Okay, ladies and gentlemen, after a fantastic chat with fellow WFB author Bookdal, we have come up with an extra-special Theory about the entirety of Season 8. We think we've found a way to explain all manner of inconsistencies and strangeness that's been happening this season. Not only that, but our theory even redeems Sam's early-season behavior! Not possible, you say? Read on and see what you think after you've heard what we have to say.
The Alternate Universe Theory
At the end of Season 7, killing Dick Roman created a sonic blast of sorts that was strong enough to send Dean and Castiel into Purgatory. We saw Sam looking despondent, and then we saw Purgatory itself, Dean gets left alone, end of season 7. Move to season 8, and Dean gets out of Purgatory. Awesome! Now here's where our theory kicks in: Dean didn't come out of Purgatory into the correct world. The entire world of Season 8 is not "Dean's world." He's in an alternate world (S8 world from now on) that is extremely similar to his but is off in minor and telling ways. And how would he know that he wasn't in the correct world? He wouldn't. Things are so close that for him, it seems like he IS in the right place. And Dean had just spent a year in Purgatory. He was changed. Any discomfort he felt was probably written off as PTSD from his time there. First clue that this isn't the right world? Sam didn't look for Dean. Because this Sam isn't OUR Sam. This Sam and HIS Dean made a pact that they wouldn't look for each other. They made that promise and actually kept it. So S8!Sam didn't do anything wrong. S8!Sam acted exactly how he was supposed to.
The only other people who are from OUR "Supernatural" world and not this Season 8 world are Castiel and Benny. Naomi is from S8 world. She pulled Castiel out of Purgatory and into S8 world. Benny came along with Dean. Everyone else that we have seen this entire season has been from S8 world, which explains why so many characters seem slightly off or have slightly different powers. Let's talk about a few of the things this theory explains, shall we? I won't list every single thing that fits under here, but there are some interesting things to ponder.
1. Sam's behavior and some of his memories. S8!Sam wouldn't have looked for Dean, and that would have been perfectly normal to S8!Dean. This Sam doesn't regret not looking for Dean because he WOULDN'T regret that, and S8!Dean wouldn't expect him to regret it. That's why S8!Sam was so taken aback when Dean was angry at him. Also, S8!Sam has been to the Grand Canyon.
2. Crowley. He's got all manner of powers and interesting things in S8 world that he never did before. Red smoke? An intense and powerful hatred of the Winchesters? He didn't hate them this badly before. He was more of a businessman, playing both sides depending on who benefitted him more. This season, he's a straight-up ruthless villain. In our world, he explains the rules of a demon deal to those who make them. In S8 world, he doesn't.
3. Bobby isn't in Hell in our world. He is in S8 world. And speaking of Hell, it's normal Hell again in S8 world. In our world, it's people standing in line endlessly.
4. Benny is OUR Benny, so of course he felt completely out of place in S8 World. He didn't have a Sam to anchor him like Dean did, even if it's not quite the right Sam. So S8!Andrea didn't want to leave her cushy life and go with Benny. Our world Andrea would have.
5. The Men of Letters exists in S8 world, but not in our world. Henry Winchester didn't raise John in S8 world because he died. He raised John in our world. In S8 world, the Winchesters are scholars instead of hunters.
6. The backwards exorcism, the bullets with a devil's trap on them, an angel blade that can kill anything, etc. All manner of new tricks that we thought were neat are from S8 world. Though, you can bet Dean is going to bring some of them back to our world if/when he gets back.
7. Naomi and the CIAngels don't exist in our world, but they do in S8 world. It explains why she thinks Castiel was born defective, too. S8 world Castiel might have been destined to always question. Our Castiel made his own choice.
8. You know what else doesn't exist in our world? The tablets. And we're betting that if you close the gates of heaven or hell in one world, they would be open in another. Close the gates in S8 world and they'd be open in our world.
9. Our Meg is alive. Our Sarah is alive. (Until Show dispatches them again, but shh.)
Basically, you've got a season-long "The French Mistake" or the AU part of "My Heart Will Go On." But the worlds are very, very close. Close enough that Dean isn't questioning it, Castiel isn't questioning it. In fact, we're thinking that there's only one person in S8 world who IS questioning what's going on. And that person is Sam, OUR Sam. Who, you may recall, we saw in the first episode of the season standing outside of a house watching S8!Sam drive away.
That's right, we think the person outside of Sam's house was...Sam! Our Sam has been looking for Dean and Cass. He found them, but when he did, he didn't know how to get them back to our world again. And that's what he's been working on all season long. Our Sam is going to find a way to get Dean and Castiel out of this S8 world and back where they belong.
What do you think about our newest theory? It explains a lot that happened this season, doesn't it? We're really excited about it! And I could have gone on and on with examples, so please feel free to add your own in the comments.