Episodes like “Taxi Driver” are a struggle for me.  I had the same problem with last season’s “The Born-Again Identity.”  The possibilities are oh so amazing, yet the execution just ends up falling short.  It becomes an internal struggle at review time between my inner TV critic and my inner fan girl.  Those two bitches end up duking in out on my shoulder, and nothing really productive comes from it.  So, I end up flinging them both off with a flick of my finger and then find myself speaking from both perspectives when trying to craft a legible review.   

From a pure fan viewpoint, “Taxi Driver” had plenty of goodness.  There were emotional beats, heartfelt reunions, self sacrifices, and hugs.  There were three great hugs!  The acting was phenomenal, the directing by always reliable director Guy Norman Bee was so visually pleasing, and the VFX was totally wicked awesome (yeah, I’m running short on adjectives).  

From the TV critic standpoint (and a fan who does love continuity), this script was a total mess and the overall production felt very rushed.  Probably because it was.  The plotting was lazy and careless, the plot holes were chasms the size of the Grand Canyon, and any attempts at sound continuity worked for anyone who has only watched the show up through season two.  There were also a few times where the dialogue made me throw up in my mouth a little, but that’s a minor quibble I’ll let go because of the bigger issues.    

The synopsis of “Taxi Driver” was a winner from the word go and my excitement level was high...until I saw who the writers were.  Suddenly, my expectations plummeted into “please don’t make it suck” territory.  It didn’t suck, but it was far from great. I need to look at why, cause that’s what I do.  But first, I’ll plow through the good stuff, then I’ll dig into the deeper analysis about why this episode fell short.    

Inner Fan Girl Speaks

Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, Bobby!  Oh man was he a sight for sore eyes.  It never occurred to me just how much I missed him until he turned around, all worn and haggard, getting the stare down from a puppy dog eyed Sam (wibble!).  It was nice to get Sam/Bobby interaction this time that didn’t involve Sam trying to kill him.  Bobby had Sam’s back too, because he’s awesome.  My favorite part was when Bobby was confronted with two Sams.  “You knew, right?” a nervous Sam asks.  “Took a chance, 50/50,” answers Bobby.  Hee, how cool is that?  Bobby is not only back, he’s in his old form.  My heart broke for him when he realized his only other choice was Heaven.  He misses the boys too.   

   

My big hero of the episode was Benny.  Oh Benny (*sobbing profusely*).  You are a good monster!  Or you stayed a good monster.  All that foreshadowing and hints of his dour fate to come were all avoided by his heartfelt sacrifice for his brother in arms Dean.  That’s true loyalty, and going back to Purgatory with those of his kind was probably the best possible outcome for him, as sad as it was.  Yes, it took a heroic act like Benny’s for Sam to finally come around, but considering his whole jealously/anger over Benny was completely contrived in the first place, I’m cool with Sam leaving Purgatory with the right idea about the gift he got (Don’t shout me down Sam fans, Sam was most grateful for that gift and appreciated the help.  He’ll take it however he can get it).  I’m just glad we can close the door on the whole Sam hates Benny thing for good.  

Dean and Benny just killed me!  Their farewell, not to mention Dean’s tortured soul over even proposing his idea, is the highlight of the episode.  I was overwhelmed by the guilt just pouring out of Dean’s face.  “I owe you.”  “You don’t owe me nothing.”  Meep!  I just about lost it with Benny’s on the verge of tears confessed, “I don’t belong.  After a while, that starts to wear on you.”  I did lose it with their good bye hug and Dean’s broken up, “Thank you.”  I’m not sure how that scene looked on paper, but it excelled far more than the other scenes because the incredible acting was allowed to play out.  Both Jensen Ackles and Ty Olsson understood the stakes and the bond between their characters, and delivered with a sucker punch the urgency and heartbreak that was missing from most of this episode in one gorgeous exchange.   

I wonder if what’s happening with Kevin is from the effects of reading the God tablet.  I also wonder if that’s the same thing that happened to Metatron when he wrote it.  God’s word makes prophets and angels go batty!  I don’t think Crowley has him.  I’m with Ardeospina, that boat was warded against demons, not angels.  Naomi has him.  She did show up immediately after Kevin said he stashed the tablet and wouldn’t tell Dean where it was.  If it turns out Crowley has Kevin, I’m calling a major foul.  Unless Crowley isn’t what he seems and is really an angel.  Hmm, I got to think about this one some more.  

Speaking of Crowley, he’s so at his best when he shakes down a minion.  He knows something is up now, and has the best lines when he’s ranting.  These are my favorites:
  • “Winchester jumbo size is trying to break into the mothership.”
  • “Where’d we get you.  A temp agency?”
  • “Apparently his half has the good stuff, where mine has acknowledgements and about the author.”  

I loved Naomi in this episode, more than I have in any other.  Sure, she’s playing Dean, and her intentions are purely manipulative, but I loved the innocent angel act.  She’s very good.  She knew exactly the right moments to come and help, proving her worthiness by thwarting Crowley and sending Bobby’s soul to Heaven.  I still don’t think Dean will turn against Castiel, but this angel is certainly doing everything she can to make things tough!  

My favorite scene though is the brotherly reunion, and the entire scene in the 100 Mile Wilderness.  Eight seasons now and I never tire of Sam and Dean’s devotion to one another.  It always gets me in the gooey center.  Sam emerges from the ray of light and I haven’t seen Dean desperately hug his brother like that since “All Hell Breaks Loose Part II.”  Again, it’s the acting that sold this.  I was really hoping that the entire scene (and the one before it) would have been slowed down for more dramatic tension, coupled with a building, very emotional score, but alas it wasn’t meant to be.  Not enough time.  Jared and Jensen made it memorable though, which is exactly why this show has made it this long.  Plus, the shot of the night, courtesy of Mr. Bee, comes from this scene.  


Inner TV Critic Speaks 

I’ll warn now, the rest digs into what didn’t work in this episode.  If you’re blissfully happy, thanks so much for coming and this concludes your portion of the tour.  If you’re curious about how this could have been better, then what’s coming is for you!  

My biggest gripe of seasons six, seven, and now eight is uneven episode to episode plotting.  It seems we get episodes that cram a lot of mythology down our throats, then the next week it’s lazy to average filler.  I remember the good old days when big plots were actually given two episodes to play things out.  They were rarely self contained.   Last season I did a whole commentary on that, questioning when did Supernatural become a procedural?  That procedural mentality of wrapping up story lines in one episode really seems to rear it’s ugly head in the second half of the season, when production cycles are shorter.  

This entire second trial should have been a two part epic rescue.  It’s a major story in the mytharc, it’s the brief return of a beloved character that they should have never killed off to begin with (great way to work Jim Beaver back into the show), and it works in the story lines of important secondary characters like Naomi, Benny, Crowley and Kevin.  It’s all good, but not all at once!  It’s like starving yourself for a great dinner all day long and gorging yourself in 15 minutes.  Why did we need an episode about young hunters this late in the season when this whole showdown could have started last week? 

This plot couldn’t have been more predictable.  I call it “Paint by numbers” plotting, something that is only done by rudimentary and spec script writers.  You knew Dean was going to contact Benny the second Sam was delivered to Purgatory.  You knew as soon as Dean proposed chopping Benny’s head off that Benny wasn’t going to come back.  You knew Crowley would kill the Reaper after getting easily the info he needed.  You knew somehow Bobby would go up to Heaven and Sam would complete the trial.  I pretty much had Naomi pegged to coming to the rescue as soon as she introduced herself to Dean.  Everything was too easy and too clean.  

How To Explain Plot Holes 101 

As a fan, you can overlook plot holes, or they can just eat away at you.  Given my review tendencies through the years to focus on details like writing, plot details, and episode construction, I cannot overlook.  Plot holes happen, continuity errors happen, but it is troubling to me that so many happened in one hour.  

Below is a mere exercise of my inner fan girl telling my inner TV critic to “put up or shut up.”  I’m putting up.  How would I have changed inconsistencies if I was the editor of the script? Please don’t take this to be a claim that I’m a better writer, or that this is the way things should have been done.  It’s just me showing how this script could have been tweaked better.  This is exactly the sort of thing that should be happening when inferior scripts are presented, assuming there is time.  Heck, it should be happening even if there isn’t time.      

Plot Hole:  Why did Sam and Dean have to shake down a Crossroads demon?  So that’s all Crowley had to do in season six rather than torture all those monsters?  Consult one of his own cohorts? 

Solution:  Cut that whole part.  Instead, Sam and Dean should have found out about coyotes in the the Men of Letters vault.  Sam finds an old book on reapers.  From a continuity standpoint, that would have made way more sense since reapers are very old and little is known about them.  You realize the last time I made this observation that the Men of Letter’s hideout was being underutilized, it was on the previous Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner episode, Man’s Best Friend With Benefits.  What in the world do these two have against the Bat Cave? 
  
Plot Hole:  So there was a simple portal to Hell through rocks in Purgatory?  After Crowley spent just about all of season six trying to find a way into Purgatory?  And doing this whole sacred ritual during a lunar eclipse, the only time he could have opened the door to Purgatory?   

Solution:  This is the line I would have written between Sam and Ajay:

Sam:  Wait, there’s a gate from Purgatory to Hell?  After Crowley tortured scores of monsters to find it?
Ajay:  Who do you think made it after he figured out where this place was?  He said something about wanting to build his summer home here. 

Plot Hole:  How did Sam find Bobby so easily when there are millions of souls in Hell?  Why was Bobby’s cage unlocked?

Solution:  Simple, he used the tracking spell and/or device he found in the Men of Letters cave.  The unlocked cage can be explained by the scores of Winchester disguised demons coming in all the time to taunt Bobby.  Pulling out keys is a pain, and where else could Bobby go?  

Plot Hole:  Bobby was in Hell how long?  By my count, a year or more.  That’s around 100 years in hell time, as has been established prior (yes, my math might be off, but it’s close).  So why did Bobby look unscathed, like he had been staying in a grungy motel?  Sam’s time in Hell, which was a little more, drove the guy into psychosis (although he was in the cage with Lucifer).  Dean is still haunted by his time on the rack, and he was only there four months.  Even John Winchester in a trail of pixie dust looked worse for wear.   

Solution:   I would have put these lines in when Bobby and Sam were walking through Purgatory, talking about Bobby’s fate:  

Sam:  I’ve got to say Bobby, you’ve come out after a 100 years in the pit in much better shape than Dean and I.  I got to give it to you. 
Bobby:  Honestly, it wasn’t all that bad.  It wasn’t always demon Sam and demon Dean torture.  For the first fifty, Crowley had me waiting in a never ending line.  I learned a long time ago how to keep my mind occupied in long lines because Sioux Falls had the worst DMV ever.  Dumbass.  

Plot Hole:  Scores of angels died trying to rescue Castiel from Purgatory, and Dean from Hell, yet all Sam and Dean needed was to find a coyote?  

Solution:  A change to the conversation between Dean and Naomi.

Dean:  If you’re so trustworthy, why in the world did you send innocent angels to their deaths to rescue Cass, to rescue me from Hell, but all Sam and I had to do was find one rogue reaper?  You’ve got to know about them.   
Naomi:  Fine, I think you humans have a term for it.  It’s called downsizing.  When we downsize angels, we do the right thing and send them to their deaths.  It’s better that way.  They go out warriors.    
Dean:  (rolling eyes) Freaking angels man. 

Plot Hole:  How did Crowley not be able to find Sam and Dean, especially when Sam was in his own backyard?  

Solution:  It’s my contention that Sam and Dean are always carrying hex bags on them to hide them from demons like Crowley.  They obviously aren’t hidden from angels anymore.  Crowley knew where to find them in Maine because he surmised they’d be there.  He probably knows about the portal from Purgatory to Earth.  Of course that logic is completely blown if Crowley turns out to be an angel, but for now that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  

Dean:  How did you find us? 
Crowley:  Your hex bags are useless when you show up at the one place everyone’s already figured out where you’re going to be.
Dean:  Good point.  

Plot Hole/Solution:  Okay, this is more of a big missed opportunity, but just the smell of Hell alone should have triggered some pretty awful flashbacks for Sam.  Sure he could have shook it off and moved on, but wouldn’t have that been some awesome continuity?  Wouldn’t it have shown that he isn’t some sort of super human?  

It’s possible I’m stretching on a few of these, but you get my point.  Just a few lines and plot tweaks could have easily explained these things without taking too much time.  

Another big problem is this busy script couldn’t take time to slow down and heighten some of the emotional elements, not to mention ratchet up the action and tension.  That shows the glaring problem with season pacing.  Shouldn’t some of this drama be moved to other filler episodes, for consistency?  For example, the Kevin side plot with Crowley could have been done last week.  Kevin frantically calls Dean, telling him Crowley was in his head and coming to get him.  The whole drama plays out as a side plot, and the episode ends with Sam and Dean rushing to help Kevin.  Then more time is saved for gripping action in Purgatory and Hell.  

Or, you scrap all this and build out this episode into two parts, like it should have been to begin with.  Young hunter drama is pushed until early next season. 

I hear some of you out there.  “Coulda, shoulda, woulda, didn’t.”  Point taken.  

Ah well, I think the moral of the story is, instead of me trying to figure out ways the episode could have been better, it probably should have been better so to save me all this trouble.  It’s not like I do this every week.  I just hate wasted potential in important story lines, and that’s what we got here.  As I said before, I experienced this same problem last season with “The Born-Again Identity” and I got over it.  Sadly though, I don’t re-watch that one much.  I probably won’t be re-watching this one much either.  

Other Thoughts

“You came, I knew you would.  I’ve been praying for it, forever.”  Was this a shoutout to some sort of movie?   

How can Crowley kill a reaper with an angel sword?  I know Alastair had to use death’s sickle.  Is that lame continuity or something meaningful?  

“When you’re on the king of Hell’s no fly list, you don’t fly the friendly skies.”  Really?  I had to pause this to make sure I wasn’t watching Arrow (just kidding, although that show has a lot of cheesy lines).  

Dean giving Kevin the “suck it up” speech?  I’m not sure how I felt about that.  At least Kevin compensated by taking his pie!  Sorry Dean, but you had that coming.  

Sammy really looked like he was in some awful pain at the end of the trial, especially in the Impala.  I hope they run with that.  We are suckers for Sammy pain.  BTW, hair shot of the episode! 

I’m giving “Taxi Driver” a C+.  Let’s hope the third trial becomes something spectacular.    


 

Comments  

Ginger
# Ginger 2013-04-07 23:40
I've been one of the major complainers about this episode, because I think there is a huge difference between plot holes and total disrespect to the canon of an entire series. This episode, IMO, was so disrespectful of the shows canon, that it borders on hurting the entire franchise. So much canon was destroyed, IMO, that I think it puts the show in AU fanfic territory...fre e range for anything the writers want to throw out there. But that's not the point I want to make.

There is a correlation between your review and Sweetondean's review, and that is the emotional impact that the ACTING brought to this episode. This, to me, points out why people like myself are disgustingly honest in our comments...and that is simply that this show, the premise of the show, the two leads, the crew that has spent years dedicating their hard work to the show, and fans like myself, who have never missed an episode, deserves better than this poor effort.

The acting saved the episode, because it was so rushed, there was no time for any real emotional impact of the various things going on. Yet, JA, Ty O., Amanda Tapping were superb -- Jensen and Ty...God, how could that have been any better? But I want to also say that I thought Jim Beaver delivered a top-notch performance; the best he has given on this show. Also, despite poor pacing, plotting, characterizatio n, and pulled storylines, I think Jensen has delivered some of his finest work this season.

So, yeah, I bitch and call a spade a spade, but it is because I know things could have and should have been so much better than what we have gotten this season. I hope Carver has had his learning curve and S9 shows major improvement.

Speaking of plotting and pacing...Charmi ng Charlie and Dean pimped up in costume for the second time this season? Seriously?? And with so little time left. Ho Hum.
saltwatergal
# saltwatergal 2013-04-11 12:54
yeah ,ho hum on Charlie. Thought I must be the only one under whelmed. Will enjoy the ep in any event... just coulda shoulda .... like you said!
Lynn
# Lynn 2013-04-08 00:13
You pretty much said exactly the same thing I did in my review, and I love your quick-and-easy dialogue and plot fixes. I keep wondering if they lost some of these easily fixed bits in editing, or just never bothered to write explanations that would make sense. And if not, why not?? I realize that staying on top of 8 seasons of canon isn't a picnic, but continuity should not be this hard to manage. The amazing acting and visual beauty keeps me addicted tho. Oh, and the hug. :)
Alice
# Alice 2013-04-08 00:20
Ooh, when I go to work tomorrow morning and start reading everyone else's reviews (since mine took all weekend) yours is definitely on the top of my list! I know you and I are usually of similar mind when it comes to plotting on this show. I really hope the only reason this script passed was because they were short on time. Then again, that's no excuse!

Hey, and I do plan on seeing you in New Jersey. It's coming up rather fast!

Plus, you didn't link your review. No matter, I'll take care of that for you.

http://fangasmthebook.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/supernatural-8-19-along-for-the-ride-on-taxi-driver/
wunderpat
# wunderpat 2013-04-08 00:27
Good discussion, although I believe there is little to fix the problems with this episode. To me the most egregious issues were the ease of the trial, and especially the disrespect it showed previous Canon regarding Dean's backstory in hell, his rescue from perdition, in purgatory and his escape. No logic can explain away diminishing the raw power of those events. That said, I think a previously unknown tablet with the word of God is all the retcon necessary. It could outline a spell to temporarily bind a reaper, as well as one to enable an innocent soul to be found. Then surprise! Bobby!!

Also, presuming that there won't be a supernatural excuse to explain away Sam's behavior this season, I am hopeful that Sam will get a believable redemption arc this season. As disappointed as I was in Taxi Driver, I think the set-up is still in place for Sam to acknowledge that the choices he's made affect others, and perhaps that he has a duty towards the greater good, a birthright as it were that he has never embraced. "Saving people, hunting things, the family business". These were always Dean's words, Dean's mantra, Dean's purpose. If Sam is on a hero's journey, and he clearly is highlighted by the obligatory trip to hell, he needs to come away with self-awareness and personal growth along with the big shiny prize.

I thought cramming purgatory into the mess was stupid. However, Sending Sam to purgatory did enable Benny to prove his mettle to Sam in the only way that would mean anything to Sam (sacrificing himself not once but twice to save the man that tried to kill him!). So I guess I can buy why Sam had to go to Purgatory ... I just wish he showed some self reflection as to why he behaved that way. You know personal growth!

I like the trials concept- A series of difficult tasks in which the "hero" confronts his weaknesses and emerges not only victorious but better for it... I can see the desire to give Sam a proper hero's arc to shift the character to a better place. I do wish the "difficulty " aspect had been conceived to challenge his preconceptions and force him to grow rather than that happen by Dean staging a rescue party. The TB stuff is silly at this point. Limp!Hurt! Sam is so overdone, and frankly it doesn't work to generate confidence or respect in the character. Gamble spent two seasons circling this trope. Not sure why they're repeating it now.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-04-08 07:27
Wunderpat I dont know wether a story or episode is designed to show Sam how wrong his viewpoint is or how mistaken he was in that view .Or how discouraged he is supposed to be for having that view or feeling. And for the record I never thought Sam was wrong to distrust Benny but because again Sam's feelings in the matter were not truly explained and because Benny reached favoured iconic status then it has been easy to point fingers at Sam .

Now I am taking into account your dislike of Sam in all of this and yes Benny went back to Purgatory and helped Sam however Sam did not ask either Dean or Benny to rescue him , he believed he was meeting Ajay and the appointed time and place so I cannot understand the idea that Sam did something wrong in that scenario.

As for realizing that he has to see the greater good . In what way in either taking on Lucifer and the cage and the trials to close the gates is not seeing the greater good as you put it? but may that's just me I dont believe Sam needs a lesson in the 'greater good' philosophy .


I do agree with those that said this should of been a two parter less haste a better story makes and the holes in cannon might of been less obvious or grating. The emotional resonance was the stronger part of the episode with the brothers hug encompassing that .
Kam
# Kam 2013-04-11 18:42
I'm so done with limp!Hurt!puppy !OMG LET'S RESCUE POOR SAM storylines that I read synopsis to see if the episode is worth looking at. I mean my god, it's been eight years. Can't they do something else, or as you say, at least let him grow from it?
Amy
# Amy 2013-04-13 08:03
I'm so done with limp!Hurt!puppy !OMG LET'S RESCUE POOR SAM storylines that I read synopsis to see if the episode is worth looking at. I mean my god, it's been eight years. Can't they do something else, or as you say, at least let him grow from it?[/quotehe ]

I acrually agree with this/ Sam is supposed to be thhe second best hunter on the planet. But how can he be if he ends upp hurt and/or limp in practicaly every episode and his hurt/limp is the story arc for the season. Its heartbreaking that every ciivillian and 15 year old is portrayed as better at the job then Sam is.

Give Sam his edge back. Stop making him the damsel in distress. But i geuss it is the only way to get him out of Deans way so Dean can solve everything and bond with with the support charectors alone..
novi
# novi 2013-04-08 00:38
The episode must be really outstanding to be able to cause that much mayhem and havoc among the fandom!:-) It is normal when people can't agree with each other (tastes are different), but when people can't agree with themselves - it's ... well, having mixed feelings is one thing, but being split inside, with your emotional part fighting your rational part - it hurts! So I feel the way to deal with all those problems and loose ends that you chose Alice is the best possible. As Bevie (if I am not mistaken) put it,"those plot holes could be explained with some thought." Let's fill those holes, aren't we fans imaginative enough for this! I could give my two cents ( a dime really) and try to explain the easiness of the access to Hell via Purgatory. As we know after all those mutual efforts of demons, angels and Winchesters SPNuniverse is now unstable - no hierarchy, no order. The very fabric of Being may be flayed and torn, so - maybe - these holes are appearing now where there used to be a solid wall before. Actually, this is what Fanotheboyz (am I right? If not, sorry) suggested. And yes, I like very much your idea about downsizing of angels - soulless enough to be Naomi's idea.And we shouldn't forget that Purgatory is a mortally dangerous territory for angels, so no much wonder if for them that rescue party was no picnic. Cass did survive, but Cass is an exception - the only angel who made friends with a human and the only one who was resurrected - twice! And I fully agree with that idea (don't remember whose, maybe even mine):-) that the part of Hell we were shown was just a sector for innocent souls, and there can't be many of such in Hell.By the way it was the only part of Hell where that corrupted Reaper was allowed.
There - I'm done. I like this approach wnen we can play with our imagination and though it sounds a bit fanficee - so what? I belive that fantasy can sometimes help understanding as much (if not better) as good old analysis. Sorry for this long speech,
Love, Helen.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-08 01:04
LOVED YOUR PLOT FIXES! This episode was just so hard to rate. Emotionally I want to give it an A++. Continuity and just basic story plotting I feel your C+ is kind, I kind of want to give it a F and I know I can't go higher than D. It's almost like they tried to see how much damage they could do to lore in a single episode.
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2013-04-08 01:32
I have been very critical about this season from the first moment; I understand that being negative is unpleasant, and I know that many have enjoyed this season regardless, but what would be the limit that would make all fans critical of the writing, or does such a limit exist?
X
Would the writing out of Dean or Sam for example, cloud peoples' enjoyment of the show or would they accept what the writers decide to do and keep on watching anyway?
Just a thought.
X
This episode was full of plot-holes and canon bashing but the thing that hurt me most about it was that all the suffering Dean and Sam have gone through , all the pain and emotional hurt was completely trashed.
The distress of Sam's visions, the demon blood, Dean's time in hell, the torture, the suffering , everything right up to Swan Song; then Sam's hell torture under Lucifer, etc.
This episode reduced those seven seasons to dust.
It downplayed the brothers' epic journey and that's why for me it is unwatchable.
X
Some extra things that bugged me.
X
I love Bobby, but he's not an innocent soul. He killed his father. Balthazar said that patricide was one of the most terrible of sins.
The writers could have used this occasion to put closure on the Adam story. He was truly an innocent soul.
Pull him out and let his soul ascend to heaven with his mom.

The writers made getting into Hell and findind Bobby, as easy as pie, so walking into the Cage and saying 'Hi' to Lucifer and Michael while walking out unhurt with Adam could have been done!
By the way, were we supposed to notice that Sam left the sliding door between Hell and Purgatory wide open? Does that preclude an invasion of Hell by Purgatory souls or vice versa. Uh!
X
I won't go into the whole reaper stuff, in which the canon was completely ignored.
If all that was needed was a rogue reaper, well the whole of season six, which I enjoyed immensly, and season seven, most of which I also enjoyed, can be forgotten.
X
Then Sam just walking into Hell as calm as you please! The guy still has memories, maybe they aren't as vivid as they were, but can you not make him show us a little trepidation or fear?
The same with Dean. Sam goes into Hell and to pass the time Dean goes off to see Kevin and seems more upset about Kevin stealing his pie that for the fact of Sam being in danger in hell.
That's not Dean; no way! But of course both brothers have been ooc all season.
X
Gosh there is just so much wrong with this episode, so I'll stop here otherwise, this will be never ending.
X
May I just say that the brother hugs are my very favourite part of the series, but they have to be inserted into the correct context.
Dean and Sam are supposed to have an unbreakable caring bond, but when it's Benny who gets the whole deal, complete with teary eyes etc, despite the fact that at that moment, Dean is expecting him to come back to Earth, piggy backing on Sam, annoys me.


Dean can have friends, just as Sam can but their relationship is the heart of the show and should be the truly unique one.
X
As for the MOL, it seems that story-line has already been forgotten, until maybe Amelia and Baby are installed there with Sam as researcher/dad while Dean and Castiel go off hunting next season.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2013-04-08 09:01
Quote:
I have been very critical about this season from the first moment; I understand that being negative is unpleasant, and I know that many have enjoyed this season regardless, but what would be the limit that would make all fans critical of the writing, or does such a limit exist?
X
Would the writing out of Dean or Sam for example, cloud peoples' enjoyment of the show or would they accept what the writers decide to do and keep on watching anyway?
Just a thought.
X
This episode was full of plot-holes and canon bashing but the thing that hurt me most about it was that all the suffering Dean and Sam have gone through , all the pain and emotional hurt was completely trashed.
The distress of Sam's visions, the demon blood, Dean's time in hell, the torture, the suffering , everything right up to Swan Song; then Sam's hell torture under Lucifer, etc.
This episode reduced those seven seasons to dust.
It downplayed the brothers' epic journey and that's why for me it is unwatchable.
X
Some extra things that bugged me.
X
I love Bobby, but he's not an innocent soul. He killed his father. Balthazar said that patricide was one of the most terrible of sins.
The writers could have used this occasion to put closure on the Adam story. He was truly an innocent soul.
Pull him out and let his soul ascend to heaven with his mom.

The writers made getting into Hell and findind Bobby, as easy as pie, so walking into the Cage and saying 'Hi' to Lucifer and Michael while walking out unhurt with Adam could have been done!
By the way, were we supposed to notice that Sam left the sliding door between Hell and Purgatory wide open? Does that preclude an invasion of Hell by Purgatory souls or vice versa. Uh!
X
I won't go into the whole reaper stuff, in which the canon was completely ignored.
If all that was needed was a rogue reaper, well the whole of season six, which I enjoyed immensly, and season seven, most of which I also enjoyed, can be forgotten.
X
Then Sam just walking into Hell as calm as you please! The guy still has memories, maybe they aren't as vivid as they were, but can you not make him show us a little trepidation or fear?
The same with Dean. Sam goes into Hell and to pass the time Dean goes off to see Kevin and seems more upset about Kevin stealing his pie that for the fact of Sam being in danger in hell.
That's not Dean; no way! But of course both brothers have been ooc all season.
X
Gosh there is just so much wrong with this episode, so I'll stop here otherwise, this will be never ending.
X
May I just say that the brother hugs are my very favourite part of the series, but they have to be inserted into the correct context.
Dean and Sam are supposed to have an unbreakable caring bond, but when it's Benny who gets the whole deal, complete with teary eyes etc, despite the fact that at that moment, Dean is expecting him to come back to Earth, piggy backing on Sam, annoys me.


Dean can have friends, just as Sam can but their relationship is the heart of the show and should be the truly unique one.
X
As for the MOL, it seems that story-line has already been forgotten, until maybe Amelia and Baby are installed there with Sam as researcher/dad while Dean and Castiel go off hunting next season.
Amen!
kaj
# kaj 2013-04-09 10:51
Quote:
I have been very critical about this season from the first moment; I understand that being negative is unpleasant, and I know that many have enjoyed this season regardless, but what would be the limit that would make all fans critical of the writing, or does such a limit exist?
X
Would the writing out of Dean or Sam for example, cloud peoples' enjoyment of the show or would they accept what the writers decide to do and keep on watching anyway?
Just a thought.
X
This episode was full of plot-holes and canon bashing but the thing that hurt me most about it was that all the suffering Dean and Sam have gone through , all the pain and emotional hurt was completely trashed.
The distress of Sam's visions, the demon blood, Dean's time in hell, the torture, the suffering , everything right up to Swan Song; then Sam's hell torture under Lucifer, etc.
This episode reduced those seven seasons to dust.
It downplayed the brothers' epic journey and that's why for me it is unwatchable.
X
Some extra things that bugged me.
X
I love Bobby, but he's not an innocent soul. He killed his father. Balthazar said that patricide was one of the most terrible of sins.
The writers could have used this occasion to put closure on the Adam story. He was truly an innocent soul.
Pull him out and let his soul ascend to heaven with his mom.

The writers made getting into Hell and findind Bobby, as easy as pie, so walking into the Cage and saying 'Hi' to Lucifer and Michael while walking out unhurt with Adam could have been done!
By the way, were we supposed to notice that Sam left the sliding door between Hell and Purgatory wide open? Does that preclude an invasion of Hell by Purgatory souls or vice versa. Uh!
X
I won't go into the whole reaper stuff, in which the canon was completely ignored.
If all that was needed was a rogue reaper, well the whole of season six, which I enjoyed immensly, and season seven, most of which I also enjoyed, can be forgotten.
X
Then Sam just walking into Hell as calm as you please! The guy still has memories, maybe they aren't as vivid as they were, but can you not make him show us a little trepidation or fear?
The same with Dean. Sam goes into Hell and to pass the time Dean goes off to see Kevin and seems more upset about Kevin stealing his pie that for the fact of Sam being in danger in hell.
That's not Dean; no way! But of course both brothers have been ooc all season.
X
Gosh there is just so much wrong with this episode, so I'll stop here otherwise, this will be never ending.
X
May I just say that the brother hugs are my very favourite part of the series, but they have to be inserted into the correct context.
Dean and Sam are supposed to have an unbreakable caring bond, but when it's Benny who gets the whole deal, complete with teary eyes etc, despite the fact that at that moment, Dean is expecting him to come back to Earth, piggy backing on Sam, annoys me.


Dean can have friends, just as Sam can but their relationship is the heart of the show and should be the truly unique one.
X
As for the MOL, it seems that story-line has already been forgotten, until maybe Amelia and Baby are installed there with Sam as researcher/dad while Dean and Castiel go off hunting next season.
I'm with you in this. I know that this show is not all about angst. It's a horror show and action flick. But, what am I talking about of course it's all about angst. Brotherly angst. And the show is capable of that. Just this season everything is misplaced. Like a crooked puzzle put haphazardly making the picture also looks crooked.
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2013-04-09 12:21
Replying to Kaj.
X
I agree.
The show has all the bits and pieces it needs to be as great as it was; two charismatic leads, a supernatural world from which to pull out interesting stories, a variety of monsters to be the bad guys, an extensive mythology, etc. but as you say , if the pieces are forced together the wrong way, the finished product is unconvincing and unappealing to the viewer.
X
IMO, the fact of not allowing Sam to look for Dean has been the cause of it all going wrong.
Such an OOC act from him knocked everything off balance and the season went downhill from there.
X
If Sam had been allowed to look and hadn't found Dean, then everything that came after would have turned out a hundred times better.
X
I still can't understand the reasoning behind Sam not looking. I would love to hear the writer explaining why he thought it was a good idea.
Fool For Dean
# Fool For Dean 2013-04-08 01:32
Loved your review, Alice, and I agree with you on so many points. The episode definitely had potential, but didn't deliver. The most glaring things for me are

1) Sam's non-reaction at being back in hell. As soon as heard what the second trial would be (from the preview last week) I immediately fear that it would do a number on Sam's psyche. And yet... nothing.

2) Yeah, if that's all it took for them to rescue a soul then how come heaven had to lay seige to hell to in order to save Dean?

I didn't even catch the other plot holes, but now that you've brought them up, I can't believe I missed them in the first place!!
blushenka
# blushenka 2013-04-08 04:49
Quick question: Re: Sam and Dean aren't hidden from angels anymore: Aren't they both still marked by Cas with the Enochian sigils on their ribs to keep them hidden from all angels? Has that changed meanwhile, somehow? :/
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-08 13:08
I don't know about this, but my issue during that scene was that Kevin - with how jittery and hyper-alert he was - didn't hear Naomi speaking to Dean just outside his room. This made me think that she came to Dean like angels commonly do - in dream form. I thought either Dean was having a waking-dream moment, or else Naomi stopped time to get inside his head.
st50
# st50 2013-04-08 08:51
I'm with you on this one, Alice.
Thanks for your plot fixes!
Just like in BAI, the important plot points here were glossed over, sped by, twisted, or simply lacking.

The acting, directing, effects were all glorious. Absolutely top-notch. Award worthy all around. J2, along with Osric, Ty and Jim, should be getting more recognition for this level of work. Absolute shame that the script simply wasn't of the same calibre.

I am afraid that my deep, smart, sassy, full-of-heart show is falling into one where the plots become cheesy, unbelievable (even for this genre) and insulting to the audiences intelligence. There are way too many of those on network television already. If the writers can't be bothered to learn past canon, as convoluted as it is, they should not be writing for this show.
The fanbase has earned some respect, too. I keep hearing from those involved in all aspects of the show about how this fandom is unlike any other. Committed and intense. If they truly believed that, they wouldn't be expect us ignore the plot holes here.

I agree with you also, isleofskye, except for the part about Sam being unaffected. I saw the fear on his face. Another significant plot point that simply wasn't given the attention and the time it deserved.

Wunderpat, I won't fight with you, but I see Sam entirely different than you do. He is a hero on the grand scale. Flawed (aren't they all?) But a hero. He's already acknowledged his responsibility for past actions AND paid for them. He's more than self-aware - He's been trying to deal with his darkside for 7+ seasons! - and most everything he does is for the greater good - and for Dean. End of story.
(Which is also why so many of us are having trouble accepting the entire season premise for Sam).

This entire season has been lackluster for me. I keep hoping that it is truly a Perception issue (Carvers word of the year) but the only thing keeping me going at this point is the emotional side. I adore the relationship between the brothers, and still wish the first 10 episodes had never happened. For me, something is still broken, and there are only 4 episodes left in which to fix it.
(Sorry for the negativity)
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2013-04-08 09:21
st50 reply.
X
For Sam, going back into Hell was a huge trauma, or should have been and I felt that it wasn't dealt with as it deserved by the writers. I am moving no criticism to Sam or to the acting in any way.
X
I understood Sam wantng to go in alone for he didn't want to put his brother in danger but if ever there should have been a hug between the brothers, that was the moment.
X
It wasn't a given that Sam would manage to complete the trial; he could have died in Hell and yet Dean sends him off without even a pat on the back, let alone a hug.
That was reserved for Benny.
st50
# st50 2013-04-08 09:27
I'm agreeing with you, isleofskye.
100%.
I only meant that, given the lack of attention to the plot point by the writers, I think JP ATTEMPTED to show some of that reaction in his face.
The fear was there. The script was not.
And I agree, Deans lack of reaction to Sam going into hell was simply adding to the bizarre nature of the entire season.
Pet Caldwell
# Pet Caldwell 2013-04-11 10:24
Yes, it really was all about Benny. Dean even says that he's gonna race to Maine to be there waiting for when Benny gets topside. No mention of Sam. I got the impression that Dean was only interested in Benny getting out of Purgatory.
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2013-04-11 11:58
replying to VyperDD.
X
I agree.
Whenever they need to sacrifice anyone to give the guest star screen time , it's always Sam that gets pushed to the side.
X
Even although the carrying out of the trial was supposed to be a big dead for Sam, this was really Benny's episode. The big emotional good-bye/sacrif ice for his bosom buddy Dean.
X
In fact, Dean was more upset about Benny going into Purgatory than Sam going into Hell.
Yeah, he did hug his brother when he came back, but if this season is anything to go by, Dean now has another reason to pick on Sam, even although Sam never asked to be saved by Benny and he was more than willing to bring him back to Earth with him.
X
Just thinking though, How many souls can piggy-back on a single person. I had thought that it was one to each human but it's now canon that multiple souls can be carried out!
(Shakes head in unbelief at it all)
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-04-11 12:06
Yes Benny has turned out to be exactly what you got on the box. And now is seen by many as selfless sacrificer of the Sam that didnt like him and wanted to 'kill him .Not his fault just the way it was all written.
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2013-04-11 12:15
reply to Sharon.
Sam has always benn targeted as the 'bad' brother even although he he has always tried to do the right thing and has never asked for all the stuff he's had to deal with.
X
His mother made the deal with Azazel and Sam is the innocent who has had to cope with the consequences.
All the hardship he's been through makes be love him all the more.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-11 14:39
I adamantly do not agree that Sam has been targeted as the BAD brother. He has always tied to do the right thing, true. The " he has never asked for all the stuff he's had to deal with" coupled with "Sam is the innocent who has had to cope" makes Sam sound pitiful. I love Sam too, I just see him as strong and not letting all that crap completely rule his life.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-11 14:07
isleofskye, as a fan of both brothers, I can agree and sympathsize with many of the points raised about Sam. But it is really upsetting and hurtful to me to see posts that say things like Dean was more" upset about Benny going to Purgatory than Sam going to hell". Sam going to hell was part of the trial. Dean tried to go with him!! Sam insisted he go alone. Dean was not happy and worried. His brother got trapped and Dean asked a friend if he could slice off his head to help his little brother get back. How is that not caring! The comment about Dean having another reason to pick on Sam is so unfair. I get so tired of Sam being seen as a poor victim to Dean's tyranny. I don't see Sam that way. They have BOTH contributed to the situation this year. Dean and Sam BOTH love each other very much. Dean cut off his relationship with Benny FOR Sam. Dean killed his friend FOR Sam.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-11 14:26
Quote:
I get so tired of Sam being seen as a poor victim to Dean's tyranny.
Word.
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2013-04-11 14:30
replying to Leah.
X
Let me just say that I love both brothers too, so I have no intention of being unkind to Dean, but there is no doubt that this season Sam has been neglected and treated rather badly by the writers.
To a casual viewer, it would seem that Benny got a better send off than Sam. Benny got the hug and tears and Sam didn't.
It's true that Dean asked Benny to go into Purgatory and get Sam, but he was expecting Benny to come back through when Sam did.
It was Benny who decided to remain , because he felt out of place on Earth.
X
Then I definitely do not see Sam as a victim. He can stand up to anyone and I know the brothers love each other dearly; it's the writers who have done their best to put the brothers one against the other, creating false conflict as happened in the earlier episodes
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-11 15:06
isleofskye, I am feeling a little emotional about some of the comments, sorry. Sometimes it seems like when Sam does things that fans don't agree with that it is all about the writers and no one cares about Sam etc....... If Dean does things, the character is a jerk and that to me is a double standard. For all of the Sam fan comments about Sam being maligned, I have read many more about how Dean is a dick, douchbag, doesn't care about Sam, abuses Sam, loves Benny/Cas more than Sam, has better brothers than Sam, and on and on. It wears a person down.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-11 14:22
VyperDD- Really? Is that the impression you got. Dean's Maine comment was Dean feeling like crap that he was going to have to behead a friend, that he kicked to the curb, to RESCUE his brother. This was ALL about Sam and Dean making sure he got his brother back. Can't Dean feel bad about doing that to Benny and still love and want his brother back also? I am upset about these comments that cast doubt about how Dean feels about his brother.
st50
# st50 2013-04-11 14:41
Sneaking in to add...
As someone firmly in the Sam camp, neither is in good shape without his brother. No matter how old they are, Dean will forever be the protective big brother, Sam will always be the loving little brother.

Dean's motivations in this episode, for me, were NEVER in question. Even with the slightly weird scene - caring for Kevin. It seemed more to give Dean something to DO...since waiting patiently while Sam is in danger is never something he's good at. Maybe just not as clearly written that that's what he was doing... Filling time with something other than worry before collecting his brother.

The beginning of the season, both S & D were behaving strangely off. I'm still waiting for that to be addressed, although there are some great theories going around.

Bottom line:
For Dean, from the day he was born, it's always been all about Sam... It's simply horrible that they both have to sacrifice so much to keep the other safe. (But of course we wouldn't have it any other way)

Gotta love 'em both.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-11 15:19
Thanks st50 :-)
Leah-unlogged
# Leah-unlogged 2013-04-11 20:35
st50- I took some very wise advice, deep breath taken!! :lol:
eilf
# eilf 2013-04-11 15:41
I agree with both of you here.

ST50: I really didn't see anything wrong with Dean doing something (anything) with the time he had to wait. If that involved cooking and being distracted by for a few seconds by pie so be it. I certainly don't doubt the level of stress that waiting would have on Dean while wondering if Sam is ok, that it didn't necessarily show on the screen every second is simply a matter of not having the time to show everything in the episode.

Leah: Sam didn't give him chance to do more than stand by and watch him go with Ajay as he most likely knew that Dean would have a change of heart about him going at all if he waited even a minute or so for goodbyes.

With Benny I really felt that that was between Dean and Benny. The point all season, maybe, has been the idea of Dean having a friend independent of Sam. So really the favor Dean asked of Benny is owed between them and not with Sam. Sam owes Benny for saving him but that is a different favor. Sam does not owe Dean for Dean having to sacrifice his friend, at least in my opinion. That would just be weird, it removes Benny's existence as a real person who can make his own decisions for his own reasons (I am not putting this very well, not sure how to put it).

Dean (felt he) OWED Benny, at the very least, the understanding that he isn't just using him and that their friendship is real. Imagine being put in that position of having to ask a favor that huge? It was a really awful moment for him - and it was interesting that he gave Benny the option to say no - in fact he assumed it would be no (a learning curve from Grandpa Winchester I think).

So he said he would be there in Maine and things would be different. How could he say or do anything else? Who would believe Dean Winchester would say or do anything else to a friend he believes in? I am a little sorry that it didn't work out that way (and I am not really a fan of Benny) as it would have been an interesting dynamic.

I think they can only get this new-found maturity if they both see that their interactions with other people don't always reflect on their interactions with each other.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-11 20:19
eilf, thanks for that. :-)
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-15 00:42
Leah, I totally agree with everything you, elif and st50 said on your above posts.

I hope you don't feel like I Dean bash. I do think he's kind of an ass at times, but I think Sam is too, just in different ways. But I adore them both.

I had zero problems with the way Dean treated Sam in this episode. I did have some issues with the way he treated Kevin, because he has been pretty harsh with him and that seems un-Dean-like to me, given Kevin's age, likeability and innocence. But I still love the guy, I'm just wondering if something is up.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-15 07:19
No Kelly, I do not think you bash Dean! His character is not perfect. I thought he more than demonstrated his love for his brother in this episode, though. I agree he is being harsher with Kevin than he usually is with young people. I know he considers what Kevin is doing important but still...what good is a completely broken young man?
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-11 14:47
Quote:
Can't Dean feel bad about doing that to Benny and still love and want his brother back also?
Leah,

Honestly, I think it's best to ignore these types of posts unless you agree with them. Everyone sees what they want to see and is entitled to their opinion, but there's very little common ground to be had here. And for those of us who see it differently, reading such comments only serve to increase our blood pressure. :P

Apparently to some, no matter what is actually shown on the screen (the desperate hug of relief after Sam made it back alive and unharmed, the desperation and love for Sam that led Dean to ask Benny for such a massive favor - so massive, in fact, that almost no one would blame Benny for not agreeing to it, and the frantic pacing in the Maine woods, waiting for his brother to get back) Sam is somehow still undervalued by Dean.

The truth, however, is that this entire episode demonstrated, once again, just how far Dean will go to save his brother. The whole reason he sent Benny to Purgatory was to save Sam. How that can be overlooked is beyond my comprehension. I respect the different views, but I just don't get it. In the beginning of the season folks were saying Dean somehow "chose Benny over Sam" - now that has been put to rest by the fact that Dean actually "chose Sam over Benny", and some are still trying to say that Dean likes Benny more. Again: OK, but I don't get it.

Couple this with the fact that to some, apparently, any close relationship Dean has with another character somehow detracts from Dean's feelings toward his brother, and vice versa, even though they are by no means mutually exclusive. That's not how it works in real life, so I don't know why that illogic is applied here. Again, it's beyond my understanding, and thus probably not worth debating over. Better just to let it be.

JMO.
st50
# st50 2013-04-11 14:59
Quote:
.....In the beginning of the season folks were saying Dean somehow "chose Benny over Sam" - now that has been put to rest by the fact that Dean actually "chose Sam over Benny"....
This is very very true. :-)
Nicely and succinctly put, Bamboo24!
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-11 15:24
Bamboo, thanks!! I just let it get to me this morning. You are right I know. I am working on the "let it be". Not so successfully today. :sigh:
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-08 20:28
Very nice post st50! Well said all around. This may not make sense but this "negativity" is the good kind :lol:
Amy
# Amy 2013-04-08 09:00
I agree with your Inner Critic Alice. I made myself watch the episode a second time and switch my brain off but i couldn't CONNECT to any of the emotions.

And sadly I feel the second trial wasn't a trial at all. It felt more like a trip to the store. And It had NOTHING to do with Sam and everything to showcase benny (and Deans relationship) and proove just how shiny wonderful Benny is. The guy is simply flawless...no layers except special snowflake vampire...bette r human...better hero...better brother. Sam's role in this could just as easily have been played by Krissy. There was just NOTHING personal to this...nothing SAM. And i still feel like there should have been a menainful scene between Benny and SAm. A scene where they show they understand each other and they both had wrong impressions about EACH OTHER. After all Benny HAD lumped Sam into being like all other hunters. A genuine scene between them would have been amazing.

It honestly feels like the writers are putting the least amount of effort into Sam (and his relationships) this year and any depth, any emotional resononence is all coming from JAred.

I really do wish with this was a two parter simply it needed the time to play out.
eilf
# eilf 2013-04-09 00:52
Quote:
It honestly feels like the writers are putting the least amount of effort into Sam (and his relationships) this year and any depth, any emotional resononence is all coming from JAred.
Amy I so agree with you on this! Jared played out an incredibly complex moment in the episode the other night and I really don't think I have seen anyone comment on it. So I thought maybe I was reading too much into it and I went back to watch it again. To see if it was just me putting how I would feel under the circumstances onto it, but I think it isn't.

I think that the hug scene has way more layers than just a Winchester hug!

So what happened in the episode?

Dean had an incredibly moving scene with Benny where Benny agreed to do Dean a huge favor and then gets his head chopped off.
The very next scene, I mean it overlaps! Is Sam getting a lecture from Bobby on not being there for Dean.

So Sam escapes without Benny after Benny further sacrifices himself for Sam.

Sam meets up with Dean and Dean is so relieved .... but .... I love that everyone loves the hug but to me it was absolutely heartbreaking.

Sam has to tell the person he least wants to let down in the world that he has left behind this other person, (to whom he has been negatively compared in the clearest language by Dean on at least 2 occasions) and he really seems to be expecting more of the same. you can see he almost wants Dean to let go so that he can tell him the bad news.

(and, honestly, yet again this really ISN'T Sam's fault ...(sheesh))

To me JP plays that whole scene as if:

a) Sam is really sorry to have to tell Dean that his friend has been lost but also

b) He truly believes what Dean has said about him, that he is not as good as Benny. It breaks my heart because I always feel that every time someone says something to Sam like 'you're not as good', or 'these things don't get forgiven' or 'you're a freak' he takes them on board as truth and stores them, even if he doesn't mention them again. The line where he says 'I'm the least of all of you' tells us that.

And you pretty much have to see all of that on his face when he has to tell Dean about Benny because what he has to say only tells part of the story.

And I was holding my breath along with Sam while Dean paused ....

So, yeah, JP when you get the chance you knock it out of the park too :D
st50
# st50 2013-04-09 00:56
Quote:

So, yeah, JP when you get the chance you knock it out of the park too :D
Yes he does!
Nice post, eilf!
:cry:
eilf
# eilf 2013-04-09 00:58
Thank you ... I finally got brave enough :D I feel soooo much better now!
E
# E 2013-04-09 22:33
eilf, I sooooo agree with you!!!. Jared is really an amazing actor when you think about how little he is given to work with. How did he even manage to convey one thing about this latest trial when he was given so very little dialog, none of which pertained to how he was feeling or what he was thinking? And yet, somehow, I knew he was fearful when walking through hell, that he was torn when confronted with that strange girl, that he was overjoyed to find and save Bobby and that he was so terribly remorseful that he wasn't able to bring Benny back to Dean; both terrified of Dean's reaction and sad for Benny's sacrifice all at once. It was written on his face and seen in his eyes without the benefit of point of view or dialog.

It bothers me greatly that the only thing Sam ever seems to get to say or do lately is related to the plot and it's required exposition; "this is the monster Dean," "this is how we kill it Dean" "I'll wait outside on the stoop while you bond with X character of the week Dean." And yet despite all this, somehow... someway Jared still manages to make Sam available to us, to show us his character, his bravery, his heart..... even when he's given very little of significance to do or say. Kudos to Jared for his marvelous work. It's about time someone noticed and said something, so thanks for that eilf!
Amy
# Amy 2013-04-10 09:32
Jared is truely remQuote:
eilf, I sooooo agree with you!!!. Jared is really an amazing actor when you think about how little he is given to work with. How did he even manage to convey one thing about this latest trial when he was given so very little dialog, none of which pertained to how he was feeling or what he was thinking? And yet, somehow, I knew he was fearful when walking through hell, that he was torn when confronted with that strange girl, that he was overjoyed to find and save Bobby and that he was so terribly remorseful that he wasn't able to bring Benny back to Dean; both terrified of Dean's reaction and sad for Benny's sacrifice all at once. It was written on his face and seen in his eyes without the benefit of point of view or dialog.

It bothers me greatly that the only thing Sam ever seems to get to say or do lately is related to the plot and it's required exposition; "this is the monster Dean," "this is how we kill it Dean" "I'll wait outside on the stoop while you bond with X character of the week Dean." And yet despite all this, somehow... someway Jared still manages to make Sam available to us, to show us his character, his bravery, his heart..... even when he's given very little of significance to do or say. Kudos to Jared for his marvelous work. It's about time someone noticed and said something, so thanks for that eilf!
Jared is trualey a remarkable actor. He's practically single handedly bringing Sam Winchester to life without any assistance from the writers. Imagine if the writers had the courage to give Sam relationships or simply a relationship with another charector where he got to form a strong bond with...;one that had a foundation of mutual trust wasn'ty hidden and kept a mystery. One where Sam speaking his mind or expressing his feelings wasn't seen as a betrayal or a burdon to the other person.

JAred would simply rock it.
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2013-04-10 15:58
I think the writers lost their approach to the deepness of the character and just go with the least effort.

I agree with Amy,elif, E and all the others who wrote about Sam/Jared. The only one who really goes still into the emotional deepness of Sam's character is Jared. He is getting no support in writing, in meaningful scenes, bonding with others, emotional touching speeches, insight in character issues, continuity in the characters history! It is all on Jared and HE STILL DELIVERS!

Although it would be a WHOLE ENRICHED STORY FOR SAM if he would get people who care about him and meaningful and deep thoughtful scenes! I just imagine Sam's perspective what it would give us all, it would be INCREDIBLE!!

I still feel Sam, and I am in awe of Jared giving really his soul into Sam so he can live for us!
Pet Caldwell
# Pet Caldwell 2013-04-11 10:36
This reminds me of the fact that Jared was putting a lot of the hand rubbing into the early eps of season 7 to show that Sam was being affected by the Lucifer hallucinations even though it wasn't in the script.

It continuously amazes me how much Jared can do when given so little. A character interaction like you describe would be a simply brilliant showcasw of Jared's skill and talent.
eilf
# eilf 2013-04-10 20:07
Thanks E! I am actually a little surprised at how many people seem to feel the same way as me :D I really thought that people would have an issue with it, because, hug!!!
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-10 20:46
eilf, don't get me wrong, I f@cking adored that hug! :D But I think all their hugs have had bittersweet or conflicting emotions at play. I think they were beautiful BECAUSE of all the different contrasting things going wrapped up in them. The 2 exceptions are the first one this season and the soulless Sam one, which shouldn't even really count.

The first one this season was so off I couldn't really squee. But this one was overflowing with all different kinds of emotions, which I LOVE. But it is easy to get distracted with the joy and miss overlook all the other fantastic stuff going on.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-10 21:01
I agree Kelly, nothing said has or will diminish that hug for me, the swirling emotions on their faces just made it all the more intense. Dean had so much relief and love on his face and Sam so much pain, fear, love and that it was completely compelling and one of the best ever!
Leah-unlogged
# Leah-unlogged 2013-04-09 07:24
Yes eilf, I can see your viewpoint. I think Jared did subtle and fine work here! As much I care about Dean too, I was holding my breath as well, thinking "don't get mad, don't get mad at Sam". I am glad that they were gentle with each other.
eilf
# eilf 2013-04-09 09:20
Yeah, I am looking at it from Sam's POV and as we know POV doesn't necessarily mean that what that person thinks is happening is true....

Which, of course, goes for me too!

But I have seen one too many reviews this week where pretty much the only mention of one of the main characters on the show was (as Alice referenced earlier) of the caliber of: 'Jared's hair looked great while Sam was being hugged by other people' ;-)

(not on this site though, but elsewhere)

It bothers me. But I am over it now...
st50
# st50 2013-04-09 09:30
Quote:

But I have seen one too many reviews this week where pretty much the only mention of one of the main characters on the show was (as Alice referenced earlier) of the caliber of: 'Jared's hair looked great while Sam was being hugged by other people' ;-)
I agree this is incredibly annoying.

I admit to enjoying the pretty as much as the next person

(OK, don't laugh, probably more than most... :oops: )

But the man is a talented actor, working hard at his job. He is much more than a shaggy head of hair!

Jensen is an incredible actor - always "in the moment" with whoever he's with.... but Jared is, too. His reactions are usually more subtle, and often in the background, but DAMN he's good, too. :-)

BOTH these guys deserve something more than "His hair is fabulous" or "Check out the freckles".... even if we do enjoy them. :P
Amy
# Amy 2013-04-10 09:57
You know...iu'veYea h, I am looking at it from Sam's POV and as we know POV doesn't necessarily mean that what that person thinks is happening is true....

Which, of course, goes for me too!

But I have seen one too many reviews this week where pretty much the only mention of one of the main characters on the show was (as Alice referenced earlier) of the caliber of: 'Jared's hair looked great while Sam was being hugged by other people' ;-)

(not on this site though, but elsewhere)

It bothers me. But I am over it now...[/quot


You know, there have been a number of episodes where I read the reivews before watching the episode and that has actually been my experience. Reviewers will go on and on about Dean bonding scenes Dean having amazing scenes with Cas or Benny...thosr charectors have amazing scenes of their own.

And then they mention Sam had really great hair in the episode.

It seriously bums me out when i read that and i know its affecting how fans of the show react to Sam (and an extent Jared) and howit effects their perception of Sam. Just because the Writers MIGHT have a grand reveal about sam at the end of the season (and thats a MIGHT). But i worry and fear the damage from the initial perception has been done especially since Sam has gotten little int he way of POV. The writers made a point to make sure the fans saaw Benny the wonder vampire as a flawless, uber noble, marter whois a better brother then Sam ever will be.

And back to the only mentions of Sam is Jareds hair....i worry this might affect JAreds career. In a show where other actors are getting lauded for scenes and their acting Jared's only mentions in reviews are "His hair looked great'

I maybe over reacting...I know i'm not in the business but I worry SN is going to damage Jareds career. That it might be giving the industry a damaging perception of Jareds talent and abilities.
eilf
# eilf 2013-04-10 20:02
Yes you have to wonder a bit don't you? I can think of one specific actor who was respected in his early roles, who played really complex and strange characters, who made one film where he came over as dorky and then he did a couple of action movies and now you NEVER see a review of his acting that doesn't include the words 'wooden' or 'blank'.

I don't know what makes a good or bad actor, I am not one myself, and to be honest half the time reviewers are looking at conventional wisdom too, or just going with their opinion. All I can say is that if I believe what the actor is selling then their acting is good.

If I believe what an actor is selling and someone tells me they are NOT a good actor then I will go with my opinion :D

If I see a very famous and respected actor chewing scenery in a horrible film then I am not inclined to just go with the idea that he / it is good because of who the actor is.

(yes I have a specific actor in mind for that example too but you will never get me to admit who either one is, because of the outrage / hilarity that would cause :D )
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-10 20:49
Amy & eilf, if I may add a few thoughts on the subject. I do think Jared is underrated as an actor. Jensen is often the more lauded one and I think it is because his character is more "flashy". Don't misunderstand me I think Jensen is an incredible actor. But Dean is larger than life and in your face. Sam by contrast is more introverted and introspective, therefore Jared has to deliver his performance in a much more understated way and has to use his facial expressions and boby language. Since he has fewer lines he has to get the feeling across in other ways and he is a master at that. They are both great actors and each do an amazing job with their characters. My 2 cents, thanks :-)
shadowhund
# shadowhund 2013-04-09 12:34
THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you!!!! And thank you!!!!! This comment is touching, and really breaks my heart!

I remember Sam's eyes, his eyes seem to be filled with pain, sadness, he looks regretful, his eyes are almost filled with tears!

What you said makes so much sense, regarding the scenes chronology and the emotional impact, first the trial, it felt so easy and almost flat, second the emotional scene of B/D!! And Sam came back knowing he didn't brought the one being back where Dean is loyal to, so hesitating!
Sam thinking about himself as the least of any of them comes to mind! Dean thinking Benny never let him down, and really didn't let him down(for whatever reasons)!

Sam not expecting Dean there and his heart heavy about Benny staying in purgatory and Dean's anticipation of his friend coming back!
That would be enough to feel for Sam in this episode(of course not for Sam haters) And Dean was just glad it worked and thinking Sam came with both back (B/B)
eilf
# eilf 2013-04-09 14:13
I am really glad you liked it :-) Thank you!
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-10 14:52
elif, you totally made me tear up. That was beautifully written and I think you are absolutely right in your assessment of the scene and Jared's acting.
This especially got to me. (I warn you I about to go into full on emo-Sam mode-I apologize in advance)
Quote:

b) He truly believes what Dean has said about him, that he is not as good as Benny. It breaks my heart because I always feel that every time someone says something to Sam like 'you're not as good', or 'these things don't get forgiven' or 'you're a freak' he takes them on board as truth and stores them, even if he doesn't mention them again. The line where he says 'I'm the least of all of you' tells us that.
This is what I've was trying to say the other day and never could quite figure out how to without making it sound like I still thought Sam felt guilty for the S4 stuff, which the show says he doesn't. I can believe that he doesn't feel guilty anymore, but I don't think he has that much self-worth either. And I think that was in place long before S4 but his actions that season exacerbated that. His actions and as much as I hated to admit it -Dean's words.

Just as I think Dean deep, deep down to holds resentment against Sam for his betrayal and lies and doesn't fully trust him, like he did before (whether he wants to or not), I don't think Sam has ever completely recovered from his brother calling him a monster or saying he would hunt him if he didn't know him. IMO, he'd always relied heavily on Dean for his since of self-worth, which I don't think was ever that high (something he and Dean definitely share). But in S1-3, he had Dean there telling him that he was a good person and he'd make the right decision and Dean seem to value his opinion. But that was lost in S4 and 5 and Sam's self-worth it a all time low.

While some of it was recovered by when he was able to get rid of the guilt by sacrificing himself, I think it's still pretty low and the events over the last few seasons haven't helped. He wasn't responsible for Soulless Sam but it was clear he felt he was. He wasn't at fault for the Halucifer but IMO he felt like a burden to Dean and Bobby. And Dean showed he didn't trust Sam's opinion by killing Amy. And now he once again failed to rescue Dean. While a vampire rescued him many times during that year and helped Dean get out and was a "better brother" and then sacrificed himself for Sam. That's why I LOVED that he rescued Bobby. He's saved many, many people but he has never been able to save the ones he loves the most.

I hesitant to purpose this but if this episode was some sort of manipulation or hallucination.( Which I'm not sure I think it was), then what would Sam's mind be likely to create? - a way to save someone, the way the couldn't save Dean- from Hell or Purgatory.

As far as Jared, I think he is extremely under-appreciat ed by several of the critics. He and Jensen are amazing together, but there are many who seem to think that's just because Jensen is so good. But I ADORED his scenes with Jody Mills, his scene with Cas in RiF and with Bobby this episode and many many others not with Jensen. And he can convey so much with just a look. Just like you said above, there was a lot at play on his face before, during and after that hug, and because of the emotional impact of the hug it is too easy to overlook it.

I don't want to wandered too far from the subject, but Jensen has incredible comedic delivery and timing. But Dean is almost always funniest around Sam. A fantastic straight man is extremely under valued. Many of Dean's lines said to someone else are amusing, but when combined with one of Sam's many looks, they're are freaking hilarious. Jared has fantastic comedic delivery and timing as well (CiYB would convince any doubters of that) but his responses to Dean's cracks are just too perfect for words.
eilf
# eilf 2013-04-10 19:50
Thanks Kelly! I really thought hard before posting because I was afraid I would harsh people's hug squee (I wonder if that phrase is going to date quickly :D ) but I couldn't let it go without saying something about JP's input, I would say something about JA's part in it too - but it has mostly been said :D, they really do play so fantastically well off each other!
wunderpat
# wunderpat 2013-04-08 09:14
In the context of the show, embracing one's heroic destiny is to hunt. As seen in Greeks and Geeks, Sam is still seeing this as the last thing he does before he is finished. He sees it as a chore not a duty. For the show to continue with him as a full partner, he has to embrace his heroic destiny.

Sam's response to Benny was emotional not rational. They included Bitten prior to Blood Brothers to show that Sam is still willing to give monsters a chance. Then he's furious about Benny (about the first time Dean prioritized someone else's needs over his own?) . His anger and hatred led to tragedy in Citizen Fang. It is a shame to waste Benny in this way if Sam is not going to acknowledge his part in that passion play.

It occurs to me that this, season 8, is the first time Sam has been normal without demon blood, demon blood addiction or damage/made incomplete by hell. This is the first time his choices are completely his own. He was not pushed by revenge or addiction, or saddled with soullessness or hell pain. This is the first time he's operated as himself, and made decisions for himself and made both good and bad choices as himself. It's really the first time he has been able to grow from his experiences. I hope that he does.

This is a positive step and I hope they don't ruin it by retconning his year off. Continually saying Sam has no blame for anything he does because he's hurt, damaged, manipulated or possessed hurts the character and is the reason he is so intensely disliked by a sizable segment of the fandom. If you go onto other sites, tumblir, twitter, etc.; every Dean fan that is not bi-bro has serious issues with the character because of the way he is written. He has had a Carte Blanche to act without repercussions. Look at the other characters this season. Dean feels guilt for everything, even things that aren't his fault. Benny feels guilt for things he's afraid he will do if he loses control, and castiel feels guilt for what he's done. We have seen all three admit guilt and take steps for redemption this season. Not Sam. He really has to.

I saw that some people blame Dean for Sam's hatred of Benny in another thread. Blaming Dean for Sam's hatred of Benny is irrational. Sam has to have responsiblity for his own feelings. And what else could Dean say but that Benny repeatedly saved his life, Benny and he had each others back for a year, Benny got him out of Purgatory. Dean held Benny in such high esteem that he prioritized Benny's needs over the quest, and hunted with him twice in vampire lairs without fear. Sam knew all of this.

For me Sam's redemption would include self awareness of why he hated Benny, an acknowledgement that not looking for Dean and not trusting Dean hurt his brother. I also think Sam should tell Dean that Sam lost his normal life because he chose to leave Amelia before Dean returned from Purgatory. Why should Dean believe that he ruined normal for Sam? We know Dean does because he told Charlie this in Larp. There is more to redemption than jumping into a pit or closing the gates of hell.
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2013-04-08 09:44
wonderpat reply
x
As I know that everyone has their own opinion and nothing anyone says can change that, I'll only say this.
X
It's the writers who make the rules and the actors are forced to act them out, so neither Sam nor Dean can be held responsible for what goes on on-screen.
X
Having said that however, if we're going to consider the mythology of the show. Sam and Dean are both equally heroes.
Each has their own character; both have made mistakes; both have done good things. both have sacrificed themselves for the other, etc, etc.
X
If Sam had been thrown into Purgatory with Dean, would he not have fought alongside his brother as Benny did or do you think he would have abandoned him ?
Benny protected Dean for a reason ; to get out ; Sam would have protected his brother simply because he was his brother and he loves him, without needing a motivation.
jace
# jace 2013-04-09 12:13
"If you go onto other sites, tumblir, twitter, etc.; every Dean fan that is not bi-bro has serious issues with the character because of the way he is written"

Really, really not discounting opinions because everyone is entitled to have them. But if the person is by their own definition specifically not a Sam fan--not bi-bro--they don't really like Sam in the first place. This is just more of the dislike amped up some. Another reason to compare him to Dean and find him wanting.

I agree though that the writers have not been very nice to Sam this year. :( But after nearly 8 seasons, I am not throwing the character away because of some recent wonky writing.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-10 15:58
wunderpat, I'm hesitant to respond since your view of Sam is so completely different from mine, in every way possible. As is your view of Dean.

Dean has been a reluctant hero many times throughout the show (all last season in fact). I've never thought that made him less heroic.

I think both brothers had equal fault in the Benny situation, because Dean hid their friendship and then never really bothered to explain why he trusted him and never gave Sam a chance to get to know him and maybe trust him as well. If Dean wants them to trust to someone based solely on each others word than he should have set that precedent with Amy. But Sam did not give Benny the same chance that he would normally give monsters. I think some of it was emotional and some of it was practical. Dean told Sam in S4 if he didn't know he was doing something wrong he wouldn't have hidden it from Dean. Sam could easily have used that same reasoning.

But they BOTH need to work on their communication skills. They ALL acted stupidly in Citizen Fang. Sam, Dean, Martin and Benny, but blaming Sam for Martin's actions makes no more sense than blaming Dean if Benny had succumbed to the bloodlust. Ultimately people and monsters (to a lesser extent, although we have been shown for vampire it is possible to resist) are responsible for themselves and their actions.

I have no problems with Sam growing as a character, just as I have no problems with Dean growing. Everyone should get better as we grow older. But Sam has accepted FULL responsibility for his actions, even when he wasn't responsible, as with Soulless Sam. I've heard this accusation several times but I'm never sure what people are talking about. The only thing I can think of is that they are not happy Sam's character was not completely vilified after his actions in S4.

I don't excuse his actions (nor do almost any post or reviews I've read) and many were incredibly stupid and extremely hurtful to Dean, but nothing he did was evil. I think, I and many others, can understand why he made the mistakes he did or at least the circumstances that led to making those decisions. And sympathize with his state of mind, but that is not the same as excusing the behavior. And what has he done the other seasons besides this one that needs to be excused? Nothing that I can think of or at least nothing more than the same type of stupid brother crap that Dean does too. Now I have HUGE problems with Sam not looking for Dean, because I do think it is OOC if there is not a big reveal coming. But regardless, it is not something he has to be redeem as a person. As a character, especially on this show, yes it is damaging. But it is not an evil act that needs redemption or even a horrible mistake that had extremely bad consequences. Worse case scenario, he assumed Dean was dead and quit hunting, I hate that scenario, but it doesn't make him a evil or bad person.

And he DID feel guilty S5. Many of his lines were bordeline suicidal or at least severe depression and a few actually expressed suicidal tendencies. And I wouldn't be at all shocked to find that Sam's feeling about not looking aren't nearly so mild as they shown us so far.
suebsg9
# suebsg9 2013-04-08 09:34
Thank goodness someone picked at the plot holes and plenty of digging in those you could. I can forgive some but really how to get a backdoor into hell. I mean dad could have gotten off rack sooner if we had known that so would Dean. He wouldn't have had to suffer. And then I agree with whomever said about purgatory got small since Dean and Benny been there or did they clear out all the monsters just the ones left over because he started working with the winchesters also.

I agree and will always agree Dean is the best hugger. I mean the Dean and Benny scene and then hug at end before he had to chop head off his friend was so sad. And I like where Ty and Jensen took that scene they did a beautiful job and be curious how that looked on the page and the fact they took to whole new level. And then the winchester hug; Dean is a hugger. Granted guessing he is thrilled to see Sam got out of purgatory and hell and brought Bobby with him but guessing also he would have been happy to see Benny back also. And glad he didn't burn the bones because that would mean that Benny could come back and I like how honest Dean was to tell Sam that he didn't burn the bones because didn't seem right and nice to hear that Sam said he was wrong about Benny. And I like Naomi she is one cool cat trying to win over Dean to get to Cass and the angel tablet. Glad Dean is not falling for it wonder how many other things she is going to do to help them out before she thinks she has Dean on her side. of course be fun to see Dean play her for what she did to Cass.

Always enjoy reading the reviews on this fan page thanks guys :)
Cathia
# Cathia 2013-04-08 09:41
I have a huge problem with this episode. I was enjoying it at the first watching, then I started asking questions.

Hell doesn't look so scary anymore, especially that a prisoner so valuable as Bobby should be in more guarded place. I know, no one should be able to enter hell, but then, Crowley was always TOO careful. Especially when we know that he was aware of those moonlighting reapers...

Back door to hell... doesn't work for me - a lot of people on Tumblr are referring to it as a plot hole and I totally agree. This is bullshit... I wonder if they will make any sense of Sam leaving the door open...

Kevin went nuts. Those were hallucinations - remember crashing windows? When Sam and Dean got back to the boat, windows were whole again. Can't blame him, too much pressure.

Just hope that Crowley will get him, don't want this storyline to be over in a few eps, just as it was before with the Apocalypse or the Leviathans...
Gwen
# Gwen 2013-04-08 10:16
Sorry, double post.
Gwen
# Gwen 2013-04-08 10:21
Quote:
Plot Hole/Solution: Okay, this is more of a big missed opportunity, but just the smell of Hell alone should have triggered some pretty awful flashbacks for Sam. Sure he could have shook it off and moved on, but wouldn’t have that been some awesome continuity? Wouldn’t it have shown that he isn’t some sort of super human?
Yes. This. I was really really hoping that we would get some Hell/Cage trauma/memories in this episode but it wasn't to be. Sam did look appropriately terrified when the trial was explained and he heard it involved Hell but I would have loved to have seen more trauma/memories /fallout from him. I do love the Sammy angst so very much. :lol: I wish this episode had been a two parter and that we'd gotten a lot more of Sam's time in Hell.

Love all your plot fixes. A lot of this episode did bug the living daylights out of me.

I loved the brotherly stuff in this episode though. Their relationship is why I've been addicted to this show since The Pilot. The hug was wonderful. Just wonderful. *Happy sigh*

Loved the scenes between Sam and Bobby. I thought Hell looked really creepy and that girl telling Sam that she'd been praying for him to come got all sorts of speculation whizzing around in my mind. Probably way too far fetched speculation that will never ever be seen on Show but still...it's fun to ponder sometimes.

Poor Kevin. I just want to give the poor lad a hug and look after him. He's having such an awful time. I do like Kevin a lot. The Benny character hasn't really grabbed my interest so I wasn't so bothered about him heading off back down to Purgatory. The Benny actor did a beautiful job though as did everyone else. JP, JA, JB and the actor playing Kevin were fabulous.

Thanks for the great review, Alice.

P.s Love the Sam!Hair pic. :D
Gerry
# Gerry 2013-04-08 10:43
Lovely review Alice and very similar to my own feelings. The actors pulled this one out of the fire, but why they had to is a mystery. Why is continuity of such little value this year in the writing room? It weakens the fabric of the world every time they do it and this ep is just the worst example, not the first.

I think Sera Gamble had her issues as a showrunner, which included difficulty with the pacing of arcs. Season seven had a soggy middle and a rushed ending. But she did keep to canon, even if she introduced some unnecessary elements, like Castiel's wife.

Jeremy Carver looks to have the same mixed bag of strengths and weaknesses. He has allowed most of the actors (Jensen and Ty in particular) moments to really shine. But the story development and continuity don't seem to be his strength. As you noted, the support for Sam disliking Benny was extremely weak since Sam had no problem with Kate and never had to examine what his feelings about Benny were based on. Considering he had just told Dean to find happiness without him at his side and to hunt without him, it was interesting he was so enraged when Dean had a hunt without him with someone else he cared about.

Lots of good stuff there, if the writers had gone into it. But no. And it's a shame because we could have had a scene as loaded with emotion between Dean and Sam as there was between Dean and Benny, if Sam's feelings had been developed. I loved the hug, but it would be nice to see the boys' bond looked at from both sides.

The internal plot holes were just as bad as the canon bashing. Why didn't Crowley go to Hell to look for Sam instead of wringing his hands and trying to pinpoint where he would come up? Why wasn't the rogue reaper more afraid of crossing his boss than Crowley? Death made his position on disturbing the natural order clear in season six and of opening up Purgatory to Crowley.

Oh well. The power of Jensen and Ty's scene was undeniable, and it is always wonderful to feel a real emotional hug between the brothers. Still don't know why the hug between them when Dean returned from Purgatory was so tepid, but this one worked really well.

I hate to see this series turn into one where trying to make sense of the over all story is an exercise in futility because the writers aren't trying to tie things together. I've loved the kind of continuity where at any given episode, you could make an argument IN CANON about motivation that drew on scenes that went back to the pilot. We didn't all agree because there's always room for interpretation, but massive amounts of fanwank were not required to make any interpretation work. Sigh.
st50
# st50 2013-04-08 10:49
Quote:

I hate to see this series turn into one where trying to make sense of the over all story is an exercise in futility because the writers aren't trying to tie things together. I've loved the kind of continuity where at any given episode, you could make an argument IN CANON about motivation that drew on scenes that went back to the pilot. We didn't all agree because there's always room for interpretation, but massive amounts of fanwank were not required to make any interpretation work. Sigh.
Agree with everything you wrote, Gerry, but this last paragraph.....
EXACTLY.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-10 16:09
Me too, Gerry. Although I still have hope this season can be pulled out of the fire.
love2boys
# love2boys 2013-04-08 10:55
Alice, I enjoyed your review. Except that I am probably the only person that didn't know what would happen next. I was lost in the story and was waiting for "next." I guess I am just a dumb fangirl. I did feel uncomfortable after the episode ended, read some reviews and found out why I was uncomfortable. Sad, isn't it. The rest of the review I found to be a great mixture of fangirl vs filling plotholes.

isleofskye said, "This episode was full of plot-holes and canon bashing but the thing that hurt me most about it was that all the suffering Dean and Sam have gone through , all the pain and emotional hurt was completely trashed.
The distress of Sam's visions, the demon blood, Dean's time in hell, the torture, the suffering , everything right up to Swan Song; then Sam's hell torture under Lucifer, etc.
This episode reduced those seven seasons to dust."

I don't know WHY the trashing and the dust. Really. And I've been watching since S1 E1. I just came to all the websites a couple of months ago though.
lkeke35
# lkeke35 2013-04-08 11:21
Now that is some constructive criticism.

I love the way you logically broke it down and then fixed each problem. That said ,I don't agree with much of the plotholes or rather I really don't care that much about those because that sort of thing really doesn't matter to me much where this show is concerned. I just love watching the guys working together and getting along.

Every story in the world has plotholes and sometimes it's fun to spot them and point them out. (I love doing this with movies.) That's about as far as I go with that unless it's especially badly done like in some movies that shall remain nameless.

This is where I do agree though and bear with me this takes a minute to explain: The main problem I have with season seven is that there was no episode continuity to that season. It felt like a bunch of disjointed standalone episodes where occasionally the villain got mentioned and not seen. I felt there were too many filler episodes but what was off about that is that the filler episodes were some of the better ones. I think SG tried to do, less successfully, what they are doing this season which is juggling a lot of storylines all at once. It seems that instead of having one main plot and some smaller subplots she made all of the storylines of the same level of importance and the season just felt uneven and seemed to have no real goal. I like this season a whole lot better because there's just a lot less of that. This season has a level of cohesion that season seven just lacks. That said though, it's still uneven because the filler episodes have been awful and are upsetting the momentum of the mytharc, (which I absolutely love, btw) the opposite of the problem in season seven. There are fewer filler eps. but what ones there are, I've mostly hated.

I do agree that these two writers must hate The Batcave. They have severely underused it. Do these two even know about it? I wonder.

And your are right about the pacing of this epsiode. It was breathlessly fast. At about the 10 minute mark Sam is already in Hell rescuing Bobby. They tried to cram in quite a lot into one ep. when they could have spread it out a little more and slowed it down some and used some of your nifty plot fixes.

In another thread I recall giving this ep. a good solid B. Something I never expected to do given the writers, who have yet to write a single episode I actually liked and a few I've actively hated. I was very dubious going into this episode because of that. But it was much better than my expectations. I'm an emotional watcher as was said in a previous thread and this episode hit all the right buttons for me once I was able to catch my breath.

But the pacing is why it gets no A.
Grace232
# Grace232 2013-04-08 12:16
I loved this episode. That being said, the show definitely should hire you to tweak scripts for them! All great ideas that would have made it even better.
luciano
# luciano 2013-04-08 12:54
Im going to be honest i dislike many of ure reviews even though i still read them:))
This was brilliant
You marked many of the plot holes and gave good solutions
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-08 12:56
Thanks for a great review, Alice. I appreciate the balanced way you approached this episode.

Still, I disagree with all but two of the "plot hole" claims. The two I agree with are: killing the reaper with the angel blade and Sam finding Bobby so easily, with his cage unlocked.

I'm befuddled by the rest.

Quote:
Why did Sam and Dean have to shake down a Crossroads demon? So that’s all Crowley had to do in season six rather than torture all those monsters? Consult one of his own cohorts?
Hm. This never crossed my mind, and I'm rather surprised that so many consider this a plot hole. It seems obvious to me (perhaps I'm being dense, though) that Crowley and his cohorts did not know about the passageway during S6, but found out about it sometime during the S7 Leviathan/Purgatory fiasco. I just assumed that. Seems reasonable.

Quote:
So there was a simple portal to Hell through rocks in Purgatory? After Crowley spent just about all of season six trying to find a way into Purgatory? And doing this whole sacred ritual during a lunar eclipse, the only time he could have opened the door to Purgatory?
Piggybacking off my earlier response - the sacred ritual was not just to find a way into Purgatory - in fact, Crowley didn't want in at all - what he wanted was to extract souls from Purgatory, which could only be accomplished with the sacred ritual. The two don't even seem comparable to me.

Quote:
Bobby was in Hell how long? By my count, a year or more. That’s around 100 years in hell time, as has been established prior (yes, my math might be off, but it’s close). So why did Bobby look unscathed, like he had been staying in a grungy motel? Sam’s time in Hell, which was a little more, drove the guy into psychosis (although he was in the cage with Lucifer). Dean is still haunted by his time on the rack, and he was only there four months. Even John Winchester in a trail of pixie dust looked worse for wear.


I get it. :) However - we've seen many different versions of Hell. In S4 it was a vast space with chains and torture. In S6, after Crowley became King, it became a place with a never ending line. Sam's Cage experience was something else entirely. Thus, I think the only conclusion we can come to is that either there are many different parts of Hell, OR that Hell has changed several times, OR that Hell is different for everyone. I prefer the last one. The worst way to hurt Bobby Singer would be to parade demons looking like his surrogate sons before him for all eternity, no doubt spilling verbal abuse and endless taunts. It worked for me.

Quote:
Scores of angels died trying to rescue Castiel from Purgatory, and Dean from Hell, yet all Sam and Dean needed was to find a coyote?
Can we trust anything Naomi says? I doubt it. So why do we assume that she's right in saying scores of angels died rescuing Castiel from Purgatory.

It makes sense that Dean was heavily guarded in pre-Crowley Hell. It makes sense that there would need to be a heavenly army to fight their way to him. Demons needed and wanted him in Hell. They wanted him to break. That's why.

And Sam and Dean didn't know about Coyotes before now, so any arguments pertaining to them finding a Coyote before now are truly moot. For all they knew, Coyotes didn't exist. Reapers probably didn't even go rogue until after the apocalypse was averted and supernatural beings began realizing they had free will.

Quote:
Plot Hole: How did Crowley not be able to find Sam and Dean, especially when Sam was in his own backyard?
Crowley knew where Sam was, he just didn't know WHAT Sam was doing down in Hell. He he was waiting up in Maine for Sam to get out of Purgatory. Why? Because he wanted to find out just what Sam took. Why stop him in the act when stopping him after the fact would be just as easy (save for Naomi) and the latter would give him insight into Sam and Dean's plans?

Quote:
just the smell of Hell alone should have triggered some pretty awful flashbacks for Sam. Sure he could have shook it off and moved on, but wouldn’t have that been some awesome continuity? Wouldn’t it have shown that he isn’t some sort of super human?
Eh...I don't think they're super-human, but I certainly think they've been desensitized by the trauma they've endured. It would take a lot for Sam or Dean to be broken at this point. Especially Sam. But I, for one, am glad there weren't excessive flashbacks - I have tired of seeing Sam always falling prey to some malady or another. The phrase I often use is, "I'm tired of seeing Sam strapped to a bed, having a seizure." Just as I also tire of Dean always, always, always, being the strong, stoic, worrier. I always hope for them to more unique material. I always hope for a role-reversal. But I digress. I think hell-flashbacks would have been a distraction. JMO.

As an aside, a part of me does wonder if - because of the lackluster writing history of this particular writing team in the past - if the expectation of failure caused some to look harder for and judge more harshly, the ways in which they did. Idk...I thought this was probably the best offering this writing team has ever produced. I thought perhaps they should stick to mythological episodes like this instead of standalones, since this one seemed so strong compared to the filler episodes we've gotten from them. Those who thought there were epic plot fails will surely disagree, and that's fine. :)
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-04-08 12:58
Alice,

Always enjoy reading your reviews but disagree with you on this one. IMO the plot holes were more an issue of too much being crammed in to one episode, going from Point A to Point E without explaining B/C/D. It would have been better as a two part episode, spending more time on each of the stories, particularly the second trial with Sam and Bobby in purgatory and hell. But... then again, they seem to have one of these "rushed" episodes every year since S5.

Other than the rushed nature of the episode, I can't understand how this could be compared to S7's Born Again Identity. In that case, the show runner and writers completely painted themselves in to a corner, threw in the towel, and came up with the magic Castiel fix to get themselves out of it.

Have seen a lot of complaints about canon but again, just didn't see it to the extent others did. Ajay the Rogue Reaper was a new creature, a freelancer that didn't work for Death, so new rules can apply. Didn't the evil fairy in S6 offer to make a deal with Soulless Sam to get his soul back (he had a way of getting in back doors) ? I always took that as meaning there's more than one way into and out of hell, and, for that matter, purgatory. In S6, C2 (Crowley and Castiel) were going after punching a hole in to purgatory to grab the souls to use as a weapon. I did think it was a bit of a stretch that Crowley hadn't made the connection between rogue reapers and purgatory/hell (sounds as though Crowley used Ajay to intercept Bobby's soul when they burned his flask in S7?) but, then again, the portal out of purgatory and in to the real SPN world is a human portal so I'm not sure how C2 could have used that.

Enjoyed your alternate solution to finding out about rogue reapers; the MOL library seems to be an afterthought lately. They should take advantage of your services as a writing consultant; you'd keep them honest for us :-)

I know I'm in the minority here but the Benny/Dean scenes were just a little too telenovela/over the top for me.

Overall, I thought it was somewhere between a good and very good episode; the pacing and some cheesy lines kept it from being better.
Beanie
# Beanie 2013-04-08 14:06
Uuggh.

This is all about me, by the way.

I'm beyond seeing Sam tied up, knocked out, held hostage, stranded or otherwise needing to be rescued. Tired of seeing him proven wrong, again, or being blamed for everything, again.

We had him caught and exchanged for Grampa.
We had him knocked over the head and tied up by a man in a sweater.
Wasn't he shot with a dart or otherwise infected by some poison in the Golem episode?
We had him save Dean by killing the hellhound but only after Dean 'all but set it up' and failed to do it himself.
We had him waltz through both hell and purgatory only to be 'rescued' by a plan Dean set in motion and a vampire willing to 'die' to save him. How convenient.
Dean calls him for help wtih a vampires nest after dumping him with no explanation yet by the time he arrives, everything's a-ok.
We had the mess with Martin and Elizabeth and whatnot-Boo-Hoo.
And coming up, 'benched by Dean'
And seriously? Woe-is-me, I can't have what I want (life with Ameila)? What the hell kind of plot/story was that supposed to be? And why-oh-why, hasn't it gone away?

Oh, I'm sure there are plently of times where he came out the victor or the hero without any assitance or need of aide but the sad thing is, I can only recall the times when he's failed.

How sad is that?

Bleh. Give the man something, anything.......

I didn't like this episoode - at all.

I always read reviews, rarely the comments, and almost never post but........I've been provoked to vent!!

I don't get into actors and whatnot. To me it is a story and the characters are what I invest in. They are what I know and I take them as they appear on my screen. I don't quibble about the writers and directors.....t hat's another page that I just don't have the knowledge to address.

But this episode....this ....this.....wo rds fail me. For the first time, I actually went looking up who these writers were after reading such negative comments about them.

Aah, well. Allow me to cling to the hope/possibilit y that 'Clip Show' explains the mess this episode turned out to be. Maybe it will be clips of this season that were shown to be Sam's perception and show us what was actually reality.

I don't want a reset or a Bobby-in-the-sh ower explanation, but showing us that Sam thought this is what happened in Taxi Driver (and other inexplicable moments from this season) while showing us what really happened, would be fine by me.

If you're going to break the boy, make me want you to do it
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-04-08 14:29
Beanie,

Stop hedging.... tell us how you really feel ;-)

They have made a point of bringing up Sam's OOC behavior of not looking for Dean a few times recently so I do think we're in for an explanation on that soon.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-04-08 16:53
Quote:
Beanie,

Stop hedging.... tell us how you really feel ;-)

They have made a point of bringing up Sam's OOC behavior of not looking for Dean a few times recently so I do think we're in for an explanation on that soon.
Could be but then again they might just like waving a red flag at the fandom. If his perceived OCC behaviour is explained this late in the game then it will be a pity as the fandom was allowed to believe a certain idea of Sam all season and it seeped poison.

And most certainly cries of excuses will go up from vocal parts of the fandom because they want their view of Sam validated so I am in two minds wether having Bobby bring it up in this episode is ultimately a good thing or a bad thing.
eilf
# eilf 2013-04-08 14:50
Beanie thank you for writing this, I have been so close to venting like this but you have saved me and now I feel a bit better that at least someone feels the way I do.

I totally agree and considering the fact that next weeks episode (apparently) isn't even pretending that they can think of a way to write the Sam we know and love into the show I am thinking that things are not likely to improve much.
Alice
# Alice 2013-04-08 15:19
Yeah, but did you like his hair? After all, it's all about the hair. :-)

Great post, Beanie! Actually, there are a lot of great comments I'm dying to reply to here (hopefully I'll get a chance later today) but I got to say, you win the prize for the one that's made me laugh the hardest. I hope that's a reaction that's okay with you, especially since you're completely right.
st50
# st50 2013-04-08 14:46
I'd like to comment on one plot hole that I don't think I saw in your review, Alice.

Why was Bobby even a soul that made it to Hell?
Since season 1, we've learned that nobody knew what happened to a spirit when either their bones, or the object they were attached to, was salted and burned, but that it was never a good thing to stick around to become a ghost. Burning and salting HURT. And it seemed pretty final....

I remember Bobby's reaper saying, ominously, "Last chance, Singer...."
I remember Tessa once telling Dean - and, again, telling the boy spirit in the episode where no one died because Alistair caught his reaper - that there was no second chance.
Suddenly, even though Bobby ditched his reaper, and went on to become a vengeful spirit, and then had his flask melted down... Bobby has a SECOND reaper, his soul is collected, and is taken on his way - to hell or heaven.
Therefore, there IS a second chance. Vengeful spirits CAN go to heaven (or hell).

So... WHERE is the penalty for not going with your reaper? If there really IS a second chance, what is to stop ALL hunters from ditching their reapers from now on?

Plot for all subsequent seasons....
"Don't worry kids, the Winchesters died on their latest hunt, but they'll ditch their reapers, hang around and finish the hunt, and then we'll send them on their merry way once they're done. No problem." :-x
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-08 23:19
The penalty for not going to your reaper is being stuck on earth and turned vengeful. That's what Tessa warned way back in S2, and I think that's what Bobby's S7 reaper meant. That's a heaven price to pay. It's lonely and frustrating as a ghost - we've been shown that many times - so the penalty for ditching a reaper and staying is pretty high. And your right - when they are finally 'dispatched' it looks like painful. The penalty for going vengeful is that you get salted and burned by Sam and Dean.

There's no second chance because once you decide to go with the reaper, there's no changing your mind to come back to earth. It's heaven or hell for eternity. That's what I always understood Tessa meant in "Death Takes a Holiday." The same thing she said back in S2 when talking to Dean. "Last chance...stay or go."

I don't think Bobby had a second reaper. That wasn't my understanding of it at all. I think, just as demons can change hosts, so the reaper Bobby saw in S7 took on a different-looki ng corporeal body. Same reaper - different look. So when Bobby finally was released, the same reaper came and snatched/smuggl ed his body away to hell.

Bobby never had a second chance - there was no way to get him back in his body, because his bones were burned, as was the flask, so there was nothing to attach his spirit to. Sam released him on earth and he went straight up to heaven.

Does that even make sense? It's late and I'm struggling to write a paper in between distractions. I feel like I'm not exactly coherent. :P
st50
# st50 2013-04-09 00:40
Bamboo24,
Ok, I can see where it could be the same reaper in a different form, rather than a 2nd one. But the point remains then that he came back for Bobby. Bobby WAS given a second chance. Not at life, but at either heaven or hell.

Maybe I misunderstood, but my impression was that those were off the table once you'd ditched your reaper. Again, where's the downside to ditching, if you still go to heaven later. It's just delaying the trip.
And why WOULDN'T you ditch, if you knew hell was your final destination?

The Winchesters have often said they just didn't know what happened to a spirit once the remains/object holding it had burned.

The only time I've ever seen a spirit look like it moved on to heaven was the one with the two spirits - Roadkill? Maybe? Where she didn't realize she was dead, and really was only trying to find her husband. That one seemed to work. The other spirit's remains were burned, and he didn't seem to be moving on....

My impression was that if you ditched a reaper and were burned, that was the end. No heaven or hell. You just ceased to exist. Obviously I was wrong, because both Bobby's bones and his flask burnt up.....

But again, ditching reapers now sounds like a really good idea.

Ugh. I'm tired. Maybe I'm not making sense now....
eilf
# eilf 2013-04-09 00:08
Depressed reaper in a bar (since we are spending time in bars this evening):

Bartender: what's up with you?

Reaper: I got ditched by a Winchester .... again! That's the third time this month. I'm thinking of getting a net.

Bartender: I heard about them, there was a reaper in here last week wondering how to get his hands on a dart gun.
st50
# st50 2013-04-09 00:41
:D eilf.

Hide and seek with the Winchesters?
sharon pence
# sharon pence 2013-04-08 14:50
Great review Alice and along with SweetonDeans my two halves about this episode and the show are nourished. I am fairly new to the famdom thing but having fallen so much in love with this series and the J2's and so many other characters I just had to go on line to find others who were filled with it's awesomeness (sorry about this word.) Like the saying goes too much of a good thing can be bad for you, a part of me wishes I had never stuck my foot in the fandom pool.

What this episode has taught me more than anything is that I first and foremost I should form my own opinions and not get caught up in the over the top hyperbole that is out there. I am not referring to this site.

This was the first site I came to and I just lurked because I was blown away by the thoughtful commentaries of Bardi (Mary) and the rest of this team. I have learned my lesson well now. Venturing into the cesspools of timblir,imdb,ec t. had really started to erode my enjoyment of a show that I was loving beyond reason. I so totally wore out my first copies of SPN I had to buy the blurays when they came out.
I never paid attention to who wrote what who directed an episode or who or what was a showrunner and how they differ. I probably am the typical TV viewer out there I sit down watch a show if I like it I watch again, never have I stayed with anything this long. One of my biggest personality flaws is that I am fickle and for me to have stayed with something this long shows the power it has but mostly the power of the 2 actors to keep me entranced.

Sorry I am rambling here. I watched the episode again and then thought about what I felt the first time I saw it, I am like someone else said , I never even thought about plot holes,ect. just found myself loving loving some moments and others not so much but didn't quite know why. I still think Hell was cheesy because that is what I said out loud to myself at the time. In retrospect considering thefinancial restraints this show is under it was probably quite good . I prejudged the writer's because of what I had heard about them past me would not have noticed. I see the importance of canon to everyone but past me paid no attention just ate up what was presented, I really want to go back to being a series virgin and see it and feel the joy of it all again.

I have so rambled here sorry sorry . I guess bottom line is I will stay away from the hystical sites focus my attention on my love for this show and read the thoughtful anaylsis on here but try not to let comments by others decide my opinions. God I would hate to be on a jury as I am such a fence sitter and can always see both sides.

I volunteered at the scifi convention in Burbank and am supposed to do the same at SPN Vancon and would love to meet others who are going. WORD just don't let them see the red lights flashing on those cameras because that is the one thing they stress to the volunteers they say it is because of the talent that they do not want to be filmed. I personally can't wait to go on youtube to see what people put up and can't see the harm but those are the rules. Peace!
Tv hint The Vikings on history channel !!WOW
Nate
# Nate 2013-04-08 14:50
Alice, I missed your review of last week's episode, but you made up for it here. I agree this was a Jekyll & Hyde episode. When it was great, it was GREAT, when we went over the plot holes, I bumped my head on the roof. I would give this episode a B- just for Bobby alone. And Benny. And Dean. And Naomi....crap there was SO much potential to be a highlight of the Season! I would also like to give a shout out to Purgatory, the look of it the show creates. I did love the early part of the Season as we discovered Dean, Benny, and Cass there, it was cool to see Sammy and Bobby check The big P off their bucket lists.
Question to Alice in relation to the article about Fans crossing the line by reaching out to the writers and producers: is it wrong to Tweet or write them to share your Plot Hole fixes , and this review specifically, and ask them to bring you on to their team for Seasons 9 (and 10)? Your points would have turned this even rushed episode into a solid B+.
Alice
# Alice 2013-04-08 15:26
Sorry about last week, but I was in beautiful Southern California and took a week off. Something about sunshine and fun that makes you forget about a mediocre Supernatural effort. (There's, that's my review of "Freaks and Geeks").

As for bugging the writers on Twitter, the problem is Brad and Eugenie aren't on Twitter, nor is their bosses, Jeremy Carver and Robert Singer. So, if you did harrass a Robbie Thompson, Dan Loflin, or Adam Glass, they would likely shrug their shoulders and give you full agreement. These guys seem to actually work together on their scripts, where I think Brad and Eugenie hide out on a island somewhere, with no access to TV and Supernatural anywhere. Okay, I'm only guessing there. Anyway, I was told letter writing is the most effective way to communicate your issues. Primitive, I know!

If I get my opportunity at Comic Con, one of my questions for Jeremy Carver is about writing inconsistencies and messing with canon. As in why do they let this happen??
Nate
# Nate 2013-04-08 15:45
I'm just used to being spoiled in your reviews, but good for you getting some great CA fun. I know the main problems (Brad and Eugenie) are not on Twitter, and the hopeful solution (JC) is not either. I am wondering if like you said at this time of the year they are rushing to get the show in the can in time for broadcast? I think wherever Brad and Eugenie are, they are at a Tiki bar writing the scripts, taking turns buying rounds. I will say I am still overall loving Season 8, but it has been too much stop and start with mythology and MOTW as we near the end. I hope next week's is not another 'stop,' but if the camera is on Charlie's face for 43 minutes it would be a series high point, so I have faith in it. As for the letter writing, I am tempted to print off your review and mail it to their office. Again thank you for your plot hole fillings--spot on.
Please don't go anywhere else until after you click "Send" on your review for "Sacrifice." :)
Murduth
# Murduth 2013-04-08 16:14
I didn't think the reapers getting people into hell was a plot hole... here's why.

First, I buy that the demons know that reapers sometimes get people into and out of hell. The demon they captured told them that. He did NOT tell them that the reapers go through purgatory to get to hell. Otherwise, Naomi wouldn't have had to tell Dean that Sam was in purgatory.

So, Crowley didn't know about the gate from purgatory to hell, so that's not a continuity problem for season six.

Also, when Sam went through the gate, there didn't appear to be anything following him into hell. So, that wasn't a solution for Crowley and Cas in season six either. They didn't want a person or two to get into hell, they wanted ALL of the souls from purgatory to use the energy. I don't think that the reaper's little backdoor was enough to get them what they wanted, even if Crowley knew about it....

So, there's my two-cents.... ;)
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-08 21:02
Hi Alice, I just take stock when an episode is over. Am I left feeling good or bad about it? This one left me feeling really good. I admittedly am not that detail oriented. I frequently have to go back to my DVD's to check on things that many fans can recall on the spot :-) I do appreciate the problem with plot holes. I'm just not sure I would have noticed all of them had they not been pointed out. Thank you for the review and the fixes you came up with for the inconsistancies . I wish my mind worked like that :lol: An "A" for me based on it's emotional heart. "C" on too much crammed in and random stuff that didn't add up. So "B" over all. What can say, I am easy.
JoRuth
# JoRuth 2013-04-08 22:40
I generally watch everything as a fan. So as long as my imagination can fill in the holes and the story is good then the emotional impact outweighs everything. I truly loved this episode. However, stepping entitrely out of my very happy fan mode, I know that should all the writing have so many issues with continuity and timing and lines the actors and the directors might exhaust themselves and only be able to go through the paces. This was a beautiful episode to watch, and I love where the story is going, and the actors gave 150%, but I might suggest these particular writers need some remedial help. Your fixes were superb. Thank you !
Sandy
# Sandy 2013-04-09 07:06
Hey Alice,

Really liked your review. Your explanation fills up the plot holes. If only, they went that way. Emotionally the episode was an A+ for me but looking at the technical aspect and the script as a whole, it's a C+.

Btw, I hope all of you will spare some time voting for Jensen & Misha for the Alpha Male Madness Poll. It's at http://www.eonline.com/news/405793/alpha-male-madness-vote-for-the-final-2
Scullspeare
# Scullspeare 2013-04-09 10:16
Hi Alice:

I’m on the same page with this episode; so much potential in conflict with the coulda-shoulda- woulda and the WTH. I’ll agree, too, that there was way too much in this story for one episode, resulting in little being given the justice or explanation it deserved. I didn’t dislike it – in fact there were parts I really enjoyed – but the weaknesses were incredibly frustrating.

One of the things that bugged me most was the pacing of the trial. Rescuing an innocent soul from Hell is an awesome concept but it came across on screen more as a stroll through Purgatory to Hell’s back door. The scenes needed more urgency. When Crowley tracked down Ajay, Sam had been in Purgatory for seven hours (the reaper said there were 17 hours left until he was due to collect his fare) – wouldn’t it seem logical that Sam had run into more than one Purgatory resident by that point? What if he’d come running around that tree, rather than walking, blood spattered and weapon raised, implying he’d just come from one of many fights, before taking on the one monster we did seen on screen? No more time or budget required, but it would have conveyed the passage of time a bit more clearly, as well as illustrating Sam wasn’t on just a walk through the woods.

And what about the 24-hour deadline? Why so specific? Others have speculated that Crowley knew where Sam was but didn’t care; he was more interested in figuring out what Sam was up to big picture-wise. Makes sense. But there are billions of souls in Hell; for Crowley to track down one specific person would be like looking for a needle in a haystack! That search may have upped the tension in these scenes – for example, while Sam was searching, hell guards were doing a cell-by-cell search so we know they’re closing in on him.

The deadline could also have been used to explain why Sam didn’t look for Adam. If Crowley’s Hell is anything like Dante’s, there are several ‘circles’ as you descend, each housing the various levels of tortured souls, going from the ‘minor leagues’ in the outer circle to the worst at the centre – Lucifer’s Cage. Bobby, as an ‘innocent’ soul in Hell, thrown there by Crowley in a fit of pique (and I have no problem with this plot device; Crowley has been shown to be petty on many an occasion and with Heaven in complete disarray, it would not be hard for him to waylay a soul in transit), would be in the outermost circle, the easiest (and that’s a relative term) for Sam to reach; Adam would be in Lucifer’s cage. I doubt 24 hours, even in Hell time, would be enough for Sam to fight his way there and back. Then there’s the question of whether Adam qualifies as an ‘innocent’ given he willingly gave himself over to Michael. Using Alice’s example of the boys figuring out how to accomplish this trial in the Men of Letters bunker, that would have been a great place to have the discussion about Adam. Love or hate the character, the bottom line is he’s part of SPN canon and Sam and Dean will not have forgotten him, even if the writers have. He doesn’t need to come back on screen, but I think he at least rates a mention.

I’m completely perplexed by Bobby’s celldoor being left unlocked – as he said to Sam, he’s still got plenty of fight left in him, so why would he just be standing there? OK, there was nowhere to go if he got out – but the other prisoners in that block were all locked up. What if Sam had found Bobby apologizing to his wife for having to kill her, then getting angry over the fact she's a demon doppelganger? His guilt over her death, as much as his love for Sam and Dean, would be a choice weapon for Crowley to use in torturing him. Heck, Jim Beaver’s so good, they didn’t even need to bring back the actress who played his wife – it could all be in Bobby’s head. It would have better explained why Bobby was just standing there and led neatly into him decking (what he thought was) demon Sam.

While I’m generally not a fan of this writing team, I’ll give them credit where credit is due: Here, they actually gave Crowley some menace. He’s always been snarky but Mark Shepherd is capable of so much more and in this episode I finally bought into the fact he’s the King of Hell. I really hope the show builds on the menacing side of his character from here on in.
kaj
# kaj 2013-04-09 11:15
Alice,

Thank you for pointing out these plot holes and the fixes.
I agree with you. The way the writer of this episode presents a solution is by introducing more holes.

I don't want to just assume and assume and assume for something that's not written in the script to find/grasp for explanation that the writer had or hadn't thought off before. Why??? I'm not the one getting paid to write the script.

If I buy a dress full of holes with the same price as the the other free hole dress, why would I go to a tailor and ask them to fill the hole in my dress??

I should just return it to the shop and make a claim and demand that they give me a better dress with no holes.


But I'd like to discuss about one of your fix, Alice. I agree when you said that they just chunk the plot about the reapers away and just consult the MOL library to find a way to Hell. But they found a way into Purgatory instead.

The later part of season 6 told us a story of a horror writer who was a member of a so called cult and they managed to open a gate to Purgatory. Some how MOL arrested few members of this group and documented their spell. The spell managed to open Purgatory a crack and Ellie came out. Sam and Dean can do it again with Sam's brain they can research to open the crack AND plant a sigil around the crack to prevent monsters coming out.

See, we don't need reapers at all. It has to be a soul who had been in hell who can find the crack between Hell and Purgatory. Dean once drawn to that crack before but Benny can't see it. Then he told Sam about the so called crack that eludes evil and sulfur. He didn't think anything about it back then because he was busy looking for Cas and finding a way out to the world. But now that he thought about it he tell Sam that it must be a crack to hell and only a soul who had been there can find it.

Sam had been in Hell way longer than Dean, of course he can find the crack much eaasier. He practically drawn to it.

See, no reapers needed and acknowledge the brother's Hell experience in the past as well.
Karen
# Karen 2013-04-11 06:39
Hi Alice
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, it had me completely absorbed.
I loved all the emotional moments between Sam and Bobby, Dean and Benny and of course Sam and Dean. Loved those HUGS.
And my heart went out for Kevin. Being left alone so much, not eating or sleeping properly, no wonder he’s a wreak.
I’m still debating on whether Crowley was a hallucination or it was actually him or Naomi.
And still deciding on whether Crowley and Naomi are in cahoots together.
I imagine you do a lot of flicking of those pesky shoulder dwellers. :D
For me I’ve got it easy, I’m pretty much a Fan girl when it comes to this show.
If an episode can keep me entertained, captivated, intrigued and or gets me all emotional, then I’m happy.
It’s not that I’m blind to the inconsistencies or the plot holes. I do see them. And there have been certain storylines or creative decision that I didn’t particularly like or agreed with ie the killing of Bobby.
But I just look at this as being the Supernatural world, where anything can happen, including a few rules being broken from time to time.
I figured that the show was still running with the format from season six that the supernatural world had been altered from the effects of the Near Apocalypse.
Plus I believe with all those years of messing with the ‘Order of Things’ might very well of altered things as well.

I always enjoy reading your reviews as well as the other reviewers and commenters on this site. I like the various interpretations , it opens my mind to other possibilities.
I also love that even when you’re far from impressed with an episode you still are able to point out what was good about it. It’s not all just the flaws. It gives it a kind of balance, even if it sways to one side more.
When there is constantly only criticism and negativity being expressed it makes it look like the love and happiness is no longer there and that can breed a very depressing atmosphere.
So thank you for bringing that kind of balance to your reviews.
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2013-04-11 21:47
Hi Alice,

Fabulous review.

Like you, my Inner Fangirl and my Inner Logician (she can be such a bitch for details... Crazy!) had a bit of a tussle over this one.

The IFG was squeeing and smiling and wiping away tears. The IL was kept interjecting to say "But what about?.. Hang on a sec... That's not how that's supposed to work.. Wait, does that mean...?"

It was giving me a headache. So I sent them off to find some Organic Cream Earl Grey tea and/or Scotch (on any given day, either girl would accept each drink) and told them to come back when they had it figured out.

Me... I just went to bed happy 'cause my head was full of thinky-thoughts and my heart was feeling the feels.

Cheers!

Pragmatic Dreamer
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-13 11:26
hey....i know we've had a lot of theories floating around out there....but another one just occurred to me and i thought it would be kind of a cool twist.....so i'd like to share and see what you think....didn't know where to put it as it's kind of speculating.... so i'll just throw it to you over here....i promise it's short :D

since show this season is dealing with perception....l et's say this:

heaven is different for everyone as we've learned in s5.
hell seems to be different as well for ea. individual as we've been learning this year and last i think it was.
so what if purgatory is different for ea. individual as based on their fears or desires.

if that's the case, what if sam never left the lab that night as we are all being made to believe. what if sam ended up in purgatory just like cas and dean did but they were separated...pur gatory is a very big place after all...it would make sense that the boys didn't find ea. other, especially if they were manipulated into believing they were never together in the first place.

dean's version of purgatory makes sense...it's a full on war zone full of monsters, where he must battle every day to survive. i'm not saying benny isn't real, he was...but i do believe benny was sent by someone to assist dean out of purgatory.

cas's purgatory is seemingly fighting off levis ...alone...at least that's what he's been made to believe....wher e cas is concerned, i doubt he was even in purgatory. i think he's been with naomi the entire time and she was mindscrewing him.....i think his memories of purgatory have been planted in his head by naomi.

sam's purgatory would be what we've seen i believe. the loss of his brother...the loss of everyone, and sam being utterly alone. i also believe in sam's purgatory he would implode and run away....sam loves dogs. he's always wanted one as we learned in dsotm when he took one in for his very own when he ran away at 15. so hitting a dog and stopping to take care of it makes sense....it's something normal, a desire he's always had. amelia fits too. she's the female version of dean. she's lost and broken. she needed to be saved and sam needed to save someone. all the fbs have been very dream like and saturated in color. they have also been told from amelia's pov instead of sam's. but if sam is actually in purgatory, then he's the one remembering things the way that would make sense to him.....the story being told from amelia's eyes would give sam reason to want to be with her....

it would also make sense that in sam's purgatory he would have a normal existence, although a temporary one...one he knew was temporary from the start, as he himself admitted in the first place in hunteri heroici that he was running from reality. now i'm not sure if amelia's father was real or if he was indeed the one who helped sam out of purgatory. the father was the one who finally cracked sam's pretend world....and not a short bit of time after the call came that don was alive....this all happening at the same time dean was on his way out of purgatory...

the shadow outside sam's window could very well be who rescued sam out of purgatory....th e shadow could also very well be the one who told benny about the portal and got dean out of purgatory....

perhaps the reason sam can't give answers about looking for dean is simply because he was in the same place dean was. he just had a different version of it.

now i know, what about sam meeting amelia at the bar and seeing her through the house.....well here's the thing...as far as show has gone, the only person to have ever seen amelia and don has been sam.

if sam's still suffering from mental stress from all that's happened last season, then it would stand to reason that sam would believe still that what the person who was part of his purgatory would still be real to him..

all this talk of sam's desire for normal, which he seemingly thinks he gave up could actually be sam striving to remember his true reality.....wha t was normal, his real life with his real true memories....not the fantasy world he may have lived and is still kind of remembering...

meg and bobby questioning sam's mental state could be the start of sam realizing and remembering the truth.

here's something else...

remember the eppy when sam was looking up amelia richardson on the computer...and everyone chalked it up to mere stalking...

what if the reason he was looking up amelia richardson was simply to see if she existed, or at the very least to get info on her.....

i mean if sam knew her, then what was the point of looking her up on the computer, he already knew where she lived and who she was living with. she's the one who did all the talking in the fbs, i would think he knows everything about her.

and she knew nothing of what he did....odd right?

what if amelia richardson happened to be someone sam knew in the past...maybe from his college days...or maybe she was simply a victim he came across during one of the cases....or maybe she was someone from when he was souless....we never got the real name of the girl from the man who knew too much...the one souless sam shot...what if her name was amelia richardson...

the girl who played amelia simply could be one of the millions of faces sam may have recalled and gave her the name of the girl he killed when souless?

even if the girl killed wasn't named amelia....my point is that he could've gotten the name amelia richardson from any of the various cases he worked on when apart from dean, or as i said, it could've been the name of someone he knew of back when he was in college.

.what if he put a face with a name he already knew?

also...dean had pictures of lisa and ben. i believe he kept one in his wallet? sam had no picture of amelia...the supposed love of his life..not a shot of him and her together in his wallet for him to pine over when he first and secondly broke up with her?

not to mention the fact that when sam was sitting in the living room waiting for her father to show...and the amelia/don photo album was sitting in front of him...he has it in his hands but conveniently never gets to open it to see any pics....

doesn't that seem odd to you? when they showed dean and lisa, pictures of them were all over her house....

not one picture...not one of amelia alone, or sam and her together....
odd don't you think?

any thoughts?
E
# E 2013-04-13 12:38
nappi815, I love this! You always have such great theories. I had been mulling over something sort of like this; Sam and Dean were both sent to purgatory in the blast and they are both still there somehow.... but I could never come up with as much detail as you seem to have.

I only have one concern with it (sorry, I hope this isn't like raining on your parade....I can't help it!) It's true that only Sam has seen Amelia and Don, but there was that one quick shot of Amelia going to the motel room to find it empty that WE, the audience saw. Whenever I try to build a Sam and Dean are still in purgatory or Sam is in a coma subplot or reveal, I keep coming back to that scene.... if she wasn't real or only in Sam's head then how did she have an independent moment on screen without Sam there to provide us with perspective? If she is somehow his construction or figment, he would have needed to be in the scene somehow. I always come back to that one scene and can't figure my way around it. You got any ideas?
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-13 15:47
name="E"]nappi8 15, I love this! You always have such great theories. I had been mulling over something sort of like this; Sam and Dean were both sent to purgatory in the blast and they are both still there somehow.... but I could never come up with as much detail as you seem to have.

I only have one concern with it (sorry, I hope this isn't like raining on your parade....I can't help it!) It's true that only Sam has seen Amelia and Don, but there was that one quick shot of Amelia going to the motel room to find it empty that WE, the audience saw. Whenever I try to build a Sam and Dean are still in purgatory or Sam is in a coma subplot or reveal, I keep coming back to that scene.... if she wasn't real or only in Sam's head then how did she have an independent moment on screen without Sam there to provide us with perspective? If she is somehow his construction or figment, he would have needed to be in the scene somehow. I always come back to that one scene and can't figure my way around it. You got any ideas?


e,

just so you know, i don' think sam and dean are still in purgatory. i think they both were in purgatory at the same time, ea. experiencing their own version of what their purgatory would be like.....i also think that the same individual, whoever it was watching sam leave amelia's, is the one who got both boys out of purgatory.... dean had benny......sam, well with a little nudging and prodding, and an actual assist....sam started to acknowledge he was running and the life he was living wasn't real...that realization really hit home with the assist of amelia's father and the reemergence of dear dead don. his actual rescue by whoever was watching may not be remembered by sam....what sam remembers is himself leaving amelia because being with her , running from his real life wasn't what he was supposed to be doing.... the mystery figure simply could've been witnessing sam come to senses, and once sam left, the mystery figure most likely physically brought sam out of purgatory...

as for us seeing amelia....well that scene pretty much followed sam's talk with dean and him needing to take a walk....what we saw could very well be what he may have imagined/assume d to have happened...afte r all she told him she would be there....the image we saw could be the image he saw...it's the way it may have played out in his head...

my theory...

sam was in purgatory for the same amount of time as dean. he was rescued by the same individual as dean...

difference is,....dean remembers purgatory.

sam, who let's say was/is being manipulated remembers being with amelia but doesn't realize that his memories are not of kermit, texas...(seriou sly, who would pick kermit texas out of all the cities in texas)....but of purgatory. seriously if you ask me kermit, tx is a synonym for purgatory.... or let's say it wasn't even so much that it was manipulation... .maybe sam was in such a fragile mental state, that he actually needed to come to terms with the recognition that he was running from his life and accept it before whoever helped him out could actually physically save him....

i just think it's something along these lines....

if there's a big reveal and twist then it would only make sense that whoever rescued the boys has their reason for not revealing it til the big finale....maybe that particular individual hasn't yet arrived yet....

hope this helps....
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-13 19:46
so i was walking the track a little while ago and nothing makes your brain work more than walking in circles...

there is something else that i didn't mention that's also bugging me and i'd love to hear what you think about it.

why a year? let's pretend for a second that my theory holds water....then why were both dean and sam stuck in purgatory for that amount of time....why not 3 months? why not 6 months?

what is the reasoning for a whole year in purgatory before they were both "released".

what was the person/persons responsible for getting them out waiting for?

were they waiting for dean to gain trust in benny and it took a year?

was it sam that they were waiting on? were they waiting for sam to come to the realization that the world he was in wasn't the world he belonged in? and as reality started to seep in, whoever, helped a little by sending amelia's dad and then dead don resurfaces....

soon as that happened, benny is given the specific spot of where the portal is?

or did whoever need time ...for whatever reason, and kept the boys in purgatory til they were ready for them to get out....

i'll go one better....benny was dean's guide in purgatory...wha t if cas was sam's...what if it was cas who was watching sam leave amelia....it's was sam's purgatory, so is it possible to aid in the manipulation of what he perceived....wh at if it was cas who came to dinner that night and sam saw a different face....one who appeared to be amelia's father...

if naomi has been manipulating cas all this time, who's to say that she didn't have cas down there keeping an eye on sam... she could just as easily make cas do things he didn't know he was doing...

maybe naomi knew she needed the winchesters from the start and was merely biding her time or preparing .....

all i know is that the whole sam and dean reunion is very time specific and it's very indicative, at least to me, of manipulation......

what do you think?
E
# E 2013-04-14 21:44
I agree with you nappi. The whole of the season (as Tim put it) screams "setup." Its not a far stretch at all to assume that if Cas has been manipulated then either one or both of the brothers has been too, and maybe still are. I was wondering about the Dean/Cas scene where Cas tells Dean that he is remembering purgatory incorrectly that Cas had stayed behind on purpose and that Dean hadn't remembered correctly. That whole scene seemed off to me. Why would they make such a big deal of Dean's survivor guilt only to have it mean basically nothing? I think that Cas DID stay behind in purgatory on purpose, but not for the reasons' he said (self punishment I think it was?). Maybe he was going back and forth between Sam and Dean's purgatories, checking on them, manipulating their situations so that things payed out the way that Naomi wanted them to. What I can't figure out still (and I am sure that TPTB have planned it this way) is WHY Naomi is doing what she is doing and what her actual endgame is. JC has kept her motivations intriguingly under wraps. Could he be a good guy after all? (Naaaaaah!).

Anyway, I really like your speculation and hope that something along these lines comes to light; both boys have been written strangely this year, but Sam in particular has been written in a ways that makes him seem less committed (to hunting and to Dean) and less likable in some ways (althought he always is and always will be my fave!)

So... this coma that Sam is in this next episode? Where to you think this fits in? Could he have been in this coma all along? Or do you think its only specific to this one episode? Someone on another thread speculated that Sam is in a coma due to the hunt and that Dean somehow ends up inside his head and he (and we) will get to see some of his missing year.. sort of like Sam got a taste of Dean's year when he went to purgatory in Taxi Driver. I wouldn't mind this happening either.......
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-15 00:21
Love your theories! Keep them coming. I would like to add or expand but everything I was thinking was either rehash or craptastic so I just depend on you until inspiration hits or the episode arrives :D
debbab
# debbab 2013-04-13 22:00
Still bothered by the unanswered question of who was watching Sam outside the house as it may be the key to the whole reason for the season. I watched the episode again just to see the Benny/Dean Sam/Bobby scene Sam/Dean moments which were the acting highlights. Did anyone get a flashback to Ruby when the demon says to Sam, I prayed I knew you would come? Sam seemed to hesitate and say I am not him before moving on. Is it a symptom of Sam's mental state as some have suggested that the whole season is, yet some of the season is in real time. Isn't Sam facing his own demons when Dean is gone and Sam is utterly alone so maybe Purgatory for Sam is not physical but mental. Again, the Kevin scenes and the tablet arc seems to be in real time. Naomi did tell Cas, we think, to be available for the Winchesters when they call yet this has changed over the season. So while season 8 has resolved characters such as Meg, Benny, Bobby(for the moment) there are many loose ends. The writers for the remaining arc episodes are the stronger ones from what I see, so let's hope the writers have been playing us a bit. The title Sacrifice, for the finale is a bit ominous, but isn' t that one of the major themes of the series? It was really worth a second viewing and I was hesitant.
racestaffer unlogged
# racestaffer unlogged 2013-04-13 22:40
Ominous enough that I wish I didn't know it yet. The only upcoming new episode title I knew was the next one... er, until now.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-17 23:43
i can't believe i didn't see it before...it was right in front of my eyes this entire time and i missed it....but i got it....after reading carver's interview again, i got it...

i get what the story has been about....i understand sam's story now....and i gotta tell you....i like it....i really do like it. i love when i get these "eureka" moments and everything all makes sense...i think i understand where carver was going with sam this season....i mean he basically told us, but i guess i just didn't listen...

sam was given the human storyline..huma n reactions...hum an emotions...unli ke s4 where the focus was on the supernatural part of sam...this season was all about sam's human side. and humans break. sam said he imploded...to implode means to burst inward, to break.....sam broke.

carver made it a point of telling us that sam would look, but what if he didn't...jared admitted that sam would have looked.....ever yone is in basic agreement that sam not looking for dean is ooc....and that's the point...that's the story carver is telling...i don't think the focus is supposed to be that sam didn't look, i think the focus is supposed to be on why he didn't look....and everyone has been so busy being upset that sam didn't look, i think they're missing the crux of the story..

the very fact that sam didn't look means that sam is not alright. i believe that sam had an emotional breakdown. given the fact no big reveal is being given, the only reason that sam wouldn't look for dean is because he was unable to. i believe that on the night dean disappeared, something inside sam broke. he literally couldn't handle what happened and as he said, he imploded...he went to pieces and there was noone to help put him back together...i believe this because in the last two out of three eps sam's year was brought up again both by meg and by bobby. in both instances sam's behavior was questioned...he ll bobby flat out told sam he was riding off the rails. i believe bobby is absolutely right about that.

it' s really quite understandable after everything that sam has gone through to just lose it..to simply not be able to take anymore...alot of you have commented that sam should've known better..but i disagree..if sam was in such an emotional state, that he's incapable of rational thinking....i mean look at the fandom and a lot of their posts....most all the vocal unhappiness comes from emotion....no matter how some might try to explain or post opinions that are more rational and less emotional....pe ople still feel the way they feel no matter what is said.. after all, we are all human...we have human emotions...we don't always rationalize and think clearly...espec ially when we are upset...so why is it so hard to believe that sam winchester can have the same human responses as the rest of us? contrary to what most might believe, demon blood or not, sam winchester is a person...a human, breathing, feeling, person who has emotional limits just like the rest of the planet....even sam can reach a point where he just can't handle things...like say for instance losing dean. let's not forget when sam walked out of that lab, he had noone to go to. he didn't have a support system...he didn't have someone to help him to think and rationalize the situation...bob by wasn't there, jess wasn't there, mom and dad weren't there, cas wasn't there...noone was there to get through sam's emotional state and give him hope that dean may not necessarily be dead....sam was all alone. he doesn't have, as many have pointed out time and again any friends he can turn to..... he was devastated and he had no shoulder to cry on, i can't imagine anything worse.

twice now we've seen what sam is like after losing dean and both times sam didn't handle it very well... let's face it, there was no ruby this time around....sam had no one and i have no doubt at all that he was in a very dark place....it's my belief that riot most likely saved sam's life...i think that dog was put in sam's path to stop him from hurting himself. i do think that divine intervention played a part in saving sam. we can tell how bad off sam really was at the time by the hysteria he displayed when he brought the dog into the vet...sam was on the brink....

now as bitchy as amelia was, she did get sam to take the dog which gave sam focus again...gave him purpose, enabled sam to go on. the very fact that he sought amelia out screams to the highest heavens how broken sam was. his entire relationship was based on mutual misery and loss....he was drawn to her because he recognized the signs of a damaged person...he wanted/needed to help her...he needed to save her...because in a way, trying to save her was also saving himself.

that's what i believe carver meant by sam being mature. instead of just giving up on life, sam did something else instead, though he was running from his real life at the time, he still found a way in which to function...to cope...to endure...he was larping of course, but while doing that he was saving someone who needed saving....himse lf....and amelia, but mostly himself. and during that time he managed to gain back some emotional strength . he also began to recognize that it was time to stop running and it was time to go back to his real life. in doing so he gave up the part of running he actually enjoyed, the safe and the mundane, and he left amelia behind to be with her husband, her real life and he went back to the cabin, and that was a very mature and difficult decision to make. it

's my personal opinion that sam went back to the cabin not only to try to figure out what to do next, but most likely i think he thought he was ready to get back in the game. i think first he needed time to mourn the loss of the normalcy he was giving up...the only problem was he never got the chance to do that because dean was back.....and i totally believe, without a shadow of a doubt ,that sam was very happy he was back. i just don't think sam was ready to get back in the game so soon. i believe he needed some time and as a human who's put in a situation they're not ready for, he reacted with trepidation. i don't blame sam at all and i found his reaction totally understandable. ...he was trying to hold onto the idea of a normal future...a perfectly human desire if you ask me. imo, sam telling dean that he wanted this to be his last job...that he wanted to live normal after this....and explaining to dean that dean was the hunter and he'd be better off doing it alone...well i think the first goes back to sam being the little brother again...he reminded me of himself in shadow, when he pleaded to dean to let him go once it was all over....as though sam couldn't go back to normal unless dean was ok with it..and the latter, well i'd say that goes back to sam's feeling as though he was basically a disappointment to dean anyway and he failed him by not saving him, so he'd be better off on his own.....i never saw sam as being mean to dean or yearning to get rid of him...not at all....

as for sam's silence...well i was really bothered by it...but now understand it. it's so in character of sam winchester too. i firmly believe that sam would rather deal with dean's wrath than his disappointment. it's basic canon that both sam and dean do not want to seem weak to the other. it's also canon that both brothers don't want to let the other down. if, as i truly believe to be the case here ,as indicated by both meg and bobby questioning sam's sanity, that sam had an emotional breakdown of sorts, then he would most likely see himself as being weak and thus a disappointment to dean...so he kept quiet...especia lly after dean's rant in sc....sam definitely wouldn't want to admit to anything now...

it also does explain why it's so important for sam to do the trials...sam's mantra has been " i can do it."....he keeps saying that to dean over and over...it's so obvious to me why sam needs to get these trials done

1. because he feels he owes it to dean. he couldn't save dean...but he could save him now. he can do these trials for his brother...he can give dean a chance to be happy and not die bloody...he can bring his brother to the light. i really feel it's about atonement for sam.

2. he wants to prove to himself that he can do it. he wants to prove to himself that he isn't weak, that he is strong enough...that he doesn't have to worry about being a burden on his brother or even worse...in sam's mind...a disappointment.

i think that's why carver gave sam the trials...to close out sam's human story...sam couldn't save his brother then..but he could do it now...he can find self worth again...he could possibly even forgive himself for breaking in the first place. sam winchester can finally be to himself what he will always be for me......a hero.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-17 23:54
I HAVE BEEN SAYING THIS FOREVER, OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER!!!

Lol...glad someone else "gets it".

Great post. :)
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-18 20:35
better late than pregnant is what i always say :lol:
JoRuth
# JoRuth 2013-04-17 23:58
Oh I love this post! Okay, yes, I am in complete agreement :-) but I mostly love your joy.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-18 00:53
Hi Nappi815- Nice post and kind of how I personally saw the situation. I always felt there was some sort of emotional collapse or breakdown and it was all Sam could do to function for many of the reasons that you list.

I think unhappy fans would have been happier (or at least somewhat appeased) if they had shown even a glimpse of that. They still might show something, but it looks more and more unlikley. I hope I am wrong. That and the idea that Sam (who they love and want to see as heroic) seemingly didn't bother to look for Dean, is hard to get beyond. I have never been mad at Sam for this decision but I can sure understand why Sam fans are sad.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-18 01:22
I find the phrasing interesting - "unhappy fans would have been happier (or at least somewhat appeased) if they had shown even a glimpse of [an emotional breakdown]."

My frustration (and forgive me - I blame PMS and finals stress) comes in where I feel like those of us who espouse the view Nappi described above are being accused of fanwank. It's all - 'your attempts to explain things are nice, but not based on what anything that was shown.' Like we're making it up to make ourselves feel better.

But I believe we DID see Sam's emotional breakdown. We saw it when he hit Riot. From the moment I saw that scene I felt I knew exactly what was being portrayed. It was a creative and understated way of showing Sam's grief, but that's where this view comes from. I can respect the fact that some fans saw the scene differently, but it's not fanwank IMO if our rationale is based on what the show gave us, what we actually saw (or perceived).

I do feel bad that others feel bad, but there's nothing I can do if we interpret the scenes and the character of Sam so differently. A part of me feels helpless. Reading some of the comments is unpleasant, yet unavoidable. I have the desire to fix it, help others see it the way I do, but it doesn't seem to working. The other part of me just wants to enjoy my show. You know?
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-18 01:32
Bamboo24, I get that it works for you. That it is enough for you. That's great. I'm happy for you. Feel free to just enjoy your show without worrying that others aren't.

But it isn't enough for many of us. I need more than what I got for such a crucial part of the show for me. It doesn't bother me that a lot of you are happy with what we got. Why does it anger you that some of us will be extremely upset if this is all we get?
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-18 01:46
KELLY,

"Anger" is much too strong a word.

It's like...it's like when you're stuck in a house with your parents fighting, and you don't understand what they're arguing over, but you desperately want to make it better, to make it stop. That's the best analogy I can give for what I'm feeling.

It upsets me to read posts where people say the show has been destroyed for them. It's not the fact that they disagree with me. I can and do disagree with many people, every day, all the time, and it's fine! :) Heck, it's the nature of my profession (law) to disagree with people in a hopefully constructive manner.

It's not that I need everyone to agree with me. It's the fact that posts by the unhappy ones are so emotional and I feel bad and I don't understand. I don't like it when people are bitter or angry or upset. It's an emotion that is very contagious.

But let me be clear: if you are extremely upset by what the show has portrayed - that's okay. You have every right to feel how you feel. My frustration only stems from weariness, and how I deal with that is on me, not anyone else. I sincerely apologize if that weariness has come across in anyway as aggressive, angry, or rude in my posts.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-18 02:30
Bamboo24, I'm going to try to keep this short (not my forte) because don't think anyone wants this to be a therapy session. But I do try to be careful where I post "negative" things. Because I don't what to detract from anyone's enjoyment. If it is a generally happy review I try to stick to the things I like about the episode if I post. The admins have said in the Let's Speculate you can be pretty open, so I post pretty freely on them. But anything really bitter I do try to keep to specific threads. I feel that is a reasonable balance, to give people the opportunity to steer clear of negative posts.

But I actually do adore the show so most of my criticism is typically not bitter or I feel all that harsh. This is an issue that pushes my buttons because it for me it deals with the heart of the show. But I understand it doesn't effect everyone that way, so I deliberately kept my very bitter posts yesterday to one specific non review thread.

I don't mind people giving their perspective, in fact, I love it. It is the reason I started coming here. One of the things I love about debating/discus sing is trying to understand where people are coming from and how they see the show. And I want to help people when they are upset as well. But to me, it is very different to say, "I can see your upset about this, this is the way I see it. Hope it helps." then to say you don't understand why someone is upset and to tell them why they shouldn't be. I am generally pretty thick-skinned but this a sensitive spot for me and it is like poking a bear.

Now I going to stop talking before we start interpreting my dreams. :D
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-18 11:06
Quote:
But to me, it is very different to say, "I can see your upset about this, this is the way I see it. Hope it helps." then to say you don't understand why someone is upset and to tell them why they shouldn't be. I am generally pretty thick-skinned but this a sensitive spot for me and it is like poking a bear.
I can see why that would be upsetting, KELLY. The way I tend to look at is - I can understand wanting "more" of Sam's backstory on this issue - we may even get it, because Carver said he wasn't through with that tale. What I haven't understood so much is when people say that Sam's rationale hasn't been given, or that we didn't see certain things in the show. Just as I'm sure it's difficult for those who are upset to maybe understand why those like me see it the way we do. BUT just because I don't understand it, doesn't mean I don't try to respect those views. I don't think you're "wrong" it's just a different way of seeing it. It's like looking at a painting and you think it's of one scene, and the person next you sees something totally different - it's that kind of "not understanding." That's all. I've never intended to come across as saying "you shouldn't be upset" just because I don't see it the way you do. Like others, I've only intended that in expressing how I have interpreted things, to hopefully maybe change someone's mind or ease their frustration about the show.

Granted, lately I have been more frustrated than usual, I admit. And that has probably come out more than it should. While I can't apologize for times I have said I don't understand (because that was just me being honest), I do hope you accept my apology, KELLY, if I have come across telling you that you "shouldn't be upset", shouldn't express your opinions, or if I've otherwise offended you.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-20 15:03
Bamboo24, sorry with being so long to get back. I've felt crappy and been busy on top of it.

I was getting more of a anger than a frustration vibe and was little offended, but I really wasn't feeling good and emotions were on edge with all the horrible stuff happening in the world lately, so it was probably me. So I'm happy to let bygones be bygones.
Ale
# Ale 2013-04-18 07:21
nappi 815, I agree with you wholeheartedly and Bamboo, that's exactly how I feel sometimes, reading the posts! Most times, I try not to get involved, but sometimes I can't and I have to say something, because they make me so sad! I try to say 'hey, they did show us what's up with Sam', people say 'but it was not enough for me, this relationship is not satisfying to me anymore, I'm going to divorce the show'! And I kind of start hoping they show us more by the end of the season or for a plot twist for us all get together again and enjoy the show as a loving family! (ok, maybe I took your analogy a bit too far). :lol:

Funny what you said about your profession. It's mine too. We tend to agree with each other, do you think it is a contributor :-)
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-18 10:23
Quote:
Funny what you said about your profession. It's mine too. We tend to agree with each other, do you think it is a contributor
Oh, that's funny - maybe! :)
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-18 01:52
Hi Bamboo, I do know. I am on the same page but I wish a little more had been shown about his mental state right after Dean's disappearance. In one of the flashbacks. I think there would be a lot less angst among the fans right now. Sam seemed shook up at the hitting of Riot but I felt I kind of had to fill in the blanks. I think you might be more perceptive than me. I don't think we CAN make some of the fans feel better. I am trying to understand and at the same time keep a little distance from the high emotions. People will either stop watching or find a reason to continue, I hope it is the latter.

Good luck with finals :-)
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-18 02:24
Bamboo, I wanted to add that you gave me some stellar advice the other day when I let things get to me....I took it. :-)
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-18 10:24
Thanks, LEAH.

I always appreciate your optimism and peace-maker tendencies. :)
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-18 18:58
leah,
i think we are going to see something soon. i got that feeling when we got meg and bobby's comment regarding sam in the last two out of three eps...also after reading carver's interview...it seems to me that his interview came just as we are starting to hear about sam's year.

i think we will hear something in pacman fever...damn gotta get off...boss here...go into why later....
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-18 20:32
Nappi, Nappi come back. I'm sure your boss won't mind that you are online, talking about a tv show! Really! :-)

Do come back when you can, I want to get your thoughts on this.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-18 21:01
hi again....

so here goes...

i know i should know better than to get all tingly inside but i can't help it...i just kind of am a wee bit on the hopeful side concerning next weeks eppy.

so, i think some of us are in agreement that it is most likely that something had to be seriously wrong with sam in the first place given that he didn't look for dean. i've given quite the ramble explaining my belief so i won't go into any more...

that being said....

carver's interview came right before we are getting to the end of the season. it could be the way i was perceiving it, but it almost seemed to me like he was throwing us a bone...a small one...but one nonetheless.

i get the feeling from the interview that perhaps the man has been keeping up with the complaints of the fandom..not sure how deep his concern is, but i get the feeling he isn't living in a hole somewhere...

he pretty much cleared the air by letting us know that there is not a big twist regarding sam's year. so basically he didn't look.

but.....

it's not a dead issue either. carver did say that it will be discussed or shown in one form or another. he indicated that it was an issue that needed to be discussed and resolved....tha t's how i at least interpreted his comments.

the only thing he stated to being a done issue was sam's rationale. i get it...sam's rationale from the beginning has been that he thought dean was dead. makes sense to me.

carver did not in any way, shape, or form say that there was not more to sam's story. as a matter of fact, the interview seemed to indicate to me that we will be getting to see/hear sam's pov very soon....

now given the fact that both meg and bobby have basically agreed that there was something very not right with sam regarding his behavior and add to that what carver said in his interview, i think dean and the fans will be getting answers regarding sam very very soon... i kind of felt like carver was going to resolve the issue this season..

so re: my slight excitement about pacman fever...

firstly, every eppy that charlie has been in has been mytharc related.

after watching larp and the real girl last night, i realized that charlie's story tied in with sam's.

i thought there should have been a tagline reading...the part of sam winchester will be played by charlie bradbury.

the speech charlie gave to sam and dean, that may have very well been sam making that speech. especially her admitting that she can't run from her life anymore, that she just had to accept her life had monsters in it...that's sam...her talk of running from her life, hiding, enjoying part of it...that's sam..

larp and the real girl was basically the sam/amelia story.

so when i saw the promo for pacman fever....i couldn't help but get a wee bit excited that through her story, we will get to see sam's story....

that's my hope and i'm hanging onto that...

i do appreciate all of you who enjoyed my post. trust me i still have issues but just not regarding sam....but i do agree that sam needs to be heard...that's a must...for us and for dean....if part of the new sn era is to have a more mature sam and dean, then they need to be able to discuss this lingering issue and then put it to bed....bigger fish and all....

just know, i don't post my thoughts with the intention of ever changing anyone's mind ....i just put it out there in hopes that perhaps if you're feeling disgruntled, maybe a positive pov would make you feel better...at least for a little while. ;-)
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-18 23:05
Thank you nappi, I always enjoy your posts and appreciate the thought that goes into them. I hope you are right, your reasoning is sound. I am looking forward to next weeks episode either way and having a little more input into Sam's early decisions would be a nice bonus. I am onboard until the end of the series come what may, but I would like to see something that would give the unhappy people something to cling to. Thanks again for the ray of hope.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-18 01:09
nappi, I love your joy too. :-) I have zero problems believing any of this. I have no trouble believing a mental breakdown which I have said many times. In fact, I posted a fan fiction with a lot of these elements after SC (only fan fiction I've ever posted). And really if you were to ask me to guess what Sam's reaction would be to Dean's disappearing based solely on that last shot of Sam at the factory, I would have guessed total mental breakdown.

I guess why the interview upset me so much is because they said his rationale had been given. And this wasn't it. It really wasn't anything, but that one line. BUT perhaps JC was playing a little fast and loose with his words. And because he said his world imploded that was the rationale but we will actually get a much more in depth look at what that means in the upcoming episodes. I WOULD FREAKING LOVE THAT! And it that is the case I will likely be a very happy camper! In fact you know what, I'm going to go with the theory that we ARE going to learn in much more depth what happened to Sam, because there is no sense being miserable before I have to be if you're wrong. :D
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2013-04-18 01:28
Glad you're feeling better about things, KELLY. :)
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-04-18 03:13
nappi, thank you for this. Just like Bamboo, I can't help but feel this is what I have been saying the whole season, and certainly your views match closely with my own. I'm also glad to know someone else "gets it". :-)
st50
# st50 2013-04-18 07:45
Hi nappi,
Your post is quite thorough and well thought out. I could even buy into it. As you say, the indications are there - have been there - have even been acknowledged by the fans (including me) since the first episode. Many of us expected that this was the case.
... I might even accept it for an excuse (except now that Taxi Driver showed how easy it could've been for Sam to rescue Dean and Cas....)

Yes we've heard you (Bamboo and others) saying this..... It's not at all that I (we) don't "get it"...

But while many of us have been waiting for confirmation - for understanding from Sam and Dean - what the show has continued to do is smash Sam over the head for not looking. They (writers and fans) smash and bash Sam's standing in this relationship every time he is called to task for it and doesn't answer.

Sam's very own words come back to haunt us time after time "People don't just go missing, other people stop looking" and "You know me. You know why. I'm not leaving my brother alone out there".... and on and on over the past 7 years.

As you said, we humans and our emotions can only take so much.

It is well past time to deal with this in a more obvious, deliberate and overt way, imo. I can only hope the last 4 episodes deal with it.

And I apologize for upsetting you folks. I intend to keep my views to myself now, at least until after the next few episodes.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-04-18 12:06
Quote:
Hi nappi,
Your post is quite thorough and well thought out. I could even buy into it. As you say, the indications are there - have been there - have even been acknowledged by the fans (including me) since the first episode. Many of us expected that this was the case.
... I might even accept it for an excuse (except now that Taxi Driver showed how easy it could've been for Sam to rescue Dean and Cas....)

Yes we've heard you (Bamboo and others) saying this..... It's not at all that I (we) don't "get it"...

But while many of us have been waiting for confirmation - for understanding from Sam and Dean - what the show has continued to do is smash Sam over the head for not looking. They (writers and fans) smash and bash Sam's standing in this relationship every time he is called to task for it and doesn't answer.

Sam's very own words come back to haunt us time after time "People don't just go missing, other people stop looking" and "You know me. You know why. I'm not leaving my brother alone out there".... and on and on over the past 7 years.

As you said, we humans and our emotions can only take so much.

It is well past time to deal with this in a more obvious, deliberate and overt way, imo. I can only hope the last 4 episodes deal with it.

And I apologize for upsetting you folks. I intend to keep my views to myself now, at least until after the next few episodes.
st50, don't ever feel the need to apologize; personally, I always enjoy reading other people's views/opinions; don't necessarily agree but sometimes it allows me to view an episode/scene/a rc from a different perspective.

Here's to hoping they answer these issues to your satisfaction in the coming episodes. With the trials, I've got a suspicion that they're taking a huge emotional toll on Sam as well and think this will all come to a head, probably in a very messy and unpleasant manner.

There's been some great conversations/o pinions/theorie s, particularly on this thread; with that in mind, I'm going to re-watch all of S8 starting tonight; hope to finish in time for next Wednesday's episode.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-18 21:17
don't ..you're right...

one of my peeves this season may seem so ridiculous but i'm going out on a limb and tell you anyway...

i happen to think the writing has been half assed in many eps. i still think we've gotten from point x to point z without the y (why)... i have issues with the way dean has been written, but i'm so not going into that....

you want to know one of the things that bugs me the most...and it's probably the most ridiculous compared to all the other stuff...

the fact that sam knew how to do a reverse exorcism...i've been watching this show since day one...and here's what i know....

sam winchester has been reading exorcisms out of a book until jus in bello.....jus in bello, which is a s3 eppy is the first time sam recited an exorcism from memory. it took three years for sam to master however many different exorcisms....

now like i said, i've been watching from day one and i pay very close attention...and anything i may miss....someone else always notices....

so can i just say that in no time in the last 7 years has dean or sam ever even heard or made mention of a reverse exorcism....

now, if sam as i believe him to be had some sort of an emotional break ....he did say he imploded and ran....and then spent 10 months with amelia....when did he learn that a reverse exorcism even exist let alone memorize one.

that is the reason i dreamed up all these theories in the first place....

i don't know why, but i think that's a big thing and we the audience are expected to hand wave it...

it's stuff like this that burns my britches....bec ause it leads me to believe that the writers either are lazy and they don't pay attention to canon or they think we're idiots...

anyhoo....enough of that...

all i'm saying is that there's no need to apologize for feeling the way you feel. ;-)
Nate
# Nate 2013-04-19 08:42
nappi815, the first time I saw the reverse exorcism, I say YES--THAT is a clue into Sam's time away--THAT will come back to show Sam WAS hunting in some way and learned a new trick....I bet by episode 5 or 6 that will come back......but it never did. Maybe it will come back again, but with only 4 episodes left, I would say at this point it was an oversight in Jeremy's scrip? But HOW can HE make such a silly mistake? Could it be he would leave that nugget in episode 1, only to come back into play in one of the last four? Also, who is the shadow figure from 8x01?
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-20 15:35
nappi, I agree completely. I was sure they were up to something because so much was left unsaid. So I assumed there was a story we just had to wait for it. But now it is just looks like most of the episodes should have been given another pass.

That reverse exorcism completely bugs me too. To me, that was a flashing sign of a clue that Sam was up to something during his year off. Now we find out it was just something Sam pulled out of his hat after a years off. Even though he never thought of try this when he was a soulless super hunter.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-04-18 10:50
nappi815,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the back story I've been telling myself about Sam, but could never write it down in such a concise and thorough manner. I never thought the reason was supernatural; Sam's human, he broke.

And I don't think this is interpreting what happened, or telling ourselves a back story to explain Sam's OOC behavior; all of the pieces of the puzzle are there; you took the time to put it all together.

While the trials have taken a physical toll on Sam, I think we're going to start to see it take an emotional toll on him as well, and this is all going to come out.
Nate
# Nate 2013-04-18 13:30
nappi815,
Wow, just wow. I agree with everything you said nappi815. Great comments, very thorough. My 2 cents.
First with Amelia, I also had a "eureka" moment with their relationship. I think as a TV viewer our expectations are “here comes a love interest. We hate love interests for either brother. Amelia is not a very well fleshed out character, and she is the reason Sam quit hunting. I hate her.” At least those were what I saw on these and other comment boards. With the lack of information being shown from the time Cas and Dean disappeared to the time Sam brought the dog to the vet, I was not judging Amelia. I thought there would be more from Sam’s time alone shown. When you talk about Sam having an emotional break, I total agree. I actually thought we would discover Sam was in a mental institution—t he same one Martin was in, that is how he was in touch with Martin and asked him to track Benny. But we never got anything like that, so until another recent "eureka" moment, my only complaint was this missing better reason why Sam left. I agree Amelia helped Sam gain focus again—he did the same for her. Your comments “his entire relationship was based on mutual misery and loss....” I agree with 1000%. My "eureka" moment with their relationship was after they reconnected in real time, had the deal to meet at the hotel room ala Sleepless in Seattle, but Sam chose hunting, and has not looked back. Yes I think he loved her, yes he wanted to help repair herself as he was repairing himself, but in the end, for Sam Amelia was almost like a nurse, helped get him better, and he left, knowing hunting was going to be his choice in the end. Seeing Amelia open the empty hotel room door, I had a real emotional reaction to that, I felt bad for her. She obviously has issues to work out with her feeling for Sam and her husband, BUT, Sam is gone and (PLEASE GOD) not going back. He is back to his hunting life, he would always get back there eventually, with or without Dean IMO. When I realized my expectations were off, Amelia was NOT there to so much be a love interest but more as a “nurse,” I went "eureka, that was a GREAT arc for Sam.” They were not meant to be love of my life couple—at least not for Sam. I do want to quickly comment on Sam’s talking about could a hunter have it all, a “normal life” and a hunter, as “Freaks and Geeks” showed. Some thought that was out of character for Sam to be questioning at this stage. I think it is a normal human thought, and a normal hunter’s thought. If they COULD have it all, would they try to have it all? Sam is always the optimist, and even though he knows the answer is probably always NO, you CANNOT have it all, he would be the one trying to do something like Victor did (sans the killing of family, etc.). Just my opinion.
Final thoughts. On your comments
“...i don't think the focus is supposed to be that sam didn't look, i think the focus is supposed to be on why he didn't look....and everyone has been so busy being upset that sam didn't look, i think they're missing the crux of the story..”
I just can’t add anything more. My favorite Carver comments on this topic are:
“I think the idea was two brothers that are maturing and changing, and may not always act or be the way that we would hope them to be. We as people are not as people hope we'd be, and just because we're not what others hope we are doesn't mean it's wrong."
Sam is human. This is not always a patient fan base, but when you see the Season as a whole, the shades of brilliance come into focus.
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2013-04-19 02:54
Many people have had their ‘Eureka’ moment over the past few months and have been saying it for a while. Bardicvoice (I think) discussed it here months ago. Yes, Sam was overwhelmed. Yes, he didn’t know what to do. Yes, he had no-one etc. However, as st50 said, the problem lies with the way the story has been told, the way his motivations, that emotional turmoil etc has been shown on screen. In all honestly, if the showrunner has to come out and tell people what they should have seen then there’s something wrong. If he says ‘Sam’s rationale was told’ and still people are going ‘When?’, then you’ve got serious problems with your writing and/or editing.

If you’re going to take an issue as contentious as this one, that you’ve acknowledged was going to be unpopular and that is as against the norm (in terms of character and of show) as this one, then you damn well need to treat it with kid gloves. You need to make motivations crystal clear. You can’t drip feed what might be information one week and might be another bit of information a few weeks later and then a different week change it to something else, and that is essentially what Carver has done. You’ve got to put the rationale up in big, bold letters on the screen because you can’t leave any room for doubt and a hell of a lot of people still doubt (genuinely doubt).

As per Carver, the show has focused on Sam’s supernatural side (or something like that) for too long so he wanted to focus on Sam’s human side and that’s great. However, because we’ve been dealing with the supernatural side Sam for the most of five years now, we don’t know what Sam’s human side is like because we haven’t seen it in so long. There has been no lead in to this ‘human Sam’ so it’s no wonder he’s coming off as OCC and people are having difficulty in understanding him and his motivations. An awful lot of people, up until this interview, believed (and were expecting) there was a supernatural explanation for Sam’s actions this year. That’s rather telling as it suggests that, for many, Sam’s actions were as far from human as you can get; not a good thing when you say that you’re trying to show the human side of him.

You mentioned numerous times in your post ‘I get it now’ but, with all due respect, much of what you get is either based on your interpretation of what was shown or on assumptions about the character of Sam. You mentioned that Sam would rather Dean be angry at him than disappointed in him and that’s fine. However, the reason Dean is angry this time is because Sam didn’t look. Surely Sam, as an intuitive person with knowledge of his brother’s low self esteem would know how Dean would take this; that Sam doesn’t care for him. Would Sam want Dean to think that? If not, why hasn't he worked to dispel those thoughts? Surely, Dean being disappointed in Sam for a bit would be infinitely preferable to Dean thinking Sam doesn’t care for him and /or wants shot of him?

You also mentioned that it was human to not look but I'm sorry, it’s not. It’s human to look. The natural instinct of any person would be to look. Good God, if you lost your cat you’d put up a few posters and knock on a few doors. It’s only when you think about things rationally (and over a period of time) that you might decide it’s best to not look. That’s an argument I was making back along, that because of the dark path it has led him on in the past, because of the potentially cataclysmic results of Sam searching, it was best (and safer) for all involved that Sam not look. However, the huge flaw in my argument is that if Sam was rational enough to know that he shouldn’t look then he was also rational enough to be able to look while ensuring that it would not lead him to the darkside.

Add to that, every single thing that we’ve learned about Sam is hugely subjective. It was mentioned that Sam’s emotional breakdown was evident by his reaction when he hit Riot. However, I’d react the same way if I hit a dog (hell, I once reacted the same way when I hit a rabbit) and I’m not having an emotional breakdown. I’d imagine (or at least I hope) that most people would react the same if they struck an animal with their car. The same applies to Sam’s panic in the park. Sam is used to expecting the worst when people can’t be found so it’s no real surprise that he panicked when he initially couldn’t find Amelia. Who here would not search (and be a bit panicked) if they could not find their child in a park or a playground? So with all due respect, if this is what Carver has come up with as a way to show Sam’s emotional breakdown then, for me, it’s beyond weak.

I’ve no problems with Sam doing what he did. Once I got over the disappointment of him not looking I had to find ways to explain it, and I did. I’m not saying that it’s right but it works, for me. I get the being overwhelmed part, the being afraid to look for fear of what dark road it will take him on part, the maturity of not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the past part etc. I know that my explanation doesn’t work for everyone and it shouldn’t because there’s very little we’ve seen on screen that proves what I believe. With all due respect nappi815, nothing we’ve seen on screen conclusively proves your belief. We are most probably right in our interpretations but until it’s shown onscreen then it’s all just speculation. It’s all very well and good for the showrunner or the actor or other fans to come out and explain (for want of a better word) things but it’s not canon until the explanation is shown on screen. So I'm sorry nappi815, as much as you or I or anyone else says that we 'get it', at this stage it hasn't even been confirmed what we're meant to get.

And this, for me, is what is so damn annoying about the situation. For the want of five words ‘I thought you were dead’, for the want of a decent explanation to any character, at any stage, then this whole issue, all the fans problems, confusions, doubts and anger etc could have been put to bed. Thus far they haven’t been, and so this issue has been let fester for months. Sam’s motivations and reasons behind this have been kept hugely ambiguous and, at this stage, that bugs the crap out of me because when it comes to interpreting and/or understanding Sam, it seems it's the fans that have to do the bulk of the work (and even then what we might believe is not set in stone).

For me, the telling of Sam’s story this season is the equivalent of Carver being given a box of playdough to play with, he mixes all the pieces together so you can’t actually make out the different strands or the different textures or the different colours and then holds it up and says ‘That’s Sam. Look, there’s his motivation, there are his reasons, there’s his breakdown’. To the Van Gogh’s and the Picassos it’s brilliant, it’s art, it tells a story but to others it’s nothing more than a big old ball of cack and despite being told, again and again, what they should see and what they should think about it, they don’t. It’s not stubbornness, it’s not being awkward, it’s not wilful blindness, it’s not stupidity, it’s not hysterical fangirls who are too blinded to see, it’s not people who are only out to spread misery and hate; they just don’t see it. If what you believe is what Carver was trying to bring across then something, somewhere along the line, was seriously lost in translation because there are buttload of fans who didn’t (and many who still don’t) get it.

I read an interview by Danny Boyle (as least I think it was Danny Boyle) and he was talking about the next film he was making and it is something along the lines of ‘The Sixth Sense’, a sort of ‘Aha, I get it now’ film and then you realise that the clues were there all along. It was all filmed and he was editing it when he took a year or something out to do the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. When he came back to finish the editing he realised that all the clues that he could see so clearly while he was making it, and when he was initially editing it, he just couldn’t see any more. Others watched it and they couldn’t see these clues. I think he then realised it was best to let others do the editing because very often when you doing the writing, directing etc etc, you are privy to every thought, idea and eventuality so you’re not able to see things the same as everyone else.

Anyway, it struck me that maybe this is what happened with season 8 Sam. What might have been clear to Carver et al is just not clear to many fans. Sure, some won’t want to see it but I believe the vast majority of people do want to see it because they love their show, they want to enjoy their show, they love their characters but they need to understand their characters and thus far, many can’t do that.
E
# E 2013-04-19 06:53
Tim! I am in awe! This is just tremendous and explains EXACTLY my problems with the entire Sam arc this season, and to a certain extent Dean's as well. I love nappi's interpretations overall, and would love to see something like she has constructed actually evolve in the next four episodes, but you are so right, it's currently not there in any definitive way. If it was, fans wouldn't have to spend time creating posts like Nappi's and yours.

The other thing that occurred to me while reading your post was in how they chose to portray the Sam storyline. If they wanted Sam to have the human story that's fine... he really hasn't had a human centered story with human type problems since season 1 when it was all about college and leaving his family. But if that is what JC wanted to do, make Sam more human and give him a human story, then why the mystery? Why treat his situation as though it was a great Supernatural conundrum? Why feed us obscure and cryptic plot points in dribs and drabs as though it was some great and mystic story when it's all just human and natural?

It seems to me that Sam and Deans' stories should have each been reversed in how they were revealed to the audience. Sam's should have been up front and full of detail and POV, his human situation given a complete transparency to allow us to connect with him. Conversely, Dean's purgatory story should have been shrouded in mystery, with small tantalizing bits of his time there spread out over more of the season, his secrets and Benny left until later to be revealed. I would have made more sense to reveal the two stories like that and given the purgatory story more weight and extension into the later episodes.
Super
# Super 2013-04-19 08:23
Quote:
It seems to me that Sam and Deans' stories should have each been reversed in how they were revealed to the audience. Sam's should have been up front and full of detail and POV, his human situation given a complete transparency to allow us to connect with him. Conversely, Dean's purgatory story should have been shrouded in mystery, with small tantalizing bits of his time there spread out over more of the season, his secrets and Benny left until later to be revealed. I would have made more sense to reveal the two stories like that and given the purgatory story more weight and extension into the later episodes.
Hi E.

I'm kinda in love with this idea of yours. It would have been fabulous if it had happened this way.

Sams story'd be told up front and from the human perspective (for once) and Deans story'd be mysterious and mostly hidden, with little clues (and flashbacks) slowly revealing it as the season progressed (for once). It would've given him some fresh new (darker) streaks and some muchly needed personal story, outside Sam. This would have been SO good and juicy and different!

But hey, the season can still work, right?
I'm being a bit more optimistic today :)
E
# E 2013-04-19 14:35
Thanks Super! Yeah, I was just thinking how cool it could have been for Benny to be the big dark secret that Dean carried around for the first half of the season that the boys fought over rather than the Sam not looking; it would have made a lot more sense to have the conflict arise more from Dean's experiences in Purgatory and what he had to do to get out... much more interesting IMO to have the mystery surrounding something that was actually mysterious rather than making the mundane inexplicablly (and unsuccessfully) mysterious. Also the purgatory story was dropped fairly early; I thought what we got was great, but it could have gone on much longer if what Dean had to do there came out slowly and more reluctantly. Remember in season 4 when Dean FINALLY learned what Sam had been doing... training his demon powers and drinking demon blood? The tension had been building for so long the payoff was tremendous. Benny was enough of a secret for Dean to have the same kind of reveal, why not go down that road instead? Then Sam wouldn't have felt so alientated from the people who were supposed to sympathise with him, and Dean could have had more connection to the mythology and more tension surrounding his plot line.

There may still be some kind of hidden issue with Sam and his year off that we don't know about yet. But given what we DO know, why was so much of it shrouded in mystery when the actuallity of it was so basic and normal?
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-19 17:53
Hey E-"much more interesting IMO to have the mystery surrounding something that was actually mysterious rather than making the mundane inexplicably (and unsuccessfully) mysterious". That is brilliant and so spot on.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-20 15:54
E, I can definitely see that working.
E
# E 2013-04-20 18:54
Kelly! Glad you're back and feeling better!
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-20 20:18
Me too, Kelly!
Super
# Super 2013-04-19 08:13
Hi Tim.

I have absolutely nothing to add, what you say here is exactly my problem with this season.

A fantastic post.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-04-19 08:30
Quote:
I’ve no problems with Sam doing what he did. Once I got over the disappointment of him not looking I had to find ways to explain it, and I did. I’m not saying that it’s right but it works, for me. I get the being overwhelmed part, the being afraid to look for fear of what dark road it will take him on part, the maturity of not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the past part etc. I know that my explanation doesn’t work for everyone and it shouldn’t because there’s very little we’ve seen on screen that proves what I believe.
Exactly
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-04-19 12:57
...
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-04-19 13:00
Quote:
Quote:
I’ve no problems with Sam doing what he did. Once I got over the disappointment of him not looking I had to find ways to explain it, and I did. I’m not saying that it’s right but it works, for me. I get the being overwhelmed part, the being afraid to look for fear of what dark road it will take him on part, the maturity of not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the past part etc. I know that my explanation doesn’t work for everyone and it shouldn’t because there’s very little we’ve seen on screen that proves what I believe.
Exactly
Wow... gotta say I love the back and forth on this; while my views are similar to nappi815, it is very understandable why many people have a problem with Sam's missing year, what happened, and why he didn't look for Dean Then again, this lack of a POV for Sam has been an ongoing problem since S6, hasn't it?
E
# E 2013-04-19 14:25
Actually since season 4 when Sam and his addiction were a horrible secret and revealed over time.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-20 16:08
I could have used more Sam's POV S4, but I thought they gave us enough that season to make me feel like I had good handle on what he was going though-I know others disagree. S5 was where I started to feel like I we weren't get much Sam, it was more how Dean felt about Sam. But given the nature of storyline, I more or less understood that season. Sort of. But seasons 6 and 7 continued the trend of dealing with a good portion of Sam's feelings through Dean, without really a reason for it. But it was still more just a frustration until this year. This year I feel like beating my head against the wall.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-19 21:39
replying to Tim

In all honestly, if the showrunner has to come out and tell people what they should have seen then there’s something wrong. If he says ‘Sam’s rationale was told’ and still people are going ‘When?’, then you’ve got serious problems with your writing and/or editing.

i do agree. i think the writing sucks this season and i just can't figure out if it's deliberate or if the writers just stopped caring.

If you’re going to take an issue as contentious as this one, that you’ve acknowledged was going to be unpopular and that is as against the norm (in terms of character and of show) as this one, then you damn well need to treat it with kid gloves. You need to make motivations crystal clear. You can’t drip feed what might be information one week and might be another bit of information a few weeks later and then a different week change it to something else, and that is essentially what Carver has done. You’ve got to put the rationale up in big, bold letters on the screen because you can’t leave any room for doubt and a hell of a lot of people still doubt (genuinely doubt).

again...total agreement.

You mentioned numerous times in your post ‘I get it now’ but, with all due respect, much of what you get is either based on your interpretation of what was shown or on assumptions about the character of Sam. You mentioned that Sam would rather Dean be angry at him than disappointed in him and that’s fine. However, the reason Dean is angry this time is because Sam didn’t look. Surely Sam, as an intuitive person with knowledge of his brother’s low self esteem would know how Dean would take this; that Sam doesn’t care for him. Would Sam want Dean to think that? If not, why hasn't he worked to dispel those thoughts? Surely, Dean being disappointed in Sam for a bit would be infinitely preferable to Dean thinking Sam doesn’t care for him and /or wants shot of him?

actually the way i perceived it, under normal circumstances that would be the case, but i felt sam was too hurt and angry at dean to dispel those thoughts... sam was surprised to see dean and his first words were you're alive? to me, that was sam telling dean that he believed him to be dead. dean asked about sam looking for him, which seemed odd to me at the time since sam basically just told dean he thought he was dead... sam never said anything to dean's question about sam looking. dean's initial response was to ask sam "was there a girl"? that's his question to his brother? that 's how much dean thinks of sam? that sam wouldn't look for him because of a girl? now i was livid at dean at that moment...for thinking so little of his brother....now the way i perceived it, whether right or wrong, is that sam was also hurt by that question...agai n we have a moment in which dean clearly doesn't know his brother at all, much like sam felt back in s4 when he and dean had that fight and dean called sam a monster...if sam was hurt, as i believe him to be by that thoughtless presumption dean made, then i very well may have intially let him believe that ......out of sheer hurt and anger...

then let's not forget dean's sniping at sam at every turn....i think that made sam angry....and the angrier he got, the more he kept silent....

i think the speech in sc really knocked sam for a loop and hurt him alot....i've said it before and i'll say it again, there was a moment after that speech when sam wanted to say something but garth stepped in....i always believed that sam was going to tell dean the truth but never got the chance and then the moment was gone....

sam was still angry at the end as was shown when sam finally stood up for himself... but i believe he was hurt too..especially given how he responded to dean in the following eppy....

while i feel the anger subsided, dean's disappointment in sam came out in that speech and now sam knows that deep down dean is disappointed in him...sam did say he didn't need a coin to say what he said....so if sam believes dean feels that way, then my guess and it is a guess , that telling dean the actual truth at this point will only, in sam's eyes, add to dean's disappointment in his brother...that' s my perception anyway, and like you said and i do agree, we're pretty much all have been made to guess this entire season....

You also mentioned that it was human to not look but I'm sorry, it’s not. It’s human to look. The natural instinct of any person would be to look. Good God, if you lost your cat you’d put up a few posters and knock on a few doors. It’s only when you think about things rationally (and over a period of time) that you might decide it’s best to not look. That’s an argument I was making back along, that because of the dark path it has led him on in the past, because of the potentially cataclysmic results of Sam searching, it was best (and safer) for all involved that Sam not look. However, the huge flaw in my argument is that if Sam was rational enough to know that he shouldn’t look then he was also rational enough to be able to look while ensuring that it would not lead him to the darkside.

i do think it's human not to look because sam thought his brother was dead. my point was that sam was so devastated at what happened in the lab, losing dean and cas in addition to everyone else he ever loved, that he actually reached his emotional limit and he couldn't handle it anymore, that coming from his statement that he imploded and ran.

So with all due respect, if this is what Carver has come up with as a way to show Sam’s emotional breakdown then, for me, it’s beyond weak.

i agree...i think carver has done a lousy job storytelling thus far....but i still have hope that it'll all come together very soon...
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-19 21:43
in response to Tim....


I’ve no problems with Sam doing what he did. Once I got over the disappointment of him not looking I had to find ways to explain it, and I did. I’m not saying that it’s right but it works, for me. I get the being overwhelmed part, the being afraid to look for fear of what dark road it will take him on part, the maturity of not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the past part etc. I know that my explanation doesn’t work for everyone and it shouldn’t because there’s very little we’ve seen on screen that proves what I believe. With all due respect nappi815, nothing we’ve seen on screen conclusively proves your belief. We are most probably right in our interpretations but until it’s shown onscreen then it’s all just speculation. It’s all very well and good for the showrunner or the actor or other fans to come out and explain (for want of a better word) things but it’s not canon until the explanation is shown on screen. So I'm sorry nappi815, as much as you or I or anyone else says that we 'get it', at this stage it hasn't even been confirmed what we're meant to get.

i agree that it hasn't been confirmed yet....i had wanted to save the post for a later time but as much as what i've said comes from some of what we've seen, some of what i know of sam, stuff based on the past, and lots and lots of hope, i still hold to what i've said in understanding sam's story....as much as i don't actually like the way it's been told most of the time, i do like the human side of sam's story and just because he didn't act the way the fandom expected him to act, that doesn't make sam wrong or any less of a hero in my eyes.

And this, for me, is what is so damn annoying about the situation. For the want of five words ‘I thought you were dead’, for the want of a decent explanation to any character, at any stage, then this whole issue, all the fans problems, confusions, doubts and anger etc could have been put to bed. Thus far they haven’t been, and so this issue has been let fester for months. Sam’s motivations and reasons behind this have been kept hugely ambiguous and, at this stage, that bugs the crap out of me because when it comes to interpreting and/or understanding Sam, it seems it's the fans that have to do the bulk of the work (and even then what we might believe is not set in stone).

yes to all of this....i totally concur.

For me, the telling of Sam’s story this season is the equivalent of Carver being given a box of playdough to play with, he mixes all the pieces together so you can’t actually make out the different strands or the different textures or the different colours and then holds it up and says ‘That’s Sam. Look, there’s his motivation, there are his reasons, there’s his breakdown’. To the Van Gogh’s and the Picassos it’s brilliant, it’s art, it tells a story but to others it’s nothing more than a big old ball of cack and despite being told, again and again, what they should see and what they should think about it, they don’t. It’s not stubbornness, it’s not being awkward, it’s not wilful blindness, it’s not stupidity, it’s not hysterical fangirls who are too blinded to see, it’s not people who are only out to spread misery and hate; they just don’t see it. If what you believe is what Carver was trying to bring across then something, somewhere along the line, was seriously lost in translation because there are buttload of fans who didn’t (and many who still don’t) get it.

i'm not arguing with you. i'm not changing my mind about what i posted...i wrote it because that 's what i believe and by no means am i trying to persuade others to believe what i believe. i just simply shared my feelings about understanding what i perceive to be sam's human story...


look i've got issues with this season and as of this moment, if you put me on the stand, i'd have to admit to the judge that i think carver is the worst showrunner sn has ever had...

but this season isn't over yet and as of now i probably shouldn't be saying that...not until it's all said and done anyway....cuz anything can happen.

i can't even begin to understand what the hell carver is trying to do hear....

maybe he's been with the other show too long and he just doesn't remember what our show is about...

maybe he's trying to do with this show what he did with the other show and he shouldn't ....

maybe he really does know what he's doing and it's a just wait til it's over and it'll all make sense in the end...

i'm trying and i've been trying to have faith that carver has a plan....that in the end it's going to all fall into place and i choose to hold onto that because without that hope then i'm left feeling disheartened and disgruntled and i choose not to feel that way...but that's just me.....

i do want to add that i do enjoy your posts.....belie ve it or not, we are usually on the same page.....

i think we're on the same page now even, it's just we're interpreting what we're reading a little bit differently
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-20 16:23
nappi, even though I do agree thoroughly with Tim's post on what we've seen so far. I love that you are still hopeful that they can make this work. I would have to agree based on the season as it stands I would not rate JC very high at all as a showrunner, but 4 shows will hopefully make all the difference.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-19 21:44
:-* i tried to edit hear to here....sometim es you type faster than what you think
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-20 15:53
Tim, I agree with every word. It was everything is I tried incoherently to express and more. I can very easily believe that Sam had an emotional breakdown, it was really my first instinct when we found out he didn't look. But I just don't think they've given us anything that really establishes that as canon. It is all guesswork done by the audience and for me that is not enough for something this important.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2013-04-20 20:39
Thank you , Tim, you've expressed my feelings about this season perfectly. If any of Sam's pov and/or thoughts had been shown so that we could actually see them, I would have been satisfied. However, that is not what happened and I am extremely unhappy with season 8.
E
# E 2013-04-18 08:21
nappi great, great post! I am soooooooo hoping that you are right, and I have gone back and forth all season long believing and then not believing that TPTB were attempting to show Sam's misery through metaphor. I believed it at the beginning of the season when we saw Sam panicking at every turn (over Riot, over Dean, over Amelia), but then it kind of got dropped or seemed to loose it's steam story wise and Sam went for episodes and episodes without saying anything (and really still hasn't), so I swung the other way into 'Sam has no POV' land. I think it's very likely that you are correct, and I don't mind a little bit of "story told in the background" kind of thing as long as that story gets brought to the foreground eventually. The last several episodes of the season are going to be key for me in this way.

And Kelly, we agree once again!! Especially about this:

Quote:
I don't mind people giving their perspective, in fact, I love it. It is the reason I started coming here. One of the things I love about debating/discussing is trying to understand where people are coming from and how they see the show. And I want to help people when they are upset as well. But to me, it is very different to say, "I can see your upset about this, this is the way I see it. Hope it helps." then to say you don't understand why someone is upset and to tell them why they shouldn't be. I am generally pretty thick-skinned but this a sensitive spot for me and it is like poking a bear.
Girlfriend, I feel exactly the same way. A little understanding goes a long way, and like you, I have really tried to keep my "stronger" feelings to a minimum and to the posts for which that kind of thing is appropriate. I am sorry that some people don't understand why some of us fans feel the way we do, and I am sure that reading our upset gets tiring, but we are entitled to express those feelings where appropriate the same as anyone else. And reading repeated statements of "I don't understand" or "why those fans feel that way is beyond me" type posts is equally tiring. People always have the option of skipping the post or even the whole thread if they don't like the tone; I do it all the time.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2013-04-18 12:08
I read Nappi's post and stopped in the middle when she talks about her belief and not about what was shown.Do I think Sam would just leave without investigating Dean's death? no...but that does not mean I am averse to the idea if that was SHOWN and it was not.Sam looked for Dean,SHOW It.Sam did not look for Dean SHOW IT.Sam Went to Vegas and gambled away his meager savings if any SHOW It.I don't want to hear it in some interview or con or in sentences like 'I ran'.
He Ran? How? Like a hen whose head was cut off or aimlessly or ran away from the scene where his brother died.SHOW IT.
Sam's grief should have been shown at the beginning of the season.
If Sam was mature SHOW It.Don't keep him silent when others blame him for that decision.Show that he is mature for that decision .
P.S:I still don't know which is Sam's favourite book.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-04-18 13:36
Quote:
I read Nappi's post and stopped in the middle when she talks about her belief and not about what was shown.Do I think Sam would just leave without investigating Dean's death? no...but that does not mean I am averse to the idea if that was SHOWN and it was not.Sam looked for Dean,SHOW It.Sam did not look for Dean SHOW IT.Sam Went to Vegas and gambled away his meager savings if any SHOW It.I don't want to hear it in some interview or con or in sentences like 'I ran'.
He Ran? How? Like a hen whose head was cut off or aimlessly or ran away from the scene where his brother died.SHOW IT.
Sam's grief should have been shown at the beginning of the season.
If Sam was mature SHOW It.Don't keep him silent when others blame him for that decision.Show that he is mature for that decision .
P.S:I still don't know which is Sam's favourite book.
anonymousN - well, at least we know one of Sam's idols was Gandhi ;-). You've made a fair point; I am optimistic and hopeful they answer these questions to everyone's satisfaction before the season wraps up. Given the theme of perception this year, I still think we're in for an "A-HAH, it all makes sense now" moment before the end of S8.

I'm perfectly happy with my interpretation of Sam's actions but can understand why many are not satisfied with how this was written. Since the show is primarily told from Dean's POV, we don't always get to understand what's going on with Sam and it leaves a lot open to interpretation.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-20 20:41
I also hope there is an ah- ha moment. My feeling right now is this- I know there is a chance (a really good one) that there won't be. I would be disappointed. I will continue to watch the show until the end of the series, but this would definitely go down in the THIS DIDN'T WORK FOR ME column!! I will believe JC could have done a much better job getting the crux of what he was trying to do across. That being said, I do like many of the things that have been introduced this season and I love where the brothers are now. I didn't enjoy how they got there but it is what it is. Now on to the rest of the season with fingers crossed.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-20 21:05
Leah, I have loved so much of the season and where the brothers are now as well. That's what's so frustrating. There is so much about the season I would love to rave about but all of it feels like its being held hostage to the results of this storyline. (Alright, I would still probably bitch a lot about the wrecking of lore in this episode, but it would stop me from watching the show.)
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-04-18 14:40
Hi anonymousN- I also think they should have shown Sam's grief. If they decided to have Sam "mature" at least show why, and how much distress he was in when Dean disappeared! Or have let him talk about it with Amelia or Dean or anybody. He did say a few words here and there but more was needed, I feel.

I still love the show and am not as upset as others but I understand this view. Hopefully it will be addressed further. I think I know what the shows intentions were and that's what I will take with me going forward.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2013-04-18 19:50
"Sam's grief should have been shown at the beginning of the season"

Exactly. I mean, it would have made the story of Sam not looking for Dean a whole lot more sympathetic, right? So why not show it?

I completely agree with nappi's theory of Sam having a breakdown. He basically said it when he said that his world imploded and he ran, but he never said it to Dean, and I agree that it was probably because he didn't want to disappoint him. So it's a dangling thread and it has to come out soon.

In a nutshell, I don't think that a few words and Sam's frantic actions when he first met Amelia are enough to portray something as major as Sam having a nervous breakdown and not looking for Dean. Not even close.

I don't have a problem with the story, but I have a big issue with the storytelling.
Gwen
# Gwen 2013-04-19 03:44
Quote:
"Sam's grief should have been shown at the beginning of the season"

Exactly. I mean, it would have made the story of Sam not looking for Dean a whole lot more sympathetic, right? So why not show it?

I completely agree with nappi's theory of Sam having a breakdown. He basically said it when he said that his world imploded and he ran, but he never said it to Dean, and I agree that it was probably because he didn't want to disappoint him. So it's a dangling thread and it has to come out soon.

In a nutshell, I don't think that a few words and Sam's frantic actions when he first met Amelia are enough to portray something as major as Sam having a nervous breakdown and not looking for Dean. Not even close.

I don't have a problem with the story, but I have a big issue with the storytelling.
Yes. This. Exactly.

I too have always believed that Sam had a breakdown. I thought this early in the season after he talked about someone wanting to drive his car off a bridge. (Sorry, I can't remember the name of the episode or the exact quote.)
But then, this is just pure speculation on my part, just me grasping at the few moments we've had and trying to build a picture of Sam post Dean's disappearance, just me trying to make sense of the choices he made.
IMO his grief should have been shown onscreen. I didn't need much, just one or two little scenes would have sufficed. For me, a frantic glance or two and a few words were definitely not enough to portray this storyline.

But, there are still a few episodes to go and maybe the issue will surface. I'm hoping that it will. Maybe the whole story of Sam not looking for Dean will be the final misperception to be cleared up.
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-04-20 16:31
njspnfan, I so hope you're right that there is still that ah-ha moment coming. I'm really hoping that come the end of the season my biggest regret is that I read that spoiler interview because it got me all upset for nothing :D And I will leave will the determination to never read spoilers again.

Gwen, I think there were things that could be seen as indications of a breakdown (the episode was Heartache), but you're right they just aren't enough, unless we get that AH-HA moment njspnfan was talking about.
Nate
# Nate 2013-04-18 13:01
anonymousN, I agree 100% One of my few complaints about this season (other than what Alice pointed out in the plot holes in Taxi Driver) was Sam not looking for Dean. I also had my "eureka" moment while typing comments here a few months ago, about Sam and Amelia and how once we say the entire relationship play out, it was really great, the sum better than the parts. And Amelia was NOT the reason Sam ran. She offered a way for him to avoid and hide. But you are corret, what we have been shown is Dean and Cas go POOF when Dick Roman is killed. The next time he is shown is bringing the dog to the vet. I have been VERY curious to see what happened between POOF and VET. I also liked Jeremy Carver's interview addressing the fan complaints about Sam not looking for Dean. He did say they are maturing this season, and just because it seems out of character for Sam not to look, and WE think he was wrong not to look, does not make that action wrong. Yes we may not like it, but that is what it is. Sam is human, mistakes are made.
Sharon
# Sharon 2013-04-18 13:46
I am not going to get into what they may do in the nxt few episodes of the whole Sam not looking for Dean is concerned. If they do then all hail to them it might be a wee bit late but nevertheless I would certainly welcome something.

If they dont and what they presented us with was it well then the damage has been done .
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2013-04-21 19:46
Quote:
I am not going to get into what they may do in the nxt few episodes of the whole Sam not looking for Dean is concerned. If they do then all hail to them it might be a wee bit late but nevertheless I would certainly welcome something.

If they dont and what they presented us with was it well then the damage has been done .
I'm not sure anything they do will save the season for me as the damage has been done, as you say. Makes me sad.
nappi815
# nappi815 2013-04-19 22:06
:-*