Remember this?  

As I may have hinted before, I have these little conversations with myself during the rare quiet times at my house.  Like when I'm reading a great article posing the question about the diminishing appeal of superheroes on TV.  Here's the bizarre inner conversation that followed:
Me:  That's why I love Supernatural.  It's just two ordinary guys taking on the world.  They're heroes just because they choose to fight and sacrifice their own well being in the process.    
Other Me:  Um, aren't you forgetting, Sam has special powers.  
Me:  Well, sure, sort of, they aren't welcome powers.  He doesn't exactly use them a lot.  
Other Me:  Why doesn't he?  Five seasons he had those abilities and now suddenly in season six they've been swept under the rug?
Me:  Erm...
I've been going through season four lately (you all might notice a slowly improving season four photo gallery) and that was the one season where Sam freely let loose on the powers.  Sure come season five he learned his lesson, but there were a couple of occasions where he had to use them anyway.  We know from season four that drinking the demon blood only strengthened his abilities.  He still had them when he wasn't drinking blood.  So why doesn't he use them now?  RoboSam wouldn't have hesitated to use those powers. 
Here's some of the theories that came up when I posed this question on Twitter last night:
  • He no longer has them.  He used up all the demon blood in his body while being Lucifer so maybe now he's clean. 
  • It's lazy writing.  The writers just left it out because they don't want write him with abilities anymore. 
  • Sam refused to flip on those switches like Ava and Jake.  So he can't turn them on. 
  • Yeah, what did happen to those powers?  Now you have me wondering...  
This is the fun part of Hellatus, the chance to burn the countless hours by speculating over dropped plotlines.  What did happen to Sam's powers?  If they were truly gone, why not spell that out in one of those heart-to-hearts with Dean?  It would have taken a couple of lines.  Here's my theory.  Just like in season three, they're dormant.  He doesn't know how to trigger them.  Someone will come along though and show him how.  That's a possible future storyline for when the writers run out of ideas, like season eight or something like that.  
Now it's your chance.  What did happen to Sam's powers?  Will they return?  Do you want to see them return ever?