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“Sharp Teeth” Discussion

Post your thoughts on tonight’s Garth-centric episode. And be happy that, unlike every other network, the CW doesn’t care about the State of the Union and instead gives us a new episode. Click HERE for my full recap or keep reading for my analysis of Sam and Dean’s messed-up psychology.

Let’s talk about the last scene first, because all the werewolf stuff and Garth’s return were fine, but wow. Sam and Dean finally had a real conversation, and it wasn’t pretty. The problem is that I understand both points of view.

 

For Dean, he loves his brother. He loves him so much that he can’t imagine a world without him and will never, ever let him go. Family means EVERYTHING to him. From the moment his dad put him in charge of holding Sam in the opening scene of the pilot, it’s how Dean has operated.

 

But he needs to say that. He can’t just say “We’re family” and hope that solves everything. He also needs to apologize. He kind of did, but he didn’t actually say “I’m sorry.” He blamed the changing playbook and how everything is upside-down, and sure, it is, but he still needs to apologize.

 

Sam, on the other hand, needs to accept Dean’s love. Sam has never wanted to be in the family business, he’s always tried to run away from it (going to college, settling down with Amelia). He wants something more and he’s willing to do anything to get away from it. It’s why he was ready to move on and die in the season 9 premiere. But Dean won’t let him, and he has to find some way to accept that. Despite Sam’s apparent claim that it’s an either/or situation when it comes to Hunters and brothers, that will never happen. They’re brothers AND Hunters.

 

Of course this is all my analysis of the subtext and the boys need to find a good couples’ therapist to help them work through all of these issues. The final scene of this episode, painful as it was, was, for me, about how they’re both in the wrong. Dean needs to apologize for real and Sam needs to accept it that, while saying “We’re family” isn’t enough, it doesn’t change the fact that they ARE family. Despite Garth’s newfound happiness, you don’t actually get to pick your family.

 

Sorry for the rant, but I’m so invested in this brotherly relationship and scenes like that one just get me riled up.

 

Elsewhere in the episode, it was nice to see Garth again and nice that he got some kind of life, even if it’s as a werewolf. I liked all of the Norse mythology tie-ins. Surprisingly, I realized this is only the third episode in nine seasons to actually focus entirely on werewolves. And the others are two of my favorites: “Heart” (which, despite not being mentioned, might have subconsciously influenced Sam’s thinking since settling down with a werewolf girlfriend hits close to home) and last season’s “Bitten” 9the documentary episode that I absolutely loved).

 

Even if it wasn’t a happy ending for the brothers, at least this case brought them back together, where they belong. Now they can at least try to work out their issues.

News posted on January 28, 2014 Comments (147)

147 Comments »

  1. This episode was beyond boring. Complete waste of an hour.

    Comment by Katerina — January 28, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

  2. I am so pissed off. The most paint-by-number script I can remember in years. Garth and his self-righteous lectures. Sam turned back into a pissy self-righteous brat, and Dean a touchy, feeling, apologizing sap…and next week’s episode looks equally as bad. What a mess.

    Comment by Sheri — January 28, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

  3. I was grateful the episode aired here since they had listed the State of the Union Address.

    However it was a very weak and empty episode after two strong ones. Did not expect much with Garth being on it but, even so, still hoped for more than this.

    Hated the ending with the speech by Sam and the shrugging shoulders by Dean again. SO repetitive. And boring.

    But I did enjoy the previous two episodes. At least I will have those to watch if I buy the dvd.

    Comment by SL — January 28, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

  4. I left this episode wondering if I will ever leave an episode w/a clear idea on what Sam is thinking and feeling and what he wants. I guess not since the writers would have to care about Sam on some level and have some general understanding of the character to share his perspective.

    Needless to say, I didn’t care for Sam’s speech at the end. I found the dialogue awkward, choppy, and somewhat puzzling. As the credits rolled, I seriously thought, “Huh? What are you talking about, Sam?”

    I’ve since come to the conclusion that Sam was trying to say that they shouldn’t hunt together b/c they tend to put each other’s welfare above the mission. I sense that’s Carver’s main goal for this show, and I’m sure that was the message, which begs the question – why wouldn’t the writers just have Sam say that? Why in the world do they have Sam blaming Dean for not stopping the trials? What is that about? Sam made a choice to stop the trials, and he can’t put that choice on Dean. He didn’t even say, “My stopping the trials, you tricking Gadreel into possessing me” . . . . no, it was all blame. Why write Sam like a douche for no reason?

    I feel like the writers never miss an opportunity to throw Sam under a bus, and that definitely occurred tonight for Sam w/that douchey, vague speech.

    Oh, and was there a reason Dean was so incredibly rude to those people? Yes, I know the mother was no good, but he was ridiculously rude even before he realized that. It was off-putting to me.

    And why was Sam knocked out AGAIN and rendered completely useless AGAIN? Why did Sam have to leave AGAIN for Dean to have a special good-bye w/the guest star? Crap like that is just annoying.

    This episode was pretty bad. At first, I thought it was okay, but I’m slowly changing my mind.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 28, 2014 @ 7:35 pm

  5. I thought it was a very good episode. No doubt, the best episode so far to feature Garth. I also really liked Sam’s “terms” at the end. It was a nice way to resolve this rift between the boys.

    The guest appearance by Tom Butter (Garth’s father-in-law) is an interesting bit of trivia. He has made guest appearances in all 4 of the longest running American science fiction TV series — X-files, Smallville, StarGate SG-1 and now Supernatural.

    By the way, NEXT week’s episode looks awful.

    Comment by JJA — January 28, 2014 @ 7:46 pm

  6. @ Lisa1: I have no idea what that douche (appropriate word, BTW) speech was supposed to mean. It is okay to work together, but Sam doesn’t want to be brothers? WTF?

    And Dean, what happened to he had to isolate himself from his home and family because he is ‘poison’ to everyone who is around him? WTF.

    From D.J. Qualls two interviews, I take Dean’s rudeness to mean that Dean was mad at Garth for disappearing on multiple times when he was put in charge of guarding Kevin, and for not letting the Winchesters know where he was. You couldn’t tell that my the written script, of course.

    As to Sam leaving for the good-bye speech, that was written so Zen Garth to give Dean his Bobby fatherly advice. Crap like writing for the special guest star is annoying as hell.

    The whole episode was a WTF hour.

    I’m guessing Sam was knocked out so that JP had little filming time for around the time his baby was due. I’m okay with some light Sam around this time of filming, because I know they were on baby-watch and Gen was in Texas.

    Comment by Sheri — January 28, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

  7. It kind of reminded me of The Mentalists as far as the basic set up. I attributed Dean’s general dickiness to the Mark of Cain’s influence, along with him just generally not being in a very good place, as he more or less said at the end – something along the lines of “I was…I don’t know what I was and maybe I still don’t” referring to when he left Sam on the pier.

    Didn’t much like Sam’s speech either or what I think it’s indicating. I took it as basically Sam saying if we work together, you can’t treat me as anything more than your random partner. I can see how that kind of fits with Sam’s character, especially lately, and he does have a point that Dean makes a lot of questionable decisions based on the fact that Sam’s his brother – but I still don’t like where this seems to be heading.

    I’m hoping Dean’s lack of an actual, verbal agreement to not treating Sam as a brother anymore, along with the Mark’s influence, means he doesn’t actually plan on ever really stopping looking at Sam like his kid brother. Not completely at least.

    Comment by Sarah — January 28, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

  8. Forgot to add in support of Dean already being influenced by the Mark was his willingness to potentially kill Garth by shooting him up with adrenalin for no other reason than he was just that mad Garth had forgotten to phone home.

    Comment by Sarah — January 28, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

  9. @Sheri – I’m glad you like the word choice! Haha! It was the first word that popped into my mind. Like you, I was like, “Huh” at the end of the episode. Nothing Sam said made any sense, which is probably why Dean didn’t even respond. LOL!

    But I think Sarah has it right. Sam believes that when they’re hunting, the hunt should be at the foremost of their thoughts so if one could complete the hunt but put his life in peril, the other should not protest and just finish the hunt. For Carver, that is maturity. Putting the mission above your brother’s life. Carver wants to put Dean in a place where he believes that as well.

    I agree w/Sarah that this will change the dynamics of the show and the show’s basic foundation, but Carver is determined to dismantle and destroy the brotherhood, IMO.

    But, yeah, all your WTH moments were mine as well!

    So, according to DJ Qualls, Dean was angry at Garth so he was incredibly rude to everyone he met?!?!? As you said, that didn’t really come across in the script. Glass just wrote Dean like a jerk (for no real reason), IMO.

    This was truly a waste of an hour.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 28, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

  10. WTF?

    After those two really good episodes, and all the excitement about where they’re taking the story and the brother’s relationship, we get THIS?

    Can the writers not make up their minds as to what they want Sam’s personality and perspective to be, or do they just randomly decide “let’s have our two leads just saying shit just because it fits our story for this episodes”, or do they just not understand and care about the two leads?

    I just do not get it.

    Comment by Tammy — January 28, 2014 @ 8:05 pm

  11. OR Carver really is taking this in a direction I really don’t want to think about, and kept hoping that it really wasn’t the case.

    JC really needs to know we do NOT want the brothers’ relationship destroyed.

    Comment by Tammy — January 28, 2014 @ 8:14 pm

  12. “Kid brother”, “little brother”. JUST STOP. Sam is not a kid. He’s freaking 30 years old. Do people forget that? That is the biggest problem with Sam and Dean’ s relationship. Dean and the audience are constantly seeing an referring Sam to his [Dean] kid brother. NO. JUST NO. These are grown men here.

    Comment by Katerina — January 28, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

  13. I enjoyed this episode up until the last scene with the brothers talk. WTF!!!

    My main confusion – and it po’s me big time is Sam’s line ” I can’t trust you”. You can’t trust Dean to do what exactly? You can’t trust him to save your life?? No you can trust Dean to do that. That is pretty big to me. But that’s just me. I don’t get that line at all. You can’t trust him to tell you the truth??? Ummm kinda works both way there. He tried to tell you the truth but was stopped by the angel Zeke/Gad. So he tried to tell you the truth. I just don’t get that line at all.

    The other line that po’d me was the line about we aren’t brothers anymore. Well ladies and gentlemen there you have it. Sam has NO-NONE-ZIPPO understanding of what family is or what love for a family member is. It tells me that no-he doesn’t love Dean not as a brother or family-Dean is just a pain in his as*. Thus the not looking for him last season and now the breaking up of the “family unit” so to speak. Sam wants to be on his own and Dean is responsible for everything that was bad that happened to Sam.

    Gawd these writers have no clue about how a real family works. Maybe they come from bad families or something. I could have seen Sam saying to Dean – when once again Dean is doing the begging for forgiveness speech gawd I hate that but anyway -It should have went kinda like this “Dean I am still too mad at you right now-we need to stay apart but lets hunt together. Give me time brother. But what do we get-we get Sam on his high horse again and telling Dean -we ain’t brothers no more. WTF. I wish Dean would have just driven away and told Sam call me when you aren’t so pissy. One of the worst scenes in the series I think.

    Comment by animal — January 28, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

  14. On a high note for this episode- Dean was a badass/kickass hunter that did research, and kicked some major arse and learned some lessons. I liked that!

    Comment by animal — January 28, 2014 @ 8:31 pm

  15. Sam is the only character on this show that has permanent tire tracks on his back. That’s how often he’s thrown under the bus and trashed by the writers.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 28, 2014 @ 8:50 pm

  16. Animal (#13): I, too, wished that Dean had gotten in his Impala at the end and driven off. The stupid “conversation” at the end would have been better off in silent mode. I didn’t understand what Sam said on the Bridge to Dean the night Dean left Cas and Sam behind. And I don’t have any idea what he was saying tonight. Maybe some of the other posters here have it right: Sam wants the hunt to come before the brotherhood from now on. Of course that goes against everything this show has been based on but maybe that is what the lousy writers meant for Sam to say here. Then why didn’t they just have the character say that? These riddles are a waste of time.
    And if Dean was so CERTAIN he had to stay away from those he cares about why is he rushing back to be with Sam again? The Dean from last week’s episode would not have been so wimpy and desperate at the end of this episode.

    A disappointment but that is what I expected from a “Garth” episode. Unnecessary. And unwanted.

    Still I will be watching next week. And hoping for better.

    Comment by SL — January 28, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

  17. Purgatory is gonna suuuuck for Garth, Bess, and the reverend. Those three will not be able to deal.
    Also, I’m disappointed that the brothers aren’t spending more time apart. It would have breathed some new life into the show.
    Far from the best ep, but it’s better than no Supernatural at all.

    Comment by brx — January 28, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

  18. I didn’t get that Dean’s dickishness was because of the Mark of Cain at all. Glass put in…what? one line for each brother about it and Sam had absolutely NO REACTION to just having been told that the original Cain is STILL running around and transferred his Mark to HIS BROTHER; which as far as Sam knows, was given to Cain by God because Cain murdered his brother, and Sam has no interest at all. Could he be any more self-absorbed?

    I left this episode with the sinking feeling that Dean’s story has been dropped or, at the least, will be lightly glossed over. I think the end message of the season being sent is that ‘unconditional love will conquer all.’

    I really feel that all of the interesting possibilities and potential that last week’s episode had was just wiped off the table with tonight’s episode.

    After that ending speech, I wished they had kept the brothers separated for the rest of the show.

    @ Katrina: From that ending douche speech by Sam, it’s obvious that being 30 means nothing. Sam obviously cannot zip up his own big boy pants (again, writers, again?). In 8.23 what was all the wha, wha, whaa, what happens when you decide you can`t trust me again and turn to another angel or vampire.

    Dean did not trick Sam into not completing the trials, he pleaded with Sam not to. To blame Dean for that and include it in his reasons for not being able to trust Dean is really rich coming from the guy who throws that kind of suicide-tantrum. Sam, once again, comes off looking like he is demanding complete worship from Dean when it is convenient for him and hypocritically blames Dean when it is not.

    That kind of crap dialogue doesn’t make Sam look like he is an adult at all, or that he can make any decisions on his own.

    I’m not Sam bashing here, but this kind of writing is what makes this episode so damaging to a story and clearly shows that Adam Glass is an inferior writer.

    Comment by Sheri — January 28, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

  19. I feel like I constantly walk around in a fog when it comes to Sam and his feelings/thoughts/POV/etc.

    His conversation on the bridge and tonight was muddled, vague, and awkward. These writers simply don’t know how to write for him or they are not interested in writing for him. They have no clue what makes Sam Winchester tick. They basically have no understanding of the character, which is why his POV is always so muddled, vague, and awkward.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 28, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

  20. And why he gets douchey speeches like tonight’s.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 28, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

  21. Oh please Dean manipulated Sam. I don’t have time with Dean stans and their agenda of Dean being this perfect creature. Newsflash: He can be a dick. Ignoring this fact is hypocritical and INCREDIBLY biased. What Dean did to Sam just to keep him alive although understandable was shady and manipulative. If you defend that, you have issues. Besides, Dean didn’t instantly forgive Sam after season 4, why you think Dean deserves instant forgiveness is beyond me. Besides let’s me honest, some of you don’t care. You only care about Dean no matter. The double standards are incredible.

    And throwing around words like “douche” doesn’t make your argument or even make you sound like you are over 20.

    Comment by Sara — January 28, 2014 @ 9:29 pm

  22. Sara, Sam still gave a douchey speech tonight. That’s my opinion. You disagree. That’s fine. We can ATD on that.

    As I stated, my problem is w/the lack of a clear POV for Sam. As someone else pointed out, Sam speaks in riddles, and the audience has to spend way too much time trying to figure out what Sam meant when the writers could simply have him state his feelings like Dean frequently does. I rarely see people speculating about Dean’s feelings/thoughts the way they do w/Sam.

    I also have a huge problem w/Sam blaming Dean for Sam deciding to not finish the trials. If Sam had noted not finishing the trials as a failure on his part, that would have been on thing, but he didn’t. He blamed Dean for his decision to stop. He stopped b/c of the love for his brother and b/c Dean told him he didn’t have to die to prove something to Dean. That was Sam’s decision. He should own it. They could have had him state that he and Dean have problems keeping the focus when the other is involved, but Sam made it seem like a “Dean” issue.

    Again, for me, the dialogue was bad and didn’t make Sam look good. YMMV though.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 28, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

  23. I liked the episode. I like the speech at the end. I think Sam is trying to say hey I can be your brother, family, but still you have to respect me.

    Comment by LG — January 28, 2014 @ 9:58 pm

  24. I hate the word “douche” it’s so rude given the shit Sam’s been under. Bad writing or not it’s not deserved. Dean did manipulate him in that situation whether you want to admit it or not. The funny thing is that Dean is the one that fucked up and everyone is blaming Sam as usual. What else is new? I’m sick of it. Dean is not always right. Especially when he made a decision that led to other deaths and didn’t even consider Sam’s opinion. Sam trusted his brother THAT Is why he made the decison. Sam was willing to die. It was because of Dean and Dean knew that and used it.

    Comment by Sara — January 28, 2014 @ 9:59 pm

  25. @ Sara #21: Personal attacks. Really? That’s what you have to offer.

    Newsflash: I like Dick Dean. In this episode, I just wished it had something to do with the mytharc.

    Newsflash: I don’t think Sam should instantly forgive Dean, but I don’t think he needs to be a hypocrite in not forgiving Dean, and to blame Dean for a choice that he and only he could make makes Sam sound like a hypocrite. Besides, did he not just tell Cas in last week’s episode that he agreed that continuing the trials was not worth losing his life? I think I remember Sam specifically saying that Cas was right in that.

    Believe me when I say ‘douche’ is a very nice word when compared to what I am calling Adam Glass at this moment.

    Comment by Sheri — January 28, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

  26. I like your interpretation better, LG, but I didn’t get that at all. I got that Sam pretty much said we can be partners, but brothers . . .

    Which is why Adam Glass’s writing failed to me, because he didn’t let Sam make it clear what he actually wanted or expected. He just threw out this family is the cause of everything wrong between us (pretty much the antithesis of show’s overall stance, that family saved the world) and that Dean needs to treat him like a partner instead of a brother without clearly defining what that means.

    And yeah, Sam blaming Dean for his choice to stop the trial weakened his position to me, much like how throwing in soulless Sam among Dean’s real issues with Sam in Southern Comfort weakened his stance there. Apparently Adam Glass can’t help throwing in the kitchen sink when he goes for the big “You done me wrong” speeches, which helped neither character, respectively.

    Comment by huh — January 28, 2014 @ 10:03 pm

  27. Really Sheri let’s not pretend you’ve never done that okay. Especially since you are saving those for the writers.

    Comment by Sara — January 28, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

  28. See, everybody gets something different from what Sam says, and the show rarely clarifies; however, most know exactly why Dean left two weeks ago or whenever it was

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 28, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

  29. I have to disagree that Sam’s POV is unclear. I don’t like it, but I think it’s being made very clear he is not happy with Dean choosing Sam over (for lack of a better term) the larger picture. I also don’t think it’s fair to say Sam doesn’t understand what family is or what brotherly love is. I didn’t take his “terms” to mean “if we both get in the Impala, we aren’t brothers anymore,” so much as it was “if we both get in the car you can no longer treat me like your primary job is saving me and not saving people.” Because, really if a hunter has a chance to shut the gates of Hell, even if it means you die in the process, you better choose to shut the gates of Hell.

    That said, I completely agree with Lisa1 and Sheri that Sam was the one who ultimately made the choice not to do that. He’s also ultimately the one who agreed to stick around because (he thought) Dean was all but begging him to. So he can’t really get pissed at Dean like those actions were all on him.

    I guess Sam’s POV could be seen as unclear in that he’s not so good at just ignoring what his brother wants either, when Dean’s standing right in front of him asking for it (don’t finish the trials, don’t go with Death). Maybe he just can’t admit that to himself yet and that is actually going to be his journey the rest of the season.

    I’m pretty sure I just argued myself in a circle, so I should probably go to bed now.

    Comment by Sarah — January 28, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

  30. Okay sorry for snapping guys. I apologize I was a bit harsh. I’ve had medical problems lately and they put me on edge. But honestly i agree the writers don’t care about Sam or having his feelings put out there so we have to guess.

    But I stand by my statement, if we have to guess, I would say it’s more likely Sam felt Dean was using the fact that Sam would do anything for Dean. he knew Dean was his weakness. Sam felt manipulated. That’s the only way his statement makes sense. IMO. I don’t believe Sam would ever say that if he didn’t feel that. I don’t see it as Sam not taking responsibility I see the REAL reason he did it, DEAN. Why would he object otherwise?

    I know it’s common practice for fans to rake Sam over the coals but I think in this case people need to chill a little. Not everything is his fault and sometimes he deserves to feel upset. Why Dean is the only one allowed to be so is beyond me.

    Comment by Sara — January 28, 2014 @ 10:22 pm

  31. Sara, I agree with you that Sam has the right to be upset. But I don’t think Dean was manipulating Sam in 8.23–I think he genuinely didn’t want his brother to die in some misguided attempt to ‘earn’ his trust, since Sam made it clear that he was going to complete the trial and die because he thought Dean didn’t trust him. I don’t think Dean was exploiting Sam’s ‘weakness’ by asking him not to die–I think he wanted Sam not to die. Which is why I don’t think Sam’s statement does make sense in face of what actually happened in 8.23.

    Now, could Sam feel like that in hindsight, particularly when he’s blinded by hurt at Dean’s actions this season? Sure, but that doesn’t change the fact that Sam made the choice to stop the trials. Dean may have been the reason, but that doesn’t make it his responsibility, any more than Dean deciding to sell his soul for Sam was Sam’s responsibility. I hope that Sarah above you is right, and Sam comes to realize that as part of his journey this season. Fixing what’s between them is up to both of them, and they both have to take responsibility for their part in their dysfunction. Which, to me, is not fixed by Sam and Dean not being brothers and not being close, but by each one not being so willing to throw themselves into death because of each other and being better able to balance each other, something they used to do well.

    Comment by huh — January 28, 2014 @ 10:31 pm

  32. I hope Sam doesn’t forgive Dean for a long time. What Dean did to Sam, I equate it with rape. Dean “raped” Sam by violating his free will. That’s not something I would forgive, if ever. So, I don’t see Sam forgiving Dean for a long time, possibly ever.

    Comment by Katerina — January 28, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

  33. @ Lisa1 #4: I just noticed that D. J. Qualls tweeted this sometime during tonight’s episode:

    “I missed @Jarpad (Jared) this whole episode. He couldn’t film with me much because he was off making babies.”

    Comment by Sheri — January 28, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

  34. Eh, Katerina, I don’t think that’s realistic. I mean, yes, in real life, but in real life being strangled by your strung-out big brother wouldn’t be met with “Boohoo, princess.” This is a TV show about a family that does great and terrible things to each other and because of each other. Hoping that Sam never forgives Dean for his trespasses is only going to leave you disappointed, if I had to guess, just like it left the Dean fans who hoped Dean would never again trust Sam after Ruby and purgatory disappointed.

    Comment by huh — January 28, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

  35. I’m not happy about it, but I said that after 3 great episodes, this would suck, and I was right.

    It’s not as bad as I expected, but especially the end was really awfull. Why make sam look like such a piece of sh*t to dean?

    Hoping to see more of the mark of Cain story (dean going crazy/dark).

    Comment by Robin — January 29, 2014 @ 1:29 am

  36. The episode was okay… good enough that I enjoyed it. The final scene of course had its frustrating elements… both of the boys got it wrong but of course they are both coming from a place of hurt and this seems like just the process of working it out.
    For instance Dean has to realize that he needs to explain himself a lot better and not rely on things like just saying the word “family”… and Sam has to realize that he’s badly misreading the problem by thinking that being family hurts their hunting. Actually it seems like just a defense mechanism on his part. Both boys are familiar with defense mechanisms (: They’re deluding themselves of course in pretending that they could ever somehow separate themselves from their brotherly connection in order to do a job. It’s at the core of their being and it’s also at the heart of their mission. Deep down they know it.
    So I think this episode just marked the beginning of working through it all and the next episode or the next few episodes may see both of them getting their heads in the right place. I would hope so anyway because that would make sense. At least they are together now.
    Next week’s episode looks funny. Here’s hoping it’s a good one…

    Comment by Jordan — January 29, 2014 @ 2:24 am

  37. I’m sorry, I didn’t like the episode.
    I don’t like Garth. How this hunter is still alive is a miracle and a little bit insulting. I hoped he died in this episode, but not such luck.
    I didn’t like Dean’s passive-agressive attitude and I hate the brothers conversation at the end, with Dean giving poor excuses and never properly apologised and Sam putting the job above their brotherhood, apparently. I think Sam is only trying to punish Dean for lying to him and I can understand that, specially after Dean said those lines such as “we are family” like if those can fix anything, but come on, that scene makes no sense.

    For me, it was lazy writing, plain and simple (Adam Glass, ladies and gentleman), and the only purpose of that conversation was to give an excuse for the brothers to come together but still at odds, because they are not gonna fix their relationship so quickly. This kind of situations is what they consider good drama.

    And for the rest… Too much focus on Garth and the case wasn’t even that interesting

    Comment by emmanuel — January 29, 2014 @ 4:06 am

  38. First, let me preface my comments by making something crystal clear. I am not a Dean Stan. I am not a Sam Stan. If anything, I am a BROTHERHOOD Stan. I am a bibro fan who loves both brothers equally and who watches for their relationship (and not in a “Wincest” way for those who are wondering). I watch for both brothers and “stan” hard for their relationship.

    Now, having clarified that . . . .

    @Sara – I don’t think many will disagree w/you that Dean did manipulate Sam in 9.01. He knew that Sam would not speak to Gadreel, so he permitted Gadreel to come to Sam disguised as himself and to tug on Sam’s heart strings. Sam really wasn’t budging until “Dean” said “there ain’t no me if there ain’t no you.” That’s what caused Sam to agree. I agree w/you that Dean manipulated that particular situation, and while I completely understand what he did and why, I also understand why Sam would be upset. However, as Huh pointed out, that is NOT what happened in “Sacrifice.”

    I didn’t see Dean manipulating Sam in that episode. I saw Dean simply not wanting his brother to die. I saw Dean not wanting Sam to proceed w/the trials on the misguided belief that doing so would “prove” something to Dean or make Sam “right” in Dean’s eyes. Clearly, Dean valued Sam’s life more than the mission, and while Carver wants me to see that as a “bad” thing, I have no problem w/that. I never did. I will never see a problem w/Sam and Dean choosing each other over the goal/mission/etc b/c that has been the foundation of the show. Clearly, Carver wants to destroy that, but I will never understand why.

    Anyway, I completely agree w/Huh’s assessment and interpretation of Dean’s motivations in “Sacrifice.” He didn’t want his brother dying for that cause. Just last week, Castiel decided Sam shouldn’t have to die for a “locating spell,” and frankly, I agree w/him. I do worry that this is supposed to be “bad” and “wrong” in Carver’s vision of the show, but it’s fine w/me.

    ——–

    @Sarah – I do agree w/your general interpretation of Sam’s comments b/c it was the same conclusion I reached, but my problem is Sam’s dialogue, or rather his POV, tends to be presented in clunky, stilted, awkward ways. What you wrote is very clear and direct. My interpretation above is also very clear, so why can’t the writers do the same w/Sam? Is it really that difficult to write Sam saying, “Dean, the problem isn’t you. You’re not poison. The problem is us. We always choose each other over the mission, and, man, that’s gotta stop. We can’t do that anymore” or something like that, not “If you wanna be hunters, okay, but brothers . . . . (Sam gets in the Impala).” What? Like Sheri, I was literally left thinking, “Huh? What is Sam talking about?”

    I felt the same way after the bridge talk a couple of episodes ago. I felt the same way at the end of the penny episode last year. I felt the same way at the end of SF in S7. Even if I figure out what Sam means, there’s always – at least for me – that initial “huh” feeling when he talks b/c the dialogue is never crystal clear. I’m sick of that. I just want someone to give him plain, clear dialogue. I’m sick of guessing at what he means b/c the dialogue is crap. Just write him saying what he wants and how he feels. And I’m not alone in my confusion b/c others expressed confusion at his words too.

    It also didn’t help that it seemed like Sam was blaming Dean for an action that Sam took, but I was reminded that this is the same writer who had Dean blaming Sam for being soulless so I guess an OTT and nonsensical statement should have been expected. Just last week, Sam acknowledged that HE and Dean stopped the trials for each other, but now he’s solely blaming Dean. if Sam wants to close the gates, there’s nothing stopping him from doing the trials again. I’m sure he remembers the ritual, etc. Why give Sam dialogue that makes him seem like a complete ass? What is the purpose of that?

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 29, 2014 @ 4:22 am

  39. @@32- Goddammit Katerina! I know how much you hate Dean’s guts and worship Sam’s every breath, but the damned rape accusation is really pissing me off now! I HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY RAPED! How dare you compare what Dean did to that! To rape someone is to deliberately intend to harm them! I don’t care how much you hate Dean or how little you think of him, it was shown that he meant NO HARM to Sam. He was most definitely wrong in what he did, it was stupid and impulsive and a desperate move and I won’t condone it, by his intention was to save Sam, NOT cause him harm. I’m so tired of the rape accusation being thrown around so callously.
    And Lisa I’m sorry, but I disagree that the writers think less of Sam than they do of Dean. It seems to me that they are doing all they can to run Dean down, including making the brother he’s lived his whole life for, now hate his guts. Sam has EVERY right to be angry and hurt right now, but this seems like he really hates him now. But I guess that’s what you want. You don’t EVER want Sam to forgive Dean huh? Then how do you suggest we have a show?
    I love both Sam AND Dean. I’m so tired of all the hate being thrown at Dean like he’s this shitty brother. BOTH of them have done shitty things to eachother. BOTH of them have things to make amends to the other for. This season it’s Dean that has wronged Sam, but other seasons it has been Sam that wronged Dean. NEITHER is innocent.

    Comment by roxi — January 29, 2014 @ 5:40 am

  40. @39-Sorry Lisa, I wasn’t directing my comments about never forgiving Dean to you.

    Comment by roxi — January 29, 2014 @ 5:43 am

  41. The whole premise of SPN is, or was, the loving, close bond/relationship of Sam and Dean. Some of you who really want Sam to hate Dean forever just don’t seem to get that. And Jeremy Carver, God, what can I say, he has been the worst thing to ever happen to this show. I wish Mark Pedowitz would fire him.

    Comment by roxi — January 29, 2014 @ 5:46 am

  42. And just to be clear, I also hate that some of you are hating on Sam for daring to be angry. Dean’s actions WERE wrong, and Sam does have a right to be angry about them. But unlike the Dean haters, I don’t want to see Sam NEVER forgive Dean or hate him like he apparently does now. Dean has ALWAYS taken care of Sam from childhood, has ALWAYS put him first, has ALWAYS loved him dearly. I’t a shame, I think, that the actions of this season have blinded so many to those facts.
    And Sam, too, has been a loving brother to Dean as well.
    They are BOTH good people at their core, and at one time, before Jeremy Carver came on to destroy them, they would both take turns doing things to hurt eachother, but in the end, they still loved eachother and made amends. I have no idea what Carver’s vision of SPN is, but it sure as hell ain’t what drew most of us in in the first place.

    Comment by roxi — January 29, 2014 @ 5:58 am

  43. @18 – I thought it was the Mark influencing Dean’s behavior because even before we got to the werewolves, he just looked like he would punch you for blinking wrong. To me, he looked angry the whole episode. On top of that his willingness to shoot up Garth seemed way disproportionate to his alleged crime. I could maybe understand if Dean blamed Garth somehow for Kevin dying, but he didn’t. He was just angry Garth never checked in, which really shouldn’t be that odd, especially when he does finally reappear in a hospital. It seems like that wouldn’t be too unusual of an occurrence for hunters, definitely not warranting a possible death sentence.

    @38 – I agree the speech was hypocritical, and I’m hoping Sam does come to realize that he puts Dean first too and that’s not bad. As Jordan said, putting that first is and has been ultimately the heart of their mission and the show.

    Comment by Sarah — January 29, 2014 @ 6:07 am

  44. Had I ever been invested in Garth I suppose I’d have been drawn in to this one, but I never particularly liked the character. Sheri’s Village Idiot description always seemed apt to me. He was a serious downgrade from Bobby as the character running hunter-central command. At the same time I thought Qualls was an interesting and talented comic actor. Good guy, bad role. I can understand why the writers brought in comic characters like this one. With Sam and Dean written mostly as sullen teenagers mouthing there latest hurt feelings toward each other, comedy, an essential element to lighten the dark series, had to be given to secondary characters. The silly juvenile act of Castiel and the standard country bumpkin jokes of Garth have been a serious weakness of SPN for years. SPN comedy was much better earlier when it drew on the comedic talents of J2 ( Bad Day at Black Rock, Wishful Thinking, Yellow Fever )–and not separated out and given to secondary characters. But sadly, interweaving comic lines into J2’s action and dramatic dialogue is a creative challenge that this crew of writers simply isn’t up to.
    I’m pleased to have Dean and Sam together again although this has been done before. Sam can’t trust Dean, a replay of 5 where Dean could not trust Sam and had Sam on double secret probation. Like to see each brother on their own quests to eliminate Gandrell and Abaddon and have their efforts intersect at some point. Looks like Carver wants to break the brother bond (Sam is no longer Dean’s brother?) in the name of maturity and ditch family as a nuisance. Typical Hollywood: life is about self. The series and particularly Dean once stood absolutely against that isolating view of life.

    Comment by CaseyT — January 29, 2014 @ 6:08 am

  45. I was fine with this episode until the last Dean and Sam scene. WTH? Seriously, what the hell was that?

    Sam has a right to be angry about Gadreel, but not the trials. Sam *chose* to not complete them. Just like Sam talked Dean out of wanting to do the trials, Dean talked Sam out of completing the trials. But Dean is the one who chose to listen to Sam at the beginning and Sam is the one who chose to listen to Dean at the end. The person making the decision is the one responsible for that decision.

    So, in 8.23 (“Sacrifice”), Sam is upset that Dean chose to trust an “angel and a vampire” which led Dean to basically say that no one comes before Sam. Then in 9.11, Castiel tells Sam that they didn’t finsh the trials because they “chose each other” (which, means that Sam made a choice) and now in 9.12 Sam is blaming Dean for Sam not completing the trials. There’s a major disconnect there in my opinion. Sam *chose* to stop the trials.

    The problems in the relationship are not one-sided, Sam is just to blame as Dean. This relationship will not get fixed if Sam gets to dictate the terms. That’s one-sided. Sam needs to change just as much as Dean needs to change.

    Comment by Bree — January 29, 2014 @ 6:11 am

  46. Thanks for clarifying Roxi b/c your comments truly confused me.

    I disagree with you that Sam hates Dean. In what was truly an awkward, roundabout way, Sam was saying that Dean’s need to put Sam and his welfare above the hunt/mission is what is problematic. He feels that Kevin would be alive right now if Dean hadn’t talked him out of completing the trials. I got no sense that Sam hates Dean. I do think Sam thinks their desire,or rather Dean’s desire to put Sam above everything is what messes up most things.

    Now, this was not said in an artful, articulate way at all. The dialogue was, IMO, clunky and bad and a little confusing. As usual, many viewers are getting different interpretations of the speech. That is the main problem; it was not clear and direct.

    If Sam is upset with Dean for the possession, then he really needs top articulate that in a clear way. I’m left not really knowing or understanding what Sam’s issue is.
    I do agree that Carver has been horrible for a “brotherhood” fan like myself. He genuinely seems intent on disrupting the very fabric of te show, which is the brotherhood. What he views as problematic or unhealthy is perfectly fine to me. That unhealthy, codependent relationship is the very reason I fell in love w/the show. Carver wants to dismantle that.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 29, 2014 @ 6:24 am

  47. Whew, that last scene is going to be a topic for awhile. The bulk of the episode is barely getting a mention for all the brother stuff. I thought the Garth story was an ok standard case story with a twist because of their association with Garth.

    The last scene was tough. Ouch. I agree that it was clunky and awkwardly written and overly harsh. But, I think that Sam does have a right to feel however he feels right now. I just don’t have time for the “Sam is an ungrateful jerk and should be kissing Dean’s feet for saving his.” That’s waaay oversimplified in respect to how far Dean went imo. It would be quite a shock to realize that for months you haven’t been in control of your own body and someone used your body to kill one of your friends and that your brother manipulated you and lied about it. Yeah, I know all the justifications for Dean’s actions and I do sympathize with him–I am not one of those that has been going on a Dean bashing spree–but I am looking at it from Sam’s pov (which is hard because they don’t write his pov very well) just the idea that Dean engineered this and disregarded what he knew you would chose because he doesn’t have it in him to let Sam die. That sounds nice and brotherly love conquers all but look at the harm. Sam is dealing with that fact that people died because he is still here–“my life is not more important than anyone else’s” and he told Death that he was more than willing to go as long as his death was permanent–no deals or funny stuff that would cause people harm (Dean) and the very thing that he was afraid of, happened and would keep happening if Dean has anything to say about it. This is what’s hard about analyzing Sam–you have to pull a lot of previous stuff together instead of the way they write Dean “I don’t have it in me to let you die.” We know exactly where he stands.

    So yeah, he’s pissed, yeah, he’s got trust issues as to what Dean would do next. And yeah, if they are going to work together, Dean has to not put Sam first and screw everyone else. I did not like the language used though and the idea that they can’t be brothers and hunt together–really? Does this story really need to be told in the first place?

    I guess when Carver had the opportunity for Sam to do whatever it took to save Dean from Purgatory and opted instead for a “mature” approach, he set the story down this path. I am not sure I like where it is headed though if you think it out to its logical conclusion.

    I think Sam will come around eventually. He forgives more easily but I think he realizes the issues are big and something has to change. After all this set up and drama and hurt, it would be a cop out for Sam to just say “you were right about everything Dean” and have them go merrily on their way. Jared hints at something big bringing the brothers back together but it hasn’t happened yet and they are on episode 15 or 16. It’s going to be a long season.

    Comment by inky — January 29, 2014 @ 7:29 am

  48. @47

    The problem is that Sam wasn’t just upset about Gadreel, he brought up the trials, which is something Sam chose not to complete, Dean didn’t make the decision for Sam, Sam made that decision himself. Dean isn’t to blame for everything wrong in the relationship (nor is Sam), and Dean isn’t the only one that needs to change (nor is Sam). They BOTH need to change.

    Sam is just as responsible as Dean for the state of their relationship.

    I agree with Castiel in 9.11, Sam chose to not complete the trials, the brothers supposedly “chose each other” in “Sacrifice” (8.23), in fact, Sam was upset that Dean trusted an angel and vampire there, so Dean had to say that no one comes before Sam. But now Sam is saying that Dean shouldn’t put Sam first. Argh. The mixed messages.

    Comment by Bree — January 29, 2014 @ 8:26 am

  49. @ Lisa1 #46: I am not clear:

    1) What werewolf lore is now. Are they able to control their basic nature the further the generation is removed they are from their turning? Are they able to control their basic nature of they are the off-spring of a werewolf couple more than those that are bitten? Does the full moon now play no role in werewolves lives? And that is not even to mention that there seems to be no change when they turn into a werewolf, except for plastic teeth and long, vampire fingernails.

    I am not sure what Sam’s issue is at the moment. It seemed in 8.23 that he had figure out something about the brothers and was willing to let Dean figure it out on his own. That was changed to his suicide desire and his life not being worth more than everyone else’s in 9.11. Now it seems to be that being brothers IS the problem; that Dean puts him above the hunt….or something….but it is alright to continue working together for some strange reason.

    I’m not sure what Dean’s goal is. He didn’t want to drag anybody else along with him in the muck, but two weeks apart and he wants to be with Sam again? Is Dean’s quest killing Gadreel for deceiving him or is he after Abaddon? No clue. It seems to be that he is just focused on being with Sam, and Sam is not actively seeking Gadreel, but is taking on random hunts, so whatever terms Sam sets from week-to-week is the quest?

    I honestly have no clue what the story is now. I have no clue if the Mark of Cain means anything other than a pretty tattoo. I have no clue if Bart or Abaddon are still in the game. What is the game? Angel wars or demon wars?

    Mostly, I have no clue if anyone is running this show.

    Comment by Sheri — January 29, 2014 @ 8:41 am

  50. It’s just such a weird place to plop in a random monster-hunt-type episode. Last week’s episode made me think this week should be Sam and Cas pursuing other ways to locate Gadreel, and Dean maybe doing a random hunt while he waits on Crowley to get back with the weapon. But where’s Cas? Why is Sam on his own? Where’d Sam get that sweet blue ride? What happening to Gadreel and Metatron, Bart and the other angel factions, and Abaddon and Crowley? I know not all episodes can advance the myth arc, but if last week Sam and Cas’ plan was to find Gadreel and Dean’s plan was to kill Abaddon, it would help if there was some explanation from how we got from all that to “going to check on Garth.” The dude’s been missing for six months, now suddenly he’s top priority? That’s just… weird.

    Comment by Eansamli — January 29, 2014 @ 9:15 am

  51. I guess the episode was just about okay, that’s if it had not come after the last one but at some random stage in the series. I think the writers/writer was just after causing even more friction in the fandom. Most people agree that Dean was wrong in some way for what he did, whether they believe he should not have allowed Gadreel in or just that he should not have lied (which is how I view it i.e. he should not have lied). But the way they played it out in this episode was WTF bad, I didn’t like Sam’s clunky we are not family and I didn’t like Dean’s “okay I am not to be trusted”. The only bit of that dialogue that I understood was the bit where Dean said he needed Sam with him to help with the craziness of their lives, however surely this should not be two weeks after he has supposedly decided he is poison and can’t be around anyone. No doubt the end scene will cause more angst between the Sam and Dean fandom, but as very much a bi bro fan it didn’t work at all for me. As many have pointed out it is not a normal brotherly relationship, it is in the context of the supernatural and it is a relationship that drew me and many others into the series. I don’t want or expect the brothers to always be on the same page but if this is the direction they go then the whole premise of the show is coming unstuck.
    How hard would it be to have made that end scene more realistic, Sam angry/hurt at Dean sure, Dean sorry sure, either they could actually have them talk it out but needing to be apart for a while etc etc. Anyway hopefully next week will be better, one can but hope.

    Comment by Icarus — January 29, 2014 @ 10:05 am

  52. Sheri said it best: there is clearly no one in charge of this show. Carver pays no attn to the scripts he doesn’t write and is not interested in telling a cohesive story.

    ———

    @Sheri – Excellent post and questions! All your uncertainties are mine as well. I don’t know what the main story is this year. There doesn’t seem to be one.

    I don’t know what Carver is intending to do to the brothers’ relationship. I’m not sure how he’s going to “improve” their relationship, esp. since I don’t think there was much wrong w/the way they interacted in the first place. His version of “mature” brothers scares me, and I’m sure it’s nothing I want to see.

    I’ve now read several interpretations of Sam’s speech, and I still have no idea what Sam’s main problem is. I know this will sound strange, but what is he angry and upset about? Is he mad that Dean saved him? Is he mad that Dean lied to him? Is he mad about Kevin? Is he made that Dean loves him enough to save him? Sam used to feel the same way, but who know now that Carver’s poison pen has touched him. What? What is Sam’s issue? Will we ever find out? Will it finally be resolved?

    And you are so right about Dean. It didn’t seem like Garth’s family had any impact on him, so I was a little shocked that he wanted to reunite w/Sam at the end of the episode. I mean we all know Dean prefers it when he and Sam are together, but I still thought he considered himself “poison.” He and Sam didn’t even interact well during the episode, so the change of heart was surprising. And the change in missions last week was also surprising. Dean left to hunt Gadreel on his own, and now he’s hunting Abbadon and asks Sam about Gadreel?!?! When did he change his goals?

    There is no head of this ship, and it shows!

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 29, 2014 @ 10:48 am

  53. After seeing the last scene about FIVE times, I have finally come to the conclusion that the writers are actually trying to get Sam to say something other than my first impression of “I don’t really like being with you anymore, I don’t trust you, and I just want a working relationship with you”.

    My opinion now is that Sam is saying, in a weird, really badly written way, something other than that. Not exactly sure what that something is though… It’s either “We can’t carry on like this anymore. I want us to remain together and be brothers, but we have to then stop with the dishonesty and dysfunctionality and work on our broken relationship – IF we want to be brothers (which I do). Otherwise, if we carry on as we are, we’re just going to be working partners”. OR he’s saying that Dean needs to respect his wishes more, stop projecting his wishes onto Sam, and stop putting Sam before everything else IF they are to remain brothers (again, what Sam wants). Otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense. Remember, at one point, Same also says staying together is worth the crappiness (at least that’s what I got).

    The writers had him say some pretty douchy stuff (perfect word, Lisa), eg blaming Dean for the trials thing, but I think that’s the core of what he’s trying to get across to Dean, and it’s positive. I guess Dean gets it and agrees, I wish the writers had made it more clear to us viewers too, but that is their usual modus operandi regarding Sam, unfortunately.

    Perhaps I’m the eternal optimist, but this is going to be my story until proven otherwise :)

    Comment by Tammy — January 29, 2014 @ 10:59 am

  54. As for the the general pacing and the rest of this episode, well, it seems the show is a little bipolar. They had the really powerful episode last week, and the missions to find Gadreel/Abaddon were intense and all-important.

    Now, it’s like, who cares! Let’s visit Garth and gank some werewolves! And hardly ANY reaction from Sam to Dean’s meeting ‘the’ Cain and the mark. He was more surprised at Dean working with Crowley than that. Bad writing :(

    But all in all, I wouldn’t have disliked the episode if it hadn’t come at this time.

    and *sigh*…the last scene. I just hope I’ve got the right interpretation and we see a fixing of the brothers.

    Comment by Tammy — January 29, 2014 @ 11:23 am

  55. The only way I can make sense of Sam bringing up the trials is if it’s meant to convey that Dean also has a hold on Sam. Not just the other way around. It seems like Sam is now done with it. He feels it would have been better to die for the greater good or at least die so no one could get hurt (=Kevin).

    I suppose Sam feels seriously disillusioned. He chose Dean and that meant he had utmost trust in Dean but everything turned out horrible yet again. Maybe for Sam it’s not worth it if choosing your brother means losing a friend and a family member, getting possessed, getting lied to etc.

    Comment by ~ San ~ — January 29, 2014 @ 11:47 am

  56. I wrote a long reply and it was eaten by the werewolves so here is a summary.

    @48
    I don’t think that to Sam hearing his brother say that he puts Sam ahead of everyone else means that he wants Dean to save him at any cost. Both of these guys line up to sacrifice themselves for other people. I think the hurt in sacrifice came from Sam thinking that Dean didn’t trust him anymore because of how many times Sam had let him down to even trusting a vampire ahead of Sam.

    As for the trials, yep Sam chose to stop but only because Dean asked; Sam would be dead and the gates of hell closed if Dean didn’t beg him. But it was still Sam’s choice. But with this Gadreel situation and the loss of Kevin, it begs the question, what are we doing here? Why would Dean ask to stop considering the cost and why would Sam agree. If they want to go forward as hunters, something has to change between them. The kick-it-under-the-rug-and-call-it-family approach isn’t going to work here. That vicious cycle will just eventually drive away from each other permanently because of the potential consequences (like Kevin.)

    I think there is hope for them to reconnect as brothers. They didn’t want to leave each other in the end. Nobody is stomping off mad.

    Comment by inky — January 29, 2014 @ 11:47 am

  57. I see the point of view of both boys here. However, I’ve kinda felt all along that Sam is not that angry with Dean. Even in that conversation I felt that he didn’t really get mad until Dean tossed out the line about them being family so basically that made everything ok. That was when he seemed to lose his cool. He’s got a point there.

    Like Inky said (@56), Sam still got in the car. I think we’ve seen him angrier. Makes me wonder if Dean had handled it a bit better if the conversation might have panned out differently. I was kinda hoping Cas’ discussion with Sam in the previous ep would have sunk in, but clearly he’s just not ready yet.

    Dean’s hug with Garth confirmed to me that he’s feeling totally lost right now. He desperately wanted to get back on an even keel with Sam, but unfortunately Sam is not in a place to brush it under the rug and you know what, rightly so.

    Dean on the other hand has spent months not having the real Sam around and watching everything he says, so I get it that he just wants his brother back now. Dean can’t stand being on his own for too long, which I think is half his problem. He’s still desperately trying to carve out this family unit that doesn’t really exist anymore.

    They are in such a mess now that maybe it does take Sam to be a bit douchy for Dean to actually listen and take it in.

    The conversation was awkward and painful, perhaps intentionally so. I hope the rift doesn’t last too long though, because I feel like we were seeing a hint of the real Sam earlier on this season for the first time in quite a while and I don’t want to lose that.

    Comment by LionGirl — January 29, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

  58. @Tammy – Thanks :-) I thought it fit perfectly too!

    Whatever Sam meant, I definitely don’t think the writers intended to imply that he hated Dean, hated family, or thought the brotherhood was crap. I think it was more along the lines of thinking the way they relate to each other needs to change. As most here know, the problem was the dialogue was very poorly written. It’s almost as if Sam speaks in riddles. That’s how bad the writing is for him, IMO.

    I think everyone here and on other boards have very plainly expressed what Sam was thinking in a much more clear, precise way than Glass. It feels like Glass tripped over himself making the issue more complicated than it needed to be. He also threw in issues that were never issues (i.e., the trials) or at least weren’t put in the proper context.

    I don’t know if Dean got what Sam meant. I certainly didn’t know what Sam was talking about when the end credits rolled. I wish Dean would say, “Look, Sam, I know you’re ticked off at me, but tell me why you’re upset” or “Dude, what’s your problem?” Either one would force Sam to respond and tell Dean the actual problem he is having.

    Also, much of the boys problems could be resolved w/the writers caring about Sam’s POV and trying to actually present it in a clear way.

    ——

    @LionGirl – I haven’t watched the scene again, but I didn’t think Dean handled the conversation badly. I think he just said what he felt. He feels he did what he did b/c Sam is family, and he will always choose to save Sam. That’s in Dean’s DNA. Haha! He doesn’t see that as a problem, and I don’t think he ever will until Sam explains why that’s a problem for Sam.

    Frankly, I don’t have a problem w/it either, but clearly, Carver does and since he heads up this show, I guess it’s now a problem.

    Comment by Lisa1 — January 29, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

  59. Thinking about this more, it’s actually surprising to me that the demise of Sam and Dean’s various friends hasn’t served to highlight for them the need to seriously go through their MoL gear (or whatever else is in the Winchester bunker, etc) and try to solve the friends-dying-too-much problem rationally (rather than emotionally– “I’m poison,” “everyone who gets involved with me has a really short lifespan,” “I’ll burn for it,” etc. etc. etc. ) If your problem is that your buddies die a lot, the solution should be that you get organized and make it a priority to find better ways (wards, amulets, pre-hunt spell-ups, magic items, magic weapons, etc. etc. etc.) to protect them from various kinds of harm, and/or acquire resurrection capabilities to reliably bring them back if the protection fails. Having friends and family is NOT a “weakness” or a “luxury.” All the best heroes have friends and/or family who have their backs. I think it would save the guys a lot of unnecessary angst and supporting-characters’ lives if they could figure this one out. It’s not the brothers’ relationship that’s the problem– it’s that they’re almost always vastly outnumbered and under-powered compared to their foes. Maybe Charlie should come back and teach them how to “play the game” as the epic-level characters they really are? Including building themselves a respectable “adventuring party” of allies with “superpowers”… Lycanthropy and angelic grace and maybe even some demonic magic from time to time included?

    Comment by Eansamli — January 29, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

  60. @Lisa1 I thought Dean said ‘whatever, we’re still family’, which made it seem like he was brushing Sam off a little. I just read the transcript over on Superwiki and turns out he said ‘whatever happens, we’re still family’ which, yeah, puts a different spin on the way Dean handled it. It was less fumbled than I thought.

    @Eansamli Yeah I agree that they should be thinking about how the MOL managed to survive and using some of this stuff and the things they know to a long term advantage. Thinking about it this was part of Dean’s speech while talking Sam off the ledge in 8.23, so perhaps something that will come up later.

    I’m curious as to how this Mark of Cain stuff is going to affect Dean now. He didn’t seem to have too much trouble wasting the werewolves in this episode.

    Comment by LionGirl — January 29, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

  61. Tammy @ 53, I think that’s an excellent assessment of what Sam was saying–or trying to. But, to me, it came across as a tempest in a teapot–another effort by SN’s writers to try to give the impression that DEEP AND MEANINGFUL conflict is going on between the brothers.

    Apparently, the “conflict” was summarized by Sam when he said something like, “We don’t see things the same way anymore.” Huh??? What??? When over the course of this entire series have Sam and Dean Winchester ever seen things the same way?

    Anyway, I’m guessing that by the end of the season, (a) Dean will have to decide to let Sam die, or (b) Sam will decide to force his brother to live, despite Dean’s wishes.

    Eansamll, great points. Apparently, the writers think viewers want Sam and Dean to be a couple of weepy, neurotic, guilt-mongering wrecks, rather than
    intelligent, rational grown ups.

    Comment by JT — January 29, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

  62. I think the writers will be totally surprised by the reaction of the audience to the episode which is overwhelmingly the relationship of Dean and Sam. They thought this would be about what appears to be writing Qualls out of the series. This was about Garth, a guest star episode. In these, Sam and Dean are bystanders. Sam and Dean can say almost anything to each other in the guest star episodes; it doesn’t have to be checked closely for consistency with the Winchester story or in this case, even make sense.
    Krepki had the guys often in a final scene in discussion. Their dialogue was revealing of how they were in relation to their work and/or their relationship. It advanced their story. It was repetitive, but it kept the Winchester story flowing. Carver and his writers (I wonder does he even review the scripts or storylines) has continued that practice but uses it to confuse not clarify the issues between the two.

    JT–Sam and Dean as a couple of “weepy, neurotic, guilt mongering wrecks” was Sera’s basic vision to a T. Giving Carver the best benefit of doubt, perhaps he is trying to undo 6-7.

    Agree with the comment earlier about Sam’s reaction to Dean having the Mark of Cain on his arm which was practically nothing. Even in the Winchesters’ world that should have been a big deal.

    Another big audience last night, best since 2010. Wish it had been a better episode.

    Comment by CaseyT — January 29, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

  63. Casey, I agree; the guest star episodes reveal little about the relationship between the brothers. And, you’re absolutely right that Sera was chiefly responsible for the wussy, weepy Winchesters. The tears are nicely restrained now, but I do think neurotic guilt-mongering is too often a major trait of Sam and Dean. Season after season, Sam, Dean, or both are tormented by guilt over something–anything. (I await climate change.) Is there any logic behind this guilt? Sometimes, there’s none at all. However, the writers like the guilt theme; it’s an easy way of eliciting emo from the characters and, thus, from the audience.

    I have nothing against a guilt-ridden Sam and Dean; in fact, their tendency to blame themselves for failing to save others contributes to their heroic stature. They’re more conscientious and caring than most of us. But when their guilt is gratuitous, irrational, exaggerated and prolonged, they come across less as hunters than head-cases. At least to me.

    In short, one episode of Sam feeling guilty because he didn’t die and Dean feeling guilty because Kevin did would have been plenty.

    That said, I DO like the way this season is going. Both Sam and Dean seem stronger than they have in a long, long time.

    Comment by JT — January 29, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

  64. @59- I really don’t think that would work well here, although I do think why this would be bad is part of what Sam is trying to articulate and something Dean used to say a lot. When you’re dead, it’s over or bad things happen (I’m referring to everyone, not just the brothers). If they start dealing in magic and casting spells, they’re essentially becoming witches. If everyone keeps resurrecting, there’s no suspense (and I imagine either Death or one of the Fates would make it a personal goal to wipe out everyone they’ve ever looked at immediately.) It sucks, but that’s the life.

    Which leads to my own not so well articulated point, but I’m going to try anyway…something else characters – including Sam and Dean – used to mention a lot, and it would really behoove them to remember occasionally, is that hunters don’t get old. It ends bloody or sad. Rufus (when he was still a hermit and pissed Bobby got his wife killed) was what they had to look forward to. I actually like that they aren’t afraid to kill characters, even including Bobby, because hunting monsters and demons would have a rather high mortality rate. It goes to highlight the sacrifice they’re all making for humanity. I know feeling guilty for everything is almost as essential to Dean’s make-up as his need to protect Sam, but it seems like he used to understand that part of the job a little better (“you can’t save everyone”) and therefore function better, as opposed to walking around thinking he’s poison.

    I realize Kevin didn’t have a choice in joining the hunting life, but he was a Prophet and coming into the life whether he liked it or not. Dean didn’t help anything in regards to his lifespan, but I feel like he used to have better perspective about some of this than he does now.

    Comment by Sarah — January 29, 2014 @ 9:56 pm

  65. WHY is the dialogue for Sam so badly written? It’s a weak thread running throughout the later seasons of the show. He doesn’t say clearly what he’s thinking, and so we’re mostly left muddled as to his POV and why he’s doing what he’s doing. What exactly is the point, I mean, if we, at almost all times during all the series, know what Dean thinks and means, why can’t they do that for Sam?

    Do they want to not commit him to saying he cares for Dean? Is this a way of making him ‘mysterious’? What’s the point of that? Or do they have no idea of who their own show’s lead character is, and what he’s trying to say? Or do they want to leave it open as to what he’ll do next, kind of deciding as the show moves along? What?

    I’m completely baffled, and would LOVE it if anyone has any answers.

    Comment by Tammy — February 1, 2014 @ 10:51 am

  66. @ Tammy: I don’t often have trouble knowing what Sam’s POV is. Never have.

    What I think is happening now, though, is that these new writers have interpreted Sam’s character as being introverted, prone to thinking things through before acting, while Dean wears his feelings on his sleeve. I think this came from JA’s strength to show emotion facially and through use of body language. In other words, they were taken in by the “on perfect tear” stuff.

    Personally, I think JP’s acting strength lies in his softer side; in his ability to show empathy through word and mannerisms and, yet, turn into a focused, directed hunter on a dime.

    As for the last scene in Sharp Teeth, I have no idea what either Sam or Dean were thinking. Sam attacked Dean at his most basic core (his family) at a time when Dean is sinking hard and was reaching out for his go-to lifeline, and Dean stood there and took it. We have seen that pattern time after time for the past decade and it is the same issues the brothers have been dealing with since the Pilot. Yet, here we are again…right back to the blame game with the fans choosing sides.

    I am sick of it and I am sick of the show concentrating on emotional soap opera stuff. I want it to end this season.

    I mean, my God, Heaven, Hell, and humanity are at stake and there is nothing to talk about except whether Sam is justified or not justified in feeling blue and both brothers are acting like PMSing teenage girls….”I hate you.” “I told you I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. Why won’t you believe me?”

    Comment by Sheri — February 1, 2014 @ 11:24 am

  67. @Sheri. Thanks for taking the time to write your point if view. Appreciate it.

    I somehow very often find myself at a loss at interpreting either Sam’s words or actions, or both. The biggest and most glaring example being the first half of the previous season, if we want to count that as canon. But at many other times as well.

    And God, yes, one would think that the writers would manage to write real dialogue for these guys. I’m sure, by now, after spending almost their entire lives in each others’ pockets, Sam and Dean can manage to get their meanings across to each other without sounding like immature, angsty teenagers.

    Comment by Tammy — February 1, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  68. @ Tammy: I have said this before, but the problem with Sam is that Sam hasn’t been Sam for years now. He always plays a different character and JP seems to like that. I think he finds an acting challenge in that.

    For me, the problem is that the new writers have lost sight of, or never knew, who either of the characters are. For example, I do not believe for one minute that Sam Winchester watches wrestling on TV and knows the name of a wrestler. I can envision Sam flipping through the stations and rolling his eyes should he land on a wrestling show. Nor do I believe for on minute that Dean Winchester watches a Teen Mom so that he could utter a snark about abortion or pregnancy (whatever that line was supposed to mean). Nor do I believe for a minute that Dean would sit through a wrestling show. I can see Dean wanting to punch out the TV at all the fake wrestling moves…or perhaps turning the TV off and heading for the fridge for a beer.

    Just since 8.23, Sam has gone from choosing life and hope from his brother, to choosing to die because he is a failure as a person, to being pis*ed off because Dean saved his life, and with no apparent understanding or appreciation for Dean having gone to Hell for him or having committed suicide to get his soul back so that Sam would not be a walking, talking monster, or that the two of them have managed to watch each other’s backs through horrendous situations? What happened to confessing to disappointing and letting Dean down in order for him to be purified so that he could undertake the last trial? According to the most recent version of Sam we saw, the whole problem is that the two of them are brothers; that family is a bad thing, that love of family is the creation of all chaos and problems and is not the safe harbor in a raging storm that gives humanity it’s strength.

    God, I am still ticked off about this episode and the potential damage it has done to the entire series…and I find myself, once again, really PO’d at the writers of this show.

    Comment by Sheri — February 1, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

  69. Ok, my first reaction to this episode was emotional, but now I’ve watched it again, I changed my mind.
    It really wasn’t that bad of an episode.The main problem was that with all the trauma in Sam and Dean’s relationship right now, it really wasn’t the right time for a guest star focused episode. But DJ Qualls is a likable character actor and Garth really doesn’t bother me as much as say, Charlie. SPN used him well enough in this episode that he really didn’t overshadow the boys much, unlike the worship they always give to Charlie.
    Dean being able to identify that not all of the werewolves were evil and not kill Bess or Jim showed some character growth for him, at least in that department. I was disappointed that Sam didn’t get a kill in as well, and to all those who were unhappy about that, hey, you get Jared in tight t shirt and shorts next week! But yeah, I’d rather have character growth as well, (but come on, Jared in tight shirt and shorts!) Definitely softens the blow.
    I didn’t like how bossy Dean was to Sam here. Dean, he is the brother you just wronged, be grateful he is there with you, don’t bark orders at him. I could see how this would irritate some Sam fans, as it irritated me as well. But irritation isn’t the same as hating the guy. I truly wish some of these fans could voice these irritations with either Sam or Dean without hating them.
    To clarify I comment I made before about Sam now hating Dean, really, what I meant was I didn’t like how some fans WANTED Sam to hate Dean, as if Dean was worse than pond scum, when we know Dean, although making terrible decisions, LOVES Sam, NEVER sets out to hurt him, even though some of his actions in doing so are terribly wrong, like this season, and should not be easily condoned or excused.
    In the actual talk at the end between them, I really didn’t see Sam hating Dean, as you correctly pointed out Lisa. I have said from the very beginning, and I’ll say it again, Sam has EVERY RIGHT to be angry at Dean for the trickery, possession, and constant lies. Dean had NO RIGHT to do any of that, and at some point really needs to start respecting Sam’s right to make his own choices. I feel that Dean was trying to spit out the words ‘I’m sorry” but Sam and Dean have the misfortune of having sucky writers so we have to just fill in the blanks. I still contend though, that even more than being (justifiably) angry at Dean, what Sam is REALLY feeling more than anything is heartbreak, that the brother he loves and prior trusted more than any being on Earth, all his life, deceived him in such an extreme and incredible fashion. Yes it’s true that Sam also did this to Dean when he chose Ruby over him, but Sam is the little brother, while it sucks that he did that to Dean, it’s almost a freak of nature that the older brother who put him above ALL else, would do that to HIM.Even though he was desperate to save him and his actions, no matter how extreme, were driven by love. Some of us here are giving Sam a hard time about this but honestly, could YOU have an easy time trusting anything Dean said after such a deception, and all those straight in the eye lies?
    (“Would I lie to you?”) So, I really didn’t have a problem with what Sam said,and I’ll even disagree with most here and agree with Sam that had Dean not talked him out of finishing the trials and closing the gates , he would have done that, although he could also have told Dean “no, I’m doing it anyway’. And everyone here knows how much I love Dean! But I refuse to condone or defend him when he is in the wrong.
    Sam NEEDED to say that to Dean. After the things Dean has done this season, really, he has no moral authority, he needs to defer now to Sam at least for a while, needs to play by Sam’s rules.
    And I’ll also go out on a limb here and say that I feel only Cas can get them to sit down and have a real therapy session and get it all out. Cas is the one who loves them both and can see both sides.
    Ultimately, I feel the only thing that really will bring them towards healing and reconciliation is something really bad happening to Dean concerning this mark that he so easily took without asking any questions. I disagree with some who feel Sam really didn’t seem concerned about it. My take is that, since Dean has been so full of lies so far this season, that it never even dawned on Sam yet what Dean really said, or how serious it really is, or maybe that he just thought Dean was lying again, after all, he just lied again to him here about Garth’s surveillance pictures. I’ll bet when he tells Cas about it, Cas will hit the roof and then Sam will really know the implications of Dean taking that mark, and we will see his worry about it.

    Comment by roxi — February 1, 2014 @ 10:42 pm

  70. @68- Sheri, the SPN writers have always taken Dean, this swaggering, womanizing Alpha Male and contrasted that with his pop culture pleasures, like enjoying “Dr Sexy M.D. ” and telenovas. Hence the “Teen Mom” reference. He also knows about such shallow pop cultural references like the Jersey Shore and Justin Beiber. I think that the writers just think it’s comical to have this big,tough, macho hunter like these mundane and soft things. So if we ever see him doing needlepoint to relax, don’t be surprised.
    Actually, I see nothing unmanly about a guy doing needlepoint. And I find it sexy as hell for a gorgeous man to be a great cook. I’d love to see Dean have an actual honest to God real date some time, and cook a lovely romantic dinner for a lady.

    Comment by roxi — February 1, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

  71. @Sheri. I agree, it was a completely suck-y dialogue. But I disagree with you on the point that I, like roxi, think that Sam had a right to be p*offed and upset at Dean. I just didn’t like the way the writers had him say it, or rather, left everyone guessing or interpreting what they was trying to say. Earlier he didn’t know what was happening, but now he does, and it’s understandable that he feels betrayed by the trickery and the lies.

    I do not blame Dean for a minute, I totally understand his reasons. But from Sam’s POV, it must have been pretty earth shattering (and heart breaking)to know that the brother you love and trust more than anyone had let an unknown angel possess you (knowing Sam’s history) AND kept lying.to you about it. I appreciate the fact that Dean has always been completely devoted and done anything for Sam, but this time, the ‘anything’ was a dubious decision at best. I did not expect Sam, and in fact would have been disappointed) he would have just gotten over it quickly. It would have trivialized the whole issue.

    Last two episodes, I liked the way they handled the whole Sam Dean thing. They showed the hurt,, but in a mature, more natural way. This episode, I hated the way
    they had the dialogue. It seemed immature, unclear and just weird to me.

    Comment by Tammy — February 1, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

  72. @Tammy (65) – I tend to think Sam’s POV comes out muddled and puzzling b/c the writers don’t have a clear view on the character. They don’t really understand Sam Winchester. They don’t know how he thinks. They don’t know he reacts to things. They cannot speak in “his” voice. That wasn’t always the case, but it is clear – at least to me – that Jeremy Carver doesn’t understand Sam or the very foundation of the show, so it’s no wonder his Sam is so cryptic.

    I haven’t re-watched the episode – no desire to – but I maintain that there was a better way to write Sam’s POV so that much of the audience wouldn’t have come up w/different interpretations of what Sam meant. That conversation was important and should have been much clearer.

    Comment by Lisa1 — February 2, 2014 @ 7:59 am

  73. Agree that Dean was barking orders at Sam. “You do this and I’ll do that” in this episode, and Sam followed orders even though Dean had early on lied to him about not having any leads. If Sam’s comments at the end were designed to say I’m not going to follow your orders like you did dad’s, and your role in life is not to save me or make decisions for me, then I completely understand Sam. If Sam’s point was that we are brothers who have each others’ backs, but we are long since past big brother/little brother , I’d see that as real maturity for both of them.

    As for the imprecise Sam dialogue, that is a blessing as well as a curse. In this case it was particularly bad, but Sam has mercifully been spared much of the soap dialogue foisted off on Dean whereby Dean gushes out his latest feelings like a typical CW teen male. Sam is typically given a more realistic, not soap opera, male dialogue which does not center endlessly on his latest twitch of feelings. I think I know where Sam is: he is pissed at not being consulted over the use of his body and no longer going to play Little Brother. He loves his brother, believes they should hunt together, rejects Dean’s obsession with “Everyone around me dies,” and is more than willing to be Dean’s partner, not his assistant. If so, Sam may have grown up. Time for Dean to do so also.

    Comment by CaseyT — February 2, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  74. Sam’s words were harsh but I think a falling out had to happen. Part of the reason his words came off that way was because Dean had such unrealistic expectations. Dean thought that maybe they could move past everything by working a couple of cases.

    It’s an extremely difficult situation because there were many things that lined up so that Dean made the decision he did but at the same time no one really has the right to get another person _possessed_. Sam’s body and mind were signed up to someone else without his permission and his memories were wiped to the point that he started to feel even worse about himself as a person. Sam feared what would happen if he lived and it turned out to be exactly true. In addition, Dean was preparing to kill Sam so the worst case scenario was really close. Sam would have been lost as a person, he would have become just a vessel, a shell, and a drooling mess after Gadreel would be done with him.

    Comment by ~ San ~ — February 2, 2014 @ 9:45 am

  75. Adam Glass was on twitter saying he’d read the reviews in the sharpteeth# tag. He said that when there’s a season long arc, sometimes it’s the writer’s job not to advance the mytharc.

    …I’m just gonna leave that there…sometimes the jokes just write themselves…

    I haven’t said anything up til now because the episode was clearly bi-bro bait and I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s fun with my less than stellar view of the episode.
    The villain was telegraphed from the moment she said “Step. I’m her step mom”. The ‘evangelicals are evil’ theme was overused. It would have been better as a hippy-dippy new age cult. Something where they made Dean wear flowers in his hair and dance in the moonlight. Preferably skyclad. And with fairies. That could have been amusing and unpreditable, not to mention a lot more believable than garth as a good little churchgoer.
    Seeing Garth was cool, though why they had to turn him into a werewolf is anyone’s guess. It makes the killing of Madison in season 2 particularly tragic, since it means Sam must now realize that she didn’t need to die.
    Of course Osric tweeted if Garth gets to come back as a werewolf. He should get to come back as merman. He should totally be a bad ass merman with a trident and some attack!Dolphins named Bubbles and Mr. Wiggles.
    It was kinda cool when Sam used his freakishly long legs to kick the gun away from Disney!evil stepmom. Nice to see Jared using them for something other than massaging his coworker’s nether regions. (There’s no point yelling at me, Jared!stans, there’s footage of his footie frottage – go review the tape. You’ll just have to accept that your hero likes reaching out toe touch someone in a professional setting, for reasons known only to himself and his creator.)
    It was also nice that we didn’t have yet another close up of Dean’s ‘burrito face’. Burrito face is that ‘vaugely distressed to the point of fidgeting’ expression that says “I’ve got gas.”
    See, since Dean’s gone dark, he’s not feeling guilty. No, he’s suffering because he keeps stealing Sam’s burritos so Gadreel doesn’t fart in the Impala. (OK, I’m not 100% serious about that. But burrito face is a thing. Rewatch this season. It exists.)
    See Sherri – this fixes Dean for you too – he’s not emo this season, it’s just indigestion.
    The only thing worth watching was the last scene. Things I liked about it
    “I can’t trust you. Not the way I thought I could. Not the way I should be able to.” and in response to Dean’s “Whatever happened, we’re family.” Sam says “You say that like it’s a cureall.”

    Comment by t1gerlilly — February 2, 2014 @ 10:07 am

  76. At the time Dean thought the “unknown” angel was Zeke who Cas said was a good angel.
    Dean let what he thought was a good angel into Sam because of the church scene where SAM gave up the trials so he could live. Dean thinking “ok Sam wants to live” -(Sam made the choice HIMSELF to stop the trials) Sam is dying right now-I have the means to get him to live-I am going to take it.” Dean kinda was Sam’s executor or power of attorney at that point of the game. Sam couldn’t speak and tell what he wanted to do so Dean took it upon himself to save Sam. Sam was letting go-willing to die because there was no other option-no other plan-As soon as Dean said there was a plan Sam jumped and said yes lets do the plan. Its getting old to me that Sam seems to blame Dean for the decisions Sam makes. Both instances were Sams decisions.

    Yes the angel thing was sneaky and yea I do think Dean not telling Sam the whole plan was a bad idea-But ultimately a brother saves a brother no matter what if the option is there and said brother can’t voice his opinion you go for it-Well Dean goes for it.

    The lying thing-Dean couldn’t tell Sam while he was possessed by zeke/gad because Dean thought Sam would die if the angel left plus zeke/gad wouldn’t let Dean tell Sam-the angel would push Sam to the back so to speak and did so on the occasions that Dean tried to tell Sam. I don’t see that as Dean lying – He had no choice. Sam was a hostage and Dean knew it but couldn’t do anything about it.

    As for the lying in this episode. Dean is done-well he was until the writers decided all of a sudden he is not poison anymore-(another lost story that would have been interesting to show/tell on screen about Dean). I would have liked it if he stayed isolated from Sam and Cas for awhile longer-but you know-the writers have to drop his stories all the time. Anyway His mind set was -“get Sam out of here I don’t want him to get hurt because of me again”. Sam made the decision to stay when Dean wanted him to go. So I am not getting those of you who are saying Dean barked orders at Sam and Sam followed as a bad thing. Sam made the choice to do that -to follow his brother-because in any working relationship there HAS TO BE A LEADER. Dean is the leader. He makes the tough choices.

    That last scene-still po’s me. Sam blaming Dean for the Trial stoppage and for the angel thing. But its understandable that He is upset about it so I am not totally po’d about that. I am po’d that Dean sat there and took it. Didn’t defend himself and at the end said nothing at all. I just watched Jump the Shark -I loved that both brothers had two different points of view and they both argued about it. Yelled at each other like real people do. Stomping out -slamming doors it was wonderful to see! The conversation at the end of this episode was so blah! Both Sam and Dean should have yelled -should have said what they felt. Dean expressed what he felt because of Kevin but not about what Sam said. I wanted to see Him stand up for himself instead of backing down like he always does when Sam gets on his high horse. That scene could have been so much more. Another opportunity lost because these writers are clueless on true male drama.

    Comment by animal — February 2, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  77. I don’t find Dean’s dialogue to be particularly “soap operaish,” but then I never have. That critique has always mystified me. IMO, Dean just says what he feels/thinks, which is fine w/me. This is a television show. We can’t spend all our time guessing what the characters mean/want/feel, or at least, I don’t think we should.

    Even in your statement, CaseyT, you use the word “think” w/r/t Sam. You “think” Sam means X. I just have a problem w/that. You shouldn’t “think” you understand the character’s perspective; you should “know” what the character feels b/c that’s the job of the writers.

    But that is just my opinion. I’d be happier if Sam just spoke plainly and clearly and less cryptically. Telling Dean even what you wrote wouldn’t venture into “soap opera land” for me. But YMMV.

    Comment by Lisa1 — February 2, 2014 @ 10:33 am

  78. I think the lying thing is definitely a huge issue. How many times can they lie to each other before it’s like “Enough, this can’t be our lives anymore”. To not ever know if you are truly brothers or whether the other one is in fact lying “for your own good”. It’s just gonna tear down whatever trust they managed to build up since the last time.

    It’s good that they are bringing up the trials and whether they made a mistake by not closing the gates of Hell. I thought it was a little weird that they did not really pursue the issue except asking for names from Crowley unless it was due to Gadreel’s influence.

    I think it’s very realistic that in hindsight Sam feels that he made the wrong choice. He was ready to die but he didn’t go through with it and now the gates of Hell remain open and his friend was murdered.

    It also makes sense that the moment at the church would now seem tainted to Sam because of what happened right after it. In a way his love and trust for Dean got used against him.

    However, Sam’s dialogue was written in an unfortunate way. I don’t think Dean talking him out of finishing the trials should be lumped in with Dean tricking him to get possessed. But perhaps they wanted to convey that Sam has lost sight of how even he did not think the trials were worth dying for when Dean set out to do them.

    Also I see the Sam’s lacking POV argument here. When Sam concluded his thoughts by saying: “Those are my terms” I had a moment of “Wait what, what were the terms??”. First I thought he was basically saying they are not brothers anymore. However, I don’t think it was intended to come across like that. Dean goes: “So, what — we’re not family now?” and Sam doesn’t agree but clarifies: “I’m saying – -“.

    Comment by ~ San ~ — February 2, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

  79. San-Sam left that open ended for a reason- he said something like -“I am saying -if you want to hunt lets hunt – BUT IF you want to be brothers –nothing-it was open ended. The “but” had it sound like ” no we are not brothers if we stay the way we are”. Which at this point I am totally confused on what Sam thinks brothers/family is. At the end of “The End” Dean says to Sam that they keep each other human”. Dean understands family and love of that family is the strongest force against any evil that comes their way. Sam doesn’t. Simple as that. He walks away from family anytime it gets heavy. Dean walked after Kevin not because of Sam/Gad. But because of his guilt that his decision lead to Kevins death. I really don’t think Dean regrets saving Sam’s life. He regrets that it turned bad and lethal for Kevin. He regrets that Sam doesn’t believe that it was a good idea but I don’t see Dean being upset about that decision. Carver said that it is Kevins death that ways on Dean this season not the decision of letting Gad in Sam. I just wish the brothers would have it out. Yelling/slamming doors ect… letting the audience know EXACTLY what each is feeling/thinking. We kinda know Dean but Sam -I really don’t get where he is. That last scene thru me. It just told me he is able to walk out on family -cut ties -and that he knows there is a problem and his solution to that problem is to once again cut ties. At least family ties not hunting ties. There should have been more to that scene. Gawd I hate the writer of this episode. Sucks man.!

    Comment by animal — February 2, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  80. that’s weighs/not ways) wow

    Comment by animal — February 2, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

  81. @animal

    At first it seemed to me like Sam sort of withdrew them being brothers. As in they’ll be work partners and nothing more. Dean puts such meaning behind family and brother and that’s all he has so the situation must hurt like hell. However, I think Sam’s words were meant to be much more hopeful than when Dean said “I don’t think that we can ever be what we were”. Sam left it open ended so it seems like he was giving Dean a chance.

    I agree that it was very sudden that Dean wanted them back together after his speech about being poison. Dean didn’t last more than two weeks away from Sam.

    However, I can go with it because he remembers the lesson that they do better when they work together. Look what kind of trouble he found himself in when they were separated and it seemed like he was starting to lose it. Besides, something would pull them back in so better to do it on their (Sam’s) terms. Plus in the episode he saved Sam’s life, had him next to him in the Impala and almost had to watch Sam drive away.

    Comment by ~ San ~ — February 2, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

  82. @Sam-Ok I am very interested in your statement “in the episode he saved Sam’s life, had him next to him in the Impala and almost had to watch Sam drive away”. Since you and a lot of others here think Dean did such a bad thing in saving Sam’s life using the extreme measures that he did. (but then Sam went thru extreme circumstances that warranted extreme measures to fix imo.) Should Dean have saved Sam’s life from the werewolves in this episode since the big deal in all of this is that Sam was willing to die and wanted to die? If it wasn’t ok for Dean to save his life then- is it ok for Dean to save his life now?? or ever again?? Where is the line that you and others want Dean to draw the line?? Just curious>

    Comment by animal — February 2, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

  83. And that question goes to the character of Sam as well. Does Sam want to be saved-ever??? That’s why this whole story line is just wrong. I think the writers wrote themselves into a box and its screwing big time with the characters of Sam and Dean. You can’t have it both ways. Either you save a life when an option is there to take or you don’t. Especially between these two.

    Comment by animal — February 2, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

  84. @San you posted-“Dean didn’t last more than two weeks away from Sam.” It wasn’t a matter of lasting with Dean it was a matter of family. Dean did and does well if he isn’t with Sam. But he knows family is where they are strongest. He knows he is going to need Sam to fight Abaddon as Sam knows he is going to need Dean to fight Metatron. Sam said and Dean agreed that them riding together split the crappines. They both see the value of being partners. Its the family part that Sam doesn’t get. (he actually said that in a past season in reguards to family-“I don’t see family the way you do Dean.” I still don’t think Sam does to this day.

    Comment by animal — February 2, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

  85. Here is what one blogger wrote about the final scene, a view which I share. The audience should not be left completely confused and making up their own interpretation of what is meant when a character talks — especially with what is supposed to be a touchstone scene in an episode.

    “This isn’t Shakespeare. We’re not supposed to interpret the abstract meanings woven through the verses.”

    I honestly have no idea what Sam was supposed to mean, and I hope that the meaning will become clear later in the season. I doubt that will happen at the fat farm, though, and then there is a 3-week break, two episodes and another 2-week break. In all likelihood, that puts us at seeing something with consistency starting Apr 8th.

    Comment by Sheri — February 2, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

  86. @ animal

    I don’t see the possession situation in such black and white terms.

    Dean’s save in this episode falls in the usual category so I don’t think Sam will want to change that. If Sam is injured in a way that cannot be cured without making a deal, it seems that he would rather die.

    I think Dean’s skills were improved by the mark of Cain so I wonder if there will be a situation down the line like when Sam was using demon blood to save his brother even when his brother did not want him to do that.

    I think it’s understandable that Dean would be the one to reach out first. He kind of had to. This time it’s not him who got wronged by his brother first. He is the one who split and in the episode kept trying to send Sam off.

    I wonder if they’ll have Sam finally vocalizing how he sees family. In my opinion, they have to because they have taken things so far.

    PS. Could you elaborate on “Dean did and does well if he isn’t with Sam.”?

    Comment by ~ San ~ — February 2, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

  87. @San-sure I will elaborate-When Dean is alone-hunting ect… and Sam is not around-strictly during the times Sam has walked away for the sake of this conversation-Dean has done well. He doesn’t go mental in anyway. He stays focused on the task at hand. Your statement that “Dean lasted 2 weeks” sounded like you think Dean broke down and can’t go without his brother. He can and he has. He did in this episode. Its Kevins death that is weighing on him not the Sam possession thing. Per Carver.

    @Sheri-I agree with that totally. Like I said-I think the writers wrote themselves into a box and so they let that statement hang on purpose. Because they don’t know where to go if Sam does say-we aren’t brothers anymore-which was implied imo. So they left it open ended for the audience to interpret or to fill in so to speak. That way they won’t have to address it again. And Sheri-they won’t I guarantee it because they don’t know how.

    Comment by animal — February 2, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

  88. Lisa1–I don’t want to “know” what a character is thinking/feeling every moment.I don’t want it spelled out for me. I want some mystery. Everything doesn’t need to be verbalized–that’s boring to me. I think the writers should give us clues, and eventually make it clear, what is motivating Sam, but that can be done in how he acts, what he does; it does not have to be voiced. Dean initiating a hug with Garth didn’t need any dialog to demonstrate Dean’s real affection for Garth. Sam getting into the car with Dean says the bond is not broken, tattered but not broken. I don’t need or want to have to sit through Sam telling me about his thinking and emotional journey to getting into the car. I think we are both fans of Sam, apparently for different reasons. I like the distance he keeps from others–not embracing every child, village idiot,rogue angel, or guest star the producers hire and welcoming them into the family. He keeps me guessing and I find his dialog more realistic while Ackles is given the overly-sharing lines typical of soap males. Love Dean, but Sam is much more a real person to me. Jensen is an experienced soap actor,Jared isn’t. I suspect the writers take note of that when they write the characters.

    Comment by CaseyT — February 2, 2014 @ 3:10 pm

  89. @ animal #87: I don’t think what Sam meant will ever be addressed again either. Glass got slammed on his twitter account and now, instead of all the chatter being about the story and where it goes from here, we are STILL taking about justification for Dean’s actions taken in 9.01. This is ridiculous. We are at the midpoint of the season and I can’t tell you what the story is…apparently, based on this episode and the lack of barely any movement on anything else since the season’s 2nd episode, it is about the brothers’ unraveling relationship…again… and doesn’t have a damned thing to do with the universe falling apart and all of humanity at risk if the heroes of the story don’t do something about it.

    @ CaseyT: In the earlier seasons, JA could take a piece of cheesy B- dialogue and make it compelling or funny. I think that was because (1) the old writers could write crisp or witty dialogue that JA could do something with; and (2) the focus of the stories weren’t the stuff bad soap operats were made of. Most of these new writers write poor dialogue.

    These new writers take a couple of characteristics from the two leads and that is all they know about the character. Dean gets quips, pop culture references, and the touchy feely angst, because “he wears his heart on his sleeve.” They don’t have to worry about Sam too much, because he is playing other characters. When they do, though, it’s reduced to ‘Sam is a deep thinker and keeps things to himself.’

    And just for the record, I don’t think Dean is going to go any darker than he is now. And I don’t think that the First Blade is going to mean anything more story-wise than the Colt did. I fully expect it to take at least eight more episodes for Crowley to find the thing and Dean might use it in the finale.

    Comment by Sheri — February 2, 2014 @ 4:42 pm

  90. @CaseyT – You are correct. We are both Sam fans. I would call myself a bi-bro fan. I honestly don’t favor one brother more than the other. That said, we can definitely agree to disagree when it comes to Sam.

    I hear what you’re saying, but when it comes to big speeches or moments where the brothers are supposed to be airing their differences or hashing out their problems, I’d rather get clear, direct dialogue. I don’t want cryptic, vague dialogue that can be interpreted 100 different ways, which is what we often get w/Sam. That may be more realistic but I find it annoying to watch.

    Many are saying that Dean doesn’t get it, and if I were Dean, I wouldn’t get it either. Haha! Sam made some vague statements that Dean questioned, but Sam gave no answers. Why would Dean alter his behavior when it’s not even clear what Sam wants from him or needs from their relationship?

    Again, for me, if it’s the big brother speech moment, I don’t want to leave the moment left in the dark as to what one of the brothers thinks. Like many, after the speech, my first thought was, “Sam doesn’t want to be brothers anymore? He just wants to hunt w/Dean? Huh? What is Sam talking about?” And maybe if this were the first time I felt this way about a Sam speech, I wouldn’t be upset, but I constantly feel this way when Sam speaks. He speaks very cryptically. It’s practically like riddles.

    But I’m happy you enjoyed it. I don’t think the show will ever revisit this moment, so, for me, it will likely be another missed/squandered opportunity at some character development and POV for Sam.

    As I always say, I hope I’m proven wrong, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Comment by Lisa1 — February 2, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

  91. @Sheri 89-I don’t think Dean will go any darker either. I do disagree about the blade and Crowley though. I think we will see them in the episode entitled “back in black”. Do I think the blade will be anymore important than the colt was. No I don’t think so as you said. It will be a replay of the colt and yellow eyes. Although I found it very interesting that in the CW midseason promo EVERY ONE of the CW actors/actresses we all sexy and moving slowly even Jared was seen as sexy moving slowly -It was only Jensen that was seen wielding a knife acting badass and -slow motion sexy but badass at the same time. He even swung at the camera. Could it be they are hinting that Dean is more than what he seems??? Why show that when every other actor from TVD to the Originals to BATB to Reign and even Jared are slow motion sexy and Jensen is the only one wielding a weapon. It seemed interesting to me. By the way Jared and Jensen were the hottest in that promo! My gawd they are awesome!!.

    I also find it interesting/and down right aggravating that we still don’t know what the side effect of having the mark is. There is a ton of people leaning to Immortality. Sounds/looks right to me. But this is another case of letting the audience speculate instead of just saying what it is. imo. peace.

    Comment by animal — February 2, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

  92. As San said -Dean does look sharper with the fighting and shooting and throwing weapons. Side effect of the blade?? I wish the damn writers would let us know. So many great possibilities and they throw a stupid scene like the Sam and Dean talk at the end of this episode. Man what a waste.

    Comment by animal — February 2, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

  93. I must be the only one who really wants Dean to go dark and embrace that side, at least for a while. Why? Irony. Both Dean and John feared so long that Sam would go dark. Now Sam, for the first time since infanthood, is fully human and poised to fight evil and become righteous, and Dean just made some terrible choices that I believe will cause him to just give up on fighting the dark forces and join them instead. I believe Dean’s DNA will become changed and he will be so far gone. But Sam will somehow be able to save him, to bring him back.
    But what am I saying? This would be too interesting for these writers.

    Comment by roxi — February 2, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

  94. @roxi-I really don’t want the concept of the show to change. I want Dean to be the good hero he has always been but i want him with a dark edge to him. The way he is now is perfect. He’s dark but not a monster. I want Sam human and I really don’t mind him straddling between good and evil. It has always been that way and I like it that way. I just didn’t like that the story arc was around him. I think Dean that we are seeing now can be dark but still be human and a story revolve around him. Like now that he has the mark I want Abaddon to want to have Dean killed or turned to be possessed by a Demon. Like she threatened in 9×2 I want the demons to hunt Dean. I want Sam to have to save Dean for a change. To rescue Dean for a change. Not going to happen but it would be nice. I don’t want either brother to turn totally monster like. We have done that with Sam for 7 seasons for the most part. I don’t think the mark is changing Dean mentally or physically other than maybe enhancing what Dean already has deep within him. But his core of right and wrong is still driving him. As is his love of family-of Sam. I don’t think the mark is going to change that. It might be interesting to go that way but I don’t think it will.

    Comment by animal — February 2, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

  95. Sam has not been a monster for seven seasons. Sam was fine in Seasons 1-3.

    He made very questionable, bad choices in S4, but even then he was using his “demon powers” to save hosts and send demons to Hell. That’s not the act of a monster. Sam walked the line btw good/evil in S1, but he never fully crossed it.

    Sam was fine in S5. Soulless!Sam was pretty monstrous, but that was not Sam. Sam was not monstrous in Seasons 7-9 either.

    Comment by Lisa1 — February 2, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

  96. Oops . . . that should have been “walked the line in S4.”

    Comment by Lisa1 — February 2, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

  97. @ roxi and animal: Dean does have an edge to him right now, because he is overwhelmed and spiraling, but I don’t see him as being any more badass than he has been in the past. He did take out a 600-year-old vamp and cleaned out two vampire nests single-handedly with no Mark of Cain, and he did have a year of pure hunting in Purgatory. I thought getting three demon kills in Road Trip was cool, but the “edge” he as carrying around by feeling he was ‘poison’ went by the wayside with initiating the hug with Garth and accepting Sam’s terms.

    Mind you, I have no idea what those terms are, but whatever they were, Dean agreed to them with a nod of the head and getting into the car with Sam. And since he will be in the kitchen cooking next wee, I think it’s safe to say the “edge” is gone, along with the feeling of being ‘poison’ to everyone around him.

    Comment by Sheri — February 2, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

  98. It’s important to keep Kripke’s vision alive but it’s also a skill to write for both characters. Sam being more mysterious and internal is fine and Sam keeping things to himself definitely speaks in and of itself especially considering that he started out as someone who wanted to talk things through. However, sometimes I think the writers take the easy way out with him. Just send Sam off to the side and have Dean speak about Sam with a side character.

    @animal 87 “Your statement that “Dean lasted 2 weeks” sounded like you think Dean broke down and can’t go without his brother.”
    -> I am getting some vibes of that but like I wrote earlier there were a lot of different factors that made Dean have a change of heart. Also I think he was never truly committed to leaving Sam alone because he seemed to want Sam to try and change his decision. However, at this point it would not surprise me if the writers intended to show that Dean cannot be without Sam. Kind of expanding on previous times when Dean was very clear that he did not want to live if Sam was dead.

    I’m starting to feel like the show is telling that Sam and Dean are co-dependent or something like that. Things are different now. In the earlier seasons, they did show that there were problematic elements in their relationship but the codependency thing was more up for interpretation and maybe referenced in a humorous manner like when they went to a mental hospital or what Zachariah said.

    Don’t forget that episode 15 is called Blade Runners!

    Comment by ~ San ~ — February 3, 2014 @ 1:20 am

  99. San – I agree that the writers take the easy way out w/Sam. We can say Sam is internal and all that, but when the show first started, Sam was the one pushing Dean to talk. Sam was the one who spoke about his feelings in a very clear way. Now, he can’t, or doesn’t, do that, and there’s been no real explanation for the change.

    Comment by Lisa1 — February 3, 2014 @ 4:24 am

  100. @95- Lisa, WHERE did I say Sam was a monster? I said no such thing! What I meant was that now that all of the demon blood is gone, Sam is fully human, which was what he always wanted.

    Comment by roxi — February 3, 2014 @ 4:56 am

  101. @100- Sorry Lisa, that came out a lot harsher than I intended.

    Comment by roxi — February 3, 2014 @ 5:07 am

  102. I feel that showing a character as thoughtful or introverted is one thing, but to have a lead be so cryptic and vague that the audience is left wondering what the heck he’s saying or thinking, is completely another.

    For one thing, I don’t think Sam’s dialogue is that of an intelligent and introverted person, it often seems more like that of a very confused, muddled character. He can surely use few words but at least make his meaning clear.

    And I think there are other ways than dialogue to show what a character is feeling and thinking. With Sam, we get nothing, or so it often seems.

    Comment by Tammy — February 3, 2014 @ 5:15 am

  103. It would make sense to me if, at this point and after this latest major mistake, Dean reached rock bottom and started to think, “hey, I’ve tried to fight for good, fight against the dark forces all my life, and screwed up and the dark forces are still winning, maybe I’m done fighting and should just join them”
    Somebody like Dean who is severely depressed, I believe, could indeed start to have these thoughts. On top of everything else, even though I don’t think Sam hates him, I’m sure Dean thinks he does, all because of an action Dean took in desperation to save him. Dean has never felt more alone than he does now. So yes, I

    Comment by roxi — February 3, 2014 @ 5:19 am

  104. Roxi, i think Lisa was referring to a remark animal made (94) about Sam having done the monster thing all the seasons or something.

    Comment by Tammy — February 3, 2014 @ 5:20 am

  105. It would make sense to me if, at this point and after this latest major mistake, Dean reached rock bottom and started to think, “hey, I’ve tried to fight for good, fight against the dark forces all my life, and screwed up and the dark forces are still winning, maybe I’m done fighting and should just join them”
    Somebody like Dean who is severely depressed, I believe, could indeed start to have these thoughts. On top of everything else, even though I don’t think Sam hates him, I’m sure Dean thinks he does, all because of an action Dean took in desperation to save him. Dean has never felt more alone than he does now. So yes, I could see it happening, that he would give up and turn to the darkside. Especially now that he so willingly took that mark. (Yeah, Cain seemed fairly stable, for the father of murder, but we don’t know what changes he went through BEFORE he got to the state we met him in now. Who knows just how monstrous he USED to be.) And Sam would be determined to bring him back from the brink of evil. I would be an ironic twist because Dean always feared that it would be Sam that got overtaken by the dark forces. I’m almost positive it won’t happen but I think it would be an interesting and unexpected twist.

    Comment by roxi — February 3, 2014 @ 5:25 am

  106. @104- Yeah, I realize that now so, again, apologies to Lisa.

    Comment by roxi — February 3, 2014 @ 5:28 am

  107. Try as I might, I just cannot see Dean going darkside and joining the forces of evil. It just doesn’t seem to be in his mental makeup, for me. And personally, I’m fine with that. Don’t want him to become the angtsy, self- apologetic emo person he became earlier either.

    I like Dean the way he is now. Badass, but inherently good – as that is, well, just DEAN.

    Comment by Tammy — February 3, 2014 @ 6:08 am

  108. @97- Sheri, I really don’t see anything” unmanly” about a guy cooking. My husband is a phenomenal cook, should have and could have been a world class chef had he wanted to go that route, instead of being obsessed with playing the guitar, and I assure you, there’s absolutely NOTHING soft about him, save his love of kitties, which I love about him. As I said, I’d love to see Dean actually have a real date, where he cooks a romantic dinner for his lady. I find that sexy as hell in a man, especially one as gorgeous as Dean.
    In the next episode, Dean isn’t really cooking as much as preparing meals at a Day spa. That kind of institutional meal preparing doesn’t take a lot of real cooking skill. But again as I said, I don’t see anything girly or unmanly about a man cooking.

    Comment by roxi — February 3, 2014 @ 7:09 am

  109. Tammy, great post (102)! I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. I don’t get the sense from Sam that he’s introverted or unwilling to express his feelings. As you said, and I’ll take it one step further, I get the sense that the writers are confused and muddled when it comes to Sam. They don’t know his “voice” and can’t write for him.

    There is no reason the audience should be left in confusion when Sam speaks. There should not be several different theories or meanings assigned to Sam’s words, esp. when the conversation is supposed to lay out what the character wants. What are Sam’s terms? Don’t lie to him? Don’t try to save his life? Focus on the hunt? Respect his feelings? What? Will we ever know? I doubt it.

    I find the writing for Sam to be terrible, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    ———–

    I doubt Dean will “go dark.” He may flirt with darkness, but that’s it. The darkest thing a character on this show did, IMO, was when Sam allowed Ruby to drain that nurse, and that was largely ignored. Then, the next year, all the characters drained several people for Sam to drink so how bad was it really?

    Comment by Lisa1 — February 3, 2014 @ 7:21 am

  110. First, I fully understand why the Sam fans are upset about Sam this season. I felt exactly the same way about Dean the second half of last season, because Dean literally sat around and did nothing while Sam did the trials.

    I have been tired of Sam for many years now. Watching Sam flounder around being guilt-ridden, being lost, addicted, sick, mentally ill, wanting to stay soulless, wanting to retire from hunting, and now wanting to die makes him feel like a perpetual damsel in distress. Sam’s goals since Swan Song are not something I have been able to invest in, and I think that is because saving Sam has been the goal every season. That is not a pro-active lead. Here, in S9, for instance, Sam wants to die. Why would I be rooting for Sam to die, especially when I thought he was through with that thought at the end of Sacrifice. In fact, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought S9 would get back to the brothers working against evil. But, no, Sam still wants to die apparently and that makes me not invested in how his story evolves.

    On the other hand, I was thrilled that Dean finally had a part in the mytharc this season, but that hasn’t turned out too well either. We are right back to Dean wringing his hands over Sam, except this time around, Dean was kicked out of the moral compass role by tricking Sam, throwing Cas out of the bunker and being the catalyst that got Kevin killed.

    I feel like both of the brothers are removed from the story this season (whatever story that is) because they are not doing anything with what was introduced as the mytharc — the angel war and the demon war. If both brothers were given the rest of the season off, there would be no effect at all to that story at this point (and we are halfway through the season). All they are doing is looking at each other and their belly buttons while the mytharc (if that IS the mytharc) plays way far off in the background.

    What is the mytharc, then? I don’t think it is the angel/demon wars. I think it is the brother’s co-dependency, which was supposed to have ended with Swan Song. Dean was supposed to have trusted Sam to zip up his big boy pants by letting him take on Lucifer alone, and Sam was supposed to have zipped up those pants and saved the world. So why are we now back to a season of addressing the co-dependency issue? And that is the only thing the fans have talked about since the season premiered – justification for what has gone on. So the brothers have both been retracted from being the heroes that lead the charge against evil to two characters staring at their belly buttons while the two support characters, Cas and Crowley, are both getting character development on a personal level. That is not a story of supernatural things and the fight against it.

    Comment by Sheri — February 3, 2014 @ 8:25 am

  111. Blame Carver. The brothers were in a good place at the mid-point in S6 and most of S7.

    Yes, Sam had a Wall in his head, but he was not affected by it for the most part in S6. It cracked a bit in “Unforgiven” but then was fine until Cas demolished it. Even then, Sam overcame his problems and went out to help his brother. In S7, it took him two episodes to resolve his hallucination issue, and then that arc was dropped until they realized they had to resolve it. It was resolved in one episode, and everyone went on their merry way.

    As I saw it, the brothers were in a good place w/each other at the end of S7. Carver returns and sets about destroying their relationship, regressing the characters back to S1 settings, and just rocking the foundation of the show. In S5, we saw Dean choose the hunt over Sam. He did that in the very second episode, and then he “allowed” Sam to jump in the Cage. We’re just retreading old ground and long dead issues at this point b/c Carver sucks as a showrunner.

    JMO.

    Comment by Lisa1 — February 3, 2014 @ 8:34 am

  112. @ Lisa1: I blame all of the writers, and I include Carver as one of the writers. I don’t think anyone is running the show for the simple fact that when the fans feel like they know the characters better than the writers (and we do), something is very wrong.

    Comment by Sheri — February 3, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

  113. @Lisa1- I was talking about s1-s5-Sam was building to monster level with the demon blood drinking and all that that included. I was also talking about s6-soulless Sam -who killed without caring and I was talking about s9 Gad/Sam who killed Kevin and others. (I know not Sam’s fault but monster territory anyway).

    Comment by animal — February 3, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

  114. San-In response to the “when should Dean save Sam” conversation. Ok -In this episode Sam wasn’t hurt and Dean came in to save the day-So in this case-Sam not hurt-Dean has to save Sam’s life.

    What if Sam is knocked out and bleeding slightly-but not life threatening. Dean should save his life right?

    What if Sam is hurt enough that he needs stitches in the hospital (I know he does his own stitching-I loved that scene-but anyway) Dean should save his life and take him to the hospital right?

    What if Sam is really hurt bad-Gun shot wound / Deep knife cut loosing blood bad. He needs surgery and surgery would save his life. Should Dean take him in and have the hospital save his life?? You said if a deal is involved then he shouldn’t. Well in a way Dean would have to make a deal with the hospital to save Sam’s life. “we will save him if you pay us” type thing.

    This was the same deal Dean made with Zeke/Gad-In this case it wasn’t a life for a life type deal -in which case I would agree-that is wrong anyway you look at it and I think Dean wouldn’t make that kind of deal anyway at this point. The deal he made was only let zeke/gad heal inside of Sam while zeke/gad healed Sam. I don’t see the problem here. At all.

    Help me San-not understanding all the boohooing about what Dean did.

    Comment by animal — February 3, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

  115. Just for FYI- Jared said Sam turned introverted due to what happened to Kevin and the whole possession thing. So I guess we go with that and Sam is now an introvert. However would an introvert wear a tank top and shorts and look hot like that??? or would an introvert where long sleeves and pants to blend in??? I am soooo confused!!!

    Comment by animal — February 3, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

  116. And then Dean-in a hairnet-my gawd that is precious. The man would look hot in a trashbag. Just a trashbag-just around his……. nope sorry-

    Comment by animal — February 3, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

  117. Sorry but I don’t see the parallel between Dean taking Sam to the emergency room and Dean letting an angel possess Sam. Plus if Sam was losing blood I doubt he would be denied treatment on grounds of “we will save him if you pay us”. Coughing up for a hospital bill is not the same sort of deal as a supernatural deal such as agreeing to let your brother become a vessel.

    I’m sure Carver came up with this storyline so he can try to show Sam and Dean’s relationship as something so unhealthy that there will be an overhaul. It’s a shame because moments like Dean selling his soul are still one of the most memorable of the whole series.

    Comment by ~ San ~ — February 3, 2014 @ 3:41 pm

  118. I agree San. Dean could have told Sam the truth and asked if he was willing to let an angel possess him and save his life. He chose to mislead Sam just so Sam would live. He could have let Sam make the choice but intentionally chose not to. That’s where Dean went wrong.

    Comment by jackie — February 3, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

  119. However-Although Dean gave Zeke/Gad permission to go inside Sams head-my understanding was that it was NOT Dean inside Sams head when Sam said yes-it was Zeke/Gad thus the morph from Dean to Zeke when Sam did say yes. You are all assuming it was actually Dean inside of Sams head but it wasn’t. Dean couldn’t ask Sam for his permission -he was in a coma. When Zeke/Gad had Dean look inside of Sams head-now I can’t remember exactly but did Sam actually see Dean in the original “peek” when Zeke/Gad showed Dean the state Sam was in? When Dean asked “Sam what are you doing ” in the hospital room in real time> I don’t think Sam had seen Dean at that time.

    Sam made his own choice-his own option when he said yes. Zeke manipulated Sam. Dean didn’t. I think you guys need to go watch that scene again. Dean was NEVER inside of Sam’s head physically. Zeke let Dean see what Sam was doing-and it was Zeke who said “there is no me without you”. Zeke was actually talking about himself.

    San-you are trying to rationalize something that is in the supernatural world. Sam was dying because of extraordinary circumstances. He needed extraordinary circumstances to cure him. The hospital is the basic human side. Sam needed the hospital to cure him of his wounds. Sam needed the extraordinary circumstances to cure his wounds. That’s the other side. The supernatural side. The rationale is the same. One is basic the other is extraordinary. Dean didn’t agree to the becoming a vessel so to speak he agreed to the healing of both parties.

    Comment by animal — February 3, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

  120. You are right, animal. When Dean got a peek in Sam’s head, he was not manifested to Sam. In the hospital room, after Dean had seen what Sam was thinking, he was shocked to see that Sam wanted to die.

    I will say again that I have little sympathy for Sam’s side of this story, because I cannot get invested in a story where the lead’s goal is to die and is PO’d because his brother didn’t just let him…and cover that simple, basic fact with the idea that it took a decision away from a person who was within minutes of dying and could not make a decision.

    Comment by Sheri — February 3, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

  121. animal, i really disagree with you giving dean such a pass. sam isnn’t upset with dean saving his life–he thanked him for that earlier this season–he upset with the manner that dean went about it, the extraordinary circumstances and the risk he took and the lies that came after it. i don’t feel it is bashing dean to acknowledge his cooperation and permission in the possession. he did let sam become a vessel (gad was going to let dean say his goodbyes but dean said ‘wait”)
    to an unknown entity–cas’s luke warm endorsement aside–that could have been anyone and surprise it was. he agreed to let sam who he knew would never agree to possession again and who would rather die than have his death put someone else at risk be possessed. Sam who has felt manipulated and controlled by outside forces his whole life has a right to be hurt and angry for awhile to have his decisions taken away from him.

    Dean has acknowledged his role in all of this “i let an angel in’ and ‘i tricked you into saying yes’ and ‘i did what i had to do. you never would have agreed to the possession.’ i am not bashing dean at all but there are two sides to this and if you try and look at it from sam’s pov, it’s not so cut and dry. i wonder how dean and also the dean fans would feel if it was dean who was tricked into possession.

    right now, dean is in a bad place- being so bent on revenge and eaten up with guilt that he didn’t even blink or ask questions when he accepted the mark of cain. this cannot be a good thing.

    Comment by jace — February 3, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

  122. except, sheri, dean was doing a lot more than preventing sam from dying and his choice led to a lot more happening than sam not dying. I think that it is way more complicated than just hand waving what dean agreed to and calling sam ungrateful. yes, gadreel was the one in sam’s head but the sentiments were dean’s and gadreel was there with dean’s full cooperation. and dean absolutely knew that sam would not want to be possessed. sam wasnt chosing to die for dying sake; he thought it was hopeless; he was accepting his own death and wanted no supernatural measures taken–because what happens when deals are made and supernatural beings are trusted/ usually nothing good.

    i spend a lot of time defending sam’s pov because i dont think it gets acknowledged enough in the rush to exornorate dean but i also sympathize with dean’s desperation to save the brother he has looked out for since childhood. i think the story is interesting from that point. you have one person wanting to save the other in a way that he would not accept to be saved. i do understand both sides.

    Comment by jace — February 3, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

  123. Gadreel had Dean’s full permission and cooperation to enter Sam’s head and impersonate him. They hatched the plan together. Dean knew Sam wouldn’t say yes to an angel, but would say yes to Dean so that is what they did. Gadreel knew exactly what to say and what emotions to pull on. He got it all from Dean. Sam trusted in Dean and trusted he had a plan to save him. In reality, Dean was tricking him and manipulating him into doing something Dean knew Sam would never agree to. Dean has acknowledged this and this is crucial to what his character has been going through, even before Kevin’s death.

    Comment by jackie — February 3, 2014 @ 6:28 pm

  124. @jace and Jackie-Then I pose to you the same question I posed to San-Where do you want Dean to draw the line on saving Sam’s life??? It sounded Jace that the line is a supernatural line-But their whole lives are within the supernatural realm. In that case Dean should never save Sam.

    What I am trying to get to here is that BOTH Sam and Dean were manipulated by Gad. Yes Jackie Gad had Deans permission to TRY-and that is key here-TRY to get Sam to say yes. Dean had NONE-NO-NADA control over what Gad said or did in Sams head-nor did he have control over whether Sam said yes or not. Dean just gave Sam an opportunity to say yes-I want to live. And Sam took it.

    Both of you keep saying Dean lied to Sam. Well he had to (as Dean said in last weeks episode). Dean wanted to tell Sam from the get go. from the minute Sam came to the forefront and the hospital -but Gad pushed Sam in the backround and manipulated Dean saying Sam would die if he expelled him. How do you suggest Dean tell Sam about the possession when The angel would just push sam in the backround and wipe his memory?? Fact is Dean couldn’t tell Sam-because it wouldn’t be Sam-ie the episode when he did “tell sam” but it was Gad. I am sorry but I can not put blame or see fault in a brother going to extreme lengths to save his flesh and blood. Especially after the “talk” in sacrifice and the speeches in that episode with Ellie and the first trial. These writers have a way of totally destroying the beautiful speeches that the brothers make to each other and making them mute.

    Yes Jackie it all went south on Dean. It was something Dean feared would happen if you remember his conversation in 9×2 with Zeke. Dean always had reservations about what he did. And yea he is paying the price because an innocent got killed. But again I ask you and jace-what line do you want to draw for Dean to not cross???

    Comment by animal — February 3, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

  125. @ jace: My post was actually speaking to animal’s Post #119 point about whether or not Dean was actually inside Sam’s head.

    As for the rest of what I said; you are right, there is more to the story, but so far I have not figured out what that story is so my reference is to what we have seen of Sam’s story up to this point.

    I think we can all agree that Dean’s decision were horrific — I agree with that statement from the perspective that this is a horror show and we all knew there would be horrible consequences coming from it. So far, it has led us to Kevin’s death, the Mark of Cain, and a professional relationship between the brothers(and I don’t know why that is thrown in because the fans don’t like it, have never liked it, and I don’t understand why every season the writers keep doing it).

    I have always argued that Dean had a choice between two bads: let Sam die or let Sam be possessed. Of course Dean is going to NOT let Sam die. That would be OOC for Dean and there would be no show. (And I might just add that I would certainly take letting an angel in to save Sam’s life over I ditched you because I hit a dog and met a bitchy vet any day.)

    But here is the deal. All of the characters in Sam’s head in 9.01 were a part of Sam. It was Sam arguing with himself (confirmed by both JA and Julian Richings) about accepting death or fighting to live, and his final choice is that he was willing to die if Death could assure him that there was no way for him to come back and hurt more people. How did Sam get to the point of accepting death so easily without a fight and why did he still feel like he only hurt people after he had confessed and purified himself so that he was worthy enough to perform the third trial (Ep. 8.23). Why have the big ending speech in 8.23 if Sam still feels all he does is let people down? It makes no sense.

    I am not handwaving Dean’s actions or the consequences of those actions. What I am saying is that I don’t accept Sam’s story this season, because there isn’t enough explanation for me to wrap my head around it. Half of Season 8 was spent getting Sam to be a hunter again and to take his place beside Dean again, and then he just folds at the beginning of this season with no reasons given as to why.

    Those two things; Dean choosing between the better of two bads so that Sam would live and Sam choosing death for reasons not explained on-screen is what I am talking about — not the justifications for Dean’s action or if Sam has the right to be hurt. Sam’s story starts off as another version of Sam not wanting to be in the family business or, as I have said a few times, Sam wants to give up his hero role. I have seen that story for eight years and am no longer interested.

    Comment by Sheri — February 3, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

  126. There is a difference btw being suicidal and accepting your fate. At least, IMO, those two things are different.

    In the premiere, I did not see a suicidal Sam though we were told Sam was supposed to be suicidal. I saw a Sam who accepted that his body was dying, and there was nothing he could do to change that. Sam was not actively seeking death. He wasn’t walking around talking about how he should die. His approach re: his situation was very logical. His body was dying. He was in a coma. No amount of “fighting” was going to heal his burned internal organs. Nothing short of a miracle was going to help Sam. Sam understood this and just accepted his fate. This is not even close to being suicidal, IMO. Carver keeps saying Sam is suicidal, but I’m not seeing it.

    As far as Dean’s role in Sam’s possession is concerned, he very much manipulated Sam. I completely understand why Dean took the action he did, esp after seeing Sam ready to go off with “Death.” Dean was desperate to save Sam and took a drastic action. That has never bothered me, but I can’t see how one could argue that Dean did not trick Sam. Gad was leaving so Dean could say good-bye to Sam when Dean stopped him. Dean told Gad that Sam would never say yes to Gad so he allowed Gad to come to Sam as Dean. It’s clear that Gad was following Dean’s lead and didn’t do anything without Dean’s express permission. Dean okayed the plan. Now, Carver wants this to be seen as bad, but I thought it was in line with how I think the characters would act.

    ——–

    Sheri – I agree that no one is running this show. Carver is, clearly, not keeping up with the scripts or the overall story. As we both have pointed out, there doesn’t seem to be an overarching arc this year. Forced brotherly conflict is NOT a story, IMO.

    ———

    Animal, I wouldn’t consider Soulless!Sam or GadZeke monstrous versions of Sam b/c they were not Sam. Sam had no control over his own body and no choice in anything that happened.

    Comment by Lisa1 — February 3, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

  127. I agree, Dean definitely tricked Sam, I don’t see how it can be seen any other way. And yes, completely in character and probably the only decision Dean (being who he is) could have made – he huts cannot watch die and not do anything. We know that.

    I csn also completely understand Sam’s anger. As jace (122) said, it’s interesting, the moral dilemma. I would compare it a little to someone who’s dying and in pain, there’s no hope of recovery and so the person expressly doesn’t want life support or other intervention to extend his life as it would just be more pain unnecessarily. But his brother goes ahead and does it anyway, KNOWING what his brother would have wanted, and lying to him in the process too. I know, I know bad example, but it’s so hard to find a good parralel.

    Is Sam suicidal? We don’t know really. Instead of a good show runner who should have a well thought, planned out story, really know the characters and so make sure each episode follows those criteria/lines, we have Carver who either doesn’t care, or doesn’t know himself where the story snd characters are going.. As Sheri said, Sam was all set to fight the good fight and be a hunter. Now, who knows. Due to the terrible writing as far as Sam is concerned, it’s the same problem. We cannot tell what Sam’s head space is. It seems to change from episode to episode, everyone seems to have a different interpretation on it and so on.

    We might disagree with whether Dean was justified in his decision or not, and whether Sam has a right to be pissed off or not. But we all know WHY he did it and what he’s feeling now. With Sam, we all have tp just keep on guessing.

    Comment by Tammy — February 3, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

  128. I really don’t understand the people who think Sam has no right to be pissed off just because Dean meant well. Or who don’t understand why Sam would walk away from family. I mean, as soon as Dean walked back into his life at Stanford, everything he had worked for and dreamed about went to hell. Literally. Starting with his beautiful girlfriend and ending with him losing everyone in he’s ever cared about besides Dean, his life, his soul, and now control over his body and mind. I mean, if you think about it, Dean does kinda have a point about being poison. Not intentionally, but from Sam’s point of view, Dean basically destroyed his life when he insisted he come look for their father. Sam loves his brother, but he can’t trust him, they don’t see things the same way, and Dean doesn’t seem to care how Sam feels or what he thinks. How is that love?
    Personally, I wonder why Dean didn’t let him die – I mean he’s been dead before – he knows he can get him back, especially with no one in heaven. Hell, is there any doubt that if Sam was in heaven he’d hook back up with Ash, Ellen, Bobby, and Jo and they would collectively kick Metatrons ass around the block. Wouldn’t that have been a MUCH more interesting seasonal arc? Instead of the pastiche of plots that is practically impossible to follow.
    I mean, Gad killed Kevin and Dean swore revenge. But then he left the brother he was so desperate to save when he was still so weak he needed angelic healing to,take off with _Crowley_ to go hunt Abbadon for some unknown reason, totally forgetting about. Gad. Of course he gets played and ends up with the mark of Cain, which has some unnamed and probably irrelevant effect. None of which either he or Sam thinks is important, since they BOTH ignore Gad, the one man angel hit squad, to go haring off after Garth…
    I guess we should be giving kudos to the writers, since they’ve all been doing their job according to Glass and refraining from moving the myth arc, whatever it is, forward.
    Not to mention, he had the king of hell in his trunk – why not put his torturing skills to practical use and get Crowley to save Sam. Or make a deal with him to kill Abbadon to get him to save Sam. Or call on one of the pagan gods (that he knows exists), who might want a favor from a Winchester. Or ask his friend the beast master with benefits for help…. Like – why the hell did he call on the angels in the first place after all he knows about them? Just stupid. You all act like Dean had no choice so he had no responsibility. He had choices, he just made bad ones. The fact that he has not acknowledged that is also part of a pattern. He always wants to sweep stuff under the rug so he doesn’t have to deal with it. But the problem with that is that it prevents you from learning from your mistakes and making amends.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — February 4, 2014 @ 12:45 am

  129. Exactly jace. There were a lot of things that made Dean’s decision understandable. E.g their relationship had gotten so bad that Sam thought he needed to die to make it up, then they seem to become brothers again and pretty soon after Dean hears that Sam is prepared to go with Death if “nobody else can get hurt because of me” etc. But I don’t understand those who think Sam is in the wrong for being pissed off. Sam would not want to live due to supernatural means and who could blame him considering everything he knows. Dean wouldn’t want that either for himself.

    I agree jackie. @119 animal, you said that “Zeke manipulated Sam”. Well Dean was part of that manipulation because he agreed with Zeke that Sam would never say yes to an angel but he would say yes to his brother. My personal belief is that Zeke said something that Dean would never say aloud in a million years but that is still true. It explains why that specific line was what made Sam say yes. Plus it fits in with times when Dean did not want to go on if Sam was dead = there ain’t no me if there ain’t no you. When Dean said he had a plan, Sam protested that he wasn’t fighting it anymore. He said yes only for his brother -> he was tricked by his brother.

    @Lisa1 & Tammy I feel the same way too. I think it’s a bit dangerous to say Sam was or wasn’t suicidal because at any moment the writers could pull out either of those cards without further explanation. Right now I feel that in Sacrifice Sam had suicidal tendencies. It wasn’t all about the mission. However, in 9.01 he had time to work things out and come to terms with the fact that he was dying and that as far as he knew there was no way to fight it without some sort of deal. Now after everything that has happened it’s not surprising if Sam went back to how he was in Sacrifice (that he could redeem himself if he died for the greater good).

    Comment by ~ San ~ — February 4, 2014 @ 2:11 am

  130. I don’t think anyone is saying Sam has no right to be upset, but to clarify for myself, I am NOT saying that. I understand why Sam is upset. Dean allowed an unknown entity to possess his body. However, given the history of the show, and what we’ve seen the brothers do for each other, I have a hard time being angry with Dean for that decision.

    To me, this moment was similar to the “Miracle! Now!” scene or any other time the boys have used angels to heal each other’s mortal wounds. GadZeke offered Dean a solution. One that before Carver came along messing with the brothers, I could have seen Sam taking for Dean. I think the part where Dean messed up is he didn’t tell Sam. He should have told Sam what he had done and tried to convince Sam to keep Ezekiel.

    I have no problem with the boys using angels in this manner and believe most people would. If your brother were laying in the hospital dying, and an angel offered to heal him, would you really decline? While I think Animal’s examples are extreme, I do wonder what Sam wants. If a creature slashes his neck, and Castiel is right there, is Castiel not expected to “lay hands?” I assume supernatural healing would be acceptable in that instance, but maybe not. This is why Sam’s feelings need to be expressly stated. He needs to verbalize why this situation was so upsetting though it may seem obvious. What if Ezekiel had been on the up and up, healed Sam, and vacated Sam’s body, would Sam still feel violated? Would he still be angry? Is he only angry because Kevin died? Are some supernatural means okay while others are not?

    I do understand Sam’s anger but I also understand Dean’s actions. But until we get a showrunner that actually cares about the show and the story he’s trying to tell, things will continue to be muddled, IMO. We need clarity on Sam’s anger and what he wants from the relationship.

    ———-

    San, I go back and forth on Sam’s state of mind in “Sacrifice.” as usual, we got NO dialogue from Sam on what he was feeling so we just had to speculate and assume. I believe that Sam was fine with dying for two reasons. One, he thought finishing the trials would prove his worth to Dean, and two, he knew his body was dying anyway. Now, I know there is very little evidence to support that, but from what I’ve heard, people know when they’re dying; they feel it. There’s nothing to say otherwise. So, was Sam suicidal or was he just facing the inevitable, thinking his death ought to mean something. Who knows? Sam never spoke about the effects the trials were having on him.

    Comment by Lisa1 — February 4, 2014 @ 4:51 am

  131. @128- Dean DIDN’T cause Jessica to die! Sam had visions of that before Dean ever showed up! Yellow Eyes had that planned long before. I can’t believe you are blaming Jessica’s death on Dean!
    And Dean HAS acknowledged his fault in the possession and Kevin’s death. Dean HAS accepted all the blame for all of it. T1gerlilley, I find it hard to believe we are even watching the same show!
    How can you keep saying how Dean doesn’t love Sam, when EVERYTHING we’ve ever seen says the exact opposite? Yes, Dean’s actions this season were very WRONG, but you act like he did it because he’s this awful bastard. That’s NOT the case, it was a stupid, impulsive, irrational thing he did out of desperation to save Sam, NOT because he’s a selfish horrible prick! It was very wrong, and I in no way excuse or condone it, but it was still done out of love. If anything, Dean loves Sam TOO much!
    If you insist that Dean destroyed Sam’s life, than we could also claim that having Sam in Dean’s life, destroyed DEAN’S life, because he has NO life except for looking after Sam. We saw how Dean gave up any chance of having a life for himself in “Bad Boys” for Sam’s benefit. Dean’s choice yes, but still, you act like Dean has this wonderful life at Sam’s expense. Dean’s life SUCKS, just as much Sam’s does.
    No, Dean DIDN’T destroy Sam’s life, and Sam DIDN’T destroy Dean’s life either. Both boys have just been horribly cursed.
    And then you wonder why I believe you hate Dean. All you ever do is basically say how much he sucks, NEVER giving him any quarter on ANYTHING, NEVER trying to understand him at all, even though you want everybody to understand Sam and Cas whenever THEY fuck up, so what else am I supposed to think?

    Comment by roxi — February 4, 2014 @ 5:20 am

  132. And for the record, I myself having been stating from the getgo that Sam has EVERY right to be angry and hurt by Dean’s tricking him and the lies, and that, no matter that Dean’s intentions were out of love, they were still VERY WRONG, and he had no right to Sam’s choice away. I refuse to condone it or excuse it no matter what the reason was. And Dean has MANY faults and has made MANY mistakes. But I still don’t see where Dean has screwed up more than anybody else though, Sam and Cas included.
    However, anybody who insists that Dean doesn’t love Sam, or that ALL of Sam’s problems are all Dean’s fault, well to me, I scratch my head in amazement that we could possibly be watching the same show, because that is definitely NOT the SPN I’ve been watching all this time.

    Comment by roxi — February 4, 2014 @ 5:37 am

  133. Come on people why don’t you just shut up and be happy with the show? it’s just a show and Sam & Dean are not here to be critised by you guys ..they are the ones who keep this show going up to almost 10th seasons now (surely it will be renewed)..blame the writers..they are the one who write the stories and Jensen & Jared are just doing their jobs on this show..Do you think you can be better writers than them..??Please stop watching it if you don’t like the show anymore instead of bickering on what Sam & Dean should do or not.. I love this show and will always love it mostly because of the brothers relationship..Without Sam & Dean there won’t be any ‘Supernatural’..they are the best onscreen brothers that any show has ever brought us..so suck it up and watch the show ..I am so sick and tired of you guys with your negative comments each time i come here.. I loved this episode of Garth as the new Werewolf .. it was a fun and exciting episode except for Sam & Dean feeling awkward when they met after two weeks at the hospital chasing an injured naked Garth .. Ok they are actually a bit kind of not comfortable in each other’s company cause of Sam’s still pissed at Dean for lying to him about evil Gadreel..but as we always seen them before despite all their bickering and brothers problems in the world they always end up together stronger more than ever and the brotherly love always won in the end..that’s why they are brothers after all..they will always fight and love each other despite everything !! Supernatural is the best show ever as always !!

    Comment by raiko — February 4, 2014 @ 6:20 am

  134. If Sam had been all about the goal, then after Dean’s reveal he would have either said that the task was bigger than either of them and he had to finish it or he would have agreed that having to sacrifice your own life changes everything and closing the gates of Hell is not worth it. However, Sam wasn’t letting go even when Dean tried to argue that they had enough knowledge to turn the tide. Sam was able to stop only after Dean was convincing him that none of the things Sam thought Dean felt about him were true.

    To me things like “— how many times I let you down. I can’t do that again”, “What happens when you’ve decided I can’t be trusted again?” and “Do you have any idea what it feels like to watch your brother just – ” were giving a suicidal vibe. Like Sam would rather die than feel like Dean who has always maintained that he does not turn his back on family would again turn to other people and trust them over his own brother because he can barely do it with Sam since Sam always ends up screwing up everything he tries.

    However, I did not see Sam as suicidal in 9.01. It seemed to me that he had made peace with his brother unlike in 6.22 when he had to get back to Dean. Sam was disappointed at first when he learned that he was in a coma and dying (“The whole reason I stopped doing the trials was not to die.”). Sam was confused about what he should do (“Honestly, Bobby, I – I don’t know what’s right.”) but he comes to the conclusion that he would not want to try to beat death (Dean: Exactly like selling my soul.) To me that was not suicidal. The things that made him ready were positive things. He wasn’t going to “just die” because he had done good in his life.

    ***

    I like this possession story, I like that Dean will do everything to have his brother but I fear what the intentions of the writers (Carver’s) were. I think they have deliberately taken things so far not because they wanted to do a character study but because they want to scale back SamnDean in the name of maturity.

    Comment by ~ San ~ — February 4, 2014 @ 6:20 am

  135. There is all kinds of sympathy for Sam over what was set up to be a ‘moral dilemma,’ except I don’t know what the moral dilemma actually is.

    First Sam was going to finish the trials because he thought he could live and show Dean that there was life after hunting. He would shut the Gates of Hell and that would end everything. (the ‘lead Dean into the light’ decision.)

    Then in Sacrifice, Sam was going to sacrifice himself because he had let Dean down so many times and he felt Dean could not trust him so put others above him. (The suicide decision).

    Then Sam argues with himself about whether he has done enough and accomplished enough that he can accept death and not fight it. Dean sees Sam accept that he has done enough and allows possession. (The moral dilemma decision that can be interpreted as either suicide or acceptance of death. I took it as accepting death, but there was a lot of self-righteousness in Sam’s arguing with himself, so I am not sure).

    Then Sam finds out about the possession, is mad at Dean, agrees that he knows Dean does not have it in him to let Sam die, but is mad because of the lying. Dean says he has to hunt Gad alone because he is poison to everyone around him and Sam agrees that Dean should go, and he agrees to Cas healing him. (Back to the accepting death decision, but now choosing to life).

    Then Sam tells Cas that he knows the brothers chose each other over the job, but that Dean made a choice for him — to live — and that Dean chose to leave. (This muddles the suicide decision or the accepting his death decision.)

    Then Sam begs Cas to get all of Gad/Zeke angel grace even if it kills him so that he can track him. He says being human means paying your debts (balancing the books; i.e., revenge for killing Kevin).

    Cas makes a choice that Sam’s life is too precious, pulls the needle out, and completely heals him. This overrules Sam’s insistence that if he died in the process of getting the grace, the mission was worth it. Cas says all the grace is gone. Sam is not mad at Cas and, in fact, tells Cas that he is right about everything. (Back to a suicide decision, but ending with Sam agreeing with Cas about the value of life and living.)

    At this point, Dean has absolved Sam of all responsibility for Kevin’s death. Sam also knows Dean said he was going to kill Gad because he played Dean and Kevin died as a result. Does Sam want to be the one to kill Gad because he used his body to do the dastardly deed or because he feels guilt over having left Kevin in Crowley’s hands and/or flying in the wind for a year?

    Sam says that he could have put a stop to everything if he had closed the Gates of Hell and that if he can find Gad, he can fix things. That is not true, of course. Sam knows there is an angel war and a demon war going on and killing one angel will not solve either.

    The last we heard from Sam, though, is that he now thinks that everything that has gone wrong between the brothers is because they are brothers.

    Is the moral dilemma over now that Sam has realized the value of life?

    Is Sam still mad at Dean? I assume so, but is he mad because he saved him or made a decision for him (a decision just like Cas made and he was not mad at Cas)? Is he mad because he and Dean chose each other over closing the Gates of Hell; i.e., themselves over the greater good? If so, then that means that the means DOES justify the end, right? We know Dean loves Sam, but does Sam love or even like Dean? Not according to S6, S7, S8 and now S9.

    I agree that the writers have confused Sam’s story, but just looking at the story, I simply cannot empathize with Sam when I don’t even know what his problem is.

    The questions about Dean are not as muddled. How will the Mark of Cain change him (if that isn’t just a little bump in the road thing to be barely mentioned again)? Did he agree to go back with Sam because Garth reminded him the value of family? I don’t think so, because in the previous episode, Dean told Cain you never give up on family. Maybe Dean agreed to Sam’s professional partnership just to keep him close because Sam is looking a little nuts right now? Did Dean agree that the relationship was broken because he feels like his actions are what broke it? He sure did not apologize for allowing the possession.

    The only problem I have with Dean at the moment is to wonder why he agreed to be professional partners. We know that Dean loves Sam, so is it because he accepts all responsibility for Sam being mad? Did Garth convince him that you take happiness any way you can get it and Sam being close is the best he can expect now? Did he agree with Sam because Sam is sounding a little nuts right now and it is better to keep him close than not know where he is?

    Comment by Sheri — February 4, 2014 @ 7:57 am

  136. Sheri, I agree that the writers have muddled up Sam’s story, dialogue and intent. But I disagree about your point of him not liking Dean in all three previous seasons and this season and I’m not sure how you’re getting that.

    My interpretation of the last scene is different too, and I think I’m in the minority here: I think Sam was not asking them to work as partners only, but a laying of conditions to Dean that if they wanted to stay together as brothers, they actually needed to work on their issues instead of ignoring them, and so fix what was broken. That is my conclusion after watching it a number of times. I hope I’m not wrong. :)

    Comment by Tammy — February 4, 2014 @ 9:19 am

  137. @ Tammy: S6 with the Soulless Sam story. When that one ended, things got better. That one has been many years ago, but I remember being dissatisfied that Sam gave sort of a weak apology to Dean that might as well not have been there.

    In S7, that whole Amy debacle. I remember several posting by me and others that the brothers seemed like two guys headed down the highway in the same direction.

    Of course, S8 and the whole Amelia debacle and telling Dean repeatedly that he was going to quit hunting once this and that were taken care of. Then we got the big speech in Sacrifice…and I thought all was well…finally…and now Sam is pissed again and right back to playing the victim card, which he has played every season since S1.

    To be fair to Sam, I think Dean most certainly does not trust Sam. I don’t think Dean has trusted Sam since Sam chose Ruby over him and that leaving him in Purgatory for a year without even looking cemented that feeling and cemented his deep feelings of no self-worth. If those two issues would be addressed, I could buy the story this season. Of course, they will not be, and the confusion caused by the storytelling makes it impossible for me to get on-board.

    I am also beyond being bored with Dean accepting everything as his fault, and especially about how Sam is feeling at any given moment. I would have been happier if the brothers had remained separated for the rest of this season.

    I would also be happier if the story for the brothers this season had been about the unholy war unleased on Earth by the fallen angels and the power struggle between Abaddon and Crowley, since I thought they had reached a truce between themselves in Sacrifice.

    I assume Carver is still on his path of ‘maturing’ the brothers into being real men. If that is the goal: (1) I don’t think many fans have been interested or will ever be interested in that and the changes that might bring (I shudder to think what those might be in the hands of these writers), and (2) maturing into your own person and being comfortable with who you are is a personal struggle. In order to fix Dean’s self-worth problems, Dean needs to fix himself. Sam needs to figure out what he wants — to not be a hunter, to be a MoL, or to whether to leave hunting behind or fight along side Dean. Sam needs to fix himself.

    For me, Sam rushing in to save Dean from some dire situation and from that, discovering that the power of love makes it all worthwhile is not going fix anything. Unfortunately, that is where I think the ‘maturing’ is headed, and I am not convinced that it will be over at the end of S9.

    Like you, I hope I am so very wrong.

    Comment by Sheri — February 4, 2014 @ 10:21 am

  138. Tammy: I should add that before the brothers can fix what is broken, both they and the audience need to know what is broken. Is it low self-esteem that both brothers currently have? Is it the older brother/younger brother dynamic? Is it the co-dependency? I addressed co-dependency in an earlier post about how EK solved that problem in Swan Song, so it should not still be an on-going issue.

    WTH is broken, Show? Sam’s story and flip-flopping has completely muddled that.

    Comment by Sheri — February 4, 2014 @ 10:28 am

  139. As a viewer it’s enjoyable to watch them go to such lengths for each other. Dean was in character and things lined up in a way that made his decision believable. At the same time, it’s understandable to me that Sam would feel it’s too much.

    I think it’s human that Sam would blame Dean for the part he had in Sam’s decision. Including stopping the trials. Sam lived but maybe now it feels like “What for?”. He was ready to die if it came to that but now his friend was murdered and a psycho angel working with Metatron got healed (also the gates of Hell remain open). It would feel like all of it was such a waiste.

    ***

    If Cas lied to Sam, Sam would have the right to be angry. However, it would be unreasonable on Sam’s part to expect Cas to follow through on a procedure that would result in Sam’s death. It seems like even Sam knew in the end that getting a tracking spell to work was not big enough to sacrifice a life for it. Plus Cas must have some sort of self-protective instinct. Can you imagine what Dean’s reaction would have been if after everything that he did to keep Sam alive he comes home and Sam is dead and Cas had a part in it?

    ***

    To me it seems like Dean’ll take Sam any way he can. I think it just hit him hard when Sam echoed the words he had used to send Sam away (“I’ll send you that postcard”). He probably did not want to risk pushing Sam away for good especially after having a taste of what it was like on his own.

    Comment by ~ San ~ — February 4, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  140. Also I wonder where they’ll take Dean’s story. It seems like an oxymoron that someone who carries the mark of Cain is still with his brother.

    Comment by ~ San ~ — February 4, 2014 @ 2:08 pm

  141. Ok I just saw the CHCH promo. It was great-but once again we have Sam saying “I was ready to die”. Well you know what- someone who is ready to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge or slitting their wrists are ready to die as well. Do you as a human let them or do you try and save them? If a child doesn’t like the medicine and says no I don’t want it -Do you give it to the child anyway knowing that it will heal the kid? Yes to both questions. Dean using the Angel was the medicine-yea Sam didn’t want it but he had to have it to live. And Dean letting the angel in was Dean saving Sam from suicide. Dean was correct in what he did. He made the human choice. I just hope in tonights episode Dean stands up for that human choice and doesn’t back down. My fingers are crossed.

    Comment by animal — February 4, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

  142. It’s not suicide to accept death when you are dying. Dean was not saving Sam from suicide. That is absurd. Sam’s body and brain were dying and it was only a matter of seconds before it ceased to function. Dean was using supernatural means to stop a natural death. That is the bottom line. And he did it in such a way Sam was completely deceived. Let’s not whitewash what Dean did. It was wrong and immoral and a huge betrayal. If you have to twist this into Sam attempting to commit suicide to make Dean right, there’s no leg to stand on.

    Comment by jackie — February 4, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

  143. @ animal: I just saw the CHCH promo, too. It sure looks a lot more interesting than a tank top and a hair net. I’m a little interested in the episode now, where, before I wasn’t at all.

    It looks like Dean is still being a hardass and Sam may be reaching out to try to explain how he feels. If so, it may not go very far, but it will be something anyway.

    I agree that Dean was correct in doing what he did, but I doubt that the season will end up proving who was right and who was wrong. I don’t know where it is going, but I want it to end once and for all. I am tired of a weekly series about two brothers’ emotional journey to manhood.

    Comment by Sheri — February 4, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

  144. @roxi – I don’t think Dean is irredeemable, far from it – I want him to be redeemed. I want him to grow. To slay some of his internal dragons and put the ghosts of his past to rest. I want him to have a redemption arc – a plot line that has good action but also character development. For example, what if when he’d left he decided to go back to the place where they found Metatron, and the tribe’s medicine man decided to try and help Dean because they’d harbored Metatron for all those years for selfish reasons…and offered him a way to do a vision quest. One where he could face his demons and forgive his own flaws. Kind of like Bobby did when he was taken back to his worst memory. Can you imagine how amazing that would be – like if we finally saw his mom telling him that he needed to take care of himself.
    I think also, that the point you made – that you can see Sam as ruining Dean’s life is _exactly_ the point that Sam was making. That however much they love each other, a lot of what has gone wrong in their lives is because of each other. Not through any fault – like Dean is not responsible for Jessica’s death – but just because being who they are has forced them into it. They’ve clung to each other in the middle of the shit storm because it ‘cuts the crappiness’, but what it’s done to them has damaged the love and trust between them.
    I actually agree with Tammy. I saw Sam as saying they’re good to go as work partners, but as brothers they have work to do.
    I actually thought it was really awesome that Sam acknowledged that and forced Dean to deal with it. Because let’s face it, we should be calling him Cleopatra, he’s been living in the land of De nial for so long.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — February 4, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

  145. @144- I’ didn’t say that Sam ruined Dean’s life. I was disagreeing with you that Dean ruined Sam’s life. I don’t think either one of them ruined eachother’s lives, their lives are just horribly cursed.
    A

    Comment by roxi — February 4, 2014 @ 5:15 pm

  146. And I still don’t see where you are getting that Dean hasn’t accepted that he made mistakes or that he is to blame for everything bad that has happened this season. He HAS. Where’s the denial?
    Dean hates himself and accepts guilt for everything bad in the world. That guilt, along with existing only to take care of Sam, has been Dean’s entire arc for 9 seasons. Where do you see Dean absolving himself of responsibility for his actions?
    Dean is a very flawed character, overall more so than Sam, he has made bad mistakes and is very far from perfect, but not accepting blame for his mistakes is NOT one of his faults. I continue to scratch my head over this view that some of you insist on, because this is NOT what has been shown.

    Comment by roxi — February 4, 2014 @ 5:23 pm

  147. Even at the end of season 3 when he was about to be dragged off to Hell by the Hellhounds, he acknowledged to Sam that he knew everything that was happening was all HIS fault. He accepted the blame back in the hospital room for breaking the first seal, starting the Apocalypse, telling Cas he wasn’t the man either of their fathers thought he was and Cas should have just left him in Hell. And this season, he KNOWS what he did with Sam was wrong and HAS admitted that.
    For almost the entire series Dean has been a broken man who has hated himself terribly and HAS and DOES accept blame for his mistakes. Some of you keep insisting that Dean somehow tries to absolve himself of his own mistakes merely because he has gotten mad at Sam and Cas for theirs. So what, Sam and Cas have a right to get mad at Dean for his mistakes, but Dean doesn’t have a right to get mad at THEM for theirs? ALL of them have screwed up big time. Sam and Cas DO have every right to get pissed at Dean for his major screwups, but Dean ALSO has a right to get pissed at THEM for theirs as well. This is not Dean somehow putting himself above Sam and Cas or being holier than thou.
    Nobody is harder on Dean for his screwups than Dean.

    Comment by roxi — February 4, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

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