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“Road Trip” Discussion

After a frustrating winter hiatus, Supernatural is back! Post your thoughts on the first new episode of 2014. Click HERE for my full recap or keep reading for my quick analysis.

How great is Mark Sheppard? No, really, this was a great episode, but my main focus is on how Crowley is the best thing to ever happen to this show. He makes everything better and, in this episode, he saved the day by possessing Sam and helping to cast out Gadreel.

 

It made me think: Crowley, the King of Hell, is the most trustworthy character on the show. He’s a man of his word. Healways helps out, and he’s upfront about his evilness. But in an episode where Dean and Cas had a chat about how they’ve both been huge dumbasses in the past year (believing Metatron and “Ezekiel”), it only makes Crowley come off as vastly superior.

 

But there was a lot to love about this episode besides Crowley (although his dig about Abaddon being the “world’s angriest ginger” might be my favorite quote of the season). The opening, with Dean blaming himself for Kevin, was touching. Cas back in the trenchcoat is nice. And Sam’s dream (with ghouls and cheerleaders) was a great final showdown for Gad.

 

I like that we’re finally past Sam’s possession and he can get back to normal. I’m interested in what his response was going to be against Dean’s confession that he’s to blame for everything bad and that he can’t let himself be around others anymore. It seemed like Sam knew that was a bunch of crap, but decided against fighting again. Either way, we’re back to Dean trying to be a lone wolf, and we all know that the path will lead back to Sam eventually.

 

This was a nice mid-season premiere that set up the second half. We have the Crowley vs. Abaddon campaign storyline (and I hope they milk that for more election cliches). And then we have to find out what Metatron and Gadreel will do next. I liked Castiel’s rage over learning about Gad and can only assume that the whole “letting Lucifer into the Garden” thing will come back.

 

Finally, let’s take a moment to honor Cecily, who was my new favorite character before she was quickly killed. Anyway who refers to Cas as “Captain Sexy” is definitely a character who I love.

News posted on January 14, 2014 Comments (194)

194 Comments »

  1. That’s the first time SPN’s had me on the edge of my seat for a long time. I loved it.
    For the first time in what seems like forever, I fully enjoyed Castiel’s presence. He was kinda badass, and that’s something sorely missed.
    Tahmoh’s back, hopefully for a while now that Zeke/Gad is out of Sam.
    I know, sadly, that Sam will catch a lot of hate for that last scene, and people will be going on and on about “all the bad stuff he’s done” and “how Dean shouldn’t apologize for anything,” but for my money, that was a good place to end the possession subplot. Dean got played. Sam was used, and he has every right to be angry, but I didn’t sense a “I’m running away” or a “I hate you” vibe from him at all. He obviously feels violated, hurt, and this is all stuff we anticipated. But, I don’t sense that he’s given up on Dean or will abandon his brother at all. I think he will have to put himself back together before rejoining the hunt, and that’s fine. It SHOULD take some time.
    I just hope some of the fans think about this before they start jumping up and down on *either* brother. They’re both in a bad place right now, and they need time.

    Comment by G-dawg — January 14, 2014 @ 7:10 pm

  2. I totally agree with you G-dawg Can’t wait until next week!!

    Comment by nicole — January 14, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

  3. It’s been a long time since I felt the intensity in an episode. The writing was intelligent and didn’t screw up any canon. I thought it was an excellent episode. Did Dabb write that?

    The only part I didn’t like was the blatant (Cas) Misha Collins’ fangirling. I almost puked over that.

    I don’t like where Dean’s head is at. Although I thought he was the emoting one, while the bad guys did all the action in the episode, I think that was important to show as we head into the second part of the season.

    Really liked seeing Tahmoh Penikett again. That was a surprise. It’s pretty apparent that Gadreel has crossed the line and is a dead man walking, whether he ends up changing sides or not. He’s crossed all moral lines.

    And I still don’t like Dean working with Crowley, but at least the episode pointed out he has a bad history with the Winchesters.

    Good beginning. I hope it stays this way.

    Comment by Sheri — January 14, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

  4. @ G-dawg #1: Just saw your post. I liked where they had Sam end. I’m still trying to figure that part out. I don’t know what it meant, but I think it’s foreshadowing for where they plan to take the brothers and it interested me very much.

    I see no reason why anyone would be to ticked off with either of the brothers.

    Comment by Sheri — January 14, 2014 @ 7:47 pm

  5. Well, I was definitely surprised by how Sam was depossessed. I wasn’t expecting Crowley to possess him so that was interesting to me and an unexpected twist. I liked the scene in Sam’s mind w/Crowley and Gadreel. Sam looked really hot when he had Gadreel on the ground w/his foot on Gadreel’s neck commanding that Gadreel get out. I also laughed when Sam referred to Gadreel as “psycho angel.” Haha!

    Surprisingly (for me that is), my interest in Crowley was reignited in this episode. I liked his showdown w/Abbadon, and I think I can say I’m Team Crowley but I reserve the right to switch teams. Haha! I’ve been wanting Crowley dead for a long time now, but I enjoyed his scenes tonight. All of them were good, and I’m kind of happy he’s free. Nothing much was happening w/him locked in the cellar/basement or wherever he was. We were told he was halfway human/demon, but that didn’t actually manifest on screen.

    That end fight/conversation left me a little puzzled. I wasn’t sure why Dean was leaving or what Sam meant when he said “that Dean being poison” or whatever wasn’t the reason Dean was leaving. It was not clear to me what they were trying to say, and Sam didn’t finish his thought so, hopefully, it’s touched on next week. At least they shook things up and had Dean leave this time. That’s new.

    Jensen did a good job at portraying Dean’s sadness and grief about Kevin in the beginning of the episode. I also liked how wrecked Dean was at hearing Sam/Gadreel being tortured. The scene where he asked Castiel to distract him was cute to me.

    I felt bad for that puppy. I’m glad they didn’t show that scene.

    Gadreel – I went back and forth on his character during the episode. At times, he seems really naive and eager to clear his name, and at others, he seems downright evil. I knew he was going to kill Abner, and I felt bad for Abner. I’m leaning towards Gadreel being evil rather than misguided. The killing of Abner was too much, IMO.

    I still don’t care about Gadreel’s and Metatron’s plans. The angels don’t interest me much. I am surprised to find myself interested in the Crowley/Abbadon battle though.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 14, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

  6. @Sheri, yeah, I don’t really get that line, either. “Go, I won’t stop you…but don’t think that’s a problem.” (At least, that’s what I heard him say!) I don’t really know what that means.

    Based on the promo photos they posted here earlier, I am thinking that Cas will be the one to bring Sam and Dean together again. Seems Sam will be at the bunker being healed for a while when Dean’s hunting with Crowley (which, for better or worse, might be hilarious). Seems that’s why Cas had the little speech tonight about Dean doing something stupid for the right reasons. I think that’s foreshadowing what he’ll explain to Sam.

    Comment by G-dawg — January 14, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

  7. @Lisa Is that what Sam said? It was a little garbled on my TV.

    Yeah, like many characters on SPN before him, Gadreel got his chance to walk away, but he didn’t take it. As soon as he killed his friend, he was doomed. (He doesn’t have “main character status” to save him! HA)

    Comment by G-dawg — January 14, 2014 @ 8:11 pm

  8. He said “But don’t go thinking that’s the problem b/c it’s not.”

    So, I think Sam was referring to Dean saying he was poison or whatever and that he has to do everything alone now.

    The line didn’t make any sense to me either. Even Dean asked what Sam meant, but as I said, Sam didn’t finish his thought so who knows? Maybe we’ll get some follow up on that when the boys reunite?

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 14, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

  9. @5 – I think what Sam said at the end was “That isn’t the problem” in response to Dean saying how everyone around him dies or gets drug along through the mud with him. To me that is setting up (even more) for him letting go of Sam (his real problem being that he can’t let people go). I hope I’m wrong, because that will piss me off to no end if Sam ends up dead and Dean just goes on his merry way. I do think his inability to let Sam go is a problem, but its too innate to his character to change. The bigger problem for me is how he takes the blame for everything. I didn’t like him saying how he would burn for Kevin’s death. Really rubbed me the wrong way, if only because there’s been bigger mistakes made than letting a lying angel in to save Sam.

    That said, Sam repeating how he was ready/willing to die was pretty impactful, as was Cas’ looking sadly on at both of them. Same with Dean trying not to cry over his brother getting needles pushed into his brain.

    I’m interested in Gadreel still as a character, and hope we get more story with him next week with Cain. I did think Cas was a little free with the blame, saying messing everything up was solely on Gadreel. No blame for, say, archangel Lucifer, for starters? Cas of all people should understand how good intentions go awry and mistakes are made.

    I’m excited for the battle between Crowley and Abaddon definitely.

    Comment by Sarah — January 14, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

  10. Sarah – you came up w/the same interpretation I did. As I was thinking about it, it dawned on me that when Sam and Dean reunite, Sam will tell Dean that the problem is not Dean being poison, etc., but Dean caring too much about him (Sam) and not being willing to let Sam die. As you said, Sam mentioned twice that he was willing to die. I don’t know if that was the suicidal ideation Carver “spoiled,” but it is pretty clear that Sam is cool w/dying whenever. After tonight, I am even more convinced that Sam will die at the end of the series. This will complete Carver’s “maturity” arc w/Dean.

    I hate to think of Sam dying to serve Dean’s character arc. If Sam dies, I would like to think it does something for his character. I hope they can at least give him a heroic death where he dies killing a big bad or something.

    I didn’t like Dean saying he would burn for Kevin either. Dean was not being hateful or mean when he went along w/this plan. I doubt he would be punished w/eternity in Hell for what he did.

    I don’t know how I’ll feel about the future TP Gadreel/Metatron scenes. I tend to tune out when all angels are on the screen, and I must admit that my main interest in Gadreel was b/c he was possessing Sam. Now, I just think he’s an evil brute who is willing to kill friends to get what he wants. The character has no honor or “character.” I guess I’ll have to see how it all plays out.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 14, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

  11. I have to give props to Jensen for setting the mood of this episode. Totally reminded me of the early seasons. The anger from the very first scene radiated thru my screen and Jensen made me feel that anger he was feeling all the way to the end of the episode. He did a wonderful job. It drew me in and he made me cry again at the end of the episode when he took full blame for Kevin.

    I didn’t get what Sam said to him as he was leaving -but if it was something like “that’s not the problem b/c its not” or anything similar to that I think Sam was talking about that trust issue between Dean trusting Sam that was touched on in Sacrifice and that Gad mentioned in the storage room in the bunker. So I want to see that scene elaborated on.

    I liked this episode -I didn’t even mind Cas. Yea I thought that demon chick swooning over Cas was just plain awful but they have to feed the fans so it is what it is. But other than that scene Cas was good in this episode. Although I could always use less of him but it was ok.

    Good to see Tamoah (spelling) again. Nice surprise there. Bad angel though. Darn it anyway. Abaddon-man I like her as the baddy. I need more scenes between her and Dean though. Liked Dean and Crowley.

    My favorite scene was – Dean, Crowley and Cas getting into the Lincoln car (I think that was the make) and Dean tells Crowley to get in the back seat. Cas has a smug look on his face and Dean (gawd I loved this part) tells Cas to get in the back seat with Crowley. Beautiful just Beautiful. lol.

    Worst scene-the demon fussing over Cas-total waste of screen time.

    Comment by animal — January 14, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

  12. Re: Dean saying he’ll burn… The thing is, people carry their Hells with them. He’s unlikely to return to Hell, but he’ll torture himself just fine without any paranormal help.

    Comment by G-dawg — January 14, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

  13. Actually enjoyed Crowley here and, for me, that is a rarity. How far the Winchesters have come that now they have the King of Hell possessing Sam and helping to save his life. Who would have thought of that happening 8 years ago?

    I liked Cas here and I could see how he felt for both Winchesters. I am glad he has his grace back and he is there for them.

    Once Gadreel killed his former friend he lost any possibility of redemption. Everything is about him being a “hero” and “saving Heaven” to make up for him supposedly “losing” Eden. This character could have had so much more depth but he is just another shallow entry created by the lesser line of writers the show has.

    Really could see the damage done to Dean by Kevin’s death and by what was happening to Sam. Now that Sam is safe I feel Dean now can just let go and chase after his target (shallow Gadreel). Despite what happened to Sam and Kevin I feel more anger toward Metetron (excuse spelling) then I do toward that one idiot Angel. He is the mastermind of everything and I really do not understand how he hasn’t been killed already.

    And then we have the boring (to me) Abadon (excuse spelling) who actually thinks she is a threat to Crowley. Now I will be the first to say that the way Crowley has been written over the seasons I can see where many may view him as a joke. I have NEVER viewed him as a threat. However I know what he is Supposed to be on this show and taking him as that, I feel Abadon has nothing over him. He is crafty and wily and very evil. She is hostile and dangerous-but so is every other demon. I find her irritating and I do look forward to Crowley ending her.

    I didn’t think it was a great episode but I was glad to have the show back. And next week it looks like Dean takes a road trip with Crowley. That will be different.

    Comment by SL — January 14, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

  14. @Animal: Sam said – “Don’t go thinking that’s the reason ’cause it’s not.”

    I believe he was referring to Dean saying he was poison and bad to be around.

    ———

    @G-Dawg: I agree that Dean will likely never forgive himself for Kevin’s death. If he hadn’t allowed Sam to be possessed or if he had even warned Kevin about Sam, it is possible that Kevin wouldn’t be dead. He’ll carry that w/him forever. I hope he is able to forgive himself one day.

    It looks like Sam will (or at least he did in this episode) feel guilty too. He had no control but his one wish was to not be brought back to hurt anyone again, and that’s exactly what happened here.

    ——-

    @SL: I am in complete agreement w/you about Crowley. I’ve wanted Crowley dead since S6, and I was likely in the minority of fans (or maybe the one fan) who cheered when Cas “torched his bones” that season. That said, I found myself wanting him to prevail over Abbadon, and I like Abbadon. So, I find myself surprised to be interested in that arc.

    And I agree about it not being a great episode, but I didn’t hate it.

    For me, once Gadreel killed his friend, I lost all interest in him. He is not a good guy, IMO. He is really self-interested and self-centered. It’s all about restoring his reputation but he’s going about that in such an odd way. How does killing random angels help improve his name? He should be questioning Metatron’s motives.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 14, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

  15. Good ep. There is also tension, and humor (Cas’s demon fangirl). Crowley did this episode in my opinion. Cas was like as a decoration- make face sad or upset (but it was cool when he was angry). It was quite possible to give him 5 minutes of screen time, all his actions have kept to this timing. As usual don’t like Dean’s user attitude to Cas. Well, he said sorry only to not hear Sam’s saffering? (sorry for my english:) Don’t understand why they took this funny car? nothing better than Dean could’t open? I understand that we don’t return Kevin to wait? Very well that the authors returned Gadrielya this glorious body). But it turns out that Metatron knew that was going to happen, because sitting at the bar? Final too liked me. Everything in its place . I’m interesting in show again very much.

    Comment by Aleandr — January 14, 2014 @ 10:38 pm

  16. I’m still thinking about the episode, so this might not be entirely coherent. But then my overall impression of the episode was that the writer was trying to manage too many of the loose ends in how the first half of the season unravelled. Basically, what Carver decided to ‘throw out there and see what would stick’ was a less like a Kandinsky and more like a toddler with a projectile vomit problem. This episode seemed like it was trying to clean the mess off the wall. As such it was moderately, but not completely successful.
    I still don’t understand:
    – Sam’s point of view
    - why Crowley has been injecting human blood
    - what Metatron has against prophets and why he is so determined to mess with gadreel’s head. What is his purpose at all and why should we care?
    - Why, after Crowley literally killed everyone they ever saved last season, Dean would make bargains with him or partner up and work with him. Dean seems to have no moral compass whatsoever. I would say he has one that points due Sam – but he doesn’t pay attention to what Sam wants at all, which isn’t loving, it’s selfish.
    – Why Abbadon, woman of action, would have Crowley in her clutches and let him blather on instead of taking him out in a blaze of steel and sulphur.
    – why a millenia old being who has spent years hanging out with the Winchesters would know how to buy and drive a car – but not that he needed to put gas in it. face!palm. head!shake

    Let me also say that I have no intention of joining the Dean pity party. He’s feeling sorry enough for himself – he doesn’t need my help. I was really irritated that they tried to downplay what Dean did. To make it being a ‘dumbass’ or just trusting. It wasn’t a parallel situation to Cas. Cas had to pick who was more trustworthy: Naomi or Metatron, after Naomi spent weeks torturing him to get him to kill Dean. Kinda understandable if he got it wrong. Dean, on the other hand, gambled with his brother’s heart and mind – against his desires – and lied to him, screwed over his best friend after he’d seen him hunted and killed, lied to him as well, kept Kevin in the dark…etc.
    I don’t think it can just be waved away with a half-hearted apology and some ‘poor-me I’m poison’ bullshit. It’s not that people just magically get hurt when he’s around. He makes choices that hurt other people. He’s right that Kevin died because of choices he made. Obviously he didn’t kill him, but he should take responsibility for his actions.
    Also, when Dean was having trouble with Sam being tortured I couldn’t help but think he probably still liked torture a little too much, and if it looked like Sam, it was affecting Gadreel, who he’d sworn revenge on… Yeah I still think Dean has gone dark. This epi really didn’t change my mind.
    Er. One great thing about the epi was Jared’s performance as Gadreel and Sam. Wonderfully layered and intriguing.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 15, 2014 @ 12:13 am

  17. t1gerlilly,
    q:’what Metatron has against prophets?”
    re: they can decypher the tablet whis contains the spell of closing heaven, probably.
    q: “Why, after Crowley literally killed everyone they ever saved last season, Dean would make bargains with him or partner up and work with him”
    re: Dean lost rests of his prudence long time ago. Remember, he called Mag as friend in S7 in spite of she did in S1-6! (btw, tnan Dean did in the same way: he took angel, demon and saved Sam. And he did with no doubt and regrets).
    q: “why a millenia old being who has spent years hanging out with the Winchesters would know how to buy and drive a car – but not that he needed to put gas in it”
    re: maybe he just drive, but don’t put gas?

    Comment by Aleandr — January 15, 2014 @ 2:43 am

  18. I am glad the Angel is no longer in Sam because when Jared portrayed Gadreel he sounded just like he did when he was soulless. Wonder what he would have sounded like if Crowley had stayed in him? Probably the same.

    Wonder what would have happened if Crowley had retained possession of Sam? He could have used that to gain things from Dean that he couldn’t get otherwise.

    Hopefully when Sam returns to the show he will Be SAM and no one else.

    Comment by SL — January 15, 2014 @ 2:57 am

  19. I wholeheartedly disagree that Jared’s performance as Gadreel was anything like Soulless Sam. SS had confidence, arrogance. Gadreel has none of that. He’s rather weak, gullible, and a follower. But it’s all subjective. I’m in the minority of viewers (maybe the only one) who never saw what was so spectacular and amazing about TP’s performance. I thought it was fine but not leaps and bounds above Jared like some others did. Again, this will all come down to perspective, but I enjoyed Jared’s time as Gadreel.

    ———

    @T1gerlilly, you raise some good points. I didn’t catch the gas joke. You’re right Cas should have known to put gas in the car, but for some reason, it didn’t come off as silly (IMO) as Cas bungling with that slurpee machine or his comment to that waitress last year when he and Metatron were talking. But you’re right. Cas spent at least a few months being human so he should have known to put gas in the car.

    I think Aleandr is right about Metatron and the prophets. He just doesn’t want anyone being able to decipher his true plans.

    I agree about Abbadon not just killing Crowley but I wasn’t too troubled by that. I think I’m going to enjoy their showdown.

    I don’t think Dean had much choice but to partner up with Crowley. He wants to avenge Kevin but he can’t do that with Gadreel being in Sam’s body. I don’t think he’s lost his moral compass, but he had to do what he had to do. I don’t think he’s gone “dark” yet – at least I’m not seeing any dark actions.

    I think a lot of things were dropped in the first half. The spoilers indicated that Crowley would retained some of his human feeling and would be battling that but I’ve saw no indication of that. We may never know why he was injecting Kevin’s blood.

    I don’t think Dean is having a “pity party.” I think he feels immense guilt over Kevin’s death. I also think he took Crowley’s words to heart and we know he has felt like this before (S6 truth episode).

    I think the main point to keep in mind is that Dean started this with the best of intentions. He asked Castiel about Ezekiel and tried to save his brother’s life. Was it the best plan? No, but his intentions were pure and good. Should he have just let Sam die? Probably but that is quite hard for Dean to do, which is why I think Carver wrote this story. He wants to break Dean of that impulse to do whatever he can to keep Sam alive. IMO, Carver is intent on ruining a fundamental aspect of the show – the brother’s willingness to do anything to save each other. Sam will explain this to Dean, and Carver will finally have his precious “maturity” b/c it’s so important that these fictional characters are portrayed in a healthy way.

    Anyway. . .Dean messed up. It happens.

    We got a little Sam POV on the whole thing but maybe more is coming.

    I definitely disagree that Dean was enjoying the torture. Jensen didn’t play that scene like that at all, IMO.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 15, 2014 @ 4:21 am

  20. Great ending scene. It made me cry. Great reaction from Sam: angry and hurt but in a quieter way.

    What Dean did in 9.01 wasn’t right but given his history and the circumstances it was understandable. He had just had a freak out that Sam was going to be killed because of the trials and then had had to hear that Sam was willing to die in order to not let him down. They had a reunion, then Sam goes into a coma and the next thing he knows Sam is agreeing to go with Death and wants it to be final.

    Dean’s nightmare was coming real (Pacman Fever) and he didn’t have an opportunity to process Sam’s thinking (not that most people do when a loved one is dying). It was a big change from hugging and saying that they’ll figure it out. Unfinished business on Dean’s side. No wonder he didn’t want to let go of Sam because their fighting had gotten so bad that Sam had thought he needed to die to prove his worth to Dean. You can’t yank Sammy away from Dean especially when he just nearly lost his little brother due to stupid misunderstandings.

    I suspect that Sam didn’t think Dean is as dependent on him as Dean might feel. He saw how his brother turned to Cas and Benny. Sam felt sidelined by Dean to the point that he would have rather died than gone through that again. But then in 9.01 it was voiced so explicitly (“there ain’t no me if there ain’t no you”) that he couldn’t go.

    It’s going to really hurt Dean to think that his brother wanted to die. I think he might see that as a rejection of him. In 8.23 Sam seemed a bit suicidal but not in 9.01. He was shown to really weigh in his options. His body was dying so the natural thing at that point was quite clear to him in the end.

    I’m a little sorry that Dean used the word “poison” because I have seen lots of comments from people who describe Sam and Dean’s relationship as “toxic co-dependence”. I think this’ll give people more ammunition to put down Sam and Dean’s relationship.

    For me Sam’s words at the end are setting up the whole “you have to let me go”. :(

    Comment by San — January 15, 2014 @ 5:13 am

  21. @Lisa1 – I understand your point of view on Dean’s initial actions. I’m assuming from what you’ve said that you also have no problem with Dean making bargains with. Crowley, having Sam/Gadreel tortured, allowing Crowley to possess him etc?

    I wonder if there’s literally anything he could do that you would agree was wrong. Like I think the writer’s intent was for the audience to see what Dean was doing as wrong – but you just don’t.

    You were really upset last year when Sam didn’t go looking Dean. But Dean pimping Sam out to heaven and hell is not a problem. Not to mention having him be tortured – which he will remember, along with everything else Gadreel experienced.

    That just mystifies me.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 15, 2014 @ 5:15 am

  22. pimping. More commonly used nowadays as making something cool or better. …

    But I’m sure that’s not the usage for the previous comment.

    Which I fail to understand.

    Dean let Ezekiel possess Sam because

    1. He was running out of time and he had no other options.

    The reason for Ezekiel needing to possess Sam to heal him (because Ezekiel was too hurt/weak to do it from the outside) was true according to canon ala the shadow of his very damaged wings in one of the first two episodes.

    2. He thought Ezekiel was trustworthy because Castiel said he was one of the good guys.

    3. Torturing Sam’s body was a way to get Sam back.

    4. Out of the three of them (Cas, Dean and Crowley), Crowley was the only one who could get to Sam. Dean took a calculated risk, and it work.

    I’m not seeing the pimping or the evilness in any of this.

    And frankly, compared to the mistakes that both Sam and Castiel has made in the past, Dean’s is not even on the scale.

    He got tricked trying to save his brother.

    I will blame him for not listening to what Sam wanted……

    But there was nothing malicious behind his actions. Just like there wasn’t anything malicious behind Cas and Sam’s actions. Giving all the mistakes that have been made by all (and apparently forgivable)…I fail to see how Dean is suddenly so irredeemable.

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the character itself or issues with the actor’s personal views on certain items.

    Just saying.

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 5:49 am

  23. I liked this one. The pacing was rapid with various action sequences moving the multiple storylines of the season forward ,and it was largely absent the glacially paced soap dialogue to put you to sleep. The angel war was a boring mess and if it becomes Crowley v. Abaddon at least it will have some definition a viewer might develop some interest around. The driving theme was getting Sam back and that was sorely needed. How it was done was a mixture of past devices, but I no longer expect this writing crew to come up with any new supernatural elements. Crowley’s smoke cloud being red rather than black seemed their only new contribution. Dean’s seasonal mistakes appear to be going to have consequences for him; I’m looking forward to that. About time we get some Jensen-centered action beyond saving Sam or playing second-fiddle to Collins to serve the Destiel crowd. Carver appears capable of overseeing good introductory episodes at the beginning of seasons or after season breaks which are then followed by multiple slow paced almost throw-away efforts. Hope that pattern changes. This was a good beginning to the second half.
    Didn’t like Sam’s coming back ill and weak physically; I’m tired of the sick and exhausted Sam, that’s been his role for most of this and last season. Enough already. I too was surprised, given lots of comments around the net, that Jared worked overtime in this one, playing two characters with multiple scenes in multiple settings. If he gets a little time off, he deserves it. The Cecily comment on how sexy and wonderful angel Castiel is was so over-the-top. Got the impression Carver knows the writers human Castiel was a boring disaster and Collins fans needed to be reassured that their favorite character would be restored. My guess is Carver still wants to make Castiel as the third Winchester and he is trying to find a way to make that happen. I think he’ll find, as did Krepki and Sera, that Castiel is to most of the audience a supporting character and the series is about Dean and Sam.

    Comment by CaseyT — January 15, 2014 @ 6:09 am

  24. Unfortunately, the opening came off as corny to me. Maybe it was the song. It’s a shame because I was looking forward to seeing Dean vent out his anger. I loved his scenes in season 2 when he was dealing with John’s death. But when Dean couldn’t take watching the torture, it made me tear up. Compliments also to Misha on that scene and on the final scene.

    Jared’s eyes really took my notice in the scene when they first showed him tied to the chair and looking at Cas and Dean.

    Abaddon’s styling is much much more flattering now. She looks beautiful.

    Crowley is great. This is the right direction to take his character. I’m really interested to find out where is at morally. Like a human psychopath who can still like someone? I thought he sympathized a little when it came to Sam especially when he was in Sam’s mind.

    The ending scene was really smart because Dean is not ready to really face things. It’s hard to explain but he seemed resistant like he wanted to concentrate on that Sam is still breathing and taking the blame and feeling guilty in general.

    Comment by San — January 15, 2014 @ 6:48 am

  25. @21 – Lisa1 said specifically it wasn’t right, but it was understandable. Which it was and very in keeping with Dean’s character. He tried to pull Sam out of the cage, after promising he wouldn’t. He tried to do the trials, so Sam could go on and finally get his normal life. He sold his soul for Sam. He can’t make a big enough sacrifice, and nothing is ever going to be too much. He’s said multiple times from the beginning he’s responsible for Sam, he won’t go on without Sam, he wants Sam fighting with him, and he’s also said repeatedly he knows and is okay with it being completely selfish. So, for me at least, there is definitely no problem with Crowley doing what Crowley did to get Gadreel out of Sam, especially as Gadreel had just threatened to “tear this body apart.”

    Sam loves Dean too, but he’s never made the same sort of “I will burn down the world” declarations that Dean has for Sam. He’s doesn’t seem to be as okay with other people suffering just so he can have Dean back. Think about how fast Dean told Death he picked Sam over Adam to get out of the cage. I’m sure Sam would have picked the same, but I think there would have been a little negotiating at least. Or, as you pointed out, how Sam didn’t look for Dean in Purgatory.

    This all just goes back to what Sam said at the end about Dean not seeing what his real problem is, which is probably true, but he doesn’t see it because it is not in his character to see it. So, no, there isn’t really anything Dean could do that I, at least, would think was wrong, when taken from Dean’s viewpoint. And I don’t want that to change, because it has been so central to Dean and their relationship from the pilot episode.

    Comment by Sarah — January 15, 2014 @ 6:52 am

  26. Maybe I missed something, but why couldn’t Castiel enter Sam’s mind to warn him about Ez/Gad without his permission? Didn’t they do that with the old hunter in “Hunteri Heroici”. Is it because Sam was already possessed?

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 7:06 am

  27. Good episode. Glad to have Sam back.

    Comment by LG — January 15, 2014 @ 7:11 am

  28. Stone120, in “Hunteri Heroici” Cas and Sam just entered in mind of old hunter, as Cas got in dream of Dean in S4 or 5. He did’t possessed them.

    Comment by Aleandr — January 15, 2014 @ 7:17 am

  29. Isn’t that what Dean was asking Castiel to do, get into Sam’s mind and warn him?

    If not, then I guess my real quesiton is why was that not an option?

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 7:25 am

  30. Stone120, confused in terms. Cas get mind without permission, but possessed with it. Dean asked Cas to possess Sam to get out Izi. I think Dean and Cas or writers forgot about penetration in mind.
    I hope my enlish is not so awful…

    Comment by Aleandr — January 15, 2014 @ 7:38 am

  31. Nah. Your english was fine. I understand what you’re saying. And thank you for responding.
    I would say it was done just to give the writers an easy way to set Crowley free. They’ve ignored or screwed up canon before to advance their little piece of the puzzle.

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 8:00 am

  32. There are some really thoughtful, well-reasoned comments here. I enjoyed every one.

    My take on what Sam said at the end is that Dean does not (for whatever reasons) allow others to make their own choices.

    Comment by justalurker — January 15, 2014 @ 8:01 am

  33. I thought the episode reinforced both Sam and Dean’s POV. More specifically, I think Sam’s POV was clearly brought out.

    Sam chose to die in 9.01, telling Death he didn’t want any more people hurt. In other words, Sam would rather die than have more collateral carnage from both the angels and the demons because the Winchesters are leading the fight against them.

    Last year, it wasn’t just Sam who was at risk, but thousands of humans were being killed and/or possessed as Sam continued on the path of completing the trials.

    In 8.23, the angels fell (and Sam knew this before going into the coma of 9.01). That leaves both angels and demons roaming earth in a fight for Heaven and a fight for Hell. Keep in mind, that to the humans on earth, these two wars are really just ONE big war. There really is no difference in the outcome of either, as far as humanity is is concerned.

    Dean choosing to save Sam once again, even though he knew Sam was choosing death over keeping on fighting, has resulted in Sam’s body being used to kill the teenager, Kevin. In other words, and as we’ve consistently seen in past years, Dean saving Sam resulted in innocents being killed. In this case, that innocent was considered a friend at the least and family at the most (i.e.; made it personal). This is exactly what Sam didn’t want to happen and why he was making a head deal with Death to end it all. And this is why the first thing he focused on when he became unpossessed was Kevin’s death.

    I find all of this perfectly in character for Sam.

    Dean’s POV: Dean stated clearly that he fights and knows he fights for the right reasons, but that he always gets those close to him killed or worse. He knows Sam hates hunting enough to choose death over it, and he knows Sam’s heart is not that of a hunter. Dean will keep fighting, at least until he ends Gadreel, but he isn’t going to put anyone else at risk to do that.

    I find this decision perfectly in character for Dean, because one of Dean’s most endearing characteristics is that he just NEVER gives up. So, he is putting one foot in front of the other, and we’ve seen him do this before.

    Sam knows Dean better than anyone else on this Earth, and with Dean being at his lowest point since Jake killed Sam and thinking that he is now eternally “doomed” back to Hell for killing Kevin (not an easy realization for a man that spent 40 years there before being rescued), it appears to be cold move on Sam’s part to turn Dean out in the rain alone.

    But I’m not ready to condemn Sam for that yet. They both are reeling from what has happened and I believe Sam needs time to recover and time to think things through. Dean’s headspace, however, is not good and there will be trouble down the road for that.

    Q: “why Crowley has been injecting human blood”

    He was a sliver close to being made human again. He liked those feelings of humanity. It’s a addiction, just as Sam’s demon blood thing was.

    Q: “what Metatron has against prophets and why he is so determined to mess with gadreel’s head. What is his purpose at all and why should we care?”

    Metatron doesn’t want the spell of expelling the angels from Heaven to be reversed. With another prophet activated, that is a danger he would face. We only care if you remember that the angel war is not a separate war to humans. Angels and demons fighting amongst each other have the same results to humanity — innocents are killed.

    Q: “Why, after Crowley literally killed everyone they ever saved last season, Dean would make bargains with him or partner up and work with him.”

    He answered that. It is not in Dean Winchester to let Sam die. Crowley was the only way to get to talk to Sam so Sam could expel Gadreel, so Dean used him. In the future we will see Dean working with Crowley. That doesn’t mean that Dean likes Crowley, but it does mean that Dean owns up to his obligations and Crowley saved Sam. Besides, Dean feels as though he has nothing to lose at this point. He wants to kill both angels and demons, because they are all dicks.

    Q: “Why Abbadon, woman of action, would have Crowley in her clutches and let him blather on instead of taking him out in a blaze of steel and sulphur.”

    It was very interesting to see the difference between Crowley and Abbadon. Abaddon is just mean and evil, while Crowley is methodical and plodding. I thought that stark difference was brought out very well in this episode, setting Abaddon up as nothing but the big bad and setting up that storyline for the rest of the season very well. In good storytelling, every problem doesn’t have to be solved immediately; it just has to be solved.

    Q: “why a millenia old being who has spent years hanging out with the Winchesters would know how to buy and drive a car – but not that he needed to put gas in it.”

    The bigger question is why Dean just didn’t use one of those lovely antique cars in the bunker’s garage?

    And just for the record, I think this was a very good script and that JA’s performance brought all of the emotional punch to it that was intended to be there. He did a stellar job and I once again am sorry that he will never be publically recognized for his talent as long as he is connected to this show.

    I thought Mark Sheppard did an excellent job, too. He is such a talented and steady character actor.

    I thought Misha Collins was nothing more mediocre, and I find that I don’t believe in him when his character is supposed to have a hard edge. He just tries to mimic JA Dean actions, IMO. He does much better with the empathy scenes. Actually, I only like him when he is playing off JA; otherwise, I don’t find that he can hold my attention.

    Comment by Sheri — January 15, 2014 @ 8:53 am

  34. I agree, justalurker!

    To me one of the key things is Dean acknowledging that he knew Sam was ready to die and continuing: “But I wouldn’t let you because that’s not in me”. And then his counterargument to the tricking thing is that it saved Sam’s life and Sam brings up again what he wanted. He was willing to die so it seems like for him it’s a bit illogical and excessive that his brother would resort to such measures to save his life when it didn’t need saving.

    Comment by San — January 15, 2014 @ 9:11 am

  35. @21-Dean didn’t ‘pimp” Sam out. He was desperate to save him. And Lisa has voiced her displeasure with Dean in the past, it’s certainly not a case of her thinking everything Dean does is alright, just like I don’t feel everything Dean does is alright. Lately, for you, is seems nothing Dean has EVER done has been right.
    Was everything Dean did this season the very wrong actions to take? Yes, of course they were! I have stated this belief from the very get go. But you’re acting like Dean’s this horrible prick when that’s NOT what has been shown, not now and not throughout the series.. What has been shown is that Dean displayed his most prominent character flaw: panicking when he feels Sam is in jeopardy and acting impulsively, emotionally, stupidly, and not thinking things through. He does take it to obsessive, insane levels, but he is not this malicious bastard, and he certainly did NOT get off on Sam’s body being tortured.
    And again, you can forgive Sam (so do I) and we all know you forgive Cas of anything, and I feel Cas’ past transgressions have been worse than Sam OR Dean’s, but to you Dean is the worst, most horrible one of the bunch? I’m sorry, but this mystifies ME.

    Comment by roxi — January 15, 2014 @ 9:38 am

  36. Thanks, Sarah :-)

    ——-

    @T1gerlilly, I’m not sure what you want me to say. I never said Dean did the right thing. I simply said I understood his actions in the premiere, and that I don’t hate him or consider him a horrible person for what he did. I’m not sure why I should.

    Was it wrong? Sure, but it wasn’t malicious. I don’t think Dean is an evil person. He was thinking and acting with his heart. And while I think Sam made it clear hecwas okay with dying, I don’t think it was that clear cut for Dean. Dean saw Sam giving up but was it because Sam didn’t think he had any other option? Dean didn’t know so he took a chance. Stone120 outlines the reasons why Dean did what he did, and I happen to agree with that interpretation.

    By last night’s episode, Dean had few options. Gadreel was in Sam and wasn’t going to willingly leave. Dean could just kill Gadreel and move on. That wouldn’t be fair to Sam so Dean did what needed to be done to get Gadreel out of Sam. Did Dean create this situation? Yes, but that doesn’t mean he should do nothing to rectify it.

    As far as last season is concerned, I was more upset with the crappy, OOC writing than Sam. Given Sam’s story (i.e., that he thought Dean was dead), then I wouldn’t have expected him to look for Dean. My problem is I find that story wholly unbelievable, and I don’t think it was in character for Sam. Plus, we got very little POV on Sam to put his actions in context. It was a crappy story.

    That was not the case for Dean, IMO. Carver did an excellent job at giving us Dean’s POV and explaining why Dean was doing what he was doing. I understand what motivated Dean. I understand why he chose that path. I do not understand why Sam thought Dean was dead. IMO, that was a large part of Sam’s story that was skipped. Dean’s story this year was better written than Sam’s story last year.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 15, 2014 @ 9:45 am

  37. It’s true that Dean will probably never be able to atone to Sam for his actions this season, because he should have let Sam have his free will and his own choice, and his actions did cause Kevin’s death, but I still don’t see how, overall, he is worse than Cas, who murdered hundreds of humans ans thousands of angel, let the Leviathin in the world, which led to Bobby’s death, and worst of all, broke Sam’s wall, on purpose.

    Comment by roxi — January 15, 2014 @ 9:47 am

  38. @33. I didn’t really see it as a “cold move on Sam’s part to turn Dean out in the rain alone”. Dean says he is gonna do the Gadreel thing alone and Sam asks him what that is supposed to mean. Dean explains why it has to be like that and then Sam says: “Go. I’m not gonna stop you. But don’t go thinking that’s the problem ’cause it’s not”. At that point leaving was necessary because Dean wasn’t ready and it was something that Dean came up with himself. But yes Dean did look hurt.

    Dean’s speech reminded me of Sam’s in 5.02 when he said he was the problem and they needed to separate.

    Comment by San — January 15, 2014 @ 9:49 am

  39. I think what Sam was showing via his actions and words here, in 9.01 and last season was that sometimes in order to win, you have to stop fighting. This is what Sam did last season, he stopped fighting, and despite the usual monster kills etc, no-one was hurt by his decision. There was no second Apocalypse, there were no deals, there were no possessions etc; life went on. He believed that Dean was dead, and he didn’t try and bring him back. That’s not a sign of selfishness or a sign that he doesn’t love his brother, quite the opposite; it’s maturity because he was doing what others needed and not what he wanted. Sam didn’t give up, he chose to stop fighting in order to save lives because the battle he was costing more lives than it was saving. With Dean dead, the only person who lost was Sam, and Sam was okay with that.

    Ditto with the start of season 9, had Sam gone with Death at the start of season 9, Kevin would not be dead and there’s a good chance that the vessels Gadreel killed in this episode would not be dead either.

    Comment by Maedbh — January 15, 2014 @ 9:49 am

  40. @39, Gadreel had a vessel that he reclaimed last episode, so are you saying he was only killing because he was inside of Sam? The only person who was killed as a direct result of Sam’s possession is Kevin. Gadreel can and will just as easily killed in his own vessel as he did in Sam.

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 9:59 am

  41. @38.

    At to that, I don’t think Sam would physically have been able to go with Dean. Didn’t Castiel say it would take time to fully heal him, they’d have to do it in stages or something like that?

    Comment by Maedbh — January 15, 2014 @ 10:00 am

  42. Thanks, Roxi :-)

    I agree w/that Dean’s act cannot being to compare to Castiel’s past actions. He intentionally broke Sam’s mind. At least Dean was trying to save Sam’s life. Again, I’m not saying it was the best action to take, but it is one I understood.

    ————–

    @San – I couldn’t agree more w/you about Dean leaving of his own free will and volition. Sam did not “cast him out.” Dean insisted that he had to avenge Kevin, and he had to do it alone. Sam just didn’t argue w/him. It was similar to Dean choosing not to argue w/Sam at the end of GGY in S5.

    No lie — I just scanned back up to finish reading your comment, San, and saw that you also mentioned GGY. Hahaha :-)

    I agree that Dean looked hurt b/c Sam didn’t argue w/him, but as we both noted, it was similar to GGY where Sam looked hurt that Dean didn’t fight w/him.

    As I saw it, Dean wanted to leave so Sam didn’t fight him. Sam certainly wasn’t asking Dean to leave.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 15, 2014 @ 10:21 am

  43. And it’s quite interesting that so many lofty ideals are being placed on Sam’s decision when all we got was “Everyone was gone, so I ran”. We were not told and no evidence is given for assuming that “This is what Sam did last season, he stopped fighting……it’s maturity because he was doing what others needed and not what he wanted. Sam didn’t give up, he chose to stop fighting in order to save lives because the battle he was costing more lives than it was saving.”

    The Leviathan’s head was cut off, he didn’t know what happened to Dean, what battle did he choose to stop fighting exactly? Whose needs were he putting first?

    Sam is an even bigger genius than I gave him credit for since he knew to stop fighting a fight that he didn’t know was going. One that I still don’t see. It certainly wasn’t the demons vs angels fight going on this season.

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 10:23 am

  44. @41. I also think that played a part.

    Dean could have chosen to stay at the bunker to watch out for Sam but he needed to go alone. In 5.02 Sam felt it was for the best if they went their separate ways because of him. He was expecting to fight about it but Dean actually agrees. In this episode, I think Sam saw that Dean had made up his mind. It would be pointless to argue about it because that’s not the real issue and Dean is not ready to deal with the real issue. He doesn’t know what that is yet.

    (Lisa1, there is something freaky going on :D because I wrote the above before seeing your post.)

    Comment by San — January 15, 2014 @ 10:44 am

  45. @43

    I was referring to the battle they’ve been fighting since day one, the battle for revenge, the battle against letting go, the battle to fight against the natural order. The needs he was putting first were the lives of those who would suffer if Sam continued on in a quest for revenge etc.

    They’re not lofty ideals to explain Sam’s actions, it’s just common sense, and learning lessons from the past. Carver and/or Padalecki said in interviews said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different results. You don’t need to be a ‘genius’ to know that.

    Comment by Maedbh — January 15, 2014 @ 11:03 am

  46. @ San #38: To clarify, I don’t think it was a cold move on Sam’s part either. Note that I said “it appears..” Perhaps this wasn’t clear enough, but I only meant that it could be interpreted that way — it’s not how I interpret it, however.

    I agree with you Stone 120. It’s easy to make excuses for Sam giving up last season, but the fact remains that he gave up on Kevin and Meg (who had helped them), as well as Dean. Why he gave up on Dean is rationalization, but there is no rationalizing why he left a teenager out in the wind; not even because he hit a dog and met a girl.

    I always view the show in this way. The Winchesters are hunters, they have honed a lifetime of skills to hunt evil, and they have suffered many personal losses because of evil.

    If a person has the knowledge and the skills to take care of a problem they know exists; especially when they know they are going to be saving unsuspecting, unskilled people, they have a responsibility to use those skills and knowledge to do something about it.

    That brings me back to a major problem I had with Sam last year. Sam doesn’t want to hunt and stated so several times during the season. That means he wants to give up the hero role in the show (because the show is about hunting and saving people, after all). If a hero wants to run away from being a hero, or give up the role, or not accept the responsibility to be a hero despite having the knowledge and skills to deal with it, why am I, as a viewer, supposed to be interested or invested in that character?

    As far as Sam is concerned, that is the question this season needs to answer for me.

    That is also why I don’t think what Dean did in allowing angel possession of Sam this season was wrong. It turned out sour, because Dean trusted yet again and; yet again, his trust was used against him. Besides the fact that there would be no Sam in the show if Dean would have allowed Sam to give up his hero mantle and just die.

    I find it hard to believe that those who hold Dean as a big meanie for not allowing Sam to die, to quit, to not be a hero anymore actually wants Sam off the show. That’s messed up, or I’m just not getting the argument.

    Comment by Sheri — January 15, 2014 @ 11:05 am

  47. Their fighting costs more life?

    Season five, if they did not fight, than the angels and demons would have brought on the apocalypse. The entire world would have ended.

    Season Six, Eve was turning people into monsters and trying to turn the entire world into her oyster. If they didn’t fight, the entire world would have ended.

    Season Seven, the Leviathans were turning all humans into their happy meals. If they had not fight, again everyone would have paid the price.

    The show has not been about revenge since Sam let Luci out of the cage. It has been about cleaning up messes and they were not all their doings.

    People blame the boys for Jake opening the devil’s gate….which made no sense. But they chose to fight that, not out of revenge, but because they had the know how.

    Their revenge was against the YED. He was killed at the end of Season 2.

    S3 wasn’t about revenge but cleaning up messes that they knew about.

    I wrote up to S4 is because Sam’s actions were mostly about revenge in S4.

    So I fail to see how their fighting has cost more deaths than not since they and the people who teamed up with them is the reason the Supernatural Universe is still standing.

    I still fail to see what major fight Sam was avoiding by not looking for Dean. You could make that argument if we were told that Sam looked for Dean and than found out that in order to save him, he’ll have to condemn the world to hell on earth. So he chose to stop fighting. Than your argument would make sense. We were not giving any of that. And I don’t care what was said in interviews to excuse the shitty story line Sam was given, it didn’t make sense.

    Your comment still doesn’t fit with what was shown on screen.

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 11:16 am

  48. I agree with Sheri that it seems that the people calling Dean a big meany for saving Sam’s life seems to just want Sam off the show.

    Someone mentioned that Dean could have let Sam die and something else would have brought Sam back.

    Sam was only useful to the supernatural community as Lucifer’s vessel. That is no longer in the works. What reason would any angels or demons or any other supernatural entity have for bringing him back?

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 11:23 am

  49. And if we’re talking common since, it’s commons sense to make sure that your family member is dead and not in need of your help. What isn’t common sense is to run because you have no body to help you figure out what happened.

    You know as far as common sense can be applied to a verse where people can waltz into hell and back, angels can borrow other angels grace, salt can protect you against nearly every supernatural creatures out there. That kind of common sense.

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 11:26 am

  50. Without a plan there really was no point for Sam to fight in 9.01 because in Sam’s mind Dean selling his soul etc. is not even up for consideration.

    The wish to give up hunting is problematic when it is written for these characters. (They can and should feel conflicted once in awhile). I did not like it when Dean wanted to leave the life to be with Lisa and Ben in season 6 and just let Sam hunt by himself / with the Campbells. I think in this season though Sam will find new motivation to hunt.

    Comment by San — January 15, 2014 @ 11:35 am

  51. @46, 47 – Not trying to reignite a purgatory debate, but I think the idea was Dean was dead. Be he in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory he was gone and Sam wasn’t going to try to bring him back. He didn’t even know where to start.

    For all the heat that Sam got for working with Ruby, he’s the only one who seems to have learned that playing God and dealing with demons is bad. Even though Dean was the first one to say “what’s dead should stay dead” and John was wrong for saving Dean, but he did the same thing for Sam. Right after Sam realized what a mess he’d made with Ruby, Dean turned around and made the first of several working deals with Crowley to get Brady/the horsemen and leave Sam behind because Crowley didn’t want him to come. Now he’s made a deal with an angel that started out poorly balanced (Dean being in an unspecified debt to him) and it’s ended badly too. Like I said before, Sam loves Dean and will do anything for him, but in the way you or I would say “I’ll do anything for you.” It doesn’t include moving Heaven and Hell (or Purgatory). For Dean, he will literally do anything to keep Sam.

    I am definitely not saying I want Sam dead, or I expected any less of Dean. I’m also not sure that is what the writers were knowingly setting up at the end of S7. I am saying it fits into the idea of letting the other go and Dean being fundamentally unable to do that.

    Re: Sam wanting to give up hunting and him as a character – my interest in Sam has always been that he is so conflicted. Even when he tries to get out, like when they separated in S5, he still called Bobby to send hunters out to check on demon signs nearby. I don’t think, at this point, he could really ever walk away and leave Dean to fight alone. I think that’s part of why he was willing to die to finish the trials. Dean can then finally get out, and Sam can be at peace. It’s almost the inverse of how Dean will do anything to keep Sam and him together, because that’s the only way he can know Sam is okay. Sam can know Dean’s okay if the fighting stops, the deals stop, the always sacrificing themselves stop.

    Comment by Sarah — January 15, 2014 @ 11:39 am

  52. @46. So if Sam doesn’t hunt then he’s not a hero? What if he decides to be a policeman, or a firefighter or join the army, would he not be a hero then?

    What if Sam decides he wants out of the field but stays as a Men of Letters and his research leads to hundreds of lives being saved, would be be defined as a hero?

    Reverse that, if a ‘hero’ keeps on doing things that he knows costs people their lives, even if he’s trying to help, is he a hero?

    Comment by Maedbh — January 15, 2014 @ 11:41 am

  53. @Sheri – No. You’re completely correct, and it is the reason this show is no longer my passion. Dean HAD to save Sam — there wasn’t an alternative. He lets Sam die, the show’s over. So exactly how is Dean being mean? By doing what he was contrived to do because it was the ONLY thing he could do. The writers wrote themselves into a hole and this was their solution. “Hey! Let’s let Sam want to die nobly and force Dean to do something drastic to save him! Wouldn’t that be cool? ” So to me, all the people who are judging Dean and condemning him are hypocrites because, let’s face it, they didn’t really want Sam dead. And if Dean hadn’t of done what he did, that’s what would’ve happened. So if they wanted Dean to let Sam die because that’s what Sam wanted…. We wouldn’t be having this discussion because Sam would be dead and the show would be done. I completely understand why Dean did what he did, but I saw the writing on the wall from day 1 this season. But, sadly, contrived angst is what this show has become.

    Comment by SueP — January 15, 2014 @ 11:57 am

  54. To me the difference between Sam working with Ruby and Dean working with (insert any demons past, present, future) is that Ruby had Sam convinced that she was doing this purely because she believed in him and she had his best interest at heart. Sam trusted Ruby 100%. He was convinced that she was Team Sam all the way. There was really nothing in it for her except her supposed dissatisfaction with her old team mates. Given how wrong he was, it makes sense that he would not ever give any thing that kind of trust again.

    Dean never lost sight of the fact that he was working with a demon that could not be trusted. He makes temporary alliances where each parties knew exactly what they are getting into. Crowley had his agenda, Meg had her agenda. And in both cases everyone was aware what the agenda was and their teaming up was about mutual survival. None of his dealings were the Kumbaya situation that Ruby had Sam convinced was going on.

    The closest Dean came to emulating Sam’s situation is with Benny and that is only after they got out of Purgatory. And let’s face it, vampire or not, Benny was no Ruby.

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

  55. @53 well said.

    And on that note, I’m out. It was nice discussing this with all of you. And despite my sometimes smart-alec tone, I wasn’t dissing anyone’s opinions, I just like to argue different points of views. So thanks for indulging me.

    Comment by Stone120 — January 15, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

  56. @47
    Wow, stone120, does the idea of saying something possibly positive about Sam really bother you that much!!

    Thank you for deciding my argument makes no sense. It actually makes as much sense as any other argument we’ve seen here over the years.

    The domino effect of what we’ve seen in the past eight years has led to lives being lost as a result of Sam and Dean, possibly more lives than they’ve saved. (Sam and Dean certainly think so.)

    Season 2-5 Had Sam not been brought back Dean would not have gone to hell and spent 40 years there. The first seal would not have been broken by Dean. Sam’s quest for revenge on Lilith led him to breaking the final seal, the Apocalypse started. Sam ended up in the Cage, a fate far worse than dying at the end of season 2.

    Season 6. Sam is brought back soulless, people die both at Soulless Sams hands, and those who died but were not on the list while Dean was wearing Death’s ring. Chaos in heaven because the Apocalypse did not go as planned, Castiel started torturing monsters for the location of Purgatory so he can gain access to the monster souls. Eve is brought forth and thus Purgatory ends up being opened.

    Season 7 – Clean up after Leviathans started.
    After season 7, Sam did not hunt, things were on as normal.

    Season 8 – Sam does not hunt and does not look for Dean. Nothing untoward happens. The quest for more revenge against ‘all those sons of bitches who killed our mother’ leads to the angels falling and vessels dying.

    Season 9 – Dean’s inability to let go has led to the death of Kevin (not to mention what Sam’s headspace is like now). It will also inevitably lead to the death of Gadreels vessel.

    Oh, and it might ‘explain’ his storyline, storylines don’t need to be ‘excused’.

    @49 – In a world where everyone has lied to you for pretty much your whole life, who would you trust to tell you the truth? If someone says they don’t know, is that the truth? If someone else said that Dean is in heaven should they be trusted? And how do you confirm what you’ve been told by stirring the pot again and putting yet more people in danger?

    Comment by Maedbh — January 15, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

  57. It is really pointless, IMO, analyzing or discussing early S8 Sam since the story Sam was given was so poorly and shallowly written.

    The audience was left to guess at what motivated Sam b/c the writers refused to write for him and give him a clear POV. I think what Maedbh proposes makes complete sense and would be a logical way for Sam to think, but I agree w/Stone120 in that that’s not the story we were told. In fact, we weren’t told anything!

    That’s why I find discussion of early S8 Sam pointless. Why discuss a “non-story?”

    JMO. YMMV.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 15, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

  58. Haha, San! We’re in each other’s minds :-)

    ———-

    As most here know, I had major problems w/Sam during S4. That said, I disagree that Sam fully trusted Ruby. He even said he didn’t fully trust her during the season. Sadly, Sam was addicted to her blood. That’s why he needed her around.

    What Sam wanted to do is actually something Dean wanted to do as well: kill Lilith. They just went about it different ways.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 15, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

  59. @ #51 Sarah: The problem is that Sam only “thought” Dean was dead; he did not know that for sure. The bigger problem with your view, and I do agree that it is a reasonable one, is that he abandoned Kevin, a teenager who was helping them. He also abandoned Meg, a redeemed demon who had helped them, to be tortured by Crowley. (Just to clarify, I’m in the ‘good riddance’ camp on Meg being killed off, but that has nothing to do with Sam’s responsibility to her).

    Sam did admit, through narrative, that he had a responsibility to Kevin and that once they found him, he was going to quit hunting.

    I never accepted that Sam was willing to die to finish the trials until Sacrifice, of course. Before that, Sam’s intent was to do the trials because he thought Dean was suicidal and he was going to show him that there was life after hunting (lead him into the light). This was after the episode where Kevin said that whoever did the trials would have to be willing to sacrifice themselves. As it was, I never thought that Dean was suicidal, just that he was willing to make that self-sacrifice so that Sam could live his normal life. Sam thought he could succeed without the sacrifice and both of them could get out of hunting.

    One thing the show strayed from, and perhaps they are getting back to it this season, is to carry forward the two characters’ characteristics that Sam was conflicted about hunting and Dean was committed to it. That, I thought, was good tension between the brothers and a good way to show the two characters as individuals.

    @ Maedby #52: The two heroes in this show are not firemen, policemen, EMTs or teachers. They are hunters and what we have been shown is that one of the two hunters (read that as heroes) wants to quit. He thinks it’s a shitty job and the price of doing it is too high. That means he wants to resign from the hero role, and that makes me wonder why I should be invested in his story.

    In this story, it is not the heroes that are costing people lives. It is the angels, demons, and other evil costing people their lives.

    Even in this episode, it is not Dean that cost Kevin his life, even though Dean assumes that responsibility. Dean’s only intention was to save Sam’s life, and he did that. It was Metatron; the angel who deceived Cas to get a spell to kick the angels out of Heaven and the angel who tricked a very stupid Gadreel into doing the deed, who ordered Kevin’s death. Gadreel was of no threat to Kevin until Metatron did that.

    It is most assuredly within Dean’s character to assume responsibility for Kevin’s death. Dean has always assumed the responsibility for saving everyone in the world. Cas brought that point up again in S8. Besides Sam’s life, Dean’s deal also saved Cas and Charlie’s life this season. Besides, since Kevin is a prophet and an innocent, I can only assume that he is in Heaven with his mother again — something that would make him very happy, especially since it was made clear that he never wanted to be a prophet.

    As far as Sam and Kevin are concerned, Sam is lamenting that he killed Kevin. Also, not true, but his remorse rings kind of hollow if one thinks that this is the guy that dumped Kevin just last season because he wanted to give up the responsibility of being a hunter, and he was directly responsible for a crazy hunter getting himself killed because he was more concerned about ‘saving’ the girl he wanted to give up hunting for.

    Be assured, I am not bashing Sam here, only giving what I consider to be a logical interpretation of what’s being shown and how I feel about it. I have said since 9.01 that I do not feel Dean made a wrong or selfish choice and I maintain that position. Dean is doing what Dean always does — saving Sam and a characteristic I particularly like — never quitting, never giving up.

    Comment by Sheri — January 15, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

  60. A few things that everyone is forgetting (including the writers):

    1) The Antichrist child from Season 5 is still out there. If anyone has the power to force back open Heaven without means of a prophet and take down Metatron, it’s him. And by this time, he is around 17 and has a firm handle on his powers.

    2) Chuck was never officially pronounced dead, so how can everyone assume he’s “deceased”? Cas had brushed it off in passing when asked about it in an earlier season, saying something like, “Oh, he MUST be dead or else there wouldn’t be a new prophet”. Which sounds like lazy writing and logic to me- too tired or distracted to look into it, I guess?

    3) Crowley kept some of Kevin’s blood in a syringe a few episodes ago. Might he be attempting to clone him/work a spell to bring him back to life?

    4) Introducing all these characters from the beginning of Time (Lucifer, Lilith, Metatron, Gadreel, Abner, Thaddeus, Cain)but no mention or whereabouts of God??? Where is He??

    Comment by drwoodbin13 — January 15, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

  61. @ drwoodbin13:

    1) The Antichrist is just that — an Antichrist. Why would he be any better than Metatron?

    2) I think that was just a way to clear up a plot hole, since there can only be one prophet at a time. Chuck’s role was entirely different than that planned for Kevin, so I can see why they used a different actor, although I loved Chuck and would gladly welcome him back on the show (and I’m not one that particularly enjoys all the recurring Tom, Dick and Janes).

    3) It’s my feeling that the show made it pretty clear that Kevin was destined to die. He didn’t want to be a prophet, he had lots of close calls, he was hysterical most of the time, and he missed his mom. I don’t look for him to be brought back.

    4) I think bringing God into the mix would cross a line the show doesn’t want to go to. The Winchesters are avatars for humanity, and any winning or resolutions to storylines that is done should be done by humans.

    Comment by Sheri — January 15, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

  62. I don’t know if anybody mentioned this but —-
    Jensen and Jared will be presenting an award at the Critics Choice Awards tomorrow starting at 8:00 on the CW-with some areas covering the red carpet earlier!!! Now that’s my boys!!-getting some respect.

    Comment by animal — January 15, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

  63. @Casey, (way earlier in the thread!) Crowley’s smoke being red was shown back in the Kevin and Mrs Tran auction episode, I can’t remember the title. It was the one with Pluto and Thor’s Hammer.

    As far as the prophet logic, they’ve said several times that only one prophet is active at any one time, so once Kevin was activated, it IS logical for Castiel to assume that Chuck is no longer on Earth. (Which we already know, since we saw him carried into Heaven at the end of Swan Song.)

    Comment by G-dawg — January 15, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

  64. G-dawg–thanks, missed that. I was trying to find something original.

    Ratings: They are strange: .8 /1.7 mil. first 30 mins. (low for season); 1/ 2.2 mil. for second half, normal for this season. 500,000 joined the second half. That is a huge percentage increase over the first half for tv. It is almost as if a big part of the audience discovered SPN had an original epidode during the broadcast.

    Comment by CaseyT — January 15, 2014 @ 4:31 pm

  65. Maybe they didn’t know it came back this week. I know I missed SHIELD last week! :( Long hiatus!

    Comment by G-dawg — January 15, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

  66. @Sheri – According to BB, Dean isn’t any more committed to hunting than Sam. He hates hunting just as much and would love to do something else w/his life.

    I’m not sure why the writers would want to show that neither lead likes or enjoys hunting but that’s what they’ve done, IMO.

    And as far as Sam being sad about Kevin’s death and feeling guilt over it, I completely believe him. I doubt the writers remember two episodes ago let alone the S8 premiere from one year ago.

    Sam’s abandonment of Kevin cannot be explained as it was simply NOT something Sam would ever do. And we’ll never know HOW or WHY sam reached the conclusion that Dean was dead b/c Carver didn’t bother to tell us. He told half – actually more like a tenth – of a story and expected the audience to buy it.

    In any event, I honestly believe Sam feels guilt over Kevin. Why should we disbelieve him? What about his actions and words last night were unbelievable?

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 15, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

  67. G-Dawg, I missed last week’s Shield too. I didn’t know it was on. I also missed Dracula’s return 2 wks ago.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 15, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

  68. G-Dawg, I missed last week’s Shield too. I didn’t know it was on. I also missed Dracula’s return 2 wks ago. I think these hiatuses should be no more than 2 wks. It’s easy to forget a show in this day & age with so much other programming.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 15, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

  69. I don’t think there was anything mean or cold about Sam telling Dean to just go. He was angry and hurt, and even though Dean’s intentions were out of love, they were still wrong and Sam has every right to be pissed right now. And I was right that Dean had to be the one to leave this time, although it didn’t sound as much a permanent separation as much as going off to hunt Gadreel alone.
    I think they need to be apart for a while, I don’t see how they can work together with so much tension between them.

    Comment by roxi — January 15, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

  70. The sneak peek I just saw features Cas. Ok, it’s good to see a scene with Sam and Cas, for all those who complain that they want more scenes between them without Dean, but it just felt like more attention being diverted to Misha. If there are going to be more scenes with Sam and Cas, right now, I feel they need to focus on Sam venting to Cas about his feelings about everything that’s happened. Then you get some of your Sam POV, plus you get the friendship between them developing, but Sam is the one who should be featured the most in those scenes. Of course it was just one scene so I could be wrong. But it does feel like Misha is being pushed front and center a lot this season. I like Cas and Misha but he is a supporting character. I think they should get back to Sam and Dean now.

    Comment by roxi — January 15, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

  71. Even if I do feel Sam and Dean need to be apart for a while, I think we need to see episodes where half focuses on Sam and the other half focuses on Dean.

    Comment by roxi — January 15, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

  72. Thanks Supernatural for the roller coaster ride!!!

    Comment by mj — January 15, 2014 @ 6:23 pm

  73. I can see a possible buddy dynamic between Sam and Cas. Like in the “Agent”, “Agent” scene in Holy Terror. Sam seemed genuinely amused and Cas was thrilled while Dean is usually more exasperated by Cas’ antics. I thought Sam’s expressions in the bar scene were really cute and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the three of them hanging out. Cas and Dean could still continue to have a deeper more complex relationship.

    It’s good to see Sam with a friend because one of the reasons why his thoughts are not usually vocalized like Dean’s is because he basically has only Dean to talk to. It’s not like they have a tendency to lay it all out in the open when it comes to feelings particularly if the question is how they feel about their brother. Hell, when Jody gave Sam an opening to talk about himself and Dean, Sam didn’t exactly jump at the chance (other stuff going on there too of course). Maybe Cas will be shown to be a closer friend.

    Comment by San — January 15, 2014 @ 6:51 pm

  74. @ Lisa1 #66: At the time Bad Boys aired, I was watching each individual episode in and of itself, because no story was being shown. For that reason, I viewed Bad Boys as an okay episode. I now think that it fit into this episode very well and here is why.

    BB showed that Dean at one time had a chance to seriously think about whether he belonged in the hunting life. He had an opportunity to be away from hunting in a supportive environment and doing normal teenage stuff. The episode showed a young boy who was trying to please his dad, but had dreams of his own. I now find it quite in keeping with what we have always known about Dean.

    Example 1: Dream a Little Dream where Dean confronts himself with the truth of his feelings towards John and how unfair the cost of pleasing John was.

    Example 2: BB was quite in keeping what the viewers were told John had always known about Dean. In S1, John said that he wanted Dean to be able to have a home again.

    Example 3: What is and What Should Never Be, we see again that Dean wants a home and his family back together again.

    Example 4: The Dean/Lisa/Ben storyline when Dean learned that he didn’t fit into that ‘normal’ environment.

    And at the end of Bad Boys, we see Dean consciously choose hunting and to continue his job of ‘taking care of Sam.’

    I think BB also showed Sam the cost of Dean’s decision, because Dean basically gave up something that Sam has always valued above hunting and exactly the same opportunity that Sanford offered Sam — a life far removed from hunting.

    I also think the episode showed that Dean had as many issues with John as Sam did, except he was quieter and kept his anger and hurt buried. Dean always and still does believe that what John did was important and that the Winchester family business is important. It saves lives. He said it again in this episode (he tells himself that he saves more people than he hurts and he affirms that he believes that).

    The point of all of this is to disagree that Dean does not and has not liked hunting (or is not committed to it as Sam is not committed to it). I think BB was an episode that showed Dean consciously choosing hunting and the responsibility of Sam that John had put on him. I think that was shown when both he and Robin admit their teenage selves didn’t have all the answers.

    What I think the writers have done and don’t even realize they have done it is to make hunting out as a dumbass thing to do, something that is not a rewarding or honorable undertaking, and anybody who does it must be out of the minds or are total screw-ups. I don’t like that one bit, since it undermines the basic premise of the show.

    As far as Sam being sad and guilty over Kevin’s death; yeah, I think he was honest in saying he felt that way. But I am also saying that when validating Sam’s anger and feelings of betrayal at Dean, as well as Sam’s guilt over Kevin’s death, the viewers and Sam should keep in mind that Sam’s desire to die was based completely on his distorted thinking that he always let Dean down. BB showed Dean gave up a whole lot (his entire life, really) to keep Sam at the center of his life, a place that “Sacrifice” clearly showed as the place Sam wants to be.

    Also, in the context of Bad Boys, I think the viewers got Dean’s feelings on allowing the angel possession. In that episode, Dean told Timmy that sometimes people have to be prepared to hurt their family to do what’s best for them. In other words, Dean was prepared and willing for Sam to be angry and hurt about the possession. And then in this episode, Dean tells Sam that letting Sam die is not something within himself that Dean can do.

    And all of this still leads me to the question why anyone would want to root for a lead, a hero in the show, to die. That just makes no sense to me; therefore, I find it impossible to say that Dean was wrong and a big meanie for saving Sam’s life.

    Comment by Sheri — January 15, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

  75. @Sheri, I like your analysis of BB. One thing I don’t get, though, is how does BB reflect on Dean’s attitude toward Sam in season 1? Dean didn’t seem to understand Sam’s desire for “normal” AT ALL. He was angry with Sam for going to college, and clearly resented him for leaving hunting. They butted heads frequently over it, and it wasn’t until mid-season that they started to accept each other (“Scarecrow” specifically).

    If Dean’s experience in BB is accurate, shouldn’t he have understood Sam better post-Stanford? Or do you think that maybe Dean was angry because Sam seemed to be more successful at escaping the life?

    How does Season 1 fit in with your theory? (I’m honestly interested, not being argumentative.)

    Comment by G-dawg — January 15, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

  76. Btw, I loved Crowley’s act at the end. When he was waiting for Abaddon to enter, and casually sat in the chair Sam had vacated. It occurred to me just before the door opened. “He wants to spin around dramatically!” I laughed out loud at that. :D

    Comment by G-dawg — January 15, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

  77. “@Sheri, I like your analysis of BB. One thing I don’t get, though, is how does BB reflect on Dean’s attitude toward Sam in season 1? Dean didn’t seem to understand Sam’s desire for “normal” AT ALL. He was angry with Sam for going to college, and clearly resented him for leaving hunting. They butted heads frequently over it, and it wasn’t until mid-season that they started to accept each other (“Scarecrow” specifically).

    If Dean’s experience in BB is accurate, shouldn’t he have understood Sam better post-Stanford?”

    —- And this is exactly why I loathe BB. It doesn’t fit into S1 Dean at all. By the end of S5, Sam was apologizing for going to college and ever wanting normal. Dean gave Sam too much grief about “normal” for BB to make any sense in the Supernatural world I’ve been watching.

    I must also say that I didn’t see Dean choosing hunting in BB; I saw him choosing Sam. He was reluctant to go and would have preferred to stay. He didn’t miss hunting or express any burning desire to get back to that life. Maybe if Dean had been 10, that episode would have made more sense but Dean was 16, and by 16, Dean had embraced the life according to his own words in S2.

    BB was crap, IMO. Utter crap!

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 15, 2014 @ 8:17 pm

  78. Personally, one of the things that attracted me to Dean’s character is how much he needed his family and how much he was willing to do for Sam. Even though I had missed two whole seasons when I first saw 9.01 I didn’t really blink at Dean’s decision because that is who he is.

    However, I’m afraid that Carver has his own agenda and has made this scenario in such a way that an essential part of Dean is made out to be so wrong that he is forced to change. (Sam telling Dean he was ready and willing to die, Dean saying he knew that but he would not _let_ Sam do it.) Moved it beyond Dean saving Sam from Sam.

    I can get behind taking down some of the elements that some people see as abusive / co-dependent IF in exchange Sam and Dean are going to have a stronger brotherly bond and more fun like in the earlier seasons. Unfortunately, I think there is a risk that if the crazier side of Sam and Dean’s relationship (which I happen to like) is taken out in the name of “maturity” and “character development” what is left will be a diluted version of something that was once so compelling and unique.

    Comment by San — January 15, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

  79. @San – I couldn’t agree more w/your post. What made me fall in love w/Supernatural was the relationship btw these two brothers. I loved that they would die for each other and basically do anything for each other. To me, it made their relationship and the show unique.

    I believe that Carver is determined to put a negative spin on this aspect of their relationship. He did his crappy “mature” story w/Sam last year. Was I really supposed to like and understand a Sam that didn’t even investigate his brother’s disappearance? In what world is that a mature choice? It still amazes me that Carver thought that was a great, mature story for Sam when it wasn’t even clear that Dean was dead!

    But now, he’s turned his sights on Dean. That part of Dean that is willing to go to extremes to save Sam is being painted in a very negative light. Dean will soon “learn his lesson” that saving Sam is bad and wrong.

    Once Carver is done (and depending on how long this show runs), I feel we will be left w/a very ordinary show and relationship. They both will be mature and make rational, logical decisions, which, for me at least, will take a lot of enjoyment out of the show. I’m not watching to see two normal, healthy individuals. I never was so why would I want to start at this late date.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 15, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

  80. I read a recent interview by Carver. He had the nerve to parallel Cas to Luke Skywalker, did not even mention Sam and barely talked about Dean. It was all talking up Cas and the angels. I have always had the opinion that Carver doesn’t want to tell the story of the brothers and has little interest. He lack in writing for Sam only using him as a plot point and refusing to have Dean as anything other than a reactor to everyone else speaks volumes. He wants to write HIS show. He doesn’t care about the brothers.

    He’s shrewdly found a way to turn it away from the brothers and make it the way he wants without getting rid of them. He can’t go away from the brothers, he would never be allowed to do that. He would not keep his job if he did. It feels like Sam isn’t even a main character in many episodes and Dean is just everyone’s friend while some unknown guest star gets to have the spotlight. It’s appalling.

    Comment by Sara — January 15, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

  81. to Sara.
    I read about Misha’s fans. His fandom is too big. Its can’t affect to athours of the show. Unfortunately, now he is more popular than Jensen or Jared, and his Cas is popular too. That’s why, IMO, Karver placed a bet on Misha.
    I don’t think that it’s right way, but we can’t deny Cas not separated anymore from the Winchester’s, like Bobby was.

    Comment by Aleandr — January 16, 2014 @ 2:08 am

  82. Sara: ” He had the nerve to parallel Cas to Luke Skywalker”.
    Re: Kripke seems to be compared Sam as Luke Skywalker and Dean as Khan Solo some years ago. Hmm

    Comment by Aleandr — January 16, 2014 @ 2:33 am

  83. I know Misha has a lot of fans, but I sincerely doubt he is more popular overall to SPN fans than Jared or Jensen.He may have an outside following that doesn’t watch SPN, but to SPN fans in general, I

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 4:39 am

  84. To SPN fans in general, I still believe Jared and Jensen are the main draw. And I also still believe that, at least for the majority of SPN fans, it’s STILL the brother’s relationship that is the main attraction.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 4:41 am

  85. I’d also like to bring up a different point I was thinking about.
    Everybody says we don’t know Sam’s motivations for things while Dean’s are clear. I’d like to take a different tack. To me, it’s always made perfect sense why Sam feels angry or depressed, aside from both boys horrible lives. Sam has had to live with the knowledge that he had demon blood, and the fear that he would turn into a monster or evil, not to mention being the possible vessel for the ultimate evil.Therefore, he always felt less than human, and his main dream, I feel, has always been to achieve a state of total humanity. This, more so than being a lawyer or living with a woman. Perfectly logical, and it would suggest that he would be quite well adjusted if these supernatural issues were to go away. He’d be free.
    Dean, on the other hand, will do anything to look after Sam, because he loves him, yes, but I think it’s safe to say he’s also quite abnormally obsessed with looking after Sam, to the exclusion not only of having no happiness of his own outside of Sam, but to the point of causing pain and chaos to others, yes even causing detriment to Sam if that’s what it takes to save Sam. Dean is the one who is fully human. Therefore, I have to wonder if, perhaps, Dean may not have over years, developed the very human disease of mental illness/psychosis?
    It’s seems a very distinct possibility to me and I wonder if that will ever play out.
    I

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 5:03 am

  86. @59

    Whether or not Sam and Dean are hunters is irrelevant, Sam believes his job costs more lives than it saves and that price is too high. He thinks there is a greater worth doing something else. He could probably save more lives doing something else. That is not a criticism of hunting or hunters (or Dean). However, being a Winchester, and the man who put Lucifer back in the Cage, puts a target on Sam’s back that affects other people. If Prince Harry’s squadron was constantly under attack because people were targeting him, would people consider him a hero for wanting to keep doing what he was doing, or a liability because other people are in danger because he is with them? People don’t have to be hunters to be heroes. We’ve even seen that on the show. And if Sam doesn’t want to hunt but he hunts anyway, doesn’t that make him more of a hero than a person who wants to hunt?

    In this story, the ‘heroes’ are the catalyst for the acts of the angels, demons etc, on a grander scale. Angel kills, demon kills, monster kills will always happen, but without Sam and Dean’s involvement, those deaths would be far fewer.

    This show has shown us that intentions mean nothing, all that matters is the end result. Sam’s intentions were given no consideration in seasons 4, 5 and 8, the focus was on the results of the actions. And if it is Metatron who should get the blame for Gadreels actions, then surely it is Lucifer who should have gotten the blame for Lucifer’s actions and not Sam. However, Sam was held accountable because he released Lucifer.

    I see you mentioned the ‘positives’ of Sam’s possession; Castiel and Charlie being saved. It’s funny that the positives of Dean using the powers that were available to him to him to save the people close to him is extolled, yet Sam using the powers available to him to save strangers in season 4 wasn’t looked on so graciously. And we don’t know that Kevin is ‘happy’ in Heaven with his mother. Maybe Kevin is in hell. Perhaps someone should check. Maybe they should bring him back, just in case.

    Sam didn’t ‘dump’ Kevin last season. He said after Dean disappeared he needed to clear his head ie Sam was broken and could not have looked for Dean. Sam is devastated by Kevin’s death because whether or not it was him, Kevin died staring into Sam’s face, and by Sam’s hands; this is why he asked (and probably believes) that it was his fault. These types of needless consequences are the reason he wanted to make a deal with Death in the first place. Kevin was not only a friend of Sam’s but they also similar in a huge amount of ways so I certainly don’t think his mourning ‘rings hollow’. If Lisa died, would it ‘ring hollow’ if Dean mourned her because he ‘dumped’ her?

    And if Sam does not want to be saved, but Dean wants to save him because Dean wants him alive are Dean’s actions selfish then?

    Comment by Maedbh — January 16, 2014 @ 5:03 am

  87. Remember, they were always more freaked out by the human evils than the supernatural ones because they could explain evil caused by monsters and demons. And even though it wouldn’t be Dean’s fault if he was mentally ill,and Dean is not in anyway evil himself, certainly, mental illness that goes unnoticed can sometimes cause bad things to happen. We’ve seen in the past and now this season how Dean’s obsession with saving Sam at all costs can cause bad things to happen, even though he meant only the best intentions.
    Anyway, I thought it was an interesting hypothesis.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 5:09 am

  88. @86- Um you’re wrong. Sam’s intentions WERE given consideration. Sam was the one who sacrificed himself to save the world in season 5 and in season 6, Dean DID mention it and said that the least Cas could have done was answer Sam’s prayers after all Sam had done for them and the world.
    Kevin was different because he was the Winchester’s responsibility, whether Sam needed to clear his head or not. And I still fail to see what good intentions there were behind not having Sam even try for one second to figure out if Dean might be alive somewhere.
    And even though I think Dean’s actions were vry wrong this season, I also reckon,from the sound of your post, that if Dean HAD let Sam die, you’d have bashed him for THAT too.
    I get it; to you everything Sam does is right and everything Dean does is wrong. Nevermind that BOTH of them have made major mistakes.
    Your whole post sounds like one long Dean bashing.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 5:20 am

  89. Roxi, I agree w/you ” the majority of SPN fans, it’s STILL the brother’s relationship that is the main attraction.” However, the story of the show converse confirm.

    Comment by Aleandr — January 16, 2014 @ 5:26 am

  90. My point is that BOTH brothers have made terrible mistakes with only the best intentions in mind, that caused bad things to happen. It wasn’t only Dean.
    Sam drank the demon blood and trusted Ruby. He of course only had good intentions in mind i.e. killing Lilith. He certainly didn’t know that what he was really doing was unleashing Lucifer.
    Dean only meant to save Sam. Sure, I believe he is obsessed with it to a dangerous and possibly psychotic level,and I still thought it was wrong that he tricked Sam into possession and lied continually about it. I HATE that the writers forced Dean into this terrible decision. But he thought it was the only way to save Sam and Dean DOES love Sam. But look at the tragic events that unfolded because of it. Dean, like Sam, certainly didn’t know these things would happen and didn’t intend for them to happen.
    I don’t see where anybody is taking the blame of Kevin’s death off of Dean. His actions are directly responsible and he accepts and acknowledges this.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 5:45 am

  91. Hey, did you hear about the fans of Justin Beiber encouraging a boycott of SPN because Jared tweeted some less than positive remarks about the talentless little douchebag the other night?
    I don’t know about you guys but I’m gonna cry myself to sleep, just as I’m sure Jared will. NOT! LOL.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 6:05 am

  92. @88

    In season 4 or 5 they were not. Sam was considered selfish, stupid, going darkside, arrogant, angry for wanting to use his powers and kill Lilith. At no stage was it said ‘Look, I get what your intention was. You were trying to make something good about something bad’ or ‘You were trying to help’ etc.

    Kevin was a prophet, so he was the angels responsibility. If you fail to see why Sam didn’t try to confirm if Dean was dead then there’s really no point saying it again. You seem determined to think that Sam is some sort of stupid, selfish bastard for everything he did in season 8; that’s on you. There has been plenty written explaining Sam and if you were as much of a fan of Sam as you constantly claim that you are, you’d at least be open to some sort of alternative explanation but you’re unfortunately locked in your mindset.

    “I get it; to you everything Sam does is right and everything Dean does is wrong. Nevermind that BOTH of them have made major mistakes.
    Your whole post sounds like one long Dean bashing.”

    roxi, how many times have said the exact same thing to different posters?? What’s your problem? Does someone trying to explain Sam’s actions or defend Sam really bother you that much that you feel the need to start sticking labels on posts and posters. And where did I ‘bash’ Dean. I actually didn’t say anything about Dean at all. Unless to you, defending Sam equates to bashing Dean.

    Comment by Maedbh — January 16, 2014 @ 6:12 am

  93. @92- I NEVER said Sam was a selfish stupid bastard!

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 6:21 am

  94. You came back at Sheri, but nobody can come back at YOU?
    Again with the same damn accusation that I don’t like someone defending Sam, even though I sometimes do it myself.
    I guess you didn’t read my other post that came afterwards did you? In that one, I explained how I understood a lot of where Sam is coming from
    YOU brought up Dean in a snarky way several times in contrast to Sam, so yeah, it DID look like Dean bashing.
    Where the hell are all you people that we’ve NEVER heard from before coming from?

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 6:28 am

  95. @93 And I never said that everything Sam does is right and everything Dean does is wrong, but that didn’t stop you from saying that, did it?

    Comment by Maedbh — January 16, 2014 @ 6:29 am

  96. @92- And it’s really funny how you turn that around on me. From what always happens to me, it defending DEAN equates to Sam bashing in the minds of some of you.I’ve never see it the other way around.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 6:30 am

  97. Everything looks like Dean bashing to you, roxi. People question Dean, it’s Dean bashing. People defend Sam, it’s Dean bashing. People don’t like what Dean did, it’s Dean bashing.

    And as for ‘you people’ comment, what kind of people is that? I’ve posted here in the past. supernatural.tv isn’t some sort of closed shop on which only certain people can post. It’s a public forum, anyone can post on it.

    Comment by Maedbh — January 16, 2014 @ 6:37 am

  98. @ G-dawg #75: How does BB coincide with the Dean we saw in S1? Shouldn’t he have understood Sam’s Sanford decision more? .

    I think Dean did understand Sam’s decision about Sanford in S1 and that we saw that several times throughout the history of the show, starting with Scarecrow when Dean told Sam he was proud of him and alluded to the fact that Dean used to have dreams, too (Skin also comes to mind).

    I think Dean’s driving goal, since he was four and had his life ripped from him, was to rebuild his family and his life. That’s what Dean has always been about, that’s why he hunts, and that’s why he is and always will be a hunter. Dean is a savior figure on the show for those very reasons.

    I think in S1 what we saw of Dean was a guy that idolized his father and was shown as “Dad’s good little soldier” and Sam was the rebellious one. It wasn’t long, though, before we saw that there was more to both characters. In Dean’s case, Skin, Route 666, Devil’s Trap).

    In the early seasons, we were shown that Dean harbored just as much emotional anger and resentment against John as Sam did . Instead of running from the life, as Sam did, Dean chose to embrace it. He chose to be a hunter as a means of rebuilding not only his life, but saving people from having their lives destroyed as his was.

    I think BB also showed this in that Dean still idolized his father, as seen when he defended John to Sam at the beginning of the episode and assumed responsibility for what landed him in the boy’s home.

    I think you are speaking more to how S1 can be s reconciled to what we saw in BB’s though. I think in BB, the audience and Sam was reminded of all of these things, especially what Dean has given up in accepting his role as Sam’s protector.

    I think BB was supposed to be kind of an origin story for Dean, a place where he made the conscious choice to be a hunter, remain with his family, and accept the responsibility for Sam. The Dean in S1 was years beyond that point of a young teenager and being an adult man.

    Also, in S1, I recall Dean taking a middle ground between Sam and John’s big fight and we learned that being mediator was another added responsibility that fell on Dean. He didn’t necessarily back John or Sam. He defended John and he defended hunting as an honorable profession by idolizing his father and what he did, and he explained to us the difference between he and John and he and Sam in how they viewed hunting. Dean’s deal was to save people. John and Sam’s deal was obsessive revenge.

    I don’t know if I have explained that well, because I think the focus of the series in S1 was so completely different than the story being told now, and I think EK’s idea of the two characters is completely different than what Carver wants to turn them into (and I don’t know what that is right now).

    Here’s my problem with BB, and this addresses Lisa1′s Post No. 77.

    I have said before that I had trouble with the premise of BB, but that as an episode in and of itself, it worked okay for me. To clarify what that means, I will say that I agree with Lisa1 that the episode was pure crap as far as the history of the show and previous canon.

    I think BB was an episode where Glass wrote in himself and his desire to be a Dean Winchester in the worst fanfic fashion.

    I choose to still believe that the brothers didn’t know about a rugaroo until S4.

    I still choose to believe that Dean committed to hunting at 16 after his first werewolf kill.

    I refuse to believe that Dean Winchester was 16 before he got his first kiss from a girl.

    I still choose to believe that John turned Sam over to Dean when he was four and Dean never gave him back.

    I still choose to believe that at the age of 12, Sam Winchester was smart enough and could read a sign that says “Boys Home” that stood right at the entrance of the driveway to Sonny’s house and would question John thoroughly about that and Dean’s two month’s absence.

    And I still choose to believe that Glass is an inferior writer (not as bad as Lemming-Ross, but bad), is immature, has no clue as to who these characters are, and should no longer be working for the show.

    Now, on to more current things. Here’s a problem that I’m wrestling with in this current episode and season in general, and it deals with Cas’ character.

    Dabb wrote Cas as offering reassurance to Dean for his being ‘dubbed’ by Gadreel, just as Cas was dubbed by Crowley and then Metatron. The problem I have with that, and Cas’ character still being on the show, is that Dean was not dubbed. Cas’ past actions (working with Crowley to gather souls for power), breaking Sam’s wall and using Sam against Dean to get Dean out of the way, and then being dubbed by Metatron were done out of stupidity and self-absorption. Dean allowing Gad’s possession of Sam was done out of love, of being out any other option, and of never quitting.

    TPTB are missing this point entirely, and I think it is a point that is very essential to Dean as a character. I know they are trying very hard to draw a line between Kevin’s death and Dean as a plot tool to take Dean down whatever path they are taking him, but that is a false line.

    To be perfectly clear, Sam and Ruby were a result of Sam’s self-absorption and his like of the feeling of power.

    Cas, Crowley, and Metatron were the result of Cas’ self-absorption and his grab for power.

    Gadreel and Metatron’s deal is out of self-absorption and Gad’s desire to clear his name.

    Dean’s decision to let Gad in to heal Sam was done for the reasons I mentioned: love for Salm, his character trait to just never give up, and the driving force of being a savior.

    It was not Dean’s deal with Gad that killed Kevin. Dean’s deal with Gad was to save Sam, and he did. Gad was of no danger to Kevin until he made the deal with Metatron (a self-serving deal)and Metatron instructed him to kill Kevin. Kevin’s death is ultimately on Metatron, not Dean.

    In the SPNverse, all characters who have crossed the moral horizon of selfishness and self-absorption have died, except Sam. For me, it is a failure on the writers part; really lazy, in fact, to have Cas and Dean bond on the grounds of good intentions and stupidity when that isn’t the case at all. It’s just a way to shoehorn Cas into the show as a third Winchester, and it ticks me off.

    P. S. The one thing that bothered me in this episode is that I choose to believe that Dean friggin’ Winchester would have marched down to the garage, grabbed one of those classics, jacked the license plate off the first car he saw, and been gone…not grab a gas can and walks miles with Cas and Crowley to get in Cas’ pimp-mobile so that we could laugh that Cas didn’t have enough sense to gas up the car (despite having literally watched Dean gas up at filling stations many, many times).

    Comment by Sheri — January 16, 2014 @ 6:50 am

  99. @97- Yeah, you seem to forget the times that I criticize Dean but whatever.
    You are wrong. I DON’T consider everybody who defends Sam as bashing Dean, and I myself both have defended Sam AND criticized Dean, but you know what? I really don’t care what you think. I’m not going to continue arguing about it. It’s just a TV show, believe whatever the hell you want. Next.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 7:40 am

  100. I think everyone just needs to remember that not every critique of a character equates to bashing. I believe the majority of people who post here like both Sam and Dean. The writing for one of the brothers may rankle one poster more than another, but I rarely see any hardcore, baseless bashing of either character.

    I, personally, didn’t find Maedbh’s post as bashing Dean. I saw it as an alternative explanation for Sam’s actions last year. I didn’t see Roxi bashing anyone either.

    But if everyone keeps in mind that a critique does not equate to “bashing” or “hating” on a character, then things should go smoothly :-)

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 16, 2014 @ 8:02 am

  101. to Sheri (i’m not Dean’s hater)
    “It was not Dean’s deal with Gad that killed Kevin”.
    A: Yes and no. Everytime Dean has deal with Evil (demon/angel) he doesn’t think about consequences, he think only about Sam. Everytime, for a 9sesons! It’s a pity, that Dean doesn’t learn from mistakes. His actions circumstantial caused die Kevin.
    “In the SPNverse, all characters who have crossed the moral horizon of selfishness and self-absorption have died, except Sam.”
    A: maybe Sam was dying when he felt in cage with Luci and then returned without his soul.imo
    ” It’s just a way to shoehorn Cas into the show as a third Winchester”.
    A: agree. But show changed from 2005 and W’s life has a bound with life of character of Misha. I agree to Cas’s participation but in moderate amount, cause its not interesting to watch angel’s life, and Misha’s vain attempts in acting (imo, he played much better in s4-7, when he hasn’t a lot of fans).
    P.s. i need a sign here “Sorry for my English” :))

    Comment by Aleandr — January 16, 2014 @ 8:11 am

  102. @98- Yeah, I know Sheri, I thought the same thing. Why the heck didn’t Dean just go hotwire one of those many cars? Another writing fail. I can’t understand why Jensen didn’t question that.
    I never saw Dean as being resentful of Sam going to college. I saw him as being hurt that Sam didn’t seem to want to be in his life during that time.
    I don’t think that Sam was self absorbed when he first started drinking the demon blood. He trusted Ruby because she saved his life once, and he felt the demon blood would make him strong enough to kill Lilith. He was played by Ruby, like Dean was played by Gadreel. But I do think the demon blood started to go to his head at some point, hence, the comments he made about Dean getting in his way and being weak, and mocking his Hell pain. I didn’t like those things, but I attribute it to the demon blood addiction messing with Sam’s head. He wouldn’t have acted that way or said those smug things to Dean when he was in his right mind.
    I could argue that Cas had already ingested the souls that Crowley fronted to him and they too went to his head before he broke Sam’s wall.And then we saw how insane he went when he ingested millions of souls. Cas, in my opinion though, made bigger mistakes and caused far more permanent damage than either Sam or Dean. So if Cas can be forgiven, I’m hoping that somehow Dean will be able to in time.
    The reasons I believe that Dean will have a much harder time atoning for what he did this season, is because he did it to SAM, took his brother’s free will and choice away from him and also because I disagree with you here: I DO feel Kevin died directly as a result of Dean’s actions. If not for Dean’s actions, Gadreel wouldn’t have had such easy and direct access to Kevin, because Kevin would have been safe in the bunker since nobody else but Sam and Dean, Kevin, and Cas could have gotten in. Dean of course didn’t mean for anything like that to happen, but the end result is the same. Dean let Gadreel into Sam’s body, which was in the bunker, which gave Gadreel easy access. Also, if Gadreel wasn’t out and about in Sam’s body, Metatron wouldn’t have found him so easily to give him that command. In this Caas too, bears responsibility, because it was his actions that allowed Metatron to take over and cast the other angels, including Gadreel, to Earth in the first place. But here too, Cas was played as well, he didn’t mean for any of this to happen either.
    The fawning over Cas’s looks is going overboard to cater to Cas fans I think. I think Misha is attractive, but come on, what are Sam and Dean, wallpaper?
    All they’ve got this season in the way of women appreciating their gorgeous looks are a couple of pretty boy mentions, said more as a derision than a compliment. But boy, last season and this season, all the people fawning over super sexy Cas! It’s almost as if the writers are reading Destiel Tumblir entries.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 8:17 am

  103. To each his own, but me personally, I’d have been drooling over the hunk in the waiting room with the beautiful emerald eyes, sinfully full lips, and sexy legs.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 8:24 am

  104. to Roxy
    “Cas, in my opinion though, made bigger mistakes”
    Big man does big mistakes :)
    And I suppose that Cas/Misha is sexy and hot (i prefer men he is look like). To each his own, yea

    Comment by Aleandr — January 16, 2014 @ 9:00 am

  105. @ Maedbh #86: I don’t quite know how to respond to your post, because I can’t follow the logic in what you are saying.

    It is most definitely relevant that Sam and Dean are hunters, because that is what the entire series is based on. If Sam doesn’t want to be a hunter, then he doesn’t want to be a hero within the context of the show. If he doesn’t want to be a hero, then why in the hell is Sam still a character on the show.

    It is not a matter of what ifs and maybes; i.e., how Sam might choose to be a hero in a different way. That is fan wanking. Sam’s actions have to be considered within the context and premise of the show, and the premise of this show is hunters fighting the evil in the world. What we saw in S7 was that what Sam wanted to do was be nothing more than a maintenance man at a motel and live with a bitchy, married vet. He did consider going back to school. He stated more than once that he wanted to be done with hunting and Dean could do it by himself. He had every intention of leaving hunting behind and leaving it to Dean. That’s not saving lives or being a hero in another way not relevant to this show. That is running away…from hunting, from Dean, and from saving lives.

    Prince Harry is not in this story. He is a real person with a real life. Sam and Dean are fictional characters in this story and serve as the heroes. Yes, Sam continues to hunt even though he doesn’t want to in this story because that is his story and if he didn’t do that, there would be no reason to have Sam’s character still in the story. (Well, I suppose they could have Sam off screen and just show up every once in a while to rescue Dean, but I don’t think the fans would be very happy with that.)

    If you believe that the heroes, the two Winchesters, are in this story just as catalysts for the angels and demons actions or as the antagonists against whom the angels and demons must fight in order to do their deeds, then you believe the Winchesters are just plot devices and not the leads in the story. They are heroes because they are the protagonists, not the antagonists.

    Intentions most definitely do play a major role in this story. Did you miss the whole Sam’s slide into darkness storyline? Sam’s excuse was that it was only he that could kill Lilith and stop the Apocalypse (Dean wasn’t strong enough), but his real motive was a lust for power (as War told him in Good God, Y’All) powerful feeling he got from Ruby’s demon blood. This show has two cardinal sins: selfishness and self-absorption. Sam suffered from them both in S4 and that led to his downslide and releasing Lucifer. He was redeemed from those sins when he re-caged Lucifer and saved the world all by himself.

    Intentions also keeps the audiences sympathies with the two heroes, despite their character flaws and the mistakes they make along the way. That’s why we hear so often that good intentions are a highway to Hell…it’s the road plot uses to carry the show from season to season. If there are no further consequences from winning the skirmishes and the battles, that’s when the show ends.

    The “positives” you so readily dismiss that I mention are, in fact, very good examples to prove my point that Dean is not responsible for Kevin’s death, even though he will assume that guilt. Metatron was. And they are also examples of how Gad was absolutely no threat to Kevin until he crossed the moral horizon of self-centeredness and started making bad choices so that he can re-enter Heaven. In S4, Sam was self-centered and, as a result, he used the powers available to him, which lead to his downward slide with the end result being Sam releasing Lucifer.

    If Kevin is in Hell, then that’s the first prophet in the history of mankind that ended up in Hell. As far as I can tell, Kevin has done absolutely nothing that would put him down under. He finally came to accept his role as prophet, even though he never wanted to be one, and he helped the Winchesters. Why would anyone even remotely think that he would end up in Hell? Of course, he’s soul could still be floating around if Heaven is closed to human souls, as well as angels. The show has never answered that question.

    Of course Sam feels guilty over Kevin’s death and of course Dean reassured him that the guilt was on him. That doesn’t take away the very clear fact that Sam did dump Kevin (and Meg and Martin). Sam walked away from the hunting life and all of his responsibilities as a hunter. He gave Kevin no consideration. While Sam was cavorting with Amelia and fixing air conditioners and clogged sinks, Kevin was hiding out from Crowley for a whole year. Sam even admitted to Dean that he was right about that point and that he would help him find Kevin and then he was through with hunting again.

    Are Dean’s actions selfish? Not unless love and perseverance are considered selfish attributes. It is not selfish to do everything within your power to save the life of a loved one, and that’s aside from the fact that Sam knows that about Dean. Sam knows Dean better than anyone else in the world. He knows that it is not within Dean’s makeup to let Sam die, or let anyone die if he can prevent that. There are a couple of very essential characteristics to Dean’s character. One of them is his capacity to love and the other is that he just never quits. He certainly was not going to “quit” or give up on Sam. The entire history of Sam and Dean disputes that.

    Dean knew that Sam would be ticked off about his decision and he was willing to accept that consequence. Accepting accountability for his actions is also a Dean characteristic shown throughout the history of the show. Honestly, I can’t say that about Sam or about Cas.

    Comment by Sheri — January 16, 2014 @ 9:08 am

  106. @ roxi #102: I know you feel Dean was wrong in letting Gad in. Obviously, Dean does, and so do almost all of the fans and the bloggers. I don’t.

    I look at it as a contract negotiation. Dean made a deal with Gad to save Sam’s life and in return, he would do a favor for Gad. Gad did save Sam’s life, and it wasn’t until he made the deal with Metatron that he became a threat to Dean. Dean is still unaware of Metatron’s role in all of this (so is Sam, Cas and Crowley at this point).

    I have this same problem with buying a Nissan. We negotiated terms and when the final paperwork came through, the terms the Nissan dealership offered and agreed to weren’t there. I have since learned that Nissan’s best business practices consist of orchestrated lying. Take this as a warning to anyone considering buying a Nissan.

    The point is, I have a very big problem when a trust is broken. Dean had no control over Gad’s decision to break the trust. Everything was as it should be until Gad decided to change sides. Gad was doing his part, Dean would have honored his part, and Sam would be alive and well.

    It’s no different to me than Sam dumping Martin in a vamp-infested forest and Martin getting killed. Benny killed Martin out of self-defense, but Sam was responsible for Martin’s death. He is the one that brought crazy Martin in, dumped crazy Martin at the drop of a dime, violated the hunter’s rule of not leaving a hunter behind, and blamed Benny for the kill, ignoring both his and Martin’s direct role in the death.

    Here we have Dean assuming all of the responsibility and guilt for Kevin’s death. I think this is important, because it will be Dean’s guilt that leads him to work with demons. So, yes, you are right in thinking that the writers are dirtying up Dean’s character and will have to find a way to rehabilitate him. That irritates me, because by starting this season off with Sam wanting to die, the writers eradicated the redemption Sam reached (a redemption that I believed in anyway) in Sacrifice.

    Cas has never been redeemed for his awful transgressions, and they were worse than anything Sam did. The writers are ignoring his actions t completely, and that irritates me, too.

    Remember my warning. Don’t even consider buying a Nissan. It has been my experience that the company is highly unethical and; so far, their response has been to stonewall my complaints on the dealership level and on the Southeastern North American corporate level. That’s not the actions of a company anyone should want to do business with.

    Comment by Sheri — January 16, 2014 @ 10:33 am

  107. To Sheri:

    “If a hero wants to run away from being a hero, or give up the role, or not accept the responsibility to be a hero despite having the knowledge and skills to deal with it, why am I, as a viewer, supposed to be interested or invested in that character?”

    - You are of course free to feel that way but I think it’s pretty typical for hero characters to feel conflicted about their role because of the personal sacrifices, huge responsibility and collateral damage it brings. Usually, they waver from embracing their role to wanting to leave the life to even turning bad / amiguous anti-heroes for awhile.

    ***

    “his remorse rings kind of hollow if one thinks that this is the guy that dumped Kevin just last season because he wanted to give up the responsibility of being a hunter —”

    - If Carver truly meant it to be “mature” for Sam not to help Kevin, he has very unique ideas about maturity. However, I don’t see why Sam feeling guilty about Kevin would ring hollow now. They were living together at the end of season 8 and during the months leading to Kevin’s death. They seemed to hang out together since Kevin was the one to bring to Dean’s attention that Sam was out a lot.

    - I’m not as ready to absolve Dean of feeling guilty about Kevin as you are because Dean made a very distinct decision when he said to Kevin:
    “You’re gonna have to trust me, okay, trust that I told you everything that I can for now. Can you do that?”
    I thought it was very stupid but clearly the writers wanted to send a message that Dean was steering the boat.

    ***

    “— and he was directly responsible for a crazy hunter getting himself killed because he was more concerned about ‘saving’ the girl he wanted to give up hunting for”

    - Why is it “saving”? Dean knew full well that the text message he sent would read as Amelia needing someone to save her. It doesn’t matter that it turned out to be fake.

    - Why would you say that Sam “dumped crazy Martin at the drop of a dime” when he thought that someone he loved, someone who was a civilian needed his help probably because of something supernatural?
    I thought it was off how Sam just took off without saying a word to Martin but I don’t think Sam is responsible for Martin’s death. The man made his own decision to hunt.

    ***

    “the viewers and Sam should keep in mind that Sam’s desire to die was based completely on his distorted thinking that he always let Dean down”

    - I don’t think that was shown in 9.01. In fact, I believe a big part why Sam was ready to move on was because of Dean’s assuring words in 8.23.

    ***

    “Accepting accountability for his actions is also a Dean characteristic shown throughout the history of the show. Honestly, I can’t say that about Sam or about Cas.”

    - Howso when it comes to Sam? I thought 8.23 showed he took the blame a little too much.

    Comment by San — January 16, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

  108. To roxi.

    Re:”Therefore, I have to wonder if, perhaps, Dean may not have over years, developed the very human disease of mental illness/psychosis?
    It’s seems a very distinct possibility to me and I wonder if that will ever play out.”

    I admit that to me it feels a little harsh to read Dean as mentally ill but it is certainly possible that Carver wanted to touch on Zachariah’s version of the brothers (psychotically — co-dependent). The writers could be implying that Dean is slipping. However, I don’t think they’ll play it as Dean having developed a mental illness that went undetected.

    Dean selling his soul was a little bit similar to his decision in 9.01 as far as doing something that Dean himself would not approve of in any other circumstances. Back then Sam was shown to be upset that Dean took upon himself to do something like that but it was pretty brief because season 3 focused on what the action said about Dean’s self-esteem issues and Sam was all about saving his brother to the point that it consumed him and reinforced the dependency.

    Now it seems like the writers want to really show the brothers’ relationship as being ugly co-dependence. I agree with Lisa1 when she wrote that “I believe that Carver is determined to put a negative spin on this aspect of their relationship”.

    Comment by San — January 16, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

  109. @ San #107: You are right about the hero role being conflicted, and I do accept that that is a characteristic for Sam’s character. My discussion doesn’t pertain to that, though. Rather, it is a rebuttal to those that say Dean should have let Sam die, that Dean was wrong, and that Dean took away Sam’s agency. Either Dean lets Sam die or Dean uses the only option available to him at the time to save Sam’s life. That were the options.

    While I do not believe Sam was being hallow, the argument can certainly be made that it rings hallow when put into Sam’s history with Kevin. Yes, Sam was living with Kevin, but Sam was also unusually content and happy while being possessed by Kevin. Kevin’s relationship was more with Dean than it ever was with Sam. In fact, I believe in accepting his role as prophet, Kevin really accepted Dean, but that point is not important to the story.

    Dean’s “trust me.” It’s a valid point, but it is also a valid point that time was of the essence at the time and once Dean found out that Gad was not who he said he was, his focus was entirely directed towards getting Sam to expel the angel. I don’t think he had the time or wanted the time to talk to a hysterical teenager at that time.

    The mean text message. This was discussed for half a season last year, so I don’t want to get into a circular discussion about that again. I thought the text was a smart move. Others that Dean was a big meanie. By having Dean accept all responsibility for everything that had gone on with the brothers in the first half of S8, the writers obviously decided to put their money on Dean being a big meanie.

    Just as the these inferior writers will never make me believe Dean was wrong in saving Sam’s life — and they will try by having guilt drive Dean to hook up and bond with demons and make more questionable decisions all the while harping on Kevin, Kevin, Kevin until Garth will start looking good — they will never make me believe the text was a big no, no or that everything in the first half of S8 was Dean’s problem.

    Regarding Martin: I don’t think that crazy people can be held to the same standard for their decisions as, for instance, super duper AP smart Sam. Throughout the episode, Martin’s deteriorating mental state was shown. Sam was oblivious to Martin’s mental condition both in the beginning and right through to the end.

    Nor do I find it an endearing trait that Sam would violate the hunter’s code and leave a crazy Martin behind in vampire’s camp. He could have taken him back to the hotel, for instance. I mean, it’s probably at least a 12-hour drive from Louisiana to the town in Texas where Amelia lived. It wasn’t a time is of the essence on the scale of he couldn’t have at least said, “Hey, Martin. Gotta go. Come on.”

    Sam’s distorted state of mind: Perhaps I wasn’t clear. Sam’s distorted state of mind was shown in 8.23. I don’t think that cleared up between the end of the episode and by time Dean got Sam to a hospital. (9.01 picked up right from the ending of 8.23.)

    I accepted Sam’s redemption in 8.23. I didn’t accept his redemption in Swan Song. However, by starting season 9 with Sam still wanting to die as a way to get out of hunting, to end it all, negates his boo hooing about always being a screw up and letting Dean down, as far as I am concerned. IMO, it’s another cop-out on Sam’s part in accepting the responsibility of being a hunter. For instance, Sam convinced himself he has done enough, that he and he alone will be leaving a legacy, that he saved Bobby all by himself, that he saved the world, and other such things. These are the reasons Sam convinced himself that it was okay to let it all go.

    Now, let me clarify this. I happen to like where both brothers are this season (and I haven’t liked Sam in a long time). I don’t have a problem with either of them, and I don’t see where either of them have done anything wrong.

    Comment by Sheri — January 16, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

  110. @Sheri, I didn’t see Sam’s talk with Death as having anything to do with “getting out of hunting.” Nor do I necessarily read too much into the Bobby-image saying things like “you’ve done enough,” since for all we know (and personally, I believe), that was a reaper trying to sooth Sam’s passing. We’ve heard reapers doing that song and dance before, and unless these writers are even more clueless than I fear they are, the similarity in what Bobby was saying to Sam in 9×01 to the typical reaper-speech is too coincidental to be random thoughts in Sam’s brain.
    Frankly, Sam embracing death is right in line with his “boo-hooing,” as you put it, from 8×23. Just because he listened to Dean in the finale and stopped the trials doesn’t mean his feelings of worthlessness disappear instantly. Humans don’t work like that. He was still very much in that mindset, but allowed himself to be swayed by his big brother. Immediately afterwards he slipped into a coma, and whatever conscious thoughts he had regarding Dean’s entreaties to him went right out the window, leaving only his underlying subconscious thoughts (laid out pretty clearly as self-hating and hopeless).

    In short, I agree with 90% of your analysis. :D

    Comment by G-dawg — January 16, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

  111. I don’t think Dean did wrong in saving Sam at all. By entering Sam there was a chance the angel could save Sam’s life. Dean approved that unique treatment, and it has now saved Sam’s life. Sam once whole didn’t put a gun to his head in 9.10 and kill himself. Sam’s thoughts in 9.01 were a product of his circumstances at that time–they were suicidal. Dean saved his brother from suicide. SPN is watched by many young people and I don’t think it should be sending a message that any time a person wants to kill themselves that their loved ones should simply “let them go.” They aren’t “let go,” such a soothing little way to avoid saying, they are dead, something that cannot be taken back and the cause of enormous sorry and loss.

    Comment by CaseyT — January 16, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

  112. Well, I read a review today that was absolutely scathing of Dean. My God, to them the character is the worst , most selfish, most self-centered, most horrible person on the show, not just now for throughout the entire series. And according tho them, he has NEVER apologized for anything, and co opted Sam’s right to have pain about Kevin. This reviewer hated his guts and so do all the commentators.
    I’m afraid most sites I’ve seen are vehomently anti-Dean like this. That’s why I like this site, there’s more balance.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

  113. Where was this “review” roxi?

    Comment by G-dawg — January 16, 2014 @ 5:15 pm

  114. On Live SPN JOURNAL.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 5:18 pm

  115. Ok, well maybe they’re not all quite as anti Dean as this one.
    And not only did they all hate the character’s guts, but I got the feeling that they didn’t much like Jensen or his acting either.
    I guess everybody has their likes and dislikes, and it’s just a TV show, but it’s kinda disheartening as a fan to see such hate for any of the characters on that level, including Sam or Cas.
    So again, that’s why I like this site.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

  116. “This one” meaning THAT particular site.

    Comment by roxi — January 16, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

  117. @ G-dawg: Everything we saw of Sam in 9.01 was in Sam’s head. He was arguing with himself. Dean said that there in the car in the beginning, Julian Richings confirmed that Death was HeadDeath at one of the con’s, and so did one of the other actors. Maybe it was JP himself; I don’t remember for sure. I do remember that JA said that during the possession scene, Gad was showing Dean’s image until he got the sort-of “yes” from Sam, and then he transformed into Gad.

    If Sam died, he would be out of hunting. He was willing to die and arguing with himself about it, giving the pros and cons. He didn’t want anyone else hurt because of his actions (and that can be read as hunting, since that is what Sam does), and he particularly didn’t want Dean to be able to do anything to bring him back.

    I do agree with you that Sam’s mindset in 9.01 was still that seen in 8.23, and I said that in an earlier post. Sam was in a bad place, for sure, and I attribute that to his ordeal in doing the trials. So, yes, Sam arguing with himself was his sub-conscious thoughts, which gives the audience a very good Sam POV and what he thinks of himself (and he stated that to Dean, as well as doing the confession which purified him enough to do the last trial); hunting, and his willingness to leave Dean to it.

    But, hey! 90% is pretty good. Thank you.

    @ roxi: I wouldn’t worry about what is said on Live Journal, which is just written by viewers of the show. I have no interest in such rantings. The people who write those types of things are looking for people of a similar mindset to validate their feelings.

    I just watch JA and JP present on the Critics Award. JA is always so shy in those settings, and it’s really cute how JP steps up and takes the pressure off of him (doing most of the talking) They were adorable.

    Comment by Sheri — January 16, 2014 @ 6:08 pm

  118. I can understand why SN’s writers have always felt compelled to put Sam and Dean at odds. Conflict is essential for good drama–and the best conflicts are between characters who truly love one another. But, particularly if the conflict is of a serious, lasting nature, it must make sense.

    Sam and Dean’s continuing battles over over John were entirely believable. Built gradually, patiently, and movingly, this conflict became a major sources of suspense and character development in the first two seasons. Each season that followed presented some new basis for the brothers being at odds; however, the reasons behind the conflicts have become increasingly murky and unconvincing as the series has progressed.

    With S9, we’ve apparently returned to a conflict similar to that of Season 3 in which Dean wanted to die and go to hell and Sam wanted to stop him or that of Season 5 in which Sam wanted to go to die and go to hell and Dean wanted to stop him. The major difference now is that hell has been removed from the discussion. Sam simply wanted to die. And–despite the fact that he was in a coma and left no living will–he fully expected Dean to know his wishes and decline the life-saving offer made by a seemingly kindly angel.

    Why was Sam so hell bent on dying? Would Sam be equally irked had Dean consented to the use of a miracle of modern medicine to save his brother?Would he banish his brother from his life had Castiel been the one to save it–even it meant the angel entered Sam’s vessel? Who knows?

    What we do know is that week after week for nearly a decade, Dean has saved Sam’s life (or the reverse), and Sam has been grateful–or, at least, he hasn’t protested. Now, it seems, we’re to believe Sam is angry because his brother is one of those yahoos who doesn’t respect the (assumed) wishes of the dying, comatose patient because he refused to pull his brother’s plug. I guess the truly heroic thing for Dean to have done was to leave his little bro to die in a cemetery ditch and burn the bones on the spot.

    The battle between the brothers over the killing of the murderous fox monster was silly enough, but Sam’s fury at Dean for using an angel to save his life is ridiculous. It makes Sam look ridiculous, and it suggests the writers have run out of ideas. They’re desperate to find a conflict–any conflict, however preposterous, gratuitous, or contrived–that will separate the brothers, give down time to the actors, and lead us all to wait with baited breath for the big brotherly hug to come.

    Other than that, an interesting, well-acted episode, I thought. It was particularly good to see that the writers are finally using the fascinating Crowley to fuller advantage.

    Comment by JT — January 16, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

  119. @CaseyT, I don’t think Dean saved Sam from suicide in the premiere. Sam’s body was dying. His internal organs had been burned and his body went into a coma as a way to protect itself. So, there was very little Sam could do to fight for his life. He definitely wasn’t suicidal in the traditional sense of the word. He was very practical about the situation and understood there was nothing he could do to save himself. To me, that is different than being suicidal.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 16, 2014 @ 7:39 pm

  120. Just read JT’S post, and I am not sure what your problem is with Sam. Sam was dying in the premiere. DYING. He wasn’t a little sick. He was dying! The Dean in his head told him that the trials messed him up pretty good and that his body was dying. What in the world did you want Sam to do about that?

    He was never hell bent on dying. It’s called accepting the inevitable. It’s called accepting the reality of the situation.

    And to compare a medical procedure to letting an unknown entity possess your body is a little ridiculous. Do you think Dean would have been happy if Sam had allowed some angel or anything else possesse his body? I’m thinking Dean would have been upset, and he would have been right to be upset.

    As most here know, I have no problem with what Dean did in the premiere. I know he took this drastic course of action to save his brother. He did so because of his love for his brother. I understand that. But I also understand why Sam would be upset. An entity possessed his body without his knowledge. Who would not be upset about that? Sam’s anger with Dean, which by the way was not a lot, does not look ridiculous; it looks normal. It is a normal reaction I would expect from anyone. Maybe you would be okay with unknown entities possessing your body and going around killing people and doing other horrific stuff but other people would be a little upset about that!

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 16, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

  121. A better analogy to the premier would be: what if they were just two brothers without health insurance and no way to pay for treatment. Sam is dying and when Dean prays for help, a doctor overhears him and makes him an offer. He’ll treat Sam and cover all his expenses, but if he’s going to do it he wants to have sex with Sam every day while he’s treating him. He’ll roofie Sam, so he won’t remember much if anything and be pretty out of it during. But he won’t do it unless Dean can get Sam to sign a document saying he consents to this. Dean agrees to this and lies to Sam for weeks while this is going on.
    Now this is actually not as bad as what Dean actually did, since Dean explicitly knew Sam would never consent to possession than save his life and that he would rather die than be the cause of more suffering. Not to mention that in the scenario above just Sam’s body would be violated, not his mind and soul as well.

    I also really wonder if a Dean would do anything to save Sam – if anyone really believes that. Like what if to save Sam he had to lose a hand, or be blinded – or castrated. You think he’d do that for Sam…walk around junkless for the rest of his life? Personally, I kinda doubt it. But if he did, it wouldn’t be a good thing. There have to be limits to what you’ll do for other people, even those you love. Going beyond the bounds of decency isn’t heroic or indicative of a great relationship – it’s a form of sickness.

    Usually, when Dean takes risks for Sam he’s just forcing Sam into what he thinks is best. Locking him into a room and strapping him down screaming to detox from demon blood with violent hallucinations. Or insisting Sam get his soul back against Cas’s counsel and Sam’s wishes, thereby dooming him to a slow descent into madness.

    Right from the pilot Dean has insisted Sam do what he thinks is best, rather than putting what was best for Sam and what Sam wanted before his own desires. That’s a very cheap kind of love, if it’s even love and not the just the desperation of a narcissist not to be left alone.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 16, 2014 @ 8:34 pm

  122. Not to mention that this season he tricked him into being possessed by an angel, thereby left with the memories of murdering Kevin and being tortured by Crowley.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 16, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

  123. And even after all that, Dean does not admit responsibility. It’s not ‘I made a mistake’, it’s ‘I got played’. He doesn’t recognize that what he did was wrong – just that it didn’t work out the way he wanted it to. Like if in the scenario above he never recognized that letting Sam get repeatedly raped was wrong, but he got pissed when the doctor then didn’t want the arrangement to end when Sam got better and looked to be addicting him to opiates so he stayed stuck in a dreamworld.
    To me that’s not being stupid for the right reasons, or just being a dumbass. It’s more serious than that.
    Like the writers like to play with Catholic theology a lot, so maybe they should get a crash course in repentance. To be absolved of sin you have to recognize your sin and truly repent. As in ‘I know what I did was wrong. I can explain why it was wrong. I wish from the bottom of my heart I had never done it. I would never do it again.’ Not – I got caught. I got played. I’m gonna burn in hell (I.e. I’m sorry that I’m going to be punished. ) I’m poison (which means I’m not responsible for my actions or choices.)

    I want to see Dean learn from his mistakes. Understand what he did wrong. Attempt to make amends. Apologize. Take responsibility. I want him to have a repentance arc – not just a redemption arc. I think that could be powerful. But I don’t think that what we’ve seen so far will cut it.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 16, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

  124. @121- You really think letting someone rape Sam over and over wasn’t as bad as what Dean did? Really? Wow.
    Souless Sam was a cold blooded murderer! So, Dean should have just left him to kill and maim at will?
    Not to mention the fact that the real Sam was suffering in the cage with Michael and Lucifer, so the loving thing to do would have been for Dean to let continue to suffer?
    And you also believe the more loving thing to do would
    be to allow Sam to be a junkie?
    Dean would NEVER let someone sexually rape Sam! What he did was wrong, but dammit, as an actual real life victim of sexual rape, this casual throwing around of that term really pisses me off.
    Dean DID take responsibility! He acknowledged he was wrong. What more should he do? Do you want him to be tortured? Would that make you happy?
    I’ll tell ya, I don’t know when you started hating Dean so much and thinking only the worst of him in every circumstance, but T1gerlilley, there are many sites out there that you might enjoy that share your hatred. And yeah this IS pure hatred of the character, before anyone gets on my case.

    Comment by roxi — January 17, 2014 @ 4:57 am

  125. I’d also like to know how someone who doesn’t think they’re worth anything can possibly be a narcissist.

    Comment by roxi — January 17, 2014 @ 5:07 am

  126. I enjoy lurking in general on this board and others and find different points of view interesting except for those that are so invested in one of the characters that they can’t seem to make IMO reasonable assessments of the other characters and of the story, especially when this is done in an aggressive manner. To me, as with Lisa1, and several others, S8 was a total betrayal of the character of Sam, it doesn’t matter how many times I read justifications they just don’t make any sense to me at all. My daughter, who is a Sam fan, and I kept expecting a big reveal but it never came and after the episode with Sam saying he might be the one to kill Benny in such a immature way, we both wondered how the writers could get us over this. In the end we had to just go with it was just badly written and forget about it. My daughter has given up on Supernatural as she hates the angel story. Me, I just love the show and every episode – even the dreaded S8 – has some redeeming bits. I really enjoyed this last episode, it is the first one in a very long time that not only did I want to watch it a second and third time but when I did I didn’t want to fast forward bits that I wasn’t interested in – except for the OTT demon on Cas but that was such a short bit I can live with it.
    I am in the camp that Dean did the only thing he could in saving Sam and although Sam did twice say in this episode that he was prepared to die, I really did not get that from Ep 1, more that if he was going to die he did not want anyone to be able to get him back. So, I can see Sam being upset with Dean, it really would be hard to come to terms with being possessed but I hope that we get some sort of closure on this maybe even with a promise from Dean that he will not go that distance again as I really don’t want the rest of the season to bleed bits of this issue all the time.

    Comment by Icarus — January 17, 2014 @ 5:19 am

  127. TNT seems to have dropped SPN. Anyone know about that?

    Comment by CaseyT — January 17, 2014 @ 6:34 am

  128. @t1gerlilly – I will give you that Dean does seem to continually make the same sort of mistakes, in that he continually makes deals bound to backfire in order to save Sam. So, for example, where Sherri has mentioned that he has no responsibility for Kevin’s death, I’m not sure I can agree with that. He didn’t want it, and he didn’t pull the trigger, but he does keep setting up these situations where something like this could happen. Letting another being control Sam is going to inevitably result in that being taking some actions Sam would not have taken. Obviously killing Kevin wouldn’t have jumped to anyone’s mind, but the deal going horribly wrong should have.

    Otherwise, and some minor disagreements over Bad Boys aside, I think I also agree with most of what Sherri’s said. You, however, seem to be one of the people who want Dean to fundamentally change. You asked if you really think Dean would do anything to save Sam, such as losing a hand or being castrated. Yes, I think he would. He sold his soul! For all we know he tried to do it again to get Sam out of the Cage. He was willing to die doing the trials to keep Sam from doing them. You really think being “junkless” is going to be the dealbreaker? And he insisted Sam got his soul back, so his soul wasn’t in Hell for eternity. A lot of you seem to keep forgetting that when these two finally do die, they’ve both been granted entrance into Heaven. That wasn’t a trick by Zachariah, that was straight from Joshua’s mouth who both Zach and Cas acknowledged was the only one still talking to God. They already have been forgiven for what they did; in that case, especially Dean should have done whatever he could to get Sam’s soul back.

    If you’re waiting for some Catholic repentance (“it was wrong, I know it was wrong, I wish I’d never done it, I’d never do it again”) that’s never going to happen. Dean’s said it’s not in him to watch Sam die and do nothing. It’s been nine years for us and 34 years for Dean having “watch out for Sammy” burned into his brain. It’s not coming out, and I don’t know why you want it to so badly. That’s not the show we started watching a decade ago. I understand character growth and arcs, I promise, but Dean losing that part of himself is not character growth. It’s complete character overhaul.

    Personally, one of my favorite lines of the series was Zachariah saying the Winchesters are “completely, irreversibly, erotically codependent on each other.”

    Comment by Sarah — January 17, 2014 @ 6:49 am

  129. Roxi – I was trying to explain why I don’t subscribe to the logic that it doesn’t matter what Dean does, as long as he has good intentions. Why I don’t agree that “of course he’d do whatever it would take to save Sam”. Nor do I agree that Sam shouldn’t have the right to be angry at Dean because he knows that’s how Dean acts.
    I also explained that I think Dean needs to learn from his actions and he can’t do that if they’re just shrugged off. I don’t think any of that is ‘hate’.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 17, 2014 @ 6:49 am

  130. @129- Well, you’ll have to pardon me, but since about 6 months ago, you’ve pretty much held the opinion that Dean is a lousy person, a lousy brother, and a selfish jerk. Nothing at all he has ever done ever seems good and you seem to believe he loves nobody but himself. I guess for me, having watched the show from the beginning, it’s the exact opposite, he cares about himself the very least, if at all, and about Sam more than anything. Actually, I wish Dean DID care about his own happiness a little.
    I also believe Sam has the right to be angry about Dean’s actions this season, and I believe I’ve stated this many times. I’ve also stated how wrong I believe Dean’s actions were many times. I just disagree that he did them because he’s this horrible monster garbage of a person, a belief many fans seem to hold judging from the sites I’ve visited. The hatred for Dean is overwhelming, apparently he can’t win even when he DOES feel horrible guilt for the damage he’s done. They have something scathing to say about that too, as if he’s self centered for feeling so bad.
    I just don’t see where Dean is so much worse of a person than Sam or Cas. You do seem to think that.
    Me, I think all of them are fundamentally good people, who have made terrible mistakes.
    I don’t believe Dean should get off for making these mistakes, and I don’t think he will. I have never said or believed that Dean is perfect. He is pretty freakin far from perfect, and has done some downright stupid things. And at one point he was pretty bloodthirsty, and even admitted he came to enjoy torturing souls. So no, Dean has been wrong and done wrong things many times. I just don’t understand why everybody else deserves benefit of the doubt and the right to have us understand where they’re coming from when they’ve made terrible mistakes, but Dean doesn’t. No, he’s just a worthless, mean prick who should just leave Sam alone

    Comment by roxi — January 17, 2014 @ 7:29 am

  131. Sarah, I agree that changing that aspect of Dean would be a complete character overhaul, but I believe that is what’s coming. I think Carver hates this aspect of Dean, and this whole plot was designed to “break” Dean from this habit of wanting to save Sam.

    Like you, I never had a problem with the brothers being codependent. I never saw their relationship as toxic or unhealthy. I’m fine with them having limits to what they will do for each other, but the desire to save each other or to put each other first (w/on limits) was never a problem for me.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 17, 2014 @ 8:37 am

  132. I don’t think you have to break him of wanting to save Sam. I think it makes it more agonizing to watch if you know he wants to save Sam, but he doesn’t want to destroy Sam or go against his wishes to do it. It’s more dramatic if you don’t know what he’s going to do.
    Also, the solutions they come up with for “what’s wrong with Sam” are absurdly quick-fix. Mostly, I suspect, because the expectation is that ‘of course’ Dean will save Sam and ‘of course’ they’ll be together. So there’s no suspense to Sam being in jeopardy. Which kind of begs the question – why even do it in the first place? It’s lazy writing. Incredibly lazy writing. Like the fact that what – 3 episodes had almost the same exact plot this year, right in row? I.e. big bad finds side character. Big bad kills side character. Manly tear from Dean. Sam brings side character back from death. Honestly, even the Kevin episode had pretty much the same structure with a slightly different ending, i.e. “Kevin stays dead”. Hell, even the season premier was basically that plot, only with Sam instead of the side character.
    Predictable. Boring.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 17, 2014 @ 9:51 am

  133. There was one line in this episode – that you have to ‘kill your darlings’, which is a standard term in writing circles as a fix for when your writing has gotten stale or too precious.
    That one line told me more about what the writers are thinking than all of Jeremy Carver’s last interview.
    I can respect the need to “kill your darlings” for either Kevin or Dean. At least it makes sense. But Carver saying that they went ‘where the story takes them’ ? That’s like a father blaming his child when they get lost.
    I mean, what’s the long version of “that’s where the story took you”….
    You were sitting down writing a lovely episode in which Kevin becomes a man of letters and discovers a spell that could permanently disfigure dean, but would save Sam, when all of a sudden there was a bright light and you were sucked into a silver spaceship where they anal-probed you and you were helpless to resist. And then the slow-dancing. Oh, the horror!
    Yes, I am using the greatness of SPN’s past writing to mock you, Mr. Carver. You are a far better writer than I will ever be – but given that I know exactly how valuable honest feedback is. Take it for what it is.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 17, 2014 @ 9:58 am

  134. Oh yeah, I forgot the part where between the anal-probing and the slow-dancing the story forced you to kill kevin.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 17, 2014 @ 10:03 am

  135. @131. I agree Lisa1!

    I think Carver has a very specific view of the brothers. He wrote Mystery Spot where Sam went Full Metal Jacket and now he is doing that with Dean.

    He seems to want to use his position to alter the brothers’ relationship by trying to show it as badwrong co-dependence instead of a relationship that has some co-dependent elements but in a very unique way that is SamnDean.

    Carver is someone who actually wanted that Sam didn’t look for Dean and thought that was positive development for Sam as a character. More is coming according to his interviews.

    @109 Sheri.

    I did not mean to start a debate about the text message but rather convey that there was a real reason for Sam to drop everything. Just because the message was fake doesn’t take from what the situation seemed to be at the time (someone he loves needs help and with Sam’s history…)

    Like I said it was off that Sam couldn’t even say a word to Martin but I did not expect Sam to offer Martin a ride back to the hotel (and then fight about it) when the message he received was so urgent. I certainly don’t think “Sam was oblivious to Martin’s mental condition both in the beginning and right through to the end” because of moments like when he told Martin to listen to him and follow his lead or Martin was not going be in on the case.

    @110 G-dawg. I think that the argumentations that made him want to go with Death weren’t about self-hatred but about more positive things.

    In fact, to me what makes the possession situation trickier is that Sam _wasn’t_ strictly suicidal in 9.01.

    Athough Dean will probably feel like a failure that his own brother, Sammy, was ready to die.

    Comment by San — January 17, 2014 @ 10:09 am

  136. @Sarah – remember Swan Song? He let Sam die then. He knew Sam could die doing the trials last season and he still let him do them.
    He tried to kill Sam in The End.

    I don’t agree with your characterization of Dean. We know from the show that Dean will let Sam die. Or at least he used to. Because Dean used to be someone who always tried to do the right thing, no matter what it cost him. He was a hero.
    For me – the change to Dean’s character where he’ll do anything, hurt anyone, so long as Sam stays alive, rather than going to heaven – that’s the unforgiveable change in the character.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 17, 2014 @ 10:13 am

  137. @ roxi #125: LOL. Exactly. You can’t be a Dick Roman and a person that has been shown for a decade to be selfless and willing to put his life on the line, not only for Sam, but for everyone.

    @ Icarus #126: I, too, kept expecting to see some reason for Sam’s S8 behavior. Nope, it never came. The writers took the lazy and unimaginative route and just blamed everything on Dean.

    Your view of Sam in 9.01 is a very reasonable interpretation. The thing that I don’t necessary feel the same way about with you and, I guess almost everyone else, is that I don’t think Sam was particularly mad (in the “I’m pissed” sort of way). I am more in the camp that Sam was shocked and reeling from the possession revelation, and also tired, exhausted, weary…all of those things. And I thought JP played that ending scene very, very well to show that. Both JA and JP took an understated approach to it, and I liked that.

    @ Sarah #128 and t1gerlilly #129): IMO, Dean has always learned from his mistakes. Even here, when he agreed to the possession, he was constantly on the alert for what might go wrong. He never trusted Gad completely, and I think that was shown in Dean’s performance. Again, in this case, Dean Winchester was backed against the wall, and he always take risks (Sam calls him ‘reckless’) when he’s cornered.

    I completely agree with you that on the character change thing and your favorite line. It was mine, too. To change Dean would be messing with the show’s franchise, and the characterization of a very popular character to boot. I will be pissed off if Carver is moving Dean away from the character I invested in. It wouldn’t surprise me, though, as I don’t think one person connected to the show (except JA and JP) know who and what these characters are. They make it up as they go along.

    And, t1gerlilly. If anybody’s behavior has been shrugged off throughout the history of the show, it is Sam’s and, more recently (even in this last episode) Cas’. For both of those characters, a weak “sorry” seems to be have been enough (although I think they are addressing some of Sam’s past into 8.23 and this season).

    For instance, about Cas. Cas is an angel and and angel who we have been shown that Dean considers a real friend. Cas is in a position to know what Hell did to Dean, what his own betrayals meant to Dean, and that Dean is taking responsibility for things that aren’t his to take. He knows this about Dean, even more than even Sam does.

    I would think that the writers would have Cas try to help his friend identify those issues; address Dean’s lack of self-worth with more than a ‘we aren’t dumb asses. We trust.’ By using the ‘we,’ Cas has completely exonerated himself from his past massive and murderous past.

    Comment by Sheri — January 17, 2014 @ 10:33 am

  138. CaseyT, TNT is doing a special mini marathon of Cold Justice today. The schedule says Supernatural is back on Monday.

    Comment by jace — January 17, 2014 @ 10:41 am

  139. If I’m remembering the first episode correctly, Dean calls on angelic help to save Sam,.using himself as a bartering system ( I will owe you a favor). An angel shows up who was willing to help. Other angels shows up and fights said helpful angel weakening him further than he already was. Which resulted in him not being able to help Sam by touching him but he would be able to help Sam by possessing him, because as we know from Castiel and Jimmy’s case, the angel’s grace can sustain the person being possess even if they were at the brink of death. So the angel will be sustaining Sam while said angel himself gets stronger. Somehow this translates into allowing someone to rape your brother repeatedly? Wait, my bad, this translates into something even worse than allowing someone to repeatedly rape your brother.

    I don’t quite get the logic of that, but whatever.

    And I will agree with Roxi, as someone who is a victim of rape, I find it highly insulting when that act is used so cavalierly to make someone’s convoluted point.

    I am personally loving this season. I have no problem with Dean, Sam or Cas. The reason I love the show is because the characters are complex, the choices and decisions they make are complex. They are messy and often have consequences that are unexpected and far more reaching than would be expected. Sam killing Lillith, Cas ingesting the souls from purgatory and now Dean choosing to save Sam at all costs. All thought they were making the best decision available to them. And all of them upon realizing the consequences of their actions have tried to fix what they inadvertently broke. That’s what the show is all about to me.

    Comment by SPNLove — January 17, 2014 @ 10:42 am

  140. @ SPNLove: Excellent post.

    Comment by Sheri — January 17, 2014 @ 11:55 am

  141. I have been trying to work out why this episode has almost everyone saying how good it was, the writing was crisp, it was beautifully shot and the acting was superb but it is almost unheard of with the SPN fans to be so much in agreement. Not of course in total agreement by any means on what they think about the characters actions with Dean coming in for a lot of bashing from EP1 for his actions, not me – I think he did the only thing he had a choice to do at the time and CaseyT I don’t think Sam was that mad either, I have watched that last scene a few times, at first I thought he was sad, then lost and still not sure guess we will find out in the next few episodes. Do others have a clear idea of why this particular episode worked for so many?

    Comment by Icarus — January 17, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

  142. All this talk about Carver trying to “break Dean of certain character traits” and apparently angling the show toward a “Sam dies and Dean accepts in the end” has me wondering…

    Do you guys really think Carver or his staff are thinking that far ahead? Really? THESE writers? They can’t see three episodes behind them, let along twenty or forty in front of them! ;)

    Frankly, I don’t think we have much to worry about with this “maturity” crap Carver’s spilling to the press about last season. I see that as a half-a$$ed attempt to excuse himself to the fans for a poorly written season.

    (Especially with the news recently reported where the CW president has basically said SPN will stay on TV until the leads quit.)

    Comment by G-dawg — January 17, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

  143. And something that the writers of this current episode and a lot of the fans seems to be overlooking.

    Yes, Sam was ready and willing to die. So how did he become possessed? Because he said yes. Granted he wasn’t saying yes to being possessed, but he was saying yes to living, to keep fighting, because Dean told him he found a way.

    I only point that out because a lot of the commenter and now the writers are saying Dean didn’t respect Sam’s decision to die. If it wasn’t living he said yes to, than what did he agree to that allowed the angel to possess him?

    Comment by SPNLove — January 17, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

  144. @142

    I’m guarded about Carver. He starts his job as a showrunner and what is the first thing that he does? He makes it so that Sam won’t look for Dean and tries to say that it would be a good mature thing to do. Why would he do that unless he felt the need to really change how Sam and Dean’s relationship is? He is still sticking to his version and seems to want to continue along those lines as evidenced by this recent quote:

    “I think Sam is going to react to this perhaps a bit differently than folks might expect. This is how Sam would react to any eventual rescue, as it were, being rescued from Gadreel. [But] I think what the brothers have to wrestle with is…Dean has made a couple of big decisions at the end of last season [and] at the beginning of this season. I think the boys aren’t just struggling with the small problems of ‘you lied to me about this’ or ‘I lied to you about this’, it’s more about what are these incidents saying about where these two brothers are at this point in their lives? It’s something we touched on in season 8, at the beginning of that season with some of the decisions that Sam made. I’m speaking to a bigger issue here, it becomes something of a theme for how we carry out the rest of the season. As these brothers grow older and more mature, it’s becoming more and more evident that they view each other and their life’s work and where they fit in this world in vastly different ways. I guess what I mean by all this is I think some of the decisions made these days cut a lot deeper than just a single argument and I think these things are having a profound effect on the underpinnings of the boys’ relationship.”

    I understand that Dean had to make the decision he did because that is in character and he loves Sam, can’t accept that Sam is willing to die and no wonder in light of the events at the church. However, I suspect Carver is going to spin this possession story to look really _bad_ to serve his vision. He has a goal to get to season 10 and
    is setting up the groundwork.

    ***

    Icarus, this was my favorite episode of the season! It just had so many great big and small moments. Not perfect because the acting was a little uneven in some parts but then there were scenes that really moved me. They actually had a grown-up story to tell, something significant was going on and the episode revolved around what would happen to the brothers.

    Comment by San — January 17, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

  145. Jace–thanks, my schedule has the normal SPN weekday slots blank–not that I get to watch, or ought to be watching, but I think TNT is important in recruiting new fans for the current seasons.

    Lisa1–simply have to disagree #119. Sam was not terminal as he thought. In 9.01 Sam was operating from a false premise. There was a way his body could be healed, angel possession. Dean did that. I know it makes Carver’s Dean did something bad story silly–but, the angel possession saved Sam’s life. Sam will be pissed that Dean was not straight with him in telling him about the angel possession possibility and letting him (Sam) select or reject the option. But, Sam will eventually thank Dean for saving his life, and he should.
    Agree with you entirely on the codependency thing. Doesn’t bother me at all. Their hyper dependency on each other is a the core of the series. Any small elite military unit depends on what pop psych might well call codependency–everyone’s life is entirely dependent on the actions of each other. Self has been merged into a unit. That might be labeled “unhealthy” in ordinary living, but Sam and Dean are warriors fighting evil, not ordinary Joe’s with a spouse, three kids, a safe career, and a car payment. If Carver wants to break that bond and call it “maturity,” he wants to oversee a new series. And, a new series isn’t growth or development, its a new series.

    Comment by CaseyT — January 17, 2014 @ 2:05 pm

  146. Personally, I would be over the moon if I never heard Carver use the words “maturity” (or “mature”) and “profound” for the rest of my life.

    I’m very leery of what his idea of a hunter is and what my idea of a hunter is.

    And I’m very leery of what his idea of Supernatural is as a show and what I think it is as a show.

    Comment by Sheri — January 17, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

  147. @CaseyT, I would argue that Sam was definitely terminal which is why he needed the GadZeke help. If Dean had not found “Ezekiel,” Sam would have died.

    I definitely agree that Carver is trying to redefine the brothers and their relationship with each other, and I don’t like it. Unfortunately, I do not think his vision is anything that I want to see. Last season showed me that his idea of maturity is nowhere near my own. It scares me to think where these characters will be under his pen.

    ———–

    @San – I share your concerns about Carver. His trashing of Sam last year pretty much told me all I needed to know about his vision of the show. Even if Carver wanted to change the way the boys interact with each other or how they relate to each other, I do not trust him to tell a well-structured story. Again, I use last year’s story for Sam as my reason for feeling this way.

    ———-

    @T1gerlily (132) – I can’t disagree with you that the story would be more entertaining if we didn’t know what directions the characters will take. I also agree that the writing is really lazy.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 17, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

  148. @roxi and spn love – I didn’t mean to offend you by bringing up the issue of rape in my analogy. I certainly don’t want to trivialize the experiences of rape survivors. I apologize if you felt I was exploiting the natural outrage people have on such issues.
    I wasn’t bringing it up casually or cavalierly, however. I was trying to illustrate the issues of consent and personal violation brought up by the possession. Can you think of another analogy that demonstrates these issues even half as well?
    Your point, SPNLove, that Gadreel said he had to possess Sam to heal him, is a good one. But I’d point out two things: first, you’ll find plenty of examples in medical history where doctor’s have claimed sex in various forms as part of a medical treatment – that’s easily enough incorporated into my analogy. Secondly, that it’s irrelevant to my basic point, which is that what Dean did was serious and wrong, ‘good intentions’ or not.
    Dean knew what possession by an angel could be – at best a torturous existence (being chained to a comet) and at worst leaving the vessel brain fried and drooling. He knew that Sam would not willingly consent. Hell, he even knew there were ways to get Sam back if he went to heaven (since most people agree Death in Sam’s mind was just another part of Sam.)
    He bartered his brother for his life.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 17, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

  149. Lisa1, you misunderstand my post. I have no problem with Sam. I’m just as strong a fan of Sam as I am of Dean. My problem is with what the writers sometimes do to these two characters.

    The writers did do a good job of giving viewers a situation to which any of us can relate. Imagine this scenario. The person who means more to you than anyone in the world is in an irreversible coma and certain to die soon. Your loved would like you to pull the plug, but you have no way of knowing that. So you pray for heavenly help.

    An angel comes on the scene. He says the only way he can heal your loved one is to enter his vessel–temporarily.

    You want to make sure this angel can be trusted, so you contact another angel–your friend–who recognizes the name of the stranger and says he’s of good character. Believing the stranger is to be trusted, you allow him to temporarily enter your loved one’s body. (Lest we think of this as rape, we might remember that Castiel has been inhabiting Jimmy’s body from the get-go and even used Jimmy’s child to extort his consent to stay.)

    You’d like to tell your loved one what has happened, but the angel warns that, should do so, your loved one will certainly die. Only a little more time is needed for the angel to complete the healing. So, much as you hate to, you keep the truth from your loved one.

    Then the angel who inhabits the body of your loved one turns out to have lied about his identity. He’s a killer, and he uses your loved one’s body to carry out his murders.

    Dean didn’t know Sam wanted to die. Dean had no reason not to trust the stranger, especially after speaking with Castiel. And Dean had no way of anticipating that Gadreel would use Sam’s body to murder people.

    I don’t think Sam is angry at Dean because Dean forced him to live. As SPNLove points out, “Sam was saying yes to living, to keep fighting.” Sam is angry because he–or, rather, his body–was used to kill people, just as it was when his soul was in hell. Especially given his history, Sam would much rather be dead than be in any way responsible for taking innocent lives. His guilt is such a torment to him, he needs to lash out, so he lashes out at Dean.

    Of course, Dean won’t explain to Sam why he did what he did, nor will Sam seek a detailed explanation. The writers need brotherly conflict, so–as usual–they cut off communication between the brothers in order that the conflict can drag on. That was okay in the early seasons when Sam and Dean were younger and virtual strangers to each other as people. It takes time to build a deep sense of trust, even between siblings.

    But now the Winchesters are full-fledged cosmic cops and highly experienced monster hunters. They’re grown men who’ve lived, fought, suffered together, and depended on one another for years. The persistent lack of trust and honest communication we see in their relationship isn’t reasonable, realistic, or adult. in my opinion, it’s unconvincing–a contrivance by the writers to keep the brotherly conflicts going.

    In “Faith,” Sam was desperate to save Dean from certain death. So Sam put his trust in a heavenly miracle by bringing his brother to a faith healer. When it turned out that someone else died so Dean could live, Dean felt guilty and became angry at Sam. Sam simply reminded Dean of the facts by saying, “I didn’t know,” and the conflict between the brothers ended. That made sense. To me, this drawn out business does not.

    Comment by JT — January 17, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

  150. JT – Dean did know Sam wanted to die. In this episode, when Gadreel is gone, Sam says “Dean, I was ready to die!” Dean: “I know.”

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 18, 2014 @ 4:19 am

  151. Dean didn’t know Sam wanted to die until he was already in his head. He had already agreed to try and talked Sam into saying yes. BTW, how did that work? Was it the angel pretending to be Dean cause as soon as Sam said yes didn’t the Dean in Sam’s mind turn into the angel’s vessel? That whole sequence was weird to me.

    @ t1gerlilly. Sam is an archangel’s true vessel. This common one would not leave him a drooling mess, especially since it wasn’t even at full strength. I was under the impression that you are a Castiel fan so your abhorrent view on Sam being possess by one is strange. Especially considering Jimmy’s second time consenting is dubious at best since he only agreed so that Castiel would not possess Claire.

    Comment by SPNlove — January 18, 2014 @ 4:49 am

  152. And i don’t get the write let Sam die and then bring him back to life desk. That would still be going against his wishes, if that’s y your issue. But to mention who would get him out of heaven? In the past it was the angels/demons so that he could say yes to Lucifer. That is no longer on the table. Castiel had already told him that he was human. What other way do we know of? So many things have happened I don’t remember any other times people were yanked out of heaven without the help of the two groups I mentioned.

    Comment by SPNlove — January 18, 2014 @ 5:00 am

  153. @spnlove – I consider consent important. Dean also said, before he was in Sam’s head, that he would never agree to angel possession. That’s why they had to trick Sam into saying it was ok “if they found another way.”
    Jimmy consented to be Cas’s vessel. While he may have expressed regret – primarily around losing his family, he never indicated that he was tricked or that it was not informed consent. Claire also consented to be Cas”s vessel. He returned to Jimmy to honor Jimmy’s love for his child. I actually think this highlights just how bad the situation with Gadreel. Dean should have known not to trust him from the moment he suggested lying to Sam.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 18, 2014 @ 5:09 am

  154. Claire was what, 13? 14? She wasn’t old enough to vote, she wasn’t old enough to give consent to having sex, but she was old enough to give consent to being strapped to a comet? Not to mention that the only reason she said yes is because she was afraid for her dad. My point is, the only reason they said yes is because they felt like they had no choice. So it’s a forced consent, nonetheless. But you have no issue with that. We will never agree on the whole Dean was a completely evil lowlife for daring to save his bothers life in this fashion. And that’s fine. :)

    Comment by SPNlove — January 18, 2014 @ 6:18 am

  155. My long post got deleted I. Which I was ranting about this quote of Carver’s. I honestly thought he’d learnt his lesson when he did his about-face mid season 8. This quote sound like the words of doom. He seems to still be on his path of destroying the brothers’ relationship, which will break my heart and that of countless others. It may be codependent, but the relationship is special and the reason i watch the show.

    I will be heartbroken if Carver continues on his vision of a ‘mature, healthy relationship’ between the Winchester boys. They’re frickin’ TV characters, and we love them this way.

    God. I was so hopeful. Dammit!

    Comment by Tammy — January 18, 2014 @ 7:07 am

  156. I am willing to put up with ANYTHING the writers throw at us: bad stories, stupid lines, canon trashing, anything except this.

    They’d better not do that to us. We’ve stuck loyally to the show however bad it night get. Only because of the specialness of the Winchesters.

    Comment by Tammy — January 18, 2014 @ 7:27 am

  157. t1gerlilly, I agree with SPNlove that Castiel’s repossession of Jimmy’s vessel was dubious at best.

    Jimmy, a good man of faith, did say yes to Castiel when the angel first entered his body. However, like most humans, Jimmy no doubt assumed that angels are loving, gentle, and kind. The heavenly being didn’t warn Jimmy about the terrible suffering he’d be forced to endure as a host–nor did he give the human any indication that his body would be used as a tool to kill and commit other atrocities. Had Castiel revealed what being his vessel would actually entail, Jimmy would probably not have given his consent.

    Thus, Jimmy’s initial consent can’t be said to have been full and informed. The awful consequences of the contract were intentionally withheld from him.

    When Jimmy refused to serve as Castiel’s vessel any longer, the angel took possession of Claire, who was not a consenting adult. By any law, this child was as incapable of making a free and informed judgment as Sam was in his coma.

    Jimmy agreed to live on and allow Castiel to inhabit him only because he was desperate to save his little girl from being forced to endure the same hell he’d suffered. In my opinion, Castiel didn’t return to Jimmy to honor Jimmy’s love for his child anymore than a kidnapper who abducts a little girl acts out of respect when he returns the child after he gets what he wants from her father.

    Castiel continues to inhabit his human vessel, but we hear nothing about Jimmy or his suffering. Will Castiel admit to parallels between Gadreel and himself–two angels who, after inhabiting human bodies without the full and informed consent of their owners, used those bodies to murder multiple, innocent humans? I doubt it. Apparently, the writers want us to give Castiel a pass for his crimes, including his bloody slaughter of people in a church.

    Sam will continue to feel horrified that his body was taken without his full and informed consent and guilty that it was used as a tool by a murderer. But he won’t make any connection between himself and Jimmy or between Gadreel and Castiel. Instead, the writers will focus Sam’s attention on the “betrayal” of Dean–a man, as it happens, who made the same fatal mistake Jimmy did. He trusted what he thought was a good angel.

    Comment by JT — January 18, 2014 @ 8:39 am

  158. ps Tammy, well said. Any close relationship that isn’t codependent isn’t a close relationship at all. Sam and Dean don’t lack maturity. The writers do.

    Comment by JT — January 18, 2014 @ 8:45 am

  159. @ t1gerlilly: By the time Gad suggested lying to Sam, he was already possessing Sam, and before Dean agreed to possession, Cas, who Dean trusts very much, said Zeke was a good guy.

    Technically speaking, it was never actually shown that Claire gave her consent, although we can assume from the way the script was written that she did sometime between when Castiel was returned from was out of Jimmy and was gut shot and Castiel showed up in Claire:

    JIMMY
    No. Claire?

    CASTIEL (wearing Claire’s meat suit)
    She’s with me now. She’s chosen. It’s in her blood, as it was in yours.

    JIMMY
    Please, Castiel. Me, just take me. Take me, please.

    I noticed in this episode that they were careful not to trash canon when Gadreel re-entered the bartender (Tahmoh). He said a quick “yes,” although we can assume that he had already agreed once before. I am glad to see TPTB have taken to heart the outrage over trashed canon (bringing up bad memories of Taxi Driver again). That scene really made me curious for a backstory on the bartender, even though I know we won’t get one.

    Comment by Sheri — January 18, 2014 @ 8:50 am

  160. JT 157. “Castiel continues to inhabit his human vessel, but we hear nothing about Jimmy or his suffering.”
    Isn’t he in the Heaven after Cas’s resurrection in s.5?

    Comment by Aleandr — January 18, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

  161. @spnlove – yes, I doubt we will agree about Dean’s actions. I also disagree about Jimmy and Cas. I think it was pretty clear from “The Rapture”, that Cas had an ongoing relationship with Jimmy for some time, kind of like Lucifer’s wooing of Sam. Given that in Halakha (i.e. jewish law) thirteen is usually the age of adulthood or more specifically – of accountability, in which they are expected to obey the law. For girls, in some cases it was traditionally 12, instead of 13. My guess is that angels would probably take that into account. In any case, it’s clear that Castiel holds to the rule of consent (as does Lucifer). For an angel to try to get around that, as Gadreel does, should have been a clear signal that something was super shady. I mean, when you’re worse than Satan…

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 18, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

  162. ALso Sheri, you forgot to mention the other thing that Cas says to Jimmy –
    Castiel (in Claire’s body): I want to make sure you understand. You won’t die or age. If this last year was painful for you, picture a hundred, a thousand more like it.
    Jimmy: It doesn’t matter. You take me. Just take me.

    Informed consent is clearly important to Cas.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 18, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

  163. @all – let me also say I’m really confused by all of you saying that the Winchesters need to be codependent. Like, what do you mean by that? Why is the idea that they could be happy, healthy, and mature men, who love each other and are friends and brothers so abhorrent to you? I just don’t get that.
    I don’t want to upset anyone by mentioning Wincest – but does that figure in here somehow? Like, I don’t understand why having them happy, healthy, and working together is so bad.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 18, 2014 @ 2:20 pm

  164. @162–Well, yeah, informed consent. While in possession of his only child, which Jimmy knows full well is painful and terrible. Jimmy is basically being asked to kill himself to spare his child that pain, and for most parents that’s not a question. So either Castiel was blackmailing Jimmy into becoming his vessel again, or he really didn’t care about the human he was in, no matter who it was considering the fate he was describing to Jimmy. Considering his tactic here, it’s pretty easy to surmise that Castiel used the same tactic on Claire–”Say yes or your dad is going to die from his wound.” And while a 12-13 year old has to follow laws, they are not considered reliable or mature enough to vote or do any number of things that adults do. Handing your body over to an entity to possess and use would have to be on that list, in my opinion.

    I like Castiel, but this was not his finest dealing with humanity, and I can’t pretending otherwise. I mean, when you’re actively comparing Castiel’s dealing with Jimmy with Lucifer’s grooming of his vessels, that’s a pretty damning parallel to draw. It’s good that he’s evolved from that, but seriously.

    Comment by huh — January 18, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

  165. As far as the Jewish law cited, that’s interesting, but I don’t recall show ever mentioning that they were going by the Halakha, the Bible, the Koran, or any other holy text. Personally, I doubt show would ever paint themselves into a corner that way, because then they couldn’t make up their own rules. So I’m not sure that can be used to excuse Castiel’s grooming of child for a vessel in a time of high stress and terror.

    I do think it’s interesting that since that episode I can’t remember another angel appearing in a child vessel. I wonder if show realized that having an angel try to gain consent from a child somehow seemed more nefarious than Lilith just taking a child vessel.

    Comment by huh — January 18, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

  166. @ t1gerlilly: While I see your point about consent, the show’s lore does not ascribe to any religion, so I don’t think that is a valid argument. It is all their own lore. It does use the Judeo-Christian religion as a platform for the lore they make up, only because it is an American show, owned and produced by an American company, and licensed through that American company. The Judeo-Christian religion is, therefore, the one the audience can most quickly identity with and buy into the story about hunting demons and angels.

    Remember, too, that during S4, there was no thought that an angel could be expelled by the host at any time. Jimmy was negotiating with his Heavenly promise for his young daughter who, after serving as Cas’ meat suit, would have been left a drooling mess or dead. At that time, the archangel Michael was the only angel powerful enough to leave a vessel whole and hardy again. Cas couldn’t. Since Cas was returning in S5, it was also an episode setting up his character to continue as Misha Collins.

    I can assure you that when I watch the show and/or make comments, the last thing that crosses my mind is Wincest and/or Destiel, but I am beginning to worry about your seeming obsession with it. You do always bring it up, and in this case, I don’t even know how you make the connection between changing who and what we know of the Winchesters as long-established characters into something else that Carver might have in mind.

    Abhorrent isn’t the right word. More like concern. For me, these two are TV characters and I rather like the closed concept of The Winchesters Against Heaven and Hell. That’s what I bought into almost a decade ago.

    I don’t want girlfriends, boyfriends, sexual relationships, third Winchesters (like Cas, or Adam, or Charlie, or Garth) changing the dynamic of the show — as I feel they did when they brought Adam into the mix. Nor do I want a normal, healthy, average Joe that could well live next door. I don’t want the brothers incessantly “talking” out their feelings. Punching is okay. Drinking is okay. Even Dean’s drugs are okay. All seem very realistic given the setting of the show.

    Heroes in a story are supposed to be more than normal. The co-dependency the Winchesters display set the tone of the brothers love and relationship, which is what I think most of us like about the show. I don’t think it’s unhealthy, any more than I think demons and/or angels roaming the Earth are beyond my mind stretch.

    Besides that, I worry what Carver might think is a normal and healthy relationship. His idea of “mature” last year was a long way from my idea of “mature.” I worry that he wants to change these two characters into something he is more comfortable with, rather than the strong, violent, dark men who live in a dark, shadowy, violent world, dirty world. He seems to lean more towards the emoting soap opera characters who wring their hands about how hard everything is and how they just can’t hardly go on, if sticking an apron on Dean friggin’ Winchester and turning him into a 1950s Dean Cleaver last year is any indication. He’s already changed the tone of the show more than I like (he’s better this season), and he certainly does not have as good an idea of what classic rock is as EK did (although I am glad that it’s back in the show).

    So, yeah, a long way from Wincest and/or Destiel here. Never crossed my mind actually.

    Comment by Sheri — January 18, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

  167. The actress who played Claire is listed as having been born in 1996. “Rapture” aired in 2005. I guess the character was supposed to be the same age as the actress who played her.

    Comment by JT — January 18, 2014 @ 6:38 pm

  168. Sorry, that was supposed to read 2009. So if “Claire” was the same age as the actress, she was 13.

    Comment by JT — January 18, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

  169. Sorry, again. I hit the submit key before saying how much I agree with your excellent post, Sheri. You capture what I think is the essence of Sam and Dean: “strong, violent, dark men who live in a dark, shadowy, violent world, dirty world.” I can only hope Carver “gets it” the way you do and the way Kripke clearly intended.

    As for Castiel, I do like the way he’s being presented now, but I think it would greatly enhance the character and the series if he came to grips with the terrible wrongs he’s committed. He should speak of them openly and honestly, suffer guilt for what he’s done, and set about trying to make up for his offenses. In my opinion, Castiel’s past is too dark for him to be presented as a comical character. His story should be one of guilt and redemption, which almost always makes for good drama. Besides, that way he could be put on his own path.Three in Baby is awkward.

    At some point, it might be interesting for him to meet up with Jimmy’s 18 year old daughter and recognize the terrible damage he did to her and her once happy family.

    Comment by JT — January 18, 2014 @ 7:14 pm

  170. As Sheri stated, Wincest is the furthest thing from my mind when I comment on this show. The idea of Sam and Dean having sex makes me want to vomit. They’re brothers. That’s disgusting!

    I have also never gotten a sexual vibe between ANY of the male characters on the show. I don’t understand Destiel, Sam/Dean, Bean, Samifer, Sabriel – I don’t get anything from any of these pairings. There’s no eye sex or sexual tension for me. I don’t dislike romance, but romance never crosses my mind when I watch this show nor is it anything I’m interested in watching on this show.

    I also share Sheri’s concerns regarding Carver and his interpretation of maturity. We got a glimpse of that last year with Sam, and I did not like it. I have no problem with the brothers being willing to die for each other or do anything to save each other. That has never been a problem for me. I don’t see it as a problem. I don’t see it as toxic. I see no reason to change that aspect of their relationship. It is what has made the show unique. I am NOT interested in watching a “normal” relationship where they each have their own homes and visit each other on the holidays. That’s simply not this show. If they would like to set that up for the series finale, fine. But I don’t want to see that now.

    I’m not sure how this translates into liking Wincest for you, but I have no desire to see that.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 18, 2014 @ 8:11 pm

  171. I also totally agree with Sheri,.JT and Lisa1′s posts, and share their concern about Carver’s vision for the boys’ relationship.

    This does not translate as wanting Wincest, or any other pairing. If we want to watch romance, there’s a million other shows out there.

    We watch it for the special Winchester relationship/dynamics, and their fight against supernatural evil. Take that away, and what are we left with? Nothing special at all.

    Comment by Tammy — January 18, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

  172. @Lisa1
    RE:”Bean, Sabriel”
    Q: wow, what is that?

    Comment by Aleandr — January 19, 2014 @ 4:19 am

  173. Bean = Dean/Benny
    Sabriel = Sam/Gabriel

    I’ve seen people advocate for both of these pairings too or at least allude to sexual/romantic chemistry btw the actors whereas I see nothing. Two guys can be close without there being any romantic undertones to their relationship, IMO.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 19, 2014 @ 6:02 am

  174. @all – well, you can hardly blame me for asking when y’all keep saying how you love them being ‘erotically codependent’ … sounds incestuous and unhealthy to me.

    @sheri – the term ‘codependent’ was coined to describe a type of unhealthy relationship. By definition it means it’s unhealthy. You keep sidestepping around the actual meaning so you don’t have to address the fundamental criticisms of the relationship between the brothers.
    Let me give you an example of what you and others seem to be saying with a term you’re probably more familiar with than ‘codependent’ :
    So in Everybody Hates Hitler Aaron Bass says about the boys “They’re a couple of psychopaths.”
    You guys: Gee, I love that quote. He’s so right. The boys are so special.
    -Other fans: jeez, that’s disturbing. I don’t want to watch a show about psychopaths. I really hope they show them evolving and showing empathy and remorse.
    You guys: I love that the Winchesters are dark, dirty psychopaths.
    Me: Really? You’re ok with them being mentally ill?
    Sherri: what do you mean? People use the term psycho and psychopath all the time. It doesn’t mean mentally ill.
    Me: yeah, it kinda does.
    Like if you were one of the fans that love Fanfic with the Winchesters as serial killers that work together, it would make sense that you want them written as psychopaths. Similarly, if you want them to be erotically codependent, it would make sense if you were Wincest fans.
    What doesn’t make sense at all is to literally say you want them to have an erotically charged relationship that is unhealthy by definition, I.e. codependent, and then say you don’t actually want that at all.
    Like maybe you can pick another quote or way of describing what you want in the show?
    When pressed, Sherri, you describe a show that is almost noiresque, with the brothers working together as humans. Lisa says she wants the brothers to do anything for each other (which is definitely not canon, but whatever.)
    Neither of these seems particularly well represented by that quote you guys keep using. So either I’m missing something or you guys don’t realize what you’re saying.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 19, 2014 @ 7:11 am

  175. @105

    Apologies for the delay in replying.

    Yes, Sam has to stay hunting while the show is on. However, it’s completely feasible that when the show ends Sam will leave hunting behind. Dean likes hunting, he finds purity in killing, it is evidently the life that he wants so he does not need to go with Sam is he does not want to. There’s no reason why they could not be as close, if not closer, by going their separate ways at the end. Sam doesn’t find the same pleasure or value in hunting that Dean does so he should leave it behind. He should be able to leave it behind with Dean’s blessing, not with his cutting words and his talk of running away and obligation and responsibilities and people dying because of him. Sam should be allowed to save lives in a way that ‘he’ sees fit, not someone else. So if he decides that he wants to be a maintenance man in a small motel and have a family with his ‘bitchy, married vet’ (the ‘bitchy, married vet who loved him, listened to him and accepted him) or any ‘bitchy, married vet’ then he should be free to do that. Sam should not have to live his life for someone else.

    It’s strange, Dean doesn’t want Sam to die, but he does want him hunting, an activity that will inevitably end Sam’s life. So if Sam stays hunting then what will Dean do the next time Sam dies? Their relationship, the way it is at the moment, is unsafe for quite a number of people.

    The past few seasons have shown that the Winchesters are more antagonists than protagonists. Their actions have cataclysmic consequences, so perhaps at the end, when they’ve cleaned up whatever mess they’ve created this time, then them both leaving hunting might be the heroic thing to do. In relation to thinking Winchesters being plot devices, I believe that has been one of the key gripes on here and elsewhere in the last few seasons.

    I didn’t miss Sam’s ‘slide into darkness’ storyline, I found it most intriguing. I just need to correct you on a few things. Both Sam and Dean believed they could kill Lilith; it wasn’t just Sam. We saw Dean say that he’d be the one to kill Lilith at the start of When the Levee Breaks. We also saw, more than once, Sam say that he believed that he could turn the powers into something good, by using them for good. Castiel confirmed that Sam could (as they believed) stop the Apocalypse (by killing Lilith), so how it what Sam believed arrogance? Certainly the power made him feel strong, but being able to do what few else could do does that. That doesn’t mean they are driven by power. Dean feels power as a hunter, does that make him arrogant? However, if you want to believe War over Sam then so be it.

    Is Sam selfish and arrogant? Yes, he certainly is, most people are. Dean is selfish and arrogant. You’ve mentioned Sam’s arrogance, but Dean also believed he could stop the Apocalypse so if Sam was arrogant for thinking it then Dean is arrogant for thinking the same. Dean is arrogant about his aptitude for hunting. If Sam is selfish for doing what he wants to do, then Dean is equally so because he wants Sam to do what he (Dean) does. However, Dean takes steps to ensure that Sam does what he (Dean) wants. Over-riding someone else’s decision about themselves, over-riding free will, over-riding the natural order, just because you can is a phenomenally arrogant and selfish thing to do.

    Both Sam and Dean were redeemed by their sacrifice at the end of season 5; Dean by his sacrifice of Sam and Sam by his jumping into the Cage.

    It’s unlikely that Dean’s ‘good’ intentions this season will lead him to Hell, this is a television show, after all. I do wonder if the reverse is true, and ‘bad’ intentions lead people to heaven.

    I don’t believe that I dismissed any positives, Sheri, I just find it intriguing that when Sam uses powers to do good you consider him arrogant and selfish and when Dean uses powers to do the same, then he is not responsible.

    The point is, we don’t know where Kevin is. You’ve given reasons for why you think he’s in heaven but we don’t exactly have a lot of knowledge about where prophets end up. However, taking your logic into account, could we also assume the same for Dean after season 7 when Sam believed him dead. Dean had done nothing to go to hell, he wasn’t a monster so he couldn’t go to Purgatory so the only place left for Dean was heaven. Should Sam have taken measures to get Dean out of heaven if he believed he was there?
    Sam’s ‘dumping’ of Kevin was explained both by Sam and in numerous posts, and you’ve always dismissed it. There’s not much point discussing that issue again.

    Love can be selfish depending on how people choose to show it. If I show I love my children by locking them in a room so they won’t come to any harm or so that they won’t leave me then yes, ‘love’ can be selfish and destructive, especially if that love denies free will. Is it selfish to do everything in your power to take choice away from that loved one? It’s selfish and arrogant (the two ‘cardinal sins’ you mentioned) to assume the role of God over someone else’s choices. Love is meant to be about what the other person wants, not what you want. Sam made an informed decision, Dean knew it, and twice he decided to override it. (How symbolic that Sam’s anti-possession tattoo, a clear, written declaration in relation to Sam’s feelings about being possessed, was burned off.) That was not in Sam’s best interests. And yes, Dean knew that Sam would be pissed, but the fact that he is ready to accept the consequences doesn’t negate what he did, it actually makes it worse. The idea that Dean is okay with doing something that he knew Sam would never want, that he took measures to prevent, that violates all his rights, because he was willing to accept the consequences is pretty disturbing. That’s like making murder okay if the person who commits the murder is prepared to do time for it. And unfortunately, the consequences of Dean’s actions are not to him, they were to Kevin and to Sam.

    Dean is not talking about accountability, he’s talking about revenge. For Dean to accept accountability for what he did to Sam, then he’d have to take on board what Sam says and wants, and if the situation arises again then Dean accepting accountability will mean that he will respect Sam’s wishes.

    Sam has accepted accountability for what he did while soulless and also for releasing Lucifer (unless a couple of hundred years in the cage isn’t accountability enough for you!) Castiel has gone some lengths as well. He did what he could to undo the damage he did and make amends.

    Comment by Maedbh — January 19, 2014 @ 7:16 am

  176. So t1gerlilly–when did you actually make the leap to trolling? Was it gradual, or is this a sudden snap because you don’t like that people like the brothers’ relationship most (as shocking as that may be)?

    I mean, seriously. That example you cited? Aaron was disturbed by the fact that Sam and Dean were casually salting and burning a corpse. Yes, this would be disturbing to a normal person, but within the show, it’s just something Sam and Dean to save people. It’s not shocking to viewers. I sincerely doubt anyone was alarmed and saying, “Wow, I hope Sam and Dean learn compassion” at that scene.

    Of course people citing Zachariah’s words don’t mean it completely literally–Zachariah didn’t either. No one actually thinks that Sam and Dean are erotic with each other, even if that is their favorite flavor of fanfic. It is the sentiment behind it, that Sam and Dean are the most important people in each other’s lives and will do everything in their power to save their family. No, that doesn’t mean they become serial killers, and once again making assumptions about what people read/like . . . well, do I really have to pull out the old cliché about what making assumptions makes you?

    Maybe you’re not intending to troll, but maybe take the personal attacks out of it and try debating the issues, eh?

    Comment by huh — January 19, 2014 @ 7:48 am

  177. @ t1gerlilly: You say “psychopaths”, while I say “warriors standing on the wall to protect humanity against the unknown fears all people harbor.

    I thought Zach’s comment was a hilarious piece of dialogue meant as meta dialogue with the fans. It was also said in a fictional story with the point being that Zach was trying to convince Adam that if Adam was in trouble, the two Winchesters would only think about each other. Zach was playing on Adam’s anger at John for not being involved with him while Adam was growing up.

    ZACH:

    …Trust me, kid, when the heat gets hot, they’re not gonna give a flying crap about you. Hell, they’d rather save each other’s sweet bacon than save the planet. They’re not your family. Understand? Now…you want to see your mom again or not?”

    You say killers, and I say yes. Dean especially has a very dark side and has used Black Magic several times in the show. While in Purgatory, he liked the purity of killing. He liked that everything was kill or be killed, and he became a killing machine, even to the shock of Benny, I think.

    In fact, both Winchesters are practitioners of black magic — spells, sigils and such. It’s organic in the genre, not to mention that Sam has killed an innocent more than once in his various incarnations. I want them to remain killers of evil with the line not to cross being humans.

    You say unhealthy, and I say the relationship is what I and most viewers bought into a decade ago. I liked the idea that the two of them were raised away from normal society and away from other hunters (until that bit of canon was changed) and had to depend only on each other. That’s what makes them top-shelf hunters. Dean supports Sam by accepting and loving him regardless of what he has done, and Sam keeps Dean from going completely dark and embracing the purity of killing. That is exactly what makes them ‘stronger’ when they are together, as much as being able to watch each other’s backs.

    I like that the show focused on an older brother and a younger brother who was trying to be anything other than that older brother — Sam being a character that was and still is looking for his own identity and Dean having issues such as self-worth and an inflated sense of responsibility because of how John raised him. That’s the brother relationship I have always seen and one that I wished the show had continued to portray — that’s the dichotomy I speak about when I say I liked it when the show had Dean being a committed hunter and Sam never having committed to hunting. (Carver seems to be playing with that again this season. I hope it doesn’t become a dropped plot.)

    You miss my main point in this discussion. Where you see Wincest and Destiel in every episode and discussion, I see the “psychotically, irrationally, erotically codependent on each other” as a descriptor for the two leads that I bought into a decade ago and I don’t want them changed into metro men who incessantly discuss their feelings and eat in bristos, or any other such thing that this bunch of immature writers with limited life experiences, who sit in their Hollywood bubble might come up with.

    Comment by Sheri — January 19, 2014 @ 8:29 am

  178. @175 Maedbh- I find your post very compelling however I have few counters to your post.

    1) You talked about Deans arrogance about his belief in stopping the apocolyps. However it actually was a selfless act that he believed he could do it. Remember the scene he accepted that role that he was the one to stop the apocalypse?

    It was the scene outside of a hotel where Sam was supposed to kill Lillith -sleep with her ect…Dean only assumed the role of stopping the apocalypse after talking to Cas. Cas said that it was Den who was supposed to stop it. Dean later in the conversation asked Cas – If I do this Sam won’t have to?? That wasn’t an arrogant act -Dean did it for his love and concern for Sam. Dean was Selfless not selfish or arrogant.

    2) You asked a compelling question-should Sam have taken Dean out of heaven if he believed he was there?? That wasn’t Sam’s first thought. He asked Crowley where Dean was. Crowey never answered him. There was no reason for Sam to think Dean was Dead-in heaven, in hell or anywhere. The spell was for a leviathan-not for humans-Sam being the scholar we all know he was the real Sam that we all know -would have researched where Dean actually went. This Sam ran out and turned his back on his brother. Something Dean has NEVER done to Sam in the history of the series.

    3)which brings me to the possession story. Yes Dean tricked Sam into saying yes- But Sam said yes when he heard that Dean had a plan to fix him. That was not a lie on Deans part-he did have a plan-but that plan included something Dean knew Sam wouldn’t want But since Dean NEVER turns his back on his brother when he is in trouble Dean did what it took. I don’t fault him for that.

    In the final scene of Road Trip- First thing Sam said when Dean told him to “let me have it” Sam said I’m pissed – You LIED to me – again.” It was the lie that ticked Sam off the most – not the possession. Sam was pissed about the possession only because of Kevin. Yes Sam sad he was ready to die and willing to die. But that was kinda contradicting to what actually went on in his head in 9×01 episode. Sam was going to go -because there was no plan to fix him. But once he heard from Dean there was a plan-he chose to live. Poor writing or a very confused and muddled Sam mentally imo. I think Sam is OK with dying -as is Dean really-but when given the choice to live Sam chose to live. Dean helped him do that.

    Comment by animal — January 19, 2014 @ 9:03 am

  179. @ 175 Maedbh: It’s pretty apparent that you and I have completely different perspectives on what the show has shown since the end of S3 and in our reading of the stories told. I am so completely okay with that. I don’t post to change anybody’s mind; only to give my viewpoints while interacting with other fans who love the show, and I can see that neither you nor I will change our perspectives by continuing to discuss these points. Those perspectives are literally so far apart that, as I say, I find it hard to follow your logic (and that’s not saying that there is no logic — I just don’t get it.)

    Just one example of that: Sam’s arrogance in thinking that Dean was too weak to kill Lilith and only he was strong enough, as opposed to believing that Dean was arrogant because he was intent on killing Lilith too. I see Sam’s arrogance as leading him to choosing a demon over his brother; whereas, Dean was intent on killing Lilith because Cas told him that the righteous man who started the Apocalpyse was the only one who could stop it. Dean felt guilty for having broke in Hell, which broke the first seal. He was trying to clean up a mess he felt he made while trying to stop Sam’s slide to the dark side — something John had warned him that he would have to kill Sam if he couldn’t stop him. Sam, on the other hand, was hooked on the power he felt he got from cavorting with Ruby, and Ruby was playing him big time in her quest to work with Hell and start the Apocalpyse. That was the slide down that lead to Sam having to redeem himself by jumping in the bad CGI hole.

    I’m sure that you can see that you and I have no place to even start a discussion over those differing viewpoints. They are just too far apart and span too many old seasons.

    As far as this season goes, I see Dean accepting accountability for allowing the possession by the mere fact that he explained it to Sam as it was not within him to let Sam die. It’s just that simple to me…that’s completely within Dean’s character and I think Sam, as a character, knows that.

    Oh, and I am watching to see exactly what the burning off of Sam’s tattoo will mean as the season goes on. Will Abaddon possess Sam and it will be Sam taunting Dean about getting everyone around him killed or worse (I’m sure we are going to hear endlessly about Kevin the rest of the season)? That would be brutal. Will Dean let Gad possess him and fight Abaddon/Sam to get her out of him? That is a possibility. I’m curious to see where that one goes.

    Comment by Sheri — January 19, 2014 @ 9:06 am

  180. Sam still had a choice to go with Death so in that instance Dean didn’t override his decision. Sam said yes when heard that Dean had a plan and that there is no Dean without Sam. However, Dean tricked him because if Sam had known what was going on he might have said no and that was something Dean was not willing to risk. Dean gave Sam hope but it was sort of false hope because if Sam had known what the plan was he would probably have thought that it was not a plan at all. Thus Dean’s decision had some selfish elements to it. On the other hand maybe Dean was justified to think that he would know what is best for Sam because the Sam he saw at the church and the brief discussion with Death didn’t show contentment.

    It’s interesting that the show portrays Dean as Dean-just-can’t-help-himself. It rings true though. He knows how it is when Sam is dead so no wonder he can’t take it. It’s been just the two of them for so long, they belong together and are happier together than apart.

    ***

    I definitely think Carver has been gearing up to break down the “co-dependency”. He had Sam wanting to leave the life in season 8 and also ready to die at the start of this season. When it came to the character of Dean, Carver needed to take Dean’s protecting Sammy thing as far as he could. Thus he can later say how very unhealthy the whole thing was and then gets to take Sam and Dean in a direction he deems appropriate for “older and more mature” characters.

    That’s why in Pac-Man Fever Dean said he was never gonna let it go even though Charlie was and now it has been explicitly stated that the reasons why Dean allowed someone to _possess­_ Sam was because “There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you” and “I wouldn’t let you (die), because that’s not in me”. I bet it was not just a description of where the character is mentally (like Dean’s crossroads deal was handled). Instead Carver set it up to comment on how bad it is so he gets to drastically change the relationship.

    Comment by San — January 19, 2014 @ 10:41 am

  181. T1gerlilly – Supernatural was based on a premise. That premise being the relationship btw two brothers – one a natural born hunter and the other a reluctant hunter who sought normal. (Carver basically threw that out the window w/BB, but that is the premise of the show).

    So, the brothers’ relationship is the foundation of the show. That is what the entire show is about. That is why the show cannot go on w/o Sam AND Dean, but it can go on w/o Castiel, Bobby, Rufus, etc. They are just secondary characters. Sam and Dean are the main characters of the show. The show is about Sam and Dean. As Sheri correctly points out, those characters and that relationship is what sold the audience to the show nine years ago. And as someone who has watched since the premiere, I have no desire to see Carver dismantle and ruin that key relationship, which I believe it what he is intent on doing.

    I am not sure when you started watching, T1gerlily, but it seems like some viewers who started watching the show in S4 or who only really started caring about the show in S4 want to constantly downplay the importance of the brothers’ relationship to the show. I still believe that most viewers tune in each week b/c of Sam and Dean, and that most view this show as a show about the Winchesters. That’s why I watch. Any my interest in Sam and Dean has absolutely nothing to do with incest. Not every fan looks at the show w/an eye toward Wincest or Destiel as you seem to do.

    As Sheri pointed out, Zachariah’s line was just that: a funny line of dialogue used to emphasize to Adam that Sam and Dean would not try to save him. Zachariah wanted Adam on his side, so he was trying to make Adam believe that Sam and Dean would only save each other. I never interpreted that line in a sexual way despite the use of the word “erotic.” You often talk about “queer baiting” w/Dean and Castiel scenes . . . well, I saw the use of the word “erotic” as a line for those fans interested in Wincest. I, myself, never took it to mean anything other than Sam and Dean only care about each other and will never let the other suffer if something can be done to end/prevent it; they won’t let each other go. As Sheri said, I like that line b/c it describes the relationship that was sold to me back in 2005 when this show premiered.

    And for the record, I don’t recall ANYONE saying they wanted the boys to be “erotically codependent” on each other. I, and others, have said we don’t mind the codependence. We have no problem w/the idea that they will do anything to help each other. I understand that confuses you, so I’ll explain what I mean.

    If Dean were to be thrown into Hell, and Sam knew of a way to get him out, I would expect Sam to do whatever he could to get Dean out of Hell. If Sam knew Dean was in Purgatory, I would expect Sam to do whatever he could to get Dean out of Purgatory.

    Now, if Dean died, would I expect Sam to kill himself to bring Dean back or sell his soul to bring Dean back? No. I wouldn’t. You may be thinking, “But, wait a minute. You said the brothers would do anything for each other.” I did, but it can be w/in reason. They’ve both matured and learned a lot of hard lessons, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t try their best to save the other if the other needed saving. I don’t want to see that changed, and that is exactly what Carver seems intent on altering: the very fabric of the show.

    In the S9 premiere, Sam’s body was not dead yet, so, of course, Dean was looking for some angelic help to save his brother. I wouldn’t expect anything less from either brother. And I hate that Carver wants me to view what Dean did as a horrible thing. I don’t think it was horrible. It was definitely risky. And it wasn’t necessarily right, but it was completely understandable. And it was how I would expect the brothers to react given the relationship the show has built. It was what I would have preferred to see from Sam last year.

    I don’t see Sam & Dean as having an unhealthy, toxic relationship. Their relationship makes perfect sense to me. Sam and Dean basically grew up w/no one but themselves. They had no real friends growing up. They only had each other. They still do. That’s why when Lisa opened her fat trap throwing shade on Dean about his relationship w/Sam, I wanted to slap her. She understood nothing about Dean. Maybe she wouldn’t sell her soul for her sister, but she didn’t grow up practically raising her little sister. Her little sister wasn’t also like a daughter to her. How dare she criticize Dean? Of course, I expect the brothers to go to the ends of the world for each other. They have no one else in the world. That’s why Carver’s story last year bothered me. It wasn’t true to the Sam we’ve watched over the years. It wasn’t respectful to the relationship Kripke created. Even Jared found it OOC. If Carver had shown Sam trying to save Dean in S8 or even investigating his disappearance, I would have been a happier viewer.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 19, 2014 @ 11:20 am

  182. Maedbh – What explanation did Sam give for not looking for Kevin? I don’t recall him saying anything. I only saw the S8 premiere the night it aired, but I recall Sam listening to the messages and feeling guilty (as he well should have).

    IMO, there is no legitimate reason Sam can ever give for abandoning Kevin and Dean. None at all.

    I accept that the “story” was that Sam thought Dean was dead. That is not a problem for me, but I do have a problem w/Carver skipping over how Sam reached that conclusion. Dean disappeared. Sam wasn’t left w/a dead body. Sam has disappeared on Dean before w/o being dead, so I’m not sure why Sam thought Dean was dead.

    The reason I call early S8 crap that is not worthy of discussion is b/c huge plot points like the one I point out above were ignored. You can’t go from Sam asking Crowley where Dean was to Sam deciding w/in 2 seconds that Dean was dead. You just can’t. It doesn’t make sense. No one’s brain works that fast.

    So, if Carver wanted to tell a story of Sam giving up hunting, then he could have told it better. He could have had Sam investigate and wrongly conclude that Dean was dead, or have Sam get bad intel (that Sam thinks is good) that Dean is dead, or have Sam learn that Dean is in Purgatory but no other hunters will work w/him, he can’t get a virgin, he can’t get access to Death (or whatever was needed for that spell) . . . . just show Sam having some interest in what happened to his brother before moving on w/his life. The same goes for Kevin. Have Sam tell Dean, he couldn’t find Kevin anywhere or something.

    In short, have Sam behave like the caring individual we know him to be, and not like a selfish coward. Carver trashed Sam last season for no reason at all.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 19, 2014 @ 11:35 am

  183. I think there is another thing to consider in this discussion.

    Every TV show, movie, and novel has an end through-line in mind, and that throughline isn’t achieved or resolved until the end of the series, movie, or book.

    Under EK’s reign, since he did not know from year to year if the show would be renewed, that throughline was killing the YED. Then it became saving Dean from Hell. Once it was renewed for the 4th year, that became stopping the Apocalypse, and that story ended when EK left the show.

    I honestly could not tell you what SG’s throughline was supposed to be when she started in S6, and S7 was even worse, since she appeared early on to lose focus (or she never had one).

    The minute Carver came on-board, he announced his throughout as the brothers becoming more ‘mature,’ and that remains his throughline.
    Keep in mind, that dramatic throughline is not the same thing as the season’s mytharc.

    Because Carver’s announced throughline is ‘maturing’ the brothers into happy, normal people, I don’t think we will see that happen until the last episode of the show. At that time, Sam will either be a librarian and Dean will go off hunting (or vice versus), or the brothers will both die in a Thelma and Louise episode, or one of them will die and the other gives up and/or continues to hunt, or they both find that one special woman and walk into the sunset to mow lawns, fix air conditioners, and have kids.

    The only reason I have concerns about Carver’s maturity thing right now is to worry about how he positions the characters between now and then to get them to where he wants them to be. I did not like last year’s Sam dream life with Amelia and the idea that he just dumped Dean for some inexplicable reason. I did not like Sam acting like Dean returning for Purgatory was a big burden to the life he made. And I did not like him sticking Dean in an apron, cooking, cleaning, home decorating, and cheerleading everyone like a soccer mom. Neither story was in character for either brother as I know them.

    Comment by Sheri — January 19, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

  184. I think that too much has happened and Sam and Dean are in too different places for it to be anything else except Carver wanting to fundamentally change Sam and Dean’s relationship. (Dean having sold his soul at one time and now allowing Sam to be possessed & Sam willing to die and Dean being unable to let him.)

    I feel like season 8 was about taking Sam where Carver wanted him to be and now in season 9 Dean will have to play catch-up. Then in season 10, which is Carver’s goal, he gets to have his version of Sam and Dean.

    Comment by San — January 19, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  185. Agreed, San! Carver destroyed Sam in the name of “maturity” last year, and this year is Dean’s. I’m scared of what Carver has planned for the brothers. His idea of maturity is not one to which I ascribe.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 19, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

  186. @183. Not to forget the very similar situation in Time After Time, in which Dean disappears in pretty much a similar fashion as the end of season 7, AND Sam is alone then too, but did he just give up and ‘move on’? No, he ‘burned himself out’ (paraphrasing Jody Mills) looking for Dean until he came back. So yeah, that was just horrible writing and trashing of Sam’s character in beginning season 8, better forgotten.

    BUT to me, it’s not so clearcut as you guys seem to say about Carver’s vision. Sam’s characterization changed dramatically and suddenly mid-season 8, so i can’t say I still see the reset, though Carver tried earlier. To me, it seemed like a failed experiment on his part which he learnt from (hopefully). Apart from the quote from Carver, earlier talked (ranted) about, i really cannot see where we are going with the show and the boys. Maybe, just maybe, we will see a better understanding and acceptance of Dean’s character and actions by Sam? Maybe I’m too much of an optimist, but perhaps Carver plans to bring them CLOSER again, instead of a messed-up version of ‘mature’.

    When it was Dean and just-Sam this season (meaning when Zeke was out of the picture and, okay, Dean wasn’t lying about the possession thing), didnt they seem to have their old closeness and banter (albiet changed with age/experience) back?Am I missing something?

    The guy who wrote AVSC and Mystery Spot HAS to understand the boys and their relationship.

    Comment by Tammy — January 19, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

  187. I get very frustrated by those people who try and twist and interpret what is a TV show about two brothers and their fight with evil into something that it is not. I have never seen any wincest or sexual “relationship” between Dean and Cas. It is like people try to analyse a TV show as they would a classic book looking for inner meanings that just aren’t there. It isn’t a classic book or piece of art, it is a TV show that grips us IMO because of the two brothers and their need to be hunters and saving people. I get that it has undertones and that there are allegorical parts and deeper meanings that we can all discuss but it seems to bring out people who have an agenda themselves as well. I would, with many others, hate to lose the co dependency the brothers have, again as many others have said, it is the reason I was drawn in in the first place. I have two brothers, one of which was much older than me and died early and the other one I am extremely close to, I know that he would do everything he could if I needed help, but he could never go the lengths that Sam and Dean would because we are not in the supernatural universe. I can read and skip posts that I find “way out there” but my concern is that there are some very vocal people with agendas that don’t work for me Like Sheri I am interested in where Sam is going, now though I have always “liked” his character it has been difficult at times as the writers seem to throw him all over the place (delete in my mind the episodes about Sam not looking for Dean – not going there again) and I hated the domesticated Dean – WTF – I understand that they wanted to show Dean as happy with having something stable in his life but that is not the Dean I know. Dean has been a “dick” using his words, many times, in the series so far but he does not give up and loves and cares for Sam in a way that transcends belief i.e. in a supernatural OTT way long may it continue and long may Sam be with Dean on this journey.

    Comment by Icarus — January 19, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

  188. @Lisa & Sherri – thanks for taking the time to explain how your vision of the show relates to that quote. Like Sherri said to Maebdh, we come from such different starting points, it’s hard for me to understand where you’re coming from without you spelling it out.
    It’s also interesting to me because it seems like you both have pretty different perspectives on the quote and the show.
    This is what I’ve gathered, correct me if I’m wrong:
    Lisa you think the quote is emblematic of the depth of the brother relationship, which you feel is fundamentally healthy and unusually deep, because of how the brothers were raised. You see hunting and the brother relationship as the main premise of the show.
    Sherri – you see the world of the Winchesters as essentially noiresque, with the brothers being complicated anti-heroes and feel that the quote effectively suggests the imperfect, dark, intense relationship between the brother, which sustains them in their human fight against dark forces.
    Other folks seem to have a variety of reactions to the quote, most simply ignoring the actual words in it, i.e. ‘Erotic’ and ‘codependent’ because they think it is in some way a positive description of the bond. The thing I find particularly odd about this is how offended some fans got when I asked if you guys were using this as a Wincest reference. For one thing the quote is specifically mentioned on the Wincest page in the supernatural wiki. For another, the implication is there in the quote itself. I don’t ship Wincest – I value the brother bond as a *brother* bond! but I wasn’t trying to insult anyone. I was trying to not make assumptions. I know that a lot of Wincest shippers don’t talk about being shippers, largely because of the stigma of shipping incest, which is pretty controversial in the shipping community and especially in the slash community. A lot of them are very active fans, though, and it’s pretty common to see them express explicitly Wincest opinions that are picked up and echoed by bi-bro fans. I actually kinda think this quote is one of those, where it means very different things to different parts of the fan community, who overlap on one point – they both put the brother relationship as being the most important aspect of the show.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 20, 2014 @ 7:49 am

  189. @ t1gerlilly: You’ve certainly given the line more thought than I have. Honestly, the only thought I’ve given to that line of dialogue is that I thought it was funny and that it was insightful of Zach in how he was using it to get Adam to do what he wanted.

    I don’t think anybody was ‘offended’ by your question, nor am I aware of what the Wincest/Slash group talk about. I didn’t even know there was a Wincest page on Superwiki. The most thought I have given to that group of fans is a dismissal shrug of the shoulders and the fleeting thought that they are delusional in their tendency to believe the brothers or Dean/Cas have a love relationship that hasn’t yet reached a sexual one, and then I assign a personal opinion to them that they are people who have experienced sex, but not love.

    That really is the extent of my personal thinking on the matter.

    Comment by Sheri — January 20, 2014 @ 8:18 am

  190. T1gerlily – You pretty much got it. For me, the brother’s relationship is the foundation of the show. Hunting is the back drop; it is what they do. But at the forefront is their relationship and how they relate to each other, etc.

    Like Sheri, I have never given much thought to Zachariah’s line. I thought it was funny, but that’s it. As I said, by then I knew that people shipped Sam and Dean so I thought the “erotic” part of the quote was a shout out to those viewers, but it didn’t mean anything to me.

    I don’t think incest is good. In fact, I think it is downright gross even in fiction. It also doesn’t help that I have never gotten a sexual/romantic vibe btw ANY of the male characters on this show. What others see or perceive, I simply do not, esp. between Sam and Dean. They are just brothers. There is nothing remotely sexual about their relationship. They are close, but not that close.

    On another show I watched, “Six Feet Under,” there were two siblings (older sister/younger brother) who were unusually close. And the show constantly hinted at the idea that something sexual happened btw these two characters – Brenda and Billy – when they were younger. It was never confirmed, but they grew up in a highly sexualized environment where their parents had threesomes and swinger parties. In fact, when Brenda was breaking up w/her boyfriend, Nate, he flat out asked her if she had slept w/Billy. She, interestingly enough, ignores the question and deflects, asking Nate if he slept w/a nun. Yes, an nun. Anyway, there was a very odd chemistry btw the Brenda and Billy, and the actor and actress had a sexual chemistry at times. I found the actor who played Billy very attractive, but I was always squicked out by the incest references and kept wondering if the show would “go there” w/them and confirm anything. If I had heard people were shipping them, it would still have been gross to me, but it would have at least made sense in the context of the show. I could see the basis for the “ship” if that makes sense though I would not personally support it.

    I just don’t see anything w/Sam and Dean. They have something similar to a father-son relationship, IMO. All I see are two brothers caring about each other and saving each other. What can I say? There is just nothing sexual about their interactions or relationship in my view. I don’t get that vibe from the characters or the actors. If I hadn’t come online in S4, I wouldn’t have even known that people thought of them like that.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 21, 2014 @ 5:28 am

  191. Jensen and Jared are great at playing brothers but I gotta say that the scene in Playthings made me raise my eyebrows :D

    Comment by San — January 21, 2014 @ 11:44 am

  192. @Lisa – I think my view of the brothers was pretty close to yours up until late last season. The Zach quote bothered me because I saw their relationship as intense, but not codependant, and definitely a really good part of the show. In fact, since I took care of my sibs for a good part of my childhood (picked them up from daycare or the bus stop, looked after them, got them fed, bathed, and put in bed etc). I really reject the idea that having a close relationship as kids and an enduring bond as adults HAS to be something unhealthy or codependent. That’s part of why what’s happened to them really bothers me. I was able to brush aside the criticisms because Dean loved his brother, but didn’t let that stop him – or either of them – from doing the right thing. I so related to the agony of having to step back from a younger sibling to stop protecting them and start believing in them that was part of the S3-S5 arc. (Admittedly, my siblings are far more awesome than I am and haven’t had Sam’s kind of problems). The lying wasn’t good. Dean had his problems too and was obviously unhappy (for pretty much the entire length of the series). But I always thought the relationship between the brothers was believable, deep, and inspiring.
    And then … well, I’d say it went to hell, but hell didn’t make a difference. The writers made the relationship into an unhealthy one, without boundaries, honesty, or mutual respect. At that point I started listening to the criticism of the brother relationship and couldn’t help but notice… folks had a point. Then I started reading about codependent relationships and it was like… huh. Yeah.
    So like I don’t think the quote was right when Zach said it. He was an idiot and he never understood the brothers. But I do think it’s useful to discuss, especially in the light of other fan’s critique of where the brother relationship has gone. Most of that started at the beginning of last year, as a reaction to Sam’s behavior. Basically, fans who couldn’t just write off the canon storyline and were trying to grapple with where Carver was taking them.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — January 21, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

  193. @178 & 179 (Replies to both are mixed up in the one comment. Sorry about that.)

    This is what I have difficulty understanding. Why is it when Sam wants to stop the Apocalypse it’s called arrogance or selfishness but when Dean wants to do it then it’s a selfless act? Demons told Sam he could do it and when he accepted that responsibility he’s considered arrogant, when Dean accepts the responsibility he’s considered selfless! A demon told Sam he could do it and he believed her, angels told Dean he could do it and he believed them. So how is that different?

    In relation to Sam thinking Dean was ‘weak’, why is this such an issue? There have been numerous times that Dean has said that Sam was too weak or too out of the game or too tainted or too wrong etc to be able to do something, so why the outrage when the situation is reversed? May I ask, if your brother had just come from 40 years of being a prisoner of war, thirty years of being tortured and ten years of being torturer, would you not consider him damaged and weak? Would you not want to shield him from going back out into a warzone and immersing himself in a bloody and dangerous situation again, especially when you could take care of the situation yourself? You said that Dean did it so that Sam wouldn’t have to so why not consider the same for Sam; that he might have wanted to have done it so Dean wouldn’t have to?

    Sam also wanted revenge on Lilith for what she did to Dean. (And this is why Dean is going after Gadreel, not for accountability but for revenge.) Lilith’s death was also what they both believed would end the Apocalypse, so I’m at a loss as to why you believe Sam going after her was arrogant etc. Sam’s ‘arrogance’ is what led him to go with Ruby because Ruby was the only one who had the intel to find Lilith, and time was ticking. Sam had asked Dean to go with them prior to that but Dean refused. So from Sam’s pov, Dean was asking him to choose between him and preventing Lucifer from rising, which puts an entirely different perspective on it.

    In relation to the lie and not the possession, admittedly, the lie is a huge issue, especially given all that Dean has said about lying in the past and what lying implies about them and their relationship. However, we only had one tiny scene with Dean, Castiel and Sam after Gadreel was evicted, that was hardly enough time for Sam to process what had been done to him, especially not something as monumental as possession. Sam thinks on a logical level, he knows, logically, why Dean did what he did. However, he is not a robot so the emotional impact of what happened is going to affect him as well (if the show considers writing Sam as a person, and not as a robot).

    Also, Dean just saying that it was not in him to let Sam die is not accepting accountability. It’s as far from accepting accountability as you could get. It’s basically the frog and the scorpion; ‘I am what I am and I’ll do it again because that’s what I do’. How is that accepting accountability? That’s not even showing regret or empathy. It also creates a number of very disturbing possibilities in the future ie what happens next time Sam dies, whether it be via a hunt, an accident, an illness or just dies of old age, should he just expect to be violated again because it’s not in Dean to let him die? Is Dean just going to keep bringing Sam back until he (Dean) dies first, and then Sam will have free will? If that’s the case then Sam was right back in season 8, when he said that free will is just for Dean so how can they expect to be a team, to be equals, to be brothers when one brother decides the will of another?

    In relation to Sam taunting Dean re Kevin etc, I very much doubt it. Not only is it not in Sam to do that, but the show has, for many seasons, gone to great lengths to portray Dean and his actions (even actions identical to Sam’s) in the most understandable and sympathetic of lights (they’ve already started with Castiel assuring Dean that his intentions re Gadreel were the best) so rest assured, we won’t get a repeat of last season (or season 5) when Dean was taunting Sam and flinging his choices and the results of those choices in his face for the entire first half of the season. In a way that’s rather unfortunate because very often a person’s actions are given weight based on how someone else reacts to them. If Dean had just said ‘Ah well, you thought I was dead and we did make a deal to not bring each other back’ then people would not still be holding it against Sam now. Hell, if Dean had at any stage said something along those lines, even after his anger had abated, then more people would be willing to look at why Sam might had did what he did, and not just what he did.

    The whole idea of ‘turning his back on’ his brother is one that is based on perspective. We’ve heard Dean constantly go on about how Sam chose a demon over him because that is how Dean saw it. How it probably looked from Sam’s perspective is discussed up above. Just because it’s Dean’s perspective it doesn’t mean that it’s wholly right, it’s just one persons view on things so it is as open to bias as anything else. In season 8, Dean chose Benny over Sam (identical situations, Sam issued an ultimatum and Dean walked out the door ergo, he chose Benny over Sam), in past seasons he’s chosen to trust and listen to Castiel over Sam, yet when Sam brings up that Dean trusted an angel / vampire over him it’s roundly denied because Dean didn’t see it that way. Like I said, perspective. Given that the show is seen mainly through Dean’s eyes we mostly see his perspective on things, that shouldn’t mean that Sam’s perspective should not be considered at all, or when it is given it shouldn’t be dismissed because it’s not the way that Dean sees it.

    In relation to Sam had no reason to think Dean was dead. In this show, there is never a reason to believe anyone to be dead, because we’ve seen you can bring someone back to life quicker than you could make a cup of tea. Sam came to a place where he believed Dean was dead, whether his head was so messed up that he believed Dean was dead or because he reasoned through it logically and came to the conclusion that he was dead or just because he wanted to believe that Dean was dead so that he could continue, we don’t know. The fact remains that he believed Dean was dead, and he stuck to the deal that both he and Dean agreed upon because it was one that prevented further damage to the general public, and that is like Sam.

    In relation to Dean tricking Sam into saying yes, apart from the fact that this is the second time in two seasons Dean has used what he knows about Sam to get him to do what he (Dean) wants, may I present a scenario. Apologies for the analogy, but a rape analogy ‘is’ appropriate because violation is violation, regarded of how it is worded. Hypothetical situation, a girl goes to her father and tells him that she thinks she might be gay. She asks him for help, she doesn’t know what to do. She comes to a point where she’s okay with being gay but her dad isn’t so. He loves his daughter, and he doesn’t want her to be discriminated against, or suffer because of her sexuality so in an attempt to ‘cure’ her, unknownst to her, he arranges for someone to have sex with her. This continues over a prolonged period. When the girl finds out what her father had done, should she just accept it, or worse, be blamed for it because she is the one who asked her father for help in the first place? There are some things that shouldn’t be done; that was one of them. I mean, one way to fix the problem of overpopulation would be to nuke a couple of countries, should it be done? No, because we see people as people, not merely as props. What Dean did took all semblance of free will, all semblance of autonomy, all semblance of self-respect from his brother. He took the one thing we should all have control over, the decision to live or die, and took it from Sam, and given his wording in 9.10, he has no intention of letting Sam make that decision. I’m sorry, but that is not protection, that is possession.

    Comment by Maedbh — January 22, 2014 @ 4:10 am

  194. Has Dean learned nothing? Is it just me but if the wearer of the previous mark tells you that there is something that you need to know about the mark, didn’t dean think he should shut-up and listen instead of telling Cain not to bother with the details.
    Am i wrong to interpret that the soul of the wearer of the mark is hell bound.
    Great choice in a bearded osmundson for Cain.
    but I must say this was a great episode two in a row here is hoping that next week makes it three.

    Comment by SPNFan — January 22, 2014 @ 8:54 am

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