OMG last week’s episode!  After some less impressive, somewhat disappointing efforts, like “Defending Your Life” and “Adventures in Babysitting” Adam Glass really hit it out of the park with this script!  He got to a lot of things that maybe could have/should have been dealt with sooner. A solid effort that actually presented what was promised...and like all monster of the week episodes, we’re not really talking about a specter here...



Directing Wednesday’s episode was Tim Andrew, who has directed quite a few episodes of Teen Wolf.  He directed “Of Grave Importance” last season...and that one episode from last season I am just pretending never happened....Now we didn’t get all the wonderful flashlight scenes we loved so much in “Of Grave Importance”, but we did get lots of cool blood hurling scenes!  I am a really big fan of those...we can’t even call them “blood spatter” scenes because they’re all chunky and gloppy and ewwww...Like for instance I thought were going going to miss out on the Sheriff death but then we got to see it in the montage to “Fell on Black Days”.  We haven’t heard that song in a while!  Season 2 to be exact...Carver really seems to be digging deep this season...and we can really see that in this episode...


So Sam and Dean left after Benny did, but Dean hasn’t gone into any detail and Sam is just stewing.  Perusing the internet, Dean finds out about a curious death in Missouri that they could keep themselves busy by investigating.  They arrive at the scene and find out Garth is there.  As the body count increases,  the Brothers Winchester and Garth find out that some spirit is possessing these people and making them kill whoever it is they feel has wronged them the most...


And on to the analysis...


Ghost possession!  Well we haven’t seen that in a long time.  This was a take on that we find out about “specters” a certain kind of vengeance ghost.  What really struck me between the ghost possession, “Fell on Black Days”, Sam’s tense, “looking for a fight” attitude all episode long and way more blood and gore moments than usual, was just how retro this whole episode was.  We also got a killer battle scene between Sam and Dean, the likes of which we haven’t really witnessed since that all out brawl in Season Four when Sam took off with Ruby. I think that we are learning that in order for Sam and Dean to mature and go forward, we need to clear out the old crap instead of just burying it.



We see a little bit of this literally, when we find out the most likely back story for the specter--that there were two brothers that fought on opposite sides of the Civil War.  One of them killed the other and buried him on the battlefield.  Later, feeling very guilty over the treatment of his brother, he dug him up and had him buried in the cemetery.  The belief is that this vengeful spirit is that brother, seeking the vengeance he swore all those years ago...


We could have a field day regarding that particular possible back story on the ghost and how it relates to Sam and Dean.  Just the fact that we are talking about the Civil War--the war that was brother against brother (literally here, figuratively in that we were all Americans) speaks volumes.  Conflicting personalities, ideas, and most importantly, different ways of life--those are really the reasons why the Civil War was fought.  Back in high school, I wrote my senior thesis on how the Civil War was NOT fought to end slavery, but to preserve the Union.  


Maybe we need a little preservation of Sam and Dean’s relationship.  Like Garth says, all they really have is each other, and that ain’t so bad...I think we have a long way to go here, but things have come out.  Now that they’re out there, maybe something can be done about them.


That being said, I need to get out my disappointment in Sam’s reaction here.  I felt like he was looking for a fight the whole episode.  Dean was under possession when he said those things about Sam.  Sam has said some horrible things to Dean, too, while under some sort of influence.  Remember the horrible things he said to Dean in “Asylum”?  Sam was unwilling to accept Dean’s apology for saying them, instead commenting that Dean didn’t need to be possessed to say those things.  Maybe not, but Dean has, and would, use more tact.  It seemed more like Sam was looking for a fight.  Looking for a way to go off on Dean.  For Benny?  Really Sam?  What was up with that?  Sam has always been the one going on about how people can change.  He remembers that there were those animal drinking vampires (of which Ty was one back in the day).  They let Kate the werewolf go.  Sam was capable of showing empathy and willing to give a chance to others, but Benny he got all hostile about and got mad at Dean for believing Benny could change.  That just didn’t make sense to me.  


The only way it made any kind of sense at all was if Sam was still pissed off about Amy.  We’re talking over a year has gone by and a lot of water under the bridge but he’s still mad about Dean killing Amy.  I guess I have a difficult time sympathizing with Amy because she killed her own mother.  Sure, she killed her mother saving Sam, but she could have stopped her mother a different way, not just gone for a knife.  She stabbed her mother in the back.  It made me less sympathetic for Amy.  Also, if she was willing to kill for her son this time, she would be willing to kill for her son if he got sick again. 


You will notice I did not bring up Emma.  I didn’t blame Sam in the slightest for killing Emma and I’m sure neither did Dean.  We were getting the idea that Dean possibly would not have been able to kill her and she was going to kill him.  Sam killed her saving Dean. I’m sure Dean is fine with that.  I bring that up because Emma’s death, Sam’s head it didn’t balance the scales.  There is still that Amy death looming between them from the feel of it. 


The thing is, the way Sam was at the end, threatening Dean that he may be that hunter that does Benny in, just seemed childish.  He might as well have said “You killed my friend so I’m gonna kill yours”.  His whole cocky attitude, threatening leaving, AGAIN, just didn’t work for me.  It really isn’t helping me raise the Sam sympathy flag.  I can’t justify a 30 year old man acting that way.  Sam needs to grow up.


Maybe what they need right now is an episode like “Scarecrow”.  Maybe if Dean just up and leaves, calling Sam out on him threatening to leave all the time would work.  Sam could get that worried feel that something was wrong and go after Dean.  OK, maybe that sounds too much like a portion of last episode, but something has to happen for Sam to realize that he does belong here. Something has to happen for Sam to realize that he is in the front passenger seat of that Impala by choice.  Like Dean says, it is about CHOICES.


I need to make a couple of television references from some of my favorite classic shows because I thought of them quite a bit in this episode.  The first reference is how similar Sam’s struggle with feeling like the sidekick to the hero mirror’s Scully’s struggle in the X-Files.  There are a couple of episodes that immediately came to mind for me.  One of those episodes was the X-Files’ Fourth Season episode entitled “Never Again”. Right before that episode, that incident with Leonard Betts made Scully fear that maybe she had developed the kind of cancer that was killing off all the women in Betsy Hagopian’s MUFON group. All of a sudden, she was noticing things that made her question just what her role was.  For example, she didn’t even have her own desk in their office.  She complained about this to Mulder, who said snarkily that there wasn’t much room in the office, but maybe if they got her a desk and put them together facing each other they could spend their time in the office playing Battleship.  He doesn’t understand why she is all of a sudden mad at him for that, or for when he gave her “assignments” while he was on a forced vacation.  Scully was resentful that her life was fighting someone else’s fight, that her life was passing by, and who knows, possibly ending, and what had SHE done? What had she done for herself?  This never came to a head because Scully was diagnosed with cancer and then they both focused on getting her well and finding out why it happened...


Another episode, and possibly the one I see the most here, was the Seventh Season episode entitled “All Things” where Mulder picks up two plane tickets to England because according to some calculations crop circles should be appearing.  This was just too much for Scully.  They were already under investigation for excessive travel expenses, and now he was just going to go chasing something that doesn’t even REMOTELY resemble their job?  Just. No. When she refuses to go, he gives her an assignment to do while he’s gone.  Running around on his tasks, she learns a little something about the importance of slowing down and being true to oneself. One person she meets is someone who had to make many changes in her life to get to a better place. Also while at the hospital picking up x-rays, the wrong ones are given to her and she finds out a professor from school who she had a thing with was in the hospital.  She didn’t even know he was in Washington.  She found out that after she left to pursue a career at the FBI, he followed her to D.C..  He had been there just about the whole time she had been, but never approached her.  For about ten years he had just been in a kind of limbo from his life, since he wouldn’t tell her he was there, but he wouldn’t go back to his family either.  This had taken a toll on his health.  For Scully, seeing him was a glimpse of that other life.  And for a brief moment, she wonders if “Maybe I want the life I didn’t choose.” But she leaves him again, and tells him it is time for him to face his family and the choices he made, meanwhile it is time for her to do the same.  The image that seems to be following her around all day leading her where she needs to go turns into Mulder.  He has returned from England--it was a bust.  No crop circles.  I think this was the only time Scully was right in the series...But anyway, she goes home to Mulder’s apartment, she tells them about how she sought clarity in a Buddhist Temple (did I forget to mention that part?), and Mulder introduces her to the wonders of Caddyshack.  She falls asleep on his couch, but we know she’s there the whole night...


We “shippers” were left wondering if this was THE NIGHT but one thing was certain about that night--Scully embraced the life she chose.  It was her moment to realize that she was in this, riding along all over America with Mulder checking out these crazy unexplainable crimes because SHE chose to be there.  It was her fight as much as his.  Of course she would have her wanderings in the proverbial garden, but this is her life.  She chose it.


Way back eons ago, Dean said he was Mulder and Sam was the red headed girl...but really, that’s pretty much where their story has been.  Although Dean only believes what he sees, he’s seen a lot and and he has that strength of conviction that Mulder had.  Sam, the one that needs to think and reason. He stews on things and is a lot more like Scully.  Also like Scully, he had a strong faith long before they knew anything about Heaven and angels. That ability to have faith and yet be so grounded in reality and reason are very Scully-esque.  It stands to reason that Sam’s struggles would resemble hers.  I’m hoping that like Scully, Sam will soon be able to see that this fight is his as well. That he is just as much the hero of this story as Dean.


Another X-Files moment for me, and perhaps why I was so ready to think about it involves the casting of Chilton Crane as Mary Lew.  Chilton Crane was Max Fennig’s “sister” Sharon Graffia on the X-files.  She also had two other bit parts as other characters over the show’s nine season run.


The other tv reference I thought of?  Sex and the City!  I know, how random.  This comes in with the flashback scenes with Amelia.  When I saw that part about her dead soldier husband who apparently just left her high and dry to enlist, all I could think of was this scene with Miranda when she is aggravated with Carrie because she finds out that Carrie’s rebound was “the new Yankee”.  Miranda felt that the rebound guy should be fat and/or bald/old and just totally not someone that you would normally date...not THE NEW YANKEE.  I felt the same way about this.  Alright, like Miranda, I am a red headed attorney, so maybe me having similar thoughts isn’t that far off the mark--but REALLY????  Amelia’s rebound from her dead soldier husband is SAM WINCHESTER?  REALLY? Who has that kind of luck? See Sam girls, even though I was aggravated with Sam this episode, I am perfectly willing to admit that Jared was looking FINE. I think he is looking better this season than he has EVER looked before.  Apparently Jared and Jensen are not unlike fine wines and cheeses...


I did feel they were laying it on a bit thick with that whole soldier story...although it also gives a backdrop as to why Sam might have additional incentive not to up and leave Amelia (although it kind of felt like he did).  Her husband just took off to be a hero and died leaving her alone, she has to have abandonment issues. Sam willingly leaving her in a similar fashion, kinda seems like a dick move...I’m just putting that out there...For the second week in a row, I wonder just how much Sam told her...


And speaking of conversations, why was it that Sam told Amelia about how horrific losing Dean was, but when he was talking to Dean he said he didn’t look for him because he “found something”.  I’m sorry Sam, that’s really not an answer.  Poor Dean, all he knows is what Sam has told him--that Sam hit a dog and found a girl and apparently forgot all about Dean.  That is how Dean would see it anyway.  And Sam HAS explained himself in the past.  After Dean got back from Hell, Sam explained to Dean why he trusted Ruby by going into what a hot mess he was after Dean went to Hell.  Sam hasn’t given any explanations this time.  You stack up Sam’s “greatest hits” like Dean did, and maybe Dean felt that Sam was glad to be rid of him.  He could go live that life he wanted to live almost ten years before and just void out everything that happened after Dean came over that night and took Sam away from Jess to find Dad...


I can’t talk about this episode and not mention how much I loved Garth in it.  I am so excited he is “the new Bobby” (that makes me wonder...did anyone ELSE think of Sex and the City’s “the new Yankee” when they were writing this? Another old hip hop reference Garth style--things that make you go hmmmmm).  Just the little things, like the music please me.  I loved how in the end Dean came to terms with Garth’s Bobby-ness and returned the hat to Garth, putting it on his head correctly.  Also, Dean decided NOT to throw down when he heard Hammer.  D.J. Qualls has been an excellent addition and I for one I wouldn’t mind seeing more often in a Bobby capacity.  In this episode, we got to see that other hunters looked up to Bobby, too, with Garth’s mimicry being the highest form of flattery.  Of course no one can replace Bobby, but Garth makes an excellent addition.  I’m sure there was a little bit of Dean symbolizing the fan base in his inability to abide by Garth pretending to be Bobby.  But Garth grew on them and Dean accepts him in the end.  I’m hoping the fan base will as well. Here, Garth provided great comic relief in an episode wrought with brotherly tension!  The Tooth Fairy part, the faces from Sam AND Dean when Garth tasted the ooze to see if it was in fact ectoplasm, just all of it.  LOVED.


Just another masterful episode.  I love this show so much and am hopeful that we’re going to get some resolution to issues the brothers have had with each other for a few seasons now.  Only after they clear out that gunk can they really move forward, and after all, isn’t that what we all want?  By this time, meaning the beginning of Season Eight, I had even taken a break from the X-files...but not with "Supernatural".  I eagerly await each new episode!  The main reason for that?  I love both brothers and I love the opportunity to take this trip with them.  Even when we love people, we don’t always LIKE them...I mean, hey, I have had times where I’m pissed off as hell at my brother, but it doesn’t mean I love him any less.  It doesn’t mean that if someone says something about him I won’t punch them for it...or if they’re a lot bigger than me maybe just yell at them really loud...But you get my point...


I think the Winchesters, their trials and tribulations, speak volumes about the human condition.  You don’t have to be the smartest person, or the best looking (well, maybe they ARE), or the strongest.  It’s about the resolve.  It’s about the fight.  We all have it in us, we just have to find it...


Thanks for reading and let me know what you thought of the episode!  This one went long and I really wanted to spend time talking about Sam, but my Dean Sonnet will be forthcoming...along with my convention report.


Screencaps from



# Vanda 2012-11-10 22:19
Great research as always... Love how you always find the little X-Files bits.
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-10 22:29
thanks V! :D
# sweetondean 2012-11-10 22:28
Nice Nicole! I also love how you relate everything back to the X Files! As you know, Mulder is the only other TV man I've loved. And the fact that he has a sibling fixation and thing for porn....well... . :P

I also loved the use of the word choices in this episode. I think it's a very important word when it comes to this show.

I'm also a little confused by Sam's anger about Benny, but I think it's probably more about the lie, just as I think the Amy thing (when will that ever end) was more about the lie, that and a perception of double standards.

Anyhooo...loving this season! I also gave the X Files a hiatus in season 8...but not Supernatural! I'm itching for the next episode every week.
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-10 22:41
I guess I just don't understand how Sam can get so angry with Dean about "the lie", when he has lied so many times. Sam chose outright deception at times. Maybe it's more about expectations--l ike yeah, it isn't like you to lie...that might be a part of that whole "you're right, people change" comment...that really seemed directed more at Dean than an affirmation that people CAN change. I agree that Dean needs to talk to them about Purgatory, AND Benny, but Sam was very closed even when Dean said fine, let's talk about Benny. Sam didn't seem to care WHY Dean believed Benny...that was my problem. If Sam was more open, listened and then was like look--you know what believing a demon did to me before? Are you sure you're thinking clearly about this? But instead he got Cocky, had to get the last word with, etc...they both need to move beyond this! hopefully they will. I'm hoping you're right about Amelia! (mixing comment with EMAIL now! :D )
# sweetondean 2012-11-10 22:44
I hear ya. Like Garth said....there's a lot of talking and not a lot of listening...or for that matter, asking!
# Sharon 2012-11-11 04:29
Well I dont think there will be alot of talking now at least for a while anyway both brothers know where they stand . After Dean's rant at Sam all its done as made things worse IMO. And I dont agree Sam was cocky at the end he put a straight question to Dean and got his answer.

Dean cant just be allowed to air his 6 million grievances at Sam and then Sam meekly get in the car as if it was ok .Although I appreciate Dean's hurt at Sam not looking I actually stated I think the writers went to far with what they had Dean say but having said that I glad Sam did stand up at the end , he has paid for his mistakes more than anybody and he earned his redemption and for Dean to throw those back at him not good.
# JuliaG 2012-11-10 23:43
Thanks for the review.

I think that Sam was angry at Dean's lie because when he has lied himself, Dean was also angry and didn't forgive easily. If it's not okay for Sam to do it, it's not okay for Dean either.

They really need to talk. Yes, probably because Benny's existence was shrouded in mystery, Sam was angry and didn't care about knowing why Benny was important. But Dean is angry too and doesn't care why Amelia is so important to Sam. It's not a one way problem.

Sam didn't say he didn't look for Dean because "he found something". That is why he left hunting. He said he didn't look for Dean because he thought Dean was dead and he was all alone, blah, blah, blah. I hate it, but it seems to be the road the writers are taking. It's obvious from what Sam said to Amelia that Sam thought Dean was dead.

I really think that Sam's outburst at the end was pure anger at what Dean said under the spectre's influence. It wasn't petty or childish. Sam was hurt and angry and lashed out. It's understandable to me, because Dean's words must have been devastating to him. After everything, the cage, the hallucinations, the suffering, Dean still feels betrayed on some level. Even by RoboSam. And then he said that Benny was a better brother than Sam has ever been. Sam is human. After that and all the needling about taking a year off and letting people die, Sam lost it.

I actually thought both Sam's and Dean's emotions were very believable in that episode. I just wish we knew more of what is motivating Sam. It's frustrating.
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-11 21:13
thanks for the comment! I think that most of us are mixing specter speak with what feelings people are actually aware of. I think we are all capable of some resentments in our hearts that we may or may not consciously be aware of. Specter Dean felt that Sam left him for a girl. You are right that Sam specifically said that he quit hunting because he found something...I went back into the episode to find the part specifically :D . I totally admit to being a Dean girl, so my reviews tend to lean that way. A lot of this was me trying to figure out just that thing you were mentioning at the end--I too really wish we knew what was motiving Sam! There has to be more to this! I'm really excited to find out.
# Katie 2012-11-11 00:11
I think Sam doesn't trust Benny is that he has no reason to. Dean hasn't explained to Sam in depth what made him trust Benny. It's the same thing with Ruby. Sam had to explain to Dean why he trusted her.

And a couple times Dean confused me in this episode. Lies and betrayals are basically the same thing, as are mistakes and choices, but Dean treated them as of they weren't in his little rant which I didn't really get.

And I really liked how Sam said no, dean did mean it, because he did. Every time they get possessed or something and they say something to the other brother, they later say they didn't mean it. But even though it wasn't really them, it WAS. It was their thoughts, it was stuff going on in their brain, but stuff they would just never say to the other brother. So I loved how Sam was like No, you meant it. I get it. And I don't think Sam meant he would kill Benny just to kill Benny, but since Dean said if Benny went rogue he wouldn't be the one to kill, Sam decided he would. But not just because Dean killed Amy. Because Benny needed to be killed. Not saying he does, but if the time came he did, you know.

Sorry if some of my sentences don't make sense, I'm too tired to read over this.
# emmau 2012-11-11 00:40
I hear what you're saying. You're right that Sam doesn't and shouldn't necessarily trust Benny solely on Dean's word. I'm not sure Dean ever really trusted her, even when he accepted what Sam said about her in 4.9. But he did appear to at least consider it and accept that Ruby had had a hand in keeping Sam alive while he was gone, and Dean's words didn't even appear to register with Sam. Now it may be that Sam was just too angry for that in the heat of the moment and it will creep in later. I hope so, because I would like to think that despite being a vampire Sam would be grateful that Benny had helped keep Dean alive and had helped get him out of purgatory.

I don't know that I can always equate lies and betrayals as the same thing, because considering every lie told to you a betrayal is a bit melodramatic to me. It depends on scale and perspective, I'd say, and I accept my interpretation isn't the only one. I think Dean emphasized the choice part of Sam's mistakes, because there can be a tendency among people to distance themselves from their choices by referring to them as mistakes and not really examining them deeper. Of course Dean was possessed at the time, so I think expecting rational thinking is a bit of a lost hope there.

Did he, though? I'd honestly hate to think that Sam really meant he thought Dean was mindless and pathetic in Asylum, or that he really mocked Dean's hell PSTD in S&V. There is basis in truth for what both Dean and Sam were saying, but I'd certainly stop short of saying they meant exactly what came out of their mouths. But that's my comfort level, I suppose.

I don't really like that Sam refused to let Dean off the hook, considering both times he unleashed on Dean under the influence he insisted he hadn't meant it and Dean didn't rake him over the coals over it. Because he took that tone, for me his "Well, maybe I'll kill Benny" did come across as very petty and "You hurt me so I'm going to hurt you back." It also seemed OOC for Sam, who has always been willing in the past to give a monster a chance to prove themselves. But that's again my view. I understand that Sam had reached frustration point by then, but it certainly didn't match up with the "sensitive brother" tag the PTB gave him over hiatus. But again, YMMV.
# emmau 2012-11-11 00:52
Not to mention it's hard for me to sympathize with Sam much about Dean still holding grudges, considering Sam told Dean he understood why he killed Amy and even used that argument to justify killing Emma (both deaths being jrighteous kills in my opinion). So clearly Dean isn't the only one issuing forgiveness but still nursing resentment in the back of his mind.
# Katie 2012-11-11 01:44
I didn't mean that everything they said was true and I agree that some of it was over the line, but the things possessing them didn't get what they were saying from thin air, so at least the basis of it was what they were thinking. I was probably more empathetic to Sam not letting Dean take it back because everytime that happens and they take it back, Im like NO IT WASNT YOU BUT IT WAS JUST UGH STOP IT!!! i get frustrated... And when I wrote that I didn't really remember all they had said to each other in those episodes.

What I wrote about the lies and betrayals and mistakes and choices didnt really come out how I meant them to. I meant, mist betrayals are lies and all mistakes are choices. And I also understand how rationality wasn't really one of Possessed!Dean' s concerns at the moment.

And I sort of get Sam going off on Dean like that. I mean he was just confronted with every mistake he had ever made and when someone goes off on me, I feel I have a right to do the same to them. But then again, I'm a 14 year old girl and Sam's a 30 year old man.

I also find Sam's inability to find Benny capable of being a "nice monster" a bit OOC. With everything he's done to try and let monsters have a choice, whether they turn evil or not, it just seems off. But the writers must have a reason for doing that, unless they just don't understand the character very well.

And what do PTB and YMMV mean?

Another thing, I try not to be biased but I don't always succeed, and I'm a die hard Sam Girl.
# eilf 2012-11-11 02:00
PTB means powers that be - the showrunner / writers basically and YMMV is likely (though I haven't seen it abbreviated before) your mileage may vary - or we don't have to have the same interpretation of an event, it depends on perspective.

Bias is allowed :D
# emmau 2012-11-11 08:55
Then we are in agreement, I'd say. I also think that there's truth in what the boys hurl at each other under possession, but that the possession twists and amplifies it to a terrible degree. You're also right that letting it go probably doesn't help them solve the problem in the first place, though I'm not sure Sam's rant at the end was going to do that either. But then again, maybe it's time to try something new.

True, all betrayals are lies and all mistakes are choices. I see what possessed!Dean might have been going for there, but again, possessed doesn't seem to equal well-reasoned.

Yes, Dean had just gone off on Sam, but it wasn't Dean's fault and he knew that. And Sam of all people should understand what it's like to have been forced to say terrible things under possession. He wanted to be allowed to deny responsibility and have it dropped when the shoe was on the other foot, so it seems like as the "sensitive" one he should have given his brother the same courtesy. But he seemed to be on the edge of that fight all episode, so I guess he couldn't let it go. Everyone has their breaking point, and I think Sam had just reached his and didn't care much about circumstances.

I've seen several theories about Sam's inability to trust Benny. I can agree that he shouldn't trust him just because Dean trusts him without knowing anything, especially considering Dean isn't unbiased here. I do think there's some jealousy here, because his repeated "Well, you had Benny" sound a lot like "You had somebody that wasn't me." I could be wrong, though, so we'll see what the PTB has in mind.

I see eilf has taken care of the abbreviation explanation for me. Sorry to go all acronym on you.

Hey, don't worry about it. Nothing wrong with being a die hard Sam girl. I fully admit to leaning Dean.
# lala2 2012-11-11 13:06
Because this has happened to Sam before, I think he didn't want to hear Dean say he didn't mean what he said. Dean did mean it. Sam knows that so there's no point in Dean saying he didn't.

I personally think the show went too far in this past episode just as they went too far w/Sam's words in S&V. I do think the boys meant what they said to each other, which is why I hate that the words were that harsh. I guess I see no point in writing what they did if we aren't meant to believe the boys actually feel have those feelings
# emmau 2012-11-11 13:26
True, but it's just an example of Sam's own double-standard ing in this episode, isn't it? He knows that he meant what he said under the influence of possession, if not quite to that degree, but he didn't want to face up to it and basically asked for a pass. He isn't willing to give Dean that same quarter, because this time it's been turned on him. Don't get me wrong, I understand why Sam was frustrated and hurt at that point. But he is holding Dean to a standard he was unwilling to hold himself to here. And that's fine, as both Winchesters have double standards and hypocritical tendencies, but that doesn't mean Sam's actions shouldn't be acknowledged as such.

I agree that show went too far in S&V with Sam, and I further agree that Dean went too far here. The soulless Sam part of the rant didn't even make sense, because it didn't match up with anything we'd seen from Dean in S6, when he was adamant that roboSam wasn't his brother and that Sam wasn't responsible for any of it. That doesn't work for me, any more than it worked for me when Sam was belittling Dean's hell damage. It just didn't fit. I think, like in S&V, the writers/PTB went for shock value and fan outrage with this scene and ended up doing more damage for some fans than they meant to. Or maybe they knew exactly what they were doing--they seem to like winding fandom up.

But again, for me, I can't agree that the boys actually have the feelings that they express when possessed, at least not exactly. I think there's elements of truth in both, but both Sam and Dean are pretty irredeemable as brothers if what they said is the gospel truth in their hearts. So for me, I have to take the amplification and twisting of their feelings into account when analyzing those scenes. YMMV, obviously.
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 13:49
Dean's double standards are never acknowledged so i was very happy that the show did it through Sam.Quote:
but he didn't want to face up to it and basically asked for a pass.
Dean himself did not look convinced enough that what he said were not true and that might be because of how much he was told by Sam and maybe Garth...but these are my thoughts i will wait for the show to explain me Dean's and Sam's experiences some more so that i can get a full idea.So as far as Dean's experiences go the next episode looks really interesting.
# emmau 2012-11-11 14:08
I think it's hyperbolic to say that Dean's double standards/flaws are never acknowledged, especially after an episode where Sam did exactly that re: Benny. I'll agree to disagree on that point. I will further say that show didn't acknowledge Sam's double-standard ing here--I did for the sake of discussion. I'd say there's no dearth of people pointing out Dean's double-standard s for the sake of discussion, so I think they're fairly even there.

At this point we don't know what Dean knew and didn't know about what he said, as we don't know how much Sam and/or Garth told him. But it's entirely in keeping with Dean that he wouldn't want to acknowledge his feelings, any more than Sam wanted to acknowledge his feelings after Asylum or S&V. The point still remains that Sam asked for a pass and didn't allow Dean the same. What Dean might have believed is actually not germane to that point in my opinion, but YMMV.

But I'll agree that it's hard to know what Dean knows about what happened or what he believes. I'll be surprised if show really acknowledges this conversation again, though. That's not their typical m.o. But I could be wrong. We'll see.
# Sharon 2012-11-11 14:53
Sam never gets a free pass and judging from Dean's feelings even over Soulless Sam he certainly hasnt. I will say although I didnt like what Sam said in S and V and Dean was under the Spectre here as well what Dean said here was different. If he had been angry over Sam not looking and that had come out through the Spectre that would of been one thing but he went beyond that and the Spectre picked up on that Dean's long term resentments concern me and go beyond Sam saying Boohoo .

I know right now as in Nicole,s review it is easy to look to Sam esp in the way he has been written , he didnt look for Dean , he killed Emma to save Dean's life was it not? that it was wrong for Sam to be upset over Amy still .

Maybe Sam was being OCC with Benny but then when you have just been told that he is a better brother than you have ever been then I wouldnt be exactly be rational over him. I know it has been done to create tension so we get Dean's declaration and Sam's reaction so when we get the big moment and there is a confrontation between Sam and Benny which is envitable poor Dean will be all angst and who will he chose but Dean and Sam the relationship will never truly be repaired because no matter what Dean will always have those resentments even if he hides them well 99% of the time.
# emmau 2012-11-11 15:15
I'm afraid that I will have to agree to disagree that Sam has never gotten a free pass over some of his actions. Now, in some cases I don't think Dean should be expected to give him one, and in some I do. The bringing up of the soulless Sam bit in this episode was OOC in my opinion as this was never the attitude that Dean displayed during that arc, but since it is now canon I will say that it is wildly unfair. I don't think that there's enough difference between Sam's hateful words in S&V and Dean's hateful words here to somehow excuse Sam and condemn Dean, though.

I point out again that Dean isn't the only one pretending forgiveness and holding grudges in his heart. Sam certainly is holding one over Amy, couldn't bring himself to say that Jessica's death wasn't Dean's fault in 7.4 (instead deflecting with a "It's complicated"), and apparently still has little brother issues with Dean. So both boys hold resentments towards each other. That's brothers for you.

I think show can't have Dean be angry about Sam not looking for him, because then Sam wouldn't have a leg to stand on. So they deflect to the "not hunting" issue and pull out random roboSam resentment so there can be two sides to this argument. Yes, it is hypocritical of Sam to say he agrees with Dean killing Amy and use that logic to justify killing Emma (again, neither of which I had a problem with) and then be upset about it later. It is hypocritical of Dean to say everything's forgiven and still hold resentments in his heart (though ones he would not have voiced voluntarily). One does not cancel out the other, so I stand by my "Both Winchesters have double standards and hypocritical tendencies" assessment.

But Sam wasn't rational about Benny, at least in Sam terms, before the spectre rant. So I'm afraid for me that's not an excuse here. He confronted Dean about Benny at the beginning of the episode but was unwilling to hear what Dean was saying, any more than Dean was willing to hear what Sam was saying about his year off. Of course it was all done to create tension and drama. I quite agree with you there.

But no, Dean and Sam's relationship is never going to be what it was before. Too much has happened between them. Dean still has scars from their conflicts, and apparently so does Sam. They love each other, but they both resent things about each other. The question is, as always, where are they going to go from here?
# Sharon 2012-11-11 15:35
Of course we can agree to disagree I dont tend to change my inital feelings over something I believe what was said in S and V which made me cringe by the way was different that what Dean said here :-)

And wouldnt deny Sam has some resentment but Dean that runs deep.

As to where they go from here? no idea? the House of Winchester seems to be crumbling right now.
# emmau 2012-11-11 15:41
Oh, you don't have an answer, either? Rats. ;-)

I don't think anyone knows how Sam and Dean fix this at the moment, as Dean and Sam appear to be so dysfunctional they should probably be appearing on a daytime talk show. I can only hope that the PTB have a real solution in mind, instead of the inadequate band-aids they've used in the past. I think it will take both Sam and Dean being willing to listen, understand, forgive, and compromise, but beyond that I've got nothing.
# lala2 2012-11-11 19:36
I don't think a genuine, real fix is planned. The relationship has been further trashed (destroyed IMO), and I'm sure Carver will just slap a bandaid on it and keep it moving.

For example, why in the world did Dean start talking about Soulless Sam and Sam's S4 actions, esp. since the boys didn't talk it out or confront those issues? It was done, IMO, to create unnecessary drama for the purpose of having drama. It sure wasn't done to strengthen their relationship!
# emmau 2012-11-11 20:03
I do fear the lack of a genuine fix, lala2. I would not be surprised if the PTB, regardless of who's leading the way, slap a band-aid on the boys' relationship and move on, because that's generally how they deal with things.

I think the soulless Sam bit came completely out of left field, though I can understand the S4 more. I agree it was all to create drama, but I can hold out hope that they'll do something with it. Dean's lesson this year seems to be setting up to really learn to let go of the past. I'm not sure what Sam is going to learn, but we'll see.
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 14:54
The point still remains that Sam asked for a pass and didn't allow Dean the same.
The chronology is wrong in this sentence.And Dean gave him pass and i admired Dean then.Here Sam did not give Dean his pass. Also Ellicot and Specter work differently as i understood by the facts given by the show in both cases.But then again i will wait and see what the show does about this (hoping it does not get dropped both of them have to atleat resolve some of the issues for me to be satisfied)
# emmau 2012-11-11 15:05
I am confused about how my chronology is incorrect, I suppose. Sam asked for a pass after Asylum, and Dean gave him one. You admired him for it. Sam did not return that kindness and allow Dean the same pass later when asked in this episode. We agree upon that then?

I'm not sure I understand the difference between Ellicot and the spectre's m.o., I suppose. Both took buried feelings (anger and resentment, respectively), amplified them and forced them out of their possessed victims, and used that to try to incite their victims to commit murder. The difference I see is that Sam told us that he remembered exactly what he said, and canon tells us Dean didn't remember what he said.

I agree that it would be nice if show resolved some of the issues they brought up here. I don't think that's show's usual operating procedure, though, so if they do I will be pleasantly surprised.
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 16:05
I am confused about how my chronology is incorrect,
Because first Dean gave Sam pass,then Sam did not give Dean pass.Quote:
I'm not sure I understand theresentments but difference between Ellicot and the spectre's m.o.,
Ellicot amplifies the resentment one feels whereas spectre does not amplify the resentment one feels it makes the person only feel resentment.I find this difference in the MO.
# emmau 2012-11-11 16:09
I still don't get it, but I don't suppose it's important enough to argue about. I'll drop it.

I definitely feel like the spectre, by definition, amplified resentment. None of the people in this episode would have committed murder based on the resentment they felt before possession--the ir feelings were amplified to the point where people were killing over paperwork and blown softball calls. Unless this was a town of sociopaths before Sam and Dean rolled in, I'd say that their feelings were blown out of proportion and beyond their control. So to me, they were quite similar.
# emmau 2012-11-11 16:34
Further thinking about it, all of the spectre's victims felt resentment that was tampered by other things--time, perspective, social conventions, etc. By removing those constraints so that all that could be felt was resentment, that resentment had to be amplified, because it went from a small part of their lives and a minor, even subconscious feeling (I doubt the softball playing cop devoted much if any of his life to thinking about that missed call prior to possession) to an all-consuming anger and murderous imperative. So by that logic, their resentment was always present, but had to be altered in order for the spectre's victims to have said what they said and done what they done. That's very simliar to Ellicot's victims, who had that anger present in them but were suddenly consumed by it upon possession.
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 16:47
What i think is Ellicot amplified the anger whereas spectre diminished everything other then resentment
# emmau 2012-11-11 16:54
I point to Leah D's response here. If the spectre diminishes everything but resentment, then by definition isn't that resentment amplified by the absence of all other feelings? If it is the only thing they can feel, it becomes consuming, just like the anger Ellicot made his victims feel. So both negative emotions were pushed to the forefront in order to incite the possession victims to murder.
# HLEAH D 2012-11-11 16:47
So you are saying Ellicot amplifies the resentment one feels.The spectre does not amplify the resentment one feels but it makes the person feel ONLY resentment. Presumably by amplifying the resentment so that it overshadows all other feelings. How else could that occur?Man, Am I feeling dense today!!! :-)
# Leah 2012-11-11 17:13
Gotta hand it to you anonymousN, when you make a point you really have the courage of your convictions. I did mean to say anger in reference to Ellicot.
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 23:11
I am very bad at simile ,so here goes my attempt.Its like you have a recipe which requires to add 5 chillies.What ellicot did while preparing the dish was he added salt and other spices but added 20 chillies and what the spectre did was it added only the 5 chillies and forgot all other ingredients.P.S I did not like both the dishes.
# Leah 2012-11-11 23:30
Me either :-)
# E 2012-11-11 21:54
I am not sure why you think Sam wasn't willing to acknowledge his feelings in Asylum? or that he was given a pass by Dean when he asked. The transcript reads as follows:

SAM: Hey Dean?
DEAN (turns to look at him.)
SAM: I'm sorry man. I said some awful things back there.
DEAN: You remember all that?
SAM: Yeah. It's like I couldn't control it. But I didn't mean it, any of it.
DEAN: You didn't huh?.
SAM: No, of course not! Do we need to talk about this?
DEAN: (Moving to get in the Impala) No. I'm not really in the sharing and caring kinda mood. I just wanna get some sleep.

The dialogue shows that Sam clearly wants to discuss his feelings as he always does, but Dean shuts him down. Furthermore, if we are talking about the "I didn't mean it line" as Sam asking for a pass, it is also clear that Dean did not grant that either. The only difference in Southern Comfort is that Sam didn't let Dean even get the words out. His response was the same as Dean's was all those years ago. So in that they are equally stubborn. There seems to be a lot of discussion out there that Dean gave Sam a pass in Asylum and then Sam wasn't willing to do the same for Dean in Southern Comfort, but the dialogue for Asylum clearly shows that this isn't true; neither brother has been willing to forgive in these two instances. Personally, I don't like the comparison. Asylum was 9 years prior (if you count the two extra added years) and both men are different now. I doubt that Sam was thinking about Asylum when reacting to Dean's attempt at "I didn't mean it." He was reacting to the situation at hand; and IMHO he was right not to accept the "I didn't mean it" comment.
# emmau 2012-11-11 22:15
I think he wasn't willing to acknowledge it because he was quick to say, "I didn't mean it. Any of it." That is not a willingness to discuss his feelings. That's denial. Dean let it drop because 1) he doesn't deal well with his emotions at the best of times, and 2) Sam wasn't going to honestly deal with his feelings. Dean shut Sam down, and here Sam shut Dean down. But they are different, because Dean didn't call Sam out on calling him pathetic or mindless, so in that way Sam did get a pass. In Asylum, he didn't try to get Dean to talk about it further to clear the air, and Sam is capable of forcing a conversation when he thinks it's important. So Dean can take responsibility for shutting down, but Sam didn't want to really admit to what he'd said or pursue the conversation.

I never thought Sam was thinking of Asylum when reacting to Dean at the end of this episode. I was just pointing out the difference between their two reactions. Sam didn't give Dean the same pass he took advantage of, nor did he give Dean a chance to speak. I understand not everyone will like the comparison, but I do see it. YMMV, obviously.
# E 2012-11-11 22:37
I think we'll have to agree to disagree because I don't see their reactions as different. Your interpretation of the lines is different than mine as far as Asylum goes. Sam's "Do we need to talk about this" was exactly that, his willingness to discuss the situation further, a request that Dean denied. You can interpret it as you see fit, and so will I, but it's clear that our interpretations are different.

It's true that Dean did not call Sam out on calling him pathetic or mindless in Asylum and Sam did not call Dean out when saying Sam was a bad brother, and has been deceiving him since he got in Dean's ride etc.. so I see no difference there either. It was neither brother's finest hour. Both were hurtful situations and both are unresolved, Southern Comfort is just more current.
# emmau 2012-11-11 22:43
I am fine with agreeing to disagree. Perspectives will differ, or else all discussion here would be really short and boring. :lol:
# LEAH D 2012-11-11 14:08
Hi emmau, just want to say how happy I am that you are back on and commenting regularly again. Always enjoy and agree with your assessments!
# emmau 2012-11-11 14:17
Well, thank you! I'm always glad when real life allows me the chance to discuss here as well. May I return the compliment? I'm always pleased to see the posts with your name attached, and I find myself agreeing with them more often than not. So I'm glad you're out, about, and active on this board, too!
# LEAH D 2012-11-11 14:22
Thank you
# lala2 2012-11-11 14:58
I guess I didn't see it as being hypocritical . . . more just accepting the truth. I don't think Dean believed Sam in Asylum or S&V. I think Dean (and Sam) both knew Sam meant what he said. Here, I guess it felt like Sam was saying, "Don't even waste your breath saying you didn't mean it b/c we all know you did." If anything was mature about their behavior, I guess I see that as being the example.

When I say they meant what they said, I guess I don't necessarily see that as "awful." It is normal, IMO, for people to have "bad" thoughts. They could be fleeting thoughts or feelings. At this moment in time, I can understand why Dean would think Benny is a better brother than Sam given what Sam has told him and all his repressed resentment toward Sam. What they both said could be their "truth" in that moment. That doesn't mean that's the way they feel all the time.

That said, I don't think the writers will really explore the implications of Dean's words just like they didn't with Sam's words. In S4, I didn't think the bond could be broken by Sam's horrible, cruel words, but four years later, I feel the relationship has reached the irreparable stage. The primary relationship of the show has taken so many hits that I'm not sure it can recover (for me) and rebuild itself in a believable way.

With each passing episode, I care less and less about the bond. If the boys split up for the rest of the season, I honestly wouldn't care. Carver may lose some old viewers but gain some new ones with this new "mature" Sam/Dean relationship.
# etheldred 2012-11-11 15:06
I'd note that Sam and Dean were BOTH affected in S&V, and that Dean went along and agreed that he hadn't meant what he said, either. It was pretty clear from both their faces in that scene that neither of them really meant the "really mean."

OTOH, I think there's meaning something and then there's meaning something. All of these supernatural influences obviously exaggerate things: all three eps involved threatened or actual murderous attacks, and no one thinks Sam and Dean go around wanting to shoot each other or ax murder each other, nor do I think Sam currently thinks that Dean is likely to pull a gun on him. The monsters enhance feelings and, maybe more importantly, block out the positive feelings that usually check and balance those awful thoughts we all have and would never normally say.

My real problem with Dean's spectre speech was more its comprehensivene ss than its cruelty. If it had focused on Dean's PRESENT sense of betrayal and abandonment, and been equally harsh, I could believe the season would bring the issue to a crisis and resolve it in some way. But there's no way Sam or show can deal with the everything ever that this episode put on the table.
# etheldred 2012-11-11 15:09
correction -- it was clear in S & V that neither of them really meant the DIDN'T really mean.
# emmau 2012-11-11 15:20
Which is why I think Sam nor show will ever deal with everything this episode put on the table. The spectre speech was meant to be OTT and dramatic, but show has a habit of going for the big/dramatic moment and then punking out rather than following through and dealing with the mess they made. We'll see if that pattern holds true here.

I agree with you that both Sam and Dean avoided discussing S&V because neither one wanted to deal with the implications of what had just happened between them. I further agree that the supernatural influences twisted and amplified things beyond anything the characters would ever say/do, and it's there should be some leeway there. Obviously neither Sam nor Dean want each other dead, and in their right minds I don't think they want to hurt each other. But in mature relationships, there are moments of pain/fight that stick with us. We may forgive them, but we don't forget them. They leave marks, marks that in universe could be exploited. Thanks goodness there aren't any real life influences that could lead people to the kind of possession Dean and Sam have undergone, I'd say, or else we'd all be in trouble.
# emmau 2012-11-11 15:26
I think it could be argued that dealing with the situation is more mature than burying it and trying to move on. To me, though, Sam didn't handle it in a particularly mature way, and I will agree to disagree that there's something hypocritical in Sam wanting to hide from the truth of his hurtful words but refusing his brother that same shield.

I agree, though, that it's very normal for people to have angry or resentful thoughts, even about the ones they love. It's not the sum of all Sam and Dean feel for each other, but for each of them the anger and resentment is very much a part of their brotherhood.

I agree that the impact of Dean's words are no more likely to be followed up on than Sam's words in S4. I think at this point they've got to break the relationship to really fix it, because another band-aid just isn't going to work.

I don't find Dean and Sam any more "mature" these days than I did before--they're both still lying, hiding, passive-aggress ive, unable to see each other's POVs, etc. I eagerly anticipate when the new maturity is going to make itself known.
# emmau 2012-11-11 15:28
I will agree to disagree that there's not something hypocritical in Sam wanting to hide from the truth of his words but refusing his brother that same shield.

Sometimes I get tangled in my own sentences.
# lala2 2012-11-11 19:00
podSam (yes, that's my name for this new Sam I don't understand or get on any level) was very petty and whiny at the end of the episode. One, I'm sick of him threatening to leave. Just leave if you don't want to be there. Two, podSam wasn't at all mature when he randomly mentioned killing Benny. What did Benny have to do w/anything?

As far as Sam not giving Dean a pass . . . I guess I feel like that is each individual's decision. Dean didn't have to give Sam a pass in Asylm or S&V. He chose to let it go b/c he doesn't like to talk about stuff. On both occasions, Sam wanted to "talk it out," but Dean wanted to ignore it and let it fester until it erupted when he was possessed by a spectre years later. Ha! Sam, on the other hand, didn't let Dean get away w/claiming he didn't mean what he said.

I don't know. For some reason, it just didn't strike me as hypocritical, and maybe that's b/c I wished Dean had confronted Sam in S&V and Asylum and Sam was willing to talk to Dean about the things he said after each incident. Dean was the one who shut down Sam.

In any event, Carver may think he's destroying them to rebuild them, but I have no faith that he will be able to do this successfully. Or let me say . . . I am not sure I will be satisfied by any "rebuilding" he does. I am not enjoying this season at all, and I don't think JC has a good handle on the Sam or the brotherly bond.

But that's JMO.
# emmau 2012-11-11 19:28
I'd like to prescribe to your pod theory--it would make watching a lot easier at this point. I hate the threatening to leave, as it does feel very manipulative by now. Plus, you're right--Sam's not being held against his will. If he's unhappy, he should go. Benny seemed to be the catalyst for Sam's anger against Dean in this episode, so when he wanted to slap at Dean it was a good go-to target, in my opinion.

I agree that it's each individual's decision on whether to give a pass, but that's not the point I was making. Maybe Dean should have confronted Sam back then, but he is being consistent in how he handles possessions. Sam is not. Besides, I don't see how Sam "not letting Dean get away" with . . . not remembering made the situation any better, personally. If he'd called Dean on what he said but also attempted to handle things more sensitively things might have been different. I can understand that he was angry, but in the end things haven't improved.

I'm not sure how wishing Dean had handled the situation differently when Sam had been possessed = Sam not being a hypocrite in how he handled Dean being possessed. They really aren't realated, in my view. Sam being willing to talk when he gets to go on the offensive but trying to pass responsibility when he would be on the defensive is, in my view, hypocritical. We can agree to disagree.

Well, no, that's true that Carver will not be able to successfuly rebuild the brotherly bond in all fans' eyes. But then, he was never really going to get everyone's approval. I don't know that I believe that he's going to get the job done either, but I'm still willing to give him a chance to let the story play out before I decide. Fans, of course, are not obligated to do so, so mileage will vary.
# lala2 2012-11-11 20:05
The only mature thing I saw in that episode was when podSam said, "Don't even try to say you didn't mean what you said. We both know you did" or whatever he said. That was the ONLY mature thing I saw happen in the show in terms of the relationship btw S/D.

Here, I was just happy when podSam didn't even allow the charade to occur; he stopped it in its tracks. But then, nothing came of him doing that so it wasn't a complete victory. They still didn't discuss anything.

So many years have passed since Asylum and even S&V. I guess I'm not sure why Sam has to give Dean a pass b/c eight years ago Dean gave him one (but not really since Dean still resents Sam for every choice/mistake he's made). Maybe Sam has learned that deflection or giving passes is not productive and does nothing about allow old wounds to grow and fester. Just because Sam tried to deflect eight years ago doesn't mean he has to accept Dean doing it now. Their relationship is in the toilet. They have to acknowledge and accept that they have real problems w/each other.

Sadly, I have no faith that that will actually happen. I hate that the show has one of the brothers (usually Sam) say awful, cruel things to the other that is NEVER addressed or acknowledged. To me, it defeats the purpose of having Sam (or Dean in this instance) say whatever he said.

I bring up how the brothers react because I think it's important to this idea of Sam being a hypocrite. In Asylum, Sam told Dean he didn't mean what he said. Dean said, "Oh, really," which prompted Sam to ask Dean if they needed to talk it out. Dean shut him down. I see that as Sam willing to listen to whatever Dean had to say and to take his lumps. Dean could have then stated the obvious that Sam did mean what he said. We'll never know b/c the conversation never happened. We don't know what Sam would have said. Maybe he would have admitted to resenting Dean for always following John's orders. I do think some parts of Sam saw Dean as weak and pathetic for always following John and wanting his approval, and not choosing his own path. In Asylum, I saw a younger brother livid and angry w/an older brother for accepting orders and - in Sam's mind - not being his own man.

Since then, the words have become much more cruel. Asylum was a cakewalk to nowadays. Again, Sam was willing to talk in S&V and potentially be called out on his fake, "I didn't mean it" crap. Because he was open to that occurring, I guess I don't see how he's a hypocrite.
# emmau 2012-11-11 20:29
I can agree that wanting to discuss the situation instead of evading would have been a mature decision on Sam’s part. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Sam didn’t want to discuss—he wanted to get his licks in and lecture Dean on his behavior. And fans can debate over whether Dean had earned that by that that point, but in the end it certainly didn’t make the situation better between them.

I don’t think we’re going to agree about whether Sam’s refusal to give his brother the same shield Dean’s offered him was hypocritical, so I’ll agree to disagree and let that pass. It would have been kind not to use what his brother said when not in control to browbeat him, I will say. Dean didn't do that to Sam, and while we can say he might have been willing to discuss it and admit fault if Dean had wanted to talk but he certainly took the out when it was offered so we'll never know. I can agree that it would be healthier to not to bury it, but since Sam didn’t approach the situation in a productive way, I don’t see how it’s any better than how Dean handled it in the past.
# lala2 2012-11-11 22:58
I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what your first paragraph is referencing. When did Sam want to lecture Dean? In Asylum?

In this past episode, podSam just told Dean that he didn't want to hear Dean deny the things he said. Now, I admit my mind drifts during the show nowadays, but I don't recall podSam telling Dean all the horrible things Dean said while possessed. From what I recall, he went on and on about telling Dean the truth from the start and his (irrational) hatred of Benny. I didn't see him browbeating Dean at all. We'll have to agree to disagree.

And I definitely have to disagree that Sam took the out Dean offered back during Asylum. Sam can't force Dean to talk about what Dean doesn't want to talk about. Sam wanted to talk it out. Dean didn't. Sam is always willing to talk, but he can't have a conversation by himself. If Dean is unwilling to talk, they won't ever hash out their problems.

podSam and Dean don't even want to be together so it's no surprise that this current mess was handled poorly. podSam just wants to find Kevin so he can be done w/hunting. Dean probably wants Benny shotgun. There was no attempt to discuss anything in this past episode, which is why I didn't find it at all mature like some others did.
# emmau 2012-11-11 23:21
No, I meant Sam wanted to lecture Dean in the current episode. In Asylum, I felt like he wanted to declare and if needed make his case that he hadn't meant any of it. I apologize for not being more clear.

If Sam didn't want to talk about what Dean had actually said, choosing instead to spew his bile about Benny, I'm really confused about the timing of that rant. Maybe that's another problem with the scene. We talked about the PTB bringing up things that they never intended to address. Why bring up S4 and S6 if the only issue in play is Benny? Just bizarre.

I'll agree to disagree then, because I do think Sam took the out Dean offered him in Asylum. I also disagree, as I said earlier, that Sam really wanted to talk it out. He wanted to convince Dean that he hadn't meant what he said and he wasn't responsible. We've seen Sam force conversation with Dean before in order to say his piece--in the current episode, in 5.5, in 3.7, even in episode after Asylum. Dean has to listen, but sometimes Sam has to push the conversation forward. He didn't do that in this episode, because he didn't want to face what he'd said and the emotions behind it. We can agree to disagree here as well.

I agree about not seeing the maturity in the boys' interactions these days. The boys are so far apart they might be on different continents. It will be interesting (and scary) to see where show goes from here.
# lala2 2012-11-12 00:37
I didn't see podSam as wanting to lecture Dean at the end. He seemed more frustrated that Dean didn't tell him about Benny. And I'm not sure what is driving Sam's issues w/Benny. Is it the fact that Benny is a vampire? Is it the fact that Dean kept Benny's existence a secret? Is he upset b/c Dean gets to keep his supernatural friends while Sam's must die? Is it because Dean sees Benny as more of a brother than Sam? I don't think it's the latter b/c Sam had a problem w/Benny from the moment he learned of him. It really doesn't make much sense.

The dialogue was really bad in the last episode. I've never been one to think to the boys had to tell each other every single thing, and this was another situation where I wasn't sure why podSam was so upset.

Honestly, who cares about Benny? Does it really matter that Dean didn't tell you about him? It's not like Dean was asking podSam to have a drink w/the guy or go on a hunt w/him. Benny is Dean's friend/associat e. If Dean wants to trust Benny, I don't know why podSam cares. That's Dean's problem.

Instead of that lame speech at the end, I wish podSam had stated his genuine beef w/Benny. If he wants to warn Dean of the dangers of trusting creatures, then just do it. The way it was handled here was ineffective. Having podSam randomly announce that he may be the one to kill Benny made him come off very petty. There was a lot wrong w/that final fight/conversat ion.

Yes, Sa, could have pushed Dean in Asylum, but I still say if Dean had wanted to talk about his feelings, Sam would have listened. I also agree w/E in that Dean actually didn't give Sam a pass. Dean showed that he didn't really believe Sam but decided he didn't want to discuss it further. And clearly it's still on his mind so Sam didn't get a pass for it. Dean still resents him to this day for that incident and everything else Sam has done apparently.

We can both agree that the boys are not behaving in a more mature way :)
# emmau 2012-11-12 01:20
If not a lecture, then Sam was definitely spoiling for a smackdown at that point. He was angry and frustrated way before Dean’s possession—in the last episode when Dean announced he was taking a personal day. It seemed like he was looking for an argument, and by the last segment he didn't even want that--he just wanted a rant and he got one. Whether boiled over or Sam grabbed his opportunity, the result was the same. It really is hard to discern what Sam’s issues are with Benny at the moment, because Sam’s not really elaborating. There seems to be some resentment that Dean didn’t tell him about it, and he certainly doesn’t trust him for whatever reason. Other than that, who knows?

Now, I will say I can understand why Sam does care about Benny’s existence, because it is an unusual friendship for Dean. Despite Sam's affliation for identifying with monsters, he's still smart enough to know it's a risky proposition. Still, there is the part of me that thinks that Sam, king of “There are things I need to keep to myself”, is being a shade presumptuous, behaving as if Dean should tell him about everything he does. But if we’re talking about podSam, I’m not sure why he cares, since he’s planning on them living separate lives as soon as possible. At that point, Dean is going to be hunting and associating with people other than Sam, and Sam will have no say. Maybe he should work on gettin used to that.

I agree that if show really wanted to focus on the Benny/Sam issue, they should have a) stuck to that instead of throwing out a bunch of S4&6 issues they didn’t really want to deal with, and b) been very clear about what Sam’s issue with Benny was. I agree that as it was his “Well, I might kill Benny” came off as tit for tat rather than a genuine concern.

See, again, I have to disagree because I don’t know that I think Sam would have listened if Dean had really told him what he thought after Asylum. Sam was already in self-defense mode, and I think he would have done his best to convince Dean that he really hadn’t meant it at all, because that’s what he believed at that moment. We've seen this from Sam before--he was ready to apologize to Dean in 5.1, but when Dean actually started talking about feeling let down he gave him a giant incredulous look and never acknowledged what Dean said. I don't think Sam is particularly adept at dealing with Dean's issues when push comes to shove. So to me, when Dean shut down he took that opportunity to get out of having to face Dean's real feelings. But then, we’ll never know, so either interpretation could be correct.

Of course it didn't go away for either of them--we saw that in the argument at the beginning of the very next episode. As for resentment--wel l, given the laundry list of things Dean pulled out of his resentment bag, I’m guessing Asylum isn’t one, or else Adam Glass probably would have thrown that in as well. He sure wasn't shy about throwing in anything else. But I find it hard to blame Dean too much for what he said because 1) he was under a possession that forced someone to want to commit murder over a blown softball call, and 2) I fully believe if their positions had been reversed Sam would have had his own laundry list of grudges to spew at Dean. He certainly proved with his Amelia spiel that he’s harboring resentments of his own without being possessed.

True, we’ll always have the boys’ lack of growth to agree upon!
# Sharon 2012-11-12 02:29
Sam may of done do I believe to Dean's extent and run has deep has Deans no I dont and anyway this was Dean not Sam ? but then if Sam had said anything I am not sure people would cope. It seems they cant deal with what he said in this . I would be more accepting of Dean's speech if they writers had kept it to what the issues are now Sam not looking and him wanting to leave hunting but they didnt they threw up everything.

The Soulless Sam one in particular was underhanded so while I know the idea was get Dean to say all this under the influence of the Spectre so we get to hear it and it is put out there to the audience without Dean being in control and they achieved that it doesnt change the fact it hit at the heart of the brothers relationship. Sam reacting to what Dean said is the least of the brothers problems .

But I suppose we are supposed to believe in 'maturity' this season .
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-11 21:18
I think Sam was just blowing off steam and goosing Dean for a reaction a bit with the Benny talk at the end. It could have been said in a less confrontational way. I'd like to think that Sam wouldn't just hunt down Benny for the "fun" of it.

I do see a distinction between lies and betrayals. We all tell those little lies to spare someone's feelings (like does this dress make me look fat?) But a betrayal is actually doing it with the intent to deceive and manipulate (one definition anyway) like taking someone out and getting them a bad dress so they look horrible and you can look awesome, for example. It's a subtle difference, and the lies and betrayals in Winchester world are WAY bigger and have WAY more meaning...but, I'm just trying to come up with an easy example. I too am tired--worked a full day on a Sunday to try to catch up for being off next week, so if this doesn't make sense, that's why. Thanks so much for reading and it's always cool hearing another perspective.
# CJ 2012-11-11 00:34
Nice review. Loved all ur X-Files references. I found myself nodding in agreement. I too took a hiatus from X-Files after a while but dont feel that way about SPN. In fact am super excited this season and am loving it.
But a few things didnt work for me in this episode. Sam & Amelia just dont seem all that convincing to me. Maybe its the acting but Amelia didnt seem lost, sad or desparate when she talks about her husband. She seemed wooden & expressionless. And when Sam says his world imploded there was no real emotion behind it (maybe becos it was just a line and we werent given a glimpse into when that actually happened). Those scenes rang hollow for me. I hate to admit it but I felt more sympathy during Benny's monologue about Andrea (in the Impala) than when Amelia talked about her loss. I know its sounds harsh but I'm blaming the actress for this.
I agree with u on Sam's outburst in the end. Till that point I was sympathising with Sam but when he went all out aggressive about Benny it seemed like one-up-manship and petty. And u were right it was like he was full of rage and anger throughout. I wonder why. Its time for some Sam POV soon.
I have so many more points to add. But have a meeting to rush to. Will have to come back and post them.
But thanks so much for the review. Brought back the good old memories of Mulder (my 1st TV crush). The only other TV crush I have is Dean Winchester. I've been loyal ever since :)
# Samantha 2012-11-11 07:09
Brought back the good old memories of Mulder (my 1st TV crush). The only other TV crush I have is Dean Winchester. I've been loyal ever since :)
Hello there fellow X Phile, I'm in the same boat as you are. Had a huge crush on Mulder until Dean came along. All the others were just touch and go crushes :)
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-11 21:36
But thanks so much for the review. Brought back the good old memories of Mulder (my 1st TV crush). The only other TV crush I have is Dean Winchester. I've been loyal ever since :)

Thanks for reading! always fun to talk a little about the x-files. please pardon if my comments are all wrong in form--I'm still getting used to them. Alice and sweetondean will have to give me some pointers. Before Dean, there was Mulder for me, too! I have the "I want to believe" poster up at work. The first convention I ever went to was an X-files one! First tv crush for me, too...but the only man I've ever called a "tv boyfriend" is Dean! :D look forward to your other comments!
# Tiny 2012-11-11 04:40
Awesome review Nicole!! I think writers such as Adam Glass, Eugenie Ross–Leming, Brad Buckner and Andrew Dabb are really lifting up their game this year. They are finding and defining their voice through their script and writing so far this season. I always feel a little nervous when I see these writers attached to episodes. But they more they work on the show, the more they understand the tone of the show, the more they understand our heroes and how to highlight their concern, emotion and humanity.

My review didn't get into the Civil War, I am glad you did, like I knew you would. :)

What else? Oh.. Sam!! You stole my thunder!! LOL! You are spot on with Sam. I too find Sam's reaction a little odd. He was really caring when Dean was out of hell and now it seems that Sam is looking for a fight -- "See.. see!! You are wrong too. I am not the only one who screwed up." You are right, Sam was still angry about Dean killing Amy Pond (but she did kill 4 people!) And good point about Emma, Dean never felt that Sam was wrong. He did what his older brother couldn't.

Dean wasn't himself, but I have to say, I must agree with him saying "Those weren't mistakes. They were CHOICES!" For Dean, sold his soul to save Sam's life and never gave up on his family and Sam, were his CHOICES!

Anyway.. great review and great screen shots!

# anonymousN 2012-11-11 13:41
sold his soul to save Sam's life
No.Dean did not sell his soul to save Sam's life.
# LEAH D 2012-11-11 13:57
Not sure I understand. Did Dean not bargain with the crossroads demon to bring Sam back from death, giving his soul in the process? Is it the wording you have a quibble with, as the meaning seems the same to me? Am I missing something?
# Bevie 2012-11-11 14:32
Sammy was killed. Dean couldn't take it. He went to the crossroads and sold his soul to bring Sam back.

What is your reason for him selling his soul, if not that?

I don't understand your meaning.
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 14:58
I think the earlier comment was directed to me , if soQuote:
Sammy was killed. Dean couldn't take it. He went to the crossroads and sold his soul to bring Sam back.
Yes,The reasoning is right,but act was not saving but resurrection.
# emmau 2012-11-11 15:00
But if we're getting technical, Sam had lost his life. By bargaining his soul, Dean had his life returned to him. Therefore, he saved Sam's life from being lost. I'm not sure what's to be gained by arguing semantics over whether the act was saving or resurrection, as the end result was the same.
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 16:01
Therefore, he saved Sam's life from being lost.
Yes,but that is not saving life it is simply resurrection.Sa m did not remain alive he regained life so there is a difference atleast for me there.
# emmau 2012-11-11 16:05
All right, I'm game: what do you see as the difference in this instance between saving Sam's life and resurrecting Sam's life? I understand the semantics--by saving Sam's life he would have prevented Sam from dying at all, and by resurrecting Sam he was bringing him back from the dead and giving him back his life. But in terms of the big picture and the overall canon of show, how do you see that distinction making a difference?

**I am not attempting to be flippant--I'm genuinely trying to understand and would like to better understand.
# emmau 2012-11-11 16:06
From the Redundant Department of Redundancy in that last sentence. Sorry about that.
# LEAH D 2012-11-11 16:27
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 16:11
It need not effect the canon but i don't like mislabeling someones deeds.My defining it so i do give Dean credit for something he has done rather than something he has not done.
# emmau 2012-11-11 16:14
So Dean deserves credit for resurrecting Sam, i.e. giving Sam his life back, but not saving Sam's life then. Fair enough.
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 16:16
Yes .
# Alice 2012-11-11 20:50
Hey everyone, friendly reminder. You have veered off topic here. This is irrelevant to the review. I'm considering moving this entire conversation to the "Let's Discuss" thread. Please be aware for the future.
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 14:45
John bargained his soul to save Dean .Sam was dead.Dean bargained his life to resurrect Sam .Sam was already Dead and most probably in heaven .So there was nothing to save as i understood it was resurrection.
# LEAH D 2012-11-11 14:59
I am not sure I get the distinction between resurrection and being brought back from the dead. Maybe it is a subtle religious thing I don't understand. Oh well.
# LEAH D 2012-11-11 15:07
I think I know what you are saying now. If Tiny had said Dean had Sam brought back to life. You wouldn't have a problem. I think Tiny's meaning was clear however. Dean sacrificed his soul so that Sam could live again.
# anonymousN 2012-11-11 15:58
I think Tiny's meaning was clear however.
We will have to agree to disagree.Becaus e saving ones life and resurrecting one are two different matters.
# HLEAH D 2012-11-11 16:31
I DO get get your point I just think we all knew what Tiny meant. But yes agree to disagree .
# luciano 2012-11-11 06:14
You must understand that after everything Sam has been bottling up so much. I believe that the explosion of Sam at the end of the episode has been coming since season 4. Benny was the last straw. The writers have created a brilliant sense of not knowing who is in the right and who is in the wrong. Sam finally reacted the right way. I loved it can't wait t see what happens
# E 2012-11-11 17:53
Normally I really enjoy reading reviews on this site because, for the most part, they seem level headed and reasonable even if the reviewer has a bias. But this review I find really badly lopsided. It's all a critique of Sam's behavior (that you obviously find lacking and insensitive) and almost no discussion what-so-ever about the plot or Dean's behavior even though Dean's behavior was at the crux of this episode! You preface your review with a short summary and a speculation about how the Civil War ghost was set up to give us insight into Sam and Dean's relationship implying that you are going to discuss Sam and Dean's relationship, but you don't. What follows is a diatribe on Sam's shortcomings; there is virtually nothing about Dean in here at all and no real analysis of what any of the happenings in the episode might mean. There were several sections in particular that irritated me and seemed terribly biased in my opinion:

"Dean was under possession when he said those things about Sam. Sam has said some horrible things to Dean, too, while under some sort of influence. Remember the horrible things he said to Dean in “Asylum”? Sam was unwilling to accept Dean’s apology for saying them, instead commenting that Dean didn’t need to be possessed to say those things. Maybe not, but Dean has, and would, use more tact."

IMO Dean was not trying to apologize for saying the awful things he said, he was going to say he didn't mean them; it's not the same thing. Sam rightly argued that Dean DID mean them; the specter wouldn't have been able to even access the information if it wasn't there; inflated, blown out of proportion yes, but still meaningful. 'Not meaning it' and 'being sorry' are two completely different things; the one is trying to absolve yourself of the guilt, the other is that you understand the hurt you caused and are trying to make amends. If Dean actually had been trying to apologize, Sam might have taken it better, but Dean wanted to be excused, and Sam didn't and shouldn't give him a free pass. You bring up how Sam reacted in Asylum to do what exactly? To make Sam look doubly bad and then drop it without making any kind of comparison to this episode and how the situations are similar? And Dean would use more tact? How? In what way? Sam was being was honest and upfront with Dean at the end of the episode. If you mean by tact that Dean would continue to lie, then yes, I guess he would use more tact.

"For Benny? Really Sam? What was up with that? Sam has always been the one going on about how people can change. He remembers that there were those animal drinking vampires (of which Ty was one back in the day). They let Kate the werewolf go. Sam was capable of showing empathy and willing to give a chance to others, but Benny he got all hostile about and got mad at Dean for believing Benny could change. That just didn’t make sense to me. The only way it made any kind of sense at all was if Sam was still pissed off about Amy. We’re talking over a year has gone by and a lot of water under the bridge but he’s still mad about Dean killing Amy. I guess I have a difficult time sympathizing with Amy because she killed her own mother. Sure, she killed her mother saving Sam, but she could have stopped her mother a different way, not just gone for a knife. She stabbed her mother in the back. It made me less sympathetic for Amy. Also, if she was willing to kill for her son this time, she would be willing to kill for her son if he got sick again."

Perhaps Sam IS still angry about Amy, lord knows he has reason to be, but I think he's more angry about Dean's double standards and his lying. Its fine that Dean has changed his tune about his view on monsters, he suffered a lot in purgatory and Benny has really been loyal to him and helped him. Yet Dean won't explain ANY of that to Sam. Sam doesn't know what we, the viewers know, about purgatory or about Benny. Sam doesn't even know that Benny doesn't drink people because Dean hasn't told him. All Sam knows is that Dean has suddenly changed his views and won't explain it. So until Dean can explain WHY he has changed his mind, all Sam has to go on is that he has, it's out of the blue, makes no sense and is in direct contrast to the views that got Amy killed. And I am not too keen about your take on Amy being somehow 'less sympathetic' in your eyes because she killed her own mother to save Sam. Are you really intimating that somehow Amy is a more awful monster than Benny is? That Dean was justified in killing her, and that Sam will be less justified IF he kills Benny because Benny is a 'better' monster than Amy was? That is how this portion of your review read to me and seems grossly unfair. It seems like a case of blaming the victim to make the perpetrator look less guilty. And I don't know how you can be upset that Sam is still holding onto his grudge regarding Amy and completely ignore the fact that Dean is holding on to all sorts of grudges going back years: the demon blood, the Ruby thing, hunting with Samuel the soullessness... these issue go back many more years than the Amy thing. Dean also seems to think that Sam's been deceiving him "ever since you climbed into my ride" which could be day 1 for all we know. His grudges seem to know no bounds, but you don't address this in your review at all. I don't know how you can find Sam so wanton for being upset about Amy, but say nothing at all about ALL of the things Dean said, grudges and resentments going back to when they were kids. You can't pass it off as "Dean was possessed" and then hold Sam accountable for his actions in Asylum.

"The thing is, the way Sam was at the end, threatening Dean that he may be that hunter that does Benny in, just seemed childish. He might as well have said “You killed my friend so I’m gonna kill yours”. His whole cocky attitude, threatening leaving, AGAIN, just didn’t work for me. It really isn’t helping me raise the Sam sympathy flag. I can’t justify a 30 year old man acting that way. Sam needs to grow up."

Sam NEVER said at the end of the episode that he was going to hunt Benny down and kill him, he just warned Dean that if Benny starts to kill again, then Sam will do what any hunter would do and put Benny down. Not only that, Sam is being completely upfront and honest with Dean about what he can expect in regards to his dealings with Benny. That's far more honorable than what Dean did, lying to Sam's face and then slinking off like a sneak to kill Amy behind Sam's back and then continuing to lie about it for months afterwards only fessing up when he was forced to, which is far more childish than being honest and upfront with someone.

If you were just poster who wanted to leave an opinion in a thread about how you saw things in an episode and you had a bias that was somewhat glaring and unbalanced I wouldn't mind a bit. But you are a reviewer; you have an obligation to be more even handed IMO especially in an episode review. You didn't call this; Musings on Sam Winchester's Current Behavior or What The H is Going On With Sam, you called it "Ramblings on Supernatural's 8x06 Southern Comfort". I expected a more even handed accounting of the plot and the ongoing conflict between the brothers from both sides. But instead I see a one sided litany of Sam failings instead of an episode review.
# percysowner 2012-11-11 18:17
Thank you.

I will add one other comment on Sam and Benny. What Sam "knows" is that Dean threatened to hunt him down and kill him for being a blood sucking vampire. That voice mail has never been resolved on screen. And now, Sam is being told that a real, honest to goodness blood sucking vampire is a better brother than he is. Benny may be a drinking blood bags now, but until he met Andrea he was chowing down on people who were probably begging as hard as the nurse did when Sam drank her. So yeah, Sam has been told that what (he believes) Dean is willing to kill Sam for, he is totally willing to give Benny a pass AND Dean has stated that if Benny does start drinking people again he will continue to give him a pass. We know Dean didn't say that, but Sam doesn't and THAT particular double standard has to hurt. And even so, he's willing to trust Dean and leave Benny alone unless Benny starts to kill again.
# nmo33 2012-11-11 19:51
(And I don't know how you can be upset that Sam is still holding onto his grudge regarding Amy and completely ignore the fact that Dean is holding on to all sorts of grudges going back years: the demon blood, the Ruby thing, hunting with Samuel the soullessness... these issue go back many more years than the Amy thing. Dean also seems to think that Sam's been deceiving him "ever since you climbed into my ride" which could be day 1 for all we know)
that's what i want to say so thank you.
# Alice 2012-11-11 21:02

E, I find this critique unfair and it's pushing the line on one of our most sacred rules, show respect. That applies to reviewers, as well as other posters. Reviewers on this site are given the latitude to take whatever angle they want. We have multiple reviewers on this site and sometimes one will choose to take a POV that hasn't been approached before.

A reviewer is NOT obligated to be balanced or bi-bro. I think your standards are a bit too high. If you want to see a review go a certain way, you are welcome to write one yourself. Please judge a review for the points presented, not the way you wish it would go.

Now, your counterpoints are more than appreciated and welcome. Just FYI though, when using quotes, we do have a quote tag up in the options before the commenting area.

The next time, the disrespectful comments will be edited.
# E 2012-11-11 22:01
Fair enough, I will watch my comments in future.
# nmo33 2012-11-11 19:57
Sam NEVER said at the end of the episode that he was going to hunt Benny down and kill him, he just warned Dean that if Benny starts to kill again, then Sam will do what any hunter would do and put Benny down. Not only that, Sam is being completely upfront and honest with Dean about what he can expect in regards to his dealings with Benny. That's far more honorable than what Dean did, lying to Sam's face and then slinking off like a sneak to kill Amy behind Sam's back and then continuing to lie about it for months afterwards only fessing up when he was forced to, which is far more childish than being honest and upfront with someone.

# emmau 2012-11-11 20:10
I think my question is much more, "What was the purpose of Sam bringing up Benny at the end of the episode?" Dean, under possession, threw any number of hurtful things at Sam about their past, but from that conversation and before Sam has latched onto Benny as the catalyst for his anger with Dean. Why is he so sure that Benny might start killing again? Why is he so determined to make Dean see Benny as a possible threat, when in contrast he wanted Dean to give Amy a free pass during the same week she was remorselessly murdering people? That's the angle I find the most interesting about Sam and Benny right now.

As for Sam being mature enough to be upfront and honest with Dean about his possible huntind down and killing of Benny, it's about time Sam reached that maturity milestone after his years of sneaking around and lying, isn't it? I'm glad he finally got there. I hope he stays there. Dean was wrong for falling back to that, even if it stopping a serial killer was the right move. He should have been upfront, and Sam not repeating Dean's mistakes is a good thing.
# etheldred 2012-11-11 20:16
Um, Sam had one year of sneaking around and lying. At this point in canon, Dean has actually lied to Sam more than Sam has lied to Dean: he concealed John's last words for months and lied to Sam's face about them, he lied to Sam about Amy, he has now lied to Sam about Benny. He also tried to conceal both his deal and Sam's soullessness from Sam. And, though I in no way blame him for this last, he was part of the lie that John told Sam through Sam's childhood.
# emmau 2012-11-11 20:35
You're right that I was being flippant with the "About time" comment there at the end. For that I will apologize. It was a backhanded compliment.

That said, I think Sam has also had a history of keeping things to himself, starting with his visions in S1, the information about Mary's recognition in S2, his hell issues in S7, for example. It certainly isn't confined to one year. This is not a contest, however. Dean has kept secrets, and Sam has kept some, too. Dean snuck away and killed Amy without telling Sam, and Sam has snuck away without telling Dean things before as well. I'm not sure there's any point in trying to judge who's been the most dishonest.
# E 2012-11-11 21:01
"I think my question is much more, "What was the purpose of Sam bringing up Benny at the end of the episode?" Dean, under possession, threw any number of hurtful things at Sam about their past, but from that conversation and before Sam has latched onto Benny as the catalyst for his anger with Dean."

The reason, for me anyway, is that the Benny problem is current. It's not like Sam to bring up issues from the past and rehash them and Benny is front and center and a real danger despite how much Dean wants it to not be so. And as buttoned down and reserved Sam has been acting, the "Benny's been a better brother than you've ever been" comment had to hurt. Dean may not remember that he said it, but I am sure Sam does, and it has to sting.
# percysowner 2012-11-11 20:07
Until this episode we have seen no indication that Sam held a grudge against Dean for Amy. He was mad at first, but he agreed that Dean was probably right and went on from there. But Dean comes back and announces that when HE has a monster friend, not only is it different, but if his monster friend starts killing Dean won't do bupkiss to stop him. Dean is pulling the "only I get to decide which monsters live and which ones die". He's telling Sam that Sam's instincts can never be trusted if they conflict with Dean's. Even though Sam let go of his resentment of Dean not trusting Sam's judgement and killing Amy, Dean playing high and mighty about how now that it's DEAN'S friend everything is A-Okay is a whole new resentment and well deserved.
# emmau 2012-11-11 20:15
I don't see any sign of Dean trying to declare his judgment superior to Sam's here, frankly. I think Dean was very clear in why he trusted Benny in purgatory and beyond and why he wouldn't kill him. Dean has never had the ability to kill people he lets into his inner circle, so that isn't a big surprise. Though at this point I don't think Dean thinks it's going to be an issue, because his loyalty (and blind spot) for the people he cares about is absolute. Now, will this come back to bite him in the end? Most probably, but I think Dean's behaving fairly in character here.

I saw no sign of Dean being high and mighty about his friend being better than Sam's friend--he's not the one who brought up Amy. Sam did that on his own. Sam wanted an explanation for Benny, and Dean gave him one. Sam didn't think it was good enough, and he pulled out the old resentment he's clearly been harboring despite behaving as if he'd let it go (ah, the Winchesters are nothing if not predictable). I didn't see anything more than that. I accept that mileage varies, though.
# E 2012-11-11 21:10
I don't see the problem as Dean's view on monsters is right vs. Sam's views on monsters is right. This is more a matter of lack of communication. Neither brother is talking and in this instance, the lack of communication means that Sam knows nothing about Benny other than he helped get Dean "topside". He doesn't even know that Benny doesn't drink people, because Dean hasn't told him. As far as Sam knows, Benny is out there in a 24/7 people buffet and gorging himself. If Dean wants Sam to understand why he feels about Benny the way he does then he's going to have to tell him. How else is Sam supposed to respond to the situation? There has never been a vampire on this show who has managed to deny their nature for any length of time except Lenore and she caved eventually. He can only go with the knowledge that he has.
# emmau 2012-11-11 21:22
I agree that the primary issue is a lack of communication here. Dean isn't willing to hear what Sam is saying, so he's not really being forthcoming about his year off. Sam wasn't really hearing what Dean was saying about Benny, so he didn't tell him vital things that he probably should know, i.e., what Benny told him about his decision to stop drinking humans. They both need to put their issues aside long enough to listen more.
# Sharon 2012-11-12 11:25
Until this episode we have seen no indication that Sam held a grudge against Dean for Amy. He was mad at first, but he agreed that Dean was probably right and went on from there. But Dean comes back and announces that when HE has a monster friend, not only is it different, but if his monster friend starts killing Dean won't do bupkiss to stop him. Dean is pulling the "only I get to decide which monsters live and which ones die". He's telling Sam that Sam's instincts can never be trusted if they conflict with Dean's. Even though Sam let go of his resentment of Dean not trusting Sam's judgement and killing Amy, Dean playing high and mighty about how now that it's DEAN'S friend everything is A-Okay is a whole new resentment and well deserved.
Agreed I am little puzzled why people are latching onto Sam's words about Benny when far harsher word,s were said from Dean . I understand that Amy and what happened is a sore point but it was bound to be brought up because of Benny.
# Bluepony 2012-11-11 21:09
Thank you for your review of this episode. I agree with most of what you said regarding Sam. To once again threaten to leave and than threaten Benny seemed petty and immature. That being said, he did need to tell Dean enough is enough with the digs about turning the phone off and stopping hunting. I will have to say I liked the FB's better and feel we know a little better his emotional devastation when Dean disappeared.

I do feel Dean needs to talk to Sam and vice versa. Nothing like being possessed to amp up buried feelings and betrayals. I hope they can clear the air and start to rebuild the brotherhood.

All in all I really enjoyed this episode and can't wait for next week.
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-11 21:52
thanks for reading and commenting! I too think they need to talk things out. But they say boys will be boys and here we have to beer drinking men who hunt and fight and are really manly and hot (and I digress..) but my point is that they probably aren't the type so much to talk it then something like some evil has to come along and dredge up all those feelings that they may or may not be fully conscious of... Dean's whole "digging" thing is something he has totally done before. I can admit's one of his ways of getting things out...and one of those things that I'm sure is very annoying to Sam. Somehow, they have to come to terms with where they are now! Sometimes I really wish there were some girls on the show that could help in that department...he y, maybe that eppie coming up with Charlie! Did't Dean say she was like the sister they never wanted?

Anyway, I can't wait for next week either!
# Leah 2012-11-11 22:31
Something has benn nagging at me since this episode and I'm just going to toss it out there. I think the Souless Sam thing in the Spectre rant might just be a mistake. It just has that "one of these things is not like the other"vibe. One could argue, even though it was a supernaturally driven rage, that there were buried resentments than Dean harbored. And there might have been grains of truth in everything he said. I don't remember Dean having any resentment towards Sam about SS. There was conflict but that was before Dean found out about the soul gone missing. He seemed relieved and did everything in his power to restore Sam's soul and was very happy and relieved to see Sam after the resouling. I suspect Adam Glass went back and picked all the instances of conflict and bunched them together for this rant. And nobody picked it up. Even J & J sometimes forgets details from long past episodes. I don't know, it just didn't work as a good example of something Dean might be still mad about as he never held it against Sam in the first place. My memory might be fuzzy on this so let me know if I am off base.
# E 2012-11-12 08:19
Hi Leah! That's an interesting idea and if SG were still the show runner I would say that maybe this could be the case because she sometimes seemed to disregard canon to advance plot. But JC seems to be much more careful with the facts and the shows own history at least IMO (I know that some people don't think this at all). The internal references to past story lines seem very deliberate to me, so I am not sure that this could be a mistake. Dean's comments while possessed didn't seem like a small throw away to me. He referenced several things about the soullessness; 1)coming back soulless, 2)not telling Dean he was back, which was a by product of Sam being soulless 3)hunting with Samuel 4)not telling Dean he was soulless - this one really stood out to me because Sam didn't KNOW he was soulless until Cas told him. Sam and Dean found out that Sam was soulless at the same time. I am stunned that Dean thinks that this was some kind of betrayal 5)all the "crazy" that Sam did while soulless. It just seems too detailed a list to be an oversight even by a writer who isn't maybe the strongest. It's possible that the PTB just wanted to stir up conflict in a general way between the brothers and just pulled up the 3-4 of the most controversial things of which SS definitely was one. I really hope that it's not random though. How is Sam supposed to live with that?! Dean may not remember he said those things, and he may not even really mean them in the way that they came out while under possession, but Sam had to hear it and it had to have affected him. I guess we'll have to wait to find out!
# halsmom 2012-11-12 00:25
I did feel they were laying it on a bit thick with that whole soldier story...although it also gives a backdrop as to why Sam might have additional incentive not to up and leave Amelia (although it kind of felt like he did). Her husband just took off to be a hero and died leaving her alone, she has to have abandonment issues. Sam willingly leaving her in a similar fashion, kinda seems like a dick move...
I think the soldier husband is going to be an important part of the story. Maybe he's not dead. Maybe he is dead but he came back anyway....It just seems that the husband in the background could be the reason Sam left Amelia and Dog in the middle of the night and headed to Montana.
# Sylvie 2012-11-12 08:48
Thanks for the review Nicole, I enjoyed reading it. I will say that on first viewing I was a little weirded out at Sam's outburst, but after watching a few more times, I understand him a little bit more. I do think that Amy's death still sticks in his craw, and Sam has always been very conciliatory towards Dean in the past. But this time, he was right when he said Dean had been on him from the get-go. And that's understandable also. Dean is pissed that Sam did not look for him, for what he thinks are the wrong reasons. But we haven't heard the whole story about that and there are quite a few episodes left before we get to the end (thank God!). :-) I have a work colleague that will take abuse for a long time (yes even from me) and then years later she will blow. I think that's where Sam is at right now. Maybe they need to write a Freaky Friday type episose with Sam & Dean switching bodies. Dean would know what it's like to be taller and Sam finally would get to find out what it's like to be in his brother's head! Scary I know. :D

As for Amelia, still don't know enough about her, but wow, lucky lady to have Sam Winchester as her rebound. :P
# Haleh 2012-11-12 09:29
Loved it Nicole!!!
The part that I agree the most is the need of an episode like "scarecrow". I'm pissed at Sam alright but I'm not saying this just for the benefit of Dean, this would clear things for Sam as well. If Dean reacts to Sam's threats of leaving, just once(and not when he's under influence!) Sam will get that leaving his brother behind over & over again hurts & isn't the best way to solve the issues!

Another thing about the episode, I didn't like Garth before but I think he was fun this episode tho I hated his last speech. He doesn't know anything about the brothers unlike Bobby, he don't get to pry! (and I saying this while I wasn't a big fan of Bobby's Boo-hoo speeches either!)