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You Can't Handle the Truth: "I just don't feel it"
sophie_deangirl
A Supernatural Blog - Season 6 Episode 6

 "In war, truth is the first casualty." - Aeschylus

"Truth is what stands the test of experience." - Albert Einstein



"And that should stop me cold, but...I...I just don't feel it."

"You what?"


"Ever since I came back, I am a better hunter than I have ever been. Nothing scares me anymore cuz I can't feel it. I don't know what's wrong with me. I think I need help."





I was glad that the show decided not to drag on anymore the mystery behind Sam's strange behavior. I'm glad that the writers have given us credit for figuring out already that there is something deeply wrong with Sam. Though this episode didn't provide a clear cut answer, at least we heard it from Sam's lips that he just doesn't feel...anything anymore, that emotions such as compassion, fear, empathy, and many others aren't inside him anymore.  I liked the admission by Sam. It would have been less satisfying and maybe more frightening if Sam hadn't admitted that he didn't feel anything. The fact that Sam acknowledges knowing  that something was wrong with him was actually, for me, encouraging. In the absence of an answer and solution, Sam just decided to go on and use the skills he had and live without what he lacked, probably figuring, he should be grateful to be out of Hell and be done with it. Some might see that as scary, that Sam could be so accepting, but he's had a year to adjust to it. I believe him when he says that he tried contacting Cas for answers and not getting them. Bobby would only see the peripheral side because Sam probably has only interacted with Bobby from a distance since coming back so I don't blame Bobby for not seeing it. He did what he did with Dean and tested to make sure Sam passed the "not a demon" test, but there's no "psychological profile" to exert to prove someone is the same someone who went to Hell. That kind of stuff just sort of surfaces over time spent being with someone (and Dean might be particularly attuned as well). I find it harder to believe that Samuel only just noticed that there was something wrong with Sam when he allowed Dean to get bitten and lied about knowing about the cure. Clearly Sam has spent more time with them than with Bobby.

Sam's first clue to Dean was telling him that he wanted Dean around because Dean cared and when Dean protested saying that Sam would do the same thing he had done, Sam was honest at saying, no, he wouldn't have. We, viewers, knew something was wrong from that statement alone. I don't see Sam as evil and being "detached" doesn't necessarily make you evil, just empty of feelings and to be honest, being that "distant" with your "clients", does make the hunting easier. It makes it easier to kill if you don't have the remorse that comes with that. Being pragmatic works in the hunting world, but it doesn't make you human. I think that what was removed was Sam's essence, the qualities that makes him whole.

The scene with Jane Peterson's sister did bring a chill because Sam did act self-satisfied, almost gloating towards Dean about seeing the sister's "tell" (a poker term that you'd think Dean would have used) that she was lying. It was almost like, "see, how great a hunter I am?" because he was able to do that. Okay and the dentist scene...though it didn't come as a surprise AT ALL, that scene isn't going to inspire any more confidence about people going to the dentist. OUCH! Have to say, the role reversal later was funny. Even though Dean just wanted to avoid being around Sam in general, the fact that Dean wanted to do research and that Sam was so eager to do the interviews to pin the monster down was funny. Just the look on Sam's face was funny enough. Jared does quizzical great. It's quite literally written all over his face.

Dean's moment with Cas was heartbreaking. It was very telling in that Cas was refilling Dean's glass with more whiskey, seemingly to either understand Dean's need for a refill or just that Dean was drinking already. In either case, I found it to be sad, but sweet in a way. Cas's inability to give Dean answers felt especially poignant.

"I didn't come about Sam because I have nothing to offer about Sam."

Still, Cas did offer one piece of good news, Sam isn't Lucifer's meatsuit. Thank goodness for that.

"If Lucifer escaped the cage, we'd feel it."


Something about that line of Cas's struck me, that he used the word "we" while he clearly looked right at Dean. I wondered if maybe Cas meant that both he and Dean would have felt it, not so much the generic "we" meaning the celestial world in general.  I like that idea a lot. It hints to Dean possessing something special as an outcome of averting the Apocalypse. Probably seeing things, but hey, I'm the queen of that. I also loved that Dean questions Cas's "humanity" and Cas's answer is heartbreaking (sorry for overusing that word so much, just seems to fit in every situation in this episode):

"I'm at war. Certain regrettable things are now required of me."

Misha Collins portrayed Cas's conflict perfectly in that moment. You can tell he doesn't like what he's had to do, has said that he doesn't have the luxury of pondering the right and wrong of an act, that what must be done, has to be done in order to stop Raphael from jump starting the Apocalypse yet again. It's a turmoil you can see etched on Misha's face. Beautifully expressed and I felt every ache.

There's a thread that can be drawn from Cas's words to what is happening all around our heroes. Life post-Apocalypse is no picnic, in fact, things seem to be getting worse. Sure, we didn't achieve Paradise on Earth and thankfully, from the broader perspective, we didn't get Hell on Earth either and yet you can't help, but notice that the balance between good and evil, human and monster has dramatically changed and is continuing to change. Where there seemingly is anarchy in Heaven with a rebellion led by Raphael to have himself declared the new leader and then there's Hell where Crowley seems to have already declared himself King. Talk about your topsy turvy! In between is Sam and Dean. Sam was lifted from Hell by some "thing" or some power, but he's not the Sam we all know and love. Could Sam being sent back to Earth, devoid of feeling, be some one's idea of a regrettable, yet necessary decision in this new war? Does someone know that the alpha versions of every beast and monster are rising in this new and changed world and that the only person who can defeat them is a hunter without sympathies? Could Sam be that hunter? Could Sam have been put  in that position to redeem himself for releasing Lucifer? It makes for interesting speculation. I can see the practicality of the decision. What I worry about is how Sam will be restored or if by making this choice he can never be restored. What also resonates with me is that when Sam was drinking demon blood his argument to Dean then was how the blood made him a better hunter, how he was able to save more lives because he didn't have to kill them with Ruby's knife. Also, under the Siren's spell he accused Dean of holding him back from being a better hunter.  Could Sam's philosophy then be coming to fruition now?

"About your brother...I...I don't know what's wrong with him, but I do want to help, I'll make inquiries."

I LOVE Cas's caring words here. He sees and understands Dean's pain, even helps to deaden it by pouring more booze into Dean's glass. I found that amusing and Jensen, as always, does a great job of subtlety showing his own surprise that Cas is filling his glass by darting his eyes up and down, almost communicating, "what the heck are you doing, Cas?" by doing it. It's Jensen's strength that he adds something that seems completely superfluous like the eye darting and yet it says so much beyond what dialogue is occurring and more often than not, adding to it.

Sorry, got sidetracked. Happens when I talk about Jensen. 

Still, even with his own hands full trying to find answers about where God is and trying to keep Heaven from being overrun, Cas makes the attempt at trying to show Dean that he does care and that he will try to find answers about Sam wherever he can. It's meaningful in so many ways. It bonds them together in the fight which is especially important to Dean right now because once again, Dean feels alienated by his brother.

Now, I will admit that I'm getting a little tired of our boys seemingly being constantly at odds or divided. I understand that Sam's "situation" will likely play out to help explain things and hopefully bring them together YET AGAIN, but seeing Dean drowning his sorrows yet again is getting predictable and a bit annoying. You just want to slap Dean out of his funk.  I get that by drinking in that bar he begins to figure out where the truth is coming from when the bartender starts being honest with him after he says "I'd just like the freakin' truth" with Veritas, the Goddess of truth broadcasting in the background, but it's becoming too rote a route for Dean to take. We learn later, a goddess summoned by a jealous girlfriend. Such a pedestrian reason given all the trouble and sadness that is wreaked after that.

Okay, the best moment, humor-wise, is Bobby telling Dean truths. UNBELIEVABLY FUNNY!! I just about died with laughter. Bobby taking TMI (too much information) to the extreme. Then Dean saying he's scarred for life. HILARIOUS!!!! I did like that Bobby said Dean was his favorite while at the same time saying that Sam is a better hunter, lately anyway. Again, Jensen plays that moment to its CUTEST conclusion. There are just some things you just don't want to know from your loved ones, still, you see the opportunity that Dean sees in having that "power". He thinks he'll get the truth from Sam, sadly, he learns much later that Sam isn't affected. The other sad part came when Lisa then gave him the harsh truth. Dean wasn't surprised at hearing it, but that didn't mean it didn't hurt.

"You wanna know the truth?"

"Probably not."

"You've got SO much buried in there and you push it down and you push it down. Do you honestly think that you can go through life like that and not freak out? Just what? Drink half a fifth the night and you're good?"

"Hey, you knew what you signed up for."

"Yeh, but I didn't expect Sam to come back and I'm glad that he's okay, I am, but the minute he walked through that door, I knew it was over. You two have the most unhealthy, tangled up crazy thing I've ever seen and as long as he's in your life, you're never going to be happy. That came out so much hasher than I meant."

"It's not your fault."

"I'm not saying don't be close to Sam, I'm close to my sister, but if she got killed, I wouldn't bring her back from the dead."

"Okay, Lise, I'm not gonna lie, 'kay? Me and Sam, we got issues. No doubt, but you and Ben -"

"Me and Ben can't be in this with you. Sorry."




You can see the devastation on Dean's face, but you're also glad that Lisa laid it all out for Dean. It was not only the truth about the two of them, but she was acting as a third-party observer making an assessment of the dynamic that is Sam and Dean. She's right. It's the dynamic that we've talked about over the course of all the seasons. The bond that ties Sam and Dean together is also what is completely unnatural about it. Too much of their lives are intertwined, maybe for Dean, even more so because so much of the actions he's taken has revolved around Sam. I wondered about the reference that she made about bringing back Sam from the dead? Did she mean that literally? Or was it more rhetorical? Interesting comment to make, it was the only one that made me stop in my tracks and wonder about. Why even put their relationship via Sam's return in those terms at all?

As for their relationship, does this spell the end? Sure looks and feels like it, but I can't help, but wonder and harbor some hope that this will be just a really bad bump in the road. I think that I'm more mad that Dean is being his usual secretive and un-sharing self.  I thought he was over that, but no, he's back to thinking that they are better off not knowing that he was being turned into a vampire or maybe now that Lisa has called things off, that they are better off without him. I hate that the most about Dean. His protectiveness/self-sacrificing nature is just unreasonable at times and it gets harder and harder to justify. Since Lisa knows about his hunting lifestyle, why would telling her about being bitten by a vampire be such a shock to her? He's not giving her much credit and she deserves to know, maybe, just maybe, she might understand and be supportive if not scared for him. He seems to be falling back into patterns that I thought he had gotten over. Does Sam's return really bring that out in him? Much as I love Dean's heroic nature and where his self-sacrificing impulses can be heroic at times, his treatment of Lisa diminishes him and makes him look like someone who just wants to continue to sabotage himself. I don't want that Dean any more than Lisa does. I hope that changes. I can see where she's getting her conclusions from. Look at Dean trying to get the truth out of Sam, needing to know the truth from and about Sam. Once again, it's obsessive. I understand why he needs to know, but it's at the expense of everything else in his life.

Whoa, that's as anti-Dean as I have ever gotten. Guess that says a lot about how tired I am to see Dean this way. Maybe I got some of that truth stuff and can't stop myself. Hee!

I think that when Dean is forced by Veritas to express the truth, it just brings more sadness:


"Hey, Dean, I'm curious. What do you really feel about your brother?"

"Better now. As of yesterday, I wanted to kill him in his sleep. I thought he was a monster, but now I think..."

"Now you think what?"

"He's just acting like me."

"What do you mean?"

"It's the gig. You're covered in blood until you're covered in your own blood. Half the time you're about to die, like right now...I told myself I wanted out, that I wanted a family."

"But you were lying."

"No, but what I'm good at is slicing throats. I ain't a father. I'm a killer and there's no changing that.  I know that now."



It's a painful revelation, but it isn't a surprising conclusion for Dean to make. I like that he said he wasn't lying about wanting a family, just that he feels he wasn't cut out for it, that he was deluding himself into thinking that he could ever have that. He's a killer and that's all he'll ever be. As sad as this revelation is, it wouldn't be the most painful conclusion that Dean would make. When Dean learns that Sam's earlier words were a lie and that Sam isn't affected by Veritas's control, he makes Sam admit that he no longer feels anything:

"I could have died. I could have killed Ben."

"And that should stop me cold, but...I...I just don't feel it."

"You what?"

"Ever since I came back, I am a better hunter than I have ever been. Nothing scares me anymore cuz I can't feel it. I don't know what's wrong with me. I think I need help."


It's what Dean does at the end that shocks. He beats Sam up as if he were taking out all of the pent up feelings that Lisa had called  him on onto Sam, that maybe deep down Dean DOES blame Sam for why he lost Lisa and Ben, that his return ruined his chance for a family, yet Dean is too filled with contradiction to make either argument work. First he's white knuckling living a normal life and yet he doesn't deny wanting a family to Veritas then when denied that opportunity, he wails on Sam as if it's all his fault. You also know that a part of the beating comes from being lied to by Sam all this time. He's finally expressing his betrayal with violence. My friend Tiffany made a great point about seeing a glimpse of darkness to Dean at that moment, but we both understand that it comes from anger and even after doing it, Dean had this look of "what am I doing?" on his face. Still, he had just admitted to being a killer. Could there be more to that than just a simple statement of fact? Could Dean harbor a barely harnessed hatred towards his brother? As always, Supernatural leaves us with more questions than answers to ponder. It's what I LOVE about the show. 

This week's Family Matters looks intriguing as well. The teaser/promo reveals something that could explain everything about Sam, but we could also be fooled. Looking forward to it as I do all of the episodes. Sounds like we'll get a glimpse of a dark side to the Campbells in it as well.

Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcome. Forgive any mistakes I missed in the proofing. Doing this quickly as always. 

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You speak very clearly about this very painful episode.

I just wanted to respond to one bit where you say "I wondered about the reference that she made about bringing back Sam from the dead?" -- I think it points to the fact that Dean told Lisa everything. Not just the bare bones, but everything. Dean did bring Sam back from the dead, by selling his soul at the end of s2. Lisa knows that. She knows it all about their intertwined story. I'm glad they put that little tell in there to reveal that Dean really did share his life and his whole story with her.

I'm also glad that as Dean girls we can admit when he's in the wrong... and he certainly crossed the line for me at the end of the show. you say "He beats Sam up as if he were taking out all of the pent up feelings that Lisa had called him on onto Sam" --- and I totally agree. that was SO WRONG, especially when Sam had been honest, he had asked for help -- he had no idea Dean would suddenly turn on him so viciously. Again I think you nail it when you say "he had just admitted to being a killer" -- it's as though that painful (too narrow) definition brings out the worst in Dean.

Dean says "I wanted to kill him in his sleep. I thought he was a monster, but now I think...he's just acting like me." -- So Dean still does think of himself as nearly a monster, a thought that's been growing in him for a long, long time. He just goes ahead and beats Sam down, as though it can't really hurt either one of them -- a scene completely devoid of compassion. shudder!

Thanks for your compliment about my musings. It's very much appreciated and I'm glad you thought I was being clear and fair. It's what I strive for. I admit to my biases, but like you said, just because I'm a DeanGirl doesn't mean I'm blind to Dean's shortcomings and he has plenty.

You know, it's funny, but it hadn't occurred to me that Dean would tell Lisa about resurrecting Sam. I mean, as it is, he can't tell her about turning into a vampire so the thought never crossed my mind that he had told her that he had brought Sam back to life, let alone that he went to Hell for doing it so I just went the total opposite direction with her statement. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

Yeh, I worry that Dean's beating of Sam will reveal something more than just pure anger and it scares me. My biggest bias is that Dean, flawed as he is, is still this exemplary human who has overcome so much and who has become this heroic figure and I don't want that to be tarnished in any way. Dean doesn't have to be perfect, in fact, his imperfection is what makes him all the more heroic, but I couldn't handle it if he became so full of resentment, hate, and anger that it diminishes him as the forgiving, compassionate and loving human he is.

Thanks again for your comment!

Some might see that as scary, that Sam could be so accepting, but he's had a year to adjust to it.

I have to wonder how much Sam had to adjust. If he really can't feel fear, then can he be afraid what's wrong with him? I don't think he can. I have to wonder if he's still hiding something, though, because what reason did he have for keeping this hidden? If he isn't afraid of it or bothered by it, he should have no problem admitting it. Unless, maybe, he likes not being able to feel, because as he said, it makes him a better hunter.

Something about that line of Cas's struck me, that he used the word "we" while he clearly looked right at Dean. I wondered if maybe Cas meant that both he and Dean would have felt it, not so much the generic "we" meaning the celestial world in general..

I totally agree. I really wondered about that too! The "we" just seemed very pointed.

I thought he was over that, but no, he's back to thinking that they are better off not knowing that he was being turned into a vampire or maybe now that Lisa has called things off, that they are better off without him. I hate that the most about Dean.

I personally understood that. :) I don't think it was Dean just trying to sabotage himself, I think it was more because Dean wanted to protect Lisa and Ben. He can't help but bring his "work" home to her, every time he goes back, and this is the only way he could stop that from happening. After pushing Ben and almost drinking Lisa, I can see why he'd believe that they really are better off without him. Sooner or later, he'd bring something home that would really hurt them, or even kill them.

First he's white knuckling living a normal life and yet he doesn't deny wanting a family to Veritas then when denied that opportunity, he wails on Sam as if it's all his fault. You also know that a part of the beating comes from being lied to by Sam all this time. He's finally expressing his betrayal with violence.

I think you're right, a big part of it is anger. (And of course, thank you for the mention too!) I also wonder though if part of that beating was actually based on logic. The more I've thought about it, the more sense it makes to me. One, Dean has no way of knowing for sure that Sam is really telling him the truth, or that it even really is *Sam.* Yes, Sam says he's really himself, but Dean only has Sam's word to go on, and how many times has Sam lied to him lately? Two, if Sam is telling the truth, and he can't feel anything...what's to stop Sam from attacking Dean if the situation calls for it? He's already shown that he's willing to sacrifice Dean for the cause and not even blink. That probably extends to other people as well, and that makes him dangerous. Three, I'm guessing that Dean wants to get Sam back to Bobby's so they can figure out what's going on. Yes, he could say, "Hey, Sam, let's go to Bobby's," but how does he know that Sam would cooperate? Sure, Sam said that he thinks he needs help, but he's had A YEAR to get help, and didn't even try. That makes his sudden change of heart suspicious. Is he only saying that because he knows it's what Dean wants to hear? Four, Sam has four inches and probably 30-40 pounds on Dean. Dean can obviously still hold his own, but, it makes any fight between them a lot harder to win. If Dean was going to take Sam down, he'd have to move fast and make sure that Sam *stayed* down long enough for Dean to get him to Bobby's. At the end of the episode, Sam had his guard down...wasn't expecting a blow. It was the perfect time for Dean to strike. I'm not trying to excuse it, but I do think it was motivated by more than just anger.

Fabulous blog as always!!! :)

-Laughter

Thanks for commenting and for the great points you made. After seeing the teaser/promo, you are so right on target!!! This episode must have really flummoxed me because I was seeing Dean differently than I usually do. Like when Fannishliss pointed out that Dean must have told Lisa about resurrecting Sam, the idea never even occurred to me that he would so I thought it was new subject matter. I guess because he went into protective mode with them about turning into a vamp, I would have never have expected Dean to share all those details of his past with her. I LOVE your defense of Dean keeping things from Lisa and Ben to protect them. I totally get that now. I guess I was seeing his relationship with Lisa as being different and that if he really wanted a lasting one with her, he'd be honest with her about the vamp transformation. I thought he was just all over the place in what he wanted. I'm also worried about him. He seems to be losing it a little. I can't imagine what he'll do when he finds out about Sam. Great points!! I think this season is playing head games with me! Hee!

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