The second half of season nine introduced two formidable weapons. Each one had its strengths, weaknesses, and consequences. Each were taken up by their respective characters as a means to an end---to fill in the “I did what I had to do” piece of the over all season puzzle. These weapons shaped not only the story but these characters---and it isn't until they collide violently that we see the end result. It isn't until Metatron's use of meta fiction collides with Dean's First Blade and the Mark of Cain that we see those dire consequences exposed---ones that will surely be explored well into season ten.

First let's examine Metatron and his use of his chosen weapon, meta fiction.


In the episode “Meta Fiction,” we saw Supernatural take the concept to new levels. Rather than just a reflexive element to explore the story---as we see with the character Chuck---we see a character within the fabric of the universe use it as a weapon. It is a means to an ends to establish Metatron as the new God, replacing the old order with his new and improved one. We saw him select, carefully, his players, his hero and villain, his story arc, and tell us emphatically that it would end the precise way he had written it. He had taken story and turned it into an actual weapon that he would wield as any other character would wield a sword or gun.

Metatron exists in story and understands his world through this manner. He doesn't think about it in any other context or any other methodology. He sees it as a blueprint in order to create his world as he sees fit---with him atop it. The method was hidden, in plain sight no less, as he sat feverishly typing away at the “story” he was so proudly writing. He would gush at his second in command, Gadreel, about the latest twist, the latest turn of the plot, and how he was about to “flip the script.” Even when there were surprises---and there indubitably were with the Winchesters capturing Gadreel at one point---Metatron brushed these aside. After all, he had the story world on his side and could manipulate it any way he saw fit. He wrote it, it happened roughly according to plan, and in the end he got what he wanted: power and prestige as the new God.

Metatron chose Castiel as his adversary. Heaven was a stake, so he looked for an opposition that was Heavenly based yet considered weaker or a rebel. Castiel, after all, had led rebellions in the past against Raphael. He had joined forces with Sam and Dean against Michael and Lucifer in order to avert the master script that God had supposedly set down in stone at the beginning of time. Castiel would be a great foil to his new establishment---someone he could build up and turn into a faux hero to the other angels only to tear down when he found his opportune time. He saw Castiel as a great target. He knew that other angels were already flocking to him, and so he took advantage of this. Why not corrupt the leader they were already championing? He knew he had to neutralize Castiel and quickly. To do so, he would have to spin it so it would turn out in his favor---thus giving him all the clout with the angels formerly angry with him for casting them from Heaven in the first place.


In “Stairway to Heaven,” we see Metatron do just that. He waits, like a spider, to reveal the one big secret Castiel had hidden from his new and growing army: that he had stolen that grace. In that moment, Metatron turned Castiel into the new serpent in the Garden, allowing himself to sway everyone his way. Those followers automatically became his---they were now under his command and would do what he said no matter what. The script he had carefully written was now coming to pass. And yet, that wasn't the end for his story. He had the angels now in his corner, but what of humanity? They needed to worship him as their new God, too. His story would only be truly complete when he had both Heaven and Earth in his hands.


And so, we see Metatron slaving away at his keyboard, yet again. He will only answer to “God” and he has now decided to go amongst the people to finish his story. In it, he will appear them as a pathetic being, a lowly and homeless man that performs miracles for nothing in return. It's a page taken straight out of the Bible---Metatron wants them to see him as Jesus Christ. He wants them to feel that he is a benevolent God, one that cares for and listens to humanity's cries for help. He waits for his mark to appear---in this case at the head of a dead woman lying in the street---and has someone already there to capture it on film. Metatron may be a well-read angel, but he certainly knows the value of telling the story in all mediums. And so, we see him use his chosen weapon to manipulate the public. He has them film his first miracle---his own raising of Lazarus from the dead. She is revived---but not without a secret being conveyed to her ears and her ears alone: his next stop.

Metatron's no fool. He knows that he has to get all his players into place---and one way to do that is to give them a trail to follow. As long as they follow his chosen and selected script, he will get the happy ending he seeks. His use of story as a weapon is nearly complete. Once he has all of humanity believing in him as the majority of angels do, he's won. Metatron's chosen this weapon for a clear reason. He can control the narrative being told. He knows that those that control the narrative ultimately control the end results. After all, the famous saying that the winners write the historical record rings true---as he sees himself as the ultimate winner here, it is he, Metatron, that will write the story---now and forever if he should succeed.


It's why we see him face off with a fellow angel that is decrying him. On one hand, we can sense that this naysayer ruffles his feathers and treads on his story. This angel is calling him a fraud, an abomination, a simple angel and therefore not God. All these things could put the seeds of doubt into his human flock---and since that pesky thing called free will can't necessarily be entirely eliminated, he can't have that. We see Metatron prepare to stand against this angel, violently if need be. An angel blade appears at his side and he mutters menacingly about putting this angel under his thumb, “As I will you, brother, if you don't -”

But, his script is followed so closely that he need not lift a finger.


The crowd overwhelms this angel, swarming him in righteous anger. Their religious furor has heightened the longer this angel has spoken, and now they will easily fall into the mob mentality to destroy the threat to their new miracle worker---their new potential God. They violently beat him down, cover him in a blanket, and proceed to kick, punch, and jab at anything they can get. After Metatron kick an angel blade in their direction, we see him tell them, “It'll help.” It does, and this angelic threat to his new supremacy is ended. The angel is killed by one of the humans that have been blinded by Metatron's deceit---and one more act in his script is now in place.

But like any weapon, it can be eventually used against its user. Metatron has turned the pen---story---into a sword, and by it he shall live or die. He may have found a way to control the narrative. He may have found a way to write the script all shall follow, but he is not actually God. He is not actually in total control as much as he wants everyone to believe. He's also not omniscient---even when it seems he must be. His view point is actually limited----to his own. And that is one of his greatest weaknesses. It's why he doesn't see that his precious ending is being undermined no matter the counter measures he has in place. It's why he doesn't see where his narrative has torn, frayed, and is preparing to ultimately unravel. By the time he realizes this fault, it'll be far too late.


While he's busy making his move on humanity, we see his former second in command, Gadreel, turncoat. He has decided it is far better to help the Winchesters end Metatron's tyranny than it is to serve him. And so, he decides to help Castiel and Sam. They are to find the door to Heaven and retrieve the one thing giving Metatron this God-like power: the Angel Tablet. If they can find it and smash it, his power will be destroyed. He won't be able to spin any more story---and make it come to pass as he desires.

But it will not be easy.


Since Gadreel has already been accused of meeting with Castiel behind Metatron's back, it's unlikely that he'll be able to waltz into Heaven without question. That doesn't mean they won't try. Castiel, now imbued with an understanding of all things pop culture, holds up a pair of handcuffs and proclaims, “Wookie.” It's his first step in taking back the weapon of story from Metatron. They will use it against him and sneak their way into Heaven---with Gadreel pretending to turn in Castiel as his prisoner. As they approach the guards to the secret portal, they meet resistance at first. They are to keep the door locked until Metatron orders otherwise---but Gadreel points out that it's unlikely that Metatron would pass up a chance to question the rebel leader. So, they are admitted.

Unfortunately, just when they believe they've managed to use story against Metatron, they find themselves in prison. Metatron did have enough foresight in his grand story, after all, to know that Gadreel would try yet again to side with Castiel against him. For Gadreel, this is a devastating result. He had spent eons already locked within these walls, caged for the crime of letting in the serpent. He has spent his time since being released trying to redeem himself---by pledging to cure Sam from the inside, by turning on his human hosts to follow Metatron, and now turning coat yet again on his new master---only to be caught back into Heaven's prison.

Their first attempt at changing Metatron's script has failed---but not all hope is lost.

As they sit in their cells, Hannah, Castiel's former second in command, dismisses anything they have to say. She tells them flatly, “So now I'm expected to trust the word of an angel who's only ever thought of himself since the Garden, and you? You told us not a single angel more would die in this fight.” Castiel had lied to them before---there was far too much doubt to anything he said. It mattered not if Gadreel had done this in order to expose the truth---that as Metatron's second in command he was willing to do this. And yet, it is Gadreel we see that alters Metatron's script---he is the flaw in the Scribe's grand story.


He takes a page out of the “Lee Harvey Oswald” project that Metatron used against Castiel---showing that he has learned how to use the weapon of story well against the master---and carefully carves the same symbol into his chest---all the while expounding on the true mission of Heaven. He tells them, “The only thing that matters in the end is the mission -- protecting those who would not and cannot protect themselves --the humans. None of us is bigger than that. And we will not let our fears, our self-absorption prevent us from seeing it through. Not anymore,” and turns, exposing the truth. He will break Castiel free and die if it means they can stop Metatron from polluting Heaven and Earth alike---if they can prevent Metatron from becoming the new and terrible God that will destroy rather than create life. In a tragic moment, we see him ignite the sigil, proving Castiel right. In the aftermath, they must make their move against Metatron---before it is too late.


They find the tablet---hidden in plain sight all this time---under the typewriter's keyboard. This is how Metatron turned story into his weapon of choice. Castiel smashes it to pieces, and as Metatron returns to confront him, he is furious. His one power source lies in fragments at his feet, useless. But it doesn't matter. His script has been written already, and he has won. Both angels and humans are now behind him---killing for him and following his “crook wherever it shall lead.”

He is so boastful, so brazen in his victory that he tells Castiel that it doesn't matter how he got this far. The other angels won't care---or believe a rebel like Castiel. Not anymore. And yet, he doesn't realize that his own tool is being used against him. He tells Castiel, “You never learned how to tell a good story. ” It's too late for Metatron, however, and Castiel tells him, “But you did.”


In the moment of bragging, Metatron defeats himself. He is exposed over the very angelic intercom he used to communicate with them. All the goodwill he may have brokered with them is now in ruins and he is hauled away to the very same prison Gadreel was once locked into for eons. It is a moment of poetic justice---first because his own weapon is used against him and second because he is punished as his second in command had once been. Gadreel had let in the serpent all that time ago---it was his fault in the eyes of so many that humanity was corrupted. Now, we see Metatron, the true serpent of season nine, cast into the very same prison presumably to rot the rest of eternity away.

Unfortunately, however, it was too late before we saw Metatron's weapon of story collide with Dean's weapon of the First Blade and Mark of Cain.


In the bunker, we see Dean still trying to attack Gadreel. He is feral, vicious, and angry. He needs to kill this angel---both for what he had done to Sam and because the Blade and Mark demand it. He teeters on the edge of slashing his way through Sam and Castiel to reach his goal only to be locked away in the very same room they once held Crowley in chains. He is too dangerous to be let out just yet---full of too much rage and changed far too much by the Mark and Blade.


And yet, stopping him from killing Gadreel and locking him away isn't the only punishment he faces. Dean is also being punished by the Mark and Blade. We see it in the moment he starts to cough up blood, overcome by a need to kill. When he ignores it, his body is punished. The Blade and Mark, until now, have largely gotten what they want: blood and pain. Dean has successfully killed with it nearly every time he has held it. He killed Magnus. He killed Abaddon. The Blade tasted Tessa's life force. This is the first time that we see Dean unable to finish a kill---and it is now that he learns the consequences for that failure: his own health.

Not only is his health deteriorating by not killing Gadreel, he learns just how bad this could become. Dean's told by Crowley that he will end up “the least best better” meaning that the Mark and Blade will kill him for not using them to kill. He is going to become a killer rather he wants to be one or not. Dean is clearly frightened by this aspect. He's been terrified by this side of himself since at least season six. He wants to be more than this----and yet it is the only thing he feels that he is any good at. Dean has a choice to make: does he then try to find away to get rid of the Mark or does he find a way out so he can kill Metatron?

In many ways, this choice is a no-win scenario for Dean. Even if he should successfully kill Metatron---something that he feels must be done---he will have lost more ground. This kill might tip him over the edge into something he can never recover from---and yet it's a risk he must take. He believes that there's no other weapon right now that could possibly hurt or kill the rogue Scribe. If they don't take their shot soon, it'll pass and he won't be able to take his revenge on the angel for Kevin. He won't be able to reverse what was done to Heaven, allowing Kevin and other spirits to finally cross, either. He must do this and since he is the only one that can wield the Blade, Dean feels that it is solely up to him.


He and Crowley make their escape with the Blade and make their way to ferret out Metatron's location. Dean comes up empty until Crowley's demons come to tell him of the viral video depicting Metatron's first miracle and track her down to a trailer.


Meanwhile, Sam is left to chase after his brother---much as he's done figuratively and literally since “Road Trip.” As Castiel and Gadreel debate on how they will get back into Heaven, they bring up the proposition of using Dean as the weapon against Metatron. Gadreel feels that it would be useful---but Sam isn't so certain. He snaps back at both angels, “Oh, right. Excuse me. Sorry, guys. Uh, sorry I'm a little less than eager to hear that our best chance is -- is arming the warhead and hoping it hits the mark. This is not a bomb we're talking about. This is my brother.”


Sam has already seen the devastation the Mark and Blade have wrought on his brother. Each time, he's noticed that it's taken just a little longer for him to reach through to Dean. He knows what this is like---and the more that this beast is fed, the harder it will be to bring Dean back. While eliminating Metatron may be their end game, Sam knows that he's still in a death match with the Mark and First Blade---and the prize is his brother.


Even knowing this, though, Sam refuses to abandon Dean---or make it seem he's stubbornly standing against him. If Dean has already taken the Blade and is being led further into battle with Metatron, Sam will be sure that he is there to stand with him in it. He will be there, if needs be, to pull Dean back from the precipices the Blade is trying to tug him over. There's no other way for him to proceed if he has any hope of saving his brother.

Sam knows that it is crucial that he stand in support of his brother's choice. They can hash out all their lingering issues after they've succeeded in ending Metatron's threat. It's much more important that he stand in solidarity with Dean---and it's for this reason that we see Dean choose him over Crowley, too. Sam has chosen him and in turn he has chosen Sam in order to face this fight---together.

It's this that will also give Dean the resolve to do what he feels he must when they finally do find Metatron.


The brothers, reunited again, follow the path to the homeless camp Metatron had infiltrated earlier that day. There, before they can enter the camp, Dean swiftly punches Sam so that he can go it alone. On one had, this is because he is afraid---as was the case with Abaddon----that Metatron might use Sam against him. It's a valid point. The Scribe might attack or kill Sam, and he can't have that distraction.

On the other, he has felt the growing urge to kill, and when he disobeys it causes him to feel great pain. What if, after he should succeed at killing Metatron, the Blade demands he kill Sam, too? What if he's too far gone to stop himself---or heed Sam's voice? Dean knows now that he's going into a fight facing two adversaries---not one---and as the two weapons of season nine prepare to do battle, Dean must make a difficult choice.

The last reason is perhaps the saddest and most frightening. Dean wants to go in alone so Sam won't really see what this is: a suicide mission. Dean is hoping that he can kill Metatron, yes, but in the process it's possible he hoped he wouldn't come out of it alive. If the Mark and Blade are that corrupting, he would rather die than become its servant. He would rather die than become the vicious monster it is slowly shaping him into being. This is not the Dean Winchester he wants his brother to ever see---and he fears that Sam will see him become this or die trying to stop it. Dean simply can't do what he feels he must any other way.


This bears out when we see Dean and Metatron face off. Unlike his showdown with Abaddon, Dean and Metatron share several exchanges of words. He killed the Knight of Hell without saying a word. He didn't expound on anything nor did he let her wax on too much. Despite all the times he ended up pinned against the wall, Dean had a clear mission: Kill Abaddon. He even confessed to Sam that he knew nothing would stop him. Here, rather than simply engaging in the physical fight, Dean lets Metatron explain himself---expounding on why humanity needs him now and how God was really terrible at showing his “love” for his supposed chosen creation.

Metatron calls him out on his stalling, telling him, “That's why you're stalling. Because you know nothing's gonna come of this unless your pals succeed upstairs. Well, here's a news flash -- humpty and dumpty are starring in their very own version of "Locked Up Abroad: Heaven'.” Metatron couldn't be more wrong. That's not why Dean's stalling at all. Not really.


When it finally comes time to see Dean make his move, he's allowed Metatron enough time to counter it---violently throwing him against a wall. It knocks the wind out of Dean, leaving him vulnerable. He isn't able to recover fast enough nor is he able to strike with the First Blade in time. Before he can kill the Scribe, we see Metatron viciously stab an angel blade straight into Dean's torso, delivering a mortal blow.


Unfortunately, it's also the very moment Sam comes in---and his suicide mission is exposed and ends in failure. He didn't succeed in killing Metatron. Instead, he is simply waiting to bleed out and to die. Sam has to prop his brother up, trying to hold in the gushing wound just a little longer. He doesn't care what it takes, telling Dean, “We'll stop the bleeding. We'll -- we'll get you a doctor or -- or I'll find a spell. You're gonna be okay.”As the Winchesters slowly make their way back towards the Impala, we see Dean weaken steadily.


Dean, knowing that it is far too late, though, simply stops their slow crawl. He tells Sam the one thing he wants to say before he dies: I'm proud of us.


In an echo of “All Hell Breaks Loose,” we see Sam cradle Dean much the same way Dean cradled him once upon a time. Dean slumps against him and dies, leaving Sam to hold him in despair. This is a physical manifestation of their role reversal. It is another bridging of meta fiction and the Mark of Cain storyline colliding---with emotionally devastating results.

As Sam delicately lies his brother onto his bed---another echo of “All Hell Breaks Loose”----we see him rush to the same summoning ingredients Dean used earlier. He will do whatever it takes to force Crowley to fix this mess. After all, the King of Hell got Dean into this.


Sadly, instead of answering his summons, Crowley sits in a chair by Dean's bed, telling him the final piece in Cain's story---of how he actually became a demon. To do so, he had to die while wearing the Mark. To die would allow him to be reborn. Crowley claimed that he didn't know this would happen---though he had hoped to “Believe in miracles.” He understood that Cain had felt the same way Dean had: that he didn't want to be this killer. Cain didn't want to become this demon. Dying, however, wasn't enough. The Mark would hold on tight and revive him---and now it would do the same to Dean.

Dean has fully become now a servant of the Blade and the Mark. This is the devastating result of the two weapons of season nine colliding.

To bring the serpent and Garden of Eden story full circle in season nine, we're revealed the true serpent: Crowley. He manipulated his way into Dean's sphere at every turn, convincing the elder Winchester to take upon himself the Mark and the Blade---the very weapon that has now corrupted Dean into the very last thing he wanted to ever be. Crowley states, “You have to believe me. When I suggested you take on the Mark of Cain, I didn't know this was going to happen. Not really. I mean, I might not have told you the entire truth. But I never lied. I never lied, Dean. That's important. It's fundamental.” No, Crowley never lied, but he most certainly took advantage of this situation at every turn.

Crowley was the serpent in the Garden from the beginning to end---allowing every other serpent to be exposed while he remained hidden in plain sight. His bout with human emotions made him seem less of a threat---made him seem impotent at times even. He wormed his way into Dean's trust, gaining the elder Winchester's ear as he slowly pushed Dean down the path he had chosen. He may not have expected this to happen, and yet we can tell, as he expresses the desire to believe in miracles, that he knew that this was a possibility---one that if he had told Dean about would have made the elder Winchester reconsider gaining the Mark in the first place.


Crowley, the serpent he is, had to keep that information hidden. He needed to maneuver Dean just right. He had Dean convinced that this was about eliminating the far more dangerous threat in Abaddon, that she was going to supplant him on his throne and be a far worse Queen of Hell than he ever was as King. Crowley was wise enough to know that this was truth---she would bring chaos and death to everyone around them. It was enough to convince Dean that he should do this---no matter the burden.

It's not the first time we saw Crowley lie by omission to Dean about this. He, after all, stepped back to let Dean fight off the demon assault threating to overrun Cain's home. It was so he could watch Dean fight---and most importantly to let Cain watch Dean fight. Now that Dean has truly become the servant to the Blade, we're left to wonder if this was truly Crowley's end game all along. As we see him as the serpent he truly is, we can't help but ask this question---no matter his platitudes about never lying.


As we wait in anticipation of season ten, we're left to wonder just how the Winchesters will find themselves out of this one. Dean has been transformed into the one creature he feared becoming in Hell. He has become nothing more than the killer---and worse, one that does it for the sheer pleasure of the act. We're left to wonder what this will mean for Sam and how he'll manage to save his brother from this. While things seem extremely dark right now, there's still hope to be found. They know so much about demons now---Dean told Sam so when he convinced Sam to stop the Trials. Is there something in that knowledge that will help him reclaim his brother from the demonic monster he's become?

We will have to endure a long hot summer before we can find out.


Tahmoh Penikett has truly taken the character Gadreel and made him his own. He has taken cues from Padalecki's version of the angel and molded him into a nice blend that makes the character rounded and real on screen---especially now that we know his true identity. Now that Gadreel has changed sides, Penikett gives a strange but naive charm to the angel. It's subtle in nature---and it exposes much of Gadreel's gentler nature. We see this in how he talks to Castiel---first when he warns off his brother about healing him and again when we see them prepare to make their play on Heaven and Metatron's office. The naivety that was once a hallmark of Castiel's character has translated well in Gadreel's clueless response about Star Wars and Wookies. It's all in how Penikett delivers the line, “Brother, I have no idea what that means.” When he escorts Castiel through the Heavenly offices, we see Penikett sell it with his facial expressions. He seems smug as he parades his “catch” past everyone. But, as they're tricked themselves, we see Gadreel break. As the prison walls rise and encase Castiel and Gadreel, Penikett shows us just how broken Gadreel is. The one place he never wanted to go back to---the one place he has spent ages in has now trapped him again. Just by how he slumps down against the wall and by the crushed expression on his face, we see Penikett convey just how devastating this moment truly is. He lost everything on this gamble---and he's back where he started. As Castiel keeps Hannah talking, Gadreel takes advantage of the time delay and prepares his last act. Penikett shows us that the angel is desperate just by how he tells Castiel to move to the other side. And as he delivers the line, “When they say my name, perhaps I won't just be the one who let the Serpent in, perhaps I will be known as one of the many that gave Heaven a second chance,” we begin to fear the worst. Penikett gave Gadreel a strange charm---and in the end we saw him reach an epiphany---that sometimes in order to redeem yourself you must sacrifice. It's sad to see this angel now go. Penikett certainly took over the role well---and made him memorable.


Curtis Armstrong takes Metatron's egomania tonew heights in “Do You Believe In Miracles.” Just when we think we've found his plateau for revulsion, Armstrong digs just a bit deeper and manages to find another layer of conceit. He's hubris personified with every word and action. Armstrong oozes all of Metatron's pompous nature throughout the entire episode. It starts with the blatant ignoring of the angel assistant calling his name---only to answer to “God.” Armstrong just takes it to new heights as we see Metatron bring his brand of Jesus-like miracles to humanity---all in an effort to cement himself as the humble God amongst his flock. We, the viewer, see clearly through it from the moment he arrives to revive the poor woman struck by the car to the moment that he persuades the people to attack the angel threatening to expose him. Armstrong puts all of Metatron's megalomania into the line, “Better” after he's labeled a Messiah. However, we don't really see his true cruelty and nature until we see him face off with Dean, head to head. In a showdown we expected to end with the Scribe skewered on the First Blade, instead we see him maliciously manhandle Dean---even if that's only half the story. Armstrong makes him a force of malicious intent here as he toys with the elder Winchester---and just when we're not sure he'll twist the knife any deeper than he has with his words, we see him stab viciously and with pleasure into Dean's chest, delivering the mortal blow. Once the Angel Tablet is smashed and he has returned to Heaven before Sam can deliver the killing blow, we see his hubris climb even higher. He's convinced himself that there is nothing anyone can do to him now, and so with the rope provided, Metatron hangs himself. Armstrong shows it best in the speech, telling Castiel, “And then? They will do nothing because they are frightened little sheep following my crook wherever it leads. And where I'm taking them, back to our rightful place atop this mountain of human shame and excrement -- when that happens, trust me, they're not gonna care how they got there.” Once he's been outed by his own words over the very radio he commissioned to broadcast to his “Host,” we see him angry. Armstrong shows just how Metatron thinks that he'll somehow be able to find away around this turn of events---even locked in his new prison cell. Even so, we can tell that this is poetic justice---for this is where the new serpent belongs. Armstrong certainly made Metatron a character we all loved to hate---now it's just a question if we'll see him rotting at all in his cell during season ten.


Mark Sheppard returns to the much more sassy version of Crowley in “Do You Believe In Miracles.” He is amusing, charming, and clever at every turn, making the King of Hell seem more like the demon we've come to know through the years and less like the one struggling with human emotions. Sheppard always delivers some of the best lines and always with great panache. Lines like, “Liquor before beer, bad taco? How should I know?” and “ So this is what you and moose do, eh? Crisscross the country, searching for evil, order your nitrates, partake of the local attraction,” and “Well, I guess I've been Winchestered,” capture that best. He gives the impression of a hurt Crowley when the brothers brush him aside in favor of going it alone without his help---but we can't help but notice that he's feigning most of this just by how he delivers the biting remark, “I'd wish you boys good luck... If I thought it would help.” As sly and amusing as Crowley is, however, Sheppard also shows us great depth in the King of Hell. We see it best in the final scene as he sits by Dean's bedside, telling him Cain's true origin story. There, we can sense a blend of excitement and joy and one of regret. He wants to believe in “miracles” that Dean will truly become like Cain and in turn perhaps become one of his servants. On the other, we sense that he regrets that Dean has come to this crossroads and has now failed at preventing himself from becoming a demonic monster. It's all in how Sheppard delivers the lines---remarking that he never thought this would happen. And yet, as we see him put the Blade into Dean's hand and ask him to open his eyes we see the truth. He may have wanted this all along. Now that Sheppard has been named a series regular for season ten, it'll be interesting to see just what Crowley does now with a demonic Dean---perhaps at his beck and call.


Misha Collins has grown Castiel's character beautifully over season nine---from dealing with his humanity to stolen grace to the unwanted leadership position. Collins has given the character a lot of subtly in how he portrays him, showing us that there's more depth underneath the awkward nature. He's taken every layer introduced this season and translated that into a richer Castiel. In “Do You Believe In Miracles,” he shows us Castiel's determination and strength. We can sense that it hurts him to have to lock away Dean---and that he's afraid of what will become of his onetime charge. It's in how Collins stands and glances in that opening scene. And yet, Collins conveys that Castiel knows they must take their shot against Metatron. He shows us that Castiel's not going to back down from stopping Metatron---no matter the cost. Collins and Penikett have great chemistry---evidenced in that first moment when Castiel heals Gadreel despite his protests---as they end up working together to break their way into Heaven. Often on the opposite side of the pop culture exchange, for once we got to see Castiel drop a reference only to be met with confusion. Collins plays this humorous exchange beautifully. As Gadreel parades Castiel through the offices, we see Collins give the rebel angel a look of defeat to sell the ruse---only to show the confusion at the tables being turned. Once they're in Heaven and locked away into its prison, we see Collins try to reach through to the devastated Gadreel, trying to give him hope. It's captured best in how he delivers the line, “You've been redeemed, my friend.” After Gadreel dies, we see Collins convey all of Castiel's regret as he asks Hannah, “Do you believe him now?” Once he's in Metatron's chair, facing the Scribe down, Collins shows us the range of emotion as he learns that Dean has died. He's defiant at first, knowing that he has an ace up his sleeve to trap Metatron at his own game---but as he learns the truth about Dean and Metatron's encounter, we see Collins show all of Castiel's devastation. His expression morphs one of pure shock and rage and sadness all flickering in brief moments. Now that Metatron has been locked away, Castiel must face head on the matter of his grace---and with Collins as a regular in season ten, it'll be curious to see how he does that.


Jensen Ackles shows us the ruthless killer Dean is being turned into all the while showing us the four year old still trapped inside. He's feral in the start, wanting to get through anyone and anything to slay Gadreel. Ackles shows all of Dean's anger at being locked away, at being sidelined just as they're preparing to make their important moves on Metatron. As we see Dean begin to cough up blood, we see the little boy emerge. It shows itself in how Ackles glances in the mirror, frightened by what his body is doing as he was forced to stop from killing. As he confronts Crowley, we see Ackles put all of Dean's fear and desperation into his voice as he explains what's going on. He looks less like the frightening killer that eliminated Abaddon and more like the four year old we know to still be there after all these years. There's many layers in this performance, and Ackles taps into each and every one of them to convey Dean's tragic story in the season finale. We see him on edge as he and Sam meet again---as if he's trying to push Sam away with his words about Gadreel and what has happened between them since. We see it reach new heights as he explains to the unconscious Sam that “Sorry, little brother. It's not your fight.” There's a despondent edge to how he delivers this line. As we see him face Metatron, we see through his bravado and realize that he's not fighting Metatron as much as he is fighting the Blade. He wants Metatron dead, yes, but we can clearly see that he's struggling against what the Blade demands. In every action, Ackles shows us that Dean is afraid that this fight might tip him over the edge and mould him into the ruthless monster he fears becoming. Ackles shows us this in how he holds the weapon, the tightness of his voice, and how his body seems to tense up the longer the scene goes on. He tells us through all these cues that Dean's trying to resist the Blade's terrible power---until he can't any longer and uncoils, launching his ill-fated attack on Metatron. As he is mortally wounded, Ackles captures all of Dean's shock and fear as he is vanquished. His expression becomes a strange mixture of sadness and almost relief---as if he's now been released from the Blade's terrible grip. As Sam rushes to his side and they slowly make their way towards the Impala, Ackles pulls on all of our heartstrings as he slows them to a stop and delivers the line “I'm proud of us.” It hits right into the gut with its force, only to be followed up with his slow slump as we realize Dean has died. We're left to stare, with Sam, at his body laid out on his bed at the Bunker---and even in repose, Ackles captures Dean here. He looks almost serene and at peace here---until Crowley appears. Even though it's only the action of opening his eyes, Ackles puts a lot of suspense into it as he reveals what Dean's now become. As we enter season ten, just what will it take to get Dean back and how will Ackles portray this new version of Dean?


Jared Padalecki gives us the stubborn and concerned Sam in “Do You Believe in Miracles.” We see all his fear and concern for Dean as they force him to stop from killing Gadreel. We see it again as he realizes that the Blade is missing and that Dean is, too. Padalecki shows it in every action and word---the anger masking his fear well. He is stubborn about trailing his brother, not wanting him to do this alone. He's angry, too, when we see Castiel and Gadreel suggest they turn Dean towards the Metatron showdown. They feel it might be their best shot---but Sam's not so sure. Padalecki puts this best in the line, “Oh, right. Excuse me. Sorry, guys. Uh, sorry I'm a little less than eager to hear that our best chance is -- is arming the warhead and hoping it hits the mark. This is not a bomb we're talking about. This is my brother.” Padalecki's always been subtle in his performances, and we see that here when the brothers meet up again. He sees Dean's tactic for what it is---and we see Padalecki put all of Sam's countermeasures into how he says his lines. He knows this is not the time for them to hash out things, and so he tells Dean not to explain---they can do that later. As he rushes to Dean's side after the Metatron showdown, we see Padalecki's performance become heartbreaking. He is despondent as he tries to stop Dean's bleeding---as he tells him they'll find a way to fix this. As Dean dies in his arms, we see Padalecki's Sam cradle Dean's face, then crush his body to his as he begins to cry. There's no need for any words here as we feel so explicitly what Sam feels---all through Padalecki's acting. This carries over well into the next scene as we see Sam gently lay Dean's body out. The anguish Sam feels is etched across Padalecki's features as he looks down at Dean. All of Sam's despondent feelings ooze from him as he sits in the dark with a drink---before he goes to summon the King of Hell. Padalecki shows us all of Sam's determination and anger here, knowing who to blame for this. He captures it best in his tense body language, the way in which he prepares the summon ritual, and how he delivers the line, “Damn it, Crowley. You got him into this mess. You will get him out... or so help me, God.” Now we must wait until season ten to see how Sam will fight to get his brother back from this fate.

Best Lines of the Week:

Sam: Oh, right. Excuse me. Sorry, guys. Uh, sorry I'm a little less than eager to hear that our best chance is -- is arming the warhead and hoping it hits the mark. This is not a bomb we're talking about. This is my brother.

Dean: Oh, so you're full-metal douche again. Well, that's fantastic. Would you like a stuffed bear?

Castiel: Wookie.

Gadreel: Brother, I have no idea what that means.

Sam: I know. But if this is it, we're gonna do it together.

Gadreel: Move to the other side of your cell Castiel, and keep your head down. When they say my name, perhaps I won't just be the one who let the Serpent in, perhaps I will be known as one of the many that gave Heaven a second chance.

Dean: I'm blaming you for Kevin! I'm blaming you for taking Cas' Grace. Hell, I'm blaming you for the Cubs not winning The World Series in the last 100 freaking years. Whatever it is... I'm blaming you.

Dean: I’m proud of us.

Is it October yet? Please?

Comments  

mary9930
# mary9930 2014-05-26 07:55
Far Away Eyes, you never disappoint. I love the way you describe meta fiction as a weapon. It's interesting that neither Dean nor Metatron had control over their weapons. I don't think either of them fully understood their weapons making each of them vulnerable when they should have been unstoppable.

Crowley's speech at the end & Dean's "I'm proud of us" will give me something to cherish & think about all summer. Thank you Jeremy Carver
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-26 10:05
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you liked this comparison. Metatron certainly tried really hard to make story his ultimate weapon, and I think it would have worked if he hadn't allowed himself to be come so cocky. He felt he had it in the bag at that point, so why worry about anyone going off script? He already had it proven to him that it was going to go according to plan when that group of humans brutally murdered the angel denouncing him.

As for Dean and the First Blade, I think he understood his far more. I think he realized---albe it too late---that the Blade was changing him into something terrible. And I think, in many ways, that realization is what also made him far more vulnerable than he would have otherwise been. It's set up all that followed in his fight with Metatron.

And yes, Dean saying "I'm proud of us" is always going to break me, I think. I watched this episode four times---as I normally do for reviewing---and I couldn't manage but cry every single time. It's gonna be a long hot summer.

Thanks again.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2014-05-26 09:26
Thank you Far Away Eyes, you've managed yet again to bring things to the forefront that I hadn't even thought about. Like Dean knocking Sam out before his fight with Metratron, not only to keep Sam out of harms way, but also being worried about the blade wanting more blood, and Sam becoming a target of his bloodlust. And Crowley, did he orchestrate Dean's descent into demonhood when he saw how Cain knew Dean would be able to carry the Mark and the Blade so well? I will never forget Meg when she would always say: When will you people undestand, Crowley is always the problem (I'm paraphrasing).

I watched the last three episodes yesterday, and they go so well together. It brings so many possibilities for next season. Now that Dean is a full fledged demon, is Sam going to use the cure from the trials? And does that even really work? What did Crowley mean when he told Dean that it's fundamental that he knows that he never lied to him? Is it because Dean has the potential and ability to kill him now for that transgression? How is Castiel going to rebuild Heaven without his grace? Ahhh, so many questions! It's going to be the longest hellatus on record IMO!

Just one last thought before I go. Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are just stupendous, magnificent, wonderful, etc, etc, etc. Every time I watch the scene where Dean dies, it breaks another little piece off my heart. :( I cannot find enough adjectives for how great they are. God bless them for incarnating their roles with such devotion.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-26 10:19
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you liked this take on the finale. I'll admit, I struggled on this one---not because I didn't have anything to say but because I had too much I wanted to say. There were so many avenues I could have taken, so many threads of the entire season that made a full tapestry in this one---but every time I sat down to hash them out, I found myself just overwhelmed. Then it really hit me that the heart of this episode was the collision of First Blade and Meta Fiction and how that will potentially shape the over all story in season 9 going into season 10. The fall out will have so many consequences.

In my second watch, I realized that Dean was going in after Metatron to die. It just seemed so clear after I saw how frantic and frightened he was after he coughed up blood and realized the Blade/Mark were going to kill him for not doing as it wanted anyways. It just seemed to be summed in that gentle moment when Dean lays Sam's hand on his chest and tells him "It's not your fight." I realized then what he intended.

And yes, Meg was right. Crowley's always been the problem. It's interesting that he seemed almost ally and friend by the end of the season, and yet when the cards were played, his hand revealed he was still cheating them on so many levels.

I don't know how they'll go about fixing Dean, but the cure did cross my mind. I'm not sure what Dean will be immune to as a demon. Abaddon was still trappable in Devils Traps. She was immune to Ruby's knife and she seemed to brush aside most other tricks they use to fight demons. Now that Dean's probably even more powerful than she once was it'll be interesting to see just what he can do with his demonic powers and what countermeasures they take to slow or stop him. I think it's key that Sam and Dean have learned so much---includin g the cure---and I think that this will be Sam's strong suit in fighting back to reclaim his brother. Knowledge has always been his tool, and I think we'll see him have to find a way to utilize it in the coming season.

I agree. This feels like it might be the longest Hellatus I'll endure yet. There's so many things I want to see NOW, but can't.

And I agree with you on Jared and Jensen. They've always managed to capture these characters brilliantly, but this season they really grew and had a chance to show off their acting skills. I can't wait to see what they do in season 10.

Thanks again.
amyh
# amyh 2014-05-26 10:35
Beautiful review. I think youve hit the nail on the head about "the four year old trapped inside". ThaTS Dean to a "T" He's ruled by the fears of that four year old boy who lost his family, saw his father fall apart and its been at the root of all his extreme behavior; the sellign of his soul, taking Sams agency away. I hope that with defeating the demon within himself next year (with the help of Sam) that Dean can also let that 4 year old go...cause that child he used to be represents all his fears, his self esteem issues.

I absolutely floved Gadreels desolation at finding himself back in prison. Temoh sold it so well i wanted to hug Gad and really hoped he would survive.

I disliked the 'wookie' joke simply because its a joke at the expense of the other charector. I'd prefer if both charectors are in on the 'joke" and understand the reference. It doesn't consume valuable time explaining itws meaning.

Crolwy was awesome and he's too smart to underestimate anything with the Winchesters. I think he knew exactly what was going to happen with Dean and played him - to quote the penguin from Batman "Like a harp from hell." Though, I do hope Sam subverts his expectations.

I loved how Sam used his own experience to be there for Dean...though i wish Show had acknowledged it. The last scenes between Sam and Dean were heart rending. I love how Jared puts Sams entir4e heart and soul in those scenes. All of Sams love and grief is on the surface and its messy and its beautiful.

One last word.....now that Dean is a demon and of course stil has the mark and blade....any thoughts on if DemonDean will want to finish the job with Metatron? Will we finally see a battle between demons and Angels? With Sam in the middle trying to save/reach Dean?
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-26 12:28
Thanks for the comment.,

I really noticed, in the rewatches, that Jensen really sold us on the little boy trapped inside by just his performance. We didn't need the lines spelled out that explained that. It was just in his own performance. I think Dean must face this through this demonic turn so that he can truly understand and grow---and I look forward to seeing how Jensen shows us all of that.

I was really moved by Tahmoh when those prison walls came up. He had tried and failed and made a lot of mistakes a long the way after his release, but to only end up in the same exact place is heartbreaking. I hoped he would live, too, but I think the way he went out made sense.

As for the "Wookie" line, I actually liked it. I think, yes, that it's funnier when both parties can share in on the joke at times, but what I really enjoyed about this exchange is that Gadreel didn't get it. Technically, he should have. Having possessed Sam as long as he did, he should have come across this pop culture reference, and yet it seems he didn't root into Sam's psyche that far. It implied to me that he was really trying to be good and keep his word to Dean when it came to healing Sam. Otherwise, he should have gotten that reference. I also like that Castiel tried to start explaining but gave up almost right away, knowing that it didn't really matter anyways.

It was amazing to see Crowley actually be the one doing all the manipulations in the end. On one hand, that shouldn't be a surprise given who he is. On the other, given his trajectory throughout the season he's the perfect one to pull this off. I think he knew exactly what was going to happen---he just gambled on Dean either giving into the Blade or dying. Either way, he'd get what he wanted: a corrupted Dean.

I think Sam is going to be the lynch pin that fixes things and I think this role reversal will only continue as we see season ten unfold. How they go about doing that? Not sure, but I think in the end it'll be good for both brothers. They needed it.

And yes, Jared totally took Sam to new heights in that scene. I can't watch it without crying every time. There's a few scenes like that on this show, and I can now add that to the roster largely on acting alone.

I don't know if Dean will still want to go after Metatron. It's possible. Since the Blade didn't get to finish that kill, we might see it want to pick up where it left off. With the Scribe locked up, however, I'd be surprised if that's the track they took on it. I do think, no matter what's going on, though, Sam will be in the middle trying to break through. I can't wait for season ten.

Thanks again.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-26 11:52
thank you far away eyes for each and every thought provoking and positive review you've given this season. you deserve a vacation:) hope you have an enjoyable summer and I look forward to reading your reviews next season.

carver told us this season was about consequences and he wasn't wrong, this, following his season 8 which focused on perception. I do like where his story is heading and i'm hoping s10 is about realizations (lessons learned) and change. there has been negativity regarding carver's reign but I've always seen what his true focus has been about. I've mentioned it before, where can you really go after the apocalypse? sera tried with the leviathans but they didn't quite pack the punch that was expected. she sent cas and dean to purgatory, but I think I heard and i'm not sure if it's true or not, but I think sera intended for sam to rescue dean. when carver took over he took a different approach. he went off the monster story. carver went back to the the origins of this show. the show about the Winchesters. it's their story and monsters and demons and angels are just window dressing. given that carver came off of being human, it's not really much of a surprise that he would go back to telling the Winchester story from their point of view. but he did more than just that, carver was part of the writing team that expanded on the issues that these boys have. we were introduced to these issues all the way back in the pilot and were teased with them throughout the seasons. we learned what these issues were but never have they been fully explored, dealt with and resolved. it seems to me that this is the story carver chooses to tell. it's had it's frustrating moments, but all in all, it's a very good story indeed. ;)
perception was the first step. instead of sam miraculously bouncing back from everything he'd been through both physically and mentally up until the s7 finale, sam didn't. sam's broken psyche, his hellucinations, his physical and mental torture in hell, bobby's death (twice), yes he managed to pull himself through, but he didn't quite do that alone. it was his brother that had given him strength and focus. in tbai, even though sam had seemingly no choice but to accept the inevitable, he knew dean was out there trying, he held on for as long as he could..so when the one person, the only person, in this world, died, sam couldn't bounce back. seems to me quite a human response and given that sam is actually a human it made all the sense in the world that without the one person who gave him the strength he needed to push on, sam simply couldn't. but the very fact that sam kept his promise to his brother, found a way to get through ea. day, kept on breathing, kept on going and eventually found his way back to the cabin, that tells me that sam is stronger than he may have believed himself to be...guess all he needed was time, time to heal.
but dean didn't die. he was in purgatory. dean doesn't listen to his brother when sam tells him that he thought he was dead. he doesn't truly listen to sam when he told him he was driving aimlessly for months. he doesn't hear sam when sam told him there was a girl and then there wasn't and she had nothing to do with him not hunting. he hears none of this. dean only hears that there was a girl and thus concludes, wrongly, that sam left him in purgatory because of her. this begged a very important question, why? why can't dean hear sam when he talks? why does dean pick and choose what words he decides to hear? I think this plays a very important part of where we end up in s9....consequences...
i'd like to share my belief and see if you either agree or disagree as I value quite a few opinions on this board. the way I see it, carver has chosen the true big bad of his arc and it's not metatron or abbadon or even Crowley....it's the boys themselves...th eir inner demons, their biggest fears .I think s10 will be about facing these demons and I think s8 and s9 paved the way for getting us here.
it all stems back, for both boys, in the way they see themselves and their own personal lack of self worth. i'll start with sam because he's pretty much cut and dried. since the pilot we've seen sam trying to run from who he is. throughout the series dean or even he himself has referred to himself as a freak. when sam found out about his db he did everything in his power to avoid becoming what he feared the blood would make him....evil, a monster. he even used the db to his advantage hoping that he could use this curse against them. spin it and use it for good. sam always had a good heart and good intentions. he loves more than he hates. he symapathizes more than not, he has an undying faith in all that's good. sam has never given up, not on anyone, especially not on his brother. his brother....the one person in this world who means more to him than anyone else. the one person who's opinion of him is worth more than anyone elses. the only person he's ever wanted to not disappoint and yet in his mind, the only person he feels like he failed. it's sam's belief that he's failed his brother, along perhaps with his belief that his brother can never trust him because of his db, that influences sam's misperception that dean will always see him as nothing more than his responsibility. his job. the little brother he can't depend on or trust but one he has to protect because daddy drilled it into his head so many years ago. this of course is not the case at all. but I think sam's own lack of self worth plays on his misperception of what his brother thinks of him and why he goes to extremes to save him. now in the great escapist sam finally confessed to dean his lifelong belief of being tainted and unworthy. but he saw the light. he knew he was being purified. he could finally save his brother and save the world. he can find worth in himself, but more important he can make his brother proud and not see him as a disappointment and a failure...he can earn dean's trust, something he believed he didn't have. of course given dean's reaction and actions in s8, it's easy for sam to believe that...but dean's reactions and action, which I will explain, were misguided and misinterpreted as well. so with sam ready to sacrifice himself in the s8 finale, finally confessing to dean his belief that dean sees him as a disappointment, dean stops sam dead in his tracks telling him no. never..nobody comes before him. sam, only wanting to ever believe this to be so, does and stops the trials but soon he finds out, in s9, that dean had deceived him, tricked him and had him possessed. the one thing that sam would never want. sam is upset with what dean did, but as we learn, it's the lies that sam is hurt by. it goes back to his original feeling of unworthiness and his belief that his brother doesn't trust him. " what happens the next time you decide I can't be trusted, who are you gonna turn to instead of me, another angel? another vampire?" dean promised sam in that church no one came before him, they were in this together and then sam learns that dean has been lying to him, that he put his trust in an angel that he didn't even know, instead of trusting in sam. that's why sam questions what dean did at the church. you did it because you don't want to be alone. tell me what is the upside of me being alive? dean's seeming lack of trust in sam has sam unable to comprehend that dean saved him because of who sam is, because he loves him. sam can only conclude that dean saves sam because he doesn't want to be alone and that's the only reason. while it's true that dean doesn't want to in fact be alone, it is part of the reason he saves sam the way he does, it's not the only reason. the main reason dean does what he does is because he loves his brother. he does find sam worthy of saving. he sees the world a better place with sam in it and not just his world. ...so sam's monster, his demon, what he has to face and beat is his belief that he is unworthy. he must come to understand that he is important. he is loved and he is in fact trusted...most of all, by dean.
dean has a monster of his own he has to face. dean's monster is himself and I kind of think he had a hand in creating this monster, though he didn't realize it. as I've been re-watching sn and am now up to the mentalists, I can see dean's slow descent into darkness. it's subtle but it's there. we've had hints and I can't help but wonder if carver and co. spoke of dean turning into a demon all the way back in s3. i'm leaning towards yes on that. dean already had issues with abandonment. he saw sam going to college as a personal slight against him. sam ran from his father. sam ran from the life. sam didn't run from his brother. how many times has sam asked dean what he wants for himself? how many times has sam scolded dean for his blind faith in his father, telling him to take responsibility? sam wanted dean to have a life outside hunting. he wanted him happy, dean just didn't want that for himself, or maybe he convinced himself he couldn't have it. he embraced the life and once he did that, maybe that's when he started seeing himself as a killer, why would he embrace such a life then right? sam didn't want anything to do with it, so why was is so easy for dean to embrace such a violent existence?. then again, dean equivocates being a hunter to being a hero..".i'm a hero..a hero"... maybe because even though hunting has dean killing, it's killing for the sake of saving lives. he's not the killer Gordon pointed him out to be, but i'm afraid with time, dean began to believe that of himself. I think his sojourn in hell did him no favors either. he admitted to torturing in hell, but also admitted to enjoying it. dean saw himself as a monster when he got out of hell, which would explain his fear/extreme anger for sam. he never wanted for sam what he saw himself to be. ruby, the db, sam using his powers, all of this exacerbated dean's fear of what sam would become. sam would become his brother. this can't happen, ever, as sam was dean's humanity. sam was dean's touchstone. sam is everything dean believes he isn't . he knows sam has a good heart. he knows sam is empathetic. just look at dean's contentment on his face when in like a virgin sam asked dean if he stole the girl's diary, how happy he was that he even asked him that. sam is dean's light. protecting sam, keeping him safe is not just a job because his father drilled it into his head since he was 4yrs old. dean protecting sam, looking out for him, loving him, is the best part of who dean is. sam is dean's goodness, his humanity and without sam, dean fears to be the monster, the killer, that he truly believes himself to be. dean's fear is his demon, and now his inner demon, has truly been released. the misperception here is that dean is not the killer he believes himself to be. he is good. while sam is all the things I said he is to dean, dean still would the same good person even if sam wasn't by his side. sam knows this. dean doesn't.
consequences... well dean's monster is a formidable one indeed because this monster attacks both Winchesters. sam's belief that dean cannot trust in him isn't the case because dean in fact can't trust in himself. it's dean's lack of trust in himself and his lack of worth that feeds into sam's belief that dean doesn't trust in him, sees him as the disappointment and thus is unworthy of being saved, so in essence dean only keeps sam around because he can't face the idea of being by himself. sam has two monsters to face next season, one he has to face dean; then he has to face how he sees himself. my belief is that sam will be able to do that when he destroys dean's demon. for dean, he has to face and defeat his most formidable enemy, himself. I think years of burying crap, years of believing himself to be a killer, has slowly but surely made dean susceptible to becoming what he has feared the most. his enemies have played on this fear, and the most brilliant, the only one who's never underestimated these denim-clad nightmares...Cr owley. Crowley is patient. Crowley is observant. Crowley is brilliant and tactical. Crowley bided his time and when dean was at weakest, he struck, and I can't help but wonder if Crowley had known all along that sam would die from the trials and he planned this for some time. :o here we are, dean a demon, the very thing he feared he would become...conseq uences....and to think it all could have been avoided, if only dean had trusted in his brother's love, but more than that, if only dean would've trusted in not only sam to stand by his side once the anger settled, but had trusted in himself to have the strength to face his inner demon in the first place. there's a chronology in dean's downfall...
dean selling his soul in the first place. dean going to hell, leaving a piece behind. dean torturing in hell and finding the pleasure in it. dean taking solace with lisa and ben. ( sure dean loved them, though I never believed he was in love with them. I think they provided him with what he needed because sam was gone. with them he left the life and he stopped the killing. with them he stayed human. he kept at bay his inner demon. but he was still tortured when with them. he still had nightmares and not even they could come close to replacing sam. they were a bandaid. like Amelia was for sam. but when sam came back, dean could no longer pretend. as with sam and Amelia, I don't think it was about true love, I think it was more about keeping the other alive within themselves. Amelia was sam's dean. lisa and ben were dean's sam.) dean leaving them when sam came back. soulless sam, broken sam, cas's betrayal, bobby's death all culminating on dean's need for revenge. his inner monster feeding on that need which results to him killing dick roman and sending him to purgatory. his inner monster finding contentment in purgatory. it's why dean was so angry and blinded to everything sam said to him about believing he was dead. about him running away from the life that killed everyone he loved. how he was utterly alone with no support system to bring him back from the depths of despair. he had to do that alone. was dean truly angry at sam for leaving him in purgatory, which he knows would never be the case...or was dean angry at himself for finding peace in purgatory, for actually enjoying it, knowing he could kill without regret or guilt, free of conscience and humanity. did he claim benny was more of a brother than sam ever was, not because it was remotely true, but because benny allowed dean to kill without remorse. because benny was a monster, something which dean always believed himself to be and was free to be in purgatory? had sam gone to purgatory, would dean have been able to feel so free? I doubt it. because sam is the part of dean that keeps dean striving to remain human. isn't dean's anger towards sam about him leaving him in purgatory more about his fear of sam having lived normal and knowing that's what his little brother always wanted. if sam lived it he'd want it and that is a threat to dean. of course it ties into his major demon, his lack of self worth. just the notion of sam wanting normal is a threat to dean, it could take sam away from him. so what I believe to be dean's true motivation and true fears which have led him to say cruel and hurtful things and led him to cruel actions, have also played a major part in exacerbating sam's misperception that he is a failure/disappo intment to his brother. dean's true issue and fear regarding himself has led him to take out his own issues of self doubt on his brother, throwing all past mistakes, even ones that sam's not responsible for back at him. I just watched slash fiction and levi dean told levi sam that this guy doesn't have relationships, they're applications for sainthood. It really says a lot about how he relates to sam and even cas. I think he hates himself so much, he sees such darkness in him, that he can't allow for anyone else to make mistakes and when they do, he can't let go. it's as though everyone else has to be perfect because he is so imperfect. but the second half of season 8 had dean trying to make up to sam how harsh and cruel he was in the first half, but i'm afraid it was too late. sam already was too far gone in his belief that he was a failure to his brother. the only thing for sam to do was redeem himself in some way, so he took on the trials and tried to show his brother that there is a light at the end of the tunnel that isn't hellfire. the finale played into the theme of consequences which came into play this season.
dean did the wrong things for the right reason. I don't blame dean for wanting to save sam. I was glad he did. dean was wrong though. he was wrong to take sam's agency from him. sam had made a decision and accepted his fate. had dean let sam go, dean knew that sam was in fact ok with it. he'd fought his fight, he made mistakes, he suffered for them, he saved the world, he saved his brother. the knowledge that his brother was alive and well was enough for sam to accept what he knew he couldn't change. but dean found a way to save him and sam trusted in his brother. sam will always choose dean. but this wasn't the way. trickery, deceit which inevitable led to sam killing kevin, even though it wasn't him. when sam found out what his brother did it damaged their relationship. dean had just promised him that he trusted in him. no one came first. they were in this fight together, but then sam finds out, dean didn't mean what he said. he doesn't trust him, as he lied to him for months. he didn't trust in him, he put his trust in another angel. dean didn't mean what he said at the church. sam regresses back to believing his brother cannot and will never trust in him. it can only mean one thing, dean doesn't want sam around for any reason other than dean not wanting to be alone. the consequence of dean's actions plays on sam's belief that he is unworthy of saving, he is still someone his brother cannot and will never trust.
there are more dire consequences though. kevin died and his death plays on the guilt of both brothers. dean only adds that guilt to years and years of guilt he already possesses. sam, we learn has nightmares. his guilt weighing heavy on him, which explains a lot about why being possessed is so abhorrent to him. sam yet again being responsible for someone dying by his hands without him being in control. it's happened before, when meg possessed him, Lucifer and when he was soulless and ea. and every time sam has had to live with the guilt of these deaths. but the worst consequence, the biggest mistake dean makes is that he again runs from his true fear instead of facing it and this is what ultimately results into him turning into the one thing he's feared the most of becoming...a demon. if he had the courage to face sam on that bridge, to deal with his true reasons for doing what he did, if he could have faced himself then this might never have happened. instead of confronting sam, he ran, and instead of facing sam and any punishment he may or may not have doled out, he instead sought to punish himself, thus accepting moc regardless of the burden that cain warned him came with it. regardless of dean dying, he would've turned into a demon either way. if he only didn't fear himself, to face his true fears, to have done what sam wanted, to confront ea. other, to deal with it, to face it together and work at fixing it and changing...he may not have ever taken on the moc in the first place.
but where there is a Winchester there is hope. ;) in all of this, no matter what dean has said or done to sam, sam has never stopped loving his brother. sam has never stopped fighting for them and he has never for one second given up on them. no matter what harsh words sam used in trying to get his brother to engage, to fight, no matter what tactic he used to try to get dean to cede, sam never for one moment truly stopped acting like dean's brother. sam's love for dean is the most formidable weapon of all...monsters, both inner and real beware of sam Winchester. I also think dean becoming the monster he always feared is the only way he can defeat it. he can't do it alone. sam will be the one to save dean. it'll be sam's love and never ending faith in his brother that will bring dean out of the darkness. but I fear that first dean has to come to truly understand the consequences so that he can learn from them and truly change. my hope is that dean, being born a demon from the moc and blade itself, will be more than Crowley bargained for. it's my hope that since demon dean is born from both lust for blood and power, that as a demon who still has the blade, will be one who wants power. my secret hope is that he wants Crowley to be his demon bitch. dean needs to come back bad and he needs to kill. in order for anything to have been learned, in order for this story to come to it's conclusion in which the brothers have a new mature bond, then dean must first walk in sam's shoes as sam must walk in his. dean must know what it's like to not be in control, to have his own agency taken from him and to kill not by choice, but because something else is controlling him. I fear for dean Winchester, this is the only way to truly understand the lesson sam, Tessa and death have so often tried to teach him. this is also the only true way for dean to truly get sam's perspective and for sam to understand dean's perspective as he will be walking in his shoes. but more than that, I think as dire as the consequence has been for our boys, that there is a true value in it. I believe that this will finally give the boys an opportunity to face their own inner demons and beat them, finally seeing worth in not only ea. other but in themselves. the Winchester brothers will finally come to understand ea. other and themselves. their bond will strengthen and they will grow closer. they will no longer have misperceptions of ea. other. they can finally trust in themselves. they will be a formidable weapon against evil and the peace they find when they are done doesn't necessarily mean when they die. for I have hopes for a movie in their future. maybe the peace they find will be the peace in themselves.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-26 13:32
Thanks for the long long thought out comment!

I'm glad you enjoyed my reviews this season and I look forward to writing again about the show come Fall. That being said, I'm not necessarily on vacation from writing about this show! It's time for the annual rewatch of the series, and this year I'm watching the added extras AND pairing it with my second all time favorite show, Psych. So you never know what I might end up writing about----along with some other projects I'm also planning. And then there is Van Con later in August, too.

As for your comment on the brothers, I agree mostly. I think Carver has done something really well with the brothers and the overall story. It's only 2/3rds done, so it's harder to judge just what he intends to do with it all and if we should get an 11th season how he'll proceed. That being said, I'm not going to say it's been perfect. No human endeavor really is. I think he's done some things really well in his over all storyline and there's missteps, too. It's how he recovers or handles them in that final package when the plan he's laid out is done that we can see what really worked and didn't----and I think it's fascinating that there's always differences in viewers on what did and what didn't work in the end.

I do think this role reversal had to be set up carefully, and I do think that's why we see Sam and Dean having perception issues in season eight. They had to have those issues shoved into their faces, i think, in order to even begin unraveling them. Sam and Dean don't really do the talking thing all that well on their own, so they must be pushed into it by various methods and we've seen that in the past two seasons. I think the point that we're at now is a great method for them to eventually work their way through the issues they've always had--and it is imperative that they see things from the other's perspective by experiencing it. Sam has always been the one manipulated by a supernatural force while Dean largely stays human trying o save him. Now we're seeing Dean being manipulated by a supernatural force and Sam having to watch it happen while trying to figure out how to fix it and save Dean. I think this is a crucial storyline for them and as we see it continue in season ten I think we'll see more role reversal happen---perhap s not entirely right away as Dean will no longer be Dean---not really. It's going to be a wild ride for them, and I do think you bring up many valid points for how they got here and where they might be going.

I, for one, am just beyond excited for what has been set up potentially for season ten and can't believe we have to wait so long to see just what happens next.

Thanks again.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-05-26 12:28
What can I say. I waited for your review to write also my own thoughts.

The reviews on this site and some others were so well written that most of the time I saw myself crying all over again because of the final. There was lot of good point of views from different people so I felt... well, bummed even to comment. This was my first ever final that I saw with others when it first aired. Seasons 1-8 I devoured from Netflix and I was totally sold and still am. It is hard to wait a week to an episode I tell you that! And now, we have the summer break. Oh noes!

To me Dean Winchester has been always the one that has stayed human. If he hasn't been it has been like a flick of a finger and then he is normal. Even if he is the "big brother" I see Dean often as the younger one. Sure, he needed to be a dad but also his childhood was cut short. He is goofy and silly and Sam is the calm one in a way. (Weird even though he is possessed, mind controlled etc every other episode.) Sam is easier on emotions and Dean is the one that has too much which he tries to hide and that is never good.

This whole season has been tough to Ackles and Padalecki. Either of them doesn't want the brothers to fight and they have more commented about their characters. Padalecki even saying he didn't like some things what happened. Didn't want Sam to hurt his big brother. They are on screen/of screen brothers and that shows. The season has been roller coaster to them. Sam got upset and angry so he lashed at his brother. Trying to make him fight. Deal it how Dean can deal it but he didn't. Instead Dean distanced himself from Sam (that Sam didn't want) and the MoC and Dean's own guilt made matters more worse.

Still Sam never left his side and neither Dean his. Both always ran to the rescue if the other was in danger. But in the end Sam was not there as Dean made that choice for him. Like you said I think it had a lot of factors why Dean did it. I think it wasn't only one and the saddest part was that Dean expected to die. And he thinks he deserved it. All the quilt and pain. Sam would be too late for his brother and Dean would not have peace. I can't even describe how much emotions the actors brought to the scenes. On Sam summoning Crowley I didn't see him to try to make a deal rather than kick his ass and force him to bring his brother back. I shiver to the thought when Sam really finds out whole story and also Castiel. Few hearts will break and not only the viewers.

Some people have said that dying with the brothers is almost normal, but there is one thing to be realized. This is also what Ackles said in Jibcon. Dean is really dead. After the final and on next season episode one we have always gotten both brothers back one way or the other but not this time. What we will get might be something totally different. Who knows where Dean's soul is. Dean is not possessed he is fully a demon and that is what Sam has never had. At least he was always human and that is why it is so horrid to both boys.

I can only say that Gadreel was enjoyable and awesome and also Tahmoh portraying him. I think I will not miss anyone as much as him even though his ending redeemed him but still. I saw it as "the easy way" to solve the matter and hoped he could have had something different. I am one that will keep up hope for him coming back as you know everything is possible in Supernatural. I were actually REALLY ticked that Metatron lived and Gadreel died. Metatron was dangerous and icky kind of evil. I really hate the character so the actor did a good job again. And his plan was not simple. It just stumbled to the normal deadly sin and the biggest of them all: Pride.

Did I mention that Crowley is dangerous and he should not be underestimated? Well, Sam will find it out the worst possible way and Dean when he finally comes back. He is evil and so awesome. And I am glad that Sheppard was lifted to series regular. Castiel has grown as a character and I think he is heading back to be an angel. Protect the humanity and his friends. Misha also has taken Castiel as his own like every other character that is on supernatural. The main and quest cast are phenomenal. Such talent with so many different characters and monsters. That is why a lot of them are missed when they are gone.

It is hard to wait and see where this will go. I will probably cry my eyes out on the season 10 first episode as it seems to continue immediately from same spot. If that is true I am glad because I prefer it. No three months later stuff! It will be a loooooong break. Thank you Far Away Eyes for your positive and mind opening reviews. I am glad I could write this comment (probably the longest I have EVER made) for this final and to your post. Like you I can't wait to see what they have in store for us and hope they continue to give us all the things that makes Supernatural so awesome.

- Lilah
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-26 14:00
Thanks for the comment.

Welcome to your first Summer Hellatus. They're never easy, but sit back and rewatch. That's what I end up doing!

I think you're right about Dean sometimes being the younger brother in word/deed. He is often the one that Sam chides for saying or doing something---but I've always liked that aspect about his character. He never had a chance to be a child, so now he's being one in bursts. That being said, he's totally also been that dad figure and has acted that way because his prime directive of Save Sammy has never stopped for him.

When I sat down to write this review, I felt a bit overwhelmed emotionally and also because there was so much to cover and I wasn't sure if I wanted to try a season wrap in this or not. I didn't have anything really actually sketched out that I could use until about Friday night. I had the meta fiction piece roughly in mind but nothing that I could connect it with. I'm a huge Nine Inch Nails fan, and as I sat resting for awhile to decompress, a lyric from one of their songs filtered through my head, "It won't give up/it wants me dead/goddamn this noise inside my head" from "The Becoming." It then sorta clicked in my head then, that Dean was that song personified and that the Blade/MoC was singing this in his head. Then I connected it to the meta fiction.

I think it's key that Dean isn't Dean anymore right now. His soul is still there, but now it's corrupted and twisted into something that is no longer Dean Winchester. He's now a demonic monster that we're not sure about. How violent will he be? What will he do? How many will he kill? Will his snarky nature still be there, yet way meaner?

I look forward to seeing how that's explored. I also think it's fascinating that we saw Sam chasing Dean all second half, even when they were in the same room. In some ways, I understand why he lashed out completely. I also see these two as not being all that good at sharing their thoughts/feelin gs in a way the other truly can understand as they see the world so differently. I think that's why, even though Sam said some hurtful things, we see him trying to pull Dean back in and keep an eye on him, especially after the Blade. Will that be possible with this new Dean? Not sure.

I agree. Sam wasn't trying to make a deal with Crowley. I got the sense he wanted to pummel the King of Hell and make him fix it with the only thing he'd give Crowley back in return is maybe a chance to keep living. Maybe. If he felt nice enough after he got what he wanted.

I had hoped Gadreel would live, too. I thought Tahmoh made him a likable character the longer we saw him. He was heavily flawed and made so many terrible mistakes and I wanted to cheer for him for so many reasons. And yet, I get why he did what he did, too. He was the spanner in Metatron's scheme, and I think he had to blow it apart in order for Castiel to get the jump on him. It's still sad to see him go.

I about jumped up and down in glee when I saw the news report about Sheppard. It's hard to believe that he hasn't been upped to that before now considering how often he appears! I do think he's by far the most dangerous character and yet Sheppard made us feel he was safe. I love how Collins has also made Cas more this season, too. I can't wait.

Thanks so much for reading my reviews this season and I'm glad you enjoyed them so much. I can't wait for season ten!
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-26 13:56
Thank you for your review. I appreciated some of the detail of scenes that you pointed out since I couldn't process at the time. I was such an emotional mess by the end I couldn't even cry (I always know I'm in trouble when I'm so stunned I am not reacting at all). Even a second watch didn't clarify the episode for me. And not because it wasn't a beautiful script that was acted to perfection by everyone and that it tied the whole season together, it was such a gut wrenching impact for me. It has been a week and I am still (silently because I don't want people to worry about me) crying "Dean died! Like DIED!!". I think the journey that was shown all season of how Dean got here was really well laid out. Not every episode worked as well as I am sure everyone would have liked but it was all right there. From every decision that Dean made to his final words was telegraphed from episode 1. Dean loves Sam even in the end he was still trying to be the big brother. That is never going to change. And Sam knowing all along, because it was just as telegraphed throughout the season that he would do anything to save his brother. Here is my question for next season, Dean died where is his soul? Is it still there? Is it on it's way to heaven? Is the real Dean at peace now? Is Sam about to resurrect a brother who's journey is over? Or is Dean still there, is he trapped helpless watching himself commit atrocities. Both scenarios have been introduced. Abbadon was harvesting souls but she also told Dean a horror story about what it was going to be like when she removed his tattoo and possessed him.
I am going to be a wreck by next fall.
I am a huge Psych fan as well.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-26 14:05
Thanks for the comment.

Yes, this one took me some time to process, too. I think I'll always cry when I watch this one.

Sadly, I think Dean's soul IS still there. He's been turned into a demon, not replaced by one. Much the same way that Abaddon was turning people here on earth into demons, Dean was turned by the Blade. We know that the soul can't be broken. We also know that a soul is corrupted into a demon while it is in Hell. That implies to me that Dean's soul has now been twisted into this demonic creature. The human Dean died, but the soul is still there, trapped somehwere inside that new corrupted version of him.

It's going to be such a long long long summer.

I'm so glad others are Psych fans, too! I'm pairing both shows together this year because they're two favorite and I think they go so well together for many many reasons. It might be the only thing besides Van Con that gets me to the Fall!

Thanks again.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-26 15:24
Cheryl you ask a good question...now i'm not sure which way carver will go, but the way I understand it... dean started his slow metamorphosis into a demon once the mark and blade were reunited. the way I took it, whether dean died or not, he was destined to turn into a demon, that's why cain tried to kill himself in the first place. but death didn't work, it only transformed cain into a demon sooner rather than later, but in the end his fate was sealed. the way I look at it, dean's soul never left his body, as the mark keeps his soul trapped within. that's the burden. had the mark not kept the soul trapped inside, then when cain killed himself, he should have rightfully left his body. his soul would have been free. but sadly it seems, the mark wasn't going to let cain off the hook by death. all that seemed to happen when cain tried to kill himself to prevent him becoming a demon, was that he became one even quicker.
now for my mere speculation.... I don't think dean's soul was able to leave his body. I don't think the mark would allow it. the mark and the blade sought to corrupt a soul and dean is that soul. dean's descent into darkness was subtle at first, but once he used the blade, his descent was a rapid one. one way or another I believe dean would've ended up with black eyes, his soul corrupted by bloodlust and power. I don't think dean was dying when metatron stabbed him, I think he was changing. I think dean went after metatron preparing to die, his last desperate act to stop himself from becoming a monster, I think when he felt that blade go in, dean had ceded, giving up on life and in that moment, his soul did not leave his body as he hoped, but instead, his soul morphed into the very thing he was trying to prevent turning into.
because I believe that dean's soul never left, that it changed into a demon, there's every reason to believe that sam will be able to save him. sam's love will change dean's soul back, much like collette's love for cain changed him. I think dean will also eventually rid himself of the mark as well.

the question for me is....how will sam do it? can he cure him the way the priest did? will gad's stint inside sam give him a different kind of edge? i'm very curious to see how it all plays out.

sorry far away for such a longwinded comment...I fear I take the scenic route while making a point instead of the direct route. please forgive me as I can get quite verbose. I will definitely look out for more of your reviews this summer.

happy memorial day everyone.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-26 17:11
Cain is going to call for Dean to kill him. Is that how Cain will finally be released from the Mark? What does that mean for Dean? Is he then going to become an immortal like Cain? If Dean's soul is still there but now twisted Sam may be able to cure that but how does he get rid of the Mark? This is a brain twister for sure.
Yes a very long long long summer ahead.
E
# E 2014-05-26 17:36
If Dean ends up killing Cain (which is likely, I think) I wonder where that will leave Dean then? I have no idea how Sam is going to get Dean out of this mess; there are so many things that he has to contend with: Dean must be resurrected first, then they have to get rid of the Mark somehow, and then deal with Crowley. Maybe the demon cure will come into play…??? or maybe the SAMULET!! that would be awesome!

I see something big happening in the 200th episode, but that will be like the 4th or 5 episode of the season, and I don't see all this being resolved THAT soon….
Bluepony
# Bluepony 2014-05-26 14:31
Thank you so much for this insightful review. It has truely been a wonderful ride this season. I agree that Dean went into the fight with Metatron ready to die. Like you I felt Dean decided this after the conversation with Crowley. Dean has always been the moral compass (humanity) of this show and now that is gone. I can't even guess what Carver has in store for season 10.

I do feel each brother walked in the others shoes in the finale. To Sam admitting he lied about being ok with the dying to Dean finally realizing what the possession did to Sam. They each realized their failure in the relationship and acknowledged it. Sam is going to have to learn what the fight for his brother intells and that his safety net (Dean) will not be there to back him up. I think Sam is so ready for this fight that Crowley better watch his back.

I don't believe Dean will be able to be cured like a regular demon. Their souls were tortured and twisted in hell but Dean has his soul, from what I understand. He is more like Cain and Cain was not even affected by the demon killing knife. So many wonderful possibilities for this story.

Jensen and Jared both gave such wonderful performances. I still feel the impact of Dean's death on Sam days later. I am very thankful for our two leads. But really I thought the whole cast did a great job.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-26 17:04
Thanks or the comment.

I think it's going to be fascinating to see where the story goes next. While Dean has always been seen as the moral compass to a large extent, I think Sam can play that role or will have to adapt to that role to some extent. It's going to add layers to the story, I feel. Dean wanted to prevent this and took the only action he thought possible to prevent it. Since he didn't know everything about the MoC and Blade, he didn't know what the result of that would be and now we're going to see the consequences of those actions.

I agree with you. I don't know if Sam and Dean are quite there on realizing what the other has gone through or what motivates the other just yet, but I feel this is really another crucial step on that journey they started in "Road Trip," a possible nod to why the episode is named that. I do think we'll have to see Sam adapt to not having Dean there as he's always been---consider ing Dean is the one he's trying to save, it's going to add a lot of emotional depth to the story.

If I'm Crowley, I watch out. I think Demon!Dean and Sam will both be ones he'll have to be wary of. We don't know what violence Demon!Dean will wreak after opening those eyes. I think that Crowley's going to find Demon!Dean like leashing a Great White. At some point, he'll bite back and I'm guessing he's already far stronger than Crowley. As for Sam, he's pissed enough as it is. He finds out just what happened, I have no doubt he'll do far worse to Crowley than simply lock him in the Bunker Dungeon.

I don't know how they'll manage to cure or revert Dean back to his human soul/self. They were going to cure Abaddon originally before settling on Crowley and she was immune to the demon killing knife. Cain is a different and higher powered demon than even she was, so I don't know if it'll affect him. I do think Collete's effect on Cain was key in his story. We'll see if Sam has a similar effect on his brother, too.

Oh, Jared and Jensen have gone above and beyond this season. The whole cast has, I agree. I can't wait to see just what they do in the coming season.

Thanks again.
E
# E 2014-05-26 17:37
Oh…. and I really, really don't want to see Crowley die, even though he deserves it. I'd love to see him weasel himself out of any trap that Sam and Cas lay for him and live to fight another day :P
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-26 17:55
Thanks for the comment.

Considering they upped Mark Sheppard to series regular, I'd be stunned if they killed him in any episode save perhaps the season 10 finale. But, like you, I want Crowley to live. He's just too good to kill off. Who else will contend with the boys as well??
E
# E 2014-05-26 17:54
Hi Faraway Eyes. Beautiful review as always. I love the detail and insight you bring to each of your reviews as it has helped me to try and reconcile where this season, which I felt started out with such promise, has ended up going. I wasn't as happy with the episode or with the season overall as many fans were/are, as I feel that Carver's overall three year arc, which has now been revealed this season, pretty much negates Sam as a character and has nullified his experiences by not allowing him to react to his experiences or giving him a POV. And while I love what it's doing for Dean and Cas, and even for Crowley, it has done nothing for Sam other than relegate him to the background and render him ineffective in the current plots. The lack of POV has gotten worse (if that's even possible) under Carver instead of better to the point where we don't' even know how he feels about having been possessed for months, other than it was like "shared housing." Five minutes of character insight and brother bonding per season isn't enough IMO for a lead character. Much has been made this season out of the "I did what I had to do," trope that has been running throughout; all of the major players have uttered this sentiment at some point except for Sam. Perhaps it's because Sam is the only character to not compromise his integrity or to go against his morals, but more likely it's because he's the only character who's basically had nothing to do; it's pretty hard to feel the need to justify your actions when you've been impotent all season. Sorry to be such a downer.. beautiful and insightful review.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-26 18:14
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad my reviews could help you see things from a different perspective in some ways.

I know not all fans are going to see or enjoy it the same way, so I'm always glad when someone reads my reviews and perhaps sees something they didn't before or that they'll open up discussions in some manner.If that happens, I guess I feel like I've done something right with what I've written.

I guess, for me, in some ways I feel as if Sam is becoming more of the avatar of the viewer/fan the way Dean has been much more often through the series. I don't see that necessarily as a bad thing, but I can understand why it might frustrate some. Personally, I've been very touched by Jared's performances this season concerning watching his brother go through this event---and how he'll react to it come season ten. I have a parent that has a disease that has no cure and sometimes it can get really scary and so the way Sam's acted, particularly since he learned about the Mark and Blade has really really hit home for me in more ways than I can ever describe. I'm hopeful, as we get into season ten and watch the story unfold that Sam will have to do more to fight for his brother and to get him back. We won't know until we see that story start, however.

I do hope you'll continue to enjoy my reviews either during this Hellatus (Never know what ep might spark an article either in review or otherwise) and into season ten.

Thanks again.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-26 20:19
e, there's no need to apologize for the way you feel. i'm only sorry that you're feeling so bummed. I hope that next season lifts your spirits.
I guess I just don't see sam as being relegated to the background. I guess for me he's stood out in front in all his beautiful glory. I found myself compelled by sam's story this season. if anything, for me, sam has shown his true strength of character this season. he accomplished this without having to give me a verbal account of what he was feeling. jared is so amazingly talented, that I was able to understand and feel everything sam was feeling just by his actions, expressions and body language. I have to say I think if a hearing impaired person watched the entire season of spn without captions, they would still understand everything sam was feeling. jared is that talented an actor and I think the writers have discovered long ago that jared can carry out an entire episode without having to say a single word. now it may seem like sam is being relegated to the background, but the way I look at it, jared can play sam without the need to constantly explain in words how he's feeling, because we the fans already know just by sam's actions and expressions.
sometimes I think the fandom underestimate themselves and their ability to figure out what's really going on with a character. I've seen posts that have displayed their frustration at sam's seeming lack of pov, but yet these very people totally understand what sam is feeling, they know he's angry...they know he's hurt, they know what's bothering him, yet it seems they need to hear sam say these things verbally....but sam has said all these things...he just didn't always say them with words. he didn't have to. jared has this precious gift, he has the ability of conveying sam's feeling with a look. I think the writers have used Jared's talent to their advantage. the writers were able to manipulate the story to get to their desired goal, like dean's descent into darkness, but w the audience never lost sight of what it's done to sam. what I mean is for dean to end up where he has, sam would still have to be hurt and angry. if sam had given dean a play by play of everything he'd done wrong, of why sam was hurting, of what dean needs to do to make it right, then dean would've never ended up where he ended up. but we the audience understood how sam was feeling the entire time without sam having to explain it all to his brother. we knew sam was angry. we knew he was hurting. we knew this because he told his brother they were broken. sam may have only been open and honest with dean a few times dealing dean some harsh words, but it was enough. even with all that, sam still loved his brother and fought for their relationship. he tried to get dean to engage. he tried to break dean in hopes that he would break down and confront sam. we know by sam's actions that as angry as he is and hurt as he is, he still loves his brother and wants to fix things. sam doesn't have to tell me in great detail why he's upset about an angel possessing him. I know sam's history. I know what he's been through. I know sam knows what it's like to not be in control, I know he knows what it feels like to kill someone using his body. sam doesn't have to tell me word for word how betrayed he feels or how angry it makes him knowing dean tricked and lied to him. I've seen dean do this to sam before. he tricked sam with the text. he's lied to sam about killing amy. sam doesn't need to tell me how angry and hurt he is because he shows me. with every sad look. with every pained expression. i know exactly how sam is feeling.
if you think about it, sam has been written as introverted for quite some time now. dean has always been one to react. sam has always been the one to feel. dean gets angry, he hits. sam gets angry, he feels. he thinks on it. sometimes he gets over it pretty quickly. sometimes that anger eventually turns into pain which sam keeps bottled up inside adding to his perception of seeing himself as unworthy. they're different so they are written different, but i never saw either brother as merely background. for me, both brothers have always been front and center. ;)

e, i hope that you give this season a rewatch and maybe you might see that sam has not in any way shape or form been relegated to mere background.
i also hope that if you still don't see sam shine bright as the morning sun after rewatch, that s10 makes you happier....
i sort of miss those positive posts you used to write....:(:p

so to quote a famous singer from a not so famous movie

"snap out of it"...:D
E
# E 2014-05-27 12:54
LOVED that movie :D:D:D
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-05-26 19:40
Hi Far Away Eyes. Again another wonderful review. I have been very disheartened by some of the comments lately (for various reasons). Many seem to think that Dean knocking his brother out was about him not seeing Sam as worthy or capable. It is so clear to me that it was yet another attempt by Dean to protect Sam. I am not sure Dean if was suicidal but he knew that he wasn't likely to survive and he probably welcomed that (IDK same thing?). In any case, he did not want Sam in the area to witness that or get caught in the crossfire. It had absolutely nothing to do with Dean not trusting or respecting his brother. When Dean said it was his fight, it wasn't meant in a selfish way it was because he took on this mark, blade, mission and felt he needed to see it out without Sam getting killed. It had nothing to do with Dean thinking of Sam as somehow "less" than other characters. So many posters are on this particular bandwagon and the 'Dean has been a crappy brother for the whole series' kick that it saddens me.

I am so excited to see what direction this will take next year! I have no idea how it will play out but I know it will involve Sam moving heaven and earth to try and save his brother. I want demonDean to be a totally bad-ass evil demon with Dean's sense of humor.

The best cast on TV. Period.

Thanks so much to those of you who don't see Dean as irredeemable and can still see his many admirable qualities through his faults and mistakes. <3 <3 Of course demonDean is a whole new kettle of fish. :)
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-26 19:55
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you enjoyed this review and my reviews through out the season. I've always tried to understand both brothers place within in the given story and I've always tried to be fair in that. I hope that I've come off that way. I've found this second half of season nine to be full of role reversals, which I feel has enriched this show for me on many levels. I won't speak for others, but I am very much invested in seeing how the brothers have gradually switched places and how that will play out in the long run. Dean, until the back half of season, has often come off as the avatar for the viewer as we watch Sam through his eyes deal with various supernatural forces (ie last year with the Trials for instance). We see that again when Gadreel is possessing Sam. Now, we're seeing Dean through Sam's eyes and how he is trying to figure out what to do to help his brother in this situation. Sam's always fought for his own humanity on some level because he's had to. For me, this is Sam's first bout trying to fight for Dean's humanity from the outside. I am totally moved by this story. As for Dean and his character, I think he MUST endure this situation in order to understand his own flaws and issues concerning either himself as only the killer or how he views Sam and that's good, too. Dean hasn't ever had to go through the fight to keep his humanity---save his time in Hell and the memories that lingered. He's always been the everyman or human character struggling to help keep Sam human. Now it's his turn to fight the beast from the inside somehow.

I am beyond excited to see just how this plays out and what role each brother will play in that story. I think Sam will have to do a lot to get his brother back and I can't wait to see that struggle on my TV.

Thanks again.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-26 20:25
i totally agree. ;) how about this comment....shor t and sweet right..:D
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-05-26 20:39
Now Leah, to be fair, some of us said Dean was only borderline irredeemable :) And this was my biggest issue with the finale, a lack of sympathy, almost a disconnect, with Dean, the main character in the story arc. Jeremy Carver said before the season that Dean's decisions would drive the myth arc this season and he wasn't kidding. His tricking Sam in to being possessed led to Kevin being killed, and ultimately Metatron getting his hands on the angel tablet and powering up with the word of God. Now some have argued that Kevin would have been killed anyway, and that might be true, but you can draw a straight line between Sam's possession and Kevin's death. Then, he took on the Mark of Cain without listening to Cain tell him what the burden/cost would be. These were all Dean's decisions, made of his own free will, without being under the influence of any supernatural forces, demon blood, forged voice mails, or anything of the sort.

Another thing that disappointed me a lot was the complete whitewashing of Sam's possession; other than a conversation with Castiel, and a couple of lines in the season finale about Sam having nightmares, it's been forgotten and is of no consequence.

I was going to start my S1-S9 rewatch but instead will be going back to re-watch all of S9 first with the hope that my impression of the last few episodes of the season improves. I really do want to like the finale, just having a rough go of it.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-05-26 21:19
Hey njspnfan, only "borderline"? Alright that made me snicker.:) I really don't have any issues with the problems a lot of Sam fans are having and I agree with some of them. I am not even really sticking up for all of Dean's actions. God knows he isn't perfect. He can be unlikeable. He's made some bad choices. But we all know what it's like for fans to only see the negative in a character we love. It can be hard. I don't expect unhappy fans to change how they feel however some of the comments are unfair, sometimes rude, and negate any good thing Dean has ever done in the show. The best thing the finale did was set up something very intriguing for next year. I am hoping that it will interest the people that are on the borderline (word of the day!) of jumping ship.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-05-27 07:52
Leah - Fair enough.... just checking in and noticed this turned in to a Dean vs Sam thing below, which was not my intent. Personally, I probably relate more to Sam and spend more time discussing him here, but that's because the writers leave a lot of room for interpretation with Sam. Since the show is told primarily from Dean's POV, those gaps don't exist to the same extent with Dean. I remember a time, particularly in S4/S5, where they did a great job of keeping both brothers actively engaged in the story. I'm not a writer, and don't know whether this is a difficult thing to do from a writing standpoint but, in my opinion, they have not done a good job of this in S8/S9.

I'll continue to watch in S10 to see where this is headed, but I sure hope we start seeing some maturing of the brother's relationship that Carver alluded to early in S8.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-26 21:27
But isn't that the whole point of this season? The story has been driven by all of Dean's choices and the consequences of those choices. Dean got himself into one hell of a mess and it is going to take everything Sam can come up with to get him out of it. Sam's issue isn't with Gadreel it is with Dean. The scene at the trailer park I felt was in no way an ending to the conversation. The lessons haven't been learned yet. Dean hasn't yet walked in Sam's shoes. He had started with the MOC to begin to understand, but now he is definitely going to get a face full of Sam's life. Sam has always been there for Dean but this is the first time that he is faced with Dean's choice to die (Sam doesn't know that Dean is a demon yet) rather than become what he doesn't want to be. Watching Sam sitting alone in the bunker trying to decide what to do, knowing that for him there was never going to be a choice and choosing to save Dean even though he knows that Dean would rather die. Sam is going to feel what Dean felt. This story isn't over yet. I feel it is just getting to the juicy part. I don't think the finale was intended to wrap up the brothers at all. Some of the other characters had their arc's completed but Sam and Dean's are just getting started.
And yes Nappi I agree that Jared has done a wonderful job in portraying his character this year. You are right I understand how Sam feels because of Jared. He can express an entire page of dialogue without saying a word. As can Jensen I might ad. That last anguished look on Jensens face when he looked over at Sam....I just can't...
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-05-27 02:34
I like mime artist but I do not need to see one on SPN . As wonderful as Jared is he can only do so much without verbalization to support it.I appreciate Dean's decisions drove this season but the issue for me is they carried on writing Dean the same way he has been written from day 1 and then Sam the same way as when he had the mytharc and his pov was not important to the story.

I am one of those who has been uncomfortable with how the possession has been handled but with Gadreel gone and Sam's 'I lied' in the finale it seems that has gone down the river . Now we have ended up with Demon Dean we need Sam's pov and Jeremy and the writers should know this because another season of this and Sam will disappear.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-27 05:53
Well as I said I don't think the discussion about the possession of Gadreel is over. I think that is the point of Dean turning into a demon. I would expect if and/or when we get Dean back there will be a heart to heart about what each brother has had to deal with in walking in each others shoes. I thought the "I lied" comment was just Sam telling his dying brother that of course he isn't ok with him dying, he never was.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-05-27 06:45
The discussion of possession should be had between Sam and Dean and Sam and Gadreel. Now that Gadreel is dead I don't see that happening in the forseeable future.When Dean comes back it will be too late to have that conversation or too stale to have that conversation.Wh y are Sam's issues kept till the end when there are other important things happening so that the discussion is actually Sam telling it in two senetences (see Kevin's death as a result of Gadreel possessing Sam because of a deception by Gad and Dean) and Dean's are discussed immediately between Dean and Sam, Dean and Charlie,Dean and Garth etc.Bt while Kevin tells sam to get over it without any input from Sam to that conversation.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-27 09:36
We could go round and round about this. That is certainly one way to look at it. I realize that would have been a much more satisfying resolution to the story for you. I was satisfied with how the story has progressed thus far. The conflict for me is between Sam and Dean. As I have said the lessons haven't been learned yet. That is the point of the possession, demon Dean and now Sam doing whatever he needs to do to save his brother no matter the consequences. And as I have said it is just starting. This is how I see the story. I know you and others see it differently.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-05-27 09:56
Quote:
now Sam doing whatever he needs to do to save his brother no matter the consequences.
I hope not.I hope that Sam does think of the consequences of his action.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-27 10:05
It's his brother. We know from past experience that Sam loses his head when its Dean's life at stake. I can't imagine that will ever change. At least I hope not.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-05-27 10:46
I hope Sam only loses his head when considering what has happened to Dean..but for his actions further on I hope he uses restraint.
E
# E 2014-05-27 11:49
What if saving Dean meant rebooting the apocalypse? What if saving Dean meant closing both Heaven and Hell forever allowing all the souls to be stuck in the veil and in unending torment for all eternity, stacking up like cordwood as people continue to die but then unable to move on? What if saving Dean required Sam to slaughter 10,000 innocents? Would he do it? Would you want him to because it's Dean? I wouldn't, nor would I if the situations were reversed and it was Sam who needed saving. Sam has gotten so very little POV this year, but he did manage to say one important thing that has resonated with me: "My life's not worth any more than anyone else's -- not yours or Dean's...or Kevin's." For me, this is an absolute truth, and fundamental truth that governs all that we live by as human beings, and I don't want this to NOT be true on the show, not even for the sake of one of our brothers. If season 10 is about Sam compromising this essential truth, something that he' lived by and is important to him, laying waste to innocents for the sake of bringing Dean back from a mistake of Dean's own making, then I will feel that the show has been irrevocably ruined.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-05-27 13:22
Quote:
What if saving Dean meant rebooting the apocalypse? What if saving Dean meant closing both Heaven and Hell forever allowing all the souls to be stuck in the veil and in unending torment for all eternity, stacking up like cordwood as people continue to die but then unable to move on? What if saving Dean required Sam to slaughter 10,000 innocents? Would he do it? Would you want him to because it's Dean?
If Sam acts unSam like l and brings doom to world\many people I will stop watching the show.
what I want is for Sam to "loose his mind" when coming to know that Dean is a demon...but be level minded and show restraint for his further actions.
I agree completely withQuote:
Sam has gotten so very little POV this year, but he did manage to say one important thing that has resonated with me: "My life's not worth any more than anyone else's -- not yours or Dean's...or Kevin's." For me, this is an absolute truth, and fundamental truth that governs all that we live by as human beings, and I don't want this to NOT be true on the show, not even for the sake of one of our brothers.
I second you on the followingQuote:
If season 10 is about Sam compromising this essential truth, something that he' lived by and is important to him, laying waste to innocents for the sake of bringing Dean back from a mistake of Dean's own making, then I will feel that the show has been irrevocably ruined.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-05-27 13:30
i sure hope you're right .. Sam has been pretty consistent in this regard since coming back from the cage at the end of S5. He'd trade his life in a second for his brother (just as Dean would do for Sam), but I don't think he'd risk restarting the apocalypse, opening a portal in to purgatory, or trading innocent lives in order to save his brother. And I sure hope they don't do a replay of Sam in S3 Mystery Spot, or S4 I Know What You Did Last Summer, with Sam completely self destructive and off the rails. Would be nice to see Sam be shown in his role as a scholarly MOL hunter; that's kind of where things were headed in S8 but seemed to be dropped for the most part in S9.
E
# E 2014-05-27 11:20
I think the problem for some of us, Cheryl is that how can we even consider that there IS a conflict between Sam and Dean when all we've gotten in said conflict is Dean's side? We know why Dean had Sam possessed, we know that Dean felt guilty about it, we know he tried to tell Sam any number of times about the possession, we watched him lie, and scramble and scrape together excuses, we knew Dean understood that Sam would rather die and watched him directly contradict that knowledge, we know that Dean feels guilty that Sam ended up killing Kevin and that Dean let the killer right in the front door, we've gotten chapter and verse about the hows and why's of the Mark, why Dean took it on, its effects and now it's consequences. Dean's words and actions have indicated Dean's side of the conflict pretty much all season long in numerous, varied and incredibly detailed ways. He's talked about it as well, to Sam to other characters like Cas, Tessa, Crowley, Cain, he's even had soliloquies to empty rooms giving us detail (ad nauseam) about how Dean feels about this conflict. But what do we know about Sam's side in all this? That it was like "shared housing" that he has "nightmares" and he's understandably mad that Dean lied…… that's it… and all of that has been words; he's discussed it with Dean hardly at all and with Cas one time where basically said he didn't like to talk about it, which was a HUGE copout IMO from writers who couldn't be bothered to show the other side of the coin they were minting. For Sam there was no discussing it with other characters, no soliloquies to empty rooms, not one action or scene that showed that there are any negative repercussions to the supposed conflict at all. No wonder fans are bitching about Sam's attitude… as far as we've seen, Sam has nothing to be angry about considering how little this possession has been shown to affect him. So basically Sam has no basis for a conflict because he's not been allowed to show us the effects of his side of things and ends up looking ungrateful for Dean saving his life. How might this conflict have looked to us if having Gadreel in his head caused Sam's seizures to come back or we got to see him wake up screaming Kevin's name in 3,4, or even 5 episodes or to have had Dean find Sam crying in the bathroom or because of Gadree'ls grace Sam was suddenly able to hear all the souls crying out in the veil driving him crazy the way it did to Tessa; something that we'd seen that showed that there were any repercussions to Dean's actions that directly effected Sam in any way. Instead, it's been all Dean guilt all the time, and not one word or one seemingly negative side effect from Sam to balance things out. I personally don't want to wait until the end of season 10 for one more kernel of Sam insight that tries to justify a season of 'bad attitude' that seems unjustified because of the lack of POV for his words. If there is going to be a conflict between the bothers then it needs to be shown from BOTH sides and while it's happening, not from one side while it's happening, with a clean up line from the other character at the end of the season. Yes, there is a lesson to be learned here, and maybe the brothers haven't ultimately learned that lesson yet. But the ongoing conflict that is fueling that lesson is lopsided and one sided in the extreme; there's not much to be gained IMO in learning a lesson that is so poorly drawn.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-27 12:05
I am not going to comment any further on this subject. I think we have strayed so far away from FarAwayEyes lovely review that I don't even know what the conversation is about anymore. I hope next season is better for everyone.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-05-27 12:23
wow... this went off the rails, didn't it :o:o:o:o
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-27 12:27
Just a bit...very sorry for my part in it.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-05-27 12:33
It's starting to distract from Far Away Eye's lovely review. Oh well, I guess there will be plenty of time for "discussing" this during hellatus ;)
E
# E 2014-05-27 12:59
Yes, Cheryl, sorry… we have strayed. And sorry as well for my rather intense tone. I guess it's no secret that I found the season finale….. um… lacking. Perhaps Alice would be willing to start up a couple of threads for season 9? A happiness and a not-so-happy thread? Although, even though I'd love to have a more appropriate place to air my grievances, it does't mean that I don't want to hear from those who are happy just to provide some balance and perspective. This is just how I argue…intensely , and copiously apparently. :D
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-27 13:01
No worries....we rant because we care. ;)
Alice
# Alice 2014-05-28 01:14
Yes, threads about the season are coming tomorrow.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-05-27 07:09
Hi Cheryl, "I thought the "I lied" comment was just Sam telling his dying brother that of course he isn't ok with him dying, he never was." Exactly!
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-27 07:40
of course Jensen can as well, I didn't mean to indicate otherwise. :D they both have talent pouring out of their butts...I am in constant awe ea. week. :)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-27 09:39
Sometimes I run out of words to express how much I appreciate these two wonderful actors. We are so lucky.
E
# E 2014-05-26 22:35
Quote:
he accomplished this without having to give me a verbal account of what he was feeling. jared is so amazingly talented, that I was able to understand and feel everything sam was feeling just by his actions, expressions and body language. I have to say I think if a hearing impaired person watched the entire season of spn without captions, they would still understand everything sam was feeling. jared is that talented an actor and I think the writers have discovered long ago that jared can carry out an entire episode without having to say a single word
This is true, and kudos to Jared and his exceptional talent; with a lesser actor the character of Sam would have literally vanished into the wallpaper by now. I guess my point is… why should Jared, as one of two main actors on a show about two brothers, have to create something out of nothing? Why? It's not hard to see that TPTB have been following the model of season 4, but in reverse with Dean driving the plot this time instead of Sam. But in season 4, even though he wasn't driving the plot per se, Dean had plenty to do, plenty of focus (with Michael, and Zacharaiah and Cas to deal with) and plenty of POV. Dean wasn't asked to create subtext through actions, looks or body language, he got to verbalize what he was feeling to Sam to Cas to guest actors etc…to everyone, so why can't the same be true this time around with Sam? It simply isn't happening that way. I find the imbalance glaring and incredibly frustrating.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-05-27 06:39
Quote:
This is true, and kudos to Jared and his exceptional talent; with a lesser actor the character of Sam would have literally vanished into the wallpaper by now.
This is not directed to you E.I think I would also Like to see Jensen's talent of standing behind and you know communicate through expressions rather than dialogue.Let Dean for a change create subtext through expressions and let the writers then in the last episode of the season completely change whatever was established by Dean through his expressions
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-26 23:23
In the earlier seasons the guys didn't have families and they were in every episode in almost every scene. It isn't like that now. So the talents of the actors are used in different ways to tell the story.
percysowner
# percysowner 2014-05-26 23:56
I understand that, I do. But I don't understand why Sam's story gets so little internal support. Dean's story gets Cas telling him that his only flaw was trusting the wrong person, Jody saying you guys have such a special relationship and Kevin saying "get over it". Not one person talked about how Sam felt. Couldn't Sam have had some words and Dean acted with his eyes and body language for once? Why was the only thing Sam talked, except for ONE LINE about seeing himself kill Kevin, about being ready to die so that when Dean was dying he could be made into a hypocrite? Why when Cas said he wanted to talk to Sam about Gadreel was there NO question about how Sam was doing? Why was Sam's pain NEVER mentioned and how did possession get downgraded to "shared housing"? I'm not really yelling at you cheryl, because it's not your fault, but why is it that using the talents in different ways ALWAYS means Dean gets to emo about his feelings and Sam gets to say nothing? Why does Dean declare himself and dictator and Sam gets to walk off to put away the luggage, so Dean can have a heart to hear with Cas? I understand the Js need and deserve schedules that let them have lives with their families. I don't accept that it means that Sam must always remain a silent cipher.
eilf
# eilf 2014-05-27 00:41
My problem with this is not that 'I can't tell what Sam is thinking and so I need it to be spelled out' (Nor I imagine is it E's or Percy's either). It is that it really APPEARS that when the writers write themselves into a corner or need to completely change something for a 'big reveal' or whatever, they look at what has gone before and say well X character said THIS so we have to work around the implications of that but SAM didn't say anything, or he only said part of a sentence, or he was cryptic or he just looked a certain way, so we can rewrite what he really meant and that gets us out of a bind.
Which it does, but then we are back scratching our heads as to how Sam meant this thing in one episode and contradicts himself later. I really think that Jared has had a few 'wait what?' moments himself this season. He went from backing up the 'same circumstances' thing to saying he is sad when Sam isn't there for Dean to changing the line in the finale because he had the choice of a bad option and a worse one for instance.
I don't need to be told a spade is a spade, but if you then show me a rake and say 'this is a spade and by the way this was the gardening implement I showed you last time you just perceived it wrong' then I might be inclined to get annoyed about it .... ;)
In other words I don't need EVERYTHING that any character does spelled out in words but I think the writers need to be kept honest so that we can follow the character's motivations ...
Having said that I might be willing to wait and see if they are going to follow through on this season's storyline (and last seasons storyline which is also full of dropped issues and dangling storylines) next season....
Give them a couple of episodes anyway .... I want to know what variety of demon Dean becomes, it will give a pretty clear idea of what the season will be like.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-05-27 06:35
eilf your first paragraph says my problem perfectly.I agree with the other parts of your post also.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-27 05:35
....
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-05-27 06:19
Percysowner,I have come to a bitter realization that whether things are happening to Sam or Dean Sam will be silent.The fans will applaud Jared for his stellar performance i.e his expressions etc.But the thing that fans like us realize is that dialogues 95% percent of the times make it so that the writers can't change their tune and then have a dump on the character.(But in Sam's case even if he told the dialogue the writers change their tune Dean says "I thought you were okay with this" and Sam says "I lied")...when did this happen?When did Sam say he would let Dean bleed and not try to save him?What kind of a communication problem are the TPTB having.I am highly disheartened by the finale and the future for Sam as a character looks more bleak then ever.Every season I go in hoping that my fears get atleast a part allayed but after carver came the condition of Sam as a character has gotten worse.The way the possession was treated (when it is Sam is "shared housing" *shrug* other wise it is just so bad and should be condemned.When Dean does mistakes it is because he had too much heart (I vomited in my mind at that dialogue) But when Sam did it he was raked through coals (figuratively) and not a ounce of sympathetic dialogue.
I am watching season 10 and what I see is characters telling Dean it was his Oh so big heart which lead him to become a demon and not his carelessness.Or How Dean is the Demon with heart and some guest appearances by characters telling Sam he is wrong.Why are they telling Sam is wrong? Just because...
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-28 16:25
i don't mean to intrude percy with your chat with cheryl, but i found your questions worth answering. now i'm not saying these are the right answers. these are only the answers i would give you had you asked these questions of me.
i actually did feel that sam got support. i felt he had support from cas as evidenced in first blood. but cas pretty much had his own agenda this season, so i can see where he wasn't asking sam for a progress report on how he was feeling. but cas is no fool, and i think he knew exactly how sam was feeling given what was going on between him and dean. it could be cas simply felt it wasn't his place to intrude. plus for story's sake, i think it's important that sam didn't give a play by play as to why he was upset, but it was clear from his actions why it was so.
i think though sam didn't say as much as some might have wanted to hear, i think sam said all the right things at the right time. his words were few but they were impactful. words weren't really necessary, because his actions were quite clear. sam was hurt. sam was angry. sam felt guilt regarding kevin. sam felt loss. this was apparent in every nuance of sam throughout every episode. he didn't have to tell me what was wrong in words over and over...he told me already once and he showed me every moment since then. see the very fact that we all keep talking about it, whether out of frustration or not, means we know exactly what sam's been saying all along.
i don't think cas not asking sam how he was doing was any indication that he didn't care. cas is cas and no matter his stint with humanity he isn't always the most intuitive or sensitive especially when he's in full mission mode. time was of the essence and cas needed a read on gad and sam was the only one who could help him. i have no doubt that if it had been dean, cas would've reacted the same exact way.
i don't think possession got downgraded to shared housing. i think the distinction had to be made. sam was still sam while gad was in him. barring the few times gad saved sam or he was called by dean, he did not control sam. sam was sam most of the time gad was in there, unlike a demon, which sam has been possessed by and has had complete and utter control of sam at all times. i think this distinction was important because cas could get a better sense that gad could be persuaded to switch sides and become their ally. i think it's also important for sam. some may want and feel sam should be angry about the possession for a prolonged amt of time. i am one of those who actually doesn't want that for sam. i want sam to be able to let go of his anger. isn't that one of the themes to be running this season? letting go. letting go of the parental role. letting go of the anger. letting go of old wound and starting over. maybe that's more of the theme of next season....movin g on. learning from past mistakes. facing ones own inner monster, dealing with personal issues that have plagued the brothers for so long and letting these issues go...i dont' want sam clinging on to the hurt and the anger. he's been hurting and angry long enough. it's time for him to move on. so if sam can distinguish that the possession of an angel wasn't exactly the same as possession of a demon and with that it makes it easier for him to let go of the anger, then i'm all for it.
i didn't see sam walking away from dean in a sulk at all when dean claimed a dictatorship. i saw sam being smart. what would engaging dean have accomplished? it's obvious to sam that dean is not in his right mind, goading him further would've only made things worse. unlike dean, who didn't handle the situation with sam very well in s4, sam is actually handling dean just the right way.
i didn't see sam as not receiving any internal support. very few people knew what was truly going on, heck only kevin, cas and crowley knew. kevin supported both brothers when he told them to get over it, which i believe he meant, get over the past hurt, let go, move on...makes sense coming from one who is dead, as things seem to become a lot more clearer when one dies, that's per jo in dyl. cas has most definitely been supportive of sam, when he's been focused. and crowley is very supportive of the winchester rift because that demented soul thinks dean is going to be his best demon bud. talk about delusions of grandeur...i fear crowley is going to get more than he bargained for with demonic dean.

granted, these answers come from a very satisfied customer, so they may not be worth a hill of beans to you....but i only offer them in hopes that you might look at things from a more positive perspective.:)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-28 16:36
So when you post your comment in the season divine thread can I just sign my name to yours. You are going to say everything I want to say only much more articulately than I could.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-28 17:46
funny cheryl because i usually find that you say things quite articulately and much quicker than i do:D i might add also and i dont know if you'd agree, but i don't see sam as being seen as a hypocrite.
the way i took the " i lied", that was a response to the conversation they had at the trailer park. dean said he was going to do whatever it takes no matter the consequences. sam indicated he was ok with that, when he repeatedly told dean " i know" when dean was laying down the law with sam. when dean said to sam i thought you were ok with this, meaning the consequences no matter what they were, that's when sam said..." i lied", meaning that he was never ok with dean facing metatron in the first place and he certainly wasn't ok with the "no matter the consequences" part of that plan. in no way does sam saying this take away from his stance that it was wrong for dean to take his decision to die away from him. sam lied about being ok with what happened but he still abided by his br others wishes to do the job. it also doesn't necessarily mean that sam will do something that dean won't approve of to get him back. anyway, that's the way i understood it. ;)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-05-28 18:04
I'm just going to agree with what you say anyway so then I don't have to type. :)
I hadn't thought about that scene that way. But that is certainly an interesting take. I just thought it went back to the conversation in the Purge (partly because of Jared's comments) that he lied about "same circumstances" and he would never be ok with Dean dying. And yes that moment wasn't the time to bring up all the issues of the possession. As I said the lessons haven't been learned yet. That was what I was wondering upthread is Dean's soul gone and at rest or is it trapped. Will Sam be pulling Dean out of heaven or will he have to kill Dean in order to save him? I don't know if Sam is going to do something Deanish or not but that does seem to be his dilemma right now. Now I'm going to have to re-watch that scene (Yikes!) and see if I see it differently.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-05-27 06:52
Quote:
The brothers, reunited again, follow the path to the homeless camp Metatron had infiltrated earlier that day. There, before they can enter the camp, Dean swiftly punches Sam so that he can go it alone. On one had, this is because he is afraid---as was the case with Abaddon----that Metatron might use Sam against him. It's a valid point. The Scribe might attack or kill Sam, and he can't have that distraction.

On the other, he has felt the growing urge to kill, and when he disobeys it causes him to feel great pain. What if, after he should succeed at killing Metatron, the Blade demands he kill Sam, too? What if he's too far gone to stop himself---or heed Sam's voice? Dean knows now that he's going into a fight facing two adversaries---not one---and as the two weapons of season nine prepare to do battle, Dean must make a difficult choice.

The last reason is perhaps the saddest and most frightening. Dean wants to go in alone so Sam won't really see what this is: a suicide mission. Dean is hoping that he can kill Metatron, yes, but in the process it's possible he hoped he wouldn't come out of it alive. If the Mark and Blade are that corrupting, he would rather die than become its servant. He would rather die than become the vicious monster it is slowly shaping him into being. This is not the Dean Winchester he wants his brother to ever see---and he fears that Sam will see him become this or die trying to stop it. Dean simply can't do what he feels he must any other way.
The first paragraph while can be understandable the second one does not have any support even in subtext as he did not have any urge to kill Sam.The third paragraph to i.e it being a suicide mission is not seen in Jensen's body language.
What I saw was him wanting to do it alone i.e over confidence in his abilities.
There might have been a case with abaddon and metatron once he lied and another time he punched and in both the cases he didn't even try to reason.
I just hope Dean does not become Azazel for the next generation.
E
# E 2014-05-27 10:27
Sorry nappi, I always love your posts, and I'll always read all of them (even the loooooong ones :p) but I agree with anonymousN here. I did not see any urge on Dean's part over the episodes to turn the blade on Sam, just the opposite in fact. Dean was more inclined to listen to Sam while hopped up on the blade than to anybody else and never once showed any desire to turn the blade on Sam, so I don't buy into the 'Dean was protecting Sam from the blade bloodlust' idea. I also saw absolutely no inclination of Dean's to be protective of Sam in dangerous situations as he usually does especially lately. On the contrary, Dean has been less concerned with Sam's overall safety than usual these past episodes as evidenced by him sending Sam away from Gadreel, sending him away from the fight with Abbadon and lying about the potential danger Sam might be in while he did it, letting Sam bleed out to a dangerous degree so that he could get the jump on the vampire in A4 and then showing very little concern for him afterwards and finally, knocking him out with a bland exclamation of "it's not your fight," that's now showing concern so much as it is not wanting distractions and thinking that Sam ins't at all necessary. That sucker punch was especially cheap considering that Sam had just shown himself to be willing to go along with whatever Dean had in mind when confronting Metatron, including using the blade, even though Sam feared what it was doing to his brother and felt that the risk was probably worse than the gain. But like he's done before, Sam honored Dean's wishes and pledged his loyalty and got a fist to the face for his troubles. There was also, IMO, absolutely no indication that what Dean was knowingly embarking on a suicide mission; as a matter of fact the "dictator" dialogue and the dialogue from the start of 9x23 indicates the exact opposite, not that Dean was suicidal, but that he was absolutely convinced of his success; only he could do it, not anyone else and his recent success with Abbadon made him doubly sure of his victory. I saw a man who believed that the power of the blade was infallible, that he could't possibly fail until he did fail, and the look he gave his brother at the end of the episode (who, once again, arrived too late) was one of a man who wasn't fulfilling a suicide pact but one who'd suddenly realized, in that final moment, how far off the rails he'd gone, along with the biting realization that ditching his brother had probably lead to his downfall. In that one single moment before Dean died, I think maybe he understood something of how badly he'd failed, but now that's all gone in a black eyed blink.

I must also say that I am a bit concerned about how many fans are justifying and manipulating Dean's motives so that they appear in a better light then I think that they are supposed to. Sam was clearly shown to be in the wrong in season 4; many sympathized with his motives, but no one justified him, least of all Dean. Similarly in season 6, Cas too was seen to have made grave errors in judgment, especially when he directly defied Dean by refusing his help, and he has been atoning ever since. He too was given sympathy for his ideals but never was he given a pass for what he did. So IMO Dean is now in the same boat; I certainly can understand why he was doing what he was doing with the addiction of the blade clouding his judgment, and feel bad that he's made such terrible decisions this season, but I am not about to white-wash them with explanations like 'he was protecting Sam from the blade' or he was concerned for Sam's safety' or 'he was on a suicide mission' none of which I think are supported in his actions or by his words. I am accepting what Dean said and what he did at face value; it was hubris that took down Dean Winchester, the same hubris that condemned Sam in season 4 and Cas in season 6, this is no different IMO. Fans held Sam accountable, and Cas accountable, now its time that Dean is held accountable as well. And unfortunately for Dean, things are about to get worse instead of better, that's if the PTB have the cojones to actually go there.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-28 07:48
e, I appreciate very much that you read my posts. they are so terribly long. I wish we could all just hang out in one big room drinking dr peppers, snacking on pretzels and just chatting away. this is as close as we get and I appreciate it here very much. the way I saw it, the mark and the db had some similarities. with the help of ruby, sam began to see his db as an advantage. it would make him powerful. he is literally the only one who would be able to stop Lilith. the more he drank, the more he "let go" and believed in that, the stronger he became. by the end, sam was totally convinced that he alone was their only hope. but, and this is a big but, also by the end, sam had realized what the blood was doing to him. he felt the change. he told ruby, it's changing me. I know what I have to do. it's ok. sam wasn't trying to commit suicide, but he did accept his fate. he knew facing Lilith would be the death of him. he would either die trying to kill her or he would have killed himself. I never doubted for a moment that sam didn't expect killing Lilith to be his final act at redemption. I felt the same way with dean and the mark. Crowley had influenced dean to take the mark as much as ruby convinced sam to drink the blood. the effects were the same. dean started to change as we had seen with sam. subtley at first, as with sam. I didn't realize sam had gone back to drinking the blood til I heard his siren induced speech in sav. when the mark and the blade were reunited, dean's addiction to the power was not unlike sam's addiction to his. in the end we got the same result. dean realized he too was changing and had come to accept it. while dean may not have been on a suicide mission going after metatron, like sam with Lilith, I believe dean had accepted his inevitable fate. he was becoming a monster and one way or another dean as we know him was in fact dying. taking that into consideration, it made sense to me that dean wouldn't want sam around when he faced metatron. he got himself into this mess and he didn't want sam dying or getting hurt. because regardless of the blade, you pointed out yourself that dean was able to hear sam and that's because of his love for his brother which is stronger than anything. so even with the mark at full force, dean still was thinking of his brother and his safety....but sam did as well, because sam had told ruby that it was better that dean stay as far away from him as possible. so in both cases, the Winchester love is always there.

i also agree with Cheryl. i don't think the possession storyline whitewashed. i think this story is not yet finished and still being told. it's not fair to judge the story when it's not done. when it's done and the possession issue is still not dealt with the way some would like, then i think it's fair to gripe. now i just feel it's too soon. i don't think the comment about shared housing was meant to belittle sam's possession at all. but it is a very important distinction that was made, i think for the character of gad. demons take full control. gad for the most part hid inside sam and healed him. he only showed up to save sam and when dean called him. up until metatron, gad just hid inside sam while sam had control. if a demon had been inside sam he would've known it. he didn't know gad was there. none of this makes possession or what was done to sam right. it was wrong, very wrong. but i think this distinction was meant to allow sam to at least listen to gad when he said he wanted to help. it also says a lot about sam and his ability to find a way to forgive, even when he is so very hurt and angry.

one more thing, for me, i think dean has been seen in quite the negative light these last couple of seasons but i think that's the point. since i believe carver's story is about the boys facing their inner demons, their monsters, it would only make sense to focus on the negative aspects, the flaws of the character. in s4 they did it with sam. in s6 they did it with cas. both of these characters have changed and learned from their mistakes. now it's dean's turn. i think s10 we will see a dean Winchester who will learn from his mistakes and thus change as well.

i look forward to s10 and the new bond formed by the boys....
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-28 07:49
e, I appreciate very much that you read my posts. they are so terribly long. I wish we could all just hang out in one big room drinking dr peppers, snacking on pretzels and just chatting away. this is as close as we get and I appreciate it here very much. the way I saw it, the mark and the db had some similarities. with the help of ruby, sam began to see his db as an advantage. it would make him powerful. he is literally the only one who would be able to stop Lilith. the more he drank, the more he "let go" and believed in that, the stronger he became. by the end, sam was totally convinced that he alone was their only hope. but, and this is a big but, also by the end, sam had realized what the blood was doing to him. he felt the change. he told ruby, it's changing me. I know what I have to do. it's ok. sam wasn't trying to commit suicide, but he did accept his fate. he knew facing Lilith would be the death of him. he would either die trying to kill her or he would have killed himself. I never doubted for a moment that sam didn't expect killing Lilith to be his final act at redemption. I felt the same way with dean and the mark. Crowley had influenced dean to take the mark as much as ruby convinced sam to drink the blood. the effects were the same. dean started to change as we had seen with sam. subtley at first, as with sam. I didn't realize sam had gone back to drinking the blood til I heard his siren induced speech in sav. when the mark and the blade were reunited, dean's addiction to the power was not unlike sam's addiction to his. in the end we got the same result. dean realized he too was changing and had come to accept it. while dean may not have been on a suicide mission going after metatron, like sam with Lilith, I believe dean had accepted his inevitable fate. he was becoming a monster and one way or another dean as we know him was in fact dying. taking that into consideration, it made sense to me that dean wouldn't want sam around when he faced metatron. he got himself into this mess and he didn't want sam dying or getting hurt. because regardless of the blade, you pointed out yourself that dean was able to hear sam and that's because of his love for his brother which is stronger than anything. so even with the mark at full force, dean still was thinking of his brother and his safety....but sam did as well, because sam had told ruby that it was better that dean stay as far away from him as possible. so in both cases, the Winchester love is always there.

i also agree with Cheryl. i don't think the possession storyline whitewashed. i think this story is not yet finished and still being told. it's not fair to judge the story when it's not done. when it's done and the possession issue is still not dealt with the way some would like, then i think it's fair to gripe. now i just feel it's too soon. i don't think the comment about shared housing was meant to belittle sam's possession at all. but it is a very important distinction that was made, i think for the character of gad. demons take full control. gad for the most part hid inside sam and healed him. he only showed up to save sam and when dean called him. up until metatron, gad just hid inside sam while sam had control. if a demon had been inside sam he would've known it. he didn't know gad was there. none of this makes possession or what was done to sam right. it was wrong, very wrong. but i think this distinction was meant to allow sam to at least listen to gad when he said he wanted to help. it also says a lot about sam and his ability to find a way to forgive, even when he is so very hurt and angry.

one more thing, for me, i think dean has been seen in quite the negative light these last couple of seasons but i think that's the point. since i believe carver's story is about the boys facing their inner demons, their monsters, it would only make sense to focus on the negative aspects, the flaws of the character. in s4 they did it with sam. in s6 they did it with cas. both of these characters have changed and learned from their mistakes. now it's dean's turn. i think s10 we will see a dean Winchester who will learn from his mistakes and thus change as well.

i look forward to s10 and the new bond formed by the boys....

great post eilf
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-05-28 15:37
Hey nappi, I agree very much what you have said here, especially the part about Dean keeping Sam out of the Metaron fight. I think he had a very fatalistic (not exactly suicidal) way of looking at it. Nothing to lose and turning into a monster. Why endanger Sam or have Sam witness what happens? It turns out he did anyway and Dean's regret was etched all over his face. His regret for everything really.

I am glad I am not the only one who has seen that Dean has been portrayed very negatively the past few seasons. That the show has pulled no punches in showing him in a bad light. I think both characters have had their 'bad light' moments not just Sam. I think of it as a journey and NEITHER is meant to be perceived as perfect. This is just MY perception but I never forget what these guys have endured. Ever. I adore how, in spite of it all, there is a core of love and admiration that is always there. Buried deep sometimes but always there. So in that respect I think the writers are doing something right. I actually don't mind some fair criticisms of either character. I also agree that Sam could use more POV but his non-verbal ways have always seemed somewhat in keeping with his original character for me personally. Dean tends to vent his hurt and anger, Sam holds his close usually. Making communication difficult.

Honestly it would be fun to gather around a table, eat pretzels, drink Dr. P, and chat about the show with the people here. E, LOVES Dr. P as you well know ;) I have a great deal of respect for many of you, even people I don't agree with always.
E
# E 2014-05-28 23:49
There's no more green sour puss emocons for me to show how much I hate Dr. Pepper any more! I guess this will have to do: :o Yep, still hate it. Actually I gave up soda altogether, even my beloved Diet Coke with Lime. It's been a whole year since I drank a soda of any kind.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-05-29 06:49
Quote:
i don't think the comment about shared housing was meant to belittle sam's possession at all. but it is a very important distinction that was made, i think for the character of gad. demons take full control. gad for the most part hid inside sam and healed him. he only showed up to save sam and when dean called him. up until metatron, gad just hid inside sam while sam had control. if a demon had been inside sam he would've known it. he didn't know gad was there.
Sorry to say nappi you are wrong here.In..I don't remember the season when Meg possessed sam it was an almost similar situation. Sam did not know he was possessed by Meg (Gad).Sam tried to rape Jo (succeeded in killing Kevin). The difference he showed up to save Sam and dean meg did not.Meg also hid in San giving the illusion of control.
Quote:
i don't think the possession storyline whitewashed.
I do believe it was whitewashed as the person who was possessed told that it was only shared housing and downgraded it.
PS I am from India .Where I am from I did not see Dr Pepper.So Coca cola.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-29 07:16
hey anonymous, it's ok that you disagree. but I still believe that there is a distinction. in order for sam to be possessed by an angel, whether tricked or not, the truth is he had to give permission. once gad was in sam he did erase his memory, I understand that. but sam was sam while gad was inside him, up until gad was convinced by metatron to work with him in order to redeem himself. gad did take over sam at the restaurant when meeting with cas, but he had come out to get dean away from him. cas had come back to the table before gad could switch back over to sam so he made a quick exit. that's when metatron gave gad the song and dance about redemption and blah blah blah...kill kevin...
the episode in which meg possessed sam was born under a bad sign. sam had simply disappeared on dean, no word, turning off his phone..nothing. ..not until dean got the message from sam and was found in the motel room with blood on his shirt. you are right, it was all an illusion that it was sam in control. it had been meg controlling sam for over a week. meg told dean that she had been in sam since he disappeared. in order for meg to enter sam she would've rammed black smoke down his throat. as you may recall from jus in bello, Hendrickson remembered how it was he became possessed. sam told dean in the car that he saw what meg had done. he felt what she had done. he had absolutely no control what so ever to stop it as she took entire control of him, but he felt and watched trapped in his own body. he was truly meg's puppet. same could be said of Lucifer as well. sam didn't know gad was inside of him until he was told. not only that but he was forced out by sam, which means gad wasn't able to whitewash sam's memory as he'd been doing all along, so sam instead ended up remembering. he thus knows what gad knows, saw what he saw.. which means that when sam says it felt like shared housing, it's because he is now remembering things he hadn't remembered because he now has those memories. I know that sounds like a comment out of a dr. seuss book. :o please understand, .i'm not arguing that the possession was wrong. it totally was. I just think that the distinction between the two wasn't meant to belittle the possession. I believe it was meant to allow for cas to seek help from gad. to get a better sense of him, and to give gad his shot at redemption. I still also believe it's important for sam as I stated why above.
hey, different eyes, different views. ;)


hey e, truth be told, I had given up soda for lent and I still haven't had any...trying to be good. :) but if I were to indulge on a special occasion, truth be told, as fond as I am of dr p, I would definitely want my first taste of indulgence to come from a cherry coke...that is my vice of choice. :D
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-05-29 14:17
I do agree there is a distinction and that is why I used the word similar and not same.
Gadreel had to ask Sam's permission so the way to go into Sam was by deception.Meg did not have to.Those are the parametres set by the show.For gadreel it was not possible to possess sam without permission.
Meg also erased sam's memory,otherwis e he would have remembered killing the hunter..What I meant when I said it was an illusion was that it was same as gadreel..Sam was not in control of when he can take the front seat..It was dependent on meg then and Gadreel now.But once she took the back seat It was Sam once again.The absolute same thing happened with Gadreel.When Gadreel was in the front seat it was gadreel (even before metatron) and not Sam.One of the key differences in the situations was that Dean knew in Gad's case and not in Meg's.Even if Gad was beneficient before the meeting with metatron It was not Sam.Quote:
not only that but he was forced out by sam, which means gad wasn't able to whitewash sam's memory as he'd been doing all along, so sam instead ended up remembering.
The way i remember things happening and i am pretty much sure this is how it happened.Sam was able to rid himself of gadreel after Crowley possessed him and not because of Gadreel's imperfect whitewash.If I am not wrong Sam remembered everything during the extraction process carried out by castiel.Quote:
I believe it was meant to allow for cas to seek help from gad. to get a better sense of him, and to give gad his shot at redemption.
See the thing is by making it a thing by which Cas can seek gad's help and for Gad's redemption ...It became about Gad and cas and not about sam.This is the belittling I see.Gad could still have been redeemed after possessing sam ,It did not have to be shared housing so that he could get redemption.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-05-27 11:49
I hate what they did to Sam. Nice how Sam getting possessed without his knowledge turns into Sam being the bad brother that needs to come around during the finale and say “I lied!” It felt like Dean’s choices were validated while Sam’s point of view wasn’t. I like the “co-dependency” stuff so Sam calling Crowley etc. works on that level but I don’t like how Dean’s actions were whitewashed so it seemed like only Sam needed to change.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2014-05-27 11:57
E This:
"I must also say that I am a bit concerned about how many fans are justifying and manipulating Dean's motives so that they appear in a better light then I think that they are supposed to. Sam was clearly shown to be in the wrong in season 4; many sympathized with his motives, but no one justified him, least of all Dean. Similarly in season 6, Cas too was seen to have made grave errors in judgment, especially when he directly defied Dean by refusing his help, and he has been atoning ever since. He too was given sympathy for his ideals but never was he given a pass for what he did. So IMO Dean is now in the same boat; I certainly can understand why he was doing what he was doing with the addiction of the blade clouding his judgment, and feel bad that he's made such terrible decisions this season, but I am not about to white-wash them with explanations like 'he was protecting Sam from the blade' or he was concerned for Sam's safety' or 'he was on a suicide mission' none of which I think are supported in his actions or by his words. I am accepting what Dean said and what he did at face value; it was hubris that took down Dean Winchester, the same hubris that condemned Sam in season 4 and Cas in season 6, this is no different IMO. Fans held Sam accountable, and Cas accountable, now its time that Dean is held accountable as well. And unfortunately for Dean, things are about to get worse instead of better, that's if the PTB have the cojones to actually go there."

Dean shouldn't get a pass for the bad things that he has done this season, especially as they relate to Sam. However, as you said i wonder of TPTB will actually go there. Given their track record, I highly doubt it. Dean's actions are usually whitewashed in a way no other charcters actions are. I guess we'll see.

Like a lot of other Sam fans, I'm dreading season 10 because of this.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-05-28 19:03
With all due respect to you and E, the scene in question was not entirely crystal clear and why is my, or anyone else's, interpretation any less valid than any other fan? I don't think that seeing the scene as Dean being protective of Sam is "justifying" all of Dean's actions this season. We all see the characters though our own particular lens. I have seen very little of Dean's actions justified here, frankly. But not every Dean action is selfish just because he has made some bad decisions. I based my own feelings about that scene on the well established Dean-trait of being protective of Sam in most situations where he truly believes they might not make it out alive, regardless of the status of their relationship. As for fans justifying actions of a character sometimes, we ALL do it! We all want to believe in the basic goodness about our characters in spite of some fans believing otherwise.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-05-27 12:48
If I may make a suggestion; passions are running high on all sides; don't necessary think that's a bad thing, but it is starting to distract from Far Away Eye's lovely review. Perhaps percysowner, who helps out on the site, can open a couple of discussion threads to move these conversations to, such as likes/dislikes about S9, hopes for S10, etc.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-05-27 13:24
I second this post. I decided to post this what I wrote and then deleted because people are getting really frustrated to even comment here. This is not meant badly but just to people to think what and why they are writing. So my earlier statement:

There is so much to talk about in the episodes and still this review and topic has turned again to the same that has left me to not comment on the others. I see the same things week after week. Some nicely written but some also not so nicely written. The reviews are forgotten and talks about the stuff that is on them and on episodes. I wished that FAE's comments would stay different. I really would. She writes such an awesome reviews that people could really talk about -in peace-. I know people have different opinions. They are allowed to have them like I am to have mine but really. We get it already. I am not going to change my mind and others not either but is it really needed to be hammered on EVERY review comments to us. The exact and same thing.

Like I said I love Sam and Dean both. I think they are awesome as characters and actors. The whole cast is awesome and the show. I don't predict the future as I can't but it seems that the story goes to Sam saving Dean. That means to those that... don't like how he has been this season or his screen time, it seems it would get better on next season. Meaning more Sam's POV, more Sam. I am glad Leah and Cheryl keeps trying to keep the positive up but I myself have given up by the nature where the comments go. I guess I will stick soon just answering the reviews only.

So, still second the rant page/positive page. So the reviews would stay somehow peaceful.

- Lilah
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-05-27 18:10
I agree. People were very receptive to the "Bitterness" threads when we had them in the past. I don't necessarily think it needs to be called "Bitterness" but we need some place where the unhappy people can vent to their hearts content. It would then be our choice whether or not to participate in or read that thread! Occasionally we all have things we want to vent about. I hope Alice will consider this again and perhaps it could be a staple of the site.
Alice
# Alice 2014-05-28 01:46
I'll be opening the "Let's Discuss" threads in full force this Hellatus, starting tomorrow. They are just so hard to maintain during new episodes. We like to focus on the reviews.
eilf
# eilf 2014-05-27 12:59
Hi Far Away Eyes, this is a really detailed and intricate review. I have really liked your focus on the Garden of Eden and the serpent and how it played out through the characters this season. I have been trying to get any idea of what the show is trying to tell us and I haven’t been able to because for me it seems like the ‘moral of the story’ always comes out oddly off from what you would expect. I am inclined to think it is changing of minds as the storyline progresses and the writers get distracted but assuming that not to be the case I see a potential theme running through this season that, as the middle season of an arc, may be what they are going for.

The story of the Eden and the serpent isn’t really about what the serpent did or didn’t do. He was the catalyst for the events. What Adam and Eve did was attain awareness – they ate from the tree of knowledge. And they were punished for it. But in the end they became human, before that they were just something god created and told what to do. As I understand the story Adam and Eve would have lived forever had they remained in the garden, it was only when they were cast out did they become mortal (Liable or subject to death).

In this season of the show I would say that everyone who is capable of independent thinking (ie not purely supernatural creatures, who we know to be tied to 'rules' the way humans and creatures tainted by humanity are not) attained awareness, specifically self-awareness, and was ultimately punished for it, but in the end (next season?) they will gain the advantages that balance out the loss of immortality. There were two possible exceptions to this, these were characters who firmly believe themselves to be self-aware ... and are not.

Castiel had two epiphanies this season. He became aware of how it is to really be a human. He threw himself into it but ... it wasn’t really working. He died once – in a way that was almost a literal interpretation of the bible story, the female (there was a lot of women-blame this season guys, you need to work on that a bit) he got close to (who we actually see slicing up fruit) killed him. The second time he nearly died he fought back and his awareness of his own mortality at that moment prompted him to go against everything angelic, and he ‘stole’ something to give him life – grace. But the use of stolen grace, like the stolen apple will punish him with his death. Castiel eventually came to a new level of self-awareness – he WANTS to be an angel and he doesn’t want to be a leader.

Sam became self-aware too. He realized that even though his own decisions often result in failure, his abdication of making decisions was worse. He needs to be in charge of his life. He became aware that he has allowed himself to become a possession and allowed his autonomy to be used by someone else – two people in fact (and that is ignoring the rest of his existence where he has been a pawn since before he was born). Dean and Gadreel both treated him like a possession and both used him without (genuine) permission. Sam’s coming to self-awareness was to stand up for himself and his autonomy and put up borders. His punishment for self-awareness came from all sides and ultimately he had the ultimate punishment for Sam – he lost his brother. Sam cannot be punished with ‘death’. As long as Dean is alive Sam is immortal (even though that is an unnatural state for a human). Even though apparently Sam backed down from all his independence, as though it was really his attempt at self-determinat ion which caused the disaster, it was too late, Dean was lost. We could say that Sam may have decided (perhaps) to return that apple to the tree, something that cannot be done.

Crowley was the serpent as suspected, his coming to a state of humanity just made him more devious since he could think outside the demon box, but whenever he let the human side in …. things didn’t go as well for him as they did when he was a demon, so he (said) he reclaimed his demon side and rejected the human … this may play out yet. I think Crowley rejected the apple, the fall and the mortality, but Crowley has never been a character you can pin down and interpret.

Gadreel had spent millennia thinking about himself, but he didn’t learn anything. He is an angel, they are programmed, so without external stimulus what can they learn? Gadreel, on escaping from this living tomb, evolved over the season from self-centered to self-aware. When he acted on it - stopped being Metatron’s dupe and worked with Metatron’s enemies – not only was he punished but for a terrible moment he found himself back alone in prison but with a new understanding that there was no escape. His death was unnecessary plot-wise but Gadreel was aware that he couldn’t face another eternity like that and so he died in order to maybe atone for what he had done.

I have two characters that I feel think they are self-aware and are not. Dean is one and Metatron is the other. Dean will learn how to do this because he is (fundamentally) human, Metatron I don't think has that capacity.

Dean believes things about himself, believes them implicitly, and nearly all of them are wrong. As Crowley said ‘Nobody hates you more than you”. He believes he is poison, he isn’t; he believes he has no inherent worth as an individual, which is not true; he believes he can only be a hunter, that one might be true but it is a decision not a fact; he believes everyone he loves would be safer if he made decisions for them, this may possibly be true but it is also wrong and the source of 90% of his issues; he believes that he loves Sam (and Castiel), this is true; he believes that Sam doesn’t love him as much as he loves Sam, this is not true. (Castiel is a different matter, I don’t know, he was willing to use Dean as a weapon and he didn’t attempt to go to him when he heard he was dead so I think maybe their connection is different). I think that Dean’s return from demonness will bring with it an understanding that a person has to be an individual to be able to be a soul-mate.
Dean is, in fact his own worst enemy and he has almost no self-awareness. If he did he wouldn’t keep doing the kamikaze things that destroy him and produce collateral damage that destroys the person/people he thinks he is protecting. Dean may have come to understanding things just before he ‘died’ or he may not, but now it looks like he will not be thinking as an individual (human) for a long time. In a way his lack of self-awareness has made him immortal, in a twisted reflection of Eden perhaps?

Metatron thinks that understanding how stories work IS self-awareness… . Which is why he will (most likely) lose and it will be ignominious (I hope he isn't the big-bad of next season).
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-05-27 18:28
Great post eilf! :) Nice observations on the characters. I even had a hard time thinking of Metatron as a big bad THIS season (despite their best efforts) so please, no more Metatron!!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-27 18:32
Thank you for this lovely and well thought out comment!

I'm glad you enjoyed my take on the season. It seemed to make sense to me that they were certainly using the Garden of Eden/Serpent and then the Cain/Abel story to set up the story. I think it takes, in many ways, a direct correlation from the perspective trope in season eight and that actions/decisio ns do lead to consequences that may or may not be intended.

With regards to Sam, I agree 100%. I think, in some ways, Sam had to endure this so he could finally stand up and say "I need boundaries." While it seems he may have pulled back from that in the finale to an extent, I don't think this is the end of that discussion. I see it as a beginning and that the puzzle is still unfolding for him and these issues. Sam has almost always been confronted by being possessed by a supernatural force that was either there from his birth (the demon blood) or Meg or Lucifer. We've always seen him bounce from one to the next without really having a chance to truly process what happened to him. He literally goes from being possessed by Lucifer to being Soulless to having Death's Wall. He had no time to really contemplate all that had happened. This time, it seems he's having a chance to do that and it's going to take time. I'm okay with that. If he simply came to terms with it too quickly it wouldn't seem like Sam to me.

I really loved that both Castiel and Crowely had a dose of humanity thrust upon them this season and that we got to see each one have to handle it differently. I think, while Castel wants to return to being an angel, he will treasure some of the human lessons he learned. He finally realizes what it means to be sorry or to love. He finally gets what it means to struggle and try and be lost. That was key for him. Crowley, on the other hand, felt himself overwhelmed by it at first only to try and do what he does best: twist it to his own advantage. I don't think he's nearly as free of his human emotions, either, but I think he'll turn them towards whatever he's set his sights on next and use that to be even craftier. He will understand what motivates the brothers far more for it, too, which is a scary thought. Of all their opponents, Crowley's the only one to never truly underestimate him and I think this will help him to keep in that line.

I think you're absolutely right, when we look closer at the Garden aspect. This is/was about attaining some form of awareness, and I do think that the characters certainly did do that in various ways. They learned something about themselves and saw their perspectives--- that trope of season eight---change. Each character had a moment where they had to come to a realization of some sort---though I do agree with you about Dean. He did not. He's still in that process. I think we see him, as Sam did so often in the past, run from that moment where he could have reached true awareness. He wouldn't or couldn't face it yet and so he either ran---as he physically does in "Road Trip" or he deflected the conversation by either shutting it down--as we see him do with Sam at times. I think it's also one reason why he threw himself into this Mark of Cain/First Blade situation, too. He could distract himself from what he refused to face. I am thinking it's possible that Dean will have to finally face this new awareness during and after his demonic bout. How that will happen I refuse to speculate on as I don't do that.

I also feel that you're spot on about Metatron and his big flaw. He confused reality for fiction instead of fiction for reality and had no idea he was missing the truth around him all along. No real awareness at all. He thought he was in control because he could control story, but he was wrong. Story can help us to understand our world, but it isn't a real method we can create or shape it entirely. I'm hoping he stays right where he is if they're not going to kill him, too.

Thanks again so much for this great comment. I hope you'll enjoy season ten and my reviews for the coming season.
Gwen
# Gwen 2014-05-27 18:38
Hi Far away eyes. I just wanted to say thank you for yet another wonderful review. They have been invaluable to me this year as I have needed your positivity and enthusiasm. I'm not going to say much as no doubt my negativity will be a bit of a downer but I wasn't a great fan of this finale. I adored the brotherly scenes and was over the moon to finally get a smidgen of Sam POV at long last but there was just way too much angel stuff for me to be able to summon up much interest in the finale. The way they kept switching from Dean's death scenes to yet more interminable monologuing from Metatron et al drove me nuts.

Jared and Jensen were amazing. Dean's death scene broke my heart and then Sam's tears pulverised what was left of my heart to dust. According to JA at JIB this past weekend they actually used the take where Jared was crying the least and that Jared had soaked Jensen's shoulder. I'd love it if we got to see the deleted takes, I am such a sucker for some Sammy tears. :) I loved Crowley too, I hope they never kill that character off.

I don't think the possession storyline is over with yet. As Cheryl said upthread, Dean is only just starting to walk that mile in Sam's shoes. I certainly hope it's not over yet anyway. I am looking forward to S10, I think all the SamandDean love from Jared and Jensen at JIB is making me feel somewhat more hopeful (I have desperately missed the brotherly bond this year) and, like Jared, I am very much hoping that Sam gets to save Dean next season.

Okay, I'll save my gripes about the season for Alice's Sam Winchester in S9 thread or any upcoming Discuss S9 type threads but I really just wanted to pop in here to say many, many thanks for all your reviews this year. As I said, they have been absolutely invaluable and I have looked forward to reading every one.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-05-27 18:56
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad that you've even enjoyed my reviews this season even if you've struggled with some of the overall season story. It means so much to me that my take on these episodes might help other fans understand something or see things in a different light, so I'm glad that my reviews could do that for you.

I do hope we'll get the deleted takes for these scenes. That's amazing that Jared pulled all that emotion for that and it showed well in the scenes we did see.

I'd be stunned if they killed Crowley off any time soon--and with Sheppard as a regular next year, I doubt it. He's probably the best opponent they've ever had.

Oh no. I don't think the possession story line is over at all. I think I'll jump on with you and Jared about next season, too.

Thanks again and I hope that my reviews continue to help you in the coming season.

Is it October yet?
E
# E 2014-05-27 22:34
Am I the only one who LIKES Metatron? I really do. He's awesome and loathsome and I love to loath him. Curtis Armstrong is just so good! I'd love to see him weasel his way out of prison to wreck havoc some more next season.
eilf
# eilf 2014-05-27 22:49
I would love to see him and Crowley have a monologue-off. Maybe work out some storyline related way of wangling Crowley into a cell beside Metatron so they can't escape from each other. Show could devote an entire episode to it if they wanted. It could be really kinda fun, and give J2M a week off to go to Hawaii. They could do it early on in the season. And then both characters are barred from any more monologues for the rest of the season :D It could be like the debate on Welcome to Nightvale (which, as an aside, is the best episode of WtNV to date).
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-05-28 01:48
I think Metatron was one of those things that he was awesome and nicely played but one season is enough of him. In the end I really really started to hate the guy. (Well acted) but still. Just no. :D
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-05-28 16:28
nope..i really like metatron..i'm hoping the reason they kept him alive isn't only for his swamy charm and loathsome characteristics , but because he is the key for cas getting his grace back.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-05-29 14:29
I like the reference back to Crowley saying that he'd been "Winchestered". Just wondering if this is also part of the story arc; both Crowley and Castiel, the King of Hell and reluctant leader of Heaven, have both been "Winchestered", affected by their time as human or nearly human, as well as all of the humans they primarily interact with, Sam and Dean. Just wondering what affect that will have on what heaven and hell ultimately become in the world of Supernatural.