A “Gadreel free” Sam now gets to deal with the aftermath of his possession.  Well, at least we think he deals.  We don’t really know.  The only times Sam truly expresses anything is to say some awful things to Dean, which makes him look like a heartless, unsympathetic dick because we as viewers are left to guess what’s causing such outbursts.  He also storms off to his room a lot.  It’s rather frustrating to watch when you’re constantly expecting emotional movement in the traumatic aftermath of a major ordeal involving one of the two main characters in the show.  As a consolation prize we did get one Sam POV episode, written by the only writer left that gets Sam Winchester.  

(Miss part one?  It can be found here:  http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/article-archives/sam-winchester/18584-a-deeper-look-at-supernatural-season-nine-sam-winchester-part-1)


First Born

I’m going to challenge my fan fiction counterpart, Fluffy2001, to rewrite the Sam and Castiel scenes in this episode.  They weren’t bad, but they really could have gone a lot deeper and exposed what’s truly going on inside of Sam right now.  I mean, he should be reeling after what happened.  He should be a total mess inside!  Okay, he probably is, but we didn’t get to see much of that.  Instead, we got the very tired smoke screen of Sam deciding he’s better off dead.  

“My life's not worth any more than anyone else's -- not yours or Dean's...or Kevin's. Please. Please, help me do one thing right.”

Look at “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here.”  Sam resigned himself to death as a last resort, but he didn’t want to die.  Why has that changed?  Is that the correct reaction after finding out he was possessed for a few months (or whatever time had passed)?  Is this what he’s willing to do to dodge all that guilt about Kevin, especially when it wasn’t his fault? 

Oh Sammy, I thought we were beyond that.  It’s not your fault Kevin is dead.  Why be so consumed with guilt when you showed how much you overcame the guilt of starting the apocalypse in “Devil May Care?” Closing the gates of Hell wouldn’t have saved Kevin, plus did you guys really think that through?  See what a closed Heaven is doing to the world?  Again, it’s a question that should have been explored much deeper, especially when this season has been about consequences.  (I do concede however that only Ben Edlund was ever interested in the metaphysical implications of a storyline.  I miss Ben Edlund). 

Why isn’t Sam, or heck Castiel, asking, “What will finding Gadreel serve at this point?  How will that save Kevin?”  I get that the Winchesters are about payback, or revenge, or whatever, but Sam was willing to die for that?  That pretty much erased all of season eight.  There’s obviously something deeper going on in Sam’s head, but I’m not getting it at this point.  Is this because of his comment to Dean, “I was ready to die?”  But, but, he didn’t want to die.  That’s why he said “yes.”  Now he does?  Is this his way of taking back that “yes?”  I just feel like I’m spitballing with these guesses. 

On top of that, Sam won’t even talk about Dean.  After all, he left.  But I wonder, what would Sam be doing if Dean was there?  Talking to him, being honest about things?  Probably not.  He’d be acting like the callous jerk he was for most of the season.  

So, instead of taking advantage of opportunities, the whole Sam/Castiel exchange ended up being more of a leap for Castiel and what he’s learned from his recent experiences.  “You know, old me -- I would've have just kept going. I would've jammed that needle in deeper until you died because the ends always justified the means. But what I went though -- Well, that PB and J taught me that angels can change, so...who knows? Maybe Winchesters can, too.” 

Not that Castiel growth is bad (I still find Castiel a fascinating character), but considering what Sam is coming off of, I feel the episode could have done more for Sam too.  I wish that they had dug deeper and had Castiel draw out of Sam his true feelings about what being possessed did to him, and how Dean’s lies really stings right now.  How he can’t sleep at night, or his physical healing isn’t helping that hole in his heart.  We got way more from “Everybody Loves A Clown” and we didn’t get all that much there other than a few lines.

At least Castiel and Sam finally hsd an appropriate hug.  I did love that.  About time you gave your friend a hug Sam.  The big takeaway from all this though is Sam can’t deal with Dean at this time.  That’s understandable, but would one emotional glimpse have been so hard?  Maybe Sam found something personal of Dean’s, looked at it, welled up inside, and then tossed it aside.  Emotional cues.  Maybe Sam sharing with Castiel how shaken he is right now, like he did with his “I thought I was a goner” talk in “Reading is Fundamental.”  That was short, but it was something.  

Hmm, Fluffy really needs to get to work. 

“Sharp Teeth” 


DING!
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I have a couple of issues with the way things were presented in this episode.  For starters, I get it, Sam is trying to be emotionally detached from Dean.  Pretend not to care.  But Dean has the FUDGING MARK OF CAIN on his arm and Sam is treating it like a chicken scratch?  A quick shrug, and not even an ounce of worry?  Sam is a very smart dude.  He reads a lot.  He knows his biblical mythology.  His first reaction at seeing the Mark of Cain should have been, “Dean, what the hell have you done????”  It has nothing to do with brotherly concern.  It has everything to do that the one guy that you’ve spent your entire waking life with has just done something that has very likely condemns him for eternity.  Sam shrugs it off and doesn’t talk of it again until later in the season when it becomes a problem.  Is he that selfish?  No, I know he’s not.  Then why is he being written this way?  

Again with a side rant, but when has both Sam and Dean become this stupid and reckless?  I’ll address my issues with Dean in his “Deeper Look” article (even if his arc was much stronger), but at what point did the writers decide it was okay to insult our intelligence by insulting the main characters’ intelligence?  Forget insulting, decimating.  Perhaps all those head injures to Sam are doing something.  Sam is not this dimwitted!  Did they not watch the first few seasons?  Did they not watch last season’s “The Great Escapist?”  He was more put out about Dean doing a job with Crowley than the consequence of taking on the Mark of Cain?  Not a simple “We’ve got to get you out of this” or “We’re not done with this” or something other than nothing?   Nope, one interruption by Garth and it was never spoken of again. 

Couldn’t have Garth at least gotten involved like he has before and help the brothers through their latest rift?  Guide them along anyway at least, because I don’t expect things to be completely solved by episode 12.  No, they were too busy trashing Garth’s character by making him a werewolf. But again, I digress, because that will be part of the overall season review (that won’t be very pretty).  

Let’s try to look at the bigger picture.  Sam’s very, very hurt.  I get that.  Sam has decided to emotionally shut out his brother.  I get that reaction too.  The problem is, Sam is emotionally shutting out the viewer too.  We don’t get to see what he’s hiding from Dean and what he’s thinking is left to the imagination.  There’s very little put in place to draw out that vulnerable person inside.  Then throwing this so called “brotherly feels” speech at us at the end doesn’t help Sam’s likability at all.  

Dean:  Uh, listen, that night that, uh... You know, we went our -- our separate ways –
Sam:  You mean the night you split? 
Dean:  Fair enough.  I was messed up, man. Kevin was dead, and I...I don't know what I was. 
Sam:  Okay. 
Dean:   Hell, maybe I still don't. But, uh... I know I took a piece of you in the process, and for that…Somebody changed the playbook, man, you know? It's like what -- what -- what's right is wrong and what's wrong is more wrong, and... I just know that when... When we rode together... 
Sam:  We split the crappiness. 
Dean:  Yeah. So... 
Sam:  Okay. 
Dean:   Okay. 
Sam: But something's broken here, Dean. 
Dean:  I'm not saying that it's not. I... I just think maybe we need to put a couple W's on the board and we get past all this. 
Sam:  I don't think so. No, I wish, but... We don't...see things the same way anymore -- our roles in this whole thing. Back in that church, talking me out of boarding up hell? Or -- or tricking me into letting Gadreel possess me? I can't trust you -- not the way I thought I could, not the way I should be able to. 
Dean:  Okay, look. Whatever happened... We are family, okay? 
Sam: You say that like it's some sort of cure-all, like it can change the fact that everything that has ever gone wrong between us has been because we're family. 
Dean:  So, what -- we're not family now? 
Sam:  I'm saying, you want to work? Let's work. If you want to be brothers…Those are my terms. 

Besides the fact that this entire scene and its soapy dialogue felt way too daytime to me, I’m also starting to ask questions like, what is Sam’s motivation?  Would Sam have been okay if Dean hadn’t left?  Again, would he be talking to him more, letting him in emotionally?  He’s had two weeks to stew over this, and he told Dean that he clearly doesn’t trust him, but he obviously needs his brother, if anything as a hunting partner.  So do we just say this is a “confusing” time for Sam?  Just like the above conversation Sam’s behavior has made the average viewer scratch their head and go, “What?”  

The Purge

I know this one angers a lot of people, but honestly, this episode makes total sense to me.  It did when it first aired, and it does now.  Sam’s decided that honesty is the best policy, even if the truth hurts.  This is not a bad thing.  The problem is, honesty kind of sucks when your POV is somewhat skewed.  You end up saying things that down the road you’ll regret, even if it make sense at the time.  That is Sam’s current predicament.  

It was fun to see Sam asserting some independence and partake in one-upmanship with Dean.  He’s smart in unfolding the case, and even scores the job as fitness instructor while Dean is stuck in the kitchen.  Sam also sympathizes with the MOTW, understanding why she did what she did.  She was just trying to find her place in this world and had a good thing going, and her brother screwed it all up (parallel!). 

But yes, he’s keeping Dean at arms length, but we know he cares.  The concern he showed when Dean went missing, finding him drugged and a target for the monster, proved how much he does care.  

Sam even stands up for himself while standing up for the MOTW, and this is a rare glimpse as to what’s going on in Sam’s head.  “I wanted to keep things strictly business between us. But I still have a heart. What if I had crossed paths with a hunter back when I was possessed by Gadreel? I could've ended up dead, too. Would I have deserved that? Would I have deserved to die?”

Sam3
Good questions Sam.  Why weren’t you asking yourself those questions two episodes ago?  The inconsistencies are quite maddening (I like Sam in this episode way better).  But I’m avoiding talking about the elephant though.  Let’s get to that ending scene:

Dean:  About what you said the other day.
Sam:  I thought it didn't bother you. 
Dean:  You know, Sam, I saved your hide back there. And I saved your hide at that church... And the hospital. I may not think things all the way through. Okay? But what I do, I do because it's the right thing. I'd do it again. 
Sam:  And that... is the problem. You think you're my savior, my brother, the hero. You swoop in, and even when you mess up, you think what you're doing is worth it because you've convinced yourself you're doing more good than bad... But you're not.  I mean, Kevin's dead, Crowley's in the wind. We're no closer to beating this angel thing. Please tell me, what is the upside of me being alive? 
Dean: You kidding me? You and me -- fighting the good fight together. 
Sam (sits down across from DEAN in the kitchen): Okay. Just once, be honest with me. You didn't save me for me. You did it for you. 
Dean:  What are you talkin' about? 
Sam: I was ready to die. I was ready. I should have died, but you... You didn't want to be alone, and that's what all this boils down to. You can't stand the thought of being alone. 
Dean: All right.
Sam: I'll give you this much. You are certainly willing to do the sacrificing as long as you're not the one being hurt. 
Dean: All right, you want to be honest? If the situation were reversed and I was dying, you'd do the same thing. 
Sam: No, Dean. I wouldn't. Same circumstances...I wouldn't. 

Sam in his anger has clearly lashed out.  He’s saying what’s on his mind, which is a pretty dangerous thing.  It falls in the “Don’t say something you’re going to regret later” category.  He said it though, because he’s so hurt by the lies that he thinks that honesty is the best policy, no matter how brutal that honesty is. He’ll figure out later how wrong it was.   

Sam clearly hurt Dean here, no doubt.  I don’t think he wanted to hurt Dean, but he thought honesty was more important than hurt feelings.  This conversation is an extension of his line in “Sharp Teeth,” “You say that like it's some sort of cure-all, like it can change the fact that everything that has ever gone wrong between us has been because we're family.”  According to Sam, Dean’s actions were fueled by this fear of being alone, being the only family member standing.  There is some truth to that statement, but while Sam at this point thinks that the act was criminal, when the hurt goes away he’ll see the nobility of it as well, just like Dean does.  At that moment in time Sam wouldn’t have done the same thing.  I believe that.  Ask him again in a week. 

After that scene I was left asking, why stay at the MOL bunker with Dean?  Is working together as partners really the best thing?  Is Sam just so lost and confused now he doesn’t know what to do with his life, even though this time last year he was talking about light at the end of tunnels?  We know he likes to work as a way to distract, but having Dean around really can’t be helping right now, can it?  How in the world does Sam find his own path if he lets himself get stuck in the same situations?  These are probably questions that can’t easily be answered by one filler episode (and we’re about to get a ton of filler) but when evolving a character, shouldn’t he be working toward his place in this world and be comfortable with it?  He’s floundering, and being a total jerk in the process.  At least when he was going through all that Amelia stuff, he was in a much better place about things. 

By the time we got to “Do You Believe in Miracles?” that all changed.  Time heals. And nothing matters but family.   It is clever that this is called “The Purge” though, because once Sam gets this off his chest, the slow (and I mean painfully slow) unthawing begins.  Sadly, it all kind of happens too late. 

Captives  

Kevin is a ghost!  Kevin is stuck in limbo because Heaven is closed for business.  None of this dawns on the Winchesters that if they had closed the gates of Hell, the same thing would be happening to doomed souls bound for Hell.  Nope.  Let the guilt continue with Sam that he didn’t close the gates of Hell and his anger is tuned toward the fact that Dean stopped him.  Yep, blame it all on Dean.  

You know, would it have hurt if SOMEONE, Kevin would have been a good candidate, asked Sam, do you really blame Dean for stopping you from closing the gates of Hell?  What are you truly angry about?  I think if Sam was forced to address questions like that, we wouldn’t have had this half season long contrived brotherly rift crap.  So are we to believe that no one talked Sam off the ledge merely because TPTB needed to drag out the drama for several episodes because they were out of material?  How does that service the characters again?  Oh, it’s because Dean can spiral without Sam’s love.  I’ll explore that a lot more in Dean’s deeper look, but that whole idea never won me over. 

It’s obvious that Sam cares about Dean.  Look how worried he was in the beginning when he was chasing down a ghost and couldn’t find Dean.  He may be angry and hiding in his room all the time, but he cares.  

There’s one important take away from “Captives.”  Kevin’s final words before going with his mother was this:  “Can you two... Get over it? Dudes, just 'cause you couldn't see me doesn't mean I couldn't see you. The drama, the fighting... It's stupid. My mom's taking home a ghost. You two... You're both still here.”  Sam tells him “of course,” but then slinks off to his room without a word to his brother while Dean is ready to talk.  Great.  Dean goes back to his room furious, and this is where we can mark the spiral downward of Dean.  It’s a common theme in this show, together they stand, divided they fall. 

I have two big problems with this ending.  First, it makes Sam look like a total, heartless dick.  I know he isn’t, and I know he’s still very hurt, plus he doesn’t realize the ramifications of pushing his brother away at this point (He’s still not worried or has done any research on the Mark of Cain???), but Dean was willing to try and put things aside after Kevin left.  Would it have hurt Sam to talk?  Perhaps he was afraid of saying something hurtful again? 

Second, I’m still wondering why Sam is sticking around.  Is this really making things less crappy?  Why isn’t he packing his bag and giving Dean the “I can’t right now” speech?  If Kevin’s situation isn’t making him come around, nothing is.  Although, there was a sign of hope I guess.  Sam did hesitate before going into his room.  He does want to talk, but he’s just not ready yet.  But if ghost Kevin can’t get these brothers talking, what can?  Right, episode 23.  

SamatBedroomdoor

#THINMAN

Dean is feeling like all of us regarding Sam.  Which Sam is going to show up today?  Now he’s the agreeable partner that wants to go along on the case, even though he stormed off to his room last time we saw him.   Just that statement alone hit home for me as to how unsympathetically Sam is being written.  If we only knew what kind of deliberation was going on behind that closed bedroom door… 

We do catch Sam and Dean reminiscing though, about the time they were kids.   Dean was Superman, Sam was Batman, and they both jumped off the shed.  Sam broke his arm because at five years old he didn’t realize Batman couldn’t fly.  Dean drove him to the E.R. on his handlebars.  A smile from both, and then Sam snaps out of it.  Progress I guess.  Sam’s still sticking with the “secrets ruin relationships” mantra though.  He’s also trying to decide if he can forgive Dean yet.  The conversation with Harry spells it out:

Harry:  None of it was real, Sam. Ed was just pretending, and now he wants me to pretend, like this is just something I could get past.
Sam:  I know what you mean. Look, there are things you can forgive, and there are things you can't.
Harry:  So, which one is this?
Sam:  That's something you got to figure out for yourself.


DING! (At least Dean got it too this time)

SPN 1106

Let me throw this out there.  Sam and Dean are captured and tied up.  The fake Thinman goes after Dean first, ready to slice his throat.  Sam panics yelling “Don’t!”  Wouldn’t that have been enough of a warning sign for Sam to realize that if he had lost Dean at that point, he would be completely guilt ridden and lost?  That he wouldn’t be able to stand knowing that his brother died thinking he was still mad at him?  He was utterly devastated in the finale when Dean died, and they had only just reconciled or come to an understanding at the trailer park before then.  If the almost losing Dean in the warehouse didn’t do it for Sam (and it should have), this comment from Harry definitely should have:

You roll with a guy so many years, you start to think he's always gonna be next to you. Like, when you're old and you're drinking on the porch, he'll be in that other rocking chair. And then something happens, and you realize that other chair has gone empty.

From this point, the end of Thinman to the season finale, Sam’s actions are just incomprehensible to me.   What was the point of putting the brothers through this parallel drama when no character growth or meaningful brotherly actions came from it?  Sam and Dean at that point should have gone back to the bunker, hugged it out, and acknowledged that while everything is not perfect, all they have is each other.  Sam could have admitted that if Dean had died, or if he wasn’t around, HE’D BE TOTALLY LOST.  That he now understands what Dean felt when he was in that coma, even if his actions in saving him weren’t right.  

The feet dragging from this point forward in the plotting has now officially strayed into blatant character assassination territory.  We have to wonder if they ended up plotting out only 13 episodes and then had to fudge because they realized it was 23.  Sam Winchester is smarter and more mature than this.  If anything, he and Dean could have reconciled, and then Sam would have had to go through the emotional devastation of losing Dean to the Mark of Cain anyway.  Wouldn’t that have been more interesting?  Or is the contrived setup out to prove once again that family love and loyalty is the only thing that can save these guys? 

Ahem.  Feel free to join me in one very long primal scream all the way to “Do You Believe In Miracles?”    

Blade Runners  

Sam starts off the episode by researching Cain and Abel on the computer.  Now?  It’s episode 16. Yes, he noticed what we all did at the end of "#THINMAN", Dean's kill of that weird kid was a little too cold and calculated for our comfort.  So now that Sam is aware, will he do more than wring his hands while his brother begins to slid?.  Um, not really.    

This is just an observation, but why does Sam want to kill Crowley?   Because he’s a demon?  Because he wants to make up for not doing it when he didn’t close the gates of Hell?  It doesn’t sit right with me that he wants to do that, even though he does tell Crowley he’s alive because he’s a better choice than Abaddon.  But why did he want to kill Crowley after they got the blade? Without killing Abaddon first?  I’m just confused by it. 

However, there is one ray of light.  Sam holding a knife to fake Cuthbert Sinclair’s throat, saying sternly, “Take me to my brother…”  There, that’s better.  Too bad Dean didn’t hear it.  Or anyone else.  But talking Dean down from his first encounter with the First Blade shows that Dean is still able to listen to Sam, but for how long?  Sam is thinking the exact same thing, which is why he shifts into "looking out for his brother" mode, but still keeping an emotional distance. Um, Sam, that's not really enough.

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Mother’s Little Helper

I’ve often written this criticism through the past few years, but Adam Glass has glaring weaknesses when it comes to characterization.  He’s an alright plotter and has told some good MOTW stories, but whenever he goes for the character dynamics, it just comes out wrong.  Dean’s agitated, so Sam backs off, because it’s all strictly professional still.  He even decides to leave Dean behind and do a case without him, even though Dean is acting “obsessed.”  It is quite disappointing that Crowley figures out what’s really wrong with Dean, not Sam.  At least Sam was smart enough to recognize the victims were soulless.  Plus the recorded exorcism was pretty cool.  Other than that, there’s no forward progress, and another flashback happened that had a tie in to the current case but didn’t address any emotional aspects or parallels for the brothers.  Plus that whole Abaddon stealing souls was dropped, but I’ll save that for another article. 

Meta Fiction  

At least Sam is starting to realize something is wrong with his brother.  Not enough to reach out to him and emotionally let him in, but he’s gotten good at brushing under the rug the warning signs.  Especially when Castiel is allowed to briefly freak out about the MOC and then say nothing about what it means.  Nope, he just tells Sam to keep an eye on him.  Great, that’s helpful.

Alex Alexis Annie Ann  

There’s no character development here, but I will give kudos to writer Robert Berens for one thing.  In “Jump The Shark” when Sam was drained of blood, all Dean did after taking out the bad guys was cut Sam loose and wrap his cuts with handkerchiefs.  Sam was in a bit of pain, but he was coherent for some totally bizarre reason given all the blood he lost.  I still blast Dabb and Loflin for not doing their research on that one.  Berens so got it right here.  As Sam was drained of blood, he was barely conscious and needed help moving afterward.  Thank you, thank you sir for paying some actual attention to detail.  

Almost DING!

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Oh, and Sam, your brother almost died here again.  Heck you almost died again.  He’s also scary and very cold with his killing.  He’s scaring the crap out of me.  You think you might want to do something about that?  No?  Okay, moving on.  Back to being woozy wallpaper.     

Bloodlines  

Nothing to see here.  I could blast how Sam bailed on poor Ennis at the end while giving him the speech about ruining his life, but it’s not worth it.  The entire episode was a disaster all the way around and took away from an episode that may have given the boys some time for character growth.  At least Sam got lines.

King of the Damned 
 

Might I first start off with how much I loved seeing light hearted Sam and Dean during the angel interrogation?  They were brothers again, if only for one small moment.  Damn was that refreshing.  It goes to show, these guys can still bring a smile to my face even in their darkest hour.

Aside from that, Sam is starting to soften toward Gadreel too, realizing he’s misunderstood, but still finds the act of killing Kevin inexcusable.  Is perhaps realizing that Gadreel wasn’t so bad helps with Sam’s forgiveness of Dean?  He is worried about Dean, but aside from a few glances we don’t get much else.  Why isn’t he digging into intense research now about the Mark of Cain?  Why isn’t Castiel sharing knowledge he should have?  Why isn’t Sam holding an extreme intervention by now? 

Sam didn’t get to be part of the action, because Dean tricked him and sent him to the basement while taking on Abaddon on his own.  Dean has decided this is his fight and his fight alone, which is major foreshadowing for he’s going down.  

Dean:  I didn't tell you about the warning because I knew exactly what you would do. You would make sure that you were right alongside me going in that room.
Sam:  You mean like we always do? Because we're actually partners in this and we watch each other's backs? 
Dean:  I don't expect you to understand. 
Sam:  Try me. 
Dean:  First time I touched that Blade...I knew. I knew that I wouldn't be stopped. I knew I would take down Abaddon and anything else if I had to. And it wasn't a hero thing. You know, it wasn't... It was just calm. I knew. And I had to go it alone, Sammy. 
Sam:  Oh. Of course. So it was just another time where you had to protect me. 
Dean:  You could've gotten nabbed by Abaddon, and she could've bargained her way out. We couldn't afford to screw this up. 
Sam:  Look…I'm glad it worked out, okay? I am. And I'm glad the Blade gives you strength or calm or whatever, but, Dean, I got to say... I'm starting to think the Blade is doing something else, too. 
Dean: Yeah? Like what? 
Sam:  I don't know. Like, something to you. Look... I'm thinking until we know for sure that we're gonna kill off Crowley, why don't we store the Blade somewhere distant? Lock it up somewhere safe? Okay? 
Dean:  No. 

Sam is still trying to keep it professional, but he’s clearly worried about Dean.  I think anyway, judging by the concerned looks on his face.  Not like he’s saying anything.  I’m also trying to figure out why Sam is giving Dean a lecture about not letting him be part of the fight when he told Dean not too long ago he wouldn’t do the same for him when it comes to saving him from death (even though he did clearly say if the circumstances were the same).  Most importantly, Sam said he doesn’t trust him.  This is obviously still fresh in Dean’s mind given his comment when freeing Sam from the blood drain in “Alex, Alexis, Annie, Ann.”  “I know, you wouldn’t do the same for me.”  Major ouch!

Sorry Sam, but why are you mad at Dean leaving you behind when you’re the one that’s been pushing him away all those months?  I don’t know, it’s not wrong, I’m just again not sure which Sam is going to show up.  These little speeches at the end of each week are making my head spin, and they really aren’t moving the brothers toward anything.  Both are spinning their wheels, it’s episode 21, and I’m very irritated at this point. 

Stairway to Heaven  

I’m not going to bother with this one.  Once again, we got a different Sam who didn’t really do anything.  This episode was all over the map and very poorly done, and it’s not worth analysis (I already put out one scathing review about it).  Sam got to play loyal sidekick to Castiel and they talked about Dean for two whole sentences, and he also got all mad at Dean without really doing anything.  More totally wasted potential.

Oh, I can’t avoid it, let me bring up one scene, just because it really, really makes my blood boil.  Sam finally confronts Dean, they exchange a few sentences of anger and…SAM STORMS OFF TO HIS ROOM???  I’m sorry, but I just about quit the show right there.  Way to take an adored, lead character and totally trash his relevance.  Way to insult an entire fandom like that.  Gee, Sam could have at least punched Dean or something.  Or left the bunker and started his own spinoff because he’s clearly not needed on this show anymore.  Now that I got that off my chest, we shall never speak of it again.

SamAngry

Do You Believe in Miracles?  

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. Carver.  Can you write all of Sam’s scenes from now until the end of the show?  An episode with a Sam POV, things being worked out and suddenly everything he’s been feeling over the last half of the season is explained.  Geez writers not named Carver, was that so hard?  Writing for Sam doesn’t take rocket science.

Actually, it isn’t just Sam.  Carver got the brotherly dynamic right and that’s most important.  The show is about two brothers, not one and a some background character with nice hair. 

Sam and Castiel do the only thing they can do, lock Dean up in the dungeon until they figure out what to do.  Sure Dean figures a way out but that’s not the point.  He calls Crowley, which really agitates Sam.  But does Sam go storming off to his room?  Nope, he works the case, defending and fighting for his brother when Gadreel suggests that Dean can be useful as a weapon against Metatron.  “Oh, right. Excuse me. Sorry, guys. Uh, sorry I'm a little less than eager to hear that our best chance is -- is arming the warhead and hoping it hits the mark. This is not a bomb we're talking about. This is my brother.” His brother!  He said it in front of others!  He’s making this about family!  I’m so damned happy. 

I laughed when Sam had beat Dean to the punch, throwing in Dean’s face, “I guess one of us doesn't need a demon to help follow a clue trail.”  Yay, funny irritated Sam!  But the below conversation is crucial:

Dean:  Sam, whatever kind of intervention you think this is, trust me, it ain't. I'm not gonna explain myself to you.
Sam:  Yeah, I sort of got that. I just thought you might like to know that while you two have been playing, uh, odd couple, your real friends, like Cas, like the angel you stabbed, Gadreel --they're out there right now risking their asses to help you win this fight. 
Dean:  What the hell are you talking about? 
Sam: A fight, I might add, you made that much more complicated when you decided to stab the one angel who could actually get us to Metatron. 
Dean:  You mean the angel that took you for a joy ride? The angel that slaughtered Kevin? That angel? 
Sam: Who you let in the front door in the first place. You tricked me, Dean. And now I'm the one who wakes up in the middle of the night seeing my hands killing Kevin, not you. So, please, when you say you don't want to explain anything to me, don't. I get it. And I also get that Metatron has to go. And I know you're our best shot to do that. 
Dean: I'm gonna take my shot, for better or worse. 
Sam:  I know. 
Dean: No matter the consequences. 
Sam: I know. But if this is it, we're gonna do it together.

For one, Sam’s line about seeing his hands killing Kevin FINALLY explains things.  It explains all that’s been going on in his head.  Anytime he thinks he could forgive or talk to Dean, it’s that visual that stops him.  The traumatic, sick inside feeling that by being kept alive, Kevin died.  It was too strong, too haunting to overcome.  It also brought up too much pain, because once again Dean lied to him.  Once again, Dean took control of his life and went against his wishes.  As a result, he didn’t close the gates of Hell (although why doesn’t he realize that could have been a bad thing?) and Kevin is dead, the person they swore to protect. 

But this conversation also means Sam is willing to overcome all that, not just for Dean’s sake, but for Heaven’s sake.  About time!  Metatron has caused too much chaos and he has to go.  All he asks is to be there and have his brother’s back.  He even tries to give a clever, bad ass demon fighting brothers line before he is stopped.  

DING!

SPN 0977

I know, Dean knocks Sam out, preventing him from being part of the fight with Metatron.  As a result, Dean lost his life.  Sure we could ask what would have happened is Sam was there, but that takes away from the intended story.  Dean had to die, and Sam finally faced that horror that he hasn’t wanted to face the last several episodes.  The look as that angel blade goes through Dean says it all.  This is not his partner.  This is his brother.  And he’s going to die.   

SPN 1373

Suddenly, nothing Sam was feeling before mattered.  He had to save Dean.  It’s one thing to talk, but when push comes to shove, old habits die hard.  But he didn’t save his brother.  Dean died in his arms, proclaiming simply, “I’m proud of us.”  Sam wasn’t prepared for this.  He should have been, but he wasn’t. 

Samrealizes2

Elle2 recently did an analysis for us, and it was her words about a grief stricken Sam, who just delivered his dead brother’s body to his room that nailed it for me.  (http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/article-archives/episode-related/18596-no-chick-flick-moments-but-we-can-still-talk-right)

“As Dean is dying he confesses to Sam that he knew the Mark was making him something he didn’t want to be, and that dying was better.  Sam, for his part, shows in his expressions and desperation how much he hated keeping Dean at such a length, and now that Dean has died in his arms (again) it is clear that Sam regrets every moment of his anger at Dean – even as it was deserved.”

I’m not going to argue if Sam’s crude behavior toward Dean is deserved or not, but hopefully this becomes a huge lesson learned for Season Ten.  Not just for Sam, but this entire writing team.  Elle2 went on further to explain it this way: 

“This isn’t an article to hash out whether one brother deserved the anger of the other.  It’s purely meant to reflect upon how much I wish the writers would rewatch some of the earlier seasons and learn afresh how to have the brothers communicate.”  

And that sums up completely this year’s “Deeper Look” installment of Sam.  If the brothers don’t communicate, if they’re not equally involved, then the core basis of the show is gone.  Critics and fans like me are now spending our off season involved in analytical exercises of extreme frustration, not praise and enjoyment like it should be.  The lack of balance between the brothers is not the heart of this show, or was that ever was the intent.  However this is exactly what happened to Dean last year and Sam this year.  Until the balance is restored, until rich, comprehensive, season long storytelling is restored, this show will remain a shadow of what it once was.

Coming up next, A Deeper Look at Season Nine Dean Winchester.  I saved the least frustrating exercise for last.  Dean’s arc was far from perfect, but at least it had a much greater purpose. 



Comments  

st50
# st50 2014-07-11 17:44
Thanks for the article, alice. It had to be painfully frustrating to write. Kudos for getting through it.

For myself, I don't even want to do a complete show rewatch this hiatus, as is my norm, and couldn't even finish reading the article - that's how much I hated this seasons treatment of Sam and Dean. Worse than even season 8, and I HATED the portrayal of Sam in that one.
Made as far as your coments on The Purge, and... yeah. That was enough.

Can Sam just go back to teaching yoga? Then we can all just drool, and ignore the rest of the sh.. um.. season.
elle2
# elle2 2014-07-11 17:49
Love this, Alice! Your analysis here really nails it for me. There were so many opportunities for Sam to explain himself, his POV, but they were all swept away by writing him as childish (storming off to his room). They have characters that Sam could interact with, ghost Kevin, Ghostfacers, Sheriff Mills and yet none of them does he explain himself to (same as last season when he never explained why he didn't look for Dean other than he didn't know how or where -- really?!!!! Didn't Grandpa Campbell have a whole entire library -- oh, yeah, Carver must not have cared to remember that. GRRRR)

If only, if only, if only the writers would talk to each other and share what happens in one script with the writer of the next and so on. If only Carver would oversee the entire season and demand consistent characterizatio n that builds toward something. Sadly, as it stands, this show is a sad shadow of its former glory. But, maybe, just maybe come October I'll be proved wrong and hope will rebound...gotta have some hope.

Love that you continue to do these articles. I always pick up a few moments along the way, and I did here as well. :-)
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-07-11 18:25
Great article, Alice - you nailed it. The second half is when Season 9 fell apart for me, for many of the reasons you spelled out. On their own, a lot of these episodes were good but I finished a S9 rewatch in June and, when you watch them all at once, or see the issues as spelled out in your article, you realize how atrocious the writing was for Sam Winchester. He was all over the map; it's one thing to internalize things but this season strained credulity.

The frustrating part was it isn't a difficult thing to fix. For instance, at the beginning of Captives, all they had to do was have a 5 second scene with Sam waking up from a nightmare of Gadreel killing Kevin. That didn't take any dialog, or, Chuck-forbid, Sam talking to someone else for us to know, hey, Sam is having nightmares about killing Kevin. But no, let's hang on to that important tidbit till the last episode of the season.
Alice
# Alice 2014-07-12 00:01
I can think of countless ways they could have worked in those little moments that told us how Sam was feeling. I have a hunch not one single writer asked themselves when constructing their stories, "Gee, where is Sam's head space right now?" Nope, they were too busy working in their "feels" and "shout-outs" to prior seasons, as well as working in guest characters so they could get their bonuses. Then Carver realized "Oh shit, we didn't do anything about Sam's POV" and did it all himself. As long as they aren't servicing the characters in the story, it really steals a lot of legitimacy from the show. Why aren't they asking "WWKD?" (What would Kripke do?)
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2014-07-11 20:41
But don't you get it? Dean is the one who made the crap deal and had Sam possessed even tho he knew Sam would not want that. He tricked him and now Sam is supposed to just get over it and kowtow to Dean? I'm sorry, but all I'm seeing here is what a crap brother Sam has been to Dean. Where is Sam in this? Sam has a right to how he feels. He made a commitment to hunt with Dean and that is what he did. How would leaving have improved the situation?
Just because Dean refuses to see what he did wrong is no reason to put the onus on Sam to heal their relationship. Dean has to be willing to try to do that and he's not. This is shown by his saying he would do the same thing to Sam again. So as throughout the last 5 (at least) seasons, Dean just expects Sam to roll over and do what Dean says. I, for one, am happy that he is standing his ground.
I completely understood what Sam was saying. But since Dean refuses to listen why should he waste his time and his breath. As for Kevin, he has never been possessed and so has no idea what he's talking about when he says Sam should just get over it. My biggest disappointment with the last half of the season is that the writers are backing off from the stand they took that Dean was wrong and are suddenly trying to just make the possession seem not as bad as it was for Sam.
Dean is in the situation he is in by his own stupid decision. Sam needed some time to come to terms with his feelings and he had a right to take that time so him not really noticing what was happening to Dean is understandable. But it was not on him to just get over it and focus on Dean.
Sorry, but this review upset me because it seemed to be all about how poor Dean was feeling and not at all about how Sam was feeling. For a review of Sam it felt off.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-11 21:07
I get the impression that Alice is saying that the WRITING of Sam sucked not that Sam was in the wrong for anything. I may be wrong but that's how I am seeing her interpretation. That the writing made Dean look sympathetic and Sam look like a jerk sometimes. Isn't that what ya'll have been saying? I don't see that she put the onus on Sam. Or that Dean was right for his choices. She seems to zero in on the inconsistent writing and characterizatio n of the brothers, Sam in particular, this article. I felt I understood Sam's anger and everything he said myself but it was not made clear sometimes, thus leading to a lot of 'filling in the blanks' by fans willing to think the worse of Sam.
Alice
# Alice 2014-07-11 23:56
Yes, Leah has it right. I spent way too much time guessing how Sam was feeling instead of knowing how Sam was feeling. This entire article, actually the intent of the whole series, which I've been doing since season three, is to pick apart the characterizatio n choices of the writers through the season gone by. This year, it's rather appalling what little care was put into Sam's characterizatio n. I remember making similar complaints of Dean last season, and both brothers in season seven. This batch of writers just doesn't get it. They haven't for seasons. It's disappointing, but I have to work with what I'm given. In Sam's case, I just ended up being mostly confused.
PSG
# PSG 2014-07-11 21:56
NO arguments that Sam was written in an unsympathetic manner. Personally I think the character often fails to take responsibility for his part in events. Again and with emphasis, I don't think Dean tricked Sam into anything. Sam decided to listen to dean and not close the gates and Sam chose to trust an angel wearing Dean's face and said yes to possession. Dean lied point blank after the fact. When the writers twist the facts it reflects poorly on Sam.

I also find it difficult to take his distress over kevin seriously when he left the boy with Crowley without another thought hence the phone message scene. In 8:1 he was guilt tripped by dean into looking for kevin and suddenly he's family? Do the writers remember these things or try to think of situations from a character's perspective.?

For me Dean's arc, Crowley's arc and Metatron's sudden chess moves were the season. Sam and cas were used as distractions which poorly serves these characters. I was so disappointed in cas' human arc. Then BAM I realized how satisfyingly Crowley's human arc was only it was under the radar until the ChachachaChhhha nges were too profound to miss. His bedside monologue was revelatory.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-11 23:06
Sorry PSG I misunderstood the intent of the article. Your points are quite valid although I would argue the angel possession thing.
st50
# st50 2014-07-11 23:48
PSG - I will vehemently disagree that Sam "...often fails to take responsibility. .", but that is an argument that has been held on this site over and over and over again. Revisiting it will not change either of our opinions.
I would have loved to see a scene where Sam and Dean actually discussed the moment when Sam said yes to the angel wearing Dean's face. There was certainly an element of dishonesty and manipulation to it, and I would love to hear Sams thoughts on what exactly he was saying yes to, because it sure wasn't possession. THAT would've been interesting television.
I'll agree, Dean lied after the fact, and the writing reflects poorly on Sam. (That's pretty much my take away from the entire season in a nutshell).
And yes, Sam and Cas' stories were both incredibly poorly conceived and written, Crowleys was better. That much we agree on..... Metatron never caught my interest, and I think Dean's story could have been great. Jensen certainly gave it 100% of his talents and effort - too bad the writers didn't quite get there, at least for me.

Quote:
I also find it difficult to take his distress over kevin seriously when he left the boy with Crowley without another thought hence the phone message scene. In 8:1 he was guilt tripped by dean into looking for kevin and suddenly he's family? Do the writers remember these things or try to think of situations from a character's perspective.?
Actually, PSG, I think the part the writers have "forgotten" is the way Sam related to Kevin throughout season 7. THAT Sam would never have left him with Crowley in the first place, so the error is not in Sam's (season 9) grief (and feelings of guilt) over the death of 'family', but in the writing of 8.01 that would lead you to question it at all.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-12 19:58
I too vehemently disagree that sam fails to take responsibility. as I recall all responsibility laid on him for the apocalypse. sam didn't choose to trust an angel wearing dean's face....sam chose to trust his brother, who used an angel to wear his face. so dean did trick his brother. if sam knew that it was an angel, he never would've said yes.

I don't find it difficult at all to take his distress seriously. first of all, sam thought his brother dead. he admitted to imploding and running. we saw in fbs that sam's mental/emotiona l state was not good. garth said that he wasn't there, but there must've been a good reason, when dean blamed sam for leaving him in purgatory. in hunter heroici, sam gives a speech about running from reality; meg, the only one, who questioned why sam hit the dog and stopped hunting in the first place; bobby making note that they went off the rails. all of this telling us that sam was not ok when he believed his brother dead. he stopped hunting as he said because it killed his family. while it's true, he didn't go after kevin, I don't believe for a second it was because he didn't want to. given what we learned, i'd say sam couldn't do it. like he said, he imploded and ran. he said he threw his phones away, so it's not like he heard the messages and ignored them. but when the time came, and sam was able to face his life again, he went back to the cabin. since dean was there, we really don't know what sam might have done next. I do know that he did feel like crap for not answering his phone when he found out that kevin did try to reach him. he tried to make it up to kevin. he tried to make it up to everyone, which is why he took on the trials. like dean did with sam, sam did look out for kevin in the second half of s8. let's try to remember that when kevin disappeared it was at the end of s7, and sam and dean had just met kevin , so at the time he was according to dean , their responsibility. a responsibility that unfortunately sam didn't have the ability to handle. it wasn't until the second half of s8 that kevin was considered family. so of course kevin's death by sam's hand is going to cause him great distress....hel l sam causing the death of any innocent would cause him distress.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-12 20:56
If Sam knew that he was saying yes to an angel why did Dean and Gadreel need lie about and keep it a secret.
PSG
# PSG 2014-07-13 01:55
Because Gadreel wiped his memories.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-13 06:35
But if Sam knew he was saying yes to an angel why wipe his memory. If he was ok with it there would be no need to wipe his memory or lie about it.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-11 23:15
Great article, Alice! You really sum up my main problem w/Sam (and the show as a whole) this season. I found the writing for him to be inconsistent and largely unsympathetic.

I focused a lot on my hatred of Bad Boys in the other article - sorry but I really and truly despise that episode - but I was largely disappointed w/Sam's possession story. While Jared did an excellent job of going from Sam to Gadreel in mere seconds, not enough time was spent on Sam and how the possession impacted him. As usual, we didn't learn until the very last minute that Sam was aware of losing time during the possession and thought something was wrong w/himself. To me, that was a theme that should have played throughout the season. Telling us in the last minute of the episode before the mid-season break felt like an afterthought. Sadly, that happens often w/Sam. I was hoping we would get some insight into Sam and his feelings about the possession in the 2nd half of the season, but we didn't . . . well, I guess we did in the finale but it was too little, too late, IMO.

I had a lot of problems w/the second half of the season in general, but the problems w/Sam were really bad, IMO. The writers seem to have gotten into this habit, IMO, of writing Sam's dialogue in a very cryptic way. It makes me think they don't know or understand Sam so it is hard for them to "speak" for him. For instance, at the end of Road Trip - the only episode I enjoyed this season from start to finish - Sam tells Dean to not leave thinking that was the problem b/c it wasn't. When Dean asks what Sam means, Sam just tells Dean to go. That led to a lot of discussion on the boards I regularly frequent b/c it wasn't really clear what Sam meant other than he disagreed w/the reasons Dean stated.

That conversation leads us to ST - and thank you so much for the episode titles and summaries b/c I no longer remember the episodes as I used to - where Sam, again, speaks in a cryptic manner at the end. He says, "If you wanna be brothers, well . . . . those are my terms." Umm . . . what? He literal ly trailed off in mid-sentence. Again, there was much debate about what Sam meant. Some said he was saying they couldn't be brothers anymore, and there were others, like me, who didn't think Sam could possibly mean that. Well . . . . TP cleared that up for me b/c in the beginning, Sam asks Dean if he was hurt by what Sam said, and Dean says, "Oh, you mean the part where you said we weren't brothers anymore" and Sam says, "Yeah . . . that." So, clearly, Sam did mean he and Dean couldn't be brothers. That threw me off and then the end of the episode just killed my bi-bro heart. It really did. I didn't start hating Sam or anything, but after TP, I didn't care much if the brothers reconciled at all. In fact, I wanted them separated. I thought that would be better, and that says a lot coming from me.

I am a huge fan of the brothers. I love both Sam and Dean equally. I honestly and truly do not have a favorite brother. I was very displeased w/the speech in TP. It was an attack on Dean's character and his entire life. It was too much. Afterwards, I thought, "Well, Sam, I hope Dean lets you die next time." TP left me feeling that way. There was so much I took issue with - the idea that Sam blames Dean for not completing the trials when Sam made that decision for himself, the idea that Dean took away Sam's chance to die as if Dean knew Sam wanted to die, the idea that Sam WANTED to die when that is NOT what was shown, the idea that Dean is selfish, the idea that Dean is a coward, the idea that Sam wouldn't save Dean . . . I didn't like any of it.

I have a hard time believing that Sam would say any of those things even if he was very angry w/Dean. I just don't see him saying any of what was written. I found both speeches to be OTT and largely OOC. Sam is much more articulate than these writers know and could have made his point about not wanting to be saved a particular way in a better manner. For instance, Sam could have reminded Dean of how Dean didn't want to become a zombie back in S3 just so he could stay alive. That would have been a much better way to make his point - if that was his point - to Dean but the goal seems to have been to unnecessarily hurt Dean and further this contrived, forced conflict btw the brothers than to give Sam an actual POV.

Those speeches made Sam seem like a selfish jerk. I'm sorry, but that's how I saw it, and I say that as someone who loves Sam. They didn't even try to keep the sympathy w/Sam, IMO. And I felt the same way last year when Dean was going on about Sam lying to him since the Pilot and blaming Sam for being soulless!??!! Really!?!?! These writers, IMO, always seem to take it one step (or two) too far.

I also wondered what Sam was mad about? Was he angry about being possessed? Could they have drawn on Sam's past possessions to illustrate his point? Was Sam only angry that Kevin died? If "Ezekiel" had been on the up and up, healed Sam and then left w/o a problem, would Sam still have been so angry at Dean? Do the writers know? Did Carver? Was there a point to this storyline other than driving Dean's story? I don't think so.

After TP, I, like you, spent much of the season wondering why Sam was still there and why these brothers were even together. If Sam can't trust Dean and wouldn't go out of his way to help/save Dean, then why hunt w/Dean? Why live w/him? The writers want to have it both ways and don't care that it doesn't make much sense. You can't have the brothers constantly get into these heart crushing, hurtful fights and then still show them hunting/living together?!?! It makes no sense. I am not a proponent of the boys being separated, but if they had been separated this year, it would have made more sense to me. I saw no reason for them to be together after TP.

Anyway - Sam didn't do much of note after TP, IMO. He was just there not doing much of anything. The writers refuse to give him the POV, and he didn't have the mytharc so Sam was lost. The writers didn't expand on his feelings re: Dean or anything so he was just there. As you mentioned, he never researched the MoC as he normally would have. He didn't discuss Dean w/Castiel in any meaningful way as we have seen Dean discuss Sam w/Cas or others. He didn't get to support Dean through the MoC arc like Dean has supported Sam. He didn't express much - if any - interest in the MoC that I can recall.

Another thing I absolutely hated was the off-screen evolution of Sam's feelings w/r/t Gadreel and the possession. Gad went from being a "psycho angel" to a "friend." What? The possession went from being hated to being "shared housing." Sam knew nothing of the possession to suddenly being able to unequivocally state that Gad was a good, but misunderstood guy. Huh? During the possession, Sam was in control of his body 98% of the time so how in the world could he answer Cas's questions about Gad? Sam didn't even know he was possessed?!?!?! ? AFAIK, San wasn't sensing Gad's presence during the possession so how would he know Gad is misunderstood? And if he knew that or felt Gad was a "friend," why was he trying to kill him in one episode? What? The sudden revelation about Sam having nightmares? Okay. Thanks for sharing at the last minute. And why did Sam just let Dean make his jerky "dictatorship" speech and stomp away like a child? Since when does Sam behave this way? Since when doesn't he stand up for himself? He should have told Dean he could have a dictatorship of one b/c he wasn't sticking around for Dean's crap! And Dean's bipolar change in attitude a second later was . . . .

I also found it annoying how scared Sam was for Dean in the episode w/the GFs. It was the third, maybe fourth time Dean was in danger and we saw how panicky Sam was. Just stop. What was the point of those scenes? They occurred back-to-back. We get it. Sam cares if Dean is about to die. If Sam is not going to say anything about that or talk to anyone about what he is feeling, just quit showing those scenes.

I know there is a lot of love for the finale, but I thought it was just okay. There have been much better finales, IMO. Sacrifice was better than this one, IMO. Sam didn't do much here IIRC. He got punched out, confessed to having nightmares, and cradled Dean's body. I did enjoy the scene of Sam drinking in the dark though. The song choice was good. And I liked how Sam was summoning Crowley. I'm one of those crazy fans who enjoy the brothers doing crazy things to save each other. It's a tv show.

I've written enough and will stop now.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-12 18:43
SAM

'Cause -- I don't know you... This isn't about what I said the other day, is it?



DEAN

Oh, about that we're not supposed to be brothers? No, don't flatter yourself. I don't break that easy.



SAM

Oh, good, 'cause I was just being honest.



DEAN [sarcastically as he leaves]

Oh, yeah. No, I got that loud and clear.

i disagree with dean's interpretation that sam said he didn't want to be brothers.

here's the speech
Dean: Uh, listen, that night that, uh... You know, we went our -- our separate ways –
Sam: You mean the night you split?
Dean: Fair enough. I was messed up, man. Kevin was dead, and I...I don't know what I was.
Sam: Okay.
Dean: Hell, maybe I still don't. But, uh... I know I took a piece of you in the process, and for that…Somebody changed the playbook, man, you know? It's like what -- what -- what's right is wrong and what's wrong is more wrong, and... I just know that when... When we rode together... ( so right here dean knew what he did to sam and yet he couldn't even apologize for what he'd done, he just goes on about the rules changing. here is the moment where dean disregards what sam is feeling)
Sam: We split the crappiness.
Dean: Yeah. So...
Sam: Okay.
Dean: Okay.
Sam: But something's broken here, Dean.
Dean: I'm not saying that it's not. I... I just think maybe we need to put a couple W's on the board and we get past all this. ( second time dean dismisses what sam is feeling)
Sam: I don't think so. No, I wish, but... We don't...see things the same way anymore -- our roles in this whole thing. Back in that church, talking me out of boarding up hell? Or -- or tricking me into letting Gadreel possess me? I can't trust you -- not the way I thought I could, not the way I should be able to.
Dean: Okay, look. Whatever happened... We are family, okay? (dean is excusing his actions and the results by claiming it's ok because we're family)
Sam: You say that like it's some sort of cure-all, like it can change the fact that everything that has ever gone wrong between us has been because we're family.
( sam is telling dean that just because they're family, it doesn't change the fact that what he did was wrong, and that everything that has gone wrong between them, the excuse used has always been, because we're family. sam is drawing the line here, telling dean that just because they're family that doesn't mean they can do whatever they want, damned the consequences and damned everyone else.
Dean: So, what -- we're not family now? ( dean isn't hearing what sam is saying. sam didn't say anything about not being family, he said because we're family is no longer an acceptable excuse...a cure all for all that they have done wrong, especially to ea. other.
Sam: I'm saying, you want to work? Let's work. If you want to be brothers…Those are my terms. dean's not listening to sam. sam is frustrated once again. sam refers back to dean's comment about just putting a few w's in the win column. dean thinks all they need to do is go back to work and all will be ok. sam also replies if you want to be brothers.....wh ich clearly signifies that they have to work at fixing what's wrong. dean cannot bury it.

this is from the purge:

SAM

'Cause -- I don't know you... This isn't about what I said the other day, is it? ( if you notice sam's face there was a glimpse of hope)



DEAN

Oh, about that we're not supposed to be brothers? No, don't flatter yourself. I don't break that easy. ( dean's comment indicates that he knew sam was in fact trying to break him. sam was baiting dean so he would talk to him, engage, but dean instead told sam he didn't break easy. sam's face of hope vanished and there is frustration and anger)



SAM

Oh, good, 'cause I was just being honest. ( sam using the term honest...someth ing which dean hasn't been and sam reminding dean of that. his tone was out of frustration and anger, but the look on his face when dean walked out was of sadness). which tells me that sam once again tried to get dean to work at fixing things and was upset that dean chose to walk away from him again. that is the opposite of sam not wanting to be brothers...that 's sam fighting for his relationship with dean.



DEAN [sarcastically as he leaves]

Oh, yeah. No, I got that loud and clear.



sam in these two eps has been trying to get dean to deal with what he'd done. dean can't just bury this and expect all is forgiven simply because they're family. this time they have to work together at fixing things, and in order to do that dean has to accept and understand that what he did was wrong. but he couldn't ...instead pride got in his way. he knew sam was trying to break dean, and he was, and dean chose not to cede. he held onto his stance that he didn't do anything wrong. he wouldn't or most likely couldn't face his true reasons for what he did, so he walks out of the room.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-12 23:09
See, I interpreted the conversation differently. Dean says he doesn't break that easy, but he's lying. Dean does break that easy. He was very upset by Sam's comment that they weren't brothers anymore, which is why he tried to play it off the next day. Sam knew Dean was hurt, and he knew Dean was lying about not being hurt.

Now, I never thought Sam's words at the end of ST meant he didn't want to be Dean's brother but when he says, "Good, cause I'm just being honest," that confirmed to me that my friend's and others' interpretation of Sam's words at the end of ST were correct. It is either that or Sam was lying to Dean. I also think that interpretation is in line w/the rest of the season where the brothers constantly mention how they are "partners" not "brothers."
catsluver
# catsluver 2014-07-12 01:13
Thank you, Alice. Although this is painful to read, it's so true. You sum up my frustrations with season 9 very well. I couldn't put into words how off Sam was this season. I miss Sam so much and I can hardly recognize him anymore. I can take him being possessed. Jared did a wonderful job as Zek/Gadreel and that whole storyline could have been so much better. I had such high hopes. It was fun to watch and really showed Jareds talent, but Sam??? The writers forgot that Sam is smart, he's a good hunter, and there was precious little of that Sam apparent in season 9.
Now that Revolution has been cancelled, can we have Ben Edlund back??? Please??? Please!!! Please!!!!!!!! We can hope and pray.
I am nursing my season 9 wounds by going back to the first five seasons and spending time with the boys I fell in love with.
Alice
# Alice 2014-07-12 02:20
Sadly, Mr. Edlund is now on the writing team for Gotham. So no hope of him coming back. However, Kripke is available these days, so I'm hoping he'll show up at more pitch meetings. :)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-12 20:59
If Singer steps down how about Carver and Kripke running the show. That way we don't lose JC's writing and we gain EK's. Win, win?
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-12 21:40
Co-show runners! No one loses face. Kripke is already attached to the show and it wouldn't be a demotion for Carver. Win win! We can dream can't we?:)
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-07-12 02:58
They did not go into the possession sl thinking about Sam it was about creating a sl for Dean. Emotionally Sam has barely existed since season 4 we get the odd reminder Sam is a person like Sacrifice but then it is all pointless when they write Sam like last season. Considering his past and being possessed before there were elements that the writers could of examined but instead we got more Dean focus on what having his brother possessed did to him and his mindset. The fact we did not get one Sam-centric episode speaks volumes and the fact despite the wrong being done to Sam , as a fan I have had to spend time defending him also speaks volumes. How far as the show come in their view of Sam and in the writing for him ? no futher than where we have been outside of the earlier seasons Sam's pov and emotional journey as been terrible .
E
# E 2014-07-12 10:06
Thanks Alice. Looking into Sam this season has been an exercise in frustration and futility hasn't it. Once you get started dissecting the issues everything quickly spirals out of control, becoming a runaway train of problems that seemingly have no end. I've tried several times to write a response detailing all of the problems that I've had with the writing for Sam this season (Dean's wasn't much better, but at least I understood him) only to find myself hopelessly muddled and confused. I think, for me anyway, that pretty much all of the problems regarding Sam this season (and last) can be boiled down to context. Sam has no context for what he's thinking, or feeling or doing. Because the writers refuse to frame Sam's issues in any way be that through monologue, dialogue, montage, camera work or action sequences to give us a context that shows us what's driving his feelings, thoughts and actions, it's impossible to relate to him at all. Sam's character has become mired in a series of disconnected and isolated events with no frame work to help us understand how he got from point A to point B. He seemingly jumps from one emotion or mind set to another with no explanation for the change, or says one thing and then does another, which makes him look inconsistent at best and bi-polar at worst. The end result of all this is that we can't understand him so we don't sympathize. He wants to live and "show Dean the light at the end of the tunnel" then he's "willing to die." How did we get from one sentiment to the other? What happened that made him change? He doesn't want to be brothers, but then panics over Dean's safety continually; his actions and his words are in opposition without out explanation as to why he's saying one thing and doing another thing. He speaks in half sentences, never actually giving us any real insight into his frame of mind. Dean couldn't understand him, so why would we? Example: "But if you want to be brothers…… well, those are my terms." Huh? What terms? You didn't give us any terms Sam! And since we are in the midst of a conversation about WHY you are justifiably upset about what your brother has done to you, now is NOT THE TIME TO BE CRYPTIC OR VAGUE!!! FINISH YOUR DAMNED THOUGHT!! GARG!!! And the thing that drives me nuts is that there was no reason story wise as to why Sam wouldn't say what was on his mind. Why is he keeping his thoughts to himself? Is there something going on in the plot that is making Sam hold back? Is Dean in danger if Sam says what he thinks? Uh, no. There was no plot issue that was forcing him to keep his thoughts to himself, so the fact that he isn't willing to just say what's on his mind makes no sense; especially given what we know of Sam from his past. I mean, when has that boy ever been silent? When has he ever kept quiet when he thinks those around him are misinformed? Never. Where is that boy who confronted John when Dean wouldn't? Gone apparently.

It is the worst kind of writing IMO to make one of your characters inexplicably vague, nonsensical and silent simply for the sake of perpetuating an artificially manufactured conflict. And the killer here is that it would have effected where Dean ended up NOT ONE BIT. He and Sam could have spent episodes hashing out the possession conflict, fighting over it, yelling at each other, each giving their very valid and understandable points of view and maybe even come to an understanding about things and Dean STILL would have become a demon. Unbelievably frustrating. It's like reading papers from a creative writing 101 class with bad structure, poor logic, and predictable, formulaic and trite plotting. I've read tons of fanfiction that has better construction than what these supposed "professionals" have given us lately.

Those of us who are pre-disposed towards Sam as a character have to work extra hard to make ANY sense out of what is going on with him, and even some of us die-hards are loosing patience. And those who aren't pre-disposed towards Sam have all but written him off. We found out in episode 23 that Sam had been having nightmares of his hands reaching out to burn out Kevin's eyes. Understandable. But why wasn't this seemingly crucial bit of information used to frame out those caustic speeches Sam gave in Sharp Teeth and The Purge? If we'd seen Sam wrecked by lack of sleep, plauged by nightmares and suffering in his grief those speeches might have come across as less harsh. The truth of what Sam was saying would have been more obvious and our sympathies might have been more engaged. I loath the imbalance in the writing between the brothers. Dean's issues are always framed in a sympathetic and detailed manner and usually Sam's are not. Why was so much time and 'feels' given to Dean's decision to have Sam possessed and virtually none as to why Sam might be upset about it? Why was Dean shown the be a supportive brother to Sam when he was going through a crisis (the trials) and Sam was not when the crisis was Dean's (the MoC)? The writing for Dean always, ALWAYS contains a context and then that context is enhanced by dialogue, monologue, montages, actions sequences, and camera work that underscores what he's feeling and why he's making the choices that he makes. Those short scenes of Dean looking at himself in the mirror spoke volumes about Dean's headspace at that time in his MoC crisis. So, even thought we might not always agree with Dean's choices, we almost always can see why he made them, and can find sympathy for Dean and his struggles. For Sam? Not so much, as in not at all unless we, the fans, are willing to fill in the blanks ourselves and figure out how to find sympathy for him, because it's not on the screen. Why, as the other lead, the other hero, isn't Sam given the same treatment? Like, Sam waking from a nightmare crying, Sam bedraggled and exhausted from lack of sleep, Sam unable to eat, Sam connecting to another character who's crisis reveals how he himself is feeling? Nothing like that happened this season, or really in last season either. Everything that Sam went through became context for Dean. Season 8's 'not looking' and 'the trials'….all ended up being about motivating Dean. The Possession and it's aftermath? It was for Dean. No wonder fans can't relate to Sam (except us few die hards who will always love him no matter what, and will strive valiantly to make some kind of sense out of the OOC, discombobulated , illogical crap they've written for him). Without any context there is nothing for a a fan to relate TO.
AB/C
# AB/C 2014-07-12 10:11
Thanks for this article, Alice. I always enjoy reading your insights. I am a fan of both brothers, but am beyond frustrated over the missed opportunities for developing Sam's character. My frustration is 'bleeding into' my reaction to the spoilers coming out about season 10. Will the focus be on Demon Dean with Sam being lost in dark, dead end paths trying to save his brother ('dead end' because it will be drawn out to give Sam something to do in the background?). I want to be excited about Season 10 but the brothers apart and Dean as a demon are both things that prevent brotherly love and interaction facing a common enemy--the kind of stuff I watch the show for. I hope not, but I am losing faith.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-12 12:58
If there are any new fans that didn't see any or all of the episodes this season the reruns are going to make Sam look even worse since they are jumping right from BB's to ST and then TP. So any context for what Sam says is going to be completely skipped. What we get is Dean sacrificing his happiness for Sam and right to Sam not wanting to be brothers with absolutely no explanation why. If they rerun BL I will throw real bricks at my tv.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-12 14:02
I guess I didn't see sam written as an unsympathetic jerk, but more as someone who was conflicted and hurt and burdened with guilt. I think it's important to remember one thing in all of this which seems to have been forgotten. at no point after sam discovered what dean has done to him, did dean apologize. i'm not talking about apologizing for saving sam, of course he would never do that and I understand that. I wanted sam alive too. i'm talking about apologizing to sam for the pain he caused him. i'm talking about apologizing for lying to him. an apology isn't just an admittance of guilt, an apology is acknowledging someone elses pain, something in which dean didn't do at any point during the second half of s9. I believe a lot of sam's frustration and anger stemmed from the fact that dean never acknowledged sam's feelings at any point...but dean did manage to make it all about how he was feeling.
I didn't find it hard to understand sam at all this season. I actually did understand his pov, even if he didn't say as much as I would've liked. understand, i'm one of the few who enjoyed this season, so i'm speaking strictly for myself. i think that there are those of us out there who understood sam and were able to connect the dots to get the whole picture. i understand that there are those out there who feel this is not the way a story should be told, but in this instance i understood why it was. I've been binge watching s7-9 and i can see the story unfold the way carver wanted it to, all leading up to dean's decent into demon hood. i just don't agree that sam was made to look bad to do it.
it's been noted that sam should be beyond being consumed with guilt for killing kevin because he overcame the guilt of starting the apocalypse. i don't agree. sam didn't simply overcome that guilt. sam had to be punished first. sam only felt absolved of that guilt after spending over a century being tortured by Lucifer in hell. it was only then that he had admitted to dean that he paid for his sins. sam told dean flat out when dean asked how sam could be good, sam said it was hell. this time around there was no punishment for sam. kevin died by sam's hands, and there was nobody out there punishing himself for this act. sure it wasn't his fault, but how can that take away from sam the fact that he killed someone and he has to live with it. knowing a member of his family is dead by his hands. no one is going to punish sam for this, it wasn't his fault, so sam is punishing himself, placing blame that his very existence is the reason that kevin is dead. i think what's important here is that sam never blamed dean for kevin's death, dean blamed dean, sam blamed himself.
it seems that the questions you pose are a bit jumbled up and thus not in the chronology of the actual eps.
" There’s obviously something deeper going on in Sam’s head, but I’m not getting it at this point. Is this because of his comment to Dean, “I was ready to die?” But, but, he didn’t want to die. That’s why he said “yes.” Now he does? Is this his way of taking back that “yes?” I just feel like I’m spitballing with these guesses"
sam didn't tell dean he was ready to die until the purge. sam and dean weren't even together til sharp teeth. sam being ready to die, accepting the fate he knew he couldn't escape from at the time, choosing to go out on his own terms, and allowing himself to feel that he's done enough and in the end he'd done right, doesn't mean he wanted it. believing that dean found a way to save him, sam chose dean over death. he will always choose dean. sam didn't know he was possessed by an angel who would eventually kill kevin. the point was that sam has unconditional trust in his brother, and there would be no reason for sam to believe that he would have to question dean when he told him he found a way...that's why when sam found out what dean had done, sam told dean they were broken. he couldn't trust him like he should be able to. because dean had done the one thing sam never believed he'd do. all of this is important and understandable to sam's actions. this is why sam is so hurt and angry and so conflicted by it, for me, this explains his behavior this season. there's too much for sam to deal with, it's not so easy to just bury it all. sam isn't dean. sam feels and thinks and suffers the consequences for his actions. dean buries it and it comes out in spurts of alcoholism and violence and sometimes bad decisions.
they unite in sharp teeth and sam notices the mark of cain and though questions it, it's not really his main focus. how could it be? this is the first encounter with dean since dean left him on the bridge. sam is simply supposed to just forget everything and put all his focus on dean and the mark? sam hasn't even had the chance to talk to dean yet, to express any of his feelings about what's happened to the one person he needs to tell. let's not forget that dean was in the room too. he made it seem like nothing. the conversation was steered in another direction and not too much later dean tried to ditch his brother again, lying to him again. how is sam supposed to focus on the moc when he's spending his time and focus on keeping tabs on his brother who's trying to ditch him? so they finish the case and then they have their very first talk. first one... it's the first time sam gets to express his feelings and dean dismisses him. sam says they're broken. they're damaged. dean tells him they just need to put a few w's in the win column...huh? this is the reaction sam gets after telling dean they're broken? and he's supposed to be ok with that? then dean say's it's ok, we're family. as though being family makes what dean did acceptable. sam, in his first honest moment, tells dean that because we're family is not acceptable.. it's not ok. in a moment of total understandable anger and frustration, sam still has decency enough to tell dean that if he wants to be partners fine..but if he wants to be brothers..those are my terms. sam gave dean the choice here. as angry and frustrated that sam was, at which no point did dean apologize for what he'd done, sam still wanted to be with his brother. that to me demonstrated all is conflict. he loves dean and understands what he did, but he's frustrated and angry as well, which is why sam made the partner comment, which by the way, that comment was dean's idea really, since he just wanted sam to simply return to work as though nothing happened. this scene is the first time sam explains what he's feeling only to be ignored by dean. i found sam's response totally understandable and the very fact that he went in the car instead of telling dean to take a hike is very telling about how conflicted sam is. he loves dean. but he's so hurt and angry too...and at this point sam's wound is fresh...very fresh.
this is the conversation from the purge. the words used in this dialogue are very important.

dean said to sam that if he were dying sam would do the same thing.... the same thing...indicat ing that sam would have called on an angel, had dean possessed by trickery, lied to him about it all knowing that dean had wanted to die, was ready for it and would never in a million years want to be saved by possession as he was abhorrently against it. dean didn't use in this conversation the words "save me". he didn't say that if he were dying that sam would save him too. I believe that the writer did in fact chose his words quite carefully.

so sam's reply that he wouldn't do the same thing means that he wouldn't take the same actions dean did to save sam. that doesn't mean sam wouldn't have taken different actions.

in no where in this conversation did sam say that he wouldn't save dean. he said in the same circumstances, , he wouldn't do the same thing....sam was ready to die, he said it, he should've died, he made peace with it and was going out on his own terms, the last decision he made and it was the choice was taken away from him, but not through honesty, through deception, and by means at which sam would never agree to. so dean makes the decision for sam knowing it goes against everything sam would ever want. the result of this action, body violation, mind violation, lies, and death of innocents by sam's hand. if it was dean dying and sam had called on an angel to help save dean and then went in dean's head and heard dean say he was ready to go, that he didn't want to be brought back....there is no doubt in my mind that sam would never have gone through with it. this actually is canon, sam honors dean's wishes, no matter how much it hurts sam to do it, because he loves him that much. again....same circumstances.. ..words chosen quite carefully.

dean declares he did the right thing. sam feels differently. he doesn't see it as the right thing because the result of dean 's actions caused nothing but pain and death. while i agree that sam should've brought up the violation of his mind and body in this speech, i felt that it was implied as well when sam said he wouldn't do the same thing in the same circumstances, that he would never violate his brother and go against his wishes as we've seen to be so in the past. even sam making the point that dean did what he did for him because he didn't want to be alone, which is in fact true, though not dean's only reason, i felt that sam was hurting from everything and not just kevin's death. though i think because kevin's death weighs heavy on sam's mind, this burden he now carries, i think that the violation part of what dean did is more in the back of his head, but i do hope as cheryl does, that sam brings that point up in s10. or at the very least, once dean comes back to human status he's realize for himself the true violation to sam's body. still holding out that with regard to this issue, it's not over yet...

i didn't find anything sam said here to be cruel. i could feel is anger and frustration at dean's total disregard to sam's feelings. when dean said he'd do it again...knowing the end result...being all self righteous and thinking only of himself , well it was totally understandable that sam would tell him no...that same circumstances he would not do the same thing....but no where did he say he wouldn't save him.
I keep going over that speech and I really do understand where sam is coming from. he asks dean what the upside of him being alive is and dean's reply....you kidding me? me and you fighting the good fight....right there, I can see why sam told dean he saved him for him and not sam, because dean doesn't want to be alone. dean's response to sam was never about sam. it was about dean and what dean wants and how he believes things should be. no where in his response did he regard sam as a person...I just think that the entire conversation of the purge would've gone down differently if dean responded with two words....

when sam asks dean what the upside to him being alive is...instead of making it about him and how he believes things should be...he should have said....

you kidding me, it's because you matter.
I believe these two simple words would've made sam believe that dean had done it for him and not because dean doesn't want to be alone. again, during this entire conversation, at no point did dean regard sam's feelings at all or acknowledge his pain. i found sam's reaction to be quite acceptable and i was actually proud of him for his attempt at trying to get dean to face the truth about why dean goes to such extremes. this eppy was the first attempt at dean to face his inner demons.

the next ep is captives. we see sam actually locked in a room with the mother of the kid he killed. the pain on sam's face, the guilt exuding from his every pore without having to say anything at all...what an amazing scene and how telling it was, at least for me, of the burden that sam truly carries within. sam face to face with the kid he killed and then kevin absolving sam of the guilt he feels...sam was totally overwhelmed in this ep. the fact that he ran out of the room before kevin even left the building told me that it was more than sam could handle. and his hesitation at door spoke volumes of his conflict. i didn't view it as sam running from dean , because sam was out practically out the door before dean even turned to speak to sam. who's to say that dean would've said anything more than kevin is right we should let this go. this is something that can't be just let go...this is something they have to deal with together. i don't think kevin meant to let it go as in forget the whole thing, i think he meant, let it go....as in talk about it, deal with it and find a way to come to terms with it....in all honesty i don't think dean was ready to do that.
thinman got the boys closer to seeing and understanding where the other was coming from. that is important even if it didn't get to play itself out as of yet.
so we have series of eps in which sam has attempted to get his brother to deal with him and has failed and then we get sam having to deal with all his guilt over kevin, which even though kevin absolved him from the guilt, sam can't absolve himself. this is apparent to me because sam isn't yet able to be close to his brother emotionally. but yet, dean wasn't able to be emotionally close to sam either. he's the one who's been isolating himself from sam. he's the one who won't deal with what he's done and face his brother.. we have these eps in which emotionally these brother's cannot connect, but the love never waivers.
sam has been pretty preoccupied to be thinking about the moc, which really hasn't even come into play. he's spending most of his time at this point trying to get through to his brother, and dealing with all his pain and guilt. but we know he's hurting because he admits to ed about lies destroying relationships.

then we get bladerunners. sam's love is full bloom in this eppy. but let's set the record straight here. yes dean's kill was a little cold but nothing new. we've all witnessed this before in dean, especially if he's feeling crappy about something. so dean's actions in thinman wasn't really a red flag. the only real negative behavior dean exhibited in blade runners was when he came in contact with the blade. only then did sam see for the first time the affect on dean, and it wasn't the affect of the moc, it was the affect of the blade. sam's focus from that point on has been on dean's reaction to the blade. sam didn't witness deans' reaction until the end of the eppy.
mother's little helper had dean send sam off on his own. he gave sam a legitimate reason for wanting to stay behind. even though sam's spidey senses were starting to tingle, it wasn't enough to not believe his brother...which i found to be very telling...becau se as much as sam said he couldnt' trust dean like he should, he can't really help but trust in dean. so sam goes off, but he does check in constantly. now before we go off giving credit to Crowley for noticing dean and sam not...let's keep in mind that Crowley set dean up from the start. he led dean to cain and the moc. he knew what would happen and he was simply biding his time. he took advantage of dean at his weakest. Crowley always had ulterior motives. just like ruby with sam, Crowley wasn't looking out for dean in any way shape or form.
meta fiction was all about metatron, but sam did notice more that something was wrong with dean. sam is starting to focus less on his pain and more on his brother.
dean didn't get the blade until king of the damned and dean's obsession with wanting to kill abbadon wasn't in the range of suspicious. at the end of mother's little helper, sam realized dean was right and she had to go. dean obsessed with revenge isn't unusual or out of the ordinary. do you remember dad and bobby? even jess and when dean died it was all about revenge for the boys. sam's experience had him wary but he also understood.
it wasn't until dean had the blade that sam realized it's power. again, sam 's focus is on the actual object that is affecting dean...the blade. again, dean didn't use the blade til the end. sam's concern was illustrated again at the end of the eppy. stair way to heaven had sam wanting dean to lay the blade down altogether. now sam wasn't thinking about his pain anymore and he was in fact focused on his brother. but his concern was dean and the blade and keeping dean from it. dean's outburst at the end illustrates how much he's changed and the conclusion being jumped to here is that sam simply storms off to his room. i don't believe that to be the case at all. you see, sam came back...which tells me that he wasn't simply storming off to pout, he went to his room to, gave himself time and came back again...his return tells me he wasn't accepting dean's terms...but gad showed up and events turned.
do you believe in miracles is very telling of how much sam had truly been hurting all this time. we get to hear sam tell dean the extent of how much. he stands up for himself and at the same time stands by his brother with a promise that he's ok with whatever dean plans on doing...but sam won't let dean go alone, which tells me he's not ok with whatever dean has planned. his love for his brother triumphs over all anger and hurt. he admits he was never ok with whatever the consequences. this episode is a true testament to how much sam does in fact love his brother and always has, despite his pain and guilt throughout the season.

the chronology of the events and the way sam reacted did make sense to me. even though i would've liked more dialogue from sam, i did see where he was coming from. i understood how he was feeling. i never saw him as unsympathetic or a jerk. he was focused on dealing with his pain and his guilt and trying to get his brother to deal with it. it's totally understandable that the moc wasn't forefront on his mind. the moc didnt' make dean act any way that sam wasn't already familiar with in regards to dean. that's on dean. dean's pattern of behavior with sam has been exhibited in the past. there was no reason for sam to think dean was behaving this way because of the mark. dean has behaved similarly in the past and that has more to do with dean burying things instead of handling them. it wasn't until dean's actual contact with the blade that his actions were noticeable and scary...which sam did in fact notice. it made sense that sam's focus was on the blade.

i believe that sam will be able to focus more on the moc in the upcoming season. now that dean revealed that the mark had changed him. up to that point, it's understandable that sam didn't connect to the mark but the blade, as i said, dean's behavior prior to touching the blade is nothing new.

i guess unlike most here, i did like s9. the only ep i didn't like was bloodlines and it' s because i'm not into monsters soap operas. other than that i enjoyed every minute of it. i understand the story i feel carver is trying to tell, and i understood that why we couldn't get word for word what sam was feeling, but at no point did i not see it. like i said, i saw sam's pain and anger and guilt in every eppy.
i just hope that next season is written in a way that most of you will find more enjoyable. i'm looking forward to s10 and the resolution i believe is coming to this story. i am anxious to see the boys in their new, stronger relationship, which i have no doubt we will be seeing. ;)
E
# E 2014-07-12 21:00
Quote:
so sam's reply that he wouldn't do the same thing means that he wouldn't take the same actions dean did to save sam. that doesn't mean sam wouldn't have taken different actions.
Only that's not where the story went. Dean totally misinterpreted this line to mean that Sam wouldn't TRY to save him ever for any reason, he'd just let him die. Is this what Sam meant when he uttered those words? I didn't think so at the time, but everything that came after showed us that Dean's interpretation was the right one. Its sort of like the "we're not brothers any more" line. Sam never actually said that, but that's what Dean heard so that's what gets acted upon and understood by everyone. Sam never contradicts anyones error, so the error becomes "truth." So, Sam says something vague, Dean misunderstands and then that misunderstandin g is perpetuated in later episodes with no clarification by Sam, so that what he might have meant originally is irrelevant. Dean reiterated his misunderstandin g of Sam's words in A4 and Sam did not contradict him, and then Gadreel of all people uses this same notion to goad Dean in their confrontation. Um, if Sam told Dean he "wouldn't do the same thing" in Sharp Teeth, that was AFTER Gadreel had already been ejected from him. So, how then did Gadreel even know this tidbit of information in the first place? So, now we even have characters that could't have even known WHAT Sam meant confirming that Dean's version is the correct one. Then the coup de grace of the whole thing is in the finale, when Sam himself copped to the misunderstandin g, stating that when he said he was OK with Dean dying he "lied," forever eradicating his original POV, whatever it was supposed to be. I am not sure why they even bother to give Sam dialog any more when no one listens to him or manages to understand what he's trying to say or when he can't manage to string enough words together to really say much of anything at all. It all ends up the way Dean decides anyway, so what's the point in Sam saying anything?
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-12 21:20
Don't you think that is the problem though? The show is told from Dean's POV so whatever Dean hears the audience hears regardless of the dialogue. I didn't think what Sam said was confusing or vague. What he said was clear and to the point. But sometimes saying what we feel isn't always what we really mean. In A4 Sam was pretty drained of blood and his first worry was Jody not whether or not Dean was understanding a previous conversation. And at the end Sam was more concerned about what the MOC was doing to Dean than about any misunderstandin gs. As to what Gadreel said I would have to go back ( I'm sure someone will bring up he exact dialogue in a second) but my recollection was that after rooting around in Sam's head for months he knows exactly how Dean sees himself. No one knows Dean better than Sam. As far as "I lied" when Dean said whatever happened to you being ok with me dying I always thought that meant Sam would never be ok with it. But it remains to be seen to what lengths he will go. I think that is the to be continued part.
edit: Ok did you mean when Gadreel was taunting Dean trying to get Dean to kill him? I read the transcript and if you just read it sounds like Gadreel is channeling Sam but in the episode watching it I always thought like Dean did that Gadreel was afraid of being imprisoned so he was saying anything to get Dean to kill him.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-07-12 21:37
Therein lies the challenge for Season 10. For the most part, Supernatural has been told from Dean's POV. However, particularly in S8/S9, this was to the exclusion of any POV for Sam. If they hold true form in S10, the story will now be told from a demon's POV. Just don't see that working very well but, as you said, to be continued...... .
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-12 21:47
I can't argue with that. If we don't get at least part of the season told from Sam's POV the audience won't have anyone to relate to. The writers have definitely dug themselves a hole hopefully they can climb their way out.
E
# E 2014-07-12 22:06
If season 10 is told exclusively from an angst and guilt ridden Demon!Dean's POV I will be done with this show. In season 9 there was a golden opportunity to show Sam's POV from two fronts, Sam himself and Gadreel, and still we got nothing. Gadreel could have so easily been used to gain some insight into the reserved Sam's head and could have been used to show Dean a few things about his brother that perhaps Dean didn't know. Sam got to learn all about Dean in Bad Boys, so why wasn't a similar opportunity taken to show Dean about Sam when the perfect story telling medium was dropped in the writers laps in the form of Gadreel? Because no one writes for Sam that's why. What Sam thinks and what he does needs to be kept artificially mysterious or the plot won't work. So a golden opportunity to learn a little something about Sam was shamelessly squandered. All we got was Dean angst, Dean guilt over and over and over again until it began to look a little ridiculous. Dean's lies became so transparent by Dog Dean Afternoon that it was laughable because we'd seen him do it too many times.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-12 22:11
I don't think anyone wants to see that. What would be new? Just a more intense version of Dean...yeah no.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-12 22:13
Ditto
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-12 21:52
I agree and furthermore I don't see any way that they can AVOID spending a great deal of time on Sam's perspective next year and I welcome it.
E
# E 2014-07-12 21:50
But that just negates Sam's POV even more; his needs are always put second behind Dean's and Cas's and behind every plot turn. No one pays any attention to what he says, he's misunderstood at every turn, he is NEVER given the opportunity to say "wait a minute, I never said that" or to explain better what he means, and Dean continues to labor under his misperceptions forever, thinking less and less about his brother as the years go by. So, when is a good time for some of these misperceptions to get cleared up? We are already 2/3rds of the way through Carvers supposed 'three year plan' and none of the errors regarding Sam have been addressed since the start of season 8. Dean still thinks Sam didn't look for him because he was off living the good life, buying organic food at the Farmers Market and couldn't be bothered to interrupt his 'normal' to do something as tiresome as looking for his brother. Dean still thinks Sam let him rot in purgatory "for a girl." He still thinks Sam won't save him and that he's been "deceiving him since he's gotten into his ride" etc…. When do these things get addressed if every single plot point and guest characters issues come before Sam's?

The show needs more impartiality in the story telling IMHO, especially if Dean as the main center for POV is going to continually get everything wrong, think the absolute worst of his bother and then never learn that some of his misperceptions are off and unfair and that he's doing Sam a real disservice. It seems to me that every plot turn and guest character issue is used as an excuse to NOT deal with any of Sam's issues. Do you notice that there is NO misunderstandin g when it comes to Dean. Sam is not laboring under any false delusions where Dean is concerned, so why is this a perpetual writing technique when it comes to Sam?
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-12 22:02
I agree with what you are saying. Even though I understood what was going on with Sam doesn't mean that the perception in the fandom wasn't how Dean saw him (I could never have a low opinion of Sam no matter what the writers do to him). That has to be fixed or as njspnfan said we will be watching S10 through the POV of a demon. That won't work at all.
E
# E 2014-07-12 22:19
I am not criticizing Sam, or at least I am not intending to. I am just pointing out that if Dean is going misinterpret what Sam says and then everyone from the writers to the characters to the actors to the fans are just going to go with Dean's version then what is the point in having Sam say anything at all? A mistake needs to be corrected at some point or it ceases to be a mistake. Currently, Sam left Dean to rot in purgatory for a girl. Sam would let Dean die and not lift a finer to help him. Sam does not want to be brothers any more. IMO these are all wrong, these are all misperceptions of Deans, but if no one is going to correct Dean then Sam simply becomes the bad brother that many fans already think he is. This is what I mean about impartiality in the writing. Dean can misinterpret Sam's words, but impartiality would dictate that Dean is shown the error of his thoughts at some point, but he hasn't been, not for two whole years now.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-12 22:39
I thought the church was Dean realizing all the harm he had caused to Sam with his thoughtless words and accusations. So much so that Sam was willing to sacrifice himself once again to atone for his sins against Dean. I also thought that was the biggest motivating factor for Dean saving Sam the way he did in the hospital because of the guilt he was feeling for pushing Sam to the point of death. So last season was supposedly laying to rest all of the sins that Sam perceived he had committed against Dean. This season I feel that Sam's character was used to propel Dean into his story so I agree, you don't do that to a co-lead of a two actor show by just showing internal struggling without dialogue. Just because I understand Sam's character doesn't mean I don't think the writers couldn't have done a (much) better job of telling his story. As I said S10 looks like it is being set up for Sam because a demons POV would be just wrong.
E
# E 2014-07-12 22:55
Maybe that's true, for that one glorious second Dean saw how much he was hurting Sam how his goading was pushing Sam beyond his endurance. But he did not correct any of his misperceptions and he's right back to doing what he was doing before; misinterpreting his brother and thinking the worst. So what's changed? Nothing. Dean did not learn from what happened in Sacrifice and Sam has a whole new pile of incorrect assumptions about him that he has to content with and that are perpetuating without clarification as we speak.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-12 23:15
The lesson that Dean needs to learn? :(
PSG
# PSG 2014-07-13 01:59
I disagree with this interpretation. Dean's hurt feelings in 8 are as valid as Sam's in 9. Both brothers admitted that they love eac h other regardless of their respective actions. Neither brother wants the other to die. The two finales are bookends with the brothers' roles reversed.
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-07-13 03:42
Yes but Sam's valid hurt feelings in season 9 were not written for. We plunged into the Dean pov and his feelings almost from the moment Sam was possessed and others are right we are not really any further forward in Dean's perceptions and Sam's pov .
E
# E 2014-07-13 05:42
I agree with Sharon, I don't see the writers addressing Sam's supposedly hurt feelings at all this year, its all been about Dean's hurt feelings once again. Pretty much everything that Sam went through this year was only told from the perspective of how it has hurt Dean. It was Dean agonizing over the possession, it was Dean wanting revenge for what Gadreel did, it was Dean mourning Kevin's loss. Sam got two lines of dialogue to show his side; "shared housing" and "nightmares" and that's it. So, considering that the roles are supposed to be reversed this season, it's looking to me to be more of the same that we got in season 8; Dean's pain, Dean's angst, Dean's guilt….. yadda, yadda…... yawn.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-12 23:42
I agree w/most of this, but I do think Sam meant that he and Dean could not be brothers this year. That is what fueled the whole "working as partners and not brothers" for the rest of the season. In TP, Sam even verifies that Dean's interpretation of his words ("Oh, you mean when you said we weren't brothers") were correct ("Good, cause I was just being honest.")

If that is not what Sam meant, then that was the time for him to say something. I think that is exactly what the writers intended unfortunately.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-12 23:33
I think the problem is Carver has not permitted Sam more than one speech re: his feelings, and the writers don't seem to know what Sam means or feels. For instance, last year, Sam tells Dean that he thought Dean was dead, but Dean continues to ask Sam why he didn't look for him. Bobby asks Sam. Meg asks Sam. Sam never responds. He doesn't defend himself or say, "Well, I thought Dean had died in the attack on Dick Roman so that's why I didn't look for him." He remains silent and looks guilty by default.

I must admit that I completely missed Sam's "same circumstances" in TP speech. Someone had to point it out to me b/c I honestly just heard, "No, Dean I wouldn't (save you)." I think that is how Dean heard it too. In fact, it seems both actors interpreted the speech this way as well, but you are correct. Sam did qualify his statement; however, he is never permitted to expand on his comment or correct Dean's misinterpretati on of his words. It makes me think the writers want Sam to be misinterpreted; they want this forced conflict btw the brothers. I'm not sure why.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-12 23:47
Well I think your right that was the point. Dean was supposed to misinterpret Sam's statement. I just don't think the audience was supposed to. I really think the writers think the fans have a higher opinion of Sam than they seem to. So I wonder if they are surprised at how Sam is perceived and since the episodes are shown long after future episodes are already filmed there really isn't any way to correct the perception. A question for the writers that are going to Vancon maybe.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-13 08:10
I think Sam is given awkward dialogue at times. Given the conversation and Dean's comment, why didn't Sam say what he wanted to say more plainly (i.e., Dean, I would never let an angel possess your body. I'm not upset that you tried to save me. I'm upset w/how you did it") or something like that. Sam is much more expressive than these writers know and can articulate his point in a much better way.

However, the goal seems to be to drive conflict btw them for no reason. When Dean says, "You would have done the same thing for me," he is talking about Sam saving him period. He is not talking about any specific scenario like Sam permitting an angel to possess Dean's body. When Sam says, "No, Dean. I wouldn't," I think that's all Dean heard. He didn't hear the rest of the sentence, and I can't necessarily blame him b/c I didn't hear it either. In the lead up to that statement, Sam had critiqued practically everything about Dean as a person so Dean's mind, IMO, was on overload. It really seemed like Sam thought Dean was an awful, horrible person. When it is brought up again, Sam never clarifies that he was only talking about the angel possession. He remains silent, which makes it much easier for the audience and Dean to think that the "misinterpretat ion" is accurate. And since Jared changed the dialogue in the finale b/c he wanted it to be clear that Sam had been lying about not saving Dean, it seems like the actors also believe Sam was saying he wouldn't save Dean.

I guess this goes back to Dean's POV becoming the story and highlights how the writers aren't on the same page. The story simply isn't as tight as it was when Kripke and even Sera was in charge.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-13 10:03
Sam did say it pretty plainly but because of what he said before that you are right it was set up to put Dean into a certain mind set. Sam did say that Dean lied to him that he was the one that let Gadreel into their safe haven, he told Dean that he was prepared to die rather than let anyone else get hurt. It was a rather long statement from Sam but all anyone including Dean heard is everything you do is wrong and I would never save you. All of that could have been tempered if there had been one scene even a brief one of Sam having a nightmare with his hand on Kevin. I think that would have helped calm the outrage a little. We really needed to see Sam struggling with the possession. But as I said I think the writers were probably surprised that the fans didn't have a higher opinion of Sam and by the time the crowd turned against him it was too late to do anything about it. And I think sometimes Jared is surprised that the fans don't have a higher opinion of the character that he loves so much. He felt he needed to explain how he played that scene because he really wanted everyone to know that Sam was angry and lashing out (as he had every right to be).
I have an opinion as to why the storytelling isn't like it used to be but this isn't the place for it. I think JC is doing the best he can in a difficult situation.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-13 10:34
To me, "No, Dean. I wouldn't. Same circumstances. No" is an awkward and clunky way to express a feeling. Dean just said Sam would save him, and Sam would but not the way Dean did, so he expresses it that way? I really don't think so. Sam is too articulate for that.

I don't even think we ever got to the root of Sam's problem w/what happened. Other than the "psycho angel" comment in ST, Sam never gets to rail on Dean about Dean letting some entity possess his body. He calls Dean a selfish coward, but that's still about Dean. What about Sam? Why is Sam so upset w/what happened? Is it just that Kevin died? Is it more? I want to know. The writers never bothered to explain.

The conversation before that last sentence was very emotionally charged, IMO. Sam indicted Dean's character similar to Dean's nonsensical rant in that penny episode last year. It was OTT, and given what Sam said, he needed to expand on his feelings and his statements more than he did. However, giving Sam a meaningful, relevant POV was clearly NOT the goal. The goal was to make Dean feel bad. It was never to actually explain Sam's feelings/positi on, which is why I didn't like the speeches. I have no issue w/Sam being upset w/Dean, but I was left confused by what Sam wants from Dean.

I don't know. All I can say is the writers did a fantastic job explaining Dean's head space when this all went down, which is why I didn't see him as having any malicious, selfish intent. Dean was not, IMO, motivated by a desire to hurt Sam by not letting Sam fulfill his wishes. I never saw Dean as knowing Sam wanted to die and actively preventing it. He was just trying to save his brother's life - the same brother who stopped the triasl so he could live.

I just don't see Sam or Dean as evil, malicious, or selfish.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-13 11:57
Well you definitely are not alone in how you perceived that part of the conversation. Many saw it the same way. I understood what he meant and I thought it was delivered by Jared in a way that had impact. But the fact that there was no follow up to his struggles with the possession made it that much more difficult to accept Sam's words for how they were intended. They definitely dropped the ball. Like I said even a short sequence of dreams or flashbacks (hey did we have any of those this year?) would have fleshed out what Sam was going through. Even in S7 there was an occasional shout out to his cage memories. I admit I didn't have the same issues for this season as some have. The season worked for me but I really do see the problems that especially Sam and brother fans have had. I hope that next season Sam has more POV or as njspnfan has said we will be watching from a demons POV. Oh... just occurred to me do you think that is what we are going to see, Supernatural from the demons POV?
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-13 13:41
Quote:
Oh... just occurred to me do you think that is what we are going to see, Supernatural from the demons POV?
I think we will see Supernatural from any perspective that is NOT Sam's. I wouldn't be shocked if the POV remains w/Dean.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-14 10:21
Quote:
Oh... just occurred to me do you think that is what we are going to see, Supernatural from the demons POV?
I hope not.Let the demon drive the mytharc and let the human have the POV.
The Demon at the end can (ep 23) can tell us how powerless he was because of the mark and maybe say sorry.
Let the actor playing demon get the chance to act without much dialogue.It would be fun for him to spread his acting talent.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-14 11:08
I was being horrified by that thought. I agree with your scenario. That would be a perfect arc for Dean. Nobody does internal dialoging like Jensen that would be great.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-14 12:32
Quote:
Nobody does internal dialoging like Jensen that would be great.
I have not seen it in supernatural.Th is is the only work of Jensen's I have for reference.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-14 12:46
Well I have to disagree with you here. Jensen is often hilarious while working out in his head what just happened. It's one of the many things I love about him as an actor. Again to emphasize Samgirl all the way here. But I can appreciate the great work that Jensen does as well.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-14 12:56
I just don't think Jensen is the best at that.You said no one does it better, i disagree.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-14 14:38
No if you read my post I said no one does it like Jensen I didn't say no one does it better. Can we not do this please. Not trying to start a fight, I enjoy joining in the conversation just like anyone else. I am not disagreeing with anyone here just offering my own opinion.
E
# E 2014-07-14 22:28
Why would they be surprised given the fan reaction in season 8? This is just more of the same. If they didn't learn anything about fan response from season 8, (and season 9 was even WORSE, going further down that same badly constructed road, so my guess is that NO, they didn't learn a thing) I have very little hope for season 10.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-14 10:18
Quote:
So I wonder if they are surprised at how Sam is perceived
The actors themselves are repeating what the fans are.They are not even going by what was on the show.It goes to show that Canon does not matter.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-14 11:05
Where did you here that? I have watched all the convention coverage was there an interview I missed. That would be unfortunate if the actors have also lost faith in their own show. If you have a link could you post it? I don't want to defend something that isn't true.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-14 12:29
In tumblr.I do not remember where but a it seems jensen said boo sam.The thing is i do not remember what happened but when I had read that post I was so disappointed.Ev en something about Jared not liking Sam not supporting dean.I will try to find it but till then If anyone knows what i am talking about and can prove me wrong I will be glad.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-14 12:41
I know which convention you are talking about. Las Vegas I believe and it was an unfortunate moment for Jared. It was the first chance he had to explain how he played the scene in the Purge. He wanted the fans to know that the way he played it was that he was hurt and angry and lashing out. Jensen chose that moment to make a joke about it by saying "your welcome" for saving Sam's life after which he and the audience very playfully yelled boo and Jared didn't get to finish his thought. You can see the footage on youtube. For me it is easier to watch them then read the transcripts. The inflection is always so different. If you are talking about a different convention I am sure someone can help with that. Like I said I don't want to defend a show whose actors have given up on it.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-14 12:48
Quote:
Jensen chose that moment to make a joke about it by saying "your welcome" for saving Sam's life and Jared didn't get to finish his thought.
So it was like in the show.;)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-14 12:51
Which was really funny because it's usually Jared that interrupts Jensen. But yes a little like that.:)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-14 12:59
Quote:
But yes a little like that.
Just wish it was not when jared was explaining about the purge.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-14 20:14
Yes that was poor timing and from the rest of the convention except the private meet and greet Jared didn't get a chance to go back to that. He did say a few times at other conventions that he really wants to be the one to save Dean and he wants the brother bond to be strong again. He did say that he understood why it had to go the way it did but his hope was for the brothers to be back on the same page in S10. I'm right there with Jared....me too.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-14 19:29
Jared definitely said he didn't like that Sam wasn't supportive of Dean this year, and in that interview Jensen had, he mentioned Sam being selfish. The actors have definitely adopted the stance of the viewers/fandom when it comes to Sam this year. Again, I think that is b/c of the awful writing for Sam. He wasn't written very sympathetically at all post-possession , IMO.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-07-14 20:51
I remember Jensen's words about Sam being selfish during that radio interview. I really disliked his comment in light of Dean's own selfish actions this season, especially the angel fiasco.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-14 23:00
Yeah . . . I don't think he or the writers/creativ e team saw it as a selfish act though. I think Jensen saw Dean's actions as being necessary to save Sam's life. He wasn't motivated solely by a desire to have Sam w/him or b/c he can't let Sam go. Dean did what he did to save Sam's life. From what I can tell, that is how Jensen, Jared, and the writers see it.

I guess it really all depends on if you like the idea of the brothers going to extremes for each other or doing crazy things to save each other. I feel that aspect has beocme a fundamental part of the show, and I don't want to see it disappear. I like that the brothers go to extremes to save each other, so Dean's actions in the premiere did not bother me. If Sam had done the same thing, I wouldn't have been bothered either. I understand why Sam was upset and had no problem w/him being upset, but I also wasn't bothered by what Dean did. It didn't offend me or anything though I know others felt differently.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-07-15 00:31
I like when the brothers go to extremes to save each other from Hell, or from doing something evil. I had no problems with Sam going to great lenghts to save Dean at the end of season 3 for example, or Dean bargaining with Death to get Sam's soul from the cage. Sam needed to be saved then and was grateful as well. I would have thought Sam selfish and in the wrong if he had tricked Dean with that crazy doctor before Hell though. Dean made it clear he didn't want to live that way and Sam respected his wishes. This year, Dean heard Sam talk to Death, said himself that Sam would rather die than be possessed, but did it anyway because he had to "save" his brother. If the writing team doesn't think that's selfish, I don't know what they think selfish is. Dean admitted it was selfish to bring Sam back with his demon deal, why not admit it too about the possession?

Also, what if Sam thought that he didn't need saving? Who is Dean to decide on something so important? Sam was going to Heaven, like the first time at Cold Oak. That's when I have a problem with the bros going to extremes to save each other. Sometimes, it does more harm than good to the brother being saved.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-15 21:22
Yeah . . . . I just didn't get the sense from the writers that they thought Dean's actions were selfish. And all I can say is I didn't feel like Dean was acting from a place of selfishness in the S9 premiere. I felt he was just concerned w/preventing Sam's death. I didn't get a selfish or manipulative vibe from those scenes. Dean just seemed to be trying to save his brother's life as he has done so many times in the past.

And realistically speaking, Dean was going to have to do something crazy for Sam b/c the show was not ending and Sam could not actually die. Sam will stay alive as long as the show is airing. The next time around though, the writers will probably let Dean let Sam die if it is the end of the series.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-15 21:31
Quoting lala " . . . . I just didn't get the sense from the writers that they thought Dean's actions were selfish. And all I can say is I didn't feel like Dean was acting from a place of selfishness in the S9 premiere. I felt he was just concerned w/preventing Sam's death. I didn't get a selfish or manipulative vibe from those scenes. Dean just seemed to be trying to save his brother's life as he has done so many times in the past."

I agree.
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-07-15 03:21
Going to extremes is one thing taking someones autononmy is something else . Dean has made two key decisions that ended up impacting Sam in a major way the deal and the possession .The deal I understood why Dean did that but the possession was different it crossed lines for me in what Dean should be entitled to do where Sam is concerned and is why the writing the lack of any thought for Sam within that sl as left such a bad taste in my mouth.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-15 21:26
I understand, Sharon. I guess I have come to expect the brothers to do crazy things like this for each other, so this did not bother me. I do agree that the writing for Sam lacks thought and consideration, esp. the aftermath.
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-07-16 02:27
Oh I fully expect them to have Sam do something crazy next season to help Dean. And therefore invalidate Sam's argument from season 9 and make him look like a hypocrite but that is the usual SPN. The truth is whether people like the Purge or not Sam actually made some valid points and I was one of those fans that did not overly have a problem with his words, it was not rocket science that if you are on the end of a decision like that and then lied to and then used to kill a boy you had grown to care about .Then there were going to be some very strong emotions and negative views on being 'saved' again in a way you would not want and those feelings came out . Dean has been given that privlage and the fandom did no cry foul and just think Sam should of been given the same.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-16 06:24
Sharon, I do hear what you are saying, and I agree that Sam's whole arc was invalidated this year, esp. after he called Gadreel a "friend" and referred to the possession as "shared housing." I honestly have no idea what Sam's story was about this year. I thought it was going to be a lesson for Dean, but they backtracked w/Sam so it seems like it was pointless. Under these writers, Sam's arc had nothing to do Sam.

Carver and his team don't seem to be on the same page w/r/t this show so I'm not sure what we will see. If Sam does do something crazy to save Dean, that would not bother me but then I like that aspect of the show. I have never found it troublesome and have never felt the need for the boys to behave more maturely. This is a tv show. I watch to be entertained, and the lengths these two will go for each other has always been entertaining to me. I can understand how it can be frustrating to those who don't like that aspect of the show though. If Sam acts w/in reason to save Dean, I will still be happy b/c I've been waiting to see Sam "save" Dean in some huge way since S3.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-16 10:06
i disagree that sam's "i lied" negates anything that he said in the purge. in the purge, dean declared that sam would do the SAME THING, if the situation were reversed. sam stated clearly that same circumstances, he wouldn't, as dean indicated to the same thing...angel possession. sam did not say anything about not saving dean. dean doesn't listen to sam, as it has been per the usual lately. he instead only hears sam saying he wouldn't save him. this playing on his own lack of self worth and how he feels about himself not being worth saving. this is the misconception dean holds onto for the remainder of the season, despite sam's actions proving otherwise.

sam's " i lied" was said in the context following the conversation at the trailer. the original line was " i didn't know this was going to happen"...refer ring to the consequences that dean mentioned and sam telling him he was ok with it.

jared changed the words to "i lied" for what i see as two reasons: first to make it understood that he was not in fact ok with "no matter the consequences" as he told dean he was and secondly and more importantly to invalidate dean's misconception that sam wouldn't save him. ( it's clear to me that sam did hear dean's snide comment about not doing the same for him in a4, but sam's priority was for jody, an innocent and his friend. he'd already lost a friend by his own hand, he wasn't about to lose another, so dean's comment was pretty much put on the back burner. this didn't mean that sam hadn't heard what dean said. ) jared is very smart and should be writing the damn eps....
those two words did not invalidate sam's conviction at all. i still believe that in the same circumstances, sam would've followed a different path. i'm basing this on sam's history both with possession and his abiding by dean's wishes in the past. but these words do invalidate dean's misconception that sam wouldn't save him...the i lied is to make it clear to dean that sam was never ok with dean dying and dean's incorrect belief that sam would never save him....sam didn't want dean dying thinking the wrong thing. the "i lied' was clearly meant to invalidate dean's incorrect notion that sam wouldn't save him.

i also don't think that sam's use of the words shared housing negates his feelings regarding possession and how wrong it is. i think he was simply describing to cas what it was like. with the angel possession, sam didn't know there was an angel in him. he was in control for most of the time. demon possession....i t was a hostile body takeover, leaving sam with no control and totally aware of the demon inside him. that was the difference, but in no way does this description take away sam's abhorrence for the possession in the first place...though it might just make it a little more easier to him to forgive dean.
E
# E 2014-07-14 22:20
Why is it always Dean misunderstandin g Sam? When was the last time that Sam misheard or misunderstood something Dean said and then used that against him for episodes and episodes and was convoluted by the audience to this degree? Never is when. This is an over used trope I am growing to loath. It turns Sam from a character into a plot device, a tool to be used illogically, cryptically and randomly in order to further plots that wouldn't actually work if Sam got to finish a sentence even some of the time. And it's always Sam; never Dean, because Dean has dialog.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-14 23:14
I think that we are supposed to think that Dean is so convinced of his lack of worth he selectively hears only those things that feed into that view of himself. I think Sam doesn't, in spite of some issues, have that particular problem. He seems to be much more secure and at peace with who he is. I don't think that is a thing new to the series. It was particularity annoying this season because it was used to fuel the conflict.
E
# E 2014-07-15 08:56
Maybe their intention is for the fans to recognize that these are largely Dean's own problems stemming from his lack of self worth. But if that was in fact the writers intention then they've done a piss poor job of conveying that because everyone is blaming Sam for Dean's unhappiness, and they've been doing so since season 4. You'd think after the debacle of season 8, that they would have adjusted the story telling, but this year was even WORSE. Sam was seen to be an even worse brother this year than he had been in season 8, and now Dean's death is being heaped upon his head. And forgive me, but I am tired of Dean's issues with himself being dumped onto Sam. Dean needs to get a life and stop making Sam his reason d'être. It's totally and completely unfair to Sam to carry around the burden and responsibility for someone else's happiness. He'll never be able to do it, he'll always come up short and disappoint because Dean is looking for his self worth in the wrong place.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-15 17:37
I stay pretty close to home (WFB) and don't see the general direction the conversation is taking in regards to Sam. I didn't feel Sam was as fault for anything that happened this season. Dean brought most of it on himself and you know how I feel about the guy. In case you thought I was blaming Sam for Deans lack of self worth I wasn't. I agree those issues shouldn't be Sams. Dean needs to look inward for more validation. I don't think the show intended for Sam to be taking so much heat either, the storytelling left a lot to be desired in this past season and S8. Honestly from the perspective of a Dean fan he has come off pretty damn bad the last two years himself.
E
# E 2014-07-16 07:30
I think Leah, that you might be one of the only Dean fans who sees Dean's culpability though, because on the rest of the internet it is Sam flambé. Between the fans who loathe Sam outright or are rooting for the show to become a Dean/Cas love nest and think Sam is in the way, Sam has almost no one left in his corner, except those of us who post here. The vast majority of the fans who favor Dean have written Sam off as a selfish asshole who does not love Dean the way Dean loves him and has routinely shirked his responsibilitie s where his brother and others are concerned. You don't have to look any further than this very thread to see that opinion. My greatest fear is that everyone associated with the show, the J's, crew, writers, executives, all share in the opinion that what Dean did was noble and self sacrificing and that Sam should have been grateful and needs to learn about what real brotherhood is like by following Dean's example. That is why I think season 9 was even more awful for Sam than season 8. You'd think that after the fan reaction to Sam after season 8, that if they cared about how the character was perceived that they would have made some adjustments in how they wrote him. But not only did we not get any more consideration for Sam in the writing this year, we got even less; it was worse; sam is even more reviled and wrong than before. He went from the brother who let Dean rot in purgatory for a girl, to the brother who withheld his love, was an ungrateful bastard and abandoned his brother to the MoC and its deadly effects. And with interviews like the one Jensen gave where he called Sam selfish and the "boo Sam" moment at conventions I am more convinced than ever that Sam is seen as the one who needs to change and that it is Dean who is seen as the character who is doing the noble and loving thing. TPTB and everyone associated with the show never saw the possession as a bad thing; they thought it was cool and interesting and can't comprehend why a very small contingency of the fans are upset about it, and they certainly can't see why Sam as a character should have any issues with it, which is why, other than his completely unsupported and seemingly unjustified anger at the situation, that no repercussions of the possession were written into the scripts. Sam is mad without foundation, so he looks like a jerk and Dean looks like his noble gesture is being thrown back in his face. So, I am grateful that there are at least a few Dean leaners who can see past the awful construct for Sam and give him the benefit of the doubt even though the show refuses to give his side of the story, But really, I'll be you are pretty much the only one who can see it.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-07-16 14:13
Hey,

sorry to say this E but Leah is not the only one that doesn't blame Sam, nor Dean, nor the writers, nor the show runners. We have our complaints but I am not blaming Sam from anything and neither are some others I know. Not picking out fight here but sometimes we just don't dare to write nor defend here anymore or point out that "Hey! we are here! I don't think the same here! I would like to tell it, but I can't" But on my side as it is just easier to not comment, I am saying I don't want to be put on category "everyone" if I am not there.

It is just so hard to post if your view is invalid because you think different or turned that it is wrong. I have seen a lot of comments here that doesn't blame Sam. Even from those that like Dean more. Dean is the one that is in more in trouble what I have seen on the comments. And this doesn't mean that Dean hasn't made mistakes, or Sam, or writers but they have also done good, amazing things and that is missing from most of the posts. They leave me see nothing positive and because of that and even though I would like to write how I see things different I can't.

Anyway, hope that clears it from my part. Like you I just see things differently. :)

- Lilah
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-13 17:43
I don't agree e. what happened after that speech that makes you think that sam wouldn't save dean. because the way I saw it, sam was there for dean. when dean was in trouble, sam was there. when dean got stuck in that house, sam went in. when dean was in a trance holding that blade, it was sam's voice that reached dean. when dean lost his marbles and killed gad, it was sam who made sure that dean stayed locked away and safe. it was sam who tried to keep the blade away from his brother. it was sam who went after dean when he went off to kill metatron. it was sam who stayed by his brother's side the entire time. it was dean who ran away from sam, both physically and emotionally, but sam was right there. sam was the one who didn't let dean leave. yes, sam said some stuff that wasn't easy for dean to hear....but dean needed to hear it. you know what else I think, I think dean really did hear what sam was saying, but he couldn't handle it, so instead, of dealing with what's wrong, dean instead plays the victim and turns everything around so that sam feels bad and dean doesn't have to deal with anything. it's s defense mechanism that dean has been using for years.

I agree with Cheryl that sam was practically unconscious when dean made that comment and his concern was for jody and not for himself or how his brother misunderstands him.

not for nothing, but I don't get why sam is being crucified for being honest and standing his ground. what did he do wrong in st? tell dean that because we're family is no longer a valid excuse to hurt ea other or innocents? for daring to make dean face up to what he'd done and deal with it? all dean wanted to do was go back to work, put a few wins and all would be ok again, as if sam could really do that and as if it would really be ok again....do you remember how hard sam had to work in s5 to gain dean's trust? what do you suppose dean would've said had sam said to dean, oh, it's ok we're family when Lucifer rose.


the context of what sam says and when seems to be ignored here. most of sam's seemingly harsh words came in response to dean's disregard of sam's feelings. he said what he said out of pain and frustration.... perhaps if dean had just shown a modicum of interest in what sam was going through instead of what dean was going through, things may have gone down differently...I found sam's speeches to be quite clear, and honest. I understood his pain and frustration and his failure at reaching dean so dean would talk to him... I understood what he said and why. it's dean who has been misinterpreting what sam has been saying and I think it was only meant for dean to misinterpret. just because dean thinks something is so, doesn't mean it's so.

i don't know that all fault lies with the writers, if what is being said on screen isn't what's being heard. is it right to blame the writers for fans reacting to dean and what he hears sam say instead of fans reacting to what sam is actually saying? there is some fault with the writing here I agree, but I can't agree that it's all on them. honestly do I blame the writers when someone feels the same way dean does and reacts the way he does, whether or not that reaction is correct? I just know when I watch, I listen to both boys and I react from what's being said or done, not by how sam reacts to dean or dean reacts to sam....I do try to understand where they are coming from though.

lala, I totally think that the writers want sam to be misinterpreted, but by dean and not by us. I like to think that the writers know that the fans are knowledgeable enough about both boys to recognize when this is happening....an d I truly believe that it's because carver needed a realistic understandable way of dean becoming a demon. like I said, these past two seasons seems to me to be concentrating on the negative aspects of dean's personality.... mostly the way he sees himself and how that influences his actions....the way it's played out, the events of the last two seasons have led dean into turning himself into a demon...and it wasn't because of anything sam had done...it was because of what dean has done ..... I know it seems that this story has been told at the expense of sam, and i'm sorry that a lot of you feel that way....but to be honest, I don't see the story being told at sam's expense. i think he's very much part of this story and not in a negative way either. now since this story is not yet over, i will hold out on any complaining. i still believe that a lot of what's been touched on and asked this season may very well be brought up again next.....so for me, i'll either get a great big i told you so....or i'll bask in the glory that i was right to believe and have faith that all would be right again in the Winchester world....and we will in fact get sam's pov as well.


but that's the point. carver didn't want it to go down differently. he wanted it the way he wanted it. carver wanted dean to turn into a demon. dean turned into a demon because of his inability to deal with his mistakes and his inability to face himself. dean walked away from sam on that bridge not because he couldn't face up to what he did, but why he did it. the real reason....so dean ran. and he continued to run, even when he was with sam he was running from him...he wanted to bury everything and simply move on. he wanted sam to just forgive and forget...he didn't want to fix what was broken, he wanted to pretend like everything was ok. and when sam was tenacious dean retreated into self pity, the perfect defense mechanism. dean punishes himself so his brother won't have to. but sam didn't want to punish dean, sam wanted to work things out. he wants dean to try and fix what was damaged the same way sam had to back in s5...sam wanted acknowledgement from his brother, for him to understand how hurt he is and why....but most important I think sam wants dean to acknowledge why it is he goes to such extremes, something he cant' seem to do. dean facing himself is worse than any punishment he can inflict on himself....or so he thought....I don't expect dean ever imagined becoming a demon, a monster, the very thing he always feared himself to be. I think things will change for dean next season.



as for gad knowing what to say to dean, the guy's been living in sam's head for months. he knows just as much about dean as he does sam he knew what to say to dean just as he knew what to say to sam to make sam say yes.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-13 18:33
e, sorry about the double post, but i was having trouble editing...it wouldn't let me fix what i needed to fix....i wanted to tweak it so i didn't come off sounding harsh .....damn computer....sor ry again.

what happened after that speech that makes you think that sam wouldn't save dean? the way I saw it, sam was there for dean. when dean was in trouble, sam was there. when dean got stuck in that house, sam went in to save him. when dean was in a trance holding that blade, it was sam's voice that reached dean. when dean lost his marbles and killed gad, it was sam who made sure that dean stayed locked away and safe. it was sam who tried to keep the blade away from his brother. it was sam who went after dean when he went off to kill metatron. it was sam who stayed by his brother's side the entire time. imho, it was dean who ran away from sam, both physically and emotionally, but sam was right there the entire time. sam was the one who didn't let dean leave . yes, sam said some stuff that wasn't easy for dean to hear....but dean needed to hear it. you know what else I think, I think dean really did hear what sam was saying, but he couldn't handle it, so instead, of dealing with what's wrong, dean instead plays the victim and turns everything around so that sam feels bad and dean doesn't have to deal with anything. it's s defense mechanism that dean has been using for years.

I agree with Cheryl that sam was practically unconscious when dean made that comment and his concern was for jody and not for himself or how his brother misunderstands him.

I don't get why sam is being crucified for being honest and standing his ground. what did he do wrong in st? tell dean that because we're family is no longer a valid excuse to hurt ea other or innocents? for daring to make dean face up to what he'd done and deal with it? all dean wanted to do was go back to work, put a few wins in the win column and all would be ok again, as if sam could really do that and as if it would really be ok again....do you remember how hard sam had to work in s5 to gain dean's trust? what do you suppose dean would've said had sam said to dean, oh, it's ok we're family when Lucifer rose.

the context of what sam says and when seems to be ignored here. most of sam's seemingly harsh words came in response to dean's disregard of sam's feelings. he said what he said out of pain and frustration.... perhaps if dean had just shown a modicum of interest in what sam was going through instead of what dean was going through, things may have gone down differently...I found sam's speeches to be quite clear, and honest. I understood his pain and frustration and his failure at reaching dean so dean would talk to him... I understood what he said and why. it's dean who has been misinterpreting what sam has been saying and I think it was only meant for dean to misinterpret. just because dean thinks something is so, doesn't mean it's so.

but that's the point. carver didn't want it to go down differently. he wanted it the way he wanted it. carver wanted dean to turn into a demon. dean turned into a demon because of his inability to deal with his mistakes and his inability to face himself. dean walked away from sam on that bridge not because he couldn't face up to what he did, but why he did it. the real reason....so dean ran. and he continued to run, even when he was with sam he was running from him...he wanted to bury everything and simply move on. he wanted sam to just forgive and forget...he didn't want to fix what was broken, he wanted to pretend like everything was ok. and when sam was tenacious dean retreated into self pity, the perfect defense mechanism. dean punishes himself so his brother won't have to. but sam didn't want to punish dean, sam wanted to work things out. he wants dean to try and fix what was damaged the same way sam had to back in s5...sam wanted acknowledgement from his brother, for him to understand how hurt he is and why....but most important I think sam wants dean to acknowledge why it is he goes to such extremes, something he cant' seem to do. dean facing himself is worse than any punishment he can inflict on himself....or so he thought....I don't expect dean ever imagined becoming a demon, a monster, the very thing he always feared himself to be. I think things will change for dean next season.



as for gad knowing what to say to dean, the guy's been living in sam's head for months. he knows just as much about dean as he does sam he knew what to say to dean just as he knew what to say to sam to make sam say yes.

i don't know that all fault lies with the writers, if what is being said on screen isn't what's being heard. is it right to blame the writers for fans reacting to dean and what he hears sam say instead of fans reacting to what sam is actually saying? there is some fault with the writing here I agree, but I can't agree that it's all on them. honestly do I blame the writers when someone feels the same way dean does and reacts the way he does, whether or not that reaction is correct? I just know when I watch, I listen to both boys and I react from what's being said or done, not by how sam reacts to dean or dean reacts to sam....I do try to understand where they are coming from though. didn't jared say that a scene of him had been cut of him crying? well think about that, whoever wrote this eppy, put in sam pov but it was taken out...who has the final word on what gets edited? why do you suppose of all that could get edited, it was sam's pov? which was in fact written in the script...i still think carver is the one who's steering this boat and he's the final word on what we see on screen....and if that is in fact true, then it is carver himself who has made sure that the writers have been stingy with sam's pov....and given the finale i could understand why that was....

lala, I totally think that the writers want sam to be misinterpreted, but by dean and not by us. I like to think that the writers know that the fans are knowledgeable enough about both boys to recognize when this is happening....an d I truly believe that it's because carver needed a realistic understandable way of dean becoming a demon. like I said, these past two seasons seems to me to be concentrating on the negative aspects of dean's personality.... mostly the way he sees himself and how that influences his actions....the way it's played out, the events of the last two seasons have led dean into turning himself into a demon...and it wasn't because of anything sam had done...it was because of what dean has done ..... I know it seems that this story has been told at the expense of sam, and i'm sorry that a lot of you feel that way....but to be honest, I don't see the story being told at sam's expense. i think he's very much part of this story and not in a negative way either. now since this story is not yet over, i will hold out on any complaining. i still believe that a lot of what's been touched on and asked this season may very well be brought up again next.....so for me, i'll either get a great big i told you so....or i'll bask in the glory that i was right to believe and have faith that all would be right again in the Winchester world....and we will in fact get sam's pov as well.
E
# E 2014-07-14 19:11
I'm not talking about what the writers (ineffectually, IMO) tried to show us through Sam's actions. I am talking about what Sam actually said; his spoken dialogue (what little there was) and then Dean's actual, confirmed interpretation of that dialogue and how his misunderstandin g of that dialogue played out for the remainder of the season.

Sam: "No Dean, same circumstances, I wouldn't" ….. to which Dean misheard and misunderstood - 'I'll just go ahead and let you die Dean, and I won't lift a finger to help you, ever.' This is confirmed in A4 when Dean harps at a nearly exsanguinated Sam "Yeah, I know, you wouldn't have done the same for me." And it's later confirmed by Gadreel in the following exchange:

GADREEL
All your talk, all your bluster... you think you are invincible. The two of you against the world, right?

DEAN [turning his back on GADREEL]
Damn straight.

GADREEL
You really think Sam would do anything for you?

[DEAN's face is completely broken but his walls come up again as he turns back to face GADREEL]

DEAN
Oh, I know he would.

GADREEL
I have been in your brother's body, Dean. He would not trade his life for yours.

DEAN
Well, thanks for the rerun, pal. Sam's already told me all that crap. Hell, he's told me worse.

GADREEL
He told you that he has always felt that way,
[DEAN stares blankly at him]
that he thinks you are just a scared little boy who's afraid to be on his own because daddy never loved him enough? And he is right, isn't he? Right to think you are a coward, a sad, clingy, needy...

[DEAN's fist crashed into GADREEL's face and his mouth bleeds profusely]

DEAN
Keep it up!

GADREEL
Pathetic bottom-feeder who cannot even take care of himself, who would rather drag everyone through the mud than be alone, who would let everyone around him die!

So, the fact that Sam spent some of this season "being there for Dean" at least in his actions is irrelevant as far as Dean was concerned. He did not see it, he did not note it, he felt abandoned by Sam and that abandonment is now being used by Dean and everyone else as the reason he took on the MoC. It isn't true, but when has that ever stopped anyone for blaming Sam for things that aren't his fault? So, once again, I am not talking about what we think or what the show tried indicate to us through Sam's actions (which they must not have done very well, because VERY few people see it. Hell, I don't see it, but I am always willing to give my Sammy the benefit of the doubt. But to be honest, I am pretty much on Sam's side by default because there was virtually nothing there to connect to), I am talking about what DEAN THOUGHT, and Dean thought Sam abandoned him, refused to be his brother any more and wouldn't save him. And since Sam never once contradicted these assumptions, never once said to Dean… "wait a minute, I never said that. " and even indicated that Dean was correct in the finale when he told him "I lied" in response to Dean's "I thought you were OK with this," shows that it does not matter what Sam says or what he does. It only matters what Dean's interpretation of Sam's words and actions are. If Dean gets it wrong, if he misunderstands, it becomes canon and is never corrected. IMO this is a fault in the writing. If they are actually trying to show both sides of this argument then they are doing a piss poor job of it. You can't give one brother all of the POV, all of the emotional scenes and all of the dialogue and the other bother no dialogue, no emotional perspective and very, very few complete sentences and expect a majority of the fans to buy in to that interpretation; it's an unrealistic expectation. I mean, which would you rather eat? A luscious, moist rich chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream icing with a tart raspberry filling in the middle, or a piece of cardboard? So, logically the fans will gravitate towards the brother that has the most complete and detailed (and yummy) story; the one who has the emotional arc with which we can connect in a satisfying way. Why this can't be done for BOTH brothers is beyond me. Sam has become a formula, a tool by which other character's stories are told.

Now I want cake. :D
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-14 19:17
Cake? Did someone say cake? :o
E
# E 2014-07-14 22:04
Totally and completely off topic - There's a bakery in Maine that makes the most DIVINE chocolate cake, with chocolate butter cream frosting and a thick layer of tangy raspberry preserves in the middle. OOOOH, It's sinfully good! It's chocolate heaven on a plate. :D

Ok, back to the discussion!
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-14 22:41
Yum! I can always be distracted by cake, and the "Pretty" of course. ;)
E
# E 2014-07-14 22:00
Quote:
what happened after that speech that makes you think that sam wouldn't save dean? the way I saw it, sam was there for dean. when dean was in trouble, sam was there.
I never said that I thought Sam wouldn't save Dean. I've never believed that for a second. But that's what Dean believes. Dean thinks Sam won't save him, ever for any reason. Dean thinks Sam doesn't want to be brothers any more, despite the fact that Sam never said that, its STILL what Dean believes. Dean didn't see Sam being there for him at every turn; Dean felt that he'd been abandoned by Sam even though we could clearly see that he hadn't. It's not about what they are showing on the screen, its about what Dean believes is happening; and many fans follow suit regardless of evidence to the contrary. That's what happens when pretty much only one side of the story is given and all of the emotional POV is on one side. No body listens to what Sam says or cares what he does, they only care what Dean hears Sam say and what he thinks Sam's doing; and if Dean gets that wrong, oh well, Sam will confirm what Dean's saying eventually and eradicate his original POV (what little there was of it), so what's the point of having Sam say anything at all?
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-12 14:34
sorry for such a long post...it's just something i felt needed to be heard.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-12 15:39
LOL nappi. I just read a fan-fic that was shorter. I do enjoy reading your epic posts though. I just wanted to say one small thing and that is I agree that Sam wasn't written as an unsympathetic jerk, in the same way as I don't believe Dean was written to be all angsty, self-pitying, and sympathetic to the point that many people felt sorry for him. It just got read that way by many many people. I saw Sam's side pretty clearly. However the writing left a lot of places to "insert interpretation here". I think in the hands of more skilled writers this would have all been clearer. I honestly have high hopes for next year. I am praying they don't make DD a toothless and cutesy demon, though. Or an abuser of women. Demon or no demon that would be awful.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-12 16:16
thanks leah. I just want you to know I didn't see dean the same way you did either. but I did see dean as portrayed in a negative light only because I feel that this story has been about the boys facing their inner monster. I think we are supposed to be seeing this negative side to dean because I feel it's directly leading to his eventual character growth. I know and agree that I too would've liked sam to say more. I do agree that there are writers out there who just didn't do their best when it came to sam dialogue. although I feel the writers should've done better, i still don't think that sam was represented in a negative way. i thought sam's behavior made perfect sense. i still can't help but wonder if carver didn't instruct the writers to be vague at times so he himself can reveal the truth at the end. i tend to think that carver leans more to the surprise/shock endings/reveals /feels. i too have high hopes for next year. i also feel the only demon dean to make sense would be a diabolical one. i don't think he would abuse women, but i could see demon dean bang em then kill em...i'm actually for that. i think it's important for dean to kill innocents by his own hand against everything that he is. storywise, i think it more compelling. i think it would make the lesson that i believe dean is supposed to come to understand all the more important. i don't think dean can ever be seen as unforgivable so i wouldn't worry about that. neither brother will ever be portrayed in that manner. ;)
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-12 21:14
Since I have been in somewhat of a defensive posture lately, I don't think anyone really knows how I see Dean. When I see him being condemned as having been a bad brother and a human being for the whole series, I feel compelled to say otherwise. I in no way see him as perfect or have I taken his side in this seasons actions. Understood his motivations yes, but not condone or agree with. The way the characters have been written the last few years, even if for a purpose, has just seemed off kilter to me and inconsistent. I have no problem with either of the brothers shown in a negative light. They are human and fallible. That is why I love them so much, but when people see either of the brothers in such a way that makes a fan hate them or be disgusted by them, instead of seeing them as damaged human beings trying to make their way through a painful life, there is something wrong IMO. Something is missing in the storytelling process.
E
# E 2014-07-12 21:25
Quote:
The way the characters have been written the last few years, even if for a purpose, has just seemed off kilter to me and inconsistent.
Hi Leah. Yeah, that's what happens when plot, shout outs, cute one-liners, pet original characters and cultural references win out over the two characters who matter most. Its a problem when you bend your leads to fit the story, rather than construct the story around your lead's established character traits. Both brothers suffered from this severely this year. Here's to hoping that SOMEONE is listening to our criticism and that season 10 will be better and more in character for both boys.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-07-12 21:30
couldn't agree more; wish the writers would get back to basics, telling the story of Sam and Dean Winchester, and stop trying to one-up each other shout outs and pop culture references.
PSG
# PSG 2014-07-13 02:04
Actually both brothers have negative and positives. The two seasons need to be viewed in tandem. Last season sam hurt Dean. Dean expressed that hurt. Sam explained how he feels. Dean said it doesn't matter because they are brothers and he loves him. For season 9 flip all of the names.
Bevie
# Bevie 2014-07-12 15:42
Right on the mark Alice!

Myself, I failed to recognize the Sam I know for the whole last half of the season, until Carver found him again. i do so hope that the real Sam will be back in season 10. I so very much missed the real Sammy.
Gwen
# Gwen 2014-07-12 18:38
Excellent article, Alice. Lala2 and E's fabulous posts have said all I wanted to say much more articulately than I ever could so I am just going to say I think the writing for Sam this year was absolutely awful, particularly in the second half of the season. IMO the writers, with the exception of Carver, clearly have no idea how to write for Sam. It just beggars belief that there was not one Sam POV centric episode, that the only Sam POV we got post Thinman was a line or two shoved into the very last episode of the season, that the possession, seemingly as of now, has been completely whitewashed and that Sam ended up coming across to many as the 'bad guy' even though he was the victim. As so many above have questioned why couldn't they have slipped in little scenes like Sam waking from his nightmares, why couldn't Sam have chatted to others (e.g Jodie, he's supposedly particularly close to her after all)?

So many posts and comments this year about Sam have started with 'I think'. We had to spend so much time trying to work out how Sam was feeling instead of being told onscreen. Sam was either silent or given vague, unfinished sentences for example 'those are my terms'. What are the terms??? Sure Jared is fantastic at conveying emotional stuff with his eyes but he and Sam need dialogue too. I wish I could win the lottery, I'd give all money it took to get Sera back writing for the show. I was never the biggest fan of Kripke but I'd give anything for him to come back now too.

But it's not just the writing, the editing hasn't done Sam any favours either. Why was the Crying!Sam scene mentioned by Jared before Christmas cut? Why was Sam's "the thought of someone else being hurt because of me, I can't live with that" in the 'Then' section of First Born not actually seen in the previous episode?

Quote:
Actually, it isn’t just Sam. Carver got the brotherly dynamic right and that’s most important. The show is about two brothers, not one and a some background character with nice hair.


Yes. This.

I was pretty much done with this show by the end of S9 but the spoilers so far for S10 sound promising, I just hope that things are different next year with regards to the writing for Sam.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-12 23:52
Thanks, Gwen :)

I can't say I agree about Carver but I agree w/everything else you've written! I really hated the ST speech b/c Sam literally did not finish his thought. As you said, what were the terms? What did Sam even mean? What does he want from Dean? Why can't Sam express himself anymore?

I honestly think all the writers who understood Sam and could "speak" for him have left the creative team. That is why we're getting half-finished sentences, inconsistent feelings, vague motivations, OOC acts. I think we are left w/writers who don't get Sam or care much about him, incl. Carver. I will never forgive him for the travesty that was early S8 Sam. Ugh . . . .
novemberschild
# novemberschild 2014-07-12 19:44
Alice, As always, thank you for your time, effort and energy writing these articles, I love that you take the time to do this for our show, even if you have problems with it.
The fact that you do still stick with the show is much appreciated, I know it must be difficult.

Nappi- I love your comments even if they are really long. :) I like that you and others are positive about the show and I wanted to thank you for commenting on the speeches/talks between the Dean and Sam and what they "meant".
I personally don't look for the deeper meanings of what this may have meant or what that could have been if only they would have changed this or that. I watch what they show us on the screen and go with that. Am I saying that those of you that do are wrong? No, of course not, everyone watches for their own reasons, and they bring their own life experiences to their viewing of the show and that can affect how you feel about an episode, but again it is everyone's personal feelings about the show. Some love the way it is going and some hate the way the show is going, but to each their own and no one is right or wrong in how they view the show.
I know there was an episode last season that I watched and I was in a bad mood and it affected what I thought of the episode until I went back and watched it several more times.

Does this mean that I am happy with everything?, No, Does this mean that I am unhappy with everything No. I have had a problem with the editing, and pacing and the writing for a while now, it could all be better, and here's hoping S10 we have everything better.
However I love this show like no other, and I will continue to stick with because I need to see where this ride takes us. I have liked other shows but then stopped watching when the show failed to keep my interest, so far SPN has always kept my interest. (with the exceptions of Bitten and Bloodlines).
I have hope that they will have a starting point of fixing Demon Dean and the brotherhood of Sam and Dean and then they can add some other storylines, but can we start with Sam and Dean first?
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2014-07-16 14:27
Heya Nov!

finally found you and yes. I am eagerly waiting "the brothers to be brothers" again and see the story towards that end. Even though they have not really stopped being brothers but you know what I mean. ;)

- Lilah
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-07-12 19:57
Quote:
Captives --- but Dean was willing to try and put things aside after Kevin left.
Of course he was! Dean showed that already in episode 12 Sharp Teeth when he said, “I'm not saying that it's not [broken]. I... I just think maybe we need to put a couple W's on the board and we get past all this.” That doesn’t mean it’s the right approach though. Most likely “putting things aside” would have led to unresolved issues that would have come up years later (like how Dean keeps a list of Sam’s sins in his head and he can readily articulate them). I think it’s good that Sam remained honest with himself and didn’t take the path of least resistance when Dean and Kevin wanted Sam to do something Sam wasn’t ready to do yet. If Sam had tried to just please the two people who are incredibly important to him, he might’ve been able to “get over it” but at least subconsciously Sam would have been hurting.

Quote:
Mother’s Little Helper --- He even decides to leave Dean behind and do a case without him, even though Dean is acting “obsessed.”
I don’t understand why you think that Sam taking the case was so bad. At that point Sam did not see the urgency in finding Abaddon. They had been searching at the Bunker for days. Sam knew he couldn’t get Dean to budge and innocent people were getting hurt. Dean clearly needed some space. Frankly, it seems pretty convenient that you left out all the moments when Sam checked in with Dean and made it very clear he wasn’t “leaving Dean behind”.

Dean: Okay. Uh, well, that was my best swing.
Sam: I hope not, Dean. I-I could really use your help down here. Dean?
Dean: Yeah, no, I -- I heard you. I just, uh...I'm getting close, Sam. I can't drop the ball on Abaddon right now.
Sam: All right. Be safe.


Quote:
Bloodlines --- I could blast how Sam bailed on poor Ennis at the end while giving him the speech about ruining his life, but it’s not worth it.


Please elaborate because I’m not sure I get where you are going with that.

Quote:
King of the Damned --- but he’s clearly worried about Dean. I think anyway, judging by the concerned looks on his face. Not like he’s saying anything.
I think you are stretching. Just look at the quotes you provided. “--- but, Dean, I got to say... I'm starting to think the Blade is doing something else, too,” and, “I don't know. Like, something to you. Look... I'm thinking until we know for sure that we're gonna kill off Crowley, why don't we store the Blade somewhere distant? Lock it up somewhere safe? Okay?”

Quote:
I’m also trying to figure out why Sam is giving Dean a lecture about not letting him be part of the fight when he told Dean not too long ago he wouldn’t do the same for him when it comes to saving him from death (even though he did clearly say if the circumstances were the same).
You lost me on this one. What are you trying to say? That when Sam and Dean are about to have a big boss fight, Sam shouldn’t care when Dean decides to send him off to the basement because Sam supposedly would not save Dean from Abaddon? Sam was also invested in killing Abaddon, Sam is in the same business as Dean is (hunting things and saving people) and time and time again it’s been proven that they work better together than alone because they have each other’s backs (until Dean felt he did not want that anymore because dictatorship was on its way).

Quote:
Sorry Sam, but why are you mad at Dean leaving you behind when you’re the one that’s been pushing him away all those months?
If they aren’t even hunting partners in Dean’s eyes then what’s the point?
PSG
# PSG 2014-07-13 01:46
Two brothers are in the relationship. Two brothers misunderstand each other because they are different people with different roles in their family business and different histories/memor ies because of their relative age. Because of this they have very different associations of family and hunting. No one brother is completely right and no one brother is completely at fault. You all cam talk yourselves blue in the face but the show is never going to say that dean is wrong and sam is right.

Season 8 dealt mostly with Dean's abandonment issues, his expectations of family, and his love of hunting in the first half and Dean's caretaking role in the second half. it is my belief that for Dean hunting and family are intertwined because of John's reaction to Mary's death. He also associates hunting with saving other families and preventing their destruction by supernatural forces; this relates to the loss of his happy home at the hands of YED. His steadfast devotion to Sam as a big brother and protector stems from that fateful night as does his fear of abandonment. The tragedy effectively caused the loss of both Winchester parents, placing Dean in the pTental role. These themes are emphasized in Carver's brilliant pilot and explored repeatedly throughout the season. This includes his disappointment in Sam for abandoning him and Kevin, well contrasted by Dean's selfless search for Castiel in Purgatory where Dean repeatedly risked his life to find the angel, his search for Kevin immediately upon his return and his stated quest of closing the gates of hell so demons cannot hurt other families.

The difference between the brothers is explored through the character of Benny who is a clear mirror to Sam with many parallels. Dean loves Dean like family per the bearing and bog smile in the premiere and the emotion in Taxi Driver when he asks Benny to save Sam, apologizes for letting his friend down, the stellar episodes Blood Brothers and Citizen Fang, the remorse which with he dispatches his friend, his dismay that Benny didn't return with Sam and the fact that dean preserved Benny's body in case of his possible return. Dean clearly thinks of Benny as family and trusts him so much that he hunts two vampire nests with him. Parallels between Sam and Benny include Dean considering both brothers, both are former blood addicts and of course both had monstrous killer girlfriends that Dean dispatched. Dean and Benny don't argue and are shown in flashback and in the present to be very much alike and accepting of each others quirks as well as good hunting partners. In fact we are shown Benny literally having his back which for Dean is what family does for you; this is how dean shows love, by fighting alongside wirh loyalty and by protecting. Their loyalty to each other exceeds normal expectations as Benny saves Castiel against his better judgement and Dean choses to believe Benny and sides with him against Sam. It is with great reluctance that Dean quits Benny to focus on his quest of closing Hell

For better or worse Benny was used to highlight the differences in the brothers. Benny is more like Dean than Sam and is a symbol both of Dean's disappointment (Benny is the one person that never let Dean down) and Sam's guilt (Benny is the "better" brother, Benny saved Dean from Purgatory). Sam's dislike becomes a vendetta which splits the brothers and hurts innocents; the jealousy that Sam feels towards Benny and the guilt at failing Dean are both reiterated in the Sacrifice Broment courtesy of Carver. Sam's monologue shows Dean that Sam cares and feels terribly that he let Dean down. In turn Dean tells him that he loves them no matter what because they are brothers. Neither really apologize for feeling the way they do but for a brief moment they understand why they feel they do.

Protective Dean is shown by his determination to sacrifice his life to close Hell. In this way he dies serving a greater cause, hunting things and saving people, his raison d'etre. He also believes Sam would be safe this way and happier because Dean wouldn't be there to ruin his normal life. However once Sam realizes Dean's true intentions, Sam steps in to kill the Hellboy saving Dean in the moment and in the long-term. He wants to make up for letting Dean down by being the Winchester to do this task. It is also a way to show his live for Dean by hunting and fulfilling these tasks so important to his brother. Always more optimistic than Dean he initially believes that he will live. I think because Sam was the little brother initially protected from hunting and always protected by the ever sacrificing Dean, a part of sam wants to show that he has grown into a man and competent hunter. He needs to prove himself to Dean as well as save him.

For Sam we also had reiteration of how he sees his family and hunting in a negative light because he believes it prevents him from having a normal life. Sam never knew the happy home, only the instability the loss of Mary and John's revenge quest left in its wake. It is no wonder he has negative associations with hunting (he envisions a better life) and hunting (its taken away everything). This is in contrast to Dean who sees hunting as preserving family. Sam imploded and instead of being obsessed with revenge like John and like his younger self, he tried to heal and move on. He lost his relationship and normal home nonetheless; and he disappointed and hurt dean because dean saw it in terms of abandonment by a brother that didn't have his back (love) him.

If season 8 highlighted Dean's greatest fear perpetrated by Sam (abandonment); then season 9 showed us Sam's greatest fear perpetrated by Dean. This of course is Dean placing a higher premium on Sam's life than his own or anyone else's by thinking only of how to save Sam. We saw this played out earlier in the major arcs of season 3 and 4 with Dean's hell deal, Sam's subsequent guilt at Dean's domination, and Sam taking out his anger on Dean by turning to Ruby. What erupted was much brotherly angst.

In this iteration, Dean asks for help from the fallen angels and hides the facts from Dean. The angst and Dean's road to damnation are different but the end result is remarkably similar in that Dean is now a demonic entity although his soul may not be corrupted, he has been resurrected by a weapon of hell and is influenced by it to be an instrument of death.

Unlike the earlier arcs, Dean's guilt and need to punish himself as well as Sam's anger causing him to declare that they were partners but not brothers (abandonment again) serve as the push for Dean to contemplate death by hunting with eyes wide shut. He tells himself it is to do some good to make up for the bad but in reality he seems to be hellbent on killing himself. We see him kill Abaddon, fight angels pell-mell, torture and harm Gadreel, and attempt to kill Metatron by this point hoping he will die because he realizes that the MoC is changing him into something he never wanted to be.

Again the finale was used for the hurt brother to state his love for the other regardless of what he had done. The two seasons are bookends to their relationship. Both hurt each other. Both make mistakes. Both love each other regardless. It's not about assigning blame to one brother. If that's what you're looking for you will be disappointed.

We get pov for both brothers. Neither is perfect and perhaps you are disappointed in the pov shown because you want one brother to be definitively right and the other definitively wrong. That is not the show that Carver is interested in telling. Anyone who is a fan of his Being Human knows that all of the characters have made mistakes and struggle with doing the right thing. Sometimes they are selfish. Sometimes they are morally wrong. The struggle and the way they deal with failure is what makes them interesting.

I do concede that I find Sam less sympathetic out of all of the core characters and it is because of the writing. Dean believes his decision lead to Kevin's death. Dean didn't kill Kevin. Kevin died because Metatron wanted him dead. Nonetheless Dean blames himself. To me tbis is not that different from Sam involving Martin in his vendetta against Benny. Martin died as a result and Sam is never shown feeling guilty. Or consider Jodie who list her family to the apocalypse. I understand that the writers were backtracking vigorously from making dam the veritable antichrist; however they damaged the character by not having him deal realistically eith what should be tremendous guilt. Dean personifies guilt. Cas will never stop atoning for what he's done. Benny believes he doesn't deserve to live. Bobby talks about his guilt over his wife. Sam shrugs and says that he's paid his dues because he suffered (Defending Your Life). Besides being chilling in my opinion, they missed a Holden opportunity to have Sam dedicate himself to hunting as a means to make up for the bad he has done. The others have all done bad things and they all killed evil to atone. Even Crowley atoned to Gavin by saving him and the Winchesters by helping them this season. It was the biggest mistake they ever made.

I am not a fan of all of the writing or storylines but I do admire the way Caever has explored the brothers, their love and their differences so thoroughly. I adore everything about Benny and Dean. Purgatory gave us a taste of Dean unleashed that allows us to anticipate demonic Dean. The differences of Cain between all other demons is very provocative considering that Dean was remade in his image. The red smiting was reminiscent of the rit zien angels and his power over Crowley suggests he is something other, something older than a demon. His effect on Crowley reminded me of Eve and Edgar' s effect on angels. Then there is Cain's humanity which was accessible via love (dean's core attribute) rather than murderous blood-drinking per Crowley.

I also love what happened with Crowley. It took me until the end to realize that cas' human arc was the red herring to distract from the very real humanity that Crowley was exhibiting. I don't think Crowley conned Dean at all. He wants to be loved, to ride in the impala and be friends. His role in Miracles was so important because he was the only character experiencing Dean's transformation, his loss of his human existence in real time. Crowley moved me and I was done with the character in the Gavin episode despite the fact that Gavin is so important to understanding that Crowley has really changed. The man won back hell and he doesn't care. He cares about Dean. His bedside speech was as much about wanting dean to like him as it was about his guilt over what had happened. Crowley blames himself even as he is excited to have Dean on his side. Just wow.

The angel wars and Metatron's overt manipulations hid his true goal until the end. He wanted Dean dead. He manipulated events using the other chess pieces (Sam, GAdreel, Castiel and Kevin) to get Dean to face him; to get Dean to seek to kill him. This fascinates me because I want to know why. I would wager that part of his reasoning behind the fall and stealing Castiel's grace was to begin to manipulate Dean. When Dean didn't bite he corrupted Gadreel and killed Kevin. When Dean still didn't bite he positioned Castiel as his nemesis.

I will finish by saying that I was dreading demonic Dean but I see the potential in new arcs and also to forever break the Winchester codependency. Regardless of whether Dean is EVIL or simply more cold, ruthless and cruel; demonic Dean is not likely to be interested in babysitting Sam. Dean needs to be less selfless and less guilty. This also positions Sam as taking more hunting initiative as he did in Mother's Little Helper, which showed Dean more focused on his needs than Sam's.

As for Castiel he's been framed in terms of fixing heaven whilst still maintaining his profound bond with Dean. He may have been the red herring last season but I can't help but see him front and center next season since he is Dean's Colette, the family member that loves him unconditionally . No matter how one sees the show Sam put conditions on his love in 9.

So I think there's a lot to look forward to if one is interested in character development and stories for everyone.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-13 06:56
Quote:
the show is never going to say that dean is wrong and sam is right.
This sentence summarizes what is wrong with the show now.Quote:
he loves them no matter what because they are brothers.
which is a lie as shown at various times in the earlier season.I agree that Dean said this but his actions prove otherwise.Quote:
He also believes Sam would be safe this way and happier because Dean wouldn't be there to ruin his normal life.
Again Dean's actions betray this statement.Quote:
I think because Sam was the little brother initially protected from hunting and always protected by the ever sacrificing Dean,
Same comment as aboveQuote:
Both love each other regardless.
Again a lie.Quote:
This of course is Dean placing a higher premium on Sam's life than his own
Dean's life had no particular part to play there.Quote:
We get pov for both brothers.
Quote:
To me tbis is not that different from Sam involving Martin in his vendetta against Benny.
again a wrong facts.Quote:
Dean didn't kill Kevin.
Dean lied to Kevin.Quote:
Nonetheless Dean blames himself.
This was one thing Dean did right.Quote:
The angel wars and Metatron's overt manipulations hid his true goal until the end. He wanted Dean dead. He manipulated events using the other chess pieces (Sam, GAdreel, Castiel and Kevin) to get Dean to face him;This fascinates me because I want to know why. I would wager that part of his reasoning behind the fall and stealing Castiel's grace was to begin to manipulate Dean. When Dean didn't bite he corrupted Gadreel and killed Kevin. When Dean still didn't bite he positioned Castiel as his nemesis.
You do know that Kevin got killed before Dean got the mark right?Quote:
I will finish by saying that I was dreading demonic Dean but I see the potential in new arcs and also to forever break the Winchester codependency.
Sam broke it in season 8 but some people are disapproving of him.Quote:
He may have been the red herring last season but I can't help but see him front and center next season since he is Dean's Colette,
I do not see thisQuote:
No matter how one sees the show Sam put conditions on his love in 9.
Yes. and it has been done earlier by Sam Dean and John.
Quote:
I will finish by saying that I was dreading demonic Dean but I see the potential in new arcs
This I agree with.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-13 08:22
The point is S8 was all about Dean and his issues (according to you by the way). S9 was all about Dean and his issues, and S10 is bringing us more of the same so when is Sam going to get some perspective?

I like Dean and don't care if his POV is shown, but we get his and everyone else's POV to the exclusion of Sam's way too often! It's ridiculous! These writers seem incapable of writing for TWO lead characters. Actually, that's not true. They can writer for any character BUT Sam it seems. If Sam's POV is not being ignored completely, he gets a vague line here and there that is contradicted at some point later in the season.

No time or consideration is given to Sam in the writers' room. That's the problem. We can get episodes about Charlie finding love (who cares) and going to Oz (good riddance), or Garth coming to terms w/being a werewolf or Ed/Harry's troubles or Jodi's search for a daughter or whatever that horrible 4A episode was about, but we can't get ONE episode that expands on Sam's thoughts or feelings?!?!!? Everything happened off-screen for him. His research of the MOC, his evolution in thinking w/r/t Gadreel, his nightmares, his concern about Dean. We got nothing. We got no POV and no mytharc. He didn't get to help Dean w/the mytharc as Dean has done for him. Sam got nothing the entire year. If he had been completely removed from the season this year, absolutely NOTHING would have changed, which is a shame.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-07-13 13:11
Quote:
Sam got nothing the entire year. If he had been completely removed from the season this year, absolutely NOTHING would have changed


That is true. Sam could have died in the opening episode of season 9. Dean takes it really hard and tries to reverse Sam’s death but finds out he can’t. Kevin is killed. Dean feels like he is poison because everyone around him gets hurt and he can’t save the people he loves. Dean ends up taking the mark of Cain because at least he can try to kill Abaddon. Dean works with Crowley, drinks etc. etc. The story stays pretty much the same whether Sam is present or not because even now Sam did not push Dean to get the mark because Sam was “mean”. Dean had already made up his mind that he would continue alone right after Sam wasn’t possessed anymore.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-13 15:42
I understand what you guys are saying but even with the writing and POV issues I loved watching Jared as Sam this year. He was awesome as Ezekiel/Gadreel . His performance was stunning all year long culminating with the gut-wrenching scenes in the finale. I wish they could do his character justice but I don't ever want to see SPN with Sam not in the equation. Ever. I have issues with Dean's characterizatio n too but will save that for another time and thread.:)
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-07-13 16:49
I feel like the writers did not know how to handle such a sensitive and complicated issue as possession is. Thus, the whole thing got twisted around so that Sam ended up looking like he was being too hard on his poor brother who had only tried to save his life. Sam’s line, “I lied,” in the finale and a spoiler, “The road to recovering the wayward Dean takes Sam down dark paths, with consequences that will shake the boys to their core,” indicate to me that Sam’s whole point of view during season nine might have just been invalidated. Now I think that even ghost!Sam would have been better than the storyline that was actually given to him.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-13 17:50
I am much more optimistic but we'll see. :) I don't think we should read too much into things too soon. I am already worried that they will make demon Dean a toothless, angsty, and guilty Dean-like demon or an abuser of women. Yeah I need to cool it with the jumping to conclusions.;) I think there is a lot potential for a great Sam story. Hope they can pull it off.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-14 10:14
Quote:
Sam’s line, “I lied,” in the finale and a spoiler, “The road to recovering the wayward Dean takes Sam down dark paths, with consequences that will shake the boys to their core,” indicate to me that Sam’s whole point of view during season nine might have just been invalidated. Now I think that even ghost!Sam would have been better than the storyline that was actually given to him
Agree so much with this
E
# E 2014-07-17 11:32
Quote:
I feel like the writers did not know how to handle such a sensitive and complicated issue as possession is.
I agree. With an almost entirely male writing staff and not one senior female writer there wasn't one person to say "hey wait a minute….. you can't delve into the issues of consent (or forced consent or non-concent) with a largely FEMALE audience and then drop it as if it's of no consequence." It's yet another reason that I mourn the loss of Sera Gamble. Not only does she write for Sam (pretty much the only writer who DID after season 3) but she would have and has said "wait one damned minute!" All of these men sitting around white washing something as touchy as forced compliance leaves me sick to my stomach.
Bevie
# Bevie 2014-07-13 21:09
PSG - A wonderful analysis! I can't disagree with anything.

Thank you for this well thought out post. (Really an article by itself)

Love those brothers as they love each other even while being so different. Looking forward to Season 10.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-14 10:10
Quote:
Geez writers not named Carver, was that so hard? Writing for Sam doesn’t take rocket science.
I thought Carver oversaw the last two seasons.so..
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-07-14 18:58
I could only get halfway through your excellent article, Alice, because I just got mad all over again about the crap writing the fans are getting. I am beyond words over my disappointment in the show and, since S9 has ended, I have come to realize that I just don't care anymore. I am in mourning. I will start S10, only because I like to see JA perform, but nothing I am not excited about Demon!Dean. From these writers, all I see is a poached Soulless Sam story coming, and I know that with the same writers on staff, nothing is going to improve over what we have been given in S8 and S9.

Edited to Add: I can't say how strongly I feel that the J2s lost their own show entirely during S9, and I think this article supports my feelings. As you say, Dean did a little better, only in that once the MoC story was settled on, he at least had a through-story in the season. Sam could have not been in the entire season and it would not have made a difference. He had no goal at all this season and only supported minor plot points, Cas' character development, and was used as a mirror to developing Crowley's human feelings story so that Carver could continue to build his ensemble cast. That's how I saw the season.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-07-15 01:01
Alice, I agree wholeheartedly about the writing for Sam. I was so disgusted that I didn't watch the last 5 episodes before the finale. The finale itself was utterly disappointing IMO.

There must be something wrong with me though, because I didn't find Sam unsympathetic. Given his history with possession, I felt that Dean betrayed him in the worst way possible even though he had good intentions, so I gave him a lot of leeway with his reactions afterwards. The writing for Sam was pure crap (sorry), but I had no problem understanding where he was coming from. He said they couldn't be brothers, but it's a simple way to say that they couldn't be close, and that's how he behaved after. Dean getting the idea that Sam wouldn't save him on a hunt is ridiculous. Sam agreed to be his partner, yes? So Dean wanting to hunt alone because he didn't think that Sam (his partner) would want to come, or Dean saying that Sam wouldn't save him if he was captured by vampires or whatnot, is, to me, Dean playing the victim instead of taking responsibility for what he's done.

And, for the life of me, I don't understand how people expected Sam to just forgive and forget his brother's betrayal when Dean didn't ask for forgiveness, worse, said he's do it again? And how is he supposed to get over it when Dean is acting so defensive and aggressive toward him, as if he were the one betrayed?

Sure, Sam's harsh words lacked context. It would have been great to actually see how Dean's actions hurt him. I know Sam's history though and I know he was hurt and Dean needed to hear what Sam said, even if the writing was awful.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2014-07-15 14:05
JuliaG - this " Dean playing the victim instead of taking responsibility for what he's done" and this "And, for the life of me, I don't understand how people expected Sam to just forgive and forget his brother's betrayal when Dean didn't ask for forgiveness, worse, said he's do it again? And how is he supposed to get over it when Dean is acting so defensive and aggressive toward him, as if he were the one betrayed?"

This is how I see it as well. I had no problem understanding Sam either and was extremely happy that, finally, Sam isn't letting Dean get away with what he does by trying to guilt Sam into feeling bad for him, which he's been doing since the pilot.

I am really unhappy with the " shared housing" and"I lied" statements because it seems that the writers are backing away from the awfulness of the possession and how Sam feels about it. This does not sit well with me as I want this addressed.

I'm not looking forward to S10 as I'm sure the whole thing will have been forgotten and we'll most likely have Demon Dean as the POV character. Given how things have been written for so long, I see no reason to expect anything different.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-07-15 17:33
Jo, I interpreted the "I lied" comment to refer back to Sam and Dean's conversation earlier in the episode. Sam said that he was ok with Dean going after Metatron, whatever the consequences, but he lied. He didn't expect Dean to be beaten and die. About the "shared housing" comment, I didn't watch that particular episode, but it's possible that Sam meant that the possession itself wasn't hurtful or painful, but the loss of agency (again), Dean's betrayal, the lying and Kevin dying are a different thing. Sam's comment doesn't negate his hurt feelings afterwards.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-15 21:50
Jared said he changed the line to "I lied" b/c he wanted to make it clear that Sam had lied when he said he wouldn't save Dean earlier so I think that line refers to the conversation in TP. Jared said he thinks Sam was just hurt and lashing out in TP so I take that to mean Jared doesn't believe Sam was being truthful in that conversation.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-16 04:17
Quote:
he wouldn't save Dean earlier
that was only half of what was said.I can understand Fans misunderstandin g or forgetting dialogues,trunc ating dialogues so that their scenarios or predictions work but when the writers ,tptb start doing this it shows that the show has lost its cohesiveness and that they are getting paid for a job they are not doing .So I will see how it goes next season (first episode).If Sam does thing which Dean does like utter disregard for others when it comes to Sam I will quit the show.Sam has grown let it remain so I would not like to see that he regresses
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-16 06:43
Anon, I couldn't agree more w/you that the show has lost its cohesiveness. I was just remarking upthread that Carver and his team don't seem to be on the same page w/r/t to the story being told, which is is why the characterizatio n changes from episode to episode. Sam's arc was completely, in my mind at least, invalidated by Sam's comment of "I lied." I saw that line as referring to what he said in TP. IIRC, Dean says, "What happened to you being okay with this," to which Sam responds, " I lied." So, I thought he was referring to Sam being okay w/Dean dying if that happened. I must admit that beyond Sam telling Dean he had nightmares about Kevin, I don't recall anything else the two discussed by the trailer.

As I was saying to Sharon, I never had a problem w/the brothers doing crazy things (within reason of course - no slaughtering of innocents or anything) to save each other. The self-sacrificin g never bothered me. I never bought into Carver's idea of "maturity" b/c having the boys react in mature ways is not entertaining to me. That is not an aspect of the show that I wanted to see change. But if that has troubled you then I can understand why you don't want to see that.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-16 11:05
Jo has written what I wanted to reply later in the threadQuote:
The one thing I don't want from S10 is for Sam to save Dean by doing essentially the same thing Dean did to him. I want Sam to stand by his moral stance because that is the right thing to do.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-07-16 18:22
I understand the original text of "I lied" was something like "I didn't know it would happen". (he didn't think that Dean would die) That snippet of dialogue doesn't make a lot of sense if it's about The Purge. I love Jared, but I'm going by the writing in this case. Maybe he also thinks that Sam wasn't truthful in the Purge convo, and maybe we'll hear more on that next season.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-16 18:55
You are right the original line was "I didn't know this was going to happen" Jared and everyone agreed to change it to "I lied". Jared did say at the LV con that Sam was angry and lashing out at Dean saying things he didn't really mean in TP. I don't if "I lied" referred to TP or the convo in the trailer park. I am sure someone at SDCC will ask him that question.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-07-16 19:58
“The road so far” for the finale did not show anything from episode The Purge so I think Carver et al. were expecting too much if they assumed that the more casual viewers will think back on an episode they saw in February. The writing for the finale should stand on its own so I think most viewers were making sense of the dialogue by what came before in the same episode.

9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?

In front of a trailer:

Dean: I'm gonna take my shot, for better or worse.
Sam: I know.
Dean: No matter the consequences.
Sam: I know. But if this is it, we're gonna do it together.


Then later:

Dean: Sammy, you got to get out of here before he comes back.
Sam: Shh. Shh. Shh. Shh. Shut up. Shut up. Just save your energy, all right? Oh, man. We'll stop the bleeding. We'll -- we'll get you a doctor or -- or I'll find a spell. You're gonna be okay.
Dean: Listen to me. It's better this way.
Sam: What?!
Dean: The Mark. It's making me into something I don't want to be.
Sam: Don't worry about the Mark. We'll figure out the Mark later. Just hold on, okay? Get you some help.
Dean: What happened with you being okay with this?
Sam: I lied.
Dean: Ain't that a bitch?


However, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t a disconnect between the people working on the episode and Jared so Jared might very well think Sam was referring to this:

9.13 The Purge

Dean: All right, you want to be honest? If the situation were reversed and I was dying, you'd do the same thing.
Sam: No, Dean. I wouldn't. Same circumstances.. .I wouldn't. I'm gonna get to bed.


It’s all pretty much up in the air. Also sometimes fans take something as the truth even if it might not have been intended to be like that (Sam supposedly choosing a demon over his own brother) and eventually that something becomes as good as canon on the show.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-16 21:43
I'm sorry, San, but I don't see how the line "i lied" could refer to anything but the conversation in TP. That conversation was the driving force behind the rest of the season when it comes to the brothers and their relationship. Thanks for providing the dialogue but the trailer park conversation doesn't fit w/the conversation at the end of the episode.

Dean says, " What happened to you being okay with this?" What is "this?" What is it that Sam is supposedly okay with? The only thing that is happening is Dean dying, so that must be what Dean is talking about. And Dean's question comes after Sam talking about getting Dean to a doctor or finding a spell to help save Dean's life, which is different from what Sam implied he would do earlier in the season. All Dean talked about earlier was going after Metatron. Sam never okayed the plan; he just wanted to come along and help, so I'm not sure what Dean would mean when he says he thought Sam was okay w/"this" if it refers back to the trailer talk. Sam was never "okay" w/Dean going after Metatron w/the Blade.

And that brings us to Sam's line. What did Sam lie about in the trailer talk? I didn't see him lying about anything. The original line was "I didn't know this was going to happen." Again, I ask what is "this?" It has to be Dean dying. That's the only thing that makes sense.

Everyone can have his/her own interpretation, but it only makes sense to me if they are referring to TP. Sam is talking about finding a spell to save Dean, which is different than what he said earlier this year about accepting Dean's death if it came time for Dean to die. The trailer talk just wasn't that significant to me. When they had this conversation, the talk by the trailer didn't even come to my mind. I immediately thought of TP and subsequently wondered what was the purpose of that conflict.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-16 21:57
I agree Lala2 that was my take as well.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-17 00:39
I'm glad I'm not the only one who interpreted it this way. I guess we'll never know for sure!
Julia
# Julia 2014-07-16 22:07
Sam was supposed to be ok with the consequences of killing Metatron.

That's what they talked about in the trailer park. "I lied" IMO doesn't make sense if it refers to the Purge. Sam never said he would let Dean bleed to death without trying to save him, he said he wouldn't trick him into being possessed. So what would Sam have lied about if not being ok with the consequences of going after Metatron and possibly dying?
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-16 22:28
I never got the sense that Sam was ever okay w/Dean taking on Metatron though. He was never on board w/the plan, but it was clearly what Dean was determined to do so Sam accepted it and asked to come along to help.

I think the key part of this conversation is that Sam talks about finding a spell to help Dean. That is different than what he said in TP. Yes, Sam would stop someone from stabbing Dean or would rescue Dean if Dean needed help, but he seemed to imply he would not take extraordinary measures to save Dean's life. That has been on Dean's mind ever since TP, which is why kept kept bringing it up. Wasn't it in 4A where Dean said to a bleeding Sam, "Yeah, I know. You wouldn't do the same for me" after he saved Sam's life?

TP was referenced so many times the rest of the season that I find it odd that they would suddenly be referring to the innocuous conversation by the trailer. I think they were trying to bring some resolution to that plot/arc.
E
# E 2014-07-17 07:40
I agree with your take lala….. The Purge convo was clearly the more volatile of the two conversations and at the crux of why Dean took on the MoC in the first place (there are a boat load of problems with this, but that's what was implied in the writing and what the fans understood, even if the logic is faulty.) To refer to a conversation about going after Metatron, damned the consequences, makes less sense than referring back to a conversation that basically drove the 10 episodes that followed AND set the fandom on fire. The actor's comments as well support the idea that they at least believed Sam was talking about the conversation in The Purge. The fact remains though, that if the comment was about the trailer park, going after Metatron scenario then it was weak and inconsequential . If it was about The Purge, it was more meaningful but self contradictory, creating the problem of having Sam contradict his entire stance on the possession and the claim that he'd let Dean die. I never even thought Sam said that, but "I lied" indicates that he DID say that, and probably meant it at the time, but then backtracked when Dean was dying. Either scenario is piss poor in it's construct and indicative of how sloppy the writing, plotting and characterizatio n has become in the past two seasons. No one can follow what the hell's going on.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-17 09:21
Yes, thank you, E. You stated that much better than I did in my 3+ posts :)

TP was definitely the more meaningful conversation btw the two. A talk about getting the "big bad" of the season is just that - a talk about getting that season's "big bad." Those conversations happen each year and don't impact the story much; however, the conversation in TP created a lot of tension and conflict btw the brothers for the remainder of the season. It only makes sense, in my mind, that their last conversation refers back to that episode.

E, I figured the writers were going to flip the story when Sam could suddenly comment on Gadreel's qualities as a being. Sam went from not knowing Gadreel and not realizing he was possessed to suddenly being able to definitively state that Gadreel was basically a good guy who was just misunderstood. In the last episode, he called Gadreel one of their "friends," so the fact that Sam's "I lied" invalidated his earlier stance was not too surprising to me. By the end of the premiere, Sam's entire arc was rendered completely pointless.

Originally, I thought this arc was supposed to teach Dean a lesson: how to let go of Sam. Granted, I didn't think Dean needed to learn that lesson, but I thought that's where the story was headed, but the aftermath of the possession was so poorly told and so inconsistent that I was left wondering what was the point of that story. At the end, I decided it was all used to drive Dean's story w/this MoC. It had no other purpose since Sam was not adversely impacted - that we saw - by the possession. Gadreel was just a misunderstood, good guy. The possession was shared housing. Gadreel is a friend. They downplayed it so much I was left wondering why Sam was bitching about it.

I know many don't think I liked Sam being angry, but that was never my issue. I was fine w/Sam being angry w/Dean. I thought TP went OTT and OOC for the sole purpose of drama. All it did was create unnecessary conflict btw the brothers about non-issues. And you are correct . . . the show did adopt Dean's interpretation of Sam's words, and nothing was ever clarified. Dean continuously misquotes Sam, and Sam never says anything so it is not hard for the audience to believe that Dean's interpretation is accurate. Like you, I never thought the real Sam wouldn't try to save Dean's life if he could so that was not a revelation to me at the end. It was stating the obvious.

Sam's real issues re: the possession should have been addressed. I don't think Carver knew what those would be, which is why they were never addressed. Calling Dean selfish, saying Dean just doesn't want to be alone, and basically indicting Dean's character - TO ME - doesn't get at the real issue Sam has w/what Dean did to him. That's why I thought a comparison to the Doc Benton situation would have made sense but it doesn't seem like that was the goal. The goal was never to explore Sam and his feelings re: possession or anything else. It was, and Sam was, just a plot point. I don't like that.
E
# E 2014-07-17 10:11
We are definitely on the same page here.

Quote:
Originally, I thought this arc was supposed to teach Dean a lesson: how to let go of Sam. Granted, I didn't think Dean needed to learn that lesson, but I thought that's where the story was headed, but the aftermath of the possession was so poorly told and so inconsistent that I was left wondering what was the point of that story. At the end, I decided it was all used to drive Dean's story w/this MoC. It had no other purpose since Sam was not adversely impacted - that we saw - by the possession.
I thought the arc was maybe going to teach Dean a lesson about letting go too… but after season 8, I was suspicious from the get go and season 9 only confirmed my worst suspicions about where the story was going. Sam's "letting go" of Dean, his "not looking" in season 8 could and should have been about how difficult it was for Sam to move on and live without his brother, but that he did so because that's what he thought was best for Dean, to be in heaven, to not have pain or have to fight any more. And as much as I like our brother's co-dependent relationship, Sam's willingness to suffer through life without his brother is, to me, is a far more noble, selfless and heroic act then forcing said brother to come back to face endless horrors, possessions, hallucinations, or becoming a demon because that's what's best for the brother who is living. However, that side of the story, Sam's side, wasn't explored in season 8 any more than Sam's possession was explored in season 9. We didn't get to see that Sam's decision to not look in season 8 as being heroic or selfless. Due to the lack of detail and insight he came across as careless, selfish and cowardly. Dean thinks Sam left him to rot in purgatory for a girl, and that assumption has never been corrected. Furthermore I think TPTB think Dean's way of going to any and all lengths no matter how destructive is the better way, regardless if Dean's way lead to the sacrifice an innocent boy, the killing of nameless military soldiers and helpless vessels because they are inconveniently in the way of saving the brother in trouble. Dean's way is somehow seen as the better option and shows more "love" then what Sam did in letting Dean go. So, as soon as I realized that we were not going to learn one thing about how Sam felt being possessed, I realized that it was a season 8 redux; it was ALL about motivating Dean into a specific mindset, and the writers have laboriously spent two whole years on that outcome, and they've sacrificed Sam to do it.

Quote:
And you are correct . . . the show did adopt Dean's interpretation of Sam's words, and nothing was ever clarified. Dean continuously misquotes Sam, and Sam never says anything so it is not hard for the audience to believe that Dean's interpretation is accurate.
This happens so often now that I'm even loosing track of what Sam says and what Dean hears. I've even seen posts here on this very site claiming that Sam called Dean "poison" in Road Trip and claiming that the words said to him in The Purge and Sharp Teeth drove Dean into taking the MoC. They've completely convoluted facts, words and time line because that is the way Dean sees things. It doesn't seem to matter to anyone that Dean called himself "poison" or that Dean took on the MoC before Sam said anything; Dean thinks Sam drove him to it, so Sam drove him to it and the show's tone supports Dean. And I don't care if these are in fact Dean's issues at heart, because Sam is the one suffering for them and has been for two whole years. I want this show to treat Sam like the hero he is; have him stand up for himself, correct people when their assumptions about him are wrong, and I want him to explain himself, like any normal human being would.
E
# E 2014-07-17 11:19
Sam was answering Dean's direct question "What happened to you being OK with this?" and since Dean has been laboring under the delusion that Sam was OK with him dying, and wouldn't lift a finger to help him (as reiterated by Dean in A4 with his, "I know, you wouldn't do the same for me") and also reiterated by Gadreel's lines "You really think Sam would do anything for you?"), it makes much more sense that both brothers were referencing the convo TP and ST. I can't really believe that such a weighty exchange could be about that inconsequential conversation that they had in the trailer park. And it was inconsequential because it didn't lead to anything significant. I suppose you could argue that Sam pledged his allegiance to Dean in that moment and that's important, but what good did do for either him or Dean? Dean still punched him in the face and took him out of the fight he was so willing to support his brother in; Dean still died, and Sam clearly wasn't lying in that moment. Sam agreed to help Dean in what ever way he choose to defeat Metatron, there was no lie for him to rescind at that moment. It's pretty clear, to me anyway, that this was about the statements that Sam made in The Purge and Sharp Teeth, which were far more important in terms of the season and in much more dire need of some kind of closure than anything said 3 minutes earlier at the trailer park. And you are forgetting; even the actors think that the line pertains to what happened in The Purge. The line was changed specifically to try and mitigate issues that had arisen out of Sam's crappy characterizatio n up to that point, not from what he was doing in Do You Believe. That's how I see it anyway.
Julia
# Julia 2014-07-16 22:08
Sam was supposed to be ok with the consequences of killing Metatron.

That's what they talked about in the trailer park. "I lied" IMO doesn't make sense if it refers to the Purge. Sam never said he would let Dean bleed to death without trying to save him, he said he wouldn't trick him into being possessed. So what would Sam have lied about if not being ok with the consequences of going after Metatron and possibly dying?
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-07-17 01:30
Lala2, my mind also went back to what was said in The Purge and I think Jared referred to that conversation. Otherwise he would have been satisfied with the show runner’s writing. However, “I lied” was not in the original script so I’m not sure how it will be reflected on in future episodes. Carver should have professional pride in his writing so I wonder if he felt a bit weird about Jared needing to make a statement on Sam’s behalf. It seems pretty clear that Jared thought that Dean dying is a crucial moment but Sam wasn’t given enough character development in that scene.

Quote:
the trailer park conversation doesn't fit w/the conversation at the end of the episode.
Dean said he will go after Metatron no matter the consequences and Sam answered, “I know. But if this is it, we're gonna do it together.” It might have given Dean the impression that he is a weapon and Sam will accept Dean possibly dying if it means Metatron will be killed.

Quote:
Sam is talking about finding a spell to save Dean, which is different than what he said earlier this year about accepting Dean's death if it came time for Dean to die.
I don’t think Sam’s words, “No, Dean. I wouldn't. Same circumstances.. .I wouldn't,” means that Sam claimed he’d accept Dean dying without resorting to any supernatural means. I think Sam meant that he wouldn’t have made the choice for Dean (Sam wouldn’t have tricked Dean into letting an angel in). Jared possibly agrees with you. I think it goes back to a debate about what “There's nothing I wouldn't do for you,” and “Don't you dare think that there is anything, past or present, that I would put in front of you!” entails.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-17 09:46
I don't know, San. I got the sense that Sam was saying supernatural means of saving someone are off limits. I could be wrong though. It was never addressed or explored beyond TP. I always wondered would Sam still have been as upset w/the possession if Gad had identified himself as Gad, done what he said he as going to do, and not kill Kevin. It's not clear to me. I don't know what you and others think. I remember wondering if Sam would accept Cas's healing touch if he was in a dying state again or would that be too much. Some scoffed at me when I asked, but I think that is a valid question. The writers weren't at all clear with Sam's POV.

For me, the conversation by the trailer was really insignificant so while they may have been referring to that talk, I feel it has more weight and significance if they are referring to TP, which was the driving force behind the remainder of the season and the conflict btw the brothers. I guess we'll never know unless someone asks a member of the Supernatural team.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-07-17 16:56
In The Purge, Sam said, “Okay. Just once, be honest with me. You didn't save me for me. You did it for you,” and “You didn't want to be alone, and that's what all this boils down to. You can't stand the thought of being alone.” That dialogue indicates that Sam thought Dean hadn’t put him first when Dean tricked him into letting an angel possess him. Thus,

Dean: All right, you want to be honest? If the situation were reversed and I was dying, you'd do the same thing.
Sam: No, Dean. I wouldn't. Same circumstances.. .I wouldn't.


So was Sam really taking back what he had said in The Purge when Dean was in fact dying in the finale? I did not get the sense that Dean would rather die than have Sam come up with a solution such as a spell. Maybe in Dean’s mind a spell is the same as tricking someone to let an angel in. Saving his brother is saving his brother.

Quote:
I always wondered would Sam still have been as upset w/the possession if Gad had identified himself as Gad, done what he said he as going to do, and not kill Kevin.
It seems that Sam was upset that Dean had lied to him, he had been ready and willing to die but Dean still did what he did, Dean tricked him into being possessed by some psycho angel, they chose each other at the church but then Dean made a choice for him, he couldn’t trust Dean in the way he thought he could and should be able to and as a result of Sam being alive Kevin was killed, Crowley was let out and they were no closer to beating the angel thing.

If Ezekiel had answered Dean’s call, Sam would have still been pissed off that Dean tricked him and lied to him etc. but there would have been a lot less to forgive and forget.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-16 21:57
JuliaG, we can agree to disagree b/c as I outlined to San in a response below, to me, TP is the only thing that makes sense when dissecting that dialogue in the finale. I don't see how they could be referring to that talk by the trailer where Dean says he's going to fight Metatron and Sam asks to come with him. That's pretty much it. Given the shadow TP held over the rest of the season and the controversy surrounding the episode, I think it makes more sense for them to be referring to that conversation and bringing some resolution to that conflict. That's JMO though.

Jared definitely said he felt Sam was hurt and lashing out in TP. He doesn't think Sam was being truthful in that episode.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-17 00:09
i think the i lied was referring to the talk at the trailer park as well. it wasn't an innocuous conversation. dean told sam he was going after metatron..no matter the consequences... sam responded with i know...if you're going to do this we're going to do it together. given that dean sucker punched sam, i figure dean was well aware of what the consequences were going to be. as dean lay dying and dean said he thought he was ok with this, i believe he was referring to the conversation they just had. as i said before, as far as jared changing the line, i think his intent was twofold. one, to tell dean he wasn't ok with the consequences and two to clear up dean's misconception that sam would not save him. this misguided notion that he carried out since the end of the purge. sam was never ok with dean dying, that's what sam needed dean to understand.

i don't think the i lied is referring to the conversation in the purge, because i still believe that sam, under the sam circumstances wouldn't have done the same thing. that thing being...taking away dean's choice. given what i know about sam these last nine years and how he feels about free will, i don't think sam would've ever taken the choice of dying away from dean. so even if sam was desperate enough to call on an angel and sam went into dean's head and heard him talking to death, sam wouldn't have taken the choice away from dean. he would've made sure first that that was what dean wanted. contrary to what dean thought, there was time for dean to tell sam the truth and give him the option to be saved, but dean knew sam wouldnt go for it, so he took it upon himself to make the choice for sam. i believe that sam, who has a history of possession and an issue with control and values free will would have asked dean if dying was really what he wanted, because he found a way to save him and then just told him how...giving dean the final choice. the one thing sam actually did get to say to dean before he walked off was that he would've liked the choice. imo, when sam tells dean he wouldn't do the same, he's talking about taking away dean's right to choose. (even last season sam made a remark to dean that free will only applied to him) but dean misunderstood sam and only hears that sam wouldn't save him.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-17 00:37
We'll just have to agree to disagree. The conversation by the trailer park was entirely forgettable to me apart from Sam's revelation that he had, or rather has, nightmares about killing Kevin. When Sam and Dean had their conversation right before Dean died, my mind immediately went to TP. I didn't think about their earlier talk at all b/c it was very insignificant to me.

I guess we'll never know, and it really doesn't matter at this point anyway.
E
# E 2014-07-17 07:20
What's more telling is that nobody can figure out what Sam meant or what he was referring to. This is a problem in the writing, period. Sometimes a character is inexplicable because they legitimately need to keep certain facts hidden for the sake of the plot. These moments are usually well thought out and end up in a kind of reveal at some point which makes that character's motivation and words clear at a crucial moment. This isn't that IMO. This is convoluted writing without context that makes what the character says and what he means impossible to discern because of a total lack of attention or a clear and logical through line in the story telling. And Carver is not immune; he's contributing to the problem more than he's solving it IMO. Giving Sam a single line, whether that be "I lied" or "I didn't think this would happen" at best contributes to the confusion more than it clears thing up, and at worst, negates Sam's entire argument about being possessed. Name me one single line uttered by Dean where fans said, "wait, what did he mean by that?" or later "Is he contradicting himself?" It hasn't happened, not with Dean, or even with Cas or Crowley for that matter, only with Sam.
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-07-17 07:39
I honestly believe they did not put any thought into Sam last season , it was about pushing Dean to a certain place. There were simple things they could of done to of kept Sam's narrative more clear even showing someone having nightmares is basic storytelling it is not difficult but I just do not think it occurred to them.
lala2
# lala2 2014-07-17 10:01
Again, E, I couldn't agree more w/you. that 's why I do not give Carver any credit as others do. I think he is a huge part of the problem w/this show for the past two seasons. There doesn't seem to be a clear vision for the show or a clear path for the characters. You can't just write the premiere and finale of a season and hope the other writers can fill in the middle. He needs to be active and present in the writers' room b/c there is way too much inconsistency. Back in the day, I didn't know there were multiple writers on this show b/c Kripke made sure the writers were consistent in their writing for the characters. The show flowed better. Nowadays, it feels choppy and thrown together.

What bothers me most about Sam is I'm not sure if any thought is put into his character at all. As you said, Jared is the only actor forced to act w/facial expressions b/c they refuse to give him complete dialogue, which causes constant debate in the fandom re: Sam's motives, feelings, and POV. It is ridiculous.
E
# E 2014-07-17 06:59
Hi JuliaG and lala. This whole problem of not knowing which conversation Sam's "I lied" is supposed to be attached to goes back to CONTEXT, or the lack thereof for Sam. Sam has no context for what he says or does, so trying to decide if Sam was 'lying' about his conversation in the trailer park or the conversation in The Purge is an exercise in futility and ultimately it doesn't matter. Since Carver took over, Sam has really suffered as a character. He hasn't had a clear context since the start of season 8, and pretty much everything he's said or done can be traced more easily to Dean's thoughts and actions than to Sam's; Sam is providing context for Dean, but not for himself. That is why I am of the opinion that Sam hasn't had his own story line now for two full years. He's become a prop in his own show, a pivot for the events going on around him. And quite frankly, I don't think that Carver et al even realize that there is a problem. I think that Carver feels that Dean needed some myth arc (which he did) so he gave Dean myth arc, but he never considered that Sam needed POV; hence the complete dearth of POV for Sam and all of the problems figuring out what the hell he's doing, what the frack he means. I think season 10 will be more of the same.

As to that stupid "I lied," (sorry Jared, but changing the line did not help the essential problem). If push comes to shove I am of the opinion that he was referring to the conversation in The Purge, because that conversation was specifically about Dean dying and Dean was dying when Sam said "I lied." Furthermore, Sam didn't lie in the trailer park; he gave his full support to Dean at that time. His plan was to go along with Dean and his bid to defeat Metatron in whatever plan Dean had regardless of whether he thought the plan was a good one or a bad one, so there was nothing for him to lie about. However, in the long run, it really doesn't matter which conversation the "I lied" refers to. Whether Sam 'lied' in the trailer park or he 'lied' in The Purge, it makes no difference because what he said, when he said it, or its overall meaning had no effect whatsoever on the outcome of events, so who cares?

I think it's pretty indicative of the writing for Sam in particular that no body can follow the logic of a single two word line. I hope that Carver and co. are stunned at the reaction that Sam got this season, read a few of these comments and give a hard look at how they are handling his character.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-17 10:28
Quote:
Hi JuliaG and lala. This whole problem of not knowing which conversation Sam's "I lied" is supposed to be attached to goes back to CONTEXT, or the lack thereof for Sam. Sam has no context for what he says or does, so trying to decide if Sam was 'lying' about his conversation in the trailer park or the conversation in The Purge is an exercise in futility and ultimately it doesn't matter. Since Carver took over, Sam has really suffered as a character. He hasn't had a clear context since the start of season 8, and pretty much everything he's said or done can be traced more easily to Dean's thoughts and actions than to Sam's; Sam is providing context for Dean, but not for himself.That is why I am of the opinion that Sam hasn't had his own story line now for two full years. He's become a prop in his own show, a pivot for the events going on around him. And quite frankly, I don't think that Carver et al even realize that there is a problem. I think that Carver feels that Dean needed some myth arc (which he did) so he gave Dean myth arc, but he never considered that Sam needed POV; hence the complete dearth of POV for Sam and all of the problems figuring out what the hell he's doing, what the frack he means. I think season 10 will be more of the same.

As to that stupid "I lied," (sorry Jared, but changing the line did not help the essential problem). If push comes to shove I am of the opinion that he was referring to the conversation in The Purge, because that conversation was specifically about Dean dying and Dean was dying when Sam said "I lied." Furthermore, Sam didn't lie in the trailer park; he gave his full support to Dean at that time. His plan was to go along with Dean and his bid to defeat Metatron in whatever plan Dean had regardless of whether he thought the plan was a good one or a bad one, so there was nothing for him to lie about. However, in the long run, it really doesn't matter which conversation the "I lied" refers to. Whether Sam 'lied' in the trailer park or he 'lied' in The Purge, it makes no difference because what he said, when he said it, or its overall meaning had no effect whatsoever on the outcome of events, so who cares?

I think it's pretty indicative of the writing for Sam in particular that no body can follow the logic of a single two word line. I hope that Carver and co. are stunned at the reaction that Sam got this season, read a few of these comments and give a hard look at how they are handling his character.
Agree
PSG
# PSG 2014-07-16 00:38
http://angelswatchingover.tumblr.com/post/91258952473
An interesting .gif set for anyone who actually believes that Dean saves Sam for selfish reasons. Since Dean was 4 It has been his primary job. I imagine that this was drilled into him by john and his sense of self worth is tied up in his ability to protect his family, a definition now extended to several other people by Dean. Obviously Kevin's death and being unable to resurrect him because his angels now couldn't or wouldn't hit dean hard. Let's remember that both cas and charlie were resurrected for Dean, the latter against Gadreel' s better judgement. Is the idea of feeling responsible for the safety of those you consider family so hard to understand. It's a core Dean characteristic. Now Sam may view it as a sign of Dean being unable to be alone; I guess he would since he lacked this sense of responsibility in 8.
It may not occur to sam that dean feels responsible because sam does doesn't feel the same way dean does. As a younger brother he was never responsible for anyone else but himself. This is why he could leave TFW to Crowley and/or a fate unknown. He didn't have the strong sense that he was responsible for anyone else.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2014-07-16 09:12
Dean admitted that he saved Sam for selfish reasons after he sold his soul in season 2 so I'm not sure why you think anything was different this time.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-07-16 18:14
I agree with everything you said about Dean. I understand why Dean saved Sam. But in your explanations, you go over Dean's reason for saving, but what about Sam's possible reasons for NOT being saved? That's why Dean's actions are selfish. (and sacrificing, and loving as well). Dean acts out his deep-seated issues with disregard for what Sam would need, or want. It's wrong, and destructive to Sam.

Also, I think that Sam feels a sense of responsibility to Dean. IMO, the only reason he stopped the trials was because Dean practically begged him to. He knew Dean needed him. In 9.01, the only reason he didn't go with Death was because Dean (Gadreel) said "There ain't no me if there ain't no you" or something like that. Dean basically said that his survival depended on Sam's, so Sam stayed, even though he obviously longed to go on to Heaven. He did it out of love, yes, but if he didn't feel a sense of responsibility regarding his brother's well being, he would have gone with Death. All that of course was before Sam found out how Dean had betrayed his trust.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-16 18:58
Agreed.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-16 19:12
i agree as well.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-16 19:45
Agreed, with the exception of that Sam "longed" to go to heaven. I will never believe he wanted to die. I think he thought it was the only option left. I think he was willing to go and was at peace with it, I just can't agree he longed for it. He was talking with great hope to Dean not long before that about a light at the end of the tunnel for both of them and I think he meant it. By the time he was in the ICU he was physically and mentally exhausted and hanging by a thread to this existence. I think there is a huge difference in being willing to accept death and longing for death.
Julia
# Julia 2014-07-16 22:02
I don't believe that Sam wanted to die either. But, when he realised he was in fact dying and accepted the fact, i think that he was really ready to go. The way he kept looking at Death while talking to Dean (Gadreel) looked like longing to me. I could be wrong though.
eilf
# eilf 2014-07-19 21:50
Quote:
I don't believe that Sam wanted to die either. But, when he realised he was in fact dying and accepted the fact, i think that he was really ready to go. The way he kept looking at Death while talking to Dean (Gadreel) looked like longing to me. I could be wrong though.
I really think Sam's body language is important in this scene Julia and I entirely agree with you. Sam wanted to rest. he wanted to be done. He wanted to know that of all the decisions he had ever made, all of which, no matter how sane they were and how good his intentions were, as decisions, had somehow come back and bitten him and those he loved. Of all those decisions, this would be the last one and finally he could rest.
The longing in his face as he literally looks at (yearns for) Death is heartbreaking for anyone who loves this character and sees what he has been reduced to by the story of his life...
It is such a sad place for this most heroic of characters to have come to ... and then he once more makes the selfless choice since Dean / not Dean said he couldn't be a whole person alone ... and he was immediately betrayed again.
It is no wonder that he was so angry and hurt when he found out.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-17 10:24
Quote:
Agreed, with the exception of that Sam "longed" to go to heaven. I will never believe he wanted to die. I think he thought it was the only option left. I think he was willing to go and was at peace with it, I just can't agree he longed for it. He was talking with great hope to Dean not long before that about a light at the end of the tunnel for both of them and I think he meant it. By the time he was in the ICU he was physically and mentally exhausted and hanging by a thread to this existence. I think there is a huge difference in being willing to accept death and longing for death.
Agree completely
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-16 07:01
i think dean's misconception of sam is the driving point of this entire arc. it's this flaw in dean, his view of himself, which has ultimately led to dean becoming a demon in the first place. but it’s not just dean’s issues that are being explored here, it's sam’s as well. i still say that the real story carver is telling, the real monsters are the boys themselves and their own demons and it's these issues that have never been dealt with and resolved that have been the basic cause of dysfunction in the boy’s relationship. there is an ultimate lesson here to be learned by both boys. at least that’s the way I see this arc being played out.
dean doesn't hear what sam says, he only hears what dean tells himself. it's dean's lack of self worth and how he perceives himself that causes him to twist everything sam says into his own deluded belief. this was even a point made by cas last season in a little slice of kevin..when he showed dean what really happened and not what dean believed happened. sam's lack of self worth has him see himself having no value and he can't conceive any reason that dean would want to keep him around except for the fact that dean just doesn't want to be alone. while it's true that dean doesn't want to be alone, it's not the ONLY reason he wants sam with him. sam also sees himself as a disappointment to his brother, which is why he believes dean doesn't trust in him. at the church, sam's perspective of that speech was all about how dean trusted everyone above him, including a vampire. dean saw the speech as sam thinking that he felt he came last in dean's eyes...which sam did think but more so i feel when it came to trust. so when dean tells sam that he never put anyone before sam, sam believed dean finally trusted in him. all that changed when sam found out that dean again turned to an angel and trusted in him, lying to sam, instead of trusting in sam to tell him the truth. had dean trusted in sam, kevin most likely wouldn't have died by sam's hand. now as much as it bugs me too, sam has always been one to keep his feelings inside, unless totally freaked or totally drunk...sam pretty much kept his feelings to himself, though i always found myself understanding him through his body language and expressions. dean has always been more vocal. the squeaky wheel so to speak. we never not know what dean is feeling. this has been most prevalent these last two seasons. dean has been pretty front and center regarding his feelings...to the point of absolute cruelty. now granted, these boys know how to hurt ea. other, of that there is no doubt, but i gotta say, as far as my feelings go, dean gets the trophy for cruel and harsh words to get the point across. imho, nothing sam said this season came close to more gut wrenching then when dean told sam that benny was more of a brother than he was.(sorry leah).
i hate to say it, but at what point did dean show any sympathy for sam during the first half of s8? i know this one, the answer is… at no time last year for the first ten eps did dean show any sympathy for sam as to what he went through thinking his brother dead. dean was too busy ignoring what sam was saying, justifying his release of benny, making sam feel like crap by constantly reminding him that he left dean in purgatory for a girl and the only one who's never let him down was his kill buddy. now all of these things that dean did and said were mean-spirited. so then what's dean's defense here? how is what he did to sam, which ultimately had sam ok with dying because he'd rather die than disappoint dean yet again...how is what dean did to sam excusable? he wasn't sympathetic to sam. he certainly said awful, hurtful things. but dean was lashing out because he was hurt. okay, so what dean did is ok because he was hurt. he was angry. he needed to hold someone accountable for being in purgatory. he needed to blame someone for what he became down there. so he blamed sam. i get it. i understand where dean is coming from. as far as i’m concerned, it goes back to his issues. he found pleasure in purgatory. he came out changed. he appreciated the freedom of the kill. he became the worst part of who he is. sam didn't get dean out so he resents sam for what he became. sam gave dean a choice in torn and frayed. sam could no longer bear being second to a vampire, so he told dean benny was pretty much a deal breaker. dean walked out the door and left sam. he was angry with sam. but i think he was angry with himself too. he crossed the line with sam and sam who took a lot last season, couldn't take anymore. ultimately dean chose sam and sam gave up normal and safe. they chose ea. other. the rest of the season had dean trying to make up to sam for how he acted. it showed in his every action. it wasn't so much what dean said, it was what dean did. it was obvious he loved his brother. but sam, due to his own lack of self worth, wasn't truly ok. even though dean showed him through actions that he loved him, sam believed that dean saw him as nothing but a failure as a brother. so much so that nothing dean did to show him otherwise was enough to convince him...ultimatel y sam was ready to die rather than disappoint his brother. and that leads us to s9 and the role reversal.
as mentioned in another post, this is the same story with the names switched. dean's core issues are at work yet again. his issues with abandonment and his lack of self worth. sam is dying and dean can't have that. he can't be alone. he needs sam because sam gives dean a sense of worth. sam makes dean feel like he matters. dean needs to matter. it's why being a hero is so important to him, especially being a hero to his little brother. sam is the best part of who dean is. twice dean lived without sam and he was unhappy. he tried with ben and lisa, hell he even had good times, but he was never really happy. the second time he was without sam was in purgatory and he became the very thing he always feared he was. but dean loves sam too. he lives for him as any parent lives for their children. so dean does the unthinkable for sam to sam, he has him possessed, but worse than that is the way he did it and the lying thereafter. sam finds out. kevin is dead by his hands. other's have died by his hands. dean lied to him for months. there goes sam's belief that his brother truly trusts him. back to the whole not worth anything way of thinking. at no point did dean ever say he was sorry or that he even understood how hurt sam was. what dean did do was run away. nothing sam said made dean take the mark because sam never got to say anything. dean's own belief that he was poison. his own inability to deal with sam on that bridge. to face what he'd done. to just let sam let him have it so they could've moved past it. dean instead punishes himself. takes on the moc because he feels he deserves it. it's all on dean. dean spent the better half of the second half of the season first dodging sam and then disregarding his feelings. when dean does disregard sam's feelings, sam is hurt and frustrated and thus gives dean what he essentially asked for...them working together as partners. sam said if you want to be brothers.....ag ain giving dean the choice...dean of course hears what he wants to hear instead of what is being said. this plays into what is essentially dean's inner monster. his lack of worth in himself, twists the meaning of sam's words. he hears what he would tell himself not what sam is telling him. i don't see sam as looking unsympathetic at all. sam's wound is fresh. he's frustrated and angry and his brother won't talk to him. i felt sorry for sam when he said this to dean because i can see from sam's expression how he needed to deal with what happened and the one person responsible for all his hurt wants to sweep it all under the rug. sam has spent most of the second half of the season with unresolved feelings. the purge is the same. again, sam asked dean what is the upside to my being alive? dean's response was about how dean views how things should be. at no point in this conversation did he consider sam and how he might be feeling. he never gave any importance to sam as a person. after dean said that, sam started to get up to walk away..but he was so hurt he sat back down...that's when he posed the question to dean about saving sam because he doesn't want to be alone. it's obvious from dean's first response that sam is of no real value other than to keep dean company...sam is back to his belief of not being of any value. when sam posed the question to dean about only saving sam so he wouldn't be alone, dean couldn't answer. he instead justified what he'd done by claiming he did the right thing and sam would do the same. dean's disregard of sam's feelings once again had sam answer in a moment of frustration and anger...same circumstances, i wouldn't. sam didn't say he wouldn't save dean. so yes, dean misinterprets sam's words and thus goes on believing that sam wouldn't save him. but every action from sam post the purge said different. (starting to sound like s8 yet). sam was there for dean in every episode post the purge even though he kept dean at an emotional arms length away. there's the conflict though. sam's still hurt and angry and still has yet to talk to the one person he needs to because he's pissed off at him and yet that one person is the person he loves most in this world. sam needs to talk, dean isn't willing to talk....all of sam's feelings are bottled up inside.....and although he's shown that he's there for dean, he still hurts and can't bring himself to be close to dean on an emotional level. another flaw in sam which i hope changes in the season to come, he keeps all his crap inside of him and suffers silently...my hope is he becomes more like dean and when sam is upset he says something. ok so people are upset now because sam doesn't get to express himself and dean is yet again swimming in the pool of self pity. i think it's exactly what carver wants..not people upset, but a silently suffering sam, which is actually canon unfortunately, and a dean who once again sees things the way he wants to instead of the way they are because of his own lack of self worth. we also get once again the scenario in which one brother, through his actions, despite what was said out of hurt and anger (like dean last season) is there for his brother and the other brother who sees no value in himself willing to die because of his misperceived belief that his brother doesn't love him (like sam last season)....


all of this leading up to the boys coming face to face with themselves next season. dean will have to fight and deal literally with his inner demon. sam while saving dean, will come to find out how far he's willing to go to save his brother. they will walk in ea. other's shoes and come to understand the other's pov. they will come out stronger in the end. the way the story was told now...well i still say there is a purpose for it. i'm leaning towards dean understanding that it was his own lack of worth in himself that basically led him into demon hood in the first place. i'm hoping dean will come face to face with his fears. as i said, i'm waiting for the whole story to be told. i do agree that these writers need to binge watch every season and start paying attention to the details. they also need to start studying sam and dean more. with that, i still think that the writers were given specific instructions to follow. i think the way in which this story was told was on purpose. i think the boys walking in ea. other's shoes has already started, just by the role reversal between s8 and s9. i think this is a journey of self discovery for both boys as well as it is journey into understanding where the other is coming from.




as for comments from jared, seems to me that he’s just trying to defend sam’s character and get people to understand sam’s position. unfortunately jared is on twitter, unlike Jensen who avoids the internet, and therefore jared most likely has seen the negative reactions towards sam. these negative reactions based on what dean says and not based on the actual dialogue of sam’s character. the way I see it, he’s reacting towards the fan’s negative response I dare say probably wondering why as I am people aren’t actually listening to sam and understanding the pain and anger he’s going through. I don’t think fans need a play by play dialogue to understand what dean did to sam and how that violated sam’s trust and how kevin’s death is by his own hands is something he simply cannot sweep under the rug and move on from. I just hope next season people start really listening and paying closer attention to sam and start reaction off of what’s actually being said instead of what dean misconceives as being said. fingers crossed here.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2014-07-16 09:11
The one thing I don't want from S10 is for Sam to save Dean by doing essentially the same thing Dean did to him. I want Sam to stand by his moral stance because that is the right thing to do.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-07-16 11:34
This is what I meant earlier but you said it better
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-16 11:52
me too. ;)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-16 15:08
From the description of the season opener it sounds like Sam will do what he always does, sacrifice himself for the greater good. I imagine Dean will have to be stopped one way or another. It would be pretty boring if they just rehash what Dean just did.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-16 18:18
i agree. i think we'll be seeing something different. i'm very excited for s10. sounds like they will be making dean EVIL...should be fun. i look forward to seeing how sam goes about saving dean.....i still secretly harbor the wish that dean is so evil that not even crowley wants dean a demon...i really would love sam to be forced to work with crowley...their antagonistic relationship makes me laugh. i seriously think we could use a bit of levity in what will be a dire and serious situation...i even think i'd like to see cas and crowley working together again....:)

leah, hope my post, if you read it didn't upset you. i was just trying to explain the story as i think it's being told. i know that dean has been written in a negative light of late, but i still think it's because it's his core issue that's so destructive. i really think the way dean has always been written, it's very hard for him to change...i think it's supposed to take something really drastic for dean to conquer his inner monster. i just want you to know that i'm well aware of all the good that is dean winchester. i feel both of the boys negative aspects about themselves have been focused on...i really do believe carver is aiming for a more functional and mature relationship between the boys...
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-07-16 17:57
But the situation will be different in Season 10. Sam tricking and lying to Dean, or having him possessed to get the demon out of him would be worth it as far as Dean is concerned. It would be a bit like tricking soulless Sam into getting his soul back. Whatever Sam will do this year, it's to Demon Dean, not Dean. Whatever he sacrifices will be to save Dean from Hell, not Heaven. Of course then, Dean would have to live with Sam's sacrifice, which would suck. What a mess.
E
# E 2014-07-17 06:23
But Dean doesn't have a demon IN him, he IS a demon, so having Sam trick Dean to get the demon out won't work. I'd like to see Sam save Dean without resorting to the betrayal of either Dean or his completely reasonable (and it my mind, right, and compassionate) moral stance. I don't want to see Dean's methods confirmed as the right methods, because for me what Dean did to Sam, no matter that he saved his life, was all kinds of wrong.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-07-17 15:33
But E, the situations ARE different. Dean will be affected by something supernatural, like Sam with the demon blood when he was tricked into the panic room, or Sam being soulless when he was knocked down by Dean. I don't have a problem with Sam using trickery for example against an adversary who is much stronger and ruthless like Demon Dean. And it's still true that Sam would be saving Dean from Hell. My problem is when Dean takes Sam away from Heaven, especially last year when it was against Sam's expressed wishes.
E
# E 2014-07-17 20:29
So, how many innocent dead bodies is an acceptable loss when Sam saves dean? For Dean it was 6, the number of people Sam killed when possessed by Gadreel. Is Sam allowed to Kill 6 but no more because that's what Dean did? I don't want Sam to resort to trickery because SAM thinks it's wrong. I don't really care about Demon Dean and what he'd want or what he'd feel betrayed by. It's about what Sam needs to do to save his brother and still be able live with himself and look at himself in the mirror without loathing every day.

After Sam got his soul back in season 6, Dean kept trying to tell Sam that all the bad things he did while soulless were "not you." Well, Sam made it very plain that everything he did while soulless WAS him, and he took full responsibility for his actions. Dean needs to do the same. And Sam needs to save Dean on his own terms and using his own moral compass, not justify it in his mind with "well, it's not really Dean" so its ok for me to lie to him, trick him, kill innocent people in the name of saving him. This is faulty login IMO. Sam must be able to live with what he does on his own terms. If Sam becomes a demon in the process of saving Dean from demon hood then what was the point of trying at all?
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-07-17 21:05
Sam: And that... is the problem. You think you're my savior, my brother, the hero. You swoop in, and even when you mess up, you think what you're doing is worth it because you've convinced yourself you're doing more good than bad... But you're not. I mean, Kevin's dead, Crowley's in the wind. We're no closer to beating this angel thing. Please tell me, what is the upside of me being alive?
Dean: You kidding me? You and me -- fighting the good fight together.
Sam (sits down across from DEAN in the kitchen): Okay. Just once, be honest with me. You didn't save me for me. You did it for you.
Dean: What are you talkin' about?
Sam: I was ready to die. I was ready. I should have died, but you... You didn't want to be alone, and that's what all this boils down to. You can't stand the thought of being alone.
Dean: All right.
Sam: I'll give you this much. You are certainly willing to do the sacrificing as long as you're not the one being hurt.
Dean: All right, you want to be honest? If the situation were reversed and I was dying, you'd do the same thing.
Sam: No, Dean. I wouldn't. Same circumstances.. .I wouldn't.

one last go around before I bow out of here because it's a bit too negative for my taste... the way I see it and I know nobody really cares, but hell i'll tell you all anyway....

the crux of this conversation was sam's belief that saving him resulted in nothing good. they had Crowley locked up and because of sam Crowley is now out and about wreaking havoc, the angel are still in the outfield, though that's not really on sam or dean and most importantly kevin is dead. so from sam's pov had dean just allowed sam to go, as he was ready and had accepted it, then none of these bad things would've happened. this is sam's mindset during this conversation. so when he asks dean what the upside to him being alive is, dean's response is all about the way dean thinks things should be, him and sam fighting to save the world. dean's answer had nothing to do with sam himself. so now as sam is seeing it....dean saved sam so they could fight demons together. kevin is dead because dean wanted someone to hunt with. this upsets sam to the point that he flat out tells dean to be honest and admit that the only reason sam is alive is so dean won't be alone. now here's what's important that I don't know if anyone noticed, dean didn't deny what sam said. he didn't say," that isn't true. I saved you because you matter and not just to me." no dean changed the subject telling sam that if the situation was reversed and he were dying sam would do the same thing. he didn't say you would've saved me too...no the words chosen were pretty specific....do the same thing. now sam is reeling from the conversation. dean hasn't said anything to make sam believe that by all rights he should just have stayed gone. so sam's no dean same circumstances I wouldn't is referring back to the beginning of the conversation and all the negative results that happened because sam is alive and the way sam feels now, he wouldn't put that on his brother. I still believe that had dean been in a similar situation, sam being the different person that he is, with different experiences to influence his decisions, he would not have done the same thing...he most likely would've done something else dean wouldn't have liked to save him, but not that.

so there are two different perspectives going on in this conversation. sam is talking about not doing the same thing dean did to keep him alive. dean is thinking that sam wouldn't do anything to keep him alive.

I don't believe the" I lied" no matter which conversation it's referring to negates sam's moral stance. sam said something that came out not in the context that he intended due to his frustration and pain. but he clearly recognized this based on his actions. sam showed concern for dean and fear for him. he might not have been able to be close to him at an emotional level as he was still so upset and now we all know why, but he was still there for dean when he needed him. it's not easy to just forget killing someone. I mean come on, don't' policemen have to visit the shrink when they make a kill, especially if it was an innocent bystander. I don't understand why the opinion out there is that sam dragged out his suffering when in actuality it was just as long as dean's in the first half of s8. actually for sam, it was less time. it wouldn't have been realistic for sam to just bounce back as though nothing happened and I thought the story played out just fine in that regard.

the way I see it, as it's been through the years, what happens to one brother happens to the other. dean had sam believing that he was nothing but a disappointment and a failure to the point where he was willing to die so he never disappoints his brother again. dean's speech in sacrifice negates sam's belief, telling sam that there is no one past or present that comes before him. as is such with the Winchesters, these heartfelt truths only are spoken in the most dire of circumstances. sam's speech had dean believing that sam wouldn't save him, contrary to sam's actions post tp. sam telling dean "i lied" invalidates dean's belief that he wouldn't save him. again, a heartfelt truth confessed during the most dire of circumstances. when someone you love is dying and you know you said something you wish you didn't say, or said something that came out not in the way it was intended, it's only natural that you would let that person you know that you never meant it and that you love them....this is what sam did this year , this is what dean did last year and I thought it was amazing and beautiful and loved every second of it.

so I will agree to disagree.....I don't now or ever will think ill of either brother and I will always enjoy the relationship they share, whether they are up, down or sideways. I look forward to s10 and sam finally getting the save. I don't think sam will go against his moral stance in order to save dean...it's not important that he does...all dean needs to know is that sam would save him....

I still think that the boys will finally be able to understand ea. other's pov, change what they can and accept what they can't in regards to themselves and ea. other.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-07-19 15:27
I never noticed it before this season how many times the guys (mostly Sam) gets knocked out. I am on my summer re-watch and I am on S4 ep 5 so far this season Sam has been knocked out 4 times to Dean's one (or 2 if you count being drugged by the shifter in MM). Now it's starting to bug me. This should be JC's challenge to his writers....get the guys out of a scene without a) knocking them out or b) having Sam awkwardly leave the room.
Note: I don't know why this got posted here. It has nothing to do with the discussion going on. Hmm...disregard if you want.
E
# E 2014-07-19 18:06
In the spirit of Supernatural fan obsessiveness, there is actually a count for the number of times the boys have been knocked out!

Sam 61, Dean 35 over the course of the series.
For S6-S9, the count is Sam - 37, Dean - 14.
This was provided by njspnfan in another thread. Yes, Sam has really been bashed in the head WAAAAAAAAY too much, especially lately.
Tawrens
# Tawrens 2015-08-19 03:01
For me Carver screwed up making Sam about one upmanship because they were never that mean spirited. Telling Dean he didn't sacrifice if it hurt him. Really? Alistair ring bell's. Also Sam did say they could be brothers or partners in clear no uncertain terms dialogue.