. I did like Dean opening up to him about his mom and all. But Lucas just took the biggest emotion out of those scenes. Not really liking that eppie on the whole a lot either. I don't rewatch it unless I'm doing an All Seasons Chronologically -watch. The only good bit for me was the Dean bits and Freds, sorry, Andreas line to Dean: "Must be hard with your sense of direction. Never finding your way to a decent pickup line." Ha! Take that you sexy womanizer, you :)



Again, loved this idea! Looking forward to the next ones! Thanks Elle!
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-05 11:02
Quote:


I'm so cranky that Jensen hasn't had the opportunity to play bad more, he's SO good at it.
Oh, yes yes yes. I TOTALLY agree. I was drawn to him in the first place because the bad guys are usually the ones I like. He wasn't bad, of course, but the persona was enough for me. I am watching Dark Angel right now - just finished season 1 - and when Jensen's character showed up as a killer, I was overjoyed! :-) I guess we can't have a soulless Dean, but we do get glimpses of the torturer Dean and he. is. cool.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-02 13:07
Route 666 - Frankly, I loved the fact that Dean doesn't see color when it comes to love. That told me something about him and made me love him even more. And if this girl was his first love - I believe I read somewhere - the one to break his heart and maybe even harden him a bit in matters of love, then yes, the miss was in not having a backstory because clearly this was pivotal stuff for this character.

Jensen and the actress whose name I forget right now were young enough to pull off doing that backstory, but I suppose there really wasn't enough time? I don't know. When it was just the two of them and no third-party Sam between them and Dean got mad and said nevermind, that part was forced to me. I know Dean's not one to share his feelings easily, but he went to Cassie and he started the whole discussion. I expected HIM to be the one asking what happened and she would be the one shutting down more. Could have all been done better, yes, but overall I liked it simply because a vulnerable Dean (temporarily) is just a good look on him.
LEAH
# LEAH 2012-03-04 13:28
Elle, love your look back at S1. I recently gave the S1 DVDs to my daughter-in-law and just for fun, I included a list of ratings for each episode. I used 1 to 4 stars. Stupid I know, but I had a blast revisiting that season. I mostly agree with your comments and the general consensus. I wanted to add a few thoughts. I loved the Meg character and even though I thought something wasn't quite right with her, the scene where she is slashing a throat with "Bad Company" playing, is one of my all time favorites.

These characters are not the "sharing and caring" kind of guys. There were alot of missed opportunities to hash things out, and still are to this day. But to the credit of this show and these actors they still manage to convey their love of each other. I would'nt like this show nearly as much if they were constantly spilling their feelings out. It makes the few and far between moments of sentiment that much more special.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-06 19:02
There are so many comments about John in here - pro and con. I wanted to get others' thoughts straight in my head, even though I never intended to comment, but it's just overwhelming to read. So I'll only say this, knowing full well someone else may have already made the point - it looks like a lot of pro- and con-John comments are made from Dean's and Sam's perspectives. Really. How much clarity did YOU have as a kid?

I ask that the adults of this group please remember that parents are human and if you are a parent, you only need to think back to ANY time you did not do something the way you meant to, yet did not or would not explain it to your child. There are moments we all have where we wish could shout, "Do over!"

Like Sam and his dad, my mother and I are so much alike we spent years butting heads. I didn't even recognize we were alike until some time late in my teens when my father said it. Then I had to ACCEPT that and that took me all my 20s (honest. ALL of that time.) and my mother's 2 younger sisters sharing their perspective to get me to a place where I can embrace our similarities and dismiss the stuff that bugs me. (It's still best we aren't in the same state for more than a week at a time, but I love her dearly and thank God for the way she was in those annoying years.)

I wish John could defend himself - and from what I read, so does JDM - but he can't so I will join the camp of those who do.