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This Sam Winchester mind bender wasn't even close to the deep examination from "When The Levee Breaks." It instead was the catalyst to expand on that rage problem that had slowly been growing out of control. The crazy spell kicked up the intensity about 800 notches and Sam finally saw what that rage was doing to him. Of course once he realized he needed help, he went to Dean who shut him down. Ouch, ouch, ouch. He'd either have to figure that out on his own or Lucifer would have his fire. The boy can't win.
The Song Remains The Same
This is one of my all time favorite Sam episodes. For one, he FINALLY gets to do the time travel thing. He saw his parents for essentially the first time. For someone who grew up without a mother and alienated from his father, this glimpse affected him in a way that Dean could never understand. He was emotional, sentimental, in complete awe, and rather endearing. He got his chance to make peace with John even if it was John before he was even born. That was exactly what he needed. He was even willing to devise a plan where John and Mary could save themselves by splitting apart thus assuring he and Dean would never be born. He was okay with that. Ending the family curse was what mattered most.
There was a reason for the time travel though and again Sam was the target. When he heard of the plan for Anna to kill him, he actually considered the merit of it. He would have let her if it would have prevented Lucifer from using him as a vessel. This episode proved how much Castiel cared about Sam because Cas wouldn't allow that option to be considered. Of course Anna does kill him while he was protecting Mary, but this cosmically screwed Winchester got a redo from the almighty archangel Michael. He realized after all this why he or Dean might say yes, to protect family. I'm sure this experience factored in his decision at the end of the season.
My Bloody Valentine
Holy moley, the ultimate Sam Winchester meltdown. Maybe this was why we didn't want to see him raging. Sam was affected from the word go and fought the spell hard just because he didn't want to let Dean down. He feared Dean's disappointment the most and was reluctant to let Dean know something was wrong. When he finally confessed to Dean that he wasn't alright, he begged him to lock him down. He couldn't give into the spell because he knew how dangerous he was. Dean couldn't see him that way. Sadly, Famine got the upper hand and delivered two demons right to an out of his mind Sam.
Remember, the gist behind Famine's spell was he took someone's hunger for something and made them rabid for it. While Sam was craving the demon blood in a huge way and unable to resist the maddening urge within, the blood was not his true craving. It was the power that came with the blood. When Sam unleashed all that fury, exorcising five demons at once rather than drink their blood and then taking out Famine, he actually enjoyed it. He had more power than ever, an immense and very dark power fueled by instability and rage. It felt good. Unfortunately, that was exactly what Lucifer wanted.
Sam may have saved the day but it came with a great personal cost. Dean saw it all. Dean did exactly what Sam feared but maybe worse. This time he didn't just look at Sam like he was a freak. He was purely shaken to the core by seeing him use his full power. Remember Dean never saw Sam kill Alastair or Lilith. It's one thing to know how powerful Sam was but to see it first hand for the first time? Terrifying. Sam was able to move on past this, even having to go through another painful detox to get there, but Dean wasn't.
Dark Side of The Moon
Poor Sam, once again he's a victim of circumstances beyond his control. First he's coldly blown away and then is stunned to find he's in Heaven. He couldn't comprehend why he was there. He told Dean, "You I get, sure, but me? Maybe you haven't noticed but I've done a few things?" Dean defended that logic, making light that Sam thought he was doing the right things. "Last I checked it wasn't the road to Heaven paved with good intentions." Oh Sam, you really think that lowly of yourself? Yeah, he did.
Dean's spiral had already started, the memories of the encounter with Famine too fresh. Sam couldn't control his happy memories and Dean saw they were from the times he ran away from his family. On top of that, Sam was stunned to see Dean's early memories of having a loving relationship with Mary and holding the family together at such a young age. He had no idea. He tried to rationally defend himself to Dean. "Man, I never got the crusts cut off my PB & J. I just don't look at family the way you do." It's an understandable argument, but Dean's declining state of mind couldn't see past the hurt.
All poor Sam could do at this point was stick by his brother, no matter how bad Dean felt about him. He also wasn't about to back down from God's rejection. He was determined to find another way, even when Castiel and Dean had given up hope. Sam was finding he might have to take the lead on this fight.
"I got one thing, one thing keeping me going. You think you're the only one white knuckling it here Dean? I can't count on anyone else. I can't do this alone."
The difference between Sam and Dean here was Sam held onto hope that he and Dean together could save the worldwhile Dean had lost all hope because it was only he and Sam. So why the difference? For one, Sam had already learned the hard way what happens when he went off on his own. Sam's single minded focus at this point was to clean up the mess he started. As we have learned, once Sam gets focused on something, he won't stop until he reaches that goal. He needed his brother though to keep him in check, to make sure he didn't stray or go too far. He was still having issues trusting himself.
Sam's priority though had to shift to keep Dean's head in the game. He didn't fully grasp what was troubling his big brother. He gotDean was tired and feeling a little hopeless but he didn't realize how bad it was. Not until Dean was able to kill the Whore of Babylon which only could be done by a true servant of God. He wisely took that as a sign that Dean was going to say yes to Michael. All priorities shifted when Dean took off. Getting his brother back in the game became Sam's main purpose.
Point of No Return
A Sam fan's dream episode. Our boy grows up big time! If one episode could be picked as THE Sam Winchester character definer, this is it.
Sam was able to find Dean before it was too late, for little brother too knew big brother's patterns and guessed right that he would go see Lisa. When Samfound Dean in the motel room, he was so hurt and betrayed. He didn't give up though and made it clear he was there to stop him. Dean was in a bad placeand eluded to "When The Levee Breaks" when Sam bested him while hopped up on demon blood. Sam had already thought of that and came prepared. Enter one pissed off fallen angel who now was following Sam's lead instead of Dean's.
Oh yes, this episode was all about role reversal. Sam proved he too could take charge and be level headed in a deep crisis. Adam was resurrected and Sam had to control both defiant brothers who were ready to say yes to Michael. Adam gaveSam plenty of crap but Dean knew how to really hurt hard. He told Sam bluntly he had no faith in him. Lucifer would find a way to turn him and "when" they turned him Dean had to be the one to stop him. Yep, that brought Sam to tears.
A shaken Sam absorbed that blow and still held things together with Dean out of action. Then both Dean and Adam fled. Luckily Castiel found Dean in time but now Sam alone had decide the next move. Enter his coming of age. Sam went against Castiel's and Bobby's wishes and puts his full faith in Dean. He decided to take Dean with him and Castiel to rescue Adam. He made that choice despite Dean's promises that he'd say yes. He believed Dean would do the right thing when the time happened. Dean even coldly told Sam if the tables were turned he'd let him rot in the panic room. Heck, he did once. Sure that comment stung but Sam didn't let that change his mind. "Well, I guess I'm not that smart." Dean had to know why he was doing this. "Because, you're still my big brother."
This was the ultimate test of faith. Sam had already learned, sometimes under tragic circumstances, that no matter what Dean was the one that he could always count on. All those times he ran away before, he was wrong and Dean stayed by him. So when everything, like the fate of the world, rode on Sam's decision he chose Dean. He didn't do it out of desperation. He did it out of faith.
Naturally, the sneak attack went wrong and Sam was wounded. He helplessly on the ground watched Dean say yes, the ultimate punch in the gut. His shattered look said it all, everything he believed in was lost. Oh, but that look of crushing disappointment was what finally got through. Big brother couldn't let little brother down. That was the ultimate family test and reinforced the core theme of this show. Family above all.
Sam's smile at the end when Dean told him why he changed his mind and they'll fight their way said it all. Dean was back and Sam couldn't be more relieved. Together he could finally get that redemption. What a beautiful moment.