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“Meta Fiction” Discussion

Supernatural is back! Post your thoughts on the first of six brand-new episodes in a row to close out the ninth season, starting with this angel-heavy one with Metatron and Gadreel. Click HERE for my full recap or keep reading for my quick thoughts.

This episode had two great things: guest stars. Namely, Curtis Armstrong and Richard Speight, Jr.

 

I’ve grown to really love Armstrong’s Metatron. He’s such a delightfully egotistical antagonist. The opening narration and his obsession with storytelling makes him great fodder for the show’s writers. All of the meta references were delightful, as is his glaring flaw. He WANTS Cas, Sam and Dean to try and stop him? He’s read the Supernatural books, so he should really know better, but it makes for a lot of fun scenes. And I hope the show has a lot of fun with the fact that Cas now has knowledge of every book, film and TV show ever made.

 

More importantly, we got the return of Gabriel! He’s definitely one of my favorite recurring characters ever, even if, as soon as he popped up, it was obvious he wasn’t real. He’s dead, after all. Or is he? The open-ended eyebrow raise at the end was a nice twist.

 

Still, I loved having Speight back on the show and he didn’t lose a beat with his wit and delivery. I also love that his character was used perfectly because he always popped up to teach the boys a lesson about accepting the roles they were destined to fill. That was the entire purpose of the episode where they were trapped in TV land. Now he’s here to try and get Cas to accept his role as a rebel leader.

 

It was a cute episode, but I actually wanted more meta insanity. The show has raised the bar on how to pull off these meta episodes (“The French Mistake” is perhaps the single best meta episode of TV ever made). I also wish Cas explained why he was so mortified by seeing the Mark of Cain on Dean. He obviously knows something about it, but I guess they need to drag the mystery out a bit longer.

 

The main takeway from this episode, however, is that there is an actual stairway to Heaven, a back entrance that Metatron and Gadreel are trying to keep hidden. That has the potential to take the show in a whole new direction if Heaven can become a recurring location.

News posted on April 15, 2014 Comments (206)

206 Comments »

  1. Well, upon initial watch I have to say that it’s sad that Robbie Thompson thinks he’s on the a Ben Edlund level.

    My second thought is that Thompson did not disappoint — he wrote another episode for a support character. I really did not like waiting three weeks to see an episode dedicated to Curtis Armstrong.

    I suppose the purpose was to move Cas into leading the angels, but what about the Winchesters’ story? Is there one? There was an attempt to show Dean under the MoC, but that fell completely flat and was totally undeveloped. I guess the J2s needed more time off again.

    The episode did nothing for the story. I mean, I could answer Metatron’s question of “What makes a good story?” The answer is — tell a damned story.

    I am totally disgusted with the season.

    Comment by Sheri — April 15, 2014 @ 6:25 pm

  2. Wonderful to see The Trickster again! (He’ll always be that to me.) I can’t wait for him to come back and hang out with Sam and Dean.

    Comment by JT — April 15, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

  3. Sheri – I’m right there w/you. I thought the episode was horrible. Awful in fact. Boring from the beginning to the end. It got a bit – just a little bit for me – interesting when the Trickster showed up but that ended quickly.

    I don’t care about Metatron, Gadreel, or the angels. At all. I couldn’t possibly care less about them, so an entire episode devoted to them is never good for this fan.

    What is going on w/the MOC? Anything? That is the ONLY interesting storyline for me, and it’s moving at a snail’s pace. Nothing’s happening w/it. Dean broods, and that’s it. Okay. I want more than that.

    And the preview? It looked horrible.

    This season is just awful. I think it may be worst than S8 for me, and S8 was ridiculously bad! I just want this season to end. I guess I keep hoping another showrunner will step in, and the show will take a new direction or something but I know that’s not gonna happen.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 15, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

  4. So glad to have The Trickster back in this episode! I was beginning to think we’d never see him again… and he was one of the best characters (: Hopefully we’ll get to see a lot more of him… and hopefully we’ll see the end of Metatron soon.

    Comment by Gerrie — April 15, 2014 @ 6:49 pm

  5. @ Lisa1: Nothing went on with the MoC. The Winchesters were wallpaper in the episode, and it was only mentioned because it practically had to be. Sam did nothing, and Dean had to brood to make it look like the Winchesters mattered. They didn’t; not at all, in this episode.

    I mean, think about it. They captured Gadreel. Why? With just a few changes, the Winchesters could have not appeared and Cas could have still assumed the angel leadership role.

    Thompson is an ass. All the writers of the show these days are asses. How obnoxious can you get, to have the big bad villain’s goal of the season to be write a story. It would be nice if these stupid writers actually wrote a story and put it on-screen!

    Comment by Sheri — April 15, 2014 @ 6:50 pm

  6. Well that sucked-I figured it would and it did. The biggest waste of an hour I have ever had. WTH was that??? Thompson yet again cheapened Jensen/Dean. Jared/Sam was a waste of space. The angel story went nowhere as usual. Its on screen-it takes up a whole hour- and nothing happens. Cas is the big leader again-We knew that a couple of episodes ago didn’t we? wow that’s a surprise!!!! OH and Metatron knows the ending!! yea!!! Although we need story in between but none of these damn writers know how to tell a damn coherent story.

    I laughed quietly at those posters here and other blogs that said-”OH Cas is in the episode-I can’t wait to see what his reaction is to the MOC- He will shed light on it.” Right-heres the diaglogue- Dean I sense something different about you. -Grabs arm- Sees Mark- Dean. To Sam -Watch him.” Yea we learned a lot about the MOC with that. Even Gadreel-WTH-NOthing happened there either other than taking head canon from fans about Dean and about Dean and Sam and spilling it out of Gadreels mouth. Ridiculous.

    And the scenes between Misha and Richard-OMG -neither one carried the scenes-They were boring as hell.

    Well that’s another episode this season I won’t be watching again. I am beginning to think they (carver and co) needs to shorten the season by 5 episodes at least to tighten the story and stop with these bs episodes. I like this season for the most part but the bad episodes are really really bad.

    Comment by animal — April 15, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

  7. I’m telling myself the whole insipid, silly mess wasn’t supposed to be “real” at all. It was just a bad piece of meta fiction scripted by a no-talent typist.

    Nice performances by the two Js and RS, though. As for the angels, I hope they climb a one-way stairway to heaven soon.

    Comment by JT — April 15, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

  8. ps The next time Castiel says he’s not a leader, I hope to hell somebody steps up and agrees with him.

    Comment by JT — April 15, 2014 @ 7:35 pm

  9. @ JT and animal: I can’t put my finger on it, but I had the feeling while watching the episode that Thompson was telling the long-time fans that this is the writers’ story and to quit bitching about story, canon, and continuity; that they are making a new story the way they want to and we should shut up or quit watching. That’s the gut feeling I had while watching the episode, because it was definitely a “writer insert” episode and nothing more.

    Comment by Sheri — April 15, 2014 @ 7:45 pm

  10. Damn I really loved the metaphisical fiction, I thought it was sell executed. It was obviously a MOTW episode, with angels, mainly Metatron, the Trickster and Gadreel. it was intriguing and the ending has let me wanting more. Exactly what we need at this point in the season. I can’t wait for episode 21-23! Also, Metatron was obviously talking about the end of the season, wasn’t he?

    Comment by damn — April 15, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

  11. @Sheri (9) – That may be why I took an extra disliking to the episode b/c I felt the same way. It seemed like the writer was telling old fans to get over themselves b/c this was the “new” show, and we would just have to deal w/it.

    This writing team has been AWFUL for the show. Simply awful. I wish they would go away but they are here to stay and will continue to bore the audience to death w/their boring, poorly paced stories.

    I have been all over Spoilertv, Sheri, complaining about how NOTHING happened in this episode. It’s really ridiculous. It was complete filler b/c we didn’t learn anything we didn’t already know, right?

    ———–

    @Animal (6) – Great post! J2 weren’t needed for this boring, bad episode. They did nothing the entire episode . . . at least nothing worth discussing. Jared especially did nothing. Nothing happened w/Cas either.

    I don’t care what Metatron does. I don’t care about the angels. The episode was a complete waste for me.

    I couldn’t agree more w/you that they need to reduce the number of episodes. I think this show needs to move to the cable show model and have 13-16 episodes. Maybe w/fewer episodes, the overall show would be a bit tighter.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 15, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

  12. Boring is the key word. Dull. Lifeless. Wasteful. Those are appropriate descriptive words also. There was Absolutely NO life in this episode. The two stars looked like they were sleepwalking and the secondary characters (with the exception of Cas) meant nothing and accomplished nothing.

    Since the yellow-eyed demon this show has tried to have threats to the boys. Some thing or one who would make the viewers fear for the boys’ safety. Some thing or one who scared the audience and maybe even the Winchesters.

    For the last few seasons this show has had NOTHING like that at all. There has been ONE scary thing consistent throughout this season; one Big Bad that even the Winchesters have not been able to defeat.

    The Writers.

    They are killing this show. Stabbing it in the gut and the heart and the brain and the soul with every episode that is aired. And though Jensen and Jared are trying to keep the show on life support, they are failing.

    I guess because the show has been renewed for another season the producers do not give a damn about the quality- or lack of- on this show anymore. ‘Do what you want writers! We’re coming back.!’

    Well renewal is one thing but cancellation is another. And if this show continues to be written by idiots this show will end way before 20 plus episodes next season.

    The ONLY two things I liked about this episode was: Dean in the shower (shallow I know) and Cas’s concern about Dean. Cas noticed right away something is truly off with Dean and he faced Dean about it. Something Sam has not done once the entire season. And the Cas told Sam to watch out for his brother and I wondered why Sam was not doing that already.

    Writers….I wish the Winchesters would salt and burn every single one of them.

    Comment by SL — April 15, 2014 @ 8:22 pm

  13. @ SL: Cas didn’t tell Sam to watch out for Dean. He said to keep an eye on him — two different things to me. Maybe it was meant to put Sam in touch with the idea that something is up with Dean.

    After this episode, though, I don’t think the MoC is going to be anything more than Sam rubbing his palm with his Hellucinations — and that story didn’t go anywhere. We have three episodes left to tell the season’s story. There is no way in hell the writers can do justice to any of them in that amount of time — Crowley/Abaddon war, getting the angels back into Heaven by taking on Metatron, and Dean’s MoC story all in three episodes. No way that can be done well in three episodes.

    Comment by Sheri — April 15, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

  14. A much better way to do the angels! But not enough of SamnDean :/

    Gadreel wants to be a hero so I think he’ll come on the Winchesters’ side. Especially the way he looked at Sam in the parking lot.

    If that is the extent of Gabriel, then it’s a bit weird. And who knew angels were huggers like that, Cas/Bart & Cas/Gabriel.

    Hannah reminds me a little bit of Uma Thurman!

    I think people will see a lot of nods to Dean/Cas.

    To me that episode showed that Dean hasn’t believed that Sam has “disowned” him although Dean might be heading towards that direction. The whole 6 missed calls bit and one of the most sad!Dean expressions while looking in the mirror.

    Comment by San Summer — April 15, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

  15. @ San Summer: Oh, I think Dean believes Sam has disowned him as a brother, but not as a working partner. Gadreel was using an exaggerated truth to try to get Dean to kill him, and that truth came from Sam. Dean even said Sam had already told him that.

    The six missed phone calls were from Dean to Cas’ phone; not Sam’s. Sam was looking for Cas in Cas’ motel room and found Cas’ phone that he had left.

    I do think the episode attempted to show that Dean was (1) becoming physically stronger by being able to beat an angel unconscious; and (2) the power of the MoC was becoming stronger over him; yet, he was able to pull back from killing Gadreel.

    None of that stuff, however, moved the story forward in any real way. Dean was still brooding over the MoC, Sam gave a hundred ‘worried’ face looks, instead of bitch face looks, Cas is still running separate of the Winchesters, nothing on Abaddon/Crowley, and nothing new about the angel storyline.

    Comment by Sheri — April 15, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

  16. So Cas is doimg what Metatron wants him to.. and in the end they will beat Metatron, very predictable if true. Was very happy to see Gabriel back, I hope he´s still alive somewhere. Great character.

    Comment by Robin — April 15, 2014 @ 11:36 pm

  17. And once again Dean absolves himself of all responsibility when it comes to what he did, this time in relation to Sams possession. I don’t know why I expect any better from him at this stage. Dean tortured Gadreel because of what he did to Sam! Dean really needs to get the wax of self-pity and self-righteousness out of his ears and listen to what people are saying, not what he believes people have said so that he can go off and consider himself a martyr. Sam didn’t say he wouldn’t save Dean. He said that in the same circumstances he wouldn’t do the same thing that Dean did ie shove an angel in him, gaslight him for months on end and make him believe he was losing his mind. He wouldn’t shove a demon in him and, despite knowing how his brother felt about that, he wouldn’t do it again. However, what Dean hears is ‘Sam doens’t wuv me, Sam wants me dead….’ FFS!! This is the exact same crap he pulled last season when Sam said it wasn’t the girl, all Dean heard was Sam left me for a girl and reacted based on that. It’s ridiculous at this stage. Dean doesn’t grow, he doesn’t learn, he doesn’t change, he decides that his way is the only way and he doesn’t care about anyone else’s point of view but his own. He now exists solely to be uber-judgmental, hugely hypocritical and do a multitude of woobie faces and scowley faces, complete with growley voice. What a parody of the great character Dean Winchester once was.

    I don’t even know what Sam was doing there. JP must be getting pretty ticked off that he’s got to give up time with his young family to just stand around. Sam is allowing himself to be ordered out of the interrogation by Dean who decided he was ‘too close to it’! Dean is one who Gadreel was working with, who told him what to do, Dean is the one who feels Gadreel betrayed him (it’s remarkable, a character doesn’t do what Dean wants them to do and it’s ‘betrayal’. It really is a Dean-centric world in Dean’s mind, isn’t it?) but Sam is too close! Huh, remember when Sam said that Dean was too close to Benny and Dean just scoffed at him and did what he wanted to do anyway? Oh, the double standards of SPN. I guess Sam had better get on board with the idea of being considered nothing more than a piece of Dean’s property, whom Dean decides how he should act, his to throw around the place, treat like crap and upgrade him for a newer, better brother whenever he feels like it because that is Sam’s role in the show. After nearly six years I’m sure he’s used to it. And the ironic thing is, if Sam does make some huge sacrifice to ‘save’ Dean, Dean wouldn’t want that either.

    Castiel, the new leader. He who opened Purgatory to get the souls, played God and killed a multitude of angels is who they want to be their leader…..

    Two filler episode to come then the home straight. I’ll be glad when this season comes to an end.

    Comment by Sonic — April 15, 2014 @ 11:53 pm

  18. I think the meeting between Dean/Gadreel/Sam didn’t have enough fireworks. Not what I would have expected right after Road Trip or even after First Born.

    Maybe Gadreel is the original angel that understood free will so he can be redeemed?

    I feel like the most interesting bits were not shown: Sam and Gadreel interacting and how Dean went from maybe feeling pathetic in the bathroom to taking Gadreel out and beating him.

    I don’t think Gadreel revealed what Sam is thinking. Gadreel was for weeks/months inside Sam’s body and spent all that time with Dean so I think he knows what Dean’s insecurities are and what buttons to push.

    @Sheri, thanks about the phone bit! Dean said: “Oh I know he would [do anything for me]. Sam’s already told me all that crap. Hell, he’s told me worse” so the implication is quite different from how you worded it.

    Right in the beginning Dean’s expressions showed that he dreaded to hear what Gadreel had to say. However, Dean’s line indicated that he knew Gadreel was playing a game and that he knew he had to try not to let the angel get to him. Gadreel even told boldfaced lies like how Sam has always felt that he would not trade his own life for Dean’s even though Sam wanted to trade places with Dean when Dean went to Hell, Sam wasn’t even asking for a day in return etc. So while I think the seed was there, Dean had been able to keep his head before. However, now he is really starting to not think straight because of the mark and starting to let Gadreel’s words in.

    Comment by San Summer — April 16, 2014 @ 12:07 am

  19. @17- Since when is Sam Dean’s property? Dean was very wrong in his actions earlier in the season and he had no right at all to do any of that, but up until then, Sam has ALWAYS done pretty much whatever the hell he wanted. If he wanted to leave, he left. If he wanted to stay, he stayed.
    We truly see the previous 8 seasons very differently. You say Sam’s main role has been to be Dean’s property, I say Sam has always gotten most of the main storylines and importance, while Dean has mostly been there mainly to worry about, take care of, and exist for Sam. This is the first season since season 3 that Dean has more focus than Sam, but he doesn’t really, as neither of them it turns out has much of a story while Cas has taken center stage.
    Oh and Sam has also treated Dean like crap plenty over the seasons. They have BOTH been assholes to eachother and stabbed eachother in the back. Dean is not better than Sam and Sam is not better Dean in that regard.

    Comment by roxi — April 16, 2014 @ 3:24 am

  20. @Sam Summer – I have ZERO faith or trust in Carver so I am not sure what we’re supposed to think of Gadreel’s speech. I wouldn’t put it past Carver to have those thoughts be Sam’s real feelings. You never know with Carver, esp since he seems to abhor the brother relationship and the characters as written under Kripke and Sera.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 16, 2014 @ 4:05 am

  21. I need to watch the episode again, but I mostly got hung up on Gabriel. Did Metatron create him? Where did he get that power? I was excited to see him back, but if he’s supposed to still be alive (which I felt like they hinted at), I feel like that does a real disservice to his original storyline.

    Overall, I was not real happy, although I like that the episodes seem to be getting darker. Mostly Gabriel suddenly appearing and invalidating his whole story upset me.

    Comment by Sarah — April 16, 2014 @ 5:15 am

  22. Lisa, I’m not sure Gadreel’s words to Dean will end up meaning anything in the end, as it will probably be forgotten. There’s no time for it to mean much now, what with next week being a MOTW episode, an episode coming up to introduce the spinoff, and of course,since we not only had to devote time to Cas’s angel story but now he also has a second arc, that of the stolen grace, what is there left for Sam and Dean’s almost non-story and the MOC?
    For me, about the only good thing to come out of this episode was that someone, in this case Cas, actually seemed to give a rat’s ass about the mark on Dean’s arm and what it may mean. Of course, even CAS only seemed concerned for a brief moment. So much for Destiel.
    I can’t believe that Sam STILL doesn’t seem all that concerned, especially after seeing what happened to Dean at Mangus’s house and how spent he was after working over Gadreel. I know he’s probably still angry about the possession but still, not even a little concern? Are we to believe he simply stopped loving Dean to the point of caring at all about him? (I refuse to believe that!) And aren’t any of them even remotely interested in how and if Dean can ever get rid of it?
    Three weeks of waiting, three weeks to finally see some movement of the MOC story and how that will affect both Dean AND Sam, and if Sam will find a way to save Dean, and what we get is an hour of the Cas and Metatron show. Well, why the hell not? I mean, who the hell cares about what’s happening with the TWO LEADS on the show anyways, right?
    Sigh, alas, Ill keep watching(and bitching) until the end. Hopefully,at least, maybe there will be a satisfying conclusion to the story of the Winchester Bros. If Eric Kripke comes back.

    Comment by roxi — April 16, 2014 @ 5:29 am

  23. Why would Dean hesitate to exterminate or let Sam exterminate an angel who murdered other angels, slaughtered innocent people, kept a vessel through trickery, betrayed his divine mission, and caused immense personal suffering to the Winchesters?

    Oh…Wait. Could it be because Gadreel is so much like Castiel?

    Corrupt angels get a pass on this show. Demons are toast.

    Comment by JT — April 16, 2014 @ 5:52 am

  24. @ Sonic #17 and San Summer #18: Since I found the whole episode worthless, it is hard to address your very different view of the episode than mine, but I’ll give it a shot.

    When Dean said Gad was going to pay for what he did to Sam, I wondered why Dean was talking about Sam when Gad broke Dean’s trust; something Dean doesn’t give freely.

    As far as what Gad said to Dean about Sam’s feelings toward him, I don’t know what to make of it. My thought is that Gad was taunting Dean by using Dean’s own feelings of insecurities and psyche against him, but I think there was truth behind the words.

    We have seen Sam say those things and worse this season, but we have also seen Sam say those things throughout the years…Dad’s little soldier, no brain of his own, Sam’s his own person, it was Dean’s fault for not letting Sam grow up that he chose Ruby, and on and on. For that reason, there was truth behind Gad’s words.

    More importantly, those are exactly the things that Dean believes Sam thinks about him; i.e., why Dean is withdrawing from Sam and acting as a ‘working partner,’ not a brother.

    Sam did try to trade his life for Dean when Dean went to Hell, but that was a long time ago and we have seen Sam change a lot since then. S8, for instance, when he was absolutely committed to going off and finding his own ‘normal’ life, not to mention not looking for Dean.

    Sam doing anything for his brother is a story that is over. We are in new territory now, with Carver making these characters into whatever he wants. That’s what this episode was about. Thompson was basically telling us that it is the writers who write the story; they are the ‘Gods’ in the SPNverse these days, and the fans can interpret it any way they want.

    Thompson was saying in this episode that canon can change; it’s just a continuity thing. Canon is NOT continuity. Canon is the internal rules within which a story is told and the viewers interpret it. When canon is trashed, it causes confusion with the viewers, characterization cannot be depended on, the rhythm of plotting is disrupted, and the story structure goes all over the place. That is exactly what has happened with SPN since EK left, and I think that is why there are such different fan reactions and viewpoints to every episode.

    We are almost to the end of the season and I still don’t know who the real villain is. Is it Abaddon? Is it Metatron? If so, what is Metatron’s goal.

    I think the episode tried to show that the MoC is making Dean stronger — being able to beat an angel unconscious — but what was up with Dean laying there on the floor. Was he exhausted? Was he drained from pulling back on killing Gadreel? Was he on a drug high? I have no idea. The MoC story is either painfully slow in unfolding, or it’s not going to be anything different than Sam rubbing his palm for an entire season and wrapped up in a five-minute way, just as Sam’s hallucination story was.

    Sam did nothing but show a worried face over and over again. What is his role in the angel/demon war, or is it just to come to some understanding on how the brothers’ relationship will work in the future? I have no idea.

    Are the writers telling a mytharc story, or is this just a story of the internal struggles of each of the three leads?

    What was the purpose in bringing Gabriel back? Fan service only, IMO. All those scenes meant nothing to the story.

    As I said, I am completely disgusted at this waste of a season.

    Comment by Sheri — April 16, 2014 @ 5:54 am

  25. The drama was will Castiel lead the angels which of course was no drama at all. Collins rolled out his doe-eyed sincere mugging and largely ignored the other actors as usual. Others don’t act with Collins: they are simply extras in HIS scenes. Even Richard Speight’ s Gabriel was hollow when trying mightily to connect with Collins who worked hard at ignoring his fellow actor. This one-note bore stretched over an agonizing 46 minutes which ended with a small collection of Castiel disciples gathered outside a motel. Acceptable stuff, if it had lasted five minutes. Curtis Armstrong narrated the thing; sadly, enough said. J2 and Tahmoh Penikett broke the unbelievably bad acting occasionally in a sidebar plot that tried unsuccessfully to give a viewer some relief from the Armstrong-Collins mind-numbing extravaganza. Got the feeling the director recognized this stinker of a plot and tried to salvage something interesting by breaking the Sam-Dean-Gandreel story into tiny blips providing perhaps a total of ten minutes of action broken up and interspersed frequently enough to jolt one occasionally out of a tendency to snooze. Guess the writers felt Dean and Sam had to be brought into the angel story (the Castiel story). Good News: if anyone can save anything marginally interesting about the angel story it is the Winchesters, but it is their greatest challenge ever. Just my opinion.

    Comment by CaseyT — April 16, 2014 @ 6:04 am

  26. @22

    Robbie Thompson confirmed that they cut a line where Sam told Castiel that he was was worried about Dean. I’m not sure why they couldn’t have shortened another scene and fit in the three seconds of time it would have taken to do this but that’s the show for you when it comes to Sam’s character; cut, cut, cut.

    However, for me, the show has shown plenty of Sam showing concern for Dean. We see it in the many subtle glances towards him. We see him asking if he’s okay, we see him doing research, we see it in the way that he looks constantly worried when he looks at Dean. However, at this stage, for Sam, Dean isn’t doing anything too out of the ordinary. He’s always been a drinker, he’s always kept secrets, he’s rarely if ever confides in Sam, he’s always been prone to violence so for as much as Sam knows something is wrong, he doesn’t know how bad things are. Dean will probably need to do something serious before he’ll talk to Sam about it. It’s a shame because if there is one guy out there who understands what Dean is going through then it’s Sam.

    Comment by Orlaith — April 16, 2014 @ 6:09 am

  27. @26- If they had to cut something, of course it had to come out of the Winchester’s story, because they just HAD to make sure they fit as much of Cas’s story in as possible.
    I respectfully disagree though, that nothing should be arousing Sam’s suspicion. Dean may have always been prone to violence and a heavy drinker, but the way he acted at Magnus’s house was NOT normal, not to me anyway.Nor was the way he was sitting on the floor drained when Sam found him after the Gadreel beatdown.
    I really think that Carver and the writers really wanted to concentrate the whole season on the angel/Cas story and only threw in the possession and MOC to shut up the majority Winchester story fans who were asking for the focal point to come back to the brothers. It’s pretty clear now that we won’t get very far on the Sam and Dean arc this season.

    Comment by roxi — April 16, 2014 @ 6:39 am

  28. Didn’t Cas like not appear in the last 2 episodes at all? Why are you complaining that it’s all about him? Yes, the episodes he is in he usually plays a big role, but he is one of the leads. So when he doesn’t appear in 2 episodes in a row, it doesn’t bother me that they give him a bigger story in the episodes he is in.

    I agree with most of you though, this episode was a mess. In the end Metatron got what he wanted and he put Cas right where he wants him. I just hope Cas (and his team) will win this battle. I was really happy that Gabriel was back (great character), but I hope it was not fake and that he returns later this season.

    As for Sam and Dean, nothing of importance happpened for either one of them. The MoC and the effects on Dean were already obvious, if they wanted to move that story they should have done something new with it.

    Again, nothing about Abadon and Crowley, why aren’t they hunting her? This story needs to move.

    Dean/Sam, Cas/Metatron, Crowley/Dean/Abadon, the whole heaven story and the roles of Cas, Sam, Crowley, Dean etc. They have 5 episodes left do make it right but next week… a vampire story? Really? It’s obvious that it will be bad, but I’m more concerned that again there will be a few episodes that have nothing to do with the story, and in the end everything needs to be rushed. Why don’t they move the story a little more from the beginning of the season and add a few Motw episodes.. this season there were too many episodes that were filler and didn’t add anything.

    I’m afraid this show will never be as good as it used to be, but I’m not going to complain as much as some people do (they’re right though, not saying they aren’t) and just enjoy the few episodes that are worth watching.

    Comment by Robin — April 16, 2014 @ 7:02 am

  29. *I know that Gabriel was fake in this episode, I hope he spoke the truth about still being alive. And the thing I want to add, the whole Metatron writing thing was really annoying, nobody can replace Chuck.

    Comment by Robin — April 16, 2014 @ 7:05 am

  30. @28- Cas is NOT one of the leads, he is a supporting character, and the reason that I’m complaining is because, whether he is in a lot of episodes or not, the writers have chosen to give him a bigger role than either Sam or Dean, who ARE the leads. While at the same time giving nothing to the brothers but poorly written conflict and angst and calling it a storyline.
    By the way, I’m not the only one, either here or on other sites, who has expressed dissatisfaction about this.

    Comment by roxi — April 16, 2014 @ 7:29 am

  31. @Sheri (24) – You expressed very well my fear about Gadreel’s words. As you said, nothing he stated was anything we hadn’t already heard over the course of the series. The main difference is Kripke kept the love and respect Sam had for Dean at the forefront of any words Sam uttered. I never once – under Kripke or Sera – doubted Sam’s love for Dean or that he would do anything for Dean. It is more questionable under Carver.

    I never thought there would be a time when I would actually question whether Sam would save Dean, but Carver has so drastically changed Sam that I can’t honestly say I know what Sam would do. He might save Dean. I guess it depends on what saving Dean would involve. If it involved too much, I guess Sam wouldn’t do it. It’s sad really b/c Carver’s goal seems to be to drastically alter Dean’s character as well. He wants to “mature” Dean into someone who doesn’t care if his brother lives or dies like he’s done w/Sam. Supernatural under Carver is so much fun!

    I also agree w/you on the MOC story. I’m not sure what is supposed to be telling us. Over on Spoilertv, someone told me that the MOC story is fundamentally changing Dean, and he’s becoming “bloodthirsty.” Okay. Bloodthirsty? Really? I’m not seeing that. I don’t see any “bloodthirstiness” from Dean. If that’s what we’re supposed to be seeing, then I think they’re doing a horrible job w/it. Like you, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be getting from Dean staring at himself in the mirror and rubbing his arm. Is he angry? Depressed? Bloodthirsty? What? I don’t know.

    The entire show is a mess under Carver.

    ———-

    @Roxi – I couldn’t agree more w/you about Cas NOT being a lead. To me, his episodes are always failures b/c the angel stuff is flat out boring. I don’t care what the angels. They can continue to kill each other, come together, return to Heaven, stay on Earth . . . . it all means NOTHING to me. I’m so sick of the angels! I want them gone!

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 16, 2014 @ 8:12 am

  32. @ Robin #28: There, you said it. Cas IS NOT one of the leads, and that’s the rub. Misha Collins is a Johnny-come-lately who had nothing to do with making this show and the TWO leads who they are.

    Another rub is that Cas had the S6 story, and he wasn’t even a regular. Now he has got another story. Sam has nothing this year, and I don’t think Dean’s MoC arc is going to amount to much, given that there are three episodes left to wrap up multiple stories — with one of those stories being Cas leading the angels. Hell, he doesn’t need the Winchesters to do that. They are just fragile humans. I think it is even questionable if Dean will kill Abaddon. I am inclined to think that Dean will need Sam’s help, instead of accomplish something on his own — God forbid.

    The fan outrage over the summer was that for eight years in a row, Dean did not have a major story, yet Cas did. That’s the bitch I and many others have, besides the fact that Cas cannot carry even a scene on his own, let alone a whole episode.

    Saying that, though, I will say that the Dean/Cas phone call and Cas’ worry over Dean’s Mark were good scenes, better than any in the episode with Sam. I do like the Dean/Cas scenes. I do not like the Cas scenes and agree with Lisa1 that Cas brought down the Gabriel scenes. Neither character worked for me in those scenes.

    Comment by Sheri — April 16, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  33. @20 Lisa1, I certainly hope that is not Carver’s intention! If Sam’s extent of the mark of Cain storyline is to basically prove to Dean that he cares, then c’mon.

    I felt that the things Gadreel said about Sam and Dean were pretty tired. Everyone knows Sam would die for Dean etc. If Dean takes Gadreel’s word for it, then he needs to pull his head out of Cain’s ass.

    @24 Sheri. I absolutely understand why Dean said Gadreel was gonna have to pay for what he did to Sam. Gadreel decided he was going to keep Sam as a _vessel_. I think that’s way bigger than broken trust. And Dean is right to put Sam and Kevin first like that. They really took the brunt of Gadreel’s actions and Dean was more or less involved in orchestrating the situation in the first place. Plus Dean already confronted Gadreel in 9.10 about how they fought together yet the angel stabbed him in the back.

    I get that they had Sam say stuff in The Purge etc. so that a bad guy could come in later and hammer in his version of the “truth” to advance Dean’s fall. It doesn’t end up feeling that organic though. Dean has known Sam since Sam was born and they have spent most of their lives together. I really don’t want this episode and Gadreel’s words to be the thing that finally negates all that Dean is supposed to know about his own brother.

    Comment by San Summer — April 16, 2014 @ 9:27 am

  34. I now know why that it has been over a year since I have been on this website. Its not a fandom, its a gripe session. Only a few of you had anything good to say about the episode and the current season. I for one loved the episode, and absolutely love the season. If its such an aweful season, why is there a season 10 confirmation. all of you haters out there need to just stop watching the show and ruining it for the rest of us

    Comment by angel67 — April 16, 2014 @ 9:32 am

  35. None of this is to say that I don’t like Cas, I do. It’s just that while he is indeed a regular now, and I don’t want him off the show, he is STILL a supporting character, and yet, here he is getting the major storyline of the season, while the Winchesters are getting mere lip service.
    It’s true that I have complained in the past about most of the seasons being all about Sam, while Dean was being thrown to the sidekick role, and I hated the way the writers had Sam act towards Dean last season, and because of that, I’m constantly being accused of being against Sam, but that’s NOT true. I just wanted Dean to be treated with equal storyline importance. NOT more, just equal.
    That being said, at least Sam is one of the two main leads. I may not have liked it, but to be sidelined in favor of the other lead is one thing. But to be sidelined to the supporting character?
    This season, even Sam is being thrown to the backburner in favor of not only Cas and the angels, but also occasional recurring characters.
    Look, even if Sam ends up kicking Dean’s ass over the possession and all(and really, who could blame him?) at least that would be PROGRESS in the lead character’s story.
    If Cas’s angel story ends up being directly important to the MOC story, and the MOC story ends up equally involving both Dean and Sam, then that’s the best I can hope for as a fan. But as it stands right now, it looks like Carver and his writing team have fallen in love with Cas/Misha to the expense of Sam and Dean.

    Comment by roxi — April 16, 2014 @ 9:35 am

  36. @34- Why are we ruining it for you? If you love it the way it is so godawful much, then anything we say shouldn’t matter. We are also fans, fans of the way the show used to be good, and this is a discussion site. If we’re bringing you down so much, then why pray tell are you even clicking here and reading the comments? Just enjoy the show and avoid this site, but don’t expect us to stifle our opinions to please you.

    Comment by roxi — April 16, 2014 @ 9:39 am

  37. Great response, Roxi!

    We’re all respectfully discussing the show, not each other’s opinions. You’re entitled, Angel67, to love the season and the episode. I’m entitled to hate it.

    This is a discussion board, not a love fest. Instead of discussing the posters on the board, why don’t you try discussing the show you love so much!

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 16, 2014 @ 10:08 am

  38. Ooops. Am the only one that loved it?

    @23.JT,Dean wanted to kill Gadreel but stopped himself because he thought Gadreel could lead them to Metatron/his motives,etc.(He didn’t know then that Sam had already found Metatron)

    I think all the false “Sam doesn’t love Dean” statements are meant to be leading up to the big Sam saving Dean “relationship fixer” finale with affirmation of the brothers’ bond, etc. I know, old tired methods, but it’s these writers we’re talking about. And i’d rather that then the alternative.

    But definitely want the Moc/Dean story to continue, not us be short-changed in that. It’s a winner, and I hope it carries on onto the next season, what with all the one-offs coming up. Either with looking for/killing Abaddon, or the boys trying to get rid of its effects on Dean. Or finding Cain. Something related, at least.

    I liked this Metatron/Cas twist, to be honest. Found, for first time, i’m interested in them.

    Fascinated to see where it goes from here.

    Comment by Tammy — April 16, 2014 @ 10:24 am

  39. Well, I’m shocked. I was among many on Tumblr who loved this episode – who expected to hate it, but ended up thinking it was great. It’s maybe not altogether flattering to be shocked that an episode was good, but this was really was shockingly good.

    This next bit might end up sounding like a love letter to Robbie Thompson, or a bit like I’m eating crow, after some of my critique last year, but hey, credit where it’s due.
    Robbie has consistently impressed me this year, with his willingness to take on sweeping themes, work with the established characters he was leery of last year, and the sheer ambition of his writing. He’s been willing to take gambles, some of which worked out better (First Blade) than others (Oz). All of them stretched him and the show. You’re right, Sheri, to pick up on the meta aspects of Metatron as writer that were established by Ben Edlund and carried forward so beautifully by Robbie in this episode. You’re right, too, that he’s not Ben Edlund… but that’s ok, because he’s Robbie Thompson, and he’s damned impressive just as himself.
    Most of the critiques from last year – failed humor, lack of investment in main characters, trashed canon, and cheesy dialog – have been paired away, and all his strengths – masterful plotting, effective character development, and a unique vision – are shining bright like a diamond.
    He’s upped his consistency and world-building skills, and is elevating his meta game.
    This kind of thing, when you can literally see someone building skills that are taking them to the next level, is always inspiring. So yeah, good on ya, Robbie. And thanks for all your hard work.

    I’m not saying there weren’t rough edges in this episode. Nothing’s perfect, but I’m really sad to see that you guys didn’t like it.
    I was hoping you’d be discussing where Dean is now – back to torturing, but able to control himself. Wanting payback, not justice – where justice would have been killing him, instead he wanted him to suffer in the worst possible way.
    I couldn’t tell where exactly in Gadreel’s speech he snapped…maybe the comment about being a coward? That seems like of a pivotal detail, and quite revealing, if it can be pinned down.

    On another subject, Cas picked up what was going on with Dean right away, because he sees Dean soul-deep. So that seems to imply that the mark may be changing Dean far beneath the skin, possibly permanently. They totally kicked the can of ‘what the mark means’ down the road, just like they separated team free will again (for no obvious reason). I would have thought all you Dean!girls would have loved seeing both Cas and Sam expressing concern and care for Dean, both of them clearly worried about him. Personally, I always find the genuine fondness Cas has for Dean and the joy he finds in their friendship to be really heartwarming. But then, I love their scenes anyway. It’s been like seven episodes since they’ve had a scene together and if I had my druthers, we’d never see that kind of a drought again.
    Anyway. I thought it was a great episode. This has been my least favorite season ever and this epi cheered me up immensely. Hopefully the next one will do the same for the rest of you.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — April 16, 2014 @ 11:05 am

  40. Casey@25, roxi@30, roxi, Sheri@32–Bravo! No amount of intimidation by the Castiel fan base will alter the fact that this character is like an onion. As a light garnish, it’s tolerable. As a main dish, it stinks .

    True, Tammy, I missed that. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Castiel and Gadreel end up becoming BFFs. They do have a lot in common.

    Though I was bored by most of the episode, I did like the way the confrontation between Dean and Gadreel was handled. Dean’s clearly being influenced by the MOC–both in wanting Sam out of the way so he could beat up the angel himself and in realizing he’d nearly killed Gadreel even though he needed him alive. Apparently, the MOC instills murderous rage, magnifies what’s already there, or both.

    Comment by JT — April 16, 2014 @ 11:47 am

  41. I have mixed opinions on this one so far. I don’t hate it like others here do, but I thought it could have been better.

    At first I felt the same as others, that nothing really changed this episode, but that’s not quite the case:
    - Dean is still controlling himself, but seems to be struggling more and more. And getting stronger and stronger: beating an angel unconscious! We’ve seen Dean punch angels twice before, and usually he doesn’t get much out of it other than a broken hand.
    - Cas is now aware that Dean has the MOC. I’m not surprised he could see it right away, Angel-fu and all. He can see alterations like that. I do wish he gave Sam a bit more info tho (and I wish they’d left the “Sam is worried” line in- the character can use some help!)
    - Sam was worried before, but now he KNOWS he needs to be worried. His anger seems long dissolved at this point, though we don’t know how the brothers are interacting “off the case” right now.
    - It’s also clear that Sam’s harsh speeches will be addressed at some point. Dean’s “He told me worse than that” probably won’t just hang in the air forever.
    - Uh, Stairway to Heaven? Wha?

    Gadreel was pretty clearly full of crap when he was taunting Dean- not like Gadreel’s ever been honest with him. Even if people aren’t sure about Sam now, he surely didn’t “always” feel that way (“I Know What You Did Last Summer”). The “you let people die” was supposed to go hand in hand with Sam’s “you sacrifice when you’re not the one hurt,” but those two statements don’t mean the same things. It’s positive character development on Dean’s part to try not to let that kind of diatribe get to him, even if he is questioning how things are with Sam right now. But Gadreel was hitting Dean’s most vulnerable points- “Sammy doesn’t love you, you let people die.” The angel lived with Dean for months, he knows how to get under his skin.

    I do think things could have gone better. I would have liked to see more Sam/Gadreel interaction myself, all things considered. And more about WHY the MOC is serious bad news. I loved Gabriel/Trickster, but I do think bringing him back now was rather gratuitous. And it does feel like the mytharc is creeeeeping along very slowly, especially since there’s so little time left. I hope those MOTW episodes have more insight in them than we think!

    Comment by Jaytee — April 16, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

  42. I was looking forward to Gadreel being in the episode and referencing his time inside Sam’s head but the scene where Gadreel reveals what Sam supposedly thinks wasn’t exciting. To me that stuff is old old. Not believable yet now Sam has to fix that damage down the line. Plus the show has done before this the whole bit about a bad guy trying to mess with Dean’s head by telling what his family “really” thinks of him and the show has done it better (Azazel).

    I won’t like it if they try to make it so that Cas is the one who “gets” Dean while Sam needs to be instructed etc. The show might be going that way considering the goo-goo eyes when Cas and Dean talked over the phone and cutting a line from Sam where he directly voiced his concern. Very deliberate that Cas paused, smiled and fondly asked how Dean was doing after Dean sort of made a joke. And how Cas was the one to “reach out” to Dean. Besides, all of that makes it even more glaring that Sam and Cas really aren’t meant to be real friends. Lopsided it is and all that is left is squabbling over who gets to be Dean’s number one.

    Comment by San Summer — April 16, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

  43. @San Summer,

    LOL, the Cas fans apparently aren’t happy either. For all that, Cas and Dean only interacted for about 1-2 minutes in the whole epi, then Cas went on his way again. Cas showed up long enough to establish that the MOC is bad news, and that it’s Sam’s job to do something about it :p.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 16, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

  44. @Jaytee. Okay good :D :D And to Cas’ credit he might have meant his words to Sam both ways: Watch out for Dean and watch out that you yourself don’t end up like Abel.

    You know I have to admit that I was kind of starting to get pissed off about this whole mess. Why, why do they need to have Dean take Gadreel’s words to heart? That dialogue was blah and I think it was blah even for those who think Sam is a lost cause as a character. No one seems to be too worked up about it so why take Dean down by having him believe in that crap?

    I think it would have been better if Gadreel had addressed the possession thing, how that was for him and for Sam instead of the usual “No one cares about you Dean like you care about them”.

    Comment by San Summer — April 16, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

  45. Yeah, I would’ve liked to have seen more Sam/Gadreel interaction- think about it, they’re so connected but have barely spoken! That could have been really interesting.

    I dunno. I guess we could barely expect Gadreel to be happy to see either of them, but what he ended up saying was so…tired. “Hey Sam, I’ve been inside you, and you suck!” “Hey Dean, allow me to be the 1234th person to insinuate that you’re worthless and no one loves you!” Sigh, wasted opportunities.

    I did like some aspects of the episode, but the Gadreel end of it was a letdown. At the end though, he wasn’t looking all that impressed with Metatron. I hope we see more of him before the season’s out.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 16, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

  46. @41 Jaytee, I don’t think we’ll be getting many insights into the MOC this season. My guess is the myth arc will be fleshed out in S10. Meanwhile, Carver’s going to be filling up time with more flashes of MOC fury from Dean, additional hints at his supernatural powers, growing worry by his helpless brother, and repeated references to remarks and actions by Sam that will stir up Dean’s murderous hate.

    i’m no longer buying into any OOC thing Sam has said or done to Dean. All that crap, from not looking for Dean on, has been a clumsy dramatic device aimed at turning one brother against the other. Heck, if he thought Dean/Cain needed more incentive to commit fratricide, Carver would probably have Sam blow up Baby for laughs and force feed the scrap metal to his brother.

    Of course, Carver did say something about the brothers not suspecting how deep the connection between them is, so maybe he’ll surprise us.

    Comment by JT — April 16, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

  47. @Jaytee. My point exactly! I think they could have had Dean breaking down in the bathroom but still had more meaningful insight from Gadreel. Maybe have Gadreel address why Sam was so ready to die for the trials, why he was so exhausted in 9.01 etc. I bet there would be information that would make Dean feel even more devastated than he normally would. Was there a hint of suicidal ideation in the season 8 finale? If so, then usually family is hit hard by that sort of news.

    Dean was uncomfortable when Sam claimed in 9.02: “Honestly, um, I feel better than I have in a long time. I mean, I realise it’s crazy out there, and we have trouble coming for us, but I look around and I see friends, and family. I am happy with my life, for the first time in… forever. I-I am, I really am. It’s just, things are… things are good.” Why not explore that? It might reveal more about Sam and it could aid Dean down a dark path because he would probably feel like he should have done something more etc.

    Comment by San Summer — April 16, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

  48. @JT. I hold out hope for the season finale. JA said that things start hitting the fan in 21, which would then be 2-3 eps of Dark!Dean (and Cas storming Heaven apparently). I also have “faith” that the writers won’t be able to sustain a Dark!Dean arc for all that long- they haven’t been that gifted in drawing out stories so far. I also think it would be a nice bit of symmetry for Sam to be in that “saving an unwilling brother” zone in the finale, as Dean was in the premiere.

    FWIW, I actually think there were similar complaints about Sam’s dark arc in S4, though his build-up lasted longer than Dean’s. There’d be like 4-5 episodes in a row with pretty well nothing going on, then BAM! Sam would use his powers/kill Alistair/flip out on Dean after a Siren infection, etc. And Sam didn’t go “full dark” until the second last episode. Cas only went “full dark” for 2 episodes as well, though I don’t know what fans thought of that. So, there’s that.

    These writers, man. I try not to get too down on them, as in some ways I find them better than Gamble’s team, and I do find S9 better than S8 (at least the brother conflict isn’t stupidly one-sided this time, and is grounded in in-character behaviour!) But things could definitely be paced better, and the characterization could definitely be better.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 16, 2014 @ 3:32 pm

  49. Then again, I suck at predictions and need to get out of that business :p. A lot of people are starting to think the MOC will be going into S10, so we’ll see :p.

    @San Summer. You’re right, those would have been great ideas. Or laying on the guilt about “violating” Sam or something. Like you said, that would have emotionally wrecked Dean as well, without casting aspersions on Sam (AGAIN) or re-treading old territory. Then Dean’s arc wrt Sam could go back to the “I’m poison and you’re better off without me” idea for when Dean hits the fan.

    I’m actually not sure where it’s supposed to go from here is Dean is still confident that Sam cares about him? If they’re through the worst of the fighting and Dean still thinks he and Sam are a team, what’s going to push him over the edge? He clearly stays okay enough with Sam for the next 2 episodes. So….does Sam get to regress again and get pissed off all over just to knock that last bit of hope out of Dean? Or will it be all Blade at that point?

    Comment by Jaytee — April 16, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

  50. @47. Hell, have Gadreel twist the knife about how Dean was instrumental in ticking his little brother into becoming a vessel and thus Sam losing trust and feeling like he should have died etc. Something else besides lines like: “He would not trade his life for yours. – He’s always felt that way” which no one can take seriously and won’t make Dean look good if that sort of stuff is what brings him down.

    Comment by San Summer — April 16, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

  51. @49 Jaytee, just saw your post! As you can see, I agree with you about Gadreel “laying on the guilt about “violating” Sam or something”. Gadreel could have gone for the jugular that way, it would have forced Dean to confront those issues yet made him react in despair and violence like they showed now. The major difference would have been that the character development would have progressed way better because the possession thing has kind of been the poison in the background since 9.13 and it would not have cast Dean in “ye of little faith” light.

    Comment by San Summer — April 16, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

  52. @San Summer. What I absolutely DON’T want to see is some form of “Sammy doesn’t love me so I’ma just turn evil and kill everything!” I hope the writers can at least avoid that.

    Sam’s arc in Season 4 was complex. There was anger, fear, grief, hate, vengeance, lust, love, power, addiction all mixed in with what Sam sure hoped were good intentions.

    I want Dean’s arc to be similarly three dimensional. I want him to fear that Sammy doesn’t love him and that he misjudged their relationship all this time, but I also want to see the guilt, anger, fear, self-doubt, self-hate, love- all that other stuff I know is there for him. It would cheapen him terribly to render Dean’s entire motivation down to one issue. And it would also make Sam look frankly like an irredeemable asshole if the “Sam doesn’t love Dean” idea has to get played that far.

    We of course have no idea how it’s all going to go. But Gadreel’s old saw put that back in my head, and I SO want more for both brothers.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 16, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

  53. @48, Jaytee, I’m hoping the myth arc won’t be wrapped up this season, given all its related plot lines involving Abaddon, Crowley, Cain, the MOC/blade, the Knights of Hell, and, of course, Sam and Dean. I guess it’s also possible Magnus could be back (at least through a flashback), and we’ll find out more about his invisible fortress and his mentoring of Henry. It annoys me no end when the series drops interesting plot lines or wraps them up with a few lines of dialogue.

    Unfortunately, the angel thing is going to be merging somehow with the MOC myth arc, so I expect Sam and Dean will be given second billing to the cartoon characters–as they were last night.

    Comment by JT — April 16, 2014 @ 4:27 pm

  54. @Jaytee. Words “needy”, “alone” and the accusation that Dean would rather let everyone around him die seemed to be the ones that triggered Dean. Couple all that with how the myth centers on brother going against brother and I bet Sam will shoulder a lot of the blame. Won’t be anything new. Just add it to his laundry list: Ruby, killing Lilith, letting Lucifer out, losing his soul, not looking for Dean when Dean went to Purgatory.

    Comment by San Summer — April 16, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

  55. I really didn’t see that much worry coming from Sam. Seeing Dean on the floor like that should have elicited more of a reaction from Sam, I thought.
    As for Cas’s reaction, yes he did seem concerned for a minute, but hardly all that worked up about it because then he just went on his way to what was clearly the most important thing to him; amassing his angel following. Certainly, if there’s this supposed romantic subtext, it seems he would have said something more like” Sam, call me and keep me posted” rather than just to keep an eye on him. It seems like he doesn’t know that it’s the MOC.
    Ido wish they had kept Sam’s line in about being worried about Dean. No, I realize they have a lot to do and they can’t just stop so that either Sam or Cas can agonize, but I would like to see that they’re both more concerned than what I’ve seen so far.

    Comment by roxi — April 16, 2014 @ 4:46 pm

  56. @roxi. Hmm, I felt that he was trying to calm Dean and get through to him about Cas’ situation. Maybe if they weren’t in a bad place, he would have put his hand on Dean to check if he was okay like he has before (for Cas, too).

    Comment by San Summer — April 16, 2014 @ 4:54 pm

  57. roxi, I don’t want to see Castiel agonizing. It was only last season he beat Dean to a pulp–not for the first time. Castiel is always only about Castiel. Any agonizing on his part would be as phony and superficial as he himself is.

    I agree about Sam, though. As you say, seeing Dean like that should have elicited more of a reaction from Sam. The only thing I can figure is that Sam knows Dean’s in big trouble, but he also knows Abaddon has to be stopped or she’ll keep taking human souls to make killer demons. Dean would probably do something–anything– to save Sam from the dangers of the MOC. But Carver might trying to make the point that Sam has a different view: “the needs of the many are more important than the needs of the few, or the one.”
    (That’s a bad paraphrase of Spock’s dictum.)

    Comment by JT — April 16, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

  58. @roxi – the ending was Cas being manipulated by Metatron… you get that right? Cas had no control over what happened.

    Comment by t1gerlilly — April 16, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

  59. @Roxi and JT,

    I dunno, I really liked that scene with Dean on the ground. Sam did seem freaked at first, ran at him asking if he was okay (for the second time that episode), saying he’d been trying to call, etc. He seemed plenty concerned. He was visibly worried the whole episode. He ascertained that Dean was at least kinda alright, and found out what happened, then got into the Cas trade. Dunno what else he could have done there.

    Moreover, when Sam first saw Gadreel, he seemed to want to go to town on him as much as Dean did (and who could blame him?) But by then, I loved that Sam barely glanced at Gadreel- he was making sure Dean was okay, he was working to save Cas, and the two of them were more important than the angel who wore him to the prom for months.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 16, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

  60. @59, Jaytee, I haven’t seen the episode again, but you’re right. Sam “was visibly worried” in the episode. In fact, I noticed that he acted like a nervous wreck when he was talking with Carlos. Sam is all Dean has–and the reverse. That DID come through, less because of the miserable script than because of the usual outstanding performances by JP and JA.

    Especially given these two great actors, it’s really a shame that SN has lost most of its excellent writers. The entire Castiel plot was a ridiculous use of air time. Metatron’s script was as absurd and pointless as his assigning Castiel the role of villain because he wants to be hero. Did we really need to hear angels asking Castiel AGAIN to be their leader while he encouraged more pleas by coyly insisting he wasn’t one? And what a terrible waste of the Trickster! For years he’s been gone–only to act like Castiel’s BFF on his return. When did that happen? From what I remember, one of the last times they were in the same scene together, Gabriel was bouncing Castiel off the walls. Gadreel’s appearance was equally gratuitous. He was used for nothing except to anger Dean by telling him everything he–and we–already knew.

    I guess I’d be more interested in re-watching the episode if only Comcast would let me fast-forward through the junk and focus on the Sam and Dean scenes. Of course, that would limit my viewing experience to ten minutes–tops.

    Comment by JT — April 16, 2014 @ 6:49 pm

  61. @58- I stated my opinion that for someone supposedly in love, I would have expected a bit more concern than 60 seconds. Your condensing attitude is not necessary.

    Comment by roxi — April 17, 2014 @ 3:26 am

  62. Funny how it’s claimed that Cas brings in good ratings yet when the ratings are bad (like for this episode), suddenly it’s not about Cas.

    Comment by San Summer — April 17, 2014 @ 4:54 am

  63. Crummy ratings: a fall to .8/2 1.66 mil. I’m sure the Castiel fans will explain that away, but ratings are ratings. As the ratings fall, Dean Winchester, the single most popular character in the series, glances occasionally at the Mark of Cain on his foreararm in short clips as the convoluted angel story and sibling fussing between the brothers take center stage. Something is badly wrong here.

    Comment by CaseyT — April 17, 2014 @ 6:09 am

  64. Yeah, the worst ratings of the season: .7 and 1.60 viewers. The episode was promoted as a Cas-centric episode; and it was, written from Metatron’s POV. It was a first airing following a three-week hiatus; fans should have been jonseing to have a new episode. Maybe the fans are figuring out that they only have to watch the premiere and the last two episodes of a season to get the story. Maybe it’s that they aren’t that interested in Cas and his angel story, or Metatron, or both.

    I have watched the episode again, and I seriously do not know what Metatron is supposed to be or what his goal is. Is he supposed to be an evil puppet master? Is he just a psychopathic angel? Is his goal just to write a story? Is he getting God powers from the angel tablets? How? I remain completely uninterested in the angel story and Metatron, especially since I don’t even know what his goal is. That’s pathetic for this late in the show.

    Presumably, the show has established that humans cannot be manipulated because of free will and angels do not have free will. Cas is an angel again, so why does Metatron have to write stories to manipulate Cas to do what he wants? How can Cas not be manipulated if he is an angel? Has he learned free will now and that makes him half-human? Same with Gadreel. If he turns on Metatron, how is he able to do that. There has been nothing established in the season to indicate that somehow Gadreel has learned free will, even though he says that he freed humanity and that he loves them.

    All in all, the show has established that having a soul equals having morality, but angels have no soul, so the logic for both Cas and/or Gadreel escapes me.

    I also think that the episode clearly set up the Metatron as much too powerful for the Winchesters to take on and, in my mind, pretty much solidified that Cas will have the angel story. I see no other role for the Winchesters in that story, unless it is to be support characters to Cas.

    The only part of the episode that interested me was Gadreel and what he is up to. I got the feeling that he is going to double-cross Metatron. I am curious about his questioning Metatron about his capture by the Winchesters and the way he left the room.

    So there was a young druggie ex-hunter running a hunter’s warehouse? Did he look like an ex-hunter on the level of Tara?

    And then there is Gadreel goading Dean to kill him, and he was using Sam’s memories to do the goading. Isn’t Sam all ticked off at Dean because he was willing to die to accomplish the mission (the trials), but now he would not lay down his life for Dean. If Sam was willing to die, Sam should be willing to die for any reason, even if that reason is to save Dean. I mean, the guy wants to die…supposedly.

    Cas is burning up because of borrowed grace? I haven’t seen any indication that Cas is having any problems at all, except that he can’t fly because he lost his wings.

    Gad says he set humans free, but nothing about giving them knowledge and self-awareness. It would have been so much more interesting if Gad has said he let his brother, Lucifer, into the Garden. That would have at least been a parallel to the Sam and Dean brother relationship.

    Also, if Gad wanted to die, why not just take Dean’s deal — tell Dean Metatron’s plans and let Dean kill him quick, as Dean promised.

    All of these and more are examples of the problems I have with Thompson and the other writers. They don’t set boundaries for what they set up in a story and then there logic fails drives me nuts. That is not good storytelling, IMO.

    Comment by Sheri — April 17, 2014 @ 6:10 am

  65. @62- I think maybe fans are starting to give up because the Winchesters and what was once their special bond AREN’T the main focus anymore. Hell, even Sam, who used to almost always get most of the main season arcs, doesn’t even have a story this season, and what we thought would finally be an important story for Dean is barely getting lip service in favor of Cas and the angels, recurring guest stars, and the occasional one off MOTW episodes. My guess is that Carver and his writing team made a serious miscalculation and maybe the ratings dip is a good thing, might open their eyes to the wrong direction they’re taking SPN. Maybe they’ll realize they need to bring it back to what drew in the majority of the fans in the first place; Sam and Dean’s story and the shared trials they endured together. And maybe then they’ll start writing strong stories about THEM again.
    Yes it is funny isn’t it, that these bloggers claim lack of Cas hurts the show, yet when the episode is all about him and the ratings still drop, they’ll claim it’s Sam and Dean bringing it down.

    Comment by roxi — April 17, 2014 @ 6:22 am

  66. @64. That’s funny, Sheri, because the episode was all about ‘what makes a good story…’! The irony…

    All valid points, but I didnt agree with the Gadreel goading Dean one. Of course he knows Sam really well, but that’s not going to stop him from lying. He knows Dean’s weaknesses, so he used those as arsenal. Doesn’t need to be true.

    However, i enjoyed it, so no complaints except more of the Winchesters would have been good. I really liked the Cas/Metatron twist. Found it very cleverly done and fun too, in a dark way.

    Loved Sam being all concerned about Dean throughout. Unfortunately, Dean doesn’t see that due to the MoC effect. However, I was fascinated by his reaction to Gadreel’s goading. At first, he was completely taken in amd reacted just as Gadreel wanted. Them he REALIZED why he was doing that, and stopped himself. So I’m not sure how much the whole ‘Sam doesn’t love me’ factor plays into Dean’s changes. it’s a factor, but not the only one. There’s a lot going on with Dean at the moment.

    Comment by Tammy — April 17, 2014 @ 6:35 am

  67. @65. Yep, that is what is happening. They are reaching at straws because Sam and Dean were in the episode for like less than 10 minutes. Apparently this is not new development either. Season 7 episode The Born-Again Identity marked the return of Cas as a character and by their logic it should have had really good ratings but it didn’t so of course the problem was Sam.

    Comment by San Summer — April 17, 2014 @ 7:02 am

  68. Regarding my theory about Gadreel’s free will. He knew Sam’s yes wasn’t a true one which is why he was constantly reminding Dean that Sam could eject him at any time. So he must have some awareness of free will. Being snide about the happiness of Abner’s vessel could mean that he sees a problem in the concept in general. On the other hand when he was possessing Sam he did act more like Sam was a vessel whereas Dean made a point to say that Sam as his brother is useful etc. But why would Gadreel feel that humans needed to be freed when they were living in Eden unless he somehow felt that they didn’t have free will?

    Comment by San Summer — April 17, 2014 @ 7:37 am

  69. @ Tammy #66: That is ironic, isn’t it, but if anyone has any ideas about what Metatron’s story is, I sure would be interested.

    I think Gad was using Sam’s memories against Dean and exaggerating them. Gad clearly tells Sam that he’s been inside his body and his insides reek of shame and weakness. That directly relates back to what Sam said in Sacrifice. The exaggerated part is the part was:

    Gad: He’s told you he has always felt that way, that he thinks that you are scared little boy who is afraid to be on his own because Daddy never loved him enough.”

    Gad goes on to call Dean a coward, sad, needy and clingy, which is exactly descriptive of what Sam thinks and has told Dean — that Dean can’t face life on his own; that he is willing to sacrifice only if Dean himself does not get hurt (i.e., is left alone) and also from The Purge.

    SAM: I’ll give you this much. You are certainly willing to do the sacrificing as long as you’re not the one being hurt.

    We know that Sam tried to trade his soul for Dean’s in “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” but we also know that Sam went nuts after Dean died, because he knew that Dean had traded his soul for Sam’s life and the guilt was eating him up. That story ended with Swan Song, though, and since then, we have seen a different Sam. The Sam we know now has repeatedly not wanted to be with Dean, didn’t look for Dean, and has disowned Dean but is willing to work with him as a hunting partner. Call it Sam learning lessons or Sam OOC, or Sam is just a jerk, but that’s the Sam we have these days, so it is not unrealistic to believe that Sam has always secretly felt this way about Dean. After all, the Siren in “Sex and Violence” tapped into both brother’s true feelings and amplified them, so if Sam thought it way back then, what makes anyone think he feels differently now?

    The part Gad said about being a coward was true, as Sam does think Dean is a coward to not want to be alone.

    I am basing my comments on Sam wanting to die, also from “The Purge,” because Sam was no longer possessed by Gad at that time, so it was the real Sam talking:

    SAM: I was ready to die. I was ready. I should have died, but you… You didn’t want to be alone, and that’s what all this boils down to. You can’t stand the thought of being alone.

    Also, Tammy, I don’t understand what you mean by the Cas/Metatron twist? Could you explain that a little more, please.

    Comment by Sheri — April 17, 2014 @ 7:44 am

  70. When I watched First Born, I got the sense that they are going for Dean giving up on his brother or coming really close to that. Gadreel’s words fit that theme because it’s Dean’s MO to start questioning Sam as a whole, how Sam has _always_ been this and not been that. “Well, I don’t know when it happened. Maybe when I was in hell. Maybe when I was staring right at you. But the Sam I knew, he’s gone.“, “I gotta face the facts. Sam never wanted part of this family. — Sam’s gone. He’s gone. I’m not even sure if he’s still my brother anymore. If he ever was.”

    Comment by San Summer — April 17, 2014 @ 8:22 am

  71. @ San Summer: I don’t think that explains Gad’s free will. Gad was keeping his Dean, healing Sam as he healed himself, because Cas had to complete Sam’s healing after Sam expelled Gad. He certainly should have had access to Sam’s mind, his feelings and thoughts, but that is not an explanation for free will.

    The show told us that Cas learned about free will from hanging around Dean so much and by Sam stopping the Apocalypse, i.e., neither being manipulated by the angels. But, then, when he went off to use it, he did not understand it, which led him to making a deal with Crowley and committing heinous acts. That misuse is why he did not want to be the angel’s leader. He was afraid he would screw up again.

    As to why Gad felt humans needed to be freed when they were living in Eden, I think this was just another writer screw up that had nothing to do with the idea of free will. In my mind, Thompson should have had Gad appeal to Dean based on the fact that he did not allow “the snake” into the Garden to free humanity. What he should have appealed to Dean on that would be more aligned with this season’s story is that he allowed his brother, Lucifer, whom he loved and trusted into the Garden. Think of the resonance those words would have had with Dean with the current MoC story and what Sam said to him – a loved and trusted brother who turned against him.

    As I said, even having a sentence referring to humans having knowledge and self-awareness, instead of living in The Matrix would have meant much more to Dean than pounding the fans over the head with ‘Dean can’t live alone,’ ‘Dean has low self-esteem,’ and ‘Daddy did not love Dean enough.’ That is a tired story that we kind of saw Dean come to terms with over the first five years. He idolized John, came to realize that John wasn’t perfect, and seemed to accept that John did the best he could. That resolution has even been shown this season, with Dean defending Sam to John.

    We sort of saw both brothers come into their own as men and hunters through the first five years, and that was the purpose of killing John off.

    It’s my feeling that Dean is Dean and he is who he is because of how he was raised by John and, particularly, what losing his mother did to him. Can you take the spots off a leopard? I guess these writers are attempting that with Metatron’s “mess-terpiece” of a story this season, but I don’t see free will in the equation, except that the writers seem to have forgotten what was established about that in past seasons.

    I just cannot buy that the established boundaries were that having a soul = being a human = free will that sets humans apart from angels into angels can now have free will if the writers just say they are “a rebel.” I can make the stretch with Cas, as there is a background story there. There has been no background story established for Gad.

    Did anyone notice that Thompson also set up a B-plot story for Cas; that he is being burned out because of stolen grace? That’s something else that now has to be addressed, in addition to everything else going on.

    Comment by Sheri — April 17, 2014 @ 10:06 am

  72. @71. “What he should have appealed to Dean on that would be more aligned with this season’s story is that he allowed his brother, Lucifer, whom he loved and trusted into the Garden. Think of the resonance those words would have had with Dean with the current MoC story and what Sam said to him – a loved and trusted brother who turned against him.”

    I really can’t see the parallel there. How did Dean allow Sam into his “Garden” and then Sam turned against him? Sam said: “You want to work? Let’s work. If you want to be brothers…” So the door is open for Dean especially since Sam agreed to come back when Dean asked. Sam did not force the mark on Dean or did anything else evil. In fact, this story showed Dean using Sam’s implicit trust and Sam realizing he can’t trust his brother like he should be able to.

    ***

    I expected Cas’ grace to be a problem right from the start but there has been no build-up. If Sam’s grace storyline has not been dropped, then maybe that could tie the plot back to the brothers.

    ***

    I think that Gadreel might have learned something also from Sam because when Abner said: “Look at me. I’m happy.” Gadreel said: “And your vessel — is he happy?” When he put Sam in a dream, he could have made it into something a lot more unpleasant than Sam working on a case with his brother about ghouls and cheerleaders.

    Re: “I just cannot buy that the established boundaries were that having a soul = being a human = free will that sets humans apart from angels into angels can now have free will if the writers just say they are “a rebel.” I can make the stretch with Cas, as there is a background story there. There has been no background story established for Gad.”

    But wouldn’t Gadreel be sort of the original rebel? He had one job but decided to act on his own (setting humanity free).

    Comment by San Summer — April 17, 2014 @ 10:58 am

  73. @San Summer, I’m getting dead curious about Gadreel, since it seems like his story’s unfinished. He still seems like a wild card to me, for all the reasons you mention. At moments he seemed compassionate, though not this episode! But then he didn’t seem thrilled with Metatron either. So…what’s going to happen with him?

    As for Sam’s grace, I think it was animal that reminded us awhile back that Cas said the “residual” grace would fade out gradually. I’m not sure why the writers would even bother with that (as opposed to just stating that the grace has been extracted), but I think that’s supposed to be resolved. It does seem late in the game to bring up Cas’ grace, unless that’s going to be another S10 plot point or become relevant VERY quickly.

    As for what Gad said to Dean: There will never be agreement in the fandom about whether Sam *actually* disowned Dean or not, but I think the point there is that Dean *believes* Sam did/has, and that Sam won’t do the same for him as he has done for Sam. Now, my take is that the writers haven’t been showing Sam racing after/checking in with/worrying about Dean almost every episode just to have him go “Eh, too much work” once Dean is really in over his head, but that’s the tension of the MOC arc.

    Y’know, if this show gets a reboot, I think it could use a structural retooling. I just realized how much discussion there is around mytharcs and timing. SPN’s mytharc structure kind of puts things on a rigid schedule to happen, when Show would probably benefit from more flexibility and letting the plot unfold organically. There would be less shoe-horned characterization then too.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 17, 2014 @ 11:31 am

  74. @Jaytee. And also the way Gadreel looked at Sam when he left! It indicated to me that he is not done with Sam. Wasn’t it you who wondered why Gadreel was so determined to stay in Sam? (“I can sit in this chair for years — And I have all the time in the world.”)

    Cas did say: “Well, whatever Grace was inside you is gone now. What’s left of Gadreel is in here. We’ll just have to try the spell with what we have.” but to me he was just so suspicious when he said it. Especially since Sam was disappointed to hear that and Cas went on to say: “Sam, I want Gadreel to pay as much as you do. But nothing is worth losing you.”

    It could be a red herring though or the director asked Misha to play it ambiguously because they didn’t know yet what they wanted to do with it. Saying that the grace is harmless just seems way too random. There’s got to be a reason why an angel leaves a little bit of his grace behind when he departs (besides how it can be used for tracking). Could Sam help Cas to power back up? But I don’t see that happening if cutting the throat / a needle is the only way to get it. I don’t think possessing Sam would be enough for Cas (not that they would go there in any case).

    Comment by San Summer — April 17, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

  75. Oh, I hope we do see more of Gadreel, and get some more Sam/Gadreel interaction. The thing is, it’ll be so hard to tell whether or not Gadreel is ever sincere or not, since he sort of made a career out of playing Dean. Then again, he’d be a hella powerful ally. Hell, is there a reason angels can’t kill Abaddon and get this mess over with?

    OMG I got it! (Crack-theory). Sam willingly gets possessed by Gadreel again to kill Abaddon/save Dean.

    As for Cas: I think he might be subject to the shortest mytharc ever with his stolen grace. So we’re finding out about his issues now, is he going to blow up in the finale?

    Final question: think Dean is going to wind up punching Metatron to death?

    Comment by Jaytee — April 17, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

  76. @ San Summer: The parallel would be the “implicit trust.” Gad loved and trusted Lucifer, his brother; and Sam said that he could no longer trust and doesn’t want Dean as a brother. Dean already thinks that he is poison to everyone around him, and Sam told him his life’s work has meant nothing and invalidated Dean’s whole life, because Dean is selfish and does things only for himself.

    It is impossible to speculate on things like leftover grace in Sam when there are no boundaries, no story structure, that the writers operate in and the viewers view in, but my guess is that the leftover grace in Sam is over and done with. I do expect them to address Cas’ grace, since one of the writers mentioned somewhere and some time ago that the stolen grace would cause Cas problems. Maybe they will use that to turn Cas into another different character next season.

    Comment by Sheri — April 17, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

  77. @Jaytee. Yay! Makes sense to me! Hmmm. Sam willingly letting Gadreel possess him… Brilliant.

    @Sheri. By the Cas/Metatron twist, I meant Metatron wanting to write his epic story by forcing Cas to lead the angels against him. I know most of you thought it was silly, confusing and lame… But, at the risk of offending religious sensibilities (I don’t mean to do that, but just to get a point across), doesn’t it kinda seem like that’s God’s point for us humans too? Us humans being God’s ‘entertainment’ in a way isn’t that much more noble than humans and angels and demons being the characters in Metatron’s big story, is it? My apologies, folks, just thoughts.

    As for Sam, well, Sheri, you and I have such different views about him that I don’t think we can agree on the brothers’relationship/ Gadreel’s words and their truth, or lack of it. so there wouldn’t be any point in getting into that. Let me just say that I don’t think Sam has changed that much regarding his brother at all from the entire season three, including MS and the episode where Sam seriously thinks about both of them turning into kinda immortal monsters, IKWYDLS, Time after time, and so on. The changes are more superficial than anything, to me.

    I know I don’t watch it with the depth and detail that you do, Sheri, so I really enjoy your analysis. You’re right, I’m sure, about most of the issues you brought up. However, what can I say… I had fun!

    Comment by Tammy — April 17, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

  78. @Jaytee. I think Gadreel might have plans to get back in there. It seems like Sam and Dean are the strongest vessels around and Gadreel wants to lead the angels back to Heaven. “I am doing what I have to do.”

    Oh and don’t forget Misha revealed that Metatron is going to be played by another actor! Also Misha said it was gonna be Castiel vs. Metatron so I wonder what role Gadreel will have. I think that ultimately he’ll be on the Winchesters’ side.

    I just thought of something! In 5.03 Cas said: “There’s, well, almost an open phone line between a vessel and his angel.” Why hasn’t that been utilized regarding Sam and Gadreel?

    @Sheri. I can’t help but think that Dean is projecting his own issues on Sam and Gadreel is using that to his advantage. Like when Gadreel said: “He would not trade his life for yours” and Dean said: “Well thanks for the rerun, pal. Sam’s already told me all that crap” yet Sam hasn’t told him that.

    Comment by San Summer — April 17, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

  79. @78 continuing. Unless Cas’ words: “between a vessel and his angel” refer to a situation where an angel had a vessel that belonged to a bloodline. There hasn’t been any mention that Sam would be a specific one like that to Gadreel although I think Sam being strong enough to host Lucifer means anyone could find him a very suitable vessel.

    Comment by San Summer — April 17, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

  80. @ Tammy: I’m just a person that has to figure things out and analysis everything. I especially enjoy doing that with shows or movies I watch because, I think, I have to have an interest in the story, as well as the characters. I was so happy when Carver was announced as showrunner, and he’s been a mess. I can’t figure out what he thinks he is achieving.

    As far as your religious take (and it does not offend me at all), I would say that to think God sits up there and manipulates humans means that humans do not have free will. To do that, one would have to believe in ‘destiny’ (or fate, or predestination, depending on your definition). To me, that would mean that people do not take charge of your own life and have the ability to use their imagination (the greatest human ability, IMO) to make choices. Personally, I believe that people always have choices and must then accept the consequences of those choices. Just my thoughts on that.

    From various postings, I would say that a lot of fans, like you, enjoyed this episode. I just can’t figure out why, because for me, it brings up too much re-writing of the rules that have long been established in the show, or perhaps it is changing the rules. That is what happens when a story structure is not established and it is not clear what the rules are that are operating within the structure.

    I will say one thing that I have always enjoyed about the show is that it has depicted how fragile humans are, but it has also shown that they have that “spark” Dick Roman talked about — the imagination to make choices, the imagination that allows the capacity to love, hate, protect, be creative, and to overcome the evil that dwells within us all. Imagination gives humans the ability to choose good and to overcome all the chaos of life. Kripke was very good at always showing that.

    We do have very different views of Sam, but my previous postings were about what Dean thinks; not anything that Sam has said or done. I think Dean is focusing on himself and his issues mostly, and that Sam’s words to him was the catalyst for that introspection.

    Personally, I have a sinking feeling that Dean’s MoC story isn’t going to amount to much and I think Sam’s role is mostly over now that the possession story has ended, other than worrying about Dean. There will be some big speech, I suppose, to where the brothers accept each other and that will be about it.

    I think we are headed more towards Cas and the angels, and something with Abaddon/Crowley with the brothers being side or support characters in their stories. I expect Abaddon to be killed off, as well as Metatron and Gadreel this season. It is hard to speculate, though, when I have no understanding of what the story really is.

    Comment by Sheri — April 17, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

  81. This close to the end of the season, and next week we have a Jody/vampire story?
    I guess at least we could have Dean go psycho and hack off a lot of heads in a bloodthirsty rage which could arouse more worry and suspicion from Sam, and maybe a return of the fabulous Rick Worthy as the Alpha Vamp.

    Comment by roxi — April 17, 2014 @ 5:31 pm

  82. @ roxi #81: Wishful thinking. I bet this is just a one-off that will mean nothing. Then we have the spin-off, again with the J2s hardly in it. They spent 3 days filming in Chicago, and their on-screen time can be gauged by this last episode (8 to 10 minutes), because JA said he had only filmed three days on that episode.

    Personally, I would like to see Rick Worthy again, but I don’t think he is in this one. Love it if he was.

    Comment by Sheri — April 17, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

  83. @75, Jaytee, I hope Dean won’t punch Metatron to death. I hope Dean will cut off his head. Wasn’t the blade used by Cain to kill angels? After Dean disposes of Metatron, he can whack Gadreel–then go after all the other feathered fiends threatening the audience with death by boredom.

    @81, roxi, I love your idea of Dean going on a bloodthirsty hacking spree. (He has to get in a little practice before he gets the First Blade, right?) And, yes! I imagine we could also see some big time worry, guilt, and fear over Dean’s enraged beheadings–especially if he rolls the heads of “innocent victims”–newly turned vamps abducted to feed the nest. That kind of thing doesn’t bother me; new or old, a vampire is dead by definition. But I hope Jody isn’t bitten and beheaded. Guilt over that could destroy Dean; besides, I’m tired of the way SN kills off all the great characters.

    I couldn’t agree more about Rick Worthy. I thought he was one of the scariest, most impressive characters to ever appear on SN. What a splendid and powerful presence he is! If SN doesn’t want him as a vampire, the show should bring him back as an angel. He’s ONE angel I’d enjoy seeing.

    Comment by JT — April 17, 2014 @ 6:45 pm

  84. @77Tammy, wasn’t Castiel asked to lead angels a few episodes ago? In fact, wasn’t he asked to be leader way back in S7? This wasn’t Metatron’s idea. He’s just the latest nitwit to think Castiel’s the leader type.

    These writers make a lot of Metatron, but they don’t show him doing anything impressive–unless we’re supposed to be impressed by whatever gimmick he used to drop the angels from heaven. So far he seems like every other angel in the series: all talk. In fact, if it weren’t for Sam and Dean, last night’s episode would have been nothing BUT talk. SN’s angels need their own soap opera.

    Comment by JT — April 17, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

  85. There’s a synopsis out for Ep 21, and a teaser for the finale.

    Ep 21:

    SUPERNATURAL
    “King of the Damned” — (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET)

    ABADDON BLACKMAILS CROWLEY — Castiel (Misha Collins) captures one of Metatron’s angels (guest star Gordon Woolvet) and asks Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) for help with the interrogation. Dean eagerly accepts, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Sam. Meanwhile, Abaddon (guest star Alaina Huffman) demands Crowley (Mark Sheppard) help her kill Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles). When he refuses, she reveals her shocking bargaining chip. Also, Castiel (Misha Collins) sets a meeting with Gadreel (guest star Tahmoh Penikett). PJ Pesce directed the episode written by Eugenie Ross-Leming & Brad Buckner (#921).

    Finale Teaser:

    A fierce battle! “All bets are off when Sam, Dean and Castiel take the fight to Metatron,” boss Jeremy Carver warns. “Uneasy alliances and brutal choices await…all culminating in shocking consequences.”

    Soooo….thoughts? We know “Dean hits the fan” in 21, so I do wonder if Sam goes Intervention on his ass in that ep. He does appear to go back to his old torturing ways. And for all that, looks like Crowley’s game’s about to change, so Dean may not get to go after Abaddon after all, and since Crowley holds the Blade….make of it what you will. Damned if I can guess what Abaddon has that can sway Crowley at this point.

    Interestingly, JA said it would “come to a head” in 21. We’ve all interpreted that as Dean falling off the slippery slope- they can’t be wrapping up that story in 21, can they?!

    Looks like the finale will be angel-focused, dealing with Metatron. An uneasy alliance, by my guess, is probably Gadreel with Team Free Will or potentially Crabbadon in the mix somewhere. Lord knows where Dean’s MOC arc will be by then. If it’s still in play, my guess is the “brutal choice” will be Sam dealing with the MOC/Dean. If the MOC has been dropped/resolved already, my bet is Cas “dies” for the cause, since he’s burning up on the inside anyway. “Shocking consequences?” Well, there had to be something to kick off S10…

    Comment by Jaytee — April 17, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

  86. @Sheri I didn’t mean that God manipulates humans or that we don’t have free will. The free will is what would make the entertainment interesting, no? :)

    From what Jaytee just posted, it kind of sounds like you are right about the MoC story and the Winchesters being sidelined for the angels and their war. Oh no. Please. Don’t let it be all about the stupid angles again, and the potentially brilliant Dean story gets wrapped up lamely. Yet again.

    @JT. No I’m not excited about Cas leading the angels AT ALL. I would love them to go on a one way trip to either heaven or the spin-off, whichever. I just found it interesting how Metatron was manipulating who-knows-what and Cas into doing that for his epic story.

    I guess I need to watch the episode to see why most of you found it silly/boring/rule-breaking, etc, rather than cool, as I id. . I trust you folks’ judgment too well to dismiss that, I’m probably missing something so I’ll watch it again.

    Ha ha I guess I was just so excited to see it back on screen, I totally missed the uncool stuff!

    I will be super disappointed and in fact, p***ed off if the MoC story doesn’t go anywhere big. And if the finale turns out to be more about angels than our boys, and Cas turns out to be the big hero. Ugh.

    Comment by Tammy — April 17, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

  87. # Jaytee: My thoughts about the 9.21 synopsis.

    First of all, the Nepotism Duo wrote it, so nothing else much needs to be said. But I do have questions.

    Why would Cas need to ask Sam and Dean for help to torture (or interrogate) an angel?

    Why would Cas even consider this, since he was ashamed to ask Dean to torture Alistair, because he knew what it would do to him?

    Why does Abaddon need help to kill the Winchesters, and why would she even consider trying to make a bargain with Crowley, since they are fighting each other for control of Hell?

    Knowing who wrote the episode, the whole thing causes me a great deal of worry. I also thought these two were supposed to be writing 9.22. That’s what I had read earlier.

    Comment by Sheri — April 17, 2014 @ 9:17 pm

  88. I am glad that Dean didn’t kill Gadreel, because honestly I believe that it should be Sam that gets to off him and I don’t want him robbed of that.I also so very much want it to be Sam that is the driving force in going after/saving Dean. They need to really effectively deal with the possession issue and the root causes behind it, and the MOC story needs to be their arc together, and it needs to be the MAIN arc.
    But sadly, for us brother fans, it doesn’t look like it will be, certainly not this season. It seems that most of the bloggers are all about Cas/Misha and I guess they are the ones that have the most sway over the people running SPN. But from every fansite I ever read, the majority of regular SPN fans were first drawn into it and continue to watch it because of Sam and Dean, their ongoing story, and their relationship. But it’s getting apparent that we don’t have much influence over Carver and this current group of writers.
    I so want to be proven wrong. And you know something else? Just because SPN got renewed for a 10th season doesn’t mean that it can’t get cancelled before that season is over, if the ratings continue to drop. Networks don’t care about fans of a cult series, they are all about ratings, bottom line.
    Gee, I hope that isn’t too much bitching and complaining for some! Don’t want to ruin it for those who love the way it is LOL.

    Comment by roxi — April 17, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

  89. Roxi – I hope and pray Dean does SOMETHING in this next episode to warrant all the worry Sam supposedly has b/c I’m just not seeing anything.

    I know my interest in the show is at an all-time low, but I still watch and I don’t see Dean behaving all that differently. Yes, I know he’s been brooding and looking depressed but there’s no all-consuming rage or bloodlust that I see. Am I missing it? I could have sworn he held the Blade, got drunk, and tortured Gadreel. I don’t know . . . seems like a regular Dean Winchester day if you ask me. Hahaha!

    But if others are seeing changes in Dean, or feel this MOC story has progressed or developing in any significant way, please tell me what you guys see that I don’t.

    ————-

    Sheri – I’m trying not to be a negative nelly, but your post about 9×21 is spot on! The description sounds completely stupid, and you pointed out all the problems w/the plot.

    Just had to point that out.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 18, 2014 @ 2:05 am

  90. @89- Well, he did seem different to me when he was all drained and sitting on the floor. But I am hoping to see a lot more soon.
    Get this: I DID actually find one site where their complaint, wait for it, was that SPN has been focusing TOO MUCH on Sam and Dean while making Cas a secondary character. WTF show are these people watching? Are they serious? Where the hell is it focusing on THE TWO LEADS, because I’ll be damned if that’s what I’VE been seeing! If only that accusation had ANY truth to it!

    Comment by roxi — April 18, 2014 @ 2:55 am

  91. Do they mean this tiresome almost non-story of Sam and Dean moping and being at odds with eachother while the main mytharc stars Cas?

    Comment by roxi — April 18, 2014 @ 2:57 am

  92. Yeah, he seemed drained to me too, but it still didn’t seem out of the ordinary to me. I’m just not finding anything about Dean’s behavior that is significantly “off” or anything.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 18, 2014 @ 3:07 am

  93. @85. This part made me excited: “Abaddon (guest star Alaina Huffman) demands Crowley (Mark Sheppard) help her kill Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles). When he refuses, she reveals her shocking bargaining chip.”
    I think Mark will play it so that it’s for personal reasons and not just business.

    @88 “They need to really effectively deal with the possession issue and the root causes behind it, and the MOC story needs to be their arc together, and it needs to be the MAIN arc.”
    Sounds real good to me, roxi!

    Looking back on this season, I don’t think Sam’s story ever really took off. Sure the actor got to play a dual role but Sam was clueless so there wasn’t much insight to be had for around 8 episodes. That is quite sad because it’s not normal for a man in his early thirties to be ready and willing to die or to even think he should have died. And after Gadreel, Sam hasn’t really taken part in the action. Even in this episode he had to leave the room even though Sam was the one who set out to find the angel and was used by him. I guess they could pull something off in the last three episodes but… I think the finale will heavily feature heaven/angels/Metatron/Castiel so unless Sam hooks up with Gadreel, he doesn’t really have much importance in that. And as far as the mark of Cain, Sam doesn’t have anything unless Dean starts targeting him.

    Comment by San Summer — April 18, 2014 @ 3:31 am

  94. @88- The idea is that Sam should somehow save Dean.
    Crowley and Abaddon kill Sam and Dean? I thought the mark would mean Dean couldn’t be killed. So much for that. I can’t imagine what”shocking bargaining chip” Abaddon could use against Crowley. He didn’t even care about his own son.

    Comment by roxi — April 18, 2014 @ 7:27 am

  95. Predictions about “King of the Damned” starring Misha Collins.
    (Cameo appearances by JP and JA)

    –Castiel orders his Winchester flunkies to get the truth out of Metatron’s angel because Castiel’s capture of the angel has all but exhausted his juice. Without it, he can’t beat a paper bag into submission. Besides, Castiel is a good and loving being–unlike slathering, howling, wild-eyed Dean who has to be held back from going too far by the caring, humane Castiel. Meanwhile, Sam stands wringing his hands in a shadowy corner (at least that’s where we think he might be).

    –While gentle, compassionate Castiel is having Dean torture Metatron’s angel, Abaddon will be torturing Crowley. (The writers love parallel scenes!) She tells Crowley she’ll make him her second in command if he helps her kill Sam and Dean. Crowley spits in her eye. Abaddon then brings out her “shocking bargaining chip”: Cain. In one hand, he holds a 20 ounce cup of pure human blood, with straw. In the other, fresh from Crowley’s sock drawer, is the Blade.

    –Crowley sucks up the blood from the 20 ounce cup; camera back to Castiel, sucking up the juice from Metatron’s angel. (Another parallel scene!). While the dead husk of Metatron’s flunky slumps in the chair, one of Castiel’s flunkies is making growling, hissing noises as he hops around stabbing threateningly at something scooting about in the shadows. Shouting, “Watch him, ” Castiel hurries off to find Gadreel.

    –Seeing Castiel, Gadreel yanks out his angel knife, ready to do battle to the death! But we know our Mighty Leader abhors violence (at least when the Winchesters aren’t around), so he speaks sweetly, kindly to Gadreel, reminding him of how much they have in common. Didn’t the Mighty Leader himself betray God? Slaughter human beings? Wipe out angels? Royally screw the Winchesters? And hasn’t he managed to convince every lump head in heaven and on earth (including at SN conventions), that all his vile atrocities are simply water under the bridge? “Hell!” Castiel says. “Now, I’m the hero of this show!” Gadreel drops his weapon and reaches for Castiel. They hug! They weep! They bond as brothers!

    The Big Finale starring Misha Collins
    (Extras: JA and JP)

    Just the thought is unbearable.

    Comment by JT — April 18, 2014 @ 8:57 am

  96. @JT. Damn XD I’m interested in hearing how you see the relationship between Sam, Dean and Cas.

    I really feel Castiel is part of the cliffhanger. Carver said: “All bets are off when Sam, Dean and Castiel take the fight to Metatron” so the finale will be about heaven which has been speculated for a long time. Hopefully, the veil plot will make the Winchesters an integral part because otherwise it would just be angel business.

    Comment by San Summer — April 18, 2014 @ 9:20 am

  97. @ JT: Love it.

    @ San Summer: What “veil plot.” I didn’t know there was a veil plot. Do you mean the one Kevin is hanging out in while in the loving arms of his mother?

    Do you really think there is time left to watch Kevin ascend into Heaven? Or better yet, do you really think we won’t see Kevin again. Sure, he’s dead, but that doesn’t stop these writers from repeatedly bringing everyone back under some ridiculous dreamed-up way.

    Comment by Sheri — April 18, 2014 @ 9:29 am

  98. @Sheri. Kevin said: “It’s crowded in the veil. All of us are stuck near the sites of our deaths.” and Tessa is in for the finale so I hope the brothers will be involved in fixing that or otherwise they could start to have an avalanche of angry spirits.

    Apparently Gabriel is back for the finale so maybe that’ll help to make the angels more interesting. His appearance in this episode wasn’t done in a satisfying way.

    Comment by San Summer — April 18, 2014 @ 9:37 am

  99. For those who are enjoying the MOC story and seeing changes in Dean, can you please tell me what you guys are seeing b/c I’m not seeing much. But I’m not paying as much attn as I used to so maybe I’ve missed something.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 18, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  100. @Lisa1. Dean’s changes have been subtle- I know it’s tough because these writers love their anvils, but every now and then they decide to go for subtle :p.

    Set stuff: Dean’s room has changed, for example.

    Dean’s personality: We’re seeing him getting increasingly humourless and mainly focused on hunting/killing/Crabbadon. That’s also supposed to be Sam kicking himself for suggesting a “business only” arrangement.

    Dean’s stance on the possession also changed- again, this was done subtly, partly from the MOC and partly from Sam’s reactions when he found out, which hurt Dean and put him on the defensive. But prior to the MOC, Dean felt guilty about lying to Sam, knew Sam would have objected to angel possession, expected Sam to be angry about it, etc. After the MOC, his stance with Sam was more “I know I did the right thing so let’s just move on from it.” Jensen Ackles has said that Dean started getting very black and white in his thinking after getting the MOC, so that seems consistent to me.

    I’ve also found it out of character for Dean to not engage Sam at all on their issues for several episodes, even if he was hurt by the things Sam said. Dean doesn’t usually seem to sit and stew. He yells, he argues, he makes pointed comments, he forces a confrontation. But that’s my own perception, and miles will vary.

    Dean’s fighting: He’s gotten far more aggressive and violent when fighting. He killed humans in Thinman, which even for the Winchesters is supposed to be a line. In this episode, he nearly beat Gadreel to death *with his bare hands.* That’s probably the biggest tell of all so far. Dean’s punched angels before, and usually just hurts his hand, since angels are so much stronger. Actually beating Gadreel bloody seems pretty major to me in terms of Dean’s strength. And he seemed to have to restrain himself from killing Gadreel outright.

    I’m not counting what we saw in “Mother’s Little Helper” as Dean was coming down off holding the Blade the whole time, so a lot of what happened there seemed to be situational. Others might count it though.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 18, 2014 @ 10:15 am

  101. @JT, LOL. Yeah, Cas just doesn’t want to get his hands dirty with the torture stuff so he gets his Winchester henchmen on it.

    My first guess is that Cas is having “grace issues” and needs the Winchesters to back him up once he has the angel trapped?

    And Cas is meeting Gadreel? I want to learn more about Gadreel! What does he actually think of the Winchesters?

    @San Summer, I’m actually pretty okay with what Sam is getting right now, though I do hope we get some more interaction with him and Gadreel. But it’s a frequent complaint that Sam gets the action and Dean gets the POV, and it’s damaging both their characters now. It’s made Dean an extremely emotional character (for a BAMF hunter), and fans struggle to empathize with Sam when the POV is so slanted. I like the role reversal of things happening to Dean and Sam figuring out what’s going on/how worried should he be/how should he deal with this. Dean gets more badass/action cred, Sam gets more understanding from viewers because we’ll see more of his emotional side. If the MOC is wrapping up prior to the finale, I hope Dean gets some good destruction in and that Sam can get through to him.

    I saw a separate spoiler/rumour that there’s an on-set photo floating around of Dean holding the Blade again, so hopefully that arc will get some payoff.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 18, 2014 @ 10:29 am

  102. @Jaytee. That is a valid point. But when Dean was doing the worrying, he actually had something to do. At least scenes with other characters like Bobby or Cas where he would talk about Sam and at the same time reveal his own inner thoughts.

    Showing more concern from Sam would be a bit redundant after this episode. It would not advance anything because Dean would just say: “I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine”. No spoilers needed. Dean doing the emotional stuff usually meant he would interact heavily with Sam but this time around Sam doesn’t really have anything to do except throw worried glances at Dean’s way.

    What would help is if Dean will be a bit more proactive about his Cain leanings so Sam will have something to work with.

    I hope to hear more about Sam’s thoughts during the trials and when he decided he would rather die but then agreed to stay when Dean pleaded. It’s extra important because all the trouble stems from that time period. Dean and Sam certainly didn’t see eye to eye.

    Comment by San Summer — April 18, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

  103. @101. And why is Castiel the one who is gonna meet Gadreel when it’s Sam who got royally fucked and out of all of the characters that are alive has the most to settle with him?

    Castiel will do it for strategic reasons but still. I hope that at least he won’t go behind the brothers’ back.

    Comment by San Summer — April 18, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

  104. This whole thing is confusing to me. Is it about Jensen and Jared wanting time off? Because how can it be that the two leads on a show that has two leads were in the episode for like 10 minutes although the show should be gearing up for the rest of the season? Especially since they finally caught Gadreel who was a big deal in the first half of the season and a major reason why the characters are feeling the way they do. Making Gadreel pay was a mission for Sam and Dean at one point but when it finally happens, nothing really comes of it (Sam wasn’t even present except to hear one taunt). It was right in the synopsis, too: “Meanwhile, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) capture Gadreel (Tahmoh Penikett).” It’s episode 18. Seasons 4 and 5 – where this season has probably drawn a lot of inspiration from – heavily featured both brothers around this time.

    Comment by San Summer — April 18, 2014 @ 4:21 pm

  105. @ San Summer: My guess is that the J2s want as much time off as possible and, frankly, it ticks me off, because I don’t know how they could get any more time off and still be cast as the leads in this show. In addition to appearing for eight minutes in an episode, they use tricky camera work to make it look like they are both on-set filming, but they are not. For instance, Dean’s scenes with Gadreel were all JA. Sam going to the motel room to look for Cas was all Jared. When those scenes were shot, one of them had time off, and they do that stuff in every episode. I also imagine that is why Misha was brought on as a regular and given a story of his own this year.

    Mind you, I don’t mind that the whole episode doesn’t have one of the Js in it when we are getting an episode centered on the two Winchesters, but every episode these days have half of it devoted to whoever the support cast person is. I don’t think the Js are in one for more than 20 minutes the last couple of seasons.

    I am trying to be generous this year, though, and think that the show is giving them more time off to spend with both their new babies (even if I am feeling a little cheated these days).

    Comment by Sheri — April 18, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

  106. Sheri, I agree with you completely!!

    If they wanna have three-day workweeks then at least switch so that the episode will feature one brother more heavily. But even that will hold only for so long because the audience won’t stay to watch a show where the brothers are separated and hunt on their own. What made it special was the two brothers fighting against supernatural to save people and to save each other.

    It doesn’t feel nice to be critical of the Js but at the same time the audience doesn’t get to see the real world stuff, they just see the end product. Even the baby thing… It’s their choice to make their living arrangements the way they are. Maybe season 10 should be the last one.

    And I absolutely agree that the reason why Cas has been kept separate from the brothers and given his own major stories is so that only side characters will be needed on set. I remember how the guys complained that bringing in new characters during season three didn’t actually mean more time off since Ruby and Bela had practically no scenes on their own.

    Comment by San Summer — April 18, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

  107. Plus it doesn’t lead to good writing. The brothers have *finally* caught someone who used them in the worst ways possible, Dean says to Sam: “You’re too close to this – I got this” and Sam leaves. Ooookay…

    Comment by San Summer — April 18, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

  108. @ San Summer: I said I was trying to be generous, but I agree with you. It’s their choice and they make a helluva lot of money per episode. I have really felt cheated for the last three years. I am finding it hard to remember, but I think S7 was labeled the year of the guest stars, wasn’t it?

    Comment by Sheri — April 18, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

  109. Sheri, San Summer, you’re right. In the early days, everyone who worked on SN worked extremely hard, long hours and created a great show. Now, the writers are lazy and incompetent, the show runner has other interests, and even the 2Js might be mainly concerned with taking time off.

    The people at SN are spoiled. And guess who spoiled them? We did. Most fans remain loyal no matter what crap the series turns out. Call us stupid.

    Comment by JT — April 18, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

  110. I think it’s clear that J2 are more interested in their families (which is somewhat understandable) than this show. I got that feeling in S7, and it has only increased since then. They want as much time off as possible (which is nice for them but detrimental to the show).

    Honestly, i think this show was a two-person lead far too long (practically 7 years) for them to switch it up so drastically now. I know the Js would rather be home w/their kids but this show is their job. It sucks that they signed up for a two-person show but that’s what they did. I don’t feel bad for them. They make a ton of money doing this show and get a good 2-3 months off a year!

    JT (109) is absolutely right.

    San Summer – S10 should definitely be the last season if this is the product we’re going to be getting.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 18, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

  111. I can understand that they both would want a lighter workload now that they are parents. They’re not the same two young single guys that they were when they first signed on.
    However, I feel that there could be a way to do it that still gives them the most screen time and makes them once again the main characters in their own damn show. First, actually write a season long main arc that is engaging, plays to both their strengths as characters, equally involves them both, and is about THEM. They actually don’t have to be on screen 100% of the time if they have a decent story arc that consists of something other than conflict and moping at eachother. Second, instead of shorter days how about shorter work weeks? I’m not sure how their work schedules go but it always sounded like it was M-F. Perhaps the J2 stuff could be done first, leaving any filming that doesn’t involve them for the latter half of the week.
    Being on screen all the time means nothing if your not doing anything meaningful to the story. I feel that less could be more if the writers still cared enough about their two main leads to write decent material for them.

    Comment by roxi — April 18, 2014 @ 9:38 pm

  112. But I also see your point Lisa. J2 are heavily compensated for their” sacrifice’, and they are so much luckier than 95% of us who must work all year round and don’t have two sticks to rub against eachother. Especially for Jensen and Danneel. I mean, yes, it’s their business how they want to live, but they have always chosen to have him be in Vancouver all week while she stays firmly in LA. Why wouldn’t she live with him fulltime? I would have thought that after having the baby particularly, he would want to come home to them every night. It’s not like she is working on a tv series.She only gets very occasional acting jobs, while Jensen is the one that has been working steadily for years, so why not live in Vancouver with him?
    Oh well, like I said, it’s none of my business and it’s not my place to judge, but it does kind of make it hard to have sympathy for him for not having enough time with his family.

    Comment by roxi — April 18, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

  113. I agree completely with everyone!
    (And the Js “working” the conventions doesn’t necessarily make it look better either.)

    There is a trend here. I remember that around winter there was a lot of discussion about how Jared had had 23 days off (wow, almost a month and they hadn’t even been working that long…) and Jensen had less than ten. That didn’t necessarily reflect on the final product though and Jared was quoted saying he expected to work a lot more and even so much he wouldn’t be there for the delivery. There were Sam-lite episodes (like Sharp Teeth) but one could say it was because of the baby. However, now even Jensen has started to work less! (Like in Mother’s Little Helper where at least 1/3 of the story was about Josie and a nun.) I bet the next episode showcases Jody and the vampires really heavily and Bloodlines of course is about new characters. Hopefully, they worked their asses off for the last three.

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 2:03 am

  114. Now we should bear in mind that we really don’t know if the J’s wanting time off is really the impetus behind the way the episodes are written. I don’t want to assume that. All I’ve heard, for example, is that Jensen wanted time off around “Mother’s Little Helper” and that Jared wanted a lighter schedule earlier this year when he was on “baby watch.”

    No idea about “Meta Fiction” but “Bloodlines” seems to be more an exec decision than anything else- the CW didn’t opt to make a backdoor pilot for a spinoff series because the J’s wanted time off. That’s about launching the new show and trying to attract viewers. We also know that Carver has a real hard-on for guest stars, so that’s probably part of it too. It also strikes me that there’s been some pacing problems this season- nothing mytharc related for like six episodes in a row, then the last several episodes are all angel-heavy.

    That said, if the J’s are wanting too much time off and it’s affecting the product, their employers should be handling that the way it would be handled at any other job.

    @San Summer- the conventions are “work” for the J’s, even though they seem to have a lot of fun with them. Doing con appearances is in their contracts with the network, they’re paid to do them, and they are not home with their families when they do them. Now obviously that’s the job and they signed on for it, but I wouldn’t want to get into the territory of not calling it “work.”

    One thing I’m finding funny, is I keep seeing people saying “fans will never tolerate the brothers split up.” But more and more I’m seeing people encouraging that, and “blaming” Show for not wanting to go there. I figured not splitting up the brothers was more about logistical issues with two full-time actors, as well as tooling around with the show’s premise too much. For example, “big bads” in this show only appear in a handful of episodes for a few minutes at a time, so turning Dean into a “Big Bad” for S10 would be logistically difficult without demoting Jensen to a guest star.

    But it’s kind of funny where the writers have taken us, that more and more people want the brothers separate for a variety of reasons. In some cases it’s the same old straight bashing (“Screw you Sam/Dean, Sam/Dean should just dump your ass and hunt alone/go to college!”), in other cases it’s wanting Dean to be the “Big Bad” next year, in other cases people genuinely want the brothers healthier and non-codependent for character growth/repetitiveness reasons, and finally, others are starting to feel keeping them together so much is limiting potential story ideas.

    Ultimately, if Carver “cures the codependency” (doubt he can manage it completely), both characters can have more separate storylines, the J’s will have lighter schedules, more story ideas can open up, and everyone can get what they want?

    Comment by Jaytee — April 19, 2014 @ 5:06 am

  115. Not me,Jaytee. I REALLY don’t want the brothers separated OR less codependent or whatever. I love them just the way they are (or supposed to be, whatever).

    As for the Js wanting more time off… well, don’t they realize it’s their JOB, and they get paid big big bucks for doing it. So no sympathy about that. IF that’s what’s happening, and why we’re seeing them, well, do nothing basically, and getting very little of that too. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jensen and Jared, but doesn’t the whole world want to spend more time with their families? But sorry, dudes. That’s life!

    Comment by Tammy — April 19, 2014 @ 5:19 am

  116. @113. San Summer, I didn’t know the Js have had so much time off. It must be very hard to be on set all the time. On the other hand, the star of “Monk” was in virtually every scene of that show, which was on for nine years. Of course, TS might have had more incentive to work than the two Js do. Not only did “Monk” always maintain its quality, TS became a producer (executive producer?), so he probably had a certain amount of control over the show and its scripts. Above all, “Monk” won multiple Emmys–a great incentive to work long and hard. SN has received virtually no recognition of that kind.

    I think the 2Js lost heart a long time ago–much the way Kripke did when the CW president kept micromanaging the show and seriously compromising its quality. My guess is Kripke fought a very hard battle against Dawn but eventually left, knowing the CW would never let him produce the kind of series he wanted to.

    In S4 or 5, JA was asked if he’d stay with the show; as I remember, he said he would if Kripke did and if the network offered him a truck load of money. I guess the truck load of money was enough for him and for JP to stay on–until they decided that, in addition, they wanted a lot more time off. Maybe that was written in as a condition when they agreed to renew their contracts. My first instinct was to assume the 2Js are as lazy and greedy as SN’s producers. Now, I’m not so sure.

    So many actors who’ve appeared on SN have talked about how much they love working on the show. From what I’ve read, that’s because it’s such a happy set–thanks to the 2Js, who have a wonderful relationship with the crew and everybody else. They’re a family.

    The 2Js probably don’t have to work another day in their lives. They don’t have to put up with the sucky Vancouver weather or being away from their families or extended families or with going to conventions or with performing on a series run by a mediocre show runner and scripted by (generally) bad writers. So why do they do it? Maybe it’s because they know if they quit, SN will be over, and the people they work with will be out of jobs.

    I guess the major reason why I’ve always loved SN is because I sense that JP and JA are exceptionally good, decent men, much like the characters they play. Given the kind of attention the 2Js have been given by millions of fans, other actors would have dumped SN, believing themselves big stars–and FAR too good for a show many people have never even heard of. But the 2Js hang in there–maybe because they believe you don’t turn your back on your “family,” no matter how rough things get.

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 5:19 am

  117. @Jaytee. I mean I’m sure they are under contract to do a certain amount of conventions per year. The cash cow doesn’t milk itself! However, since they have time to do those conventions during weekends, sometimes flying in straight from shooting etc., it makes me see the family thing as a bit of an excuse to want to have time off from the show. Apparently the wives and the kids aren’t even there for the conventions. Everyone wants to earn more money for less work and the conventions fit that. But it is a bit iffy that they’ll do these high-paying gigs yet the real work on the set is done in a couple of days.

    ***

    Better pacing could help a lot. Take Dean’s mytharc for example. 9.16 Blade Runners was a major one for the character because of the blade. Yet is it any wonder that the storyline hardly moves when the actor isn’t fully scheduled for the next two episodes 9.17 and 9.18? Like in this episode we see Dean looking in the mirror, then heading back to Gadreel and later we see him slumped on the ground. The middle part, the most important part, wasn’t there. It would have showed whether Dean was more or less himself or did something dark overtake him. Yet shooting a fight scene between Gadreel and Dean would have taken at least a whole day so it’s kept off-camera. The audience just needs to be content they want to keep the “mystery”.

    ***

    I could get behind the characters being separated more if it delivers episodes like The End. However, that requires a lot of work. Essentially one of the Js would have to take the load off from the other one, then switch.

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 5:33 am

  118. Nice perpective, JT. But thing is, I feel the fans who have stuck with the show and also not turned their backs on this family, they deserve some hard work and good stories.

    Comment by Tammy — April 19, 2014 @ 5:38 am

  119. @Tammy, I agree. A lot would be lost if Sam and Dean started to hunt separately etc. A lot rests on how the brothers interact with each other. And I’m not sure if it would even feel like less work if Jensen and Jared were on set on their own. I’m sure their close relationship makes the days go by much faster and they know how the other one acts so getting into character takes no time.

    @JT. Yes, that interview! I think Jensen claimed he didn’t say that but… I remember those times and it was never just a question of if the show would be renewed by the network but a question of if Jensen and Jared wanted to continue or go make movies etc. And they publicly talked about how hard it is to spend time away from their girlfriends, dogs etc.

    However, they have had years to get used to working in Canada and they definitely have resources to arrange their lives so that family and work fit better together.

    Re: “I think the 2Js lost heart a long time ago–much the way Kripke did when the CW president kept micromanaging the show and seriously compromising its quality. My guess is Kripke fought a very hard battle against Dawn but eventually left, knowing the CW would never let him produce the kind of series he wanted to.”

    This is interesting! Do you know anything more?

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 6:04 am

  120. Wow have you guys stepped over the boundry. It is none of business why the J2 work and live how they do.

    You do realize that Jensen is trying to start up a business in California right? He is developing a wine. He and Jared are partners. Vancouver is NOT the wine capital of the world. California is. You have to be where the product is.

    To criticize the acting, the plots, writing, acting choices and the other stuff we post here about is fine. But not j2 private lives. There are reasons you don’t know nothing about.

    From what I have seen J2 still enjoy working. They love the spn CREW. They have said so. They are like family to them. They have gone to their weddings and births of their children. I don’t think you can just say-they lost interest and to hell with those they work with. Especially with the relationship they have with this crew. Now the writers and show runners are a different thing. And that will be the tale of whether J2 stay or go. If story/script is still good-they will stay-if story/script is crap they will call it quits.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 6:18 am

  121. Also-Danneel and Gen have been to cons. Infact Gen brought Thomas to a couple of them. So they do bring the “family” at times. Really guys get off the private lives of these actors. They are NOT the fans property. Even though some think they are. They are people like you and me-What they do in their private lives is there own business. The show is suffering from bad writing and bad management NOT the amount of time J2 want off. If their time on screen was top notch and the story was coherent it wouldn’t matter if they were in it for 5 minutes or all 40 minutes.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 6:32 am

  122. No JT-Kripke left because he was smart enough to know the story he wanted to tell was done and it was time he moved on. Gamble was supposed to be there to end the show because it was moved to Fridays which is the “death” day for a show. But low and behold SPN stayed strong even on Fridays. That was why the stories during those years were poor. It was supposed to be the end of the series. When Pedowitz came in he loved the show so he moved it and looked for a show runner who had a vision. Thus we got Carver. Not any better than Gamble in show vision imo but anyway we got what we got. Carver has decided he is going to make SPN into his vision. Which obviously is not Kripke’s Family love vision but conflict and Angels and Demons. Not my cup of tea. If I had not been watching this show since s1 and enjoy watching J2 I never would be wasting my time watching SPN now.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 6:45 am

  123. @120 animal, I don’t believe anyone was criticizing the 2Js’ private lives. I think posters were simply trying to come up with an explanation for why the actors take so much time off a series that completely depends on their presence. To have a full-time job these days is a tremendous blessing; to have one that allows…what? Three months of paid vacation a year? Incredible! It’s only natural for viewers to wonder why the 2Js feel they need even more time off than that.

    And for an actor to claim he or she works harder than other people (as one recently did) is crap. Many people have to work two or three jobs to support their families–and they don’t limo service, catered meals, or private trailers.
    Fortunately, the 2Js have never acted like most of Hollywood’s immature, totally obnoxious divas. On the contrary, they’re as far from being spoiled as people can get.

    I think they’ve just lost interest in the show. Frankly, if I had to act in a series written by some of the lousiest hacks in the industry, I’d want as much time off as possible, too. I cringe for the Js at some of the scenes they’re forced to play.

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 6:56 am

  124. animal, the wine company is something they’ll be doing for their own $$$ so I certainly hope that is not the reason for them to be on set less.

    I’m not sure if it would be better or worse if the show runners were solely responsible… However, maybe the backdoor pilot sort of forced their hand because Sam and Dean need to go to Chicago despite Abaddon, mark of Cain etc. etc. so Dean will have to be more or less okay.

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 6:59 am

  125. @JT, I agree. The actors have never been shy about how hard it is to work in Vancouver so naturally it makes one wonder when the two stars have a lot of time off — Jared in total almost a month well before the baby was going to be born and now both of them when the season in nearing the end.

    Re: “And for an actor to claim he or she works harder than other people (as one recently did) is crap.”
    Was it someone on this show?

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 7:06 am

  126. I’m sorry, Jaytee, but J2 are PAID for those conventions. They are paid – a significant sum from what I’ve read – to sit around and answer questions about this show and take a few photos w/fans. I’m not sure when these conventions became mandatory for them, but in any event, they’re getting paid quite a bit to be there so I don’t have much sympathy for them. Plus, the wives and kids could join them on some of these conventions, right? That’s not out of the realm of possibility

    As Roxi said, I’m not trying to make any statements about Jensen’s personal life. Maybe his wife has family obligations, which keep her in LA or wherever they live . . . I don’t know. As far as I know, she’s not working so I’m not sure why she wouldn’t stay w/her husband in Canada while he films but that’s their business. At the end of the day, sacrifices have to be made for the ridiculous salaries these guys make and missing out on family time is apparently just one of them. That is the nature of show business.

    ——

    Tammy (115) is spot on! Everyone wishes they could spend time w/their families instead of working, but that’s simply not the way the world works. J2 have it better than most in that they make a ridiculous amount of money and get a nice part of the year off to spend w/their family. I’ve never had sympathy for this idea that they have grueling schedules and just need all this time off from their jobs. Don’t we all want time off from our jobs?

    This show works best when the focus is one the two leads, but that has happened less and less since JC returned. J2 were in 10 minutes of the last episode! I didn’t count it out or anything, but they were barely in that episode. That’s ridiculous! As San Summer pointed out, the reason this MOC story is being told so poorly is b/c Jensen has all this time off. You can’t tell the story properly when the actor is only scheduled to work 2-3 out of 8 days of filming. To me, this is worse than the mishandling of Sam’s story in S7 when both Js were on screen but the story was just ignored. They could be telling this story well but can’t b/c of the actor’s limited schedule.

    ————

    JT – We will never really know why J2 remained w/the show. The realist in me believes it’s b/c it’s a steady paycheck. They have wives and kids to support so why would they give up a steady source of income for the uncertainty of Hollywood. I just can’t assign some magnanimous reason to their sticking w/the show. We don’t know how many roles they have tried to get but were denied. We don’t know what would have happened if they had lucked out on the right movie role that launched an A-list type of Hollywood career. We’ll never know.

    They are here though so I wish they’d be here. I never signed up for Supernatural & Friends. J2 need to be on screen for the majority of the season.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 19, 2014 @ 7:28 am

  127. Animal – the fact that the Js want more time off directly relates to the quality (or lack thereof) of this show. They can demand all the time off they want. We can still comment on how that demand is negatively impacting the show, which is all we’ve done.

    And if the Js are going around telling people how they never get to spend time w/their families, then people will naturally speculate or wonder why when their wives could live w/them. As far as I know, Gen does live w/Jared in Canada but I could be wrong.

    In any event, I don’t care what the Js do in their private lives. I care about the quality of this show which has been on the steady decline in MY opinion since the writers/showrunner have given in to the demands for lighter schedules. I don’t care why they want a lighter schedule; I’m saying a lighter schedule is harming the show. That’s my point.

    Oh, and I think it’s cool if they are starting a wine company. I don’t drink but I think business ventures are good so I hope that works for them.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 19, 2014 @ 7:42 am

  128. @Lisa1, you said it well! It doesn’t make much sense that it would be all about the family time. At this rate they probably shouldn’t sign on for season 11 and if they do, it’s most likely for monetary reasons and job security. Things could always turn around but not without some really hard work.

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 7:57 am

  129. awsome surprise to see gabriel. though it was far too brief of a moment for me. but he did leave the possibilty that he is still alive. must have been some sort of resurrection. i don’t gabriel could pull one over on lucifer. unless when he said he was hiding in heaven he meant when angles die they go to some speical place in heaven.

    so did cass make the deal with metatron? i think he did? but question is was he lying to metatron.

    if history is it’s own past; cas and power/followers is never a good mix.

    overall this was a great episode. but where the hell is abbadon?

    Comment by SPNFan — April 19, 2014 @ 8:09 am

  130. @animal. The only reason we’re speculating about J2s time off is becaus the show if suffering! Why would we even care if we were getting a tightly-paced, good quality product with the leads of the show BEING the leads of the show? we’re trying to figure out what’s happening to our beloved show.

    Much as i’d to believe the Js are there for loyalty, etc, i.think it has to be for more practical reasons! good old money, money, mone… and i guess the friendly environment and good relationship betwen themselves and the rest of the crew is a factor as well.

    Comment by Tammy — April 19, 2014 @ 8:58 am

  131. @lisa and you others How do you guys KNOW that J2 ASKED for time off? How do you KNOW that other obligations are NOT keeping Danneel in California. She is working-She has had 2 or 3 movies since she had JJ. And like I said Jensen is developing wine which is in California.

    The time J2 work on set is average 12 to 18 hours per day for 5 days when the story is focused on them. HOW do you guys KNOW J2 are happy about not being on camera more or their stories being written as they are? Seems to me Jensen called a meeting because he wasn’t too happy about writing of his purgatory story which would have put him on screen more. yea they get time off in the summer. It comes out to be about 2 months which is what teachers get. I don’t know any teacher that works 12-18 hours per day for 5 days. Nor should they-I am just doing a comparison because you guys think just because J2 make what YOU ASSUME TO BE ALOT OF MONEY they should not take time off evidentily or they aren’t working hard enough for it or whatever your gripes are about them. J2 are doing great its the show runner and the writers who are crapping the show right now.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 8:59 am

  132. Frankly I thin J2 love love love their characters. Hell Jensen slips into Dean at times during conventions and at home -that is damn scary. lol. Not really just funny. I think they would take this series for many more seasons if it was high caliber writing and managing. I don’t think they do it for money. Neither J comes off as money hungry to me. They come off as two guys who love their jobs, love each other (in a friend way), love their characters, and love the people they work with (the crew). And they have fun -see bloopers, read interviews of side characters. Why wouldn’t one stay at a job that they love? But all that being said-They want the show to be a good quality TV show. Its not at this point. They know it. We’ll see when their contracts come this summer how much confidence they have in Jeremy Carver, and the writers.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  133. @Tammy-I agree with you about a tightly paced story and a good quality product. But that’s not on J2-thats on Jeremy Carver, that’s on the writers, editors, and Pedowitz. J2 are the lowest on the totem pole when it comes to the quality of the STORY of the show. They can and have made the story better by their acting but the tightness and the sensibility of the series falls ultimately on Carver first and foremost. I am all for cutting the seasons to 15-18 episodes. Forcing the writing to be more centered on the main arc for that particular season. This 22-23 episode season is ridiculous. The writers don’t seem to take notice of what other writers have written so they write off the wall crap that makes no sense. or changes canon or is ooc for the characters. Its a shame really but at least I get to see J2 each week when the show is out of hiatus. That will have to do for now. Until the writers write something that sets me off and makes me end my viewing of the show.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 9:22 am

  134. @125, No, San Summer, it was Gwnyneth Paltrow who talked at length about how her job was far more difficult than than of the average working mom. As they should have, people really went after her for that comment. One of the funniest replies came from Mackenzie Dawson who wrote an article about this for the New York Post. Paltrow’s comment reminded me of one made awhile back by an actor–I think it might have been Tom Cruise–who compared his work to that of soldiers fighting in Afganistan.

    Isn’t it great that JP and JA are FAR too intelligent to have such enormous egos? By the way, I wonder what they’re going to call that wine company they’re forming. They should invite fans to name it. I’ll take “Padackles Vineyards.” Or maybe just “Sam and Dean’s Hooch.” (What’s hooch?)

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 9:50 am

  135. @134- “Hooch is crazy”. If anyone gets that reference.

    Comment by roxi — April 19, 2014 @ 9:54 am

  136. @animal
    I am with you here: it just a speculation about J2 demanding time off and that’s why they do not have 100% presence in every episode.
    I’ve been to cons. I’ve seen Jared so tired he almost fall then got up from chair to answer the phone and security guy had to give him a hand. JA has looked ready to collapse after “couple” of pictures which is close to 1000 btw.Yes, its their job, and they getting well paid for this, but they are human beings and they work hard. I do have 18 hours work days myself here and there and let me tell you: if I wouldn’t love my job I would run away as far as possible from that despite good compensation I am getting. Because it consumes your life and it makes you constantly tired.
    I am just saying: don’t be judgmental about something you don’t know. Even well paid jobs sometimes doesn’t worth the effort and sacrifices.

    Comment by AAA — April 19, 2014 @ 10:00 am

  137. @126, Lisa1, you’re right. Assigning a magnanimous reason to their continued presence on the series makes no more sense than asserting that they remain for the money or fame. “We’ll never know,” as you say. My best guess is they’re there for multiple reasons–including the possibility that they simply like to work. You’re also right that they might not be able to find jobs in the movies. These days, even well known film actors are moving to TV because roles are so hard to come by.

    I’m glad Jensen has done some directing (he’s EXTREMELY talented). He and Jared should have become producers of SN. That way they could have had a lot more control over the series. Of course, maybe they don’t want to work that hard.

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 10:06 am

  138. @135, roxi–thanks! I didn’t know it meant “crazy,” too. I thought maybe it meant whiskey, but I just checked and it’s a colloquial name for alcoholic beverages in general. So okay. I’m going for “Sam and Dean’s Hooch.” (I think JP and JA would like the “crazy” overtones. Sam and Dean have had their moments.)

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 10:21 am

  139. @138- No JT LOL! It was a “Scrubs” reference. I guess I’m the only one here who watched that show.

    Comment by roxi — April 19, 2014 @ 10:26 am

  140. @139 Oh! I didn’t get that, roxi.I never saw “Scrubs.” But I get the impression from your post that the 2Js would NOT want that word on THEIR bottles of wine!

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 11:53 am

  141. The fact is you guys don’t know at all if the J’s asked for time off this season or any season. Or for lighter schedules. That would be in their contracts and NOBODY knows whats in their contracts but them and TPTB and maybe family. What you read on tumblr and twitter is pure BS for 98% of the time -unless it comes straight from the horses mouth. As far as I know neither J mentioned anything that was in their contracts nor anything about asking for time off anywhere.
    Same goes for how much they get paid-You don’t know what they get paid. 3 million like Mcgohonhay (spelling?) got for the last movie he was in?? No I don’t think they get paid that much. Fact is you guys don’t know. Put the quality of the show where it belongs. On the show runner and his writers. J2 are only actors – They don’t run the show. Sorry but they don’t. You have a complaint about the time they aren’t on screen-go write to Carver or Pedowitz-Not on the J’s.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

  142. Jared mentioned he was working less at the beginning of the season but he didn’t say that it was his choice or if story made it work out that way. And frankly I didn’t notice that he wasn’t on screen any less than he is any other time. As for Jensen -I haven’t seen anything from him saying he asked for time off either. Other than him saying he only worked 2 or 3 days on Misha’s directing episode -Mothers Little Helper. Again he didn’t say it was because he wanted the time off- I think he even said the story dictated that he and Jared didn’t need to be there. That’s not them ASKING for the time off.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

  143. @131 animal. Re: “Seems to me Jensen called a meeting because he wasn’t too happy about writing of his purgatory story which would have put him on screen more.”

    I don’t think he was really talking about that. He was making a point about how screen time doesn’t necessarily translate to a story (so Jared’s days off vs. his days off). He said he could “take Dean there” as long as the writers would let him. However, now at least on two separate occasions he has talked about how emotionally hard it has been to play this Dean so maybe having a myth arc isn’t so cracked up to be and he’d rather work less.

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

  144. @143- I don’t think saying that a storyline is emotionally hard means that he doesn’t want to play it or that he regrets getting the storyline. Of course an emotional arc is going to take a toll. That’s acting.

    Comment by roxi — April 19, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

  145. @roxi. Stuff like this:

    “I will definitely say that the dark side of Dean that we have seen this year, I wouldn’t be upset if I got to put him away for a while. Just give me some pie and give me some classic rock and send me down the highway. I would be happy with that. I think the dark side of Dean was something that needed to be explored a little bit, and just really down-and-out, rock bottom, desolate, kind of his own island kind of guy, and we’ve really seen that. It was really tough, especially through like episodes 10, 11, 12, 13, it was a really kind of tough time for me. He hasn’t fully come out of it yet, but I’m hoping that does happen. I always kind of love Dean’s levity in the heavy situations, and I always like the fact that he can bring some humor to some dire situations, so I’d love to get back into that.”

    makes me think that maybe he would rather not play the middle beats. I’m sure he was excited for stuff like what Dean will be up to in 9.21 etc. However, the audience wants to see Dean’s storyline in all the episodes leading up to it. Like in this episode there was a prime opportunity to show badass Dean. Many have been complaining they haven’t been able to see enough of that and thus were really happy Jensen wanted to go for it in First Born.

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

  146. Sorry San I don’t see the correlation between a “hard” role to play and the J’s asking for time off- that is IF they did. Acting is all about stretching oneself into places you haven’t gone emotionally and physically. Jensen is doing just that this season. I happen to think he is doing a wonderful job at it. Yes he is taking it home to Danneel. (she supposedly has helped him come “down” from the emotional strain of playing dark Dean this season.) But I don’t think he wishes he doesn’t have to play it. I don’t see that at all. He does like to play happy Dean but that’s all he has been given for 9 years. I am curious and hope that someone asks him about it at the con in May. See what he says about it.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

  147. Sorry wrote my response before your post San. I think what that shows is he prefers lighter side roles.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

  148. @145. By the way, that interview fits this timeline because he hadn’t read past episode 21. So maybe he just wanted time off for 9.17 and 9.18 and knew he wasn’t gonna work much for 9.20 because it’s a spin-off etc.

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

  149. “Honestly, he has a great love for the project and the work. When you’re doing 16-hour days for eight or nine months, you have to remember to be excited about it. Jensen has that….It’s what he can help give to the world, the craft he loves, so we look at him and it’s like, ‘This guy’s having fun, so why aren’t we?’”

    Jared on Jensen. March 30, 2010

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

  150. So, San, I think you’re right. Jensen wants his work to be fun; the dark side of Dean isn’t a lot of fun–for him or anyone on set. Even when the scene’s over, JA probably has a hard time making jokes, especially if Jared’s not around to poke fun at him.

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 3:56 pm

  151. San -There is NOTHING out there that says either J asked for time off. And frankly I don’t think they can just “ask off” whenever they want to. The show runs like a machine. Every 8 days a new episode is filmed. Scripts are written at least 3 weeks in advance of scouting and filming. To “ask off” is out of the question. Jensen and Jared are either in the script or they are not. Jensen and Jared either have a big part in the script or they don’t. If they want “time off” during the filming of a script that is heavy with them they aren’t going to “get the time off” no matter how badly they want it. They can’t hold up the show like that. In emergencies maybe but not just because they are tired or I miss my wife and baby. Their jobs don’t work that way. Ours do-but thiers don’t.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

  152. No JT you missed the point of the quote. Nice quote by the way-I hadn’t seen that one. Didn’t see that interview. Where was that??

    Anyway the point of the quote is that acting in general is fun to Jensen -not that he only wants roles that are fun I mean yea he wants it to be fun but he thinks acting is fun as a whole. Not specifically to the role being fun(happy). Do you get my meaning??? You seem to be taking it as he only wants his role -Dean to be a funny fun type of guy-but that’s not what the quote is-the quote is saying Jensen has fun acting. That he thinks the whole thing -acting, directing, everything about his craft is fun. Not necessarily the roles only.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 4:06 pm

  153. And JT it sure looked like Jensen was having fun when he pied Misha- I think you misunderstood the quote.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 4:07 pm

  154. I agree with animal on hizzer posts (dunno if you’re a man or woman animal :p). Everything I’ve heard about the J’s is that they work hard and for long hours on the show. If their appearances are lighter for some episodes this season, I don’t want to assume it’s because they just decided they wanted time off before the season was out. Like animal’s suggested, there’s a few moving parts to this machine.

    I also wanted to clarify something I mentioned earlier wrt “curing the codependence.” I doubt it’ll ever completely happen in this show, but I am starting to come around to the potential benefits in terms of storylines, characterization, etc if, for example, it was no longer verboten (to the characters themselves, as well as the creative team) for Sam and Dean to occasionally be apart. Not permanently separated. Never that, the show would sink like a stone. But something like Mother’s Little Helper (without Dean binge-drinking): Sam finds a case he finds important, Dean’s working at something else, they can go their own ways for an episode without it being a crisis. Right now it seems like the only way the writers can think to explore Sam or Dean as individuals is to have them fighting, which is unfortunate for several reasons.

    When thinking of creative devices like that, I tend to hearken back to X-files, which had a similar set-up to SPN and shared a lot of writers at one point. Every now and then you’d have a Mulder-heavy episode, or a Scully-heavy episode, where the other co-star would appear lightly. I wasn’t in the online fandom for the show, so I don’t know if there was hand-wringing over these episodes when they aired, but looking back on the series, occasional individual episodes turned out fine. Now, in the later seasons when Duchovny checked out completely, the show tanked. But occasional episodes more focused on one character weren’t harmful at all, and it certainly didn’t reflect negatively on the Mulder/Scully relationship, which was nearly as insular as Sam and Dean’s. In fact, the individual episodes tended to move them forward.

    So if SPN keeps going, and the writers are able to walk the fine line, I’m open to occasional more individual focuses, while keeping the brothers close and as a team.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 19, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

  155. @animal. I think they have talked about asking for less work when getting tired but obviously no one can know for sure what was behind these last couple of episodes and whether the more ensemble show quality is because the Js don’t want to be in every scene or because of something else.

    Okay, so how about Dean’s storyline? :D Keeping in mind that Jensen said he hopes Dean comes out of it, what do you expect for the finale / season 10? I think Jensen has influence on the show because I read that he didn’t like acting against soulless Sam and asked the writers to wrap it up quicker. Apparently that storyline had been meant to last the whole season. So maybe the darkest moments for Dean will be for episode 21 and the finale, stretching till the first couple of episodes of season 10 and then the story is back to more of the Sam and Dean we know. I don’t think Dean will be the big bad.

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

  156. San Summer, I know they’ve also mentioned how much they like having guest stars or secondary characters b/c it takes the load off them. Again, that’s completely understandable, but less J2 makes for a worse show in MY opinion.

    ———

    JT, I’m not saying the boys don’t love their jobs, the crew, their co-workers, etc. It appears they do but I just don’t think we should downplay the role money plays in this either. As you said, they are human, and most people like money. They’re getting paid well for a job they appear to greatly enjoy so that’s wonderful for them. Most people wish they were as lucky.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 19, 2014 @ 5:09 pm

  157. @152 animal, the part of the interview with JA that San Summer quoted @145 indicates to me that Jensen probably has more fun playing “normal” Dean than the Dean we’ve been seeing for most of this season. I think JA enjoys his job the most when Dean and Sam are themselves. As JA’s said, the era of Soulless Sam was difficult for him; my guess is that was because JP’s “Sam” wasn’t there for JA’s “Dean” to interact with.

    SN is NOT “Hamlet,” and these writers sure ain’t Shakespeare. A little “darkness” from Sam or Dean is fine, but when it drags on for half a season or more, the “fun ride” Kripke intended ends, and the show becomes a melodramatic mess and no fun for anybody, I’m guessing, including the actors.

    If you want to read the interview, go to Zap2it, “‘Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles: Chemistry is crucial.”

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 5:09 pm

  158. @156 Lisa1, you’re right. No question about it! If it weren’t for their paychecks, the boys would long gone from SN. It’s just that what’s immensely rich to me is probably only modestly well-to-do to actors like them. Hence, I figured the money must be irrelevant to the Js and looked for other reasons why they stay. (Not very realistic.)

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

  159. I don’t think Dean will be the big bad either. Wouldn’t make sense. I think the angels are done after this season. I don’t think Abaddon bites it in the finale I think the MOC continues next season. I think (and someone posted it here I think) that the thing she has against Crowley is the blade. Which I am betting brings Dean to her. The finale scene is Dean standing next to her- Abaddon not sure on whether to kill him or use him. No I don’t think Sam will do the saving not by himself anyway. Sam will team up with Crowley next season. I think those that think that Sam alone will save Dean will be disappointed big time. I think Dean will save himself probably in the s10 premiere or episode 2. Abaddon will be the big bad next season.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

  160. Oh thanks JT I will do that. peace.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 5:22 pm

  161. Yes I agree-Jensen enjoys playing “fun Dean” -I mean he would have to in order to have played him so long and still be putting in 100% to bring the character to life. But in the quote that you quoted-that’s not what Jared was talking about. To me he was talking more generally about the acting craft not specific to Dean only. imo.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

  162. @Lisa1, I agree. They tried it with the Harvelles, Bela and Ruby etc. The show just wasn’t built for an ensemble. The Impala is the perfect symbol of it.

    @JT, I agree that Jensen enjoys playing the “real” Dean.

    “I know 21 there’s some really big stuff that happens there, and I think that kind of really sets the ball in motion for the end of the season, which you know, hopefully Dean can dig himself out of the hole he’s been in all season, but you know, we’ll see.”

    Jensen’s hope for the character can be problematic regarding the mark of Cain storyline because if it’s handled more or less during this season and season 10 will deal with the fallout, I think there would be fans that would feel shortchanged. On the other hand maybe the writers should have moved a bit quicker so that it wouldn’t have taken till 9.16 to get the blade. And of course doing more in 9.17 and 9.18 considering 9.19 is vampires and 9.20 is the spinoff.

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

  163. @159 animal. I don’t think it is big enough if the finale scene is Abaddon and Dean. The show is about Sam and Dean and the mark has put Dean as Cain which Dean is vehemently against so I think either he does something to Sam or he goes really, really dark because of the mark and the blade’s influence and Sam will try to reach him.

    Comment by San Summer — April 19, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

  164. I think Abaddon will taunt Sam and Crowley with Dean’s life or death. She will give Crowley an ultimatum maybe and it will end with Sam doing the Sam face looking from Crowley to Dean back to Crowley. Have Dean live but be “cain” Dean or have Dean die. (thus we go in a complete circle with Dean now the object of the die/live scenario). imo. Peace.

    Comment by animal — April 19, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

  165. Carver might have expected to wrap up both the angel story and the MOC myth arc in what he thought would be the series finale. However, when he found out SN was renewed, maybe he decided to wrap up the angel story and carry the MOC over to next season. That could explain why so little has happened in relation to the MOC. When he accused Dean of “stalling,” Crowley was really talking about Carver!

    Comment by JT — April 19, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

  166. The talk here of Abaddon killing Dean, my point is, I really don’t think she can. I know that they’ve totally reconned the Bible, but if I recall, the reason God put that mark on Cain was to prevent others who wanted to kill him in revenge for Abel from doing jut that. I know in this version it was Lucifer but whatever. The other thing to note is that the mark seems to be making Dean stronger the longer he has it, like a build up in his bloodstream. Like how he beat the shit out of Gadreel. No human is even a fraction of a match for an angel. We’ve seen it when Cas beat Dean down, we can even go all the way back to Jacob wrestling the angel. And let’s remember how Cain totally annihilated those demons back at his house without benefit of the blade. It’s true that he also did this after giving the mark to Dean, but you could assume that after thousands of years he had a lot of power built up inside of him.
    So I don’t think she or Crowley can kill him, but Abaddon may have all of Josie’s MOL knowledge and maybe knows how to use that spell that Magnus used to seduce Dean into embracing the dark side.
    In any case, I want Sam, and Sam alone, figuring out how to save Dean using his MOL resources, his own intelligence, his own bass assery, and the strength of what I know underneath it all is still his love for his big brother. The MOC could end up being every bit as much Sam’s story as it is Dean’s and this is what I hope; that it turns out to be their important story together.

    Comment by roxi — April 20, 2014 @ 1:36 am

  167. I am with Lisa1 in that I am not so invested in SN at the moment, it is partly due to personal circumstances but I get more enjoyment currently from going to forums and reading people’s ideas and opinions than the episodes themselves.
    On the issue of time off etc, it has been mentioned in Cons and interviews that J2 have said it is difficult to be in a series which does not have an ensemble cast as it means so much is on them – I am sure if I had the time to look I could find references to them saying this. Therefore it is relevant that they have introduced more characters and J2 have more time off screen to me anyway as I am invested in the brothers, other characters introduced and part of the Winchester story are great and add to the episodes but an ensemble cast is not what I am looking for in SN. I liked Cas when first introduced and I thought it was a good addition, however to keep him in because of his popularity (well Misha’s anyway) has not really worked IMO very well, probably they could have if the writers were creative have found a way to keep him in the series as a recurring character which worked.
    I would so like to be mega excited about the next episode and was really looking forward to this last one, I enjoyed it in parts but have only watched it twice which as I normally watch at least three or four times is a guide for me. I really like the idea that Dean and Gadreel have made up some sort of deal together – however people’s ideas are usually much better these days than what we actually get given so not holding out any hope for that. As it seems the TPTB are keeping the MOC as a big part of some later episode they have handled it IMO in a very heavy handed way, it is ridiculous that Sam has not shown more concern and now Cas is like oh right, oh dear, Sam keep an eye out WTH! Not saying that Sam is not worried, he has been written in to give lots and lots of concerned looks Dean’s way but………………guess they will be hitting us with a MOC anvil eventually.
    Jaytee’s possible conversion to separate story lines in episodes is almost sounding appealing to me as well, but if they do go down that route or even if they continue the route they are on at the moment, I for one, will not be hanging out every week to watch each episode multiple times and be invested in analysing it etc. it will be a totally different type of programme IMO. Rather a lot of disjointed rambling so sorry for that and for the negativity would much rather not feel like this.

    Comment by Icarus — April 20, 2014 @ 9:24 am

  168. I have never missed an episode of Supernatural but this season is really taking the spunk out of the series. Where is the story line, the characters are falling around and there is no solid base anymore.

    I am glad they brought the trickster back but the episode was pointless.

    Comment by Oriel — April 20, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

  169. @166: “The MOC could end up being every bit as much Sam’s story as it is Dean’s and this is what I hope; that it turns out to be their important story together.”

    I also hope they bring it back to the brothers. Jensen spoke how difficult he finds playing Dean who is so isolated etc. I bet once Jensen is able to talk more freely, he’ll say he missed playing off of Jared’s Sam. The show is the strongest when it’s SamnDean.

    Comment by San Summer — April 20, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

  170. I hope the MOC will be a “brother story” as well. The line in the 21 spoiler about Dean’s behaviour “not going unnoticed by Sam” gives me hope that Sam will be moving beyond concerned looks and “are you okay?” and into more proactive territory with Dean. It’s not Sam’s usual place with Dean, as part of their infernal “big brother”/”little brother” roles. Sam isn’t used to taking charge where Dean is concerned, and the few occasions he’s tried, it tends to go badly (like….season 4)!

    In addition to Dean walking a mile in Sam’s shoes, it will really put Sam where Dean was in 9.01. Dean knowingly got the MOC, even if he was fuzzy on the details. Presumably, he has accepted/resigned himself to whatever fate is in store for him at this point. He doesn’t want to be derailed or “saved.” He wants to get the job done, regardless of personal cost. Just as Sam had accepted his fate in 9.01 and didn’t want to be “saved” from it.

    I suppose there is another parallel there as well. While Sam “accepted” dying, the viewer (and possibly Dean) knew (hoped) that Sam couldn’t *truly* want to die. Many have pointed out that Sam really wanted to live, and that his “suicidal” turn seemed sudden, more out of the current hopelessness of his situation (then survivor’s guilt after the possession/Kevin’s death) than Sam’s true feelings on his own life.

    Dean isn’t dying, but is on track for a fate worse than death. And Sam and the viewers all know that Dean, in his normal mindset, would never dream of signing on to become what he hunts. Thus, to save Dean, Sam will have to go against Dean’s wishes for himself in the moment. Sam’s motivations, if this goes down, should be a combination of his own love and fear for Dean, as well as knowing Dean far better than what Dean is currently letting on. Knowing that Dean can’t *really* want this, even if he has accepted it and doesn’t want any intervention. Which is pretty well the exact position and motivations Dean had in 9.01.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 20, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

  171. There is something really uncomfortable about the idea of Sam walking a mile in Dean’s shoes because of the mark of Cain and then… coming to the conclusion that getting possessed wasn’t such a bad thing because he did something comparable to Dean?

    Sam saying to the Dean in his head: “It’s okay. It’s what I want.” and patting him on the cheek has a totally different vibe from Dean who out of self-hatred accepted a mark that originated from Satan and was given to a man who murdered his little brother and turned into the worst demon.

    I do hope Sam will get to have a better understanding of Dean’s position. Dean was on a rollercoaster because he had just found out Sam didn’t care if he lived or died after finishing the trials, he convinces Sam to stop and says they’ll figure it out, Sam ends up in a coma and then he hears Sam is willing to go with Death but wants it to be final etc.

    However, the situation that led to Sam being possessed has such an unique non-consensual factor that nothing really compares. I think the mark of Cain will have a closer parallel to Sam drinking demon blood. In both cases the subject thought he was ultimately doing the right thing even though the condition left them feeling horrible about themselves and lashing out against their brother.

    Comment by San Summer — April 21, 2014 @ 4:38 am

  172. @San Summer- Surely I’ve been sympathetic enough to Sam in my previous posts that it’s clear I don’t want him going “Oh, I get it now. The angel possession is A-OK!” I also hope Sam won’t similarly violate Dean to save him.

    This issue is compelling because the brothers are both right in a way. Sam was absolutely violated and betrayed and is reacting as such. Something huge was done to him without informed consent, that something went on for months, and someone Sam cares about died as a result. Dean was absolutely acting to save the brother he loves, and that’s informing his stance (this is why the “rape” comparisons sit poorly with most fans. Dean violated Sam, but not with the malicious intent to harm or assert control that is associated with rape or assault). With the current characters we have, there’s no way either of them could see things any differently. That the MOC is making Dean more of a black-and-white thinker than usual doesn’t help (“Sam’s alive…therefore I did the right thing.”) Dean needs to acknowledge the grey areas of what he did and the ways he hurt Sam…and if the narrative is for Sam to forgive Dean, he’s going to have to see the grey areas as well, and I hope part of that will be at least an element of “saving Dean against his will.” As we all know, forgiveness isn’t saying “this thing you did was cool.”

    I write a lot about Sam, but I can also appreciate that in 9.01, Dean was stepping into a very familiar position of having to make decisions for Sam. He felt he had to stop Sam in Levee (shown as probably bad tactics in simply locking him up, but overall a good thing to attempt). He had to buffer Sam’s lack of instincts and empathy in S6 and make the decision to get Sam’s soul back (viewed in-show and by re-soulled Sam as the right move). While only shown intermittently on-screen, Dean had to find a way to “fix” Sam’s insanity (also seen as the right thing to do). In S8, Dean took on Sam’s physical care when his health deteriorated due to the Trials, took more responsibility for hunts because of Sam’s illness, and ultimately took it upon himself to prevent Sam’s death from the Trials. Sam’s mind was still (arguably) intact, but Dean was able to talk him around.

    By 9.01, Dean had been there before, but a big difference was that Sam’s mind was intact even though his body was broken. Sam could make the decision himself, but Dean couldn’t handle the decision he was making. So he stepped back to Seasons 4, 6, and 7 when Sam arguably wasn’t in a position to decide for himself. Dean feeling he could okay an angel possession for Sam didn’t come a propos of nothing, and while Sam has reacted badly, he seems to understand that there’s deeper things that need fixing now. That seems to be the “other side of codependency” issue- Dean stepped over Sam’s boundaries because at this point, the brothers barely *have* boundaries. Really, it was just last year that these two thirtymumble men started sleeping more than three feet apart when not on a hunt (they still share a motel room when on cases). And while that’s great for viewers to watch, there are unhealthy aspects to that dynamic.

    It’s interesting how the brothers seemed so in tune in the church in 8.23, but were still speaking different languages. Sam saw Dean’s speech as Dean acknowledging Sam as his partner and equal, finally trusting him implicitly the way Sam trusts him. Like Gadreel said when he was imitating Sam “You didn’t think I could handle it, so you took over- again!” That’s part of Sam’s upset right now, that in his mind, Dean went back on that speech about two seconds after making it.

    To Dean, that speech was reiterating what he thought was already clear – him and Sam, come whatever. Sam would always come first. And he thought Sam dying was “come whatever” and that “save Sam using any means necessary” was honouring what he’d said in the church.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 21, 2014 @ 6:43 am

  173. @167 Icarus, for me, you hit a major source of the problem when you say Castiel should be a recurring character. As a regular, he and his angels take far too much time away from the Winchester story. If the 2Js want days off–as you’ve shown they do–it would be better for the writers to give more attention to the villains, as they did with Crowley, or to let Sam and Dean work separately as in Episode 17. As matters stand now, Castiel and the angels form another series that’s ludicrously shoehorned into SN. The angel story is the fly in the ointment. It’s ridiculous, and it’s ruining the show.

    @168 Oriel, “pointless” is exactly the word for that episode. As you say, “there is no solid baae anymore.” Even though the MOC has greater potential than any myth arc in years, it’s being handled with astonishing sloppiness and disinterest. The blame is Carver’s. He’s supposed to map out the plan and make sure the writers build the myth arc in a convincing, suspenseful way. My guess is he’s so taken up with his other project(s), he could care less about SN. Maybe he should be replaced–fast.

    Comment by JT — April 21, 2014 @ 6:46 am

  174. Wow, lol, sign me up for the edit button, as that was way more rambly and disjointed than I wanted.

    TLDR: Dean violated Sam, but not with malicious intent. I’m hoping Sam finds a way to understand Dean’s position and what he was trying to do when he finds himself in a similar position, not that Sam becomes “okay” with having been possessed.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 21, 2014 @ 6:49 am

  175. @171.

    To be honest, San Summer, I think the possession storyline is over. It served its purpose; people talked and Dean got angsty. Now, too much time has passed without it being addressed so if it does come up again then Sam will be in the wrong for it so I think it’s now a case of Dean orchestrated the violation of Sam (and would do it again), Sam just has to deal with that. Add to that, in this episode Dean put Sam’s possession squarely on Gadreel so I don’t see the role Dean played in it or the effect that it had on Sam getting much air time.

    The focus is now on the fact that Sam wouldn’t have Dean possessed and Deans belief that Sam wouldn’t save him. I do hope that Sam won’t have Dean possessed. One, because it’s a huge (and seedy) violation and two, if Sam did that then we’d be hearing about it for the next ten seasons! I think Sam will end up giving his life for Dean. It was foreshadowed in this episode (when Gadreel declared Sam wouldn’t give his life for Dean, despite the fact that Dean never said this) and it does seem to be what Dean expects. So perhaps Sam will make some deal to transfer the MoC (and it’s consequences) onto himself or perhaps the season ten finale will show Sam curing a demon (Dean) while at the same time closing the gates of hell, thus gaining revenge for what the demons did to his family and also saving Dean.

    Comment by Orlaith — April 21, 2014 @ 6:55 am

  176. Great post, Orlaith! I was just about to ask if Sam is even still upset about the Gadreel possession and Dean’s role in that? Are they still supposed to be co-workers but not brothers? It’s been so long since any of that was addressed that it feels like the time has passed. Sam never got to clarify his feelings or he did (unfortunately).

    I agree that we are now at a point where Sam will have to decide what he will do for Dean. Will he do something he never thought he would before? That’s where the story seems to be leading.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 21, 2014 @ 7:35 am

  177. @172 good post Jaytee!

    @174 Orlaith. I do hope we get to hear Dean say: “Sammy, I’m sorry”. That Dean sees his role in how the brotherhood ended up the way it is.

    I have had the same feeling as you that if the situations were reversed, Dean would have a hard time forgiving and forgetting. I bet it would go something like this: “Ruby, killing Lilith, letting Lucifer out, losing your soul, not looking for me when I went to Purgatory, tricking me into being possessed…”

    I’m curious about Dean’s stance on “do anything for your brother”. Does he mean _anything_? Getting Sam possessed points that way but is he talking about things like crossroads deals, too? And would Dean really want Sam to do anything for him? Not season 3 Dean but maybe the current one does?

    @Lisa1. I have a feeling that they are never going to fully explore the possession thing because the issue of consent is such a gray area. So it’s probably going to be just a case of Dean realizing how badly he affected Sam by using Sam’s trust and Sam realizing that Dean just wanted to save his brother.

    Comment by San Summer — April 21, 2014 @ 7:56 am

  178. San Summer – I don’t see Dean feeling bad about the possession situation. I think the possession story is over. I don’t expect to hear about it from the characters again. It happened. Dean said what he felt about it. Sam said what it felt about it. What else is there to say? That story seems over and done with, IMO.

    To me, the new story is the MOC and its effect on Dean. Assuming it has some horrible effect on him, the boys will have to deal w/that I guess.

    As far as what Dean wants – if you will recall, Dean was okay w/the idea of Sam moving on w/his life in S8. Dean only became upset when it became clear that Sam didn’t spend even one second trying to figure out what happened to him. That’s when he, understandably IMO, became angry. He wasn’t angry before when he thought Sam had looked for him. That had to hurt. I’d be hurt if I were Dean too.

    So, I don’t think Dean is expecting Sam to slaughter millions for him or to make a CRD for him. I don’t think it’s asking too much to LOOK for him if he disappears. That’s the least Sam could have done, and it had to hurt Dean to know that Sam didn’t even do that!

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 21, 2014 @ 9:59 am

  179. @Lisa1. I think he should feel bad about the possession situation. He will never feel bad about Sam being alive nor does anyone expect him to but the situation was way more complex than that.

    To me the possession story cannot be over because the underlying tensions haven’t been resolved.

    ***

    Gadreel tried to hit Dean where it hurt when he challenged him:

    Gadreel: You really think Sam would do anything for you?
    Dean: Oh, I know he would.
    Gadreel: I have been in your brother’s body, Dean. He would not trade his life for yours.
    Dean: Well, thanks for the rerun, pal. Sam’s already told me all that crap. Hell, he’s told me worse.

    So it seems like Dean heard Sam saying: “Same circumstances…I wouldn’t” as Sam saying he wouldn’t trade his life for Dean. He also thinks that is “crap” or he at least thinks that Sam should do anything for him. Doesn’t anything also include making deals? Crossroads deals are not strategically smart for them anymore but it’s really about the principle of things.

    Comment by San Summer — April 21, 2014 @ 10:39 am

  180. I guess, for me, there was always an unspoken limit to what the brothers expected from the other. I will never agree – and I’m not saying you’re making this argument by the way – w/the idea that Dean expects Sam to do ANYTHING – even kill innocent people – to save him. There is nothing in the show’s history to support that belief, but some have stated that’s what they believe. I, wholeheartedly, disagree. Dean does not want that. If we look at the premiere of S8, it shows that Dean would have been satisfied w/Sam looking for him. That’s all Dean wanted. He didn’t expect Sam to save him; he did expect Dean to look for him. And I can’t say there is anything extraordinary about Dean’s expectation last year. As I said before, the very least Sam could have done was investigate Dean’s disappearance, and he didn’t even do that according to Carver.

    ——

    As far as the possession story goes, it just seems so long ago at this point. I think far too much time has passed, and I’m not sure what else there is to do w/that plot. I’m just not sure if it’s in Dean’s DNA to say he would let Sam die if an option was presented to him. I just can’t get all that jazzed about a show where the leads don’t care if the other dies, esp. given the show’s history. I’m not excited about an indifferent Dean to go along w/the indifferent Sam Carver’s created, but that’s just me.

    And I guess I would see Dean apologizing more for the possession if the second half of the season were setting up Dean to be possessed. I guess it could still happen. I don’t know, and sadly, I don’t much care how this season ends. I’m kind of mentally checked out of the show right now.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 21, 2014 @ 11:41 am

  181. @San,

    I think the idea as well is that Dean is looking for the “sentiment” more than the actions themselves. Like (assuming Sam knew Dean was in Purgatory, which didn’t appear to be the case), if Sam had said later that he TRIED to find a way to get to Dean, but literally couldn’t find anything, or the only way would have brought back the Leviathans somehow, or something like that, I think Dean would have understood. I don’t think he’d expect or want Sam to make a CRD at this point, as even he seemed to acknowledge later that it had been a pretty dumb move on his part. Like if Sam had looked into it and had found no way to bring Dean back without terrible consequences, I think Dean would have gotten that.

    I think there’s space between “didn’t do anything” and “bring back Dean no matter what.” We’ve talked early S8 Sam to death here of course. I think there can be sympathetic reasons for what Sam did, but they weren’t delved into enough in the show.

    The root of Dean’s insecurity here is actually the idea Sam just doesn’t care for him as much as Dean does for him. It’s always been in the back of his brain, and Sam not looking for him, then saying “he wouldn’t” do for Dean what Dean did for him seems to have brought that issue to the fore. At this point, I interpret Gad’s “he wouldn’t trade his life for yours” not as a literal thing Dean would really want, but hurtful because of the sentiment. Dean would die for Sam, Sam used to say the same to Dean (and I think it’s still true), but Dean isn’t sure if Sam shares his dedication anymore. Of course, I could be off on that interpretation and Gad’s wording could be some kind of foreshadowing.

    I’m hoping they don’t go with Sam dying to show his love for Dean. Feels like that would just bring a lot of things back to square 1, and death has become pretty cheap in the show. It would mean yet another prostate Dean scene, another resurrection, more consequences. Maybe if Sam *risked* dying to save him it would have a similar impact. But theoretically, both brothers risk their lives for each other practically every time they hunt together.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 21, 2014 @ 11:59 am

  182. But the thing is that Gadreel tried to use: “You really think Sam would do anything for you?” as a weapon and Dean went for a counterargument: “Oh I know Sam would”. Dean could have said: “I know Sam wouldn’t do _anything_ for me and I don’t expect him to and I certainly don’t want him to”. Since Dean didn’t say that, Gadreel knew to twist the knife in deeper by saying: “He told you that he has always felt that way?”

    In season 3:

    Sam: And if it’ll save you…

    Dean: Why even risk it?

    Sam: Because you’re my brother. Because you did the same thing for me.

    Dean: I know… and look how that turned out. All I’m saying… Sammy, all I’m saying is that you’re my weak spot. You are. And I’m yours.

    Sam: You don’t mean that. We’re… we’re family.

    Dean: I know. And those evil sons of bitches know it too. I mean, what we’ll do for each other, you know, how far we’ll go? They’re using it against us.

    Sam: So what? We just stop looking out for each other?

    Dean: No, we stop being martyrs, man. We – we – we stop spreading it for these demons.

    I sort of get the feeling that maybe Dean wants that Sam back despite himself. He doesn’t really want to see Sam doing crazy things for him but at the same time it would be pretty damn reassuring that it’s still “you and me”. So in a way Sam is in a lose-lose situation.

    Comment by San Summer — April 21, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

  183. Again, I honestly don’t think there is anything unnatural about Dean wanting to believe Sam would do as much for him as he does for Sam. To me, that is only natural, esp. given their relationship and how close they are supposed to be.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 21, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

  184. And that takes it back to the possession issue.

    Dean: If the situation were reversed and I was dying, you’d do the same thing.
    Sam: No, Dean. I wouldn’t. Same circumstances…I wouldn’t.

    Unless they resolve that, Dean will always feel disappointed that Sam won’t do “anything” for him.

    Comment by San Summer — April 21, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

  185. This is a fascinating discussion! San Summer, I always thought it came down to the dialogue you quoted @184. Sam wouldn’t let an entity possess Dean–even to save his life. Dean would do that for Sam and did.

    But the lines you quoted @179 suggest that the writer who came along later radically changed things. From Sam wouldn’t save Dean by letting an entity possess him, we’ve gone to Sam wouldn’t trade his life for Dean’s. I never heard Gadreel’s assertion, yet Dean accepts it as if Sam said it.

    Anyway, the difference between what we heard Sam say (@184) and what Gadreel said (@179) is HUGE. I can understand why Sam wouldn’t want his brother to be possessed, but for Sam not to be willing to trade his life for his Dean’s is antithetical to the character and everything we know about the Winchesters.

    Comment by JT — April 21, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

  186. Apparently, there are some reservations about that new spin-off, Bloodlines. The CW may not pick it up. I read an article over on TWFB.

    ——-

    San and JT – I must point out that Dean did not automatically agree to the Gadreel possession. He outright rejected the plan when it was first told to him. He was very conflicted over it and tried his best to vet Gadreel through Castiel before even talking to him. Once it was clear that Sam – the guy who had just STOPPED the trial to live – was going to die, he begrudgingly agreed to it. Plus, his first instinct was to tell Sam what he had done. He knew Sam was going to be upset, and that’s why he wanted to immediately tell him. We can’t just overlook – or at least in my opinion we shouldn’t – all the things that came into play in Dean making this decision.

    I guess what I’m saying is it was not a callous decision on Dean’s part, or one that he didn’t think much about before making it. These were extraordinary circumstances. Dean trusted Gadreel b/c he trusted Castiel. Unfortunately, the whole thing went wrong. I suspect the next time Dean will just let Sam die – probably in the series finale.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 21, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

  187. @174

    I’m really not all that pushed if Dean apologies to Sam. I’d rather he change his actions and how he views his brother than throwing out a few words.

    @178

    I know it’s very easy to say that Sam should have looked for Dean and as a concept it’s very easily done but their lives don’t lead to that. As I read somewhere, no-one is really dead when you’ve the ability to bring them back to life. The same applies to looking, when you’ve the means to tear the world apart then no-one is really lost. That doesn’t mean that you should do it. If the President’s daughter was kidnapped should he launch an all out war on the country that kidnapped her, just to try and get her back? He has the power to do so but should he? The same applies to Sam and Dean. They are not ordinary civilians so what they can do is not ordinary, the consequenes of what they do are not ordinary.

    @179

    The underlying tensions have been there since season one so I think they’ll always be there! If you think about it, to a lesser extent (and I know it will sound trivial and some people will jump all over me for it but bear with me because it does show similar mentality) Dean did the same thing in the Pilot. He knew that Sam wouldn’t want to talk to him so he took measures to ensure that he had to talk to him, by breaking into his house.

    @181

    I really dislike the idea that Dean not wanting Sam to make a deal etc for him but expecting him to ie the sentiment not the action. This makes it seem as if the whole thing is some sort of biblical test. ‘I don’t want you to do it but I want you to want to do it’. However, the chances of Sam taking that test are very high and then what is he meant to do; do what Dean wants (or says he wants) or do what Sam wants? The entire thing would be like some sort of riddle.

    It also reminds me an awful lot of the Benny situation. I mean, did Dean want Sam to trust Benny (and if so why didn’t he tell Sam about Benny instead of keeping him like some dirty little secret?) or not? Was that a test of Sam as well? Talk about being set up to fail!

    I think the corner that the show has written themselves into is that they don’t know what is ‘best’ for a character. As hunters (and as men) they’re expected to give their lives for others but as brothers they’re expected to do anything to save the lives of each other, even if there are huge consequences to the lives of those they are meant to be saving and bettering. Deciding what is best is no longer a simple case of being alive. Had Sam gone with Death then he’d be at peace now. Had Sam closed the gates of hell then there’s a good chance the demons and all their shenanigans wouldn’t be harming others now. So can we really say there’s an upside to anyone bar Dean of Sam being alive?

    Comment by Orlaith — April 22, 2014 @ 12:10 am

  188. @JT: “From Sam wouldn’t save Dean by letting an entity possess him, we’ve gone to Sam wouldn’t trade his life for Dean’s. I never heard Gadreel’s assertion, yet Dean accepts it as if Sam said it.”

    Exactly! So for the show to drop the possession issue would be a huge mistake.

    @Orlaith. And that’s why I say Sam is in a lose-lose situation. Dean sees himself as doing anything for his brother and of course thinks Sam should reciprocate but at the same time Dean wouldn’t want that as evidenced by the season three finale or episode 4.01. And just as Dean might think that a crossroads deal isn’t included in “anything”, for Sam tricking your brother into letting an angel possess him is not included in “anything”.

    I think it would help to hear Dean voice it. They made a point of showing Dean coming close to saying he is sorry but he couldn’t get the words out because he didn’t truly feel it. Yet for Sam what happened was so big that he feels they are not the same anymore.

    Comment by San Summer — April 22, 2014 @ 3:57 am

  189. Again, the “anything” has never meant “anything.” Dean wouldn’t kill people for Sam nor would he expect Sam to kill for him. Those who agree with Sam’s actions keep coming up with extreme examples of Sam saving Dean like tearing the world apart or slaughtering millions when he simply could have looked into the situation. To claim he couldn’t have investigated whether Dean was actually dead before giving up is – I’m sorry – ridiculous. He could have done that. He didn’t. He did nothing to confirm his brother’s “death” and just went about his life 2 seconds after Dean disappeared. That is sloppy, bad writing. No one – not Dean or the audience – is saying Sam should have created world destruction for his brother.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 22, 2014 @ 4:32 am

  190. @186 Lisa1.

    The sad thing is, I’m not even sure Sam would have unequivocally said no to being healed from the inside. After all, he was convinced he needed to finish the trials or other people would die but Dean managed to convince him otherwise.

    Dean: Even if I said yes, it doesn’t mean squat. Sam will never say yes – not to you.
    Gadreel: But he would say yes to you.

    And Dean does get Sam’s trust wholly which translated into Gadreel having the opportunity to possess Sam. Who’s to say Dean wouldn’t have been able to accomplish that even if he was being honest? Sam had already decided to go with Death (a huge deal) yet Dean coming in changed his mind. Unfortunately, the way things played out shows how Dean didn’t trust Sam to make a decision regarding his own life because Dean was afraid Sam would rather die than stay for him. Gadreel was not shy to exploit this element as evidenced by him saying: “There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you.”

    In front of the hospital:

    Dean: So, what he does – what, is he gonna feel you inside, triaging his spleen?

    Gadreel: He will not feel me, no. There is no reason for Sam to know I’m in here at all.

    Dean: You’re joking. No, this is – this is too big.

    Gadreel: And what will he do if you do tell him he is possessed by an angel?

    Dean: Well, he’ll have to understand.

    Gadreel: And if he does not? Without his acceptance, Sam can eject me at any time, especially with me so weak. And if Sam does eject me, he will die.

    Dean: Then we keep it a secret for now. Or until Sam’s well enough that he doesn’t need an angelic pacemaker or I find a way to tell him. I – I… As for him being in a hospital, I’ll have to figure something out.

    Gadreel: I can erase it all, if you like. He will not remember any of this.

    So even though Dean rejected the thought of lying to Sam at first, he comes around to Gadreel’s way of thinking when the angels brings up the possibility that Sam would not understand. Dean even okayed Gadreel erasing Sam’s memories. So Dean’s mentality is that he knows what is best for Sam so Dean gets to decide, “it’s for your own good”.

    Note how Dean thought Sam could somehow feel that he is being possessed by an angel. Dean then finds out that’s not the case. He could have just as well thought that even though he initially tricked Sam into being possessed, he would then tell Sam so Sam could truly say yes or no. The added benefit for Dean in that scenario would have been the chance to appeal to Sam face-to-face (would Sam really be able to say no to Dean if it came to that since he had already decided he wasn’t going to go with Death after all??) and show how good things can be, how Ezekiel is supposed to be one of the good guys, how they can get Cas and Kevin in on it and everyone will make sure it all goes well.

    Comment by San Summer — April 22, 2014 @ 4:39 am

  191. @189 Lisa1. To be fair, Sam didn’t “just go about his life 2 seconds after Dean disappeared”.

    It is clear that Dean still feels resentful about the Purgatory thing as evidenced by episode Sacrifice. My hope is that one day Dean will be able to see all the things that contributed to Sam not looking for him. “I lost my brother, Dean, a few months ago. It felt like my world imploded and came raining down on me, and… I ran.”

    I also hope Dean will realize that Sam not being willing to trick Dean into being possessed does not mean that Sam wouldn’t do anything for Dean as far as Sam knows that’s what Dean would want. This ties into the not looking agreement they had. Sam and Dean just have very different views on life and death. I think if the situation were reversed and Sam had gone to Purgatory, he would not have felt that Dean ditched him for a girl etc.

    Comment by San Summer — April 22, 2014 @ 5:21 am

  192. @188

    I think at some stage both Sam and Dean need to gift each other with the Winchester Bibles (the most up to date ones) so that they can actually know about the other. That way Sam won’t feel like that Dean thinks of him as just some sort of traitorous monster who can’t be trusted to tie his own shoelaces, let alone with making his own decisions and Dean will realise just how much Sam has sacrificed for him and that it’s not a one way street where all he does is give and all Sam does is take.

    Comment by Orlaith — April 22, 2014 @ 7:52 am

  193. San, I’m not sure why you keep saying Dean was angry that Sam got a girlfriend. He wasn’t. He was never angry that Sam moved on with his life. He was angry, and justifiably so IMO, that Sam didn’t bother to look for him or investigate his disappearance BEFORE moving on with his life.

    From the transcript:


    SAM
    Yes, Dean. And far as I knew, what we do is the thing that got every single member of my family killed. I had no one – no one. And for the first time in my life, I was completely alone. And, honestly, I-I didn’t exactly have a roadmap. So, yeah, I-I fixed up the Impala, and I just… drove.

    DEAN
    After you looked for me. [SAM says nothing.] Did you look for me, Sam? [SAM looks away.] Good. That’s good. Now, we – we… always told each other not to look for each other. That’s smart. Good for you. Of course, we always ignored that because of our deep, abiding love for each another, but not this time, right, Sammy?”

    Like most people would be, I think Dean was thrown by Sam not looking for him at all. And, I’m sorry, but Sam left the minute Dean disappeared. That was it. It took him all of two seconds to determine Dean was dead.

    Anyway, we can just agree to disagree on this. I don’t like how Sam was written last year. Sam will always and forever be OOC to me in early S8. Nothing he did made sense, and his thinking made no sense to me. It was character assassination, IMO, at its finest. But that’s just how I saw it.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 22, 2014 @ 9:56 am

  194. @Lisa1. I did not say that. Dean kept focusing on there being girl and he was convinced she was the reason Sam didn’t look for him. I don’t see Sam making that jump if he had gone to Purgatory instead of Dean.

    In Southern Comfort:

    Dean: Yeah, I might have lied, but I never once betrayed you. I never once left you to die. And for what, a girl? You left me to die for a girl?

    Later:

    Sam: For the record, the girl – her name’s Amelia. Amelia Richardson. She and I had a place together in Kermit, Texas.

    Dean: Look, man, I don’t even remember what I said, but, uh –

    Sam: But what? But you didn’t mean it? Oh, please. You and I both know you didn’t need that penny to say those things.

    Dean: Come on, Sam.

    Sam: Own up to your crap, Dean. I told you from the jump where I was coming from, why I didn’t look for you. But you? You had secrets. You had Benny. And you got on your high and mighty, and you’ve been kicking me ever since you got back. But that’s over. So move on, or I will.

    Dean: Okay. I hear you.

    Comment by San Summer — April 22, 2014 @ 10:12 am

  195. @193. I agree with you, Lisa. It just did not make the slightest sense to me, and his attitude continued to make no sense till the later half of the season.

    I just hated that, and now I just ignore it. Until of course, ST and TP brought it all back. I’m somehow again hopeful that Carver has a ‘plan’ (though I don’t like the methods) which will bring the OOC behavior to light finally. Call me the eternal optimist! :D

    Comment by Tammy — April 22, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  196. @194- The problem for me and many others San, was the very cold way Sam acted towards Dean after he got back, not at all like a someone who thought their brother was dead for a year then discovered he was alive. Yes I know Dean was giving him a hard time about not hunting and I’m not excusing that, but still.
    Also, we were not given any insight on how or why Sam automatically assumed right away that Dean was dead, especially after all they’ve seen in their lifetime. Nor did we see one minute of Sam grieving.
    Had we seen Sam actually spending one second trying to determine that Dean was indeed dead or trying to find out what else might have happened to him, that he had at least tried and failed, along with actually seeing him grieve for a short time, maybe then we could have understood where he was coming from. Nobody would have expected Sam to mourn forever or not get on with his life.
    But what we got instead was someone who seemingly stopped caring about his brother at all. It was NOT Sam Winchester, and yes, the writers did a terrible injustice to the character.

    Comment by roxi — April 22, 2014 @ 11:11 am

  197. I’m with you Tammy. I keep hoping for a bit more explanation, but with so much else going on in the last few eps this season, I doubt we’re going to get it.

    There was POTENTIAL for a story in Sam’s arc in early S8, but I think it was executed horribly. I don’t know if it was growing pains with the new writing team, issues with the hand-off between Gamble and Carver, if someone on the writing team had/has it in for Sam or if they were just absurdly confident that fans would give Sam the benefit of the doubt. But it got handled really badly and only serious Sam fans are able to fully get past it. I also wonder if JP got screwed in the bargain somehow? He has said a couple of times since that Sam was “surprising” for him that season, and I’d almost wonder that he didn’t intervene with the creative team at some point. I wonder if he, like us, kept thinking there was going to be a larger explanation that never came?

    There were bits and pieces of things explaining him that year (thought Dean had died, prior agreement he thought he was honouring, completely alone, “implosion,” aimless driving, reluctant to hunt again), but really not enough for the shocking decisions he made, so that fans would get it. I even understand writing it so that DEAN wouldn’t get it, as they seemed to want a conflict there, but the fans could have used more info.

    Like you, Tammy, I’m hoping there is a plan to all this and that it will get resolved in a way that doesn’t fry Sam as a character. Thankfully, I’m also the type that can take or leave parts of a story- if S8 and S9 ultimately piss me off too much, I’ll mentally end the series at S7 :p.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 22, 2014 @ 11:30 am

  198. @Roxi, ITA. I think one of the biggest problems with that arc was that the writers broke the basic rule of “show, don’t tell.” We were told that Sam’s world had imploded, that he drove around aimlessly for an undetermined length of time, that he thought Dean was dead, that there was an agreement that Sam, at least, thought was genuine. It was implied that Sam got essentially traumatized off hunting after Dean’s disappearance. But we weren’t shown any of that- just stuff about a vet and a dog, implied to come months later. Soooo fans think back to that arc, and they remember the stupid Samelia flashbacks, not the various stilted explanations Sam gave.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 22, 2014 @ 11:38 am

  199. @Jaytee. Ah yes. If it all goes the way we fear it might, and Carver decides to cure the boys of their ‘faulty’ relationship, then yes, we can have a club where we decide the show ended in season 7, and then Sam brought Dean back. And they lived happily ever after, hunting supernatural evil in their impala. :)

    Comment by Tammy — April 22, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

  200. roxi, you have a valid point that it was not handled well. I don’t agree that they didn’t show one minute of Sam grieving. He was past the first phase (crying?) and he was past the stage where he just drove because his world imploded when he lost Dean. However, there were still some troubling aspects shown.

    Stan: It won’t last. You are living in a dream world.
    Amelia: I like it here. I like this house. I like Sam.
    Stan: Sam is a mess.
    Amelia: I’m a mess…..Please. Let us be messes together.

    Was Amelia a drinker? In addition, people have commented on their lack of chemistry and I think that at least on some level that was intentional. Sam rubbing his scar is a troubling sign considering he used that to determine if he was hallucinating or not. It also reminds me of people that might cause some pain to themselves to ease anxiety (like pulling their hair etc.).

    To me there was an air of sadness about Sam. However, he was working through it and they showed him doing well, too, and I think there is nothing wrong with that.

    Comment by San Summer — April 22, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  201. @Tammy, what really gets me, when I think about it and look at what I wrote, is that there could have been a halfway cohesive story for Sam in there. There *were* various reasons given for why he did what he did, and they could have been understandable and empathetic reasons, but nothing was shown or expanded on well enough to make an impact with viewers.

    And really, ONE flashback would have gone a long way for a lot of viewers. If we’d had ONE flashback, showing Sam as a puddle on some motel room floor, drinking and crying or otherwise clearly grieving, I think viewers would have been far more willing and able to empathize with him, even if they didn’t buy the “thought he was dead?” It would have been clearer that Sam clearly DID believe Dean was dead, and was depressed as hell about it. Thus we could give him the benefit of the doubt for screwing up, and be proud of his undoubtedly painful decision to not seek a resurrection for Dean, but to leave him at peace and eventually pick up his own life.

    If Sam was going to take a huge departure from the norm in terms of the brothers going after each other, that step really needed to be seen. Since it wasn’t, too many people figure Sam didn’t really grieve and just wasn’t fussed about Dean disappearing.

    As for Sam’s attitude when Dean came back, I found it unfortunate, but I think it was supposed to be more about Sam not wanting to hunt anymore. I’m not sure how they could have played Sam not wanting to hunt without him seeming distant from Dean, since post-Purgatory Dean was all about hunting. Dunno how they could have made that better.

    Comment by Jaytee — April 22, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  202. @Jaytee I agree with all you wrote. But to me, Sam’s behavior wasn’t just about not wanting to hunt, at times he seemed downright cold and cruel to Dean – almost like he couldn’t stand to be with him. I just couldn’t get that. I really think it could have been done better. Just have had him show some happiness at being with Dean, say a few words about he was happy to be with him again, but didn’t want to hunt anymore.

    Sam really seems to have lost his ability to communicate after his time in hell, unfortunately…

    Comment by Tammy — April 22, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

  203. As Jaytee said, if you’re going to show a character doing something out of the norm, then you have to show the “why” of that story. A good writer shows us that journey. You don’t skip the most interesting part of Sam’s story (ie, the grieving, the implosion) to show us him coping and moving on with his life with a woman very few cared about.

    And you certainly don’t show how much Sam missed Dean and grieved for him by directing the actor to act in the most nonchalant, indifferent way when his thought to be dead brother is actually shown alive. You don’t show happiness at supposedly dead brother’s resurrection by Sam encouraging his brother to go hunt on his own b/c Sam doesn’t want to be bothered.

    Sam was not “Sam” for me until ATGB. Prior to that episode, I’m not sure who he was. He wasn’t the character I had loved for 7 years. Heck, he wasn’t even a character I liked. That’s how far off the mark Carver was in Sam’s characterization IMO.

    S8 was bloody awful!

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 22, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

  204. Tammy, you and I are on the exact same page when it comes to early S8 Sam. He didn’t even seem to like Dean, let alone love him. It was ridiculous.

    Comment by Lisa1 — April 22, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

  205. @200- Well, I didn’t see one minute of him even being all that sad about it. And his coldness towards Dean made it all the worse. His gruffly telling Dean “look, I thought you were dead, move on or else” with no explanation to Dean or the audience about why he was so sure he was dead, so much so that he didn’t lift a finger to even try to figure out what happened, it just WASN’T Sam.
    The current version of Sam, even (rightfully) angry at Dean and claiming to not want to be brothers, is so much more like the Sam fans have known for 9 seasons, and acts more like he loves and cares about his brother, than in almost all of season 8. Even though he’s been slow to start to be concerned about that mark.
    I have read comments that in season 6, we were told, not shown, that Dean did everything he possibly could to try to save Sam. Fair enough, but we also were shown flashback scenes of him missing Sam, and when he did find out that Sam, or who he thought was Sam, was alive, the difference in reaction was night and day. Dean was overjoyed.
    Most fans expected the same reaction out of Sam. And even when he chose to stay with Lisa and not go with Sam, it was because he had brought danger to her and thought it was his responsibility to stay and protect her. There was no sense that he didn’t want to stay in contact with Sam or that he couldn’t stand to be anywhere Sam, like there seemed to be coming from Sam in season 8.
    This is not to say that Dean is better than Sam, because again, to many fans, that guy last season WASN’T Sam. I like this current Sam so much better.

    Comment by roxi — April 22, 2014 @ 4:38 pm

  206. @roxi. The difference in reaction in 6.01 and 8.01 was big but also the circumstances were very different. I think they were going for “Sam can’t believe his brother is actually there!”. Sam was full of questions. Very nervous, too, and for good reason. It wasn’t a teary mood for either of them (maybe it should have been?). Unfortunately, the good feelings didn’t have much of a chance to go on because pretty soon the issue of what Sam had been doing the past year was brought up so Dean got angry and Sam got defensive. I’d say they were both disappointed in how the reunion went.

    Comment by San Summer — April 22, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

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