Pick your favorite alter ego of Sam Winchester. Possessed Sam? Demon Blood Sam? Evil Sam? Mind-Controlled Sam? Discussing the many faces of Sam sounded like an easy topic for my latest Con-tinual panel of Supernatural media professionals... until I started listing the many times and ways that Sam wasn't the brother we all know and love!

Odds are that the same one or two images come to mind for all of us when we think of days when Sam "wasn't himself." But when challenged to really consider how often Sam had to fight for control of his body, mind and soul, I discovered that Jared Padalecki played an alternate version of Sam Winchester in at least one episode, and often in several episodes, in nearly all 15 seasons of Supernatural. That's a lot of faces for Sam!

What is the best way to do justice to all the versions of Sam we witnessed over the years? We could revisit Sam's journey chronologically. That would recreate the way he experienced his life being hijacked by supernatural forces. It's a bit more interesting, though, to look back at 15 years through the lens of accumulated memories. How many times was he possessed? How many times was he broken down by supernatural powers? All those traumas compounded each other. They could have insidiously perverted who he was as a person, yet, somehow, he chose to forge his trials into a more authentic, stronger, more compassionate Sam. No wonder he inspires so many of us. 

So, I've chosen to group Sam's experiences into the categories of forces that overpowered him - both supernatural and human. Let's see how many I found, then you add the ones I've forgotten! Part 1 covered the times when Sam was truly a monster, by all the definitions that matter to a hunter (possessed, cloned, turned, etc.). Part 2 explored the faces of DemonBlood!Sam, followed immediately by post-demon blood, Soulless Sam in Part 3. Parts 4 through 6 study how the "Trials" affected Sam, how many ways he was "Broken" to the point of death, and how many times Sam was "Conjured" by the supernatural!

Soulless Sam - Season 6 

After Sam, Dean, Castiel and Bobby averted the apocalypse, Sam made it back from Hell with Castiel's help. What neither of them knew, however, was that Sam reunited with his body sans his soul. Without his conscience to tell him right from wrong, or his emotions to temper his decisions, Sam's became a cold, formidable hunter,

UF128



UF124      



UF118Flashbacks from 6.13 "Unforgiven"


but a ruthless partner,

TH0246.05 "Live Free or Twihard", when Sam stood by and watched Dean get bitten by a vampire. 




TH1126.05 "Live Free or Twihard"




an unconscionable liar,

YCH0176.06 "You Can't Handle The Truth"



and a muscle-clad playboy. Soulless!Sam had no inhibitions whatsoever about seeking carnal pleasures.

TTM009



TTM023


TTM025


TTM028




Oops, I forgot. We were supposed to be studying the different faces of Sam.  

TTM018


Yeah, I didn't buy that excuse either. Here you go. 

TTM027Thank 6.03 "The Third Man" for that sequence





CYH0436.09 "Clap Your Hands if You Believe"




CYH0606.09 "Clap Your Hands if You Believe"



Soulless!Sam's lack of empathy created wonderfully humorous moments, too.

                                                  6.09 UFO2 tumblr mqwqblCj1f1szscoro5 250                  6.09 UFO4 tumblr mqwqblCj1f1szscoro2 250



and

6x09Sam2


But as a brother, he could only feign sympathy and understanding,

CYH026


CYH0716.09 "Clap Your Hands if You Believe"




until Dean had finally had enough. 

YCH0876.06 "You Can't Handle the Truth"





Dean forced Sam to reunite with his soul, an act that Soulless!Sam violently opposed, 

611SamAttacksBobbySam attacks Bobby in 6.11 "Appointment in Samarra"




but ultimately was unable to escape.   

611DeathSamSoul6.11 "Appointment in Samarra"





For a few happy moments, Sam was himself again,

Hug Sam 1 6 6X12


but his good fortune wouldn't last. 



Parts 4 will cover Broken Sam, then there's still Trials, Mind-Controlled and Altered Realities Sam to go, so keep your lists by your side and let us know what you thought of Soulless!Sam, below! 


Enjoy the full Con-tinual panel, "Who Wore Sam Winchester Best?" with panelists Michelle Crowley, Carole Stokes, myself and host Gail Z. Martin.

Continue the fun with more of Nightsky's Supernatural insights!

If Sam is your jam, enjoy our deep character studies, "Breathtaking" photo essays and fun articles dedicated to Sam Winchester

If Dean is your man, enjoy "The Many Faces of Dean Winchester"