Hello, friends. Welcome to the thoughts I have while in the prop room.  

Let’s talk about foil.

 foil

 Foil, great for wrapping sandwiches for cooler storage.

Even better as a storytelling device.

 
(Warning: this will reference certain suicidal tendencies the boys have exhibited. Please practice self-care if you're not in a place to read about this at this time. #AlwaysKeepFighting)
 
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In Supernatural 13.12, "Various & Sundry Villains", we’re presented with two pairs of siblings, each with mothers who are lost to them, and each pair dealing with their moments of doubt.

The younger witch sibling, Jennie, has doubts about whether they should or whether they will be able to achieve their plan to resurrect their mother. Her big sister, Jamie, is immediately able to instill faith and reassurance that Jennie needs.

We see a contrast to this situation with the brothers later. Sam has his doubts, Dean tries to offer similar reassurances, but Sam’s faith is not restored.

Throughout the series, we’ve seen Dean be able to reach through during moments when Sam is having a crisis and offer a hand to pull his brother through
stone one gif
 
But this time, it isn’t enough. Why isn’t it enough? 

The episode itself provides some clues and another difference between the sibling pairs. The girls have the corpse of their mother laid out in front of them, they’ve secured the book they need to try to bring her back, their soul ingredient is sitting smitten in the corner.

When Dean is telling Sam how it’s all going to be okay, Sam fixates on the how, imploring his older brother for a plan.

Sam admitted to Rowena that he’s felt like he hasn’t truly gotten over anything when it comes to what he experienced in The Cage, that he’s been bouncing from one horror to the next. And we can examine even just the past few years of Sam’s more recent trauma, from season 8, when Sam was willing to embrace death (and Death), right up until Metatron stabs Dean.

Dean dies, taking an angel blade right to the lung, and Sam narrowly escaped having to deal with a reckoning right then. We’ve seen how Sam deals with Dean’s death in the past. Mystery Spot. Diving headlong into suicidal demon hunts and being brought back from that particular brink by Ruby, but through other self-destructive means. Had Crowley not placed the First Blade into Dean's hand, allowing a demonic Dean to walk out the bunker door, Sam wouldn't have been granted a new goal (kill Crowley, find & fix Dean). As it was, Sam was given a reprieve from facing grieving for Dean as a permanent reality, as well as being granted another reprieve from the many traumas building up. This new goal became priority number one.

We can also look at events earlier in season 13. In the midst of having lost their mother and Cas(s), the boys are on their average ghost hunt. In trying to solve the case, Dean pulls out injections to kill himself as well as to bring himself back to life. At least from my perspective, it seemed the idea of Dean having those injections at all was a huge surprise to Sam. And there’s no prolonged discussion of their usage, Dean shoves a needle into his chest while his brother is in mid-protest. We hear Sam say later that the injection to bring Dean back didn’t work. This means Sam was once again kneeling beside the body of his brother, waiting for a heartbeat.

So, Sam Winchester has a damn good reason for demanding a plan out of Dean now. Sam wants to save his own mother, and he “needs a win” just like Dean did earlier this season, but if they don’t have a plan, then not only is Sam struggling without a specific strategy to throw himself into so he can avoid that inner reckoning, but he’s also left with the question of what potential desperate action Dean might take. And while Sam might not know this bit, as audience members, we also know that in Red Meat, Dean's first inclination for handling Sam's death is to overdose and beg that Billie allow Dean to take his place. In that unsettling context, can we blame Sam for needing more than, “We’ll get this done”? The how becomes incredibly important, because that “We” can become a lonely “I” frighteningly fast. Moving forward, let's hope they're both able to reach out and build a plan together. Stronger together, remember boys?
 
(As a final note -- both the boys seem to be having moments of struggling this season, not always able to get the support they need. I know a lot of fans find hope through how the Winchesters handle things, I just want to give a small reminder to reach out if you need to.)

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Chat: imalive.org )
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Credit to original Gif Maker, whoever that may be.