Page 2 of 3
It seems to me as if these scenes have been written particularly for Jared â€“ he is always fantastic in them. Whether he is playing two persons against each other (probably with a stand in while filming) or thrashing about on his cot â€“ Jared brings an intensity to each moment that cuts through me. It is so real. Many times in my professional life I have seen scenes like this â€“ a man caught in a seizure or dissociating, non-responsive. Itâ€™s a scary sight, no matter how experienced one is. Itâ€™s never easy to decide what to do and if thatâ€™s going to be the right thing, much like Dean has no idea whatsoever of what he could or should do. Itâ€™s worse for him, since there is this inseparable emotional bond that ties him to his younger brother. It will get worse still. Luckily, he doesnâ€™t know, yet, how bad it will get.
â€˜Didnâ€™t I tell you to turn back? That you wouldnâ€™t like what you found?â€™
â€˜Iâ€™m sorry. Iâ€™m so sorry.â€™
â€˜Not as sorry as youâ€™re gonna be.â€™
Robin, the ever present connection between Soulless Sam and Sammy did warn him, indeed. But the stubborn man he is wasnâ€™t able to turn back. Something he canâ€™t yet understand drove him onward. He will learn that when all is said and done, itâ€™s the love for his brother that keeps pushing him forward, even at very high a price.
Sometimes we find an extraordinary relationship between an actor and the camera. Finding the essence of the scene and playing it, the lens transforms him, captures the mystery of his craft and allows him to gain access to the audienceâ€™s emotions. Jared has always done that in the most astonishing way and he has learned so much as an actor. He is able to reach out with raw instinct and sophisticated reaction, being genuine and very much alive. Watching him here I see clearly how much he has grown and will continue to grow.
Faith is the bird that feels the light
And sings when the dawn is still dark.
With Dean and Bobby on the verge of utter exhaustion, Balthazar suddenly turns up. Itâ€™s not sitting well with the angel, since he is about to do one of the foulest acts â€“ become a traitor. He gives the two bewildered hunters an address: 221 Piermont Ave, Bootbock Kansas. And, well, they will be in Kansas once more, Toto, though in a non-existing place. The show invented that town to my knowledge.
The address is all they get from the angel turned Judas. Heâ€™s not ready to go any step further, but Balthazar will still pay for his deed, unfortunately.
A few moments later, Dean will leave this address and a pistol at Samâ€™s side. He knows that he has to go, to stop Castiel. What painful irony â€“ they need to stop the angel that so often helped them stop someone else. In a moment like this Dean needs an assignment. He is on the verge of going crazy with worry and guilt.
I think Dean is aware that Sam would want him to go and do what needs to be done, but still it probably takes all strength Dean can muster to leave his unconscious brother, knowing that something awful must be going on inside Sam that causes him to shake, twist, moan in agony. He doesnâ€™t know that he has given Samâ€™s inner turmoil light and courage by simply being there and doing what he did. I can only hope that Sam will be able to tell him one day.
Castiel, being handed his purgatory power shake: half monster, half virgin, knows that Balthazar betrayed him. The way Cas holds himself, Iâ€™m inclined to believe that he already knows of Balthazarâ€™s actions. There is disappointment and some hurtful quality in his face, as he informs Crowley that he renegotiated the terms of their contract. â€˜You get nothing. Not one soul.â€™ Oh, hello, Nero. â€˜You think Iâ€™m turning all that power to the king of hell? Iâ€™m neither stupid nor wicked.â€™ Oh, but you are doing your best to become exactly that.
â€˜You either flee or you die.â€™
â€˜We made a pact. Even I donâ€™t break contracts like this.â€™
â€˜Flee or die.â€™
â€˜Boy, you canâ€™t trust anyone these days.â€™
At this point Iâ€™m reminded that mostly there has been honour among demons. They use to keep their contracts, even when they donâ€™t like them. Mostly. But angels are made of sterner stuff, which will become even more obvious very soon. I donâ€™t like where this is heading. I feel alarmed, shaken. A terrible sense of foreboding is poisoning my mindâ€¦
I deem it quite possible that Sam feels the same way as he enters Bobbyâ€™s deserted house. Furniture covered with sheets to shield them from dust, but there are countless candles burning. Itâ€™s a warm, gentle light, the kind of light that soothes scars and encourages the soul. For me, this is Bobby Singer. If Bobby were light, heâ€™d be a warm fireplace or a long burning candle.
Sam, though, does not feel the kindness of this light, he approaches, tense and bewildered, the battered figure sitting at the kitchen table. The man there is responding slowly, his voice broken, a hush only, rough like sandpaper. And yet it is unmistakeably Samâ€™s voice. Coming from afar.
â€˜So, which one are you?â€™
â€˜Donâ€™t you know? Iâ€™m the one that remembers hell.â€™
He is barely able to get up, his balance unstable, agony all over that beautiful, scarred, tormented face.
â€˜I wish you hadnâ€™t come, Sam.â€™
â€˜I had to. Iâ€™m here, right? Out there in the real world Iâ€™m at Bobbyâ€™s, arenâ€™t I?â€™
â€˜How do you know?â€™
â€˜This whole time I smelled nothing but Old Spice and whiskey. I figured if I could get back here, back to my body, I couldâ€¦ I donâ€™t knowâ€¦ I could snap out of it somehowâ€¦â€™
â€˜But first you have to go through me.â€™
â€˜Humpty Dumpty has to put himself together again before he can wake upâ€¦ And Iâ€™m the last piece.â€™
â€˜Which means: I have to know what you knowâ€¦ What happened in the cageâ€¦â€™
â€˜Trust meâ€¦ You donâ€™t wanna know it.â€™
â€˜Youâ€™re right. But I still have to.â€™
â€˜Sam! You canâ€™t imagine. Stay here. Go back. Find that bartender, go find Jess. But donâ€™t do this. I know you. Youâ€™re not strong enough.â€™
â€˜Weâ€™ll just have to see.â€™
â€˜Why is this so important to you?â€™
â€˜You know me. You know why. Iâ€™m not leaving my brother alone out there.â€™
Yes. Thatâ€™s the truth that keeps Sam going. One of the most beautiful lines Jared ever had to speak, and, to my knowledge, his favourite line ever. Thatâ€™s the essence of Sam Winchester. Itâ€™s also the essence of Dean Winchester. Itâ€™s their connection, their driving force, their faith.
Though this scene is utterly devastating to me and makes me reach for tissues now regularly, it is also one of the most moving and beautiful scenesâ€¦ Sam knows deep in his bones that he probably wonâ€™t be able to handle what he is about to learn. The figure before him was tortured beyond imagination, exposed to the kind of agony only hell can muster. Everyone breaks under torture. Everyone. A patient of mine who had undergone the kind of torture humans make up once said to me in tears â€˜Everyone breaks on the third day.â€™
He doesnâ€™t want to know. He wants to do what the man from hell is advising him to do, as he knows what Sam has kept yearning for all these years: Jess. Sam wants peace. The kindness he felt when Jess was a part of his life. But to find that would mean to stay in this place, disconnected from the real world and abandoning his brother. He has left Dean before. He wonâ€™t do it again.
My own emotions are raging at this point. I want to stop this. I want to find some magical device to step in and make Sam learn about his time in hell without the re-experiencing the pain. I want to apply ointment to his terrible burns and help him forget againâ€¦ Now, Jas, pull yourself together. This is fiction. This is just a tv show. Sorry, Other Jas, then why are we so affected? â€“ Well, because this show has always had the power to reach out to our soul and keep it in a firm grip.
It continues to do so.
Defeated, the tortured Sam hands his counterpart the knife. â€˜Iâ€™m not gonna fight you. But this is your last chanceâ€™, says he, knowing that Sam is not going to change his mind. â€˜Good luck. Youâ€™re gonna need it.â€™
He stabs him with the knife â€“ this is no distance. He feels the blade go into the body of this tortured part of hisâ€¦ how dreadful must that feel? And then taking in all the painâ€¦ Oh, Sammyâ€¦. He is alone. And thatâ€™s very real, too â€“ in real life, we are always alone when it comes to deal with pain. Friends and family can be at our side, hold our hand, tell us that they are there for us, but at the end of the line we have to live through whatever kind of pain on our own. In our bodies. We have to find the strength needed for that within ourselves. Just like Sam.
He will wake up, confused, scared and in pain and try to find some kind of balance on his feet, then get somehow, stumbling and weak, to the Kansas address Dean left for him. The place where another huge showdown is about to take place.