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“Defending Your Life”
Season 7 Episode 4
Robin’s Rambles by Robin Vogel

Dearborn, Michigan - A man, sweaty and breathless, runs from a car chasing him. When he thinks he has averted it, he turns to find it's mysteriously appeared on his other side. "That's impossible!" he gasps, as it chases him down again. He ducks into a building, unlocks a door, runs up to the 10th floor and closes it behind him. "You're OK," he assures himself--until he realizes he's able to see the air he's breathing. He turns, horrified-- the car is bearing down on him. "NOOOOOOOO!" he cries. His body is smashed to a pulp, matching the credits. 

Dean and Sam, gorgeously suited up, pull up in the Impala where the case is being investigated. Sam, apparently feeling Lucifer's presence, presses his thumb into his healed hand, reminding himself what is real. "Feels wonky," remarks Dean. "WHAT?" asks Sam, thinking he's been caught. "Working a regular job," says Dean. "Bobby will call if anything flares up on he Leviathan front," says Sam. Dean thinks it's good they're working something regular, cut and dry--"and you seem good," he remarks. "I am," says Sam, "and thanks--for Amy--I know you didn't want to let her go, but it was the right thing to do, so thanks." (Hello, guilt meter is reflected on Dean's face!) "No problem," says Dean. The brothers flash their FBI badges and enter the crime scene. The cop in charge welcomes them to Crazy Town, population one dead guy. The vic was Matthew Hammond, and he was crushed to death. "If it weren't on the 10th floor, I'd say by a car." CSI takes pictures of the bloody hole in the brick wall. Sam's EMF meter is going crazy. "Some kind of ghost--with a license?" says Dean, quipping "license to KILL." "Seriously?" asks Sam. Sam finds red residue on the carpet, but it's not powder or sulfur, just dirt. "Possessed cars can't do stairs," says Dean, looking through a bowl of what I guess are the vic's personal effects, "it's something spectral." He finds an AA chip, 10 years. "Dead and sober, double crappy," says Dean, tossing the chip to Sam. Sam finds a $50 a month charge to a place called Jane's. He tosses back the chip to Dean, who says he gave up sobriety for Lent. (LOL!) "We're not Catholic," says Sam. "Always with the details," says Dean, "AA gives me the jeeves." "Wow, shocking," says Sam, "I'll get the meeting, you go ahead on Jane." He hands him the paperwork. 



At the Dearborn Outreach Center, a woman explains to Sam that Matt was a tortured soul who had a lot going on, but he played it all close to the vest. Something was eating at him the last time she saw him. He almost slipped just before he died. "He called me from Neal's Tavern, said he was an inch away from drinking, I ran over and talked him off the ledge--but like I said, he didn't share much."

Dean grins at a pretty girl exiting a flower shop. Dean explains to the shopgirl about Matt's death. That explains a lot, she says--apparently he paid three years in advance to keep his monthly delivery going--to a Miss Elizabeth Duren. Dean asks for the latter's address. 

The brothers find that Miss Duran is buried in a cemetery and was only 10 when she died. Dean suggests they chew on who she was back at the hotel. Checking the computer, they learn Elizabeth Duran was killed when a neighbor ran her over while she was riding her bike. "Kinda makes you wonder if the guy wasn't drunk when he ran her over," says Dean, eying his beer as he takes a gulp. "Now that we got a decent bead on Ghost Rider, let's burn her bones," says Sam, "put her to rest." "The fun never stops," complains Dean. 

A man, pursued by a dog, locks himself in a restaurant. "Keep that thing away from me!" he screams, racing to the men's room and locking himself in. He dials 911, explaining he's in a restaurant somewhere and needs help, but turns to find the dog there with him. It goes for him. There's blood splattered all over the walls. The 911 operator is calling to him, promising to send paramedics if he tells her where he is, but it's obvious he won't need them--he's very much dead. 

Editor's notes: I found this portion of the show pretty dull. I guess these investigation have taken on a "been there done that" air for me that just doesn't engross me anymore. I like the quips between the brothers, but I found myself squirming in my seat, waiting for something more interesting to happen.

The brothers enter their hotel room. "Another night at the office," growls Dean, "why don't you take the first shower." Sam reads to Dean from the local newspaper about a man being torn to shreds by a wild animal the previous night. Turns out the guy had a history with dogs--five years ago, he was arrested for running a dog-fighting ring. "So some rottie goes Cujo on him beyond the grave? suggests Dean--do dogs even have ghosts?" This is the first Sam's heard of it. Ghost dog?  Ghost car?  Both weird. Vengeance on the guy who Michael Vicked you makes sense, says Dean--I'm no one to judge, but it sounds like that guy had it coming. Maybe, but maybe not, says Sam--he got busted, got probation, continued working for an animal shelter long after he had to and raised a lot of money for them--people change. Tell that to ghost dog, advises Dean. (LOL!) Get suited up, says Sam, we'll go check out the body. Dean isn't thrilled. At the Wayne County Coroner's Office, Dean waits outside. Sam joins him and tells him he found the same red dirt under this guy's nails and on his feet that they found on the car crash guy's floor, so there's got to be some place they both walked--which turns out to be an apple farm. "Apparently what's in red dirt makes great apples," reveals Sam. "I'd be SO interested in that if I ate apples," says Dean sarcastically. "This place is old, abandoned, a few hundred acres," says Sam, which doesn't please Dean: "We'll be searching all year!" he bitches. 

They finally catch a break in the case when they nearly run down an old black man running away from two people he shot and killed in a liquor store robbery in 1981. He's just been sentenced to death, he claims, which makes little sense to the brothers, especially since he just got out of prison. "I did 30 years, just got paroled," the man explains. "I was running from the trial! One minute I'm at the bar, and the next I get jumped! Wake up in a damn courtroom! There was a judge; everything was crazy--it was in a barn." "At the apple farm?" asks Sam. "Yeah," the guy replies. He was grabbed at Neal's Tavern. Same place as Matt Hammond, Sam reminds Dean. "You believe me--who the hell are you?" the guy asks them. Sam asks him if the judge has a name. No, but there were symbols. Sam asks him to draw them for him. 

Dean, puzzled, takes Sam outside their Rainier Hotel for a discussion while the guy is drawing. A drunk driver, Michael Vick, a murderer--when did our black and white case turn to mud?  It's not on us to judge, says Sam. Complete crap, says Dean, everyone judges all day long; I'm just supposed to ignore what that guy did?--I have a hard time not rooting for the ghosts on this one. We've shot people, Sam reminds him, more than two. Yeah, and when those ghosts come to kick my ass, they've got a compelling case, says Dean.  So you're saying you don't want to work the job anymore." Sam asks. Dean just wants one simple day on the job, that's all. Sam heads to work the barn, Dean the bar. To work or drink? asks Sam. Dean hasn't decided.

Sam tries to convince the man they saved to go with him to find the barn, but, nearly hysterical, he refuses, safer with Sam or not. The people he shot are out there waiting for him! Sam seats the guy in a salt circle and tells him to stay put, then sends the symbols the guy drew to Bobby via cell phone.

Bar - Dean orders a double scotch from a stunning blond bartender named Mia. He asks if she works the night shift, and she asks if he's planning on making this a regular thing. She believes him when he tells her he's a cop cop--you look like you've seen some crap, she says. When he downs two quick doubles, she asks if it's work or love life, has to be one. I'm like a captive shrink with unlimited alcohol, she points out. She gets curious, on occasion, to hear people's problems, and pours one for each of them. A man listens intently to what Dean is telling Mia. Work thing, he says--"You ever do something behind someone's back because you had to?" If you had to, she says, why feel bad, it doesn't make any sense. "We don't have enough room for the worms popping from that can, sister," insists Dean. When she says she's off in an hour and suggests he slow down on his booze, he switches to beer. "Good choice," she grins. (Ed. note: Dean looked SO good, but the way he was putting away the booze, I can't figure out how he's going to get it up.)

Red barn - Sam arrives in the Impala, finds the red dirt on the floor inside. Bobby calls to tell him the "chicken scratches" are Egyptian, Book of the Dead. They ID the god Osiris, real authoritarian type. He gets hold of you and becomes judge, jury and executioner. Lore says he sees directly into the human heart, weighs the guilt, finds more than a feather's worth, you're done. He pops up, does the circuit judge gig, and leaves. Which means Sam and Dean must get the he'll out of Dodge, insists Bobby. Who feels guiltier than the Winchesters? Sam gulps.

Dean waits for Mia in front of the bar, giving himself a pep talk: "Enjoy yourself, it's been a while, put your mitt down, you are Dean Winchester, this is what you do." His phone rings, but before he can answer, he's grabbed by a shadowy hand and dragged away.

Editor's note: What pisses me off about Osiris is that he doesn't give credit for time served or the fact that people who do wrong more than make up for their crimes. The man Sam and Dean nearly ran over already served his time and was out on parole. Dog Fight Guy more than made up for his crime (well, maybe, to some people) by working more than his allotted time at the animal shelter, then raising large amounts of money on their behalf. They paid their debt to society, but if Osiris was going to judge folks on the guilt in their hearts, he was going to be one very busy god, because we usually judge ourselves more harshly than our peers do. So while Sam managed to make Dean see he shouldn't feel guilty over what happened to Jo or Sam, that third witness, Amy, even though she wasn't even called, only needed to be brought back into MEMORY for Dean to convict himself. He felt guilty not just for killing Amy, but for lying about her behind Sam's back. Notice Sam doesn't learn about Dean's betrayal, not from Osiris or from a confession from Dean. If not for Bobby's timely knowledge about how to do away with Osiris, Dean would have died at Jo's hand--because of the overwhelming guilt at killing Amy.

Sam leaves his brother a third cell phone message: "You'd better not be loaded. Call me, this is important." 

Mia, waiting outside the bar for Dean, picks the ringing phone up off the pavement. She asks if this is Dean's phone. Learning it is, she explains he was supposed to meet her here. Sam rushes to Mia's side.

When ghosts disrupt the TV and lights in the hotel room, the guy they saved runs out of the protective salt circle, the room--and directly into the ghosts he murdered. They have a gun. "You did it to us!" rasps the husband, and shoots him dead.

Mia tells Sam she hopes Dean is OK and shows him where she found the phone. Sam kneels, locates the telltale red dirt, and heads off where he needs to go. He enters a barn, where a gleaming gold throne sits and Egyptian symbols abound.



In another room, Dean is secured to a chair with chains. He pushes futilely against the bonds. "Quit squirming, Mr. Winchester, they're Houdini-proof," warns Osiris, "now, you wanna talk about charges, or. . ." Dean prefers to discuss "Your Bukowski shtick at the bar--what, can't jump a guy when he's sober?" "You and that waitress had quite a talk, huh?" states Osiris, "get a couple of drinks in you and the guilt comes POURING out!" "Eavesdropping, that's cute," says Dean. "Speaking of, are you gonna skulk all night, Sam?" asks Osiris. Sam joins them. Osiris praises him for finding him, and for figuring out who he is. "You wanna fill me in?" asks Dean roughly. "Osiris, an Egyptian god," supplies Sam. "TA DA!" crows Osiris, who then orders Sam to leave, go about his business. Sam has a better idea: "If anyone should be on trial, it's me." "That's for me to decide, now GO AWAY," orders the god. "He has the right to an attorney," insists Sam, "let me defend him." "That's unusual," remarks Osiris. "Are you going to respect his rights or not?" pushes Sam. "Why not," says Osiris, inviting Sam to sit beside Dean, who reminds his brother he was only PRE-law. Osiris points out that he has an ENDLESS list of witnesses to call. "Objection!" calls Sam, "this isn't fair!" "FAIR? I'm sorry. Moving on," says Osiris, "I can make it very simple--three witnesses." "OBJECTION!" calls Sam again--"witnesses being called without prior notice. "Good one," praises Dean. Sam saw that on GOOD WIFE. "Very fine objection," says Osiris--"DENIED!" "WHAT? WHY?" demands Sam. "Because I'm the judge, sit," says Osiris, "now stop objecting, or I'll find you in contempt, that is, kill you--so I advise you to let me move it along!" (Wow, kangaroo court much?) First witness: Joanna Beth Harvelle. She looks. . .dead, attired in hunter garb. "Jo," greets Dean. "Dean. . .Sam," she says, "long time." Osiris asks her to sit down and state her name for the court and her relationship to Dean. "We worked together," she replies. (We see their first meeting, when she disarmed him and thrust a gun into his back, working together on her first case, with the murdered blonds.) "Did you admire him?" asks Osiris. "As a hunter," Jo answers, "as a guy, he was kind of a jerk." "So, you saw him as a mentor of sorts?" Osiris continues. "I wouldn't put it like that," she says, "I trusted him, so if you're trying to say he was a bad guy. . ." "Was it hard, working with him?" asks Osiris, "considering your feelings?" "No, what feelings?" Jo asks. "You would have followed him into any battle," says Osiris. "I know what you're getting at," says Jo, "and it's bull!" "So Dean had nothing to do with your first case, the one that started it all," prods Osiris. (A few quick scenes Dean recalls from "No Exit": he's tossing her father's knife, following her through a very narrow wall, hacking through a wall to save her, Jo covering her eyes when she's enclosed in a wooden box by a ghost, then grabbed and thrown up and down by the ghost.) "It wasn't like that," insists Jo. "No feelings--none at all," says Osiris--"you would have chosen the exact same vote--ended up in that hardware store, holding a fuse." "You're a piece of work," accuses Dean, "you know that?--put words in her mouth?" Osiris silences Dean, stopping any words from coming out of HIS mouth, leaving him gasping for air. "Keep him under control, Counsel," he warns Sam, "or I'll cut out his tongue. Your witness." 

Comments  

Sharon
# Sharon 2011-10-19 12:31
I think we got Sam feeling good because they dont want to really deal with Sam so it is easier to avoid it by having a Sam who apparently has come out of hell better than he went in. . It is pointless really because if this is their idea of dealing with Sams hell they might as well left him souless.

I tired o the whole thing whatever Sam is fine Dean is a drunk bubbling mess .. .
bandofbrothers
# bandofbrothers 2011-10-19 15:25
Couldn't agree more and from what I've read about episode 5 Sam may as well not be there.

I dont care that Dean gets a 13 episode arc what I do care about is Sam not getting one at all. I mean was that it, 3 episodes and he's done. Shiny happy Sam is all good and amazingly well adjusted it will seem so he's done for the season? Who the hell comes out of hell all fine and as some have put it better than when he went in?

I sort of have to agree-if the writers aren't going to bother with an emotional/perso nal arc for Sam then the least they could do is bring back soulless Sam.
Dreamer
# Dreamer 2011-10-19 19:55
Add me to those who are impressed by Sam's miraculous recovery. That scar in his hand must be some scar. It better not heal at all. :-?
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-10-19 14:34
Thanks Robin, for all of that dialogue.

1. I don't entirely believe him and believe that his claims he's pretty good is partly to assuage Dean's fears for him.
He seems to be really trying to overcome those memories, but he's not there yet. He is still seeing and hearing Lucifer.

2. Dean spent 10 hell years torturing souls. Sam was a victim and tortured no one. Dean can't forgive himself for that 10 hell years, so no, it has nothing to do with his less time, but what occurred during that time.

3. Sam did a pretty good job, but I was hoping he would have been slightly more forceful in his defense.

4. Dean was adorable waiting for Mia. I wanted to give him a hug and tell him to just go for it! :P

5. I don't think he would have to kill me for my guilt, but there is plenty of guilt there I admit. Whether it is deserved or not is not for me to say. :sigh:

6. I thought the actor did very well. I wouldn't want him judging me.

7. I can't think of any time when Jensen has not been fabulous. He depressed me because he is so good at showing Dean's hopelessness and despondency. Loved the little pep talk while waiting for Mia. :P

8. I thought perhaps he was saying that to allay Dean's fears and set an example for Dean to forgive himself also. I don't think he is entirely feeling good yet. Perhaps trying to convince himself too.

9. 7 is a good number for this episode IMO. I still enjoy the investigating brothers and hope they never stop doing that. Ir is what they do really well. I rated the first 2 episodes each a 9 and the 3rd a 10. Just on how much I personally enjoyed them.

Thanks Robin. :-)
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-10-19 15:57
1. I'm with Dean. The other shoe is going to drop at some point and Sam being in a happy place is temporary. I think that it's good that he's realized that he's paid his dues more or less for what happened, but at the same time I don't see this being it. IF it were, we wouldn't see Sam scratching that hand or spacing off. So yeah, for me I'm just waiting for the hurricane to hit again.

2. I think it has less to do with time and more to do with what each brother did in Hell. Sam was a punching bag and that's about it. He was both physically and psychologically tortured by Lucifer (and perhaps Michael, though they've largely ignored his tenure in the Cage thus far) where as Dean was tortured and then tortured others. I think he's struggling because he did horrible things in Hell and seeing Sam struggle with those hallucinations brought that back to him.

3.I thought Sam was fair and honest in his job as Dean's lawyer. He certainly pointed out the truth to both Dean and Osiris, and I still got the feeling that Osiris was trying to teach Dean that there is a lot out of his control. Getting Sam from college wasn't what got Jess killed. The YED was going to do that no matter what. I think Sam tried to get Dean to hear that, and I hope he digests it and comes out the other side knowing that he shouldn't feel so guilty.

4. I felt kind of bad for Dean here. He was going through so many motions, and one of those is one night stands. I got the impression that after being in such a long term relationship--- really his only as far as romance goes---that he found a bit of the sleeping around a bit empty and as empty as a lot of the things he was doing in his life trying to be "Dean Winchester, hunter and ladies man extraordinarine ss" again. I think he's changed from the horn dog we saw in Seasons 1 and 2 really and this showed that clearly.

5. I didn't really, but now that you've mentioned yet, I don't really know how I'd fare. I think guilt is a subjective thing. Some people feel enormous amounts of guilt for minor things like forgetting to do something like a chore and others feel nothing at all even though they killed someone. Personally, I don't feel that guilty about much, nothing that is weighing that heavily on me that would make me have to endure this type of trial.

6. I liked him a lot. Sure, he wasn't super scary necessarily, but I thought he fit the Supernatural mold more or less when they have had pagan deities in the past. He was rather flippant, tongue in cheek, and kind of an ass. I thought he was engaging, funny, and a delight. But I also liked that he was trying to teach Dean a lesson about himself and wasn't just about killing his chosen victims, either. I think, unlike the Trickster (before we knew him as Gabriel of course!), Osiris seems to do more than just give just desserts. He wants you to try and learn before he ends up handing out the death sentence.

7. I noticed how heavy Dean's heart was simply by how weary Jensen looked in the scenes where they were going to investigate. I could tell that he was just sick and tired of the same old same old, which is why I think they focused a portion of the first part of the episode on a routine hunt. The differences weren't in the process or anything, it was in how the brothers were dealing with it.

8. I had to really see the speech a second time to really get it. Sam has spent years upon years guilty for things, and much like Dean, a lot of them were not of his own making or control. It was nice to hear him say that Hell had brought out something good for him, but I still get the feeling that this is covering up a massive collapse for him when things get hectic and it gets hard for him to keep fighting Lucifer off all the time. I think Sam is a strong individual and very stubborn. It's partly why he managed to get control back from Lucifer in the first place and why he could reintergate himself at the end of The Man Who Knew Too Much. I just know he'll have to dig deep on that again, soon.

9. I think a 7 is a fair judgment. I liked the beginning with some of the old school touches, but I can see what you're saying about it having been done before. This episode sets up a lot and we have to wait to see how well it did that when we reach later in the season, so it's always hard for me to fully judge such an early episode. It progressed the story in some way, so that is a win for me!
Cathia
# Cathia 2011-10-20 04:53
1. I wished that for Sam, but I think that isn't over yet - it would be too much easy! It's nice to see that the writers didn't forget this "hand thing" - on the other hand (sic!), I wonder if he gets himself into the "auto-agression " thing too much. It is nice to think that he feels that way about Hell – he was punished for his crimes if we can say so about his destiny.
2. It’s not the time – it is a role that was inflicted upon them. Sam was a victim, he was tortured. Dean, after a while, was a torturer. That’s what’s hunting him.
3. Hmmm, no. Not really.
4. He has a lot of problems with himself – drinking, feeling guilty about his friends and now that? Dean Winchester is in serious problem. No, it wasn’t cute, I actually felt so bad for him.
5. I was feeling guilty for a very long time for all things I could have done and yet, I didn’t. My thought was that I am for the others and I should do only those things which are meant to help and serve the other people. I was too friendly towards the others, too helpful. And then I just couldn’t handle that anymore – I suffer from depression for a quite long time now. It took me two years to actually feel better and I am not feeling guilty anymore. I’m doing what’s the best for me. I think that I am a good person and I hate hurting people if only by words, so I don’t think that Osiris would find a lot in my life.
6. I like the actor, but character was badly written. It was totally inconsistent, seemed like the writers couldn’t decide whether he should be scary, funny or omnipotent…
7. He is a really good actor, I must admit that. That scene with Jo – heartbreaking and awesome.
8. Honestly? I don’t think it was entirely honest – for me it as something like “I have to convince myself and my brother that I’m fine” speech.
9. 5 – wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t so good either.