Warning!!!!  If you haven't seen "Southern Comfort," stop reading now!  There will be spoilers and discussion and talk of the preview for next week's episode and all manner of things that will spoil the episode for you if you haven't seen it yet!  If you have, come on in and let's talk!

Sorry about the delay in posting, but my in-laws arrived from out-of-town about an hour after the episode ended, so we were catching up for a while!  Anyway, there were some things that I liked about tonight's episode, mostly involving Garth and some zingy one-liners, but the brotherly stuff just felt stale to me.  I wasn't impressed, which is sad because the setup from last week was amazing!

But before I get into the meat of my discussion, I want to make sure everyone is on the same page here.  If you didn't already know, we're setting up some new commenting rules here at the WFB.  We're trying to make the comments sections more accessible, so please, if you haven't already, take a moment and read this announcement so you'll understand what I'm about to say next.

This article is a free-commenting zone.  We are not going to move any comments to the "Let's Discuss" topics for the week.  The "Let's Speculate" articles are going to serve as the overall "Let's Discuss" topic for the current episode.  Everyone on the same page?  No comment moving here.  That being said, we're still operating under the normal commenting rules, which are basically please use common sense when posting.  Don't write anything you wouldn't say to someone's face.  Be civil to each other.  No attacking!  We're all allowed to voice our opinions here, so please be respectful.  Lastly, I'll be bringing up some possibly contentious issues, but I really don't want things to devolve into Sam vs. Dean.  I'm not trying to say one brother is better than the other because that's not the case.  They are both equally important.  I'm just...kind of a little more annoyed with Sam right now than I am with Dean.  But I am annoyed with both of them.

Get On With It, Ardeospina!
Good advice, self.  I will do just that.  Let's start with the heart of the episode; for me, the Dean possession scenes and the ending.  Am I happy that Sam and Dean are finally airing some of their issues?  Absolutely!  Do I think they both have the right to be angry at each other right now?  Yeah, I kind of do.  Sam standing up for Amelia was excellent.  He cared for her, and even if he's mad at Sam for being with her, Dean doesn't have the right to slander her.  Not cool.  So good on Sam for that.  However, the rest of his tirade at the end?  Did not sit well with me.

Here's my main issue: Dean has the right to be upset with his brother until Sam SHOWS him that he's sorry for not looking for Dean.  Sam has told Dean, and us, his reasons for not looking for Dean.  And I can go with that.  But he hasn't shown any emotion behind those reasons!  So they're ringing hollow for me, and Dean, too.  Sam says his world imploded and rained down upon him when Dean was gone, and I believe that is true.  Theoretically.  Because we haven't seen it be true for Sam yet.  And we, and Dean, need to see that.  Until then, it feels like hollow words.

My secondary issue: Dean only airs his grievances when he's supernaturally possessed.  This is never going to allow him to grow as a person if he can't be allowed to say these things while in full control of himself.  So make that happen instead of him getting possessed by a ghost and then not remembering what he said.  Because that feels like a cop-out, and it feels one-sided.

Here's what I want to see happen: Sam and Dean sit down and have a conversation, and Dean tells Sam that he's disappointed because of the demon blood, the Ruby stuff, whatever he needs to say.  And then Sam apologizes for how those things hurt Dean.  That's it.  "Dean, I'm sorry that I hurt you when I did those things."  End of story.  That's literally all that needs to happen.  We, and Dean, know that Sam had good intentions.  I don't even think Dean really cares at this point that Sam set Lucifer free or was a Soulless bastard or whatever else.  Dean's made plenty of mistakes in his time, done plenty of horrible things.  He's still angry because Sam hasn't recognized the impact his actions had on Dean.  I really think this would solve like 90% of their issues.  Sam doesn't need to apologize for his actions.  He's done that.  I'm satisfied with his apologies on that front.  Dean just needs his brother to acknowledge how Sam's actions impacted Dean.  And Sam can do that for him, and I think would want to do that for him.  He just needs to figure it out! 

And then Sam gets to say, "Dean, you're my brother and you know I'd do anything for you, but I can't keep hunting full-time.  My heart's just not in it.  I don't want to cut you out of my life, and I don't want to leave you.  But I want to have a house and a dog and a woman.  I want that.  It will make me happy.  So I want to start doing fewer hunts, have more down time in between.  I'll come if you need me, always.  But I need to do this for me, Dean.  Can we try that, together?  See how it goes?"

Some of this I touched on already, but it's getting late, so I'm just gonna keep these as I wrote them in my notes while I was watching the show.  Here's some open letters to Sam, Dean, and the show.


Dear Sam,
-Your brother has abandoment issues.  Stop playing the "I'm leaving" card.  That just makes him push back harder.
- Are you angry about Benny or do you just want revenge for Amy?  Because threatening to kill Dean's friend seems like revenge.  There's a way to present that argument, and that wasn't it.
- Your world imploding when Dean was gone, and running: okay, that was your breaking point.  I can understand that.  I can.  But you need to SHOW Dean that.  You've been telling him, but the emotion isn't behind it.  So Dean isn't believing that you really just lost it when he was gone.  Remember how you talked about Dean dying at the beginning of season 4?  You were on the verge of tears.  You need to be that brother right now.  You need to make Dean believe that you regret not looking for him, that it was more than just a mistake.  He needs you, and you're not stepping up to the plate.  I know you miss what you had with Amelia, but being there for Dean and having a life with Amelia don't have to be mutually exclusive.  You're a smart guy.  Figure out a way to have both.

Dear Dean,
- I understand that you're angry at Sam about not looking for you.  But you have to stop being passive-aggressive about it.  Sam hates that, and it makes him push back against you.  You need to talk to him about it.  You need to tell him without yelling at him.
- I realize that Benny is a sticky situation for you, but you're always getting pissed at Sam for keeping secrets.  So stop keeping secrets!
- You're never going to get over the feeling of Sam betraying you if you don't talk to him about this shit, Dean!

Dear Show,
- You can't keep having Dean air his grievances and then not let him remember.  That isn't going to help him.  Now Sam is all pissed off at what Dean said, but Dean doesn't know what he said, so he can't move forward.  And Sam got to air his grievances at the end, but Dean didn't.  Now, at least they're starting to talk about these things, but it can't be a one-way street!  And if Dean doesn't remember what he said, it's a one-way street.
- You need to let Sam SHOW and not tell.  Right now, Sam is saying the right things, but he doesn't have any emotion behind it.  So Dean's not getting the message that Sam's world imploded when Dean was gone.  He doesn't think Sam means it.  So he's hurting, and he doesn't have anyone else to turn to, and he's taking it out on Sam.  He feels abandonded, so let Sam be there for his brother.  Because that is going to help BOTH of them.

Okay, now it's bullet point time for the rest of the episode!
  • Dean's line about Benny being the only person who hasn't let him down: foreshadowing or not?
  • "Are you the new Bobby?"  "You shut your mouth!"  "Yes."  "You shut your mouth!"
  • Garth was a dentist, and he killed the tooth fairy!!!!!  I will say, I like Garth.  One or two episodes a year with him is fine with me.  He's kind of like a sweet palate cleanser after all the angst.
  • I keep going back and forth on Amelia.  One week I like her, the next I don't.  This week, I didn't.
  • I love the idea of Bobby belonging to everyone.  He was amazing and touched so many lives, and I MISS BOBBY SO MUCH!!!!
  • Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, Bobby!
  • "Burn a Confederate Soldier's bones in a town full of rednecks? Sure."  Point for Sam.
  • "We won."  10 points for Dean.  That was so bitchy.  I loved it.
  • Garth doesn't have any grudges!  Garth, you are precious.  Let me hug you, sir.
  • I was obsessed with Soundgarden for a while in junior high, so I really liked hearing "Fell On Black Days" over the coin montage.
  • Cass is back next week!  This makes me extremely happy!!!!!!!!
And that's a wrap.  What did you think of the episode?  Did you like the brotherly moments or not?  Remember, this is a free commenting zone, but please be respectful.  We admins will still edit your comments if they are out of line!  Thanks in advance for not making us do so!

UPDATE: Hi, everyone!  I'd love to be more responsive to the comments this week, but with my in-laws in town, I don't have time!  Blast!  So keep up the great discussion, and I'll catch you guys after the next episode (when I'll be in-law free.  I love them, but not a lot of commenting time, ha.)  I appreciate the feedback about the reviews, as always.

Comments  

Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-11-08 02:34
Thank you for this! I feel exactly the same way. I enjoyed much of the episode for the first time in a while. I was so disappointed when it became clear that Dean's venting was the result of possession. I also found myself relieved to finally hear something from Sam that could be a real answer for why he did not look for Dean, his world imploded and he did what us not OOC for Sam as a character, he ran. I am actually ok with that. It's maybe not heroic, not what Dean would have done, or even Sam in years past, but I get it. But I have the same problem you and Dean have, I don't feel it. Even the flash back was pure exposition. Not just the world imploding comment, but even the Sam and Amelia getting together part, we saw or felt none of it. The character of Amelia is doing nothing for me for that reason. I also happen to think that there is no chemistry between the actors, but it is more an issue of story telling. The whole, shall we talk about the people we lost, rang so false to me, again it had no feeling, it was pure exposition. I almost feel as if it would have been a better choice to have Sam make peace with his loss on his own, truly alone.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-11-08 02:41
I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. I really liked it and I'm not a fan of Adam Glass. I thought the cast, director and crew did a fantastic job and finally, I've got several episodes that I want to re-watch before next week. Sadly, that was not the case last year. Also, I'm looking forward to the next episode and the return of our favorite "nerdy" angel.
Kristina
# Kristina 2012-11-08 03:09
So I thought this episode was good. I feel that the boys finally started to deal with some of the issues from the end of season 7. I think that Dean will never be the person to sit down and talk with Sam about his feelings. If you think back to when Dean came back from Hell it took him a while to finally tell Sam what happened. Dean just doesn't like to share. He has to come to it in his own time and I don't think he is there yet.

I agree Dean has abandonment issues and he feels like Sam abandoned him for a year. Yes Sam has not really shown any emotions about why he walked away (to Dean at least) but I feel like he did transfer some of his co-dependancy on to Amelia. I think Sam felt that he was truely alone for the first time in his life and he latched onto the first person that let him in.

As far as them always having these emotional moments outside the Impala, its because the Impala is a connection. They have had that car their whole lifes and it is the one thing that still connects them together. They are so removed from being brothers now that the Impala is the only real proof that they are family, besides their last name of course.

I feel that if the writers don't find a way to bring them back together the show may not survive. The thing that I have loved from the beginning is the connection between them and that is totally gone now. They are always bickering and fighting and they don't even care about each other the same way anymore. This show has always been about the brothers and for the last 3 seasons (counting season 8 at this point) we have had nothing in the way of connection from them. Its like they both forgot what they are fighting for. Why they hunt. It was never about being forced into this life or even about doing it because it was the right thing to do to save people. It was about a family that has the skills and knowledge to hunt the things that go bump in the night.

Having said that I do not believe that Sam or Dean could ever walk away from hunting if the other is still alive. For example I don't see Sam being able to go back to Amelia or whatever type of "normal" life if Dean is alive and still hunting. Sam would be worried about his brother and would want to be with him. Sam would feel guilty for leaving the weight of the world on Dean's shoulders. And the same goes true the other way. Yes Sam never wanted this life but the thing is he has it and he needs to deal with that. Neither of them will ever be able to have a normal life because neither of them is normal. Thats just the way it is and was always going to be. They are hunters, its who they are, its in their blood. I think the real thing that they want when they say "normal" life is that they want to have people in their lives that they don't have to put in danger because of their job. They want a connection to other people besides their family (Cas, Bobby, each other, etc.).

Lastly (this is turning out to be far longer than I expected), Benny is a whole can of worms all his own. The fact that Dean even brought him back in the first place raised a red flag for me. That is not how Dean works!! He has always been against the whole befriend the monsters thing. When Sam did it with Ruby he was pissed. Dean comes back from Purgatory and all of the sudden he lets a werewolf go and then he brings Benny back?! WTF!!! Something happened in Purgatory that we have yet to see, that brought on this drastic change to Dean. To me I think that is what is bothering Sam the most and why he keeps saying that he wants to leave. I think on a subconcious level Sam knows there is something different with Dean but he can't quite put his finger on it.

Ok I'm done ranting and raving now. But just a final thought, I love this show and I love all of these characters. I am very pleased with this season so far and I really feel like we are going somewhere with it. I did not feel that way with the last 2 seasons. So I hope I'm right and I can't wait for next Wednesday!!!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 05:46
Quote:
Lastly (this is turning out to be far longer than I expected), Benny is a whole can of worms all his own. The fact that Dean even brought him back in the first place raised a red flag for me. That is not how Dean works!!
Well he has gotten over what is dead should stay dead for Benny. Monster or not, Benny was dead and bringing people (since Benny got out on the technicality that he was once human) has never really worked out. But hey, Benny is a better brother than Sam so yay for that.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-08 03:26
I hated this ep. So heartbroken about the state of my once favourite show that I'm finding it hard to articulate my opinions. I posted this on another board. It will do for now until I'm able to gather my thoughts a bit more.

The awful way the brothers are relating to each other is taking all the enjoyment out of the show for me. That Dean actually said Benny was more of a brother to him than Sam had ever been? That he accused soulless Sam, which wasn't even really Sam, of betraying him. And that it looks like - much as it breaks my heart to say it - Sam really didn't look for Dean. I'm not seeing any way back from this. There's been conflict in the past, but never anything as insurmountable as this. I feel like the show is losing its touchstone and I am falling out of love with it. I can't remember the last moment of the show I actually enjoyed, and this week was the worst of the season for me.

I am very sad right now. But also I am mystified. Why are the writers doing this? They are bigging up Benny as Dean's true brother - a betrayal of everything we have seen on the 7 years of the show so far. And they are making Sam irredeemably unlike able, disloyal, selfish, cowardly, and a terrible brother. How can that ever be in the interests of the show? And they appear to be clearly ruling out the only way to save Sam's character - which would be revealing that he had looked or played a role in Dean's escape. They are working hard both on and offscreen (through interviews etc) to show that it is what it is. Sam abandoned Dean for a girl and a dog! I'm not seeing any way back from this. If Dean forgives Sam it only makes him look even more the hero but does nothing the equalise the relationship or redeem Sam. If Sam now saves Dean from something else, how would that help? He's saved him loads of times, but there is still this huge pile of baggage and betrayal on the other side of the scales that can't be scrubbed away. If Sam says 'sorry' it doesn't wipe away the betrayal, or stop the unequal nature of the relationship (that Dean loves Sam more than Sam loves Dean - something I've never believed but that the show is forcing me to accept) from being on display for all to see forever.

These decisions appear so counter to the best interests of the show. Ive never subscribed to the accusations of favouritism in the writers towards one of the characters, but the assassination of Sam, the lameness and emotional vacuum of his backstory, and the huge bigging up of Benny and (I'm predicting based on spoilers for next few eps) Cas as exclusively related to Dean is making me doubt whether the writers know what to do with Sam. I'm trying to keep faith that the writers have a plan, but I'm struggling!

And there are other issues. The writing is dreadful; repetitive (the trope of honesty only under supernatural influence has been done to death eg Asylum, S&V), full of anvils (the warring brothers in the civil war...ok we get it), ooc behaviour (Sam has no right to be p****d about Benny and I don't believe he would be). Dean doesn't really believe (please say no) that Benny is a better brother than Sam). The ghost story was pretty boring. How many more times will a blood spatter on the wall be a cheap sfx get-out.

Please someone help me regain some faith that there has to be something better than this in the future of the show.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 05:51
Wish I could help you feel like things will get better, but I've pretty well given up. Sam is bad, cowardly, neglectful and in this episode they made absolutely certain that all we see of Sam is his mistakes while all we see of Dean is how hurt he was by Sam. Right now, if they announced they were writing Sam out, I don't think I would care. I will never see Sam not looking for Dean as anything other than character assassination.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-11-08 12:51
I think that Benny will be Dean's Ruby. As for all the things that Dean said to Sam, it reminded me of the times that Sam has said similar things and all the while he was possessed by something that had him relay his "feelings" to Dean. Bearing that in mind, I'm going to say that I think that Dean does feel a lot of what he vocalized but that it was "amped" up by the ghost and the ghost's feelings. I really think that now Dean has almost all his cards on the table. (there's still that issue of what happened to Cas that needs to be resolved) However, Sam hasn't come clean yet. I think he resolved a lot of his issues by using Amelia as his sounding board and confiding in her as anyone would do with their partner. After all, anyone who falls for one of boys finds out that they come with a lot of emotional baggage and I'm sure Amelia was exposed to it. Now, Sam needs to do the same with Dean. He needs to come clean about all his experiences during the past year. Sam needs to explain how he got to the place he is now and his reasoning behind it just like when he finally confessed to Dean about Ruby. Only then will Dean begin to understand and both brothers can move forward.

Oh, and as for myself, I'm really liking this season so far. I've got all the episodes saved on my DVR and have re-watched them several times. I can't say the same for the last two seasons. I only saved a few episodes of them and re-watched about 5 total. The rest were okay to watch with just a single showing. That's not the case this year. :-)
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-08 14:27
I agree with your comment completly. I also think Benny is Dean's Ruby. The difference in how I see it unfold is that he won't outright betray Dean but that he will revert to his vampiric (is that a word?) nature. Forcing Sam or Dean to kill him. If that happens I hope it will be Dean, and this will sound weird, because he cares for him. Not Sam because it would just add to the problems between them.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-08 14:37
GG, I don't know what to say except, maybe if we complain enough they'll fix things. Sera pretty much assassinated Cas's character, but she eventually redeemed him. It's not too late for Carver to actually come up with a good reason for Sam's arc, if he doesn't have one now. The only thing that gives me a smidgeon of hope that he does, is the mysterious figure watching Sam and Amelia's place in the first episode.

I think even if they just didn't assassinate Sam's character, I could be okay with everything else. But what they're doing with Sam is preventing me from enjoying the rest. I really liked the episode (even though I agree, it was repetitive) until the flashbacks and the fighting started. Then I just wanted to throw my remote at the TV.

We're in the same boat. The question is, do we go down with the ship or bail? I haven't decided yet. I'll be heartbroken either way. So let's hope this baby floats. I'm going to give it a while longer to correct course and steer away from the iceberg. (Sorry for the labored boat metaphor.)
luciano
# luciano 2012-11-08 15:38
I am SICK of people Complaining about the brothers. BROTHERS FIGHT FULL STOP. Dean had every right to say what he did and so did Sam. They are brothers they've been through shit get over it. This episode was brilliant.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-08 16:26
I have no problem with brothers fighting. I really enjoyed all the previous seasons in which they fought. I have a problem with them being out of character, and the things they are fighting about now are out of character.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 17:05
That is where I am. They have always fought and I don't hate it. I hate it when the characters have to be twisted in order to set up the fights.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-09 00:35
Damn! You're right!
KS Winchester
# KS Winchester 2012-11-09 21:23
Can't agree with you more.
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-11-08 16:54
Finally, a voice of reason! Thanks luciano! :P
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-08 17:20
Except that he missed the point. We're not complaining that they're fighting. We're criticizing what they're fighting about.

Sam would never desert Dean when he's in mortal danger, and Sam has always been the champion of giving supernatural creatures the benefit of the doubt. So when they fight about Benny and Sam leaving Dean to die, they're fighting about things that are completely out of character.
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-11-08 17:02
Quote:
I am SICK of people Complaining about the brothers. BROTHERS FIGHT FULL STOP. Dean had every right to say what he did and so did Sam. They are brothers they've been through shit get over it. This episode was brilliant.
Yes brothers fight and then the Winchester Brothers fight two completely different things. And then you throw Benny into the mix and you have a time bomb ready to go off. Dean turns around and says someone is a better brother than you have ever been then you are going onto something different for both characters .
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-11-13 09:01
Geordiegirl1967 - If you "need" to find a way to engage the show with less sadness, try opening up to the notion of a "covert story". I'm really pretty sure there's one going on. And along those lines, if anyone knows of a place where people are discussion SPN on that level, please let me know. No one at my current "haunt" is interested. I really, really wish I could find one or more someones to bounce this kind of spec/analysis back and forth with.
st50
# st50 2012-11-13 09:50
Quote:
And along those lines, if anyone knows of a place where people are discussion SPN on that level, please let me know. No one at my current "haunt" is interested. I really, really wish I could find one or more someones to bounce this kind of spec/analysis back and forth with.
Hey racestaffer -
Head on over to the "Extended vacation" thread. Some of us there are desperately searching for an explanation of S8. Don't know what your "covert story" is, but I might be interested in hearing it.
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-11-13 10:01
THANKS!
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-11-08 03:38
I wish I could but I am not understanding it myself . Throwing up Soulless Sam was low has if that was Sam's fault and again it comes down to Dean's problems . IMO and I know there are those who dont agree but at least this is how I feel they have changed who Sam is to fit into a sl and this is just Jeremy's version of season 4.
luciano
# luciano 2012-11-08 15:40
He was possessed it was meant to be low
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-09 01:29
Dean has a habit of blaming himself for everything under sun (which has kind of made me insensitive to Dean's complaints)...H e cannot forgive Sam and Blames Sam again nothing new there.
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-08 03:57
Ardeospina, thanks again for staying up and doing this. I'm feeling pretty middle of the road on this one. Didn't love or hate. I did not like the fact that Dean aired his grievances under supernaturally controlled circumstances either ,even though I could see it coming after the promo. Not at all satisfying. Sam is still being so oddly detached from it all, even when angry. I'm glad he held his ground but I really really hope there is more to the story. The spectre thing was ok but it seemed like it was just written to give Dean the opportunity to vent, but to what end? Been there. It gets so muddled in that -how much is how he REALLY feels and how much is magnification of long forgiven issues?

Garth is sweet but too much of him could get old fast. Call me cynical but I am gun shy about all likable characters now. Longevity is not in the cards for most of them. Benny are you listening?

Just an ok episode for me.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 05:54
Quote:
The spectre thing was ok but it seemed like it was just written to give Dean the opportunity to vent, but to what end?
So that when Dean does choose brother Benny over Sam, even though Benny starts eating people we can all give a sigh of relief that Dean has finally rejected Sam the most awful person in the world? And then we can cheer Dean on.
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-08 11:25
I am really hoping that is not the endgame. In my mind I don't feel that Dean feels as hateful as he came across. It was amplified by the ghost to murderous proportions. I think he has lingering problems with feeling betrayed, no doubt. But I think he has forgiven Sam for those things. Not forgotten mind you. I would not be a happy camper if things evolve in the way you think. I also believe that Dean loves his brother very much and his talking about Benny being a better brother came from feeling abandoned. I still have hope they(the show) can make this right.
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-08 04:33
Quote:
I hated this ep. So heartbroken about the state of my once favourite show that I'm finding it hard to articulate my opinions. I posted this on another board. It will do for now until I'm able to gather my thoughts a bit more.

The awful way the brothers are relating to each other is taking all the enjoyment out of the show for me. That Dean actually said Benny was more of a brother to him than Sam had ever been? That he accused soulless Sam, which wasn't even really Sam, of betraying him. And that it looks like - much as it breaks my heart to say it - Sam really didn't look for Dean. I'm not seeing any way back from this. There's been conflict in the past, but never anything as insurmountable as this. I feel like the show is losing its touchstone and I am falling out of love with it. I can't remember the last moment of the show I actually enjoyed, and this week was the worst of the season for me.

I am very sad right now. But also I am mystified. Why are the writers doing this? They are bigging up Benny as Dean's true brother - a betrayal of everything we have seen on the 7 years of the show so far. And they are making Sam irredeemably unlike able, disloyal, selfish, cowardly, and a terrible brother. How can that ever be in the interests of the show? And they appear to be clearly ruling out the only way to save Sam's character - which would be revealing that he had looked or played a role in Dean's escape. They are working hard both on and offscreen (through interviews etc) to show that it is what it is. Sam abandoned Dean for a girl and a dog! I'm not seeing any way back from this. If Dean forgives Sam it only makes him look even more the hero but does nothing the equalise the relationship or redeem Sam. If Sam now saves Dean from something else, how would that help? He's saved him loads of times, but there is still this huge pile of baggage and betrayal on the other side of the scales that can't be scrubbed away. If Sam says 'sorry' it doesn't wipe away the betrayal, or stop the unequal nature of the relationship (that Dean loves Sam more than Sam loves Dean - something I've never believed but that the show is forcing me to accept) from being on display for all to see forever.

These decisions appear so counter to the best interests of the show. Ive never subscribed to the accusations of favouritism in the writers towards one of the characters, but the assassination of Sam, the lameness and emotional vacuum of his backstory, and the huge bigging up of Benny and (I'm predicting based on spoilers for next few eps) Cas as exclusively related to Dean is making me doubt whether the writers know what to do with Sam. I'm trying to keep faith that the writers have a plan, but I'm struggling!

And there are other issues. The writing is dreadful; repetitive (the trope of honesty only under supernatural influence has been done to death eg Asylum, S&V), full of anvils (the warring brothers in the civil war...ok we get it), ooc behaviour (Sam has no right to be p****d about Benny and I don't believe he would be). Dean doesn't really believe (please say no) that Benny is a better brother than Sam). The ghost story was pretty boring. How many more times will a blood spatter on the wall be a cheap sfx get-out.

Please someone help me regain some faith that there has to be something better than this in the future of the show.
Geordiegirl you have very cohesively said what every single brain cell of mine has been screaming about the show.
Why are they even working together. Sam doesn't want to work with Dean and Dean feels betrayed and finds Benny more of a brother for him than Sam. I'm sorry this is not the show I feel in love it. Sam and Dean are practically strangers, and with each passing episode I see no hope of a fix.
R.I.P Brotherhood. :cry:

I'm really despondent right now and like you I would love if someone could restore my faith cause it has become increasingly difficult to hold on to it.

Quote:
I wish I could but I am not understanding it myself . Throwing up Soulless Sam was low has if that was Sam's fault and again it comes down to Dean's problems . IMO and I know there are those who dont agree but at least this is how I feel they have changed who Sam is to fit into a sl and this is just Jeremy's version of season 4.
I completely agree
mer
# mer 2012-11-08 05:46
I saw the show last night only once (I usually watch an episode at least two times before commenting).

My key issues are these:

I too don't like the possession angle regarding Dean's venting toward Sam. It's become too cliche and was predictable how Garth was there to intervene. Further, there are other factors involved in this situation but it upsets me to think back on how John and Bobby were able to fight the possession when attacking Dean in past episodes and Bobby attacking Sam in that season 7 episode.

Yes, Sam couldn't get a handle on Meg when he was hurting Dean or the ghost in Asylum but he did get control of Lucifer. I don't know, maybe this is a non point but it saddened me to see Dean unable to break free in last night's episode.

Then again, maybe Dean was fighting it because he was more verbal and the other possessed characters really didn't give their victims much time before they were killed.

Still, over all I enjoy watching.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-08 06:31
I was reading the comments from this week and, based on this episode, people were right: Dean learned to live with a betrayal (Sam, Cas etc), but never forgot it. He holds a grudge. This is not good, for himself and for the ones he holds his grudge against. It taints the relationships, and I'm guessing Sam feels it. What can he do that will be enough for Dean? He can't rewrite the past!

He loves Sam, but it will never be the same as before if he doesn't let it go! Either he learns to get over it or in 37 years it will be the same shit over and over (like the lady and her husband).

No wonder Dean needs a supernatural intervention to talk. Nobody, since the end of season 4, can make him talk, even Bobby wasn't able to produce the miracle. And Sam needs someone to talk to, someone that will listen!

It's easy to compare Sam with Benny. Dean has known Benny for only a year! There is no long history between them - it's like a new love, when all is sunny and rosy and beautiful and sweet, before life bites you in the ass! Has Dean and Benny friendship been tested, I mean, really tested?

Dean, I love you, but you have to grow up!

Those were my impressions from the episode so far. If the show intends to work the issues and clear the air between the brothers I'm a happy girl, even if I have to suffer, and be angry with them and cry through the whole painful, unnerving slow process.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-08 17:02
I totally agree with you vivian. It is hard to get Dean to talk and he really is bad at listening. Though when Sam can get him to listen things do improve, sometimes he even listens to Sam's problems instead of listening to Sam explaining to Dean what Dean's problems are :D
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-08 18:10
Quote:
Though when Sam can get him to listen things do improve, sometimes he even listens to Sam's problems instead of listening to Sam explaining to Dean what Dean's problems are :D
That was funny! And so true...
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-08 06:39
I am hanging onto this show that once absolutely captivated with by my fingernails.

I am disgusted with this episode and the high school writing effort. Quite frankly, I see nothing this season that is any better than SG's S7. Two strong opening episodes and what? What is the story this season for the Winchesters? If it is going to boil down to rinse and repeat storylines with no better resolutions than the first time around, I'm not interested.

Is there a plan this year? Are we supposed to like this Sam? Did I miss Sam's line somewhere along the way where he mentioned to Dean that he was glad he is alive and back?

Why is Sam reacting this way to Benny, who gave up killing humans long before Dean met him, who fought side-by-side with Dean, and who helped him out of Purgatory. Sam knows this.

Once again, the Winchester stood around with their months shut and making faces while a support character was showcased.

Why did Sam and Dean stay to help knowledgeable, competent, smart Garth on a simple ghost possession? It takes three hunters now to do that?

Uh, Sam. Yes, brother fought brother in the Civil War. I would have thought that LSAT killer that you are, you would have known that.

Dean, honey, you don't have to be a doormat. Two suck up speeches in one episode? Really? You can actually get in the car and wave goodbye to Sam and Garth. I won't miss either one of them. Please ask Adam Glass to go with them.

I'll just stop. It's decision time. I hope I can make it to the winter break before I have to decide, but the spoilers aren't looking good for that to happen.
E
# E 2012-11-08 08:09
Hi Ginger,
I didn't feel Sam was reacting to Benny and his vampireness so much as he was responding to Dean's turn around on the monster issue. We as the audience understand better how Dean came to see Benny as an ally and can understand why he's going against his own policy of "if its a monster, you kill it." But Sam doesn't know any of that, because Dean won't talk about it. For Sam, Dean's reversal is out of the blue and a complete contradiction to how he's behaved his whole life prior to this time and how he justified the situation with Amy. So, I can understand why Sam is a little confused and a little angry at what to him seems like a complete reversal of Dean's views on the subject of monsters.

Having said that, I also feel that Dean has a right to change his mind on the subject of monsters; he did go to purgatory after all, and Benny, so far has been an ally and a friend. And Deans willingness to expand his views on this subject shows how he's grown as a person and a hunter. Things are less black and white in some ways for Dean these days, and I think that this is a good move forward for him overall as character. However, if Dean would like Sam to understand his POV, and be supportive, then he has to tell Sam these things too! It bugs the everliving you-know-what out of me that Dean won't tell Sam anything and then gets pissed off at him for not understanding where he's coming from. Ugh.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-08 08:32
I'm not seeing Dean's turn around on monsters at all. I think the turn around happened way back in Bloodlust and was shown many times since then, including letting Lucky the dog go and most recently, Kate. I think both brothers have willing worked with Crowley and Meg to get the job done.

Dean has told Sam that fighting in Purgatory to stay alive was 24/7 every single minute and should be smart enough to know that if Dean trusts Benny, then Benny helped him stay alive. Dean has specifically said that Benny helped get him out. Sam should also know from personal experience that Dean will go beyond the end of this world to save and protect his family and friends. Voluntarily committing suicide to get his soul back should be an indication of that.

All Sam has told Dean about his year off is that he found something and it involved a girl and a dog. Realistically, what is Dean supposed to assume from that.

Even if we are to assume that the purpose of this episode was to kick the brother issues further down the road and in doing that, the ending scene was to have both brothers throw their gauntlet down, why was this episode necessary?

How was the mytharc advanced? IMO, the mytharc should be slowly woven through the episodes so that the last one or two episodes of the season aren't filled with one character's exposition right before he dies to install drama and tension. I saw zero mytharc advancement here.

How were either brothers' characters advanced? What new thing did we learn? Nothing. Old issues with no resollution was what we got.

Why do I need to know that Sam shagged the bitch vet and then they agreed to mutual psychotherapy. That always works well when neither party is emotionally healthy. Why did I need to know that Amelia doesn't want people to feel sorry for her and view her as weak? What does that have to do with Sam's story, or Dean's for that matter?

Personally, I thought the script was a pathetic attempt at scriptwriting.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-09 00:55
Quote:
All Sam has told Dean about his year off is that he found something and it involved a girl and a dog. Realistically, what is Dean supposed to assume from that.
How were either brothers' characters advanced? What new thing did we learn? Nothing. Old issues with no resollution was what we got.
Yes, I still don't understand what is it that Sam did that year. If we don't know anything yet (even when we've been shown the flashback) about it how could Dean (Dean doesn't see any of Sam's FB)?

Quote:
Why do I need to know that Sam shagged the bitch vet and then they agreed to mutual psychotherapy. That always works well when neither party is emotionally healthy. Why did I need to know that Amelia doesn't want people to feel sorry for her and view her as weak? What does that have to do with Sam's story, or Dean's for that matter?

Personally, I thought the script was a pathetic attempt at scriptwriting.
Sam's Flashback still doesn't she a light to WHY didn't he look for Dean. Let me put it in bullet point.

- Sam didn't look for Dean because he didn't have a map and didn't know where to start looking. No one to ask either. -> Why? Sam's smart and resourceful enough to do it. Time after Time has proven that Sam at least tore out the pages to look for Dean. At the time he didn't know who the monster is and he didn't know where Dean gone to after being consumed by the red lights. He got very small information, just like what happen with the God's tablet. But unlike Time after Time Sam didn't even lift a hand to open ONE book?

- Sam hit a dog and met a girl and suddenly he is all dewy eyes at her and trying TOO hard to insert himself in the Vet's life. Taking out her fruits out of her shopping bag? What the hell, Sam? You're creepy. Being all eager to listen to her and invite her to talk to him while all she do is insult him. Huh, double creepy! Bordering on stalker.

- Sam confesses that His world imploded and raining down on him when Dean died. Why don't his world did not implode and raining down on him when Dean was gone in Time after Time. Yet, at the time Lucifer still riding his melon. He should've been more insane at THAT time. More spiraling out of track. But, hey Jody was there and I am sure Jody was still there when Dean was zapped to Purg.

You're right the script is pathetic. And this whole plotline that they choose to tell Sam's story is illogical and out of wack.

I will believe it more if Sam spent the first six month in an asylum because of the side effect of the hallucination that render him incapacitated. Then, he broke out of the asylum and hit a dog. THAT would explain his creepy, stalkeris, and OOC behaviour.
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-11-08 06:51
No Dean doesnt and he can go nothing is stopping him because obviously his grievances are on a different plain to Sam's and blaming Sam for being soulless was the icing on the cake .

Yes Sam is the one who naturally doesnt think enough of his brother to look for him and Dean gets to rattle off his list and despite the fact after everything Sam has been through to bring up old issues was so necessary.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-08 08:42
I don't view this as one brother is right and one brother is wrong, but I do think the big question that is not being addressed, and hasn't been this whole season, is why does Sam stay if he doesn't want to be there.

I get that it was first shown that Sam felt he had somewhat shirked his resonsibility to Kevin, but we are way past that point now. There is a glaring hole in why Sam doesn't:

(1) Go look for Kevin himself if he still feels this responsiblilty, or

(2) Let Dean do it

I have absolutely no problem with Sam not looking for Dean, and I've stated that since the beginning of the season. The whole thing makes perfect sense to me. It doesn't to Dean, though, and that is because (as I said in the post above) the only thing Dean knows about Sam's year off is what Sam told him: He didn't look for him and he found something he had never had before. As far as Dean knows, because Sam hasn't told him otherwise, is that it involved a girl and a dog.

The only thing Sam knows about Dean is that he was fighting 360 degrees every day for a year to stay alive, that Benny helped keep him alive and helped get him out, and that Cas changed and didn't make it out.

How did this episode advance any of that. It didn't. It brought up old issues that have never been resolved and didn't resolve them here.
E
# E 2012-11-08 08:53
Yes Ginger, that's all true, but to be fair, Dean doesn't know any more about Sam's year off or what he went through than Sam knows about Purgatory, and Dean has spent a good amount of time mocking Sam about his year, even though he knows nothing about it. This is a two way street of non-comunicatio n coming from both brothers. It's like Garth said, there'a a lot of 'talk' but no one is listening.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-11-08 09:12
Yes, I've posted in reply to# E above what each brother knows about the others year off as I see it. I also realize that Dean's hurt over thinking Sam dumped him to die is leakage from the extreme hurt that Dean is feeling. Usually, he is better at keeping this stuff buried, but not this time for obvious reasons.

I feel there are far easier and more clever ways for the show to handle the brothers not talking than to dedicate a whole episode to it for the soul purpose of pushing it further down the line. That's my complaint. Besides being useless, the script was extremely elementary -- like little checkboxes off to the side for each scene, not to mention that it was totally unimaginative. The checkbox that was missed, though, was not explaining why Sam just doesn't leave. He's mad, he doesn't want to be there, he doesn't want to hunt any more, he misses Amelia, and he's a big boy with no strings attached. Grown men don't threaten to move on if they don't get their way. By the time they get to the point of saying that, their decision is made.

I also view Sam getting in the car sets up a story for Sam to sneak behind Dean's back and spy on Benny to prove he is right. If so, that will just make Sam look petty.

Personally, I still didn't like the way the Bobby issue was handled. If it is okay for Garth to play at being Bobby 2.0, then this writer has very little understanding of Bobby's character and what the show has spend years building as the relationship of Bobby to the brothers. Dean's tacit approval of that shows just how little Glass doesn't get Dean's character or Bobby's character, IMO.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 09:34
Quote:
Grown men don't threaten to move on if they don't get their way. By the time they get to the point of saying that, their decision is made.
The brothers have been in a deeply bonded codependent relationship for years. Perhaps Sam has made the decision to move on. Perhaps he is trying to let Dean know that Dean is pushing his buttons so he doesn't have to move on.

Yes Dean is hurt and angry and with some justification. But he has been passive aggressively needling Sam for most of this season not about Sam not looking for him but for not wanting to hunt, for failing to find Kevin. It has become a litany of blame and for Sam to say move on or I'll have to isn't threatening to move on if he doesn't get his way. It's saying start treating me better or I'm gone, which is a different thing. If Dean wants to complain that Sam hasn't acted like Sam is happy that Dean is back that would be a valid complaint, but although Dean banged on Soulless!Sam, he never mentioned Sam's distance and disconnect from Dean. Considering everything else that came out, maybe it doesn't bother Dean or maybe Adam Glass is as bad a writer as I think he is.

In any case both Sam and Dean have the right to say you are treating me badly and either cut it out or let's split up. Dean is not stuck with having to be alone if he's unhappy with how Sam treats him. He has his better brother, Benny.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-08 10:30
Exactly!
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-08 10:32
Oh, this was meant to E!
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-08 17:07
Oh yes, Sam gets up and leaves Dean because (for example) he is being nasty. I believe the show calls it 'running away' when Sam does it. That wouldn't cause major outrage from everyone, including Dean.
ryder21
# ryder21 2012-11-08 07:39
I didn't mind this episode and had a chuckle in a few places, especially in relation to the boys reactions to Garth, however...
'So move on or I will', love you Sam but that was a low blow aimed at Dean's abandonment issues. How do you move on from a year in God's armpit, knowing your brother didn't look for you, for whatever reason, surely it must feel like a betrayal. The real Sam (MIA?) would never have stooped this low.

I know Dean hangs on to issues, he forgives though doesn't forget and this is one of his issues, but the writers really need to let Sam SHOW Dean that he missed him and is glad that he is back. This is all Dean needs to know. Please....

Oh, and as much as I appreciate Garth's occasional insightfulness and his willingness to help S&D, he was in control quite a bit on this case. Really boys!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 08:41
They are not going to show Sam missed Dean because he is now the designated bad brother. Nice idea, but probably fruitless.
kaj
# kaj 2012-11-09 01:08
Quote:
I know Dean hangs on to issues, he forgives though doesn't forget and this is one of his issues, but the writers really need to let Sam SHOW Dean that he missed him and is glad that he is back. This is all Dean needs to know. Please....
Ditto!!

The most disturbing of Sam's storyline is that he seems to already write Dean out of his life. He doesn't look very happy that Dean's back.

Dean's dialoq : You always blamed me for dragging you out of the life that you want.

And what Sam said? : That's not true.

You're a LIAR Sam! Your action and what you're saying is not the same. Your body language and your action speak louder than your half-hearted denial over Dean's accusation.

I don't understand. Why don't Sam just said : You're right, Dean. I never want this life. I want to have normal life. (That's what Sam said in Heartache, right?) So, now that you know the truth, goodbye Dean.

It seems like every week I look at a different Sam with different opinion on things.
E
# E 2012-11-08 07:54
Hello. I didn't dislike this episode as much as some of you did. I really like Garth; he's sweet and guileless and refreshingly free of issues which is the point of his presence I feel given the current state of Sam and Deans relationship. So, the things I liked: Garth, the MOW, the fact that Bobby was discussed and that he is missed. I liked the flow and pacing of the episode as well. For a sometimes hit/miss writer like Glass, this was better than usual for him. I liked the Sam FB and the developing relationship with Amelia (I seem to be the only one unfortunately). I like her, yes, she opened up and then she closed down again, just like (gasp) a real person! So, her backstory is mundane, so what? I like it anyway. It's refreshingly simple, which is nice compared to Sam's side of things. I feel for her, I can see why Sam is intrigued by her, and really, he's got no one, so he's reaching out to the first person who has gone beyond treating him like a total stranger.

Things I didn't like so much: Dean has to get possessed to have any kind of honest discussion. So, he's mad at Sam; that's nothing new. He's feeling betrayed, and that's nothing new either. And for the most part, I sympathize with his sense of betrayal, especially for Sam not looking for him, he has a right to be angry about that; it sucks out loud that Sam didn't look for him. But what isn't so justified is this rehashing of old stuff, especially the Soullessness. That's a low blow and unreasonable to boot. Didn't Dean give both Bobby and Sam blanket forgiveness for this stuff in season 6? Yes, I thought that speech was dumb too, but now I find out that it wasn't even honest on Dean's part? Sheesh, way to be a hypocrite. Sam is angry with Dean too, but he doesn't hold grudges and he doesn't throw four year old mistakes into Dean's face. I do not agree with people who think Dean was a doormat in this episode. Sam's been the doormat since episode 1, and he finally, FINALLY stood up for himself here. That doesn't make Dean a doormat, it forces him to realize that his feelings aren't the only feelings out there.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 08:48
Amelia is growing on me. I admit that my big resentment is that Amelia's pain and her back story is getting explored before Sam's. Garth's backstory is getting explored before Sam's. Heck we got more back story on the family that got infected by the curse than we did on Sam. Mary and hubby dated in high school were briefly on a break and hubby dated a girl who put out for him the night of prom. Hubby then came to his senses, married Mary had asthmatic son. Asthmatic son loved his parents, founded a business with a friend and the business failed. Sam hit a dog and met a girl.

I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the Sam thread, because I'm not happy.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2012-11-08 09:08
Quote:
Hello. I didn't dislike this episode as much as some of you did. I really like Garth; he's sweet and guileless and refreshingly free of issues which is the point of his presence I feel given the current state of Sam and Deans relationship. So, the things I liked: Garth, the MOW, the fact that Bobby was discussed and that he is missed. I liked the flow and pacing of the episode as well. For a sometimes hit/miss writer like Glass, this was better than usual for him. I liked the Sam FB and the developing relationship with Amelia (I seem to be the only one unfortunately). I like her, yes, she opened up and then she closed down again, just like (gasp) a real person! So, her backstory is mundane, so what? I like it anyway. It's refreshingly simple, which is nice compared to Sam's side of things. I feel for her, I can see why Sam is intrigued by her, and really, he's got no one, so he's reaching out to the first person who has gone beyond treating him like a total stranger.

Things I didn't like so much: Dean has to get possessed to have any kind of honest discussion. So, he's mad at Sam; that's nothing new. He's feeling betrayed, and that's nothing new either. And for the most part, I sympathize with his sense of betrayal, especially for Sam not looking for him, he has a right to be angry about that; it sucks out loud that Sam didn't look for him. But what isn't so justified is this rehashing of old stuff, especially the Soullessness. That's a low blow and unreasonable to boot. Didn't Dean give both Bobby and Sam blanket forgiveness for this stuff in season 6? Yes, I thought that speech was dumb too, but now I find out that it wasn't even honest on Dean's part? Sheesh, way to be a hypocrite. Sam is angry with Dean too, but he doesn't hold grudges and he doesn't throw four year old mistakes into Dean's face. I do not agree with people who think Dean was a doormat in this episode. Sam's been the doormat since episode 1, and he finally, FINALLY stood up for himself here. That doesn't make Dean a doormat, it forces him to realize that his feelings aren't the only feelings out there.
Yes, I was so happy to see Sam finally stand up to Dean.
Dean's been discounting Sam's feelings from the beginning as if he is the only one who has them and everyone has to have the same ones as he does. So it was good to see that. And long overdue for me.
At least Amelia wasn't as much a bitch this episode.
However, this was just a remake of Asylum from the opposite side. I'm glad Sam didn't let things go and had his say.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-11-08 08:29
Okay, I'm going to do my best to give you my first impression of this episode. On first viewing, I kind of liked it. I didn't mind a Garth heavy episode, he doesn't bother me, but neither do I want to see him too often. Dean is right, Bobby he isn't and will never be. And I'm kind of jealous, Garth gets to hug Dean so many times. The MOTW was okay, but I thought it took a backseat to the overall arch, i.e., Dean airing his grievances with Sam.

Now, for the heavy handed part. The strife between the Winchesters is really tearing me apart. The fact that Dean only seems to be able to air his grievances under supernatural influence didn't really bother me that much. This is a guy who cannot share his feelings with anyone, never has and probably never will. And remember in "And Then There Were None" the whole blanket apology at Rufus's grave? I do believe he ment it, but he does have a strange way of showing it. Now, Sam's venting on the other hand felt like a stretch to me. The whole scene at the end, I just don't know. I'm sorry, words aren't coming to me for that one. I believe you're right Ardeo, Sam needs to explain to Dean the whole reasoning about his year without him and how much it devastated him. I'm worried that if the writers keep going down this road, that there will be no redemption for these two. :cry:
E
# E 2012-11-08 09:14
Hi Sylvie,
I believe that the story arc regarding the brother's conflict is quite even; at least I think the writers intended for it to be. Neither brother has been forthcoming about their year, and they both need to talk to one another about it because they are both reacting to what they DON'T know. However, I see a big problem with both how those stories are being presented to the fans and also in the fan reaction to the stories. We have seen a LOT more of Purgatory then we have seen of Amelia. The purgatory FB are clear and concise, the relationships set up there show how and why Dean is behaving the way he is and why he hooked up with Benny. His reactions seem logical to me given his circumstances. He's angry about a lot of things and he has a right to be.

Sam's story is oblique, mysterious, we still have no idea what really went on; heck we don't even know if Amelia is even real. There has been no explanation as to the how's and why's of their relationship or why it is so important to Sam. No wonder Dean can't see it, and neither can the fans. We only have Sam's word for what went on and just about nothing has been shown. That's clearly not good enough for Dean as we have seen, and its not good enough for the fans either as many are screaming for Sam to explain himself to Dean. But SAM doesn't know any of what we know about Purgatory! No one seems to realize this. Sam is in the dark in ways that the fandom is not. He needs an explanation just as much as Dean does, but because we already know so much more about purgatory, Sam's demands come across as unreasonable and pushy. And because we know so little about Sam's normal life, the lack of detail looks like secretiveness. Slam one and slam two to Sam and sympathy all around for Dean. :(

There was a lovely, telling little throw away moment while Sam, Dean and Garth were at the restaurant. Garth asks Dean how he got out of purgatory and as Dean shifts and evades and tries to figure out how not to talk about it, you can see Sam in the background and out of focus giving Dean a very clear "yeah Dean, how DID you get out of purgatory" look. I think that reaction should have been front and center, because it's the only indication in weeks that we have gotten that Sam doesn't know anything about anything, and that he deserves to know just as much as Dean deserves to know and that they are both right and both unreasonable.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-08 10:56
Quote:
Hi Sylvie,
But SAM doesn't know any of what we know about Purgatory! No one seems to realize this. Sam is in the dark in ways that the fandom is not. He needs an explanation just as much as Dean does, but because we already know so much more about purgatory, Sam's demands come across as unreasonable and pushy. And because we know so little about Sam's normal life, the lack of detail looks like secretiveness. Slam one and slam two to Sam and sympathy all around for Dean. :(

There was a lovely, telling little throw away moment while Sam, Dean and Garth were at the restaurant. Garth asks Dean how he got out of purgatory and as Dean shifts and evades and tries to figure out how not to talk about it, you can see Sam in the background and out of focus giving Dean a very clear "yeah Dean, how DID you get out of purgatory" look. I think that reaction should have been front and center, because it's the only indication in weeks that we have gotten that Sam doesn't know anything about anything, and that he deserves to know just as much as Dean deserves to know and that they are both right and both unreasonable.
You are absolutely right, E.

I noticed that properly on my second watch- the moment Garth asks Dean that question, Sam sits up straight and looks at Dean. And then Dean changes the subject immediately. I was like- yes, HE doesn't know that either, care to explain, Dean?

The fandom should realize that Sam doesn't know jack about Purgatory. We've seen that it's crazy, mortal combat zone, but all Sam knows is Dean's new found sympathy towards monsters, and Dean's new BFF Benny. It's logical then that Benny will annoy Sam- because Dean's taken a 180 on sympathetic monsters now. And his blowout s're apeech at the end strengthens the argument that he is pissed at Dean for keeping secrets especially in regard to his relations with Benny. And that too after the "Benny's been a better brother to me this past year than you've ever been" line. Sam's smarting from that, why WOULDN'T he be?

I think we are all a little caught up on Sam not looking for Dean and thus not seeing the other side. Both brothers need to come clean.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-11-08 11:15
Responding to E: I do love the scene in the restaurant. I'm wondering what Dean told Sam about Benny since Sam has now met him. Not much, I'd wager. I think Sam's flashbacks are so devoid of information on purpose, at least I hope so, because we are right there with Dean not knowing. Same goes for Sam and Dean's time in Purgatory. These two boys need to sit down with a marriage councelor! :D Maybe then, the truth would start pouring out in a more healthy manner with less fisticuffs.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-08 11:54
Dean has basically said NOTHING to Sam except that Benny is his friend, and helped him get topside. Because Sam says in the beginning of this episode that Dean hadnt said a word to him since the island.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-11-08 12:34
Thanks, I must have missed that. Like I said, I have to do a second watch. I'm so tired by 9 p.m., it's all I can do to keep my eyes open. But I like to see it live nonetheless. ;-)
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-09 12:09
"you're right Ardeo, Sam needs to explain to Dean the whole reasoning about his year without him and how much it devastated him"

Oh sure, as if anything Sam could say at this point would satisfy Dean.
Dean has held on to all his other resentments for years, why not this one?
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-09 13:16
That sadly is the one thing that Sam can take from this episode, that Dean will never ever forgive him for his "betrayals" even in the cases like Soulless!Sam where they weren't betrayals at all.
MelT
# MelT 2012-11-08 09:31
It's so strange how different people see different things. It's interesting to me that people didn't like Sam's anger at the end. I LOVED it. I felt that he has silently taken crap from Dean since he got back. Probably understanding purgatory was tough for him.

I have DirectV so the fight was mostly garbled, but Sam coming back soulless was not Sam's fault. That's was Dean's buddy Cas. Plus, Sam's been in hell for 180 years since then hasn't he? Dean might should let it go.

I don't see either brother being the "bad brother" this season. Dean tried to kill Kevin's mother. That's not heroic. Sam didn't look for Dean, not heroic. Although, I will ask the question Sam should ask Dean and has. How should he have looked for you? How do you see that happening? Dean was dead basically.

Over all enjoyed this episode although now I have to buy it from itunes to see the fight! I was surprised I like Garth, as I normally hate him. Finally saw something in Amelia I liked. Glad Sam declared himself a grown up and that Dean started to figure out just a little that it isn't all about him all the time (Ie everyone lost Bobby).
E
# E 2012-11-08 20:40
I agree MelT. I liked Sam laying down the line too. He's been taking crap from Dean all season long and he finally lay down some ground rules for what he's willing and not willing to take from now on. I think that this was in response to Dean's "Benny has been a better brother than you" comment which I am sure hurt. To me, Sam's response seemed logical and appropriate.

The thing about Dean's outburst that really bugs me though is that he gets the loophole of it being under the influence of a supernatural being, which absolves him of responsibility for what he said. He gets to say it, mean it then forget it? What a cop-out IMO. These are all things Dean NEEDS to say, so why not have him say them? I guess it's because the PTB are not ready for the big confrontation, but wanted to remind us what the problems are (well, at least on Dean's side anyway, I still don't know what Sam would like to tell Dean). And we'll get to them later I suppose.
Beanie06
# Beanie06 2012-11-08 09:55
Okay,

I watched the show last night and I need some help figuring out the whole Dean blames Sam for being soul-less issue.

I must have not have understood it the way others have viewed it.

I took from that exchange that Dean blamed soul-less Sam for not telling him when he was back like he told Bobby. (or however Bobby found out.) Had Sam told him then, Dean would have figured how that much sooner Sam wasn't Sam and gotten his soul back sooner, thereby preventing him from hunting with the Campbells.

No?

I'm more confused after this episode this season then ever:

I don't understand why Sam hasn't left Dean to find Kevin on his own if the Kevin issue is what he wants to finish before returning to a life without hunting.

Why do all these side hunts with Dean when he so obviously doesn't want to? No one is making him. So, is it loyalty and affection to Dean?

I don't know why Sam left Amelia if he didn't know Dean was back.

I don't know why, (Dean's abandonment issues aside) after hearing Sam say he doesn't want to be with him hunting, wants a 'normal' life and doesn't approve of Benny, Dean simply doesn't tell Sam to go ahead and move on.

I have so many thoughts in my head about what is/might be/could be going on this season, I can't even put them to words.

I'm with those of you holding out hope there is a reason behind Sam's attitude and anger. There has to be, Lord, let there be! Maybe the backstory with Amelia will eventually clue us in.

I used to sit with bowl of popcorn and milkshake, eagerly awaiting the clock to tick down and the weeks show to begin. I even went out and bought a recordable DVR player to record the show if I had to miss it.

Now, hey, if I catch it good, it not, it'll be available on-line. I still never miss an episode and I will continue to watch, if only to have my questions answered, but the giddy feeling of enjoyment has taken a leave of absence.
E
# E 2012-11-08 20:49
Hi Beanie06,
Here's my take on it. If Dean had only been ranting about Soulless Sam leaving Dean in the dark about his return, then I think that his anger would have been fair, but he went on to blame him for hunting with Sampa Campbell and even for some of the less than noble things Soulless Sam did while Soulless. To me this is an incredibly low blow. Sam spent all of season 5 repenting for his mistakes of season 4, and tried so very hard to win back Dean's trust and affection. His decision to throw himself into the pit was partly born out his understanding his responsibility for is role in releasing him in the first place, and partly (a large part IMHO) to prove to Dean that he was sorry and to try and get Deans forgiveness. Then Cas comes along, tries to rescue Sam from the pit, but screws it up, bringing Sam back incomplete and without his soul. This is hardly his fault and is a direct result of his sacrifice. Now Dean is blaming him for it???? Sheesh. I was so surprised to find that Dean's been carrying resentment for Soulless Sam around, as he was the one who kept making excuses for Soulless Sam's behavior when Sam himself wanted to take responsibility for it. That's my take on it, although it's only one opinion. I hope that this helps! :lol:
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2012-11-08 10:40
I'm surprised I'm about to write this, because I have been enjoying the season for the most part up until now, but I'm starting to wonder (and not in a good way) where this story is going.

The episode itself, for me, was pretty interesting, and at least there was some emotion between Sam and Dean. However, this rift seems curious to me. Jeremy Carver spoke at Comic-Con of how you talk to someone differently when you are in high school vs. 10 years later, i.e., you mature and are able to express yourself more appropriately. But as Ardeospina pointed out, neither brother is acknowledging the other one's perspective or position, which is rule number one in effective, mature communication.

Perhaps this storyline is taking us to this mature self-disclosure and understanding of one another's positions, but I think it is important to do it at the right pace. Too slow, and the audience can (rightfully so, in my opinion) get very frustrated. I think that is what’s happening now. So much has been unexplained. Even just from these posts on this Let’s Speculate article, many people have lots of questions that have not been addressed at all so far this season. I know everything can’t be answered all at once, but a fine line can be walked between making the audience want to know more vs make the audience throw their hands up in frustration.

If all this tension between the brothers is going to get resolved in some big, emotionally satisfying way, I feel like we may need to see some of that ---like right now! For me, even when there is tension, there has to be SOME "showy" evidence (and not just interpretation on the part of the audience, i.e., oh, we know Sam and Dean love each other) that the brothers' bond continues and they feel a sense of loyalty to one another. Yes, I know it is there. But I want to see it, since this is TV and part of the draw is the depiction of the heart and souls of beloved characters. I want to SEE Sam and Dean's bond. And again, because this is TV, I want to see it this season, not just rely on previous seasons (for example, 1-3, not exclusively-jus t an example) to remind me. Also, it has to be shown in more than just Dean being touched that Sam ordered him a burger, or by showing Sam nervous about Dean being alone in a vamp’s nest. I need something deeper shown, even along the lines of “I’m not leaving my brother alone out there.”

I have hope that this situation between the brothers will turn into something that is satisfying for me as a viewer (speaking only for myself), which means that Sam and Dean would find their way back to each other and be invested in one another, even if other people are in their lives. However, I think care must be taken to not bring the boys to such a brink in terms of their decisions (Sam not looking for Dean, Dean being secretive about Purgatory and Benny) that it will be very difficult to bring them back.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-08 10:46
This will be long, apologies in advance.
I went into this episode kind of disbelieving the promo. I was pretty sure Dean would be pointing that gun at someone else, and the CW is just playing with us, so surprise there! And being an Adam Glass episode, I was all prepared to dislike this one too. Surprise again.
To say I LOVED it would be too much, but I kind of really liked it. A part of that has to do with the low expectations, I guess. But I liked the MOTW (the song and flashback explanation was nice!), I found the pacing okay, and anything with Winchester angst has me on the edge of the seat anyway. Plus, I wasn’t expecting so much back-story on Amelia. That was a good surprise too.
That Dean was supernaturally influenced in his big explosive speech is not a problem for me, as I find that in character for Dean. (Did anyone else get a Sex and Violence vibe on this one?) That he blames Sam for his soullessness and that year spent with Samuel is baffling. Come on, Sam wasn’t himself! And what happened to the blanket-apology at the end of “And Then There Were None?” Of course, this can be explained away by the simple logic that the Specter was making him talk that way, unearthing all his deepest senses of betrayal. It was kind of painful to watch Sam stand there and take it until Dean started in on Amelia, upon which his fuse blew too, which I kind of liked. Good on Sam.
Sam’s speech by the car was confusing for me on my first watch, but on the second it made more sense. It was basically half of what he wanted to say at the beginning of the episode. Sam wants to talk about Benny but Dean just goes on about how people change and how Sam abandoned him. This has been going on for a while, these jibes at Sam for taking a year off (Heartache- Dean: “While avoiding doing what we actually do,” Sam: “Does it make you feel better every time you say it, Dean?”; Blood Brother- “Last I checked, you took a year off, Sam. I need a day”; the peanut butter and chocolate comment in the premiere, which always felt really harsh to me) and Sam’s never reacted to it yet (except for the free will line).
Now, with Benny added to the equation, he’s just reacting. Which is good. Because I don’t want to hear Dean going “You took a year off,” in every episode with Sam saying nothing. (Although Dean does have a right to say it, things will be much better if he’d just actually talk to Sam about it rather than being redundant.)
I think Sam’s speech at the end was basically more about Benny. Dean made the call on Amy, but he’s turned a 180 since, and like someone pointed out above- SAM does not know as much of Purgatory as we do. He DOES NOT know Benny at all, that he helped Dean get out or that he’s not drinking human blood. He’s way in the dark and only has Dean’s word. (Same goes for Sam and his flashbacks- give Dean a little perspective here, Sammy?) And also, it should hurt knowing that at some subconscious level, he still hasn’t been forgiven for the Ruby-fiasco by Dean. Does he (or we) really want that demon-blood thing thrown back at him? So it was just a post-fight blowout for me. All that said, I wished they’d scrapped the “move on, or I will” line. How can anyone expect Dean to move on? HOW? That’s the one line that annoyed me about this episode. And WHY make Dean forget?
Amelia is a war widow. Didn’t see that one coming. I thought this episode explained why she’s cold and cutoff and quite occasionally bitchy. Liked her again. I have a friend who gets real bitchy if she thinks someone is pitying her (she’s had a hard life) so I guess I can relate.
I loved Garth in this. He’s glorious in all his awkwardness.
“We won”- ha, loved this line. Spot on.
Also loved Garth’s line about Bobby. Somebody had to say it.
Question: wasn’t Mary Lou or whatever her name was the same lady from Croatoan? At least I think it is Croatoan, I’m not sure.
All in all, being an Adam Glass script, this one was okay. I’m still hanging on to Team Perspective for dear life. The ‘you-abandone d-me’ has been brought up too many times for it to be neglecting Sam. They have to redeem him now, or bring Dean around, they will have to do something.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-08 11:01
Yes, it was killing me! She was the woman from Croatoan!
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-08 12:17
I was looking at her and thinking the same thing but then it was like 'nah, couldn't be', because there seem to have been so many recycled actors from previous seasons (she is at least the 3rd from season 1) and it begins to ring conspiracy alarm bells. Sam is hallucinating etc.
I think it is just they are running out of people and it likely saves time if they have actors that know how weird the show is instead of having to introduce them to it all new - and saving time means saving money.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-11-08 12:30
X-files used to do the same thing, in fact, sometimes you'd see the same actor twice in a season! I've just recently rewatched seasons 1 through 5, and I kept noticing the same people turning up. Actually, a whole bunch of those actors are in SPN. I guess Vancouver has a limited store of character actors! :roll:
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-08 12:43
Absolutely they did - and looking back now you recognize people who are famous now but weren't then. Here's something to do if you are bored - look at the cast list for Scarecrow and then see how many of them (that are old enough) were in the X-files. I think it is 5 of them (including cancer man of course).
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-09 04:02
Quote:
X-files used to do the same thing, in fact, sometimes you'd see the same actor twice in a season! I've just recently rewatched seasons 1 through 5, and I kept noticing the same people turning up. Actually, a whole bunch of those actors are in SPN. I guess Vancouver has a limited store of character actors! :roll:
Yeah, I keep picking out actors from the show :-)
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-09 18:49
I'm almost positive that Detective (the bald one) in Bitten was a detective on Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose. I've seen several others put that's the latest one I've noticed.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 11:03
Quote:
The ‘you-abandoned-me’ has been brought up too many times for it to be neglecting Sam. They have to redeem him now, or bring Dean around, they will have to do something.
I sat through season four where Sam was simply the bad guy who murdered and "innocent" nurse even though she was still possessed by a demon. I have no trouble believing Sam will be the big bad and Dean will finally get his better brother Benny and his best brother Castiel.

They don't care about Sam.
Darya
# Darya 2012-11-08 11:57
I hope I don't get burned that way. This is only the third season I'm watching as it airs...It'll be the biggest writing flaw if that's what it turns out to be, so fingers crossed
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2012-11-08 12:56
Quote:
Sam’s speech by the car was confusing for me on my first watch, but on the second it made more sense. It was basically half of what he wanted to say at the beginning of the episode. Sam wants to talk about Benny but Dean just goes on about how people change and how Sam abandoned him.

I think Sam’s speech at the end was basically more about Benny. Dean made the call on Amy, but he’s turned a 180 since, and like someone pointed out above- SAM does not know as much of Purgatory as we do. He DOES NOT know Benny at all, that he helped Dean get out or that he’s not drinking human blood. He’s way in the dark and only has Dean’s word. (Same goes for Sam and his flashbacks- give Dean a little perspective here, Sammy?) And also, it should hurt knowing that at some subconscious level, he still hasn’t been forgiven for the Ruby-fiasco by Dean. Does he (or we) really want that demon-blood thing thrown back at him? So it was just a post-fight blowout for me. All that said, I wished they’d scrapped the “move on, or I will” line. How can anyone expect Dean to move on? HOW? That’s the one line that annoyed me about this episode. And WHY make Dean forget?
Still haven't quite figured out how to reply with quote so have more here then I need. Sorry.

I agree with the above. They HAVE to share. Sam needs to know how bad purgatory was and understand Dean could have died. And how Dean got out with Benny's help. And even though he believes in his reasons. There is probably some guilt buried in there too. Typical human response is to get defensive and angry when we have some guilt buried about a situation.

Sam needs to share more of his heart about how he felt when Dean disappeared. I can accept he didn't look for the reasons he has said, but right now all Dean knows is there was a girl. Come on. Who wouldn't feel betrayed by that little bit of info. I mean Dean was fighting for his life for a year! And I think you're right. How can he move on. Sam's move on comment seems a little unrealistic, but probably what family members feel when a vet returns with PTSD. Takes a LOT of understanding.

On first watch I loved the entire thing. I was on the edge of my seat in anticpation and loved the bros. Awesome entertainment and if I was a new viewer I would be sooo intrigued. But on my 2nd and 3rd watch I am much sadder. Still liked it. A lot. But feel there is so much brewing and I have to have faith the writers will find a way for it to be resolved.

I know it's hard for 'men' to share feelings and they often do blow up and it blows over. But I am not getting the feeling these guys are letting stuff go. TALK, even a little boys. Love em and ache for their pain right now. Both of them. Mom in me wants to get them together and MAKE them talk it out and then hug and cry with them.
E
# E 2012-11-08 21:41
Darya, Love your post and I totally agree. Sam is being harped on way too much for his 'not looking for Dean' to be nothing. The more it's mentioned and the more the writers blow up the conflict, the more convinced I am that something relevant is coming down the pike and we just need to be patient. I don't mind the boys relationship getting worse, the fighting to get worse, it will make the payoff that much sweeter. I don't think that the brothers could really do anything, short of kill each other, that would keep them from coming around to each other in the end. It has to be well written though, you are sure right on that. Their brother relationship will win out in the end as it always has. It will feel very satisfying to me if they really have to suffer to get there though. I love angst.

I took the "move on, or I will" line at the end of the ep to be less about Sam saying Dean needs to move on from Purgatory or being angry or troubled by his experiences, and more to be about moving on from his daily digs at Sam. Sam finally demanded that Dean either talk openly about why he's pissed, or keep his passive aggressive comments to himself. I think that's fair. It's less about what Dean is going through and more about how much abuse Sam is willing to take, which actually seems like quite a bit given what we've seen so far. That's how I took that last scene anyway.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-09 12:35
Quote:
Darya, Love your post and I totally agree. Sam is being harped on way too much for his 'not looking for Dean' to be nothing. The more it's mentioned and the more the writers blow up the conflict, the more convinced I am that something relevant is coming down the pike and we just need to be patient. I don't mind the boys relationship getting worse, the fighting to get worse, it will make the payoff that much sweeter. I don't think that the brothers could really do anything, short of kill each other, that would keep them from coming around to each other in the end. It has to be well written though, you are sure right on that. Their brother relationship will win out in the end as it always has. It will feel very satisfying to me if they really have to suffer to get there though. I love angst.

I took the "move on, or I will" line at the end of the ep to be less about Sam saying Dean needs to move on from Purgatory or being angry or troubled by his experiences, and more to be about moving on from his daily digs at Sam. Sam finally demanded that Dean either talk openly about why he's pissed, or keep his passive aggressive comments to himself. I think that's fair. It's less about what Dean is going through and more about how much abuse Sam is willing to take, which actually seems like quite a bit given what we've seen so far. That's how I took that last scene anyway.
Amen to all of that!

On top of that, I don't understand why Dean is being secretive about Benny and how they got out AT ALL. I haven't usually understood Dean's motivations anyway, but this makes NO sense. The easiest thing in the world would be to say, "Benny helped me get out of Purgatory, so therefore he saved my life" and ZAP there goes all Sam's ill-will towards Benny, I'm sure.

Dean says he has no regrets, so what's the problem? No matter what else happened- as if Dean has never done anything shady before? Does he think Sam would judge him, or would even care if Sam did judge him? He obviously thinks Sam has many more black marks on his ledger, so why not fess up? Or would confessing mean losing the chance to hold Sam's mistakes (oops, choices) over his head?
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-09 14:33
Quote:


Amen to all of that!

On top of that, I don't understand why Dean is being secretive about Benny and how they got out AT ALL. I haven't usually understood Dean's motivations anyway, but this makes NO sense. The easiest thing in the world would be to say, "Benny helped me get out of Purgatory, so therefore he saved my life" and ZAP there goes all Sam's ill-will towards Benny, I'm sure.

Dean says he has no regrets, so what's the problem? No matter what else happened- as if Dean has never done anything shady before? Does he think Sam would judge him, or would even care if Sam did judge him? He obviously thinks Sam has many more black marks on his ledger, so why not fess up? Or would confessing mean losing the chance to hold Sam's mistakes (oops, choices) over his head?
Rick, my thoughts on why Dean was being secretive is that he was ashamed of how he got out of Purgatory. I thought that with Dean's past history of never partnering up with monsters (unless he has no option and unless he can try to gank them after the temporary teaming up i.e. Crowley) and his past beliefs regarding monsters might have left him reluctant to explain to Sam that partnering with Benny is how he escaped from Purgatory. I also thought that perhaps Dean is a little sensitive about, and ashamed, of the strong battlefield friendship he struck up with Benny - again this shame would come from Dean's upbringing in which monsters were always the enemy - and so Dean wouldn't want to discuss this with Sam. Plus, I think Dean has PTSD and so he is reluctant to discuss his year fighting for his life because it brings back bad memories. I know Dean says that what happened in Purgatory revitalised his desire to hunt, and he is presenting it as only a positive thing, and, while that is true in some ways, I think that's not entirely the way he feels. I think some of him is also repressing and rationalising negatives feelings regarding what he had to do to survive and escape.

Dean doesn't like to look fragile or less than admirable in Sam's eyes so he never likes to admit weakness or failings. I think Dean still feels that he has to be the big brother leading by example and so he doesn't want Sam to see him in a negative light. Dean forgets that Sam is more accepting of flaws and humanity in people and Dean forgets that Sam would try to understand what Dean went through to survive. Sometimes, it's the people closest to us that we don't want to confess our deepest thoughts to :(
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-08 11:25
Great review Ardeospina - I enjoyed reading it and I think you've got to the nub of what's happening with S8 :)

I have mixed feelings about this ep:

- Garth didn't annoy me quite as much as he usually does but he did feel like a third wheel, stuck in the middle where he shouldn't have been. I would have preferred he not be around for the Sam and Dean argument scene.

- I had been hoping for Dean and Sam to properly talk (argue) with each other and to see genuine feelings and emotions come out in the scene, with this eventually leading to the beginning of a resolution between them. I don't feel that is what I saw. Given that Dean was possessed and that Garth was butting in on Sam's behalf, I don't feel like any grievance was particularly aired or that any true emotion was expressed.

- The civil war brother storyline - big plot anvil but that didn't bother me too much, MOTW isn't always subtle

- The argument between Sam and Dean just made them even more angry with each other and, instead of beginning to fix things, they are even more distant now than they were. That makes me sad and tense but I keep telling myself that there's a few years of tension between the Winchesters and it can't all be fixed in one scene in one episode. I'm fervently hoping that the writers are trying to bring the Winchesters down to the very bottom before they start raising them up again, but I hope TPTB know what they're doing and that they don't accidentally break the bond between the brothers.

- I miss Bobby, I don't want Nu-Bobby. I'm a big child in that respect LOL.

- I can't stand people talking when they have food in their mouths, I spent most of that scene of them in the bar trying not to retch. I saw too much of the contents of Garth's mouth as he was masticating - pity me!! ;)

- At the moment, Sam's backstory is not as interesting to me as Dean's purgatory backstory. Which is a pity because I'd really love to know what went on in Sam's head after he lost Dean. I want to see what he did and how he reacted. He's a bit of a tabula raza at the moment and I wish he wasn't.

- Dean seemed to have a few grudges against Sam that didn't seem fair. It's not Sam's fault he didn't have a soul in early S6 and his actions during that year were guided by the fact that he wasn't himself. I can see why Dean might be angry that it happened but I think it's unfair of him to blame Sam for that. Dean's other grudges about Ruby, demon blood etc I can understand him still being angry about because the brothers have never really sat down and discussed or resolved those issues.

- I'm going to fanwank Dean's tirade and put a lot of what Dean said to Sam down to being as a result of his possession by a spectre who was irrational and angry. I'm going to say that the spectre took genuine grievances and magnified them, plus it threw in a few that weren't really true grudges. I hope this turns out to be true and that Dean didn't really mean EVERYTHING he said.

- The Deputy Sheriff was the anti-cult protestor from S1's 'Faith'. That's the second S1 actor (that I've spotted) we've had back in S8. I don't know if they're recycling actors for any reason or if it's just a coincidence - any ideas?

ETA - Sam's angry speech at the end of the episode just didn't feel entirely right to me. I don't really understand where he's coming from at the moment. From the episodes we've seen so far, I get a much better sense of where Dean is, how he's feeling and what he's thinking. Sam is altogether too mysterious for my liking and I really don't know what is happening inside his head. I didn't know whether to put his threat against Benny down to a desire for revenge after what Dean did to Amy Pond or to put it down to feeling hurt and jealous after Dean's claim that Benny was more of a brother to him than Sam. I'm sure that Dean was being completely OTT when he said something that nasty to Sam but I'm not sure Sam knows that :(

So, by no means a favourite episode but I didn't hate it entirely either. I would give it a grade of "Could do much better". I'm hoping that there's a grand plan to which the writers are working and that they are going to make us all happy again with how S8 develops and resolves.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 14:53
Quote:
I didn't know whether to put his threat against Benny down to a desire for revenge after what Dean did to Amy Pond or to put it down to feeling hurt and jealous after Dean's claim that Benny was more of a brother to him than Sam.
Here is how I put Sam's question. First he didn't say he was going to put down Benny. I don't think it was a threat. The talk about Benny starts with Dean saying he believes that Benny will not kill humans and that if he does SOME HUNTER OTHER THAN DEAN will have to take care of it. Dean pretty much says if Benny starts killing, Dean will look the other way. Sam is skeptical but he does take Dean's word on Benny. He doesn't run off and try to kill Benny at any point. He seems to agree that as long as Benny doesn't kill again (and yes he killed people before he fell in love, he is not Kate who never killed anyone human). So if Benny doesn't kill again, then Sam is willing to leave him alone although he doesn't trust him. Then Dean gets possessed and states that he considers Benny a better brother than Sam. Sam has been told his place in Dean's affections. Dean also wants Sam to keep hunting, which means of Benny does kill someone Sam MAY be the one to find out. He asked the obvious question, if Dean considers Benny to be Dean's best brother and Sam is the hunter who has to take Benny down because Benny is killing, what happens then. Yes, he was upset and angry, but it's a valid question. What happens if Sam as a hunter kills Dean's brother. And Dean doesn't give a good answer.

Sam is thinking things to the logical conclusion. Dean wants Sam hunting, Dean won't stop Benny if he starts killing again. If Dean doesn't want Sam to be in a position to kill Benny or to find out that Benny is killing then Dean had better hustle Sam into a non-hunting life, because right now Sam may have to kill Dean's brother.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-09 12:40
Quote:
Quote:
I didn't know whether to put his threat against Benny down to a desire for revenge after what Dean did to Amy Pond or to put it down to feeling hurt and jealous after Dean's claim that Benny was more of a brother to him than Sam.
Here is how I put Sam's question. First he didn't say he was going to put down Benny. I don't think it was a threat. The talk about Benny starts with Dean saying he believes that Benny will not kill humans and that if he does SOME HUNTER OTHER THAN DEAN will have to take care of it. Dean pretty much says if Benny starts killing, Dean will look the other way. Sam is skeptical but he does take Dean's word on Benny. He doesn't run off and try to kill Benny at any point. He seems to agree that as long as Benny doesn't kill again (and yes he killed people before he fell in love, he is not Kate who never killed anyone human). So if Benny doesn't kill again, then Sam is willing to leave him alone although he doesn't trust him. Then Dean gets possessed and states that he considers Benny a better brother than Sam. Sam has been told his place in Dean's affections. Dean also wants Sam to keep hunting, which means of Benny does kill someone Sam MAY be the one to find out. He asked the obvious question, if Dean considers Benny to be Dean's best brother and Sam is the hunter who has to take Benny down because Benny is killing, what happens then. Yes, he was upset and angry, but it's a valid question. What happens if Sam as a hunter kills Dean's brother. And Dean doesn't give a good answer.

Sam is thinking things to the logical conclusion. Dean wants Sam hunting, Dean won't stop Benny if he starts killing again. If Dean doesn't want Sam to be in a position to kill Benny or to find out that Benny is killing then Dean had better hustle Sam into a non-hunting life, because right now Sam may have to kill Dean's brother.
Exactly right. He's not saying he want to run out and kill Benny, he's saying if you won't kill Benny, I might have to, and what would you do then?
Frankly, I thought they look in Dean's eyes said, "that would be the last thing you do."
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-09 13:14
I agree. At this point in time, I think Dean has prioritized Benny over Sam. I hope this will change, but I think it will take something monumental to do it.
Daisymae
# Daisymae 2012-11-08 11:40
It's true that one brother spilling his guts because he's possessed has been done before; however, there's a point to be made. These guys can't seem to tell each other the HONEST truth without some supernatural force at work-how sad and dysfunctional.

Ardeospina, we're all a little annoyed with Sam right now and just not accepting his explanation for not looking for Dean. I feel he had a mental breakdown and is embarrassed to admit it or can't accept that he couldn't live without his bro.
Fool For Dean
# Fool For Dean 2012-11-08 12:10
Perhaps I should do my 2nd viewing before commenting, but I have to say I found this episode quite enjoyable. Love Ardeospina's open letters to Sam and Dean!!! Exactly what I would tell them, too. There've also been so many points made in previous reviews that I totally agree with that I can't even list the names of the posters.


But here are some things that jump out at me from the first time around:


- I like the humorous tone to balance the heavier angst-airing scenes. I thought the humor was well placed, and flowed naturally - so kudos to Adam Glass for that.


- I like Sam's FBs much better in this episode than in previous episodes because I think there's more substance to them tonight. I am neutral on Amelia's character, but I thought knowing more about her helped understand more about Sam's year.


- I thought Jensen did a wonderful job airing out Dean's issues. Exactly the way I had envisioned it should be done. I'm okay that Dean did that while possessed, in fact, I think that it's the only Dean would ever say anything at all. Sharing emotions has never been Dean's M.O. so having a extra nudge helps to make it more in character for him. But I do wish he would remember what he said - because then the boys would have a starting point to begin their discussion.


- On that topic, I wish Dean hadn't said the whole Benny was a better brother bit. While Benny may have been a better brother than Sam was in that last year, for Dean to say that he was better than Sam EVER was - no. I hope Dean doesn't mean that. I think that he doesn't and that's nothing more than the spectre blowing things out of proportion.


- I am worried about Sam's threat that he might be the one to kill Benny. I would HATE for Dean to have to choose. I believe if it came down to it, he'll choose Sam. But that will blow the wedge between into a crater the size of Texas!!! Not to mention, if I were in Sam's shoes, it would be, "Hey Benny, thanks for getting my brother out when I couldn't. Thanks for having his back when I wasn't there." And on that note, maybe Dean needs to tell Sam about how Benny isn't just a vampire - he's been a brother in arms for the last year and has earned Dean's trust, the hard way. We can see that Dean wasn't exactly thrilled to work with Benny at first, but things have happened (some we've seen, maybe some we've yet to see) to change his mind. Sam needs to know that before making his choice to accept or reject Benny.


- Loved Garth's last words to Dean, "all you've got are each other, and that's not bad thing." And loved that Dean seemed receptive of that comment, too. I think Dean's is beginning to come around. I hope. If he does, I'll be the first to buy Garth a beer.


- CAS IS COMING BACK! Yeah, didn't mean to scream, but I can't help it. It's going to be another long week. This show is the death me. But it's happy death!!!
E
# E 2012-11-08 22:10
Fool for Dean, It's pretty hard for Sam to understand how Dean feels about Benny or how important Benny is when Dean has told him absolutely NOTHING about him. Sam knows nothing more about Benny than he did when he shook his hand at the end of Blood Brothers. Pretty much the first line in this episode was Sam's "you've said nothing to me since the Island" which tells us that not only would Dean not talk about Benny or about Purgatory, but that he wasn't talking to Sam at all. Not a great environment for understanding.
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-11-08 13:51
Well, Dean may not remember what he said; but he does know how he feels. Since that's what he said, it should be no surprise to him. I did wish he would have said more at the end though.

Sam is being petty about Benny. But that's human nature. I would love to say I've never been petty like that, but I can't. Most people can't. I love how "normal" they are about things. Think about it. They are arguing about a friend--that is a vampire. So great!! LOVE THIS SHOW!!
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-08 13:51
Quote:
he did what is not OOC for Sam as a character, he ran. I am actually ok with that.
The thing is though, Sam only ever runs when he's pissed off at John or Dean, he never ever runs when someone is in danger. Take Scarecrow for example. He ran off because he was mad at their father's orders, and at Dean for always obeying him, but as soon as he thought Dean might be in danger, he came running back to save him. He didn't even know for sure, he was just worried over a couple of missed calls. When Dean vanished right in front of him, he knew for sure Dean was in grave danger. He never would've run.

As for his world imploding, like you I have to see it, but even then it's not enough. Sam has been completely devastated before, when the Trickster killed Dean, when Dean went to Hell, and when Cas destroyed the wall, but Sam always went after his brother anyway. "You know me, you know why. I can't leave my brother alone out there."

Even if I were to accept that this was one devastation too many, the last straw, that still isn't enough. Because okay, he was too devastated after he saw Dean vanish. But what about a month later? This is two months later and he's obviously functional. What about four months later or eight months later? Sam had a whole year to get over his devastation, and he still didn't look for Dean.

I fear there won't ever be an explanation I can live with.
Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-11-08 18:00
I think I can see the "my world imploded so I just ran" sentiment from Sam as a starting point for insight into Sam's year. Instead, I am afraid, it is written as an end-point and that is where it goes off the rails for me.

I agree that there are other major holes. I don't buy the whole, Dean must have been dead, I had no resources etc. I just does not ring true given the past. But precisely because those are so implausible, I can go with; Sam could not look because he was so destroyed and start there. I can argue away these so-called practical reasons, but not so easily the emotional ones.

But then those need to be developed and dramatically shown. This is why the final scene made me so angry. Sam tells Dean that he has told him where he was coming from not looking for him from the jump and Dean needs to just let it go. Basically we as the audience are being told the same. Sam was sad, then he met a girl and they talked it out, so he is ok now. But NONE of this was shown, we never got to experience it or feel it, it was just stated, just like Sam stated it to Dean. This is Carver's Mature!Sam, this is the endgame and I believe we, just like Dean, are being asked to just accept it as proof that Sam is finally healthy and independent, Dean just hasn't caught up yet, but is being urged to get there by substitute Bobby/Garth.

I have no objection to conflict between the boys, not even to exploring them separate from each other. The characters of Sam and Dean were set up in the larger myth of the Supernatural universe to be in eternal conflict with each other; they are Cain and Abel, Lucifer and Michael, they are archetypes of good and evil. It is precisely their flawed humanity, their shades of grey and their love for each other that lifted them above that heavy destiny and allowed them to save the world and each other over and over again. THAT is the show I love, THOSE are the characters I adore. And I am afraid that this simplistic new Carver/Dr. Phil version of the show is far too blah and one-dimensional for me.

My dread now is that I do not know how this could be "fixed". The core of these characters and their relationship is being rewritten to a fundamental degree. I find Dean's reciting of past grievances with Sam when possessed to be proof of that. Some in this thread say that it shows that Carver is not abandoning old plot lines, but I see it as the opposite. I believe he is looking to purge them, to cleanse the characters of their old hang-ups and have them get over them once and for all, just like Sam is asking Dean to do.

It is a reboot to he nth degree. I do not think that the PTB believe that anything needs to fixed anyway, they are getting new viewers, the ratings are going up, which I believe was one of Carver's mandates, so I don't think things will change.

Only solution for me now is to go rewatch seasons 1-5 and have a glass of wine or two or three. Oh and sob quietly.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 20:08
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My dread now is that I do not know how this could be "fixed". The core of these characters and their relationship is being rewritten to a fundamental degree.
This concerns me also. I don't see how the relationship can be fixed at this point.

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they are Cain and Abel, Lucifer and Michael, they are archetypes of good and evil.
Yes, with Dean being good and Sam being evil. Those are the roles they placed Sam and Dean in and apparently that is where they intend them to stay. The show I fell in love with wasn't that, it was about 2 brothers with flaws, not archetypes of good and evil, but here we are and I can't say anymore in this thread.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-09 04:36
Quote:
I think I can see the "my world imploded so I just ran" sentiment from Sam as a starting point for insight into Sam's year. Instead, I am afraid, it is written as an end-point and that is where it goes off the rails for me.

I agree that there are other major holes. I don't buy the whole, Dean must have been dead, I had no resources etc. I just does not ring true given the past. But precisely because those are so implausible, I can go with; Sam could not look because he was so destroyed and start there. I can argue away these so-called practical reasons, but not so easily the emotional ones.

But then those need to be developed and dramatically shown. This is why the final scene made me so angry. Sam tells Dean that he has told him where he was coming from not looking for him from the jump and Dean needs to just let it go. Basically we as the audience are being told the same. Sam was sad, then he met a girl and they talked it out, so he is ok now. But NONE of this was shown, we never got to experience it or feel it, it was just stated, just like Sam stated it to Dean. This is Carver's Mature!Sam, this is the endgame and I believe we, just like Dean, are being asked to just accept it as proof that Sam is finally healthy and independent, Dean just hasn't caught up yet, but is being urged to get there by substitute Bobby/Garth.

I have no objection to conflict between the boys, not even to exploring them separate from each other. The characters of Sam and Dean were set up in the larger myth of the Supernatural universe to be in eternal conflict with each other; they are Cain and Abel, Lucifer and Michael, they are archetypes of good and evil. It is precisely their flawed humanity, their shades of grey and their love for each other that lifted them above that heavy destiny and allowed them to save the world and each other over and over again. THAT is the show I love, THOSE are the characters I adore. And I am afraid that this simplistic new Carver/Dr. Phil version of the show is far too blah and one-dimensional for me.

My dread now is that I do not know how this could be "fixed". The core of these characters and their relationship is being rewritten to a fundamental degree. I find Dean's reciting of past grievances with Sam when possessed to be proof of that. Some in this thread say that it shows that Carver is not abandoning old plot lines, but I see it as the opposite. I believe he is looking to purge them, to cleanse the characters of their old hang-ups and have them get over them once and for all, just like Sam is asking Dean to do.

It is a reboot to he nth degree. I do not think that the PTB believe that anything needs to fixed anyway, they are getting new viewers, the ratings are going up, which I believe was one of Carver's mandates, so I don't think things will change.

Only solution for me now is to go rewatch seasons 1-5 and have a glass of wine or two or three. Oh and sob quietly.
Great post. I agree. My main concern is that the relationship cannot be fixed from this point. The fact that Carver had Dean bring up previous issues that we've been told / shown on the show they have worked through and got past (Ruby, Soulless Sam (grossly unfair of Dean btw and ooc - he's NEVER blamed real Sam for soulless Sam) etc) makes the audience doubt whether this relationship was ever really as strong and resilient as we thought it was. And that is REALLY bad for the show. It is verging on an 'it was all a dream' rewrite of what we have all been buying into for 7 years. It is disrespecting the audience, the characters and the relationship. I cannot buy that 'Dean didn't mean it 'cause he was possessed' argument either. We know the grievances the other characters killed for were genuine, and it appeared that all the possession was doing was allowing Dean to be honest.

I'm just heartbroken by what they are doing to the brothers relationship which is the heart of this show and the foundations on which so much of it is built. Without that it is just another show.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 18:32
Very well said, Mieke! I could also accept "my world imploded so I ran" as a starting point, but I need a lot more.

I really hope this isn't their idea of Sam being "healthy and independent." Deserting your loved ones is a very bad way to portray "healthy and independent."

Besides, I like my boys unhealthily co-dependent. :-)
Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-11-09 20:40
I do too! The co-dependency is part and parcel of their universe, they are opposite side of the same coin. Give me my damaged, bloody, co-dependent, deeply loving, faithful, sacrificing heroes. We get mature, sensible, settled down every day i our real lives.

I wish they had shown more nuance in the telling of Sam's story. He could have been shown to be over the moon happy to have Dean back and then have feelings of regret over having to leave behind the little bit of peace he supposedly found. That could have been an interesting emotional story full of Winchestery angst, just like we like it. It does not need to be either one or the other.

Really, if Sam's world "imploded" only one year ago, why was he so blah about getting Dean back? Short of that being a cover up for a super secret plot twist, that is either poor writing or a one dimensional acting choice.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-09 23:26
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I really hope this isn't their idea of Sam being "healthy and independent." Deserting your loved ones is a very bad way to portray "healthy and independent."
At the risk of repeating myself, Sam did not desert Dean.

And unhealthily co-dependent is not an attractive quality in anyone.

On the bright side of this storyline, I think we can put to bed the idea that Dean "only gets" to be Sam's caretaker= because that's been left waaaaay behind.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-09 23:46
It seems to be a matter of perspective whether Sam deserted Dean, doesn't it? I doubt repeating your point of view is going to get anyone to change their mind, just as the people who are repeating their belief that Sam did desert Dean aren't changing your mind.

For me, Sam's "I tried nothing and was all out of ideas, and then I found something better" explanation for not trying to find Dean doesn't work. Maybe it does for you. I don't think it makes either of us wrong, necessarily--ju st viewing show differently.

As long as show doesn't default back to "What's wrong with Sam", I think you might be right that Dean is getting to step beyond the "Sam's care-taker" role. So that will be exciting. I agree.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-10 13:13
Quote:

As long as show doesn't default back to "What's wrong with Sam", I think you might be right that Dean is getting to step beyond the "Sam's care-taker" role. So that will be exciting. I agree.
Excellent! It is exciting to see Dean move beyond that, and become his own person. It's exciting to see Sam do that, too.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-10 01:33
Again, your view of the story is not paramount!

I do think this story paints Sam as deserting Dean. Until I hear Sam had a mental breakdown or was under a spell/curse, I will ALWAYS think he was written OOC and as abandoning Dean in Dean's time of need.

You don't feel that way. The story works for you. It doesn't work for me. That's fine. Neither of us is wrong b/c it's a personal thing.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-12 06:33
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AI do think this story paints Sam as deserting Dean. Until I hear Sam had a mental breakdown or was under a spell/curse, I will ALWAYS think he was written OOC and as abandoning Dean in Dean's time of need.
I absolutely agree with you Lala2.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-09 04:19
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he did what is not OOC for Sam as a character, he ran. I am actually ok with that.
The thing is though, Sam only ever runs when he's pissed off at John or Dean, he never ever runs when someone is in danger. Take Scarecrow for example. He ran off because he was mad at their father's orders, and at Dean for always obeying him, but as soon as he thought Dean might be in danger, he came running back to save him. He didn't even know for sure, he was just worried over a couple of missed calls. When Dean vanished right in front of him, he knew for sure Dean was in grave danger. He never would've run.

As for his world imploding, like you I have to see it, but even then it's not enough. Sam has been completely devastated before, when the Trickster killed Dean, when Dean went to Hell, and when Cas destroyed the wall, but Sam always went after his brother anyway. "You know me, you know why. I can't leave my brother alone out there."

Even if I were to accept that this was one devastation too many, the last straw, that still isn't enough. Because okay, he was too devastated after he saw Dean vanish. But what about a month later? This is two months later and he's obviously functional. What about four months later or eight months later? Sam had a whole year to get over his devastation, and he still didn't look for Dean.

I fear there won't ever be an explanation I can live with.
I totally agree Mikey. This is completely ooc for Sam. It makes no sense.
vivian
# vivian 2012-11-08 14:21
Sam said to Amelia he had lost Dean a few months ago (did I understand correctly?). What was he doing those months? Driving around all the time?
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-08 14:26
Wow, I've never disagreed with you more, Ardeo.

I can't believe, after all the things Dean said, that you think the solution is an apology from SAM. Here's a clue for Dean and everyone who thinks like him- Sam didn't put Dean in purgatory, so anything that happened in purgatory is NOT SAM's FAULT. Why does Sam have to kowtow to Dean's feelings of abandonment (for the zillionth time) when Dean has not ONCE acknowledged SAM'S feelings that Dean WAS DEAD?!

As for Dean's abandonment issues- they are DEAN's problem, not Sam's. You say a simple apology would be "all it takes", but obviously not- since Dean still bringing up the demon blood, and Ruby, and being soulless (as if THAT is Sam's fault TOO), so it would seem that apologies mean nothing to Dean.
Dean isn't just a JERK to Sam, he was a total jerk to Garth as well, and again - no apology from his side.

After Sam FINALLY stood up for himself at the end of this episode, if he apologizes to Dean- that will be the last time I watch this show. The end.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-08 15:10
I see where you're coming from, but I think we have to assume, as ciar was saying above, that what Dean said was amplified by the spectre, like what Sam said in Asylum was due to Dr. Ellicott's power over him, and what they said in Sex and Violence was because of the siren.

The woman at the beginning killed her husband because 30-40 years before he had gone to the prom with another girl. So we can safely assume the spectre was blowing things way out of proportion.
E
# E 2012-11-08 22:22
Yet, the fans held what Sam did under Ellicott and the Siren against him for ages and ages along with everything he did while under the influence of demon blood. He was held accountable for what he said regardless of WHY he said it. So, why does Dean get a pass? What he said was the truth of his feelings. The specter didn't put ideas into Deans head, he just stirred-up his anger and removed his inhibitions. The issues are valid and the consequences are being felt by Sam regardless of the supernatural influence. But Dean gets a total pass because it was the fault of the specter? It seems like a double standard to me.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-08 22:52
Well, a double standard in the way that Dean fans want to excuse Dean when they held Sam accountable and Sam fans want to hold Dean accountable when they wanted Sam excused, yes. No one's really immune, are they?
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-09 01:25
Let me just say i get now how Dean fans were feeling while blaming Sam, it's very very sweet (the grass is green!).I hope that supernatural continues for another 4-5 seasons atleast and they don't resolve this or bring it up later on so that i continually feel this sweetness.As far as double standards go,I really don't want to have double standards but can't help treating how i was treated as a Sam fan..
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-10 15:22
With all due respect, it isn't ALL about Dean fans vs Sam fans and sweet sweet revenge for past slights. This gets frequently dragged into conversations and I don't think this is the prevailing opinion of fans on this site. It really doesn't have to be a rivalry all the time. We can be happy or sad about the direction the show takes without enjoying other fans disappointments .
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-11 09:22
I hope my commenting here doesn't come across as ganging-up on anyone, because that's the last thing I'm trying to do, but I see Leah's point of view. My perspective is that I like both brothers equally (and always have), I don't understand why fans would fall out with each other over Dean vs Sam, I also think it's very sad that fans would give each other such a hard time that there is animosity and dislike in the fandom over this issue :(

I like WFB because there is a balanced approach to discussion and because the prevailing attitude is one of trying hard to have tolerance and reasoned discussion :)
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 13:58
I hold them both to the same standards, so it's not a double standard for me. I also took it into account when Sam when was under the influence of Dr. Ellicott and demon blood, as I was saying above. However, I completely understand your frustration with the double standards in the fandom at large.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-08 15:16
Ardeospina, just wanted to say I enjoyed reading your letters to Sam and Dean. You should be their couple's counsellor.
luciano
# luciano 2012-11-08 15:33
I am sorry I usually love your articles but you went all over the place with this one. This episode was brilliant. These brothers have always been built on secrets so Dean needing to be possessed is typical and d right way to go about it. It takes a lot to open up. Do you have a sibling, well i do and i can tell you we do fight sometimes and also say things we don't mean, in the ending of the episode it showed exactly that Sam is pissed and he addressed Dean as he should have.
RMF
# RMF 2012-11-08 15:46
This episode was excruciating. It's canonical now that Sam is a weak, cowardly, and faithless person who didn't look for Dean. In case that weren't enough, we get a rehash of all his past failures, too, AND we can measure his "no resources" excuse against Garth, who apparently found the resources to become "the new Bobby" to the entire hunter community.

I had expected this next episode to start off with a conversation between Sam and Dean at the docks, or at least driving away from them, but instead it's two days later, during which time Dean apparently stonewalled. He has no real reason to do this: he could easily say that he could hardly be choosy about his allies in Purgatory if he were going to stay alive, and now he feels he owes Benny a chance. Simple, right? Then Sam could either reluctantly say he understands, or he could warn Dean that he's screwed if Benny falls off the wagon. Or both. This would entail a mature conversation between two seasoned warriors who know by now that mistakes and compromises happen when your back is against the wall. But no. Nope nope nope. Instead, Dean is passive aggressive and Sam is pissy and jealous as if they're half their ages.

Sam's flashbacks are clumsily shoehorned into the plot and don't reveal anything, except that he "ran", because his role is almost entirely reactive. Amelia reveals that her husband died in Afghanistan, and Sam lies there and looks thoughtful. Amelia freaks out the next morning about getting too close, and Sam sits there looking confused. Later he comes back and gives us one sentence about his state of mind when Dean disappeared, and Amelia asks him if he'd like to talk about Dean. He would. But the scene ends! This is ass backwards, because it's Sam who's the important character, not Amelia, and if a secondary character is to play a role in Sam's story, it should be she who is eliciting information from a devastated Sam, not the other way around. He may say that his world imploded, but we aren't allowed to witness a single moment of it, so it doesn't feel real. His counseling someone else through her grief is something that should come much later, after he's processed his own grief, not when it's fresh and new.

Sam took a big hit in Season 4, but unlike this season, in which he's weak just because, his fall from grace then grew out of his established flaws of anger, defiance, and obsessiveness. Even while it was sad to see him on the wrong road, we still had the consolation that he got there because he was acting out of grief and anger for Dean and trying to take a shortcut to winning the war. There was also something classic in his temptation and downfall in a time of great vulnerability. This time, he's merely contemptible. He "just ran", and never regrouped. His behavior doesn't match his character and the faults we know he has. A credible Sam Winchester would have been more likely to have neglected Kevin and his hunting duties because he got so caught up in the search for his missing brother. The character of Sam Winchester has been corrupted and dismantled, and the bond between the brothers has gone down with it. No matter what Sam does now, even if down the road he saves Dean when Benny betrays him, he can't do any better than break even.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-08 16:18
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This episode was excruciating. It's canonical now that Sam is a weak, cowardly, and faithless person who didn't look for Dean.
Not in my headcanon, it's not. Anyway, I maintain that these characters were created by Kripke, and that those are the canonical characters. So if Carver writes crap that contradicts the characters created by Kripke, it is not canonical. He has been pre-emptively Kripked.

Quote:
This would entail a mature conversation between two seasoned warriors who know by now that mistakes and compromises happen when your back is against the wall. But no. Nope nope nope. Instead, Dean is passive aggressive and Sam is pissy and jealous as if they're half their ages.
Carver repeatedly said he would write the boys as being more mature. I'm not seeing it.

Also, excellent points about Amelia and season 4.
st50
# st50 2012-11-08 16:25
Quote:


The character of Sam Winchester has been corrupted and dismantled, and the bond between the brothers has gone down with it. No matter what Sam does now, even if down the road he saves Dean when Benny betrays him, he can't do any better than break even.
This. i agree
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 21:04
I agree that is what they are trying to sell us. I don't believe it, but it is what they are stating. I don't know how much longer I can watch a show with an unrecognizable Sam who is being trashed left and right.

Fortunately for the show and those who still enjoy it, I am not a Nielsen family, and I'm no where near the age demographic that they care about. But I am feeling gutted by this characterizatio n of Sam and the lack of respect for his character.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-09 04:43
Quote:

Sam took a big hit in Season 4, but unlike this season, in which he's weak just because, his fall from grace then grew out of his established flaws of anger, defiance, and obsessiveness. Even while it was sad to see him on the wrong road, we still had the consolation that he got there because he was acting out of grief and anger for Dean and trying to take a shortcut to winning the war. There was also something classic in his temptation and downfall in a time of great vulnerability. This time, he's merely contemptible. He "just ran", and never regrouped. His behavior doesn't match his character and the faults we know he has. A credible Sam Winchester would have been more likely to have neglected Kevin and his hunting duties because he got so caught up in the search for his missing brother. The character of Sam Winchester has been corrupted and dismantled, and the bond between the brothers has gone down with it. No matter what Sam does now, even if down the road he saves Dean when Benny betrays him, he can't do any better than break even.
I totally agree. Hard as s4 was to watch, Sam's fall from grace happened because when he was desperate, devastated and grieving he was taken advantage of and manipulated. Not great, but sort of believable and had its roots in the strength of the brothers bond. As with most of the conflict before s8 this came from them loving each other too much, from them being too dependent on each other. This in s8 is the opposite. It comes from Sam not loving Dean enough. That is ooc and damned hard to accept. If I can't accept it I can't expect Dean to so where do they go from here?
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-11-08 16:45
Ardeo, I haven't read any comments yet, so haven't been influenced. :lol:

Just loved your 3 letters to Sam, Dean and Show. Agree 100% with all you wrote to them. I've been hoping for what you want for a few years now, even though I am a self-righteous Pollyanna. :D I admit that describes this fan quite correctly. (really, no offense to anyone intended) I was hoping back in last season in "Defending Your Life" that Sam would let Dean see how sorry he was at hurting him, when he was defending Dean's life, but that never happened, and that episode was a big disappointment to me.

I was a leetle disappointed in Sam threatening to kill off Benny. Maybe he has forgotten Lenore and how he saved a whole nest of vampires back in season 2? I guess he just spoke in anger (I hope) and didn't mean his threat. Sammy, please let Dean KNOW how much he means to you so he can stop being so darn defensive. You showed your emotions back in season 3, so I know you can do it. However, the writers have to put that in the script and perhaps there is a reason they have not as yet. I keep thinking of Carver's "All is not as it seems".

As far as Amelia, I haven't taken to her at all so far. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to or not as she has been written. I too would like to know what Sam told her about when Dean disappeared. How he coped or didn't cope and if he had some kind of breakdown, which would be completely understandable.

I love Garth like I loved Andy. A sweet and well-meaning and unselfish character. He is so open and refreshing. God, I hope they don't kill him too. I will never never forgive Sera for killing off Bobby just for one special dramatic episode. We have that episode (duh) but WE DON'T HAVE BOBBY! I WANT BOBBY! Sera was a great writer but lacked a bit as a show-runner. I know she loved killing off characters, as she said so on one of the dvd's. I didn't love Bobby dying and am still upset about it and probably will still be when the show is over. :-x

The confrontation made me a nervous wreck! Hoping down the road they will rectify all the hurt feelings and begin understanding each other again. That is my hope.

Again, my interest was all in the relationships and not much on the plot. ;-)
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 17:17
I know I'm repeating myself, but I'm hearing the same thing over and over, so here goes. Sam wasn't threatening to go out, hunt Benny down and kill him out of hand. Earlier Dean said Benny he was sure that Benny would stay clean and if he didn't ANOTHER hunter would take Benny down. To me that means that right now, Dean has admitted he can't do it. Sam, although unhappy, is not going after Benny unless he starts killing people. He is doing for Dean about Benny what Dean would not do for him about Amy. He won't do anything about Benny unless he starts to kill.

After the big penny confrontation, Sam knows that Dean considers Benny a better brother than Sam has ever been. Sam is also still a hunter. If Benny starts killing is Sam supposed to say, Dean likes the guy, so I'll leave him alone? Yes, Sam has been told that Benny got Dean out of Purgatory, but he doesn't know the details and even so, if Benny reverts to being a serial killer, and Sam is in a position to stop him, is it morally right to let him go on killing until a different hunter finds Benny? Sam was asking a relevant question. If Benny starts killing and Sam is the hunter to take Benny down AFTER he starts killing what will Dean do? Dean did not answer. If Sam saves human lives by killing Benny, will Dean reject him? If Benny starts killing and Sam and Dean get to him at the same time, will Dean stop Sam from killing Benny. When Dean loved Sam he told Walt and Roy that he would come back and kill them for killing Sam. Now that Benny is the better brother, if Sam kills Benny for killing people, will Dean turn his anger on him and try to kill him?

The prerequisites for hunting down Benny were established at the beginning when Sam agreed that until Benny killed he would, reluctantly leave it alone and defer to Dean's judgement. Sam is not telling Dean he intends to kill Benny, he is telling Dean that if Dean is wrong and Benny does kill then he is not off limits just because he is Dean's friend.
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-08 19:16
Sorry, but I will never buy that Dean doesn't love Sam. The "when Dean loved Sam" is just not fair. The things he said while under the influence of the spectre were HUGELY amped up by rage, including his festering hurt feelings about Sam not looking for him. He does not really feel that Benny is the" better" brother. He would not kill Sam if he had to put Benny down. Not possible. He can be hurt and mad but Dean will never reject Sam, not for the long term. I think Dean would opt to do it himself if push came to shove. I do not think one brother is the good one and one brother is the bad one. I know Sam hasn't been portrayed as sympathetically as we would like, or Dean either for that matter but the season has just started for crying out loud. Of course all this is just my opinion and I know many disagree. If things turn out as you think they will, I will be right here eating some crow, I promise!
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-09 04:30
Quote:
Sorry, but I will never buy that Dean doesn't love Sam. The "when Dean loved Sam" is just not fair. The things he said while under the influence of the spectre were HUGELY amped up by rage, including his festering hurt feelings about Sam not looking for him. He does not really feel that Benny is the" better" brother. He would not kill Sam if he had to put Benny down. Not possible. He can be hurt and mad but Dean will never reject Sam, not for the long term. I think Dean would opt to do it himself if push came to shove. I do not think one brother is the good one and one brother is the bad one. I know Sam hasn't been portrayed as sympathetically as we would like, or Dean either for that matter but the season has just started for crying out loud. Of course all this is just my opinion and I know many disagree. If things turn out as you think they will, I will be right here eating some crow, I promise!
Leah, I agree with your analysis: Dean's tirade against Sam was seriously amped up by the irrational spectre and so is not 100% accurately reflecting his true feelings, neither brother is fundamentally the good one or the bad one - they are both complicated characters, Dean would NEVER put Benny ahead of Sam in any situation, and Sam is not getting a sympathetic portrayal from the writers at the moment.
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-09 06:59
Ciar, THANK YOU!
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-09 19:54
Quote:
Sorry, but I will never buy that Dean doesn't love Sam. The "when Dean loved Sam" is just not fair. The things he said while under the influence of the spectre were HUGELY amped up by rage, including his festering hurt feelings about Sam not looking for him. He does not really feel that Benny is the" better" brother. He would not kill Sam if he had to put Benny down. Not possible. He can be hurt and mad but Dean will never reject Sam, not for the long term. I think Dean would opt to do it himself if push came to shove. I do not think one brother is the good one and one brother is the bad one.
Thank you, LEAH D. What happened in this episode is no different than what happened to Sam and Dean in S&V and Sam in Asylum. One or both brothers under the influence of something amping up the hurt and anger from deep wounds, new and old, healed and raw, justified or perceived. It's not only hyperbole, but also an incredible misconstruing of the episode, the characters' complex relationships, the brothers' psyches, and canon to say that Benny is actually "a better brother."

IMO the "good brother" / "bad brother" scenario is petty and contrived. It paints one brother as the perpetual victim while ignoring all else, and there's no depth to that analysis. Regardless of the criticisms of the storylines this season, I think we can have good, intelligent discussion about these incredibly rich, complex characters without reducing things to "Sam/Dean is the good/bad brother always/again."
nmo33
# nmo33 2012-11-08 19:43
will Dean turn his anger on him and try to kill him?
if dean consider that benny a better brother than Sam so yes i think he will and i think he doesn't care about sam anymore
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-08 20:19
Really, you think that? From last nights episode or from the past seasons? You think in normal circumstances Dean would kill Sam? The writers may not be doing everything perfect but if people think Dean could kill Sam, it is just stunning to me.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-08 17:14
The blanket forgiveness thing. I think if you look back to that scene he said 'when I die' or something similar. I think that is what he meant anyway, so it doesn't necessarily break canon.

As an aside certainly for Catholics and I assume for other religions, if you confess on your deathbed all your sins can be forgiven and you die with a clean slate (great right?).
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 14:08
He did say "when my guts get ripped out" but I think it's pretty clear he didn't mean this only goes into effect when his guts get ripped out. He says right before that life is short and we shouldn't spend it wringing our hands, so that means he wants the clean slate to erase past mistakes now so they don't keep dragging them around their whole lives.

DEAN I mean at the end of the day, you two are family. Life's short, and ours are shorter than most. We're gonna spend it wringing our hands? Something's gonna get us eventually, and when my guts get ripped out, just so you two know, we're good. Blanket apology for all the crap that anybody's done all the way around.

SAM Some of us pulled a lot of crap, Dean.

DEAN Well, clean slate.
E
# E 2012-11-08 21:15
I am more convinced than ever that Sam's story, the details of his currently lost year are at the crux of all of the brother's turmoil and a major part of the plot. One of the reasons I think that we know SO little about Sam's year is that they can't reveal it yet; it's too soon, so we are getting details about Purgatory (which I love, what an awesome storyline!) and about Benny, and a little (a very little) about Amelia. Soon we'll get insight into Cas, maybe some more on Garth etc... and some returning characters as well, but the Sam stuff has to wait because it's pivotal to the second half and the ultimate endgame for the season. I know from reading the threads that many fans HATE this approach with a passion but I am content to wait, (for now anyway) and I refuse to give up hope prior to seeing the outcome. If, and only IF we get to episode 23 and there has been nothing relevant for Sam, if his story means nothing, went nowhere and damaged his character, I'll go ahead and complain. (And I WILL complain then, and bitterly too.) Until then, I am going to see if I can put together the individual puzzle pieces, because each episode feels like an installment in a serial, with one thing leading to another. I haven't found any episode yet to be irrelevant to either the mythology or to the brother's relationship issues. Given how random season 7 felt at times and how long various plot threads were just dropped (for weeks at a time) I think that this season is far more cohesive so far. And that, is my two cents!
Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-11-08 21:30
Thanks E! You have given me some perspective and hope. I can decide to hold onto that :) If it doesn't pan out in the end we can complain together over that glass of wine? :)
E
# E 2012-11-08 22:34
Sure Mieke T! We can have a whole bottle and wallow in our disappointment! And I guess I'll also have to eat some crow along with my glass of wine if my hopes are dashed. But, we'll see how it goes. Maybe we'll be saying "I told you so!" instead. :D
st50
# st50 2012-11-08 22:36
E, If you're right, I'll buy you the bottle! Heck I might even buy you a dozen.
Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-11-08 23:23
E and st50 Lets have that wine either way! I'll bring chocolate :D
st50
# st50 2012-11-08 23:29
If there isn't some grand scheme for Sam, I'll have already started drowning my sorrows Wednesday nights instead of watching, so I might as well continue to drink....
If there is - Darn you writers for making us wait - it'll be a party.
Either way, Mieke, I'm in. :-)
Yay for Chocolate!
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-08 23:54
You have to wonder about a show when all these comments about taking to drink to feel better seem healthier than the conversations :D May I join you all? I can provide booze I have a bottle of cooking sherry for sure, somewhere...
st50
# st50 2012-11-08 23:57
the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned, eilf.
After all, drink is the Winchester Way of coping, isn't it? :D
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-09 00:02
Sam: I might have done...who knows what - and you want me to forget about it?
Dean: You shove it down and let it come out in spurts of violence and alcoholism.
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 07:45
Quote:
Sam: I might have done...who knows what - and you want me to forget about it?
Dean: You shove it down and let it come out in spurts of violence and alcoholism.
Except, I'm gonna try real hard to leave off the violent part. Sorry, Dean.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-09 09:42
yeah that kind of broke the mood didn't it? I was sorry as soon as I posted it :D

I found half a bottle of whiskey, Irish Coffees anyone?
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-09 00:15
I'll be joining you all from here on out. Start with wine, if it gets bad, break out the vanilla rum and mix with orange soda.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-09 02:48
I don't drink but like chocolates and i will get icecream.
E
# E 2012-11-09 06:54
Ben and Jerry's
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-09 07:17
I am in India and the only international brand that i know where i stay is Baskin Robins but if i come there it will be Ben and Jerry's. Since you people are there tell me when you people will be convening i will be eating icecream here for support.(also i get a reason to eat icecream :D ).Also,I admire your stance of approaching the show
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 07:43
Yee haw! It's gonna be an International Parrrrttttyyy!
Finally something to look forward to again! ;-)
:D
(sorry for the off topic posts, admins)
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-09 13:54
This article is a free zone, so you're free to go off topic, lol!
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 14:10
Yay. Thanks Ardeospina! (that's because it's a Speculate one, rather than a review, right? I'll get these new rules yet)
(You going to be joining the party? ;-) )
Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-11-09 15:37
I love it, it's a party!! We shall drink, eat and make merry while rolling in the hope pile! THIS is why I love my SPN Family
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-09 23:08
Yeah, because this is a Speculate, we've decided to make it a free zone. It's going to be the week's general "Let's Discuss" area, and then there will be more directed "Let's Discuss" areas introduced as needed. I'll make sure to put up a little notice that it's a free zone each week so there's no confusion about what can be said here.

And yeah, I'll come to the party, if you guys will still have me!
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 23:10
Thanks for the clarification!
Of course! All are welcome to this party! ... what are you bringing? :P
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-09 23:36
This is great you guys, love it. What's a party without chips and dip!! Nice to see everyone having fun:-)
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-11 19:06
I make a mean BBQ pulled pork, so how does BBQ sound for a main course?
st50
# st50 2012-11-11 19:12
Quote:
I make a mean BBQ pulled pork, so how does BBQ sound for a main course?
Yeah for chips& dip, Leah D!
YUM! That's a deal. Besides, it sounds like we're all gonna need something a bit more substantial to go with all the booze. (We might need a few more bottles of wine if this party keeps growing. But I'm ok with that! 8)

(Gotta say, this totally off topic bit is helping keep my spirits up, so thanks gang)


Who wants to be designated driver? :D
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-09 03:58
Quote:
Thanks E! You have given me some perspective and hope. I can decide to hold onto that :) If it doesn't pan out in the end we can complain together over that glass of wine? :)
can I join in please. I'll get my own Baileys Irish Cream.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-09 09:41
mmm Baileys, you and I can be friends :D
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-10 21:39
Quote:
mmm Baileys, you and I can be friends :D
Well, hello my new friend Eilf :lol:

Quote:
Sounds good to me, Spookysam! That'll go great after the dozen ( :-x ) bottles of wine.
Love Baileys in my coffee. That's my annual Christmas treat!
Then its on :lol:
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-10 21:48
Hi Spookysam making friends over alcohol and cream and the cuteness of TV characters, it's all good :D


EDIT: LOL there was a bad, bad typo there for a minute....
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-11 09:12
Quote:
Hi Spookysam making friends over alcohol and cream and the cuteness of TV characters, it's all good :D


EDIT: LOL there was a bad, bad typo there for a minute....
Now I'm intrigued what the typo was . :lol:
Anyway, thats the perfect way to watch season 8 at the moment I guess.
st50
# st50 2012-11-11 10:59
Quote:
Quote:
Hi Spookysam making friends over alcohol and cream and the cuteness of TV characters, it's all good :D


EDIT: LOL there was a bad, bad typo there for a minute....
Now I'm intrigued what the typo was . :lol:
Anyway, thats the perfect way to watch season 8 at the moment I guess.
*whispers* I enjoyed that "typo", eilf :oops:
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 14:08
Sounds good to me, Spookysam! That'll go great after the dozen ( :-x ) bottles of wine.
Love Baileys in my coffee. That's my annual Christmas treat!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 22:20
Deleated.
E
# E 2012-11-08 23:06
Normally I really like reading your posts Percysowner and as a staunch defender of Sam's character, by and large I tend to agree with you, but I must say, I didn't really appreciate the tone of your reply to my post. First off, I don't really care what the majority of the rest of the fandom thinks. I find much of the Supernatural fandom (NOT the people here of course) to be immature, hateful, spiteful and screeching little girls, who say the most awful things to one another in the guise of "being a fan" and with the false protection of anonymity. I can't be bothered with their view on things. Let them hate, I couldn't care less. That is the reason that I come here to discuss the show. For the most part the vitriol is absent here and people are passionate but logical and considered; dissenting but respectful. This is the only part of the fandom that I am concerned with what they think, and many here have already said that they can see Sam's side of things, and no one here has said that they hate Sam or find him beyond hope.

And for the record, I don't think either brother could ever be irredeemable unless one killed the other, which will never happen. And until Sam actually does grovel I am not going to get upset about it. It has to happen first. And I don't remember drawing any conclusions in my post and if I did, I certainly didn't draw any of the conclusions you are suggesting. I am sorry more than I can say that you are so unhappy and disillusioned with the show, it's terrible when a long time fan gets to the point where their favorite show disappoints them so totally, but that is where you seem to be, not where I am. I have hope, and I will continue to express that hope until I learn concretely through aired episodes that I am mistaken. Then I will eat my humble pie with good grace. Perhaps you did not intend the tone that I am reading into your post, and if I am wrong about that I apologize in advance for my somewhat terse reply.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-08 23:19
I'm sorry that my tone was so strident. I am extremely frustrated by the idea that Sam's story has to be held to the second half or the end of the season, partly because I have heard this before from various writers and the results have been less than satisfactory to me. I am also frustrated that Garth gets a back story, Benny gets a detailed back story, Amelia gets her back story and Sam still has he hit a dog and met a girl. I should not have put my frustration with the writers, who IMHO are currently putting every other character ahead of Sam, on you. I truly apologize and I will edit my comments. They were unfair to you. Again I am sorry.
E
# E 2012-11-09 06:49
Perceysowner, really no problem! I completely understand your frustration, and I know the PTB seem to be repeating irritating patterns from the past that have left Sam fans in particular with a bad taste in their mouths and a character that we love in tatters. I hope, hope and hope some more that JC has given this season some real thought and is taking us on a journey that will be satisfying for all. If it turns out badly, I'll be one of the loudest voices complaining about it, believe me! Only time will tell. But until then, I will always look for your comments, because I enjoy them so much.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-09 04:51
Quote:
I am more convinced than ever that Sam's story, the details of his currently lost year are at the crux of all of the brother's turmoil and a major part of the plot. One of the reasons I think that we know SO little about Sam's year is that they can't reveal it yet
Well I fervently hope you are right, but all the signs are negative. Jared, the showrunners, every blogger / journalist who has interviewed them, visited the set and Alice's own bts info that was shared in the Jared'd Meet and Greet thread last week are clearly and unequivocally telling us that Sam didn't look for Dean because he chose not to. No mystery. No red herrings. No big reveal coming. It was a character choice that we are expected to buy that he made for the reasons we've been told; the (non extistent) promise they wouldn't look, the (falsehood) fact that he had no leads and was on his own, and that he (with zero evidence) believed Dean was dead.

That is it. That is apparently all we are going to get. Now this could be a double bluff of 'Jim B is filming a Yeti movie; proportions but if it is they are not just obfuscating, they are outright lying to us.
E
# E 2012-11-09 06:49
GOD! I hope I'm right too. UGH!
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 14:27
All right, I'm going to join you E and throw a couple of things on the Hope Pile.

Carver has said that this season is all about "playing with perceptions." I haven't seen anything that would fit that description yet which would mean it's still out there, so maybe there is something going on underneath everything that we can't see yet. Like a parallel universe or something.

Carver had also said that Sam might seem unsympathetic in the beginning but "hold onto your hats" and wait and see.

There was that shadowy figure watching Sam's house in the pilot. He was there for a reason, so we know there must be something more going on with the whole Sam and Amelia arc than we know so far.

And I wouldn't put it past them to pull a "Jim is filming a yeti movie" on us.

My problem with that is, I'm not a masochist, and I don't feel like sitting through a whole season of wanting to throw things at the TV. But if there is some rhyme and reason to this, even if it comes only at the end of the season, I'll take it. Better late than never, and all the wine, chocolate and ice cream will be all the sweeter.

Gotta run. Anybody else have stuff to throw on the Hope Pile?
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 14:32
Quote:


Carver had also said that Sam might seem unsympathetic in the beginning but "hold onto your hats" and wait and see.
Mickey!!! I love you. Where did Carver say that????
That is the ultimate Hope Pile addition. :)
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-09 14:38
Quote:
Quote:


Carver had also said that Sam might seem unsympathetic in the beginning but "hold onto your hats" and wait and see.
Mickey!!! I love you. Where did Carver say that????
That is the ultimate Hope Pile addition. :)
Having just added to the Hope Pile I'm now stomping on it. The clear implication of what JC said was 'Sam might look bad now but it won't be long before Dean looks even worse'. So I think he may mean that how Dean got out of Purgatory, and how Cas got left, show Dean in a poor light, rather than something emerging that makes Sam look better.
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 14:42
:sad:
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 17:33
Hey GG,

I can see why you would think that, because he says "we'll explore both brothers...no one's hands were completely clean." That's certainly a possible interpretation.

However, if you look at the whole quote, I think there's a different interpretation. For one thing, he says "no one's hands were completely clean at the end of last season." So it sounds like past sins, rather than making Sam do something bad this season, and then making Dean do something equally bad later this season. Especially since he says "What you think might be a bad thing -- I don’t think you’ll think that as the season goes on." So not just it's still a bad thing but the other brother will do a bad thing too. But the bad thing won't seem bad anymore. And he keeps saying they're playing with perception and expectations, that has to mean something, like our perception will change. Here's the full quote:

"IGN: Based on what you’ve revealed so far, I’ve seen some fans express concerns like, “Did Sam give up looking for Dean? How much did he try or not try to find him?” What can you about that, as far as what Sam was doing while Dean was gone?

Carver: I would say that I don’t think anything is done without good reason. One of the things in the show is that, particularly this season, people might think one way about one of the brothers in the beginning. Again, it goes along with perception. I would just ask people to hold on to your hats and understand that we’re going to be exploring each brother, the very complex and difficult things that they’re going through. No one’s hands were completely clean at the end of last season. What you think might be a bad thing -- I don’t think you’ll think that as the season goes on. We’re playing with expectations."

http://ca.ign.com/articles/2012/08/08/new-supernatural-showrunner-on-his-plans-for-season-8

I figure we have three choices:

1) Stop watching now.
2) Wait till the end of the season assuming it will end badly and hating every minute.
3) Wait till the end of the season but assume there will be a development that allows us to live with this so that we might enjoy at least parts of the show between now and then. (While complaining bitterly on the internets all the while just in case there is no good reason in hopes it will kick Carver into getting a good reason. ;-) )

I'm going to go with 3) because I figure I have nothing to lose: I can always be pissed off at Carver later. (Hey, there's no pissed off emoticon! I'll have to make one. >:-C )
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-09 19:59
Or there's
4) DVR the episode but don't watch it pop into the first review ask has Sam gotten any back story yet and not watch until the answer is yes. Hold the episodes so I can watch them all once I am reassured that things aren't going as badly as I think they will. Which I may do after mid season break if I don't get more satisfaction out of the next few episodes.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 18:55
Aw, crap, you're right! Etheldread just posted another interview from Carver (whom henceforth I shall refer to as "Douchecanoe") that explicitly says what you're saying here, that Douchecanoe thinks so long as he assassinates both characters, it'll be okay. Instead of making things better, that just gives me twice as much reason to be pissed off at Douchecanoe.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-09 20:05
I know there are lots of Cas lovers and admittedly I'm not one of them. So if Dean had to leave Cas behind to save himself, I actually won't mind, any more than I would mind if he found out he could get out only if he didn't take Benny. If Dean found out that in order to get out he has to provide a trade, i.e. another living creature to take his place that would bother me. If he had to provide another HUMAN to take his place, that would bother me too. But I really don't think they are going that way.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-10 19:13
Same here percysowner, Cas is not a favourite of mine and so I wouldn't be very upset if Dean had to leave Cas behind to save himself. TBH, after the stunts Cas has pulled on the Winchesters (and Humanity in general) I think he could do with a spell in Purgatory to purge his bad behaviour (Catholic upbringing showing here lol) until he's learned his lesson and is fit to go back upstairs again. If the story were done right, it would be very emotional and satisfying.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 17:16
Here's the quote and link. It gave me hope early last summer that I carried right through until I lost it just recently. Now that I've reread it, it gives me hope again.

"IGN: Based on what you’ve revealed so far, I’ve seen some fans express concerns like, “Did Sam give up looking for Dean? How much did he try or not try to find him?” What can you about that, as far as what Sam was doing while Dean was gone?

Carver: I would say that I don’t think anything is done without good reason. One of the things in the show is that, particularly this season, people might think one way about one of the brothers in the beginning. Again, it goes along with perception. I would just ask people to hold on to your hats and understand that we’re going to be exploring each brother, the very complex and difficult things that they’re going through. No one’s hands were completely clean at the end of last season. What you think might be a bad thing -- I don’t think you’ll think that as the season goes on. We’re playing with expectations."

http://ca.ign.com/articles/2012/08/08/new-supernatural-showrunner-on-his-plans-for-season-8
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 17:25
THANKS Mickey!
There is something I plan to hold tightly to with both hands!
Much happier camper here today. Justification for waiting it out and being patient. I may have trouble seeing it, but......
THERE IS STILL HOPE OF A PLAN!
(Sorry, got a little excited.)
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-09 17:40
CONSIDER AVOIDING FOR POTENTIAL SQUEE-HARSHING


The problem is, the way they expanded that in a later interview makes it sound a lot more like what they mean by perception is just that Sam starts out in the doghouse, but later it's Dean in the doghouse:

" We talk about it in Episode 1. Dean talks about it: “We always ignored the advice we gave to each other” and what happens if someone actually took it? [As for] how long Sam is made to pay for this ... I think one of the things we really like about particularly the first 13 is the way we’re playing with perception because right now, Dean is piling on Sam somewhat for this, and so what happens is these brothers start to discover more about what they’ve done in their past year and might those tables turn in terms of who has to answer for what? So I think ... everyone will get their licks in. No one’s going to be a beaten dog for too long."

Carver speaking, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/03/supernatural-season-8-premiere_n_1934474.html?utm_hp_ref=tv

So it seems like they really are going for Sam did a bad thing and he's punished for a while but eventually he gets the chance to punish Dean. Plus, the fact that Carver described 8.5 as a turning point makes me think the bad thing Dean did is just befriend a vampire and conceal the fact, and they've gone out of their way to make Dean's friendship with Benny sympathetic and understandable. Whereas they seem to think that we've already had Sam's perspective on why he didn't look -- Sam says in 8.6 that he was open from the get go about where he was coming from and why he didn't look.
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 17:59
etheldred, you are a Squee-spoiler. :P
(Just kidding!)
I'm hanging on to my hope. In spite of this.... but 13 episodes? We're not even half way to getting Sam out of the doghouse? Seriously. How much can this kid take? And why should he?
... and he BETTER get out of the doghouse. (Don't really want Dean IN it either) Where is this maturity I heard mentioned?
I'm going back to lala land with my hopes now. :D
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-09 18:03
Well, what he says is that the first 13 deal with perception so defined, so I think they include both the Sam in the doghouse part and the Dean in the doghouse part. And given that we are about halfway through that first thirteen, I really think Carver is imagining that now is where that transition is occurring.

Judging by the spectacular explosion of vitriolic Samhate over much of the known interwebz this week (not here! thank goodness), they may have misjudged things a little.

But it may also be that I am taking the gloomiest view possible because I'd rather be pleasantly surprised if I'm wrong than get my hopes up and have them dashed.
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 18:09
Quote:

Judging by the spectacular explosion of vitriolic Samhate over much of the known interwebz this week (not here! thank goodness), they may have misjudged things a little.
Yes. Boy, did I notice. Not fun at all. Not necessary on either side. So sad. Hopefully Carver can rectify this somewhat, because, let's face it, nobody else can take responsibility for it coming out this season. It's his direction now.
E
# E 2012-11-10 19:17
Gosh you guys?! Why do you torment yourselves with these other sites? Why would you even bother? Most of the posters at TWoP and similar sites are like 16, and hysterical. They haven't got the maturity to see even half of the complexity that exists in any of these characters. They swoon over their favorites, make up ridiculous reasons to excuse any negativity that they perceive in said favorite, get irrationally offended for any slight to that character either real or imagines and vilify all the others, in ways that defy all character development, reality and logic. Ugh, I can't imagine spending any time there and reading ANY of that kind of thing. Save your sanity! Don't go!
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-10 19:32
Is TWoP 'TV without Pity'? Why would anyone go on there? I truly don't understand it. When I caught up with the episodes in the middle of season 7 I was on there a couple of times. The reviewer absolutely hates the show, he says so on every page of his 11 page reviews where he calls the characters names, disses the plot and everything else and is generally downright obnoxious.
I don't mind critiques and I am entertained by humor, but that guy (Damien I think he is) needs to get help. Dude, hate-watch if you must but be brief!
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-11 09:29
I'm like E and eilf, I gave up on TWoP years ago because of the sometimes abrasive nature of the forums. Also, Demian's reviews started to get on my nerves a lot. I actually preferred the TWoP SPN reviewer who stood in for Demian when he broke his arm and had to take a break for a while. I preferred her take on the plots (her reviews were much less bitchy plus there was much less Raoul the Dragon in her reviews).

When I participated in TWoP forums I was a hyper-neurotic and mopey fan. Frankly, it's one of the reasons I gave up on SPN's online fandom for the last 3 years. I'm much happier since I've found WFB - I like the tone of things here much more.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-09 18:08
PS

If you want some genuine hope

WARNING SPOILERS FOR FUTURE EPISODES


In one of the recent Jared interviews he mentioned that around the eps they were filming then (I think it would have been 9 or 10) we'd be finding out why Sam and Amelia split up, and that it was a "good reason" and he seemed to think it was pretty cool. I don't know if it has any bearing on the mysterious figure watching the house in 8.1 or if it is (slim hope, I fear) in any way related to why Sam didn't search, but it does sound like there's some cool Sam stuff to come in the later parts of that 13.

Then again, judging by most responses I'm seeing I'm unusual in the fact that Sam and Amelia's relationship is one of the things I'm really enjoying this season. I don't see a lack of chemistry at all, I see a depiction of a relationship between two wary, difficult people with a lot of issues, where it's not going to be an easy plunge into intimacy. So I'm really looking forward to seeing more of it.

Yes, believe it or not, I am capable of enjoying things!
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 18:13
Hey. I like Amelia, too. I think they'd both be a bit sharp and wary of relationships. That's what's making it real.
Not sure I liked how quickly they jumped into bed, but I guess that's all grief and emotion jumbling up together, too. Just having someone to hang on to.....
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 18:15
And yay for cool Sam stuff. lol
Hope it doesn't get lost in the cool Cas and Dean stuff or in the funny episode stuff.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-09 19:52
I don't dislike Amelia. We haven't seen enough of her for me to say right now. At least she isn't sweet and kind and feisty and perfect, so that's a plus.

We have to wait until around 13 to get to Sam. That's asking a lot.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-09 22:34
Quote:
I don't see a lack of chemistry at all, I see a depiction of a relationship between two wary, difficult people with a lot of issues, where it's not going to be an easy plunge into intimacy.
This episode made me feel the same..
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 22:38
Quote:
Quote:
I don't see a lack of chemistry at all, I see a depiction of a relationship between two wary, difficult people with a lot of issues, where it's not going to be an easy plunge into intimacy.
This episode made me feel the same..
I agree.... (but then they jumped into bed! I guess that doesn't equate to emotional intimacy, though)
RMF
# RMF 2012-11-09 23:14
Quote:
PS

If you want some genuine hope

WARNING SPOILERS FOR FUTURE EPISODES


In one of the recent Jared interviews he mentioned that around the eps they were filming then (I think it would have been 9 or 10) we'd be finding out why Sam and Amelia split up, and that it was a "good reason" and he seemed to think it was pretty cool. I don't know if it has any bearing on the mysterious figure watching the house in 8.1 or if it is (slim hope, I fear) in any way related to why Sam didn't search, but it does sound like there's some cool Sam stuff to come in the later parts of that 13.
I did note that while Amelia's loss could have been anything -- car accident, heart attack, murder -- they specifically chose a romantic interest in a war zone. How akin to Sam in hunter mode is that?
E
# E 2012-11-10 19:24
And not only that, but she intimated that she felt that she felt betrayed that her husband went and enlisted in the first place. Then he went and got killed while she was probably still mad at him for that. The issue of a perceived betrayal either justified or unjustified is a direct connection to Sam and Dean's storyline IMO.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-09 23:23
Quote:
Sam and Amelia's relationship is one of the things I'm really enjoying this season. I don't see a lack of chemistry at all, I see a depiction of a relationship between two wary, difficult people with a lot of issues, where it's not going to be an easy plunge into intimacy. So I'm really looking forward to seeing more of it.
I really like the Sam and Amelia flashbacks, too. Finally someone for Sam to talk to about his feelings. Although frankly it still bugs me (a little) that Amelia seems to have most of the dialogue while we have to infer what Sam is feeling by reading Jared's face.
E
# E 2012-11-10 19:21
You hit the nail on the head about why I like the Sam/Amelia relationship too. I am finding it's quiet, stillness intriguing and find that when those scene are on that I am paying very close attention to them. I am watching the Sam FB in a totally different way than I am watching the Dean Purgatory FB.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 18:47
ACK THAT SUCKS!!!! Seriously, it sucks donkey balls. Sweaty, dirty, mangy donkey balls. ACK!!!!

Carver seriously thinks that it'll be okay so long as he assassinates both characters? WHAT A DOUCHECANOE!!!!

And he thinks so long as they're not treated like a beaten dog for too long, it'll be okay? Even when you stop beating them up, Douchecanoe, that won't change the fact you made them do horrible, OOC things that we then have to live with as canon. (And also, we have to live with you giving all the Sam bashers enough ammo to wage World War III.) :cry:

And the perception they're playing with is Sam and Dean's not ours. Well, there goes my hope there was something cool going on, like a parallel universe or something. :sad:

It would be nice to think that Carver might respond to the unhappiness in the fandom, but douchecanoes seldom respond to the feelings of others.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-09 21:13
Quote:
ACK THAT SUCKS!!!! Seriously, it sucks donkey balls. Sweaty, dirty, mangy donkey balls. ACK!!!!
This really made me laugh!! Totally agree of course!
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 18:58
I just thought of a silver lining though: once he assassinates Dean's character as well, ALL of the fandom will be up in arms. Let's see how long Douchecanoe can ignore that. Especially if Geordiegirl is right and the way Douchecanoe assassinates Dean's character is by making him abandon Cas in Purgatory. Because the Casgirls will be furious as well.

Jeremy Douchecanoe Carver, pissing off the entire fandom in 13 episodes or less.
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-09 19:10
Harsh, Mickey
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 22:06
What part, the Douchecanoe? that's mostly just for fun. I just learned the term and it tickled my fancy. Just a colourful way of venting my displeasure, like the "donkey balls" bit above.

That said, if a showrunner assassinates all my favourite character, I reserve the right to call him names. Reading the interview posted above, and judging from the direction of the first 6 episodes, I really don't see it going any other way. I really think Dean will abandon Cas in Purgatory. We know Cas pobably couldn't get through the portal, we saw Dean being cagey when Sam asked him if Cas was dead. We know Carver intends to turn the tables on Dean piling on Sam for deserting him, so that Dean is the one who has to answer for his actions. The only action comparable to Sam deserting Dean is Dean deserting Cas. Everything points that way. How could the fandom not be up in arms about that? No matter who your favourite character is, Sam and/or Dean and/or Cas, you're going to be really unhappy.

And like I said, the only silver lining I can see in all this is, if so many fans are really unhappy, then Carver will have to take notice, and he'll have to rethink the way he's running the show. And maybe he'll stop assassinating our beloved characters.
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-09 23:13
ADMIN WARNING!!!

Hey, Mickey. Just popping in to please ask you to not call Carver a "Douchecanoe," though that is very colorful. We like to try to avoid name-calling around here, no matter who your target is.

Thanks much!

Ardeospina
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-10 11:28
Just saw this. Understood, and I apologize. The only place I ever posted before coming here yesterday or the day before is TVbytheNumbers, and over there anything goes, so long as you don't bring a sockpuppet to the fight, so that's what I'm used to. I actually wish they moderated more because posters can be downright nasty to each other, so I certainly respect your aim to keep things cordial here. My rant was meant to be caricatural, but I understand why I shouldn't even in jest, and I won't do it again. (Although I might've done it a little bit down below, right before I saw this, in a little throwaway joke at the end, and I can't figure out how to edit or delete.)

Anyways, sorry again, and thanks for the moderation.
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-11 22:26
Apology accepted, Mickey!

We do tend to try and moderate things here to keep a civil atmosphere. If you haven't already read them, you'll find a link to our commenting rules on our front page. That might help you understand what we admins hope to see from in the comments section!

Thanks!

Ardeospina
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 11:29
Sorry, I did skip that step. I avoid all discussion forums, and had no intention of joining in, but someone sent me a link here and to see such great discussion about all the issues I was having so much trouble with, I just dove right in.

I intend to go back to my own little bubble, but I'll go read them in case I'm ever compelled to jump in again. :-)
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 12:02
Ah, found it! I had read the new commenting policy because I saw it on Twitter, but it never occurred to me to look for another one. But now I have found it. And it does in fact say "treat the authors with respect." ;-) And I credit your "no Sam vs Dean nor Jared vs Jensen" rule as the reason I wasn't immediately scared away and stuck around to post.

May I recommend putting a link to it at the top of discussions for new posters? It won't necessarily occur to a new poster to go searching for a commenting policy, nor know where to look. It certainly didn't occur to me and even though you told me it was on the front page, I really had to look all around the page for it. It could spare you some moderating in the future if it were more prominent. ;-)
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-12 12:21
Thanks for reading our commenting rules! On the one hand, having a link to the commenting policy in each article would be good for new commenters, but on the other, I don't want to keep hitting people over the head with the rules...

But thanks for the suggestion. Maybe in the Speculate and Discuss areas a link would be helpful.

Ardeospina
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-09 23:17
Quote:
That said, if a showrunner assassinates all my favourite character, I reserve the right to call him names.
Sorry, but I don't think you - or anyone - has any "right" to call anyone names just because you don't like the story. Criticize the story, not the person. The showrunners and writers are people just like us who are not here to defend themselves. There's a very clear difference between expressing frustration about a story and calling the creators of that story names. One is mature constructive criticism. The other is childish. I understand that you meant it in jest or sarcasm or whatever. But I certainly think some respect is due these individuals who work so hard to make a good show, but may at times do things some fans disfavor.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-09 23:43
Thank you, Bamboo!
They all do work so hard on the show, and quite frankly Jeremy Carver is (IMO) a fantastic showrunner, much better than Sera Gamble (although I do respect her work) and maybe even better than the anvil-dropping Kripke. At least Carver's vision of the show is fresh and interesting, and the conflict between the brothers seems more true than the manufactured stuff of previous seasons- because it is born of the FACT that they are two totally different people, with different wants and needs. And frankly, there's nothing wrong with that.
If only they had listened more to the wise Garth.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-09 23:44
And I'd say the LARGE increase in ratings backs me up- Carver is the best showrunner we've had in years.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-10 01:23
That's your opinion. I disagree. I think Carver is a horrible showrunner and would much prefer to have Sera back. There hasn't been a single episode I liked. We all have different opinions. There's no point in reprimanding those who disagree w/you.

And the increase in rating is probably due to the how being on Wednesdays now. Better night, better ratings. Plus, Arrow is a really good lead in show.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-10 10:57
Quote:
There's no point in reprimanding those who disagree w/you.
I assume this was directed at me. I just wanted to point out that I was not "reprimanding" anyone for disagreeing with me, but rather was expressing that the manner in which that disagreement was expressed (i.e. name-calling) was unnecessary. I think we could all agree that there is a difference. I certainly don't have a problem with people disagreeing in a civil manner. :)
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-10 11:28
Actually, it was directed at a series of comments from Rick D :-)
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-10 11:36
lala2,

Okay, understood. :)
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-10 12:48
Quote:
Actually, it was directed at a series of comments from Rick D :-)
Where is the "reprimand" in what I said? Nowhere.

The fact is I (and my circle of friends) have loved every episode this year, every one has consistently been better than any ep from the past two years. This season has made me the happiest viewer I've been since season 3. Just because some can't get past Sam's reasons, doesn't change how excellent and enjoyable the new episodes are for those who can. Benny, Purgatory, Garth, and soon Cas and Charlie= all wonderful additions and things I look forward to in the future.

Just because you don't like my opinion, doesn't make me stating my opinion a "reprimand" in any way.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-10 12:59
Who is trying to change how you feel about the episodes, Rick? No one. You can love them to your heart's content but questioning if someone's critique is "serious" is plain rude. Expressing sheer wonder and amazement that others aren't viewing the episodes the exact same way you and your friends do is rude.

Love the show to your heart's content, but you can disagree in a civil way. I don't care if you love this season. That's your right. I don't love this season, and you should respect that I and others have the right to have a different interpretation. Even here, you act like there's something wrong w/people who are having a problem w/Sam's actions. There's not. Some have a problem w/Sam. You don't. That's fine. We can all exist and share opinions as long as we respect each other.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-10 13:29
I never said there is something wrong with people having a different opinion than me. You seem to have a problem with me sharing my opinion.

I'm sorry if you find my opinion "rude", but in my opinion, because I care for the character of Sam so much, when someone basically says, "how could *Sam* possibly fix an ice machine?" it defames his character. Sorry that I take exception to what, in my opinion, is defamation of Sam's character.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-10 14:22
I have no problem w/you loving the episodes. I don't care for the tone of a lot of your posts. Maybe you don't intend to come off rudely, but you do in some posts, IMO.

Anyway, let's not argue anymore. I'm happy you're enjoying the show. I wish I was.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-10 12:36
I respect your right to think Carver is the best showrunner--tho ugh I obviously disagree--but the ratings don't prove that.

Carver's S8 premiere rated a 0.8, which is exactly the same as Sera's S7 premiere, which was on a Friday, the graveyard night with the smallest audience pool. Friday ratings are conventionally given a 20-30% boost to compare them with weekday ratings, so the S7 premiere rated 0.96-1.04 compared to the 0.8 of the S8 premiere.

It wasn't until Arrow premiered the next week that the ratings went up to 1.0. Arrow is the best lead-in we could've hoped for, it usually gets 1.3 and is perfectly compatible woth Supernatural. So I think CW president Mark Pedowitz gets the credit for the increased ratings, he's the one who moved the show off graveyard night and paired it with the best lead-in.

For the fourth episode, the ratings fell to 0.7. Part of that was baseball, but seeing as Supernatural fell significantly more than Arrow, and also fell significantly more than usual in the half-hours, I think part of it was due to the nature of the episode. It was in the found footage style, and it's well known a lot of people can't stand the jerky and murky camera work. And it featured random strangers with very little Sam and Dean, and no other known characters. So those were two things that were predictably going to be unpopular with a lot of viewers, and they were piled together in the same episode so close to the beginning of the season. That was a showrunning decision, and I think it was a mistake.

Plus, Carver is lucky he inherited the most loyal fanbase out there. Just because people are still watching doesn't mean all of them are enjoying it, it just means they're loyal. (I know a lot of people are still enjoying it as well, but a significant number of people aren't.)
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-10 13:07
Here's what I clipped from the news section of this very website (emphasis mine)=
"Supernatural, a show in it's 8th season, is defying all odds by actually GAINING VIEWERS. Supernatural out of the six episodes so far has surpassed 2 million three times. Supernatural NEVER reached a 1.0 in the demo last season. They've done it three times already this season.
SUPERNATURAL climbed to match its season high in adults 18-49 (1.0/2) and its second most watched episode (2.3M) of the season. SUPERNATURAL was just shy of its season high in adults 18-34 (0.9/3). SUPERNATURAL saw big gains over last week, up 30% in total viewers, 29% in adults 18-34 and 25% in adults 18-49. SUPERNATURAL also sees sizable gains with its Live+7 performance, improving 41% in total viewers above its Live+SD overnights, 46% in adults 18-34 and 52% in adults 18-49."

SPN may be a loyal fanbase, but the ratings prove that this season is getting a lot of NEW viewers, mostly younger viewers, who either haven't watched in years, or never watched before. New viewers are all to the good, IMO, since it brings new vitality to the fandom. I'll say no more on that subject- draw your own conclusions.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 11:17
First of all, none of that negates anything I said, about the numbers only going up AFTER Arrow premiered, and being the exact same as the previous season BEFORE Arrow premiered, in fact lower if you factor in the difference between Friday ratings and weekday ratings.

Also, while we did gain some new viewers, this is not attributable to Carver. People were catching up on the first seven seasons of Supernatural on Netflix, TNT, etc. BEFORE Carver took over. Everywhere on the internet I was running into new fans last year. They didn't just magically appear at the beginning of season 8 because they had heard somewhere that Jeremy Carver was taking over Supernatural, and that made them want to start watching season 8 having never watched Supernatural before. It is the first seven seasons on Netflix and TNT, show run by Kripke and Gamble, that won them over.

Furthermore, to say the ratings increase is all new fans is misleading. The ratings, which reflect only live +SD (same day) do not include DVR +7 (seven days). We used to top the lists of DVR % increase. We were at 75% the week before Arrow premiered, and it dropped to 42% after Arrow premiered. That's an increase of 33% viewers watching live, which completely explains the increase of 0.8 to 1.0 and then some.

These aren't new viewers, these are viewers who are watching live instead of DVRing. I'm sorry, but there's no way a couple hundred thousand viewers suddenly started watching Supernatural for the first time ever at the beginning of season 8 just because someone named Jeremy Carver took over. Any new viewers are watching season 8 because they first saw Kripke and Gamble's work on Netflix or TNT.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-12 11:37
Those are good points, Mickey! Plus, it now airs on a better night. That may have something to do w/the increase in live ratings versus DVR ones.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-10 12:08
It certainly wasn't meant as bullying, but it was meant as a ridiculous caricature of a rant, so I'll give you childish. ;-)

My problem is that yesterday one right after the other I read two interviews from him that made me feel like he didn't respect the fans or the characters. So in that context it's really difficult for me to respect him right now. Maybe that will change, and I hope it does, but after what I just read last night, I'm having a hard time with that.

I agree there are far more constructive ways of expressing things than name-calling, but I don't think you can tell me that I only have the right to criticize the story and not the person. I think who Carver is as a person is affecting the story. In the example I gave below, he said "Why not give Sam a relationship?" and his team told him "Because 15 million people don't want you to." And he laughed and did it anyway.

This, and other things, have given me the impression of a showrunner who doesn't pay attention to other people's feelings and opinions (I of course don't mean in his personal life, I mean strictly as a showrunner.) And I would think that as a showrunner, you need to be in tune with your audience's feelings about things, and you need to listen to the opinions of your co-workers who have been involved with the show longer than you have.

And I think this is affecting his story choices. I think this is why he chose not only to give Sam a relationship that even TV critics are criticizing even though he was warned not to, but also to make Sam not even look for Dean. The intense negative reaction to that was completely predictable, and I can't imagine Singer, Edlund or others didn't warn him about that too.

Look, I loved Sera, and I really didn't like the way people ripped into her at times, even if I understood why Casfans in particular would be angry with her. So I completely understand why you didn't like what I said about Carver. I can certainly promise not to call him names anymore, I shouldn't have in the first place. But I can't promise I won't criticize him as a showrunner.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 12:08
Dear Bamboo, I'm sorry, but this has been bothering me, and I really felt the need to say that bullying is a serious problem, so serious it has led several teenagers to commit suicide, and I don't think the word should be used lightly. Calling a public figure who will never see it a silly name on the internet has nothing to do with the unbearable hell the victims of bullying endure.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-12 13:37
Mickey,

I apologize if the use of the word offended - however I was not using it lightly. I understand about bullying very well. I have been bullied. I have known people who have been bullied. I've been friends with someone who committed suicide partially because of bullying. You're right; bullying is serious. And it starts with little things, innocuous things, like seemingly silly name-calling.

I honestly don't think you intended to bullying. And I understand that you were speaking in jest. My biggest issue, honestly, was not what you said but the fact that you had stated you had a "right to call [the showrunner] names" if you disagreed with his vision or direction. I simply cannot agree with that statement.

I think it is all too easy to sit behind a computer screen and diss another person. The fact that they may or may not be a public figure and may or may not ever read the post, IMO, is merely an excuse, and an entirely irrelevant one at that. These "public figures" are human beings just like us, who are doing the best they can to do their jobs well for their own fulfillment and livelihood. It's in their best interest to put out a good product. Just because you or I may not like the product they are putting out there, does not give us the right, IMO to name-call or malign their personal character, abilities, or motives.

I personally believe it is wrong to criticize or negatively speculating about the people who run the show by, for example, claiming that people BTS are conspiring against one character or another, or claiming that they are committing character assassination just because I don't like the writing or direction. When I see comments like that I usually say something, because it is a pet peeve of mine. To me, it comes across as slander, because one is accusing someone of something extremely negative, 'wrong', or taboo based on speculation.

That being said, I'm truly sorry that my comment is still bothering you. I think the issue has been resolved at this point, anyway, and I am more than willing to edit/delete my comment if it would give you peace of mind. Please let me know.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-12 13:44
Mickey,

I went ahead and edited my comment to take out the word "bullying" as I know that wasn't your intent.
E
# E 2012-11-10 19:27
I think that maybe you are overreacting to things not in evidence.....
E
# E 2012-11-10 19:36
Sorry, this reply got displaced so far from it's intended comment, that it's lost all it's meaning. Please just ignore it! :oops:
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 22:55
Okay, here's why I'm so concerned about Carver. I just saw this Carver quote posted at tv.com a couple of hours ago.

“I think being away, when I came back, I looked at it with those [fresh] eyes and went, “Why wouldn’t he [have a relationship]?â € And then someone reminded me, “Because there are about 15 million people who don’t want him to.” [Laughs]

This sounds to me like a man who doesn't care about how the audience is going to feel about something, nor even about his colleagues' opinion. He felt like giving Sam a relationship, so what if 15 million people aren't going to like it, so what if other people think it's a bad idea? What if Singer or Edlund told him having Sam desert Dean would be a bad idea, and he just laughed and did it anyway, like he did with Sam/Amelia?

The thing is, Carver isn't making the show for himself. He's making the show for millions of viewers. He can't just do whatever he feels like, indulge his own tastes, regardless of how the fans are going to feel about it, and regardless of whether or not it is true to the characters and the show they have loved for 7 years before he became its showrunner.

(And I won't even get into this sounding like he didn't have a purpose for the Sam/Amelia storyline, it was just "why not?" Nor that it sounds like he's thinking "15 million jealous fangirls who can't stand to have a girl next to their guy, I'm just gonna laugh at them.")

That quote taken on its own would just be a quote. But having seen it now after the way the first 6 episodes have made me feel, it really makes me worry about him as a showrunner, about whether or not he cares about how the audience is going to feel.
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-09 23:17
Hey Mickey, I think I have read so many genuinely angry comments lately that I might have missed the humorous intention. Anyhow you are indeed entitled to your opinions. I personally feel it's a little to soon to judge Carver and even though Gamble was considered a bad showrunner I still respect her for what she tried to do. And JC for what he is attempting to do with what he was left with. That's just my opinion :-)
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-10 11:00
Things are a little strained in the fandom lately. Even people who are invariably cheerful and sweet are snapping at other fans. I understand your reaction completely.

My hyperbolic freak-out was indeed exaggerated for comedic effect, but tone is difficult to convey in an internet post. I'm glad it made Geordiegirl laugh at least. :-)

I actually felt the way you do about Carver right up until I wrote the above post. I went into the season with complete faith in Carver and in fact had been defending him all summer. Even though I was getting discouraged over the last week, I still started the "Hope Pile" here yesterday to find reasons we could keep believing it would turn out okay, and I even said somewhere up there that I would reserve judgement until the end of the season.

Then in quick succession I read the two quotes posted just above, about Carver seemingly intending to do something as bad to Dean's character as he has to Sam's, rather than to fix Sam's (I'm completely bi-bro, I love them both equally, so that would be doubly painful for me) and saw people discussing the "15 million" quote and how it seemed to show Carver didn't care about how the fans feel. And that's when my faith broke. (And rather than write a seriously angry post, I chose to channel it into caricatural donkey balls rant.)

I'm coming at this from a different direction than you. I personally loved Sera, and I really enjoyed seasons 6 and 7. I think Carver was left in a better position than Sera was. (Not that Kripke didn't do a brilliant job, but he did write them into a corner with his fake five-year plan.)

To be honest with you, if things turn out the way I fear, I doubt I'll be able to respect Carver the way you respect Sera. If he assassinates my all-time favourite characters, the characters I care about more than I have ever cared about any other character, I will in fact believe he sucks donkey balls. ;-)
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-10 14:01
Mickey, I truly hope things don't turn out as you fear. I have to work at not getting discouraged sometimes but I remind myself that the season is young and we have miles to go. As was said in a recent post, many of the things that the fans wanted to see happen this year came about, except the strengthening of the brothers bond. I have faith that it will come through. Not without some painful moments.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 12:16
I really hope you're right, LEAH D. I had total faith going into it, but it was like it had turned into a house of cards and it all came down in a big WHOOSH! when I read the above quotes.

But I'm building up some cards again, mostly because, like you, I'm thinking the season is young, there are lots of brilliant and talented people on this show, and they'll work it out in the end.

But yeah, I'm bracing for lots of painful moments first! I think what has now given me some peace is that I accept I'm really not going to like it for a while, but I have hope it'll get better after that.
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-12 15:30
Good for you, Mickey!!
E
# E 2012-11-10 20:09
I think Carver gave Sam a romance because it suited the arc for the season and was relevant to that arc's outcome and to the outcome of the season as a whole. I am sure that for JC this fact is far more important than some fans who are complaining online.

A show runner has to have a plan, has to oversee that plan and facilitate the writing so that it best serves that plan. JC has come up with a story that was approved by all (including the Brass who hold way more power than any fan base) and lauded by all (read some of the interviews with JP and JA, they are thrilled with the direction the show is taking), and he is now putting that story into motion. If he changes it to suit some online complaints, that is when I will loose all respect for him for not producing the story that he and the other writers have chosen to present as their season. Eric Kripke said it best through his character Carver Edlund; "the fans are always gonna bitch." If a show runner hasn't got the integrity to believe in his own work and in the surety of his own direction then he is useless IMO. So, he changes his story to suit one loud bitchy group and then another loud bitchy group comes in to take it's place and demands the opposite; then where are we?
st50
# st50 2012-11-10 20:20
Now this I agree with.
I don't have to like it, and can complain all I want, I can even quit watching.....bu t if the showrunner changes things SIGNIFICANTLY midseason, it'll never come out right.
He/She can change small details as he/she sees how things are playing, but the overall arc is cast long before we see the first show.
Well said, E. Just because I 'bitch' doesn't mean I don't expect Carver to hold course and prove to me that his vision works.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-10 20:20
Quote:
I think Carver gave Sam a romance because it suited the arc for the season and was relevant to that arc's outcome and to the outcome of the season as a whole. I am sure that for JC this fact is far more important than some fans who are complaining online.

A show runner has to have a plan, has to oversee that plan and facilitate the writing so that it best serves that plan. JC has come up with a story that was approved by all (including the Brass who hold way more power than any fan base) and lauded by all (read some of the interviews with JP and JA, they are thrilled with the direction the show is taking), and he is now putting that story into motion. If he changes it to suit some online complaints, that is when I will loose all respect for him for not producing the story that he and the other writers have chosen to present as their season. Eric Kripke said it best through his character Carver Edlund; "the fans are always gonna bitch." If a show runner hasn't got the integrity to believe in his own work and in the surety of his own direction then he is useless IMO. So, he changes his story to suit one loud bitchy group and then another loud bitchy group comes in to take it's place and demands the opposite; then where are we?
GOD - yes. Thank you. You put into words what I didn't have the energy to express.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-10 20:23
E I totally agree with you on this. Changing the plot to suit a few will end up causing plot-holes (and SPN already has a few) and in the end result in a much less satisfying story.
I am not convinced that JP is exactly 'thrilled' from what he has said in his interviews but he could simply be being coy because he isn't allowed say too much. JA seems to be having a ball :D
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-11 23:07
JP seems to be "going through the motions" in his interviews. I agree w/you. He definitely doesn't seem "thrilled."

JA has a fun new actor to work with and a good storyline. I'm not surprised he's happy.
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-10 21:12
Very well said.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-12 06:59
Quote:
I think Carver gave Sam a romance because it suited the arc for the season and was relevant to that arc's outcome and to the outcome of the season as a whole. I am sure that for JC this fact is far more important than some fans who are complaining online.

A show runner has to have a plan, has to oversee that plan and facilitate the writing so that it best serves that plan. JC has come up with a story that was approved by all (including the Brass who hold way more power than any fan base) and lauded by all (read some of the interviews with JP and JA, they are thrilled with the direction the show is taking), and he is now putting that story into motion. If he changes it to suit some online complaints, that is when I will loose all respect for him for not producing the story that he and the other writers have chosen to present as their season. Eric Kripke said it best through his character Carver Edlund; "the fans are always gonna bitch." If a show runner hasn't got the integrity to believe in his own work and in the surety of his own direction then he is useless IMO. So, he changes his story to suit one loud bitchy group and then another loud bitchy group comes in to take it's place and demands the opposite; then where are we?
Whatever the wisdom or otherwise of changing tack mid season, it has happened several times before on SPN so could easily happen again. Examples frequently cited (although of course tptb rarely admit they have done this) include;
- downgrading Bela's planned role because she went down like a lead balloon with the fandom
- not pairing Jo up with Dean for same reason
- Sam was supposed to go darkside to save Dean in s3. They changed this not because of the fans but due to the writers strike - but still they had to shift mid course
- Ruby turning out to be evil and in league with Lilith all along, rather than the shades of grey, demon on their side that was where it was all leading up until H&H/IKWYDLS. Again because fans hated the idea of Sam with a demon.
- revealing / resolving the soulless Sam story earlier than planned in s6 because fans really hated it.

As I say there isn't categorical proof of all of these instances, but there is a lot of circumstantial evidence to support them and to evidence that the writers do listen to the fans when they are hearing a consistent (or what passes for that in this fandom) message on a particular subject.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-12 07:12
I'm not sure it's even necessarily a question of changing course, certainly not on the present plotline for this season. What I'd like to think TPTB might be hearing is that a lot of their audience isn't seeing the logic or connection they seem to think they are showing. Just clarifying and explaining the storyline they have would do wonders. If Sam thought Dean was dead, show how he got there from the "Where are they?" that was the last we heard from him in 7.23. If he feared to investigate because he would get into shady things that would cause collateral damage, dramatize that: let us see him tempted by the idea and making a choice not to pursue it. If he simply had a breakdown, let us SEE it, as we saw Dean not coping with Sam's death in AHBL and spiraling down towards his deal. I think a lot of things that would make their Sam characterizatio n work a lot better for a lot of viewers would require relatively little screentime and would make no difference to the plot at all (that's assuming the plot doesn't in fact hinge on some reveal; if so, they might think about narrative devices that work with mysteries and pacing out and hiding/revealin g clues).
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 13:47
Quote:
I'm not sure it's even necessarily a question of changing course, certainly not on the present plotline for this season. What I'd like to think TPTB might be hearing is that a lot of their audience isn't seeing the logic or connection they seem to think they are showing. Just clarifying and explaining the storyline they have would do wonders. If Sam thought Dean was dead, show how he got there from the "Where are they?" that was the last we heard from him in 7.23. If he feared to investigate because he would get into shady things that would cause collateral damage, dramatize that: let us see him tempted by the idea and making a choice not to pursue it. If he simply had a breakdown, let us SEE it, as we saw Dean not coping with Sam's death in AHBL and spiraling down towards his deal. I think a lot of things that would make their Sam characterization work a lot better for a lot of viewers would require relatively little screentime and would make no difference to the plot at all (that's assuming the plot doesn't in fact hinge on some reveal; if so, they might think about narrative devices that work with mysteries and pacing out and hiding/revealing clues).
That's exactly what I mean by changing course though. To me a course correction doesn't mean doing a 180 or contradicting the plot in progress. They can't erase that Sam didn't look for Dean and suddenly say he did. (Not without a parallel universe, and as much as I would like it, I very much doubt we'd get that.)

A course correction means deviating just slightly to give us better reasons for why he did. They seem to think they have already given us good enough reason, as per Sam's statement last week:

“I told you from the jump where I was coming from, why I didn't look for you.”

But evidently, whatever reason they think they have given us, it is not at all satisfying or acceptable to many viewers. And they could easily fill in the blanks with more satisfying reasons.

But that's assuming that that's what they're going for, an acceptable reason that justifies why Sam did it. It may be that Carver is going for characters that are less sympathetic, as they did for example on Stargate Universe. This is my fear, that he's aiming for a Sam that simply isn't the brave, caring, strong guy he has been in the past, and would simply not look for his brother. Maybe they have given us no more reason than they have because they never intended it to be more than that.

If this is the case, then I would argue that they can change course on their intent without contradicting the plot. As with the above example, they can fill in the blanks with more acceptable reasons, whether or not they initially intended the reasons to be acceptable, without contradicting the plot. I think that writing Sam more in character and less out of character would only help the story, and not hurt it in any way.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-12 08:35
Although I do hope they course correct, or at least show us Sam's time in relation to Dean, not only Amelia, I will say that the show is in a different place than the other story lines you mention. With the move to Wednesdays and the compatible lead in of Arrow, Supernatural has GAINED fans and is now extremely strong for the CW. This validates Carver's vision in terms of the network, so there is no one to convince him to course correct. Secondly, this is Carver, not Kripke and not Gamble. Kripke was trying to keep the show going for five years with a network head that telegraphed that she couldn't wait to see the show slip in ratings so she could cancel it and move on to even more romcoms starring teenagers, Gamble was facing a lot of hostility from parts of the fandom before she wrote a single word of seasons 6 and 7. Carver came on with a supportive network exec, with fans believing he could change the show around from the "disaster" of the Gamble years (I liked season 6 and compared to this season, season 7 is looking better) and he has brought higher ratings. There is nothing to push Carver to course correct. So unless he had already planned to give us insight into Sam, I don't see us getting any.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-12 09:04
Quote:
So unless he had already planned to give us insight into Sam, I don't see us getting any.
But what if there is a plan? I'm hopeful that there is, because of what we've already seen. How often in the past few years, have we had any Sam scenes that aren't directly about affecting Dean? Never. Now we see Sam, being Sam, and I think that's a hopeful sign for the future.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-12 09:21
I can only go by past history. Every plan for insight into Sam has been derailed. Season 3 got cut short. Season four though revealing the DB addiction to be adequate. Season 5 set up dealing with how both boys felt about being vessels and then only covered Dean (to be fair, I don't know if Sam's side was ever going to be explored). Season six gives us Soulless!Sam who doesn't have an emotional POV and then hides Sam's trauma behind a wall. Season 7 we were told we would explore how the Cage had affected Sam and then found out that it gave him poison ivy of the hand and then it got transferred to Castiel who actually GOT to act as if he was insane. Except for season one every time there has been a story set in motion for Sam TPTB see something new and shiny come up and decide Sam can wait. Now we have Castiel coming back and HIS mindset has always taken precedence over Sam's. We have Kevin and his mother and the trials and tribulations of being a prophet We have

SPOILERS


A new breed of angels that will need to be explained. And finally we have Sam, who Carver has stated matured when Dean was gone, so why look at his formerly immature feelings? I fell like Sam's story about the fallout of Dean leaving is done and dusted, just like Sam's emotional reaction to Dean's going to Hell was done and dusted and the ONE episode that dealt with it was making Ruby seem good mixed with Anna the fallen angel, and introducing Alistair the guy who tortured Dean so we could see how bad Dean had it in Hell. And the way Sam's feelings about himself were mixed in with Castiel returning form Angel Camp, Dean swearing to serve the angels and ending with making Sam look as horrible as possible. History says that making Sam sympathetic or even understandable is not a high priority for the show. If I am proven to be wrong, great, but right now I feel like the chances of seeing Sam portrayed sympathetically are less than the chance of my winning the lottery, which is 1 in 40 million if I buy a ticket and zero since I don't play the lottery.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-12 09:44
Percy, I agree with you. I don't think there's more to the story at all. I feel Carver thinks he has adequately explained why Sam didn't search. We won't be getting any scenes that show us what happened prior to Sam hitting a dog and meeting Amelia.

For me, as more episodes pass, I become less invested in the Sam/Dean relationship. At the moment, there's nothing there , not even the underlying love I used to feel btw the two. This season is horrible to me. Right now, I feel it's worse than S7. S6 was better, IMO, than both S7 and S8.

I think we're stuck with podSam for now!
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 12:54
Quote:
Percy, I agree with you. I don't think there's more to the story at all. I feel Carver thinks he has adequately explained why Sam didn't search. We won't be getting any scenes that show us what happened prior to Sam hitting a dog and meeting Amelia.
I fear you're right, lala2, because of this dialogue from the last episode.

“I told you from the jump where I was coming from, why I didn't look for you.”

The writers thing they already gave us a reason why Sam didn't look for Dean. Except that they didn't.

However, this is a course correction that they easily can make. They can add scenes showing Sam's mindset right after Dean died. Whether they will or not remains to be seen.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-12 13:56
Quote:
“I told you from the jump where I was coming from, why I didn't look for you.”

The writers thing they already gave us a reason why Sam didn't look for Dean. Except that they didn't.
For whatever it may be worth, the way I have been interpreting things is not that the writers think they have given us sufficient reasons for the brothers' motivations, but rather that they are deliberately writing the brothers as having serious communication problems.

In other words, I think Sam really believes that he has been more forthcoming with Dean than he actually has been, and vice versa. I think that's one of the reasons why Garth made the comment in this episode that both brothers are talking to each other, but neither is listening.

I also think that part of the problem may be - and this is just something that is going to have to be dealt with - that the story behind the brothers' actions/motivat ions/changes is coming out slowly this season, and the brothers' actions/motivat ions/changes - which may seem OOC now to some - will not be fully understood until that story is complete. Instead of having a few episodes tell us everything, they're having each episode tell us bits and pieces, and we won't have the full picture until the end. Some may understandably not like that method of storytelling, and I can appreciate that, but that is the method they are using this season.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-12 14:06
That's how I took that too.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 15:24
Quote:
For whatever it may be worth, the way I have been interpreting things is not that the writers think they have given us sufficient reasons for the brothers' motivations, but rather that they are deliberately writing the brothers as having serious communication problems.

In other words, I think Sam really believes that he has been more forthcoming with Dean than he actually has been, and vice versa. I think that's one of the reasons why Garth made the comment in this episode that both brothers are talking to each other, but neither is listening.

I also think that part of the problem may be - and this is just something that is going to have to be dealt with - that the story behind the brothers' actions/motivations/changes is coming out slowly this season, and the brothers' actions/motivations/changes - which may seem OOC now to some - will not be fully understood until that story is complete. Instead of having a few episodes tell us everything, they're having each episode tell us bits and pieces, and we won't have the full picture until the end. Some may understandably not like that method of storytelling, and I can appreciate that, but that is the method they are using this season.
I really hope you're right.

If that is the plan, I really don't think the method of storytelling is a good idea. As I've said, this is a TV show, it should be enjoyable to watch. We shouldn't have to sit through it week after week waiting and worrying and seriously thinking about quitting the show.

I think bad communication between the brothers is fine, but it shouldn't translate into bad communication between the storyteller and the audience. They could show us what Sam went through while keeping Dean in the dark, and then the audience would see that it is bad communication between the brothers and not bad writing.

It's not good storytelling if a significant number of people feel like it's bad writing rather than a deliberate plan that will lead somewhere.

I've just gone back and reread that scene from the pilot, and this is all there is:

"SAM
Listen, I know this is gonna sound crazy to you. I don't even necessarily need you to understand. But...you need to know. I didn't just drop out, Dean. I found something. Something I've... never had all my life."

DEAN
Yeah, what was her name?


SAM
Amelia."


And then we get the one short line in the last episode: "My world imploded, and I ran."


Even if they are parcelling it out episode by episode, that's really stingy for 6 episodes.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-12 15:53
Quote:
It's not good storytelling if a significant number of people feel like it's bad writing rather than a deliberate plan that will lead somewhere.
Well, in my relatively short experience with the fandom, there seems to be a fairly vocal group of individuals who never seem to be satisfied no matter what the story is. (Disclaimer: that is not intended to be referring directly to anyone here).

To be accurate, however, there are also a significant number of people expressing satisfaction with the method of storytelling and the episodes shown thus far. I have been looking at the polls just on this site, which garner 100+ votes for many episodes. The average for this season is 70% or higher leaving positive comments about the episodes. There are only usually 1-5% who are leave dissatisfied reviews.

But I don't like playing numbers games. There will always be a "significant," depending on how you define it, number of people who don't like this or that about the storytelling. It doesn't mean it's objectively good or bad. It just means that people's expectations, desires, and interpretations are different across the fandom.

Quote:
They could show us what Sam went through while keeping Dean in the dark, and then the audience would see that it is bad communication between the brothers and not bad writing.
I would argue that many (though certainly not all) in the audience do see that it is bad communication between the brothers and not "bad writing". Btw, I have found that "bad writing" is often used subjectively when fans don't like the way the story has been told, rather than an objective interpretation of the writing on its own merits. That being said, even if they did show what happened to Sam while leaving Dean's story in the dark, the same thing would be happening, don't you see? A certain group of fans would be upset they were not getting immediate gratification on Dean's story. It's the same thing.

Regardless, I think it's unbalanced to say that Sam's story is completely in the dark this season, and that we know everything about what happened to Dean. There are quite a few looming questions for both brothers right now, and quite a bit we don't know. I don't think one brother or the other is getting the shaft. They're both pretty much mysteries right now, and we are watching that mystery unfold like a flower in bloom (yay for metaphors!)

In any case, I truly hope those who are dissatisfied with the story the way it is unfolding now will stick with it and hopefully find something positive in it.
Leah
# Leah 2012-11-12 15:37
EXACTLY Bamboo 24
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 12:49
Quote:
Now we see Sam, being Sam, and I think that's a hopeful sign for the future.
But that doesn't make me hopeful at all because the Sam they are showing me is not the Sam I know and love. It's some strange OOC Sam from a mirror universe.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 12:45
Quote:
I think Carver gave Sam a romance because it suited the arc for the season and was relevant to that arc's outcome and to the outcome of the season as a whole. I am sure that for JC this fact is far more important than some fans who are complaining online.

A show runner has to have a plan, has to oversee that plan and facilitate the writing so that it best serves that plan. JC has come up with a story that was approved by all (including the Brass who hold way more power than any fan base) and lauded by all (read some of the interviews with JP and JA, they are thrilled with the direction the show is taking), and he is now putting that story into motion. If he changes it to suit some online complaints, that is when I will loose all respect for him for not producing the story that he and the other writers have chosen to present as their season. Eric Kripke said it best through his character Carver Edlund; "the fans are always gonna bitch." If a show runner hasn't got the integrity to believe in his own work and in the surety of his own direction then he is useless IMO. So, he changes his story to suit one loud bitchy group and then another loud bitchy group comes in to take it's place and demands the opposite; then where are we?
I concur with those who have said Jared doesn't look thrilled, and as the Purgatory story is kickass, I can see why Jensen would be happy. For now, anyway.

As for the brass, well, two things. First, I have felt even from the start they are trying too hard to sell it to me, carrying on about SEASON GR8!!! a little too insistently.

Secondly, the problem with the brass right now is that it is now devoid of women. I was just discussing with someone how differently men and women are reacting to the show. Her husband, and many male fans I have seen on the internet, are saying "I really don't like Sam not looking for Dean, but it's done, it's over, moving on." A male fan recently just asked me "Why can't you just get past Sam not looking for Dean. I don't like it either, but as long as they don't keep bringing it up, I'm fine." And my friend was saying, women are more inclined to keep carrying this as emotional subtext, how it affects Sam's character, how it affects the relationship between the brothers. It keeps colouring, or tainting, everything. So maybe the brass did approve this, but maybe they didn't anticipate the impact it would have.

And for me, this is more than just bitching about an unpopular storyline or an unpopular character. This is a betrayal of what the show has always stood for. The heart and soul of Supernatural has always been about brothers who would die for each other, not brothers who would leave each other for dead.

Speaking of Kripke, I have always admired him because he was always been willing to take criticism and admit when he could have done something better. Sera was like that as well.

Of course they shouldn't go changing course willy nilly just because of some bitching on one side or the other so they're zig zagging all over the place. But, as others have pointed out, they have made course corrections when something wasn't working. And a course correction doesn't mean doing a 180, there are ways of making course corrections without screwing up the plot. Showrunners do it all the time, even when it doesn't come from the audience. Kripke himself figured the road house wasn't working and burned it to the ground.

I think "surety of his own direction" can easily translate into someone who stubbornly keeps going in a direction that isn't working. Human beings are not infallible, they can make mistakes, and better to be open to correcting a mistake than to keep going on with a mistake.

It's good for you if you think Carver has some great plan behind all this. I have my doubts, though I'm willing to ride it out for a while to see. But if it is such a great plan, it shouldn't just be a great plan at some distant point in the future. I shouldn't have to sit through an entire season of barely being able to watch it first.

And fans aren't the only ones who are saying some things aren't working. For example, see what this TV critic has to say about Sam's storyline.

http://www.tv.com/news/supernatural-southern-comfort-review-find-a-penny-pick-it-up-30022/
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-09 14:35
Quote:

Gotta run. Anybody else have stuff to throw on the Hope Pile?
I'll give it a go. They said in this ep that Dean had been gone several months before Sam met Amelia. So Sam didn't run over the dog within days and spend the year with Amelia. There is a chunk of unexplained time there and it covers his reaction to losing Dean.
st50
# st50 2012-11-09 14:40
Gosh today is the first real hopeful day I've had since the season began.
Thanks!
Now if they'd just SHOW that time. Like NOW.
E
# E 2012-11-10 18:59
Hi Mickey, Oh, but I AM a masochist, at least when it comes to this show! I looooooove all this fighting, hurt feelings and angst. I want to see some tears and guilt too. All that Sturm und Drang is delicious! I know... it's just sick the way I love they suffer. Their turmoil could go on all season, and as long as it's resolved well, I'll be as happy as a clam in clam sauce.

JC seems to be pushing all of the fan's every last button. I am sure he's messing with us somehow, and probably loving every minute of it! Talk about a sadist!
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-11 09:39
E, it's like you're reading my mind when it comes to what I like to see in SPN :-) I am can enjoy some angst and arguing between Sam and Dean but only as long as the tension is resolved eventually and only if the resolution means the brothers get their bond back again, as strong as it used to be. I'd also like to see some scenes of them slamming each other up against walls à la S1 - I miss that sort of thing lol.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-12 15:35
Quote:
Hi Mickey, Oh, but I AM a masochist, at least when it comes to this show! I looooooove all this fighting, hurt feelings and angst. I want to see some tears and guilt too. All that Sturm und Drang is delicious! I know... it's just sick the way I love they suffer. Their turmoil could go on all season, and as long as it's resolved well, I'll be as happy as a clam in clam sauce.

JC seems to be pushing all of the fan's every last button. I am sure he's messing with us somehow, and probably loving every minute of it! Talk about a sadist!
Lol, that's quite the happy sado-masochisti c relationship!

I don't have a problem at all with the brothers arguing and fighting (if like you, it is resolved eventually). But it has to be in character, it has to be fresh and new, and there has to be a point to it.

Right now, to me, the reasons they are fighting are out of character (Sam not looking for Dean, Sam not willing to give Benny the benefit of the doubt he has given all others), it feels like rehashing old territory (hunting vs normal life, Benny as Ruby, old resolved issues dredged up), and it feels like conflict just for the sake of conflict rather than for evolution or development or plot purposes.

It may be that Carver is playing an (excruciatingly ) slow game, but at this point, I'll have to see it to believe it.

And not being a masochist myself, I'm not at all enjoying Carver's sadism as you do. ;-)
racestaffer
# racestaffer 2012-11-13 09:39
Again "secret story." Very clear signs of it, to me, in this episode. Big billboard in a convo between Dean and Benny last episode. I can't give you specifics on the players in the secret story (ghosts, angels, demons, shapeshifters, men...), but there is one going on.
RMF
# RMF 2012-11-09 10:07
I agree with you. I think this is all we get. It's funny, though. It plays like Dean has actually woken up in a parallel universe where Sam is a puss, Kevin is smarter than both of them, Dean's best friend is a vampire, and Garth is Bobby. In previous seasons, Dean would've known he needed to wake up from this.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-09 13:40
I will admit that there are times when I think that the Purgatory portal did lead to a parallel universe, the one Benny came from, but not Dean. It would explain the sudden change in monster lore and Sam's behavior being so odd. They have established that there are different universes out there to be accessed. Then I realize that would be Dallas and not Supernatural. I can't pretend that I don't wish that this were a parallel universe that would go away, however. But again, not Dallas.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-09 17:43
I'm stealing this for my headcanon! (I know a parallel universe is a stretch, but I need something for my headcanon so I can live with the show while we're waiting for Carver to throw us a bone.)

An AU would actually explain a lot of things:
-Sam acting like he never had a relationship with Jess.
-Sam acting like he never stood up for another vampire, Lenore, and other ghosts, werewolves, rugarus, psychic kids, etc.
-Sam being Mr. Fixit when we all know Dean is the handy one and Sam is the bookish one.
-And most importantly, Sam deserting his brother!

And also, the shadowy figure watching Sam and Amelia's house is an Observor. (Hey, you can't have parallel universes without Observors!)

Yep, I like this parallel universe thing. :-)

I guess it could also explain why Carver keeps saying they're playing with perceptions. (See Carver quote a couple posts above.)
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-09 23:18
Oh this repetition of "how wrong Sam is" is getting ridiculous.

1) Sam never said he didn't have Jess, it was DIFFERENT.
2) Sam's problem with Benny is not that he's a vampire, it's that Dean lied about him.
3) So Sam FIXing things is now out of character, too? ADMIN EDIT P.S. fixing an ice machine is not exactly rocket science.
4) Sam did NOT desert Dean. Just because Dean feels that way, doesn't make it true.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-10 01:26
Since she wrote it, I would assume she was being serious. There's no need to be rude.

Clearly, you love this season and everything that's happening. That's great for you. Others feel differently. You should respect that they have a different view and agree to disagree.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-10 10:27
1) He never said what he had with Jess was DIFFERENT. He never mentioned Jess. He said: "I found something. Something I've... never had all my life." Seeing as he lived with Jess and had a normal life for a couple of years, and she was so special and he was so much in love with her he bought her a wedding ring, and seeing as he mourned her for a long time afterward, how is what he had with Amelia something he never had all his life? He had normal. He had love. Heck, he has even had a dog before, Bonesy.

2) Sam does have a problem with Benny being a vampire, as well as having a problem with Dean keeping him a secret. Sam even said: "Hear this too. I just might be that hunter who runs into Benny one day and ices him." You don't talk about killing someone you don't have a problem with.

3) It is canon that Sam doesn't have the skills Dean has. Back in S3, Dean had to give Sam AutoShop 101 lessons. I'm sure Dean taught him a few things along the way, especially about the car, but we've never seen Sam be handy with mechanical and electrical things, it has always been Dean. So now that he's suddenly fixing everything in sight like he's been doing it his whole life, it came out of the blue, and a lot of people noted it, I'm not the only one.

Also, my friend Stéphane the refrigeration engineer would heartily disagree that anyone can just fix an AC or an ice machine without any training. When my AC broke down, I called my brother who is an electrical engineer and a genius with computers, and he couldn't do a thing with it. We then called Stéphane the refrigeration engineer, and he fixed it in a jiffy. Someone naturally gifted like Dean might be able to figure it out if he tried long enough, but we know from canon that this is not Sam's forte. He's always been about books and computers.

4) Dean disappeared in the middle of a battle. Sam did not even look for him. As far as I'm concerned, that's a textbook desertion.

Look, I realize this is a strain on everyone, those of us who are upset at what Carver is doing to the show, and those who still enjoy the show are upset that so many of us are upset. Nonetheless, I still think we should make an effort to disagree respectfully. As you can see, I did have good reasons for thinking it's odd that Sam is suddenly Mr. Fixit Extraordinaire. There was no need to act like I had said something ridiculous.

If you are capable of seeing things differently and it allows you to keep enjoying the show, more power to you. Wish I could too.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-10 12:10
Great post, Mickey! I couldn't agree more w/all your points!
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-10 12:52
Hey, if you want to insist something is wrong with Sam, and make long lists to keep insisting, no sweat off my nose. I guess we'll just "agree to disagree."
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-11 19:11
ADMIN WARNING!

Rick D, while you are free to express your opinion, phrases like "are you *serious* with this" are not welcome on this site. Please phrase your comments in a less abrasive manner in the future or they will be edited.

Thank you.

Ardeospina
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-11 22:49
Ardeospina, please feel free to delete the offending phrase from my comment. I wanted to do so myself, but saw no way to edit previous posts.

I am sorry that my temper gets the better of me, when I see what I consider disrespect of Sam and his choices.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-11 23:12
Rick, after I have posted something there is a line under my post and then there is a paper and pencil icon under that line on the left hand side. That is the change post icon. I don't know if you're logged in when you post, I always am and it's always there. I don't know if that helps, or not.
st50
# st50 2012-11-11 23:19
Quote:
Rick, after I have posted something there is a line under my post and then there is a paper and pencil icon under that line on the left hand side. That is the change post icon. I don't know if you're logged in when you post, I always am and it's always there. I don't know if that helps, or not.
There's my problem, percy. I don't log in, and the icon is not there. Therefore, no edit function.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-12 01:12
Thank you, Percy, for the help, but I am in the same boat as st50- no such pencil appears on the site for me.

On a personal note, Percy, if I may- I recall you from other sites, and I know what a great Sam fan you are, and it saddens me to see you aren't enjoying this season.

Do you watch Arrow? I've thinking how similar that situation is- basically Oliver's boat goes down in the middle of the ocean, and although he survives, no one knows where he is or how to find him. Yet no one thinks the rest of his family are weak cowards for not being able to find him. In fact, Oliver says to his sibling, "I know it was hard for you when you thought I was dead, and I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I'm back now so I want to reconnect." I think when the emotions had settled down, Dean will see this is not some horrible thing that Sam has "done" to him.

On a related note, I recall talking with a friend about a scene from Season 7 (don't even recall which one now) where I said to him, "Finally! Now people will see that Sam loves Dean just as much as Dean loves Sam." And my friend said, "What a lousy thing to say. Don't you think Sam has proven his love for Dean a thousand times? Why do you need to be re-convinced of Sam's love? And those who doubt Sam always will."

And he was right. Sam has more than earned the benefit of the doubt, regarding how much he loves Dean. Not sure why or how or what talking needs to happen, but Dean will remember this, will understand why Sam felt so alone, no longer think of him as a faithless deceiver, then re-learn that Sam does actually love him. I am sure of it.

Their relationship WILL be good again, I am confident in that. I hope you'll share that feeling one day.

And I mean that in the best way, and in no way am I trying to invalidate your opinion or tell you what to do. (just adding a little legalese on there to be safe)
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-12 09:00
I adore Arrow. It's a great show. I DO believe that Sam loves Dean and always has, but this season is making me sad. What they have done with Sam and Dean has broken my desire to see them as brothers riding around in the car. They have so shattered the fundamentals of the show, that I believe the relationship is like Humpty Dumpty, all the king's horses and all the king's men can't put it back together again. And hardest for me is that the writers have decided to put the responsibility for the broken relationship on Sam.

I can't pretend that reactions to Sam's behavior and this episode aren't affecting me. And it isn't other sites, there was one review on WFB that was so harsh on Sam that I could barely make it through and which infuriated and depressed me. The writer had every right to express her feelings and I'm not discounting them, but when a balanced site has a featured review banging on how awful Sam is, I feel even more alienated because if Carver does try to correct the relationship, the only course of for Sam to admit he was wrong AGAIN and that Dean is "the righteous man" whose emotions are paramount and whose judgement must not be questioned, because by the simple element of having Sam NOT look for Dean, he is already "the bad brother". The show and especially the relationship between Sam and Dean has been shown from Dean's POV. This is still true as we hear Dean's feelings on Sam's choices and Sam's feelings are dismissed because he hurt Dean so much more that he has no RIGHT to even question if Benny is a danger. The damage done to Sam's character and standing in fan opinions arises from not looking for Dean, but all the FBs look at every other aspect of his life except Dean. I'm tired of watching a show where after and episode, I enter a fan board or a review in the media or LJ and the negative view of Sam is the predominant one being expressed.

I'm still trying to hold on, but unless Sam gets some kind of redemption by the end of the year that consists of more than Benny was a bad guy, Dean was wrong so Dean can mope and feel guilty again, then I will consider walking away.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-12 09:18
Oh, I'm so sorry, P. I know how painful that is- negativity about Sam has been so prevalent, for so long.
It probably doesn't help that I don't think Sam needs a redemption, because he hasn't done anything wrong. I remain hopeful for a more nuanced story than "Sam the bad brother."

I guess the only help I can give is a hug, so how about that?

(((HUG)))
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-12 09:24
Thanks. There are a few Sam friendly places I visit, so I'm still holding on.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-12 11:31
Good for you, that's the spirit! ;-)
E
# E 2012-11-12 09:13
Yeah! I agree! Love this.
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2012-11-12 12:32
Rick, you are perfectly free to respond to other comments, but I've been reading through your posts, and I feel that they are often borderline attacks on other people and their opinions. If your temper in the matter of Sam is an issue, I would suggest writing out your post, then re-reading it and making sure it is courteous and respectful.

I will edit out your previous phrase since you requested it. Sometimes in the heat of the moment we all say things we regret, but if that happens and you can't edit it yourself, you can send us a note in the "contact us" section and we will change it for you.

Thank you!

Ardeospina
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-12 13:34
Thank you, Ardeospina. I appreciate that.

Frankly, I am 500% done discussing this episode, so my last comment will be that I look forward to the next one.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-09 19:00
I love that idea so much that I'm posting in a thread I promised myself I wouldn't!

That idea makes me happy. I'll take anything to erase this current plot that completely destroys and trashes Sam! Parallel universe? Coma? Bad Djinn experience? Anything to make this horror NOT REAL!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-09 19:46
I'm glad I've given people something to hold onto. I'll keep the faith that my impossible idea is actually possible and that in the REAL universe Sam is searching desperately for Dean because there was NO agreement that they wouldn't look.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-09 23:32
Quote:
I'll keep the faith that my impossible idea is actually possible and that in the REAL universe Sam is searching desperately for Dean because there was NO agreement that they wouldn't look.
Woah, woah. So Sam should do nothing with his life for over a year but endlessly, fruitlessly looking to "find" Dean, with no reasonable chance of finding or doing anything - all so Dean doesn't get his feelings hurt? No way! I don't care for that idea at all.
In fact, the more I consider this alternative, the more I like things just the way they are.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-09 23:45
I don't think anyone thinks that Sam should have devoted himself to nothing but trying to find Dean. I think people would have been more than willing to accept that Sam tried to find Dean and failed. But for a lot of people, myself included, it's not satisfying that Sam did nothing and that's supposed to be the "mature" decision. And no, he shouldn't look for Dean because otherwise Dean will get his feelings hurt--he should look for Dean because he loves his brother and would presumably want him back.

I find it a bit dismissive of Sam to pretend that Stanford-smart, research genius Sam had absolutely no avenues or ideas for looking for Dean. He had Bobby's library, the Campbells' library, Garth, the list of Bobby's contacts (one of whom provided the lead that saved Sam's life in 7.17 against seemingly-impos sible odds). I think it's much more likely that there was some breakdown or emotional issue that kept Sam from looking rather than lack of information or knowledge.

At this point, I wish show would just move on. If there's going to be some surprise reveal, then do so. If this is really the status quo, fine. Move on, then, and stop rehashing it. The past can't be changed, and it seems to be doing nothing but riling up both sides of fandom. We get it, let's move the story along. Weren't they supposed to be trying to seal away the demons or something?
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-10 00:23
Quote:
Woah, woah. So Sam should do nothing with his life for over a year but endlessly, fruitlessly looking to "find" Dean, with no reasonable chance of finding or doing anything - all so Dean doesn't get his feelings hurt? No way! I don't care for that idea at all.
You're right. Expecting Sam to devote his life to finding Dean and not take care of himself is asking way too much. Dean expressing his hurt over Sam not looking for him is bashing us over the head with how badly Sam let Dean down, without giving us much insight into Sam is putting Dean's feelings front and center and ignoring Sam's. I got swept up in Dean's arguments and started ignoring Sam's. It is one of my problems with the lack of focus on Sam's feelings it leaves Sam at a disadvantage and shows us hurt Dean, without insight into how Sam is hurting.

I wish they would have had Sam give a reason he thought Dean was dead or that retrieving him was too dangerous. I am glad that Sam seems to have found some peace in the year Dean was gone. He has had little enough of that in his life.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-10 00:49
With respect to you and Rick D, there's an awful lot of ground between Sam devoting his life and not taking care of himself in order to find Dean and not trying to find Dean at all. I don't think it really had to be one extreme or the other.

I would agree that it would be good to see more of Sam's side in the conflict. While at the moment, I feel like Dean's hurt is quite justified, I like to think there was something behind Sam's decision to immediately give Dean up as dead/beyond his reach beyond "It was hard and I didn't know what to do, so I didn't do anything."

I'm not sure I agree that we have ignored Sam's feelings, though--I know Sam is very conflicted about being back in hunting. I know he is remembering his year of normal with soft-focus fondness at the moment, even though he left Amelia in the middle of the night. I know he wants to go back to normal as soon as he possibly can. I now know he's extremely angry that Dean didn't tell him everything about his time in purgatory and how he got out, and I know he's taken an immediate distrust of Benny. At the moment, Sam's argument is that he did what he thought he could, i.e., nothing, and stumbled into something good, which made him realize (again) that there's more out there than hunting. I don't think he's wrong for realizing that, but I don't think he's thinking about his choices' impact on Dean any more than Dean is thinking about his desire for Sam's partnership's effect on Sam. I know he's reached saturation point with Dean's hurt and now wants him to stop talking about it. So I don't think Sam is just a complete mystery at this point. I do see his arguments, right next to Dean's.

I further agree that Sam deserves peace, as does Dean. Unfortunately, the boys' believed paths to peace seem to be diametrically opposed to one another. That is unfortunat, and I am curious to how show plans to resolve that.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-10 00:51
So actually, when I say that I want to see more of Sam's side of the conflict, what I really mean is that I want to see more of how Sam got to his side of the conflict. I feel like I know where Sam landed and how he ended up with Amelia, but from his flashbacks he sounded like some time had passed between Dean's disappearance and his meeting Amelia. What was Sam doing/going through during that time? What was he thinking/feelin g then? Now that's the mystery I'd like answered.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-12 07:18
Quote:
Quote:
I'll keep the faith that my impossible idea is actually possible and that in the REAL universe Sam is searching desperately for Dean because there was NO agreement that they wouldn't look.
Woah, woah. So Sam should do nothing with his life for over a year but endlessly, fruitlessly looking to "find" Dean, with no reasonable chance of finding or doing anything - all so Dean doesn't get his feelings hurt? No way! I don't care for that idea at all. .
No NOT so 'Dean doesn't get his feelings hurt' but because Sam loves him, misses him and wants to save him / bring him home. You know....like he has done every other time he has lost Dean;
- Mystery Spot - 6 months of single minded searching
- when Dean was in hell - desperate efforts at deal making, followed by seeking revenge. It was still all about Dean when he got back
- in TaT - when Sam never paused for a beat before throwing himself into getting Dean back from another time.
- and many other examples.

Sam HAS abandoned Dean IMO because none of the reasons (or 'unconvincing justifications' as I call them) for why he didn't look stand up to the slightest scrutiny. If this sounds like a criticism of Sam it is not. I know that the real character of Sam would never abandon Dean. So I am not angry with the real Sam. I am angry with the writers, and by extension this Sam-look-a-like they are foisting on us.

The ooc behaviour isn't just about the not looking for Dean either. He is, to me, pretty unrecognisable. For example;
- suddenly being a great handyman. As someone pointed out above this has come out of nowhere. Dean was the one inventing EMF meters and fixing up the Impala. Sam was the bookish, internet geek.
- appearing to be jealous of Benny. Sam has always encouraged Dean to pursue relationships outside of their brotherhood. He has never shown the slightest hint of resentment at this. Eg with Lisa, Cassie, Cas.
- suddenly talking about wanting out of hunting as if he has always wanted this and Dean should know that. He really hasn't. He gave up - willingly - on that notion a very long time ago and hasn't mentioned it for years.
- not appearing remotely happy that Dean is back when the real Sam would - regardless of any other issues or complications it brought up - be ecstatic to have his brother back.

Personally I prefer the brothers co-dependent. In real life it isn't healthy. In SPN it has kept them safe in a dangerous job and is part of the fabric of the show.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-12 08:47
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I'll keep the faith that my impossible idea is actually possible and that in the REAL universe Sam is searching desperately for Dean because there was NO agreement that they wouldn't look.
Woah, woah. So Sam should do nothing with his life for over a year but endlessly, fruitlessly looking to "find" Dean, with no reasonable chance of finding or doing anything - all so Dean doesn't get his feelings hurt? No way! I don't care for that idea at all. .
No NOT so 'Dean doesn't get his feelings hurt' but because Sam loves him, misses him and wants to save him / bring him home.
Of course Sam loves and misses him- that why his world imploded.
And Home from WHERE? Death? The mysterious no where that he disappeared to? What logical reason is there for Dean to end up in Purgatory? There is none.

Quote:

- Mystery Spot - 6 months of single minded searching
searching for the Trickster- the only lead he had for getting Dean back. Remember that?

Quote:

- when Dean was in hell - desperate efforts at deal making, followed by seeking revenge.
Right, because no matter how much Sam loved and missed Dean- there was NO WAY he was getting him out of Hell, even though he KNEW that's where he was.

Quote:

- in TaT - when Sam never paused for a beat before throwing himself into getting Dean back from another time.
Why would Sam pause? He had several good leads on that case, and he had Dean cooperating from the other side. Without Dean's help, he never would have gotten Dean back, just like he couldn't get Dean back from Hell. In that regard, why not complain that Dean didn't do more to let Sam know where he is? Probably because he'd have had just as much luck getting to Sam as Sam would getting to Dean.

I don't see the point of rehashing again "I had no idea where you were, I had no idea where to look." What is the point? If that's true, I don't see why that's unreasonable.

You are directly responding to my comment, so I do not think it is disrespectful of me to respond back.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-12 11:35
To start with RickD it isn't disrespectful to respond back. Debating is what we are here for - so long as we are careful to be polite / respectful.

As to the rest of your post I really don't know what point you are making.

You say Sam didn't know Dean was in Purgatory. I know. My point is that he didn't try to find out where he was, and the real Sam would have done.

I gave several examples of other times when Dean has gone missing and Sam was totally focused on finding him. You have made some points about those, but I don't know what you are saying. Eg

- you say Sam was looking for the Trickster in MS. What do you mean by that? Are you implying he wasn't doing that so he could bring Dean back? Are you saying he wasn't actually focused on getting Dean back? Do you think he was looking for the Trickster so they could swap cookie recipes?

- you say Sam knew Dean was in hell, but couldn't get him out. So? He looked. He tried everything. That is my point. I don't mind that Sam failed to get Dean out of Purgatory. That isn't what I find ooc. It is that he didn't look. When Dean was in hell he tried to get him out. When he couldn't he focused on revenge. He did not walk away from Dean's memory and get a girlfriend, a dog and a job as a handyman.

- you say in TaT he had leads. Well he knew Dean had disappeared in a red light linked to Chronos. That was pretty much it. Just like he knew Dean disappeared in a Dicksplosion of Levi goo. In both cases there was no body. In TaT he didn't know Dean was working to get back from the other end. They had no way to contact each other. For all he knew Dean was dead, or unconscious, or a prisoner. What Dean was or wasn't doing from his end is irrelevant to my point which is entirely about Sam's character. Dean was in another time. A pretty difficult and inaccessible place to rescue someone from. And all the leads he got he generated through his own research. He was alone initially, but he let Sheriff Mills help him as he could have done after Dick exploded. You ask why I am not angry with Dean that he didn't contact Sam in TaT. Huh? Why would I be? What is the relevance of that, or of the point that he wouldn't have got Dean back if Dean hadn't been helping. That is true but bears no relationship to the point I was making which is simply that every other time Dean has disappeared / died / whatever Sam has been utterly focused - leads or not, help or not, whether or not he knew where he was, regardless of the likelihood of success - on trying to find him and get him back. Nothing you have said has refuted that point. In fact I don't know what point you are trying to make in your post at all. Sorry.
Alice
# Alice 2012-11-12 12:37
Okay, I'm stepping in. This discussion has gotten a bit too heated and a complaint was registered. Please watch your tone Geordiegirl1967 . It can be delivered with less frustration and sarcasm. You are correct, debate is fine. But some of your responses are pushing a line. Cookie recipes? That's pushing buttons.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-12 09:56
I've taken to calling him podSam myself. As you said, I neither understand nor care about this Carver-inspired Sam who doesn't look for his brother, isn't ecstatic when his brother is returned, and who is an all-around different guy. I'm still waiting for the real Sam to show up on my screen because I don't know who this guy is.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-11-09 18:31
E, This is responding to your original comment half a page up. Ha. This is basically how I feel. I'm just one of those people who loves a good mystery so I have to try to figure what is going on. I need to learn patience.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-09 19:58
Quote:
One of the reasons I think that we know SO little about Sam's year is that they can't reveal it yet; it's too soon, so we are getting details about Purgatory (which I love, what an awesome storyline!) and about Benny, and a little (a very little) about Amelia. Soon we'll get insight into Cas, maybe some more on Garth etc... and some returning characters as well, but the Sam stuff has to wait because it's pivotal to the second half and the ultimate endgame for the season. I know from reading the threads that many fans HATE this approach with a passion but I am content to wait, (for now anyway) and I refuse to give up hope prior to seeing the outcome. If, and only IF we get to episode 23 and there has been nothing relevant for Sam, if his story means nothing, went nowhere and damaged his character, I'll go ahead and complain. (And I WILL complain then, and bitterly too.) Until then, I am going to see if I can put together the individual puzzle pieces, because each episode feels like an installment in a serial, with one thing leading to another. I haven't found any episode yet to be irrelevant to either the mythology or to the brother's relationship issues. Given how random season 7 felt at times and how long various plot threads were just dropped (for weeks at a time) I think that this season is far more cohesive so far. And that, is my two cents!
Agreed. During S7, I literally did wait up until episode 23, lol! And yes, I was disappointed, and I complained (I still do!) But I am convinced there's more going on than meets the eye, and we've got such a long way to go yet that one might as well sit back and enjoy it. :)
Kristina
# Kristina 2012-11-08 21:38
After reading others comments and rewatching the episode, I feel that Sam is not right. I mean this as in Sam is not Sam. He almost feels like Soulless Sam to me in this season so far. Someone else sort of touched on it already which is what made me really start developing that thought that I kind of already had in the back of my mind. I am beginning to wonder if when Cas took Sam's madness, if it didn't leave behind a soul that is broken beyond repair. Cas warned Dean that Sam's soul may be to damaged from his nearly 2 centuries in the cage with Lucifer and Micheal. I am now thinking that this may have been true. Sam just seems to lack emotions that he usually has.

For example, when Dean is pointing the gun at him and is saying that he is going to kill him, Sam doesn't argue like he has in the past. Like they all have in the past. That is how Dean got Sam to take control over Lucifer to jump in the pit in the first place. Dean was begging to Sam, don't let him kill me Sam. Sam didn't do that in this episode. Its like he wanted Dean to kill him, like he didn't care one way or the other. To me that is more than just wanting out of hunting. Also as others have touched on, when Sam is telling Amelia about Dean and how he lost everything when Dean disappeared, there is no real emotions behind it. I could understand being numb from such a tramatic event but to me I don't seem him being numb because he sleeps with her right after this confession!

I don't know, maybe I'm way off base here but the more I think about it the more the pieces fit. I don't think Sam is soulless again but I think his soul may be so damaged that its not really doing its job anymore. I also think that Dean is picking up on this vibe even though he hasn't said anything about it. I think that may be why the soulless Sam was brought up in the first place. And just to comment on that, Dean wasn't mad about Sam being soulless he was made that Sam let him go for a year thinking he was still stuck in the cage. Also for continuing to hunt without him when all that Dean really wanted that whole year was his brother back.

Anyway just a few more random thoughts and I am very excited about the rest of this season. I really think we are going somewhere big even though it may not be obvious yet.
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-09 04:08
Quote:
I am SICK of people Complaining about the brothers. BROTHERS FIGHT FULL STOP. Dean had every right to say what he did and so did Sam. They are brothers they've been through shit get over it. This episode was brilliant.
Yes siblings fight, and its normal. and Sam and Dean not fighting would be unrealistic, but I'm looking for a fight they had in "Scarecrow". Maybe thats just me.

In other news the ratings have risen again. Every time I read this, it makes me worried, about the show's progression of the brotherly relationship.
Todd Merrell
# Todd Merrell 2012-11-09 04:19
I would just like to throw in a note on the flashbacks.
For me, it's not the writing or information we're getting that makes one better or more interesting than the other. It's that in the Purgatory FB, Dean and Benny have a great chemistry and I mean the actors playing them here. It just comes through on the screen. And in Sam's FB, I'm sorry but those two have about as much chemistry as two pieces of day old toast. That and the fact that I have not seen an ounce of angst on Sam's face and by angst I mean "I've just completely lost it and am going against everything in my character by not looking for my brother" angst.
It's very hard to understand where the writers want to go with these because they sure aren't communicating much at this time.
ryder21
# ryder21 2012-11-09 08:29
Quote:
I would just like to throw in a note on the flashbacks.
For me, it's not the writing or information we're getting that makes one better or more interesting than the other. It's that in the Purgatory FB, Dean and Benny have a great chemistry and I mean the actors playing them here. It just comes through on the screen. And in Sam's FB, I'm sorry but those two have about as much chemistry as two pieces of day old toast.
That and the fact that I have not seen an ounce of angst on Sam's face and by angst I mean "I've just completely lost it and am going against everything in my character by not looking for my brother" angst..

Well said Todd. Totally agree on both points! The acting and the chemistry between Jensen and Ty is riviting. And still waiting for the writers to allow Sam to show some angst as well.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-11 09:12
Todd and ryder, I agree with you both. For me, the Purgatory scenes are more interesting because of the actors' chemistry (and also because I find the Purgatory storyline more intriguing than the 'romance' between Sam and the angry Vet). I do find the Sam being portrayed in his Texas FBs very strange: no angst, no passion, no much of anything really.... it's slightly off-putting.
hedi
# hedi 2012-11-09 12:52
Nice take on episode. I kinda think in the ways you do.
i also think Sam (or show) needs to show what happened after Dean was missing to sam. not so much. but at least to show that he was lost. or maybe it is good way that they doesn't want to do the same stuffs back in s4 all over again. If that's the case , I'm cool with that.
I think at this stage , both sam and dean are the cause of this fightings and conflict. which is obviously okay with me because they are brothers and after a tough year they have to deal things with each other.
I don't think it's right to say that Dean is all right and Sam is all guilty . because it's not. and I totally agree with some guys on here that they said , Sam doesn't know anything about how Dean got out. because he is keeping it. and we know keeping a secret is never good thing.
and I've got to say that whole bringing up soulless sam was not all related because it wasn't sam ...he didn't know what he was doing
So, i Liked the ep. i think Garth is getting better and i wont be hurt if we see him again. it was a good episode for Adam Glass which i don't like his plots so well.
Mieke T
# Mieke T 2012-11-09 23:16
Very good article from Superwiki that gives a new (to me) perspective:
supernaturalwiki.tumblr.com/post/35367712457/when-two-men-go-to-war

Two points I would need to see addressed:

One:
Sam did not really know Dean was dead, he had only disappeared. If Sam had had a body to bury, I could see how he, this time, decided not to try to bring Dean back. This is a big one for me (to be fair, that was not Carver's choice at the end of S7)

Two:
We (and Dean) certainly still need to see and feel Sam's "imploding" world. And if his world indeed imploded there needs to be more emotion for getting Dean back.

A friend of a friend gave me the advice to find a new way to enjoy the show because it was changing and I am going to have to do that. If I get some resolution to these two points (and that does not seem as impossible as what I was looking for before) I could maybe get there.

If you think about it from this angle, Carver has us right where he wants us. The fandom's extreme reaction in either direction reflects exactly where the story is. People who identify with Dean feel betrayed, left behind, abandoned. People who identify with Sam feel misunderstood, dumped upon, once again the bad guy. All you have to do is read through the comments to find all that.

Maybe not quite an addition to the Hope Pile, but perhaps a stepping stool.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-10 00:19
I just wrote a super long post responding to your post and SuperWiki's meta and then erased it all. (Though I saved it for you Mieke since you wanted to know what I thought.)

I don't know. I don't have any more submissions for the Hope Pile today, the ones I had were dashed in short order. And I'm tired of trying to figure out a way to be okay with this.

SuperWiki's boundless enthusiasm for the show is admirable, though at the moment I wish she were a little more understanding that some people are genuinely upset, not because we want to be upset, but just because Jeremy's choices are upsetting to us through no fault or choice of our own. We can't help how it makes us feel. Many of us are actively trying to find ways to keep enjoying it, and just can't. It's beyond our control. (I really like SuperWiki, don't get me wrong.)

Some fans like SuperWiki will always be able to find a way to keep on loving the show, no matter what. (More power to 'em.) In this case, SuperWiki is just assuming Sam had good reason to believe Dean was dead, and was completely destroyed by it, though we've seen no evidence of either. But those assumptions allow her to keep on enjoying it.

I have seen people fanwanking their brains out trying to make Sam's arc bearable. I have seen people who say season 8 is Gr8! talk about everything except Sam's arc, but then if you bring it up, they'll admit they hate it but they're just sweeping it under the rug. I have seen people keep insisting how wonderful S8 is in such an overemphatic and relentless way it smacks of "she doth protest too much." I've seen people (who may look a lot like me) cling to thoughts of parallel universes, PTSD, and succubuses. I've seen people (who also bear a striking resemblance to yours truly) comb through interviews, analyzing every word, trying to find rays of hope.

And the thing is, NONE OF US SHOULD BE WORKING THIS HARD. It's a freakin' TV show, we should be sitting back and enjoying it. It should be fun and effortless. That doesn't mean it shouldn't make us feel or think, or that we're going to love every little thing about it. But we just shouldn't have to do mental gymnastics of denial and delusion just to keep on watching it.

Carver should be doing all the work, he's the one getting paid to do it. For the moment, I'm just going to hope he gets better at his job. I'm tired.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-12 07:27
Quote:
I just wrote a super long post responding to your post and SuperWiki's meta and then erased it all. (Though I saved it for you Mieke since you wanted to know what I thought.)

I don't know. I don't have any more submissions for the Hope Pile today, the ones I had were dashed in short order. And I'm tired of trying to figure out a way to be okay with this.

SuperWiki's boundless enthusiasm for the show is admirable, though at the moment I wish she were a little more understanding that some people are genuinely upset, not because we want to be upset, but just because Jeremy's choices are upsetting to us through no fault or choice of our own. We can't help how it makes us feel. Many of us are actively trying to find ways to keep enjoying it, and just can't. It's beyond our control. (I really like SuperWiki, don't get me wrong.)

Some fans like SuperWiki will always be able to find a way to keep on loving the show, no matter what. (More power to 'em.) In this case, SuperWiki is just assuming Sam had good reason to believe Dean was dead, and was completely destroyed by it, though we've seen no evidence of either. But those assumptions allow her to keep on enjoying it.

I have seen people fanwanking their brains out trying to make Sam's arc bearable. I have seen people who say season 8 is Gr8! talk about everything except Sam's arc, but then if you bring it up, they'll admit they hate it but they're just sweeping it under the rug. I have seen people keep insisting how wonderful S8 is in such an overemphatic and relentless way it smacks of "she doth protest too much." I've seen people (who may look a lot like me) cling to thoughts of parallel universes, PTSD, and succubuses. I've seen people (who also bear a striking resemblance to yours truly) comb through interviews, analyzing every word, trying to find rays of hope.

And the thing is, NONE OF US SHOULD BE WORKING THIS HARD. It's a freakin' TV show, we should be sitting back and enjoying it. It should be fun and effortless. That doesn't mean it shouldn't make us feel or think, or that we're going to love every little thing about it. But we just shouldn't have to do mental gymnastics of denial and delusion just to keep on watching it.

Carver should be doing all the work, he's the one getting paid to do it. For the moment, I'm just going to hope he gets better at his job. I'm tired.
What a brilliant post Mickey. I completely agree. I've said many times that even if the destination is worth it (in this case if it does eventually turn out that Sam did look or had a damned good reason for not) the journey also needs to be fun because this is meant to be entertainment not torture.

I have not enjoyed anything I have seen so far this season. Believe me that is not how I want it to be. Up to now I have been a relentlessly positive fan of the show. But my faith and enjoyment have been severely dented this season, and while I admire those who have been more successful than I at keeping the faith / being patient, I cannot change how desperately disappointed I feel.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-11-10 02:41
Ummmm, huh. This was one of those episodes you just say ‘Jeez, I dunno’ about it. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good but God, the sour taste it left in the mouth. The ghost was interesting enough but the concept has been done before, more than once. I enjoyed Garth, and the references to past episodes etc were good but honestly, some of the dialogue was eek! The final speech from Sam at the end ‘Either you let it go or I will’.... I swear to God, if a first year handed that up to me I’d throw the copy back at them.

I do like Garth a bit more now though, he’s more rounded now and he has shown that he’s a pretty good hunter. The Bobby thing is kinda nice and I mean, it’s not as if Garth sent out flyers advertising what he was doing so it’s possible other hunters might have known him through Bobby, contacted him and it grew from there. Plus, he seems to be doing a fine job so far.

Sam’s flashbacks, while they are nice and sweet and all that, seemed very random in this episode and as patient as I like to think I am, God Almighty they’re as slow! What else do we know about Sam or Sam’s storyline that we didn’t know six episodes ago? And yes, at the moment the flashbacks do seem to tell us more about Amelia than about Sam which is a worry. It’d have been really nice to hear Sam say something about Dean, and then have the scene fade from there. I need something a bit more progressive, a bit more purposeful but honestly, given that we’re almost one third of the way through the season and there is still a buttload left to cover, I’m not exactly confident I’ll get it. Six episodes in and Sam tells Dean her name? Hmm, maybe in another six episodes Dean will learn the dog’s name. Wait, does Dean even know Sam had a dog?

Okay, so Sam didn’t look for Dean because he was sad/lost/implod ed/a bad driver etc; right, got it. I’m sure it’s a little more than that but the possibility that it could be that is, in itself, worrying. Let’s say Sam had a breakdown, let’s face it; that brings about its own difficulties. Not only does the show not have a good track record with dealing with such topics (preferring to highlight it in a usually sordid but discussion worthy act) but mental health is an issue that does not, and could not, translate well on a show about monsters and fighting. It never has. It’s also an issue that, for many people, is difficult to understand, or they brush off. If Sam did have some sort of mental break because of the loss of Dean then its effects will (should) be long lasting and far reaching and I don’t think this type of show can, or will, dedicate due time and exposition to it.

I’m struggling to get Sam. I’m not even sure if I’m interested in Sam enough this season to want to get him, and I like working to get him. I’m struggling to see a role for him bar to serve as a foil for Dean. We’re almost one third of the way in and I’m clueless as to who he is, as evidently he too is. He is flip-flopping around the place like a grounded fish; monsters can be trusted, they can’t be trusted. Sam hasn’t even spoken to Benny. Dean has told him next to nothing about him, so where is this coming from? Does he not trust Benny because he’s a vampire, does he not trust Benny because Dean trusts him? Does he not trust him because he’s pissed at Dean? Does he not trust Benny because he’s jealous of his relationship with Dean, does he not trust Benny because he sees him as a threat to that relationship (Ha! What relationship??) Sam has been a lot of things in his time but resentful towards his brothers friends? No. God knows, Castiel has done much worse to him and he’d no problem at all with him.

Dean.... Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean. As much as I like you, I find you to be an almerciful gowlbag this season. I actually find myself hankering for ‘The Mentalists’ Dean. That's bad. If this is what people in the know call ‘badass’ this season then honest to God, I’m going to go and find myself a nice (legal) altar-boy. You push and you push and you push and then you vent. And boy, did you vent. It’s good to know that forgiving and forgetting are just words to you. Did you ever forgive Sam for wanting the last of the Lucky Charms, did you? DID YOU??

Dean, I acknowledge that Purgatory fecked you up, and you’ve problems trusting anyone who isn’t Benny. I appreciate that you’ve lived a very insular life where you’ve always been at the core of all the relationships; John/Sam/Dean, Sam /Dean, Sam/Dean/Castie l and Dean/Castiel/Be nny so this leads you to believe it's all on you. I appreciate you’ve a hero complex and your low self-esteen means you judge everyone else to a higher standard than yourself; I’ve got all that. Now look, what I’m about to say is something I’m sure you won’t appreciate but I feel it has to be said, and if you realised it then you’d probably be the better for it. ‘Dean, it is not always about you.’ Got that, buttercup? The world does not revolve around you. Sam and Castiel do not wake up in the morning looking for ways to screw you over. Should Benny fall off the wagon it will not be a betrayal of you so you’ve got to get your head around the idea that people do get to act independently of you. Others do not make decisions based on what they think you would or would not do or would or would not approve of, nor should they. When people do something you don’t agree with they’re not doing it to betray you or be deceitful to you or to give you the middle finger; they’re doing it because they believe it is the right thing to do. There is a fair chance that you had no part whatsoever in their decision. As a result, your stance that everything they’ve done they’d done to deceive you is self-absorbed in the extreme, and dude, that’s not attractive.

Did it ever occur to you to think less of the what and more of the why? You hold a grudge against Sam because he chose to drink demon blood. Do you think he drank demon blood because he was thirsty or because he knew you wouldn’t want it? No, it was to kill demons and later try and stop the Apocalypse; a very Winchester, self-sacrificia l, and hunter thing to do. Do you think his going with Ruby was a betrayal to you? No, he went with Ruby because she could help him. Hey, she saved his life. Sound familiar? You think Soulless Sam not telling you he didn’t have a soul was a middle finger to you? No, he didn’t even know that he didn’t have a soul until the same time you did! Jesus, who was supposed to have had the stroke last week?? Your persecution complex is staggering, and dude, not only is it entirely on you but every issue out of your mouth reminds the viewers that you once did the same or similar. You keep secrets, you trust demons, you tap into your dark side to help people yet when others do it it’s a betrayal to you.

This is so similar to 5.01, when Dean gave his ‘You choose a demon over your own brother’ spiel, the first thing I thought was ‘Ah, no he didn’t. Sam wanted you. He asked you to be there but instead you gave him an ultimatum. He wanted you but unless you’d swallowed a demon or two then at that time, Sam needed Ruby. From your point of view, Sam chose a demon over you. From Sam’s point of view, he chose to try and stop the Apocalypse, to try and save 6bn people over you but still, you can only see his act and not his intent.’

The thing is these resentments have been going back years, decades. How long ago is Dean referring to when he said Sam has been deceiving him since he first climbed into his ride; season 8, after the Cage, after Cold Oak, Stanford, earlier? (And what ‘ride’ is he talking about, the Impala? Has Sam been squatting in Dean’s home for the past three decades? Or is it the hunting ride? Does Dean think that Sam is muscling in on his gig? That confused me.) And apologies will do no good because Sam apologised, for everything he did while soulless, including what he did to Dean and still Dean is holding a grudge about it so what good will apologies do now? After spending a year trying to make it up to Dean he then spent almost two centuries in the Cage to atone for what he did and that wasn’t enough. Does Sam need to find a freaking time vortex, go back to Cold Oak and let the air out of the Impala’s tyres so that Dean can’t make it to the Crossroads? Should he go back and turn down college so that Dean won’t feel abandoned? Should he head back further and try to make sure that John wears one of the Durex Extra Safe the night he was conceived? Dude, what the hell do you want from Sam?

And the funny thing is, while Dean probably won’t remember any of it, it’s quite possible that, given that he’s gotten them out of his system, the resentments he held are now gone. Wonder can we say the same thing about Sam, knowing how his brother truly feels about him, has felt about him for years. Should he just forget all of what Dean said (and feels) because of the assumption that Dean has?

To be honest, I think the writers have gone this far just for controversy’s sake because there is nothing worse than impassive, inactive fans. However, is it a step too far? As with Sam’s decision to not look for Dean, looking forward, what impact will this have on the core of the show? Is Sam to forever sit in the passenger seat of Dean’s car knowing that for Dean, 200 years wasn’t enough? How’s he meant to come to terms with the fact that despite Sam’s faith and trust, many honourable actions and the many sacrifices he’s made for Dean; Dean still considers Benny more of a brother than he will ever? What hope does Sam have to answer to that? Given how easily Dean’s 'brotherly' affections can be transferred (the Siren, Castiel, Benny) should Sam even try to answer it?
st50
# st50 2012-11-10 08:47
Tim,
This is my new favourite post.
Thank you for talking to Dean this way. I just want to slap him
- ok AND Sam for taking it from him year after year. More than a bitchface and frustration Sam! Jeez!
I'm printing this out and saving it. :D
Heck, maybe I'll mail it to the writers. (kidding!)
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-11-10 09:18
All excellent points Tim.

I hadn't thought of the fact that Sam has never shown a lick of jealousy or resentment towards Cas, has in fact been very forgiving and supportive, so it's one more thing that's OOC for Sam to be jealous and resentful of Benny. And Sam being jealous and resentful of Benny was the only explanation I could find for why Sam was acting so OOC about condemning Benny just because he's a vampire, when throughout the whole season he has always been the one defending supernatural creatures who don't want to kill people.

I've never met an impassive, inactive Supernatural fan. Seems like an oxymoron, we're known for being crazy passionate and devoted. I really don't think there was any justification in doing this just for the sake of controversy.

I think, rather, that were no goal to it, that Carver simply doesn't get it. He doesn't get the show, he doesn't get the fans. Or worse, he doesn't care. And as I said about his quote that I posted above, it doesn't sound like he's listening to his co-workers who do get the show and the fans either.

So many things have been off, things that are inconsistent and OOC. Like Sam acting like Jess never existed, or suddenly morphing into Mr. Fixit when he has always been the bookish one, and Dean was the handy one. Or this supposed agreement that they don't look for each other if one disappears. Dean didn't want Sam to sacrifice himself for Dean to get him out of Hell, but if Sam had found a way to get him out without hurting himself or anyone, Dean would've been all over that. When they were looking at the end, that's what he desperately wanted. Sam made Dean promise not to try to get him out of the Cage because of the risk of releasing Lucifer and starting the Apocalypse again. Those were two specific circumstances with known risks, and they wanted to avoid those risks. There never was a blanket agreement to not look in any circumstance, whether there were risks or not. In this case, the risks were unknown, and Sam would've found out what they were before deciding to not save Dean. Had he done research, he might've found out there was a portal that let out humans without any risk of hurting anyone else.

At its very heart, Supernatural is a show about two brothers who would die for each other. And he is rewriting it as a show about two brothers who would leave each other for dead. That more than anything else tells me he just doesn't get it.
st50
# st50 2012-11-10 09:32
Several valid points, Mickey, but I'm not quite ready to give up on Carver yet.
He USED to understand these guys and this show VERY well. I have to believe he still does, and there is an endgame here. How we get there, damned if I know, but I refuse to believe Carver doesn't think he does!
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-10 10:59
Mickey, I couldn't agree more w/you! Carver doesn't get it. If he did, he wouldn't have ever penned this OOC story for Sam. Sam wouldn't abandon Dean, and the boys never promised to never look for each other. That promsie doesn't even make sense given their lifestyle.

AFAIC, Carver has not earned my trust. The storytelling for Sam is vague and bad on all levels. If we put aside the whole Sam not looking for Dean debacle, Sam's story still isn't being written well. What exactly are we supposed to be learning from Sam's time w/Amelia? What does it mean to the overall arc? How does it develop Sam's character? As Tim pointed out, we're 6 episodes in and I know as much about Sam as I knew during the premiere. As far as I can see, Sam has NO story. We're not exploring his decision to not look for Dean. We're not exploring how his world imploded and what effect that had on him. We're not getting the time directly after Dean disappeared. They just immediately threw him to Amelia. He has no POV about the stuff that most interests the audience, IMO.

Now, if there was a huge twist/reveal planned (which I don't think there is), it's also not being set up well. We're not getting any hints to any reveal other than Sam's widely OOC behavior. There needs to be more. A clue or two should be dropped so the audience doesn't just think Sam's a jerk.

Quote:
At its very heart, Supernatural is a show about two brothers who would die for each other. And he is rewriting it as a show about two brothers who would leave each other for dead. That more than anything else tells me he just doesn't get it.
This really says it all!
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-10 10:25
Yeah, I agree that that is the aspect of Dean, not the post-purgatory traumatized edge, that I find a bit scary, his absorptive tendencies. I think we saw something similar in the arc with Lisa and Ben culminating in the memory wipe, and also glimpsed it in the way he makes his own guilt the key to other people's lives in Defending Your Life in a way that tends to erase them (Jo, after all, was a grown woman when she got into hunting, and she had her own complicated issues with her own parents driving her decision; she was in the end satisfied with her choices and her death, so Dean's guilt, making himself responsible for her life and death, deprives her of autonomy and dignity).

I have a vague sense somewhere in my mind that Sam and Dean's least lovable qualities are both somehow about boundaries, in completely opposite ways rooted in their childhood. Dean had inappropriate responsibility put on him very young, and learned to define himself around his relationship to others. His boundaries become too porous, so he ends up reading everything in relationship to himself. Sam, on the other hand, grew up rebellious against something he felt imposed on him and did not identify with. As a result, he tends to overdefine his boundaries, often pushing others out to pursue his own goals and self-definition s, sometimes oblivious to the impact of his actions on personal relationships.

I wonder if both their other relationships this season might be good for their issues: Sam seems to be negotiating around and breaking through some of his defenses with Amelia, but in a way that is very conscious of both of them as two solitudes coming together. And Dean and Benny have a relationship that isn't so much defined by each other as by an equal effect of very demanding outside circumstance on both of them. I get the feeling that Dean does see Benny as a comrade without either of them being defined around the other in the ways that have sometimes been harmful to Dean.

About the mess that is the writing of Sam's not searching decision, I have probably said enough even for the speculation posts.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-10 10:34
I will add one more point to your talk to Dean.
Dear Dean,
I know your feel incredibly betrayed by Sam for many things. One of your issues is You never wanted this life. Blamed me for dragging you back into it.. First Sam told you in the trial before Osiris that he didn't blame you for dragging you back in, but even if he did, wanting to live a life that you don't want to live isn't a betrayal. Even if Sam can't get out, he gets to wish he could and that has nothing to do with you. Sam gets to think what he wants. He is allowed to want things that you don't. He may not get them, but between the time that John died and you disappeared Sam fought by your side, had your back and didn't whine about how he didn't want to be there. He felt stuck in hunting and still had a small dream he could get out, but he really didn't put that on you. Give your brother the right to think for himself without labeling it a betrayal.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-10 10:46
Sam's position on the Benny issue seems rather straight-forwar d to me. I don't think it's a jealousy thing at all.

I think Sam is:

a) pissed, because Dean suddenly befriending a vampire is totally out of character from the Dean he always knew. Dean always gave Sam a VERY hard time for empathizing/sym pathizing/befri ending creatures of the supernatural. Sam has been hurt because of that. He's doubted himself because of that. And he's always in the end gone along with Dean. Now all of a sudden Dean is changing his tune. I think Sam sees that as not only hypocritical, but also a kind of betrayal;

b) pissed, because Dean LIKE ALWAYS is keeping his cards close to the vest. He wasn't up front about Benny. He wasn't up front about Cas. And Sam is left grasping at straws to try and find out what is going on with his brother before it blows up in their faces, as these secrets usually do;

c) sick and tired, as in - he's done some serious soul-searching over the past year - that much is obvious. Sam has better clarity and conviction about his past, who he is, and what he wants from life. Sam is owning up to this, being emotionally honest with his brother, and what does he get in return? Nastiness. Passive-aggress ive behavior. Secrets. And a brother who not only refuses to be honest with himself, but pretty much refuses to communicate in any meaningful way or acknowledge Sam's wants and needs;

d) afraid - because Dean being back and them hitting the road together again means going back to a life where he could lose his brother (again) at any time, on any hunt. How many times can Sam be expected to keep doing that?

and finally:

e) pissed, because Dean keeps accusing him of being the-brother-who -does-not-care, even going so far as to say - under the spectre's influence - that Benny was a better brother than Sam ever was. That not only unveils some extreme and shocking resentment on Dean's part, but it also had to be extraordinarily hurtful for Sam - because it's simply not true. We all know it's not true. Sam has sacrificed a lot for his brother, and continues to do so by hitting the road with him again on this last hunt. There also are likely several other forces that have and will come to play on Sam's part. (I.e. I'm convinced we still don't have the full story).

I don't even think we can cite guilt as a factor yet in Sam's emotions. I haven't seen much evidence of that, just general evasiveness.

Furthermore, it doesn't make sense to me that Sam, who seems to be in a very mature, stable spot right now, would be jealous of his brother's friend. Nor does it make sense that Sam would be jealous of a vampire he doesn't trust. Sam, whom Dean has protected fiercely since birth (i.e. about 30 years), and who has had his brother's back - with varying degrees of success - for no small span of time, is not going to feel threatened or upstaged by some undead being who came onto the scene and had Dean's back for a year. The situations simply aren't comparable. Sam is family. Benny is not. If Benny slips up, Dean will do what he has to (we assume). If Sam slips up? Canon attests that Dean would never willingly kill his brother, no matter how far he strayed. There's the difference, plain as day. No contest.

So rather than jealousy, I think it is more righteous anger that Sam feels. The anger of a loved one watching in stunned confusion someone he's looked to for support and example his entire life completely changes character and starts being best buds with a dangerous, shady individual - and this after their relationship nearly derailed over Sam doing something similar. The anger of a loved one who's been lied to repeatedly, and who remains in the dark about his brother's past, thoughts, motives, and feelings. The anger of a loved one who is constantly being accused of having done wrong. You get the picture.

To be fair though, Sam's claim that he told Dean about his year with Amelia and has been honest about everything falls flat with me. I don't think he's been, in actuality, as honest with Dean as he thinks he has been, if by nothing else than the fact that there's still a mystery surrounding his looking/not looking for Dean and why - if there wasn't a secret there, Sam would come right out and tell Dean - 'hey, this is what happened, and this is why - deal with it.'

For what it's worth - that's my understanding of what's going on.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-10 13:33
Well said, Bamboo. I see anger, not jealousy, coming from Sam, too. And, in my opinion, I like it- an angry Sam is a kickass Sam, my favorite flavor.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-10 20:42
I think you covered it all there Bamboo! Great points!
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-11-10 14:17
Excellent post, Tim, as always.
Personally, I partially disagree about Sam's flashbacks- yes, they are too heavy on Amelia, light on Sam- but they are still more intro to Sam's head than we've gotten since season 3.

However, regarding Dean- you are spot on, every word. But this is not something new Carver brought to the table, IMO.
E
# E 2012-11-10 20:33
I bow to the master. This is everything I have ever wanted to say about both brothers. OY, this was satisfying.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2012-11-11 10:17
Quote:
Ummmm, huh. This was one of those episodes you just say ‘Jeez, I dunno’ about it. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good but God, the sour taste it left in the mouth.
Tim, I agree - the episode wasn't fantastic but it wasn't awful either, but I was left feeling very tense regarding the state of the lads' relationship.


Quote:
Sam’s flashbacks, while they are nice and sweet and all that, seemed very random in this episode and as patient as I like to think I am, God Almighty they’re as slow! What else do we know about Sam or Sam’s storyline that we didn’t know six episodes ago?....

I’m struggling to get Sam. I’m not even sure if I’m interested in Sam enough this season to want to get him, and I like working to get him. I’m struggling to see a role for him bar to serve as a foil for Dean. We’re almost one third of the way in and I’m clueless as to who he is, as evidently he too is.
Yes, I'm having similar problems with Sam. He feels like a bit of a non-entity in his own story. The pace of revealing his backstory for the brothers' year apart is going too slowly for my liking. I don't want an insta-dump of all that's happened to him in the past 12 months, but, by now, I would like to know a bit more of what happened to him. I find Sam and Dean to be fascinating characters, so I want to be given things to be fascinated about. I feel like I'm getting a bit more of that with Dean's Purgatory story but I'm not getting that with Sam's Texas story.


Quote:
Dean.... Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean. As much as I like you, I find you to be an almerciful gowlbag this season. I actually find myself hankering for ‘The Mentalists’ Dean. That's bad. If this is what people in the know call ‘badass’ this season then honest to God, I’m going to go and find myself a nice (legal) altar-boy. You push and you push and you push and then you vent. And boy, did you vent. It’s good to know that forgiving and forgetting are just words to you. Did you ever forgive Sam for wanting the last of the Lucky Charms, did you? DID YOU??
Dean's fear of abandonment really rules EVERYTHING in his wee brain. Sometimes, Dean's inability to recognise his own feelings leads to his behaving as though his limbic system rather than his brain is in charge of his body. Dean can resent and hold a grudge really well (actually, grudge-holding is a strong Winchester trait; his Da and his brother both do it well too). I think Dean holds things inside FAR TOO MUCH and then when it comes out, it comes out far more vicious and nasty than it needs to be. No wonder Sam used to always try to get Dean to talk to him, Sam knew that he was in for a nasty tirade if he let Dean build up a head of steam. I would like to see a slightly more balanced Dean who could realise, after a while, that he's repressing too much about something and that it might be a good idea to try and raise the issue with Sam before it gets to a nasty, "I'll give you the worst word in my belly" stage argument with Sam.


Quote:
To be honest, I think the writers have gone this far just for controversy’s sake because there is nothing worse than impassive, inactive fans. However, is it a step too far? As with Sam’s decision to not look for Dean, looking forward, what impact will this have on the core of the show? Is Sam to forever sit in the passenger seat of Dean’s car knowing that for Dean, 200 years wasn’t enough? How’s he meant to come to terms with the fact that despite Sam’s faith and trust, many honourable actions and the many sacrifices he’s made for Dean; Dean still considers Benny more of a brother than he will ever? What hope does Sam have to answer to that? Given how easily Dean’s 'brotherly' affections can be transferred (the Siren, Castiel, Benny) should Sam even try to answer it?
Tim, I agree that the writers seem to be deepening this rift and anger between Sam and Dean just for the sake of it and in order to get fans riled up. It would seem that some SPN viewers like to see Sam and Dean at loggerheads (S4 was a very popular season with a lot of people - although, not so with me). Personally, I can handle tension and angst but only if I feel that it's in character, in keeping with past character development, and it is likely to be resolved in a satisfying manner. I've had enough of the Winchesters being angry with each other since S4 and I would like to see some of that resolved. I was hoping for that to happen after Dean's possession in Southern Comfort, but the reaction that the writers gave Sam was unexpected and I don't have much of a sense that the writers are keen to resolve the brothers' rift any time soon :-( I don't easily accept the starting premises that the writers have given Sam and Dean this season i.e. Dean feels he has a better bond with Benny and Sam didn't look for Dean after Dean disappeared. These starting premises don't feel realistic or in character for either brother and as such I'm having a hard time accepting them as well as accepting the plot developments/ch aracter behaviours arising from the premises.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-12 07:31
Quote:
However, is it a step too far? As with Sam’s decision to not look for Dean, looking forward, what impact will this have on the core of the show? Is Sam to forever sit in the passenger seat of Dean’s car knowing that for Dean, 200 years wasn’t enough? How’s he meant to come to terms with the fact that despite Sam’s faith and trust, many honourable actions and the many sacrifices he’s made for Dean; Dean still considers Benny more of a brother than he will ever? What hope does Sam have to answer to that? Given how easily Dean’s 'brotherly' affections can be transferred (the Siren, Castiel, Benny) should Sam even try to answer it?
Brilliant pot Tim. In particular I share your concern that they have gone too far and put issues / obstacles in the way of the brothers relationship that they ca never get over / undo.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-12 08:24
With everything that has happened this year, Carver has convinced me that both Sam and Dean would be better off not sharing a ride although admittedly I've thought that before, they both deserve to be able to come and go without stranding the other person. He's also convincing me that the shouldn't hunt together or even see one another except meeting up occasionally where Sam can ask Dean about Dean's hunts, which Sam can at least relate to, and Dean can awkwardly ask about the life Sam has that Dean has never been able to attain.

Thus far the writers have made Sam seem like an emotionless idiot who didn't even call around to the few people who might have had Dean to see if Dean was dead or alive. And Dean has been made to seem like a petty grudge holder who resents anything that Sam does that conflicts with Dean's view of the world.

IRL, Sam finally giving up after so many years of Dean dying and coming back would probably make sense. I would actually understand if at some point Sam said, "Hey, you always come back and every other time you have disappeared I failed miserably to save you. In fact every time I tried to save you, I came close to destroying my mind, my soul and the world,". I could take the idea that after Mystery Spot, and Dean going to Hell and Sam remembering his Cage memories only to find that coming back made NO DIFFERENCE in stopping Cas that he was just too emotionally exhausted to even begin to think about looking for Dean. I could buy that as a starting place, but they won't spend a five minute FB to show us even that.

I will admit that I'm unhappy because I spent seasons 4, 5, 6 and 7 watching Dean's manpain and spiral into depression and now, I can't even get a glimpse of understanding into Sam's EMOTIONAL space. I'm seeing his rational side but, once again, his emotions are simply deemed unimportant. To Dean fans, I understand that Dean's depression never being resolved was frustrating, but now you are seeing it resolved by the clarity of Purgatory and the wonders of Benny the huggable vampire. With Sam, I'm getting an emotionless automaton who hit a dog and met a girl and other than the fact that he seems to like the dog and be able to talk to the girl, I'm getting nothing.
lala2
# lala2 2012-11-12 10:11
There's no story for Sam. Putting aside the nonsense of him not looking for Dean, I don't get the point if his scenes with Amelia. It's not clear to me what, if anything, we're supposed to be learning from his time with her. I'm not seeing how this relationship has further developed his character. Sam's had a relationship and normal before do what made this time so different?
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-11-10 05:18
Quote:
Dean.... Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean. As much as I like you, I find you to be an almerciful gowlbag this season. I actually find myself hankering for ‘The Mentalists’ Dean. That's bad. If this is what people in the know call ‘badass’ this season then honest to God, I’m going to go and find myself a nice (legal) altar-boy. You push and you push and you push and then you vent. And boy, did you vent. It’s good to know that forgiving and forgetting are just words to you. Did you ever forgive Sam for wanting the last of the Lucky Charms, did you? DID YOU?? Dean, I acknowledge that Purgatory fecked you up, and you’ve problems trusting anyone who isn’t Benny. I appreciate that you’ve lived a very insular life where you’ve always been at the core of all the relationships; John/Sam/Dean, Sam /Dean, Sam/Dean/Castiel and Dean/Castiel/Benny so this leads you to believe it's all on you. I appreciate you’ve a hero complex and your low self-esteen means you judge everyone else to a higher standard than yourself; I’ve got all that. Now look, what I’m about to say is something I’m sure you won’t appreciate but I feel it has to be said, and if you realised it then you’d probably be the better for it. ‘Dean, it is not always about you.’ Got that, buttercup? The world does not revolve around you. Sam and Castiel do not wake up in the morning looking for ways to screw you over. Should Benny fall off the wagon it will not be a betrayal of you so you’ve got to get your head around the idea that people do get to act independently of you. Others do not make decisions based on what they think you would or would not do or would or would not approve of, nor should they. When people do something you don’t agree with they’re not doing it to betray you or be deceitful to you or to give you the middle finger; they’re doing it because they believe it is the right thing to do. There is a fair chance that you had no part whatsoever in their decision. As a result, your stance that everything they’ve done they’d done to deceive you is self-absorbed in the extreme, and dude, that’s not attractive. Did it ever occur to you to think less of the what and more of the why? You hold a grudge against Sam because he chose to drink demon blood. Do you think he drank demon blood because he was thirsty or because he knew you wouldn’t want it? No, it was to kill demons and later try and stop the Apocalypse; a very Winchester, self-sacrificial, and hunter thing to do. Do you think his going with Ruby was a betrayal to you? No, he went with Ruby because she could help him. Hey, she saved his life. Sound familiar? You think Soulless Sam not telling you he didn’t have a soul was a middle finger to you? No, he didn’t even know that he didn’t have a soul until the same time you did! Jesus, who was supposed to have had the stroke last week?? Your persecution complex is staggering, and dude, not only is it entirely on you but every issue out of your mouth reminds the viewers that you once did the same or similar. You keep secrets, you trust demons, you tap into your dark side to help people yet when others do it it’s a betrayal to you. This is so similar to 5.01, when Dean gave his ‘You choose a demon over your own brother’ spiel, the first thing I thought was ‘Ah, no he didn’t. Sam wanted you. He asked you to be there but instead you gave him an ultimatum. He wanted you but unless you’d swallowed a demon or two then at that time, Sam needed Ruby. From your point of view, Sam chose a demon over you. From Sam’s point of view, he chose to try and stop the Apocalypse, to try and save 6bn people over you but still, you can only see his act and not his intent.’ The thing is these resentments have been going back years, decades. How long ago is Dean referring to when he said Sam has been deceiving him since he first climbed into his ride; season 8, after the Cage, after Cold Oak, Stanford, earlier? (And what ‘ride’ is he talking about, the Impala? Has Sam been squatting in Dean’s home for the past three decades? Or is it the hunting ride? Does Dean think that Sam is muscling in on his gig? That confused me.) And apologies will do no good because Sam apologised, for everything he did while soulless, including what he did to Dean and still Dean is holding a grudge about it so what good will apologies do now? After spending a year trying to make it up to Dean he then spent almost two centuries in the Cage to atone for what he did and that wasn’t enough. Does Sam need to find a freaking time vortex, go back to Cold Oak and let the air out of the Impala’s tyres so that Dean can’t make it to the Crossroads? Should he go back and turn down college so that Dean won’t feel abandoned? Should he head back further and try to make sure that John wears one of the Durex Extra Safe the night he was conceived? Dude, what the hell do you want from Sam?
I loved this episode because of these questions arising in or minds..
E
# E 2012-11-10 20:44
I agree anonymousN and I think I said basically the same thing on another thread.. this episode did EXACTLY what it set out to do which is to stir up the pot, but not let it boil over, at least not yet. We are now completely familiar with where each brother stands at the moment emotionally and in context with one another, but the issues themselves are unresolved, bubbling away under the surface like corrosive acid. It will eat through this stale mate at some point soon and then...... LOOK OUT!. I can't wait! The anticipation is killing me.
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-11-10 21:05
I do LOVE how you relish the angst E. Makes me smile every time.
E
# E 2012-11-11 10:58
I am a huge fan of opera, which is always about buckets of angst and truckloads of drama, so maybe I get my love of it from there. Sam and Dean are quite operatic IMO!
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-11 19:17
I just wanted to say that, upon second (uninterrupted) viewing, I found the episode to be much, much better than I originally thought.

I think I missed a ton of nuances the first time around. When Sam interviewed Ms. Alcott, something she said really stuck out to me, that she thought the reason Mary was so wary around her still was because she was a reminder of her husband's betrayal. In the same way, I think Sam's biggest issue with Benny is that he's a reminder of Dean's betrayal in killing Amy. He's angry that after all these years Dean is changing his tune, conveniently when the other shoe is on his foot.

I also noticed that Dean did seem to let go of a lot of his resentments by the end of the episode. Remember when he threatened that if Garth's ringtone played "Hammer" he was "gonna throwdown"? Garth's ringtone played just that at the end of the episode, and Dean was calm - no irritation, no resentment.

I found Sam's talk with Amelia - "you and I are a lot of things, but we're not to be pitied" - very poignant. That taking personal responsibility for his past actions is something that I think was missing from his character in prior seasons. Just like Dean's ability to let go of things, be it grief, or resentment, or feelings of anger and betrayal, as well as any real empathy/sympath y for Sam or beings like Benny and Amy, have been missing from his character. But now the situations are flipped. Now it is Sam who must learn to let go of past betrayals committed by Dean, and it is Dean who must learn to take personal responsibility for his actions in Purgatory, as well as for the way he's been treating Sam.

On second viewing, even Garth's role seemed less offensive to me. In letting go of some of my resentment for how S7 treated Bobby's character, I was able to see it for what it was, and therefore appreciate it. I was able to catch the humor I couldn't before.

All in all, my opinion of the episode has totally changed. I'd give it a solid B.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-11 19:47
I find Sam’s sudden resentment over Amy odd, frankly. In S7 he not only decided that Dean had made the right call, he used that philosophy to justify killing Emma. So finding out that Dean changed and trusted a vampire in purgatory (adopting a world-view that Sam has been encouraging him to take for years) flips the switch back? So now Sam doesn’t want Dean to be open-minded? I find Sam projecting his Amy issues onto Benny a bit unfair, really. Benny =/= Amy.

I think we often see Dean behave this way when confronted by something emotional, i.e., Garth stepping into Bobby’s shoes. He often reacts with anger and blows up first, but then listens to reason and shifts his stance. That seemed very Dean-like to me.

I’m not sure how Sam or Amelia were taking responsibility for anything when they both agreed that they were not to be pitied. What exactly did you see Sam taking responsibility for by saying that? I think he was declaring that he was letting the past go and moving forward, which seems much in line with what his theme is this season. Sam certainly doesn’t seem to be taking any responsibility for his part in this conflict with Dean.

On the other side, I think if this one episode is supposed to be symbolic of Dean’s ability to let go of things, it was a rather quick fix. I also think it’s way OTT to declare that Dean hasn’t had any real empathy or sympathy for Sam in the past seasons. I think he showed empathy/sympath y for Amy’s son last season, for example, but I do agree he’s evolving on his stance on monsters, though apparently according to Sam that’s wrong. I find it bizarre to say that Dean doesn’t take personal responsibility for his actions—he frequently takes responsibility for things that aren’t his fault as well as what is. I don’t think that’s his issue. I think it’s probably still Dean’s role to let go of his hurt from Sam not looking for him, and honestly I’d like to see more compassion for Dean from Sam regarding his issues in the last year. Sam also deserves compassion, of course, but if he’s equating Dean’s lack of forthcoming about Benny to his past mistakes I think he’s seeking victimhood.

I can agree that Garth was less obnoxious than I’d feared—at least until his Mary Sue-ish lack of anger and his “suck it up, princess” speech that of course only applies to Dean. That reminds me why I don’t miss Bobby.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-11 20:19
I think there was a major difference between Amy and Emma. Emma was ready to murder Dean in cold blood, right in front Sam. Amy had killed to save her son because he was sick, swore not to kill again, and Dean killed her - in cold blood - behind Sam's back.

I think Benny is similar to Amy and that chick from "Bitten" in that he's killed before, but has vowed to "keep his nose clean." He seems to realize the value of human life and that killing is wrong.

The issue is not that Sam doesn't want Dean to be open-minded. I think the issue is that Dean's done a complete 180 on this issue. He's suddenly befriending a shady supernatural being when just a year ago he would have advocated for that being's destruction as a monster who has killed people before, and will likely kill again. Sam doesn't understand what hold Benny has on Dean. He doesn't understand what has caused this change in his brother. And he's angry that Dean won't talk about it or how he got out of Purgatory.

I agree that Dean behaves in a predictable manner when confronted with painful emotional issues.

My take on the "not to be pitied" comment was the timing and place of it within the episode i.e. right before (if I remember correctly) the scene where Dean, under the Spectre's influence, lays into Sam with his resentments over past betrayals (real and perceived). I thought it juxtaposed nicely with Sam's admission to Dean that yes, he's made mistakes.

However, I also think your interpretation of the comment makes sense, as in, Sam and Amelia are not to be pitied for their choices in response to the huge losses in their lives and how they dealt with them and moved on.

I think Sam thinks that he has taken responsibility for his part in his conflict with Dean. I think he thinks he's been more honest and forthright than what he actually, in fact, has been.

I don't think the episode was a quick fix in the sense that suddenly Dean has let go of all his issues and is fine. I just noted at the end that he was more willing to let go of some of them. He seemed on the whole a lot calmer and more contrite at the end of the episode after getting all that deep seated hurt and anger out.

I totally disagree that Dean showed empathy/sympath y for Amy's son last season. Granted, he didn't kill the kid; but he did threaten him, challenge him, and showed no remorse for killing the kid's mother. We'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

I'm not saying Dean has never had any empathy or sympathy toward Sam in past seasons. I'm saying I don't think he's been very understanding of Sam's empathy/sympath y for monsters in the past at all - though he's certainly tried a few times. And that empathy/sympath y in large part comes from Sam because of Sam's history and experiences with the supernatural. I think Dean's past approach has pretty much been, "I'm right; you're wrong" on the goodness-of-mon sters issue. And sometimes he's been right, sometimes he's been wrong. Sometimes Sam has agreed, and sometimes he disagreed.

For the record, I don't think Sam equating Dean's lack of forthcoming about Benny to past mistakes i.e. killing Amy is "seeking victimhood," any more than Dean equating Sam's actions with his past mistakes and failing to let go of past betrayals (real or perceived) is "seeking victimhood". Both men have reasons to be angry and hurt. Both men need to talk about this stuff in order to move on.

I agree that Dean has taken responsibility -sometimes too much - for everything in the past. However, right now he is not owning up to what happened in Purgatory or how he has treated Sam since returning. In that sense, right now, he is not taking personal responsibility for his actions.

Both brother's actions are understandable, IMO.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-11 20:32
I actually see Dean's guilt -- his too much responsibility -- as a barrier to his taking real responsibility for his own actions. Quite often it is Dean's guilt that drives his bad choices (guilt at John's deal and Sam's death drove his own deal, guilt at what happened to Lisa and Ben drove the memory wipe). I find his attitude to what he did in purgatory -- it was necessary in the circumstances, no regrets -- in some ways a sign of progress, Dean acknowledging that he's driven by circumstances but also owning his own choices within circumstance.

Sam, I think, went a bit overboard on responsibility in his effort to recover from his actions and choices in s5, trying to take responsibility even for the things robo!Sam did. In part, I think, that stemmed from Sam's ingrained control issues: soullessness, which profoundly alienated his self and agency, made him need responsibility as a coping mechanism. Even his letting go of guilt in 7.4 had an element of grasping at control for me: it was a way of using his hell time, his victimhood, to achieve something. But he also made some more positive uses of his sense of his own past, reaching out to Cas in both 7.1 and 7.21 explicitly on the grounds that he knew what it was like to go off the reservation, and understood the possibility of redemption.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-11 20:55
Quote:
I find his attitude to what he did in purgatory -- it was necessary in the circumstances, no regrets -- in some ways a sign of progress, Dean acknowledging that he's driven by circumstances but also owning his own choices within circumstance.
I can see that; however I have been interpreting his "no regrets" mantra as a flimsy cover for whatever terrible things happened in Purgatory, specifically regarding Cas. Dean deep down knows it's that bad, whatever it is, and it's the guilt driving him to put on this facade of "everything's fine and I did what I had to." I think it's also why this theme of betrayal keeps running through the stories - Dean keeps accusing Sam of leaving him to die. I think that's because he feels like he left Cas to die in Purgatory, and he can't deal with his own guilt. It could also be your interpretation, that he's matured. But the Dean I've been seeing is more unstable, resentful, and ruthless than mature. I think we will get to see that maturity though - I think it will grow and take form as the season progresses.

I like your interpretation of Sam's letting go of past guilt in 7.4 as a coping mechanism - he couldn't deal with the memories of hell and his guilt at the same time, so he let the guilt go. And yes, he was very sympathetic to Cas, wasn't he? But it could also be argued that his, "I know all you ever really did was try to help" was a means of letting Cas off the hook for what were some massively poor choices with serious consequences - the worst of which was crashing Sam's wall. I think Sam was too easy on Cas. And Cas took the easy way out by retreating into this mentally unstable state.

On the other hand, I'm a big fan of forgiveness and redemption. And Sam's way better at that than Dean is.

I think Sam jumping the Pit at the end of S5 kind of cleared the slate, actually. Perhaps the personal responsibility issue for Sam has been an evolving theme for several seasons. Or perhaps the fact is that he has taken personal responsibility ever since S5. He's matured in that way and his character has grown. Dean's hasn't as much, not in that area.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-11-11 21:13
I've always thought that s4 in some ways was weirdly lucky for Sam's growth. Sam's worst failure in personal responsibility, to me, was in s2, where he seemed to regard himself as having no agency in whether or not to go darkside, and when he repeated one of John's worst errors by shifting the responsibility for killing him if he did onto Dean. The thing is, though, it IS actually possible in Supernatural that something like that could have happened. I think if soullessness, say, had happened to Sam before instead of after the moral disaster of s4 Sam might never have been able to develop a healthy responsibility for his own agency. But the very fact that he made spectacularly bad choices and did some terrible things let him learn that he could make choices, and better ones. And he seemed to extend that to others, as well: that was the crux in his conflict with Cas over Jesse, that he knew he hadn't made good choices, but he had the hope that someone else could.

Something similar might come for Dean over purgatory. Dean suffers, I think, from the fact that the worst thing he did is one that wasn't his choice and yet nonetheless was cruelly framed as his choice: he broke under torture in hell, picked up his knife, and became a torturer. No one but Dean could blame Dean for that, but I think it added to his sense of responsibility while stripping him of a sense of agency. Purgatory drastically limited and simplified his choices, but it did at least give him a setting where he was active rather than passive. That limited simplicity wouldn't be a healthy place to stay, but I do feel like having things reduced to that bare necessity for a while, traumatic though it was for him, also cleared the decks in a way, gave him a bit of a fresh start.

Though I guess I will have to wait and see what they are going for! I don't think that it will turn out that Dean deliberately betrayed Cas, though; I can't see that in Dean's character at all.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-11 21:28
I can agree that by having Sam take a fall in S4, they did more to try to make Sam accept that his actions were his responsibility and he needed to take control (unfortunately, I think they walked some of that back with the "Demons have been manipulating you your whole life" addition at the end of S5). I still think Sam has an easier time taking responsibility for the big picture than the small picture, but he's improving. I think he does project his optimism about good choices onto others, including Castiel, Jesse, and monsters, because he sees part of himself in them.

I do hope that Dean is allowed the same chance to shed some baggage that Sam's S5 stroyline. I know I said this below, but I'll say it again. Dean gained nothing from his time in hell but more guilt and responsibility, and nothing has really allievated any of that in the season that followed. Purgatory has allowed him to take more action without the fear of making everything worse, because it was kill or be killed. I, like you, hope that he can grow from that point to a more happy medium between kill or be killed and everything is my resonsibility.

I will be very disappointed if show decides to have Dean deliberately betray Cas as well, because that would be very OOC for him. If Dean is consistent on anything, he's consistent on loyalty to his family. I just can't see it, but we'll see what happens.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-11 21:18
I can agree with you and etheldred that at the moment Dean's attitude could be Dean growing, or it could be Dean covering for the massive guilt he feels about the fact that he got out and Cas somehow didn't. I I really hope it's the former, though. Honestly, I've yet to see this new maturity Jeremy Carver touted from either Sam or Dean, but perhaps it's forthcoming.

I also agree that Sam tended to take more responsibility than he should have, particularly in the soulless Sam era, and that it does lead back to his control issues. Sam has some very understandable control issues that stem from being so out of control in childhood and with the demon manipulation. It's easier for him to cope by saying it's his responsibility than to admit he had no control. Poor Sam.

I can further agree that from S7 on his new philosophy has been to let his guilt and responsibility go. In some ways that's been very healthy for him, I think. I think some of his easiness in forgiving Castiel is due to his tendency to project onto others--he sees his mistakes in Castiel's, and because he can identify with them they're easeir to forgive. But it is nice to think that Sam has learned a lot about redemption and forgiveness. I'll go with that.

I do think that for Sam, his big redemptive gesture in S5 cleared the slate a lot for him. That's fine. I think Dean suffered in that department because he's never been allowed a big redemptive gesture that cleans his slate for his actions in hell and thereafter--all he's gotten is more guilt and responsibility. That's why I hope that he really is allowed to take some clarity from purgatory, because he deserves it just as much as Sam did.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-11 20:56
I’m not sure why Amy’s declarations that she wouldn’t kill again should be considered trustworthy. She clearly had no compunction about murdering people, so there’s no reason to think she wouldn’t do so again if she felt justified in doing so. For the record, I again say that I thought that Sam was as justified in killing Emma as Dean was in killing Amy. I have no problem with Sam doing that. I did have a problem with Dean killing Amy behind Sam’s back, but I have no problem with him killing her.

Really, Amy showed much less concern for human life than Benny or the girl from Bitten did. The girl from Bitten had killed no one but the wolf who had turned her and deserved a chance. Benny, like Lenore, had come to the realization that human life was valuable and stopped of his own accord. Amy showed no sign that she thought the lives she was taking were valuable—quit e the opposite, actually. She found them less valuable than her son, which in my mind made her much more of a risk to kill again.

But if Dean changing his mind is questionable, how is he supposed to become open-minded? From what Sam knows, he has no reason to classify Benny as a shady supernatural being. I can understand his concern for Dean changing his mind, but to me, it should be clear why Dean did change his mind. Dean was saved by a monster in purgatory who helped him escape and get back to Sam. Sam knows his brother is intensely loyal to the people he allows in. I agree that Dean was evasive in talking to Sam about Benny, but let’s be fair—at the beginning of this episode Sam showed little interest in really hearing Dean’s side. He didn’t listen to Dean any more than Dean’s been listening to him, just as Garth judged.

I’m afraid I still don’t see how the “not to be pitied” comment has any context in terms of Sam admitting that he’s made mistakes in real time with Dean (while placating a possessed person, no less). I can agree that Sam may think he’s been honest and forthright with Dean at this point, even though he’s told Dean just as little as he’s told Sam. I’d like for Sam to realize that he actually hasn’t taken much responsibility at all for his conflict with Dean. He hasn’t really explained, and he didn’t even offer Dean the light apology that he offered Kevin. He isn’t showing any sign of understanding why Dean is so upset with him, any more than Dean is showing sign of understanding why Sam might have sought out normal. Neither of them are showing much understanding, if we’re honest.

I think Dean showed empathy by saying that if Amy’s son came to kill him, that would be his right. But Dean is still Dean, and he’s going to warn a monster that if he kills he’s going to come for him. I’m sorry that I misunderstood your take on Dean’s sympathy for Sam. I can agree that Dean has not in the past been particularly understanding of Sam’s empathy/sympath y for monsters. I think Dean sees that Sam projects a lot of himself onto the monsters, and Dean clearly separates Sam from them so he doesn’t understand why Sam feels so like them. I can understand why Sam does, though I think he does project too much at times. I think both Sam and Dean both think they’re right most of the time, and they’re only right about half the time.

You’re right that Sam equating Dean’s lack of forthcoming about Benny with Amy isn’t seeking victimhood. I’d like to walk that one back. I will say, though, that I don’t find it to be an equal comparison at this point. At the moment a girl Sam spent one afternoon with =/= someone who saved Dean’s life, fought by his side for months in purgatory, and got him out. Now, in the future, they could be more equitable, if Benny does start killing again. But not now. YMMV, of course.

I’m not sure what Dean is supposed to be owning up to that happened in purgatory at this point. What wrong is he supposed to be admitting to? Trusting a monster, something Sam should be fully in support of if it meant he got his brother back? I think Dean knows exactly how he’s treating Sam, so I don’t think it’s a matter of not taking responsibility there. At this point I find it hard not to think he’s justified in being hurt and angry with his brother. I wish he would talk about the real issue—Sam giving up on him—instead of hitting the “You stopped hunting” button. You’re right that they both need to talk out their issues, though.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-11 21:33
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At the moment a girl Sam spent one afternoon with =/= someone who saved Dean’s life, fought by his side for months in purgatory, and got him out.
Ah, but he didn't just spend one afternoon with Amy. Amy was his friend, and she saved Sam's life, remember? I can see how Benny might somehow seem more to Dean, but I can also see how to Sam, the situations are equivalent.

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I’m not sure why Amy’s declarations that she wouldn’t kill again should be considered trustworthy. She clearly had no compunction about murdering people, so there’s no reason to think she wouldn’t do so again if she felt justified in doing so. Amy showed no sign that she thought the lives she was taking were valuable—quite the opposite, actually. She found them less valuable than her son, which in my mind made her much more of a risk to kill again.
I think for me, the issue was her intent. She didn't kill because she enjoyed killing. She didn't kill for herself. She killed to save her son, a loved one, who would have died otherwise. She was wrong to kill, definitely. But I don't think there is evidence to show that she was without remorse. And what I saw was Sam looking at that saying, "I know what it's like to do something horrible to save someone I love." He sympathized with her. And her son was well again, so she wasn't going to kill again. There was no indication that her son was going to get sick again. It was over. And he showed her mercy.

Dean's reason for killing Amy was extremely oversimplified. "You are who you are; you WILL kill again." He was stating that monsters are monsters. They can't change. He also justified his actions by pointing out that even though she was done killing because her son was well, she had killed four people in the past.

Now, if every monster that has killed humans in the past deserves to die, as Amy did, and cannot change, as Dean believed Amy couldn't despite evidence to the contrary, then Benny too deserves to die by that same philosophy. Why should we trust his words that he values human life, more than hers? Both are self-serving. If Dean should wait to kill Benny until he starts killing humans again, then he should have done the same with Amy.

I think what needs to happen is Dean needs to 'fess up and say. You know what, looking back, I can admit that killing Amy the way I did was wrong. I didn't understand back then. I think that would go over much better with Sam than merely saying, "people change." Because right now I think Dean looks pretty hypocritical in Sam's eyes.

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From what Sam knows, he has no reason to classify Benny as a shady supernatural being. I can understand his concern for Dean changing his mind, but to me, it should be clear why Dean did change his mind. Dean was saved by a monster in purgatory who helped him escape and get back to Sam. Sam knows his brother is intensely loyal to the people he allows in. I agree that Dean was evasive in talking to Sam about Benny, but let’s be fair—at the beginning of this episode Sam showed little interest in really hearing Dean’s side. He didn’t listen to Dean any more than Dean’s been listening to him, just as Garth judged.
There's also no reason for Sam NOT to classify Benny as shady. :) Benny's a vampire from Purgatory. Sam met him once, after Dean just took off to go hunt with the dude. All he knows is what Dean has said and that is not much. I also think the fact that Dean is intensely loyal to his friends may be a contributing factor in Sam's concern. I simply don't think it's fair to say that Sam should just accept Benny without reservation at this point. I think he has right to be guarded and to question Dean's loyalty to this inherently dangerous being.

I totally agree about both brother's listening and communication issues. They have those up the wazoo.

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I’m not sure what Dean is supposed to be owning up to that happened in purgatory at this point. What wrong is he supposed to be admitting to? Trusting a monster, something Sam should be fully in support of if it meant he got his brother back? I think Dean knows exactly how he’s treating Sam, so I don’t think it’s a matter of not taking responsibility there. At this point I find it hard not to think he’s justified in being hurt and angry with his brother.
I think the fact that he lied by omission about Benny and won't talk about Cas or how he got out of Purgatory has Sam justifiably wondering just what else Dean is lying about or hiding. I guess that's what I 'm saying he needs to own up to. He needs to let Sam in. As stated before, I think he needs to be forthright about his change of heart regarding good!monsters, and express regret for killing Amy and giving Sam such a hard time in the past.

I think you're right that Dean knows how badly he's been treating Sam. After all, he didn't argue with Sam when he was confronted about it.

As for Sam not looking for Dean in Purgatory - well, that certainly came out and was expressed this episode very clearly when Dean was under the Spectre's influence. I don't think Sam has any misunderstandin gs about that now, if he did before. I guess we'll just have to keep watching to see how that one pans out.

As for Dean feeling justified in his anger about Sam 'giving up'. Frankly, I think if he would LISTEN to Sam (and if Sam would communicate it more and clearly) he would be able to get past that. As it is, I still suspect that Sam is keeping Dean in the dark about certain things that happened during his year. That's the only reason I can figure for why he's keeping things close to his vest. As someone from the show once stated so aptly: Sam and Dean have learned that the truth is a dangerous thing.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-11 22:04
But he did just spend one afternoon with Amy. He’d never spoken to Amy before that day, as far as I could tell, and he hadn’t seen her again until Sam caught her trying to murder someone. Yes, she saved his life that afternoon, but that’s not really equivalent to Dean fighting back to back with Benny for months, in my opinion. I can see where Sam thinks it might have been, but for me, it is not the same thing.

Amy might not have enjoyed killing, per se, but she certainly wasn’t troubled by it. She saw herself as completely justified in what she was doing. I agree that Sam might have projected his own feelings of guilt and ambivalence about having done terrible things while thinking of the ones he loved onto her, but I didn’t see any sign of those feelings from Amy. Now granted, she was mostly talking for her life with Sam and Dean when we saw her, but I just didn’t get that sense at all. It’s true that we don’t know if her son would have gotten sick again, but we don’t know that he wouldn’t have, and we do know that Amy would not have hesitated to kill again if he had.

Dean did believe that monsters couldn’t change at that point, and most all of his examples had borne that out, including poor Lenore. But I find it troubling to think that Amy’s victims did not deserve justice. Why should Amy not have to pay for her crimes against her victims and their families? Benny has the same reason to declare that his human-killing days are at an end, that’s true. The difference is that 1) Dean knows Benny much better than Sam knew Amy, and 2) neither Sam nor Dean has (as of yet) caught Benny red-handed in the act of trying to murder a human. So in my view he has earned more right to a chance than she has. Dean didn’t have to wait for Amy to kill humans—she already has. As far as we know now, Benny has not done so since returning from purgatory. so again, for me they are not equivalent. So for me, Dean doesn’t have to admit he was wrong about Amy, because I don’t think he was. I understand miles may vary.

Now I agree that this is a very hard line for Dean to take, and he has changed and evolved due to his time in purgatory. So either he has to be allowed to do so, or he has to be forced to keep the same viewpoint. Sam (and the audience) can’t have it both ways. Sam reached his decision to trust monsters because he saw good in them, so why isn’t that same reasoning good enough for Dean?

Now I will agree that Sam has no reason not to see Benny as shady either, but as the brother who traditionally is the one willing to give a monster a chance to prove himself his refusal to do so here is as glaring as Dean’s willingness to trust. I think he can question Dean, but he also has to be willing to listen, and in this episode he showed no sign of doing so. He wasn’t showing concern for Dean because he was so loyal to a monster—he was just pissed. Maybe that will come later, though. So Dean should have been more forthcoming, but once it was clear Sam wasn’t going to listen he wasn’t going to tell him anymore. It’s definitely a two-way street.

I think Sam could and should understand that it’s very hard for Dean to talk about things like purgatory, hell, the death of their dad, etc, and that he’s going to need time. This is not new behavior for Dean—he always needs time to process and get himself together before he can talk about things. While I recognize that that can be hard for Sam, it certainly shouldn’t be a shock or something Sam’s unwilling to deal with. Dean does need to let Sam in as well. I’ll agree to that. I think he has been forthright about his change regarding monsters, though. He’s explained that he came to trust Benny in purgatory and that he got him out. But I think generalizing one good monsters to mean that all monsters are really possibly good is a slippery slope, and Benny being trustworthy doesn’t mean that Amy was. Lenore being a good vampire doesn’t make the alpha vampire deserving of a chance.

You’re right that Sam has to be very aware that the real issue between him and Dean is about him not trying to find Dean or look for him in purgatory. It will be interesting to see what he does with that information. I further agree that it’s a two-way street in fixing that conflict—Dean has to be willing to listen, but Sam has to acknowledge why Dean is hurt and be willing to level with him about why he didn’t try to find him. I’d like to think Sam is keeping something from Dean about that, though I’m not sure what could be worse than letting Dean think he just didn’t care enough to look. We shall see.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-11 20:37
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I can agree that Garth was less obnoxious than I’d feared—at least until his Mary Sue-ish lack of anger and his “suck it up, princess” speech that of course only applies to Dean. That reminds me why I don’t miss Bobby.
I know, Bobby did give a lot of speeches, didn't he? It was frustrating at times. But he also offered to listen to Dean and was there for both boys when they needed him, for the most part without great complaint. He was a good guy, the brothers loved him, and I did too. I still miss him. When he was killed in S7 I felt like I was grieving a person, and not a fictional character.

I don't think Garth is Mary Sue -ish, but I won't debate on that because I get it. I am wondering though, how did you interpret Garth's speech to Dean at the end to be "suck it up, princess"? I thought he was just trying to be a good friend and was speaking truth that it is a call-back to S1. Sam and Dean "are all each other have - and that's not a bad thing, dude!" :)
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-11 21:10
let me walk that back a little--I don't think Bobby was a bad guy, necessarily. I think he loved the brothers and the brothers loved him. I think he wanted to be a good father figure, but when push came to shove he wasn't a lot better at dealing with the boys' issues than John was. He tended to ignore a lot of Sam's, from not recognizing the damage the demon blood was doing to Sam as a person in 4.21 to ultimately leaving Sam soulless for a year by not recognizing that his changes were bad and leaving Dean in the dark. When Dean did admit that he was having trouble handling his issues, his advice was usually, "Well, stop it." That combined with his hunter-stu-ness of the last years (having all of the answers and making the boys suddenly less competent in order to pull him into the story), I just haven't found myself missing him.

Garth's only moment of Mary Sueness was the no anger/resentmen t bit. I teach 6-year-olds, and they're capable of holding grudges. I think every person does, even if they're just minor ones, so yeah. Meh.

My interpretation is that Garth admitted when Dean was possessed that he didn't know the whole story, and from hearing possessed Dean he knew that Dean was angry because Sam didn't even try to find/help him when he was stuck in purgatory. But Dean needs to get over it, because he's got a good brother and that's not bad, right? This harkens back to too many times Dean's been told his issues aren't important and he needs to realize that Sam is the most important thing. No wonder Dean buries everything and lets it fester--when he does express his issues, no one seems to want to hear it. It also puts all the responsibility for fixing things with Sam on Dean, and at the moment with what Garth knows it really feels like he should have been giving that speech to Sam. But again, that's my view, and I realize there are other valid interpretations .
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-11-11 21:43
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Garth's only moment of Mary Sueness was the no anger/resentment bit. I teach 6-year-olds, and they're capable of holding grudges. I think every person does, even if they're just minor ones, so yeah. Meh.
Well, to be fair, he didn't say he had no anger or resentment, just that he dealt with it via yoga (yogi?) and Sega Genesis. I can still see how one would see that as Mary Sue-ish though. :)

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My interpretation is that Garth admitted when Dean was possessed that he didn't know the whole story, and from hearing possessed Dean he knew that Dean was angry because Sam didn't even try to find/help him when he was stuck in purgatory. But Dean needs to get over it, because he's got a good brother and that's not bad, right?
Garth earlier had said "I'm sure he had his reasons" regarding Sam not looking for Dean while he was in Purgatory. Thus, I interpreted his speech at the end as less "get over it" and more "you and Sam are all you have, so you need to work this sh** out."

I totally understand the frustration with Dean's feelings never seeming to get validated though. I think this is why I'm glad on the one hand that he got alllll that hidden hurt and anger out in this episode. He was long overdue for a good vent-session, IMO.
emmau
# emmau 2012-11-11 22:21
But Garth didn't know what his reasons were, nor did he try to find out. He was simply trying to pacify possessed Dean so he wouldn't shoot his brother. If he was really trying to play peace-maker between Dean and Sam, though, why isn't he pressing Sam on what those reasons were and talking to him about working things out with Dean? Why is Dean only one getting the "You better work this out" speech? Is it because when he spoke to Sam, he basically tuned him out and went to flashback land while Dean really listened and changed his attitude? Or is it because the burden is going to be (once again) placed on Dean to fix things between them? Only time will tell.

It's nice that Dean was allowed to vent, but I'm not sure that anything more will come from it than it ever has before. Sam wasn't willing to acknowledge his hidden hurt or anger here--he just turned it back on Dean and threatened to take off if Dean didn't shut it down. Again. Now, does Sam have the right to tell Dean to stop taking shots at him for things he can't change? Yes, I think so, but I want some sign that he really heard Dean and is willing to work with him to fix the relationship (and yes, Dean definitely bears responsibility there as well). Maybe that will come, but again, time will tell.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2012-11-12 15:24
Colour me confused. Just checked back in and big chunks of the discussion seem to have gone missing. Is it just me? Have I missed something?
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-12 21:59
Its time I call it quits. Though I haven't been watching the show for 7 years, I still love it as much as you all do.
I started watching it late last year, and it helped me get through a difficult time in my life.
Sam and Dean made me realise how much family meant. How much you can sacrifice for your loved ones. Their sacrifice was more supernatural, but it made me think about my life. Dean giving up the last bowl of his favourite cereal to Sam is a scene that is permanently etched in my memory.

But this isn't the show I fell in love with.
I wait for the next episode with bated breath and my head in my hands, thinking "what will Dean taunt Sam about this time?", "will Sam leave and go his way?" "Are they going to lash out at each other again"
And I'm thinking, this isn't how I'm supposed to watch the show, I should watch it wondering about the mythology, but thats gone out of the window for the moment. This is stressing me out.
So I quit.

I was able to accept S4 better cause I never blamed Sam, it was always the demon blood, manipulation by a demon, and revenge for Dean. But here, Sam didn't even try and I am not able to rationalise it.

Like someone said upthread, don't think this Humpty Dumpty can be fixed by Carver's men or himself.

If Sam and Dean are so against each other why don't they just end the show, and make two spin offs.
Dean with Benny and Castiel hunting.
and Sam with Amelia, going to law school, living his white picket fence life in the suburbs.
Dean can visit Sam when he wants, right?*sarcasm*
That would make Dean Fans Happy, that would make Sam fans happy. right? No Dean V Sam anymore.

As for people like me who watched the show for the brotherly relation, who cares about us. Seems like we are in a minority anyway. :cry:


I had a good time around here while it lasted. Maybe I'll watch when the season gets over, maybe I won't.
But S1-3 will always be the heart of the show, that show that helped me, that brought hope into my life :cry:

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Hi Spookysam making friends over alcohol and cream and the cuteness of TV characters, it's all good :D
EDIT: LOL there was a bad, bad typo there for a minute....
Now I'm intrigued what the typo was . :lol:
Anyway, thats the perfect way to watch season 8 at the moment I guess.
*whispers* I enjoyed that "typo", eilf :oops:
:lol: Well eilf, I can guess what the typo was. :oops:
Anyway guys, I'm calling it quit BUT I'll be there with my Bailey's for discussions on seasons 1-5.
Take Care everyone, see you around.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-12 22:09
You take care too. It's so hard to lose a show you have loved. I'm not sure why I'm holding on, but I still am. I hope some day the writers can find a way to fix the relationship, but I am not really that hopeful.
st50
# st50 2012-11-12 22:11
Aw, Sam. I get it. I do. I've been to the point of quitting - but I can't quite do it. I'm an addict. Maybe I need an intervention.
This season is just painful to watch. I'm all about the brothers relationship, too.
And you gotta do what you gotta do, but I hope you'll stick it out with us.
Try to put your disappointment aside, and have some fun. That's what the party's all about, right?
Anyway, whatever you decide, I'll join you with the Bailey's any time you want. Hopefully it'll be right here.
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-13 01:03
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You take care too. It's so hard to lose a show you have loved. I'm not sure why I'm holding on, but I still am. I hope some day the writers can find a way to fix the relationship, but I am not really that hopeful.
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Aw, Sam. I get it. I do. I've been to the point of quitting - but I can't quite do it. I'm an addict. Maybe I need an intervention.
This season is just painful to watch. I'm all about the brothers relationship, too.
And you gotta do what you gotta do, but I hope you'll stick it out with us.
Try to put your disappointment aside, and have some fun. That's what the party's all about, right?
Anyway, whatever you decide, I'll join you with the Bailey's any time you want. Hopefully it'll be right here.
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I am so glad I (and ST50) am not the only bad-minded person around here :D Don't go too far spookysam, it might improve! I am convinced it will all get better!
I am emotionally invested into the characters. I watched season 1 when I needed that support. I used the show as a stepping stone to cross the river now 7 stones later I'm far away from the bank. I look back and am told that the first three stones weren't stones, they were turtles who you mistook as stones. They've moved away.
Bad Analogy but you get my point I hope.

Thanks everyone, I'll be around here with my Bailey's for discussions on the earlier seasons.
Being here increases my positivity, and am hoping and praying that you all are right, till then I'm taking a break from the show. Watching it is getting me stressed out and worked up :sad:
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2012-11-13 07:47
hey, I am right there with you! I don't remember how often I told would stop watching if this happens or that (for example if Dean would hunt down Sam in S5, and if Dean would prefer to hunt with Castiel, or why they didn't show Sam's cage repercussions) -and I notice it has always to do with the relationship), I never was really able to quit (till now), because I am (I was) too emotionally attached to the characters.
The foundation of the brotherhood was layed in the first seasons and it brought me (like your stones) to now. But itis getting thinner and thinner, and instead of mending and moving on and bringing them back to this awesome brotherhood the showrunner just decides to give the fight fuel while sacrificing that foundation I was able to see the whole time. I understand perfectly what you were trying to explain in this pic across the river. Normally this is also my way to express what I feel (but I needed the emotional attachment to write my thoughts in english and because my native language is german)
I feel that even SG did show the brothers more connected than they are now. I am right really at the point of quiting and maybe...when there is on the horizon a different outcome I may watch it as a whole. I don't put much patience to the Winchester Saga which is not there for me. They are strange persons and I don't know why...especiall y Sam to me ...and because of pugatory Dean got a pass, but not longer!

My emotional attachment is loosing its energy and Sam and Dean are not loading the battery anymore, but I am still invested. At some time the light will go out I assume ...like a candle light that was once a beacon in my heart!
st50
# st50 2012-11-13 08:31
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...they were turtles who you mistook as stones. They've moved away.
Spookysam - To play with your beautiful analogy...

Those were not turtles, they were giant, ancient, beautiful tortoises.
They haven't left, they're just hiding their heads.
Slow moving creatures, it'll take a while for them to look up again, but when they do, you'll see the beauty and the life in their eyes.

(Too much? ;-) )

Take your break. I'm hoping and praying that there'll be something to get you watching again. Soon.
Sending hugs (and Baileys)
Samantha
# Samantha 2012-11-14 00:22
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...they were turtles who you mistook as stones. They've moved away.
Spookysam - To play with your beautiful analogy...

Those were not turtles, they were giant, ancient, beautiful tortoises.
They haven't left, they're just hiding their heads.
Slow moving creatures, it'll take a while for them to look up again, but when they do, you'll see the beauty and the life in their eyes.

(Too much? ;-) )

Take your break. I'm hoping and praying that there'll be something to get you watching again. Soon.
Sending hugs (and Baileys)
:D No, not too much at all st. Your analogy makes more sense. :lol: and I hope the giant, ancient, beautiful tortoises raise their head soon.

I am not very difficult to please. Like I said in another thread, If only they showed Sam with lots of books, and printouts researching but finally giving up and put up a tomb stone for Dean saying "Loving brother and son" or some other quote.
He could have met Amelia there, I speculated Dead fiance', but there's a dead husband so.
I would have been a happy camper.

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hey, I am right there with you! I don't remember how often I told would stop watching if this happens or that (for example if Dean would hunt down Sam in S5, and if Dean would prefer to hunt with Castiel, or why they didn't show Sam's cage repercussions) -and I notice it has always to do with the relationship), I never was really able to quit (till now), because I am (I was) too emotionally attached to the characters.
The foundation of the brotherhood was layed in the first seasons and it brought me (like your stones) to now. But itis getting thinner and thinner, and instead of mending and moving on and bringing them back to this awesome brotherhood the showrunner just decides to give the fight fuel while sacrificing that foundation I was able to see the whole time. I understand perfectly what you were trying to explain in this pic across the river. Normally this is also my way to express what I feel (but I needed the emotional attachment to write my thoughts in english and because my native language is german)
I feel that even SG did show the brothers more connected than they are now. I am right really at the point of quiting and maybe...when there is on the horizon a different outcome I may watch it as a whole. I don't put much patience to the Winchester Saga which is not there for me. They are strange persons and I don't know why...especially Sam to me ...and because of pugatory Dean got a pass, but not longer!

My emotional attachment is loosing its energy and Sam and Dean are not loading the battery anymore, but I am still invested. At some time the light will go out I assume ...like a candle light that was once a beacon in my heart!
It was a blessing I saw all 7 seasons at a stretch,just speculating that Dean killing Sam, or Dean to prefer to continuing hunting with Castiel would have given me an ulcer. :-)
You say you can't articulate well, but you put words forth very beautifully.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-12 22:35
I am so glad I (and ST50) am not the only bad-minded person around here :D Don't go too far spookysam, it might improve! I am convinced it will all get better!
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-12 22:38
ST50 did you listen to the entire Winchester Radio podcast the other night? Am I right to be mad about the bias against Sam because HE said horrible things to DEAN and the 'aw Dean was so mean to Garth' that went through it? Is it just me, am I biased? Lord I need a whack of Baileys and ice, with Cointreau in it, stat.
st50
# st50 2012-11-12 22:46
Yes, I listened, and yes, I heard it.... Just don't go there.
And I've been into the rum already.

And HEY, who you calling bad-minded? My mind is great, I'll have you know.... It's just kind of one tracked, and difficult to rein in. ;-)
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-12 23:08
LOL apologies :D

Actually Bookdal's new post has restored somewhat of the balance of my universe. I just failed to post a long rant on there agreeing with her.

However it makes me sad to think of either of my sweet heroes needing to blamed for everything so I am going to just go and enjoy the TV and not get involved.

May I have some of your Rum?
st50
# st50 2012-11-12 23:10
Ah. A must read then? I'll head right over.
Shall I pour you a double before I go... :P
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-12 23:49
Wait! What? You're kidding me right? Sam gets slammed for being mean to Dean and Dean only gets criticized for being mean to Garth? Is the the one on Winchester Brothers? Obviously I didn't hear that because, no just no.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-12 23:58
Hi percysowner, yes, but I probably shouldn't have mentioned it at all on here. I really recommend you DON'T listen to it - really. I am not even trying to peak your interest in it, it will just piss you off.

In their defense they started off saying that they thought neither brother was very likable in this episode. But they could have covered more angles than they did.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-11-13 00:11
Thanks. I wasn't planning on listening. There are very few podcasts I take the time to listen to. I'll just avoid this for now.
eilf
# eilf 2012-11-12 23:11
Oh yes!