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The Campbells really took their time to come to the rescue, getting rid of Sam (by sending him over to get Dean) so they can kidnap the female Djinn - before the boys get back. One of my hypotheses here is that they need a Djinn to extract their toxin to produce the antiserum. Like milking a snake. Or there might be another agenda altogether. I think there is more. The venom thing would be too obvious for our show. It usually is a more complicated background.
A background we, as fans, will have to wait for. They love putting us on the rack, don't they?
The house is a mess. Eventually, Sam suggests Dean should come with him, however, Dean decides to stay.
Dean: “I did this to them (Lisa and Ben). I made them vulnerable the moment I knocked on their door. I can’t undo that. But what I can do, is go with the best option.’
Sam: “I hear ya. I guess I just -wish you were coming, that’s all.’
Sam: “Don’t be stupid.’
Dean: “No, I mean it. You know plenty of good hunters. I’m rusty. I did something seriously stupid going out there. I almost got us both killed.’
Sam: “that’s exactly why I want you.’
Dean: “What are you talking about?’
Sam: “You just went. You didn’t hesitate. Because you care. That’s who you are. Me? I wouldn’t even think to try.’
Dean: “Yes, you would.’
Sam: “No, Dean. I’m telling ya, it’s just better with you around. That’s all.’
Dean doesn't argue anymore. He knows that he won't bring Sam around. And he must be as confused as it gets. So, he has to let him go. Again. But Sam is indeed gone already. He declines Dean's generous offer of taking the Impala, because he has his car set up just as he likes her to be.
There is no hug, not even a handshake as they say their good-byes. The way Dean looks at his brother makes me think that he just wants to hold him close and never let go, as if he could undo it all- But Sam’s attitude would not allow that. He’s guarded. There is not room for closeness.
Dean lets Sam go. This time he needs to do that. Again, actually. He did so when he agreed with Sam’s plan to trap Lucifer.
Dean will cling to the one constant in his life that never faltered - being the protector of his family. With Sam refusing to be protected (and after stepping out of his brother’s shadow by the end of the last season) and capable of doing that on his own (and Dean knowing that he had to let his brother grow up), Lisa and Ben are his responsibility now. Would we ask Lisa, I guess she would not concur. But Dean considers them his family now. His responsibility since evil came to their house because he was there. Of that he is convinced.
And Dean is so familiar by now with being in desolation, that he might have forgotten how to be happy. Deep down, in the subcutaneous levels of his psyche, his misery is another factor that he can count on. He knows his pain - the kind that “makes us rather bear those ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of’ (to quote Shakespeare once again). Long ago, Dean lost hope of ever living a peaceful life. Or of finding peace of mind. I doubt that he will ever be capable of letting go of his ever present melancholy that he had accepted for a long time now.
Exit on Main Street reminded me a lot of What Is And What Should Never Be. Not only because of the Djinn storyline that is clearly connected to it, but because of the relationship of the brothers. In the second season’s episode’s parallel universe they are not close, not at all. Sam is ashamed ofhis brother, the beautiful loser (forgive me) who even forgets his mom’s birthday. The only thing that connects them there (as well as in reality) is the hunt. Without that, they have nothing and even the moments they hunt the Djinn together are short.
The Sam we meet in that episode is also emotionally restrained, at least in regard to Dean. He’s doing his own thing, just as in the sixth season’s opener. He’s holding on to what he thinks is right, his independence. I believe, even in the Campbell clan he keeps to himself. It’s the protection he needs. Beneath that detached facade Sam still loves his brother. Why else would he ask him to come with him? He doesn’t pop the question with the passion we’ve seen him show in the past. It actually is an awkward moment. And the most of expressing his feelings as we can expect from Sam at this point. We saw some of this back in Mystery Spot. A Sam who had a perfectly set up trunk for his weaponry. A man who kept away from his loved ones, like Bobby.
This time Sam had gone to Bobby after he came back, though. It might be that Bobby saw more of Sam’s confusion than he lets on, and perhaps he even helped him find the cousins and Grandpa. Or they found them.
“It wasn’t greeting card perfect, but we were in it together.”
This episode leaves me with many questions. Some I already mentioned above. I also wonder if we’re going to find out what effect all that demon blood Sam had to swallow had on him in hell. Are other hunters still gunning for him - and that’s another reason why he kept away from Dean? Did Castiel, who doesn’t answer his prayers, have his hands in the whole scenario? And how much do the Campbells know?
If Grandpa made it out, what about Papa Winchester? Personally, I think Jeffrey Dean Morgan simply wasn’t available or too expensive to be hired for this show- even if they wanted to bring John back. I would have loved his reaction to his sons, though. To see them so changed, so in pain and so strong- I guess it would be a healing experience for all of them.
Most of all: what happened to you, Sammy? What did you experience down there? My couch is always open- ah, well, dream on, crazy shrink.
I can imagine that Sam didn’t want to destroy the normal life Dean was slowly settling into by showing up. There will be a lot of ranting within the fandom, I’m sure, about that and how Dean can decide to stay with Lisa in the end and choose her over Sam. To my opinion, we should not judge before we know more of the picture.
I need to praise the performances here. Jensen Ackles again displays so much acting skills I need to get a grip. And Jared Padalecki doesn’t seem afraid of allowing Sam to appear unappealing or even appalling. He walked that fine line before, but here in this season I think we’re going to see more of that. I’m very curious. Plus, on a personal shallow note, both actors are older and it suits them wonderfully. There is a knowledge and maturity in their faces and eyes that will enrich their performances and add the kind of nobility we don’t often find in Hollywood, yet alone on a TV screen.
This was a promising first episode to an already intriguing sixth season. The theme of family is still there, but with a twist we can’t fathom as of yet. For me, it will fuel my brain and continue to inspire me. I love this show. Did I mention that?
(I found the screencaps at home of the nutty.)