Article Index


Hammer of The Gods
 
Several episodes of fantastic character redemption and growth was completely ignored here. Sam went back to being a petulant worry wart who was on edge, not sleeping, and losing his rationality. I'm just pretending for both brothers sake that this episode didn't exist. There are a couple of cool Sam faces in this one though.

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The Devil You Know
 
Sam had a new plan thanks to Gabriel's tip about getting Lucifer back in the box. He knew Lucifer wouldn't go willingly so what if he said yes, took control for a minute and jumped in. Bobby instantly hated the plan and it was likely for the unspoken reason, Sam would be lost forever. Sam wouldn't do it without consensus but in the meantime he had inner demons to tame. Like that anger issue. If he was going to take on Lucifer, he had to be better prepared.

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Sam couldn't have asked for a more perfect anger management test than finding out his best friend in college was a demon. The one who introduced him to Jessica. The one that killed her. It took everything he had not to kill Brady until they got the info they needed about Pestilence. He did learn to control that inner fire and what emerged was someone way more frightening. "Revenge is a dish served cold" was the new mantra and yikes! He in a sense became Lucifer. He was well on his way to fulfilling his heroic/tragic destiny.
 
Two Minutes To Midnight
 
I found this one very interesting. Even this long into the fight, Sam's self confidence and feelings of self worth were at an alltime low. In his argument to convince Dean to let him say yes to Lucifer, he even said between Dean, Bobby, and Castiel, "I'm the lesser of all you guys." He wasn't totally convinced he could do it, but this is John Winchester's son. He would go crazy if he didn't do something. He did manage through his acts of heroism on the raid at Niveus to convince Bobby he was strong enough to take on Lucifer. Considering Bobby had never noticed this side of Sam before, the kid stepping out of Dean's shadow and becoming his own man, it was a pretty big vote of confidence.  Castiel instantly saw merit in the plan since his angel nature used logic more than emotion. All that was left was Dean.  

 

Swan Song
 
Let's not sugarcoat this. Sam miserably suffered through every single bit of his risky plan. My heart sinks into my stomach when I think about Sam in this one. He got Dean's blessing but was not told to do it. He was told it was his decision because he's a grown (well overgrown) man. The answer was easy for Sam.  "I let him out, I gotta put him back in." 

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Even though Sam carried out his plan without hesitation, underneath that façade he was terrified. Those telling glances slipped like after killing the demons for their blood and when it was time to say goodbye to Bobby and Castiel. He didn't let his fear stop him though. He even had his dying wish for Dean. Go have that apple pie life with Lisa. He wouldn't take no for an answer. 

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Even though Dean was by his side until Sam said yes, Sam carried his burden alone. He couldn't let Dean watch him drink the demon blood and he didn't listen to Dean's pleas to not say yes once Lucifer told them he knew about the rings. He said yes anyway and the real Hell began. Sam stayed defiant even when Lucifer's chilling control shook him hard. Hebarely held it together, especially after killing demons he found out had been following him his entire life. Lucifer was too strong and knew how to trigger Sam's violent impulses.

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Oh, but the power of love. Sam couldn't fight Lucifer. He couldn't stop Lucifer from killing Castiel and Bobby and hurting Dean badly. Sam took control because to quote an overused cliche, loves conquers all. The flood of memories with Dean through the years trigged by the army man in the Impala ashtray was all it took. So poetic! 

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Sam however was the most terrified when he opened the door to Lucifer's cage and waited to take the plunge downward. Despite that overwhelming fear, that knowledge that this was it for him, he took those last few seconds to assure Dean everything would be okay. He didn't let Michael stop him either and pulled him down with him. The legacy of Sam Winchester was now cemented. A reluctant hero that in the end sacrified himself for the greater good, and for his big brother, the only one that really mattered. Yep, still weeping.

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Now this next part is really a commentary on season six, but HE'S BACK??? Holy shit! I'm chomping at the bit to hear Sam's story now. What happened in Hell?  Did he suffer, or did the demon blood make him powerful enough to take on the cruelty?  How damaged or determined is this redeemed hero going to be? What about his bond with Dean? Gah! The possibilities are driving me crazy. Where Sam goes from here is anyone's guess.

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So were you happy with season five Sam? Coming up next, my overall analysis of season five. Paris Hilton, bad body swaps, and cannibalistic Gods aside, it rocked.

Comments  

Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2010-06-25 04:33
Just stumbled across this website so I've never posted here before but after reading that felt compelled to. Alice, you are a god(ess). Your knowledge of the show and its characters is amazing (and humbling). Unfortunately, I can see myself not getting out of bed for a week while I trawl through the archive! Thanks a million and keep up the excellent work.
Sonya
# Sonya 2010-06-25 14:05
I'm so glad this site was recommended to me. I've not had the time to read through back articles like I want to but I'm trying to keep up with the new ones. I love everything you said in this article. Sam's journey has been such sad one.

There were a few season five episodes where I thought opportunities were wasted with both boys but overall I was very satisfied with the whole season and I was glad Sam was able to find the redemption he so desperately wanted although his self-loathing broke my freaking heart!

If Supernatural had ended at the end of season five, I could have lived with it but I'm very excited to see how they continue on and how Sam's experience in hell will stack up against Dean's. I can only imagine that spending time with Lucifer was not a walk in the park.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-06-25 16:21
Alice, what can I say - you know how much I love Sam and how much I rooted for him, just as you did - and you paid him a lovely tribute here.

It is bittersweet with the Winchesters, naturally, as there are no happy endings. But there are hardly any in life, and I do hope that the price they - and Sam, as we're talking about the younger brother - had to pay will somehow, one far day, grant them peace of mind. NOt as long as the show will be on air, probably, as drama sells, but perhaps one day, when the show will come to an end (and I hope that to be in the far, far future) we might see them truly at peace.

Personally, I hope, Sam finds some of it after his great sacrifice.

Thank you, ever again, Jas

P.S: On a selfishly shallow note - thanks for inserting some of my favourite Sam-pictures from the show, as the bar-fight scene in FreeToBeYouAndM e...
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-06-25 16:28
Welcome to the site, Tim the Enchanter - always happy to welcome a first-time-post er! Enjoy browsing through the archives... Please, do come back, if you like, and I'm sure I speak for all of us if I say we hope you will feel welcome here and have fun along the ride.

Cheers! Jasminka
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-06-25 17:21
Great article, Alice. So sad for Sam. Jas, in real life there ARE happy endings...it's just that they don't sell well. People like to watch others that are worse off they are...sad to say. But, we can HOPE for better times for the boys.
Megan
# Megan 2010-06-26 00:22
Life as a dedicated Sam girl has been rather difficult these past few years. I've managed, and I've held my ground in the face of adversity, but it's been tough. But this article really showed why this season is my favorite. Sam's journey to find redemption is one of the most tragic, heart-breaking, and heroic stories that I have ever witnessed in my life. He had every possible curve-ball thrown his way, and though they sometimes took him down temporarily, he always got back up again, stronger than before. He is a hero in every sense of the word, and while my heart shatters into a million pieces just by thinking about Swan Song, it still fills me with such pride to think about his final sacrifice. Well, not final, since he's ALIVE!

Thank you for writing this. It's always nice to see somebody else write a perfect justification for the Sam girls in this fandom! =]
ARIS3
# ARIS3 2010-06-26 07:03
What amazes me in this article is that you describe E-X-A-C-T-L-Y the way I see Sam (in general) and the way I saw him in every episode this season! Thank you!
elle2
# elle2 2010-06-26 08:08
Alice,

I love your commentaries on the brothers and this indepth look at Sam was what I'd expected...excellent!

You capture so many of my thoughts and even added some new dimenstions (for which I thank you). Like you I saw Sam as standing strong this season and taking the emotional battering that in the past would have had him leaving. He'd always 'run away' when he wanted what he wanted and came up against the brick wall that was John Winchester but this time be it Bobby, Castiel, Dean, other hunters Sam came through and took his lumps. Sam truly learned his lesson from Season 4.

The line in Free To Be You and Me from 'Jessica' to Sam resonates even stronger in light of Brady's reveal in The Devil You Know (which I think also alludes to Brady in a circular way) "I was dead the moment you met me." Well, yes, Jessica but that's because 'Brady' et al were there manipulating things...awful!

Thanks for writing this, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
trina
# trina 2010-06-26 10:32
Sam just kills me. To think back to the boy we saw in the pilot, happy with his girlfiend and a bright future.....sob. He never really had a chance and that is just plain sad. Sam in season 5 knew he was doomed from the first minute of the first episode. But I love that he was able to take all the junk that was done to him and turn it around and use it to save the world. The one thing the angels and demons didn't take into account when they decided that they were going to use Sam and Dean to end the world was the love between them.
alysha
# alysha 2010-06-26 12:01
Loved the analysis! I'm a big Sam fan too! So it felt great to have him be the martyred hero of the story!

Glad we have season 6, can't really get enough.
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-06-26 12:19
No, life is not easy for a Samgirl. To start with, my feelings are curiously mixed. I'm so, so proud of Sammy for the sacrifice he made but at the same time my heart is crushed for his horrible fate. Not to mention the really nasty things about him I had to hear in the past and still hear. There are some who think that his sacrifice was "cheesy" and that he got unddeserved credit by doing so. :cry::

That's why articles like yours are a treasure to me, alice. Thank you so much. :D
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-06-26 17:31
All you Sam girls should be extremely proud of your boy, err, man. For he is NOT that "snot-nosed" little kid that Dean has to protect and keep safe anymore. He made a big, huge mistake at the end of Season 4 (although with good intentions) but he was blinded by his inner demons and his desire for revenge and justice.

Alice, I loved your analysis of our Sam. Very insightful and understanding and it helped me to truly see and understand this very complex character. Although I am a Dean girl, I truly do love Sam and admire and respect him for all that he accomplished this past year. He goofed up, big time, and spent the rest of the year trying to redeem himself not only in the eyes of his brother and others, but redeem himself in his own eyes. Falling is hard, but you can measure the greatness of a man (or woman) by the way they approach the difficult road ahead of him. In Season 4, Sam chose to live the difficult road ahead of him by being drunk, seeking revenge and siding with a demon. However, he learned his lessons and this year he didn't make the same mistakes and he was able to approach his road to reparation from a more mature viewpoint.

As was pointed out, I do think the beginning of Sam's turning point to redemption came in Dark Side of the Moon. In that episode he saw what kind of affect his actions had had on Dean. So many times when we are in the depth of pain, we only see our side, we don't care about anybody else's side, we only care about our own. In this episode, Sam finally came to the point where he was able to look outside his own pain and see Dean's pain and understand it and from there he was able to use this knowledge as a stepping stone to getting past the issues that have held him for so long. Dean, however, had not as yet been able to see Sam's pain because he was too far into the pit of depression and his hole was eating him up. But Sam, well, Sam was awesome here and was finally able to mentally break through his barrier and Dean's barrier.

We see his continuing growth in 99 Problems and it finally manifests itself in Point of No Return as was so eloquently talked about in your article about the pivotal episode of Season 5. I loved Sam's moments with Adam, his take-charge attitude, the way Bobby and Castiel now followed his command instead of Deans and then the heartbreaking moments he shared with Dean. Sam showed maturity beyond his years, having learned his lessons and when he says "you're still my big brother", well, I still tear up with that comment. It was said so lovingly and respectfully to Dean, of who Dean is to him, that you can't help but just love this guy. Then finally when his look of utter disappointment in Dean after Dean said Yes, which is the look that ultimately saves Dean, well, one just can't help but be so proud of this man, who will always be our Sammy. Who saved the day, his brother, his friends and mankind. God Bless Sam Winchester! May he be able to continue to rise above his challenges, forge a new relationship with his brother and become a better and stronger man because of all that he has experienced.
ARIS3
# ARIS3 2010-06-26 17:38
@AndreaW haters will always be haters... Of course every time I read sth bad about Sammy it makes my stomach hurt, but I'm getting over it as time goes by... what really helps is finding out that there are a lot more Sam girls than some people want to believe. Where have you been hiding girls??? :D
Seriously now, I may be a Sam girl, but i also love Dean very very much and besides that's what makes me a fan of Supernatural, right? How can you say that you love the show, when you hate one of the brothers??? I have only discovered Supernatural last August and when I started digging the internet about the show, I could have never imagined that there would be a Sam vs Dean war among the fandom and especially that there would be so much hate for Sam (it was after the end of season 4, but as far as I was concerned, that season made me love Sammy even more!!!). So, it was a great shock for me and it's still giving me a hard time, but in the end who cares? We got what we wanted for our Sammy, right? A redemption, a heroic death and his come back!!! Plus we got our lost bromance back even in that tragic way! Because the brotherly love is the heart of Supernatural!!!
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-06-27 04:52
ARIS3, you're right - one cannot love the show with loving only one brother and hate the other, it does not really get along with the arc of the story, does it? Or if there are indeed people out there who do - I would love to hear how it can be possible.

As I have always been a 'SamGirl' from the beginning, I couldn't imagine not loving Dean, too. Both have a place in my heart, yet in a different way, and I like it that way. I do love the show and I love its theme of standing up to the ones you love - be it blood family or the one that doesn't end with blood. It's how I live my life, anyway.

Cheers Jas
Julie
# Julie 2010-06-27 07:37
Hi Alice
Once again many thanks for all your hard work and for this wonderful analysis of Sam, I guess this was a real labour of love of love for you.
Sams journey through this season was a hard road for him to tread and for us to follow, so many heartbreaking moments, but he was magnificent in Swan Song and I cannot wait to see where the fallout from his huge sacrifice takes us. It has been said before but all you `Sam Girls` have every right to be very proud of your `boy`.
I am also totally confused at how anyone can say they love this show and then claim to `hate` one of the brothers, The Winchesters come as a package!
Suze
# Suze 2010-06-28 14:38
Poor old sweetheart, if it wasn't for the bad luck he wouldn't have no luck at all :lol:

I know we're really all here for the lashings of sado-masochisti c gloom but I hope things perk up a bit next season, too much pathos verges on bathos you writer-guys ... Give him a break! ( You can still kill him off/beat him up every other episode but you know, with descretion, like ... )
Shadow
# Shadow 2010-06-28 18:03
Hey Alice,
thank you for taking a deeper look under the surface of Sam and writing it here on this side. I am so grateful for the oportunity to read this analysis and I don`t want to stop. I have to say sometimes when just another hit came in the show against Sam (like the "clap", or these comercial in CC )I really started to feel angry and wrote sometimes angry words on the CW Board, because I felt like they wanted to show us that every furt in the universe is Sam`s fault. And I was so angry that the writers alienated Sam from all the other people, Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Sam had really almost none connection to others. Even Crowley called him ..what? a rabid dog (or someting similar) that is really hard to take. Knowing where he started in the series as a person who was connected with other people, who wanted ..and lived ...a normal life. And this sort of life ..that was Sam..what he wanted...The revelation that Sam (even as a child) was under demonic influence and kept nonetheless so beyond human and softhearted speakes volumes about his character/perso nality. I feel so sad for Sam when I think, he made new friends, getting teachers and started to have a sort of relationship and ....bam...the higher demons picked them up to manipulate him. I wonder about what they did say or what they tried. Brady for example seemed to be very close to Sam and when the demon possessed him, the demon introduced him to his beloved Jess. The friend "Brady" fell apart and Sam tried to bring him back. And there were more possessed people. It ripped my heart out to see that in the finale. I am...till today...not over it. As much as I love the finale I feel like a big lump is in my stomach and doesn`t get any better although with the knowledge Sam was under this street lamp in the end (and so not in hell or only a short time.
And about brother versus brother fans, that is not me. I love them both, I love their interaction, their emotional fallouts, when they are arguing I understand both...starting to read US Forums (I am from Germany) about SN taught me I have to pay attention, WHERE I read and WHAT and WHOSE comments and I had once a side to read (in the start) where I was terrified about the comments. But I deleted the side from my computer. I thought back then the internet is like a killing field and the Sam bashing brought me even more to take side to this extraordinary charismatic character. But the exploring of Sam is more subtile and silent and not in the forefront, so I think it is wonderful to find such metas. And I brought a few metas already to the CW-Board with the name of the writer and the name of the side. I copied the Dean/Bobby/Sam analyse
Once Sam said that every person has his breaking point. Sam had his breaking point when Dean was shredded to pieces right before Sam`s eyes and went to hell and Sam couldn`t save him. Dean said to Sam: Keep fighting. Sam did..and barely survived and didn`t want to ...but he kept fighting in using these powers...now we know he drank blood to get access to the powers, but he kept figthing in his own...way. Sorry if this is chaotic and to long...
Yeah my heart is still shredded to pieces like Dean was from the hell hounds,and I am shredded from Swan Song, but Sam... Sam needed this redemption so badly for himself, so I was relieved for him but ...its just to hard to take!
THANK YOU!
BagginsDVM
# BagginsDVM 2010-06-29 22:09
Thanks again for a great analysis, Alice. I just had a chance to read your commentary on Dean earlier today, & now read this one on Sam. I am so proud of the character, especially after we discovered that he has been manipulated & basically "screwed" by supernatural forces his entire life. Yet he overcame it all & gained redemption & made that great sacrifice that still brings tears to my eyes just to think about it.
How anyone could call that cheesy is beyond me! I may be slightly more of a Dean girl but I love Sam too. I guess that makes me a Winchester girl, & darn proud of them both!
Karen
# Karen 2010-07-01 10:05
Hi Alice
Your article was wonderful, so supportive and understanding.
I don’t really have much more to add then what has already been said here.
As much as I could understand and feel for Dean, I could also see Sam’s side as well. All last year I too wondered how Dean was supposed to kill Lillith. I too believed Sam’s powers was the only way to defeat her. I really sympathized and understood why Sam was doing what he was doing. And the price he ended up paying, was heartbreaking.
Katie1227
# Katie1227 2010-07-07 16:42
oh wow! great article!!!^_______^

Great analyse! But I think we can add that Sam was help a lot by surprise in the finale. Lucifer didn't care about the car, so he didn,t understand why sam got his attention caught by a little soldier and before Lucifer understood what was happening, Sam ''grab him''^^
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-07-07 17:22
Leslie92718, it's always nice to meet a fellow Samgirl. Be welcome. :-)