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Sam Interrupted: "PUDDING!"
sophie_deangirl

No beast is more savage than man when possessed with power answerable to his rage. -Plutarch

Those who foresee the future and recognize it as tragic are often seized by a madness which forces them to commit the very acts which made it certain that what they dread shall happen. -Dame Rebecca West

'How do you know I'm mad?', said Alice. 'You must be,' said the Cat, 'or you wouldn't have come here.' -Alice in Wonderland



Okay, had to do it. I was going to quote something grim and serious, of which there were plenty to choose from, but no, I just had to quote Dean doing the crazy with "PUDDING!"  It was just too good to pass up then my mind went blank as I laughed hysterically and my thoughts...well, you know where they went. Jensen's little jiggle and what a dirty mind with a vivid imagination can conjure up, I tell you, Jensen just can do no wrong with comedy and clearly, doesn't mind looking completely silly to get a laugh.  He pretty much succeeds every time, at least for me.

Ah, it was SO nice to see the return of our boys. How I missed them!  I thought it was inspired to not only start or I guess it's more like a restart of the season by having a pretty typical, harking back to the old days kind of monster-of-the-week (a Wraith, no less -- I thought I was in a crossover and expected John Sheppard to show up at any second) episode, but adding the appropriate sprinkle of what has gone before and a glimpse of what might be ahead of them was GREAT! I really LOVED that they used a psychiatric story to showcase Sam's rage.  It smoothly transitions from Lucifer's encouragement of Sam's rage, that he'll need it when the time comes (which they recap in the great THEN sequence) in Abandon All Hope. You can see shadows of Sam's rage sparking throughout the episode like when he's trying to pick Ted's door lock and telling Dean in frustration to "back off". The look he gives him is a bit cold and sinister. It worried me and set me aback just a little. It's as if Sam was communicating that he didn't want to be belittled, that he knew what he was doing, but Dean wasn't doing that at all.  He was just telling him to hurry up only from concern about Ted. If Dean really felt like Sam thought, he would have taken the tool from Sam and done it himself, thinking he could do it faster and better than him.

Sidenote: Eddie and Alex Van Halen! HILARIOUS! Clearly the doctor doesn't know anything about pop culture, he didn't even blink.  Also, I LOVED how they got themselves checked into the hospital, just by telling the truth because their truth HAS to sound crazy. I mean they say it so calmly and matter of factly that even you think, "huh, interesting...that's quite a story".  Lastly, I LOVE that the doctor identifies their relationship as "dangerously co-dependent".   Though we fans have consistently insisted that the Winchester brothers together is WAY better than when they are apart, you can't help, but wonder if maybe some of that co-dependency will show itself as the Achilles Heel between them.  They can be together physically and still be worlds apart and only at the moment when they have to act from their innate instincts might the fallacy of that dependency be revealed.  My friend Tiffany pointed out that it was interesting that they showed Sam outwardly aggressive and obviously lashing out anger and rage then contrasting that with Dean acting relatively calm, obviously suppressing his emotions, keeping them in check.  Again, we fans have debated how Dean's denial and suppression of his feelings have been a detriment to him, that he needs to express his emotions, his feelings in order to be emotionally stable, but Tiffany had a great point by saying that clearly they are showing Sam's uncontrollable rage as a potential pivot point, that Lucifer wants to exploit that rage, but that maybe Dean's reserve and control over his emotions might be their saving grace this time because he will have to be the level head.  More on that later as I get to the end of the episode.

I LOVE that, of course, Dean has a woman psychiatrist, Dr. Erica Cartwright, and that he's been labeled a "paranoid schizophrenic with narcissistic personality disorder and religious psychosis".  At that moment you  realize that Dean's charms aren't going to work on her. Though I have to admit I just about busted a gut when he did the Hannibal Lector routine.  I love that his first interaction with Erica ends with a discussion about his father which we're not privy to yet seems to have affected him in the scene right after. I also love that as the Wraith's poison infiltrates his system, it's through her that he hallucinates all of his fears about his responsibilities as saving the world from the Apocalypse.

Sidenote: Who didn't want to be Wendy? I ask you. Both DeanGirls and SamGirls got a thrill by proxy with Wendy.  Lucky actress...ahem, okay, where was I?

Poor Ted.  I get a little giggle when I see the victims on Supernatural.  There's an "invisible red shirt" on them like on Star Trek when you could identify the one character who was going to bite the big one because he was wearing the red shirt.  You knew that Ted, by talking about monsters, would be the next victim.  Got a cheap thrill at seeing both Sam and Dean in just a t-shirt and drawstring pants.  It's such a refreshing change from the layering they usually are dressed in.  In Dean's case, it harked back to In My Time of Dying. A great episode and wonderfully nostalgic.

I enjoyed the twist this time of Sam convincing Dean to help a fellow hunter  who helped John.  It harked back to Folsom Prison Blues when Dean had to convince Sam to help their dad's army buddy who was in a prison. A person could go crazy with comparisons like Sam's particular prejudice against prisoners, hinting, but never openly expressing his disdain for them, feeling that they were better than them, that the prisoners deserved to be there but Dean identified with them, seeing their own life of crime to sustain their lifestyle as not much different.  Here, in the psychiatric hospital, you feel Dean's discomfort, but you can tell it's less about the people and maybe more about getting "analyzed" and revealing more about how he was feeling than he wanted.

Back in Martin's room, I love that there are drawings of clowns, again, harking back to Everybody Loves a Clown when we discover Sam's fear of them. Sam seems to want to change the subject when Dean mentions them. Hee! It's here we learn that they are dealing with a brain juice sucking Wraith who can impersonate any human. Of course, why make it easy? It's not like Sam and Dean haven't come across monsters who could do that before, their true form revealed by some common method, this time, a mirror (a touch of Bloody Mary nostalgia comes in here). Also, as with most monsters, good old trusty silver is the weapon of choice to kill it.  Familiar and comforting. Makes me want to carry around some silver in my purse just in case. Seems to be the go-to weapon for anything supernatural. However, the added twist of the Nurse Wraith is the poison she "injects" Dean and Sam by her touch during their "physicals", making them hallucinate and question what they were seeing and feeling as well as question their sanity in general, especially when Dean misidentifies the doctor as the Wraith.

I SO LOVE the scene with Erica Cartwright as Dean scans people with the hallway mirror. It's my FAVORITE moment in the episode and unlike other episodes, it isn't coming at the end, it isn't an encapsulation of everything they've gone through in the episode or a revelation of some secret or emotion they haven't revealed to each other though we do get some of that with Sam's declaration about his rage. This scene encompasses so much of what Dean is thinking and feeling about his role in the Apocalypse as well as gives us DeanGirls a quick and heroic thrill. She pulls out of him without too much effort, which has usually been the case with Dean and his thoughts/emotions in the past with the old Dean, what he is truly feeling, her words about the crushing weight on his shoulders is hardly an exaggeration and you can't help but wonder like she does as to why Dean keeps getting up in the morning, keeps going forward no matter what. Still, you also know exactly why Dean does it.  He understands the risks and the ultimate result if he doesn't do anything and it's something that he cannot let happen. It's no longer about just one life, but six billion lives.  Despite the exponential gravity of that responsibility, he doesn't run, doesn't feel he can, yes, but also deep down, you know he wants to do it, that he fully knows that he's the only one who can save the world and to drop that ball would mean Hell on Earth and no one understands Hell better than Dean.  You might even say it drives him.  He knows what every human will suffer if he doesn't succeed because he's suffered it himself. In many ways, having gone to Hell, gives Dean a perspective that keeps him going, makes him the perfect hero in the scenario. He still believes in the family motto, "saving people, hunting things".  It's never really left him. He takes that responsibility seriously no matter who he's saving or how many.  Gotta LOVE that about him. *ah, DeanGirl moment.

"Why you?"

"Why me what?"

"Why do you have to hunt monsters? Why not let someone else do it?"

"Can't find anybody else that dumb," Dean jokes, but explains further. "It's my job. I mean, somebody's gotta save people's asses, yours included."

"So is there a quota? How many people do you have to save?"

"All of them."

"All of them? You think you have to save everyone?"

"Yup. Whole Wide World of Sports."

"How? Believe me, whatever you've got, I've heard weirder."

"It's the end of the world, okay? And it's a damn Biblical Apocalypse and if I don't stop it and save everyone, then no one will and we all die."

"That's horrible."

"Tell me about it."

"I mean Apocalypse or no Apocalypse, monsters or no monsters, it's a crushing weight to have on your shoulders. To feel like six billion lives depend on you? God, how do you get up in the morning?"

"Good question."



Sidenote:  When Wendy kissed Sam, SamGirls all over the land must have loved her line about wanting him now because he's bigger.  I know that many went to the fantasy place with that line. Keeping it clean here, but you know what I'm talking about.

I love the scene thereafter about Martin and how he reveals without any details how tormented and afraid he is (it peaks the curiosity to want to learn more and find out what happened in Albuquerque to have left him so broken), that he used to think he was invincible like Sam and Dean do (little does he know that I think Sam and Dean don't believe they're invincible anymore either, but on a totally different plane), but not anymore, that's he's not a hunter anymore and can't help them yet when Sam needs him, he's there to tell him that the doc isn't the Wraith because his wound isn't burning. At the end of that scene, you can see the dismay on Sam's face, that he almost killed an innocent man. You can see the realization that comes to him about his rage and his lack of control over it.

The scene between Sam and Dean when Sam is high on drugs is both hilarious and touching.  Without any filters, Sam tells Dean that maybe he really is crazy, that he was half-crazy before and that his experience in Hell can't have helped.  In the shadows you can see that Dean wonders himself, that he isn't mad at Sam because he knows Sam means well with his words, Sam even tells him that he loves him no matter what. Sam's words are really no different that Dean's words were in Yellow Fever when he was under the influence of the fever and had said that they were crazy for hunting down monsters. It also reminds of me of Playthings as well, Sam drunk and being unfiltered by the alcohol, begging Dean to kill him.  So many memories and reminders in this episode for me.  Maybe I'm manufacturing them, but they are there for me nevertheless.

Erica's reappearance later is a little scarier if her initial analysis wasn't all together wrong:

"Come on. Even you don't believe that. All this pressure that you're putting yourself under, all this guilt, it's killing you. You can't save everybody.  You can't."

You can't help, but agree with her that maybe the weight of saving the world is killing Dean, that he's putting WAY too much pressure on himself. The scarier moment is her transformation to twisting the analysis around to something more character breaking than character building:

"Hell, these days you can't save anybody, Dean."

"What did you say?"

"The truth, Dean. You got Ellen and Jo killed.  You shot Lucifer, but you couldn't gank him. You couldn't stop Sam from killing Lillith and oh yeh, you broke the first seal. All you do is fail. Did you really think that you, Dean Winchester, with a GED and a 'give 'em hell" attitude were going to beat the devil? Please. The world is gonna burn and there is nothing you can do about it."


It's then you realize that the Wraith's hallucinogenic poison is starting to work and that her words, are likely his own (I mean, who uses the word, gank, huh?), his insecurities playing out from his mind and into the visage of Erica Cartwright, showcased under the most questioning circumstances and environment that there ever could be. This moment reminds me of Dream a Little Dream when he taunts himself about his father and how he retaliates against himself that he doesn't deserve to go to Hell, that he raised Sam and saved Sam.

Poor Dean and yet though still under all of the crushing influence of the hallucinogenic, he manages to fight through it and regain enough clarity to save Sam just about when Nurse Wraith is about to make Sam her next brain food meal.  I had to giggle thinking about how Sam was always perceived as the smart one of the two of them and how she might get something extra for sucking his brain juices.  Hee!  I'm such a sicko.

The doctor's analysis about Sam was very telling.  A complete outsider yet an expert in his field determined so much from Sam's behavior:

"Well, I'm glad to hear you say that, but honestly, monsters are the least of your problems. People can live to learn with delusions, but the anger I saw in you...you hurt those two men and you were going to kill me. The look in your eyes when you came after me, it was like you were barely even human, like a man possessed."

"I know. Please just...could give me a second chance?"


Then when Sam enters the day room, you see his hallucination evolve, beginning with accusations from his Dean hallucination then escalating to the patients blaming him for the end of the world and calling him a freak. Here we realize that Sam has yet to get over his inadequacy about being different, about being considered a freak. The doctor calls himself barely human and a man possessed because he probably truly believes that. I wasn't completely sure if the doctor and his words were hallucinations as well.  More likely they were, but whether it's been brought on by Lucifer's taunts or just a continuation of a lack of maturity about his own self-worth, we can see that Sam hasn't come to terms with how he views himself yet. We've talked about Dean's self-worth issues a lot over the course of the seasons,  but never fully delved into Sam's  other than Sam worrying about becoming a monster and yet he fails to see that he already has become somewhat what he feared. You can't drink demon blood and not be changed somehow.  We just don't know how much it has changed Sam if at all, if the rage and anger are just "symptoms" of a demonic personality rather than a human one, that a demonic transformation might be supplanting Sam's already compromised identity.  We don't know where the rage and anger is coming from, whether it's a product of recent events or again, from feelings that he had never come to resolution about his father, about Dean and now about what's to come. Perhaps he's angry at himself and not letting himself off the hook for what he's done or maybe he's angry that he's being put into the position of being Lucifer's vessel.  I'm sure Dean isn't thrilled with the idea of becoming Michael's vessel, but it's not manifesting in rage like Sam is. I can see where the toughest anger to overcome, the hardest forgiveness to achieve is to forgive yourself. Just like Dean had to come to terms with his failings, so must Sam and I fear he's not there yet and will get there when it's too late.  *Shivers at the idea.

I SO TOTALLY LOVE that despite his creeping insanity from the poison, which he could easily have succumbed to, Dean finds enough presence of mind to think things through and to consult with Martin about his theory on what might be happening, that the Wraith just doesn't feed on the insane, but makes them insane too. I love how Martin helps Dean. Like all Supernatural characters, no matter how brief their stint on the show, they are great, especially the good guys/girls. They have a depth that makes you relate to them as well as root for them. Even the evil ones are palpably developed where you really can feel their presence and  their power.  Wonderful casting is so Supernatural's forte. Once again, just as Dean thinks he can't do what he needs to do, Martin coaxes to remind him that Dean has to save people because he's the only one who can and so Dean follows the blood trail to Sam's rubber room, struggling all the way, fighting off the delusions. In the meantime, Nurse Wraith again points out about how Sam is "far too angry to be out there in the real world".  Everyone seems to see it, but Sam until later.

"You did this to me."

"Well, I helped, but that rage, no, no, no, that's all you.  I don't make crazy, I just crank up what's already there. You build your own hell, but I give you the Legos." 


When Dean comes to the rescue, telling her to get away from Sam, it's faint-city for this DeanGirl.  I never get tired of the hero to the rescue entrance that Dean is so famous for, though I do admit I miss that Dean doesn't knock down as many doors like he did in the first couple of seasons. HEE!!!  I love that he has the presence of mind to break off her "syringe(?)" then gets the silver plated letter opener to kill her.  

Man, I tell you, Dean is amazing in what he is able to overcome.  In talking with my friend, Tiffany, we both marveled at Dean's ability to overcome just about everything. I mean, it's not without struggle, strife and a price, but in the end, he is able to assess a situation, figure out what needs to be done and does it, even at the loss of something he wants, like in What is and What Should Never be when he realizes that what he's experiencing isn't real, that despite how seductive it would be to just stay where he was and enjoy what little happiness he could get from the fantasy even if it meant he would die, he resists it.  It's painful, it's heart wrenching, but Dean chooses reality even though he hates what's there waiting for him, the responsibility of saving people overrides any selfishness he felt in staying. Erica Cartwright offered almost the same kind of out for Dean, that he can't bear the weight of saving the world on his shoulders without paying for it, that it was killing him, but Dean doesn't let that seductive thought change what is truly elemental in him. It's just not in him to walk away. Never has been, never will be.

The ending was WONDERFUL as always. Sam confides in Dean that he can't blame anyone for the rage and anger he feels, that's all him, that he's mad and he doesn't know why.  Dean does his best to rationalize Sam's feelings, he tells  him to bury his anger just as we know Dean buries his emotions.  It doesn't seem like the right thing to do or advise and it might turn out badly for the both of them in the final battle, but I can see where Dean is going with it.  He's telling Sam that he has to control his anger because like the Incredible Hulk, if he allows his anger and rage to take control then Sam will transform into something that Lucifer can use and exploit. Sam doesn't like Dean's solution and again, we're left wondering if Sam is even capable of keeping it under control. Still, we understand that what other alternative do they have? Sam doesn't even know why he's angry? How can you deal with something you can't define or find a root cause for? Like Dean said, becoming like Martin and surrendering to the inner demons and running away from the outside world as well as what's happening out there is just NOT an option of either of them. They are the key players in the Apocalypse, like it or lump it and that will never change, nothing can change that and hiding in an mental hospital won't keep them from facing the inevitable.

Great episode!  A FANTASTIC start back into the show and the mythology. This week is Swap Meat.  Sounds interesting.  Body swapping is always fun.


Thanks for reading as always, comments welcome!
 


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(a Wraith, no less -- I thought I was in a crossover and expected John Sheppard to show up at any second)

That would be fun! John Sheppard and Dean definitely need to meet. Imagine all the heroic angst, guilt, and self-sacrifice! :D

Again, we fans have debated how Dean's denial and suppression of his feelings have been a detriment to him, that he needs to express his emotions, his feelings in order to be emotionally stable, but Tiffany had a great point by saying that clearly they are showing Sam's uncontrollable rage as a potential pivot point, that Lucifer wants to exploit that rage, but that maybe Dean's reserve and control over his emotions might be their saving grace this time because he will have to be the level head.

Thank you as always for the mention! *blushes* Dean really does seem to collapse inward... it made me think of a four-year-old silent Dean, expressing his pain in the quietest way possible. Little Sam, I can't help but picture throwing tantrums...

I also love that as the Wraith's poison infiltrates his system, it's through her that he hallucinates all of his fears about his responsibilities as saving the world from the Apocalypse.

I can't help wondering if she was really in his head the whole time. Thinking back on it, everything thing she says is so Dean...and she's very sarcastic. I don't think that most doctors are so callous towards paranoid schizophrenics, even ones that flirt with them, lol.

Makes me want to carry around some silver in my purse just in case.

Lol, me too!

It doesn't seem like the right thing to do or advise and it might turn out badly for the both of them in the final battle, but I can see where Dean is going with it.

Very true! :) Tamara and I were talking about how Dean also sounded so much like a general talking to a soldier in that moment, "I know you're struggling, but suck it up, and keep moving. You don't have a choice."

Excellent, excellent blog as always! :)

-Laughter

Sam Interrupted: "Pudding!"

Hey Beth!

This is a little later than I said, but it is night! *blushes* Sorry about that.

Lol, Dean yelling "Pudding!" accompanied by his little jiggle even had my mom laughing! Jensen, as you said, does comedy to perfection!


I SO LOVE the scene with Erica Cartwright as Dean scans people with the hallway mirror. Me too!

And this whole bit: Still, you also know exactly why Dean does it.  He understands the risks and the ultimate result if he doesn't do anything and it's something that he cannot let happen. It's no longer about just one life, but six billion lives.  Despite the exponential gravity of that responsibility, he doesn't run, doesn't feel he can, yes, but also deep down, you know he wants to do it, that he fully knows that he's the only one who can save the world and to drop that ball would mean Hell on Earth and no one understands Hell better than Dean.  You might even say it drives him.  He knows what every human will suffer if he doesn't succeed because he's suffered it himself. In many ways, having gone to Hell, gives Dean a perspective that keeps him going, makes him the perfect hero in the scenario. He still believes in the family motto, "saving people, hunting things".  It's never really left him. He takes that responsibility seriously no matter who he's saving or how many.  Gotta LOVE that about him. *ah, DeanGirl moment.

I totally agree! Dean has a great perspective of what Hell on Earth means (as much as it hurts to say!) and it certainly drives him. Tiffany and I have discussed how Dean has always been responsible for taking care of others and that Dean really doesn't know how to put the burdens down. *has Deangirl moment with you :D

I also love what you said about the end of the episode when Sam admits to Dean that he's angry and has been for a long time. Dean's answer may not have been the best answer, but I believe it was the best Dean has to offer. There are two ways to cope that he has been exposed to and 1) is compartmentalize everything and bury it or 2)lash out and let it leak out into everything. Dean tends to go with option 1 more so. As someone who has anger issues like Sam I know how hard it can be to deal with them, I also know burying them is never a good thing. There has to be control and it is hard to gain. But Dean is also right in that they don't have the time to properly deal with their issues because Lucifer is free and Armageddon is upon them. So Dean may not have given the best advice, but he gave the advice of a soldier to a fellow soldier. "Suck it up. Deal with it later when the world in not in danger of being destroyed."

This episode just made me love Dean even more. He really is a hero, a flawed hero no doubt, but a hero nonetheless. Sam is certainly one too and I look forward to seeing more growth on his part.

This a just a wonderful look at the episode! Thanks for sharing :)

Roselani

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