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Oh, Sam what happened?  What did those writers do to you?  

No doubt about it, Sam Winchester is suffering from an identity crisis.  Actually, he doesn’t seem to have an identity.   This show has always been guilty of failing to show Sam’s emotional side since he internalizes, but it often felt like season  nine didn’t even try.  I think they kind of forgot Sam was there.  One has to wonder where it all went wrong.   Where did he lose his voice, his emotional capacity, his sympathy?  Where did he end up becoming a secondary player in a show where he’s listed as a lead?  Why can’t character development happen simultaneously for both brothers, not one or the other? 

The last time I was real frustrated with Sam’s character development was back in season seven.  I’m one of the ones that thought his season 8 role was a great push forward, even with the whole Amelia thing.  He had a new lease on life and was determined to live it.  Then the writers forgot all that and went their own way, decimating any progress he had made from seasons 7 to 8, and likely earlier.  He gets possessed and goes from a normally intuitive and hard to fool Sam to someone who was oblivious to what was happening. Then he finds out what Dean did and behaves like a total unsympathetic jerk, and then he goes back to thinking everything is okay without truly resolving his issues from earlier in the season.  He was removed from the story, serving as Castiel’s wing man in the Angel standoff and damsel in distress the rest of the time.  The whole thing was very, very tough to watch.  

In prior seasons, writers have taken stories to bring that withdrawn side of Sam out, to give us an idea of what’s going on in his head.  In season nine, only Jeremy Carver in the two episodes he wrote decided that Sam’s POV was worthwhile.  As a result, we weren’t able to connect with Sam in season nine or know what his motivations and pains truly were.  There weren’t a lot of hints either and the wasted potential of what could have been with that setup is a travesty. 

In going through the episodes this season, you’re going to see a lot of “could have” or “should have” from me.  Just going through the basic plots you have to wonder where the writers lost total interest in grabbing those opportunities for character defining moments.  Where shout-outs, cavalcade of bad guest character returns, and fan service all took priority over a main character who’s development has a vital 50% stake in this series.  But that’s a moot point.  We’re here for a deeper look at Sam Winchester, and deep we shall get.  Warning, you may see a lot of tears and outright frustration here folks.  And some primal screaming.  Definitely some primal screaming.  

As I go through each episode, just to keep things fun, every time Sam is unconscious, look for the special "DING” and photo.  Collect them all and you’ll get angelic protection for life from ever having a head injury, because it looks like that’s what Sam got.  That’s the only reasonable explanation as to why he's not a drooling mess in a wheelchair by now.    

“I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here”



This is Sam’s “In My Time of Dying.”  He’s in a coma and hopes of recovery are nil.  While Dean explores options for survival, much like the spirit Dean in IMTOD, Sam takes a different path.  He’s always been practical, so he weighs all sides.  Dean is telling him to fight, but is giving him no good reason to go on other than he shouldn’t give up.  Sam needs more, he needs a plan.  Bobby becomes to Sam what Tessa became to Dean, the one that tells him why it’s time to move on.  This Bobby appeals to Sam’s practical side, the one who’s tired of fighting and knows the consequences of cheating death.  

I find Sam’s inner argument interesting, considering this is a complete 180 from “Trial and Error.”  Sam was facing the front end of the trials and is determined to do the trials and live.  He saw that having a real life was possible, and that outlook only changed because of how worn and broken he was from the grueling effects of the trials.  It was obvious during his internal debate that he didn’t want to die, but he was waiting for Dean to give him a good reason to go on.  I’m not sure I understand this, since he chose to have a normal life after Dean went to Purgatory.  Is it because of the commitment to Dean made in the church?  Without Dean it was time to die?  Is it possible this was the personal decision he made when he went into that church with Crowley (the unaired outtake in the church between Sam and Crowley hints this was his decision, as well as his ‘So?” reaction).  

I adore Sam standing up to “Dean” and telling him that dying was his choice.  This was what he wanted.  It’s understandable, he’s worn and tired from the trials and doesn’t have a lot of fight left, but it kind of invalidates Sam’s true persona too.  While I applaud his declaration of independence and taking destiny into his own hands, I was waiting for Dean to throw back in his brother’s face (even if it wasn’t the real Dean), “What about seeing that light at the end of the tunnel?”  We’re half way into the first episode of season nine and I’m already deliberating continuity.  Later Sam tells Death that if he accepts dying, he doesn’t ever want to be brought back.  Really?  This disappointed me greatly to see that Sam’s new resolve of having a life in season eight just completely dropped and forgotten.  It set any progress he made as a human being backward, as if season eight never happened.  That short term recollection of character continuity ends up being a huge problem in season nine.    

When the season kicks off with such a perplexing take on Sam, then no wonder the whole rest of it was just a hodge podge of whatever Sam felt like that day.  It just keeps getting worse.  

On a side note (and will be explored further in my overall Season Nine review), I’m disappointed that the season nine didn’t slow down to explore more stories of consequences of messing with the natural order.  I wish Sam and Dean really got to see what the ramifications were for not closing the gates of Hell, mostly that it was probably a good thing they didn’t.  They would have learned that bad souls destined for Hell would have been  trapped with the souls that were bound for Heaven, and that would have caused catastrophic chaos in the world.  You know, something cosmic and fun.  As Metatron said last season, they were “pulling one of the great levers.”  It was another big case of wasted potential.  

“Devil May Care”

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The beginning of the whole being possessed by Ezekiel (later revealed to be Gadreel) stuff.  While I give huge props to Jared for flipping between characters on a dime like that, and his super bad ass decimating of the demons attacking Sam was cool, this one didn’t really do much for Sam the character.  He was in the dark and didn’t have a clue what was happening.  

There was an attempt to explore through Tracy Sam having to live up to his past.  Her family was murdered by demons, who she said were celebrating the fact that “some dumb kid let Lucifer out of his cage.”  The issue is, those demons would have probably killed Tracy’s parents even if they weren’t celebrating, so her hatred is kind of flimsy.  Also, if something like that is going to be brought into a story, there needs to be some type of emotional connection between the characters and the circumstances.  Would some puppy dog eyes have hurt?  No relevant time was taken for any serious soul searching in Sam or any pangs of regret.   It was almost like he scoffed at her and said “that was so season five” (he didn’t, but you get my point).   He moved on , and so should she.  Could it be that was Andrew Dabb’s message to the fans, get over it?  

It’s all better though when they have that awkward exchange at the end (“You okay?” “Yeah, you?” “More or less, yeah,” “Good.”) and I had to make sure I was watching this show called “Supernatural.”  That’s emotional writing?  That means everything is okay?  It ended up being pointless filler that could have gone toward the rest of the plot.  Sure, Sam told Dean Tracy was right in the end, but then he said that he felt good, best in a long time.  So was this Sam saying he’s put his past mistakes behind him?  Was it a setup to show how overprotective Dean was of his brother when he told Tracy to go after the real monsters?  It was almost like Dabb was working the Writing 101 checklist and thought this whole thing would satisfy the “character parallel” item.   

On another side note – I’m just not sure what happened to Andrew Dabb this season.  It’s almost like his writing mojo was sucked completely dry.  Half hearted and disorganized plots, disregard to anything written in prior recent episodes (okay, he’s always been guilty of that), hare brained ideas (and I’m not even talking about Bloodlines), and the general quality in his writing took a massive nosedive.  Almost all of his episodes (excepting “Road Trip”) made my season’s worst list.  Could it be “Supernatural” is getting too stale for him?  TBD.      

“I’m No Angel” 

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Sam feels great.  And he’s still utterly clueless as to what’s going on, even though he’s catching Dean in a few lies.  He’s just not doing anything about it!  Maybe because he keeps falling unconscious. 

“Slumber Party”

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I loved the “Hanging out with Sam and Dean on movie night at the MOL Bunker” feel.  First, Sam isn’t accepting the MOL bunker as home.  His room isn’t unpacked and it’s missing the warm touches of home (although the flat panel TV looked like settling in to me!)  His issue is very understandable.  He even spells out it to Dorothy for those of us that forgot, he hasn’t had too much luck with homes.  One “This is close to home as we’re ever gonna get,” from Dean later and Sam comes around.  He’s writing his own story now, not living in the past (get the theme here?).

In the annoyance factor, Sam again has a “Zeke slip” and again accepts Dean’s lame story that he was knocked out by the witch.  He remembers Dean saying “Zeke” though.  He dismisses.  Sam in prior years would be beating the truth out of Dean by now.  This is getting very annoying, and it’s only episode 4.  Enough dragging out character arcs for entire half seasons!  That should have been on my season ten list of demands.  Just get on with it.  

“Dog Dean Afternoon”



Sorry, I’m primal screaming now.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the episode, and I loved that Sam was blackmailed into giving a Yorkie a belly rub plus the bitch face he gave while doing that (that’s some real acting, you know Jared was loving it!)  Let’s just get to the encounter with the Chef Leo.  I both loved and hated this scene.  It was so brilliant, the way it was shot. The acting was extraordinary and the tension was high, the way everything went down was so well done.  That’s when I get to the hated it part. NOTHING came from that setup.  Nothing!!  What the Hell?  It was brushed under the rug and never spoken of again!  We finally get an arc break through scene like that and no one runs with it???  That’s why season nine struggled big time. That’s why I lost a lot of faith in this season by episode five.  

But still, for those few glorious minutes.  Sam finds Chef Leo, but is surprised by suddenly having his throat slashed.  The way Sam is gasping for breath, he’s a goner.  He’s clutching onto blood oozing from his neck and fading fast.  Then Zeke takes over.  He heals Sam, falls unconscious since all this healing is zapping his strength, and a perplexed, shell shocked Sam is left with a bloody neck and a healed wound, wondering what the heck just happened.  Chef Leo is utterly stunned.  “How the Hell did you do that?”  “I want to know what you are.”  Sam has no answer, so Charmelo and Snyder rip something from the every day “Supernatural” playbook.  Sam is unconscious.  Go figure.    

Sam does wake up eventually, in an interesting parallel to the opening of “Mannequin 3” (same writers), and HE HAS NO FUCKING IDEA WHAT’S HAPPENING???  He doesn’t even ask how a fatal slashing of the throat healed itself???????  He just wonders what Chef Leo meant by “I want to know what you are”??????  GAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!  Primal screaming!!!!   Nope, Sam drops it.  It never comes up again.  Just kill me.  

 “Heaven Can’t Wait”

I don’t know, Sam was in it.  That’s all that I pretty much remember.  I still wonder why he doesn’t remember his throat was slashed.  I’m still wondering why he doesn’t realize an angel is in him.  I still wonder why he hasn’t strung Dean up by his thumbs and demanded the truth.  I still wonder why all these writers still have jobs.  

“Bad Boys”

Sam didn’t know Dean was in a boy’s home?  I’m not going there.  Not going there. *Rumbles under breath, wonders why they got the age difference wrong** Not going there.   On a plus side, Sam’s  thank you for always being there and having his back is sweet, classic brotherly bonding, and gets totally erased a few episodes later.  Oh, and Sam STILL doesn’t know an angel is inside of him.  At least he got to remain conscious the entire episode. 

“Rock and a Hard Place”

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All fun aside ("Well, I guess because every woman I've...ever... had relations with,'t ended well.") , the relevant scene is the ending one.  The very relevant scene.  Finally, some movement! Oh, and Sam is unconscious again.  

Yes, he eventually wakes up (with remarkably all his brain cells in tact), and one touch from the monster should give Sam enough evidence that something is VERY VERY wrong.  She pulls a similar stunt to Chef Leo, telling Sam his liver is no good and he’s being held together with “duct tape and safety pins” inside (one of my favorite expressions is duct tape and chicken wire).  Sure he has to stop wondering what’s happening to save Jody, but that leads to his heartbreaking talk with Dean.  Sam is growing to except that something’s wrong with him, AGAIN, and maybe he’s never going to be okay.  Or, if we ran with the theme of this show, he’ll never be normal.  This is enough guilt for Dean to come clean, but Zeke won’t let him.  He gives Sam another lie, and Sam leaves dejected.  

Poor Sam.  He’s had two supernatural creatures tell him he isn’t right and he’s asking questions like “maybe it’s just me?”  This is where I wonder, has Sam really been pondering all this time what could be wrong with him and we just haven’t been seeing it come out in the episodes?  It this just a case of lazy writing glossing this stuff over and letting the fan believe this is happening?   He’s suffering from all sort of time lapses and he knows Dean is lying.  Too bad that by the time his concerns get serious, it’s too late. 

“Holy Terror” and “Road Trip”


DING!  Fine, I know it's really Gadreel, but it still counts!  

These two episodes are essentially a two part saga, and both have Sam being under full control of Gadreel.  “Holy Terror” starts things off exactly right.  Sam is still questioning what the Vesta said to him, and he now realizes something is really wrong when he has another Zeke slip that lasts 50 miles!  Dean should have known better.  All I can say is it’s about freaking time.  He is more confrontational with Dean, but Dean gives him an inexplicable “Would I lie?” line.  The answer, YES!  If that conversation had been allowed to go on, Sam’s answer would have been “Yes.”  But that’s the trouble with a lot of these brotherly conversions, especially with Sam.  They trail off into nothing…then it’s too late.  Or it’s interrupted by a phone call.  I would have loved a scene like in “Metamorphosis” where Sam demands Dean pull over and they hash it out by the side of the road.  Of course “Zeke” would have prevented that, but that’s what fan fiction is for I guess.    

Since Gadreel takes over shortly after this, Sam is gone and literally left in the dark until Crowley weirdly (and awesomely) takes possession of Sam in “Road Trip.”  It’s Crowley that gets through to Sam, convinces him that he’s being possessed.  When Crowley tells him to remember, his first thought goes to Gadreel killing Kevin.  “Did I kill Kevin?”  Sam asks, and that’s the fuel for all of Sam’s anger and feelings of betrayal for the rest of the season.  Crowley sets Sam straight in time to deal with Gadreel and cast him out, which ends up being a rare moment of total Sam awesomeness ( Gee, why don’t we get a lot of these anymore?)  

The most significant part of all this though is the ending scene between Dean and Sam, with Castiel close by with watchful eye since Sam is still physically weak.  As I’ll cover in “A Deeper Look at Dean Winchester”, Dean’s guilt in this episode is pretty much through the roof.  By the time he gets to talk to Sam on the dock, his self hatred scale is burning at a 100.  Sam knows it, but he’s woozy, tired, and the realization that he was the one that killed Kevin is burning in his brain.  He wasn’t ready to deal with Dean’s self loathing and vow to go it alone.  He was barely dealing with what happened to him.  His lashing out at Dean was rather reserved, but it still got a steely point across.  “You lied to me.  Again.”  That was enough for him to let his brother go and not stop him.  

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Sam’s last words to Dean are, “But don’t go thinking that’s the problem, ‘cause it’s not.”  Looking at the conversation, it’s addressing Dean’s claim that he’s poison.  So if Dean isn’t poison, what does he mean?  In the simplest form (and probably the right one), it was Dean’s deception that was the problem.  That’s why they’re in this mess.  That’s why people get killed.  Again, Sam’s frame of reference is Kevin, but that’s likely what Sam was addressing.  All this kind of goes back to “Appointment in Samarra,” where Dean causes the death of an innocent nurse to save a little girl.  Here, he essentially traded Sam’s life for Kevin’s.  

Would he have knowing the outcome?  Of course not.  But every time Dean messes with the natural order, there are consequences.  Sam in his funk the rest of the season is dealing with one core issue, the choice was taken away from him.  Because of that, someone close to him died.  It’s a repeating pattern in his life, starting in the very beginning with the nursery fire that claimed his  mother Mary.  Something horrible happened to him because of another person’s choice.   He made the choice to die.  Did Dean strip that away from him?  Yes and no.  Sam ultimately made the choice to go with Dean, so he does shoulder some of the blame for not sticking to his resolve to die.  But it was done under false pretenses.  Sam took a blind leap of faith for Dean and was burned by it.  What he’s not truly absorbing at this moment is its burning Dean too.  Could it be that Sam sees what Dean did was a violation of their brotherly declaration at the church in “Sacrifice?”  Is this Sam disapproving of Dean essentially “figuring something out” because it led to others dying?  Or is Sam just being an unreasonable, selfish ass?  (I think the answer is no, but some think that way).  

That brings us into the second half of the season, where Sam has to wrestle with all these questions and his inner demons.  Sadly, if he does, we never get to see it.  We only got to see where he came out from it on the other end without really knowing the process in between.  There are some clues, but some of them require real detective work and stretching of the imagination, but if you squint hard enough they’re there.  I’ll do what I can to show Sam’s path from here to “Do You Believe in Miracles?” but if it looks like I’m stretching, that’s because I probably am.  


# catsluver 2014-06-21 08:05
As a Sam girl, my heart breaks. For the most part season 9 Sam was weak and clueless (sometimes down right dumb). That's not the Sam we know and love. I fear that season 10 will be worse. It has been said that it will be a Dean centric season. I don't have a problem with that per se, but if Sam is anymore useless in season 10, it will be a disaster. Dean said it in the first episode of this season. "There is no me if there is no you." Dean needs Sam. The show needs both brothers. I think the writers need to go back and view the first 5 seasons and get reacquainted with Sam. It's not that he isn't affected by all that's happened, but his basic nature should still be the same and this season has totally lost who Sam is. He's thoughtful, smart and deep. He doesn't deserve to be just a prop.
# Sharon 2014-06-21 08:29
I think the way they write Sam is ludicrous and I do not expect that to change next year it has not since season 4. I see no reason why Jeremy or these group of writers would have a sudden epiphany about Sam.
# Amyh 2014-06-21 08:41
So much word to everything you said well as Castluver above. My heart is broken for the Sam i remember. But When i get right down to it i'm now watching supernatural with the pov that Sam is still in Hell and what was saved was some shadow of Sam. Or maybe he's a talpa Dean brought to life. It fits with the lack of POV.....the fact that Dean feels so free to lie, manipulate and deceive. Its why he's a dictator toward "sam" but all about teamwork with Castiel. And Sam is so ... not Sam and his opersonality flips ona dime is because as a talpa, Dean has never understood who Sam is/was....and as the talpa in Hellhouse, Sam's personality changes with Deans opinion of him.

So i'm not expecting anything from Sam in s10.
# catsluver 2014-06-21 09:13
Alice, I forgot to say earlier, but I love the "Dings". I have often wondered how the brothers aren't in comas from repeated head injuries. How many bruises can a brain take. Maybe that's what's wrong with Sam. Lol.
Amyh, maybe they could reset the show and have Sam come back from Hell and kill the Tulpa.
# st50 2014-06-21 09:20
I hear your primal screaming, alice, and add my voice to yours. What a "lovely" choir we could make! ;)

Unlike you, I didn't see the character development in season 8 (no way I can get over the jump from 7.23 Sam to 8.01 Sam, so everything that follows is trash).
After finally giving me a glimmer of hope with Sacrifice, this season just heaped on frustration after frustration.

IMO,(And I apologize for having said it repeatedly) Sam was already becoming the Samsel-in-distr ess last season. This season, it would've been more subtle if he'd worn a long dress. Don't get me started on the sidelining of a major - no, LEAD - character.

I love Dean (although I have serious issues with him being turned into a demon) but my entry into the entire series is through Sam. Without him, I am on the sidelines, watching a train wreck. Since I can't do anything more than scream for the paramedics, it is time to walk away.

I am angry. I am sad - no, I am heartbroken.
# LEAH 2014-06-21 11:52
Even though I am a Dean leaning brother fan I really can't disagree with much in this article. The only problems I usually have with this perspective is when posters turn their anger on Dean in a way that I is see unfair. The Dean-guilt was hammered home a little too much I agree. Dean did lie, manipulate, and deceive Sam but his motivations were not evil, even when he let an angel possess Sam. He often does things in the name of protecting Sam that are not right. I saw the dictator thing as a direct result of the marks influence but whatever, Dean has always been bossy.

I don't think Sam was shown to be in the wrong as many people think. Maybe it is because I love Sam too but I found him to be quite sympathetic. That doesn't mean I think he was written well! I understood everything he said and why he was angry. I got a little tired of Dean choosing to not "hear" Sam but instead chose to think Sam doesn't love him despite all the evidence to the contrary. Which was a plot device I guess to drive Dean to desperation so that he could end up being a Demon. I think that may have been the initial idea. The writers "Hey, lets make Dean a demon. We haven't done that before." So everything after that was to reach that goal no matter how improbable or occ.

Anyway thanks Alice, I think you have done a vey nice job of laying out the problems with Sam's characterizatio n in recent times.

ETA: One thing I do have a problem with is people jumping to the conclusion that the PTB or writers have it in for Sam. I don't think that is true. I just think most of the current writers do not know how to write for Sam. That doesn't change my love for Sam as a character one iota.
# percysowner 2014-06-22 17:35
I got a little tired of Dean choosing to not "hear" Sam but instead chose to think Sam doesn't love him despite all the evidence to the contrary. Which was a plot device I guess to drive Dean to desperation so that he could end up being a Demon. I think that may have been the initial idea

The thing is, Dean doesn't become a demon because of anything Sam says. Dean gets the Mark of Cain in the next episode. Sam has just had needles stuck in his head, been possessed by not one but two entities with Dean's help and consent. And Dean takes off in a snit leaving Sam alone and with traces of Gadreel still inside him because Sam doesn't forgive him immediately. Now Dean didn't know about the traces of Gadreel and REALLY? REALLY? Way back in season six NOBODY mentioned that an angel leaves traces of their Grace inside a vessel? Because hey! Sam carrying a part of Lucifer around FOR REAL as opposed to an hallucination wouldn't worry anyone? Not even Castiel who was trying to stop a second go at the Apocalypse? [/rant over]
# LEAH 2014-06-22 22:13
I don't think Deans journey down the MoC path to demonville was due to anything Sam said necessarily but I do think his misinterpretati on of what Sam was trying to communicate played a part. Dean made some poor choices. No Sam blame here Percy. Glad you got that rant off your chest although I'm not sure what I said that triggered it.
# percysowner 2014-06-23 13:28
The only thing you said to "trigger it" was that Dean didn't hear what Sam said, because Dean got the Mark before Sam had a chance to say more than two words. It's more a reaction to fandom and how could Sam treat Dean that way or even the more realistic why isn't Dean hearing what Sam said. I sometimes fell like people (and really not you just what I see a lot) forget the actual chronology that Sam wakes up from being possessed and Dean IMMEDIATELY gets the Mark before Sam can do much of anything.

The other rant was absolutely not you. I just really hated that all of a sudden Cas (who reanimated Sam) suddenly drops the bombshell that part of an angel's grace remains in the vessel since, you know, the previous angel to possess Sam was Lucifer and why didn't anyone worry that part of Lucifer was running around topside? It was a continuity thing that bothered me the whole season.
# LEAH 2014-06-25 23:02
Fair enough Percy. I do think that Dean's mindset in regard to Sam and all that happened was a contributing factor to the path he chose.
# nappi815 2014-06-24 06:31
you have a point...makes one wonder if sam's hellucinations, were not only a result of his mental anguish but in part also due to the fact that he really did connect to Lucifer due to the grace...wouldn' t that also explain his nightmares now as well. that sam's nightmares regarding kevin are not only from the actual memory, but due to the grace there's an actual connection to gad, which makes it even worse?....

this only makes me sympathize with sam even more than i do already.
# cheryl42 2014-06-24 09:43
Didn't Castiel say that the residual grace was a harmless after affect of being possessed. Sam didn't seem to feel it's presence. I will have to watch that scene again but I thought they were just trying to extract the grace before it was gone forever. I don't think it had any influence over Sam other than removing it quickly was going to kill him.
# E 2014-06-25 20:49
I don't think it had any influence over Sam other than removing it quickly was going to kill him.
The only reason that the left over grace wasn't an issue is because it wasn't written that way. It COULD have been a great repercussion of the possession, and even a repercussion of Sam deciding to let Lucifer in if anyone had bothered to allow this somewhat trivial plot point to be worked into some thing more. Then Sam could have had a story line; something that was for HIM that didn't involve Dean or the MoC or the angel war, Metatron, Crowley, Kevin, Charlie or anyone else. While they were wasting time on Werewolf Garth, Cas as a convenience store clerk, the short lived and useless Bart vs. Malachai plot or any of a dozen other things that did not pertain to Sam, they could have taken this juicy little tidbit and done something with it FOR SAM. So this nice little idea, full of promise can be logged into the myriad of dropped plots for Sam along with his powers, his hellucinations, the demon blood (does he still have any? We don't know because after his "these trials are purifying me" the issue of Sam's demon blood was never mentioned again) his visions and now his leftover grace. Grrrr.
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 21:50
I can't disagree with any of that. I was just trying to remember if that is what Cas said about the grace. Honestly I don't really know if there is going to be a point of the residual grace in the future or not. I guess it will probably be another one of those dropped storylines. Although there would have been a lot of past stories that would have made even less sense if the grace had some affect on the possessed person.
I hope along with everyone else that Sam gets more focus next season and that Jared gets his wish.
# E 2014-06-25 22:00
What's Jared's wish? I haven't heard about that….
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 22:13
At JIBcon he said that he wanted a) to be the one to save Dean and b) he wanted the brothers to be together again. His favorite episode moment "just cause".
# E 2014-06-25 23:05
Ah!!! Poor Jared. I think he's quite unhappy with the way things turned out, and he probably couldn't see it until the episodes aired. Imagine what it must be like knowing that you filmed so much good stuff to then see almost none of it on screen in the final product (this is coming from a comment that LOTS of scenes, mostly Jared's, didn't make it into the final cut). He's said before that he's quite protective of Sam and will fight for him. Well, I hope he's fighting for Sam now, hard, because I don't want to see another season like the one we got. The basic plot ideas (having Sam possessed, Metatron and Gadreel, Abbadon, the MoC) all carried great promise. As premises they were unique and interesting and could have made an exhilarating season. The execution though…. ugh, sorely lacking is an understatement.
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 23:13
Again I can't argue with your comments. It did work better for me this season. I keep thinking though what JC could have done if he had the writers that EK had. I'll bet his vision for the show would have been executed differently. And Jared did seem very happy with his work this season. I just think he wants very much for the brother bond to be back next season. Me too.
# LEAH 2014-06-25 23:25
I agree that the writing staff that EK had along with his knack for continuity and being able to have a vision and see the big picture was a pretty damn hard act to follow! I didn't envy SG nor do I envy JC. I think SG gave it her best shot and JC is giving it his best shot.
# cheryl42 2014-06-26 01:55
The quality of the writing really shows when Jeremy Carver writes an episode. He can take all the threads and bring them all together and punch us in the gut while he does it. Robbie Thompson is the next best I think, Robert Berens would be next after that, the others are very hit and miss. It must be hard to put together a season with three writers you can depend on but who only write 3 or 4 episodes (in JC's case 2) per season. I know that EK has his eyes on the show still. I had heard that he reads all the scripts. He is still listed as a consultant. How much input he has I have no idea but now that he is out of a job maybe he will be more involved.
# LEAH 2014-06-26 02:53
I had forgotten about that, although I can't imagine he had much input during his time on Revolution. Full time gig. It would be great to have him more heavily involved.
# nappi815 2014-06-28 01:20
if anything good can come out of revolution bombing....I hope it's the return of ben edlund and eric kripke;)
# LEAH 2014-06-28 01:34
Unfortunately Ben Edlund is now writing for the upcoming series on Fox, Gotham. :( Fortunate for the Gotham team though.
# lala2 2014-06-25 22:06
What I found troubling about the whole "these trials are purifying me" thing was it was never actually confirmed. Yes, Sam said that but we were supposed to take that as fact? He made that comment when he was very feverish and half out of his mind. I never took it as something that was actually happening though I know others did. I was never sure what to make of that comment, and it was never explored beyond the one statement so I just took it as something Sam wanted to be happening to him.
# E 2014-06-25 23:33
Yeah, and since the trials were aborted, we never got any confirmation of the purity or impurity of Sam's blood one way or the other. If Crowley had been cured, then we could have at least deduced that Sam's blood was now pure, but he wasn't, so, is Sam's blood pure now or not?. But alas, addressing the issue might have summed up a plot point or closed out in a satisfying way one of Sam's few remaining unresolved issues; can't have that now, can we, and since there's no way to make Sam's demon blood issue about Dean, it's probably better to let the matter drop and pretend it was never addressed to begin with. Bitter? Me? Naaaah! Its also bugged me greatly that something so essential to Sam as his tainted blood, (it was only the key issue that LAUNCHED THE ENTIRE SERIES!) has not been commented on by Sam or anyone else since he was possibly 'cured' either. If it was so important to Sam that his blood was FINALLY being cleaned of this taint that has affected him since infancy, you'd think that he would have mentioned it to someone since the end of season 8? It's only a core element of WHO HE IS. Why hasn’t he said anything? Why hasn't Cas noticed? I mean, Cas could sense the demon blood in Sam all the way back in season 4 when he almost refused to shake Sam's hand like he was a contaminated and repulsive thing. If Sam has been ‘purified’ you'd think Cas might have noticed and said something, seeing as how they are "friends" now? Or if he WAS still carrying demon blood, you'd think that Gadreel might have said, Gee! this guy I'm possessing has demon blood in him! Huh, I wish I'd known that before I agreed to hitch a ride in him! But, oh yeah! No one writes for Sam so, no shocker that it's been dropped along with everything else that defines Sam as a character.
# cheryl42 2014-06-21 12:01
There really has to be a better way to get the guys (especially Sam) out of a scene. They should be vegetables by now.
# nappi815 2014-06-21 12:19
it saddens me that you view the show in such a manner and that you see sam in such a negative light, as I've always viewed sam as a shining star...the only character to have ever not given up on anything, the only character who's never messed with the natural order, one who has a great strength of character. I guess I see the story being told a different way and I certainly never have and never will see sam as an unsympathetic's hard for me to understand how one can even think that? how one can dismiss everything that dean has put sam through these last few seasons as well as disregarding what he's been through his entire life and just dismiss it all...the very fact that there are those out there who do not allow for sam to feel hurt, pain, anger or even dare to dream to have something for himself, even though it's always been merely a glimmer of hope for him, is distressing. I don't think sam has failed the fandom, I think some of the fandom has failed sam.:(
sam has always wanted normal and safe and it's understandable after the reveal in the great escapist as to why. in all honesty, it's always been understandable. an 8 year old boy learns his mother is killed by monsters and fears that it will happen not only to him, but to his dad and dean as well and one can't fathom why this little boy would fear this kind of a life?

I've posted before the story I feel carver is telling. I believe the true monsters to be sam and dean themselves, but mostly dean's monster as it's his monster sam's feeds off of. I only wish some of you would try this experiment, to watch s8 and s9 again, but this time trying to view it as I did, with the thought in the back of your mind that carver is telling the human story of sam and dean, by having them come face to face with their issues. you may see things differently and I believe that one certainly wouldn't see sam in such a negative light, as someone who is unsympathetic. sam is the most sympathetic character on this show. if only one would really take a closer look. carver started this story arc of the boys finally being forced to face their own monsters/issues , the very thing he was part of creating. still these monsters/issues were only merely touched on and never really resolved, so when he took the helm, seems to me that instead of focusing on the seeming big bads of the arc, they were the red herrings. the real big bads are actually the boys an's monster being the worst of it. carver wasn't even subtle about it. he wrote we need to talk about kevin and he flat out made it clear that dean was not the same anymore. sam said "i'm still the same guy dean" which dean replied "well good for you, i'm not". we saw dean become the very thing he's always feared himself to be while in purgatory. when dean was looking for cas and he was questioning that monster, the camera went on benny during that scene and even benny looked uncomfortable. dean admitted to sam that purgatory was pure, but it was the look on his face that said it all...there was a part of him that found contentment in purgatory. benny said to dean " I should've appreciated purgatory more, the way you did". the look on dean's face during that call said it all, he wasn't the same dean anymore, this was the dean from "the end". dean's inner monster ruled in purgatory and now that he's out, it's still ruling. sam asked dean if he was going to kill mama tran and he said yes without hesitation. it was Crowley...then there was a pause, a significant amount of time after, that he said, almost as an afterthought, that he would've felt bad, but what's one more. he was cold and cruel and his behavior continued to be that way for the first half of the season.
sam's crime in s8? he believed his brother died, which is perfectly understandable given that sam lost bobby, cas and his brother in the same eppy. i'm not going to go through everything sam's been through both physically and mentally up to that point, you just have to watch s5-s7 to get an idea of the condition sam was in. but show did make note in two different eps that sam was not ok. in slash fiction, levi sam went on about how unstable his vessel was and in the slice girls, the convo at the end, when sam begged dean.."just don't die". sam broke in s8 as was quite obvious in a few eps. not to mention flat out admitted to Amelia that he imploded and ran. he told dean that he thought his family was dead. we saw flashbacks of sam in an emotionally unhealthy state both when he hit the dog and again when he couldn't find Amelia. do you recall what sam said to the vet assistant? have to save him. maybe the fact that sam couldn't save his own brother was weighing heavy on him. so much so that he couldn't deal with this own life. every flashback with Amelia was specifically shown from her pov, giving us a picture as to why sam was drawn to her and his need to focus on and save someone because he failed yet again to save his brother. in heartache sam asks dean a really out of the blue, weird question ...he asked dean if he thought it was painful dying in a car crash or something to that affect..i just watched it last night. I asked myself why the hell would sam ask dean that question? it came out of nowhere.... or did it? seems to be a subtle clue that perhaps, before sam hit the dog, he may very well have been trying to hurt himself. dean keeps throwing digs at sam throughout the entire eppy, making sam feel worse than he already does. so it's really no surprise that sam tells dean that dean may be better off on his own, hacking away. dean didn't really need him. as I watched the eppy and it seemingly made dean all gung ho to be back with sam, and sam less than gung ho to hunt again, I saw something deeper. dean may have been spewing the words that he wanted sam to be hunting with him again, but at the same time he spent the last three episodes revealing how disappointed he was with sam and digging at him. so what does that say ? its says to me that dean wants sam to hunt because he doesn't want to do it alone, but he's going to make sam feel like shit for a very long time, because that's how dean is feeling about himself. I imagine it says to sam the same thing, only for sam, he believes that dean truly feels this way about him and he doesn't realize that dean is deflecting his own crap onto his brother.
I've said it so many times now, how dean relates to benny, much the way sam related to Madison. benny was dean's kill buddy. they were one and the same type of monster in purgatory. their relationship wasn't based on trust. i'm not sure if it was even based on friendship. it was definitely a mutual need. they needed ea. other to get out. dean never would've gotten out if he didn't let benny inside him. dean had no true idea what benny would do once released into the real world, but at the time, I don't think dean cared. a "be good benny" doesn't give me a sense of security that benny is going to be a good little monster. and as we learn, benny wasn't good. dean kept benny from sam..why? sam wouldn't understand? please:p. sam would kill benny right out? no way, not unless sam had to. so what's the deal with dean's hypocrisy? that his monster is the exception to his own monster rule book...that they are what they are and they will kill. am I supposed to buy that it's because it was dean's friend? I don't. I think dean kept benny and sam apart because if sam had confronted benny sam would learn the truth. I believe sam would've found out about benny and dean's deal and I believe sam would've found out the truth regarding cas. that he wasn't dead. that dean last saw cas alive. that dean left purgatory without cas. and since dean got out, he hasn't even made the attempt to try to rescue him....kind of what dean's been accusing sam of doing. dean's infamous sc speech, that wasn't about sam...dean was deflecting his own issues onto his brother. alsok supports that. as I said, dean's inner monster is at play here. where dean used to keep it buried deep down under all that crap, he can't anymore. it's rearing it's ugly head and the result is dean pushing his brother away. the part of dean that believes himself a killer, the part that connects to benny, who lays claim that benny is more of a brother, perhaps because this part of dean can kill freely and without guilt when with benny, this part of him that chooses benny over sam..this is the monster that has been reining inside dean. sam, as usual, has been the one to save dean. I said it already, I think sam's ultimatum saved his brother's soul. when made to choose, dean was able to overcome the dark part of him that ruled for sometime, he was able to control it again. the idea of no sam was enough for dean to regain control. sam didn't go to Amelia. not that he ever would've. for sam, the real love of his life that he was sacrificing was normal and safe. but the dream still exists for him even if it's only a dream. don't we all have dreams that we know won't ever happen but we still hold it in our hearts? the point is that sam all through season 8, regardless of his talk of living normal one day, as if he really could, never gave up on his brother. he took all of dean's cruelty. he took it to heart. and as we see in sacrifice, sam was doing what he could to make it right to his brother, who he believed saw him as a disappointment, a failure. sam's monster of unworthiness feeding off of deans' monster.

sams spoke of leading dean to the light at the end of the tunnel and the assumption is that sam is referring a normal life. isn't it possible that sam was referring to a life where dean didn't need to feel responsible for everyone dying? or maybe sam just wanted dean to have a life that was safe. let's remember that's been the core of who sam is, sam's need/desire to live normal and safe stems from his belief that he's a freak. sam tries to escape who he is by trying to find a life away from hunting. he ran. but soon sam is able to confront the fantasy world he was living and found the strength to face reality. I think it's important to remember too that sam seemed to find a way of fitting in when he realized he was legacy to the mol. it seemed to me he was able to reconcile what he believed about himself and enable himself to feel as though he belonged somewhere. of course this doesn't take away his dream or desire to want normal, it kind of intertwines and gives him a sense of normalcy though. sam's willingness to do the trials however has more to do with atoning to his brother. sam stresses to dean about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel to make dean believe in it too. his promise is to give dean the world he desires, not the world sam does. nothing sam says in trial and error negates what sam feels in itiglih.

let's really take a look at s9. sam accepts a fate he feels he can't stop. instead of pulling what bobby pulled,{ as bobby's last words as he looked directly at sam when he said them(foreshadow ing much?), were when it's your time to go..go}, sam accepts what seems to be the inevitable. I actually thought sam behaved like a mature adult ready to accept the crap hand dealt to him, allowing himself to feel good about what he's done given his past mistakes, and proud of himself, as we see through death's eyes.. when he tells sam "well played my boy, well played." when sam chose to trust in his brother, he only exemplified once again, how when given the chance, he will always choose his brother. this has been the case since the pilot.
the speech in sacrifice has sam talking of trust and his belief that dean doesn't trust him. when dean tells sam no one came before him, as sam believed to be the case, sam for the first time believed his brother didn't see him as a failure and did in fact trust in him. he chooses to stop the trials because he believes he has what he's always wanted from his brother. his faith in him. that's more important to sam than anything, stopping the trials was really a no brainer at this point.

so where does that leave sam in s9? we all knew going in that what dean did to sam was going to bite dean in the ass. dean knew it. we knew it. we all knew dean's lying, the violation to sam's body, once again trusting in another instead of trusting in would all come down in buckets of hurt and pain. I've seen dozens of posts all agreeing that sam will be upset and has a right to be.....and then when it happens....he's an unsympathetic jerk? seriously?:o it baffles my mind how one cannot truly see what and where sam is coming from and it baffles my mind even more that one cannot sympathize and understand the hurt sam is living through..

i'm not even going to go into the sheer violation of sam's mind and body, just knowing that gad knew every secret, feeling, desire sam ever had. that at no time did sam have his own private thoughts and secrets. how many of you out there wouldn't get pissed or feel intruded upon if someone read your diary? let's even skip over the fact that dean yet again makes decisions for someone else based on what he deems to be fit and not the person's involved. (mind swiping ben and lisa for instance). let's just get into what really decimated sam....dean promised sam at that church there was no other than him. "what happens the next time you decide I can't be trusted? who are you gonna turn to instead of me? another angel? another, another vampire? do you have any idea what it feels like to watch your brother".... there it is in a nutshell. dean trusted another angel instead of his own brother...and he did that, not by the possession, because sam understands the possession. he would've been mad, but he'd have forgiven dean for the possession. it was the lies. it was dean trusting in an angel he didn't know over his own brother. if dean had told sam the truth long before kevin died, none of what came to pass would have. that's why sam questioned deans' speech at the church. that's why sam concluded that it can't be because of sam that dean does what he does, after all, dean doesn't truly trust in sam as dean said. dean just said what he said to keep sam alive not because he truly trusts in sam, but because dean doesn't want to be alone. dean's monster. his belief that he's a killer at heart. his reason that he goes to such extremes to keep sam with him. from making sam feel guilty through emotional blackmail to having him possessed. and sam is right to question dean, because he in fact hit the nail right on the head. the problem with this though is that it's only part of deans' reason...the truth of the matter is...dean loves his brother and sees him as valuable, not only to him, but to the world, but sam's monster, his feeling of unworthiness, his belief that he's tainted, unpure, his belief that he's not worthy of his brother's trust, has sam unable to see that dean truly does love him and trust him no matter what. this is the monster sam faces.

you say sam is unsympathetic? really? because the way I see it, sam has been nothing but sympathetic. let's really take a good look here. dean lied in a big big way. he hurt his brother to the point where sam feels they're broken. dean's inability to face his monster, his issues, the fact that he needs sam with him because he believes himself to be a killer, a point brought out in the beginning of s8 and which has been a running theme these last 9 years, his own fear to face himself has turned dean into quite the self centered character. instead of facing sam on that bridge and dealing with everything that's happened, dean turned tail and ran away. he claimed he was poison , but the fans and sam knew that this wasnt' the real problem. dean was the one who took it upon himself to punish himself instead of just facing his brother. because if he faced sam then he may very well would've had to come to terms with "why" ...which I can say with full confidence, I believe sam would've asked. not only does dean run from sam leaving his brother to deal with all of this alone, but when they meet up, he tries to ditch sam again. more lying. but sam stays. regardless of deans' efforts, sam stays. sam tries to tell dean that because we're family is the reason they ended up where they were. it's the excuse dean gives whenever he does something that ends ups hurting someone, actually both of them have used that excuse, as though its' a cure all. it makes it ok. sam is telling dean that it's not ok anymore. that excuse doesn't make up for the hurt it causes others. but dean doesn't listen to sam when he talks. dean just wants to bury everything and just go back to work as normal. dean disregards everything sam is feeling when he says this. so out of frustration, he tells dean that if he wants to be partners fine, but if he wants to be brothers...well dean will have work at that part. he might want to start by understanding sam's hurt. but still sam gets in that car with his brother. he's not burying things this time. this time they're going to deal with what's wrong. if sam has to bait his brother to do it, then so be it. in the purge sam showed a glimpse of hope when dean hadn't slept. his hopes were dashed of course by deans' pride. dean knew sam was trying to break him. but his monster wouldn't cede. "i don't break that easy". let's really take a look at that conversation in the purge.
dean went on about how he did the right thing and that he would do it again, the same way. that was the most egocentric dean scene of the season. he was utterly selfish and self absorbed. he blatantly disregarded sam's feelings about what he'd done to sam, but more than that, what sam had done to kevin. dean managed to make it all about himself. he was self righteous in his belief that he'd done the right thing consequences be damned. he had no regard for sam or his pain at all at this moment. it was all about dean and dean's view of the world as he sees it should be. sam is alive that's all that matters. but for the rest of the world, in sam's world and perhaps in kevin's world and in kevin's mother's world, this isn't their view. in their world, consequences do matter. other people's lives do matter. it's not about dean's view of the world only and that seems to be the point that sam was trying to make. sam was hurt and frustrated by dean's comment and he made it clear to dean that in the same circumstances, sam would've done things differently. but dean only hears that sam wouldn't save him, which isn't what he said at all.
there are complaints that sam should say more and internalize less when it comes to dean and there are times I totally agree. but given dean's history with sam, especially these last two seasons, it doesn't matter what sam says to dean, because dean only hears what he wants to hear. so what I've noticed from sam is that he speaks very loudly with his actions.
sam may have said what seems harsh to dean out of hurt and frustration, but at no time has sam left his brother's side. at no time did sam give any indication that he doesn't love his brother and will always choose to stand by him. dean has spent the last two seasons pushing sam away emotionally, but at no time did sam ever give up on his brother. sam could've easily walked away from dean last season, especially given dean's proclamation that benny was more of a brother, but sam never gave up on his relationship. no matter how much dean hurt sam, no matter how broken sam felt regarding dean's lies to him, no matter the inner conflict sam is feeling towards dean right now exacerbated by sam's guilt about killing an 18yr old kid left in their care. sam has never walked away from dean. he's never for one second stopped fighting to save their relationship. dean may misinterpret sam's words, as per the usual, but sam's actions have proven over and over that no matter what dean does to sam, sam will always love him. you will always find sam at dean's side. unsympathetic? given what dean had done to sam, given sam's hurt, given his ever present guilt about killing kevin, and still sam has nothing but love for his brother.....i'd say sam is the most sympathetic character I've ever come across.

now let me just make it known that I do like dean Winchester. I understand now the monster he's been battling. I also know that he loves his brother more than anyone else. even though his need for sam in his life and the extremes he goes to to keep sam with him are due to his own issues of self loathing and lack of trust and worth in himself, he still values sam as a person and he still believes the world and not just his world is a better place with sam in it. with that being said, it's clear to see now that dean's inner monster has taken over completely, and has now become a living entity. i'm eager to see how sam helps dean conquer it. I also look forward to the boys laying these long overdue issues they have regarding themselves and ea other to rest. I think the old dean needed to die, as this dean was a detriment to himself and at times others. I look forward to the new dean to come. the one who likes and trusts and believes in himself. the one who learns from his past mistakes and never makes the same ones again. a brother who loves his brother as an equal, who sees and treats him as an equal, who understands that his brother loves him and will choose him come hell or high water every time. I look forward to these brothers seeing worth in themselves and I look forward to the boys getting back to fighting outside monsters...beca use they will have defeated the ones on the inside.

my wish for the fandom is that see what I see when they see sam Winchester. an amazingly strong character, who has suffered through so much, yet, still never gives up fighting. a character who sympathizes with so many, most especially his cause given what dean has done to sam, given deans' inability as of yet to acknowledge sam's hurt and guilt, sam has never for one minute left his brother's side. I don't meant that literally...I mean with all the attempts at pushing sam away, sam is and will always be right there for his brother. I will always admire sam's inner strength.
I am proud and honored to be a sam fan. I am more proud and honored to be a jared fan. jared gives sam the depth the writers sometimes fail to do. I personally think the Jared's portray of sam this last season has been amazing. in order for dean to have taken the path he's taken, as this is carver's boat now, and he's steering it the way he wants to, I think jared has done an amazing job at relating sam's plight without the use of so many words to that we understand how devastating it's been for him. we truly get an understanding of sam all the while we get to see dean's downfall. it's been a really well told story so far imho. I look forward to seeing how it get's resolved. :)
# Alice 2014-06-21 12:57
Well, it's going to be hard for me to address all points of your post (sorry, but I just don't have that kind of time to go through it all), but if you think that I personally believe that Sam is unsympathetic and Jared didn't do a great portrayal of Sam, you couldn't be more off. My criticism 100 percent falls in the hands of the writing and the lack of care they gave Sam's character IN SEASON NINE. I'm basically going with what I was given this season. I know the real Sam and this season's writing did not do him the kind of justice he deserves. It's my right to point out the flaws. If you read my other "Deeper Look" installments (I started writing these in season three), you'll see lots of praise and criticism. Some seasons they got it right. This season, they didn't.

I'm also perplexed over how this commentary results in a criticism of the fandom. Because I decided to share issues I had with the character development during one season? I know Sam is strong, I know he's sympathetic, I adore and love him as a character, but I didn't like what I got this season at all. There are many Sam fans that agree with me, but we aren't giving up on Sam. We know better. When I get to part two, I'm going to be very clear the only episode we got to see the real Sam, the one we know and love, is "Do You Believe in Miracles?" That's a big problem.

Also, this commentary really doesn't explore the Sam and Dean dynamic heavily. I'll get more to that in part two, but there will be more coming when I get to "A Deeper Look at Dean Winchester." It's not a comprehensive brotherly exploration, just exploring POVs of each character. So don't take anything said here to be a well rounded analysis on the brothers.

Sorry, I wish it could all be sunshine and roses, but it isn't. I haven't spoken out much during the season (keeping my frustrations to myself), but to not be honest in my traditional year end reviews would be doing them a disservice. If you aren't happy with this tone, feel free to skip them. Thank you.
# NOLANOLA 2014-06-21 13:44
you cant please all the people, all of the time friend.
# Alice 2014-06-23 00:33
NOLANOLA, I adore you! No, I can't. I've been a HUGE Sam champion all these years, so much so that people have burned my name in effigy for being an ugh, "blatant Sam fan." Now suddenly because I'm frustrated with crappy characterizatio n I'm a bad Sam fan. :)

These articles are meant to flesh out how the writers handled characterizatio n during a season and I will stubbornly declare, they did a despicable, piss poor job with Sam's characterizatio n this year. I remember in season seven blasting them for both Sam and Dean, so this has nothing to do with my love or another. It's calling it as I see it. So yes, feathers will be ruffled. It comes with the job description I guess.
# nappi815 2014-06-21 14:14
alice my intention is not to ruffle anyone's feathers. the below is your own quote:

" He gets possessed and goes from a normally intuitive and hard to fool Sam to someone who was oblivious to what was happening. Then he finds out what Dean did and behaves like a total unsympathetic jerk, and then he goes back to thinking everything is okay without truly resolving his issues from earlier in the season."

you also say: Where did he lose his voice, his emotional capacity, his sympathy?

now if i'm misunderstandin g what you're saying here, I apologize, but it appears to me that you in fact do find sam unsympathetic as well as lacking emotion. when I read this and the posts that followed it struck a nerve. I don't post these long posts to just bore the pants off of people or to point out that they are wrong. you feel what you feel. what I do try to do is offer another way of looking at things, a more positive way of looking at things so that maybe one who is disappointed may say "hey wait a minute", I see it's not the negative way I was thinking at all....or perhaps like you do, you want to tell me to stick a sock in it.

"I'm also perplexed over how this commentary results in a criticism of the fandom. Because I decided to share issues I had with the character development during one season"

alice, i'm not sure what you are saying here. do you think i'm criticizing you and the fandom? please let me assure you that i'm not doing either. at least it isn't my intention. if you are referring to my comment about the fandom failing sam, then i will apologize. that may have come out not quite the way i meant it in hindsight, so for pointing that out to me, i thank you. it's just sometimes it's like, when your sports team is winning and you praise them and love them and they're the best...but when they lose and have an off season, they suck. sometimes it feels that way when i see posts regarding sam. when he's written the way he should be written there's an abundance of love, but when he's written crappy, then the love seems to be lost. :( the complaining begins. soon i find that most people wind up swimming in the pool of negativity, practically drowning in it. :( that breaks my heart to see that in the fandom, to see everyone so unhappy... I will admit that I do find it baffling at times that sam is seen in such a negative light and i guess because it's so glaringly obvious to me, i forget that other's don't see sam in the positive light that i do, no matter how crappy i think the script might be. i am totally aware that the writers treat sam like the red headed step child at times, but i also see that what is lacking in actual words on the page is not lacking with the character itself, which is why i never feel that sam is ever lacking in story. i think sam is actually the key part of this story, he's not a secondary player at all. hey, don't get me wrong, there is a lot of things i found wrong both this season and last concerning dropped stories, lack of voice, , the obvious plot devices to get us where we are...but i can't do anything about it so i'm not going to let myself get aggravated over it either.

i don't think or wish everyone to look at show as it being all lollipops and candy canes, as it hardly is. i just think that it's not always necessary to concentrate on all the wrong and it's nice to focus on what's right. i also think it's important that posts exist from people who do see things in a more positive light because the negativity that prevails is sometimes overwhelming. i always find it makes me smile personally, when i see posts from a certain few out there who always seems to outweigh the negative with the positive and always see the silver lining. they make me feel better and i'm grateful to them, so i do my part in trying to make people feel less distressed as it forward ;)

i'm happy that you aren't giving up on sam. i hope that this story arc pays off for you and the others who are finding it so distressing. but alice, as negative as you might feel, it won't stop me from reading your comments. i may not agree with all you say, but it doesn't mean i don't appreciate what you have to say either. that goes for others as well. but i will promise you this.....i won't ever stop seeing things in a positive light, and even if something pisses me off, as dean has done these last two seasons, i will always find the positive in it, i will always find a reason that makes sense for it and i will continue to pass the positive off to others in hopes to decrease their negativity and provide a more positive outlook... ;) so you might want to skip my posts in the future if my positive outlook gets on your nerves.:)
# percysowner 2014-06-22 18:15
nappi I agree with a lot of what you said. I can and did see a lot of what Sam was feeling in season nine. I did see him as sympathetic. I also know that I was able to do so because I'm on a lot of Sam centric boards where we discussed what was going on. We had to because the writers did not spell it out. They didn't even use pictionary or charades. There was a lot of showing and telling on how bad Dean felt, and very little on Sam. It would be nice if for one season we had Sam saying what is going on inside his head. Not having his sentences trail off. Not having him walk out without explanation. Just have him flat out state this is what happened. This is how I felt then. This is how I feel now. Lord knows, Dean gets to explain and say he's not sorry and he's mad that Sam wouldn't do the same yadda, yadda, yadda. It would be nice to have more than 2 sentences in the season finale and Jared's acting to rely on. Your points about Sam having his mind violated and Gadreel knowing everything he ever thought or remembered are really great. But Sam never said anything like that. In fact, he finally said it was more like a roommate, which makes all that violation sound as if it didn't happen, or it didn't bother Sam. I have very mixed feelings on how Sam was presented this season. I'm enormously sympathetic, but I see why others just couldn't connect.
# nappi815 2014-06-22 20:47
i do totally understand and agree that there are times where i wish sam would be allowed to say more, that we can hear what he's saying instead of seeing what he's saying. i don't think that sam's lack of pov is due to poor writing though. i think it was intentional because if sam were allowed to give his pov, if we'd had those moments where sam actually voiced everything that hurt him, then we most likely wouldn't have gotten dean to the point where he is now...a demon. i think we were given just enough so that we understand what's going on with sam, but they didn't give us too much because i really do feel that would've lead to the boys dealing with all their crap. because i believe the real story is about the boys inner demons/issues, i don't think show wanted that just yet...i think that's to come next know i can't help but wonder, since carver was around in s3, if he's been waiting these last 6-7 years to turn dean into a demon. if the story is going the way i believe it to be....then turning dean into a demon might very well be a pretty cool way for dean to finally come face to face with his inner monster. i hold onto this and then i don't get so distressed when i long to hear sam say more about what he feels and it doesn't happen. ;)
# E 2014-06-23 10:59
i don't think that sam's lack of pov is due to poor writing though. i think it was intentional because if sam were allowed to give his pov, if we'd had those moments where sam actually voiced everything that hurt him, then we most likely wouldn't have gotten dean to the point where he is now...a demon.
I'm sorry nappi, I love your enthusiasm and positive attitude. But, just because it was intentional doesn't mean it isn't poor writing. For me, because it clearly WAS intentional, that makes the writing even more of a problem. In order to get Dean to the place that he was in to accept the MoC they threw Sam under the bus by having him act OOC, diminishing his POV and taking his voice. Its bad writing if you can't figure out a way to deal with your character's legitimate and well established personality traits and end up changing them simply so that you can get your plot to go in the direction you want it to go in, which is what happened in season 9. We are back to Nate's Superman theory; Superman took a bus the crisis, and the writers didn't explain why he suddenly couldn't or wouldn't fly. They forgot or ignored everything Sam is and has been for the past nine years: Sam's always been tenacious, caring, observant, argumentative and smart. When it comes to Dean and his problems he will nag and nag at him until he talks. Sam is the king of research and planning, never going into a fight without knowing what he's up against; the Sam I know is never passive or disinterested or easily tricked. Pretty much all of these traits went out the window both this year and last. So Sam doesn't nag at Dean anymore, just gives him cryptic half sentences and walks out of the room. He's not observant any more, saying things like "Does Dean seem different to you" when it's clear that Dean IS and HAS BEEN different for weeks! He's not tenacious or observant or caring or smart. He shows almost no interest in the MoC when normally he'd be researching it to death and then nagging Dean and Cas and possibly even Crowley with what he'd learned. He is tricked time and time again, and then doesn't even seem to notice, and all of it was to service the MoC plot. IMO that's bad writing, period. If the writers had been up to it, they could have found a completely different way of getting from point A to point B without trashing Sam and everything he is and stands for to get there.
# nappi815 2014-06-23 12:05
hey e,
thanks for even taking the time to read what i have to say in the first place.:) i guess the way i see it, sam acting differently then he normally would, just goes to show how truly hurt sam is and how what dean did to him cut deeper than even dean thought it would. sam told dean when he found out the truth that they were damaged. he used the word broken. i think when something is broken you can go two can throw it away or you can try to fix it. the way i see it sam spent most of the time trying to fix things, so it doesn't surprise me that he was a bit distracted from the moc. sam first noticed the mark when they both ended up at the hospital to check on garth. if you remember though, dean spent part of the eppy trying to ditch his brother and then the rest of the eppy was spent on the case. the end was where dean just wanted sam to forget everything that he'd done to him and just go back to work as usual. that left sam quite frustrated and upset which led to the whole if you want to be partners fine speech. i believe the next eppy was the purge. again, more of the same. sam tries to get dean to deal with everything, to engage, dean dismisses everything sam is feeling and gives him the self righteous riot act that he did the right thing and he'd do it all again. again, we get a very hurt sam. a very frustrated sam. not even kevin's death had dean see where he went wrong. his egocentric view of how things should be, disregarding sam's feelings of hurt and guilt. so i'd say sam was a bit distracted once again. sam has been spending quite alot of his time fighting to save his relationship with his brother, in all honesty, i forgot about the stupid moc. i'd say sam's frustration, hurt, guilt and his constant fight to get his brother to deal with all that's happened was more his focus. dean being standoffish with sam isn't anything new to sam so it's not like it was a red flag. it wasn't until sam saw the blade in dean's hand that he became aware that the blade was trouble. his focus seemed to be more on keeping dean from the blade. i do admit sam asking cas if dean was acting different was stupid...who even wrote that? sam at this point had noticed that dean was changing, but he seemed to focus more on the blade..i got the impression that he thought the blade was what changed dean. then the rest of the time sam spent keeping his eye on his brother.....

to be honest, i thought it was cas who should've elaborated more on the moc. he's the angel after all, he's the one who should've provided moc info when he saw that dean had it on his arm.

so i have to disagree that sam isn't being tenacious or observant or caring or smart. he was tenacious, he was just tenacious about saving his relationship with his brother. he was caring as he displayed his love for his brother in every eppy, even the ones that he was clearly frustrated and hurt in. he totally noticed his brother's behaviour once the blade was in his hand,,prior to that, dean's behaviour was par for the course. sam is smart, smarter than he's given credit's his smarts, his tenacity and his caring that will save his brother's life. ;)

hey, that's just me:)
# anonymousN 2014-06-23 12:53
i forgot about the stupid moc. i'd say sam's frustration, hurt, guilt and his constant fight to get his brother to deal with all that's happened was more his focus.
And all that time Sam was having nightmares.When did I come to know about this.The last leg of the last episode.Was rthere any reason why we were not shown that Sam was having nightmares?woul dn't the fact that Dean somehow knowing earlier the toll Gadreel's possession took on Sam and the guilt he feels on that make it more believable and more powerful that Dean turned a demon at the end of the season?
# nappi815 2014-06-23 22:31
it certainly would've made for some awesome sam angst and i always love me that but i don't think it would've mattered in the sense that dean was destined to turn into a demon from the moment he took the mark. the mark called out to the blade. once reunited, it was a force of it's own. the bearer would've turned into a demon regardless....i think death only had it happen quicker.

i know that we didn't get informed of the nightmares til the last eppy, but i have to say that i had already assumed he'd be having nightmares. i mean it would explain how sometimes sam seemed ok and then sometimes he was upset again. something would've had to have happened to have him seemingly flip flop. that's when i assumed that he probably would get flashbacks. sam's confession only confirmed what i already thought. but then again, i agree that it would've been a treat to learn earlier on...but learning when we did, makes sense to me i guess i was ok with it. ;)
# E 2014-06-24 10:29
it certainly would've made for some awesome sam angst and i always love me that but i don't think it would've mattered in the sense that dean was destined to turn into a demon from the moment he took the mark. the mark called out to the blade. once reunited, it was a force of it's own. the bearer would've turned into a demon regardless....i think death only had it happen quicker.
Nappi, I think you are right in that,… Dean was doomed the moment he took on the MoC. So, it makes even LESS sense to me that the boys would remain estranged from one another for the whole season. Somewhere along the line Dean's acceptance of the MoC and Sam's anger over the possession become inexplicably linked to one another. Sam's pushing Dean away and his harsh words were somehow the reason Dean took on the Mark. But, as we've seen Dean took on the mark before Sam said anything, so he was doomed at that moment and everything that came after had no impact on the situation and really, Sam had very little to do with it. It makes the writing even more egregiously bad to me because for some reason there was a link made directly from Sam's anger to Dean's taking on the mark, when in reality they have nothing to do with one another. For some reason TPTB decided that they had to keep Sam angry at Dean and uncommunicative (when has Sam ever wanted to NOT talk to Dean about their issues?!) simply to artificially further the MoC story. There was absolutely no reason for the brothers to NOT discuss Sam's anger and feelings over the possession, none, other than the mistaken idea that if Sam was involved, that if the boys were talking and resolving their issues that the MoC problem would also end up solved, which we know is not the case. So, they COULD have talked, they COULD have resolved their conflicting POV's over the possession. They could have discussed it, argued with each other about it, gotten angry, had heart to hearts, and maybe some manly man tears and even have come to some kind of understanding (and not those crap scenes where Sam says only half a sentence and then one or the other of them stalks out in a snit either). Then the remainder of the season could have been Sam and Dean working on the MoC issue TOGETHER as a TEAM! Geez. Since so much of season 9 seems to be some type of call back to earlier seasons (theoretically) then this would have been textbook season 3. Dean could have confided that he was really scared, he could have implored Sam to help him (after a few episodes of reckless behavior with a healthy dose of deflection and denial, I mean, this IS Dean we are talking about), and Sam could have had boat loads of angst and become his thorough, obsessive, OCD self as he watched Dean slip further and further away. The emotional impact could have been double what we got and we could have felt the pull of sympathy for BOTH BROTHERS instead of a furtherance of the Sam vs. Dean crap that the whole possession/MoC plots have stirred up anew. And ironically, Dean could have still ended up where he is now, a Demon, and it would have better outlined Sam's role for season 10 as well. The more I think about it, the more holes, gaps, contrivances and illogical connections the story as we got it seems to have. Very, very disappointing to me. :(
# anonymousN 2014-06-24 13:22
Sam's pushing Dean away and his harsh words were somehow the reason Dean took on the Mark.
Exactly.It was not.If they had shown Sam 's anger before he took on the mark..then it would have been more strong but as of now it is not.While the blame put on Sam would be more..I kind of come to expect Sam to be blamed for Dean's actions So what is a little more blame for sam's anger however justified it is.As of now blaming Sam for dean's actions ,as it has been told by the show through Kevin "maybe I will get over it".
For me if they had shown the effects on Sam either before Dean got the Mark and after he got the Mark and then Dean got guilty it would have been because of what he did to Sam AND THE AFTERAFFECTS of it then it would have made up a lot for balancing a lot of what was shown regarding what Dean did to Sam and the after affects to Dean.But as it stood then it was because Kevin was killed but not because of what he did to Sam.
# anonymousN 2014-06-24 13:15
i know that we didn't get informed of the nightmares til the last eppy, but i have to say that i had already assumed he'd be having nightmares.
So why not SHOW it?Assumptions are not confirmations.Hindsight makes every thing clear now.Sam's issues with the things he did while possessed should be left to assumptions?
I know Dean would be guilty the minute he agreed to faux azekiels idea.So why show it.I assume that Dean will be guilty.It has been 8 seasons of Dean feeling guilty.The presentation has been skewed,there is no going around that fact as there is no reason for them to not have shown Sam having nightmares.
Sam's confession only confirmed what i already thought.
Were you 100% sure that Sam was having nightmares before he told he was having nightmares?
I am sorry if i am coming on too strong below..but it is not against you I write this but against tptb.
I am frustrated and have lost every last shred of belief I had about tptb because of Sam confessing he had nightmares,the timing of the confession,The silence from tptb about this till then and cutting of Jared's scenes.
Your comment earlier illustrates the reason I am so.I have to assume when it comes to Sam
Well you assumed that Sam was having Dreams ,visions or whatever the heck he was having..I did not...many of us did not.Can you really say that when Sam was acting..."flip flopping" as you say thought..."hmm, Sam is acting like this because he wakes up from dreams of having Kevin's blood on his hand"..because I did not.Not till Sam told Dean.In that hasty tacked on farce of a dialogue.
Maybe I will change my stance after some months..but as of now If they kill Sam the first minute into s10 I will be happy as I will not have to see his character be butchered.
# lala2 2014-06-24 16:35
You're not alone. I never assumed Sam was having nightmares. Why would I make that assumption?

I know Jared is a good actor, but he also needs dialogue. All actors do. The reason Dean gets as much sympathy as he does is b/c Jensen is given dialogue and a POV. That's what Jared needs as well.
# E 2014-06-24 18:59
Yeah, I never assumed Sam was having nightmares either. As a matter of fact I was flummoxed by the seeming lack of repercussions from the possession. I kept waiting and waiting; we knew exactly how Dean was reacting to the possession both while it was going on and afterwards, but the one who was actually possessed? Nothing except it was like "shared housing" and finally, in the 11th hour, 1 line about nightmares. You'd never even know Sam was possessed at all given how little he was affected by it either physically or mentally. I am pre-disposed towards Sam, he has been and will always be my personal avatar for this show, but I don't want to have to fill in so many blanks on my own. I want them to show for Sam the way they ALWAYS and in great detail show for Dean. Why should Jared, as one of two leads on a show, get any less? Why are the details of Sam's life suddenly not worth showing except in how those details affect other people (and in particular Dean?) I'm tired of it, I want to know about Sam for Sam's sake. Go back and watch ANY episode from seasons 1-3, even a Deancentric episode and you won't find the imbalance that's occurring now. All I can hope is that Jared is currently fighting for his character, putting his foot down and saying, "I don't want a repeat of this past year's lack of focus and characterizatio n." We can hope that's happening and that somehow season 10 will be better.
# nappi815 2014-06-28 11:00
I thought they did show it and i was convinced of it when i saw captives.
# anonymousN 2014-06-28 14:04
I thought they did show it
# percysowner 2014-06-23 13:06
I really go back and forth on the writing for Sam. Since I interact with people who analyze the writing, I can see the argument that Sam's story is being told quite subtly. Which is great is you have people who are highly predisposed to Sam willing to take a minutely detailed look at each episode. It is not great for people who don't want to have to search for the Sam story. I really don't think we should have to search for the Sam story. As much as I can understand that there are reasons to write Sam the way they are, it doesn't make things clear to a larger audience. And let's face it, most people don't want to spend a lot of times analyzing what is going on with a character who rarely, if ever, expresses his feelings, especially when the other main character is voicing HIS emotions in virtually every episode. It doesn't help that Sam is often either not himself, or unconscious.

I do think a lot of the dismissal of Sam's POV was directly in service to Dean taking the MOC. I don't think it was to show us why Dean took it. After all, Dean took the Mark before Sam had a chance to say or do much other than "what the Hell, you tricked me into saying yes to an angel?" For all the "unsympathetic" (I didn't find him unsympathetic, but the writing did NOT give Sam a clear sympathetic POV) things Sam said, Dean went off half cocked before Sam ever said them. However, highlighting Sam's refusal to forgive Dean (who hasn't even said sorry) has fandom remembering the "pain" Dean felt and using that as why he became a demon. The issue is complicated by the fact that Sam has no one to talk to except Dean. From his past experience with Ruby, Sam knew that saying you're bad, you've changed and not in a good way was of absolutely no help. What could he say to Dean? The last time Dean did something crazy to deal with the pain (selling his soul), Dean defended his actions with I have the right to be selfish, never speak of it again. Dean is already hunkered down with I'd do it again about Gadreel, so confronting him on the Mark is useless. Kevin is dead. Jody had other concerns. Cas is all Dean does what he does because he trusts the wrong people; again, not an argument that was accepted with Ruby for Sam, but this seems to make everything square in Dean world. Cas finds out, says not a good thing and then doesn't elaborate. So Sam can't discuss whatever he may or may not be doing about researching the MOC. Who is he going to talk to about it?

My big concern is that the lack of Sam POV is so that no matter WHAT Dean does as a demon, he won't be blamed. There will be no killing a nurse to save the world moment for Dean. He will do nothing unforgivable because he won't be himself. It will all be Sam's fault AGAIN for not being a "good enough" brother. This would have been undercut if Sam's understandable feelings of violation had been explored in ANY way. Sam's body was used against his will, not only to kill Kevin but to kill 2 other angels and their vessels. Heck Sam's body was used to do who knows what without his consent. As nappi pointed out, Gadreel had access and USED every memory that Sam had. He rooted around inside Sam's head to know all of Sam's feelings. Sam has been possessed by Lucifer and Meg as well as Crowley and Gadreel. He was unpossessed of his own soul. He should have some very intense feelings about the constant lack of agency over his own body. But NONE of that gets explored because, God Forbid! it might make Dean look BAD as opposed to hurt and misunderstood and completely deserving of sympathy and unasked for forgiveness. I'm really very afraid that we are going to end up with Sam being the bad guy next year again, because the show refuses to spotlight Dean's bad actions and is forever excusing and explaining them, while Sam's actions all are seen in the context of how they hurt Dean.
# anonymousN 2014-06-23 12:47
There is no connection betweenQuote:
if we'd had those moments where sam actually voiced everything that hurt him,
and Quote:
then we most likely wouldn't have gotten dean to the point where he is now...a demon.
This assumes that us knowing means dean knowing...which it is not.The problem is they cannot have Sam voicing thoughts against Dean to other people.Charlie? Oh she and Dean are like soooo close because Dean saved the world.Garth? Come on Dean the big old Teddy Bear and Sam the insecure way.
Sam has to be silent because Dean has to reach a point to become a demon.Still does not make sense.sorry.
The thing is if they want Sam and Dean to DEAL with their Demons next season well and good.Go ahead.But to not allow Sam to VOICE his issues skewed presentation.Wr iters are to blame for this.
# percysowner 2014-06-23 13:15
The thing is, Dean was on the road to demonhood the second he took the Mark of Cain or at least once he had the First Blade. Crowley was clear, the Blade would not let Dean die. It turned him demonic. Dean was determined to kill Abaddon. Why? I'm not so sure. She was bad but Crowley is the one opponent that has slipped through their fingers time and time again. But he was determined to kill her. Even if Sam had forgiven Dean, I don't think he could have turned Dean away from finding the Blade. Dean calls the shots in the hunting for the most part. So I believe Dean was destined to become a demon from the second Cain gave him that Mark. But the writers don't WANT Dean to be held responsible for his actions. So they have him take the Mark before Sam has had a chance to do much of anything. Then they stack the deck to make Dean look put upon and sympathetic, so we forget that he just went off and did something completely stupid. They want it to be Sam's fault. I do expect to see Sam POV next year. I expect Sam to go on and on about how it wasn't Dean's fault he became a demon, it was Sam's . I expect Cas will agree and tell him he should have forgiven Dean. I expect Kevin to make a return trip and tell Sam that if Sam had just let things go like Kevin asked, Dean would be fine. I expect Charlie to pop back from Oz to tell Sam that Dean became a demon because of love. I expect Sam to visit Garth and be told that he needs to accept and love his demonic brother because Sam's refusal to do exactly what Dean wanted drove Dean to this state. I expect a lot of why Sam is wrong and absolutely NO why Dean was wrong. And boy am I bitter!
# anonymousN 2014-06-23 15:02
I do expect to see Sam POV next year.
???? and then I read the next sentences and well
I expect Sam to go on and on about how it wasn't Dean's fault he became a demon, it was Sam's .
As if it was not already apparent.Quote:
I expect Cas will agree and tell him he should have forgiven Dean.
Don't you know, Dean is trusting...but Sam...who cares?Dean is trusting.Quote:
I expect Kevin to make a return trip and tell Sam that if Sam had just let things go like Kevin asked,
Do not expect anything less.Kevin is just so well adjusted.Wait..maybe Kevin wanted to die.Quote:
I expect Charlie to pop back from Oz to tell Sam that Dean became a demon because of love.
Wait Charlie read the books.She knows who saved the world.Quote:
I expect Sam to visit Garth and be told that he needs to accept and love his demonic brother because Sam's refusal to do exactly what Dean wanted drove Dean to this state.
Well good ole garth.
I expect a lot of why Sam is wrong and absolutely NO why Dean was wrong. And boy am I bitter!
I screamed once with Alice and ya, did not alleviate anything.
Wait we forgot about how everyone Sam sleeps with dies sooo unlucky.Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
# E 2014-06-23 20:00
Percysowner….Yo u know, I'd forgotten the time line; you're right, Gadreel was expelled from Sam and then Dean took the MoC in the very next episode. He left his traumatized brother alone because he couldn't deal with his actions and then sought to punish himself by taking on the Mark. His reaction and response are just …I don't even know! I mean is he 5? His running away is so completely cowardly and quite frankly, very un-Deanlike. Dean generally faces his mistakes head-on; so I guess this time we can chalk-up his running away as another contrived plot device that makes very little sense in the overall scheme of things. It seems like Sam's not the only one getting the OOC shaft this season; but at least Dean's OOCness comes with insight and emotional POV which is more than Sam got this year. Dean's inexplicable but we get it, Sam's inexplicable AND cryptic.

Another thing that's bothered me; Dean's attitude later in the season when he said "I'd do it again." That attitude and the strength with which he said it does not gel with his running away from Sam and the situation in Road Trip. If he felt bad enough to run away and to punish himself by taking the Mark, that means that he must have felt what he did was wrong. But then, just a few episodes later Dean is defending his actions, telling Sam "I saved your life, and I'd do it again, and so would you." Well, if he believed that, then why run away in the first place? His attitude from one episode to another didn't track logically and his change in mindset from 'I can't face you or what I've done' to 'I'm right and I'd do it again' is not explained properly making Dean's acceptance of the Mark (and to kill Abbadon no less, why did he feel compelled to kill Abbadon again?) look even more stupid.
# percysowner 2014-06-23 22:06
I see Dean's actions as less OOC than you do. Yes, Dean faces certain mistakes head on. The one exception is when he's dealing with negative emotions and when he thinks Sam will be mad at him. Dean hid John's final instructions from Sam and when Sam did find out, Dean wanted to run away to go to Amsterdam. He didn't intend to tell Sam about his Deal. He wiped Lisa and Ben's memories supposedly to protect them, but it also meant he didn't have to deal with them feeling angry or abandoned. The closest parallel was with Amy. Dean hid his murder of her from Sam. Now when Sam found out he left so Dean didn't walk away, but, much like this case, by the time he hooked back up with Sam he was adamant that he was right to kill Amy and made SAM apologize to HIM for being angry at her death and being lied to by Dean. With the situation with Gadreel, Dean was facing an angry Sam who wasn't walking away. So Dean getting some space so he didn't have to deal with the emotional fallout seems in character for him.

Dean is a damaged person whose life has spun out of control. His role model was John "never admit you made a mistake" Winchester. In the early seasons Dean was working his way out of that mindset, but trauma and emotional pressure can make the best of us backslide. I think Dean is falling back on patterns he learned from John to try and deal with a "recalcitrant" Sam. It is how John reacted to Sam and now Dean is struggling and grasping at the behavior he saw so many years ago, IMHO.

I really see the "I'd do it again" as being how Dean reacts when backed into a corner. He doubles down on his decision because it's really hard for him to examine some of his decisions. Just as much of Dean's sense of self is wrapped up in taking care of Sam, it is also wrapped up in believing he makes the "right" decisions. So leaving before Sam could really get mad at him and then using the time to decide that letting Gadreel in was the right thing to do does fit for me.
# nappi815 2014-06-23 22:15
it fit for me too. ;)
# E 2014-06-24 14:11
it all goes back to my belief that this storyline is about the boys inner demons. dean couldn't face his brother. if he had stayed and faced sam then sam may have asked dean the question he just doesn't want to have to answer..."why"? why does he keep making these same mistakes and why can't you trust in me? dean can't handle the truth, he can't bring himself to admit to sam that he doesn't trust in himself and he sees himself as nothing more than a killer. he's can't admit that without sam he fears what he will become.
So, what if Sam HAD asked Dean questions he didn't want to face? And Dean managed, even in some small way to address it? What then? It wouldn't have made one bit of difference to where to plot went, Dean still would have become what he feared most, so why TPTB were avoiding it makes no sense; and maybe just maybe we could have gained a little insight into Dean's fears and thereby gained some sympathy for his plight. So I can't really see any benefit in Dean running away like a child or avoiding the issue; from a dramatic standpoint it makes no sense to me; because instead of a conflict, a discussion, or maybe even a fight we got a pity party instead. Rule number 1 in acting is that no one wants to watch a character onstage feel sorry for themselves; it's boring.

Maybe, if Dean had stayed and they had discussed things they would have ended up having a fight about it and maybe in that fight some home truths and some POV (particularly for Sam) might have shown through? How is that worse then what we got? Dean running off to punish himself and Sam's never ending silence? Dramatically speaking a confrontation is better than a non-confrontati on, so I am not sure why TPTB are avoiding it like the plague, unless the answer is that dialog of that sort is difficult to write and takes work, and many of the current crop of writers are just not up to it. Also if the boys talk and some ground is gained, then the next writer to offer an episode has to keep track of those gains to maintain continuity; can't have that kind of conundrum now can we, it's best to keep the characters apart and essentially mute to make the writing easier. This whole style of non-writing just really bugs the crap out of me; its just not good drama to stagnate your characters for so long. There must be some forward movement, some insight, otherwise it appears that the characters are being self indulgent or wallowing, which is how Dean is coming across to me at the moment; or they appear unsympathetic, which is the trouble I am having with Sam. Just because the situation is discussed by the characters doesn't mean it's resolved necessarily. There is a huge disconnect going on here. The writers have equated the brothers talking, even a single conversation, with absolute resolution of every problem the've ever faced, which obviously is not going to happen as their problems run too deep. In the earlier seasons talking meant a furthering of the conflict before a resolution or even only a partial resolution was obtained, that's why those seasons worked better IMO. Remember the confrontations (multiple) between Sam and Dean after John died? There were many…… in episode after episode, with each confrontation leading to another little gem of truth about each brother and how they felt, which then lead to another confrontation in a subsequent episode. This went on for seasons (Daddy issues were ripe in season 5 for both boys) and even though it was discussed and the issues were moved forward, they were't necessarily totally resolved either; even in season 9 we are seeing remnants of lingering Daddy issues that are still unresolved. It was so incredibly satisfying and revealing and enriching of the world and the characters the way in which the issues were addressed back then. Now, we get the brothers NOT talking ever, about anything. And while that didn't seem to effect Dean all that much; he had Castiel and Kevin (until he died, and even AFTER he died) and Zeke and Charlie and even Crowley to talk to after all, which revealed his mindset to the point of overkill. But Sam? No… all the not talking gets for Sam is to be silent or have characters tell him to A. Get over it (Kevin) B. That he's scared and defensive (Garth) C. Using the situation to talk about themselves (Cas); all which left Sam without a voice and consequently no character development.

So, basically what I am saying is that I want the writers to be brave enough to have Sam force Dean to talk about their current issue, to have Dean look into why he's so afraid to face his truth and his demons; it could be an explosive confrontation filled with denial followed by a heartfelt talk full of pain. I want Sam to tell us what he's thinking and he can only do that when he's talking to Dean; so let them TALK! What would be the harm? That Dean would have to face that he feels he's a killer and nothing more and have to admit that to Sam's face? He's been saying that since season 2, said it directly TO Sam in Croatoan, so its hardly new ground, and a little reflection on this continuing problem is sorely overdue. Dean realizing and admitting that he's a killer would have changed the outcome of his demon status not on iota. As a matter of fact if Dean HAD admitted to this fear, and let us feel his pain about it, and let Sam see it as well, the outcome of the season would have been oven MORE devastating IMO and Sam could have been supportive rather than indifferent benefitting the characterizatio n of both brothers. So, I can't see why waiting on these issues and having the boys NOT TALK is doing one bit of good either for the characters or for the development of the overall drama.

There's this idea out there that the boys will have a single, incredible conversation at the end of the series that ties all their lingering problems and issues up into one neat and resolved little package never to be made an issue out of again, resulting in everlasting understanding and perfect harmony between them. Well, such a conversation in the 11th hour of the series would be IMO (to reiterate a famous quote from seasons past) "too little, too late." These types of issues that each brother has for himself, and that they have between them cannot be addressed in a single conversation or through trite one liners like "I lied," and "I'm proud of us." It deserves more complex and detailed attention over multiple episodes (over multiple seasons even) and I'd like them to start now; hell, I'd have liked for them to start in season 8 with a detailed account of why EXACTLY Sam thought Dean was dead and why he didn't look and for Dean to have listened to Sam's reasons and UNDERSTOOD them instead of the half baked explanation we got along with Dean's "You left me to rot in purgatory for a girl" misinterpretati on. A misinterpretati on that still stands today I might add. What are the writers waiting for? As each season passes, the unresolved issues get deeper, more tangled and complex. each new season brings more and more plot developments that heap additional problems onto the brothers plates, making the prospect of ANY resolution at all, to any of it more and more remote. No one conversation in the 11th hour of the series can possibly hope resolve what's come about in the past two seasons, so there is a terrible danger that most of it will remain irritatingly unresolved forever. That's just not good storytelling.
# lala2 2014-06-24 16:31
I think Kripke cared more about the overall show and the characters than Carver. He definitely paid more attn to what was occurring in the writers' room than Carver. In the earlier seasons, I wouldn't have known there were different writers b/c the episodes flowed from each other. Nowadays, each writer writes whatever they want, and since Carver is not there to keep an eye on the final product, the characterizatio n is all over the place.
# nappi815 2014-06-23 22:08
it all goes back to my belief that this storyline is about the boys inner demons. dean couldn't face his brother. if he had stayed and faced sam then sam may have asked dean the question he just doesn't want to have to answer..."why"? why does he keep making these same mistakes and why can't you trust in me? dean can't handle the truth, he can't bring himself to admit to sam that he doesn't trust in himself and he sees himself as nothing more than a killer. he's can't admit that without sam he fears what he will become. a Winchester can't admit fear...that's a sign of dean would rather punish himself than face up to his actions and be forced to face and deal with his issues.... i think his un-deanlike behavior began when he got out of purgatory. dean told sam he changed. dean became the monster he feared himself to be in purgatory and he remained that way for the entire first half of the season. it wasn't until sam gave dean the ultimatum and dean chose his brother over benny, that dean began to act a little more like his old self again. it wasn't benny's fault, but when you look at the time dean spent with benny both in and out of purgatory, the only thing they ever did together was kill. they never hung out or even had a drink together. the monster that dean became in purgatory connected with the monster that dean carried out of purgatory. benny thru no fault of his own, he is a vampire after all, but benny brought out the worst of dean. it wasn't until sam made dean choose...i think the fear of losing sam was far stronger than the dark monster that was slowly taken over dean....dean chose sam and when he did, dean changed back to his old self again. not only that, but as he admitted to Charlie and in sacrifice, i think dean was aware of the kind of person he'd become and i don't think he liked it. dean is afraid of this side of him and wants to keep it buried....that leads to dean running away instead of dealing with what he'd done, dealing with sam told dean once, you can't keep burying all this crap....guess sam was right.

as for his self righteous attitude, it makes sense for the very same reason. it's his way of avoiding the situation. by not acknowledging that he did anything wrong and declaring he'd do it all again because it was the right thing to do....i think he was trying to convince himself more than sam.
# cheryl42 2014-06-21 12:29
Nappi I think sometimes you and I are voices in the wilderness....
# nappi815 2014-06-21 14:42

don't ever lose your voice...:) i know i am in good company. ;)
# cheryl42 2014-06-21 14:56
Sigh :)
# Lilah_Kane 2014-06-21 15:35
I'm with you guys. Giving safe thumbs up to Nappi and Cheryl. And Nappi, don't stop writing your views. I can just nod without writing anything. (You are better than me on it anyway) :)

- Lilah
# Sharon 2014-06-21 15:42
Nobody has to see things the same way that is why opinions can be so divided. And there were genuine points brought up in the article that should be Sam was not done justice last season it is hard to escape that.
# cheryl42 2014-06-21 18:09
But nobody is saying that. Lilah and I were just agreeing with Nappi's post. Not disrespecting anyone else's point of view. This article raised many concerns that many fans have, not just here on this website. I think we are just saying that we have a more positive impression of the show and Sam's characterizatio n than many of the fans here. It is just an opinion and one that isn't shared by hardly anyone. Hence the voice in the wilderness....
# nappi815 2014-06-21 20:33
# LEAH 2014-06-21 19:48
I just think that the unhappy people are outweighing the people who want to stay positive. Lot of Sam fans here! The positive folks tend to back each other up as do the unhappy people! I am actually in agreement with much of what Alice said (not all) but I appreciate nappi, Cheryl, and Lilah and their attempts to always find the positives. Everyone has a right to express themselves and I agree nobody has to see things the same way. Plus this thread is about Alice's unhappiness so it is going to garner it's fair share of agreement in the comments.
# Ginger 2014-06-21 12:31
I am a 100% Dean fan, but I agree with everything you said about Sam, Alice. Sam was noticeably and completely sidelined this season for the sake of building a story for Cas as a regular. The writers' first mistake, IMO, is starting the season with Sam being afflicted and dying (...again!...), and then possessed by something. I assume the writers needed a reason for Gadreel to possess him so that Dean would make bad choices for the first part of the season, and Sam would be angry and the brother bond would be under intense pressure in the second half. The problem was, of course, that Sam deciding to accept death made no sense at all based on what was shown in S8.

I feel that any character development for both Sam and Dean was set aside this season, except that Sam's supposed arc was used to serve Dean’s ultimate plot, the MOC. Once the MoC thing started rolling, Sam was out of the show completely. He no longer argued with Dean, did not demand a new definition of their relationship, and no longer ran to his room slamming the door. JP was just there on-screen, without purpose of definition of a character.

I feel both Sam and Dean's characters took terrible hits this season, to the point that the J2s lost their own show in S9 for the sake of Carver building an ensemble cast and setting up a different SPN landscape. I don't know what that landscape will be, but I am very, very worried about what he is doing. I am almost to the parting point with what has been done to the show and the two leads, but I will take a peek at S10 to see what he has in mind.
# Gwen 2014-06-21 20:10
Great article, Alice. I agree with you completely. I did enjoy the first half of S9 but, reading your article and remembering all the missed opportunities and the overabundance of Unconscious!Sam makes me think that a lot of my enjoyment was due to my ever growing excitement for the reveal of the angel possession and then Sam's reaction - which, I was convinced, was going to be glorious with loads of angst and Sam POV. Sigh.

I was also enjoying it because I kept on expecting the possession storyline to offer up lots of Sam POV, with Gadreel telling Dean and us what was going on in Sam's heart and mind. The whole possession storyline, and indeed the MOC storyline, could have been goldmines for Sam POV and emotional development.

My primal screaming - because I have most certainly been primal screaming too - started in the second half of the season when Sam's POV went on its long holiday and when the writing for Sam was so unsympathetic and cryptic that it lead to Sam being blamed for things despite the fact that he was the victim (according to Jared at one Con - Chicago maybe? - there was a crying Sam scene in one of the episodes after the reveal but unfortunately we never got to see that) and when Sam was removed from the story. So I'll leave my much longer rant for your Part 2 article, Alice.

I just think most of the current writers do not know how to write for Sam.

Completely agree. The writers really shouldn't rely on Jared's beautifully expressive eyes to convey Sam's feelings/reacti ons, Sam should be allowed to speak. Returning guest characters had episodes devoted to them so why couldn't Sam? In my ideal world Carver would write all episodes because he at least tries to get inside Sam's head, or Sera Gamble and Ben Edlund would return.
# E 2014-06-21 21:30
Dear, Dear Alice, Thank you so much for this in depth look and bringing the travesty of writing fails to the fore front. I've been waiting for this article. Thank you so much for your insight; I couldn't agree more with your assessment. I am looking forward to how you viewed the second half of the season.

I find Sam’s inner argument interesting, considering this is a complete 180 from “Trial and Error.”
I find it interesting that absolutely no attempt was made to show how he got from "I want to complete the trials and live" to "Make sure I can't come back." It's a pretty big turn around in Sam's thinking; so how did he get there? Who knows? Suddenly he's just willing to die, no explanation. A single line could have taken care of this problem had anyone decided to take the time to work it out. But that's been the problem lately; no one seems to care about anything Sam does or thinks so nothing is explained beyond how it affects the other characters and then those characters spend time talking about how it affects them; as a matter of fact, Dean got to have a nice moment with Tracy about Sam's participation in letting Lucifer out of the cage, but no one bothered to let that moment be about Sam.

It’s all better though when they have that awkward exchange at the end (“You okay?” “Yeah, you?” “More or less, yeah,” “Good.”) and I had to make sure I was watching this show called “Supernatural.” That’s emotional writing? That means everything is okay? It ended up being pointless filler that could have gone toward the rest of the plot.
This has been happening a lot lately; a trite, nonspecific, meaningless exchange takes place between the brothers instead of a meaningful conversation or any real plot development. You can add this stupid bit of dialog in with "These trials? They're purifying me" and "I'm proud of us" as meaningless tripe disguised at some kind of character or story resolution. "These trials, they're purifying me" is a sad one line resolution to the issue of Sam's blood, a foundation plot point that basically set the entire series in motion, was summed up in one line and never addressed again; and "I'm proud of us," an absolutely ridiculous resolution to two years of brother conflict that solved absolutely nothing between them. And by two of the shows best writers too; more's the pity.

This is where I wonder, has Sam really been pondering all this time what could be wrong with him and we just haven’t been seeing it come out in the episodes? It this just a case of lazy writing glossing this stuff over and letting the fan believe this is happening?
Good question. This is Supernatural's new - 'it must have been happening off stage because it finally got mentioned one time, but they aren't' going to bother to show it to the audience,' type of charter development that we've been seeing in Sam a lot lately. You can add this moment to the "I'm the one whose having the nightmares" moment at the end of the season where one line of dialogue is supposed to represent character insight. So, I guess Sam HAD been pondering what was wrong with him in the first half of the season, and later in I guess he HAD been suffering the effects of the possession; too bad no one bothered to show us any of it.

Could it be that Sam sees what Dean did was a violation of their brotherly declaration at the church in “Sacrifice?” Is this Sam disapproving of Dean essentially “figuring something out” because it led to others dying? Or is Sam just being an unreasonable, selfish ass? (I think the answer is no, but some think that way).
All these questions really get to the heart of the problem IMO. Sam POV or the lack thereof. What exactly was Sam so upset about (I am NOT saying he had no right to be upset; on the contrary, I am on Sam's side in this) but the crux of the issue for Sam, an issue big enough for him to allow Dean to go off on his own, was never really outlined properly.What was it that Sam was so angry about? Was it because Kevin died? Was it because Dean lied and tricked him? Was it because Dean went back on the declaration that he made in Sacrifice a mere few hours after having stated it? Was it because he took away Sam's free will? All of these would make sense to me… all of these are good reasons to be upset, but none of them were ever developed so the possession ends up being about Sam being mad with seemingly no reason and Dean being upset because Sam's mad. It's pretty hard to find sympathy for some one you can't understand. This whole season has done a real disservice to Sam as a character and to Jared as an actor.
# nappi815 2014-06-21 22:44
"I find Sam’s inner argument interesting, considering this is a complete 180 from “Trial and Error.” "

the way i understood trial and error, sam wanted to do the trials for dean because sam believed that dean saw it simply as a suicide mission. dean saw his life pretty much ending bloody. sam, given that he had actually got to experience normal for the first time, new there was more to life than hunting and that life didn't have to end bloody. but mostly i think sam did the trials to atone to his brother. he would take on this burden, he would give dean the world he desires. sam would avenge the loss of their family and friends. sam didn't know he would die if he took on the trials, but i doubt it would've changed anything had he known.
sam told dean in remember the titans that he was naïve to think he could walk away from the trials unscathed. sam was sick. he knew something was very wrong. he started to recognize and understand that he may not come out of this alive. as ea. episode passed, sam realized more and more that he was weakening. he didn't say it, but i really don't think as we got closer to the end of the season, sam was oblivious to the fact that he could die. as a matter of fact, in sacrifice, his response to dean saying he would die if he finished the trials wasn't one of shock at all...he simply said..."so".
in itiglih sam didn't choose to die. it wasn't a case of sam do you want to live or die, i'll let you decide and then he opted for checking out. sam has always been realistic. he's always been logical. there was that part of him that wanted to fight to live, but the realist in sam also knew that there was no way out of this for him, his death was inevitable. he asked dean how. he asked for a solution, but there wasn't one. sam did the one thing that i would expect from sam, he accepted his fate with dignity. he didn't do as bobby did and run from his reaper. he instead accepted it was his time and decided if he was going out he was going out on his terms. he wasn't going to let himself be brought back and it's understandable, as he's been brought back before and people he loved died. sam thinking of others before he thinks of himself is not uncommon or unexpected. i truly don't think that sam's acceptance of his death negates anything that he said in trial and error...much time had passed since then and circumstances had changed for sam since then as well.

i don't agree that there was lack of emotion on sam's part. at first sam is feeling fine, he's even happy. he finally believes that he has the one thing he's always wanted, his brother's trust. sam smiles like this :). it's just a shame that dean knew that sam wouldn't be feeling this way for long. as we get further along sam is beginning to wonder about things but not enough to suspect dean of anything. he accepts dean at his word and at this point there is no reason for sam to believe dean is up to something. sam then begins to start showing how scared he is. he's beginning to unravel and believe that there's something wrong with. then we have sam learning the truth. sam shows anger, hurt, pain and conflict all at once. i have to say that i think show did tell us what it was that sam was so angry about. he told dean he couldn't trust him. he couldn't trust him because dean had been lying. he told ed in thinman to fess up because lies ruin relationships. i think sam made it pretty clear that he was upset with dean for all the lies. sam's anger is exacerbated even more by kevin's death, whom he bears the weight of a tremendous burden of guilt. dean declaring "kevin's death is on me" isn't going to fix or erase sam's feeling of responsibility. it was his hands that lay on kevin's head and burned the life out of him. this is the memory sam carries and has nightmares about. a memory in which sam would never have to bear had dean not lied to him in the first place. this is why i cannot agree that sam had lacked emotion. he wreaked of conflict for the entire second half of the season. he knows what his brother did was out of love, and yet what his brother did hurt others at the expense of sam yet again. there's never a moment when sam isn't at his brother's side, showing us and dean through his actions how much sam loves his brother. there's anger and frustration flowing through sam too. dean's unwillingness to admit that what he did was wrong, his declaration that he would do it all the same, even knowing kevin would die at sam's hands...his disregard of how sam is feeling and his self centered view of how he thinks things should be no matter the consequences to others. so we see sam angry. we hear him tell dean that they are broken, he can't trust him and if he wants to be brothers....sam is angry again in the purge when dean declares he did the right thing and he'd do it the same, we can feel sam's frustration when he tells dean that he wouldn't save him the same way in the same circumstances.. .we can see his doubt in his brother when he declares that his brother doesn't save sam for sam, he does it because he doesn't want to be alone...after all, in the church dean had promised that no one came first and yet dean chose to trust in an angel he didn't know over his brother who he lied to over and over. what is the upside in me being alive? sam asks...sam reverts back to his feeling of unworthiness and doesn't believe that dean had truly meant what he said in the church, that he said it simply so sam would stop the trials...sam's inner monster feeding off of dean's. sam is right. dean doesn't want to be alone. he does need sam in his life. he does go to the extreme to keep him in it. he regretfully will accept consequences that come as a result, even ones as horrible as someone he cares about getting killed in the crossfire. dean will just bear the burden, but sam will be alive. but as long as sam is alive, dean will be able to bear the burden. sam is the best part of who dean is, he's his strength and his goodness. without sam he becomes what he became in purgatory...the killer he always feared himself to be. so yes, sam is right when he tells dean he saved him for him. but dean also loves his brother. he sees sam as valuable to not only himself, but the world. this is what sam's monster is preventing him from seeing, that his brother loves him and trusts him and saves sam for sam as well.

it was always very obvious to me how conflicted and angry sam was. he spent the entire second half of the season fighting. he was fighting against the anger and pain and he was fighting to save his relationship with his brother. not easy, but he did it. i found sam to be very impressive this season and i thought jared did an amazing job...from playing two different characters, to finding out the truth, to finding a way to try to balance his anger and pain with his love for his brother. as death proclaimed...." well played". ;)
# anonymousN 2014-06-22 13:42
Well E, again I agree with each and every word.*standing ovation.*
# njspnfan 2014-06-22 11:54
Great article, Alice; agree with just about everything except your problem with Sam's willingness to die in 9.01. I didn't view this as a complete 180 from "Trial and Error". At the end of "Remember The Titans", Sam also told Dean that maybe he was being naive thinking he could come out of the trials unscathed. So even at that point the practical side of Sam was starting to realize that this trial thing wasn't going to be all hugs and puppies.

In 9.01, when Sam was talking to the part of him that wanted to live (Dean) and the part of him that was willing to accept death (Bobby), Sam was finally coming to terms with the fact that yes, he's done a lot of bad crap in his life, but has also done a lot of good, too. That's a significant step forward for brothers who have spent their lives mastering the art of self-loathing. IMO, Wanting to die and coming to terms with dying are two entirely different mindsets.

Completely agree with your comments about Andrew Dabb; hoping it was just the fact that he was preoccupied with the Bloodlines pilot (in which case, what the hell?). I guess time will tell.

Noticed in the comments section that some have chosen to view your article as an attack on Sam Winchester; I did not see it in this light; the fact that fans have to spend so much time filling in the blanks about Sam Winchester does not reflect positively on the writing. Not saying everything has to be spelled out, but maybe a little more than an occasional concerned glance at his brother, or knocking him unconscious every other episode so they don't have to write something for him to say, would be useful.

As far as how to fix this in S10, I'm somewhat pessimistic. Like you said, the only writer to give any meaningful and sensible Sam POV this season is Jeremy Carver and he only writes two episodes a season. It seems that most of the writers that really knew how to write for Sam Winchester (Ben Edlund, Sera Gamble, Eric Kripke, etc.) are no longer writing for the show.
# anonymousN 2014-06-22 12:48
Great article, Alice; agree with just about everything except your problem with Sam's willingness to die in 9.01. I didn't view this as a complete 180 from "Trial and Error".
I agree.I too did not think it was a 180.I thought it was accepting the situation he was in.(which earlier he was not i.e in a situation without hope).I base this on the fact that when Dean told him there was a way he asked for what it was.Quote:
Noticed in the comments section that some have chosen to view your article as an attack on Sam Winchester; I did not see it in this light; the fact that fans have to spend so much time filling in the blanks about Sam Winchester does not reflect positively on the writing. Not saying everything has to be spelled out, but maybe a little more than an occasional concerned glance at his brother, or knocking him unconscious every other episode so they don't have to write something for him to say, would be useful.
It has become quite frustrating.Quote:
As far as how to fix this in S10, I'm somewhat pessimistic. Like you said, the only writer to give any meaningful and sensible Sam POV this season is Jeremy Carver and he only writes two episodes a season. It seems that most of the writers that really knew how to write for Sam Winchester (Ben Edlund, Sera Gamble, Eric Kripke, etc.) are no longer writing for the show.
I am pessimistic too.While in some of the earlier season endings i have been disappointed by the season but was eager for the next season I am this time dreading for how little will be shown, what scene will be cut off and how many one sentence dialogues will be there for Sam.
# Alice 2014-06-23 00:24
I accept that Sam was very worn from the trials and was ready for an end, no matter what, but that speech at the end of "Trial and Error" made such a huge impression. It seemed sad that a proud declaration like that deteriorated into someone who's so ready for the end. Remember Sam Winchester the hero, the guy who would keep fighting no matter what. He's the guy that took down Lucifer! He saved the world from the apocalypse. It's not the hero's journey Kripke envisioned. Of course, hardly any of SPN 6-9 matches Kripke's vision, so maybe I'm indeed spitballing.
# nappi815 2014-06-23 07:38
sam is a hero and will always be. but sometimes it's important to remember that he's a human as well...even humans, with all the fight in the world, cannot beat death. i think the very fact that sam accepted a fate he obviously couldn't escape with such dignity and on his own terms is the true definition of what a hero the end, he was thinking of others...that's a hero.

as for his never give up attiude:...that boy has been doing nothing but fighting to save his relationship with his brother for the past year now. hell for the last two years. never give up....sam is the only one who's never given up....especiall y on his brother...hell the only one who hasn't given up on dean is sam.

the writing may be crappy at times and sam may not get to say as much as we'd like....but there hasn't been a single moment in 10 years that sam Winchester has not been a hero....
# Sharon 2014-06-23 08:01
Sam wanting to die was never the issue for me. What the issue was is that right was taken from him that I feel they crossed a line at the begining of the season in how Sam should be treated and what is acceptable and nobody took any responsibility for it not Jeremy or any of the writers. It was treated as a means to a end so we ended up with Demon Dean at the end of the season .
# lala2 2014-06-24 10:40
# lala2 2014-06-24 10:44
# lala2 2014-06-24 10:44
I honestly think it was simply a matter of accepting the inevitable. Sam's internal organs had been burned and he was going to die. Nothing short of a miracle was going to prevent his death. Sam understood that. He didn't want to die but he accepted he would die. To me, those are two different things. I never had a problem w/Sam's change in attitude re: the trials. Once he started them, he realized he may not survive them.

I agree w/everything else you wrote about Sam. His characterizatio n was awful this past season.
# E 2014-06-24 11:27
Hey lala2, glad to see you back!

His characterization was awful this past season.

I agree with you. It was simply awful. I know that Sam "internalizes" and tends to "hold his emotions close to the vest" and all that other tripe that the writers say as an excuse to not write Sam's feelings or thoughts, or lately even allow him to speak in complete sentences. But this year, they had a perfect out to that problem in the form of Gadreel. The angel even said that he knew everything that Sam knew (and talk about a violation! Geez.) but still, I figured with a declaration like "I know everything he knows" that if we couldn't get information about Sam from Sam himself that maybe Gadreel would end up spilling the beans from time to time; it's not an ideal way to find out about someone, but in the absence of any other information, I'd have been happy to get it. But NO! Even though he said it, we learned absolutely nothing about Sam at all, nothing. And even knowing that he could probably ask Gadreel ANYTHING he wanted to about Sam and get a straight answer, Dean showed NO interest in learning anything about his brother, and never even bothered to ask. This is the kind of thing that makes me bat shit crazy. Basically the writers hinted that they had a way to let us know all about Sam Winchester, all of his deepest and most initiate thoughts and feelings, and then didn't follow through with it at all. So.Incredibly.F rustrating.
# anonymousN 2014-06-24 13:33
His characterization was awful this past season.
Hi,good to see you.I agree and I would like to add that it was the worst in all these 9 seasons:(
# lala2 2014-06-24 16:00
Hi AnonymousN and E :)

It is good to hear from you both. I found this entire season to be very disappointing. It ranks as the worst season of Supernatural to me . . . . even worse than 8, and I hated S8. I have been extremely disappointed with Supernatural since Carver took over as showrunner. As you both know, I hated S8, esp. that OOC nonsense w/Sam not looking for Dean. It got a bit better when the trials started, but Sacrifice was just okay, IMO, esp. when compared to finales from prior seasons.

This year was just awful for Sam. Honestly, if Sam had been removed from the entire season, nothing would change. He was completely unnecessary. At least when Sam got the mytharc, Dean got a healthy and substantive POV. We didn't even get that w/Sam. He got minimal, vague POV that was ultimately changed by season's end.

As I said, I had no problem w/Sam accepting his inevitable death in the premiere. To me, that was fine. I didn't find that problematic or OOC. All the problems for Sam came after the premiere. I enjoyed the Gadreel possession (esp. JP's portrayal), but we weren't given enough Sam POV during it. As usual, I think Sam mentioned something about losing time in the last few minutes of the episode before the mid-season break. Up until that point, the audience had no idea that Sam thought anything was wrong b/c Sam was never allowed to voice any concerns. Yes, he asked Dean about Zeke, and he may have questioned what happened when he was passed out for the 1000th time, but the story never built up over time. I'm not sure why these writers don't want to build up a story. The same thing happened w/Sam's hallucinations. They occurred in the background (though they were 24/7 and Sam surely would have been more obviously affected by them) until the writers were ready to end that arc. That's what happened this year w/the possession. Sam was completely clueless and unquestioning (which is against his character) until the writers were ready to end the arc. I think it would have been much more interesting for the audience and would have built up more tension btw the brothers if we saw earlier that Sam was aware of losing time, if we saw him worried about his health, or if we saw Sam questioning things he would normally question such as his throat being slashed one minute and completely healed the next?!?!?! They didn't even have Sam remark on that IIRC. That's beyond ridiculous. It's really getting to the point where one only needs to watch 5 episodes to keep up w/the season: the premiere, the episode before the mid-break, the mid-break, the episode after the mid-break, and the finale. Did anything really significant happen in those other episodes this year? Not that I can recall.

I, foolishly, thought we'd get a good follow-up to Sam's possession, but all we got was The Purge and that werewolf conversation. Now, my opinion made me very unpopular w/those who favor Sam, but as a true bi-bro fan, I hated . . . . absolutely HATED his speeches. I thought they were poorly written but also needlessly cruel but strangely vague. I never had a problem w/Sam's anger. I just had a problem w/the horrible way in which the writers allowed Sam to express that anger. His larger point could have been made in a much more articulate way but that wasn't the point. Sam's speeches don't matter b/c by the end of the season, they meant nothing. Every single thing that Sam said or did was solely done to further Dean's arc, which did a huge disservice to Sam.

Sam actually called Gadreel a "friend." Gadreeel went from "psycho angel" to "friend," and we weren't treated to that journey w/Sam. Sam hated the possession, but then later referred to it as shared housing. Sam remembered NOTHING of the possession but can suddenly attest to Gadreel's character and vouch for him being a good, but misunderstood guy. Huh? Really?! How in the world could Sam tell Cas that Gadreel is a good guy when he never met Gadreel and had NO MEMORY of being possessed?!?!?! ? Is there anyone keeping track of the main story? Guess not.

What I also hated was Sam's complete and utter uselessness by the end of the season. Since the writers flat out refuse to write the show from his eyes, he was literally wallpaper at the end of the season. I know some who favor Dean will argue Dean has been wallpaper for seasons, but at least Dean gets to fight for Sam, help Sam, talk to others about Sam, be present in the freakin' show! Jared doesn't even get that. He didn't research the MoC. He didn't talk to Cas or Crowley about. He didn't search out Cain. He didn't confront Dean about it. He didn't help Dean in any way. They even cut out the best Sam reaction to Dean's death. We got shortchanged on everything. Sam may as well not have been in the second half of the season.

And can I say that Bad Boys will go down - for me - as the WORST episode of Supernatural I have ever had the misfortune of watching. Even Bitten and that cop show pilot episode weren't as bad b/c they didn't completely annihilate EIGHT years of characterizatio n for Dean or turn Sam into a freakin' moron! Ugh! I HATE that episode w/a passion!!! Am I really supposed to believe that 12-year old Sam was playing w/an airplane out of a window like a moron AND didn't read the HUGE sign right outside the boys home to know Dean was in a boys home?!?!?!!?!? Who wrote this crap? Had they never seen AVSC where an 8-yr old Sam displayed more depth and maturity than their 12-yr old version. And I know this isn't a Dean article, but by 16, Dean had committed to hunting! A 16-yr old Dean would have been worried about his dad and brother, not dreaming about prom dates. And am I really supposed to believe that Dean got his first kiss at 16?!?!?! Really!?!?!?! Argh . . . . . .

Sorry for the long rant and then the mini-BB rant. I know rants are not much appreciated around these parts but I was utterly disappointed w/the season and Sam, in particular. I have no faith in Carver and no desire for next season as I expect to see much of the same: OOC, pointless brother angst/tension, guest stars galore, etc.
# E 2014-06-24 17:54
Completely. Totally. Agree.! Very well said. A better writer and show runner could have figured out how to get Dean to accept the MoC without stripping Sam of everything he is and ever was. A better writer and show runner could have constructed a story line for Dean involving the MoC without cannibalizing Sam's past and giving all of it to Dean. He's essentially been a non-character for two years now. What he does and what he thinks are irrelevant, it's only important that his actions hurt and alienate Dean, which he's done quite thoroughly for two seasons now. The writers have sloppily resolved all of Sam's issues so that they don't have to be bothered with them anymore. Can't have a silly and unnecessary Sam distraction while we shift the totality of the focus onto Dean and his becoming a demon now can we? All of Sam's past issues are now Deans, leaving Sam with nothing. Sam's wanting normal? (the primary character trait that began the entire series?) Nope, Dean has that now as seen in Bad Boys. Dean's wanted normal for longer than Sam apparently, despite the fact that absolutely no episode ever in the history of the show took that stance until Bad Boys, thus negating Dean's willingness, eagerness and enjoyment of the hunt that was originally one of Dean's essential character traits and a key component of the initial conflict between the brothers. Sam's daddy issues? Nope, those were resolved years ago in season 5; all the daddy issues are Dean's now as evidenced in season 9's Bad Boys. The demon blood? (also a core canon component of Sam's)? That was supposedly resolved at the end of season 8, summed up in 1 line; "these trials are purifying me" the results of which have never been addressed since. Blood addiction, nope Sam's free of the addiction and now it's Cas who's addicted to the power of souls, Crowley who's addicted to human blood and Dean who's addicted to the power for the blade. Season 2's "You have to save him or kill him?" well, that never ended up going anywhere for Sam either; the special children and powers story lines were dropped and have been resurrected in season 9 for Dean; it goes without saying that Dean will have to be saved or killed. Season 3's plot to have Sam turn dark side to save Dean from hell? Nope, never got off the ground due to the shortened season and the writers strike, only to be resurrected in season 9 and turned into a huge plot for Dean as well. Can't have a plot for Sam remain a plot for Sam when we can give it to Dean.

Sam has no point in the show any more. He has no issues that plague him and affect his behavior. He doesn't research or solve cases. His moral compass has been shown repeatedly to be wrong by the other characters in the show so he can't "keep everyone human" as he's done in the past as evidenced by Dean being a demon. He doesn't talk to Dean or argue with him any more. He's not as good of a hunter as Dean, (as evidenced by the 37-14 knock out ratio in seasons 6-9). He can't save Dean as evidenced by his multiple failures over the years culminating in this year's fail; sucker punched like a rookie. So why is Sam around any more? What's his function on this show? What does he want? How does he see himself? What does he expect his future will be? Who is he? He's been rendered mute, erased. Sam Winchester has disappeared.
# percysowner 2014-06-24 19:20
I agree with all of this. The only quibble would be that Sam's problems weren't resolved, because that would have involved Sam dealing with them. His problems were just disappeared, they vanished in a puff of smoke. Then, as you said, they were given to Dean. I really don't mind Dean getting the mytharc. It's an interesting way to go. I just wanted Sam to get the POV that Dean has had all these years. I was always afraid that if Dean got a mytharc, Sam would get nothing and lo and behold, I was right. I hope they will finally allow Sam to express actual emotions that are about him and not just to make us think Dean is a woobie, but I'm betting that yet again, I will have to deduce what Sam is feeling based on Jared's acting and what makes sense to me, with no textual support.
# Sharon 2014-06-25 11:03
Sadly this is so true. I just see Sam fizzling out while his sl's are past around like free gifts at a party . I just think of all the crap he got for having the mytharc and all the things he started out with and now it is like it has all gone .Like Percysowner I have always been concerned about what would happen if Dean got the mytharc because Sam was so reliant on that role and because he was not given the pov and the narrative. And I did not believe they would give him that role regardless of whether Dean had the mytharc or not .
# st50 2014-06-24 18:15
So nice to see you here, lala2.
And thanks for the rant.
I find I agree with much of what you, percy and E have posted lately.
# lala2 2014-06-25 21:31
Thanks, st50 :)

And I'm glad you enjoyed the rant!
# E 2014-06-25 22:03
L.O.V.E a good rant!
# anonymousN 2014-06-25 13:58
And can I say that Bad Boys will go down - for me - as the WORST episode of Supernatural I have ever had the misfortune of watching. Even Bitten and that cop show pilot episode weren't as bad b/c they didn't completely annihilate EIGHT years of characterization
Thank god someone has the same issues I had with that episode.Personally for me too it was the worst episode.Quote:
Sam's speeches don't matter b/c by the end of the season, they meant nothing.
While you hated Sam's speeches i did not but as you said it does not matter.Quote:
Sam actually called Gadreel a "friend." Gadreeel went from "psycho angel" to "friend," and we weren't treated to that journey w/Sam.
i too found it horrible.accord ing to the writers Sam was too close to the issue and somehow he became Sam's friend ...that was a chasm not a blank spot to be filled.
# lala2 2014-06-25 21:49
Thank god someone has the same issues I had with that episode.Personally for me too it was the worst episode.
Oh, yes! You are not alone! I hated, HATED Bad Boys. After it aired, I ranted about it over on and I thought it was bloody awful.

While you hated Sam's speeches i did not but as you said it does not matter.
Yeah, I just thought they could have written the speeches in a way where Sam didn't come off as so cruel, esp. since Sam was the victim. They just went for OTT like w/Dean and that Penny episode speech in S8. As a bi-bro fan, I like the boys together. I don't mind when they fight, but lately, the writers have them fighting solely for the sake of fighting. It all feels so contrived and forced.

i too found it horrible.according to the writers Sam was too close to the issue and somehow he became Sam's friend ...that was a chasm not a blank spot to be filled.
Is that their explanation for - yet again - not writing a story??!?!? If they want to say, Sam got to know Gadreel or Sam changed his feelings about Gadreel, that's fine. Just tell that story! Write dialogue or scenes to show that happening. You don't have Sam suddenly say Gadreel was misunderstood w/no build up to Sam having that thought. It reminds me of the time when Cas called Sam his "friend" in S5. I remember a bunch of us saying, "Hey . . . when did that happen?" That is such lazy, bad writing IMO.
# E 2014-06-25 11:21
Like you said, the only writer to give any meaningful and sensible Sam POV this season is Jeremy Carver and he only writes two episodes a season. It seems that most of the writers that really knew how to write for Sam Winchester (Ben Edlund, Sera Gamble, Eric Kripke, etc.) are no longer writing for the show.
At the risk of coming across as hypercritical (probably too late) I am not sure I'd put Jeremy Carver into the crowd of writers who "know how to write for Sam," at least not any more. Since taking over as show runner in season 8, has JC REALLY shown that he knows how to write for Sam? IMHO, I don't think he has. He's given us one small scene in Sacrifice where, as is the norm for Sam now, he was not allowed to complete a sentence "Do you have any idea how it feels to watch your brother……" AND??!!!? Finish your thought Sam! But, no, then Dean gets to spout off a bunch of crap about Sam being "first" with him and then giving lie to that statement a mere few hours later by having Sam possessed because that's what was best for Dean. And in season 9? The "insight" into Sam was one line about nightmares. That's hardly writing for Sam IMO, but maybe it came across that way because it was more than we'd gotten all season. I guess a crumb is worth something when you are starving to death. I don't feel that JC has 'written for Sam' since season 3 when he penned the marvelous AVSNC and Mystery Spot, the last truly Samcentric episodes written by him. I think he has it in him, but I don't think we've been seeing it lately.
# lala2 2014-06-25 21:30
I couldn't agree more w/you, E. Carver, IMO, has no idea how to write Sam. In fact, it seems he has no idea what to do w/this show. I will never get past his decision to have Sam not look for Dean. That had to be the most OOC thing ever written for Sam. Anyway, I'll leave it at that but I wholeheartedly agree w/your post about Carver!
# E 2014-06-25 22:57
Thanks! :P I agree with you about the "not looking" fiasco; loathed that whole arc. I commented here long and loud (and often! :) about how awful it was, how OOC, how un-Samlike and wondered why they could even think about going in that direction; and boy was I surprised (and not in a good way) when I found out! I was even more convinced there was trouble brewing after listening to Jared try and make some kind of sense out of it in season 8 interviews. Its the first time I've ever seen him look so uncomfortable and like he wasn't buying into his own spiel. Jared is always so verbose, open, natural and personable in interviews, but watching him talk about the plot for season 8, how stilted and rehearsed it seemed, sent up red flags for me; although the full brunt of it didn't occur to me until part way thru season 9. Over time I came to terms (sort of) with the dreaded "not looking" and even managed to let it go as season 8 progressed, and actually enjoyed the trials and the start of season 9 with the possession. My long held suspicions were confirmed though, when Sam's possession went nowhere and showed us nothing what so ever about Sam, because the sole focus was only on how Sam's possession affected Dean.

Then….then (shakes finger), when we got to the episode Road Trip. That's when I realized…. that's when it dawned on me and when all my suspicions and concerns that had been brewing since those interviews with Jared at the start of season 8..... that the whole of season 8, the trials and the wretched 'not looking' plot and all of season 9 to that point, the possession and the expulsion of Gadreel, weren't about Sam at all, it was all about Dean and the MoC. So, Sam's decision to not look for Dean didn't have to make sense for Sam, because it was only about motivating Dean. Sam's doing the trials wasn't about Sam either, it was about making Dean desperate enough to do something awful so that Sam could get mad and say mean things, remove his support and trust, thus pushing Dean into taking the Mark. That's why we haven't seen Sam suffer any repercussions from his possession, because how it affected Sam doesn't matter, it only mattered in how it affected Dean, to get him into the headspace needed to have him take on the Mark. Nothing Sam has done since Carver has taken over has in any way been about Sam; he's had no story, he's had no character development, he's just there to dress the set and create something for others to react to. How HE feels, what HE thinks is irrelevant because none of his story lines were actually about him. Everything we've known about him, his character traits, likes, dislikes, strengths, weakness, his core values and his essential issues have vanished because, when it comes to Dean and the MoC, Castiel and the Angel War, Crowley and the Hell War or even Kevin and the tablets, Garth and his were-wolfishnes s, Charlie and her adventures, Jody and her grief….none of Sam is relevant to whats going on in the overall plots. He is uninvolved in any of it. His job is to antagonize Dean in a myriad of ways, by not looking, by being vulnerable or sick or hurt, for being at death's door, for withholding his trust and love. I am so pissed off I can hardly stand it. This is JC's big three year arc that we've heard so much about? Grrr.

And I agree with you about Bad Boys. As I was watching the episode my first thought was "wait a minute, Dean was always about being FOR the hunt. He LIKES hunting and couldn't understand why Sam didn't like it or didn't want to participate in the Family Business." It was one of Dean's core personality traits all through the early seasons, and actually contributed to a huge amount of the friction between Sam and Dean in the early years. So, was Dean lying all that time? Being a hypocrite? It doesn't make any sense! Bad Boys rewrote canon in the worst possible way; this is a great example of how NOT to do a retcon. Now, I could certainly understand Dean growing weary of the hunt as time went on and as they continued to suffer terrible losses, but the episode contradicted a core element of the shows foundation and dismissed a huge part of who Dean was when we first met him. URG! It also brings up the issue of Dean's refusal to support Sam's going to college. If we are to accept the "I want normal" Dean we saw in Bad Boys, then why?????!??!? a mere handful of years later did Dean turn on Sam for WANTING THE EXACT SAME THING? Basically telling him that he ran away and betrayed the family because he dared to want to go to college, to NOT hunt, to want normal, safe!?!?!?? Is this a case of "If I can't have it, you can't have it either?" That seems pretty petty even for Dean. Ugh just awful, awful careless writing that makes all of the characters look bad; especially Dean when I think that the intention of the episode was to make Dean look sympathetic, which he didn't, not to me anyway. So they need to try a little harder then.
# njspnfan 2014-06-26 07:30
E - I disagree but think we're talking about two different things. Writing for Sam, and writing a "Sam-centric" episode are two separate things. I still think the writing for Sam was markedly better in the first and last episodes of the season.
# anonymousN 2014-06-22 12:59
I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here)Quote:
“What about seeing that light at the end of the tunnel?”
He was at the end of the tunnel and was seeing a light but not what he had expected.
Devil May Care)did not have any problem with how Sam acted with respect to Tracy.
I’m No Angel)Sam far as Sam goes episode was a waste.
Slumber Party)I only remember dumbing down of Sam.
Dog Dean Afternoon)GAAAAAHHHHHHH Joining you in your primal screaming.
Heaven Can’t Wait)Agree with whatever you have written
Bad BoysThis episode for me was a waste of space.I learnt nothing new.A failed try by TPTB to manipulate my views regarding Dean.
Rock and a Hard PlaceOne scene that mattered that's it.
“Holy Terror” and “Road Trip” As we say in India bakwaas (rubbish).This is because this was their last chance to have more Sam pov but yeah they gave only “But don’t go thinking that’s the problem, ‘cause it’s not.”

What he’s not truly absorbing at this moment is its burning Dean too.
And Sam should absorb this because? it is pretty unrealistic to expect Sam to have to make nice, you have to also consider Sam was fresh out from getting his brain nailed with.It did not look any fun there.At that moment I wanted Sam to just vanish and go to some place where even Dean's shadow does not fall on him.I had zero sympathy regarding Dean at that time and I am in 100% agreement with Sam there.
# anonymousN 2014-06-22 13:21
just wanted too add If there were no accompanying pics I would have not believed about Sam unconscious so many times.
# njspnfan 2014-06-22 13:29
I just finished something on this and will be posting it to the SuperWiki this week :) - For those keeping count of such things, the "KO Count" over the course of the series: Sam 61, Dean 35.
# anonymousN 2014-06-22 13:33
After season 5 it is so skewed. (season 3 was half a season so it gets a pass.)
# njspnfan 2014-06-22 13:50
yep... for s6-s9, the count is Sam - 37, Dean - 14.
# Alice 2014-06-23 00:19
Just Wow. What a crazy rut! There has to be better ways to move story then knocking the characters unconscious! I think even football players get a huge concern after 3 times.

I'm really trying to not be pessimistic about season ten. I keep hoping that Kripke will be around a bit more and will offer input. Or just that they should start reading the critical comments from bloggers and entertainments writers (we all see that something is wrong) and try to do better. These missteps in writing are so obvious! That's the trouble with a mature show though (it happened with Smallville too). Lack of quality doesn't matter when you have a bunch of loyal fans that won't go down with the ship. We've put in too much time and energy.
# E 2014-06-23 11:05
I'd like to see a count of how many times Sam has awkwardly excused himself out of a scene vs. the number of times that Dean has. I'll bet there's a striking difference there too.
# njspnfan 2014-06-28 10:19
I'm working on that for the Wiki, too :)
# cheryl42 2014-06-22 13:36
Of course surviving concussions goes with the magic scar healing cream ;)
# nappi815 2014-06-22 16:16
i got the feeling that the reason sam got knocked out a lot was because he's still very sick. sam getting knocked out signified both that gad was keeping at his word, not taking over sam, but simply residing in him, doing what he promised to do which is heal sam, and also to remind us that sam is still hurt and still needs gad's help. in dog dean afternoon, sam was out for awhile, i wonder if that was to scare dean enough so that when dean starts leaning towards telling sam the truth, dean will believe gad when he tells dean that sam's not ready yet.

of course then there were those couple of instances where dean needed gad to save cas and Charlie. it doesn't really bother me much because sam is very very beautiful either way....awake or asleep....and wet ...i like when sam's wet too...and in workout gear....very nice legs...;)
# percysowner 2014-06-22 19:23
I'm going to start with nitpicks here. First Sam and the missing time. Jeeze Louise! "Zeke" tells Dean he can mess with Sam's memories so Sam won't remember what happens. In Road Trip we see him create an illusion of a hunt with ghouls and cheerleaders. Why didn't he just fill Sam's memories with doing something during the time Gad was out. He obviously could create a believable scenario for Sam. Basically there was no reason for Sam TO notice missing time, if Gadreel had done his job right.

How did Sam go from "held together with scotch tape and safety pins" to Cas barely needing to heal him in like 2 days or a couple of weeks later? In Rock and a Hard Place Sam is in such bad shape that he will die if Gadreel leaves, and Vesta pretty much confirms this so it's not just Gad holding onto a nice vessel. Crowley tells Sam he may well drop dead if he evicts Gadreel. The BOOM Sam is fine, because they didn't want him to be sick anymore. It just negates the whole "we can't tell Sam arc".

I'm going to jump around on episodes here, so sorry.

Bad Boys: Not only does it not make sense that Sam didn't know Dean was in a boys home, his casual barely remembering the incident makes no sense. One of Sam's biggest motivators has been the need to be safe. When he found out the truth about what John did, he immediately jumped to being afraid that the monsters could kill John and Dean and Sam. Suddenly he was told that Dean WAS LOST ON A HUNT and he blows it off, plays with his airplane and is totally chill with the fact that he thought Dean might be being held or killed by a monster for a month? In what universe does that make any sense?

Slumber Party and Rock and a Hard Place: Okay Sam having the peen of death is a fandom joke and maybe Charlie is fangirling when she makes fun of Sam's lack of "luck with the ladies". But Dean dragged Sam out of his apartment while Jess burned on the ceiling. Dean wept when Sam shot Madison. Dean saw Sarah die in front of Sam's eyes JUST MONTHS BEFORE and Dean makes a JOKE about it? The defining tragedies of Sam's life have actually become an in universe joke?

Devil May Care and Slumber Party: Suddenly Sam is the ONLY ONE to start the Apocalypse and Dean is THE ONLY ONE to stop it. Why, oh why, did the writers do this? Dean ducks any and all responsibility. And no, I don't expect a long explanation of what happened, but a simple you don't know, a lot more people helped spring Lucifer, including me, long story tell you later would have covered so much more ground for me. And when Charlie thanks DEAN for stopping the Apocalypse? Look I don't think Sam could have regained control without Dean, but SAM was the one to regain control. Sam was the one to jump into the Cage expecting eternal torture. Sam was the one who was tortured. The the show gives any and all credit to Dean? I was appalled. BTW, I did think Sam looked shamed and hurt by Tracy's comments but mileage varies on that.

Things that worked for me that didn't work for you Alice.

I Think I'm Going to Like It Here: Sam's change from Trial and Error doesn't bother me. I've had family members who have terminal illnesses. Most of them start out determined to fight and beat them. But as they get weaker and more ill, they come to accept that it's a battle they can't win. I think Sam took the Trials because he knew they were a suicide run for Dean and he believed that he could fight his way through and live. Then they started to take their toll and by the time he was in the church he pretty well knew he was probably going to die. I took the journey in his head as happening because on some level he could feel that his body was shutting down and that it could no longer function. As for asking Death that he never be brought back, it made sense to me. He had been brought back numerous times, often mostly or because of Dean (I will always believe Cas brought him back for Dean, not for Sam) and the results gone from unmitigated disaster (Dean in Hell, Sam releasing Lucifer) to just bad (Sam and Dean get kicked out of heaven to continue to fight to not be vessels) or simply disastrous (Sam is soulless then Sam hallucinates 24/7). Sam is aware that Dean will do nutso things to bring him back and he wants to forestall that. In many ways this actually is Sam keeping to the "don't look for a way to bring us back" pact that he honored between seasons 7 and 8. At least he was more than willing to stick to it for himself.

I also have no problem with him not placating Dean's guilt or burning pain and guilt. His body had just been tortured with NEEDLES IN HIS BRAIN. He had just been possessed by an angel (and Jimmy Novack described that like being tied to a comet) and Crowley (being possessed by Crowley left Linda Tran practically catatonic). I had an emergency appendectomy a few years ago and it took 3 days before I could think of much other than the pain. The physical affect of the needles in his head should still have been slowing Sam down. So patting Dean on the head and making DEAN feel better should not have been a priority, especially since Dean was responsible for Sam's condition. Plus, as far as Dean knew, Sam could still have been on death's door. After all, Gadreel had repeatedly told him that Sam wasn't healed enough to live if Gadreel vacated his body. So Dean stomps off into the night leaving Sam to possibly die alone. He tells Sam that Sam isn't allowed to feel guilt over Kevin. That Sam isn't allowed to be angry because Dean is "poison" so it's not Dean's ACTIONS that can be criticized, but Dean is damaged. Well, I don't cut Dean any slack here. Dean was revved up and ready to go. The only thing he was going to accept was Sam telling him that he was totally 100% forgiven. In fact Dean wanted to hear there was nothing to forgive, Dean was right and good and if Sam was unhappy, well Sam had to admit he was being unreasonable. That was the line Dean held to for the rest of the season (which belongs in part 2) so I'll hold off on going further.

I didn't like Sam's seeming obliviousness, but he was being told who are you going to believe me or you lying eyes by Dean. Dean has been pulling that attitude a lot for the past seasons. You're soulless Sam, I will tell you how to behave. You need your soul back Sam even if it kills you. You can't look at what you did when you were soulless, Sam, it might kill you. You have to trust me, Sam. I'll be stone number one, Sam. I'll trust you on Amy and let her go. I didn't let her go? Well Amy had to die, you were wrong to trust her monsters always become what they are. . Benny is good how dare you doubt me? I said monsters can't be trusted? Now I say they can. Martin deserved to be killed by Benny. You thought you were a good brother, Benny was more of a brother in the last year than you have ever been. All those digs I made at you for letting me down after I came back from Purgatory? How could you even DREAM that I meant them? You didn't hear them right. You got confused. A lot of the prior seasons was Dean shaping Sam's actions to fit how Dean viewed them. Amelia was just a girl. Sam abandoned him. Eating organic food (after knowing the food supply was tainted by additives made by the Leviathan no less) meant people were dying because you took the time to shop organic, SAM. Sam had pretty much adopted the views Dean had been pushing since he got his soul back. He had come to rely on Dean's interpretation of the world. In some cases Dean was honest and protecting Sam, in others, not so much. But Sam was taught that Dean knows what's right, Sam doesn't. So buying Dean's excuses is understandable, especially since Gadreel could mess with his memories.

I am looking forward to part 2.
# E 2014-06-23 11:16
You're soulless Sam, I will tell you how to behave. You need your soul back Sam even if it kills you. You can't look at what you did when you were soulless, Sam, it might kill you. You have to trust me, Sam. I'll be stone number one, Sam. I'll trust you on Amy and let her go. I didn't let her go? Well Amy had to die, you were wrong to trust her monsters always become what they are. . Benny is good how dare you doubt me? I said monsters can't be trusted? Now I say they can. Martin deserved to be killed by Benny. You thought you were a good brother, Benny was more of a brother in the last year than you have ever been. All those digs I made at you for letting me down after I came back from Purgatory? How could you even DREAM that I meant them? You didn't hear them right. You got confused.
WOW, this is just….. pretty spot on. It's quite compelling when seen in a list like this.
# Jo1027 2014-06-22 20:21
percysowner Amen to everything you've said. You've stated my feelings exactly. I agree that Dean wanted Sam to absolve him but he certainly didn't deserve it for what he did to Sam. Sam has a right to his feelings but the writers don't ever seem to feel that they need to address them. I really disliked most of season nine after Sam pushed Gad out but that's in part 2.
Taken as a whole for me season 9 was an epic fail. And I don't expect any better in season 10 given that it will be all about Dean so once again we won't see anything from Sam's POV, I expect.
# Thisoldbag 2014-06-23 16:31
I'm adding this to my snX wish list NO MORE DINGS! Just stop it!

Loving all the comments here. I do not agree that Sam wanted to die, I think he was willing to take that path as the last resort, but then he immediately said "yes" to Dean when he said he had a plan. Proof he wanted to live as he didn't even ask about the plan , just "what do I do?".

Thanks for the great read Alice and great comments esp from perseysowner & nappi.
# Cat 2014-06-24 10:32
Thank you for your analysis, Alice. I understand your frustration, even if I have a different take on things. In my opinion, Sam’s “light at the end of the tunnel” speech in “Trial and Error” wasn’t inconsistent with his attitude in “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here”. In “Trial and Error”, his desire to do the Trials and live was wishful thinking. He didn’t have a clear idea of what the Trials would entail, and was clinging to the vague hope of a more peaceful life for himself and Dean. By “Remember The Titans”, Sam had started to suspect that he really could die completing the Trials, whether he wanted to or not, and tried to backtrack on his earlier pronouncement. In “Sacrifice”, he decided to stop the Trials in order to live and keep fighting. To me, closing the Gates of Hell was a fantasy, which didn’t stand the test of the real sacrifices Sam and Dean would have had to make: in Dean’s case, letting his brother die, in Sam’s case, letting his brother keep fighting alone.
In “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here”, Sam learned that he was dying, and found that there were far worse things than death, like Dean selling his soul. He accepted death as a respite, but mostly as an alternative to being kept alive by a demon deal. My impression was that Sam wanted to live, but not at any cost. He was willing to die in order to avoid the collateral damage that comes with resurrection. He went along with Dean’s plan because he thought Dean had found a third option.
I didn’t see Sam shrugging Tracy off in “Devil May Care”. I fact, he seemed rather struck by her comment. I took the conversation at the end to mean that Sam accepted responsibility for his past mistakes, but didn’t dwell on them. He was able to be happy with his life as it was instead of focusing on either the past or the future. A moment I found interesting was “Zeke” telling Dean that Sam knew Dean had acted out of love. I don’t think that knowledge and Sam’s gratitude in “Bad Boys” were erased by Sam’s anger at Dean’s lies and betrayal. Love and anger aren’t mutually exclusive; one just sometimes overshadows the other.
In my opinion, Sam wasn’t so much oblivious to his strange symptoms and Dean’s lies as he was afraid of what he might find out and/or unwilling to confront Dean. It took Sam months to talk about his nightmares in season 1 and three years to talk about the demon blood. While hallucinating and unable to sleep, he still acted like he had things under control. When Sam feels that something is wrong with him, he tends to put off dealing with the issue until it can’t possibly be ignored. However, I agree that the possession dragged on too long.
In “Road Trip”, I felt that Sam’s anger was due to Dean’s deception and Kevin’s death. Dean’s decision to trick Sam into getting possessed and lie about it had led to the very thing Sam was willing to die to avoid. People had been killed and Sam had been cheated out of a way to avoid it. I agree with you, Alice, about Dean’s guilt: it was through the roof. That’s why I think that Sam’s reaction had little, if anything, to do with Dean’s decision to go off on his own. No one, not even Sam, could ever judge Dean more harshly than Dean himself. If Sam had wholeheartedly forgiven him, I doubt that Dean would have accepted it. I think Sam’s journey wasn’t meant as a means to make Dean a demon: Dean became a demon because of his own self-loathing and inability to face the consequences of his mistakes. Sam lost his identity by being possessed against his will and used to commit murders, including the murder of someone who was under his protection. In “Road Trip”, Sam reclaimed ownership of his body and mind. In the second half of the season, Sam dealt with the consequences of this experience while Dean went on a downward spiral.
There were flaws in the writing for Sam this season, but I think there's potential and remain hopeful for season 10.
Thanks again for this article, Alice, and for all the work you do on this wonderful site. I’m looking forward to part 2.
# cheryl42 2014-06-24 12:00
I agree with just about everything you said...although I didn't think the possession went on too long myself. I think the reason why Sam wasn't questioning what was happening to him is because he felt it was once again "something wrong with Sam". As he said in the virgin episode (sorry to lazy to look it up) at the end "maybe it's just me, maybe I'll never be alright". Even in DDA he was thinking once again he was "wrong". Because at that point he had no reason to suspect that Dean had done something to him he just figured it was him. That was why Dean was on the verge of telling Sam, he just couldn't let Sam believe that of himself. But as we know Gadreel wasn't done and maybe didn't want to leave.
# nappi815 2014-06-24 19:11
I agree as well, but like Cheryl I didn't think the possession lasted too long.
# Prix68 2014-06-24 12:16
I agree with you Alice. Sam has been sidelined, without a point of view, for quite a while. Really since Kripke left. The thing I don't get is why so many commenters seem to blame Dean for this. Dean's character is just as much at the mercy of the writers as Sam's is. The writers have just plain lost the essence of who Sam and Dean used to be. They aren't more mature now, they're less mature. They used to talk, they used to argue things out, they used to eventually tell each other why they did what they did to gain a common ground between each other. Now the arguments are as contrived as the reasons for the arguments. It does a disservice to both characters really. These are not the characters I knew and loved. Dean is now portrayed as a psychotic killer (and this from a total Dean girl) and Sam is at best an innocent bystander, with no POV, who can't make any decisions on his own and stick with them. I dread S10 and demon Dean. I don't like where Carver is taking the show but I fear as long as ratings keep doing well, Carver will believe he is heading in the right direction. It feels like Jared and Jensen are prisoners on their own show.
# nappi815 2014-06-24 20:19
there's a lot of sam should've done this, sam didn't do that, sam isn't sympathetic enough to dean's plight, to which i really cannot agree is the case. seems to me that somewhere along the way, what sam has been through is all but forgotten. sam has been violated by the one person in the world he trusted the most. he killed kevin, who by the way, dean crucified sam last season for not trying to find him because kevin was their responsibility. so he had to live with that guilt and now he gets to live with the guilt of actually killing the kid and he was only 18, so he was a kid. and at no point has sam received any sympathy or even acknowledgement of the pain that he is actually going through...he told dean they were broken...that word alone says it all. sam made it clear to me that his world was basically shattered. at no point since sam learned the truth has dean even told sam he was sorry. sam is getting blasted for not focusing on dean's moc? i can't seem to understand why is it that sam is demanded to focus on his brother and yet he's not allowed to focus on himself, on his pain, on his anger, on his guilt? why isn't he allowed the same consideration as dean is? why is it that sam, as a character, is supposed to follow this construct no matter what the circumstances are that his character faces? why is it that the character of sam winchester isn't allowed to act human? i mean if there had been a some kind of interaction between sam and dean regarding what happened, if he'd been given the chance to engage his brother...but dean ran. he doesn't want to face what he's done and deal with sam's anger. percyowner is right, that's the way dean has handled sam in the past. so while dean has been busy isolating himself from his brother, even before he took the mark, sam has been left to struggle with what's happened and try to understand it all on his own. he's tried to engage his brother. dean wants to bury it all, just move on. how can sam simply move on if he's not given the chance to vent? given all that sam's been through, i think he's done a pretty good job at trying to balance his inner turmoil with the love he has for his brother. and i don't find fault with sam for not being his usual self, since he's been through something i personally couldn't ever truly understand.

i happen to be among the few who are happy with s9. i don't pretend that everything is perfect, but i'm enjoying the story enough as to not be bothered by stuff that seems to bother others. i see the story being told a certain way, and i'm ok with it. here's what i don't think..i don't think the writers incapable of writing for the brothers. a lot of these writers have been with the show for some time now. carver is totally aware of the ins and outs of the Winchesters. i don't think it a coincidence that the two eps that he writes, the beginning and the end, are the eps that are most remembered as being character driven. if i were to guess, i'd say that carver wants the story told a certain way so the writers can only give us so much, this way carver can close the deal at the end of the season...he's done it twice now and i can't begrudge the man for wanting to tell the boys story the way he wants to tell it. i guess i just like the human aspect of the story. i am looking forward to s10 because i do believe that we will get the boys communicating the way we all desire them to. i do see the boys learning from all this. i do see the boys coming to understand ea. other and accept ea. other and i do see the boys finally laying to rest these issues. i may not like every aspect of the story as carver is telling it, but i understand it and i could see where he's going with it and overall i'm enjoying the hell out of it.
# E 2014-06-25 11:08
seems to me that somewhere along the way, what sam has been through is all but forgotten
Of course it's been forgotten. You can't expect a fandom to remember what a character has been through and be capable and willing to sympathize with them when it isn't addressed in any way, shape or form. Dean had Sam possessed and as far as Sam was concerned that was the end of it until Gadreel was expelled 10 episodes later. We don't know how it was for him, he don't know what he was thinking, we don't know if he was at all aware. There was no pain, no struggle, no hardship no emotional toll; and even if there was, it wasn't shown. We saw how the possession of Sam affected Dean though, in detail. We know how Sam's anger over being possessed affected Dean, in detail as well; there was lots and lots for the audience to connect with. The sympathy was for Dean in the show, therefore it's not hard at all for me to see why no one remembers the possession or how it affected Sam or why no on feels sympathy for Sam. (I mean, I do, and I know many other Sam leaning fans do too, but we've had to work hard at it, creating complex head canon so that it all makes sense and coming here to theorize and discuss, because it sure as hell wasn't on our television screens.) To the more casual observer there was nothing to connect to regarding Sam or his experiences, so, not hard to forget, not at all.
# nappi815 2014-06-25 13:37
i guess it's in how you view it. you see, i did see all the pain that sam was feeling in every eppy. i saw it in his every pained expression. i saw it through his attempts at reaching his brother. i saw it during his speeches both in the purge and sharp teeth. i saw the torment when he was locked in the room with mama tran and i saw his pain and guilt poring out of every inch of his body when he had come face to face with kevin. i saw him reach his emotional toll when he ran out of the room as kevin and his mother was leaving. i saw his pain and the conflict when he met up with ed and harry. sam not doing the things he normally would've automatically done, because he wasn't in his usual state of mind, spoke volumes to how much sam was truly suffering. so you see, we were shown all these things concerning sam, it's just a matter of whether one saw it or not. ;)
# anonymousN 2014-06-25 13:50
What I saw was Sam's image in a fogged up mirror.I saw something hazy sure like all the instances you have mentioned.It might have been because of Sam's issues or the situation he was he was in .It was ambiguous.Waite d for the writers to swipe the surface of the mirror but they never did.:(.Then when they did it was very very little too too late.
# lala2 2014-06-25 20:36
What bothers me is that everything - or almost everything - with Sam is ambiguous. With the other characters, we are flat out told how they feel, what they want, what they're thinking, etc. With Sam, it's always a mystery. It's annoying and is doing a huge disservice to his character. Why can't Sam express himself like the other characters? He had no problem doing it in earlier seasons.
# percysowner 2014-06-25 18:41
nappi As I said in an earlier comment, I go back and forth on how I feel about the writing for Sam this season. Like you, I did see Sam's pain. Jared did a great job of portraying it. I also Sam's love for Dean. The problem was that they juxtaposed this with Dean verbalizing all of his hurt and anger. Dean was very proactive about expressing his feeling. Sam was silent for the most part. To me it's like a driver (Dean) runs a red light while he's trying to get to the hospital to see a dying child and he hits someone else (Sam). In the accident Dean is really injured but nothing really life threatening. He's bloody; he's screaming in pain; his legs are obviously broken; he's telling everyone that he did what he had to in order to get his son to the hospital anyone in the situation would do the same thing. Sam should understand this. In the mean time Sam has suffered internal injuries. He's not obviously bleeding, he's not in excruciating pain so he's not screaming and making a fuss. He knows he's hurt, but he simply isn't acting out about it. To an average observer, coming onto the scene of the accident, Dean is the one who is in real need of medical attention. He's the one asking for sympathy and support. So he's the one that gets most of the attention from everyone because he's making the bigger fuss. Someone trained or very observant would notice that Sam is the actual one in need of treatment because he has all the signs of internal bleeding that could kill him.

To me this is very much how the season handled Sam and his pain and POV. We saw that he was violated. Then, as soon as Gadreel was expelled, Dean was the one who was making the fuss about his pain, his hurt and Sam was not pushing back with how being possessed against his will affected and hurt him. It was there if you looked closely, but Dean was the one out front. I know the rule is show don't tell, but at some point an audience needs some words to understand a character's POV and Sam didn't get that. The disparity was so large that one commentator here said they forgot that Dean got the Mark BEFORE Sam gave him any speeches that had hurt him. He got the Mark before The Purge and Kevin's get over it. He got the Mark when he didn't know what Sam was going to say. That's the power of having the POV expressed upfront and often.

I don't know why the writers did this. Certainly one view is that they don't know or care to write for Sam. I personally think that is part of the reason. I also think that there is a real reluctance on the part of the writers to highlight Dean's bad behavior. Maybe they learned from season four where Sam's story was played in the background and Sam ended up not being sympathetic to a lot of the audience. Maybe they didn't want to repeat that, so they gave Dean tons of reasons to "go bad". Maybe it's not that they learned anything, but that they think the audience is unwilling to accept Dean as anything other than a woobie, so they minimized Sam's pain so they could highlight Dean's and give Dean plausible deniability for taking the MOC. I don't know. I do know that I want and need far more Sam POV next season. And not why he's a bad brother to poor, misunderstood, unappreciated Dean. I want Sam's story to be highlighted. I want Sam's pain to be front and center and to count. Most of all I don't want Sam to be a hypocrite and risk the world or Dean's physical autonomy. I suspect I will be disappointed on all counts.
# nappi815 2014-06-25 20:21
funny percy,

because the writers got the opposite reaction regarding dean from me. i didn't feel sympathy for dean. as a matter of fact, i regarded dean to be both self righteous and self centered. I know this isn't the dean winchester deeper look, but to be honest i felt that this has been the most dean centric season of all, and i'm not talking about the story plot, i'm talking dean's behavior. i feel that dean has been so busy wallowing in his own crap that he's disregarded all other's.
then again, it's my belief that the writers don't want me necessarily feeling sorry for dean. the writers can't really make us feel a certain way, as illustrated by all our different view. people feel different ways and view things differently. I still think dean has been purposely written in a bad light. i don't believe the intention is to gain pity. i've seen a lot of posts that actually feel the opposite, that are actually tired of dean wallowing and are pretty much done with the pity party he's thrown himself. for some it seems to me that they've grown tired of dean's negative personality traits, such as his selective hearing or his view that his way is the only way. as a matter of fact, dean has been written in a pretty negative light for the last two seasons now. since I believe that carver is having the boys face their inner demons/issues, when one is dealing with the worst part of themselves, then that's pretty much what we're going to get....the worst. i still believe that dean becoming a demon , the boys walking in ea. other's shoes, experiencing what they cannot control, and then conquering it...this is where i still believe the story to be going. i am still of the belief that the boys will learn from it and they will understand ea. other as they never truly have before. i do believe the writers when they say they are destructing their relationship which is dysfunctional and rebuilding it so they can relate as the men they are now. i haven't lost faith in that. carver said it was a three year arc and i'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

and since i don't believe our story is done being told, i believe that we will be getting sam pov next season. i actually look forward to sam venting out to demon dean, which he mind find easier to do. if demon dean becomes a captive audience for sam, well i'm hoping he'll just let loose on dean....

i'm sure we'll be getting demon dean saying cruel things to sam as well....but i think when and if dean does it, it'll be the demon talking. when sam does i hope he does, it'll be sam talking...

i also think when dean is saved the boys will come to terms with ea. other ....;)
# Mick 2014-06-25 14:08
With "Bad Boys" wasn't the age difference because they decided to change Dean from 14 to 16 in post? So they really couldn't go back hire a slightly older kid and shoot a new scene. Sam was a scrawny kid, so I think it's fine.
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 16:11
When I watch that episode I just go with AG's script that Dean was 14 and Sam was either 9 or 10. It makes more sense to me all the way around, Dean's first kiss at 16? Somehow that just doesn't fit. The actor who played Dean could have been 14 just as easily as 16 so I don't know why the change.
# Mick 2014-06-25 20:09
I'm pretty sure Adam Glass said that the kiss wasn't meant to be Dean's first, just he hadn't kissed too many girls and that he was kinda taken off guard by Robin.

In the episode Sam would have been 11, possibly turning/just turned 12 by the time John goes to pick up Dean. I like to think Dean was around for Sam's 12th birthday.
# lala2 2014-06-25 20:29
I understand but, for me, it still doesn't make sense b/c we saw an 8-yr old Sam display a great level of maturity and depth in AVSC. That boy read John's journal and was scared for himself and his family. The kid in BB was 1-2 years older but seemed to regress emotionally to the age of 6. I just couldn't buy a 9 or 10-yr old Sam playing w/a toy airplane out of a car window. I just don't believe a Sam past the age of 6 would be doing that.

But if the episode worked for you, that's cool. It didn't work for me on any level. For me, it remains the worst episode I've ever seen of Supernatural.
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 20:45
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 21:20
sorry triple post.
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 21:24
It's funny how we remember past episodes. I always thought that Sam was 9 in AVSNC since that was referenced in the pilot. So I just thought it was Sam before he found out. One of my nephews is a mature 9 year old and his cars and legos are a huge part of his life. I guess it just depends on how you view the show. I know the show doesn't work for you. It is "cool" that I do enjoy it on every level. And my initial response was to Mick I was just talking about what AG tweeted about the episode not a critique of BB's.
# nappi815 2014-06-25 22:09
you know i didn't much pay attention to the age of the kids. but i guess it's how you choose to look at it. I've seen dean Winchester act quite child like at age you recall him playing with the army guy in ditw or him buying a whoopee cushion in s5 ibtcaof. i don't think there's an age limit to playing with toys..a guy could have a collection of car models in his room, and they're still toys.
the way i looked at it, that airplane that sam was playing around with could've had significant meaning to him. whether his father gave it to him or was a gift with sentimental value.
hell even if it had come from bobby or pastor still would've had special meaning for sam. ....or maybe he just really liked it. ;):)
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 22:18
Uh do you mean do I play with my nephews legos? Maybe....:)
# LEAH 2014-06-25 22:51
Maybe you and nephew could go see the lego movie. I hear it's quite good. ;)
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 22:55
I'm waiting for it to come on pay-per-view... .:)
# nappi815 2014-06-26 07:34
I know I 've been playing with legos for the last couple of days now. now i'm going to have to watch again as it's been awhile since bad boys, but didn't dean specifically tell sam that the time he was missing when he was a kid for those couple of weeks, john and him had told sam some lie to cover for dean, they didn't tell him the truth that dean was actually at a boys home. I believe john gave sam some cover story and at the time sam had no reason to believe his brother missing. sam seemed pretty surprised to learn from dean that his father and dean both lied to sam back then, and never told sam the truth. so when john goes to pick dean up, it was a nice house from the outside. there was no reason for a little to kid, not even sam, to be suspect in thinking it was anything but.

e, you are free to gripe as much as you desire. that's what this site is all about. i just don't think that sam was represented in any negative way in this eppy. he was a child and he took the word of his father and brother both. now if you still feel that sam should automatically believe his father a liar at all times since he found out the truth in avsc, then that's how you feel, but dean lied to sam too as he corroborated the story. and i avsc, dean was the only one who was honest with sam, hence the amulet scene. so there would be no reason to assume dean was lying to him. there was no indication that sam and dean hadn't talked to ea. other during the time dean was gone. one phone call and dean telling sam he was fine would have sam totally believing the lie.;)
# E 2014-06-26 09:39
now i'm going to have to watch again as it's been awhile since bad boys, but didn't dean specifically tell sam that the time he was missing when he was a kid for those couple of weeks, john and him had told sam some lie to cover for dean, they didn't tell him the truth that dean was actually at a boys home. I believe john gave sam some cover story and at the time sam had no reason to believe his brother missing. sam seemed pretty surprised to learn from dean that his father and dean both lied to sam back then, and never told sam the truth. so when john goes to pick dean up, it was a nice house from the outside. there was no reason for a little to kid, not even sam, to be suspect in thinking it was anything but.
You are correct, John came up with a lie to cover for the fact that Dean was in trouble and in a boys home. They told Sam that Dean WAS missing on a hunt; that WAS the cover story, because missing on hunt is SO much better of an excuse for Dean's absence than safe in a boys home because he's been arrested and was being punished for stealing. That's why I hate this episode so much. Instead of telling a young boy (10 or 12, how old he was doesn't matter; when family goes missing it's traumatic no matter what your age) that his brother had screwed up and was spending two months in a boys home, the writers would have us believe that John told Sam that Dean was missing on a hunt instead, and that he was going to dump Sam off at Bobby's while he went to look for him. To what end? Why is telling Sam that Dean's MISSING better than telling him that his brother is in trouble and had done something dumb; something that almost all teenagers do? It makes no sense whatsoever; I won't even get into how bad this makes John look for NO reason. The premise of the episode has a child Sam believing that his brother was missing, presumably injured, possibly even dead, for two whole months and then tries to make us believe that Sam would be so unaffected by such a traumatic event that he barely even remembers it as an adult. In what whack-job world is this even remotely plausible? This is inflammatory writing of the absolute worst sort. To drum up sympathy for Dean (his father is mean, he's always wanted normal even as a kid, he's sacrificed sooooo much etc…) they concoct a "shocking story" of fatherly misconduct, but then fail to make sure that the details they are introducing contain any logic over time and amongst the other characters. They wanted to show us how much Dean suffered as a kid, how much he "sacrificed" for Sam and Sam alone, how much he's willing to give up for his brother, so they drummed up this awful scenario about John being a bastard and abandoning Dean and lying to Sam, and then didn't consider the repercussions of these plot points outside of Dean. So, Dean gets to have us sympathize with his plight, he gets to fall in love, angst, and sacrifice his newfound girlfriend and stable home because its the "right thing to do for his beloved Sammy." And Sam, poor deluded child Sam is told a horrifying lie, a traumatic lie that should have profoundly changed him, and then explored those repercussions NOT AT ALL. That's why I hated Sam's characterizatio n in this episode, because what he was told was going on with his brother and his reaction to what he understood was happening (Dean missing, Dean in danger, Dean maybe dead) didn't connect or track in any logical way whatsoever. So, Sam ends up looking bad (uncaring, unobservant, unaffected) simply because of inattention and poor writing. I know that the episode was about Dean, but since when does that mean that the other MAIN character is completely ignored? What happened to the idea from previous seasons that what one brother suffers also adversely affects the other brother? No one thought about Sam at all in this.

And they could have fixed this entire problem in one of two simple ways IMO, to end up with an episode that at least was logical. 1. They could have dropped the lie from the writing altogether and just gone with the truth. At the start of the episode Dean could have mentioned Sonny and the summer that he and Sam were apart, and Sam could have said "Oh, yeah, wasn't that the time you got caught stealing and had to spend the summer in that place… that boys home? Man, dad dumped me at Bobby's all by myself that summer. I was so bored, I really missed you. You know, that was the first time we'd been apart for more than like, a day," or something to that effect. The part where Dean lost the money by gambling thus creating the need to steal to begin with could have been the part Sam didn't know or was surprised about. OR 2. They could have shown Sam arriving in the Impala with his plane, which he dropped to the ground immediately upon seeing Dean on the porch. They could have had child Sam clamber out the open Impala window, run up to Dean and launch himself at his older brother, expressing huge relief at seeing him again safe and sound. No words necessary, no time added to the episode. Then maybe, just maybe it might have appeared that when this ridiculous plot was developed to begin with that even one person remembered that Dean had a little brother who loved him and might have been concerned about being separated from him for two whole months and was relieved to see him safe and well, regardless of whether he'd been missing on a hunt or had just been away for two months at a boys home.
# lala2 2014-06-28 21:45
Your entire post is the absolute truth! I'm loving your BB rants b/c as I've mentioned before . . . I HATED that episode.

As you so eloquently pointed out, John was unnecessarily trashed in that episode. I could be wrong b/c I only watched the episode the one time, but for some reason I thought Dean was stealing to get them food. That could be something I made up but in any event, I still don't believe John would dump Dean at a boys home all summer. He kept those boys close so there's no way he would have done that. I also didn't like that Dean had bruises on his arms, and it was heavily implied - at least to me - that John had given him those bruises.

But back to Sam - I was astounded when adult!Sam didn't seem to remember the summer when Dean went MISSING on a hunt. As you said, they could have written a line like, "Dude! You were at a boys home that summer?!?!? I went out of my mind worrying about you. I even tried to leave Bobby's to go and look for you! Why didn't you and dad tell me where you really were?" That would have kept Sam in character, and it would have made more sense than his non-reaction. I also agree w/you that the lie could have been removed completely.

I also agree that showing young Sam open the car door before the car stopped and running to the door of the boys' home would have achieved the same effect on Dean. Why Sam had to playing w/a toy airplane out of the car window like a toddler at the ripe old age of 12 is beyond me?!?!?!
# percysowner 2014-06-28 22:23
Lord knows I hated the episode as well and I'm not a big John fan, but Dean he lost the money John left for food in a card game. He may have been gambling because they were getting low on funds or he could have been a cocky 16 year old who thought he could play better than he actually could. Since we've seen him over estimate his card skills and underestimate Sam's in The Curious Case of Dean Winchester, either one is possible. Dean goes on to tell Sam that he stole food because he knew that SAM would get hungry. Dean apparently was able to live on air and John's approval while Sam insisted on actual food to survive, sorry but the I went to jail to feed you and not us bugged me.

Dean did have bruises. He told Sonny that they came from a werewolf hunt. Sonny, of course, thought it was a crazy lie told to protect John, but I think Dean was telling the truth and John did not cause the bruises himself. Moral responsibility for having his son hunt is still on John. It was the one thing that made the aging up make sense. Dean had told Gordon about his first hunt in Bloodlust and he described starting hunting at 16 when he shot something in the heart with a silver bullet. It sounded like a werewolf, but that word doesn't appear in the Bloodlust transcript. Putting the two together, it seems to me that Dean was injured fighting a werewolf. This doesn't help because it kind of smashes the continuity in Route 666 where Sam says he never told Jess about hunting because John's Rule Number 1 was tell no one. Dean says he told Cassie because he wanted to build the relationship on trust, which was certainly partly true, but he also was violating Rule Number 1 on other occasions as well.
# lala2 2014-06-28 22:52
Yes, I remember people speculating that the bruises came from that werewolf hunt, but according to Dean in Bloodlust, he committed himself to hunting during that hunt so that wouldn't gel w/his attitude in Bad Boys where he seemed to hate hunting. I always thought Dean was being sincere in his discussion w/Gordon as he had no reason to lie or embellish anything w/him. They bonded - briefly mind you - over their mutual love for hunting and the "life." But BB throws all that out the window.

IIRC, the actor seemed shifty when he said John hadn't bruised him. I recall it being a "you protest too much" type of situation, but I could be wrong. They have trashed John ever since the character died so it wouldn't shock him to "learn" that John regularly beat the boys. Under Carver, it could happen.

Yes, I always thought Dean may have gambled w/the money b/c it was running low. John was a horrible parent so I wouldn't have been shocked to learn that he left Dean w/money but was gone longer than expected and Dean was trying to stretch it out. I vaguely recall the "Sam got hungry" comment but I don't think Dean meant it in an accusatory way or anything, but I could see Dean lasting longer w/o food than Sam . . . only b/c Dean's older. Yes, he would be hungry but he probably wouldn't talk about it like Sam would.

Anyway, I definitely don't think Dean (or the show) was blaming Sam for Dean being arrested. At least, I didn't see it that way at all. I don't recall us getting very many details about what led to the arrest so I'd blame John. Haha :D
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2014-06-29 04:18
There's another (!) problem there. The (logical) chain of events was that John was off on a hunt, and Sam and Dean were staying wherever. Dean loses the money, presumably doesn't tell Sam this and so heads off to the shop to bread and peanut butter, as per normal. Somewhere between home and the bread aisle he says ''Nah, screw this, I'm off on a hunt". He doesn't tell Sam about it, he doesn't go back to get weapons, or do research; he just disappears. Why didn't Sam ask where the hunt came from? If it was a hunt that Dean choose to go on then why didn't he go back to the house and prepare for it? What was he going to go hunting with, a baguette?

Logic dictates that if Dean didn't go back to prepare for the hunt (even ring John or Bobby to tell them), then he was snatched by a monster on his way to the shop, so the hunt came to him, as it were. How come Sam wasn't freaked enough by that idea to remember it, considering he was terrified by the idea when he was eight?

You know, it's a small thing. It was possibly a case that they realised it after the episode was filmed and it's not as if they could go back and rewrite/reshoot it so they had no choice but to let it be. However, for me, it's kinda symptomatic of the lack of care of storyline or character that the season has been plagued with.
# E 2014-06-26 00:32
For me in Bad Boys, it wasn't that Sam was 10 or 12 or playing with an airplane, it was the total lack of his knowing or seeming to care what was going on with his brother and the fact that he was told that Dean was missing and might even be dead and seemed not to react at all. In AVSNC Sam was 8 (yes it was 8 and not 9, Sam's comment about getting the gun for the "thing in his closet" at age 9 was after he knew about monsters and had presumably started training, hence John giving him a loaded gun), when he learned about what his family did for a living. The fact that his father lied to him was significant to him; the fact that he understood the nature and danger of what the family did for a living was significant, the fact that his fear caused him to cry himself to sleep and generated an intense desire to find some kind of safety and normality in his life which in turn caused him to rebel and to finally leave his family and go to college, all of that was significant. So, for me to see a 10 or 12 year old Sam, blithely sitting in the back of the Impala after being told that his brother had been MISSING ON A HUNT, having not seen his primary caregiver in over two months, and showing absolutely no desire to put down his plane long enough to make sure his brother was OK was just so…. UGH, really, really BAD characterizatio n given how Sam was shown to feel in in AVSNC. Suddenly Sam doesn't care, isn't concerned that he's not seen Dean for two whole months? The whole set up of the scene, Sam with his airplane, sitting blithely in the Impala without a care in the world, showing no interest in his surroundings or that he was finally going to see Dean, safe and sound after not knowing if he was dead or alive, having been dumped on Bobby to get him out of the way, just smacked of a tacked on afterthought. Where was the consideration of Sam in this set up? Sam as a child and as a character wasn't thought of at all. It goes back to the whole lack of characterizatio n of Sam these past two seasons. Nobody cared to show how Sam might have reacted to the potential loss of his brother during Bad Boys because the whole issue was about Dean and how much he's sacrificed and how much he's willing to give up for Sam and Sam alone…… guh. So they set up a situation that, had anyone given it any thought at all, would have had to have had an extremely negative impact on Sam and then focused on it not at all. It used to be that an issue that centered around one brother was shown to effect the other brother; it's one of the most compelling, touching and special aspects of this show. Remember Dean's tears when Sam was forced to kill Madison? It hurt Dean terribly that Sam was so hurt. What effects one bother affects the other brother; or it used to. But in Bad Boys, what was affecting Dean (be it time in a boys home or lost on a hunt) seemingly affected that sensitive, frightened little boy from AVSNC not at all. Even an adult Sam was largely unphased by a Dean who'd been missing; Sam barely even recalled the incident. Don't you think that if your brother, sister, niece nephew, son, daughter was suddenly missing for 2 whole months that that might make an impression on you? Don't you think that the children of abducted siblings are irrevocably changed by that event even if the sibling is miraculously and thankfully recovered? The characterizatio n was simply awful in that episode and I am offended for Sam as a character and for Jared as an actor. Sorry to be such a downer folks, but this article has allowed me to release all of my (significant) gripes; so I'm gripping. Perhaps, if you don't agree you should skip over my posts. :D
# lala2 2014-06-26 08:10
E, please do not apologize for this wonderful post!!! If I could thumbs up it 1 million times, I would :)

I couldn't agree more w/every single word you've written. The reason I was so bothered by Sam playing w/his toy airplane out the window is largely for the reasons you stated here. A 12-year old Sam whose brother, and primary caretaker as you mentioned, was missing on a hunt for two months would NOT in any universe, IMO, be playing w/a toy airplane out of the window like some clueless child. He would have been frantic to get back to Dean, to find out if Dean was okay. He would have read the sign right outside the home and KNOWN where Dean had been. Sam's characterizatio n was off in the present too. As you said, he just casually mentions the time Dean was missing on a hunt. Huh?!?!? That makes NO sense given the characters and their history.

I also thought the episode unnecessarily trashed John and retconned everything we know about Dean! As you mentioned elsewhere, why the heck was Dean so upset about Sam going to college when he wanted to escape the family too?!!? Why could he suddenly not understand Sam? What happened to him loving hunting at 16 and committing to it at that age? Why was this mess of an episode even necessary to the Winchester storyline? What purpose did it serve? How does it add to their history? It makes Dean a hypocrite and a liar and Sam a moron. This episode was awful and takes away from the show rather than add to it.

And IIRC, when people commented on Twitter about that scene, whoever wrote this episode said Sam was 6 or 7 so, of course, he was oblivious to what was going on. Viewers had to remind this guy that there is a FOUR year age difference btw Sam and Dean, not 10 or 9. Even if Dean was supposed to be 14 - and the actor could have passed for 14 . . . . he was just on Degrassi as a Freshman the previous year - Sam still would have been too young. I find it very insulting that the writers can't even take the time to get the ages of the characters right. We know they screw up the characterizatio n as evidenced by both Sam and Dean's OOC behavior in this episode, but now, they can't even be bothered to get their ages right?!?!?! That is insulting to me as a longtime viewer. It shows a lack of respect for the show and its viewers, IMO.
# Cat 2014-06-26 09:33
E, I could skip over your posts, but that would be boring. I didn’t think the glimpse we saw of Young Sam in “Bad Boys” clashed with what we know about Sam. When John and Sam came to pick Dean up, Sam already knew that Dean was fine. I don’t think John would have brought Sam along without telling him that. Sam was leaning out of the window and holding the plane wouldn’t have prevented him from watching out for Dean’s arrival. John wasn’t getting out of the car and had probably told Sam to stay inside the car as well. To me, the fact that Sam was distracting himself didn’t mean that he didn’t care or wasn’t anticipating seeing Dean again. Besides, it was just a small glimpse, as opposed to the complete story we had in “A Very Supernatural Christmas”. For all we know, Sam could have gotten tired of waiting and jumped out of the car to meet Dean right after Dean had seen him. In the intervening years, John had died, Dean had been ripped apart by Hellhounds and dragged to Hell, and Sam had been to Hell himself, so I don’t think it was all that unrealistic that the impressions left on Sam by that particular incident had dimmed. Once Dean had started telling the story, Sam was invested in learning more. Sam had only ever seen Dean as a dutiful son and older brother. Unlike us, he had never been privy to Dean’s last conversation with John or Dean’s outburst in “Dream A Little Dream of Me”. In my opinion, “Bad Boys” was as much about Dean giving up his chance at a normal life to stay with Sam as it was about Sam seeing his older brother/parenta l substitute as a person with dreams and hopes of his own. Dean made his choice and fully embraced it, but it wasn’t easy and Sam realized that.
# cheryl42 2014-06-26 10:02
My take as well. I thought the whole point of that scene was to show that even at a young age Dean would always choose Sam. And not because Sam was a burden to him but because Sam was everything to him. That was why the lighting in that scene was so powerful. Everything was dim and out of focus except for Sam the only light that Dean could see.
# nappi815 2014-06-26 10:52

i agree as well on all counts ;) after all sam was probably playing to avoid his father as well as it being a distraction. also at that moment, dean was still inside the house so sam didn't get to see dean yet. the scene was meant to illustrate not dean's seeming sacrifice, which i don't believe he made, it was to show us that dean knew where his real home was. he knew where he wanted to be. he knew where he belonged and who he belonged with....him looking out the window and seeing sam in such an innocent and childlike state, so often not the case for sam, just made it that much easier for dean to leave the home, which he did in fact enjoy. it's just another instance where both boys will always choose ea. other. you are right...we didn't get to see sam's reaction once he saw dean...which knowing dean as a i do would've been heartwarming. now granted i would've loved to have seen it, but i understand why show didn't go there. a bummer yes...but i get it.
# cheryl42 2014-06-26 11:31
Also at the beginning of the episode Dean said "oh right that is what we told you". I took that to mean after the fact John and Dean came up with the lost on the hunt story. Sam was probably told some BS story by John and taken to Bobby's. Who knows maybe the boys were separated often before Sam was aware of the hunting world. Dean and John would go on hunts while Sam was dumped at Bobby's, Pastor Jim, Caleb's or whoever to keep him safe since he was too young to go. We don't know what stories they came up with in the early years to cover for their hunts. And we know from IMTOD that Dean was aware of John's activities at a very young age. And since in that scene Sam didn't seem very concerned it meant to me anyway that he was unaware that Dean was in any danger. Just my own opinion but it worked for me.
# E 2014-06-26 11:01
I didn’t think the glimpse we saw of Young Sam in “Bad Boys” clashed with what we know about Sam. When John and Sam came to pick Dean up, Sam already knew that Dean was fine. I don’t think John would have brought Sam along without telling him that.
Nope, sorry I am going to be a difficult person and am still going to have to disagree. It should have made no difference to Sam whatsoever that John had presumably told him Dean was "fine." If you get a call that your child has had an accident and is in the hospital, but hey, don't worry, he's fine!, would you blithely finish your coffee and stroll, unconcerned on over to the hospital at your leisure? No, you'd be frantic with worry, you'd rush there in a panic, reports of your child being "fine" notwithstanding . You'd want to see for yourself that he's "fine" and probably wouldn't rest until you'd done so. That's what I mean about the characterizatio n. They set up this story for Dean with 'shocking' plot points (that put John in a terrible light btw,) and then didn't bother to track those events to make sure that what was happening carried over to the other main character in the story in any reasonable or logical way. The episode was about Dean, I get that, but there was a trickle down effect onto Sam that was completely ignored by everyone. The end result is that the events of the story and Sam's reaction to those events don't make any sense. He looked like a moron, like there was something wrong with his mental faculties in the episode; and his adult self's reactions were no better. How could you not remember an event like that? Sam was told that Dean WENT MISSING ON A HUNT for heaven's sake, and he can barely remember that?!? The last time Dean went missing in season 8, Sam couldnt seem to cope at all. So, nope, not buying that one. No way. The story must contain logic, real world logic to be even remotely plausible especially given the nature of the fantastical monster filled world in which the characters live. Without that logic viewers are even less included to suspend their disbelief over things that we know don't track; like a world filled with evil monsters. There was nothing logical about the way anyone in this episode reacted; not Sam , or Dean or John or even stupid "you jilted me" Robin. Even if John told Sam the very next day that Dean was fine, an event like that concerning the most important person in your life would have HAD to have some kind of lasting impact on a sensitive boy who was already terrified of what his family did for a living. Sam may have been told quickly that Dean was fine (it was not shown in the ep so we can't really know how long Sam was suffering under the lie that Dean was missing, injured, in danger, dead) but he still couldn't see for himself until the end of the episode that Dean was indeed "fine," which was a whole two months later.

My sister did her Junior Year Abroad when we were both in college. We are very close and that was pretty much the first time we'd been separated from each other for any significant amount of time in our lives. I never thought I'd survive not seeing her for so long. And she wasn't missing either, wasn't in any danger, her whereabouts weren't unknown to me. I knew where she was, knew she was safe, and happy and having fun, but that didn't diminish my intense desire to see her safe and sound for myself. We talked to each other nearly every day, wrote letters, sent postcards, pictures and emails; we communicated. When I was finally able to see her again, I was nearly bursting with anticipation. I could barely contain myself; the waiting was excruciating at the airport. And when I finally saw her again, I cried and grabbed onto her fiercely I was so relieved she was back. So, IMO even if Sam had been told the truth about Dean's whereabouts from the very beginning, it should not have diminished Sam's desire to see his bother one bit, to welcome him back, to be relieved and happy to see him regardless as to why Dean was away. Sam should have been allowed to show some type of emotion at seeing Dean again, even if he'd known his brother was fine and having a vacation, going to dances, finding a girlfriend rather than missing on possibly dead on a hunt; because that's what you do when you don't see your beloved family members for a long time; you show them they were missed.
# anonymousN 2014-06-26 14:44
Nappie815,Cat and Cheryl42 all while well meaning are illustrating the problem we are having by their comments.They are building up stories about what might have happened.I think we can write even better ones then they can but we do realize that it will be fanon and not canon.
# cheryl42 2014-06-26 15:46
Honestly it isn't hard for us to connect the dots. I wasn't confused or guessing at the story because at least for me it was easy to see the story as it was written. I know sometimes we try to help others make sense of the episode by offering different scenarios that might work better for you but we end up making the situation worse for everyone. As all of us have said this is a thread for the unhappy fans so if you don't see it the way we do I totally understand. It won't ruin my happiness with the show but I do feel bad for those who aren't enjoying SPN at any level. Hopefully next season will be better.
# E 2014-06-26 19:17
Head canon is fine, we all create little scenarios to fill in blanks or flesh out things that we wished had gotten more attention or even to take something in a completely different direction then where it went. We also use it to create moments between episodes that help us fill in the supernatural world the boys live in. But this is different IMO; this is about plot holes you could drive a truck through, about entire episodes, plot points and characterizatio ns that make no sense, that irrevocably change canon by unwittingly contradicting it requiring US to do all this work just to get from one episode to another. So, a little head canon is fine, but before that I want logical conclusions and competent story telling in canon first. And we aren't getting that, not in Bad Boys, and especially not with Sam as a whole. If it's possible, I think Bad Boys did more damage than even Taxi Driver managed to do, and that' saying something.
# cheryl42 2014-06-26 22:05
Yeah I hear you. I was able to follow the story as it was very simply told. My only quibble was that they should have left the ages the way AG had intended them to be. Other than that it was a little back story about Dean that worked for some and not for others. I am certainly not trying to change anyone's mind here just explain why the episode worked for me. So I will leave you all to it. Maybe some of the issues you have will be brought up at writers meetings and get corrected for next season. It sounds like the J's were called into a meeting at one of the conventions with JC, RS and the writers so hopefully the story going forward will be rewarding for everyone.
# E 2014-06-28 09:31
Other than that it was a little back story about Dean
Sorry to harp on this Cheryl… but this little back story about Dean ended up reversing, changing annihilating all of his actual, and established backstory from the first 5 seasons. In the basic tenants of the show there were two brothers: one who loved hunting and was committed to the Family Business and one who was not. This conflict laid the foundation for the brothers relationship and established the primary conflict between them. Five whole season dealt with each brother's differing opinions on Family, duty and how life should be lived, with one brother championing the Family Business and the other self autonomy as evidenced by the building of a safe and normal life away from hunting. BB changes all that. Dean's now been shown to have Sam's opinion in the matter; according to BB Dean wasn't for the hunt as we'd been shown for YEARS. He's actually, unbeknownst to us, always hated hunting, he's really secretly always wanted normal. He was just shy of giving his hunting life up for having this normal according to BB. He resents his father for not giving him normal. This changes the fundamental conflict between the brothers that was at the very foundation of this show. It also calls into question Dean's problems with Sam wanting normal and going after it. If Dean really did always want a normal life, then why challenge Sam when he made his bid for the same thing? Is it because Dean was thwarted in his bid to have a normal life, that he's resentful of Sam getting his? That's a pretty petty and unflattering character 'enhancement' if you ask me. IMO, because AG doesn't know this show's history, he inadvertently ended up contradicting established canon in a major way and didn't even realize it. He wasn't adding to canon, he wasn't even aware of canon, and the gaff of the difference in the boys ages proves it, because one obvious mistake throws all other inconsistencies into question. This is just incredibly sloppy writing that ended up taking away from the characters more than it added.
# njspnfan 2014-06-28 10:07
E - does anyone really know what they want to do with their lives when they're 14, 15, or 16? Dean got a brief taste of a normal life, fell for a cute girl, and liked it. However, when push shoves, he'll always choose Sam. I also don't think this was completely out of character for Dean - at the end of Season 5, he honored his promise to Sam and went off to try to live that "apple pie life" with Lisa and Ben. That obviously didn't work out great, or last long, but Dean has struggled with this in the past. Not as much as Sam, mind you, but it's been there, and at the end of S5 Sam obviously thought it was what Dean always wanted.

As far as the age discrepancies, they probably would have been better off leaving Dean's age at 14 or 15. But, this isn't the first age/time issue the show's dealt with, going back to the pilot and Dean not having seen Sam in 2 years since he left for college, when he'd been gone for almost 4 years.
# E 2014-06-28 10:50
I probably wouldn't have cared all that much about the age discrepancy either if someone had manned to remember what Sam was actually like as a child and made sure that his character was presented that way when we saw him in Bad Boys. I know it was only a very short moment, but Sam is a MAJOR character (supposedly) so even these small things should matter. They used to; under Kripke they did. The fact that they didn't matter enough to anyone who actually creates this show now is a pretty tough idea to take. For me anyway.
# lala2 2014-06-28 21:58
Dean didn't want to be w/Lisa. He even told Sam in the EOMS that the ONLY reason he went w/Lisa was b/c Sam asked him to do that. Dean basically ditched Lisa the minute "Sam" returned. Do you remember the look of joy he had when he pulled off the tarp on the Impala? He was overjoyed to be back hunting and w/his brother.

I agree w/E that the basic premise of the show was two brothers: one who is committed to the family business and the other who isn't. It makes no sense to wait until the 9th year of the show to say, "Well, the committed brother really wanted normal too," esp. when the committed brother spent a lot of the earlier seasons harping and harassing the less committed brother for grabbing normal.
# LEAH 2014-06-28 22:26
Hi lala, this is how I always saw it in a nutshell. I DO think Dean has always longed for a family. The difference is I think he realizes that is is just not going to happen, too much hunting, too much water under the bridge, too many dangers lurk to put their loved ones in danger. Wanting something and thinking it is an impossibility are two different things to me. I think, very strongly, that Dean wishes for happiness for Sam, but the same issues apply. Even back at Stanford bad forces were afoot (did I just say afoot?) and the fears of John and Dean were not totally unfounded. I will always remember how happy Dean was for Sam in WIAWSNB. That is the life he would love for Sam to have. I also think that Dean loved Lisa and Ben very much but he been a hunter all his life and could never relax for a second PLUS he was grieving for Sam still, he came to the realization that his presence wasn't good for them, his 'life' almost got them killed (well Lisa was essentially). Yes, maybe they were no safer when Cas wiped their minds but they could continue their life without the knowledge of demons and monsters. Of course JMO
# lala2 2014-06-28 23:40
Hi Leah! I understand that perspective, but I guess I never saw Dean as "longing" for normal. For me, the first season did a good job of establishing the characters and showing that Dean was committed to hunting. Where Sam spoke about getting back to his real life once the "thing that killed mom and Jess" was killed, Dean spoke of continuing the hunt b/c there would always be something new to hunt. As E pointed out, the earlier seasons really established the different perspectives each brother had w/r/t hunting. It set up the foundation of the show.

And like E, I have no issue w/Dean changing his opinion on hunting. I just have a problem w/BB re-writing history to say Dean ALWAYS wanted normal. Doing so just messes up the entire show. I definitely think Dean became disillusioned w/hunting, but I think that happened for him after John died. Once John died AND left him w/the burden of saving or killing Sam, Dean began to see the negatives of hunting. Before then, I think he saw it as a noble and honorable profession. I honestly never thought Dean wanted to do anything else. However, John's death hit Dean hard, and the weight of the secret re: Sam made him rethink hunting a bit. When he was destined to die, I think he naturally thought of what it would be like to have a family. I don't think it (i.e., a wife and some kids) is something Dean always wanted. When Dean returned to the living, he could have sought a normal life, but he didn't. He dove right back into hunting. And but for Sam's promise, I don't think Dean would have wound up on Lisa/Ben's doorstep. He went to them, IMO, b/c that's where Sam asked him to go. He stayed b/c they were a distraction, and he cared about them. I had a hard time thinking Dean was in love w/Lisa. I think he cared about her a lot. He probably loved Ben. In any event, he seemed excited an happy to be leaving them, which says a lot, IMO.

Anyway, that's JMO.
# LEAH 2014-06-29 00:45
Maybe "longed" wasn't the best choice of words, more like harbored a small hope in the corner of his soul to have those things. As much as he always denied it. I saw it in the episode I mentioned both in the Djinn induced dream and when he woke up. He didn't want to come back. He liked the idea of a normal life, girlfriend and the idea of Sam being happy. And when he woke up he talked about how much this life has cost them both. He dreamed of Lisa in DALDOM. The look on his face said it all. Why do you think Sam told him to go to Lisa? I have no doubt he loved Lisa. Was it the fiery all consuming love of his life? Probably not. But I don't think she was just a distraction. I think he cared for her very much. But Dean was a basket case and grieving. Which brings me back to Dean thinks that all he can do is hunt, that "normal" will never be attainable and that he endangers all the people he loves. So he is all-in with hunting. It gives him some sense of purpose and he is disturbingly good at it. Anyway just my perspective.
# lala2 2014-06-29 03:20
Leah, I actually don't disagree w/you that adult Dean has thought of normal and even "longed" for a normal life. As I mentioned, I think John's death and the secret re: Sam took its toll on Dean w/r/t hunting. It wasn't as positive once his dad died and once he learned that monsters had plans for Sam. Now, his Djinn-induced dream was a scenario that captured how their lives would have been in their mom hadn't been killed so it's natural that Dean envisioned a normal life w/a normal job. I think it is quite telling that he couldn't be settled in that dream though. He knew it wasn't real and that there was something to hunt so he pulled himself from that world.

We will have to agree to disagree when it comes to Lisa. Dean went to visit Lisa in S3 because he had awesome sex w/her and wanted to re-live the experience before he died. As she mentioned to him in that episode, he didn't know her and they only spent one weekend together a "million years ago." Dean was facing death that season. He thought Ben might be his child given the way Ben acted and the timeframe. I don't think it was crazy that when facing death he had dreams about a life w/this woman. I am not sure if he wanted a life w/Lisa or he wanted what Lisa/Ben represented (i.e., a family). Who knows? I can never agree that Dean was in love w/Lisa. He didn't know Lisa. How could he love her? Two years go by w/o a mention of Lisa. There's even another "love interest" thrown in the mix (i.e., Anna), but we are supposed to believe Dean when he suddenly shows up on Lisa's doorstep talking about how when he dreams of happy, he thinks of her?!?!!? Okay. Really?!? I had huge issues w/the Dean/Lisa story. It never made any sense to me and was a case of bad writing, IMO. They needed to do something w/Dean while Sam was in Hell so they stuck him w/Lisa.

But, yeah, I don't have a problem w/the Dean we see now wanting a normal life or wanting a family. I have an issue w/BB making it seem like that is something Dean has always wanted or desired. I just don't believe that is true.
# E 2014-06-29 21:03
I will always remember how happy Dean was for Sam in WIAWSNB. That is the life he would love for Sam to have. I
But the whole point of WIAWSNB was to show Dean that his fairly tale life of he and Sam living perfect and normal and safe was not the dream that he thought it would be. The show's stance on that perfect and normal life was that it was corrupted completely. John was dead, Mary was unhappy, Dean was a complete looser, Sam was a douchbag, and an atrocious snob, they did not connect with each other on any level. The best part of Dean's fantasy in WIAWSNB was when Sam decided to join him ON A HUNT; it was ironically the first time they'd connected in years in that world, which lead to the truth coming out. So, to me, WIAWSNB was showing Dean that his choice to hunt was a good one, that it was necessary, that his connection to Sam was good and that his perfect normal world (as provided by the Djinn) was a false dream that was more like a nightmare.
# percysowner 2014-06-29 21:33
I'm going to answer this as a new post because we are getting really skinny here.
# cheryl42 2014-06-28 10:08
You know it's funny that you posted this today. I was just thinking about why Dean would have appeared to want a happy safe life at the age of 14 or 16 however you look at it and then I remembered WIAWSNB where Dean's happy place was having a home, mowing the lawn, sitting at the table eating a sandwich and happy law student Sam. That was supposed to be what he wanted more than anything. So much so that even though he knew it was a dream he wanted to stay there. Anyway just a thought that occurred to me.
# E 2014-06-28 10:42
I can certainly see an adult Dean coming to the realization that a normal life might be desirable thing, especially given all that he's suffered and lost. But that does not change the fact that Dean was always shown to champion hunting, especially when we first met him in the pilot. He was FOR hunting at that time, felt that what he was doing was important and noble. I absolutely can get behind him changing over time, I cannot get behind a retcon that changes the fundamental set up that we've been working under all this time. And I'll say it again, if Dean had always wanted normal, even from a young age (and we are just finding this out now regardless of how much we've seen him enjoy the hunt in the past) where does that leave Dean's side of the argument about Sam going off to college and wanting normal? Dean looks pretty bad to have tried to stand in Sam's way, to criticize him for years, accuse him of betrayal and running away, when it's secretly always been the thing he's really wanted. You'd think, given what we learned in Bad Boys that Dean would be relieved that Sam was able to achieve his normal seeing as he's always wanted the best for Sam, but this shows that Dean is petty and jealous instead, accusing Sam of betrayal when it's really that Sam was able to have what Dean was not. I want the basic argument from the start of the series, one brother FOR the Family business, and one FOR his own personal autonomy to remain unchanged because there was balance and a clear and logical POV for each brother in the way it was originally set up. I don't want to have to think of Dean as not really caring about or being committed to the Family Business like he was shown to be in season 1-5, instead being so angry that Sam had the gaul to want what Dean couldn't have that he criticized Sam for it ever since. Its a distinctly unflattering characterizatio n and weakens the idea that Dean would sacrifice any and everything for Sam.
# nappi815 2014-06-28 11:25
e, you just said it. you just made the point I've been trying to make in regards to how I've been viewing the story. this is the complexity of dean's character. on the one hand he embraces the life and finds pride in it, on the other hand he's resented not having the choice to do anything else. on the one hand he would be angry at sam for always "running away" , leaving dean behind to do the job alone, for sam daring to want to be safe and normal and then on the other hand he tells sam how proud he is of him being able to stand up to dad, to be able to do what he thinks is right for himself. he makes sam's life a living hell in the first half of s8 because sam stopped hunting and yet at the same time was pushing his brother away, at one point sending that vile text sending him directly to Amelia. when he spoke to Charlie in larp and the real girl, he confessed to being an assbutt but when Charlie brought up the fact that sam had normal and dean took it away, you see a brief look of agreement on dean's face before he brushes that off with a this is the life speech. he tells sam he wants him to have normal, but then he can't let sam go. even death, which is probably the closest thing to normal that sam experienced, a normal part of life, was prevented by supernatural extremes.

on paper dean wants sam to have normal. he loves him and wants this for him. but in reality, dean needs sam. i know i'm a broken record, but going back to my belief that we have been dealing with the boys issues and how these issues influence their behavior and their beliefs, dean's lack of worth in himself, his view that he's nothing but a mere killer and his time spent in purgatory confirms this belief, his need to have sam in his life outweighs any sentiment he might have regarding his desire for sam to have normal. normal is a threat to dean. even sam dreaming about it is a threat...becaus e if sam lives a normal life, a life dean believes he can never truly live because of how he sees himself, then sam won't be there to keep dean human. to keep dean the best part of who he is. sam values dean where dean doesn't value himself and that's not something dean ever wants to give up. dean's up and down actually does make sense, at least in how i view it. ;)
# cheryl42 2014-06-28 11:52
As I said it was just a thought that occurred to me. And he was a mechanic in his dream. That episode was in S2 and Johns wish for Dean was to have a home. I thought it established that Dean always wanted what he had lost as 4 year old. So I can see that teenage Dean wanted to be a mechanic and have a normal life on some level.
# nappi815 2014-06-28 12:16
i agree, after all before john became a hunter, he was in fact, a mechanic. seems dean always wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. we've seen dean fix the impala how many times throughout the years? fixing cars is one of the things about himself that he takes pride in. he's good at it. he has a gift. i can't remember the eppy, but he might have said it to bobby, but he said it as he was fixing up baby...dean said...i should do this for a living. he may have even called himself an artist in regards to that. i believe show has made it known that dean, had life been different, would've been a mechanic.
# nappi815 2014-06-28 10:30
I don't think that's what is happening here at all. so yes, i'm going to be a pain in the ass now ;). e, there are a lot of layers to the boys which is why there is so much conflict. they both have fluctuated in their views about hunting and their father for instance. in the pilot dean seemed to advocate what their father did to them. his mother was killed and his father sought revenge, an idea which dean had accepted very early on. in wendigo dean gave sam a speech about the family business. dean appears to be all gung ho about this life, but I think it was more about keeping sam with him in this life. I something wicked we see dean going stir crazy in the motel room, this is actually quite normal for a child who is made by his father to be sam's guardian while he's off seeking revenge. a glimpse of dean being a kid, being normal. dean confessed in skin that he had dreams of his own. "you think I didn't have dreams of my own?" I had to stay, dad needed me.". this is dean's reasoning for staying in the life. for not doing what he wanted to do. he used his father as an excuse. even dean seeking refuge with ben and lisa represents his not so secret desire to experience normal. we see dean, at whatever his age is supposed to be, experience normal for the first time. he literally had a vacation from his life, kind of like sam did when he went to college. for two months dean did kid stuff. for two months he didn't have the weight of the world resting on his shoulders, or the weight he puts there any way. enjoying that time is not ooc for dean. wanting it isn't ooc either...becaus e it actually ties in with his love/hate relationship with his father. but dean did admit to Gordon that at age 16 he fully embraced the life. he defined himself at the age of 16 as a hunter/killer. there are 365 days in a year, so it's not really hard to believe that dean's epiphany came after his time spent at the boys home. so, again, I know i'm a pain in your ass, but I don't think that what happened in bad boys negates dean's feelings about hunting...he's always been up and down about it, as has sam.

again, given what I believe regarding dean's issues, it also stands to reason, as I alone view it, that the moment dean saw sam through the window, smiling at his brother, sam represented the best part of who dean is. no matter whether dean is in full on embracement mode or resentment mode, depending on the circumstances, dean's issues of abandonment and self loathing/ lack of worth were always present. how he views himself influences his behavior, even when he seems self sacrificing as in bad boys. where you see AG illustrating once again how dean seemingly gives everything up for his brother....I see it as dean yet again, doing everything it takes to keep his brother with him. :)
# Sharon 2014-06-28 11:12
Does not matter either way it does Dean no harm and in this case right before Sam,s possession came to light.
# nappi815 2014-06-28 11:51
i think it does do dean harm. but of course that's how i see it. ;) i see it as yet another instance of the burden which he inadvertently places on his brother. the way i see it sam loves dean. he's said it, he'd die for him. hell he has died for him. sam values dean the way no other ever has. dean has expressed his feelings that he believed his father didn't love him but saw him as a good little soldier. but sam, as represented in something wicked and avsc has and throughout the years has shown dean how much he values him, trusts him...he said it in fresh blood. dean, deep down, knows how important he is to his brother. he also knows deep down how much sam loves him..even if at times he's unable to see due to his own crap. sam allows dean to feel good about himself. ( saving people is another way that allows dean to feel good about himself) what dean has inadvertently done is place this burden on sam, making sam his lifeline to what is good, that without sam he would end up being nothing more than a mere killer. sam keeps him human...he's said that more than once. dean's issues and his inability to see himself as someone who is good hurts himself and his brother and often times others get hurt as well. i think dean is finally being made to come to terms that his love for his brother is the smothering kind....not mothering kind. i believe we are headed for dean's realization that this kind of love harmful and we are getting to the point where dean will be able to change that.
# Sharon 2014-06-28 12:13
I do not think that is where we are heading at all sorry . As for doing Dean harm not in the terms of perception and Bad Boys certainly did not do Dean any harm .
# lala2 2014-06-28 21:54
Sorry to harp on this Cheryl… but this little back story about Dean ended up reversing, changing annihilating all of his actual, and established backstory from the first 5 seasons.
And this is the primary reason why I hated BB. You couldn't be more right about it changing Dean's history and the show on a fundamental level. Why in the world is Dean angry w/Sam for going to college or applying for law school when he, himself, wanted a normal life?!?! It makes Dean petty and jealous. That's not good. How many times has Sam had to APOLOGIZE for not wanting to go to college? For wanting a wife and some kids? Heck, he was just apologizing for it last year?!?!?! If Dean feels the same way, then why is he being such a hypocrite when it comes to Sam?!!?

This is what you get when you have writers who don't know the show and its characters and a showrunner who really couldn't care less: a garbled mess of an episode that rewrites history for no reason!
# anonymousN 2014-06-28 14:11
Honestly there were no dots especially the dot which increased the age gap between sam and dean.You can make up scenarios as you please but they stay just that not what the show is showing .Quote:
offering different scenarios that might work better for you but we end up
It would have worked if you were tptb.
# cheryl42 2014-06-28 14:24
I trying to remember what I said in that post. But the age difference was either 14 and 9 depending on how the birthdays fell or 16 and 11 same thing. When I watch the episode I choose to go with what AG wrote in his script. It made more sense to me that Dean had kissed a girl before he was 16. So to me it was a change in the script that didn't need to happen. The actor could have easily been 14.
# anonymousN 2014-06-28 14:26
It made sense that sam would play in the car with his toy than want to see his brother who was hurt?
# cheryl42 2014-06-28 14:36
Ok now I'm lost. Dean wasn't hurt. I thought the story was he was on a hunt that John and Dean told Sam about after the fact. That was why it didn't make an impression on Sam because he didn't know that Dean had been lost until after they collected him at the boy's home. But I will have to say I'm with Sam here. Why didn't they just tell him the truth.
# percysowner 2014-06-28 14:51
From the transcript
You remember when we were kids that spring in upstate New York? Dad was on a rugaru hunt.
We, uh – we crashed at the, uh ... the bungalow colony with the ping-pong table.
Yeah. Uh, y-you disappeared. Dad came back. You were gone. He shipped me off to Bobby's for a couple months and went and … found you. You were lost on a hunt or something.

It makes a whole mess of a lot of things. Sam knew about hunting. When he found out that John hunted monsters his first concerns were that the monsters could kill John or Dean or Sam. Sam said if didn't leave for normal, he left for safe. So Sam blithely playing with a plane, not caring to run and see if Dean had been hurt doesn't fit. Or it makes him look as if he NEVER cared about Dean's safety. Either way it paints kid Sam in a very bad light. I would also think that if Dean was lost on a hunt and John was hunting rugarus at the time Dean was lost, one of them would have remembered what the heck a rugaru was during Metamorphosis. But they didn't. It's really sloppy writing with the entire goal being to prove that Dean has always sacrificed for Sam the Unworthy who wasn't even worried about him when Sam thought he was missing and probably killed by a monster. The whitewash of woobie Dean was really bad in this episode.
# cheryl42 2014-06-28 15:13
Thanks I didn't remember the exact dialogue. You're right though it didn't make any sense that they would be at a hotel John on a hunt and Dean just took off on a hunt by himself leaving Sam alone. So I thought that was the story they told Sam after they picked Dean up. But like I said I'm with Sam why didn't they just tell him the truth. And that is why I go with AG's original script an 11 or 12 year old Sam would have known about hunting but a 9 year old Sam hadn't found out yet. So I am sure that John told Sam a lot of BS stories about where he and Dean went. So Sam was used to being dumped off different places for weeks or months at a time. Anyway when I watched the episode first run that is just what I thought they meant.
# SanSummer1 2014-06-28 17:35
And that is why I go with AG's original script and 11 or 12 year old Sam would have known about hunting but a 9 year old Sam hadn't found out yet. So I am sure that John told Sam a lot of BS stories about where he and Dean went.
Flashbacks in episode A Very Supernatural Christmas take place in 1991 when Sam was eight and Dean was twelve. So even in the original script Bad Boys comes after Sam had learned the truth.

2.03 Bloodlust

Dean: ... So. I pick up this crossbow. And I hit that ugly sucker with a silver-tipped arrow right in his heart. Sammy's waiting in the car, and uh, me and my dad take the thing into the woods, burn it to a crisp. I'm sitting there and looking into the fire, and I'm thinking to myself, I'm sixteen years old. Most kids my age are worried about pimples, prom dates. I'm seeing things that they'll never even know. Never even dream of. So right then, I just sort of -
Gordon: Embraced the life?
Dean: Yeah.

If Sam is supposed to be twelve in Bad Boys, he was already old enough to be somewhat involved in the family business. Hearing that Dean is missing would have shook him up. Sam had ended up crying himself to sleep after he found out that monster are real and they could hurt his family.

Sam: If monsters are real, then they could get us. They could get me.
Dean: Dad’s not gonna let them get you.
Sam: But what if they get him?
Dean: They aren’t gonna get Dad. Dad’s, like, the best.
Sam: I read in Dad’s book that they got Mom.
Dean: It’s complicated, Sam.
Sam: If they got Mom, they can get Dad, and if they get Dad, they can get us.

A weak solution could be that John and Dean told Sam afterwards (while driving away from Sonny’s) that Dean had been lost on a hunt. Thus while Sam was at Bobby’s, Sam thought Dean was safe and doing something else. But what would have been a believable cover story?
# cheryl42 2014-06-28 17:42
Thanks you know I couldn't figure out why everyone kept saying Sam was 8. I don't think I ever noticed that before. I'm not sure what your point was about Dean being 16 in Bloodlust. My edit button keeps kicking me out. Probably trying to tell me something. Anyway I thought that John left Sam at Bobby's and went back to keep an eye on Dean. Since Dean was known to take off for an hour or three on Sam I just thought that John told Sam he and Dean were going (insert BS story) and he had to stay with Bobby for a while. But you are right they should have gotten the ages correct. The Grand Canyon slip up also took me out of the scene for a moment.
# SanSummer1 2014-06-28 18:15
My point wasn’t really Dean but the bit which shows that Sam at twelve was already part of the hunting world (“Sammy's waiting in the car, and uh, me and my dad take the thing into the woods, burn it to a crisp.”) Considering how Sam wanted safe, situations like that must have made him feel anxiety. He probably didn’t just play with a toy or read a book contentedly while waiting in the car. I guess Sam could have escaped in his imaginary world as a coping mechanism but I don’t think that has really been part of his characterizatio n.

So if Sam was told that Dean had been lost on a hunt but now Dad had found him and they were picking Dean up, I don’t think Sam would have acted the way he was portrayed in Bad Boys. The scene of Dean looking outside and seeing his little brother playing was supposed to be just about Sam being a kid and not at all about Sam being troubled by the circumstances. Maybe the writer intended Sam to be happy that his big brother is coming back so that’s why Sam is playing with his airplane?
# cheryl42 2014-06-28 19:34
Oh I see what you mean. That is why I don't know why the change in age. It doesn't fit with the past. It must be frustrating to write a script and have key scenes and specific storylines changed or cut altogether. I really see why those that watch the show for continuity must be frustrated. Some of the editing this year didn't really work very well. This story worked better for me when I watch it for how it was written. But I guess that is kind of cheating since that isn't how it was shown.
# lala2 2014-06-28 22:14
Great post, San! Good to see you here :)

Sam would have been a nervous wreck if Dean went missing for two months. He would have been very suspicious of anything John told him. I always got the feeling that Sam grew up that Christmas in 1991. I believe from the moment John learned that Sam knew the truth, he was done coddling Sam. That's why he gave Sam a gun at 9 (I believe) to kill the "monster" under Sam's bed. Given what we've been shown of the Winchesters and Sam, there's no way Sam would be playing w/a toy airplane - out of the window I might add - like a clueless fool under those circumstances. It was not believable on any level, IMO.
# SanSummer1 2014-06-29 03:32
I thought that John left Sam at Bobby's and went back to keep an eye on Dean. Since Dean was known to take off for an hour or three on Sam I just thought that John told Sam he and Dean were going (insert BS story) and he had to stay with Bobby for a while.
My problem is that Dean being lost on a hunt seems to have been the story right from the start:

Sam: Yeah. Uh, y-you disappeared. Dad came back. You were gone. He shipped me off to Bobby's for a couple months and went and … found you. You were lost on a hunt or something.

It was unlike Dean not to come back to the place he was staying at with Sam. Hours or even a day later John manages to come and pick Sam up. John was obviously in the middle of a hunt because Dean had been left in charge of feeding Sam and John shipped Sam off to Bobby’s. Sam stayed there for a long time. John needed to explain where Dean had gone, why he hadn’t come back, why he couldn’t call although John probably did.

But yes, I suppose John could’ve told that he had needed Dean on a job ASAP. However, Sam’s bullshit detector was probably very good. In A Very Supernatural Christmas, Sam knows he is being lied to and he finds out about the truth by himself. If he was told that Dean is fine and hunting with Dad or even working a solo case but can’t keep in contact, I don’t think Sam would have bought that story for long enough. So they had to have told that Dean is lost on a hunt while Sam was still at Bobby’s. Thus, Sam’s behavior in Bad Boys seems uncharacteristi c.
# st50 2014-06-28 15:28
That "Dad was on a rugaru hunt" line literally had me screaming in my seat!

I think totally missed the rest of that exchange between the boys. Missing it wasn't a bad thing, apparently. ;)
The whole set up was ridiculous. (ETA: In my opinion, of course)
# E 2014-06-28 19:06
Thank you Percys for the actual dialog. This makes it pretty clear that Sam DID know that Dean was missing the whole time he was gone and also implies that John wasn't even there when Dean first disappeared, that it was just Sam and Dean on their own. The end result of which is that Sam must have ended up all alone for a time; I wonder how long that was.. a day? two? before John returned and told Sam that cruel lie (lost on a hunt is John's idea of reassurance?). The whole scenario is so cockeyed and illogical that all my continuity bells are ringing. The story also ends up painting adult Sam in a bad light too, not just child Sam, because adult Sam was seemingly so unaffected by the entire incident. He's suddenly left all alone at age 9 after Dean vanishes with no warning, and then after being alone for an undetermined amount of time he's told Dean was lost on a hunt, AND then he's abandoned at Bobby's for months with no answers, and he barely even remember any of it? Really? Come ON!! Dean vanishes, and Sam's like "whatever." UGH, it's bloody awful. It's like no one even put any thought into how these events might play out in reality for either character.
# lala2 2014-06-28 22:06
It's really sloppy writing with the entire goal being to prove that Dean has always sacrificed for Sam . . .
You nailed it, Percy! It was sloppy, bad writing that destroyed canon and unnecessarily trashed both Sam and John all to achieve something we already knew and have been told numerous times before: Dean loves Sam and will sacrifice for him. Okay. Thanks. I know that. Moving on . . .

And thanks for the reminder about the rugaru mistake! Ugh . . . is there anyone in charge of this show?
# SanSummer1 2014-06-29 02:54
Hi! It’s good to see you posting! :D (I’ll reply here to your post because there is more space :D)

he gave Sam a gun at 9 (I believe) to kill the "monster" under Sam's bed.
This scene has also been on my mind!

I always got the feeling that Sam grew up that Christmas in 1991.
Yeah, to me that chain of events seems to signal the end of Sam’s innocence, the end of childhood. He even learns that Santa is not real. So it was very weird to see Sam act in such a childlike manner in Bad Boys despite the circumstances.

Sam would have been a nervous wreck if Dean went missing for two months.
Yes, there would have been hell to pay. It probably would’ve been one of those life changing moments that influenced the way Sam felt about the family business. Yet in Bad Boys that was not implied at all!
# lala2 2014-06-29 03:29
Yeah . . . . as E mentioned, I hate that the writers seem incapable of writing for two characters at the same time. Yes, it is a "Dean" episode but a good episode focuses on BOTH brothers. Showing an adult Sam who was outraged that he hadn't been told Dean was at a boys' home would have been fine. Showing a little Sam who either jumped out of the car to run for Dean or who was even just reading a book in the backseat would have been better than an unrealistic Sam who plays w/toy airplanes out of windows like he's 5.

I'm not sure who wrote this episode but hopefully he brushes up on the characters before next season . . . not like Carver cares but it would be nice.
# SanSummer1 2014-06-29 03:59
Yeah. If they wanted to show Sam playing with a toy seemingly in his own world despite how Dean had been gone for a couple of months because he had been lost on a hunt, Sam would’ve needed to be a LOT younger.

Dean: You know, when we were little— and you couldn't been more than 5— you just started asking questions. How come we didn't have a mom? Why do we always have to move around? Where'd Dad go when he'd take off for days at a time? I remember I begged you, "Quit asking, Sammy. Man, you don't want to know."

I’d say Sam should have been younger than five in Bad Boys.

For kids even staying at a summer camp can make them feel homesick. Sam was probably used to being away from John but I’ve gotten the impression that Dean was often together with Sam. So Sam should have been anxious to see his big brother again or maybe Sam would have shown some worrying signs of dissociation. Yet Sam playing with an airplane was supposed to show him as kid who is content - maybe even slightly bored of waiting.
# lala2 2014-06-29 08:44
I agree, San. Sam should have been much younger in the scene given what we know about him. If any of the creative team cared about Sam, it wouldn't have been too hard to write him correctly.
# Sharon 2014-06-29 04:22
Adam Glass wrote Bad Boys . As I said before the Sam in that scene was a functioning one who was just there for Dean to look at out the window , not one that any thought had been put into . Sam knew of hunting and the world they lived in and he learnt it in that traumatizing way by finding Dad's journal by the time he was 8 , I always believed that had a profound affect on Sam so to see this scene with a nine yr old Sam playing with a airplane was ludicrous and thoughtless for me.
# lala2 2014-06-29 08:42
Sharon, it did have a profound effect on Sam. I say he grew up that Christmas. He lost his innocence, and that's why it is inexcusable the way AG wrote Sam. Inexcusable. Is he the writer that always has Sam leaving a scene so Dean can have a personal good-bye w/the guest star? If so, I'm not surprised he got Sam all wrong int he past and present. I just wish Carver had an interest in the show beyond the two episodes he writes, which haven't been the best IMO.

I guess I just have to realize and accept that Supernatural's glory days - for me at least - are long over. It's just coasting along on past glory at this point.
# E 2014-06-29 20:17
It was sloppy, bad writing that destroyed canon and unnecessarily trashed both Sam and John all to achieve something we already knew and have been told numerous times before: Dean loves Sam and will sacrifice for him.
And this brings up another issue that bugs the crap out of me…. so, yes… Dean has sacrificed for Sam over and over, would do anything for him; we've seen it again and again (just go back and watch the Striga episode if you'd like to see Deans POV done well). But what about Sam's sacrifices? How many times has Sam given up his idea of normal and safe, his dreams for Dean? Over and over and over again, even though Sam hates hunting and always has. It's what Dean wants, so Sam does it. But no one wants to remind us of that little tidbit now do they? There's hasn't been an episode (this season or last) which shows what Sam is willing and has done, is there. It's about only what Dean has sacrificed, and this episode IMO was designed to mitigate Dean's actions earlier in the season (even though tptb took great pains to show that Dean had had very little choice when he did what he did) so that we wouldn't be too angry with him later in the season. Yuck. I REALLY hated this episode….. can you tell? :P
# lala2 2014-06-26 21:43
E, I don't mean to stalk you but this post is excellent! I basically agree w/every word you've written. I'm sick of making assumptions re: Sam. I don't want to assume John told Sam that Dean was fine or that Sam was playing to avoid John or that John gave him some BS story about Dean. I want to be told what happened. I want it to make sense given Sam's history and how Sam behaves. I want the writers to know the ages of the characters! That's not too much to ask, IMO.
# E 2014-06-27 11:45
It's not too much at all given that this show is supposedly about TWO brothers… as show with supposedly TWO leads.
# SanSummer1 2014-06-29 13:22
Hi lala2! (moving the discussion again to a place where there is room)

Sam should have been much younger in the scene given what we know about him.
7.14 Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie

Dean (on phone): Hey. You remember a chain called Plucky Pennywhistle's?
Sam [after a pause] No.
Dean: Really? Could have swore you loved those places.
Sam: No, dude, I hated them. Uh, you would dump me and go trolling for chicks.
Dean: It's not like I left you in jail. I mean, those places are supposed to be fun.
Sam: Fun? Uh, they're lame. And they smell like puke. And the ice cream is all grainy.
Dean: All right, don't have one of your episodes, okay?


Dean: Sam... I'm sorry for... psychologically scarring you.
Sam: Which time?
Dean: Shut up. Seriously. You know, me – me ditching you when we were kids, that was a dick move. You know, the whole clown thing–
Sam: You know what, man? Honestly... getting my ass kicked by those juggalos tonight was, uh... it was therapeutic.

Dean had been old enough to be interested in trolling chicks so Sam had to have been around the age he was in Bad Boys. It’s clear Sam had had a hard time coping with being left behind (“All right, don't have one of your episodes, okay?”). When Sam was shipped off to Bobby’s and he was told that Dean is lost on a hunt and Dad is trying to find him for a long time… that should have had a lasting impact on Sam because being ditched at Plucky’s had left a mark that lasted till adulthood.

Although maybe Dean started to use Plucky’s as Sam’s babysitter after the events of Bad Boys. In that case Sam’s clown phobia could be partly due to how affected he was by the couple of months he had been separated from his father and big brother because something had gone wrong.
# E 2014-06-26 11:43
In my opinion, “Bad Boys” was as much about Dean giving up his chance at a normal life to stay with Sam as it was about Sam seeing his older brother/parental substitute as a person with dreams and hopes of his own. Dean made his choice and fully embraced it, but it wasn’t easy and Sam realized that.
But his is hardly new ground for us or for Sam. Sam saw Dean's devotion to him in Croatoan when Dean refused to leave him when they both thought Sam was infected. He saw it when Dean refused to kill him when Meg was goading Dean to do so in Born Under a Bad Sign, we saw what Dean was willing to sacrifice when he sold his soul for Sam in All Hell Breaks Loose (I mean geez, how could Sam miss a gesture like THAT?). We've seen it again and again every time Dean has taken care of or saved Sam. Sam KNOWS what Dean's sacrificed for him, how much his brother loves him and what he's willing to do for him, how could he not… it's been illustrated in minute detail over and over and over again; Sam would have to be blind or stupid not to understand this. And he does understand this, he's thanked Dean for this countless times. So, why did we need the reminder in Bad Boys? What was the purpose of introducing a series of plot points that annihilated Dean's established canon? (Oh, so Dean REALLY wanted normal ALL ALONG… well that puts a major crimp into eight years of previous plot development for Dean as being the son who was actually devoted to the Family Business, but hey… let's not concern ourselves with canon, it just gets in the way) just to re-illustrate something we already know and has been better written in countless episodes prior to this one? What did we learn in this episode that was worth what it took away? Sam said thank you to Dean; but he's done so before, its not like this was a first, and what he thanked Dean for was something he's thanked Dean for previously, so it's not like he learned something new here. Since it seemed so important to TPTB to show us AGAIN why Dean is so devoted to his brother, then why could we have not had even just a little reciprocal affection coming from Sam to make Dean's sacrifice more meaningful? There are TWO brothers on this show, and what affects one brother should (and has, in past seasons) affected the other brother. But this episode ignored entirely that Dean has a brother who cares for HIM too, a brother who has sacrificed for Dean as much as Dean as sacrificed for Sam; Sam drank demon blood for Dean, he developed his powers for Dean, he took on Lucifer for Dean and jumped into the pit for all eternity for Dean. If Dean was shown to sacrifice his beloved normal for the sake of Sam, then what has Sam been doing for Dean since season 1 then? How many times has Sam committed and re-committed to the hunt even though he doesn't want to, FOR DEAN? Everyone seems to forget about that while the focus remains solely on Dean and his problems and his sacrifices, especially the writers, who couldn't be bothered to show how the events of Bad Boys might have affected Sam or to remind us that Sam has sacrificed too, just as much. You remember Sam don't you? the brother Dean is supposedly sacrificing everything for in the first place? I'd like to see some evidence that Sam is WORTH Dean's sacrifice.
# anonymousN 2014-06-26 14:46
For all we know, Sam could have gotten tired of waiting and jumped out of the car to meet Dean right after Dean had seen him.
yes for all we know.but we don't know.
# anonymousN 2014-06-26 14:40
I've seen dean Winchester act quite child like at age you recall him playing with the army guy in ditw or him buying a whoopee cushion in s5 ibtcaof.
and this particular fact matters here because?there is no similarity between situations.
# lala2 2014-06-25 22:20
Sorry. I meant no offense by my statements. I was just commenting on your statements but I won't do it again.
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 22:41
No worries here comment away. This thread is for those that are unhappy with the show and Sam's characterizatio n so I get that my opinions are very much in the minority. If I comment here I have to expect a reaction. I was just trying to clarify a comment that AG made when he live tweeted the show. Not comment on how I felt about the episode (which I did like by the way).
# LEAH 2014-06-25 22:59
Hi lala, good to see you back! How are you? Just wanted to say that Cheryl doesn't offend that easy, she is pretty mellow.:) She is right though, those of us on the happy side are pretty few and far between here lately. Sometimes it's a bit of a minefield we navigate to avoid upsetting people who are on the unhappy side.
# lala2 2014-06-26 21:27
Hi Leah :)

I am doing well! How are you? I'm glad you enjoyed this past season. Unfortunately, I did not :(

But it is nice that you did!
# Sharon 2014-06-26 02:16
After Colin I think it was pointless giving us a young Sam anyway , he defines young Sam. I do not think alot of thought was put into Sam last season Bad Boys was designed for Dean .
# lala2 2014-06-26 08:21
Sharon, I agree. Colin's performance as Sam in AVSC set the standard for Sam. He played Sam w/maturity and depth each time we've seen him. I see his Sam as older than his actual years given the weight under which he's living. That is definitely the reason I can't abide by a 12-year old Sam playing w/a toy airplane out of a window. What can I say? I just can't imagine a 12-yr old Sam doing that. A 6-yr old Sam? Sure, but not at 12.
# E 2014-06-26 12:36
I also think that Colin Ford's portrayal of an 8 year old Sam made sense given what we'd been told about Sam as a character over the course of the series. He's a scary smart, tenacious, argumentative, brave and stubborn kid who was going to end up with a FULL RIDE to Stamford University one day- do you know how hard that is? He scored a 174 on his LSATS.. that's insane, it's something like the top 2%. Especially for a kid from a nomadic background and a fractured education? Sam is freaking BRILLIANT. I see that in Colin Ford's interpretation, I don't see it in the unobservant kid hanging out the Impala's window playing with an airplane in Bad Boys; I know it was quick, but I still wanted to see Sam, not some random kid who I couldn't possibly reconcile as Sam ever given what we were shown. I can't see as Sam of 12, 10 or even 8 doing such a thing; maybe Sam at 6, but even then I have a hard time buying it. I know that the episode was in effect "not going there" as it was an episode for Dean. But would it have killed anyone to have Sam notice that his brother was looking for him out the window, yell "Dean!" and bolt to his brothers side? Just one little kernel that shows us that Dean's love and devotion is reciprocated?

When you have two characters who are co-leads, whose lives are so completely intertwined, then you need to consider them both when creating plot points for one of them. Dean has ALWAYS been considered when plot issues have arisen for Sam; Sam's not looking was shown how it affected Dean; Sam taking the trials was shown how it affected Dean, Sam's possession was shown how it effected Dean. Why is the reverse not the case now that the plot points are about Dean? Sam could have been appreciative of what Dean did for him as an adult and STILL been happy to see him as a child. So my problems with this one small thing actually speak to the larger problem that I see over all in the story telling. It's a symptom; one that needs addressing and quick, because Sam is disappearing with each small moment where his characterizatio n doesn't make sense.
# st50 2014-06-26 13:36
I agree, E.
It may be a minor point in the grand scheme of the episode.(ETA: Of course, it's not so minor, to me)... but it is SO indicative of the lack of attention to detail and characterizatio n this season.
It ends up being more upsetting than perhaps it would have been if all the other issues weren't there.
# E 2014-06-26 19:36
So, so true ST50… and so fixable as well. I've already outline several ways that could have been used to give Sam a teeny tiny little bit of characterizatio n that would not have cost anything, or required them to reshoot anything or made the episode any longer that would have helped this mess appear more logical (it wouldn't have repaired Dean's trashed canon or the damaged done to John thought). The main problem stems from the fact that the writer made the age difference between Sam and Dean almost 10 years AND NOBODY NOTICED UNTIL AFTER THE EPISODE AIRED AND THE GAFF WAS SPOTTED BY THE FANS. In the original they planned to have Dean be 14 and Sam 6, which was wrong to begin with but the problem only got worse: and then changed Dean's age to 16 because they thought the actor read too old for 14 (I disagree, but whatever). So, they changed Dean's age to 16, but left Sam the same age at 6! The took and incorrect spread of 8 years and made it 10! It makes me think that there isn't' a single writer on staff who's actually watched the series through from the beginning, not even Carver, because he didn't catch this. How do you make a mistake like that? It's excusable for a supposed professionals (well paid professionals to boot!) to be so careless and to know the background of the story they are writing for so incompletely.
# percysowner 2014-06-26 20:33
WHAT! Sam was supposed to be six? I mean that fits with his behavior and MAYBE with his not being so upset about Dean being missing although since Sam didn't find out about John hunting monsters until like eight or nine, that doesn't fit either. Are we SURE Benny sent Dean to the portal to the right universe? Because right now, I'm more than willing to buy that Dean got one universe over and his memories are being overwritten to fit. And our Sam is in universe prime having looked for Dean and decided that cracking Purgatory open was too dangerous, or he found the body of a Leviathan that had taken Dean's form so he had visual proof that Dean was dead, so he rescued Kevin, found Amelia and went for his safe life. Or He realized Dean was in Purgatory and died trying to to rescue him so Dean is willing to stay in this universe. Because this doesn't seem like "our" Supernatural universe at all.

I know, it will never happen, but it would explain a lot.
# Mick 2014-06-27 18:15
Glass never said Saw was six, he says Sam is nine.

The tweet is right here.
# Sharon 2014-06-28 02:45
And that is the point Sam was 8 in AVSC. Does anybody really believe that the Sam in that episode who found his fathers journal , that the Sam Colin Ford portrayed would be playing with a toy airplane like he was 5/6 yrs old in the back of that car. I do not , not in a million years.
# E 2014-06-28 09:07
Agreed Sharon. I know it was quick, but since when is the character of a MAIN CHARACTER treated like such an afterthought even in a small scene such as the one we got in BB? It also galls me that they decided to change Dean's age from 14 to 16 in the episode and didn't even THINK about that change in regards to his little brother who is FOUR years younger (Four, not five, or seven or ten). Why didn't they re-cast and re-film that small Sam bit so that it made sense? They've done so before and this would have taken so little time and budget to make the change. The problem is, the writer didn't know the show's history, period. He made a HUGE mistake and no one caught it, not him, not the 'continuity expert' and not the show runner.
# lala2 2014-06-28 22:23
Neither do I, Sharon. Neither do I.

I was disgusted by that scene. That one and the one where Sonny notices all the bruising on Dean's arms and it's heavily implied (to me at least) that John put those bruises there.
# LEAH 2014-06-28 22:36
Am I the only person who thought it was heavily implied that Dean fought the cop and the bruises were the result of that confrontation? I don't remember that it was ever implied that John abused the boys. He was extremely tough and ruled with an iron hand but I never got a whiff of physical abuse during the course of the series.
# cheryl42 2014-06-28 22:52
Until I read comments after the episode it never occurred to me that John caused the bruises. Didn't Dean say they happened on a werewolf hunt? I know there are superwiki whiz's here (I can never figure it out) that can let us know. But I didn't think the cop did it either. But Dean did clock the cop so I guess it is possible.
# LEAH 2014-06-28 23:00
I dunno maybe I saw it wrong but Dean slid a look to the cop when he said that. So I just figured that it was something like that, plus a werewolf hunt sounds so much better than 'I got manhandled by a cop'.
# E 2014-06-29 19:33
I felt that maybe they were implying that the bruises on Dean's arms were caused by John. The werewolf story is the kind of story concocted by abused kids so….. maybe? But then, Dean DID look at the cop who clearly had a bruised face… so there was some indication that Dean fought with the cop, so who knows. The writing was ambiguous; but not cleverly ambiguous in a "hmm well that adds in interesting twist," but more annoyingly ambiguous as in a "what are they trying to say?" kind of way. There was one other instance of a very subtle indication that maybe there was some physical abuse if I remember correctly. Dean's comment to Sam about the time Sam ran off to Phoenix during Dark Side of the Moon indicated that John had a very negative response to Sam's running away. Dean kind of left the sentence hanging "and when Dad got back…." but there was an indication or suggestion that it wasn't good for Dean. Still in "Nightmare" Sam said about his and Dean's childhood after learning about what Max had suffered; "A little more Jim Beam, a little less hunting and we could have had Max's childhood." Thats a pretty firm indicator that they DIDN'T have Max's child hood. I will be sorely disappointed if the writers choose to go all the way to obviously abusive with John. They really have trashed him in recent years and in doing so have diminished the complexity of his character into "monster father" rather than "conflicted and complex father" which is far more interesting IMO. That's my problem with this crop of writers; too many of them can't seem to get past the stock ideas (bad father, hero son, evil villain etc..) and formulaic writing that most other TV shows are using. This show used to be above that kind of banal writing, which is why it's been so successful and has lasted so long. They've slipped in recent years.
# lala2 2014-06-30 00:06
E, I'm glad it wasn't just me who thought they were implying John gave Dean those bruises. As you said, it was definitely ambiguous in the annoying, "What are you trying to say" way. I wouldn't be surprised if John is written as an physical abuser under Carver. He has no respect for the show or the characters so it wouldn't shock me unfortunately.
# lala2 2014-06-29 02:27
Hmmm..... I'm not sure. I only watched the episode the one time so I can't really recall. I felt the way I did b/c of the way the actor played the scene. There was something slightly shady about his response if I recall.

It's also possible that I am simply waiting for the writers to put the final nail in John Winchester's coffin. What other purpose did those bruises serve? Why put them on Dean in the first place? Why even raise the question?

Ever since John died, the writers have been dead set - IMO - on making him the worst father possible. I wouldn't be shocked to learn he regularly beat the boys though that has never been implied or stated.
# lala2 2014-06-26 21:21
I know! I couldn't believe when that writer told fans on Twitter, "What's the problem? Sam was like 6-years old. Of course he was clueless to what was going on."

The fact that the writer thought it would be okay for Sam to be 6 when Dean was 14 or 16 is ridiculous! Does anyone on the staff know anything about this show?!?!
# Mick 2014-06-27 18:12
He actually didn't say Sam was six, he says "How much detail do u remember from when u were nine?" Which is how old Sam was in his original script when Dean was 14.
# E 2014-06-27 23:26
But he also said that Sam was "a clueless kid" erroneously implying that Sam didn't understand about hunting which is completely wrong. So, I still contend, whether he was 8 or 9 or 10 or 12, he would have been frantic if he'd been told Dean was "lost on a hunt" because he knew what that would have meant. He certainly wouldn't have been sitting in the Impala like a half wit, playing with an airplane and not showing a care in the world. It just shows an incredible lack of attention of the world that the writers are participating in. These people are getting paid good money to do better than that.
# nappi815 2014-06-28 11:29
i read the transcript and i didn't see anywhere in it that sam was said to be a clueless kid....are you sure that he said that?
# lala2 2014-06-29 02:41
That wasn't in the transcript. We're talking about what the writer said about Sam after the episode aired, which is more problematic. People asked him on Twitter about Sam's characterizatio n in the episode, and that's where he mentioned that Sam was oblivious to what was happening b/c he was 9. I thought he said Sam was supposed to be 6, but apparently he said 9.

In any event, a 9-yr old Sam would NOT act that way. If the writer understood Sam at all, he would have known that.
# anonymousN 2014-06-28 14:19
He certainly wouldn't have been sitting in the Impala like a half wit, playing with an airplane and not showing a care in the world.
The tptb does believe that and only that matters.As far as the show runners go Sam would not have a care in the world that his brother was hurt ..he had his airplane to play with.
# lala2 2014-06-29 02:35
Regardless, when they upped Dean to 16, someone should have noted that Sam would be 11/12, not 9, and wrote him accordingly. Clearly, the writer thought it was cool to keep Sam 9 while Dean was 16, giving the brothers a 7 year age difference. That's a problem.

It's also a problem that the writer never watched AVSC, which would have given him some insight on how to approach a 9-yr old Sam. This episode clearly took place after AVSC where Sam was made aware of hunting and the supernatural. I'm sure he had been given a gun by that point so I don't see that kid playing w/a toy airplane out of the window!
# lala2 2014-06-26 21:06
Exactly, st50! Honestly, I found it insulting to me as a viewer that Carver would allow this writer to write Sam that way. It just shows, IMO, a great deal of disrespect to the viewers. There was no attempt to even try to get Sam's characterizatio n right. But then the same can be said of Dean and John. The whole episode was a mess, IMO.
# Sharon 2014-06-27 02:33
I think in their mind this young Sam was supposed to represent Sam not be Sam so any thought needed was not important. The weird thing is Jeremy Carver was the one that established Colin's wonderful Sam so to see this in Bad Boys was disappointing to say the least . But then they just wanted to establish a scene where Dean looks out the window sees Sam and makes the choice to stay with his family for Sam , that was the message they wanted to send out right before Sam found out the truth of the possession . The fact they took something that had been a corner stone of Sam's character 'wanting normal' and give it to Dean in this episode while this oblivious weird little boy was playing with a aeroplane did not make the episode any more attractive.
# lala2 2014-06-29 08:49
I honestly think Kripke influence a lot of Carver's earlier work. He knew what story he was trying to tell involving these brothers. He knew their characteristics and how they acted. I think Kripke was the mind behind the ideas of the episodes Carver wrote. For me, the only Carver episode I thought was halfway decent since his return was the S9 premiere. To me, he doesn't seem to understand the characters, esp. Sam.
# lala2 2014-06-26 20:54
Another great post, E! As you said, Sam wasn't written right in the past or the present in BB. The best written episodes, IMO, are those that impact both brothers. Just because it is a Dean-centric episode doesn't mean, or at least it shouldn't mean that Sam is forgotten. I think having Sam exit the car and run to the door would have been more believable than him just playing w/his toy airplane out of the window like a clueless child. It's like Sam wasn't aware of his surroundings or what was going on, and I just can't see the Sam Colin played acting like that.
# eilf 2014-06-27 00:41
Colin Ford's Sam grew up to be a person who while trying to do what was right under the most impossible of circumstances became the final link in the start of the apocalypse. He then gave up his life to (as he thought) eternal torment to fix his mistake. He is, as yet, unforgiven, but he continues to atone.

The child in BB grew up to start the apocalypse all alone (because: reasons), resulting in the deaths of many innocent people, whose blood is on his hands and no one else's. He would go on to be rescued, as always, by his older brother (who is always getting him out of scrapes) who then saved the world from the apocalypse for him.

Actually I could see BB being the spin-off for an AU that I could very happily ignore ;)
# E 2014-06-28 10:14
You know, it's funny. I remember in season 4's In The Beginning when there was such a huge fan uproar because a whole episode had gone by in which Sam didn't even appear. The Sam side of the fandom was beside themselves with anger that a main character could be so summarily dismissed, written out of an entire episode and seemingly ignored as though he was of no consequence. But, in watching that episode again recently, I felt Sam's presence and importance more keenly in that episode, an episode in which he didn't even appear, then I have pretty much for the past two years since Carver took over. Because even though Sam wasn't in In The Beginning, his presence was felt, his importance as a character was made clear and much of what Dean did was based on his knowledge of Sam. That episode was actually pretty much all about Sam; what he was doing and why, how he ended up with demon blood in him, what his mother inadvertently did to him that was motivating his choices in the present, and the danger of the path that he was on were all a huge and relevant part of that story line. I felt Sam's presence in that episode and I felt his importance to the development of season 4's arcs. In Bad Boys, I got the reverse… Sam was onscreen, and supposedly "learning something" about Dean, but his presence was of no consequence; who he was, and why he was there was not important and his actions had no relevance. Sam as a person and as a supposedly functioning member of the show's season long arc was immaterial. And because Sam has been rendered so irrelevant lately, no one seems to care if they get his characterizatio n right, so he's overlooked entirely and written completely incorrectly, both as a child and as an adult. Because it doesn't matter, in the overall grand scheme of things, for them to bother get his character right, as it ended up making not one bit of difference. Dean needs to become a demon, who cares what Sam does or how he looks, it's irrelevant. If you look back to the start of season 8, you can find the same problem in pretty much everything pertaining to Sam. No one has cared to get Sam right because his character being inaccurate changed nothing. Who cares if Sam is acting OOC by not looking for Dean and allowing Kevin to remain a captive of Crowley, the direction of the story is more important than his characterizatio n anyway, so big deal that the character of Sam would never in a million years have NOT looked for Dean or let Kevin to suffer if he'd been allowed to act in character, we needed him to not look for Dean and let Kevin suffer, period. So, put Jared on the screen twice as much or cut him out completely, it wouldn't make any difference to how the current story is being told, because Sam as a character is of no consequence. It's shameful.
# lala2 2014-06-29 02:50
Don't know how I missed this but I couldn't agree more w/you! Excellent post!

It is really sad how OOC Sam has been written since Carver took over. I felt bad for Jared last year having to deal w/Carver's OOC writing, and I feel for him this year being a complete non-entity on the show. Honestly, if Sam/Jared were removed from the entire second half of the season, absolutely nothing would have changed. Heck, he wasn't needed in the first half of the season either. Lately, he is so often written as a plot point that it's ridiculous.
# Alice 2014-06-26 23:04
I'm not sure if I would rank it as my worst ever, or even the worst of S9 (Bloodlines still has that honor), but I definitely didn't like "Bad Boys." It was an exercise in redundancy and total rehash. Where is the daring storytelling? It was blatant fan service, designed for those looking for shout-outs, not real character growth. Plus, it really didn't mean anything in the end.

Also, glad to see you here again lala2! I'm glad you decided to share your thoughts on Sam. I just think something went very wrong but the reasons why go beyond my limited article space.
# lala2 2014-06-29 03:03
Hi Alice :)

The reason I hate BB over Bloodlines, Bitten, or familiar/witch episode is those episodes did not, IMO, fundamentally change the show or the characters. I see BB as changing everything I thought I knew about Dean. Instead of having a desire for normal as an adult who had gone through horrible experiences, we learn that Dean always wanted normal. Okay. Fine, but that really calls into question why he has harped on, harassed, and insulted Sam for going to college or even being w/the horrible (sorry . . . my opinion) Amelia. Why did Sam have to apologize for "leaving the family" if Dean has also always wanted a normal life? It makes Dean a petty, jealous hypocrite, IMO, and I would prefer to not see him that way.

John . . . need I say more. Every time an episode mentions him, he becomes a worse father, IMO. I have no idea why Dean gambled away and/or lost the food money but given what we know about Dean and John, I'm sure Dean was trying to stretch out the money John gave. I honestly don't think Dean recklessly decided to gamble away the food money. I just don't see him doing that knowing he had to feed himself and Sam w/that money. John was probably gone longer than expected. I mentioned elsewhere that the inclusion of the bruises in the episode also threw me for a loop. No, Dean didn't say John hit him but I guess I've just been waiting for that shoe to drop so my mind went there. Was there a point to Dean being bruised up except for Sonny to think Dean was being abused by John? It's not like Sonny talked to Dean's social worker so what was the point of that scene? Do we really believe John just let Dean stay in this boys' home as punishment? We've always been told he kept a tight leash on the boys so I don't believe he would just let Dean stay at that home for a few months.

And Sam . . . . poor Sam. He was written poorly in the past and present. Adult Sam has no feelings about the time Dean was missing on a hunt but had really been at a boys home. I would expect that adult Sam would have some type of reaction to that news other than the non-reaction he was given. And past Sam's characterizatio n was completely off. That episode definitely ranks as my least favorite episode of Supernatural.
# cheryl42 2014-06-25 20:59
# nappi815 2014-06-26 10:46
deleted post.
# cheryl42 2014-06-26 18:19
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2014-06-27 06:46
I’m afraid I haven’t a lot of time to put into this (though it will still be more time than the writers and showrunner have put into writing Sam for the last two seasons), but it’s perfectly clear that Sam in Carver’s tenure has served his purpose; his words (though misheard) and his (unexplained by the show) actions have brought the shows hero, Dean, to demonhood. They have cast aside seven seasons of characterisatio n for Sam (and Dean), seven seasons of Sam showing just how much he does care about his brother and how much he is willing to sacrifice for him, because Dean needed to become a demon and the best way for that to happen is via Sam. Shur didn’t it nearly happen back in season 3, when Dean going to hell ‘for Sam’ (though I don’t ever remember Sam asking Dean to do it so I don’t know how he did it ‘for Sam’, and Dean’s words over Sam’s body made it perfectly clear that he was doing it for Dean but we won’t worry about little things like that) almost turned him into a demon.

Sam isn’t having an identity crisis, because under Carver, Sam does not have an identity to suffer a crisis from (or however that is phrased). Sam is there to serve one purpose, to be the catalyst for Dean angst and Dean action, nothing more. Once that is done, knock him out or tie him up or tell him to leave or lie to him so that he’ll bugger off somewhere else. Sam is like the chameleon of the show now, he is whatever the show needs him to be in order to further the woobification of Dean. His actions, his words, don’t merit explanation because to do so would not only take focus away from Dean’s feels and it also it means if his words or actions are explained then they can't be used as a reason for why Dean does what he does/thinks what he thinks. Last season, had Sam sat down and clearly explained to Dean that he believed Dean was dead and that’s why he didn’t try and bring him back, and made sure that Dean heard him (though that would entail Dean unclogging the wax of self pity and self righteousness out of his ears and Carver’s Dean is incapable of doing that), then there would be fewer doubts in Dean’s mind about how high he stands in Sam’s estimation.

Ditto with the possession, the focus could not be on the possession itself or the effect that it had on Sam because to do so would take time and focus away from the effect that it had on Dean. (That scene in Road Trip when Dean walks away from Sam being tortured because he ‘can’t watch that anymore’ really epitomises that. Dean can’t face the consequences of what he’s responsible for and so he walks away. And that time is used to tell us that Dean’s flaw is that he is too ‘trusting’. Forget about the guy being tortured, forget about the possession, forget about the dead prophet; focus on the Dean feels. Nauseatingly manipulative stuff and it shows us that there are no lengths the show won’t go to in minimising other characters so that Dean can be talked up.) And let’s face it; there was no focus on the possession itself. Being possessed has gone from something heinous in past seasons to being like having a roommate, with benefits for Dean because he could use Gadreel to do whatever he wanted, this season. (Though Dean did make a joke about Sam being possessed by Meg in season 2 so I’m sure why I expected any different now.) What was the terrible effect of the possession; nightmares. Well, big fucking wow. You know when we first saw Sam have nightmares on the show; Wendigo, episode 1.2, nine years ago. Yet we’re to think that nightmares are such a terrible consequence to being possessed as to warrant Sam being angry?? Yeah, Carver really pushed the boat out in terms of effort, explanation and imagination with that one, didn’t he? When did we find out about these terrible, terrible nightmares that Sam was suffering from (and Sam has probably been having nightmares since he found out about hunting when he was eight) in the last third of the final episode of the season...... Kinda says it all. And why was there no focus on the possession or the effect it had on Sam? Because to do so would take focus and sympathy away from Dean, and that just is not allowed on the show.

Sam’s record with Carver has not been good. He has spent half a season being metaphorically shat upon by all and sundry, to being sick for half a season, to not being Sam for half a season, to being irrelevant for half a season so I’m not exactly hopeful about what Carver will bring us for Sam next season. I’m expecting plenty of talk about how Sam didn’t appreciate Dean enough and it’s all his fault and if only he was a better brother and a better person then Dean wouldn’t have been forced to become a demon (Hey, it’s SPN. When’s the last time Dean’s actions weren’t made out to be someone else’s fault?) Sam is there to make Dean look good. He’s there to serve Dean. If Sam’s strength is making Dean look weak then don’t make Dean stronger, take away Sam’s strength. If Sam’s morals are making Dean look bad, take away Sam’s morals. If Sam’s desire for independence is causing Dean pain, take away his desire for independence etc etc.

And for those who are hoping for Sam’s POV next season, sorry lads, but dream on. First of all, why would they do that? They haven’t shown Sam have a regular POV since season 3, why would they do it now? Secondly, for Sam to have a POV he first of all needs to have his character nailed down, and he doesn’t. For heaven sake, some of the writers can’t get the age of the character right, yet these are guys who are trusted with getting his characterisatio n and POC right? Sam constantly changing to serve whatever purpose the show needs suits the show. It makes for easy writing later on. To have Sam talk or explain himself etc will nail down something concrete about the character, and that won't work for the purpose they are using Sam for these days.

Add to that, there is no guarantee that it will be Sam who will cure Dean. I wouldn’t even assume that it will be Sam; given how irrelevant and incompetent he has been shown to be in the past two seasons. Sam will probably set everything up to save him and then manage to knock himself out at the final minute, paving the way for Castiel to step in and once again, be the one that saves Dean from demonhood. (I can’t see why not. Everything else in season 8 and 9 has been done before.)

On an aside, kudos to JP for his work this year. Were it not for him Sam would literally have been mute wallpaper. (Though were it not for his stellar acting he’d probably have gotten more lines because they wouldn’t be able to use the ‘Jared can tell so much with just his expression’ excuse any more. Ah, where talent is a double edged sword!) It must have been hard for him to try and make a working character out of minimal exposition but he did it very well.
# Jo1027 2014-06-27 08:32
Yes!!!!!!!!! Exactly what I think will happen in season 10. I agree with you that the writers can't be bothered to find out who Sam is or write a Sam POV. Shame on them. This is supposed to be a show with 2 leads but nowadays (since season 3) it's been the Dean show with Sam being a plot point.
# E 2014-06-27 11:40
Sam isn’t having an identity crisis, because under Carver, Sam does not have an identity to suffer a crisis from (or however that is phrased). Sam is there to serve one purpose, to be the catalyst for Dean angst and Dean action, nothing more.Once that is done, knock him out or tie him up or tell him to leave or lie to him so that he’ll bugger off somewhere else.
Tim, you've managed to sum up very succinctly and eloquently EXACTLY how I feel. I've been ranting and railing all over this particular thread as it's focus is part-and-parcel as to why I am so upset about the characterizatio n of Sam over the past two seasons. It took me a while to catch on to the true nature of Carver's "three year arc" but now that I see it, I am beyond disappointed, angry..… no even that isn't strong enough; betrayed, I feel betrayed because Carver has betrayed the very essence of Sam. In the past two years, Sam has been rendered mute about any and all plot points, even his own; he's become ineffectual and incompetent, being knocked unconscious 37 times since season 6 as compared to Dean's 14, a ratio of nearly 3 to1. He's lost his moral compass, the one thing that kept him from turing dark side when his powers threatened to overwhelm him. He's been made to be in the wrong about Dean, about Benny, about Martin, about wanting normal (although, it's apparently OK for Dean now) for not looking, about not going to extremes to save his brother, about pretty much everything. He's failed - at living normal, at being at hunter and at saving Dean. He's been rendered mute having not been allowed to complete a thought (or even a single sentence) and allowing Deans misperceptions of him to perpetuate in furtherance of the plot and against his established nature simply because that's what is most convenient for the writers. He's lost his smarts and intuitiveness. His core issues and ongoing problems have disappeared and have resurfaced as issues for Dean or Cas or some other character - particularly his being duped, being addicted, being a freak and a monster, his danger of going dark side, his needing to be 'saved or killed', loosing his soul, and his wanting normal. All they need to do now is have Dean start having hallucinations and pretty much everything Sam was ever about will have been stolen from him to become an issue for someone else. He serves no purpose; Dean's purpose is now to be a demon, to be saved and to ultimately have to face the consequences of how and why he became what he became. Cas has the angel war and the Metatron issue. Crowley is still struggling for control of Hell and has his new pet project in demon Dean. Garth is building his werewolf life, Jody is becoming a hunter and finding a life with A4. Charlie is having adventures in OZ. What does Sam have? What does he need to do? What plagues him, what is he trying to fix? (other than Dean, that is?) What is Sam's function on this show? He's no longer a character, he's a tool, a plot point and reason for the other characters to do what they do and feel what they feel. I hold out zero hope for season 10.
# nappi815 2014-06-27 07:41
I've been seeing dean in a more negative light for the past two seasons, not in a positive one at all. I don't see sam as being represented as mere dean fodder, I actually see where sam has actually grown and matured into the man he is today from the boy he was all those nine years ago. sam started hunting these nine going on ten years ago out of a need for revenge. he started out angry, angry at himself, angry at dean angry at his father. sam has since been through so much, suffered through so much, learned so much, he amazes me with his ability to handle whatever is thrown his way. even when totally lost and alone, he managed to find a way to endure, to survive and come back from it. he takes every bit of crap that dean's ever handed him and he never has given up on his relationship with his brother and at times, it hasn't been easy, especially lately.

I don't take away that dean is an awesome hunter or a brother who loves sam more than he loves himself. but he is flawed and I think these last two seasons have been focusing on his flaws. then again, as I mentioned, I think that's what this story has been about. the boys facing their monsters. you see, I don't look at dean becoming a demon because of anything sam did...dean did this to himself. dean becoming a demon has everything to do with his own issues of lack of self worth in himself. it's been a long running theme in this show. it's nothing new. dean's issue has prevented him from maturation. imho he still behaves like a child at times. his selective hearing, his inability to admit when he's done wrong...these are not the signs of a mature adult. dean Winchester has done a lot of good, don't get me wrong, but dean Winchester is still basically the boy he was so many years ago. he hasn't learned from his mistakes. he still hasn't learned to accept responsibility and deal with it in a constructive manner. instead of facing his brother, he decided to run away and take on the moc as punishment. instead of facing his fears he runs from them...he'll run straight for a monster but he'll run away from himself. :(

I don't think the end scene in bad boys was about dean making another sacrifice for sam at all. I think it just further illustrates dean's need for his brother and what he'll do to keep sam in his life. because as we were told in devils trap and as was shown so many times since, dean needs them more than they need him. he can't be alone and that has more to do with how he feels about himself.

I know dean loves sam, just as I know sam loves dean. but what we've seen through the years in regards to dean is a smothering love that's brought harm to others. dean is the only one who isn't able to see this. I don't see sam in a negative light at all. I've seen sam do nothing but fight. he's been fighting his own inner turmoil. he's fighting to keep his relationship with his brother. he's been fighting dean to make him see that sam loves him , he's been doing that for quite some time now. sam is a man who is basically fighting a does one fight a child? it's not easy. you have to be careful. you have to let that child know they need to stop making these mistakes, they need to know that actions have consequences, you have to make them understand that just because you don't always want the same things or see things the same way it doesn't mean they don't love you with their dying breath...but most of all, a child must be able to let go...all of these things which sam has accomplished and dean has yet to.

this season hasn't been about dean being the most self sacrificing woobie in the history of tv,, this season and last have focused on dean's inner issues full on and in Technicolor and his inability to deal with them. dean didn't turn into a demon because of anything sam has done. dean turned into a demon because of what he has done. dean did this to himself.
# cheryl42 2014-06-27 12:25
post removed by request
# st50 2014-06-27 12:35
Since there are no positive threads going on at the moment I am taking a break from the silliness.
PLEASE stop this. Just because you disagree, does NOT make the concerns of the people on this thread "SILLY".
Your disagreement has been made clear through the course of the discussion. There is NO NEED to insult the people who post here.
Thank you.
# cheryl42 2014-06-27 12:40
I'm sorry my comment was not directed at you or anyone else but Nappi. My only intent was to encourage Nappi to continue being positive. I am not trying to insult anyone but since you have found my post offensive I will be glad to remove it. And the silliness that I am referring to has to do with the over all fandom. Since I have never insulted anyone on this website ever (and I have been posting here for a while) I don't see how you could possibly come to the conclusion that my intent was to disregard the feelings of anyone on this site. But since you have found me offensive I will gladly leave this thread.
# percysowner 2014-06-27 13:04
cheryl Although posting activity has fallen off, we still have the Season Nine season Divine (" ewinchesterfami lets-discuss/18 568-let-s-discu ss-supernatural -season-nine-se ason-devine-or- season-malign") thread for those who enjoyed the season and who want a happy and optimistic discussion.
# cheryl42 2014-06-27 13:13
Thank you I appreciate the suggestion. I am interested in all opinions and I'm sorry I made a comment that was offensive. It wasn't my intent.
# thisoldbag 2014-06-27 13:46
oh don't leave us Cheryl! For those like me, who are sort of on the fence, it's been great reading both sides. I can understand both sides much better now and you have helped me do that.
btw...I was not offended at all by what you said...but then I really don't get offended unless it gets personal.
# cheryl42 2014-06-27 22:42
:) Thank you
# nappi815 2014-06-27 20:26
Cheryl, I don't know what you said, but i'm so sorry if I got us into trouble. thank you for all your support, and don't you dare stop posting. I enjoy reading your posts and I relish your optimistic better think twice before you leave me here alone in the wilderness;):D

I know you lean towards dean more, so I hope my post didn't upset you or leah for that matter. last season, the first half, I was so angry with dean I actually fast forwarded all the dean/benny parts in blood brother and watched only the sam parts...and they werent even all that interesting:D,( not a big fan of Amelia but I understood her purpose)...then as I was reading some of the posts from the middle of this season, many who expressed their ennui with dean's wallowing, it just dawned on me and I connected the dots and came to the conclusion of the story I feel carver is trying to tell. I gotta tell you, it made me feel so much better, cuz I didn't like being angry with dean for half a season and I felt bad that I didn't really feel sympathy for him this season, not til the last eppy...but when I realized I wasn't supposed took the frustration away....I don't get angry at dean anymore...I understand him now....I may have been harsh in my thinking and if it upset you, i'm sorry it wasn't my intention...but I think we're seeing the worst part of dean we can get back to the best part of him...which I know is in there, as does sam. ;)

do you think it's possible to create a thread where people can discuss sam Winchester with positivity? I mean this thread is titled sam Winchester: a deeper look. there is no indication in the title that this was intended to be a bitterness thread. I came in here anxious to read about all the sam love...boy did I end up at the airport when I should've been at the train station:). it's very overwhelming in here for those of us who don't have such a negative outlook, but there's no other thread available to discuss sam Winchester either. isn't it possible to do two threads? I mean they would be the exact same review, only one of the titles can say a deeper look into sam Winchester the positive side of things...or something like that? it's just that, I think that some of us who don't feel as negative as others do don't really feel welcome here, it's like we're the nerds who crashed the fraternity party :D

just a thought...
# LEAH 2014-06-27 21:29
Hey Nappi, I rarely get upset with Dean criticism if it seems fair. He deserves some criticism. You have a way of seeing the big picture and offering criticism that never bothers me :) Cheryl is Sam leaning BTW but she is very fair in her assessment of the characters. I try to be as well.

It is interesting to me that a lot of the criticisms of every Dean action come from the same people who think that Dean is "never shown" as wrong or is always portrayed in a sympathetic way. How can Dean be seen as a jerk for the best part of 2 years and still be seen as always "right" and so very sympathetic. I find that dichotomy amusing.
# cheryl42 2014-06-27 21:38
No Nappi you didn't do anything I used an unfortunate phrase this morning (pre-coffee) and caused a bit of issue. It is actually ongoing and I don't know how it will all end. But I hope that everything will calm down and if I have to go I certainly will to keep the peace.
And it may come as a huge shock to you but I am actually a Sam girl. I love both brothers but yeah love my Sam. But I will defend Dean anytime anywhere.
# nappi815 2014-06-27 22:07
Cheryl, me too...i'm most definitely a sam girl...but I am dean curious:) actually I started out with equal love and then I went to my first con and met the boys in person. they are so genuine and so amazing, but it was jared who won my heart. :)

hey leah,

i'm glad I didn't upset you. it's just that last year I really started getting upset that I started not liking dean. I was mad at me. I didn't like it. I wanted to thrash that boy for the first half of the season. then I felt better the second half and I remember trying so hard to find reasons for dean behaving the way he did in the first half. it wasn't until the middle of this season after reading, I believe njspn fan's post about how he was tiring of dean's pity party. this is a guy's opinion and even he felt the need to gripe about it....then it occurred to me that maybe that's what we are supposed to be doing....maybe we're supposed to be taking notice of dean's behavior as it's been these last couple of seasons and maybe we're supposed be seeing the worst part of who dean is...

the way I've seen this season and last is they're finally tackling the subject of our boys issues and how that influences their way of thinking and how they misperceive ea. other...especia lly the way they love ea. other.
# st50 2014-06-27 13:57
I appreciate your apology, and I'm glad that wasn't your intent. I admit to being on a "hair trigger" since one of the (many) reasons I stopped posting here before was the reaction to my opinion.
I would like to think that I would call anyone ("positive" or "negative") out for what I consider to be a rudeness. I haven't seen a lot on this thread, mostly just "I'm glad you're happy, but I'm not" kind of posts.
I'm not asking you to leave the thread, just to be a bit more careful in your wordage. :)
# cheryl42 2014-06-27 14:44
Thank you for that normally I am very careful about anything I post. Evidently I didn't think this one through very well.:)
# E 2014-06-27 20:16
Hi nappi, in a lot of ways I agree with you here. I haven't been feeling too charitable towards Dean lately either; I want to be but it's not happening ATM. I've always been fond of Dean and used to consider myself a Sam leaning bi-bro fan. But lately Dean's been getting on my very last nerve, and all my sympathies are with Sam. Latley, I don't even find myself giving Dean the benefit of the doubt which isn't very fair. He's coming across to me as a self-pitying, self-righteous, emotionally stunted child whose epic pity parties I can barely watch; on two occasions I've even turned the sound down until Sam came back onscreen (unfortunately that meant 3/4 of the episode went by in silence, but that's a problem for another time :D). Dean's unwillingness to learn from his mistakes and change his behavior is beyond irritating. Someone who stagnates so completely is the opposite of interesting to me. So, I can certainly see your point and agree with you there as my reaction to Dean, this year and last, has been similar. And I absolutely agree that Demon Dean is the result of his own stubborn stupidity and nothing more. He created the situation that he's now in and pretty much got what he deserved. I wish that they'd had the demon thing come from something more beyond his control, then I might have been able to feel more sympathy for him. But he's made his own bed, so I don't want to hear him complain about having to lie in it later on in season 10.

Having said that though, I am not at all convinced that TPTB understand that some of us feel this way, or that this was their intention. They've never been edgy or controversial or even remotely risky with Dean's character; he's almost never shown in a bad light, so I don't believe that they are doing so now. I get your interpretation, that you think his behavior is being highlighted so that they can address a much needed change, and maybe that is one way of looking at it. But I'm not sure that's how Carver and Co. see Dean, or that this is where they are going with the story. We won't know of course until season 10 gets under way (October seems like a loooooong way off), but my take on this is far more pessimistic than yours. I think that Carver is highlighting Dean's story as the big crisis of the poor put-upon hero in trouble, the brave soldier abandoned to fight alone, and that we ARE supposed to feel sorry for him. The reason I think this goes back to POV and how much Dean got and how little (as in basically none) that Sam, as the counterargument to what Dean's going through and the character that Dean is at odds with, has had. I am of the opinion that not only are we supposed to be feeling badly for Dean, that we are also supposed to feel as though Dean's troubles are in some measure Sam's fault. If we aren't supposed to feel for Dean, then why have Sam say such terrible, harsh things to him, and then have him not explain fully what he means? Sam left Dean to rot in purgatory for a girl, Sam almost died and didn't appreciate it when Dean saved him. Sam withheld his trust and love, all of which pushed Dean toward the Mark, making him vulnerable to its affects. The story never counteracted any of those notions about Sam's culpability that they themselves set forth, so I am of the opinion that we are supposed to take it at face value. If we aren't supposed to feel Dean's pain and anguish and see Sam's side of things then why show us how hurt Dean is over and over, but give us no information about how hurt Sam is? If we aren't supposed to blame Sam then why have him make questionable choices such as not to look for Dean when he was missing, or to declare that they are no longer brothers and then refuse to allow us to see and hear Sam's rationale? Why are other characters (Cas, Kevin, even Crowley) validating Dean's feelings of sorrow, but then calling into questions Sam's motives (as was done repeatedly in season 8). Why is Dean bringing up his side of the conflict again and again without Sam ever correcting him or defend himself or even offering up another way of looking at things? How are we to deduce that Dean is incorrect in his thinking when his side of the argument is the only one presented? The one who ended up looking wrong here, was Sam. If you want to highlight someone's behavior as being negative or needing to change, then you've got to frame that behavior and have it countered by someone else in the show. The only two characters in the position to do this are Sam and Castiel. Sam has not been allowed to highlight Dean's behavior as he sees it, OR been allowed to show us his side, as he's not even finished a sentence in almost two years. Castiel has not only NOT criticized Dean, he's triumphed his behavior by calling him "too trusting" about the possession and complimenting his willingness to "try and save everyone." So, not critical at all and even heroic seeming.

Why, if we are supposed to be critical of Dean's behavior were we given feature episodes like Dog Dean Afternoon that remind us how lovable and funny Dean is, or Rock and a Hard Place that show us how endearing and sexy he is? or like Thinman, First Born, AND A4 which all showcased how much of a badass and efficient hunter Dean is? Or like Bad Boys which reminds us how sacrificial Dean's always been, especially where Sam is concerned. Why, if we are supposed to be questioning his mindset does Dean get heartfelt discussions with various characters like Cas, Crowley, Charlie, Garth and even a dead Kevin that showcases the depth of his emotions, his guilt and sorrow, over and over again? Where were the feature episodes that showed us how endearing, sacrificial, funny, or smart or bad ass Sam is? (although it's pretty hard to be a badass when you are unconscious for half the season). Where was Sam's heartfelt conversation to ghost Kevin where he could have revealed that he was being plagued by nightmares? Instead of a heartfelt confession to ghost Kevin pouring out his heart about how bad he felt, Sam got chastised by said ghost for "refusing to let it go." Sam was in a room with Kevin's mom and was forced to be the one to tell her that her son was dead and even then, he we got zero insight into how he was feeling or what he was suffering. Why leave all that potential insight out if you are in fact trying to call into the questionable behavior of one character by showing the effects on the other? There were no effects on Sam, so therefore it's impossible to view Dean's actions as wrong. Why was Sam made to walk away all the time leaving the camera to linger on Dean's suffering, heartbroken face? No, I can't see it; I don't think TPTB are showcasing the problem or incorrectness of Dean's behavior whatsoever. On the contrary, I think all the support, all the insight has been for Dean and because of that, we are supposed to champion Dean's behavior. Episodes like Bad Boys seems almost like a preemptive strike against the things that Sam might get angry about, reminding all of us that Dean's motives regarding Sam were "pure" so that we'd remember that when Sam accuses him of being selfish. If I wasn't pre-disposed toward Sam in the first place, I'd never figure we are supposed to be on his side in this argument, not by what we've been shown of this conflict so far. I don't think the show supports Sam's side at all, especially when compared with the mountain of insight we've gotten for Dean ad naseaum this season and if the show can's support Sam, then it's tough for the fans to do so either.
# nappi815 2014-06-28 16:27
if you're gonna get upset about a continuity issue i'll give you's free and on me......;) dean's line to sam : remember when we were in upstate ny, dad was on a rugaru hunt.....well as i recall, in metamorphosis.. .when travis told dean that jack was a rugaru...i believe that dean's response was "a ruga what...a rugaru? is that made up, it sounds made up" see now that i did notice.:D
# cheryl42 2014-06-28 17:09
That is right up there with the Grand Canyon remark. Took me out of the scene for a moment. Even BE couldn't remember the continuity. Although someone should have. There are plenty of canyons.:)
# E 2014-06-28 18:32
Hell… I'd be happy to be hired on as continuity expert!!! If I could see the J's every day, they wouldn't even have to pay me!
# nappi815 2014-06-29 16:27
they could use someone to re read the scripts and I think any one of us could do that...but e, you wouldn't see the boys every day because the writers are in California. see I want to be the one that gives out the candy...then for sure i'd get to see jared :D
# E 2014-06-29 18:36
Or the one who gets to tie them and/or oil them up. LOOOVE to have THAT job. ;)
# E 2014-06-28 18:31
Heh! That's true nappi… that was pretty bad too! :D And even the great BE isn't' immune. The Grand Canyon! Humph. Still… neither one of those mistakes made either Sam or Dean look bad, just the writers.
# nappi815 2014-06-29 16:21
in regards to the eppy bad boys, I think I have to agree that Adam Glass did not do his homework and he didn't really take into account a lot of factors. I do understand and can agree with a lot of points made in regards to this particular episode.

first off, if the end scene were to have any credibility at all sam should have been 4 years old. If I had been writing the script, I would have made dean 9 and sam 4. I can totally see dean getting kissed for the first time at age 9. the reason I say this is because....had adam binge watched the early seasons of sam and dean Winchester he might have remembered this pretty well known and most likely the most memorized speech dean has ever given:

"you know when we were little. you couldn't have been more than five. you started asking questions. why don't we have a mom, where did dad go, why do we have to move around so much. I remember I kept telling you, quit asking Sammy, you don't want to know, I just wanted you to be a kid for a little while longer....

so 5 year old sam was already curious and asking very grown up questions... by the time sam is 8, he already knows about monsters...and sadly learns that santa isn't real...but I think the point is that I don't think sam was ever a clueless kid. not post age 5 anyway.

one more thing that doesn't compute in this story. if dean had in fact gone off to steal so sam could eat, there's two ways to go here:
1. dean ditched sam while he was awake and told him he'd be back soon. I would assume that if dean hadn't returned that night, sam would've been frantic. it's just not a memory he would forget....and if that was the case, how did dean go from getting sam food to being lost on a hunt? does one think that dean would tell sam, i'm going on a hunt back soon. just doesn't compute.
2. a scenario which is more likely is that dean snuck out when sam was asleep, like he did in something wicked. he got busted. the cops called his dad. in the meantime you have sam, a 9 yr old kid, sleeping alone in a hotel room with no idea that his brother isn't there...which makes dean look like an ass. then sam wakes up in the morning to find dad there and not dean...and then his dad tells him that dean is lost on a hunt? wouldn't sam ask his dad...when did dean go on a hunt? that story doesn't compute. what really doesn't make sense is that john wouldn't have found dean for two months?

even if sam was told the story after the fact, sam still wouldn't have believed the story because sam was with dean in the bungalow. so sam would've remembered that dean had gone out....I really don't believe that sam would have fallen for that story....dean wouldn't go on a hunt and not tell sam. or at most leave sam a note so when sam got up in the morning and dean wasn't there..he wouldn't panic.

no, the only saving grace for this eppy would've been for the writer to adjust the age of sam and dean to a younger age. it would've made sense too because a younger dean would definitely have that dream of living normal and being a normal kid. dean so would've been kissed for the first time at age 9, it would make sense that he'd get busted stealing as he'd be newer at doing it, and then I can see that heartwarming ending where a very young dean chooses to be with a very young sam....that ending would've made people a lot happier I think....

so I will contend that the writing for this eppy was extremely lax.....

I still love this season and I still have no problems overall with how sam was written. I still hold this season to be one of my faves. ;)
# cheryl42 2014-06-29 17:19
Scenario 2) Of course my theory hinges on the age. Sam is 9 hasn't gone on hunts yet but is aware of them. He wakes up in the hotel Dean is gone but John is there to take him to Bobby's. He asks where is Dean? John tells him Dean is already at the hunt waiting for John to join him. Since the boys were trained (Sam especially) from infancy that everything is need to know, Sam who has questions but knows better, accepts Johns word. After they pick up Dean is when they tell Sam Dean was lost on the hunt. See if you look at it sideways with heavily tinted glasses it could make sense. Alright I give as well. It could have been written a whole lot better. It was a sweet story, it's too bad that someone didn't go over it a little more carefully.
# nappi815 2014-06-29 17:22
I agree and Cheryl on the drive to work today I looked at it sideways, upside down and inside out...I have to give them this one....but like I said, still doesn't change my overall opinion on this season....loved it...loved sam....looking forward to the conclusion of this story arc. ;)
# E 2014-06-29 18:34
It still doesn't explain why Dean was sent off to a hunt alone. In the pilot Sam was shocked to learn that at some point after he'd left that Dean began to hunt on his own. to which Dean replied "Dude, I'm 26!." Dean would have been 22 when Sam left for college and the conversation in the pilot indicates that they never hunted alone prior to that. So, even though your scenarios make a certain kind of sense, there are still baaaaadd plot holes to ANYONE who knows this show. Also, we shouldn't have to work so hard to get the plot to flow; the writer should have been to one to do the work. This episode joins Taxi Driver for me as one of the two most damaging episodes ever written. In some ways this episode is worse because it directly screwed up main character canon for both boys.
# cheryl42 2014-06-29 18:57
Dean probably was sent to meet up with Caleb or Pastor Jim (in Johns BS story to Sam) and was waiting for John to meet up with him. From there he was "lost" on the hunt. That is with my super glasses on.
But I do wonder why of all of the scenarios they came up with why one that super-SPN fans (which I am not) would spot in an instant. I understand the time at the home was not known to Sam so they had to come up with another story other than Dean caught stealing and sent to a boys home. But what other story would have worked better? Sam couldn't know the truth or the story wouldn't have worked. So it would have to have been believable for a 9 year old Sam aware of hunting that would make it ok for Dean to be gone for a couple of months even with John with him. I really think it was a good episode except for the beginning set up couldn't hold up under scrutiny (not even going to mention the rugaru). So speculate what would you write to make it work.
# E 2014-06-29 19:01
Yes lala… that's it exactly lala, thanks! ;). I got the part about being 6 wrong, but the overall age gap of 9 vs 16 was still wrong by 3 years and Sam's characterizatio n was completely off. A 9 year old Sam already knew what his family did for a living, and had been given a loaded 45 for the "thing in his closet" by John. Presumably Sam knew how to use that gun as well, or was in the process of learning how to. And as another poster pointed out, it wasn't long after this that Sam was being brought out on hunts. He stayed in the car, but he watched, he saw, he understood; he was absolutely NOT "oblivious."
# nappi815 2014-06-29 19:45
let's face it...adam glass wins a razzie for this eppy.....:D
# lala2 2014-06-30 00:17
I think the reason you and I both thought Sam was supposed to be 6 in the episode is b/c that's the way he was written and portrayed! Haha! Does anyone honestly believe the young Sam we've come to know through Colin would be hanging out of the car window playing w/a toy airplane at the age of 9 or 12?!?!?! Anyone?!?! Come on! That was completely unbelievable, IMO. He'd be reading a book, looking sullen and upset!
# E 2014-07-01 09:19
Exactly!! we are definitely on the same page on this one. :)
# E 2014-06-29 20:36
That is why I don't know why the change in age. It doesn't fit with the past. It must be frustrating to write a script and have key scenes and specific storylines changed or cut altogether. I really see why those that watch the show for continuity must be frustrated. Some of the editing this year didn't really work very well. This story worked better for me when I watch it for how it was written. But I guess that is kind of cheating since that isn't how it was shown.
I'm going to reply to this in the main section as the response section has gotten so skinny! At the risk of beating a dead horse (and, man, this horse is just skeletal remains by now!) It wouldn't have mattered ultimately to how this story came off if they had left the ages in their original state, because Sam's characterizatio n would STILL have been wrong both as a child and as an adult; Dean's canon would still have been changed (I know that this part of it doesn't bother some people, but it really bothers me, I can accept an adult Dean slowly realizing that "normal" is preferable to what he got, but not the teenager who loved hunting and "committed to the life"). And John's fragile existence on this show would not have taken another really meaningless hit. I mean, what was the point of showing John in such a poor light other then to make us feel even more sorry for poor put upon Dean? I mean, what was the point of that?
# cheryl42 2014-06-29 20:59
Oh I agree with the age thing...I could only make the story work if Sam had not yet found out about hunting and was used to being dumped off somewhere while a 13 or 14 year old Dean was off on minor hunts with John. But as was pointed out upthread a ways Sam was 8 when he found out. So that blows my whole argument to hell. I mean I can still make it work but everyone is right I shouldn't have to work that hard. And you aren't alone in the John hits. I went and read 15 or so reviews of this episode and while they were almost all positive their was an outcry over the treatment of John. I did like the episode otherwise because as I said before it was shown in WIANSB Dean's dream world was living a "civilian" life. And even in Salvation John knew that Dean wanted a home. So that did work. But otherwise the story should have had a different premise for Dean being gone for a couple of months. And honestly I can't come up with a scenario that would work. Evidently neither could AG.
# E 2014-06-29 21:17
HEH!!! That's funny that you should mentions WIAWSNB as an ideal for Dean's concept of normal. My take on it was SO different! I saw that whole world as a nightmare and that it just took Dean some time to realize how bad it was. In that "idealized world" John was dead, Mary was an unhappy shell of a woman, Dean was a total looser (his one shining grace was his girlfriend Carmen, she was awesome), Sam was estranged and a complete dick and they barely tolerated one another. Ostensibly Sam was happy, Jess was alive, but none of that seemed to compensate Dean for the fact that he and Sam weren't "brothers" in that world. The only time they connected at all in that world was, ironically, on a hunt, and it was the hunt that lead Dean to the truth and his willing sacrifice of that supposed ideal. He'd rather be brother's with Sam.

And can I just say how awesome this discussion is? 260+ comments!! :o:D
# eilf 2014-06-29 21:33
At the risk of beating a dead horse (and, man, this horse is just skeletal remains by now!) It wouldn't have mattered ultimately to how this story came off if they had left the ages in their original state, because Sam's characterization would STILL have been wrong both as a child and as an adult;

Yep, not sure what is going to be left to discuss when this episode actually gets reviewed :D
I have a theory.
We need to account for:
Grownup Sam having no memory of
being abandoned in a motel room at the age of 9 with no food and no money (since Dean was gambling for the former with the latter) for 2-3 days
being worried about Dean being missing at the time

Grownup Sam:
being cool about the reason he was told at the time
not wondering why Dean was out of contact for the next couple of months
being unphased by the realisation NOW that he hadn't been worried THEN.

And young Sam:
being uninterested in where they were and why waiting (in the car)
playing with a toy airplane instead of being the perceptive little critter we know he was (though honestly I don't have a problem with this in itself, but it fits my theory)

Hypnotism! (no wait! Come back. Hear me out! It only requires a LITTLE bit of pretzeling)

So, right, John comes back to the motel to find Sam totally wigging out because he can't get hold of Dean. John doesn't want to tell him where Dean is, and that he is ok, because Sam will nag and nag him to fetch Dean back. I don't know why John wouldn't just TELL Sam, except it seems to be against family rules to tell Sam stuff, erm .... Sam is maybe manifesting his powers a little and it freaks John out and he needs to calm him down., yeah that will do for a reason ... John hypnotizes Sam, perhaps uses the airplane as a focus point to snap Sam in and out of the hypnotized state (this being a supernatural show so it could be a spell instead) and then leaves him with Bobby for a while. Sam accepts everything that he is told, and when Dean comes back Dean and John work on convincing Sam that there was never an issue - his memory is playing tricks on him etc.... And the whole thing is an allegory of the overall storyline of Season 9.

Who's with me on this?

*tumbleweed* ;)
# E 2014-06-29 21:58
# eilf 2014-06-29 22:13
:) They totally should let me write for this show, I can polyfilla / spackle ANY plot hole!

It often involves 'the fundamental interconnectedn ess of all things' but, it can be done!
# percysowner 2014-06-29 22:21
Actually, I can make a case that Sam had a mini-breakdown at this time. Think about it. Sam had recently found out not only about hunting, but that Mary was killed by an unknown, unnamed monster. He's terrified that the monsters will get all of them. John stops "coddling" Sam and when Sam expresses his fears hands him a gun and tells him to protect his own damn self from the monsters, because John isn't going to stick around to protect him. Sam has learned that John is unreliable and a liar. Sam has rejected John emotionally and put his love and trust in Dean. Then Dean disappears one day. Sam is stuck in a hotel room with no food. He can't tell anyone because rule number one is don't tell anyone. He doesn't seem to have contacted Bobby or Pastor Jim or any of John's friends. Dean isn't telling the police that his nine year old brother is alone in a strange hotel room, because rule number one. So Sam is scared and hungry and alone. Then John swoops in tells Sam the monsters have Dean, runs Sam to Bobby and disappears into the night. Sam may well have been unable to deal with what he has been told about Dean, so he stuff down all the emotions he's feeling. He may have spent that month in a state of shock. For Sam, this would have been very much like it was for Dean when Mary died. We know Dean shut down after Mary's death. The only thing that even comes close to making young Sam's actions believable is that Sam shut down. Once Dean was found safe and sound, Sam simply repressed most of what happened that month. Other than that I've got nothing.
# percysowner 2014-06-29 22:23
Actually, I can make a case that Sam had a mini-breakdown at this time. Think about it. Sam had recently found out not only about hunting, but that Mary was killed by an unknown, unnamed monster. He's terrified that the monsters will get all of them. John stops "coddling" Sam and when Sam expresses his fears hands him a gun and tells him to protect his own damn self from the monsters, because John isn't going to stick around to protect him. Sam has learned that John is unreliable and a liar. Sam has rejected John emotionally and put his love and trust in Dean. Then Dean disappears one day. Sam is stuck in a hotel room with no food. He can't tell anyone because rule number one is don't tell anyone. He doesn't seem to have contacted Bobby or Pastor Jim or any of John's friends. Dean isn't telling the police that his nine year old brother is alone in a strange hotel room, because rule number one. So Sam is scared and hungry and alone. Then John swoops in tells Sam the monsters have Dean, runs Sam to Bobby and disappears into the night. Sam may well have been unable to deal with what he has been told about Dean, so he stuff down all the emotions he's feeling. He may have spent that month in a state of shock. For Sam, this would have been very much like it was for Dean when Mary died. We know Dean shut down after Mary's death. The only thing that even comes close to making young Sam's actions believable is that Sam shut down. Once Dean was found safe and sound, Sam simply repressed most of what happened that month. Other than that I've got nothing.
# percysowner 2014-06-29 22:23
Actually, I can make a case that Sam had a mini-breakdown at this time. Think about it. Sam had recently found out not only about hunting, but that Mary was killed by an unknown, unnamed monster. He's terrified that the monsters will get all of them. John stops "coddling" Sam and when Sam expresses his fears hands him a gun and tells him to protect his own damn self from the monsters, because John isn't going to stick around to protect him. Sam has learned that John is unreliable and a liar. Sam has rejected John emotionally and put his love and trust in Dean. Then Dean disappears one day. Sam is stuck in a hotel room with no food. He can't tell anyone because rule number one is don't tell anyone. He doesn't seem to have contacted Bobby or Pastor Jim or any of John's friends. Dean isn't telling the police that his nine year old brother is alone in a strange hotel room, because rule number one. So Sam is scared and hungry and alone. Then John swoops in tells Sam the monsters have Dean, runs Sam to Bobby and disappears into the night. Sam may well have been unable to deal with what he has been told about Dean, so he stuff down all the emotions he's feeling. He may have spent that month in a state of shock. For Sam, this would have been very much like it was for Dean when Mary died. We know Dean shut down after Mary's death. The only thing that even comes close to making young Sam's actions believable is that Sam shut down. Once Dean was found safe and sound, Sam simply repressed most of what happened that month. Other than that I've got nothing.
# cheryl42 2014-06-29 23:03
That's actually pretty awesome. I would watch that episode. ;)
# E 2014-07-01 09:17
Id watch this too… but at the risk of being pessimistic and cynical (who? me?) whose going to write it? Not even Carver could pull off such in depth Sam focus.

Question: when was the last time an episode was written in which Dean learned something about Sam in the way Sam supposedly learned something about Dean in Bad Boys? (although, Sam in fact DIDN'T learn anything about Dean that he didn't already know other than he was complicit in a cruel lie told to him as a child and is just find out about 23 years later, but that's what the episodes aim was...). So, can anyone tell me the last time we saw an ENTIRE EPISODE that was devoted totally to Sam's background and POV in which Dean was made aware of something about his brother that was not previously known? Anyone? Mystery Spot? I Know What You Did… although Dean didn't learn much….I got nothing since season 4. Plucky's had it's moments but Dean and we STILL have no idea why Sam's afraid of clowns.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2014-06-30 03:44
Early onset angel possession? I mean, if you think about it, they're like the perfect babysitters. 'Have your child possessed and they won't need to be fed, or put to sleep, or entertained. They won't ask pesky questions that can't be answered and at the end, not only do we (the babysitter) not need to be paid, but we will manipulate your child's memory to believe whatever you want them to believe!'

It makes more sense than just dropping Sam to Bobbys and that was the end of it because I have a hard time believing that Bobby of all people would have went along with John's plan. Surely Bobby would have explained to John that just telling Sam that Dean was alive and safe and temporarily staying in a boys home because he was caught stealing (and Sam already knew that Dean stole so it's not as if he would have been too shocked at that) would be a much better idea than telling Sam that Dean found and went on a hunt on his own (in the time it took him to walk to the grocery story) and was now 'lost' (and possibly presumed dead).
# lala2 2014-06-30 00:20
Yep! The John trashing had no point. The episode added NOTHING to the Winchester history.
# cheryl42 2014-06-29 21:36
E It takes me forever to find the latest comments posted. The page is so big my laptop can't handle it. I see your take on WIAWSNB. The way I saw it the Ginn are supposed to take there victims to a happy place this was the dream that Dean wanted. But because it wasn't real and Dean was fighting it the dream all started to go wrong. Dean figured it out and thankfully Sam was there to help save him. But Dean did want to stay. He struggled with it and as it turned out his reality really went to hell in the next episode.
# E 2014-06-29 21:52
But the dream world was corrupted right from the very beginning; we knew it was off as soon as Sam showed up. It took Dean longer than that to know that something was truly wrong with what he was experiencing; we knew before he knew through atmosphere, through Sam's sickishness, through Mary's disconnected sorrow, through everyones low opinion of Djinn world Dean (it was implied that he couldn't hold a job, that he drank and stole from his mother). Additionally, the POV of the show was that Dean was better off hunting, better off with his brother, was a better person not in this 'perfect' world; otherwise he would have just stayed where he was, blissful in the Djinn's reality, sucked dry of his essence until he died. When Dean finally figured out that the world he was in was was wrong, knew it wasn't perfect or normal, that's when he fought it off. It wasn't until he began to fight it off, actually, that he ended up making that connection with Sam. That's hows I sees it anyway.
# E 2014-06-29 21:54
HA! Auto correct! Sam's dickishness not sickishness… :D
# cheryl42 2014-06-29 22:05
Sickishness works as well :) oh I see what you mean. Dean was always destined to be a hunter and he knew it. He knew that the only meaning in his life was protecting the innocent. When he saw all of those people that he and Sam saved had died he knew there was never any choice for him or Sam. My point was at first the dream was what he wanted. It was just never going to be the life he could ever have.
# LEAH 2014-06-29 23:06
The point I was trying to make in my comments in regard to the Djinn dream (I am not even sure if this is part of that or a separate discussion, it's getting confusing) was that it showed a yearning by Dean for Sam to be happy and for himself to have a normal existence. The Djinn zeroed in on his hopes and desires. It wasn't a perfect scenario and still he was reluctant to give it up. Very reluctant. The bottom line is that Dean KNOWS that normal isn't possible for them but in this and a few other instances Dean did show a desire for normal. Yes he knew something was wrong and he almost 'stayed' anyway even though it would have led to his death.
# percysowner 2014-06-29 22:05
ut the whole point of WIAWSNB was to show Dean that his fairly tale life of he and Sam living perfect and normal and safe was not the dream that he thought it would be. The show's stance on that perfect and normal life was that it was corrupted completely. John was dead, Mary was unhappy, Dean was a complete looser, Sam was a douchbag, and an atrocious snob, they did not connect with each other on any level. The best part of Dean's fantasy in WIAWSNB was when Sam decided to join him ON A HUNT; it was ironically the first time they'd connected in years in that world, which lead to the truth coming out. So, to me, WIAWSNB was showing Dean that his choice to hunt was a good one, that it was necessary, that his connection to Sam was good and that his perfect normal world (as provided by the Djinn) was a false dream that was more like a nightmare.
The thing is, WIAWSNB didn't take Dean to a real alternate universe. It's not The French Mistake where they are transported to an already existing AU. It isn't My Heart Will Go On, where Balthazar and Cas create a new universe by having the Titanic not sink. This universe is created solely from Dean's hopes, beliefs and most importantly his fears. It is a really great look at Dean's psyche, but not at how things would have really been if Mary had lived and then had never become hunters. Dean believes that if he and Sam don't hunt together that they won't be close. Dean believes Sam is a douchebag and a snob if he is going after his dreams and isn't hunting with Dean. Dean also sees himself as a loser who drinks too much, who slept with Sam's prom date. Dean believes he and Sam will only connect on a hunt. All this highlights why Dean is SO insistent that Sam continue in the family business and continue hunting, because Dean believes in his heart of hearts that if Sam isn't hunting they will never be close. He also believes that Sam is, at heart, an arrogant douchebag snob who is only a decent human being because he hunts and lives the life they live.

The other thing is that Dean is very aware of the people he has saved. Hunting provides him with a purpose and allows him to feel he is a success who contributes to making a better world. It is partly why Dean finds it almost impossible to quit hunting, because he believes that he is worthless if he's not saving people by hunting.

The truth is that Sam isn't a douchebag. In seasons one and two he may have been somewhat classist but by season eight, he was happy being a handyman at a motel, so I think that he no longer has those same values. Dean has other ways he could make the world a better place if he didn't hunt. Being a good husband and father makes the world a better place too. But Dean's insecurities and fears keep him from believing Sam loves him enough to want to be with him unless they are hunting living together 24/7. They also keep Dean from being able to even explore the idea of leaving hunting and finding a place in the world that will make the world better outside of hunting. WIAWSNB lays a great foundation for why Dean he keeps pulling Sam back into hunting, for why he couldn't make it work with Lisa, for why he can't accept Sam's desire for a different life. All of Dean's damage is on display here. But this world is not an accurate representation of what would have happened if Mary had lived.
# nappi815 2014-06-30 07:37
I agree with a lot of what you said, but I have to disagree on this one point, I do not believe that dean at heart thinks that sam is a d-bag snob who is only a decent human being because of hunting. I actually believe that's what dean believes about himself, but not sam. I believe that most of his need for his brother stems from how negative he feels in regards to himself. in wiawsb sam and dean weren't close true, but their distance from ea. other was in fact due to dean's behavior. dean was the one who took sam's atm card, dean was the one who slept with sam's prom date...given sam's reaction to dean, it felt to me that dean's actions towards his little brother while growing up in his dream world had it's part in creating the disparity between them. even in his dream world, dean portrays himself to be the one that' the loser while sam is the one who is going to school and getting married, which ironically a part of dean does want for sam, but the other part fears this because of his belief that the only way to keep his brother close is to literally keep his brother close. dean does have abandonment issues as well. his mom died, but he sees it as she left him. dad left him and I don't only mean in the physical sense either...but when john lost mary he seemed to have lost himself and he disconnected with his children, as his mission of revenge seemed to take over his life....sam and dean got lost in that somewhere....bu t dean, he didn't want to lose his father the way he lost his mother, so he followed in his father's footsteps. he adapted john's stance regarding hunting and revenge. he dressed like john. he listened to the same music as john. he has his car. dean asked himself you even have an original thought? seems that dean tried to hold onto his dad the only way he knew how. sam was different though. the loss of his parents affected him in a different way, it scared him and scarred him and he wanted to run from the life that was taking everyone he loved away from him. he wanted safe. dean and sam were affected differently . dean feared sam's reaction. he did everything to try to convince sam dad was a hero. the family business...blah blah blah...but deep down, dean just didn't want his brother to leave him so he did everything he could to keep him and that included going back to get him at college and at times emotional manipulation.

I think carver said it in I think i'm going to like it hear and it goes back to my theory that the last two seasons has been about the boys coming face to face with their own demons. look at the words dean/zeke/gad used to get sam to stay......there ain't no me if there ain't no you. I think that says it all regarding dean's psyche. he said it. he feels he's nothing without sam. yes, hunting gives him purpose. he saves people and he does feel like he's making the world a better place and this is all true. but I don't think dean embraced hunting because it was his true calling, because as we've learned he does have other skills that make him happy and feel good. dean's issue of lack of worth and his own self hatred are the contributing factors in his need to hunt and save people. because he's also admitted to being a killer, someone you don't want at your dinner table. dean has said that the boys keep ea. other human. it's dean's lack of worth that drives him to keep sam with him. it's part of why he's conflicted...he 's so up and down in regards to sam and his own dreams. because I really do believe he wants sam to have safe and normal, but the other part of him is stronger and won't give sam up.
# njspnfan 2014-06-30 10:49
wow... a lot of this discussion thread certainly went off on a tangent about Bad Boys. Probably in the minority here but I didn't think it was a bad episode; it really didn't advance the story line in any meaningful way but was fine as far as a standalone episode goes. Yes, they messed up on Sam's age at the end of the episode, and there were serious problems with the logic of the the lie that John and Dean told Sam, but, since it was primarily a flashback episode about Dean, it didn't bother me that much. On the list of Sam Winchester writing/charact erization screw-ups in Season 9, this didn't come close to making my top 10.
# E 2014-07-01 10:31
Well… not entirely off track, it's still about how poorly Sam was written in this season as a whole and Bad Boys did air in the first half of the season, which is what Alice is focusing on. We just got a little….um… specific. :P
# amyh 2014-06-30 11:12
Hi. I just wanted to weigh in on how Sam could be NOT worried about Dean being gone for two months. Putting about 30 seconds into this...which is 30 seconds more then the writers obviously did.

John: are going to Bobbys for a few months.
Sam: Cool... Dean and I love uncle bobby.
John: Dean isn't going.
Sam: what? Why?
John: I'm sending Dean to a survivalist camp for training.
Sam: Training? what kind of training? Can I go with Dean? Where is this place?
John: No. Your going to Bobbys.
Sam: But where is this training camp?
John. I said enough, Sam. Go pack your bag.

Present day: Sam. I remember...Dad sent you to that survivalist camp for traiining and i got shipped to bobbys for two months.
Dean: It wasn't a camp. I wan in a boys home. I got caught stealing.
# E 2014-06-30 22:46
Yes amyh, I could see this working better than what we got. Still though, Sam said "you disappeared, then dad came" so Sam still would have noticed that Dean was gone for a time before his dad could come up with an explanation. Poor Sam, alone at 9 years old for how long? How long would it have taken for the police to arrest Dean, break down his defenses in order to get John's number and then for John to get back to Sam? Its pretty clear that Dean did not tell the police about Sam as Sam surely would have remembered sitting in a police station waiting for John to come get him; so Dean goes missing first, Sam presumably has a freak out, then John comes back. Whatever story he told was still crap when compared to having a nine year old drifting around for a day? two? without food and all alone not knowing what was going on. To me the only way to have salvaged the situation would have been to come up with another story altogether; one that didn't re-write Dean's foundation canon, one that did not show child AND adult Sam as so OOC; one that did not trash John for absolutely no reason other than he had to be mean and unfair to get Dean to hate hunting to begin with and one that didn't retread old ground without showing us one new thing. Can you tell I hated this episode? ;)
# cheryl42 2014-06-30 11:14
I agree those two issues aside I thought it was very sweet episode.
# nappi815 2014-06-30 11:29
I agree as well...;)
# nappi815 2014-06-30 22:16
you know there could be one other explanation for sam's uncharacteristi c behavior......w hat if it wasn't sam reacting to dean's trip down memory lane. what if it was zeke pretending to be sam. didn't jared make a comment once that he was trying to make zeke more human? what if zeke /gad started practicing? do you think it's possible that sam wasn't even sam in this eppy? that it was zeke pretending to be sam...practicin g becoming more human? this was the first ep that gad didn't appear and it was only sam so I gotta wonder about that...maybe gad did appear in this eppy...maybe he used this eppy as a trial run...

or not and it is what it is....and the writer simply screwed up. :p;)
# E 2014-07-01 09:04
You know, this could have been an interesting way to go with it, and I did wonder several times if they were going to make an issue out of Gadzeke becoming more human but they didnt. If they wanted the plot to be about Gadzeke taking over Sam more and more, they would have had to have made that an obvious plot focus that showed that at some point. We'd have had to see that it was Gad and not Sam and there would have had to have been a significant reason that it was Gad and not Sam. Since we got nothing like that (it was just Dean and his destroyed canon), I am sorry to say that it makes more sense that its just bad writing. I love your optimism though and your willingness to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. :P
# nappi815 2014-07-01 09:10
i know..he really blew it in terms of characterizatio n... still i did like the eppy....what can i say....i'm pretty easy.
# Dion7 2014-10-22 16:48
I hadn't really noticed that Sam faints so often. It's quite stupid that so many movies and series use these Hollywood truths. One of those is that you can be knocked out for several hours or even days and not have damaged. I get really annoyed by another one that is often used: the way people in movies and series use a needle. They never stick the needle in a vein, they slam it into someone like they're trying to stab them to death. Despite the serious scenes I laughed during the third trial, extracting the grace from Sam and curing Dean. It just looks so ridiculous the way they use needles, I half expect the needle to come out of the other end of their arm or neck.
Your review of Sam in season 9 is pretty insightful though. I try to understand why he does things the way he does, but it just comes down to the writers making him do things that are completely out of character. By season 9 I'm kind of used to it, it bothered me the most in season 7. I don't know how the writers can expect someone to be okay after 180 years of hell, never talking about it. It's like it's just forgotten. Things do seem to be improving a bit in season 10 though. I liked seeing the return of a determined Sam.