Caged Heat, by Elle2
 
If any of this episode is real besides what so many of us had already surmised which is that Crowley did not have the ‘juice’ to pull Sam’s soul from the cage, then I’m beyond disappointed.
 
Supernatural has always killed off its characters so it is no surprise that Crowley was not a permanent addition; what surprises is that there seemed to be no real purpose or conclusion other than, hey, you can’t get Sam’s soul so poof you’re gone.  Really?  That’s a bit of a letdown.  When Azazel died, it was the ending to a two-year hunt that culminated in the devil’s gate being opened.  Alistair’s death showed us the extent of Sam’s powers.  Lilith’s death ensured the final seal was broken and Lucifer could rise.  When Ruby was ganked (that’s the word she deserves) it was because her two-year manipulation had finally been revealed and it allowed the brothers to reunite in her slaughter.  Uriel died after revealing that he was working to raise Lucifer and brought us the angel killing knife, whoever wields it kills angels.  Zachariah’s death occurred as Dean rebounded from his self-sacrificing journey to say yes to becoming Michael’s Muppet.  Crowley’s death seems a bit of an afterthought and very, very convenient.  Also, there is no answer to why he wanted purgatory, other than he was greedy for more territory.  There is no explanation for how the alphas would actually help him to find purgatory for as we saw, he had plenty and none of them knew what he wanted; I think it’s an illusion.
 
Frankly, I’m hoping just about all of this episode was an illusion, it’s fairly forgettable to me.  I have the usual little nits but then I get to some bigger characterization nits – which are rarely small for me – and there are some things I liked, but few.
 
Enter Meg:
 
I like the Meg character and Rachel Miner is decent in the part.  She doesn’t bring the full weight of darkness and snark that I’d like but she does bring her own fresh take to the role so it’s palatable for me.  I do hope to see her again, and that’s frankly a decent compliment, I think, for an actress/character.  It makes sense that she’d be on the run from Crowley and I do like that she’s showing the grit I expect from her, she’s going to take the fight to Crowley; good.  She’s got her own band of demons with her, although as Sam rightly surmised, one wasn’t all on board with the plan.  
 
I like that once she discovered she couldn’t escape she decided she’d better join up, as the only one able to see the hell hound she was the logical choice to stay and fight and I like the parallel to Abandon All Hope.  Her kiss to Castiel was more than over the top for if she had said to Castiel, “I need your blade because that’s likely to work.”  He would have given it to her.  The kiss was simply to give the fandom something to oooh and aaah, over and Misha something to tease the fandom with.  To me that’s lazy writing, there was quite a bit of it here.  Also, since it was already established that Castiel could wing his way inside the fortress it stands to reason he could have whisked all of them from harms way; having the angel running through the prison chased by hell hounds again is lazy. 
 
 
By the way, just what powers did Meg use to torture Crowley and where did she get them?  We’ve never seen any evidence of Meg having that ability before, nor did Ruby wield such power; both are black-eyed demons thus both should have similar abilities.  I don’t mind new things being shown but they mustn’t exceed believability.  Dean having a sniper’s rifle buried in the trunk is all right; we’ve not seen everything in there.  Meg having the power to torture a demon higher on the chain of command does not work.
 
Castiel the Convenient:
 
I dearly hope that in the second half of the season we get into what is going on with heaven and Castiel’s angst and war.  Thus far there have been delicious little crumbs strewn about because so much else has been going on and I’ve been fine with that.  However, when these little crumbs end up affecting and damaging the characterization, I draw the line.  Again, I think this is the blame of the newbie writers on this one and poor oversight of this particular episode.  Castiel is a full-fledged angel again, to have him arriving at Sam’s beckoning only to find that he’d been tricked and then stay simply because Sam (or any human) threatens him is out of character.  Call it a bad day if you want, I say bad writing.  Castiel showed he was willing to help out when he saw how deep Dean’s pain was in You Can’t Handle the Truth so to have him not respond when he does know the depth of Sam’s non-suffering makes no sense.  
 
I like a good laugh, I do and Castiel’s line of “We’re not supposed to talk about it.” was funny and I did laugh. Unfortunately that was the whole point of the line, to elicit the laugh.  It worked but it damaged the character.  This isn’t Season 5 Castiel where he is slowly becoming more human as the separation from heaven increases.  Castiel is full angel again, akin to Season 4 with the wisdom of Season 5 under his wings.  Why are Sam and Dean tirelessly doing research while Castiel is sitting in front of the TV watching porn?  Dumb, shameless, poor writing.  Since Sam and Castiel don’t sleep and Dean does, it would make more sense to have the angel working right alongside the brothers in order to speed the research process.
 
Castiel was convenient and the writers need to ensure they hit all of Misha’s contracted appearances, whatever the magic number may be, and while I love the Castiel character and Misha portrays him brilliantly, here he was given a confusing arc to play from fooled angel to threatened angel to porn watching angel to vengeful angel.  The only one I liked was the ending when he poofed Crowley (that is bada**) and then wearily agreed to take care of the monsters in the building.
 
 
Samuel, Samuel, who is the real Samuel:
 
There are many twists and turns with Samuel Campbell’s character this season.  Why was he brought down, what keeps him here, does he trust Sam, will he hurt Dean and the list goes on and one.  It is a twisting and turning ride but frankly I’m bored with it.  Samuel seems to have one focus and one only, find Mary.  All right.  We’ve seen that before with John’s single focus to find the thing that killed her which led to Sam and Dean adopting the same focus to varying degrees.  I think just about everybody guessed that it was Mary’s picture that Samuel hid away back in Family Matters so this was no big reveal, just confirmation.  That’s fine.  I like answers. 
 
I’m at a complete loss though with the whole idea of why Samuel is here though because it goes back up to what was/is Crowley’s real purpose.  Why did he resurrect a long-since deceased hunter rather than simply tapping some current hunters?  It makes little sense.  I hope (and believe) there is more to it.  We know there are more hunters besides Sam, Dean and the newly resurrected Samuel that Crowley did not seem to bother with so why these three.  I don’t know what to do with Samuel until the true purpose of why he’s back is revealed and I don’t think that it has been.  Furthermore, the parallel between Samuel wanting Mary and Dean wanting Sam’s soul is forced and designed to directly pit these two against each other.  I would think Samuel, having apparently been in heaven and long-removed from Mary’s presence, would have some loyalty to her two sons and would rather she live on through them.  Similarly, I remain unbelieving that Crowley could get up into heaven and yank Samuel down, much as I do not believe he could resurrect Sam’s body but not his soul, especially since both went together into the pit.  This is a loose thread that continues to beg to be pulled.
 
Sam’s Mutilated Soul:
 
I don’t mind at all that Sam doesn’t want his soul back for at least it is because of a palatable reason (somewhat).  Rather than not wanting his soul back because he doesn’t want to suffer as he sees Dean suffer, he doesn’t want to be damaged; I can understand that.  I understand Dean’s determination to charge ahead because he is in denial that he can’t ever have Sam back, frankly I think Dean is still grieving from the events of Swan Song.  He watched Sam tumble into the pit and Sam has yet to return.  I also like that the sides have been picked and the brothers have that out in the open, from what I understand the next two episodes deal quite directly with it, at least next week’s does and I surmise so does Episode 12 but we’ll have a long wait for that.
 
There is something I’m not excited about but I’m really, really trying to remind myself that after five and a half seasons the writers have never directly done this, so I must be calm:  While we the fans have often pitted brother against brother and tried to build up one brother whilst tearing down the other or perhaps more gently have chosen one brother’s story as more compelling or more traumatic than the other the writers have never done that.  Over the seasons there has been plenty of role reversal activity but it has always come with a twist so that it is unique to the character and does not diminish what happened to the other; my concern is thus far is that there is a build up to make Sam’s time in the pit so much worse than Dean’s time in hell.  If that’s truly where this goes, I may finally find myself in the camp that says, whoa, why does Sam’s story have to diminish Dean’s?  
 
I’ve never thought that in the past, and that’s even with Adam/Michael telling Dean he was no longer a part of the story, because I never believed that to be true; without Dean’s arrival in the cemetery and willingness to sacrifice himself bloody, Sam would not have had the fortitude to take back control.  I never felt Dean was diminished in Swan Song.  However, if Dean’s time in hell is made to be a cake walk while Sam’s time in the cage is the worst ever, I may pull the cord and have the Supernatural train stop so I can leave.  This is a journey I’ve always said I am on voluntarily and willingly, no one is holding me hostage here.  I have few expectations for any episode, other than no one calls me (unless it’s a crisis) so that I can enjoy the time.  But, stray across the line and make such a direct comparison that both brothers went to hell and now it’s Sam who is damaged irreparably while two seasons ago it was Sam calling Dean weak and darn near useless, and boo hoo and all, then it’s time to stop the bus so I can say thank you for the ride but you’ve reached my destination.
 
There were some other minor nits to this episode, notably this:  I don’t mind that Sam used his own blood to draw a devil’s trap (and whew, that’s better than anything else I conjured during the commercial break) but how did he actually get the drawing up on the ceiling; it’s kind of high.  Also, that’s a lot of blood that he’d need in order to draw that thing, and I would think he’d be a bit fatigued, not to mention, well, bloody.
 
In the end this episode answered very little of consequence, revealed little of consequence and ended perhaps permanently a truly engaging character and did so in a way that was so anti-climatic.  I’m going to go full-bore here and say that, since we are told time and time again that nothing and no one is to be believed this season, that this episode is not to be believed either. 
 
Bring on next week’s that is written by Sera Gamble and Robert Singer; they better bring their A game too because after that it’s a long, long, long wait until January 28th.
 
 
Thanks for reading, Elle2 

Comments  

nancyL
# nancyL 2010-12-04 14:32
January 28 2011 ????? that is when the season resumes ???
WTF.

Anyway, enjoyed your review, and I enjoyed this episode, sorry.

It is nice to have my suspicions about Grandpa confirmed. He is an a@@hole. I think that Crowley bought Gramps back, because he wanted a hunter that Sam and more importantly, Dean would feel comfortable working with. We know that there are some hunters out there (Roy and Walt) that are crazy and Dean would not want to deal with them. (I wonder if Dean ever took care of Roy and Walt). Gramps from the start has dissed Dean and John. He deserves to die. :D

I think that Crowley's death is meant to show how powerful Cas has become. Cas found Crowley's bones and with one flick of his hand he made fire. :D Remember last year, when Cas needed money to get from the hospital to Sam and Dean? I like powerful Cas. :D

Meg getting mauled by hellhounds. :-) That's payback b@t@h. :D RIP ELLEN and JO. :sad:

Meg asking for the sword, is not as sexy as her kissing him and picking his pocket for it. This way, they show the clip of Meg and Cas kissing, and fandom is like WTF, then when you see the scene in the show, it makes sense. (not good sense, but sense nevertheless).

I don't think that Sera and Co, are trying to compare Dean's time in Hell, to Sam's, I think that they are trying to show that Sam's situation is different. Dean was down there for years being tortured with his soul still inside of him, whereas Sam has been up here for all this time, but his soul has been down there getting tortured. In my mind, I see Lucifer, in the form of Mark Pellegrino, and Michael, in the form of Jake Abel, tormenting Sam's soul, in the form of Colin Ford.

I agree, when Sam starting biting on his wrist, I was thinking bad thoughts, but then we saw the devil's trap and it was all good. (maybe Sam found a box to stand on). ;-)

On to next week.
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-12-04 14:36
what the heck happened? why did it come up twice? My computer is doing drugs. Sorry. :oops:
Ellie_444
# Ellie_444 2010-12-04 16:05
Sorry Ellie disagree with you on every front.And kindly dont start the diminishing business as Sams pov , pain and grief has been diminished time and again for Deans so dont go there.Sam has suffered dont not expect it to disappear because it is inconvient to you. Nobody is comparing times in hell but Sam jumped into that pit alive that alone would have been different. Shakes head will not bother with your reviews again.
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-12-04 16:30
thanks Alice, what other powers do you have? :D
elle2
# elle2 2010-12-04 17:25
Ellie, you are more than welcome to disagree with me, just make sure you're disagreeing with me, Elle2, and not yourself, Ellie.

As for Sam's pov et al being diminished, you prove my point that it was always the fandom arguing for one or the other and never the writers. Season 1 had Sam's storyline being about his grief over Jessica and his focus on revenge. Season 2 gave Sam his fears over what was happening to him as he focused on hunting to ease his grief over John's death. Sam's story in Season 3 was about saving Dean from his deal as well as trying to learn how to adapt to life after Dean. Sam in Season 4 was all about exercising his independence and point of view as he worked secretly with Ruby believing that the road to hell isn't paved with good intentions but that good intentions would ultimately end with good results. Season 5 was Sam dealing with the after effects of Lucifer Rising, working his darndest to avoid becoming Lucifer's meat suit before ultimately sacrificing himself for the planet.

Dean has similarly had five excellent seasons of his own point of view.

In this instance however the writers have directly placed the brothers into a compare and contrast situation, whose time in hell was the worst. I don't like it. I don't have to like it. In no way, shape or form am I suggesting you agree or not with me on it. If you're happy, that's great. I'm not and I'm entitled to my opinion on it.

If I choose to leave the show, it's my choice and I'll not be pushing anyone to come with me.

As for my review of the episode, I wonder if you would disagree with me on each and every front if I hadn't put in my concerns about Dean's possible diminished story or if you truly think Castiel was written well and that Crowley's sudden demise works. Granted we don't know where this season is ultimately going so my review of this episode is just that, a review of this episode and I didn't like it and felt that the writers did a poor job with Castiel's character. Perhaps that will change as more of the season progresses, perhaps it won't. I only base my reviews on what I was given in the latest 42 minutes of the show.

Don't worry too much, Ellie, if Sam is the big bad, I'm gone and you can enjoy the show and this site without worrying about avoiding any of my writing.
Alice
# Alice 2010-12-04 17:28
I don't think that in terms of plotting and pacing it was the cleanest episode. The disposal of Crowley did seem too easy. I'm going on the theory Sam, Samuel, or Meg set him up and made it easy for Castiel to find his bones (okay I think Sam is pulling the strings, but that's just me). I've got all sorts of crazy theories, but this whole raid on the prison was too easy and served a purpose we don't know about yet. What are Sam and Meg up to? There are plenty of clues in the episode that those two are working together for some reason, more than Sam's soul. Of course, uneven writing could also be causing that assumption.

I loved the things you loved. Meg and Castiel were great in this one. In the end you are so right though, nothing in this episode is to be believed. Nothing except poor Dean, who I think is being played. I think we need a long Hellatus to try and sort everything out. My brain is getting twisted by all this.
percysowner
# percysowner 2010-12-04 17:30
So in season two when we were NEVER shown how John's death affected Sam, only how it affected Dean that was alright. Season two spent an entire season showing how Dean got to the point where he was willing to make a deal to get Sam back, but only explored that Sam was terrified of turning evil against his will and that was fine with you.

Season 3 focused completely on how DEAN reacted to his upcoming death and going to Hell. Sam's POV was shown in Mystery Spot, in Mag 7 in one line when he told Dean that Dean was selfish and in Fresh Blood in one line where he tells Dean that Sam will be left alone in a craphole of a world and that is fine.

In season 4 we are shown in exquisite detail how Hell affected Dean, but Sam's turn to Ruby is left totatlly unexamined and that is fine by you.

Season 4 pay attention to Dean breaking under the pressure of the last few years, while Sam gets almost nothing to do except grovel and try to get Dean to trust him again. We get no insight, no Sam POV except in FTBYAM and that's not an imbalance.

This season has been all about Dean losing Ben and Lisa, Dean finding out that Sam is not really Sam and how it affects DEAN, that Dean has a grandfather he can't trust and wants to kill. Sam's feelings have LITERALLY been written out of the show.

But now, NOW if we dare see Sam has suffered at all then the show is too biased in Sam's direction, THIS is what will make you complain? Give me a break. If all you want to see is the trials and tribulations of Dean, fine. but please don't act as if there has ever been a balance up to now.
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-12-04 18:49
I too have to respectfully disagree about Dean's time in Hell being diminished. I don't think it's about that. The circumstances were different and so were the experiences. Besides, Sam has been shown as the bad brother since Season 3 so it won't hurt to mention that Dean is not the only one to suffer.

As for Crowley's demise, I don't believe it will be that easy. I'll be very surprised if this is not a scheme to get Crowley to find where Purgatory is.
OurGax
# OurGax 2010-12-04 18:57
Elle2
your comments about diminishing Dean's suffering in hell are exactly my thoughts. Thank you
Eliza89
# Eliza89 2010-12-04 18:59
This episode was badass. I just loved it. Too bad you didn't like it, Elle2.

I'm sad to see Crowley go. Elle2, you said killing off Crowley didn't have any purpose. I disagree, because keeping him alive wouldn't have any purpose. As much as I loved Crowley, killing him was the only right thing to do. Why wouldn't Castiel kill him, if he's no use to the Winchesters (and the overall storyline)? And maybe, just maybe, Crowleys death will lead us to another great antagonist... I think killing of Crowley was a ballsy move. And I like ballsy :-).

Meg kissing Castiel? That's not lazy writing, it just shows her manipulative, seducing way of getting what she wants (the angelblade. And that Meg likes to kiss :-) She kissed Sam and Dean before, so why not Castiel? By the way, I think black eyed demons are able to learn new powers, in this case, torture other demons. Hell, even Sam (who's not even a demon!) was able to torture Alastair, one of the greatest demons of the show ever! And remember Born under a Bad Sign? She was able to break a devil's trap (she learned a few tricks in hell). Guess she learned a new trick this time as well.

About Castiel: he didn't stay because he felt threatened by Sam (God, of course not), but because he cared about Sam's soul and believed Sam needed help. And how did the scene with Castiel watching porn "damage" his character? How was this 'dumb, shameless, poor writing'? This scene was damn funny (and okay, shameless). And it simply showed another hilarious aspect of the character. To me, there's nothing wrong with that.

About Sam's story diminishing Dean's: I'm with Ellie_444. Nuff said.

Sorry about the lenghty comment. I've been a lurker for some time now, but I just felt I needed to respond to your review. I'm just having a hard time reading your review and understanding your opinion. Was the episode really that bad?
WG
# WG 2010-12-04 19:25
Sam's story diminishing Dean's? Absolutely. I'm with Elle2 100%. Actually, more, because I think in season 5 Dean's story WAS diminished: Dean turned out to be (just) 'a destiny's driver' (as Edlund put it). Literally.
Thank you Elle2
WG
# WG 2010-12-04 19:27
Sam's story diminishing Dean's? Absolutely. I'm with Elle2 100%. Actually, more, because I think in season 5 Dean's story WAS diminished: Dean turned out to be (just) 'a destiny's driver' (as Edlund put it). Literally.
Thank you Elle2
Brynn
# Brynn 2010-12-04 19:30
Elle. I am in TOTAL agreement with you.

I do NOT want the writers to compare Dean and Sam's time in Hell/Cage. To do so would not just diminish all that Dean had gone through, most of season 4's revelations, but the balance of the show as a whole.

I was hoping that Sam's time in the Cage would be a completely unique thing. Not the physical or mental torture that Dean endured, but something different. Maybe something more insidiously psychological. I don't know. Or maybe Sam's hell is when he returns from the cage and discovers all that his body has done? Or if Alice's theory holds, maybe he was being somehow manipulated by the two most powerful angels in existence?

Something BETTER than "OMG Sam's time in the Cage was SO MUCH WORSE." That would be so disappointing and empty.

What I was hoping for was something more from Sam's POV WHEN the SoulSam made his return. That would be a WONDERFUL opportunity to show his side, his trials, his recovery.

And while I can comment on Alice's thread more, I don't think SamSoul NEEDS redemption. SoulessSam up top isn't really Sam. Unless of course, SoulessSam came about because of something Lucifer and Michael cooked up.

I am REALLY REALLY hoping that the writers of Supernatural has some HUGE EPIC knot to tie so many inconsistencies , loose ends, and what seems to be lazy writing mistakes together in the second half of the season to make up for what I see as a void in the first half.

There have been some intense moments, really great moments, and really funny scenes this season. But as SO MANY have mentioned, the heart is missing from this show in Season 6. And I don't mean just Dean and Sam's relationship. If the big journey of this season is to get Sam back, well then so be it, but they've made Dean so frustrated and apathetic that he doesn't hold the heart either for the show. Jensen is capable, but I am really doubting the writer's capability from what I've seen up to this point.

And Castiel and Bobby have both been vastly under-utilized, and now Crowley's quick death made this entire arc rather pointless. Are they ever going to explain the purgatory thing now?

With Erik Kripke at the helm, I was never worried, I knew there was a big plan and little details eventually fit and layered that big plan.

Right now, I am not sure that there IS a big plan, and I am worried too many things are being left out in the wind. In my mind, I am picturing new writers (who know very little about the nuances of the Winchester brothers and their history and relationship) going "Ooh wouldn't THIS be cool" or "why don't we throw THIS in." Right now they are just focusing on moving things along (Sam doesn't want his soul, Dean does, Crowley lied, dies..) that they are missing so many details that make the blood through through the series. Consistencies. Nuances. And while they (and Jared) think the SoulessSam is cool new thing on the show, there ARE inconsistencies , unexplained details, AND they are writing Dean so UNlikeDean right now because he is written as opposite of RoboSam.

The ONLY time Dean sounded like Dean in this episode is when he tried to talk sense into Samuel, then later threatened to kill him.

Okay, enough of spewing my worries on the screen.

I AM still hopeful though that Sera knows her thing, hopefully is getting what she needs from these new writers, and the big plan is still afoot and we just have to have patience to see it to fruition.

I am still hopeful.
walgorf
# walgorf 2010-12-04 19:54
OMG BRYNN. You just put into words exactly what I've been thinking! How is that even possible? I guess 'great minds' etc.
Seriously though, just as real Sam is missing this season (but at least with a valid reason), so is real Dean. This role reversal isn't working. It has always been Sam's story even if told through Dean's POV. And now, Dean's character has been stripped of all the charm, bad-ass attitude, wit...Sam's mystery, Sam's story, Sam's soul, Sam's soullessness... Seriously, how many times we've speculated about Dean' s...anything except for his role in saving Sammy? Again. Enough is enough
Elle2 thanks for the great review
elle2
# elle2 2010-12-04 20:03
Percysowner, Andrea, Eliza89, OurGax and WG

Percysowner,

You bring up a point that I 100% agree with, I'm sick and tired of Sam being suggested as or shown as evil. I'm tired of it. You're right, it has been going on since at a minimum Season 2 and I'm tired of it.

I don't hold as others do that Dean is a Saint though (and you did not state that either) but I do get tired of Sam is evil and Dean will/can/must save him. Sheesh, enough already, please writers.

We'll disagree on my issues with the current storyline and that's fine, nothing says we have to agree. Again, you make an excellent point regarding Sam, another part which bothers me greatly about this season is that Sam has no feelings/emotio ns and that does not sit well with me at all.

I want Sam freed from the cage and dealing with his experience. Better yet, I wish as another reviewer stated during the summer hellatus that it was God that freed Sam because he chose self-sacrifice and won. (I think that is what we are meant to believe happened to Castiel, that God brought him back and restored his angelic powers.) That would have shown redemption that Sam truly deserves. Instead we're mucking around with a cage and who can or cannot get into it and get a soul out and in the end, we may be left with Sam somehow getting a soul that has to start all over again...how that happens I don't know and frankly don't care because a new soul is not Sam's soul.

AndreaW,

I do hope that you are right that it isn't about Sam's time is worse and all that, for now that's where I see it but as I stated in my review, it's only ever been us in the fandom who have done that and never the writers so I'm hopeful. I do also think that Sam's suffering should be addressed and that again is part of my problem as percysowner raised and I concur with wholeheartedly. It's Episode 11 on the way and we have yet to know what happened to Sam in hell and during that year without Dean, I want to know and I'm getting frustrated that those answers may never be coming.

Eliza89,

Glad you disagree with my review, it's all allowed. Also, I'm glad you enjoyed the episode, I still don't. I do agree with you that if Crowley is well and truly gone it is a ballsy move and proof positive that nothing can be counted on (which is why I so frequently fear for Bobby's demise -- but not next week.)

Yes, clearing Crowley does make room for the next baddie to rise and perhaps the theory that it is Sam is true (still hope not). Also, you have stated an interesting theory regarding Crowley's 'death' being a way to find purgatory demons lie and this is a season of nothing to be believed so that could very well be a staged death.

As for how Castiel watching porn damages the character, perhaps it is better stated as it is very out of character. I know we're to believe Castiel is tired and war-weary but he clearly knows how to act when he is needed so why relegate him to sitting on the couch watching porn. He's not the de-angeled Castiel of Season 5 that had those human type physical yearnings so to give him those things here was just juvenile, again, in my opinion.

Jim Beaver suggests this will be their greatest season ever and he also suggests that won't people be very surprised when Episode 12 comes out. Well, if Ep 12 shows us that Sam is indeed the big evil, yep, I'll be surprised (although less so since the idea is out and about here) but I'll also be gone. I'm tired. I want the brothers back in some kind of a true bitch/jerk relationship that yes, has been aged by all that's happened but not where there is distrust and evil and the tired story of Sam is evil but don't worry, Dean will save him.

And lest anyone forget, I've been one who up to my concerns raised in this review has been firm in my belief that Dean and Sam each have their own storylines and are equally important. I have also been staunch in my support of the writers to know what they're doing and to trust them with the brothers and I have firmly held that we'll never see the Sam and Dean of S1 and S2 again because so much has happened. To hit the reset button and go back to the simpler days of those early seasons would frankly diminish and yes, dismiss all that happened. I don't need that.

I am, however, reaching a place where I believe the writers have found a new tone and a new direction they wish to go and that direction and tone is no longer one that includes Sam and Dean as true partners but rather that it is just more fun and diverse to have Sam be evil and manipulative and Dean as the hapless sap who is being used and manipulated. (I did like bada** Sam when he took the knife back from Meg though, killed the demon and then told her he was keeping the knife, that was cool!)


Sam has never been manipulative and evil and Dean has never been a hapless sap to be manipulated but thus far this is how I sum up the two characters in Season 6 and I just don't like it.

And for OurGax and WG, I'm glad I was able to write something that perhaps summed up what you've been or are feeling.

To all of you, thank you for the comments and the dialogue. I appreciate reading others' point of view becasue it helps me with my own and perhaps find things are not as dismal as I currently see them.
peek-a-boo
# peek-a-boo 2010-12-04 20:09
Hi Elle2, another well written, thoughtful and speedy review. I really look forward to reading them post-show to bounce mental ideas off of.

I am also perilously close to abandonment, I'm beginning to feel as if I am in unfamiliar territory all of a sudden. I recognise the format and the faces, but none of the characters.
Certainly will not be one of my favourites, but I may change my mind when I have the context of the whole season to compare it to.

The continual pitting of one brother versus another in the fandom has always upset me, so I really hope you are right that the writers will continue not to fall in to that trap.

My head says that Sara knows better and this is just a fake out to get our panties in a bunch,but my heart is worried.
elle2
# elle2 2010-12-04 20:14
Brynn and walgorf,

You were not meant to be overlooked, but I took so long writing the comment to Percysowner and all the others that you posted your thoughts.

So, Brynn, frankly you summed up my issues with Sam's possible story this season, I want his experience to be unique from Dean's, as it stands right now I'm not sure and because I'm unsure of this whole season I'm not sure I can trust the writers either; I'm frustrated.

Walgorf, the role reversal is really bad this season, I can wave a hand at really fast sunsets, forgive that Sam magically stayed bloodless after chewing open his wrist to make a devil's trap on the ceiling but why do they have to keep Dean out of character so often (Last episode's panicked run and this week's nearly wetting his pants as Meg held a knife to his throat...we've seen Dean plenty of times maintaining his snark in the face of death, anyone remember his handling of Azazel back in S1 Devil's Trap? )

Thank you for adding your comments. Like you said, Brynn, I'll work to have faith that there is a really, really, really good explanation for all this but there are so many threads started and unraveling that I'm loosing faith that there is a coherent plan.
elle2
# elle2 2010-12-04 20:24
NancyL and Peek-a-boo,

First off, Nancy, you are a joy to read as always...maybe he found a box to stand on! Right on, Girl!!! I know, I was so worried that Sam had his powers and then I thought,,,hey, what does it mean that he's drinking his own blood to power up...silly me.

You were right, Samuel is a bad man (although I love Mary dearly and wouldn't mind seeing either actress portray her again) and yet Samuel isn't a bad man, he's a father who loves and misses his daughter. I do like the part of Dean telling Samuel that he's trying to show him how not to fall into their mistakes.

Peek-a-boo,

I have learned that SPN is best understood in the context of the whole, one of the reasons why I usually don't do reviews throughout the season but rather stick to my Road So Far during the summer hellatus. I may have to go back to that format for this is a very troubling season.

Like you, I see familiar faces but that's about it. The bro v bro in the fandom is unpopular with me as well. I have an article in process that I may or may not ever finish (that happens sometimes, I've got lots of unfinished articles) about how each brother has sometimes mimicked the other's experience but thus far there has never been a direct one on one of experiences. As NancyL said, perhaps that is not the intent of the writers and I'm worried for nothing. Time will tell.


:-)
percysowner
# percysowner 2010-12-04 20:56
Better yet, I wish as another reviewer stated during the summer hellatus that it was God that freed Sam because he chose self-sacrifice and won. (I think that is what we are meant to believe happened to Castiel, that God brought him back and restored his angelic powers.) That would have shown redemption that Sam truly deserves.

For me that is diminishing Sam's sacrifice just so we can keep Dean the suffering martyr who we have to sympathize with. Sam jumps into Hell then gets transported into heaven and is joyous and happy. So much for Sam ACTUALLY redeeming himself or being given ANY credit for being able to suffer or feel pain or actually pay the price for things he has done. He get called the golden boy AGAIN and Dean gets to look good for having selfishly sold his soul because HE suffered in pain.

We have had YEARS of Dean's grief, pain, hurt, feeling betrayed by Sam, going to Hell and actually suffering. We have had Sam's pain masked, hidden and dismissed. Now you want his sacrifice to not have been a sacrifice but a reward so that Dean can continue to be the perpetual hero? Why do you resist the idea that allowing the audience to actually sympathize with Sam so distasteful? How does Sam actually having been hurt, and showing it take away from Dean? Why is the only thing that you seem to care about is making sure that Dean's suffering is always the most important?

I want Sam back too, but I don't want what he did minimized. Dean went to Hell because he didn't want his brother dead. The show never dealt with the (now known) fact that Sam was pulled from heaven. It never showed how Dean's deal hurt Sam and ate at his soul. When Dean came back we had endless scenes of Dean's one manly tear as he related his experiences in Hell. Did you complain then that nothing Sam had suffered could ever match that? This is an honest question, I didn't find this site until mid-season 5. If you did, then I'm sorry for being combative, but if you were perfectly happy with Dean is the brother who got hurt the most and who cares about Sam, then I find your concerns that Sam's story will diminish Dean's to be odd.

I guess my biggest complaint is that your article makes it abundantly clear that as long as Dean stays front and center in the story all is good. You indicate no investment in this review in seeing Sam's POV whatsoever as long as Dean gets his due. I OTOH would finally like to see some balance restored.
elle2
# elle2 2010-12-04 22:07
Percysowner,

I don't see how Sam being saved from hell by God as minimizing Sam's sacrifice. He jumped into that pit completely convinced he'd never escape, if someone saved him it would not have minimized his sacrifice because he had no clue that he would be saved when he dove in.

Further, I find it interesting that although I agree with most of your concerns regarding Sam you still find yourself convinced that my whole goal and pleasure in the show comes from only Dean being front and center and only Dean suffering. I know that there is nothing in my writing that offers such an opinion so I am now convinced that you have no position in this thread other than to suggest that I am against everything you are for regardless of what the words on the screen actually state.

Too bad for you there is nothing to back up your assertion that my article makes it abundantly clear that as long as Dean stays front and center in the story all is good. I make no such point in this article or in any of my comments that I want Sam diminished. As I stated already, I agree with most of your complaints about Sam and I share them.

Rather than picking a fight with me, why don't you choose to realize that while I disagree with you on one point we both actually dislike many things about how this particular storyline is going.
Zim
# Zim 2010-12-04 22:52
Sam--body AND soul--was locked in a cage with Lucifer for over a year! I'm sorry, but that is much worse than Dean's experience.

I don't think there is anything this show could throw at me that would make me stop watching. I am a true fan.
Ellie_444
# Ellie_444 2010-12-05 05:24
Elle maybe if you look at how you came across . I dont want to know about how Sam suffering will diminish Dean it is a song too much sung in some of the fandom and it is not something I want to read at this site. For the first time in a long time Sam is actually getting coverage not in the background or being dismissed from episodes o not follow through Sera is actually dealing with the aftermath for Sam and it is long over due . Sams experience what he did was on a different scale to Deans but Deans suffering is Deans unique to him . I just want for once to feel the show cares what Sam did and hope they dont ruin it by making his sacrifice meaningless by making him the ''bad'' of Season 6 he deserves better.
Karen
# Karen 2010-12-05 06:31
Hi Elle2
I have to say I did like this episode, however there was a lot to absorb.

I was really surprised they killed off Crowley so soon. I had expected him to last till the end of the season. I do see your point about Crowley and the purgatory storyline, was there ever a real purpose behind it. I was intrigued by the purgatory storyline and thought we get more on it than just seeing Alpha’s being tortured to find its location. However maybe the storyline hasn’t been put to rest yet, it’s just been put on the shelf for now. I did find it strange that Meg was able to inflict pain to Crowley when it was implied that since he became King of Hell he was all more powerful. However he was just a crossroads demon and maybe he was just spinning a pack of lies. Just like him saying it was him who resurrected Samuel and freed Sam (I have never believe he was ever capable).
Azazal had said Meg was his daughter so maybe she was a higher grade of demon than Crowley.
I really liked Meg this time round, she didn’t grate on my nerves like last season. I thought her fight against the Hellhounds was done really well.

I have to agree with you on why Samuel and Sam for that matter were brought back. Who ever Crowley was working for, I can’t believe they would bring them back for the mere purpose of rounding up Alpha’s. The real truth has yet to be revealed.

As for your issues with Castiel. I also agree that they seemed to have had Castiel acting more like he was in season 5 instead of what he should be, being a full fledge angel again. However I have to admit I did enjoy the humour behind it all. Maybe because this season has been so overly dark and grim, I’m needing to feed my ‘lack of humour’ addiction. ‘I’m detoxing Man! I need some uplifting moments!’

I can’t blame Sam for changing his mind about getting his soul back. There has been nothing positive expressed or shown to Sam as to why he should take the risk of restoring his soul.
As to being worried that the writers could lead to comparing one brothers experience was worst than the others. I don’t see it happening. The only thing they could imply is that Sam soul has suffered a longer period. However until they do restore Sam’s soul we are never going to know what Sam has suffered.
I would also like to know what happened to Adam, is he also there suffering or is Michael protecting him from Lucifer because he did agree to be his vessel?
I would hate for the writer not to shed some form of light on Adam’s story.

In regards to you packing in the show if they were to start pitting one brothers experience over the other or if the storyline does go with Sam being the New Baddie. I have to say I would really miss your presence and your reviews. I always enjoy reading your reviews, as well as Alice’s, Robins, Jasminka and Ardeospina’s. It’s nice to read all your thoughts and perspectives on things. Pointing things out that I may of missed or opening the door to a better understanding of something. Even having my own perspective changed or altered because of what was pointed out. I just think it would be a shame to lose you and your perspective on things.
As you are aware I’m not a fan of this Soulless Sam and having the brothers relationship being screwed around with AGAIN for the Third Season. And believe me the prospect of Sam being the New Baddie just makes me sick to my stomach. Like I mentioned in Alice’s article the whole basis of this show has been for me the brother’s relationship, their bond, their undying love and devotion to each other. And without it, there is no heart, no soul, no essence, no show.
But I also know I can’t get off this ride. I’m here to the bitter end. I’m just too invested in the show and with Sam and Dean. Plus my curiosity would get the better of me. The magic is definitely fading for me and if things do remain this way for the whole season I will only be watching out of loyalty and not the love I once held for it.
elle2
# elle2 2010-12-05 08:38
Zim, Ellie_444, Karen, Leora

Zim, You're right, Sam's year in hell is way worse than Dean's and that's part of my problem with that storyline. This time the writers have pitted brother against brother and I dislike that in the fandom and I dislike it that the writers chose to go there.

As for being a true fan, it's not that Sam's time in hell diminishes Dean's as the reason I'll leave, it's because Sera has torn the brothers apart and finds it so much more fun to leave them torn apart and simply string us along that she ever plans to put them back together as the reason I'll leave.


Ellie,

I think you've hit the nail on the head with my issue with this season. The more I read other peoples' comments and responses to this article the more I realize that my big issue is that Sam's issues are not being dealt with at all this season and I am frustrated with that. Sam went to hell, body and soul, let's deal with that. We're coming up on Episode 11 this Friday and as far as I can tell from spoilers and leaked tidbits from the writers there is not going to be much of anything revealed or happening that allows Sam to actually FEEL and begin to deal with his crisis.

As far as I'm concerned this season Sam is a walking talking zombie with no feelings and he is unrelatable.

I would love to see the discussion of Sam's time in hell, love to understand what that year outside of hell was like but thus far all I see is a lot of wondering about who he is, what he is and now yes, I raise the concern that his trauma will surpass Dean's trauma. I'm sorry if that offends you but that's my perspective at this time and it is one part of this past episode that I have a problem with as well as potentially this storyline.

While I have a preference for Dean and I've never made a secret about that, in fact I wrote an article titled something like Bias or Bash (you can look it up on my author's page) when I 'outed' myself as having a Dean preference or bias. However, I do not ever want to pit the brothers against each other but I have issues with this season.

Perhaps this Friday's episode will improve things. I hope so.

Karen,

Time will tell but the more I think about it and the more I watch the more I realize that Sera is paying lip service to her understanding that the brotherly relationship is the heart and soul of the show. From what I can see she is continuing what Eric began in Season 3 only she is doing it permanently. I expect I'll know what the show plans to do by Episode 12 because that is supposed to be a turning point based on spoilers as I interpret them. I'll be sorry to go but I have always stated that I'm here voluntarily and rather than bash the show, which to some extent I'm already doing, I'd rather leave it and for me the series ended at Swan Song, with Dean crying on Lisa's shoulder. I may have hated that that's where it ended for I'd rather it be the two brothers driving off in the Impala into the sunset but I'll take Dean crying on Lisa's shoulders over what I see is coming and what I've currently seen.

Leora,

Yeah, I have to wonder about that as well, I guess Deanna didn't mean that much to Samuel, or perhaps on the better side, she's up in heaven and he knows that. Would be nice to get some clarification there. Yeah, Mary would be one to hook Dean, not Sam though since he has no feelings.

As for the poor hell puppy, yeah, good thing Crowley never learned that either.
DuttyDawn
# DuttyDawn 2010-12-05 11:41
I wonder if a soulless something can grow a soul? Instead of getting that tortured thing out of the pit, maybe SoulSam can grow. I just don't want it to be all about the torture and the angst when Sam gets his soul back. We did that with Dean and to do it with Sam would just be retreading an already told story. No point to it and not good enough for either of these characters.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-12-05 11:43
Elle2, amazing review again. Well done, dear friend!

I am a bit at odds with this episode, though I liked it a lot. Alas, there were not many answers of consequence, indeed. I used to think when I saw the promos for this season where Dean was depicted with a halo and Sam with a snake (biblical impesonation of the devil)that he might turn out to be some kind of Lucifer after all.

Still hoping he won't be. I am certain that Jared loves playing this, and I am so very happy for him and proud of his talents as an actor. Personally, however, I miss the compassionate, sweet, loveable, endearing Sammy of old. I can't help it. I just miss him.

However, if it turns out that Sam is supposed to be the Big Bad, I won't stop watching. I am curious how that might be played out, but I will refrain from speculating in that department.

This episode held some nice laughs (yes, Castiel watching porn, getting a boner and understanding the pizza man better after kissing Meg :-)), and interesting twists (who ever thought that Dean had gone soft might have been corrected by his 'the-next-time- you-see-me-I-wi ll-kill-you' speech he gave Samuel.

On a nitpicky thing (and I tend to be a tad too critical when it comes to acting quality) - the actress playing Meg, oh, dear. I didn't believe a word she said. Her being in pain? Didn't believe it. Unfortunately, she still has to prove her acting abilities. There were hardly any here.

About the 'poor' hell puppies - IF Sam turns out to be the big bad and the big Kahuna downstairs, perhaps he could start a hell hound shelter, too. Well, Crowley's biggie will be orphaned now, won't he?

Love, Jas
Tim The Enchanter
# Tim The Enchanter 2010-12-05 11:55
May I jump in here? I promise I won’t whine (like I did last night....) Just a few things:

What sets this site apart from others is that here you have the opportunity to read different, well argued, opinions where each one is as valid as the next. You’re not personally attacked, nor is your opinion or post denigrated if your opinion is different to others. What makes this site so civilised is that here there is debate, not personal bitching about posters or their opinions. Everyone is right because an opinion, by virtue of the fact that it is a personal opinion, CAN NOT BE WRONG. You are the only person qualified to give your opinion and on this site, that concept is recognised and embraced.

What I liked about your review Elle2, is that you gave perfectly valid reasons as to why the episode didn’t sit well with you and I’d much rather read one well-validated argument that doesn’t agree with what I think than one hundred posts validating what I think but which merely consist of ‘Omigod, dat ep wuz so grate’ or ‘LOL, Caz iz sooo sxeee’ etc. (Text language, along with tucked in tee-shirts, are two things I would ban off the face of the earth, had I the chance.)

It’s cool the way that the bits you disliked, I liked, because by reading your article it stopped me from being lazy and forced me to look at reasons why I liked those things. (I swear to God, I haven’t done a tap of real work since I found this site!)

I liked the bit about Castiel and the porn. I shouldn’t like it (I prefer to think myself above such types of humour) but I do. Had Castiel turned on the news, he’d have watched that, he just happened to turn on porn. Now, porn is like M&M’s, you can’t just have one and leave it at that, you have to have more (see the way I didn’t use ‘Melts in your mouth, not in your hand’? That’s because I’m a classy bird....)

The thing with Meg may have made no logical sense from an angel of the Lord POV. It did from Megs because she sexualises everything and probably did it for shock value. Now I don’t feel comfortable talking about angelic boners but we have to remember this, the ‘b’ word, even for angels, is simply a biological response to a stimulant that releases the brains happy chemicals so it leaves you wanting more.

Using the chocolate metaphor again; if you eat a bag of M&M’s, it’s not going to satisfy you because M&M’s are small and the packets are tiny (plus Sam took them away before Castiel was finished) so if someone later offers you a Malteser then not only will you take what’s offered, you’ll try and grab a few more. That’s what Meg is to Castiel, a demonic Malteser.

I must also say, this scene released the immature kid in me because when Castiel later burned Crowley’s bones I was thinking ‘Ah Castiel, you’re helping your little girlfriend. Awwwww, that’s so cute!’

Why Samuel when there were better, younger hunters out there? I’m guessing that Crowley used Samuel because he had leverage over him. Married hunters with kids seem pretty rare in the SPN world. Crowley, being a crossroads demon, knows the lengths people will go to in order to protect family. He got Dean back on board by using Sam as leverage; he got Samuel on board by using Mary. I don’t think he specifically choose Sam, Dean and Samuel because they were the best (that’s too romantic a notion), I think he picked them because he could.

Why is Samuel more loyal towards Mary than her sons? I’m going to go with that all encompassing, and completely trite, statement: ‘Love makes you do the whacky’. Would Dean have made a deal for Sam had he not been out of his mind with grief after Sam died? Would Sam have drunk demon blood had he not been drowning in a sea of depression because Dean was in hell? Same with Samuel; his daughter died at the hands of a demon and he wasn’t there to stop it. The way he sees it, he failed his baby girl. Samuel now has the chance to see his daughter again, to give her life again, to right all the wrongs there was between them.

Does Samuel know Mary won't be happy when she finds out what her father did? Probably. It seems to be the same ethos for the Campbells as it does for the Winchesters, ‘I don’t care if they are happy, so long as they are alive’. This is why John dragged his boys from post to pillar, it’s why Dean made the deal, and it’s why Sam jumped into hell. Better sad but alive, than dead.

I don’t have kids so I couldn’t possibly comprehend the pain felt at losing a child but I do have nieces and nephews and I kid you not, if anything happened to any one of them, and I had the power to do something about it, I’d do it, no questions asked. I wouldn’t care who I had to walk over to do it (I’d trample all over you guys if it came to it. Just giving you fair warning.....)

Sam and Dean mean nothing to Samuel. He doesn’t know them. Blood doesn’t make you family, love makes you family. Samuel loves Mary so he’ll do and sacrifice anything to get her back. (Think ‘Pet Sematary’. Louis has the exact same instincts as Samuel. Every fibre of his body told him what he was doing was wrong, but desperation drove him to do it anyway because he ‘hoped’ things would turn out right.)

Elle2, I’m very much with you in relation to the implausibility of Crowley retrieving Samuel from Heaven. Castiel would initially barely shake Sam’s hand due to the presence of demon blood so I don’t think Crowley could just waltz into heaven, grab a soul and head on out. I’m guessing that Crowley was working with someone, possibly Raphael, to put the Apocalyptic show on the road again. (Though why would Crowley want the Apocalypse again??? I’m tying myself in knots here! Raphael, I blame Raphael for everything. Never trust a guy with the same name as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle)

Now, fair warning, this is where I get even more long-winded (and I’m Irish, I can talk for WEEKS!!!) so feel free to ignore. Topic: The seemingly never-ending battle between Sam and Dean (the fan’s version)

Like Elle2 said, the only people who are championing the Sam v Dean war is the viewers. The writers are not and are, in fact, going to great lengths to avoid it, by giving the boys both palatable and unsavoury moments. For example, if the writers wanted us to favour Dean, they would have shown him saying something along the lines of ‘Sorry about this, Sammy’ before he punched Sam out. Instead they had him show unrestrained fury as he punched him past the point of unconsciousness . Either way, you’d still have the same result, Sam knocked out, but our thoughts about the character would be vastly different.

Same with Sam in Twihard. If the writers had shown him arrive a fraction of a moment later, the result would still have been the same; Dean turned. Instead they showed Sam arrive in time to stop it but choosing to do nothing (and doing it with a smile on his face). Dean would still be turned, and the story could go on as normal but it would not have shown Sam so negatively (it also meant Tim wouldn’t have had a very public emotional breakdown 6 weeks ago...)

I think the writers are being very careful this year in relation to the handling of the equality situation mainly because (i) Fans seem to be quite divided about the boys at this stage and (ii) people, in general, have tremendously short attention spans.

Just because Dean’s hell didn’t happen recently doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It certainly doesn’t mean it’s forgotten because we, the viewers, are constantly being fed reminders. Take Caged Heat; when Meg asked Dean if she could break Crowley because she trained under Alistair, you were given a reminder of what Dean went through in hell. The way he looked at her in that moment shows just how bad things were for him down there. He didn’t brush it off; he didn’t give her a smart ass comment. It was the first (only?) non-smartass comment I can remember him giving her. The fact that Dean, in all his bravado, was instantly sobered was, to me at least, a vivid reminder that yes, Dean was in hell and he suffered big-time there.

Dean’s time in hell has being brought to light numerous times this season, much more so than season 5, (and at a stretch season 4). He reminded Sam that he can relate to Sam’s time in hell back in Exile on Main Street and again in The Third Man when he says he knows what hell does to a person. Does hell still affect Dean, damn sure it does. It’s part of why he is fighting so obsessively for Sam’s soul. Had Dean not known what was happening to Sam in hell, he might have been more content with getting Sam back as is. So I certainly don’t think Dean’s time in hell will be pushed aside at the expense of Sam’s, definitely not by the writers.

Whose time in hell was worse is always going to be entirely subjective. Fans being fans are going to believe the story slants whatever way they want and they will find evidence supporting it and ignore evidence opposing it. There is never going to be a winner in the ‘who suffered most in hell’ competition so it’s rather futile even debating it.

Does the effect of torture diminish or grow greater the longer one is subjected to it? When you can’t foresee an end to the torture, it won’t matter whether it went on for 4 seconds, 40 years or 400 years. Plus, I doubt it’s going to be used as a badge of merit between them. Dean: ’I spent 40 years in hell, Sam, I earned the last cookie’. Sam: ‘100 years for me, Dean, so give ME the cookie’.

(Speaking of, how do they keep track of time in hell? Was there a calendar hanging over the rack? How does Dean know one month equals ten years, did he have a watch? One month could have been equal to fifty years for all Dean knows.)

Myself, I don’t WANT Sam to have a bad time in hell (and there’s an oxymoron if ever I heard one). Why don’t I want him to suffer? Because I FREAKING LIKE THE GUY!!! I don’t want him, or Dean, or definitely not John, to spend even two seconds being filleted by a rusty spoon. Why the hell would I want that? So I can be proud of them? What’s so noble about being subjected to torture? Being tortured doesn't make a person brace. It makes them sympathetic and it makes them damn unlucky. I prefer to find pride in someone’s actions, not what was someone did to them. ‘John baby, see the way that hellhound is using your testicles as a chewtoy? I’m so proud of you for that’. What the hell??? I’d be proud of him going and getting said testicles back, not getting them bitten off in the first place.

Why does being tortured have to equate to being redeemed? The action of Sam jumping into the Pit, for me, redeemed him for releasing Lucifer. I won’t feel that the more he’s tortured, the more redeemed he will be. I don’t want him coming back out of there as Jesus!

This whole idea that you have to be strong to not break under torture is also shite. How does not breaking under torture make you strong because, again, what constitutes torture, and what constitutes breaking? Does having a high pain threshold make you strong? The ability to withstand physical discomfort is just genetics; some people are more predisposed to it.

Dean’s threshold was such that he could withstand 30 years of torture in hell and even with that we don’t know what it was that made him break. Maybe after 30 years they realised the physical torture wasn’t working so they moved onto the psychological and this is what broke him so is he strong because he endured physical torture? Hell, maybe he cracked because they moved onto his baby toe and THAT was Dean’s weak point. I once ran ten miles of a marathon with a fractured ankle which should mean I’ve a pretty high pain threshold but at the same time, when I was getting my ears pierced I ran out of the shop crying after he had only one done and I never went back. I’ve still only got one ear pierced. (I tell people it’s because I was the original rebel, sounds better than telling them I was just a chickenshit).

John lasted 100 years in hell and he didn’t break. Does that mean he’s stronger? It does in its arse! If he didn’t crack under psychological torture does THAT mean he was stronger or does it mean he’s a callous uncaring, bastard? Think of the Alpha shifter. When Crowley threatened the babies, who here was thinking ‘Hold your ground, Alpha shifter, don’t you tell that demon anything’ and who was thinking ‘Oh no, the babies, tell him everything’. Every man has a breaking point; it’s just a matter of finding out what it is.

What constitutes strength, as with torture, is entirely subjective. There is no yardstick by which to measure pain. Does being kicked in the ribs hurt more than being punched in the face? Is your right arm more sensitive to being skinned than your left? Depends on the person. Personally, I'd only need to SEE the rack and I'd break!

The same goes for the aftermath of torture. We didn’t see Dean express a lot of emotion in relation to his experiences in hell. Does this mean it wasn’t bad for him, or does it mean he found strength from somewhere to keep it inside, was selfless enough to not let it out because he didn’t want Sam to show how much he WAS suffering, and is still suffering? I know which option I'd go for there.

Ditto for Sam when he gets back. If he doesn’t come back ‘paralysed, and insane with psychic pain so bad he’s locked inside of himself for the rest of his life’ does this mean his hell wasn’t bad enough?

The extreme fans on both sides can take the same result and find different explanations for it. If Sam comes back completely banjaxed, with crying and rocking etc, those who veer towards Sam will use it as evidence that his hell was worse than Deans, those who favour Dean will use it as evidence that Sam is weak. Horses for courses, really.

The experiences of both boys in hell is incomparable and only extremely silly people who put no thought into their argument will try to compare them.

Ok Tim, stop labouring the point.

Apologies for going on and on but if there's one thing that ticks me off it's petty oneupmanship that does nothing but take from the show. It's trying to endorse the idea that pain, sacrifice, etc should be universal when it's anything but. Which is the most notable and worthy? Getting a 500 word essay off a student in an Honours class who could whip one off in 20 minutes or getting an essay off a student with a very poor reading and writing level who spent hours writing those 500 words? The criteria for evaluating them can't be the same because the specific criteria of those students are not the same.

Same goes with the story of the brothers in hell. Every second Dean spent in hell was agony for him AND for Sam. Every second Sam spends in hell is torture for him and Dean. Those guys need serious hug therapy!
Brynn
# Brynn 2010-12-05 13:00
Hey Tim? That's some good shite.

Not that I agree with you on some points in the episode, but not liking the fandom trying to one-up each other on Dean vs Sam, I am completely on board with you. I hope it's merely a fandom thing and not what the writers of Supernatural are actually intending. Like I said, I have hope.

Oh and I do also like this site for the intelligent discussions and opinions. It's why I like reading reviews here, even though I may not agree with everybody.
elle2
# elle2 2010-12-05 14:56
DuttyDawn, Jasminka, Tim and Brynn,

DuttyDawn, I like that idea, is it possible for a soulless person to grow a soul? Perhaps it is. Perhaps that is why there is an episode out there called How to Train Your Dragon, the synopsis of that movie does strike me that it is about retraining. I can hope in that direction as well,

Jasminka,

I do give massive kudos to Jared, he is really knocking it out of that park here. It would be neat to know just how much of his character's arc has been revealed to him so that he knows how to measure his performance each episode. Both he and Jensen frequently say they have no idea what's coming and that they are told very little so it is commendable that for what he is doing.

Tim,

Like you I love this site for the discussions and while I knew I was opening up something here when I wrote my review I needed to open it up because it is troubling me and everyone's comments have helped me to shape and understand my frustrations and more and more I find myself focusing my distress and disappointment in the lack of the brotherly bond showing any signs of returning.

I found this show in Mystery Spot, that was the first episode I ever watched and it struck all the right notes for me, especially the part of two men who would fight for each other, protect each other and ultimately as I found out, die for each other. (I didn't even start writing about the show until mid-way through Season 4 with On The Head of A Pin) But with the brotherly bond, friendship, trust and love all but gone and I fear it is gone forever I am weary and that becomes more and more my greater issue.

Tim, you also bring up some excellent points along with others on this thread that while Sam's time in hell is horrific (and it could only be) it doesn't have to be oneupmanship on Dean's time in hell. I will have to watch how it plays out, as I said in my review it has never been the writers to do such a thing but I'm concerned that that's where this is going to play out. I have not said that that IS how it is playing out but that I was concerned that IT MIGHT. I do hope the writers don't do that and I do hope they have a good twist there to show it different. I also firmly believe that this type of shared experience can be a way for the brothers to reunite their bond.

I'm hopeful but remain very concerned. I still see and hear and read little from Sera that leads me to believe she plans to put the boys back together again, and as I've stated, that's what will send me off the Supernatural ride, if the brotherly bond is gone, then so am I for that's why I watch.

Brynn,

Like you, this is a wonderful place for discussions and I am so thankful for everyone's contributions thus far in this discussion because it continues to help me work through my 'issues' this season. I like that not everyone agrees because that wouldn't help me see things from a different point of view and sometimes that point of view ends up changing mine. It already has here as I've stated that the absence of any Sam emotions or thoughts or feelings or anything is really becoming a major drag on the season for me.

I have hope, there are twelve episodes left, hopefully something good will come in the next two. Yes, I've set a deadline for myself simply because I don't want to be the negative person on this site dragging down the show. I've been there and done that years ago on another site and on another show and it was awful for me and awful for others. I won't do that here.

Again, thank you each and every person who has commented on this thread for the excellent discussion.
Zim
# Zim 2010-12-05 21:51
Sorry, Elle, but I can't agree. Watching Sam and Dean hug each other or punch each other is all just good drama to me. I would never stop watching. I don't even see them as really being apart here. I see Sam as being "ill" and Dean as trying to cure him. Half the fun is the treatment. ;-)
Scarlotti
# Scarlotti 2010-12-06 00:20
This episode isn't going to be in my top ten either, Elle (I prefer the self-contained- monster-of-the- week variety), but as an episode meant primarily to advance this year's backstory, I thought it worked pretty well.

I don't know if the Alpha/Purgatory plotline has ended just yet (they'll need at least one more episode to explain it a little more clearly), but I'm hoping it's almost a wrap. There were just too many plotlines this season for any narrative clarity.

I thought that Cas' watching porn seemed a little juvenile at first ... but his later "I learned that from the pizza man" line made it all worth while. Is an interest in sex out of character for Cas? The same Cas who went to a whorehouse, and who in the future became an orgy guru?

More importantly, I felt that it fit right in with his admission that he'd rather be on earth with Sam and Dean than fighting a Heavenly civil war. A part of Cas misses being human (or nearly so) -- and the human feelings of love he'd developed for the Winchesters.

It looks like RoboSam is going to be the big bad for a while, and I'm all for it. Evil (well, amoral) Sam is fun. Plus, it sets up a wonderful conflict for Dean: he has to protect RoboSam (Sam's body) in order to rescue Sam's soul from Hell. And after *SPOILER ALERT* RoboSam tries to kill Bobby next week, poor Dean's really going to be conflicted.

I hope Dean doesn't kill his grandpa -- that'd be too much guilt for him to deal with. I'm sure they can come to empathize with one another's feelings... And now that Crowley's gone (at least for the time being), perhaps Gramps can finally join Team Free Will for real.

Personally I don't think that Crowley brought Sam or Samuel back. I think he just took advantage of their ignorance on the subject to manipulate them.

Now as to whose time in Hell was more traumatic ... it's Hell. Nobody walks away unscathed.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-12-06 07:39
On a second thought, Elle2, there is something I disagree with – upon my first read of your article my mind was kinda numb with a headache, so I might not have noticed that, but I’d like to change my statement a bit.
I didn’t really have time to read ALL the comments, so forgive me should I be redundant in some way.

I don’t agree with your assessment that Dean’s story or his suffering are being diminished by Sam’s story. I don’t think there are any Olympic games going on as to ‘who suffers the most’, only in our, the fans’, minds. It’s our judgment that gives the present development a certain meaning.
I have never got the impression that Dean’s ordeal was to be compared to Sam’s and that his would only be ‘a cake walk’. Only if you allow yourself to think that, you will feel bad and perhaps leave the Supernatural train, as you wrote. I hope you don’t fall victim to that assumption. On a personal note – I would miss you here.

And – well, I don’t see it given by the script.
We are all prone to interpreting and over-analyzing this story, oh my, it’s so multifaceted and multilayered that we can’t help ourselves, can we?

Why do we have to go into talking about who suffers the most? I understand that some of us are more in favour of one brother, and we’ve been known to take sides and defend them.
But why compare the suffering? Is it because some are afraid that Dean’s ‘hero status’ might be diminished when we find out that Sam’s soul has been longer in hell’s agony than Dean’s?
You know, I see that so often in my daily work. Sometimes patients do just the same. They start some kind of competition of the ‘my pain is greater than yours’ kind. But there is no measurement to that. Everyone, everyone experiences pain in a different manner and you can’t say whether someone actually does suffer more or not. These patients don’t really respect the other’s pain and they don’t respect their own. It usually takes some time to help them understand, that their self- esteem is not depending on whether they are able to bear more than the other. It’s a matter of individuality and coping mechanisms.

Both characters, to my mind, have been through more agony than I would wish upon anyone. Both have suffered tremendously. But no matter how long someone stayed in hell, how long they have been tortured, etc – both will suffer differently, deal with it differently. And that could be a hell of a fascinating story to follow (no pun intended).



Enchanting Tim,

I beg to differ in one aspect – it is always a difference (well, to my experience)in terms of how long the torture goes on. I happens to be, sadly, a wide spread phenomenon that the ‘torturer’ develops other techniques and change their methods to not allow the victims to go numb. And they tend to be very effective in that department, believe me.

But I agree with your words ‘the whole idea that you have to be strong to not break under torture is also shite’. How very true. As a patient of mine once put it: everyone breaks on the second day.

People who say things like that have obviously – and I’m so grateful to all the gods for them – never, never experienced the atrocities committed in torture. It unfortunately isn’t a James Bond movie. And, well, even here in this story with John holding out so much longer than Dean – well, that’s Hollywood B.S. It’s nothing else than in a Bond movie with the hero holding out. In true life, John probably would have been broken much, much earlier and so would have Dean.

But we love the hero-aspect of this story. It might serve as an example to encourage us when we think we can’t go on. And I think (there with you) that their heroism not diminished in any way at all.
But, perhaps some fans are just too narrow-minded or too extreme in their views. They are also those who enjoy bashing the characters. And I am quite glad that those hardly ever venture here to this site.

Best always, Jas
Suze
# Suze 2010-12-06 09:02
Oh sod, are we here again? Oooh, mine hurts worse than yours ... Enough, it's not a competition. Pain's just pain. It's all bad.

I liked this one ... So much to enjoy, Letcherous Meg, Trecherous Grandpa, Pizza-Porno Channeling Cas, Bad-Ass Sam, even Dead-At-Last Crowley ( I loved Crowley but if they'd let him off after finding he couldn't hold up his end of the deal it would have made no sense at all ) There were a few Eh, WTF? moments but aren't there always ... I think there is now so much back story they can't help getting their wires crossed.

I'm quite taken with Hardcore Sam but if he does turn out to be this seasons big bad I'll be well dischuffed ...

:evil:
Louisa
# Louisa 2010-12-06 09:52
*my concern is thus far is that there is a build up to make Sam’s time in the pit so much worse than Dean’s time in hell. If that’s truly where this goes, I may finally find myself in the camp that says, whoa, why does Sam’s story have to diminish Dean’s? *

Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this. I find the whole Sam goes to Hell and suffers more than Dean ever did notion to be quite repellent, and I have no desire to see Sam's trauma be painted as worse than Dean's, thank you very much. Which is what will happen even if the writers haven't intended that.

Thank you for such a thoughtful and balanced review of an episode that was riddled with plotholes. If next week's isn't better, and there is no indication of a role for Dean outside of wringing his hands over Sam, I won't be watching the show after the hiatus.
Clare
# Clare 2010-12-06 10:01
"So in season two when we were NEVER shown how John's death affected Sam, only how it affected Dean that was alright... if we dare see Sam has suffered at all then the show is too biased in Sam's direction...

I disagree so strongly with your comment. IMO we have seen Sam's POV. We have seen Sam's reactions. They were different from Dean's because Sam's personality and approach to those issues were different from Dean's. You just didn't like what you were shown, especially where season 4 was concerned when the show did make it very clear (again, IMO) that Sam was doing what he did because he was the one with control issues. If the show didn't make it clear he was doing it for other reasons then maybe it's simply because the canon is that he wasn't. If the show doesn't portray Sam the way you want it to, then maybe it's because the canon is that he isn't that way at all.
Jo M
# Jo M 2010-12-06 10:13
I totally agree that finding out God saved Sam and that he didn't suffer in Hell wouldn't diminish his sacrifice. I think it underlines his sacrifice that God would do that. I think it's leaving him in Hell that diminishes his sacrifice. He should have been redeemed for what he did, not left to suffer and I hope we will find out that his soul isn't in Hell at all.
Syd
# Syd 2010-12-06 10:20
"my concern is thus far is that there is a build up to make Sam’s time in the pit so much worse than Dean’s time in hell. If that’s truly where this goes, I may finally find myself in the camp that says, whoa, why does Sam’s story have to diminish Dean’s?"


This is a very valid point, Elle, and it's unfortunate that the writers have chosen to do this (and they have done this). For 3 seasons Dean had no mytharc storyline of his own. His only purpose was to support Sam, "save or kill Sam", sell his soul for Sam... it was all about Sam.

But then in season 4 I thought that the writers had finally given Dean his very own place in our mytharc. Nope. As we saw in season 5, Dean was easily replaced by Adam as Michael's vessel. During Lucifer and Michael's final confrontation, Dean was downgraded to supporter of Sam once again. Well, all he could really do was get himself beat up, but he's only human after all.

But even though the vessel storyline was discarded for Dean and he was told by Sam that he needs to back off being the "big brother" to him, the ONE thing he still had, the ONE unique storyline for Dean, was his post-hell storyline. Dean doesn't have special powers or a grand "darkside" destiny, or demon blood addition/recove ry or anything else that Sam has, but Dean did have his very own post-hell story.

And it's not even so much about who has suffered the most (to me), it's the fact that Sam has always had a special and unique place in our mytharc story. ALWAYS. But it was only in S4, after having been in hell, did Deal also have a unique place in our story. He had been to hell and come back. In this ONE way, Dean was unique. But even that has now been taken away from him and given to Sam.

And it's a trend this season... anything unique that Dean had, now Sam has. Sam has been given the pop culture jokes, the snarky comebacks, and the womanizing ways that used to be part of Dean's characterizatio n but are no longer. Dean has been neutered. Even in this episode, Sam thought outside the box to draw the devil's trap in blood, the writers choose not to give the same consideration to Dean, and he even needed to be saved by Sam. I mean, really show???

And Dean has not even tried to sell Sam on the benefits of having a soul because the writers have not paid enough attention to Dean this season to care about such things. It's all about Sam and Sam's soul and Sam not wanting his soul back and what will become of Sam's soul and soulless Sam.

Dean who? Oh right, the guy who had a storyline of his own for about an episode and then was needed to further Sam's storyline, so Lisa and Ben were disposed of so that Dean could be ALL ABOUT SAM once again. Nevermind that Dean was scolded by Sam most of season 5 for being an overbearing big-brother, now it's what is expected of him. It's his ONLY role.

So yeah, not only has Dean lost his only unique storyline to Sam but he's also lost most of his unique personality traits to Sam as well. So I guess the question is when will the writers give Dean something of Sam's that will make Dean unique and special to our mytharc? When does Dean get his own special powers? Heh. I won't hold my breath.
Anne J
# Anne J 2010-12-06 10:48
Thank you Elle for a really good review. I think if Sam's experience in Hell is presented as being worse than Dean's it will probably be the last straw for me. We already don't seem to be getting much of a plot for Dean this season. What's the point if what has happened to him in the past is diminished too?
Gigi
# Gigi 2010-12-06 11:34
Thanks for the excellent review, Elle. And I appreciate your honesty in regards to both the episode and your concerns. I also share in both: this season just feels so "off" to me. At least in S4 when the brotherly bond was so strained, the characters were still recognizable and we knew they cared about each other. I don't know who these guys are anymore and with roboSam around, the relationship is woefully lopsided. It's not quite what I'd expected for a "reboot" scenario.

I've had a very hard time with the inconsistencies surrounding soulless Sam's characterizatio n. If one of the themes this season is the value of the human soul, then it should have been blatantly clear what that was. Sam's been all over the map from episode to episode and if the writers can't agree on the function of a soul, how is the audience supposed to decide if it's worth getting back?

And Dean.....sigh. This role reversal thing really hasn't worked in his favor. From his cowering fear in "Clap" to his characterizatio n in "Caged", with being intimidated by Meg, wringing his hands but still being Crowley's little bitch, passively following everyone else's lead, needing to be rescued.... this Dean is far from the confident, snarky hunter/leader/b adass of past seasons. I desperately miss that guy!

(And don't get me started on the "who had it worse?" issue! I've already seen it discussed in various venues, and it's not just by Dean fans, as someone suggeted earlier. I'm hoping that Sera understands the characters and fandom enough to give us two entirely different scenarios that respect each brother's unique experiences. However, after watching Dean be progressively stripped of his core qualities this season while Sam suddenly takes those same qualities on, I just can't be so sure that Sera isn't setting up a competition after all.)
Millie
# Millie 2010-12-06 11:47
I just want to say word to your review, Elle. I can't even begin to say how far the show has pushed me and most of it has to do with their ridiculous treatment of Dean. I've never stopped watching a show I've been a fan of before the end if I'd made it this far, but if the next episode doesn't do a total about face with regards to Dean's storyline and the treatment of Dean's character, I'm gone. Because the whole show is suffering not just Dean's character, Castiel is, even Sam is because I don't care about him or his soul at this point, I'm just angry at seeing how all the other characters are being twisted out of character in some weird attempt to make Sam the center of the universe.

They have done absolutely everything they can to render Dean utterly irrelevant, up to and including trying to take his personality and transplant it(badly) into Sam while leaving Dean with pretty much nothing except to wring his hands over Sam(Dean for all his focus on Sam was NEVER this focused and certainly not to the point of destroying his morality for it, that was the line he wouldn't cross and frankly I see zero reason to believe he'd cross it now) AND they have totally stolen his Hell storyline to give to Sam and are trying to sell it as the "worst Hell experience ever" :roll::

It's such blatant Mary Sue-like favoritism towards Sam that it looks like bad fan fiction.
taratha
# taratha 2010-12-06 11:49
You know I dont know why people are making such a fuss over Sam and Deans time in hell saying Sam is stealing Deans story? Well hate to break it to you guys but if you say that then you must of course then say that Dean stole the hell story from John who had over 60 years more in hell than Dean so dont go complaining that Dean is losing something that someone else had first in the first place.
Millie
# Millie 2010-12-06 11:52
Darn, I forgot to mention the death of Crowley - what a waste so they set up that whole Alpha storyline and apparently it goes nowhere? It's like they've wasted half a season on a storyline that doesn't matter.
Ravanne
# Ravanne 2010-12-06 11:55
Emerging from lurkdom here...

With all due respect, Elle, I don't think that it's the writers who are setting up the storyline to be a DeanPain vs SamPain comparison. That's being done by the fandom, and let's be honest... they've been doing that from the very begining. And it's gotten very, very tiresome. I'm personally fed up with a fandom that insists that they only way their favorite character can shine is to systematically tear down the other.

I think that the writers did Dean a huge disservice in Season 4 by not giving proper weight to his trauma and instead reducing it to his end of episode monologues and lonely mantears. What Dean went through was horrific and it should have been acknowledged as such. Not only did he suffer unspeakable torture for three decades, but the then lost whatever image he had of himself when he became a torturer. Not only was he himself brutalized, but any illusion that he was a good and moral being that would never deliberately cause harm to another went up in smoke. Dean had ever right to want to curl up on a corner and hide for the rest of eternity given what he'd been through. The writers did a half-assed job on Dean's part of the story, but they also neglected Sam's altogether so it's no wonder that Dean fans were left unsatisified, and Sam's fans outraged.

I know that a lot of fans (and you) are trying to draw comparisons between what Dean went through in Hell and what Sam's soul is currently going through (and showing plenty of outrage that Dean's experiences in their view are being downplayed when compared to Sam's), and I still don't see any real comparison because their experiences are completely different. Dean went to Hell specifically with the goal to break him in any way possible. It was quick and messy and brutal. Dean then had ten years to stew in Hell, hurting others before being rescued. He was (as should have been) mentally and emotionally a mess as a result, but the damage done to him was not irreversible. Dean was very, very lucky.

Sam's circumstances are entirely different. He, like Dean, went to Hell as a sacrifice for others but there is no purpose in his imprisonment. He's not down there with anyone's endgame in mind. Whatever happens to him is strictly for vengence's sake, and he's got two immensely powerful and immensely pissed off beings who had nothing but time to take their anger out on Sam. Unlike Dean, there's no opportunity for Sam to relent in order to save himself pain. He just has no choice to suffer and endure what is done to him.

So is what's happening to Sam worse that what happened to Dean? If you insist on making a direct comparison, I'd have to insist that it is only because when there's no end point in sight for the suffering, it is worse. But just as it would be wrong to have Sam's pain shouldn't be written off simply because it wasn't as obvious or profound as Dean's pain was in season 4, I'm making the same argument here. Just because Sam is getting it worse now in no way renders Dean's pain as meaningless. Dean went through something absolutely horrific and he certainly has every right to feel what he does. It's like trying to compare someone who broke every bone in his body falling off a cliff to someone who is being eaten alive by cancer.

The one thing that I can say in Dean's favor in regards to pulling Sam's soul from the cage by any means necessary and restoring his brother is that Dean knows by personal experience what Sam is going through. If there is any living being on this planet who can even begin to understand what Sam endured, it's Dean. Perhaps that's the final resolution to restoring the bond between them that was lost - Dean finds comfort in that because he suffered what he did, it's allowing him to help heal his brother. That instead of sitting in the dark wondering why he had endured what he did, he now has a reason that allows him to justify in his own mind all that happened. He'd be able to help heal Sam, but he'd also be able to heal himself finally.

And to those who are upset that Dean's story is being handed wholesale over to Sam, it goes both ways, folks. Wanting a normal life, with a wife and family away from hunting had always been Sam's story. Sam was the one who escaped and was trying to make a go of it as "normal" when we first met him. He had the college degree and the pretty girl that he wanted to marry and the plans for his life before they were completely upended and now he feels that's no longer an option for him. Giving Dean his little bit with Lisa and Ben after four seasons with absolutely no indication beyond a brief dream sequence in a single episode that Dean had any wishes for a life away from hunting was clearly an attempt to drawl parralles between the two brothers. So why is Sam's time in Hell "stealing" from Dean's unique story, but Dean living a normal life not ripping it off from Sam's?
Elizabeth
# Elizabeth 2010-12-06 11:57
-I'm personally fed up with a fandom that insists that they only way their favorite character can shine is to systematically tear down the other.-

Perhaps you should stop doing it then Ravanne? Since you are well known on several forums as one of the main protagonists of this very tendency.
Millie
# Millie 2010-12-06 12:06
"I don’t agree with your assessment that Dean’s story or his suffering are being diminished by Sam’s story. I don’t think there are any Olympic games going on as to ‘who suffers the most’, only in our, the fans’, minds. It’s our judgment that gives the present development a certain meaning."

Don't be disingenuous. The show ITSELF is doing the comparing and Dean's coming up short. Whenever they talk about how awful Sam's time in Hell must be and how horrible and IGNORE Dean's own(not to mention they spent most of that season trying to make Dean out as being weak and whiny and boohooing at him and basically totally belittling his experience despite the fact the show itself spent almost NO time on it(8 minutes tops) while now Sam will be the bravest saddess woobie to ever woobie with everyone talking about how horrible what he went through was).

The show itself, the writers have made it a competition by how they are presenting it. Don't say it's not a competition because it is and the show says so.
Shelby
# Shelby 2010-12-06 12:10
Word, Syd. As for the fandom being the only ones to pit the brothers against each other. I must disagree. IMO, the writers have been consciously doing this since very early on with their "sibling rivalry" stuff as far as the characters are concerned, and with the endless role reversals(from as far back as S2)with regards to the actors. IMO, the showrunners have gotten to a place where they think that any kind of discourse on the show is better than none. What a mess this episode was. I felt no real "caring" whatsoever from the writers about any of the characters in it. And they have already diminshed Dean's experience in hell for me by just giving Sam a similar storyline-as Syd said-that was uniquely Dean's; not anymore, though.
I thought they had made a nice start to S6 through the first 8 episodes, and that they were really looking to make up for what I saw as huge mistakes in especially the ending of S5, but after these last two, I'm wondering if I've been duped yet again; because after these last two, if it weren't for the fact that the show would fall apart w/o him, I'd be wondering why the heck they even kept Jensen Ackles around for S6. Hoping this next one will help me got over that feeling somewhat, but aside from the terrible execution, what actually happened in the episode is terribly discouraging and I may very well be exiting in the new year, too. I just can't handle the same kind of disappointment that I experineced with this show last season, again this season.
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-12-06 12:46
I totally agree. This whole year has been a sad time for the series. Having Sam go to hell and his time there being SO MUCH WORSE than Dean's just is another why to diminish Dean's character. Like what they did last year wasn’t bad enough.

I am also wondering why they even have Jensen around either. I know he signed up for s7, but really if this is the character they expect him to play, he should move on to something better. I too am having thoughts about exiting the series. It is just too hard to watch what has been done to a wonderful series they use to have.

Really if they don't get this fixed, and get Dean and Sam back to the earlier years, I probably won't be watching either.

I want to remember them when they brothers and a family, not like this.
Kathryn
# Kathryn 2010-12-06 12:56
Add me to the list of viewers who won't be tuning in if Dean doesn't get an actual storyline in the second half of the season. I'm not interested in seeing him hold Sam's hand because Sam suffered more and it really ticks me off that the writers have taken the one unique thing in Dean's storyline away and given it to Sam. I see this as fanservice pure and simple, as was the end of season 5. WE get it: Sam is a hero. Can Dean stay one too please, since ending the Apocalypse was taken away from him. Instead of coming off second best in the Hell ordeal.
Syd
# Syd 2010-12-06 13:38
@ taretha: "Well hate to break it to you guys but if you say that then you must of course then say that Dean stole the hell story from John who had over 60 years more in hell than Dean so dont go complaining that Dean is losing something that someone else had first in the first place."

But John never had a POST-hell storyline, did he? It's not about going to hell, it's about what the character deals with in the aftermath of being in hell. And that was a storyline that was Dean's uniquely in this show (supposedly) about TWO brothers. Dean doesn't have special powers and he's not the chosen ONE, but he had been to hell and CAME BACK. That was Dean's only unique role.

@ Ravanne: "So is what's happening to Sam worse that what happened to Dean? If you insist on making a direct comparison, I'd have to insist that it is only because when there's no end point in sight for the suffering, it is worse."

Well there it is, right? Dean may have gone to hell, but he was "very, very, lucky" as you say. You have already compared Dean's experience to Sam and have judged Sam's to be "worse" by comparison. And that is the intention of the writing, I assume.

@ Ravanne: "So why is Sam's time in Hell "stealing" from Dean's unique story, but Dean living a normal life not ripping it off from Sam's?"

Sam stopped desiring a normal life after the first season. Sam embraced the hunter's life after his father died and after he delved into the mystery surrounding his powers. But his father's death had the opposite effect on Dean. Dean sought to distance himself from the hunter's life. This has been Dean's journey of discovery since the beginning of the 2nd season... I mean, unless you'd like to take that away from Dean as well?...

At any rate, living a "normal life" with Lisa and Ben was never an actual storyline for Dean this season. It was merely a distraction until the writers could make Dean ALL ABOUT SAM once again.

And look, I don't want the show to take anything away from Sam's story, but the truth is, he has everything already. He has always been the chosen one, he's always been the main focus of the antagonists because of his special powers - Sam has always been the key to each season's mytharc. So just for ONCE, couldn't it be Dean?

Dean was drop kicked right out of his vessel storyline and now no longer has a unique post-hell storyline, so couldn't the writers not think of something else that would make Dean just as unique and special as his brother -- but that does NOT involve merely being the brother of Sam? Just something that the mytharc plot could revolve around and that wouldn't end up being given to another brother?
Ashke
# Ashke 2010-12-06 14:34
Thanks Elle,

I did enjoy this episode but I too thought it crazy that Crowley could pull Samuel from Heaven although I was willing to believe that if he got a message to Samuel than Samuel might have chosen to return. I also wondered and still wonder how he could have pulled Sam from the Cage. If two Archangels can't get out.

Still, I was shocked to see him go. I think the writers might have painted themselves into a corner. They had to have something big enough to make Crowley cave and the only thing was his bones. Realistically given how every character in that room felt about him why would they let him live? Especially when they already let his bones go the first time.

I also thought you were on the money with Castiel's inconsistency in this ep. It was very inconsistent. Although I loved his "I learned it from the pizza man" line it really didn't make any sense for him to kiss Meg back and barely made sense for her to kiss him. I did not have a problem with him staying once Sam had called him down. I took it as in keeping with what he said at the end of the episode. He'd rather be there and than dealing with a battle he's losing in Heaven. I also didn't have a problem with him being able to come and go from the prison and not the others. Crowley can control humans and for lack of a better term "hellspawn" there is nothing that would make me think he can control angels. If there were a problem I would think it kind of crazy that Crowley didn't have wards protecting the site from angels in the first place. If they could do it in "Death Takes a Holiday" why not here.

However, I do agree with several others that it's not a comparison of the brother's time in hell. Dean said in Swan Song that it was probably going to be worse for Sam and even if it wasn't Sam's been down there a lot longer than Dean. Besides, all things being equal, the writers would have tried to up the ante on Sam's time in hell if only because they've done Dean in Hell and they want to try something different and most likely bigger i.e. worse.

I would hate to see you decide to give up on the show for that. Erik and Sera have done an amazing job over the last 6 years giving us what we least expected and sometimes making us appreciate something that we initially thought would probably be a bad idea. Have a little faith. Of course this all entirely selfish on my part since I would miss your reviews.

Thanks again.
donilou2
# donilou2 2010-12-06 15:23
Thanks for a great review Elle2. I agree with everything you've said and can't add anything more.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-12-06 16:19
Oh, my ... what's going on here?
Amelia
# Amelia 2010-12-06 18:14
Elle, you've shown remarkable courage here, and are to be commended for it. I agree; diminishing Dean's experience would be the end of the line for me as well.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2010-12-06 18:52
I was just about to ask the same question, Jasminka. What the hell IS going on here?? I'd like to be able to pat you on the knee and say 'Safe room' but I can't.

I've a huge reply made out but I've no intention of posting it at the moment because it was made in direct reply to some of the most blinkered, insulting, blatantly one-sided, incendiary comments I've ever read and if I posted them in their current state I'd (deservedly) get banned for life.

Blatant hate, intentionally onesided, deliberately misleading, all the crap I try to avoid by coming here has finally made it here. Awesome.

Elle2, seems like you've unleashed the Kracken with this one!
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-12-06 20:05
If I may change the subject for a moment, elle, you started watching SUPERNATURAL with 'Mystery Spot', where the heck were you for the first two plus seasons? :D :D

HMMM 'Mystery Spot'. I love that episode, if you are going to start watching SUPERNATURAL, that would be a good epi to watch, but the first one ???????? :lol: :lol:
Classic Sam and Dean moments. That Sam needs to teach current Sam a thing or two about having a soul.

Okay, you may all return to talking about 'Caged Heat'. :lol:
Artemis
# Artemis 2010-12-06 20:11
I really enjoyed your review and hope the show gets better. I'm tired of episodes where the characters are so inconsistent and it feels like the story is going nowhere interesting.
elle2
# elle2 2010-12-06 20:15
Unleash the Kracken perhaps, perhaps not. I've seen worse on this site (although thankfully not often) and this is overall a good discussion with a few moments of some tartness.

Anyone who has ever read my stuff knows that I do not push Sam v Dean but yes, this time I see it in the current storyline and where it crosses the line for me here is that as it currently stands it is done by the writers who have never, ever before done such a thing.

I know that many people feel as I do as do many people disagree. That's excellent and makes for good discussion. This has been an excellent discussion and will likely continue as the season progresses. I do have an article that has been in the works for several weeks now that I was planning for the upcoming winter hellatus and I think I do plan to finish it, perhaps get someone with a different view point than me to read it to make sure it is what I've always tried to be, balanced.

For those of you who feel Sam has been shortchanged over the seasons, I do understand. Sam's grief over John was not addressed in Season 2. Nothing I can do about it for I didn't find the show until Mystery Spot and by then Kripke had already apologized for that error. Hey, he's human and his apology is good for me especially if he learns from it. My article will look at all the seasons and all the overlapping, reversing and flip flopping of the brothers (hopefully all of them but if I miss any I hope that too will come out in the discussion and be just that, discussion)

Sadly, one of the major issues I have with Season 6 is that there is no Sam dealing with anything for as (I think it was percysowner above stated) Sam's emotions have been written out of the show. True 'nuff and oh so unfair to the character and so bad for the season.

For those of you who see that everything about Dean has been either thrown out the window, trodden underfoot or given to Sam, I also see that point of view (even the leather jacket is gone!!! but that's cause someone stole it! :evil: )

However, I will address the Dean stealing John's storyline, hmm, since Dean learned that he had 'only' been in hell for thirty years to John's one hundred years, I'd say John's hell story triumphs over Dean's as John definitely suffered longer. I also firmly believe that John knew full well what would happen if he broke and thus he didn't because he was not going to break the first seal.

Right now I think I will work on my article, it's titled (as of now) Role Reversal, Supernatural Style, and if I can get it together, I'll get it to someone who I have already asked to give it a looksie and have it out sometime during the upcoming hellatus. I think it will spark some good discussions like we have here and hopefully it won't be a place for personal insults. There have been a few on this thread but nothing that has caused Alice to delete (at least I don't think so unless I"ve missed it) and I know for me it is very, very, very helpful to get my concerns, sorrows and frustrations out in the open and yes, shared with others who help me to perhaps see things in a different way and at times change my mind (which at this point I'd love to change my mind but can't until I see how this plays out.)

On the other hand, much of this discussion has solidified what has me so dissatisfied this season, there is no Sam so there is no Sam and Dean and it is Sam and Dean that I fell in love with.

I applaud those who are very happy with the direction of the show and will roll along with this new direction. I hope that if I do choose to leave the show that there will be someone else who comes along to take my place and love this 'new' show. I have no desire for Supernatural to fail (and absolutely no belief that my little viewing habits have anything to do with the success or failure of any show.)

I hope Supernatural has two, three, four heck yeah, five more seasons ahead of it. If it does that means that all those crew members get to keep their jobs and work together as the family that they already are. That's awesome for them.

Who knows, Sera may be leading us all down blind alleys here and really will (quickly for at this point there is no reason for me to even watch the reruns of this season and I've always done that) restore this show to some semblance of what is truly the heart and soul (and as she said she would) smaller, more intimate, brothers. The second half could truly reveal what Jim Beaver tweeted a short time ago... "Could be our best season ever." I hope so, I dearly do.

Awesome discussion and thank you everyone for all your comments, and I do mean EVERYONE.
Leanne
# Leanne 2010-12-06 20:20
Tim the Enchanter said: "I've a huge reply made out but I've no intention of posting it at the moment because it was made in direct reply to some of the most blinkered, insulting, blatantly one-sided, incendiary comments I've ever read and if I posted them in their current state I'd (deservedly) get banned for life."


I've read Elle2's review (which I quite agree with) and comments here but I am sorry, I find *your* comment to be incredibly rude and condescending.

People here are expressing their opinion about Elle's review and about the show itself. I do believe that everyone here is entitled to state their own point of view, even if it IS "one-sided" as you say. I have read MANY comments in previous articles at this site that are also ONE-sided.

So I assume having a preference for one brother over the other is allowed? Or do you only find offense from those comments that support one brother who is not the one that you prefer?

If you don't like what is being discussed might I suggest that you avoid the discussion rather than insult those who have a valid point of view and who are entitled to their opinion.

I don't see anyone here expressing "blatant hate" at all. Some comments are expressing concern about the state of the show and with the writing of Dean, in particular. I guess you have a problem with that but I for one am very happy to see other fans of the show who share my concern that the writers are leading up to the ultimate "who's hell experience was worse?" competition and that's very unfortunate.

It's also unfortunate that currently Dean appears to have no other importance in the storyline except as his brother's keeper... yet again (IMO). I just think it's unfair to Dean that the show has taken away Lisa and Ben from him, and that he's STILL so singularly focused on Sam (as in the past). Dean needs to be given something else that makes him important in the grand scheme of things besides being just the guy who has to "save Sam or kill him." I think he deserves to be more than just that guy. But I digress.

Elle, thank you again for your honest appraisal of last week's episode. As you can see from those who agree, your honesty about your frustration is much appreciated by many. I do want both brothers to have equal importance in the show, and writing competing hell storylines for the brothers was really not the way to go, IMO.
elle2
# elle2 2010-12-06 20:30
NancyL,

I just have to respond to you. :-)

I never watched it. Heard about it on some other forums I was on, I was doing some creative writing (yes, fanfiction) about Magnificient Seven and Without a Trace and occasionally Supernatural would come up. I also got emails flashes on spoiler alerts, looking for things on Without a Trace, and all I ever read was Supernatural this, Supernatural that and I was like, sheesh, enough already. Who cares about two guys hunting the supernatural. Get over it. :roll::

Then the writers strike happened and I found myself beyond bored one Thursday night at about 9:05 and I was clicking through the channels and I turned on the CW (I think it was the CW by then) and there were these two good looking guys sitting in a diner booth talking. I kept the channel on it long enough to hear the banter and the snark and then the shorter of the two good looking guys got run over by a car and the taller of the two good looking guys was crying and holding him and then poof, cue Asia and there was the shorter good looking guy.

I didn't know which one was Dean and which one was Sam. I had no idea about Dean's deal so this line had no real meaning: "I'm not going to die, not today anyway." Didn't resonate as it does after one understand the true context.

I didn't know who Bobby was and why he shimmered out to this other guy and what it meant that he said what he said (but then none of us really knew until two seasons later). What I did know is that I instantly connected with these two tall good looking guys (who I didn't even know were brothers 'cause I wasn't really processing all of what the Trickster was saying to Sam once it was revealed who was pulling the strings.)

I have always been a fan of what I call buddy shows, or buddy movies. I love Lethal Weapon becasue the Danny Glover and Mel Gibson characters were buddies. I love star wars for Han Solo and Luke Skywalker's friendship. I'm a fan of the new NCIS Los Angeles because LL Cool J's character and Chris O'Donnell's character are buddies and their friendship is the highlight of the show. I'm a Simon and Simon fan of old, even the Dukes of Hazard for Bo and Luke were cousins and friends. Call me a sucker for it but I love buddies.

When the episode ended I saw the previews (for 'in those days' the previews were right at the end of the episode, not after a bunch of advertisement) so I saw there was a new episode coming the following week and it looked really awesome, these two good looking guys were against awful odds and fighting it out. I planned to watch it.

Pretty sure the week in between was spent with me finding sites like SupernaturalTV with all their episode clips and synopsis and upcoming spoilers and all that goodness and I quickly ordered the Season 1 and Season 2 DVDS. DOn't know if I watched Jus in Bello first and then ordered them or if they were already on their way. I was hooked.

I read every synopsis of Season 1 off of the SupernaturalTV site and watched every clip that was posted there until I got my DVDs and then during that period of time until Season 3 resumed I watched both seasons of DVDs, got Malleus Maleficarum and Dream a Little Dream of Me off the CW site and at least read the synopsis of the first eight episodes of Season 3. By the time Ghostfacers aired for the first time I was all caught up and deeply, deeply in love.

How I made it throught that first (for me) Hellatus I don't know for TWFB wasn't here yet or just in its infancy. My first review here (and ever) was after On The Head of a Pin and Alice has been letting me come and play here anytime and everytime I like since then. It has been so much fun.

I dearly hope the fun will continue, that this is all smoke and mirrors as the opening card suggests and that the trust no one tag includes the writers but only because they're throwing out red herrings, not because they are destroying what I fell in love with.


Anyway, NancyL, that's my story...what's yours?
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-12-06 21:03
I do not do chick flicks, so I never saw Gilmore Girls. :D

I have been watching Smallville since day one. Hate Lana Lang. Hate hate hate. Hated the whole story of her with her tattoos and the Teague family. Hate Jane Seymour's character. HATED JASON TEAGUE. When he was killed by Lionel Luther, I cheered. Of course, we all know that he was really killed by one Mr. Dean Winchester.

Loved Buffy and Angel. So, I figured that I would give SUPERNATURAL a try, even though that guy from Smallville was in it. It was a drug that I have not given up since 'Pilot'.

Five plus years, through the good (Mystery Spot), the bad (Bugs), and the ugly (Route 666). :D :D
Kathryn
# Kathryn 2010-12-07 07:49
*So I assume having a preference for one brother over the other is allowed? Or do you only find offense from those comments that support one brother who is not the one that you prefer? *

Kudos to you Leanne for your great post. Why is it only "blatant hatred" when it's Deangals saying what they think? It's the posts further up this thread attacking Elle2 for her views that are the problematic ones. I'm going to assume TimtheEnchanter was referring to those.
Mardem Jr.
# Mardem Jr. 2010-12-07 09:58
I don't see Sam's hell experience as diminishing Dean's one. I'm a Civil Engineer student, so I'll try to explain how I feel with metaphors.

I see this situation like this: you take two pieces of concrete and expose it to the weather. If you leave one of them exposed for a longer time than the other, it will be in a worse state than the one who was retired earlier. It doesn't mean that one suffered more than the other, since they were both exposed to the same kind of traumas. It only means that one was exposed for a longer period of time, thus having more complications for its integrity.

That's how I see Sam and Dean's situation. They both suffered horribly, but one of them is having more time to deteriorate. I bet if Dean had stayed longer in Hell he would be a drooling mess when returned to his body.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2010-12-07 12:28
Leanne, in relation to your post that you assume I have a preference for one brother over the other and 'that I only find offense from those comments that support one brother who is not the one that you prefer'.

I am sorry that you feel my post was rude and condescending but that was my immediate reaction after reading some posts that, for me, were very blatantly one-sided and poorly thought out. Note I didn't say all posts, I said 'some' posts.

One such example: 'Even in this episode, Sam thought outside the box to draw the devil's trap in blood, the writers choose not to give the same consideration to Dean, and he even needed to be saved by Sam. I mean, really show???' That, to me, is hugely biased because it suggests that this was Sam's first time thinking outside the box. It suggests Dean is weak because he couldn't take out two ghouls by himself. It also expresses incredulity that Sam actually saved Dean. By not recognising that Sam and Dean have been saving each other for 5 1/2 years is completely blinkered and hugely offensive to both brothers.

I am, however, perplexed as to how you read I favour one brother over the other from it. If you had read my earlier post, you would have seen that I advocate and enjoy different opinions, as long as they are well-argued opinions, and not opinions that only look at their own side of the argument while ignoring the mere existence of the other side. Elle2 posted an opinion I don't agree with but I thoroughly enjoyed because she looked at both sides and then gave reasons for her opinion.

Earlier, I championed the significant role of both men in the various storylines. Like I said, just because Dean’s hell didn’t happen recently doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I acknowledged that it was immaterial whether you spent 20 seconds or 200 years in hell. Hell is called hell for a reason. The only people trying to put forth the idea that Dean’s hell was lessened because Sam was also in hell are the fans, and only some fans at that.

Think about how reactionary this current situation is. We’ve no clue what is happening to Sam’s soul in hell, if it is even IN hell. Maybe he having a terrible time of it, maybe he’s ruling the roost down there. Maybe Lucifer, Michael, Sam and Adam are all being kept separate. Castiel doesn’t know what the Cage is like. Maybe they’re all eating crumpets and playing Dungeons & Dragons at the moment. We just don’t know.

However, just so you DO know, I don't have a preference towards either brother (John fan to the bitter end) and for any person to insinuate a poster is biased based on zero evidence is hugely unfair. Nowhere, in any of my posts, did I promote one brother at the expense of the other. I cried foul at what I believe to be (and still believe to be) blinkered, one-sided arguments. They are the bane of my everyday life. It doesn’t bother me which brother gets the perceived 'big storyline' because that is all it is; an individual’s perception. I really don’t care what side people take, this isn't a popularity contest. I have more interest in WHY people think what they think. I can be swayed on any particular theory if there is enough proof of it, not because more people agree with it.

The strength and depth of the impact one has on a mytharc is also entirely subjective. I believe, and I will give my reasons for later, that Dean was NOT ejected from the mytharc, that his role has not been reduced at the expense of Sam (and just because I believe that does not mean I favour one brother over the other, ok....) Now, if you want to take that, and other posts I've put on here, and decide that that makes me favour one brother over the other, then that is your prerogative and it would be waste of my time to try to convince you otherwise.

What I am criticising is NOT people’s personal opinions. I teach, so if I took offense at all the opinions that are different from mine, I’d either be in jail or insane at this stage. My issue stems from the fact that, for me, opinions gain credence when they are supported by evidence and reasoning. I'd applaud someone who claimed Hitler was the best guy in the world as long as he/she gave me a reason for it. That's what, for me, was missing from some of the posts, a reason why they said what they said. With some posts, it was merely a case of ‘Why can’t it be about X’ or ‘It’s ALWAYS about Y’.

Another personal peev I took issue with was the fact that an opinion was given and while the content of the post was not questioned, the poster herself was directly attacked. Ravanne made a perfectly valid post in relation to why she believes what she believes. She looked at both sides and gave arguments for and against each. She then said that in HER opinion Sam’s hell was worse.

However, because Ravanne and her stance are apparently ‘well-known†™ on other forums, her post was automatically treated to a dismissive '....since you are well known on several forums as one of the main protagonists of this very tendency.' This, to me, implies that as Ravanne is a ‘well known’ Sam girl (she is??), her opinion has no merit. It was a polite way of saying ‘Shur, there’s no point listening to you, we all know what you'll think’. For me, attacking in lieu of defending is just plain weak. It shows you don’t have any rebuttals for the argument so just cast doubt on the posters credibility.

Also, Kathryn, you can assume all you want but you would be dead wrong to assume I was referring solely to Dean fans. Out of interest, why do you assume that in the first place? I mentioned neither brothers names, my post was preceded by posts from both sides of the camp and I didn’t even refer to the name of a poster so why did you come to the conclusion I was attacked Deangirls? Is this another case of attack in lieu of defence?

As I stated above (and it's my opinion, the only one I'm qualified to give), the only people championing a war between Sam and Dean are the fans (the writers are actively avoiding it), and this is a futile war because there can be no winners in this one.
Kathryn
# Kathryn 2010-12-07 13:19
Just a thought: notwithstanding some fans' hope to see drooling traumatized Sam, given the teaser for this week's episode (and I'm not going to be specific in case some fans aren't spoiled), it would be a tad dense for Dean not to do what he apparently agrees to do without some kind of assurance that Sam will be healthy and well (and possibly without any Hell memories at all) if he is resouled.
donilou2
# donilou2 2010-12-07 14:06
"Just a thought: notwithstanding some fans' hope to see drooling traumatized Sam, given the teaser for this week's episode (and I'm not going to be specific in case some fans aren't spoiled), it would be a tad dense for Dean not to do what he apparently agrees to do without some kind of assurance that Sam will be healthy and well (and possibly without any Hell memories at all) if he is resouled."
I expect to see this, that Sam's soul will come complete with a certificate of authenticity, and a life-time warranty against manufacturer's defects.

Just as with Dean's time in Hell, I don't believe these writers are interested in the fall-out of what Sam went through, they want to get on with the more interesting stuff, so Sam will be hale and hearty right off the bat.
Honestly, I don't care how it's done either so long as it IS done, and promptly.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-12-07 16:25
Okay, and what about Adam?
elle2
# elle2 2010-12-07 17:24
Jasminka,

Oh, sure there you go...now who has opened up and unleashed the Kracken! :D :D :D :D

Of course I kid immensely. (Hugs to you, dearest Jas, but you know I joke with you)

I do wonder what's up with Adam. I wonder if perhaps Sera is pretending he never happened. I can't blame her for although I didn't mind the Jump the Shark episode and the introduction of Adam I do wish it had ended there and he was never seen again. (Not that Jake Abel wasn't superb in Point of No Return as well as in Swan Song, he was excellent and my oh my what a turn for an actor to play a ghoul/Adam, the real Adam and then Michael/Adam... all that in three episodes)

Just as much as I hope that Sam's soul was snatched by God and taken to heaven I hope that Adam was as well. For Sam it would be exactly as some others have stated, that he redeemed himself by throwing himself into the pit assuming he'd never come back (which is how I see him.) I am more convinced as someone stated above (and I think in another thread here) that to leave Sam in the pit does diminish his supreme sacrifice. (and yes, I know some will think and perhaps say that it will also ease my issues with the whole Sam's time in hell is worse than Dean's and yes, that would take that completely off the table. Yes, Tim, as you so accurately pointed out, this is all just supposition at this point and hopefully I am getting all worked up for nothing.)

I do like the idea of Sam being somewhere safe only to be wrenched from that safety to 'hell on earth' not 'cause I'm sadistic (although with the Winchesters angst is good (but so is silly fun too)) but because I would like to see him have fallout from this storyline that is all his own and doesn't compare to anyone else's so that yes, there isn't any 'one-up-man-shi p' but that it is his and his alone.

As for Adam, it would be nice if God recognized his sacrifice for I can only assume that Adam willingly said yes to Michael, since angels can't inhabit unwilling hosts, because he understood that Dean and Sam came for him, that they did put family/blood and love of brother (in this case half brother) over all else and he returned the favor by releasing Dean of his burden. That's pure conjecture for there is nothing there to back that up so it's fanfiction in my mind.

I'm not sure we'll ever hear anything though since there have been plenty of opportunities to mention Adam's name from Exile to You Can't Handle the Truth to most notably last week's episode and there hasn't even been a hint. I don't mind the wondering on Chuck for that ended (to me) completely as a mystery and it makes sense to let it remain a mystery, but for Adam he is a very large, very loose thread that should be tied up.

Again, great discussion all, thank you so much for this has been very helpful to me as I continue to work my way through this most troubling of seasons, made so much more troubling by the fact that Sam and Dean are basically not Sam and Dean, not the ones I've loved and grown with through their five seasons previous to this.
bookdal
# bookdal 2010-12-07 19:52
Elle2 -

I have to say that I hope they don't go the way "he was in heaven" and brought back to the hellish earth. The reason why is because that was what happened on Buffy and it still had major fallout. And I think SPN is slightly more edgy than Buffy when it comes to those types of afterlife stakes.

I like the idea of not a babbling Sam, but that the whole Sam is in hell is an illusion and that he is just floating somewhere, like Dean in "In My Time of Dying." I'd love for Death to just look at Dean at some point and say "He's been beside you the whole time."

I just have this feeling that Sam is not in Hell. I just hope he's not in Heaven either.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-12-08 04:21
Of course I know you're only joking with me, Elle2, sure! You know, the Kraken is one of my favourite pets ( :o), but he tends to do some very nasty things, so hard to control with his eight arms... Men, ts, ts... ;-) At present he's still wrestling with his being-turned-to -stone status by Perseus, so, well... he'll be back for sure...

I had so ask this question, partly because I really wonder what happened to Adam and why most of the fandom seems to have forgot about him. I don't really know how popular he's been with the fandom, but my assumption is that he is not very popular. Well, I've had a hard time accepting him, but after I've done, hm, he's just as much a Winchster as the others. And I like his snarky mouth.

The other part was joking with everyone, actually, since I still sometimes think that over-analyzing the matter as we tend to do (and I am not free of that myself) is beginning to border on the absurd.
I know that we (and myself very much included) invest a lot of time, if not too much, thinking about these characters, and I like to remind myself every once in a while that they are fictional and that one day, when this show will be off the air, I won't stop breathing. My life will go on, and I will have wonderful memories and dvds to get back to (let's hope so, you know what I mean). Just as I do with other shows I have loved in the past.

Love always,Jas