It’s been a long time since Sam and Dean have hunted a ghost…or anything really. I had heard that this season was going to focus more on the Winchesters as the hunt-ed and seeing this episode made me realize how true that has been so far. You can’t really call what has happened with the Leviathan so far ‘hunting’. Sam, Dean and Bobby have spent more time on the run then the Leviathan have. And Sam’s case with Amy last week didn’t really play out like usual. 

Speaking of the much talked about turn of events…No matter what side of the fence you’re on about Amy’s death, I think we can all agree that it was good to see Dean feeling a little guilty. Hear me out, please. I’m not saying that I want Dean to be miserable and unhappy, because I don’t; I’m not even saying that I completely disagree with his decision to kill Amy. He was probably right; she most likely would have killed again. What I was more upset about was what Dean’s decision implied about his relationship with Sam. There are a million reasons why Dean would kill Amy even after Sam asked him not to, but we’ve never seen Dean hide that kind of decision from Sam. It really made me wonder what kind of trust issues Dean is still harboring. Let me be clear, Dean is not the bad guy here and I certainly don’t want it to sound like I’m blaming him for anything. Dean’s trust issues with Sam stem from some very concrete past betrayals.  And he has reason to doubt those close to him after his more recent Cas betrayal. So when I say that it was good to see him feeling guilty I just mean that it was good to see him feel something about killing Amy. I’m sure he feels some guilt for killing her in front of her son but I think the majority of the guilt stems from his betrayal of Sam’s trust. And that is a clear indication that there is still plenty of hope for Sam and Dean. If they can mend their relationship, and really trust each other then they can once again stand as a unified force. 

Sam and Dean have a lot to feel guilty for, most of which was not their fault to begin with. So it was very interesting to find out that Sam has found a way to let go of his guilt. I certainly think Hell is punishment enough for anything he’s done in his lifetime but I didn’t ever expect him to be freed from his guilt. Guilt is the Winchester calling card and they certainly don’t know how to let things go. Dean went to Hell himself and came back with more guilt than he could handle. So what’s Sam’s secret? I’m hoping that his new outlook on life will rub off on Dean a bit. He carries so much on his shoulders that to him it has become his identity. 

“You should be able to see that I’m 90% crap”

The way Dean sees himself makes me sad. How did he develop such a low opinion of himself? Has it ever been explained? The obvious guess here is that it stems from guilt. In the past it’s come out that he sees himself as a monster only capable of slitting throats; barely human. Yet he feels responsibility for every bad thing that’s come to pass in his lifetime. There’s a bit of a disconnect there and it’s strange that he can’t see it. 

It’s always difficult to get inside Dean’s head. We get glimpses of what he’s feeling and every once in a while, when the pressure is too much to handle, we get a closer look at what he’s going through. This episode was an interesting way to give us that closer look we’ve been needing. The Egyptian God Osiris who can see inside people’s hearts and weigh their guilt. If their guilt is lighter than a feather, they are safe. Well, for a Winchester with the weight of the world on his shoulders, that’s a definite death sentence. I have to say I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of Osiris’ trial, the whole thing felt a little strange, but at the end of the day I was happy for any way to get inside Dean’s head. And who doesn’t want to see Sam as a lawyer?

Sam stepping up to defend Dean was a nice twist. It was a brotherly gesture, one it seemed Dean needed. Dean was ready to just give up and be damned. He didn’t really even attempt to fight for himself because he couldn’t argue with the things that Osiris was saying about him. I think Sam being there to help him was a breath of fresh air for Dean. Last season Dean had a lot on his plate with no one to back him up. I imagine it felt nice to be the one receiving the help for a change, even if he didn’t think he deserved it. 

The first two witnesses Osiris called to the stand were Jo and Sam; obvious choices, I think. Dean still feels responsible for Jo’s death because he enabled her hunting habit. He helped her with her first case against her mother’s wishes and helped her realize her calling to be a hunter. That doesn’t really sound all that bad, does it? As far as Dean’s concerned he may as well have killed her himself. He feels guilt for Sam because he brought him back into the life. “He’s rather damn you with him then be alone.” No matter that Sam was clearly meant to be a hunter, and has saved many lives over the years. And not to mention that a lot of his problems stem from the demon blood Azazel gave him as a child and not anything Dean has done or failed to do. Both of these examples of Dean’s guilt have been building for years, especially in the case of Sam. So when Osiris mentioned the third witness, I thought it was odd that it would be something so recent. Perhaps Amy was still fresh in Dean’s mind and his guilt about the situation was so strong that it trumped past experiences. But the fact that killing this one monster elicits such a strong emotional reaction from Dean reinforces my thought that he feels guilty for much more than simply killing Amy. What did you guys think? Was there someone else you would have liked to see as a third witness? 

I should also say that the flashbacks during the trial were nicely placed and edited. They evoked just the right emotions in me and I think there was enough information that someone who may not have seen earlier seasons could easily put two and two together. To be nitpicky for a minute though, I do have to say that the interaction between Sam and Dean felt a little stunted. I would have liked to see just a touch more emotion between the brothers during the trial. I don’t think the acting was the problem, I just don’t think the scene was written that way.  

This trial may not stop Dean from carrying the world on his shoulders but knowing that Sam doesn’t see him the way Dean sees himself may be of comfort to him. And maybe Sam’s positive outlook will start to rub off on Dean. And who knows, maybe he’ll be able to start to forgive himself for the things that are no longer in his control. What do you all think? What purpose do you think this episode was meant to serve?

Here are some random observations and quotes I wanted to mention. 

*Dean: “License to kill.”
Sam: “Seriously?”

*Dean: “Dead and sober. Double crappy.”

*Dean: “No weirder than a ghost car.” Was this a jab at Route 666? If it was, that is hilarious. 

*Dean’s drunk pep talk to himself made me laugh a lot. 

“It’s nothing but a ground ball; you just gotta put your mitt down. You are Dean   Winchester, this is what you do.” 

*Sam: “I saw that on The Good Wife.”

*When they were looking for the ram’s horn, I couldn’t help but think about how Cas could have gotten them one in a matter of seconds. 

*Dean: “I didn’t want to do it alone.”