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Unabashed Spoiler Hound & Fanfic writer

Reveling in the fickle nature of fangirlishness

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Sex and Violence: "We used to be in this together."
sophie_deangirl
 First, I have to say it, THANK GOODNESS FOR BOBBY!!!!  

Okay, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED THIS EPISODE.  Don't get me wrong, it was hard to watch, hard to endure seeing our beloved brothers so at odds with each other, so disconnected, but it wasn't all together surprising. It broke open a floodgate already brimming with suppressed feelings that was destined to spill eventually  and in a strange way, it was a relief when it finally happened.  Not that there won't be yet another floodgate of repercussions to come, but now that it's out in the open it can be dealt with, however, sadly, to our disappointment, we already see our boys dealing with it in their characteristically harmful way, denial.  I will  forewarn you, this unrepentant DeanGirl was TOTALLY on Dean's side so be ready for a floodgate break here too.

I loved this episode less about the Siren, but more for the way the Siren allowed for all of the pent up anger and frustration that was just beneath the surface to be released.  We can blame the Siren for putting our boys into the trances they were in, but the words, feelings and issues were all Dean and Sam. They were lying in wait to be expressed like the proverbial powder keg waiting to blow.  Those feelings, sadly, were all true despite Sam's and Dean's attempts to blame it on the Siren's power...like before, they are, yet again, suppressing what they really feel. In Sam's case, it wasn't too different than when he had said just about the very same thing to Dean in Asylum. You can see the impact on their faces, both after Bobby saved them and later at the car.  They went back to their fall back, denying that anything they said was real, that they didn't mean it.  Again, sadly, we all know that they meant every word.

Okay, don't hit me Sam fans because I'm not saying that some of what Sam said wasn't true, that Sam's view of Dean holding him back isn't all together wrong, one can totally see that Dean's protectiveness of Sam might be viewed as suffocating, but from the perspective Sam was attacking Dean from was unfair. He was accusing Dean of being weak and using that as a way to justify the decisions  he was making. Sam can't blame Dean for his choices and it certainly was frightening to hear Sam say that he was a better hunter because it wasn't said from a purely competitive angle.  You knew that Sam meant much more than just the simple words he was saying.  There was this edge to it as if to say that he could "squash" Dean like a bug.

I thought that Sam was acting like someone who was slowly turning dark.  The look on Jared's face was ominous and  almost evil.  He played it perfectly scary for me and the contrast from that scene to the scene at the car, his face full of regret and innocence, you can't help, but see the warring sides of Sam battling. There are two sides to Sam. Jared did this with amazing ease.

Dean was attacking Sam for not being the Sam he knew and to a point that's unfair, we all grow up and change, it happens.  Sam can't realistically stay the little brother that Dean has protected all his life, but Dean's concerns and complaints were coming more from Sam as a brother, as someone who was keeping secrets from him.  Dean didn't attack Sam's character, call him evil, in fact, he made a point to say that the changes in Sam had nothing to do with the demon blood or being psychic, that it had more to do with Sam not caring about Dean's feelings, about not being honest with him. Now, I give that Dean's reactions to Sam's openness in the past haven't always been fair and sometimes been judgmental, but Dean's accusations were met with defiance and contempt by Sam and I thought Sam's reaction was not only unfair, but scary in its contempt.

"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."

"That so?"

"It's not the demon blood or the psychic crap.  It's the little stuff. The lies, the secrets."

"Yeh, what secrets?"

"The phone calls to Ruby for one."

"So I need your say so to make a phone call?"

"That's the point.  You're hiding things from me! What else aren't you telling me?"

"None of your business." 

"See what I mean? We used to be in this together. We used to have each other's backs!"

"Okay, fine.  You want to know why I didn't tell you about Ruby and how we're hunting down Lillith? Because you're too weak to go after her, Dean. You're holding me back.  I'm a better hunter than you are, stronger, smarter. I can take out demons you're too scared to go near."

"That's crap."

"You're too busy sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, whining about all the souls you tortured in Hell.  Boo hoo."



This was a painful exchange.  There is so much pain and bitterness in these words. I gave fair warning about my DeanGirl moment so here goes.  I was SO MAD at Sam.  I can get that what Dean was saying might sound like a parent scolding their child for misbehaving, but when you hear Sam's contempt, his utter superiority complex towards Dean, you can't help, but understand why Dean feels the way he does. Sam is being downright cruel here. Even if you can see that Dean might be wallowing a little, how can he not? How can Sam even imagine what he went through and how can he call it whining? It's almost as if Sam were saying, "So, you tortured some souls, big deal" as if Dean shouldn't feel guilty or  just get over it like what he went through was equal to something as insignificant as shoplifting?  Sam's tone made it sound like he was almost condoning what Dean did in Hell, that the "big deal" was more like he was saying the souls deserved what they got, that Dean's guilt was a waste of time and energy.  Even more irking for me is that Sam feels Dean's guilt and pain was a sign of weakness. That Dean is weak because he felt that guilt.  I also can't get behind that just because Dean doesn't want to actively go after Lillith, it makes him weak.  Sam is the one with the need for payback, he's the one with the tunnel-visioned mission to destroy Lillith. Doesn't that make Sam's reason for going after her worse? He made "clothe" the pursuit of her as taking her out of the picture so she can't break the 66 seals and let Lucifer rise, but I think that Sam wants to kill her, just to prove that he can, that he's more powerful than even her.

The scariest part was Sam's declaration of being a better hunter, that he was stronger and smarter than Dean.  Read between the lines, there's this really chilling undercurrent of Sam saying that he is not only a better hunter than Dean, but better period.  There's an arrogance that is growing like a cancer in Sam, a perceived notion that because he has the power of life and death over humans and demons, he is now better than his brother and likely everything else.  It hurt to see that.  I saw Dean's accusations as all about the human factor. He even says that Sam's changed, but not because of the demon blood or the psychic stuff, but that he's changed from a human perspective. Dean sees Sam's little betrayals from a purely human angle, the lies, the secrets. Still according to Ruby, there are certain inherent demon behaviors like manipulation, maybe Sam's behavior is an evolution from being human to acting more like a demon. It certainly felt that way.

The scariest foreshadowing of all was Sam saying, "You're not standing in my way anymore."  This is a threat if there ever was one. It also speaks of maybe Sam's long suppressed need to rebel.  First their dad and now Dean. Sam has never liked being told what to do, never liked being told that his only choice was to go into the family business.  Criss Angel is a Douche Bag and After School Special both touched upon Sam's need to escape the hunting life in one way or another, whether it was not to grow old doing it or to be told that he could do anything he wanted like Mr. Wyatt did.  There is an almost innocent need to escape because deep down Sam still has hope for another life. What Sam thinks that life is and what he will eventually achieve are the real questions.

Dean has squashed his hope for that. Doesn't mean he doesn't want that hope or that life, Dream a Little Dream of Me demonstrated that, but he's accepted that he can't allow himself that hope because he knows, at least speaking for himself, that he can't give up the life he lives, that maybe a part of him doesn't want to because he is saving lives. Before going to Hell, it was all about saving people, after it, it's not so much that alone anymore.  I think he now believes he can't  give up the life or saving people even more so because of what he's done in Hell, that he has to keep on atoning for as long as he can.  

You can't help but feel the darkness behind Sam's statement about standing in his way, that Dean might not be able to stop Sam when all is said and done at the end of it all. The fight between them could definitely foreshadow yet another more serious confrontation later where it's not just about brother against brother, but good versus evil and where Sam and Dean stand on that. Where Dean just might be looking down at Sam with some kind of weapon in his hand, only instead of being influenced by someone else, he'll be just Dean facing down his brother who's let his darkness envelope him and Dean facing having to kill him.  

The idea breaks my heart into pieces.

This was a wonderful episode and deftly leaves us sufficiently hanging until March 5 to get more answers. I'm probably horribly wrong, it wouldn't be the first time, but I  fear for Dean's mission ahead because I think that though a showdown with Sam would be the ultimate confrontation, leaving him with the worst possible scenario, that of killing Sam, I also see Dean's fate just as uncertain.  Now that we know that he tortured souls in Hell and liked it, how does that knowledge play into his future? 

A lot of emphasis has been made over the seasons about Sam's fate.  In a way, it's almost like we've been prepared for the potential of an evil Sam, a Sam gone bad, but up until Dean went to Hell, Dean's future has been just about saving Sam, protecting Sam, keeping him alive.  Since leaving Sam, Sam was left "unprotected" from the the dark influences, both within himself and by Ruby. You can't help but think that if Dean had been alive, he might have kept Sam on course. No guarantees, of course, but it's what we would have hoped would have happened (least this DeanGirl would have -- hee). After all, when Sam tried to make a deal, the crossroads demon so much as said that they had Dean right where they wanted him and that no deal was ever going to be made to trade the brothers' fates.  That declaration can be taken two ways. The obvious is removing Dean's influence over Sam, thus allowing Sam to be seduced quicker and easier.  The less obvious might be that Dean's time in Hell was expressly used to break him as he eventually was. That maybe his time and experience in Hell might be a set up for another dark fate for Dean. Maybe knowing that as Ruby said, Hell breaks everyone eventually, even the seemingly indomitable Dean Winchester, keeping Dean in Hell might somehow work for their purposes in the Apocalypse.  I believe this latter theory the least just because how could Alistair or anyone in Hell have known that Dean would be pulled from Hell by Castiel, or more specifically on orders from God? Still...maybe there's something I'm not seeing.  I certainly hope not, but Ruby so much as said, that once a human is broken, that human loses his humanity and becomes something else.  Outwardly, Dean seems more tormented than demon-converted, but could there be something we're not seeing yet?  Does breaking as Dean did, already doom him to a fate that maybe isn't showing up now, but could be triggered later?  One wonders, if reluctantly.

In the end, Sam was left to be seduced by Ruby. Without Dean, Ruby was able to "disguise" herself as someone who ended up being a Dean substitute (perish the thought) for Sam.  Sam said as much to Dean. Still, to what end does Ruby intend to get Sam to use his powers.  All roads in my mind leads to nothing good, but the diabolical minds of Supernatural writers might have something else in store.

Speculation is such a lovely thing.

Thanks for reading.  Hold on until March 5.  It's not too far away, at least that's what I  tell myself.


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Hey Soph! Signed up for an Lj account yesterday and yours is my first stop. Hope this takes. I LOVED this ep, too! Terribly, terribly hard to watch, but at least everyone's cards are on the table now. You know I am with you on Sam. After I got over my initial outrage at the venom he unleashed on his brother, I sadly had to come to the same conclusion as you-Sam is going dark. I have read so many explanations of how this could be explained away as a very human response, but I'm not buying them because of the callousness and lack of empathy or compassion that they were expressed with. I have never been able to warm to Sam. He has too many qualities that tend push my buttons of all that I find hard to take in people-most of them having to do with being immature and self-absorbed, but even *I* can't accept that Sam would be so cold and unfeeling concerning everything that Dean has been through. If the show is going to ask me to accept this as a "human response" from Sam, I may have to get my puke bucket out. I DO think Sam thinks most often in terms of *I*(much like his father), while Dean has always seemed to think more in terms of *we*(UNLIKE both of them). The single most telling thing that Dean said in that argument, IMO, was-"We used to be in this together. We used to have each other's backs." That could be the catch phrase for this entire season, if you ask me, and that, more than anything, is what I believe Dean is missing, and quite frankly, what also makes me believe(and yeah, maybe because I don't want to believe that there's any part of Sam that would want to hurt Dean this badly) that this is our first glimpse of the evil that is growing in Sam-growing with his use of the powers-the powers that have ALWAYS been Ruby's aim for Sam to develop; whether they were to save Dean or to get revenge on Lilith, or to save the world, or just to end evil itself-cut the head off the snake(a truly ridiculous argument, if Sam were really able to give this any kind of objective, coherent thought, but he can't, IMO. He is already under the influence of the powers and the need and desire to use them-like "crack"); this has been her aim-for Sam to use the demon-born powers. I expect we will see more instances when we come back of Sam finding "good" reasons to find it "necessary" to use the powers-with Ruby cheering him on in the background and Dean too "scared and weak"(in Sam's opinion)to do that. Oh, and IMO, the only thing Dean is "holding Sam back" from is the evil influence that we saw here.

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