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All Dogs Go to Heaven: "So just stop pretending. Do us both a favor."

A Supernatural Blog - Season 6 Episode 8

"Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold." - Leo Tolstoy

"The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists - that is why they invented hell." - Bertrand Russell

"So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it."
-Haniel Long

I enjoyed this episode, but it was standard monster-of-the-week fare for me. It confirmed yet again that something's brewing with another "breed" of monster, in this case, a skinwalker ("as in the family dog needs a neuter" -- funny -- last I heard about skinwalkers was Wendigo back in Season 1, ah for those early, "innocent" days), recruiting followers to wait for a signal to go rogue on the families who have taken them in as pets. Talk about making one wonder what Fido is really thinking.

As an owner of two dogs in my life, I totally understood the loyalty that Lucky represented as well as the way that kind of devotion can develop both ways. My favorite moment in this, second to the end with Sam's monologue of admission, which I have a hard time believing, I have to admit (more on that later), is when Dean says he understands why Lucky is doing what he's doing:

“You don’t have to tell me why you’re with the family. I get it. You killed every threat that came near them. You care about them, in your own wackadoodle kind of way.”

I think Dean was speaking just as much for himself as he was for Lucky. He stared at Lisa's speed dial longingly so you know his mind and his heart haven't quite let go yet and a part of me hopes he never does -- foolish and terminal romantic that I am. Dean understands all about protecting family. He's been doing that all of his life. He was doing it for Lisa and Ben. He also understands the consequences of investing everything into that protection. It's what he's suffering now as he chooses to let them go because it's safer for them without him around. Selflessness can be painful.

This episode was more about extending the mythology of this season, the recruitment by the alphas of every "species" of monster in preparation for some battle and Crowley's acquisition of Purgatory by capturing every alpha via unwilling "employees" Dean, Sam, and Samuel. I do find it interesting that there is a cross-purpose going on here. The alpha vamp saying that creatures like him and presumably Sam as well (not explicitly said, but hinted), those without souls, face Purgatory (no Heaven or Hell) and Crowley wants control of Purgatory by capturing alphas. Very interesting indeed. Suddenly, Purgatory is the new Hell of this season and one has to wonder what the deal is about it and why averting the Apocalypse would cause such unrest? As Dean said once, "who'd a thought that would be a bad thing?" in reference to killing Lillith, but it certainly fits here too. Who'd a thunk that averting the Apocalypse would cause civil war in Heaven too? Don't know about you, but I'm confused. Hee! It does make for delicious speculation though and guess we'll have to be strung along until given the explanation.

This episode also finds our boys working for a demon. Talk about the ultimate humiliation! As I said in my Family Matters blog, I'm thrilled to see Mark Sheppard back as Crowley with likely more appearances to come. He brings a delightfully evil presence. He taunts, but like many of Supernatural's villains, he's got a sarcastic sense of humor that makes you forget that he has our boys by the short and curlies:

“You’d sell your brother for a dollar right now if you really needed a soda.”

The thing I'm having trouble with is that what Crowley said about Sam is true. The Sam we know now has no principles, no tact (the insult to the cop, the most recent example of disrespect), and no instinct, least not when it comes to reading people. He's now the hound dog of the two and to be honest it seemed natural when it was Dean, but not so much now that it's Sam. He can do without sleep and has no empathy or compassion. What bothers me the most though is that I can't find a way to trust anything he says, that I can't even hope that he might be sincere when I know he has no ability to be sincere so his speech to Dean at the end of the episode didn't feel good or believable, yes, it was probably honest, but it felt less about bridging the emotionless gap between Dean and him and more about that he was acting opportunistic to get Dean off his back. Now, don't get me wrong, feeling this way is a testament to Jared for playing Sam as Sam and yet not Sam. The words are there, even the inflections are all in the right places, but it's devoid of true emotion and that absence hurts and gives the words a false feel even if he meant every word. Dean asks for that honesty because the pretense is worse for him:

“You say you’re just folks. That you like baseball and apple pie, whatever. Truth is, I don’t know what you are, cuz you’re not Sam. It’s your Gigantor body and maybe you’re brain, but it’s not you. So just stop pretending. Do us both a favor.”

When Sam is honest or at least as honest as this Sam can be, he's lied so much already, I still can't believe him when he says:

“But I’ve been thinking. I was that other Sam for a long time. And it was kind of harder, but there are also things about it I remember. Let’s just say, I think I should probably go back to being him.”

It's the "I think I should probably go back to being him" part that sounds off. It just sounds like something a teenager would say to get a nagging parent to trust him again. I just didn't feel that Sam really wants to be the old Sam again and when push comes to shove, he might back off or run away. Again, I get that this could all be coming from the fact that Sam can't feel anything so there's nothing to read in his words in the first place, but I'm still not convinced it's just that. I admit that maybe I'm the only one who feels that way. Weird to say, but the words he says before that sound right and honest to the Sam he is now.

“You were right. I’m not your brother. I’m not Sam. All that blah blah blah about being the old me? Crap. Like Lisa and Ben, right? I’ve been acting like I care about them. But I don’t. I couldn’t care less.”

“You wanted the real me, this is it. I don’t care about them. I don’t even really care about you. Except that I need your help. And you’re clearly not gonna stick around much longer unless I give it to you straight.”

“I’ve done a lot worse than you know. I’ve killed innocent people in the line of duty, but I’m pretty sure it’s not something the old me could’ve done. Maybe I should feel guilty. But I don’t.

It's a brutal and uncensored take, one that Dean asked for so he can't really act hurt or complain about it and he doesn't:

"It's very interesting. It's a step."

And like Dean always does he says they have to do what they have to do, that he wants his brother back, but will he be sorry when he does get his Sam back?

Selfish to expect that the old Sam, when his soul rejoins the memories of the present Sam, will be a better Sam, certainly won't be the same Sam and maybe there's a worse case scenario that Dean isn't considering at all. What if Sam's soul is driven to a kind of torment from knowing what he's done as well as any memories that he might have from being in Hell caged with Lucifer. No longer able to filter what he's done with the cold rationality of "in the line of duty". What if insanity awaits that Sam? Dean understands that suffering from his own experience in Hell, but if we're to believe that those memories were expunged by that plane crash last season in Sympathy with the Devil then how will Dean understand Sam's torment? If having a soul means suffering, feeling guilt, then Sam will be in for some serious recrimination ahead. As Cas said, it will be an interesting philosophical debate. In the end though, Dean can't leave Sam's soul locked in a cage in Hell with Lucifer. He won't walk away from that, promise or not and that promise is void now. That's not Dean. Never was even as he white knuckled living the normal life he promised to live for Sam. He tried to find a way then.

This was a good expositional episode and it gave more interesting and thought provoking possibilities for the next episodes to come. Next up Clap your Hands if you Believe. Thanks for reading and as always comments welcome!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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I enjoy this not!Sam, but he is a total liar and I don't trust him. It was almost like foreshadowing to hear him tell Dean: "I'd double cross us."

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