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A Supernatural Blog - Season 6 Episode 9


The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.
-Meryl Streep


If you do not feel ashamed of anything, then you can do whatever you like.
-Prophet Mohammad


The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles and real state, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love and faith.
-Bertrand Russell V. Delong

 


Okay, this is going to be a short blog. Not because the episode was bad, in fact, I really enjoyed the humor in it, but overall, it was just a welcome break from all the gloom and doom, however, like all Supernatural episodes, amidst the laughs, the philosophical discussion that Cas hinted to in Family Matters was further developed here.

In amusing ways, Dean tried to explain what having a soul is all about and to be honest, I couldn't blame Sam for not being so sure he wants his soul back as evidenced by the look on his face at the end, I mean, Dean's sell job was hardly something to aspire to:


“So you’re saying having a soul equals suffering."


“You sit in the dark and you feel the loss."


It's not hard to understand that Sam would want to avoid the suffering that comes with having a soul and how those emotions can be a handicap for hunting. It's also heart breaking to think of Sam's soul at the merciless hands of Michael and Lucifer with all of their brotherly baggage. It brings to my mind how much Spike suffered once re-ensouled to prove himself worthy of the woman he loved back on Buffy. Still, I loved that Dean played teacher and conscience for Sam:

 
"You don't care. You have to care."

"About what exactly?"

"About everything, man. About being human, at least."

 

“Until we get you back on the soul train, I’ll be your conscience, OK?”

 
You can feel Dean's heartfelt desire that he can make Sam understand what being human means and more important than that what the old Sam would feel:


"Empathy, man, empathy. I mean, the old Sam would have given her some, some woosified, dew-eyed crap."


It was this part of the episode that had the most meaning if veiled with humor. It was all the talk about what it means to have a soul and what a soul imparts to a human being that navigated the mythology in the episode and more importantly, how Sam feels about it. For me, Sam has never been on board about getting his soul back, he was just saying it to make Dean happy, to gain his trust, and maybe even just to have Dean on the hunts with him, after all, in Exile on Main Street, Sam so much has said that because Dean cares is what makes him good to have around on hunts, Sam admitting that he doesn't feel the same way. As I've said before, already a clue that there was something wrong with Sam. I don't think that Sam thinks having a soul is a bad thing on to itself, just not something for him. I think that Sam will have second thoughts about it.

The rest of the episode with aliens then fairies was amusing, but typical monster-of-the-week faire. There was yet another bait for making a deal and I liked that Sam reiterated to Dean that nothing good can come from making a deal, but you can't help but feel that Sam refused more because he didn't want his soul back as opposed to the "lesson" behind making deals and their repercussions.


“Do you think Lucky Charms really could’ve, you know, returned soul to sender?”


"You said no. Why?"

"It was a deal. When's a deal ever been a good thing?


Once again, loads of arguments can be made about how Dean should act; that maybe he should simply just accept Sam as he is; that he can't control everything; that Dean's inability to accept Sam's return as a gift onto its own makes him more selfish; that he's completely ignoring the potential consequences to Sam by forcing him in a way to get back his soul, that it's the only right thing to do. Conversely, there's the argument that Dean is doing exactly what he should do, fighting for Sam's soul and to reunite it with Sam's body, a side-complaint about how Dean has to always fight to"save" Sam one way or another.

I think the key here is the soul. Dean truly believes that humanity resides in the soul, that the ability to care, to experience empathy all comes from the soul and that Sam should have his back for that reason alone. Is there selfishness in that desire? Of course there is, Dean wants his brother back, presumably as is, but will Dean feel guilt if Cas's prediction comes true and Sam is damaged beyond any healing? These are the Winchester brothers. Of course Dean will feel guilty.

So the question is, what is the best choice? Who's right? Well, that's the beauty of Supernatural. It can go either way. DeanGirl that I am, I'm rooting for Dean because I believe what he does, I believe in a soul, that the soul does define us, that empathy and caring comes from a fully formed soul, shaped by good influences giving it the ability to know right from wrong. However, in Sam's case, I'm torn and wonder how damaged Sam's soul is after a year at the hands of both Lucifer and Michael. I can blissfully point to Dean as an example of a soul who was tortured and emerged stronger, but acknowledge that Sam is different. He said so himself about how he endured Hell differently than Dean without any specifics. One wonders if that was true because if Sam's soul is the one who's continuing to be tortured by Lucifer and Michael, how would THIS Sam know how he endured Hell? Or because he does know the damage being exacted, maybe even know that his soul is damaged that he doesn't want it back.

As usual, the answer is something we'll have to wait for, though I highly doubt that they'll leave Sam soulless...they wouldn't, would they? Hmmmm...

Thanks for reading. It's always appreciated.

On to Caged Heat next.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


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Hello. It's been a long time. I still try to wait to see the episodes, but some times I lurk and read some reviews.
I agree with you in that restoring Sam's soul is what they have to do. Not only is this unsouled Sam very dangerous, but the real Sam is lost and nobody knows where. Really, I don't understanD how some people says that is bad of Dean to try to restore his brother. Of course, if he wasn't trying they'd say that he is a bad brother and doesn't love Sam. The poor guy is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.
Merry Christmas.
Almu

“Until we get you back on the soul train, I’ll be your conscience, OK?”

I liked that moment too. It really does seem heartfelt, and you can totally imagine Dean serving as Sam's conscience. Like Dean told Sam once, "We keep each other human." He's still doing that, as much as he can with not!Sam.

I think the key here is the soul. Dean truly believes that humanity resides in the soul, that the ability to care, to experience empathy all comes from the soul and that Sam should have his back for that reason alone. Is there selfishness in that desire?

Great point! :) I think that part of it is selfish in a way, but I also think there's another reason. Dean knows that without a soul, Sam is dangerous. He almost seems Vulcan-like...he's operating on logic, but without any compassion. He could do anything it he felt it necessary or if it would give him the desired outcome. What's to stop him, really? He has no conscience. He could potentially hurt a lot of people. I think Dean was worried that he'd eventually have to take Sam out.

Fabulous blog as always! :D

-Laughter

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