Warning!!!!  If you haven't seen "Man's Best Friends With Benefits," read no further or I will be forced to take up witchcraft and send my platypus familiar after you!

So, okay, that was a filler episode.  There are plenty every season, and that's fine.  I totally understand that.  I do.  Just, this episode was not great, and it could have been.  Filler episodes can be really awesome.  This one...not so much.  I'm not flames-from-the-side-of-my-face angry, but I'm a little disappointed.  It was more like "Meh's Best Friend With Benefits."  Meh.  There were some fun moments, but overall probably not an episode I'll rewatch much, if at all.

But before I get into tonight's episode, I want to talk about a theory that popped up due to last week's episode.  Since Alice kindly took my review last week, I didn't get to talk about it, but I am gonna fix that tonight!  Thanks to Bookdal, who talked about this theory with me at its inception.  BRAAAAAAHM!

Crowley Theory Of The Week
In "Trial and Error," we got what seemed to be a throwaway line about Crowley not explaining the rules to Ellie, and Dean passed it off as Crowley being a dick.  I don't think that's the case.  Well, yes, Crowley can be a dick, but that's not what I mean.  Crossroads demons have a protocol to follow, and all the other ones we've seen have followed it.  You explain the rules and convince people to sell their soulds anyway.  That's how it works.  They're kind of sticklers for the rules.  And Crowley, the supposed king of the crossroads, well, he'd definitely know that.  Some fans, myself included, have wondered if Crowley isn't more than what he seems.  I think he is.  I think he's an angel.  But more than that, I think he's an angel UNDERCOVER in hell.  So him not explaining the rules?  That was just him not exactly doing it right, not quite maintaining the perfect demonic cover.

Not only do I think Crowley is an angel, I think he's one of Naomi's CIANgels sent to hell to work undercover down there.  I think he's running a very long con.  Why does he know Enochian?  Why are his eyes red?  Why was he torturing Samandriel, you may ask?  Well, he still has to keep his cover, after all.  OR he's an agent gone rogue and he actually is a demon now.  But I think it's more interesting if he's still on heaven's side, just working from a very different angle.  I mean, can you imagine?  We'll see how this plays out through the rest of the season, but for now, I'm curious what you all think of this.  Like it?  Hate it?  Am I crazy?

If Secret Keeping Was A Town, Sam And Dean Would Be Co-Mayors
I'm not sure I buy Dean's whole "I don't think you can do the trials, Sam" trust issues.  It just doesn't seem to follow what he said to Henry in "As Time Goes By" about how awesome Sam is as a hunter.  Because we all know Sam can DO the trials, it's just that Dean doesn't want him to have to go through them.  So, what I would have totally bought instead was the following (very poorly written but you get the idea) scenario.

Dean: I'm worried that you're going to be hurt or killed during these trials, Sam, and I can't handle that because I am Dean and have abandonment issues, so don't die.
Sam: Dean, I understand that you are worried about me, but I can do this.  I need your help, but I can do this.
Dean: Duh, of course I'll help you.  Just please tell me if you're hurt or sick or start coughing up blood or something so that I can help.
Sam: *coughs up blood*
Dean: What was that?
Sam: Nothing, I'm fine. *keeps secret so Dean doesn't worry about him*

Now you've got Sam keeping a secret and Dean worrying so it can all blow up in their faces later, like it ALWAYS does.  In fact, it would be kind of refreshing if there were no secrets this time and they just went through this together as best they could, but ha, that's a pipe dream.  No secrets?  Scandalous!  Also, did I miss the part last week where it said only one person can do the trials?  Aside from Sam and Dean saying it, I mean.  I may have, but I was under the impression initially that they just needed to get done but not by one person in particular.

Anyway, on to the rest of the episode, bullet point style!
  • Dean hates witches sooooo much.  I love it.
  • Is the alley in the cold open the alley where Dean was vamped?  It looks like it.
  • Arguing about the Three Stooges...aww, brothers.  "Lame-assiest" hee.
  • WAS CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL AN ACTOR IN THIS EPISODE?!?!  Yes, he was James!  He's also Neve Campbell's brother, as one of my Twitter friends pointed out.  Did anyone else think that was a very amusing name coincidence?
  • "That was incredibly hot."  "It was kind of hot."
  • No, that"™s just wrong, going after a blind guy.  Come on.
  • Portia is raising an interesting question about who helps you if you"™re a witch or creature and you"™re having problems?  Wouldn't it be kind of awesome to have an episode with a supernatural shrink?
  • Also, is it weird that my first instinct was Porsche not Portia?  People name dogs after cars!  What?  I know she's not just a dog, but still!
  • Look, the whole having sex with your familiar thing was, yeah, weird and uncomfortable.  I'm glad Dean mentioned that fact.  The first time.  Maybe the second.  But he didn't need to keep harping on it.  We get it.  Move on.
  • Sex scene? Why? We could have had some kissing and whatnot, but that was just really awkward and not really necessary.
  • I wasn't surprised that Spencer was involved, guessed it when he said it wasn't possible to mind control other witches, but was it me or did his motivation come really out of left field?
  • I understand that they're trying to expand the methods the Winchesters have for killing things, I really do, but here's the thing.  If Bobby had a witch killing spell, maybe that could have been used as a threat against Patrick when he held those years of Bobby's life?  Maybe?  You know how you work around that?  Sam found the spell in the Batcave in one of the MoL books.
  • Old-school conversation in the car to end the episode, nice.
What did you think about the episode?  And for the record, in case anyone was curious, I do go through the comments and read them, I just don't respond because there are a lot of comments, and it would take more time than I have to answer everyone.  But keep them coming!

Comments  

Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-02-21 00:13
Quote:
Look, the whole having sex with your familiar thing was, yeah, weird and uncomfortable. I'm glad Dean mentioned that fact. The first time. Maybe the second. But he didn't need to keep harping on it. We get it. Move on.

Sex scene? Why? We could have had some kissing and whatnot, but that was just really awkward and not really necessary.
Yeah - this was a pretty big turn-off for me.

As I've stated elsewhere - I did not like this one. I would go so far as to say it felt like a waste of my time. It felt on par with the worst of S7, which was pretty freaking bad.

I found the attempts at humor to be sick, not funny, and not creative. To make it worse, the pacing and characterizatio n were very poor, IMO.

But worst of all is I found myself asking throughout the episode: "why should I care?" And the question was never answered. Filler...throwa way? Yes. Unfortunately. I give this one a D. :(
Alice
# Alice 2013-02-21 00:14
Well, you may not be "flames-at-the- side-of-my-face " angry, but I am! We lost a few followers on Twitter tonight because I couldn't hold back my disgust! Sorry, I do love this show, but I know a bad episode when I see it.

The writing was atrocious! The dialogue was absolutely terrible. I first starting throwing foam TV bricks at my set, then it expanded to me shouting explicatives while doing so, and then I just wanted to barf come the middle of the episode. This was my show? The pacing was outrun by a snail, the brotherly behavior was cliche, Sam and Dean's drama about Sam doing the trials was more fake than a $3 bill, and I couldn't appreciate the one good scene, the ending one, because by that time I was fuming! This is how you build on a story that was finally picking up momentum?

How in the world did this ever make the final cut? This is easily the worst of the season, and now these writers have outdone themselves in that they've finally written something worse than "Route 666."
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-02-21 00:29
Quote:
The writing was atrocious! The dialogue was absolutely terrible. I first starting throwing foam TV bricks at my TV, then it expanded to me shouting explicatives while doing so, and then I just wanted to barf come the middle of the episode. This was my show? The pacing was outrun by a snail, the brotherly behavior was cliche, Sam and Dean's drama about Sam doing the trials was more fake than a $3 bill
I know. You hit the nail on the head.

Several times when Portia was talking I just shouted at my TV: "Nobody cares!!" And it wasn't the actresses fault - it was the way it was written and how the dialogue got in the way of the pacing of the episode. I also shook my head so many times, wondering aloud: "Who wrote this?!"

Ugh. I'm disappointed. This one did not live up to the quality of the rest of this season - or any season.

I'm totally band-wagon venting now though, therefore I'm going to stop, hold my peace, and start looking forward to next week.
Kimberly Farrell
# Kimberly Farrell 2013-02-21 01:52
How did this make the final cut? Maybe because the writers rightly judged that some of their fans would find it fun and hilarious. Like me!

Sure, I was bothered by some of the issues mentioned above, such as the drawn-out sex scene, but they were minor issues. True, it's not going to be one of my favorites, but as a filler episode, it was good fun! I can understand that the brand of humor wouldn't be a hit with everyone, but it gave me several snort and guffaw moments. Jensen was superb with his comedic facial expressions and timing.

One thing I would like to say respectfully, Alice, is that while I look forward to reading opposing viewpoints and critical reviews, the language you've chosen in this particular comment is insulting to those of us who liked this episode. Do you believe that I do NOT know a bad episode when I see one? You're entitled to that belief, but I would suggest that as an administrator, you are expressing opinions as an authority. When you choose to express your opinions in such absolute terms, it suggests that no other opinions are valid, and those who disagree can feel a bit alienated. I don't want to sound unappreciative, because I am grateful for the work you all do for us, but I want to offer my perspective in this specific instance.

The dialogue had a few weak moments, but was overall more natural and better paced than the painfully awkward "Torn and Frayed". Yep, you read that correctly! There's an episode where I wanted to barf because it felt so uneven and out-of-characte r to me. When I read so many positive reviews, I gave it another chance to see if I was missing something... I wasn't. Still not for me, but it actually makes me feel better knowing that other fans enjoyed it, because I know that the writers succeeded for someone. Hopefully when your anger has subsided, you can feel better knowing that there are fans out there who enjoyed this episode, even though you didn't. This one was for me. :)
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-21 02:15
I don't understand the problem with Alice's comments. She gives her opinions, thats what she does for a living, among many other things She doesn't tell anyone else how to feel. Just because she doesn't (really, really doesn't) like this episode doesn't mean you have to agree with her. Other reviewers might feel differently and thats the beauty of this site.
kaskriz
# kaskriz 2013-02-21 08:28
I totally support you girl... sometimes it can be kind of rude reading such comments when you actually enjoyed an episode. :(
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-02-21 08:33
Quoting Kfarrell:
Quote:
One thing I would like to say respectfully, Alice, is that while I look forward to reading opposing viewpoints and critical reviews, the language you've chosen in this particular comment is insulting to those of us who liked this episode. Do you believe that I do NOT know a bad episode when I see one? You're entitled to that belief, but I would suggest that as an administrator, you are expressing opinions as an authority. When you choose to express your opinions in such absolute terms, it suggests that no other opinions are valid, and those who disagree can feel a bit alienated.
Wow, really? I think even the administrator should be allowed to voice an opinion on a show, whether it be good or bad. I don't think she was telling people to hate it because she did. Everyone's entitled to their own views about an episode, this is why I like this site so much. I read all the comments, good & bad, and yes sometimes it helps you understand an episode better than when you first watched it.
Alice
# Alice 2013-02-21 10:46
kfarrell, while I'm glad to hear you liked it, I'm scouring my comments for anything that says, "You're completely nuts if you remotely think this episode was acceptable." Nope, nothing like that there.

The purpose of the "Let's Speculate" thread is for fans to come here and give their initial reaction. You got mine! I do recall me coming here other weeks with glowing praises, so I am allowed to hate episodes every once in a while. And I really hated this one. So because I'm an administrator I'm not allowed to have an opinion? I've been pretty honest with my reviews ever since I started doing them in season three.

Also, going back to my review of "Torn and Frayed," I do believe I had issues with it as well. It was a mixed bag for me. I'm definitely okay if there are ones you don't like. Everyone's opinion is different, and all are welcome. That is the foundation of this site.
Kimberly Farrell
# Kimberly Farrell 2013-02-21 23:48
Quote:
The purpose of the "Let's Speculate" thread is for fans to come here and give their initial reaction. You got mine! I do recall me coming here other weeks with glowing praises, so I am allowed to hate episodes every once in a while. And I really hated this one. So because I'm an administrator I'm not allowed to have an opinion?
Alice, I'm sorry if you read into my comment that you shouldn't share your opinion - that is certainly not what I meant! I'll reiterate that I look forward to reading yours and everyone's opinions here. I was just trying to communicate that the harsh language initially made me feel bad for liking it. But I have to admit that, like nickmaniac below, I've only been here a few months and didn't realize the significance of the "Let's Speculate" distinction. I'll take that into consideration when I'm reading these articles and comments in the future.

Thanks to everyone who responded; I'm glad there is a place left on the internet where we can disagree with a degree of civility! :lol:

Of course, I stand by my thorough enjoyment of this episode, which I liked more than the flawed but mildly fun "LARP"...
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-02-21 08:19
Quoting Alice:
Quote:
How in the world did this ever make the final cut? This is easily the worst of the season, and now these writers have outdone themselves in that they've finally written something worse than "Route 666."
You're absolutely right. I almost went to bed halfway through, and I'm sorry I didn't. The writing was just atrocious. The whole episode just felt dialed in. Don't think I'll be rewatching this one until the DVD's come out. And even then, maybe not. Paint me very unimpressed. :sigh:
Hades
# Hades 2013-02-22 04:50
You pretty much summed up how I felt about the brother drama in this episode. It was drama for the sake of drama and completely unncessary to the episode.

They still could have had Sam be pysically affected by the trials without the earlier trust issues cropping up again. Dean came across as a foot stamping child 'but I wanted to do the trials' more than concerned big brother all because the writers used his much over played trust issues. Seriously if Dean is so untrusting of everyone and only trusts himself why isnt he just hunting on his own? Its starting to get boring.
Ann
# Ann 2013-02-22 07:49
I absolutely agree Alice. I look forward to seeing this show every week but this episode made me embarrassed to be a fan. I realize the writers can't be 100% successful at creating winners but this episode and Route 666 made me think they these two should start looking for another line of work. Shame on Carver for letting that script out of the writers room.
Luminosity
# Luminosity 2013-02-21 00:16
Not trying to be silly or anything (although that is my default), truly believe that the writers came up with a nifty title and tried to match something to it.

I'm also feeling more and more certain that the entire writers' room lurks on Livejournal fiction comms. That ep was badly written, "we know what's going on" fan fiction. I usually don't mind the fan fic, and this season has been full of it, but I felt that this episode was an example of lazy, ill-thought-out writing. I hope something good comes of it.
Alice
# Alice 2013-02-21 00:20
No, not the entire writers' room, just the truly desperate ones, like Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming. Honestly, I've read much better fan fiction than this.
bjxmas
# bjxmas 2013-02-21 00:45
I really hate even mentioning this, but curiosity has me asking anyway. I love Bob Singer and think he's a brilliant man who has helped take Supernatural to new heights, but...does the fact that Eugenie is his wife keep her and Brad writing episodes even when they are sub-par?

Their episodes lack the creative spark I expect from our Supernatural writers. Are they just a bad fit for Supernatural? Because they have a long list of writing credits that is impressive, especially being the creators and writers of Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Maybe their writing simply hasn't progressed to the level that Supernatural now enjoys?
Alice
# Alice 2013-02-21 00:49
It's my opinion they've never gotten these characters. They shouldn't be writing serial sci-fi/fantasy. I feel the same way about Adam Glass. He's a decent procedural, story based writer, but his characterizatio ns are always off.

I'm sure being Bob's wife has a lot to do with it. Favoritism rules everywhere, but especially in Hollywood. However, if their work was really concerning to Warner Brothers, they would have been gone by now. Apparently it isn't.
E
# E 2013-02-21 08:02
YIKES! Eugenie Ross-Lemming is Bob Singer's WIFE? Oy. That explains a lot.
Bevie
# Bevie 2013-02-21 14:14
And that is true. Some fan fiction is way better than those two writers. K Hanna Korossy, for one.

As far as "worse than Route 666", ha!, I personally think that some whole seasons are worse than that. Actually, I liked it expressly for the interactions of the boys, which were delightful. Didn't care much for "demon truck" but I actually liked Cassie! Must be the only fan that did! Sam teasing Dean about Cassie I never get tired of watching. The sex scene either! :P

Just shows how our perceptions as humans differ from each others

By the way, this episode was not really top notch in any way except the acting and the production. The writing, sigh!, so out of whack when compared with the previous episodes leading up. Hope next week is way better.

Best part? Sammy and the dog. ;-)
EireneS
# EireneS 2013-02-21 14:43
Just watched this episode again. Wasn't as disappointing the
second time through. Enjoyed the dialogue between Sam and Dean. Thought the acting was good.
The last 3-4 episodes have been extremely good, so this is much more laid back as far as revelations about the future for the boys. But it was OK.
The dog/girl and witch/man relationship was not something I was used to but it was done pretty tastefully and as Sam said to Dean "It's been 15 hours and you haven't told any bestiality jokes" Loved the smile on Deans face.
Liked the honesty between Portia and Dean-he curious and she answering. Nicely done and for all of our benefits who were curious.
I would have like more of James back story visually in the episode so we could see the reason why he turned to witchcraft. That absence made it hard for me to get into James as a character. It wasn't until he started to use his powers for psycho projection and fighting Spencer that I began to like him more.
I think I would move my estimation of this episode up a notch after watching it the 2nd time-from 5 to 6. The episode with the mannequins is a 3 for me and the meta episodes are all in the 8-10 range.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-02-21 14:50
Quote:
Some fan fiction is way better than those two writers. K Hanna Korossy, for one.
Love her! Huge fan. :)
Clarice 0909
# Clarice 0909 2013-02-22 06:48
Quote:
Quote:
Some fan fiction is way better than those two writers. K Hanna Korossy, for one.
Love her! Huge fan. :)
Me too!!!! Love her fics
bjxmas
# bjxmas 2013-02-21 00:25
I'm just disappointed and sad because this is the first time in forever when I don't want to rewatch an episode immediately. I'm sure I will rewatch it simply because it is Supernatural and I will convince myself that there is something more there...somethi ng I somehow missed the first time.

It's especially sad since this comes after a run of spectacular episodes that have me feeling giddy for the rest of the season. I feel let down and I don't like that feeling at all, because Supernatural normally makes me feel enthused and anxious for what next awesome thing that will happen.

I guess the good news is next weeks episode will be better...like it has to be, right?

Good news is I can go to bed. I have no desire to rewatch or discuss this episode futher. If I wasn't working tomorrow morning I'd rewatch another Supernatural episode to help me remember the good times and how fantastic if feels when they are firing on all cylinders!

B.J.
Alice
# Alice 2013-02-21 00:37
Not only am I not going to rewatch, but I'm seriously considering asking iTunes to leave this one off my season pass! The trouble is, I'm going to have to watch again so I can get the transcriptions of the really awful dialogue that I'll be ripping apart in my review.

Hey, that's true, I'll be in bed before 1:00 am for once!
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-21 00:30
Quote:
Dean hates witches sooooo much. I love it.
And yet, the only time the show ever does anything to witches is when they are female and in a coven that is completely female. I'll stop my rant now.

Quote:
Portia is raising an interesting question about who helps you if you’re a witch or creature and you’re having problems? Wouldn't it be kind of awesome to have an episode with a supernatural shrink?
I've always rooted for a hunter/shrink. In addition to supernatural creatures, who do hunters go to when they have issues. If you tell most shrinks you see ghosts, demons, etc., they will call you delusional and not be able to treat the real issues. See Martin and Sam and Dean in the asylums.

Quote:
Look, the whole having sex with your familiar thing was, yeah, weird and uncomfortable. I'm glad Dean mentioned that fact. The first time. Maybe the second. But he didn't need to keep harping on it. We get it. Move on.
And
Quote:
Sex scene? Why? We could have had some kissing and whatnot, but that was just really awkward and not really necessary.
Fingers in ears lalala I can't hear you. That was just a woman who likes to wear a dog collar and call her boyfriend master. Nothing to see here, move along.

Quote:
I wasn't surprised that Spencer was involved, guessed it when he said it wasn't possible to mind control other witches, but was it me or did his motivation come really out of left field?
Completely out of left field. I was hoping the jealous police guy was an undercover witch.

Quote:
I understand that they're trying to expand the methods the Winchesters have for killing things, I really do, but here's the thing. If Bobby had a witch killing spell, maybe that could have been used as a threat against Patrick when he held those years of Bobby's life? Maybe? You know how you work around that? Sam found the spell in the Batcave in one of the MoL books.
Or the Campbell library! They hadn't met the Campbells' when Bobby got hit with the spell and Bobby integrated the Campbells' library with his after they all died, if they wanted to mention Bobby.

I have always thought Crowley wasn't just an ordinary demon. Which pretty much guarantees that he is an ordinary demon, BUT I like the idea that he is a CIAngel who has gone rogue because he didn't like the way heaven was going. He stopped the torture in Hell when he first took over and turned it into an endless queue. I think Naomi may have gone rogue and Crowley is trying to restore a balance, but that's just because I like Crowley and I can't figure out what turned him from a witty King of Hell who shut down the rack into a torturing demon.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-02-21 08:39
Quote:
I was hoping the jealous police guy was an undercover witch.
Or had hired a witch to get even. Then Spencer could have been said witch, that would have been a better excuse than, "I wanted Portia for myself, boo hoo". :P
debbab
# debbab 2013-02-26 18:31
I always thought male witches were called warlocks. The males and James are referred to as witches and Dean is called a Wicken(which I know is a religion). The snitch who meets Dean and Portia in the garage( which looks a lot like the warehouses used in previous seasons) is referred to as a warlock. Was it sloppy writing or is there a difference between the two? If Dean did not know about familiar, but Sam did-how do you explain it? Again, are the writers making Dean look not so smart or is it sloppy and lazy writing that nobody on staff at SPN caught? What do ya'll think?
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-21 00:33
I didn't think it was THAT bad. I enjoyed it well enough. It was really non-PC, and not as funny as it thought it was but not the worst either (Mannequin is the worst as far as I am concerned). A filler episode, sure, but they seem to have had fun making it (ducks tomatoes being thrown).

I do agree that the dialogue at the beginning of the episode was like the way the Vampire Diaries has gone: "Well Sam, as you remember, 'cause it just happened, and you were there at the time, you are now bound to do the trials and it will all go horribly wrong' etc...
(Dear SPN, don't take these sort of writing tips, we can remember stuff, honest).
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-02-21 00:54
Quote:
I do agree that the dialogue at the beginning of the episode was like the way the Vampire Diaries has gone: "Well Sam, as you remember, 'cause it just happened, and you were there at the time, you are now bound to do the trials and it will all go horribly wrong' etc...
(Dear SPN, don't take these sort of writing tips, we can remember stuff, honest).
Oh, god yes - I'd already forgotten about that.

Horrible!
magichappening
# magichappening 2013-02-21 14:27
Quote:
I do agree that the dialogue at the beginning of the episode was like the way the Vampire Diaries has gone: "Well Sam, as you remember, 'cause it just happened, and you were there at the time
Ha! I haven't watched The Vampire Diaries, but this reminds me of something Kripke said at the last Paleyfest (see 2.53 to 4.09) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MlyXumu1Rw

:-)
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-21 14:45
I love this clip. It's hilarious, but always really telling. I get the feeling Edlund is like this too. That nothing is ever good enough. This episode definitely could have used another pass.
Grace232
# Grace232 2013-02-21 00:44
Thanks for the review. Definitely not among my favorites, but I did not hate it like all of you. It was another episode where the brothers are talking and working together. That is good.

Essentially, I liked the brothers scenes, but the writers did nothing to make me care about James, so the episode did not work for me. I would not have cared if they killed him. Add that to the ICK factor that you all mentioned, and it was not a great episode. However -- I liked the joking between the brothers, bickering about the stooges, Sam knowing how hard Dean was working to refrain from the tacky jokes, and the scene at the end when they talked. And, yes, the preview clip is still funny, even after seeing they did not do much to build around it. Like I said - not one of the best, but I don't think it hit the depths os Route 666, or Chuck Forbid, Time for a Wedding.

Question - the actor who played the lead detective - is he the same actor from Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things?
bjxmas
# bjxmas 2013-02-21 00:56
Quote:

Question - the actor who played the lead detective - is he the same actor from Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things?
The dead girl's father? Yep, I believe so. And for some reason he always reminds me of an older Mandy Patinkin. Something about his voice and how he speaks. I kept thinking he was a relative of Mandy's when he did CSPWDT.
Grace232
# Grace232 2013-02-21 01:02
Oh my gosh - you are right. Maybe the voice - or I think it is his eyes or his smile that is similar to MP!
E
# E 2013-02-21 08:08
While we are playing 'spot the recurring actor' James was the running guy who had his heart ripped out by creepy Dr. Benton in season 3's Time is on My Side.

But all in all, I'm with you, not much besides the brother's talks and interactions held my interest much in this episode.
fanotheboyz
# fanotheboyz 2013-02-21 01:11
Bad, awful, sub-Manequin! One question as my brain wasn't working by then and I still can't get it on track: who was Kate? Dean referenced Benny and Kate, that they couldn't help what they were. If there was a Kate, she was less than memorable or I'm having a brain infarct.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-02-21 01:13
fanotheboyz,

Kate was the girl who got turned into a werewolf in S8's "Bitten." The brothers decided not to chase her down after seeing what happened to her, and how she didn't choose what she became, and how she promised not to kill again.
fanotheboyz
# fanotheboyz 2013-02-21 01:18
Ahhh...thanks Bamboo! I didn't like that episode, so that completely escaped me. The only other ep of this season I hated and the only other one I didn't rematch. I guess that's why I didn't remember her name or any of the "Bitten" crew. The last 2 were SOOOOOO good, too. Oh well, I love my boyz anyway!
fanotheboyz
# fanotheboyz 2013-02-21 01:20
Quote:
Ahhh...thanks Bamboo! I didn't like that episode, so that completely escaped me. The only other ep of this season I hated and the only other one I didn't rematch. I guess that's why I didn't remember her name or any of the "Bitten" crew. The last 2 were SOOOOOO good, too. Oh well, I love my boyz anyway!
Of course, I meant rewatch but it autocorrected
dashnjo
# dashnjo 2013-02-21 01:13
Maybe because I had to wait until the West coast showing and had already seen the tweets that it was bad I had such low expectations that it wasn't quite as bad as I thought but wasn't exporting much from an episode of this title.

I'm just surprised that given the fact that they dealt with a fairy being controlled and a witch possibly being controlled and haven't worried about heir buddy, Cas, who they think is being controlled. They were so worried at the end of Torn and Frayed they put up angel sigils just so they could talk about it and now nothing except maybe trying to contact him?,I'm glad they're on the same page (although I'm worried that Sam won't tell Dean he's not really doing well, I'm not really not really surprised) but its kinda frustrating.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-21 11:04
West coast also! I try really hard to not come here and read comments after 7pm on show night because I have accidently read posts that were major spoilers. Can't be helped, but I learned the hard way. I really don't want to know what people think before I watch it. :)
sucharita
# sucharita 2013-02-21 01:20
*It was more like "Meh's Best Friend With Benefits." Meh.*
lol, I love your sense of humor.
This episode was kinda okay for me. I mean they did give us three back to back awesome episode. So I am willing to cut them some slack. It did have some funny moments for me.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-21 01:31
Nice review. I didn't hate it like Alice seems too, but it wasn't great either. I liked parts of it. I thought the first scene with Dean, Sam and the Dog was really funny. I wasn't really bothered by the girl who can turn into a dog, even with the sex thing. Don't kill me, but I just didn't see that much difference between that and Sam/Madison. And what a wasted opportunity for a joke. But it wasn't utilized very well.

And I liked the brother scenes, but this wasn't really was I was expecting after last week. I thought the acting was good by everyone but they didn't have much to work with. There were a bunch of little things that were kinda irritating that maybe wouldn't have been as noticeable if the episode had been better, such as has Dean ever been allergic to cats before? I think I'm with you it was sort of Meh.

On the Crowley theory, I really liked it but I'm still a little on the fence about though. One really good thing about would be, if they do close the gates of Hell then Crowley has to go bye bye if he's a demon. But if he was an angel he could stick around and I do like him tormenting the boys.

Problems off the top of my head. Why would he have been so worried about his bones burning in WaB in he's an angel he wouldn't have bones. And he had a son in that episode. Plus wouldn't Cas and the other angels be able to tell he was an angel?
JoRuth
# JoRuth 2013-02-21 01:32
Perhaps I was the same ... In that I am on the west coast and already read some of the reactions. So was expecting something terrible. In fact it wasn't terrible for me, as I have talked about on another thread, but it seemed to be written without any depth, time, or inspiration. Kinda lazy. As if they had notes about the characters, some past happenings and some stuff that needed to be said by the end. And they poorly wrote a story around the notes.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-21 01:50
Yeah, didn't love this one. Usually the hour flies by. This was a looong hr of mediocre television. I'm struggling to come up with some positives. Lovely dog. The actress playing Portia was beautiful and likeable. The dialogue for everyone was lame. Sam and Dean looked less than bright for not giving a thought that the bloody shirt might be a plant before torching the guy. I did like actor who played the older lead detective.

Ardeospina, I do appreciate the review and find your ideas about Crowley very intriguing. I am sorry for being so negative but after last week, which I thought was one of the best this season, to have this episode follow was disappointing to say the least.
sharon pence
# sharon pence 2013-02-21 02:05
Terrible episode, as a friend of mine raises Doberman's I was thrilled with the DOG she was gorgeous. Also I liked Dean's hair that's it for me.
How did this script get accepted just awful writing!! This one I will not be downloading, it may come back to BITE them, pun intended!!
manstrad
# manstrad 2013-02-21 02:09
"Also, did I miss the part last week where it said only one person can do the trials? Aside from Sam and Dean saying it, I mean. I may have, but I was under the impression initially that they just needed to get done but not by one person in particular."

Ardeospina, it has to be done by one person, at least that is what I understood... "Who so ever choose to undertake these tasks, should fear no danger, nor death....." Pardon my English, but one thing is understand what people say and other to write it down.

By the way, I enjoy the episode, I didn't love it, but was nice to watch.
Teresa
# Teresa 2013-02-21 02:32
What struck me most from tonight's episode that's speculative (because honestly the whole dog and sex; and black and white...not going there) was that the writers are building some kind of network for the brothers - so far this season we've added Benny, Charlie, Aaron and Golem, and James and Portia as live people who are potential friends or friend to one or both of the brothers. I wonder where they are going with this? (Part of why we could go from "All your friends are dead" to live for your friends and family?)
A problem area for me - not including race and beastiality - is the interchangeable use of Wiccan and Witchcraft.
Ale
# Ale 2013-02-21 07:27
Oh, please, no! I don't want to see James and Portia ever again. I just don't care - they are so lame!

Witches fighting each other by shooting rays with their hands? Oh, please... This is another show entirely.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-21 07:35
Well within the show witchcraft has 2 sides. If you are a female working with other females you have to enslave yourself to a demon and condemn your soul to Hell. If you are a male you get immortality, not a demon in sight and Sam and Dean either let you go (Patrick and James) or are too weak to stop you. If you are a woman paired with a man, his special power is to keep you from the pesky demon bond and you can be strong as long as you reconcile with him after fights. You can also live because Sam and Dean can't kill a female witch under the protection of a man.

If you are a Wiccan, your magic is so powerless that a normal human wannabe serial killer can kidnap your son and you need manly men to save him because you are but a weak woman who does not deserve powers.

Also Wiccans are mostly good because the writers realized their portrayal of witches ticked off the people who practice Wicca as a religion.

Sorry, I've been ticked by the sexist treatment of witches since Patrick the man-witch appeared and was just allowed to leave and keep taking people's lives because he was being fair, while the witch who died saving Sam and Dean was damned to Hell.
FMJemena
# FMJemena 2013-02-21 08:18
AGREED. Well put.
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2013-02-21 03:32
Ugh. Not liking this one at all.

It felt very flat to me. I kept checking the time, when it would be over. I skipped some scenes (I usually don't ever skip scenes), the intro, the second (obligatory) death and the sex scene. Just no.

At first I though Portia was cool but then she just became needy and annoying, "My Master blah blah blah". Why did they have to go with the "sleeping together" angle? To get motivation for framing him obviously. Why didn't the witch guy just try and kill him in the begin with?

So, what's the difference between a skinwalker and a familiar... Maybe you're born a familiar, not turned? Are you born an animal or a person? Maybe familiars can just shift into one animal? Ah, I just really don't need to know, it wasn't that interesting.

Also, as soon as the jealous cop came on screen, I zoned out trying to figure out in which eppie he was in earlier. I mean really, the reusing of previous actors is really starting to pull me out of the moment! Not always but when an eppie is this dull, it happens really easy. So I had pretty much no idea what was said during those PD scenes...

I had serious issues with Sam and Dean aswell. I mean come on, just last week, Dean showed that he had faith in Sam when he gave him the spell and let Sam read it, hence, do the trials. And now he's sure that Sam just fecks it up? Okay, according to what? Shouldn't these issues have been brought in to the open, oh I dunno, last week when itwas a bit more current? And easier to stop? I just felt him whiny when the milk had allready been spilt. Sam did the spell. You gave your "okay" for that. Now deal with it. It felt very reminiscent of earlier seasons, but not in a good way. Have some faith in your bro, dude. If you gotta fret, then fret about what the trials will do to him. Not that he will screw up. Ever heard of self-fulfilling prophesy?

And Sam. *sigh* If he does tell Dean about the "side effects" of the spell, I'll be shocked. More than that, pleasently suprised. But I have this (sinking) feeling, that he won't tell Dean, "to protect him" or "so he won't worry about me". Or just because he thinks Dean will be proven right (Sam won't be able to do the trials), which given Deans track record, is very very possible. So, Sam will most likely not tell Dean. He will yet again, keep ít a secret. And what good will that accomplish? Geez, it's like season 7 all over again. Either he will keel over eventually at some point and hurt himself --> Dean will be worried and pissed, or he will keel over during a critical poin and Dean will get hurt --> Dean will (eventually) be worried an pissed. He should know better. After EVERYTHING.
So, another conflict, yay. Also it was beyond ridiculous to have Dean declare that Sam was okay and literally 4 seconds later Sam coughs up blood. I just rolled my eyes.

Okay, positives...... er....Okay. The Astral projection bit was cool. And the special effects.
Er, that's about it. Not rewatching this one. *yawn*
Hades
# Hades 2013-02-21 03:53
was it the first time Sam had coughed up blood after passing the first trial?

Did it affect his job?

if its bad enough to tell Dean then surely it would be bad enough to be noticable without having to tell?

Would Dean tell Sam if the boot was on th other foot?

What exactly can Dean do about it?
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2013-02-21 04:18
Hi Hades. Sorry, don't know how to do the quote-thingy...

"was it the first time Sam had coughed up blood after passing the first trial?"

I'd assume. Who knows. I'm just assuming that he will keep it to himself. As long as he's not throwing up all over the place in front of Dean, he'll try to hide it. If they prove me wrong, great. But I doubt it.

"Did it affect his job?"

No it didn't. But again, I'm talking about what might happen, in the future (what I'm dreading). Because it always has worked in their disadvantage when they keep stuff like this from one another. So, I'd like them to learn from their mistakes, just once. In season 7 once Sam decided to be truthfull about the Hellucinations, Dean didn't crumble to bits or chew him a new one. So he can handle that information and go from there.

"if its bad enough to tell Dean then surely it would be bad enough to be noticable without having to tell?"

Okay, not sure if I understood this one right, but this reminds me of " I didn't lie, I just didn't tell you." Which is pretty much a lie anyways so...

"Would Dean tell Sam if the boot was on th other foot?"

I don't care if Dean would tell or not. The question is, if Dean did have a secret like this, would Sam want to know? And the answer is, yes.
Instead of shielding each other from these secrets, they could try to walk a mile in the other ones shoes. The way they handle things haven't really been healthy, so maybe they should try a different approach.

"What exactly can Dean do about it?"

I don't expect him to do anything. But Kevin did warn them that it will be torture with a side dish of bloody, so this shouldn't be a suprise. Dean will be worried, he will be pissed, no matter what. But the hiding and lying will just make it worse.

I just wish that they (the writers and JC) would show that much talked about maturity. I can see why they need to create these stupic conflicts in every episode (allthough I don't understand it, they can't be honest for more than two episodes??), it creates drama blah blah blah, but it's starting to really feel contrived.

Again, if Sam decides to fezz up or this isn't dragged out for eppies on end, I'll be happy. I'm just not that confident...

Sorry if I bummed you out Hades.
Hades
# Hades 2013-02-21 06:16
You didnt bum me out and I dont know how to do the quote thing either.

If I read the spoilers right then Sam will try to hide it because he doesnt want to admit to Dean that he's hurting or scared and he doesnt want Dean to think he cant do the tasks. Also it will get bad enough that it will become noticable, but my guess is it only becomes noticable to Dean when Sam starts to relise how bad it is too. He starts to lose physical ability which affects his ability to hunt which is when it should be of councern to himself and Dean. My guess is it'll be revealed pretty quickly well a lot quicker than Dean's season 7 lying anyway and hopefully faster than his Benny secret.
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2013-02-21 06:29
Okay, let's hope that it does get noticed soon, and not dragged out like the "More-horrible- than-hell-story line-from-seaso n7-that-shall-r emain-unmention ed". :)

I can totally see, why he'd do it, but it's just... the Merry-Go-Round with these guys, I wish that they'd snap out of this pattern (and how hard is that!?!) since it's not working for them.

Dean hates being lied to, and Sam knows that. So, how about Dean show some confidence that Sam can do the trials, and Sam shows some faith back in Dean, by revealing that he's suffering some effects allready and trusts that Dean will not go all big brother on him and they can together reach an understanding of "Hey, this sucks but let's try to work through this together. We can do this." But where's the fun in that? I mean conflict. :D
Hades
# Hades 2013-02-22 05:11
A renview I reas on another site made the ggod point that Sam also would not want to tell Dean because its likely that Dean will decide that Sam cant do the trials and decide to find a hell hound asap and take on the trials himself. I totally agree with this, Dean would do that and I think as soon as he finds out he is going to basically decide that he should do the trials. She also questioned what the point of that would be? So Dean could suffer the affects instead of Sam? Dean who is so gung ho on making sure Sam is safe then possibly rendering himself pysically incable of having Sam's back instead of the other way round?

I dont like the lying because been there done that but this time I find it absolutely understandable. Sam I believe would deffinately assume Dean would decide to do the trials and end up being the one coughing up blood instead Deans grumblings earlier in the episode pretty much confirmed that he would do that and why would Sam want his brother to go through that instead of himself?

Dean will be pissed (when isnt he?) but this time I think Sam is doing the right thing.
Chris_J
# Chris_J 2013-02-22 09:09
I don't agree. If Sam expects Dean to trust him completely, and Dean has now made it clear he trusts Sam 100 percent, then Sam needs to reciprocate that trust. It doesn't matter why Sam is lying, it only matters that he IS lying to Dean.

Especially problematic to me after Sam raked Dean over the coals for lying about Benny.

And remember in Swan Song, despite Dean fearing for Sam's safety, he fully supported Sam's plan to be Lucifer's vessel even though they both knew it meant Sam wouldn't survive getting Lucifer back in his cage. That was basically a suicide mission for Sam, and Dean knew it.

So now that Dean told Sam that he does trust him, Sam needs to not lie to Dean and be honest about how he's doing. If he doesn't even give Dean a chance to stick to their agreement, then Sam doesn't deserve the trust Dean has placed in him. IMO.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-02-22 09:31
Quote:
I don't agree. If Sam expects Dean to trust him completely, and Dean has now made it clear he trusts Sam 100 percent, then Sam needs to reciprocate that trust. It doesn't matter why Sam is lying, it only matters that he IS lying to Dean.

Especially problematic to me after Sam raked Dean over the coals for lying about Benny.

And remember in Swan Song, despite Dean fearing for Sam's safety, he fully supported Sam's plan to be Lucifer's vessel even though they both knew it meant Sam wouldn't survive getting Lucifer back in his cage. That was basically a suicide mission for Sam, and Dean knew it.

So now that Dean told Sam that he does trust him, Sam needs to not lie to Dean and be honest about how he's doing. If he doesn't even give Dean a chance to stick to their agreement, then Sam doesn't deserve the trust Dean has placed in him. IMO.
Sam hasnt actually lied to Dean yet though. He has coughed once at the end of the episode and as he was ok up until that point he had no time to start not telling Dean.Now I actually dont have a problem with him not saying anything at this point and do not see a need for the trials Sam is facing to be turned into a trust issue . When he starts facing serious problems and then he still tries to hide it which frankly would be pretty hard then I would see a issue.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-22 13:06
Dean can be a massive hypocrite on telling the truth. He hid his flashbacks to Hell from Sam, then got all bent out of shape when Sam held back his hallucinations about the cage. In Sam, Interrupted, Sam wanted and needed to talk about the anger he had felt all his life and Dean told him to stow his crap and just do the job, which, if Sam hides the physical ramifications is what Sam is doing. If Sam complains he is burdening Dean and not just pushing through the pain. If Sam doesn't tell Dean every detail he is lying. This is a no win situation for Sam in that respect and it is exacerbated by the fact the Dean has already stated that if Sam is having problems, Dean intends to take over the trials himself.

Dean hiding Benny from Sam is more like Sam hiding Ruby from Dean. Sam not telling Dean about the side effects of the trial is like Dean not telling Sam that he was cutting out and reliving his time in Purgatory or initially not telling Sam about the deal that brought Sam back to life. No one blamed Dean for that, so why does Sam have to spill everything, especially when nothing can be done about it.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-22 18:48
Let's face it, Dean and Sam are both "Do as I say, not as I do" guys when it comes to telling the truth. Dean wants Sam to be completely honest with him, but keeps things like Purgatory to himself. Sam is furious that Dean didn't tell him about Benny, but is (from spoilers) going to keep his issues to himself about the trials. They always have reasons and justifications, but it all boils down to the fact that Sam and Dean both want complete disclosure--the y're just not willing to give it.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-22 19:35
Oh, true, but Sam doesn't hold onto it for years and use it to beat Dean down with "you've lied to me ever since you got into my car", or since you lied new person over there is the only one I can trust. Even with Ruby Sam wanted Dean by his side when he went to meet Lilith, so he still trusted Dean. Dean may feel abandoned but he tells Sam that Sam is unimportant to him when Sam sins. And Dean doesn't forgive easily. Sam makes lots of other mistakes and hurts Dean's feelings, but he forgave Dean for killing Amy after only one week and even forgave Dean for lying to him about not trusting Sam on Amy after only one week.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-22 20:03
None of this, however, has to do much with the fact that Sam wants full disclosure from Dean but is unwilling to give it himself. So in this, he is equal with Dean. But for the spirit of debate, allow me to address your points.

Both of those were things Dean said while under possession. I know I've agreed to disagree about this before, but since I don't believe in holding characters responsible for what they say under possession, I don't find either of those examples as true to how Dean actually feels.

Even with Ruby, Sam wanted Dean with him to kill Lilith, that's true. Was part of that because he desperately wanted to prove to Dean that his choices with drinking demon blood were really good? I think so, but that's only my personal headcanon. Still, I think Sam had some complex motivations at the time, because Sam is a complex person. But no, Dean agreeing to go with Sam, just without Ruby, is not Dean telling Sam that he is unimportant to him. He set a condition, just as Sam did when he refused to go without her.

As for Amy, clearly Sam wasn't quite as over that as we might believe, considering that he pulled that card out of his pocket immediately after learning about Benny. He's fairly quick to pull the "You don't trust me/treat me as an equal" card. So as with Dean, sometimes water under the bridge isn't as under the bridge as Sam thinks it is.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-22 23:14
Quote:
he pulled that card out of his pocket immediately after learning about Benny.
Exactly, If Sam had just brought it up without learning about Benny then i could have thought that Sam had not let go.
As for blaming Dean when he was possessed it was for the benefit (at least from me) of the fans who burned down Sam at the stake for what he did to Dean when possessed.
Personally I think the expiry date for Samholdingon is less than the expiry date for Dean holding on.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 00:24
With respect, I'm not sure what the difference is. Sam was hurt/shocked after learning about Benny and Dean's apparent attachment to it, and he was so readily able to bring up his past resentment it is reasonable to think that this was something Sam had thought was resolved but clearly wasn't. Something triggered it, but it was still Sam's genuine emotion and perspective. Likewise, Dean's resentment this season didn't come from nowhere. They were also triggered by shock/hurt at Sam's actions, or rather inactions. That shock/hurt brought up past resentments we haven't seen from Dean in a long time. So their reactions share that commonality as well--deriving from a place of hurt and a need to strike out. It seems to be a common Winchester trait.

I see no point in blaming a character for something that fans do. Therefore, holding Dean accountable for possessed actions because some other person held Sam accountable just seems petty, no offense intended Anyway, I can't answer for other Dean fans, any more than I expect you to answer for other Sam fans. All I can do is state my perspective, which is that neither Sam nor Dean should be held responsible for things that occur under possession.

Expiration dates, to me, have little to do with the fact that Sam and Dean both hold onto resentments past the point where they thought they were resolved.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 00:44
Don't you hate it when you get caught between two ways of phrasing things and end up posting half of each? It should either be shocked by Dean's friendship with Benny and his attachment to it, or shocked by Benny and Dean's attachment to him. Oh, well.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-23 00:55
The difference are the reasons they reacted.Sam reacted to Dean's hypocrisy and Dean to Sam's inaction.Just because a serial killer and a freedom fighter both go to jail does not mean I can equate them.In the same way because Dean and Sam show their resentments does not mean they are same.Dean should take his time forgiving that is his right but he should not say he forgives something and blame him again if i have to believe in Dean's forgiveness.Quote:
just seems petty
actually i was being petty so no offense there.(I don't mind being reactive petty)Quote:
Expiration dates, to me, have little to do with the fact that Sam and Dean both hold onto resentments past the point where they thought they were resolved.
When I say Dean holds resentment longer its a thing I perceived about Dean .I am not dissing Dean.Anyone and that includes Dean should hold resentments till they feel they should.I don't have problem with people not forgiving immediately but I don't like when they say they have forgiven something and then say something that shows they have not yet forgiven something. I believe that forgiveness should not only make the person who is asking for it lighter but more importantly the person who is giving it should also feel lighter and this takes different duration for different people and it does not make anyone better than anyone else it is just how they are built.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 01:23
I’m afraid I still don’t see any difference—bo th Sam and Dean were reacting to the other acting in ways they found unacceptable. Sam’s fury over Dean’s hypocrisy is a bit suspect, considering his refusal to give Dean’s supernatural friend a chance while giving his own supernatural friend a pass on killing four people was a big show of hypocrisy itself. To me, Sam was hurt that Dean had this purgatory connection that did seem unlike him (even though Dean was adopting a mindset Sam had been encouraging him to take on for years, so why not be happy for that?), and Dean wasn’t listening to Sam’s arguments against it. His “You had Benny” was about more than Dean’s hypocrisy—Sam was jealous and acting out, at least in my opinion. Even if arguing that he wasn’t jealous, that comment does, to me, show that Sam’s resentment was about more than Benny being a vampire. Similarly, Dean was upset that Sam seemed able to forget about him and move on (which of course he didn’t, but I can see where Dean could have reached that conclusion), and acted out. So, yes, they’re pretty equivalent to me.

As for Dean not forgiving past slights, he only voiced resentment over the past resentments during possession. His current resentments were present right from the beginning, and he didn’t pretend not to hold that hurt or hide it. So that’s not really the same thing to me. Sam brought up his past resentment about Amy of his own free will, even after claiming that Dean was right and all was forgiven. I think it was an understandable impulse, but it is still exactly what Dean has done--bringing up a past issue thought to be resolved in a moment of pique, and therefore the exact thing you say you don't like Dean doing. Neither is a freedom fighter or a serial killer. They’re both brothers reacting to hurt in a very similar way.

If you’re good with being petty, I’ll leave you to it with no further comment.

Again, Dean showed no resentment for the events in S4 in S6 or S7—except under the influence of a supernatural force. I will agree that Dean holds onto resentments. No argument. My point is that Sam also holds onto resentments subconsciously and pulls them out when he’s hurt and lashing out (see Sam pulling out the trust card in the last episode, when Dean made it perfectly clear that for him it was about protecting Sam, not trusting him. That’s a very old issue for Sam to be rearing its head again). I agree that forgiveness helps the person giving it as much as the person receiving it, but Winchesters don’t let things go easily, as show has proven many times before. Both Sam and Dean are built that way.

But, of course, mileage varies.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-23 01:48
Quote:
Even if arguing that he wasn’t jealous, that comment does, to me, show that Sam’s resentment was about more than Benny being a vampire.
"Dean moved on with Benny so why does Dean resent me with moving on with Amelia?" that is what I thought Sam was thinking.Sam was hurt because of this IMO.Quote:
If you’re good with being petty
I will not start it but if someone else does then I don't mind reacting in kind.Quote:
friend a chance
Sam gave him a chance which dean did not give Amy IMO. Quote:
Neither is a freedom fighter or a serial killer.
Yes but it was a simile or an aide I used to explain my point.Quote:
see Sam pulling out the trust card in the last episode, when Dean made it perfectly clear that for him it was about protecting Sam, not trusting him.
Sorry what I saw was Dean not trusting Sam ..so I can see why Sam told Dean does not trust him or rather Dean only trusts himself .Sam did not talk about the earlier times Dean did not trust him he was talking about Dean not trusting him now with the trials.I think that is what the dialogue says.YMMV.Sam does let go things easily .For me in whole of the eight seasons it was only the Amy thing he called out Dean on and that was because he wanted Dean to recognize the hypocrisy.Quote:
They’re both brothers reacting to hurt in a very similar way.
I respectfully disagree.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 02:19
Forgive me for not using quotes, but it hasn’t worked out well for me in the past.

If Sam really thought Dean was ‘moving on’ with Benny, I’m not sure what to say. Dean was fighting for his life and fighting to get back to Sam and found an ally while doing so. That’s not moving on from Sam. Still, that fits, because in the first half of the season Sam seemed to have no idea why Dean was hurt or how purgatory had affected him.

As for Sam giving Benny a chance, I’m not sure when we saw that. Because he didn’t kill Benny immediately upon shaking his hand? Despite trusting supernatural creatures like Lenore and Jack from 4.4 with little to no factual proof of their goodness, Sam was prophesizing his killing Benny from 8.6. He didn’t give Benny a chance to prove himself to him—he immediately decided he was untrustworthy and would more than likely need to be killed. Contrasting that with Amy, whom he literally caught with blood on her hands, it doesn’t follow.

I’m afraid miles vary again, because I didn’t see Dean not trusting Sam. I saw Dean worried about Sam’s condition and worrying that the toll of closing the gates would be too much for him. He didn’t imply that Sam was going to screw the trials up on purpose or somehow was unreliable. Sam did the same thing in the last episode, when he implied that Dean wasn’t in the right frame of mind to take on the trials. I didn’t see that as a trust issue, either. So, no, I don’t know how Sam saw this as a trust issue, except that he was pulling out his little brother baggage. I disagree that Amy is the only thing he has ever called Dean out on (2.4, 3.7, 5.5, 8.6 being only a few examples). That’s within his rights as a brother to do so, but Sam does call his brother to task just as Dean does to him. That’s what partners and brothers do.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-23 02:32
Really nice emmau. Good and fair points.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-23 04:42
Quote:
Sam did the same thing in the last episode, when he implied that Dean wasn’t in the right frame of mind to take on the trials
In this case I did not need Sam to tell me that Dean's frame of mind being bad.It was evident by the way Dean was talking about doing the trials.
2.4,3.7-Sam's worry about Dean was not some lingering issue or resurfacing of forgiven issues it was Sam worrying about Dean reacting to the misfortunes that Dean had in the immediate past.5.5 and 8.6 were long overdue (as for 8.6 Dean had prodded Sam enough) and he has not taken up those issues again from 5.5,2.4 and 3.7 as the situations are over.He did not bring those up again.So I disagree.Quote:
Because he didn’t kill Benny immediately upon shaking his hand?
Yes.Quote:
Despite trusting supernatural creatures like Lenore and Jack from 4.4
He did not trust Lenore immediately .Logic dictated that Lenore was telling the truth and Jack was not yet a monster when they met him.Quote:
Sam was prophesizing his killing Benny from 8.6.
which was conditional.Quote:
he immediately
No ,after Martin's fact finding not immediately.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 09:30
Forgive me, but when I read Sam has never called Dean out on anything before Amy, I cited examples where Sam did call Dean out on his behavior. I did not think the example, nor your point, was specific to times where Sam was bringing up issues from the past. The point remains that Sam has and does call Dean out on his behavior.

Sam not killing a monster immediately upon shaking its hand is standard Sam behavior. The fact that he didn’t listen to anything Dean said afterwards and refused to give a monster the benefit of the doubt was not, and that’s why it seems logical to think there was more going on than met the eye. Sam had no reason to believe Lenore when she said they weren’t killing—she had no proof that they hadn’t killed. For all he knew, she could have spared his life to manipulate him into giving the nest enough time to escape. It was good that Sam was open minded and wanted Dean to see the situation clearly before acting, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t the possibility that Sam was being shined on. As for Jack, according to the lore Sam had, Jack was going to turn and become a killer, no question. But Sam (projecting his own monster issues onto Jack) wanted to allow Jack time to fight against his ‘destiny.’ Again, I thought that was a fair frame of mind.

Both Lenore and Jack were strangers, and Benny had someone vouching for him. Sam did not treat them the same way. So for all the talk about trust, Sam did not trust Dean’s assessment. We can speculate that it had to do with his past burn of trusting Ruby or whatnot, but in the end all we saw was Sam insisting that Dean’s words wasn’t good enough and Benny couldn’t be trusted. He didn’t talk to Lenore or Jack about how their existence was conditional on their behavior—he supported their right to live and insisted that they would able to handle themselves. He did not do the same for Benny—we don’t know the time frame of episodes, so we don’t know how long it was before Sam called in Martin. But Martin arrived and then the killings began, not the other way around, according to the episode, if memory serves. So Sam’s suspicion was not borne of actual deaths but Sam’s hate for the creature who helped his brother out of purgatory. This is something I wished show had explored more, frankly, because it would have been interesting to see Sam tackle what his true motivations were there.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-23 11:01
Quote:
but when I read Sam has never called Dean out on anything before Amy,
What i meant to say was long after the incident was over or forgiven.Quote:
The fact that he didn’t listen to anything Dean said afterwards and refused to give a monster the benefit of the doubt was not,
Sorry,I disagree.Sam did not believe in Benny's words which Dean reproduced.Dean could not provide any other evidence other than that.Dean was not with Benny the whole time when these things happened so unlike Lenore or Jack he did not have a reason to.Quote:
she had no proof that they hadn’t killed.
But you see Sam had proof that she had not killed.Quote:
Jack was going to turn and become a killer, no question.
Not really it was only after he ate a human.Quote:
He did not do the same for Benny—
One big difference he did not interact with Benny.Dean could have trusted Sam ,heck Dean wanted Sam to trust Benny the easiest way was that.If Dean does not do that then he has o produce compelling evidence which he did not.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 17:55
The more I think about it, the more I think there are definitely similarities between Lenore and Benny here. Sam believed Lenore’s words about herself and her nest with no more proof than the fact that she could have killed him but didn’t. When he spoke to Dean about her, he repeated Lenore’s words to Dean. Dean believed Benny’s words about himself with no more proof than fighting by his side, his saving Castiel, and his keeping his words and not killing Dean when he had the chance. Sam and Dean were not with Lenore or Jack when murders occurred, so they had no more reason to trust them than Benny. So to me they are very similar.

Jack was doomed, poor man, because once he ate a human he had no choice. I agree with that. It was clear that the urges had begun, and it’s impossible to know how long he could have resisted the call without Travis’s interference. But it is reasonable to believe that Jack would have had a very hard time keeping his word, if not impossible. We’ll never know for sure, though. The point is that Jack was suffering from hunger, same as Benny, and Sam wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt without extending the same to Benny.

I don’t see why Dean’s instincts and judgment is not a compelling reason for Sam to at least open his mind to the possibility that his brother is right. In Bloodlust, Sam wanted Dean to trust Sam’s vouching for Lenore, and Dean was open enough to go with him to find out. Now, I’ll agree with you that hiding Benny from Sam was not a good move on Dean’s part. But given Sam’s reaction, I wouldn’t have brought Benny around him after he did find out, because it was clear from “He helped you out. Why is he still breathing?” that Benny would be in danger from Sam, and vice versa. But even with a bad introduction, Sam could have tried to understand why Benny was important to Dean and made an effort of his own. Dean is responsible for his part in the conflict, but Sam is responsible for his. I agree that Dean didn’t trust Sam with Benny, but Dean’s uneasieness about trusting Sam with Benny was pretty much proven correct, wasn’t it?
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-23 18:21
Quote:
In Bloodlust, Sam wanted Dean to trust Sam’s vouching for Lenore, and Dean was open enough to go with him to find out.
Actually no he didn't. The full transcript is here www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=2.03_Bloodlust_%28transcript%29

The pertinent dialog starts like this.

Quote:
SAM I don't think they're like other vampires. I don't think they're killing people.

DEAN You're joking. Then how do they stay alive? Or undead, or whatever the hell they are.

SAM The cattle mutilations. They said they live off of animal blood.

DEAN And you believed them?

SAM Look at me, Dean. They let me go without a scratch.

DEAN Wait, so you're saying... No, man, no way. I don't know why they let you go. I don't really care. We find 'em, we waste 'em.
They then have the fight where Dean punches Sam for saying that Dean substituting Gordon for John. Dean advocates killing the nest until he SEES Lenore refuse to drink from Sam. He doesn't take Sam's word. He doesn't trust that Sam can make that call. At the time it wasn't as if Sam had just gotten back into the game. Sam and Dean had been hunting together for over a year, and at this point Sam had done NOTHING to make Dean distrust his abilities, his judgement, or his intelligence. All of Sam's big failures were still in the future, so you can't say that Dean had no reason to rely on Sam's judgment. If anything the incident with Lenore should have reinforced the idea that Sam would need to SEE that Benny was safe, not hide Benny like a dirty secret.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 18:42
All right, fair enough. Dean did not believe Sam’s word about a good monster as he’d never seen one before. He did recognize quickly that Gordon was not as good a guy as he thought (messing with the impala was a pretty good hint) and was very much on Sam’s side once they entered the cabin. And here’s the thing—when Dean realized that Gordon wasn’t on the up and up and started to learn about the shades of gray in the supernatural world. It is still not something that comes naturally to him, but he did at the end of 3.3 realize that he was wrong, insist that Sam punch him back to make them square again, and reflect on how his actions. We haven’t seen any such admission from Sam, or even reflection that maybe he wasn’t quite as right in his judgments as he thought this season. Maybe that’s because he’s refused to listen to anything Dean has to say about the subject. That sounds just as close-minded as Dean does in this transcript, doesn’t it?

So fair enough—Dean didn’t trust Sam’s word in 3.3 and Sam didn’t trust Dean’s word in S8. I don’t see that the message of Bloodlust was monsters are guilty until proven innocent. If anything, I would think the argument in S3 was more that monsters should be seen individually and that Dean should trust Sam’s hunting instincts more, since his Stanford rustiness was now gone and he was fully immersed. So to me, this is still Sam not practicing what he preaches. He didn’t trust Dean anymore than Dean trusted him, and that apparently as of the last episode was very important to Sam. Dean had just spent a year immersed in monsterdom and is, according to Sam, the best hunter in the world. So why would Sam doubt Dean’s judgment? I could assume it’s because he thought Dean’s judgment was skewed by his experience, just as Dean thought Sam’s was in 3.3. Or am I to believe that in S8 Sam doubted Dean’s abilities, judgment, and intelligence when he refused to trust him about Benny based on nothing but his word?
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-23 18:56
Quote:
I don’t see that the message of Bloodlust was monsters are guilty until proven innocent.
And Sam didn't take that message. He took trust Dean knew what he was talking about but verify. Martin wasn't killing people to frame Benny, he said flat out that Benny was acting fine for the first week or so. I don't understand why when Dean doesn't trust a monster then the whole world must agree but when Sam doesn't trust a monster he must say but Dean must always be right. I don't understand when Sam says he trusts a monster he gets to be overridden, but when Dean trusts a monster Sam has to believe in the monster unless he comes on him attacking someone AT THAT MOMENT. Sam didn't go after Benny and kill him in front of his granddaughter. He set up surveillance and sadly the surveillance turned up dead bodies.

As to Kate she had NEVER killed anyone. Benny had. He says he is on the wagon, but previously, he killed lots and lots of people, so he isn't an innocent like Kate.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 19:19
So then, why hasn’t Sam verified with Kate, the werewolf from Bitten? He hasn’t sent any hunters to track her down and watch her to see if she’s keeping her word. He has less reason to trust her than Benny, who does have someone Sam trusts vouching for him. To me, the double standard does indicate that there is more going on than Sam just verifying Benny. No, the whole world doesn’t have to trust a monster because Dean does (that seems like a bit of a diversionary point) but Sam, Dean’s brother and truster of monsters, was acting against character by sending someone to watch Benny when he lets Kate go and gave no acknowledgement that he was planning on following up with actual murderer Amy.

As for Benny’s kills, Sam was immediately forgiving of Amy’s kills, and he was immediately forgiving of Castiel for his sins and the wall-breaking. The latter he knew for years, but the former he spent an afternoon with 15+ years ago. So he was willing to forgive a virtual stranger for murders that occurred right in front of him, but he was holding Benny’s kills from years before against him? I wouldn’t think so. Sam has, since S4, been a big believer in redemption and second chances. So why wouldn’t he be willing to extend that same second chance to Benny? If Dean is a hypocrite for believing in Benny, his friend, but killing Amy, Sam’s murderer within the last five days killer friend, then Sam is just as big of one for giving Amy a pass but not giving Benny, Dean’s hadn’t-murder ed-anyone-in-fi fty-years friend, a second chance. I tend to think both Sam and Dean are hypocrites, so that doesn’t surprise me.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-23 21:16
He saw what happened to Kate.It was not some version he was fed by Kate.The entire thing was there for him to see.
castiel and Amy were Sam's friends .He knew them.Benny he does not.He has treated situations individually.Th ere are differences.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 21:34
I agree that Dean and Sam saw what happened to Kate, which made her a very sympathetic figure. In truth, though, they have no reason to be certain that she won’t succumb to the need to have human hearts, any more than we can be sure that Benny will not succumb to the need for human blood. Don’t get me wrong—I’m glad that they gave her a chance, because she didn’t deserve to be immediately killed because she was changed against her will. But it is a chance, and the risk is that she won’t be able to keep her word. If Sam is concerned about Benny, why not about Kate as well? He knows each of them equally well. Seeing her origin story, so to speak, doesn’t make her immune from the need for hearts. In my headcanon, I hope not, but at the moment I don’t see her as so different from Benny to warrant Sam’s suspicion instead of his compassion, which has so readily dispensed in the past.

Castiel was Sam’s friend, and Sam did know him. Sam knew Amy extremely briefly 15+ years ago, so I find the idea that he knew her less credible. His childhood acquaintance Amy was actively murdering people in front of Sam, and he was willing to give her a pass. But Dean’s friend is immediately suspicious because of what he is and deserves to be watched and killed? Yes, there are differences between Amy and Benny, but the main one—Sam knew one was killing and did not know the same of the other—doesn†™t play in Sam’s favor, in my opinion. If Dean is applying a double standard for the people he calls friends, then surely Sam is as well. And that’s fine, because Sam and Dean are hypocrites. But yeah.

Sam may judge situations individually, but there’s an overall pattern to his behavior that makes his behavior concerning Benny stand out to me as a marked divergence from his usual pattern of thought. To me, there’s a lot more to it than, “Well, Sam doesn’t know Benny”, because he’s given other monsters a lot more slack for a lot less reason. Your mileage, obviously, may vary.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-24 01:38
Quote:
immune from the need for hearts
But whatever fifth generation crap that was gave her an edge.At least in my eyes.
Quote:
deserves to be watched and killed?
No but he deserves to watched because he was Dean's friend and was immediately not killed because he was Dean's friend.Quote:
If Dean is applying a double standard for the people he calls friends, then surely Sam is as well.
But Sam's double standards do not get you outright Killed.Quote:
because he’s given other monsters a lot more slack for a lot less reason
Don't agree with this.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 10:24
I hope that you’re right, and Kate’s whatever generation retcon saves her from the cravings and allows her to stay on the straight and narrow, so to speak.

Again, why does the fact that Dean is Benny’s friend mean that he deserves to be watched, when the other monsters/witche s that have survived their encounters with the Winchesters do not?

Sam’s double standards set the ball rolling that led to Martin’s death, so I’d say that’s not quite accurate.

We can agree to disagree, of course.
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-23 11:30
Quote:
Sam had no reason to believe Lenore when she said they weren’t killing—she had no proof that they hadn’t killed. For all he knew, she could have spared his life to manipulate him into giving the nest enough time to escape.
Sam and Dean were initially investigating cattle mutilations and severed heads which by that stage they had determined weren't human, but vampire.

In the extended version of the episode Sam says that there have been no unexplained disappearances and in fact the rate is lower than would be expected.

Lenore pleaded their case (and Sam was more inclined to believe in the goodness of everyone way back in season 2) and she claimed the cattle deaths - she didn't know that was what they were investigating and vampires that are getting human blood wouldn't call attention to themselves by killing cattle for blood they weren't going to use just to try to use it as a possible excuse if a persuadable hunter showed up.

If they WERE killing people it would have been much more logical for Lenore to turn Sam (which is what Sam thought was going to happen) and have Sam kill Dean and Gordon if they wanted to escape the hunters.

Gordon admitted that he knew the vampires weren't killing people. He is definitely a hostile witness, it gives weight to his evidence.

And with all that if Sam (or Dean) had followed Lenore down a dark path, heard a scream and come across a dead vamped body a few moments later then nothing Lenore could have said would have saved her life.

Sam knew where Benny was for a week before he told Dean and had made no attempt to kill him (or have him killed) because Benny had done nothing wrong. This is benefit of the doubt.

At no point has Sam said that he 'hates' Benny. I don't believe he does. That is a word that has been put on his actions and anger at Dean hiding information about his friendship with a monster and refusal to explain in detail why he trusts Benny (his refusal to tell Sam about what happened in Purgatory - and thereby give Sam a chance to understand - is the most contrived storyline in the history of the show in my opinion).

Dean's question 'Does that sound like the Benny you know' indicates that he doesn't feel that Sam hates Benny.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 18:11
All right, I’ll agree that there was some other circumstantial evidence that supported Lenore’s story. The cattle mutilations and lack of unexplained disappearances (I must have missed the extended scenes, but I’ll accept that as canon) offer support to her argument. I’ll concede to that. I’ll also concede that Sam was very trusting back then, but he was just as trusting in S8 when he was very agreeable to letting Kate go in Bitten on the honor system that she wouldn’t kill. This is not something that has completely disappeared from Sam’s personality at this point, so immediate condemnation of Benny is still enough of a contradiction to be noted.

To me, Sam sending someone to watch Benny when he did not do the same with Kate or plan to do the same with actual murderer Amy does show a double standard and lack of benefit of the doubt on his part. Yes, he didn’t send Martin to kill him automatically, because I think, like Sam said in 8.6, that he really wanted to be the one to kill Benny, or to have Dean have to do it. But he wanted it to be because he was right and Dean was wrong. The “I told you so” mentality Sam had in the car at the beginning of 8.9 was pretty clear to me.

Well, Sam pretty clearly has some strong negative feelings about Benny, because he has never reacted like this to a monster that had not done him any harm and Sam had no proof had done anyone any harm. That seems hard to deny to me. If you’re telling me that his dislike of Benny was displaced resentment of Dean for acting in a way that Sam did not approve (though Sam was always the one to advocate that Dean not see things in black and white), I could agree. As for Dean not talking to him about purgatory, other than a perfunctory “What was it like?” in 8.1, I never got any sense that Sam actually wanted to know, any more than Dean wanted to know about Sam’s normal. In 8.6, his little brother “Yeah, how did you get out?” was much more about wanting Dean to have to admit to working with a monster to Garth than actually wanting details. Now, was it a plot device to keep the contrived conflict going? Sure, I could agree to that. But we have to admit that in canon neither Sam nor Dean wanted to talk about what they’d gone through, nor did they want to know what the other had gone through.

Dean’s question was nothing more than a bad bit of writing, in my opinion. Dean knew Sam didn’t like Benny, and he knew that Sam didn’t know Benny. So why would he ask? So Sam could irritably spout out that he didn’t know Benny at all (and apparently he didn’t think Dean did, either).
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-23 19:02
Quote:

Yes, he didn’t send Martin to kill him automatically, because I think, like Sam said in 8.6, that he really wanted to be the one to kill Benny, or to have Dean have to do it. But he wanted it to be because he was right and Dean was wrong. The “I told you so” mentality Sam had in the car at the beginning of 8.9 was pretty clear to me.
....
I never got any sense that Sam actually wanted to know, any more than Dean wanted to know about Sam’s normal. In 8.6, his little brother “Yeah, how did you get out?” was much more about wanting Dean to have to admit to working with a monster to Garth than actually wanting details.
Hi emmau, thanks for your reply, I have to say I entirely disagree with these interpretations of Sam's intentions. It is all speculation since, for example, Sam didn't say he WANTED to kill Benny he said he might be the one to kill Benny, which is different. But, as you say, mileage varies.

Overall it is very easy to attribute malicious intent to one or the other of the brothers to argue a point but pretty much always the one who can be painted as malicious in a given situation is simply hurt and reacting badly to the other one.

Quote:
But we have to admit that in canon neither Sam nor Dean wanted to talk about what they’d gone through
Yes that does seem to be the case, but isn't it always with these guys?

Quote:
Dean’s question was nothing more than a bad bit of writing, in my opinion.
I think it is actually a very interesting perspective on Dean's mindset about both Sam and Benny, but again, it is all a matter of how you chose to view these characters.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 19:29
No problem, and again, sorry about the lack of quotes. It is something I am not skilled at, and so I tend to avoid doing it. Sam didn’t say he wanted to kill Benny, but in sending someone to watch Benny he actively pursued a scenario which would allow him to do so. He didn’t let Benny lie, as he did Kate or any of the other ‘good’ monsters Dean and Sam have walked away from over the years—he actively decided to send someone to watch. That to me does indicate that there are different motives involved. To use an imperfect analogy, there’s a difference between accidentally running into someone at a store and watching their twitter account and showing up and the same place they’re going. Sam didn’t leave the idea that he might be the one to kill Benny to chance—he put Martin on him to see if he was killing,. Do you think he did that because he didn’t think he would be? I don’t think so. He thought Martin would find evidence, which would lead to someone having to kill Benny. He didn’t want to leave that to Martin—he wanted Dean and himself to be there. So to me, it’s not as cut and dry as Sam just thought he might be the one to kill Benny. Mileage varies, and that’s fine.

I didn’t say that Sam’s intentions were malicious when he put Dean on the spot with Garth, but I find it hard to deny that his “Yeah, tell us” wasn’t meant to put Dean on the spot. Did you see it differently? I think if Sam was genuinely seeking that information, he wouldn’t have sought it in Garth’s presence (since he would know Dean wouldn’t confide in him). So, yes, to me there had to be another reason. Sam was angry with Dean, and he was reacting to that. That’s human.

I am genuinely curious what you think that question was supposed to indicate about Dean’s mindset with Sam and Benny with that question, because for the life of me it just seemed like a clunker of a line. Would you mind elaborating?
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-23 21:20
Quote:
Benny he actively pursued a scenario which would allow him to do so.
There is no indication that this was why Sam had martin tail Benny.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 21:41
As I’ve said before, since Sam has never decided a monster with no kills to its credit that Sam knows of (within the last half century, anyway) needs to be actively pursued and put under surveillance, there is something beyond “Well, Sam just wanted to be sure” at play here. If he did not in his mind see the scenario where Benny was killing and Sam would go and kill him (since he did tell Martin not to engage, evn when Martin was certain that Benny was killing people and a town was actively in danger, and Dean had flatout said that he wasn't going to kill Benny), what did Sam see the end scenario being?
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-24 01:20
The difference in earlier case was Sam was convinced that those monsters would not be killing anymore...with benny he wanted to be sure of the same fact.Benny was Dean's friend ina place where he did not suffer blood lust . Now he is back.So it is not illogical to be sure of the fact that his decision to let go of Benny without knowing him was good.He had to be sure that he was not endangering other people by decision at this point.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2013-02-24 03:05
I think that there's another factor to consider. Benny was the first monster Dean had befriended. I think that Sam was worried that Benny was a bad influence on Dean, like Ruby.

We have to remember how Sam met Benny: Dean leaves without telling him where he's going, and then Dean calls and asks for help. The next thing we know, Sam is introduced to the vamp. I understand how Sam would be worried.

And then Dean goes on about Benny never letting him down, which adds fuel to the fire. There's definitely some jealousy and hurt on Sam's part and probably a desire to prove to Dean that Benny may not be as trustworthy as Dean thinks.

At this point, we can only guess what was going on in Sam's head because he was given so little dialogue to explain himself. There's so much unfinished business there, I hope the writers don't drop this.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-02-24 05:16
I think if we switch the brothers and put Sam in Dean's place with Benny and Dean in Sam's ? then I believe very few would of expected Dean to just accept Benny . However the way the character and his relationship with Dean was presented Sam was always going to be on the back foot and seen has being unreasonable with Benny.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 10:48
Oh, I'm certain that if we switched the brothers, there would still be fans that stated that Benny should be accepted outright and still fans that insisted Benny should be watched and not trusted. It'd just be different sides of the fandom fence making the arguments.
st50
# st50 2013-02-24 10:49
Quote:
I think if we switch the brothers and put Sam in Dean's place with Benny and Dean in Sam's ? then I believe very few would of expected Dean to just accept Benny . However the way the character and his relationship with Dean was presented Sam was always going to be on the back foot and seen has being unreasonable with Benny.
I think this is very astute, Sharon, and exactly the issue. Nobody would have questioned the need to check up on Benny if he'd come back as SAM'S friend, rather than Dean's.
And that's the bottom line. It's all about perception and POV.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 11:00
I'm pretty sure some would have questioned the need to check up on Benny if he was Sam's friend, because there's always two sides to fandom. It would be easy for someone to make the argument that Dean was once again being a bad, overbearing brother who wouldn't let go of the past and didn't trust Sam again because he checked up on his friend. If fandom was so singular in its thinking, there wouldn't be any defending Sam for his decision to check up on Benny now.

Then again, we're all speculating about what fandom would have done, and there's really no way to know, is there? As you say, it's all about perception and POV, both on show and in fandom.
st50
# st50 2013-02-24 11:23
Let me clarify:
If Benny had been Sam's friend, the discussion would have centered on why Dean couldn't trust Sam. NOT on whether it was a good thing to have Benny tailed, if he had merited further watching. NOT on Dean's motivations to have him watched. We would all have assumed that Dean had Benny watched because he had learned from past experience that not all of Sam's friends were entirely trustworthy. The questions of resentment and jealousy would never have arisen.
They have come up, because we simply don't know Sam's mindset and have very infrequently seen his POV.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 11:50
Again, I’m not sure we can make a blanket generalization about what we “all” would have assumed or that no one would have discussed ulterior motives in Dean’s actions. Judging by this site, there are many and varied points of view, and many and varied interpretations of what we’re seeing on screen.

I do, for example, believe that resentment would also be a topic if Benny was Sam’s friend and Dean was suspicious, along the lines of “Dean doesn’t want anyone to replace him as the number one person in Sam’s life so he resents Sam making a friend.” I did see the resentment card played about Dean regarding Amelia, and with “You left me in purgatory for a girl” and the pointblank “Maybe I was jealous”, it seemed fitting. So I think Dean is not immune from charges of resentment and jealousy. Would the PTB have had Sam make the same admissions that Dean has made this season regarding his own faults in the conflict? Maybe, but we’ll never know—just as we’ll never know if Dean would have been called to the carpet on his motivations for sending someone to tail Benny if the situation had been reversed.

I don’t think that all of the questions about Sam’s motivations spring from Sam’s lack of POV and mindset. I do think it is a factor, don’t get me wrong, but I think Sam did state flat out what his perception is of his problem with Benny. But it’s not like Sam has not voiced his objections to Benny, or that we have absolutely no idea why he thinks he’s doing things. But the theme of this season is perception—De an’s perceptions of his own actions/motivat ions/memories are in question, so naturally Sam’s are as well. Plus, as fans, we’re going to pick everything apart and bring our own perceptions and points of view into things, and that means we’re going to bring things into our interpretations that aren’t on screen. There have been many indepth discussions on this site alone about what the boys are thinking/feelin g and their reasons about what they do that are based in what’s on screen but include a inferential level of thinking that reads between the lines, so to speak.. So, I have to disagree that Sam’s POV would somehow stop discussions like these fromoccurring†”POV hasn’t stopped Dean’s actions and motives from being questioned, after all.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-24 12:02
Quote:
Benny was Sam’s friend and Dean was suspicious
Ruby situation tells me otherwise.I am not talking now when all facts are there for us to see .I am talking about when Ruby was onscreen.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 12:25
I seem to remember fans who believed that Ruby was trustworthy and that Dean was wrong to be suspicious of her and not trusting Sam's judgment, just as there were fans that believed Dean was right to be suspicious. My point remains that there are many and varied reactions and interpretations of what happens on screen.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-24 21:35
Quote:
I seem to remember fans who believed that Ruby was trustworthy and that Dean was wrong to be suspicious of her and not trusting Sam's judgment,
I don't remember this.This was one of the reason's why I didn't join the online fandom immediately.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-24 16:24
I agree with this. When Dean killed Amy the dicussion was about if he was right or wrong, his good intentions were never questioned. When it comes to Sam, many peoplople are attributing bad motives to him, as opposed to hte idea that Sam is simply doing what Dean has advocated, not trustiting a monster. The lack of Sam POV makes it impossible to be sure of why he does anything, and large number of peopl judge Sam negatively.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 16:53
I can't say I agree with you, percyowner. I engaged in discussion on this very site about whether Dean killing Amy was the right thing to do. Other sites had similar debates. Dean was accused on other sites of killing Amy solely because she was Sam's friend, and on this site Amy's kills being the lesser desired of society to save her son was considered, by some, ample justification. POV did not save him from criticism from those posters.

There was no uniform response to Dean killing Amy, just as there is no uniform response to Sam employing Martin to watch Benny. Sometimes people judge Sam positively and Dean negatively, sometimes peopel judge Dean positively and Sam negatively, and sometimes people look at the situation and judge it how they see it, regardless of character involved. That's fandom.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 10:46
Very good points, JuliaG. I agree that Sam could have been worried about Benny’s possible parallels to Ruby. The problem is that we never saw Sam bring up that point, which would have better explained his thinking and strengthened his argument. He only brought up Amy. While I agree that Ruby could have factored in for Sam, that’s unfortunately not what we saw on screen.

I agree that I could understand how Sam could have been worried based off his introduction to Benny. It would be alarming to have Dean leave for his personal day, only to find out he was cleaning out a vampire nest with a vampire friend. I think it’s understandable that Sam was annoyed that Dean hadn’t come right out and told him about Benny, and it showed in their first conversation about Benny. Unfortunately, once Sam (uncharacterist ically) took the “Why isn’t he dead yet?” tack after finding out that Benny was instrumental in getting Dean out of purgatory, to me it seemed like Dean shut down in the conversation. Now, was it understandable for Sam to be freaked out by Dean’s sudden change of frame of mind, even if it’s one Sam has been advocating for years now? Sure. At the same time, Dean could have been similarly freaked out by Sam’s shift from “Give them a chance” to “Why didn’t you kill him after he helped you out of hell?” So in that argument, it was clear neither was really ready to listen to what the other had to say.

I agree that there’s some jealousy and hurt at play here with Sam, and that started before Dean ever said anything about Benny not letting him down, in my opinion. Dean dropped Sam off without a word to go help a friend Sam didn’t know. That’s not normal for Dean, who consistently puts Sam first, and so I think the jealousy began there. I agree further that Sam did hold what Dean said under the influence of the ghost/whatever against him, and instead of discussing it at the end of the episode went on a rant. Now, was it understandable that Sam was hurt and lashing out? Absolutely, but that jealousy and determination to prove to Dean that Benny wasn’t the good guy Dean had praised led him to his actions with Martin and the wheels in motion for 8.9 (not that Sam is responsible for Martin’s actions nor his death).

But yes, I agree that there was more in play in that decision than just Sam wanting to be sure Benny was trustworthy. That’s all I’m saying. I also agree that there’s unfinished business here, but it’s unclear if the writers are going to go back and address anything, considering they seem to be pretending the first 9 episodes, in terms of the brothers’ conflict, didn’t exist at this point.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-24 12:05
Quote:
took the “Why isn’t he dead yet?” tack after finding out that Benny was instrumental in getting Dean out of purgatory,
Do you mean he wanted benny dead because benny was instrumental in getting out Dean.Wow I did not see this at all.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 12:29
My apologies, I did not mean to imply that at all. No, I don't believe that Sam wanted Benny dead because he was instrumental in getting Dean out of purgatory. It simply didn't seem to matter much to Sam in terms of earning Benny a chance to live. He'd served his usefullness in getting Dean out, and I am confident that Sam was grateful of that. He just seemed to think that Dean should have used Benny as a means to an end, and that doesn't seem like Sam's normal take on monsters who have aided them.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 10:33
At this point, Benny and Dean had been back from purgatory for a matter of weeks, if not months. Dean and Sam are presumably monitoring the internet and news for signs of suspicious deaths. Is there a reason Sam would be unable to track Benny through his cell phone records (having gotten the number from Dean’s phone), find his locations, and check for unsuspicious deaths? So it seems to me, Sam could have checked up on Benny’s past activities to find out if there were suspicious deaths in his vicinity. Again, though, there is no reason for Sam to assume that Benny couldn’t control his blood lust. Benny had not attacked him when they met, and Dean had vouched for his friend. He’s let people walk away based solely on his own instincts—why are Dean’s more suspect? To me, there is a reason that Sam did not extend him the same benefit of the doubt that he has in the past. Mileage obviously varies.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-24 12:01
Quote:
why are Dean’s more suspect?
Because Dean is not Sam.Sam has let go monsters relying on facts, and his own instincts and not on dean's so he has been consistent.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 12:31
So then, it's understandable that Dean trusts his own instincts but doesn't trust Sam's, because Sam trusts his own instincts and not Dean's? I guess that's yet another thing they have in common.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-24 21:42
Quote:
Dean trusts his own instincts but doesn't trust Sam's, because Sam trusts his own instincts and not Dean's?
Oh yes.But Sam tries to see Dean's side.i.e he does not kill Dean's friends outright.That is the difference.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 21:48
Sorry, but I don't see him trying to see Dean's side here. He might have been a little slower and try to gather the same evidence Dean already had with Amy, but since he did, in fact, plan on killing Dean's friend without the kind of red-handed proof they'd had with Amy, it amounts to the same thing, or even a little worse.
racestaffer-unlogged
# racestaffer-unlogged 2013-02-24 22:09
Huh? Are you a mindreader? It seems that one of the most most prominent discussion topics in the fandom is how little Sam has shared with respect to his actions and the thoughts and feelings which motivate those actions. Sam didn't cart Martin off back to the mental hospital when Martin knocked Dean out. Sam let Martin continue hunting and chose to accompany Martin whose behavior was troubling but not out of bounds for a hunter rather than to tend to Dean. When Sam parted company with Martin, the two were on a cold trail. Maybe that was Sam being a bad hunter again or having his own skills brought down by Martin. OR maybe Sam felt it was best for Martin to be working a cold trail! We know little of what Sam did and nothing about what he planned to do or why.
racestaffer-unlogged
# racestaffer-unlogged 2013-02-24 22:13
PS - knew I shoulda logged in! "Are you a mindreader" may sound harsh, and I didn't mean it that way. I meant it in terms of the contrast with what comes in the rest of the post. That the whole fandom is abuzz about how they wish the writers would make Sam express more because we're not mindreaders... That's were the turn of phrase came from. Sorry!
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-23 01:36
emmau, I agree with you that both want the other to tell them everything, but don't want to reciprocate.

But I going to have to agree with the others. Sam definitely forgives and moves past things more easily than Dean. Not that he's perfect. But he doesn't generally seem to hold on to things like Dean does. Even Amy he only mentioned again because it suddenly became pertinent to the situation.

Sam forgave his father for wanting his death (I'm not sure Dean has really moved past that) and he even forgave Cas for breaking his wall (again much earlier than Dean-Sam tried to save Cas while Dean was watching anime porn). Hell, he basically apologized to Cas for making him crazy and was seemingly much more worried about him than Dean was. And Dean was still resentful right up to the season finale.

Sam has never brought up any of the hurtful things that Dean has said to him(a lot not under a spell) or the fact that he threw away the amulet. While at the same time, Dean was still mad about stuff that Sam did when he was a teenager.

And not only was Sam not mad at Dean for taking a year off (like Dean was at Sam) he was upset because he thought Dean didn't try to have a normal life.

I do think before his dad's death, Sam was still really upset by their childhood. But he did seem to let all that go at his dad's death.

Dean holding on to resentments does not make him a bad person, but it is a flaw of his. I'll give you he's had a lot of really bad things to get over though.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 02:07
I don’t disagree that Dean has trouble moving past resentments at times (nor do I disagree that he’s a had a lot of bad things to get over). I think his coping method of shoving everything down, their lifestyle, and the fact that he seems to be relied upon to the point that no one really can take the time to deal with his issues because there are more important things to deal with (cue the suck it up/you need to get over this right now on my timetable or I’m leaving speeches) do nothing but push all of his issues down until they come out in volcanic blasts. It’s not a good pattern. No, it doesn’t make him a bad person, and it is a flaw. I agree with all of that.

I just disagree that Sam doesn’t do the same. Like Dean in S6, I think Sam genuinely believes he forgives and moves past some things, but they do come back up. No matter what the circumstances, the fact that Sam can say Dean made the right call about Amy and then display so much anger that his murderer friend was killed proves to me he was not as copasetic as he thought.

John didn’t want Sam’s death—he feared that it would become necessary if Sam went darkside. I don’t think much of John as a father, but that’s not the same thing. Yes, Sam seems to have forgiven him—Sam pretty much forgave everything of John once he was dead and in hell. It’s easy to make peace at that point. But for years before that, Sam did resent John. Dean is just now catching up, because it took him a lot longer to acknowledge his faults.

Sam’s forgiveness of Cas made little sense to me at the time, except for the fact that Sam strongly identified with his good intentions/fall from grace. Sam does seem to find it easier to forgive if he can identify with the object of forgivness (Amy was a fellow freak, John is a big picture, ends justify the means guy, just like Sam, etc).

There was no reason for Sam to be mad at Dean for ‘taking a year off.’ 1) It’s exactly what Sam forced Dean to promise that he’d do as his dying request, 2) Dean didn’t stop looking for a way to get him out of hell, and 3) Dean saved Sam’s soul from eternal torture in hell. Sam, by his own words, tried nothing and was all out of ideas. Dean’s resentment is not that he found a girlfriend—it ’s that he left Dean to rot. Dean proved that Sam could have had normal while still trying to help his brother. Sam didn’t. So to me, those are not equivalent.

But Sam does hold onto his little brother resentments, as this last episode proved. Dean made it clear that he was worried over Sam’s health/safety, and that was the reason he wanted to do the trials in the first place. Instead of acknowledging that, Sam pulled out the “You don’t trust me!” card (despite the fact that he’d done nothing to earn Dean’s trust back from their problems at the beginning of the season). He also was resentful of having to leave his normal at the beginning of the season, and he has been resentful of the hunting life/destiny/et c in the past as well.

I’m not trying to pile on Sam—I think his resentments about Dean and Amy and fate itself are perfectly understandable. I can agree that he does seem to let some things go more easily than Dean. I just think there have been examples of times when Sam thought he’d resolved his issues only to have them pop back up again, and times where he does pull out the old resentment cards. That’s all.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-23 04:50
Quote:
(despite the fact that he’d done nothing to earn Dean’s trust back from their problems at the beginning of the season).
I don't think Sam has to do anything to regain Dean's trust.It was because of Dean himself that he does not trust Sam.Sam thought Dean was dead and he let him stay dead.I don't find anything wrong here.If Dean has an issue with this he has to work it out himself.Quote:
He also was resentful of having to leave his normal at the beginning of the season, and he has been resentful of the hunting life/destiny/etc in the past as well.
Exactly.Hunting not Dean.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 09:37
I'll disagree, because Dean did not trust Sam because it turned out that Sam hadn't even tried to find out what happened to him and because Sam made it clear that he didn't want to be there hunting and was looking for the door immediately after they had closed the gates. Neither of these prompted Dean to trust Sam in watching his back, in my opinion. Sam stated he didn't know if Dean was dead, or if he was out there eating tacos somewhere. So no, he didn't know Dean was dead, and he didn't bother to try to find out. So to me, in a relationship in which Sam is a full partner, he does have some responsibility when he knows his actions have hurt his brother/partner . It takes very little to tell someone you are sorry they are hurt by your actions and how much that person means to you. Sam did nothing to fix the situation between them, and he should have been there helping Dean work out the issues between them. Instead, he withdrew and lectured Dean on being hurt in 8.6, so Dean immediately shoved his feelings down to fester. Dean is responsible for his actions/feeling s, but they didn't happen in a vaccuum. Sam could have helped, but he chose not to.

"You want me here, I'm here." "Free will's just for you, huh, Dean" That seems pretty resentful of Dean to me. Which is human--Sam was resentful of returning to hunting, and since the only reason Sam was returning to hunting was because of Dean, naturally that resentment transferred to Dean. But yeah, that's still resentment that was aimed at his brother.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-23 11:10
Quote:
Sam stated he didn't know if Dean was dead, or if he was out there eating tacos somewhere.
The first few scenes in Rufus's cabin tells me different.Now the question is which do I believe.Quote:
"Free will's just for you, huh, Dean"
It seemed like Sam was thinking about kevin and Dean about closing the gate of hell.Quote:
"You want me here, I'm here."
I don't remember which episode so i will refrain from commenting.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 17:36
By the time he arrived at the cabin, Sam had by that point convinced himself that Dean had to be dead, in my opinion. Sam’s little-brother faith in Dean would have him believing that if Dean was out there, he would have contacted him by then, and it would be easier to cope with the idea that he’d been right to do nothing if Dean was dead, not missing. But when push came to shove, Sam admitted outright that he really hadn’t had any idea what had happened to Dean, but he chose not to try to find out. It can be interpreted differently, of course, and we can agree to disagree.

I see percysowner and you are both citing Sam thinking about Kevin when he complained about free will, but was he? At that point, Kevin had been researching on his own and was very enthusiasticall y advocating closing the gates of hell. That is his free will. Now, later Kevin expressed sadness about what had happened to his life, but he chose to pursue the tablets and a hell solution instead of creating an identity and throwing the tablet into the sea. Dean didn’t force Kevin to do anything—Kevi n brought the idea to them. So Sam denying that Kevin was acting of his own free will was incorrect perception and, to me, a projection of his own resentment of Dean and his sense of obligation to him and the hunt onto Kevin.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-23 21:22
Quote:
By the time he arrived at the cabin, Sam had by that point convinced himself that Dean had to be dead,
I did not see this so I disagree.Till they show what happened immediately after Dean's death I can't comment conclusively.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 21:44
Fair enough. Unfortunately, at this point it seems like show barely remembers the first half of the season, so I doubt we'll ever see any follow-up or resolutions to the unanswered questions/confl icts there. So head canon is all we have, and that will, as always, fary.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 21:45
Vary. Drats.
E
# E 2013-02-24 10:40
There is NO free will when it comes to being a prophet as we saw with Chuck. His job was to chronicle the Winchester gospel and he had no choice in this. The visions came to him in blinding headaches and disturbing dreams and a terrible compulsion to get it all down on paper. He had demons and angels alike trying to intervene to no avail. Kevin is in the same boat. He must guard/translate s the tablets as it is dictated that he do so by heaven. He has not currently exercised his free will to throw the tablets into the sea but IMO it's pretty clear that Kevin is not allowed to simply ignore his prophet status. In Reading Is Fundamental, we see him struck by lightening and rendered unconscious. He then steals his mothers car, missing crucial exams thus destroying his academic future, to drive to who knows where, then steals the tablets and won't relinquish them. He makes several comments about how he has no idea what he is doing or why he is doing it, but that he feels compelled to continue on through no will of his own. He cannot simply walk away and he knows it, Sam is correct; currently Kevin must fulfill his mission as prophet and given the compulsions we saw in both Chuck and Kevin he has little choice in the matter. That is not free will.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 10:57
Good point, E. Kevin was always going to be a prophet, so there was no choice about that. In S6, they definitely showed he was compelled to do what he did. I'm not sure I can say we've seen that in S8, though. But let's say he is compelled to keep the tablet, translate it, and close the gates of hell. At that point in the episode, Kevin was very happy with himself and what he'd done. He was enthusiastic about the possibility of closing the gates, so he wasn't ruminating about the terrible burden he'd been saddled with. So why is Sam snapping at Dean about how free will's only for him? If he's compelled, Dean's not the one taking his free will from him. If he's not compelled, Kevin had clearly chosen to pursue the closing of the gates of hell on his own.

This is why, to me, Sam is projecting his perception of his lost free will (though he did choose to return to the hunt) and his resentment of that onto Kevin, and in turn onto Dean. "Everyone but you" isn't just about Kevin, so who else could Sam be referring to but himself?
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-23 14:21
Okay, I checked the transcripts. To be fair, SuperWiki does not have any transcripts after Citizen Fang., so there may be another conversation where Sam says You want me here, I'm here. I don't remember it being in Torn and Frayed, mostly because Dean DIDN'T want Sam there. However I found this conversation which is very close to your quote

Quote:
SAM Well, I remembered that Paul Hayes was talking about a health scare he had a year ago that changed his life, so I pulled up his medical records from Minneapolis.

There is a long pause as DEAN looks at SAM.

SAM You want me on board, I'm on board. Anyways, you want to guess who else, other than Arthur Swenson, had a transplant in the last year?
To me, in this context, the "you want me on board, I'm on board" remark isn't resentful it is addressing Dean's questioning of Sam actually researching the case on hand. It is Sam basically saying, if I'm doing this, I'm going to do it right, while Dean was expecting Sam to simply pout and not do it. Like I said, MY interpretation, but I think it fits the context.

The "So free will, it's only for you is totally only about Kevin. Again from the transcript

Quote:
SAM That. I mean, there's no way that Kevin's getting out of this intact, is there?

DEAN Well, he's doing pretty well for himself so far.

SAM Yeah, he got out.

DEAN And now he's in it... whether he likes it or not.

SAM So...free will, that's only for you?
Sam's remark about free will being only for Dean is explicitly about the fact that Dean is insisting that Kevin jump back into the fight, translate the tablets and do what Dean thinks needs to be done. I'm not saying closing the Gates of Hell isn't a good idea. I'm just saying that Sam sees that Kevin can bow out, stay hidden and not engage in the struggle while Dean is insisting that Kevin doesn't get to make that choice because the stakes are too high. It is NOT about Sam in this instance.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 17:44
To me, Sam is still pushing his being back in the hunt onto Dean with that comment, though. He’s not there because he thinks it’s the right thing to do—it’s Dean’s fault, because he wants him there. While Sam admirably decides that he’s going to commit if he’s actually there, he is still assigning responsibility for his choice to be on the hunt to Dean. That’s why I interpret that remark as passive-aggress ive resentment. That is my interpretation, and I understand mileage varies.


I’ve seen that interpretation of Sam thinking about Kevin when he complained about free will, but was he? Dean wasn’t insisting or forcing Kevin to translate the tablets or take part in closing the gates of hell. Kevin was doing both of those things before the Winchesters arrived on the scene. He was excited when he brought the idea to Sam and Dean, proud of his work and ready to take on Crowley, who had destroyed his life. Sam may see that Kevin could bow out, hide away, and try to go back to normal (though it is possible that Crowley’s legions would find him eventually), but Kevin had already decided not to do that. Therefore, to me, Sam was definitely projecting his own chafing at feeling obligated to going back to the hunt onto Kevin and voicing his resentment at Dean there. Kevin wasn’t feeling denied of free will to Sam’s knowledge at the time of Sam and Dean’s conversation (Kevin and Sam’s conversation took place later in the episode), so that was all Sam to me.

Again, resentment is very human, and in this case is understandable. But it is resentment, nonetheless.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-23 21:26
No one was forcing Kevin but Sam has had experience.He knows how much toll hunting can take.Kevin,natu rally will be excited in the beginning..he was excited but the reality of his situation was put forth by Sam.Kevin had to loose a finger himself to realize that but Sam did not need it.Closing the gates of Hell,Having a spell that can kill demon's all makes Kevin excited but the effects of the part Kevin plays that was what Dean was neglecting and that was Sam was concerned about.YMMV.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-23 21:52
Yes, Sam has had experience with the toll that hunting can take, as has Dean. I agree with that, and I agree that Sam has been concerned about what might happen to Kevin in pursuing the gates’ closing. But that’s not what he was saying in that comment—he was saying that Kevin wasn’t being allowed to exercise his free will, and that was clearly not true. Could Kevin have doubts and regrets and moments of wanting to run away or quit? Sure—both Sam and Dean have. Sam didn’t speak to Dean not considering the possible effects that the closing of the gates of hell might take on Kevin—he stated that free will was only for Dean, implying that somehow Dean was subverting Kevin’s free will. Since Sam was not referencing the conversation that Kevin had just had with them or any concerns Kevin had stated up to that point, he was projecting his feelings onto Kevin about the toll and loss of free will. Therefore, he was projecting his resentment over his perceived loss of free will after Dean’s return onto Kevin and in turn Dean. Obviously, mileage varies.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-24 01:29
Dean and San both have experiences which Kevin does not have.For Kevin closing the gates of hell is a task which he has to do...but Sam knows and as well as Dean should know his job will not be over there.Kevin at that time does not know the options...Moreo ver kevin was coming from a situation very similar to Sam so that too factored in.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 10:19
Again, I agree with you completely that Dean and Sam have experience that Kevin didn't. I further agree that Kevin didn't really know what he was getting himself into at that point--closing the gates is a worthy goal, but the time, sweat, and sacrifice it's going to take is monumental. He might not have known that, but he did come to realize it.

None of this, however, addresses why Sam said that only Dean had free will , thereby implying that Dean was somehow denying Kevin (and Sam) the same.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-24 21:47
Quote:
(and Sam)
Because dean's judgement that Sam was wrong to have left hunting shows he does not respect Sam's free will.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 22:23
I can disagree with someone's actions, but I can't impose my will upon them to change. Dean can disapprove of Sam's choices all he likes, and Sam can do the same. Dean didn't force Sam to do anything. Sam chose to come on the hunt for Kevin, and he chose to try to close the gates. He may not have been happy about it, but he wasn't handcuffed to anything. Sam made his choice, so he needs to own it, not passive-aggress ively jab at Dean about his loss of free will, because it's not true.
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-02-21 05:29
Just to answer your question about familiars. I know traditionally, I think, a familiar is just an animal. The witch is meant to choose an animal companion and then ask it if it would become their familiar. The magic would I guess help the witch and familiar to understand one another, and the animal can then choose to accept. Far as I know though, familiars are meant to stay animals, but I think gain some magical powers. I'm a little rusty on some of this, but maybe in this case, part of the familiar's magical ability is to be able to transform into a human?
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2013-02-21 06:10
Hi, PaintedWolf.

That IS interesting, I was wrong. I've never heard of them before so I was kinda intrigued at first but then just lost my interest :D Maybe just the way Show chooses to portray them is boring and a bit icky.

Well, if indeed familiar are animal mostly (or first), then it does rise the "ick" factor for me re: their intimate relations. But since SPN is known to reshape the lore to fit it in their stories, it's possible that they (shows versions) are humans who can turn like shifters but they are bound to one person and have that psychic bond...

Thanks for the info, PW! Glad to find something interesting surface from last nights snoozefest...
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-02-21 08:32
Thanks Supernarttu, glad to be of service!

I do think they put their own twist on the lore for this episode. Wouldn't be the first time!
magichappening
# magichappening 2013-02-21 15:01
Quote:
Also it was beyond ridiculous to have Dean declare that Sam was okay and literally 4 seconds later Sam coughs up blood. I just rolled my eyes.
This plot choice always makes me roll my eyes too, but for a slightly different reason. And I should state at the outset that it is totally not a Supernatural-li mited phenomenon. It is Hollywood-wide plague!

If I am feeling generous: it is a pretty much THE universally-acc epted visual, artistic shorthand to indicate to an audience (in case they are in any doubt) that a character is seriously ill or dying.

Whether this state of ill-health is a result of injury or illness, no matter which bodily system (respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestina l, blood, bone etc.) has been affected. Apparently they all manifest with coughed up blood when The End Is Nigh....

If I am not feeling generous: this is poor background research on the part of the writers coupled with a lack of respect for their audience's IQ and a lazy shortcut in storytelling.

I know that our show is all about the unreal, the unbelievable and the un-ordinary, but I think the judicious use of fact-based dialogue and action in the non-fantasy parts of a story, anchors that story's more fantastical parts, throws them into sharper relief and makes for a better show all round.

Anyway, just out of curiosity, I Googled 'coughing up blood' and this is the first thing that came up for me (being in England, it was the NHS site):

"In young people who are generally healthy, coughing up blood is rarely a sign of serious illness. But in older people, especially smokers, it is cause for concern.

Bringing up small amounts of blood in your sputum (phlegm and saliva) can sometimes be caused by prolonged coughing.

However, if you have other symptoms too, such as a fever, you may have a chest infection or more serious medical condition that needs investigating and treating. The medical term for coughing up blood is haemoptysis.

You should see your GP immediately if there is blood in your sputum and:
• you cough up more than a few teaspoons of blood
• there is also blood in your urine or blood in your stools
• you also have chest pain, dizziness, fever, light-headednes s or severe shortness of breath

Where is the blood coming from?
A severe nosebleed or bleeding from the mouth or throat can cause blood to come out in your saliva when you cough. This is different from coughing up blood from deep within your chest. Blood from your chest is often mixed with mucus (there may just be streaks of blood in the mucus or the mucus may be frothy or bloodstained).

Also, be clear that you are coughing up blood (from the airways or lungs), rather than vomiting blood from the stomach, which may indicate a different problem, such as a peptic ulcer.

Common causes of blood in sputum

The most common reasons for coughing up blood are:
• prolonged, severe coughing
• a chest infection such as bronchitis – this is most likely if your sputum is coloured or contains pus, you have a fever or you have a tight feeling in your chest
• bronchiecta sis – this is a long-term lung condition causing excess mucus in the airways

Less common causes of blood in sputum
Less commonly, coughing up blood may be the result of:
• pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs) – this usually causes sudden shortness of breath and chest pain
• pulmonary oedema (a build-up of fluid around the lungs) – your sputum will be pink and frothy
• lung cancer – however, this is rarely the cause in people aged under 40 and in non-smokers
• tuberculosi s (TB) – a severe lung infection that is becoming more common in the UK
• cancer of the throat or windpipe
Sometimes, no cause can be found and the episode never happens again. This is known as unexplained haemoptysis.

Rare causes
Rarely, coughing up blood may be the result of:
• a heart valve problem called mitral stenosis
• a serious blood vessel disease called polyarteritis nodosa "

I guess the unexplained haemoptysis idea is running rampant in the writers' rooms of Hollywood, but I do wish our Show would take 'the road less travelled'. Sigh ;)
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-21 16:44
I don't think this counts as a spoiler (spoiler button doesn't work ....)

They have already said what the symptoms are supposed to resemble in a spoiler so I guess it isn't too random. But I know what you mean!

However it seems to me that if a person repeatedly gets thrown against walls (and over laundry baskets) that eventually they might show symptoms from that too :-) A normal person might wonder if they got injured in the fight instead of by mysterious magical methods Sam and Dean never do though...
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2013-02-22 02:34
Hi, magichappening and thanks!

This was really informative, yet hilarious report of the famouser than famous "coughing of the blood" -scene :D

I usually have no probs with scenes like this, if there has been some build up (unless it's something like Zachariah giving Dean stage 3 stomach cancer on the spot) and it's not very very conveniently placed after some cliche dialogue, like "I'm fine." *coughs blood*

Had Sam maybe had a couple of bad fits (or christ, just one!) of cough before, like when the dog was about to arrive, it would've been less eye rolls inducing later :D But alas, sometimes the anvils are dinosaur size and you gotta roll with the punches.

But I agree, they could do something else, if they just put some thought into it. Maybe after so many years, they're just not that excited anymore hence no passion for writing? I don't know. It must be very stressfull work, writing on such a tight schedule. I feel for them, but when you have so many spectacular seasons before, you can't help but compare. Or just right away notice, when they go where the fence is lowest. It is dissapointing, but I agree with someone else who commented than even the worst of SPN is better than 90% other TV shows out there, for me atleast :)

Thinking about this a little further, I think they've done all possible "DANGER!!DANGER !!" symptoms on this show, throughout the years.
For example, there's been headaches/migra ines, hallucinations, shaky vision, nosebleeds, stomach cramps, and the coughing of the blood or down right puking :D
I'm sure there are plenty more too.

I'm kinda amazed that they haven't yet done the Sam/ Dean loses sight/hearing/s peak temporarily yet. Or maybe they do, and I've just forgotten (shame on me!).
I read a great fic by kroki_refur which handled this beautifully.

Okay, random, I'll stop now.

Thanks magichappening!
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-02-22 04:06
What I want to know is how Dean who is literally inches away from Sam didnt notice him coughing? :o .

Television writing dont you just love it :-)
Ale
# Ale 2013-02-22 08:44
I know that our show is all about the unreal, the unbelievable and the un-ordinary, but I think the judicious use of fact-based dialogue and action in the non-fantasy parts of a story, anchors that story's more fantastical parts, throws them into sharper relief and makes for a better show all round. quote]

THIS! Couldn't agree more. Sometimes I get concerned with that. It must be a difficult job for the writers because I feel that, if they loose touch with some base 'reality', I wouldn't be able to relate so much, since I'm not that much of a fan of fantasy gender. It happened to me with Fringe, although I still loved the characters (not as much as S&D, I must add).

That's why I didn't like the witch club, or the astral projection part, and specially the fight beetween the witches using rays coming out of their hands. It was too much! An "oh, please!" was coming out of my mouth every now and then. But that's is just me.

Thank you about the coughing blood explanation. Well observed - so true!
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2013-02-21 03:33
IMO this was a terrible episode, right down there with Bitten.
X
I didn't find one positive moment in it not even the brother exchange at the end as it's just a foreshadowing of more contrived brother tension; and I love the sweet brother moments more than anything!
X
All round bad acting, bad dialogue, predictable story-line, jokes that might have been reputed funny in the writers' room but resulted pathetic on-screen, brothers being wallpaper again in their own show, etc, etc, etc.
X
I am so annoyed at the showrunners taking this wonderful show down to such low levels when it is the third watched show on the network and deserves better than this.
X
Where is Mr Carver? Is it not usual for the showrunner to write an episode now and then or at least to oversee the smooth pacing of the entire season?
X
It appears to me that individual writers are turning out episodes without any true co-ordination between them, ignoring continuity even from episode to episode.
prix68
# prix68 2013-02-21 03:47
We started off this season with Dean coming out of purgatory stronger, more focused,mature. Now his dialogue sounds more like stand up comedy. He's socially awkward to the point where Sam has to explain that intimate means sex and I noticed that he has started drinking the hard stuff while on the job again. Welcome back to S7. The worst season ever for me. If that's not enough he's allergic to cats and hates dogs. Sam's secret seems contrived and so does Dean already worrying about it . I hated this episode and felt like this was the beginning of a slippery slope back to the worst of SPN. Dean doesn't trust Sam because he only trusts himself! Well, Dean trusted Benny. He said so, several times. That was the big issue before the hiatus. I give this episode an F and I'd give it worse if I could. Sex with the familiar, don't even want to go there. There was no point to that period.
meagan
# meagan 2013-02-21 12:40
Yes! The Dean dialogue has been *terrible* the past few episodes. Yes, even in Trial and Error--the speeches (both his and Sams) fell like an anvil. But worse, his one liners are juvenile and not even witty. I mean, in show time, isn't Dean 36 or 37? Why can't he act that way? Let me be clear: I'm definitely not bashing JA. I think he's terrific and is making the most out of what is clumsy and sometimes trashy writing.
magichappening
# magichappening 2013-02-21 04:54
Oh dear. The guys did the best they could with what they were given, but as Ardeospina said above: Meh. And also? Ick.

I looked up the writers after the interesting discussion above in the comments. Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner have written 7 Supernatural episodes of which 3 are the following:

1. Route 666 (Season 1, Episode 13) – Racist truck. Nuff said.
2. Shut Up Dr Phil (Season 7, Episode 5) – Random witches. Not Good.
3. Man’s Best Friend with Benefits (Season 8, Episode 15) – Random witches (Now with Added Bestiality Jokes). Very Not Good.

But they also wrote these 3:
4. The Slice Girls (Season 7, Episode 13) – Random Winchester progeny.
5. Of Grave Importance (Season 7, Episode 19) – Random Ellen-alike.
6. A Little Slice of Kevin (Season 8, Episode 7)

And, while none of these three are in my top ten Supernatural episodes ever, if my memory serves me they are reasonably solid efforts (for me, anyway).

And then the 7th one is Heartache (Season 8, Episode 3) from this season, which I had to go and look up again as I had NO memory of it. Realise now that it was the one Jensen directed this year. From what I can remember it was very average.

Also if my research is correct (!):
• Quite Interesting point #1: 2 of these 7 episodes feature Dean sex scenes. Hmm.
• QI point #2: They didn’t write any episodes after Route 666 in Season 1, until Weekend at Bobby’s in Season 7. But have written 6 episodes in the last 2 years.

Which brings me to another point! Because of timing issues, Jensen ends up directing the 3rd or 4th episode each year:

• Season 6, Episode 4 ‘Weekend at Bobby's’ (Writers: Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin)
• Season 7, Episode 3: ‘The Girl Next Door’ (Writers: Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin)
• Season 8, Episode 3: ‘Heartache’ (Writers: Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming)

Dabb and Loflin have written 17 episodes from Season 4 onwards http://www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=Andrew_Dabb and while some of theirs are good (Frontierland, Dark Side of the Moon, There Will be Blood), they are not always by any means (Hammer of the Gods, I Believe the Children are our Future, After School Special) NB. They have written 4 episodes in each of the last three seasons, so we can probably expect 2 more from them this season.

But, Episode 3 (or 4) comes just after the season opener and its follow up, which are usually intense and heavy on mythology...so the Episode 3 or 4 slots seem to be ‘taking a breather’ or ‘filler’ ones.

I understand the timing issues regarding prep (Jensen needs to direct one of the early episodes as he cannot prep unless it is before the season starts) and writing (the writers would probably only have the first few episodes ready before the season starts) and experience (he is a new director, so having ‘lighter’ episodes is a chance to find his feet)...But it would be nice to see Jensen be given a go at a meatier episode, written by someone with a better batting average... Someone like Jeremy Carver, Robbie Thompson or Ben Edlund? :)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-02-21 08:57
That was an interesting rundown, saves me from doing the research myself, thanks! :lol: You're right about these writers, not everything that they write is bad. I enjoyed "The Slice Girls" and most especially "A Little Slice of Kevin". But this one here was particularly bad. After reading the other's comments I might, just might give it a rewatch this weekend, but I really don't think it'll change my opinion too much. And I agree with you, I think Jensen has earned the right to direct an episode with a little more oumph. I heard him say in an interview he likes the ones that have a lot of action, give him one of those next year.
magichappening
# magichappening 2013-02-21 15:05
Thanks Sylvie and you're welcome!
nickmaniac
# nickmaniac 2013-02-21 05:06
I haven't yet seen the episode (but am far from being a spoilerphone!), but I just thought I'd pop in to say this: When I first read the summary for this episode, I thought, "Hm. Doesn't sound terribly inspired..." And then when I saw the names of the writers, I recalled their previous lackluster efforts and prepared myself for a pretty blah episode at best. Sounds like these assumptions have come to fruition... which is fine, as it means I'll now be watching it with the absolute LOWEST of expectations, and might end up enjoying it more that way :D Anyhoo, I'll have a watch and chime in with my thoughts in a little while... But I do wish that they had been able to sustain the momentum they'd been going with over the past three/four episodes. Oh well. We'll call this an adrenaline crash.
Ale
# Ale 2013-02-21 05:34
I will need to jump this one in my viewing list. That's a first.

Everything seemed off, even the brother's dialogues.
nickmaniac
# nickmaniac 2013-02-21 06:59
Just saw this episode. I think I'm in the camp that doesn't find it all that terrible, even though it wasn't great (or good, for that matter). The honor of that, in my opinion, falls upon that insipid Mannequin episode, but never mind.
Still, even 40 minutes of mediocre SPN is better than some tv shows out there, I think! ;-)

A lot of issues in this episode have already been mentioned -- the stilted dialogue, the poor pacing, etc. All in all I thout this was an unmemorable outing, a procedural with a mystery that had the potential of being more compelling but failed to live up to that. I did, however, like the actors who played James and Portia. And on a related note, I'm a guy, so I didn't find Dean's amusement and fascination with the James/Portia relationship quite that off-putting (if anything, it struck me as a normal red-blooded-str aight-male reaction, and I'm surprised he didn't react more, to be honest -- Sam had it right with the 'beastiality' remark)... and when James was being shackled to the bed, my first all-male thought was, "Oh, they're so going to get it on!" Sorry. :P (Sidebar: Are there many male SPN fans on this site? I digress.)

On a different note, I would like to give my two cents on the comments above with regards to Alice's opinions on the show, and I largely agree with kfarrell. By being the owner / administrator of this website as well as a credible reviewer, Alice and the other "showrunners" of this site have taken on a role where others look to their input and insights as a gauge of how SPN is doing. From there, discussions -- in support of or otherwise -- can be generated. But when comments are delivered in a way that's unnecessarily harsh and negative, it creates the IMPRESSION that there's no room for discussion, and could therefore leave a sour taste in the mouth of those who visit this site. Alice herself said she lost Twitter followers, oy. :-?

This isn't to say that people aren't allowed to be critical and bring up opposing views, or that the good folks who run this site should ONLY have good things to say about SPN. But I think it's all about the tone, which affects the environment in which these comments are being made, and unfortunately sours it for those who liked the episode, or even those who, like me, thought it was "mm okay whatever, didn't love it, didn't hate it".

I think AOL/Huff Post's Maureen Ryan towards the end of her SPN reviewing days faced this problem too, when her criticism began to take on a tone that poisoned the rest of the discussion that took place. One thing I absolutely love about WFB is the amount of effort being put in by the administrators to keep things civil, constructive, welcoming and friendly. Wasn't there a recent campaign to reduce negativity on the site, saying it's not WHAT one expresses that needs to be tempered, but HOW those opinions are expressed? There were even warnings to commenters about being aware of one's tone. That should apply, too, in my opinion, to the administrators of this site.

I say this all with no disrespect -- if anything, it's out of loyalty and affection for WFB because I enjoy coming here to read all sorts of viewpoints. And of course, I understand that Alice, being a diehard SPN fan, was merely venting her frustration at the episode. But I hope there won't be double standards being practised about the way opposing opinions are expressed in these forums. :lol:

Okay, getting off my soapbox now, absolutely no ill-will intended. :oops:

:-)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-02-21 09:03
Quote:
Still, even 40 minutes of mediocre SPN is better than some tv shows out there, I think!
Yeah, I think this episode was better than all of "Ringer" combined! :lol: With the exception of the one Kathryn Humphries wrote, that one was pretty good. I wish she would come back to the show. :sigh:
Alice
# Alice 2013-02-21 11:37
I do see your point nickmaniac, and there's no disrespect, but I do think you're misunderstandin g how we handle various articles. "Let's Speculate" articles are "free form zones" when it comes to commenting, as are the "Let's Discuss" articles.

In all threads all opinions are welcome, good or bad. We don't mind fuming angry ones any less than glowing ones. In "Let's Speculate" articles, people are allowed to express their opinions more deeply and frequently, and discussions are allowed to go off tangent. We try to keep the commenting more streamlined in the review threads. We would prefer people make their opinion known about an episode or review there, and then take further discussions about season plots and characters to "Let's Discuss" and "Let's Speculate" threads.

You must not know my history! I've been very honest about episodes ever since I started reviewing back in season three. This is nothing new for me. There have been very few episodes where I've been that overly harsh. When an episode gets a reaction like that from me, it did something very wrong. That does send a big message, and not a bad one. It's an honest one. It doesn't mean I hate the show. It means I hated the episode. A lot. I also feel more comfortable using that tone in a "Let's Speculate" thread.

I may be an administrator, but I'm a fan too. There are three admins, and lots of reviewers on this site, and we all have differing opinions. That's the beauty of this site. You get views all across the board. It's what makes us unique.
nickmaniac
# nickmaniac 2013-02-21 20:09
Hi Alice - ahh, I forgot that about the 'Let's Speculate' section!! :oops: I think I was just concerned that your review would be similarly as negative -- I got worried by your "really awful dialogue that I'll be ripping apart in my review" statement -- and I wouldn't want to read anything from the reviewers on this site that's negative without being constructive. But I shall trust that this won't be so, if the previous articles on this site are anything to go by.

I've only been following WBF for about six months (and it's my favortie SPN site by far), so you're right, I don't actually know that much about your history! ;-) But I'm glad we're able to have these sorts of discussions civilly (heh. A civil discussion on how to discuss civilly. I like!), which I appreciate. My apologies for any toe-stepping!! Keep up the great work, and yes, I shall read your review! :lol:
nickmaniac
# nickmaniac 2013-02-21 20:11
Doh. I meant WFB of course! :P
Alice
# Alice 2013-02-21 21:29
No worries nickmaniac. It's all good. I shall be far more objective with the review.
Kimberly Farrell
# Kimberly Farrell 2013-02-22 00:26
Quote:
Still, even 40 minutes of mediocre SPN is better than some tv shows out there, I think!
This is so true! Thanks for helping my clarify my initial concerns, nickmaniac. I also missed that the "Let's Speculate" was a free zone, so hopefully we're all in agreement - if not about the quality of the episode, then at least in the civility of our discussions... that we are discussing civilly... lol. With that I will let sleeping dogs lie.

Always interesting to hear a guy's perspective. I hadn't considered it, but I work with mostly guys (20s-30s) and the humor in this episode was on par with what I've come to expect and, let's be honest, participate in. So maybe I have a desensitization to inappropriate jokes that let's me sit back and chuckle without "paws".
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-21 11:58
You are right about a mediocre episode being better than most of what is on TV. I think we all have high expectations. Too high sometimes? Probably. Afer the last few episodes, this was a major letdown though.

Regarding Alice, if she loves an episode she shares and when she is hugely disappointed she lets us know in no uncertain terms. No punches pulled. This time I agree, sometimes I don't. I personally like a passionate opinion. We are allowed to be frustrated and unhappy with the show sometimes, yes? She has been clear about that.
sn_chills
# sn_chills 2013-02-21 07:29
Sadly I will probably end up watching it again because I kept falling asleep in the middle of it. Now in the episodes defense, I had been up since 4 am so by 8 pm I'm pretty gone anyway, but there really wasn’t anything to keep me perked up.

That being said, I too thought some of the dialogue was ridiculous. We know Dean hates witches, yes we heard you the first time we didn’t need to hear it over and over. Yes we know Dean doesn’t like cats and dogs, we got hit over the head again with that one as well. Sam stop lying to your brother…. again.

It seemed really convenient to me that someone that they used to know suddenly is a witch now…. I mean really? With a familiar and everything? And no problem with the actress that played Portia but I wish they had left the familiar a dog. I think it would have cooler and funnier if dog could have communicated with it's master using human speech as well and one of the boys over heard it talking…just saying. But then who would tell the story….

As for the love scene, the only love scene I want to see has to involve one of the boys…but you can keep the cuffs…”coug hs” I'm cool with that. “coughs” I laughed at the inappropriatene ss of it and not cuz it was a love scene but because it was so bad.

I pegged the bad guy the first time he came on the screen. No surprise there.

Oh well. Onwards and upwards.
Clarice 0909
# Clarice 0909 2013-02-21 08:13
I haven't read all the comments yet - smt was missing, and believe it pains me to say that, I have been having so much fun and enjoying so much this season, that it really pains me to watch an episode that - MEH - that was my feelings at the end of it...

Pity, I could have been so much better, it had potencial, as usual J2 gave their best, the supporting cast was - I don't know if I like them - and the only part I really laugh was when Dean was sneezzing - I didn't know he was alergic to cats .... that's that...

I'm waiting for next weeks episode... gosh, the last time I said that was during seasons 6 and 7... when I waited anxiously for the next episode to give me more than the last one..... don't miss this feeling...

Take care everybody, have a nice Thrusday and wonderful weekend.

Cla;}
st50
# st50 2013-02-21 08:19
Ok, I haven't read all the comments, so forgive me if this is a rehash of previously mentioned...
I didn't hate the episode. It gave me a few chuckles. Yes, it was poorly written, the dialogue sucked, and the entire story was lame. But that seems to happen midseason with at least one episode each year. I can live with it. I can even find moments to enjoy.
If there had been any more of the weird brother-bickeri ng that we've had this season, I would have chucked my remote at the set.
What bothers me most of all about this episode (and most likely the next one, if the preview is any indication) is that they are not dealing with all the various plots they've got going, and with 8 episodes left, some of them are going to have to have the miracle quick fix that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
1) First (and foremost in my mind), they haven't dealt with the whole "Sam went for a girl and a dog rather than look for Dean" scenario, which I'm sorry for the repeat, just doesn't work without them selling it better.
2), Cas.... they have to figure out what's wrong and save him.
3) Naomi.... they've either got to deal with her, or build her up as next seasons "big bad".
4) Crowley... he still has the other half of that tablet, and Kevin's going to need it.
5) Kevin's got two more trials to decipher... so after taking 15 episodes to get one, he's going to read the other two with enough time for the guys to do them in the last 8 episodes? .... and he's got to do it without having another stroke.
6) They've either got to do the trials and shut off hell, or figure out how to get Sam out of this "contract with God" that he made by doing the first trial (I think K. Parks mentioned this was how he interpreted the light in Sam's arm)... before he dies of consumption or whatever.
Speaking of which.... Jared obviously was suffering from a cold in this episode, could he not have snuck in one little cough somewhere, so the big bloody cough wouldn't have felt like it came out of nowhere, right on cue with the big conversation in the impala? Geesh.

Ok.. I can think of more issues to be dealt with (Benny), but my point, I guess, is that I don't feel like they have time to throw in useless one-off episodes, given how slowly they're dealing with the main issues.

On to next week... and another MotW.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2013-02-21 09:26
Quote:
Ok, I haven't read all the comments, so forgive me if this is a rehash of previously mentioned...
I didn't hate the episode. It gave me a few chuckles. Yes, it was poorly written, the dialogue sucked, and the entire story was lame. But that seems to happen midseason with at least one episode each year. I can live with it. I can even find moments to enjoy.
If there had been any more of the weird brother-bickering that we've had this season, I would have chucked my remote at the set.
What bothers me most of all about this episode (and most likely the next one, if the preview is any indication) is that they are not dealing with all the various plots they've got going, and with 8 episodes left, some of them are going to have to have the miracle quick fix that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
1) First (and foremost in my mind), they haven't dealt with the whole "Sam went for a girl and a dog rather than look for Dean" scenario, which I'm sorry for the repeat, just doesn't work without them selling it better.
2), Cas.... they have to figure out what's wrong and save him.
3) Naomi.... they've either got to deal with her, or build her up as next seasons "big bad".
4) Crowley... he still has the other half of that tablet, and Kevin's going to need it.
5) Kevin's got two more trials to decipher... so after taking 15 episodes to get one, he's going to read the other two with enough time for the guys to do them in the last 8 episodes? .... and he's got to do it without having another stroke.
6) They've either got to do the trials and shut off hell, or figure out how to get Sam out of this "contract with God" that he made by doing the first trial (I think K. Parks mentioned this was how he interpreted the light in Sam's arm)... before he dies of consumption or whatever.
Speaking of which.... Jared obviously was suffering from a cold in this episode, could he not have snuck in one little cough somewhere, so the big bloody cough wouldn't have felt like it came out of nowhere, right on cue with the big conversation in the impala? Geesh.

Ok.. I can think of more issues to be dealt with (Benny), but my point, I guess, is that I don't feel like they have time to throw in useless one-off episodes, given how slowly they're dealing with the main issues.

On to next week... and another MotW.
St50, I agree with the points you raised. The writers have multiple plot-plates spinning in the air and absolutely don't have time to waste with boring filler episodes.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-21 12:20
Totally agree E, the season is winding down and there is so much going on, even if this were a good episode it would have been frustrating!

The cough on cue. Really bad.

I hope they don't drag this all to a cliffhanger and not explain or resolve anything. That would really bother me. Not to mention the rehashing of the lying and keeping secrets. I hope this doesn't escalate into a big deal AGAIN.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-21 12:25
ooops, so sorry, I meant st50!!
E
# E 2013-02-21 15:49
:D
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-21 17:50
st50, I'm fine with it as long as it as long as the remaining storylines don't feel rushed, but I have to admit they do have a history of problems with pacing. Last season was pretty bad and that is probably my biggest problem with S5. Everything between PoNR and SS just felt off. I hope that doesn't happen this year.
magichappening
# magichappening 2013-02-21 15:10
Good point st50 about amount of time left in the season vs. number of interesting plot points/stories that need the unrushed explanation they deserve and/or a satisfying resolution ('or' because some of them may be longer themes that run onto next season and beyond)
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2013-02-21 08:34
It seems that Supernatural can't do episodes about dogs very well (unless, of course, you're talking hell hounds, which they do very well). All Dogs Go To Heaven was one of my least favourite season 6 episodes and I think this episode will end up in my least favourite season 8 episodes. But, that said, I definitely didn't hate it or want to throw foam TV bricks :lol:

For me, it was still an enjoyable 40 minutes. Hell, anytime Sam and Dean are on screen I'm fairly happy! But I'm also intrigued by the network of contacts they seem to be building. Two weeks ago it was Aaron and his Golem. Now they have a witch in their corner. Could one or more of these new contacts be the key to solving the tasks they face? Maybe they'll need other Supernatural creatures in their corner when it comes to the final task to close the gates of hell. I really like that the boys are developing this circle of contacts, which is a total contrast to season 7 when everything was stripped away.

On a final note, I watched this episode with a friend and she actually preferred this week's installment over last week's episode... and this is a friend that is usually super-critical of bad writing. My point being, it's all subjective. What one person hates another one loves... and I think that happens a lot with Supernatural ;-)
suebsg9
# suebsg9 2013-02-21 08:35
I am still not sure what to think of the eps laughed at mainly Dean and his wicked wicked ways. And also he was known as Wicken from Detroit. Not sure what the fascination with Michigan these days but not complaining since from there lol. And dumbing down Dean problem with. Sam lying to Dean bigger problem because we all know where that will lead to Dean being pissed. He was when Sam lied about the hallucinations and found out from Death. Guessing either Cas will notice something is going on with Sam and tell Dean unless Sam actually tells his brother. But I am guessing Dean is going to find out Sam is not telling him something and someone else will of course let him know which will again bring on some brotherly rift because Dean was all set to be on board with Sam doing the trials. Just Dean came clean like he did why he thought he should do it is with the trust. Still think Sam needs to remember why Dean has trust issues hello lying to him already. But Sam is going to dig himself in a hole if anything happens to Dean while on hunt and he doesn't tell him what is going on. Both have to be on their A game and if Sam isn't then let Dean know. But he won't. Like I said no problem with the rift. I was really hopeing to see how long Dean and Sam would have been apart during Torn and Frayed. I like Dean stuck up for Benny. And he was not going to give up on him and still hopeing chance now that Benny got mentioned we will see him again. And Sam better also remember that Dean considers him also like a brother who has not let him down. So its like dude come forward or else be judged.

Portia and james ok weird but hey what can I say and I know there are scenes will watch from this eps like the beginning with Dean and still wanting to do trials. Dean being wiccen from Detroit. There are a few could watch. But how big rift we going to get if Sam doesn't tell Dean the truth????
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-21 09:50
I could be wrong about this but I have a niggling idea that there is some well known movie with a recurring line where a person is introduced to everyone as this is so-and-so, he's from Detroit. Maybe an assassin? Or a conman? Or someone everyone thinks is one of the two.
aelaine
# aelaine 2013-02-21 08:53
I did not hate it, thought it was a good filler episode, and those are sometimes not the best, but they did at least mention the tablet arc and let us know something is wrong with Sam, not my favorite but will watch again, not a critic just enjoy the show and found this one ok, not as bad as Rt666 or mannikin one or the one with skinwalker Lucky the ones I really don't like, the boys were getting along- for now and we started to see the effects on Sam. I will watch again. About Crowely I don't think he is an Angel I used to think he was a fallen angel but wouldn't Cas know him? But he has something going on, guess will have to wait and see if he is demon or something more.
Looks like next week is another filler, I am still waiting to see what the deal is with Noami and Cas and if we will get the end of the demon tablet this year...
E
# E 2013-02-21 08:53
I am pretty much in the camp of those who didn't really like the episode much. I didn't hate it with a passion (Mannequin) but Meh might be too weak a word also. Yes... the dialogue at the beginning; just ugh! Why would SPN choose to do an episode about an "old friend" that we have never met before who suddenly needs help? All that awful expository dialogue as the characters try and convince us that James is well known to them and spend precious time setting up the relationship. Why didn't they reuse one of the thousand characters we've seen before and craft a witchcraft story around that person instead? It would have carried way more weight. As it was I never believed that the brother's knew or cared about James in any way. And there was way too much James and Portia and too little Sam and Dean. I actually was bothered less by this in Bitten (where there was even LESS Sam and Dean) as I was here.

I hated the underground witches club. The chess pieces move by themselves? Why go there? Is this Harry Potter now? It was totally unnecessary and actually cheapened the realism factor that SPN has always had. I felt the same about the astral projection scene. Totally a cheap move. Why not have Sam and Dean break into the room in question and look at the actual file? Way more tension could be created around that scenario then what we actually got. It sort of felt like an episode of Charmed with its cheesy special effects and dialogue that explains everything instead of showing us.

The story itself was soooo predictable. Spencer wants to sleep with Portia himself? I knew he was the one from his very first appearance on screen, but not why; just blech. And Sam and Dean were basically useless in this ep. Why did Portia even call them in anyway? What did they do? How did they help? She was handling things just fine on her own, had all the necessary information, and ended up saving the day, so Sam and Dean didn't even need to be there. All they did was get thrown into walls and make bad jokes. I felt like Jensen in particular, was trying so hard to do SOMETHING with his awful material, but even his brilliant acting couldn't save Dean from looking like a moron in this episode. Jared/Sam fared a little better with his dialog and actions, but I see we are back to "I'm not lying, I just didn't tell you," status. Hmmmmmph. Everything just felt flat.

I did like the brother talks scattered throughout the episode even if they just rehashed old issues. I want them talking, even if they aren't being very productive. Old habits are hard to break but if they continue to talk, hopefully something meaningful will get said soon. So for those scenes and the one when Sam first meets the dog, I find that this episode wasn't a TOTAL loss, but it comes pretty close. :sad:
nickmaniac
# nickmaniac 2013-02-21 09:11
Quote:
I felt the same about the astral projection scene. Totally a cheap move. Why not have Sam and Dean break into the room in question and look at the actual file? :
I actually liked the astral projection scene a lot. I was getting bored by the FBI scenes, and I think them breaking into the room would've just made it feel even more like a procedural. (Plus, the room was locked, and as Dean said, it was in a building with lots of cops.) Besides, astral project was something the show hadn't done, and it's always fun when the brothers get to experience something supernatural that they never have before! Whee! That's the name of the show! :D
E
# E 2013-02-21 10:46
Hi mickmaniac! Sorry, but I am going to have to disagree with you on this. I think it would have been more dramatic had BOTH brothers (we saw very little of them together in this ep, again) tried to see/get/destroy the file in real time, with the real dangers of discovery; one of them could have broken into the office to read/get the file, the other could have run interference. Sam was already suspicious about what was going on behind that locked door, and of the lead detective's hostility, so the brothers deciding to break in would have made sense. It also would have created far more danger and drama IMO then sitting on a bed and having all the information spoon fed to them AND would have given them a greater purpose in the larger scope of the episode. I might have been ok with it if the astral projection had confirmed Sam's suspicions and pushed the brothers to finally take the file from police headquarters at that point. I would have at least felt that their presence in this episode served SOME function. Sam and Dean didn't DO anything, their presence was basically useless to the outcome of the episode. If they had decided to break into the locked room and read/stolen the file to save James, then at least their presence in this episode would have served SOME greater function other than getting thrown into walls.

And James' abilities weren't really set up that well in the episode; I mean astral projection seems like a pretty complex thing to do and taking someone else along? Very sophisticated. Have we seen ANY witch astral project on this show before? Is this a common trait/talent among witches? Not to my knowledge, although I am no expert on witches. And if James could astral project like that, and find out what was going on in the police station, then why didn't he do the same with the witches at the club and his friends? He could have figured out what was going on before four people were killed and dealt with it. It just seemed like an easy (and cheap) quick fix to the boy's information problems, and it killed the dramatic tension and rendered the brothers useless in their own show. It was like a revisit to season 7 all over again.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-02-21 14:17
I have to agree with you on this E: Quote:
And James' abilities weren't really set up that well in the episode; I mean astral projection seems like a pretty complex thing to do and taking someone else along? Very sophisticated. Have we seen ANY witch astral project on this show before? Is this a common trait/talent among witches? Not to my knowledge, although I am no expert on witches. And if James could astral project like that, and find out what was going on in the police station, then why didn't he do the same with the witches at the club and his friends? He could have figured out what was going on before four people were killed and dealt with it. It just seemed like an easy (and cheap) quick fix to the boy's information problems, and it killed the dramatic tension and rendered the brothers useless in their own show.
I would have preferred the brothers break into the office & seek/destroy the file themselves. And James is actually a pretty recent witch, but he's powerful enough to astral project, with passengers to boot? :-? Ah, not an expert on witches either, but I think he should have been able to kick Spencer's ass. And you made me laugh with this comment:
Quote:
It sort of felt like an episode of Charmed with its cheesy special effects and dialogue that explains everything instead of showing us.
I used to watch that show! :D It was cheesy, but that's what you expected when you watched "Charmed". Cheesy, but in a good way, kind of like a subpar "Buffy".
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-21 15:06
I didn't mind the astral projection. I have to admit I'm not a fan of searches that are just searches. This was a different way to get the info at least, but the same thing with them just saying that Sam had broken in without bothering to show the scene.

Charmed was so bad it was good sometimes. They always got new powers that fit with a popular movie. The worst one was when Phoebe got her power that enable her to make Matrix kicks. It was so funny.
E
# E 2013-02-21 16:02
Yeah, I don't really mean to harp on Charmed. I never really watched it much, and I never felt that it was trying to be something it wasn't, in that way it was genuine.... but some of the special effects and dialogue ooooh, baby! Peeehew! It was more like a kids show to me with demons and monsters appearing out of thin air and improbable solutions found in The Book Of Shadows. I have always admired Supernatural for it's attempts to stay within a grounded realism regardless of their subject matter, but THIS ep? Ugh. Pretty bad.... especially those chess pieces moving around by themselves.

Hated, hated that witches club. So, suddenly there's a nice, hipster club for witches to congregate and no hunter knows anything about it? And yet Dean can just waltz right in? And guess what?! All the answers to your investigation are there as well... just awful, awful writing. It's almost as though they took all the aspects that Kripke despised about the roadhouse, and retreaded them here, and, surprise, it still doesn't work. Kripke burned that place down for a reason.
Ale
# Ale 2013-02-22 09:46
Exactly!

Thanks again, E! You summarized perfectly what I was thinking.
Trucklady
# Trucklady 2013-02-21 21:45
I get where everyone expects more action out of Sam and Dean when it comes to obtaining the file in the old Sam and Dean way but I think everyone is forgetting one very important fact. Even if they stole the file that was incriminating James it would not have done James any good because the Community had already decided that James either had to leave or commit suicide in a witches tradition of breaking one of their rules. Just thought I would point that little fact out for discussion.
E
# E 2013-02-22 00:37
That's very true Trucklady, very true... but if Sam and Dean could steal the file and/or destroy the evidence it might have at least gotten the cops off James' back.
Ale
# Ale 2013-02-22 09:23
Quote:
I hated the underground witches club. The chess pieces move by themselves? Why go there? Is this Harry Potter now? It was totally unnecessary and actually cheapened the realism factor that SPN has always had. I felt the same about the astral projection scene. Totally a cheap move. Why not have Sam and Dean break into the room in question and look at the actual file? :
That's exactly how I felt too!
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-02-21 08:58
Count me in the meh column. But, I guess after the last couple of episodes, they're entitled to a clunker.
I found the two trust conversations between Dean and Sam out of out of step with the last couple of episodes. And Dean telling Sam he trusts him at the end seemed like a bit of a left handed compliment, trusting Sam because he doesn't have a choice? Overall the writing/cadence of this episode was lacking (but at least the familiar was pretty hot).

Interesting theory on Crowley; not sure I agree but Aredospina always comes up with clever ideas that give me food for thought.

Regarding Sam hiding the affects of the trials, I think everyone saw that coming. He'll continue to hide them until they become too apparent, or endanger himself or Dean during a hunt. That being said, Dean would do the same thing in his shoes.

Might get in a little trouble with the fandom for this but, here goes. I think Sam and Dean were reckless in their approach to closing the Gates of Hell. They only know 1 of the 3 trials and don't know whether Kevin will be able to figure out the other 2 trials from their half of the tablet. IMO they're going to need the other half of the tablet that Crowley has to finish the trials. And this doesn't even get in to the philosophical question of whether they should be trying to close the Gates of Hell for good. There is a heaven and a hell for a reason, a natural order to things in the Supernatural universe. If hell is closed, where do the souls that are destined for hell go? Regarding heaven, we have seen that angels aren't all hugs and puppies. Angels, after all, are soldiers and it looks like Naomi seems to be pretty far up on the command chain. Just saying I see a LOT of unintended consequences down the road.

On a complete 180 degree tangent... speaking of hugs and puppies, I miss Meg - think we're going to see her this season?
E
# E 2013-02-21 09:16
That's a really good point njspnfan and one I was mulling over too. Why would the brother's begin the trails with so little information about 1. the other two trials that have to be completed and 2. what closing the gates of hell might mean in the grand scheme of things? What happens now if they find out information that makes them rethink closing the gates? The trials have been "activated" for lack of a better term and it seems like backing out isn't an option. It was pretty reckless of them to start something so important without a lot more information and research. I wonder if this will be addressed at all in future eps?
magichappening
# magichappening 2013-02-21 13:16
Quote:
But, I guess after the last couple of episodes, they're entitled to a clunker.
Good point, well made :)

Quote:
Regarding Sam hiding the affects of the trials, I think everyone saw that coming. He'll continue to hide them until they become too apparent, or endanger himself or Dean during a hunt. That being said, Dean would do the same thing in his shoes.
'Nother good point!

Quote:
I think Sam and Dean were reckless in their approach to closing the Gates of Hell. They only know 1 of the 3 trials and don't know whether Kevin will be able to figure out the other 2 trials from their half of the tablet. IMO they're going to need the other half of the tablet that Crowley has to finish the trials. And this doesn't even get in to the philosophical question of whether they should be trying to close the Gates of Hell for good. There is a heaven and a hell for a reason, a natural order to things in the Supernatural universe. If hell is closed, where do the souls that are destined for hell go? ... Just saying I see a LOT of unintended consequences down the road.
Good point #3 :) I have not been following all the comments and speculation too closely over the past season as I am increasingly (INCONVENIENTLY !) spoilerphobic, but I think Tim the Enchanter made a similar point recently - tho if I remember correctly she had wondered if it was a entrepreneurial , demand creation choice on the part of the Winchesters!
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2013-02-21 09:00
After the last 3 epis this one was a real buzz-kill for me. It just seems to me that they had some momentum going and stopped it dead with this epi.
It was meh with a side of meh for me. After last week's talk between the brothers this week's talk made no sense to me. It felt contrived and left me scratching my head. What was the point? Maybe it's just me but I didn't get it.

Next week doesn't look very interesting to me either.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-02-21 09:01
Jeez, I almost feel embarrassed for saying it but I didn’t hate it........ Okay, it wasn’t an 8.13 or 8.14 but I don’t think it was some torrid POS that deserves to be carpet bombed out of existence. A bit of bad, a bit of good, it was a grand, easy MOTW case with a bit of a difference.

Portia calls James ‘Master’ and likes to wear a collar but apart from being a crime against fashion, that ain’t a crime; horses for courses and all that. We also saw the other guy (Philippe?) with his Master so I don't think it was mean to be a dominant/submis sive thing. James spent most of the episode manacled to the bed ffs, so Portia was far from the poor, helpless woman. She chose James; she’s loyal to him and James to her. Portia actually seemed to be the one more in control in the relationship. She took charge, took action.

The sex scene? Okay they’re always better with Sam or Dean in them (though I did like Portia’s shorts) but it was kinda necessary for Portia to get into his head. Portia can turn into a dog when she wants. Why is that a bestiality thing? Professor McGonagall can turn into a cat when she wants. Should all animagi (is that the plural of animagus??) remain celibate for the rest of their lives for fear someone will start shouting ‘bestiality†™? In dog state or not, she's still got a functioning, human mind.

I liked that I knew it was Spencer that was the baddie as soon as I saw him. (Never trust a guy with no top lip....) It’s nice to get one right (especially seeing as I was the only person on earth who didn’t guess Ellie as soon as I saw her last week).

The witch bomb was cool, though frightfully convenient, as was the witch club. (Does this mean that that Don and Maggie (Spike and Cordelia) both have familiars? I wonder how Maggie would react to that, given that she nailgunned the guy who inadvertently introduced her husband to his lover??)

‘Two seconds ago she was a dog’. That along with ‘Ow, my spleen’ in 8.13 just give me the giggles every time I hear them.

I like Portia. She has spirit, and she always had that air of aloofness around the boys that I liked. She is who she is, and what she is, and if others have issues with that then feck ‘em! James came across as a bit of a limp rag though.

Does every small town in America have a shop where they sell strange, supernatural ingredients? Man, I need to go to the big city to get freaking halloumi.

Not quite sure what the point of emphasising the killing of the blind guy was. Was it to make the crime look more heinous or something?

What’s so difficult about them breaking into a locked room full of cops? Isn’t that kind of what they do (again and again)?

That bring said, there was a fair bit of dodgy about the episode as well. The reason behind Spencer doing the bad didn’t work for me. I mean, if your familiar is like a connection of souls (or whatever the kids are calling it these days) then surely Spencer wouldn’t want Portia, he’d be satisfied with Philippe as his familiar. I know there was the sexual aspect to it but Spencer wanted Portia as his familiar before she got involved with James.

It bugs me that these last few episodes Dean has been put into situations where he seems awkward when faced with sex, or even the idea of sex. They just seem to be emphasising it more and more lately, for whatever reason. In this episode he just harped on and on about it and it came to a stage where I was like ‘Enough already!’ I mean, Dean is older than I am but he’s been coming across as a teenager in his attitude to certain things these last few episodes. All fecking talk but when it’s in his face, he’s struck dumb. Compare that to the Dean of The Slice Girls who was comfortable, mature and competent when flirted with.

What purpose did the flashback scene serve for Sam and Dean? (And when did Dean see his mother burning on the ceiling? I thought John handed him Sam outside the door.) I mean, it just came out of nowhere. Was it there to remind us, maybe? I don’t know, it seemed to come out of nowhere; put in for the sake of putting it in. The same applies to Dean’s about-face at the end. I’m having difficulty associating what Dean saw with his change in attitude. Was it seeing his mother? Dude, you were looking at a picture of her last week too. What happened to make him suddenly trust Sam (I don’t mean trust him in terms of telling him if he’s hurt etc, cos I understand why both Sam and Dean don’t do that, but in terms of trusting in his ability etc). This felt a little ‘one step forwards, two steps back’.

The same applies to the ‘I trust you because it’s too important not to’. I mean, was that a compliment or was it an ‘I trust you cos I’ve no choice'? Does this mean that if it wasn't as important then Dean wouldn't trust him? Does Dean actually trust him or not, and in what context? (This, of course, raises issues as to whether Dean has ever trusted Sam. Damnit)

Crap, maybe I don’t like this episode after all......

In relation to Crowley being an angel (either a spy or a turned spy), I kinda hope he’s not. The fact that he changed the way of torturing (from knives and red hot pokers to waiting in line), suggests maybe he might be (imagine if Crowley was in charge when Dean was in hell! Dean would have spent ten years cutting in line or with really bad BO instead of slicing and dicing the people he was trying to break!) I think I just prefer the simplicity (!) of him being a demon with smarts. I’d find that to be much scarier and menacing. (Gotta push the smarts!)

Thanks for this Ardeospina.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2013-02-21 09:45
Quote:


The same applies to the ‘I trust you because it’s too important not to’. I mean, was that a compliment or was it an ‘I trust you cos I’ve no choice'? Does this mean that if it wasn't as important then Dean wouldn't trust him? Does Dean actually trust him or not, and in what context? (This, of course, raises issues as to whether Dean has ever trusted Sam. Damnit)

.
Oh Lord, there's a question for the ages. But seriously, it's not the first time Dean's dialogue has been written like this. Remember in PONR after he killed Zachariah?

"I mean, hell, if you're grown-up enough to find faith in me…the least I can do is return the favor."

Um....what? Does that mean I guess I'll have faith in you now because you almost died and all? Gee thanks.

I agree with you, btw. They can be really wishy washy about Dean's feelings from one minute to the next.
lala2
# lala2 2013-02-21 14:02
Dean doesn't really trust Sam though. I think that's what both comments indicate.

He has to trust Sam now b/c Sam did the first trial. This goal of closing the Gates is very important, so Dean has to trust (and hope) that Sam can do them.

In PONR, Dean just decided to trust Sam b/c trusted him. I don't think Dean actually trusts Sam though.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-02-21 14:07
Agreed... I think the Dean trusting Sam issue is still there.

Sam tends to forgive and move on, especially the ones closest to him (Dean, Cas). This is probably because he's done a lot of crap that he has needed to be forgiven for. That being said, Sam does tend to bury a lot more stuff now, especially after returning from hell and getting his soul back. Granted, sometimes he has to, such as when he was hallucinating, but his tendency now is to avoid the chick flick moments.

Dean tends to hang on to, and take very personally, past digressions/per ceived betrayals by those closest to him i.e. Sam and Cas. He had a tough time getting past what Cas did in S6 and I'm not sure he's ever going to get completely past Sam picking some demon chick over him and Sam not looking for him after S7 (even though that's what they promised each other they'd do :-) - not looking to start a war here, just sayin...)
magichappening
# magichappening 2013-02-21 14:14
Quote:
Portia calls James ‘Master’ and likes to wear a collar but apart from being a crime against fashion, that ain’t a crime; horses for courses and all that.
Fair point.

Quote:
Never trust a guy with no top lip....
Ha! Plus agree about the anviliciousness of the villain. Might as well have gone the whole hog and had Darth Vader music whenever he was on screen ;)

Quote:
‘ ‘Ow, my spleen’ in 8.13 just give me the giggles every time I hear them.
Seconded!

Quote:
I like Portia. She has spirit, and she always had that air of aloofness around the boys that I liked. She is who she is, and what she is, and if others have issues with that then feck ‘em! James came across as a bit of a limp rag though.
Agreed. She was good, but the actor who played James appeared to be taking himself wayyyyy too seriously.

Quote:
Does every small town in America have a shop where they sell strange, supernatural ingredients? Man, I need to go to the big city to get freaking halloumi.
Ahahahaha!

Quote:
It bugs me that these last few episodes Dean has been put into situations where he seems awkward when faced with sex, or even the idea of sex...he’s been coming across as a teenager in his attitude to certain things these last few episodes. All fecking talk but when it’s in his face, he’s struck dumb. Compare that to the Dean of The Slice Girls who was comfortable, mature and competent when flirted with.
Interesting point. It does frustrate me when they dumb Dean (and Sam) down or give them a tween sense of humour. That said, the one joke in this episode that worked for me was the one where Dean was like 'That was incredibly hot' and Sam nods agreeing, ' It was pretty hot' :) Plus, I take nickmaniac's point above, that it could just be a male vs. female humour thing...

Quote:
What purpose did the flashback scene serve for Sam and Dean? (And when did Dean see his mother burning on the ceiling? I thought John handed him Sam outside the door.) I mean, it just came out of nowhere. Was it there to remind us, maybe? I don’t know, it seemed to come out of nowhere; put in for the sake of putting it in. The same applies to Dean’s about-face at the end. I’m having difficulty associating what Dean saw with his change in attitude. Was it seeing his mother? Dude, you were looking at a picture of her last week too. What happened to make him suddenly trust Sam (I don’t mean trust him in terms of telling him if he’s hurt etc, cos I understand why both Sam and Dean don’t do that, but in terms of trusting in his ability etc). This felt a little ‘one step forwards, two steps back’.
Good point, well made.

This is why I love Supernatural - even a very average episode has so much to debate. Thanks Ardeospina for the space to wax lyrical! And thanks Enchanting Tim. I am always interested in your POV :)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-02-21 09:10
Thanks for the review Ardeo. Meh, indeed. Not a fan of this one. The story didn't wow me, the writing was not very good, and for the first time in a long time, I kinda wished I'd gone to bed instead of watching my favourite show. So I've commented a few times already, therefore I won't bore you anymore about this particular ep.

Now, onto your theory about Crowley. I also don't believe he is just a crossroads demon. I'm beginning to think he might be a fallen angel, somewhat like Lucifer, but unlike Lucifer he got cast out of Heaven not because he loved God over humanity, but because he loved himself over God and wanted to take over management. :D It'll be interesting to see what comes out of that. I can't wait to get Crowley and Cass back. Although next week looks to be another filler ep. Hopefully it'll be better than this one.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2013-02-21 09:43
Thanks for the review Ardeospina. I've just finished watching the episode now and I was bored waiting for it to end. In fact, I was doing other things on my laptop while the episode was playing - a small window for the video, and me doing other things, is always a sign that I'm not enjoying an episode :o

Your review, and lots of other commenters, have listed the reasons why this episode was sub par so I've nothing much to add. I just felt this episode was written by people who don't know the characters of Sam and Dean but had read about them on Wikipedia before sitting down to write the script. Even the brother-bonding moments felt forced and repetitive (given that they were basically rehashes of old, arguments from previous seasons).

To me, the vibe of the entire episode was SPN does a parody of the bdsm community via the stand-in of the witchcraft community. This was not an interesting idea to me. Plus, I agree with percysowner that male witch characters get much better treatment in SPN than female witches and that doesn't sit well with me.

So, now we have Sam and Dean re-set back to contrived-reaso ns-for-discord- settings again just immediately after the writers spent time getting the brothers to be mates again after the long time Sam and Dean spent being angry with each other????

*flings hands up in the air in exasperation*

Surely the writers can find some new plots for the Winchesters other than Sam is hiding something from Dean and Dean doesn't seem to feel that he can trust Sam?!?!
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2013-02-21 10:04
Folks, I have a question about Dean saying "Sammy" when he talked to Sam in the Impala in this week's episode.

Has it been a really long time since Dean has called Sam by the pet name "Sammy"? I'm hoping someone here knows the answer because I fail at remembering SPN facts in great detail :sigh:

The reason I ask is because I have been thinking for a long time that Dean doesn't use the pet name much any more (I really missed its use in SPN and it has felt, to me, that the pet name doesn't get much use in recent seasons) and I was hoping that his use of "Sammy" in this episode was a way of the writers signalling a positive change in Dean's attitude to Sam and the brothers' relationship generally. Anyone else have any thoughts on this issue?
prix68
# prix68 2013-02-21 10:42
He called him Sammy last week when Sam dropped to the floor after saying the spell. That I remember because it was only a week ago.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2013-02-21 10:56
Thanks, prix68, I completely missed that :oops: , what am I like!

Dean using "Sammy" last week, in that situation and after their rapprochement, would fit in with my current theory that it's a way of signalling a positive change in their relationship this season.

Do you know if Dean's been using "Sammy" much since S4/S5?
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-02-21 11:30
Dean has been using it a lot more lately, especially since episode 11, but did use it earlier in the season. A quick scan of the transcripts

8.01 2 times
8.02 1 time
8.03 1 time
8.04 none
8.05 none
8.06 3 times
8.07 1 time
8.08 none
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2013-02-21 11:36
Thanks for that info njspnfan :-)

I've been re-watching S1 over the last few months and it occurred to me that Dean used "Sammy" to refer to Sam a hell of a lot more in the early seasons of SPN. Then it also occurred to me that I don't remember Dean using the pet name as much since S4. I got wondering if this was a deliberate signal from the writers that Dean and Sam were not okay with each other during S4-7 and that "Sammy" reappearing more often in S8 was a signal that Dean and Sam are heading towards okay with each other again.

TBH, I'm probably giving too much significance to something that's probably not occurred to the SPN writers :-*
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-02-21 12:28
I don't think you're reading too much significance in to this, ciar. In earlier seasons, Dean called him Sammy all the time, both as a term of affection/endea rment, or when Sam was in distress. A lot of this could be attributed to the fact that Sam was his kid brother, just out of college. In these later seasons, it seems to me it's used more often to indicate that their brotherly relationship is in a better place. Although, in earlier episodes this season, there were negative connotations to him calling him Sammy; almost seemed that he was trying to piss him off. If you remember, Sam only lets Dean call him that - as someone who has a name that you can add a y to the end of, I understand Sam's feelings on the matter ;-)
lala2
# lala2 2013-02-21 10:58
I'm in the camp that didn't hate it. Was it as strong as the three episodes before it? No, but it was still, IMO, better than episodes 1-11 of this season. What I enjoyed about the episode is what some seemed to hate: the interactions btw Sam and Dean.

I found their interactions highly believable and genuine. Their argument or disagreement felt real to me. It felt like an argument they would have in the earlier seasons. I didn't have a problem with the writing for Sam or Dean.

Yes, Dean did give Sam the paper at the end as he was inspired by Sam's words. Right after, Sam practically collapses to the ground and some weird light shoots up his arm. Dean immediately asks Sam if he's okay. Sam says yes but Dean doesn't really believe him. Heck, Sam is also unsure but determined to follow through with the trials. That's what I got from last week's ending scene so I wasn't surprised by Dean's concerns this week. Plus, Dean, like Sam, knows what the trials are supposed to do to the person doing them. He knows Sam's going to have issues. Sam wants Dean to trust that he can do the trials sonhe's also frustrated. Their fight was fine to me. I'd rather see this type of fighting than what we've gotten at various times since S4.

I also find it very believable that Sam would keep his problems to himself. First, Dean is beginning to trust that Sam can complete the tasks, why would Sam then tell Dean something that would destroy that trust? Sam was aware of all the risks of completing the trials. I'm not sure why he would now complain about them. Second, Sam has gone on and on about being okay and capable of handling the trials. I'm sure he won't want to complain at the first sign of a problem. Plus, there's really nothing Dean can do except worry about him. Sam doesn't want that. Dean does enough of that. I think Sam will endure as long as he can. The effects of these trials will be brutal. Sam knows this. There's no need to worry Dean at this point. I think this is very in character for Sam, and I don't have a problem with it.

I thought James and Portia were portrayed by good actors. I didn't need the sex scene or even the whole reference to bestiality. The episode would have had the same impact without the sex/romance angle. I guess it was included to push the envelope. I also had no problem with Dean questions to her as I was also interested in the answers. Is she a dog or a human or both? The idea is really skeevy and gross. Dean's questions/inter est didn't seem all that OTT or crazy to me.

On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 7 or 8. It wasn't awful to me but then I had no problem with Route 666 or M3: TR.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-21 16:09
lala2, I agree I think the fight could have been written better, but I thought the issues were realistic. I really liked all your other points as well, other than I didn't really have issues with the James/Portia relationship. Yes she could turn into a dog but she was a woman when they were have sex. The same with Madison and Sam.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-02-21 11:00
i didn't think it was that awful...i can think of worse..no exit, blood brother, rt 666, are just a few that come to mind. it was filler, but i wonder if it actually had a purpose to it?

i mean the whole witch/familiar thing....i know that we don't have to worry about seeing amelia anymore, but i wonder if she actually wasn't what we thought she was. i'm not saying she was a witch...but what if she was one of crowley's or one of naomi's. what if riot wasn't just a regular dog? what if riot was a familiar or something else? maybe he was don's? i'm just not convinced that there was no point to this eppy. i think it's possible for it to tie in some way with sam and his unaccounted for time before hitting the dog.

i just think that the very point that sam was a dog person and dean obviously wasn't was important.
i get that dean's not a dog person, he was killed by a hellhound after all...not sure if he disliked dogs prior to s3 though. i just find it interesting that it was a dog in the first place that led sam to amelia, who kept him running from his life and his loss.

it was don that specifically got sam to remove himself from the picture, which he would've done anyway in my opinion. sam never loved amelia. he went with her because he needed focus on someone. she was messed up. he was drawn to her. he could help her in a way he couldn't help dean. for sam, amelia was a chance to save someone. but i never trusted the relationship he had with her. i'm of the belief that sam did try to look for dean but had no resources, no backup, no clue where to begin, and thus ended up convincing himself that dean was dead. it's really an obvious defense mechanism...bet ter for sam to believe dean dead than him being out there somewhere and he can't save him.

i digressed. what i'm getting at is that maybe this eppy isn't as filler as we think. maybe it will be important down the road a bit. i agree that there are many plates spinning right now, but i think the platter is what happened to sam that night dean disappeared. it's too big to question to leave unanswered imo and it really needs to be dealt with.

as for sam hiding his symptoms, i understand and don't really blame him. the whole reason sam wants to do the trials in the first place is because he didn't like where dean's head was at, his fatalistic view where he ends up dead. so sam would rather take on the trials incapacitated then have dean do them...it's really not hard to understand, dean wants sam to live, but sam wants dean to live. if dean had a more positive pov than i'm sure sam would have no problem with dean taking on the trials. sam needs for the moment for dean to have faith that he can do them, so he'll try to keep his pain a secret, but we know dean will find out and he'll get upset, but he'll get over it and i have no doubt sam will explain himself. i'm not really worried...broth erly love arguments are ok with me.

i'd like to think this eppy wasn't just a filler but that it actually had purpose. fingers crossed on that .
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-21 13:38
Hey nappi, I enjoyed your post! It would be nice if there was a purpose behind this ep, I wish it had been executed better. I don't know about the Amelia/witch, Riot/familiar idea but is kinda fun thinking about it. Maybe Don is Riot? Did we ever see them together? HA. Sam hiding his symptoms is entirely understandable but this always leads to discord b/w the brothers and it never goes well.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-21 15:42
nappi, I really loved your ideas too. I pray you're right that something like that is going on with Amelia and the dog connection would be great.

Totally adore your line "dean wants sam to live, but sam wants dean to live. if dean had a more positive pov than i'm sure sam would have no problem with dean taking on the trials. " Because Sam was fine with Dean doing the trials until he heard Dean's attitude towards them and then he decided to do them, because wants them both to have a chance at living.

Sam hiding symptoms isn't really a problem for me either. Dean was already doubting him, so hiding his symptoms isn't really a stretch for me.
fanotheboyz
# fanotheboyz 2013-02-21 16:10
I agree about the plates and the platter. I see it that way, too. I think Amelia is out of the picture, but the night Sam left her and went to the cabin, someone was watching. They made it really obvious that it was important. At some point, we'll have to find out who it was.

Also, I think Dean does trust Sam- as far as having his back, etc, but wants to do the trials to protect him and he doesn't trust ANYONE to protect SAM but him. Not surprised by Sam keeping his symptoms to himself, but a little disappointed. He is worried Dean will overreact and try to stop him and that's a valid fear.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-02-22 08:24
Quoting Nappi:
Quote:
as for sam hiding his symptoms, i understand and don't really blame him. the whole reason sam wants to do the trials in the first place is because he didn't like where dean's head was at, his fatalistic view where he ends up dead. so sam would rather take on the trials incapacitated then have dean do them...it's really not hard to understand, dean wants sam to live, but sam wants dean to live. if dean had a more positive pov than i'm sure sam would have no problem with dean taking on the trials. sam needs for the moment for dean to have faith that he can do them, so he'll try to keep his pain a secret, but we know dean will find out and he'll get upset, but he'll get over it and i have no doubt sam will explain himself. i'm not really worried...brotherly love arguments are ok with me.
I agree with you on this one, I don't really have a problem with Sam hiding his symptoms from Dean. I think he's choosing not to share because he knows that then Dean would insist on finishing the trials himself. As Fanotheboyz pointed out, Dean sees himself as Sam's protector and the only one who can do it adequately.

As for your views on Amelia, Don & Riot, it's a very interesting take on the whole thing. I hope we do find out who that was lurking outside the door when Sam left. TPTB made it so obvious, it better turn out to be something.
E
# E 2013-02-21 11:02
I was wondering about this episode.... I mean, I wonder if the PTB knew that it wasn't very good? Do you think that they know when an episode isn't really up to par, but have no choice but to go with it because of their very compressed time line? JC HAD to have known that the writing on this one wasn't very good, even I can see it, and I am no expert by any means, and don't even really like writing all that much. I'm not a poet or essayist or even a journal keeper.. but I could see the deficits, the awkwardness, the poor characterizatio ns from a mile off. And there was no producers preview for this one... I wonder if that means anything?
Ann
# Ann 2013-02-23 10:28
I wondered the same thing when I noticed there was no producers preview. Maybe JC wanted to distance himself from it. I also wonder if the fact that one of the writers of this episode is married to an executive producer might have added to JC not feeling comfortable about being honest about the script. I would be.

I was (and still am) angry about this episode because it felt like the writers were purposefully trying to offend the audience. When the familiar yells at Dean about his attitude toward the situation between her and the master, it was as if she was yelling at the majority of people in the audience because most people find the relationship disturbing and we have a right to.

I can handle a poor episode once in a while but what I have a problem with are writers who go out of their way to offend, insult and disrespect the audience. I don't care if one of the writers is married to an executive producer, Carver needs to step up and take control of his show.
suebsg9
# suebsg9 2013-02-21 12:41
How I saw Dean when he said about wanting to do the trials is yes him being a big brother and he can't escape that he is what he is. Hates to see his brother going through any kinda pain and suffering. And he would rather Sam live his life now that he knows he has something better waiting for him. To me the speech that Dean gave makes sense that he wants the best for Sam. He can get out of hunting he has done it and he doesn't have to look back. Right now only reason in it because Dean is back and wants to seal the gates. But even if the gates get sealed and Sam doesn't want to hunt Dean will because its all Dean has. Sam may see a light and want to take Dean to it but I am not sure Dean would go; he would rather Sam go to the light because like Dean said crap is still going to be out there to hunt. And Dean has been doing this long enough that its in his blood he is going to die a hunter. Something is going to get him in the end. But as long as Sam is happy Dean doesn't care and that is what I love about Dean. As long as sammy is happy he can die a happy man. And I think the trust issues are still there between Dean and Sam and until they talk about why Dean trusts Benny so much or purgatory and what happend and get all the other crap that they have built over the years the air will never be clear and Sam just has to live with the fact as long as you are with a big brother who wants you to be safe then you better be upfront with him and not have him finding out later and having it bite you in the behind because that will not be good. JMO
Labotin
# Labotin 2013-02-21 12:58
"Yes, Dean did give Sam the paper at the end as he was inspired by Sam's words. Right after, Sam practically collapses to the ground and some weird light shoots up his arm. Dean immediately asks Sam if he's okay. Sam says yes but Dean doesn't really believe him. Heck, Sam is also unsure but determined to follow through with the trials. That's what I got from last week's ending scene so I wasn't surprised by Dean's concerns this week. Plus, Dean, like Sam, knows what the trials are supposed to do to the person doing them. He knows Sam's going to have issues. Sam wants Dean to trust that he can do the trials sonhe's also frustrated. Their fight was fine to me. I'd rather see this type of fighting than what we've gotten at various times since S4.

I also find it very believable that Sam would keep his problems to himself. First, Dean is beginning to trust that Sam can complete the tasks, why would Sam then tell Dean something that would destroy that trust? Sam was aware of all the risks of completing the trials. I'm not sure why he would now complain about them. Second, Sam has gone on and on about being okay and capable of handling the trials. I'm sure he won't want to complain at the first sign of a problem. Plus, there's really nothing Dean can do except worry about him. Sam doesn't want that. Dean does enough of that. I think Sam will endure as long as he can. The effects of these trials will be brutal. Sam knows this. There's no need to worry Dean at this point. I think this is very in character for Sam, and I don't have a problem with it.
" YES THIS!!!!

There has been significant continuity in character for both Sam and Dean since the first episode....Sinc e Sam apparently did not look for Dean, while he was in purgatory Dean has had serious trust issues with Sam that will not go away anytime soon...Sam feels like he is the victim of Dean's mistrust and is trying to prove that he can be trusted and relied on (esp since Dean seems to feel greater loyalty from Benny-- "Benny has never betrayed me")...
They agreed to set aside their issues for the sake of the task at hand--shutting the gates of hell...Sam gave up Amelia after realizing that a normal life was an illusion and that even without the supernatural, normal life is just as difficult...... .Dean gave up Benny to make peace with Sam and also to free himself of distraction in their mission. They both made compromises for the sake of their job, it does not mean that they don't have issues with each other and they are trying to salvage what they can of their relationship

I found it interesting that Dean brought back Benny when he said that he and Kate did not have a choice (he said something similar about Sam's poor choices when he was possessed in the 2nd or 3rd episode)...

The problem that both brother's have is their unwillingness to be vulnerable to each other. They seem to think that they have to be strong at all times even when they are not. The day they trust each other enough to be vulnerable and to need each other at those times willingly and NOT AT THE LAST MOMENT and that they don't constantly have to PROVE to each other their worth will be the day they are brothers again until then they are just hunting partners nothing more....
suebsg9
# suebsg9 2013-02-21 13:40
Quote:
"Yes, Dean did give Sam the paper at the end as he was inspired by Sam's words. Right after, Sam practically collapses to the ground and some weird light shoots up his arm. Dean immediately asks Sam if he's okay. Sam says yes but Dean doesn't really believe him. Heck, Sam is also unsure but determined to follow through with the trials. That's what I got from last week's ending scene so I wasn't surprised by Dean's concerns this week. Plus, Dean, like Sam, knows what the trials are supposed to do to the person doing them. He knows Sam's going to have issues. Sam wants Dean to trust that he can do the trials sonhe's also frustrated. Their fight was fine to me. I'd rather see this type of fighting than what we've gotten at various times since S4.

I also find it very believable that Sam would keep his problems to himself. First, Dean is beginning to trust that Sam can complete the tasks, why would Sam then tell Dean something that would destroy that trust? Sam was aware of all the risks of completing the trials. I'm not sure why he would now complain about them. Second, Sam has gone on and on about being okay and capable of handling the trials. I'm sure he won't want to complain at the first sign of a problem. Plus, there's really nothing Dean can do except worry about him. Sam doesn't want that. Dean does enough of that. I think Sam will endure as long as he can. The effects of these trials will be brutal. Sam knows this. There's no need to worry Dean at this point. I think this is very in character for Sam, and I don't have a problem with it.
" YES THIS!!!!

There has been significant continuity in character for both Sam and Dean since the first episode....Since Sam apparently did not look for Dean, while he was in purgatory Dean has had serious trust issues with Sam that will not go away anytime soon...Sam feels like he is the victim of Dean's mistrust and is trying to prove that he can be trusted and relied on (esp since Dean seems to feel greater loyalty from Benny-- "Benny has never betrayed me")...
They agreed to set aside their issues for the sake of the task at hand--shutting the gates of hell...Sam gave up Amelia after realizing that a normal life was an illusion and that even without the supernatural, normal life is just as difficult.......Dean gave up Benny to make peace with Sam and also to free himself of distraction in their mission. They both made compromises for the sake of their job, it does not mean that they don't have issues with each other and they are trying to salvage what they can of their relationship

I found it interesting that Dean brought back Benny when he said that he and Kate did not have a choice (he said something similar about Sam's poor choices when he was possessed in the 2nd or 3rd episode)...

The problem that both brother's have is their unwillingness to be vulnerable to each other. They seem to think that they have to be strong at all times even when they are not. The day they trust each other enough to be vulnerable and to need each other at those times willingly and NOT AT THE LAST MOMENT and that they don't constantly have to PROVE to each other their worth will be the day they are brothers again until then they are just hunting partners nothing more....
I keep on trying to remember the days when the boys could open up to each other but I think since Deans hell experience and Sam mocking it granted via the demon blood and siren and such he can't do it same as it took Dean to tell how he felt via the penny. I think they close each other out and Dean does try to get Sam to open up and guessing Sam won't be able to hide the trial stuff to long from Dean if it starts getting bad and from what Kevin said it will. So its best to open up to Dean now before you tick him off again by lying and I know he has good reason but you hate to see it coming. Dean is trying to be so open with Sam and he is by the fact he thinks he should take on the trials. I saw nothing wrong with that. Thats Dean and I think the whole trust issue thing need to be discussed everything I mean Dean holds everything in and they need to discuss everything that broke that trust and until then its like they will never be alright. JMO again lol.
Michele Hughes
# Michele Hughes 2013-02-21 18:18
Quote:


The problem that both brother's have is their unwillingness to be vulnerable to each other. They seem to think that they have to be strong at all times even when they are not. The day they trust each other enough to be vulnerable and to need each other at those times willingly and NOT AT THE LAST MOMENT and that they don't constantly have to PROVE to each other their worth will be the day they are brothers again until then they are just hunting partners nothing more....
Labotin, I can really see your point and agree with it. I haven't enjoyed the distance that's existed between Sam and Dean since S3, so I'm glad that the writers are attempting some sort of reconciliation between the brothers, but I really do wish that Sam and Dean would open up to each other, and be vulnerable with each other, in the way they used to. I don't want this sort of closeness to happen overnight (with the way they are at the moment that wouldn't be all that realistic) but I do wish I could have faith that this would happen at some point in the next 2.5 seasons.
BeccaB
# BeccaB 2013-02-21 13:01
I actually enjoyed this episode. Granted, it didn't advance the mytharc, it wasn't deep or thought provoking.

What it was, IMO, was an hour of "Mind Candy."
ThisOldBag58
# ThisOldBag58 2013-02-21 14:10
I so enjoy your passion in reviewing these episodes, even when I am not in total agreement. There are actually so few episodes in 7.5 years that i didn't love and only one that i will never watch again. But there are obviously some that are irritating because of the continuity issues or more because they just didn't follow thru on something.

I enjoyed this episode even tho it was slow and the guest story was useless (Like Repo Man fro Sn7). All the comments before have stated some of the issues so I will say what I really really enjoyed was very simple. Sam finally said the words "Why doesn't he trust me?". I've been waiting for that for ever.

Now I know, there have been other times where it was implied that Dean didn't have any trust but Sam has never really asked that question out loud to Dean. True, it was glossed over and life went on but it just made me happy.

I think one of the reasons many of us are fans is that the story of Sam & Dean, regardless of the Supernatural, is very human and I at least, find many things that I relate to in my own youth.

Sam has faith in his brother, has put him on a white horse. Believes in him. But that doesn't mean he has always chosen to trust him. The faith is automatic, the trust is a choice. To relate: I had faith like that in someone- automatic. The words "You are a monster, a freak" coming from someone you trust...well, I believed but I didn't agree. I wanted to prove her wrong and I made decisions and kept secrets that were...well, not what I should have done. Only when I had my epiphany that she was not God, but just a human was I able to come to terms with that.

By the same token, as parents (Or older siblings) we raise our children trying to teach them right from wrong, telling them what to do. At a certain point we have to let go and trust that we have done the best we could. Dean is still stuck in the "I need to protect and save him" "he's my Job" "I must tell him what to do" mode. He has no true faith but he can choose to trust.

I am hoping that the other half of the tablet will reveal greater tests, perhaps the strength of character tests Sam is facing will require a strength of faith test. Who knows. I've speculated many times and have never been right. So I just try to enjoy the little things.

Wow, I said too much and I should edit, but I'll just let you skip it if you want. Now I've got to watch it again just for eye-candy purposes (smile).
fanotheboyz
# fanotheboyz 2013-02-21 16:17
YES! THAT! A test of faith. That is what we need. Perhaps by way of God and His tests, right? I said before that I think Dean trusts Sam, but it did get strained by Sam not searching or revealing all that happened when Dean went to Purgatory. Now, Sam has something to prove. At least that's what he thinks, so he's not telling Dean his suffering. A backassward way to gain trust, but we know that history. I hope it all gets woven masterfully in the end episodes. We'll need Carver and Edlund to do that, not the B team writers.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-21 17:10
Quote:
Sam finally said the words "Why doesn't he trust me?". I've been waiting for that for ever.


At a certain point we have to let go and trust that we have done the best we could. Dean is still stuck in the "I need to protect and save him" "he's my Job" "I must tell him what to do" mode. He has no true faith but he can choose to trust.

I am hoping that the other half of the tablet will reveal greater tests, perhaps the strength of character tests Sam is facing will require a strength of faith test. Who knows. I've speculated many times and have never been right. So I just try to enjoy the little things.
I really liked your post. I, too, wanted Sam to say something like that to Dean for a while now. Now while I agree with Sam that Dean has trouble trusting anyone but himself. I think that Dean still hasn't Sam's past mistakes, even if he tells himself he has. And just not his mistakes, but things he had no control over, like SS and Hallicifer.

This is what I wanted him to say in Southern Comfort, instead of that weak "You had Benny". Sam has more than paid the price for his past transgressions and shouldn't be blamed for things he can't control. And I'm sure the rational part of Dean knows this, but he's human and there is a part of him that hasn't really trusted Sam or anyone for a long time.

And as much I hate the idea that Sam has to prove himself after everything he has done. If the trials are a way that helps Dean (and Sam) get past well the past, I'm all for it.
Ale
# Ale 2013-02-22 10:23
Quote:

And as much I hate the idea that Sam has to prove himself after everything he has done. If the trials are a way that helps Dean (and Sam) get past well the past, I'm all for it.
I'm cheering for that because I'd love to watch it. Healing time, please!
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-02-21 14:58
I've never especially liked any of the Supernatural episodes with animals in them.(Heart, Bugs, that dog episode from l season 6? that was so bad that it shall remain unnamed).I had a few issues with this one even though I liked the first ten minutes and the whole idea of Phillipe " The Cat" being mildly funny.

I also had some issues with it as a WoC, but those weren't my main problems with it. It had other, bigger problems than that.

This episode could have gone any number of ways that would have made it more interesting, but the dialogue was not even capable of being saved and the fake drama between Dean and Portia in the Witch Bar was just awful.

There were a number of convos that just didn't feel right, including Spencer's monologuing. Where did that motivation come from. It would have been more believable to me if he just wanted James to stop being a cop or heck just wanted James.

I also found it upsetting to see a witch kill their own familiar. I don't know why it bothered me but it did.

As for the "Crowley is an Angel theory". it's interesting but I just can't buy it. On the other hand if it turns out to be the case that Crowley is far more than he seems, then thanx for the heads-up.
Beverly
# Beverly 2013-02-21 15:09
It seems to me that Sam has always kept internally the items that he personally knows will just distress Dean - even in Season 1. The only reason he told Dean about having visions that come true (Jessica's death) is because he needed Dean to take him back to their original home in Kansas in "Home". If he could have done it on his own, he probably wouldn't have come clean then.

As much as Dean sees his life goal is to protect Sam - Sam sees his life goal to be less of a burden to Dean. He is and has always been very aware about the emotions around him and probably picked up at a very young age that Dean cared for him out of duty and if given a choice would have preferred to do "normal" kid stuff or go hunt with Dad. People always talk about Dean's abandonment issues but Sam has them too. His mom "abandoned" him by getting killed. His dad "abandoned" him with Dean to go hunting, so there was a part of him that was afraid that if he was too much of a burden to Dean that Dean would leave him behind too. When this mindset is set at a very young age, it is awfully hard to reprogram it when you become a thinking rational adult.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-02-21 15:21
That's a really interesting take, Beverly. I always kinda though they didn't tell each other these things so as not to unduly worry each other but I hadn't though about it from this abandonment point of view. Thanks!
ThisOldBag58
# ThisOldBag58 2013-02-21 15:24
Oh Beverly, you are so right. It is also true that he learned how to "abandon" from his own family. While Dean laments about everybody leaving him, Sam has learned from experience that that is what family does. How confusing. Dad leaves them behind and it's OK. Dean likely took off many times and left his brother alone to fend for himself. Dad doesn't even say "good-bye" to Sam (sob) (and, of course, leaves Dean with his "burden"). But when Sam walks away he's always the "bad" one for abandoning his family. Who spent a year with a wife(ish) and kid and then brow-beats his brother for doing the same? This show has expressed those conflicts non-verbally for so long, I would love to see that come out at some point - not necessarily in a big fight - but in an adult "oh, that's how you saw things?" conversation (as many of us have had with our own siblings).
E
# E 2013-02-21 16:16
This is so very true, and it's the first time I've seen anyone put it into words. Sam MUST have abandonment issues, how could he not? It's now canon that he was left on his own a lot as a child. The Girl Next Door shows that by the time Sam was maybe 14 he was spending a lot of time on his own because Dean was hunting with John. Can you imagine how difficult that must have been for him. I think Sam is always worried about being a burden on his brother. It makes the fact that he's holding back the blood coughing thing much more understandable.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-21 17:38
That is Quote:
Dad doesn't even say "good-bye" to Sam (sob) (and, of course, leaves Dean with his "burden").
I thought all your examples were great, but this one in particular always gets to me. Why didn't John say good-bye? Even just a hand on the shoulder might have done it for me. He gives Dean this awesome speech. But just tells Sam he doesn't want to fight anymore. Right before he tells Dean he might have to kill Sam. It's horrible.

And that aspect was NEVER really address. His dad not saying good-bye or that Sam knew that his dad thought he might need killing. I think Kripke even expressed regret about the latter one.

And I think this really ramped up the feeling of being a burden for Sam. Now Dean not only keep him from being killed but always watch for signs he needed to die.

The thing about this issue is that in many ways Sam has been a burden to Dean throughout the years. Now I think it pretty much balances out with everything he has done for Dean as well, but you could see where he could develop a complex.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-21 16:29
I completely agree, Beverly. Last year especially, I thought their was a lot of subtext about Sam feeling like a burden. But to me it's always been there.
galen
# galen 2013-02-21 16:34
I always enjoy when someone brings a different take on things. Beverly I really enjoyed your comment. What I liked about this episode was when Sam addressed the trust issue with Dean, he did so in a mature and thoughtful way. It was interesting that Sam did not take it personally, but rather stated that Dean could only trust himself and not others. In the past, Sam would have been angry and frustrated with Dean.
Sam's not telling Dean about his symptoms is true to his nature. Just like in Meet the new boss, Sam seemed ready to tell Dean what was going on with his hellavision, but overhead Dean's speech about not looking a gift horse in the mouth about Sam seeming to be allright.
Here Dean trys one more time to have Sam give up the trials and to have them search out another Hell hound so he can be the one to do the trials. I think Sam was afraid for Dean and what he would do if Sam lets him know what is really going on. I think this will be very interesting as a story. Just some random thoughts.
suebsg9
# suebsg9 2013-02-21 16:44
Quote:
I always enjoy when someone brings a different take on things. Beverly I really enjoyed your comment. What I liked about this episode was when Sam addressed the trust issue with Dean, he did so in a mature and thoughtful way. It was interesting that Sam did not take it personally, but rather stated that Dean could only trust himself and not others. In the past, Sam would have been angry and frustrated with Dean.
Sam's not telling Dean about his symptoms is true to his nature. Just like in Meet the new boss, Sam seemed ready to tell Dean what was going on with his hellavision, but overhead Dean's speech about not looking a gift horse in the mouth about Sam seeming to be allright.
Here Dean trys one more time to have Sam give up the trials and to have them search out another Hell hound so he can be the one to do the trials. I think Sam was afraid for Dean and what he would do if Sam lets him know what is really going on. I think this will be very interesting as a story. Just some random thoughts.
Sam is going to have to eventually tell Dean about the symptoms or else what happens if these show up on a hunt? Either way Dean needs to find out and it won't be good if he keeps it a secret for to long. I understand why he wants to hide it but all the things that the trials consist of I think Dean was willing to face heck is already to face death; any pain guessing can endure but Sam is evnetually going to have to let Dean help him with the trials if they will succeed. And Dean right now does have trust issues with Sam thats a given but big brother is going to figure out what is going on or else someone will let him in on what is going on and we know when dean finds out after the fact it is never good and the boyz are starting to get things on track here. More obstacles occur when you don't let the other one know what is going on.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-21 17:15
Yeah, eventually he will have to tell Dean (probably after the next trial), if for no other reason than he needs his help. That's why I think they are going to be doing this together.
galen
# galen 2013-02-21 18:05
I agree with you suebsg9 that it would be better for Sam to be up front with Dean. I believe it will come back and be worse for both brothers. Sam needs to figure out how to tell Dean without Dean trying to take over the trials and good luck with that.
suebsg9
# suebsg9 2013-02-21 19:54
Quote:
I agree with you suebsg9 that it would be better for Sam to be up front with Dean. I believe it will come back and be worse for both brothers. Sam needs to figure out how to tell Dean without Dean trying to take over the trials and good luck with that.
I can't imagine Dean would want to take over but make Sam maybe realize that it will take the both of them to close the gates. Yes he has the mojo and he is willing to jump in and help Sam if he needs it but Sam can't accuse Dean of secrets now when he is being straightforward with him. Dean maybe can't do anything to help Sam but at least he can help with the trials and make sure Sam sees them through no matter what is going on with him. Same as Dean has done when he helped get Sam's soul back; the lucifer hallucinations; wanted to help with his blood addiction by keeping him away from ruby and making sure he never had to do what daddy told him to do is kill him. Dean I think would want to see Sam happy and survive this but Sam has to come forward. JMO.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-22 12:57
I think Dean would immediately jump on the do it himself bandwagon. He was talking about it before Sam read the words last week. He suggested it again this week at the beginning of the episode and only pulled back when Sam told him he was okay, which he was at the time and when Sam noted that Dean only trusts himself.

Now I doubt that the trials can be transferred over to Dean or anyone as long as Sam is alive. He started them and I don't think there can be a do over. It would also be a huge slap at Sam if Dean tried to take them over, telling Sam that, once again, Sam is not good enough to do anything right or good. It would undermine Sam's confidence and might well put him at more risk rather than sparing him.
E
# E 2013-02-23 08:05
I agree Percysowner; Dean hasn't been giving Sam his support for the trials so much as telling Sam that he wants to find another hell hound and take them over for himself. He clearly stated in Trial and Error that his plan was to do the trials himself without help and that Sam was not going to participate, end of story even if Dean had to shoot Sam in the leg to keep him out of it. How is that an example of Dean wanting to support Sam? Dean currently wants to take over and has said so twice now. Until he actually shows support, real support of the "I'll do everything I can to help you, you are not alone" variety, I am not surprised at all that Sam is hiding is coughing up blood. Why add to Dean's doubt by showing weakness?
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-23 13:36
It kinda seemed to me that was what Dean was trying to say to Sam in the final scene in the car. They have survived by hanging together. Dean is simply not comfortable with Sam doing this. I think it is more about Sam's well being than it is about trust at this point. If he thought Sam may lose his life, he wouldn't give a damn about closing the gates of hell. They both hide things. But it is usually grounded in concern for the others welfare or by not wanting to appear weak. Dean saying he would shoot him in the leg wasn't serious, he stated he wanted Sam to have a life, be happy and he was being firm in his intentions. If Dean thought shooting Sam in the leg would save his life He MIGHT do it, I wouldn't put it past him :-) Dean has always trusted his instincts more than anyone elses and I think he trusts Sam but the thought of losing his brother makes him want to take over the reins because the idea of his own death scares him less. Dean's issues with trust have little to do with Sam's hunting abilities, I feel, and more to do with personal things. Just my take.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-02-23 17:07
Quote:
even if Dean had to shoot Sam in the leg to keep him out of it. How is that an example of Dean wanting to support Sam?
Quote:
Dean saying he would shoot him in the leg wasn't serious
I would differ slightly from both E and Leah's interpretations of Dean's "If you follow me, I'll put a bullet in your damn leg," statement.

First, to suggest that this statement coupled with Dean's determination to do the trials alone was evidence of lack of support is, IMO, missing the point. It wasn't Dean thinking Sam was too weak. It was Dean being big brother. Only one person could do the trials, putting their life at risk, and he was quite simply determined for it not to be Sam. I do however, think it is entirely possible that Sam, being the little brother, views it as Dean thinking he's weak, that he can't handle it. It is the ages-old difference of perspectives between older and younger siblings. On the other hand, to suggest that Dean wasn't serious in his threat to shoot Sam in the leg is also, IMO, to lessen the lengths to which Dean will go to keep Sam safe. Dean will not lose his brother again. I don't think there is any 'maybe' about it - if Dean thought it would save Sam's life, I 100% believe he'd shoot his brother in the leg. It is absolutely a control issue. Dean can't support Sam in this because doing so is admitting what he perceives as a personal failure - Sam putting himself at risk because Dean couldn't complete the trial himself. And Sam is put in a catch-22 - Dean doesn't want Sam to lie to him about his health, but Sam knows telling Dean would only result in his brother beating himself up over it, and probably demanding he stop. Each is trying to protect the other. Neither wants to lose the other. It's the crux of their relationship, the source of all love and tension. And I don't think they'll ever get past this issue because it is so fundamental to who they are.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-23 19:37
I agree, Bamboo, that Dean would likely shoot Sam if he had tried to stop him. I took it more as a threat to discourage Sam but I also know the lengths Dean will go to protect Sam also so it wasn't an empty one! I guess on one hand it is hard to visualize Dean drawing his gun and actually shooting him, but he would if push came to shove, yes. Sam knows his brother and would not test him.
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2013-02-21 18:06
Wow!! A lot of comments. If nothing else, this one has people talking. I think part of the problem is that this has been such a good season throughout, that this one kind of let some people down.
Personally I totally agree about the sex scene. WAY TO MUCH, THANK YOU. We rarely get any action with Sam and Dean. Don't want, or need to see it with random guy.Or so much off it. That scene should have been at least shorter.

Also, I know they were trying to make a point with the dog collar;but--NO.

The rest was alright. Just not great.But it did have some good parts. I liked Dean's jokes. I know Sam keeping secrets is old news; but I get it. Dean has finally said if Sam is ok, then he is going to be supportive. The last thing Sam wants to do is tell Dean, "Oh, by the way. I'm not ok. I'm coughing up blood."
judyann
# judyann 2013-02-21 19:30
Well, there is alot being said here. Sorry didn't read everyones comments. Not much for me to say but yeah not a get eposide. Portia was good, liked her interactions with Dean. James was a complete waste of time. Spent most of the eposide tired to a bed. Boring! Didn't like James at all. Like someone(sorry don't remember who- so many comments) if we had some backround he might have been more interesting. They could have just left James out and it might have been alittle more interesting. I could tell from the beginging that Spencer was the bad. Again as someone noted the cop would have been a better bad guy! The dog was beautiful, though, good casting there.As for Jared and Jensen they have to be good at their job to be able to get though this eposide without having to get drunk to do so. Who knows maybe they were. Usually like anything that has the one/two of them in it but have to admitted this was pretty bad. Sorry!
judyann
# judyann 2013-02-21 19:33
Sorry meant-not a great eposide/ and tied to the bed- very tired when writing this- also terrible speller
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-02-21 21:00
here's my train of thought on the way home from work tonight...

we don't know the actual facts, but based on what we do know, sam's escape from reality officially starts when he hits the dog.

sam is guilted into taking care of the dog...really, who guilts a stranger into taking care of a dog?

familiar=dog (last nite's eppy)

return of hellhounds


mind manipulation=naomi
mind manipulation=witches

dogs and mind manipulation... am i reaching or does anyone else notice a recurring theme here?

also since we know there is no statute of limitation on murder...didn't it seem odd that sam and dean would go back to st.louis?
Chris_J
# Chris_J 2013-02-22 09:26
The episode took place in East St. Louis, which is in another state entirely (Illinois).
love2boys
# love2boys 2013-02-21 22:55
There have been so many comments already that by now it doesn't even matter that I didn't like this episode. I love SPN, but this week I couldn't figure out why I was watching. Of course, I knew the bad guy immediately. I felt the sex scene was completely unnecessary and over the top. If we are going to have a sex scene, I want one of the Js to "do it." :D

I like nappi815's train of thought, though. Especially about a vet entrusting a dog to a stranger. That would never happen!

While I was reading all of these comments, I was thinking. People talk about Sam not looking for Dean. I also want to know why. That is the biggest issue I have from the first half of the season. But I also want to know is how did Sam know it was Dean in the cabin? Instead of wanting to do the tests? Have I just missed the answer to this? If so, would someone be kind enough to fill me in? Thanks, everybody!
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-21 23:49
Quote:
People talk about Sam not looking for Dean. I also want to know why.
We have never really gotten a full explanation of this. Sam indicated he thought Dean was dead, but he didn't act surprised when he saw Dean at the cabin and had NO need to test Dean to see if Dean were real. We have fanwank, and fan made rationals for why Sam didn't look, but as of now all we have is that he didn't. At one time I thought we would get a look into why, but now, I'm not sure. It may be that Carver has been completely honest when he says he wanted to explore what would happen if Sam just didn't look so he just had Sam not look. If that is the case, it will forever taint the story for me, but ratings are good and they aren't writing for me, so what do I know.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-02-22 06:20
Quote:
Quote:
People talk about Sam not looking for Dean. I also want to know why.
We have never really gotten a full explanation of this. Sam indicated he thought Dean was dead, but he didn't act surprised when he saw Dean at the cabin and had NO need to test Dean to see if Dean were real. We have fanwank, and fan made rationals for why Sam didn't look, but as of now all we have is that he didn't. At one time I thought we would get a look into why, but now, I'm not sure. It may be that Carver has been completely honest when he says he wanted to explore what would happen if Sam just didn't look so he just had Sam not look. If that is the case, it will forever taint the story for me, but ratings are good and they aren't writing for me, so what do I know.
Gotta disagree with you there, percysowner. Go back and rewatch 8.01 - Sam said "Dude... you're freaking alive!" - kinda sounds like he was surprised, at least to me anyway.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-22 06:39
Quote:
"Dude... you're freaking alive!"
For a guy who was so sure of his brother's death it was simply not enough IMO.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-02-22 10:40
if jc doesn't delve deeper into sam's mindset that night dean disappeared than i agree that carver has failed as showrunner. although the second half is much better than the first, what he did to sam is not only an atrocity but it shows bias and favoritism towards one character over another.

i'm not against drama and misunderstandin g bet. sam and dean...but what carver did crosses the line.

he created a situation that is strictly seen only from one character's pov, in this case dean. dean gets pissed, the entire dean fandom gets pissed right along with him, no matter if dean is wrong or not. tptb know this. so to create a story in which sam does something, which i personally think is totally understandable, many don't understand. if someone doesn't like sam, if they are not told flat out what the deal is, they're not going to go out of the way to see things how he sees them. so sam gets the short end of the stick for 10 eps because carver creates a situation in which sam's pov isnt explained.

it's obvious, i ran and my life imploded and the whole debacle with amelia isn't enough for the average non sam fan to see that dean's death destroyed him.....with sam, like with dean, it's necessary at times to just flat out tell the fans what the hell is going on with sam....

for the most part i get sam but it would be nice for me and i'm sure most of the rest of us to not have to guess when it comes to sam.

until jc gives us sam's pov, he's a total flop of a showrunner in my opinion. that's just how i feel. no offense to those who sing his praises.

he resolves the sam issue, i'll be glad to join in the choir.
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2013-02-23 04:48
quotes are from nappi, thank you for your unfailing/tirel ess work here, I always look forward to your comments!!!!

Quote:
if jc doesn't delve deeper into sam's mindset that night dean disappeared than i agree that carver has failed as showrunner.
Quote:
until jc gives us sam's pov, he's a total flop of a showrunner in my opinion. that's just how i feel. no offense to those who sing his praises.


Quote:
he resolves the sam issue, i'll be glad to join in the choir.
I am with you here all the way. Its like he shaked a dice cup and the important Sam parts fell out and he didn't put it back into the game. He totally failed to show Sam's side and I mean Sam's mindset, inner, how he was right after the lab imploding. It is what makes this season as a whole for me not worth as a part of the Winchester Saga. I feel that way although I liked the last 4 episodes really, I also have issues about how the Benny part was handled.

I don't think we will revisit the part after Dick Roman was killed by Dean, I mean Sam's reaction and all. It is sad that someone who seemed to be such a brother strong writer failed as a showrunner regarding one brother, not the other!

Quote:
i'm not against drama and misunderstanding bet. sam and dean...but what carver did crosses the line.
Yes, misunderstanding, holding back, worry, not showing the other suffering, wanting to take over the trials and so on....is okay for me too

Quote:
it's obvious, i ran and my life imploded and the whole debacle with amelia isn't enough for the average non sam fan to see that dean's death destroyed him.....with sam, like with dean, it's necessary at times to just flat out tell the fans what the hell is going on with sam....
I ran, my life imploded, I lost my brother, that was ALL we got, if not for the haunted and sad/lost looks of Jared in those episodes which chased me down to the core, we would have been totally lost regarding Sam, not to mention the reactions of Dean fans who doesn't want to or simply doesn't understand Sam!

Also, not throw us some words, show us Sam and his POV, his time right after 7.23!

Quote:
he created a situation that is strictly seen only from one character's pov, in this case dean. dean gets pissed, the entire dean fandom gets pissed right along with him, no matter if dean is wrong or not. tptb know this. so to create a story in which sam does something, which i personally think is totally understandable, many don't understand. if someone doesn't like sam, if they are not told flat out what the deal is, they're not going to go out of the way to see things how he sees them. so sam gets the short end of the stick for 10 eps because carver creates a situation in which sam's pov isnt explained.
Jeremy Carver should know by now what makes this show tick beyond their original end of S5. PCA show it also, and the ratings since the last couple of episodes increased, its the focus on both brothers and their relationship, which wasn't shown in the first 10 episodes! We could have made it without Sam those first 10 episodes, but then Dean wouldn't have had a reason to feel so abandoned by Sam, and we wouldn't have had a better brother Benny.

And we can tinker/puzzle Sam's reactions and character together, and about the time when Sam was alone, there is almost nothing we have on our hands.
prix68
# prix68 2013-02-22 06:19
I love reading all of your comments. Maybe the issue is not whether Sam and Dean trust each other but more that they trust that things never go the way they plan. They trust the fact that there is always a negative impact on them and a consequence they didn't see coming. They mention a lot about "when do we ever really get a break?" Even when something good happens they are always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Chris_J
# Chris_J 2013-02-22 09:38
Yep. I totally agree and this is where Dean is coming from as well. Look at how many "tests" they have both been through and how usually one of them ends up dying.

I don't see Dean as suicidal at all. Not in the least. He hasn't taken undue risks on any other hunt this season. And he's actually "nesting" in their new MoL home, decorating his room, etc. That's not something a guy who's suicidal does. No way.

But do I think Dean is a realist when it comes to the Winchester brothers being tested? Yep. Because he's been through it and he knows what the usual outcome is. And since Sam was the one who made the choice last time to "die" (in Swan Song), and because Sam was successful in his normal life (relative to Dean anyway), Dean was willing to make the sacrifice this time so that Sam could have his normal life.

I understand that Sam doesn't want to worry Dean with his symptoms, but if he expects Dean to trust him completely, then he needs to reciprocate and trust Dean as well. Dean trusted Sam to complete the task in Swan Song, and if the writers decide to maintain consistent characterizatio n with him now (hello writers!), then Dean will trust Sam to complete the trials. IMO.
suebsg9
# suebsg9 2013-02-22 10:02
Quote:
Yep. I totally agree and this is where Dean is coming from as well. Look at how many "tests" they have both been through and how usually one of them ends up dying.

I don't see Dean as suicidal at all. Not in the least. He hasn't taken undue risks on any other hunt this season. And he's actually "nesting" in their new MoL home, decorating his room, etc. That's not something a guy who's suicidal does. No way.

But do I think Dean is a realist when it comes to the Winchester brothers being tested? Yep. Because he's been through it and he knows what the usual outcome is. And since Sam was the one who made the choice last time to "die" (in Swan Song), and because Sam was successful in his normal life (relative to Dean anyway), Dean was willing to make the sacrifice this time so that Sam could have his normal life.

I understand that Sam doesn't want to worry Dean with his symptoms, but if he expects Dean to trust him completely, then he needs to reciprocate and trust Dean as well. Dean trusted Sam to complete the task in Swan Song, and if the writers decide to maintain consistent characterization with him now (hello writers!), then Dean will trust Sam to complete the trials. IMO.
Totally agree with you and how you are percieving Dean As I said in the other review posted that I give Sam a free pass for now but he better come forward and tell Dean what is going on or else again there is a reason right now that Dean only trusts Benny at the moment because he hasn't lied to Dean. Everytime Sam lies he digs that hole deeper. So I give until the next eps Sam to come forward. And the many reasons why Dean only trusts himself and always will. Dean will not change he will change when he can trust SAm again. JMO
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-02-22 10:26
i didn't see sam as successful in a normal life, not compared to dean. dean loved lisa. he loved ben. for a year he enjoyed his life. he went on bbqs. he shared fatherly moments with ben. he shared family moments with them both. he was intimate and happy with lisa. dean's normal may have been shortlived and he was grieving, but it was a success.

sam, on the other hand did not have happy moments in his fbs with amelia. all his fbs were told from her pov and he just sat with a sad face and listened to how awful it was for her. his sole purpose of being with her was to help him focus on someone else rather than his own pain and loss. it was a misery loves company relationship. one birthday cake doesn't make for a successful normal relationship. he wasn't happy. he was simply going through the motions of a fantasy life so he can run away from his own. it obviously was a failure as sam left her even before he knew dean was alive. he indicated as much in hunteri heroici where he realized that one couldn't run from reality.

so i disagree with your statement that sam had more of a success at normal. imo, dean was the more successful. sam's never had fulfillment or joy. dean at least was part of a family, he did feel joy. we did see him happy...and that's more than he's ever had as a kid, and that in itself makes it a success.
suebsg9
# suebsg9 2013-02-22 10:42
Quote:
i didn't see sam as successful in a normal life, not compared to dean. dean loved lisa. he loved ben. for a year he enjoyed his life. he went on bbqs. he shared fatherly moments with ben. he shared family moments with them both. he was intimate and happy with lisa. dean's normal may have been shortlived and he was grieving, but it was a success.

sam, on the other hand did not have happy moments in his fbs with amelia. all his fbs were told from her pov and he just sat with a sad face and listened to how awful it was for her. his sole purpose of being with her was to help him focus on someone else rather than his own pain and loss. it was a misery loves company relationship. one birthday cake doesn't make for a successful normal relationship. he wasn't happy. he was simply going through the motions of a fantasy life so he can run away from his own. it obviously was a failure as sam left her even before he knew dean was alive. he indicated as much in hunteri heroici where he realized that one couldn't run from reality.

so i disagree with your statement that sam had more of a success at normal. imo, dean was the more successful. sam's never had fulfillment or joy. dean at least was part of a family, he did feel joy. we did see him happy...and that's more than he's ever had as a kid, and that in itself makes it a success.
Quote:
i didn't see sam as successful in a normal life, not compared to dean. dean loved lisa. he loved ben. for a year he enjoyed his life. he went on bbqs. he shared fatherly moments with ben. he shared family moments with them both. he was intimate and happy with lisa. dean's normal may have been shortlived and he was grieving, but it was a success.

sam, on the other hand did not have happy moments in his fbs with amelia. all his fbs were told from her pov and he just sat with a sad face and listened to how awful it was for her. his sole purpose of being with her was to help him focus on someone else rather than his own pain and loss. it was a misery loves company relationship. one birthday cake doesn't make for a successful normal relationship. he wasn't happy. he was simply going through the motions of a fantasy life so he can run away from his own. it obviously was a failure as sam left her even before he knew dean was alive. he indicated as much in hunteri heroici where he realized that one couldn't run from reality.

so i disagree with your statement that sam had more of a success at normal. imo, dean was the more successful. sam's never had fulfillment or joy. dean at least was part of a family, he did feel joy. we did see him happy...and that's more than he's ever had as a kid, and that in itself makes it a success.
I agree Dean love both Lisa and Ben you could tell how much it hurt him at the end of the eps giving them up and wiping their minds of him. Thats why beginning of S7 he gave up them and lost cas and it was like one hit after another and then when Sam lied about the hallucinations it ticked Dean off because Sam was not opening up. Thats all Dean wishes is that Sam would let him know whats going on its only way they can work togehter. If Sam is going to hide it because he doesn't think Dean thinks he can do it; isn't helping his case etiher by hiding whats going on. He is just going to push Dean away. Granted the writers wouldn't have brought up the old issues eating at Dean if they still were not an issue and Dean buries stuff also he tries to keep giving Sam free passes but to me eventually it had to come out and did with a coin. Sam just has to come forward with them. More Sam hides from Dean the more he is proving Benny is the only one he can trust. And trust has always been the issue with Sam and Dean especially Dean. Dean hid Benny but by eps 5 Sam knew about him. I still wonder how much about purgatory Sam knows what Dean went through and how much about Amelia and Sam's life Dean knows. Apparently Dean wants Sam to have that life with Amelia that is why taking on the trials and shutting the gates of hell meant so much to him. Dean is willing to give Sam that happiness.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-02-25 10:22
i agrQuote:
Quote:
i didn't see sam as successful in a normal life, not compared to dean. dean loved lisa. he loved ben. for a year he enjoyed his life. he went on bbqs. he shared fatherly moments with ben. he shared family moments with them both. he was intimate and happy with lisa. dean's normal may have been shortlived and he was grieving, but it was a success.

sam, on the other hand did not have happy moments in his fbs with amelia. all his fbs were told from her pov and he just sat with a sad face and listened to how awful it was for her. his sole purpose of being with her was to help him focus on someone else rather than his own pain and loss. it was a misery loves company relationship. one birthday cake doesn't make for a successful normal relationship. he wasn't happy. he was simply going through the motions of a fantasy life so he can run away from his own. it obviously was a failure as sam left her even before he knew dean was alive. he indicated as much in hunteri heroici where he realized that one couldn't run from reality.

so i disagree with your statement that sam had more of a success at normal. imo, dean was the more successful. sam's never had fulfillment or joy. dean at least was part of a family, he did feel joy. we did see him happy...and that's more than he's ever had as a kid, and that in itself makes it a success.
Quote:
i didn't see sam as successful in a normal life, not compared to dean. dean loved lisa. he loved ben. for a year he enjoyed his life. he went on bbqs. he shared fatherly moments with ben. he shared family moments with them both. he was intimate and happy with lisa. dean's normal may have been shortlived and he was grieving, but it was a success.

sam, on the other hand did not have happy moments in his fbs with amelia. all his fbs were told from her pov and he just sat with a sad face and listened to how awful it was for her. his sole purpose of being with her was to help him focus on someone else rather than his own pain and loss. it was a misery loves company relationship. one birthday cake doesn't make for a successful normal relationship. he wasn't happy. he was simply going through the motions of a fantasy life so he can run away from his own. it obviously was a failure as sam left her even before he knew dean was alive. he indicated as much in hunteri heroici where he realized that one couldn't run from reality.

so i disagree with your statement that sam had more of a success at normal. imo, dean was the more successful. sam's never had fulfillment or joy. dean at least was part of a family, he did feel joy. we did see him happy...and that's more than he's ever had as a kid, and that in itself makes it a success.
I agree Dean love both Lisa and Ben you could tell how much it hurt him at the end of the eps giving them up and wiping their minds of him. Thats why beginning of S7 he gave up them and lost cas and it was like one hit after another and then when Sam lied about the hallucinations it ticked Dean off because Sam was not opening up. Thats all Dean wishes is that Sam would let him know whats going on its only way they can work togehter. If Sam is going to hide it because he doesn't think Dean thinks he can do it; isn't helping his case etiher by hiding whats going on. He is just going to push Dean away. Granted the writers wouldn't have brought up the old issues eating at Dean if they still were not an issue and Dean buries stuff also he tries to keep giving Sam free passes but to me eventually it had to come out and did with a coin. Sam just has to come forward with them. More Sam hides from Dean the more he is proving Benny is the only one he can trust. And trust has always been the issue with Sam and Dean especially Dean. Dean hid Benny but by eps 5 Sam knew about him. I still wonder how much about purgatory Sam knows what Dean went through and how much about Amelia and Sam's life Dean knows. Apparently Dean wants Sam to have that life with Amelia that is why taking on the trials and shutting the gates of hell meant so much to him. Dean is willing to give Sam that happiness.
i do agree that sam needs to open up more to dean. hell that's what we sam fans have been pining for this whole time. sam's pov. if the writer's would just allow sam to speak his mind...then we would all know what was really going on with him those 2-3 unaccounted for months that dean was gone. i don't mind sam being a bit mysterious once in awhile, but sometimes mystery is not necessary..some times in order for the story to be told properly and fairly, the mystery is solved.

but to be fair, dean hasn't opened up to sam either. how do you think it makes sam feel that dean keeps him in the dark about purgatory? after everything sam has been through...he wouldn't understand purgatory...are you kidding? sam is the only one on this earth who could understand...an d dean is lying and keeping secrets about benny. don't you think it hurts sam? you think he's just ok with dean's lying to him?
opening up is a two way street. both boys need to come clean with ea. other and talk. it's the only way they're ever really going to solve, well not solve, but at least come to terms with these issues. just saying.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-22 13:14
I liked the episode.It was not as interesting as the earlier one but then again this did not further the tablet-trials story but it was good.I liked the (witch and familiar) characters as well as their dynamics with Sam and Dean.I would like if they recur sometime further along this season or next.
debbab
# debbab 2013-02-22 14:02
The first time I watched the episode it was 3am and I thought this filler is really awful. shame on the writers for killing the momentum. Then on second viewing there are some good moments such as the stooge banter, Sam trying to explain a dog in the room to Dean, the flashbacks from hell, and the Dean/Sam trust issues. If I did not know the show so well, I would think, Sam coughing blood- from an injury sustained from being slammed against a wall a few times in the episode. I am conflicted as to why Sam is hiding the blood from Dean- is it because Dean just finished his trust speech and he does not want to argue his ability to do the trials again, Sam is trying to handle his own problems, he is not associating the blood with the trials or Sam being Sam-like when he tried to hide his addiction to Ruby's blood. We know how well that one turned out for Sam and the Apocalypse. Dean came off as a doofus in not knowing about familiars. Duh! We do get to learn about his allergies to cats. Ironic that Sam gives him credit for not joking about the beastiality sex and Dean seems to be trying to figure it out more than he should. Not very convincing as a Wicken from Detroit. Didn't Sam call him a genius last week? The three guys sitting on a bed to astral project- just seemed awkward when we know the boys can break in even to a police station. Yes, it was a filler with slight advancement of the tablet narrative and good to see banter between the boys, but the writers could have done so much more with the witches tale. The spell to gank a witch-not clear where they found it-in the batcave? It was new to the repetoire. The ending did not seem to resolve much for the witch/cop. Portica/Porsche was sexy but in a wierd way-not sure it really worked seeing her with her" master" Don't get me started on the LeChat-master sexuality undertone.The flashbacks for Dean and Sam solidified Dean's trust in Sam and his raison d'etre to pursue the life. It did the same for Sam,but I think it brought up the not telling Dean everything issue again. Now. that I have rambled- Not only was Jared nursing a broken rib, but if you listen his voice is nasal. He was recovering from the flue when they shot this episode. The writers owe the actors better filler episodes. Not a high grade but there was enough to sustain me the second time around. Now, that I have vented, I will read what the rest of y'all thought about this one.
kaj
# kaj 2013-02-22 23:43
If there is a challenge to write a story about Sam and Dean talking about their issues with the trial then this episode WILL NOT WIN.

I get the gist of this episode. The Showrunner wanted an episode that follows last episode after Sam killed the Hellhound. Dean obviously has a problem with that. Not because he doesn't trust Sam but because he is worried that Sam will die, or dying, or ill, or going dark or anything else that Dean usually worries about his little brother.

There are lots of miss in this episode. The message is not delivered smoothly and the dialogue in delivering that message is chopped and stunted. It didn't flow well.

Trial and Error speaks clearly about why Dean wanted to do the task because he thought it will turn bad and if it turns bad then, true to Dean's character, he will not let his little brother try it because it means Sam will die/hurt/ill. If it turns bad then it's better if it is Dean who die/hurts/ill. Last episode SAM UNDERSTANDS THAT.

Sam: This is suicide mission for you. But I want us to live. I want us to survive this together (Probably not the exact dialogue but it's the gist of it)

Now, why in this episode Sam returns to a bitchy girl by saying..

Sam: I keep asking myself why didn't he trust me. Then I realize that it's not that you didn't trust me but you can only trust yourself!

Wrong!!!!

For that exact second thought that Sam was going to say... "It's not that you didn't trust me but you're too worried about me. I'm not weak, Dean. I've been through the same shitty things just like what you've been through. Please stop worrying. Do you realize that I'll do even better if you stop worrying and supporting me?"

That'll make more sense, IMHO.

Bad writing... Miss opportunity...
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-02-22 23:46
Quote:
For that exact second thought that Sam was going to say... "It's not that you didn't trust me but you're too worried about me. I'm not weak, Dean. I've been through the same shitty things just like what you've been through. Please stop worrying. Do you realize that I'll do even better if you stop worrying and supporting me?"
For me it was when Sam said, "maybe I'll actually pull this one off."

Um...excuse me? Sam's the one who jumped in the pit! If anyone can pull this off, it's him. That's a total non-issue. Sam has absolutely nothing to prove.
love2boys
# love2boys 2013-02-23 05:04
I wish I knew how to do those quotie quotes. So - from me - Love2boys up there - "But I also want to know is how did Sam know it was Dean in the cabin? Instead of wanting to do the tests? Have I just missed the answer to this? If so, would someone be kind enough to fill me in? :-? Am I just to late to know this? :cry: Thanks, everybody!"
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-23 09:44
The writers have said that Sam didn't know that Dean was at the cabin, that he simply went there from time to time, which is odd if he stopped hunting, but whatever. We have no idea why Sam felt no need to do the tests. It hasn't been explained at all.

There are 2 ways to do the quote thing. First copy what you want to quote CTRL C. Then you can click the icon that looks like a quotation mark (next to the eye). A box will pop up asking you to paste the text you want to quote CTRL V. Then hit save. Or you can type quote in brackets [] copy what you want to quote and then type /quote again in brackets. It will look like this (quote)text you want (/quote) but with Brackets instead of parentheses.
love2boys
# love2boys 2013-02-23 16:40
Quote:
The writers have said that Sam didn't know that Dean was at the cabin, that he simply went there from time to time, which is odd if he stopped hunting, but whatever. We have no idea why Sam felt no need to do the tests. It hasn't been explained at all.
Thank you for your response. Now I am no more confused than anyone else! Ready to send test-quote....
lala2
# lala2 2013-02-24 13:35
Emmau, I disagree that the lack of POV didn't hurt the Sam/Benny story. It most certainly did, IMO.

Why are there so many varied reasons for Sam's instant dislike of Benny? Because Sam had no clear POV in the story. Many viewers just made up reasons why Sam instantly disliked and distrusted Benny. That is a sign of bad writing, IMO. To this day, I have no clue why Sam had a problem w/Benny. Was it because Ruby played him? Maybe, but he never really came out and said that. It was hinted at w/the "we've been burned before" comment. Was it because Dean told him Benny was a better brother to Dean than Sam had ever been in Sam's entire life? Maybe . . . for me, it seemed there was some jealousy there but Sam did seem to instantly dislike Benny before Dean ever said anything about him so I don't know about that. Was it because Benny was a monster and all monsters should be killed? Maybe, but Sam has let monsters go in the past so I'm not sure.

In my opinion, Sam was written against character when it came to Benny. Sam has always been the one to extend trust or the benefit of the doubt to creatures/monst ers b/c/ he had always self-identified as a "freak." As recent as this year, he was cool w/the werewolf chick walking away. The year before that, he was fine w/Amy walking away even after she murdered several people.

This part of the story failed, IMO, because Sam wasn't given a clear POV. I know many argued w/me that Sam doesn't have to trust Benny simply because Dean does. I agree, but where's the story? Why doesn't Sam trust the Dean wouldn't willingly hang around a killer vampire? For all intents and purposes, Sam does trust Dean. He told Dean he trusted him, not Benny. Why? What had Benny done to even earn the surveillance?

Sam took an instant dislike to Benny, and it was never clear - at least to me - why. He hated Benny upon first meeting him w/no explanation. I don't know. I just wish Carver had taken the time to tell a story there. Have Sam talk about how Dean's been different since Purgatory, have Sam directly relate the situation back to Amy and bring up what Dean said to him (not just say why did Amy have to die but Benny live or whatever he said), have him directly relate it back to Lenore and how she eventually drank blood, have him directly relate it back to Ruby and how he thinks Benny will burn Dean. It was also strange that Dean was so secretive about Benny, esp. given how much more accepting Sam (usually) is of monsters/creatu res than Dean. Why would Dean think Sam would hate Benny? The whole thing was just strange and poorly written.

For me, Sam hated Benny upon sight, and I found that to be very unlike Sam Winchester. I think some more dialogue and POV would have helped whatever story Carver was trying to tell there. I submit that Sam's inexplicable (IMO) hatred of Benny had more to do w/Carver forcing conflict btw then brothers than anything else.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-24 14:23
I completely agree with this post lala. We have all been trying to fill in the blanks because the show never did make clear Sam's thought processes about all that. Or be illuminating about the early months and what he was thinking/ feeling then also. I agree that a huge amount of the brother stuff this season was to force conflict so that they could began dealing with some of the issues between them. Done a little clumsily IMO.
lala2
# lala2 2013-02-24 15:03
Exactly, Leah! It was forced, contrived conflict for the brothers. That's all. It's a shame b/c I like the Ruby theory. That makes sense, but it was never explored in the show.

I'd also love to know why Dean was so secretive about Benny in the first place. He had to do what he had to do to get out. Teaming up w/a vampire isn't the worst thing the Winchesters have done!

The whole first half of the season is so spotty and inconsistent IMO. I've written off much of what happened in the first 11 episodes since it appears (so far at least) none of it meant anything.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 14:03
I don’t think I said that lack of POV didn’t hurt Sam in terms of the Sam/Benny story. I said it was part of the issue, but I didn’t think it was the whole issue. There are some instances where Sam did state his issues with Benny—we as fans just found them inadequate or unpalatable. That, to me, is not the same thing as a lack of POV. Now, could it be viewed as a writing issue? Absolutely, and I feel like I’ve been pretty consistent in stating that Sam’s actions were a marked change from his usual approach. But canon is canon, and that is how Sam reacted. So we have to deal with what there is, not just say, “Well, that’s bad writing, so it doesn’t count.” And no, I’m not saying that’s what you’re saying, but in terms of discussion just saying this is bad writing doesn’t go very far, because this is still the canon we have, so we have to make sense of it in order to move on with the story.

To me, there are varied reasons for Sam’s instant dislike of Benny in fandom because there are varied perspectives viewing the situation. Some of Dean’s stories, where he does have more POV, have the same varied reactions and reasons read into them, in my opinion. I think there’s merit in a lot of your list. Sam did say, “We’ve been here before”, calling to mind the many times the supernatural have screwed over Sam and Dean (Ruby, Crowley, Castiel, etc). He also brought up Amy, which speaks to his frustration over the variation in Dean’s attitude. I think he showed jealousy with Dean running to help someone without a word to Sam, something Dean doesn’t really do. This new behavior confused Sam and left him feeling threatened, considering the shaky ground Sam and Dean were with each other at that point. That jealousy was exacerbated by Dean’s words under possession. I don’t think it was that monsters should all be killed, but as anonymousN helpfully pointed out to me, like Dean, Sam trusts his own instincts regarding the supernatural while Dean’s are suspect. He wanted to prove that he’d been right and Dean had been wrong and that Benny wasn’t trustworthy. Not because he was a monster, but because he was Benny. I don’t think you can pinpoint any of these as the one right answer, because show gave us clues that they were all part of the Sam’s thinking about Benny. Sam is a complex person, so it makes sense to me that all of these motivations worked together to compel Sam to the actions he took.

Now, I agree that Sam was acting against character regarding Benny, because that is not his typical mindset about monsters who claim they aren’t going to kill. We have to factor in the other reasons/stateme nts listed above, because they do help to explain how Sam reached the conclusions he did. Dean was also acting against character regarding Benny, because he doesn’t trust monsters normally. But he stated his reasons why he did let Benny go, so we did have reasons. I feel the same applies to Sam. I think it could have been done better, but there are reasons in play on screen as to why Sam felt the way he did.

I feel like we’ve seen Sam question Dean’s judgment before (just as we’ve seen Sam question Dean’s), so it doesn’t shock me that he doesn’t immediately trust Dean’s judgment. It’s all part of the Winchester hypocrisy—you have to believe and trust me but I get to doubt what you say because you might be too involved. Again, Sam was acting against character, but you’ve aptly listed all the reasons show gave us for that. So I do feel like Sam’s POV was there to at least some degree. Again, it could have been done better, but it is there.

I agree that Sam could have talked about how Dean was different since purgatory, but he showed no more interest in Dean’s time in purgatory than Dean did in Sam’s time in normal. I think Sam’s perspective suffered at times, but I think Dean’s did, too. This is because, to me, show was striving for conflict and drama between the boys, and worked backwards from that objective without thinking everything through as well as they might have. Still, I think that Sam’s resentment of having to return to hunting and dealing with a brother that was very different than the one he remembered colored his perception of what was happening with Benny. Strong emotion can do that, and I find that quite plausible.

Again, it’s easy (boy, is it) to pick at the writing, but at the end, these are the characters and the canon presented to us. We have to take them as they are for the sake of continuing on with the show and for discussion therein. To me, that’s what makes it interesting—t o be able to see how the same set of facts can be seen in different ways by many people. That phenomenon is not confined to Sam and his lack of POV, at least in my opinion.
lala2
# lala2 2013-02-24 15:18
I wish I could just take the story as it is and roll w/it, but it was too inconsistent for me. I was literally pulled out of the story w/Sam's whacky behavior. Does that make sense?

Sometimes, when I'm watching a show or a movie, if someone does something very illogical or doesn't behave as they normally would w/zero explanation, I no longer see the show/movie. I just see the writing. I can't look past the crappy writing to analyze the character's actions.

So, I think I'll just bow out of this discussion. I can't discuss Sam's reactions b/c I honestly don't think there was anything real about the way Sam reacted to Benny. I just don't. It was out of the box hate for no reason. There was no clear story to go along w/his attitude. I never believed Sam would act the way he did. It didn't feel genuine.

That's why I feel the lack of a strong, clear POV hurt the story. For me, that is the primary problem w/the story If Sam would have just stated his problem w/Benny, for me, the story would have improved 100%. And I'm not talking about a vague line here or there. I'm talking about a mini-speech. LOL! Or maybe a conversation btw Sam and Dean w/Sam asking questions about why Dean trusts Benny. I just need something more.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 15:38
Fair enough.

I do understand what you mean about being pulled out of the story. That happens to everyone at some point, and there's nothing wrong with finding your line concerning what you can and can resolve to yourself. The line different for everyone, so that's fine.

Thank you for the discussion either way.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-02-24 21:41
i have no problem with sam distrust of benny. i don't trust him either.

i don't think sam needs a reason other than he's a vampire. not just a vampire, but a vampire freed from purgatory...why is that so hard for people to understand why that doesn't sit well with sam?

face it, even lenore went bad. so in retrospect, sam and dean's decision to let her go ultimately got an innocent killed. lesson learned.....mon sters are what they are and they will always end up following their true nature, no matter how much they say they won't. does anyone recall dean's speech to amy at all?

dean feels obligated to benny ...that's it. that dean is blind to the fact that benny obviously used him to get out of purgatory is beyond me. dean is still igonoring the fact that benny lied to him, admitted he lies himself and never told dean who they were who told him about the window out.

it's not hard to understand why sam doesn't like or trust benny.....it's because dean lied about him. dean was never going to tell sam about benny....sam found out because dean needed sam's help and called him. if dean didnt need sam, sam still wouldn't know of benny's existence.

let's face it....if anyone knows what it means when someone keeps someone else a secret it's sam. sam didn't tell dean about ruby or what he was doing with her. cas blew the whistle on sam before sam got up the courage to tell dean. why did sam keep ruby a secret? because deep down sam knew that dean wouldn't approve. that what sam was doing was wrong.....

sam recognized the signs right away. the minute he found out what benny was.....that dean had lied to him...sam's senses started tingling. he recognized the signs and he knew something wasn't right. the fact that dean winchester is trusting a monster? what did purgatory do to his brother? this i imagine are the questions going through sam's mind. if benny is so awesome then why didn't dean just tell sam about him? what's the big deal? sam would've listened to dean. .....sam takes his cues from his brother....his brother was keeping benny a secret and sam doesn't understand why that was necessary if as dean says benny is ok....

and sam was right about benny ....he's still a killer. he killed an old friend. sam isn't about to take the word of a monster that it was self defense....and what sam is supposed to trust dean's judgment? sam is completely in the dark and the fact that dean has kept him in the dark...well why would sam not question that...

if dean had been honest from the start about benny then maybe for a few minutes sam would've trusted dean's judgment....but then again, sam would start asking all kinds of questions and the moment he found out benny hitched a ride out of dean....sam would freak out and then for sure his initial distrust of benny would be warranted.
and then dean would have to face up to the fact that benny used him for his own purpose...gaine d his trust so dean would set benny free .. dean would have to admit he was used, much like ruby used sam.....while it's ok if sam is played, that doesn't happen to dean winchester...gu ess what, i think dean has been played...and when sam finds out the truth, i think he'll believe dean was played too.


i'm sorry....i think sam is perfectly justified in his distrust and dislike of benny and i don't think his distrust is out of jealousy....i think it's due to dean's secrecy.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 22:16
I’m afraid I have to disagree that Sam doesn’t need a reason beyond Benny being a vampire from purgatory. He’s let monsters go before, including vampires, on nothing but their word, so to me there needs to be more information about why Sam is willing to give some monsters the benefit of the doubt, including murderer Amy, but the monster who helped his brother out of purgatory is immediately suspect. I accept that mileage varies, but no, there’s more to the story for me.

Lenore going bad wasn’t her fault—it was the MoA. Sam and Dean didn’t blame her and even wanted to lock her up to save her life until Cas burned her out. So, no, I’d say they didn’t learn a lesson. They also let Kate go only an episode prior to Sam meeting Benny, so I’d say that he certainly didn’t believe that monsters are what they are and that can’t be changed. That directly contradicts Dean’s speech to Amy, so they were not in that mindset.

I don’t understand why someone not telling someone something constitutes a lie. No, Benny didn’t tell Dean who the ‘they’ were, but Dean didn’t ask. He didn’t seem to care to me. I don’t think that Dean is blind to the fact that they used each other to get out of purgatory, but they clearly also had a relationship where Dean and Benny felt some comradarie towards each other. Now, could this all end badly? Naturally, but at the moment we’ve seen no proof that Benny is somehow using Dean for something nefarious at this point.

I agree that the real root of why Sam doesn’t like Benny is Dean. It’s misplaced anger, but human. Yes, Dean didn’t tell Sam about Benny, and there is some question of why. But that doesn’t somehow give Sam permission to threaten to kill someone Dean told him point blank had saved his life and was obviously important to him out of hurt or jealousy, in my opinion. Still, in 8.5, Dean almost called Sam and didn’t. Sam ended up calling him, and Dean told him where he was. Dean didn’t call Sam for help. Unimportant to the point, but I’ll through it in.

I also agree that if anyone knows about keeping a secret and having it go bad, it’s Sam. But at no time did Sam directly draw a parallel to Ruby, which is one of the misses of the storyline, in my opinion. It would have sounded much better than his “But you killed my murderous friend!” His ‘we’ve been down this road and it ends badly’ might have addressed this, but it was too vague to me.

The thing is, Dean didn’t lie to Sam. He didn’t tell Sam about Benny, but there really was no reason for him to do so. Sam wasn’t really interested in how Dean got out of purgatory—he never even asked. Now, did Dean not mention Benny because he had conflicting feelings about him? I think that’s entirely possible, and Dean might have set himself up for a self-fulfilling prophecy if he didn’t tell Sam because he thought Sam wouldn’t approve. Dean definitely played a part in the trouble here, no question. But once he found out about Benny, Sam never made an attempt to see things from Dean’s side or to try to understand why Dean cared about Benny. When the situation was reversed, Dean did eventually ask and came to briefly call a truce with Ruby in appreciation for what she’d done for him. We saw no such bending from Sam, did we?

Sam ensured that was he was right when he called in Martin, I agree. Sam is not responsible for Martin’s actions, but he did set the ball rolling. I don’t think you can remove the context from around Martin’s death (i.e., he took an innocent woman hostage, terrorized her, assaulted her, and placed her in a position where she was in mortal danger) here and get an accurate picture. Sam refuses to listen to the context, because then he might have to admit that he might possibly have been wrong. Unfortunately, show has allowed that stand to pass and I doubt they’ll ever address it again.

Maybe Dean should have told Sam about Benny immediately, even if I saw no reason for him to do so, but that doesn’t mean Sam is therefore free to view both Benny and Dean solely through the lens of his own hurt feelings and never try to be objective or understanding. Dean could tell Sam that Benny and he used each other to get out of purgatory, but I’m not sure what the point would be. And again, they used each other—Dean couldn’t get out of purgatory with him, so he used Benny just the way Benny used him. I think Dean was reluctant to admit that he’d partnered up with a monster to escape, but that doesn’t mean that he was played. Dean knew exactly what was happening. I don’t think the Ruby/Benny parallel works that neatly, I have to say.

So, I have to disagree that Sam is justified to refuse to trust and try to kill someone because his brother didn’t tell him the whole truth exactly when Sam felt he should have. If not jealousy, he was certainly, from your description, acting out of hurt feelings and projection of his own past issues with Ruby, because Dean didn’t tell him everything about Benny, it gave Sam bad memories that he never actually mentioned except in one oblique line in canon, and because Benny had confessed his life story to Dean instead of to him. None of that’s not much better. Now, all of this is very human and forgivable (provided Sam ever acknowledges his own actions and motivations), but Sam did make mistakes in how he handled this situations and he did let his perception and emotions affect him because he did not react the way he normally does.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-02-27 01:09
I don't disagree that Sam made mistakes at the beginning of the season, I've spent a good portion of time griping about his characterizatio n. And part of that was not explaining his distrust of Benny (see below). But I do think Dean had an obligation to tell Sam where he was going in BB and really about Benny in general. I'm not sure why he didn't.

Imagine if he had told Sam from the beginning, there likely wouldn't have been an issue. Dean deliberately separated them, which set up to be at odds with each other. We didn't have a clue whether Benny was trustworthy and Sam had less info than we did. Dean demanded Sam trust Benny but gave him no info to go on. They were both equally to blame for the situation that came about in Citizen Fang.
eilf
# eilf 2013-02-27 01:17
Quote:

But I do think Dean had an obligation to tell Sam where he was going in BB and really about Benny in general. I'm not sure why he didn't.

Imagine if he had told Sam from the beginning, there likely wouldn't have been an issue.
And you know that could have led to much more interesting storytelling too! Sam and Benny trying to work each other out and stories about the background to what happened in Purgatory
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-02-24 22:40
One theory I have seen is that Dean is NOT as certain as he seems that Benny can be trusted or that he was actually innocent in Citizen Fang. Dean brought a dangerous creature out of Purgatory. Yes, Benny helped him there, but there was no hunger and he didn't need to eat. Now Dean has to live with what he did and psychologically it is much easier to say Benny is innocent and you must believe me than to deal with the chance that he really messed up, especially because Dean has wavered on whether or not he could kill Benny himself. So he pushes his fears about Benny away by refusing to listen to Sam.

I'm one who agrees that I have no problem with Sam having come around to the position that monsters simply have to be killed. Every time they have tried to let one go, it has come back to bite them. Even Lenore killed. Yes, he let Kate go, but he wasn't the one to suggest they do so at the time. He went along with Dean, because he had seen her story and because she hadn't killed anyone. Last season Dean went on and on and on about how killing Amy was right because you can never trust a monster. Heck, they found out you can't necessarily trust a victim of possession because they might have actually enjoyed it. To blame Sam for finally accepting Dean's viewpoint that all monsters will eventually turn, especially because he has seen it happen time and time again makes sense to me.

I don't understand why Dean gets away with "I didn't trust that Amy wouldn't kill again, so I killed a young mother in front of her child, who I then left to starve to death" while Sam has to give an in depth explanation as to why he doesn't trust Benny. He said look at what has happened to us before, including Ruby. He said that Dean was right about Amy and is too close to judge on Benny. He didn't hunt Benny down in the dead of night and kill him and not tell Dean. He looked into if there were any vampire deaths where Benny was. There were and he took the logical steps for a hunter.

Someone I respect on livejournal, who has given me permission to quote her put it better than I could. (She doesn't want to get into big convoluted discussions, so she isn't posting here AFAIK)

Here's her take, one that I agree with.
Quote:
Dean’s got good instincts. (He can read people, it’s a discrete character trait. His problem is that he chooses not to acknowledge that these impressions are, while correct, highly situational. Benny helped ME for a year in Purgatory (where he faced no temptation and needed me desperately) and therefore HE is a Good Guy NO TAKEBACKS, and he can’t IMAGINE anyone doesn’t agree, with his expectation that Sam side with “the Benny YOU know.” We’ve moved into “I assume you only think what I think.”
even though as Sam points out, Sam DOESN'T know Benny.
emmau
# emmau 2013-02-24 23:22
You know what, I can agree that Dean wasn’t completely certain that Benny was innocent in Citizen Fang. Sam said Marin had proof, and Dean was open to investigating. He took a machete with him to meet with Benny, so he was prepared. Dean isn’t trusting anyone these days, and Benny is easily counted among the total. As Dean says, everyone has let him down at one point or another, so it makes sense that he would suspect Benny would follow the pattern. But even when Sam has let Dean down, he has defended him (see Sam, Interrupted—⠀œIt wasn’t his fault. He was just high”). He defended John against Henry, even though he’s spent the last several years grappling with his own issues with his father. So Dean defending someone he’s close to from attack isn’t anything new for him and doesn’t to me mean anything more than Dean is loyal. Others may view it differently, and that’s fine.

The thing is, Sam hasn’t come around to the position that all monsters have to be killed. Once Dean voiced that maybe they could not chase after Kate, Sam jumped right in to convince him to do so. It’s not like Sam was a passive follower in that conversation. In the past episode, Sam was the one advocating for James, even though he’d just become a supernatural being and by Dean’s Amy logic, should mean he needs to be killed. So yes, if Sam had adopted Dean’s viewpoint that would be one thing. But he didn’t accept that all monsters would eventually turn, because we can find two examples this season where it’s clear that he doesn’t believe this. He just believed it of Benny, so that is reason to question his motives.

I think the reason Dean gets away with it is because he did give a reason as to why he thought a murderer needed to be stopped (though it seems like the reasoning should be self-evident). She was a killer, an unrepentant one, and she did need to be stopped. Her son wasn’t one, and he said he had people he could go to, so Dean let him go. Sam did not similarly give a reason why he felt why Benny was less trustworthy than Amy the admitted killer, and that’s why people expect an explanation. Instead, he flipped this season from saying he understood why Amy had to be killed to being righteously indignant about her death. Ruby is a great example, and if Sam had expounded upon his concern there it would have lent strength to his argument. But he didn’t. So people do question why Sam took steps with Benny that he hadn’t taken with any other supernatural creature they’d let go, including Kate. No, he didn’t sneak away to kill Benny—not until Martin had knocked him out and they’d handcuffed him anyway.

I agree Sam doesn’t know Benny, and with the somewhat bizarre “Does that sound like the Benny you know?” we can only conclude that Dean . . . forgot that Sam sent someone to stalk his friend because he trusts him so much? That was just a ridiculous line, in my opinion, because it made Dean look completely unaware of Sam’s distaste for Benny, which was pretty well on display at that point. I saw no sign that Dean was somehow of the impression that he was using mind control on Sam so that Sam could only think what he thought. I’m also pretty sure that Dean has realized that Sam doesn’t think the way he does about everything by now. So I’m afraid I have to agree to disagree with your friend and chalk that line up to bad writing, only there so Sam could tell Dean that he didn’t know Benny and didn’t trust his beliefs about him.

I agree that Dean does have good instincts, and that Benny had built up a lot of credit with Dean. But as you pointed out, he did go there with an open mind and machete to do what needed to be done. Dean was convinced by his instincts and his friend. Sam wasn’t convinced by Dean’s instincts or vouching for his friend. That’s pretty much all I took from that scene. Mileage, of course, varies.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-25 07:38
Quote:
That was just a ridiculous line, in my opinion,
I agree.Sam was not with Dean in purgatory.I don't know what the writer's motivation wasQuote:
I’m also pretty sure that Dean has realized that Sam doesn’t think the way he does about everything by now.
Sometimes i suspect this.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-25 00:47
Small point but Dean did not intentionally kill Amy in front of her child, he turned around and saw him after. To be fair he also asked him if he had someone to go to instead of killing him outright as some (not me) think he should have done. He did not leave him to starve.

Dean should have been open and straightforward about Benny from the get go. I blame the writing. Everyone has been talking about OOC Sam, but having Dean be secretive about Benny just to create tension was OCC for Dean in my opinion. Sam was right to be suspicious but he did seem a little more gung ho about tracking Benny than I feel Sam would have been if Dean had just introduced him as his trusted friend. But then we wouldn't have had all that brother angst would we.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-02-25 07:35
Quote:
To be fair he also asked him if he had someone to go to instead of killing him outright as some (not me) think he should have done. He did not leave him to starve.
Leah,How sure are you that the child's answer was truth and not simply survival instinct?I don't have any indication that it was true or survival instinct .Any one of the scenario is possible.I hope for dean's sake it was truth.
Leah
# Leah 2013-02-25 14:39
Fair point anonymousN. I did not know. I took it at face value and Dean did too I think. I'm not sure what Dean could have done at that point but he did let him live. I wasn't crazy about the lying to Sam and the killing of Amy to start with.
love2boys
# love2boys 2013-02-25 21:05
quoting racestaffer
Quote:
Dean was eager to cut his arm after Purgatory even though Sam didn't require the proof.
Why didn't Sam need proof of who Dean was? He was missing for a year, jumps out from behind a door and Sam doesn't need proof of identity. I am honestly baffled. percysowner told me that it had not been explained at all. I assumed by show. Has it been debated here and I missed the debate? If it is just too small a point, then I will let it go.
love2boys
# love2boys 2013-02-26 21:51
Thank you, racestaffer and eilf! You each have better explanations than I have been able to come up with. Which was nothing. I especially like "only Dean would do the whole insane performance that we saw him do immediately before Sam says this." I very much appreciate your responses.