In light of
Born-Again Identity there has been much discussion surrounding Sam's hallucinations and Castiel's solution. Some are totally fine with the way things played out while others feel very dissatisfied. While I can understand where the latter camp is coming from, my own views lead toward the former and I wanted to explain why.

Suffering

Many of the rumblings this season have talked about how the broken wall in Sam`s head hasn`t affected him to any great degree, at least not that`s been demonstrated. This has only added to what many view as a major problem with how BAI ended. I myself noted in a number of reviews and other articles prior to BAI that this particular storyline hadn`t paid itself off. Having seen BAI I`ve reconsidered my stance on this particular view.

First of all, Sam has been grappling with the hallucinations most of the season, we just haven`t been privy to the extent of them. For the most part it`s been teased or hinted at that Sam is seeing something the rest of us aren`t privy to, with a few exceptions. Hello Cruel World obviously demonstrated Sam beginning to fall into the abyss of the hallucinations and how reality and hallucinations began to blur as one inseparable mass. Dean gave Sam a tool to recognize the difference and draw the line around reality. From that moment he was able to hold on to the real world and continue functioning. In Repo Man we saw firsthand what Sam was struggling to block out and the very many things that HalLucifer was throwing at him. Until this episode, Sam had been largely successful in ignoring the hallucinations and as a result, the strength the hallucinations had over him was relatively minimal. Once Sam acknowledged these hallucinations, they suddenly had a much more powerful hold over him.

In Out With The Old we the audience are relegated back to the perspective of the outsider - Dean`s perspective - and witnessing Sam come apart at the seams. The difference is we KNOW the extent of the hallucinatory visions that are being thrust on Sam and we know that despite the good front he`s putting up he`s struggling through a great deluge of problems including lack of sleep and a weakening separation of fantasy and reality.

Finally Born-Again Identity brings us the culmination of the crumbled wall problem. Sam can no longer get past the visions because without sleep his mental strength is waning to the point of non-existent. This episode does a brilliant job of conveying the height of the hallucinations and their effect. The audience was once again privy to Sam`s twisted, vision filled reality while the rest of the world was not. Dean knows the extent of Sam`s problem but he can`t really truly comprehend it, never having been in that position. Others are entirely oblivious.

Insanity

Born-Again Identity showed us Sam at his limit. This fall began in Repo Man and ended here, which rings true enough because, as I said, Sam's problem is human and there is only so much the human mind and body can endure before it hits the wall. Sam was weak, exhausted, and unable to eat now - death was knocking and it was, again, a very human threat bearing down on him.

The call back to Faith in this episode is more than the role reversal of the brothers; it goes the core of that issue which is that you can't find a supernatural solution to a natural problem. We've seen that tired and there are consequences, bad once, every time. The wall itself was a supernatural solution to a natural problem (PTSD) and because it collapsed, Sam was inundated with every memory of hell - he was simply overloaded with the traumatic memories. Perhaps, had then the memories might have been dealt with in a slow trickle, one by one, he could have handled them, but not when they came as a flood.

The case of the ghost in Born-Again Identity served to underscore exactly how strong, mentally Sam has been. This strength is why he hasn't collapsed but has continued to move forward all these weeks and months with HalLucifer banging inside his head. And it is a testimony to just how weary Sam has become that he is at breaking point, no longer able to carry on fighting against the visions. Sam found his ten.

Visions

So all told, we didn't witness the “behind the scenes” as it were of Sam's mental collapse a whole lot. Personally, I'm okay with this for two very key reasons. Number one, by not showing us day in and day out the depth and type of mental torture Sam was enduring, it leaves it to the imagination what he was living with which is in fact a lot more intense and frightening and overwhelming than anything the writers could have conjured on the screen. This was the approach that was taken to the boys respective experiences in Hell. We actually have few details about what either of them actually suffered through during their time in the pit. All we have is snippets of conversation and some vague but terrifying notions. And, at least in this viewer's opinion, makes for pretty powerful storytelling - there are no limits to what we imagine have happened to them. We know it was bad, the level of which we can only envision to be the stuff of nightmares.

Number two, an entire season of Sam suffering day and day out with these visions that nobody could see but him (and the audience) would have been tiresome on many levels. To begin with if HalLucifer had the foothold into Sam's mind that he had in Hello Cruel World and we watched him regain in Repo Man, Sam's mental collapse would have come a heck of a lot sooner. This would have meant it had to be (a) dealt with superficially because we can't have Sam down and out for most of the season and (b) the writers would have run the gambit of the things we could see Lucifer throwing at Sam, which would have become circular. Imagine, Sam and Dean on a case, Lucifer throws a wrench in by blurring the lines of reality for Sam, Sam pulls through and/or Dean pulls it off and breaks through to Sam again. They drive off to the next town and begin again. This also would have been a hindrance to other storylines as the episodes and plots would have become quite crowded.

Mentality

One thing I'd like to note is this: Sam`s problem is not supernatural. He has not been cursed with hallucinations, there is no spell upon him - he is suffering, more or less, post traumatic stress. Has this been induced by a supernatural event? Yes, a trip to Hell certainly qualifies as a supernatural event. But nevertheless, it's a human problem and this is why there is not truly a supernatural solution.

Based on this fact, I'm going to say that Castiel did not actually "fix" Sam: he didn't take away his memories of hell, his soul, or any of these things. If anything Castiel transferred the PTSD to himself. Does this mean Sam loses his memories of Hell? No, if anything I will say it makes him more equipped to deal with his experiences. Imagine Sam had a bullet wound on his shoulder and as a result of that wound developed blood poisoning, making healing the initial wound impossible. Now, setting aside that Cas can of course heal flesh wounds, one would argue that what Cas did for Sam in the psych ward was transfer the blood poisoning, a symptom of the root problem, so that the would itself can be dressed and treated.

Sam's hallucinations were never the foundational problem - they were a symptom of his trauma's in hell. Sam manifests Lucifer who was is chief torturer in hell as his vision the same war a war vet manifests the faces of his enemy walking down the street. What Cas has done is give Sam a chance to become strong enough, to heal. A fully healed gunshot is at no risk of developing blood poisoning.

Fixed

Do I think Sam's problem is completely gone and done? No, I don't. I could be wrong. Next week could come a long and blow everything I've said out of the water but for the time being I'm satisfied with the way things we left in Born-Again Identity.

In retrospect and in turning over the comments about the fix being too easy I've looked back at the season and realized in fact it's been a long run of handling the mental issues Sam is suffering with. The road to Sam's inevitable collapse has been, in my opinion, a long one. It's been an ever-present undertone all season long, the sword of Damocles hanging over his handsome head. The little engine that could can only chug so far before it runs out of steam.

 

Comments  

thisoldbag58
# thisoldbag58 2012-03-27 14:51
I agree completely. I am totally satisfied with how everything was handled in this episode. It was fast and full yet still left much to the imagination.
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-27 16:41
Sure. Everything regarding Sam is left to imagination, which doesn't happen woth secondary characters.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-27 20:44
Quote:
Sure. Everything regarding Sam is left to imagination, which doesn't happen woth secondary characters.
Exactly! It's perfectly fine to guess, assume, and presume facts about Sam and how he's feeling or coping. With other characters, we'd be told but no need with Sam!

Frankly, I'm sick of assuming things about Sam and making up his relationships with other characters because no scenes are written to develop those relationships or the character. I'm "lazy" and just want to be told what he's thinking, how he's feeling, etc.
Blue Steel
# Blue Steel 2012-03-27 15:05
I've read this argument before, and it is typically from people who watch the show from Dean's perspective and so don't care if we don't get Sam's at the same time. When Dean came back from Hell, the whole show shifted in his direction. When Sam came back from Hell, it was pushed off by Soulless Sam and the the Wall for an entire season. Season 7 should have shifted the show perspective back in Sam's corner, or at least equaled things out. It did not. If anything, things are so much from Dean's POV now that Sam is treated like a Dean-serving robot, only there so he can worry about how Dean feels and handles things. Dean has barely acknowledged that Sam was in hell and suffering and has PTSD/hallucinat ions all season long. Dean was barely that emotional about Sam when Sam was dying from it in BAI. Dean is not Dean anymore, but he's shoved Sam aside in all aspects anyway. It's become totally depressing to watch the show descend into this parody of season 4 rather than the throwback to season 1 they were saying it was.

When you give a lead character hallucinations and blow them all off with blow off hand rubbing scenes for an entire season, barring 2 more episodes to "wrap it up" you are writing inhuman garbage - it really is that simple. And to top it off with a direct transfer of this story concept into another character, it's an insult to the people invested in Sam's story. I don't care if Castiel is now redeemed by taking on Sam's pain or whatever it was he took out of Sam. It was an easy out, twice over. This was insult added to injury. It was exactly the thing fans were dreading would happen to Sam's story all season long. Only Sera Gamble managed to make that scenario even worse by making Castiel the one experiencing the suffering.

I know some fans are glad that Castiel is suffering Sam's pain, as Just Desserts. But for me, it destroys the integrity of the writing and the show too much. If Castiel wanted to live with another's suffering, then he should have done it by seeing Sam suffering from his actions with him not able to fix it with some magic toy he pulled out of his ass at the last minute. That's how Sam had to live with letting Lucifer out of his box in season 5. This was a lame set up for a fast fix for Castiel.

They were thinking of Castiel's story here, and not Sam's, and that is why it sucks so much. That's why it hurts so much. That's why the ratings tanked. And that's why there will probably be less fans watching this show if we do get a season 8.
Winifred
# Winifred 2012-03-27 15:29
That's a fantastic summary of why so many are unhappy with the current show! I've already given up hope that they'll fix it. They don't realize anything is wrong. I've come to terms with the fact that they just want to please Destiel/Cas fans.

Way to ruin what was an amazing show
Ravanne
# Ravanne 2012-03-27 16:29
I've all but given up hope that things will change. The fact that the showrunners are talking about how much heavy focus Sam's hell trauma were given this season (when it was so far on the back burner that it might as well still be in the freezer) shows how little interest they have in actually telling anything from Sam's POV and making it count as strongly as anything that concerns Dean.

As for Castiel... the fanservice they provided with the returning of the trenchcoat scene (while Dean's amulet apparently is in a landfill somewhere) really turned my stomach. The idea that Dean would want to hang on to the coat of the being that destroyed his brother's sanity really boggles my mind. This is a far cry from the man who would kill anyone who looked twice the wrong way at Sam.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-03-27 18:06
I've been thinking about the amulet comparison. Understand I am still furious about the disappearance of amulet, but the argument can be made that Dean is incapable of returning it to Sam, so it isn't comparable to carrying the trench coat around. However, we do have an analogous situation. During season five Sam worked constantly to repair his relationship with Dean and to redeem himself. He did it not in one episode but by methodically being trustworthy and supportive of Dean. Then to mitigate the damage he did by raising Lucifer, Sam made the ultimate sacrifice and threw himself into the pit. So what did Dean do with Sam's physical belongings? At best, he put them in the trunk of the Impala, locked the trunk, hid the car under the tarp and NEVER looked at ANYTHING from his past life again. When Sam came back he didn't return Sam's laptop, or offer Sam his own clothes back. He didn't say or indicate that he had used Sam's laptop because it made him feel closer to his dead brother. He didn't try to bring Sam back to his old self by reminding Sam of his prior life. He thought Sam was dead and he didn't hold on to anything to keep Sam alive in his memory. Now, I know that he never forgot Sam and that Sam was on his mind the entire time, but he didn't keep any mementos.

Dean had no reason to think Cas wasn't dead but he carried around the trench coat as a physical reminder of Castiel. He couldn't honor the brother who had died redeeming himself by keeping something of his, but he continued to treasure the coat of a member of a species (thank you Meg!) that betrayed him and his brother, destroyed his brother's mind, destroyed thousands of human lives. I don't think Dean knew about the angels Cas killed, and I doubt that he would have cared about them, but he did know about the rest. In his last moments, Castiel's efforts at redemption were incredibly less than Sam's had been, but Dean still clung to his memory, while doing what he could to put Sam behind him when he believed Sam was dead.

Picking up the trench coat was supposedly a choice Jensen made as an actor. Considering how much the character of Castiel was associated with the trench, it was inevitable that when Cas came back the trench would come back. Sadly the only way to reconcile these two facts is by having Dean hold onto the trench and give the impression that Dean was more attached to Castiel than he was to Sam. That angers me greatly.
Lex
# Lex 2012-03-27 23:48
At that time team free will was using the amulet to find god.
When that blew up, Dean had no faith in tossed it cause he was so disappointed in everything.


I don't think keeping a trenhcoat means he care more about Cas then his own bro.
He gave up his soul for Sam, and had to spend some quality time with Alastair for 40years.


For some reason Kripke wanted the necklace gone.
Gerry
# Gerry 2012-03-27 23:55
I believe we learned when Dean realized Bobby knew Sam was back that Dean spent the year he thought Sam was in the pit looking for ways to bring him back, even though he had promised not to. He couldn't believe Bobby had hidden the truth because that meant Bobby had not put Dean out of his misery. Dean never stopped trying to free Sam. He just didn't find a way.
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-28 08:44
Dean should never have given the Amulat to Castiel in the first place. He let go way too easily IMO. I get he was angry at Sam, but seriously. He first agreed to let the Amulet go and later just trashed it in front of Sam because he was mad. On the other hand, he kept the trenchcoat of his brother's almost murderer as a memento? The fact is, I don't know Dean anymore.
Winifred
# Winifred 2012-03-27 21:56
The Dean that gave Gordon a major beat down is long gone. He's replaced with a Dean that carries a soiled piece of clothing around with him and would tell a supernatural being that he'd "always believed he'd come back" while his voice broke from emotion. Thankfully that was cut out but it doesn't change the fact that it was written, filmed, and promoted.
The kid
# The kid 2012-03-27 15:31
Quote:
I've read this argument before, and it is typically from people who watch the show from Dean's perspective and so don't care if we don't get Sam's at the same time. When Dean came back from Hell, the whole show shifted in his direction. When Sam came back from Hell, it was pushed off by Soulless Sam and the the Wall for an entire season. Season 7 should have shifted the show perspective back in Sam's corner, or at least equaled things out. It did not. If anything, things are so much from Dean's POV now that Sam is treated like a Dean-serving robot, only there so he can worry about how Dean feels and handles things. Dean has barely acknowledged that Sam was in hell and suffering and has PTSD/hallucinations all season long. Dean was barely that emotional about Sam when Sam was dying from it in BAI. Dean is not Dean anymore, but he's shoved Sam aside in all aspects anyway. It's become totally depressing to watch the show descend into this parody of season 4 rather than the throwback to season 1 they were saying it was.

When you give a lead character hallucinations and blow them all off with blow off hand rubbing scenes for an entire season, barring 2 more episodes to "wrap it up" you are writing inhuman garbage - it really is that simple. And to top it off with a direct transfer of this story concept into another character, it's an insult to the people invested in Sam's story. I don't care if Castiel is now redeemed by taking on Sam's pain or whatever it was he took out of Sam. It was an easy out, twice over. This was insult added to injury. It was exactly the thing fans were dreading would happen to Sam's story all season long. Only Sera Gamble managed to make that scenario even worse by making Castiel the one experiencing the suffering.

I know some fans are glad that Castiel is suffering Sam's pain, as Just Desserts. But for me, it destroys the integrity of the writing and the show too much. If Castiel wanted to live with another's suffering, then he should have done it by seeing Sam suffering from his actions with him not able to fix it with some magic toy he pulled out of his ass at the last minute. That's how Sam had to live with letting Lucifer out of his box in season 5. This was a lame set up for a fast fix for Castiel.

They were thinking of Castiel's story here, and not Sam's, and that is why it sucks so much. That's why it hurts so much. That's why the ratings tanked. And that's why there will probably be less fans watching this show if we do get a season 8.
Applause!!! I have nothing more to add here!
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-27 16:45
Exactly!!!
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-27 19:18
Quote:
I've read this argument before, and it is typically from people who watch the show from Dean's perspective and so don't care if we don't get Sam's at the same time.
Blue Steel, I trust with this comment you're not suggesting that Elle only watches the show from Dean's perspective and doesn't care about Sam's? If you are, a quick read of any of Elle's prior writings will prove you quite wrong.
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 13:19
Thanks Tim!

I try to come across from a middle ground stance. I can appreciate where the people upset with Sam's story to this point are coming from, really I can. However, I can also see it from the flip side which is what I tried to represent in this piece.

I love both brothers and there are many things that haven't been handled the way I would want and things that haven't been shown (take a look through my hits and misses - there is some back story I miss!) unfortunately the constraints of TV do limit what can be handled and sometimes, the writers get into a corner with no all-around satisfactory way out. On the balance, I wish we could have more of Sam's story (the struggle, etc). but I wish that with Dean's character too (not turning this into a bro-vs-bro, just stating my thoughts all around) but I can learn to be okay with what we've been given and read between the lines where I need to.

Until we see the end of this season I can't say for certain one way or another regarding Sam's story really. Only time will tell.
rubby_virgo_04@hotma
# rubby_virgo_04@hotma 2012-03-27 20:47
and that's why I get sooo pissed with sammy girls like you! .. I mean.. y'all think the show is written in Dean's POV??? seriously? .. so I bet you would have prefered to have a heart to heart talk like the one in heaven and hell... some tears maybe? and abt that I was also kind of annoyed by the fact we did not see a fully dean's reaction to a dying sam at the end of BAI but there was not time... this episode was totally filled with plots "resolutions" .....

I think that ending worked.. first because we cannot have 3 episodes dedicated to heal sam.. because that's not how it works! and that's simple.

And about comparing Dean's hell and Sam's hell storylines .. why in hell they did not decide to do another huge season four as you put it... ? that's low... we're in season 7 not four... I am sorry if this is a "strong" comment but I don't really care... it's season 7 and even if you think SPN is being written in Dean's POV (and that's something the show is not doing, at least not as much as Sam's POV epis... but that's okay ). DEAL WITH IT.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-03-28 12:40
Yep, I agree with what you're saying. I don't see this show as being written with only Dean in mind. To me it's still very much about the two brothers. So their time in Hell was written differently, it's called creative license. As you say, deal with it. Why people keep wanting to turn this into Dean vs Sam is beyond me.
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-03-28 13:10
Just chiming in to say I agree with Elle, rubby_virgo and
Sylvie. I think the polls on the site do also.

There's always a few who disagree strongly with the way the show is written, but then, no matter how it was written, the complainers would always be there, one side or another. Chuck said the fans were always gonna bitch! :eek:

I agree with Sylvie, it's about the two brothers and the creators are writing it and not the fans. (thank Chuck!)

I'm just eternally grateful to have had the chance to see this marvelous series before I kick that bucket we all kick sooner or later. I love both boys and have no complaints about how they have been or will be written. They are not mine to write about. There is plenty of fan fic out there for those who think otherwise. (Love some fan fic myself).

I get so tired of reading negative posts that now I get the gist at the beginning and ignore the rest. It keeps me from depression.

Thanks Elle. :-)
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 13:20
Thank you Bevie!

That's the kind of platform I have tried to adopt in regard to the show. I still love these characters and I still want to see where their story will take me.
kazkriz
# kazkriz 2012-03-28 17:19
thank you!!! I really needed to hear that :) it calms me down to now that people trust in the creators.. the writters because after all what makes SPN special is that.. :) and yeah btw fans are always gonna bitch :D lol
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-27 21:10
Blue Steel - great post! I couldn't agree more with you! The way Sam's story played out has been horrible! The infrequent hand rubbing was simply not enough!
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 13:55
Hi Blue Steel,

Thanks for commenting. We'll have to agree to disagree here I am afraid :)

I love both brothers and there are certainly misses with regard to both individual stories over the years. Looking back as Sam's and really considering how this story has developed, overall I'm satisfied with it. And that isn't because I want more Dean time, or more Cas time, etc. From a purely storytelling foundation, I think a plot that could have quickly become tired and/or hindered other developing plots was handled pretty well, in hindsight. I also don't believe this is the last of it as far as Sam is concerned.

Regarding Castiel, his involvement works on a few levels for me. (1) Yes, I like the character (2) Sam's problem, the hallucinations, mental break, etc. is a human problem without a supernatural solution. In this case, the human solution could have been drugs and years of various therapies - hardly conducive to the nature of the show to have one of the two leads down and out in a mental institution for the next several months, at the very least. So by introducing Castiel, the angel solution to the human problem, Sam is, as Cas said, able to get back on his feet and keep moving forward alongside his brother.

Apart from Sam's storyline, this serves the dual function of bringing Cas back to the show and showing he is alive, but not having him usurp the focus of the brothers (because the season is suppose to be the boys without the many resources and friends they've built over the years) and keeping him off screen but in plot, so to speak, with a reasonable explanation of where he is and why he still can't swoop in and save Sam and Dean with a moments notice. So, we get Sam functioning again, Cas is alive but the boys remain with just themselves by and large in this fight and no "ace cards" to make things easy. Yes, this works for me. I think the utility of Castiel and his intervention with Sam's mental issues was constructed with the overall show in mind, not Castiel's story alone.
Blue Steel
# Blue Steel 2012-03-28 15:48
I am merely guessing at how things are on this site now since Alice mentioned once that all the Sam girl reviewers have left this site and had been replaced with Dean girls. She is the only one left who is a Sam girl. When the show is primarily from Dean's POV and Dean's experiences, seeing Sam get cut out gives you more Dean, so of course, some people would be content with this arrangement on the show. Even if it is subconscious. They've never had to live with Dean being cut out of nearly whole entire episodes, cut out of emotional responses, cut out of his own storylines, over and over again. And yes, many Sam fans are very happy with Sam and how he is written. But many of them are not happy with how Sam is treated overall on the show.

My pain over Sam is a pain that has been built up over a long time in watching the show. So, when I am upset with how Sam's story was handled in this season, it comes from years of feeling left out of the SPN family that is presented on the show. When I was upset with Sam's story being sucked up into Castiel, whole sale, it was the tip of the ice berg in my disappointment with this show.

The Castiel-Sam Solution was lazy lazy lazy writing. Insta-heal was always a threat to Sam's character this season, and it is a cop out solution. A better story would be to see Sam struggle with Lucifer personally - to fight Lucifer on his own turf and either win or lose, but to interact in a real way that gives a true psychological pay off to his character.

It's very easy to guess that Ben Edlund will give Castiel such a storyline, get in his head, explore how he feels. When no one did this for Sam this season. Not once. It's gonna kill me when it happens. Just kill me. And I don't want to see that but I bet that's exactly what will happen.

The only thing Sam was dying from was lack of sleep - so how did that work even? And why can't Castiel just rub his hand and get rid of Lucifer like Sam did all season long? Is Sam stronger than Castiel? Is his small human will that much stronger than an angels? Or is it just that the writers no longer care about emotional truth and psychological honesty on this show anymore?
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 16:34
Hi Blue Steel:

I can't speak for the other reviewers on this site, but I don't think all the Sam girls have left. WFB strives hard to strike a great balance and to not get into Sam vs Dean. That isn't to say reviewers don't have their preference, but I don't think it's quite as dramatic as Alice being the only "Sam girl" reviewer on the site. Maybe I'm wrong though.

In my opinion, the show has a pretty good balance between the brothers as well. Yes, at certain times one of them might be the stronger focus, but as a whole they are both at the centre of the show. Respectfully, I don't think the show is written primarily from Dean's POV, though again that is just my opinion.

I do understand being frustrated with the show, or elements of it and how that can build up and colour your opinion as the show progresses. As I said, we'll have to agree to disagree on the Sam thing I suppose, because I think certainly in this most recent episode and even in Repo Man to a large extent they did a good job of showing things from "inside" Sam's head.

With regard to Sam dying from lack of sleep - it is a legitimate thing. Without sleep after an extended period your body will shut down, which is where Sam was at by the time he was admitted to the psych ward, or at least he was teetering on the edge of that.

In terms of Castiel not being able to make Lucifer go away - it's not a question of Castiel being stronger than Sam. All season when Sam did the palm-press, he was supressing Lucifer, not getting rid of him. It was a coping technique, not a cure. In Repo Man they did a good job at showing how Sam could ignore Lucifer and differentiate between reality and fiction. Real pain in his hand was his touchstone when the hallucinations began in 7x02 and he continued to use it as a reminder of what was real and what wasn't. Once Sam acknowledged and began to speak to Lucifer though (Repo Man), the hallucinations took hold and Sam could no longer block him out because Sam himself merged reality and fiction together such that the two couldn't be properly separated again, which was why this time around Lucifer the Hallucination could keep Sam from sleeping.

The reason Castiel can't heal Sam is because it's Sam soul/psyche which is irreparably scarred by what has happened to him, the hallucinations being a symptom of this, PTSD. This is why I believe that what Castiel did was transfer the symptoms (hallucinations ) so that Sam could begin to heal. Sam was in no shape, being exhausted and burnt out, to sort through his memories of hell and figure out what to do with them. Now, he can get some sleep and not have the constant barrage of noise in his head which might allow him begin to deal with his memories - he hasn't had a proper chance to do this remember since the wall was up and his memories were sealed away and then once the wall came down, it was hallucination time.

Only time will tell what the show has in store for Sam, but in the meantime, having worked out some sort of logic for what has happened thus far, it's all kind of working for me, more or less.
kazkriz
# kazkriz 2012-03-28 17:26
what.. just one thing.. it doesn't matter wheter you'¡re a sam girl or a dean girl... we're not teenagers... it's about the show we love. I'm so very very happy with the variety of reviews we as a fandom have the chance to read here. the spn world must not be divided in two ... why? the boys are brothers.. and if you're saying the writers in here are dean girls or sam girls.. that should not chance anything at all... simply because it's the bro you feel closer to..

it's really inmature to believe that's how this show works after all these 7 years.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-28 17:55
Where is it stated that being a fan of one character mean you are incapable of examining another character impartially?? Alice has written a buttload of articles about Dean so if she’s a Samgirl then she’d better hand back her membership card pronto because obviously, as a fan of Sam, she can’t possibly present an unbiased article on Dean.

One or two things, Sam has never been cut out of his own storylines, or any storyline that I can remember. While Dean had a role in practically every storyline the vast majority of storylines are instigated by Sam and/or his actions. Has he been missing from episodes? Sure, when the story necessitated it ie 'The End' or 'In the Beginning'.

Quote:
The Castiel-Sam Solution was lazy lazy lazy writing. Insta-heal was always a threat to Sam's character this season, and it is a cop out solution. A better story would be to see Sam struggle with Lucifer personally - to fight Lucifer on his own turf and either win or lose, but to interact in a real way that gives a true psychological pay off to his character.
So you think bringing Lucifer back into the main play would have been a better story? Sorry Blue Steel, that storyline is gone. Lucifer existed in Sam’s head. It had to be dealt with in Sam’s head. Had Castiel thought, for a second, that Lucifer was back, he’d have said it and they would have sought to deal with it then.

Quote:
The only thing Sam was dying from was lack of sleep - so how did that work even?
You don’t sleep, your body shuts down. You die. Lucifer couldn't get Sam to break any other way so he went for this.

Quote:
And why can't Castiel just rub his hand and get rid of Lucifer like Sam did all season long?
Does Castiel have magic hands or something?? In 7.15, Sam acknowledged Lucifer thereby making Lucifer real to him, not just a mere hallucination that could be ignored or dealt with. Lucifer was not real to anyone else so Castiel rubbing Sam’s hand would not have made a blind bit of difference. It wasn’t who was rubbing the hand that was a factor.

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Is Sam stronger than Castiel? Is his small human will that much stronger than an angels?
In all honesty, I think yes he is and yes it is. Angels have been corrupted by Lucifer and fallen before him. Sam never was. It was Sam’s small human will that got him through the many devastations that would have killed lesser men.

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Or is it just that the writers no longer care about emotional truth and psychological honesty on this show anymore?
So the people whose livelihoods actually depend on the show don’t care about the show any more? Okay.....

Blue Steel, is you are insistent that this is all that you see on the show, then that will be all you will ever see on the show. If you are convinced that Sam is going to be shortchanged then every single thing you see on screen will convince you of that.

Let’s say for example at the start of 7.18, if Sam is asleep and stays asleep for half the episode, will you see this as a continuation of Sam’s storyline or will you see it as the show not exploring Sam and cutting him out of the episode?

At the moment, over on IMDB, there is a long thread in relation to gripes about Dean’s storylines. I read through it (sorry Alice, I looked but didn’t touch. And I got a rash from looking. And I never meant to look, the site was open when I got there. I’ll never do it again. Here, have a diamond....) and while I think the vast majority of it is baseless and could easily be refuted, there are a large number of fans out there who are convinced that Dean is treated with the same dismissive attitude from the show that you are convinced Sam is treated with. Who is right? Who is wrong?

I think it’s somewhere in the middle. While we want what is best for our preferred characters, the showrunners have to think about what is best for the show. They have to cater for all fans. I don’t believe the show has some sort of vendetta against Sam where they think he does not need or get development. I don’t believe they think of him as some lesser character that has to be dealt with as a matter of formality. I don’t believe his storylines are the ones the writers feel they have to get out of the way so they can focus on Dean or Castiel because for the show to do that, would be suicide for the show.

Have Sam and his various storylines been given the short shrift from time to time? Of course, but so have Dean’s. There is a hell of a lot going on in the show and quite often, certain things do not get as much focus as we, the various groups of fans, would like. The showrunners have to think bigger than the two characters.
Gerry
# Gerry 2012-03-29 16:10
Tim, I agree very much with this post. The writers have a different viewpoint than the fans, and especially fans who have a declared favourite character, be it Sam, Dean or Castiel. The writers have to service the story as a whole. Sometimes one brother is driving the plot, sometimes the other and they can only put so much in an episode.

I don't think either Sam or Dean have lacked story lines over the seven seasons. And Sam's this year has worked very well for me. If I had my druthers I would have liked to see a little more hinting at the hallucinations to weave the story in a little more smoothly. But I think it worked very well to establish the severity of Sam's problem and then have Dean and therefore us get a little complacent because of Sam's great strength in being able to push the trauma underground. It made the peek we got inside Sam's head in Repo Man all the more shocking. I think losing Bobby was the straw that broke the camel's back for Sam and he's been immersing himself in work ever since. As Dean said, Sam's been in as bad a shape as Dean--but Dean's been able to let himself grieve. Sam's been running from his feelings and he finally ran out of places to run.
kazkriz
# kazkriz 2012-03-29 21:26
I couldn't agree more with you Tim, seriously it was about time someone actually talk about this.. you're sooo right.
the writers must look out for the show and not for "dean" or "sam" fans. they're suppose to run the show as a whole.
for me... honestly, sam's storyine this season worked very well, I loved BAI ... it was fantastic.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-03-30 00:25
Quote:
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Quote: And why can't Castiel just rub his hand and get rid of Lucifer like Sam did all season long?


Does Castiel have magic hands or something?? In 7.15, Sam acknowledged Lucifer thereby making Lucifer real to him, not just a mere hallucination that could be ignored or dealt with. Lucifer was not real to anyone else so Castiel rubbing Sam’s hand would not have made a blind bit of difference. It wasn’t who was rubbing the hand that was a factor.
I think the poster was asking since Sam was able to banish HIS OWN hallucinations by rubbing his hand, why is Castiel unable to manage somebody else's hallucinations by using a similar tactic. For me the Cas takes Sam's hallucinations makes no sense, but it's what we have, however the question didn't involve Cas having a magic hand to rub Sam and cure him it involves the question of why a big strong angel, is being incapacitated by hallucinations that a mere mortal was able to handle for months. The answer is in what you said, the writers need the story to move this way. That doesn't make it any less difficult for some of us to reconcile.

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Where is it stated that being a fan of one character mean you are incapable of examining another character impartially??
Obviously a fan of one character can examine another character impartially. Coming to a different conclusion does not make me a lazy viewer. My opinion that Sam has been ill served does not make me a closed minded person who will not listen to any reasonable argument any more than your opinion that Sam has been adequately served means you are a closed minded person who will not listen to my reasonable argument. I respect you as a poster, but IMHO you have been very rude to those of us who simply do not share your opinion. Many of the posters who disagree with you have give you their reasons for doing so. We have provided examples and explained why we have come to our conclusions. You have called us lazy and narrow minded. Once you have been so dismissive it becomes very difficult to see your rational.

I am in no way trying to convince you that I am right. I see the show as I see it. You see the show as you see it. I would appreciate it if you did not insult me when you acknowledge that we are unlikely to change each other's minds.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-30 08:33
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I think the poster was asking since Sam was able to banish HIS OWN hallucinations by rubbing his hand, why is Castiel unable to manage somebody else's hallucinations by using a similar tactic.
You are dead right. I interpreted the initial comment wrong. I believed it to read that Blue Steel was asking why Castiel did not press on Sam’s hand to make the hallucinations disappear, not his own hand to make his hallucinations disappear.

Castiel could not banish his hallucinations by pressing down on his own hand, and that was not what Sam was merely doing. Sam was able to alleviate his own hallucinations by pressing on the raw wound on the palm of his hand to inflict pain on himself so that he could distinguish between hell pain and real pain and therefore ‘hell’ and reality. The is no reason to think that this method would work with Castiel because (a) he does not recall hell pain because he has never been to hell (on more than a rescue mission) (b) Castiels hand is not wounded therefore pressing it will not cause pain and (c) angels, given how often we’ve seen them being punched etc without even flinching, do not seem to have an issue with physical pain.

In the second to last scene we saw Castiel sitting stoically on the bed. We don’t know, as of yet, how affected Castiel is by hallucinations, if at all. His similar stance while waiting for Dean in ‘The End’ raises the possibility that Castiel might merely be waiting for something.

When Sam’s wall first fell, his hallucinations and flashbacks were very sporadic but the more worn down Sam got from them, the more dominant Lucifer became. The same could apply to Castiel. It’s entirely plausible that at this early stage in his torment Castiel is able to hold back Lucifer. For Castiel, Lucifer/the hallucinations have not been there long so it makes sense (to me) that Castiel is currently at a stage where he could hold Lucifer back. I’m basing my assumption that he wasn’t there all that long on some article I read which stated that the maximum time a person can be held in involuntary psychiatric lockdown is 72 hours. I could be wrong with that, blame Law & Order.

Add to that, Sam’s stubble was pretty much the same length when we saw Castiel in the room as it was when Castiel transferred the hallucinations. From that, I am assuming that Castiel did not have Lucifer in his head that long when we saw him on the bed.

Will Castiel’s hallucinations (if he is even having any at the moment) worsen? That is something we won’t know until we see the next episode that Castiel is in.

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Obviously a fan of one character can examine another character impartially. Coming to a different conclusion does not make me a lazy viewer.
Nor did I say that it did. (I knew I should have replied to lala2’s comment. That’s the last time I don’t defend myself for the sake of trying to make peace.) percysowner, I would encourage you to go back and read the comments that lala2 and I made, in the full context in which they were written. She stated that her not seeing Sam and Castiels relationship was down to laziness on the part of the writers. I then mentioned laziness on the part of the viewer. That is not, to me, saying a person is lazy. However, If you took offense at that, apologies, but I did not call you a lazy viewer; I don’t even know you. I did not call lala2 a lazy viewer, though once again, if she believed I did, then apologies to her also.

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My opinion that Sam has been ill served does not make me a closed minded person.....
No, it doesn’t. And I did not say that it did. In regard to Sam being ill-served, I agree with you, and many of my past posts on this site have been in relation to that very point. I also agreed with it in the post you are replying to. However, for the reasons I gave, I do not feel that he was ill served in this episode, which was the topic of discussion.

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...but IMHO you have been very rude to those of us who simply do not share your opinion....
Could you kindly point out where?

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Many of the posters who disagree with you have give you their reasons for doing so. We have provided examples and explained why we have come to our conclusions.
Which I acknowledged. My replies were not made in relation to your opinions or your reasons and I did not, at any stage, say that that opinion was wrong.

My replies were confined to (a) refuting claims that certain situations were not shown on screen and (b) giving alternative viewpoints to situations presented. This was not done to tell people they were wrong, it was done in the hopes of making people feel better about the episode, nothing more.

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You have called us lazy and narrow minded.
percysowner, either I have taken to posting in my sleep or you are confusing me with someone else because nowhere did I, anywhere on this topic refer to you, or any other poster, as ‘narrow minded’.

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Once you have been so dismissive it becomes very difficult to see your rational.
Unless you consider rebutting points to be dismissive, could you kindly point out where I have been dismissive? And may I ask, do you also consider the many posters who rebutted my points to be dismissive?

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I would appreciate it if you did not insult me when you acknowledge that we are unlikely to change each other's minds.
And once again, could you kindly point out where I insulted you.

I'm well aware I'm not going to change your mind, or anyone else’s mind, percysowner. I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I could or have the right to even try. Trust me, had I the power to do that I’d be focusing on getting your credit card details, not influence you in relation to a TV programme. As I said, I was merely trying to give posters who were angry and/or depressed after 7.17 an alternative viewpoint and maybe a bit of hope for the remainder of the season. Apologies for doing that.

Percysowner, I have no idea what I have done to raise your ire to such an extent that you feel I deserve to be labelled ‘rude’ and ‘dismissive†™ by you. I have no idea what way you are interpreting the actual words I wrote, to read that I called you ‘closed minded’ and ‘narrow-minde d’; words I never used.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-03-30 12:58
Tim, the wonderful part of boards like this is that they allow us to share out thoughts and see how other people view this show. The downside is that plain text cannot convey inflection or give clues in body language as to the intent of the poster. I know that you had no intention of being condescending or insulting. If you want to discuss why I feel the way I do, I would prefer to take the issue to PM. That way we can talk to each other without involving the board.

If you wish to leave this here, I apologize for accusing you of ill intent. I am sorry that I over reacted. As I said, I am willing to discuss this with you or to leave it with my apology.
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-28 18:36
Blue Steel, I most completely sympathize with your feelings. Noting to add.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 19:26
According to Ben Edlund, Dean (and only Dean) is THE heart of the show. Now, he quickly mentioned Sam was he realized his Fruedian slip, but we all know what he thinks!

I do feel Sam is neglected, and I'm entitled to my opinion. I feel the show uses Sam's problems as angst for Dean. I don't mind seeing how Dean feels about Sam's problems, but I would also like to see how Sam feels about his own problems.

Blue Steel - let's just say I understand your frustration w/the emotional development (or lack thereof) for Sam. I'm right there w/you. And comments like Ben Edlund's helped me realize that I wasn't wrong in thinking Sam is less emotionally developed than Dean.

They may give Cas some hallucinations. I don't know. I wish I had a better handle on the hallucinations. If Sam wasn't really being bothered by Lucifer, then why did Lucifer say, "Hey Brother" to Castiel? I also don't understand why Castiel can't overcome the hallucinations. The story, IMO, wasn't ever fully explained and probably never will be.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-28 23:54
Although this season alone Ben Edlund wrote Repo Man, How to Influence, and Hello Cruel World so if he is not interested in Sam's character. He still one of the ones writing the most insights about him.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-29 09:11
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Although this season alone Ben Edlund wrote Repo Man, How to Influence, and Hello Cruel World so if he is not interested in Sam's character. He still one of the ones writing the most insights about him.
Hmm. . . I didn't know that.

Repo Man and How to Influence were just okay episodes to me, but HCW was brilliant. I thought Sera penned that one. To me, it was the BEST episode this season, but that's just me!

What I liked most about it was the interactions btw Sam and Lucifer, and I liked the mind game Lucifer was playing w/Sam. I wish the later episodes w/Lucifer had made him as devious and manipulative as he was in HCW. I don't know or understand why they went the "jokey" route w/him.

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Honestly, it does not make much sense to me that Sam's hallucinations were so strong that drugs couldn't shut them off. If Sam just has PTSD, then when Sam sleeps, so would his hallucinations. If the hallucinations are supernatural, I'm still not sure why they'd want to kill Sam (the host) by depriving him of sleep. The sleep issue was forced in order to force an end to Sam's storyline, which is why it feels like a false, fast, ending.

Sam still has not had a proper emotional resolution to his hell story. And not for his hallucinations either, because he wasn't allowed to fully interact with Lucifer (which would have made for better drama than Sam ignoring Lucifer he whole time).


Maybe if they'd wanted a short but sweet coverage for Sam's hellucinations, they could have set up a special episode for it, rather than combining all these different elements in one episode. Give Sam an episode with no other distractions in it. Dean gets those, Bobby gets those, and Castiel gets those. Why is Sam not getting those kinds of episodes to fully explore his character?
Oh, I agree, Blue Steel! I was just remarking that I liked the mind games Lucifer was playing w/Sam in HCW, and how he was determined to make Sam believe he was still in the Cage. To me, that was manipulative and interesting.

I also agree that Sam's story would have been more interesting if he had interacted w/Lucifer. Honestly, I would have gone down a whole other route w/this story as I pointed out to Kaj.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-29 09:27
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I honestly dont know? obviously people will either be satisfied with the fix that Sam got for what ever reason and others will feel that this fix was basically naff .

I wouldnt of minded a fix if there had actually been storytelling in-between episode 1 to last weeks but there wasnt there was no real attempt to treat Sam like a traumatised human being and now it feels like ice cream on a hot day it has just melted away.

I know that there is a belief that Sams hell will still get milage but they werent interested beforehand why would they be interested afterwards? maybe they are right and the show will surprise us but Sam was hunting fine before the wall came down, he has been hunting fine after the wall and he will be hunting fine now so what value was this story supposed to be? It is the potential they had that was never explored they put all their eggs in one basket with the hallucinations and when Mark wasnt available we got nothing except a fleeting hand rub on the rare occasion.

In some aspects last weeks episode had its good points but the ending left a if only feeling.
Sharon, I completely agree w/you! I wouldn't be disappointed in Castiel shifting the hallucinations if I felt a true story for Sam played out on screen. I feel like a slow descent into madness would have been more interesting and entertaining than Sam being perfectly fine for 14 episodes and then suddenly having a quick meltdown.

I honestly think that is why the story didn't have any emotional impact for some of us. We never saw Sam struggle or have problems b/c of the hallucinations. As you said, he's been fine. He will be fine. I honestly don't think the writers would suddenly write him as having issues when he didn't even have issues when he was hallucinating on minute-by-minut e basis. That would make ZERO sense. It would feel like regression.

Sam's story, IMO, was cut off at the knees and then quickly ended. I just can't be satisfied w/the telling of this story or its resolution.

And b/c Sam has not suffered any emotional problems, trauma, or consequences of ANYTHING that has happened to him - he has shrugged it all off - it makes everything completely and utterly pointless! Returning Sam w/o a soul was pointless? Giving Sam a wall to hold back the memories that have no impact on him? Pointless. Dropping the wall? Pointless. Giving him hallucinations. Pointless.

None of it had any impact on the character or the show, rendering it all pointless.

It's such a shame.
Blue Steel
# Blue Steel 2012-03-29 01:59
Honestly, it does not make much sense to me that Sam's hallucinations were so strong that drugs couldn't shut them off. If Sam just has PTSD, then when Sam sleeps, so would his hallucinations. If the hallucinations are supernatural, I'm still not sure why they'd want to kill Sam (the host) by depriving him of sleep. The sleep issue was forced in order to force an end to Sam's storyline, which is why it feels like a false, fast, ending.

Sam still has not had a proper emotional resolution to his hell story. And not for his hallucinations either, because he wasn't allowed to fully interact with Lucifer (which would have made for better drama than Sam ignoring Lucifer he whole time).


Maybe if they'd wanted a short but sweet coverage for Sam's hellucinations, they could have set up a special episode for it, rather than combining all these different elements in one episode. Give Sam an episode with no other distractions in it. Dean gets those, Bobby gets those, and Castiel gets those. Why is Sam not getting those kinds of episodes to fully explore his character?
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-03-29 04:12
I honestly dont know? obviously people will either be satisfied with the fix that Sam got for what ever reason and others will feel that this fix was basically naff .

I wouldnt of minded a fix if there had actually been storytelling in-between episode 1 to last weeks but there wasnt there was no real attempt to treat Sam like a traumatised human being and now it feels like ice cream on a hot day it has just melted away.

I know that there is a belief that Sams hell will still get milage but they werent interested beforehand why would they be interested afterwards? maybe they are right and the show will surprise us but Sam was hunting fine before the wall came down, he has been hunting fine after the wall and he will be hunting fine now so what value was this story supposed to be? It is the potential they had that was never explored they put all their eggs in one basket with the hallucinations and when Mark wasnt available we got nothing except a fleeting hand rub on the rare occasion.

In some aspects last weeks episode had its good points but the ending left a if only feeling.
Mekina
# Mekina 2012-03-27 15:30
I agree so much with everything you just said, Blue Steel!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-03-27 15:39
I have to agree with Blue Steel here. I think the whole point of Born Again Identity was to whitewash Castiel and to give what was rightfully Sam's story to Castiel.

Dean showed little emotion about Sam's condition. He didn't touch Sam. He didn't even check into a nearby hospital. He went to the cabin leaving Sam to die alone in the hospital.

You compare this to Faith. In Faith, Sam was visiting Dean every day. He was making his calls for help where he could be near Dean to support him. When Sam found the healer he brought Dean to him, staying with him constantly. When they discovered that Dean's life had come at the cost of another person, Sam tried to comfort Dean while making it clear that he would not have changed anything. Dean leaves Sam and when he does return with Castiel, Dean makes NO attempt to talk to Sam, to touch Sam, to interact with Sam in any way.

You were satisfied that all we saw were the occasional hand pushes that kept Sam grounded. At the same time we have been treated to continual images of how DEAN is suffering by focusing on his drinking, on his inability to "get back in the game" with women. Sam acted as if NOTHING bad had ever happened to him. Because of this I see no reason to even begin to hope that Sam will ever suffer for his sacrifice. His pain has been taken by Castiel. We will be asked to feel for Castiel for his sacrifice and Sam will, I believe, be ignored again.

We didn't have to see Sam's hallucinations to see him suffering. We could have seen him distracted, or visibly not being certain what was real and what wasn't. During Slash Fiction, Sam discovers that Dean has been selling him a lie about Amy. With stone one being that Dean was real and Lucifer was the hallucination Sam should have had SOME crisis of faith over the fact that Dean could not be trusted as a source of information. In Plucky Pennywhistle, Sam faced nightmares of his childhood come to life. This should have thrown him off balance as real life trauma built on his existing PTSD. But again nothing. Sam has been perfectly stable since 7.02. Sam was allowed to break down for the sole reason of introducing and redeeming Castiel. If the show refused to show Sam's mental torment when he was most tormented, how can we think he will be anything other than perfectly fine from now on.

I'm glad that you enjoyed the resolution to the whole 3 episodes where Sam was visibly affected by his experience. I found this episode to be the final statement by the writers that Sam is completely unimportant as a character in the show. This resolution was painful for me because I no longer see any story available for Sam. Instead we have the beginnings of "poor insane Castiel" and I strongly suspect we will see HIS torment in great detail.
Cindy
# Cindy 2012-03-27 15:55
Please no. I wasn't interested in seeing Sam hallucinate Lucifer, and I certainly wouldn't be interested in seeing Cas go through the exact same thing. I'm ready to move on.

Can the writers please stop rehashing storylines? In a way, last Friday's episode was a rehash of Faith. Faith, which was a much better, engaging and emotionally charged episode. I actually felt for all characters involved. From Dean and Sam, to the PIP.
The kid
# The kid 2012-03-27 16:13
The only common thing I find with Faith is one brother trying to use all means to save the other. But Dean's problem back then had nothing to do with what Sam was going through in TBAI.
As for Sam's hell, I don't think it was explored enough and I think the show moved on too fast... Maybe if we got more glimpses of what he was going through, during the season, I would be ready to move on. But seeing what Sam had been experiencing in ep.2 and then watch him being perfectly fine just by pressing his wound for the next 13 episodes, only to have him collapse and get an instant fix in the last episode it's not convincing to me...
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-27 21:23
Great post, Percy!

Your last paragraph is basically how I feel. Sam is not important to the writers - at least his emotional development isn't. I don't dislike Castiel, but I'm not interested in seeing his hallucinations of Lucifer either.
Ravanne
# Ravanne 2012-03-27 15:57
Add me to the list of those who agree with Blue Steel. For me, this was the worst resolution possible for Sam's storyline this season (what there was of it). When you figure that this is a major focus for one of the two main characters and the whole story was told in around 4 episodes, that's a pretty story statement to how little focus is actually given anything that impacts Sam. And nearly all of Sam's story was told from how it impacts others. We learned early on in the season that it negatively impacted Dean (and Dean's troubles were front and center for nearly all of the season thus far) and in the end, it was used as an excuse to redeem Castiel.

Sam's storyline has been all but non existant for most of this season. Seeing Sam rubbing his hand does not equal Sam actually getting to talk about what was going on with him. And I would be really hard pressed to find much evidence prior to TBAI that Dean was overly concerned about what was going on with Sam. Sam was acknowledging that the hallucinations were there, but so long as he was upright and functioning, Dean showed little real awareness that something was increasingly wrong with his brother. And given how they live in one another's back pockets, it's hard to imagine how he would not be aware.

Sam's suffering was brought about as the result of an enormous sacrifice he had made to save the word. It was his horrific experiences that brought it about, the tortures he suffered at Lucifer's hands for over a century (hell time). But simply transfering that pain to Castiel, it cheapens Sam's sacrifice. And I make no bones about the fact that I deeply resent Sam's sacrifice being ceremoniously transfered to Castiel (so that it can be redeemed through a "sacrifice").
Winifred
# Winifred 2012-03-27 16:05
And Cas will be back in 2 more episodes. Probably to save the day since the boys can't seem to save themselves anymore.
SarahG6
# SarahG6 2012-03-27 16:08
I can't say it better than Blue Steel, Percy, or Ravanne, but I add my voice to theirs. This season SPN has entertained, it is no longer Supernatural. It has catered to very small and very vocal fan group called Destiel. The ratings show the result. We no longer get scare, rock music which is part of Deans personality is gone, and the heart of the show has been gutted. Where are the brothers I came into this for?
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-27 16:14
I'm not sure Sam's problems being purely PTSD, but other than that I totally on board with this analysis. I've seen plenty of signs this season that Sam was having a really hard time and just powering through. Some cases were more obvious than others but I thought Jared did a magnificent job of conveying that at times he was barely holding on. And if every episode dealt with his messed up mind the show would become boring and repetitive.

I wouldn't like to see it fully wrapped up. If anything, now that the problem is more manageable, I'd like to see a moment where Dean helps Sam deal since he is literally the only person who can related. Maybe they could help each other. Before Dean was utterly helpless to help Sam, now perhaps they can share each others burdens.

As far as Dean's hell being dealt with more. I don't think that's true. Dean first said he didn't remember. Then we got red and black flashes (similar to what he got with Sam) then Dean admitted he remembered but refused to talk about it. Finally he confessed to the torturing. I'll admitted that scene by the car when he confessed was heartwrenching. But he wasn't crying about what was done to him but what he had done. That was what he was having the hardest time dealing with. Sam as far as we know has nothing to confess. So he would just be telling what happened to him, which I agree could never be as horrendous as what we imagine (especially on a TV budget or could get past sensors). And I found weary resolve this episode just a gut-wrenching.
The only other part of Dean's hell that was dealt with was that he found out he broke the first seal. And what came from that. But Sam had his own, just as in depth, storyline that season. And in many ways the repercussions from Sam's hell have been since the beginning of season 6. Soulless Sam, aftermath of Soulless Sam, tearing down the wall, etc.
I'll might get accused of being a Dean girl now. But I actually adore them both. (I love Cas too but not as much as the boys or even Bobby) And I can go totally Emo-Kelly to prove it. Now don't make me post the sappy rant I wrote yesterday at 2am. It was pure maudlin angstyness. It's not pretty I warn you so don't make me go there.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-27 16:32
Elle, I think I am pretty much in agreement with you on this. I am not 100% sure I buy the whole transference thing because like you said, the issue is a human one and Death already said the human soul can't be broken up, so Cas being able to take away any part of it...? Well, I just don't know at the moment. But we can't exactly kill Sam, can we? So we gotta do something and this is it for now, but I am waiting. I too think there is more to it.

I also remind myself this is a TV show. There is only so much time and room to expound. This may be the best we can get, though I do think the writers were close to painting themselves in a corner on this one. And I'm still not sure they didn't. ;-)

Blue Steel, I've read many times about how dissed Sam has been, and while I adore Dean, that is never to say I don't want a lot for Sam because you need both of them to make this work. I want both of them there. I like learning more about both of them and seeing how they each develop. I think I sit on the fence when it comes to who gets more play than whom. Still, to me, it would be pretty hard for Dean to acknowledge Sam's pain to the depths that some would like when he's got his own stuff going on.

When I think of a time I feel is comparable to the physical/emotio nal pain Sam and Dean are going through, I know I wasn't caring too much about the hurting person next to me, even if it's a loved one, even if the world were coming to an end. Unless it was one of my children, there would have only been a little room for me to be helpful to others. I already know I can be selfish when I am really really miserable about something and I am sure I am not alone in that. It's rare when something is that bad for me, but it happens. So I project that onto Sam and Dean and I can see how they would not only not want to burden each other too much, but they could come off as not caring too when weighed down by their own issues. And the issues are aplenty for each of them.

But that brings me back to the limits of TV because in my imagination, there is stuff we simply can't see. There are words we can't hear. And when I watch these episodes and rewatch, I think I do see the depth of the care on both their parts. I don't see Dean being favored over Sam. I intentionally watch Sam when Dean is talking or doing something because I think so much is being expressed nonverbally.

Maybe I just choose to simplify this. It just feels like keeping score, like someone else said in a comment on another review. If someone were able to track exactly how much I have given each of my 2 kids and how many times I said I love you to each one and how many times I showed I cared, I know the number will not be even. (Of course that is partly because one kid was around 3 1/2 years longer than the other, but I digress.) Intentional? Never. But man is it tiring trying to keep that perfect balance. And I have tried! Eventually I just said enough is enough and told each one sometimes it's going to be about you, sometimes about the other. That is just life and there is no reason to get jealous because you are two different people with different wants and needs, but you have one set of parents who love and want for you equally. So just enjoy the ride.

If I've learned nothing from my time so far on this site, I have learned that I can't go as deep into the whys of SPN as many others here can, so while something I said here will probably be debated and examples pulled out of just how wrong I am, that's ok. I've decided to occasionally dive into the psychological depths just to see what people are saying, maybe get a new perspective from time to time to add to my own, but generally I'll just be up here on the surface enjoying the ride.

BAI was a great ride.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-03-28 12:46
That is very eloquently put, thank you. I'm not very good at expressing myself when it comes to this wonderful show, I rely on people like you to do it. I'm lazy that way!
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-03-28 13:20
What a wonderful post digyd!

Reading this thread, I thought perhaps we had been infiltrated by TWoP! :-|
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-28 13:34
lol! Bevie! Acronyms! They are going to be the death of me. :D I guess that shows me just how deep I'm NOT. Soooo..TWoP?
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 13:24
Very well put - I agree with your sentiments here exactly.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-28 13:34
Whew. Thanks Sylvie, Bevie and Elle. Good to know I'm not the only one trying to tread water. Come on Friday's episode!
Ruins
# Ruins 2012-03-27 16:50
The hallucinations were a stupid idea to begin with. They weren't about showing Sam's frayed sanity; they were an excuse to keep the charming Mark Pellegrino around. Then when Mark P. inevitably found other work, the writers weren't able to show the main subject of Sam's hallucinations. THAT is the reason we saw so little of Sam's POV this season. The focus on Dean was solely because we COULD NOT see what Sam saw: the necessary actor was not available. Stupid, right? The writers should have planned better.

Sam fans aren't the only ones upset by the situation. Dean fans hate it, too. Because Sam's story was shown so little, they had to compensate by showing Dean's story all the time, and that story was all about Dean making one bad drunken decision after another. That p***ed off all the Dean fans. Then Cas fans aren't even happy because he only showed up this past episode! How bad does a showrunner have to be to alienate all three of the main fan groups? As bad as Sera Gamble, apparently. >:(
Winifred
# Winifred 2012-03-27 17:20
You're absolutely right. Dean girls are pissed too! I was more of a Dean girl before this season but I found myself rolling my eyes at the 100th time Dean questioned why he was a hunter. Because you hunt things and save people. I felt like tuning out Dean's whining and I've never taken my eyes off this amazing character before.

The last straw was when it was revealed that Dean carried a soiled piece of clothing from one anonymous car to the next while traversing the country. I've had it. Gamble's Dean is not my Dean :(
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-03-27 18:17
I agree the hallucinations were a bad idea, however the lack of Mark P could easily have been written around. It was established in 7.02 that Sam hallucinated Lucifer impersonating Dean. Sam could have continued to have hallucinations of Luci!Dean and could have been forced to constantly decide which "Dean" was real. It was a real missed opportunity. It would have given Jensen some very meaty material. It would have kept focus on Sam's emotional issues and it would have made the build up to Sam's breakdown far less abrupt.
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 13:26
I think "missed opportunity" is the right term here, because while I accept and understand the resolution we've been left with, it doesn't mean I wouldn't have wished to see something different. Unfortunately, missed opportunities happen on this show, because it has a lot of balls in the air - sometimes they get dropped.

Alas, we only have what we've been given on screen and I am okay to work with that and fill in the gaps with my imagination.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-27 21:31
Oh, I'm bi-bro, and I absolutely HATED Dean's story this year. It was awful, inexplicable, and left, IMO, unresolved!

As a bi-bro fan, I am unhappy on both fronts! For a long time, I was complaining that Sam's story was non-existent, and Dean's story was poorly told and badly executed!
Cindy
# Cindy 2012-03-28 11:43
As a bi-bro fan, you spend an awful lot of time discussing your issues with Sam's storyline on multiple forums. Do you not have as big an issue with Dean's storyline?
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 12:04
Well, I don't find the Dean environment/thr eads very friendly on Supernatural.tv , which is basically the only other place I post. I used to post on the CW boards, but again, my complaints re: Dean's storyline were not the same as most of the Dean fans there, so I couldn't really voice my concerns.

The CW boards are gone, and I can't complain about Dean's horrible storyline on SN.TV b/c you can't discuss Dean in the Sam threads. Long story short - I haven't found a spot to complain about Dean's storyline this year. And most of the articles here have been about Sam. I just started coming to this forum since the CW boards closed, so I may have missed some articles on Dean.

Basically, I try to stick to the topic of the article/thread/ discussion.

Sam's storyline is a great disappointment to me, and several posters on the CW boards and SN.TV shared my views so I could complain on those boards. Most of the Dean fans I see are upset b/c Dean has no role in the mytharc or they're upset b/c "Sam gets all the kills." That's not my concern w/Dean, so I can't rant about it on those threads.

If it isn't obvious, I couldn't care less about the mytharc. I am far more interested in the emotional aspects of the stories and the characters. The mytharc is secondary to me. I find Dean to be a very fleshed out, emotionally developed character. I feel like I know him well. I don't feel the same about Sam. He is, IMO, in desperate need of more emotional development. So, that is why you'll see me complain more about needing Sam's POV. I get Dean's POV. I don't mind getting Dean's POV. I want his POV. I just want Sam's as well. I don't want Sam standing in the background, saying nothing to no one.

I found Dean's "story" - if you can call it that - this year to be plain awful. It was bad from 7.03 to 7.14. His depression/emo arc to be inexplicable to me. If someone asked me why Dean was depressed and on the brink of suicide again this year, I wouldn't be able to come up w/a reason. I feel like the writers made Dean depressed simply for the sake of doing so and b/c they had no clue what else to do w/him. I also feel there was ZERO resolution to that arc. Last season, Dean was supposed to discover his love for hunting again, but they stuck him w/Lisa who only made him feel worse about himself. I won't even begin to recount my displeasure w/the inclusion of Lisa back at the end of that episode in Season 5. I hated the setup for Dean in Season 6 and complained about it thoroughly.

FF to Season 7, and Dean still hates hunting. To me, this show really doesn't work if the characters don't love what they do. Dean is like 33 years old. If he hates hunting, change your life. I can only have so much sympathy for him at a certain point. Bobby sucked it up. Sam sucked it up. After three seasons of sadness, I hate to say it, "But, suck it up, Dean!"

The writers can't keep reaching in the "Dean's sad" bag for stories! It's ridiculous at this point.

So, yes, I am upset w/Dean's storyline. I'm more upset about the wasted potential w/Sam's this year, but I'm not happy w/Dean's story either.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-28 17:07
@lala 2 I think they're just actually dealing with Dean's problems this season. In season 4, he was told he was brought back to save the world. He HAD purpose -until he found out he broke the 1st seal. The 5th season he was trying stop Lucifer and didn't think he would survive but long for another life. The 6th season, he had tried/was trying the other life but got pulled out by Sam's return. Then when Ben and Lisa got kidnapped I think he decided he could never get out. But I do think he still yearns for something outside of hunting especially since he just keeps losing everyone and everything he cares about because of the job.

Sam's problems have just been hanging over his head. He's not fully sure he can trust/depend on Sam because of the hallucinations and that is the person he counts on the most and now the only person he has left. I don't think it is something that can be wrapped in one episode either. I do think we will get a resolution of some kind to this storyline this season. Hope against hope it loops into Sam's.

I have thought about this a lot and I think the writers are playing with the idea of the brother's codependency this season. I have yet to figure out if they are thinking it is a bad thing and therefore working towards at level of independence. Or if they are going to have both brothers not only embrace being hunters again, but also have them accept that some level of dependency is natural for them -given their lives. Or some third option I haven't considered.
The more I think about it the more I think they need to need each. Dean's always seems at his happiest when he can help "fix" Sam. (that why this season has been so hard on him -there was nothing he could do to help). It is an integral part of his character. He really isn't DEAN without that. He needs to help.
Sam needs Dean to pull/push/hit him out of his reserve. He has to be forced to not be so controlled all the time. He has depended on that control to get through the last 7 years(when the control slipped after Dean's death with Ruby the consequences were devastating), but its got to be doing a lot of internal damage.
And I HAVE seen signs of cracks IN the past season with wall coming down. He been restless, agitated, uncharacteristi cally anxious, even completely desperate at moments. But he's used his control to not react regardless of what he was seeing (like when Bobby was stabbed through the chest when talking to him in 7.2 or when people were banging their heads on the table).
I think he feels like a burden to Dean and knows that his hallucinations freaked him and Bobby out. He also knows Dean been apathetic and depressed and knew his impending death would be the nail in Dean's coffin. So Sam has been holding on by his fingernails and putting on a front (concentrating on the job obviously helps him). I still think maybe when he took off after Slash Fiction and on the Vegas trip that he felt he was losing it so took off to get control. He's been telling Dean to take care of himself. And only letting Dean know enough so the end (as Sam saw it) wouldn't come as a total shock. "We knew this was coming Dean."
But I'm hoping now that his crazy is at a more manageable level Dean will start pushing him to actually Deal with stuff, instead of just holding on. And this will in turn help Dean feel more like the old Dean.
Gwen
# Gwen 2012-03-27 18:36
The solution to Sam's problem definitely did not work for me.

I can't say it better than Blue Steel, Percysowner, Ravanne and pentadactyl so I'd just like to add my absolute 100% agreement to all their posts here.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-27 19:11
I know I’ll be going against the status quo with this which never ends well but ah well! First things first, I don’t see things from Dean’s sole perspective. I actively try not to. Most of my past comments have been while trying to see things from Sam’s POV but this time I’m trying to see it from the POV of what the show needs, not what the characters need (as I’m assuming Elle was doing).

In relation to what shown on screen re Sam’s hell, they showed plenty. If (some) viewers forgot or felt they weren’t reminded enough that Sam was in hell, well, that’s on the viewers. The show actually showed a lot more than they showed about Dean’s hell and they alluded to Sam’s hell many times. Sam acknowledged, more than once, that Lucifer was there 24/7 so what would people like to have seen to make that aspect acceptable? Would people like to have seen what Lucifer was doing there 24/7? Great for some fans sure, but what about the other characters, what about the show, what about the stories? Stairway to Heaven is over eight minutes long. If they were to play it fifty times in a row that would be rest of the season gone. Thanks but no thanks. Add to that, if the CW was to show the graphic details of Sam’s hell then they’d need to air the episode at about 3am. Again, a non-runner.

Sam’s hell had to be treated in such a way that he could continue hunting but at the same time felt Lucifer's presence. He could have continued as he was at the start of the season but the storyline needed closure at some stage. Lucifer had to go at some stage.

Would that storyline have been better if it had been the focus of the first half of the season? Yep, I think so, but there would have been disadvantages to that too. Sams decline to full blown psychosis would have been too quick to have any real weight. And we did see that decline. Alice covered it very well in her article www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/archive-articles/6-episode-reviews/16837-alices-review-qthe-slice-girlsq-aka-dean-is-okay-and-sam-is-not.html where she highlighted that, despite the ‘All my crazy is under one roof’ mentality from Sam, he was in dire trouble.

We saw Sam’s tentative hold on reality in Death’s Door and in Adventures in Babysitting when in the first ‘week’ he was rubbing his scar pretty consistently and again when Sam refused to even entertain the idea that Bobby could be a ghost.

From a progression of storyline point of view, there is only so much they could have gotten out of the hallucinations before they would have started getting stale and losing their impact. We saw the chains and meathooks, we saw Lucifer play Dean, we saw Lucifer create horrid hallucinations of people killing themselves, we saw Lucifer ebb away at Sam’s sanity and finally we saw, as Sam saw, Lucifer everywhere and in everyone. That’s a whole lot of Lucifer and his actions. And, as Sam acknowledged, this was happening 24/7 but we, as viewers, could not see it 24/7. I’m sorry, but we couldn’t. We saw Sam space out once but just because we only saw it once doesn’t mean it only happened once. I don’t think we’ve ever actually seen Sam use the toilet. Are we to assume that he doesn’t?

There were constant subtle reminders in many of the episodes, especially in the second half of the season, from 7.03 onwards. We saw him press his hand when things got too much ie in Death’s Door. Should all the scenes with a handpress be accompanied by an hallucination? Jeez, what a way to throw off the momentum of an episode. ‘We’ll be back with Bobby’s dying moments once we have this brief interlude of Lucifer playing the fiddle in Sam’s ear’.

Sam’s decline was gradual but evident. It had to be. Tension had to be built so start with a little hallucination then work your way up to full blown psychosis. Was this put on hold for too long? Possibly, but for me, that Sam could keep Lucifer at bay for so long by sheer strength of will and love and concern for his brother was an amazing tribute to Sam. I’ve read buttloads about how ‘lucky’ Sam was or how he worked with supernaturals or was ‘high’ or dependent too much on other people if he did something positive. Many viewers out there refuse to give Sam credit for the inner strength that he has. With this episode, Sam’s strength and resolve cannot be refuted. And the funny thing is, in the end, it wasn’t Lucifer who beat him, it wasn’t some weapon or some supernatural, it was (ironically enough considering Soulless Sam) the most simple thing that got him in the end, sleep. Lucifer couldn’t beat Sam with the possession, or the torture, or the hallucinations, or the killing or impersonating family members, he had to resort to the one thing, maybe the only thing, that could beat Sam.

Even when Lucifer was in his head 24/7, he didn’t best Sam. Sam held back Lucifer himself, no wall, no drugs, no supernatural means, just strength of character. That, for me, is an amazing tribute to the character of Sam and I loved seeing it.

Just some minor details in relation to the lack of brotherly moments in this episode. While it would have been great to see them, the circumstances of the episode made it difficult for that to happen. In Faith, Sam had full access to Dean and so could make the calls from Dean’s room. Sam was in a locked psychiatric unit that Dean had little or no access to. He needed the doctor to go with him the first time. He could not wander in willy nilly and make phone calls from Sam’s bedside. If he could have, I’m sure he would have. He also could not bring Sam to the faith healer, so he had to bring the faith healer to Sam.

In the third to last scene, when Dean and Castiel were talking and Sam was on the bed, the question was raised as to why Dean did not go to Sam then? Apart from the fact that we needed an intro to Castiel’s plan, Sam was seeing Lucifer everywhere and in everyone at that stage so if Dean went to give Sam a hug or whatever, it would not have been Dean that Sam was seeing, it would have been Lucifer. I dare say Dean cared about his brother a little too much to inflict that on him.

The final thing... We are, at the moment, only four days past 7.17. We haven’t even seen the next episode yet. The long term effects of Dean’s hell might only be making it onto screen now but we were given reminders of it throughout the seasons so why the assumption that the same thing will not happen with Sam?
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-03-28 00:08
I totally agree with you.... You've made some wonderful points that need to be considered by all.
Beverly
# Beverly 2012-03-28 00:39
Quote:
I don’t think we’ve ever actually seen Sam use the toilet. Are we to assume that he doesn’t?
LOL moment - thanks Tim.

I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately, the feelings over these issues run high whichever way you feel so I think we are getting to the point where the fandom is going to have to realize that we are going to agree to disagree about these points. Luckily only three more days until the next episode and we will have different topics to discuss.
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-28 05:45
Tim, Yes I agree with you here. because i am a kind of person who loves seeing what's implicitly between the lines. I personally love this season. Right from episode 1 to episode 17. Only ONE thing that bothers me, but you already know that. :)

I just don't know with others but to me there are signs everywhere subtle and otherwise about Sam's descend to madness. Throughout the season Sam is behaving unlike Sam. Even Dean said "I get it, you're new Sam"

Sam's previous problem that dragged him down to darkness is anger. Bobby said "You're not exactly Mr. anger management, Sam" Lucifer uses Sam's anger to get to him. "OOh, so much anger. Lucifer would love that" In the end, Swan Song, instead of anger, Sam used love to defeat the devil's possession. Sam's love towards his brother, Dean.

In this season we see Lucifer loves to taunt Sam with violence and anger. "Hit her Sam! make her talk" I can understand if Sam thinks the way to defeat Luci is by doing the opposite of his previous emotion. The opposite of anger/revenge. The emotion that dragged him to darkness before. I kinda get it when Dean said "Get pissed, Sam" but Sam refuses. because there's no point for anger anymore. It'll just be a fuel for Luci.

About the lack of brotherly interaction ... hmmm me too want more of that. In season 1 and 2 The brothers touch each other freely. Comfort each other freely. :( Why can't i have that this season? hiks :'(
But seeing Luci 24/7 may hinder that. "Oh, he wanna hold your wittle hand" or this "AAh you guys are having a moment" . Just imagine all of that taunt about the brotherly moment every times they attempt that. Luci is just jealous. :) :)

Quote:
that Sam could keep Lucifer at bay for so long by sheer strength of will and love and concern for his brother was an amazing tribute to Sam.
I love it! This, this is the main reason why I watch this show. Ever since 7.02 I keep thinking that Sam manages to stay vertical and moving because his big brother told him so. ".. make it stone number 1. Believe me, you gotta believe in me.." oh, boys..*wibbles*

So, yes Tim the Enchanter. There are signs. Lots of them in fact that can guide us to understand this season. If the problem is why Dean don't go to Sam at the hospital scene, or if he seems to not care of Sam, I think he cares. Dean is just not one for chick flick moments. It'll be out of character for him and Jensen would be just mad and rewrite the episode, instead. hahahaha...

It's always Sam who initiates contact if i remember correctly, rarely Dean. Except when Sam is in danger. And maybe because Sam is somewhat wary of touching Dean this season, due to Luci problem? And Dean kinda picked up on that. BUT I STILL WANT ITTTT!!!...... Pleaseeeeeeee
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-03-28 09:02
Interesting comments all around, at least with respect to expressing the feelings of the fans.

Personally, I think and was very thankful for a wrap-up (I'm hoping) to Sam's hellpain. Whether a fan thinks it was handled well or not, it was a story that no one was going to be happy with. If it had played out throughout the season, it would have bored me to death. As the article said, how many times do I want to see Mark P. making not-funny, snide comments to Sam or see fire in Sam's eyes. Not only that, Sam's story has (or had) nothing to do with the mytharc. I'm glad it is over.

As far as POV is concerned, Sam's problems were seen from Sam's POV in this episode, not Dean's (i.e., that's why Dean did not go to Sam -- he was seeing only Lucifer). There were really two different stories being told in this one episode, so the distance between the brothers was a matter of the stories not melding.

You, Tim the Enchanter, said it better than I would have. My thought is that I am just glad that story is over with -- at least I'm hoping never to see Sam's hellpain again. I never like it.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-28 09:56
Quote:
You, Tim the Enchanter, said it better than I would have. My thought is that I am just glad that story is over with -- at least I'm hoping never to see Sam's hellpain again. I never like it.
Don’t get me wrong, Ginger, I’m not glad that storyline is over with. I find Sam an absolutely fascinating character, and truthfully, I’d have loved to have seen more of the storyline but I don’t feel cheated by what we got.

I’m a big fan of quality over quantity and I felt that the quality that we got in relation to Sam and his hell was immense. Could we have seen more? Of course, but I’m not going to get my knickers in a knot over not seeing it. There is always the fear that if we saw Sam talking to himself etc very regularly then it would dilute down the impact of what we got, when we got it.

Looking back on the storyline now, I can appreciate that while Sam’s storyline for the season was approached very subtly, it was no less devastating because of it, and I’m glad that the season had it. Season 7 hasn’t thrilled me. The Leviathan’s story doesn’t overly bother me because, as a TV viewer, I know the Winchesters will triumph. I also know they can’t kill Sam and Dean, so they’ve already done their worst by killing Bobby. Castiel’s story only interests me in relation to how it is used to progress the boys. I don’t really feel the need for another ‘The Man Who Would Be King’. And truth be told again, I’m not overly enamoured with Dean and his storyline this season. I find his storyline dull and monotonous and I feel that the character and the actor are deserving of far better.

To me, Sam and his storyline have been the standout, (‘Maybe the only standout’ says she in a cynical moment...) of the season, so I’m going to try and appreciate that.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-03-28 16:43
I can appreciate your view, yet I am just the opposite. I did not like Sam's storyline because I don't see that it in any way allows character growth for Sam and that is my biggest problem with Sam's character. There are always problems, but his character does not seem to learn from those problems.

I did think the transferring was the best possible solution for solving a storyline that couldn't go anywhere else if Sam is to be a believable hunter and a storyline that was in no way connected to the mytharc. The only thing that would have made it better, IMO, is instead of Cas shrinking back from Luci and being in a catatonic state is if Cas would have told Luci to go screw himself. He didn't have any trouble standing up to his brother in his previous encounters with him.

I am interested to see what Sam does now...help is crazy brother, I hope.

I can't speak to Dean's story at this point, because I don't know where they are going with it. It may well be that it goes nowhere beyond what has already been done, or they could do something dramatic, or it could be that finding Cas and making up with his BFF is all there is. We just don't know yet. What I do know is that they have teased all season that something is 'off' about Dean -- his drinking, the mysterious moving objects, the Levi particularly targeting Dean and not Sam, his weird interactions with Frank (while Sam had none). As a fan, I do expect some of what has been pounded on in every episode to be addressed -- doesn't mean that it will be, though.

It may be that I have an empathy problem, since I don't care for the direction SG has chosen since becoming showrunner. I would much prefer that the personal problems (Dean's domestication, Sam's learning that it is the soul that makes him human, not the demon blood, Sam's mental illness and Dean's depression (both very human mental health problems) be put aside. I would rather get back to more drama, more action, more mean supernatural beings, and less dark romantic drama. I would also prefer that the show get back to the characters driving the plot and not the plot driving the characters.

(The truth be told, I'm really up for some slaughtering, shooting, and the boys outsmarting the bad guys.)

Despite everything that I find wrong with this season, I still think SPN is the best show on TV, and there will be S8 renewal prayer circles Sunday evening.
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 13:32
Agree with you 100% here, Tim. You're well spoken and articulated as usual! There are things that have to happen off screen for the constraints of storytelling, etc. For me, as I said in the article, when I reconsider the Sam story from this perspective I think it got a decent amount of time and the fall into full blown mental break was staggered fairly well, over all.
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-03-28 13:41
What a refreshing post Tim. Completely agree with you as to the way the scenes were presented. After all, we only get access to about 45 minutes out of 7 days regarding what goes on in the boys' lives. As much as I'd like a 24 hour episode, it is not to be. We have to see between the lines, so to speak. Then, perhaps we all could be satisfied.

This is how it is. Sam and Dean love each other unconditionally and completely. Co-dependant and unhealthy as that is. And that is why I LOVE this show!
Dean went to HELL to save his brother. What more could he do to prove his love? Cas was a friend. A friend like Dean had never had before. His betrayal was brutal to Dean. But keeping his coat and remembering him in no way takes away from Sam. Sammy will always be the most important person in Dean's life. He can't help it. He's been brother, father and mother to him since he was four. Why does it have to be Sam vs. Cas for some fans? It's not a prize fight!

Peace people! 8)
Blue Steel
# Blue Steel 2012-03-28 16:23
I think the sadness over Dean keeping Castiel's coat and taking it with him everywhere, in different car trunks, comes from Dean throwing out the amulet Sam gave him when they were children. And Dean threw it out to hurt Sam when he did it in season 5. That's why I can never like the Dean that was in DSOTM ever. He was petty and mean to Sam in that episode, and never saw anything from Sam's POV. It was all about Dean being hurt and not seeing how or why Sam did what he did, or what Sam wanted or needed growing up. Sam saw Dean and understood Dean, but it didn't go both ways. And I still don't think it goes both ways on this show.

If your best friend attacked your brother or sister, and then went missing, would you really take their coat with you everywhere? If your family nearly died more than once because of this person's actions? This is why it's a disturbing symbol of who Dean is right now on the show. I don't think the real Dean would keep that coat with him and take it everywhere. Let alone sappily handing it over to Castiel once he angeled up.

I sometimes enjoy Castiel and I sometimes hate Castiel. I've never cared much about Castiel overall on the show. He is neither here nor there to me as a viewer. I care as much about Castiel as I do about Frank or Garth, which means, not much at all. I realize he is loved by many viewers but he is also not loved by many viewers. It's just the way things are. To me, Castiel is like a flying magic robot and he mainly leads to Sam and Dean standing around and not doing anything proactive, because they don't have to when he's there. When your lead characters are left gawking over doing, then it hurts the show as a whole. So, it's not Sam vs Cas for me, but me being sick of angel politics and silly daddy issues and lack of any kind of powers consistency for Castiel on the show (they change their level nearly every episode he's in). I don't believe that Dean and Castiel have a good friendship compared to many friendships I've seen on other shows, but they are treated like they have a great one anyway. I'm just not emotionally responsive to this stuff taking up space on my favorite tv show.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-28 16:46
Honestly, Blue Steel? My best friends feel very much like the sisters I don't have and I really don't know how I'd feel if one of them attacked my brother then went missing. I suspect I would feel caught in the middle and torn between my devotion to both sides. But I may be like Dean. It takes a lot to make me dismiss someone I love. I am super loyal once I decide I love someone, be it friend or blood relatives. Family doesn't stop at blood after all and that's certainly true in my life. I really don't think the answer to that question is a simple one - for people like me anyway.

Tonight I am going to rewatch DSOTM, which is one of my favorite eps. Right now I running through what I can recall and that darn amulet - I missed something. Every time I see him toss that all I see is a loss of faith on Dean's side. I'll have to see if I think he aimed that at Sam at all. But after countless viewings, I've always thought the same thing. And yeah, Dean was a big (adorable) pouty baby when it came to Sam's memories, but shoot. What can you expect? To this day he is STILL learning they aren't conjoined twins and they can have separate lives and still be loyal to each other. Isn't that one of his issues after all? I can't be mad at him for that. He'll find that balance one of these days.
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 16:55
Like you, digyd, I view that whole amulet thing as a loss of faith on Dean's part, rather than a slap in Sam's face.

I can appreciate DSoTM from both brother's perspectives: some of Sam's happiest memories were when he got to do "normal" things and a number of those just happened to be away from Dean...and therefore away from John. Kids do things for the immediacy of the payoff of doing them (freedom feelings, for example) but they don't consider the effect on those around them.

For Dean's POV, I totally understand where he was coming from being hurt: he lived for Sam and it must've stung. Kind of like telling your mother who worked all the time to feed you that you wish she'd played with you more and you had more fun with your BFF's mom as a child. That'd sting.

By the end of DSoTM the one thing Dean had faith in, his relationship with Sam, was a bit shaken and combined with EVERYTHING ELSE (i.e. no God etc) I can understand throwing the amulet out as the desolate act of a crushed man.

Yes, he needs to find the balance. He's come a long way from DSoTM if you ask me!
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-03-28 17:04
DSOTM was what it was and Dean throwing the amulet can be interpreted any way depending on how people see that episode and what happened in it .Personally I detest that episode what it represented and what happened at the end but that is how I feel .
I dont really care if that amulet ever makes a reappearance the meaning is long gone but Dean keeping that coat was just weird .
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 17:37
That episode was crap. Dean was written like a punk! I hate DSOTM.

That episode made me want to slap Dean silly for being an ass! The amulet has been forever ruined. I couldn't care less if it makes a reappearance. Dean threw the "brotherhood" away when he dropped it in the trash! Plus, it's been two years. Why would it resurface now? If it was going to come back, it should have been after Sam jumped in the hole. Dean could have found it in Sam's things!
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-28 17:57
@ digyd and elle I definitely have to disagree with you on this one. Well partly. I do think throwing away the amulet represents Dean's loss of faith in everything. He also did it to deliberately hurt Sam. He knew Sam was watching him. He paused over the trashcan. Let it hang there for a moment and then let it drop. You could tell by Sam's face he was devastated. To Cas the amulet represented God and his loss of faith. Dean didn't hold on to that amulet for years because of God. (He barely if ever believed in God-it was the last hope of a desperate man.) He held on to the amulet because it represented Sam. And when he dropped it in the trash he did it to hurt Sam. It fit in exactly where Dean's head was a that moment. (The next epi he decides to say yes) Don't get me wrong. I loved that episode. Total angsty goodness. And I don't need for my beloved character to be perfect and many suicidal people lash out at those they love and get rid of beloved items. But there is no doubt to me IT WAS A DICK MOVE.
He was in a different head space when he thought Cas was dead. It does still bother me a little that the writers brought back the coat and not the amulet. But that was under Kripke and he wanted the amulet gone. So without a purpose for bringing it back it would be hard to do after this long of a period. So I get but I don't really like it.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-28 18:17
So Dean - the man who was not affected when Gluttony came to town because he has a habit of following his basest instincts and goes after just about anything he sees and wants - was a jerk to his little brother by throwing away the amulet because he was being a petulant child? And this is NOT normal for Dean? Sorry. He's a live-in-the-mom ent guy for me and in that moment, he was impulsive. Not surprising.

I'm not surprised he held on to the coat and wouldn't have been surprised if he had thrown it away. Both are logical to me. People do all kinds of stuff in their grief and anger. Was I surprised he tossed the necklace? Yep. Again, people do all sorts of things in their grief and anger. Dean's emotions are generally on the surface and he goes with that flow. It was a bad move no matter how you look at it, but he's tragically flawed and it's all part of what makes him the interesting character he is.
Beverly
# Beverly 2012-03-28 19:05
I guess I don't understand why people are upset that Dean held onto the jacket and keep comparing it to when he threw the amulet away. There is another scene with the amulet that resembles the jacket more and that is after Dean came back from Hell, Sam returned it to him. Dean is running around with Bobby's flask and even went out of his way to retrieve it when he left it behind. So all those who have issues that Dean held onto the jacket of a dead guy, had issues with Sam holding onto the necklace of his dead brother? Or that Dean is attached to the flask? If not, then there is no water to their arguments.

I guess what also confuses me is the surprise people are showing that he kept the jacket. When Dean lifted out of the water, you could tell at that moment he was treating it with a kind of respect. They had no physical body to mourn so all his convoluted emotions for Cas was tied to that one piece of material. And he was supposed to do what with it? Throw it away? Bury it?

Yes, he threw the amulet away, but I am POSITIVE that no matter how disgruntled he was about God not caring, if Sam had been dead (and he wasn't he was standing beside his brother at the time) he would not have thrown it away because of the ties it had to Sam. At that time, he had no idea that Sam was going to go to Hell. Neither boy is good for thinking of the future - the best they did was when Sam when to college for law. Since then, they have been in reaction mode only concerned about worrying about the future once things settle down. :-) Like that is every going to happen with these two.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 19:36
I don't care that Dean kept the jacket. I think it is highly unbelieveable that he has been transferring that jacket from trunk to trunk. I just don't believe he'd do that. Why would he do that when he could just keep it w/the Impala, which is probably at Bobby's cabin or someplace safe.

Plus, as someone else said, it's bloody and moldy and gross. Who would keep that in that condition? If he had washed or dry cleaned it - fine, but that thing was just nasty.
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-29 01:55
[/quoteQuote:
I don't care that Dean kept the jacket. I think it is highly unbelieveable that he has been transferring that jacket from trunk to trunk. I just don't believe he'd do that. Why would he do that when he could just keep it w/the Impala, which is probably at Bobby's cabin or someplace safe.

Plus, as someone else said, it's bloody and moldy and gross. Who would keep that in that condition? If he had washed or dry cleaned it - fine, but that thing was just nasty.
Lala, it would be worse if Dean cleaned it. :D What? He couldn't picked up Sam's amulet but he dry cleaned the trench coat. What rubbish!

I hate it that they decide to throw away the Amulet. I want it back! I read your comment below and want to add. How about what happen is like this. (I do this a lot, don’t I? I have waaaaay to much imagination :P) If Sam picked up the Amulet he would’ve wear it. Or he kept the thing in a save place and wore it just before he said yes to Lucifer because he wanted to have a reminder of his brother. Then, he jumped into hell brought the Amulet with him. Either it was gone in Hell (Luci maybe took it?) or Sam still wore it when Cas raised him up soulless. Since Sam was soulless he thought the Amulet was useless and hindered him in a hunt and threw it away. (Souless Sam definitely thought family ties are useless)

I believe Sam said he woke up at the graveyard souless and naked. So if he wore the Amulet before, it would've probably been gone in Hell.

So, in conclusion, no matter the path we took the Amulet would stay gone. The only plot that I can think of is Sam keeps it save somewhere, in a deposit box or a safe, maybe? But it’s too unlikely given Sam’s character. He would want to be close to it, I’m sure. Of course with a decent writer this plot could be well executed.


Now, onto the trench coat. I have a sneaking suspicion on the intention of this scene. Maybe Dean wants to have a closure with the coat. He is still not sure how to deal with Cas (mixed feelings and all) so he at least giving Cas and himself a closure so he can address it at another time since right that time he was too worried over Sam’s condition that he could not process the “Cas problem”, yet. Not just yet.

I am the fans of both boys and love mostly on their love and dedication to each other. I really hate the trench coat scene. Having Dean moving the thing from car to car is hilarious and bordering ridiculous. Overall I love the episode but that scene made me grit my teeth. Okay, Jensen said Dean has a mixed feeling about Cas’ return but that doesn’t mean Dean is confounded, right. Oh, I don’t blame Jensen he just relaying what the writer has written. It’ll be better IMO if Dean kept the coat in Bobby’s house (but wait, it got torched), or keep it in the Impala’s trunk (more believable) and it stayed with her in a garage somewhere. Then, he could just tell Cas to take his coat back from where he stashed the Impala. Or, at the end of the episode where Dean is shown fetching back the Coat and sending it to Cas in the hospital. Doesn’t have to be the same day.
Maybe the writers just want to have a closure on that story line. It’s not possible to talk to Cas after that scene because Sam is now seeing Hallucifer too. But if they put the trench coat scene at the end, IMO it’ll bring more impact on emotional level and still be in character.

Here I am demanding the same treatment being shown to the Amulet. ? If they can write about Dean carrying around a bloody trench coat then they HAVE to write Sam keeping the Amulet.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-29 04:28
I'm sorry. My mind went fuzzy at "naked and soulless". All I could think of was that workout scene and then.....Oops there it went again. Soulless or not he looked gooood. "naked and soulless" mmmm. Ok I'm going to bed. TO SLEEP. Jeez.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-29 09:48
Quote:
Lala, it would be worse if Dean cleaned it. :D What? He couldn't picked up Sam's amulet but he dry cleaned the trench coat. What rubbish!
:D You are right. I didn't think about that!

I think Castiel is very closely related to that trench coat, and that's why the writers wanted to show Dean giving it back to him.

I'm not sure how I feel about Dean keeping it. I understood why he picked it up, but I guess I'm just thinking about myself and how I would probably toss it out. In any event, I don't think he would transfer it from car to car. That's just weird.

My thoughts re: the amulet were always that Sam picked it up and just stashed it w/his stuff. I never thought he wore it or anything, but I imagined him picking it out of the trash and just putting it in his bag. I thought Dean would have surely found it in Sam's belongings after Sam "died." A scene w/Dean finding it could have played at the end of the SS in btw Dean showing up at Lisa's and Sam standing near the light post.

I feel it's a little too late to have the amulet resurface. If Dean were leaving Sam in the insane asylum (and Sam wasn't dying), I could have envisioned Dean putting it back around Sam's neck and saying to his "crazy" brother, "I found this in your stuff a long time ago. I can't believe you picked it up when I tossed it away. Thanks. I want you to wear it for now. I'll find a way to help you, Sammy." I don't know . . . something sentimental like that.

I doubt we'll see it again though.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-28 19:51
@Bev I agree he would have never thrown away the amulet if Sam was dead or he'd known he was about to die. But my connection between the two items is that it was a pretty sentimental move. Giving back the coat. I always assumed it didn't happen with the amulet because to was TOO sentimental and now they go there with the coat. But again Kripke was in charge during season 5 and perhaps it was too sappy for him. Or maybe I like said previously it's that Gamble didn't see it as being sentimental maybe she saw it as something to reunite Cas with Cas, not a symbol of his friendship with Dean. I have to admit though I think Dean would have left it in the Impala. But I totally OK with them being sweet and nostalgic but if they are going to go there. I WANT IT WITH THE AMULET TOO. Sorry having a tantrum moment. There better.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 20:20
Kelly, I don't think we'll see the amulet again. It's been two years. I think it's gone forever. I always assumed Sam picked it up, but I guess he left it in the trash.

I don't think the writers understood or care about the significance the amulet had with the audience. If they did, it would have likely resurfaced in Sam's belongings when Sam jumped in the pit.
Beverly
# Beverly 2012-03-28 20:58
Just throwing this out there - it would not have been in his stuff after he jumped in the pit, if he was wearing it under his shirt. That is how he was wearing it when he was wearing it while Dean was in hell. And if he took it from the trash after Dean threw it away, he would want to make sure Dean did not see it accidentally and get mad at him so wearing it would be the best way to do that. :-) Not that I'm trying to give you false hope or anything - I have just learned not to count Supernatural writers out - several times when I expect them going one way they have a way of surprising me - rainbows out of unicorns, for instance.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-28 21:28
I like that! or that he hid it in the Impala. Yeah I they surprise me all the time too. That's why I love the show. I have watched WAY too much TV over the years and read too many booksl So can usually tell exactly where a storyline is going. But with SPN I think they are going one way and they make a sharp left and when I think back it seems so right. LOVE THAT!
Blue Steel
# Blue Steel 2012-03-29 01:24
The problem with the jacket is that Dean getting sentimental over the mass murdering monster who very nearly cost Sam his life and most certainly had cost Sam his sanity and well being, is really kind of horrible.

If Dean is that sentimental over Castiel, then why did he kill Amy, who Sam let slip away? It makes Dean look hypocritical in the extreme. He kills Sam's friend but wants to keep his own? That's so unfair to Sam.

Amy was a small fish, whether she needed killing or not. Castiel murdered thousands of people, even if you take out hurting Sam and bleeding out a virgin and Dr. Visiak. But Amy gets killed and Castiel gets his murky coat thrown in front of Sam's face every time he opens a car trunk.
Winifred
# Winifred 2012-03-29 02:20
Quote:
The problem with the jacket is that Dean getting sentimental over the mass murdering monster who very nearly cost Sam his life and most certainly had cost Sam his sanity and well being, is really kind of horrible.

If Dean is that sentimental over Castiel, then why did he kill Amy, who Sam let slip away? It makes Dean look hypocritical in the extreme. He kills Sam's friend but wants to keep his own? That's so unfair to Sam.

Amy was a small fish, whether she needed killing or not. Castiel murdered thousands of people, even if you take out hurting Sam and bleeding out a virgin and Dr. Visiak. But Amy gets killed and Castiel gets his murky coat thrown in front of Sam's face every time he opens a car trunk.

Thank you Blue Steel! Why did Dean hold on to something that you should have been tied to bad memories. It's vile and repulsive. I'm so disappointed in Dean this season :(
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-29 15:05
No matter what excuses I hear, Dean keeping the trenchcoat while he trashed the Amulet was a betrayal to the brotherly relationship and to long time fans who place that relationship above all. But I agree with others that now is too late. The right move would have been Dean finding it among Sam's belongings after the events in Swan Song. It would, but didn't. Now it's gone.

I hope the showrunners are happy with the ratings, BTW. They've been asking for that.
elle
# elle 2012-03-29 16:15
Everyone is very eager to point out that Cas did break the wall in Sam's head, but lest we forget he is also the one who raised Sam from Hell.

I think the boys were of the view that by the time Cas went on his killing spree, in the beginning of season 7, he was already pretty far gone with the Leviathan infection, etc. I'm not excusing what he did but it seems this is the approach the boys have taken. So, yes he killed people but I don't believe for a second that it was a slap at Sam every time he opened the trunk and saw the coat there. Sam was encouraging Dean to try and pull Cas back from the abyss at the beginning of the season. That doesn't sound like someone holding a bitter grudge. Furthermore, Cas didn't just hurt Sam, he hurt Dean as well. So in theory they could both hold a grudge.

Also, I think the Amy thing and Cas are on two different levels. Amy was going to kill again, Cas (uninfected now) isn't viewed with that same level of risk. It seems highly unlikely that he is going to go out, reopen purgatory again, go on a power trip and slaughter people a second time.

I wonder if Bobby turned evil for some reason and tried to kill the brothers before he died, committed untold horrors against others in the world, would that negate the relationship he had with Sam and Dean prior to those actions? In that case, would it be unacceptable to keep a memento of someone who meant a lot to the boys because in the end he went dark? And no, I'm not saying the relationship with the boys and Bobby is of the same level or depth as it is with Cas, but Cas and the brothers have history and were friends.

We don't know what Sam did during that year he was souless, but he wasn't running around rescuing puppies and chasing butterflies. He also put Dean's life at risk by allowing him to turn into a vampire. But these actions weren't really Sam, so he is forgiven and allowed to move forward seeking redemption. Dean committed unspeakable horrors during his time as Hell's chief torturer, but again he is forgiven and allowed to redeem himself because they were actions born of very specific circumstances and unlikely to be repeated. Castiel did show remorse for what he did in this episode. Actions can't be taken back, but that isn't to say someone can't work toward being better and trying to make up for those actions, even if it might take until kingdom come for that to happen.

I guess what I'm saying here is that the main cast are hardly all innocent but that doesn't mean they should be unceremoniously dismissed.

Secondly, I find drawing a paralell between the amulet and the coat is flawed - they are two entirely different things that represented different relationships at different times. In fact, the amulet was not Sam's amulet, it was Dean's. So yes, he threw it out and yes it was sad to see it go and we'll have to agree to disagree about the meaning of throwing it out in DSoTM because that can be debated until the cows come home.

Cas' coat on the other hand, has now been returned to Castiel. It represented, at least in my opinion, a faint hope that somehow Castiel wasn't really dead. Dean was still working through the grieving process on this one (maybe Sam was too). He started to grieve the loss of Cas even before Cas had died because he'd already lost his friend by this point.

Anyways, this is all my opinion of course and I could be wrong but from an emotional stand point - just because you are betrayed by someone it doesn't erase the history between you. And wanting to remember the better times when that individual dies doesn't make you a bad person. In my book, it simply makes you human.
vivian
# vivian 2012-03-29 18:42
Elle, I have the same feeling as you, especially about why Dean kept the coat.

As far as the amulet goes - I think this whole ordeal was resolved far back, at the Point of no Return episode. I think Dean, by explaing to Sam the sole reason he said no to Michael, beautifully apologized to Sam for his bitter act of throwing away the amulet.

I don't think the brothers need the amulet as a symbol of their brotherly love anymore. The strengh of their bond is more than proven.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-29 21:58
Quote:
I think Dean, by explaing to Sam the sole reason he said no to Michael, beautifully apologized to Sam for his bitter act of throwing away the amulet.
Vivian - I must have missed something. I'd seriously love it if you could share how you got that out of that apology.
Vivian
# Vivian 2012-03-30 07:31
#digyd,

I understood that Dean threw away the amulet because, at that moment, he had lost faith in everything. No only in God, but most importantly, in his brother and in Sam's love for him (the absence of happy memories including Dean). He said he had lost faith in Sam in PoNR.

But Sam proved him wrong by firmly trusting Dean would do the right thing, even at the most difficult situation (he was so sweet!), and Dean realized that, and said no to Michael. In his apology, at the end of PoNR, he did say that if Sam had grown up to have faith in him, the least he could do was to return the favour.

He didn' say "I'm sorry for throwing away the amulet", but, in my interpretation he did say "I'm sorry for having lost faith in you". But those two phrases express, for me, the same thing.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-03-30 08:37
I agree with Elle and Vivian on this matter. When Dean threw the amulet in the trash, I never perceived it as a slap in Sam's face. He admitted that he lost faith in his brother, but then admitted he was wrong in "Point of No Return" when Sam put so much faith in Dean.

As for keeping a bloody trenchcoat in the trunk of his car for so long (yuck by the way), I somewhat understand. He kept something that had belonged to someone he considered a friend, albeit one that betrayed both him and Sam. I will not condone what he did to Sam, it was beyond grievous, but he was not in his right mind. IMO he has redeemed himself by taking Sam's hallucinations in to himself.

It must be very hard to forgive someone that has committed the ultimate betrayal, but I do believe it possible. Victims can forgive their aggressors, it happens all the time, so why can't Dean forgive Castiel?
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-30 10:21
Ah, I see Vivian. OK. Well, it's a bit of stretch for me, but shoot, part of being able to make the pieces fit on this show is being able to connect your own dots. So, I won't buy it right now, but I'll rent it. ;-)
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-03-30 04:01
With all due respect to those people but I seriously cant agree with this coat and how it is being explained.

Dean keeps a soiled trenchcoat belonging to a being who harmed his brother so deeply and not only keeps it but transfers it from car to car on the off chance the owner might return .And that is seen as alright? sorry but for me apart from the fact that it is a little too on the left side of weird for me what exactly did Dean think he was doing?.
Vivian
# Vivian 2012-03-30 07:49
Sharon, I do think it was weird, and I also think Dean wasn't thinking at all! People do strange things when they are mourning, and you can't reason with them - there is no logic in their actions. And Dean was processing not only Cas death, but also, previously from that, the death of their friendship, the betrayal.

As for the "soiled" coat, LOL! That is a very girly reaction - it was mine too! Filthy things should be immediately washed or discarded! But I have men in my life who treasure football players sweaty shirts, and HOW DARE I TO EVEN MENTIONING WASHING IT!! The stains are the reminders of the battle (match) fought, so they stay!
Winifred
# Winifred 2012-03-29 19:07
Quote:
Everyone is very eager to point out that Cas did break the wall in Sam's head, but lest we forget he is also the one who raised Sam from Hell.
I did not forget he raised Sam or Dean. I also did not forget that Ruby saved Dean's life in Malleus Maleficarum. I did not forget that both Ruby and Meg have been strung up on torture tables in order to buy the boys time to complete missions. I did not forget that the boys saved Gordon's life and later decapitated him. Those things happen in their world. Dean carting a soiled coat all across America as a momento is just gross! Please give me examples of people that keep blood soaked garments as momentos because I sure don't know of any.
Brynchild
# Brynchild 2012-03-31 06:37
LOL! Until now I still don't understand if it is just keeping the trench, or transferring it from car to car, or keeping it bloodied and soiled that just seems to throw some fans over the edge. I just suspect that if it was Sam's or Bobby's, none would find it so disgusting.

Dean was mourning Castiel. Cas-haters, just accept that. Obviously he also was mad at him. He couldn't accept what Cas did to his brother, he even specifically said it to Cas/Emanuel himself in this episode. And he couldn't accept it, and he couldn't throw it behind himself exactly BECAUSE Cas was his FRIEND. He trusted him in a way he never trusted anyone, except his father, Sam, Bobby, Ellen, Jo and maybe Lisa. Since, the "mixed feelings" (a real understatement, IMO).

He was mourning his friend's death, but also his firend's betrayal (because a betrayal is like a death: the death of the trust, of a relationship). And when you are mourning you can either try to forget everything about who/what you are mourning, or try to remember everything. Betrayal included, sometimes. It's kind of masochistic, but it's like human mind works.

So Dean kept the trench as a token from his friend, because in a way the trench was not anymore just a piece of dress, but became the symbol of Castiel himself (how many times he was referred to as "the angel with the trenchcoat"?). But he also kept it bloodied and soiled because those stains were the testament of what Castiel did, of the story behind his "death". Of his betrayal and also of his attempt to make things right.

(Because everyone here seems to have forgotten that Castiel tried to "fix it" WAY before he took Sam's hallucinations on himself: he did it in the first episode of this season, when he tried to put back the souls in the Purgatory, and from all of his demeanour it was evident, to me at least, that he wasn't sure to survive, so he was ready to sacrifice himself in order to fix things and expiate his actions even back then. The Leviathans were an unfortunate consequence)

Maybe, if Dean had forgiven Castiel, he could have washed the trench, like a way to keep his memory clean, to cancel the wrongs he did and remember just their friendship. But he (still) couldn't forgive him (and I don't think he still can, completely at least), because Sam's mind was a mess because of him, because he lied to him for months. So he kept the trench like it was, and he kept transferring it from car to car (IMO) not only because "a part of him always believed Cas would come back", but also as a reminder of his actions, the good AND the wrong.

Because when you love someone (NO Destiel pun here!!), as much as when you hate them, you just can't let go of them, or of the objects that remind us of them.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 17:32
Uh . . .Dean had a hissy fit in that episode b/c Sam didn't have any Heaven memories w/him AS IF those three lousy memories comprised ALL of Sam's Heaven. Jessica would most definitely be in Sam's Heaven as would Dean. Come on.

Sorry, but by the time DSOTM aired, I had had my fill of Dean's depression, bad attitude, etc. Dean was written like an immature brat in that episode. I hated Dean in DSOTM as much as I hated Sam back in S&V.

Castiel told Dean the amulet was worthless b/c it couldn't find God. He returns it to Dean and flits away.

What does Dean do? He looks at it, holds it above a trash cas, lets it hover for a seconds and then drops it all the while knowing Sam was watching and knowing what the amulet represented to both Sam and Dean. Dean did it on purpose. It was petty and spiteful. He was ticked at Sam. He wasn't hopeless. He was angry with Sam b/c of Sam's "Heaven." He, foolishly, didn't think Sam loved him as much as he loves Sam or whatever. So, he tossed it.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-27 20:01
@Tim Yes. Yes. YES! Completely agree with you. The signs were definitely there and maybe it did go on a little too long but since I we haven't seen the resolution of the season it is too early to tell.
Daisymae
# Daisymae 2012-03-27 20:07
Although Castiel took Sam's Hallucinations away, he did not take his memories. So like Dean, he will remember his time in hell and have to deal. Maybe he'll have nightmares as Dean did, but his time in hell will stay with him. That can't be easy and maybe the writers will allude to this.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-27 21:55
The concern some of us have is that we've seen the LAST of Sam's memories of Hell. He has NOT been impacted by these memories in any significant way since 7.02, so some of us, reasonably, don't think he'll suddenly be greatly impacted by Hell or that he'll suddenly start disclosing anything about Hell.

For those who continue to claim that Sam was so impacted by Hell and that we got hints of it for the 14 episodes btw 7.02 and 7.16, I would love to know what they saw as evidence of Sam's struggle. I saw no struggle, and I was really looking for it. I saw no story.

This entire arc was wrapped up in a single episode. There is no excuse for that. The writers are at fault for being completely unimaginative and uncreative when thinking of how to execute Sam's story. There were so many ways to tell Sam's story, and the writers took the least creative and easiest route to an end.
Lindab30
# Lindab30 2012-03-27 20:37
Boy oh boy oh boy! Talk about stirring up a hornets nest! That does seem to be what this episode has done. As I read through each of these comments and the comments following other reviews I could feel my own emotions running the gamut. There seems to be four major complaints. At least four that have gotten my attention:

1. Dean was too nice to Castiel. Dean. had. no. choice. He went looking for Emmanuel as his last hope to save Sam. When he came face to face with Castiel he couldn't just lash out in anger, or walk away. He had to put his own feelings aside and get the only "healer" there was to Sam. If his own bad feelings towards Cas mellowed some along the way then so be it. Dean is a VERY forgiving person.

2. Castiel has been redeemed. I have read this many times but I don't know where it comes from. Cas was instantly confronted with all of the terrible, terrible things he had done. Then there he was, seeing firsthand the effects of taking down the wall that was protecting Sam. He knew that Sam was close to death and he couldn't let him die so he did what he could do, move the hallucinations from Sam to himself. That is all. At no point did the episode say "Castiel is now redeemed". The season is not yet done, we know there is more of Cas to be seen. Sam has suffered terribly but hopefully the worst is now over. He no longer has to fear the wall coming down, he's been through it and he survived. I think that he is glad to have it behind him. I don't think he's going to thank Cas for taking down the wall, AND, I am not saying he should simply forgive him. What I am saying is the worst is behind him (we hope) and Cas is the reason why. Please do not misconstrue this as me saying he did a good thing. He did a horrendous thing. This one act of taking on the hallucinations does not redeem Castiel, he'd done far too much to far too many. But I think it's a good start.

3. Sam's been cured. Once again, nothing in the show said Sam's been cured. What we saw was the hallucinations taken away, that is all. We have six more episodes in the season. So much can still happen. I'm sure he still has every single memory. But he's also had about a year to develop tools to help him cope. He has his stone number one at his side. He will be fine. I don't want a weekly reminder of the effects this will have on him, that would indeed get old and boring. But hopefully, once in a while, we will see how it has left it's mark. It would be nice though to actually witness Sam and Dean talking with each about their time in hell. They can help each other heal.

4. Not enough of Dean caring about Sam. That is something in this episode that I do wish they would have shown. Thank you Tim the Enchanter for pointing out that Dean could not come and go from Sam as he pleased because he was in a locked psychiatric ward. I didn't pick up on that myself. And, once he became aware of Emanuel's existence he had to go get him. When Sam recognized Cas in the room with him after the hallucinations were gone we saw Dean move towards Sam but that was all because the focus moved to Cas. I imagine that Dean would have taken Sam's face in his hands and look him over just as he has in the past and said something like "Sammy, are you in there? Are you okay?" You know, Dean stuff. That would have been nice so I do feel like we got a little bit cheated there.

I'm sorry to go on and on but I have absolutely nobody to talk to about this so I am taking advantage of this opportunity to let my feelings and opinions out. I expect that many disagree with me, but I hope there are a few who see things as I do. I guess what I am saying is try not to jump to conclusions when we have six more episodes and hopefully at least one more season to go. This was a great review Elle. Thanks!
Gerry
# Gerry 2012-03-28 00:14
I really liked this episode, too! And while I would have liked more Dean and Sam at the end, there's only so much time. I would have cut the ghost hunting scenes to make room--but I can see why they put those scenes in--they served a purpose, too.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-03-28 00:19
I loved all your points, too. It would have been nice to see more interaction between Dean and Sam, but as you pointed out, Sam was in a locked psych ward. So, Dean didn't have easy access to his brother. However, you sure could see his concern for Sam while he was making all those unsuccessful calls. I could feel his frustration and fear at not finding a solution or help for his brother. Plus the relief when he finally connected with that hunter who had information on Emmanuel/Castie l.

I really think that everyone needs to cool off and sit back and wait out the rest of the season. The story is not over by any means. Sam's story will be told as will Dean's. It's a show about TWO brothers. It always has been and always will be! Personally, I'm going to sit back, get comfy, grab me a drink and some snacks...oh and some tissues too and enjoy the rest of the ride. I'm having so much fun this year!
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-28 11:45
I'm aware that Dean couldn't stay with Sam the whole time. What I ask for is more emotion in the few scenes they had together. I mean, Dean was standing in a corner looking almost indifferent while hearing that there was nothing to be done for Sam. Come on. I'm sure I look at my cat with more emotion than that, and she's perfectly healthy. Like others said, I don't want quantity, I want quality. Also, I'm tired of hearing that things are this or that, I want to see those things. I heard a lot about how desperate Dean was, but I just didn't see that desparation play out. He was bent on finding a healer, that's true, but it was as if he was performing a duty: "OK, he's my brother and I have to do everything I can for him." I don't know, maybe it's only me, but I didn't buy the "desperation". It was much better in TMWKTM, for instance, when Sam was lying senseless in the panic room.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 12:20
It's not just you, Alexandra!

That is why I can't say the episode was good. I didn't feel the urgency or desperation from Dean (or Sam). To me, it was a bad move to show Sam hunting a ghost but also being on the brink of death. How scared or concerned am I supposed to be as a viewer when Sam is hunting a ghost. I know Sam is strong and cares about people, but the episode should have been entirely focused on his collapse. That hunt was unnecessary.

I completely agree w/you that Dean didn't seem overly concerned about Sam almost dying. I don't know. It just didn't have the urgency it needed. You're definitely not alone. Others on various boards also feel there was urgency.
kazkriz
# kazkriz 2012-03-27 21:05
THIS EPISODE WAS AWESOME.. I loved everysinglepart of it.. the ending .. cas, sammy is finally healed!!! I LOVED IT.. THE BEST EPISODE OF THIS SEASON BY FAR.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-27 22:25
I disagree that we weren't given details about Dean's Hell experiences. Dean told us what happened to him every single day for 30 years. He said Alastair ripped up his body in ways you couldn't imagine, and then would do it again the next day. At the end of each day, Alastair offered Dean a chance to get off the rack and start torturing other souls. Dean refused for 30 years, but then said yes and got off the rack. He ripped apart and tortured souls for 10 years not caring about who was put in front of him.

There's not much more we could learn about Dean's Hell. I think we've learned it all. And I think the impact of Dean's Hell has been shown. Dean was depressed for a lot of the 4th and 5th season, and we were told this was residual effects of Dean's time in Hell.

Do I think Dean could have talked about his feelings more re: his time? Sure,but we did get something. Dean was treated as a human being who is impacted by his experiences.

Sam, on the other hand, said he feels no guilt from his time in Hell. He managed his hallucinations like a champ so we didn't see a struggle there. He hasn't discussed what happened to him in the Cage. He doesn't appear to be depressed or traumatized by his experiences. There's been no emotional impact on Sam. Sam's not sad, scared, guilty, or traumatized. He overcomes everything. Nothing sways him. He's unreal, IMO. He's a two-dimensional character with no thoughts or feelings.

The way this story played out shows, to me, that the show has zero interest in developing Sam emotionally. Sam used to have feelings. I wish he still did.

And those who say, "Well, there are 6 more episodes, so we may still see how Sam feels about Hell or how it impacted him?" I don't think we will because we haven't seen it yet. Why would we get these types of scenes now that Sam's hallucinations are over?
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-03-28 00:28
Sam's responses have been flat when it comes to hell. However, could that reaction be due to the trauma of dealing with the hallucinations on a day to day basis? Now that he doesn't have that to deal with, maybe now he can find a way to open up to Dean about his experiences. By sharing with each other, they can begin to heal and move forward in their lives and not let this dominate them forever. To be always reminiscing/reh ashing about past events can get quite boring after a while and make for very unappealing TV. IMO
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-03-28 02:22
With all due respect you think what they are doing now is appealing TV?. As for Sam opening up nice thought but the show has no history of really doing that with Sam so although it would be a nice surprise I cant see it happening .
They werent interested in Sam after they brought the wall down and they didnt 'fix' Sam because they want to delve into how he is now .For some reason I have never understood the emotional aspect of Sam has never interested them and they dont seem to think they need to take care of that side of Sam the fact they think they are is bizarre.
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-28 03:37
Hi lala,

I'm not disregarding your opinion or anything. Please don't get me wrong. It's just a thought.

Quote:
Sam, on the other hand, said he feels no guilt from his time in Hell. He managed his hallucinations like a champ so we didn't see a struggle there. He hasn't discussed what happened to him in the Cage. He doesn't appear to be depressed or traumatized by his experiences. There's been no emotional impact on Sam. Sam's not sad, scared, guilty, or traumatized. He overcomes everything. Nothing sways him. He's unreal, IMO. He's a two-dimensional character with no thoughts or feelings.
How about what really happens is like this...

Luci : Oooh Sam you really are a bad boy, huh. Need to be punished. So what do you say? 100 more in hell. I sure love to be your bunk buddy for longer.

Sam: No! I'm not in hell anymore. I got out. I got out. Dean said so. I have no more guilt thus i don't deserve to suffer more. I will ignore you (Lucifer) and do the opposite of what you say to me.

Dean: So, Sam are you alright?

Sam: Yes Dean. I'm fine. Don't worry about me. You see i've been doing exercise and stuff? I'm fine.

Lucifer: Liars!! Sammy is a liar! You feel guilty as hell! So, you have to succumb to my otherworldly mental torture.

Sam: No I'm fine! Really, Dean. Trust me. If i don't feel guilty i can disregard Luci's taunts.


So, that's basically what i thought. I'm sorry that I cannot explain it more clearly in descriptive words. But please don't take this as a flame to you or joke. I'm very serious with my opinion. The writer just choose to hide Sam's invisible background commentator. But i can see the result of Lucifer's taunting affecting Sam's behavior. I'm just seeing what's stated implicitly between the lines.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 08:57
Hi Kaj! Thank you for your thoughts. Don't worry . . . I don't take offense to anything you've written :-)

I actually like your scenario and thought we could have seen more scenes like that throughout the season just as a way to keep Sam's story alive.

For me, the occasional hand rub is not a story. Sam rubbed his hand a grand total o THREE times before Death's Door where he may have rubbed it more frequently, but I can't recall. I think he only did it once during that episode. I'm also not saying we needed to see Lucifer each time Sam rubbed his hand. But if the show was going to limit the effects of Sam's Hell to "hand rubbing" then it could have been more frequent throughout the first part of the season.

After 7.02, Sam rubbed his hand in the beginning of both 7.03 and 7.04 in very quick moments. Then, there were four straight episodes where there was no hand rubbing or anything else to indicate that Sam had any troubles.

So, in my complaints about this story elsewhere, I've actually posted something similar to your scenario. I think the show could have done more to show how Sam was coping w/the hallucinations, the memories, and their impact on him. If the goal was always to have Sam have a breakdown or lose his grip on his sanity, then they could have shown him slowly dscending into madness in more significant and obvious ways throughout the season. And I know people have said they didnt' want 45 minutes each episode of Sam having problems, but I'm not, and never have been, talking about 45 minutes of Sam's problems. All of what I wanted to see could have been achieved in a few minutes at the beginning or end of an episode.

What about more private moments w/Sam reassuring himself that what he's seeing is not real. For example, at the beginning of an episode, we see Dean bang on the door and tell Sam to hurry up. We hear Sam say, "I'm coming." Pan into the bathroom and see Sam whispering to himself, "This isn't real. You're not in the Cage anymore." Maybe show some quick flashes of fire. See Sam shake his head, rub his hand, steel himself and then go out to meet Dean. Or actually have Dean address Sam's problems. The brothers could have talked more. Dean could have asked Sam why he was always jogging, and maybe Sam could have talked about how the jogging keeps his mind off the hallucinations or whatever. I was never really sure how the jogging supposedly helped him. I'm also a fan of them showing little things to throw off Sam. He and Dean are leaving a hunt or talking after a hunt wrapped up and Sam seeins a streak of blood coming down Dean's head. He says, "Oh man. You got more banged up than I thought." Dean says, "What are you talking about, dude. I'm fine." The blood gets heavier, and Sam slowly realizes it's not real. He says nothing b/c he doesn't want to alarm Dean. They get in the Impala. Sam rubs his hand hard. Credits. They also could have shown Sam being snappier w/Dean, more frustrated, more agitated. I like the breaded look. Maybe have Sam w/a full bread b/c he can't steady his hand anymore to shave. Give me Mark's voice, saying how he loved seeing Sam slit his throat in the Cage and how he wants to see it again. This could have occurred more towards the end of the storyline. How about more spacing out like in the beginning of 7.03? Bobby, Sam and Dean are together. Dean asks Sam a question and then looks back to see Sam staring off into space. Dean just grabs a beer and sits down. Bobby questions how often Sam just spaces out like this. Dean remarks that it's been happening w/more frequency, and that it's taking longer for Sam to snap out of it. Bobby asks Dean if he questioned Sam about it, and Dean says no b/c it seems like Sam doesn't even know he spaced out. Bobby could question if this has ever happened on a hunt, and Dean says thankfully no but I'm always right w/him or something. I know Sam didn't want to burden Dean w/his problems b/c of Dean's own problems, so it would have been nice if Sam could have confessed his troubles w/someone else like Garth, Sheriff Mills, or Frank. I don't care. Anyone. Maybe Jodi could have asked Sam how's he doing b/c she knew about the hallucinations through Bobby, and Sam could have admitted that he feels like he's losing his mind, and that it's getting harder for him to distinguish btw reality and the hallucinations. It would have been something. Radio silence for 14 straight episdoes was just not a good way to tell this story, IMO.

Like Gwen said below, I wanted to see more emotional impact from Sam and just a better told story overall. I, personally, was not satisifed w/the hand rubbing. The show gave Sam a solution and then put the story on the backburner for the entire season. They pulled it out of storage for two quick episodes to wrap it up. That was disappointing to me.

Some will disagree, but I, personally, didn't see how Sam's problems affected him. He behaved as he always had. He had no problems until the very end. I know some didn't want to see Sam out of the hunt, but I actually would have been fine w/him having problems hunting b/c that wouldn't have lasted forever. I also think it would have been interesting to see him slowly lose his coping methods and his sanity.

Sam's has been fine and will undoubtedly continue to be fine. To me, they missed a great opportunity to tell a compelling, interesting story. But that's JMO.
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-28 11:02
I think i love all of your examples, lala2.
Really i won't be upset if those scenario was implemented and shown on TV but i remember what Jensen said during interview of Girl Next Door.

Jensen said the script is actually quite long for that episode and he managed to shoot all of them, including comic scene where he played jedi sword with his crutch but alas the editing staffs cut that off because of the limited time.

So, maybe the original scripts were exactly like that? There were actually a bunch of snippets and small scenes among the storyline that shows Sam's apparent struggles but they had to cut those off in regards of Time. The editing staffs perhaps didn't have many choices of which scene to cut off to save time. Since they already had Sam's hand rubbing scene last episode, so they decided to cut it off next episode to give time to a more important (plot wise/MOTW) scene.

It's the limitation of TV shows, i think. It's not like soap opera where the storyline runs like a never ending train. Supernatural was made by Kripke ever since the beginning with a concept of single episode per week with single MOTW and single adventure with a greater arc in the background. If it's up to me i would ask that they air Supernatural for 90 minutes. Then we all have the plotty scene and longer viewing time. :D Too bad i don't own the network.

There's nothing wrong with what you want because i would not reject it either. Yet, since the complications of network TV are like that , complicated, so i opted to just imagine those deleted scenes in my mind and read the subtle text between the line. I don't have any choice don't I?

Here i am hoping that someone write a coda to those episodes. Like Supernatural extended edition he ..he .. he .. :D :D
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 11:38
Thanks, Kaj! I'm glad you enjoyed them!

I honestly think moments like the ones I described sprinkled throughout the season wouldn't have been too much or overwhelming. I think it would have satisfied those of us who wanted to see more from Sam's arc as well as those who weren't all that interested. I'm seriously just talking about a scene here and there - just to keep the story alive. Yes, we all knew Sam was hallucinating daily, but there was no outward evidence of it. I think that hurt the story for a lot us.

Now, I read that Jared did film some scenes like the ones I described that were cut, but I just can't support that if it did occur. In a season when Sam's breaking down, I don't think scenes showing the toll these hallucinations were having on Sam should have ever been cut. When I think about how much time was wasted on that pointless Amy drama when we could have been getting more development on Sam's or Dean's stories, I get really angry.

I do understand that not everything can be filmed, but, IMO, emotional scenes re: the brothers shouldn't make the first cut, esp. when Sam is supposedly in turmoil and headed towards a breakdown.

It's a shame that we have to imagine everything or turn to fanfic when the writers could give us what we want w/tighter scripts! This was the season to tell Sam's emotional story, and for me, the writers failed. I hate that.

It's been fun talking to you about this! I'm glad I was able to help you understand what I was hoping to see this season, and why I am so disappointed.
TeresaPezzino
# TeresaPezzino 2012-04-11 10:26
I don't believe it was possible for Sam to discuss his hallucinations with Dean. His way of dealing with them was to completely ignore Lucifer and send him away as often as possible. Talking about the hallucinations meant acknowledging them, which is exactly what he could not do. Hence the agitated laser focus on exercise, the job, research, whatever he could find.
Gwen
# Gwen 2012-03-28 05:06
Quote:


Sam, on the other hand, said he feels no guilt from his time in Hell. He managed his hallucinations like a champ so we didn't see a struggle there. He hasn't discussed what happened to him in the Cage. He doesn't appear to be depressed or traumatized by his experiences. There's been no emotional impact on Sam. Sam's not sad, scared, guilty, or traumatized. He overcomes everything. Nothing sways him. He's unreal, IMO. He's a two-dimensional character with no thoughts or feelings.
Exactly, Lala. Yes, we've seen the Lucifer hallucinations but what about seeing the trauma, the terror and the depression. Sam went through unimaginable torment in the Cage, we have some of Lucifer's comments in 7.01 and 7.15 to give us a good idea of what Sam endured plus the meat hooks and chains hallucinations in 7.01. All of this horror should have left Sam reeling. Emotionally, the poor guy should have been all over the map. But he hasn't been. As lala said, there's been no emotional impact on Sam. And, no, I wouldn't have wanted to see Sam a complete emotional wreck but I would have liked to see less of the emotional flatness and more emotion/insight from him regarding what had happened to him down there.

Perhaps there is a chance that now he's not being overwhelmed by the hallucinations and not consumed by the struggle to fight them that now we will get to see him opening up somehow about what happened in Hell. I'm keeping fingers crossed that this might be the case. However, I tend to agree with Sharon, unfortunately Show doesn't have a good track record of letting us see inside Sam's ever so pretty head so I'm not feeling particularly optimistic that we'll be hearing anything more from Sam regarding his Hell experiences. I very much hope that Show proves me and my pessimism wrong here.
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-28 08:53
We're told that there will be residuals from Sam's past condition, even if he's now officially "cured". I don't expect much of such residuals though, whatever they are. I'm tired of being lied at by showrunners, or at least given expectations that never deliver. At the most, I imagine that Sam'll have a headache from times to times and Dean'll tell him to take a pill, just like in the insomnia case: "you get some sleep on the way to Frank's". There's no time to lose, we've got to keep Castiel safe.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 09:08
Yup. I agree w/you. When I hear Ben Edlund or whoever say Sam's had the emotional story for the majority of the season, then I know that he and I definitely don't think alike so I can never fully trust anything these writers say!

Sam has NOT, in my opinion, had the emotional story this year. That has been Dean. What is BE talking about? His idea of residuals will probably be nothing! LOL!
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-28 07:26
Hi Elle. I completely agree with you about Sam's problem. I am one of the people who can see Sam's suffering throughout the previous episodes. As you can see from my previous review. (sorry for my rambles by the way)

Many people say that Sam's pain is not being addressed much but to me it is. I can see the symptoms, the frantic behavior. Sam's been behaving a bit differently throughout the season hasn't he? Even Dean said “I get it, you’re new Sam”
Examples: His seemingly childish behavior of walking out of Dean at the end of Slash Fiction, When he shot the bad guy at the next episode, his frantic reaction to Emma, His decision of not killing Amy, and many others. The way I see it, Sam is trying hard to cope. He's building a wall with Dean as his number one stone while listening to occasional commentary from Lucifer in the background.

Yes, Sam's hallucination comes from his memory. And it's embedded into his soul. You can't erase it. Not like that. That's what happens when Dean shoves a damaged soul, one that has been skinned alive in hell, into Sam's body.

So, this comes to my next question regarding your statement....
Quote:
Based on this fact, I’m going to say that Castiel did not actually “fix” Sam: he didn’t take away his memories of hell, his soul, or any of these things. If anything Castiel transferred the PTSD to himself. Does this mean Sam loses his memories of Hell? No, if anything I will say it makes him more equipped to deal with his experiences. Imagine Sam had a bullet wound on his shoulder and as a result of that wound developed blood poisoning, making healing the initial wound impossible. Now, setting aside that Cas can of course heal flesh wounds, one would argue that what Cas did for Sam in the psych ward was transfer the blood poisoning, a symptom of the root problem, so that the would itself can be dressed and treated.
Yes but treating mental wound is different to treating physical wound. I still don’t buy it. CAN PTSD BE TRANSFERED? HOW? (Is Shifting really only means transfer? I found other meaning of shifting are : to divide, to distribute, to apportion)
I'm not majoring in psychological study so I will need someone with better understanding in the subject to explain it to me.

What makes me unsatisfied is when Cas sees Lucifer. I raised my one eyebrow and ask ... what the hell? Lucifer can jump now? Does he jumping from Sam to Cas? Does this mean Sam no longer sees Luci again? That's fucked up!! HOW CAN THAT HAPPEN?

It's one flaw from this marvelous and awesome episode that really irked me.

So, my stand now is wait and see. In my theory, perhaps the same with Tim The Enchanter, is empathy. That Cas is somehow ELEVATING (only elevating, not transferring) Sam's burden. Helping Sam to cope, sharing the load. Shifting Lucifer’s focus onto him. I think this is what Cas means by Shifting. (thoughts everyone?)

Thus, in my mind, Sam still has his bad memories of Hell. He will still somewhat occasionally sees Lucifer but in a more manageable level. If the next episode goes this way then m happy. If not,.... well, I'll count that as a plot hole. And consider it a tarnish in the history of Supernatural great episode. Too bad. So sad.

PS : On a more fun note, I have this thought that Cas is somehow connected with Sam, mindwise, in order for the angel to be able to control Lucifer from a far. A kind of mind link. Someone really needs to write a fanfic about this hehehe :D (OOhhhh a bonding plot story! :D :D *cackles evilly*)
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 13:39
I didn't say it was logical, haha. I don't know if PTSD can be transferred, but then angels of the Lord probably don't swoop into mental trauma wards to test it out that often.
I'm not a psych major either, so it's all blind theorizing on my part :-)
That was the theory I came up with because of Cas seeing the Hallucinations too. Maybe, like you said, Cas and Sam are now connected and Cas *is* the wall between Lucifer and Sam? Don't know.

I do think Sam still has him memories of hell, definately.
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-28 22:32
yes, definitely. I'd like to see the fall out of Sam's halucination on next episodes. It could be subtle, at least it's there.

It opens a new plot to be explored if the writers go that route. And definitely continuation of the story overall.

That Cas becomes an anchor, sharing Sam's burden. It's more interesting that way isn't it? More complex. I love complexity.

Perhaps it's like emotional burden like when people share about their problem to others, having others listen to their dilemma, even though other people cannot help them but by sharing and having a good listener is sometimes enough to lift up the spirit.
We sometimes love to share and talk about our problem with our good friends and they in turn send us heart warming hugs and encouragement through words and empathy. It makes the burden lighter isn't it?
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-28 08:58
I’m just doing a mixum gatherum of replies to comments in one piece. I also haven’t credited names to the comments, sorry. Laziness is a disease, people, a deadly, deadly disease. Plus, I don't know how to quote multiple posters in one post.

Quote:
Dean told us what happened to him every single day for 30 years.....
We’ve also been given details of Sam’s hell. The issue at hand here is not the depth of their various hells, but the length of time given to them. We saw many varied ways of how Sam was tortured both physically and mentally. We learned that his soul felt like it had been skinned alive. We saw that Sam’s hell necessitated the building of a wall in his heads, we saw hallucinations, we saw psychosis. There’s not much more we could have learned about Sam’s physical time in hell. We are not going to get a ‘Dear Diary, today Lucifer made me chew off my own toes. I really regret doing yoga now. Tomorrow we’re doing vivisection. Toodles for now. Sam’. Sorry but it’s not going to happen, it is never going to happen and it should never happen because the imagination is limitless, and anything the show can put on the screen would be inadequate in comparison.

Quote:
.... we were told this was residual effects of Dean's time in Hell.
We can’t have seen anything of the residual effects of Sam’s time in hell yet because the next episode hasn’t even been shown yet.

Quote:
Do I think Dean could have talked about his feelings more re: his time? Sure,but we did get something.
Sure, three years later, we got to see how he was impacted by his time in hell. Soon after he came back from hell he was eating giant pretzels, complaining about movies and scoring with girls, as if he had never even been to hell.

Quote:
Sam, on the other hand, said he feels no guilt from his time in Hell.
Sam has no guilt from his time in hell because Sam did nothing in hell to feel guilty about. Dean did. He tortured souls and so set himself on the road to becoming a demon. I dare say that this guilt would have risen again when Sam got his soul back and Dean saw the true effects of his torturing days, not only what it did to himself, but what he did to others. I imagine he would have looked at the broken state Sam was in and thought ‘How many souls did I turn into that? How many demons did I create?’ ‘I was forced to do it’ would be no excuse in Dean’s book. Guaranteed though, if Sam also turned to torturing, he’d feel guilt. He didn’t, so he doesn’t. Dean did not feel guilty about what was done to him in hell, but about what he did in hell.

Quote:
And those who say, "Well, there are 6 more episodes, so we may still see how Sam feels about Hell or how it impacted him?" Why would we get these types of scenes now that Sam's hallucinations are over?
There is more of a chance that we will see those types of scenes now because Sam’s hallucinations are over. Sam has been fairly tied up battling Lucifer and trying to keep Dean’s head above water for the bones of a season. Before that he had a wall, and before that he was soulless. Sam simply has not had the opportunity to process hell until now. Dean did not get to time to truly process his hell and Sam’s hell until he had some down time at Lisas.

Now, while I am not certain that the true emotional aftermath of Sam’s hell will be explored, I am hopeful. I am certainly more hopeful now than I was all through this season. It might not be addressed in the next six episodes, it might be next season (and if there is no next season then the last thing I’ll be bothered about is Sam’s hell aftermath).

There was a point made in an article many moons ago in relation to the lack of acknowledgement from the show of Dean’s storyline ie it wasn’t spoken about etc. I used the line then that Dean would never tell Sam about hell because he cared too much about him, he wouldn’t burden his brother with that knowledge. The same argument applies to Sam. For the bulk of season 5 Dean has been depressed, suicidal on occasion and desperate. Sam would not put the burden of knowledge about his hell on Dean’s shoulders; he cares too much about his brother for that.

Quote:
I would have liked to see less of the emotional flatness and more emotion/insight from him regarding what had happened to him down there.
Could it not be argued that seeing emotional flatness from Sam was an indicator that he was ‘reeling’ and in terrible difficulty. The last two times we’ve seen Sam as emotionally flat as he was in season 7 was when he was suffering horrifically in the aftermath of Dean’s two deaths. The only way he coped then was by cutting off all outward signs of emotion and turning himself into a machine where he let nothing affect him.

Quote:
We didn't have to see Sam's hallucinations to see him suffering. We could have seen him distracted, or visibly not being certain what was real and what wasn't.
We had this, we just could not have it every episode. Apart from the fact it would get boring, it would be terribly disconcerting and offputting for the casual viewer, something a show tends to avoid for fear of alienating or driving away fans.

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In Plucky Pennywhistle, Sam faced nightmares of his childhood come to life. This should have thrown him off balance as real life trauma built on his existing PTSD. But again nothing.
The very next episode Lucifer was back in full swing. Do we know that the events of Plucky Pennywhistle did not play a part in that? No.

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This resolution was painful for me because I no longer see any story available for Sam.
I’m the opposite. I can see a whole new beginning for Sam now because finally, he is Sam. He hasn’t been Sam for years, merely the protagonist of some eternal and external conflict. Now there is nothing immediate (storyline wise) to burden him, the opportunity is there to focus on the person of Sam.

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But simply transfering that pain to Castiel, it cheapens Sam's sacrifice.
Transferring Sam’s hallucinations/pain/whatever to Castiel does not, in any way, shape or form, negate or lessen what Sam did or his time in hell. Not having the hallucinations associated with his time in the Cage does not take back the centuries he spent there, what he endured there, what he endured in its aftermath and his decision to make that decision in the first place. If a person has a serious disease and are very ill with it for a while before being eventually treated and cured, should we forget that he/she had it and what he/she lived through just because there are no visible signs of it there now?

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It has catered to very small and very vocal fan group called Destiel.
Castiel was in two episodes, and only briefly as himself. One time he was a power crazed god and the other an amnesiac, so if the very small and very vocal fan group called Destiel felt catered to, they were sold very short. Dean did not forgive Castiel in 7.17, he declared him dead. In 7.01 Dean told Sam that he would not even help Castiel and he also told Castiel in that episode that what Castiel was doing did not make him feel better.

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I would really have liked for Dean's fix in MTNB to have been a permanent one and for them to then move onto a different, subtler form of trauma.
Unfortunately, Dean’s fix in Meet the New Boss could never have been a permanent fix. It would be akin to treating a brain tumour with aspirin and it would make the impact of Lucifer to be absolutely nothing. The handpress kept Lucifer at bay. It did not, could not, get rid of him. Lucifer had to be gotten rid because while he is there, in any way, shape or form, then he is a threat and he dominates storylines.

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For those who continue to claim that Sam was so impacted by Hell and that we got hints of it for the 14 episodes btw 7.02 and 7.16, I would love to know what they saw as evidence of Sam's struggle. I saw no struggle, and I was really looking for it. I saw no story.
Please, please , please read Alices article www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/archive-articles/6-episode-reviews/16837-alices-review-qthe-slice-girlsq-aka-dean-is-okay-and-sam-is-not.html which chronicles Sam’s decline so well. The hints are so small yet so brutal but glaringly obvious when pointed out.

I absolutely hated what they were doing to Sam up to that point because, like many posters on here I was getting impatient in relation to the way they were dealing with Sam. Parts of me are still quite aggrieved with how they deal with Sam. I assumed it was because they didn’t care, etc etc. However, upon reading it, all the signs were there. We, like Dean, just didn’t see them.

Sam’s storyline is not wholly over. I wasn’t watching the show at the time but I dare say that, in the immediate aftermath of Dean’s hell, many fans felt aggrieved that his hell storyline ended so quickly. However, out of it we got the Apocalypse and his deconstruction of self. Is the same not possible for Sam?
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 10:07
Don't you remember Dean crying and being very depressed during Season 4 - the season when he returned from Hell? Many said he was hesitant and behaved differently. Many attributed the changes in his behavior to his time in Hell. I'd say, for many, the effects of Dean's time in Hell were shown immediately. Maybe not directly after 4.01, but definitely during that season. Dean has basically been depressed and sad since Season 4. We're supposed to see that as a residual effect from Hell.

I agree that we won't get any details about Sam's Hell b/c the writers aren't interested in providing any details. Everyone has their own preferences and tastes. I like details. I liked delving into the characters' emotions, etc. so I would love to know more. A few details would be cool w/me. What is "hate-banging?" Was Adam in the Cage? Was Michael really there? Did Lucifer just make Sam hallucinate stuff or did he acturally physically torture the soul? I know they said the soul was flayed or ripped raw, but it's a soul so how was this achieved? I'm curious.

I disagree that we'll see anything else about Sam's Hell. According to the writers, Sam has been carrying the emotional story this year, so if they feel this last episode was the conclusion, then I would safely bet, we'll get nothing else re: Sam's time in Hell or while soulless. Those opportunites are gone. I'm making my prediction based on the past writing. While in the thick of the breakdown, it would have made sense, to me, for Sam to discuss his memories, etc. But Sam kept it all locked in while hallucinating and losing his mind. If he didn't disclose anything when he was having a mental breakdown, I don't see him doing it now that his mind is clear and free. We've established that Sam ain't gonna talk about his problems w/anyone so he's not going to start now, IMO.

I posted above to Kaj my thoughts on how Sam's sotryline ould have played out this season. I think it would have been interesting. Others can disagree.

I read Alice's article, but still feel the way I do (i.e., that there was little build up to Sam's breakdown). Was Sam agitated when Dean said it was Bobby? Sure. Did I think it signaled Sam going crazy? Not at all. I thought it was him in denial that Bobby could be a ghost b/c it hurts too much. That's all. If they wanted, IMO, to attribute Sam's irritation to Sam losing his grip, throw in a line like, "Dean! I have a hard enough time telling the difference btw what's real and what's not, okay. I don't need this. Just stop. It's not Bobby! Can we get back to the case?"

Plus, it's not like Sam's irritability or agitated behavior continued after that episode. Any perceived irritability occurred w/in that one episode. Sam was happy and fine in the clown episode, and was definitely not irritable w/Dean in Repo Man.

I saw the end conversation in Slice Girls as Sam's fear that Dean doesn't care about his life, which is normal Sam behavior, IMO. I was also saddened by Sam's face, but I didn't view that as Sam on the verge of a breakdown. He thought Dean was giving up on life, and that scares him. Sam doesn't want Dean dead. To me, it was very reminiscent of Sam's face at the end of Crossroad Blues or some of the first episodes of Season 3 when Dean made fatalistic, troubling comments. To me, that was not strange or telling behavior. It was typical Sam worried about the state of his brother's mind.

We all see things differently so while I appreciate your and Alice's take on Sam's behavior in Slice Girls, I do not share your opinion. Other than Sam being overly irritated and agitated by that Bobby conversation, nothing else about his behavior struck me as very odd, or rather I didn't contribute his behavior to his hallucinations or his impending breakdown. I saw it as more about Bobby's death than anything else!
Beverly
# Beverly 2012-03-28 10:38
I agree with Tim on the fact that what happened in Hell does not need to be shown. From what has been said, especially your comment of "hate banging", I am pretty sure Sam was raped on a daily basis. I don't need to see this to shudder when I think of it. Lucifer has also used the term on more than one occasion of "bunk buddy" - I got the same feeling with that. We saw through the hallucinations how he could torment Sam without touching - multiply that by 100 and that was every second of every day in Hell for Sam. I know this from what I have been told - I would never want to see it happening. As Tim mentioned in one of his posts, it would be violent and would have to be shown at a much much later time. As for "flaying the soul" - if you have been physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually abused for a century - your soul would be pretty flayed.

I consider myself a "Sam girl" and always have - but I don't need to see this to get the full impact. If you feel different, then I will just agree to disagree with you on that.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 11:03
Hmm . . . I recall the comments about Sam being Lucifer's "little bitch in every sense of the word" so I'm not saying I needed to see that.

I am not familiar w/the term "hate banging." I had no idea what Balthazar meant last season when he said it, so that's why I was curious about it. If that's what it means, then okay. I didn't know.

Like I said before, I would like to know if Adam's body was there. If Michael was really there as well. I can make up a bunch of stuff in my own mind, but a little clarity would be nice, IMO. I'm not asking for graphic details but all we know are what Death, Castiel, Meg, and Balthazar "thought" was happening to Sam. Was that true? Or did Lucifer just annoy Sam endlessly like he did in these hallucinations? I don't know.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-03-29 01:20
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I can see a whole new beginning for Sam now because finally, he is Sam. He hasn’t been Sam for years, merely the protagonist of some eternal and external conflict. Now there is nothing immediate (storyline wise) to burden him, the opportunity is there to focus on the person of Sam.
Thank you, Tim! I agree with you and Elle about the resolution, for exactly the reason I quoted from you- Sam is finally SAM AGAIN! I was SO thrilled in that last scene to see Sam- obviously feeling much more strong, healthy, vibrant again- I could have danced a jig. I've been dreading since this whole "wall" thing started to see Sam once about be a burden to Dean, an albatross around his neck, but NOW! Sam is free to be his own person again!

Mind you, given the show's track record- I'm not expecting to see much come of it. I do strongly believe that the Show is 80% from Dean's POV, but I've become okay with that, especially since the Sam parts that I do get turn out to be awesome eps like this one. Seeing Sam strong again is good enough for me, and has probably started my fic writing muse again, something that has been dormant since the end of S3. Hardly a coincidence there, right?

I would even be okay with the hell memories being gone. Personally, I don't see how Cas could have taken the "effects" brought on by the hell memories without taking the memories as well, but I'm willing to handwave. We have already seen that Sam, even at his lowest mentally and practically inches from death (did you see those fingernails?) can STILL come to the rescue- so why do we need to see more of the hell memories? I don't!

I say- bring fit, healthy and kick-butt Sam, because I'm always glad to see more of him! In fact, I CAN'T WAIT! I loved the preview of the next ep, it looks hilarious, and I'm very excited to see more of Sam and Dean, kicking butt and taking names, with their little buddy Garth! LOL!
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-29 10:05
Rick, when did Sam STOP being Sam?

I'm very puzzled by statements like yours b/c Sam never changed. He NEVER became a burden to Dean. We didn't see Sam become overwhelmed by depression, anger, agitation, etc. We didn't see him spacing out, talking to himself, closing himself off, shutting down, nervous, flighty, irritated, etc.

There was a lot of TALK about how horrible Sam would feel and be when his soul was returned or when the wall fell, but there were no actual scenes depicting any of these negative consequences.

Out of 17 episodes, Sam was "out of it" for three episodes, and even in this past episode, they didn't depict Sam as being completely out of it b/c he solved a hunt while in the asylum. Come on. If the storyline played out like I wanted, then I could see how people would be happy to see Sam healthy and on his feet again, but he's been healthy and on his feet. He's had NO problems.

Sam was fine before the wall fell. He was fine after the wall fell. He was fine while hallucinating for the most part. He will continue to be fine.

Sam has not changed one bit - ever! What changes did you perceive in Sam that you are happy are now gone? and I'm not talking about the insomnia. What else was there?
Beverly
# Beverly 2012-03-29 11:35
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Rick, when did Sam STOP being Sam?
If I'm reading Rick's comment right, I think this is what he meant - (if not, then Rick can correct me :-) )

Season 1 Sam - Was dealing with Jessica and the onset of his psychic abilities

Season 2 Sam - Was dealing with John's death and then the revelation that he might turn into a "something" that Dean has to kill and then the whole yellow eyed demon special kid status

Season 3 Sam - Was focused on trying to save Dean

Season 4 Sam - Was dealing with demon blood issues and trying to kill Lillith

Season 5 Sam - Was dealing with the whole starting the apocolypse (I missed spelled that) and being Lucifer's vessel

Season 6 Sam - Was soulless for half the season and then was worried about the wall the rest of it.

Season 7 Sam - Up to this point was dealing with Lucifer

So now for the 1st time since the psychic abilities has come on to him, he's free of overwhelming baggage. Not saying that all the above is not effecting him slightly but it is not dragging him down to where his actions are effected by it. He can now go kick some Leviathan butt without a lot of drama wearing him down. It is similar to when you've lost someone your close to (whether death or break up) and the day comes when you finally realize that although you still miss them and always will, you can function normally without being bogged down with sorrow over the little things that remind you of them.

Now off topic a little - the whole breakdown part - I think it would have been cool if he had lost some control of those psychic abilities of his while in the psych ward. The only time we saw him move things with his mind was when he had to get out of the closet to save Dean but he was under that much stress with Lucifer there at the end. What would the doctors have done if the chair where invisible Lucifer was sitting on flew across the room as Sam's mind tried to "fight" Lucifer? And I wonder since most of his psychic powers were visions, is that why his hallucinations of Lucifer were so powerful?
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-03-29 12:00
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So now for the 1st time since the psychic abilities has come on to him, he's free of overwhelming baggage. Not saying that all the above is not effecting him slightly but it is not dragging him down to where his actions are effected by it. He can now go kick some Leviathan butt without a lot of drama wearing him down.
Thank you, Beverly, you said it really well. Although I'd go so far to say that it's not just baggage- it's about autonomy. How long has Sam been forced to do what he does, first by destiny, then liability. Now Sam can make his own decisions.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-03-29 11:41
Tim said it better than I, and I'm in danger of repeating myself.

He's been healthy and on his feet? He's had no problems? HE PRACTICALLY WASTED AWAY TO DEATH! Jeez! I mean there is wanting more for Sam (I always do) and then there is willful blindness.

What am I happy to now see gone? His liability, that's what. Because that's exactly what this Hell wall "story" always was.
Sam was NOT fine before the wall fell, as seen in Unforgiven. Sam was NOT fine after it fell, as seen repeatedly, especially in Hello Cruel World. Sam was NOT fine while he was hallucinating- or did you forget that he'd been HIT BY A CAR. I guess that's what some want to see more of-Sam wandering lost and senseless into traffic Sam WILL be fine, now that it's finally over, and I couldn't be happier.

Frankly, if someone doesn't see how much Sam has changed over these past 7 seasons, I don't know what else to say. SO MUCH has changed! Do you honestly see the same person who was in S1 today? Come on!
If I had to pinpoint a time when Sam was no longer his own person but always tied to external manipulations- I repeat that was Season 3, from the very beginning of Sam finding out Dean had sold his soul for him. From then on it's saving Dean, then avenging Dean, then repenting for Lucifer, then soulless, then in recovery from Hell. And yes, Sam has often been a burden to Dean, just ask Dean. Particularly over the past two seasons, when Dean would have no idea if, at any moment, Sam might suddenly lose contact with reality or stroke out or God knows what else. It's quite surprising really that Dean didn't leave Sam in a padded room long ago, like he did with Cas.

Some may want to see more spacing out, talking to himself, nervous, flighty, etc. - I'd rather see him having overcome such things, and be the HERO I always knew he was. That's what I want to see, and hope to see again.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-29 13:14
Sam was introduced as a character w/problems. This is a drama! It's not a comedy. It seems like you have had a problem w/Sam from the very beginning. Again, this is a drama, it's not like Sam was never going to have any issues. What would be the fun in that?

Yes, Sam has grown. I never said he hadn't. But, at the end of the day, Sam is the still the same good guy he's always been.

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Some may want to see more spacing out, talking to himself, nervous, flighty, etc. - I'd rather see him having overcome such things, and be the HERO I always knew he was. That's what I want to see, and hope to see again.
But that's my point. You did see that. Sam did overcome his issues. You didn't see him having major issues over the course of the last 17 episodes!

Yes, he broke down for THREE episodes, and during the middle of the last breakdown, he fought the hallucinations and the sleep deprivation to actually save someone. Sam has NEVER allowed his situations to overwhelm him. He's overcome everything. He's managed everything that's happened to him.

He's still a hero! When did he stop being a hero? Is he not a hero b/c he needed a Wall to keep back Hell? Is he not a hero b/c he was sad about his girlfriend's death?!?!?!

Let's just agree to disagree b/c you clearly see Sam in a completely different way than I do.

In my book, Sam and Dean are heroes despite the traumas they've endured. Just b/c Sam and Dean have issues or depression or problems doesn't mean they aren't themselves. They're people w/problems.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-03-29 14:26
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Sam was introduced as a character w/problems. This is a drama! It's not a comedy. It seems like you have had a problem w/Sam from the very beginning.
What?! I don't have a problem with Sam- he's my favorite character ever!

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Again, this is a drama, it's not like Sam was never going to have any issues. What would be the fun in that?
Where's the fun in having the same issue for 2 whole seasons? It's almost as bad as Dean's depression.

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Some may want to see more spacing out, talking to himself, nervous, flighty, etc. - I'd rather see him having overcome such things, and be the HERO I always knew he was. That's what I want to see, and hope to see again.
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But that's my point. You did see that. Sam did overcome his issues.
Yes, I did see that. That's why *I'm* pleased with the ep, and the season.

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Yes, he broke down for THREE episodes, and during the middle of the last breakdown, he fought the hallucinations and the sleep deprivation to actually save someone. Sam has NEVER allowed his situations to overwhelm him.
So . . . it actually upsets you that Sam, despite nearly dying, saved someone's life? I don't get this.

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Let's just agree to disagree b/c you clearly see Sam in a completely different way than I do.


Yes, I see a hero I can root for, someone whose family never understood him, someone who will once again carve out his own identity, like he once hoped for back in the early seasons. Someone who doesn't need Dean to be his caretaker, someone who doesn't need to be watched, but is his own adult self.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-29 19:32
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Where's the fun in having the same issue for 2 whole seasons? It's almost as bad as Dean's depression.
It all depends on how you look at it, Rick. I, personally, didn't see Sam as having the same problem over 2 seasons. In the 6th season, he was soulless. A wall was placed in his head to stop the flow of memories from Hell. Sam collapsed in "Unforgiven" but had no other problems until Castiel broke the Wall.

This season was supposed to showcase how Sam coped with the memories. That's how I see it. The 6th season was more about the soulless stuff, and the 7th season the aftermath.

I can see how you see it as the same. In short, the whole concept was interesting to me so I wasn't upset that the aftermath was going to play out this season.


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Yes, I did see that. That's why *I'm* pleased with the ep, and the season.
Ok. I thought you were upset that Sam was burdened and overwhelmed by his condition. So, would you agree that Sam functioned amazingly well for someone who hallucinates every minute of each day?

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So . . . It actually upsets you that Sam, despite nearly dying, saved someone's life? I don't get this.
Well, that's because you and I watch for different reasons. I most definitely wanted to see Sam have more visible and obvious issues because that stuff is interesting to me. I like the emotional aspects of the characters more than anything else.

My main problem with Sam being on the brink of death but also successfully hunting was I thought it took away from the urgency of the situation. How bad off can Sam be if he's picking up hunts? My problem with the episode was the lack of urgency *I* felt. I think episodes like Faith, IMTOD, and HCW did a better job of conveying the urgency of the situation.

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Someone who doesn't need Dean to be his caretaker, someone who doesn't need to be watched, but is his own adult self.
We just see Sam differently. I've never viewed Sam as needing Dean to take care of him or watch over him. Dean does those things because he loves Sam. To me, Sam's always been an adult. He and Dean live crazy lives, so sometimes he may need Dean's help but I don't see that as a bad thing. Sam takes care of Dean, and vice versa.
That's just my opinion though!
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-03-29 23:45
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It all depends on how you look at it, Rick. I, personally, didn't see Sam as having the same problem over 2 seasons.
Very true, it does depend on how you look at it. The way I see it, Sam has had a terrible problem for more than 2 years- the need the writers seem to have to hamstring him. The hell memories, the wall, the demon blood, the unshakable destiny, etc.- all to debilitate Sam. I'm glad to see Sam at his best for a change.

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I can see how you see it as the same. In short, the whole concept was interesting to me so I wasn't upset that the aftermath was going to play out this season.
Neither was I. It played out, now it's over, and *I'm* not the one who is upset.

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So, would you agree that Sam functioned amazingly well for someone who hallucinates every minute of each day?
Yes, the difference is- I admire that about him.

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Well, that's because you and I watch for different reasons. I most definitely wanted to see Sam have more visible and obvious issues because that stuff is interesting to me. I like the emotional aspects of the characters more than anything else.
I like emotional aspects too. I happen to think seizures and getting hit by cars falls into "injury" category, more than emotional, but I do understand there are lots of fans who prefer the former.

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I think episodes like Faith, IMTOD, and HCW did a better job of conveying the urgency of the situation.
And I completely disagree, I'd say this was better than Faith or IMTOD. I guess we all have our own opinions.

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We just see Sam differently. I've never viewed Sam as needing Dean to take care of him or watch over him.
Really? Seriously? What would you call someone who randomly has seizures, zones out, talks to people who aren't there, has hallucinations of extreme violence (including his own self strung up to the ceiling with a chain), takes unknown drugs from guys in alleys, and then *oh yeah* wanders in a daze into traffic to be HIT BY A CAR. This was not a one or two time thing- as has been said, it's happened 12 times that we know of just this year, and Sam's first seizure was over a year ago. What I don't get is why Dean ever let him drive a car by himself- I can only guess desperation, since they have no one else. I don't see how you can see someone like that, and say- they're "fine."

P.S.= I'm glad we've been civil about this discussion, but this might be it for me.
I'm sorry that you aren't happy- but I *am*, finally. I was seriously thinking about giving up this show after "Out with the Old" but BAI has put me right back on the happy train, where I look forward to seeing a Sam (and Dean) that I recognize again.

I'm even MORE thrilled by the previews of the coming episode, because I think it's gonna give me what I want- BOTH brothers being awesome, instead of just Dean being awesome while keeping an eye out to see if Sam is gonna lose his mind today.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-30 00:18
I'll just leave it like this - the events you described (i.e., seizures, passing out while driving, taking drugs, talking to his hallucinations) did not occur on a frequent enough basis over the course of the season for me to see them as major issues. Out of 17 episodes, Sam had issues in 3.

If the things you described had been playing out on screen throughout the 17 episodes, then I would better understand your point. It was all too fast for me. What you saw as taking place since last year, I saw as occurring over the course of 2 episodes.

We disagree, which is fine.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-29 11:44
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What changes did you perceive in Sam that you are happy are now gone? and I'm not talking about the insomnia. What else was there?
All season Sam has been burdened (I know you don’t see it but that was what the writers wrote) by hell and by Lucifer. How can Sam be Sam when he has that weight on him? The most obvious case, this season, of Sam not being Sam was when he refused to entertain the idea that Bobby could be back. This was curious as Sam is a person who is generally full of hope.

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I'm very puzzled by statements like yours b/c Sam never changed.
Lala2, you don’t think he changed. Many others do. These people have given ample reason and evidence as to why they think what they think.

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He NEVER became a burden to Dean.
Dean’s line in 7.02 ‘Now on to our other big problem. How are you doing?’ suggests otherwise. Dean might not have thought that, but Sam, based on those words, surely did.

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We didn't see Sam become overwhelmed by depression, anger, agitation, etc. We didn't see him spacing out, talking to himself, closing himself off, shutting down, nervous, flighty, irritated, etc.
Ah yes, I forgot these are the sole criteria by which a person who has just returned from the Cage should act. I must get that into the DSM IV.

We did see him angry and agitated, in 7.02. We saw him space out in 7.03, talking to himself, and shooting randomly in 7.02. He doesn’t talk to Dean, merely saying ‘I’m managing it’ etc. There are buttloads of scenes there.

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There was a lot of TALK about how horrible Sam would feel and be when his soul was returned or when the wall fell, but there were no actual scenes depicting any of these negative consequences.
There were and again, they were detailed here, many times.

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Come on. If the storyline played out like I wanted,
And this lala2, says it all. How you wanted it. Unfortunately the show cannot give you what you want because it needs to cater to all fans. Are all fans happy? No. Are all fans upset? Definitely not. The polls etc suggest this episode was very well received. Your storyline would make some fans happy and some fans angry so we’d be in the exact same position then as we are now.

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Sam was fine before the wall fell. He was fine after the wall fell. He was fine while hallucinating for the most part. He will continue to be fine.
And as long as you are insistent that this is all that has been shown, this is all you will ever see. And there’s nothing anyone can do about that.

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What changes did you perceive in Sam that you are happy are now gone? and I'm not talking about the insomnia. What else was there?
There was an article written about it and they have been detailed numerous times on this thread alone, lala2 but every time they’re posted you say ‘I don’t see it’ or they’re ‘not enough’ or they’re ‘not a story’.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-03-29 12:15
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What changes did you perceive in Sam that you are happy are now gone? and I'm not talking about the insomnia. What else was there?
All season Sam has been burdened (I know you don’t see it but that was what the writers wrote) by hell and by Lucifer. How can Sam be Sam when he has that weight on him? The most obvious case, this season, of Sam not being Sam was when he refused to entertain the idea that Bobby could be back. This was curious as Sam is a person who is generally full of hope.
Thank you, Tim- that is another example that I hadn't thought of. Although make me think of the other benefit to Sam finally being free from this burden- Sam will actually be able to interact with people other than Dean!
Seriously, when is the last time Sam had a non-case-relate d conversation with someone who didn't die that same ep? (yes, I'm thinking Amy and Bobby) Because Sam was not "fine," far from it in fact- we've seen him zone out, staring into space, conversing with those who aren't there, have "bag lady moments" as Bobby called them. Not the kind of thing that gets you any interaction except with your big brother who has to "take care of" you.

I'm not saying it's guaranteed Sam will suddenly have a wide circle of friends he could talk to- but it could happen! And that's the kind of thing that doesn't happen when one is a nutcase.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-29 13:18
@ Tim -

So b/c Sam was burdened by hallucinations that means he's no longer Sam?

Because Sam had some issues, he's no longer himself though he behaved just like himself all season long?

I read that article, and I disagree w/it. I wrote you back a long post and told you that I appreciated your and Alice's interpretation of Repo Man, but I don't share your views. Maybe, you didn't read it.

People can write articles all day long about how "off" Sam was, and I don't have to agree w/them. I'm allowed to have a different opinion. Yours is not right while mine is wrong. We both have our opinions.

And I don't need you to tell me that the writers don't write for me. I'm not an idiot. You don't have to be condescending and rude simply b/c you don't like or share my view. It's not that serious.

Let's just agree to disagree. You guys saw massive, destructive changes in Sam that I actually wanted to see but didn't. It's all good. We're all different people w/different perceptions.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-29 15:59
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So b/c Sam was burdened by hallucinations that means he's no longer Sam?
Before the wall fell Sam’s life and actions were dictated by avoiding things that could break the wall. I feel that having those constraints on a person prohibits them from being truly themselves.

After the wall fell Sam was subject to graphic hallucinations so his life and how he lived it was then dictated by these external forces. Can a person truly be themselves if they have no control over their lives? Now that these hallucinations are gone Sam can live his life as he chooses, not how constraints dictate.

Quote:
I read that article, and I disagree w/it. I wrote you back a long post and told you that I appreciated your and Alice's interpretation of Repo Man, but I don't share your views. Maybe, you didn't read it.
I read it. This was the extent of your reply to the article. ‘I read Alice's article, but still feel the way I do (i.e., that there was little build up to Sam's breakdown)’. Unless I missed something or you posted another reply, you did not give any reasons why you disagreed with the article and you did not refute any of her points. I felt that the content of that article would alleviate some of your concerns about Sam's lack of reaction etc. This was why I mentioned it.

Quote:
People can write articles all day long about how "off" Sam was, and I don't have to agree w/them. I'm allowed to have a different opinion. Yours is not right while mine is wrong. We both have our opinions.
Yes, you are perfectly entitled to have your own opinion. I don’t recall saying that you weren't and I certainly don’t recall saying your opinion was wrong.

However, you have stated, more than once, that there were no actual scenes depicting any of the negative consequences of Sam’s hell, and there were. You also stated that Sam was fine before, and after the wall fell. I don’t know what your definition of ‘fine’ is because before the wall fell Sam was having seizures and flashbacks. After it fell he was having hallucinations (that he was interacting with) and flashbacks. This, to me, is not fine.

Quote:
It's also quite comical how people keep referring to 7.02 or the LAST TWO episodes as evidence of the massive, horrific, troubling changes in SAM when I clearly wrote that Sam only broke down in three, and only THREE episodes!
People keep referring to more than three. You, however, keep saying that there were only three episodes.

In Slash Fiction, Leviathan Sam said that Sam had ‘Satanvision’ all the time and expressed incredulity that Sam was walking around. In How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters we had a conversation with Bobby where Sam stated that he was not okay. In Death’s Door he used the handpress emphatically. In Adventures in Babysitting Sam used the handpress consistently during the 'One Week Later' scene. In The Girl Next Door, we saw him check out. In Death’s Door, Sam used the hand press emphatically. In Slice Girls, he refused to hope Bobby was back. In Out With the Old we saw that Lucifer was not letting Sam sleep (which Sam described as 'torture'). Add those to Meet the New Boss, Hello Cruel World, Repo Man and The Born Again Identity, and that’s twelve episodes, out of a season of seventeen, where Sam’s hell was referred to.

Quote:
And I don't need you to tell me that the writers don't write for me. I'm not an idiot. You don't have to be condescending and rude simply b/c you don't like or share my view. It's not that serious.
Lala2, your view doesn’t bother me. Your opinion is not being questioned. You’re unhappy with the show? Okey dokey. However, comments such as ‘Sam is not important to the writers’ and saying the writers lack ‘imagination and creativity’ do bother me because I feel it is an insult to the show and the writers.

I also find your assumption that Sam’s hell is now over and we will never see any more about it to be bizarre. It has not even been six days since the last episode so I have no idea what these are basing your assumptions on. You have made numerous comments that Sam’s hell was not referred to when it was so it was not your opinion I was questioning, I was merely refuting some of your points.

However, when a poster, in lieu of arguing point, chooses to slur another poster by claiming they were being ‘rude’ and ‘condescendin g’ and insult their posts by calling them ‘comical’, I get bored so I’m backing out.

I hope that your assumptions about the rest of season 7 prove futile and that you find something there that you enjoy.
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-29 16:21
Sorry to intrude, you're not repçlying to me but I share many of lala2's views so I think I'll say one or two things. You and other people may be happy with the show but some of us are not. That's our right. Maybe the complaints are insulting to writers and producers but that's a two-way road. Many Sam fans feel insulted by the way the show treats him, and that includes me. I've been with the show since Season 1 and I like to think that I helped bringing it to a season 7. So I think that people like me, lala2 and others have a right to complain if they're not happy.

As for Sam's future, there's nothing "bizarre" in the assumption that his arc is over. Sam has been neglected by the show since season 3 and I have no reason to believe that this will change now. You may not agree but you can't dismiss the feelings of others as "bizarre".
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-29 17:40
Quote:
Sorry to intrude, you're not repçlying to me but I share many of lala2's views so I think I'll say one or two things. You and other people may be happy with the show but some of us are not. That's our right. Maybe the complaints are insulting to writers and producers but that's a two-way road. Many Sam fans feel insulted by the way the show treats him, and that includes me. I've been with the show since Season 1 and I like to think that I helped bringing it to a season 7. So I think that people like me, lala2 and others have a right to complain if they're not happy.

As for Sam's future, there's nothing "bizarre" in the assumption that his arc is over. Sam has been neglected by the show since season 3 and I have no reason to believe that this will change now. You may not agree but you can't dismiss the feelings of others as "bizarre".
Thanks, Alexandra :)

My main reason for thinking Sam's story is likely done is b/c I'm not sure why he would suddenly start talking about Hell or having nightmares, etc. when he hasn't done that all season. Why would he start now? I don't think that is strange or bizarre. I'm basing my opinion on what's occurred before, and what I think is supposed to be a linear story.

Plus, I think the writers shy away from giving Sam emotional development. It could happen, but I doubt it will. Is that wrong?

Oh, and is it wrong to critique the writers on this site?
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-29 19:46
You're welcome, but that was pretty much own defense too. :-)

My reasons for not believing that there's something interesting for Sam in store is based on my past experience with him. I won't repeat what posters like you, Percy, Blue Steel, Sharon and others already said. That would be tiresome and my English is not the best. All I can say is: how many times I was giddy with excitement about the great stories the producers described for Sam, only to have the rug pulled from uder my feet it he end?

But yes, I'd love to see "my assumptions prove futile", only this time. ;-)
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-29 19:49
"pulled from under my feet in the end. :oops:
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-29 17:36
Tim, I did fully respond to the article. Here is my response again since you didn't read all of it b/c after my first sentence, I went on to explain my thoughts.

Quote:
I read Alice's article, but still feel the way I do (i.e., that there was little build up to Sam's breakdown). Was Sam agitated when Dean said it was Bobby? Sure. Did I think it signaled Sam going crazy? Not at all. I thought it was him in denial that Bobby could be a ghost b/c it hurts too much. That's all. If they wanted, IMO, to attribute Sam's irritation to Sam losing his grip, throw in a line like, "Dean! I have a hard enough time telling the difference btw what's real and what's not, okay. I don't need this. Just stop. It's not Bobby! Can we get back to the case?"

Plus, it's not like Sam's irritability or agitated behavior continued after that episode. Any perceived irritability occurred w/in that one episode. Sam was happy and fine in the clown episode, and was definitely not irritable w/Dean in Repo Man.

I saw the end conversation in Slice Girls as Sam's fear that Dean doesn't care about his life, which is normal Sam behavior, IMO. I was also saddened by Sam's face, but I didn't view that as Sam on the verge of a breakdown. He thought Dean was giving up on life, and that scares him. Sam doesn't want Dean dead. To me, it was very reminiscent of Sam's face at the end of Crossroad Blues or some of the first episodes of Season 3 when Dean made fatalistic, troubling comments. To me, that was not strange or telling behavior. It was typical Sam worried about the state of his brother's mind.

We all see things differently so while I appreciate your and Alice's take on Sam's behavior in Slice Girls, I do not share your opinion. Other than Sam being overly irritated and agitated by that Bobby conversation, nothing else about his behavior struck me as very odd, or rather I didn't contribute his behavior to his hallucinations or his impending breakdown. I saw it as more about Bobby's death than anything else!
That is my opinion on the article. I wrote that a day or so ago. I feel I very adequately explained my position and why I feel the way I do.

I'll admit that I might have read your comments about the writers not catering to me in a rude, condescending manner. Maybe you didn't mean it that way, but you did say that those who didn't see Sam and Castiel as having a friendship were "lazy viewers." I complained about the lack of scenes btw them establishing a true friendship and said the writers were lazy, and then you said the viewers (i.e., me) was lazy. I'll admit that that comment has colored my thoughts re: the intent behind some of your comments.

At the end of the day - FOR ME - saying Sam is constantly hallucinating but NOT showing those constant hallucinations having a present impact on his life is NOT a story. You are okay w/just the telling. That's fine. I'm not okay w/that. It is disingenuous. It's not real. The story has less of an impact if I can't see the effects.

As far as Sam's story is concerned - what more can be done w/it? Why would Sam suddenly start talking about Hell when he hasn't done it all season? Why is is strange for me to assume Sam's story is over? I've read many comments from people who enjoyed the story who also think it's over.

And why does it bother you if I think the writers lack imagination and creativity? Wouldn't you agree that there were a lot more things they could have done w/Sam's story, in general? I know you enjoyed the way it played out, but I'm sure you could come up w/other ways to show how Hell was impacting him. That's all I'm saying.

I'm not impressed w/the writing this season outside of three episodes. If others love it, great! I'd like to love the show again too.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-29 23:02
Sorry for late arrival..I had lots of problem getting in to comment..I just disagree that Sam can be Sam now that his issues are not looming as i think the issues you have in your life makes you, you.Sam was Sam because of the way he dealt with that particular issue..If Dean had the Same issues he might have acted the Same or not that makes Dean Dean.I agree with you that Sam is strong for controlling hallucinations for so long unlike castiel who was immediately incapacitated.. but i don't remember any character stating that he is strong for doing so( i am talking about controlling hallucinations not the Castiel part).The only reason i want this is i want show to confirm this and i am just tired of seeing thing elucidated by posters in this site about Sam for a change i want an ironclad confirmation
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-29 23:30
Its just how you deal with a issue that makes you ,you.
elle
# elle 2012-03-29 16:24
Hi lala2,
I don't think Tim was meaning to condescend or be rude with her response, she was merely outlining her opinion. Of course your entitled to your view, and Tim was merely responding with hers.

I have to say I'm quite impressed that this discussion, for as lively as it has been, has remained very civil for the most part. :-)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-03-28 10:18
Wow, there are alot of comments on this post! I'll have to come back and read them all later, I'm at work, wouldn't look good me spending all day looking at a SPN site, although sometimes I do...shhh, don't tell the boss.

Okay, first of all, I agree with you Elle. I'm completely satisfied with the way Sam's hallucinations were resolved. I don't think he's completely right, actually I think he will suffer from is "sojourn" in Hell for the rest of his days as will Dean, to a lesser extent maybe, but I'm sure his stay in Hell wasn't a picnic either. As for not seeing what Sam has been seeing since the collapse of the wall, I am so glad TPTB chose that route. I think not seeing something makes it even worse, just imagining what he was going through was enough for me. I know some people wanted to see more of his hallucinations, but as with any good horror movie, not seeing something and letting the tension build always scares me more.

So, in conclusion, yeah, very happy with "The Born-Again Identity", it has already made my re-watch list.
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 13:43
Thanks Sylvie!
I agree with you....the imagination can concieve far more terrifying things than the PTB could bring to our television screens.

This episode is on my rewatch list too.
vivian
# vivian 2012-03-28 16:36
Well, many are telling that Sam wasn’t emotionally affected by hell (apart from the hallucinations, of course), that he should be traumatized, terrorized and depressed. Also, that he was shown no emotional growth. I think the two aspects are linked, and I (respectfully) disagree with both POVs.

My intake of this is that, as Sam already said this season (DYL), the hell experience actually helped him grown as a person. Of course, it was obviously a terrible, horrifying experience, but people not always come out broken and forever destroyed by an overwhelming trauma. The suffering is there, the trauma is there, but there is a kind of sad and calm acceptance that, ultimately, make them stronger, not weaker.

Sam always had several personality issues, that he had to struggle with all his life. Don’t take me wrong, I LOVE him. I love his kindness, his sweetness, the empathy he shows. But all of us know his dark side, that took over him in season 4 and that he had to deal with in season 5, but did not entirely resolve it, not even after Swan Song. But I think this issues were, at some point, resolved in the Cage.

Season 1 showed Sam as a somewhat bratty and spoiled, overprotected kid, loving but fighting his father (again, please, people, that is NOT all I think of Sam. I’m just highlighting his dark side. But for me, his good side prevails by far, he is just wonderful!). Over the seasons, he is also shown as self-righteous (as Dean himself put it), prideful, impatient (only not with the victims) and with serious anger management issues. He also had a tendency to isolate himself, shut people out when he suffered a trauma, or when there was a need to address his fear of inadequacy, of becoming a monster. He feared people, specially his brother, would reject him, as he rejected this aspect of himself.

Season 5 showed a Sam beginning to deal with his problems or, at least, starting to address them as actual personality problems (well, the first step of rehab is to realize and understand you have a problem). We see it in “GGYA” (when he tried to explain to Dean why he missed having the power to exorcise demons), IBtCareourF (when he talks to Jesse) and, specially, in “Sam, Interrupted” (his anger management problem). But it is not all resolved in Season 5 – he still had serious problems by Swan Song, especially anger related, and this was the point most used by Lucifer to taunt Sam.

That’s why I think that, thought the mental torture (and also clearly physical) inflicted by Lucifer in the Cage, Sam had to forcefully face his personality problems, to the exhaustion. The most horrifying kind of therapy ever!, for sure, but an effective one for Sam, in my POV. And the results are visible now in Season 7 (after the wall was broken in Season 6 and he became whole again): he made emends with supposedly being “a freak” (the Amy episode), he has confided with Bobby (not any more – oh, Bobby, I miss you!) and Dean when he had a problem (the hallucination thing), and I don’t see him having anger fits any more (apart from the discovering the Amy thing – well, nobody is perfect!). And that is a MAJOR growth, he is a much more mature man (and still so gorgeous… *sigh*) now, comparing to other seasons. At least, that’s how I see it.

As for Dean’s experience in hell, that was totally different. It didn’t make him stronger (as with Sam) it just made him more problematic, because it enhanced his guilt (and boy, he has a tendency to withhold guilt!). As another post said, it was not the torture that most troubled him, it was to have succumbed to it. If he hadn’t, and if he had learned that the apocalypse plan didn’t work because he had not succumbed, he would have gone though this experience strengthened, despite the torture inflicted in him.

That is why I am not surprised Dean is so depressed and conflicted this season. It wouldn’t be realistic if he wasn’t. He has to go though this journey himself (of course, Sam, hallucinating or not, will always be there for him, but, nevertheless, it is a personal journey, no one can do it for him). He has to process his guilt, who he is and what he wants from life for him. And all this issues are not new, it has always been there, since season 1. And this is not simply resolved by realizing he is a hunter, he hunts and saves people and that’s all (that’s what John told him he is). He is MUCH more than that, and he has to see it in himself.

Just to make it clear – I love Dean with a passion, he is true leader and he is got a great heart and, for me, he is NEVER weak, because even when he shows what is by many interpreted as weakness, it is only his heart speaking for him. And this is his greatest and most effective strength.

Sorry for this enormous, Sam’s size post. I never write, but you all are to blame – I was inspired by this wonderful discussion! Hope it is not too tiring.
elle
# elle 2012-03-28 16:45
Vivian,
You make some really excellent points here and I have to agree that the different personality types of the boys make them take on their respective experiences in totally different ways.

Both have undergone some major growth since the beginning of the series and you make some very valid observations when you layout exactly how far they've come.
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-29 00:05
Quoting vivian:

Quote:
Just to make it clear – I love Dean with a passion, he is true leader and he is got a great heart and, for me, he is NEVER weak, because even when he shows what is by many interpreted as weakness, it is only his heart speaking for him. And this is his greatest and most effective strength.
Howdy fellow! 'Nuf said I agree with you. Each of the boys have their own strength and remarkable personality but those above what you said definitely describes Dean and what i love about the character. As i said before on the above comment. Dean wears his emotion on his sleeves. But even then I hate, HATE the trench coat scene.
Vivian
# Vivian 2012-03-29 07:22
Hi, kaj!

To be truthful, I didn't like that scene at a first glance, either. But I understand it better, now. Dean was hugely affected by Castiel's treason, and was even willingly to kill him (he asked Death to kill him). But you are not able to completly shift your feeling from trust and friendship to hate or indifference at lightning speed. Well, I can't, at least. It become a mixed feeling, sometimes pending to one side, sometimes to the other. And you don't know what to do with it, what feeling will finaly prevail. So, I think that trench coat simbolized the feeling in Dean that wasn't able to just "shake it off", move on, and don't look back. More than that, IMO, it was a symbol of hope, that maybe, just maybe, all was not lost.

They cut out that scene where Dean said "I always knew you were alive", or something like that, because it was too soapy (and it was! Thank God it was cut out), but the handeling the trench coat said enough.

I don' think anyone is beyond redemption. And, for me, it's not in epic gestures of sacrifice. It is on the heart and soul, on the realization of the evil and damage their actions provoked and in the willingness to try to repair it, even if there is no way to really fix it. Bottom line, it always comes down to who you really are at heart: essencially a good or a bad person.
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-29 00:29
Quote:
Kelly, I don't think we'll see the amulet again. It's been two years. I think it's gone forever. I always assumed Sam picked it up, but I guess he left it in the trash.

I don't think the writers understood or care about the significance the amulet had with the audience. If they did, it would have likely resurfaced in Sam's belongings when Sam jumped in the pit.
We did not see Sam naked before S6 right? So, what if it's like this.

Sam picked up the amulet behind Dean's back and wore it under his shirt. Or he kept it in his bag but wore before he said yes to Lucifer thinking that he would need a reminder of his brother at the time. Then he jumped into hell, either the amulet gone when he was in hell or not but the next storyline is souless Sam. Souless Sam would have thought that having an amulet is useless. He would throw it away definitely.

The conclusion, in all the way that the story may go, the amulet is gone. I don't understand Kripke's reason in wanting the Amulet gone but it saddened me. Having Sam kept the amulet in a safe box somewhere is unlikely but for a good writer it may be well executed. That's the only way that i can think of if we want the Amulet to be back.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-29 09:54
Apparently, it constantly slammed Jensen in the face during actions scenes or whatever. There was a plastic one he was told to wear during fight scenes, but he always wore the wrong one. I think that's why it disappeared.

They should have just replaced the metal one w/the plastic one or not have written AVSC, which assigned a great deal of importance to the amulet.
vivian
# vivian 2012-03-28 17:17
Thanks, Elle!

And sorry for the typos - english is not my first language and sometimes I make ridiculous mistakes, and I don't have time to revise them, since I'm reading and typing on a slim break at work.

By the way - loved your article, brilliant completely agree with it!
elle
# elle 2012-03-29 16:25
Hi Vivian,
Don't worry about the typos. English IS my first language and my responses are still riddled with mistakes when my typing gets ahead of me, haha.

Glad you enjoyed the article!
Blue Steel
# Blue Steel 2012-03-28 17:22
The way you work imagination in horror is to suggest something horrifying is coming, or that it's already there, or that something horrifying happened. After episode 2, we had none of these suggestions for Sam's hell at all until episode 15 in Repo Man. That is simply terrible, lazy, under-developed writing. I can't see this happening on any other show but SPN, because SPN has gotten so used to discounting Sam's emotional response to anything at all.

With Dean, we'd have Dean say one thing to Sam but be shown a flash of Dean seeing something of hell in the mirror, when looking at mask art, etc. That was using suggestion to sell a bigger picture of what hell was for Dean.

With Sam, we've gotten nothing like this at all for Sam, and Sam actually suffers from bonafide hallucinations, which means we should have been seeing at least bits and bobs of something of Sam's hell too.


Dean had nightmares, he slept a lot, he drank a lot after YF.

All we've gotten for Sam is Sam being "fine" and "okay" and Sam worrying about how Dean is doing all season long. Expecting more of the same treatment is not alarmist at all considering how the meat of Sam's break down was blown off.

Real suggestion shows people enough to see what was meant. If you are shown nothing and told nothing, then it's hard not to conclude that we were meant to imagine nothing.
Beverly
# Beverly 2012-03-28 18:39
I have read several times in the Fandom that Sam's personality meshes with the way John had been.

What did John do once he got over the initial shock of what happened to Mary? He packed up the boys and left behind everyone he knew. Yes, it was to find out more information but it was also the way he was dealing with his grief. He did not work it out or cry on someone's shoulder; he locked it away and focused on hunting. I make a bet if three months after he left Kansas, if he had run into one of those old buddies and they asked how he was doing - his answer would have been "fine" and "okay". Emotions were never expected from the boys growing up and were frowned on. It is no wonder that now we have Sam being "fine" and "okay". This is how he was taught from an infant to deal with things out of his control.

It was proven in "Mystery Spot" after Dean died for real that he turned extremely OCD - I make a bet during those calls that he actually took from Bobby - he was "fine" and "okay".

After Dean died and went to hell, Sam couldn't handle Bobby's grief. I don't remember what Bobby's reply was when Dean showed shock that he had let Sam leave. We know that Sam had dranked heavily and was reckless but if he had run into anyone who had known him before Dean's death, he would have put his mask on and tell them he was "fine" and "okay".

Even after Jessica's death, there were nightmares that woke him up. When Dean asked about them, Sam was "fine" and "okay". And that was Season 1.

He hasn't been "fine" and "okay" since the beginning of the show but he has always tried to portray that. The only two times that I can remember him admitting it to someone was to Dean during the 1st clown episode right after John died and during this season when he told Dean after Bobby's death that he wasn't okay but he just wanted to work.

It is no surprise that he is "fine" and "okay" then when he is dealing with the aftermath of hell and the hallucinations. That is just how Sam is - that is how the Sam I fell in love with has always been - and I don't expect him to change anytime soon.
kaj
# kaj 2012-03-28 23:52
Quote:
I have read several times in the Fandom that Sam's personality meshes with the way John had been.

What did John do once he got over the initial shock of what happened to Mary? He packed up the boys and left behind everyone he knew. Yes, it was to find out more information but it was also the way he was dealing with his grief. He did not work it out or cry on someone's shoulder; he locked it away and focused on hunting. I make a bet if three months after he left Kansas, if he had run into one of those old buddies and they asked how he was doing - his answer would have been "fine" and "okay". Emotions were never expected from the boys growing up and were frowned on. It is no wonder that now we have Sam being "fine" and "okay". This is how he was taught from an infant to deal with things out of his control.

It was proven in "Mystery Spot" after Dean died for real that he turned extremely OCD - I make a bet during those calls that he actually took from Bobby - he was "fine" and "okay".

After Dean died and went to hell, Sam couldn't handle Bobby's grief. I don't remember what Bobby's reply was when Dean showed shock that he had let Sam leave. We know that Sam had dranked heavily and was reckless but if he had run into anyone who had known him before Dean's death, he would have put his mask on and tell them he was "fine" and "okay".

Even after Jessica's death, there were nightmares that woke him up. When Dean asked about them, Sam was "fine" and "okay". And that was Season 1.

He hasn't been "fine" and "okay" since the beginning of the show but he has always tried to portray that. The only two times that I can remember him admitting it to someone was to Dean during the 1st clown episode right after John died and during this season when he told Dean after Bobby's death that he wasn't okay but he just wanted to work.

It is no surprise that he is "fine" and "okay" then when he is dealing with the aftermath of hell and the hallucinations. That is just how Sam is - that is how the Sam I fell in love with has always been - and I don't expect him to change anytime soon.
So, basically each person deals with grief differently. Despite his badass attitude and bad boy personality, Dean wears his feeling on his sleeves. But he is much more complex than that, I think as is Sam. You have a point when you said that Sam is more like John. As Dean said in “Jump the Shark”

I really am interested what Jared thinks about this. After all he's the one who brings the character to life. If the characterizatio n is off track I am sure Jared would try to talk to the writer or simply rewrite the script just like what the guys did on Slash Fiction.

PS: I personally always think that Dean is kinda like Jared and Sam is kinda like Jensen. :D
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-29 10:42
Quote:
PS: I personally always think that Dean is kinda like Jared and Sam is kinda like Jensen. :D
;-) Kaj, I think it's pretty safe to say that IRL, they are in fact playing mostly opposite their real personalities, which is something I always chuckle to myself about and adds to why I enjoy watching them do this.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-28 19:03
Quote:
The way you work imagination in horror is to suggest something horrifying is coming, or that it's already there, or that something horrifying happened. After episode 2, we had none of these suggestions for Sam's hell at all until episode 15 in Repo Man. That is simply terrible, lazy, under-developed writing. I can't see this happening on any other show but SPN, because SPN has gotten so used to discounting Sam's emotional response to anything at all.

With Dean, we'd have Dean say one thing to Sam but be shown a flash of Dean seeing something of hell in the mirror, when looking at mask art, etc. That was using suggestion to sell a bigger picture of what hell was for Dean.

With Sam, we've gotten nothing like this at all for Sam, and Sam actually suffers from bonafide hallucinations, which means we should have been seeing at least bits and bobs of something of Sam's hell too.


Dean had nightmares, he slept a lot, he drank a lot after YF.

All we've gotten for Sam is Sam being "fine" and "okay" and Sam worrying about how Dean is doing all season long. Expecting more of the same treatment is not alarmist at all considering how the meat of Sam's break down was blown off.

Real suggestion shows people enough to see what was meant. If you are shown nothing and told nothing, then it's hard not to conclude that we were meant to imagine nothing.
Another great post, Blue Steel!
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2012-03-28 21:56
Wow, this article sure has generated a lot of discussion. I loved 7.17, but overall I too feel unsatisfied with how Sam’s storyline was executed. We all know Sam was affected by Hell. No one on this board seems to be disputing that we saw Sam have hallucinations, become fearful, press his hand, say he was managing, take up jogging, become tired, say “shut up” to Lucifer, then have worse hallucinations and finally, manifest physical symptoms from sleep deprivation (due to more hallucinations) . These are facts in the sense that we can all objectively locate where and in what episode these things take place. The dispute is over ultimately, was this storyline explored in a satisfying way?

Our interpretations of this are subjective. This is always how it is when we critique a work of fiction. This is especially true with horror/sci fi/fantasy. Of course none of this is realistic or logical in any way (although we hope there is some consistency in the storytelling within the confines of the fictional world created). This lack of realism doesn’t mean the stories can’t be cool or fun. But many of the things that Sam and Dean have gone through, (and will continue to go through) are not at all relatable. Therefore, the characters and their relationships with one another must be relatable; and we relate to them when we get to see their thoughts, feelings and emotions play out on the screen. This is what makes us willing to go on their journey with them. If we don’t feel that we saw that, or saw it to enough of a degree, then we will be unsatisfied.

It seems to me that the people who were unsatisfied (myself included) didn’t feel an emotional impact in the story. It doesn’t mean we wanted to see more hallucinations, or know the exact details of what happened to Sam in Hell. Or that we wanted every episode to have extensive time dedicated to how bad Sam was doing. We just wanted to see a build up to this story that was compelling to us.

For me, just a few subtle changes in the scripts would have made major differences on screen. I won't go into what that would have looked like. This post is long enough!
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-03-28 23:09
Quote:

That Cas becomes an anchor, sharing Sam's burden. It's more interesting that way isn't it? More complex. I love complexity.

Perhaps it's like emotional burden like when people share about their problem to others, having others listen to their dilemma, even though other people cannot help them but by sharing and having a good listener is sometimes enough to lift up the spirit.
We sometimes love to share and talk about our problem with our good friends and they in turn send us heart warming hugs and encouragement through words and empathy. It makes the burden lighter isn't it?
There is very little that would make me walk away from this show and not look back. Having Sam turn to the creature/man who abused him and broke his only defense against insanity would do it. Castiel DELIBERATELY DESTROYED Sam's wall as a tactic.

Before Castiel "saw the light" he manipulated the situation so that Sam would break the final seal. Yes, Sam gave into his own addiction and worst instincts, but Castiel put him in the position where the only way to save 2,000 people was to use his powers. He put him in a situation where the only way to save Dean from torturing Alistair and being killed by him was to use his powers. Castiel fed Sam the lie that the way to STOP the Apocalypse was to kill Lilith, when he knew that the opposite was true.

Even after Castiel switched sides, he continued to blame both Sam and Dean ALONE for the release of Lucifer and the impending Apocalypse.

During his war with Raphael, Castiel realized that something was wrong with Sam he simply blew those effects off. He allowed Crowley to USE Sam in the search for the Alphas, while he refused to involve Dean, showing no concern for how that would affect Sam. Assuming that Castiel truly did not know that Sam's soul had not been returned with his body, that means that Castiel was more than willing to allow Sam to ransom his soul AGAIN in a war that Castiel believed to be right and did so without gaining Sam's consent as to the ends.

The suggestion that Castiel become Sam's anchor is not complex for me. The very idea that Sam be reliant on a being who has consistently used and abused Sam and not put Sam's best interest first makes me ill.

IRL, I would find it tragic and infuriating if a husband beat his wife until she had brain damage and then she was forced to rely on him because he was the only one who could take care of her. To me that is the situation here. I know you do not view things in this light, but I do. That is a difference of opinion. I am already incensed that Castiel is being granted absolution by partially healing Sam. Making Sam tied to him to retain his sanity would appall me beyond belief. Let Castiel find his redemption in some way that does NOT rely on making his victim weak and unable to leave Castiel of his own free will.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-28 23:29
I have been trying to comment and i have not been able to,it keeps asking my name or for text.I am hoping that this post gets accepted.I admire Sam even more after this episode.For me the problem was not with how much they showed about Sam's hallucinations but when they showed it.Timing for Sam's story is always wrong.I would have liked to have a glimpse of what sam did while Dean was in hell immediately but i got it when it was only the specifics about the time missing but the broader picture was already clear and that lost the impact.When Sam died Dean had the heatfelt soliloquy and that was at a perfect time for maximum impact .Now also it came a season late and even then the urgency was lost.This episode was good for me as for me castiel's action did nothing to diminish Sam's sacrifice.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-28 23:31
success at lat..
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-28 23:32
Sorry ..success at last..i was excited my comment got accepted at last
Alexandra
# Alexandra 2012-03-29 15:52
I'm glad you made it! Yeah, I generally agree with your points. There's never enough Sam, IMO. However, problems are not only when but how his story was told. If it had been told little by little along the season, the instant fix would have had a different feel. As it was, it felt flat. When I remember how enthusiatic Jared was about his arc in the beginning of the season, I can't help feeling bad for him. It's kind of insulting to the actor, actually. He's coming for the Brazil Con in May (Jensen isn't) and if I have the chance that's exactly what I intend to ask him: how does he feel about all that. Maybe the showrunners get the message.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-29 23:09
This does not concern this article but simply what i dislike about how Sam is treated .when sam does a mistake we have characters blaming Sam even later and Sam instantly forgives..this makes the Show concentrate only on Sam's mistakes and not others..Castiel should be redeemed but i disagree with the posters who say he is already redeemed.
Beverly
# Beverly 2012-03-29 12:04
Castiel - there are a lot of hurt feelings out there that Dean forgave a mass murderer so easily.

First off, like someone mentioned earlier, he forgave him because he HAD to. He was Dean's last hope for Sam's condition. And let's say he didn't forgive Cas, then why did he give the coat back? Because he saw that Cas wanted to bolt and by showing him the bloody coat, it reinforced what he was saying about how Cas came back to fix things.

Another comment that I have heard is that Cas is not sorry for what he did to the hundreds of people/angels he killed. He's only sorry for what he did to Sam. Really? That is why he wanted to bolt when he got his memories back. He told Dean "Why did I live? There is no way to fix the things I have done." or something like that. That to me does not sound like someone who is unremorseful. And he is not just talking about Sam in that line. Dean points out to him that Sam is one thing he can probably fix to start on the road to redemption.

I also like the post (I don't remember if it was on this article or another) that mentioned that redemption is not action for action. Redemption is how the person feels in their heart. As Emmanuel, he said "that he doesn't feel like a bad person." And he has been using his special powers to heal, even not knowing he was an angel. He is remorseful. He apologized to Dean before freeing the souls back into Purgatory - the look of anguish as he realized what he had done was not faked.

Killing Cas is not black and white to Dean. Even with the audacity of taking down the wall in Sam's head with evil intent, he saved both Sam's and Dean's life numerous of times during Season 5 and 6 when he was on their side. The Cas we have now is not the Cas who was God. If a person who has murdered someone in the US shows any sign of remorse, they usually getting life in prison not the death sentence - and if they successfully argue that they were insane at the time, they go free or to a psych ward. I would say under the influence of the souls, Cas went a little insane (and he is locked in a psych ward). And it may be beneficial to have an "angel" in the Winchester's pocket, in their ongoing vendetta against Dick Roman - so from a military standpoint killing Cas now could harm them in the future. You don't disable any of your potential weapons before going into a war.

Off topic - whether you hated this episode or loved it, the writers accomplished what they always hope for . . . discussion. If you check out the "most comments" section on the home page, this article and one of the reviews has over 300 comments combined just over this past week. Nice job, Sera Gamble and the rest of the Supernatural team - I call this episode a success in the fandom. :-)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-03-29 23:20
Cas may have apologized to Dean but not to Sam.And please understand this is not just for breaking down the wall but for all the cr@p he has pulled on Sam other than betrayal(i.e direct harm).If i say this for breaking down the wall i would be unfair on Cas as Sam was not lucid when he was apologizing and later on he was out of it.So let us see what they do about this in coming episode.
Sorry i don't agree just because you feel that you are not a bad person you are remorseful.It may also be denial or simply based on ones perception on oneself (which is not a very reliable one when coupled with memory loss).
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-03-30 00:06
Quote:
Redemption is how the person feels in their heart. As Emmanuel, he said "that he doesn't feel like a bad person."
Boy do I disagree with this. Michael felt in his heart that he was doing what his father (God) ordered and that he was doing good. Lucifer felt in his heart that he was right to defend his brothers from bowing down to what he considered a lesser species. The demons in their hearts feel that they want out of Hell and if they have to kill another species to save themselves they are right. IRL thousands of people have died due to religious persecution because other people believed in their hearts that they were good people doing God's will. Most people do not do things that they feel in their heart are wrong. They all have reasons why they are right "in their hearts".

Quote:
If a person who has murdered someone in the US shows any sign of remorse, they usually getting life in prison not the death sentence - and if they successfully argue that they were insane at the time, they go free or to a psych ward. I would say under the influence of the souls, Cas went a little insane (and he is locked in a psych ward).
Only if they are white rich and Christian for the remorse part. And an insanity defense is unbelievably hard to prove. People see that as getting away with things. Heck the Supreme Court has ruled on whether a person so mentally retarded that he did not understand the death penalty could be executed. The severely mentally retarded can not be executed, however if you are so mentally ill that you cannot understand why you are being executed you can be forced to take psychiatric medication so that you can recover your sanity, THEN you can be executed. (Sorry, I know too much about our criminal system) Now, I'm not advocating for Cas's death. I'm actually advocating that he be returned to his species and his family and let THEM decide what culpability he has. All I'm saying is that your idea of how a real mass murder would be treated is not really accurate.
vivian
# vivian 2012-03-30 09:45
persysowner,

With your permission, I don’t think you grasped what Bevery meant. I wrote something like that in a previous post here (I don’t if it was the one Beverly read – there are so many here I’m lost!). You are not excused for doing evil things just because your heart tells you they are the right ones for the purpose ahead – what is right and what is wrong is a very dubious, shady thing. You put very good examples of it. What Cas did season 6 and S07.01 were WRONG, even if he thought, then, that it was the right thing to do.

Now, if you really feel remorse in your heart for the things you did, if you see they were evil, that you were wrong, you feel very bad for it and wants to try to fix it or/and be punished for it, that’s the first step on a road to redemption.

If people do something bad to me and apologize, firstly I try to make it if they are really sorry or not, before forgiving them. Because there are people that say sorry and don’t mean it, in any given opportunity they would do you wrong again. No remorse, whatsoever, for having hurt you. These people don’t deserve to be forgiven – actually, they don’t even need or want your forgiveness. And I don’t think this situation applies to Cas.

Whatever the criminal system is, it punishes the remorseful and, forcefully, the non-remorseful (is this a word?). But what is more important (for me, at least) is what the offender feels about his crimes.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-29 15:16
This is kind of (okay definitely) off-subject but Alice's comments got me worried. There are 6 episodes left. And this one looks to be MOTW. So I got to thinking (hate my job and this distract from idiocy) about which threads (for me) are still open for this season. And there seems to be seem to be several.
I'm probably forgetting something so feel free to correct( if anyone even reads this.)
1. See Sam deal with some of what happened to him in the cage now that he doesn't have Lucivision 24/7. If he is just fine for the rest of the season, I will be disappointed. (See it kind of about this article)

2. Some resolution to Dean's problems ie the guilt, the depression, the apathy, the drinking. With hopefully a renewed purpose for why he hunts (or a game plan to get out).

3. Deal with what I see as a trend this season, their codependency. I personally have decide I am pro-codependenc y. As I said previously, SCREW INDEPENDENCE. That's for people who haven't gone to hell. They need to need each other (and so does the show-IMO). But the writers might have another take and as long as it done well I fine as long as it dealt with.

Hopefully the first 3 will be interconnected.

4. Deal with the questionable killings issue. I know a lot people just want the Amy thing to be over. But to me, I would be more satisfied as a season, if the inconsistencies were dealt with. Such as, why do the witches, Cas, Meg and the Leviathan George get a pass while Amy and Emma had to die without question. Meg and George, I guess could be seen as potentially useful as well as Cas. But the witches, they tried to kill but really not that hard. Even it Defending your Life, Dean had a pretty judgmental attitude towards the people they were trying to save. I kind of need a connective flow to be fully satisfied.

5. Castiel- 'Kay, don't know where Cas fits in but obviously more atonement is needed. (not so much for Sam-at least not for me but for everything else he did). I would like for him to be able to become a regular again without the whole ex deus machina aspects. Although if he can't kill Leviathan that could be how.

6. Ghost Bobby? I'm wondering if this relates to other issues. I want to write. GET BOBBY BACK. But I actually can't see how that is going to happen.

7. STOP LOSING EVERYBODY! Of course there is basically no one else to lose. Garth and Jody-that's it. They need to start building back up. It does seem like they've written themselves into a corner with this one. BUT I WANT BOBBY BACK. Sorry.

8. BRING BACK BABY-nuff said and honestly the one I'm most sure of -even though it looks like it will be the last episode. IT BETTER AT LEAST BE THE LAST EPISODE THIS SEASON.

9. Leviathans- I know a lot of people don't like them but I kind of feel they are here stay for another season. I've sort of enjoy them. Instead of the evil menace the demons are. They're an insidious menace which is much harder to get rid of. But we some definitive progressive with them. A way to kill. Find out what their overall plan is-something.

Sorry this is a book. Like I said distraction last night a work.
Gerry
# Gerry 2012-03-30 00:07
About the questionable killings, I think there were differences in each case and they made sense. The witches didn't get a pass. Sam and Dean tried to kill them with the chicken feet. They didn't succeed and had to fight for their own lives. Those witches were extremely powerful, as other witches have been. Sam and Dean didn't kill the Irish witch who aged Dean, either, because they couldn't. They did get the limp Leviathan out of the case, and that trumped chasing down witches they didn't know how to kill. They concentrated on Chet. I thought that made sense.

Cas is also a different case. His decision to kill was part of a specific set of circumstances, which he now clearly sees as wrong and regrets. His basic nature does not drive him to kill. It's a choice and he's not likely to repeat opening purgatory to swallow souls and become God. Dean may or may not completely forgive him, but he doesn't have to kill him to stop Cas from killing for the same set of reasons.

We have no idea what's going on with Leviathan George yet. If Sam and Dean struck an alliance, it's a temporary one based on desperation. They won't hesitate to kill him when that alliance ends. Sam and Dean have no difficulty judging Leviathans.

Amy was a difficult case because she wanted to change her spots. She was meant to be a difficult case. However, despite her desire, when push came to shove, she was a kitsune, not human and people were her prey. Dead human brains were not nutritious for her or her son. When he got sick, she went hunting. If she got sick, she'd have to do the same. Dean knew it was just a matter of time and I accepted his logic. Amy was a sympathetic monster, but she was hunting a man and his son when Sam interrupted her killing spree. They were sympathetic, too. All monsters have points of view. The premise of Supernatural is Sam and Dean hunt monsters who hunt humans.

Same deal for Emma--Amazons are no longer human and they kill the fathers of the children. Emma was clearly hunting Dean. Sam killed her because he didn't trust her story she wanted to change. I don't think we were supposed to doubt Sam's assessment.

The fact that the boys react differently to different circumstances makes the story realistic to me. If they always had a clear black and white reaction to killing, the story would be less complex. Some monsters are easier to kill than others for Sam and Dean--and not always the same for each.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-03-30 00:36
I don't disagree with your analysis. Unfortunately the show has pretty much boiled it down to "if Dean thinks they should live then it's the right decision, if Sam thinks they should live then it's the wrong decision." Killing Emma is okay because Dean says it is. Not killing Lenore is wrong because Sam thought she could be saved. (Lenore will bug me forever). When Dean kills someone Sam thinks should live, Sam has to grovel and admit that Dean was right, right, right. Since Sam is NEVER EVER right when he disagrees with Dean the opposite never happens.
elle
# elle 2012-03-30 12:12
Neither Sam nor Dean killed Lenore - Cas did that when she asked to be killed because she couldn't resist the pull of Eve anymore and didn't want to become a monster. Actually, when they initially encountered Lenore was when Dean started to realize it wasn't so black and white as "this is a monster - kill it" and "this is a human - don't kill it" - Sam persuaded Dean to see that Lenore should be allowed to live and Dean took his cue from his brother. He had to do some learning to get there, but he did follow Sam's lead on the matter eventually.

Do you mean Amy?

Sam didn't grovel and admit that Dean was right about killing Amy, he said he recognized why she had to die - he said this very matter of fact. Grovelling was not what I'd call that. Sam also didn't pull any punches when talking with Dean about killing Emma. Sam thought Dean had a problem with killing Emma and that Dean should have been more ready to pull the trigger, so to speak. Dean couldn't do that particular killing himself but he didn't say that Sam was wrong to do it.

I don't think it's quite so black and white as "if Dean says they should live, they will live" - both have valid arguments when they have these discussions. I'm not going to go into the "was it right to kill Amy" debate again, but I will say that it made sense to me that Sam couldn't actually do the killing with Amy because he knew her the same way Dean was hesitant to actually do the killing with regard to Emma because of the somewhat personal, familial if you will, connection to her (and we can debate until the cows come home whether it was a legitimate familial connection, but I've no doubt that Dean thought there was a connection with Emma in that way).
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-03-30 12:50
My point with Lenore is that Sam interacted with her and came to the conclusion that she was not a threat and could be let go. Then during The Mother of All arc we discover that Sam's judgement was wrong and Lenore has killed again. OTOH, Sam is freaked and worried about Andy and his powers. Dean says that he believes Andy is harmless and lo and behold, Andy remains innocent to the moment of his death. Sam believes that Amy is not a threat despite her actions. Dean does not believe that and kills her. Sam is shown saying that Dean was right and Sam was wrong. Yes, Sam kills Emma, but Dean is not arguing that she is not a danger, he is simply not able to pull the trigger himself. Dean's judgement rules. With the Rugaru Sam believes that he has the potential to control his monstrous side. Dean disagrees and is proven right.

The Ruby Castiel dynamic is the same. Ruby is a demon (obviously not to be trusted) who consistently saves Sam and Dean in season 3, who helps Sam recover some balance during Dean's time in Hell, who continues to give Sam and Dean accurate information to find Lilith and even allows herself to be tortured to save Anna. Castiel raises Dean and threatens to throw him back if provoked. He agrees to slaughter an entire town if Dean can't find a way to stop Sam Hain. He enlists Dean's promise to help in the Apocalypse in exchange for leaving Sam out of the fight, then releases Sam from the panic room intending for Sam to continue on his path. In the end Sam's belief in Ruby is shown to be utterly wrong, Dean's belief in Castiel is shown to be utterly right in season five.

I do acknowledge that there are several supernatural evil doers that have been released under circumstances that are ambiguous. Patrick the man-witch is let go for no reason that I can understand. If George was let go, we don't know the circumstances. The witch couple was too strong to be taken out, Crowley has been too devious to be caught. Meg is the big question mark. The final conversation in the car indicates that Sam disapproves of trusting her, Dean sees her having potential use. If by some chance Dean turns out to be wrong about Meg, I will re-evaluate my views. If once again it turns out that when Dean trusts a demon that demon turns out to be trustworthy, I will be quite annoyed and unsurprised. I am however waiting to see how that plays out.
elle
# elle 2012-03-30 13:25
I think this is another “agree to disagree” moment. In my opinion, it’s unfair to say that because Lenore turned out to be a ‘monster’ four plus years after they let her go that Sam’s judgement is being shown as incorrect. Point of fact, they both let her go. By that yard stick, her own judgement was proven wrong, as was Dean’s, while Gordon’s ended up being “endorsed” (I don’t believe this but that is what your explanation leads to, in my opinion). In fact, if we look at what has been “proven wrong” over a long period like when we first encountered Lenore to when she was killed, Gordon could be said to be right about Sam ultimately, because he did have a hand in the apocalypse (so did Dean of course, and I don’t blame either of them – just making a point here).

Dean began to trust Ruby in season three. And in season six, Dean has great faith in Castiel, arguing with Sam and Bobby that of course they can trust Cas, and he is proven wrong – in that instance it’s Sam who is saying, look something isn’t right I don’t think we can trust Cas, and the show then “endorses” Sam’s judgement by proving that Cas had gone off the rails (I want to be clear, I don’t believe that the show endorses a particular judgement/POV as correct over another, but if this is the argument you’re using, I’m trying to make an argument within the logic that I think you’re applying).

(Also – just because I don’t know how this will come across in type – I’m not trying to be condescending or anything, I really am trying to work within the scenario you set out, as I think I understand it, so I hope nobody will take offense to my comments here).

My point is that (a) I don’t think it’s an accurate measure to say that a comment someone made was then shown to be “wrong” after so long a time and that (b) I don’t think the show endorses one of the brother’s judgement as being more accurate or trustworthy as another.
Cindy
# Cindy 2012-03-30 17:14
I just chalk it up to Dean having pretty good gut instincts. He's always had them. Of course he's not always right, but...

Anyway, no way would I consider Meg trustworthy. I'm sure Dean doesn't either. He's using her at the moment, just like he used Crowley in season 5. I just hope he kills her before she's able to carry out whatever she has cooking in that evil brain of hers.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-30 01:36
I don't necessarily disagree with all the choices but it is an issues that has come up a lot(although I may be over thinking). Starting with Amy there has been several times this season that the deaths were questionable. Maybe this is just supposed to be a sign of what is happening with the boys.

That Dean is having trust issues and Sam is having a hard time arguing with him because he doesn't trust himself. When it is right to kill has always been a grey area on the show. Both boys have questioned different kills and have shifted their views based on what they were going through at the time. Maybe that is all this is. But this "kill all monsters" without question can't actually be the FINAL consensus between the brothers. That flies in the face of everything they've lived through.

In the Mentalist (sorry Tim I read how much you hate that.) Sam says that if something feels wrong is probably is. But by the end of the show he is saying he agrees with Dean. The first feels like Sam the second feels like something's off. And Dean's guilt has been eating at him all season. He can say it was just because he was lying to Sam but the same depression followed him after that. Is he having a harder time feeling when something is wrong? And he's frozen at least a couple different time. That could be related or that could be a completely separate issue. Oh yeah. Adding to list above.

10. Why is Dean freezing?
I'm hoping that now that Sam is more stable he starts questioning Dean again. He really hasn't that much this season the only time I can think of is when Dean didn't pull the trigger on Emma. I think Sam stopped having faith in his own judgment because it was taking everything him in to fight his hallucination a lot of the time.

To me this is an issue that has to be address.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-30 06:57
Kelly, I think your questions are very legitimate but it basically comes down to bad writing.

The entire Amy debacle as I like to call it was not clearly thought out and planned. The writers seemed to have no purpose for that story. It divided the brothers for a week but at the end of the episode, I wasn't sure why Sam was mad or why Dean had lied.

The story wasn't tight. To me, the entire season is suffering from this problem. The story is just meandering about and is aimless.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-03-30 10:47
Okay so maybe I am the only one who sees a trend with that this season (probably overthinking again). If they resolve most of the other issues, I'm still good.
Still the season isn't over it too early for me to say decide it is bad writing on the issue or any of the others. Although Alice seems to again with you.

I still see a possibility that a lot of these storylines could be connected.
Oh and I had a completely off the wall idea. Cas' is crazy, so in his delusional state he tries to make amends to the Winchester by resurrecting people they lost. First Bobby, the Jo and Ellen, Jess, Ok John (some people like him), Mary, Adam (I know even for this scenarios its absurd, but I really want him out of that cage- with a soul)etc.
I WANT BOBBY BACK. Sigh I don't see that happening except maybe as a ghost. Oh well.
lala2
# lala2 2012-03-30 11:40
I think it is fine to be hopeful that there will be some explanation. I'm just not in that place.

I, personally, don't think there will be any further resolution to the Amy story. To me, it feels like that story went as far as it could, and b/c I don't forsee it coming up again, I feel I can say that entire arc was poorly written. There really wasn't a purpose to the story that I can see. It was just filler. It didn't have a great impact on the boys, their relationship, or the overall storyline.

I don't know. For me, certain stories have a feeling of resolution. It's hard for me to describe. It's just a feeling I get.

For instance, I wanted to see the boys really talk and resolve their issues after Season 4 in a deep and meaningful way. Plus, I wanted to see Sam apologize to Dean. I know some will say he did, but I didn't find it satisfactory. After Fallen Idols aired, I had a feeling I wouldn't get any further exploration on what happened during Season 4. Some were hopeful we'd see more, but the episode had a sense of finality to it. And as far as I'm concerned, it was over after that episode. I wasn't happy w/the way the issues of Season 4 were resolved in FI, and FI was the 1st episode of Supernatural that I actually hated b/c of the lousy resolution, IMO. This past episode would be the 2nd episode I hate for the same reason. I don't "hate" The Mentalists, but it's definitely not an episode I'd rewatch, and it was, IMO, a pretty awful resolution to an already bad arc.

The reason I feel Sam's issues are probably over and done with is b/c of the insanely quick way the story was wrapped up. He's been hallucinating all season, but managing pretty well. We didn't see a slow breakdown; it was all very quick. He "let in Lucifer" - whatever that means - during Repo Man, and that's it. The next episode, he's struggling badly b/c he can't sleep. The episode after that lands him in the asylum. During that same episode, Castiel is found and fixes Sam's issues. The episode ends w/Sam on his feet, looking good.

To me, it feels like Sam's problems are resolved. The time for him to talk about Hell has passed, IMO. I honestly can't imagine why he would start discussing it now. A show is all about timing. Most people want to see progression and not regression. That's the main complaint I read from people re: Dean's depression. Many feel it is raised and then left unresolved only to rear up again. Many people want him to move past it at this point. If Sam starts talking about Hell now, I, personally, would find it odd. I know some feel that he can finally release his thoughts now that the hallucinations are gone, but I just think it would have made more sense for him to do so earlier in the season. And I can't see the writers going back to address those thoughts, feelings now when we have six episodes left to possibly resolve Dean's arc, Castiel, and the Leviathans.

Could I be wrong? Of course. But I'm not going to expect to see anything else so I'm not even more disappointed than I already am w/this story. I'm going to assume the story is over. IMO, we didn't get much of a story - too quick and vague for my taste - so that is why I'm even more disappointed w/the quick fix.

But that is all my opinion. I understand others feel differently. I'm just throwing out my thoughts so people can understand my position.
elle
# elle 2012-03-30 12:04
I wonder if the Amy thing wasn't set up to bring the grey area into the forefront so that when Cas came back it'd be a point of dicussion. Maybe it was concieved initially that way and then the ball was dropped, because it was one of those things that looked better on paper.

Alternatively, maybe that grey area was made such a focal point because it will come into play as the season wraps up and the "cancer curing" Leviathan plot kicks into high gear.

Hard to say, we'll just have to wait to the end of the season and then evaluate I suppose. If nothing else, that Amy thing sure got some discussion mileage for the fans.
vivian
# vivian 2012-03-30 12:17
I agree with you Elle! (again!). I'm willing to wait till the end of the season to get a better picture of the subjects in discussion, including the Amy ordeal.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-03-30 11:18
Quote:

I'm hoping that now that Sam is more stable he starts questioning Dean again. He really hasn't that much this season the only time I can think of is when Dean didn't pull the trigger on Emma. I think Sam stopped having faith in his own judgment because it was taking everything him in to fight his hallucination a lot of the time.
Amen to that, Kelly. I look forward to a return of the brothers who can stand toe to toe, as well as shoulder to shoulder. I look forward to a return of the Sam who doesn't just sit silently when Dean says he'll punch him in the nose.
Gerry
# Gerry 2012-03-30 14:14
I think the point of Sam's comments in The Mentalist was to show he knew something was bothering Dean, but that he hadn't quite nailed what.

Sam had his own process he went through about Amy's death, from his first recognition that this killing spree was directly related to his letting Amy go years ago to his feeling of connection with her and therefore willingness to believe in her to his eventual feeling that he understood Dean's point of view that he was saving people from being killed.

But he doesn't understand how Dean goes from that to the guilt he was clearly feeling. So he asks, which is a bit step forward we've seen between Sam and Dean this year.

The reason Sam doesn't understand is Dean has been hiding from him how worried he still is about Sam's mental health. He doesn't want to tell Sam he was afraid to argue it out with his brother because he's not sure what will trigger Sam's hallucinations. So he went behind his back to do what he thought was right rather than having it out with Sam.

That's what EvilDean tells Sam in Slash Fiction: Dean's actions show that he thinks Sam is crazy. That's why Sam is so hurt--he knows there is a kernel of truth in there. And that hurt is what Dean was trying to avoid while actually still worried sick about the hallucinations and what they mean.

It's a tangled mess and no wonder things didn't work out well.

I think there was a really well done movement throughout the season of Dean being terrified about Sam's condition to Dean being puzzled about Sam's condition to Dean getting complacent about it to Dean getting broadsided by Sam's breakdown. I think the audience was supposed to follow Dean's trajectory.
cd28
# cd28 2012-03-30 13:00
Wow, there are a lot of comments here. Just going to weigh in with what I'm feeling. I haven't been at all happy with the way Sam's story was written this season, but at this point, I'm ready to move on. Both Sam and Dean's characters suffer when they're drowning in depression and a lack of hope. And despite the denials, I don't think either Sam or Dean have had any hope this season. Dean's POV on this was made clear in the Amy episode when he said he was waiting for the other shoe to drop with Sam - it was only a matter of time. And I think Sam has known since Unforgiven that the Hell memories were going to get him soon. He was only pushing through this because he wanted Dean to be OK.

But for the first time in a long time, both Sam and Dean have a real shot at hope. Think about this for a second - this is the first time since Sam let Lucifer out of the cage when he actually can start thinking about the future. So while I have a lot of criticisms about the way things have been handled up to this point, I'm looking forward to a change in tone moving forward.
Rick D
# Rick D 2012-03-30 13:16
Quote:
Wow, there are a lot of comments here. Just going to weigh in with what I'm feeling. I haven't been at all happy with the way Sam's story was written this season, but at this point, I'm ready to move on. Both Sam and Dean's characters suffer when they're drowning in depression and a lack of hope. And despite the denials, I don't think either Sam or Dean have had any hope this season. Dean's POV on this was made clear in the Amy episode when he said he was waiting for the other shoe to drop with Sam - it was only a matter of time. And I think Sam has known since Unforgiven that the Hell memories were going to get him soon. He was only pushing through this because he wanted Dean to be OK.

But for the first time in a long time, both Sam and Dean have a real shot at hope. Think about this for a second - this is the first time since Sam let Lucifer out of the cage when he actually can start thinking about the future. So while I have a lot of criticisms about the way things have been handled up to this point, I'm looking forward to a change in tone moving forward.
Thank you, Cd28! 100% agree with everything you said. We've all been waiting for "the other shoe to drop," and now- it's remarkable, but I can finally watch the show with a light heart again, instead of a combination of uneasy anticipation and dread.
I'm as excited and welcoming of new eps now, like I was before S4.
Jen
# Jen 2012-03-30 13:53
Wow. Just wow. Have I really read through all the comments? Yes, I have and now my head is swirling and I have no idea where's up and where's down.

It just baffles me how entirely different people can watch/see and judge the SAME episode. :) All about perspective I guess... For the record I enjoyed the episode and it was easily one of the most heartbreaking of the whole season (at least in my opinion) and I don't think that the episode or the whole season has been told via Dean POV only.

I get why people are upset with the way certain storylines have been dealt with, but I can't really understand why people (and I don't mean to insult anyone) feel the need to constantly bash either Sam or Dean and the way their characters have changed or behaved and how some of their actions are seemingly completely out of character. I strongly disagree, especially when it comes to Dean and how they despise his "emo"-ways and depression.

I get it, people want a season 1 Dean back, because he supposedly was so "badass" and so much "more Dean". News-Flash: a lot of things happened to Dean (and Sam as well) throughout all the season, anyone who seriously thinks Dean and Sam would be the same people they were when the show started should really think again. That would be boring and one dimensional and would mean no chracter development and growth at all.

I said it before and I'll say it again. I LOVE the 7th season, because I feel that it really showcases the mental states of both boys and I find that to be extremely interesting. The psychological aspects of their story.

There are so many things I'd like to write down but I'm unable to, because it would be a freaking novel, so I'm just going to throw my two cents in on how Sam and Dean have/or haven't grown as characters and how their time in hell has affected them both.

I don't see how people think (and of course that is all about perspective so I'm not judging anyone for how they perceive things, I just like to point out how I see things out of curiosity if anyone thinks the same) that Sam hasn't grown or how his time in hell and his mistakes hasn't really been dealt with all season. I strongly disagree. I think he's the one who really worked through the things he had done in the past and his time in hell (and I don't think this negates his way of pushing the memories aside). He even says it in one episode. That he no longer feels guilty. I also think that Sam always has been the one who had less problems dealing with his feelings.

Dean on the other hand never worked through what happened in hell. Sure he talked about it a bit, but did he work it through, like really? I don't think so and I think that's also the reason why Dean is so depressed/or emotionally apathetic (even though both thing don't really make sense at the same time) when it comes to Sam as some say (I don't think so btw but...) in this season. In a way what happens to Sam (his hallucinations etc) just really shows Dean what a tortured soul looks like. And what this does to Dean, whose specialty is to feel guitl is what we've been seeing pretty much all season. He's barely holding on, just like Sam really.

Anyway, I've got tons more to say but what I've written down is already so all over the place and probably impossible to understand for anyone else but me that I just give up at this point.

I can only say, I hope that the Dean's storyline won't get dropped and just disappears. I'm curious what's up next and wherever they take the boys, I know where I'll be: Right by their side. Until the bitter end. Amen. :)
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-30 14:24
lol! Amen, Jen. :-)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-03-30 15:00
OMG, there are so many threads on this post to follow, my head is starting to hurt...in a good way. I'm always amazed at the amount of passion this fanbase has. Whether we agree or disagree with each other, it's just simply wonderful to behold!
Winifred
# Winifred 2012-03-30 16:53
Man this episode was a mess. I just want to thank many of the posters that have pointed out many of the faults. Love you all. I hope Supernatural can one day return to it's former glory.