Dysfunctional.  Co-Dependent.  Toxic.  Destructive.  These are the terms that have been flying around the Supernatural fandom lately, especially after the last two episodes.  But strong opinions on the brothers’ relationship are nothing new.  Fan commentary has always included statements like, “The brothers constantly lie to each other,” “the brothers won’t really talk to each other,”  “The brothers don’t try to understand each other.”  Season nine, however, appears to be pushing the envelope in regard to the problems in the brothers’ relationship: 

“Dean took away Sam’s agency.”

“Sam speech was unduly harsh and cruel.”

“Dean’s motives were selfish because he doesn’t want to be alone.”

“Sam doesn’t appreciate all Dean has done for him.”

“The brothers have to stop the destructive patterns of the co-dependence.”

“The brothers’ co-dependence is the heart of the show.”   

The fandom has exploded with vocal opinions about the state of the brothers, where they might be headed, and how they got here.  Judging from posts on various online sites, some fans like that problems in the relationship are being addressed; some are afraid that the resolution might mean the brothers will no longer have a strong bond; some come down in the middle - optimistic about improvements in the relationship but still concerned.  Fans also have endless theories about what this brother rift might mean for the rest of the season (and/or for the overall series).  Whatever is happening between Sam and Dean, one thing is certain – it has caused a fan uproar.   

This essay doesn’t contain any answers.  I certainly don’t purport to have any.  The main purpose of this essay is to give us some food for thought regarding the current brother dynamics, particularly in the area of self-sacrifice and extreme measures in regard to saving one another.  Sam and Dean Winchester (and all the beloved characters in the show) are in many ways, real to us.  Of course intellectually we know they’re not, but we have emotionally invested in them, and so we can relate to and empathize with them.  This makes us want to talk about their motivations, discuss how they’re feeling, and suggest what might make things better for them.  In short, we care about our boys.  

But I’m not going to do any of that in this essay.  Instead, I’m going to attempt to switch gears and take a practical approach.  So much has been said recently regarding the motivations for each brother (particularly Dean) to save the other.  But what really happened way back in all those previous seasons?  Just who was saving who, and what were they saving the other from?   Before tackling that topic, though, a few statements have to be made about the nature of the Winchesters’ dynamics, and TV dysfunctional relationships in general.     

I think most, if not all, fans would agree that the boys’ relationship is dysfunctional, at least to an extent.  They lie to each other.  They hurt each other.  They lack trust in each other.  I also think most fans would agree that both Sam and Dean have their own personal issues resulting from the trauma they have faced.  Arguments can be made if these reactions are normal or excessive, but everyone can agree that it makes them – less than well-adjusted.  Having said that, isn’t that what interests us?

As a general rule, we like to watch other people’s drama.  For whatever reasons – maybe it’s cathartic, maybe it puts perspective on our own lives, maybe we’re voyeurs – we find it entertaining to watch flawed humans attempt to navigate the relationships in their lives.  Television abounds with dysfunctional relationships.  It has for a while.  Over time, perfect families like the ones in Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best gave way to depictions of more damaged familial relationships like those in All in the Family, Dallas, and Roseanne.  And people watched and embraced these shows, relating (sometimes a little too closely!) to the issues and chaotic nature found within the family dynamics.  

When looking at popular television shows of recent years, The Sopranos, Mad Men, BreakingBad, Game of Thrones, and even comedies like Suburgatory and The Simpsons, dysfunctional relationships are all at the center of these narratives, sometimes played for laughs, sometimes for tears - and sometimes played simultaneously for both.  In all of these shows, the characters’ inner demons (no pun intended) are constantly at work and influencing their familial relationships, and most of the time, it makes for absorbing TV.  

Television programs with a specific focus on sibling relationships have also flooded our screens:  There’s dramas like PrisonBreak, Dexter, Brothers and Sisters; comedies like Malcolm in the Middle and Shameless (more a comedy-drama);  There’s even children’s fare like The Suite Life of Zach and Cody (with our own Kim Rhodes) and Phineas and Ferb

Contained within the narrative of most of these series is the dysfunctional yet abiding love between siblings.  We apparently think it’s compelling what siblings, and family in general, will do to and for one another.  Again, we can relate;  we all have some sort of family, and watching those dynamics play out on the small screen in often outrageous way says something to us about our own (slightly less outrageous) family dynamics.

Turning the focus back to the dysfunction of Sam and Dean, it seems much of the discord in the fandom stems not from the fact that people think all the lying and shutting each other out is good, but because of decisions made by either Sam or Dean in relation to the other brother.   Fans have reacted to the issues centered on self-sacrifice, family bonds and different coping mechanisms when one brother is in danger.  But the Winchesters’ love for one another and willingness to do anything for each other is what drew many to the show in the first place.  The problem is, the possibility has been raised that this love may have become not only self-destructive, but destructive to those around Sam and Dean as well.  Many fans want the boys to have more independence from one another and less of a willingness to do destructive things out of needing each other.  Others feel these changes may go overboard and dissolve the intensity of the brothers’ love, lessening the bond that they share with one another.    

I turn now to one of the biggest issues surrounding  the story right now – self-sacrifice and/or using supernatural means in the name of saving one another.  However, I’ll look at this not from the viewpoint of either Sam or Dean, but from a chronological cataloging of events in the series.    

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Self-Sacrifice Between the Brothers:  Many fans feel (judging from online comments) that this self-sacrifice is born out of the co-dependence of the brothers.  This word has been bandied about on forums and social media sites more times than is humanly possible to count.  We see:

 “Dean makes these decisions because he can’t be alone.”

“Sam has to stand up for his own needs.”

“They have to stop sacrificing themselves and others for the sake of one another.”

It’s been said several times in the show, and by the character of Dean, that Dean didn’t want to hunt alone, (and he emphasizes that later, when he tells Jo “who would?”).  And we know that Dean values and needs his family.  In addition, from the onset of the series Dean was made to be an overprotective big brother, and often put Sam before everything else.  Examples of this are not hard to come by.  In 1.22 “Devil’s Trap” he uses a precious bullet from the colt to save Sam’s life.  In 2.9 ”Croatoan,” he is willing to sacrifice his own life so Sam won’t be alone when he becomes infected with the virus and is presumed to be near death.  And though we’re told many times that this overprotective instinct stemmed from John Winchester drilling it into Dean’s head to watch out for Sammy, Dean also says in “All Hell Breaks Loose Part 2” that John “didn’t even have to tell me.  It was just always my responsibility.”  During Dean’s speech over a dead Sam, Dean says Sam’s death was letting Sam down.  It seems in this instance, Dean couldn’t live with having let Sam down (by not protecting him from death), rather than not being able to live with being alone.  Whatever the case, Dean commits one of the biggest self-sacrificial acts by one of the brothers, which then becomes one of many yet to come:

·      In 2.22, Dean summons a demon and sells his soul in exchange for Sam’s resurrection.   

·      Dean risks his life (5.22 “Swan Song”) so his brother won’t be alone while possessed by Lucifer.

·      In 6.11, (“Appointment in Samarra”) Dean allows himself to die temporarily, putting himself in grave danger should Dr. Robert not be able to bring him back, in order to ask Death to retrieve Sam’s soul which is being tortured in Hell.    

·      Though not a sacrifice of self, Dean (8.19 “Taxi Driver”) does ask Benny to sacrifice himself so Benny can return to Purgatory and get Sam and Bobby (his spirit) out.   

·      On that fateful day, (9.1) in order to save Sam’s life, Dean sacrifices Sam’s wants, setting off a tragic chain of events. 

Sam, on the other hand, started out the series as independent and rebellious (due in large part to a contentious relationship with his dad).  His character traits were very different from Dean’s in that he wanted to make his own way in the world, away from “the life.”  Over time, Sam came to need his brother more and value the relationship in a different way.  This came to a head in season three with Sam’s increasingly desperate attempts to get Dean out of his demon deal and save him from the fate of going to Hell.  The culmination of this was shown in 3.11 (“Mystery Spot”) where Sam was tortured by the never-ending deaths of Dean (brought about by the Trickster/Gabriel in order to teach Sam a lesson).  Sam became obsessive in his quest to find the Trickster to break the death loop, and was willing to go out and kill a stranger for the blood needed for a summoning ritual (though many fans say he was willing to kill Bobby, once Bobby kept insisting Sam kill him, Sam figured out it wasn’t him, stating, “Yeah, ok ‘Bobby’.  But you want to know why? {stabbing him in the chest} Because you’re not Bobby”).  And this would not be the last time Sam would sacrifice for Dean:

·      In 3.15 (“Time is on my Side”), Sam is willing to use Doc Benton’s “live forever” formula on himself and Dean (but ultimately doesn’t go through with it because Dean doesn’t want to live that way). 

·      In 4.9 (“I know what You Did Last Summer”) Sam recounts to Dean how he had tried to trade places with him in Hell, but that no demon would deal.   

·      In 5.22 (“Swan Song”) Sam decides to sacrifice himself by allowing Lucifer to possess him and then attempting to throw the two of them down in the pit, thereby stopping the apocalypse.  

·      In 6.22 (“The Man who Knew too Much”) Sam allows the life threatening Hell memories to come flooding back into his psyche because “I won’t leave my brother alone out there.”  

·      In 8.14 (“Trial and Error”), Sam takes on the trials (and the sacrifice they entail) in order to stop Dean from a “suicide mission.”

·      Sam is initially willing to give his life (8.23 “Sacrifice”) to complete the trials in order to close the gates of Hell and not let Dean down.

So what does all that prove?  Nothing, it just gives us an indication that both Sam and Dean have often used supernatural means in order to assist each other.  They both have sacrificed, or have attempted to sacrifice, themselves for one another (and sometimes to accomplish something seemingly important for humanity).  This theme of sacrificing oneself for the good of family is woven throughout the entire show.  And it’s not just Sam and Dean who do it. 

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Self-Sacrifice by Other Characters:  Other people inhabiting Sam and Dean’s world often resort to the same means to protect their loved ones:

·      Mary Winchester (1.9 “Home”) destroys her own spirit in order to protect her children from a poltergeist that has taken up residence in their old house. 

·      Mary (4.3 “In the Beginning”) unwittingly allows Aazael to give Sam demon blood by agreeing to let the demon into her home in exchange for bringing John Winchester back from the dead (who Azazel killed).

·      John Winchester (2.1 “In My Time of Dying”) sacrifices his life and makes a demon deal to go to Hell in order to save Dean from impending death. 

·      Old woman Rose (2.11 “Playthings”) trades her life to save her granddaughter’s from the spirit of Rose’s sister, who doesn’t want to be alone in their house. 

·      A man named Evan (2.8 “Crossroad Blues”) makes a demon deal to sell his soul and go to Hell in order to cure his wife of cancer.

·      Castiel’s vessel Jimmy (4.20 “The Rapture”) begs Castiel to possess him again and spare his daughter, who Castiel takes as a vessel after Jimmy. 

·      Castiel stays behind (4.22 “Lucifer Rising”) to deal with the archangels, sacrificing his life in order to let Dean escape and find Sam in the hope of stopping Lucifer’s cage from being opened.   

·      Castiel (7.17 “The Born Again Identity”) takes on Sam’s hallucinations in order to atone for breaking Sam’s wall and to save Sam’s life. 

·      Bobby (5.1 “Sympathy for the Devil”) gets possessed but temporarily takes back control and stabs himself with a knife in order to save Dean’s life,

·      Bobby sells his soul to Crowley (5.20 “The Devil You Know”) in exchange for information on Death’s location. 

·      Bobby and Castiel (5.22 ”Swan Song”) risk their lives at Skull Cemetery to assist Dean and Sam and end up being killed (though they both get resurrected, of course).

·      Ellen Harville (5.10 “Abandon all Hope”) sacrifices her life to help the Winchesters escape and stay by her dying daughter’s side when Jo is mauled by a Hell hound.   

·      Adam (5.18 “Point of no Return”) is willing to be Michael’s vessel and play a part in the apocalypse in order to be reunited with his dead mother.

·      Samuel (5.10 “Caged Heat”) betrays Sam and Dean for Crowley in what he thinks will be an exchange to resurrect his daughter from the dead. 

·       Amy Pond (7.3 “The Girl Next Door”) sacrifices the life of her mother in order to save Sam’s life, then years later sacrifices criminals in order to feed her starving son. 

·      Linda Tran (8.2 “What’s up Tiger Mommy”) sells her soul in order to “buy” and thus save Kevin during a supernatural auction. 

·      Ellie (8.14 “Trial and Error”) makes a demon deal to give up her soul to save her mother from the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. 

·      Prometheus (8.16 “Remember the Titans”) sacrifices his life (and kills Zeus in the process) to save his son Oliver from a curse.

·      Benny (8.19 “Taxi Driver”) sacrifices his life on earth (which wasn’t working out for him anyway) in order to rescue Sam and Bobby (his spirit) from Purgatory.

 
Miscellaneous Sacrifices:

·      Madison (2.17 “Heart”) gives up her life (and asks Sam to kill her) to avoid hurting anyone because she’s a werewolf. 

·      Lenore (6.19 “Mommy Dearest”) asks the Winchesters to kill her (Castiel ends up doing it) after feeding on humans.   

And so it seems self-sacrifice for a loved one, or to atone, is seen time and time again with the characters of Supernatural.  The show has told us that people often go to extremes and use supernatural means to save their loved ones from pain or death, or in the hope of being reunited with them after losing them.  Whether this is right or wrong is not exactly the point, but more speaks to the fact that in the world of Supernatural, this type of sacrifice is so common that it would probably not be considered abnormal.  

The Fallout from Sam and Dean’s Sacrifices:  The show tells us that with each sacrifice made by the Winchesters (or by anyone), a chain of events is set in motion, often with drastic consequences.  For Sam and Dean that is most notably the apocalypse.  But the show also concludes that no matter what Sam and Dean did, they would still always end up right in the middle of the apocalyptic action.  But cataclysmic events of the universe aside, how were individuals affected by Sam and Dean’s sacrifices?  Many fans have commented about the brothers destroying people because of their choices.  So we need to take a look at character deaths throughout the series thus far.  And when we do, something unexpected happens. 

When you look at the numerous characters that have died on Supernatural, their deaths weren’t caused because one of the Winchesters was sacrificing them to save his brother.  These people got killed because they got caught up in the ongoing battle that Sam and Dean participate in.  When you look at Jessica, Meg Masters, (the real one), Ellen, Jo and Ash, Agent Hendrickson, Pamela, Gwenn Campell, Rufus, Frank Devaureau, even Bobby -  those people were not sacrificed, but were casualties of war.  They were killed by their association with this epic fight of good and evil.  Many more have died in the proximity of the Winchesters, or even because of the Winchesters’ methods of hunting:  This includes all the innocent people who got possessed by demons (who Sam and Dean killed), hunters killed by people trying to get to the Winchesters, and innocent people that Sam killed while soulless.  And though a very sad part of this story (and still a cause for guilt feelings by Sam and Dean), none of these deaths was because of a Winchester doing an extreme thing to save his brother.

From what I can see, the only people sacrificed in the name of saving a brother (Sam) were Benny and, through cause and effect – Kevin.  Dean asked Benny to go and help Sam, and Benny said yes.  Ultimately, Dean thought Benny would be coming back, and was making plans to “fix” Benny’s problems (not feeling like he belonged with the living) when Benny returned.  But Benny ended up staying in Purgatory - by choice (though Dean still brings up killing Benny as proof of putting Sam first in 8.23 “Sacrifice”).  Regarding Kevin, even though Dean didn’t knowingly sacrifice Kevin, Dean’s choice to let Gadreel possess Sam did result in Kevin’s death (although warning Kevin to steer clear of Gadreel once he knew there was trouble could have solved that problem). 

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Drawing the Line in Saving a Brother: It must be noted that throughout this story, there are also times when the brothers chose not to sacrifice for the sake of the other. 

·      Dean (3.12 “Jus in Bello”) refuses to sacrifice Nancy’s life (needed to complete a spell) which would allow him, Sam and the rest of the group to escape the police station where the demons were headed. 

·      When Sam is de-toxing from demon blood (4.21 “When the Levee Breaks”) and Bobby tells Dean it may kill him, Dean refuses to give him more blood and is willing to let his brother die, stating “I won’t let my brother become a monster.”   

·      Dean (5.1 “Sympathy for the Devil”) refuses to become Michael’s vessel, despite Sam (and himself) being tortured.  He tells Zachariah “Just kill us,” before Castiel shows up and saves them.

·      Dean stays to protect the locked down group (5.2 “Good God Y’all”) during a town battle, rather than go after Sam when he learns one of the “demons” took his brother.  

·      Dean, while doing Death’s job for the day (6.11 “Appointment in Samarra”) and messing with the natural order, tries to fix things, and ends up taking Death’s ring off to save a man from a fatal car accident, knowing it would break the deal with Death and Sam wouldn’t get his soul back. 

·      Sam decides not to sacrifice anything (8.1 “We need to Talk About Kevin”) when Dean disappears after killing Dick Roman (but I’m not going to touch that one).

Role Reversal:  lronically, during “Bedtime Stories” (3.5) when a doctor tells the brothers he should have let his daughter (who was in a persistive vegetative state) go a long time ago, Dean, who is getting closer to dying and going to Hell,  tells Sam that what the doctor says is good advice.  Sam becomes very confrontational, saying, “Is that what you want me to do, Dean?  Just let you go?”  The roles were quite reversed from what is happening in Season nine in that Sam couldn’t come to terms with the thought of losing Dean, though Dean wanted Sam to let him go.  But of course a lot has changed since then.  

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The Conflict of Sam and Dean:  It should be noted that in the early seasons, so much of the conflict came because of what was happening to the brothers - Sam’s emerging abilities, John’s death, demon plans for Sam, the impending apocalypse, and Sam and Dean’s roles in it.  The conflict came from the boys reacting to very, very personal events in their lives.  Now that the story has become so much less personal, conflict comes by way of brother discord.  These days they are so far removed from the mytharc that the tension that would normally come from The Winchesters’ part in the overarching story is now coming in the form of never ending conflict with each other.  Maybe Sam and Dean’s relationship would improve if they just had more important things to do than fight with each other.

Life and Death and the Supernatural: One more thing must be said in regard to this latest turn of events surrounding Dean’s decision to allow Sam to be possessed.  This season, we’re being told by Sam that he was ready to die.  However, in season eight, Sam wanted to live and survive the trials, and took them on in the first place because Dean saw it as a suicide mission.  In certain episodes Sam even told Dean he was concerned that he wouldn’t make it through the trials.  In the church, Sam was willing to sacrifice his life because he was on the verge of closing the gates, but his reasoning, in addition to partly being concerned innocent people would die if he didn’t, was that he couldn’t let his brother down.  After reassurance from Dean that he was the most important thing in Dean’s life, Sam decided to walk away and not close the gates, which was a choice to live.  Dean, in an attempt to save Sam’s life, let Sam be possessed by an angel that Castiel vouched for.  Since it is up for debate on whether or not Dean actually went into Sam’s mind and heard what he said about dying, or if Death was actually present ready to take Sam or just a figment of Sam’s imagination (making it unclear if Sam was in fact, completely ready to die or just trying to make up his mind), it’s difficult to know if Dean thought he was in some way assisting Sam in his will to live or if he was aware that he was completely disregarding his wishes.  And that does make a difference in Dean’s culpability in the act of letting Gadreel possess his brother (though any way you look at it Dean did withhold the truth from Sam for months, which pretty much held Sam hostage in his own body).    

One other thing must be noted about the brothers using supernatural means to save one another.  With the exception of Sam getting stabbed, all of the things Sam and Dean had happen to them was because of supernatural events.  In essence, their dire situations were unnatural.  So in the brothers’ world, maybe using supernatural means to save one another makes sense if the reason they got in those situations in the first place was due to supernatural forces.  

Making Sense of the Conflict: So what are the possible outcomes for all of this fallout?  The story tells us something between the boys needs fixing.  Is it something as basic as respect or trust?  Or does it have to do with using Supernatural means in order to save each other?  At this point we don’t exactly know the writers’ agenda.  Fans have many theories.  Some say Dean will go “dark side,” and Sam will have to sacrifice something big to save Dean’s life.  Some say Dean will learn to let Sam go.  Perhaps, though, it won’t be anything that big, and the boys will just quietly resolve their differences without a huge catastrophic event occurring.  Even if they do resolve things, I’m not so sure that this is the last time we will ever see conflict between the Winchester brothers.

The More Things Change, the More they Stay the Same: Even though things may be changing, some things will have to stay the same, if for no other reason than because it’s the premise of the show.  The brothers will continue to hunt together.  They will still live together.  They will still always have to save each other’s lives.  This last point is an important one.  Some fans are afraid that Sam and Dean may no longer have each other’s backs.  But in almost every episode, Sam or Dean save one another from a supernatural force.  What are the odds that’s likely to change?  Despite the uproar Sam’s comments caused, even between those who differentiate between Sam not attempting to save Dean’s life at all and not doing so in specific circumstances, the boys will still save each other (and sometimes others along the way).  Otherwise, there is no stake in the hunts.  

Lastly, one thing we all hope doesn’t change is the strength of the brothers’ love. We’ve been told that the writers all understand the boys’ relationship is at the heart of the show, and Jeremy Carver has said in numerous interviews that the story is always grounded in the brothers’ relationship.  Logic would dictate, then, that where we’re going is someplace good for the brothers.  Let’s hope the writers and showrunner like to be logical.

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Some Words on Discussion:  We all love to discuss this show. It’s fun, and reading other people’s viewpoints often gives us new insight into our own.  Just a word of caution, though:  Judging fictional characters who live in a fictional universe by real life standards that occur in a real world can be problematic.  Now of course, all we have are our own life experiences to comment on the actions of Sam and Dean, and the brothers’ emotions that we see are as real as any of ours.  However, there have been many heated posts about very serious, real world issues like co-dependency in relationships, rape, and end of life issues, and we could argue all day, but in the end its akin to comparing apples and oranges.  In the world of Supernatural: relationships are built around constant life and death struggles, hunting monsters is a profession, death is often not final (though he does have a personality and likes junk food), and a certain pair of brothers keep getting resurrected no matter how many times they die.  Also, demons and angels walk the earth, grievous injuries can happen to someone’s soul, people can stroll in and out of places like Hell and Purgatory, monsters prey on unsuspecting victims, and even when killed can come back if they hitch a ride inside someone else.  People are vulnerable to being possessed by supernatural entities at every turn, time travel is possible, alternate realities exist, and if you look hard enough, there is a spell to accomplish just about anything.  In this world, if you take a trip to the grocery store, it might not be you who comes back, and even if it is, your neighborhood may be a stomping ground for cataclysmic otherworldly battles.  

The point is, we debate endlessly, which can be fun to a degree, but the level of emotionality and quite often, animosity, we often see on the boards isn’t worth it.  How can we ever say that any action Sam and Dean commit is definitively wrong, because the rules of their world are constantly changing and even their own character motivations can change from episode to episode?  That’s not to say we can’t discuss things, but maybe we need to draw a line with how much we are willing to argue our positions.

Conclusion: Ultimately, none of us really know what goes on in that Supernatural writers’ room.   Right now, the writers are trying to say something to us about the Winchesters’ relationship.  “Breakdown to rebuild” is what we’re hearing.  But what will that reconstructed relationship look like?  At this point, everything is just audience speculation.  Hopefully things will become clearer soon.  Until then, we can still go on the ride, we just need to hold onto our seats when it gets a bit bumpy.



Comments  

JJ
# JJ 2014-02-18 01:28
Interesting piece! I appreciate all the legwork you did to analyze where we at...but even so. I'm so disheartened by the show right now.

Sam & Dean, in all their dysfunction, are the foundation SPN is built on. I really don't think anyone can argue that point. Without the Sam & Dean relationship, SPN doesn't have a leg to stand on. It really is SPN's emotional glue.

It was something I feel like Kripke was always very aware of...and something I feel Carver doesn't quite get.

I just don't think attempting to re-invent the brothers relationship into something more "mature" makes sense, as it seems SPN's definition of "mature" means the opposite of what I think it should. Carver seems to think that "maturing" the brothers is untangling them, distancing them, making them less dependent on one another - teaching them to learn to without one another / independently. And I don't buy that. Not with the shared, tragic history these to brothers share.

There is not some magic age you hit where having an exceptionally close relationship with your brother is no longer acceptable. Sam & Dean, despite having a network of friends who are like family, really only have each other - Cas is torn between two worlds & who knows where he will end up at any given time, Bobby/Ellen/Jo/ John are dead, Charlie is in OZ, Garth is a werewolf, Jody pops in & out of the boys lives - Sam & Dean have been each others constants for a HUGE majority of their lives. If you only have one real thing to hold on to, don't you think that you too would hold on as tight as you could? It be be super weird if you didn't.

Yes, Sam & Dean's relationship needs work - the brothers need to lie to one another less, trust one another more, provide the (emotional) support the other so desperately needs..whether or not they will admit it. Both Sam & Dean need to dig deep within themselves & learn to value themselves & find some much needed self-worth. I think THAT is how the writers need to "mature" the brothers. Not by pulling them apart. Because I will never find it believable for the boys to grow up by growing apart - not in the world they live in.

I have been frustrated with what Carver has done to the boys relationship during his reign. I'm frustrated by the impossible situations the writers have put the brothers in (see Sam dying...again) & forcing them to make bad decisions (see Dean taking Sam's agency away via Gadreel) & the fantastic characters (see Kevin & Benny) they have killed off seemingly to simply drive home the point that the boys relationship is dangerous & toxic.

WHY? I'm asking myself WHY all the time now.

Since the beginning of Season 8, I have found myself not much liking either Sam or Dean for various reasons. Sam, for not even putting in a half-hearted effort to look for Dean & for acting like his brotherhood with Dean is disposable. Dean, for making a choice for Sam that he had NO right to make.

Sam & Dean are suppose to the the heros or the story - we are suppose to root for them & sympathize with them. But we don't. We have Sam girls tearing Dean to shreds & Dean girls tearing Sam to shreds. And so much hate & wank has been sparked. And as a viewer & member of fandom, it's just not fun.

We need to love these brothers (and trust me, I do - way too much!)...but the writers are making it difficult. And I'm not sure WHY.
JJ
# JJ 2014-02-18 01:28
Interesting piece! I appreciate all the legwork you did to analyze where we at...but even so. I'm so disheartened by the show right now.

Sam & Dean, in all their dysfunction, are the foundation SPN is built on. I really don't think anyone can argue that point. Without the Sam & Dean relationship, SPN doesn't have a leg to stand on. It really is SPN's emotional glue.

It was something I feel like Kripke was always very aware of...and something I feel Carver doesn't quite get.

I just don't think attempting to re-invent the brothers relationship into something more "mature" makes sense, as it seems SPN's definition of "mature" means the opposite of what I think it should. Carver seems to think that "maturing" the brothers is untangling them, distancing them, making them less dependent on one another - teaching them to learn to without one another / independently. And I don't buy that. Not with the shared, tragic history these to brothers share.

There is not some magic age you hit where having an exceptionally close relationship with your brother is no longer acceptable. Sam & Dean, despite having a network of friends who are like family, really only have each other - Cas is torn between two worlds & who knows where he will end up at any given time, Bobby/Ellen/Jo/ John are dead, Charlie is in OZ, Garth is a werewolf, Jody pops in & out of the boys lives - Sam & Dean have been each others constants for a HUGE majority of their lives. If you only have one real thing to hold on to, don't you think that you too would hold on as tight as you could? It be be super weird if you didn't.

Yes, Sam & Dean's relationship needs work - the brothers need to lie to one another less, trust one another more, provide the (emotional) support the other so desperately needs..whether or not they will admit it. Both Sam & Dean need to dig deep within themselves & learn to value themselves & find some much needed self-worth. I think THAT is how the writers need to "mature" the brothers. Not by pulling them apart. Because I will never find it believable for the boys to grow up by growing apart - not in the world they live in.

I have been frustrated with what Carver has done to the boys relationship during his reign. I'm frustrated by the impossible situations the writers have put the brothers in (see Sam dying...again) & forcing them to make bad decisions (see Dean taking Sam's agency away via Gadreel) & the fantastic characters (see Kevin & Benny) they have killed off seemingly to simply drive home the point that the boys relationship is dangerous & toxic.

WHY? I'm asking myself WHY all the time now.

Since the beginning of Season 8, I have found myself not much liking either Sam or Dean for various reasons. Sam, for not even putting in a half-hearted effort to look for Dean & for acting like his brotherhood with Dean is disposable. Dean, for making a choice for Sam that he had NO right to make.

Sam & Dean are suppose to the the heros or the story - we are suppose to root for them & sympathize with them. But we don't. We have Sam girls tearing Dean to shreds & Dean girls tearing Sam to shreds. And so much hate & wank has been sparked. And as a viewer & member of fandom, it's just not fun.

We need to love these brothers (and trust me, I do - way too much!)...but the writers are making it difficult. And I'm not sure WHY.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 02:22
JJ I think that is why we discuss the show. The brothers relationship has been put in peril many times in the past. This year it feels different. We realize that Sam and Dean are in their 30's now so their relationship is going to change but our fear is that they will change into unrecognizable characters. When fear is involved in the conversation the passion runs high. We discuss scenarios that have been laid out to death sometimes to help put our fears to rest. This is the best website by far to come and safely discuss this show. Sometimes the passion gets the better of us but for the most part everyone seems to be respectful. I very much appreciate the WFB for giving us a place to discuss our favorite dysfunctional brothers.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 02:22
JJ I think that is why we discuss the show. The brothers relationship has been put in peril many times in the past. This year it feels different. We realize that Sam and Dean are in their 30's now so their relationship is going to change but our fear is that they will change into unrecognizable characters. When fear is involved in the conversation the passion runs high. We discuss scenarios that have been laid out to death sometimes to help put our fears to rest. This is the best website by far to come and safely discuss this show. Sometimes the passion gets the better of us but for the most part everyone seems to be respectful. I very much appreciate the WFB for giving us a place to discuss our favorite dysfunctional brothers.
mary9930
# mary9930 2014-02-18 06:34
Thank you Metamorphic Rocks. I was watching Point of No Return yesterday. Bobby & Cas wanted to keep Dean in the Panic Room but Sam convinced them to bring Dean with them to save Adam from the Angels. Dean said if the positions were reversed he wouldn't do the same thing for Sam. Sam sweetly replies (not exact words) "I guess I'm not that smart." Not the same situation but still gave me pause.
mary9930
# mary9930 2014-02-18 06:34
Thank you Metamorphic Rocks. I was watching Point of No Return yesterday. Bobby & Cas wanted to keep Dean in the Panic Room but Sam convinced them to bring Dean with them to save Adam from the Angels. Dean said if the positions were reversed he wouldn't do the same thing for Sam. Sam sweetly replies (not exact words) "I guess I'm not that smart." Not the same situation but still gave me pause.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-02-18 06:58
#3 Yeah, I watched that episode too. I realize you are trying to make the point that Dean said the same thing to Sam as Sam is saying to Dean now. What I noticed is that Dean ultimately realized he wanted to be the brother that Sam thought he was and did the right thing and told Sam that and it was all done in one episode.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-02-18 06:58
#3 Yeah, I watched that episode too. I realize you are trying to make the point that Dean said the same thing to Sam as Sam is saying to Dean now. What I noticed is that Dean ultimately realized he wanted to be the brother that Sam thought he was and did the right thing and told Sam that and it was all done in one episode.
ME
# ME 2014-02-18 08:18
Well done Metamorphic Rocks! I especially was drawn to the part about how the conflict in the early seasons was mostly from outside. Yes, yes, yes...maybe if they had other things to worry about then maybe they wouldn't need to fight and bicker with each other--they would then need to get on the same page and fight the good fight together--and we would have other things to discuss as well. My issues with the show, as of late, are not really due the brotherly conflict, per se--I just feel this constant cycle of conflict is the fallout of the lack of good, creative storytelling going on. I'm pretty sure they will patch things up by the end of the season and tear it apart again next season so I just can't muster the energy to get to worked up about it.

Anyway, just wanted to say that I enjoyed this and thanks.
ME
# ME 2014-02-18 08:18
Well done Metamorphic Rocks! I especially was drawn to the part about how the conflict in the early seasons was mostly from outside. Yes, yes, yes...maybe if they had other things to worry about then maybe they wouldn't need to fight and bicker with each other--they would then need to get on the same page and fight the good fight together--and we would have other things to discuss as well. My issues with the show, as of late, are not really due the brotherly conflict, per se--I just feel this constant cycle of conflict is the fallout of the lack of good, creative storytelling going on. I'm pretty sure they will patch things up by the end of the season and tear it apart again next season so I just can't muster the energy to get to worked up about it.

Anyway, just wanted to say that I enjoyed this and thanks.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-02-18 08:52
Metamorphic Rocks you rocked this article and hit the nail on head. Thanks!
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-02-18 08:52
Metamorphic Rocks you rocked this article and hit the nail on head. Thanks!
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2014-02-18 11:13
Hi JJ and cheryl42, thank you for reading and for your comments. You are absolutely right, we know the brothers need to start trusting each other and talking to each other more, but there is fear (valid, I think) that we won't recognize them once all is said and done. I share your concern. Hopefully the writers understand this and will rebuild the relationship into something strong and awesome!
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2014-02-18 11:13
Hi JJ and cheryl42, thank you for reading and for your comments. You are absolutely right, we know the brothers need to start trusting each other and talking to each other more, but there is fear (valid, I think) that we won't recognize them once all is said and done. I share your concern. Hopefully the writers understand this and will rebuild the relationship into something strong and awesome!
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2014-02-18 11:17
oh yes.

Show, give me great mytharcs and kickass Sam'n'Dean not contrived brotherly conflict please!
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2014-02-18 11:17
oh yes.

Show, give me great mytharcs and kickass Sam'n'Dean not contrived brotherly conflict please!
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2014-02-18 11:20
Mary9930, ME and Prix68 (sorry, I think we lost the ability to reply to individual posts anymore once other posters comment - at least I can't see how to do it).

Ah, yes - I remember "Point of No Return" did have that nice brotherly moment you're speaking of, the "You're still my big brother" phrase. Once a big brother, always a big brother!

And I agree, if we start to see more storytelling about the Mark of Cain and The Men of Letters (and other things), maybe our boys could get along better!

Thanks for reading!
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2014-02-18 11:20
Mary9930, ME and Prix68 (sorry, I think we lost the ability to reply to individual posts anymore once other posters comment - at least I can't see how to do it).

Ah, yes - I remember "Point of No Return" did have that nice brotherly moment you're speaking of, the "You're still my big brother" phrase. Once a big brother, always a big brother!

And I agree, if we start to see more storytelling about the Mark of Cain and The Men of Letters (and other things), maybe our boys could get along better!

Thanks for reading!
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 11:23
Since Jeremy Carver wrote some of the most awesome episodes of the series I still have faith that he and the writers have a plan that will put our fears to rest. Sometimes it's easy to lose faith that is why we come here and discuss each episode to death. The reviews on this website help us make sense of each episode. So thank you for that.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 11:23
Since Jeremy Carver wrote some of the most awesome episodes of the series I still have faith that he and the writers have a plan that will put our fears to rest. Sometimes it's easy to lose faith that is why we come here and discuss each episode to death. The reviews on this website help us make sense of each episode. So thank you for that.
amyh
# amyh 2014-02-18 11:27
Thank you for this article. I dont know how i feel about the brothers relatinship anymore. I feel like I'm in some weird stasis. I'm not looking forward to whatever it is Carver is planning because I have this catastophic fear that he will once again throw Sam under the bus. No matter what sam does or says the writers will always make sure Sam is wrong. Carver claimed Sam not sacrificing anything for Dean in Season 8 was Sam maturing and growing. But then why did Carver then have EVERY single charector tell Sam he was wrong?

Brady was right. Sams Hell is right here on earth.
amyh
# amyh 2014-02-18 11:27
Thank you for this article. I dont know how i feel about the brothers relatinship anymore. I feel like I'm in some weird stasis. I'm not looking forward to whatever it is Carver is planning because I have this catastophic fear that he will once again throw Sam under the bus. No matter what sam does or says the writers will always make sure Sam is wrong. Carver claimed Sam not sacrificing anything for Dean in Season 8 was Sam maturing and growing. But then why did Carver then have EVERY single charector tell Sam he was wrong?

Brady was right. Sams Hell is right here on earth.
Lkeke35
# Lkeke35 2014-02-18 11:34
@5 ME: I feel the same way in a lot of respects in a sense this happens every single season and I simply refuse or rather can't get too worked up about this rift right now. It will be fixed just like always and then the writers will do it again next season what I hope for is that this rift will be the last time they do this this is a well that the writers have gone to one too many darn times. I hope the purpose of this new rift is to settle this for the indefinite future. I don't want to see this again next season and the only reason reason I'm paying close attention to this one is because I hope for the resolution I mentioned above. An that this will be the last time I have to put up. I'm not dissatisfied with the shoe actually. I'm loving this season but I also have absolutely no problem dumping a show when I lose interest. I've done it about half a dozen times just last year.
@3: this is why if you can its so important to watch the reruns of previous seasons. It's weird but sometimes those reruns have a direct bearing on the current season and sometimes even specific current episodes. Right now on TNT the reruns are at the beginning go season six with soulless!Sam and it's fun to me to make comparisons to what's happening now.
Tomorrow will show Weekend At Bobby's and I can't help but think after watching his speech to the brothers in that episode what he would say to these two idiots right now cuz now they have figure it out alone. The only two people left to counsel them are Crowley and Castiel - not the best Dear Abbie's to have.
Lkeke35
# Lkeke35 2014-02-18 11:34
@5 ME: I feel the same way in a lot of respects in a sense this happens every single season and I simply refuse or rather can't get too worked up about this rift right now. It will be fixed just like always and then the writers will do it again next season what I hope for is that this rift will be the last time they do this this is a well that the writers have gone to one too many darn times. I hope the purpose of this new rift is to settle this for the indefinite future. I don't want to see this again next season and the only reason reason I'm paying close attention to this one is because I hope for the resolution I mentioned above. An that this will be the last time I have to put up. I'm not dissatisfied with the shoe actually. I'm loving this season but I also have absolutely no problem dumping a show when I lose interest. I've done it about half a dozen times just last year.
@3: this is why if you can its so important to watch the reruns of previous seasons. It's weird but sometimes those reruns have a direct bearing on the current season and sometimes even specific current episodes. Right now on TNT the reruns are at the beginning go season six with soulless!Sam and it's fun to me to make comparisons to what's happening now.
Tomorrow will show Weekend At Bobby's and I can't help but think after watching his speech to the brothers in that episode what he would say to these two idiots right now cuz now they have figure it out alone. The only two people left to counsel them are Crowley and Castiel - not the best Dear Abbie's to have.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-02-18 11:50
Quoting mary9930:
Thank you Metamorphic Rocks. I was watching Point of No Return yesterday. Bobby & Cas wanted to keep Dean in the Panic Room but Sam convinced them to bring Dean with them to save Adam from the Angels. Dean said if the positions were reversed he wouldn't do the same thing for Sam. Sam sweetly replies (not exact words) "I guess I'm not that smart." Not the same situation but still gave me pause.

Yes,I watched it too and I felt how understanding Sam was in that whole episode.I have always felt that when one brother was angry and the other understanding they could nevertheless work out their problems.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-02-18 11:50
Quote:
Thank you Metamorphic Rocks. I was watching Point of No Return yesterday. Bobby & Cas wanted to keep Dean in the Panic Room but Sam convinced them to bring Dean with them to save Adam from the Angels. Dean said if the positions were reversed he wouldn't do the same thing for Sam. Sam sweetly replies (not exact words) "I guess I'm not that smart." Not the same situation but still gave me pause.
Yes,I watched it too and I felt how understanding Sam was in that whole episode.I have always felt that when one brother was angry and the other understanding they could nevertheless work out their problems.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-02-18 11:53
Metamorphic rocks very interesting article.I have commented on various articles about my quibbles and the things i liked.I absolutely agree with the last para.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-02-18 11:53
Metamorphic rocks very interesting article.I have commented on various articles about my quibbles and the things i liked.I absolutely agree with the last para.
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-02-18 11:57
Quoting amyh:
Thank you for this article. I dont know how i feel about the brothers relatinship anymore. I feel like I'm in some weird stasis. I'm not looking forward to whatever it is Carver is planning because I have this catastophic fear that he will once again throw Sam under the bus. No matter what sam does or says the writers will always make sure Sam is wrong. Carver claimed Sam not sacrificing anything for Dean in Season 8 was Sam maturing and growing. But then why did Carver then have EVERY single charector tell Sam he was wrong?

Brady was right. Sams Hell is right here on earth.

I agree about Sam it seems the show wants it both ways with him , he can but he should not , he could but he did not. He feels hurt and betrayed by what Dean and did and rightly so but still ends up on the wrong side of the fence with alot of the fandom .
Sharon
# Sharon 2014-02-18 11:57
Quote:
Thank you for this article. I dont know how i feel about the brothers relatinship anymore. I feel like I'm in some weird stasis. I'm not looking forward to whatever it is Carver is planning because I have this catastophic fear that he will once again throw Sam under the bus. No matter what sam does or says the writers will always make sure Sam is wrong. Carver claimed Sam not sacrificing anything for Dean in Season 8 was Sam maturing and growing. But then why did Carver then have EVERY single charector tell Sam he was wrong?

Brady was right. Sams Hell is right here on earth.
I agree about Sam it seems the show wants it both ways with him , he can but he should not , he could but he did not. He feels hurt and betrayed by what Dean and did and rightly so but still ends up on the wrong side of the fence with alot of the fandom .
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-02-18 11:58
Quoting amyh:
Thank you for this article. I dont know how i feel about the brothers relatinship anymore. I feel like I'm in some weird stasis. I'm not looking forward to whatever it is Carver is planning because I have this catastophic fear that he will once again throw Sam under the bus. No matter what sam does or says the writers will always make sure Sam is wrong. Carver claimed Sam not sacrificing anything for Dean in Season 8 was Sam maturing and growing. But then why did Carver then have EVERY single charector tell Sam he was wrong?

Brady was right. Sams Hell is right here on earth.

This is what I am apprehensive about.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-02-18 11:58
Quote:
Thank you for this article. I dont know how i feel about the brothers relatinship anymore. I feel like I'm in some weird stasis. I'm not looking forward to whatever it is Carver is planning because I have this catastophic fear that he will once again throw Sam under the bus. No matter what sam does or says the writers will always make sure Sam is wrong. Carver claimed Sam not sacrificing anything for Dean in Season 8 was Sam maturing and growing. But then why did Carver then have EVERY single charector tell Sam he was wrong?

Brady was right. Sams Hell is right here on earth.
This is what I am apprehensive about.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 11:58
amyh I don't know if it is JC that is throwing Sam under the bus as much as it is the fandom. It doesn't seem to matter what the dialogue is the fans (and many reviewers) are going to blame Sam no matter what. Even before S8 started the fandom was in an uproar over the storyline for Sam. So it didn't matter that Sam clearly stated that he thought Dean was dead, the interpretation was that Sam didn't care. But I do agree it was funny that Meg was the only character that sympathized with Sam. Even this year last episode the dialogue is clear. But the fandom and reviewers alike only heard Sam doesn't love Dean. Hardly one comment on Deans statement about doing it again even knowing the outcome. Sam unfortunately is a character that is easy to hate or blame. I don't know if the writers could write a story that many fans would interpret as Sam is also a good guy. It is hard to be a brother fan when you are constantly trying to defend the actions of one. It looks like you are piling on the other. This attitude goes back to S4. Sam was seen as the villain and many fans will never let that go. I don't think so far under JC's tenure that he has tried to throw Sam under the bus. Even when he tries to show Dean making mistakes the fans somehow turn it right back onto Sam. I am not talking about this website. Most fans and reviewers here are pro-bro. But in the unsafe world of the internet it is brutal to be a Sam fan.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 11:58
amyh I don't know if it is JC that is throwing Sam under the bus as much as it is the fandom. It doesn't seem to matter what the dialogue is the fans (and many reviewers) are going to blame Sam no matter what. Even before S8 started the fandom was in an uproar over the storyline for Sam. So it didn't matter that Sam clearly stated that he thought Dean was dead, the interpretation was that Sam didn't care. But I do agree it was funny that Meg was the only character that sympathized with Sam. Even this year last episode the dialogue is clear. But the fandom and reviewers alike only heard Sam doesn't love Dean. Hardly one comment on Deans statement about doing it again even knowing the outcome. Sam unfortunately is a character that is easy to hate or blame. I don't know if the writers could write a story that many fans would interpret as Sam is also a good guy. It is hard to be a brother fan when you are constantly trying to defend the actions of one. It looks like you are piling on the other. This attitude goes back to S4. Sam was seen as the villain and many fans will never let that go. I don't think so far under JC's tenure that he has tried to throw Sam under the bus. Even when he tries to show Dean making mistakes the fans somehow turn it right back onto Sam. I am not talking about this website. Most fans and reviewers here are pro-bro. But in the unsafe world of the internet it is brutal to be a Sam fan.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 13:02
Quote:
Since it is up for debate on whether or not Dean actually went into Sam’s mind and heard what he said about dying ... it’s difficult to know if Dean thought he was in some way assisting Sam in his will to live or if he was aware that he was completely disregarding his wishes.
Hi Metamorphic Rocks While I can see what you are saying regarding things being up for interpretation and that too many real world issues are brought into the fray sometimes it is sometimes necessary in order to make logical sense of the story as it applies to real people.

However I do have one issue with your article. As far as I can see there really is no doubt is that Dean was in Sam's head to see what Sam agreed with Death. (I cut the middle out of your quote because that is a different point. I completely believe Death was there however, except to give Sam some long overdue kudos, it really doesn't matter in the overall storyline.)

Here is the scene:

DEAN If I consider this – and I mean just consider it – I need something, man. You got to prove to me how bad he is.

EZEKIEL puts a hand on SAM’s forehead.

EZEKIEL Close your eyes.

DEAN does so. EZEKIEL puts his other hand on DEAN’s forehead.

DEATH (VOICE-OVER) I must admit, when I heard it was you...

INT. COMA CABIN – DAY

DEATH and SAM are sitting in armchairs near the fire.

DEATH Well, I had to come myself.

SAM I bet you get off on this.

DEATH Perhaps. But not in the way you assume. I consider it to be quite the honor to be collecting the likes of Sam Winchester. I try so hard not to pass judgment at times like this – not my bag, you see, but you... Well played, my boy.

SAM I need to know one thing.

DEATH Yes.

SAM If I go with you... can you promise that this time it will be final? That if I'm dead, I stay dead. Nobody can reverse it, nobody can deal it away... and nobody else can get hurt because of me.

DEATH I can promise that.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

EZEKIEL takes his hand away from DEAN’s forehead.

DEAN What the hell you doing, Sam?

EZEKIEL As you can see, there's not much time.

DEAN I know. Damn it. I know.

That is the entire scene. Even if it is Sam talking to himself as far as Dean is concerned he is talking to Death.

From the show point of view there is nothing ambiguous here it fits in with other dream / death sequences we have seen. From a storyline point of view I really can't see an way of interpreting it other than how it plays out. Can you explain your reasoning as to why you think it is debatable?

Here is my argument in favor of it being taken at face value and all the possible alternatives I can see:

Dean was there. We saw him. We saw him arrive we saw him listen, we saw him return to Gadreel.

Now it may not be Dean the second time pulling the 'there ain't no me if there ain't no you' line, that IS arguable. But the entire decision that Dean made and the rush to do it doesn't make sense if Dean DIDN'T see Sam's decision.

So maybe Gadreel is messing with them?:

- Gadreel didn't instigate Sam's dream-state conversation, it started before Gadreel was aware of the Winchesters.
- Sam said to hallucination Dean that he was going into the house. He destroyed hallucination Dean.
- Dean saw the inside of the house. Is this hallucination Dean? How can a hallucination 'exist' if the person hallucinating it doesn't know it is there? From our point of view Dean saw Sam talking to Death and making his decision.
Dean came back to talk to Gadreel, Gadreel knew what he had seen.

Now if you are saying that Sam WASN'T having that conversation with Death, that Gadreel showed Dean an hallucination based on what Gadreel wanted him to see then that is possible but

a) then why does Sam think now that he WAS willing to die at that stage?

b) it doesn't make any sense logically as the first thing Gadreel would think of - any 'hero' (which is how Gadreel sees the world, since it is how he sees himself) would be willing to sacrifice for the good of many and stopping them wouldn't be the correct thing to do. Gadreel wouldn't have come up with this angle, he would have had Sam in hand-to-hand combat with Death so that Dean could be encouraged to rescue him.
and most importantly

c) if it was faked for Dean's benefit then Dean STILL went against the wishes of what he thought Sam wanted. And Sam has said since that was what he wanted. The reality or otherwise of the conversation Dean saw doesn't change that fact.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 13:02
Quote:
Since it is up for debate on whether or not Dean actually went into Sam’s mind and heard what he said about dying ... it’s difficult to know if Dean thought he was in some way assisting Sam in his will to live or if he was aware that he was completely disregarding his wishes.
Hi Metamorphic Rocks While I can see what you are saying regarding things being up for interpretation and that too many real world issues are brought into the fray sometimes it is sometimes necessary in order to make logical sense of the story as it applies to real people.

However I do have one issue with your article. As far as I can see there really is no doubt is that Dean was in Sam's head to see what Sam agreed with Death. (I cut the middle out of your quote because that is a different point. I completely believe Death was there however, except to give Sam some long overdue kudos, it really doesn't matter in the overall storyline.)

Here is the scene:

DEAN If I consider this – and I mean just consider it – I need something, man. You got to prove to me how bad he is.

EZEKIEL puts a hand on SAM’s forehead.

EZEKIEL Close your eyes.

DEAN does so. EZEKIEL puts his other hand on DEAN’s forehead.

DEATH (VOICE-OVER) I must admit, when I heard it was you...

INT. COMA CABIN – DAY

DEATH and SAM are sitting in armchairs near the fire.

DEATH Well, I had to come myself.

SAM I bet you get off on this.

DEATH Perhaps. But not in the way you assume. I consider it to be quite the honor to be collecting the likes of Sam Winchester. I try so hard not to pass judgment at times like this – not my bag, you see, but you... Well played, my boy.

SAM I need to know one thing.

DEATH Yes.

SAM If I go with you... can you promise that this time it will be final? That if I'm dead, I stay dead. Nobody can reverse it, nobody can deal it away... and nobody else can get hurt because of me.

DEATH I can promise that.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

EZEKIEL takes his hand away from DEAN’s forehead.

DEAN What the hell you doing, Sam?

EZEKIEL As you can see, there's not much time.

DEAN I know. Damn it. I know.

That is the entire scene. Even if it is Sam talking to himself as far as Dean is concerned he is talking to Death.

From the show point of view there is nothing ambiguous here it fits in with other dream / death sequences we have seen. From a storyline point of view I really can't see an way of interpreting it other than how it plays out. Can you explain your reasoning as to why you think it is debatable?

Here is my argument in favor of it being taken at face value and all the possible alternatives I can see:

Dean was there. We saw him. We saw him arrive we saw him listen, we saw him return to Gadreel.

Now it may not be Dean the second time pulling the 'there ain't no me if there ain't no you' line, that IS arguable. But the entire decision that Dean made and the rush to do it doesn't make sense if Dean DIDN'T see Sam's decision.

So maybe Gadreel is messing with them?:

- Gadreel didn't instigate Sam's dream-state conversation, it started before Gadreel was aware of the Winchesters.
- Sam said to hallucination Dean that he was going into the house. He destroyed hallucination Dean.
- Dean saw the inside of the house. Is this hallucination Dean? How can a hallucination 'exist' if the person hallucinating it doesn't know it is there? From our point of view Dean saw Sam talking to Death and making his decision.
Dean came back to talk to Gadreel, Gadreel knew what he had seen.

Now if you are saying that Sam WASN'T having that conversation with Death, that Gadreel showed Dean an hallucination based on what Gadreel wanted him to see then that is possible but

a) then why does Sam think now that he WAS willing to die at that stage?

b) it doesn't make any sense logically as the first thing Gadreel would think of - any 'hero' (which is how Gadreel sees the world, since it is how he sees himself) would be willing to sacrifice for the good of many and stopping them wouldn't be the correct thing to do. Gadreel wouldn't have come up with this angle, he would have had Sam in hand-to-hand combat with Death so that Dean could be encouraged to rescue him.
and most importantly

c) if it was faked for Dean's benefit then Dean STILL went against the wishes of what he thought Sam wanted. And Sam has said since that was what he wanted. The reality or otherwise of the conversation Dean saw doesn't change that fact.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 13:03
So maybe Dean wasn't in Sam's head at all then? Maybe it was just looking at Sam dying in a coma on the bed that made him decide? Then what on earth is the purpose of the whole hallucination sequence? To fill in 5 minutes of screen time?

The only other alternative i can think of is that the writers wrote the scene showing 'Dean' (maybe Gadreel) somewhere he wasn't, (not) listening in to a conversation Sam may or may not be having with another character who may or may not be there (and unaware of being overheard). Just to lie to the viewers? So that we can say 'Dean would never have gone against his brother's wishes' . I think Racestaffer is the only other poster who could help me with how meta that would be :-)

Edit: I really am interested in why this scene keeps being brought up as 'debatable' and would like to understand your reasons. I realize that my conclusion in the above paragraph might be considered argumentative and not why people think it is debatable, if so I apologize. Thanks!
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 13:03
So maybe Dean wasn't in Sam's head at all then? Maybe it was just looking at Sam dying in a coma on the bed that made him decide? Then what on earth is the purpose of the whole hallucination sequence? To fill in 5 minutes of screen time?

The only other alternative i can think of is that the writers wrote the scene showing 'Dean' (maybe Gadreel) somewhere he wasn't, (not) listening in to a conversation Sam may or may not be having with another character who may or may not be there (and unaware of being overheard). Just to lie to the viewers? So that we can say 'Dean would never have gone against his brother's wishes' . I think Racestaffer is the only other poster who could help me with how meta that would be :-)

Edit: I really am interested in why this scene keeps being brought up as 'debatable' and would like to understand your reasons. I realize that my conclusion in the above paragraph might be considered argumentative and not why people think it is debatable, if so I apologize. Thanks!
Bluepony
# Bluepony 2014-02-18 13:20
Thank you for your article. One thing you wrote I thought was particularly on the money was comparing real world issues with the world of Supernatural. It never ceases to amaze me when fans want a horror show to abid by real world restraints. End of life issues, rape, co-dependency are life altering events. Expecting a fantasy TV show to address these issues in a realistic manner is unthinkable to me. But I have read several comments about "What kind of message is the fandom sending to victims". NONE! This is a TV show, fandom are real people and we should not confuse the two. Anyway, off my soap box now. I really enjoyed your article. Perhaps online fans need to remember civility and that the person posting is in fact a human being and not a demon from a TV show. This is not directed at any one poster.
Bluepony
# Bluepony 2014-02-18 13:20
Thank you for your article. One thing you wrote I thought was particularly on the money was comparing real world issues with the world of Supernatural. It never ceases to amaze me when fans want a horror show to abid by real world restraints. End of life issues, rape, co-dependency are life altering events. Expecting a fantasy TV show to address these issues in a realistic manner is unthinkable to me. But I have read several comments about "What kind of message is the fandom sending to victims". NONE! This is a TV show, fandom are real people and we should not confuse the two. Anyway, off my soap box now. I really enjoyed your article. Perhaps online fans need to remember civility and that the person posting is in fact a human being and not a demon from a TV show. This is not directed at any one poster.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-02-18 13:25
Thanks so much for going back through the series and detailing all the times people have sacrified themselves for others. I have been curious about that for along time and really appreciate the research it took for you to put that together!

I particularly liked the following observation :
"Now that the story has become so much less personal, conflict comes by way of brother discord. These days they are so far removed from the mytharc that the tension that would normally come from The Winchesters’ part in the overarching story is now coming in the form of never ending conflict with each other. Maybe Sam and Dean’s relationship would improve if they just had more important things to do than fight with each other."

I think the boys facing the world together is what I miss the most with all this conflict. I'm really hoping they can work things about between them, create a stronger, loving relationship and get back to business soon!!
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-02-18 13:25
Thanks so much for going back through the series and detailing all the times people have sacrified themselves for others. I have been curious about that for along time and really appreciate the research it took for you to put that together!

I particularly liked the following observation :
"Now that the story has become so much less personal, conflict comes by way of brother discord. These days they are so far removed from the mytharc that the tension that would normally come from The Winchesters’ part in the overarching story is now coming in the form of never ending conflict with each other. Maybe Sam and Dean’s relationship would improve if they just had more important things to do than fight with each other."

I think the boys facing the world together is what I miss the most with all this conflict. I'm really hoping they can work things about between them, create a stronger, loving relationship and get back to business soon!!
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2014-02-18 15:19
Thank you Manzanita Crow, amyh, Lkeke35, anonymousN, Sharon, eilf, Bluepony, and Nightsky (my fellow team member!) for reading this long piece and for your comments. I think this apprehension in the fandom is quite justified given the wording of some of the brother scenes recently. We just don't know where this is headed.

Eilf, I think why people may say the referenced scene is "debatable" is for two reasons: First, I think it comes down to wording again. Sam told Death "If I go with you," rather than "when I go with you," which lends itself to the possibility that Sam was more conceding death vs. wishing it. And the use of the word "if" implies his mind was not made up yet.

That's the part that Dean actually saw when Gadreel placed his hand on Dean's forehead. So it is possible that Dean thought Sam was more contemplating death rather than wanting it.

Second, I think it may be debatable because the scene itself is not clear regarding who was actually there or not (Dean and Death). Jensen and Julian had said neither one of their characters was actually present, so I think it just makes the whole scene difficult to read. If Dean only saw that one small thought in Sam's head about "if I go with Death, etc.." than I think it's still conceivable that he may have thought he was helping Sam.

Just a thought. And don't worry, you didn't so argumentative to me at all. The whole scene is a great discussion point.
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2014-02-18 15:19
Thank you Manzanita Crow, amyh, Lkeke35, anonymousN, Sharon, eilf, Bluepony, and Nightsky (my fellow team member!) for reading this long piece and for your comments. I think this apprehension in the fandom is quite justified given the wording of some of the brother scenes recently. We just don't know where this is headed.

Eilf, I think why people may say the referenced scene is "debatable" is for two reasons: First, I think it comes down to wording again. Sam told Death "If I go with you," rather than "when I go with you," which lends itself to the possibility that Sam was more conceding death vs. wishing it. And the use of the word "if" implies his mind was not made up yet.

That's the part that Dean actually saw when Gadreel placed his hand on Dean's forehead. So it is possible that Dean thought Sam was more contemplating death rather than wanting it.

Second, I think it may be debatable because the scene itself is not clear regarding who was actually there or not (Dean and Death). Jensen and Julian had said neither one of their characters was actually present, so I think it just makes the whole scene difficult to read. If Dean only saw that one small thought in Sam's head about "if I go with Death, etc.." than I think it's still conceivable that he may have thought he was helping Sam.

Just a thought. And don't worry, you didn't so argumentative to me at all. The whole scene is a great discussion point.
percysowner
# percysowner 2014-02-18 16:20
Quoting MetamorphicRocks:
Thank you Manzanita Crow, amyh, Lkeke35, anonymousN, Sharon, eilf, Bluepony, and Nightsky (my fellow team member!) for reading this long piece and for your comments. I think this apprehension in the fandom is quite justified given the wording of some of the brother scenes recently. We just don't know where this is headed.

Eilf, I think why people may say the referenced scene is "debatable" is for two reasons: First, I think it comes down to wording again. Sam told Death "If I go with you," rather than "when I go with you," which lends itself to the possibility that Sam was more conceding death vs. wishing it. And the use of the word "if" implies his mind was not made up yet.

That's the part that Dean actually saw when Gadreel placed his hand on Dean's forehead. So it is possible that Dean thought Sam was more contemplating death rather than wanting it.

Second, I think it may be debatable because the scene itself is not clear regarding who was actually there or not (Dean and Death). Jensen and Julian had said neither one of their characters was actually present, so I think it just makes the whole scene difficult to read. If Dean only saw that one small thought in Sam's head about "if I go with Death, etc.." than I think it's still conceivable that he may have thought he was helping Sam.

Just a thought. And don't worry, you didn't so argumentative to me at all. The whole scene is a great discussion point.


I admit I'm one who didn't find that scene as ambiguous. Sam had already identified the Dean in his head as the part telling him to live and he had sent "Dean" away and was going to the cabin, which signified that Sam had already accepted Death. As to his "if I go with you", lets face it in the world of Supernatural lots of people don't "go with" their Reapers and their bodies still die. I took the statement to mean that Sam wasn't suicidal either then or at the church, but there were real limits on what he was willing to do to stay alive. I also think it was there so we would know that Dean knew that Sam didn't want to be kept alive by any means possible.

I don't think it matters if Death was real or a construct of Sam's mind. Sam was dying. The doctor told Dean that. Sam couldn't will himself alive. Dean knew Sam was dying. Dean knew Sam had accepted Death and didn't want supernatural interference. If Dean had done nothing and suddenly a Reaper had appeared and said "Surprise! You don't get Death you just get me," it wouldn't change anything. Just MHO.
percysowner
# percysowner 2014-02-18 16:20
Quote:
Thank you Manzanita Crow, amyh, Lkeke35, anonymousN, Sharon, eilf, Bluepony, and Nightsky (my fellow team member!) for reading this long piece and for your comments. I think this apprehension in the fandom is quite justified given the wording of some of the brother scenes recently. We just don't know where this is headed.

Eilf, I think why people may say the referenced scene is "debatable" is for two reasons: First, I think it comes down to wording again. Sam told Death "If I go with you," rather than "when I go with you," which lends itself to the possibility that Sam was more conceding death vs. wishing it. And the use of the word "if" implies his mind was not made up yet.

That's the part that Dean actually saw when Gadreel placed his hand on Dean's forehead. So it is possible that Dean thought Sam was more contemplating death rather than wanting it.

Second, I think it may be debatable because the scene itself is not clear regarding who was actually there or not (Dean and Death). Jensen and Julian had said neither one of their characters was actually present, so I think it just makes the whole scene difficult to read. If Dean only saw that one small thought in Sam's head about "if I go with Death, etc.." than I think it's still conceivable that he may have thought he was helping Sam.

Just a thought. And don't worry, you didn't so argumentative to me at all. The whole scene is a great discussion point.
I admit I'm one who didn't find that scene as ambiguous. Sam had already identified the Dean in his head as the part telling him to live and he had sent "Dean" away and was going to the cabin, which signified that Sam had already accepted Death. As to his "if I go with you", lets face it in the world of Supernatural lots of people don't "go with" their Reapers and their bodies still die. I took the statement to mean that Sam wasn't suicidal either then or at the church, but there were real limits on what he was willing to do to stay alive. I also think it was there so we would know that Dean knew that Sam didn't want to be kept alive by any means possible.

I don't think it matters if Death was real or a construct of Sam's mind. Sam was dying. The doctor told Dean that. Sam couldn't will himself alive. Dean knew Sam was dying. Dean knew Sam had accepted Death and didn't want supernatural interference. If Dean had done nothing and suddenly a Reaper had appeared and said "Surprise! You don't get Death you just get me," it wouldn't change anything. Just MHO.
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2014-02-18 17:04
Quoting percysowner:
I took the statement to mean that Sam wasn't suicidal either then or at the church, but there were real limits on what he was willing to do to stay alive. I also think it was there so we would know that Dean knew that Sam didn't want to be kept alive by any means possible.

I don't think it matters if Death was real or a construct of Sam's mind. Sam was dying. The doctor told Dean that. Sam couldn't will himself alive. Dean knew Sam was dying. Dean knew Sam had accepted Death and didn't want supernatural interference.


I 99% agree, although I do have a sneaking suspicion that Sam would welcome death, even if he wouldn't deliberately leave Dean alone by dying.

To me, the situation was that Sam was effectively dead anyway and only the life support machines were keeping him going. Sam was merely accepting that it was his time when he agreed to go with Death (real Death or imagined Death - doesn't matter).

I think Sam was willing to live if there was a way, especially since Dean begged him. But NOT if anyone else was going to get hurt. I'm sure most people who sign Do Not Resuscitate forms would love to live as long as they were healthy and happy and no-one else suffered as a result. That's the important point to me. Not whether or not Sam wanted to live, but the circumstances in which he was willing to live.

Dean/Gadreel effectively manoeuvred Sam into saying Yes, by appealing to Sam's love of Dean. I think Sam said yes in the heat of the moment, expecting more details to follow. I certainly don't think he expected WHAM! Instant possession! I think it was, 'yes, I'm in, tell me more' not an unconditional 'yes, do whatever you want'. It's a huge difference.

Now, I don't hate Dean. I hate what 'Season 9 Dean' has done to Sam and the fact he's oblivious to how much he hurt Sam and especially that he refuses to apologise. But since I loved both Sam and Dean before Season 8, I think that's a showrunner issue and not the characters per se. I also don't like the way they're leaving Sam in the lurch by making him say things I think he needs to say to Dean, but then cutting it off without letting him explain properly. Seems to me they're deliberately creating strife in the fandom for the sake of publicity.

To be honest I haven't found either Sam or Dean particularly engaging since the start of S8. Sam and Dean were both unsympathetic at the start of S8 and I found them annoyingly idiotic towards the end of S8 (sewing a Knight of Hell back together? Please!). I'm still watching, but only because I desperately hope the writers have a plan (and cos the boys are seriously hot).
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2014-02-18 17:04
Quote:
I took the statement to mean that Sam wasn't suicidal either then or at the church, but there were real limits on what he was willing to do to stay alive. I also think it was there so we would know that Dean knew that Sam didn't want to be kept alive by any means possible.

I don't think it matters if Death was real or a construct of Sam's mind. Sam was dying. The doctor told Dean that. Sam couldn't will himself alive. Dean knew Sam was dying. Dean knew Sam had accepted Death and didn't want supernatural interference.
I 99% agree, although I do have a sneaking suspicion that Sam would welcome death, even if he wouldn't deliberately leave Dean alone by dying.

To me, the situation was that Sam was effectively dead anyway and only the life support machines were keeping him going. Sam was merely accepting that it was his time when he agreed to go with Death (real Death or imagined Death - doesn't matter).

I think Sam was willing to live if there was a way, especially since Dean begged him. But NOT if anyone else was going to get hurt. I'm sure most people who sign Do Not Resuscitate forms would love to live as long as they were healthy and happy and no-one else suffered as a result. That's the important point to me. Not whether or not Sam wanted to live, but the circumstances in which he was willing to live.

Dean/Gadreel effectively manoeuvred Sam into saying Yes, by appealing to Sam's love of Dean. I think Sam said yes in the heat of the moment, expecting more details to follow. I certainly don't think he expected WHAM! Instant possession! I think it was, 'yes, I'm in, tell me more' not an unconditional 'yes, do whatever you want'. It's a huge difference.

Now, I don't hate Dean. I hate what 'Season 9 Dean' has done to Sam and the fact he's oblivious to how much he hurt Sam and especially that he refuses to apologise. But since I loved both Sam and Dean before Season 8, I think that's a showrunner issue and not the characters per se. I also don't like the way they're leaving Sam in the lurch by making him say things I think he needs to say to Dean, but then cutting it off without letting him explain properly. Seems to me they're deliberately creating strife in the fandom for the sake of publicity.

To be honest I haven't found either Sam or Dean particularly engaging since the start of S8. Sam and Dean were both unsympathetic at the start of S8 and I found them annoyingly idiotic towards the end of S8 (sewing a Knight of Hell back together? Please!). I'm still watching, but only because I desperately hope the writers have a plan (and cos the boys are seriously hot).
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-02-18 17:14
Quoting MetamorphicRocks:
If Dean only saw that one small thought in Sam's head about "if I go with Death, etc.." than I think it's still conceivable that he may have thought he was helping Sam.


I enjoyed reading your article, but I think it's reaching a bit to say that Dean may have thought he was helping Sam, when he said himself that Sam would never want to be possessed.

The only thing that's debatable to me is whether it was Dean or Gadreel saying "there ain't no me…". Dean talking to Death about cronuts seems to indicate that Gadreel was at least chanelling Dean's mind, but what happened next is not that clear to me either. I wasn't aware however that some people thought that maybe Dean didn't hear Sam's conversation with Death. It was right there in the text.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-02-18 17:14
Quote:
If Dean only saw that one small thought in Sam's head about "if I go with Death, etc.." than I think it's still conceivable that he may have thought he was helping Sam.
I enjoyed reading your article, but I think it's reaching a bit to say that Dean may have thought he was helping Sam, when he said himself that Sam would never want to be possessed.

The only thing that's debatable to me is whether it was Dean or Gadreel saying "there ain't no me…". Dean talking to Death about cronuts seems to indicate that Gadreel was at least chanelling Dean's mind, but what happened next is not that clear to me either. I wasn't aware however that some people thought that maybe Dean didn't hear Sam's conversation with Death. It was right there in the text.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 17:34
I am one who thinks that the writers needed to get Dean to a hopeless state. He was in a no win situation in the hospital. He was going to lose his brother physically. I think at the end of TP he realized that he has lost his brother anyway. This is going to set up Dean's story from here on. I think Dean needed to lose everything before he would start making choices that (hopefully) Sam is going to have to save him from. I still love these guys and as was evident in the Purge Sam still would die for Dean. I think we are going to see how far Sam will or won't go. And Dean's story is intriguing. I can't figure out where it's going.
Jared has assured us everything is going to be alright. I'll hang on to that.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 17:34
I am one who thinks that the writers needed to get Dean to a hopeless state. He was in a no win situation in the hospital. He was going to lose his brother physically. I think at the end of TP he realized that he has lost his brother anyway. This is going to set up Dean's story from here on. I think Dean needed to lose everything before he would start making choices that (hopefully) Sam is going to have to save him from. I still love these guys and as was evident in the Purge Sam still would die for Dean. I think we are going to see how far Sam will or won't go. And Dean's story is intriguing. I can't figure out where it's going.
Jared has assured us everything is going to be alright. I'll hang on to that.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 17:50
JuliaG I think it was Gadreel. Sam had to yes to the angel.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 17:50
JuliaG I think it was Gadreel. Sam had to yes to the angel.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 18:24
Quoting MetamorphicRocks:
Thank you Manzanita Crow, amyh, Lkeke35, anonymousN, Sharon, eilf, Bluepony, and Nightsky (my fellow team member!) for reading this long piece and for your comments. I think this apprehension in the fandom is quite justified given the wording of some of the brother scenes recently. We just don't know where this is headed.

Eilf, I think why people may say the referenced scene is "debatable" is for two reasons: First, I think it comes down to wording again. Sam told Death "If I go with you," rather than "when I go with you," which lends itself to the possibility that Sam was more conceding death vs. wishing it. And the use of the word "if" implies his mind was not made up yet.

That's the part that Dean actually saw when Gadreel placed his hand on Dean's forehead. So it is possible that Dean thought Sam was more contemplating death rather than wanting it.

Second, I think it may be debatable because the scene itself is not clear regarding who was actually there or not (Dean and Death). Jensen and Julian had said neither one of their characters was actually present, so I think it just makes the whole scene difficult to read. If Dean only saw that one small thought in Sam's head about "if I go with Death, etc.." than I think it's still conceivable that he may have thought he was helping Sam.

Just a thought. And don't worry, you didn't so argumentative to me at all. The whole scene is a great discussion point.

Ok, I admit that I can see how that line could be read that way if you look at it as a bargain. But if you consider what Sam is bargaining with. He doesn't HAVE anything to bargain with. Stay alive? He is basically dead. He doesn't have any chips. If Dean thought the discussion was in bargaining mode what did Dean think he had?

I think Sam was phrasing his acceptance of death as a request 'don't let me be the center of another disaster when Dean tries to bring me back'.

Dean's reaction is just as likely to be to the point that Sam is trying to make himself unrecoverable as to the 'if' but then he should be looking at the thinking behind. If Dean thought Sam had a choice instead of dying and chose death It would have been good to see Dean ask himself WHY Sam felt that way.

Why Sam might want to die given the choice? For an overprotective big brother not to ask that question seems like maybe he isn't really that interested in Sam's well-being, just in him being alive - which is very close to how Sam interpreted it in his 'harsh' speech.

As to whether Dean was there at all, as I understand it Jensen was talking about the point where Sam was tricked (where he morphed into Gadreel) and not the first scene - as I say if the real Dean wasn't there in the first scene then there is literally no logic that explains him being visible in the scene only to the audience, it would make no sense.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 18:24
Quote:
Thank you Manzanita Crow, amyh, Lkeke35, anonymousN, Sharon, eilf, Bluepony, and Nightsky (my fellow team member!) for reading this long piece and for your comments. I think this apprehension in the fandom is quite justified given the wording of some of the brother scenes recently. We just don't know where this is headed.

Eilf, I think why people may say the referenced scene is "debatable" is for two reasons: First, I think it comes down to wording again. Sam told Death "If I go with you," rather than "when I go with you," which lends itself to the possibility that Sam was more conceding death vs. wishing it. And the use of the word "if" implies his mind was not made up yet.

That's the part that Dean actually saw when Gadreel placed his hand on Dean's forehead. So it is possible that Dean thought Sam was more contemplating death rather than wanting it.

Second, I think it may be debatable because the scene itself is not clear regarding who was actually there or not (Dean and Death). Jensen and Julian had said neither one of their characters was actually present, so I think it just makes the whole scene difficult to read. If Dean only saw that one small thought in Sam's head about "if I go with Death, etc.." than I think it's still conceivable that he may have thought he was helping Sam.

Just a thought. And don't worry, you didn't so argumentative to me at all. The whole scene is a great discussion point.
Ok, I admit that I can see how that line could be read that way if you look at it as a bargain. But if you consider what Sam is bargaining with. He doesn't HAVE anything to bargain with. Stay alive? He is basically dead. He doesn't have any chips. If Dean thought the discussion was in bargaining mode what did Dean think he had?

I think Sam was phrasing his acceptance of death as a request 'don't let me be the center of another disaster when Dean tries to bring me back'.

Dean's reaction is just as likely to be to the point that Sam is trying to make himself unrecoverable as to the 'if' but then he should be looking at the thinking behind. If Dean thought Sam had a choice instead of dying and chose death It would have been good to see Dean ask himself WHY Sam felt that way.

Why Sam might want to die given the choice? For an overprotective big brother not to ask that question seems like maybe he isn't really that interested in Sam's well-being, just in him being alive - which is very close to how Sam interpreted it in his 'harsh' speech.

As to whether Dean was there at all, as I understand it Jensen was talking about the point where Sam was tricked (where he morphed into Gadreel) and not the first scene - as I say if the real Dean wasn't there in the first scene then there is literally no logic that explains him being visible in the scene only to the audience, it would make no sense.
leah d
# leah d 2014-02-18 18:27
Quoting cheryl42:
I am one who thinks that the writers needed to get Dean to a hopeless state. He was in a no win situation in the hospital. He was going to lose his brother physically. I think at the end of TP he realized that he has lost his brother anyway. This is going to set up Dean's story from here on. I think Dean needed to lose everything before he would start making choices that (hopefully) Sam is going to have to save him from. I still love these guys and as was evident in the Purge Sam still would die for Dean. I think we are going to see how far Sam will or won't go. And Dean's story is intriguing. I can't figure out where it's going.
Jared has assured us everything is going to be alright. I'll hang on to that.


I agree cheryl42 and I hope Jared is right. :-)
leah d
# leah d 2014-02-18 18:27
Quote:
I am one who thinks that the writers needed to get Dean to a hopeless state. He was in a no win situation in the hospital. He was going to lose his brother physically. I think at the end of TP he realized that he has lost his brother anyway. This is going to set up Dean's story from here on. I think Dean needed to lose everything before he would start making choices that (hopefully) Sam is going to have to save him from. I still love these guys and as was evident in the Purge Sam still would die for Dean. I think we are going to see how far Sam will or won't go. And Dean's story is intriguing. I can't figure out where it's going.
Jared has assured us everything is going to be alright. I'll hang on to that.
I agree cheryl42 and I hope Jared is right. :-)
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-18 18:47
What an amazing read. You summed up so beautifully why so many of us watch and enjoy this show. I couldn't have said it any better. Bravo.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2014-02-18 18:47
What an amazing read. You summed up so beautifully why so many of us watch and enjoy this show. I couldn't have said it any better. Bravo.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-02-18 19:09
We can all agree I think that Dean knew Sam wasn't going to like the fact that Dean let him be possessed to save his life. It is in character for Dean to act first and handle consequences later. I think Dean fully expected to tell Sam about the possession right away but Gadreel convinced him that would just cause Sam to die. Even before "Rock and a Hard Place" Dean realized that Gadreel was privy to his conversations with Sam and would block him from telling Sam but was waiting for a sign that Sam was healed. When he found out that it was Gadreel that had possession of Sam he moved into overdrive.

Dean didn't perceive Gadreel as being a threat to Kevin since they had been at the bunker alone together, etc. Dean didn't know about Metatron remember. Dean knew Gadreel was a threat to Sam and maybe Dean.

I think Dean is feeling very guilty about Kevin and about Sam and is putting on his tough guy act as a defense about how guilty he does feel. If he was really taking this as well as he says, he would have slammed Sam back.

Was Dean keeping Sam alive because he's afraid to be alone?No, I don't think so. I think Dean kept Sam alive for the same reason he fought his way out of purgatory. Because ultimately he just never really gives up on anyone or anything. It's just not in him and he can't believe that about the people he loves. Not Cas and not Sam.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-02-18 19:09
We can all agree I think that Dean knew Sam wasn't going to like the fact that Dean let him be possessed to save his life. It is in character for Dean to act first and handle consequences later. I think Dean fully expected to tell Sam about the possession right away but Gadreel convinced him that would just cause Sam to die. Even before "Rock and a Hard Place" Dean realized that Gadreel was privy to his conversations with Sam and would block him from telling Sam but was waiting for a sign that Sam was healed. When he found out that it was Gadreel that had possession of Sam he moved into overdrive.

Dean didn't perceive Gadreel as being a threat to Kevin since they had been at the bunker alone together, etc. Dean didn't know about Metatron remember. Dean knew Gadreel was a threat to Sam and maybe Dean.

I think Dean is feeling very guilty about Kevin and about Sam and is putting on his tough guy act as a defense about how guilty he does feel. If he was really taking this as well as he says, he would have slammed Sam back.

Was Dean keeping Sam alive because he's afraid to be alone?No, I don't think so. I think Dean kept Sam alive for the same reason he fought his way out of purgatory. Because ultimately he just never really gives up on anyone or anything. It's just not in him and he can't believe that about the people he loves. Not Cas and not Sam.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 19:32
.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 19:32
.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 19:51
Quoting Prix68:
.

Dean didn't perceive Gadreel as being a threat to Kevin since they had been at the bunker alone together, etc. Dean didn't know about Metatron remember. Dean knew Gadreel was a threat to Sam and maybe Dean.


And if Gadreel wanted the bunker or to kill Dean then wouldn't it be extremely likely that he would take Kevin hostage in order to fulfill that goal.
Simply because Dean didn't know what Gadreel was up to he should have moved to protect Kevin. His reaction of lying to Kevin and faking being casual so Kevin wouldn't get suspicious was the wrong thing to do.

Dean should feel guilty about Kevin's death. I suspect he has someone in his future he is going to have to explain to why Kevin died and that is going to be very hard for him. But he could have prevented it with no difficulty at all. He chose wrong and Kevin died.

It is possible to make mistakes and own up to them. In this case Dean has done that and it is the right thing to do. Do I think that makes Dean terrible and 'irredeemable'? No. Do I think he wanted Kevin to die? No. Would he have made a different decision if he could go back? Yes.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 19:51
Quote:
.

Dean didn't perceive Gadreel as being a threat to Kevin since they had been at the bunker alone together, etc. Dean didn't know about Metatron remember. Dean knew Gadreel was a threat to Sam and maybe Dean.
And if Gadreel wanted the bunker or to kill Dean then wouldn't it be extremely likely that he would take Kevin hostage in order to fulfill that goal.
Simply because Dean didn't know what Gadreel was up to he should have moved to protect Kevin. His reaction of lying to Kevin and faking being casual so Kevin wouldn't get suspicious was the wrong thing to do.

Dean should feel guilty about Kevin's death. I suspect he has someone in his future he is going to have to explain to why Kevin died and that is going to be very hard for him. But he could have prevented it with no difficulty at all. He chose wrong and Kevin died.

It is possible to make mistakes and own up to them. In this case Dean has done that and it is the right thing to do. Do I think that makes Dean terrible and 'irredeemable'? No. Do I think he wanted Kevin to die? No. Would he have made a different decision if he could go back? Yes.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 20:20
Prix And that as Sam says is the problem. Against Sam's wishes Dean had him possessed. Sam of all people knows how that ends up. Everything you said is correct if you look at from only Dean's point of view. But if you factor in Sam's it isn't so cut and dried. Sam had made his decision, Dean overrode it. Even Dean knew that the potential for disaster was pretty high. But Dean himself said that he would do it again. He would let Kevin die if it meant that Sam would be alive. Sam only said those things to Dean after Dean made that statement. That was the final straw for Sam. Is what he said harsh. You bet. Was it untrue from Sam's point of view. Absolutely not. Even Dean has stated more than once that he would never allow Sam to save him at the expense of innocent people. Now I have said this before. Dean was in what he thought of as a no win situation. In the church Sam had chosen life. Dean couldn't believe that Sam was choosing Death. He heard what Sam said to Death but I think what registered in his mind was "save Sam no matter what". He couldn't have known what was going to happen to Kevin but he kind of did the same thing to Kevin. There was no reason not to tell Kevin what was going on. Dean made a big gamble that cost Kevin his life. Of course Dean feels guilty but not so guilty that he doesn't think that the sacrifice was worth it. It is a tricky storyline. I don't how the writers are going to resolve this. Dean is the hero that Sam has always believed in. But this was a breach of trust that Sam can't get past at the moment. The cost was too great.
. Believe or not I absolutely love Dean. But Dean was set up from the first episode. I can't even imagine where this is all going.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 20:20
Prix And that as Sam says is the problem. Against Sam's wishes Dean had him possessed. Sam of all people knows how that ends up. Everything you said is correct if you look at from only Dean's point of view. But if you factor in Sam's it isn't so cut and dried. Sam had made his decision, Dean overrode it. Even Dean knew that the potential for disaster was pretty high. But Dean himself said that he would do it again. He would let Kevin die if it meant that Sam would be alive. Sam only said those things to Dean after Dean made that statement. That was the final straw for Sam. Is what he said harsh. You bet. Was it untrue from Sam's point of view. Absolutely not. Even Dean has stated more than once that he would never allow Sam to save him at the expense of innocent people. Now I have said this before. Dean was in what he thought of as a no win situation. In the church Sam had chosen life. Dean couldn't believe that Sam was choosing Death. He heard what Sam said to Death but I think what registered in his mind was "save Sam no matter what". He couldn't have known what was going to happen to Kevin but he kind of did the same thing to Kevin. There was no reason not to tell Kevin what was going on. Dean made a big gamble that cost Kevin his life. Of course Dean feels guilty but not so guilty that he doesn't think that the sacrifice was worth it. It is a tricky storyline. I don't how the writers are going to resolve this. Dean is the hero that Sam has always believed in. But this was a breach of trust that Sam can't get past at the moment. The cost was too great.
. Believe or not I absolutely love Dean. But Dean was set up from the first episode. I can't even imagine where this is all going.
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2014-02-18 20:36
Thank you all for the continued discussion, there are some really interesting points being raised here.

Ultimately, I think the writers wanted Sam possessed by an Angel this year, And they wanted Dean to be the one to decide to do it. Maybe they wanted this level of conflict all along, or maybe it was discussed as the season progressed. Maybe it is part of a set up for something big to go down at the end of the season.

I think the points that the fandom argues about: Did Sam really want to die? Was Dean trying to help Sam or just thinking of himself? Does Sam not want to be brothers with Dean? Are all unanswerable questions. It's fun to debate, but I honestly believe we, the audience, do not have enough information to make a knowledgeable determination. That's because the writers don't address many of the points that the fans debate.

For instance, did Sam really want to die? Well, he makes the decision to get rid of Dean, the part of him that wants to fight, and he goes into the cabin where Death is, but just a short time before that he was telling Bobby he wanted to fight. How much time in this alternate, supernatural reality in Sam's mind went by? Was it a few minutes? Hours? Days? That isn't long enough to make that kind of decision, and certainly not long enough that he might not decide to change his mind. I think arguments can be made both in favor and against Sam's statement that he had decided and Dean's motivations as well.

So maybe another question is, is this story moving us? Whether or not Dean or Sam is right or wrong, is this story line hitting the right emotional notes for us? I guess the answer is different for everyone, but it's safe to say that the brother's love for each other does hit the right emotional notes. If the writers know that, then hopefully they will be moving in a direction where the boys come together again.
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2014-02-18 20:36
Thank you all for the continued discussion, there are some really interesting points being raised here.

Ultimately, I think the writers wanted Sam possessed by an Angel this year, And they wanted Dean to be the one to decide to do it. Maybe they wanted this level of conflict all along, or maybe it was discussed as the season progressed. Maybe it is part of a set up for something big to go down at the end of the season.

I think the points that the fandom argues about: Did Sam really want to die? Was Dean trying to help Sam or just thinking of himself? Does Sam not want to be brothers with Dean? Are all unanswerable questions. It's fun to debate, but I honestly believe we, the audience, do not have enough information to make a knowledgeable determination. That's because the writers don't address many of the points that the fans debate.

For instance, did Sam really want to die? Well, he makes the decision to get rid of Dean, the part of him that wants to fight, and he goes into the cabin where Death is, but just a short time before that he was telling Bobby he wanted to fight. How much time in this alternate, supernatural reality in Sam's mind went by? Was it a few minutes? Hours? Days? That isn't long enough to make that kind of decision, and certainly not long enough that he might not decide to change his mind. I think arguments can be made both in favor and against Sam's statement that he had decided and Dean's motivations as well.

So maybe another question is, is this story moving us? Whether or not Dean or Sam is right or wrong, is this story line hitting the right emotional notes for us? I guess the answer is different for everyone, but it's safe to say that the brother's love for each other does hit the right emotional notes. If the writers know that, then hopefully they will be moving in a direction where the boys come together again.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-02-18 21:01
Metatron wanted Kevin dead and that was going to happen. He had just taken a trip to Branston. I don't think even if he knew that Gadreel was possessing Sam he could have escaped Gadreel. Dean was immobilized against Gadreel himself so how would he have saved Kevin. Let's not add more drama then necessary here. I'm sure next ep we're probably going to get Mama Tran to lay more guilt on Dean.

Dean didn't say the sacrifice was worth it, he said he would do it again. Dean fights to save who he can when he can but even he can't foresee every event that might happen or save everyone. I'll remind everyone again that Sam left Kevin in the wind for a year knowing Crowley had him.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-02-18 21:01
Metatron wanted Kevin dead and that was going to happen. He had just taken a trip to Branston. I don't think even if he knew that Gadreel was possessing Sam he could have escaped Gadreel. Dean was immobilized against Gadreel himself so how would he have saved Kevin. Let's not add more drama then necessary here. I'm sure next ep we're probably going to get Mama Tran to lay more guilt on Dean.

Dean didn't say the sacrifice was worth it, he said he would do it again. Dean fights to save who he can when he can but even he can't foresee every event that might happen or save everyone. I'll remind everyone again that Sam left Kevin in the wind for a year knowing Crowley had him.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 21:03
Oh I am totally on board. I have way too much invested in these 9 years not to see it through. Jared and Jensen still make the screen sizzle with emotion. There haven't been a pair of actors ever that has captured me like these two. I think about them and worry about them like they are real people. What makes it even more complicated is knowing that these two actors are two of the nicest people that are truly best friends. They also are working their asses off to bring us an entertaining show. I really do trust that they are just as protective of their characters as we are. I appreciate their effort. I'm in till the end.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 21:03
Oh I am totally on board. I have way too much invested in these 9 years not to see it through. Jared and Jensen still make the screen sizzle with emotion. There haven't been a pair of actors ever that has captured me like these two. I think about them and worry about them like they are real people. What makes it even more complicated is knowing that these two actors are two of the nicest people that are truly best friends. They also are working their asses off to bring us an entertaining show. I really do trust that they are just as protective of their characters as we are. I appreciate their effort. I'm in till the end.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 21:18
Prix Like I said. Dean didn't know that Gadreel was going to kill Kevin. He did know that the angel that was possessing Sam had lied to him. Even Dean was afraid that the angel would "end Sam in a heartbeat". He knew the angel was dangerous. Kevin could have gone to his own angel warded area while Dean was dealing with Gad and Sam. If Metatron had killed Kevin it wouldn't have been by Sam's hand. That is Sam's point. He didn't want to be the cause of anyone getting hurt. Dean did say, when Sam asked him what the upside was of him being alive was, him and Sam fighting the good fight. The indication was that it was worth it to Dean.
Yes as I said before we didn't get a lovely montage of Sam's year after he thought Dean had died. We don't know what Sam's mindset was other than the one or two lines that Jared was allowed. Even Jared was disappointed on how poorly it was told. It was a very frustrating storyline. As set up as Dean is looking right now this storyline is far more fleshed out and intriguing than what was set up for Sam in the beginning of S8. I will give you that.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 21:18
Prix Like I said. Dean didn't know that Gadreel was going to kill Kevin. He did know that the angel that was possessing Sam had lied to him. Even Dean was afraid that the angel would "end Sam in a heartbeat". He knew the angel was dangerous. Kevin could have gone to his own angel warded area while Dean was dealing with Gad and Sam. If Metatron had killed Kevin it wouldn't have been by Sam's hand. That is Sam's point. He didn't want to be the cause of anyone getting hurt. Dean did say, when Sam asked him what the upside was of him being alive was, him and Sam fighting the good fight. The indication was that it was worth it to Dean.
Yes as I said before we didn't get a lovely montage of Sam's year after he thought Dean had died. We don't know what Sam's mindset was other than the one or two lines that Jared was allowed. Even Jared was disappointed on how poorly it was told. It was a very frustrating storyline. As set up as Dean is looking right now this storyline is far more fleshed out and intriguing than what was set up for Sam in the beginning of S8. I will give you that.
E
# E 2014-02-18 21:30
Quoting Prix68:
Metatron wanted Kevin dead and that was going to happen. He had just taken a trip to Branston. ]

Yes, but Kevin wasn't killed in Branson, he was killed in the bunker, a place that neither Gadreel nor Metatron would have had any access to if Gadreel had not been possessing Sam at the time.

Quoting Prix68:
I don't think even if he knew that Gadreel was possessing Sam he could have escaped Gadreel. Dean was immobilized against Gadreel himself so how would he have saved Kevin.

If Kevin had known about Gadreel, days, weeks, even months in advance he could have taken steps to try and save himself or protect himself; he could have left the bunker the moment Dean said he was suspicious; armed himself with an angel killing blade; created a banishing sigil; been wary around Sam in general...he wouldn't have just stood there like a baby seal waiting to be bludgeoned to death so easily, looking up into the eyes of someone he trusted at a friend, and it wouldn't have been Sam who did the bludgeoning. Not to mention that had Gadreel not had such easy access to the bunker that the tablets at least would still be safe even IF Metatron had managed to get to Kevin some other way.

Quoting Prix68:
Dean didn't say the sacrifice was worth it, he said he would do it again. Dean fights to save who he can when he can but even he can't foresee every event that might happen or save everyone. I'll remind everyone again that Sam left Kevin in the wind for a year knowing Crowley had him.


You are splitting hairs here… Obviously, if Dean would do it again, then he felt that it was the correct decision, and therefore worth it. That says a lot about Dean's willingness to sacrifice anyone who isn't Sam. Dean can fight all he likes, but half of the fight is in decisions made; much of the fight in question was CAUSED by Dean's decisions; If he'd made better decisions, then there would be less causalities in the fight. Dean can't even admit that this was a bad decision, hence his comment that he'd "do it again." Well, who will have to die next time Lisa, Ben, Jody, Cas? And yes, Sam did leave Kevin in the wind for a year even knowing Crowley had him; and that was a bad decision, and Sam admitted to it, AND apologized directly to Kevin for it. Dean needs to do as much IMO. Just because Dean feels bad does not mean he gets a pass; his guilt should hopefully be teaching him something about the next time he faces a similar situation, but so far, it doesn't appear that he's learned anything, as by his own admission he'd "do it again."
E
# E 2014-02-18 21:30
Quote:
Metatron wanted Kevin dead and that was going to happen. He had just taken a trip to Branston. ]
Yes, but Kevin wasn't killed in Branson, he was killed in the bunker, a place that neither Gadreel nor Metatron would have had any access to if Gadreel had not been possessing Sam at the time.

Quote:
I don't think even if he knew that Gadreel was possessing Sam he could have escaped Gadreel. Dean was immobilized against Gadreel himself so how would he have saved Kevin.
If Kevin had known about Gadreel, days, weeks, even months in advance he could have taken steps to try and save himself or protect himself; he could have left the bunker the moment Dean said he was suspicious; armed himself with an angel killing blade; created a banishing sigil; been wary around Sam in general...he wouldn't have just stood there like a baby seal waiting to be bludgeoned to death so easily, looking up into the eyes of someone he trusted at a friend, and it wouldn't have been Sam who did the bludgeoning. Not to mention that had Gadreel not had such easy access to the bunker that the tablets at least would still be safe even IF Metatron had managed to get to Kevin some other way.

Quote:
Dean didn't say the sacrifice was worth it, he said he would do it again. Dean fights to save who he can when he can but even he can't foresee every event that might happen or save everyone. I'll remind everyone again that Sam left Kevin in the wind for a year knowing Crowley had him.
You are splitting hairs here… Obviously, if Dean would do it again, then he felt that it was the correct decision, and therefore worth it. That says a lot about Dean's willingness to sacrifice anyone who isn't Sam. Dean can fight all he likes, but half of the fight is in decisions made; much of the fight in question was CAUSED by Dean's decisions; If he'd made better decisions, then there would be less causalities in the fight. Dean can't even admit that this was a bad decision, hence his comment that he'd "do it again." Well, who will have to die next time Lisa, Ben, Jody, Cas? And yes, Sam did leave Kevin in the wind for a year even knowing Crowley had him; and that was a bad decision, and Sam admitted to it, AND apologized directly to Kevin for it. Dean needs to do as much IMO. Just because Dean feels bad does not mean he gets a pass; his guilt should hopefully be teaching him something about the next time he faces a similar situation, but so far, it doesn't appear that he's learned anything, as by his own admission he'd "do it again."
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 21:33
Quoting Prix68:
Metatron wanted Kevin dead and that was going to happen. He had just taken a trip to Branston. I don't think even if he knew that Gadreel was possessing Sam he could have escaped Gadreel. Dean was immobilized against Gadreel himself so how would he have saved Kevin. Let's not add more drama then necessary here. I'm sure next ep we're probably going to get Mama Tran to lay more guilt on Dean.

Dean didn't say the sacrifice was worth it, he said he would do it again. Dean fights to save who he can when he can but even he can't foresee every event that might happen or save everyone. I'll remind everyone again that Sam left Kevin in the wind for a year knowing Crowley had him.


And Sam felt guilty for abandoning Kevin too. That has nothing to do with whether Dean should feel guilty now. No, it was wrong for both.

I don't think I am adding any more drama than was actually there. Dean was incredibly casual with Kevin, making fun of his worries and not telling him the truth, while actively putting him in danger by having him look for a way to expel Gadreel from his hideout. It was a terrible misjudgement and the worst possible consequences happened. Dean could have gotten Kevin out, he could have protected him. Gadreel just walked straight up to him and caught him unawares, if Kevin had an angel banishing symbol or an angel blade he might have had a chance ... but that might have killed Sam too....

"There was no point Dean warning or protecting him because Metatron would have gotten him anyway" is an argument Dean Winchester would be the first to have a problem with.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 21:33
Quote:
Metatron wanted Kevin dead and that was going to happen. He had just taken a trip to Branston. I don't think even if he knew that Gadreel was possessing Sam he could have escaped Gadreel. Dean was immobilized against Gadreel himself so how would he have saved Kevin. Let's not add more drama then necessary here. I'm sure next ep we're probably going to get Mama Tran to lay more guilt on Dean.

Dean didn't say the sacrifice was worth it, he said he would do it again. Dean fights to save who he can when he can but even he can't foresee every event that might happen or save everyone. I'll remind everyone again that Sam left Kevin in the wind for a year knowing Crowley had him.
And Sam felt guilty for abandoning Kevin too. That has nothing to do with whether Dean should feel guilty now. No, it was wrong for both.

I don't think I am adding any more drama than was actually there. Dean was incredibly casual with Kevin, making fun of his worries and not telling him the truth, while actively putting him in danger by having him look for a way to expel Gadreel from his hideout. It was a terrible misjudgement and the worst possible consequences happened. Dean could have gotten Kevin out, he could have protected him. Gadreel just walked straight up to him and caught him unawares, if Kevin had an angel banishing symbol or an angel blade he might have had a chance ... but that might have killed Sam too....

"There was no point Dean warning or protecting him because Metatron would have gotten him anyway" is an argument Dean Winchester would be the first to have a problem with.
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 21:38
Heh, E I didn't see your post before I posted mine ...
eilf
# eilf 2014-02-18 21:38
Heh, E I didn't see your post before I posted mine ...
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-18 22:13
sam's comment to dean in the purge which was pretty specific...he said roles reversed, duplicate circumstances, no he wouldn't do what dean did. of course he wouldn't because he didn't in s8.
sam specifically told dean in wnttak that he thought he was dead. he said it's hard to stay in the family business that killed his whole family. he told dean he got in the car and drove for months. he told amelia after she told sam that she lost her husband in the war, that he lost his brother too and he wasn't referring to misplacing him. he admitted that he imploded and ran. we saw in hh that sam knew he can no longer escape the reality that was his real life. we also learned that the boys had made ea. other a promise that when they went, nobody does anything to bring them back. sam believed dean was dead and did nothing to attempt to bring him back. he did nothing as his brother requested. sam respected dean's wishes and kept his promise. it's really not hard to fathom that had sam been in the same circumstances, knowing what he knows, knowing dean's would never ever allow himself to be possessed, that he would respect his brother's wishes...cuz he'd done it in s8.
i think what's important to understand is that sam has been personally responsible for people dying when possessed. he killed steve wandell. when lucifer possessed him, he killed, cas/bobby and a whole slew of people from his past. cas saved sam from the pit using extreme measures and he didn't get all of him out. when sam got his memory back, sam saw every face of every victim that died at the hands of soulless sam. these are faces he will never forget. but they were strangers. this time, kevin died by his hand. not a stranger. but a kid. a kid they took in. a kid who trusted him. this is just one death that apparently has sam saying...no more. things have to change. all this extreme measure stuff has to stop. i guess he feels he has blood on his hands and that's a big influence on what he's feeling right now. that can't just get disregarded. sam is feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt right now. he can't just turn it off. he never could.
as to the whole if thing...that doesn't necessarily mean he was contemplating not dying...he didn't have a choice. his internal organs were burned. he wasn't getting out of this. the only alternative for sam not going with death was doing what bobby did..and becoming a ghost. and dean threw the samulet away so it's not like sam would have been attached to dean in any way. the if didn't really imply that sam had a choice in not dying, just whether he wanted to go to heaven or stay on earth as a spirit.
before the trials, sam did want to succeed. he saw the light at the end of the tunnel for both dean and himself. his state of mind at the time was very different than it was by the time the trials were over. he admitted in remember the titans that it was naive to think that he could get out of the trials unscathed. that's why dean prayed to cas. cas told sam that he was changing in ways he couldn't heal. charlie tried to reassure both sam and dean that he was written as a tough son of a bitch and if anyone could get through these trials he could. but at this point sam knew how sick he was. by the time we get to sacrifice it seemed to me that all sam wanted to do was close the gates of hell for his brother. dying seemed the inevitable conclusion that he had come to accept..probabl y because he had been deteriorating all this time. undertaking the trials in the first place was going to kill sam whether he finished the task or not, but they didn't know that ..or did he? either way sam was always going to do the trials so that dean didn't have to.
i don't think the boys will to sacrifice for the other will ever disappear. i don't think that's what carver is trying to accomplish here.
in all honesty i think carver is trying to get the boys to open up to ea. other and understand where the other is coming from. misperception.. .that's been the ongoing theme for 8yrs. i think carver is finally getting the boys to deal with old issues. change that part of the relationship. they're always assuming that the other believes the worst in them. it's really them projecting how they feel about themselves. that's got to stop. kevin had to die. he had to create a circumstance to drive the boys to finally come face to face with themselves. that's what i think carver is trying to do. once they do that the boys can relate to ea. other on a whole new level. one of mutual respect and understanding and mutual acceptance. to be brothers who are friends.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-18 22:13
sam's comment to dean in the purge which was pretty specific...he said roles reversed, duplicate circumstances, no he wouldn't do what dean did. of course he wouldn't because he didn't in s8.
sam specifically told dean in wnttak that he thought he was dead. he said it's hard to stay in the family business that killed his whole family. he told dean he got in the car and drove for months. he told amelia after she told sam that she lost her husband in the war, that he lost his brother too and he wasn't referring to misplacing him. he admitted that he imploded and ran. we saw in hh that sam knew he can no longer escape the reality that was his real life. we also learned that the boys had made ea. other a promise that when they went, nobody does anything to bring them back. sam believed dean was dead and did nothing to attempt to bring him back. he did nothing as his brother requested. sam respected dean's wishes and kept his promise. it's really not hard to fathom that had sam been in the same circumstances, knowing what he knows, knowing dean's would never ever allow himself to be possessed, that he would respect his brother's wishes...cuz he'd done it in s8.
i think what's important to understand is that sam has been personally responsible for people dying when possessed. he killed steve wandell. when lucifer possessed him, he killed, cas/bobby and a whole slew of people from his past. cas saved sam from the pit using extreme measures and he didn't get all of him out. when sam got his memory back, sam saw every face of every victim that died at the hands of soulless sam. these are faces he will never forget. but they were strangers. this time, kevin died by his hand. not a stranger. but a kid. a kid they took in. a kid who trusted him. this is just one death that apparently has sam saying...no more. things have to change. all this extreme measure stuff has to stop. i guess he feels he has blood on his hands and that's a big influence on what he's feeling right now. that can't just get disregarded. sam is feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt right now. he can't just turn it off. he never could.
as to the whole if thing...that doesn't necessarily mean he was contemplating not dying...he didn't have a choice. his internal organs were burned. he wasn't getting out of this. the only alternative for sam not going with death was doing what bobby did..and becoming a ghost. and dean threw the samulet away so it's not like sam would have been attached to dean in any way. the if didn't really imply that sam had a choice in not dying, just whether he wanted to go to heaven or stay on earth as a spirit.
before the trials, sam did want to succeed. he saw the light at the end of the tunnel for both dean and himself. his state of mind at the time was very different than it was by the time the trials were over. he admitted in remember the titans that it was naive to think that he could get out of the trials unscathed. that's why dean prayed to cas. cas told sam that he was changing in ways he couldn't heal. charlie tried to reassure both sam and dean that he was written as a tough son of a bitch and if anyone could get through these trials he could. but at this point sam knew how sick he was. by the time we get to sacrifice it seemed to me that all sam wanted to do was close the gates of hell for his brother. dying seemed the inevitable conclusion that he had come to accept..probabl y because he had been deteriorating all this time. undertaking the trials in the first place was going to kill sam whether he finished the task or not, but they didn't know that ..or did he? either way sam was always going to do the trials so that dean didn't have to.
i don't think the boys will to sacrifice for the other will ever disappear. i don't think that's what carver is trying to accomplish here.
in all honesty i think carver is trying to get the boys to open up to ea. other and understand where the other is coming from. misperception.. .that's been the ongoing theme for 8yrs. i think carver is finally getting the boys to deal with old issues. change that part of the relationship. they're always assuming that the other believes the worst in them. it's really them projecting how they feel about themselves. that's got to stop. kevin had to die. he had to create a circumstance to drive the boys to finally come face to face with themselves. that's what i think carver is trying to do. once they do that the boys can relate to ea. other on a whole new level. one of mutual respect and understanding and mutual acceptance. to be brothers who are friends.
E
# E 2014-02-18 22:14
Quoting eilf:
Heh, E I didn't see your post before I posted mine ...


Yeah… eerily similar.. :lol:
E
# E 2014-02-18 22:14
Quote:
Heh, E I didn't see your post before I posted mine ...
Yeah… eerily similar.. :lol:
E
# E 2014-02-18 22:38
There's something else that's been bugging me about how Dean has been perceiving the whole "I wouldn't save you" issue from The Purge. He's made it pretty clear over the years that he does NOT want anyone going to extreme measures to save him, particularly Sam. This has been made plain multiple times: in Faith, in Time is On My Side, and in his reaction to John's sacrifice for him in season 2; "what's dead should stay dead" and in the natural order issues that have continually arisen over the years. Dean has made what he is willing to let other people do on his behalf abundantly clear.. he has a line that he doesn't want crossed by anyone, but particularly not by Sam. And all of that is fine (and a little sad that he thinks so little of himself). My main issue with his moral code is that he won't allow Sam to have a similar code, or he doesn't respect it at any rate and continually goes against it especially if it conflicts with his. And now, he's mad at Sam because Sam has stated that he WON'T go to the extremes that Dean doesn't even want him going to in the first place? So, Sam didn't look for Dean in season 8 and was unwilling to risk a supernatural deal to get Dean back; and Dean is pissed even though his own moral code going back years, demands that Sam NOT do that sort of thing? And he's hurt now, because Sam won't resort to trickery and the killing of innocent victims to save Dean, when Dean himself ruled the same thing out in Time is On My Side? I really don't understand Dean's reaction here. He either wants Sam go to extremes to save him or he doesn't… which is it? He theoretically wants Sam to be willing to sell his soul or drink demon blood or slaughter an innocent to save Dean, but he'll condemn Sam if he actually does any of those things? I wish the writers would be a little more constant in this, or at least explain why Dean's POV is so completely convoluted and contradictory.
E
# E 2014-02-18 22:38
There's something else that's been bugging me about how Dean has been perceiving the whole "I wouldn't save you" issue from The Purge. He's made it pretty clear over the years that he does NOT want anyone going to extreme measures to save him, particularly Sam. This has been made plain multiple times: in Faith, in Time is On My Side, and in his reaction to John's sacrifice for him in season 2; "what's dead should stay dead" and in the natural order issues that have continually arisen over the years. Dean has made what he is willing to let other people do on his behalf abundantly clear.. he has a line that he doesn't want crossed by anyone, but particularly not by Sam. And all of that is fine (and a little sad that he thinks so little of himself). My main issue with his moral code is that he won't allow Sam to have a similar code, or he doesn't respect it at any rate and continually goes against it especially if it conflicts with his. And now, he's mad at Sam because Sam has stated that he WON'T go to the extremes that Dean doesn't even want him going to in the first place? So, Sam didn't look for Dean in season 8 and was unwilling to risk a supernatural deal to get Dean back; and Dean is pissed even though his own moral code going back years, demands that Sam NOT do that sort of thing? And he's hurt now, because Sam won't resort to trickery and the killing of innocent victims to save Dean, when Dean himself ruled the same thing out in Time is On My Side? I really don't understand Dean's reaction here. He either wants Sam go to extremes to save him or he doesn't… which is it? He theoretically wants Sam to be willing to sell his soul or drink demon blood or slaughter an innocent to save Dean, but he'll condemn Sam if he actually does any of those things? I wish the writers would be a little more constant in this, or at least explain why Dean's POV is so completely convoluted and contradictory.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 22:54
E Exactly. I hope this contradictory behavior does get a little explanation. It is frustrating and a little hard to keep track of what it is Dean wants from Sam at any given moment.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-18 22:54
E Exactly. I hope this contradictory behavior does get a little explanation. It is frustrating and a little hard to keep track of what it is Dean wants from Sam at any given moment.
Lkeke35
# Lkeke35 2014-02-19 00:50
@44: Very eloquently stated. The writers have totally mixed up their messages with Dean. He cannot have it both ways. He cannot request that Sam not do anything to bring him back and then bust Sam's butt for an entire season for abiding by the wishes he made so abundantly clear in previous seasons. Not only did he do this but other characters ( and even the fandom) joined in the bashing . It was horribly unfair to Sam.

Every single time that anyone has disrupted the natural order of one of the Winchesters dying, it seemed that someone else had to die in their stead.from John to Dean breaking the first seal, Sam seems to have digested this lesson. Even after Appt. in Samarra Dean refused to take this lesson to heart.

That he loves Sam so much is one the most beautiful things in the show but it's also been argued by the characters themselves that it's also one of the most destructive. I think Sam is arguing from that pov.

I'm in this to the end though. I love to argue details and this season has been thoroughly compelling and provided plenty of fodder for all kinds of meta. I have got to see where this is going because I do trust Carver. I think the payoff is going to be - Awesome!
Lkeke35
# Lkeke35 2014-02-19 00:50
@44: Very eloquently stated. The writers have totally mixed up their messages with Dean. He cannot have it both ways. He cannot request that Sam not do anything to bring him back and then bust Sam's butt for an entire season for abiding by the wishes he made so abundantly clear in previous seasons. Not only did he do this but other characters ( and even the fandom) joined in the bashing . It was horribly unfair to Sam.

Every single time that anyone has disrupted the natural order of one of the Winchesters dying, it seemed that someone else had to die in their stead.from John to Dean breaking the first seal, Sam seems to have digested this lesson. Even after Appt. in Samarra Dean refused to take this lesson to heart.

That he loves Sam so much is one the most beautiful things in the show but it's also been argued by the characters themselves that it's also one of the most destructive. I think Sam is arguing from that pov.

I'm in this to the end though. I love to argue details and this season has been thoroughly compelling and provided plenty of fodder for all kinds of meta. I have got to see where this is going because I do trust Carver. I think the payoff is going to be - Awesome!
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2014-02-19 04:47
Yes, Dean sets impossible and contradictory standards for Sam, so it's no surprise Sam can't live up to them and ends up inadvertently upsetting Dean. But to be fair, Dean sets impossible standards for himself too. I really hope the writers do something towards fixing both our poor boys.
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2014-02-19 04:47
Yes, Dean sets impossible and contradictory standards for Sam, so it's no surprise Sam can't live up to them and ends up inadvertently upsetting Dean. But to be fair, Dean sets impossible standards for himself too. I really hope the writers do something towards fixing both our poor boys.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-19 07:48
Quoting E:
There's something else that's been bugging me about how Dean has been perceiving the whole "I wouldn't save you" issue from The Purge. He's made it pretty clear over the years that he does NOT want anyone going to extreme measures to save him, particularly Sam. This has been made plain multiple times: in Faith, in Time is On My Side, and in his reaction to John's sacrifice for him in season 2; "what's dead should stay dead" and in the natural order issues that have continually arisen over the years. Dean has made what he is willing to let other people do on his behalf abundantly clear.. he has a line that he doesn't want crossed by anyone, but particularly not by Sam. And all of that is fine (and a little sad that he thinks so little of himself). My main issue with his moral code is that he won't allow Sam to have a similar code, or he doesn't respect it at any rate and continually goes against it especially if it conflicts with his. And now, he's mad at Sam because Sam has stated that he WON'T go to the extremes that Dean doesn't even want him going to in the first place? So, Sam didn't look for Dean in season 8 and was unwilling to risk a supernatural deal to get Dean back; and Dean is pissed even though his own moral code going back years, demands that Sam NOT do that sort of thing? And he's hurt now, because Sam won't resort to trickery and the killing of innocent victims to save Dean, when Dean himself ruled the same thing out in Time is On My Side? I really don't understand Dean's reaction here. He either wants Sam go to extremes to save him or he doesn't… which is it? He theoretically wants Sam to be willing to sell his soul or drink demon blood or slaughter an innocent to save Dean, but he'll condemn Sam if he actually does any of those things? I wish the writers would be a little more constant in this, or at least explain why Dean's POV is so completely convoluted and contradictory.


i am in total agreement. i just finished watching nrftw last night and dean gave sam two speeches about why he didn't want sam stopping dean's death by extreme measures. his words...we're not going to make the sam mistake all over again. in lr dean is livid when he thinks sam got him out over a demon deal. i really don't know what dean wants from sam. sam is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't when it comes to dean's expectations of him. it seems at the moment sam is questioning dean while going through feelings of hurt, anger, guilt, disillusionment ...does dean save sam for him or does he do it for dean. it's a valid question given the mixed feelings dean has given sam for following his wishes. add that to sam's pov about his life not being worthy to save, not being worth any more than anyone elses...if he doesn't see himself as worth saving why should he think dean should see sam as worth saving for sam himself.
if kevin hadn't died, i wonder if sam would've simply pulled an amy thing. been angry at dean for like a few weeks then simply buried it all and moved on.
kevin's death is sam's proverbial straw . his breaking point. the one death by his hands that he can't just let go.
i consider sam and dean the greater good. in the world of spn, they are the heroes of this world. so the way i see it, kevin died for the greater good. having sam and dean understand ea. other and accept ea. other is imperative to their relationship. a healthy one. nobody is denying their love. nobody is denying that one will always sacrifice themselves for the other. like i said, i don't see carver even trying to do that. what carver is doing finally is ridding the winchesters of this misperception they have in regards to ea. other. if they understand and deal with their true issues and accept that in ea. other and change what needs to be changed, then they won't go deciding what the other is thinking/feelin g based on what they actually are feeling about themselves. that's the relationship i personally want these boys to have. i no longer want them feel all this lack of self worth and i really don't want to see them constantly misunderstandin g ea other because of it. it's time to change that aspect of their relationship and i think that's what carver is doing.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-19 07:48
Quote:
There's something else that's been bugging me about how Dean has been perceiving the whole "I wouldn't save you" issue from The Purge. He's made it pretty clear over the years that he does NOT want anyone going to extreme measures to save him, particularly Sam. This has been made plain multiple times: in Faith, in Time is On My Side, and in his reaction to John's sacrifice for him in season 2; "what's dead should stay dead" and in the natural order issues that have continually arisen over the years. Dean has made what he is willing to let other people do on his behalf abundantly clear.. he has a line that he doesn't want crossed by anyone, but particularly not by Sam. And all of that is fine (and a little sad that he thinks so little of himself). My main issue with his moral code is that he won't allow Sam to have a similar code, or he doesn't respect it at any rate and continually goes against it especially if it conflicts with his. And now, he's mad at Sam because Sam has stated that he WON'T go to the extremes that Dean doesn't even want him going to in the first place? So, Sam didn't look for Dean in season 8 and was unwilling to risk a supernatural deal to get Dean back; and Dean is pissed even though his own moral code going back years, demands that Sam NOT do that sort of thing? And he's hurt now, because Sam won't resort to trickery and the killing of innocent victims to save Dean, when Dean himself ruled the same thing out in Time is On My Side? I really don't understand Dean's reaction here. He either wants Sam go to extremes to save him or he doesn't… which is it? He theoretically wants Sam to be willing to sell his soul or drink demon blood or slaughter an innocent to save Dean, but he'll condemn Sam if he actually does any of those things? I wish the writers would be a little more constant in this, or at least explain why Dean's POV is so completely convoluted and contradictory.
i am in total agreement. i just finished watching nrftw last night and dean gave sam two speeches about why he didn't want sam stopping dean's death by extreme measures. his words...we're not going to make the sam mistake all over again. in lr dean is livid when he thinks sam got him out over a demon deal. i really don't know what dean wants from sam. sam is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't when it comes to dean's expectations of him. it seems at the moment sam is questioning dean while going through feelings of hurt, anger, guilt, disillusionment ...does dean save sam for him or does he do it for dean. it's a valid question given the mixed feelings dean has given sam for following his wishes. add that to sam's pov about his life not being worthy to save, not being worth any more than anyone elses...if he doesn't see himself as worth saving why should he think dean should see sam as worth saving for sam himself.
if kevin hadn't died, i wonder if sam would've simply pulled an amy thing. been angry at dean for like a few weeks then simply buried it all and moved on.
kevin's death is sam's proverbial straw . his breaking point. the one death by his hands that he can't just let go.
i consider sam and dean the greater good. in the world of spn, they are the heroes of this world. so the way i see it, kevin died for the greater good. having sam and dean understand ea. other and accept ea. other is imperative to their relationship. a healthy one. nobody is denying their love. nobody is denying that one will always sacrifice themselves for the other. like i said, i don't see carver even trying to do that. what carver is doing finally is ridding the winchesters of this misperception they have in regards to ea. other. if they understand and deal with their true issues and accept that in ea. other and change what needs to be changed, then they won't go deciding what the other is thinking/feelin g based on what they actually are feeling about themselves. that's the relationship i personally want these boys to have. i no longer want them feel all this lack of self worth and i really don't want to see them constantly misunderstandin g ea other because of it. it's time to change that aspect of their relationship and i think that's what carver is doing.
leah d
# leah d 2014-02-19 15:27
Hi MC, not so sure how much of the contradictions are supposed to be part of Dean's character or how much is inconsistent writing but I agree :-) Sam's character has made contradictory statements a few times as well. Or maybe they are just human and feel different things at different times. Who knows? Not me.
leah d
# leah d 2014-02-19 15:27
Hi MC, not so sure how much of the contradictions are supposed to be part of Dean's character or how much is inconsistent writing but I agree :-) Sam's character has made contradictory statements a few times as well. Or maybe they are just human and feel different things at different times. Who knows? Not me.
E
# E 2014-02-19 16:41
Quoting leah d:
Hi MC, not so sure how much of the contradictions are supposed to be part of Dean's character or how much is inconsistent writing but I agree :-) Sam's character has made contradictory statements a few times as well. Or maybe they are just human and feel different things at different times. Who knows? Not me.


Yes, like Sam's "I thought you were dead," "I thought you were in the next state eating a taco" confusion from season 8; talk about muddying the waters. Why do they do this to us? Is it actual human inconsistency? If yes, then it needs to be acknowledged by the other characters…."Ju st last month you said bla, bla, and so, now you're changing your mind?" But this feels a little bit like inconsistent writing, in that they forgot where the boys were in season 2 and 3 and 4 etc.. and are writing them this way now which makes me go "huh? but what about what he said in bla, bla episode? Why is what he wants different all of a sudden?" And it seems to be a problem with both brothers: Sam wants normal, then he's committed to hunting, then he wants normal again. Dean didn't want Sam to have normal because it meant Sam not being with him fighting the good fight, but now Dean wants Sam to have his normal… I can't keep up!
E
# E 2014-02-19 16:41
Quote:
Hi MC, not so sure how much of the contradictions are supposed to be part of Dean's character or how much is inconsistent writing but I agree :-) Sam's character has made contradictory statements a few times as well. Or maybe they are just human and feel different things at different times. Who knows? Not me.
Yes, like Sam's "I thought you were dead," "I thought you were in the next state eating a taco" confusion from season 8; talk about muddying the waters. Why do they do this to us? Is it actual human inconsistency? If yes, then it needs to be acknowledged by the other characters…."Ju st last month you said bla, bla, and so, now you're changing your mind?" But this feels a little bit like inconsistent writing, in that they forgot where the boys were in season 2 and 3 and 4 etc.. and are writing them this way now which makes me go "huh? but what about what he said in bla, bla episode? Why is what he wants different all of a sudden?" And it seems to be a problem with both brothers: Sam wants normal, then he's committed to hunting, then he wants normal again. Dean didn't want Sam to have normal because it meant Sam not being with him fighting the good fight, but now Dean wants Sam to have his normal… I can't keep up!
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-19 17:02
Actually Sam's contradictions seem more organic than Dean's. At least when Sam wanted normal (in S8) it was because he accidentally fell into a normal life. Dean on the other hand rode Sam hard for leaving the hunting life for half a season than out of no where we get "I want you to get out". Maybe it was seeing Sam in the bunker. Dean had never seen Sam in a normal life scenario. Maybe that was the catalyst for his desire for Sam to be "safe". A few words from the writers to Dean's mouth would have helped that scene tremendously.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-19 17:02
Actually Sam's contradictions seem more organic than Dean's. At least when Sam wanted normal (in S8) it was because he accidentally fell into a normal life. Dean on the other hand rode Sam hard for leaving the hunting life for half a season than out of no where we get "I want you to get out". Maybe it was seeing Sam in the bunker. Dean had never seen Sam in a normal life scenario. Maybe that was the catalyst for his desire for Sam to be "safe". A few words from the writers to Dean's mouth would have helped that scene tremendously.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-19 17:24
Quoting E:
[quote name="leah d"]Hi MC, not so sure how much of the contradictions are supposed to be part of Dean's character or how much is inconsistent writing but I agree :-) Sam's character has made contradictory statements a few times as well. Or maybe they are just human and feel different things at different times. Who knows? Not me.[/quot
Yes, like Sam's "I thought you were dead," "I thought you were in the next state eating a taco" confusion from season 8; talk about muddying the waters. Why do they do this to us? Is it actual human inconsistency? If yes, then it needs to be acknowledged by the other characters…."Just last month you said bla, bla, and so, now you're changing your mind?" But this feels a little bit like inconsistent writing, in that they forgot where the boys were in season 2 and 3 and 4 etc.. and are writing them this way now which makes me go "huh? but what about what he said in bla, bla episode? Why is what he wants different all of a sudden?" And it seems to be a problem with both brothers: Sam wants normal, then he's committed to hunting, then he wants normal again. Dean didn't want Sam to have normal because it meant Sam not being with him fighting the good fight, but now Dean wants Sam to have his normal… I can't keep up!


i'd like to know what episode had sam say the line about the taco, because as far as i know that line doesn't exist.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-19 17:24
Hi MC, not so sure how much of the contradictions are supposed to be part of Dean's character or how much is inconsistent writing but I agree :-) Sam's character has made contradictory statements a few times as well. Or maybe they are just human and feel different things at different times. Who knows? Not me.[/quot
Yes, like Sam's "I thought you were dead," "I thought you were in the next state eating a taco" confusion from season 8; talk about muddying the waters. Why do they do this to us? Is it actual human inconsistency? If yes, then it needs to be acknowledged by the other characters…."Ju st last month you said bla, bla, and so, now you're changing your mind?" But this feels a little bit like inconsistent writing, in that they forgot where the boys were in season 2 and 3 and 4 etc.. and are writing them this way now which makes me go "huh? but what about what he said in bla, bla episode? Why is what he wants different all of a sudden?" And it seems to be a problem with both brothers: Sam wants normal, then he's committed to hunting, then he wants normal again. Dean didn't want Sam to have normal because it meant Sam not being with him fighting the good fight, but now Dean wants Sam to have his normal… I can't keep up!

i'd like to know what episode had sam say the line about the taco, because as far as i know that line doesn't exist.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-19 17:33
That was something that Jared said in an interview before the season began. I think he had answered that question so many times he was starting to get a little snarky about it. Somehow it became thought of as a line in an episode.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-19 17:33
That was something that Jared said in an interview before the season began. I think he had answered that question so many times he was starting to get a little snarky about it. Somehow it became thought of as a line in an episode.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-19 17:40
Quoting E:
Quoting leah d:
Hi MC, not so sure how much of the contradictions are supposed to be part of Dean's character or how much is inconsistent writing but I agree :-) Sam's character has made contradictory statements a few times as well. Or maybe they are just human and feel different things at different times. Who knows? Not me.


Yes, like Sam's "I thought you were dead," "I thought you were in the next state eating a taco" confusion from season 8; talk about muddying the waters. Why do they do this to us? Is it actual human inconsistency? If yes, then it needs to be acknowledged by the other characters…."Just last month you said bla, bla, and so, now you're changing your mind?" But this feels a little bit like inconsistent writing, in that they forgot where the boys were in season 2 and 3 and 4 etc.. and are writing them this way now which makes me go "huh? but what about what he said in bla, bla episode? Why is what he wants different all of a sudden?" And it seems to be a problem with both brothers: Sam wants normal, then he's committed to hunting, then he wants normal again. Dean didn't want Sam to have normal because it meant Sam not being with him fighting the good fight, but now Dean wants Sam to have his normal… I can't keep up!


sam started hunting again when dean came out of hell. his commitment was towards exacting revenge on lilith for killing dean. then it became more about him stopping lilith from breaking the last seal and starting the apocalypse. s5 had sam commited to atoning for lucifer. but during swap meat, dean asked sam if he ever thought about having a family of his own. sam told him it wasn't his thing anymore. sam also told dean that they were lucky they were raised the way they were, because they weren't missing anything...in which dean replied or we just don't know what we're missing. i think by the time we got to swap meat, sam had given up on the notion that he could ever have a normal life. i think he buried that dream down deep...he only started to believe it a distant possibility because for a little while he fell into a normal life..not a happy one. but one where the weight of the world no longer was carried on his shoulders alone.
i never thought sam to be inconsistent. dean on the other hand, i really don't know what he truly wants. i'd love to find out though.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-19 17:40
Quote:
Quote:
Hi MC, not so sure how much of the contradictions are supposed to be part of Dean's character or how much is inconsistent writing but I agree :-) Sam's character has made contradictory statements a few times as well. Or maybe they are just human and feel different things at different times. Who knows? Not me.
Yes, like Sam's "I thought you were dead," "I thought you were in the next state eating a taco" confusion from season 8; talk about muddying the waters. Why do they do this to us? Is it actual human inconsistency? If yes, then it needs to be acknowledged by the other characters…."Just last month you said bla, bla, and so, now you're changing your mind?" But this feels a little bit like inconsistent writing, in that they forgot where the boys were in season 2 and 3 and 4 etc.. and are writing them this way now which makes me go "huh? but what about what he said in bla, bla episode? Why is what he wants different all of a sudden?" And it seems to be a problem with both brothers: Sam wants normal, then he's committed to hunting, then he wants normal again. Dean didn't want Sam to have normal because it meant Sam not being with him fighting the good fight, but now Dean wants Sam to have his normal… I can't keep up!
sam started hunting again when dean came out of hell. his commitment was towards exacting revenge on lilith for killing dean. then it became more about him stopping lilith from breaking the last seal and starting the apocalypse. s5 had sam commited to atoning for lucifer. but during swap meat, dean asked sam if he ever thought about having a family of his own. sam told him it wasn't his thing anymore. sam also told dean that they were lucky they were raised the way they were, because they weren't missing anything...in which dean replied or we just don't know what we're missing. i think by the time we got to swap meat, sam had given up on the notion that he could ever have a normal life. i think he buried that dream down deep...he only started to believe it a distant possibility because for a little while he fell into a normal life..not a happy one. but one where the weight of the world no longer was carried on his shoulders alone.
i never thought sam to be inconsistent. dean on the other hand, i really don't know what he truly wants. i'd love to find out though.
leah d
# leah d 2014-02-19 17:45
Quoting E:
Quoting leah d:
Hi MC, not so sure how much of the contradictions are supposed to be part of Dean's character or how much is inconsistent writing but I agree :-) Sam's character has made contradictory statements a few times as well. Or maybe they are just human and feel different things at different times. Who knows? Not me.


Yes, like Sam's "I thought you were dead," "I thought you were in the next state eating a taco" confusion from season 8; talk about muddying the waters. Why do they do this to us? Is it actual human inconsistency? If yes, then it needs to be acknowledged by the other characters…."Just last month you said bla, bla, and so, now you're changing your mind?" But this feels a little bit like inconsistent writing, in that they forgot where the boys were in season 2 and 3 and 4 etc.. and are writing them this way now which makes me go "huh? but what about what he said in bla, bla episode? Why is what he wants different all of a sudden?" And it seems to be a problem with both brothers: Sam wants normal, then he's committed to hunting, then he wants normal again. Dean didn't want Sam to have normal because it meant Sam not being with him fighting the good fight, but now Dean wants Sam to have his normal… I can't keep up!


:lol: Me either E!! I was just making that last point, about Sam and hunting, to someone earlier today.
leah d
# leah d 2014-02-19 17:45
Quote:
Quote:
Hi MC, not so sure how much of the contradictions are supposed to be part of Dean's character or how much is inconsistent writing but I agree :-) Sam's character has made contradictory statements a few times as well. Or maybe they are just human and feel different things at different times. Who knows? Not me.
Yes, like Sam's "I thought you were dead," "I thought you were in the next state eating a taco" confusion from season 8; talk about muddying the waters. Why do they do this to us? Is it actual human inconsistency? If yes, then it needs to be acknowledged by the other characters…."Just last month you said bla, bla, and so, now you're changing your mind?" But this feels a little bit like inconsistent writing, in that they forgot where the boys were in season 2 and 3 and 4 etc.. and are writing them this way now which makes me go "huh? but what about what he said in bla, bla episode? Why is what he wants different all of a sudden?" And it seems to be a problem with both brothers: Sam wants normal, then he's committed to hunting, then he wants normal again. Dean didn't want Sam to have normal because it meant Sam not being with him fighting the good fight, but now Dean wants Sam to have his normal… I can't keep up!
:lol: Me either E!! I was just making that last point, about Sam and hunting, to someone earlier today.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-19 17:46
Quoting cheryl42:
That was something that Jared said in an interview before the season began. I think he had answered that question so many times he was starting to get a little snarky about it. Somehow it became thought of as a line in an episode.

:lol: i knew that line wasn't in any eppy..trust me when i say i hang on every word sam says. :lol: carver made it pretty clear in the first eppy that sam thought dean was dead which is why he didn't do anything but accept his death. i have a sneaking suspicion that carver had already planned 8 and 9 because he made a comment in an interview this year about sam's decision in s8 tied into s9 and his pov. it's all coming together and it may not be at a pace we want, but the way i see it, it's actually quite a realistic pace.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-19 17:46
Quote:
That was something that Jared said in an interview before the season began. I think he had answered that question so many times he was starting to get a little snarky about it. Somehow it became thought of as a line in an episode.
:lol: i knew that line wasn't in any eppy..trust me when i say i hang on every word sam says. :lol: carver made it pretty clear in the first eppy that sam thought dean was dead which is why he didn't do anything but accept his death. i have a sneaking suspicion that carver had already planned 8 and 9 because he made a comment in an interview this year about sam's decision in s8 tied into s9 and his pov. it's all coming together and it may not be at a pace we want, but the way i see it, it's actually quite a realistic pace.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-19 20:07
Nappi815 You would be surprised how many people think that Sam actually said that and are furious with him for it. :sigh:
I remember JC saying he had a 3 year plan. I hope he revises that to 5 or 6. So far I think he is doing a good job. His pace is deliberate and the payoff may take awhile but so far I am happy with what he is doing. I just wish he would write more episodes.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-02-19 20:07
Nappi815 You would be surprised how many people think that Sam actually said that and are furious with him for it. :sigh:
I remember JC saying he had a 3 year plan. I hope he revises that to 5 or 6. So far I think he is doing a good job. His pace is deliberate and the payoff may take awhile but so far I am happy with what he is doing. I just wish he would write more episodes.
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-19 20:34
i'm with you cheryl. i think carver is doing a fine job and i want him to continue on as well. i'd like a few seasons with sam and dean at a new level of understanding. i want to see them be the brothers i always wanted them to be....the way they are now, minus the issues and misperceptions.
this show was always in danger when do was pres cuz she didn't like it. lucky for us we had the support of the other ptb and we survived. we went from the little show that could to the awesome show that did.
i for one just would love for our show to become the longest running show on not only this network but that network that created it....basically i want to surpass smallville. :D
i think this show has a lot of life left in it....i would love nothing more than to continue watching well past s10 ;-)
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-02-19 20:34
i'm with you cheryl. i think carver is doing a fine job and i want him to continue on as well. i'd like a few seasons with sam and dean at a new level of understanding. i want to see them be the brothers i always wanted them to be....the way they are now, minus the issues and misperceptions.
this show was always in danger when do was pres cuz she didn't like it. lucky for us we had the support of the other ptb and we survived. we went from the little show that could to the awesome show that did.
i for one just would love for our show to become the longest running show on not only this network but that network that created it....basically i want to surpass smallville. :D
i think this show has a lot of life left in it....i would love nothing more than to continue watching well past s10 ;-)
leah d
# leah d 2014-02-19 21:12
Cheryl and nappi, I am with you both on that! :-)
leah d
# leah d 2014-02-19 21:12
Cheryl and nappi, I am with you both on that! :-)
BookLady
# BookLady 2014-02-19 23:12
I, too, trust in the writers of the show and have faith they will get us to a brotherly relationship that has more openness, understanding and trust, and less lies, misconceptions and misunderstandings.

Could someone please ask Jared when Sam knew he was going to die doing the trials and what his thought process was in the church - about life, death and Dean? If you can and do, could you please report back? I think it would help answer some of the questions we are debating. Thanks!!
BookLady
# BookLady 2014-02-19 23:12
I, too, trust in the writers of the show and have faith they will get us to a brotherly relationship that has more openness, understanding and trust, and less lies, misconceptions and misunderstandings.

Could someone please ask Jared when Sam knew he was going to die doing the trials and what his thought process was in the church - about life, death and Dean? If you can and do, could you please report back? I think it would help answer some of the questions we are debating. Thanks!!
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2014-02-20 08:53
Great Article and I love the comments. So many points that I've always thought myself. Sometimes it's so clear what the writer's intentions are when the boys make contradictory statements, like in season 2 where we hear Dean go on about what's dead should stay dead, and then of course, he brings Sam back.

But then there is season 8 and what was pointed out about how he changed his tune from the beginning to the end. I suppose that his statement to Sam about being jealous of how he could just leave the life behind was his explanation about why he acted the way he did and now he's sorry, but how do we really know? Like I said, I suppose.......

And it's definitely different being a fan and watching as opposed to actually writing. As a writer of many fanfics, it can be a real shock to a writer when a fan interprets something completely differently then you intended. The writers know the end game, so to them, the plot is logical and has a point and, of course, not torturous because they know, lol.

And sometimes you know where you want to end up, but not always how you're going to get there, so you have to sort of feel your way as you go and let the characters dictate. With having multiple writers, that can't be easy and it can definitely cause some inconsistency of character, in my opinion. Then, there's the things that you didn't think of when you started out, but then realize you need to incorporate or your logic doesn't work or you suddenly think up a really good dramatic moment or situation and then you have to find a way to work it in that doesn't mess with the story. Actually, I hopeSPN writers have a better grasp then I apparently do :sigh: .

Anyway, great discussion.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2014-02-20 08:53
Great Article and I love the comments. So many points that I've always thought myself. Sometimes it's so clear what the writer's intentions are when the boys make contradictory statements, like in season 2 where we hear Dean go on about what's dead should stay dead, and then of course, he brings Sam back.

But then there is season 8 and what was pointed out about how he changed his tune from the beginning to the end. I suppose that his statement to Sam about being jealous of how he could just leave the life behind was his explanation about why he acted the way he did and now he's sorry, but how do we really know? Like I said, I suppose.......

And it's definitely different being a fan and watching as opposed to actually writing. As a writer of many fanfics, it can be a real shock to a writer when a fan interprets something completely differently then you intended. The writers know the end game, so to them, the plot is logical and has a point and, of course, not torturous because they know, lol.

And sometimes you know where you want to end up, but not always how you're going to get there, so you have to sort of feel your way as you go and let the characters dictate. With having multiple writers, that can't be easy and it can definitely cause some inconsistency of character, in my opinion. Then, there's the things that you didn't think of when you started out, but then realize you need to incorporate or your logic doesn't work or you suddenly think up a really good dramatic moment or situation and then you have to find a way to work it in that doesn't mess with the story. Actually, I hopeSPN writers have a better grasp then I apparently do :sigh: .

Anyway, great discussion.