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"Supernatural" has always been a show that leaves you guessing.  We diehard fans love spending hours taking what we’ve learned from each episode and playing connect the dots.  â€œCaged Heat” though did something very unique with our little game.  It’s gone and turned the picture we thought was coming together into something completely unrecognizable.  Now that can be good or bad.  You’re likely to get a different response depending on the fan you ask, for the confusion is now quite polarizing. 
“Caged Heat” is a really good episode technically.  Sam, Dean and Castiel working together, Meg coming along and being awesome, Christian finally getting that Dean Winchester filleting we’ve been rooting for since the season opener, some funny moments and great dialogue, and the boys winning one for once by getting rid of the big bad.  Of course there’s a price and again it’s the debate over Sam’s soul.  That’s been season six though.  All the episodes have been good technically, but there’s a little something missing there right in the center.  The soul.  Entertained or not most fans cannot deny that this is not the same show, much like this is not the same Sam and Dean Winchester and same brotherly relationship.    
Let first focus on what made “Caged Heat” so strong.  For one, Castiel is back into the mix.  He was great from beginning to end. Poor guy.  He doesn’t want to fight civil wars alone.  He misses his friends.  You know, the good old days when there was a looming apocalypse.  His little stunt with Meg, kissing her like “the pizza man” still reminds us how humanity fascinates him.  He needs companionship.  I think what Balthazar told him in “The Third Man” is really sticking with him.  When it comes to being an enforcer though, he's very effective. 
The plot as well is quite intriguing.  Sam, Dean and Castiel working with Meg to take down a common enemy, once Sam addresses his little nasty issue of missing a soul first.  We get to see the dank and dirty prison where monsters are being tortured and killed by Crowley.  The horrible lengths he’s going to find Purgatory.  Crowley’s intentions are still unclear but his evil methods certainly aren’t.  We even get the mildly amusing opening scene where he gets to torture and behead himself, aka the alpha shapeshifter.  That had to be a fun one for Mark Sheppard, who we will really miss on this show.  
The return of Meg is good too, but also a bit of a head-scratcher.  She is her normal smart mouthed self certainly didn’t hold back for Dean or Castiel’s sake, but her interaction with Sam was puzzling the entire episode.  I highly suspect those two had an arrangement before she supposedly “ambushed” the Winchesters.  After all, these guys are hard to find by demons thanks to their rib carvings so how else would she find them?  In the past seasons Sam has always been the one that’s gotten the brunt of Meg’s ire.  For her to keep her distance most of the episode and take orders from him certainly had me wondering what was up between those two.  I’m especially suspicious after Sam killed Meg’s minion and she didn’t protest or fight.  It certainly was a great indication that she was following his lead for some hidden reason. 
The strength of “Caged Heat” is the balance between the dramatic moments, the action, and funny bits, something missing a lot this season.  Castiel trying to decipher porn in a “room full of dudes” is hilarious, unlike the awkward time in the whorehouse in “Free To Be You and Me.”  Equally hilarious is Sam and Dean’s expressions of complete astonishment when Castiel returns Meg’s kiss, even though she did it just to grab his angel killing sword.  There were the “hell yeah!” moments from Dean, like when he threatened to kill Samuel with his cold stare of death and finally got to end Christian by yanking the demon killing ginsu out of his hand and skewering him with it.  Also, when you give Sam Winchester a blunt object, he’s completely badass. 
The lines are really great in this one too.  Dean got in several, like when being confronted by a pair of hungry ghouls.  â€œAlright, alright, Shawshank’s a great flick, but let’s skip the shower scene, huh?”  Meg had several good ones, especially when flirting with Castiel.  Aside from calling him by the nickname she used in their last meeting in “Abandon All Hope,” Clarence, she always had a dirty response for his stoic words.  â€œKeep talking dirty, makes my meat suit all dewy.”  The bluntness of Sam with Dean continues too, a side of his new personality I enjoy.  â€œOkay, you’re right, let’s go with Plan B.  Oh yeah, we don’t have one.  Until we do sorry dude, stock up on soap on a rope.”  
Then, talk about throwing a monkey wrench into the season, they killed off Crowley!  The supposed big bad of the season was nothing more than the weaker pathetic being that was portrayed in “Weekend at Bobby’s.”  While his fiery death is a surprise, it seems quite easy too.  How did Castiel find his bones so easily?  I suspect he was setup, but by who?  Is there really another big bad out there calling the shots?  If so, who is it?  We’ve actually been entertaining that thought on this site since the episode aired, including the possibility that Sam is the true one to reckon with.  One clue that could be the case is Sam asking Castiel take care of the monster prison at the end.  Did he in a sense tell Castiel to kill everyone there?  Why would the place be wiped away like that?  Is it Sam’s attempt to cover tracks or just get rid of the monsters?  More mysteries to solve and the more we get each week the more they become maddening.  
This episode did try a bit too hard at continuity, for all the demon hunting elements were there, as if the writer was following a manual.  The return of the knife, Devil’s Traps, the demon torture table, Sam and Dean taking the TK toss, and so on.  Also, Sam’s characterization again compared to other weeks was very uneven. In this episode, he was actually showing signs of emotion, rage, and taking things personally.  I’ll touch more on this on my season six thoughts later in this article, but again Sam’s actions ended up being more distracting than compelling.  Except when he performed self-mutilation to draw a Devil’s Trap with his own blood.  The wicked smile with his bloody teeth gave me chills!  

Then there’s Samuel.  I’m not sure what to think there.  I understand his grief over Mary but to sacrifice his grandsons?  There’s something more there.  If there isn’t, he’s being written poorly.  What Grandfather would turn on blood like that?  If he knew that Dean made a deal for Sam, didn’t he know that Mary sacrificed her soul for these boys?  Wouldn’t he know she’d do anything for them?  His actions defied logic.  If blindly resurrecting Mary above all else are really Samuel’s true intentions, that is a complete waste in resurrecting a character.
Ultimately though, the big struggle of the episode is whether or not Sam should get his soul back.  It’s always been my belief that Sam doesn’t really want it back and has been going through the motions to please (or manipulate) Dean.  Even Dean believed this in the very beginning of this episode.  Castiel, being forced to actually spend time with the Winchesters, finally lays it out for Dean.  Sam’s soul maybe so irreparably damaged that restoring it will reduce Sam to vegetable status.  Crowley reinforces this.  Even Meg agrees.  When Sam believes they’re right, now Dean ends up taking the same road to denial that Samuel seems to be on regarding Mary.  They’ll find a way.  They have too.  The Sam that’s there now is a “replicant.”  I get that Dean misses his brother but to risk what is for what was seems like Dean has gone back to seeing Sam as an inhuman freak.  It seems like a major step backward, especially after all that was accomplished with character growth in “Swan Song.”  For once, I was with Sam in walking away at the end.  Sam has to fight for his right to be.  If Dean can’t come on board, Sam should go it alone.  
I’m not sure if I should be giving grades anymore on these episodes.  If everything that’s been presented all turns out to be inconsistent writing, then it’s an instant drop for everything (except “Weekend at Bobby’s” which is still holding strong).  Analyzing just the technical construction, I’m giving “Caged Heat” an A-.  If all these little character and plot nuances end up being red herrings or going nowhere though, this episode gets busted to a C.  
Season Six Where Art Thou?
If “Caged Heat” did anything, it got me more puzzled about the direction season six in general is taking.  The way I see it, two things are happening this season.  Either the scattered plotting and uneven characterization is because it all adds up to something we don’t expect or it’s due to inferior writing.  After watching “Caged Heat” I’m entertaining a large amount of conspiracy theories.  I have to, because the alternative explanation of sloppy writing would definitely take whatever wind exists out of the sails of season six.  
I get it, we’re dealing with flawed characters with fishy motivations.  That’s a known aspect of noir, a cinematic theme supposedly inspiring season six (at least that’s what they told us at Comic Con).  Another aspect is “red herrings,” aka things introduced in the plot that are meant to distract but go nowhere.   A lot of this erratic character behavior could end up being red herrings or a lot of it could be important.  Ten episodes in this season and we really can’t be sure yet.  Here’s what I have on my scorecard of where we stand now at this point in season six.  Prepare for your brain to hurt:
Sam and Dean are at odds again, Ten episodes in and there’s no hint of the brothers being close to the same page or ready to work together.  That’s not exactly what I  expected.  I’m not going to criticize or say this must be corrected but I’d like some better clues that it’s all for a reason.  Is it?  Does this brotherly rift go anywhere?   Dean once again sees his brother as some sort of freak. One that’s incapable of making his own decisions or doing the right thing.  Then again, this isn’t Sam.  Not the real Sam anyway.  So does Dean have to let go and accept or try to get the real Sam back?  His struggle and frustration ends up really being our struggle and frustration.  It’s not fun.  We as fans now have to wonder, what will happen if the old Sam never comes back?  Will his soul heal or corrupt if it returns?  The situation seems no win for these brothers right now and that’s pretty depressing.  
Sam is scheming.  He’s definitely up to something.  The whole plan he concocted supposedly on the fly with Meg was too well though out.  He had to have figured it out ahead of time and was waiting for the right opportunity.  Dean has no right to trust him but man, Dean is so busy going through the motions and missing the old Sam he’s not seeing some clues.  Sam’s behavior in “Clap Your Hands If You Believe” was all an act.  Sam has actually been manipulating Dean all season.  The vampire fiasco was pretty obvious.  Is it just Dean’s warped sense of loyalty keeping him around?  Is Sam using the soul thing so he can keep a close eye on Dean?  Is none of this really happening and Sam's behavior is just all over the map?
Why didn’t Sam contact Dean for a year?  If he doesn’t care about Dean or Lisa as he claims, why would he care if Dean was happy and had a family?  I’m beginning to think anything Sam says is a smoke and mirrors for hiding his real plan, including having feelings.  Either that or the writers are completely butchering his character.  No matter what, often times this Sam isn’t fun to watch either.  Why was Sam even brought back?  I have sincere doubts that Crowley did it alone for he had no good reason for Sam to be around.  He was likely following orders.  At least that’s the explanation that makes sense to me. 

Okay, I got to know.  What happened to Sam's powers?  He had them for five seasons and suddenly not a mention?  I have this feeling he has them but is holding back.  Either that or they were just dropped entirely because the writers didn't want to deal with them.  I was quite disappointed that this episode hinted he might use them when he bit into himself and it didn't happen.  Is that just me?     
Samuel, where did he come from?  Crowley said in "Caged Heat" that Samuel was the best purchase he made since Dick Cheney.  From who?  Balthazar maybe?  Is that who pulled Samuel from Heaven?  Now Samuel goes from confident family leader to pawn in Crowley’s master plan quivering mess over his dead daughter?  He’s so obsessed and focused on Mary he can’t look beyond at her legacy?  What will he do now that he’s not getting her back since Crowley is dead?  What happens now that he's left to live without someone owning him?  Does he hold this against Sam and Dean, and will Dean make good on his promise to kill him?  Does anyone care?  I honestly hope there’s some future development there because Samuel is not resonating with anyone right now.  
Crowley is not the big bad after all.  Is there one? Is Hell now in civil war much like Heaven and eventually a new power emerges?  Or has there always been a higher power than Crowley?  Who is the other power?  Meg is a minion.  Raphael seems too busy in heaven.  It’s sad, but given the week in and week out erratic behavior from Sam, if it’s not bad writing it’s a front for something else.  Is Sam the new rising leader or is the enforcer for one?  Maybe he’s finally become that General for the demon army?  Were the events in “Caged Heat” a ploy for him and Meg to not get his soul back, but to take out Crowley and his stupid plan to conquer Purgatory?  Maybe the monster prison needed to be destroyed so that tracks could be covered?  Is it possible Sam is going to use monsters as part of a new plan?  Is he using Dean to find monsters?  Or is the real mastermind Samuel?  Of course it could be nobody and it’s just mass chaos everywhere.  But then I’d have to blast the show for horrible writing if that ended up being true.   
One thing I’ve always loved about “Supernatural” is that they’ve never allowed the plot to get so complicated that they write themselves into an inescapable corner of conflicting continuity and presentation, a la “The X-Files.”  Sure, some loose threads got by, but for the most part, the plot and characters were kept in control.  That doesn’t seem to be the case in season six, at least so far.  So is this the side effect of this noir approach?  Is this really working for the show?  
I’ll be honest, I like season six.  I don’t love it.  Not like I loved the other seasons.  I don’t find the situation hopeless and I still have faith that it’s all going somewhere, but sometimes I think I’m watching “Unsolved Mysteries” rather than the clever and emotionally compelling horror show I fell in love with.  My Friday nights aren’t ending with the same excitement and buzz as my Thursdays the years before.  That’s okay though, for shows evolve, people evolve, things change.  I’m here to watch and be entertained, no matter what the level.  â€œSmallville” is certainly not ending the way it started and I can’t expect the same for this show.  Until then though, I’m just hoping to walk away from an episode with some things making sense.  That to me is turning out to be best case scenario.  I’m not there yet. 


# Robijean 2010-12-06 16:34
I think what Castiel, Crowley, and Meg said makes Dean want to bring Sam's soul back more than ever. They're telling him that Sam's soul is suffering eternal torment in the cage with Michael and Lucifer.

In Exile on Main Street, one of the things Dean stressed was how hard it was for him in the last year imagining what his brother was going through and suffering in the pit.

He may have part of his brother back but not all of him. And the part remaining is still suffering - he has to try and free his soul from the cage or he wouldn't be Dean.
# Bevie 2010-12-06 16:37
I'm confused like you Alice. So much to ponder.

Have to say I am hating the Dean vs Sam crap I've seen popping up here on this site again. I'm a Dean girl who can't do without Sam. Dean needs Sam. It wouldn't be Dean if he wouldn't move heaven and earth or hell to retrieve Sam's soul, whether Sam wants it back or to perhaps send it to heaven. Dean thinks the soul is in hell (I have doubts) and he certainly knows about that, and to leave his brother's soul there to suffer like he did would be impossible for him to contemplate.

As for Dean not having a purpose? He and Sam are the centre and heart of this show. Not one over the other.

Who knows for sure where the soul is? Who knows who is lying? Crowley was lying about most everything. Who else may be? Cas?

Perhaps Cas's friend Balthazar (is that how you spell it?) has it. Perhaps it is in purgatory right now. We really don't know.

And if Sam kills Bobby next week, it will be the second time he did that. He killed Bobby in Mystery Spot. Granted, it wasn't Bobby, but the trickster, but Sam didn't know that for sure.

And as for Cas and porn watching, Gabriel was into that as well and he is an archangel! :-?

ps: I hope to hell that Sam is not Sam at all and we haven't seen the real one yet this season. :sad:
# Zakko 2010-12-06 16:38
I agree with you. Depending on how this resolves, my perception of Season 6 will change. If they start retconning, which would be grossly out of character for this show, I'll knock the whole season down to "Arc of Suck."

I have a sneaking suspicion that next week's episode will create one helluva cliffhanger, but also leave our boys in a horrendous place. Dean is Death for a day, while at the same time, his brother is trying to shield himself from his soul by a spell requiring Bobby's blood. Gee, I wonder what will happen?

Does Dean refuse to "reap" Bobby? Does he choose to reap Sam instead? None of this adds up to a good time. I hope I'm wrong on this.

The writer's have done a brilliant job of pulling the rug out from under us, repeatedly. Unfortunately, a disturbing number of fans, increasingly, myself included, are finding this journey not worth pursuing.

Time will tell.
# Bevie 2010-12-06 16:40
Hi Robijean

We said the same thing almost at the same time! Great minds that think alike, eh? ;-) ;-) ;-)
# percysowner 2010-12-06 17:05
Just for the record, I'm pretty sure the sigils only hid the boys from Angels, demons weren't mentioned. Since demons and Angels are so different and since the sigils are in Enochian, which is the Angelic language, I'm pretty sure they don't obscure the boys from demons. Alistair used Enochian sigils to keep the Angels out when he was trying to kill the Reapers. Castiel was protecting the boys from being found by his brothers and Lucifer, not your average ordinary demon.
# coxfire 2010-12-06 17:16
I get that the current Sam does not want his soul back, but I would NEVER get that Dean, knowing the torture his brother's soul is enduring, would give up on it.

What's best: give Sam his soul back and have him go nuts because of what happened down there, or let him suffer? I think Dean just can't accept the "let him suffer" part, and that's the only Dean trait I actually recognize in season's 6 Dean.
# AndreaW 2010-12-06 17:20
It's interesting how people's impressions can be different. I haven't been so excited about a season since season 2. I don't like Season 4 as much as everybody else and I started liking Season 5 in its 2nd half. But this one, wow! Everything is new, unusual, intriguing and surprising. I'm always dying for the next Friday and what is gonna happen next. It doesn't mean that it pleases me to see the boys apart. I just know that it won't last and I'm absolutely sure that the payoff will be beautiful and memorable. In the meantime, I'm in awe of Jared's talent. Much as I miss sweet, puppy dog eyed Sammy, I'm loving souless, badass Sam. ;-)
# Jasminka 2010-12-06 17:26
I am at odds with this season in many ways and I haven’t a clear concept of it as of yet, just as you don’t. I don’t know yet whether I like this or not. It’s a lot of confusion more or less.

I also noticed that I can hardly go back to the older episodes. When I watch an older one, knowing what will happen later, it isn’t the same anymore. And I miss what I felt watching the older episodes and falling in love with the characters.
What’s happening now is quite confusing, indeed.
I can’t really tell if it’s bad writing – yet I agree that Sam’s depiction is inconsistent. He does have emotions. He does. There isn’t just Robocop Sam. And I find it hard to accept these inconsistencies , but I still carry a lot of hope for the storyline – albeit I have no idea whatsoever where we are heading. It’s almost mid-season, and we don’t have a golden thread yet.

There were some great lines here, some great scenes. A good episode altogether. I liked it. But some elements were missing. A lot of your scorecard is in my brain, too. I try to not speculate, but well, can we ever be free of that?

I hope, just as you do, that this is going somewhere. But it’s a completely different show. I remember clearly how I got up very early on Fridays, about 5am, to watch the episode before heading to work, and I wouldn’t see myself doing that now. I get up on Saturdays, do what has to be done and then watch the show. That alone is striking me as strange, but I see that something has changed and that is a symptom of it.
I do hope, I do, I do (well, sounds like a Mantra, eh?)… that the writers will come along with a few more answers….

Thank you Alice. Love, Jas
# Suze 2010-12-06 17:59
I'm quite getting into the current swirling vortex of confusion and rather enjoying Badass Sam now he's rediscovered his inner sarky bastard, but I don't hold out much hope for all to be made clear any time soon.

My kids and their mates play a game where you tell a story by taking it in turns to shout out a sentence ( the dafter the better ) I reckon Sera and Co are using the same concept, only refined by the addition of several gallons of Tequila and a couple of fistfuls of something illegal. To quote Kung-Fu Panda ( as one should as often as possible ) The secret ingredient is that there is no secret ingredient! ( That actually sounds a lot more profound when the Noodle-Bar Duck says it, but you get the idea ... )
# joelsteinlover 2010-12-06 19:35
This is how I see the Samuel situation. I would believe that Samuel would sacrifice Sam and Dean for the promise of Mary. To him, he had Mary, he died, was up in Heaven for a touch (if he even remembers), and then came back down to a world where his daughter, his wife, and everyone he knows are dead. The demon who pulled him down says if you work for me, I'll give you your daughter back. He had no time to adjust to Mary not being alive, so he's probably still drowning in grief. Like he said--he doesn't know how to live without her. To him, Sam and Dean are his grandsons, yes, but they're also two strangers who went back in time and ruined his life, and now they're saying that what he's been working for for a year is all for nothing. He's desperately trying to rationalize his behavior, because at this point he has spent a whole, twisted year working for a demon--if he let himself realize that it was for nothing? He trusted Sam and gave Dean a chance because they were blood, but when push comes to shove, he's going to hold on to the only thing he truly wants, and at this point he's so deep in it I can see him doing whatever he has to, whether it's morally right or not. At least, that's how I feel.

I'm hoping beyond hope that this season goes somewhere as well. I want all of this to be one brilliant move by the writers. I can't believe that no one would have caught onto the fact that it's so erratic--especi ally Jensen and Jared. They seem like the type of people who would go "Hey, Sera, are we doing this for a reason?" I feel like they've been let in on a secret about later in the season. If not, well, the post-reinstated -soul angst better be pretty damn brotherly to distract me from this. I love the show no matter what, though.
# nancyL 2010-12-06 19:39
I enjoyed this episode, but having said that, I agree that this season we get two answers but then we are left with ten more questions.

I think that the Mary that we were introduced to in 'In the beginning', would not be happy knowing that her sons were being sacrificed for her.

If Gramps was in Heaven, how could a demon get him returned to Earth without some intervention from a powerful angel, such as Raphael?

When Lucifer was in the cage for the first four seasons (and before that), he was in charge of Hell (can we agree on that), so if he has been returned to his cage, regardless of being there with Michael/Adam and Sam's soul, wouldn't he just retake control? Therefore, Crowley was never really king of Hell.

Season one gave us Sam and Dean getting to know each other again, after the three or four years that Sam was away.

Season two gave us Sam and Dean dealing with the loss of John, and being as close as they were when they were younger.

Season three saw Sam realizing that he was going to lose Dean unless the deal was broken. The closeness was there and may have been at it's strongest.

Season four is when their relationship went to Hell in a handbasket (pun intended). Sam was keeping big secrets and Dean was a wreck. There were some close moments but they were few and far between.

Season five started with them as far apart as they have ever been, but the season ended with them together on the same page, but we lost Sam in the process.

Season six we have a broken Dean and a Soulless Sam. They are so far apart from each other that they are practically strangers. I WANT SAM AND DEAN TO BE LIKE THEY WERE FOR THE FIRST THREE SEASONS :-x :-x Enough with the secrets, the lies and the scheming.

Sorry, Alice, I just needed to get that off my chest, it has been making me choke since September. :lol:

Here's hoping that next year, when the show returns, we are closer to getting Sammy back.
# elle2 2010-12-06 19:42

An excellent review from you, as always, and yes, my brain does hurt.

I never watched the show Lost so I can only speculate at this but I am aware that many people grew tired of the show for it kept spinning out threads and twisting and turning the story but never answering anything and that's what this season feels like. I know we only have 10 episodes under our eyelids but I like having some idea of what's going on, at the very least with the brothers.

Sadly, I have a few theories as to where this potentially goes and none of them make me a satisfied viewer.

First, I agree that a pretty strong theory is that Sam is the new big bad. I dislike that intensely for where oh where then is his reward for jumping into the pit to save the world. Sheesh, the guy needs a serious break.

Second, I fear that his soul is beyond repair and he'll either learn to have a new one or they will somehow fine one that doesn't belong to anyone ('cause who knows, lots of people aren't born yet, so perhaps there is a warehouse of souls waiting for a human) and thus Sam simply gets a new soul.

Either of those options is utterly heartbreaking for me because as Supernatural has written it, the soul IS the person. Sure, Sam has his same melon and all the memories but the feelings, the heart, the personality that IS Sam Winchester is in the soul. If it's gone, then Sera has basically killed off Sam and simply given us Sam 2.0. Frankly if that's the direction she wants to go in, then why have Jared at all, bring back Adam or for that matter, hire a new actor and call the character Sampson and be done with it.

Another theory I have gives me a little hope, I have nothing to base it on other than the whole idea of red herrings, perhaps Sam's soul and body was retrieved almost immediately from Lucifer's cage by God and Sam went to heaven. I know, I know, this isn't popular with some because they want Sam to suffer because after all these seasons we've been shortchanged on Sam's suffering; I agree that Sam's suffering has been very often muted, subtle and in this season's case nonexistent.

But hear (or read) me out here, my theory is that God rewarded Sam's supreme sacrifice by pulling him immediatley from the cage and taking him to heaven. Hey, he was hanging with Ash in the Roadhouse. However, someone (this season's big bad) reconsituted his body (a revenant if you will) and returned him to earth to do his bidding. Here's where Sam's suffering comes in (yes, it's a Buffy ripoff but hey, this show borrows all the time) Sam's soul does get returned, his real soul the real Sam comes back. Only this time his suffering is in the here and now and it's immediate. He was safe, there was no pain, no suffering (like 'Mary' told Dean back in WIAWSNB under the djinn spell). But now he's back on earth and there is suffering, there is pain, there is the realization that he was at peace. Yes, he missed Dean but now he's ripped from that peace (and oh, so well deserved it would have been) and now he's back on earth fighting the good fight but missing heaven exquisitely.

There are many holes in this theory (two right off the bat are that there is nothing to give this any credence in what we've seen thus far as well as, hmm, wouldn't Castiel have a clue that Sam's soul was in heaven? Then again, did the boys ever ask him about Mary and John after the events of Dark Side of the Moon?)

The one thing I do love about this season (besides Weekend at Bobby's) is that Jared and Jensen are absolutely shining in their efforts.

Season Six where art thou? Supernatural that I fell in love with in Mystery Spot (my first ever episode) that gave me two brothers who loved each other, fought for each other, protected each other, sacrificed for each other and yes, at times fought/disagree d with each other, where art thou? I miss it dearly and this is a pale, pale, pale comparison.

I trusted Sera Gamble to do right by the show and by the brothers, I am increasingly becoming convinced that I misplaced that trust.

Sadly like others, I watch it on the night is aired but then I turn of the TV, save the DVD and think, okay. So that's that episode and then I go to bed. I used to rewatch it right away, jump onto the site and comment as well as read others' comments and then watch it two to three other times over the weekend. Now, I catch it a second time or third if I need something for my review and then I move on and forget about it until Friday night the following week.

Sad. I've given myself until Episode 12, by then I'll decide to hang in and enjoy the ride (as I have up to now) or I'll do what I've long thought others should do when they reach the point of utter disappointment and outright criticism of the show, I'll say thanks for the memories, this stop is mine, I'll get off the ride now.
# Brittany 2010-12-06 20:39
This is my first time posting on this site, mostly I chose today because there's a big paper due for me tomorrow and what better way to procrastinate?

I agree with you that there are many ways the show could go as of 6.10; many details could either be great openings for some more plot twists or just untied ends, red herrings. The latter obviously would be disappointing, but I think that we'll live; the show has done that before (IE Jesse the antichrist) and if the overall picture overwhelms the little details it's forgivable. I'm also with you if you fear RoboSam being the big bad, but for me, mostly it's that I'm afraid we won't see the real Sam until the end. I feel like I'be been lied to; there's no real brotherly relationship being examined here because we're missing a brother.

I disagree with Sampa being a waste, however. It would be fine if his only motivation for his actions would Mary. From what I understand, the love between a parent and child is incredible; IE John Winchester giving up his soul and the colt. Dean honestly is a stranger to him (and Sam almost tried to shoot him), and whether or not he knows what they meant to Mary, he is allowed to be selfish, if that's what he is, and still be feasible to me. What I might have qualms with is that, if this IS Sampa's only motivation, the show should have portrayed it better. Right now, he's just a character to hate.

I'm not sure Dean's persistence about getting Sam's soul returned is such a regression of character, either. We know that RoboSam is not Sam; I've always seen him as a new character, especially once he stopped pretending to be normal Sam. So Dean's refusal to accept his brother's soulless twin is justified, I think. There isn't any what is or what was; it's more like what is and what isn't, and RoboSam simply isn't Sam. He's not even really 2/3 Sam (mind and body), he's like some other being entirely that looks like Sam. In any case, though, I wonder where Show gets off saying that sticking Sam in the pit for eternity is better than him living a life as a vegetable, because in the second scenario at least he gets out of the cage. I'm a little miffed they haven't mentioned that, honestly.

Personally I think the show is going somewhere interesting and I enjoy the relative unpredictabilit y with confidence that there is some master, uniting plan to all this madness. There were many turning points for Supernatural in prior seasons and there weren't half as many freakouts then, so I'll wait patiently; and in a worst case scenario, I'll call season 6 an epilogue.
# Sablegreen 2010-12-06 21:01
Good article Alice. I really don’t know where the show is going, but you have some interesting theories. It’s hard to decide what are pieces of the puzzle, and what are holes in the writing that we have seen them make in past seasons or just red herrings. There really are a lot of inconsistencies and plot holes so far. More than just how Cass, Meg and all then others can find the boys.

I never thought Crowley was the King of Hell. He just had too many weaknesses, not the least of which was being human once. Can't see Cass as the big bad guy either, or Balthazar, but Raphael does stand out strong.

Maybe Sam is the bad guy and Dean saves him. All I can say is if they don’t start ‘giving’ to the fans, instead of ‘taking’ from them, they aren’t going to have any left.

Elle2, I used to come home early and watch the previous episode, or two. My I used to check and recheck my TV to make sure it was working and double check by recorded and DVR to make sure I had they set right. I would watch with friends and then rewatch many times. Don't do that now. And I haven't done any rewatches since “Weekend At Bobby's". That one I can still watch. I also think Sear Gamble has made a serious mistake with this show direction. I really wish she would address the fans personally and tell them exactly where everything is going, and this time not talk in riddles. Tell the fans the brotherly relationship is going back to the earlier years or not.

Jas, I also have a lot of problems watching the older episodes now too. Today I watched ones on TNT and realized just how hurt I was in these ‘new’ brothers they have this season. Seeing Dean with his jacket, ring and amulet just about made me cry. Seeing Dean and Sam so sensitive to each other and the big/little brother roles, just drove home to me how disappointed I am in this season so far. The show should never have taken the arc to the brotherly relationship. Even if they did the mythology, they didn't need to divide the brothers to do it. There were so many other ways they could have gone, but they had to destroy the one stable element of the series. If this is the direction they are going to keep, I, for one, don’t want to see it.

I loved the show the way it was and really don't want to lose those earlier feelings. I'm hoping 6.12 will make a BIG TURN toward the earlier seasons too. I have to see A LOT of progress down that road for me to take a chance on the rest of the season. I just don't want to be disappointed again.
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2010-12-06 22:01
Call me twisted, but I really like this season. But that's because I believe Sam will get his soul back, and some brotherly love will be restored... eventually. So far, I'm appreciating the twists and turns. And I'm incredibly eager to find out what happens next.

I don't think Dean is refusing to accept Robo!Sam, or let him make his own choice. As others have said, Robo!Sam isn't his Real!Sam. As fas as he knows, and as far as he's been told, his compassionate, puppy-dog-eyed brother, the one he sold his soul for, is still suffering in the pit. So Dean is being either a pessimistic optimist, or an optimistic pessimist and living in the hope that he can reunite Sam's soul and body, with relatively okay results. He wouldn't be Dean if he didn't try to get Real!Sam back, somehow. But I totally believe he has the capacity to love and appreciate Robo!Sam too. He's already shown that by his willingness to stay, and try to work with him

Perhaps, it's a little like learning to love someone with a head injury. First, you're grateful that they're alive at all. Then, you learn to accept the way they've changed, but that doesn't mean you don't keep trying to recover as much of their old personality and characteristics as you can.

Also, are Crowley and Castiel really telling the truth about the whereabouts of Sam's soul? Crowley was always a manipulator (and some have suggested he manipulated his own death to get to Purgatory himself). And Castiel has admitted to doing "regrettable things" They're the ones telling Dean that Sam's soul is irretrievable, and irrevocably harmed. In my alternate lollipop universe, Sam was yanked out of the Pit by a benevolent diety (God or Mother Earth or Nanabijou or The Ghost of Christmas Future) and is sipping Pina Coladas with a bikini-clad Jessica at some heaven-like swim-up bar.

In a reverse of Dean's experience (where he is tormented by the knowledge of the pain his soul suffered and caused in Hell), Sam, once he has his soul back, will be tormented by the knowledge of the pain his soulless body caused innocents, and Dean. (Similar to Elle2's theory, but with a twist.) His Hell will be here on earth.

I still think Dean is the key to all of this. He's seen the vampires recruitment dream (although that was because of Sam's decision to let him be turned). He's been to the Fairy realm, and next week he'll have a go at playing Death. There has to be some reason for all of that. And hopefully, we'll get an explanation as to why Sam needs him around, and why he has those heavenly-servan t tendencies.

In my wishful moments, I keep thinking the amulet will return, as a symbol of the restored relationship, or as the salve which restores the relationship.

My displeasure comes by painting one brother's Hell experiences as so much worse. As we parents know, it isn't right to compare siblings! I hope the writers eventually colour the experiences as equivalent but different. And, as much as I know, things are tough for Sam, I wish things would go a little better for Dean too. He's lost pretty much everything and everyone; he has no control over anything; and he still feels everything that's ever happened to him, or to Sam. It would be nice to see Dean have a little triumph, maybe a moral victory at least.

And finally, on a selfish note, I've only just come out of the lurking shadows, and you're such a lovely site of people to yak with (my poor husband can only put up with my SPN theorizing and obsessing for so long!!), that I will feel terribly sad if no one wants to play anymore!

I know it's a week early, but may Santa grant us all some Supernatural dreams!
# Galveston 2010-12-07 02:44
I adore this season. Jared Padalecki has never been better. Soulless Sam for the win! :-)
# Yirabah 2010-12-07 09:08
While reading your article something just come to mind. Something completly off the wall or maybe it isn't.

What if this whole season does have one common threat.

We are not watching the "real lives" of Sam and Dean. What we are seeing are Dean nightmares.

Just imagine. That after a year with Lisa and Ben he still is so in grieve over Sam that his dreams conjure up the image of Sam and of course even in his dreams he knows that Sam would be different after he was in hell. So just think that each episode so far is just one of Dean's nightmares. Somehow that would explain a lot. Even some inconsistency in the story and plotlines.

Just a thought so.

And yes I am just anothe one of those who doesn't have the same feelings anymore watching an before season 6 ep. So sad
# Yirabah 2010-12-07 09:40
As interesting as I think my previous thought is forget it all!!!

Just read the TV guide article. And if you don't like spoilers don't read on!!

Sam is getting his soul back first thing in January. And according to Sara Sam and Dean will start to work together as a team to solve cases, the way we remember them back in the days. Yippeee! Happy dance.

And I especially will look forward to one special ep. Sam and Dean wake up as two characters named Jared and Jenson on a TV show called supernatural.

Sorry so happy to hear all that, that I just had to write it of my chest.
# Jeannine 2010-12-07 09:59
I just read the TV Guide article as well. Alice, you sneaky woman, they quote you at the very beginning of the article. Congratulations!

You know, I got to that part where they said don't read if you don't want spoilers and I tried not to read. Really, I did. But I am weak. ::hangs head in shame:: But I'm glad I did.

Don't lose hope guys. I think there is a light at the end of this tunnel.
# Zazreil 2010-12-07 11:36
I love Season 6 it is my 3rd favorite season behind 2 and 4. Seems to me Supernatural has a Star Trek pattern going on here. I have been guessing on the path the show has been going and so far I have been right so I am pretty pleased. One thing I had to laugh at is Cas saying to Dean that Sam might be better off with his soul left in hell... come on - no wonder Dean does not accept that, he was a soul in Hell, and if he does not get Sam's soul out that means his brother, the true essense of his brother is tormented for eternity, so he might come back and be a vegtable before he goes to heaven, yeah I can understand why that would not appeal to soulless Sam but ultimately it would be better for the real Sam in the end, Right now I am of the thought that Sam Soul did not go to hell at all. Which would be why Crowley could not find it to pull it back
# elle 2010-12-07 11:41
Good look at the season so far, Alice. You have some interesting theories.

I for one am in the crowd that is really enjoying this season. I'm just riding it out and enjoying the trip. Of course, I also stuck out all of "Lost" and enjoyed that entire ride, despite the many who lost (haha) interest due to the mysteries and long running unanswered questions.

To me it seems that Sam has already been set up to be the big bad last season, in the Samifer incarnation, and I can't see it happening again. I think right now we are being given a thumbnail of the over all happenings and when we pull back to the big picture, all the bits will fall into place.

I am loving the characterizatio n of Dean and Sam this season. Dean is more himself, to my way of thinking, than he's been in a long time. He's certainly more take charge and less depressed than we've seen in a while. He's on a mission.

I do not believe that Crowley actually got Sam out himself, but rather did what he does best and made a deal. Perhaps with Raphael. Perhaps with someone else. Hard to say at this juncture.

With Sam's soul - I'm wondering if this will be a case of earning the soul back i.e. through some demonstration of character on Sam's part? Perhaps it will come down to a major choice of self-sacrifice that is necessary to restore his soul. Lets not forget that we still don't know where Mary and John's souls really are either. Speculating here - but perhaps these two nuggets interconnect.

Samuel's desire to resurrect Mary baffles me. I get it. She's your daughter, you woke up in a world where suddenly your entire family is gone. However, you want to rip your daughter out of Heaven and bring her back into a world where her mother and husband are dead, her sons have realized her worst nightmare in becoming hunters and her youngest son, whom in theory she condemned to this path 10 years before he was even born by making a deal with YED AND you're not even taking care of her sons? That's either an extreme amount of faulty logic (and, as Alice said, poor characterizatio n) or there is something far greater at play here.

That said, Dean's face off with Samuel was epic. Swoon! I love when Dean makes these threats, because he's nothing if not Mr. Follow-Through when it comes to avenging.

Next week, with Death coming in is interesting. I'm curious to see where that goes. Does he shuffle the monsters off to purgatory? Will Dean find purgatory in his time as Death? Does Purgatory matter now that Crowley is ash and singe? (Probably).

I think this season is shaping up quite nicely, if we just take a calming breath, sit back and have a little faith that after 5+ years, they know what they're doing in the writers room.
# faye 2010-12-08 10:36
Elle, Samuel doesn't baffle me. As a parent, I know there are some things one will do for one's kids that one would never do for one's spouse. I've been married 25 years, but I can imagine my life without my husband (sorry, honey). Life without my kids, I start to hyperventilate at the mere thought. I just don't want to go there.

But I think if Samuel knew Mary was safe in heaven, he'd be reasonably content. But what if he were convinced she was not? She did die (or something)as a spirit when she was saving the boys.

Maybe Crowley convinced him that she was in purgatory? That would go a long way to explaining his motivation. He is sure Deanna is safe, but his baby girl is not.
# DramaQueen 2010-12-08 14:10
I don't really want to do a long, in-depth comment, but I did want to put in my two cents. I am enjoying this season just as much as I enjoyed the first three seasons. I find it humorous and engaging. I spent much of my time angry or upset in season 4 & 5, which I'm working on rewatching/fini shing up right now on TNT. Seeing as I'm not a longtime fan, maybe my opinions are those of a silly-minded person, but here goes.

I think Sam definitely has something bigger going on, but I'm not so sure about him being the Big Bad. It just...I dunno I re-watched "Caged Heat" several times this past weekend and that theory still seems off. At times it seems to click and at others it doesn't. I mean if he is...I dunno there seem to be some inconsistencies with that theory from what I've seen in the show.

I think Samuel has a good claim, although I'd like to find out more about what's going on with him. Sure, Mary was his family, his partner in hunting like Sam is Dean's, but is it really so simple?

I'm invested in this series for the same reason as so many other people. The relationship between Sam & Dean. Right now, it's strained and there's a deep chasm between them, which makes the dynamics of it all the more intriguing to me. I can see how much it bothers Dean that Sam is not...well Soul!Sam. Yet, he still stands by him, playing the responsible big brother as he has all his life. I don't think that he's taken a huge step backward in character development. I don't think that he thinks that Sam is just a big freak anymore. I think he's doing some of the things he's doing because he believes that Sam doesn't know the difference between right and wrong. I mean, in the simplest meaning of the word, he does. But on a deeper level, Sam does not. I commend the man for not walking away from his brother, especially after Robo!Sam's statement that he doesn't care about Dean.

I am seriously interested in the who the new Big Bad might be, what with Crowley dead. Although I'm not sure I ever really believed that it was Crowley to begin with. It just seemed kinda fake all along.

I'm really excited for this week's episode and plan on watching it after I get out of work. Hopefully several key things will be revealed.
# Yume 2010-12-08 16:41
Much as it confuses and hurts me at times, I still love Season 6.
It´s something new, they are getting a new angle on many things and especially the brothers´ relationship (yes, to me this is still Sam, a vital part missing, but still Sam - which makes it more painful at times, not less). That´s a really difficult thing to do after five seasons straight that have focused exactly or mainly on that, so kudos to the team!

I´d like to comment on the powers: I think that they are connected to the soul.
We never learn what exactly it is that makes those powers so evil.
I would guess that since this is done only with his mind, that he had to focus his mind completely on the "task" at hand, which was, at least in the end, destruction, killing. He had killed before, but I would imagine that killing with a weapon is different, the weapon does part of it for you, the will to destroy does not have to be so strong.
And so with each time he was killing with his mind, through his complete focus on it and the absolute will to kill/hurt/destr oy/dominate (much like the Unforgivables in Harry Potter, if that means anything), this wish to kill became more and more part of him, and tarnished his soul.
So I believe that this needs a soul to work, a soul that can develop this strong wish to hurt or kill. No soul, no feelings, no intense wishes, no powers.
I could be completely wrong about this, of course, but this would be my best guess.

I´ve also thought about Sam being the Big Bad. I still think no - besides the fact that I would really really hate it for various reasons.
Bottom line for me is: much as I love it now, this would probably kill this season for me. I can live with SoullessSam and both of them trying to cope with who and what he is and what that entails, in fact on a certain level I enjoy that.
However I cannot live with a Sam, soulless or not, who has a great evil masterplan and has been manipulating Dean all season (I know that he has done that, but manipulating for the sake of getting accepted is very different from manipulating as part of some evil scheme). I don´t want to believe that every word that was said, every moment they had was a lie.

The only thing that may make sense would be, as someone suggested in the BigBadSam-threa d, Sam having been pushed into something and complying for the sake of protecting Dean, before he lost or gave up his soul for the time being, and that things sort of got out of hand for him afterwards, when his perceptions changed. I could see this happening with the angels, for instance (maybe not Cas, if he didn´t know that Sam´s soul wasn´t there, unless he lied, of course), but there´s others. Raphael?

Big Bad or not, I also don´t think Sam has been lying to Dean about wanting to get his soul back. He was never wild about it, and never pretended to be (I think I should probably go back to..), and when he was given not a single further reason to want it and plenty of reasons - from his point of view - to stay away, he made up his mind based on his logical conclusions. What else should he go by?
And he was quite upfront about it - unless he had just been waiting to be given a reason to walk away of course. This would have to be one helluva complicated scheme though, to require him to pretend to Dean and stay and then pretend again and go.
I think and hope it was genuine.

I´m really looking forward to the next episode, sounds like it´s going to be a major one...
# Alice 2010-12-09 01:13
Hey everyone, I just wanted to say there are a lot really great comments! I plan on doing more personal replies, hopefully tomorrow now that the recap is done. I really do want to address many of your points because they are so good. I did want to note that like I said in the article I do like season six and I will never give up on it, but you have to admit the "where is this going" factor is quite maddening. But hey, maddening is my sort of thing.
# hjradcliff 2010-12-09 21:57
its been awhile since i commented but this season just has me scratching my head. usually i have an idea where the season is heading but season six has me turned around. i'll be glad when sam gets his soul back because its just not the same mood between the brothers. dont get me wrong the season is good but its just not what we have come to expect from sam and dean. the spark just isnt there, its like they are hiding in the shadows of their former selves. on a side note has anyone heard if the show has been picked up for another season?