(For those that missed part one, it can be found here.)

For the second half of season eight, Sam's life took a very different path from the first half.  Once again, fate stepped in and had other ideas for Sam and his new outlook on life.  It all started with the appearance of his grandfather, and suddenly Sam and Dean found they had a legacy to protect.  They also found the one thing that eluded them their whole lives, a home.  Then came the trials and their devastating effects, first on Sam's physical health and then breaking him down to a very raw emotional state.  Through it all though Sam plugged on, carrying out his duties faithfully with the trials and the cases in between while never losing his hope or resolve, until the end.  Eventually it was too much for Sam to handle and by "Sacrifice" all that inner strength was hanging by a thread.  He was ready to surrender his life and dreams if it meant coming through for Dean.  Lucky for him, big brother had other ideas.   

As Time Goes By

Sam backed Dean on this one, following his lead when Henry Winchester suddenly appeared.  Sam didn't have the same feelings of animosity as Dean, not believing that if Henry was in John's life, John would have been a better father.  He dealt with Henry using caution, even if he was a bit more believing of the story Henry was telling.  He never opened up to Henry (a wasted opportunity in my mind), but the fact that he more identified with this grandparent, someone that fights demons and the supernatural through logic, knowledge and research, it gave Sam a better understanding of himself and his natural tendencies.  At the end, during the conversation with Dean in front of Henry's grave, Dean saw a dead relative, but Sam was willing to investigate this family legacy of the Men of Letters.  He felt like they owed it to their family.  He also liked that the Winchesters were the brains, and the Campbells were the brawn.  No wonder John and Mary were brought together.  No wonder he and Dean were the way they were.  Dean leaned Campbell, Sam leaned Winchester, yet together they did remarkable things.      

Everybody Hates Hitler

When I think of Sam and his very tragic history, this one so makes me smile.  Grin like a fool actually.  He finally catches a break, and it's good.  

They find the Men of Letter's compound, and it's better than Sam could have possibly imagined.  It's loaded with knowledge and secrets, stuff that goes well beyond anything they have done in their lives.  Sure, the knowledge stops in 1958, but that doesn't bother Sam.  He believes there's use in it.  The fact that he finds a case related to the history of the Men of Letters, and gets to use the resources available to him, it makes him act like a kid at Christmas.  No, this is better than any Christmases he ever had.  

Sam uncovers another family legacy, and someone who is practically in the same boat as he and Dean.  They meet Aaron, who has found out the Judah Initiative is real the hard way by inheriting a giant Golem after his grandfather's death.  In the end Aaron  embraces the family legacy, because he's the only one left.  Sam does too, happily playing the role of family librarian to update the archive for the Men of Letters.  There's nothing like Dean being proud of his little brother embracing this legacy.  It fits, like a glove.  It's time to drink fine scotch like gentlemen.  

On a shallow note, why did it take eight seasons to see Sam in a tweed jacket and sweater vest??  He needs to be a research assistant more often.  

EH83


Trial and Error

As has happened since he was an infant, Sam becomes the victim and/or recipient of a giant twist of fate.  Once again the universe hangs in the balance and he's in the middle of it.  Kevin has figured out that closing the Gates of Hell requires three trials.  The first one, kill a Hellhound.  But only one person can take on these trials.  As Sam and Dean set off, Dean has already decided.  He's doing them.  Whenever these little tests happen to him or Sam, one of them ends up dead.  Dean has chosen to go down this time, and harshly makes it known to Sam.  He desperately wants Sam to have that life he craved earlier in the season.   

Sam does what he does best when the Hellhound comes calling, he makes sure he has his brother's back.  He doesn't argue with Dean when he threatens to shoot in him the leg if he tries to follow and help.  He just chooses not to listen to his brother, because he's never been one to follow orders when they don't make sense.  Sam just happens to be there when the Hellhound gets the better of Dean, and he seals his fate by killing the beast.
 Samstruggles4

Sam is defiant with Dean this time.  He was chosen, so he's doing the trials, whether Dean likes it or not.  This time though, neither of them is dying.  This is a great tie in to the first half of the season.  Sam isn't ready to sacrifice himself for the greater cause, and his brother shouldn't either.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, and Sam is taking them both there.  This won't be like before, because self-sacrifice has gotten them nowhere.  Sam really needs his brother to follow his lead this time, and Dean reluctantly agrees.  

When Sam crumples over in agony though after evoking the first spell, he shakes it off.  He's about to learn soon though, maybe this won't go the way he hopes.  

Man's Best Friend With Benefits/Remember The Titans

All these episodes proved after the big twist of fate that chose Sam to take on the trials, is that Sam's coughing up blood, suddenly having doubts about that whole living through the ordeal thing, and he's keeping it from Dean.  Great, he's back to denial mode, because that worked so well in the past.  It's forced tension until the real stuff happens.  I know he's doing it so Dean won't worry, but he's got to know his brother isn't stupid right?  Of course not, because Sam is supposed to always be lying to Dean.  His growth from the first part of the season meant nothing.    

Goodbye Stranger

Sam is definitely weakening physically, but his spirit and determination is still stronger than ever.  Yes, he knows coughing up blood is a bad thing.  He's not letting it stop him though.  The trouble is still he's not coming clean with Dean about getting weaker, and that's pretty hard to hide when an angel is around.  Dean already suspects something is wrong with Sam, he isn't his usual strong self, and Castiel easily confirms that suspicion.  Nothing like Dean bringing up family business in front of an audience of Castiel and Meg.  Sam's anger at Dean is understandable, he hates being treated like a child.  He and Dean do learn though that Sam is changing inside, and in ways that Castiel can't even heal.  

While left behind with Meg, Sam shares with her his story about his year off.  Naturally Meg isn't too impressed with the love story stuff, but she gets it.  After all that time, all that heartache and loss, it's natural to chase that unicorn.  Whether the effects trials play a role in this or not, Sam is dealing with some guilt.  What he did seems natural and logical, but he's questioning whether what he did was right.  While Meg's approval was not exactly validation, it was someone to talk to about it, and it shows that the issue is weighing on Sam's mind.    

samandmeg

At the end Dean drags the truth out of him.  Sam has been having trouble, and he didn't want to admit it to himself.  After all, he needs to be strong for these trials.  Sure, Dean's declaration about carrying Sam through the trials is quite hokey, but Sam gets it.  Dean will help him every step of the way.   

Freaks and Geeks

Nothing to see here folks.  Moving on.  

Taxi Driver

Sam makes the choice to do this trial alone.  That's actually in character.  The out of character part was Dean letting him do that, but we'll chalk that up to Dean trusting his baby brother.  It's about growth, right?  Sure, it kind of throws that whole "Rudy hobbit" speech from the end of "Goodbye Stranger" out the window, but we'll overlook that discrepancy (among many others) here. 

Sam doesn't even think twice about having to go to Hell to rescue an innocent soul, and he's on his way.  That innocent soul turns out to be Bobby, and it's so nice to see this Sam/Bobby dynamic.  While trudging through Purgatory, Sam explains the trials to Bobby, and what happened in the last year.  He gets to embrace the topic of not looking for Dean again with someone who's opinion means the world to him.  Bobby reminds Sam he made that rule, and it's a non-rule.  That's not even an option.  You don't leave those you love behind.  Sam gets that now, and won't make that same mistake starting with Bobby.  

samexplainstobobby

This adventure isn't just about saving Bobby though.  It's a chance to address his Benny issue too.  It doesn't take Dean long to figure out that only Benny can go straight to Purgatory and help.  Benny accepts the idea and allows Dean to kill him, even though it's to save Sam, a guy that tried to kill him.  It forces Sam to reconcile with the idea that Benny is a good guy after all.  They even have something in common that they are both misfits in their worlds and don't feel like they fit in.  Benny deals with his problem by choosing to stay in Purgatory, while letting Sam and Bobby go on.  Sam's okay that Dean chose to bury Benny, but not burn his bones.  He deserves another shot.  Of course, Sam was in some huge agony at the time from the second trial, but he was still supportive.  It still doesn't explain Sam's objection over Benny to begin with, but we're getting to that. 

Pac-Man Fever

Sam's spirit is still willing, but it's getting much harder physically.  He's showing some very bad signs of wear, and Dean isn't letting it go.  Dean benches him from hunting, but since when has Sam listened outright to big brother?  He needs to work, needs to more forward.  Luckily, Charlie backs his play.  Sam may be physically weak, but he still has his smarts.  He was able to use his brains to outsmart the second Djinn, and cover Dean while he went to rescue Charlie.  

Sam gets to play big brother here a bit for Charlie.  He's protective, just like Dean, but he relishes in showing her a bit of the ropes too.  They share a geekiness for gadgets, but Charlie gets to play the sister looking up to big brother too.  She knows Sam is struggling and assures him he's strong, and no one is more capable of completing the trials, especially after she read his history in the Carver Edlund books.  He needed to hear that, since Dean's reaction so far has been worry (with good reason).  

hug2sam

That's why the hug from Dean at the end threw him back.  It's not a usual Dean thing to do, but Dean's the one person he really needed that show of support from.  Knowing that big brother is giving him a show of trust, that gives him the boost he needs to keep searching for Kevin and find out the details of the third trial.     

The Great Escapist

This is one of the best episodes ever in terms of Sam character development!  A real gem.  

Sam is really sick now.  He's feverish, achy, wobbly, but he knows this isn't just an illness.  Something else is happening to him.  He's changing and these trials are doing something to him internally that he can't explain.  Or at least he can't explain it at first.  It all becomes clear later.  

Mentally, Sam is really sharp.  He's remembering things from a long time ago he hasn't recalled in years, like an old Indian symbol from his studies at Stanford.  He makes the leap in a rather short period of time that Metatron, the messenger of God, can be found in Colorado.  He wrote the tablets, he should know what's on them, and that solves their missing prophet problem.  To Dean that conclusion is wacky and far out there, but to Sam, it couldn't be more logical.  They go, even though Sam can barely move without holding onto something.  Sam figures he's only going to get worse so they might as well go. 

Sure enough, when they arrive at the Indian casino in Colorado, Sam starts hearing a loud ringing sound and getting blurred vision.  Couple those loud noises with Sam's worsening condition, and suddenly Sam is having profound moments of clarity.  Granted the extraordinarily high fever and delirium could be contributing to those memories, but it's the perfect storm either way.  Okay, maybe not a farty donkey and a trip down the Grand Canyon when he and Dean were young, but I love watching Sam laugh during times when he's not quite himself.  Plus it was a funny story, even if it broke canon.  

This is Sam fighting on, but he can't clearly function on his own anymore.  He tries to investigate Metatron on his own, figuring out they're connected somehow, but he collapses from high fever.  He only lives because of Dean and a well timed ice bath!  (Yes, take a moment to enjoy wet Sam in an ice bath with those of us in the shallow end of the pool).  

SPN 0769

He knows where Metatron is and they have to investigate.  Dean just wants to get Sam to a hospital, but Sam knows that they can't help him.  There's something more at work.  

Vivid memories of Sam's childhood surface, and that makes Sam realize what these trials are really doing.  Just this whole speech, it rips your heart in two:

Sam:  Knights of the Round Table. Had all of King Arthur's knights, and they were all on the quest for the Holy Grail. And I remember looking at this picture of Sir Galahad, and, and, and he was kneeling, and— and light streaming over his face, and— I remember... thinking, uh, I could never go on a quest like that. Because I'm not clean. I mean, I was just a little kid. You think... maybe I knew? I mean, deep down, that— I had... demon blood in me, and about the evil of it, and that I'm— wasn't pure?
Dean:  Sam, it's not your fault.
Sam:  It doesn't matter anymore. Because these trials... they're purifying me.

samunclean

Sam knows he's never felt right, but to realize he's know this his entire life, as far back as his earliest memories, it's crushing.  But now, he's getting another chance.  He's being purified by these trials.  Sure, that could mean the demon blood is being expelled from him, or he's finally getting rid of that evil inside of him, or both, but that's why he's getting sick.  Purification is not an easy process.  It's grueling.  It's something that only the strongest must manage.  But to Sam, this is everything he's ever hoped for.  All the bad that's plagued him has a chance to be erased.  As a fan, seeing the agony that the character has been through all this time because of the demon blood, this is a major turn.  I really hope it's true for Sam's sake, because I'd love to see the story of a purified Sam moving forward.  

Sam:  I feel better, just having a direction to move in.
Dean:  Well, good, cause where we're headed doesn't sound like a picnic.
Sam:  But we're heading somewhere. The end.

Sam's declaration is optimistic, and at this point Sam is still seeing the happy ending.  The one where he is pure.  Where Kevin is alive.  Where the gates of Hell can be closed forever.  Everybody wins.  

Clip Show

Funny the difference a week makes.  Sam maybe weak physically, but he's never shown a crack in spirit...until now.  The trials are wearing him down, and it doesn't take much to fracture that strong resolve within.  Sure they learn something shocking, the way to cure demons, plus the Men of Letters cave has a dungeon, but it's coming at a cost.  Now those that they saved are being killed.  Suddenly his happy ending isn't worth it anymore.  Not if others get hurt.  It's up to Dean to help him stay the course, but Sam clearly isn't sure. 

Sacrifice

The title says it all.  We find out that God's ultimate sacrifice is the person doing the trials must lose his life when they're completed.  Sam's life.  

Sam doesn't know that though, and he's trying to keep his optimism that they're finally going to win this one after they capture Crowley.  He soldiers on, doing what he must do.  He's too far in this now to back away.  It's the only way to protect innocents from getting hurt.  He's probably figured out that each hour of drawing his blood was killing him, especially when his arms kept glowing and he weakened drastically.  But he carried on, because he must.

Sam's motivation on the surface is clear.  There's a bigger picture here.  They have to close the Gates of Hell.  Innocents can't die anymore.  He probably knew by the way he felt that he wouldn't survive the trials, yet he continued anyway.  But there's that hidden motivation too, one that is hinted when Sam overheard Dean's comment to Castiel.  "If anyone needs a chaperone while doing the heavy lifting it's Sam."  He was very hurt by the comment, even though he tried to hide it from Dean.  Failing this task was not an option.  He had something to prove.  At this point Dean, just like all of us, assumed it was Sam wanting to show that he's capable just like everyone else.  But it ends up being so much more.

With Sam we've always been left guessing what he's feeling inside, just because he's not an open person.  We rarely get that deep look within, and he's taken everything that's been dished at him, so we really don't know what's truly gotten under his skin.  Yet when Dean stops Sam in the knick of time, telling Sam he will die if he finishes the trial, the real story comes forth.  Sam's response sums up eight seasons of character development in one word.  

"So?"  

samso

In the beginning of the season, we were all a bit frustrated by Sam's declaration that Dean's disappearance broke him, and he ran to a fantasy life.  It was frustrating because it was a lot of tell, but no show.  We didn't see inside the real Sam, and all the vulnerabilities within of losing the one person on this earth that meant the entire world to him, especially after his mental breakdown horrors of last season.  The trials broke him down low enough where not only were those vulnerabilities surfacing again, but he couldn't hide them by running or swallowing pain.  They exposed what a lifetime of feeling different than everyone else and the guilt of running from his family for his own needs had done to Sam internally.  It truly damaged him.    

Sam: You want to know what I confessed in there? What my greatest sin was? It was how many times I let you down. I can't do that again.
Dean: Sam --
Sam: What happens when you've decided I can't be trusted again? I mean, who are you gonna turn to next time instead of me? Another angel, another -- another vampire? Do you have any idea what it feels like to watch your brother just --

Ah, it all finally makes sense.  Sam has always felt loyalty to Dean, but has rarely felt equal to his brother's worth.  That is where he's truly been damaged.  Part of that has always been because of the demon blood, and his belief that Dean's always looked at him like he was different.  But when Dean turned to other beings like Castiel and Benny instead of him, Sam saw that as his failure to live up to his brother's expectations and it hurt.  No wonder he was resentful of Benny.  His own brother doesn't trust or believe in him.  That pain probably still lingers from Dean's rejection in "When The Levee Breaks."  Or remember "Two Minutes To Midnight" when Sam was trying to convince Dean of the plan to say yes to Lucifer?  

"Look, Dean, um...For the record...I agree with you. About me. You think I'm too weak to take on Lucifer. Well, so do I. Believe me, I know exactly how screwed up I am. You, Bobby, Cass...I'm the least of any of you."

None of those feelings of inadequacy truly went away, and have continued to fester all this time as Sam has continued to do things that haven't lived up to his brother's expectations.  When Dean returned from Purgatory upset that Sam went on with his life, it was no different than when he left the family for Stanford.  Once again, he did the wrong thing, and betrayed the family.  Then he found out thanks to a cursed penny his brother never forgave him for Ruby, setting Lucifer free, coming back from Hell soulless and letting Dean believe he was dead for a year while hunting with the Campbells, on top of not looking for him.  

The trials was all about purity and redemption.  Sam finally got the chance to do something that will make it all up to his brother.  Dean will finally get his revenge against all those demons that ruined his life.  Dean doesn't need him around, and will value his sacrifice in a world without demons.  His death is just the formality of it all, and no one will really miss him.  

"So?"  

Speaks volumes, doesn't it?  Lucky for all of us, Dean saw Sam's words as an act of a tired, physically and emotionally devastated man.  He's seen Sam at lows, but this is his lowest.  The light has gone very dim, and now it's Dean's turn to guide his brother out of the tunnel.  When Sam heard that nothing to Dean was more important than him, including closing the Gates of Hell, that was something he waited a lifetime to hear, or so it seemed.  Did Sam see that as an act of forgiveness?  Maybe, but I don't think Sam will ever stop feeling guilty.  It's more of a sign of faith.  Sam was exhausted, messed up, extremely sick, and just didn't want to do the wrong thing anymore.  He learned the hard way that good intentions haven't gotten him anywhere, and he was too exhausted to make a sound call.  He collapsed into his big brother's arms and let him take control.  He trusts Dean more than anything or anyone, and Dean truly does need him.  

HUGSAMDEANWIDE

Of course Sam's act caused him to collapse and struggle for breath anyway, so was giving up the chance to close the Gates of Hell for not?  Will Sam be redeemed, or continue to be cursed no matter what he does?  That's for season nine to tell us!  

What are our hopes for Sam in season 9?  For one, to get better!  Two, to foster that sense of self worth and grow as a Man of Letters with his new found purity.  Most of all though be there as an equal with Dean, and together they both step up into new roles of prominence as they show Heaven and Hell they can't mess with humanity.  Or, I'll also accept more awesome looking hair.  

Thanks everyone and look for this "Deeper Look" series to continue again after season nine.  

Here's the other "A Deeper Look at Sam Winchester" articles from seasons past.  

A Deeper Look at Season Three Sam Winchester
A Deeper Look at Season Four Sam Winchester
A Deeper Look at Season Five Sam Winchester
A Deeper Look at Season Six Sam Winchester
A Deeper Look at Season Seven Sam Winchester




Comments  

KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-07-06 06:39
Thanks Alice, for your great reports on Sam and Dean in season 8. I've really enjoyed reading them and reliving the season.

I've just re-watched season 7 and I'm halfway through my season 8 re-watch, and I agree with you that there was so much more character growth for both the brothers in season 8. Season 7 just got so depressing after they lost so much and then ended up apart. There was too much darkness and very little light. Even in season 5, when they were facing the apocalypse, there was still hope.

So it was great to see Sam and Dean working their way back towards each other in season 8 - even though, at times, it was two steps forward and one step backwards. Some of their old camaraderie had returned, and I really loved that :-)

I have to say that I really enjoyed the first half of the season, even though there was a lack of chemistry between Sam and Amelia. I also didn't mind the flashbacks and think they got stronger as time went on (although I take your point about being bored by them). I guess I just enjoyed seeing a different side to Sam, and I can now see how important they were for Sam's story this season. Honestly, there were a couple of episodes in the second half of the season that I found weaker than those in the first half (MBFWB and F&G, for example).

I'm really excited about the possibilities for season 9; the cliff-hanger has left us in a great place, which makes the anticipation even greater. I do hope that they find a way to heal Sam early on, because I wouldn't want to see that storyline stretched out for an entire season (like they did with his hellucinations in season 7). I also hope that he has been purified, but given his luck, that might be optimistic.

Anyhow, I've rambled on for long enough. Thanks again, Alice. And now, bring on season 9 :D
Dot
# Dot 2013-07-06 11:39
I loved Trial and Error, but it sucked some of the wind of the sails when SPN went back yet again to Sam with some mysterious supernaturally based affliction or ailment and hiding things from Dean. What saved things for me was how much this story was used to take a deeper look into Sam's psyche and his motivations. Sam wants so badly to share the load with Dean, to be there for his brother--instea d circumstances over and over keep putting them in the position of Sam leaning on Dean. I do feel like this time through was a way to examine the impact of this.

The purification idea was really interesting--I' d expected Sam to be turning into something else, and was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be about Sam's history, Sam's body in fact purging those altering things, and insights into how Sam feels.

Exhausted physically and emotionally from the trials and with the knowledge of Dean's hurt, a cumulation of recent history, it's no wonder Sam got confused and believed he'd become nothing but a burden and Dean had to set things straight. Sam started out believing in the light at the end of the tunnel, and the process of the trials wore him out.

Sam's "so" ripped my heart out. It was heartbreaking seeing Sam, who's often been a character very much about hope, effectively give up for a moment in the finale. He lost sight of his own light at the end of the tunnel and his own value, but Sam in fact succeeded in his goal, Dean's the one seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and some hope.

While I did love the church scene, I have some ambivalence about it. That this degree of misunderstandin g could happen, after all they've been through. I know people backslide and maybe in a sense this was a necessary "purification" for some lingering issues that never really got addressed. But was it growth or backsliding? They are stronger together, but the cycle the relationship keeps getting caught on is also damaging to both. It's also unsettling that Dean has to cite effectively killing a friend in order to help talk Sam down. That's perhaps more of a Dean topic--and I don't for a minute think Sam resented that Dean had found others to rely on, so much as the fact that Dean had found others he relied on so clearly, reminded Sam of the ways Sam feels he's failed Dean. But I liked your point about faith, the act of Dean wanting to save him, believing in Sam after everything, is what talked Sam down, rather than the specifics.

Freaks and Geeks did have relevance to Sam's arc. It showed a life that wasn't either/or. Even though the hunter turned out to be corrupt, we have Krissy choosing to stay in the house with her found family, kids who go to school and learn the hunting craft. It goes along with the MoL as hunting lifestyles other than 110% itinerant immersion. The possibility that Sam might not have to make a hard line choice.
Amyh
# Amyh 2013-07-06 13:29
Alice, you have given me a lot to think about rgarding your perception about what Carver was trying to do with Sam. But their are a few things that really bug me about Sams story. All sam's family died - hell they died multiple times - and after all those losses...all his personal traumas - he 'imploded and ran. Sam simply couldn't continue anymore. Did Dean understand this? Did Bobby? Nope. All they saw was one more betrayal. They saw Sams humanity as a BETRAYAL. And thats why a large section of the fandom sees Sam as less then Dean; as betraying Dean. Because Dean simply never saw Sams very human reaction. Maybe if Sam had turned all the negatives into lemonade much like Dean did with hell and purgatory....tu rning them into positive experiences ...even making new friends/family members in the process. Not to mention Bobby absolutely washed his hands off of Sam at the end of Season 5 but then demanded he and Dean help him get his soul back...even though he basically cut ties with Sam when Souless returned from HELL.

I think Pac man fever was such a HUGE miss in regards to Sam and Charlie. it should have been Sam who told Charlie about the trials instead of Dean. In all the time they spent together - they must have stood around twiddeling their fingers waiting for Dean to show up at the morgue - we should have gotten a personal scene between them with Sam relating his own story to her. Or at least Charlie telling Sam Dean told her about the trials and Sam opening up too her.

And I dont trust those SN books. We already know Chuck took 'liberties' with his visions. In the Lilith and Sam vision he had it ended before anything happened but he took the creative approach and had them "succumbing to demonic passion." When in reality Sam used the opportunity tii try and kill her. Who knows what other liberties Chuck took. So Charlie basing an opinion of Sam on those books frieghtens me.

Honestly? None of the reveals we got from Sam came as a surprise. Not his feeling unclean from childhood....no t his feeling inferior or that everything he does or decide (weather it be trying to pursue a life he feels he is good at or trying to save Dean from ...well anything) comes out wrong and will be seen as intentional betrayal.

What I'd like to see in Season 9 is:

1) Sam confident and makes the right decisons. If the writers wont let him do so then he shouldn't be hunting.

2) I'd like to see Sam written as a true equal. This is odd but I feel as long as Dean refers to him as "little" brother or even "Sammy' then Dean is not seeing him as an equal especially when others are 'Brother" Brother to me is an equal. Little brother is someone you have to chaperone and think less of their abilities...esp ecially in front of those Dean thinks of as "Brother". They wiill simply assume Deans thinking and attitude. Cas already does.

3) I'd liek to see Sam gain his own friend...who he trusts enough too open up to; laugh with. Or at least develope his own unique bonds with their known allies. Its too late of course with cas for the reason above.

4) For the writers to see Sam when he isn't with Dean. And to let us see Sam when he isn't with Dean.

5) Give Sam his sense of humor and his faith back. Let him have interests outside of research.

6) Sam is supposed to be the second best hunter in the world. Lets see him be that Hunter instead of the problem/mystery to be fixed/saved/solved

7) for Sam and Dean to be friends. Real, honest too god friends. Lets see them mix up that brain and brawn. Show us kick ass hunting moments and then in between the two are playing chess together. or words with friends. I still miss their friendhsip from Its a Terrible Life.
eilf
# eilf 2013-07-06 13:47
Quote:
Did Sam see that as an act of forgiveness? Maybe, but I don’t think Sam will ever stop feeling guilty. It’s more of a sign of faith. Sam was exhausted, messed up, extremely sick, and just didn’t want to do the wrong thing anymore. He learned the hard way that good intentions haven’t gotten him anywhere, and he was too exhausted to make a sound call. He collapsed into his big brother’s arms and let him take control.
Alice, I really appreciate the logic of your interpretation of what happened in Sacrifice. For me none of the other interpretations ever seemed to take everything into account or acknowledge the difference between Sam's desperate request and the response from Dean that he accepted. His releasing the decision making to Dean DOES take everything into consideration and makes sense within the storyline. Thank you for that.

However if it is the case then I really don't like the future implications of that decision (of course deciding not to make a decision is in itself a decision :-) ). If it works out for them - that Dean made the right decision for them both - does that mean that is what Sam (and Cas and Benny) should always do?

Anyway I am happy that Jeremy Carver is writing the first episode of the new season so we should get to see continuity of what happens next.
Amyh
# Amyh 2013-07-08 18:00
Quote:
Did Sam see that as an act of forgiveness? Maybe, but I don’t think Sam will ever stop feeling guilty. It’s more of a sign of faith. Sam was exhausted, messed up, extremely sick, and just didn’t want to do the wrong thing anymore. He learned the hard way that good intentions haven’t gotten him anywhere, and he was too exhausted to make a sound call. He collapsed into his big brother’s arms and let him take control.
Alice, I really appreciate the logic of your interpretation of what happened in Sacrifice. For me none of the other interpretations ever seemed to take everything into account or acknowledge the difference between Sam's desperate request and the response from Dean that he accepted. His releasing the decision making to Dean DOES take everything into consideration and makes sense within the storyline. Thank you for that.

However if it is the case then I really don't like the future implications of that decision (of course deciding not to make a decision is in itself a decision :-) ). If it works out for them - that Dean made the right decision for them both - does that mean that is what Sam (and Cas and Benny) should always do?


There is no such thing as Free Will....only Dean's Will. Sam had it pegged in the season premiere. A theme the writers have embraced totally.
LoveMyCas
# LoveMyCas 2013-07-06 14:25
Amyh, I completely agree with you about everyone else's reactions to Sam's reaction. Who wouldn't go insane after all that? They were mad at him for being human, and that just isn't okay. I wondered if they would give us a bigger reason and when they didn't I accepted it. Yes, they are amazing characters, but they can't always make the decision with a clear head, their hearts get in the way. Sam, wouldn't be Sam, if he didn't care so much. After everything he went through, I think he was entitled to run, he had no one and nothing. How would he have found Dean? Cas, gone. Bobby, Kevin, Dean. Gone. Even Meg was gone. He has to have a breaking point, when he gives in to his emotions.

Now..I LOVED this article. It brought tears to my eyes reading it and when I got to the "So?" it hit me in the gut all over again. I love that these characters make me feel so much, that's when you know they are truly good actors with an amazing story. The article was written beautifully, also. You have a gift with words. Thank you for sharing your insight, I always love reading these articles and seeing how other fans interperet things the characters do and say. Did you also write the Deeper Look Into Dean Winchester articles?
st50
# st50 2013-07-06 17:22
Alice, I like your interpretation of the final scene of Sacrifice. That does make sense, given that Sam really doesn't trust himself to "get it right". If that was what they were going for, though, the the writers have their work cut out in setting it right.

Amyh, I'm pretty much in agreement with you, as well.

One of my biggest pet peeves of the season is that the only person to successfully - 1) ask Sam about his year, 2) get Sam willing to talk, and 3) actually listen to him - was Meg. A demon. And yes, I know Meg got a chance to look at all of Sam's thoughts and feelings during the possession, so he doesn't feel like he's got anything to hide, but...
What happened to the guy who knew Sam better than anyone? Or the father figure who knew Sam was always a "deep son of a bitch"?
I have issues with the idea that neither Dean nor Bobby ever actually thought there was more going on than the desire for normal, and a willingness to keep to some agreement..... And that the writers chose to have No One Else for Sam to talk to.

My wishes for season 9? Let the guys actually get to know each other again. Let Dean be the center of the Supernatural attention, and let Sam finally have the POV.
Bella-UK
# Bella-UK 2013-07-06 19:14
Thank you Alice for restoring my faith back in Sam and both brothers. This season was real torture for me as I couldn't put the missing links together. I think Jeremy is doing a pretty good job in understanding the boys. Even on my blog we've not got this far in penning it all. So hats of to you. It must have taken you hours upon hours of re-wind and figuring out to be able to relay it all back to us. I feel a whole lot better, they are both heroes in my book. Boy I love this show so much .... :smile:
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2013-07-07 05:59
Poor Sam. No wonder he can't work out what to do:

- End of Season One: Sam does the 'right thing' and doesn't kill his possessed Dad. Dad not only ends up dead anyway but in Hell. Dean is screwed up about his Dad's sacrifice.

- End of Season Two: Sam does the 'right thing' and doesn't kill Jake. Jake kills him and Dean ends up consigned to Hell in a year's time. AND the Gate To Hell is opened.

- End of Season Three: Sam does the 'right thing' and doesn't listen to Ruby. Dean ends up going to Hell and Sam goes insane with desperation.

- Season Four: Desperately depressed, Sam finally decides to do something different. Not really surprising given how doing the 'right thing' has turned out in the past. So he does the 'wrong thing' but for the right reasons (mostly). Ends up going darkside and accidentally releases Lucifer.

- End of Season Five: Finally a decision he makes works out for the best! Except doing the 'right thing' means spending 150 years in Hell with Lucifer and then he comes back soulless.

- Season Six/Seven: After all that sacrifice it turns out stopping the Apocalypse wasn't consequence-fre e. There is chaos in heaven and Cas goes so darkside he makes Season 4 Sam look like My Little Pony. Unsurprisingly Sam goes mad.

Who can blame him for not having a clue what to do in Season 8?
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2013-07-07 07:49
Quote:
Poor Sam. No wonder he can't work out what to do:

- End of Season One: Sam does the 'right thing' and doesn't kill his possessed Dad. Dad not only ends up dead anyway but in Hell. Dean is screwed up about his Dad's sacrifice.

- End of Season Two: Sam does the 'right thing' and doesn't kill Jake. Jake kills him and Dean ends up consigned to Hell in a year's time. AND the Gate To Hell is opened.

- End of Season Three: Sam does the 'right thing' and doesn't listen to Ruby. Dean ends up going to Hell and Sam goes insane with desperation.

- Season Four: Desperately depressed, Sam finally decides to do something different. Not really surprising given how doing the 'right thing' has turned out in the past. So he does the 'wrong thing' but for the right reasons (mostly). Ends up going darkside and accidentally releases Lucifer.

- End of Season Five: Finally a decision he makes works out for the best! Except doing the 'right thing' means spending 150 years in Hell with Lucifer and then he comes back soulless.

- Season Six/Seven: After all that sacrifice it turns out stopping the Apocalypse wasn't consequence-free. There is chaos in heaven and Cas goes so darkside he makes Season 4 Sam look like My Little Pony. Unsurprisingly Sam goes mad.

Who can blame him for not having a clue what to do in Season 8?
AMEN, lol.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-07-07 10:09
Sorry for disagreeing but I saw no growth from Sam (or Dean) this season. There were touches of it at the start of the season but they fell right back into the same old, same old pattern about half way through.

For me, Sam showed no character development, quite the opposite. When a character starts the season being shown to cope and get on with his life after the loss of his brother, but being mature enough to get out of the life that killed everyone he loves and not repeat the mistakes of the past, to finding his feet in life again via a relationship, a home, a job and hopes for the future and ends the season being willing to casually throw his life away for the want of a word of acceptance or trust or forgiveness from a brother who seems disinclined to give any of them, is not character development. That’s character regression back to the Stone Age.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that changing. For all of Dean’s speech at the end of 8.23, it’s notable that he did not give Sam the forgiveness or the trust that he was willing to die for. Instead he told him to let it go. What exactly does he want Sam to let go of, those feelings? How can he let go of them when what drives them hasn’t been addressed? In truth, it’s hard to even see how Sam can let it go, when Dean himself hasn’t let it go. On the contrary he’s held onto it and let it fester for years and it’s dictated many of Dean’s actions, words and issues in seasons past so I’ve doubts as to whether Dean can, or even wants, to let it go so unless we’re in for another season of ‘Do as I say but not as I do’ from Dean then I don’t see season 9 being any different in that regard.

As much as I’m okay with Sam not looking for Dean (believing he was dead, not wanting the world to end again to bring back his brother), an action such as that needed to be treated with kid gloves and it wasn’t. Instead what we got was a few random statements scattered across random episodes, none of which were developed. That, combined with one scene in 8.21 and one scene in 8.23, was the extent of Sam’s ‘human story’ for the season. The decision to have Sam explain his reasons etc off-screen to a character who died soon after is inexplicable and at this stage reeks of the writers/showrun ner knowing that (a) their explanation for same didn’t work and (b) they hadn’t put enough effort into showing the effects that Dean’s death/loss had on Sam therefore they were covering their asses by ensuring that Sam got to explain his reasons but also that we, the audience, and Dean, never got to hear them.

In relation to what I’d like to see from Sam next season, it’s usually the same as it is the previous season; I’d like Sam to have someone to confide in because he needs someone to confide in, someone who will listen to him and advise him and not merely judge him. As similar as they are I don’t think that can be Castiel mainly because Castiel is too wrapped up in Dean to ever be able to defend Sam to Dean or defend Sam from Dean. Add to that, Castiel has, unknown to Sam, betrayed him too often in the past to ever be a true confidante to him. For that to happen there would need to be full disclosure between them, and I don’t see that happening because I don’t see Castiel doing anything to jeopardise his tenuous relationship with Dean and Castiel ‘fessing up about his past actions might do that.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-07-07 11:36
Quote:
The decision to have Sam explain his reasons etc off-screen to a character who died soon after
You are talking about Sarah here? I'm asking because I had to wrack my brain to come up with anyone that Sam said boo to about why he didn't look for Dean.

Quote:
Unfortunately, I don’t see that changing. For all of Dean’s speech at the end of 8.23, it’s notable that he did not give Sam the forgiveness or the trust that he was willing to die for. Instead he told him to let it go. What exactly does he want Sam to let go of, those feelings? How can he let go of them when what drives them hasn’t been addressed? In truth, it’s hard to even see how Sam can let it go, when Dean himself hasn’t let it go.
That struck me as well. Dean never said he forgave Sam and frankly after the "I forgive everyone, everything even in advance" speech that Dean gave over Rufus's grave I'm not sure saying he forgives Sam would be real. He also told Sam that he trusted him in Swan Song, only for us to find out that he still holds Ruby and Sam's biggest mistakes against him.

I'm not sure Dean can forgive or trust Sam. I have said before that Dean is an emotional hoarder. He holds onto the love he has lost even if the relationship was very short (Cassie, Lisa before season six). He also holds onto his anger, hurt and blame. Sam has made huge mistakes, but so has Dean. Sam tends to fight his battles on issues in the present: Dean being bossy; Sam wanting to live a normal life; Sam's hurt that Dean trusts Cas (who destroyed Sam deliberately) and Benny; Dean sending the text message. It is different personality styles, but to me it means that Dean may love Sam, but he does not seem capable of letting go of the hurt he has felt from Sam.
castiels cat
# castiels cat 2013-07-07 14:03
Sam didn't apologize either, so how can Dean forgive if there isn't an apology. Sam pulled another woe is me Dean, it makes me feel bad that you trust that angel and that vampire more than me so I' d just rather die. Quite Reminiscent of blaming Dean for running off with Ruby.

Step 1 is self acknowledgement of one' s mistakes. I guess step 2 is losing the self- pity, and step 3 making amends. I think Dean will forgive him when he makes amends. After all, he forgives Castiel.

Getting Sam to step 1 after 8 years is immense character development and something to cheer about. I hope that Sam will behave as a responsible adult in season 9 and will no longer blame family, especially Dean, or Dean' s friends for his mistakes. A little guilt thrown in will be nice and humbling. I expect him to be disabled for some time in true tragic hero form, to balance out the years of self- serving hubris.
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2013-07-07 14:13
Quote:

Step 1 is self acknowledgement of one' s mistakes. I guess step 2 is losing the self- pity, and step 3 making amends.
So committing to spend eternity being tortured by Lucifer doesn't count as making amends for your mistakes? Glad I'm not your sister :)
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-07 14:23
i have to agree here. and sam did apologize for ruby. watch sympathy for the devil. he kept saying he was sorry. dean kept telling sam to drop it. then in good god y'all sam admitted to dean in his speech at the end that there was something in him. he took responsibility for the demon blood. he took responsibility for everything and before he left dean he apologized again. so sam did apologize to dean for ruby. he apologized for freeing lucifer. he jumped in the pit to redeem himself to dean, God, and humanity. it's always been my belief that his rescue, although fumbled was his reward. God's way of letting sam know he had been forgiven..hence sam's speech about not feeling guilty so much in i forget which eppy.
i don't think apologies are what's necessary here. i don't think either brother is asking for them. i think what they need is to be more open and honest and now that they finally see ea. other for the first time with such clarity, the rest will follow. jmo of course. :lol:
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-07-07 14:23
Sam apologised for the Apocalypse, accepted full responsibility for it and spent a year trying to make amends for it and to Dean. It culminated in him sacrificing himself to the Cage.

Sam apologised for what he did as Soulless Sam, accepted full responsibility for it and he tried to make amends for it. It culminated in a crack in the wall.

Perhaps Sam didn’t apologise in season 8 because he now knows that it hasn’t made a damn bit of difference any time he has done so in the past?
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-07-07 14:30
Quote:
Sam didn't apologize either, so how can Dean forgive if there isn't an apology. Sam pulled another woe is me Dean, it makes me feel bad that you trust that angel and that vampire more than me so I' d just rather die. Quite Reminiscent of blaming Dean for running off with Ruby.

Step 1 is self acknowledgement of one' s mistakes. I guess step 2 is losing the self- pity, and step 3 making amends. I think Dean will forgive him when he makes amends. After all, he forgives Castiel.

Getting Sam to step 1 after 8 years is immense character development and something to cheer about. I hope that Sam will behave as a responsible adult in season 9 and will no longer blame family, especially Dean, or Dean' s friends for his mistakes. A little guilt thrown in will be nice and humbling. I expect him to be disabled for some time in true tragic hero form, to balance out the years of self- serving hubris.
I naturally do not have to tell you I whole heartily disagree and that if you view that wreck of a man who barely utters a word that stood in front of Dean as self pitying and a' woe is me' then there really is not much I need to say but the way some have vilified Sam and skewered that scene never ceases to amaze me . And what amends must Sam make ? what more can he do if jumping into that cage is not enough , taking responsibilty for Soulless Sam when that wasnt even his fault esp in Unforgiven and willing to put his sanity on the line is not making amends then you and I have a completely different interpretation of the word.

Self serving hubris is that before selfish and between blaming everybody in your book does that include going to college , the Lucky Charms ? .
I shall be honest I do not want another season where Sam has to justify himself or feel guilty of something even though the show cannot get away from the idea .I did not welcome it last season and it just keeps encouraging and rehashing with no disrespect views like yours.

I agree with others Sam desperately needs a friend separate from everything around him and someone who will talk to him and more importantly allows him to talk , seek's how he feels and listen,s without all the judgements and baggage. .
E
# E 2013-07-07 18:01
The utter and total irony of your post is that Sam DID apologize in word and deed over and over again, (pretty much the totality of season 5 was Sam apologizing to Dean continually, culminating in the ultimate act of contrition; throwing himself into the pit) but despite all that Dean has not forgiven him or forgotten his transgressions, repeatedly bringing them up again and again. Castiel on the other hand has not once apologized or atoned to either Sam OR Dean and for any of the multiple things that he has done; he hasn't even admitted some of them like letting Sam out of the cage so that he would go and kill Lilith. Yet Dean has seemingly totally forgiven him all of his destructive actions, the majority of which were committed against Sam and all without a single apology, admission of wrong doing, or atonement. Hum.. interesting double standard going on there.

I think some fans have selective memory when it comes to Sam and his desire to make things up to Dean. They don't think Sam has ever apologized or atoned enough because they don't want to. Absolving Sam of some of the blame they lay against him might make Dean look bad, so they refuse to see what is scripted canon. See below for a few examples:

Sam in Lucifer Rising 4x22, "Dean, I'm sorry."

Sam in Sympathy for the Devil, "Dean, look..." Dean doesn't let him finish, but this was most likely an attempt to apologize.

Sam in Sympathy for the Devil, "Well, that's good, because what can I even say? 'I'm sorry?' 'I screwed up?' doesn't really do it justice. Look, there's nothing I can do or say that can ever make this right - " again cut off by Dean who is not willing to hear it.

Sam in Sympathy for the Devil:
SAM turns to face BOBBY.
SAM "No, actually. Bobby, this is all my fault. I'm sorry."
DEAN "Sam...
SAM "Lilith did not break the final seal. Lilith was the final seal."
DEAN "Sam, stop it."
SAM "I killed her, and I set Lucifer free."
BOBBY "You what?"
SAM "You guys warned me about Ruby, the demon blood, but I didn't listen. I brought this on."
DEAN says nothing. BOBBY stands up and walks closer.
BOBBY "You're damn right you didn't listen. You were reckless and selfish and arrogant."
SAM "I'm sorry." This is not necessarily to Dean specifically, but clearly he knows what he did was wrong, he feels bad about it and utters multiple apologies which Dean heard.

Sam in Sympathy for the Devil:
SAM "Is there something you want to say to me?"
A long pause.
DEAN "I tried, Sammy. I mean, I really tried. But I just can't keep pretending that everything's all right.
Because it's not. And it's never going to be. You chose a demon over your own brother—"
SAM rolls his eyes.
DEAN "—and look what happened."
SAM "I would give anything—anyt hing—to take it all back."
DEAN "I know you would. And I know how sorry you are. I do. But, man...you were the one that I depended on the most. And you let me down in ways that I can't even..."
DEAN pauses, struggling for words.
DEAN "I'm just—I'm having a hard time forgiving and forgetting here. You know?"
SAM "What can I do?"
DEAN "Honestly? Nothing."
SAM nods a little, looking down: this doesn't surprise him.
DEAN "I just don't...I don't think that we can ever be what we were. You know?"
SAM nods again: this isn't a surprise either.
DEAN "I just don't think I can trust you."
SAM looks up: this he wasn't expecting. DEAN shakes his head and walks away, pausing at the trunk of the Impala to look back, then gets into the driver's seat.

So, there you have it, no less than 5 apologies in barely two episodes. Fans can continue to deny that Sam apologized, but the proof is clearly in the scripts.
eilf
# eilf 2013-07-07 19:04
.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-08 22:30
Hallelujah E! I get so tired of reading that he didn't apologize. I do have to wonder if they just skipped scenes with Sam.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-08 23:03
If I may wade in, I believe I see the bone of contention in your last quotation there. I’m not sure it’s a matter of apology as it is a difference of perspective between Sam and Dean. Show has been pretty consistent in portraying Sam as a person focused on the big picture and Dean as a person focused on the small picture, so to speak. Therefore, I think fans of the different characters tend to take on that same perspective, wherein lies the difference here.

Sam apologized immediately, and I believe that he was sincere. I think he was overwhelmed by the horror of what his actions had caused, i.e, the breaking of the last seal (I don’t like to say that he set Lucifer free, because there were 65 other seals before that so he shouldn’t take the blame alone). To him, that was his biggest sin, and what he had to feel the most sorry about. There was no way, in his mind, to apologize for that, which we can see from his words. It fits in with his big picture perspective, which was present in abundance the year before, when Sam knew what he was doing was bad and hurting his brother but felt his big goal was important enough that he had to let go of that.

But in terms of Dean, I think Sam was missing the forest for the trees. To Dean, for whom family was the most important thing, Sam choosing to listen to and ultimately believe and trust Ruby over him was the worst thing he could have done. But when Dean voiced that, saying that Sam chose Ruby over him, Sam rolled his eyes. He didn’t get it, because to Sam the pain he’d caused Dean was minor in the face of unleashing Lucifer. To Dean, unleashing Lucifer was minor in comparison to turning his back on Dean and everything Sam had seemingly believed in before.

But from this point on, show never really let Sam address what Dean said. He rolled his eyes, he claimed Dean drove him to Ruby in Fallen Idols, and then he didn’t really ever talk about it again. Even in the end, when Sam spoke of redemption, he spoke of how he broke the world and had to fix it. His mind was on the big picture, and he didn’t seem to recognize the small picture, or maybe it was too overwhelming to think about. To me, the finale this season could point to that—Sam never addressed Dean’s hurt regarding Sam not looking for him. It didn’t seem to register at all to him, until the finale when it was so overwhelming and the trials had weakened him enough that he broke from it. Sam fans are more attuned to his big picture view, so it’s easier to attribute Sam’s sacrificial act as an all-encompassin g redemption, even if he never addressed Dean’s pain specifically.

For Dean, however, who tends to focus on the small picture because the big picture is overwhelming, the fact that Sam never addressed his words in 5.1 or his pain in the first half of the S8 appeared more like indifference. Sam rolled his eyes at what had hurt Dean the most in S4 and never directly spoke to it, so it would be easy for Dean to believe that it just didn’t matter to Sam. Dean fans are more attuned with Dean’s small picture view, so it’s easier to see that Sam never addressed Dean’s specific pain and seemed focused solely on the apocalypse. Therefore, it’s easier to say that Sam didn’t apologize or atone for that specifically, because he didn’t. With an eye-roll it was brushed off and never spoken of again. For what it’s worth, I do think that Sam’s apologies and redemption were meant to be all encompassing, but at the same time I can see why in the small picture they really didn’t do enough to address Dean’s hurt specifically.

It may not be how every Dean fan views it (in fact I’m sure it’s not), but that’s my theory. I'm not going to say Sam's view or Dean's view was wrong necessarily, but I do think the difference in their perspectives, and by extension their fans, is the cause of the problem.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-09 00:09
just saying, I could definitely see that being the disconnect and I know it is for at least a few fans because I had a discussion with Emmau (I think it was) who felt the same way. Though I don't agree that his apologies were for just the seal I can see how others might take it that way. (although it still upsets when they say he didn't apologize at all because that is just ignoring facts)

I do think what he did was totally overwhelming to Sam. I think the scope of letting Lucifer loose on the world overshadow what he did to Dean, during that time. So it is easy to believe that he lumped the brother stuff in with the rest and believed Lucifer is what Dean was really upset about. Because how could their dysfunctional relationship trump ending the world.

But Dean doesn't trust lightly. And he trusted Sam more than anyone. So having that destroyed WAS probably more of a blow than the seal. And I don't think Dean HAS ever trusted again really. Maybe Bobby, but I don't think he has ever REALLY trusted Sam or anyone else.

But if we take S4 down to a brotherly hurt level solely without taking the Apocalypse stuff into account, then let's be honest, Dean wasn't completely flawless in his dealings with Sam S4. He said and did some incredibly hurtful things (some deserved, some not), which Sam hasn't held against him and likely doesn't think he deserves an apology for. Because Sam accepted full blame for everything, even though, as you said, there were 65 other seals, and Dean broke the first one. But Sam has never mentioned that even in anger. Even though he broken the seals by torturing,

Sam continued to take responsibility for anything he was connected to, even things that weren't his fault-like being soulless.

Tangent-The Fallen Idols speech wasn't good and I can see how it irritates people, but he WAS taking responsibility in it. It kind of mirrors addiction recovery language which is where I'm assuming they got it. Recognize patterns of behavior in your relationship with others, so you can make healthier choices in the future. Make your own decisions good or bad and take responsibility for those decisions. To me it was clear by the language that that is what Sam was saying but I will grant that it could cause confusion if not familiar with that line of thinking. BUT that is the ONLY time in 8 seasons where there is even a hint of Sam blaming Dean for his actions and even then he very clearly says it was his fault not Dean's. End of Tangent

I have to admit their reconciliation in S5 didn't feel either had dealt with all the stuff that boiled for those two seasons. So I was kinda happy they opened the wound again, so to speak, so this time it could heal properly. And if they continue where they started in Sacrifice (or really the Great Escapist) I could get totally psyched. Especially if they truly deal with the hurt on BOTH sides. We've Dean rant in anger and Sam in pain but I really don't feel like it is resolved yet. So I hope the writers don't drop.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-09 00:45
There’s some common ground to be found here, and that’s a good thing. I agree that the scope of what happened as a result of Sam’s genuinely well-intentione d actions had to be completely devastating for him in 5.1. I can definitely see where “I set the devil free” would be first and foremost in his mind. At the same time, Dean doesn’t trust many people, and I agree that I don’t think he really ever trusted anyone again. I don’t even think he could trust Bobby, because understandably S5 reeling from debilitating injury Bobby wasn’t always dependable and S6 Bobby allowed Dean to believe his brother was dead. So they both definitely contributed to the dysfunction of the relationship by never dealing with much of any of the problems from S4.

Yes, I agree that Dean wasn’t flawless in S4. I’m not sure why that’s really an issue here, but I agree. What Sam believes he does or does not deserve an apology for isn’t really germane to what hurts Dean and what he believes he deserves an apology for, at least in my opinion, because they are two different characters who need different things. I would certainly hope Sam would never speak derisively of Dean breaking under torture or breaking the first seal because of that—it’s basic human decency, really. I mean, we can credit him for it, but seriously.

I think Sam does take responsibility. I would never argue that he doesn’t. I also think Dean takes responsibility. In fact, they both take responsibility for things they shouldn’t. But . . . they also both shy away from responsibilitie s that are hard to confront sometimes, and most often that responsibility is connected to their brother. I think that was clear this year. Dean didn’t start taking responsibility for how his behavior might have been affecting Dean until after 8.11. Sam didn’t face up to how his behavior affected Dean until the finale. So while they are both heroic in terms of facing up to their responsibility in the wider world, even to the point of martyrdom, they both also have a human tendency to avoid what really is the hardest at times, and that is facing up to their wrongs against each other. It's hard to fault them too much for that, but at the same time it's time to grow at least a little on that front.

As for Fallen Idols, I’m afraid that’s where we have to part ways a bit because I loathe that speech. A lot. To me, it’s impossible to take responsibility for your behavior by telling someone else how they need to change while not addressing the changes you yourself have to make. And honestly, “I have to do this because you won't trust me and who knows who you’ll trust next if I don’t” is pretty blame-y to me, too. So we can agree to disagree in terms of tangent.

We can reach common ground again in that I was also initially happy that if show was going to break the brothers at the beginning of the past season, they might actually resolve all of the issues and fix them right this time, since they really hadn't addressed everything. Unfortunately for me, I don’t think they’ve come close to that yet, and writing for both Sam and Dean really made things worse at times. Yes, Dean was able to voice his anger (under coercion) in SC, but Sam did not address it at all or show any signs that he acknowledged Dean’s feelings at all until the finale, when it was used as a catalyst for Sam pain and a dramatic moment, which to me felt a little manipulative and undermined what they were trying to do with Sam (though I am glad others didn’t have the same problems I had there). It seemed that he just ignored it all until then, so it could serve as a good starting point. Like you’ve said, the fear is that show decides that Dean giving a speech with no response for multiple episodes and Sam giving a speech and trying to kill himself to prove a point to Dean and getting validation for it fixes everything. It really doesn’t—for either of them. So we’ll see what show decides to do with it.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-09 01:21
Let me clarify, because I don't think I said this well enough. The finale didn't just feel manipulative to me because Sam was suddenly confessing all of these feelings he never acknowledged--i t also felt manipulative because Dean's feelings, which he didn't voice until he was under supernatural influence, were suddenly just peeled off like a laundry list by Dean, after episode upon episode of Dean going into hyper!care-take r mode. It didn't feel natural--instea d it felt like show needed Dean to say something that would motivate Sam to feel properly bad enough to give the speech show wanted him to give for the big emotional climax, therefore Dean's feelings weren't so much addressed as they were used as a springboard for Sam's emotional breakdown. That scene felt unnatural for Dean, just as Sam suddenly, after an entire season of wanting more and his promise of showing Dean the light, was ready to throw all that away to prove to Dean he could trust him by doing something he knew Dean didn't want him to do felt OOC for him. Argh, the more I pull at that thread the whole finale just unravels for me. I just wanted to be clear that I thought it was past time for Sam to be allowed to show some emotional POV. I just didn't think what was done to get to that moment made sense for either character. I'll stop now.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-09 02:30
I think we probably have more common ground than not. I think we probably see Dean very similarly but not Sam.

While I don't loathe the Fallen Idols speech, it certain could have been written better. I can completely see what Sam was saying but I totally understand that not everyone could. I had one more go at trying but I think it one those you see or you don't thing.

Why I was bringing up that Dean had made mistakes in S4 is because if you take away starting the Apocalypse then what is left is what he did to Dean. And if Sam broke Deans ability to trust by choosing to go with Ruby. Than Dean systematically destroyed any faith Sam had in himself over the course of the season.

Dean came back from Hell broken and he didn't believe in himself, he'd long since lost faith in John and his faith in Sam had been shaky since Azazel said he came back wrong. He was determined to prove Azazel wrong. That meant making sure Sam had nothing to do with the supernatural. He distrusted on instinct. It's obvious now that he was right. But it wasn't so obvious then.

Dean knew Sam had doubted himself from the first vision (now he knows that it was a lot longer). And then they discovered Max. And then his battered feelings of self-worth took hit after hit. His dad's dying words, killing people while possessed, finding out about the DB. He clung to Dean's faith in him. So when Dean's faith became shaky his own became more so, IMO.

I think, when Dean went to Hell his self-worth crumbled(Dean had gone to save him), and there was Ruby telling that if he'd listened to her, he could have said Dean and he could still kill Lilith and get revenge and save innocent people while doing it. Yes it meant drinking DB but surely if he could save people it would be worth it. Use that to prop up his failed confidence.

And then Dean came back and almost immediately demanded to know if Sam was using his freaky powers. And being weirded out that Sam was immune Lilith's power. And the minute he found out Sam had been using his powers. He lashed out violently. He didn't bother to talk to Sam or try to see what led him to make his decision. He reacted extremely harshly. Given what he knew at the time I would have to go with extremely overreacted. And he played his knowledge of Sam's self doubt to get the desired result. So Sam's self-worth took another hard crash. And Ruby was there to tell him, how powerful, heroic he was. And he let himself be led down that dark path and away from Dean who demanded that Sam not try to make something good come from this curse.

After he found out Dean was right about Ruby, the DB, pretty much everything, I figured he was right about him as well. And then Dean pretty much told that was true. I'm not saying Dean didn't have plenty of cause by the time it came to a head, but he had said some pretty destructive things well before that point with almost no cause.

So the point of the ramble is that if we stick strictly to the brother stuff than there was plenty of blame on both sides. But only Sam's mistakes ever get brought up. Which make since if you are talking the Apocalypse but not if you are talking their relationship. If you take that out of the equation, then he was using a powerful "drug" and chose to go on a job with Ruby after Dean demanded he not. They fought and Sam did start to strangle him but let him go. And almost immediately regretted everything he had done. Without the Lucifer issue, it's a domestic dispute with one horrible fight between to fairly evenly matched brothers.

But because of the consequences of his mistakes were so catastrophic that obviously becomes the lightening rod.

And I certainly don't blame Dean for breaking in Hell but I that is what caused the first seal to break. So my point was that even under Supernatural influences (Siren spell, DB) Sam never blamed Dean for what he did in Hell. (this season he threw everything Sam had ever done in his face, including being soulless while possessed )Whereas Dean said heartbreaking things without any outside influence.

I loved that last scene in Sacrifice and of itself, but I will admit to being less than wowed about the build up. If I were granted the wishes of my emo heart. I would love for them to continue to build on that conversation. Really talking about Sam's mistakes and how much damage that did to Dean and find away to build that trust back to S2 levels. As well as how Dean's derision and distrust has effected Sam and have him learn to trust himself again. And have both gain a true since of their own worth. But since these guys could gets metals for lack of communication skills. I seriously doubt that will happen. :D
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-09 09:52
Agreed, and common ground is always a good thing. You may be right that we see Dean similarly and Sam differently, but maybe not completely differently. I appreciate you elaborating about your S4 remarks, and now I’ll try to respond.

I admit that I find it very hard to say, “Well, if you just take the Apocalypse out of it,” because Sam and Dean’s choices didn’t happen in a vacuum. The apocalypse is linked to the demon blood and Ruby, which are results of Sam’s choices. I also have to disagree that Dean is the one who destroyed all faith Sam had in himself in S4. Sam definitely maintained faith in his own decision-making , or else he would not have continued to go with Ruby and pursue his course in killing Lilith. I don’t think he lost his faith in his own decisions until he realized he’d broken the last seal. I think what he lost was his belief in himself as something other than a monster, a process started way back in S2 by John. He feared being turned into something he wasn’t as far back as S2, and in drinking demon blood he knew in his heart of hearts that he was possibly falling into that trap. By the end of the season, he knew he had, after drinking blood out of live demon hosts and strangling his own brother. Which is why the end of S4 to me is meant to mirror S8, because Sam decided to sacrifice his relationship with Dean (through demon blood/dying) and probably his life in order to set things right in his own mind. So to me, Sam’s loss of faith in himself as a person was a process that started way before S4, and his loss of faith in his decision-making didn’t start until S5.

I agree that Sam’s feelings of self-worth took a tremendous hit when he wasn’t able to save Dean from hell, and Ruby insisted that happened because he listened to Dean and not her. So it made sense that Sam would cling to her at that point, despite the fact that her “I’m going to enjoy listening to your screams in hell” [paraphrase] that indicated she probably was never going to save him at all. Sam had just lost his anchor, so he grabbed hold of a new one. Since Sam is a big picture guy, it was easier for him to go with ends justify the means with the demon blood, and Ruby was there to give him the praise and approval he wanted and needed at that point. I think this is why the Fallen Idols line fails, because Ruby had her hooks in Sam way before Dean ever reappeared on the scene.

Now, this is not to say that Dean’s behavior did not have negative impact on Sam. I fully admit that to be true. Yes, when Dean came back he was edgy and judgmental. There may be reasons, but that didn’t make things easier for Sam. I also agree when Dean found out about Sam keeping his powers and Ruby a secret from him, he lashed out violently. I don’t think he completely overreacted, though. Sam listening to a demon who’d said she wanted to see him in hell? Using the powers Sam had been terrified were indications of demon taint and evil? Problematic, to say the least. However, Dean could have listened more, I agree. He did in 4.9. And yes, Dean was there telling him that he was on a slippery slope following a demon, and Ruby was there expertly convincing Sam that he was the one in control. So it’s easy to see why Sam would gravitate towards the praise and insistence of control instead. Which meant that Sam wasn’t listening to Dean here anymore than Dean was listening to Sam. So Dean kept agitating and reacting to Sam’s choices (lying to him, the demon blood, etc) and in the course of doing so did hurt his own cause by the methods he used to approach Sam. But that didn’t happen in a vacuum either—Sam said some hurtful things over the course of the season as well and he was doing the things Dean accused him of. Dean has culpability, but Sam still has to own his choices, and I think he did.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-09 10:06
Part 2 (Sorry if this doesn't come out right--it won't let me post below my first comment)

Again, I can agree that Dean said some very harsh things to Sam over the course of the season which hurt Sam, but he was not the only one to point out to Sam that he was going down the wrong path. Therefore, I find it hard to say that Dean didn’t have any or almost no cause. Many people saw the road Sam was going down and tried to warn him away. Sam didn’t listen to any of them, and his faith in his own choices was unwavering. His faith in himself as a human took several hits, I think, but Sam still continued down that road because the big picture (and Ruby) convinced him that it was a worthy sacrifice. I think my point is that we can’t just stick to the brother stuff, because it didn’t happen without context. In terms of Sam’s mistakes and being a lightning rod, to me that is due to the fact only Sam’s actions re: the apocalypse that are ever addressed. Sam’s strangling of Dean, his looking down on Dean as weaker and therefore not listening to him, etc, were never addressed by show. Because show kept the focus strictly focused on the seal, not the personal issues between the brothers, at least in Sam’s mind, it’s hard to see it as a two-sided issue when Dean did what he could to stop Sam. Their only attempt to address it, Fallen Idols, was so poorly written I think it did Sam more harm than good.

As for Sam not blaming Dean about hell, I think that was a writing decision. I think they believed (probably rightly) that Sam denigrating Dean for what he did after years of torture in hell would definitely be past the point of no return for him as a character (though one could argue that part of Sam’s view of Dean as being too weak could be linked to his breaking, there is no canon to support it and thus is just speculation). This season Dean did throw everything Sam had ever done in his face (and the writing team included the soulless year for no reason I can ascertain, as Dean was always insistent that robo!Sam wasn’t Sam even while Sam said he was—I hate retconning), but he was under outside influence at the time. Context is important there, too. As for the scene in the finale, I’ve already said somewhere where that was so clearly a scene designed to get Dean to make Sam feel bad so we could have the big emotional finale that they twisted Dean OOC to get it. It’s canon, but it’s not good canon, so you can do with that what you will as a fan.

The latter is a reason why I can’t fully appreciate the last scene in Sacrifice—the strings used to pull me there are way too visible. But we return to common ground, I also would like to see show actually address the trust issue and how it has affected both of them and let them gain a little self-worth. Sam and Dean would never be able to fix everything, but they could make a little progress. But the writers like their easy, go-to angst points of self-esteem and trust issues, so I doubt they will, even if it makes the characters stagnate.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-07-09 12:12
I think we all realize that Dean was possessed by the Spectre and that unlike Sam that that can be used as a buffer to what Dean said. Although Sam's Boohoo comment although under the siren spell was always attributed to him despite of that.

Fallen Idols is interesting in how it was reacted too I am in the camp that it could of been written better but that Sam finally said something because the meaning behind what he said was true they needed to stop the cycle of behaviour. I feel though regardless of how it was written Sam still would of been seen as wrong in both saying it and what he said.

I do not think Sam would of blamed Dean for hell as he never blamed Dean for the deal that put Dean in that position anymore than he blamed Castiel for breaking his wall . So I see at as something Sam would do not as a writing decision after all I dont think they have any qualms on this show in painting Sam in a bad light .

The finale was about Sam confessing how many times he has let Dean down it wasnt exactly a endorsement of Sam has a brother so although Dean might of been abit occ in his comments it hasnt really done him harm in the long run.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-09 12:54
Oh, I can’t say I’m that sure everyone is willing to recognize that Dean is not responsible for what he was forced to say by the spectre. I’ve seen plenty of fans slamming Dean for saying Benny had been more trustworthy to him than Sam was, equivocating it to Dean saying Benny was a better brother. I’ve seen plenty of fans criticizing Dean for throwing his grudges in Sam’s face in that episode, despite the fact that it wasn’t his choice. I find it very similar to Dean fans who still hold Sam’s boo-hoo comment against him, actually—fans are always more forgiving of their favorite and more willing to hold similar acts against their non-favorites. It’s the nature of the fandom beast. I definitely see the similarities in the situations there, though, Sharon.

I can also find common ground by saying that Sam’s message that they needed to change the way their pattern of behavior in Fallen Idols was a good one. I also think this very good message was floated to the fans in a wave of garbage, which makes it hard to find the diamond in the rough, so to speak. While I’m sure that there will always be fans who disapprove of what Sam said, just as there are always fans that disapprove of what Dean said, but I do think there would be less backlash against that speech if show had written the episode better. I would be one of them. Like I said, Sam’s message was good, but when he didn’t speak of what he needed to change and put the onus on Dean instead, it doesn’t speak of taking responsibility of me. However, I recognize that others will have a different perspective.

You know what, I’ll walk back my earlier statement a little bit and say Sam does deserve credit for not throwing Dean’s time in hell and the breaking of the first seal in his face, even under the influence. Even if I do think the writers realized that Sam would pretty much be an untouchable if he did, this is the Sam presented on screen, and he deserves credit for that. I will, however, say Sam very much did blame Dean for making the deal. He said so in 3.1, calling Dean’s act selfish. Dean agreed, and that was pretty much the last word on the deal. I think it was a very human reaction of Sam’s, so I don’t hold it against him, but he did blame Dean there. Sam’s forgiving at times but also human, and that’s okay.

To me, the finale was never meant to focus on Sam recognizing that he’d let Dean down, and that wasn’t the message we were meant to take away from that scene. Letting Dean down was just a springboard for exploring Sam’s emotional breakdown and Dean’s subsequent validation of Sam’s number one status in his life. I think we were supposed to see Sam as a good brother in that scene, because his care for his brother led him to the point where he was willing to die to make a point about how he could be trusted to follow through (on something Dean expressly did not want him to do, but I digress). He was rewarded with Dean speaking of his love and value to him and begging him to stay. Dean’s role was to realize how he’d been a bad brother because his feelings and inability to trust had driven Sam to suicide, and make up for that by giving Sam the love he was desperately seeking. Or maybe not—my point is that if a fan is looking to say that show wanted their brother to be the “bad one” in the finale, you could pretty easily make the case either way. Or maybe, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, even if fans see it as a club. It’s hard to know what lurks in the hearts of the writers, don’t you think?
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-09 21:57
can i just say, as cliche as it is, but in this case i feel it's true, that both boys issues stem from their mother. :P (and their father) i don't think dean is responsible for sam's issues and i don't think sam is responsible for dean's. i think dean developed trust issues at four years old, the night his mother was killed. dean told sam that mary told him ea. night before going to sleep angels were watching over them, it was the last thing she said to him in fact. i think dean lost trust in God, his mom, his dad, everyone but sam after his mom was killed. i don't think he was ever able to trust anyone but himself. i think sam was right when he told dean that he was the only one he can trust. sort of right anyway. dean does trust sam, he trusts him with his life, he trusts him only second to himself, but i don't think he trusts that sam won't hurt him in some way. that mistrust came way before ruby ever came into the picture. dean's abandonment/tru st issue tie in together imo. mom left. dad left. sam only wanted to go to school, but dean saw that as sam leaving him. this show has always been about perception if you ask me. it's always been about the boys misperception of ea. other. that's their biggest flaw. they don't see ea. other and under only certain circumstances, dire ones it seems do they actually talk to ea. other. that comes from how they were raised and the fact that they are men. men don't discuss openly their feelings. they don't see things that women do. women are more attune. a lot of this fandom on this board are giving women's opinions. it's frustrating that we see the boys and their issues but they don't .

i agree that alot of this season was contrived for the sake of conflict to bring the story where it did. i think we are right for thinking that. then again, carver was there for s3, 4 and 5. he was part of the team that created that rift between the boys, he is responsible for some of the best episodes which delve into both boys' perspectives. he was there when sam sought to redeem himself by jumping in the pit. he helped to create both boys issues, but then he left and the show went on. all those issues that he helped create, never got resolved. the characters became stagnant. the boys were stuck in a whirlpool spinning round and round. so yes carver took old issues that were pushed under the rug, never truly dealt with, and created conflict. but he brought the boys to the point where they can finally deal with all these issues. i don't think s8 was about answering any of the questions they brought up...i think s8 was about resolving old issues brought about since show began. he was part of the era that created these issues, i think that he's back, he wants to be in charge of the era that closes them. contrary to kripke's plans, show went on and hopefully will continue to go on and i think carver and it's all speculation on my part, but i think carver's intentions are to bring the boys to a mature, strong relationship based on a new mutual trust and understanding of ea. other. i think the finale paved the way to do just that and i don't think carver went through all this trouble to get where they are to simply drop it. i've said it before this is a cliffhanger, which in essence means it's part one of a two part episode. i don't think carver is going to drop anything he's accomplished in the finale. what i feel the finale did wasn't to make either brother look bad, but for the first time ever, the boys are seeing ea. other with a clarity they've never had before. sam saw himself coming in third in dean's eyes. he saw his death as a positive. he deemed himself not worthy to dean because all he ever did was disappoint him., what sam deemed his greatest sin, perhaps thinking that's what dean was thinking as well. that's the impression i got as to sam's mindset. dean for the first time sees how much he means to sam. how every negative comment or action from dean hurt sam in a way that dean was not aware of. i mean sure dean says stuff to hurt sam because he's pissed off, but i don't really think he's aware of the lasting effects on sam and how deep that hurt goes and how sam holds onto it...apple doesn't fall far from the family tree huh...i know another winchester just like that.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-09 23:13
some of the writing was a bit assinine. i thought it was made abundantly clear by carver in the first eppy that sam believed dean dead. i thought it was also made clear that something was wrong with sam. not only by his words to dean, "i imploded and ran", but by his actions as well, amelia and that debacle of a relationship being a prime example in showing the audience how bad off sam really was. then some yahoo, and i don't know which eppy it was or which yahoo it was, but they put in that one stupid line which disregarded everything carver wrote in the premiere. that stupid taco line which confused a lot of the fandom and certainly agitated a lot of them. it seems to me the writers tried to make up for that line when they had meg insinutate that something wasn't right with sam and then again when bobby flat out said to sam that something major must've happened because both of them were off the rails. sam's reaction to bobby's statement leads me to believe that something was wrong with sam. there have been a few things that have really upset people regarding the writing, but i think for the most part a lot of that may have been intentional.

one of the things that i am forever greatful for is sam's voice. I personally have never had a problem understanding sam, but that can't be said for everyone. ben edlund and jeremy carver gave sam his voice. it didn't take that much, but in a few sentences, perhaps 10 minutes combined, what i've always known has been finally said out loud. i've been rewatching from the beginning and every action by sam, i see in a new light, with a better understanding. that for me has been the highlight and every bit worth the frustration that i've gone through this season. :lol: i just wish i got a better read on dean. i'm going on sheer speculation this season regarding dean. i think all of us are. this is the one season where they treated dean like they usually treat sam..for me, regarding dean this season, i'm doing alot of guessing. it's the first time they haven't written dean in the usual obvious manner. i've read all the posts. when it comes down to it i'm not really sure what the deal is with dean. so for now, until show gives us more info, i'm going with my original perception that dean percieved things the way he did because the truth would've been harder for him to handle. i believe it was easier for dean to be angry at sam then really hear sam when he said he thought he was dead. and later told him he imploded and ran. i believe if dean had asked sam flat out "what happened, why didn't you look", instead of what would make sam winchester stop hunting...was there a girl" then dean may not have liked the answer. i believe it's been insinuated quite a bit that sam was not ok in any sense of the word when dean disappeared, and if dean knew the truth, if he asked the right question, i think that he wouldn't have been able to deal with the answer. i also think his rant in sc had more to do with dean's actions and not so much sam's past ones. his issue time and again has been that sam didn't look and stopped hunting..yet dean's rant in sc had nothing to do with that. every sin dean mentioned dean had committed himself. sam/db dean letting benny inside him, sam lying about hunting with campbells, dean lying about benny. sam leaving dean in purgatory, dean believing he left cas behind. then again, jmo of course.

as for ruby, sam didn't choose her over dean. sam chose killing lilith with ruby over dean's demand to kill her and they would kill her without ruby. but sam couldn't kill ruby because he felt he needed her to get the job done. she had info. she did the dirty work, work that neither sam or dean would/could do. what seems to be forgotten in all this is the why sam did what he did. he said it to dean..that dean didn't know him at all. not only was it about the poison inside him and how important and vital it was to sam to use it for good against the very evil that put it in him, it was also about dean. proving to dean that he is good and can stay good even with tainted blood. he also needed to redeem himself to his brother for not saving him from hell. watching dean be a hellhounds chew toy didn't do sam any good at all.

all the mistakes these boys have made, it's my opinion that these mistakes on both boys parts are based on the misperception these boys have always had for ea. other. they both don't see how high the other values them. they both don't realize how important ea. is to the other. alot of the mistakes made on both sides were born from the need to redeem themselves to ea. other when they never had to. a lot of the hurt/ anger comes from the misperception towards ea. other. that comes from not talking to ea. other. i think that carver took the first step in remedying that and i look forward to season 9 and watching the boys relate to ea. other on a new level. i think that' s exactly what we will get. ;-)
leah unlogged
# leah unlogged 2013-07-10 00:12
Another great post Nappi! I hope you are correct about S9. That is my hope too! :-)
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-11 00:57
nappi, I'll echo Leah, I'm always glad to see your posts. And I hope you are right about the next season with every cell in my body, (not to overstate or anything :D )

I was say their mother was absolutely part of both their issues. Perhaps Dean's more than Sam's. I do think Dean trusted their dad though (in fact worship him, though still trusted Sam more), right up until the moment he told him he might have to kill Sam. I think that forever changed how he saw his father. And maybe forever changed him. I think Dean liked to see himself as a simple guy (though he's just as complex as Sam if not more so). He lived he's life by a few unbreakable truths he learned from John. Saving people, hunting things and if you had to break a few little laws to do it that was okay because you had a higher purpose. But first and foremost would always be PROTECT SAM. Yes, they put themselves at risk for others, but I think Dean was sure as long as he was there, Sam would be okay. He assigned himself as Sam's parent and guardian angel as well as big brother.

But with John's final words, Dean's whole life view was turned upside down. This was SAMMY, who he loved and trusted above everyone else, who was this sweet, innocent kid that he'd help raise. How could Sam ever need to be killed? And how could his father even ask that? How could he even THINK he could do that? I think those words did a lot more damage to Dean than they did to Sam. And even though I am irritated they didn't deal more with Sam's feelings about his father possibly ordering his murder, I did think that it made sense that Dean's reaction to was worse for the reason listed above. (1. Sam forgives more easily -ha see what I did there, Just Saying :D 2. Sam probably thought his father was right.)

I didn't have as much problem understanding Dean this season, I'll admit, as I did last. Yes he did lots of things I didn't find in character (Especially Kevin). But some of them could be explained by Purgatory and the rest were minor compared to the hash they made of Sam (that is if you aren't right about them revealing something next season). To me, he came from Purgatory in warrior mode. And give them the benefit of the doubt on characterizatio n, then I would say most of his anger towards Sam not hunting, really had nothing to do with that. And was almost entirely about Sam not looking for him.

I think he used the anger about to not hunting to cover up how incredibly hurt and abandoned he felt by Sam saying he didn't look. And it brought up all his old issues regarding Sam (and everyone else) leaving him. And I got to say I totally understand. After that Citizen Fang, he was determined to move past that hurt out of risk of losing his brother. And I think, again giving them a BIG benefit of the doubt, that some of his OVER mothering later in the season was due to his feeling bad at how hard he'd been on him when they first came back. So despite some inconsistencies , I thought he was very recognizable.

And again I SO SO SO pray you are right that Carver is just setting this all up to be finished in the next season. All my little gripes would pretty much disappeared if they fix the Sam ooc stuff for me and really that could just mean truly explaining it.

I do think you are spot on it most of your characterizatio ns' of Sam and Dean. I never thought of it EXACTLY in those terms but I can definitely see Sam thinking he could prove to Dean that he was strong enough to handle it. That absolutely fits in with my picture of Sam. Though I do think there were several factors at play.

I agree also that as close as they are and as much as they love each other I don't think either truly realizes how much. I think Sam USED to. But I think he thinks that part of Dean's devotion was lost with the trust and that he has never regain it. I don't think Dean has EVER realized that Sam loves him just as much. And unfortunately I think this season just feed into that belief. (that is part of what makes me so mad. If there isn't a reveal than I don't know how you could make the case that there is equal devotion-becaus e Dean would never do that to Sam. But then again prior to this season I would have said -still say-that Sam would never do that to Dean. And it breaks my heart that Dean has proof that he is loved by Sam less then he loves Sam) And really as much as I love that last scene I don't think it cleared up in any way either of those beliefs. Please. Please. Please. Let them fix this next season.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 02:55
Kelly, I think we can all agree that if it’s not one thing, it’s your mother (or father). Dean and Sam’s issues definitely got their starting places there. Dean’s issues definitely formed from his mother’s death and John’s parentizing of him. Sam’s issues definitely stemmed from John’s abdication from parent to drill sergeant/warrio r. I further agree that John’s final words to Dean, to me, are probably the biggest reason we’ve seen Dean be unable to forgive John (except when the plot says so, 8.12) while Sam could. I think if the situation were flipped, the same would probably still be true. It’s much harder for the Winchesters to forgive the trespasses against their brother than those against themselves. John’s words fed into Sam’s fears, but he accepted them because they were in line with what he was already considering. If John had said the same of Dean, I highly doubt Sam would have been so copasetic. Don’t you agree, Kelly?

We are in agreement here again in that I don’t think Dean’s behavior was that mysterious this season. I think he was hurt by what Sam did, or rather didn’t do. I do think the effects of purgatory affected his personality and the way he dealt with others, but he did relax back into himself as he grew more used to being in the world again. I can see how Dean shifted gears after Torn and Frayed because he did want to make peace with Sam. I honestly don’t like the thought that Dean’s mother-henning was due to some guilt about how he behaved in the beginning of the season, because that would make it pretty one-sided—we saw no guilt or attempts to make things up to Dean from Sam’s end (I can’t count his big gesture in the finale, as that was much more a punishment for a brother who explicitly stated that all he wanted was Sam at his side than a salvo). But you may be right, as depressing as that would be—it would mean Dean’s storyline of the second half was literally trying to make up for the fact that he had feelings in the first half. Ugh. Let’s move on.

I do think that Sam was trying to prove himself to Dean by the end. It’s very in character for Sam to get focused on a goal and not realize how attaining that goal will affect the people he loves (big picture vs. small picture). This is a good example of how Sam working from his perception of what Dean wants, rather than what Dean actually wants, and of course Dean does the same at times.

I again echo your hope that Carver is going to continue fixing things in S9, rather than considering himself finished. Your last paragraph addresses how Sam was doubting Dean’s love and trust in him, and I think the last episodes go a long way towards really addressing that, with Dean declaring that Sam always comes through and always comes first. I really don’t think they’ve done as good a job with fixing Dean’s issues this season—his abandonment issues were fed both in the premiere and the finale (There’s zero chance someone with issues wouldn’t see Sam wanting to die as another example of how Dean had failed and Sam wanted to leave him. Not that that’s the truth, but it’s certainly got to be present in his mind). I really hope show takes a stab at really addressing that next season, along with continuing to address Sam’s issues and POV, of course.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-11 05:01
just saying, I'm sure that Sam would have been plenty pissed if the situations had been reversed. I do think Sam trusts Dean completely and he didn't have the same relationship with John so I don't think he would have been as effected. He probably would have told John to take a flying leap.

Oh I don't think the ONLY reason or even the main reason was due to guilt. The main reason is that he adores Sam no matter how much he hurts him sometimes and doesn't want to see him in pain. And is scared to death something will happen to him. I only meant that could be a tiny factor. Or not. It really would effect how I see Dean either way.

I actually think the last scene was just a good start for the Sam part of the conversation. I think Sam going in knew Dean loved him, now he has a better idea of how much BUT Dean has never said anything about trusting Sam to Sam since S3, I think (again tired so I'm sure someone will bring up something but I'm almost positive since S5) Well in PoNR he kind of does. He says if Sam can trust him the he supposes he should return the favor or something to that effect.Talk about damning with faint praise. And in Sacrifice he said he wouldn't put anyone before him or something but he never said "trust" to Sam. And that why its not really completely satisfying(thou gh I did love it). Sam knows he lost Dean trust in S5, and Dean has made comments every season(especial ly this one) since that reinforce that statement -though for different reasons. But Dean still didn't say he trusted him. And I do think that Sam will never feel as if he's truly the adored little brother again until he has that.

And your right it doesn't address Dean issues at all. But Dean's issue is just the opposite. He should know Sam trust him. Sam has never said otherwise and has given freakin' monologue to how incredible Dean is. BUT I think Dean has always felt like Sam loved him, but I don't think he believes it's anywhere close to how much he cares about Sam. And I think he has just accepted that for the most part.(Which is incredibly sad) But that's why when Sam tries to quick hunting or whatever he sees it as confirming what he always suspected. And lets face it Sam not bothering to look for him would be a HUGE confirmation of that (MAN THAT PISSES ME OFF) and they did nothing to really resolve that. Because Sam said he was willing to die not to let me down. But that could be seen as someone desperately trying to please a father figure. So I REALLY hope they don't brush this off, after forcing it as an issue.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 09:22
Ah, then we agree again, Kelly. I think Sam would be a lot less forgiving if the insult was against his brother, as we saw in Citizen Fang—despite his going along with Martin after his assault on Dean, he wasn’t willing to listen to him denigrate his brother, and that’s someone he doesn’t even really have an attachment to. So while I don’t think he would have been as shattered as Dean was had John’s secret been reversed, I don’t think Sam would have been so forgiving of the man as he ended up being in that case.

I don’t think it effects the way I see Dean, but it would further negatively impact my view of the writers if Dean was supposed to be hyper!care-take r because he hurt Sam’s feelings by being hurt in the first half of the season. Even if I wasn’t a fan of the writing, I’d prefer to think Dean decided to take care of Sam because he adores Sam and doesn’t want anything to him.

I can further agree that Sam’s issues weren’t solved in the finale, either, but I do think the finale went further in addressing and validating him than Dean got this season. No, Dean does have trouble trusting Sam, since he really doesn’t trust anyone anymore (despite how it feels to Sam, this was not exclusive to him), and that wasn’t addressed here. I think that this is a problem that can only be fixed by time and effort on both boys’ parts, so in a way I’m glad they didn’t have Dean declare his big trust for Sam here. It wouldn’t have felt organic. I don’t think Sam should be striving to be the adored little brother again in a way, though—part of the problems between Sam and Dean is that they put each other onto their adored big/little brother pedestals and then can’t deal when the other doesn’t live up to that ideal.

I don’t think Dean’s issue is that he doesn’t think Sam trusts him. It is very much about whether he believes Sam loves and values him. I do think he believes it’s an unequal relationship, and show keeps giving him evidence on that front. That’s a problem with the second half of this season—by having Dean return to caring to hyper!caring brother focused on taking care of Sam, it does seem to signal that Dean has pretty much given up on getting that equal love and is clinging to Sam in order to get what he can. That is incredibly sad. Dean believes that Sam is always one step away from leaving him behind, and dying because of Dean’s issues definitely counts. I can understand that Sam felt he was making a big gesture to please Dean (though how he thought doing what Dean asked him not to do and leaving him alone would do that I don’t know), but for someone with abandonment issues saying, “I have to die because of you not trusting me” is pretty horrific. Poor Sam. Poor Dean. I really hope they don’t gloss over Dean’s issues with the brotherly bond, since they didn’t fix them here.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-11 11:51
Once again most of this could have been written by me,Just Saying. Especially the last paragraph. That is why I hate them not having Sam or at least explaining why he didn't so much. Because not only does it cast Sam in a less than stellar light, but it pushes the idea of that unequal relationship. So I hate it for Dean too. So I am getting a little desperate for nappi to be right.

Oh I'm totally fine with believing Dean's ONLY reason for caretaking was affection based, it was just an idea that struck me. Better get to work now.
leah unlogged
# leah unlogged 2013-07-11 12:45
Honestly, just saying, I do believe Dean would have ( and has) taken care of his brother in any situation in which Sam was sick or hurting. Just because he loves him. I do think, however, that Dean did feel bad about some of the early season stuff. He said that the text wasn't his finest moment and that he didn't want to fight any more. I think that taking care of Sam was a non-verbal way of showing support and yes, love. Dean needed to do that, I feel. Men (in my experience) sometimes say things through actions not necessarily in flowery words. This has nothing to do with who was right or wrong.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-13 00:05
leah, that was more what I was trying to say, thanks.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 02:36
Sadly, nappi, I believe the yahoo was Carver himself. The taco line was in the premiere, which was his episode. I'm afraid that line did dig a hole for Sam in the first episode from which several writers spent several lines in several episodes trying to extricate him. The problem is that they didn't all try the same techniques--som e writers had Sam say more firmly that he believed Dean was dead, but that could have just been Sam trying to convince himself. Some writers had other characters insinuating that something had to have gone wrong in Sam, leading viewers to think a twist/further explanation was coming. When it didn't, we were left with Sam didn't know and Sam didn't try to find out. Sam imploding and finding Amelia didn't somehow prove Sam believed that Dean was dead--it just proved Sam was messed up from what had happened.

Honestly, I don't think that was the only thing that made Sam's character suffer, though--behavio r towards Dean when he came back from purgatory was problematic, too. I expected Sam to be horrified that Dean had been fighting all the time they were apart instead of safely located in heaven, but he really wasn't. Kevin rated an apology, but Dean didn't rate so much as an "I'm sorry you're hurt"? Truthfully, there wasn't much joy from Sam about Dean's return, and he seemed more focused in the first half on what he'd lost than what he'd regained. Only in the finale did Sam give any recognition to Dean's issues, and to me that was almost too little, too late.

I have to say that I think Dean's anger was pretty much exclusively about Sam not looking for him. The jealousy line never really rang true to me, because when Dean and Lisa were done in 6.7 he never wanted to look back. While S7 saw him still in the height of the never-evolving depression arc, Dean never seriously considered quitting. He was angry about what Sam didn't do, because it did bring back all those painful memories from the past where Dean felt that Sam had chosen something else over him, valued something else over him. It hit every insecurity/aban donment issue he had. So I have to disagree that his rant in SC was aimed inward--I think that was pure hurt and anger about what Sam had done. That's what the spectre did--amplify and twist rage against others, not turn the victims' feelings inside out. As for hypocrisy, well, both Sam and Dean are enormous hypocrites, their flipped positions on Benny vs. Amy only being one example. They've both been magnificent hypocrites from the beginning. It's part of the Winchester DNA.

I agree communication was the biggest issue between the boys, but I feel like when I read "Dean didn't ask the right question" that puts all the burden on him. Dean needed to open up to Sam and be open to hearing about Sam's time out, but that's a two-way street. For all the talk about sharing and caring Sam isn't as likely to tell things to Dean as Dean is to him. Sam should have been more willing to talk and think about what Dean was going through, just as Dean should have.

I do agree that the boys' mistakes can often be attributed to their misperceptions of each other. Sam's view of Dean as the bullet-proof big brother, Dean's view of Sam as the pedasteled little brother. Dean's fear that Sam doesn't care enough about him to stay, Sam's fear that Dean sees him as a monster. They both tend to focus on what they see as the other's issue/viewpoint , instead of what the other actually says/thinks. Carver may have taken the first step by the end, but he's got a long way to go to fix the damage he inflicted himself, let alone the damage from other characters. Hopefully that's the way show views it, too, though I can't shake the fear that the finale was supposed to have fixed everything. I do wish for you to be right and me to be wrong there.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-11 07:39
hey just saying, i'd like to say that i do like to read your posts even if we differ a little in opinion. but i have to tell you that i just finished watching the premiere less than a minute ago to be sure and it was not carver who threw in that taco line. in the premiere sam told dean that it was hard to do the family business when your family was dead. he was shocked to learn dean was in purgatory. he told dean he thought he died. in the hotel room, dean asked sam what would make him stop hunting. was there a girl? sam said yes then there wasn't and she had nothing to do with it. sam had told dean early on that he just got in the impala and drove. he had noone. he was utterly alone. he had no roadmap. then in the hotel he tells dean he hit the dog. then we see in the next scene, while sam is waiting for dean, how he ran in the hospital all panicked carrying riot and how amelia guilted sam into taking responsibility for the dog. i know sam is usually the big picture guy and i agree, but in the premiere that wasn't really the case. dean was the one who saw the big picture regarding closing the gates of hell forever and kevin was the way to get it done. sam on the other hand was worried for kevin's safety. out on the deck, sam told dean that kevin would'nt get out of this in tact. dean went on about closing the gates and sam commented about dean only having free will. i think sam felt for kevin in that moment. he saw the boy he was, never having a say in his own life, being damned to the supernatural fate. then sam went in and had a talk with kevin. sam , having experienced even for a short while a life that was normal and had no burden of the world resting on his shoulder gave him a renewed faith that it was a possibility and in this conversation with kevin, he tried to explain it was a possibility for kevin as well.
as far as i know carver wrote the first eppy and the last and left the rest to the other writers. so it was someone else who wrote the line about the taco.

sam was happy that dean was back but it was hard to relish in that joy because the moment dean found out sam didn't look which is understandable since he had already at this point told dean he believed him to be dead, utterly alone and had no roadmap , dean already started berating him. he threw in sam's face all the calls kevin made while he was off living his life. sam already had to live with the fact that he made a mistake believing his brother dead, which i believe show insinuated was because sam couldn't deal with what happened when dean disappeared . i still say and believe as was hinted by meg, bobby and even said by sam himself when he told dean he imploded and ran that he broke. dean stabs in the premiere and his constant jabs following didn't make it very easy for sam to enjoy dean the way he wouldve liked. dean was angry sam didn't look and i get it. but sam explained to dean more than once that he thought he had died. dean was so blinded by anger and hurt that sam didn't look that he never asked sam why he didn't look. he asked what made sam stop hunting, but dean never asked sam what happened that night. dean assumed sam simply moved on and forgot about him because he found a girl. sam told dean that she had nothing to do with it. he told dean that he just got in the car and drove. sam told dean he stopped before he met amelia. but dean didn't focus on that. if sam stopped before he met amelia, then there had to be something that caused it. something had to have been very wrong. but dean never thought beyond was there a girl. maybe he was too upset/angry. or maybe like i believe, he didn't really want to know.
sam didn't apologize to dean. why ? sam thought his brother died and followed their agreement not to bring him back. it's not like sam knew dean was in purgatory and said, the hell with it. sam said in the premiere he thought he died. he spent most of the first eppy trying to defend his actions which apparently were wrong. then in the eppys that followed dean didn't relent. he kept making sam feel worse. it didn't stop. when someone keeps on you and on you and on you, it makes it hard to apologize because the guilt starts to turn to anger. i believe if dean had relented, sam would've had the chance apologize. speculation, yes but i believe it. by the time we get to sc and dean's rant, what's really the point of apologizing anyway. look how sam might see it, he had apologized 4 years ago for ruby and dean told him clean slate for everyone and now sam finds out dean never did forgive him. so if i'm sam, what's the point of apologizing for something sam can never change no matter how horrible he feels about it when dean won't really forgive him anyway.,at this point sam has to live with the fact that he yet again failed his brother. the trials were the way sam saw to make it up to dean the only way he knew how.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 09:23
Well, nappi, if you just watched the premiere, I will certainly stand corrected. I was sure that it was 8.1, but clearly I was wrong. As for the rest, I'm going to have to come back to respond as I have to head into work. I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you. Later, I promise!
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-11 11:06
[let me just say that i do love both boys. i see the flaws in both of them. i do agree that i tend to see things from sam's pov and often stick up for him. i always saw sam as the underdog and i root for the underdog. :-) now with all the posts i read, i'm not even sure if it was in yours where you though sam should've apologized to dean. if not then by all means you feel free to ignore every word of this post if you even read it. :D
sam does apologize and he does it alot. that being said, i don't feel it's necessary for sam to apologize to dean because in all honesty i don't think he did anything wrong. but i'm going to give you sam's perspective as i believe it to be. and this opinion is based on what i've seen through the years and what i know of sam and what has been validated by the finale. hey we all see things differently and as much as there i things i agree with, in this instance my view stands. but i would like to say that i do enjoy the different discussions that go on and i do consider other's views even if i don't agree. :-)

sam learns that dean wasn't dead but in purgatory. the minute he learned that sam knew what an epic mistake he made. now as i've said, it's understandable to me how sam came to the conclusion that dean was dead. i won't go into that again except to say that considering everything sam has been through both mentally and physically last season, it's not that far of a stretch for me to believe that dean's disappearance was the straw that broke sam's back. he is human after all and it's not out of the realm of possibility that sam reached his limit of trauma and couldn't deal. there i went into it anyway :P what i was saying was that sam recognized his mistake instantly and felt horrible for it. the moment he saw dean's face, the moment dean asked if he looked and sam looked away because he didn't sam knew, he knew he disappointed his brother yet again. he tried to explain it to dean. he tried to justify it. sam knew it didn't matter and dean's constant stabs at sam only proved to sam that there was nothing he could even say to make it right. sam failed..dean was hurt and disappointed and even if given the chance to apologize, sam knew it wouldn't matter. let's face it sam never got the chance to apologize anyway. the first couple of eppies he tried to explain himself. then there was an ep the boys weren't in. then heartache which i believe sam was starting to feel angry at all the jabs by dean, then bloodbrother in which dean takes off. all of a sudden you have dean's rant in sc. why do i believe that even if sam had apologized it wouldn't have mattered anyway...becaus e of dean's rant in sc. dean obviously never forgave sam about ruby and he's apologized endlessly for her. sam apologized for souless sam, but dean threw that at sam too. sam jumped in the pit for raising lucifer, but still dean threw that at him. every sin sam commited and apologized to dean for, dean still holds it against him. this is what sam learned in sc. this most likely validated his feelings of no matter what i say, i disappointed dean yet again..so i'm sorry wouldn't really cut it. so sam got angry in sc. he told dean to move on or he will. sam just couldn't take the verbal daily reminders anymore of all the times he failed dean. but he didn't forget. sam has to live with it. what else can he do..

then there was something he could do. he learned about the trials. he heard dean' s spiel but regardless of what dean said, sam decided that he was the one who was going to do the trials. so yes, it goes back to sam and grand jestures. sam believes he failed his brother in a way that once again dean will never forgive. but sam can close the gates of hell for dean. he can give him a life without demons. he can show dean there is light for him. sam knew as the trials went along that he wouldn't survive them. but it didn't matter. he was going to atone to his brother. he was going to make it right the only way he believed he could. if sam died, dean wouldn't have to live with the burden of a disappointing brother. i'm not saying sam was rational. but i understand exactly where he was coming from.

i believed dean as sam probably did that dean gave a clean slate to everyone. now sam finds out that dean never did forgive him. dean is still holding onto grudges from four years ago and it makes dean look like a child. s8 did dean no favors imo and that's on the writers.

i think sam's speech in sacrifice was like a mirror. i think dean saw himself in sam's words. he admitted that he said junk that set sam on his heels. my hope is seeing himself now the way sam saw him although not the case, will have dean recognize the need to talk about his issues instead of pushing them down only for him to erupt at a later time.

jmo of course.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 16:19
Oh, a second message. I will try to respond there. I might’ve said that Sam needed to apologize, and you make a good point that apologizing hasn’t really done Sam much good with Dean before. I think there’s two possibilities here: 1) Since Sam’s apologies rarely, if ever, seem to specifically address the hurts he inflicted on Dean, and 2) it’s in my nature. I’m a first grade teacher, and part of my job is teaching social cues and niceties to young children. Among those social cues is when you’ve hurt someone, even inadvertently, you apologize and/or try to make the situation better. Even if it’s accidental, you still try to make the other person feel better because it makes the other party feel better and strengthens the friendship/over all climate of the room. So I do believe there is power in making amends, even if the hurt is unintentional.

So let’s say Sam genuinely thought Dean was dead and made the decision not to try to bring him back. I could agree that Sam doesn’t need to necessarily apologize, but to me, he can not be sorry because he didn’t try to get him back but can be sorry that Dean is hurt. I do think that by ignoring and/or refusing to Dean’s hurt, Sam did contribute to the conflict between them. It’s almost as if Sam was still in little brother “Dean is invincible so what I say/do can’t really hurt him.” It’s very typical younger sibling behavior, and something Sam needs to work on, in my opinion. Yes, Sam was in pain from his year as well—Dean was in pain from his year in purgatory. Dean had to work through his issues and engage Sam, and in the second half he did by apologizing, showing regret, and caring for Dean. We did not see the same from Sam, and we should have. Even if he didn’t apologize in words, he could have done more to respond to Dean’s pain and try to reassure him. He didn’t, and he has to take responsibility for his part in the conflict. It’s short-changing Sam as an adult, a strong-willed one at that, to give him the cop-out, “Well, Dean wouldn’t have listened to me anyway, so it’s okay to do nothing.” Sam living with his own pain silently didn’t help either of them, and led to bad things for both of them, so to me, it’s impossible to say that he did the right thing there to me.

As for the trials, Sam’s motivations for those changed from episode to episode, writer to writer, so the idea that he was doing it for Dean fairly got lost to me. By the end, the grand gesture was meaningless in terms of fixing the relationship because it wasn’t ever going to fix the problems between them. Firstly, because Sam would be dead. There’s no fixing their bond after that. Secondly, Dean never connected trust to the trials, so Sam completing them wasn’t going to restore that trust, especially when the trust issue involved Sam wanting Dean around and valuing him enough to stay. At the least, Sam thinking that dying so Dean would have a life without demons means Sam meant well, but wasn’t listening to Dean at all. In order to fix the relationship, Dean and Sam both have to be willing to listen to each other, don’t you think?

I do hope that Dean is able to change his pattern of behavior based upon what Sam said in the finale. But Sam has a pattern of behavior towards Dean that he needs to work on as well, and I hope S9 allows Sam to really examine how he effects Dean and realize that big gestures aren’t going to fix it.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-11 20:36
i think i almost agree. here's the thing if we go your way, which mixed with mine makes perfect sense. you stated above that sam should apologize to dean because he dean felt hurt. that you feel sam was refusing to see the hurt. i say that sam knew the moment dean said he was in purgatory, that sam made an epic mistake in judgment and felt horrible for it. the moment dean asked if he looked and sam couldn't give him the answer he wanted..he knew dean was disappointed in him yet again. so maybe sam's lack of self worth and value in dean's eyes because of all the times he's disappointed him in the past results in sam's inability to see dean's hurt level. as you said, perhaps sam does see dean as the invincible big brother, and mix that in with sam's belief that he's not worthy of dean then i can see where as you stated sam didn't see that dean's hurt was deeper than he may have thought. in that respect both brothers behave the same way. because dean has a habit of hurting sam deeper than he realizes. he's done it in the past and he's did it this season with the text, and his comments about benny being more trustworthy than sam. sam saw the text in a way dean didn't intend. i've seen posts that are all prickly because dean dared to apologize for that act. but there was a reason dean apologized and there was a reason he felt bad about it and talked to charlie about it. where dean simply saw it as a way to keep sam/benny apart, sam admitted to dean that he saw it as dean willing to hurt sam in such an emotional way, to lead him to believe that amelia met the same fate as jessica, simply to protect benny. in sam's eyes, benny came first. when dean realized the true ramification of the text, that he caused a hurt he didn't intend to cause, dean did his best i think to make up for it. the fact that the text came after dean's sc rant and his comments about benny being trustworthy, only fueled sam's belief that dean chose another over him. again another unintentional hurt, but understandable from sam's pov. i may possibly be the only one in the fandom who sees this, but i also think dean can be a little me me me sometimes. i get that dean is hurt. i understand completely. but i can't help the way i feel and it irked me that dean never considered the why when sam said he didn't look. not only that though. it bothered me that dean never once this entire season took the slightest bit of interest in sam's year. at least sam asked about purgatory. dean didn't want to talk but sam did inquire. sam got so upset with dean at one point that he yelled at him, telling dean amelia's name, address and i think occupation. i got the feeling sam was upset that dean never inquired about her. it's like his year never happened. it bothers me some and i got the feeling from sam that it bothered him too, it's how i interpreted it anyway.

as for the trials i think sam from the get go wanted to do them for dean. to close the gates for him and bring him to the light. as sam got weaker both physically and emotionally, his motivations didn't change, he was still doing it all for dean, but i think he knew he wouldn't survive. dying was acceptable to sam if it meant giving dean what sam thought he needed. i agree sam doesn't realize that what dean needs is him. that's what's so tragic about both of these boys. the love they have for ea. other is blinding, blinding them to ea. other. now trust might not have been an issue with dean concerning the trials, but i don't think sam realized that. sam seemed to believe dean didn't trust in his ability to complete the trials. "if anyone needs a chaperone to do the heavy lifting, it's sam". now i know dean was referring to sam's weakened state. but sam heard it as dean not trusting dean to do the job. so while trust/trials weren't dean's issue, sam seemed to believe that accomplishing the trials, giving dean what he thought he wanted would in the end make up to dean what sam believes to be another epic failure, disappointing dean yet again.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-11 20:46
so here's where i think we are in equal agreement. sam and dean don't freaking talk to ea. other about the stuff that needs to be talked about. it goes back to misperception. sam doesn't realize what dean needs, he just assumes what he thinks he needs and when he fails to meet up to dean's expectations sam feels like dean's disappointed in him yet again and in the long run would be happier without him. dean doesn't understand the value his brother holds for him. that when dean makes comments like sam is a freak, or sam is a monster, or benny has been more of a brother than you've ever been, or since the day you walked in my ride it was only to deceive me...those words from dean tear at his brother like no others can. it doesn't matter that a lot of that was said under the influence. sam believes dean meant all of that. he even told him, you didn't need a coin to say what you said. the db in sam has always made him feel separate from his family, but he dealt with that..but when dean told sam in when the levee breaks that he wasn't human, that he was a monster..sam said to dean, don't you say that, not you of all people. i don't think dean ever really understood that the one person in the world that matters most to sam is him. it's what dean thinks that matters most. if sam believes that dean doesn't trust him or value him, sam devalues himself. and in the emotionally weakened state he was in, death was an acceptable result. the dysfunctional part of their relationship is their inability to see ea. other's needs when it comes to ea. other. the other dysfunctional part of their relationship is their inability to open up and talk about these needs. look they're men. and not for nothing but men don't understand subtle. they need to be told word for word what the problem is. the only way for them to deal with the issues they have with ea. other is to talk about them. the boys have a habit of presuming they know the other, but they don't really understand ea other and that's on them because they don't let ea. other know what's truly bothering them. .
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 21:30
Part 2

Sam and Dean’s lack of communication is definitely an impediment for them both, no question. They do both hold misperceptions about what the other thinks and needs. They may never be able to fully reconcile those things due to their ingrained sense of their big brother/little brother archetypes, but I think they certainly can improve.

I agree that Sam’s issues, while fairly buried for a good portion of the season, did twist his view of Dean and what Dean thought of him. He took Dean’s every worry as a sign of not believing in him, to the point where he was unwilling to see his own weakened state as the reason for the worry, instead viewing as condemnation. He attached so much meaning to the trials as the big gesture that would earn Dean’s trust back that he was willing to die for it, despite the fact that he would never enjoy the goal he’d worked towards. Dean didn’t help because of his own issues and lashing out, but to me he can’t be held completely responsible for Sam’s issues, any more than Sam can be held completely responsible for Dean’s. At the same time, Dean’s insecurities and fear of abandonment were certainly fed by Sam’s actions this season, which led him to the same fears that Sam held—that he wasn’t valued by his brother. By the time Sam took on the trials, Dean was so far into believing he was a grunt he placed almost his entire value on helping Sam, which Sam did not appreciate at all (seeing as it fed into his own issues). It still put Dean in a place where it was easy to perceive that Sam did not want his help (therefore him) at all and was pretty much willing to die to get away from him by the end.

Now, I can agree that these issues need to be hashed out, or that both Sam and Dean at the least need to change their own patterns of behavior in order to help their brother. Whether show will allow that remains to be seen.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 21:13
Almost agreeing is pretty good, I’d say. I think looking back we can say Sam immediately recognized that he made a mistake or began second-guessing his decision to walk away without investigating the minute he heard Dean say he was in purgatory. He may have indeed realized that he was going to hurt his brother when he had to admit that he hadn’t tried to find out what happened to him and felt horrible. I didn’t see any sign of that in the first half the season, though, which is why it felt like Sam was refusing to acknowledge that hurt. It may be that he was too wrapped up in his own shame spiral to deal with Dean’s feelings at that time, which blinded him to Dean’s needs at that time. That’s something he needs to work on, frankly.

I don’t have a problem with Dean apologizing for the text, because it did hurt Sam. Even if that wasn’t Dean’s intentions—ev en if his sole reason for doing so was to protect Sam and Benny from each other—his actions were still painful to Sam, and that deserves apology. The problem to me is that it was so one-sided. Dean was willing to apologize for his actions, and Sam was not willing and/or able to face his own culpability in their conflict. I think the prickly fans saw it as Sam once again not answering for his choices while Dean fully faced his.

I very much disagree that Dean is me me me, though. Dean is allowed to be hurt by Sam, and he should be allowed to express that to Sam. Sam not responding or validating his real reasons for hurt does make the problem worse. That does not mean that Dean should be excused for the shots he took at Sam out of hurt—he had to face up to them and did try to make amends. Sam asked about purgatory once, in a fairly perfunctory manner, and didn’t cut Dean anymore slack than Dean cut him. He was wrapped up in the loss of his normal and his self-worth issues to fully see his brother. Again, this is a two-way street. If Dean’s purgatory PSTD doesn’t excuse his bad behavior, Sam’s self-esteem issues shouldn’t shield him from his responsibilitie s as a brother, either.

I agree from the get go that Sam wanted to do the trials to prove to Dean that he could have something beyond the death of a soldier in battle that Dean saw as a pretty realistic end for himself. This did end up getting muddled as Sam started claiming redemption, purification, and trust issues as his reasons for doing the trials, but they did circle back around. I don’t think it was clear the entire time that he was doing it all for Dean, nor do I think show portrayed it that way. I don’t have a problem with that, necessarily, because show has always shown complex motives for Dean and Sam’s decisions. I can agree that Sam may have convinced himself that trust was at stake during the trials, despite the fact that it never was part of the equation for Dean. Sam needs to get better at looking at Dean and seeing him as a person beyond being his big brother, just as Dean has struggled with growing to see Sam as a person beyond his big brother.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-11 22:17
first off i'd like to say i've enjoyed this little chat we've been having. that being said i think you're off your nut....just kidding...could n't resist :P yes i know, i'm teasing a perfect stranger. it's just been that kind of day. :lol:

don't get me wrong, i don't think dean is wrong in his feelings. but he did admit in sam, interrupted that he has narcississtic tendencies. i guess i should have clarified that his presumption that sam left dean in purgatory for a girl is one based on his for lack of a better word at the moment, misguided pov. what was frustrating was that the first half of the season at certain moments felt onesided because dean got to speak and sam didn't . at the time, i didn't realize it was because it was all leading up to what we got in the finale. so admittedly there have been moments in the first half of the season i was angry at dean because he got to express his anger and sam never really defended himself. it seemed so onesided that for me dean was looking like a real jerk.then i would think dean was doing it on purpose..you know trying to pick a fight..egging sam on..but sam didn't, he just took the hits. the reason i believe that dean was trying to pick a fight is because the only time these boys seem to be open with ea. other is under dire circumstances or when fists are flying. so i'm not sure but i think i may be in agreement with you if sam's silence is considered by you sam's lack of validation. all i know was that it was damn frustrating for this viewer. but then i think i agree that sam's shame played a major role in his behaviour during the first half of the season, oh hell, the entire season. is that something we agree on,cuz i can't keep track. :P :D

you know i don't know if you have read bamboo's musings of s8 article but i recommend you do if you haven't yet. i will admit that her article articulates for me much more eloquently anything i could ever post. she says something in the article that i never realized before but i have to agree with. in dean's sc rant he said to sam..you left me to die in purgatory for a girl and then of course proceeded to list every sin sam has ever committed against dean. now i never really considered it before until i read what she wrote and i must say i do think i agree with her. she wrote that it wasn't about anger at sam. she believes dean would never begrudge dean happiness. and she's right he wouldn't. i always thought dean's turn around regarding sam and normal seemed wackadoodle. he'd spent most of the first half berating sam for apparently living a normal life, but then goes on in the second half of the season telling sam he wants that for him. i was like huh :o i always felt dean walked a fine line between wanting sam to have normal and wanting him to stay with him. depending on which way the wind was blowing, would depend on which way dean would feel. but she talked about it being more about jealousy. sam was always able to separate from the life. then she quoted torn and frayed where dean admitted to being jealous. the light just went on for me...see how one person's observation can change one's perspective.... or not. but i think i agree with her assessment and now dean's behaviour makes a little more sense to me.

i don't know if you would agree with her or not, but it's a wonderful read and i see some things a little differently now .overall i think carver did an amazing job this season and brought a new understanding between the boys. they see ea. other for the first time with a clarity and understanding they never had before and i look forward to where the boys go from here.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 23:06
Oh, I’ve enjoyed our conversation as well, even if I’m clearly right and you’re clearly wrong . . . :P Hee. Couldn’t resist doing a little teasing of my own. All in good fun. :lol:

I’m sorry, I find it hard to reconcile that Dean is entitled to his hurt feelings, but he’s narcissistic for having them. Like I said, we didn’t see Sam spend more than one more line concerning himself with Dean’s state than Dean did his, which to me means they both had trouble really seeing each other clearly, and to me they both had reason for that. I also find it hard to blame Dean for expressing his feelings, something he has been encouraged to do over the years, while Sam refused to do so. Sam’s refusal to speak up for himself is not Dean’s fault. Sam is over 30 and is well about to voice his own opinion—he’ s certainly made his voice heard over Dean’s arguments when he felt the need to in the past, even in this season. No matter what Dean might have said, Sam was not muzzled. He could have spoken up about his issues at any time. To me, Dean isn’t a jerk because he actually communicates his issues—isn’ t that what we want him to do?

I have read bamboo’s musings article, though I have not commented on it. To be frank, I didn’t find that Carver proved himself this season for me, because his finale save came way too late and didn’t really cover all the problems that I had with the season. I don’t feel like Sam and Dean matured all that much this year—in many ways, I feel like they regressed. So it’s hard for me to find common ground there, other than parts of this season were preferable to last season.

Also, I find the analysis more than a one-sided in terms of the brothers’ conflict. Once again, Dean seems to have all of the burden for the state of the brothers’ relationship, and nowhere did I see Sam’s faults in dealing with Dean addressed. Every action described therein seemed to lay the blame at Dean’s feet, instead of recognizing that both brothers held responsibility. Now, in no way is she obligated to muse on anything she didn’t actually feel, but to me, it felt very much like Dean was left holding all the fault despite his issues while Sam was excused due to self-esteem. To me, the article sympathized with Sam and cloaked his wrongs, like refusing to talk to Dean about his year off and help him understand or his own hypocrisy surrounding Benny, while showing Dean no such consideration and shining a light on all of his mistakes. That doesn’t work for me. And because you mentioned it specifically, I still very much disagree that Dean’s anger forced by the spectre was about himself—it was very much about Sam and how he’d been hurt by Sam. That’s what the spectre did—it amplified its victims’ anger at others, not at themselves, so by canon, it was very much about Sam, not Dean.

Now, I do agree that Dean has conflicting issues regarding Sam and normal. I do believe he wants Sam to be happy, and in his heart of hearts he wants Sam to have the normal he’s pined for. That’s why he told Sam to go after his normal in Torn and Frayed. But the truth is for both Sam and Dean, Dean is so tightly bound up in hunting that it’s hard to separate them in their minds. One seems to go with the other. Sam lost Dean and couldn’t face hunting without him. When Dean came back, Sam returned to hunting and seemed to resent both. When Dean speaks about Sam dropping hunting, he’s also talking about Sam dropping him. Sam has never been particularly clear about how he saw himself keeping his brother and normal, too, and by past experience I think it’s safe to infer that Dean feared that Sam talks about leaving hunting behind means he will leave Dean behind as well. I think it’s similarly hard for Sam to reconcile Dean and Sam as two separate entities at times. So, yes, Dean needs to talk about that so that he can see that Sam doesn’t necessarily intend to leave him behind. Sam needs to talk about that, too. Sam could have honestly helped by explaining that going for normal wouldn’t mean another radio silence like before and how he thought Dean would fit into his life once he rejoined normal, and I think that would have gone a long way towards addressing some of their issues. The thing is, I’m not sure Sam knows any more than Dean how it would work, and that’s something he needs to think about, too. I really don’t think it’s jealousy that Sam could separate from the life—I think it’s jealousy that Sam can seemingly walk away from him without being torn up, while Dean can’t. Dean doesn’t see himself able to separate from his calling or his brother, and I think he seems Sam as able to walk away from both without pain. I just can’t see Dean still pining after normal, considering how much time show spent giving him his new clarity and renewed sense of purpose. That line didn’t make much sense to me, honestly.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-12 07:40
i don't think dean is a jerk for communicating his issues. what made him a jerk is the way he got back at sam for the hurt. the text being one of them and throwing benny in sam's face another. i'm sorry but i still think dean's narcissism played a role. i mean what was his anger based on really. sam didn't look right? sam explained to him three different times in the premiere that he thought he was dead. he explained to dean that he didn't meet amelia and stop hunting. his brother died, everyone died, he was utterly alone, the expression of sheer panic and desperation on sam's face at the end of sotf clearly shows sam devastated, afraid. you can see right there that sam reached his limit. it was different than any other time he lost dean. imploding and running, that was sam's crime. dean's narcissisism for me comes into play regarding his presumption. after explaining to dean where he was coming from, dean viewed it as sam left me because of a girl. he unintentionally , due to his own issues, decided to believe, contrary to sam's proclaimations, that sam left dean down there because sam couldn't be bothered with him. sam in another episode after more jabs from dean used the term i imploded and ran. so i see this as yet another attempt by sam to explain. yes it sucks to high heaven that we didn't get to see the implosion. it would've helped the audience better understand where he was coming from. but the writers didn't want that, they wanted the contrived conflict so we can get the journey to the end result. i'm ok with that now, but in truth i'd have preferred a little more show then tell. like i said i understand dean's initial anger, he's hurt no matter how logical sam is. but that initial anger to me stems from dean pov disregarding anything else. that aspect for me plays on dean's narcississtic tendency which he himself self diagnosed him having. he's shown this tendency before. in s5 he said that he alone was responsible for stopping the apocalypse because if he didn't do it, no one else would. he decided it was on him to take the trials on. he even took responsibility for sam dying in s2. so in that way, dean is egocentered. i'm not faulting him for it. circumstances and his upbringing resulted in that. even sam told him that even though he didn't hunt, he kept with the stories and life went on. sam relied on other hunters. now kevin was a responsibility of sam's i agree and that he did run from, but he couldn't deal with any responsibility after dean died so i do cut sam slack on that. you say sam made no attempt at talking to dean but i disagree. in sc after dean's rant sam said..i explained to you where i was coming from. you had benny. you had your secrets. move on or i will. that was the opening argument to sam's case. it was dean's turn to respond. but dean didn't. he let it go. so while i believe dean had egged sam on so to provoke a fight to fists and words can fly, i also believe that sam too tried to get dean to engage as well.

i'm not sure i agree that some of dean's rant wasn't about him as well. i do agree with bamboo that jealousy played a part. i agree with you that anger at sam played a part. but i think dean is way more complex than we may think. dean liked purgatory. he liked the purity of it. he was in his element. he killed without remorse. it was black and white. simple. and he thrived in that environment and it gave him a new outlook on hunting. all that depression was gone. he had renewed purpose. it was actually one of the best things to have happened to him in a while. and i think the part of him that liked purgatory affected him in a similar way that the demon blood affected sam. sam enjoyed the control he had with the blood. he enjoyed the power it gave him. he enjoyed ridding demons without killing the host. the fact that sam enjoyed that i think scared him too. i think dean is in a similar situation. i think that also plays a part in his behavior, at least at the beginning of the season.

i think ea. of the boys personal issues played a major role in their flawed behaviour. sam's silence is his flawed behaviour. i just understand why he kept silent or at least why i feel he kept silent. now you think sam needs to apologize for not realizing dean's hurt. sam didn't say i'm sorry i hurt you, but he did try to explain to dean that he thought him dead. he was trying to make it clear to dean that he didn't know he was alive and that he ran away because he couldn't handle the loss. and later he flat out told him he imploded and ran. there are other ways of apologizing and i think sam was in his way trying to make dean understand.. it didn't work i know, but i do think he made an attempt though it may not have been the desired one of some fans and dean.
hey you and me agree on what we'd like in s9. so i'll end it here cuz i don't want you to think i'm one of those people you won't want to chat with in the future. ;-)
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-12 10:17
Thank you for further elaborating on your earlier comments. I agree that Dean’s anger was based upon Sam not looking. From his perspective, Sam is calmly telling him that he assumed he died but didn’t bother to find out for sure. I think it’s over-stating to say he explained anything at this point—he said there was a girl and then there wasn’t. I imploded. What does that actually mean to Dean, who didn’t see the same flashbacks we did? It sounds evasive, defensive, which Sam definitely was at the time. Everyone was dead—Sam and Dean were on their own for the majority of S7, and they found a way to take down the Leviathan. Sam was willing to fight through his hell damage to do so, but once Dean was the one on the line he was done? The girl, to me, was just what Dean hooked onto because it was easier for Dean to be angry that Sam had replaced him than to express that from his angle Sam just couldn’t be bothered to try to help him. He decided Dean was dead because of course he was, and then left for normal, his secret wish, without a look back. For Dean, with his abandonment issues, it pretty much looks like Sam was just waiting for the opportunity to leave, and he did.

So, yes, we can agree that Dean’s issues definitely play a role here, but bringing your own baggage to a situation and being overwhelmed by your own feelings doesn’t make automatically someone a narcissist to me. Here, I have to draw a parallel to Sam—when Dean returned, he was overwhelmed by his own sense of shame and his own longing for his lost normal. That blinded him to what Dean was really hurt by, the fact that Sam’s inability to look for him fed his abandonment issues, and it blinded him to the reasons behind Dean’s trust and reliance on Benny. Despite Dean explaining, the finale tells us that Sam clearly internalized Dean’s continued support of Benny as being a slight to him and a symbol of Dean’s lost trust, instead of actually seeing Benny as a foxhole buddy who saved Dean’s life and was there for him at a time when Sam couldn’t be. In other words, Dean’s trust of Benny had nothing to do with Sam, but Sam personalized it. Does that make Sam narcissistic, because in terms of the conflict all he saw was his own issues, rather than taking into account what Dean was actually saying? Not to me, but if that’s the criteria we’re judging by, I must come to the conclusion that both of our self-sacrificin g, unselfish Winchesters are actually narcissists. Don’t get me wrong—they’ ve both got issues, probably ones with names in the DSM-IV, but I don’t think narcissism fits either of them.

I’ll admit, I’m always going to have a problem with calling Dean a narcissist, because by looking at the symptoms it doesn’t seem to match. Lack of guilt, difficulty with empathy, detesting those who don’t admire them, bragging about/exaggerat ing achievements, denial of remorse, pretending to be more important than they are—none of this fits Dean to me. If we’re going to play armchair psychologist, I’ve got another diagnosis for you to consider. All of the things you listed—his father leaving him, his mother’s death, Sam’s going off to college are agitators of that abandonment issue to me, which comes under the heading of reactive attachment disorder, associated with abandonment issues in children. One of the main manifestations of RAD is the extreme reluctance to initiate or accept comfort and affection, even from family. Sounds about right to me. Another diagnosis is autophobia, the fear of being alone. It’s usually rooted in self-esteem issues and rises from loss or traumatic experience. Some of the symptoms including constant reaching out to others to assure they are still there, panic whenever the other party makes a mistake, emotional blackmail, questioning of self-worth and relying on the approval of others to form opinion of self, doing whatever it takes, even backing down from principles, in order to keep other person with them. I think that sounds more accurate to me as well. So I can offer both of those as alternative medical diagnoses.

Agreed--no matter what, our common ground is that we both want the same things moving forward.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-12 11:28
Did you edit? I’m so confused, because now I see things in your response that weren’t there before. So I’m going to come back and respond again and try to more accurately address what I see.

I agree that Dean displayed some jerkish behavior due to his anger, the text being a primary example. I still disagree that Dean’s problem is narcissism. I think it is abandonment. Sam said he thought Dean was dead, but that has never, ever been a barrier for the Winchesters before. He didn’t know Dean was dead, though, because he didn’t try to find out. He imploded, fine, I think that’s true. I’m not denying that, but while we saw Sam’s expressions and Sam’s flashbacks, Dean didn’t. So he doesn’t have that visual evidence we have—all he has is Sam’s flat “I fell apart, but then I found something I never found before. Everything was fine without me.” But everything wasn’t, and the fact that Sam didn’t recognize that feeds Dean’s belief that Sam was fine without him.

Now, I agree that Dean’s abandonment issues caused him to perceive Sam as not bothering to try to find him. Sam’s words also lent credence to that. Clearly Sam’s explanations weren’t enough to reassure Dean. Does Sam have a responsibility to try to help his brother, who’s clearly struggling with his place in Sam’s life while also dealing with his own PSTD? No, but it probably would have been good for both of them if he’d tried instead of just repeating the same unsatisfactory explanation. After all, if Sam’s fans weren’t satisfied with Sam’s explanations, I find it hard to condemn Dean for feeling the same way.

I’m sorry, I still don’t see Dean as self-diagnosing as narcissistic. Yes, he has his ego-centric moments. So does Sam. So do I. He takes on responsibilitie s for others’ choices, but that easily fits in with either of the diagnoses I posted before. None of this explains the other symptoms of narcissism that Dean does not possess—to me, just because you display one characteristic under a diagnosis doesn’t make it accurate. I’m sorry, I still don’t see a convincing argument here for narcissism.I do agree that Dean’s upbringing is the source of his abandonment issues and his pathological fear of being left behind and being alone.

I’m sorry, but telling someone “Get over it or I’m leaving” is not the opening argument in a discussion. It is an ultimatum. I don’t want to talk about this again, so don’t bring it up or else. Sam knew exactly what button to hit there—Dean’ s intense fear of Sam leaving him—and he got the reaction he wanted. Now, Sam was angry and hurt, so I can understand where he was coming from. But that was in no way an attempt to engage Dean. He didn’t address any of the things that the spectre forced him to say (Dean egged him on?) except Benny. So Sam ignored all of Dean’s pain, which was in fact Dean explaining where he was coming from, and focused on Benny, even going so far as to allude to the possibility that he would kill Dean’s friend. But with Sam’s ultimatum hanging over his head, how could Dean respond? Getting into an argument held the very real danger that Sam would use it as a reason to leave him. Sam placed himself in a no-lose situation there, and there was little Dean could do that would please him. When he didn’t talk, he could blame Dean for not engaging, and if he did, he could justify leaving Dean. So no, Sam gets no credit for reaching out to Dean from me there.

I’m sorry, but I think canon was super clear on the spectre’s m.o. The spectre found old hurts and magnified them, causing its victims to kill their loved ones. It did not cause its victims to project their issues onto others. Therefore, it is canon that Dean’s rant was about Sam. I agree that Dean’s behavior in the beginning of the season affected his behavior, though. I’m not sure how that relates to your first point in this paragraph, though. Can you elaborate?
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-12 11:29
Sam’s silence is part of his flawed behavior, and it did play a part in their conflict. His own misperceptions were part of the problem, too: he seemed to think that explaining his rationale again would solve the problem, when what Dean needed was for Sam to acknowledge his hurt and respond to that. He didn’t do that. Instead, Sam became defensive, so it became more about proving Dean was wrong to be angry instead of trying to fix the pain. You’d think a smart man like Sam would realize that trying to justify his actions wasn’t satisfying anyone, especially the person who means the most to him, so he’d think to try something else. But he couldn’t face it, so he shut down. That is very human, but it is a flaw that he needs to work on—Sam often falls back on explaining, as if all that’s needed is convincing Dean that he was right to do what he did all along, instead of giving Dean what he needs. It’s projection, something they’re both guilty of. Dean has things he needs to work on, and so does Sam.

So in the end, there’s some common ground to be had, and that’s always a good thing.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-12 23:06
first off this limited symbol crap is annoying as hell. i did edit. i write in the morning before work which is a mistake and then i think about stuff on the way to work, then when i get to there i try to squeeze in as much as i could before the kids notice i'm doing something and want to play. i'm a nanny, so it's hard to sneak in the time. so i just wrote stuff down in one big post that may or may not address what we've been discussing. hope that's ok.
now in all honesty i'm not being a smart ass. you say sam doesn't acknowledge what dean needs. he tries to explain himself to make dean understand that whatever dean is thinking, it's not the case but that's not what you think sam should be doing. what do you think sam should be doing that dean would find acceptable? sam apologized for ruby. he said he was sorry when he accidentally started the apocalypse. he kept trying to talk to dean in sympathy for the devil but dean kept telling sam to drop it. why do we have to put it under a microscope? we made a mess . we clean it up. in that instance sam tried to reach out to dean, but dean didn't want to talk about it. sam has attempted a few times to get dean to talk about stuff and dean remained closed off. look at children shouldn't play with dead things for instance. or blood lust. whenever sam tries to talk to dean, he either gets hit or dean closes himself off and doesn't want to talk about it. i just think after a while you just don't even make the attempt anymore. but sam did apologize to dean for souless sam as soon as sam was resouled. he said he was sorry a number of times for ruby and for freeing lucifer. dean's response to sam was that he couldn't trust him anymore. sam just lost one of the things he values most in this world, his brother's trust. sam disappointed his brother in a way that he can never take back and lost dean's trust. it doesn't really come as a shock to me that once again, sam who disappoints his brother in an epic way tries to explain his reasons to dean first and foremost. i can only imagine that sorry just isn't going to cut it this time. so yes, he tried to hide his shame by defending his decision.
as for sam's belief that dean was dead and seemingly accepting his death and attempting to move forward. let me just say that show is really screwing around with canon. when dean died the first time, dean was pissed off when he assumed that sam brought him back, knowing the only way dean can be alive is through a demon deal. dean told sam that he didn't want to be brought back that way. dean's many deaths in mystery spot showed what sam becomes and it wasn't a pretty picture. bobby told both boys that when you die, go. now a lot has happened since the last time dean died. sam suffered 180yrs in the pit, lost his soul, got his soul back only to deal with the guilt of what souless sam had done, had his wall broken, suffered from lucifer hellucinations, wasn't sleeping, lost bobby, nearly died, suffered through electroshock and just a few episodes after that lost his touchstone, the one person he loved most, so i really don't think sam did anything wrong when he honestly believed his brother was dead. his state of mind after everything he'd been through was more damaged than he made it seem, and without dean, without bobby or anyone else to convince sam otherwise, there was no alternative explanation. dean was dead. he was alone. sam ran. he drove around aimlessly until the moment he hit the dog. which i think saved his life. it's been said that sam didn't know for sure dean was dead. how can one say that? sam saw dean and cas vanish in an explosion of dick. the room was trembling. black goo was everywhere. crowley insinuated that dean was dead...standing too close to dick not being a good idea and telling sam he was truly and utterly alone. who's to say what sam should have believed or felt. we saw where dean was so if we know sam should know. that's not fair. it's also not fair to condemn him for following dean's wishes. dean claimed in cspwdt, what's dead should stay dead. dean told sam he didn't want to come back from any deal. bobby told sam when you go, go. sam was devastated but he followed his brother's wishes and he got screwed for it. sam was in a no win situation.

i don't think sam knew that he was pushing all the right buttons with dean when making the ultimatum for dean to move on or he would. i think sam was hurt and angry by dean's rant and he just reached his limit and went off on dean. just like i thought dean did in lucifer rising when he gave sam the ultimatum of you walk out that door, don't come back. echoing his father's exact words to sam. i agree that both boys are exceptionally smart, but in all honesty i don't think either one of them recognize their flaws and i really don't think they are attuned to ea. other the way we fans feel they should be.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-12 23:50
i can give an example for ea. in lr bobby asked dean how he would find sam , sam didn't want to be found. dean made a remark , we'll see about that. and of course found sam. in lazarus rising when dean was looking for sam he knew what alias he would use. bobby asked how'd you know and dean replied, what don't i know about that kid. so yes dean knows sam very well. more than anyone else perhaps or maybe not. i mean meg was inside sam, she knew things about sam that dean had no clue of. sam told dean in lucifer rising after the fight, you don't know me. you never did. dean really didn't get what was motivating sam. he didn't know about the db and how it made sam really feel. blah blah blah. in dsotm sam's moments of being happy included him going to school, running away and celebrating a holiday with a regular family. sam saw these moments as happy because in them he was normal. he was being a regular kid. he was being a regular teenager with a dog and he was being a regular young man who wanted to go to college. dean on the other hand saw it as sam being happy being away from him. sam tried to explain to dean that it was about being a regular normal kid. getting away from the life. sam had no idea that when he ran away on dean's watch that dean would feel he ran away from him. sam wasn't running from dean. sam told dean he had no idea dean felt like sam ran from him. in shadow, sam told dean he wanted to go back to school and be a person again. dean got upset and told sam why he called him in the first place. sam told dean he'd do anything for him, but he didn't want to live thislife forever. dean intertwines hunting with family. sam doesnt do that. sam will love dean no matter what job he's doing. sam doesn't love dean just because they hunt. he loves dean because he loves his brother. they are family. i don't think that dean is aware of sam issues and i don't think sam is aware of dean's. we see it. we think they should be aware of them, but that's just not the case. if it were, then we really wouldn't have the stories we've had all these years.

i enjoy the discussions we've been having even if we don't agree on every little thing, but in all honesty when all is said and done, we could debate on the would'ves and should'ves til the cows come home, but it's really all for naught. :lol: if carver and co. had suddenly had sam and dean handle this year the way we feel they should have, after all the years of not, i think most of the fandom would be ....huh? :o they had to screw up dealing with ea. other because that's canon. that's what they do. i think the way it went down was perfect because
1. they finally opened up to ea. other in a way that cleared the misperceptions they've always had of ea. other.
2. they both now see the value and love ea. one had for the other.
3. they have more insight about ea. other.

this was the first step in recognizing there are issues they will have to deal with. both of them. i know sam was in bad shape, but i do believe that the validation dean gave sam that sam wasn't no. three, he was no. one, will enable sam to open up and be honest with dean and may even enable him to admit to dean about his inabilitity to look, the shame he felt and the ability to apologize. knowing dean still loves him and doesn't view sam as the major disappointment sam believed dean felt he was, may make it easier for sam to say the words, i'm sorry dean i wasn't able to look for you. i'm sorry that i made the mistake of believing you died.

look carver didn't go through all this just to drop it. and it feels like s8 was a set up for the reconstruction of the winchester boys relationship. hell i even have hope that some of the mysteries of s8 may also be explained. carver said it was what it was in s8, but he didn't say anything about s9.

;-)
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-13 00:13
Nappi, let me just say I’ve enjoyed our discussions as well, first and foremost. Secondly, I find myself a little burnt out—I think after getting some free time and finding so many interesting conversations, I’ve overdosed on discussion and am ready, as you seem to be, to call it a day, so to speak. We have discussed our differences so that I think we know where each other is coming from, even if we haven’t changed each other’s perspectives completely, and we have found some common ground. I have to disagree (a lot) that the way things went down was perfect, but I can see that they have allowed Sam and Dean a little more insight into each other and that they did open up a little bit. I’m not sure they’ve cleared up each others’ misconceptions completely or that they are now secure in each other’s trust/love, but I think we maybe could agree that they’ve made a good start? I hope that Sam’s validation will lead to a S9 Sam who is better able to relate to and address Dean’s issues, as you described here. I also hope that Sam's issues continue to be addressed and dealt with, of course. A lot for me hinges on whether show actually follows through here or if they retcon again. You seem very optimistic, and I hope for all of our sakes that your faith is rewarded, as we’ll all be happier for it.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-13 02:33
well i imagine you've done more work this past few days posting than you have this whole school year. you did say you were a teacher right?

here's how i look at it. the ending was perfect for me. the beginning not so much. but watching show now that the finale is done is so much easier now..there's much less frustration. you just got to memento this season and most of it makes sense. what i love most is that the finale and the great escapist not only has me seeing this season in a new light, but every season. i like that. i understand the boys more so past episodes make more sense than they might have at the time i was watching.

as for the boys. they took a major step by validating ea. other's worth in their brother's eyes. insight/underst anding goes a long way imo. first you have to admit to a drinking problem before you can deal with the disease right. the first step is always the toughest, but once taken, the rest is a little bit easier.
the way i see it once the apocalypse story ended where could show take it. sg tried to go bigger with the leviathan story. while i so enjoyed s6 and souless sam, s7 had some great moments, but overall there seemed to be something missing....hear t. the boys seemed more like partners than brothers for alot of the season. in the end everyone was gone and the boys only had ea. other, but that didn't seem to bring them closer. dick roman get his just desserts but where does that leave s9 which was a definite. carver is now showrunner and he had to decide which direction to take show. he decided to go back to the beginning. back to the heart . back to the brotherly bond. what better way to do that than through contrived conflict..if anything the conflict between the boys only illustrated how much they love ea. other. i know it sounds weird, but if they didn't love ea. other the way they did, then neither would care what anyone did and wouldn't be bothered by it one way or the other.
so carver brought conflict but then he brought resolution. old issues were brought forefront, old fears and misperceptions as well. in the end, sam learned dean loves him despite his failings and dean learned that sam values him more than he's ever imagined. issues resolved? well of course not. not yet, but that's what s9 is for. sam and dean admitted their true fears/feelings. they see ea. other clearly for the first time. that's a major step..of course there are more steps to take, but you have to take that first one first.

seems to me that carver is bringing show to a more human level. not just because angels fell to earth, cas lost his mojo and crowley might actually have a conscience. i mean carver brought up the human flaws of sam and dean and now it's my firm belief that s9 will have these boys confront and deal with the issues that's been a part of them for so long. you add that to the mol storyline and saving people and hunting things, you got the makings for a few more seasons. in all honesty as i've stated before, i really don't think carver did all this just to drop it.
carver brought the heart back to show even if it was frustrating at the beginning and even though there were a lot of inconsistencies . but you know, who's to say that s9 doesn't explain those. in all honesty, looking back on carver's interviews and the entire season, i don't believe carver intended on resolving anything this season...this season was about the boys and bringing their relationship to the next level...an open and honest one, but also one in which the boys who have always misperceived ea. other, now see ea. other in a new light.

so kudos to carver for doing that and i say s9...bring it
st50
# st50 2013-07-13 09:56
Hey nappi815,
I just wanted to say thanks for this post.
I've been ignoring the latest discussions, pretty much, because they've bothered me. I don't know what made me read your post, and I don't even want know what's gone on before it, but I liked your thoughts on the season here.
:-)
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 23:07
Oh, and the conclusion of that article is problematic to me because it seemingly praises roles that both brothers need to step beyond. Sam does not need to be the little brother who still needs to be looked after and puts his big brother on a pedestal that doesn’t allow him to see Dean as a person. Dean does not need to be the big brother who finds his value in his little brother’s achievements and his ability to take care of Sam while putting Sam in a little brother box he no longer wants to be in. That’s why I think Dean and Sam took a step back this season—we’r e right back where we started, and show has already told us that’s not a good thing.

I’m afraid we’re going to agree to disagree here, because Carver pulling a ninth inning run doesn’t erase the errors and strike-outs that preceded it. By the end of the season, the big, “Oh, Sam was totally torn up the whole season; he just didn’t show it” didn’t make it for me. I think it was serviceable first effort, but I’m hoping for improvement in S9. Given the habit of retconning show has developed, I’m not we can praise the sort-of understanding that show has allowed the boys to get at the 11th hour because there’s no guarantee it’s going to stick. We’ll see. I am wary but hopeful.
eilf
# eilf 2013-07-11 23:33
I was trying to remember which episode the 'taco in the next town' quote was from because it gets mentioned quite a lot ... so I went through all the transcripts and you know what? Nobody all season mentioned the word 'taco' even once.

It didn't happen. That line is very similar to something Jared said in the many interviews he had to do blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/10/supernaturals-jared-padalecki-talks-sams-new-direction-and-fatherhood.html
(go to 3.30 in the video)
Now I could be wrong and I may have missed it on the transcripts but I suspect Sam is getting blame here for something he didn't do and that was out of his control.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 23:46
That would be ironic, wouldn't it? :lol:
eilf
# eilf 2013-07-11 23:51
Yeah pretty much ...
(sorry I edited my post several times in the past few minutes :-) )
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 16:00
I’m back so here we go, nappi815! Nothing wrong with differing opinions—I think it makes for more interesting discussion at times. Having said that, I have to disagree that Sam wasn’t a big picture guy, even in the season premiere. When viewing his time off, Sam saw the big picture—he didn’t hunt, he didn’t find Kevin, etc, and the world didn’t explode. Things were, from his perspective, okay, which made it okay for him to drop out and rejoin the “real” world, so to speak. Even in his “I had no road map”, it seemed that the small picture mission was so overwhelming to him that he had to run away (by his own word). Dean couldn’t deal with any of that, nor could he face the idea that Sam hadn’t tried to find him. So he focused on a small goal—finding Kevin. Once he found Kevin, he had a new goal, shutting the gates. Dean has operated this way since the beginning—the re’s a larger goal out there, and there’s small MOTW cases to take on along the way.

Sam’s “Guess only you get free will” was very much projection to me. He was chafing at his own perceived loss of free will, despite the fact that he made the choice to follow Dean. He very clearly did not want to go back to hunting, but he did it anyway. By contrast, the only conversation he’d had with Kevin at that point found Kevin excited to share his escape and the idea of closing the gates—the scene where Sam apologized and Kevin lamented the loss of his normal life came later. So to me, Sam’s irritation was very much on his own behalf, not Kevin’s. Dean didn’t involve Kevin in the fight—Kevin was chosen, and then he decided to fight back to close the gates. So the slap at Dean wasn’t to me so much about Sam sympathizing as it was projecting, which is very natural.

I’m afraid I can’t give Sam a complete pass on his behavior after Dean came back. Yes, Dean was upset about Sam not looking for him and he had to work that out, but Sam could have done more to mediate the situation. . Just as with looking for Dean, Sam seemed to see that Dean was hurt, tried nothing, and was all out of ideas. Dean being hurt doesn’t mean that Sam had no responsibility in making the situation better. That’s a very childlike excuse to me—“Well, you were mad at me and you weren’t going to listen, so I’m not going to try.” Yes, he said that he thought Dean was dead, but he didn’t convey how happy he was that he wasn’t—inst ead he made it clear he was waiting for the chance to escape to normal again The truth is, by allowing Dean to continue to believe that he simply moved on and forgot about him Sam did feed Dean’s insecurities and hurt him, just as Dean’s anger hurt him. Sam has to be willing to step up to the plate here, just as Dean needed to be. It has to be a two-way street.

To me, Sam didn’t need to apologize for believing his brother was dead. Truthfully, his behavior after Dean came back was just as problematic, if not moreso. Again, to me, it’s not an excuse to say that “Well, apologizing might not make anything better so I’m not going to try at all. It’s all on Dean to get over this and forgive me.” Maybe that’s part of the reason Dean’s forgiveness was so long in coming.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-13 01:58
I'm just going to lump the rest all of my hopefully brief thoughts from this discussion in this one post.

First I don't think Dean is narcissistic at all. I do think he has learned to trust his own instincts to the point where he takes opposition to his opinions personally sometimes. Or it short-he always thinks he's right. :D Not that he absolutely won't listen to others, just that he is resistant to it and has to be convinced.

I also think the SC rant was about Dean's hurt feelings towards Sam. While I do think he has issues, I don't think that is what that was about. I think he has tried to let all of that stuff go (well except the not looking -at that point) but just because you WANT to be over something doesn't mean those hurts aren't buried down there somewhere.

And while I agree with a lot of your assessment of what Sam went through and how he perceived Dean's comments and think you are probably right about why he didn't really apologize for not looking, I am in full sympathy with those frustrated with Sam never explaining himself. It is gone beyond reticence into completely closed off. Other a few stray lines anyway. I couldn't believe the only thing they had Sam say to defend himself was that Dean had secrets and Benny. REALLY! UGH! And he said nothing to explain WHY he didn't look. I think Dean deserves an explanation. I was really upset by this and I was the one in Purgatory! :D This season really didn't do Sam any favors. But it did leave me angry with the writers rather than characters.

Now I do think at least some of the inconsistency on his motivations for doing the trials is easily explainable as things changing over time and protecting Dean. I think he went into the trials for the reason he said. Because Dean saw it as a suicide mission and Sam couldn't let that happen. I think he fully intended to try to survive them. But then they kept taking more and more of a toll and he began to see the writing on the wall that he wasn't going to survive. But at the same time it did feel like a purification, so at least if he died he'd be fully human. Be rid of the taint that had done so much damage to his family. So he accepted that he was finishing them regardless of what happened. The motivation to save Dean was still there but if he could stop the demons for all time as well as prove to Dean he was a worthy person again. Well he could die content with that. He wouldn't tell Dean this though to protect him. And this would be the first time he'd sacrificed himself knowing he would live to enjoy the fruits of the sacrifice. In SS, he condemned himself to the Cage for redemption, even knowing his reward wouldn't be the peace of death but endless torture.

They are inconsistent with what Dean wants with for Sam, but some that can be put down to human nature. I think Dean's ideal life would be hunting with his brother and them both being able to live some sort of normal life as well. I think he accepted that will never happen for him and he'll die bloody. So he wants Sam at his side for as long as he has. But he wants the life he describe for Sam in Trial and Error after he's gone. I don't think he can stand being on the road without Sam, which perhaps is a bit selfish, but I think most of us ARE a bit selfish when it comes to wanting loved ones close. And Sam is ALL Dean has. (And vice versa, I do think if Dean settled down Sam would be perfectly content to become the researcher for other hunters. But I don't think he can be happy with Dean on the road by himself and does love saving people, so has found contentment with the life they have. And he does seem more on board now that they found the MOL's anyway).

I think Dean's reaction to Sam not hunting had every thing to do with feeling abandoned by Sam. Because he didn't TRY to find Dean, if he'd tried and failed I think Dean would have understood.
And maybe been happy that Sam found some sort of happiness. Yes, it was hurtful not to really ask about Amelia, but I think she represented Sam's abandonment. Just as Sam refusing to try to trust Benny, even though he was part of the reason Dean was alive, was about HIS hurt. Neither reaction reflects well on either one of them but they've been though a lot and well they are MEN! :D

I'm sure I missed stuff, but this was anything but this was anything but short anyway.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-13 00:10
nappi, you are once again extremely convincing which I appreciate. I again with what you wrote about the mind sets of the boys, but even more it reminds of why I was so convinced there was something more at play early last season. There did seem to be so much hinting at something more that was never revealed. Here's to hoping they were just trying to teach me patience.

This was responding to a one WAY UP THERE.
leah unlogged
# leah unlogged 2013-07-10 00:05
Hi Nappi, always glad to see you here. I love this post. It is exactly how I see this crazy dynamic of theirs. I also believe Dean trusts Sam with most things and especially with his life. Dean for all his bluster is easily hurt and lashes out at Sam which wounded him in ways that Dean did not intend. IMO. It was VERY important to Dean that Sam see how much he means to him. And that no one is more important to him. Trust will be an ongoing struggle for Dean. But it was a start and a big step towards healing I believe.
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2013-07-10 03:00
Quote:
a lot of this fandom on this board are giving women's opinions. it's frustrating that we see the boys and their issues but they don't .
When Sam and Dean finally talked in S5 I thought "Men! They have to start the Apocalypse before they'll talk to each other!" :D
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-09 12:52
just saying, starting with the scene in Sacrifice, you brought up so many of my issues with the whole season. Such as, the didn't bother to earn storylines. IMO they just started with a OOC statement-Sam didn't look for Dean. And then based a good portions of the plot threads on that without bothering to earn the original statement. This trend continued throughout the season. If they needed a plot point, they just threw it in without seeing whether it really fit within the context of the show. Very irritating. But I would forgive most of them, including the strings in Sacrifice, if they wouldn't just explain Sam's behavior. I do really want them to continue the conversation though, they both have stuff to get off their chests

Sidenote: I didn't really mind that much that they had Dean list being soulless while possessed, there because it wasn't supposed to be rational. (though it does reenforced the idea that Dean is still holding on to all the stuff from the past) And he was really hurt by SS while Dean still thought he was fully Sam. So even if rationally Dean knows it's not his fault, his subconscious brain doesn't. But then they had him mention it again and even joking I don't see Dean using that against him.

As for Sam not using torturing while possessed, I did consider that they thought it would be going to far for the Sam character. I don't think that is what the being weak is referring to, because what he was upset about is Dean not willing to go further and take more risks when it came to killing Lilith. He demonstrated this several times throughout the season, especially in OtHoaP. And I think regardless, Sam has shown a pattern of not holding grudges or holding peoples mistakes against them. So I think it makes more sense that he was referring to Dean's caution than Dean's breaking in hell.

About the separating the Apocalypse for the brother stuff though. I agree it is hard to do. But if you lump in all together than Sam did apologize and if you don't then Dean has some stuff to answer for as well. Though I do think I overstated or misstated, I don't think Dean is solely responsible for Sam's lack of worth. I do think with all the hits he took for throughout his life, he clung to Dean's believe in him and that is all he had left by the time Dean died for him. So Ruby found him easy pickings. I also think that he felt powerless when Dean died so, she had that to play with again. He was in pretty deep by the time Dean got back, but I do think if they'd talked to each other, Dean could have pulled him back. Not that it is Dean's fault (Sam made his choices)but Sam had been following him his whole life, if Dean had been whole at that point I think the outcome would have been different. I think he could have saved Sam and stopped the Apocalypse before it happened, but then we wouldn't have my 2 favorite seasons :D

And maybe not anyway, Sam did obvious like the power and control. And he could so easily justify it to himself that he saving people. Hell saving the world by killing Lilith. I do think deep down he knew it was wrong and that is why he hid it from Dean. But with Ruby whispering in his ear and the people he was saving right in front of him. He could easily justify, justify, justify.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-09 13:37
Kelly, we are definitely in sync in saying that show very often didn’t earn their storylines this season. I’ll take it a step further and say another big problem with this season is that the characters were written to fit the plot, rather than the other way around. It did start with Sam’s almost casual admission that he didn’t even try to find out what happened to Dean—it’s hard to imagine that they didn’t see the problems there. Truthfully, I can understand and even support the idea that Sam fell apart and couldn’t face things, but it would have taken so little to make it not rebound on him. Sam looked up every avenue he could but couldn’t find anything. Sam found out Dean was in purgatory but didn’t know any way to get him out because of the ordeal it was to be opened in S6. Sam was tricked by another being into truly thinking Dean was dead. Truthfully, I think they really hurt Sam with the “I didn’t know if you were dead or eating tacos somewhere” line. If they could have firmly had him believing Dean was dead, it would have been better, but once they injected that line of doubt it was damaging. Show wanted Sam to explore a normal storyline, but it could have been done in a more in character way.

Further, I found Sam’s behavior once Dean came back just as baffling. I would have thought that Sam, whom the finale told me was so willing to take on guilt regarding dean, would have been horrified to learn that Dean hadn’t really been dead, but fighting for his life somewhere. Not because there was something he could have done, but because Sam would have felt there was. Instead, show had him shrugging off Dean’s reactions, as if they were completely incomprehensibl e. Here again, we see show bending Sam to fit the conflict plot, rather than having it seem organic.

Agreed again: I could understand Dean bringing up soulessness under the influence of the spectre, which had people murdering each other over softball games. Though Sam always maintained he was at least partly himself while soulless, it would make sense that Dean wouldn’t be able to face that while talking to Sam, insisting he was blameless. Internally, though, I could see Dean wondering, “If Sam says that’s really part of who he is, does that mean part of him really would want to leave me behind/let me get turned because the ends justify the means?” Therefore, I could see it coming out that way. But when they had him include it in the laundry list in the finale, it was OOC writing where Dean had to say things for the sake of the plot, not because it was natural to him.

It’s unclear whether Sam meant Dean was weak because of breaking in hell under the influence of the spectre. It seems more likely he meant in going after Lilith, because when Sam told Ruby of Dean being weak that was what he was referring to. I still maintain that the writers knew that it was radioactive to have Sam go there.

I do find it very hard to separate the apocalypse from the brother issues—they are twined together for me. I can also agree that Dean made mistakes in how he dealt with Sam and needed to make changes, too, and honestly I think show did more to address Dean’s changes in how he treated Sam than vice versa in S5. I’m glad that we can agree that Dean is not solely responsible for Sam’s lack of self-worth. I think Sam has taken hits throughout his life (as has Dean), so neither brother can truly be blamed solely for the other’s dysfunction. I can agree that Dean being damaged by hell made it hard for him to respond to Sam the way he needed, but he still has to own those mistakes. I further agree that that doesn’t excuse Sam from his own decisions.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-09 13:37
I don’t know that Dean could have stopped Sam even then, because to me Sam has always been the character most willing to go against the family grain and do what he thought was right. For better and for worse, Sam is that strong-willed man. He’s always been a big picture guy, and he does find it easier to justify—in 3.12 he was willing to listen to the idea of killing the virgin to save the town. Dean has always been a small picture guy, with albeit great instincts. That doesn’t mean that focusing on the small picture is always right either—his plan in 3.12 initially worked, but he didn’t anticipate a demon getting away. He was sure that saving Sam’s soul from Ruby’s influence was more important than using her to save himself from hell (though I doubt Ruby would have regardless), and in the end who’s to say that it wouldn’t have ended better if he had. Sometimes I think it’s interesting to think about what would have happened if the strike hadn’t happened and Kripke’s original vision of Sam saving Dean and going dark had occurred. A year of dark Sam and Dean’s storyline probably being chasing after him, seeing the damage he wrought, and trying to save him, only to have Sam probably release Lucifer anyway (as Kripke had already planned the ending of the series)? I think we might be better off with S4 and S5, because there be dragons along that road, I’d think.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-10 23:18
just saying, I think we almost completely on common ground now, in fact, most of this could have been written by me. :D Especially the stuff about Sam ooc behavior continuing through the first half of the season. I was completely convinced something was up because he was acting so weird. Now I'm wondering if that was an acting choice by Jared because he thought there was a twist as well. I guess it would depend on when he knew the plot for the whole season. Or maybe he knew and was trying to add a little believability to the situation since what was on paper didn't really make sense.

And definitely agree that they changed the characters to suit the stories that wanted, rather than fitting the stories to the characters. I have some smidgeon of hope that they are going to reveal something next season that explains the weirdness but it's just a smidgeon. And I do think the dark
er Sam would have been interesting but I love the way they did it for the most part, so I'm okay with it.

I can see your point about the big/small picture views and that does make sense. I can easily see that being one of the factors at play.

In fact, the only thing I could quibble about is what you said in a response to Sharon. I do think Sam does have a more forgiving nature than Dean. That he is less likely to hold a grudge this has been demonstrated on the show many times. Yes, Sam did say Dean was selfish for making the deal, but that was pretty much right after it happened. He was speaking out of anger, grief and guilt. But he hasn't ever brought it up again.

He did bring up Amy again but only when it was pertinent to the subject at hand. I'm by no means saying the guy doesn't have boatload of things to work on but I think we can give him that.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 02:07
Again we agree. I have and continue to wonder about some of the acting choices Jared made in the first half of the season, because they did make me think that he was expecting a twist as well. I don’t think he knew the plot for the whole season—the Js almost always say they don’t know what’s coming. It makes you think that it probably would be better if they did, just because it would probably change some of the nuances they put into their performances. But back on point, when the twist wasn't forthcoming by the end of the season, I think that's when he started to distance himself more from the storyline, even saying to the media that he found it out of character for Sam. I did and do have sympathy for Jared there—it wasn’t an easy storyline to give him, and he was a smart enough man to realize that it wasn’t going to be a popular one, most likely. Don’t misunderstand me—I think he did the best he could with the questionable material and an excellent job when they allowed him good material. I just think the first half of the season put him between a rock in a hard place a good bit of the time.

I’m not sure show will ever go back and try to fix the weirdness or fix where the problems. Maybe if they did they’d end up making it worse. I think I said that somewhere regarding Dean’s depression arc. They magicked it away in purgatory, but after 2 plus years I was pretty convinced that the PTB had no idea how to bring it to a successful resolution, so maybe it was for the best. Rehashing the ghosts of grudges past this season didn’t seem particularly effective, so maybe they should just move on and do better from here. Again I say, plots should fit characters, show, not the other way around.

I think my reluctance to see Sam as just an incredibly forgiving character stems from the fact that he was introduced as a character who held very real and lasting grudges against his father and only found forgiveness for him after he died. I didn’t find that wrong necessarily, but to me that was definitely part of his early characterizatio n, and for me, it stuck. Sam did hold the deal against Dean, particularly his reluctance to break the deal and his laissez-faire attitude towards death, for a good bit of S3. It could be theorized that it continued to affect Sam’s view of Dean into S4, when Sam believed Dean was weak. Sam’s grudge against Lilith and desire for revenge fairly consumed him in S4 (not that he should have forgiven her, but revenge against her blinded him to not only his own path but his brother’s pain as well). He clearly did still hold Amy against Dean somewhere in his self-conscious, just as Dean hadn’t quite forgiven and forgotten his own grudges from seasons past. None of this doesn’t mean that Sam isn’t a forgiving character at times—he definitely is. He has his moments like everyone else, though. He’s human, and to me there’s nothing wrong with that.

Leah—well, thank you. I am willing to own my biases, but I do try to look at all the angles (I like that phrase so much I’m stealing it). Thanks for inviting me to stick around, despite the rocky beginning.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-07-11 04:20
Sam is a far more forgiving character than Dean I would say. Sam and Johns relationship was fractious and like Dean their childhood left it mark. I do not really see Sam holding the deal against Dean in season 3 so while Sam like anybody can feel the hurt of a bad relationship or someones actions I still stand by what I said and that I disagreed with your assessment that Sam would of blamed Dean for hell but if you see it that way then we obviously will not agree.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 08:22
Fair enough. Understanding each other's position doesn't necessarily mean we're going to reach the same conclusion. Still a point worth debate, so thank you for the discussion.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-07-12 02:43
Quote:
Fair enough. Understanding each other's position doesn't necessarily mean we're going to reach the same conclusion. Still a point worth debate, so thank you for the discussion.
That is true . As I said Sam would not of blamed Dean for hell and it is something I do not believe you were fair in stating .
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-12 02:58
Agreed, Sharon. Which is why I reassessed and walked that statement back in a response somewhere up this thread about two days ago. So we are in agreement, which is always a good thing.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-12 03:01
I'm sorry that I clearly missed that line in your earlier statement and say so to you in my first response to you yesterday.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-07-12 03:05
Quote:
Agreed, Sharon. Which is why I reassessed and walked that statement back in a response somewhere up this thread about two days ago. So we are in agreement, which is always a good thing.
On this particular point yes .
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-12 03:08
Common ground is always a good thing.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-07-12 03:24
Quote:
Common ground is always a good thing.
It is despite the fact we are different in how we view other points :-)
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-11 04:21
Yeah, I think Jared did amazing job this season (Jensen too of course.), especially the last few episodes. Jensen said they were really hard on Jared and I can believe it. But I think he did make the same assumption some of us did based on past seasons-that there was going to be a twist. I know he's said his favorite line of the whole series was the one about not leaving his brother out there alone, so I'm sure this was hard to transition to. And I think he did well with what was there, but he wasn't given much to work with at the beginning.

I fear your right but hope you're wrong about the fixing it next season, because it feels like a deal breaker for me. And I could have lived with them not fixing the past problems if they hadn't raised them again, but now they have so I really want them to completely deal with them.

I don't think Sam has saintly forgiving nature, but he does seem to usually move on from things done to him pretty quickly. Though I will agree that wasn't that evident the first season, but really only in regards to things relating to John and we all have people who push our buttons.

Lilith killed Dean. He's not going forgive anyone ever for that. I do think his tendency to be forgiving though became cemented in S5. I think his massive mistakes in S4 made him even more inclined to understand others' mistakes and I do think that he doesn't consider things done to him as being bad as things done to others. (Obviously anything done to Dean is the worse offense)

But Dean killed Amy, so this was something done to Sam and to his friend. I hated that scene in Mentalists where Sam just says Dean was right, but that could easily be taken as a signal that Sam didn't trust his own judgment (in fact it's the only way to take that doesn't make me want to scream). So I think he started relying even more on Dean's judgment. So when he found out about Benny, he was not only really hurt by Dean keeping him a secret and once again choosing someone else to trust, when he doesn't trust Sam (as Sam sees it and really the biggest issue and probably the reason it was brought up). But also now Dean trusted Benny and but he had not trusted Sam's judgment and killed his friend. And if Sam doesn't trust himself this change in policy would be jarring. But I'm tired and probably not making any sense.

But I will say if they are not intending for him to come off as having a more forgiving nature than I don't know what his extremely is easy forgiveness of Castiel is all about.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 09:02
Sometimes I think it’s hard for both Jensen and Jared because they aren’t aware of the entire storyline as they act. The choices they make while acting in an episode are based on what they know of their character and his situation at that time, and when their beliefs turn out to be wrong, I think it contributes to the character inconsistencies we see on screen. I do think Sam (and Jared) had the deck stacked with some of the writing at times, particularly in the beginning of the season. Dean and Jensen have had similar issues, but not on points as radioactive as Sam/Jared have faced.

I am wary but hopeful regarding show continuing to address and fix things between Sam and Dean. They’re never going to fix everything, but as you said, by bringing up problems of the past they’re obligated to deal with them. I feel like they’ve only scratched the surface of that solution so far, and hope they are going to keep going.

I can agree that Sam’s forgiving nature did seem to appear more by S5, and it would make sense to connect that to Sam becoming more sympathetic due to his own fall from grace. It didn’t seem to match his earlier stances, so it never really clicked for me. Your rationale makes sense to me, so I’m going to choose to adopt it. Thank you.

As for Amy, I never felt like there was as strong a parallel between Benny and Amy as show tried to maintain. But then, I’m one who didn’t feel that Dean killing her was wrong—only the lie was wrong to me. Killing a monster that was actively murdering humans and rationalizing that their lives weren’t as worthy =/= monster who had not killed anyone that the boys knew of and in fact was actively trying to avoid doing so. I agree that the conflict was not particularly satisfactorily resolved in the Mentalists (Dean’s Fallen Idols, if you will). I can agree that because Sam and Dean are big old hypocrites, it makes sense for Sam to be mad at Dean for keeping a secret and listening to someone else instead of him. I agree that for Sam not having Dean’s trust is a big issue, though he rarely seems to connect the dots as to why he doesn’t have Dean’s trust (especially this season—really , Sam?) I do think that it has adverse affects on Sam, though I felt like show overplayed its hand by basing so much of Sam’s self-worth on Dean’s trust in the finale when it really wasn’t shown to be affecting him that much throughout the season.
leah unlogged
# leah unlogged 2013-07-11 00:30
just saying: I wanted to say how much I agree with in your comments! I am glad you decided to hang around after the initial bumpy start (sorry :-). I like the fairminded way you look at all angles.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2013-07-09 01:49
Quote:

Tangent-The Fallen Idols speech wasn't good and I can see how it irritates people, but he WAS taking responsibility in it. It kind of mirrors addiction recovery language which is where I'm assuming they got it. Recognize patterns of behavior in your relationship with others, so you can make healthier choices in the future. Make your own decisions good or bad and take responsibility for those decisions. To me it was clear by the language that that is what Sam was saying but I will grant that it could cause confusion if not familiar with that line of thinking. BUT that is the ONLY time in 8 seasons where there is even a hint of Sam blaming Dean for his actions and even then he very clearly says it was his fault not Dean's. End of Tangent

I have to admit their reconciliation in S5 didn't feel either had dealt with all the stuff that boiled for those two seasons. So I was kinda happy they opened the wound again, so to speak, so this time it could heal properly. And if they continue where they started in Sacrifice (or really the Great Escapist) I could get totally psyched. Especially if they truly deal with the hurt on BOTH sides. We've Dean rant in anger and Sam in pain but I really don't feel like it is resolved yet. So I hope the writers don't drop.
I completely agree with this. While I suppose that Sam's speech in Fallen Idols could have been worded differently, the gist of it was completely clear to me. Sam was telling Dean that part of the reason for his behavior was how Dean treated him, BUT he knew that that was not an excuse for what he did. He was taking responsibility for ALL of it while trying to tell Dean that they BOTH needed to change the way they dealt with each other.

I'm probably one of the few people who watched that scene and was actually glad that Sam finally said something. I wish it had been worded differently, but it NEEDED to be said. I just wish the rest of the season could have carried on in that vein, with the two of them hashing out their problems and finally getting to a place where they could trust each other again and jointly solve the apocalypse problem.

Instead, it degenerated into a blamefest for Sam who couldn't even be redeemed by going to hell, and a contrived, downward spiral for Dean just so they could have their epic 100th episode " I'm not really saying yes to Michael" wink. I'm not bitter about this.....really ....I'm not.......
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-09 02:15
Here's what I can agree with. Sam had every right to say something about Dean's behavior as he was written in that episode. It was true that they couldn't work together if Dean was going to flash hot (let's pretend nothing's wrong) to cold (double secret probation). He had every right to speak to that.

But while Sam said he was taking responsibility for all of what had happened, that's not what he did. Once he blamed Dean for his going to Ruby, he wasn't taking responsibility. He was blaming Dean (for a relationship that started while Dean was in hell, no less). Once Sam told Dean he was the reason for his bad choice, then the onus was squarely on Dean to change, not Sam, no matter what else he said. He also didn't address at any point the way he was going to change the way he dealt with Dean. So no, he didn't really own up to his responsibility there, either. The speech was badly written to me, and it undercut its effectiveness and its message.

Look at the result of that speech, and it's easy to see how it failed. Dean apologized, true enough, and he dropped the behavior Sam described. That was the good part. But Dean never really again addressed his real problem, which was the trust issue, with Sam, and Sam never addressed specifically to Dean what he was doing to fix their relationship, nor did he speak to Dean's issue, which he'd eye-rolled in 5.1. Discussion on how to fix what was between them died right then and there, because Dean couldn't risk alienating Sam and causing him to leave and Sam couldn't (apparently?) see fixing his relationship with Dean differed from stopping Satan.

From there, it did disintegrate into Sam focusing on making up for breaking the last seal and Dean closing down and spiraling (since when show doesn't know what to do with Dean they just give him the depression arc--this was the beginning of a bad pattern). So to me, that episode and that speech can be pinpointed as where the boys really repairing the bond stopped and show periodically slapping a Band-Aid on it began. I agree that there were good intentions, but we all know where those lead.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-09 02:23
Sorry, almost done.

Fallen Idols is relevant to the current season because I think the finale once again places show at the crossroads. They can either slap another Band-Aid on and say that the finale was enough to fix everything while really keeping the boys' issues in their back pockets to pull out when they need some emotional drama, a la Fallen Idols to now, or they can dig in S9 and actually address some of Dean and Sam's issues so they can finally be resolved. I've said before and I say again, I'm sure the writers are talented enough to think of new obstacles for the boys--they don't really need to cycle these same ones back around another time.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-09 02:42
While we differ in how we see the Fallen Idols speech, I agree that we are now at a similar crossroads. And give a big AMEN to not slapping a band-aid on it and really fixing the problems this time.

Sidenote- 5.1 I didn't really see this Sam as rolling his eyes. He did kind move this to the side and down. But I definitely didn't the get the impression he was saying,"oh come on your bring this up now" To me it was more not being able to look Dean in the eye and that would definitely fit better with his next words and tone of voice. (I went back and watched it. Yes I have issues :lol: )
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-07-09 03:10
I believe Sam said, ‘One of the reasons I went with Ruby......’ not ‘The reason I went with Ruby......’ therefore, there was more than one reason. Was Dean one of the reasons? Yes. Was he the only reason? No. That’s clarified in the very next line that’s clarified Dean: ‘You saying this is my fault?’ Sam: ‘No. It’s mine. All of it.’ So I can't see how Sam is putting the blame on Dean in this instance.

I mean, one of the reasons that Dean made a deal with the crossroads demon was because of his love for Sam. However, it was not the sole reason. Grief, desperation and feeling he had failed in his job (of protecting Sam) all played a major role in Dean's decision. And Dean (I trust), doesn’t blame Sam for his decision to make a deal.

Also, going with Ruby did not start the Apocalypse. She might have introduced Sam to matches but he decided to light them and drop them all on his own.

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He was blaming Dean (for a relationship that started while Dean was in hell, no less).
It’s quite possible that this refers to Sams decision to go back with Ruby after Dean came back, not the relationship that started when Dean was in hell.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-09 10:04
Tim, Sam might have indeed said “One of the reasons” instead of “The reason.” In fact, I think you’re right that he did. But without addressing any of those other reasons, it’s pretty clear to me that the discussion was focused solely on how Dean was responsible for Sam’s choice in going to Ruby. Sam might have said it wasn’t Dean’s fault, but if I say, “You made me run that red light. I mean, yeah, it was my fault, but you have to stop talking to me while I’m driving because you’re one of the reasons I ran that red light.” The message delivered to me isn’t “It’s my fault I ran the red light.” It’s “You caused this, so you better stop.” To me, that’s pretty much the problem with Fallen Idols—Sam can say that he’s not blaming Dean, but when he assigns Dean responsibility for his choice and says Dean has to change his behavior, then he’s blaming Dean. Saying “I don’t blame you” didn’t take away from the message being delivered.

I agree that many factors went into Dean’s deal at the crossroads, despite show deeming it completely selfish in 3.1. I also agree that Dean didn’t blame Sam for his decision to make the deal. He never said to Sam, “Well, I don’t blame you, but if you hadn’t let yourself get stabbed I wouldn’t have had to make the deal. So, you know, it’s not your fault, but you really need to be a better fighter or else I might not have gone to hell.” So yeah, we’re in agreement there.

I agree that Sam has to own responsibility for his choices. But Ruby did a little more than introduce Sam to matches. She put them in his hand, showed him how to use them, practiced with him, pointed him to the building, and said, “Burn that sucker down.” Sam obediently followed each step, despite someone telling him every step of the way, “No, that’s dangerous, stop.” So I agree that Sam owns his responsibility for the last seal, but I don’t think you can downplay Ruby’s importance in Sam reaching that point.

Yes, it is quite possible that Sam was referring to his decision to go back to Ruby after Dean returned (though that would have still been just as blame-y to me), but he didn’t say that. Another sign of how poorly done Fallen Idols was.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-07-11 02:06
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Tim, Sam might have indeed said “One of the reasons” instead of “The reason.” In fact, I think you’re right that he did. But without addressing any of those other reasons, it’s pretty clear to me that the discussion was focused solely on how Dean was responsible for Sam’s choice in going to Ruby.
We’ll have to agree to differ here then I’m afraid because I read it different, sorry. I took it that Sam meant what he said and he said ‘One of the reasons....’

In relation to your red light analogy, at no stage did Sam say ‘You made me run the red light (aka go to Ruby). In your scenario what Sam was saying was ‘You’re one of the reasons I ran that red light’, and if Dean knew that talking while driving distracted Sam, and he promised he’d stop doing it but didn’t then I’m afraid Dean does have to accept some responsibility for Sam running that accursed red light!

However, in terms of their relationship, working and otherwise, things did have to change. The falling apart of said relationship in season 4 (and prior to it) was the fault of both of them. Sam was doing what he could at that stage to right the wrongs and climb out of that hole but despite what he said in 5.04, by 5.05 Dean seemed determined to keep Sam on a short leash and in his place (as it were), even if it meant dismissing Sam’s concerns in relation to a case. For the relationship to work there needed to be equality, and as long as Dean kept with the ‘We’re doing what I say, like it or lump it’ attitude then it (the relationship) wasn’t going to work. That is one of the things that needed to change but in order for that to happen, Dean needed to be aware of the effect that it had on Sam. In a similar way, Dean never knew the effect the word ‘freak’ had on Sam until Sam told him in season 7 and Dean never used that word in relation to Sam again. (I don’t know if he’s ever even said it again, in Sam’s presence or otherwise.)

And no, we can’t underestimate Ruby’s importance to Sam in reaching that point. However, at any and all stages Sam could have said ‘No’. He did at one point but he made the decision to go back to her. He had reasons for doing what he did whether they be to stay alive, to save the possessed, to kill demons, to not ‘end bloody and alone’, to save Dean and Castiel, for vengeance, to be strong enough to defeat more powerful demons, to (as he and Dean and everyone had been led to believe) stop Lilith from breaking the final seal and so prevent Lucifer from rising, Sam had reasons to keep using his powers and keep drinking blood and he decided to do so. I’m not saying that what Sam did was purely altruistic. He said that drinking blood also made him feel stronger and that was another reason. That’s perfectly understandable in light of how powerless Sam must have felt as he watched demons take the lives of everyone he loved. I’d imagine the knowledge that he could now easily defeat demons, would be quite the motivator for Sam, regardless of what it cost him.

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Yes, it is quite possible that Sam was referring to his decision to go back to Ruby after Dean returned (though that would have still been just as blame-y to me), but he didn’t say that. Another sign of how poorly done Fallen Idols was.
You know, just saying, the show is never going to make things crystal clear. It never has in relation to Sam and Dean and it never will because people are always going to interpret things whatever way they want (including you and I). However, if Sam had said ‘Dean, the reason I went with Ruby when you got back from hell, it was right after that Criss Angel case that I went to her, was to get away from you. Not the time I went with Ruby when you were in hell because that would have been silly because how could I have been doing it to get away from you when I already was away from you and I was actually actively trying to get you back so it definitely wasn’t when you were in hell that I went with Ruby that I am talking about now’ then 43 minutes probably wouldn’t even cover one scene. Hell, if Sam and Dean were to say everything they wanted to say 43 minutes probably wouldn’t even cover one piece of dialogue!
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 03:17
Tim, we may just have to agree to disagree, because for me, if Sam doesn’t address the other reasons at the same time, the conversation was focused on how Dean was responsible, not how Dean was a factor. Sam did not then nor ultimately did he ever identify the needed changes to address his own behavior to fix his part in the relationship damage. S too me that’s not really taking responsibility as much as it is passing the buck. We just see it differently, and that’s okay.

I agree in terms of that episode Sam had every right to question Dean’s behavior and state what he needed to change. I think his argument would have been much stronger if Sam had never brought Ruby into it, quite frankly, because it lost sight of what the real issue was. It really makes me wonder why the writers did that.

We are in agreement that Sam was definitely responsible for all of his choices, Ruby or no. He had reasons and good intentions, but he also at the same time knew he was playing with those matches and likely to burn not only himself but the others around him. I don’t think we’re in conflict there at all. I’m not even sure how Ruby’s significance came into the conversation, really. But by this logic, shouldn’t it also not matter what Dean said or did during S4 not be considered an issue, since the ultimate responsibility lay with Sam? Still more reason why bringing Ruby into the conversation at all was a bad choice, in my opinion.

I’m afraid there’s a lot of room between making things crystal clear and spelling things out and explaining so poorly it unintentionally reflects badly on your character. To me, that’s definitely the case here. “One of the reasons I went back to Ruby after I said I’d drop her” surely doesn’t take that much more time to say. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to give the writers a pass on bad writing with a “Well, they don’t have time to say everything.” You should say what’s important, instead of making Abraham Lincoln hat jokes, then. Doesn’t work for me, but if it works for you, that’s fine. Perspectives vary.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-07-11 03:46
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Tim, we may just have to agree to disagree, because for me, if Sam doesn’t address the other reasons at the same time, the conversation was focused on how Dean was responsible, not how Dean was a factor.
The reason they were having that conversation was because of what Dean was doing at that time..that is not valuing Sam's concerns about the case ,so it is logical that at that moment he says what Dean's part in their failed communications was.Sam's part has been reiterated time and again in season 4 and 5 by characters like Dean ,Bobby Cas etc.and Sam has never denied his part and has accepted their criticism.Sam only has to shoulder his part and he has at the same time he told what should happen on Dean's part.He wants to blame Sam he can but during cases when Sam had a valid concern he cannot let that come in between
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-07-11 03:54
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Tim, we may just have to agree to disagree, because for me, if Sam doesn’t address the other reasons at the same time, the conversation was focused on how Dean was responsible, not how Dean was a factor. Sam did not then nor ultimately did he ever identify the needed changes to address his own behavior to fix his part in the relationship damage. S too me that’s not really taking responsibility as much as it is passing the buck. We just see it differently, and that’s okay.
He did identify the other reasons, just saying. He said the blood made him feel stronger. Other reasons he went with Ruby were identified in I Know What You Did Last Summer. And Sam was already changing his behaviour. He was being wholly honest with Dean. In 5.04 he told Dean that he was going to leave and gave him the reason why. That was a change of behaviour from Sam.

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I agree in terms of that episode Sam had every right to question Dean’s behavior and state what he needed to change. I think his argument would have been much stronger if Sam had never brought Ruby into it, quite frankly, because it lost sight of what the real issue was. It really makes me wonder why the writers did that.
The real issue was their relationship and whether they could continue working together if things continued as they were in that episode. The writers probably did it because (a) Dean often brought Ruby into arguments and (b) Dean’s attitude (subconsciously or otherwise) was that, as the older brother, he knows best and they should do what he says (and this started back in episode 1.02 when Dean was utterly dismissive of Sam’s time at Stanford and also declared that they were going to do what he wanted to do, hunt the wendigo and opposed to what they had agreed to do, find John) is one of the things that drove a wedge between them. This wedge, this lack of trust, this lack of consideration, is one of the reasons he went with Ruby.

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We are in agreement that Sam was definitely responsible for all of his choices, Ruby or no. He had reasons and good intentions, but he also at the same time knew he was playing with those matches and likely to burn not only himself but the others around him. I don’t think we’re in conflict there at all. I’m not even sure how Ruby’s significance came into the conversation, really. But by this logic, shouldn’t it also not matter what Dean said or did during S4 not be considered an issue, since the ultimate responsibility lay with Sam? Still more reason why bringing Ruby into the conversation at all was a bad choice, in my opinion.
Burn himself? Yes. Burn others. Not necessarily. How could Sam or anyone (who was not an angel) know that what he was doing would lead to such consequences? And if Sam burned himself, so be it. He was already suicidal, he was already demon blood tainted, there was going to be no happy ending for him so if the worst came to the worst there were plenty of hunters there to take him out and I dare say death would have come as a relief. At least by doing what he was doing then, he’d have saved a lot of lives and killed a lot of demons before he went; a truly Winchester thing to do.

I guess it mattered what Dean said or did during (and before) season 4 because what he was saying and doing in season 4 he was doing again in season 5. And what he was doing was driving a wedge (or a bigger wedge) between them.

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I’m afraid there’s a lot of room between making things crystal clear and spelling things out and explaining so poorly it unintentionally reflects badly on your character. To me, that’s definitely the case here. “One of the reasons I went back to Ruby after I said I’d drop her” surely doesn’t take that much more time to say. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to give the writers a pass on bad writing with a “Well, they don’t have time to say everything.” You should say what’s important, instead of making Abraham Lincoln hat jokes, then. Doesn’t work for me, but if it works for you, that’s fine. Perspectives vary.
It doesn’t reflect badly on Sam for me, sorry. I’m glad that he actually stood up for himself and said what he thought (despite some people thinking poorly of him for it). Sam made it crystal clear (then and in other instances) that he accepted full responsibility for what he did.

In relation to his phrasing, simple logic would tell you that he could not have been talking about going to Ruby when Dean was dead.
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2013-07-11 04:53
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Burn himself? Yes. Burn others. Not necessarily. How could Sam or anyone (who was not an angel) know that what he was doing would lead to such consequences? And if Sam burned himself, so be it. He was already suicidal, he was already demon blood tainted, there was going to be no happy ending for him so if the worst came to the worst there were plenty of hunters there to take him out and I dare say death would have come as a relief. At least by doing what he was doing then, he’d have saved a lot of lives and killed a lot of demons before he went; a truly Winchester thing to do.
I'm glad someone else sees that side of Sam's behaviour in the latter part of Season 4. I think he knew how sociopathic he became after Dean's deaths (Mystery Spot & No Rest for the Wicked) and truly believed he was going to go darkside eventually. I think he was going for a controlled descent so he could stop the Apocalypse before he was too far gone. After that, there were plenty of people who could kill HIM, but only HE could kill Lilith and supposedly stop the Apocalypse.

There were other less noble reasons too, no question. But who wouldn't want power when there are so many scary things trying to kill you? Let's face it, in Sam's place (or indeed Dean's place) most of us would have gone completely mad long before Sam went darkside. Personally I don't think I would have lasted past the pilot :D
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 08:49
Tim, when I refer to Sam never identifying the changes he needed to make, I was referring to the changes he needed to make in order to do his part to fix the broken bond between Dean and himself. To me, Fallen Idols was focused on how Dean treated Sam and how it caused problems between them. I still do not feel that Sam addressed that specifically with Dean. Yes, he talked about the feeling stronger, feeling angry, and listened to war tell him that he liked the power. I do agree that Sam addressed that. Where I felt his redemption arc lacked was in terms of Sam addressing his actions in relation to Dean. I don’t know if it just didn’t register with Sam, or if it was just too big to face a la this season. But like this season, when Sam didn’t address it, it seemed to put the onus on fixing the relationship on Dean, at least in my view.

I agree that the issue was their relationship, and that they did both need to make changes in the way they worked together. Ruby was not brought into the discussion by Dean in 5.5, so to me, there wasn’t really a reason to bring her into the conversation at that time. Dean’s big brother attitude was problematic, as was Sam’s little brother attitudes. If we believe Sam in that their relationship never worked (which was a hoary chestnut in and of itself), then the problem was more than Dean’s big brother attitude. Again, I do feel like there were more issues between them than Dean not trusting Sam when he was lying and doing untrustworthy things and Dean having an attitude, and Sam did not address his own faults in terms of their relationship. I still maintain that bringing Ruby into the conversation distracted more than it helped. We can, of course, agree to disagree.

Sam did burn others, though, his brother and the host whose throat he cut being one of those people. No one on show’s actions happen in a vacuum, so other people were affected by his choices. The fact that Sam himself admitted that he knew he was heading down a dangerous path, let alone the multitude of others who warned him, chief of which being the brother whose opinion he valued so much, means that he did in fact know that his actions were quite probably going to have negative consequences. Sam was willing to live with those, despite the harm they might cause himself, and that’s his choice. But as it turned out, his actions also did lead to others being hurt. Sam, big picture guy that he is, thought those were acceptable casualties, until the true scope of the consequences became clear. Sam did fall into the same martyring attitude that all Winchesters do, and it led to the same bad consequences that had resulted from Dean and John taking that stance.

Sorry, but Fallen Idols did reflect badly on Sam due to the way it was handled. I would have been fine with him standing up for himself, but I was not fine with him deflecting blame for his own behavior onto Dean. I don’t feel like in that instance he took full responsibility, because that scene made it seem like Sam was speaking out of both sides of his mouth. I think he deserved better. Again, our perspectives vary, and that’s fine.

Manzanita Crow—I can see Sam’s side of his choices in S4. I thought it was very understandable, especially his self-sacrificin g bent towards the end of the season. Sam had feared for a long time that he was going to go darkside, and he knew by his actions he was embracing what he felt was evil in him, rather than fighting against it. There were, of course, as you said other reasons because Sam is a multi-layered character, but ultimately I think his intentions were good. I believe at first he really did believe he could turn it into something good, but when it became clear that he wasn’t as in charge as he thought and that he was damaging his relationship with Dean, he began to believe that there was nothing he could do was press on with his actions, go dark, and make the grand sacrifice. In terms of Dean, I’m not sure Sam really knew any better than Dean did how to make things right with his brother, so he couldn’t deal with it. The big picture was still the goal, which was very in character. I never thought that S4 was really the problem for Sam’s character—itâ €™s how it was addressed in terms of redemption that was problematic to me. I like Sam, so I wish they had done better by him. If they had, they wouldn’t have felt the need to bring those issues back up again this year because they would have been put to bed long ago.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-07-11 09:15
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I agree that the issue was their relationship, and that they did both need to make changes in the way they worked together. Ruby was not brought into the discussion by Dean in 5.5, so to me, there wasn’t really a reason to bring her into the conversation at that time. Dean’s big brother attitude was problematic, as was Sam’s little brother attitudes. If we believe Sam in that their relationship never worked (which was a hoary chestnut in and of itself), then the problem was more than Dean’s big brother attitude.
Sam addressed the issues by changing his behavior in season 5. Except for Fallen Idols Sam did what Dean wanted, acted in a reliable way, apologized for what he did in season 4. He went back to being the brother who does what Dean wants to do with the exception of refusing to ignore is gut feeling that the problem hadn't been handled in Fallen Idols.

You are right, Dean didn't bring up Ruby, but from 5.01 Dean was clear, he wasn't mad that Sam started the Apocalypse, he was mad that Sam trusted Ruby. The fact that Ruby still is on Dean's list of why Sam is a sinner who can't be forgiven means it had to be mentioned at some point. Dean was still punishing Sam for picking a demon over him, something I don't think Sam did. So Sam explained why he trusted Ruby.

To me the whole Sam was wrong to trust Ruby is a problem. Not because she turned out to be untrustworthy, but because DEAN himself trusted Ruby in season five. He trusted her to help protect Anna when they first found her. He trusted her to STAND UP TO ALISTAIR'S TORTURE in order to save Anna, who he was having an affair with. Dean knew he broke under Alistair, but he trusted Ruby wouldn't. It ties into as long as Dean trusts a supernatural entity, then they are golden. Once he decides to not trust them, they must be destroyed. Sadly, I think on a subconscious level, once Dean found out about the demon blood, Sam also became a supernatural creature in Dean's eyes and he became one who failed Dean. I don't actually expect Dean to ever forgive Sam or to stop letting Sam know that Dean believes that Sam isn't trustworthy.

ETA: Quote:
Sam did burn others, though, his brother and the host whose throat he cut being one of those people.
But for most of the season Sam was SAVING the hosts when Dean was advocating killing them. And why is it okay for Dean to kill and torture the hosts to find where Lisa and Ben are being held. Dean also participated in killing how many host when Sam was going to say yes to Lucifer and then recage him.The nurse bit bugged me to no end, because it is the ONLY time the show has cared about the host once it was revealed that the person was still in there. It also is another demonstration of if Dean says it's for the better good to kill the host then he is not to be questioned. Whereas if Sam decides it is the only way to save the world, then he gets damned.
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2013-07-11 10:13
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To me the whole Sam was wrong to trust Ruby is a problem. Not because she turned out to be untrustworthy, but because DEAN himself trusted Ruby in season four.
Even Anna, an angel, said that Ruby was different from other demons. That's a pretty strong endorsement of Sam's POV at the time.

Trusting a demon may seem crazy, but since many of the "good guys" (the angels) turned out to be pretty evil I see no reason for Sam not to think a demon might be good, since she had saved the two of them so often in the past.

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The nurse bit bugged me to no end, because it is the ONLY time the show has cared about the host once it was revealed that the person was still in there.
That bugged me too. Both Sam and Dean are using the knife far too freely nowadays. I can understand it in combat conditions but they often use it when there is time for an exorcism instead.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 16:48
Percysowner, I’m sorry, but I think a lot of the behavior you’re attributing to Sam—the listening more to Dean, acting in a more reliable way, etc—happened after Fallen Idols. 5.1 Sam apologized while also rolling his eyes at what hurt Dean the most. In 5.2, he was already back to pushing Dean against a wall because he hadn’t been forgiven and given back trust immediately, and he took off after that for his own reasons. In 5.3, they didn’t interact, and in 5.4, he only wanted back in because he felt Lucifer’s announcement forced him to, not because he wanted to do what Dean wanted to do or that he was trying to support Dean. To be fair, I did see Sam more willing to listen and trying to be more accountable as S5 went along, though I don’t see him as nearly the submissive personality you seem to be implying he was in S5, but at that point, I’m not sure Sam had earned that much trust back through his actions. Yes, Dean had to be willing to give him a chance, but to that point we went from the end of 5.4’s “I’m going to prove myself” to 5.5’s “If you don’t drop all your issues I’m going to leave.” So to me the timing really doesn’t work in support of saying Sam had already addressed his issues and changed his behavior and Dean had no reason to still have issues.

Yes, Dean was angry that Sam had lied to him and ultimately trusted Ruby over him. I don’t remember in 5.5 Dean ever saying Sam was a sinner that couldn’t be forgiven—he was on probation, and Sam, to me, is the one who couldn’t deal with that. As this season proved Sam clearly has a lot of issues with Dean trusting him completely, and I think Sam’s speech in 5.5 had a lot to do with that. Dean was still hurt that Sam had picked a demon over him, that’s true. I’m not sure why that’s unreasonable, frankly.

To me, it is clear that Sam picked listening to Ruby over listening to Dean. Sam may not have seen it that way, and some fans don’t, either, which is fine. But Dean did, which is the source of the conflict, and Dean’s perception is just as valid as Sam’s. I think about 4.21 and Sam and Dean’s fight about whether to take Ruby with them to confront Lilith. Dean is seen by some as unreasonable for not wanting to her to accompany him, but Sam can be seen as just as unreasonable for not being willing to go without her. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

But didn’t Sam in S4 also say he didn’t trust Ruby, he was using her? So by that token, can’t it be argued that Dean was following Sam’s lead and being willing to use her in H&H? Dean is fairly practical, and he’s been able to form short-term symbiotic alliances with villains over the course of the series. That didn’t mean he trusted her any more than he trusted Crowley in S5 or Benny when they first began to work together in purgatory. Dean realized that Ruby couldn’t even be trusted as a short-term alliance once it was clear that she was changing Sam. And in the end, he wasn’t wrong. I’m afraid I very much disagree that Dean saw Sam as a supernatural creature because of the blood—his faith in Sam wavered because of the choices Sam made. As for trust, as Sam himself realized this year, Dean has trust issues with everyone. It’s really not all about Sam. But your perspective of Dean as an unforgiving brother who will continually cause Sam pain, then that’s fine.

I agree that show has a problem with viewing some hosts as expendable and some as incredibly important. We saw that this season, when Sam called a demon back into a host in order to kill them both in order to buy a few hours of nondetection as being fine and Dean killing a host in order to kill the king of Hell as horrific. But to me it doesn’t work to apply the standards Dean and Sam later adopted with demon hosts (i.e., accepting torturing and killing demons as rote [and Dean is certainly not the only brother who has been shown as willing to torture a demon for information as far back as S3}) to earlier seasons. In S4, killing the hosts in order to drain their blood for personal gain was considered bad, while killing hosts to save others’ lives was acceptable. Actually, I’m not sure show has really moved away from that standpoint. I don’t think this is a Sam vs. Dean issue—it is a continuity issue more than anything else, but in S4 show was pretty firm on its stance that drinking demon blood for personal power, particularly killing a host to do so, was wrong. We can, of course, agree to disagree.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-07-11 19:21
You and I saw a very different season 5 and I saw Sam completely differently from how you did. I think we can leave it at that.

And I will add that Sam did NOT drain a host for personal power. He fed almost exclusively on Ruby for the season. I admit I am unsure of the state of the host in Rapture, but by then Sam was in withdrawal, not a good thing, but not for personal power. As to Nurse Nancy, it was not for "personal power", it was the only way to KILL LILITH, who everyone under the sun told him had to be stopped or she would start the Apocalypse. Sam was on a suicide run and he was resisting draining the nurse until he got the voice mail that Dean wanted him dead.

Sam enjoyed being strong enough to exorcise demons without killing the host, but there is no indication other than the 2 times I mentioned that he turned to any demon except Ruby, who was feeding him willingly, for his fix. Frankly, part of the issue is the only argument against Sam using his powers until the demon blood reveal was that Dean thought it was icky and supposedly God didn't like it. The same argument has been made against homosexuality, and eating shellfish. No one else was stepping up trying to stop Lilith and Sam needed his powers to have a shot.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-11 20:26
Nothing wrong with having different views of the season. Differing perspectives can each be valid in their own way.

I agree that Sam did use Ruby almost exclusively throughout the season, as I'd guess was her plan to build Sam's dependence upon her, so when the time came he wouldn't question her. By the time she forced him into withdrawl in the Rapture, it is indeed unclear whether he drained the host or not. Whatever Sam's reasons in 4.22, he did drain that host dry. I will apologize for my miswording in the earlier post, because it did make it look like there was more than one host drained. However, it does not erase that in universe show was pretty clear that Sam drinking blood, particularly from unwilling hosts (for whatever reason), was wrong, and Sam himself appeared to agree, even during the periods of addiction when he convinced himself that the ends justified the means.

When I say for personal power, I do say so just for the reason you stated--Sam did enjoy being strong enough to exorcise demons. I don't think that in and of itself is a bad thing, because who wouldn't enjoy feeling empowered after spending a lifetime of feeling uncertain of the control? But I don't think it's possible to ignore the reasons Ruby got Sam addicted to blood in the first place--she did use his understandable need for power and control to ultimately control him. That is why the demon blood was wrong. It wasn't an alternative lifestyle or harmless personal choice--it was a fairly clear drug metaphor that affected Sam's personality, his personal relationships, and ultimately led him to what I think is fair to say what Sam would consider the greatest mistake of his life. Due to demon blood, he was easily manipulated into becoming the very thing he feared, visually represented when his eyes went black in 4.22. These were all bad things for Sam as a human being even without the Lucifer reveal. Sam himself believed that it was shameful, given his reactions in 5.14 and 5.22, even though it gave him the power to do the things he needed to do. Just because something is effective doesn't make it right. We can, of course, agree to disagree.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-07-11 22:59
Quote:
Ruby got Sam addicted to blood in the first place--she did use his understandable need for power and control to ultimately control him.
But this was not the reason Ruby could get her claws on Sam and not the only reason to control him ultimately.
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2013-07-11 09:27
Quote:

I never thought that S4 was really the problem for Sam’s character—it’s how it was addressed in terms of redemption that was problematic to me. I like Sam, so I wish they had done better by him. If they had, they wouldn’t have felt the need to bring those issues back up again this year because they would have been put to bed long ago.
Oh yes, I totally understand rants about the writing/storyar cs in later seasons. I'll never forgive them for the way they mishandled Sam's psychosis arc in S7, and then left his reasons for not looking for Dean opaque.

The only situation where I could believe Sam wouldn't look for Dean is one where Sam had a total mental breakdown. I think the writers implied that he did but they didn't SHOW us that. Instead the flashbacks implied that Sam just didn't bother because he found a girl.

Showing Sam having a meltdown would have made more sense and been more in character. Castiel took away the Lucifer hallucinations but he couldn't remove all of Sam's mental health issues. And THEN Sam lost everybody at the end of S7. So yes, I doubt he would have been in a fit state to go hunting for Dean.

I personally have mental health issues and on occasion just walking down the street is terrifying. That's one reason I find Sam so fascinating.

Projecting you say? Moi? :)
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-07-12 02:17
Sam’s issues and actions which led to the broken bond between Sam and Dean were brought up in season 4 and at the start of season 5, more than once, by Dean. They were acknowledged and Sam changed his behaviour ie by being truthful with Dean, not running off etc. Dean changed his behaviour after the role that he played in the broken bond was brought up, by Sam. Both took on board what the other said, both changed their behaviour.

In relation to bringing up Ruby, if we are only going by what was brought into the discussion in 5.05, then nothing should have been brought up. In 5.05, Sam was perfectly contrite, perfectly trustworthy perfectly honest and perfectly professional so Dean should not have had a problem with him. However, what was addressed in 5.05 is what transpired as a result of their cumulative actions and issues. And Ruby was a part of that therefore she was introduced.

Re burning others, we know that now, and it (burning others despite thinking it would only burn himself) happened in relation to all characters, Dean included (breaking the first seal). However, at the time Sam was doing those things (ie during season 4), he could not have known the end result, nor could Dean or anyone bar the angels. If they had, they would given him a reason to stop instead of just telling him to stop. In relation to burning Dean and others, yes he did. That was not his intention, he believed he was saving/helping them (aside from the nurse/demon whose blood he drank) and only burning himself; something he was quite willing to do. It’s quite similar to Dean when he made the deal. Dean believed it would only be affecting himself (despite knowing, via his father, the impact that it had on others) yet the people he also burned with that action ran far and wide. It’s similar to John, who probably knew more about demons than Sam and Dean and he made a deal knowing (but possibly thinking it was worth it) that it would burn more than himself.

And I guess that given all Sam wanted to do (and seemingly ever wanted to do) was to prove himself as a Winchester, falling into that trap was acceptable if it saved lives.

And just saying, Fallen Idols reflected badly on Sam for you, it’s actually not a consensus. Sam stated that he accepted full responsibility for what he did re the Apocalypse. He did not take full responsibility for the breakdown of the relationship because he was not solely responsible for the breakdown of the relationship. And what he said is a sign that he wanted the relationship to work. If he didn't then he would have said nothing, allowed said behaviour from Dean to continue, old resentments would have built up again and they'd be back in the exact same situation again.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-12 02:53
Tim, I agree that Sam’s issues and actions were brought up in S4 and at the start of S5. What I didn’t see is that Sam had really acknowledged them before or during 5.5. He heard Dean in S4, but he didn’t really listen. He was still eye-rolling Dean when he told him how trusting Ruby over him had hurt him and shocked that Dean didn’t trust him in 5.2. I do not really feel like Sam brought up the role he’d played in the broken bond other than a generic, “I’m sorry for everything” and “It’s all my fault.” I do agree that Sam changed his behavior, but given that they were just reunited in 5.5, I don’t think that Sam or Dean had really cemented any changes they’d made as they were feeling their way around each other. I agree that by the end of it both took on board what the other had said and made changes—I just don’t this had all been done by 5.5, so I can understand why Dean hadn’t squared away all of his issues yet. That does not excuse his behavior in 5.5, however, which is why I was glad Sam set some expectations for him. The end result was good—I just don’t think the writing that led them to that point did as well as it could/should have.

I see your point in that addressing only what occurred in 5.5 would not have adequately addressed the conflict and I concede the point. It does not change the fact that it felt like Sam was deflecting blame onto Dean for his going to Ruby, despite saying he wasn’t, and that it didn’t work for me. We can agree to disagree, of course.

A consensus? In this fandom? That’s like seeing a unicorn—oh wait. I’m sorry if I didn’t add “to me” to my statement about Fallen Idols reflecting badly on Sam, but I rather thought it was implied. Again, my apologies. I do not want Sam to take fully responsibility for the breakdown of the relationship between Dean and himself—I wanted him to specifically acknowledge that he did have some responsibility, and I didn’t feel like I got that. I understand and agree that his speaking up did signal that he wanted the relationship to continue. I don’t know that that was ever a question for me. I just think Sam could have done more to acknowledge where he’d gone wrong in how he’d treated Dean and how he was going to change while he was laying down the ultimatum on Dean, in the spirit of wanting to heal the relationship and really be equal within it, but perspectives vary.
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-12 03:31
I'll tell you what, Tim, I think this discussion lost whatever tenuous connection it had to discussing S8 Sam long ago. At the moment it feels like we're not only having a circular argument, but rehashing old ground and flogging a dead and rotting horse. So what do you say we agree to disagree, give each other a virtual handshake, and call it a day on this one? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the debate, but I doubt we're going to change each other's minds and seem comfortable with our own perspectives. What do you say?
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-07-12 17:44
Righteo. Enjoy season 9.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-09 02:57
sylivia37, yeah I got it too. But I can where it is a hard sell. Dean is bossy and inclined to think his way is the right way, without always really listening to Sam's POV. BUT Sam CHOSE to rebel against to those things immaturely, instead of simply holding his ground and saying his opinion is also valid. Plus (and this is a really hard sell for anyone not familiar with the feeling) by alternatively just going along with whatever the other person thinks, you are essentially trying to make them responsible for your behavior. So by forcing them to let you in on the decision making process, you are claiming the decisions made as your own. Good or bad.

I actually loved S5 and PoNR is one of my absolute favorite episodes. That said, I was not fully satisfied with the resolution of the conflict between them.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2013-07-09 04:10
I agree, Kelly, that Sam did indeed choose to take the immature route with his behavior, something he'd obviously never gotten over growing up. But, I think he also realized it at this point and was trying to get Dean to see that THEIR pattern of behavior needed to change, though, as I said, it could have been worded better.

As for PONR, I know I'm in the minority about the season and that episode in particular. I was just so disappointed that after....I guess TMCODW....., they started that whole, Dean has got the world on his shoulders and Sam is the bad guy, arc instead of continuing to have them actually talk to each other and let Sam actually be able to be honest about his feelings rather than just sucking up all the blame.

"Dark Side of the Moon" really broke my heart.

By the time PONR rolled around, I was so disgusted with how they'd gotten there that I couldn't enjoy their reconciliation. Then to top it off, in "Two Minutes to Midnight" Bobby looks at Sam like he's completely shocked that Sam's actually saving people instead of say....killing them all to save himself the trouble. Then he and Dean have that conversation about him like they're surprised to remember that he' actually been saving people for quite a while, like it's some big shock to them. Like he hadn't spent the whole season eating crow, and oh yeah, he'd actually almost given up his whole life for Dean's on a poker game that was Bobby's fault in the first place. Which neither one of them thanked him for or seemed particularly impressed by, at least on screen.

Sorry, can you tell that whole thing really irritated me? I'm done now. Back to topic.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-07-09 04:29
Which is why I was so disappointed with the sl they did with Sam first half of the season and the whole lets have Dean throw everything at Sam in Southern Comfort. It peeves me off because it was not even Sam's fault that Dean was in Purgatory and yet Jeremy still managed to make Sam look bad.

It was not moving anything forward it was going backwards and selling the same ideas about Sam that Eric created.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-07-07 14:26
Quote:
You are talking about Sarah here? I'm asking because I had to wrack my brain to come up with anyone that Sam said boo to about why he didn't look for Dean.
No, I was referring to Meg in Goodbye Stranger.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-07-11 09:32
That makes sense. I guess I'm still ticked that the only person who Sam got to talk to was his rapist, since I think possession is akin to rape.
Amyh
# Amyh 2013-07-08 18:19
Quote:
Quote:
The decision to have Sam explain his reasons etc off-screen to a character who died soon after
You are talking about Sarah here? I'm asking because I had to wrack my brain to come up with anyone that Sam said boo to about why he didn't look for Dean.

Quote:
Unfortunately, I don’t see that changing. For all of Dean’s speech at the end of 8.23, it’s notable that he did not give Sam the forgiveness or the trust that he was willing to die for. Instead he told him to let it go. What exactly does he want Sam to let go of, those feelings? How can he let go of them when what drives them hasn’t been addressed? In truth, it’s hard to even see how Sam can let it go, when Dean himself hasn’t let it go.
That struck me as well. Dean never said he forgave Sam and frankly after the "I forgive everyone, everything even in advance" speech that Dean gave over Rufus's grave I'm not sure saying he forgives Sam would be real. He also told Sam that he trusted him in Swan Song, only for us to find out that he still holds Ruby and Sam's biggest mistakes against him.

I'm not sure Dean can forgive or trust Sam. I have said before that Dean is an emotional hoarder. He holds onto the love he has lost even if the relationship was very short (Cassie, Lisa before season six). He also holds onto his anger, hurt and blame. Sam has made huge mistakes, but so has Dean. Sam tends to fight his battles on issues in the present: Dean being bossy; Sam wanting to live a normal life; Sam's hurt that Dean trusts Cas (who destroyed Sam deliberately) and Benny; Dean sending the text message. It is different personality styles, but to me it means that Dean may love Sam, but he does not seem capable of letting go of the hurt he has felt from Sam.
This is something I really dont undestand. Dean will never forgive/trust Sam ever again. We know for a cold hard fact Dean might claim he forgives but its a smokescreen to keep Sam at his side. So why the Hell does Dean want Sam hunting with him? It makes absoleutly no sense. It all feels like psycological and emotional manipulation in order to control Sam. Offers foregiveness... then takes it back. Claims the only way they can be family is if they are hunting but once he has Sam hunting he tells Sam he wants him to have normal. he tells Sam hes at his best when he and Sam are 'driving down crazy street together'...but then he tellls Sam Sam's sole intention in life is too decieve him (Dean).
just saying
# just saying 2013-07-08 19:03
Well, to be fair, Dean has been pretty consistent in stating that he doesn't trust anyone for a couple of seasons now. So in that regards, Sam's not that special, if it makes it better.

As for forgiving Sam, it all depends on what the PTB want to do this season. Dean proclaimed forgiveness for everyone in the past, but this year show retconned that in order to further the conflict between Dean and Sam. In the past, Sam had found peace with hunting, even extolling its virtues to Dean, but that was also retconned in order to further the conflict between Dean and Sam. So I think we have to accept that both Dean and Sam's characterizatio ns and feelings about each other are totally dependent on the writers and what story they feel like telling this week.

Besides, if we start looking at the ways the boys manipulate, try to exert control over each other, and do each other wrong in staying together, it's going to become a circular argument. Hunting is bound up in both of their views of each other and their family (Sam couldn't face hunting without Dean, Dean fearing Sam not wanting hunting means he doesn't want Dean, for examples), for good and for bad.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-07-07 10:13
Unfortunately, I don’t believe that Dean can be that confidante either. In truth, I don’t want Dean to be that confidante. For me, Sam and Dean’s relationship is toxic, it’s destructive to both of them and the only thing keeping them together is tradition, desperation, obligation and fear as to what will happen to the other if they are not together. I don’t think that Dean can be Sam’s confidante while he has the mindset of expecting full disclosure from Sam while only telling Sam that which he decides Sam should know. That would make Dean Sam’s psychiatrist or his boss, not his brother, not his confidante and not his friend. (Though I would love to hear Sam’s reaction if he found out that what Dean held over him all season, that he left him in Purgatory for a year, wasn’t actually true. Dean met Benny, and so had the means to get out of Purgatory, very early on in the year. He chose to stay in order to be able to find Castiel. Actually, I wouldn’t mind hearing Dean’s reaction if he ever realises that either.) For me, their relationship is far too imbalanced for Sam and Dean to ever be able to wholly confide in each other.

That really doesn’t leave anyone else. Whatever Charlie knows about Sam she learnt from a book and she connects more with Dean, ditto with Garth. Crowley? Yeah, right, to confide in someone means to trust someone so let’s have Sam trust another demon! We still don’t know if Jody Mills is alive or dead. If this is the season of the angels then a new angelic character that connects more with Sam is conceivable but given Sam’s past relationship with angels (and the fact that they are as manipulative and self-serving as they come) I don’t think an angel would be a viable or trustworthy option. The last thing the show needs is another character that uses Sam as a means to get what he/she wants. That would leave only a new human character, and we saw how well that went down the last time so alas, as much as I’d like a confidante for Sam, I don’t think the show is geared in such a way as to give him one.

I’m hoping that Sam finds a way to heal himself, as opposed to having to be reliant on others to ‘fix’ him. It might help him start to find that self worth that has systematically been destroyed over the past thirty odd years.

For the next season I’m hoping that Sam takes ownership of the MoL side of the story (well, ideally I want him out of hunting full stop but with a possible two seasons to go that’s not viable at the moment). Let Dean have the mytharc and the hunting and the kills but let Sam have something that might give him some value in himself and as he apparently keeps screwing up out in the field or is someone who Dean has to kill his trusted friend for, leave him in the office. That will enable Dean to hunt without having to worry about Sam, Sam screwing up or Sam having his back. Let Sam work with Kevin to further things from the MoL side, let Dean hunt with Castiel. Or he can bring back Benny if he wants.

I’d very much like for people to be able to see Sam, and Sam to see himself, as more than just the product of his mistakes.

I’d like (though I’m not entirely hopeful) for Sam and Dean to try and be friends this season. For me, the famed brotherly relationship is gone. The show went too far this season and it’s hard to see how they will bring it back. In truth, I don’t think this group of writers has the capability to bring it back to anything resembling a balanced, equal relationship. By having them as friends, it means they are not completely tied up with each other. It will also (hopefully) allow them to look at each other more impassively, and not as some sort of impossible to reach ideal.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-07-07 11:52
I agree with most of your post, Tim. I do think the relationship that was pretty codependent has become toxic and I don't see any way to get it back to a healthy track.

I desperately want Sam to have a confidant. I agree with your analysis that Sam's relationships with humans other than Sheriff Jodie simply do not raise to the level of close or even sometimes on Sam's side. I am afraid that with Crowley being partially (?) healed or with Sam believing that, that Crowley will become a primary relationship with Sam along with the baggage of Dean announcing that only Dean is able to determine which supernatural creatures are deserving of trust.

Quote:
For the next season I’m hoping that Sam takes ownership of the MoL side of the story (well, ideally I want him out of hunting full stop but with a possible two seasons to go that’s not viable at the moment). Let Dean have the mytharc and the hunting and the kills but let Sam have something that might give him some value in himself and as he apparently keeps screwing up out in the field or is someone who Dean has to kill his trusted friend for, leave him in the office. That will enable Dean to hunt without having to worry about Sam, Sam screwing up or Sam having his back. Let Sam work with Kevin to further things from the MoL side, let Dean hunt with Castiel. Or he can bring back Benny if he wants.
I'm all for this. Dean is pretty clear that he doesn't trust Sam and constantly living with that just eats away at Sam's self image and self confidence. I do want Dean to have the mytharc, because having it has done Sam no favors. Let Sam find a way to feel like he is a useful and good person.
Amyh
# Amyh 2013-07-08 18:34
Quote:
I agree with most of your post, Tim. I do think the relationship that was pretty codependent has become toxic and I don't see any way to get it back to a healthy track.

I desperately want Sam to have a confidant. I agree with your analysis that Sam's relationships with humans other than Sheriff Jodie simply do not raise to the level of close or even sometimes on Sam's side. I am afraid that with Crowley being partially (?) healed or with Sam believing that, that Crowley will become a primary relationship with Sam along with the baggage of Dean announcing that only Dean is able to determine which supernatural creatures are deserving of trust.

Quote:
For the next season I’m hoping that Sam takes ownership of the MoL side of the story (well, ideally I want him out of hunting full stop but with a possible two seasons to go that’s not viable at the moment). Let Dean have the mytharc and the hunting and the kills but let Sam have something that might give him some value in himself and as he apparently keeps screwing up out in the field or is someone who Dean has to kill his trusted friend for, leave him in the office. That will enable Dean to hunt without having to worry about Sam, Sam screwing up or Sam having his back. Let Sam work with Kevin to further things from the MoL side, let Dean hunt with Castiel. Or he can bring back Benny if he wants.
I'm all for this. Dean is pretty clear that he doesn't trust Sam and constantly living with that just eats away at Sam's self image and self confidence. I do want Dean to have the mytharc, because having it has done Sam no favors. Let Sam find a way to feel like he is a useful and good person.
For a while I really didn't want Sam out of the hunting aspect but I think you and Tim have said it best. Sam needs too find his worth again. It wont be if he is around Dean. 95% of fandom is right. This relationship is too toxic to continue. Sam can take over the MOL and develope a partnership with kevin.

I think any kind of relationship potential with Jodi has sailed. Its been what? 2 years since they have talked? I think its time Sam simply got himself a dog. And for a human friend... Don Richardson. He and Sam can go on hunts together. His 'death' and 'resurrection' had to have been caused by something supernatural. Him, Sam and the dog would make an amazing team.
leah unlogged
# leah unlogged 2013-07-08 19:18
Amy, I don't really disagree with some of the things that people are unhappy about but the scenarios you are putting down in your last two paragraphs are not feasible and would essentially end the series. No one would watch that. There are many people, like myself who still enjoy the series.We don't think that Dean will never trust Sam again or that their relationship is toxic!! Dysfunctional most certainly. That is the interesting part for me. I DEFINITELY don't think they need to split up and go their own way. Unless one or the other can find a way to have a normal life with some possibility of happiness. It would be great if Sam could find some self-worth. Have friends. Whatever. Dean contributed to, that but the person hardest on Sam is Sam. No matter what they have been through or have done to each other, these two love each other and do not want the other completely out of their lives.

95% of the fandom thinks that the relationship is too toxic to continue? I am sorry but I don't think that is accurate.

Sometimes I wish the folks who are "done" with the show would just move on and let the rest of us enjoy our show. Or offer some useful input that wouldn't ruin the show!

I am sorry Amy, some of my remarks are in frustration over reading the comments lately. I do respect the views of others but if the whole hiatus is going to be like this......I love Sam and Dean very much and this gets to be too much sometimes.
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-07-08 19:48
Thanks Leah. You've put voice to my frustration too. 95% of the fandom thinks that the relationship is too toxic - in what reality? Season 8 garnered 20% more viewers. I think people are fairly happy with the direction the show is taking, even if there are minor problems from time to time. No show is perfect (although this one is pretty damn close in my humble opinion) ;-)

I love this show and I love this fandom (mostly), but I hate the negativity that sometimes comes out on the discussion boards. In this case, I really regret ticking the box that sends further comments to my email. I'd rather spend hiatus looking forward to (and being excited about) season 9. :D
E
# E 2013-07-08 20:04
Hi Leah,
I agree with you. I don't think that the relationship is toxic either; dysfunctional? always, but not toxic. I, for one (or 2 considering you feel the same!) don't want to see Sam and Dean separated from one another; I don't want to see the Sam and Kevin show or the Dean and Garth show. I don't want Dean hunting with Benny while Sam researches in the library and confides in his new "BFF." None of that is what made this show so popular and one of the most singular cult hits of all time. The show is (and will continue to be) a show about two co-dependent brothers who hunt monsters, hurt one another, make mistakes about one another, save one another, save the world and above all love one another. If anyone thinks that in the last two seasons that the PTB are going to drastically disrupt a formula that has worked so well for the past 8 years, then they are in for a very big disappointment I think. Season 8 was seen by TPTB as a colossal success money wise and ratings wise. I mean, what show GAINS viewership in it's twilight seasons? And I for one, don't want to see it change, not at a fundamental level anyway. So you can count me OUT of that unsubstantiated 95% thanks.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-08 22:06
I'm with you too,Leah. While I have my issues with the show right now, there is no show without Sam and Dean being Sam-n-Dean. They are definitely dysfunctional and often I want to shake and tell them to talk to each other and just as importantly listen to each other.

That said, Tim, there are not enough words to express how much I would LOVE, ADORE,RHAPSODIZ E ABOUT it if Dean found out that Sam had look or even if he found out Sam had a total mental collapse and that is the reason he couldn't look. I'll take either. It would completely restore all faith in the show, (despite the huge lore episode in 1 episode and the loss of Edlund).
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-07-09 03:35
Sorry Kelly, as much as I think it is possible for there to be some of retcon (or developing story) re Sam not looking for Dean (and the presence of Metatron adds new possibilities. Sam and Dean are pretty big players in the heaven, hell saga. It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that he (Metatron) wanted them as characters in the story he was creating.), I’d rather there not be a situation where Sam had a mental collapse. The treatment of Martin, and how he was considered by much of the fandom, this season solidifies this for me as if seems that having mental issues is reason to not be trusted (though I would give good fake money to anyone who could give me some evidence that (a) Martin was insane (b) Martin was unstable (c) Martin could not be trusted or (d) Martin was wrong to think what he did) and be openly ridiculed.

Add to that, the show doesn’t have the best track record in dealing with mental health issues. Dean’s PTSD was dropped at the drop of a hat, the issues both Sam and Dean have with depression (and suicidal tendencies) come and go at random without ever being addressed, Sam’s hallucinations and ensuing mental health problems were just whisked away with no lasting side effects (bar some bags under the eyes and a need to shave!).

Though, again, that being said, it’s possible that if Sam did have some sort of mental collapse under the weight of Dean’s death/disappear ance, Metatron just took that away too because it didn’t suit his story? (Though then that would fly in the face of what Carver described as Sam’s human story this year, so I really don't know!)
Amyh
# Amyh 2013-07-13 10:53
Quote:
Amy, I don't really disagree with some of the things that people are unhappy about but the scenarios you are putting down in your last two paragraphs are not feasible and would essentially end the series. No one would watch that. There are many people, like myself who still enjoy the series.We don't think that Dean will never trust Sam again or that their relationship is toxic!! Dysfunctional most certainly. That is the interesting part for me. I DEFINITELY don't think they need to split up and go their own way. Unless one or the other can find a way to have a normal life with some possibility of happiness. It would be great if Sam could find some self-worth. Have friends. Whatever. Dean contributed to, that but the person hardest on Sam is Sam. No matter what they have been through or have done to each other, these two love each other and do not want the other completely out of their lives.

95% of the fandom thinks that the relationship is too toxic to continue? I am sorry but I don't think that is accurate.

Sometimes I wish the folks who are "done" with the show would just move on and let the rest of us enjoy our show. Or offer some useful input that wouldn't ruin the show!

I am sorry Amy, some of my remarks are in frustration over reading the comments lately. I do respect the views of others but if the whole hiatus is going to be like this......I love Sam and Dean very much and this gets to be too much sometimes.
Leah...I apologize for my overly dramatic statement. I do love the brothers and I do love the chemistry between Jensen and Jared. I think like you I am frusterated and I know I suffer from 'brother conflict/angst/ lack of communicartion' fatigue (and Sam doesn't have the haven of another relationship like Dean does) and when the boys are together even if things are going well, i find myself bracign for the other shoe too drop) For me I know it would help if Sam has someone whom he can talk to, get advice from or simply another perspective like Dean often gets. I think it would go a long way for Sam in being able too see things more clearly. (damn Carver for killing Sarah lol)

Bleive me I HAVE tried to quit this show but Sam and Dean and JAred and Jensen...despit e my brother conflict fatigue i keep getting drawn in becasue damn it I'm not gonna miss the season where the guys actually set their issues aside and really listen and get to know each other. That their love for each other is so strong that they WANT to work out their differences and are willing to work on their self perceptions and perceptions regarding each other. That they love each other soo much they are willing to communicate even if its in a completley guy way - think Lethal Weapon with Riggs and Murtaugh) And frankly no other charectors on any other show ... no other brothers have my heart so comepletly.

Yeah, I know...brothers ...always be some conflict but it would mean they might be able too have some fun together along the way.

Something Nappi said somewhere in this really long thread has given me hope....somethi ng about and I'm paraphrasing..S eason 8 was bring up all their conflicts/wound s so truely seeing each other. Season 9 is when their relationship really blooms and expands with their understanding of each other.

I hope for this..for me, for my fellow fans, but especially Sam and Dean. And of course JAred and jensen...imagin e if the writers brought a little more of Jared and jensens bond to Sam and Dean?
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-07-13 12:03
Thanks Amy :-) I think we saw some glimmers of some of the things you are hoping for. I hope for many of the same things for you, for me and our fellow fans.

Yes, I think there will always be conflicts but maybe this season (still not crazy about pt 1) will be the start of a better understanding of each other.

Nappi does have a way of giving hope in her comments. :lol:

Jared and Jensen could definitely give lessons on friendship.
novi
# novi 2013-07-10 02:53
It was a joke, right?
And any to stop on one dog? There is this woman-dog with her man-witch, a really good addition to the company. I'm sure, these two doggies will make friends.
novi
# novi 2013-07-10 02:54
That was supposed to be the reply to Amy.
ale
# ale 2013-07-16 11:43
"95% of fandom is right"

Where did you get this number? If you may, I'm part part of the 5%.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-07-07 12:15
I don't really want or care for Sam to be "purified" of the demon blood. I'm afraid when he remembered the retconed Grand Canyon trip and said he always felt unclean all I thought was that he bought John's brand of Kool Aid at a young age. We have seen how Dean reacted to John's child raising and how it has damaged his self esteem. John was apparently in the camp of tell your kids what they did wrong over and over again, then once they stop find something else they need to be criticized for. We also know that John "knew for a long time" something about what Azazel was doing. I think that John knew about the demon blood, or simply blamed Sam for being the reason Mary died and treated Sam like there was something intrinsically wrong with Sam and that Sam picked up on that early. Dean did the best he could, but he couldn't counteract John's influence. I actually liked the idea of Sam using the powers for good, until they decided that he had to be an addict to use them. I would actually prefer that Sam learn to accept himself, demon blood and all. Sadly, I think that boat has sailed and we are supposed to think that Sam was never good because of the DB when he was a baby.

This was a monumentally disappointing season for me as for as Sam's characterizatio n. Sam's "human" story was a failure, for me, due to lack of chemistry with Amelia and lack of insight into Sam's mind during that year. The second half of the season did a 180 degree heel turn, and suddenly Sam and Dean were on good terms for no reason that I could understand. Sam was forced, yet again, to give up what HE wants out of life normalcy and safety and this shown as a good thing without any indication of how giving up on his dream affects Sam. That and the lack of seeing what Sam felt when Dean disappeared was hallucinating 24/7 part 2, now without hand squeeze.

Quote:
Will Sam be redeemed, or continue to be cursed no matter what he does? That’s for season nine to tell us!
My guess is that the writers intend for Sam to be damned forever. If they did not want that, they would have given us some kind of insight into Sam. Instead they continued on the path of nothing Sam does is ever right and Dean must step in. This is not a happy place for me.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-07-07 13:42
thanks alice for your article. i agree with most all of what you said. i never saw sam as doing anything wrong. it's not wrong to implode. i must say though that while the end result was perfect to me, the beginning of the storytelling was a bit iffy. it just seemed that the writers weren't paying attention to ea. other. it was made perfectly clear three times in the premiere that sam believed dean had died. dean was upset but his specific question to sam was not, what happened? what made you not look. his question was what would make sam winchester stop hunting? dean then mentioned a girl. sam said there was then wasn't, and she had nothing to do with it. sam told dean in another eppy he imploded and ran. imploded. it means to burst inward. sam admitted to breaking, but still dean didn't hear what sam was saying. then some lameass writer, not sure which one makes sam say he didn't know whether dean was dead or eating a taco somewhere. that one stupid line contradicted what carver presented in the first eppy and whoever wrote the imploded line also indicated. that one line caused mass confusion for everyone and most people started to wonder if sam's memories were real or not. it was simply bad writing. i understood sam more this season than dean to be honest. i would love for someone at a con to ask jensen, since i can't get to one any time soon. what his take is on what was going on with dean. i think the writing for dean has been very confusing and where i usually get of sense of what's going on with him, i was left speculating. the end didn't really clear that up, though i do love that dean finally sees how his actions and his words this season and from season's past have really hit sam hard. i'm glad dean understands that he means everything to sam and without dean's faith and trust, sam would prefer death. dying to sam is more acceptable than disappointing dean. if that doesn't give dean the self worth he's been lacking then i don't think anything can. as for dean, was he really angry at sam for those mistakes or was it anger at himself for making the same ones and taking it out on sam? i don't want to believe that dean is petty enough to hang onto ruby anger especially given that sam spent 180 yrs in the pit paying for that mistake. sam put his trust in ruby, but dean put his trust in cas and the only difference at the time bet. ruby and cas was that cas changed his mind at the last minute. as for lucifer being free, well dean did break the first seal. sam couldn't have finished it without dean so they are both responsible. it's not only sam. but sam took full responsibility and jumped in the pit to pay for it. sam being souless is not his fault. was dean angry at sam or souless sam? was he taking out on sam what souless sam had done? that could be part of it. or could it be as i believe it to be..that dean was angry at himself . he let a vampire into his body, like sam's demon blood. he lied about benny, kept him from sam, like souless sam lied about being with the campbells. sam let lucifer free, dean let benny free. i feel like this season dean was transferring his own feelings about himself and putting them on sam.
i just watched taxi driver, and bobby asked sam about looking but sam never got to explain to bobby that he thought dean dead. bobby was under the impression that sam knew where dean was and sam never got to explain. but bobby did make it very clear , much like meg did, that sam was not "right".
i look at this eppy as part one of a part two episode. there are so many questions left hanging from s8 and it's possible that s9 will explain them. carver may have wanted s8 to be about sam and dean getting to where they are now, but that doesnt necessarily mean carver will not answer the big questions he brought up . what i do hope for s9 is for a little more insight into dean. he told sam to let go in sacrifice, what i am hoping we get to see in s9 is dean letting go as well.
paloma
# paloma 2013-07-07 17:36
In what moment did Dean trust Cas in 4 season? 3/4 parts he was arguing with him. And the two rests was because Sam had an attitude of "I'm so much better than you", one of them safe Sam ass.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-07-08 02:59
Quote:
In what moment did Dean trust Cas in 4 season? 3/4 parts he was arguing with him. And the two rests was because Sam had an attitude of "I'm so much better than you", one of them safe Sam ass.
Of course Dean trusted Cas , why wouldnt he the angel that pulled him from hell. They might of argued if you want to put it like that but the bases of the relationship we see today was born out of season 4.

And a different Sam was born out of that dreadful season as well and one alot of this fandom as been running with ever since.Regardles s of wether that Sam was a fair representation of the true Sam.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-08 22:23
I so hope your right about all this especially it being a two-parter. I suppose we could just be conditioned into thinking these storylines will be wrapped up in one season, from their history of doing so. But this is one of the few seasons they were reasonable sure they were having another one at the beginning of the season. So maybe they decide just to leave that story open. I'll admit I don't agree with the choice but would much prefer that to them just not bothering to explain.
paloma
# paloma 2013-07-08 09:44
Because in the first two episodes he doesn't believe that he was an angel or his intentions. He gave Dean a time travel not so different to Zacharia's, Halloween he and Uriel seems to destroy an entire town, it doesn't help that all of that was a tests. After we had the issues with Alistair, Anna and Jimmy. And culminating in the green room. Like nappi said Cas changed his mind in the last minute, and Dean wasn't precisely happy with any of that.
Prix68
# Prix68 2013-07-08 10:35
Sam has definitely apologized enough and tried to make amends for what's happened in the past. Castiel has also apologized and tried to make amends for his mistakes. But the telling statement in all this is when Dean says, "In The Devil You Know", I just don't think I can trust you anymore." Dean doesn't trust anyone anymore but himself. He didn't trust Benny either. That's why he had to see for himself that Benny "wasn't draining folks" in Louisiana. Now before everyone gets on a rant about who is Dean to judge, I don't see this as Dean judging , but rather feelings he just can't shake. Dean survives because he has good instincts and trusts his instincts and his instincts tell him to only trust himself. Even in the season finale he didn't tell Sam he trusted him. He said he loved him above all others and put his welfare above all others. Dean wants to trust again, I think, but ultimately it's his issue to deal with, not Sam's or Castiel's. On the flip side I don't think Sam trusts his own judgement and instincts and sees Dean's lack of trust as validation for those feelings. That's his issue to work out. Kripke created SPN and he created these characters and these issues way back in S4 and S5 and for better or worse that's who they are because that's who their creator made them. Kripke created very human, complex characters who are deeply flawed and yet continue to do amazing things to save the world and each other. They started out as young guys with a lot of bravado and the confidence of youth. Now they are mature war ravaged vets with a lot of scars and baggage.
E
# E 2013-07-08 20:25
Prix68, I like this and I think you are right. Each of the boys issues of trust must at some point come back to themselves to be worked out. Dean doesn't trust anyone, and although it hurts his brother to not feel trusted, its not entirely personal. Yes, Sam has made mistakes, but Dean's mistrust has more to do with Dean than with anything Sam has done; it's Dean's issue not Sam's. Conversely, Sam doesn't trust himself and with good reason, often making the wrong choice despite his best intentions to do what's right, and Dean can't fix that for Sam no matter what he says to try and bolster Sam's confidence. Sam must resolve this issue within himself just as Dean must. There is a wonderfully warped kind of dysfunctional balance in all this though; Dean by and large does trust himself and Sam trusts Dean, so while this may not be ideal as relationships go, it works. I mean, how often have they managed to save each other and the world, dysfunctions and all?
Prix68
# Prix68 2013-07-08 21:55
Thanks, E. We're all a little dysfunctional aren't we? Cause we're human. Lol
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-07-08 22:16
Prix68, I think you said this perfectly. Dean and Sam need to learn to trust Sam again. I think Sam feels like he has been punished for what he did, so that is why he doesn't really feel guilty. But I don't think he ever regain the confidence in himself and I;m not sure he ever can, unless Dean's trust in him is restored. I really hope that thread is picked up next season.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2013-07-09 01:21
Quote:
Dean wants to trust again, I think, but ultimately it's his issue to deal with, not Sam's or Castiel's. On the flip side I don't think Sam trusts his own judgement and instincts and sees Dean's lack of trust as validation for those feelings.
Truer words have never been spoken.

Their very human flaws are why we're so in love with them and frustrated with them and can't stop talking about them, lol.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-07-09 02:53
A dysfunctional relationship it may be but it is not a healthy one by any means and if some describe it has toxic then I can understand that. If Sam's self worth is dependent on Dean's trust then he is in trouble.

Sam needs to find something that encourages the belief in himself maybe the MOL's might do that but at this stage I cannot see a dramatic change in how the brothers are written .