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Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.

Sacrifice. The operative word on Planet Winchester. Almost ever since we became acquainted with Sam and Dean, and their real and surrogate family, we also witnessed, broken heartedly, how they were ready to give everything, literally everything, to save one another.
Mary sold her soul as a young woman to save John, and I doubt she realized the extent of her deal that moment. John struck a deal to save Dean’s life. Dean sold his soul to bring Sam back. Bobby pawned his to help the men he loved like sons. Sam endangered his soul by drinking demon blood to stop the apocalypse and eventually allowed Lucifer to ride his body in order to save the world.

I have grown accustomed to the various emotions still haunting me when thinking of Sam’s last decision, but my heart still breaks for him.

Although I have loved Dean for his bravado and sharp tongue and all the good traits that are his amazing nature, I have always carried Sam in my heart – if you can say that about a fictional character. Some of his reactions seemed familiar to me and I loved his gentle soul and, frankly, I somewhat fell in love with the guy. He will always, always be in my heart with the other great characters I’ve grown to love ever since I started reading books or watching movies and tv. So will Dean, but not as intensely as his younger brother, I have to admit. I have to thank Kripke and all the writers for that – for giving me, us, such complex, beautiful, multi-layered fictional characters.
With the deep affection I’ve felt from the beginning for Sam, I have followed his journey with great curiosity and, as dangerous clouds darkened his horizon, with trepidation and concern.
He evolved to a really grown up person, distanced from the young rebellious guy who could throw a tantrum over one of his father’s words. Well, he was forced to grow or else he might have lost his sanity. In the beginning he still wanted to return to a ‘normal’ life, the kind he had planned, in vain, with Jessica, leaving the family again after they would have found dad.
That, however, changed. Eventually he sought peace with revenge, not being able to bear the pain of losing his brother to hell otherwise… the guilt over that must have consumed him – after all, Dean died at the claws of hell hounds for Sam’s sake, having sold his soul because he could not live without his brother.
Easily he fell for Ruby’s bait and trusted her, at some point perhaps loved her, because she became the only stable factor in his life after Dean was gone, and he pushed others, like Bobby, away. Sam dealt with grief in an aggressive way – on the one hand seeking revenge, on the other punishing himself, thereby turning the aggressive energy inward which must have felt like a red hot iron slicing into his soul.
He had to survive one of the most difficult journeys a human being can – realizing that his good intentions had in fact brought about a disaster and not being able to find redemption, yet. On the contrary – he suffered his brother’s mistrust and anger and guilt which Dean directed at him, in the beginning of season five without any mercy.
Sam had no other intention but to do the right thing. He did what he believed to be right. That this eventually helped Lucifer out of his cage (just as Dean’s breaking of the first seal, equally unbeknownst to him) was not the intended goal. His only mistake probably was to trust the wrong person, sorry, demon, and believing in his powers. He was also hoping to find peace with revenge, I think.
Well, we know what happened.
Sam spend almost the entire fifth season trying to redeem himself. He fought desperately to win his brother’s trust again and often he didn’t know how to do it, because what ever he tried Dean had trouble letting him back in. The atmosphere in the brothers’ relationship was tense, soften sometimes with humour and/or danger, but it took Dean almost all twenty two episodes to see Sam at eye level and trust him again, unconditionally at a high price, though.
Sam must have suffered like a dog, but he managed to get through by functioning and doing his job. Not the worst strategy, even though the pain about the situation and his desperate wish to take it back must have eaten away at him like one of those hellhounds. 
He found something else to help him through: hope. A most amazing development, given the difficulty of their situation.
He remembered their job ‘saving people, hunting things’ and their responsibility to save the world from the angels having their little ‘pissing contest’. He dragged Dean who had almost given up back into the game and was hugely accountable for Dean changing his mind and not saying yes – because his elder brother didn’t want to let Sam down. A sign that Dean found his way back to his brother again, even before he voiced it.
In the end, finally, he saw a chance to set things right – as he said in the first episode, he’d ‘do anything, anything to take it back’ – and took it.
Bloody stupid plan that was, Sam. And how amazingly brilliant, too.
The moment Sam mentioned the idea to Bobby on the phone we knew he was going to do it. And we also knew that he would not do it behind Dean’s back. Not betray his brother’s trust again.
The situation was desperate. Forlorn and hopeless. Their chances at beating the devil were low, but it was the only thing to do to at least try to save billions of people.
So, Sam let Lucifer in.


# Megan 2010-05-28 01:23
This evening, you are my best friend. Seriously, this is everything that I've been trying to put into words since the finale. Even before the finale, I wanted him to do this - let Lucifer in, jump in the hole - because it's the only way for him to find redemption. And he did. I don't think I've ever heard of a more beautiful, yet tragic, redemption story, fictional or otherwise.

I'm constantly amazed by how emotionally invested I am in these characters, especially Sam. My heart still hurts when I think about the finale and the events leading up to it.

You phrased this spectacularly. Thank you so much.
# Suze 2010-05-28 08:14
Sam is an all round good egg and now he's done the decent thing, saved the world and totally made up for any unfortunate collateral nurse-slaughter ing that might have happened previously there's nothing standing between us and a whole season of shower scenes with the occasional bitch-face thrown in for good measure. Hurrah! ( Shallow? Me? What? :lol: )
# Julie 2010-05-28 08:58
This was a real labour of love and a beautifully written article .
It`s a testament and fitting tribute to the young boy from the Pilot we have watched grow into the wonderful man who sacrificed everything in `Swan Song`.
Amazing Grace , indeed . You know I thought this was the perfect piece of music for him and it`s so right that you can use THIS song in your article. Ju
# Jasminka 2010-05-28 10:16
Megan, Dany, Suze and Julie, hi ladies!

Megan, I’m deeply moved to have been able to voice what you have been feeling, thanks so much. Funny how a stranger can become a friend, even for one evening.

Dany, gosh, sweetie, didn’t mean to make you cry again… Some people might think it cheesy, but indeed it was all about love in the end. Love and family. For me, there is nothing cheesy about that… You’re right, this is one of the main reasons why we love this freakin’ show so much…

Suze, hey, gal, we would never be shallow, Never! What? Did someone accuse us of that?

Ju, actually, that pic with your Amazing Grace remark was an inspiration for this article. I have thought about this ever since I watched the episode for the first time, but your notch into that direction actually put the first sentence to my head! So, it’s also a tribute to the inspiration by friends… and beautiful pictures…

Thank you so much for your kind comments! Love Jas
# Randal 2010-05-28 13:28
Great stuff, Jas. I can just about read the headline in Sunday edition of the Lawrence Gazette, Local Boy Does Good.

A redemption well-earned, but I still blame upstairs and downstairs for it ever coming to this. Funny, does that mean that love is the ultimate middle finger? 8-)
# AndreaW 2010-05-28 15:04
Jas, I thank you with all my heart for your words about our beloved Sammy. I know it's crazy (it's a fictional character, right?)but like you, I sort of fell in love with the guy. I love Dean too, but Sam is special for me and has always been. My heart ached through loads of Sambashing, from people who were always ready to judge his actions but never able to see what lay behind them: the pain,the desperation, the grief, the loneliness, the guilt.

I'm devastated about Swan Song, but I'm so happy and so proud to know that he triumphed in the end, even if it was at a terrible cost. I'll always think about this episode as The Sam's Song.

This article made my day. God bless you. :-)
# Jasminka 2010-05-28 15:40
Randal and AndreaW, this is so, awwwh... don't know, I'm at a loss for words right now.

Randal, I would love to see that Headline. You know, I actually do believe that love is the ultimate middle finger. And it has style, don't you think?

AndreaW, I'm happy to have found you with this article and enhanced your day. Even though it's sorta crazy to love a fictional character, we are totally allowed to do so as long as we're aware that it'sa fictional guy which we are. Our sanity is not endangered.

Sam, as you have read, has always moved me more than I believed possible. Well, he didn't have to put a lot of effort into it. He's just a great person... both Winchesters are, but Sam, well, just like you feel about him, got more under my skin.

Thank you guys, Love Jas
# joelsteinlover 2010-05-28 19:05
So, when I get on the computer I always go to a few sites, this is one of them, and any article you put up I always read last because they're so awesome.

This was so beautiful. I'm a Dean girl, I used to be violently in favor of Dean (read: first 4 seasons 21 epsiodes) but now it's only slight, ever since than damn finale when Sammy broke my heart being all brave and self-assured and wahhh.

I love your articles! You make me want to go into psycology.
# Evelyn 2010-05-28 23:47
Jas, once again, beautiful article and analysis into our beloved Sam. The power of love was indeed the power needed for Sam to break hold of Lucifer's grasp on him and finally, in his own eyes, redeem himself from his past mistakes. I believe Sam always had Dean's love - his trust was another issue.

Trust is a tricky thing. So easy to lose, yet so very hard to earn back. It is especially hard to earn back that trust when the loss of trust comes from a loved one. Sam's efforts all throughout Season 5 were certainly major strides in him being able to earn back that trust, that look back in Dean's eyes. And, I think, that Sam also had to learn to trust himself again. As he points out in Good God Y'all, he doesn't trust himself. Doesn't trust his motives or intentions. We are always hardest on ourselves and to try to gain trust back in a loved one is hard - but to gain the trust back in ourselves, that is the hardest test of all.

Dean's trust in Sam was growing as the latter part of the year progressed and was finally fully gained back in Point of No Return. But the trust Sam had in himself? To be able to gain a trust and belief back in yourself after you have been emotionally destroyed is one of the greatest victories we can ever achieve. And I think Sam was finally able to come back to the point where he was once again able to trust his own decisions and believe in himself - and it wasn't until he overcame Lucifer and jumped into the pit where that journey was finally complete.

I can only hope that with this new realized belief and trust in himself and the regained trust of Dean, along with the ever strengthened bond of love between these two, that Sam can finally let go of this hole inside himself that has been with him ever since mid-Season 1 when we started learning about his psychic abilities and the demon blood. Both brothers should be able to finally put this to rest and be at peace, especially Sam, with the different or "freak" aspect of his persona. And should this gift remain within Sam, then I hope he can live with this and deal with the powers inside of himself from a positive aspect instead of a negative aspect. Sam is worthy of Dean's love and trust and he is worthy of love of self and trust in self. I just hope he finally realizes it.
# ARIS 2010-05-29 04:45
This is one of the most beautiful articles I've ever read about Sam!!! It brought tears in my eyes and this is exactly how I feel about Sammy!!! Even when he did the things he did in season 4, I never got mad at him, because I knew that he thought he was doing the right thing, but my poor boy has been manipulated... to be honest I was mad at Dean for not being able to understand his little brother... But then again, Dean has been manipulated too...
Anyway, back to Sammy! For me, the things you wrote are obvious :D why can't all people see them????
# Karen 2010-05-29 09:48
Hi Jasminka
Once again beautifully written!
Putting into words everything that I wish I was able to say.
That scene with Dean on the ground leaning against the Impala, all beat up and broken.
Sam fighting with everything he has to keep Lucifer under control.
Then Sam giving Dean that one last look to reassure him before closing his eyes to fall into the gateway to hell.
And Dean watching helplessly as his brother makes that final ultimate sacrifice.
Sacrifice, redemption, trust and most of all love all wrapped up within minutes. It’s one of those moments that forever stays with you, forever haunts you.
I love this show and these brothers.
As I have made mention before, the supernatural world may not be real, but what these two characters represent, is very real.
Thanks Jas this was wonderful!
# Shadow 2010-05-29 18:54
Hey everyone! I want to express my thoughts and feelings here on this side, first I want to say, I discovered your side per coincidence and I am so thankful to have found this side. I love reading all your metas and I am SPECIALLY THANKFUL to read about Sam`s motivations, struggles, his internal side.I love and appreciate the Winchester brothers, both of them and I think you can only have Sam and Dean as a package. They are intertwined and I am caught in the middle, when they fight. But my heart and soul is crushed and shattered because of Sam, he truly broke my heart as a fictional character and I will always carry this character with me in the future even when the serie has long finished.
I am from Germany (and sorry for mistakes) and started to search via internet about SN since S4E9 aired in the USA. At this time in Germany aired S2E22, and I wanted to know more and found out. But I was horrified over comments about Sam, I didn`t expect such mean and hateful attacks.
In 2-3 months I watched all of season 3 and season 4 and started to watch via internet S4E11 and since then I watch every week with all of you.
I really really love your meta about Sam and it reached my heart and I am beyond shattered right now. The time after I watched the episode first, I felt relieved for Sam, I thought, Sam gave himself up in such peace and freedom and it was an incredible....( I have not the right words).... moment in his life, his last moment, I think, Sam carried a huge burden in himself, and this since the serie started and it became only more and more. I was so proud of him and sad, and I was so proud of Dean, he wanted to be with his brother in his dying moment, and was ready to die with him.
It was hard to watch season 5 with Dean showing Sam that he didn`t really trust him and what you said about Sam how he must have felt, it is hard. I wanted so badly the return of the necklace and I want that Sam comes back as Sam, as a "whole" Sam somehow. And I don`t want to have Sam go away from that streetlamp in the darkness, because he thinks Dean is better without him. My first reaction to see Sam standing there was "this is pure Sam, nobody else". He looked a bit sad, a bit blank, even like he didn`t really know.
I think like you Sam needed redemption for himself, but not in my eyes.
The episode was epic and after a while my worries simply started, because I read what SG said about season 6. And I can`t see Sam rotting in hell forever when this would have been the absolut final episode of the whole series. Either they both would have died and gone to heaven, of course together, or Sam would have been pulled out and could say "good bye" to Dean and goes to heaven, so Dean can live and followes Sam when his time is coming.
But for now I am finished, but want to thank you for your wonderful thoughts about Sam!!!!
# gentlesoul 2010-05-29 21:47
tee hee "gentle soul"

Oh Sam... I both loved him and hated him so passionately when he jumped in the cage... Free Will won - yay...!

I also fell in love with Sam, and even more with Jared, this season... All that angst (and comedy) got to me!

I love this article, Jasminka! Beautiful job! =D (As with all of them!)
# Jasminka 2010-05-30 14:54
Joelsteinlover, Evelyn, ARIS, Karen, Shadow and gentlesoul, folks, welcome and thanks for your comments!

Joelsteinlover, isn't it wonderful that we can actually love BOTH characters? Thank you so much! If you want to go into psychology, just go ahead, I bet you will find it fascinating. I know I do.

Evelyn, you're right, it is a tricky thing - trust. It goes both ways: being trusted and trust oneself, trust another to hold true to their trust. It is also one of the most painful experiences to lose it, as Sam had to live through.

I am quite optimistic that Sam will be able to go on a changed person. He really grew up, more than that: Dean was able to let him grow up and look at Sam at eye level. That alone will help Sam a great deal to recover. And I am with you in hoping that Sam will shed that chip on his shoulder because of his demon blood heritage. What he got after this ordeal, hopefully is much more... love, trust, faith and strength.

ARIS, I am happy to match your feelings of Sam. He had to take a lot of flak in season four, well, I couldn't understand, either, why that had to be. Dean was frightened, traumatized, hurt... he also thought to be doing the right thing, just as Sam did. Both suffered their personal version of hell...

Karen, you look into my heart so often, you know that? That's always there: what these characters represent. They are fictional, not real, not at all, but their emotions are. Many of us have felt some of those, experienced loss, pain, hopelessness... .

Shadow - welcome to the site! Und hallo nach Deutschland! In welcher Ecke steckst Du?

I am honoured to have been able to ring a bell with you in regard to your feelings on Sam. Thank you for laying those out in that elaborate manner - and don't worry, your English is just fine!!

If you like, you can go to the achive section, there you will find some more articles on Sam to devour. We will keep the metas coming. Promise.

Do keep coming back here. I'm sure you will find it welcoming and fun-loving...

gentlesoul, hehe, that's sweet... Thank you, your comments always mean a lot to me, too.

Folks, so generous always... Thanks!! May good angels watch over you, Jas
# BagginsDVM 2010-05-30 23:20
Thanks for this wonderful tribute to Sam. I love both brothers, & my heart aches thinking about what they have been through in their young lives. I know they are only fictional, but it doesn't make me love them any less!
# Shadow 2010-05-31 12:08
Hi Jasminka, I am from Heidelberg and where does your german come from?
I discovered this side a few months ago, and I already read the other metas. I even copied some of them and put it in another board (but with the source and the name of the writers).
I was glad about every meta regarding Sam and btw I loved the Bobby-meta sooooo much, don`t know who has written it, but doesn`t matter for now.
As much as I loved the other metas, I needed this time to make a statement. It is so beautiful and heart gripping like the final episode was. I am still moved from your words -and the episode!
Sam said in "FTBYAM" he is "a riddle wrapped inside an enigma wrapped around a taco" and this is how he felt about himself and the show showed(for me) not enough from his inner turmoils. So I am so beyond thankful to find such terrific articles like yours. And it is written with your "heart blood" that is how I feel reading it!
Someone said here these moments of "flashlights" of brotherly love, connection, support and this final supreme sacrifice Sam made in surrender to a higher power, let go of the world, falling back so beautifully free from ALL, will forever haunting her is how I feel too. It was an epic unforgettable moment and makes me teary again!
I am looking forward to more!! Again thank you thank you thank you!!!!!
# Jasminka 2010-05-31 15:09
Shadow, hi, I live in the SouthWest of Germany, near Rottweil, actually.
I'm happy you found this site and enjoy what we do here so much. It's an honour to hear that, really. It always moves me beyond description.
You are so sweet and absolutely right - mostly I pour a lot of my 'heart's blood' into it.
Do come back. There are so many great articles of my fellow writers to discover. Just hit the archive button and go on a expedition...

Love, thank you so much again, Jas
# Yvonne 2010-06-01 23:51
Oh Jas, you did it again!
What a beautiful piece. Others before me have gushed and I will try not to reiterate…but wow.

And you’re absolutely right! It was love that won the day. And, now that you’ve got me thinking on it, it was love that won the day when John took over from Azazel. That wasn’t anger in Papa’s eyes, it was desperation to save his son. And it wasn’t anger in Bobby’s eyes when he took the wheel back. It was love, always love. I wonder if it was a mother’s natural love (even for an unnatural child) that allowed Julia to take back control in IBTCAOF.

Earlier in the season, Lucifer wanted Sam to fan the flames of his anger. Makes sense now. Lucifer probably knew that the one thing he couldn’t fight/control/m aster was Sam’s love for his brother.

Dean: “Well, we’re working on the power of love.”

Kripke gave away the ending and I never saw it coming.

Oh, and Randal (if you read this) I hope to plagiarize you in the future. “Love, the ultimate middle finger.” FANTASTIC!
# Jasminka 2010-06-02 05:05
Dawn, so sorry to have overlooked your comment earlier - Thank you so much! There's nothing wrong with loving fíctional characters. I have done so ever since I began to read. And this is not much different. Except that we're given the fine eye candy in advance and don't have to make it up in our minds... Shallow? Oops, guilty as charged. :-) Thanks, dear. Jas
# Jasminka 2010-06-02 05:09
Yvonne, you're so right. I don't think Randal would mind us using his undying phrase. He has a habit of coming up with great words like this - by the way, where are you, beloved Librarian of the Yanks?

I love your thought of Lucifer depending on Sam's anger to 'overcome' his love for his brother. But that, wonderfully, proved to be the stronger force. It's not cheesy to root for love, always? If so, then cover me in cheese. I'd be a smelling, but loving gal...

Thank you for your dear comment. Have I mentioned lately that it's absolutely great that you found us? Love chatting with you, be it serious stuff or plain nonsense. We speak that fluently.
Love, Jas
# Ardeospina 2010-06-03 12:10
Jas, so sorry this is so late, but I'm so behind with reading all the articles on the site!

What an amazing and heartfelt examination of Sam's redemption. I, for one, was extremely relieved that he was able to have his redemption, even though it came at a horrible price for him and for Dean. As usual, you've gotten to the emotional heart of the matter in a most eloquent way. I really enjoyed reading this, so thanks for writing it.

Love, Flamey.
# Jasminka 2010-06-03 14:35
Thank you much, Flamey, for reading this and your sweet words. I couldn't be more relieved, too, that Sam found redemption after all... Don't apologize for being behind with reading the articles on this site. We all have a life apart from this site and sometimes there might be troubles working it all out...
Love ever, Jas
# Martha 2010-06-04 16:41
I do love Dean but I've been a devoted Sam girl since the show began and I'd just like to thank you for such a wonderful article about Sam. I was so proud of him in Swan Song making that final sacrifice and so relieved that he finally got the redemption he so desperately wanted for himself even if I was a sniffling mess of tears whilst watching these things happen.
# Jasminka 2010-06-10 13:27
Martha and Sajah, ladies, thank you!

Martha, don't worry, you were not the only one in tears when following Sam's journey... I'm happy to have been able to touch you with this article enough that you decided to comment on it. Thank you so much.

Sajah, I agree, I guess the notion of being in control eased in many ways the fear he had of his own fate... but he overpowered that in a beautiful manner. Sometimes the greatest sacrifice can also be the greatest gift and rescue, don't you think?

Cheers Jas
# elle2 2010-06-11 21:43

I've been meaning to read this one for so long...well, I finally did it!

This was beautiful...and I completely agree with your analysis that at the end it is Sam looking with favor upon Dean inside Lisa's house, trying to make a new start, trying to go on without him.

Sam really (and somewhat finally) was able to come into his own here and I enjoy the ride these five years have been for him, rebellion and revenge to seeking his now-dead father's approval to save Dean to seek revenge and then use what was thrust upon him without his consent and make something good out of it to realizing with horror how he allowed himself to be manipulated to finally taking control. He, Sam, decided to let Lucifer in and while initially he was not able to gain the upper hand it is obvious he never stopped swinging, as Bobby instructed, and in the end, love and the bond that is/was the strongest in his life gave him to strength to overcome.

It is a magnificent journey (even if it at times it was said and can be said that it wasn't always evenly written) and I cannot wait (even though I have to) to see where the next step of that journey takes Sam and us.

Thank you for putting into words such a complex thought process and sharing.
# Sonya 2010-06-25 19:25
This is really beautiful and expresses everything that I feel. I never looked at Sam with unforgiving eyes either and never wanted him to feel so unworthy. I, too, hope that he can now have the peace he deserves.
# Jasminka 2010-06-26 13:49
Elle2 and Sonya, you commented! Thank you!

Elle2, I am a tad late with responding to your comment, so sorry about that -but I need to thank you for it. I do believe that love is able to provide us with strength to do what we need to do. I won't ever stop believing it, simply because I have to.

Sonya, I am honoured that I was able to put into words what you feel about Sam. Let's hope together, then, that Sam will find some kind of peace - though we know how unlikely that is in this show. They just love to torture the Winchesters...

Best wishes and take care, Jas