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Reveling in the fickle nature of fangirlishness

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The Song Remains the Same: "I'm your son."
sophie_deangirl
Destiny waits alike for the free man as well as for him enslaved by another's might. -Aeschylus

The highest destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule. -Albert Einstein

Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws. Your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices. -Alfred A. Montapert



This episode brought about a lot of reaction both negative and positive from fellow fans and friends. For me, it was wonderful if that much more so because of it's continuing grim outlook on our boy's futures. I'm a sick person, but angst, second only to physical suffering are my favorite subjects. Hee! To me, the episode was less about going back in time again to stop Anna from killing John and Mary, but more about three gut wrenching and pivotal dialogues:

1. Sam talking about his dad to the younger version of him.
2. Dean talking to Mary
3. Michael talking to Dean

These and the consistent theme of free will versus preordained destinies made this episode painful and heroic as well. Many might think that Dean is stuck in denial mode about continuing to pursue his belief that free will is still possible for him and Sam even Sam wonders at the end of the episode whether they can escape their fates:

"They all say we'll say yes."

"I know, it's getting annoying."

"What if they're right?"

"They're not."

"I mean, why would we, either of us, but I've been weak before. "



But when Dean says to Michael,

"Because I gotta believe that I can choose what I do with my unimportant little life."

It mirrors Sam's speech in I Believe the Children are our Future when he tells Jesse that he has to believe that someone can make the right choice even if he didn't:

“Because I have to believe someone can make the right choice,” Sam replies. “Even if I couldn’t.”

Both men want to believe in the ability of anyone being able to make their own choices, to have free will. Free will doesn't automatically assume that you'll make all the right choices, hardly, more than likely we all make more mistakes with our decisions than not, but learning from them and then making better choices in the future because of them is what we strive for. We know it's what both Sam and Dean hope for. Sam for releasing Lucifer, but also for betraying Dean. Dean for breaking in Hell by torturing others thus breaking the first seal. I don't believe what Michael said about free will being an illusion or that Dean and Sam were fated because of bloodline and I REALLY don't want Dean to lose hope that his free will is moot. That scares me more than anything.

I'm proud and worried about Dean. I'm proud that no matter what, he still wants to save his parents, some might argue it's selfish, misguided, and futile (though if Anna can go back to the past to kill Mary and John so Sam and Dean won't be born, I don't think Dean's desire to save them is all that unreasonable or useless), but Dean is nothing if devoted and determined where his family is concerned, specifically when it comes to his parents and I can't fault him for wanting so desperately to prevent them from suffering what unfortunately they can't be prevented from suffering. The past is prologue as they say and even though Anna's mission was to kill Mary and John, perhaps the lesson learned there was that even she couldn't change destinies that have already been played out and which have led them all to the seemingly inevitable apocalyptic result they're facing now. When Michael intervenes to wipe their parents of their memories, it just hammers home that inevitability. I'm worried because I don't want Michael's downright cruel assessment of Dean's choices to be true. I don't want Dean to be seduced into believing that he doesn't have choices  because Michael attributes every choice he's taken thusfar as an inevitable and preordained route to Dean's and Sam's destinies:

"You're wrong. You know how I know? Think of a million random acts of chance, that let John and Mary be born, to meet, to fall in love, to have the two of you. Think of the million random choices that you make and yet how each and every one of them brings you closer to your destiny. Do you know why that is? Because it's not random. It's not chance. It's a plan that is playing itself out perfectly. Free will is an illusion, Dean. That's why you are going to say yes. Aw, buck up. It could be worse. You know, unlike my brothers, I won't leave you a drooling mess when I'm done wearing you."

I LOVED Matt Cohen as John and Michael. I'm glad he got more to do in this episode than he did in In the Beginning. He was WONDERFUL in both incarnations. As a young John he played his innocence towards the hunting world so convincingly as well as his disbelief at Sam having been raised into the hunting life, chastising himself without knowing it. It was heart wrenching. It's almost a comfort to know that John didn't treat his sons as he did because he had been a bad father (something I have always maintained, that John did everything, however misguided by revenge, out of the need to protect his sons in the only way he knew how -- one could extrapolate that he had known for a long time, maybe as far back as when Sam was an infant, that he had put two and two together that Sam had been "anointed" and had taught them hunting because of that as another driving force), but as Sam says, he did the best he could given the cards dealt to him. The loss of his soulmate, the love of his life drove him to do what under normal life circumstances, he could have never have condoned.

"You're serious? Well, who the hell does that to a kid?"

"I don't care. I mean, what kind of irresponsible bastard lets a child anywhere near...you know, you could have been killed."

"The number it must have done on your head. Your father was supposed to protect you."


Matt Cohen was great as John as his unadulterated self, a good man who loved a good woman. Bittersweet and aching in some ways for Sam as he comes to terms with his desire to want to have that young John back, to have had that man be the one who had raised his sons, but Sam finally understands the father they had and defended him:

"He was trying. He died trying. Believe me. I used to be mad at him. I mean I used to...I used to hate the guy, but now, I...I get it. He was just doing the best he could and he was trying to keep it together in this impossible situation. See...my mom...she was amazing...beautiful and she was the love of his life and she got killed and I think he would have gone crazy if he didn't do something. Truth is, my dad died before I got to tell him that I understand why he did what he did and I forgive him for what it did to us. I do and I just...I love him."

This scene between Sam and John was just THE BEST moment. The poignancy of Sam wanting to tell his father that he loved him, to a father who didn't know he was ever born, was just heartbreaking!!! It's got the feel of too little, too late, but also of second chances. The John that Sam is telling all this to may not be the John who had brought him up, but by saying those words to him, it allowed Sam to come to peace with his relationship with his father, to own up to his misunderstanding of his father and to credit his father for being as together as he could have been, for keeping them all together as he had. Jared was FREAKIN' UNBELIEVABLE in this moment. He pulled and downright tore at my heartstrings!!!

Matt as Michael was STELLAR! He played him perfectly without a single bit of warmth or compassion for Dean, hardly selling his role as his vessel very convincingly or attractively in my view, but it was chillingly logical and unromantically straightforward. Michael was more like a toned down Zacariah in the way he presented Dean's options. It's a comparison of contrasts that really makes one think. It also makes one wonder about the nature of angels. From my angle, Gabriel was downright warm and fuzzy in comparison to Raphael, Zacariah, Uriel and Michael. And Lucifer seemed the most caring of them all...go figure that! All of them douchebags in their own way and Michael and Zacariah just doing a TERRIBLE job at convincing Dean that he had to say yes. Lucifer's velvet glove, sugar versus vinegar approach the most effective.

Mark Pelligrino plays Lucifer enticingly nice, sweet almost,   but he can give him justice against God, the kind of justice he wants to enact on humanity for being God's favorites. There's nothing cloying or insincere even in his argument to Nick. Then his confrontation with Sam, it was also, like "okay, Sam, nurture that rage because I'll need it". He gives Sam the same inevitability speech as Michael does, but almost with sorrow at having to put him through being his vessel.

Michael was cold despite his speech about his feelings for his own brother:

"You're wrong. When Lucifer defied our father, he betrayed me, but still I don't want this anymore than you would want to kill Sam. You know, my brother, I practically raised him. I took care of him in a way most people could never understand and I still love him, but I am going to kill him because it is right and I have to."

He tries to compare his relationship with Lucifer to that of Dean's relationship with Sam, using how he practically raised Lucifer as a comparison to how Dean had raised Sam, how he loved him even though Lucifer had betrayed him. This point grates for me because the way Dean raised Sam is incomparable to Michael's raising of Lucifer. It's especially grating at the end when he says he's going to kill his brother because it's the right thing to do and that he has to to save the world. He's trying to parallel John's last words to Dean about saving Sam or having to kill him. Dean refused to accept that he would have to kill Sam and would defy his father's last wishes with that one point. I love Dean's point about following a father's orders:

"Yes, because I am a good son."

"Yeh, well, trust me, pal, take it from somebody who knows, that is a dead end street."


Dean's learned his lesson about his idolatry of his father. You can feel the parallel here when he told Sam that following orders was being a good son in Scarecrow, intimating that Sam wasn't because he was rebelling. Dean has learned that following orders blindly without question isn't being a good son. It's just being a trained soldier.

I found it interesting that Sam had the talk with his father and Dean with his mother. It's another way of seeing Sam finally making peace with his father. I think that Dean has come to terms with his father already. Granted there were shades of self-recrimination in On the Head of a Pin when Dean tells Cas that he's not the man either of their fathers thought he was, but I think that was brought on by the torture he inflicted upon Alistair and that was also then inflicted upon him as well as finding out that he had broken the first seal, starting the whole process. I think we should cut him some slack for a moment of weakness and self-doubt.

Dean's talk with Mary! Oh, you have to know that as a DeanGirl, I was melting! Though there were no tears on Dean's part, you can see the raw emotion on the surface just bubbling there. When he blurts out that he's her son, an ache just hit me and OH, when he shares his memories of her, memories that Sam never got to have, I just cried (not easy after bawling over the scene with Sam and John just before it -- talk about your cry-fest! It was a good thing I had plenty of kleenex on hand).

"Our names are Dean and Sam...Winchester. We're named after your parents. When I would get sick, you would make me tomato rice soup cuz that's what your mom made you. And instead of a lullaby, you would sing 'Hey Jude'. That's your favorite Beatles song."

The only moment that hit a bad note with me was Dean's blunt revelation that she didn't raise them in the hunting life because she was already dead. It seemed a touch harsh, but maybe Dean was trying convince her that she didn't have a hand in making them who they were because she had died. One could read alot in that as well as when Dean tells her that John raised them in the hunting life because of revenge for her death at the hands of the yellow-eyed demon. Sam explained that John was driven to the hunting life because he had lost the love of his life, which seemed softer. Could Dean have been harsh because there was a teeny tiny bit of resentment still? I'm not sure, but as an unrepentant DeanGirl, I'll allow myself a little denial in that moment.

I LOVE that Sam suggests that Mary leave John so that they won't be born. Dean's statement about it was heroic too:

"There's a big difference between dying and never being born and trust me, we're okay with that. I promise you that."

And it's true, but in the end it was too late because Dean was already a bun in the oven. For some reason that idea and at the end when he kicks her and she lovingly accuses him of being a troublemaker already was just too sweet for words.

The ending like most of Supernatural's endings encapsulates the episode as well as what's ahead for Sam and Dean. I love that Dean still is maintaining his free will bandwagon even though you do detect the doubt and hesitation which is what worries me. This concern is only heightened when Sam poses the very possible prospect that if John could give in to save Mary, how far a leap would it be for either of them to say yes, specifically to save their mother, but you can feel the underlying question hanging in the air of whether they would save each other by saying yes.

"I mean, why would we, either of us, but I've been weak before. "

"Sam -"

"Michael got Dad to say yes."

"That was different. Anna was about to kill Mom."

"And if you could save Mom? What would you say?"


Maybe appropriately now, whether they will say no and exercise their free will or whether it's a foregone conclusion that they will say yes will depend on their respective ability to be able to resist the same temptation as their father, to perhaps be better than their father. Sam admits his own weakness and we've seen Dean's when it comes to Sam, but is it a foregone conclusion that they will do it again? I think it would be almost a cop out for either of them to repeat history, especially Dean. It would be a "been there, done that" and I don't think Kripke and crew would do that. As scary as the prospect is, maybe maturity for both brothers is to prove that they are no longer dangerously co-dependent on each other and each other's choices. That they are not each other's keeper. Maybe the most loving thing they could do for each other is to not make choices based on each other? It's an interesting quandary for our boys who you know still love each other despite everything that's happened.

I think that it would be more refreshing to see Sam and Dean set an example by which to break inevitability and to teach a lesson or two about how brothers should act towards each other unlike the preordained confrontation between Lucifer and Michael. Maybe the full circle will be more of how Sam and Dean break from pattern and still emerge whole, individuals, strengthened by their mutual respect for each other and that much more united because of it. I hope so.

Well, My Bloody Valentine is next and looks to be the last until March 25th. Much as I HATE these hiatuses, given how busy I've been, I'll welcome the break for now even if I will DEFINITELY miss seeing the episodes. It seems like a funny episode from the clips I've seen, but one in particular which I won't spoil has got me thinking about how much Dean has changed and what that might hint to.

Enjoy everyone. Thanks for reading as always.


Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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I'm a sick person, but angst, second only to physical suffering are my favorite subjects. Hee!

*falls over laughing, gives you a high-five* ;)

I don't believe what Michael said about free will being an illusion or that Dean and Sam were fated because of bloodline and I REALLY don't want Dean to lose hope that his free will is moot.

I completely agree. I don't believe that either. I almost wonder if Michael said what he said to push Dean, to make him fight even harder against his supposed "desitny."

This scene between Sam and John was just THE BEST moment. The poignancy of Sam wanting to tell his father that he loved him, to a father who didn't know he was ever born, was just heartbreaking!!! It's got the feel of too little, too late, but also of second chances.

I loved that moment too! Jared really was fantastic in it! And I loved the sad irony of John's outrage that Sam was raised as a hunter.

I took care of him in a way most people could never understand and I still love him, but I am going to kill him because it is right and I have to."

I found that line really eerie, because I could almost imagine Dean saying that someday. *winces*

Dean's talk with Mary! Oh, you have to know that as a DeanGirl, I was melting!

I was melting too! *is still trying to wipe up the puddles*

This concern is only heightened when Sam poses the very possible prospect that if John could give in to save Mary, how far a leap would it be for either of them to say yes, specifically to save their mother, but you can feel the underlying question hanging in the air of whether they would save each other by saying yes.

So true! They both know how far they are willing to go for each other. As Dean said before, they are each other's biggest weakness.

Again, excellent blog as always! :)

Wow! This was really well written! Do you cross post to any of the communities here on live journal? You should.

Thanks for your comments!!

I'm glad that you enjoyed reading and thanks so much for your compliment. I'm new to the LJ community so I haven't explored or cross posted yet, but I'm grateful for your suggestion. Hope you continue to come back and read.

Thanks again!

Re: Thanks for your comments!!

I'd be happy to return. May I friend you? You may add me if you'd like.

thanks!


Re: Thanks for your comments!!

Yes, of course! I've added you as well. It will be nice to have another fellow Supernatural devotee to talk about our boys! Specifically Dean, of course!

Re: Thanks for your comments!!

What I love about your reviews is that, although you are a Dean girl, you are fair to Sam and the other characters. I lean towards Sam, but adore Dean too. I especially worry about Dean lately, his whole world is being shattered.

Re: Thanks for your comments!!

Thanks! I like Sam very much and he's really evolving. Dean is far from perfect, but I'm a sucker for the truly tragic hero and Dean is that. I know that in the last episode Sam wasn't being malicious about his memories, but he has to also own up to his feelings and in many ways his responsibility to Dean because by saying that he didn't think he was hurting Dean when he thought getting away was just about getting away from their dad, he's ignoring Dean's contributions to the man he is. I love discussing those dichotomies.

Looking forward to future comments, they are always welcome.

Re: Thanks for your comments!!

If you want to have some good Dean angst fiction, check out my fanfiction link.

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