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Live Free or Twi-hard: "Oh God, I'm Pattinson"

A Supernatural Blog - Season 6 Episode 5

"In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." - Al Rogers

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." - Anatole France

"Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family." -Anthony Brandt

Whoa...I was completely blown away by this episode.  I couldn't see it until today, but read all the mad tweeting that was going on Friday night while the episode aired. Nothing to reveal specifics, but the emotion was all there, the shock and awe of what everyone had experienced, I experienced myself and am just in as much shock as everyone who had tweeted.

Sam...what's happened to you and what's going on with you?

For me, it came down to a transformation in Sam that not only makes him not the Sam of old, but not the Sam who cared about humanity, not the Sam born to John and Mary Winchester, not the Sam who's Dean's baby brother. This Sam...this Sam is one who's become the supreme hunter, where any risk, any sacrifice is worth it, even it if means letting your brother get bitten by a vamp to get an "insider's" track on the nest. The end justifies the means.  If it were just that, it would be horrifying and heartbreaking enough, but the fact that Sam knew there was a cure and never told Dean, lied to Samuel about knowing anything about it at all, that Sam SMILED as he watched his brother get bitten,was SHOCKING. THAT Sam is one I don't even recognize. That Sam, Dean is slowly discovering beyond the suspicion, lies an even more painful fact. Sam is not the Sam who would watch Dean's back anymore because now Dean remembers seeing Sam just stand by and let the vamp bite him as well as his smile while it all happened.  Even Samuel is wondering about Sam and I don't trust his judgment one bit. If it weren't for that smile, I could find a way to justify Sam's transformation a little, not enough to let Sam off the hook for what he did to his brother, but maybe Sam truly believes this new "end justifies the means" mentality. He wouldn't be the first or the last to believe that, despite the fact that it goes against all we know about him. But that smile, as if to take any kind of pleasure at thinking that sacrificing his brother, knowing he could be cured not being even close to a good enough reason (and if that were the case, why act ignorant about knowing it? So that blows that rationale out the door), that smile scares me to death. This isn't Sam, the Sam we know and love anyway and if he is, his philosophical transformation is so completely against all we know about him that he might as well be someone else.

Jared gets kudos for playing Sam so ambiguously this season. I get the feeling that he must be enjoying playing Sam "off", not Sam in SO many ways and yet there are just enough flashes where you want to believe that Sam's still in there. He's doing a great job of making me feel like I'm being torn in so many directions. He plays Sam eerie cold and detached like at the end when Dean emerges from the bathroom, the first question from him is whether Dean can remember anything from being in the nest. I mean, he was obsessed with knowing that over Dean's well-being, he even asked him before he took the cure. He didn't ask, "are you okay?" or "how are you feeling?" and mean it in a concerned way or maybe he did from a clinical point of view when Dean got first bitten. Maybe Sam was curious about how it felt to turn. I think I could forgive Sam being almost "business-like" in his approach to hunting, but it's that grin when Dean was being bitten. *shivers. THAT moment gave me an ache in my heart that I could barely catch my breath. The Sam who supposedly loves his brother, may sacrifice others, but his own brother? THAT, THAT Sam is NOT the Sam that we all know and love and again, Jared's tweak of that smile at the corner of his mouth, just quick enough to make you see it, yet make others around him wonder, was just painfully perfect. Maybe Jared is finding it a little difficult  as well, just like he did when he had to play against the relationship in What is and What Never Should Be. It's great nonetheless.

Once again, the episode just flew by and I was surprised that it was over just like that. It sped by. Maybe it was just my shock at what I was seeing or just that it was that intense and exciting, but before I knew it, the episode was over and I was left feeling chilled by what I had seen. Dean's line at the end:

"We don't scare them anymore." 

Really hammered home how things have changed. Yet another alpha, a vamp recruiting for his vamp army. Their "company line" being not to kill humans, but to recruit them and create an army of vamps as opposed to using them as food was an interesting change of philosophy. There are a lot of these kinds of changes going on and as mentioned before, Sam is among them. His philosophy is just as changed as the others. Everything has to be done differently and maybe in a twisted way, Sam knows that or has been told that so he knows to act accordingly, but he's lying to everyone to get the job done. Even to Samuel now or so it seems.

Samuel hasn't endeared himself to me yet. Even with his suspicions about Sam, his declaration that Dean is a Campbell after all didn't sit well at all. Of course, Dean is a Campbell because of his mom, but to suggest that he wasn't from the start is, from a hunter's perspective, at best insulting. Dean might be rusty, but he can hunt better than any of the Campbells.

Okay, fair warning, I'm about to launch into DeanGirl mode now. Jensen was just STELLAR in this episode. I have to say that Dean was amazing at keeping at bay his vamp transformation. Talk about your incredible will. Okay, say what you will about how to explain Dean's ability to hold off feeding with so many opportunities, not the scariest of which was when he was at home with Lisa and Ben, like that he wasn't so far gone that he couldn't resist or that he barely resisted, the fact remains that he did. Dean kept holding on to his humanity throughout everything, through the temptations of the blood bags, through the entire time he was in the nest, he fought it off, knowing that losing it would mean he would be lost.  It was amazing.  Jensen showcased that resolve perfectly by being imperfect, he was barely holding on, you could see it on his face, but yet, he did. In my dewey-eyed vision of Dean, that makes him all the more heroic.

DeanGirl Moment: I would have liked it if there had been just a bit more suffering throughout, but the ending where Dean is curled up on the floor after taking the cure, made up for some of that. I know I'm a little bent. Guilty as charged once again.

I thought it perfect that Dean even made a joke by toasting before swallowing it. It's so true to Dean. Laughing in the face of real adversity and the possibility that the cure might not work. You gotta love Samuel's comment about the cure either working or that Dean was dying. Not many other choices.

Dean's moment with Lisa, even though ruined by his momentary slip, was wonderful. He could have just stayed away and disappeared, but that isn't Dean, he would want Lisa to know that he didn't just leave her. It is SO like Dean to do that and I LOVE that he does do that even if detractors would say that he was putting Lisa and Ben in danger. Yes, maybe he was, but this unrepentant and admittedly turning a blind eye DeanGirl, loved that he did go back to say goodbye.

"It doesn't matter, but what I need you to know, you and Ben, just thanks, okay? For everything."

I LOVED that he gave them credit for giving him what little happiness he could get from his life given his lifestyle and despite the scary moment when Dean slipped, it was still a beautiful moment. I hope that it doesn't mean the end of the relationship though Dean's calls going unreturned seems to bode ill for it, but I'm a terminal romantic so I'm still holding out hope that maybe Lisa and Ben are shaken, but not spooked entirely after all, it's not like they didn't know about Dean's "work". I mean, when Dean calls Lisa at the start of the episode and she tells him that she can't wait to see him, you see him smile at knowing that he's being missed. You just keep wanting that to last. Yeh, it's not a perfect relationship, as far from it as any relationship can be, hell, neither one of them has outright said "I love you" to the other that we know of, but the way they are making it work is in some ways how normal couples make things work, just without the demon hunting aspect to it. Plus, you don't have to say I love you to express it. However, I get that this juggling probably can't last very much longer just because in the Supernatural world, that kind of happiness just isn't meant to be, but again, terminal romantic here, I'll hold out hope until there is none to have. Lisa and Ben both possess the character to accept and endure in the situation and you know that they love Dean enough to know that he's a good man. Sometimes, that's enough. Time will tell.

I also loved that Dean suspected something strange with Sam when he didn't seem freaked out about Dean turning into a vamp.  You can't hide the heartbeat and being an Edgar Allan Poe fan (my senior thesis was on him -- guess you can tell where my bent started), I couldn't help thinking The Tell-Tale Heart, that Sam's beating heart was , if you'll pardon the expression, a dead giveaway for Dean. I have to admit that in reading some blogs and comments about this season, I can't help but agree with some that are getting a little tired of the boys always being on the opposite end of wherever they are in each season, to always be at odds with one another.  I was hoping that this season would finally find the boys in some kind of equal footing, that Sam's experience in Hell would bring him closer to understanding Dean's time there, but instead, we have a Sam who's been transformed in ways that can't be seen by any physical alteration. He was brought back mysteriously and from all appearances, the only good sign, if you can call it that, is that Sam is, if you'll pardon the pun, hellbent on killing all things evil at whatever costs. Now, with an upcoming episode, You Can't Handle the Truth, we may learn that maybe Dean's impression of Hell wasn't perhaps as hellacious as we've been led to believe, that once again, Dean, also, has been hiding something all this time and like the Siren, is forced to reveal a truth that might drive yet another wedge between them. Frankly, this Pollyanna is praying that's not the case, that whatever Dean reveals, it will be something that will turn Sam's attitude around. What that could POSSIBLY be, I have no clue. I prefer to reject that other reality and substitute my own, thank you very much, knowing that I'll likely be crushed with that reality instead.  HEE!  Seems nothing this season is going to come as easily as I had hoped. I'm ready for it though. I need to feel that somehow, some way, this division between the boys will end! Haven't they been through enough already? I'm guessing the answer is no.

There's a hint at the beginning that Dean longs for that connection when he asks Sam when the last time was they had a drink together. Dean is making jokes about all the Twilight stuff and Sam is getting annoyed because he's trying to figure out the password on the computer, again, all business and no distractions. Still, there are jokes about Taylor Lautner (you have to LOVE that Dean even knew that) being a werewolf not a vamp and that Pattinson is the password. You have to love the bashing a little. Okay, forgive me those who love the Twilight series.  No offense, but like the boys, I just can't get into it so the making fun of it was a much needed light touch.

"These aren't vampires, man. These are douchebags."

I did have to giggle that my obsession with the show and the characters could make an uninformed person go "wow" like Dean, but I promise you, I don't have posters up on my wall or pillows bearing the lovely faces of our brothers. That phase has long since past, but did I have one? Oh sure. All the more fun to make fun. I've been there.

This episode, like the others, succeeded in moving the season towards the kind of uncertainty that Supernatural is famous for. More questions than answers, theories abound, but they are too scary and painful to consider such as what has happened to Sam. In some ways, it's intriguing and the possibilities range from sad (that Sam has changed his nature, that Hell has changed his view about hunting and about humanity) to unthinkable (Sam is no longer Sam or he's a hybrid of something risen from Hell. Could he be possessed by Lucifer? Could he and Lucifer have melded  allowing Sam to be Sam in some way, but that would explain his smile at Dean's plight?). There's the speculation about whether Sam can be brought back to the Sam we know or do we have to accept this new "model" of Sam as Dean would have to?  The DeanGirl in me, of course, worries that Dean will be found out as being some one other than what he's presented to us or has hidden something that could turn the course of the brotherly relationship even further into chaos. I'm hoping that as always, Dean will rise to the occasion and that he will find a way to bridge the gap between him and Sam and that Sam, too, will find a way to realize that what he's doing isn't who he is.

Some might argue that Sam has matured, has finally grown independent from Dean as any human being would, that sometimes growth isn't what you'd hoped or expected, but that it still must be accepted. Call me naive, I'm not willing to accept a Sam who would enjoy seeing his brother in danger, who would allow something evil to prey on his brother without an inkling of instinct to want to help him, to allow his brother to become bait all in the name of finding and killing a vampire nest, even worse is that Sam doesn't even tell his brother that there's a cure, just allows Dean to think that he's doomed until Samuel brings it up. THAT Sam I can't abide. That isn't growing up, that's growing inhuman in my eyes and I'm hoping that there's a change coming.

Thanks for reading as always. Comments welcome.  DREADING this week's You Can't Handle the Truth, but also dying to learn what that truth is. If the clip that's out is any indication of what's to come, I better have plenty of kleenex near me. Enjoy the episode!  

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Dean's strength of will was amazing!!!!! It really says so much about his character.

This isn't Sam, the Sam we know and love anyway and if he is, his philosophical transformation is so completely against all we know about him that he might as well be someone else.

Perfect description! I'm still reeling from it too. That's just...not Sam. Sam wouldn't smile! I just watched Devil's Trap and IMTOD in the last couple days, and the Sam who frantically called, "DEAN!" is just...gone. If it was just the fact that Sam suggested it, talking to Dean about it, something like, "We've been trying to get to the Alpha vamp, what if one of us let ourselves be turned? There's is a cure, so it wouldn't have to be permanent." That would be bad enough, but maybe, just maybe I could see where he was coming from if they were desperate. But to LET that happen to Dean and to SMILE about it... Sam, what in the world happened to you, and who's walking around in your body?

He's doing a great job of making me feel like I'm being torn in so many directions.

Jared really is! I read a fic the other day where the writer had Dean ask Sam, "Do you have like a script of responses to make me think that you're still you, or something?" There really are times when you think you see Sam, and then he's gone just as quickly.

Of course, Dean is a Campbell because of his mom, but to suggest that he wasn't from the start is, from a hunter's perspective, at best insulting.

No kidding! That made me so mad. He took out a WHOLE nest of vamps BY HIMSELF. Yes, he had vampire abilities, but so did the other vampires! And Dean hadn't fed! You'd think that would put him at a disadvantage, but he still wiped them all out easily. *glares at Samuel* It does make me wonder though, just what Sam has told Samuel about Dean...if maybe he's been painting a weak picture of Dean for some reason. I wouldn't put anything past...whoever that is...now. I was annoyed with Samuel too for pointing out that the cure wouldn't be a "kiddy ride." Dean spent 40 years in the pit, 30 of those being tortured, and 10 as the torturer. I don't think he needs to be coddled!

THAT Sam I can't abide. That isn't growing up, that's growing inhuman in my eyes and I'm hoping that there's a change coming.

Me too! I'm SO curious about this next episode. I'm really hoping that things with come to head, and we'll either get the old Sam back, or at least learn what happened to him.

Awesome blog as always! :D


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