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Did Kripke Screw Over Sam Fans? 
 
I will end all suspense, if there was any, and state unequivocally that the answer is no. No, Sam is not too stupid to live. No, Kripke did not screw over Sam fans. To believe that is to believe that the enemy is simple-minded and obvious in their ploys. To believe that is to believe that Sam is not a man of deep thoughts and deeper emotions.   To believe that is to believe that all the rest of us were completely on board with the plan from The Pilot and somehow saw all this coming for 82 episodes. And, if that doesn't compel you to think differently about Sam, then how about this: To believe Sam is too stupid to live is to believe he is anything other than human.
 
Having read numerous threads about how fans have had it all figured out from way back when and then, after Lucifer Rising read about how fans never saw that coming, I'd have to say that Kripke caught some by surprise, others not so much and most loved the whole thing. Also, there is genius to insinuation, if we look at Meg's first attempt at enacting Azazel's plan to Ruby's we see that the enemy learned a lot. The genius of Ruby comes from what Meg learned and likely shared.
 
Azazel had a plan that took a long time to bring to fruition and only he knew what strings he was pulling and when. It is only now that we know way back in 1972 Azazel slew eight nuns and spoke to Lucifer who was locked in 'the pit.' In 1972 Azazel was told that Lilith, and only Lilith, could break the necessary seals to free Lucifer; 37 years later that plan looks to have succeeded.
 
Ever since 1972 Azazel had been out 'seeding' the landscape, as it were. He found breeding stock and wormed his way in so that he would have access. Anyone who wishes to state that Mary was weak, John was weak, Dean was weak, Sam was weak is welcome to make that affirmation, however, may I suggest trying to imagine yourself in their shoes"¦and the many others who apparently were equally willing to make that momentous decision when the time came.  I can't say that I've ever been forced to make such a choice, so I for one will not judge any of the others that did.
 
The fact that Sam was not the only 'special' child tells us that Azazel was successful in making a multitude of deals that would later give him access to the infants. Using an infant is diabolically devious, they have no choice, are perfect victims -- don't talk about what happened, have no memory of what happened, cannot stop what is happening. 

We also know that in no way was Azazel certain that Sam was the child to complete the task, as baby Rosie in Salvation is evidence. Azazel was patient, true evil is, it is slow, purposeful, careful, willing to back off and regroup when one course of action appears ineffective, and always, always, always vigilant looking for an opportunity; Winchester loyalty, Winchester self-sacrifice, Winchester pride.
 
I don't wish to offend anyone in the writing of this article so, when I started writing, I worked very hard to try to put myself in their shoes and understand why they think Sam is stupid, a fool, ineffective, rendered back to being a child who is incapable of being able to tie his own shoes, much less making decisions about what is or is not evil. I have a feeling some will be offended because try as I did throughout the writing, the watching of episodes and jotting notes, gathering of thoughts, formulating sentences and paragraphs and reordering things I find myself again and again clueless as to why some think Sam is stupid or rendered a fool.
 
I've never seen Sam as evil and Dean as good. I've never seen Dean as only holding Sam's 'cape' or Sam playing second fiddle in storylines. I don't see Dean as "˜Saint Dean' and Sam as 'Demon Sam'. I don't believe Sam is destined to destroy the world and Dean destined to save it. I know some call Dean the Jesus Christ of the Supernatural but that is pure lunacy - all right, I was quite forthright about that.
 
My point is is that there has been a very deliberate progression from Season 1 to Season 4 and no doubt to be built upon in Season 5. It's obvious to me that Eric Kripke has had a vision for the show that had a plan and a timetable. It's also obvious to me that at times he's had to contend with the reality of making a television show and that at times that plan has been expanded, contracted and expanded again. It's not his fault no one had a crystal ball and said, yes, Mr. Kripke, we've looked into the future and seen that indeed this show will be successful enough to warrant us giving you a five-year contract right now, in 2005, and guaranteeing that Supernatural will run for five seasons.
 
Still, despite the stops and starts, the uncertainties and the meddling, a writers' strike and the realities of budgets, we've gotten a story that has built slowly but surely from the first episode, the beauty is that along the way the writers have cleaned up, quite well, most issues that have arisen. 
 
Having written some fanfiction that at most was about 50,000 words long; I know how easy it is to write yourself into a corner. I had the luxury to decide when to begin posting my fanfiction and I always waited until I was at least 50 percent written and about 75 percent drafted with 90 percent outlined before I dared to post the first chapter; series television doesn't have that luxury, these guys do awesome.
 
So, those of you willing to delve into this exploration with me will get to read my thoughts on Sam's journey as we know it. The genesis of this article came from someone posting on the "Damn you, Kripke" article that Sam was too stupid to live and that Sam fans were leaving in droves. That person is entitled to their opinion, even as I do not share it.  Since I completely disagree with them, I thought I'd take some time to post my thoughts as to why. Here we go:
 

Comments  

Dany
# Dany 2009-06-23 08:01
If Sam is to stupid to live then I think the rest os us should be dead a long time! After all no one is perfect, and Sam and Dean are "normal" people and, very important, humans like the rest of us (let's face it if they were perfect this show would suck, and would not be going for season 5), we all make mistakes, we all make choices every day some good some bad/wrong, so, where does it say that making a bad/wrong choice or a make a mistake equals being to stupid to live??!!

Now serius, ‘Saint Dean’?!'Demon Sam’?! some call Dean the Jesus Christ of the Supernatural?! Can I say bunch of crap!!! Give me a break people!!

Now that i got it out....

Great article Elle2! Loved it all the way and agreed whit all you've wrote, thank you for this one :-) , and you can keep it comming after all we've still got 79 days of hellatus to "kill"...

See ya...
Jojo
# Jojo 2009-06-23 14:37
Thank you.

I am so very, very tired of people going on about how Sam is evil and Dean is a paragon of saintly virtue and has no faults. They're BOTH human, good persons at the core but with plenty flaws like everyone else. Jesus. If you want perfect, flawless characters, go read Jean M. Auel's books about Ayla.

I love BOTH boys and I love the show and I can't wait for S5.
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-23 14:51
Hi, Dany and Jojo,

I get so tired of the 'fans' raking the show over the coals and narrowing their vision saying that one brother is good and the other is bad. Sure Kripke has the theme of good vs. evil going strong in the show but he also keeps blurring the lines...Lenore is a good example and so is Casey from Sin City. Sure sure was a demon but I kinda liked her...aside from the whole possessing of an innocent person that is. Then again there's the ghouls and it's hard to decide if they're bad or not...sure they're bad when we met them but what pushed them to decide to take revenge and go after 'fresh meat'...John Winchester...wo w, talk about a full circle there. THere were more points I wanted to bring to bear in this article but I've learned that when I go too big in an article, I lose my point of reference so I simplfied and laid out what you've read. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I like flawed characters, especially ones that learn and grow. I see a lot of growing for Sam as well as Dean in S5...it's gonna be great. Thanks for reading
Suze
# Suze 2009-06-23 16:05
Nicely argued, Elle2.

Sam was tricked by a master of the art, that doesn't make him stupid. The angels tried to stich up Dean and would have managed it too if Cas hadn't come through at the eleventh hour so they both got played by creatures they thought they could trust ... Stupid? Nope, just human ...
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-23 20:30
Hi, Suze,

Yep, that's my point, a master of deception who played on all of Sam's insecurities. We knew all the way back in Devil's Trap he knew things about the boys, remember all he taunted Dean with as he tortured him. Makes sense he's know all the right buttons to push on his 'favorite'. Sam never had a chance...but now that he knows....
trina
# trina 2009-06-23 21:14
Ever since the pilot it has been shown that Sam has control issues. Not control over other people, but control over himself and his destiny, which is something we all want. It is also something that he has never been able to achieve. Along comes Ruby with the means for him to take that control, or so she wanted him to believe. Not only to take control, but to make all the tragedy and pain that came before mean something. Like elle2 said, Sam never had a chance.

Regarding the section of fandom that refuses to see anyone's point of view other than their favorite brother, well it makes reading message boards easier because I can just skip right over those posts. People have every right to watch this show from the perspective that Dean (or Sam) is the most perfect example of perfection ever created. I just choose to ignore them because if the show actually took that view it would have been cancelled years ago. Perfection is unlikable and boring. This season has seen a rather remarkable increase in attention because these characters have been shown to be imperfect people who react to extraordinary situations in very human ways.
Eileen
# Eileen 2009-06-23 21:23
Wonderful article elle2!

I agree with JOJO. The characters of Sam and Dean are human complete with all of humanities faults. If people want to believe that Sam is too stupid to live then you can say the same about Dean. If he is such a saint (and I wouldn't want him to be) then he wouldn't have subcumbed to Alistar's torture and broke the first seal. If that seal couldn't be broken then there wouldn't be any reason for Ruby to continue to manipulate Sam. Sam could want to get all the revenge he could on Lillith but what good would it do if Lucifer couldn't rise because the first seal wasn't broken.

Anyways, history is full of good people who've made bad decisions even though they thought they were right at the time.
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-23 22:26
Hi, Trina and Eileen,

Thanks for the comments and sharing your views. Trina, you're right, it's easier to skip those posts/threads and the people that start them as I've learned who some of the people are who have very little good to say. I used to be one on antoher show and another forum so I'm not bashing them, simply saying as a reformed former show basher (of another show altogether) that lived in misery and loved to post my misery...this is soooo much more fun. And, I truly believe what I say so that makes it more so.

Sam is a control person, perhaps becasue he 'woke up' as he once stated, into this life of hunting and felt he never had any say in his life. That's a great place to start having control issues, I'd say.

Eileen, you're right, if Sam is too stupid to live than Dean should have been stronger and not broken in hell. But that isn't the case, they're human and they broke. And for those out there wondering how John survived in hell and didn't break I have two thoughts...firs t, I'm not sure I trust Alastair and that John didn't break...demons lie; further, if John knew Azazel's plan and that Lilith would try to break him to break the first seal...well, he's hang on just to spite them. We all know John has a stubborn streak, a big stubborn streak.

On the other hand, if John did break (and that would help explain how/why he was free to 'walk' out of hell when the devil's gate opened) then perhaps he didn't have the righteousness that Dean had. Perhaps it's John's revenge obsessed nature that cancelled out that aspect of righteousness that Dean apparently had. When has Dean shown the level of revenge/obsessi on of Sam or John? Perhaps that's the answer.

I agree, Sam and Dean have made the best decisions they were able to make at the time, either not enough intel (as Meg claimed in Are You There God and thus she was killed rather than depossessed) or too much intel (As in Dean knowing John had made a deal with the CRD and thus he felt justified in doing the same) and the list could go on.

Thanks for the comments.
Peek-a-boo
# Peek-a-boo 2009-06-28 09:57
Well argued and I agree completely!

Also, I may just love you forever for the paragraph saying Sam is not ignored and Dean is not a paragon of virtue! I have always felt the same way, but not brave enough in the rabid sectors to say so x
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-28 20:58
Hi, Peek-a-boo,

Thanks for braving the sector here! It amazes me sometimes the things people say 'cause I often wonder...what show are they watching? Then again, if it's not 'in your face' and totally explained I guess they miss it.

Glad you ventured out to peek and then speak (Lame, I know, I couldn't help myself!)

Thanks for the comments
WICCA
# WICCA 2009-06-30 20:28
You are right....I think about everything.
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-30 21:50
Hi, Wicca,

Hey, thinking is good, very good. Thanks for the comment.

8-)
Narcissus
# Narcissus 2009-07-05 13:56
Needless to say, SN is all about gray...how many times have they made us question just how evil or non-evil their baddies were?

I really believe in balance, so I think every good story has to have some element of good vs bad, but then again when it's clear cut and in your face that 'this is good' and 'this is bad', it gets boring. Enter SN with all it's..well, grayness. SN takes human weaknesses, flaws that all of us have, and uses that as a platform to explore the lines between good and evil. And that is why SN is so wonderful...Sam and Dean are not superheroes of cold steel, they are human superheroes. They have their own flaws that if anything just make us love them even more.

(And Elle2, I'd totally love to hear what you have to say about the ghouls...they sure beggared some good questions)
Narcissus
# Narcissus 2009-07-05 14:01
Sorry to double post, but I forgot to mention that HELL NO Sam is NOT too stupid to live. On the other hand, Ruby is too skanky to live.
elle2
# elle2 2009-07-05 17:52
Hi, Narcissus -- double post and all. :P

First off, ROTFLOL re: Ruby too skanky to live -- great.

This is why I think S5 will be even more awesome with both Sam and Dean having dual 'guilt' or whatever regarding the breaking of the seals neither has anything to hold over the other (not that they would but in the fandom realm there will be those that try). Dean perhaps has him moral compass back, something he lost in S2 and had on hold in S3 'cause he only had one year to love, so for Dean this will be (I think) helpful in reestablishing some of his confidence. As for Sam, hey, heroes sometimes take a big, big, gigantically big fall; what they do afterwards is the measure of their character. I read a lot, lot, lot of growth and angst and self-doubt followed by maturity and regaining of self for Sam in S5 and I'm all for it. Castiel has some gray lines to work around and if Anna returns and if Zach returns it will be interesting to see what their characters do, learn, act, bring to the table. They gray the lines as well.

As for the ghouls...well, perhaps I'll dredge up my other part to an earlier review I had in which they played prominently (I think it was the review of Jump The Shark) and I had some thoughts on that and the whole graying of lines.

I'll set my mind to it and see what comes of it.

:-)
dreamalittledreamofsam
# dreamalittledreamofsam 2009-07-18 12:10
what a fantastic article! thanks for the sanity in such an insane world that is the fandom... :-)
Jennifoofighter
# Jennifoofighter 2009-07-18 12:59
Great analysis, Elle2. I completely agree that the lines are constantly blurred on the show and I love that each brother struggles between the light and dark parts of their psyche. I honestly don't get how fans can get so polarized on a show that is about the both brothers and their fears, hopes, struggles, personal demons (pun fully intended) and the most pivotal of all, their relationship with one another. I cannot wait to see what is in store for the Winchesters in Season 5!
elle2
# elle2 2009-07-18 19:28
Hi, dreamalittledre aimofsam and jennifoofighter (BTW, big wave to Jenn who has written some really awesome Without A Trace fanfic that I absolutely adore *wave!*

GLad you both liked the article. I truly do not get how so many people say they are fans and then trash one or both characters or the show, the direction, the mytharc, the MOTW...you get the point.

I know some people have their preferences (I"m sick, I doooo like hurt/sick/Dean in the hospital) but I also adore conflicted Sam who is torn between right and wrong and sacrifice and believing he's cursed and trying to do the best he can with it...oh, how many days until September 10th? Quick, where's the clock.

Thanks for the commeents guys...personal demons...buyah! !!!
Jenn Luce
# Jenn Luce 2009-07-21 00:33
Waves back to Elle2! Thanks for the welcome and shameless plug. LOL.